Monthly Archives: January 2010

Day 163- January 31, 2010

Wonderful sleep-in today. Almost 1pm. I feel like I’ve made some headway on catching up on recent lost sleep, mostly induced by playing around on Lightroom into the wee hours of the morning.

Today was really a day of making and eating food and drink. Which I suppose is better for the mind than just sitting around, but containing significantly more calories. I made iced coffees in the food processor and Brandy Alexanders and a lemon custard tart. The iced coffees probably would have been better in a blender, but we only have a food processor, which is less suited to blending ice. Oh well, I might just have to invest in an ice crusher.

The Brandy Alexanders were alright, although I didn’t have one of the liquers and had to substitute for some strange coconut-y stuff we had lying around. Didn’t like the aftertaste. In retrospect, I should have used Baileys. But the tart worked out alright (pictured). I’ve also put a few more photos of it in various stages on Flickr. The only problem was that I made the sides too low and couldn’t put all the custard in, so it was a bit flat. Oh well, next time.

This is the second food photo in a row, and I fully intend to do more in the near future. I don’t have anything particularly interesting to photograph at the moment, and I’ve gotten a few cookbooks for Christmas. Not to mention I’ve been trawling through food sites and found some good ideas. At least it’s a more interesting way to take in a boatload of calories than going to McDonalds.

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Day 162- January 30, 2010

I started my new job today, being a tutoring position at a weekend school. After contacting a family friend about the possibility of work there a while ago, I recently followed through and sent a resume. I got an interview on Wednesday and was given the job on the spot. Talk about things happening quickly. So I had the pleasure of spending a decent amount of time on public transport getting there and back (including one incident of getting on the wrong tram). It gave me time to read the book Sarah gave me for Christmas (Tuesdays with Morrie), which I started today, but I think I’ll drive from now on.

I got to the school and was told that from next week, I’ll have morning classes too. Hooray for more hours (and by extension, more pay)! I was also given Years 7 and 8 instead of 9 and 10, which is also good, because the material is simpler and the students presumably better behaved. The main difficulty with the classes was getting the students to contribute, as most just stared at their tables whenever I asked questions or for opinions. Luckily, some seem to be a bit responsive and look like they’ll have more to say later on once they feel more comfortable. I guess it’s all just a matter of time, and I’ll really looking forward to getting more of a feel for it.

Once I got home, I watched Frasier, ate the leftover Indian food and realised that I had absolutely no photo for the blog. It was for this reason that I decided to make caramel sauce to photograph. A secondary function of said sauce is that you can eat it, sometimes with icecream. Yum!

Day 161- January 29, 2010

Back to rehearsals today. More vocal exercises and choreography and people being yelled at. Oh, and we have scaffolding. The stage set-up involves two towers made of scaffolding and Completely Safe rusty corrugated iron, as well as a scaffolding platform connecting the two.  It’s only a matter of time before somebody gets impaled, breaks a bone or develops a case of tetanus. On the upside, it does look pretty cool. So that was seven hours of rehearsal, punctuated by a lunch break during which I had a coffee and a chocolate filled doughnut at Laurent’s. Yum.

After the rehearsal, I headed into the city for a band photoshoot. I saw a band called Zulya and The Children of the Underground (pictured) a while ago and passed on photos that I had taken during the gig through a mutual friend (Nick). So they decided to get me to take some promotional photography for them, as they’ve got a new album coming out. Woot! I met up with Zulya and took some portraits of her, travelling all around the place to get a variety of locations, before meeting up with the rest of the band and taking some of the group. All in all, we covered cafes, laneways, a shoe shop with interesting wallpaper, a lift in an old building, the ponds and water wall outside the NGV, Southbank, and Birrarung Marr. It was pretty fun, although quite challenging (especially the group shots, where it was practically guaranteed that somebody would blink in every photo).

Then home and Indian for dinner. I was very hungry and the food was very delicious, so this was very good. And now I’ve gone through all the photos and picked the good ones and done things to them and so forth. And now sleep, because I have to get up tomorrow and go to Flemington to teach children.

Day 160- January 28, 2010

A few days ago, Josiah lent me a copy of Dead Set, a British five-part series about zombies and Big Brother. Basically, the zombies have attacked and people are hiding in the house and the studio. I have just made it sound quite boring, which is an excellent talent of mine, but it’s actually quite good. The scene in which zombies attack a party, set to Mika’s Grace Kelly, is absolutely golden. I’ve only watched the first episode, so I can’t really say any more, but it’s pretty good. I’ve never seen a zombie in a wheelchair before, though…

After zombies and cleaning up my room (partially) and eating way too much chocolate, I went into the city to meet with Jackie, since we had totally failed at catching up at the Big Day Out. At Melbourne Central, we saw a busker (pictured) who, when I was giving a donation, introduced himself as Simon and offered to play me a song. He was a cross between Tim Minchin and Bob Dylan, but on rollerskates. When I inquired which songs he knew, he told me that he improvised music and only needed me to give him three topics with which to work. Off the top of my head, I came up with Tony Abbott, a fez and Ed Hardy. He then proceeded to sing a mostly incomprehensible but very amusing song, whilst strumming wildly and breaking into a skating routine at some point. So that definitely won the award for Craziest Thing of the Day.

We then took the tram down to Brunetti’s and had icecream while discussing the relative merits of Twilight, Gerard Butler and Muse. We also watched a trapeze thing that had been set up in City Square so that Ordinary Folks Just Like You could partake in exciting acrobatics and occasionally not fail at it.

Earlier in the day, I had realised that there was a clash between an all-day rehearsal for the musical and my first day at my new job at the tutoring school. I pleaded with the director of music for the production to let me off for the day and she had accepted, on the condition that she receive flowers or chocolate. So we went off to Darrell Lea to find a suitable chocoalte-y gift and found a nice box of chocolate shells, but not before seeing a Not-Quite-There woman come into the shop and yell something about “American propaganda” to the cashier for about five minutes. And that is the runner-up for Craziest Thing of the Day.

By this point, I required a coffee, so we went to a cafe in Block Place and had a coffee (well, Jackie had a hot chocolate) and some wedges. Of course, this was a very classy cafe, so it was called something like “roasted hand-cut potatoes”. I wonder what fancy name they have for Coke. We sat and talked a while of many things, including Catholics, people who whinge a lot on Facebook and Radiohead. A most brilliant choice of topics.

Day 159- January 27, 2010

I had a job interview today with a tutoring academy that a family friend worked out. Unfortunately, the interview was in Maidstone, north-west of Footscray and not very reachable by public transport. This necessitated a drive across town and getting lost in the western suburbs. Luckily, I eventually found the place I was meant to go to, although I was surprised to find it was the manager’s house, instead of some sort of head office.

The interview involved me and about eight other candidates sitting around the kitchen table with the two managers. We all had to introduce ourselves and talk about what sorts of things would qualify us for the job. There was a bit of a mix, there being some undergraduate students like me, some other postgraduate ones and a woman that had taught overseas for several years. We were told that, since the job started on Saturday, we would be notified later in the day or tomorrow morning. But as soon as I got in my car, I got a call telling me to come back and pick up some materials, as I was accepted. So now it seems I will be spending my Saturday afternoons teaching year 9 and 10 English and Maths. Woot.

After driving home and eating a not-so-healthy mix of sausages, chocolate and chips, I got to going through the photos from yesterday and have uploaded some of them here. There’s more on Facebook. Since I was lazy and didn’t take a photo of anything actually interesting, Today’s Photo is of the bowel cancer screening kit that came in the mail today for Mum. Inside the mysterious package from the Australian Government were some booklets, some tubes, a few scoop-y things (ewww) and some hilarious instructions (Step 2: Defecate Onto The Sheet). Baha.

Day 158- January 26, 2010

Big Day Out today. I met up with James and Leo and we went to Southern Cross Station to catch a “special” train to Flemington Racecourse. “Special” here means incredibly packed, Tokyo-style.

The first act I saw (after spending about half an hour in the line to get my bag checked for alcohol, weapons and umbrellas) was the Triple J Unearthed winner, the Public Opinion Afro Orchestra. Their music was a mix of soul, hip hop and other styles and very good fun. We then saw Bluejuice, a rock band from Sydney. They were also pretty good, and the band members wore bizarre yellow jumpsuits.

Lunch took a while to obtain, what with very long queues. James and I stood in the line for Nandos for about half an hour and had to rush off to see Kasabian afterwards. That was pretty fun, even if I did get doused by water from the sprinklers they use to keep the crowds cool. We then had the pleasure of standing in line for another eternity, this time to go to the toilet. Unfortunately, the cubicle I went to was blocked and about 80% full. It’s a good thing I went when I did, and an even better thing that I didn’t need to go urgently.

Next, we saw The Decembrists, an American indie band. I had heard some of their music before and really enjoyed them. They had a good mix of quiet strumming and louder rocking, and their keyboardist played an accordion for one of the songs. What isn’t to like? I left Rise Against early, being slightly intimidated by all the people moshing and the so-called “Circle of Death” (basically people standing in a circle, shoving each other… totally hardcore, I know). I met up with Sam and saw Devendra Banhart. He was interesting. Very good, though. Danceable, fun, and most importantly, I stood close enough to take decent photos (all of which will be uploaded tomorrow, after I sleep).

I decided against seeing Jet and went instead to stake out a spot to see The Mars Volta, seeing as Powderfinger and Muse would be playing at the same stage. They had two main stages next to each other and alternating acts so that they could run continually and have each stage set up while the other was being used. There was a D-shaped barrier around the stages with extra security to get into that inner region, but you could also see the stages from outside the barrier. Since I had my camera with me, I thought it would be a good idea to stand as close to the barrier as possible, but on the outside. So there I stood from before 6.30 till after 10. My legs were very sore.

Mars Volta were good, even if their songs did go on forever. Powderfinger weren’t really my cup of tea; I found them a bit boring. Muse, the closing act, was great- playing a good mix of their newer stuff (which I don’t like as much but is still fantastic live), older favourites (such as Plug In Baby and Newborn) and some instrumental interludes between the songs (including an interesting Spanish-sounding one). And to top it all off, lasers and smoke. Brilliant end.

Getting home was another matter, as it took as ages to find everyone and then get out of the Racecourse. Then, our train was stopped at Flinders Street and we were told to change platforms. Typical. So now I’m tired and will go to bed and do the photos tomorrow. (I forgot to mention that I’m now sick of bogans wearing the flag, but that’s not really that important).

Day 157- January 25, 2010

It was Mum’s namesday today, so we drove up to Mt Dandenong for breakfast. After getting lost for a bit and then being almost locked out of the carpark, we managed to find the cafe (by which time, we were all pretty hungry). The cafe was situated within a very large garden, so after breakfast and coffee, we went down and walked through its several acres. I took heaps of photos of flowers and trees and the such, which are all up on Flickr.

We went into Olinda, the nearby town, and had a look through various shops, including one that sold kitchenwares, another which was Turkish (IN WHICH NO PHOTOGRAPHY WAS PERMITTED!) and finally one that was filled with random crap, like ornate masks, sextants, canes and strange furniture. We also visited the lolly shop and had pies for lunch (pies were excellent, service was awful).

In the evening, we went out for dinner to a place called Anada. It’s a Spanish tapas restaurant in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. We ordered a variety of dishes including king fish, lamb cutlets, lentils on croutons and some VERY tasty mushrooms. Being tapas, it was pretty expensive, but incredibly delicious. I also had some Czech beer, which was pretty cool. We then went home to have dessert and watch Up. It’s such a great movie.

And woo for Big Day Out tomorrow!