Thursday, December 31, 2009

Watching Listen and Singalong: Part 32: New Year's Eve



I went looking for songs about New Year's Eve. There aren't that many to choose from but this one has been covered by many people. It doesn't get much classier than Ella Fitzgerald though, so that's the one I've chosen for here at The Spiralling Shape (which as we all know is a tremendously classy blog).

Enjoy.

New Year's whatever...



This appeared on the twitterstream thanks to @dramagirl. I have borrowed it for myself. I'm quite the equivalent of Scrooge on New Year's Eve so this is as festive as I am going to get about the New Year. However, other resolutions include

Exercise
Less swearing except when absolutely necessary
Continued patience and tolerance towards myself and others

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Watching Listen and Singalong: Part 31 (I think): "Heathcliff"



You know on the same day I get my piano accordion my brother arrives to visit with his new ukelele which was a Christmas present from his wonderful wife. Here, we can all enjoy the pleasant strum of the ukelele as well as singing along. Shout it out - "Heathcliff".

There's not much better than that.

Dear unnamed electricity provider

Dear unnamed electricity provider

Thank you for you kind letter advising me how much I owe you by the 18 January. It's very timely, considering I have just finished spending myself stupid on Christmas gifts for others and myself. Never fear however, I will pay you on time.

However, if I may, I would like to point out a problem with the so called Davis Report you have thoughtfully provided for me, comparing my electricity usage with the average in my region. Firstly, it's very interesting to see I am using a humungus 2% more electricity than the household average in my area. Clearly these people don't know how to use electricity with the same zest that I do. Most of all I would like to thank you for your helpful tips for reducing my electricity usage. It may interest you to know that

1. I do not have a second fridge or a chest freezer so cannot save the estimated $300 a year by turning them off. Plus - wouldn't that make the food go bad in the freezer? Just wondering about the wisdom of this tip.

2. I do not have a dishwasher, therefore I am unable to set it to economy cycle and save your estimated $50 per year.

I make a point of turning off lights when I leave the room already, so any other thoughts you might have might be welcome, as long as they don't involve setting the airconditioning to 25 because quite frankly that doesn't cool anything down in the stinky, humid, Queensland summer.

Yours sincerely

Wendy

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Piano Accordion has arrived






There is now a piano accordion in my house. I am just a little bit excited. First task..work out how to play it with the buttons. Second task...perhaps reread E.Annie Proulx's Accordion Crimes. I'm sure it's on the bookshelf somewhere.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day ennui

Usually, living here in the "sticks" Boxing Day is marginally less boring than Good Friday, because at least on Boxing Day you usually have a new book or movie to watch, lollies to eat, etc. I say this to remind those of you who live in our great cities, that normally no shops open on Boxing Day in the backwater of Bundaberg. But today, by some chance Christmas miracle to do with gazetted and non-gazetted public holidays the shops are open. Before Christmas I thought, hmm,sounds exciting, might go check out the sales. This morning upon awakening at 8am I can think of nothing worse than to venture anywhere near one of our fine shopping centres.

So here's some things I could today instead:
Washing and associated activities (Ironing, putting away clothes etc)
Weeding the Garden
Mowing the Lawn
Tidying up my music cupboard and music room.
Clean my venetian blinds
Other various household related activities

Here's why I won't be doing any of the above. They all require either
(a) effort
(b) manual labour
(c) going outside into the delightful hot day
(d)some or all of the above

Here are some things I may choose to do:
Listen to music
Read a book and/or books
Watch television and/or a DVD
Sleep
Faff about on the Internet
Play the piano
Eat...lollies and normal food as well
Stare vacantly into space recovering from the exhaustion that was Christmas day

A much better list I'm sure you will all agree

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: And writes her letter to Santa

Dear Santa

I know it's been some time since I wrote you a letter so please forgive my tardiness. You'll just have to take my word for it that I have been good this year. I know you have a lot of children to keep on an eye on so I'm probably not first on your naughty or nice list. Anyway, take it from me, I'm very nice most of the time except when people drive stupidly in front of me, take a carpark that I was waiting for, brake suddenly, drive well below the speed limit, or make any sudden or unexpected moves that cause me to have to engage in defensive driving accompanied by some light swearing.

Anyhoo you're a busy fellow I'm sure on this day before Christmas so here's my list of things I want.

1. World Peace
2. To understand the Carbon trading scheme
3. To understand Middle East politics - both historical context and contemporary situation
4. And end to poverty in all worlds - First, Developing and Third
5. Autumnal weather the whole year round. Summer really gives me the pip. I'm guessing this is somehow related to global warming so if you could talk to the right people it would be much appreciated. It might just be the solution we are all looking for.
6. Tony Abbott never to become Prime Minister (not sure if you have this power but I thought I'd put it in anyway)

And now the things for myself
1. A Steinway grand piano
2. An extra big room on my house for the piano.
3. Not to have to go to work but still get paid.
4. Failing 3 - to win the lotto
5. A weekly reminder to enter the lotto
6. A totally painfree nose piercing. I'm guessing this isn't possible
7. New clothes whenever I want them
8. Free unlimited internet
9. A new Apple laptop
10. One of those speakery things for my iPhone
11. A new bed.
12. Pay TV that I don't have to pay for
13. The ability to draw/paint...well.
14. The ability to improvise music...and have it sound good.
15. Room for a microwave in my kitchen.
16. A new stovetop with all the plates working.
17. One of those fancy self-cleaning ovens I just heard about yesterday at work.
18. While you're at it a self cleaning shower would also be good.
19. Lawn that stays beautifully green but never needs mowing.
20. An prolific organic vegetable garden that never gets any weeds.

Failing any or all of the above, I'll just have the usual. Soaps, towels, clothes, books, DVDs, gift cards or any other nice surprises that my wonderful family might choose for me.

Best wishes for the big day

Wendy

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: Bowie and Bing have a little sing



Here's something of a Christmas oddity (get it) that I just stumbled across on youtube. Enjoy the dialogue as well as the singing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: Silent Night



What's a blog for if you can't post slightly dodgy DIY iPhone videos of yourself playing Christmas carols? Here I present for your enjoyment, amusement and perhaps slight bewilderment, me playing the violin and a long standing family friend playing the piano. I rarely play the violin these days because it has left me with a dodgy neck but this was fun. Listen out for the conversation between my father and sister who clearly didn't grasp the concept of the microphone.

Aaahh...Christmas...dontcha just love it.

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: Earrings

For those very few of you who read The Spiralling Shape I'm sure you're eagerly awaiting the next fascinating instalment of "Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit". Well, brace yourselves, because today's episode is particularly interesting.

I am going to wear my 2 dollar Christmas earrings to work.

They are little gold Christmas trees. Not real gold I'm presuming. Because, you know, 2 dollars.

That is exciting isn't it. I wouldn't blame you if you needed a little sit down after reading this post. Just to recover yourselves.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: Remembrance of Christmases Past

1. The year I heard sleigh bells outside. I was five. Give me a break. I still swear I heard them though to this day.

2. The year I got a Strawberry Shortcake Doll, was dragged to church in the stinking heat and had to leave to throw up outside in the garden. I might have been 8 or 9.

3. The year I got a porcelain doll (which my then baby sister later dropped on the floor and broke) AND a new music stand. That was a big Christmas. I might have been 10?

4. The year we ate Christmas dinner in our tent at the beach at Mon Repos in a howling northerly wind. I had a Mickey Mouse shirt which I thought was really cool. Somewhere there is a photo documenting both these events. It shall not be released to the public. I was probably about 12. The beginning of the awkward ugly teenage years.

5. The year my brother and I received the Mad Magazine Board Game. What larks. We played that game like MAD. (geddit!)

6. The years we would drive to Brisbane for Christmas with my Dad's family. That yellow Datsun 200B did quite a few miles. We would also take the dog ( a labrador) who sat in the front on the floor with my mother. Christmas would be downstairs in the louvred outdoor area near the pool and include every type of salad imaginable (bean, rice, coleslaw, etc) and many different types of meat. The highlight was the plum pudding with the money wrapped in alfoil. Oh, and the merciless teasing from my uncles. Merciless teasing is part of the Davis family gene pool. It continues through the generations to this day.

7. The last Christmas we had with my Grandpa. I found a photo of this on the weekend. It looked nice.

8. The year I convinced my mother to have the big dinner in the cool of the evening rather than the heat of the day.

9. The year I got some towels. Oh wait, that's nearly every year on record. Thank you grandparents.

10. The year we gorged ourselves on seafood.Oh wait, that never happens because my father is allergic to just about everything except fish.

11. The year we went to Hervey Bay, dragging my hungover brother with us (despite his claims that he was fine because he had a "fast metabolism". Yeah right). He spent most of the day asleep. The rest of us watched John English in The Pirates of Penzance on video. Wild times.

12. The year (not that long ago) my brother and I bought our parents a DVD player. They've never been so surprised. They've never looked back either. It's DVDs from morn til night.

13. The year my Mother actually got my Father to put up more than one string of fairy lights on the house. It was like a veritable fairyland (but still the lamest display in the street). Some people have a lot of time, and lights on their hands don't they. What about the environment?? (Cue false indignation)

14. The year I was Christmas shopping and heard Here Comes the Sun on the muzak in a shop without ever having heard it before. Unwittingly I had asked for Abbey Road for Christmas and BOOM there it was. That was one of the best musical moments of my life.

15. That's all I can think of although clearly there have been many more Christmases because I am older than 14. They tend to all blend into one after a while don't they.

16. Oh, I guess I should include the year we finally gave up on Santa Claus. That was a little bit sad really, even though my mother usually insists on still writing "To Wendy, from Santa" on at least one gift. I hope she remembers to do that this year.

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: John and Yoko

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wendy Gets into the Christmas Spirit: Red

The theme for the day is Red.

Red shirt
Red shiny bangle
Red sparkly thongs
Beads with red through them.

That's festive isn't it?

The Battle of the Music Quiz Shows Part 2: A Very Specky Christmas

Too much vaudeville and faffing about for me I'm afraid. Did Rockwiz book all the good Australian music guests first? Here are some questions I have:
1. Peter Garrett? - yes I know he is an Australian "music legend" but now he is a politician. Neither did he crack many good jokes and frequently looked a bit bored.
2. Jarvis Cocker - ? Not particularly funny, frequently looked like he didn't know why he had said yes to being on the show?
3.Denise "Ding Dong" Drysdale - Was this an attempt to attract an older demographic? She's mildly entertaining, but really.
4. Hamish Blake - I know he frequently appears to be a smug little bastard but he's very good value on the Spicks and Specks panel and here he was relegated to a bit part playing Jesus. He made the most of it but it wasn't enough for this viewer who has a slightly embarrassing TV crush on young Hamish.
5. Molly Meldrum as a Xmas tree? Nuff said.
6. Brian Mannix as a Gladiator? Nuff said. Except to say that are these ye olde Australian music celebrities so hard up for some publicity that will take 2 minutes on a Christmas special. Answer: It seems yes.
7.What was with the Nativity themed decor? I'm not religious but I liked Rockwiz's broader take on the Christmas theme in terms of audience appeal.
8.Throwing fruit is at celebrities is a game now? At least it wasn't as terrible they made guests throw televisions through a hole in the wall. (If my memory serves me correctly)
8. Why weren't the guy from Tripod and the guy from the Scared Weird Little guys allowed to be on the panel. They're actually musically talented and sometimes funny.
9. We Three Kings as the final song?
10. Why did I frequently have the impulse to change the channel and/or get up and check my emails/facebook/twitter etc? Because sadly for this quite loyal viewer of Spicks and Specks the Christmas special proved the Good News Week theory of television. That is, making a comedy panel program longer doesn't automatically lead to more funny. It can frequently lead to just more flapping about and filler which isn't that funny.

Rockwiz you win this year. Bring on 2010.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Battle of the Music Quiz Shows Part 1: Rockwiz



Now for all of you out there who like myself have no life and sat at home last night, I hope you were fortunate enough to catch the Rockwiz Christmas Special. Julia Zemiro was her usual rock-glamorous self. She's got quite the knack of improvising with the guests and I find her to be quite witty. And I always like Brian Nankervis in his role of rock overseer. The Rockwiz Orchestra were augmented by a few more players and singers which was nice, and the special singing guests got into the rock-Christmas spirit. With Tex Perkins and Tim Rogers instructing the little drummer boy to get his act together, he wouldn't dare not. Nice harmony Tim. You actually impressed me and I haven't been a fan in the past. What I like about Rockwiz is the way it gets the audience members into the show. Unlike Spicks and Specks, it's music first, comedy second. What I mean is, it's not trying too hard to be funny, it focuses on the music and from that comes both a joy of music as well as laughs and all round amusement. It's fast paced (where SandS can sometimes get bogged down in trying to be funny...I offer for your consideration the game of celebrities playing the mini keyboard). Rockwiz also had the added bonus of Paul Gray with his tinsel covered keytar (or as Flight of the Conchords would say..his "guitboard"). Win.

But we shall see how The Very Specky Christmas stacks up tonight at 7:30. In the meantime, enjoy this, which was a cracking final number sung by Joe Camillieri (spelling...sorry if it's wrong) and his pink saxophone. What a great choice of song for a Christmas special. Sadly, it doesn't look like anyone has uploaded it to youtube yet. You'll have to make do with Elvis.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: I Saw Three Ships



This is another classic favourite for me. Let's face it - who wouldn't love to see three ships sailing by?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: The Sussex Carol



Now just to classic things up a little bit here at the shape - The Sussex carol. We've sung this at choir...not as well as this though. Listen for the rolled rrrrrs in Christmas and I like the jaunty rhythm.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: with The Beach Boys and Santa



In my music nerd-dom I adore The Beach Boys and their close harmonies. I can't help it. I can't also help but wonder who the arranger was who thought that snippets of crazy cartoon music and pop goes the weasel would be appropriate here.

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: They Might Giants Sing about Santa



It's time for me to going a-searching for Christmas songs. This is a Spiralling Shape tradition, if indeed doing it once before can be classed as a tradition. Traditions have to start somewhere don't they?
Anyway, enjoy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Describe yourself in one word.....

That was the challenge set for my this evening by one of my facebook friends after I did a kind of viral status update that asked my fb friends to think of one word to describe me. Well of course both challenges are virtually impossible. How to narrow down the complexity of our human natures and temperaments to a single word? How to encompass our varieties of mood that wax and wane from the day to day, hour to hour, sometimes minute to minute? So I decided to make a list of words that I think describe me. Here's what I came up with in a short time.

Sarcastic,
Ironic,
Dry,
Witty,
Cranky,
Quiet,
Naive,
Cautious,
Optimistic,
Pessimistic,
Mad,
Happy,
Content,
Satisfied,
Repetitive,
Logical,
Unsure,
Freckly,
Shortsighted,
Tall,
Lazy,
Enthusiastic,
Confident,
Shy,
Introverted,
Romantic,
Sedentary,
Thoughtful,
Messy,
Helpful,
Dull,
Sympathetic,
Caring,
Annoyed,
Frustrated,
Hopeful,
Nervous
Joyful,
Sad,
Isolated,
Friendly,
Skeptical,
Flexible,
Just,
Fair,
Rigid,
Funny,
Weird,
Laughing,
Daggy,
Individual,
Writer,
Impatient,
Difficult,
Pale,
Teacher,
Anxious,
Relaxed,
Calm,
Reader,
Stressed,
Persistent,
Hopeless,
Brave,
Empathetic,
Listening,
Wordy,
Reflective,
Scared,
Dumb,
Uncertain,
Intelligent,
Boring,
Musical,
Untidy,
Complex,
Changeable,
Human,
Temperamental,
Observant,
Aware,
Contradictory.....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: X-terminate-mas



Look!!!! For those of you following my Tardis stakeout adventure it continues....
Now the Dalek has emerged from the garage to form a delightful Doctor Who themed Christmas tableau.(should there be an "x" on the end of that? I'm too lazy to look it up).

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: Cheap Commercialised Fashion

In my bid to further get into the Christmas spirit I did what every good consumer should do in the weeks leading up to Christmas. That's right, I went to Supre and bought some cheap as chips, poorly made, Christmas themed T shirts. I braved the terrorist interrogation chic fluorescent lighting, and the loud techno tunes blasting through the sound system. I ignored the fact that I was the oldest person in the store by a good 15 years (that is until I saw some lovely old dears checking out the sundresses on my way out). I picked through the racks and racks of crap in search of an XL (which I do believe is the equivalent of an M in other normal stores) and picked my new tees. I was pretty chuffed because last week when I looked at them they were 12 dollars or so. This week they were On Special for 7.50 - thus the buying of two.

One says "Dear Santa, Define Good" - hilarious, no?
The other has a picture of a little angel saying "I'll be good next year". Cute, yes?

I feel these are very appropriate work wear and shall be wearing them as much as possible between now and Christmas Eve so I get my full 7.50 worth before they become redundant on Boxing Day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: Tardis Stakeout




Ok, so it's a really bad photo because like a secret crimefighter on a stakeout I had to glide by this house in my car and quickly snap an iPhone picture, but here is a family with true commitment to the Christmas spirit. For weeks I have been driving past watching them build this life size Tardis and an excellent Dalek in their garage. Sadly, everytime I did drive by they were either working on it, or out in the yard, so I didn't want to stop like a scary Doctor Who stalker and take a picture. But this evening on my way home from my parents' place, the Tardis was out on the trailer and there was no-one around. So TA-DA!
Success.
I don't think I'm Torchwood material however. The stress of taking this photo undetected was quite enough for me. Fighting aliens I shall leave to the experts.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wendy gets into the Christmas Spirit: Lights

With minimal effort I have transformed my loungeroom into a Winter Wonderland. Here's a few simple steps you can follow for yourself.

1. Light the candles you already own but never light any other month of the year. Here are the nice handpainted tealight holders I bought in Hobart. They look Christmassy.



2. The same as for step 1, except this time light the tealights you bought at Wheel and Barrow at Robina Shoppingtown in September. Lighting them in December means they are for Christmas.



3. Turn on the fairylights that have been strung on your bookcase since last December but not turned on all year. This defines them as your "Christmas lights".



4. Sit back and admire your Christmas lighting handiwork.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Confounding things many of which I am oblivious to and/or don't understand

Lady Gaga
The Paranormal Romance section in Dymocks in Bundaberg
Chai Lattes
The Jonas Brothers
Google Wave
anything connected to Twilight and vampires generally
Daniel Radcliffe's eyebrows
Tony Abbott
Butterfly (as in swimming)
Will Ferrell
Exercise
Artichokes
Farmville and why people keep losing cows...tsk tsk
Empire of the Sun
How to banish ants from my kitchen
Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time
How to cook eggplant and artichoke
Why people rave about seafood especially at Christmas
What I did for procrastination before the Internet

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I did not shout HURRY UP YOU SLOW EMO TEENAGER

I went.
I saw.
I chose a theme which shall not be revealed here because some people who are receiving gifts may be reading.
I did 80 percent of my gift buying in the one shop.
I bought auxiliary impulse presents for myself.
I watched the neverending line for Santa photos never end.
I dodged trolleys, old people, bogans, small children trying to escape from their parents, parents screaming at their children, and people having long detailed conversations in the middle of the mall oblivious to the fact that some of us might be trying to walk through.
I waited for the teenage checkout girl in Woolworths to have a five minute conversation with her friends who were in front of me buying few items yet taking forever to do so.
I said "Fine thanks" when aforementioned checkout girl asked me how I was. I patiently waited as she very slowly scanned all my items. I did not shout HURRY UP YOU SLOW EMO TEENAGER. Except in my head of course. Not out loud.
I came home.
I am now going to eat lunch and have a little recovery nanna nap.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dear working week

Dear Working Week

I know it's been a while since we met but I don't remember you being quite so intrusive into my actual life. The thing is I have quite a pile of books in various shapes and sizes that I would like to be reading rather than the infinite email trail you supply to me each morning. I also have a lot of quite nice music that I would like to listen to properly. By properly I mean I would like to listen to it clearly and loudly, rather than having to play it quietly in the background, turning it off when I answer the phone or missing bits when I go out of my office.

Furthermore, I'm not sure if you realise but five full days in a row is quite a long time to concentrate. For example, I would quite like it if it was Saturday today. Any chance you could do some kind of restructure to your organisation and put say, two days on two days off in place. I'm sure others would appreciate that. As you know restructures are all the rage these days, and making a few days redundant wouldn't be that big of a deal. The other thing you might like to think about is making your days reapply for their positions. Monday, for example, has been performing unsatisfactorily for some time now. In private industry they would have had at least had to complete a performance review and improve themselves by now. This doesn't seem to happen in a public organisation such as yours.

Anyway, working week, these are just some thoughts from one who has had a month to distance themselves from your operations, and now returns bright eyed, fresh faced and full of enthusiasm to make work a better place for everyone.

Kind regards

Wendy

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the path to twig destruction is strewn with antique blue shards of glass

Once again lulled into a false sense of complacency I left my bedroom door open where the highly appealing to cats Christmas arrangement of baubly twigs is located up very high on my bookcase. For months, it has gone seemingly unnoticed by cat-like eyes.

Needless to say, I am an idiot and my cat got the better of me. However, this time it did not destroy the cheap twiggy Christmas decorations. Oh no! In its path to twig destruction was a lovely blue antique glass vase given to me by my grandmother.

If anyone is mosaicing a sky I have plenty of shards of broken glass to give away.

I have also had to get the vacuum cleaner out IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK.

I also have a plump grey cat who may or may not get dinner tonight. I will reserve my decision on that for later in the evening.

Bedroom door now closed.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Heigh Hooooooo.......



And so it dawns. Monday November 30. The day my friendly work voicemail tells callers I will be "returning to work". I guess I better go then. It's difficult to believe it's been four weeks since I've been in my office. It feels like I've been in some kind of timewarp, where no time has passed at all, yet lots of things will have happened while I've been away.

My wonderful admin officer (who is also named Wendy) has been keeping the ship sailing while I have been away. Apparently, there is a growing pile of documents on my desk marked "For Wendy, when she gets back". I'm looking forward to that. Also, I have managed to keep my resolve and not check my work email AT ALL. Perhaps by the end of the week I might have that under control.

And so, I put on my make-up and my watch for the first time in weeks and trundle off.

Maybe if I'm really lucky I'll get to do some date-stamping.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Watching Listen and Singalong: Part 30 or so Awkward Annie



This is my new favourite thing at the moment and I urge you all to seek it out. Of course there is the distinct possibility that I am far behind the times as per usual and everyone else has discovered Kate Rusby well before me. This album of the same name is wonderful and I am listening to it constantly. It also contains the cover of Village Green Preservation Society.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Adventures in shopping my way round Tasmania

I may well post again about the natural beauty of Tasmania, the prolific roses and lavender, the water, water everywhere you look, the wildlife, the hills and mountains, the minor excursion into the forest, the fairy penguins, the beach, the midlands, the Peter Cundall Pilgrimage to the Botantic Gardens, but first we must get the most important things out of the way.

Shopping....I shopped my way around the Huon Valley, antique shops, Salamanca Markets, Hobart, Swansea, Bicheno, Campbelltown, Ross, Oatlands and even the airport where I bought a book on the way home.

Here are some pictures of purchases for all of us to enjoy.



One brass teapot. Essential buying I am sure you will agree.



Assorted jewellery from all over the place. Some of it was cheap, some of it was more expensive. My favourite things are the silk flowers for my hair and the dog earrings, as well as the green clay polymer ring.



Postcards from an antique shop in Hobart as well as assorted other cards.



It's a bag. It has a cat and musical things on it. Say no more.



It's a cute card of a kitten. It's now hanging on my wall in a frame.



No it's not my messy pencil holder. It's a flower made out of wire and electrical cable. I think it's supposed to go in the garden but I am choosing to keep it inside.



It's one of those elephant hanging bell thingies. It's now hanging on my wardrobe door.



It's my 2010 giant Paris Calendar. I have already hung it on the wall.


Two miniature genie lamps. I mean really, how could I leave them in the antique shop. They are so cute.



Hand painted tealight holders. Pretty.



Japanese postcards from an antique shop in Hobart (are we sensing a theme here with the antique shops?)



Some music prints I found at Salamanca.



Despite the fact that I don't own an record player I think this was seven dollars well spent.



Two handpainted Turkish bowls found in a chocolate shop I forget the name of in Hobart.



More old postcards from an antique shop.



Some nature photos. We went to the Tesselated Pavement that is the one on the left. It was quite amazing to see.



A colourful print of Salamanca Markets.



A bag with strawberries on it.



Some photos from Kate's Berry Farm where I highly recommend the Belgian waffles.



A box of classic Venetian postcards. New...not from an antique shop. Just to clarify.



Some treble clef earrings. I am a little bit of a music dork sad to say.

And of course no one would be stupid enough to travel all that way and think they could buy lots of books and fit them into their suitcase on the way home. Or would they?




I highly recommend Fuller's Bookshop in Hobart, particularly for the nice cafe. I also bought a cute pink booklight there and was quite restrained. However, once let loose in the Hobart Book Shop I went a little wild and the nice man posted my purchases home for me. This still didn't stop me buying more books at secondhand shops which had to be carried on as hand luggage on the way home. They wouldn't fit in my suitcase even though I also had to buy a new, bigger and improved suitcase 60% off at Harris Scarfe, because mine started to fall apart in Brisbane before we flew out.

Last but by no means least, if you ever find yourself in Kingston you must visit the Japanese shop there. I bought enough material for my dear mother to make me a silk patchwork quilt. The material is remnants from kimonos etc. We had the most fun picking out the patterns.













N.B. I haven't taken a picture of the black winter hat I bought, the winter headscarf thing which I wore a lot, the silk wraparound skirt or the little brass bell I found on a junk stall. And there's probably other things I have forgotten as well.

I was still under the baggage limit though.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wendy is in the building

I am home. I am tired. I will post at length about Tasmania very soon. It was a wonderful holiday. Lucky for me, I have another week of holidays to recover.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Green

I returned home today from the overwhelming brown of Rockhampton to two delightful green items. They had arrived in the post while I was away.

First, this wonderful Tshirt designed by the very clever Nick Caldwell.


If you want one for yourself (and you do have a choice of colours you need to go to the redbubble site). I am wearing it now!! I may even wear it tomorrow as I travel to Brisbane. Because it would match my green sneakers.

And then this lovely lovely gift from Cindy in Tasmania.


It is already in my suitcase for Tasmania, even though it seems like the weather is going to be too hot for scarves for the first few days. I am determined to wear it and will be taking a photo of it in the land of its birth.

I was going to write a scathing expose of our retreat. Quite frankly I can't be bothered. Let's just say the world of academia is both strange and curious.

I am On Holidays now so I no longer care! And I have celebrated my very own green Christmas.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Doable

Trying a post from my phone. Fiddly but doable

Can I survive a week without my hair straightener?

Packing is nearly complete except for the elusive beanie. Goodness knows where it has got to. There's not much call for beanies here in Bundaberg so it may well have given up on ever being worn and taken itself off to colder climes. Either way, it looks like I go to Tasmania next week beanie-less. I do have a lot of nice scarves though. And a jacket with a hood. I'm sure I will be able to borrow a beanie if necessary. Plus, it's impossible to tell exactly how cold it's going to be. So I have quite the selection of cardigans, tops, tshirts, etc. You are proving somewhat confounding Tasmania.

I have also just about finished packing for Rockhampton. Apparently it's going to hit a very pleasant low thirties in the middle of the week which calls for a whole different attire altogether. I hate having to decide what I am going to wear every day at the beginning of the week. I prefer to wake in the morning and then decide what I feel like wearing. As a result I probably have enough clothes for two weeks stuffed into a tiny suitcase. I also have "everything but the kitchen sink" - books, music, all manner of jewellery, lotions, potions, make-up, food, and a bag of papers and other work related garbage. I refuse to take more than two pairs of shoes - one to wear and one to pack. But I have one dilemma...Can I survive the week without my hair straightener?

Things left to do: Set the recorder for my "shows", see if I can blog from my iPhone with any ease at all and see if I can Facebook chat from my iPhone.

It seems that my iPhone will feature largely during the week.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday afternoon fun



This makes Friday afternoon fun. Apologies for the double up facebookers. I just love how much fun Jack Black is having.

Smile!

Sprinkling fairy dust here, there and everywhere

As I have just tweeted and facebook status updated, this afternoon is my last in the office for a month. Fear not, this does not mean a month of holidays. For next week tis northward ho to Rockhampton, city of beef, for our annual Retreat. For those of you who may be thinking, "Well Wendy that sounds delightfully relaxing, full of sessions on stress management, meditation and sprinkling fairy dust here, there and everywhere" you are actually quite wrong. It's work. Fascinating sessions about quality assurance, revisions to our program and courses, something mysterious called "embedding graduate attributes" as well as discussing research and many other things. There is also an expectation of collegiality. Good luck with that I say. Expect some slightly cynical and ironic tweeting before the week is over.

However, after next week is over I do have two weeks in Tasmania to look foward to, and then a week at home, napping, reading, musicking and just generally doing nothing at all. The blog may be a little quiet, although perhaps I will be able to do something with my trusty iPhone. Expect photos, photos and more photos.

Of Tasmania, not Rockhampton. Although if you're really lucky I might take a picture of the giant bull that greets visitors to that fair city. Only if you are all good though.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

just life really

I've been uninspired to write any posts this week. Nothing much of consequence has been happening. It's all just the usual stuff. Choir on Monday night followed by watching The Big Bang Theory (which was not the strongest episode I have to say). Then Tuesday night Curb Your Enthusiasm. I will watch Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld do just about anything, but again not the most fascinating of episodes. Wednesday sucked the life out of me somewhat with a day filled with interviewing prospective students for next year. I then collapsed on the lounge (after recording my version of Charlie Chaplin's Smile) and teaching some piano, and then watched Spicks and Specks. It wasn't that exciting either.

This brings us to Thursday - more student interviews, and afternoon working at home, a piano lesson, Glee....and then suddenly in the midst of all this....I am notified that one of our students, who has just completed the program a few weeks ago, has passed away.

Life never ceases to....well...just be life really.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the ugliest hand painted craft market vase in the world is no more

Dear Harrison

Notice the formality of my greeting to you. The reason for this is the seriousness of this letter. I hope one day you will learn to use your little grey paws to open Firefox and navigate your way to this blog, in order that you understand the full ramifications of your behaviour.

Here are two things I would ask that you cease:

1. Attacking any and all flowers that make their way into this house. This includes both real and fake flowers, flowers that have been given to me, flowers from the garden, single stemmed roses, huge thank you mixed bunches. The only reason you got any dinner this evening was that in eating the rose that I thought I had cleverly hidden in my bedroom all week, you managed to break the ugliest hand-painted craft market vase in the world.

2. Eating lizards and then throwing up on the floor. This is just plain gross and if I had discovered it before the breaking of the ugly vase there would have been a lot more crankiness.

If any of this behaviour continues, we may have to renegotiate our shared living arrangements. This could well involve less time for you to loll about on the lounge, much less playing in the wooden venetians and no climbing up the screen doors in search of elusive geckoes.

Regards
your faithful servant

Wendy

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 28: On the Street Where you Live



Just because it's Saturday afternoon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

As we bogans who don't live in metropolitan areas like to say....

I'm sitting here reflecting on wacky, weird and wonderful week.

1. Tuesday and Thursday off work doing nothing except reading, listening to music, playing music. Oh and I did also manage to vacuum the house.

2. A new obsession was born thanks to Youtube. I can now bore my facebook and twitter friends to pieces with neverending iPhone videos of myself playing the piano and sometimes singing. Apparently, I am the 63rd most subscribed to channel in Australia this week. (That required six subscribers by the way). I wonder who was 62nd?

3. Out of the clear blue sky a journalist from Crikey rang me on Monday for a quote. That never happens.

4. Then on Wednesday the producer from the ABC Unleashed site contacted me about writing about John Safran (see post below). It appears there are quite a lot of John Safran fans out there going by the responses to my article. It's very interesting. The only one that annoyed me a little bit was the person who made a slightly derogatory remark about my location in "Central Queensland"...Surprising as it may be to some there is life outside the capital cities. And I liked John Safran's Music Jamboree. Just saying....

5.I arrived home today to find my 1930s songbook had arrived in the post. It's "yuge" as we bogans, who don't live in metropolitan areas, like to say.

Me...Unleashed...on John Safran

I'm very excited because I have had an opinion piece published online at the ABC Unleashed website today. I have been keeping very quiet about it because they contacted me Wednesday afternoon and I wrote it that night. Having had a slight debacle the only other time I tried to write an op ed (with a national newspaper publication that shall remain nameless) I didn't want to talk about it too much in case I jinxed the whole thing. But look, it's real and it's on the net. I won't republish it here but will send you to the site with this link.

Friday just became a whole lot better!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TV Tuesday

It appears that Channel Nine is showing Curb Your Enthusiasm The Seinfeld Reunion at 9pm. Colour me a little bit excited. If they stuff around with it, or it's the not the real thing, or anything else they can expect to incur my wrath. Well, I'll be quietly cranky at least.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wendy's on the tube

I did a strange thing yesterday and created myself a Youtube channel. It's me, playing the piano. I have never thought of Youtube as anything else but a site to look up old music videos (and don't worry I'll continue doing that).

Lately, however, I have felt the urge to play the piano, for fun. I had lost my love of doing that throughout the process of the PhD, as well as having the love of playing sucked out of me by doing too many accompaniment jobs up at the theatre and other places. It wasn't until bookclub the other week when I remembered how much I used to enjoy sitting and just playing that I started doing so again. Three things are responsible for this mainly - Gershwin, Leonard Cohen and Daniel Johns. I am currently obsessed with rediscovering the Gershwin catalogue, singing and playing Hallelujah, and joy of joys, singing and playing After All These Years.

Anyway, now I have my very own DYI piano project. I don't claim to be a brilliant pianist (anymore...lol) but I love melody so I think that will dictate the videos I post. It's all very lo-fi...just my iPhone and me. The wonders of modern technology never cease to amaze me and I now adore my iPhone just a little bit more.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Saturday shop-a-thon continues

Well actually this morning it wasn't that much of a shop-a-thon.

And of course there was the usual Indulge breakfast. Mmmmmm. This morning I treated myself to crispy bacon with the eggs. Coffee was perfect.

I did buy three winter tshirts to take to Tasmania in November for 2.86 each at Target. On the chuck out racks at the front. Yes that's correct 2.86!!!

For the impulse option this morning I wandered around Nature's Emporium and bought some cute silver and labradorite earrings. I had never heard of labradorite but the stones change colours depending on the light. I think I shall wear them tonight with my black clothes for our choir concert. I also bought a big silver filigree ring. I love filigree jewellery.

That's all. Extremely restrained. It was probably good that I had checked my credit card balance before leaving the house. Just to give myself a little reality check.

Friday, October 16, 2009

music, music, music

I finally retrieved the following CDs from my car after approximately five years. They began their car life in the green mazda, and when the white toyota arrived two years ago, I didn't bother cleaning out the glove box. I simply transferred its contents to the new one.
Nirvana - From the muddy banks of the wishkah
Billy Bragg and Wilco - Mermaid Avenue
The Beatles - Abbey Road
REM - best of REM 1998-2003. I was also surprised to find in this melted CD case The best of REM pre 1998. Somewhere in my house there is obviously an empty case for this one.
Billy Bragg - Talking with Taxman about Poetry
They Might Be Giants - Flood (case only...Where is the CD?)

Then I decided I would see what had actually made it from home to work. Here's what's in my red CD box on my desk.

An Equal Music Vikram Seth - music from the book. Yes, an odd idea for a CD but it has some stunning music on it, including Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending. Plus it's one of my favourite books. Infinitely more readable than The Suitable Boy. The fact that it's about music and musicians is attractive.
Paul Kelly - Songs from the South
Belle Epoque - A Portrait of Gabriel Faure. This was a present from a student.
The Pixies - Death to the Pixies - caseless. I don't know where the case is - perhaps at home.
Australasian World Music Expo - a freebie from a colleague. I haven't listened to it. Maybe I should.
Sweet Sounds of a Sugar Town - Dane Costigan. I haven't listened to this either. Another freebie, locally made and produced.
The classic 100 Piano top 10.
Ben Lee - Awake is the New Sleep - a copy from a friend. That young man can write a pop song alright.
Augadhau Nawal (Songs of our Lord) - Christian Hymns from the Torres Strait. Another freebie that I haven't listened to.
Pete Murray - Summer at Eureka - an illegal preview copy. I listened to this last year during a couple of weeks of marking. Haven't touched it since
Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama - A copy. I love this album.
Spellbound - A spellbinding collection of classical music. Well that's what it says on the cover anyway. This was 5 dollars on the throwout table somewhere. I bought it because of The Ashokan Farewell which was the theme for Ken Burns' epic documentary on the Civil War.
Nigel Kennedy - The Four Seasons. Vivaldi bad punk boy style. It's fabulous.
Australian Chamber Orchestra - Musical Renegades. I bought this for Richard Tognetti (even though he is a bit of a prat sometimes, he can sure run that orchestra) and for the Piazzolla that's on there.
Seaman Dan - Island Way. Another freebie. Seaman Dan was a discovery of one of the academics who works here. Seaman Dan is now in his late 70s and from Thursday Island. He won an ARIA award a few years ago and just this week has been nominated for another - his last recording.
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky. I haven't listened to this much. Because quite frankly I think nothing will ever surpass Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
Oh and there's also a burned copy of Simon and Garfunkel's greatest hits, Elvis Costello's Momofuku, a playlist of Classical slow movements, a playlist called Songs from the Car, and two cds called Work Songs. I haven't written down the tracks so goodness only knows what's on those. One gives me a hint with "the Vanishing Spies" but that's it.

A strange collection now I come to look at it properly.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Here tis....

I was going to write an interesting post about my research thingy. Instead I decided to just include the link to the uninews website where they have done that for me already. Here tis.....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

parsley, roses, frozen peas, friends and facebook

Now there's an intriguing post title isn't there.
Note I am not blogging about Australian Idol. Pink night has ruined for ever even though I am keeping an eye on the TV for Harry Connick Jnr.
However, when I wrote my list of things I was going to do today I neglected to include.

Cry as I said goodbye to one of my best friends ever as she drives off into the sunset of Brisbane tomorrow. This occurred this afternoon as she dropped off the remains of her freezer (three packets of frozen peas, two packets of frozen parmesan, butter, camembert and crackers). So she gave me a hug and we both burst into tears. Then she drove off.
I came back inside and in an self indulgent way updated my facebook status to the following "goodbyes are crap. crap I tells you". What followed was a crazy afternoon of webcam photos and comment threads the likes I hope my fb friends never have to suffer through again. Needless to say though I am now much less sad and still slightly giggling.

The events unfolded like this.
Wendy sits watching rage from last night and sees the video for "I want to be a punk rocker with flowers in her hair" or whatever it's called. She goes to youtube and posts it on her facebook profile.

The following comments ensue:
Andy:hahaha
Wendy:no I really do;)
Andy: LOL
Wendy: Why will noone take me seriously
Andy:oh I do Wendy I really do
Emma: omg...a song I actaully know
Wendy: Andy...methinks you are being a little sarcastic
Wendy: Success finally Emma
Andy:hahahaha...no I would like to see you with flowers in your hair
Wendy:just for that i'm going out to the front yard to pick some roses and take a photo....maybe later
Andy:lol go on lol
WEndy:RIGHT!
Wendy: here it comes
Andy:woohoo - a punk rocker that i actually know
Wendy:check the photo...it's the worst...on my wall

Which led to me running out to the front garden, picking two roses, putting them behind one ear, taking a webcam photo and posting it on facebook.

That led to the following interchange.
Wendy:SEE ANDREW VALLANCE.....DON'T DARE ME TO DO THINGS WHEN I"M FEELING CRAPPY....LOL
Andy:LOL bet it has made you feel good WENDY DAVIS
Andy:a girl always feels great when they have flowers in their hair
Wendy:Well the bloody roses had thorns in them....but you're right "I felt pretty"...just like West Side Story...HAHAHA
Andy:haha you should have taken the thorns out first ---but yes you do look pretty , oh so pretty - you look pretty , witty and wise
Wendy:hahahaha...I am ACTUALLY loling at that....but can't guys wear flowers in their hair as well?
Andy:i spose they can - i never have ;)
Wendy:Well there's a first time for everything....run outside now....
Andy:hahaha there are no flowers around here :(
Wendy:just get a twig...or a weed out the garden or something...COME ON
Wendy:there must be greenery down there on the sunny coast somewhere
Andy: lol i will have a look
Wendy:I'll be waiting.....
Wendy:*taps fingers impatiently on computer desk*

And then...the most wonderful thing. Dear Andy went outside into his garden, picked some continental parsley, placed it behind his ears and took a photo, displaying it on facebook for all to see. I laughed so hard.

And if that weren't enough, I then posted the following status update:
Wendy: it's not every friend who will put parsley behind their eyes and post their photo on facebook. Thanks Andy. I'm still smiling :)

And then had to clarify...."ears" I meant "ears".

Because let's face it, parsley behind the eyes wouldn't be funny at all.

Things I am going to do today

Nothing
Faff about on the Internet
Washing, drying and putting away of clothes
Vacuum
Read
Listen to music
Have a nap
Eat
Remember to put the bin out
Hope that it might rain...perhaps in vain
Watch TV and/or a movie
Tidy up my messy desk
Practice the piano...properly...and then for fun

It's a big Sunday.


ooops...nearly forgot...paint toenails. Clearly that should be top of the list.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A slightly restrained edition of Saturday shopping

Seeing as I spent an absolutely RIDICULOUS amount of money at the hairdressers yesterday, this morning's edition of Saturday shopping was somewhat restrained. By my standards anyway.

One Indulge breakfast and coffee
New pair of long black pants.
A dress... it needs altering as has every dress I have ever owned. Still it was on special and I think my dear mother can manage to sew in some darts or somesuch somewhere.
Some blingy, colourful, junk jewellery. I fear I may have some kind of undiagnosed addiction going here. Perhaps we might call it bowerbird syndrome? Anyway, I found some big multicoloured beads and matching bracelets. They're to wear with my all black gear on Monday. Of course I'll change my mind at least ten times between now and then about what to wear so...you know...whatever.

Oh... and food...but that's boring. Although I did experience perhaps the slowest checkout boy in the history of the universe. Well, the slowest checkout boy at Woolworths at Hinkler Place anyway. There was no way he was hurrying himself whatsoever.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday: It's tiring being happy all day

So today was pretty blooming exciting for a few reasons.

1. I had coffee and cake before work with the wonderful Anne M. This will perhaps be our last coffee before she leaves to live in Brisbane ON MONDAY. I will miss her. Still we are going out for a farewell dinner on Saturday night as well with dear Jinx and Karen.

2. I got the letter offering me the Early Career Research Fellowship. This is an internal grant that will buy me out of approximately half my workload for two years starting June 2010. The plan in a nutshell is to continue researching and writing about the television mockumentary (journal articles, full book proposal), co-supervise a Masters by research student (given I have no supervision experience AT ALL), convene a Special Interest Research Group "Cultural Studies and Education" which belongs to the newly formed CQUniversity Research Centre - "Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre" (LTERC), prepare a grant application for once the Fellowship finishes in 2012.

At coffee Anne had said, "Make sure you let me know how you go with the application". So the phone conversation within five minutes of me opening the letter went like this:

Anne: "Hello Anne speaking"
Wendy: (Shouting excitedly) "I got the thing!!!!"
Anne: (short pause of mystified silence while she wondered no doubt if this was a new form of telemarketing....)
Wendy: "It's Wendy.....!!!"
Anne: "Oh Congratulations...."etc etc.

I probably should have said who I was first.

3. And then to absolutely top off the day, my Silverchair Diorama sheet music album arrived in the post and I was finally able to play "After All These Years". The key changes are amazing, unexpected, and very beautiful. It's too high for me to sing along sadly, but I can pretend along in my head.

All this meant that the minor plague of ants in the kitchen sink didn't really bother me on my arrival home.

I'm exhausted now though. It's tiring being happy all day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Of Ravel, chopsticks and homemade muesli bars



Today my piano student arrived bearing homemade muesli bars. Sometimes it's bananas, enough oranges to feed an army, mandarins, avocadoes, homegrown lettuce, and at Christmas it was a homemade dark chocolate fruit and nut Christmas tree. That was yum let me tell you. The muesli things are pretty nice too though.

What was even better than muesli bars is that we spent a lot of the lesson on the first two lines of the second movement of the Ravel piano Sonatine. (see and hear above). She's working towards her Grade 8 exam next year. The Ravel is a challenge for both of us. I have not played a lot of Ravel (only the third movement of the Sonatine as well as one of his bird pieces at Uni). And like many I'm not a great fan of the done to death Bolero. So together we are discovering the delights of this piece. And it is just so beautiful.

The other piece we are enjoying is Sonny Chua's Theme and Twelve Deviations. It's a crazily, wonderful piece based on everybody's favourite, Chopsticks. It's long, with each variation recalling a different musical style. We both love it. And she plays it much better than I ever will. That could be because she practices a couple of hours each day. :) It's still a work in progress but here it is:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What Wendy Watched: Why not Wiggles night?

Pink night?
What???
Here's some suggestions for equally lame themed nights....Britney Spears night, Bros night, Kylie Minogue night, Rick Astley night, Guns and Roses night, Christina Aguilera night, Guy Sebastian night, Shannon Noll night, Skyhooks night (with Red Symons as special guest mentor and judge), Michael Bolton night, Tiffany night, New Kids on the Block night, Wiggles night, Nirvana night, Barry Manilow night, Bob Dylan night (that's actually a serious suggestion), Burt Bacharach night (again I'm serious), You am I night, The Pogues night, van Morrison night, Elton John night, Beyonce night, Queen night, Wham night, Cranberries night, T-Rex night, Velvet Underground night, Cold Chisel night, Madonna night, Jimi Hendrix night, Elvis Costello night, Beastie Boys night, Regurgitator night, The Clash night, ....I could go on....and on.

Nathan: a song I don't recognise..surprise. thank goodness they've got rid of his monster fringe. Ick...little bit out of tune there Nathan darling. Lots of pink balloons...imaginative set dressing. Yes I was bored, but more importantly what do Dicko, Marcia and Dicko no. 2 think? Dicko raving on, Marcia agrees - that's dull. My god they're really talking up this Pink chick. I just don't know if singing loudly automatically equates with angst. But then Idol works by its own special entertainment rules. Dicko no. 2 repeating, repeating, repeating.....

Next....Scott....how's Scott feeling after being in the bottom three? Scott is being very diplomatic about his dislike of Pink. Apparently he really "appreciates" her a lot more now. Good Scott. Are we going to endure these recap of contestant journeys EVERY FREAKING WEEK?
Let's just sing the songs please. I truly haven't heard any of these songs before. And this one made it to no. 1 in the US. That makes me a little bit sad. I'm not taking enough notice to remember what it's called.

Now for Mr Purple Rain, Stan Walker. Seriously, momentarily, Stan has provided the only interesting moment of the series so far with his big crescendo last week. I can't quite imagine he's going to better that tonight. Yes, let's look at Stan's time on Idol so far. Because that's not getting boring at all....Whose stupid idea was it to involve Delta Goodrem in the auditions? Really, Idol lacks credibility from the get go. It doesn't need any extra help in that department. Stan is getting all political with something about the president. Think Stan has forgotten the words slightly...or is it meant to sound like that? Me not being the Pink expert can't be sure I'm sorry. Okay...enough with the "hard work"...lyric fail. Stan stuffed it up apparently. Oh well...too bad so sad. Oh goodness Dicko...please don't liken that to any kind of protest song. IT WAS LAME. Marcia is giving him "props". *Sigh*

(Wendy is feeling a bit cranky apparently.)

Coming up after the break...Kate...

(in other news I am finishing off the last of the chocolate cake)

Right...Kate....singing something called "Trouble". I know let's recap her journey. Just for something different. Because we haven't seen it every other week SO FAR. It seems everyone is learning "who they really are". Such is the power of Australian Idol.

(Wendy is also being unnecessarily sarcastic it seems)

The repetitiveness of these songs is starting to really peeve me." I know let's write a song called trouble, and then repeat that word as many times as we can". Genius.

Nice fiddle playing though. Seriously. My favourite so far...if I dare use the word "favourite" that is to mean I didn't hate it as much as the others. I'm over the judges comments. I feel mine are far more insightful. HA!

Example: Marcia: "TV doesn't lie"....profound yet also not true. TV does lie actually.

Who's next? Little James..Is he 12 or what? Oh yes I'd love to look at the phone numbers. Because I will NEVER EVER ring one. I did vote once on Dancing with the Stars...for Tom Williams. I've learned my lesson. That will never happen again. I'm wasting time so I don't have to suffer James' story once again. I don't think I ever voted for Grant Denyer. Although, he was excellent on Dancing with the Stars. Those were in the good old days when Daryl Somers was the host. Now it's crap. I mean...crappier.

I actually liked James singing Power of Love. In a nostalgic Back to the future kind of way. Not a Huey Lewis and the News fan kind of way. Oh at last, the song. - "who knew?" Not me.
It sounds like he's right off key at the beginning there. But who am I to criticise? Now we;'re set...in the upper register. Lil James is clearly much more comfortable. Backing vocals kicking in. Thank goodness. James just not cutting it for me. Again, flavoured with blandness. Pathetic ending. Surely they could have arranged something better than that.
Marcia...you are WRONG. He didn't do a great job at all. JD...loves watching people grow apparently. In height? I don't think that's happening for James. Dicko - again with the cuteness. Oh at last someone speaking sense...sadly Dicko and I agree.

Stay with us...Mr G is pleading. Okay if you insist.

Kim...She's the poppy one with the matching hair and teeth in whiteness terms. That's twice they've said angst. I am fearful for what this song might bring me. Oh..no...wait...let's see Kim's journey....again...and again...and again.
Family portrait.
At least they're using that nice violinist again.
I think I might be old. These songs lack any kind of subtlety for me, which is annoying because there is place for some of the topics Ms Pink sings about in our contemporary culture.

We're on the downhill run now thank goodness. Only two to go.

But first, we must suffer through some cross-marketing promotional garbage for Rexona. And ads. lots of them.

Mr school teacher Toby. He's cute I'll give you that from the start. But can he sing Pink?? Ooooh the tension and excitement. If he tells us once more how much he misses his class I shall be...well not be sick...but bored at least. I know let's revisit Toby's Idol journey so far. That sounds like an original thing to do. blah blah blah blah blah blah. Just sing it.
Please don't leave me.
Got a U2 kind of backing going here. Yes I can see why this was the last song left after everyone else had picked theirs. Most overused word by Wendy this evening. Boring. Even Toby the Teacher looks bored. Again with the repetitive lyrics "Please don't leave me" x 100.

Marcia ...noone know what you're sayin'... but great job darlin'.... Give me a "g"!

Toby and I are on the same page Pink-wise. He has a "healthy respect for Pink". That's code for..."I don't like Pink".

Last one..Hayley...phew...I SURVIVED.
Funhouse. That sounds like it could be...fun...maybe...oh i know....let's have a recap of the previous six or so Hayley recaps. There's nothing as interesting as recapping. Seriously. Repetition has been the theme of the evening. Oh she's found herself as well. Nice.

The song...I'm tired...and lost for words. See everything written above.

Cue screaming and cheering....thank god that's over.

Bring on Harry connick jnr week.

I'm not joking.

Sunday morning at the movies: I didn't look at my watch

Been to the movies because for the first time in quite some time because there's been a movie on that doesn't look like complete and utter garbage. Too harsh on the film industry? Whatever....

Let's just say that Mao's Last Dancer is one of my favourite books. A favourite book is one that I have read more than once. All the others are just known as "books". So, I was very interested to see what Bruce Beresford would do with it. I had also watched Margaret and David review it on Wednesday evening. Margaret cried "buckets". David was far more stoic in his reaction. I think my reaction is probably somewhere in between Margaret and David.

I didn't look at my watch....which is always a good sign in a film...but then that may have been because I had forgot to wear it. The telling of the story through flashback was okay. And I know we're not supposed to compare books with movies, but for me the more interesting part of the book was the first part spent in China. Don't get me wrong the US experience of Li is fascinating as well but it seemed to be given greater weight in the movie. Aden Young was unrecognisable as the Texan husband of one of the dancers. And what's with Jack Thompson doing Southern drawl cameos? Is he linked to the funding of Australian movies?

Still it's all about the dancing, which looked fabulous - even for a ballet dunce like myself. Graeme Murphy choreographed. And the final scene of a performance of the Rite of Spring was grea, Having only ever listened to the music it was a treat to see some dancing to go along with it.

If you don't choke up and shed a few tears when Li finally meet his parents after so long, you might just have a heart of stone.

"Hello...what's the time"

Dear Apple Incorporated

Just a quick note to advise that here in Queensland we do not have daylight saving. I mention this only because I was pretty happy when my iPhone alarm went off at 7:35 and then I had a bit of a further sleep in until what I THOUGHT was quarter past eight. Imagine my surprise and confusion when I walked out into the kitchen to see the clock on the wall showing 7:15. Oh well I thought to myself, the battery probably needs replacing. But then, no....I turned on the computer and it too said 7:17 AM. What's going on? I have ultimate trust in your products Apple so of course I presumed that there had been some kind of strange time shift/warp thing going on. Just to be on the safe side I rang my parents. The conversation went like this:

Father: Hello
Wendy: Hello - what's the time?
Father: ummmmmmm (clearly wondering if I had lost my ability to read and tell time).....just after 7.
Wendy: Bugger.

So here's my suggestion. Let us control the time on our iPhones by ourselves. That way on a particular Sunday morning in October I won't be all happy that I had managed to sleep in, only to be sorely disappointed on realising I haven't.

Kind Regards
Wendy

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Is 20 a short list or a long list?

For me it's an impossible task to answer the question "What's your favourite song lyric?". It's right up there with "What's your favourite movie?" etc. There is no single definitive answer. It changes hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, decadely. So I have managed to narrow down a short list of 20 to take to bookclub this afternoon. We may be there for some time if everyone has had the same problem. I do believe we won't get through them all so I am burning everyone a CD that contains the following. It's focussed on popular song - no opera, no musical theatre etc. For that we would require a weeklong workshop. Also be aware if I were to make this list tomorrow it would probably be entirely different. There may have been a lot of Simon and Garfunkel, some Mamas and Papas, more Beatles, less Billy Bragg, more Beck and REM and much more. You get the idea. Here we go:

1. Four Seasons in One Day - Crowded House - Woodface.
Neil Finn writes perfect pop songs. Melody, lyrics, harmony are always beautiful, deceptively simple in sound. One day he will realise the error of his ways and ask me to marry him. Dream on Wendy.

2. Losing My Religion - REM - Out of Time
One of the first albums I ever bought on CD (and that ages me) and epitomises my first year away at uni as a 17 year old. This was the big radio hit, but the album is full of gems. Even now it takes me back to the residential college in Toowoomba. The mandolin sound makes it shine.

3. Sparky's Dream - Teenage Fanclub - Grand Prix.
Scottish jangly guitar pop. What could be better than that? In the days when I still listened to Triple J it was all over the radio. The whole album is fabulous as is Songs from Northern Britain. I could have picked anyone of them.

4. A Foggy Day - George and Ira Gershwin - sung by Rufus Wainwright in his Judy Garland tribute show.
I have adored the Gershwin songs for as long as I can remember. Once I thought I had lost my big piano anthology of their songs so I ordered a new one quick smart. Now I have two. This is one of my absolute favourites to play and sing, pretending that I might be in a 1940s Hollywood musical. *Sigh* It's never going to happen I know.

5. Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards - Billy Bragg - Worker's Playtime
Oh Billy you're all very serious and political. But the lyrics of this song also make me smile. That's no bad thing. We're all still waiting I think. One day Billy Bragg will realise the error of his ways and ask me to marry him. Dream On Wendy.

6. After All These Years - Silverchair - Diorama.
You know I'm no Silverchair fan, but this song is stunningly beautiful, with an unusual chord structure, soaring melody which is pretty bloody difficult to sing and a poetry to the lyrics that is unexpected. One day Daniel Johns will realise the error of his ways and ask me to marry him. Dream on Wendy.

7. Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants - Flood.
SURPRISED? No I didn't think you would be. I can remember the first time I saw and heard this song. The ABC was running Countdown Revolution 6pm weeknights. My brother and I were watching it as the music video came on. It took me two years before I heard it again. Bundaberg was a backwater at the time so I don't think I was going to find it in Big W. First year uni a friend had the album on CASSETTE which they kindly loaned me. My tape player chewed it up. Ooops. Soon after I bought the CD. (I could have filled the entirety of my selections with their songs but decided that might be unkind on the others.) One day John Linnell or John Flansburgh will realise the error of their ways and one or the other will ask me to marry them. Dream on Wendy.

8. Frank Mills - The Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray
I love the story in this short little song. If you've never heard it you need to. It's like a narration of an incident. Only in the last few years have I discovered that it's from Hair. Anyway, Evan Dando used to be very beautiful with shiny long hair. That may have been part of the attraction of the song? Surely not. One day Evan Dando will realise....etc etc

9. Between the Wars - Billy Bragg - from the Back to Basics compilation I have
It's sparse, it's politically direct and sung with conviction.

10. Son of Sam - Elliott Smith - Figure 8
No longer with us sadly, Elliott Smith wrotes beautiful lyrics and melody. Best known for having songs on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, every one's a winner on this album.

11. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted - Jimmy Ruffin
I adore the epic scale of this song, and love that I discovered through the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE. (That's an order by the way).

12. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
The album that inspired the Beatles to pull their collective fingers out and write Sergeant Pepper I believe ( I may be wrong). I adore anything with harmony and this is classic. Plus, apparently they copped some flack for mentioning the word God when it was first released. Something in common with John Lennon it seems. I don't want Brian Wilson to ask me to marry him.

13. Bohemian Polka - Weird Al Yankovic - Alapalooza
Don't get me wrong. I've got nothing against Queen. We studied Bohemian Rhapsody in High School music class. (I think they still do). I appreciate the genius etc. But this just makes me laugh at the portentous, earnest lyrics. And in a funny way, I enjoy them even more. Regarding marriage see the above as for Brian Wilson.

14. The Unwelcome Guest - Billy Bragg and Wilco
The project that resurrected previously unheard Woody Guthrie lyrics. Nuff said really. Sometimes I worry that there is a country music fan hiding inside of me trying desperately to escape. But this is a stunning song. And it's a waltz. I was going to choose Walt Whitman's Niece because it's funnier. Seek it out if you've never heard it. One day Jeff Tweedy will etc etc...you get the idea

15. Across the Universe - The Beatles
Put every Beatles song ever written into a hat and pull one out. It could probably be on the list. This one just happens to be taking my fancy this week. One day Paul McCartney....oh no wait...he's a bit creepy these days sad to say.

16.Devil's Haircut - Beck - Odelay
My all time favourite Beck album. I can still remember going into the little CD shop in Hervey Bay and buying it the day after he won a heap of awards. Myself and the red-haird gawky teenage shop assistant had a lovely little conversation about it. One day Beck will definitely realise the error of his ways....la di da.

17. Where is My Mind - The Pixies - Surfer Rosa
See comments as for the Beatles. I am forever indebted to my little brother for playing these albums non-stop as they gradually seeped into my subconscious and I recognised them for the all round wonderfulness that they are. One day Joey Santiago....*just stop it it's not funny anymore*.

18. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana - Nevermind
Yes - I know - the Generation X cliche. Whatever. It's still good. I do not apologise for including it. So there. One day Dave Grohl will arrive at my front door with a big bunch of flowers.....No? Oh Well...

19. Australia - The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Joyful and comic!

20. Take this Waltz - Leonard Cohen
I am a shamefully late adopter to Mr Cohen. I was put off seeking him out earlier by the memory of a conversation with my aforementioned brother who disdainfully described as a "depressing kind of poet". (NB. that's probably not a direct quote...it was many years ago but you get the general idea). I'm annoyed that I let that influence me, because I don't find this music depressing at all. It's melancholy, but a peculiarly hopeful melancholy if that makes any sense. Uplifting, witty, sometimes violent imagery, thoughtful with a great beauty and sense of solace. But not depressing. Again, regarding marriage see same as for Brian Wilson and Weird Al. Leonard and I could be good friends though I think.

If that wasn't enough this afternoon's bookclub is significant for two other reasons:
1. It's most likely Anne M's last bookclub with us before she deserts us for the bright lights of Brisbane. Sad faces all round.
2. In honour of no. 1 Ann H is giving a Devonshire Tea. (Because it's not like I haven't engaged in a foodfest all week long in celebration of my birthday. No sirree. Just what I need are more treats!)