30 June 2010

Gumnut babies

It has been so cold in Melbourne these last few days. It hasn't helped my cold. My wheezing sounds like a rusty spray can being shaken. The BOM says it's currently around 10 degrees, which is a heatwave compared to the 7.2 degrees at midday yesterday.

I get extremely cold. Even in the office. My head gets really cold. Especially because there is no protective layer of skin to keep it warm - my protective layer is constantly shedding. So I wear a hat. Even in the office. It's an equal combination of keeping warm and avoiding hat hair.

Someone told me I look like a Gumnut Baby today. You know, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs. Cute compliment!

Here is what Gumnut Babies look like.

And here is what I looked like today.

I am wearing a hat my parents bought me from Tasmania - it is hand felted and knitted.

Perhaps it does make me look like a Gumnut Baby? With suitably more clothes, of course.

And this is the closest I've come to wearing a suit in a long time:
Skirt by Brown Sugar circa 1985 from Mum's wardrobe
Top by Target (over merino jumper from Glassons)
Tweed jacket by Target via op shop in Tasmania (it has awesome floral patchwork detail on the bottom)
Button down leggings OVER stockings
Shoes by Myer
Necklace by Oh Deer
Brooch via Esty (it's a felted nest with blue pearl eggs inside).

I usually wear a lot of grey in winter, well, all year round, really, but lately I've taken to wearing this camel coloured skirt (it's wool and super warm) with other camel coloured clothes. It's ever since I bought the Fauxpard Jacklet from Target (because it goes with camel!).

Sometimes I wonder whether I should do more outfit posts on this blog. My colleagues know I blog so I could easily ask them to photograph me. But then I wonder if it would detract from the intended substance of this blog. Not that I am highbrow all the time... What do you think? More outfit posts?

In completely unrelated news, but it did make me think of (and surprisingly yearn for) some warm weather - me and Business Chic are going to see Bon Jovi in December. I got tickets tonight. El-cheapo ones, which literally mean row x, but that's the price you've gotta pay when you were too young to appreciate these sort of bands in your youth. I told you, I got a male bogan gene.

I can't wait to sing my heart out to this. Like a male bogan. I wish I had big hair.

(Check out Keri Russell in the clip! She has big hair.)

I love music videos of the 90s. When they still told stories. And werent full of half naked, gyrating women. The women in this clip are far classier than that, despite still being half naked.

And on that note, proving that the topics within Radio Carly are really sometimes irrelevant, goodnight. Who would have thought May Gibbs would feature alongside Jon Bon Jovi.

29 June 2010

Comment July Challenge

You know, there is Movember, Febfast and Sextember. Ok, so I made the last one up. The first two are muns - like puns, but plays on months, raising money and awareness of health issues. Ok, so I made up the word 'muns' too.

Anyhow. Megan, over at Literary Life, has set this challenge for her readers. It is called Comment July Challenge. Not as munny as Movember or Febfast, but it can be sexy like Sextember, depending on the comments. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

Megan explains the concept of the Comment July Challenge quite nicely. Due to pressing deadlines (Packed to the Rafters season premiere, continuing secret squirrel business) I will summarise it really quickly.

I want you to leave a comment on my blog, please. So I can see who my readers are and what you have to say. And so I can return the favour if you have a blog.

You don't even need to sign up for a blog. You can comment anonymously, or put your first name on your comment.

I love receiving comments. And I would love to get to know my readers better!

That is your challenge.

My challenge is to leave five comments a day on blogs through July.

If you're on board, pledge your allegiance below. In the comment box, of course!

To quote Megan, 'let's see how far we can go to spread the comment love...

And we can all dance around in happiness'.

Toy Story review for DiVine

Here is the Toy Story review I wrote for DiVine.

It is a fabulous movie and I think you should see it.

Thanks for reading my review :)

28 June 2010

Rush premiere memories

Nothing new to blog about today. I'm sickly with my cold. Sneezing, wheezing and coughing. I'll be ok though. A cold is not the height of sickness.

As you know, I have quite the memory. And get very starstruck. Indeed.

Tonight marks one year since I was privileged to go to the Rush premiere at the cinema with my friend. I entered a competition and won a double pass.

It was fantastic. There was canapes, champagne, celebrities and Rush on the big screen. I felt very lah-di-dah.

I got very dressed up, feeling very good about myself. I recall sending a text to my Mum on the train saying I'm the sexiest girl out tonight.

I had many a champagne. When Callan appeared, I had to down the champagne(s) very quickly to free up a hand to take a photo (or 50).

Here is my friend and I. I really like this photo - I have it up on my desk at work and also on my fridge. My friend and I had not seen each other for about 10 years until the night of the Rush premiere. It was very exciting. She used to babysit me!

Callan and I. He was so so lovely.

And on his own. I took heaps of photos of him - he was very obliging to pose on his own and with others.

We sat in the front row at the cinema to watch Rush on the big screen. I got a bit dizzy from being so close to the screen. Or it may have been from the champagne.

I know that you should endeavour to put your best face (and legs in this case) forward on the internet, but I have to share this photo with you. I was giggling like a schoolgirl. Especially when Callan and his co-actor Ashley Zuckerman came out to introduce the screening. And during some (shirtless) scenes, I was screaming with delight with the best of them in the cinema.

My skirt was ridiculously short and flippy. My legs are like chipolata sausages! Who cares when the night was that fabulous, darling?!

Oh the memories!

PS: here are the labels, darling.
Skirt by Romance was Born for Sportsgirl - I remember buying this especially for the occasion, and it was a great bargain too!
Coat by Cue
Top by Wish via Alibi Online
Bag by Catherine Manuell
Shoes by Wittner
Necklace by a Tasmanian glass designer, gift from parents
Bangle by Witchery
Belt by Target
Stockings by Voodoo
Smile by Carly

27 June 2010

Sunday comfort food

My cold symptoms I mentioned last night have worsened into a sore head, shivering, tiredness, sniffles and chesty cough.

Time to make some chicken soup. I'm so tired that I considered buying a tin of soup to get me through. I had second thoughts about the tinned soup, I don't know what's in it.

I fried five chicken wings in garlic, hot olive oil, lime juice and two chillis. Once part of the chicken skin was brown and crispy, I added the chicken stock and let simmer for about half an hour. Then I added the vegies. They are only frozen vegies, but sickly times call for convenience vegies.

I have eaten two cups of the soup and it was delicious. So flavoursome. And beats tinned soup. I can feel it working on my cold already.

And hows this for resourcefulness! The leftover bolognaise from the bolognaise pie earlier in the week needed to be eaten.

I didn't feel like eating it in its original form, and didn't want to waste it, so I added a glass of water, a tin of mixed beans and two chillis, and I now have a hearty soup.

I ate it for a late lunch.

Earlier today my friend S and I had brunch at Fraus.

Here I am.

The waitress told me that she loved my blog entry about Fraus, especially the picture of the rainbow in the cup of hot chocolate.

S had poached fruit on crepes with marscapone.

I had a duck curry galette. It had lychees.

We both had mugs of hot chocolate.

I bought this.

It is white chocolate with strawberries.

We then went to the North Melbourne Market. It had heaps of stalls and S and I agreed that we will return in August, cashed up, ready to buy lots of goodies. I loved the skirts, felt scarves and knitted hats.

How cute is the packaging!

And of course, we adored the jewellery. Here is my purchase.

It is by a designer called Oh Deer. I love the detail of the painting. Here it is close up.

Aside from feeling yucky because of the cold, it was a nice day. It was lovely to catch up with S, we've been friends for 11 years and though we don't see each other frequently, every time we do catch up, it's like we've never been apart. Though we always take the piss out of each other, she's such a supportive and kind friend. She's newly engaged and it was very exciting seeing the ring and talking wedding plans. Congratulations S and C :)

Café Fräus Crêpes & Chocolat on Urbanspoon

Message to parents

If you have seven children and they're all peering out of a car window at a person who looks different, do something about it.

Especially if they've got their faces smooshed against the window, poking their tongues out and shouting taunts.

A bit like this...

...but five more monkeys, like stacks on, all trying to get a look at that person who looks different.

Don't just sit there oblivious to it all.

Discipline them. If you believe in giving them a light smack, do so. If you discipline them in other ways, like taking their toy away from them, do that.

Teach them at an early age about diversity and acceptance.

Teach them about illness and disability. And about compassion.

Teach them that someone who looks different to them and that doesn't fit the beautiful mould isn't something to be ridiculed.

And don't just say that they're young children and don't understand their actions.

Thank you.

26 June 2010

Mexican fiesta on the couch with paperwork on a Saturday night.

I feel a cold coming on. I have a cloudy head, am very tired and have a nagging cough that is making it hard to breathe. It's been cold here - 13 degrees today - and I'm a run down with my skin, plus been on two planes. I don't get sick with a cold often, and haven't had the flu since 2002 when I ended up in hospital with it, so fingers crossed this doesn't eventuate to a full blown cold.

This is my treatment.

None of this disgusting cough mixture stuff. I hate medicine almost as much as I fear needles. Note the only medicine cup I have is a plastic glass from a mini wine bottle.

For me it's chillis, lemon and honey and Panadol all the way.

Did you know that Manuka honey has so many healing properties? I sometimes put it on my hands when my skin is blistered. I don't really like the taste of honey but this stuff is ok.

I also had to buy this today. It's a ventolin inhaler for asthma.

My old one has expired. I only use ventolin when I have a cold. I get asthma symptoms so infrequently that I am never quite sure how to use the inhaler.

I was so pleased with the bargain price of it. It gave me the same rush as buying a dress on sale. $8. Who knew! Next time I need a quick and cheap shopping fix I will consider buying ventolin!

I have been wearing a tracksuit far too much when I'm not at work. Hell, I even feel like wearing one to work some days.

You will be pleased, or horrified to know I went out to collect my takeaway dinner dressed like this tonight.

Tracksuit is by Bonds. Faux-uggs are el-cheapo. I am pleased how flattering the tracksuit pants are. If the tracksuit was lesser brand, I may not have set foot out of the house. Or maybe I would have/have done...

I read the American President had no qualms in holding a business meeting with his worldly counterparts at a fast food restaurant.

So I knew the world wouldn't end when I went out in my tracksuit to get Mexican food.

I went to Taco Bill.

Taco Bill is excessive and expensive. If I wanted less excess I would have flown to Mexico for a meal. Prior to going with Kristy in April, I'd only been there twice, and both times were with boys I was in love with and I had my meals paid for. I had no idea how pricey it is!

I have been desperately craving Mexican food since I bought this book yesterday. So instead of cooking a recipe from it, I went to get takeaway!

This is what I have for dinner.

Nachos and burritos. They're massive servings.

My neighbour had to open my wine. I am unable to as I'm too slippery. Yes, my life is constantly in a slippery slope of vaseline.

My Saturday night screams fun and excitement. Eating Mexican on the couch reading press releases about a new policy report and working on some other secret squirrel business.

25 June 2010

Music I've been missing - Dido, No Angel

I was flicking through my iPod the other day, considering making a playlist of women with powerful voices. Like Florence and the Machine. I didn't get much past her because I am in currently deeply love with the song The Dog Days Are Over.

I have heard this song a few times before but didn't take much notice until I heard it in the trailer to the Eat Pray Love film. I started to read the book by Elizabeth Gilbert but couldn't get into it. Maybe it's because I'm not in my 30s, married and wanting out, and looking for a higher being. The film, starring Julia Roberts, looks quite good, and not as boring as the book. I think The Dog Days Are Over as a backing song makes the film seem more exciting than it probably is. Undecided about seeing it.

Moving on.

I thought about what other women with powerful voices I may have on my iPod. I immediately flicked to D.

D for Dido.

Then I saw, with great disappointment, I didn't have her No Angel album loaded.

Dido was literally the music I've been missing. (Note to self - add No Angel to iPod.)

I love this album, and I think that I played it non stop in 2001, seriously. Sadly for me, Dido's an artist where I much prefer her first album to her subsequent ones.

Some say her music is bland and depressing. I'm a believer in giving things a go. At first I didn't really like No Angel. I thought it was a little boring. But after hearing it played at the department store I worked in, I grew to love it and bought a copy for myself.

Sometimes her music made me sad. She sung of the same yearning and betrayal I felt at times in 2001.

I adore this song. Here With Me. Australians, particularly Victorians, may know it from the WorkSafe ads.

Her green eyeshadow captivates me. I wish I could rock green eyeshadow like that. And also rock a long cardi like she does. She's stunning. I consider her as one of the most outwardly beautiful women in history.

Here With Me features in one of my all time favourite films Love Actually. I watch this movie over and over, never getting bored of it. I laugh, cry and recite lines as they're about to be spoken, all while drinking moscato and eating cheese in my pyjamas. I do that about four times a year. That's how much of a low-brow romantic sap I am.

You can view several of my favourite scenes edited and featuring Here With Me on YouTube. The bit when Dido plays is heartwrenching. As is the carols scene where Marc resolves to give up Juliet.

Other times Dido's music has made me feel uplifted. Though I'm not into dance music, the beats and vocals made me feel elated. This song in particular. Take My Hand.

In some points of the album version, I can hear sounds that remind me of whales under the sea. There's an amazing, soaring part towards the end of the song - amazing.

I have seen Dido live twice - once in 2001 at The Forum and once in 2004 at Rod Laver Arena (both Melbourne).

I rate The Forum gig 11/10 better than at Rod Laver. Musically they were both high quality, but there was something about being at the front at The Forum and seeing the musicians do their thing. Take My Hand was my absolute favourite song that she performed live. The energy and sound rushed through me.

I remember her female percussionist being inside a 'beat contraption', if you like, banging, tapping and tinkling on lots of different instruments to make beautiful sounds. I also recall never seeing a bead of sweat on Dido. I believe she sang solo the whole time. It was an astounding concert - an experience I have not forgotten.

My friend and I bought tshirts. She thought she lost hers in the taxi, but it had fallen out of her bag and she found it in the gutter in the morning. I still have mine. I don't (read: can't) wear it now. It was a once size fits all number - it was about a size four, and at that time I was about a size seven. It was such a struggle to wear! Not sure how I got it over my boobs come to think of it!

We made a weekend of that concert. Went shopping, stayed up late, slept on another friend's couch. I loved the concerts back in those days - the act of traveling from the country to Melbourne made it a real event. Now I sometimes go to concerts after work, and go to work the next day, so it's a bit of joy sandwiched between the routine, with a high dose of exhaustion!

Here is another of my mementos from the show. It's a Dido guitar pick.

I think it was thrown from the stage and fell near me, but I may be mistaken. It may have been handed to me by security. Either way, it was my first taste of souveniring from a concert. From that concert on, I tried to get near the front and get a setlist or guitar pick. I've succeeded on many occasions - I actually have Darren Hayes' water bottle!

Here is Dido's guitar pick next to Neil Finn's. I saw the roadie take it off his mic stand at the Crowded House concert at Rod Laver in 2005, and I asked for it.

Once again, this music I've been missing entry has taken many tangents, and mentioned artists beyond Dido. It's a lot of fun writing these and recalling the various experiences I've had and journeys I've taken because of the music I listen to.

24 June 2010

Korbee Jones

So I see Daniel Jones from Savage Garden has a new band after years of behind the scenes music work.

The band is called Korbee Jones.

It's hard to get a feel of the sound (is that a contradiction??) based on one listen of the audio clips. I can hear auto-tune. One song sounds like that Fireflies song from earlier this year. While I know a new band can never replace the magic of Savage Garden, I hope to hear more from them to form a more educated opinion.

This is very exciting for me. While I am a fan of Darren Hayes' solo career, it's been hard to follow Daniel Jones' because he's been producing and songwriting for other people.

I still remember the day the Savage Garden split was announced - 5 October 2001. As I tweeted to Todd earlier today, 'I don't understand politics, but your emotions re Rudd can be likened to mine the time I heard Savage Garden had split up'.

Beige dinners

I have a term I refer to as a beige dinner.

Someone I know who is not adventurous with food eats many beige dinners. Battered fish, chips and lemon is the standard beige dinner. No vegetables, no 'exotic' foods. Just beige. Can't be that healthy for you.

Yesterday when I was at home, sore and I admit, a bit miserable, I had a beige dinner.

Crumbed lamb cutlets and potatoes in the pan. A delicious beige dinner that couldn't be that healthy for me, but damn, it tasted good. And it made me feel better. The doctor said I need to eat more. Probably not more beige dinners, though.

I used to be semi-vegetarian for four years. Age 13 - 17. By semi I mean Mum and Dad made me eat fish. I don't think there was any animal liberation thought behind my choice - I just read a cookbook that had beautiful photos of innovative vegetarian meals one time when I was in the school library instead of at physical education.

During my semi-vegetarianism period, I had lots of tofu, many vegie burgers and once had some of those tinned fauxsages (faux sausages). I discovered the following:
- firm tofu is better than soft tofu,
- vegie burgers are good but making no-meat-loaf with lentils and gated vegies is far more tasty, and
- fauxsages are horrendous. They look like fingers in a tin of formaldehyde, and taste about the same.

One day Mum was cooking lamb cutlets. They smelt good. I ate one. The world didn't end. And that was that. I stopped being semi-vegetarian and became a full on meat loving girl again. (There was a period when I moved to Melbourne where I really limited my meat intake to once a week and called myself a 'part time vegetarian' but now I'm a well balanced omnivore. I enjoy vegies a lot, eat them with almost every meal, and am quite happy to have meatless meals.)

I love lamb cutlets. I wish they weren't so overpriced. And I love potatoes cooked in the same pan as lamb chops. I love how the potatoes take on the flavour of the lamb fat. I put mixed herbs on my potatoes.

I felt guilty so I put half a packet of greens with my beige dinner. There was excessive shrinkage from cooking. So I've increased the size of the photo to compensate. Looks like more vegies were consumed.

And I only ate four of the five cutlets - I will eat one tomorrow for breakfast with my green smoothie. It's an alternative way of eating meat 'n' three veg.

Yesterday I cooked up a batch of bolognaise on the stove. It's quick and nutritious, and easy for me to do when I'm not feeling up to cooking because I'm sore. My bolognaise has pork mince and lots of vegies in it - a carrot, onion, eggplant, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, preserved lemon and sweet potato.

I had it for dinner tonight, but in a non traditional way. It's bolognaise disguised as a beige dinner.

This is the pie crust filled with the bolognaise, topped with a few cheese pieces. I warmed the bolognaise on the stove before putting it in the pie.

I made my own pastry. It didn't take long, about 10 minutes. Making pastry is not hard. I rolled it out and I think it looks like America. I was never good at sculpture so you will notice it is not a perfect circle as the pie lid should be.

I cut some of the Eastern and Western states of America off and used it to patch up the pie lid.

Just out of the oven. Inspired by Sydney Shop Girl.

Here is what the cooked pie looks like inside. It was delicious.

A deceptive beige dinner.

One step aside from a man, one giant leap for women

I am incredibly proud to be Australian today.

Australia has a female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, after Kevin Rudd stood aside.

What a day for Australia and Australian women. We are a lucky country, with freedom incomparable to many parts of the world. But Julia Gillard's appointment as Prime Minister is great progression, for us and the rest of the world. It shows us as women, we can aspire to anything.

Though I do not profess to have knowledge in, or feign interest in politics, the events of today moved me greatly. I don't entirely understand what happened to cause Kevin Rudd's ouststing. I acknowledge that not all Australians agree with the way Julia Gillard was appointed Prime Minister - many call it execution, betrayal or divorce. It was interesting and exciting to watch the TV coverage and read the tweets of the rapidly unfolding events, even for a non politically savvy person like me.

It was particularly interesting to see what a role twitter played in the coverage. Journalists were tweeting observations and photos from the press gallery which them made it to media, and on one TV station, Mia Freedman was appointed 'Reporter of the Tweets', and tweeting herself. I saw a tweet from Yumi Stynes saying 'All the news coverage about the leadership spill is about tweets. Get over it! And get news the old fashioned way, schelppers!'

Another thing I found amusing, and slightly patronising, was that so much opinion about Julia Gillard is about her dress sense, hairstyle and colour (she had fabulous hair today!) and marital status. Call it a point of interest for women, and perhaps a 'human' part of her for them to grab onto, but would women be getting so interested in these aspects of her life if she was male?

I was on my way to the doctor, thinking I'd miss outgoing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's speech. But I tuned into ABC radio and sat in the car listening to his emotional speech. I had tears in my eyes.

Considering he'd just been ousted by his own party, he spoke with such dignity, and from the heart. You can also view his speech at The Age.

He spoke of the achievements of the Labor Party in the time he was Prime Minister. When it came to talking about cancer treatment, organ donation and the stolen generation, he broke down. It was moving. The support from his family, particularly his wife Therese Rein, was strong

As Clem Bastow and many others tweeted, 'I am proud of the fact that Kevin Rudd is a human being'.

Despite the perceived failings of the Labor Party under Kevin Rudd's leadership, I believe he's shown great leadership in his exit speech. It was heartfelt, honest, huourous and apologetic at times. It would be pretty awful to be the leader of a country and turned on by your supposed allies in your party. I can't imagine how he couldn't take criticism personally in his role as Prime Minister.

The values that Kevin and Julia espoused today make me proud.

There were a few words in Julia Gillard's gorgeous strine-laden acceptance address that resonated with me. I believe these words are true resolve of great leadership and values:

'Can I say to the Australian people there will be some days I delight you; there may be some days I disappoint you.

On every day, I will be working my absolute hardest for you'.

23 June 2010

Taxi driver abuse

The trip to Sydney was great. Aside from being sore, that is. Because of my no-blogging-about-work rule, I'm only going to say that I enjoyed meeting and spending time with my colleagues across the country. It was great to be (almost) altogether because our interaction is mostly on the phone or through email. I work with a great group of people, in my virtual team, and around me in Melbourne.

The thing that brought down the experience was catching a taxi on Monday night after an amazing dinner and a few wines. I've been debating writing about this experience, because it is just another shitty thing I've encountered. And then I wonder whether people will think that I am overreacting about things, or worse, making things up. I know I shouldn't worry what others think, but I don't want to make peoples' eyes glaze over by incessant talking about my skin and the shitty situations I encounter.

My colleagues saw me off to the taxi rank at about 9:30 pm. It was dark, and I was in an unknown suburb of Sydney. I'm confident catching public transport and taxis alone - I do it all the time in Melbourne. I always try to be aware and alert when alone at night.

I knocked on the window of the first taxi in the queue. His door was locked. He wound down the window. He was a man of African descent, with poor English. I asked him to take me to my hotel.

Instead of saying yes or no, he said 'what happened to your face?' (And, no, his tone of voice didn't indicate he was concerned for me, he was not welcoming to take me either.)

Tired from being up at 4:10 am, really sore, and not feeling at ease with this driver, I didn't answer, and walked to the next taxi in the queue. I didn't want to ride with this driver. I figured, if he put me that offside on first encounter, and I'm so tired, then things might get tense, or much worse, on the taxi ride.

The second driver didn't speak much English either. He asked me why I didn't go with the first driver. I told him I didn't feel comfortable with the first driver. I don't think he understood what I said.

He flashed his lights at the first driver, told me he's not taking me either.

Then he got out of his taxi, went to the window of the first driver and demanded to know why he wouldn't take me.

There was some sort of argument, I heard the first driver say he wanted to know why I looked the way I did.

The second driver came back to his taxi, pointed his finger to the first driver's taxi and told me I have to go with him.

I said 'no, I don't feel safe' and walked off. Unfortunately I didn't get either driver's taxi licence or car registration numbers.

I felt shaken, a little frightened and disoriented at that stage. My colleagues were no longer at the cafe we were at. I called my manager and she and my colleagues came back for me, and to see me off to a new taxi. I thank them greatly for this.

This next taxi driver was very nice. I told him what had happened earlier, and he told me I was a beautiful, smart girl and not to worry what others think about my appearance, even though it's difficult. It was a positive trip, at least.

As I've said before, sometimes I just want to get on with my day instead of being questioned about my appearance. It's such a hassle.

Music I've been missing - late 90s bands - Fuel and The Goo Goo Dolls

There's something about late 90s music that I love. Some songs I can listen to today in 2010, with fresh ears, with the feeling of the magic I get just hearing a song for the first time.

Tal Bachman's She's So High.
Anything Savage Garden (of course).
Natalie Imbruglia.
The Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony.
Alanis Morissette.
Matchbox Twenty.
Train's Drops of Jupiter.
The Wallflowers.

I think I'll have to do Music I've Been Missing entries on a number of the bands listed above.

Yesterday's flight home was eased by my iPod playlist, which had a couple of late 90s bands on it. Fuel and The Goo Goo Dolls.

I realised late 90s bands is the music I've been missing.

I bought Fuel's Sunburn album when I was about 18, young and impressionable (read - when anything that wasn't Savage Garden was a risk). I thought having the album would make me cool. Someone I knew who was cool had it. I found it difficult to listen to because it was heavy and thrashy and I couldn't hear the words over the heaviness and thrashiness. (I'm sure if I gave it a go today it may sound less heavy and thrashy).

Then I bought the Cold Live at the Chapel CD after hearing it played in the store I worked in, around 2000. I was a huge fan of the Cold Live at the Chapel series on TV. 'Cold' related to the Carlton Cold beer. Since 2000, it's been sponsored by a number of brands including Vodafone and Kia, so you may not know it as Cold Live at the Chapel. Its was a TV show featuring live recordings of bands, some Australian and some international, filmed at the Chapel off Chapel. Chapel off Chapel is a converted church in little Chapel Street, Prahan (Melbourne). It's beautifully ornate.

In 2006 I won tickets to see Bob Evans play there (for Vodafone Live at the Chapel). That was the best music weekend ever - Make Poverty History concert on Friday, Live at the Chapel on Saturday and U2 on Sunday! The Live at the Chapel show was amazing. It was the first time I'd seen Bob Evans live.We were given drinks and nibbles, sang along to the lyrics and got to meet the band afterward. I recorded a few songs on my dodgy camera. And took some photos too.

This one is dodgy and blurry, or arty, depending on which way you look at it.

Here is me meeting Bob Evans. I'm rarely (openly) self critical of my appearance in photos, but what's with my slouch!?! The stray hand is S's.

Anyhow, the Cold Live at the Chapel CD I bought in 2000 had acoustic songs by The Foo Fighters, Killing Heidi, Tonic Paul Kelly and Fuel, among others. It is an awesome CD and I listened to it a lot, back in the day.

It was through listening to this CD that I really appreciated Fuel. Because I was able to hear the singer's voice. Fuel's songs on the CD were Shimmer and Bittersweet.

Here is Bittersweet.

I could never really understand the (meaning and pronunciation of) lyrics, but I enjoyed the gruff voice.

While I cannot find a link to the Cold Live at the Chapel version of Shimmer, here is a VH1 Storytellers one which is similar.

I really like the verse:

'She dreams a champagne dream
Strawberry surprise, pink linen and white paper
Lavender and cream
Fields of butterfliess, reality escapes her
She says that love is for fools that fall behind
And I'm somewhere in between
I never really know
A killer from a savior
'Til I break at the bend'

It reminds me of the song My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music. Only sung by a straggly-haired, gravelly voiced rock and roll singer.

In my research for this blog entry, I have seen that the original singer Brett Scallions left Fuel in 2006 and has been replaced by a new singer, Toryn Green. Who knew? You Tube videos demonstrate the two singers sound very similar.

Next on my playlist was the Goo Goo Dolls' Slide and Black Balloon from their album Dizzy Up the Girl.

When I was about 16 I bought the City of Angels soundtrack for The Goo Goo Dolls' Iris and Alanis Morissette's song Uninvited. I thought the rest of the album (bar Sarah McLachlan's song) was boring. BORING! And dull. And then I think Alanis's song was available on her difficult second album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie anyway.

I thought the movie was boring too. Nic Cage was a chronic mumbler. The redeeming feature of City of Angels was Meg Ryan's hair. Though my hair is short and curly, I wished it looked as great as Meg Ryan's:

I would listen to Iris on repeat. I was in love with the drama, melancholy and love within the song. And I was probably yearning for some unattainable boy, singing 'I'd give up forever to touch you' in my head and thinking of how my surname would look hyphenated with his.

Then I heard Slide. I was in love with this song too.

I liked this song even more than Iris. I bought Dizzy Up The Girl, maybe in 1999, but similarly to with the Fuel album, it was too heavy for my precious ears and closed mind! In recent years I've appreciated it more and think I overreacted to the supposed heaviness of the CD. It's not heavy at all. And contains another gravelly voiced rockstar which I like so much.

I have wondered whether Slide was about forbidden love, or someone's girlfriend having an abortion and considering the option/pressure to get married (in both situations). It's hard to tell - the lyrics aren't as blunt as the Ben Folds Five song Brick (another great late 90s song). I haven't googled the meaning the lyrics to Slide, because I am content making up my own meaning to the song, but please share your interpretations of the song lyrics.

This was a very convoluted blog entry to write, and I hope it doesn't read in a convoluted way, but in writing it, my memory has been jogged with other fantastic late 90s bands.


Sometimes I feel a great need to justify my situation. I shouldn't have to, though.

The skin on my legs is really sore. I haven't felt this sore in a while. But these past few days I have been in a lot of pain, to the point where I have been walking bandy-legged, have needed to elevate my legs when sitting, and needed help buckling my shoes because I can't bend down or lift my legs high enough to do so.

While my illness varies with severity and pain, to others it may seem constant. My face is always red. People don't see my body. Most people don't notice when I am in pain unless they know me very well. And if I looked the same last time they saw me, then I must be the same now. I guess it's like an invisible illness inside a very visible one.

There are a few people that I call on for help. I know they understand that my illness fluctuates, and I trust them seeing my at my worst. These people mean so much to me. They are like my family because my family aren't here in the same city as me. I rarely ask for help or special treatment when I am sore. Most of the time I just grin and bear the pain and do what every other able bodied person can do. Waiting in a queue when I can hardly stand up. Walking. Carrying heavy loads. Cooking and cleaning.

So when I do ask for help, or get offered help from people who don't know me too well, I am truly grateful. But to be questioned about receiving help, or being called a princess when I am too sore to do something that others can, is very hurtful.


Here are some pictures of the sunrise I saw from the plane on the way to Sydney.

I have not seen too many sunrises in my life. I do wake up early on most days, but I am never outside to see the sky.

I recall one morning, at a time I was going out with a boy, and he was outside having a smoke and called me with a sense of urgency. I was in the bathroom at the time, and I was annoyed that he had called me outside while he was smoking, because he knew I didn't like it when he smoked around me.

When I got outside he told me the sun was rising. We sat on the step and watched the sunrise together. That was possibly the most romantic thing we had ever done together.

Anyway, I digress.

Seeing the sunrise on Monday morning was beautiful. It made getting up at 4:10 am worth it.

I love the way the sky gradually changes colour. It's a pretty amazing thing. I feel like I should have taken more opportunities to watch the sunrise, but then maybe, because it happens so rarely, I may appreciate it more.

The pinks and yellows are my favourite. It looks like the sky is a piece of silk that has been dip dyed and hung out to dry.


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