The Art of Relaxation

Trip Start Nov 21, 2008
Trip End Mar 31, 2010

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hello family and friends. I've had such a hard time uploading the pictures that it took two trips to the library and several hours, ahhh! Any pity for me? I didn't think so.
My job at the restaurant hasn't given me any hours in over two weeks so I was feeling like I had an endless amount of time on my hands while my savings dwindeled. I guess it's just a case of 'you always want what you don't have' because my room mates, like any sane person, said they would give anything to hang out at the beach all day.

Thus the art of relaxation sometimes needs to be cultivated to be properly appreciated, which is what I have been doing.

The weather has become increasingly warmer, which I love, but still I'm not used to it. It's been around 30 degrees celcius, or in the 80's Farenheit. It's so nice waking up everyday, usually past 10 O'Clock, with the sun shinning in the clear blue sky outside. Okay I won't go on anymore about the weather, I know most of you are freezing and I don't want to rub it in. Warning: the beach pictures may create some envy!
I've still been reading a lot, and I've finished 3 books in the last several weeks, one numbering over 900 pages! "Shantaram" is a beautiful book (by a Melbourne author) and they're making a movie starring Johnny Depp so you might want to start reading now!
I attended my first concert solo, "The Black Keys". They were great live, and really at concerts everyone is paying attention to the musicians anyways, so it was fine going alone. Next week I see Ani Difranco at the Palais Theatre in St. Kilda and I'm really excited about that as well.

During the weekends there's always stuff to do because everyone is off and in the party mood but during the week I mostly have the days to myself. This last week I went to St. Kilda Beach (on the other side of town on the Port Phillip Bay, about 45 minutes by tram) and soaked up the sun. It was so hot that after two days I just felt like a piece of crispy bacon and had to take a break for a day or two. I always wear sunscreen but even so I'm looking pretty brown, and getting the inevitable freckles on my face.
There's some funny things you would never think about if you're always doing stuff with other people, like having to ask strangers, ok usually the cutest guy in the vicinity, to put sunscreen on your back. After the beach one day I walked over to a bar/ restaurant and was sitting on the couch reading my book (of course) and I struck up a conversation with a girl sitting next to me, Sue. She's a cool girl from New Zealand who just got back from travelling all over South America, North America, and Europe, and told me that the nerve you develop from travelling alone allows you to meet some of the coolest people, that you might not otherwise talk to if you didn't have the experiences of travel.
On another day after the beach I went to this bar Claypots where they were having a poetry night (I had met a contact there when I first came to Melbourne). I wasn't planning on reading anything but I always have my little notebook on me where I scribble thoughts, directions, etcetera, so I did get up and read a poem. I could tell the small, older crowd was close knit regulars and they were very nice to me, complementing me. In fact one of the women started talking to me and gave me her card telling me that her co-worker may be able to hook me up with some contacts as far as production opportunities go.( I have been on the look out for work in my field, and just the other day I sent out a bunch of resumes to production companies) I guess it's just another example of the friendliness of strangers, and how quickly people leave the title 'stranger' behind.

Over the last two weekends (that's as far back as my immediate memory, and pictures, go) there have been really fun parties. One at my friend Bryce's house where he set up a bar in the backyard (with the washing machine turned cooler, although it's not cooler here, it's an Esky) and we then bar-hopped all night.  
The other was just this last weekend at this amazing house in my neighborhood. It was an annual party and extremley organized including having to have your name on the list, a bar with drinks for sale, a DJ, and several bands throughout the night. I can say with certainty that it was the coolest house party I've ever been to. Sue came out and Claire, my room mate was one of the acts of the night. She sings and plays the guitar with a folksy sound, which is precisley the type of music I'm inclined to like.

The day before the big house party I went to a Cricket game at the MCG.
 Melbourne is very well known for their love of sports, and while I'm not a huge sports fan I thought I would do like the locals and attend a game and cheer the Australian team on against South Africa (they are ranked the top 2 teams in the world). The MCG, Melbourne Cricket Grounds, is known as the largest sports complex in the Southern hemisphere, and while it did look huge, I'm accustomed to all things American, which are most often large in size. I went with some of my room mates friends who I had met previously and they were very nice to explain the rules of the game, and I did pick up on it fairly well.
It was an insanely long game, about 8 or so hours, and I definitely lost interest half way through. It's different because one team goes first and then the second team has to beat the score set by the first team, so there's no back and forth, and it's easy to become bored. South Africa won at the very end, but by that point I just wanted to leave! Just like any sporting event, everyone was drinking, and often during the game the drama of fights, or cheers, or drunks in the stands was more interesting than the game.
 One person would assume the position of cheer leader screaming "Aussie Aussie Aussie" and everyone would respond "Oi Oi Oi" etcetera. You've all heard that one, just know that it's said Ozzie, not Aussie with an S!

I am fairly thrifty with my money during the week, but like I said before alcohol is so expensive here, that I end up spending lots of money on the weekends. Not that I drink too much or anything......
Anyways I was feeling like I needed to look for a new job, since I wasn't getting any hours at the other one. I applied for several, and rode my bike from Fitzroy to South Yarra (on an incredibly hot day) to hand in my resume and talk to the owner of this little wine/cafe place. He said that he would give me a call and get me in there to do some 'trials', which I'm guessing means they will probably hire me but want to make sure I'm not completely incompetent first. Then my other job called and said that they've put me on the roster and they're going to start actually giving me hours. So I may just have two jobs if it can work out that way, as long as I'm not overworking, which I doubt would happen.

Well I believe that's all for now, I've way spent way over the hour time limit on the library computer, Thank you State of Victoria Library!
The next couple of weeks should be really fun though. There's a CS Summer festivle in Melbourne with lots of activities that I plan on attending, like the Free Hug event, Australia Day is on January 26th, and several meet-ups at different locations throughout the city. Also St. Kilda (the beach side neighborhood) is having a festival with free bands, comedy, theater, etc. Plus I'll actually be working, and whaddya know- the weekend is almost here again!
Have a great one everybody!
Thanks for all the e-mails about "Best Job in the World", which I will definitely apply for,
congratulations to Katie and James on the birth of Jayden,
and Go Obama!

Beth  :)
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