Excellent. The first knitted “tag” from the Sydney Stitch and Bitch group went up yesterday in Martin Place. And it was Swannies-themed! Too bad they went down by one point in a nailbiter. Better luck next year, Bazza.
Month: September 2006 (page 1 of 10)
To quote Iron Chef, the Barbecue Battle is OVAH! We had about nineteen people in here at one point or another today for the official Bigass Kris Becomes Strine Party. The Snook outdid himself at the barbie, with chicken, lamb, snags, prawns, and mushrooms all on the menu. Our guests outdid themselves with salads, snacks, and desserts. Special thanks to Amy and Rob for the hilarious “Aussie Showbag,” including a terrycloth hat, zinc, thongs, and many other Aussie accoutrements. (No doubt they or Andrew will have photos soon.) The only one unhappy was Dr. Amy Jones, who hid under the bed for hours. Poor thing. We only just managed to coax her back out. She’s such a scaredy-cat!
Well, it’s official folks. I am (you are, we are) Australian. It’s weird; the importance of what I was doing didn’t really hit me until yesterday. I was at the shop saying goodbye to Verna, the lady who runs our embroidery clinic, when I mentioned that I’d be Australian the next time she saw me. “Really? You’re getting your citizenship?” she asked. I said I was. “Thank you.” she said sincerely. “I really mean that. Thank you. I think it’s wonderful when people decide to join us.” How nice is that? And that’s when I realized that this kind of is a big deal. For the rest of my life, whenever anyone asks my nationality, I will say something different to what I’ve said up to this point. I always feel weird about making big changes like that. (Hence, I kept my last name when I got married.) So there really was a sense of the momentous when we headed into Sydney Town Hall this afternoon.
We were ushered upstairs – it really is a very pretty old building – and into a reception room. Snookums left to sit with the other guests in the back while I signed in and was directed to a seat in the front row. (I quickly worked out that the two halves of prospective citizens were divided based on whether they were taking the “God” oath or not. I was on the “not” side.) A woman in the corner played a steady stream of Australian classics on the piano: “Waltzing Matilda,” “I Still Call Australia Home,” “We Are Australian,” “The Pub With No Beer,” etc. Eventually everyone was settled and our host entered; it was Clover herself! Wearing her Lord Mayor regalia and her signature choker. SWEET. As she spoke to us about this nation of immigrants, I started thinking about my grandmother going through a similar ceremony in the US more than forty years ago. She was a long way from home too, and she was saddled with a foreign tongue, young children, and a husband in the service. I can’t imagine. Soon Clover was finished and our two groups were asked to stand and recite the pledge together. My version read: “From this time forward, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.” Personally, I really like it. I think it’s fair. All notions of patriotism and national identity aside, I feel like the Australian people – the friends, co-workers, and family I’ve met over the past five years – deserve this much. I want them to know I do respect their way of life, and it’s my way of life too. Then we were each called to the podium in turn to collect our certificate and have a photo taken with Clover. (They’ll mail them to us soon.) We also got a “showbag” of gifts. We concluded by all singing the national anthem and then snacking on meat pies and lamingtons. (No, really.) This flag-waving was all a little much for a still-recovering Snookums, so we headed home not long after.
Oh! So you’ll want to know what was in my gift bag. Well, unlike other people, I didn’t get a tree. I repeat – NO TREE! I was very disappointed. I was really looking forward to nurturing a native plant. I got a little photo book about Sydney, a commemorative pin, and an ink pen. (My inner Lloyd Dobler: “Australia gave me a pen. I gave her my loyalty, and she gave me a pen.”) Oh well. And can I just say, if the group of new immigrants I was in is in any way indicative of the future gene pool of Australians, we’re all going to be a much shorter nation in the future. Other than me and a few giant Russian guys, everyone else was tiny. I was surrounded by insanely happy, cute, tiny Asian-Australians. I really like living here. BRING ON THE BARBECUE!
Someone on AskMetaFilter wonders: Why do you wear makeup? Well, I don’t normally wear makeup, but I do today! I just had my free little makeover at Clinique. Here the results. I don’t know if you can see very much in that picture, but I took a poll amongst everybody at work (and at tonight’s Stitch and Bitch) and the results were overwhelmingly positive. I think the only real problem I have with it is the SHININESS. The blush and the lipstick are a little over-the-top for me (and the Snook agrees). I really like the eyes though, and as much as it annoys me to say it, I think I may have to start wearing mascara. It just really brings out my eyes and makes me seem more alert (and less tired). I still just feel weird about the concept of me wearing makeup though. People in that MetaFilter thread said it makes them feel polished and sophisticated, but I always feel like a little girl playing dress-up. Is that just a case of not being used to it? I just feel really silly and obvious, like other people will look at me and think that I’m trying too hard or something. (Plus there’s the whole “men aren’t expected to wear crap on their faces” feminist argument that I still partially identify with.) Ucccchhh, I dunno. I gotta go wash my face so I can feel like myself again.
I did manage to escape without buying anything though, which was a victory. Maybe I’ll try it again at a different counter and see if they do it differently. Any suggestions?
“Finger length gives sports clue.” Huh. I always heard that women whose ring fingers were longer than their index fingers were more likely to be lesbians. (Who told me that? Kel?) At any rate, I just did a highly scientific study of my own fingers using the knuckle bend as the starting point. And guess what? My ring finger is longer too! I guess I really should commit to running a marathon next year. (And leaving the Snook for another woman. JUST KIDDING!)