Friday, April 29, 2011
It was my last day of work today. It may be lame to admit, but I keen (almost anxious) to launder my uniform, just so I can officially ziplock it away for the next year.
I fly out on May 28th and won't be putting my nose back to grindstone until March 2012. That is if I find a job.
The Grates are back!! I am positively tickled pink, as it’s been two years since their last release; finally they have a brand-spanking-new album coming out.
Though they are minus their adorable drummer (who has enrolled in a culinary school in NYC), their first single oozes with a sound synonymous with The Grates [Translation: Solid high hats, loose guitar and sweaty, manic, animalistic good times].
They haven't released any of the music online, but they are keeping a delightfully zany blog - Hate Creep.
Now I'm going to sink into their back catalogue and relive some memories of their live shows, cue montage of thrones, animal costumes, hula hoops, rhythmic gymnastics.
Monday, April 25, 2011
It’s the final day of the five-day weekend. It’s drizzling slightly outside, my belly is full of stewed apples and pears and I’m feeling mighty fine. My legs seem to be intact after yesterday’s trail horse ride.
Books, podcasts, good coffee, films, writing an article and organising my wardrobe are on the radar for today.
So without further ado, to limber up the muscles and pluck my heartstrings – lets dance.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
My siblings and I are literary jumping with joy for the latest Wombats release. Yup we’re shaking like ferrets to ‘Techno Fan’ and belting out ‘Anti-D’. Perhaps we’ll even have a synchronized dance down pat for their gig next week? Though I think we'll forgo matching outfits...
Besides absolutely gorging myself with this delightful aural feast, I’ve also been loving the album’s cover art. The illustration style reminds me of a Babysitter’s Club book – fresh, innocence, warm and inviting. Plus there are sausage dogs. Be. Still. My. Heart.
I’ve been celebrating Easter with the abandonment of the ‘heavyweights’ of Camp Hope. Chocolate Easter bunnies are trembling in my wake. Yum.
I’ve also been getting my teeth stuck into some writing. I was assigned an article on the benefits of chucking creative all-nighters. Truth be told I’m a wimp. I’m firmly in of the school of sleep. I’ve never deprived myself of sleep to study or indulge in wild throes of creativity. So it was a bit of a challenge to get excited about the article, but I’ve rounded the corner on it and have found a rather tasty angle. Which is handy as it’s due for editorial review on Thursday and I don’t want to lose a night’s sleep over it!
I’ve also been anxiously waiting by the front door for the postie, as I’ve been emptying my purse with some gusto. I’ve bought my duffel for the trip and a trigger point kit. I think that I might be regretting my enthusiasm for the trigger point kit once I actually roll around with it – ouch, ouch, ouch! Though I can quite easily justify both purchases, my new nail polish on the other hand, is slightly harder to justify.
Mish has jumped on the petrochemical free bandwagon and has been spruinking the wonders of natural beauty (which I totally support). However there are limited products available in Australia, so mish bought a bunch of stuff from The Spirit Lounge and convinced me I should too (her sneaky way of getting me to chip in on shipping!) So I bought some Scotch nail polish.
Working in the health industry means that I can’t wear nail polish, as it’s potentially unhygienic. So slathering my nails in the heavenly Velvet Kilt will be a wonderful way of celebrating my year sans work. That's a suitable justification right?
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I’m closing the book. Change is a foot.
I’ve just pressed send on an important email. Yes Sir/Madame, I’m putting in my notice. I am resigning.
Now I’ve only got a handful of days (and many, many Easter eggs) - till I’m a ramblin’ vagabond.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Since reading The Pillars of the Earth, I’ve been itching to tour the cathedrals of Europe. While the book is fiction, Follett interweaves factual details about cathedral construction techniques and design, into the saga. The descriptions of the cathedrals are painfully beautiful, as each cathedral represents years of back breaking labor, engineering and fine craftsmanship.
I’m sure many people have traipsed around Europe checking out cathedrals, as Follett’s book has sold millions and millions. In fact it’s so popular that the Germans voted it the third best book ever written – after the Bible and Lords of the Rings.
But when I do my tour, I want to include this architectural gem on my list.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I passed my driving test this weekend. After four years of working my way through the provisional plate system, I am now a fully qualified driver. Huzzah! I also had to get a new licence. The licence will last for five years. Portrait pressure.
I always get nervous about official photos - whether it was school photos, passport photos or photo ID. Besides the point blank vibe - I also fret over how the photo will be perceived, as it's designed to identify me.
A couple of years back when renewing my passport, I was so obsessed with making sure I met all the photo specifications (no smile, head in neutral position, no facial hair*, no shadows, hair pulled back) I ended up with a horrendous photo. I look washed out and dazed, one eye bulging slightly and my skin blotchy. Yet this was a successful photo, as it is an incredibly accurate image of how I look after a long haul flight.
With regards to my driving licence, it's mainly utilised as an ID when at a bar or gig. I tend to have put a smidgen more effort into my appearance when out and about (and hope that I don't resemble my passport photo). So yesterday I tried to get Saturday night fever in my passive expression.
Well it's safe to say it's not a grand photo. But at least my left eyelid wasn't drooping.
*I have yet to grow a beard. Nil follicles on my chin to date.
Friday, April 15, 2011
I spend about forty hours a week with people aged eighty plus. The topics of conversation range from bung hips, that silly Charlie Sheen, gammy knees to how bizarre Ellen DeGeneres’s dancing is.
But the quirky diversity of our conversations has frizzled out the past few weeks. We've become focused (perhaps fixated) on the upcoming Royal Wedding.
I was never much of a royal watcher. In fact I didn’t realise how many publications are dedicated to just that – watching Royals. But I’ve been swept up in the hysteria. We sigh and moan over the possible colour pallet of the wedding day, debate whether the couple will kiss on the balcony, reminiscent about William’s once luscious head of hair and ponder if any corgies will be present.
The ladies cross their knitting needles and click their tongues in exasperation, that the event is still two weeks away.
Then I found 'Knit Your own Royal Wedding', the knitting group could easily whip up a wedding in a week. Then once all the hoopla is over we can still get the Queen to dance Ellen style
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
According to the rumbustiously named H.R. Knickerbrocker - “Whenever you find hundreds of thousands of sane people trying to get out of a place and a little bunch of mad men struggling to get in, you know the latter are newspapermen.”
Self-described madman and award-winning reporter, Mort Rosenblum has written a field guide for rookie journalists. Besides toting the benefits of cotton underwear, Rosenblum offers advice on how to survive bullet ravaged war zones and the political minefield of newsrooms.
Rosenblum states his motivation for sharing his hard earned tips and tricks, is because “trial and error is no way to cover events that help shape the course of the planet.”
Besides practical safety advice, Rosenblum delves into the nitty gritty of ‘good journalism’ – from structuring an article, interview techniques, acknowledging cultural differences, unearthing potential stories to checking the reliability of sources. Rosenblum also outlines the rise of new media including blogging and youtube reports. Which has inevitably resulted in the downsizing of media outlets, the demise of hardcopy newspapers and the practical implications of outsourcing news stories.
Sounds about as appetising as stale, dry toast? Not true. This an excellent book, with the gonzo sensibility that “a journalist’s job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.
Well as a sane person, I found it incredibly readable. It’s full of punchy one-liners and is liberally littered with humorous anecdotes from gatecrashing international borders, to how to convince an army battalion to be your bodyguard as you transverse Afghanistan (Note: make sure you keep your iPod charged).
You may also enjoy:
The shadow of the sun by Ryszard Kapuściński
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
This picture is an uncanny replication of my physio session yesterday.
My legs awkwardly thrown in the air, bottom exposed and a look of pain + helplessness on my face, as my physio (a muscle bound, ex-rugby player) did trigger pint massage on my right gluts. Ouch.
I have a pile of stretching and strengthening exercises to do, but a return to running is looking likely for the weekend ahead. Booyah!
Who releases a trailer for an album? Danger Mouse, that’s who.
Danger Mouse describes the album (Rome) as a visual experience. The trailer is a deluge of grainy ‘spaghetti western’ visuals. The snippets of the album that can be heard in the trailer, sound smoother then a freshly laid highway to nowhere.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
It's four days since I last went for a run. I’m feeling a little bit antsy to say the least.
This song ties all my thoughts together:
- Skeleton motif (I am constantly thinking about my hip joint and sacrum)
- Lyrics “I want you back” (I want running back please)
- Random assortments of clutter (my head space feels cluttered)
- Displays of angst (My family are also feeling the pain of my running withdrawal. I am a bit of a grumpy pants at the moment)
Saturday, April 9, 2011
What makes a gentleman? Is it as simple as opening doors, tipping hats and having inane but polite conversations with the elderly, snotty nosed children and potential in-laws?
Or is it brandishing an indie-endorsed haircut, a sharp suit, polished shoes and minding your p’s and q’s?
According to Grain & Gram, “dedication and longevity are core characteristics of a real gentleman.” The online magazine feature men who demonstrate these qualities in their craft, including - jean making, printmaking, woodwork or music. Each interviewee evokes a sense of old-world sturdiness, perhaps because they clearly know what they are passionate about. They aren’t fickle and fleeting, on the contrary the passion each man has for his vocation is undeniable:
“For me though, no matter where the wind blows me, letterpress printing will always be with me.” Nick Sambrato
“I suddenly realized that that was all I was thinking about: all I cared about was making jeans.” Roy Slaper
However obsession alone doesn’t maketh the gentleman, it’s the hard work that goes into creating something.
“I was self-taught. I just went crazy with it. It was the total skateboarder's approach to it. You don't go to skateboard classes, you kind of just pick it up. You see what other people are doing, you read Thrasher. That was my approach.” Roy Slaper
It is also being able to see the impact your actions have on your surroundings. Fostering a connection between yourself, the environment and an awareness of wider society: