OMAM

Why do concerts have to be on in the night time?
I have already decided that if I ever become a famous singer all my concerts are going to be matinees, tea and biscuits will be offered and we can all go home and be in bed by eight thirty. Obviously I am going to be some kind of alternate hippy folk singer, and really, that’s ok with me.

Just a mere four hours or so ago, a very awesome and Scandinavian friend of mine treated me to a concert of Icelandic folk music.
That’s right people, I got to see Of Monsters and Men (and now you can too courtesy of these photos)

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It was amazing. They are just so good and scandinavianly cute.

What I do love about the modern concert is the rise of the tote as memorabilia. I don’t wear band tshirts. They sit too high up the neck. But I do carry a tote, I got plenty of things to tote around.

Only problem is I don’t know where my cd is. Has anyone seen it?

Coming up on my next blog: To sleep, perchance to dream…

Sunday Bloody Sunday

I used to make tapes of songs from the radio.
I would record songs that I liked, new things that I heard, most of Tripod’s song in an hour challenges, to make into a mixed tape. I was young, I was poor and blank tapes only cost two dollars.
Obviously this was in the days before iTunes, or at least in the days before I had Internet in my house (that didn’t happen until I’d finished high school, probably in 2005 (I know it seems amazing that only eight years ago I was able to live my life without Internet, crazy but true)).
It’s funny because now when I hear those songs that I had taped again I always expect to hear the next one I recorded after. Some songs from that time are inextricably linked in my head because they were on the same side of one of my tapes.

One such song is The Living End’s cover of Sunday Bloody Sunday. I just love this song and have not heard it for so long (because I lost the tape), but I can still hear it in my head exactly as I heard it on the radio. I think it was part of a Live at the Wireless recording.

Anyway, it ties in nicely with my reflections on that day of the week, Sunday.

I suppose you have to know that a day of the week is going to be a problem day when people can’t even decide where it fits. You have those people that say Sunday is the beginning of the week and others who say that it is the end. I am of the latter camp. I mean, they call it the weekend for a reason, and if Sunday is part of the weekend, then it must be part of the end of the week.

At the moment I have a pretty set routine for a Sunday night. Because work is e next day I want to be able to wind down, be clam and relaxed and be able to get to sleep.

It consists of dinner, show of the week, news, design shows.

I don’t know what it is about the Sunday night news, but that is always the night my husband and I talk bop ear most of the stories debating the issues of asylum seekers or fundamentalism. Really we should just mute the tv. There is always some top story that gets one of us thinking and then we don’t really stop talking over the top of the rest of the stories until the weather is on. It’s a nice tradition but not really conducive to hearing what is going on in the world or trying to simmer down in preparation for work.

My husband reckons I should not be allowed to watch the design shows either because I get so opinionated and aggravated by them. I don’t really understand what he means, I just like taking back to the tv sometimes. Especially when the people on it are being morons.
The other problem with these design shows is that he people on them always come up against some obstacle or other and have to stressfully figure out a solution. It stresses me out too (because of the editing I guess).

Lately, technology has been encroaching on my ability to use Sunday night as a wind down time. A couple of weeks ago I decided to take a stand on Sunday nights and turn off my technology. That meant no twitter and no blogging, really just no iPad, after five. It was working ok until I got Instagram and began taking pictures of my cat (I am still unsure as to what the point of Instagram is and yet I am using it almost every day). All that meant was that I had to put my iPad in another room, because Sunday after dinner I can’t be bothered getting up from the couch until I go to bed. What I didn’t realise is what a problem my phone would prove to be too. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t really use my phone all that much. It’s not a smart phone and can barely cope with picture messages. And normally I have it turned off when I am at home, especially in the evening because everyone who would want to contact me after hours knows my home phone number. Last night it was still on and it just seemed like everyone wanted to text me. Unfortunately for me my phone was on the dining room table and so I was getting a lot of incidental exercise getti g to it.
It just totally messed with my routine.

Maybe I just need an actual black out on Sunday nights, no tv and no technology, only books (and really boring books at that too, because sometimes I can’t sleep after reading either).

Then this morning, because of my Sunday night, I woke up with this feeling of dread in my chest. I just felt bad, for no other reason than I had been riled up the night before.
But today has been an amazing day so far, and tonight, well, you can read about tonight tomorrow.

Coming up on my next blog: Out on a work night again…

No news is…

What happens when you stop watching the news?

My Mum doesn’t watch the news anymore because she doesn’t want to hear the weather. I myself, don’t watch that often, though I do like to know what it’s going to be like outside so I can plan my outfits accordingly.

But are we missing out on some things because we choose to tune out?

I gave up watching commercial news years ago because I don’t think it should be possible for a news program to advertise stories that will appear on their Friday show a week in advance. How can they know what news is going to happen? They can’t. Which means the stuff they are reporting is not really news and is actually current affairs and that has its own show and time slot.

I think the problem is though that really newsworthy things, things that everyone needs to know, do not happen all that often. I need my news to tell me things that are going to have an impact on my everyday life, or on the lives of everyday people in my country and countries around the world.

My sister and I can remember when the news turned. When it went from a mere reporting of events to anticipatory twenty four hour coverage of something that was likely to occur.
1997.
Two events occurred around the same time that led to a change in the way news was programmed.
Princess Diana was killed in a car crash and Stuart Diver was pulled alive from the Thredbo landslide.
We know because they didn’t play Agro’s cartoon show that day. And every day for a whole week we waited for it to return. Now ordinary programming can be interrupted for ‘news’ whenever, even if nothing actually newsworthy is taking place.

And the thing is these days you don’t just have your two official forms of news outlet, TV and newspaper.
It’s funny though because before TV was so prevalent you would get world news at the cinema on a newsreel. I guess paying nineteen dollars to go to the movies these days kind of makes that an expensive way to get news now.
I mean, I get most of my news online these days. And not from actual news outlets either like a newspaper website. Most of what I find out I hear on twitter.

It’s not ideal for the weather forecast though.

Coming up on my next blog: Of Monsters and Men!!!!

So Sydney

Today has been a bit of a hodge podge (and ultimately tiring day) and so my promises of anything remotely interesting to people other than myself were probably a bit premature (last night when my husband saw that I would be writing biting social commentary next he just rolled his eyes). So as much as I would like to fill today’s blog with pictures of the awesome meals and purchases I made today I will talk about something vaguely interesting first, then I’ll make you jealous with them.

I consider myself to be a moderately travelled person. Even though I have only been overseas twice I like to think that I pack a lot in and I have been to those places you are supposed to go (in only a few weeks I will be able to say that I have seen civilised Asia and then only the Americas are missing from my list). I love being able to say

oh, this old thing, it’s from London

Or

Paris? Of course I’ve been there. I found this cute little patisserie in a very quiet arcade that was just divine

But when it comes down to it, Sydney will always be my favourite city. Because it is my city. I have my routines there, my favourite places and best experiences.
However, I have a problem. When people start proposing changes to my city I get a bit agitated.
Like taking out the monorail. What’s the point of that? Just run it like a ride in the weekends. No one was really using it as an alternative form of transport.
A few weeks ago the mayor of Sydney proposed changes to the way traffic there works. They want to close down the main artery to cars and add art and other monuments to make it a more cultural (read European) city.
My answer is no. It’s too late. Sydney is done. What it looks like now is what it is going to continue to look like. And that’s fine. Sydney is not Paris. It’s not even Melbourne. It has it’s own vibe and personality and making drastic changes like the ones proposed will just ruin it.
The thing is that Sydney is not just a city for the people who live there. Nor is it just for overseas tourists. It is the capital of the state and therefore I think we should all get a say. How am I going to be able to visit my beloved city if they cut off my only viable way of getting there? I like to be able to drive in early when there is no traffic. I like parking under the beautiful QVB in the centre of town. And I like being able to drive home, boot filled and leave that hustle and bustle behind me.
Don’t mess with my routines Clover!

And so today’s was a quintessential Sydney experience. Too many tourists, great food in unexpected places and fantastic shopping. And then I got in my car and was home in an hour and a half.
What more could I ask for?

Coming up on my next blog: Something reactionary.

Second Time Lucky (Friday Book Club)

This week I have finished another three books.
And they are very different.
One Young Adult novel, one Adult novel, and one Non Fiction text.
It was a week of second chances and perseverance.

The first book I finished was City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I have been meaning to read this book since I heard they were turning it into a movie. I like teen fiction in general and like to read them before they get stylised by Hollywood, usually I don’t end up seeing the film because I like the books too much.
I tried to start reading this book about a month ago. I went and borrowed it specifically from the library. I read maybe two pages and didn’t really get what was going on and didn’t really care and so I stopped reading and returned it to the library. It wasn’t really the books fault that first time. When I started reading I was in a loud place where I couldn’t really concentrate and that gave me a bad experience. I can’t read in loud places, I need absolute silence. Sometimes I find it hard to write with noise going on around me, like now I had to switch from the radio to my own music even though Triple J are broadcasting from Splendour because I can’t concentrate while they interview the acts. And I can’t even sleep if there is any light or noise. I need the conditions to be vampiric. I am just a little bit hysterical in this way.
The twist at the end of this novel is stupid. The author has really shot herself in the foot because she has dashed the hopes of all her teen readers (and me) in terms of one way the plot could (and should) have developed. Not to worry though, there are four more in the series (and then two more in the same world I think). And they will probably make up next Friday’s post.

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Then on Monday a work colleague leant me the new Patrick Ness novel that I have been wanting to read but didn’t want to pay for. Now that I am finished it and reflecting I kind of feel that it reminds me a bit of the JK Rowling adult novel The Casual Vacancy. I probably feel this way because she has been in the news a lot this week and Ness’ novel is also set in suburban England. But that is really where the comparisons end.
Ness has built his own story around the myth of The Crane Wife and makes explicit reference to The Decemberists’ version of this story, an album I own and have enjoyed for years. I love Ness’ writing style, he is such a good writer that I couldn’t finish his Chaos Walking series because he was making bad things happen to characters I liked. He just has a really eloquent style.

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I have been reading this non-fiction book for almost a whole year. I bought it at the British Museum when I was in London in September last year. It’s not that I couldn’t have got a copy at home, it’s just that was the first place I saw it and I wanted to get something of a souvenir from the museum besides Egyptian cat book ends. It took me a long time to read because it made me really drowsy. And because it’s non-fiction it does not really have a compelling plot that keeps me reading.
Basically each chapter is about one important object in the Museum’s collection. Which in itself is interesting. But it was written for a radio show, so there are bits of expert opinion interspersed in with the main narration. It just doesn’t really flow. I think it would have been better if I had been reading the text as I was walking around the museum looking at all these objects.

Coming up on my next blog: Insightful social commentary and the like.

It’s a Blackout

Let’s start with something a bit peppy (upbeat and happy are the wrong terms, but the beat in this song will at least get your feet moving).

Blackout!

Why is it that humans put so much stock into what those around them say? Every time I look at the newspaper headlines (the social pages, not the real news ones) there is always something about how people should act or dress or be in relation to those around them.

Should you dress down for others? Dos and don’ts for mobile phone use. Are you a fair parent?

I know I keep harping on about the same thing but I can’t help it. Social Media seems to be more pervasive than advertising. Strange but true. Plus, last night I went with a friend to a panel discussion held by ACU about the social media and its positive and negative aspects compared to face to face communication. I have enough material from that to write a hundred blogs, and in fact it really made me want to go back to university and do some proper research about the invasiveness of social media. I also learnt a new acronym too, FOMO (I don’t love it, repetition of the same vowel is not good, but what can you do?) which has actually given a name to a thing I think I feel a lot because of social media, fear of missing out.

And what’s worse is that it is a vicious cycle.

The only way out seems to be total blackout. But what would people think if I did that?

Coming up on my next blog: No more words about me. Third person only.

Mutton Dressed as Lamb with a side of chocolate and advertising

My very kind and beautiful friends purchased a Donna Hay magazine for me for my birthday this year. They know I like cooking, and that I like magazines and so found the perfect present to fulfil both these things.

Donna Hay’s magazine is quarterly. So you’d think it would be jam packed with recipes (for jam and other things).
The first magazine I got there were about a dozen things in there that I tore out thinking I would try to make them one day.
This edition there was just one.
The rest was ads, and not ads for food related products, but for furniture and other weird things.

Anyway,

I made a chocolate terrine

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It’s basically dark chocolate, brown sugar, butter and eggs.
And it takes about two hours to cook.
Bit it is totally worth it.
It is so delicious.
It’s pretty rich, but I can still eat two pieces at a time.

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So she is good for something.

Coming up on my next blog: I am going out on a work night. I don’t know if I will cope.

Stream of (Un)Consciouness

This is going to be one of those teen angst posts that bemoans the state of the world selfishly so look away now if you can’t handle a whole lot of whinge.

I had a good and bad weekend.
Good because I saw lots of people I like and did fun things with them and finished another book and cooked some good food.
Bad because I have social anxiety, the phone and Internet stopped working and it was over all too quickly. Too quickly. I barely blink these days and my free time is over and I have to go back to the terror that is work. Not terror maybe. Trepidation? Is that even an adjective? Doesn’t matter.

I’ve decided I can’t watch the TV anymore either. All I see is some stupid person doing some stupid thing that I didn’t vote for them to do. Honestly I don’t think I understand democracy anymore, if I ever really understood it in the first place. Doesn’t it go something like – you create ideas and policies I like, I vote for you to run the country and then you act out those policies once you win government? I guess I just missed the history class where they explained the other step that comes after a government forms, you know, the one where they renege on all their policies and do things I don’t want them to do because they think that’s what everyone else wants them to do.
I consider myself pretty moderate, pretty liberal with a little l, not too green or warm and fuzzy, but you know, thinking about the common man and looking out for him and whatnot, and I think that most people are like me, in that they are reasonable folk also looking out for the common good. I just think if I am like that, and lots of people I know are like that and lots of the media I watch reflects those values, then how did we get a country like we have now? Who is really running the show?

Stream of Consciousness is pretty fun to write when you think about it. All you do is write down every little thing that pops into your head. You can’t be wrong. Like why am I writing this? Why is spellcheck constantly correcting me? What would my writing look like if it didn’t? Do I have dyslexia?

Interrupted by the phone.
Oh well.

Coming up on my next blog: Mutton dressed as lamb (also known as the Donna Hay look in my circle),