Archives for the month of: May, 2012

Disclaimer: this post is NOT about whether or not DHA is hate-able…it’s about the small number of Army wags that feel the need to complain about every little thing just because…also, mowing the lawn was an example, I didn’t actually see any posts about mowing the lawn, it was something similar…although I have been told there was a lawn mowing complaint. lol some of you ladies have pointed out instances in which joining the ‘i hate DHA’ facebook site is understandable. hehe

This week I saw a Facebook group called ‘I hate defence housing Australia’; I couldn’t believe it! Granted, I haven’t had many dealings with them yet, but so far it’s all been really good.

Here’s the thing…it seems like a lot of army wags simply complain because they can…why else would you complain about having to mow the lawn at the house you are essentially given?

Yes, I know it’s not free, but it’s still WAY cheaper than it would be in the private sector, and you’d still be expected to take care of it out there too.

I have a giant couch right…it’s my mums, but she’s letting me take it because she doesn’t need it. I know it’s not going to fit in my new living room, but it doesn’t fit in any haha. I’ve been told that it’s my right not decline a house if my furniture won’t fit; while this may be a useful thing one day, at this point in time, I’m so grateful just to have a roof over our heads.

What I’m trying to say in a roundabout way; and I’m sure MANY people won’t agree; is know your rights, but don’t abuse them – take a minute to realize that these benefits we receive, that some may complain about, wouldn’t even be an option if we were civilians.

Just mow your lawn…or get a pre-pubescent to do it for you, hehehe

Thoughts? Feeling? Insults? Lol

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we last left the great internet run-around, 2012, at an email being sent to aanet to beg them to check my address…

“Hi,


I am interested in the ultimate duo broadband plan you have.
We are about to move from Brisbane to Darwin, so I do not have a home phone set up – that’s what I need you for. 
Can you just tell me if this plan is available at *****.


Thank you”

Their response, as follows, made me laugh so hard, I cried as I repeated it to my mother…unbelievable…

Hi Alice,


Please provide us with your land line number to do the duo plan availability check
Thank you and have a nice day.
I will be looking forward for your reply.


Warm regards,
Darren”

 I couldn’t believe it…so i wrote back…

“Hi Darren, 

As I told the girl on the phone, and wrote in my original email, we do not have a phone number yet – that is specifically what I need you for. 

Thanks

Alice 
and he replied…
Dear Alice,
Not a problem, I have done the check on the location you are living.Unfortunately, we do not have a telephone exchange which is suitable for the service you are interested on.

Thank you and have a nice day.

yeah…so that leaves us with like 3 providers. I’ve called 3 of them this morning and the final answer I’m left with is that I have to pay the $59 to connect a phone line, and then they can check if they can hook up internet through it.
I’m not sure what to do, because I really do need the internet; not just for looking at shoes either, I need it to get my degree and talk with my family. I’m not messing around here.
This is a nightmare…if the internet was a real net, I really would strangle myself with it.
xxx

We are moving to a place with no seasons, just wet & dry; that’s ok, I’m really excited; but I will miss seasons like I had growing up; orange trees are so pretty…and leaf piles are fun to play in!

from Pinterest

…there is a difference between a partial and a full unpack.

You’ll have to ask your case manager for more information…they seem a bit cagey with this information, lol.

I am starting this new section, “oh! I didn’t know that…” to display all of the little things I learn, and that I hope future Army Wags can benefit from.

I’m loving having stuff to write about again! (can you tell? haha)

So today was the Toll walk through (that’s when Toll (the movers) send someone to look at all your stuff, work out how many boxes you need, answer questions, etc). The lady was really nice, and it was pretty quick and painless…

…except for the kitchen. I asked her about my cupboard full of accumulated food; we’re talking hundreds of dollars; it’s all the little things you don’t think about, like spices, flour, that old can of tomatoes. All that stuff in your pantry – what do you do with it?

So she tells me that I can’t take anything liquid (because it could spill all over everything).

a pained expression comes onto my face, she notices my distress – she probably assumes it’s because I have an entire bar sitting there (vodka, gin, tequila, vermouth, etc)…but no…my pain is coming from my hot sauce bottle.

I am American. One of the only things I miss (besides cheaper shopping, snow, and fall football games) is the food.

Last year I discovered USAFoods – it’s heaven sent, they have pretty much all of the things I miss. I cannot believe how many more options in food America has! Probably a good thing we don’t live there, or I would be SUPER fat.

Anyway, so along with awesome copycat recipes I found on Pinterest, I can have my favorite restaurant food – Sticky Fingers.

They are literally the greatest thing EVER, but they require my friend Frank; Franks hot sauce. I was going through so much of this stuff (because it should be added to every single meal), I bought a 1gallon jug of it – greatest purchase ever!

 so back to the story…

I have 1 gallon of my beloved Frank’s hot sauce sitting in my cupboard, and she’s telling me I can’t pack liquids…

…so I ask, “can I bring Frank (yes, I referred to it as a him) with us in the car? I really cannot go without my hot sauce”

I’m not sure if her reaction was actual amusement, or uncomfortable, this-girl-is-crazy, no-sudden-movements kind of amusement, but if she had tried Frank, she would have understood.

So Frank will be roadtripping with us – which in the end is really great, because we can add him to all of our crappy roadtrip food!

Another guest will be joining us on the journey…more about him later

xxx

ps. I really encourage you all to buy some Frank’s, because it is the greatest thing ever…and it does come in smaller bottles for the less enthused partakers. 

one of the first things that needs to happen when we get into our house, is internet. if you don’t already understand the importance of having internet, let me list the top 6 reasons why it is important (to us)…

  1. Uni: my course is online, and even though my last assignment of the semester is due sunday (I’m currently using this blog post to procrastinate), I still need to be able to get online in order to see my grades, sign up for next semesters classes, etc.
  2. Family: I am very close with my family, and leaving them is already a big, sad, downer to this whole moving process, being able to skype in to our weekly family dinners is a need, not a want. 
  3. Entertainment: until I get a job, I’m going to be bored every day when SB leaves for work (especially since he will take our car – damn not having a house on the army base!), so I need the internet so I can watch stupid youtubes, download movies, and stalk friends on facebook.
  4. Shopping: it’s actually probably a benefit of not having internet, especially since I wont have a job, but I hear there are limited shopping options in Darwin – so not having the wide world of internet shopping as an alternative will make that suck even more.
  5. Information: we’re moving to a place I’ve never even visited…I need to be able to google vets, shopping centres, beaches, movie theatres, eyebrow waxers, etc.
  6. and of course, Blogging: I have to keep up with the blog! I like to think you would all miss me if I couldn’t write anymore (at least I know Nana would, hehe)

so anyway…
I looked at internet a few weeks ago, and I thought this Dodo plan looked pretty good, so today (since I’m trying to procrastinate), I called them to find out if it’s available in our new house (since I finally have an address).
the Indian girl that answered told me that it was available, but then she started listing the prices; the unlimited internet plan I had asked her about, listed at $40 per month was suddenly $79 and included a home phone with 15cent per minute national calls. Well I was not having any of that…
“I don’t want a house phone”, I said.
“You have to have a home phone in order to have the internet set up at this location”, she replied
“The plan I am interested in is listed as $40 per month and it specifically says no home phone required”
“Well because your property does not already have a line set up, you will have to set one up and that will be an additional cost”
“so what you’re saying is that the advertisement is wrong, it’s misleading, it’s a lie”, I finally said (I was getting really fed up)
she didn’t know what to say about that, she mumbled a few things. I finally just said…
“ok, I’m not interested, if I’m going to have to have a phone line, then I will pick a plan with unlimited calls, thank you”, and I hung up.
already frustrated, I called Optus, and talked to a really nice guy. He informed me that there is no Optus coverage in Darwin, awesome. So that phone call was quick.
so I googled (see, internet…necessary) internet in NT…
aaNet popped up. They had an even more appealing plan than optus or dodo, so I called them.
“I’m interested in finding out if *plan* is available at my new address”, I said
What is your phone number”, the lady replied with
well we don’t have one yet…that’s what I’m calling you about. can you just search with an address?”
I mean really! It always blows me away when they ask this, I know that some people would already have a number, and are just looking for new service, but there have got to be lots of people who don’t have a number and are calling for that very reason…ridiculous! anyway…
No we can’t, you’ll have to email the sales department and they will perform a test in your area (or something like that, I kinda tuned out)”
I felt on the verge of frustrated tears, so I basically just hung up on her and sent them a stupid email in which I tried to point out the stupidity of their chicken-or-the-egg,  phone-to-get-a-phone conundrum.
and that’s where we’re at…waiting to hear back from aaNet.
gah!
please share your frustrating moving moments, as well as who you get your internet through (Darwin ladies!), hehe
xxx
p.s. who knew that optus would be my easiest, shortest phone call of the day! usually it’s like some sort of hazing ritual…I wonder if it has to do with the fact that I chose ‘1’ on the menu – signing up for new service…probably.

I couldn’t sleep last night. My brain refused to turn off, and thus, I did not sleep. At 6 this morning I decided to try again – success!

3 hours later, my phone starts assaulting me in my sleep, I answer, sounding like I’ve just been woken up.

“hello, I’m Nikki your toll case manager, I just need to ask you a few questions”

“oh good morning, how are you” I manage through my fog. At this point I’m quickly trying to get it together…I knew this call would come eventually and I am determined to get Nikki to like me, this relationship, this phone call, is important!

“oh I’m sorry, did I wake you?” see, now Nikki thinks I am a lazy trophy wife who lounges around all day sleeping. Excellent first impression.

“oh no please don’t mind me, its totally reasonable for you to have called at 9am, most normal people are up and rararring (father of the bride) to go by now, my stupid brain simply wouldn’t shut down last night”. That is what I wanted to reply to Nikki, but in my sleepy haze, it was more like “oh it’s fine”, she probably added ” I do it all the time” to the end of my sentence in her mind.

she then asked me a few questions, and I managed to remember a couple of mine, which I managed to ask in an EXTREMELY bumbling and stumbling way – my brain needed to reboot during sleep, so it kept totally freezing as I tried to remember such simple words like car, or husband. It was painful.

then the stupidest of all things occurred…Nikki mentions something about only reimbursing us for time Lando spends at the babysitters, as long as we are staying in accommodation they’ve arranged. Then we discuss how many days it will take to get to Darwin – they budget around 8, we’re doing it in 5. We actually hang up, but then my stupid brain has a thought…

if they think we are on the road for day 6,7, and 8, they won’t have arranged temporary accommodation for those nights! I call Nikki back…

“we are actually planning on driving it in 5 days, so do you need to know this so that our accommodation in Darwin will be booked as of when we arrive?”

something, something, health and safety, something, something, you arrange your own accommodation during the drive so you can arrange a place in Darwin the last few days”. There; it’s complete – now Nikki has a vision of me as a lazy and stupid trophy wife.

of course! Gah how embarrassing! If they are paying for 8 nights of accommodation, that we arrange ourselves, of course we should simply arrange some in Darwin, whenever we may arrive there. My brain isn’t working…in fact, this post may make absolutely no sense! Haha

so the lesson I learnt is to always have your questions written down so you can cover everything in one, clearly pronounced conversation, and you don’t have to call back to ask illogical questions that potentially alienate your toll case manager. Lol

yippee!

today it arrived…our DHA log on! I immediately threw my assignment to one side and opened up HomeFind like it was a bag of potato chips (salt & vinegar of course).

I’ve been waiting for this day for so long! We’ve never really had a house of our own, and I was SO excited to get one!

As I was looking at the 5 houses, which we never could have afforded in Brisbane (let alone Darwin, where I hear rent is astronomical), I couldn’t help focusing on how incredibly lucky we are!

What an amazing perk! Not only does my husband get to do a job he LOVES, but they give (at a reduced rent, not free, unfortunately, lol) us a house!

The other thing that struck me, is how much I’ve come to love my baby, Lando. Thanks to Lando, we qualified for houses we probably wouldn’t have otherwise qualified for – I thanked Lando for his contribution to our family by choosing a house with an awesome looking yard and a big undercover area he can live under when the wet season arrives.

The house has these UGLY vinyl floors, but I actually kind of love them; probably because it’s a house, so I’m too excited to be picky. But it might also be because the first few apartments that my parents had when they got married had so-ugly-it’s-amusing floors as well! It feels like some sort of tradition.

This step makes it feel so much more real! I have an address, a neighbourhood, a home!

Now here’s hoping that something doesn’t go wrong and they make me choose another one, I’m quite attached to my ugly floors already!

xxx

only 2 weeks until we’re together again!


have I mentioned that I’m excited!? hehe

Photo is mine

I’m getting so excited!!!

I realise that most of the time on this blog, I’m complaining…while I am kind of a negative person, lol, I’m trying to work on that…

…and I really am excited!

I still don’t know any more than I did in the last post (except that we do have a toll log in – i checked), but after talking to all you lovely ladies who commented on the facebook group, I’m feeling better!

I’ve realised that whether or not I have an address before we drive out of Brisbane in two weeks, doesn’t matter, that we will be taken care of until we find one.

How amazing is that! There are many inconvenient, sometimes down right infuriating parts to this army life (uncertain details, leaving things till the last minute, time away from our soldiers), but so far, the annoying things have been balanced with the good things (compensation for moving, a great community of women, and a job SB loves).

We’re on the cusp of this next step, to finally getting fully immersed in this Army life that we chose, and I could not be more excited (well maybe if we were getting posted to Brisbane, lol)!!! I have researched everything there is to do in Darwin, the weather, the food and I cannot wait to experience all of it.

Mostly though, I’m excited to just live with my husband again! I know that he’ll probably go field, a lot, and get deployed, but in between those, he’ll be sleeping in the same house as me…and that’s pretty exciting!

I’d love to hear about your first postings – where? how were they? 🙂

xxx

(wow…I said ‘excited’ A LOT in this post, count how many times – it’s amusing)