There’s nothing as suitable

So I spent the morning in the city. And what I mean by that is, I picked up my mum at seven AM and then dropped her back home at three. PM.
We did what we usually do, breakfast, shopping, lunch. You’ll be happy to know that I found some cute new clothes in the children’s department. And this time I even ventured into the boys section. Really, you won’t be able to tell unless I tell you.

But then we did something we don’t usually do.
I needed to get a gift for a friend’s birthday (only thirteen days to go). And I feel like I give her the same things all the time, so I wanted to find something a bit different, but still her. And so mum and I headed into the QVB. Normally we just walk through the underground bit that connects Town Hall with Pitt St. But today we ventured up the harrowing escalators all the way to the top level.

20130831-155109.jpg

I had forgotten how many nice places were up there. And discovered that one of my favourite shops from Florence now has an outlet there.

20130831-161042.jpg

We have a new plan now for city expeditions too. We are going to have breakfast in a new place each time we go in now. Though we are pretty set on our new lunch spot in The Galeries. It’s just too good.

So now I am just hanging at home, waiting for my husband to come back from cricket training.

It is (and has been) odd for me to have so much time on my own at home and usually it leads to a lot of trashy TV watching, such as the show referenced by The Drugs

But my favourite show at the moment is Veronica Mars. I didn’t think I would find anything I liked better than Gilmore Girls, and Smash is probably my favourite contemporary show, but Veronica Mars is amazing! And in the episode I watched yesterday she even referenced Gilmore Girls!!

20130831-155035.jpg

But watching TV can get a bit boring. Having a lot of time at home has led to my listening to a lot more music (and apparently losing my grasp of English grammar). At first I thought the opposite would be true because I used to listen to the radio primarily in the car. But lately I’ve bought a few new CDs and I either listen to them on rotation or plug in my iPod. I forgot how much music there is out there that I like. I have been rediscovering everything I used to listen to. But I still need the radio for hearing new stuff.

And I just wanted to share this:

20130831-155307.jpg

Coming up on my next blog: I will be more coherent. Promise.

Advertisements

It is a tale told by an idiot (Friday Book Club)

So as usual (I am using so to start my sentences and) I have read a couple of books this week. I ended up finishing City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare and have put the next one on hold at the local library. But I skipped about twenty pages at the end and don’t think I really missed out on anything. I will only read the last one because it seems silly not to, but I am not really fond of the series. I don’t feel any better for reading them.

What I am going to focus on today is the other book I managed to finish – Macbeth

20130830-062249.jpg

This is probably the third time I have read it, once in high school and once again in the intervening years. I quite like its concept, but not a lot happens. It is probably my second, maybe third favourite Shakespeare (if I admit that after analysing it so much I actually do like Hamlet), because I like the prophecy aspect and Lady Macbeth.

Of the Shakespeare I have read (and that’s only about half a dozen or so, less than ten anyway), it seems that Macbeth is where he is his most prescriptive with stage directions.

What it has made me think about though is how Shakespeare treats his female characters.
No, not in a feminist I can’t believe he makes his ladies such weak/poor/wussy characters because I get the whole context thing. If a lady can’t play the lady character on stage, and instead a boy has to, then you know the society they are playing to have a problem with women (even if the monarch is a lady, or maybe because the monarch is a lady).
More in a why are they all crazy bitches kind of way.

Think about it:
Ophelia – crazy because he bf is messing with her emotions and then kills her dad.
Juliet – crazy because she is like 11 and thinks she is in love, gets married secretly and then doesn’t have the maturity to tell her parents she did it.
Desdemona – crazy for trusting Iago (really though, the blame probably lies with Emilia, and thus she is crazy too.
And Lady Macbeth – crazy with greed and ambition and crazy because she lets the guilt she feels for acting on those feelings make her crazy.

Any way you look at it, it’s just a whole lot of crazy going on for those ladies.

But why?

I don’t actually have an answer for that. Nor is it rhetorical.

For an answer (of sorts) I look to Margaret Atwood and her speech Spotty-Handed Villainesses: Problems Of Female Bad Behaviour In The Creation Of Literature. (By the by, I have just purchased her new book and am so looking forward to reading it).

20130830-062340.jpg

Honestly, why do we still study texts whose language no one understands and that has such ambiguity in its interpretation??

Coming up on my next blog: A new month, a new me (no, seriously, stop laughing)

Act Your Age

Do you remember a time when clothing sizes actually meant something? When they were reflective of your size because of your age.
Take these new pants I just bought.

20130829-094953.jpg

They are from the children’s section at target and tell me that I am the same size as sixteen year old. This makes be feel pretty good. I like buying things from the kids department because they are also usually half the price of adult clothes.
Also I love that these pants are Mooks. I used to wear this brand all the time, but then it seemed to disappear, kind of like Mambo (coincidentally, another brand for which I can purchase things from the children’s section).

In the adult sections of stores the sizes seem meaningless by comparison. What is an 8, or more stupidly a zero for women? How can anyone be a size zero (besides a baby because that is their age) does that mean you are nothing? Often I think the non number system is better, are you small medium or large? The only problem is when you are inbetween these sizes. Am I s/m or an m/l?

And so this got me thinking about age. If I can wear kids clothes, does that mean I am still a kid?

This three tiered system also presents itself in age groupings.
But how can we act our age when there only seems to be three age stages:
Childhood/adolescence
Middle age
Old age

I say childhood/adolescence because as recently (that may be a little stretch) as sixty years ago there was no such thing as teenagers. You were a child, then you were an adult.

What kind of acting is appropriate for what age group?

Now that I am older am I supposed to do things differently? What happens if I still feel young inside?
Some of my personal problem with acting my age seems to stem out of my proclivity for saying what I think. Lots of people don’t like this and seem to think that adults (or mature ones at least) keep their opinions to themselves, or have to have mature thinking/reasons to support the way they feel.
And I don’t think anything in my life has really forced me to grow up. I still hang out with the same people from school, still have my family as a constant. The most mature thing I have done is probably get married and even that still feels a bit unreal. It’s more like playing house (even though I own one).

I think the problem lies around the idea of maturity. It’s not a hard and fast thing.
Is it essential that we become more mature as we age?
Some people will always be young at heart (and hopefully also able to wear clothes from the children’s section at the shops).

Coincidentally a great song also deals with this subject. Have a listen to Bluejuice


Coming up on my next blog
: What I have been reading.

Soooo, yesterday?

So yesterday nothing exciting happened, and so that outs paid to the whole theme week thing (but obviously not to my use of so, what can I say, I’m soo into it).

Today was a mash up of little fun moments.

Like the arrival of my 2014 Ikea catalogue. I will be perusing and drooling tonight.

20130827-155453.jpg

And my discovery (via a great kid I know) of the website Word Hippo. You all know my love of words, I can’t believe I didn’t know about this already. It is going to come in very handy.

20130827-155647.jpg

But then I got to thinking about the phrase

so yesterday

And all the ways I could say it

so, yesterday?

that is sooo yesterday

(or last week or last year, depending on how hyperbolic you are by nature)
So really I only came up with two.

But I also thought about its use in popular culture and the connotations it suggests.
Like Hilary Duff and Scott Westerfeld. Though ironically, neither of these is my favourite works by the composer. If you haven’t already you must check out Westerfeld’s Uglies and other books.

I know this blog is a little bit odd, but it was either ramble on about meaningless things or write about e odd growth on my finger that even the doctor can’t identify. I chose the more appetising former option.

Coming up on my next blog: It’s time for some more cat lovin’

So Yesterday

So after tense talks last week, and the posts I have been making lately, I guess it’s been decided that I mostly write in past tense. And it’s been like that lately because I did so many awesome things over the weekend.

So today’s post is about yesterday.
And the awesome dinner party at lunch time I had with my friends.
Normally we do things at night time, which is cool, and normally we get take away, which is also cool. But I get tired past 8.30 and I like to cook so I decided to have a dinner party in the day time, a lunch party.

20130826-165808.jpg

I sent out proper invitations a few weeks ago and nine of my friends rsvp’ed in the affirmative. Then I got down to planning the menu. It had to be mostly gluten free because one of my friends is a celiac. And I didn’t want to be cooking the whole time my friends were over either, so I had to choose things that were easy to cook and would feed a lot of people.

So I made a few things.
One cold salad and one warm one (my famous bread salad with haloumi which is the best thing you can eat ever).
And this chicken bake thing with potatoes and Spanish onion and capsicum. I’d never made that before but it turned out pretty well and was good for a group.

20130826-165850.jpg

20130826-165907.jpg
Dessert is my favourite part of the meal and so I made the chocolate terrine again and just cut up some strawberries and had cheese and biscuits too.
I also made my own lemonade.

My biggest fear was that I would give someone food poisoning with the chicken (I used chicken drumsticks which I’d never cooked before) but no one has texted me complaining of being sick so it must have been ok.

So we just hung out and ate and then sat in the sun.
It was a really nice thing to do.


Coming up on my next blog
: I try to stop using the word so to start my sentences.

And it was her mother

20130825-103808.jpg

Yesterday my Mum and I went to see the Francisco Goya Los Caprichos exhibition at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre. I have been waiting a while to see it, and yesterday was e first time both her and I and the centre were all in alignment. As you know, one of my favourite art works is this

20130825-104029.jpg

I love the owls and the bats and the cats. And I love the idea that to be reasonable, and live only with reason in mind, is something bad (in that is produces monsters). I am all for a life of frivolity, imagination and wonder.

But I had not seen any of Goya’s other works before, and I just have to say he must not like the institution of marriage. What he did like, it seems, is allegory or fable. My favourite of his works are the ones that have animals in them.

Like Plate 38

20130825-104330.jpg
Which reminds me of the Yann Martel novel Beatrice and Virgil. It is a pretty dark book about a monkey and a donkey and a review of it can be found earlier on my blog.

And Plate 42

20130825-104527.jpg
I liked this one because of the comment my Mum made as we looked at it. She said

sometimes that’s exactly what life feels like – that you’re carrying two donkeys on your back.

Just hilarious. Maybe not what Goya intended, but it made me like the etching much better. Sometimes you need levity like that, especially when you are carrying those donkeys.

And then we also got to see an exhibition of art created from materials found in the Blue Mountains. And I think I have discovered my second favourite Australian artist (after Margaret Preston) James Blackwell. I love the intricacy of his work, and the way he uses the shadows as part of the experience.

20130825-104948.jpg

So I am feeling incredibly cultured this weekend.
This feeling is set to continue as I host a dinner party (at lunch time) for my friends. Gluten free to boot!

Coming up on my next blog: eating, drinking and being merrying

What’s the first thing you remember?

Tonight I am up late at my own volition.
Being a cultured young thing I took advantage of the Sydney Theatre Company’s 30 for under 30 offer and got to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
And it was awesome.

We started the evening with a stroll around Walsh Bay.

20130824-001004.jpg
And I have decided that if I had to live in Sydney that’s where I’d live. Ultimately the ideal thing is that I would live where I live now and have a weekender in Walsh Bay. Just an apartment overlooking the water with its own private jetty access. And I guess maybe I’d have boat, even though I don’t really like travelling on the water, it just seems the done thing to do.

Then it was tapas dinner and on to the show.

20130824-001235.jpg

I have not laughed so much at the theatre since I last saw a Tom Stoppard play (last time it was Rock n Rolla and included the classic 99 Red Balloons). He is just so damn funny. What makes it better (and funnier) is the way Stoppard portrays Shakespeare’s Hamlet. You all know by now just how much I love meta things and this play does it so perfectly. It’s kind of the whole point.
Honestly, I have always had a soft spot for Guildenstern. He seemed the more likeable, affable (and slightly dumber of this dumb and dumber pair) and I love Tim Minchin in this role. Or is he playing Rosencrantz? I couldn’t tell and Stoppard certainly doesn’t make it easy for you.
Seeing it performed made me remember just how much I liked the play in the first place, and just how easy Stoppard’s writing is to read. It has made me want to go back to his work and reread some of his plays.

Coming up on my next blog: More arts and culture continuing to question reason.

iBookstore hits and misses (Friday Book Club)

So this week I read a ‘classic’ and two free finds from iBooks.

20130823-095810.jpg

There is not much I really want to say about The Outsiders by SE Hinton, except why do we insist on still teaching it to kids. Sure it’s about gangs and girls, but it’s also set in the 1950’s and drive-ins and soda and hopping freight trains have become a bit of an historical anachronism.
If I did have to get some sort of marking as gang initiation I think I’d rather have Stay Golden tattooed across my chest than My Brother’s Keeper, or worse, Such is Life.

And then, because I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep reading Cassandra Clare, I read a couple of ebooks I had downloaded. Both were free because I don’t like paying for things that aren’t physically tangible (but that’s a whole nother blog).

20130823-095900.jpg

What I don’t like about ebooks is that you don’t really know who has written the book. It goes back to the whole ‘anyone can write something and put it on the Internet’ problem. At least with real books it has to be vetted by a publisher and money has to be invested into its production, so you know somewhere someone thought it was a good book.

My problems began with Pinehurst by Nicole Grane. It was pretty terrible. I thought it was going to be one of those mysterious and horror filled events occur at an American private boarding school that I like, but it turned out to be a supernatural teen novel. Really I should have known better. The characters were interesting and likeable so I stuck it out, but the plot itself was patchy. Too much happened at the end too quickly, and it was all a little implausible, even for supernatural fiction. Of course there is going to be a sequel, but I won’t be reading it. My biggest problem with it though, was that it wasn’t edited properly. Bad spelling and bad punctuation, not to mention fragmentary sentences, put me right off. If I think I can write better than you I shouldn’t be reading your book.

So I was in this bad ebook frame of mind when I started Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. But I have to say I LOVED this book. I don’t really know what I was expecting when I downloaded, something interesting about history with a little bit of mystery I guess, but I was we’ll rewarded with a surprising and intriguing novel that is in the same vein as Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next novels. I am a big fan of his literary adventures and Taylor does the same thing for history in her novel. What I especially liked about it was the way her voice came through. It is obvious she also is a fan of allusion and literature and she used wit and sarcasm to undermine the way many books patronise the reader. As always, it seems this book is also meta, very self aware and that’s the kind of thing I like to read. I am thinking I will have to go and get myself a real copy of this. And yet again, there is a sequel, lucky for me.

Coming up on my next blog: I show my sophisticated and cultured side and get to see Tim Minchin in the flesh.

Tents

I don’t really like camping.
It’s too hot or too cold. And I don’t do communal showers.
My idea of camping includes a fridge and my own room. So a hotel really.

But tents do hold a bit of magic I suppose. How does something made of cloth keep out the rain?

My favourite tent related thing is the cutting put down
Were you born in a tent?
This is what people say if you leave doors open. And there is, I think, the flaw. Do tents really have doors?
Sometimes tent is replaced by barn, which I think makes more sense because at least they do have proper doors. Maybe this phrase should be used when you leave your fly undone, because at least a zipper is involved there.

Coming up on my next blog: I’m all tensed up.