Happy Halloween (late?)

Technically, I’m a little late saying this, but hope you had a pretty awesome Halloween. It’s not a big deal in Australia, so I usually forget that it comes around. Last night, we got a few kids drop by, but that’s all. I get to eat the candy we didn’t give away. 😉

Something I was thinking about is how I wonder what my adult versions of the costumes I used to wear as a kid. I remember dressing up as a clown, a cat, a compulsive gambler, and I think I was a ghost too. They used to get recycled because it was easier to do that than to think of something else.

Anyway, the adult versions would probably be a bit creepy. Or scary, however you want to put it.

I’m still suffering through some of my worst allergy seasons in a long time. I’m just tired of not being able to breathe.

Watching Rings

Hi there, everybody. I’ve been incredibly busy lately so I haven’t been very active on here or any other social media account. I can assure you that I’m alive. Last week, I even recorded a really interesting podcast episode. In one of those very rare instances where I go back and listen to it, I’ve noticed that there was some really awful static in some places so I’ve decided to hide it from the general public. I’ll record a new one either tomorrow or Thursday.

Since we’ve chatted, I’ve been trying to work a bit more. I know this sounds awful, but for me to pay for the things I want, to pay my bills while I’m in the USA, and to pay bills… now, I need to work at least two days per week. I’ve been trying to go beyond that when I can, just in case. With a few of my extra days I’ve worked, I’ve bought myself a shiny new Series 4 Apple Watch and I’ve been pretty happy with it so far. I didn’t see a need to talk about it on an episode.

One of the things I said a long time ago is that if I got one, it would encourage me to exercise more. Well, it’s hasn’t really had that effect. I do move around a bit more to shut it up and to stop it nagging me. I figure once I move away from where I’m living, I’ll head back to the gym. (There isn’t one in the town I live in, so it makes things really difficult. I know I can exercise, but I’m so much more inclined to do so at a proper gym.)

I end up closing 2/3 rings. I close the stand up for a minute every hour ring and the burn kilo Joules/calories ring. Exercise? Not so much.

I also decided to not get the one with cellular service because sometimes I don’t really want to be contacted. When work calls, I sometimes don’t want to know. I’ll watch them call and leave a message. Then I anxiously listen to my voicemail or call them back and they’re like “Can you come to work in 30 minutes?” Sometimes I just don’t want to go to work. I haven’t passed up many opportunities to stay home lately, but sometimes I need a break. (Today’s one of those days. I go back tomorrow.)

That’s what’s happening now. Just working. It’s oddly strange not to be struggling. I like it. I’m looking forward to my time off at the end of the year, but also dreading it as well.

I’ll be back in a few days! Take care, all.

Fields of Misery & Pain

It’s that time of the year again. Around the rural areas of Victoria, you see these beautiful yellow fields of flowers. (It’s canola.)

It’s also one of the types of pollen that I’m highly allergic to. I’ve had to call in sick today because my sinuses are all screwed up. Thankfully, my sinuses aren’t as bad as it was when I lived in Texas.

I guess I can continue working on ComplicatedNoise.com today. I really want to get it done before I leave Australia.

As Much as I Love Winter…

I’m totally over it.

Right now, as I type this, it’s 2ºC/34ºF. The house I moved into must be insulated with a sheet of paper or something because almost every morning for the past several weeks, it’s been like this. When I lived in Texas, this was a yearly occurrence. This was really nothing out of the usual for oh, maybe a week out of the year. It’s been ongoing here though. And I’m really sick of it.

My thinking is that you can always bundle up when you’re cold. When you’re hot, you have limited options to cool yourself off. It seems that I could wear 7 layers of clothes and still be cold. My husband and I freeze our tails off almost every single morning and getting up is a chore. I just managed to wake up early because I need to go to work. (I ended up working late last night, 11:30 pm late, and then having to go in this morning–but that’s okay. I get to work my fun job today.) It is freezing. I’ve got the heater going, but my fingers are like icicles.

That brings me to another issue. Remember how I am going back to the USA at the end of the year? That means that I get my winter from about June until the end of August here in Australia, then right when it’s going to warm up, I am heading for winter again. No good summer for me, but missing out on the flies might make it worth it. They’re pretty bad, but I’ve complained about that a lot already.

My favourite time of the year is usually winter-time, but I’ve decided that I only like winter when I’ve got a good heater. It’s times like this when I really miss the central heating I had in the USA. I’ve only had it one place I’ve lived in while I’ve been in Australia and stupid me didn’t even use it except twice.

Anyway, here’s hoping that I don’t trip and shatter into millions of pieces. Stay warm out there, my fellow Aussies.

Keep Movin’

This. Move. Is. Taking. Forever.

oops!

One of the things that I’ve noticed is that I need more furniture. The place I’m moving is a lot bigger than I originally thought. It’s going to look very empty. When you live in a rural place like I do, it means that transporting furniture is not doable or very expensive. I’ve noticed that the people around here tend to hang on to their really old, dated furniture. As much as I like the antique look, it’s very heavy. I’m happy with IKEA-like stuff that doesn’t require much muscle to move.

The other thing is that we’re looking to move back to a bigger city next year sometime so if we do buy new furniture, we’ll have to pay out the nose to transport it. It’s a really weird situation.

I will be happy to get it finished. I went into work today though I’m off this week so I can complete this move. I noticed that I miss working. I set up my work week starting next week. I’ve got a 6 day work week coming up. I need the cash flow! Moving, even 2 km (approx. 1.3 miles) away, is expensive.

I’m going to try to record something for a podcast episode either today or tomorrow. Not sure when I’ll be able to upload it though. We’ll see. I’m still shooting for this Friday.

That’s what’s happening. I’ll see you guys later.

More GoFundMe Nonsense

Spongebob is anxious.

I’m in the middle of packing/moving and everything, but there is something on my mind.

I’m one of those people who, for the most part, believe that online fundraising can be a really great tool to raise money and awareness of diseases, disabilities, etc. It can help people recover after unexpected accidents, especially when, in the USA, medical expenses are so incredibly high. There’s a huge problem when you have to rely on online donations just to get the care and treatment you require to overcome any health issue, but that’s not something that the USA will understand. But that’s not the point of this post.

There are certain situations where online fundraising drives me crazy. I’ve talked about the time when a friend who didn’t speak with me for years wanted $500 for her son’s birthday party. If you read through that, you’ll know exactly how I feel. Basically, I say that paying utilities and such would be a better use of money. In that situation, you work within your means. As long as you do something, it’s not going to be overly traumatic for your kid(s).

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting requests like crazy. A lot of it is because Facebook (which I very reluctantly use) wants to attach a fundraiser to every birthday. Yeah, that’s a really great thing to do and if you can, you should (or could). No one should make you feel guilty that you didn’t or don’t want to. (Some people have actually tried this on me.)

Here’s my problem:

There are situations where I do want to help people out. I’ll admit, sometimes I do (for example, my cousin was hit by an intoxicated driver, so I sent over some cash). Where the problem lies is that I am working with and earn Australian dollars (AUD). For every $1 AUD, it is worth $0.70 US dollar (USD). Because I have to pay in USD, $100 ends up turning into $130 AUD. Then I end up having to pay more fees on top of that from the fundraising platform AND then even more fees from my bank. I end up paying a lot more for things that are based in the USA, so I choose to do so rarely.

Heeeeeere's Johnny!

So, now to the point, another friend who hasn’t spoken to me since I was around 17 or 18 keeps sending me a request to donate to something that I think is insanely stupid. Without saying too much, he’s had a falling out with his wife and she moved a few states over. I’m not sure why it happened, but it did. He’s been posting some pretty worrying things over the past two weeks or so and I don’t blame him. I’d be upset too if my husband had to move back to India and was okay with it because he didn’t want to be around me. Now, here’s the silly part. He wanted people to donate to a fund to get him an RV camper so he could move to the state where she is. (He’s also posting old wedding photos of the both of them and putting them as his profile picture, so that in itself is a bit worrying.) They have kids together so I can understand that he wants to be closer. I would want to do that too. To me, it’s a little bit too unhealthy. No one’s donated though and that’s probably why. The reason I don’t is because I don’t want to pay out the nose to send a small amount and also I don’t think they have the most healthy relationship right now. I don’t know anything, but yeah, it happened for a reason. And this isn’t like a 1 hour drive distance, it’s like a 12 hour drive…. at LEAST! I find it incredible that he’s taking this approach rather than bettering himself so that maybe, just maybe, his wife and he can patch things up or whatever.

Let me get this straight though, I do give to just causes and what I consider as a just cause will differ from everybody else. My cousin’s medical expenses? A just cause to donate. An RV so someone can potentially stalk their wife that they’ve separated from? Eh, no thanks.

People just need to really think these things through before they make an online fundraiser for it. Sadly, they don’t and they end up getting themselves down when they can’t raise $20 of the $27,990 they need. Someone suggested that I make a fundraiser to fly my mom here, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Honestly, I’d rather someone donate to Immigration Equality or to Parkinson’s Australia and pay for her stuff myself since I am fully capable of working and saving money.

That’s all–not worth saving for a podcast episode. Not entirely sure when the next one will be at the moment. 😉 Hope all is well.

Counting Down the Days

Hey there! Over the past few days, I’ve done a few little updates here and there. One of them is that I’ve re-added a countdown of when I am going back to the USA. I’ve also updated my upcoming travel plans for my own amusement. It’s more about helping me get my head around how much time I have left before I go back.

I’ve got about 162 days left before I head off and believe me, I’m counting them down. I’m incredibly eager to go this time. It might be that I’ve got a handful of “new” relatives to meet or maybe it’s just that I’m quite eager to get out of this small town for a while (you know, to go to another small town). Maybe I just need an extended break from work or something.

I’m actually in a much better financial position to do these things now but unfortunately, the currency exchange is horrible. Right now, Every $1 I bring with me is worth $0.70 US. That means that I’ll end up paying about 30% more for everything or if I want $5000 USD, I’ll need to bring $7143 AUD. Add the fact that you have to tip everybody for smiling at you and taxes aren’t added to anything until the very end, you’re looking at a pretty hefty premium to go to the USA. I planned to have a few thousand dollars to do things with, but I’m afraid that won’t even be enough. I’ve put back all my living costs while I’m gone (since I am not entitled to annual leave). I work at my workplace as casual which means I am paid more to make up for it. My pay is about 125% more than the base wage for what I do. Anyway, I’ve been throwing around the idea of getting a part-time seasonal job while I’m there and then quitting in the most lavish way possible.

I’m planning to do a few things this time. I’m planning to stay a few days in New Orleans with my family. It’s going to be really fun. I’ve lived pretty close to there most of my childhood and early adulthood, but I never spent any time there. It’ll be a good experience. I don’t know when, but it’s definitely on my list of things to do.

I’m not even sure if I’ll be around at this time of the year. (This is Mardi Gras–not the Sydney one though.)

As you can see, I am really happy to be able to get back. I’m missing my mom and sister something fierce. I’ve been having a lot of dreams about my family.

I’m also pretty excited that my husband will be going for a few weeks too. I can’t wait to have him see where I grew up. I’ve warned him about a lot of things, but have also said a lot of nice things too. I guess I’m gonna have to ask people back home where to go and what to do for someone who’s never been to the USA.

Wish Trash

It feels like every time I come here to type anything, it’s apologising because I hardly show my face. I’m not apologising this time. Someone told me that I do that way too much and it’s a habit that I need to break. I said I would try to chill out with the perpetual sorry cycle.

Anyway, I’ve been a bit busy with work stuff. I’ve realised that I’m going to lose about 5 paycheques at the end of the year, so I thought maybe it will be smarter for me to work and save while I am able to. Right? Right. That’s the responsible and adult thing to do, I guess. I don’t want to be a burden at the end of the year for my family OR my partner.

I guess this is stuff I’m going to talk about in the next podcast episode. I bought a microphone but I got it from Wish, so it’s not working with my Mac and won’t work with my phone without the little adapter. It’ll work with my iPhone SE (possibly–haven’t tried). That’s if it works. I’m sure I could open the microphone up and it’ll probably be hollow. When will I learn that everything from Wish is a gamble or complete shit? (OK, if cheap and crappy is what they do. I know that.)

Oh, I did get a really bright digital clock from there… that’s not too bad but it lights my bedroom up at night (on the lowest brightness setting, even).

I’m rambling. I hope you guys are doing well! Catch you soon!

Slowing Down

slowdown

Hello everyone. It’s been quite a while since I’ve left anything on here because I’ve just been a little too preoccupied with work-related stuff. I had to take a half a day off today just to recharge. When I work, I work until the afternoon and I am absolutely knackered when I leave my workplace. For the past week or two, I’ve been going to bed about an hour after I get home and sleeping until the morning. I haven’t had much of an appetite and my mood has been a bit down.

I hope things improve, and I know they will.

Still have a new podcast episode coming tomorrow! Stay tuned.

Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

Jester hat

Hey folks!

It’s Sunday and the last day of March. The year is going by really fast, isn’t it?! We’re already a quarter through the year! How did that happen?

Tomorrow’s April Fools Day. It’s a day that I don’t believe anything anybody says to me or anything I read. I’ve never been a big fan of it, but I also don’t hate it. It’s fun to think about but probably not something I like being a part of. It’s usually because I totally forget.

I’m not thinking of quitting anything like that, so no thinly veiled threats or anything like that. No worries from here!

Having said that, a big announcement is coming in about a month! Woo hoo! I was going to announce it tomorrow, but just need to get a few more things done first.