Thursday, May 31, 2012

Donut King: Hot Dog

We tried another hot dog.

Donut King (which I mentioned in this post briefly once) is in a grocery store we never frequent, but will occasionally go to to use their toilets, or if we know of something that is on sale (other than that, we're creatures of habit and tend to shop only at one place for most stuff).

But we finally got the time (and on a NON holiday so they weren't closed) to try one of their dogs. They were about $5.50 apiece though, so, being cheap, we agreed to just split one, since we had no idea what they would even taste like (and neither of us tend towards eating much during the day, but eating TONS at night for dinner, and second dinner, so a whole hot dog would have been a large lunch).

I do love all the cheese pilled on top...
Anyway, we ended up getting the Aussie Dog (sans onions), because, well, mostly for this blog. And the other selections didn't look all that appetizing at the moment. I really was a typical Aussie thing (as far as my experiences go thus far): smothered in bacon, cheese, and some sort of sauce. In this case, a very sweet barbecue.

Bacon chunks.
It's not like strips of bacon or bacon crumbles
you can get on nearly everything in the States.
It was... a hot dog. Again. Nothing spectacular or even really note worthy, other than that the "bun" it was in was so light and fluffy I could have kept eating them. The dog itself was bland. Nearly flavorless in fact. Though that could have been because it was swimming in so much barbecue sauce you couldn't taste much else. Not BAD, just made us both miss a good ol' American hot dog. What made the craving worse was we came home to look through old photos and came upon some Phillip had taken when we went to Gene and Judes.

Not that I'm a hot dog snob and will throttle you if you put ketchup on it and skip the onions (because I will skip them myself and if I don't you'll see me hurl), but if you can, go to Gene and Judes. They're GOOD. I mean really good. Or Portillos. Just... do it.

I laughed for a few minutes at their slogan because my brain
stopped reading at "Life is a hole"

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Visa Paperwork

After months of hard work, collecting information, evidence, and certified copies of every form of identification my husband and I have, we've finally sent in my application for my partner visa. A whole 2 months and some days before my current visa expires.

Why so long? Well, the deal I made with my husband was this: If I planned the wedding, he had to take care of the visa stuff. And he had very specific ideas about what kind of evidence we should have to show that we are in a real committed relationship.

And no, being married isn't proof of that. We needed evidence that other people considered this a real relationship (so statements from friends and family here in Australia, cards sent to both of us, package slips with both our names on them, bank transfers in both our names, etc.), that we were committed to a long-term relationship (shared bank accounts, both our names on bills, loan applications, tenancy agreements, our wills), and that we actually live and work together (statements on how and when we met, how the relationship progressed, when we decided to get married, and how we divvy up household responsibilities). And then there were slews of personal information that was required that involved a lot of emailing back home to parents, siblings, government agencies to get certified copies of all sorts of things.

All up, when we sent the package, it weighed nearly two kilos. In PAPER. Plus some paper clips. And we haven't even gotten medical checks done yet (those can wait apparently).

Just ignore all the stuff Phillip throws in the back of his car

Now, it's a waiting game to see if they approve. I'll be put on a temporary visa thing of some sort (can you tell how well I've looked into this?) while a case worker reviews the book we sent, and then they'll give me another temporary visa that will last up to two years while we continue to prove that we got married because we wanted to and love each other, and not so I could gain citizenship to Australia. THEN I'll get my permanent residency under my Partner Visa.

Though I'm not going for citizenship, just permanent residency. Too much of a hassle to give up my U.S. citizenship, and it takes, like, another six years to even think about applying.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Saturday, Phillip and I went to Agfest (Agricultural Fest, for anyone who didn't understand that).

No, Agfest isn't just an Australian thing, I know plenty of people that participated in them back in the States, I just never had a need or desire to go to one, so... Anyway, living in a state that even it's biggest cities are classed as rural, I wanted to go. Plus Phillip really wanted to go so he could eat some oliebollens that are at a stand every year (they were pretty tasty).

Aside from all the farming equipment that was pretty well priced, we stopped by craft booths (though most we had seen at the Deloraine Craft Fair earlier this year, and lovely as most of it is, it's not really in our budget), and, my favorite, the dogs and horses showing off their skills. And the alpacas. I love alpacas. They make a sound like, "Meh" and it makes me think of my sister (in a good way!). And they're just so fluffy and odd looking!

Unfortunately, my camera chose that day to show it's age and start dying on me. It's at least 4 years old, my little Canon Powershot, and taken several thousand photos, so it's not entirely surprising. Oh well, it still works well enough that I won't be upgrading any time soon.

We wore out gum boots in anticipation of much mud.
They're like the four-wheel drives of footwear!
I ALMOST felt bad for all the women/girls there in pretty shoes and boots.

Border Collie showing of it's skills. Still in training, but having a blast.
It's cool how much of the herding instinct is just BREAD into them. 
Girls from a local Pony Club on their Arabians showing off some skills.
Horses were pretty stoked to be showing off, too.
This gadget apparently helps you turn sheep better for things like dipping,
crutching (cutting off their you-know-whats), and other sheep... things.

See? Adorable fluffy baby Alpaca.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Vice: Coffee

Today, we actually went out for coffee.

I know, I know, not a big deal. But since our coffee press broke, for the second time, a month ago, we've been drinking nothing but instant. Now, it's good instant coffee, but it's still instant. That, and we really never go out anywhere to grab a drink or eat. And it seems like we've been almost unendingly busy for the past few weeks (visa work or familial obligation), unless we outright say, no, this <insert random day> is OURS and we will not work, we will not socialize. We will drag mattresses into the living room, the only warm room in the house, and lounge on them watching hours of Scrubs and eat food that is bad for us and talk.


There's no such thing as Starbucks here, or Caribou (I'm not really sorry about the Starbucks, their coffee is overrated and tastes like the burnt inside of a shoe...). So we ended up at a little (VERY little) place called Vice Coffee.

The smell alone made me feel like I'd fallen on a giant coffee cloud of awesome. It was homey and wonderful and warm. Phillip got a triple shot cappuccino, I ended up with a Vienna.

Most of the population ( at least, my admittedly small sampling) seems to mostly like instant coffee. Odd for me, especially since my dad actually roasts his own coffee, so I was kind of spoiled on that front, by really good, really fresh coffee. A "standard", I've been told, is one small teaspoon of instant coffee, 2 of sugar, and plenty of milk. We... do not do that.

End of story: Short dates and small, non-chain coffee places: Love.