Friday, April 10, 2009

Day which I rush to see my cousin

The weekend was approaching.

I was quite excited about it. Tracey and her family were coming to see us. Tim, Jack, and I were extremely happy about that. My friend Suzanne said she was coming towards the end of the weekend. There was a teeny-tiny chance my friend Dave might drive in from Dubbo at some point. Plus, Mim and Gina said they might join in on some of the festivities.

I had weird dreams that night and morning. Yeah, what else is new?

I dreamed:  we have a few nights left in Australia. But it seems Australia isn't far away from our home. ( It's like it was in Dallas. It seemed more like Australia was a kind of conference or event rather than a country far away).

I wanted to take full advantage of our last days in Australia. Tim and Jack did not. Tim wanted to end the holiday early. He wanted to get back to work.

In another part of the dream, we're driving in a car. Another car near us is going backwards. I'm nervous about it. The song "Bell Book, and Candle" is on the radio. I like the song, so I tell Tim to turn it up.  But I also say not to turn it up too loud. He turns up the volume and it's too quiet for me. I don't want to be picky so I don't say anything.

I talk to Will Smith. I tell him he should retire early or take a year break. He tells me he has a special tube he pees in because he can't go out and use public toilets. He might be harassed.

I'm about to have a mad love affair with George Clooney. We're heading towards his hotel room, but there's some annoying teens following us.

I walk to my house with one of my Australian friends. I see a body of water with fish in it. I'm excited, but my friend is not. I joke that Australians take beautiful nature for granted. My extended family is at my house. I introduce my friend to them. She gets tired of us and rejects us. She goes to talk to someone I don't know. I walk over and stand by them, but I feel ignored. I walk away.

I pass a mirror and notice how my face has worry lines. I try relaxing my face....practice it in the mirror. I end up looking just like Hillary Swank.

Later, I see Shirley MacLaine and others dancing on a dance floor. I want to join in. I decide that since it's my dream, I CAN join. I say something to MacLaine about celebrities appearing in my dream. Then I ask her to sing a song about dreams for me.

And that's that.

Our plans for the day were to wait anxiously for the next day. Well, because that's when our friends were arriving. To help pass the time, I think we decided to go to Balmain. Before that though, I wanted to get some laundry done. That was my morning plans.

Then around 8:30, I got a message from my cousin Laura. She said she was going to be at Circular Quay at 9:00. If I wanted to meet her there, I could. If I already had plans, that was okay.

Laura and I had a bit of drama between us. (Who haven't I had drama with this year???) I really wanted to see her. We needed a reconciliation. I sent her a text back saying I had to get dressed. How long was she going to be at Circular Quay? At least, I think that's what I said. I'm pretty sure it was along those lines.

I didn't hear back from her. I figured she was busy. I decided it was best that I just get dressed and go. Laundry could wait.

I can get ready pretty fast so I was probably out of the apartment around 8:45. I thought of taking the train....maybe it would get me there faster. But you never know. Public transportation is unpredictable. Plus, I love the walk. I figured my cousin wouldn't mind if I was fifteen minutes late. After all, she did send me that message pretty damn last minute.

When I was about half-way there, I got a message from Laura. Are you talking to me?
I was completely bewildered. I had no earthly idea what she was trying to say.

I considered two possibilities.

A) My cousin had turned evil and was trying to mess with my head

B) My cousin had meant to send the message to someone else....someone she actually LIKED. I would rush to Circular Quay to find her frolicking joyfully with a friend while I watched sadly from afar.

I wrote her a text back saying something simple like you said meet me at Circular Quay. Actually, I think I abbreviated Circular Quay to CQ.

I can't remember if she wrote me back. I don't think so.

I kept walking...feeling confused and a bit hurt.

I felt like a total loser.

I continued walking, and when I got to Circular Quay, I sat down on a bench and waited.

I decided to check my messages; see if I could figure things out.

The message from my cousin wasn't there.

Now I didn't just feel like a loser.

I felt completely delusional.

Here I am getting angry at my cousin for confusing and rejecting me. And the message, she sent, didn't even exist.

Great. I'm losing my mind while on holiday in Sydney.

Then I get more messages. I think some were from Dave. And the other was from good old Telstra. She said my message bank was getting full. Cool. I may be going insane, but at least I'm popular. Right?

Then I saw the message from my cousin.

And guess what? She hadn't send it at 8:30 this morning. She had sent it in December 2007--the last time we were in Sydney. It was the first text message on my phone. I guess because the message bank was full, my phone had somehow made it look like an old message was a new message.

I was so completely embarrassed.

I wrote to Laura and explained what happened.

Then I talked to Dave.

He wasn't going to be able to come to Sydney.

I was disappointed.

Disappointed and Embarrassed.

A great way to start the day.

But I will say.....

I think I was already beginning to see the humor in the situation. That's the good thing about having a blog. When something awfully humiliating happens, you can say. Well, at least I have another story for the blog!

I went and bought a new travel pass so I'd have it ready when Tim and Jack arrived. Once they showed up, we took the ferry to Balmain.

We arrived there about as lost and confused as we did with Kirribilli. We didn't know where to go. Where the hell was everything?

We walked up a big hill and finally found a playground to please Jack. I stayed with him while Tim went to seek out a place for us to eat.

Then we all went to the Berlin Cafe. I forgot what I ate. I think maybe I had raisin toast. We ordered some kind of Mango Smoothie that was advertised as providing great amounts of energy. It worked for Jack! That little boy became a ball of energy. HYPER!!!!

Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect on Tim and myself. We became completely lethargic.

I think the most exciting thing that I saw in Balmain was the toilets at the cafe. There was a washing machine inside. That completely thrilled me. I don't know why.

I came back to the table and said to Tim. Toilet paper? Check! Soap? Check! Washing machine? Check!

At some point, Tim decided he might want to do some run thing. He invited us to come with us and watch. I figured I should be supportive for a change. Jack wasn't too happy about it. He thought it would be boring.

I thought it might be okay. I worried most about it being far away. I didn't want to be out too late at night since we had exciting plans the next day.

I also worried that maybe Jack was right. Maybe we would be bored waiting. I figured maybe it would be more fun if we had company. I thought maybe some of my Aussie friends were social rejects like me. Maybe they didn't have plans for Friday night. I sent a text out to a few. What do you know? It turns out they all already had something to do. Go figure. The nerve of them......

My cousin finally sent back a text. I had been waiting for her to respond to my declarations of humiliation. She asked if we wanted to meet at a playground. I said we already had plans. Tim was going to run. Did she perhaps want to join us?

She thought I expected her and I to run.

I don't run.

I don't think she runs.

So....that cracked me up.

Tim later decided not to do the run. It was too much of a pain to get there. We'd have to take two buses or something like that. He decided he'd just run on his own. No, he wouldn't get a t-shirt, but I guess he decided he could live with that.

I sent my cousin a text and told her our running plans were canceled. Did she still want to meet at the park.

She wanted us to come to Rose Bay.

I was difficult and said Centennial Park would work better for us. I thought it would be easier for us to get there. But then when I looked it up, I realized it wasn't. I talked to her again. We would meet at Rose Bay. She was very sweet and offered to pick us up. But it was such a trying to explain where our apartment was and her trying explain where she'd be driving in from. Plus, then I'd have to carry around Jack's booster seat. I told her we'd just take the ferry.

And that's what we did.

We had a lovely time at the park together. Jack played with his two cousins, Benji and Ollie. Laura and I had a very nice talk. We laughed about my crazy morning. I asked for her side of the story. She said she thought I had meant to send the message to someone else. This had happened to her already that week. I told her SOME of my side of the story. I think I left out the part about being hurt. I didn't have the guts yet to tell her. I also didn't tell her that I had considered writing her this very dramatic message. I had planned on saying something like, I think you're just trying to hurt me. Well, guess what? You've succeeded. Okay? You've won. But I quit. I'm not playing anymore!

Yeah. I'm glad I didn't actually write that. Although now I'm wondering what Laura would have thought if I sent that text. She'd probably think. Wow. I knew that girl was crazy. But I didn't know she was THAT crazy.

Anyway, Laura and I talked about a bunch of stuff. We watched the kids play. We heard the loud black birds. What are those birds anyway? Crows? They make the weirdest sounds. To me, they sound like old Jewish ladies complaining.

One thing thing Laura and I talked about was Jack's Crocs. She noticed he had the same ones he had last year; including the jibbitz that she had given to him. I told her how had I thought for sure he'd outgrow these shoes before we came back to Australia, and he hadn't. This sparked a discussion about kids and their growing feet. This conversation has some foreshadowing significance. Keep that in mind......

Tim met us after his run. Then we said our goodbyes to the cousins.

We took the ferry back.

Tim took a lot of beautiful photos.

When we got back, Jack and I went to the supermarket and bought a bunch of Aussie junk food. I got Tim Tams, Anzac biscuits, licorice, Turkish Delite ice-cream, chicken flavored shapes and Mediterranean flavored shapes. I really don't know why we bought all that. It was very bad of us. Do I regret it? No way!

I forgot what we had for dinner that night. Maybe Tim cooked something? Maybe we had leftovers? I have no idea. I just asked Jack. He doesn't remember either.

When we were sitting on the couch, Jack started tugging on his ear. I had never seen him do that before. He's never had an ear infection before.

I asked him if his ear hurt and he said yes.


I started freaking out. Our friends were coming into town. This was the worst time to get sick. On top of that, I had no idea what to do in terms of doctors. Would we be able to find one on the weekend? Well, I'm sure we would. But it would be hard and oh....I REALLY didn't want to have to deal with that.

I hoped maybe it was just the beginning of something and we could fix it all with a little bit of Swimming ear drops. I also figured if he screamed in pain, we'd know we probably need to skip sleeping and find an all night clinic.

I put the eardrops in. There was no screaming. There wasn't even complaining. I thought that might be a good sign. Whenever I woke up at night, I'd watch him. He wiggled a bit, but I saw no ear discomfort. Most of my worrying faded away. Thank you!


  1. The loud black birds might be Australian Ravens. Well, they're the only black birds in Australia that I can think of atm. They're also my favourite bird. Well, the whole of the Corvis genus, really.

  2. Stephen,

    Thank you!! I'm so glad to finally know what the bird is.

    I found this video if anyone wants to hear what it sounds like.

  3. Dina, steep hill and Balmain reminded me of this post. But you may have arrived at the other Balmain wharf. if the link doesn't work.

  4. Andrew,

    We might have gone up that hill. I'm pretty sure we were on Darling Street, and there was that steep hill. Unless both wharfs have steep hills???

  5. Now... if that Australian friend who was ignoring you at your house in your dream was ME, it was because you were stealing George Clooney from me.

    I own him.

    Didn't you know that?

    That's almost funny about the messages and your cousin! I can imagine the confusion. I've had that same thing happen with my phone when the messages are full. I'm pretty good at deleting now to prevent it ever happening again.

    But it DID prompt you too actually see your cousin, which is a good thing. Glad it all went well.

    And I'm incredibly glad that Jack didn't have an earache. Flying home would have been miserable.


  6. Fe,

    The friend wasn't you. But thanks for the George Clooney warning. I will stay away! And I'm sorry about almost having a mad love affair with him. That was VERY rude of me.

    I think you're right about the phone message though. I think it did prompt my cousin and I to see each other. I'd like to think we'd manage to see each other anyway. But you never know.

  7. Shirley MacLaine! She's been in my dream before!