Monthly Archives: October 2009

Day 71- October 31, 2009

Part of the application process to teach music with Yamaha is going to see some of their classes in action to get a feel for their method. Having driven over the hills and far away (well, it was about a 30 minute drive that did involve some hilly bits), I got all confused because they told me that their Malvern site was relocating to Carnegie. Naturally, I got to Carnegie and found out that they were still in Malvern. Luckily, the two are only a few minutes away. Still, gah confusion!

The first class I saw was their most junior one (3-4 years old), which didn’t involve too much playing piano, but a lot of singing and counting and stomping around like a stegosaurus. I think it would be absolutely hilarious to get this job, because I’d get to do all the silly stuff I normally do (like ridiculous dancing), and get paid for it. The other class was slightly older children (I think it was 6-8 or so), which was pretty interesting from the point of view of having done the Yamaha classes as a child and now seeing and thinking about how they teach music. And it also brought back memories, like having to stand around the teacher’s piano and sing songs, or getting stickers at the end of each class (God I loved the stickers!).

After going for my first “classical” piano lesson in about three years (to help prepare for the audition), I spent the afternoon doing nothing of any great consequence. I’ve been fiddling around with Adobe Lightroom, which is like Photoshop but specifically for photos. It doesn’t have all the paint-type tools, but it lets you deal with many photos at a time and gives you heaps of control over all the photo-editing. I’m still working it all out, but made some edits I was pleased with. Here’s one of Sarah that I was playing around with (compare with the original), and a black and white one of her brother Peter (in which he looks slightly evil).

James and Andrew came over in the afternoon. We christened the newly-acquired outdoor set by sitting in the backyard with a few beers (animal rights activists please note: the dog is not actually drinking in today’s photo), and James got to Enjoy His Life once again (lucky bastard). We also watched some nigh-on-incomprehensible French sci-fi film, Eden Log, about some strange underground power plant that killed people. Yeah. I didn’t understand it either.

Day 70- October 30, 2009

You know you’re going to have a good day when you have icecream for breakfast. Boo ya! To celebrate the end of the first year of uni (well, apart from exams…), Jackie and I went to Brunetti’s for gelato. The poor girl had never been to Brunetti’s before, which probably explains why she didn’t know how to eat the icecream to make sure it didn’t drip everywhere.

Last class of the year of my music tute, which was even better than usual, because it involved a game of Celebrity Heads and Kit Kats (win). Some people were infuriatingly good/lucky at it (“Am I a solo artist? Am I male? Do I play guitar? Harmonica? Am I Bob Dylan?”), but it took me a while to figure out I was “Soul Music” (the genre). Oh well, I got my Kit Kat in the end… We also had a heated discussion on the ethics of world music. Seriously? Lighten up. I don’ t think anybody believes that Desert Rose by Sting is meant to be a representation of Algerian music (or anything apart from a Jaguar ad, for that matter).

We decided to go out for drinks to celebrate the end of the year (pretending for a time that we don’t have exams coming up), and a curious incident occurred on the tram. An angry angry hobo (carrying plastic bags full of celery and Roma tomatoes) began abusing Alice. I took a photo (obviously), and the shutter sound caused him to whip around and yell directly into my face for about five minutes. After that, he got a little tired of that and went back to Alice, threatening to kick her in the head and lunging at her throat. He didn’t say a word to Steve… how rude!

So we were pretty glad to be off that tram. Interesting story though. Made all our days (does that sentence make sense?). We went to Rooftop Bar on the top of Curtin House, and after I thoroughly embarrassed myself by taking several minutes to figure out how to open up the deck chairs, we kicked back and like, full chilled and stuff (pictured). Afterwards, I discovered a really really amazingly cool bookshop. ARGH I HAVE TO GO THERE AGAIN! It had all the Postsecret books and a diary filled with Russian pictures and… *hyperventilates*

Ooh! And I got  a call back about the Yamaha job, meaning that I’ve got an audition in two weeks (in which I have to play music, sing and transpose Waltzing Matilda) and that tomorrow I’m off to Carnegie to watch three year olds learn to clap rhythms and stuff (class observation). I don’t really know how to end this… it’s too humid to think/write. Gah.

Day 69- October 29, 2009

Last psychology tute (for the semester/year) today (sniffle sniffle). We actually learned some useful things, such as that if you claim you got brain damage in a car accident, the TAC will give you lots of money, and about the kinds of tests they use to find out whether you’re faking (massive compensation payout, here I come…). We then celebrated by sitting under some shady trees (because the sun was searing hot and also there were lots of ants around that place) and eating pizza. I’m getting slightly better at picking the stale-ish pizza from the fresh-from-the-oven ones. Heh. No photos of pizza (I have too many photos of people Enjoying Their Lives), although I have Charlotte pulling a particularly queer face. I also went to my last Self and Other tute (THANK GOD IT’S ALMOST OVER), but didn’t stay very long.

The reason why I left early and why I was wearing a shirt and tie today (that’s a Jackson Pollock tie!) was that I had a interview with Yamaha. I applied a while ago for a job as a music teacher with their music school, and had a group interview. So I walked to Flemington Road, took a tram down through the west end of the CBD and ended up in a thoroughly confusing part of town with roads going everywhere (no photo). The interview (slash information session) was quite amusing, consisting of us having to do one of the dances from the music classes (step, step, hands to the sky… do the monkey dance!) and planning and acting out skits (ours was about a couple at a restaurant that got seated at a crummy table but ended up involving Lady Gaga and me as a homophobic French waiter). We also had to answer things like “if you had five wishes” or “five things you would do if the world was to end in seven days”. There were some laughably suck-up questions such as “I wish I could work with austistic children and help them!!”. Yeah, ok.

Took a few photos of the city on my way from there to the station on my way to another JCS rehearsal, including today’s photo, an angle of the city that I don’t normally see (and one that makes it look very different!), as well as this somewhat phallic one. Heh.

Day 68- October 28, 2009

Stayed home today. Pros: Got to sleep in, have leisurely breakfast/lunch (you know the kind of meal when you’re home all day), get work done on my essay. Cons: Not that much to write about or photograph. Dang it!

So I finished my essay. Thank goodness. I’m the kind of person who spends approximately ten times more time than is necessary on things like this, so getting things done is always a bit of a relief (even if the assignment is nothing much). I’m also the kind of person that spends 99% of my time researching and taking notes that end up being at least twice the length of the actual essay, so once I get past the “argh I don’t know what I’m doing” stage, it’s all smooth sailing. Basically, that means I’ve been doing this essay for about two weeks now (on and off… you know how it is), I started it yesterday and I finished it today. Hooray!

Apart from that, the day was most uninteresting from a blogging perspective (not that an essay is that riveting, but hey). I mean, apart from getting my new laptop, which is a fantastic source of relief to me, given the slow and painful and generally not-working-very-well nature of my old one. I’ve been pulling my hair out and all, what with it taking literally hours sometimes to copy and upload my photos. So once I get everything running on this one the way I’m used to (NO I DO NOT WANT MSN NEWS POPPING UP ALL THE TIME), everything will be sweet. That’s a photo of me wrestling with a good deal of packaging, by the way.

I’m currently in the process of copying everything from my old one to a hard drive and onto my new laptop. Bye!

Day 67- October 27, 2009

Last Music lecture today! *wipes away tear* We listened to Shakira and some Paul Simon songs in which he plays about 15 seconds of “authentic” South African music before singing over the top of them. Alice showed me some book and Steve and I discussed Jews. Good times.

I decided to go to the State Library in order to work on my essay (made a start on it! woot!), and happened to walk past a good deal of construction. I had forgotten that they were renovating Myer. I wonder what it will look like when it’s done– one wall is finished and it’s all weird and glassy. So then I spent quite a long time sitting there in the Redmond Barry Reading Room thinking about Bob Dylan and getting very hungry (no connection between the two).

As I was sitting there and looking around the room (anywhere, in fact, but at my work), I noticed this guy waving to me. I assumed I’d met him before and had forgotten him, so I gave that awkward “hey…” nod and went back to staring at my taskbar. Later on, he actually got up, walked up to me and asked me if I was English. “Um… I speak English?” “Oh… I thought you were English because your face is… cherubic”. CHERUBIC? I was slightly freaked out and laughing on the inside at the same time. Luckily, he left me alone then but he did wish me a good day when I got up and left a few hours later. Strange…

I had a bit of time before dinner, so I took a few shots of a rather ominous sunset, an intriguingly lit-up garbage truck and wonderfully tacky Chinatown on my way to Tattersalls Lane and the Shanghai Dumpling House. It was Liz’s (pictured) birthday, and more importantly, Tuesday $12 All-You-Can-Eat. I think I had More-Than-You-Should-Eat. Still full of thousands of dumplings… So basically, we ate shitloads of food and listened to the bizarre mix of music that gets played there (a combination of Beatles, swing and sugary slow-dancey pop) as well as a Happy Birthday track that kept getting played. We weren’t sure if all the Happy Birthdays were for Liz, but we sang along raucously regardless.

Day 66- October 26, 2009

So I started reading Twilight today. I was slightly afraid that having made fun of it for so long and having talked it up as the worst thing ever, I would find that it wasn’t so bad– or worse (God help me), even enjoy it! However, after gingerly pulling out the book and beginning to read it on the train (making sure nobody was looking at me and that I had the cover and spine covered up), I have come to the conclusion that it is unadulterated awfulness.

I’ve having a good deal of fun reading it, however, mentally going through and “correcting” Meyer’s writing. Because seriously, she writes like a 10-year-old. I actually laughed out loud at some things, and cringed at others. What I’d really like to do is go through the book with a pen and make annotations in the margins. And this is all from reading the first two chapters or so. I’ll have more to say as I read more (although I don’t think I’ll read the rest of the series– I think I might read The Slap after this).

Today’s photo is of a particularly colourful van, filled with icecream (for real). Murphy’s Law applies of course, so something like only happens when I don’t have my camera. But the photo I took from my phone seemed to turn out alright. The van is from Ben and Jerry’s, an American icecream franchise that appears to be expanding to Australia and handing out samples. Yummy samples. Jackie and I stood in line for a while (read: I stood in line and she cut in) in order to Enjoy Our Lives with icecream that actually had chunks of raw cookie dough in it. It was awesome.

Day 65- October 25, 2009

Long rehearsal today. Seven hours of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Which, annoyingly, includes several songs not in 4/4. Being a classically trained pianist, used to solo performance and specialising in music of the Romantic era, I very rarely keep time. So when I’m not only expected to not make up the beat, but to count in seven (“It’s easy! BA-ba-BA-ba-BA-ba-ba!”), I fail. Oh well, I’ve got quite a few months to practise.

After the rehearsal, I caught the train into the city to see Maxim perform with his Melbourne Youth Music (MYM) group, the Percy Grainger Youth Orchestra. They performed along with the MYM choirs (Vox Minor, Major and Synergy), which sang, among other things, It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing). Good fun.

Maxim’s group was pretty good, performing Dvorak, Sibelius and others, and featuring a solo trumpeter for one of their pieces. I’ve got photos of all of these, but I really can’t be bothered going through and linking them, so you’ll just have to have a look at my Flickr page.

We finished the day off by having dinner at the Denn (where else?) and by walking back to the car singing various songs (“I dreamt I met a Galilean…”). Good times.