Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I'm really bad about updating this. REALLY HORRIBLE.

The best excuse I have is that I am doing other things besides blogging. Soooo I will try and give a short-winded update as to what I have been doing with my life here in Brisbane over the last two months.

WELL... First off, I must say that I'm already getting nervous about going home and leaving this place. I LOVE IT HERE AND I AM REALLY SAD THAT I WILL PROBABLY NEVER COME BACK. Brisbane is a gorgeous city... The architecture, landscaping, PEOPLE, and river are all magnificent.

I wish you guys could see it in the flesh, because honestly, I have not seen/taken any pictures that do Brisbane justice.

September is the month designated for Brisbane Festival. It's a culture and arts festival over the entire month of September that celebrates Brisbane.

The festival was jump-started by Brisbane's famous Riverfire show. It's a fireworks show that goes all along the river. IT WAS INCREDIBLE... Probably the most impressive fireworks show I will ever go to. They were shooting off fireworks on the river, on top of buildings by the river, and open spaces next to the river... AND it was all sychronized. They even had jets shoot over during the show. My friend Alan Delmas took this image from his flat up in the hills overlooking Brisbane City.

A few weekends later, I attended a performance called "PYROPHONE JUGGERNAUT" in Chinatown which was a music group that had this ship-like stage with organ-like pipes all over it. The performers would shoot flame-throwers up into the pipes which created this incredible deep percussive sound. It was really cool. I hope I explained that well enough... Here's a pic of some of the pipes.

I only went to a few other performances and shows during Brisbane festival because most things cost money... But I really enjoyed the shows I went to.

I have to go get ready for class now, but I will update my blog some more later today...

OH! Here is my tumblr account: http://zaffytaffy.tumblr.com (which I actually post stuff on rather frequently, even if it doesn't have to do with my travels in Australia usually... it's images/music/quotes/ideas I like and am thinking about)


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wow, One Month Gone!

Well, I've officially lived in Brisbane for one month! It's amazing and horrifying how time has flown by...

I suppose I should update you on my living situation, then move on to my schooling, and free time activities.

I live here:

It's super convenient and a five minute walk from the river. It's also about a 10 minute walk from west end, which is the hippie/alternative area of Brisbane.

I live with four other girls:

from left to right: Alejandra, Lauren, Ashley, and Amber

They rule. Alejandra and Lauren go to UQ and Ashley and Amber go to QCA with me. It's pretty cool because we actually hang out and talk and stuff.

I go to school here:

It's nice and small and I am taking three studio classes which I love... Printmaking and Jewellery Making are two medias I haven't done before... So they're fun and fresh. My Oil Painting class is great practice, and I am really enjoying it as well.

The one thing that I need to find is a JOB. I've been searching far and wide and haven't found one yet, but I will remain hopeful.

Everything in Australia is sooo bloody expensive! I love it here anyway....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cairns, Australia!

Okay, so I know I'm a little behind on updating this thing... but here's a short summary of what I did last week in Cairns, Australia!

Since I'm studying abroad through the Australearn program, I had an orientation week in Cairns with 150 other Americans. I hated being with so many other Americans! It made me feel like such a tourist (which I was... but still!). It was really nice meeting other people doing the program though, and I feel like I made a few friends.

On the first day we were there, we planted fruit trees for cassowaries. Cassowaries are an endangered, dinosaur-like bird in Australia. They are major players in Australia's ecosystem since they are they only birds that eat the fruit from specific fruit trees, which allows the trees to spread their seeds.

On the second day I was there, about half of our group went snorkeling on the reef. It was amazing! We took a two hour boat ride out to this bird sanctuary island and snorkeled right off of the beach. I saw many colourful fish and coral, jellyfish, and even a tortoise! Here's one of the only pics documenting my crappy swimming abilities:

On the third full day, we went to this place called 'rainforestation.' We held koalas and pythons and pet wallabys and kangaroos. It was AWESOME.

Here's a picture of our whole group:

On Friday, Ashley (my housemate in Brissy... who is a raw vegan) and I went to the largest farmers market in all of Queensland. It was a city block long! I decided that I wanted to go raw for a day... and this was literally the best day I could have chosen. I ate tons of avocados and carrots all day long.

All in all, it was a great week! I'm glad I got the touristy shit over with though...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Neighbors

Yesterday I discovered that there are new neighbors next door...

Last year a couple feral cats moved into my neighbors garage. We were shocked and somewhat disgusted that our neighbors were actually feeding the feral cats, but not de-fleeing or sterilizing the cats.

The cats have had more than one litter of kittens, but this is the first litter that has actually allowed us to hold them.


There are three white and grey kittens and one black and grey kitten.

I'm hoping that I can tame them to the point where they can be adopted out. So there isn't a shitton of inbred cats around my parents house within the next few years.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This weekend I went to Ames to go to bootytronic with some friends from Decorah. It was pretty fun! My friends met my parents, and my parents loved all of them. It was a random group of kids... Me(tall girl with bleach blonde hair), Rose(a small redheaded girl with a mohawk, Yves(a french guy suited in american apparel clothing), and Will and Josh(two football players from the south side of chicago).

In other news... My hermit crab, Turtle, the best pet in the world died this weekend while I was away in Ames. I was going to bring her home this weekend, but she had been looking pretty splotchy inside of her exoskeleton, so I figured she was going to molt soon. She must have been in the process of molting, but didn't quite make it. Poor thing. Loved dat crab. She had so much personality for having a brain the size of a pin eye. So curious. RIP Turtle... you'll be missed.
Update #3 is that I got accepted into the Queensland College of Art at Griffith University in Brisbane. So I WILL be taking art classes while I'm in Australia. Which will be awesomeeee... I also just booked all my flights through the Student Travel Agency and I found out that I will have a stopover in Fiji for four days on my trip back. THAT will be wicked. Never thought I'd ever go there, WOW. I'm also leaving the states on July 10th now instead of July 5th. (Returning on November 30th)

Update #4 is that I dyed my hair turquoise. I've decided I need to go back to my normal colour(dark brown). I'm sick of bleaching my roots every two weeks to keep it from lookin' trasheee... I've gotten mixed reviews, but I really don't care either way because it's only temporary. People tend to either love it or hate it. It's something I'm probably never going to do again but I think it turned out pretty successful.

My final update is that I have one final left. It's a take-home essay final, so I've just been putting it off for the past few days. It's due at 10 am tomorrow morning and I'm not allowed to spend more than two hours on it so I might work on it for an hour tonight and an hour tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Very Best

Some of my favourite movies were made in the the 80s.

In 1982:

Jim Henson's masterpiece was produced; The Dark Crystal.

Tron... starring Jeff Bridges!!

Andd... We must not forget, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial... CLASSIC. Makes me cry almost every time.

In 1984:
Purple Rain... All songs written by PRINCE and the Revolution!! (even the songs that Morris Day and Appolonia sing)

[THE ORIGINAL] Repo Man! COMPLETELY different plot from that new movie starring Jude Law. This one has aliens, punk rockers, andd Emilio Estevez in it.

In 1986:

David Bowie's Labyrinth... I think it speaks for itself.

There you have it. The BEST movies from the 80s.... That I can think of off the top of my head... I'm sure If I thought about it a bit longer I could think of many many more. Love da 80s. Probably one of the most innovative decades for movie making.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Volcanoes are AWESOME.

awe·some(adj); \ˈ-səm\

1 : expressive of awe
2 a : inspiring awe

I watched a show on Discovery last night about volcanoes. It was soooo cool!

My friend Laura Ihry spent the year in Iceland. This is a image she took of
the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull. It is truly awe-inspiring..

Monday, May 3, 2010


It's been two weeks since Rachel left Decorah and one week since she flew out of the country. I'm holding up, to say the least. I do find that I've been bored more often and feel like I have less to look forward to on a weekly basis though. I've had to force myself to be more creative with my time, otherwise I feel like a worthless sack of meat.

I went to Milwaukee and Madison this weekend. I am the trip planner for LAC(luther artists' collective) so I had to plan the wholeeee trip by myself. It turned out to be a success.

The drive down was a little stressful because it was pretty stormy and windy for the majority of it... but at least when we drove past my favourite tree on highway 18 it wasn't raining so I could get this cool shot of it.

The Milwaukee art museum is one of my favourites in the midwest.

It TOTALLY trumps the Walker. For one, they have a pretty good selection of art, and a pretty good variety in artists/genres. Probably the biggest letdown there was seeing the Raphael "Woman with the Veil." It was cool, but the entire mezzanine floor was devoted to this one painting. B0ring.

We also walked around the historic third ward for a while on Saturday... And that was cool because we went to a lot of smaller galleries.

Sunday in Madison was kind of silly and maybe a waste of time because nothing opened up until 10 and we had to leave by 1... but it was still fun to walk around State Street and people watch.

The only problem with the trip was that I didn't get a lot of school work done.... AND I just got accepted into the program at Griffith University in Brisbane and have a shit-ton of paperwork to still fill-out before I can actually fly over. I'm in the process of making up a portfolio to submit to the art college! If I get in to that my housing situation and finances will change AGAIN... Ssosooo... although I'm accepted into Griffith, a lot of my future plans still hang in the air. It's frustrating, but I should have everything solidly planned soon.

That's all for now I guess!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Uh oh.

Recently I've been having really realistic dreams.  It's becoming a problem because I've mistaken my dreams for reality a couple times now... Y'know, like I refer to some conversation I had had in my dream(not remembering it was a dream), and being completely off about a certain situation.

Thankfully it hasn't had anything to do with romantic life, like in the movie science of sleep....It's been pretty mundane things I've mistaken thus far, BUT I wish my dream world would go back to really obscure obvious dreamscapes. Things are getting confusing over here and it's making me edgy. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rats Holding Things

Rats holding things is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Take a look:

especially holding teddy bears...

Friday, March 5, 2010

self sabotage

I'm pretty sure I've been sabotaging myself since I came to college.  It's not that I don't want to do well, because I really do, but I'm afraid of what will happen if I actually apply myself.  That is to say, I'm more accepting of doing well when I'm not trying than I am of failing when I'm doing my best. 

It's really screwed up. And I don't know how to stop myself. I'm skipping class right now. No particular reason, I just didn't feel like going. WHY DO I CONTINUE TO DO THIS? I don't have an answer.  All I know is I'm never going to get anywhere in life if I continue this bad habit.  I'm probably depressed... but I do such a good job of hiding it from everyone including myself that I have a hard time figuring out when I'm depressed. 

Maybe I need to read this book. Maybe I just need to get my shit together.

Friday, February 26, 2010


A month or so ago I watched David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. I've always been fascinated by the dream world, but that movie really pointed out just how fucked up dreams can be sometimes. 

A couple nights ago I had one of the most horribly vivid dreams.  

It started off with me and some friends playing around with samurai swords.  A friend and I were pretending to fight each other, but he accidentally decapitated me and sliced my torso away from my bottom half so I was lying on the ground in three pieces. I was begging people to help me and I thought that I needed a doctor, but no one seemed to really think it was that big of a deal. Eventually they put me back together, but throughout the rest of my dream I had problems with my head falling of my shoulders.  Every time my head fell off I felt this cold achy sensation in my neck.  I never made it to the doctor. The most interesting part was that I wasn't really bleeding. It wasn't THAT  gory actually. Just miserable.

This morning I had a lucid dream.

That was fun... I didn't notice I was dreaming until about halfway through the dream.. but when I came to the realization, I changed the whole plot to the dream and time travelled and brought people back from the dead.  I love lucid dreaming.

There's not really a point to this post besides me stating that I love dreams and hearing about dreams... even when they're more like nightmares.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


January is always the crummiest month of the year...
  • It's the coldest month.
  • It's the greyest month.
  • It's the loneliest month at Luther College.

Here at Luther College we have a transition term between our semesters. It's called J-term. Typically, this is a time for people to get gen-eds out of the way or study away or abroad. So most people are either super stressed out by their single class that meets every day and is very crammed OR they are off campus. The campus is very dead over J-term. The students that ARE on campus avoid going outdoors as much as possible because the windchill is 20 below.

I'm taking a snowboarding class this January. I needed a break from learning. My brain needed to cool down. The snowboarding class meets once a week (Tuesdays, from 3-10:30ish PM). It's nice that I have some time to rearrange my life and focus on filling out my study abroad application paperwork, but it sucks at the same time. I sit in my room until dinnertime almost every day of the week. IT'S NOT HEALTHYYY like I had hoped J-term would be. Thankfully, it is almost over... but it's scary at the same time. I had made a goal to study chinese over J-term, and completely overlooked it. I START CHINESE AGAIN IN ONE WEEK. I HAVEN'T SPOKEN/WRITTEN CHINESE IN 8 MONTHS. yikes.

I have at least 7 friends that are studying abroad this spring, including 3 of my 4 future housemates. I'm not going to see them for an entire year. I'm really sad about this.

I'm going home this wednesday and I hope that I will be able to get together with my old friends that I really didn't get to see/talk to much over winter break. That should be good.

TIME IS GOING TOO FAST. I'm going to be in Australia in less than 6 months.

My mind is all over the place this evening.