Monthly Archives: February 2010

Day 191- February 28, 2010

Mmm no sleep and long rehearsal is an interesting, but mostly difficult combination. Today’s rehearsal was what’s known as a zitsprobe– where the cast sings to a full run-through of the show with the band, without being on stage or dancing or any sort of choreography. It was only the second rehearsal for a lot of the band, and the first time we had played through some of the songs, so the result was interesting. It was good, though, to have played it all through with singers, even if there was a lot of stopping and starting and fixing things up.

It was pretty intense though, working solidly from about 10 in the morning until a lunch break at about 2.30, with only one short break in between. By the time we were given a lunch break, a lot of people were already getting tired and fidgety, and I was pretty much falling asleep on the piano. But then I had pizza for lunch, so it all worked out. By the end of the rehearsal, I really had had enough, so it was good that we managed to work through the remainder of the music quickly and finish a bit early. It was fun though, especially considering I get to play a synth (for the rock organ sound) which is on top of a grand piano. It’s a pretty cool look, especially when I’m playing both at once.

Then home, via an extensive detour (roadworks, I presume). I arrived home to a house full of bulk items, as Mum had gone to Costco and bought up a large variety of apocalypse-preparation-grade items. We now have several dozen packs of toilet paper, lots of soap and a large bucket of yoghurt. Everybody needs a large bucket of yoghurt.

The rest of the day was spent re-decorating my room (again). This isn’t the last of it- I still have things to laminate before I can put them up, but I am now up to 181 items up on my walls. I think I have a problem.

Day 190- February 27, 2010

Another day at Flemington. I’ve been given a lunchtime hour private student now, so I have seven hours straight with only two 10 minute breaks in between. It means more money, but that I have a very limited time in which to wolf down my gnocchi. It’s an acquired skill.

I got my Year 8 classes to give group presentations today, ideally “information reports”. They got to pick their own topics, which ranged from pugs to Twilight to the solar system to Farmville. Yes, that’s right, I let my students do presentations on Farmville. How with the times am I (disclaimer: I have never played Farmville or approved of anybody else playing it). Some students did really well; others expected to be spoonfed, or tried to get out of it by suggesting alternative activities. No, you cannot draw a picture of the pug on the board in lieu of a presentation. No, you can’t present in dance. No, you cannot be in charge of “epic music”. Heh. On the upside, I managed to type out all my class rolls and make up a super-anal Excel spreadsheet that weights and averages all the marks and colour-codes missing assignments, failing students and excellent ones.

I popped into North Melbourne on the way home for Greg and Abby’s farewell drinks. Unfortunately the one time somebody has a tab at the bar is when I am driving and required to have zero BAC. Oh well, I got a free lemon lime and bitters (and lets not forget the spring rolls!). I chatted for a bit, and then went off home to do some marking and then out (again) to see The Room (again). It really is an amazing movie, even if you get pelted with plastic spoons the whole time. I love the way people act out scenes from the movie as they happen on-screen. Today’s Photo is of “Johnny” and “Mark” having a brawl. “Get out, get out, get out of my house!”.

Day 189- February 26, 2010

I headed down to Moorabin today with Andrew. A very curious thing to do, perhaps. Who on earth would want to go to Moorabin? But Andrew is a pilot and for the price of a return trip to Moorabin Airport and two BLT burgers from McDonalds, I got a free flight around the bay. The trip to the airport was a bit intense– almost had a pile-up at some point when some idiot decided to brake suddenly in order to make a late-minute turn onto a freeway.

I picked up some travel sickness tablets from the pharmacy, but they warned that they “may cause drowsiness; do not operate machinery”, so I took Andrew’s all-natural ginger air-sickness tablets instead (I was burping ginger for a while– you should try it sometime!). I waited around, eating sushi, while he did his flight plan and all that very technical stuff that I didn’t even bother finding out about (he has some sort of navigational compass that is quite interesting though).

After fuelling and checking this and that and giving me the standard safety speech (“It is a federal offense to smoke on any part of this airplane, including in the toilets, which are fitted with smoke detectors”), Andrew took the plane down runway 34 Left and off we went. I was psyched up for a combination of crippling fear and nausea, but luckily neither of the two eventuated. It was quite a strange sensation though, being up so high in such a small vehicle.

We headed north along the bay shoreline to St Kilda, past the city and the western suburbs to Geelong. In the western suburbs, like Altona, we saw some bizarrely coloured blocks of land. They looked like shiny pools of something like oil, but apart from that, I have no idea what they could be. We headed over Avalon Airport, a “restricted airspace”. How exciting.

We then headed over to Geelong, firstly over the industrial areas (ahh memories of visiting my grandmother and the delightful factory views from her house) and then over the city and the piers. Then down south to Torquay, before making a turn to go to the opposite side of the bay. Andrew flew as low as legally permissible (500 feet) and did a few circles (including a steep turn or two) round Cape Schanck so that I could take photos of cliffs and waves and lighthouses. All in all, a very good spot from which to photograph!

Then back over the Peninsula back to the airport, where I again waited a while for an unspecified but very technical reason (I think Andrew needed to talk to an instructor). And then we went home (via McDonalds, so that I could get tomato sauce on my tshirt while eating a burger and driving), so that I could make dinner (well, some pasta sauce to go with some gnocchi). The rest of the evening was spent going through today’s photos, adjusting them (some were quite washed out because of the glare, but were saved by Lightroom) and uploading them here. And now I’m eating large lollipop. Woo!

Day 188- February 25, 2010

Another day of wagging physical activity. But I made up for it by finishing my corrections for school. I’m not really looking forward to also having to mark the assignments of the people who didn’t hand their work in on time, and am thinking of instituting a penalty for being late. Yeah, that’ll learn them. On the upside, I set up a deliciously anal spreadsheet to help me figure out the overall marks (with weighting!). Ahhh public service here I come…

And then I went through my collection of things I’d recently picked up for my walls. I’ve been picking up postcards and posters to put up on what little space there is left in my room, as well as some free music magazines that I cannibalised. Here they all are in Today’s Photo, being on my bed since I haven’t yet bothered to figure out how I’ll re-arrange my room for the umpteenth time. I was hoping to get them laminated since the paper is the same kind as in newspapers and not terribly hardy, but laminating costs at places like Officeworks are really high. Any ideas, anybody?

Again to rehearsal, where we actually managed to run through the second act with the singing and the dancing; although we did have to take The Last Supper (one of the scenes) over and over again. We also did The Crucifixion with the actual crucifix– a very large wooden cross that our set designer made. It sits on top of a pole coming up from the platform in the centre of the stage and needs two tall people to hoist it up. How authentic.

Day 187- February 24, 2010

I decided not to go to the gym today, but rather have a sleep in to enjoy the last week of my holidays. I finished vacuuming and then spent most of the day reading articles online and learning songs on my guitar (I’m trying to learn At The Zoo by Simon and Garfunkel). I also had a banana thick shake at some point, which was good, if more than a bit filling. I had a look though my Flickr and saw that yesterday’s photo of the Liberal politicians jumping on the protest bandwagon got about 70 views overnight and is now my 8th most viewed picture of all time. I wonder why people keep clicking on it…

Band rehearsal in the evening. We rehearsed for the first time with the full band, as opposed to the rhythm section (drums, keys, guitar, bass) that has been rehearsing up to this point. It really is a rhythm section-heavy production, which is cool, but the other instruments fill out the sound a bit. Surprisingly, we also had dinner provided (various wraps, juices and bars), as the rehearsal ran until 9– the school isn’t normally that organised! So on the weekend, we’ll run the show through with the cast for the first time; a rehearsal called a “zitsprobe” for some strange reason.

And then home, for coffee. Coffee is very important. Unfortunately, I had no photo for the day since I accidentally left my camera battery in its charger. So Today’s Photo is of my parents watching old Bugs Bunny cartoons on Youtube. It’s funny how back in those days, the future was envisaged as space colonies and flying cars, but instead of those things, we have things that were never dreamed of. Like Youtube. It’s taken for granted now, but didn’t exist ten years ago. And it seems a bit funny that people can use it to find and watch things that they watched and enjoyed decades ago.

Day 186- February 23, 2010

After vacuuming most but not all of the house, I went to the uni for an information session about exchanges. I’m thinking of going someplace like London for a semester next year (can you imagine me with an accent?) and now have to figure out how much money to save, how to apply for various things and other such nonsense. The general information session wasn’t that helpful– at least, nothing more than the website– but I’ll go to the more specific ones (i.e. institution or country specific) and try to talk to some people who’ve already been on exchange. If I can only save up the money, it should be a really good experience– especially considering I’ve never left the country before!

I then went off to the State Library for the SLAM (Save Live Australian Music) rally. The rally was protesting liquor licensing laws which defined all venues playing live amplified music as “high risk” and imposed crippling security costs on them. Being the 34th anniversary of the filming of AC/DC’s music video It’s A Long Way To The Top, the rally recreated the said video, going down Swanston Street and up Bourke Street to Parliament House, followed by the RockWiz Orchestra and the Rats of Tobruk Pipes Band on a flatbed truck playing said song (with minor lyrical adjustments– “Riding down the highway/Going to the Tote…”, etc.). It was a pretty big turnout, over ten thousand I think, but I managed to keep moving, get some decent vantage points and take lots of photos.

There was loads of colourful characters, including a woman in a banana suit and two bizarrely-clad protester with a sign reading “Psychedelic freaks vote too!”. There were also heaps of musical instruments in among the crowd: guitars, trumpets, trombones, clarinets, accordions… all playing along with the band on the truck. The rally was also full of prominent Australian musicians supporting the cause; at one point, I was walking in between Paul Kelly and Tim Rogers– others present included Paris Wells, Wilbur Wilde, Dan Sultan and Claire Bowditch.

When we got to Parliament, the musicians got off the truck and up on a stage and we heard several speeches from the aforementioned musicians, as well as some others, including venue owners and the rally organisers. Luckily, I managed to get right up the front, which was good for taking photos, even if it did make me go deaf in the left ear from being next to a very large speaker. It was at this point that some Liberal politicians emerged from the Parliament with signs such as “Liberals love live music”, but they were abused and heckled by many in the crowd. Serves them right for being opportunistic, I think. Still, it doesn’t help Labor’s chances in an election year, what with other difficulties (don’t get me started on myki).

Then the rally finished and I had the pleasure of trying to get on a packed peak-hour (think Japan) train with my “Don’t Kill Live Music” placard that I had managed to pick up at some point. It’s just a reminder of going to back to uni and having to ride peak-hour trains again. Arrrrrrrrrrgh. Speaking of uni, I’ve sorted out my timetable. Hooray!

Day 185- February 22, 2010

Argh. I forgot my ipod again. Exercise sans music is possibly the most boring and draining thing on the planet. But I got through it. And then Yoga, featuring Josiah, whom I’d convinced to come, seeing as he’s thinking of taking it up at the uni this year anyway. The yoga instructor who had been away for a few months (off to India, being very spiritually enlightened) came back, so there were a few unfamiliar exercises, but it was very good- a nice stretch and relax.

I came home and had just enough time to take a shower and microwave some pumpkin curry before my tutoring. And then off to Alex’s, as he had to prove to me that he could cook. He made pasta with tomato and bacon, and despite his fears, I didn’t spurn his food for McDonalds takeaway. We also watched Trainspotting (which I’d been meaning to watch for ages) and Weird Science, a 80s teen comedy about two nerds that create a girl using a computer. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and features Robert Downey Jr being a dick. Win.

Currently fighting with university timetable allocation website. I’ve somehow miraculously managed to move my 8am Psych tute (despite the fact that the system shouldn’t have let me– but I’m not complaining!), but still need to move a tute that clashes with rehearsals. Mm, I’ll work it out eventually.

By the way, that’s a picture of Alex with his cat. He’s going to hate me for putting it up, but it was that or the pasta.