Saturday, March 24, 2007

New Cousin Has Arrived

My newest cousin, which clocks in somewhere around 33, was born on March 23 (I believe...this time thing get confusing) Thomas Francis. I believe Abbers said he weighed in around 7lbs 3oz. Can't wait to see pictures.

Sydney was really hot again today, but an afternoon storm cooled things off and its supposed to be like that the rest of the week. The girls went to Melbourne for the weekend and I've just been wandering around locally. The new movie "Reign Over Me" with Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle opened on Friday here as well so I may try and go see that tomorrow or Monday on my day off. I saw a sneak preview of 300 last week and it was really good. If you like the epic blood and guts Gladiator kind of movie you will really enjoy it. Great effects.

Talk to you soon

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Blonde Hair on St Pattys

Here's the back of my head on st pattys day. I'll find a better picture soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

St. Patricks Day/BridgeWalk/Solitaire

So its been a while since I've posted. I've been doing the important things, like going to class and playing solitaire(which is a great time killer and surprisingly addicting.) Classes are going well. Still difficult to get used to the lecture/tutorial style. The lectures seem pretty pointless most days because they just recap what you read (or should have read) and then the tutorials are much more in depth. The class material is okay. Study abroad, is supposed to be about finding your self and experiencing other cultures. Most classes deal with Australian culture in a world perspective, so being from another part of the world creates some great discussions. The Australians are a very proud country. They don't bash American content like Grey's Anatomy and Heroes, but they do strongly embrace and back Australian content. Which is very interesting? My philosophy class and sociology class seem to be asking a lot of questions with very few answers. I left Philosophy yesterday truly believing that I had no free will. That didn't last long when I decided to not think about it any more.

St. Patrick's Day here was exciting. We got up early (10am) and headed to an Irish pub in Bondi Junction. Had some irish breakfast (no corned beef hash though) and a Guiness or two. Then we spent the day bouncing around from place to place and eventually made it back to our place. Meet a lot of native Irish folks which was cool and found some really cool pubs to go back and visit.

Sunday was the 75th Anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. They had festivals and stuff all day and they closed the bridge to traffic and you could walk from the north side into the city. (Not over the top, but I still want to do that too) It was a really cool experience because we were walking with 10's of 1000s of people. We even saw 4 or 5 people in wheelchairs that had signs saying "I walked in 1932, I wheeled in 2007." So to think that there were people that were alive and walked the bridge when it opened, and again 75 years later was pretty inspiring. I wonder if there is anything in my life that I experienced that I will be able to appreciate in 75 years.

Other than that I've been playing in a few poker tournaments. I won a free meal the past two mondays (which is always good) and I actually one the whole tournament last week. I got a whopping $20 and a trip to a $1000 game the end of April. I've been behaving myself besides the free poker games and have yet to travel to the Casino and spend money so thats a good thing.

Gould's you will be proud to know that the past three nights we have spent playing card games such as FanTan, Knock, and Spoons. It's nice to be able to spread a little 'culture' to people over here as well. A couple of them will come up to me randomly and be like "hey can we play that 7's game?"

Tonight I am going to the sneak preview of 300. I know its been the top seller at the Box Office in the states for the past two weekends so it will be good to see it here. Movies aren't as far behind as I thought. Some come out farely soon after and others are a few months behind. After the movie we go to Friend in Hand Pub on Wednesday's nights for Hermit Crab racing. (Mom you thought the greyhound racing was bad). You buy and name your hermit crab and the top 6 from each heat get a t-shirt. It's great mid week fun.

Having a great time. Missing you guys. Waiting for news of my newest cousin.

Currently Listening to: Bruce Springsteen Nebraska
PS All you Bruce Springsteen fans, Bruce is currently in Atlanta recording with members of the E-Street Band. The recording should be complete by May and a full band tour is expected in September. Anyone willing I would like to attend 15 shows. They can count as 22nd birthday, Christmas, Graduation, and 23rd Birthday Presents

Monday, March 19, 2007

Running to class but...

Here's a preview of what's happened since last time we spoke:
1) I won a poker tournament
2) I bleached my hair
3) I walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Details and pictures to follow after class

Friday, March 9, 2007

Fall Out Boy in pictures

Getting pumped up for the big show...Yes I styled a faux hawk so I would fit in with the crowd!! The girls are trying to convince me to bleach my hair again shortly. I'll probably do it wear it for a week or too then shave my head (not bald just summer look like usual). It's longer than it's been in a while.

Here's a shot of the entrance to the venue. It reminds me a lot of a classic boardwalk amusement park. They even had a section named Coney Island.

Complimentary Admission...enough said (and no I haven't come to Australia to start wearing pink. The event was all ages so those who were 18+, the legal drinking age, got these stylish pink wristbands)

Here's us with the Aussie guys we met.

Here's a shot of the show that Barbara took.

So all in all, it was a great show. I had a great time, I think Barbara did as well. Hopefully it won't be my last concert here in Australia. But now I am off to bed.

"One Good Thing About Music, When It Hits You Feel No Pain" - Bob Marley

So tonight (thanks to some awesome friends) I was able to see my first concert down under. and let me tell you when you're feeling a little home sick, all you need is a little live music. Pete and Patrick and the boys of Fall Out Boy, rocked it tonight, only there second show ever in Australia. I had the sweaty opportunity to push my way right up to the front of the crowd and was about 5 persons back from the front of the stage. My friend Barbara, who went with me and is about 5' 2", made it for about 5 minutes before she was pushed and pulled to the back of the crowd. She's from Staten Island so I had "no worries" that she could hold her own. So because it was there first time in Australia they played a lot more of the first album then I was expecting. I don't really know the first album besides the three singles (all of which they played), and they they played three songs from the new album (This Ain't A Scene..., Golden Rule, and Thriller). They sounded really good and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. After one of the roadies Anthony was introduced to start a circle pit, I screamed "Yeah New York" (anthony was from buffalo) and got a lot fo crazy looks from some Aussies, but whatever.

Before the show we had the opportunity to meet up with some Australian blokes too. Scott and the boys were really cool and from Sydney, and they are going to take us some cool places the next couple days and hopefully months. I also got to meet a mom who brought her daughter to the show, who was originally from Seattle, WA and had relocated with her Aussie husband almost 25 years ago to Australia. She was really cool and we chatted about the differences and nuances between the states and Australia.

Any way Fall Out Boy is touring the States on the Honda Civic Tour coming up shortly. I know they are playing Saratoga Performing Arts Center on May 30th (or close to that) so Matty and Kiernan talk your mom's into going. It's a great time :) If I was home I would totally take you. Well I know you guys are just waking up but its about 12:30am on Friday night here so I'm going to shower and see what else the night brings.

Until later

Currently Listening to Fall Out Boy Infinity on HighCheck it out on Barnes and

This concert experience was brought to you proudly by LaT Productions and Island Records

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Classes and other stuff

So classes started on Tuesday. I have had 3 of my 4 classes and they don't seem to be too bad. The worst part is that two of them are 400 person lectures. Even at a big school like Northeastern, I've never had a class that was that big. Both are entry level classes but have a lot of Australian and study abroad students. My third class is a class designed for study abroad students so there are only 14 of us, mostly Americans. It is a history of Aboriginal history and struggles they face today. Should be interesting to learn about the culture of the Aboriginese people.

Today I walked to the Opera House again. It is nothing like it appears up close. Each roof is its own building. It's still nice looking but its just very deceiving from far away. The weather has been cooler the past couple days. A couple days in the 60's before this weekend then back to the 80's. Friday night I scored tickets to see Fall Out Boy and Barbara and I are going to go to that show.

At surf camp, I tried Vegemite. It wasn't fantastic but not horrendous either. I had some on my toast for breakfast. It's VERY salty and someone compared it to eating toast with Soy Sauce on it. Last night we went out for Thai food and I ate Chicken stir-fry with a spicy chilli sauce that was very good. We are going to try and conserve money and eat in the next couple nights. I made a big salad and I bought roast beef, tuna fish, PB&J, and pasta. Turkey is very expensive here. $25 a kilo. I don't know how that converts to LBS and I usually just order by the slice, but you can get a nice piece of steak cheaper than a nice piece of turkey or chicken.

Tomorrow morning I have class at 9am so I'm going to call it a night and try and get a full night's sleep. No big plans for the weekend besides the concert Friday night, but there are many parts of the city to be explored...and if tis really nice I'm sure we'll be heading to one of the beaches.

Miss you guys

Currently Listening to: U2 "With or Without You"
Looking for a good book...leave some suggestions in the comments for me :)

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Mojosurf Camp through Photos

Quick shout out to the 'rents:

Sorry I'm not in my room right now, I've:
Heres is a shot of the main cabin...we actually stayed in one just across the foot path from here...
This where the party moved to after the big barbecue on the first night...the tiki tent and firepit are affectionately called Humpy.

Here's the legend Kimbo attempting to patch up his board after a break into the rocks earlier in the day...I say attempting because it took three different tries over the course of about an hour...Did I mention he runs the place?

This is why I need a puppy when I get back (C'mon mom and dad I wrote a message in the sand...that deserves something right?) Grommet is 18 weeks old and we just had a great time together...

This is Big Hill where we surfed Saturday afternoon and Sunday Morning

This is another shot of the beach

Here is a shot of the sun early in the morning coming up over the ocean

Keep your eyes out for the Jellyfish the size of basketballs in the one got stung luckily enough

Okay where are the waves?

Okay I've got this how about I try with some water underneath me.
Surfs Up !!!

Still going strong

Of course I wipe out while Kimbo is photographing us all...

Here I am standing if only I could carve a little on the bigger waves...

Okay I guess I can take a nap...

Here's a shot of the moon at was almost as bright as it was during the day

Here is the Northeastern Crew after our first day of surfing...relax at humpy

So that was my weekend. As you can see it was a fantastic time. We might actually end up doing the trip again later in the semester. Classes start tomorrow at 9am. Hopefully they won't be too bad. I promised Aunt Mary that I'd get pictures of my room up, I just have to clean it a little before I take pictures.


Currently Listening to: Jack Johnson "Time Like These"

Just Read: Little Children by Tom Perrotta

Checkout MojoSurf on the Web

La Boca Cielo

For those of you who have not seen Y Tu Mama Tambien, La Boca Cielo is an imaginary beach they refer to as "Heaven's Mouth". This weekend I believe we found La Boca Cielo. About 5 hours north of Sydney (7hours on the way up with Friday traffic) we settled in to our bunks on a remote beach known as Crystal Head. Here we had two crazy days and nights of surfing, eating, some drinking by the campfire, and an all around amazing time. I keep thinking that I could find anything cooler here in Australia and then we find this.
Saturday morning we got up at 7am for breakfast and then by 8pm we walked to beach and then about 15 minutes north on the beach to some great waves. We all got boards and after about 30 minutes of basic surfing info on land it was into the water. The guys there are real pros and know a thing or two about surfing. Within an hour or so I had stood up on the board and spent the next couple hours fine tuning my skills. Because the the weather is so strong Down Under we took an afternoon siesta from Noon to about 3:30. We went back to a different spot on the beach where there were some quality big waves. Surfing is definitely a sport and after paddling out and wiping out a few times I was beat. Next up was a first class barbecue with Australia's favorite Sausages. With orientation and welcome barbecue at UniLodge(where I'm living) I think I've been to 8 "sausage sizzlers". But after a very filling meal and a crazy game of Jenga to determine who did the dishes(Team 7 did not have to do dishes :)), we headed to "Humpy" a campfire set up right by the beach for a few Toohey's. By about 12:30am, we are all dead and most of us called it a night. 7am again this morning we were awake and ready to head to the beach for a couple more hours of surfing. I didn't think I was as tired as I was but after a few times more trying to get up the board I felt like my arms were going to fall off. I surfed for about an hour then just hung out on the beach and took some more pictures of everyone.
Overall it was a great weekend. I will definitely either be renting boards at some of the local beaches or heading back for another weekend before I leave. All the guys at the camp, Kimbo, Trent, Blakey, Jim, and Ian were so chill. Ian is actually from New York. He was born in England move to Rochester then New York City. After he graduated from college four years ago he came to backpack Australia for a few months, went to surf camp, ended up buying into the company and now runs their marketing and promotions. As great as it sounds, I'm not quite good at surfing, but maybe before I leave I'll be better. And there is always North Carolina.
I have a few pictures from today and they took pictures of all of us surfing yesterday. Classes start tomorrow, but I don't have classes on Mondays or Fridays so I'll probably get the pictures up then, and do some laundry.

Until then...

Currently Listening to: Matt Costa "Sunshine"

Thursday, March 1, 2007

I'm the king of the world

Here's one more picture before I leave for the weekend. On our dolphin watch we were able to walk out to the front of the boat to take pictures and stuff. Of course I thought it best to re-enact the Titantic...luckily the boat made it back in one piece.

Talk to you on Sunday night.

Off to Surf Camp

Well this week has been a pretty uneventful one. It rained for a couple days and was overcast for the other couple days. That didn't stop us from wandering around the city or heading to another couple beaches. We discovered Bronte Beach, which is near Bondi, but a lot smaller but still very nice. This is probably my favorite beach so far. The water was a little warmer and the waves were a lot bigger. There were also two tidal pools which you could go swimming in and one even had lane lines. The beaches are very different from what I'm used to on the East Coast.
My timetable (schedule) is finalized for now. I am taking four classes Media Globalisation, Intro to Sociology, Reality Ethics and Beauty, and Indigenous Australian Sport and Culture (Which has fieldtrips :)) Classes start on Monday when we get back, but because I don't have classes on Monday or Friday I get an extra day to relax.
Today at 5pm local time we are heading out to Surf Camp. We travel about 4-5hours North of Sydney where it's just us and the dolphins and kangaroos to hang out on the beach and get surf lessons. It should be a great time. The five of us from Northeastern are all going so thats nice. I've got to shower and pack and clean up my room but I just wanted to give an update. I'm going to try and get some more pictures up before I head to the bus.

Until later

Currently listening to: Ben Folds - "Gone"