Sunday, May 23, 2010

I got a Jobby Job!

Hello All!

I am sitting here on the couch after a wonderful weekend with John. I always love whenever he has a day off. I know this sounds fundamental but in this biz any day off he has is golden and I never take them for granted.

In addition to his crazy work schedule I am adding my own to the mix. Nothing major but I did get some volunteer work.

I know you may ask, why volunteer work? The answer is threefold .... #1 We are only going to be here until the beginning of October and don't really have any plans for staying past that time. Not that I have tried much but I assume that it will be hard for me to find paid employment for such a short period of time in the kind of work I do. I would either have to lie and say we were staying longer or I would have to quit after 4 months which wouldn't do anything for my recommendation or resume. #2 I have been thinking about trying out the non-profit sector for some time now. Not that I wasn't good at my sales based job but I really want to try doing something more fulfilling, something that makes me feel really good about what I do and that makes a positive impact on the world around me. #3 I have no desire to spend 70 hours a week of my time here in an office being a slave. I still want to enjoy this experience and do some exploring not just working. Plus John and I both have really enjoyed having one of us at home during the week to do all the little things we never had time for in LA when both of us were working all the time.

So as altruistic as it sounds I did some poking around into volunteer positions a while back. I ran into a lot of roadblocks because some of the places I applied for seemed to have restrictions and back asswards ways of doing things. But that's par for the course in Oz. I won't go into that, just see my rant about setting up the internet and apply to this topic. LOL!

I filled out some online forms and registered with some organizations but didn't hear anything back for a few weeks. I had kind of given up when I got a call from someone with SPARK, the St. Vincent de Paul Society Assisting Refugee Kids. Basically they are a social services organization run through the St. Vincent de Paul Society's state office here in New South Wales. They help refugee children from over 20 countries, mainly Sudan, with education and housing placement, after school programs, ESL education, child care and any other services they might need.

The position is an Administrative Assistant to the program coordinators. One of my many jobs before we left LA was Administrator to our sales team at PromoShop so needless to say I was very comfortable with the task ahead.

I hadn't written a resume or had a job interview since 2001 if you can believe it. It isn't a life or death situation if I didn't get the job either so it was perfect practice for me. I went in for the interview last Tuesday and felt really good about it when I left. They told me that they were going to interview a few more applicants before I would hear back that Friday. I got a call around noon on Wednesday saying that they were very impressed and weren't going to do any more interviews. I got the job! WOO! It feels so good to put myself out there like that again and come up victorious.

So I will be doing general admin work on the other side of town every Thursday for the next few months. They will probably up it to two days a week later on. I'm really excited about it. It shouldn't be very difficult but I will be trying my hand in a new industry and gaining some experience in a different field while still using the skills I have learned over the last 10 years in my career. Its PERFECT!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Melly vs. Nature

I have made a friend down here named Mary Jo. She is the wife of one of John's friends at work. She and I quickly bonded due to both being in a similar situation. We both quit our jobs to come here following our husbands and are currently not working. Plus we are both cancers and I usually get along famously with other cancers.

Its kind of funny because there are many things about being a significant other to an animator, or at least someone in this industry, that you just wouldn't get unless you were in it. She and I joke about being military wives in a way.

Anyways, so seeing as how the boys work 6 days a week we have decided to do some exploring on our own. Last week she hit me up and said that she wanted to check out the royal national park. This is a huge national park just south of Sydney about an hour outside of town via train.

So we hopped on the train at Bondi Junction near her house and John's work,

then traveled south to Loftus aka BFE!

We were hoping to take the tram from the Loftus station further into the park but we found out the tram only runs on Wednesdays, Sundays and public holidays... Oh Australia.

So we hopped back on the train

and headed one more stop south to Engadine aka nowhere. I had looked online the previous night and knew that there was a trail that ran from Engadine to Audley towards the middle of the park. When we got there we had to ask some locals where the trail was because there were no markers or signs. It was literally a path leading off into the bush from the wrong side of the tracks.

At first it was kinda cool. Not much to look at but it was interesting to see what the real Australian terrain looks like. It looked pretty much like what I expected it to look like. Lots of trees,
some bushes, more trees, rocks, oh yeah and some trees.We did come across the occasional flower though. That was a thrill. lol

We ran into some massive palm bushes. Here is Mary Jo being swallowed up by some.

About halfway through the hike we came to the top of a ridge, in the middle of a bunch of trees of course. Off in the distance you could see the ocean. Everything in between was the national park.

The whole time the bugs were swarming me, as usual. They were all over my face and trying to get inside my ears. UGH Naturally Mary Jo didn't have any bugs near her. Apparently I taste good or something.

About an hour and a half into the hike I stopped because I thought I heard a noise in the bushes. Considering I had been swatting bugs the whole way I didn't want to do the "OMG what was that?!?!" thing because I didn't want Mary Jo to think she was in the middle of the woods with some paranoid nature freak. So instead I just stopped on the trail to "take a photo". Really I was just stopping to see if I heard the noise again. Here are the photos I took.

When I took the one above I even thought to myself "man that would be a nice little shelter for an animal".

I didn't hear the noise again after a few moments so I kept walking. About ten paces down the path a big ol' snake darted right next to me on the path. It was about an inch and a half - two inches wide and was a weird grey color.

I don't think I have ever moved so fast in my whole life. The stupid thing was that I moved in the direction down the path that I was already headed so when I decided it was DEFINITELY time to go home I had to back track past the spot where I saw the thing. I'm sure I looked like those cartoons where yosammity Sam shoots at the feet of the hero and tells them to dance.

This was the only other photo I took the whole time because all I wanted was to get the hell out of there. The trip back went a LITTLE bit faster than the trip into the bush, even though it was uphill hahaha LOL!

I consulted Google later on that night and found what I think it was. A Pale-Headed Snake.

I determined this by the photos I had taken before I saw it which matched a description of its habitat and behavior. It likes to sun itself on sandstone overhangs on the side of hills in that park during the day. It is poisonous but not deadly. Unfortunately while I was researching I found that four of the most poisonous snakes in the world are found in that park... the kind that are deadly.

I will not be going back, nor will I be doing any more hiking anywhere else in the bush. I had a vision of going to Ayers Rock or something like that while we are here but that is so not happening now.

Nature doesn't like me.