Thursday, March 31, 2011


I give you........................


~ FroBuzz ~

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pics of the ML

Well, we're moving. Don't know the new address yet but we are definitely moving. So, before we head out of the ML forever (after 5 weeks of living here) I present to you..... da da da duh duh da DAH! Pictures of our ML. Once we get set up in the new place, I plan to decorate and transmit pictures of my HGTV skills but I didn't really have a chance to decorate the ML so these are pretty plain jane pictures. Enjoy!

Lounge room - the ML came equipped with everything you see here - yes, even the carpet was included (but not the laptop)

Another view of lounge room - stylish loveseat, mirror and floral pillows were part of the deal

If stand right up against the stove- I can put my foot against the opposite wall without straightening my leg. Did that makes sense? Read: it's small

For some reason I think I'm attracted to grey and orange bedding. We received orange and grey bedding from my aunt and uncle as a shower gift also (their gift is way way nice than what we have here). Check out our handy storage underneath the bed - the closet are next to the night stand on this side of the picture.


Will post pictures of the new joint once we get settled in - not sure what I'll name it. I doubt it will have as much character as the ML.

~ FroBuzz ~

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Melbourne Nights!

We went to our first social event in Melbourne - Kristy, one of the animal production students, and her partner Ryan just purchased the penthouse in their building and invited a bunch of people over to celebrate.  We live about 5k (3 miles) from the party and don't have a vehicle yet so it took us awhile to walk there. We had also forgotten to buy grog (booze) before leaving so we were on the lookout for a liquor store. We found one about 2 blocks from Kristy's house and look what they make here!

Ah, so smooth and tasty. The party was a ton of fun and Kristy and Ryan's new apartment was great. We had a blast meeting some new Aussie friends and hope to meet some more in the future!

~ FroBuzz~


Maybe it's because I'm in a city of 3.5 million but grew up in a town of 350. Or maybe it's just because there is some weird crap going on in Melbourne, but the other day I witnessed 'chroming'. Vickey, Maree, Sarah and I were out shopping in the suburbs picking up some shelving and Costco necessities when I saw a guy wearing a miniskirt and wedge flip flops and he had blue paint all over his face. He was carrying a plastic grocery bag and looked like he was cracked out.

I stared with my mouth wide open as he walked past (rude, yes) while the other three laughed at me.  Apparently, inhaling spray paint out of a plastic bag is the new rad way to get high - it also makes your face the color of your choice of paint. Freakin' crazy. He was walking down the street doing this. Ah, the sights of city life.  Does this happen other places or am I just that sheltered?

~ FroBuzz ~

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lessons Learned

and they sure run deep. They don't go away and they don't come cheap. Oh Tracy Lawrence, you speak the truth.

We've been here in Australia for a whole month and boy howdy, have we learned a lot! Indulge yourselves in our mistakes, triumphs, bloopers and lessons of living in Melbourne for a whole month.

1. Everything is more expensive - get used to it.
2. Australian's live a more laid back life and are more care free.
3. Walking is part of life - suck it up and buy some Nike's.
4. Public transport is not un-masterable.
5. Bread will mold if not consumed or frozen within 3 or 4 days (preservatives are useful).
6. White cheese is not necessarily mozzarella.
7. Not having a Wal-Mart every 20 miles forces you to visit produce markets which in turn causes you to fill your fridge with fresh produce which is DELICIOUS.
8. You should research tenancy laws before moving to a new country.
9. 'Evaporative cooler' is NOT an air conditioner.

and perhaps the most important lesson (which is bittersweet) is:
10. Being totally dependent on one another can be a great situation even though it is exasperating at times - it causes you to grow and strengthens your bond as a couple.

Although we have learned a lot in the little time we've been here, I'm positive more epic life lessons are on their way.

~ FroBuzz ~

A New Chapter

Hi FroBuzz fans (or non-fans, whatever you wish. Even if you aren't our fans, thanks for reading).

So HUGE, GIGANTIC announcement - we're starting a new chapter in our lives and that chapter is called
Moving to a New Apartment Because Our Landlord is a Crook

Sounds like a page-turner dudn't it? In short, our landlord was illegally subleasing her apartment to us - doesn't sad too bad except she was charging us $300 more/month than she was paying to the realtor. Whoops.

So, she is being evicted and taking all the furnishings from our furnished apartment - leaving us with the stuff we lugged over the Pacific, a borrowed dryer and sofa from Fahri, towels, a clock and some groceries. Life's possessions in one sentence - mildly pathetic.

We think we're moving to the college where Hyatt and I tute! It's on campus and the rent is cheap and includes meals because face it, we eat like horses. Please don't mail us anything in the near future until we are definitely sure of our new address. I know, I know - you're dying to send us DVD's, post -it's, crystal light and mac n' cheese but you'll have to wait until we get settled in to our new place.

Talk to you all soon - hope life is treating you well in the states!

~ FroBuzz ~

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


So I finally have a job - well, actually I have 2. And so does Hyatt. Yay, us!

I will be working part-time as a research assistant with the animal production group. This is the same group Hyatt is in so we'll get to work together a lot which is nice because I kinda like him. Hyatt has also started tuteing with me on Thursday nights at St. Hilda's college AND he gets to wear a robe too!

In addition to all this - work on my thesis is starting to pick up. I turn in a revised chapter next week and from here on out hopefully I'll be submitting something every 2 weeks. I'll be a Master in no time!

~ FroBuzz ~

p.s. I'm trying to get Hyatt to write a post but he needs some encouragement. This is where you come in - go clutter his facebook wall. Please.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What did we do this weekend?

Answer: nothing much

Saturday we slept in and missed the Ohio State game (gasp!) so we went to the mall and I got a computer bag while Hyatt tried to find us a better deal on internet usage (unsuccessful).

Saturday night we went to the pokey (casino) and had a good time losing money at the $5 blackjack table.  We didn't lose a lot but that's beside the point.

Sunday I cried as my Wildcats and Jacob Pullen played their hearts out only to be defeated by Wisconsin. Stupid Cheeseheads.

Hyatt went to church at 7 pm as I wasn't feeling well.

The End. Seriously, that was our weekend.

~ FroBuzz ~

Friday, March 18, 2011

Upgrading the ML

A few days ago, courtesy of our awesome friend Fahri, we got a dryer!  And this is good news for us because folks, let's get something straight, doing laundry is really freakin' expensive.

Allow me to explain:
Close your eyes and imagine you're in Melbourne at a laundromat with me. We're doing a weeks worth of laundry so about 4 loads (conservatively). Let's do some math:

Washing $4/load --> 4 loads = $16
Drying $1 = 10 minutes. 30 minutes to dry 1 load= $3 x 4 loads = $12

Total cost of 1 load = $7 x 4 loads = $28 on laundry per week

So the fact that we have a dryer is exponentially awesome because we're going to save close to $50/month! Granted, our electricity bill will increase but certainly not by $50 a month.

Here is our beautiful new addition. Resting cozily on our fridge

And now it's time for my happy dance....


Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Tute-ing Experience

"My name is Brandi Buzzard. You can call me "Brandi" or "Buzzard" but you may NOT call me "ma'am" or "Mrs. Buzzard"." Capice?

Previously, in the drama of FroBuzz, I mentioned that I was hoping to get a job tutoring (or as Aussie's put it tuteing - seriously, no joke) for a few classes. Well, this week I started tuteing two classes and the introduction above is what I said to my first tute session. I will be tutoring Food For a Healthy Planet which talks about basic nutrition, where food comes from, the people who grow it and agriculture's role on the environment. Basically, this class was right up my alley and very similar to the type of information I post on Buzzard's Beat and Food For Thought. The other class, Water for Sustainable Futures, misled me a bit. The course description gives 'hint' that Australian water issues will be discussed but so far, in the six lectures, Australia water issues have been the ONLY topic. Crap.

So, Monday I walked to St. Hilda's College where I will be tuteing for the whole semester. I arrive shortly before dinner which is complimentary for tutes. I immediately am asked to don a robe like this one that I will wear to dinner. I, along with other tutes, the Vice Principal and some professors, will be seated at the High Table for dinner.

After dressing in the proper attire, we strolled into the dining hall while all the students stood up for us like we were royalty. We sat down at the High Table and looked out over the lowly subjects, I mean students. Ha.

After dinner - which was lamb, yum *sarcasm* - and dessert - which was delicious panna cotta - I headed to my tute room to mold some young minds.

Or should I say mind? Because only one student showed up - yeah, one. He was very friendly but seemed appalled that an American was tutoring him about Australian water laws. Yeah, I'm with you dude. But the hour did go by rather quickly and his facial expressions led me to believe that I was at least making some sense. I'll be attending every lecture from here until the end of the semester so that I am caught up on water issues on the world's driest continent. I'm hoping that I'll get good tute reviews.


(not) Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

So we kind of forgot to celebrate -- we did remember to wear green though. See?


Look how festive Hyatt is: he has a leprechaun on his shirt. Over achiever.

In other news: Happy Birthday to my amazing Grandma Pat today! Love her so much and miss all of our families back home in the States.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hoops Showdown

So there is some competition brewing in the ML. March Madness is upon us and Hyatt and I are having our own bracket challenge over here in Melbourne.

We each filled out our brackets (mine is better) and compared them - you can look at mine on Facebook if you want. If Hyatt wins I have to cook him dinner AND do the dishes for two whole weeks. (Usually whoever cooks gets immunity from doing the dishes).

but.... WHEN I WIN I get these :)

You're all welcome to enter your brackets and join in but unfortunately, you won't be privy to any of our prizes if you win. Tsk, tsk - should have come to Melbourne with us.

Go Cats!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Weekend in Adelaide

This past wekeend, we traveled to Adelaide to attend a Fulbright recognition dinner and visit some friends we made on our honeymoon. Adelaide is in Southern Australia which is west of Melbourne (Melbourne is in Victoria).

We took the train from Melbourne to Victoria - a relaxing 10 hour ride across beautiful landscape. This is what we saw for the entirety of the trip

Sheep and grass.  I'm beginning to think cattle and hogs are hated because we haven't seen hardly any.

The dinner was to start at 6:30 and if all went well, (do you see what's coming?) we would arrive at 5:45 (if you do the math, the train left at 8 - meaning I had to get up at 5:30 to take the 40 minute train ride there so we could be at the station early) and have plenty of time to get to the hall.  Unfortunately, it has been raining quite a bit here in Melbourne and our train was delayed by about 30 minutes. Apparently if it's raining the signal lights don't work well or something like that. Absurd. When we finally arrive to Adelaide, all dolled up (straightened and poofed hair, did makeup and got dressed in train bathroom - yeah me) it's about 6:15. Thankfully Fred, one of our friends from Fiji, was there to pick us up and rush us to the dinner. Turns out, 6:30 was the start of cocktail hour. Yay!

The Fulbright Commission is a very big deal in Australia - the Governor and some other heads of state attended and all of the Australian Fulbright winners were announce and recognized. Hyatt wasn't, because he's American but we had fun all the same.  The food was really, really good and we met some really nice people. Fred picked us up from dinner and took us to his house where we got see his wife Josie and meet his daughter Daniella.  We were exhausted from our trip so we sacked out immediately.

Hyatt had another Fulbright function to attend on Friday morning so I spent the day at the Rundle Mall.  Over 1000 shops and boutiques - I had a blast. Didn't really buy much because clothes, like everything else, are ungodly expensive and not much was on sale.  I did get three cardigans because I'm hoping that God will answer my prayers and eventually usher autumn and fall in to Victoria. Also found these boots

but sadly, they were $240 so I didn't get them :(  Maybe I'll get a job on the side. Oh wait, I'm still working on the first job issue.

When Hyatt was finished with his event, we went to the Botanical gardens in Adelaide.  Adelaide has a lot of parks and things and is smaller than Melbourne - which is really nice because Melbourne has a lot of concrete and is really big. The Botanical gardens were really nice - lots of different types of trees and some cool lily pad rooms.

Friday night, we got to meet up with the rest of the clan from Fiji (Paul, Rosie, Ana and Ralph) for dinner at Red Chili.  It's a Thai food restaurant and I can honestly say it is one of the best meals I've had since we've been here, second only to Fahri's cookout at Dookie.

Saturday, Hyatt went to work with Fred who owns and operates Just Commodore Spares in Adelaide. While he was having fun working and learning about cars - I went with Daniella and Josie to Glenelg for some shopping and to see the beach. Clothes were still expensive but look how pretty the beach is!

Saturday night, Daniella and her boyfriend Daniel (cute huh?) took us to the pokey (casino) and also to a club. Hyatt and I had never been to a fancy club before and Danielle told me I wasn't allowed to wear jeans so this is what I ended up in

and these are the hot shoes I wore for about 5 minutes before giving up and taking them off

We had a great time in Adelaide - it was very pretty and it was great to see our friends. We are considering going back for Easter to visit again. Thanks to the Sarti's for a wonderful weekend and for being great hosts!

~ FroBuzz ~

Monday, March 14, 2011


So, ya know how in the states, KFC is kind of looked upon as the red-headed stepchild fast food chain? A last resort if there is no McD's, Burger King or Wendy's for miles around - not the case. The Aussies like their fried chicken, a lot.

Hyatt and I haven't eaten out a lot but when we do we try to eat places that we don't have in the states. Branching out our tastes I guess, but sometimes you just need some grease. Voila - KFC. 

Thank Colonel, for expanding to this large island. It was awesome. Bravo.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Visit to Dookie

The town's name is Dookie and it's one of the ag campuses associated with the Uni. We got up super early on Sunday morning (6:30) and drove 2 1/2 hours to the Dookie campus sheep and dairy units. Fahri was doing some heat stress evaluations in dairy cattle on Sunday afternoon and Monday and Tuesday were to be devoted to a project evaluating heat stress in sheep.

We got a tour of the Dookie campus - it's out in the country and really pretty. Even saw some kangaroos - but we didn't have the good camera so no pictures, sorry. I can tell you that they are HUGE and will knock you on your butt if you mess with them. The kangaroos here are eastern grey kangaroos - apparently there are 3 or 4 different kinds (red, grey, east, west etc). While at Dookie they hooked us up with some nice dorms which included single bedrooms (Hyatt made me pull my bed into his room. how sweet) and CABLE. We watched ridiculous amounts of Big Bang Theory on Sunday night.

After Fahri finished his cattle work we had a barbee picnic (barbee means BBQ).  Meat only. Not kidding - we had chicken, lamb, kangaroo (I didn't try it but Hyatt said it was ok) and beef. It was all extremely, extremely delicious. I'm  not sure I've ever eaten that much meat in one sitting in my life.

Monday and Tuesday called for a lot of sheep handling work. Hyatt and I were helping evaluate the effect of heat stress on glucose challenged sheep being fed chromium diets. Hyatt helped cannulate the sheep so we could draw blood samples (btw, for you science-y people, cannulate and catheterize are synonymous here). We drew blood samples all day Monday and Tuesday morning - it was really nice for us to be around animals and out in the country again after so much time in the city.

We met some more graduate students and research assistants - all of which were very nice. New friend Vicky promises to take us out on the town sometime next week. We both need a fun night and a few drinks :)

~ FroBuzz ~

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Channeling the U.S.

Been missing home a lot so had some good ole fried pork cutlets (schnitzel to Aussies) and sweet corn to ease the heartache. Oh and some delicious whole milk.

One of our most recent purchases was a popcorn machine. Microwave popcorn is extraordinarily expensive here ($4.00 for two packets) so we bought some seeds and this lovely machine.

Please take note to the brand/style of our popcorn machine:

Yep - Spongebob Squarepants has taken up residence in the ML

Update coming on our trip to the farm this weekend.

~ FroBuzz ~

Friday, March 4, 2011

Visiting the Uni and Employment

Hyatt and I recently met the professor he'll be studying with here, Dr. Frank Dunshea, and some other great people at the Uni (University of Melbourne). Catherine, Frank's executive asst., was kind enough to take us to K-Mart to buy an ironing board (Hyatt likes his starched shirts) and showed us around more of Melbourne. We got the grand tour of campus, the animal holding facilities and Hyatt's graduate office where we met some of his office mates (another Ohio State grad is studying here).  Everyone was super friendly including post-doc/faculty/jack of all trades, Fahri Fahri. Fahri spent some time showing us the labs and entertaining us with his quick wit and blunt truths about Australia.

Hyatt will be starting his research in the next month or so while things get finalized and worked out.  I'm hoping to do some part-time work the the Animal Welfare Science Centre and Dr. Paul Hemsworth. I may also be tutoring a few courses (that's a post for Buzzard's Beat).  Apparently, I have to earn my keep.

Not much going on lately - getting more and more used to city life. Ha - just kidding. That's a whole novel in itself. We may be going to the zoo this weekend - I have every intent of seeing and possibly stealing a koala. Sunday through Tuesday we are helping Fahri with a sheep heat stress project.  Not a big fan of heat.

~ Buzzard ~

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

They Found Me

In Manhattan, if you park in the wrong space, in the wrong color lot or park over the line a mere 1/2" you get a ticket from the parking 'police' (those of you at K-State know the term I'd like to say, instead of police).

Well, Melbourne has their own version of the parking 'police'. But in Australia, they monitor the trams, trains and buses. They are the Melbourne transport officers and they travel in packs; hunting like wolves for unsuspecting passengers who disobey the transport rules. To add to the spectacle, they wear long black trenchcoats.  They're quite a sight.

Today, I was taking the train into the CBD (central business district) and four 'police' burst through the doors demanding to see everyone's ticket. They hovered over every passenger, poised and ready to write a hefty ticket ($200) to anyone who is trying to get a free ride or forgot to scan their pass. Fortunately, I'd been warned of their presence and practice by our landlord so I escaped their wrath - however, three passengers weren't so lucky. There goes $600 into the pockets of city government officials - wowsa.

~ Buzzard ~

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Legs Hate Me

Ok – as I mentioned earlier, we went to Target (no Wal-Mart’s here) so we could get bedding, towels – and other basic necessities. Prior to this we needed sustenance – having purchased not so much food for quite a lot of money (food is expensive – I’ll explain later) we were starved and could think of nothing better than….McDonald’s.  A ravenous hunger was building for greasy hamburgers and hot, salty French fries.  We set out hoping to find the golden arches. About a mile later we were standing in the air conditioned Mecca. Salt and grease never tasted so good and the only downside was that free refills, well, they’re not free. Damn.

During our long walk to McD’s I asked for directions to a store that sold bedding. A short, incoherent, homeless looking woman gave us ‘directions’ to Bunnings. Mistake number one? Asking her for directions. She said it was ‘quite a bit of a walk’ but we had walked a large amount already and figured it couldn’t hurt. What was mistake number 2? Taking her advice unaware of the consequences. A mere 20 blocks later we arrived at a sporting goods store and asked if we were near Bunnings because we were looking for bedding.  The salesman looked at me, entertained by my obvious foreign accent and utter lack of knowledge of the area, and said “yeah, there is a Bunnings near but you won’t find any bedding there. Target has bedding – blah blah blah directions, directions, more walking, blah blah blah.” The kind man pointed us to Target – only another mile or so walk away.  Are you keeping track of the distance? Because we most certainly weren’t.

Finally arrived at the shopping center that was home to Target after bypassing Bunnings – what is Bunnings you ask? It’s a hardware store – I’m sure they have some lovely bedding. Somewhere.  We found all our supplies: towels, sheets, shampoo and conditioner (way over priced) trashcans and pillows. At 4:45 the lights started to flicker and then we realized the store closed at 5. Hyatt went to pay for everything while I sprinted to the TeleChoice store to get some pre-paid phones. Phones and internet are pay as you go here and service plans are exponentially different and confusing.

Finally left Northland Shopping Center and proceeded to walk the 3 miles back to the ML carrying pillows, towels and electronic staples (phones, internet modem, DVD player)..…in the rain.

The next morning I started searching craigslist for one of these bad boys.

~ Buzzard ~