Sunday, August 27, 2006

My new blog

I have a new blog, where I write solely about TV in Australia. It's where I'm spening most of my blogging time now, so if you'd like to read here is the link:

The TV show told me so

Monday, August 21, 2006

Baby Blue

Last Thursday I spent the day looking after Jackson. He's 1 and a half, just a few weeks younger than my cousin Fergus, and belongs to my mum's (and my) friend Tracey. Tracey used to work with Mum but hasn't gone back since having Jackson. Only all last week one of the other ladies at work was sick so Tracey filled in Thursday and Friday. This meant Tracey was only down the road if anything went wrong, and it was only 10-3 anyway, which I could probably handle. All on my own.

Of course with lots of new things to play with he pretty much kept himself entertained. He's very well behaved and when he started pulling things off the shelves that he shouldn't have he was very quick to hand them over when asked. We went for a walk around the block for about 20 minutes, which he was impressed with. But he never had a sleep, and he only had one out of three bottles. But all in all it was a lot of fun. One time he slammed his fingers in the kitchen draws (our house isn't very baby safe) and screamed and screamed. But he calmed down quickly with a trick I've been waiting ages to try: the "Oh baby baby baby" trick while bobbing up and down, a la Monica on Friends when newborn baby Emma wouldn't stop crying. He also fell of the couch and cried then, but calmed down again. I'm pleased to say we both ended the day in one piece. I almost had him again on Friday but he went to his dad's house instead. I was a little relieved.

On Saturday morning Jackson and Tracey came back again to pick up his pram and he came straight to me. I obviously hadn't scarred him or scared him away from me. This time next week I'll be with my cousin Fergus in Melbourne so I hope he adjusts and attaches himself to me as quickly.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Paper dresses catch on fire

At Spotlight on the weekend I decided I wanted to find a pattern to make a summer top, perhaps something in the baby doll fashion or something similar to one I had from Jay Jays, but that I'm convinced they stole when our house was broken into and robbed last year. Evidently, patterns aren't very modern! No, I don't want something with shoulder pads or large buttons circa 1990. Instead this pattern is as close I could find to anything I would actually wear. And I'm going to make the dress, not the top. It looks sufficiently 2006 and will be very nice on a summer's day.

This picture is what actually convinced me. I'd probably use a similar fabric. I did see a white emroidery englaise with little bumble bees on it that would also be nice, but perhaps not in my budget. I truely can't make myself spend over $4 a metre. Anything else seems far too extravagent, which is why you'll find me in the sale section (and NOT in the $6 section of the sale fabrics). I didn't actually buy any fabric. Or even the pattern for that matter. But I have a list of all the things I'll need to embark on my first sewing project that may result in something I can wear (at least, the first thing since Home Ec).

For this dress I also need thread, one 9" (23cm) zipper, one hook and eye set and 0.15m of non-fusible interfacing. How ambitious of me! We'll see how I go. And if it ends up fitting after I've cut the fabric.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Boating on a Saturday

On Saturday Mum and I went boating with my Grandma and Poppy. Pop is still wearing in the boat (though we got it up to its first 10 hours with our afternoon trip) so there was a lot of throttle and not much warning. Once I got over the need to hold on for dear life I had fun. Grandma didn't quite like when Poppy did really fast 360s, or when we suffered a gigantic bump crossing another boat's wash.

I took this photo at half time - when we had to come back to shore after about two hours for a bathroom break and a top up of petrol. I LOVE the pelicans (and the seagulls too for that matter). You see less and less of them around these days because the council has taken to putting spikes on top of all the light posts - where you used to see most of the pelicans perching. But as this photo shows, they still like to hang around where the fisherman clean their fish.

Where we went "boating" (as I'm now fond of saying) is called Pumicestone Passage. It's the water between the mainlain and Bribie Island, which runs from the end of Caloundra down towards Brisbane. Ish. It's not really that long. This picture was taken from the boat looking back towards Caloundra, over a sandbank which gets bigger every day and almost now joins Bribie. Aren't there a lot of buildings now? The one right in the middle - Westaway Tower - used to be the tallest building in town (and the only one). It sits on a giant hill, but still pales in comparison nowadays. I think it probably still holds the title of tallest though.
Lots more photos at Flickr.

Friday, August 11, 2006

"I went to the concert and I fought through the crowd"

I realised I haven't written anywhere about the actual details of The Strokes last week and, while I hate to harp on about the same thing all the time, I think I should get it down in here before it all just up and disappears.

I always think how it would be great to have a tape recorder inside your head to remember your thoughts. It's not just the images or events that need to be remembered, but your perspective on those events and what was going through your mind. If I had one of these recorders inside my head last Thursday night I could have written a five page review. I know, why was I thinking so much when I was suppose to be enjoying a concert? For starters, it's a well-established fact that I think too much. And also, I just didn't want to forget any of what I was seeing, so I was trying to put it into words in case those words had a better chance of sticking to the inside of my memory than the images.

The night of actually getting to the concert, without counting the buses and trains and walking that was endured during that day, began when Steph, Jim and I were waiting at Central train station for the train to Shorncliff, or Boondall where the Entertainment Centre is. You could tell all the people around us were not just catching the same train as us, but also going to the same concert. There's just something about Strokes people. We had a little while to wait and while I have no idea what we were talking about, Steph, Jim and I spent the whole time in hysterical laughter. Whatever it was, it was obviously very funny. We got on the train and wasted the time by going through eachother's wallets. This may have been the point at which I lost a $5 note. From the train station at Shorncliff it was about a 600m walk to the Entertainment Centre. We walked in a very long line of people along a path that winded it's way through some trees and past a pond until we got the the Centre. A thought came to me in flashing red neon lights as we were making this walk. Boys who like The Strokes also like skinny jeans. But who am I to talk - I was wearing them too.

After our bags were searched for cameras (the security lady's flashlight didn't work. We could have snuck one in without her knowing!) and Jim was sent off to coat check because his bag was too big, we got inside. More people, more skinny jeans. I was hesitant to spend any money, but of course had to get a t- shirt. I knew that if I didn't I'd hate myself the next day, and I truely would have after how I felt the next day. My only option was the black tour shirt because it was the only thing in my size, and Steph ended up getting the same after a few minutes of consideration. Next thing, this dinging bell started to chime and I figured it was on the hour. So I was quite prepared to daudle (sp?) around a while longer until the voiceover said the main act was about to start and I replied "Huh! No they're not." Then Steph pointed out "No, it's 9!" and it was indead The Strokes who were about to come onstage. Somehow I thought it was only 7, though I knew we'd left her house after that time. So we quickly found our door and the lady showed us our seat - last row of the first section, right in the middle of all those people! So we climed over everyone else and sat down, then realising we should have just jumped over the back of the chairs.

We could see the people in the mosh, all squeezed up in a semi-circle around the stage with a few stragglers around the edges who couldn't really be bothered to push to the front. The Strokes came on not long after we arrived. We were on the same side of the Centre that they entered the stage from, so we could see them come out of their little door. Yay! The Strokes! They went straight into playing and I realised this stupid light stand on the stage that looked like a mosquito zapper was right in my eyeline. But... Nick and Nikolai were very considerate and very rarely hid themselves behind it. After a few songs Julian started talking, saying "Hello Brisbane", to which everyone screamed (it's always nice when they know where they're playing, isn't it?), and all the other obligatory stuff. He also said it was good to be playing because it was their first show in Australia for a while (to which I thought "Didn't you play a secret show in Sydney at the end of last year? It wasn't that secret Julian). Though we were't very close we still had a great view of all the band. I spent quite some time, before everyone got up the nerves to dance around and were instead just quietly tapping their feet, studying what they were all wearing. And then being quite puzzled by the fact they were the same thing all the time. Julian - black jeans, black leather jacket; Nick - very tight jeans, jacket, red Converse high tops (and who, despite his long hair which everyone else seems to dislike, is looking very attractive at the moment), Fab - red t-shirt, jeans, Albert - white jeans and white denim jacket, Nikolai - more tailored looking pants, button up shirt. I was to realise, after seeing photos from the Melbourne show the night after, that they wear the exact same thing all the time.

Like I said, it took a while for people to start dancing and really getting into it. You could see it - people would start tapping their feet, then sort of dancing in their seat, then they'd get up and really go to town. A few times Julian spoke between songs, introducing the next tune ("Vision of Division", "Electricityscape", and I believe "Ize of the World") and chatting in his droneful voice that was often hard to pick up. Oh yes, at that start when first mentioning Brisbane, he also said "Brissy" which the entire audience seemed to be excited by. He also said we were "f*#cking loud", which I was even thinking then "I bet you say that to all the audiences" (and, as evidenced by The Strokes forum, he does). What else did he say (I'm remembering the details here)? When introducing "Electricityscape" he was talking about how good electricity was. And later he started reaching out to the people in the front who were reaching out to him, but not touching, and said "We're so close".

The music was absolutely amazing. I kept looking at Jim and Steph to see if they were enjoying it, as they're not big fans like me and I hoped I hadn't dragged them off to something they didn't like. I was singing along and we were all dancing around. Yes, the music. They did play some. Steph said the next day the music could have been softer so Julian's voice was more audible, but I think that's just The Strokes. Plus, it's good when you can feel the bass in your chest. And the drums. I can't listen to "The End Has No End" now without imagining Fab smashing at his drums. The CD doesn't quite live up to the loudness. The audience liked that drum section too, screaming each time.

For "Ask Me Anything" Nick switched to a white organ and just he and Julian were onstage. That was very good, even though I didn't think it was the kind of song they'd play live - not very upbeat or boppy. But it was phenomenal. Apparently there was an encore, but they only left the stage for about 10 seconds. I didn't think it was much more time than to have a mouthful of water, or whatever beverage they were partaking in, and come back. From other people account's since, there were 3 songs for the encore. During "New York City Cops" Julian gathered up his microphone chord (I think everyone thought it was gonna dive into the crowd) and jumped off the side of the stage, mingling through the crowd on the other side of the Centre. Then he came over to our side, and did an even better job of it because he managed to come up to our seated section. He was only 8 (A,B,C,D...H) rows away! So we jumped up on our seats to see him because everyone had stood up. People were going up and hugging him but he wasn't being trampled (surprsingly) and I was very impressed that he didn't miss a single word of the song. He got back to the stage and they finished and left. Sob. Only an hour and a half. 10.30pm and this is suppose to be a rock band?

We left skipping along, jumping up and down (well, me anyway) with "On The Other Side" in my head, though I wasn't sure they'd even played it (since listening to it again I think they did). "I know what's waiting for me on the other side". Back on the, this time, very packed train to the city and home to Steph's. I went to bed with "New York City Cops" in my head then the next day went through probably their entire catalogue, including "12:51" as we were walking through Southbank. Steph asked me what song was in my head. Apparently I was humming. (OOOH! "The End Has No End" is playing now: "Said I can do a lot of things but I can't do that") I woke up very sad that it was all over, and am even more sad now that it's over a week since the concert and it's all slowly fading away. I have my t-shirt though (see, I would have been distraught if I didn't get it) and on the way to the train to come home last Friday Steph and I went to a music store where I bought a Strokes badge (which also made us very late for the train and we had to run, only to find that wasn't our train anyway and we had to wait).

All in all, I've reaffirmed my belief that they are a very cool, attractive, talented bunch of people. Pitty they all have wives and babies.

EDIT 18.08.06: I also remember, and have remembered since the start but forgot to put it in this entry, Julian saying, at one point after a song, "Thanks... I guess". I thought it was really cute.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

As further evidence of my current obsession, The Strokes have taken pride of place on the fridge - amongst the photos of the cat and random polaroids (speaking of, I haven't used my polaroid camera in the longest time!). The only other non-family, or 'non-real life', person to get on the fridge is Sharon Tate. I've also been listening to The Strokes' three albums on repeat (with one Kings of Leon thrown in for variety) since Monday. And when I'm not listening to them, I'm singing it all in my head. The soundtrack to yesterday's pulling out of weeds by the side fence: "Heart in a Cage".

Since I've been in the musical mood I've barely done any crafting. I had to finish off sewing the tissue covers I started last week, but other than that: ZILCH. I even put away everything that had been covering the kitchen bench for about a week and a half. That in itself caused more trouble though, because it meant there is now, once again, room for cooking. But how come nothing ever turns out like the pictures in the cook book, or in this case the picture in Real Living magazine? It's baked caramel cheescake, but without the caramel. I'd never had baked cheescake before and I'm not sure I like it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

See, I'm stuck in a city but I belong in a field

Last Thursday I made the trip on the bus, train and a couple more buses to Brisbane to meet up with Steph and Jim to go the The Strokes concert. The concert was beyond words and I, even now, can't string a sentence together in describing it. Other than, I'm a sucker for a rock star. Even better - five of them. Cameras are banned at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, so I've been reliving the experience through photos I've found on the net from people's camera phones (smart people!).

Then Friday morning Steph and I made it back into the city from her house a few suburbs away and walked around (a lot) until we found ourselves at Southbank for lunch and these photos.

Top to bottom: me, her, feet, city.

I already knew I wasn't a city person, but this trip has so much reinforced that opinion.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back to the Net

Oh internet, I've missed you! Not that I did a very good job of keeping away. It's so hard, especially when you need to look up something little, like a conversion or some actor's name on Plus I couldn't keep away from blogs. But I ended up offline for a whole two days. However, my internet quota still ended up at 107%, which is about $10 extra for the month. I'm thinking about getting unlimited download, but not really sure I can justify $69.95 a month.

This is Jackson. On Sunday Mum and I spent the morning with him and his mum, Tracey. We walked down from our house to the markets in the main street and stopped for coffee and a snack at the bakery. When we got back home Jackson decided it would be a fun game to pull all my DVDs off the shelf. He only wanted to do it so he could put them back, but it still meant he had to slam them on the floor first. Apparently it was very funny watching me shreik in horror as he threw them down. It was very nice being around a baby, and made me not want to wait another second to go down and visit my baby cousin Fergus, which we're actually doing at the end of this month. Jackson's only a few weeks younger than Fergus, though I'm not sure Fergus has started walking yet, which Jackson has. Walking, I've found, is not actually a good thing. They go around picking things up and making a mess and I have to go around putting everything back!

I went to the library this morning to get out some new books. I took back a bunch that were overdue (naughty me!) so had to get more. One is called The Golden Age of Advertising - The 50s and is completely full of old ads - no writing, no borders or fancy presentation. It's just an ad to a page. Some of them are so funny too. I always think cigarette ads are weird because you haven't been able to advertise them here since before anything I'd remember, and the ads about atomic bomb-resistant housing are so laughable (though very cute in design). The other books I got out were The Idiot's Guide to Communism, Kids Quilts in a Weekend, Frank Lloyd Wright: Inside and Out, Deckstyle and an Oprah magazine. They'll keep me busy for a while.