What’s the Deal? (Weather)

So I can’t remember the last time I saw the sun.
And I’m kind of over the grey and wet.

It starts off ok. You feel all snugly and cosy I. Bed with the soft potter patter on the roof and a hot cup of tea in your hands.
But then you have to getup for work and struggle to find shoes that will keep the water out, a coat that will keep you warm and an umbrella large enough to cover everything.
That’s when you wish it would stop.
But it doesn’t.

Instead, you have to start hanging your washing inside, or use the dryer which then makes the inside of your house steamy, more like a tropical jungle with water trickling down the windows as the condensation kicks in.

But that’s not the worst part.
The worst part is that my hair hates this weather even more than I do.
It becomes unruly and unmanageable, like a teenager who doesn’t like the boundaries that have been set for them.
It gets frizzy and puffy and won’t do want I want it to do. And then I make rash decisions to get haircuts (or cut it myself) when I really shouldn’t. Sometimes I get so annoyed by it I just want to shave it all off.

There is only one thing worse (or maybe equal with) all this rain, and it’s humidity.
There is a great scene in the sixth season of Gilmore Girls where Rory’s wish for her 21st birthday is to get rid of humidity.

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So do you think we could take care of that?

Coming up on my next blog: The best laid plans.

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Just For Laughs

Last night I went with my Mum and sister to see Judith Lucy and Denise Scott.

Now, you would think that such a bill would mean that the audience would be skewed towards menopause and menstruation. But there were young people there, and lots of men. And not even men whose partners had dragged them along. Actual groups of men without any female accompaniment.

Mum and I had seen Judith Lucy last year at a local club where some of the audience didn’t actually know who she was. It was hilarious because these people were late and Lucy likes to interview audience members who try to sneak in, and this one lady didn’t even realise that Lucy was the main act, the whole reason everyone was assembled in the theatre.

It was just so so funny.
But as with all comedy I cannot remember a single thing they said. Though at the end they did do an amazing dance routine in nude suits.

Classic.

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At this point of the evening we were feeling pretty savvy and good about ourselves. We’d just had Vietnamese food for dinner, and were now discussing politics sitting outside a cafe on Enmore Road eating gelato. Could we get anymore hipster?

And then it turns out Kevin Rudd was in my town today (again) and I wasn’t there to see him (again).

When I finally looked at that photo properly it reminded me of another that my husband had taken when we visited Rome for the first time.

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We have only visited The Vatican once and the day prior to our visit the camera charger had exploded in our hotel room. I’d bought a disposable camera to take with us to The Vatican but we took the camera with us as well as we had looked up a camera shop in Vatican City that we were hoping to buy a new charger at.
Anyway, none of the photos from the disposable camera turned out (that will teach me for buying something from a tourist kiosk outside the Colosseum). And so we only have a few photos from our day at The Vatican, this being one of them.
It’s pretty awful being in the Sistine Chapel, even if the ceiling does look great. There is security everywhere shushing you and a recording plays every few minutes

no speaking, no photos

In a couple of different languages. So really I think this a prize shot, taken with no flash.
And my favourite part is the tiny bit of head in the corner, it makes it more authentic and proves its not a postcard.

Coming up on my next blog: Rain, rain, go away…

(Non) Fiction : Friday Book Club

Two books this week. Two very different books.

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I forced myself to finish the Julian Barnes essays because I knew I would need to write about something today. Really I wanted to stop reading half way through, but I persevered and only ended up skipping one.
He is just a bit pompous. One thing that I hate above almost anything else is when authors use another language in their text and don’t translate it. This is not so bad in a novel because maybe the character is from that country and so speaks that language and the author may use it to highlight their displacement or confusion. When someone does it in a non fiction text though, it is just rude and irritating. You’re not showing me how clever you are, you are showing me how discriminatory you are. I don’t speak French, and therefore if I am to understand your meaning you need to explain it to me.
Most of the text was just self indulgent twaddle. I didn’t really learn anything and he didn’t really excite or interest me with any of the authors or texts he chose. There were only three things I got out of it. I want to read Madame Bovary, there are two memoirs by remain poets that sound are uncannily similar and that Barnes should stick to writing fiction.

The other book I read, I had to finish because I needed to know what happened so I didn’t have nightmares.

Boyne’s novel is pretty straight forward without too many tricks or embellishments and really is just a classic ghost story. Naturally I loved it. I got what I paid for. I really like his writing, though this is the first if his novel’s for adults that I have read.

Now onto holiday reading, I have an Atwood, Funke and Murakami on the shelf.

Coming up on my next blog: relaxation!

I Couldn’t Help But Wonder

Over the past couple of nights I have watched the first Sex and the City movie.

I was just in the mood for it.
And what kind of mood is that, you couldn’t help but wonder?

It is the mood for something fun and positive that one can be a little bit envious about.
Every time I watch the show I wish I could have a stylist. Or if not a stylist, a hairdresser to do my hair every day. I look at the clothes and wish I could be so bold. And after watching I am for a little while, introducing new colours and different combinations. But I always go back to the old staples, those trustworthy outfits that are easy and comfortable to wear, because let’s face it, I don’t have nearly enough money or closet space to keep up with Carrie Bradshaw.

The show always makes me want to go shopping. Or make little pledges like I will buy one new piece of clothing per fortnight. But that’s just a little bit shallow and frivolous. So I don’t, even though I would really like to.

Next time we watch, my mum and I have decided we are going to count how many costume changes there are per character. I think they just change location and scene so another outfit can be used.

It’s funny that I only just watched the film yesterday and was thinking that I would write my own blog about it when this article appeared when I trawled through the online SMH this morning.
Is Sex and the City still relevant?

I couldn’t help but wonder if it were a sign.

But I’m for fashion not friends.
I’ve just reread that and it seems like I don’t need or have or want friends. That’s not what I mean. What I mean is that the show doesn’t make me worry about my friendships.
Social media has put the distance between us like it has this writer.
It just makes me reach out for the style I cannot afford (nor could really pull off).

Coming up on my next blog: I will be giddy with excitement as I look longingly toward two weeks of holidays.

What’s the Deal? (Seafood Prices)

On Sunday I had lunch at a new(ish) seafood restaurant at a local club.
Ordinarily I am not a huge fan of seafood. I will eat a fillet of fish, or some crustacean (as long as I don’t have to work for the meat and get messy in the process) but I don’t really go for the slimy oddly shaped other bits and pieces that come out of the sea.

All this changed when I ate my first mussel and had a bite of a scallop from the fisherman’s basket.

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What I don’t get about seafood though is the price.
How can a seafood platter with a whole lobster and a few bits and pieces of other sea living creatures cost one hundred and eighty dollars?

We discussed this over lunch, and I came to the (quite clever, in my opinion) conclusion that seafood must be more expensive because it is harder to get than other meat because you can’t really farm it, and you have to go out into its habitat (which is very different from our terrestrial one) to catch it. Someone else at the table tried to contradict me saying they have fish farms or some such thing, but I don’t think that extends to the other type of seafoods, you know, your really expensive lobster or aforementioned scallops.

After watching so much of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, I have realised that I probably would eat just about anything identified as meat as long as I didn’t have to watch it die and no one told me which part of the animal it came from.

As I head off to Japan I have to take this fearless, don’t ask, just eat attitude with me. Because if you’ve learnt one thing about me from this blog, it should have been that I don’t like the ocean, and now that I don’t particularly like eating things that come out of it. So it may prove a bit challenging.

Coming up on my next blog: I try to refrain from using words. It’s going to be a challenge.

A rummage through memory

I found this while going through some old notes.
It reminded me that I could once write (well I think) and made me feel a little bit nostalgic.

Lilli pilli.

On the bank of the Port Hacking River.
Home to my favourite home.

My grandparent’s house will always remind me of my childhood. That carefree time, when I had no responsibility. Every visit was filled with sun, fun and frivolity. Christmas time was best. Every year the same ritual.
On Christmas Eve my sister and I would go to bed while ‘santa’ placed our presents in the lounge. The TV would be turned up loud but could never drown out the sound of my grandfather’s booming voice.
Exclamations of “What’s that?” and “What does this do?” would resonate through the walls, accompanied by the shushes of my grandmother and mother. And my sister and I would wonder what would be awaiting us when we rose the next morning.
As I got older, so did they. And so did the house. With each passing year Christmas would change ever so slightly. The gifts we got became more mature; laptops instead of lego, designer clothes instead of dolls. New faces would appear at the table, cousins, then the children of cousins. And finally the house outgrew them. Too many stairs, too big a yard, too steep a driveway. And so the time came for them to move.
None of us really wanted them to move. We loved that house almost as much as we loved them. In my memory the house was them; welcoming, warm and home.

But Christmas is only one day of the year.
When they moved it was a tumultuous time.
My parents divorced.
I sat my HSC.
I was off into the big wide world.
And so were they.

It was then that I realised that while I loved the house I didn’t need it. And in the end a house is mostly just a place to keep people and furniture.
Everything in it reminded me of my grandparents.
So all I needed was them.

Coming up on my next blog: Sea food and eat it.

MU through and through

Yesterday I went to the movies with my family to see Monsters University.

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It is so funny and so cute.

The cinema was just a bit hot though. And pretty busy too. But I find that seeing films with kids is better than old people. A kid will talk right up until the movie starts and then they get so entranced the sit enthral led for its duration. And old person will talk right up until the film starts and then at any point in the film when they are confused, can’t hear it or recognise an actor.

Isn’t that that boy from Midsomer Murders?
What did that lass just say?

Monsters University is a classic college film. There are cliques and frat houses, outcasts and every belonging cliche in the book. But it all works perfectly and you come out feeling happy and satisfied and wanting to watch Monsters Inc.
What I liked best about the film was that it fits perfectly with its sequel that already exists.
It is self-aware and just so funny. The links it draws between itself and its sequel are hilarious and if I could remember them all I would spoil it for you now.

Most of pixar’s films are good because they work on two levels. Children can enjoy them because they are bright and colourful and have interesting story lines. And adults can enjoy them because they are bright and colourful and have interesting story lines and use such sophisticated humour that you can’t help but laugh.

I like reading books for children too, or at least Young Adult ones. They’re not as hard as adult books, or as pretentious. They’re not trying to be clever of high brow. They just tell it like it is.
But more about that on Friday when I review the Julian Barnes book I have been reading.

Coming up on my next blog: I feel a rant coming on cuz.

Don’t Do It

Dramatic irony is probably my most hated of all literary techniques. I hate watching or reading things where I can see that something catastrophic is going to happen and the character is just going along with no idea, oblivious to the tragedy that is about to strike them.

But it can happen in life, as well as in literature. Only in life you are sometimes aware that the bad thing will happen, only you don’t do anything to stop it anyway.

Lately I have been getting caught up in doing something that I said I wouldn’t and shouldn’t do. It’s one of those things that you know are bad for you but that you sometimes can’t help doing anyway. I have been doing said bad thing because I have found myself with a lot more down time at unusual times at work. Normally I would fill that time with reading a book, but that is not really an option for me anymore as I need to be more on the ball than that. What doesn’t help is that I always have technology with me as well.

I have written in the past that I don’t have very good self control (or did I write that I do have good self control? I can’t remember. I know I did write that I have a terrible memory, so at least I was right about one thing). And this is why I am having this problem in my down time. I don’t want to do it but I can’t help myself. It doesn’t make me feel any better, and I’ve done it I berate myself for being so week willed.

And I know I am being coy and you may (or may not) be wondering what it is. But I’m not saying. I’m just not going to do it anymore.

So I am making a pledge here and now.
That I will stop filling my boredom with the thing that shall not be named.
I will be strong.
I will turn off all devices connected to the Internet.
I will live my own life and be free.
And I will keep a tally of the days on which I refrain and reward myself for good behaviour (by doing what I am not supposed to do. Only kidding).

You heard it here first.

Also, in addition to this I am now addicted to an iPad game called candy crush. Admitting the problem is the first step to overcoming I have heard.
And I know I am going to date myself, and this post with that reference but it is just consuming my life. Someone needs to stop me soon.

Coming up on my next blog: I don’t know if I have any ranting in me this week.

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (Friday Book Club)

Note the new way these friday blog posts are going to be titled. I hate being repetitive, especially when I am copying something word for word. So I have decided to name these posts after the text (or genre, or general literature idea) I will be writing about.

So let’s look at what I read yesterday. I am still reading Julian Barnes, but it is getting more boring and anglophilic as I go along.

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I don’t usually read a lot of drama, nor do I go and see a lot, but this week I had to read The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. And look, I get it, and I can see that it is a lot like Miller’s Salesman, but I just don’t see the point of reading and studying drama that is over fifty years old and has little relevance for the person today. Although, with this Gatsby revival maybe we will be seeing more of the golden era of America.

One thing that struck me about this play is the (superfluous, my word) amount of direction from the playwright. And it got me thinking about drama as a text. IS the direction of your play something that a playwright has to give up when their text is performed? Or is direction what the playwright is entitled to because the text written and performed is theirs?

I think these questions exist because the playwright most people know didn’t leave that many directions about how their plays should be staged. All Shakespeare does is tell us when characters should enter and exit. There is little about how an actor’s face should look, or the tone of voice they should use as they deliver the lines.

Does that make him a better playwright? That the words are allowed to speak for themselves and are open to interpretation? Or does it mean that he is a worse playwright, unconcerned with how the text is presented on the stage and leading us to think that maybe he should have written novels instead?

Either way, I don’t love drama, but it does make for a quick read.

Coming up on my next blog: The Weekend.