Saturday, July 31, 2010


Hello all,

I am in my new home. Brisbane, Australia. I love it here.

I have already experienced so many things.... I never know where to start when I am writing blogs.

First of all, I am living in a super modern apartment building, right in the heart of the city - Southbank. I am a 10-15 minute walk to the main shopping areas and a 15 minute walk to the hippie part of town, West End. I can see my school from my window - it's about a 3 minute walk. I am attending Griffith University's Queensland College of Art. It's great.
(we each have our own rooms and bathrooms - we share a kitchen and living space)
alejandra, lauren, anna, me, amber
The first week I was here, I just walked around a lot and became used to the city. I met so many new people and checked out all the farmers markets. I even went climbing (a few posts down i posted pics - this blog is somewhat out of order!)

Anyways, school started last week. I am taking four classes:
1. Painting
2. Printmaking
3. Life Drawing
4. Issues of Contemporary Studio Practice

the studios
They are all really good classes. I know I am going to learn so much in them. My style of art right now is all self taught and comes straight from the soul. I am excited to learn how to paint, do life drawings (my absolute weakness), and make prints. I think it will all make a huge impact on my art and my future career.

Anyways, here are some pictures from the past couple weeks.

my new friend Gerry and his wife Gab drove me here: (30 mins away?!)
in a dress. at a club. happy bloody 21st birthday, anna!
alan and me. Really cool guy who takes amazing pictures.
international students at the club
my roommate, amber, and i
me. matt. amber.
the city ferris wheel
my roommates, anna and amber, at the fake beach in the city
statue and beautiful tree in the city
walkway on campus

I usually go to 3 farmers markets a week - wednesdays, saturdays, and an organic one on sundays. I have been eating heaps of papaya, bananas, fresh OJ, and cane sugar juice. I've also had some really good avocados lately. For all you raw foodies, I also got to meet Anne Osborne - author of "Fruitarianism - the path to paradise." She has been fruitarian for 20 years!
anne, cappi, and i

With the good experiences there are also negative ones. I am constantly learning on this journey.

For instance, yesterday I went to the ATM to get money out. I chose to get $50 out from credit. Nothing came out. I tried again with Checking, and it worked. The problem is that my online banking says I received money from the first try, which i didn't.

Right after that I went to the bus station to put money on my bus card. I put $50 in the machine. It didn't put money on my card. It didn't give me a receipt. It didn't give me my money back. I cried in public. A kind lady (and witness) walked me to the train station but they couldn't help me. I called the number on the back of the card and I think it's all under control. They will see if there's an extra $50 in there and refund me in the next 10 days via my card. I just have to keep a positive mindset and i know everything will be okay.

Everything is a learning experience. I've been lost on buses many times so far here. The transportation system really takes some getting used to.

I feel independent and free.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Dischord Video

This is the video from my boyfriend's recent show where I did a live drawing on stage. Check it out!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The New Dischord Show Pictures

I mentioned in a previous post that I did a live drawing at a show the day before I left. Here are some pictures from the New Dischord show that are just now available to the public (PHOTOS BY ZACH MCDONALD)

letting the music control my movements
the atmosphere

The Glass House Mountains

The other day I went climbing at the Glass House Mountains (locals would call them "The Glassys" which are about 45 minutes away from me. I went with a bloke named Rob, a local Brisbane climber, and Matt, who I met through the Australearn program that I am studying through.

It was a lot of fun! The rock here is sandstone but it is a different kind than we have back home. The movements are amazing and the holds are crimpy and perfect. I absolutely love the climbing here! We got on this 25 and it was a beautiful line with awesome movements. Overall i had a blast and was ridiculously sore the next day. Here are some photos:

matt climbing. photo by me
me climbing. photo by matt; edit by me
the crux! Photo by matt, edit by me
Rob crushing! Photo by me

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


G’Day, Mate! I have now arrived in the land down unda!

Let’s start from the beginning:

Plane ride:

It was probably a good thing that I didn’t get much sleep the night before I left (around 3 hours – I was just really sad to leave Tim…) However, the lack of sleep helped me totally pass out on the airplane!!! It was great! The flight to Australia honestly felt shorter than the flight to LA from Nashville! I also somehow scored some awesome seats – I sat in the seats where there are baby carriages that fold out of the wall – which means lots of leg room! I could stretch my feet out flat out in front of me and still have a little room to the wall. On a raw food note, I packed lots of fruit to be secure about the long flight – I brought a container of strawberries and one of papaya and mango. I found that the cut up fruit gets mushy and bad very quickly so in the future I know to eat this stuff first. I also brought lots of dates and some dried fruit for backup. And Quantas has a fruit/vegan option for meals when I first bought my ticket, so I also signed up for that. The funny thing is that they served dinner and breakfast at the most random times! Both times they had to wake me up when it arrived, lol. It was basically just chopped fruit (dinner was pineapple/honeydew/cantelope, tiny salad and a banana and breakfast was honeydew, cantelope, grapefruit, strawberries and oranges. Both meals had some sort of bread and butter served with it, which I obviously did not eat. I only ate a few bites of each meal, as the fruit I had looked more appetizing, and they served it at the weirdest times (for instance, breakfast was at 2am!) Anyways, I had to throw away all my fruit when I arrived to the airport and before I went through customs. I was very sad to throw away such good food (especially my dates!) I then realized I probably could have gone through customs without them even knowing!!! Makes me sad! Oh well.

Culture and Adventure program:
I did a week-long adventure program in the tropical land of Cairns, Australia! Here’s the lowdown on the week:

-July 12 – arrived to Cairns & had dinner at a brewery – they provided me with a colorful bowl of veggies, which was nice. Honestly though, I was dying for some fruit! It was hard to get acclimated at first since I was stuck with a HUGE group (around 140 people) and most of their meals are provided, whereas I have to find my own. After a couple days I learned where the markets were so I shopped on my own. =)

the big group of americans, all studying through australearn
a beautiful rainbow in cairns
the backpackers hostile we stayed at
-July 13 – Volunteer day – helped plant trees in the tropical rainforest! This was a really cool experience – I had the opportunity to give back to the community and leave something that I planted in Australia. It’s cool to think that there will always be a tree in Australia that I helped place in the ground! I learned a lot about the rainforest this day, and it was a cool experience.

crazy looking flower
me opening a coconut with my bare hands & a flimsy pocket knife: SUCCESS

me & anna w/ the coconut we foraged & avocados we bought
-July 14 – Great Barrier Reef! There’s really only two words to explain this: mind blowing!!!!!! I snorkeled in the crystal clear blue water and it was absolutely amazing. The coral reef is so beautiful and it is home to some of the most bizarre fish I’ve ever seen! I highly recommend checking this out sometime; it’s a MUST-SEE. Swimming with the fish is just such an amazing experience. Like I said, mind blowing! That night I met up with another low fat raw vegan who is from New Zealand but recently moved to Cairns. He is 20 and we share a passion in fruit eating! It’s really cool to meet other raw vegans!
my lunch on the boat
beautiful waters
me and anna getting ready to snorkel
crystal clear waters
me on the boat
amazing scenery

Daryl, a young raw vegan from NZ
-July 15 – Rainforestation day! I toured the rainforest, hung out with kangaroos and wallabies, saw a crocodile, held a snake, threw a boomerang, watched aboriginals perform songs and dances, took an army duck through the rainforest, and held a koala – I got a lot of the stereotypical Australian touristy stuff done! It was SOOOO much fun!!!! I had a blast.
baby wallaby - so cute!
me and a kanga
these guys are so chill
A big croc named "Big Ripper" i think
a native aboriginal showing me how to throw a boomerang
facing my fear of snakes
not sure what to think, haha!
australian spider
a beautiful cassowary
lunch in the rainforest
-July 16 – Free Day! My new friend Anna and I went to Rusties, which is apparently the biggest farmers market in Queensland! And let me tell you, its HUGE! It is absolutely overwhelming. Take a typical farmers market (like the one Chattanooga or Nashville, for instance) and times it by 3… insane! So much to choose from! I am now convinced that being a raw vegan in Cairns is extremely easy. I had to walk around the whole thing at least 3 times to even know what I should buy! I ended up getting a young green coconut, a few paw paws, a couple avocados, and a couple huge black sapotes. I also got fresh squeezed sugar cane juice and it was incredible!

rows and rows and rows of this stuff!
Overall I have had the best time of my life! But honestly I can’t wait to be in Brisbane, where I am living and attending school for the next year.

I’d also like to note that although I’m not homesick in any way shape or form. I will say that every time I experience something absolutely awesome (like snorkeling at the great barrier reef) I can’t help to wish that Tim was there right beside me, sharing the amazing experience with me. I love you, Tim! And I really miss you and I want to share all these amazing experiences with you! =)