Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bet you'll never believe it...

Ok, so i know i have bailed on writing about 3,000 times this entire semester. But recently my life has been just too insanely and almost hysterically catastrophic that writing would put the reader is such an uncomfortable and awkward place. You know, like when someone just politely asks how you are doing, and you end up telling them that your 'friend' won't leave you alone and stop coming to your home until you talk to her after you had asked her repeatedly to stay away, or that your computer and very favorite camera had been stolen by a burglar that came into your home in the middle of the night, or that you chronically have incredibly painful stomach aches for no real reason that handicap you for days at a time...because really, who wants to hear about stuff like that? All they want is for you too say, "i'm fine, and you?" and be on their way.
So, gentle reader. I am fine, and you? Actually, i am better than fine, because i survived and realize that no matter what, i always have the people i love, and no mental patient or burglar or gruesome flesh-eating stomach disease can ever take them away. Also, i kind of kicked my ass this weekend snowboarding six hours south of sydney in jinderbyne, at Thredbo. was amazing. I have black and blue all over me, and i find it very difficult to lift my arms or walk or move at all, really. BUT, i did get the hang of snowboarding and can't wait to do it december.
sorry, i dont have any pictures to show...because my computer was stolen and therefore i can't really upload them on to a computer even if i wanted to. Ah well. but, i am sure you know how good i look when i am dressed up like a marshmallow, so there is really no need to spoil you with fun pictures.
I have a lot of studying to do as it is finals time, but i bid thee well and that your week will be much more lighthearted and maybe less eventful than mine. Thanks to all who got me through it, though. I'll never forget it. Love you!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by jgerste.
This is my houseguest, Nate.

The Purtzers

Originally uploaded by jgerste.
Ashley, Mama Purtzer, Laura, Kelton (Laura's boyfriend), and Eric.

around the world

Originally uploaded by jgerste.
Kasey and Ashley Friday night. How many countries do you think Ashley has been to so far?

finals week

To my faithful readers. Last week was pretty eventful. Tuesday night i met up with a bunch of high school friends- Go Bethlehem!- at a jazz club in newtown (the cool area where i live). Two of the BC people were visiting from a university in Queensland, called Townsville. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Queensland is the state in the northeast part of Australia, where the great barrier reef is, along with all of the scary scary animals that rank in the top 10 of most poisonous/dangerous/life threatening/outrageous animals in the world.
After catching up we headed to a club/bar with a band downtown, called Scruffy Murphy's. As you can tell by the name, it is a pretty classy joint. After a fun night of drinking a LOT cokes, we were all feeling pretty good and dancing pretty hard. Surprisingly, everyone of us made it home safe and sound.
The next day, however, proved not to be so safe or so sound. Our good friend, Kasey, exhausted from the night before and probably incredibly dehydrated, had a freak fainting spell and slammed her right eye on the concrete while leaving class early due to light-headedness. She ended up fracturing her skull right around her eye (if you run your finger along your eyebrow you will feel the bones that she rustled up), and a fairly intimidating gash with a great deal of blood. Though Kasey didn't think it necessary (she wasn't able to see the extent of her wounds until hours later), she was rushed to the hospital. Her brother was in town, visiting, and met up with her at the hospital. Now, ER's aren't that much fun anyway, but if you are a stranger to the area, they are even a bit more unsettling. So we ended up keeping each other company in the waiting room/hallways of the hospital/ random places where they would tell us to wait from 12pm to 9:30 that evening. Luckily, only a few stitches were required and no rewiring of the skull prescribed.
Thursday i got a call from my new friend, Nate (one of the BC friends i met up with, but the one i hadn't really met until the other night) requesting a place to crash for the next couple of days since the hostel price shot up for the weekend. Having two fairly comfortable couches at my disposal, i found it difficult to refuse him, and thus found myself with a houseguest for the next couple of days.
Friday i spent the day (as i had spent all of my days for the two weeks leading up to this day) in the dark room putting the finishing touches on my photos for photography class (a class i am absolutely in love with). After completing my project, i met up with Ashley and the Purtzer family at a bar in the Rocks, called the Orient. Her family was participating in the "around the world" promotional beer drinking event where if you drink 10 beers from all over the world, you get a free t-shirt. As you all know, imported beers are quite expensive, and thus you run up a $75 tab with this game. Because i am unable to consume anywhere near that much alcohol and not die, i stuck to coke. A fun night with Nana Purtzer, mama purtzer, and the rest of the gang, though.
This weekend i laid low. We went to a rugby match on saturday night(which is quite different than a footy match- but we like the footy ones better), but nevertheless it was a wonderful end to my day filled with laundry and photo touch-ups. Sunday was a rough one and i decided to take the day off.
Monday i spent most of the day studying for a psych tutorial quiz, and right now i am putting off writing a really boring paper. Thanks for listening to me ramble. I will post some more pics for an added distraction!

Monday, May 30, 2005

aussie men

Originally uploaded by jgerste.
Mom, dad, please meet my new boyfriend..

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Originally uploaded by jgerste.
This is probably a glimpse of what your face will look like when you discover that someone has been a little busy on this blogster. my new favorite insomnia activity! (aside from making funny faces at cameras) WAHOO!!!


Originally uploaded by jgerste.
Ashley, everyone, everyone, Ashley.

Ashley likes sparkles, french fries, and her favorite part of the day is the afternoon right before it starts to get dark. I have never met anyone with more energy than this girl.

"Everyone" likes strolls in the park, hot chocolate, and warm fuzzies. He also doesn't think this blog exists anymore.


Originally uploaded by jgerste.
Danielle, everyone. Everyone, danielle. Diesel (her new nickname as of last night) is one of the coolest people you will ever meet. she is perfect for my neurotic side because she knows how to neutralize situations (and me). Oh yeah, and she also agrees to pose like one of the hanson brothers. You can't get away with that unless you are cool.

Peter aka Fingers

Originally uploaded by jgerste.
From Left to Right- Colin, Fingers, random sketchy dude.


Originally uploaded by jgerste.
My "I just walked all over campus with this S**t on my face" face.

Me, the King, and p.s. I am alive.

Originally uploaded by jgerste.
I am sure most of you have given up on my blog. I, in fact, had pretty much given up on my blog, until my inspiration- a very friendly computer geek- scolded me for missing this golden opportunity to tell the world what i have been up to. I decided to plunge back into it. But my dear gentle reader, i do warn thee that my life in Australia, though fun packed and exciting for me, might not be full of adventures such as crazy hikes, creative organic excitement, or insane allergic reactions. I will do my best to keep it entertaining (and PG...maybe PG-13?)

Here you see me posing with the great Elvis Presley. Obviously he is bald...he is pretty old at this point. He came back for this one night to go to Kelly's, our favorite little irish pub.(note: our is meant to include "me and my friend danielle," not "me and the 40-some-odd stranger that agreed to let me borrow his wig and glasses for a half hour. This note is included for all my loving uncles that just love to give me the benefit of the doubt- D.O. in particular). Kelly's generally has some pretty embarrassing karaoke going on, and has two pool tables on the upper level. Did i mention i have become something of a shark? It also tends to bring in a pretty interesting crowd of people from all walks of life. I will include a picture of another regular at some point whose name is Peter, but who generally introduces himself as "fingers." Hold up your right hand, and fold your middle and ring finger down into the palm of your hand, that look at the back of your hand. That is basically what this man has to work with. Factory accident. Anyway, we (me and danielle) agree that it would be more accurate if he dubbed himself stubbs (sorry brendan) or stumps or something, as he is actually LACKING fingers. If he had some extra fingers then perhaps the nickname would make more sense. Sorry, side tracked...interesting people though.

Recently Ashley's family is in town- a delightful bunch- but they are kind of stealing one of my very favorite people. So times have been tough. Also, i have kind of had a falling out with one of my very close friends, and this event has kind of been consuming a good chunk of my thoughts, time, energy, etc... and is thus one of the reasons i had difficult writing interesting things on my blog. You know when you talk about something so much that even you start to get bored with the topic, but you just can't stop?

Related to this falling out, here is a quick aside. I recently found out (2 to 3 weeks ago) in a very painful manner that i in fact need to get my wisdom teeth pulled out...really really soon. Apparently, if you don't know, a lot of the time the eruption of your wisdom teeth through your gums is brought on by stress. I realized that though i hadn't been very emotive throughout this whole desintigrating friendship thing, my body was finding other ways to tell me that things weren't ok. When i found this out, i had a bit of breakdown ( i swear this gets funny and isn't solely depressing). I called Ash (one of the most amazing people that can heal you with a smile and save the world with a laugh) and explained the situation. By the time i was walking out the door the tears were welling up in my eyes and i knew i wouldn't be able to compose myself for the 15 minute walk home. When i got outside, i was pretty much hysterical. I crawled into the threshold to an emergency exit, turned into the door, and started crying to my dear friend on the public. I figure most of you can empathize with my when i say, that's a LITTLE UNcomfortable. Awkward. Embarrassing. get the point. Ok, wait for it...wait for it... With the crying and the tears and the pain, could it get worse? Well, only if you are the amazing Jenny Gerstenzang, the Amelia Bedelia of upstate New York, and you are recently prone to getting bloody noses due to the weather change. Did i say a bloody nose? Oh yes, yes i did. Now, picture it, i am in the fire escape alcove, crying hysterically, and bleeding ALLLLLLLLLLLLL over myself. Now, may ask yourself, What would Jesus do? I don't know, but if you are me, you start laughing hysterically, and talking pretty loudly about how embarassed you are that you have a bloody nose- mainly so when you have to turn around and walk home, people know that YOU KNOW you have blood all over your face- oh, and tears too. Luckily, the friend who is no longer my friend, in all her dramatic glory, had left all the clothes she had borrowed from me in Ashley's room, and i had my black anti-bush shirt to hold up to my face and clean the blood up with. too bad i somehow kept cleaning the wrong side of my face- I guess i should have known good old GW wouldn't get it right. Ok, so maybe this wasn't the quickest of asides, but this explains a bit why i have abandoned the blog. These things need a bit of time in order to be funny... at least to me.

After this incident, i figured i kind of needed to get away. It seemed the perfect time to go to Melbourne, and by god it was. me, Ashley, Danielle (these people are in all of the pictures throughout my blog) and some other ladies went to the city for a long weekend. We went to museums for some really interesting exhibits, walks on the beach, a really awesome footy match, some pubs, some clubs, and ate some subs. We also went to this umbria jazz festival. It was set up kind of like the tulip festival in the sense that it was free. And awesome. (but no flowers) It was kind of the most amazing weekend of my life, and heaps of fun, and an emotional escape that just needed to happen. (Thanks mom and dad- heaps).

School wise it is a little weird. Weird as in different- i am not the biggest fan of the Sydney University way of doing things. The only class that i am thoroughly, thoroughly enjoying (which is totally ok because I am in FREAKING AUSTRALIA!!!) is photography. I kind of feel like a little Karen O'Hern- dabbling in this and that. It's kind of the most fun and relaxing class i have taken- ever. I have to go into the dark room tomorrow and print my self- portraits. Two pictures of me that are supposed to explain or give a glimpse at who i think i am. The interesting thing is that is your know me, you know i haven't the foggiest idea who that is, at least i can't really make up my mind or i am inconsistent or something, or both. I guess this is a good thing. I have apparently been dodging the question for 20 some odd years and it is a good excuse to actually sit down and figure it out. Really sift through the lint in my navel (right, dad?)

Ok, at this point i have probably eaten up a good portion of your morning, that is if you still check to see if i even write on this thing anymore (i wouldn't blame you if you didn't, i stopeed checking if i did, too), or you may have gotten bored after the whole fingers/stubbs fiasco, or at leasted sketched out, and decided to abandon ship. I love you all tons, and i figure i better keep up the blog just so that i can remind you of that everyday.

Oh yeah, the most amazing thing happened the other day- i got to hear my sister's voice for the first time in 10 weeks. it was a beautiful thing. I love you Erin! Nothing but Trupple!

Friday, May 27, 2005


Originally uploaded by jgerste.
more soon to come...

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Originally uploaded by jgerste.
On Saturday night Ashley, Lauren, Kasey and I went to a footy match. Sydney Swans vs. Melbourne Demons. Now, for those of you who don't know, Footy is very similar to rugby, but has a lot of different rules which, between you and me, i don't know. is basically a hard core sport without protective gear and a lot of man-handling. Intense to watch, though. Sorry about the lax with the blog. Living it up in OZ town. patrick- awesome pics with the dolphins! happy Anzac Day!

some pictures from mom and dad's visit....

Maybe this will work- but here are some pictures from the wonderful trip i had with my amazing parents. I am sure they are CHEERING for their Jet lag but i hope they thought it was worth it!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Yes, we CAIRNS!

Two days ago Karen Gerstenzang, Papa Gerstenzang, and little Jenny GErstenzang flew out from Sydney airport (the same airport the parent troopers had just flown into days earlier) and headed to a place called Cairns (pronounced CANS). If you would like to pull out a map of australia, which i know you have all looked at numerous times because you miss me so much and want to know exactly how far away i am from you, Cairns is north of Sydney, up in the right corner of Australia. Now, depending on how detailed your map is, about a half a mm up from Cairns (on the map, of course, not in real size) is a place called Port Douglas- a much cuter place than Cairns. That is where we are staying.

The first whole day in Port Douglas we set out early to go to the Great Barrier REef, about an hour and 45 minute boat ride to the three different places we were going to see. On the way i took a crash course in scuba diving so i would be able to reach greater depths once we got there. Tight body suits, embarrassing spit-filled goggles, and a really heavy tank on my back, and i was ready to go down under- the water. Unfortunately, my body wasn't on board with my mind. Shortly after getting in the water, and trying to equalize my ears according to the pressure, my instructor made me go back up and informed me that i had a nose- bleed. Cool, and predictable. Me of all people, would start bleeding perfusely in shark infested waters. Way to go.

In an effort not to misinform my readers, the great barrier reef is located in warm waters, thus the sharks that are there are not the dangerous ones, and there aren't that many sharks to speak of anyway. HOwever, he did think it was something to be checked out. I waited that round out of the water, and instead watched as one by one, snorklers abandoned the reef, chased out by blue bottle jellyfish(baby man of wars.) One man got stung on his lip, another lady her face (the rest of the body except for a few spots on the face and ankles were covered in protective gear.) Of course, Karen recieved a quite nasty sting on her foot which she described (the same way she described child birth) as "Slightly uncomfortable. If i'm not distracted, i know something is going on down there. But if i'm in a conversation, i kind of forget all about it." Needless to say, Jenny and Karen's pain-o-meters are not scaled the same way. Also needless to say, my father spent the rest of the time on board, in the air-conditioned cabin with his book. Much credit is given to him for getting in the water at all, and for being such a trooper about the whole thing.
The second place we went in the water I, (very proudly might i add) braved the jellyfish and jumped in. NO nose bleeds for me (i took my nose ring out). I saw some baracudas, an eel, a bunch of fun fish and some sting rays. The thirds stop they wanted to charge me 42 more dollars to do another dive- WHAT? I instead jumped off the top of the boat (not in protest, they were letting you do this) and snorkeled around with mom. What a blast.

After a nice long rest last night, we awoke this morning and had another grand day. Mom and I went to the Wildlife Habitat about 10 minutes away. They had places that exhibited the Grasslands, the Rainforest, and the Wetlands (i think those are the three of them but i will check up on that.) We saw crocodiles (fresh and salt water- the salt water are the ones that eat you). We saw tons of birds, lots of parrots that thoroughly enjoyed kamikazee diving for my head. What can i say, i smell good!

The highlights, i would have to say, is when i got to pet kangaroos and feed them out of my hand. One grabbed my fingers so tight that it almost broke the skin (he didn't want me to move the food away from his mouth until he was finished- i can understand that.) Some were as small as Madison, and others as big as my mom( which isn't that much bigger than madison, but a little taller). Some had little Joey's in their pouches and some looked really strong. I will put up some pictures when i get back home.

The second highlight- equally as exciting as the kangaroo, is the petting of the koala. Now, make sure you don't say koala bear. IT's ok in the states, because we are all equally ignorant over there. But to be sure, the koala is not a bear. It is a koala. And it eats eucalyptus leaves which are not at all nutritious. IT is like us eating very oily celery all day- the kind of celery mcdonalds would market. You would feel hungry and ill and grumpy all day. This is why they sleep for 18 hours and eat for 4, and basically think about eating or sleeping for the other 2.

Perhaps this little post will get some of those people off my back that are upset i am not updating you with the small activities of my life. But i love it when you nag, especially if you have a sexy gall bladder. More will be posted, and i can't wait to hear your comments and any news from afar. Enjoy your weekend! Love, Jenny (PS, safe travels to all who are coming over to my side of the world! Yay for culture shock!)