Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dealing with Stress!

Sorry pics coming soon!

So I dealt with a very stressful situation today. It's not often that I can say this. A day in the life of Eric Scriven generally goes by stress free. I guess partly because I don't let things get to me, or at least I try not to. Today was different though, very challenging.
Merry Christmas by the way! Today is Christmas here, Christmas Eve there. I chose to work this year. Being away from the family, and being offered 2.5 times my normal wage was plenty for me to work a large lunch function of roughly 250 people on Christmas day.
I had a great morning! Woke up, went across the street to the Vickers’ house to eat Christmas breakfast, and open my presents from home. It was awesome. The whole family sat around and watched as I opened my presents. I think they enjoyed learning a bit more about how we do Christmas in America. Apparently they were talking about it all day. I got some great stuff! Some awesome clothes, a travel journal, a Landscape sketch book, and a cool Padres hat. Thanks Mom, Dad, Adonica, Robert. It was great, but then I had to rush off to work.
When I got there, my job was to pour about 200ish drinks and place them on a table for the soon to be arriving guests. 1/3 of these were OJ, 1/3 were to be champagne, and the other third was to be beer. “Ok, good, that’s my job; I got 20 min.” So I figured I’d pour the beer last to prevent it from going as flat. I go to pour the juice first. No juice in any fridge upstairs in the functions room or behind the bar. Now I have to walk up to the manager who expects me to be half way done pouring drinks, and ask him for a key to the cellar to grab the orange juice. So I get that, pour the juice, pour the champagne, and get to the beer. All I’m pouring is foam! Over and over again, pitcher after pitcher, all I could pour from the taps was foam. It was warm too. Not good. I had about 75 beers to pour in about 5 minutes. All 250 guests were waiting for us to open, and they expected cold beer upon arrival. Not to mention it was raining; they were not in the best mood. I didn’t know what to do; not one of our 10 taps upstairs was working. So I just kept pouring hoping it would settle and beer would start pouring out. Luckily I noticed one pitcher of foam had set for a while and had some beer in the bottom. I immediately started filling the pitchers w foam, allowing them to sit, then pouring the warm bit of beer I could into the glasses. I got the glasses full of beer and placed on the table just in time. But I had solved no problem, other than my boss wanting to see 75 beers on the table. They were warm, nobody was going to want them after one sip, and the taps still didn’t work. I thought, “How are we going to do a lunch function with 250 people on Christmas, and not have running kegs?”
The countdown began: one minute, 30 seconds, 10 seconds, boom! They were amongst us, hundreds of people. The first guy came up, “Do you have a cold beer?” I replied, “Yeah let me try the tap.” Knowing darn well I wasn’t going to get anything but warm foam, hoping that a miracle would take place and I would magically start pouring beer. I guess I was just trying to postpone the let down of us not having beer for another 10 seconds. Sad, I know. My manager was nowhere to be seen. In fact, he was out back dressing up as Santa Clause to be the main attraction of the party. I just thought to myself and shook my head, “No one is going to want to see Santa unless we get the beer working.” As I was lost in deep thought I heard noise coming from the bar. “Sir, Sir? Can we get a beer?” “No, not just yet, the taps are out. We are fixing it soon.” Saying this was very difficult. As I said it, I noticed the non-verbals and body language of 15 or so people being let down.
“So, are any of beers working?”
“No, not yet.”
“So what did I pay $50 for?”, “Do you have any bottled beer?”
Oh, bottled beer. What a concept, I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of that earlier. “yeah, we have bottled beer.”
“What kinds do you have?”
As I bent down to look in the fridge, I knew what I was about to see before it even happened. I could feel it. I saw maybe about 8-10 beers of Carlton Cold, and VB mid strength, nothing that anyone ever orders. I knew my chances of pleasing these customers by saying the names of those two beers were about 0%. Even if they did like that beer, Only 8 of them would actually get a beer. The funny thing is that all three cellar boys were on yesterday. Their job is to check the kegs and taps before functions, as well as restock all alcohol in all fridges. Nice work! Wow!
Guest: “Do you have a wine list Sir?”
Me: “Yeah, it’s somewhere hold on.”
What do I do? Do I actually look for a wine list? Or do I track down my manager and get more bottled beer, or do I ask him to fix the keg. He knows its not working. What is my order of operations? I was at a loss for anything. I wanted to disappear.
Guest: “I’ll just get a chardonnay.”
Me: “Perfect, let me get that.”
Boom, no wine in the fridge. The cellar boys had put the stock on the counter, but definitely not in the fridge.
Me: “Um, I’m sorry, but the Chardonnay isn’t cold.”
Guest: “What do you have that is Cold?”
Me: “A Semillon,” I thought to myself, “what’s a Semillon?” I could tell she was thinking the same thing.
Guest: “Ok just give me a beer.”
Me: “We don’t have any beer.”
Guest: “Is there anything you do have?”
Now the girl that I’m working with decides to chime in “We have coke!”, with a smile on her face.
Wow, things couldn’t have been more stressful. I had nothing to serve these people. I had about 20 unhappy customers piling up at my bar, and that number was growing. The other girl in the bar was little to no help. She was laying down the floor mats. I looked at her and could only shake my head in disbelief. How on earth did she think that laying the floor mats was even on the top 100 important things to do at that time? She then gave me a big smile as if there was no problem whatsoever. I’m pretty sure I wanted to puke right about then.
I was definitely being challenged. I was growing as an individual, facing a very stressful situation. I had two ways to go, up or down. My nerves were being tested, my brain was being tested, it was hard for me.
Right then, the bickering of the bar crowd became quiet, as a bell rang through the distance. Santa Clause had come to Christmas. He was yelling “Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas!”, ringing his bell as all the little kids started running. I even saw a particularly angry guest crack a small smile.
At that moment of Silence a magical thing took place. There was a hush over the crowd, as Santa brought joy to these people. For a brief second, it didn’t matter that we had literally nothing to serve these people. One guy was overly mad about the beer situation one second, then smiling and staring at Santa the next. Even though the man wearing a fake beard was my boss who should have been helping to fix the bar situation, I realized that the spirit of the real Santa was real. Somehow, Santa had turned a terrible situation into a very happy moment for people of all ages. Even if it did only last a few seconds.
Right then I made a decision. I ran up to Santa and asked for the downstairs bar keys. And a skateboard lol. I grabbed three dudes, and went downstairs to collect all the stock I could carry. We grabbed cases of every beer and wine that we serve. They were all cold, as we rushed them upstairs. We broke the news that we were not going to serve tap beer today, but that we did have bottles. We also had a variety of cold white wine, as well as an assortment of reds.
One by one, we took orders from customers until there was no line left. People were not necessarily happy about the bottle situation, but Santa helped them get over it. If not for his timely arrival, all hell would have broken lose at the bar. He gave us the few minutes we needed to escape and get the beer with no time to spare.
I learned a lot today. Mainly that our cellar boys are worthless, but I think I already knew that. I was really challenged today, and I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t like it. However, looking back, it was an amazing experience. I grew as a person. I learned that I don’t like stress. I learned the best way to deal with stress to use your head and think through the issues at hand; not to disappear, or to yell, or to point fingers.
I am a better person because of today! I am better at dealing with stress, and my overall tolerance to stress is higher. I’ll forever be slightly better in stressful situations because of Christmas 2009, the year Santa saved Chrissy!
When the function was all cleaned up, the group or us sat down for a delicious meal. We had wonderful potatoes, chicken, green beans, and desert. It had been a great day! Honestly, one of the best days of my life. I wasn’t tired and stressed, but happy that I was alive, and thankful that I had overcome a tough situation. As I ate that chicken, I realized how much I really have to be thankful for. So much!!
So for all of my friends and family, I want to say thank you, for everything. Thank you for always being there, and for your friendship and love. My Christmas was amazing this year; hope all of yours are as well.
When I was leaving the club I hopped into my car, put the key in the ignition, and…nothing. No sound, no start. I had kept the lights on the entire day. My battery was DEAD! Got a ride home and left that ish there! That’s tomorrow problem!!
Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Hey everyone,
This will be a real short one. Just want to keep you all in the loop more than I have been. I worked last night at the club until 3 am. I was practically falling asleep by the time i was driving home! One dude tried lighting up a smoke in the club, i was like,"bro, you can't smoke in here!" He was so drunk, he just looked at me, and walked away. He ended up going to the bathroom and finishing his cigarrette in there. I don't understand why smoking in the bathroom is better than just walking outside.
Anyway he and his mate got kicked out of the club eventually, then tried hopping over the fence to get back in. My Duty manager was Quite upset!
So I missed working in the Hotel this morning. Toni told Nolan to tell Sleeping beauty to get some rest tonight to be ready for tomorrow.
Now, Im headed to the pool, practice tonight, hitting the sac early! Talk to you guys soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fun in the Sun!

Hello My cherished readers! How are all of you? Much has happened since my last post: Michael Jackson has passed away, and America has it's first black president! Times are a changing my friends. OK so it hasn't been that long since I've blogged, but it has been a few weeks. I am simply trying to make a joke out of the fact that I haven't written a blog in quite a while. HAHAHAHA. I think I'm pretty funny, and that's all that matters.
Anyway, life is good here. I've been working, playing ball, going to the beach, planning trips, making songs with the guitar, and going out on the town and singing Karaoke! The last two months seemed to have flown by!
Baseball is going very well. I am hitting great, in fact, I had my first home run of the season last Sunday. I think I'm hitting a healthy .600ish on the season! I am 10 for my last 14 with 3 doubles, a triple and a home run! The competition is a bit lower here, but I feel that I am improving greatly. So, it just so happens that my first home run was the same game that my roommate Nolan hit his first HR. He hit his in the first inning, and I hit mine in the 8th inning. I haven't heard anything but smack talk about him hitting the first home run! I'm like, "Dude, you hit yours like an hour and half before me, big deal. And I have the most recent one, so I'm the current HR champ!" Judging by this response I think he knows it's getting under my skin! I don't think I've heard the end of it. Besides, most of this smack talk goes on while cleaning and making the beds in the hotel each morning. The job doesn't require much brain power, so all we really do is talk smack. We talk about almost everything. We are always giving it back and forth to each other! The other ladies are so vulnerable to us when we joke around because they take their job so much more serious than we do. Not that we don't take pride in our work, Cath, one of the cleaning ladies, told us just yesterday that we were the best room strippers they have ever had! That means a lot, because American baseballers have been coming over here for 25 years! But we love joking around with them. Since we get into all the rooms first, we tell them that the rooms are way more messy than they really are. They get really upset, until they walk in and realize we were just kidding! Man, they fall for that one at least once a week. The worst room is room 30. It's built for a whole family, or group of friends. It has 6 beds. It literally takes about an hour just to strip, stock and make the beds. I always tell them that all the beds are messed up, all the coffee is gone, and there is trash everywhere. If this were true, it would potentially be enough to ruin their day! So then I take off, and keep working; about a minute later I hear them yelling at me from all the way down the hall. They act mad, but deep down I know they are happy that room 30 is not dirty at all! I realize that this may not be funny to you, but it cracks me up! They always fall for it. In the end, I know they enjoy having us around; we always lighten the mood and put a smile on their face!
So yeah, ball is going great, We beat the best team in the league on Sunday. It felt so good because the American imports that this team had were so cocky! I'm serious, not in a good way! We had a banquet about three weeks ago; it was basically a meet and greet for all the Americans from all the teams. These two guys wouldn't even talk to anyone. They left early with out saying good bye, and wouldn't even look me in the eye. Later on in the week, I saw them downtown; they literally walked right passed me without saying a word. I thought, "Maybe they didn't know who I was." This would have been more cocky and arrogant than them ignoring me because they didn't want to lower themselves to the level of saying hello to me. Either way, right then and there, I couldn't wait to beat them. They had a record of 10 wins and 1 loss. We beat them Sunday, 13-3. Both Nolan and I had 4 hits, and both had home runs. But even better, the cockier import was struck out twice by Nolan and once by me. Yes! (fist pump)! I realized that being cocky never pays!
So we went to the south coast last week. We swam at Mollymook, then drove south to Bateman's Bay for lunch where we enjoyed a nice platter of Fish and chips, and some ice cream. It was really strange to be on the other side of the Pacific ocean. I thought about sending a message in a bottle to all of you! The water was so warm! The waves were huge, and the current was strong. It was really hard to get out of the water because before each wave came crashing, the water would suck you out deeper into the ocean. It tired me out quickly, but I was very careful, for I knew I had to survive to write this blog!
Wednesday night is Karaoke night! We go most weeks. This is an action shot of us singing "Piano Man".
I am definitely enjoying my time out here. Things could not be going better. However, I really wish I was coming home for Christmas. This will be the first time in my 26 year existence that I won't see my family on Christmas day. I think instead, I will work at the club and make double time, save money, and spend it traveling around the Gold coast, staying in hostels and visiting friends. I miss all of you, but I'm glad that I am doing this while I can!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Man I've been busy! My free time used to consist of writing my blog entries, but now that I'm working two jobs and playing baseball, I come home and don't want to think. I mean, it does take some thinking and planning to write these entries. I have a few rough drafts saved on my computer, but I can't get the editing done. I could just throw every thing I write up here, but you guys would not be impressed.
When I'm working, I think so much. I think about life, and how I became who I am. I realize that my personality is always changing. I mean, if I find a new food that I like, now I literally think different, and am a changed individual. It sounds a little silly, but it's true for all levels of your personality. The younger you are, the more your personality is affected by the things happening around you. What I think is cool, is totally a result of what older cooler people did when I was young. I would say much of who I am today, was developed just before, and at the beginning years of high school. As a freshman athlete, I saw how certain older athletes acted, dressed, spoke, interacted with teachers and peers, dated girls, partied, walked the halls, drove, and everything else you can think of. Inside I thought, "this is how I should be" and basically tried to mirror them. Anyone who I respected, I would analyze and imitate in some way!
I would say that a huge part of my personality development came from The beaverton high school football program. The older guys showed me the ropes, what to do, and what not to do. Yes I did fluctuate from this quite a bit, but what it meant to be a football player was ingrained into our heads without us even realizing it. I would learn from someone like Andrew Laybourn, Mike Gorman, or Ryan Wilson. Each of them would learn from older guys like Jesse Levin, Taylor Barton, and Aaron Fausett. And then these guys would learn from people like Jordan Johnson. By the time I was a junior or a senior, younger guys would act exactly like me. Without even realizing what I was doing, I was setting examples for kids younger than me. We would all learn from the older guys; even what foods like or dislike, which classes to take, or who to hang out with. I mean, as a freshman or even an 8th grader, I would be with another friend my age, and be so excited to be hanging out with the big boys. I remember being at a party with Kris Tyacke, (another guy my age) We were hanging out with the older guys; we the biggest smiles on our face! There's no wonder why we emmulated them. However, as similar as we all are, there are obviously differences. For example, BHS is more of a Raleigh Hills school district. I was a Murray Hill guy. They liked Round Table Pizza, I was prone to Godfather's, I went to Highland Middle school, they mostly went to Whitford.
The most stereotypical Beaverton Football graduate is a smart and athletic; he is witty and funny, but serious and professional when he needs to be. He can talk with anybody on any level, he definitely gets the girls, he is tough as nails, and has probably been in more than one fight. He gets great grades, all throughout high school and college, Loves North Carolina, but hates Duke! (I think this stems from Mike Dunleavy, a Jesuit Crusader rival basketballer, who went on and played at Duke) He will eat anything in front of him, but knows that Round Table Pizza is the best.
So that was a bit wordy, and definitely not true for everyone, in fact this is most likely not true for anyone, but most of us carry most of these traits. I hold this fellowship so close to heart. It will always be a very tight nit group of people. Because of our peers, we all became experienced and well rounded individuals.
I look back now, and realize that so much of my personality was developed by others. I also realize that people are always watching you, whether you know it or not! It's important to understand how you affect others, and make sure that who you are is what you want to represent to others. No matter who you are, people will see.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Life as of Late

Hi Friends and family!
How are all of you? It seems like writing new blog postings has gone from a daily thing to a weekly thing. I try to get them out, but it’s hard for me to find time these days.
Anyhow, baseball is still going great! I had two hits, and two stolen bases in the game this Sunday, before being postponed due to heavy rain. When I came here, I was told they were in a drought. Since I’ve been here however, its rained more than it has in Oregon. Doesn’t really make sense. I know summer is right around the corner though!
So yeah, ball is great. I just got back from doing an International Money Transfer at the bank, and had a great conversation with my banker named Dean. He loves baseball, and was asking me all about it. I began telling him that I must return in April in order to play my pro season in the states. He asked if I was excited about that. I told him that sometimes playing everyday for 4 months becomes a drag. It is easy to lose the love of the game, and forget why you are playing in the first place. In Australia we only play three days a week. It’s never too much to get burned out, but seldom enough to keep me burning to play. I’ve realized here how much I truly love the game of baseball; there really isn’t anything I love more than playing.
So I finally got a guitar! It’s a red acoustic Alvarez. This has been consuming much of my time lately. My fingers are sore, but I can’t put it down. I am constantly on the Internet looking for new song tabs to play.
Nolan wants to get a set of Bongo drums to play with me! That’s all we need for a band; next step would be getting a gig at the Durham! Hahaha, if we were lucky, there might be a 3% chance of that happening!
However, every time I pick up the guitar, I visualize myself playing in front of thousands of people! I know I’m not that good yet, but could I be if I truly wanted it? I think yes!
So tonight is our first training session as servers/bartenders at the Ainslie Footy Club. Not sure what to expect, but I need to iron my uni top and shave my face. I’m getting a bit scruffy, can’t have them getting a bad first impression! Here is a pic of Nolan and I before the first day on the job! It went great by the way! In the background you can see both where we work, the Motel Monaro Best Western on the left, and where we stay, the Victor Lodge on the right!
We went to church this Sunday morning. The service was a bit old school with the music, sermon, and overall demeanor and complete atmosphere, but the message was good. It was about forgiveness. We’re all sinners; but we are all forgiven. As a matter of fact, one of the pastors named Paul let me borrow the guitar that I have been playing. I couldn’t believe he offered it to me. I haven’t put it down since I got it. Paul is giving me guitar lessons in exchange for baseball lessons for his upcoming softball season. I figured that was a good deal. Bartering is always a smart move!!
My plan is to work my butt off until Christmas. Then I’m heading up to the Gold Coast for a few weeks and stay with Lindon and Rodney. I’ll be making my way to Brisbane and Byron Bay, staying in hostels, and meeting new people! It’s gonna be a blast, and I’ll be documenting and blogging everything.
There is one other thing that is very exciting, however, I’m not going to fill you all in quite yet. It’s still in development! Keep reading and you’ll find out.
I miss you guys like crazy! Robert, Rachel, you especially!
Until the next time I see everyone, keep on loving life!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

First trip to Sydney!

Hey everyone,
Wow, I know it’s been a while since I last wrote, Many of you have been asking for the next blog; trust me, I want to get them out here just as much as you want to see them, (Gina) hahaha. Anyway, this one should be interesting.
So, Sunday was another game, and another loss. I’m getting a bit discouraged because people don’t take the sport as seriously here as they do in the states. We had one of our best players miss the game because he had to work, and another I nearly fought due to his baby attitude. I don’t really get along with pouters. Don’t worry guys; I kept myself under control (barely). He struck out like three times and threw his helmet, which hit me in the shin, then he was the only one not cheering when we nearly came back in the 9th. It’s just frustrating to be around guys like that. He is only 19 though, and has zero future of ever playing at the next level. Oh well, hopefully he got moved down a level for next week.
My game was good; I had a triple and a 2 RBI single. I played well at short, and then came in to pitch. My right trapezious is killing me still, three days later. I did pretty well on the mound, but there is still room for improvement. So overall, I was 2-4 with a triple and two RBI’s.
The best part about the game was that a good friend of mine, Lyndsay Anderson attended the game. Some of you may know, but Lyndsay and I went to high school together and have known each other most our lives. Her brother Eric and I are great mates, and graduated the same year. She had been living in Sydney, and came down to Canberra for one day to watch me play. I introduced her to all my friends, and everyone took her in as one of their own. Even Lee-Anne and Graham gave her a free night’s stay at the lodge, just for being my friend.
After the game, we got to talking about how she had to get back to Sydney for dinner on Monday. Somehow, we decided that I should go with her. I got online and booked a Murray’s bus ticket for $70 roundtrip.

I woke up early Monday, stripped all the rooms, and was on the bus with Lynds, headed to Sydney by 11 am.
We arrived in Sydney, and I had no idea what to expect. We only had one afternoon to see the city, because my bus was to leave for Canberra the following morning. The trip was about 3.5 hours, and dropped us off at central station in downtown Sydney.
The first thing we did was find a place to stay. We checked out two hostels and decided on the cheaper of the two. It was only $28 each for the night. However, both our rooms consisted of three bunk beds for a total of 6 people in each room.
This was really different to me. When I reached room 411 this is what i saw!
I have never left all my things inside a room with five other strangers. Everyone was on their own schedule; all six of us were coming and going as we pleased. Lindsay assured me that my things were safe. I guess it’s like the back packers code; you don’t steal from your own kind.
Once we got settled in, we met in the lobby and went walking around the city. It was amazing! We first walked through china town, which was only blocks from our hostel.
We ate noodle soup at a Vietnamese restaurant that had won global awards for their noodle soup. I must admit, it was wonderful.
We then walked nearly 5 k around the city. There were so many people! Every crosswalk had thirty or so people bunched up waiting to cross. Unlike Canberra, these people were a true mix of races. It may have been the biggest “melting pot” that I have ever been around. So many different kinds of people! It reminded me a bit of Chicago, only bigger.
While we were walking, I couldn’t believe how big the buildings were. It was such a big city; it just kept going and going. We walked through the harbor, by the huge aquarium, then back around to the Opera house.
I believe that the Opera house is one of the 7 wonders of the world. I can understand why. It was beautiful. By the time we got there, we could see the massive Sydney Bridge.
This was amazing as well, but the best part was seeing an overview of the city, which we had just traversed. I can’t describe to you how enormous the city is.

By this time, we were getting hungry. We called her friends, and scheduled to meet up with them. We hurried and bought a $4.10 bus ticket and caught the 333 across town to Bondi Beach. There we met some of the greatest people I’ve ever met.
Within minutes of exiting the bus at Bondi beach, Lindsay’s friends Frankie and Georgie picked us up. Frankie had worked with Lyndsay at the coffee shop for almost a year. Frankie and Georgie are a bit older than Lynds and I, but they were so much fun.
We got to Frankie’s house and grilled out one of the best dinners I’ve ever eaten in my life. Frankie and I cooked chicken on the grill, while Georgia made fried zucchini, beat root, and potatoes in the oven with the housemates from London, Jess and Steph. We literally feasted, while telling great stories, and sharing a few bottles of red and white wine.
Lyndsay and I laughed at how cool it was to be on the other side of the world together after living only blocks away in Beaverton. We had such great friends there, but had just as good of relationships in such a short time over here in Australia. It’s just ironic how things work out in life.
After dinner, Frankie, Georgie, Jess, Steph, Lyndsay and I headed to the coffee shop right on the beach. We sat with the owner and had coffee and drinks on the house. We went back to the house for a while, then Lynds and I taxied it back to the hostel.
The day was one to remember. I met some truly great friends, who I will most likely stay with nest time in Sydney. Lindsay is headed back to Portland tomorrow, but she did a great job of passing her knowledge and friendships on to another. I expressed this to her: she was feeling sad that she had to leave, but I assured her that she wasn’t leaving everything, but passing it on to me. I could use everything she had, such as her knowledge of the city, and great friends to help me on my adventures.
Lyndsay, if you are reading this, thanks again for everything. I know you had a great time in Canberra, but I had an amazing time with you in Sydney.
Hopefully Jess, Steph, Frankie and Georgie will be coming down to visit me and watch a game.
Life is great, I love the freedom that I have to up and bounce to Sydney in an instant. I’m not restricted by anything. I can’t wait to have a wife and kids, but I know that once I do it will be forever, and the opportunity to do what I'm doing now is short. Thank God for all the blessings in my life.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Birthday Boyeeeee!

These pics are not from Aussie, but from Joliet. I just thought I'd put them up for you to see. Way too many people in the crowd for Australia!
Baseball is going great, I am very happy with my swing; it feels as quick, compact and accurate as ever. Our first game was a good one. We lost in the last inning to the defending champs, which sucks, but everyone played well and had fun. I went 2-3 with a hit by pitch and a walk. The one time I got out was my best swing of the day; I lined out to a diving center fielder. Oh well. I played pretty good at short too. I figured I'd let you know about baseball first, because that's what most of you want to hear.
So my Birthday is officially over all around the world. It was a great one, and I want to thank you all for helping make it that way. I honestly think every one of my blog followers either told me happy birthday to my face or over the phone, or wrote on my facebook wall. It's pretty cool to know that I have friends that care!! Sorry to get all sentimental on you here, but this is my blog! Whatever I want to write finds a way on here!
Anyway, yesterday was a great birthday. I worked in the morning stripping the rooms and making the beds! That's right, Nolan and I have been promoted to making beds. We do a great job; we make hospital corners and everything! However, it hasn't changed me into an avid bed maker of my personal bed. I still think making my own bed is a waste of time; I'm just gonna sleep in it again in about 15 hours. Besides, I really don't like the feeling of tight, tucked in sheets anyway, it makes me feel restricted, and that's the last thing I want when I'm trying to sleep. Ok maybe I do like it just a little bit, but not enough to take the time to make it in the morning.
So we stripped the rooms and made the beds. During this time I began to think about what our job title was. We came to the conclusion that we were "Strippers". I got a crack out of that!
We broke away early and had a little break for tea with the entire staff. However, when I got to the dining room I quickly realized that the break was for my birthday! They had gotten me a chocolate cake, and a very nice card welcoming me to their family/staff. The card was really just from Graham and Lee-Anne. It was awesome that they did this for me, I mean, it was a busy day with work that could have been done, but everyone sat and enjoyed a break just for me. I'm sure the cake was pretty enticing as well. Here is a picture of the party and all the ladies! Lee-Anne is on the far left. She is a wonderful host, prepares unbelievable dinners for me nightly!
They are all awesome, I hope they are not offended when I knock on the doors and say, "House Keeping" in a very high pitched voice. They may think I'm mocking them, but I'm really just trying to get a laugh out of Nolan, which never works. I guess I'm trying to make a joke using the stereotype of most hotel room cleaners being woman with high pitched voices, which Nolan and I are complete opposites of. Anything to make the job more fun! Would Satire be the type of humor? This is me in action, total perfectionist..........NOT!
We went to Dave's for dinner like we do every Monday, played some darts, had some drinks. Then a few of us went out on the town (Civic). I may have had a few too many last night, but it WAS my birthday, and I stayed safe! I had a great night sleep, especially if you count the 20 min power nap in the cab on the way to civic, and the 1/2 hour in the booth inside Mooseheads! Apparently I got "escorted" out while my mates were playing pool downstairs. I figured it was time for me to cash it in for the night and taxi home. I got home and went STRAIGHT to bed at 11 pm lol. Because of the solid REM cycles, I was up this morning ready to work before anyone else! I think my buddies came home around three or four am.
So today I worked, facebooked and went to practice. It was a big facebook day for me, I got a ton of wall action, and had to reply to most of them. Thanks again to all of you!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

AirBrush those Kicks!

Hey Guys,
How's it going? Feel free to post up and let me know you're following. The more responses I get, the more encouraged I am to keep writing.
Today was a long day. I woke up around 7:30, got some breakfast and immediately started working at the hotel. Nolan and I stripped all the rooms of anyone checking out for the day, and brought in clean sheets for the ladies. We are getting much quicker and more efficient at what we do here. We had to be done by 10 am in order to get to the Floriade and begin selling the magic worms by 10:30. There, we only worked about 5 hours but made about $100. When we sell the worms, we share a tent with this guy named Phil. He's real chill, all tatted up, and pretty funny. He does airbrush painting of all kinds. He sells custom hats, t-shirts, shoes, etc. He's a great artist, who began his career as a tattooist (not sure if that's a real word, but it wasn't caught by spell check so I think I'm good). So today, I decided that I wanted to represent for Portland. I had Phil paint my black converse all-star shoes with the skyline of downtown, and Mt. Hood. I was very happy with how they turned out; and, I know that I am the only person on the planet with shoes like mine. So this is one shoe with the skyline of Portland. I don't think many people will recognize this, but I know, and that's all that matters. The other shoe has Mt. Hood to the left, and the Convention Center in the middle.

So I know you are all thinking that it's pretty elementary to have your shoes painted. Don't worry, it doesn't bother me. I'll most likely wear these bad boys everywhere. I gotta represent for my home town. I know that I'm really from Beaverton, but I wasn't going to have pics of Washington Square or Summer Lake Park on my feet.
After work was practice. We got our first game on Sunday, and today's training session went awesome. I feel more ready than ever to get out there and compete. Everyone on the team seems to be clicking just at the right time. I left practice with a smile on my face both because I had fun, and I realize that I am one of the most blessed individuals on the planet. I get to do exactly what I want to do!, not what other people have told me to do, or what my other college and high school classmates are doing, but exactly what makes me happy. And I've always believed, that "success is measured with the yardstick of happiness", (YOGI).
At this rate, I don't know where I'll go next, maybe I'll come home, but maybe Europe or Asia, or even S. Africa is in the near future. I feel free in the fact that as of now, I live by my own set of rules; and, I'm feeling this mindset develop exponentially within me.
There are always many ways to do things; don't let the haters, doubters, and closed minders force you to live in a box that you don't absolutely love! Trust in yourself, don't wish, but go DO what makes you happy!! Get your Kicks AirBrushed!!
Later Ya'll.

Monday, October 5, 2009

New things!

Hey everyone,
I am going to get right to the point here! I am very tired, and need to be at work by 8:30 in the morning. HOwever, this is not a job cleaning rooms. On Saturday, Nolan and I came across an ad in the dinning room that said help needed. I was completely out of cash, and even though I could easily not spend a dime here, I felt the need to earn money. We called the number, and spoke with Rob, who had a tent down at the Floriade. The Floriade is a huge flower festival that takes place right in the center Canberra; it is a month long, and nationally known throughout OZ. I immediately assumed that we would be working with flowers......I couldn't have been more wrong. It ends up, that Rob owns a company that sells Magic Worms. This is a Magic trick, that uses a fuzzy 5 inch cotton worm, tied to a very thin piece of string. The string connects to your belt, and you can control the worm as if by "magic". Kids go ballistic for them. As most of you know, I am always in the mood for a good magic trick. I took this job right away!!
I worked there all day today with Nolan, and sold close to $1400 worth of magic worms. It is pretty fun, but you always get that dissatisfied customer who thought the trick was actually "Magic". It cracks me up. People try to figure it out, they ask if its battery operated, if it uses static electricity (whatever that means??), People have even asked if it's alive. I tell them "No, it's made out of cotton!!" People want it to be something more than a piece of fuzz on a string, and don't realize, that most of the best magic tricks are the simplest.
We've made some good money, but can't help but laugh when realizing that we are carnies, selling Magic Worms, hahaha!!

Another big event has been learning to drive on the left side of the road. It is very different to have the steering wheel on the right side of the car, and the stick shift to the left. I continually, reach to shift with my right hand, and end up rolling down the window. Also, the blinker is on the right side of the steering wheel; I'm so used to it being on the left side. Every time I go to signal, I end up turning the windshield wipers on full blast. It's rather distracting. Driving is very difficult so far, but I am getting better and better. I only ran one red light today, and only needed to be yelled at twice to get on the other side of the road. It feels so different.
Let's see, what else? Oh, I actually got attacked by a bird. It's nesting season for these black and white birds called magpies. I was riding my bike, and one came down and swooped on me 5 times in a row, hitting me twice. I have never peddled harder in my life!! I was so mad afterwards, apparently this happens all the time though. I am quite the hypocrite, because one day later I was laughing historically when I saw a different magpie attack a biker during my baseball practice. It's so funny, but I was definitely that guy for a short period of time. I have never been to another place where the birds are so fearless of humans! They litterally will not move for us. There are tons of cool looking birds though, with colors of red and green that I've never seen before. They act snobby, as if we must cater to them, and avoid them at all costs. Here is a picture of a Magpie, they are my LEAST favorite animal in the world!

Lastly, I have been working on becoming a better grill-man! Graham has been taking time to teach me how to cook on the grill! They love their steaks very rare, I like mine much more on the done side. I am figuring out how to cook a bit of each. Also, I am becoming a bit of a wine connoisseur. Shiraz is by far the most popular here. The best grapes came in 1998, 2002 and 2006. Wines from these years are very tasty, but much more expensive. Apparently, the weather conditions here in Australia were optimal for grape growth in those years.
This is Graham and I having a glass, working the Grill.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Coming soon

Cool post coming guys, just waiting to get some time!! Got some good stuff for you all. I would like someone to post their comments so i dont think im just talking to myself!! Will write soon. Life is awesome!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

I should be Asleep

So It's about midnight here. I had a pretty long day, following a pretty late night. This morning, Graham knocked on our door around 8 am, asking if we wanted to work for him. The words "hell no!!!" were going through my head, but all that came out of my mouth was "um, ok". Im not afraid of hard work, and I do need the money, its just that Nolan and I had no idea that we were going to work so early. If we would have known, we most likely would not have chosen to sing karaoke at the Durham until 2 am. Speaking of, the songs "Tiny Dancer" and "Friends in Low Places" are great hit karaoke in the states........They are not such hits here in oz. Nolan and I got some sympathetic support, but didn't exactly crowd surf when we finished like I do back home :)
Anyhow, when he asked us to work, I knew that I really had no choice in the matter. Graham is helping us out big time by providing work for us, he knows we need $, and to have a high wage job given to us is quite a blessing. It is hard to even find a job around here (as it is in the States, hence me not even getting a job at Dick's sporting Goods back home).
I had planned on sleeping in till about 10 am or so and grabbing a bowl of cereal from the kitchen. However, at 8 am, Graham must have assumed we had already eaten, because he wanted us outside in 5 minutes. I got up, brushed the teach, chugged some water and headed out there. Today was the first really hot day, which didn't exactly help the newly acquired headache situation. I needed something to eat, but there was a long list of things to be done. Apparently one of the room service girls had been sick. The hotel was understaffed at the busiest time of year. So for the first time in my life, after spending hundreds and hundreds of nights in hotels, I was the person cleaning the rooms. I actually thought it was pretty cool. I had to take out the trash, strip the beds, replace all the soap and coffee that had been used, and bring in the sheets and towels needed. I did learn how to make the beds, but that was a bit advanced for my first day. Im pretty sure that the one bed I did make got redone by Toni. However, she would never tell me that. Bless her heart! Once we had prepped all the rooms for the ladies, Graham put us on hedge clipping. Nolan and I used big, gas powered clippers to shave the 30 meter bushes dividing the hotels. That was quite a workout; the hedges look great though!
It was awesome to get through the day, and be rewarded by going to the park to play ball. There is and Australian Football field about two blocks away that Nolan and I train at daily. All my cares go away when Im on that field. I take ground balls, run sprints, jump, stretch, play catch, etc. It really is therapeutic. I would take the worst job in the world for the rest of my life, as long as I could break away for an hour a day to do this. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
We had to cut this a bit short today, because we had real team practice starting at 5. That was awesome as well, I met some great new guys, who have some real talent. We played ball until we literally got so dark it became dangerous.
Im so blessed to have the ability to be doing what Im doing. (Off Subject, Click a google AD on the right side of my blog just before you go to another site, I earn like two cents!!)
We headed, home, showered up and went to Graham and Lee-Anne's house for another dinner feast. Last night was steak, rice and sweet potatoes; tonight was Lamb, veggies and a delicious dish of cream potatoes. Nolan and I do the dishes.
Alright friends, Let me know if you need anything. Even though Im on the other side of the world, communication is simple. ps. I love not having a phone, I found that its not as vital as I once thought it was.
Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Some Pictures of friends

These are some of the family boys! They are all extremely funny guys. This is who I have been spending most my time with. From left to right: Shane (Linden), Dale, Glen, Matt, Boner (Callum).
These boys love Australian football and have been teaching me all about the game. We went to Dale's championship game on Sunday, if you remember me writing about the fight!
Boner and I jam out on the guitar and sing songs just about every night. He loves Nirvana and Kirk Cobain. As you can tell, he has grown his hair just like him.
The other picture is of Dave, Nolan and myself. Again, this is at dinner monday night. It has been tradition for the last 16 years for the whole family to eat at Dave's house every Monday night. Dave is the father of Graham (the owner of both the hotel we are staying at, and the ball club), Fizz (the father of Shane and Boner), and Haas (the father of Glen and Dale). Dave is the top of the family tree and everyone else comes down from there. Nolan is my new roommate from Orange County, Ca. Dave is Awesome, a very interesting man, who gives me so much knowledge about the game of baseball in Australia. In fact, Dave invented the game of Tee-Ball which is now played all over the United States!! Thumbs up Dave!!
The Last Picture is of two hotties that Nolan I and met at breakfast. These are two German girls named Christine and Zonka. They did not speak the best English, but we managed to communicate for about a half hour. They had just graduated from college, and were traveling around Australia. They will be headed to Sydney today, for an unknown amount of time.
I am meeting so many different types of people. Never in my life have I been in the environment to meet people from all over the world that are not so Americanized. Right after breakfast we began talking to an older couple, Dave and Wendy who were from the UK. We talked to them about so many different things, everything from where they had been, to motorcycles in London.
Everyone has been very easy to talk to!
Well everyone, Im off to go run my ten sprints at the track!! I can't slack off just cause Im in a different country. We have practice tonight, then a huge dinner with the entire baseball organization. Should be a great time, should be meeting tons more people!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 4 complete

Another great day in Canberra! My new Roomie Nolan arrived today around noon. We played the "guess which one he is" game when we were waiting for him to arrive at baggage claim. It wasn't hard to spot him however; he was the only one wearing a major league baseball hat, along with baseball sunglasses, headphones, and a new york jets t-shirt! He stuck out like a sore thumb! Pretty funny!
He is pretty chill, we walked around the shops, then had a huge dinner with the whole family. Every monday is a family gathering with anywhere from 10-25 people. I feel at home there, coming from such a large family. Its a loud atmosphere with many things going on at once.
Just another day in the life!
What's up Anthea? Goodnight friends!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A great day!

It's just about midnight on Sunday evening. Today was a wonderful and eventful day, but ridiculously cold and windy!! I was told that it would be warm here, so far I'm not seeing it. Baseball practice was great but windy, cold at about 5 degrees (sorry don't have the converter in my head, just heard someone say that), with very annoying rain! Hey, kind of like Oregon, strangely enough, this brought a smile to my face.
Once I ran and got the blood flowing, we took some ground balls and hit batting practice. Three of us threw bullpens and I felt rather happy with how I did. This field is not in good shape. There is no infield dirt, just grass, which makes for an extremely unpredictable surface. This is something I'm not used to, but it's out of my control. Back in Little league we played on pretty bad fields, and it never seemed to bother me then.
It was awesome getting out there and playing some ball, even with the rough environment, I realized that I have so much to be thankful for.
I was picked up early from practice by Dave, in order to get to Dale's football match. This was rugby league. I was amazed how hard these dudes hit and tackled each other without any pads. Within about 45 min, three people were carried off the field with injuries. It's a tough sport. The athletes don't have as much finesse as American footballers, but they lower their shoulder and hit just as hard!
The craziest thing that I saw was at the moment the horn ended the game. A huge fight broke out between the two teams! This was real; people were landing hay-makers right into the sides of each others faces! Direct hits again and again. People bloody all over the place. The fight went on for quite a while, lasting almost two full minutes. It was nothing like a fight in american sports, where it consists of mostly pushing and shoving, with the OCCASIONAL punch followed by direct penalties or suspensions. In fact no one even attempted to break it up. Every fan was still and quiet, intently watching as their sons and brothers got beat down. There were no mothers screaming for the safety of her "baby", and definitely no repercussions handed to the players. Finally the brawl ended. Instantly the flying fists turned into hand shakes. They began congratulating one another for a hard fought, testosterone filled match. I couldn't believe it. If this were to happen in the states (never would), parents would have been involved right away with the refs trying to break it up. The athletes who did manage to get a punch in would be kicked out of the league, and probably slapped with law suits by parents who never a sport in their life. It was amazing, just like that, all good mates again! Dale's team got the victory, and began to celebrate with each other, as the losing team walked away to their sideline with their heads down, bloodied and beaten. No one even said a word about the brawl. Almost as if it didn't happen, or it did and everyone just understood that in such a high intensity environment, sometimes things get out of hand. Not to mention, that every one of the dads in the stands played rugby, and got into more brawls than they can count on two hands; most of the moms probably fell in love with those dads watching these brawls. Everyone just understood, and there was no reason to talk about it. That didn't stop me from letting them all know that that would not fly in America. Wow, the picture of those punches followed by the handshakes will never be forgotten by me, such a different culture, let the boys be boys!!
On another note, I came home and had a great dinner at the Durham. Met a real cool guy named Jeff, and an awesome server named Anthia. We talked together for about two hours while I ate and had Fat Yak, my new favorite beer. By the way, nobody drinks Fosters here. In fact they call it "piss" beer pretty unanimously. you can't even find it at the bar. Crazy American marketing, trying to trick us into buying something that we always knew was disgusting! Anyhow, I think I'm getting along pretty well here.
My roommate Nolan gets in tomorrow, I feel like he's missed out on a lot. Most all football is over for the year, and Nolan may never get the grasp of auzzi sports like I have over the last couple days.
Stay with me guys, there will be plenty more to come!!


Today is the first day of practice, and I am pretty excited!! Its gonna feel great to get outside and run around a bit! Its about 10 am on sunday, even though this posting date will most likely say Saturday!
Last night was a crazy night! I live about 70 meters from the a small bar/pub that has a live band every weekend night. Last night they performed great. They played mostly american sing-alongs, and kept the dance floor crackin!! The lady folk here are a new breed to me! I dont really understand them. This one in particular just wouldn't shut up about the whole american thing. It was driving me crazy, so I told her to drop it for a bit. She took that as me being this big cocky American, and literally turned a group of about 10 girls into total Biotches toward me! lol. It was fine though, because I was there with my good mates Fiz, Haas, (Bill the hotel owners brothers) Boner and Shano (Fiz's sons) ! we had a great time together and came home around 2 am.
Yesterday was just a great day all together. We went to the "footy" club around noon, and watched the grand championship of AFL. It was a good game, and it was fun learning the rules of this unfamiliar game! The footy club is a place with tons of tv's that everyone comes to watch the game. There is plenty of gambling going on, slots, horse races, and football. I believe there is a yearly fee to be a member. People from all ages were there supporting their team and cheering really loud! I met so many people who were just great. These friends that I've made would never allow me, or any friend for that matter feel uncomfortable in any way. They fed me till i couldn't eat anything else; they made sure that I wasn't thirsty as well!
So the footy club is the main sponsor for the baseball club that I am playing for. This is where I will most likely get a job! They pay very well, but Im not really sure about the gambling scene that I will be around. Lucky for me, I dont understand it well, and have no interest at all in it.
There are lots of cultural differences with the clothes that they where, the hair styles, the language, etc, but so many things seem to be universal as well. Friendship is a big deal to these people, they treat me great (well other than crazy girl last night) even though they are all getting a laugh from the others trying to jokingly lead me astray in some small way!
So off to practice, then watching the boys' cousin play his final youth football (rugby) match of the season.
I am sure that today will lead to something exciting and new! Can't wait to find out what that is.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Today will be fun

So today there is a big Football game! It is the Aussi football League championship. Everyone is getting off work early to watch the match at the footy club. I don't know the rules to this type of football, but there are like three different games all called football over here. It is a bit confusing. Last night was the rugby league Semi final game, (also called football). I am beginning to understand that a bit. We watched that game at a pub and drank middies! These are small medium sized glasses of beer that hold 10oz. We cooked our own steaks on the grill inside the pub, stuffed ourselves, and drank lots of beer.
I am learning a ton about the culture here. Everyone is very nice and approachable. They have already given me the nickname of Ekka! This is an old school australian alias name for Eric, sort of like Bill for William. They all treat me like family over here. I think im going to really enjoy myself over the next 6 months.
Im living in a bed and breakfast for the time being until the hotel next door is remodeled. Graham is the president of the baseball league here, and also the owner of both the hotel and bed and breakfast. the entire staff works in both locations and all gather together for lunch. There is about 10 staff members at any given time, both boys and girls. Its almost like a family gathering where everyone is laughing and making fun. I participate the best I can, so far im a little over my head with the speedy language and wit of the australian jargon. by the time i say "huh?" or "what?" they are all already laughing at me. Its all in good fun though.
Tomorrow is Baseball practice. I am pretty excited to get out there and play. Its pretty cold right now, but being a ball player native to Portland, OR, I've learned to dress for success.
I woke up around 6:30 this morning, ate continental breakfast, then walked the town. I am literally one block from the shops. I have a fav coffee shop already.
So far its been a real blast!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Still waiting!!

So I am already writing another blog. I have had a lot of time on my hands because of this crazy travel schedule. Right now I am sitting at gate 35 at the Sydney domestic airport. I will be boarding to Canberra in about a half hour.
Whole I was still at lax I met Dale, or how he pronounced it,”Del” and he quickly became one of my good “Mates”. He sat next to me when we both had hours to kill. We began conversation, and he told me how he had been traveling all over the world. Dale is origionally from Melbourne, but has spent the last four years of his life traveling the world. He had just gotten done spending the summer in Whistler CA, but spent much time in Europe and London. He was inspiring me more and more every minute that we talked. We decided to grab an extremely overpriced beer at the bar and talk some more. He began to tell me about Spain, and how he ran with the bulls two years in a row. He described in detail the sound of the horn giving the thousands of people a head start to outrun the bulls. It was a dead sprint to the end, losing your friends in a true “every man for himself” environment. When you get time to rest, and see you buddies you just grab and hug one another laughing. The rush sounds amazing.
He went on to tell me about all the places that he had been, and where he wants to go next, and that Norway has the most naturally beautiful women in the world. He had visited Norway one year as he was “chasing the Winter”, snowboarding the world. Today, He is coming back to aussi, but not going home. He is headed for Brisbane, or “Brizzy” to meet up with friends he met in London and Canada. He plans to save some money, while surfing the coast, and meeting new people. While there he plans to get his sky diving license. It sounds like so much fun! I would love to sky dive, but not just once, any time that I wanted.
So anyhow, he was a cool guy, and I hope that I meet many other Australians just like him. The flight was so long. 15 hours to be exact. When I got to customs, they found dirt on the bottom of my baseball cleats. Apparently that was not ok. I was forced to wash them and leave the dirt before entering the country. I found that a little weird, but did it with out complaints.
I am already beginning to see a difference between myself and others around me. The Australians have crazy hair with spikes going everywhere, or length past their ears. Most of them are wearing just t shirts and board shorts with sandals. I desperately want to shower and shave. This travel is grueling, and I want it to be over.

Here I go!!

So im off! Finally, it seems like there were so many things that I had to take care of before leaving. I think I got most of it done. I got my passport, work and Holiday Visa, international drivers license, travel insurance, and not to mention all the bills and outstanding debt that I finally found important enough to pay. When leaving the country for 6 months, you get this feeling of anxiety that something is going to go wrong, and when it does, you will be so out of place to deal with it. Talking with all my credit card and bill companies has been stressing, but I think its all taken care of. Once there, I will still need to transfer some balances and Western Union funds into various American accounts in order to pay bills that are on auto pay. It is a little scary, but I think I can handle it.
So im at pdx right now. Arrived here hours ago when my mother dropped me off before work around 7 am. My flight leaves at 11:15 and arrive in LA at 2:30. There I got an 8 hour layover, and depart for Sydney at midnight tonight. That’s fine because I need to get my bags checked in, and make a few more calls; I have one more bill to pay, then im shutting down my phone before I take off. I have heard the flight is about 16 hours, I could give you an exact quote from my itinerary but I don’t have it in front of me.
Once in Sydney, I have a 3 hour layover, then fly to Canberra, where I will be picked up and taken to my living space. So in all it will be a little less than 30 hours of travel.
I am ok flying and have done so many times, however only over land throughout the US, never over night across the Pacific Ocean. This creeps me out a bit. Mason was giving me crap because in the tv series “Lost” they crash somewhere over the Pacific on a flight scheduled from LAX to Sydney……Yikes! All I know is that if we do go down, and I somehow survive the crash, im grabbing TWO seat cushions, headed to the back of the plane and grabbing as many Dasani bottled waters as I can shove in my pockets.

Anyhow, about Australia, I don’t know what to expect. I do know that im going to make the best of whatever situation God has planned for me. I am going to have a blast playing the game I love as I did when I was a kid. The level of play isn’t quite as good as what im used to, so it will give me the opportunity to flush some recent struggles, and get back to having fun!! My goal is to have a great season, then come back to the US and carry a new confidence level and swagger that I may have lost in recent seasons. hopefully this will be the ticket to the next level.
Throughout the next 6 months, I will be updating and writing often. Please continue to follow me in my adventure abroad, and read along as I get acclimated to a totally new environment!