Celebrating the 4th – Australian style

This post is part of the 31 Days of Writing for July. Click here for my previous posts or click here if you would like to join in.

Day 5: Tell us about your July 4th celebration.

So, obviously, it isn’t day 5. I was going to skip this prompt because, as an Australian, the 4th of July is just another day for me. For some reason though, this year I had two 4th of July/American themed celebrations. Considering it isn’t a day of much significance here that was a bit odd so I figured I’d tell you all about what I did and you can laugh at the stereotypes we have of Americans.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take too many pictures as I didn’t see much use for them – until now – and well, most of the food was deep fried into oblivion. I do wish I’d gotten a photo of the spread at work though, it was quite cute.

So, on Thursday afternoon at work I was telling one of my colleagues how I was going to a 4th of July party on Friday which had, what we consider, American foods. I wasn’t sure why we were doing it but one of my friends has a soft spot for all things American and was hosting the show. He had a full menu sorted for us and there were, seemingly, never ending alcoholic slushies. So, win win. My colleague kind of rolled his eyes and couldn’t work out why we were celebrating another country’s holiday, then 2hrs later my work was hosting a 4th of July afternoon drinks.. coincidence? Considering he arranges these things, I think not.

I was prepared then for endless eating of pizza, burgers and hot dogs.

And that is how the work events started, we could grab a drink and then swarm down on the food. We had mini hotdogs (with ketchup, American mustard – is American mustard, just called mustard in America? – and bacon.. mmm bacon), beef sliders and pepperoni pizza. All of them really well made and the rolls were delicious and surprisingly filling, I had a few and felt fine and then 15mins later thought I was going to explode.

After that I left work, and struggled to walk up to Jarrod’s work (so.. full..) where we were getting a lift out to the party.

We arrived at the party and were promptly handed drinks (our host is good like that) and started snacking on some chips.. probably a bad idea considering the plethora of food to come.

While we waited, we got to watch our chef for the night (sort of) preparing a bunch of things for us, starting off with jalapeño dip which scared me immensely, especially when he also started adding avocado and sour cream.. Funnily enough it tasted pretty mild and decent, all things considered. Meanwhile the slushies flowed, right into our bellies, mmm blue.

We then started on the cheese kransky’s, I’m not sure if this is an american thing or just because we wanted cheese kransky’s, either way. Delicious.

Then came the Frickles, I actually had no idea what a frickle was prior to the party, I sort of wish I didn’t know now. Although I like pickles, I do not like frickles, well not these ones anyway. I don’t even know what I didn’t like about them, just.. no.

Our Frickles looked and tasted like this, which is apparently a good thing

Our Frickles looked and tasted like this, which is apparently a good thing

One of the more interesting things of the night were the deep fried chicken wings. Normally you wouldn’t call a chicken wing interesting, but our host had accidentally used icing sugar instead of flour in his batter so they were quite sweet and unusual.

These were followed up by corn with a nice butter, ribs and more sliders with chipotle fries.. except the fries had paprika in them, which was a sore point for our chef. I barely got through the sliders, they were the best thing of the night too I was just so full by that point I couldn’t eat another thing.

All the while, we watched/listened to a flash back friday music video show (which I was surprisingly good at guessing/remembering the years the songs came out) while drinking, chatting, fighting for the couch (once you get the couch, you basically can’t move, otherwise someone else will steal it) and having a good time. As far as 4th of July is concerned, it was pretty decent.

So, tell me, how did we do in our many courses of American food? Was it sort of accurate, not at all or completely? What did we miss that you’d suggest?

Where did that month go now?

Oh my, it has been an age since I’ve been able to sit in front of a computer and just relax. The only reason I’m doing it right now is that one of my tools has decided to stop working and I can’t work for the second but I’m hoping it comes back soon. I was on a roll!

March was hectic, although it was mainly just work, food, sleep and repeat.

At work we have a leaderboard system and every month the top 3 people on the leaderboard (for that month) get a bonus. This month I strived for 1000 points (each call I take is worth 1 point and each ticket I resolve is 1 point) and… I got it! My highest point was 1031 which was a record for the company. So, they arranged a little surprise for me. I got my bonus ($300, yeah!) and also received a $200 voucher for a massage place called Orchid Essence. TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS! I’ve never, ever had a professional massage before so this is going to be awesome and I might get a thing or two waxed while I’m there… probably just my eyebrows.

And that wasn’t all. I also got a little gift basket of chocolates from my team leader for my effort. So, needless to say I’m feeling pretty good about work right now. For the first time in, well, ever I actually feel appreciated at my work place. Last month 4 managers (at separate times) told me how much they love my work and and happy I’m in the company. It was all kinds of awesome. I’ve never had a CEO tell me I rock before!

I think they were building me up for next week though. One person resigned and his last day was today and another guy went MIA this week. Seriously, incommunicado! It is the strangest thing, they have tried multiple ways of contacting him (including calling his Mum) and nothing. Oh, and did I mention they made a whole team redundant and gave us their work! It is all kinds of scary.

Speaking of the guy that resigned. We had his farewell drinks yesterday afternoon and it was actually really great, I was kind of dreading it – given that most the people I work with are complete nerds – and I had a couple of drinks which is a first in I don’t know how many months. Granted, it may not have been the smartest thing considering I started work at Midnight and had a 12 hour shift but whatever, I’ll get over it.

In between all the chaos I’ve been trying to catch up on some reading but Cleopatra: A Life kind of bogged me down. One hard read. Glad I experienced it, but glad it is over.

Now, it is working again! Back to work.