I'm 30.

As of 9:28 pm AUCDT Monday January 23rd 2006, I'm 30. Yippee.

No, I don't feel any different having a 3 at the front of my age. To be honest, I never feel any different on my birthday than I did the day before, and I never understand why some people do.

Okay, so technically I do feel a little different today, but that has more to do with the temperature being only 24 degrees instead of over 40 like it's been the last FOUR DAYS. I feel a lot less sweaty and worn out, and I walked the 2 blocks to the supermarket this morning without melting or needing a hat.

"Bird. Bird. Bird. Bird. Bird. Bird. Bird...."

There is a very funny comic strip we've just encountered this week, called Two Lumps. It is about two cats who very closely resemble our own. It's very funny; HOWEVER, and this is VERY important 'cause I don't want you chewing me out for not warning you about this...a few of the strips at the very beginning have some offensive language. So if you don't like that kind of thing, don't read that far back in the archives. Simple. :-)

Things I'm going to accomplish this year, or die trying.

1. Get my permanent residency. My current temporary visa expires in May. In the letter they sent me approving that visa, the immigration department said I'd get a packet of forms in the mail about two months before that for the second stage. I have heard of people getting them as early as six months before, but I'm not holding my breath. This is the government we're talking about, after all, and this year the immigration department ended up with a lot of egg on their face. For those overseas, the revelation that a mentally ill Australian citizen was sent to immigration detention for several months unleashed many more news stories about immigration mess-ups. The immigration minister is not a popular person right now.

2. We're going to buy a house. It may not be in Mount Pleasant after all. Probably closer to the Salisbury area since we both work there. Minimum three bedrooms, separate bathroom & laundry, ducted air conditioning with one room reverse cycle for the really nasty days, a shed or space for one, and a kitchen. Doesn't matter what the kitchen looks like, anything's better than the one we have now.

Since I'm not yet a permanent resident, if we decide to apply for a home loan together now, we'd need a 20% deposit/down payment. If we wait till I get PR, it's 5%. So once that comes through, we'll be looking at loans and houses very very seriously.

3. Get back to the US for Christmas. There are many ways of doing this: fly Qantas & American through Sydney/Melbourne, LA, and Chicago to Minneapolis; fly Air New Zealand & United through Auckland, LA, and Chicago to Minneapolis; or fly either of the two just to LA and get a car from there, taking a week or so to drive from the west coast to Wisconsin. We kinda like the idea of a road trip, seeing all those national landmarks up close rather than from five miles overhead.

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