Sunday, April 29, 2007

$ydney, Day One

I left Los Angeles Friday night just before midnight. I’d been trying for a week to figure out how best to prepare for the 17 hour time difference. I decided it would be best to mentally stay on Los Angeles time until I arrived in Sydney, at which point I would just stay awake until a reasonable bedtime and thereby be incredibly sleepy.

I slept fairly solidly for the first seven hours of the flight. Don’t get me wrong – these were not seven hours of good, restful sleep, but they were better than nothing. So when I woke up, it was nearly 8am on Saturday Los Angeles time, which meant it was about 1am Sydney time on Sunday. I decided to stay awake, and I actually felt pretty good. I napped on and off for the rest of the flight, but for the most part, I was awake.

Allow me to say here that Qantas is the best airline I’ve ever flown. Moving on…

Upon arrival in Sydney, I was so excited that I didn’t really care what time it was (it was about 8am Sydney time on Sunday – 3pm Los Angeles time on Saturday). I made my decision firm to live on Sydney time starting then. I went through customs/immigration, got some cash, bought some postcards, hailed a taxi and reached the hotel. Feeling good, I imagined it must be noon by now. Nope. 9:15am.

Since breakfast is included in the cost of my room, I decided to take part in the buffet. I reasoned I should eat at that point, thereby not having to spend a nickel on lunch, and then I’d just eat dinner at a normal time. Breakfast was uneventful and a little too European for my liking (they sure like roasted tomatoes and lunch meat for breakfast), but I managed to find some stuff I like. Satiated, I went upstairs. It must be noon by now! Nope. 10:45am.

I chatted with gina for a bit – she suggested I take a nap. I was very nervous about napping because I really don’t want to be awake all night. I decided I’d go explore the area of Sydney where I am. Of course, I never get the cool skyline view. Here’s the view from my room:



I think this is the town hall:


Kind of construction-y and tame, but I like it nonetheless.

Here’s the heated outdoor pool. It’s fall here, so not too many people are swimming. And by not too many, I mean to say that no one is swimming.


The weather is gorgeous here – the leaves are orange and the sun is shining. Upper 60s. I ventured outside and around the corner and saw what would undoubtedly keep me busy until the evening:




Shopping, shopping, and more shopping. So much shopping. And this is when I thought this area of Sydney should be called $ydney. I don’t even like to shop that much, but when I’m in a city by myself, there’s not really much else to do. And this was so bloody convenient. To my dismay, a lot of the stores were stores like Borders and… um… other stores native to America that I can’t think of right now. But I managed to walk into quite a few stores. After much deliberation, I bought this bag:


As I was heading back to the hotel, I noticed there was an entrance to what looked like an underground mall or something. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before I found myself underground walking through this mall that seemed to never end. I was getting a little claustrophobic and a lot dizzy. I only managed to snap this one shot, but this is what it looked like, for what seemed like miles and miles, and levels and levels:


I managed to make it outside to what I think is the town hall, and I saw this older couple feeding this crazy Australian bird:





I had to go back into the crazy dizzying mall to get back to the hotel, so I managed to make it through and buy a smoothie on the way. I snapped a few more shots outside – close-up shots of this guy painting the sidewalk:



And these cute kids playing their instruments:


I got back to the hotel, convinced it was about 5pm. Nope – 2:30pm. To pass the time, I went to the gym for an hour, came back to my room, took a long bath, uploaded the photos off the camera, wrote this long blog entry, and it’s now finally 6:00pm, which means I can feasibly order dinner and give myself two more hours before I can finally go to bed, of course not before popping a Vicodin. Please oh please let me be able to sleep.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Lessons from down under.

I just landed in Sydney this morning (Saturday afternoon in USA, Sunday morning in Australia) for my next international adventure. I was thrilled to be coming here for many reasons, but mostly because the country's official language is ENGLISH! Woo hoo!

I haven't explored much yet, but I have perused the hotel's restaurant dinner menu and have decided what I will NOT be ordering:

Kangaroo loin with bush spices

Maybe the first language isn't English, because in English, that sounds disgusting.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Today's (funny) ridiculously cute video

This might be officially the cutest thing I've ever seen. Be sure to watch the whole video - the best part is towards the end.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I wish I was [sic] a little bit taller.

I have a few tall girl-friends, ranging from 5’11” to 6’2”. At 5’7” (maybe 5’8”) I’ve always sort of prided myself on being kind of tall. And then I met these girls. No longer do I ever think I’m tall.

I was talking to one of the shorter of my tall friends Joey, who stands at a mere 5’11”. Joey often wears heels of some sort, and on those days, I would bet my life she’s just about 7’ even. In any case, as I’m sure it often does, her height came up in conversation at work yesterday when myself, Lisa, and Joey were chatting. Joey mentioned that she was the smallest one out of her siblings.

-How tall is your sister?


-How tall is your brother?



-Well, my mom is 6’2, and my dad is 6’6.

-You’re KIDDING me!

-They did meet at Tall Club.

Lisa and I looked at each other. ”Tall club?!”

Just when I thought Joey could not get any cooler.

Joey was surprised she hadn’t told me, because it’s apparently a story she shares with a lot of people. She went on to tell us that her parents met at a Tip Toppers Tall Club mixer back in the day and well, the rest is history. She then told us that she tried to become a member but she’s too short! Women have to be 6 feet and men have to be 6’4”. She reminded them that she was born of two card-holding members, and shouldn’t that make her a legacy? Nope, too short.

We felt bad that someone as cool and as tall as Joey would be denied membership to any club, so we made her an Honorable Mention certificate for being ALMOST tall enough. We also put a tag line – Drink your milk and reapply next year! She loved it, and I believe she takes comfort in the fact that to us, she’s practically the president of the Tip Toppers Tall Club.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The world is a better place.

Here's gina holding Brady Stewart! Mama Kim is healthy and happy to not be pregnant anymore. Brady is huge and cute as ever, with a head full of strawberry blonde hair. He was in a hurry to get out - four hours once labor was induced, and only a mere 45 minutes after I got to the hospital.

Gina and Brady.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

UPDATE (already)

About five minutes after I hit "publish" on the last post, Kim called me. She's getting induced! Yay for the Peanut! Stay tuned for pictures of the new boy.

Playing God.

My friend Kim is about to give birth to her second son. I was at her first son's birth two years ago, which was easily the most amazing experience I've ever had, and I can't imagine anything being better except the birth of my own child. So naturally, I was thrilled when she invited me to be present at the birth of Baby Number 2, aka, The Peanut.

The Peanut is due on April 22nd. With my work schedule being as unpredictable as it is (it's not totally unimaginable to be asked today to leave tomorrow for a shoot on Friday), I've been carefully scheduling things in my life so as not to miss The Peanut's birth-day. I booked a shoot at the end of April so that it would make sense for me to stay in town this weekend. A group of old friends picked this coming weekend as the weekend to go camping because it was the only weekend I could assure them I'd be in town. I warned them I might be in the hospital with Kim, but I would try my hardest to make it to Woods Valley Kampground with a K.

Well, the date is fast approaching. Two weeks ago, Kim's doctor warned her she might go early. Kim was all for it, as long as it was after the 15th. The doctor warned her it might even be earlier than that. It's the 18th, and still no labor. I am sending all energy possible to the world for the Peanut to arrive early, because... well, because it would just be so convenient if he came before Friday. Also, it's not totally selfish - Kim is on the verge of miserable, completely ready to not be pregnant anymore. But mostly, I'm impatient and very eager to meet the new baby.

The reason I'm posting this story today is that today is her doctor's appointment, in which she will ask to be induced. The doctor's appointment was at 9am, and it's pushing 10am, and I still haven't heard from her. I'm on the edge of my seat with my phone in my hand, waiting. Excited, thrilled, and wondering if I'm this antsy about my friend giving birth, how I will be when it's my turn.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Today's Funny Video.

This is a new segment here at It's Katie, everybody! wherein I post a hilarious video that I've come across for your enjoyment. Please don't get too excited - this might be the only time I ever do this.

Rent's due

Universal language.

Start a revolution.

Found at the base of a statue in Curaco.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Enjoying baseball games with other people's children.

Gina and I went to a Dodgers game this weekend with two of Gina's friends. Gina and I loooove baseball games, and we're always looking for new traditions to start. We decided to go big this time and we got the $25 tickets instead of the cheapy seats. We had fantastic seats behind home plate - kind of up high, but they offered a great view:


We sat next to this 4 and a half year old little boy and his dad, and right around the fifth inning, this little boy decided that he really liked Gina. He had his eye on her ever since she bought a bag of peanuts in the 2nd inning. When he finally got the courage to ask for a peanut, the four of us had already finished the bag. Even though he was bummed out, he didn't hesitate to chat it up with us for the rest of the game. He even played along when we were giving bunny ears to the people in front of us as they tried to take pictures of themselves. He also helped Gina flag down the cotton candy guy, by standing on his seat and yelling, "Hey cotton candy guy!!"

A few minutes after we made our newest friend, another little boy came down to our seats with his mom and introduced himself to our little boy. The new little boy and our little boy were the same age, and they were talking about how they're going to kindergarten in the fall. As the conversation waned, the new little boy started saying, "I know lots of stuff. I know the baseball player's names, and I know all the signs and stuff..." The mom smiled and put her arm around him and said, "And the next thing we're going to teach you is humility. Enjoy the game! Nice to meet you all."

Because the Dodgers were losing so badly, Gina's friends asked if we would be willing to leave early. I said no way Jose, as I bought the tickets and growing up as a Cleveland Indians fan, I'm wired to think that the best baseball happens in the last inning. The little boy overheard our conversation and looked up at Gina: "Are you guys leaving?" We promised him we'd stay until the end and he informed us that he was staying until the end, too.

Well, the Dodgers failed to pull anything out, losing 7-2. We sat for a little while after the game, letting people file out before us. The little boy said his goodbyes to us, and his dad picked him up to carry him to the car. As they were walking away, the little boy grinned and waved and called out, "Let me know if you dream about baseball games!"