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The Countdown… October 30, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary.

Well. Time is running out.

I am only going to be in this country for 47 more days.

I made the decision a couple of weeks ago and basically decided that I don’t want to miss any more of my children’s growing up, particularly when one little boy starts kindergarten next year and the other is talking, growing and becoming a little man before I know it. I had never made my final decision on when I was coming back until now, which is why really I didn’t appreciate the attacking and disparaging comments that were made a month or 2 ago.

It has not been an easy decision at all. I have reasons to stay, and also reasons to go. If I made a list, there would be more reasons to go, but sometimes it’s not the amount of reasons, but the importance of those reasons.

This year has been a roller-coaster ride, but I have loved it all.

From finding the best American beer (Yuengling, in my opinion) , to downing way too many on a weekday night after work.

From consuming 20 too many chicken wings on a Tuesday night to throwing up in the same bar’s toilet on my birthday.

From checking out bands at the local venues (The 9:30 Club is awesome), to seeing Guns n’ Roses live in Baltimore (Oh yeah baby. Only 2 more weeks!)

From only knowing 3 people in the Embassy, to knowing dozens and making lots of friends.

From living on couch to couch every night, to staying with a wonderful person who has let me into their home and heart. (Thank You so much, Pip)

I hope that I won’t regret this decision, but I basically feel that it is the right one for me and my kids at this time.

So, time to start thinking about summer, cricket, Tooheys Extra Dry, Westies, Triple J, people saying ‘Mate’ and my friends and family, but it’s also time to not forget my time here, the things I have experienced and the people I have met.


HalloGiving October 15, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary, Food.

So, over the next couple of months we have 2 definitive American holidays that I am keen to experience.

The first is of course, Halloween

There are already pumpkins everywhere. And these are the orange kind. The green kind that we have in Australia are called squash here.

I am looking forward to seeing a carved face pumpkin, but I guess that happens closer to the day.

We are going to have a dress-up Halloween party at the Embassy on the day. I think I’ll just get a scary mask or something so no-one knows who I am  🙂

Then we have Thanksgiving! I am looking to head to Chicago for the weekend before Thanksgiving for a get together with a bunch of people that I have known for years online, but have met hardly any of them for real. (‘cept, Hi Amber!). Then on the actual weekend I hope to be a part of a real Thanksgiving dinner with some friends.

Although I really want to try a Turducken. A Turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken. It’s ridiculous, but hey It’s gotta taste sooooo good.

Looks tasty hey?

Anyway, things have been going well! I have been very happy lately and enjoying the transition into Autumn (aka Fall, which I refuse to call it).

Happy Birthday to my Dad for last week, and hope everyone had a great Labour Day weekend in Australia!

Being an Aussie in the States at Footy Final Time…. October 1, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary, Sport.

Friday night at the Embassy of Australia was the place to be if you were an Aussie in DC.

We broadcast the AFL (Aussie Rules) Grand Final live, and we were one of the only places in town, because the Satellite wasn’t in the right position to be able to watch it easily in the DC area. So around 200 Aussies and wide-eyed Americans came down to the Main Hall of the Embassy to watch the game on the big screen along with Aussie beer (VB, Crownies, Hahn Premium and Aussie tucker (Sausage Rolls and Meat Pies, damn they were good).

Not only did we have the big game on the big screen, we had a big name there. Bruce McAvaney turned up (after flying in that day) and I served him some pies during the game. I must admit I have never been the biggest fan of his commentary over the years, but he’s a nice guy in person and it felt good to be complimented by name from the guy. (he liked the pies :))

So yeah, the game was good. I am not the hugest Aussie Rules fan, but it was an entertaining game and when it comes down to 1 point, it’s always going to be exciting!

Then there was the NRL (Rugby League) Grand Final this morning. Melbourne vs Brisbane. I slept. I wasn’t going to get up at 4.30am for those 2 teams! At least my Eels won the Premier League, but is a little bit of consolation after their tumultuous season.

Feels very strange being in another country for the footy finals though. It’s traditionally a time in Australia where the weather is warming up and you have some BBQ’s, beer and mates while watching the games. Instead, here I am on a Sunday arvo, washing my clothes and watching the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans go at it while drinking Coke.

Well, we have to adapt 🙂