Monday, April 23, 2007

Five questions from Anastacia Campbell

In a fit of unmitigated generosity, Stacy from Jurgen Nation has consented to send interview questions to those of us who begged for it (and completely without shame too!) on her blog. What a doll!

Here are some questions for me! Stacy's questions are in bold.

1. YOU’RE ALLERGIC TO ALCOHOL! Sadly, that may or may not be the only way I know to unwind. If you came over for a visit, what would I prepare for you?

Alcohol, like milk, I know I can't have, but some days I just go, Eh, screw it, and pour it down the hatch anyway, completely mindful of the consequences.

To give an example of my stubbornness in this regard, I give you Exhibit A: Lactose-intolerance vs. My love of dairy. And bear with me, I am going somewhere with this.

I only became lactose-intolerant two years ago and my favourite drink was, and still is, a 500ml Brownes Mocha Chill. Nowadays, when I'm feeling brave, I'll think, Dammit, I am SO having one, never mind the hideous consequences, and then for the next four hours while I'm clutching my bloated stomach and waiting for that 15 pound alien baby to rip its way out, I'll still manage to gasp from between gritted teeth, "Totally . . . Worth . . . It."

So, Brownes Mocha Chill. Oh, baby.

The same goes for alcohol. If it were just us blogging girls, I would appreciate any of the drinks below, rationed out at one glass per hour, and alternated with iced water:

- a split of champagne (extra dry or sweet and fruity, I love them all),
- a Midori illusion, or any fruity Midori cocktail,
- any Bailey's cocktail,

You would then have the pleasure of watching as:
1) my face and neck turn red and splotchy,
2) my face swells up so that my eyes become tiny slits,
3) my sinuses block up so I sound like Kermit the Frog,
4) a raging headache causes me to fret like an infant and then pass out.

If I'm lucky, I'll throw up half an hour later and be back to normal after that. And for at least 20 minutes before the symptoms above appeared, I would be one happy an9ie.

If we were in polite company, I'd probably just have a glass of water, which is what I drink at most parties, sparkling mineral water if I'm feeling extravagant. Also appreciated would be grapefruit juice, a Shirley Temple or some other non-alcoholic cocktail.

2. You have a lot of Anatomy books on your Wishlist. OHMYGOD, I love anatomy. Tell us about this interest. Are you in a field or studying for a field that’s related to this? Or do you just like it? (Know that I have a “thing” about going through someone’s archives - feel weird doing it.) Here’s a Part B. just for me: if you’re studying it, what do you consider the hardest part to learn? Because, fuck! I hated the urinary system. Fucking kidneys.

The books on my list are mainly for drawing purposes. Because I need to learn. I'm very conscious of how I end up drawing cartoon people, stick figures, or fantasy humanoids with too many ribs because I'm too butt-lazy to practise.

The jealousy I have for James Jean's work has given me an ulcer the size of Utah. I would give up a small finger to be able to draw like him. Hands and faces and skin folds and musculature all presented so naturally and freely. The man is my hero.

Like you, Stacy, I also find the human body incredibly fascinating. I took Human Biology 100 in my first year of Uni and loved it. The only parts that made me want to bite through my textbooks in frustration were to do with neurology, I think.

Specifically, what blew my mind was reproductive biology. It was my favourite part of the course, and it didn't hurt that we had an awesome, spellbindingly hilarious lecturer named Neville Bruce. One day I think I'll sneak back into Uni just so I can attend a few of his lectures.

I really find it an absorbing subject: hormones, the reproductive cycle and how people try to suppress or enhance their fertility, how everything forms from one cell that divides and rolls up into a little tube and becomes a whole person, how you could theoretically apply the proper stimuli to the right cells and create a person with five heads.

To this end I trawl BBC Health News, The Cochrane Collaboration, Contraception Online, partly for my own edification, and partly because I find it so damn interesting.

In fact, I'm thinking about writing an article about contraception choices in Australia and how limited they really are. Hopefully for paid publishing, but even if it doesn't get that far, I'll just whack it on the blog or a Squidoo lens or something.

3. It’s Halloween and you go out with your pillowcase begging for candy. What, when you get home, do you give or throw away? Me, it was those shitty ass candies wrapped in the black and orange wrapping. Ugh.

Culling Stage 1: Anything licorice or aniseed-flavoured. I'm sorry, I just can't get used to the taste. I can deal with faux licorice that's really raspberry, or Red Vines, no problemo!

Culling Stage 2: Really, really cheap chocolate, the kind that has so little cocoa butter in it that it never, EVER melts in your mouth. Pah.

Haha! After that I may end up with nothing in my pillowcase!

4. What do you consider your personal style; your fashion sense? For example, I’ve tried, but I’m not the princess diva type. Give me jeans or khakis and a cute shirt, Chucks and comfort. I can’t be anything else. What do you think is your own style?

Depends on the occasion. I was a combat pants, sneakers and t-shirt girl for a long time. People at work used to think I was a skater. Ha!

Now I try to dress in a more feminine manner, and Nicky, my very dear friend from high school, is a huge help. I see her once a year, and as my seasonal stylist she makes sure I don't stray from the path. ("You are only allowed to buy ONE black item of clothing today!").

I loathe paying too much for clothing, but I will if it's a good classic item, like a trench. I can't be bothered with current styles or name brands. If I'm veging at home and I know I'll just duck out to the shops, it's tracksuit pants and a t-shirt.

If I could afford to, I'd wear awesome fifties-style clothing all the time. The clothes from that era look so well-cut and fitted, and ladies looked like real ladies, not the skankorama you get today.

5. You live in Australia!! I have always wanted to visit Australia. Let’s assume I or someone else who had never visited your fine country came to visit. What would you make sure they visited/did to give them the full experience?

Hoo-boy. Hard question because, you know, this is a damn huge continent, and I haven't visited that much of it myself. Although, most of it IS just desert, as far as the eye can see, so that rules out quite a bit.

Firstly, when to visit. Australia is nicest when it's not too hot i.e., if you leave a cassette tape on your car dashboard it won't be melted when you return, or too cold/wet/windy. Australian winters are fairly mild, but it's still nice to have fine weather for a visit.

Springtime (September, October and November), or early autumn (March, April, May) would be my choice.

And where?

Ayers Rock would be pretty awesome, of course.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, but only so you could say, Yeah, I've been there, bitches, when the tourism propaganda appears on TV. Sydney is pretty much like any other big city, with lots of fun big-city things to do. The Sydney suburb of Newtown is worth a visit; it has lots of nice little cafes and pretentious shops you can poke fun at and exquisite hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Norton Street in Leichhardt is what they call Sydney's Little Italy, and if you would like to retrace Nicky's and my steps, have coffee and breakfast at The Grind, sit on the balcony, and enjoy seeing the world go past and the planes fly overhead.

About 250km north of Perth, there's a groovy place called the Pinnacles, near the town of Cervantes, which feels like a Star Trek set. It's full of incredible-looking limestone things coming out of the ground, and you feel like you've just beamed down from the Enterprise onto a desert planet. Cervantes also has a lake nearby full of stromatolites or "living fossils", as referred to by Bill Bryson in Down Under/In a Sunburnt Country when he bitched about the silly tourists who failed to recognise how awesome stromatolites are.

Apparently we have quite famous and pristine beaches in Perth, although I only visit them about once a year. The surfing is quite good too, I hear :)

If you like wine and the good life, down you go to Western Australia's wine region, Margaret River, about 3 to 4 hours drive south of Perth. Cape Mentelle has delicious wine and Vasse Felix has a beautiful restaurant with the some of the BEST pork belly I have ever had (except they called it something posher than that).

What about our nation's capital, Canberra? Well, Bill Bryson thought the city's slogan should be: "Canberra - Why wait for death?" and I agree with him all the way. It was in Canberra that I met a strange man who claimed to have become a millionaire from inventing car LCD tail-lights and the Scrabble tie pin. He then took me on a tour of about seventeen car parks so we could look for cars with his tail-lights in them. ANU has a great kendo club, and there is some kind of annual hot air balloon festival. I like hot air balloons.

I wouldn't recommend coming here for skiing or snowboarding, although we have some pretty mountains. Go to Japan for the best powder, man.

Visit Melbourne during the International Comedy Festival, and catch some awesome local and international acts. (Perth has a pretty good International Arts Festival as well.) Melbourne has wonderful foooooooooood, and lots of lovely buildings, shops and little wine bars. And if you're a fan, you can tour the Neighbours set!

That's probably enough to go on for a bit, I think :)

Thanks Stacy, that was fun!


Juliness said...

Awesome and very interesting! Great answers to Stacy's great questions. Loved it all around.

an9ie said...

Thanks juliness!

LOVE interviews, both reading them and being part of them :)

Anonymous said...

I'm lactose intolerant myself but I still have milk- based products (including MILK) all the time. Except for yougurt. It makes me break out in hives. >_<

girl and dog said...

Isn't it torture to be lactose intolerant? I am in love with cheese, but we just don't get along. *sigh*

an9ie said...

Genevieve, yes, the call of the dairy is too strong. Witness: ice-cream, thickened cream, yoghurt, creme caramel, cheese. I have awful painful gas, but still, I never learn. I once had hives, at, of all places, this lovely posh restaurant MFC took me to for my 30th. I spent the whole dinner scratching myself EVERYWHERE. Romantic NOT. Gah!

Girl, it's damn annoying I tells ya, but obviously I'm a glutton for punishment. I love tofu, but I just wish soygurt wouldn't taste so ... soy-like. Do you still punish yourself with cheese anyway? ;)