Friday, November 29, 2013


November is winding down...heck tomorrow is December first.  Where has the time gone?

Thankfully (thankfully? maybe, I don't know) there is no Thanksgiving here.

    Good things: no Thanksgiving advertising, no Black Friday sales, none of that nonsense.  Though, I received numerous emails from companies advertising their black friday specials, as well as everyone on God's green earth posting about black friday crap on Facebook.  People, Thanksgiving with family and delicious food is way better than any sale on some plasma tv that you don't need...

    Bad things: I didn't have a big Thanksgiving meal with my family, which was a bit hard.  I received photos from home of everyone celebrating the holiday but it was easier for me to pretend that the holiday wasn't happening, that way I didn't feel too homesick.  I've been here in Australia for nearly three months now, but I'm still homesick, especially during the holidays.

December is starting and that means things at work are shutting down.  Due to scheduling, experiments and lab work are pretty much done until early January.  I spend all of next week in Melbourne at a molecular course, and then when I come back, the person training me in the lab is on leave, then the facility shuts down for the holiday... so basically it's just desk work from here til Jan.

I haven't posted many adventures for November mainly because I haven't had the time to do much other than work.  We're working to develop our virus titration method as well as grow virus for future experiments, and the process takes quite a bit of time as well as office work to research the methods we want to use.  I've taken full advantage of my free weekends to relax from the busy weeks.

Mid-December, Dad will arrive for a 10 day Christmas vacation extravaganza, so I have that visit to look forward to.  I hope to explore the Bellerine Peninsula, visit Queenscliff, Sorento, Torquey, the Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Healsville, Phillip Island - lots on the list to visit and experience.  I am excited for the holidays!!!  It will be a weird holiday - I'm used to cold weather and snow for Christmas, but I'm told that here in Australia, it's common to visit the beach on Christmas Day.  I'll certainly be experiencing new traditions this year.

In other news/stories, I have been missing American ketchup like crazy.  I really don't do much cooking at all, but one of my easy meals to make is a fried egg sandwich.  I mix an egg with a bit of milk, fry on a pan, and enjoy on toast with ketchup.  The ketchup really makes the meal.  American ketchup has vinegar in it, and Australian tomato sauce is literally just "tomato sauce".  You'd be surprised at how much the vinegar adds to the flavor.  Today I made a fried egg sandwich and added a shot of vinegar to the my bottle of tomato sauce in an attempt to recreate ketchup.  Though my mixture sufficed, it still wasn't true ketchup.  Ah well, I will just learn to adapt to Australian ketchup with added vinegar rather than tomato sauce.  And hey, plenty of Veggiemite here!

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