Brisbane, Rockhampton, and Great Keppel Island Pictures

Babies, I am still sick and it still sucks. Today the dryer repairman came to fix…well, to fix our dryer…and he was all “So why are you home from work today?” and I was all “Uh, I’m between jobs at the moment and trying to get a new visa” and he was like “At least we don’t call you aliens” and I was like “If you could see the contents of that tissue I just threw away you might rethink that position.”

Tonight’s few pictures are from a in-between couple of days I had in Queensland, between Sydney and the wallaby project, about which I will post tomorrow in between blowing my nose and coughing up my lungs and generally cursing my fate. I only spent a couple of days in Brisbane, which was a perfectly nice city from what I could tell, which wasn’t much as I mostly spend it walking around getting lost and stopping for cones of gelato and getting a truly awesome necklace at the Fortitude Valley weekend market which I would totally post a picture of myself wearing if I hadn’t broken not one but two cameras in the last couple of weeks. As it is, these are the only two reminders of the city I have:

Never Survive

I just don’t understand what this ad is even about, you know? What does it mean? Who are these “lickers?” I am so confused.

God Save Us

This one was at the same market where I got that awesome necklace…which maybe it’s better you don’t see because you would be jealous and it is one-of-a-kind and you can’t have it though of course if you have some sort of occasion where you need to look super hot and have multiple makeouts then maybe we could work out some sort of necklace-sharing deal…and makes me think of the numerous comments I got re: my nationality while I was in Australia, the kind I don’t get here anymore since my being American is no longer the most important thing that most people know about me. The best and worst thing about being an American traveling abroad, I am discovering, is that the standards for your behavior are depressingly, yet easily-attainably, low. Have an opinion about extra-virgin olive oil, speak an extra language or two, read a six-hundred page novel in a week, or exhibit any sort of knowledge about any other area of the world (“They have good cheese in France,” or “Iraq is in the Middle East,” or “John Howard is an unassailably hedgehog of a prime minister”) and people exchange happily surprised looks. “Oh!” they gush. “I’ve never met an American who seems…so normal.” You become very popular for no reason at all. I try to take comments like this in the complimentary spirit in which I assume they’re intended (usually managing to mention that the vast majority of my friends and family have passports, thanks very much) but I did have to laugh when I saw this shirt.


Although you know what? Maybe I shouldn’t be so smug about my apparently normality on the international scale, because I was pretty stumped as to what these languages were on one of my insanely early inter-Australia flights.

From Brisbane I went to Rockhampton, Beef Capital Of Australia, where I was supposed to meet the people from the wallaby project. I enjoyed these parrots taking a bath at the zoo there.

Parrot Fountain

As well as the knowledge that, if push came to shove, I could just lease a bull and not have to commit to buying one outright.


Otherwise Rockhampton didn’t have too much to beguile me…as I was to learn eleven days later when I had to spend eighteen hours there before catching my midnight train to Innisfail, having left the project early. Of course, I didn’t know that then, and when making my travel arrangements I’d left myself a whole day and night there before I was supposed to meet up with the project people. Fortunately for me I heard about a cool hostel on the beautiful Great Keppel Island and so I took a bus and a ferry and had a lovely day on the beach there.

Low Tide

I’d meant to go snorkeling but the water was a little cold and I was a little tired and I ended up spending about two hours just walking along the beach and taking photos for a series I like to call “Pictures Of Marine Invertebrates And My Feet.”

Sea Star

Echinoderms are an old love of mine and I was very glad to see so many on the sands at low tide, cruising along on their pseudopods, striking terror into the heart of clams, not a care in the world.

Sea Snail

(This one is actually of my fingers, for you nit-pickers out there, but you get the idea, and isn’t that a nice sea snail, anyway?)

Hermit Crab Pedicure

For some reason I just think it looks like the hermit crab is about to give me a pedicure (of which, obviously, I am in sore need) and now that I’ve had that thought I can’t stop thinking about how awesome it would be to go to some sort of Undersea Spa for all your salon needs. Hermit crab does the pedi, cleaner wrasse whitens your teeth, sand dollar—because it looks like it would be a good exfoliator, don’t you think?—is in charge of the facial and obviously the octopus does the haircut because it would be able to simultaneously hold the scissors and the diffuser and the foils and the paintbrush or whatever and it could also get you a cappuccino if you wanted and could hand you the latest bitchy celebrity magazine all at onceand when you said you were thinking about dying your hair, for the first time in your young and tender life, a nice rich dark eggplant, it could immediately change color and go “Like this?” and you’d go “Yeah, but does that look too flat?” and then it could change color again and says “You could throw in a few lowlights like this, just for some definition,” and that would be pretty much the best salon ever.

Moving on from my various aquatic fever dreams, here is a nice picture of some perfectly round mudballs made by the crab burrowing in the sand under there. These were all over the beach and made very awesome weird fractal patterns and also felt good under your feet when you stepped on them. I saw a lot of these at the beach at the Daintree Rainforest, too.

Crab Condo

I was pretty tired after all this nature photography so I immediately found a little stone outcrop looking over the beach and laid out my towel and took the most deliciously satisfying nap, right under this beautiful tree.

Tree, Sky, Clouds

On The Ferry From Great Keppel Island

I wish I’d been able to stay on the island longer, man, because it was just so cool and chill and homey and lovely. There were wallabies to wrangle, though, so the next day I got back on the ferry and made it back to Rockhampton.

Second Best

Not without spending some time, of course, earnestly pondering what the first best thing might be.


  1. OMG I have seen that van in Wellington!

    Or its twin, anyway.

    And I want a Maxibon.

    All those photos are too much awesome, and I must stop saying that and say something more intelligent or nothing at all to these posts, because this is the internet and people might, you know, readthis.

    That perfect sea-creature salon needs to be published in some form and make you lots of money so you can continue to be a LOL (and you know what I mean).

  2. Did your earnest pondering on the 1st best use of lips come to any sort of conclusion? Or were the conclusions of such staggering profundity (is that a word!?) that you cannot possibly divulge the whole terrible truth….

    BTW did you ever find out about “the lickers”- if nothing else they seem to have found notoriety within the advertising community due to usage of the tongue… If anything was worth following up on – this is it!!!

  3. Octopus salon = awesome.

    BTW–been eating my MILs Klondike bars and for sure, the lickers are *screwed*. You have to bite it or wear it (and don’t think I don’t want *that* on a t-shirt.)

  4. Not a care in the world! You have more charm in your un-polished toes than most people -American or otherwise- have if you imagine it accumulated throughout their lives. And, you’re HAWT. And THMRT. Really THMRT. I miss you, girl.

    (And I totally want a bite it or wear it shirt, Renee. Let me know when they’re on the market. Not sure what the second entendre is, but don’t think I care.)

  5. PS You crack me UP.

  6. Strange, I saw a van by the same company while I was in Queenstown! It said “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail” and I thought it said “everything looks like anal” and so it was good for all sorts of other reasons