Monday, 29 September 2008

What a boring life we lead

Hi all,

I started this blog with the intent of keeping everyone updated on the events in our lives.

I now realise that we are extremely boring people, and 'events' are just too few are far between! So, if anyone is still persisting in reading this, I think I'll just go back to old-fashioned emails.

Thanks for participating in my little experiment!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Friday, 22 August 2008


Over the past few years, I've received emails from friends, asking me to be their Facebook friend. I hate spending time on the computer (since I spend all my working days staring at one), so I never bothered to join up. Yesterday, though, I received two requests: one from an friend I haven't spoken to for about 10 years and the other from my old high school class.

So, I went and signed up today. It's amazing how much time you can waste on that website!! I've spent about three hours, looking at photos of people I haven't spoken to for 20 years. Some look exactly the same, others I don't even recognise. Even worse: there are names I read and they mean nothing to me. It's kinda sad to think that I spent 5 years with some of these people and I can't even recall a single thing about them.

So, back to the high school thing: I found out they're planning our first class reunion, to be held in Gladstone next year. I've always wondered what makes people attend these things. Do some people attend to prove that they're not the nerd anymore, that they now meet the standard? Do others go, to re-live their youth? I always thought I'd never go back, but I'm actually genuinely interested in what everyone is doing now. Maybe it's because I've spent the last 4 years living in a country where I have no history whatsoever?

Sunday, 3 August 2008

I got a job!

So, I'm back at work. I accepted a 3-month contract position with Bank of America as a Project Manager. They just bought out a 400 branch banking chain up in Illinois and they're in the process of changing them over to Bank of America, so my job so far seems to be making sure that this transition stays on track.

The pay is amazingly good for what I do: keep track of timelines and call tardy banks to remind them of deadlines. I don't think it's something I'd want to do permanently, so I'm quite enjoying the temporary nature of this position.

The working environment here in Charlotte is MUCH more familiar to me than Augusta was. When I was in Augusta, I still wore suits to work every day, and was pretty much the only person doing so. Here in Charlotte, it's much more formal, so I fit in better here. The main thing I've noticed is that the men take much better care of themselves, so they're all very fit and styled and beautifully dressed. Makes it more fun to people-watch on your lunch break.

Yes, that's right, I said LUNCH BREAK! I actually get a lunch break in this position!! I'm actually really enjoying being an hourly employee, getting regular breaks, getting paid if I work overtime. I can't remember the last time I was paid overtime or was able to take a lunch break!!

Some other news is that I've been accepted into the next training class for docents (guides) at the Art Gallery, so that training starts this month. I can't remember the last time I was so excited about starting a job! It's volunteer work, of course, but it's something I've wanted to do for years. I was just never in a position to do it, so I'm thrilled!

Dustin started a new rotation this week with Ultrasound/Anesthesiology, so he'll have every weekend off this month. We spent yesterday going rock-climbing at a nearby mountain, which was lots of fun. Bonnie came with us, but whined whenever we got too far up the face. Maybe we won't bring her next time. Today, I can barely move my arms, which shows it's been far too long since I did something that strenuous. That's another thing to do: join a gym!

Will keep y'all updated on life here in Charlotte...

Friday, 18 July 2008

Milo, otherwise known as Alimento Fortificado Sabor a Chocolate

Our new home in Charlotte is quite close to the Latino part of town, so our supermarkets are lots of fun to wander around. The closest supermarket to our house, in fact, has all its signs in Spanish first, with tiny little English translations underneath! As usual, when you first walk in, it's the fruit and veg area, but this supermarket has so many vegies I've never seen before. Lots of chillies and cactus leaves and who knows what else (because the signs are in Spanish!). I was wandering through the aisles the other day, when I saw something very familiar:

Ahhh... a taste of home!!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Goodbye Augusta.... Hello Charlotte!

Goodbye Augusta! Photo above shows Dustin all clean and dressed-up after he came back from the closing attorney's office... and me, in my cleaning/scrubbing/moving/dog-walking outfit!!

Since I last saw wrote, things have been completely crazy. Dustin decided it would be a good idea to go visit his parents before we left Augusta, so we did that, then came back to Augusta TWO days before the closing on our house. We had arranged for a friend of a friend to help us move our stuff into the U-Haul truck... and on the day, he never showed up!! So, when it came to the final walk-through before signing over the house, I was still scrubbing and sweeping and mopping frantically. In fact, I was still cleaning the house while Dustin was at the attorney's!! Of course, it all got done eventually, and at 8am on Friday morning (Friday the 13th!!), we left Augusta for the last time and headed off to Charlotte.

Being Friday the 13th, of course we had some challenges with our new house purchase in Charlotte. As we were driving, Dustin was on the phone the whole time with our real estate agent and our mortgage broker. Our closing was scheduled for 1pm on Friday, but come 4pm, it still hadn't happened. Among the problems were the fact that the bank didn't order an appraisal until THAT MORNING!! and even worse, the closing attorney couldn't leave his office because there was a crazed madman with a GUN running loose in his area. Can you believe all of this could happen? Meanwhile, we're sitting in the real estate agent's office with Bonnie, and all of our worldly possessions sitting in a U-Haul truck in the parking lot, and it's looking like we'll be homeless for three days until the house closing can go through on Monday. Luckily, the house seller was a really nice guy and he ended up agreeing to letting us move in that day and closing on Monday.

So, since then, we've been extremely busy trying to move in and make the house the way we want it. Dustin's dad and his best friend arrived on Saturday night, and spent the next three days working 14-hour days to build us a storage shed and a fence to keep Bonnie in. Since then, we've put up fans in every room and new light fixtures throughout the house. There have also been little things like trying to unpack!! Even though the house is still a complete mess with boxes and tools and half-completed projects in every room, it's slowly starting to feel like our home. Bonnie LOVES the fact that she now has a big back yard to relax in and has doggie neighbors on all sides, both of which are new developments for her.

Dustin started his first shift today, and in keeping with our current run of luck, has 6 overnight shifts in a row. Ugh. Since he's started working, I figured it's time for me to start looking for a job also, so I sent out a few applications today. I'm hoping that my job search won't be too long or depressing, so keep your fingers crossed for me. In the meantime, I think I'll apply to volunteer at the local art museum. Starting Saturday, there's an exhibit of couture (Chanel, Valentino, etc) which sounds like it would be amazing to see.

In between all the house renovations, we've also had to go to lots of social gatherings to meet Dustin's new coworkers. There have been some really fun events like whitewater rafting (this is where the US Olympic team trains), lake parties with water skiing, Symphony in the Park (just like back home in Adelaide!!) and lots of BBQs. The people here are all extremely friendly and take great care to make the spouses feel included in everything. So, let's hope that Charlotte will be much more enjoyable than stinky old stuck-up Augusta!

(I just realised we don't have a photo of the new house! Will post one ASAP!)

Sunday, 1 June 2008

My caduceus tattoo!!

We had Dustin's graduation ceremony a few weeks ago. As you'd expect, it's a pretty big deal. There is a black-tie graduation dinner, then two graduation ceremonies with receptions afterwards. At the graduation dinner, I wore a strapless dress, but we were running late, so I didn't have time to cover my tattoo like I normally would for this type of outing. Anyway, after the meal, the Dean of the School of Medicine stands up to give his speech. He's rambling on about something, I don't know, I was zoning out completely... when I suddenly heard him say something about a young woman who's here tonight, with a caduceus tattoo (a caduceus is that snake and staff symbol that is used to as the symbol of the medical profession). He was saying how that showed true commitment to the discipline of medicine, and while he wasn't recommending that we all go out and get tattoos, we should all show the same commitment to our profession.... As you'll have realized, he was talking about me and my dragon tattoo!! I spent the rest of the night trying to avoid him and all the people who came up to me to say, "I thought it was a dragon?"...