Return to the USA

The countdown has begun, and I will be returning to the USA on Tuesday! It’s been such a whirlwind for the past month, as all my presentations, projects, and final exams were put together. The best news, is I’m returning to an amazing job! How perfectly tailored is this? An Australian company, locating their ‘strategy headquarters’ in San Francisco, with 40% of revenues coming from Japan? You’re looking at a very happy person right now!

USA Here I come!

Final Semester

Wow, how time is flying by! School just started back up and I’ve got a great schedule to work with that will allow me some last travels in Australia before I move back to the US. I’ve updated my resume site for my job search which I will be starting in September, along with finishing up my first book of photography. Can’t believe how fast the time will go, I keep looking at my calendar filling it up with events, travel, due dates and such, it just is really going to fly by. My time here has been more challenging and eye opening that I ever thought imagineable, and I’ve really learned a lot about myself–which I think is one of the best outcomes of any experience one can have. And in the words of Sun Zhu:
Knowing the other and knowing oneself,
In one hundred battles no danger.
Not knowing the other and knowing oneself,
One victory for one loss.
Not knowing the other and not knowing oneself,
In every battle certain defeat.

End of Term II / One year anniversary

This was a busy month full of last projects, final exams, etc and now going away parties for friends that are moving back home after being here a year. Which, also marks my one year anniversary of leaving the US. I can’t believe how fast time moves, and how my Australian chapter of life will be closing by the end of the year. It’s been an exciting, challenging, reflective move, and I have a great feeling about coming home and starting a career. For winter break, I will be traveling to Melbourne, and hopefully finding some interesting subjects for photography to add to my book. I have also planned a trip to Tasmania for the same, which has pushed the publishing back a couple of months, just in case I find some amazing shots that I’d like to include. School starts back at the end of July for my last term, so keep enjoying the photography as I happen upon interesting subjects!

One step closer

I have been working quite hard on my new photography site which is finally finished. I have tested it on as many browsers as possible, but of course Firefox always comes out on top with display accuracy. Please take a look at my new site, and be sure to leave comments so I can hear your opinion on my photography :)

You will also notice under the purchase section, a project I have been working on since January. If all goes according to plan, I should have a hard copy in my hands no later than the end of June. If you’re interested in a copy, feel free to submit a preorder and I will put you on my distribution list to update the status of the book’s completion.

Spelling in Australia

So just a quick entry about something I just stumbled upon. The spelling in Australia has been quite humourous sometimes to get used to.. for instance, I saw a sign saying: Warning, Police are now ticketing Kerb Crawlers. Meaning, cars that actually pull up on the curb.

However, tonight as I’m working on a group project, I used the word maneuver. Yet, my word processor highlighted it (as I’m in Australian mode) as it was misspelled. Apparently, the british spelling for maneuver outdoes any other spelling I’ve seen before (ok, foetus is a little interesting) but here it goes:

m a n o e u v r e

Impressive, isn’t it?

The Moon

the_moon.jpgSo today, my friend Tim told me something very interesting. In regards to my latest picture on my photography site, he said ‘Wow, you really do see the moon upside down from Australia”. Which of course, piqued my interest in getting to know why. If you look at most pictures of the moon, there’s a crater called Tycho at the southern pole of the moon–it looks like an orange. So take a look here and compare it with my photo here. How cool is that?!

Photoshoot at the Blue Moutains

three_sisters_profile.jpgToday, I headed up to the Blue Mountains after my work at Paddington Markets with a photography buddy to shoot the ‘Three Sisters’ rock formation in the Blue Mountains, northwest of Sydney. It was great to get out of the city for a little while and see some other terrain. Our drive went by quickly, and one thing I noticed that was quite funny about Australian Motorways is the fact that there are hardly any overpasses. We would see a sign that says, service stop/restaurants, yet since there are no overpasses, they have built a mirror image of the services/restaurants for both sides, because you can’t cross to the other side. It was so interesting–it was like a gocart roadway that just goes off to the side, then there’s a row of the gas station and restaurants, then it goes back into the road.

Anyhow, once we arrived at the site, we set up our tripods and started capturing some beautiful moments of the sunset alongside several other photographers. The wind started picking up and it really felt like winter all of a sudden, and the crisp cool air made me think of being in a ski village and wanting to sit next to a fireplace with hot chocolate. The full moon made it a very special night to photograph as well, and you can see my photos on my images site.

Birthday Weekend

This weekend, I celebrated my 27 years of life. It’s interesting how birthdays make you do just that, think of your life. I like to think of it as a time to also set new goals and such–like New Year’s. Perhaps, reaffirm what I wanted to do this year, and make sure that I keep on track. 26 was quite a year for me. I started it with a surprise party in San Francisco, set plans for coming to Australia, quit my job, visited country 26 and 27, moved to Sydney, visited Hawaii, visited New Zealand and have now started my second of three semesters of my Master’s Degree. I’ve learned a lot in this move, and I think it’s given me even more focus on what I want out of life. So, things are looking good.

I recently moved to a new apartment in Newtown, a very diverse area of Sydney. It’s a great area with tons of restaurants (re: can’t cook) and an easy fun walk to university. My classes this term are quite interesting, and I’m looking forward to the projects. With the new flat comes new flatmates, and this weekend, they took me out to dinner at a cafe nearby, then on to the IMAX theater for ‘Mystic India’ a 2-d film on India’s culture and land. It was absolutely beautiful, and I am eagerly looking forward to any opportunity I get to visit India.

Today, I also went with a group of friends to finally visit the Sydney Taronga Zoo. With breathtaking views of the city from across the harbour, the giraffes definitely have the best view of the city. Check out the view here!

How long can fish survive out of water?

This morning when I got up, I passed the fish bowl, and one of the fish had jumped out of the water and was laying there on the ground. It was relatively dry, looked like he had been there for quite a while. So I poked him, and his mouth moved! So, I picked him up by the tail, and threw him back in, and he swam around in circles. A few weeks ago, our black fish, Destiny died. So, we got another one, that seems to be missing an eye, who was aptly named, Destiny’s Child.

March Festivities — Mardi Gras

March will be a big month. The first week begins the countdown to the huge Mardi Gras Parade and Festivities. Sydney is world renowned for this event, and the streets are already being flooded with tourists coming for the event. March also is the beginning of the Fall Semester at University of Sydney. I will begin classes on March 6! My classes this semester should be quite interesting and on the whole will be focusing on Global Marketing, with emphasis in the Asia Pacific regions.

Along with these festivities, my birthday is coming up. I cannot believe I’ll be 27 this year. When I start thinking of ‘how many years since such and such’, it really starts sounding old. For instance, it was 8 years since I graduated High School, 6 years since living in Tokyo, 4 years since graduating university, and 9 months since I moved to Sydney.

So to celebrate march, I’ve decided I’m going to get an iPod nano. This will solve the problem of lugging my 20gb 3G iPod to the gym and having my headphones pull out of my ear because of not having any way to hold the iPod closer to me. This new nano I’ll be able to get an armband for and I can move freely while exercising. When will there be a waterproof one so I can swim with it!