Saturday, February 26, 2011

RBT! Not to be confused with NRB...

Aussie random fact (I'm done with the Aussie slang because I've stopped paying attention to the ridiculous things they say - instead I will delight your eyes with a fun Australian fact):

  • A trashman makes around 70k a year. 

In other news, the most exciting thing happened to me yesterday! It was about 10pm and I'm driving home from work (I'll touch on that momentarily). And traffic flow in Sydney is non-existent. Stop. Go. Stop. Stop. Go. Go slowly. Stop. Slam on brakes. Rarely is ever just drive. Anyway, I'm at the part where I "go", then I quickly reach the part where I "slam on brakes." Cops are lining a main road that takes me home. Awesome. 

I inch along and see that cars are being approached one police officer at a time. They're all holding this little instrument and sticking it in the driver's side window. A wave of utter excitement takes over my body.

It's an RBT! If you recall, an RBT is a Random Breath Test issued by police officers at any given moment of any given day to calculate your BAC. It's so vital to the upkeep of the Aussie society, that they've given the RBT its very own television show. I hope, hope, hope I'm on it. But I didn't see a camera. Unless it was in the breathalyzer. Anyway, I pulled up to the cop and frantically, but ecstatically, rolled my windows down. I was clutching my hands under my chin like a child does/I do when cake is around. He asked if I minded participating in an RBT to which I interrupted him by saying "NO WAY! I'M SO EXCITED!"

He stared at me and stuck the breathalyzer in my face. It wasn't like the ones in the states that you have to blow on, so I asked him what to do.

"Just count to 10."

"1! 2! 3! 4! 5!..."

I was rudely interrupted at 5 by a loud beep. He looked at me and said, "I only got to 5, ma'am..." Then I told him I was drunk. Then we had a laugh and a high five and I sped home. 

Moving on.

Yes, I'm gainfully employed. No, they're not real jobs. I'm a nanny and a waitress. However, I'm very thankful to have a job at all, let alone 2. This was a sweet blessing as I was quickly running out of money. My mother thinks it's very odd that I'm a nanny. I half agree. I don't thrive to be in a business surrounded by little tiny baby children because they don't understand my sarcasm, but I do enjoy their company. I think they're funny. And they're great models. I took my camera to work today. Creepy? You be the judge. If anything, it's less creepy and more negligent. What the moms don't know, won't hurt them.

I primarily nanny for an ex-cop/personal trainer who is unbearably thorough in all she does. I had a background check done on me. Good thing I passed my RBT. Anyway, I nanny for her when she goes to work in the mornings, about 3 times a week. As a personal trainer, you work obscene hours of the day. I go into work at 5:30 in the morning to watch her 2 kids sleep while she teaches an old mum how to properly do high knees and butt kicks.

My days usually don't start until 10am, so making it to work on time is a miracle only God can perform. And hallelujah to the God most high, because it's 20 bucks an hour.

Mandi the PT birthed 2 children, Lorcan and Carrig. I'm convinced she found these names in one of the Harry Potter series, but she and her husband claim they're Irish. Top o' the mornin' to ya, your names are weird. But they're really cute boys. And they're oddly well behaved. It must be the ex-cop discipline. I'll probably start the Nanny Chronicles soon. They do and say some funny shit.

On Fridays, though, I assist another girl with the nanny responsibilities. We go to the beach and watch a bunch of tiny baby children for moms who are working out with Mandi. It's called Pram Fit. (Pop quiz! What's a "pram"? Bingo. It's a stroller.) It's actually a pretty clever thing. Moms dump their babes off with us in a room with a mat and some toys, and they go get their pump on. It's about 3ish hours every Friday morning. But I get to meet other babies that I want to steal. The main nugget I've got my thieving eye on is Ginger. I call her Ginger Baby. For hilarity's sake we'll say she's a redhead. But I think she has about 7 hairs right now. I took pictures of Ginger Baby all morning. Look at her! So sassy.

My other job sucks. And is boring. And isn't worth mentioning. But now I'm going to because I want to complain. I'm a waitress at Ablaze, a Tapas restaurant about 13 minutes from my house. Everything they do is inefficient, and the management staff is a joke. I think there was an American girl who worked there before me, because they all assume I've got the brain capacity of a cotton ball. Regardless, she set the bar way, way low. So now, I have to suffer through any conversation I have with them because they speak slowly and loudly and use words the toddlers at Pram Fit could even understand.

But there's this one guy, Cam. He's the bartender. He claims he's a musician and he wears black skinny jeans. And he asks me about America. I make sure to tell him all the things that would appeal to him: cheap booze, slutty girls, musical towns he must visit, etc. His eyes light up every time we talk. Which is a nice contrast from toddler town.

Why can't everyone treat me like a foreign goddess?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

If you give a mouse a cookie, he won't eat it because he's smarter than to take a cookie from a mouse trap.

Aussie slang defined:
  • Woop woop: A town in the boonies.
  • Ute = A pick up truck. That one's just silly.
Sidenotecompletelyunrelatedtothisblogpost: God blessed me with a number of job opportunities this week. And great ones! With great people. What a sweet, sweet guy. Ask and you shall receive, my friends. 

Anyway, on top of my glorious career-shower, Katie and I got to exercise our hunting skills with a field mouse that had made a home in our naptastic purple lounge. And if he wasn't in the lounge, he was making his mousey way across the living room and behind the dish cabinet, perched along the baseboards. Though, he never ventured down the hall. He knew if he did his life span would have been significantly shorter if I found him in one of my shoes, or having a hump affair with Clyde (my moosebear) (#yesI'm22andstillsleepwithaplushanimaltocomfortme) in my bed. 

I first discovered our little furry friend late one evening when I went to dawdle on the computer before bed. I turned on the light that led to the bathroom, but not the kitchen light. And all I saw was something furry, fast and fist-sized. Naturally, I assumed it was one of the giant ass poisonous spiders that we researched. I spent my computer time with my feet off the ground and all the lights on. When I told my uncle about it the next morning, he set out to find it. Moving the couches, tossing cushions about, he discovered the culprit. I was in my room Skyping with my soon-to-be-famous musical BFF Aaron Lagrone when I heard him find the bushy buddy (pardon the irate Australian profanity):

"It's a fuckin' mouse! A mouse! There's a bloody mouse in my lounge! You little shit!"

And so the saga began.

Operation Mouse House was a multi-teamed task, as the mouse was far too agile and sly to be captured by one. No, this mouse was a rodent professional. Hiding in nooks and crannies, darting the span of the living room when backs were turned, and strategically placed poops as to throw off our compass. Operation Mouse House was a "fortnight". It took two weeks to finally capture him. Australians love Shakespearean lingo.

The first week, my uncle bought 5-6 mouse traps and loaded them with a party tray of treats for the bushy brat. But he didn't bite. Then Katie took over. She asked for my help during the initial stages of her ambush, but... eh. It was much more interesting to watch. And well, who wants a rabies-ridden rodent scurrying atop their feet? Pass. This is what the kitchen looked like after Katie discovered Tuesday's location of Jerry Baseboards (given to him
by the ever-creative Katie Miller). She attempted to herd him into the bathroom in order to trap him in a more enclosed space. The mouse corral was flaw-full, but comical.

After she poked him a number of times with a wooden spoon, and blinded him a bit with the pink and purple flashlight - he darted out from underneath the cabinet, way too close to my feet, and back under the lounge. Corral fail.

Jerry: 2.
Humans: 0.

The next day, Katie resorted to her same tactics, sans the corral. And, on top of the wooden spoon my aunt has yet to find out that we were poking a mouse with, she found a branch of a palm tree. Which made to be a great poker, a would-be-great back scratcher, and a nice sweeping tool for when Jerry got out of line. The little anus made a number of trips back and forth from the purple lounge to the dish cabinet, defeating us all once again. We opted for a bigger army. With our Major General being the perma-annoying Puss Puss.

Jerry: 4.
Humans: 0.

I'm giving Jerry an extra point because the cat is already useless, so it starts with a demerit. But the cat proved to be even more useless when we tried to get him to trigger his innate predator instincts. The cat was staring at bugs and trying to run through screen doors. We even pushed his face into the area where Jerry was, but he would rather tend to his bug watching and ass being.

The funny thing about us even letting in Puss Puss was that he did absolutely nothing. Then the second we let him back out so he could go play catch with lint balls, the mouse would bolt to a new hiding ground. This... cat and mouse game... happened 4 times.

Jerry: 8:
Humans: 0.
Puss Puss: -985

It was time for a new attack plan. Uncle P readjusted his gardening gloves and went after the mouse himself. Linda wasn't exactly the best cheerleader as she was doing everything she possibly could to keep out of the mouse's sprinting range. Though, she was arbitrarily waving around a broom. Intimidation factor.

We decided that us catching the mouse with our hands was just a distant dream. So, we thought we'd trap him with Tupperware. Brilliant. Actually, it really did give us a boost of encouragement. When Jerry frantically scurried under the fridge on one of our numerous capture attempts, we lined the fridge with Tupperware as Katie tried her herding technique once more. She was brushing him to one side, so that he would run into the Tupperware. When the bait took the worm, we all got so excited that we screamed and forgot to hold down the plastics. He ran in between Katie's legs and back to the lounge.

Then shit got real.

When Jerry receded to his favorite hiding place (that we were fully aware of), we took the time to turn the living room into Fort Knox. We stripped the couches of their cushions and lined the living room with them, so he couldn't get to the dish cabinet anymore.

Jerry: 9
Humans: 1/2
Puss Puss: -1000

He infiltrated the Fort and made it back to the cabinet. But, our culprit is injured. He left a trail of blood on the way to the cabinet. How? Not from Puss Puss. Worthless cat. Either way, we take this time to get him back to the couch. One. Last. Time.

Fort Knox had been resized and re-enforced. Operation Mouse House is about to be finished. With my uncle still in his gloves, and the Tupperware in hand, we all were prepared to end this furball fiasco once and for all. Katie applied the sweeping mechanism and got Jerry to run out from under the lounge. Jerry tried to escape but alas! Blocked. He scurried back under the lounge and tried to wedge himself between the end table and the wall, but Katie NBA'd his ass and stuffed him. He ran out and toward the sliding glass doors where Uncle P was waiting and BAM! BAM! He trapped Jerry with the Tupperware.

Now, our hope is that the mass amounts of blood are just from his pre-existing wounds, and his lifeless position is because the Tupperware came down on his tail. Otherwise, Uncle P politely tossed Jerry's little mouse body over the fence. And  Operation Mouse House was a long-winded success.

Jerry: 9
Humans: A proud 1 1/2.
Puss Puss: Who cares.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things.

Aussie slang defined:

  • Geed: Excited.
  • Dobber: A tattle tale.
As we hit the month mark of being in Aussieland, it's inevitable that I've procured a few "favorites". Let me not waste your time with fancy adjectives and descriptive stories; I'll just dive right it. But! Before I begin my blogpost of foreign wonders revealed, here a few words from my jealous boyfriend in a discussion about the land of Australia as a whole:
"...Blah blah blah, flouride, lamb, Vegemite , beer, I'm Australian, look at me mate! I'm so laid back I can barely stay awake."
He's both eloquent and supportive. I can hear the bells...


Favorite number 1: You can wear the same clothes to the beach as you can to a funeral.
  • I love that everyone, despite occasion, profession or time of day, looks like they've just rolled off the beach. Visual: Your hair is disheveled, you're either bra-less (preferred) or you wear a swim suit underneath everything all the time, and you smell of sunny coconuts. I would like to specifically touch on the hair part: If you are someone who I have had contact with, or someone who has seen what I look like if/when I went to class, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of the on-top-of-your-head bun. And that's Australia's favorite hair-do. Because of that bun, I have yet to look like a tourist. It's convenient, it's a timeless style, and it's the only way my hair will stay up when it's not in a dyke braid twirling about as I run down the soccer field.
Favorite number B: Everything is abbreviated regardless of communicative medium.
  • As Katie and I are watching yet another episode of How I Met Your Mother, an always-hated commercial break came up. [For fear that I will start to sweat out of frustration, I'll avoid discussing how horrible Australian commercials are.] During this slew of commercials I heard the snippets of words: Eps, reggos, brekky, agro, ambo, cabbie, crim and lollie. Australians abbreviate everything. English lesson: typically abbreviations are used when writing, as to alleviate the spelling of lengthy words. Rarely do you pronounce the abbreviated words. Words like "etc." or "MGMT" or any of the states abbreviations. You don't say those words, you write them. Abbreviations are designed for efficiency. But in Australia, you get to make up your own abbrevs.I think this coincides with their I'm-on-the-beach-in-my-head dressing habits. If they look and speak like they're drunk on both booze and sunshine, it perpetuates the country's motto of their being "no worries, mate." And it's not like the States, where everyone is saying "totes jeal" or "BFF" or "so presh" like the lazy douchers we are - that crap is and better be a phase. Here, it's used in daily conversation and has been since the birth of this magical land. In case you haven't deciphered what these are, I'll tell you:
    • Eps = Episodes.
    • Reggos = Registrations.
    • Brekky = Breakfast.
    • Agro = Angry.
    • Ambo = Ambulance.
    • Cabbie = Taxi cab.
    • Crim = Criminal.
    • Lollie = Candy.
    • Reggos has been the most ridiculous one to date. And yet, I giggle every time.
Favorite number 3: I don't think they can even spell b-u-t-t-e-r.
  • They cook everything in olive oil. My aunt has a single tub of buttery spread, and it's made from plant seeds. It's not even real butter. I love how healthy Australia is. I haven't seen a single drive-thru upon being here. Which for parking's sake can be a pain in my ass, but after this trip I will no longer complain when Gerry deliberately parks 40 miles away from the entrance of wherever it is we're wanting to go. And the same handful of fast-food restaurants keep reappearing; KFC, McDonald's, Subway and this place called Hungry Jack's. HJ's (hehe) is just Burger King with a gayer name. Same menu, same logo, same cardboard patties. The food here gives Alaska a run for its money as far as purity and freshness goes. If this food were any more pure, even God wouldn't be able to eat it.
Favorite number B: The might not be able to spell b-u-t-t-e-r, but they can definitely spell T-h-a-i. 
  • I don't know why I didn't make this number 1, but I love that there is a Thai restaurant on every single corner. Need a haircut? Sorry, this building is now a Thai restaurant. Petrol station? Nope. Pad Thai station. What? You're bleeding internally? Sorry, all doctors are across the street eating delicious Thai food. And they're all decorated the same, staffed with the same people in it. Literally, it might just be the same Asian family hopping restaurants. I'll never know. But I do know that they hire the youngest member of their family to paint and decorate the shops. Art decorations that are poorly hung, and don't pertain to Thailand whatsoever, crazy colors paired with more crazy colors slathered on the walls, and there's always a random lamp. And well, flies. But it's not about the ambiance, people. What matters most, is that they know how to cook my tofu. So far I've been let down once, but it was a white guy working the Hibachi in a Japanese restaurant. Wrong on all accounts.
And favorite number C: RBTs. 
  • RBTs are Random Breath Tests. This little test is a swift kick of irony. Australians are world renowned for both their partying and their inappropriately chill attitudes. And yet, cops beat the streets with these little babies in hopes of arresting brah after brah. RBTs can be issued whenever, wherever and for whatever reason. Katie and I went for a job down a residential road, and saw a couple police cars pulling people over as they were passing. Each car was issued a Random Breath Test. It's was 11am. On a Tuesday. If the homeland adhered to this policy, the ears of Americans would be bleeding with cougars and their angry alcoholic ex-husbands who want their privacy where privacy is due. So they can drive drunk in peace! RBTs are so pertinent to a police officer's duty, that they've even made a reality show about it. No, it's not like COPS. A) Australia already airs COPS and B) RBTs deal a lot less with prostitution and cockroach infested houses.
Thus far, those are my favorites. I'm sure I'll find more as we continue our laid back, drunken journey. Until then, I can tell you that nowhere on my list of favorites will be a bullet for Vegemite. Or its sister product Cheesymite.