31 March 2008

Scarecrow Hair

I realize that I'm not very hip and up with fashion, especially considering that I think most trends right now are hideous. With that said, please take my opinions that I'm about to share witha grain of salt.

I hate scarecrow hair. What is scarecrow hair? Meg Ryan frequently has scarecrow hair. It was at it's worst in Kate and Leopold, as seen here.

The straight, super angles, unable to bend hair? It looks like straw. It looks like a scarecrow.

And it is completely mind-boggling to me that people like this hairstyle. When it always looks like a scarecrow. Scarecrow, I tell you!

So, stop doing your hair like this, folks! Your hair is meant to have the ability to move, and be blown in the wind, and to be shaped nicely around your face.

It is not meant to look like straw.

Don't get me wrong, scarecrows have great qualities. Like the ability to scare away crows. Also, singing, dancing and obtaining brains. But, they are not visually appealing. And they are not generally made to look like girls anyway.

An Echo

I just want to echo Carrie's request. If you have included a link to my blog on your site, could you kindly remove any references to my last name? I know I'm not particularly good about keeping anything about my identity a secret, but I do make attempts. And I am currently making an extra effort to do so.

Also, when you leave comments if you could avoid leaving references to my maiden name and that sort of thing, that would be really great.

29 March 2008

So Many Songs About Rainbows...

We had a bit of rain this evening. And then spectacular views after the rain.

We could see one side of the double rainbow from one window, and the other side of one of the rainbows from the other window.

27 March 2008

Guest Post over at Janssen's

Today I have a guest post over at Janssen's blog. It's about how Janssen met her husband since I was actively involved in that story. And it's a funny story, not so much because I wrote it, but because I wrote it, and Janssen inserted her comments throughout. Mosey on over and have a look.

And, here are a few pictures of the Topless Girls (please read my post at Janssen's for an explanation of the name) just for old times' sake:

This was after our semi-annual Y-Hike. As you can see, we are all very strong and powerful after our climb to the top. That night (or thereabouts) was Priscilla's birthday, so we ate cupcakes at the top to celebrate. Also, from left to right: Sherry (me), Janssen, Heather, and Priscilla.

One time we got together and dyed our hair. It didn't make much of a change for Heather or Priscilla (Soapy and Skilla as I affectionately call them). My hair looked rather dreadful, and Janssen's looked quite nice in the end. We had a great time nonetheless.

And this is us at Mimi's Cafe. It's one of our favorite places to eat.

All this looking at pictures and commentating makes me wax nostalgic. It really is unfortunate that the four of us are spread out across the globe now (one in Utah, one in The Great State, one in Canada on a mission, and me way the heck out here in New Zealand). But, we anticipate many good times gathering together watching the same movies over and over, playing Nerts and Settlers and gorging ourselves on sweets. That's what we do.

26 March 2008

The Camp

I've talked a bit about the camp/conference, so I guess I should go into a little more detail. We were asked to be chaperones, but that really meant "chefs." The other couple that chaperoned with us were Matthew and Makareta. STOP! Before you think twice about her name, I have to tell you how to say it because I KNOW how you just read it in your head with your thick American accent, and it was wrong and ugly! The "r" is rolled, like a Spanish name. Other than that, it sounds pretty much the same as "margarita" but with a "k" in the middle, and without that first "r."

Matt and Makareta had come over to our house the Tuesday before the camp to celebrate St. Patrick's Day one day late. Of course, they brought their man-cub, William. He is about 14 months old and adorable. We decided we definitely liked hanging out with them and playing games with them on Tuesday, so we were happy to learn that the four of us would be chaperoning the YSAs at their camp.

On Friday, the four of us headed out to Waikouaiti, where the camp was held. We got there early, so we went to the beach. Not to swim, because it's cold here. You don't swim in the beaches here. That is, you don't swim unless you are Eric. And then when Eric swims Matt has to swim too. While the wives look on and think the husbands are just being ridiculous. And I tricked the baby into eating some bull kelp from off the ground. (The thing is, the baby will eat ANYTHING if you say "mmmmmmmMmmMMm," so I really had to do it!)

While we were at the beach, I waded in the water for about 10 minutes, basically the length of time it took for me to not be able to feel my feet. And then I was cold, so Matt gave me his sweater to wear. I felt a little silly wearing his sweater, but Makareta assured me that it was not really his because she wears it more than he does. So then I felt okay about it.

That day we went to the camp and met the YSAs. We ate dinner and did general playing around type things. On Saturday, the YSAs went down to the beach to clean it while Makareta and I readied lunch. The boys helped. That evening there was a hangi, a traditional Maori meal that is cooked underground (in theory). And that night there was a dance. While the younguns danced, the married played cards. Rook, to be precise.

Sunday was Easter, and we had church in the lobby. It was a nice meeting. That evening we had a traditional Easter dinner of spaghetti. Wait, not traditional at all. We are in New Zealand, where is the lamb? Actually, there were only 2 ovens, which is the reason for the lack of traditional roast of some kind. That afternoon were workshops, and Eric taught an excellent workshop on goal-setting. Such a cute husband, that one.

Also, Eric totally forgot his Sunday shirt, so he had to borrow Matt's, which was too small. So he put a sweater on over the top so it didn't look so bad, and he actually looked very smartly dressed.

That night the four of us went for a walk on the beach because it was a full moon. Matthew was wearing his sweater, and he joked about it being the "communal" sweater. I said, "Well, not really because Makareta hasn't been wearing it." Matt replied, "She's been sleeping in it every night." So, truly, the communal sweater.

Then, back to camp for sleeping. Only the boys didn't sleep. They played games involving a hill and tires.

On Saturday the festivities continued. Everyone participated in rolling tires down the hill at various human targets. The night before, a girl had rolled down the hill in the tires, and she loved it so much she did it FOUR times. I figured that if I had been awake, I also would have participated in this activity. Despite Eric's warnings, I climbed in a stack of tires, and the boys put more tires over my head. Then they rolled me down.

And the tires slipped off and spread out. And I banged my head like 3 times. I'm still paying for that. Really, though, it was quite fun. Besides the banging head.

Then we cleaned up and came home.

We had a lot of fun. We loved getting to know the BYU students who were studying abroad in Invercargill. Plus, it was great to get to know the YSAs in our branch. Such great people! And, of course, we loved spending time with Matthew and Makareta. So much so that on the drive home (we rode together) they asked if we wanted to come to their house for dinner, and I said, "Well, William is still not calling us 'mom' and 'dad,' so it is clear we haven't spent enough time together yet!"

25 March 2008


On Sunday as part of the conference we went for a walk to the first settlement in Otago. It was a pleasant walk and had beautiful views! It's no wonder folks decided to settle there.

There were lovely woods to walk through.
And, of course, there was the sea!

And sheep! We never get enough sheep!

And here are the buildings. I don't know if the buildings themselves are real, but they might have been. They have been kept up pretty well so people can go in and see how big they were and what kind of furniture was in them. Sort of. Some rooms were empty. Rooms that were blocked off


We take a lot of walks around here. It is really entertaining to us to see all the varieties of plants because in Utah when you go on a walk you get to see about three plants- Aspens, scrub oaks and soemthing else. Not too thrilling.

But here! Wow! So many different types of plants! Have a look.


After our weekend as chaperones for the YSA conference, we spent our Tuesday doing laundry and whatnot. People in New Zealand don't really use driers here because they cost so much to run. Mostly they just hang their clothes out on lines or hang them in their homes. It's not so bad as you might expect, but then again, it is not quite winter yet.

Yesterday we washed sheets and clothes and things, and then Eric hung them out. There are two lines at our complex- a set outside in the sun, and a set sort of inside, but really outside, sheltered from the rain. Eric chose to hang our clothes on the inside one because "The outside ones were occupied." When I looked out the window I saw LOTS of room, but Eric didn't know it is perfectly acceptable to share the lines with our neighbors. Anyway, by the time night came, our laundry wasn't completely dry.

The fitted sheet was dry enough to put on the bed, but the next sheet we hung in our living room, making a fort. And, most importantly, Eric's pajamas were not dry.

So I talked him into wearing my larger set. I pretty much laughed uncontrollably for the first five minutes that he wore them. Enjoy!

19 March 2008

Bed and Breakfast

I know that I shared pictures of our flat before, but really. I don't think they do it justice. We have an amazing view! And whenever people come over, they always go back to it. Here we are in the middle of a conversation and, "Wow! That really is a terrific view!"

Honestly, sometimes I forget that I live here, and I'll think to myself how nice it was that Eric brought me to this lovely place to spend some time together. Honestly. That thought runs through my head. And then I remember that this is my flat! I live here!

Today's views were particularly lovely. They are always best when it is a sunny day. We can see very far into the distance, and there is such clarity. It is really breathtaking.

I had that feeling of being at a nice little bed and breakfast again today. I think it had to do with Eric bringing me breakfast in bed. He's charming, isn't he?

You should come visit us!*

*No strangers, please.

Status Updates

I really like Facebook. I think it is one of the best inventions of our time. I don't like MySpace. I think it is dirty, chaotic, and a cheap imitation of something that is really good.

I signed up for Facebook pretty early on- as soon as BYU was added to it- back before anyone could join. I liked feeling like I was in some sort of club. I liked finding my old high school friends, and I liked connecting with my BYU folks too. It is a really great way to keep up with oodles of people.

I like to see people's status updates, but I am a bit crazy about those. You see, I think you should only update your status if you are doing something really cool. Or really funny. Or really important. Status updates like "NAME is working." Make me want to vomit. I don't care that you are working. Now if you said, "NAME is in Tokyo." Well, that would be cool. I want to know that you are in Tokyo. I don't so much care that you are going to work. We all go to work. That is what we do.

Just to give you an idea- here are the 26 most recent status updates of my friends, followed by my commentary. Names have been changed.

A thinks it is all about time utilization!!!
B is well aware that love is in the air. Must be springtime.
C is ready to have a BABY--18 days and counting.
D tomorros is the day... :)
E is on level 18 of the numbrosia.com game with 810 points.
F is watching oreo and nickel fight! eek!
G can't wait til Camping in MOAB.
H wishes it were 2 days, 13 hours, 52 minutes already.
I finally has internet again.
J is need everyones phone numbers..her cell phone finally died :(.
K is over analyzing.. what am I a grownup or something?
L feels like a million bucks :)
M Arthur unplugged - 40 Day Fast http://tinyurl.com/3a6fpk
N likes watching Dr. House solve medical mysteries!
O is suffering from heartburn..... that mavs game was too intense for me.. i'm getting old
P is pretty sure EVERYONE in Irealand is named Seamus
Q is doing wedding plans.
R is playing the flute wide-eyed for Sarah D.
S wishes this week was over.
T is blue. Goodbye, Arthur C. Clarke.
U is finding Facebook to be boring.
V thinks that if your life is miserable you should change it.
W is studying on her lawn because she is locked out of her house and doesn't want to climb through the window...so if you're lookin to party...
X has started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Y is making ready for baby!!
Z is excited that I get to go on a date tonight with my husband!!

I guess so many things are just completely uninteresting to me because I don't get to see these people on a daily (or even annual, for that matter) basis, so I'm not really interested in their day-to-day lives. I'd like to know about cool trips, big changes (like marriage and babies), funny tidbits. But most stuff just doesn't interest me.

And grammar. ::sigh:: I just don't think there's anything to be done.

Except! When you type in the box, it says "Sherry ____________" and you are expected to fill in the rest. Obviously. Then it will show on all your friends whatever you've just typed. My #1 pet peeve is that what Z did above. People do it all the time. The sentence starts in third person and ends in first person. Drives. Me. Crazy. Z should have said, "Z is excited that she gets to go on a date tonight with her husband!!" A simple concept. Am I the only one who has noticed this?

18 March 2008


After Eric's first day of classes, he went to the pub with his classmates. Of course, he did not order an alcoholic beverage. He just went to hang out with his classmates and get to know them better.

But he came home with reports from the pub. For instance, it cost him about $3 just to have a soda. $3!!!! And a beer? Like $6.

Since then I've started paying attention to prices for alcoholic beverages, and they are so expensive! The students at the University of Otago are known for being hard-core drinkers, and it just boggles my mind. How can they afford to consume such expensive drinks?

It also got me thinking about how much I'd be willing to spend to get totally wasted. It would depend, primarily, upon the state of my life. If it'd had been a really terrible week, I think I'd spend a little bit more to drown my sorrows.

I've come to the conclusion that I'd spend about $15 to get drunk on a week-to-week basis. If it were a bad week, I might be willing to spend $30-$45.

Honestly, I don't know how much it would take to get me drunk. But rest assured, if I couldn't do it in two beers, it would just not be worth it for me. And I'm not talking about a little buzz. I'd want to be totally hammered for my $15. Otherwise, totally not worth it, because really, folks, the smell of beer makes me want to vomit. I'm sure the taste can't be too magnificent.

Really, though. I just don't understand how students can blow so much money on something to drink, evenings they can't remember and killer hang-overs.

17 March 2008

Best News All Day

Janssen's always running around blogging about all the money she saves. Well, take this, Janssen:

I took out a small loan to pay for school my freshman year. According to the terms of the loan, interest would not accrue until six months after I finished school. That six months ended at the end of February. I paid down about half the loan in December and then paid the rest about a week before we moved to Dunedin.

Last week when I was in Australia, my co-worker brought me some mail from Eric's parents' house (among other things), and in it was a letter from my loan authority that said my payment could not be applied to the account because they were unable to locate the bank account. I was pretty frustrated. I mean, now I'd accrued like $30 in interest! And that's $30 I could spend at a mediocre Mexican restaurant in Dunedin!

I went online to make the payment and basically free myself of the loan, but the screen said my balance was $00.00. What? So I called, and I talked to a really wonderful guy in the office and explained to him the situation.

And you know what he told me? The loan authority randomly picks people who pay their bills on time and forgives them the balance of their loan. And I was selected.

That's right. My loan office just paid my balance of $634! And all I had to do was type my bank account incorrectly.

Now, what to do with that money?

15 March 2008

Michelle's Footraces

Michelle (Eric's sister) is a fast runner, and we've gotten to watch her race a few times. Usually we would try to watch her if she was running in Provo, and once we got to see her run in San Diego. She has been to nationals a few times, but we've never been able to go, even though we've really wanted to.

This weekend she ran in the 2008 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetville, Arkansas. Fortunately for us, the University of Arkansas broadcast the events live! So, on our Saturday and her Friday, we watched her run in the preliminary 1600m race where she qualified to race in the final with nine other girls.

We also got to see her run in the distance medley with her teammates.

But the most exciting part was watching her race in the finals. We had to go late to church to watch her, but it was totally worth it. We were so excited to be able to watch her race live, and we wish she could have heard our cheers for her!

Way to go, Michelle!

14 March 2008

Cafe Del Sol

Last night we went to a Mexican restaurant in town. Honestly, we weren't expecting much because, after all this city, even this whole country for that matter, is not full of Mexicans like the U.S. But, we both really love Mexican food and thought we'd give it a shot.

We were immediately worried when we didn't get any chips and salsa. None. Perhaps you have to pay for it.

I got a little more concerned when Eric told the waitress he would like "Enchiladas Rojos" because it should have been called "Enchiladas RojAS." But, okay, I could deal with that because it's just a typo. No big deal.

And then I realized that most dishes only came with rice. Beans cost extra money. WHAT?

And THEN! They brought our food out. The rice? White, steam rice. Just plain steamed rice.

With all that said, the food was really quite good. Just not Mexican.

It kind of reminded me of my friend who ate at a Chinese restaurant in the middle of a Native American reservation. Sometimes our cravings for ethnic food just can't be met the way we'd like.

13 March 2008

Australia Trip

Well, I’m back from my trip to the land down under, which, from my perspective is actually the land up above. Well, really, the land west above. But you get the idea. I’m back, and I’m eager to report on my business trip.

For whatever reason, the person who booked our flights was unable to get me a flight to Adelaide without some sort of overnight layover for me, which was rather annoying since it added a night to my journey, but alas. So, I flew to Aukland on Tuesday night. After a bit of confusion (like calling a hotel and asking them to come get me since I had just arrived, but the clerk said I didn’t have a reservation at that hotel, and I was completely perplexed and worried about what I was going to do since the domestic terminal in the airport actually closes! But then I realized I had called the wrong hotel. And this was the longest parenthetical explanation ever!) I arrived safely at my hotel outside of Aukland. I travelled there via a taxi, and I had a nice chat with the Samoan taxi driver. About seven hours later, I left the hotel to catch my flight to Adelaide.

At the airport in Adelaide I saw my old roommate’s doppelganger. (Thanks for the word, Allison.) This girl looked exactly like my old roommate, Priscilla. I can’t tell you how confused I was when I saw her at the counter. All I could think was, “But Priscilla lives in Canada, not Aukland! And why won’t she say hello to me? Surely she has seen and recognized me!” It even crossed my mind that perhaps Priscilla had witnessed a mob-sponsored crime in Canada and was in the witness protection program, and that was why she couldn’t say hello to me.

The flight to Adelaide was about five hours, and I really wasn’t expecting such a long flight. I got to see August Rush on the plane, and it was not very good. Extraordinarily contrived and predictable. I could go for the theme of the mother missing her child, but the idea of a one-night stand producing that sort of longing and affection in a couple was completely ridiculous. Also, I find Robin Williams pretty annoying these days.

After I met my co-workers at the airport we headed to our hotel where we caught up on a bit of rest, and then we went to dinner with our Australian business partner, Alan, and his wife, Anthea. I had a delightful seafood dish. I love red snapper!

On Thursday we met with Alan for about seven hours. It was one of the longest days in the entire world. Also, we tried to find breakfast at the “deli” next door to Alan’s office, and that is where I had the worst donut of my life. Just awful. That night we ate at a Thai restaurant, and I was rather disappointed with my food there as well.

On Friday we had our first presentation at the South Australia State Library. The presentation went quite well, but we decided to revamp it for future presentations, once we had a better idea about our audience and what they were hoping to learn from our presentation.

That night we had a nice picnic dinner with Alan and his family. It was great to get to know them a little better and to relax in the warm Adelaide evening.

On Saturday we flew to Sydney. We arrived there a little before noon. After we dropped off our luggage at the hotel, we hit the tourist sites. We took a ferry ride over to Manly Beach, and we spent a little bit of time swimming in the ocean. I got a little bit sunburned, but not badly enough to peel. On the ferry ride (both ways) we made sure to take lots of photos of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and of course, the Sydney Opera House. The harbour there is really beautiful, and I hope to have time in the future to go back and spend more time. Sydney has a great transportation system, and you can ride all the ferries, buses and trains (within the inner city limits) for only $16 per day. It’s really a cheap way to get around- much cheaper than renting a car.

That night we went to The Rocks, which is an older part of the city that has been kept up quite nicely. We ate at a little Italian place, and then we headed back to our hotel.

The following day we went to the Hyde Park Branch in Sydney. It was an interesting mixture of people, with oodles of missionaries and tourists. In fact, I would say the branch is comprised mostly of tourists and missionaries. But, you know, the Church is true everywhere, so we had great lessons and great speakers.

That night Alan flew into Sydney, so we met up with him and grabbed a bite to eat at Darling Harbour, which was just a short walk from our hotel. We were glad that Alan suggested we go there because the environment was just lovely, and we would have completely missed were it not for Alan. For dinner, I ate a filet of barramundi fish, which reminded me a lot of Tilapia. My colleague, Jonathan, had kangaroo, and he let me have a bite. I didn’t care for it, and I was glad I didn’t order it.

On Monday we gave our second presentation. We had completely revamped it based on the feedback (or lack thereof) and questions from our presentation in Adelaide. Our group was very talkative and responsive, and we felt like we got a lot of our questions answered and a lot of feedback, which is really what we were going for.

After the presentation and our little follow-up meetings we had a bit of time to sit and chat with the locals about kangaroos, koalas and opossums. One lady that worked at the society library said a parton came in once refusing to put her bags in the lockers. When questioned, she told them she had a joey in her bag that she was taking care of because the mother had been hit by a car. So, the society librarian let her hang the bag on the back of the door in her office. Mostly the joey just slept in the bottom of the bag, but he would pop his head out every time the phone rang.

They also told us about what a nuisance opossums are- how much they smell, how territorial they are, how they burrow into your attic and such. And because opossums are protected in Australia, people aren’t allowed to remove them from their nesting sites.

After that and yet another meeting, we started our drive to Canberra. Ordinarily that is only about a three-hour drive, but because of traffic it took us about four hours to get to Canberra.

Alan’s distant cousin is the wife of the Finnish Ambassador to Australia, so Alan had arranged for us to meet with them and eat dinner with them. I was a bit out of the loop in the planning of this trip, so I really didn’t understand what this dinner was all about, where it would be or what to expect in general.

As it turns out, we were simply invited to come eat with the Ambassador and his wife in their home. All growing up my mom told me that I needed to have good table manners in case I ever got invited to eat dinner at the White House. I doubt I will ever do that, but I think my dinner at the Ambassador’s house was as close as I’ll ever get.

Seriously. This was a top-notch, multi-course, multi-fork meal. With servants. (What do we call them these days? The meal was the best I ate in Australia. Just terrific! And the conversation was very interesting. As you might expect, the Ambassador and his wife have done quite a bit of travelling, so they have some very interesting perspectives on various parts of the world and politics.

We spent that night in a hotel in Canberra, and the next day we gave our presentation at the National Library in Canberra. It was our smallest group, but they were very interactive and helpful. Following our presentation and lunch with them we headed to the national archives to meet with somebody there. After that we had about an hour to kill before we needed to catch our flight, so we drove around for a bit looking at the embassies and ambassador homes. Then we went to the War Memorial. It is actually a war memorial and a museum, and it was the main highlight in Canberra, which is a capital city without much going on. I’d really like to go back to the War Memorial with Eric and spend some more time in the displays and galleries.

After that, we went to the Canberra airport to catch our flight to Melbourne. From our flight we went straight to our hotel to rest. Yvette and I ordered in for dinner that night because we were just too tired to wander around town to find something. The next day we gave our presentation to our most lively and interactive group of the four. We really appreciated all their kind comments and suggestions. After our presentation, we ate lunch with many of them, and then followed up with small meetings with about four different associations and groups.

That night the four of us grabbed dinner, then I went out with Yvette to see the town a bit more and to help her find trinkets to take back to her kids.

On Thursday we headed to the Melbourne airport to catch our respective flights. I was really pleased that my whole journey would be only about 8 hours, whereas Yvette and Jonathan would need to travel for more than 24 hours to get home. AND they’d have to go back to snow, but I’d get to get to my sunny flat on Tweed Street.

07 March 2008


I'm in Adelaide, but tomorrow I'm going Sydney. We haven't had any time to do anything touristy here. At all. Not any at all.

But hopefully we'll have time to see and do some cool things in Sydney. I'll definitely post any cool pictures I have. Right now I only have pictures of myself giving my presentation, and that's kind of boring.

I'm so tired. So, so tired! Business travel is not as fun as I had hoped.

01 March 2008

Garage Saling and Our Branch

Today I went garage saling with some folks in my branch. It was fun!

Kiwis do garage sales in their garages, not on the lawns. That is because the weather here can be quite rainy, so they never plan on holding the sale outside. It also makes for some pretty cramped shopping.

Nonetheless, I prevailed in my shopping endeavors and came home with a $3 iron and $4 crockpot. Hooray!

Also, I am not very good at bargaining. I mean, I really have to work hard to make my self not just pay what is on the sticker. In fact, I often feel like it's rude to barter, even though I know that it is expected of me. That is, when the iron says $5, I feel as though I'm suggesting the iron is perhaps worth less than $5. Makes me feel just awful asking if they'll take my price instead of the one listed. But! I did barter, and I didn't pay sticker prices. Because really, who does that?


And on a mostly unrelated note, I would just like to put a plug in for the Mornington Branch. Because, we have only been to church twice so far, and we already have friends that we have hung out with!

This is mainly of importance because in one particular ward, which we attended for quite some time, we never really made friends, despite our attempts to do so. It was actually very frustrating for me because I felt like the folks in the ward who owned houses (as opposed to those of us who were renting) felt like they shouldn't even bother to get to know us because we wouldn't be there very long. Well, as it turns out, we were there for over a year, which for us is a long time. And those old-timers missed an opportunity to get to know us. So, really, they blew it. Really, though, I was extremely relieved to move out of that ward because it meant I wouldn't have to come home from church feeling so utterly uncared about.


But in the Mornington Branch, people think, "Wow! A year to get to know you, we better make the most of it!" I hope that one day if I am in a transient ward/branch I will be like the folks in Mornington, and not like those other folks.