Articles for the Month of November 2010

A man must have a shed to keep hime sane.

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If there’s anything on god’s green earth better than a fresh Queensland mango, I’d love to know about it. Firm, silky, the taste of a golden spring afternoon. Absolute perfection.

They think so too…

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What hasn’t even approached perfection this year is the performance of my beloved Georgia Bulldogs. I haven’t been writing about them, and clearly that has taken a toll as they’ve stumbled along to a 5-6 mark on the season. But they take on the hated Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday. If there’s any hope of salvaging a modicum of pride, this is it. So, bygones be bygones Go Dawgs! GATA.

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And while we’re cheering teams on, c’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon! No better way to start the Australian summer than a Saturday afternoon of test cricket.

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And finally, our move date is less than three weeks away. I’m getting excited. And extremely stressed. Here are a couple of sneaky peeks from the estate agent’s website.

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Image credits: Mango

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Everything’s gonna get lighter, even if it never gets better.

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Forget all your politics for a while.
Let the color schemes arrive.

I knew it would happen eventually. The American Left and the American Right have moved so far apart that they’ve backed into one another. I heard both MSNBC ranter Keith Olbermann and talk radio screecher Mark Levin shouting about new safety regulations at American airports. I wonder if they know that they agree with one another.

American politics: the best reality show Mark Burnett never produced.

My Mom asked me why I moved so far away, which I’m fairly sure was a rhetorical question. It isn’t because of the absurdity of the American political system, as much as I would enjoy declaring that to be the case. It isn’t for any one reason.

It is because I never felt at home anywhere until I left the States.

The sky here is a different shade of blue. Richer, with a clarity that is almost impossible to explain until you get off the plane on a sunny day from anywhere else in the world.

And there’s a wind as spring turns to summer that comes whispering in from the North. And as summer turns to high it starts to howl, maddeningly.

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Every morning I wake up with the sun and caterwauling magpies, kookaburras and lorikeets. And I walk to the bus in the full glory of an Australian spring morning.

But I do miss Thanksgiving and the family and friends and the warmth that comes with it. And I was to lazy to replicate it this year. I’m thankful though.

Thankful that I’m not flying through an American airport.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers.

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As for the accompanying track, what I wrote back in 2008 still applies:

“The latest record from the husband and wife team Mates of State is the perfect example of that latter criteria. There’s nothing groundbreaking or original about “Rearrange Us” – it is just perfectly crafted pop music. It’s wonderfully written. There isn’t a bad track on the record. And it’s perfect to sing-along to. Do you need more? The record kind of got panned by the critics. I don’t know why. It’s as close to a perfect pop album as I’ve heard in years and it was my favorite album of the year. I can give you A Free Man guarantee that if you buy this one from  you will not be disappointed.

Looked at my kingdom, I was finally there…

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Well, it has been a little while, hasn’t it? I sort of had a spell of blog fatigue there coupled with a spurt of seasonal affective social networking withdrawal, but really I’ve just been too busy. Yeah, yeah, everyone’s busy but for those few loyal readers/family members here’s a litany of excuses:

  1. I have a new job. Well, not a new job per se, but a new contract. A lovely, long term, stable contract. Tenure track. Serenity. With that new job, however, comes new responsibilities and new expectations. Establishing a research program, supervising graduate students. No more money though. But security is priceless.
  2. I have, under my academic tutelage, about 600 nursing or pre-nursing students who take up a surprising amount of time. You wouldn’t thing that several hundred 18 or 19 year old (mostly) girls would be that high maintenance, but by jiminy they are. Don’t get me wrong, they’re lovely. After a couple of semesters of teaching them, I’m absolutely enchanted with my charges. They aren’t the most academically rigourous students in the world, but they’ve signed on to do what has to be one of the toughest jobs in the world and they’re great fun to teach. And the lecture halls smell much better after the nursing students have been in there then some of the more co-educational courses. But, man do they require a lot of attention around exam time. I’m glad we’re in the waning days of the semester and three months of summer break is on the horizon.
  3. IMG_8484I’m writing a book. Well, not a book per se, but some chapters in a text book. Chapters that I’ve had six weeks to do before the due date (Monday) and decided to start approximately two days ago. In fact, what the hell am I doing right now? I should be writing about intracellular signalling.
  4. I have two kids under four and a puppy. Enough said.
  5. (Deep breaths). We’re buying a house. I know people buy houses every day. Well, maybe not anymore in the U.S., but in much of the world I know people buy houses every day. But when our landlords told us they we’re selling our house and Dr. O’C decided it was time to get on that mythical property ladder, my stomach spontaneously twisted itself into a knot that I can’t seem to untie. We went through weeks of looking at horrible overpriced houses – the property market hasn’t dropped out in Australia – weeks of debate about passable houses. Then, one weekend we shuffled into the house. The only one that we both loved. Then there were weeks of haggling and hair pulling with the estate agent from hell. But today, the contract is signed, the loan is approved and we’re on the verge of being homeowners.

I think I’m as frightened as I am excited.

Those of you who are locals and recognise today’s song of the day, which has been on an endless loop in my head for the last few weeks, may be able to work out the neck of the woods in which we’ll be laying our head in a few short weeks.

Well, that’s my litany of excuses. I don’t know if I’m back for good or just popping my head up for a quick hello. Either way, in the words of the Fresh Prince, I might as well kick it.

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