Wednesday, December 24, 2008

If I don't see you before the New Year

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year's Eve!

Thank you all for your warm, funny comments this past year.

I wish we had a bit more time, and a teleporter so we could carry on our conversations in person, over cake and pie (except for that strange dude who asked me where all the werewolves hang out, and could I fix him up with their addresses. Sorry, buddy. Not you.)

I don't know if I'll get time to blog while I'm overseas, but I've bought a little paper notebook that I hope to jot interesting things in. Perhaps, if everyone wishes for world peace and claps their hands at the same time on Christmas Day, an angel will get its wings, and an9ie will get her blogging act together.

Then you might even get to read some of my travel notes (although with my handwriting, if I don't transcribe what I've written within two days, it's gone, baby). There might even be some accompanying pictures!

xo Angie

P.S. I'll be home at the end of January.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The darndest things make me laugh

Caution: F-bomb ahead!

I saw this poster at Mr McKnob's website, and consequently gave a little "teehee".



Source:
I don't know what the original source for this poster is, but I first saw it at http://mrmcknob.blogspot.com/2008/12/look-at-her-face.html ("Look at her face!", Mr. McKnob, December 7 2008). Mr. McKnob is the husband of Crystal McKnob from Boobs, Injuries and Dr Pepper.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Babelfish is a party-pooper

I've spent most of this evening getting organised for our European trip (we leave on Boxing Day). For me this involves printing out and saving digital copies of any airline e-tickets, hotel reservations, public transport maps, and checking fares for public transport in each city.

Tip: in many cases the tourist transport cards are not only more expensive, but provide you with more options than you will need. E.g., Paris Visite card vs. buying a carnet (special name for a pack of 10) Métro tickets. The tickets in the carnet are valid for single trips on the RER, Métro, and buses, and will cover most of Paris--unless you're going to somewhere in the outer 'burbs, like Versailles.

Anyway, I do all these things because if I don't, we'll all be lost in a ditch somewhere and sold as sex-slaves to Angola. Also, the world will explode.

During my research, I followed a link to the BVG website (Berlin Transportation Company) and I saw this little promotion at the bottom of the page:


Ah, those cheeky Germans, I thought. What do we have here? Something risqué and provocative, no doubt. Something that our strait-laced Australian commuter and advertising groups would never condone!

My second thought was, Hello, little Lego man in the corner!

Here's a closeup of the picture that piqued my interest:

Psst, lady! Pick the one on the right. an9ie thinks he's cuter!
He also has nice hands.
P.S. Please don't go with a threesome.
They always end in tears; I have seen enough HBO shows to know.

I ran the web page through Babelfish to translate, and ... boooring!

Wait, perhaps I can still save the situation.

Let's pretend the guy on the left is called "Von Karstadt" and the one the right is Douglas AKA "The Lock" or "Steam Turbine and Gas Turbine Systems Entertainment"... Now we're getting somewhere!

Source: Images from http://www.bvg.de/ on December 19, 2008.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mmm, free

Today is the first day that I've felt properly Christmassy, that is, full of goodwill towards men. This makes a change from the rest of the year, when I'm full of dark, murky feelings and general loathing for anything that walks on two legs.

I was driving to work, and was wondering if I should park in my usual area, which is free and always has room, but (there's always a "but") is an unsheltered 20 minute walk from the office. The weather forecast said it was going to be HOT and I could already see the dizzying waves of heat rising from the ground.

Then I thought, What the heck, today might be my lucky day. Be spontaneous*, Angie! Go on and try that car park in front of work.

So I entered the car park, turned left, and there was a lady unlocking her car boot. Was she taking something out because she had just parked? Or was she putting something in and about to leave?

Suspense, right?


I made the universal, are-you-leaving? gestures, and she smiled and nodded "yes". Woohoo!

And then ... and then she walked over with something in her hand. I got out of my seat. The air was electric.

The lady GAVE me her parking ticket.

"It's valid until 5pm," she said, smiling.

Ohhh, free parking.

Free parking is like free money, which is probably the best thing in the world** that you could give a Chinese person. Actually, let's not stereotype. It is probably the best thing in the world that you could give a Chinese person named an9ie, or [insert name of an9ie's immediate family, and all her mother's and father's relatives].

"A-are you sure?" I gibbered. My eyes may have gone a little misty.

"Oh yes. Besides, the council gets too much of our money already," she nodded grimly and narrowed her eyes.

A woman after my own heart. You'd better watch out, City of X council.


* Yep, that's about as spontaneous as I get.
** The next best thing would be something that gave you fresh, free, other-people's money at regular intervals.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Because it's nearly Christmas

Wil Wheaton's roof started leaking in a major way yesterday¹, and to take his mind off the negative aspects of the day, he decided to take a moment to pick out three different things that he was happy or grateful for. He also said, "The exercise is awesome, because the first thing is always very easy to list, but it's a challenge to just pick two more things."

Since Christmas is just around the corner, and should be a time for giving thanks rather than drowning in an orgy of consumption, I thought I'd give this exercise a try.

Now, we don't usually indulge in this kind of touchy-feely whatnot in this blog--so let's not make a habit of it, you hear? Bah humbug!

Anyway, three things I'm happy or grateful for:

1) Loved ones who make me laugh (you've read enough of the evidence to know), and the time we have together, now.

2) The gift of sight. As a serious myope who is pretty much helpless sans glasses or contact lens, I have a fear of going blind one day, although my optometrist assures me it is very unlikely. Regardless, I still jump at unexpected shadows or reflections ("Arrrgh! Retinal detachment! Oh ... wait ... it was just a shiny car going past.") As an artist, I would be lost if I couldn't see to create, or if I couldn't look at other people's creations. So, when I look out of the window on a clear day and can see all the way out to the horizon, or when I say good night to my mother and see her smile, I feel very, very grateful.

3) Learning to play the violin. (It's a strange, anxious mentality I have, always being afraid that something I love is going to be snatched away from me. It's not just my sight. Sometimes I have nightmares about losing my fingers in a road accident and not being able to draw or play a musical instrument.) I know I am very lucky to be able to fulfill a dream I've had since I was a teenager, that I can afford books and lessons with an incredible teacher. I love playing my violin, even when it sounds awful, because I know it won't always be that way, and that one day I will make it sing as well as my teacher does.

There are more things I'm grateful for, of course. And I'm going to list them here quickly as well (ooh, rule breaking!):

4) The fact that I will be starting a year-long course in animation next year, and that I can keep working and earning money while I chase my dream (and hopefully, catch it). Also, even though I bitch about how much the course fees are, I'm grateful that I managed to save enough money (I've been saving since last year!) to be able to pay the fees in full.

5) That MFC's lovely mother and her attractive partner (I have to say that, he reads this blog :) are flying their offspring (and their partners! Squee!) to Europe on Boxing Day for a three week holiday. We will be going to Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Geneva and Chamonix. I can't wait to take snow photos!

What three (or five -- what the hey, it's Christmas!) things are you grateful for?

¹Source: "my roof is leaking; life is good" by Wil Wheaton, posted on December 15, 2008 at http://wilwheaton.typepad.com/wwdnbackup/2008/12/my-roof-is-leak.html

Op shopping: Dalarna/horsie/pinata tray


I found this little tray in Good Sammy's for $1. The bright colours and the toy-like quality of the horse just really appealed to me. I'm going to get some clear plastic and cut it to the right size for the bottom of the tray, so that I can put things on it without scratching the finish. The tray is a perfect size for holding coins, jewellery, or marshmallows.

an9ie: Do you think this is a bit tacky?

MFC: It's a colourful piñata horse. What's not to like?

I Googled "Dalarna" and there it was in Wikipedia. Dalarna is a province in Sweden, and the horse above is a famous symbol of the province called a Dalecarlian horse.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jade Diary Gig at the Creatures Loft in Fremantle

Date: Friday, 12th December 2008

The main event:
The Jade Diary

Location:
Creatures Loft in Fremantle, not to be confused with the upstairs area of the Little Creatures Brewery next door (which is where I thought it was, duh, although they are both owned by the same mob). There is a very nice non-smoking outdoor area where you can have a low-volume chat and watch the harbour while you wait for the gig to start. I hate loud pubs where you have to shout to make yourself heard. I have no idea why these places are so popular. What's the point of going somewhere to socialise if you can't hear yourself think?

Dinner before the gig: Char Char Bull, Fremantle. I highly recommend pretty much anything on the menu -- they do great steak (don't go above medium, people!), fish, korma, pizza, and pork rib eye. Make sure you order a side of their delicious chips and try the Jaffa Profiteroles (very generous servings!) for dessert. They're filled with Cointreau ice-cream and covered with dark chocolate sauce. Citrus + chocolate + ice-cream is always a sure winner with me.

Attendees: K, Jaymez, Judith, and Blandwagon. Oh, and me.

The best bits: Cheryl Lim's smooth, silky voice singing ballads or rocking out their new songs. She was a little shaky and nervous on the first song, but soon gained confidence and strength. Her body language seemed a little shy, though. Bigger gestures next time, Cheryl! Channel that inner rock goddess! (But no spirit fingers, 'kay?)

The addition of Jarvis, their new bass player (who is a mate of Blandwagon's and therefore, by extension, a mate of ours so that we can bask in his reflected glory).

The worst bits: Nothing at all to do with the band--they were great. But on the fringes of the stage, there was an idiot hippie who insisted on boring and annoying everyone with his idiot hippie dancing. Right in front of the stage. For the entire set.

Warning (but you all know me by now): long rant follows.


This guy epitomises what I hate about free love and expressing yourself in public. I can understand the lure of all that touch-feelyness and free spiritedness, but when your self-expression blocks my view and distracts from the band that I have specially come to see, then my foot itches to get touchy-feely with your arse.

You know how crazy stoned people dance? (Not that I am making any insinuations. Well, alright, I am.)

They tend to have two main dance styles, number one is their personal impression of a snake-plant-mutant bursting out of the ground and sinously coiling upwards towards the sun (although their interpretation is an insult to snake-plant-mutants everywhere). Sometimes they do that thing where they join their hands together and swim them upwards as they wind their hips in slow circles.

Urgh, I'm dry-retching just trying to remember it.

Dance number two is where they have their arms out at right angles, like the ancient Egyptians, and prance around like gorillas in heat (this interpretation is an insult to gorillas in heat, who are much more graceful and of sounder mind).

We also got a taste of the rarely seen dance number three, where he would suddenly squat and smack his palms on the floor. I was hoping he might accidentally hit himself in the face with the recoil, but karma was not on my side that evening (Lady Karma probably didn't appreciate all the hate I was exuding).

Here are some photos from the night.

Awesome gig begins.

Oh crap. Damn hippie gets up and starts dancing.

Useless management asks him nicely to stop, and then run away when he refuses.
They also appear to keep serving him beer, or allowing his friends to buy him beer.

We continue to helplessly watch his crap monkey dancing.

Aye carumba! I don't know what medications he is on, but he doesn't flag, despite my constant ill-wishing and eye-narrowing.

If you see this man, please ask to him to never reproduce.

I'm not a fan of violence, but I was bitterly disappointed when no one smacked him upside the head, although several hints were made.

Still, great gig, guys. Loved the new songs.
I hope a full-length album comes out soon!
A tip for next time: please do not encourage the crazy dancing man.


Update (16/12/2008):
Oh yes, as Jaymez reminded me in the comments, in addition to (and quite possibly as a result of) his crap dancing, the guy's elasticised pants kept slipping down until we got a full two inches of bum crack. We prayed and prayed that they would slip no further, because it didn't look like he was wearing any underwear. Eurgh. Thanks so much for reminding me, J.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Close enough

I went to a new hairdresser today.

It's a bit like being on the dating scene, finding a new hair stylist. Once upon a time I had a really nice lady named Emma, who always did an awesome job.

I thought Emma and I would stay together forever, and then she changed to weekdays mornings, something about spending more time with her kids.

What about MY needs, Emma?

Then I got Kylie, and she was funny and nice, and also did good hair. I almost believed we had a future together, but then Kylie got married and left the salon. Boo.

After that I tried a few other places and got ripped off with sub-par cuts that I would have to correct myself later at home, ambivalent stylists that weren't into their work (and it showed in the boring, blah results), and colouring prices that could have bought a new well for a Cambodian village.

Then I read about this place on an Australian beauty forum, and thought I'd give it a try. My last (bad) cut was growing out and making me look like an inferior Chaka Khan impersonator.

I'm leaving for Europe in two weeks (ooh yes I am, I'll tell you guys about it later. Just a holiday, not for good.) and I know I'll look dorky in my limited traveller's wardrobe, so the least I can do is have Good Hair.

What an experience.

This little man ruled his salon like an evil overlord from a sci-fi movie.

He was Hyde to his hapless workers and Jekyll to his clients. The trouble is, Jekyll and Hyde won't fool anybody if they're in the same room at the same time.

"Hello, how are yooou?" he crooned to me, touching my hair like it was made from angel scalps and moonbeams.

Then, a split second later, "Don't waste my time!" he shouted at at an apprentice, who seemed to have no idea what she was doing. In fact, she did look like Lindsay Lohan on one of her gormless, hungover days.

I felt like a respected dignitary (perhaps a Rear Admiral?) making a visit to hairdresser boot camp. I wasn't fooled, I knew that if I was one of the shampoo girls instead of a paying customer, I'd be shouted at and humiliated too.

Still, I liked that he was decisive about what styles would work for me, and that he was deft and confident. I knew he was good because he made it look so easy. He didn't misinterpret "chin length" for some other length. Like this woman I went to once who spent the whole time talking to the other stylist and ignoring me, as she cut my hair, and re-interpreted "shoulder length" as, "Chop it all off up to the earlobes, please. And make sure it's really unflattering and bits stick out!"

While I was waiting for my colour to set, I got to observe the mini-dictator in action.

"Are you BLIND?" he demanded of one of the girls who fetched him the wrong colour bobby pins. She was about half a generation older than the other apprentices. I liked her hair-washing technique. She looked glum for most of the time I was there but when I thanked her for the shampoo she had a really sweet smile.

Boss Man flew about the salon like a miniature whirlwind, chastising employees, cajoling customers, shouting orders. I think he gave about five cuts in half an hour, and they ALL looked good.

I was then blow-dried by a gruff but competent lady. No nonsense about her and definitely no time wasted in idle chit-chat or smiling. It was all about the drying. She did a really good job, and, here's an important point that she got right -- she DIDN'T burn the top layer of skin off my scalp. (You know, I still have some slight damage from the damage this idiot caused in 2007, so I get rather flinchy when someone approaches me with a large, industrial strength hair dryer.)

Finally I was looked over by the Great Angry Small One himself, who took out his scissors and nibbled away at my fringe with it, cutting away some imperfection that only he could see. (I like it when they do this, it makes me feel like they care.)

As he bid me farewell, I got the full Dr Jekyll treatment.

"What's your name?" he asked sweetly, touching my hand.
"Angie."
"That's a beautiful name!" he chirped, which, frankly, I thought was laying it on a bit thick. The names that end with phonetic "-ee"s aren't really in what I would call the 'beautiful' category. Lucy, Wendy, Bree, Sookie ... Cute, maybe, but certainly not bee-you-tiful.

But you know what, after all that, I think I'm off the hair-dating scene. I've found my Mr Right-For-Now.

The man is a fruitcake with extra nuts, but he cuts hair like a dream.

Do ignore the toilet cistern in the background.
The bathroom has the best light in the house.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Can you smell the romance?

MFC has taken the plunge and joined Facebook. I told him he had better set his relationship status to the appropriate configuration, or I'd change mine to "Single" and "Interested in Men AND Women".

Look at this message I found five seconds later in my Inbox.

The poor romantic fool.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Oh, the hilarity

Four videos that I couldn't stop laughing at all night:

1), 2) and 3) are From the Chaser's War on Everything, a satirical Australian TV show.

There is some old footage from the first Chaser show, the Election Chaser, that I wish someone would dig up. Unfortunately, it was pre-Youtube (this is probably the only time you will hear me regretting that there a time where we didn't have Youtube), so I haven't been able to find it.

In one of the funniest unscripted scenes I have ever seen, Chas (or was it Chris?) dresses up in an enormous bumblebee costume and ambushes Bronwyn Bishop (a politician known for her bouffant hairstyles). He keeps buzzing around her going, "Bzzz, bzzz! I'm a bumblebee looking for a beeehive!" and I laughed so much I nearly gave myself a hernia.

Ah, I guess you just had to be there.

And as for 4), well, 4) is just pure, solid, shiny GOLD.

Watch:

1) The boys track down John Edward in Sydney (from Season 2, Episode 24).



2) Emo



3) Angelina Jolie's babies



4) The Shine on Me music video by Chris Dane Owens.


Watch it at http://chrisdaneowens.com/video/shine_flash.html.

I first read about this in Coilhouse magazine, in the post, "Shine on Me will burn out all your irony receptors".

There is an 11-year-old girl in me going, “SQUEEEEEEE!” If the clips on this were taken from an actual feature film with cheesy dialogue and budget CG, I would willingly rummage down to the bottom of the bargain bin, pay my $5 and watch it over and over again.

If I were CDO I would have just thrown in the towel and gone off with the three witches. They were HAWT.

I have sent the video link to my death metal-loving boyfriend. Will now sit back and wait for the implosion.

Update: Darn it, MFC's head didn't explode. He actually thought it was pretty funny. The thing is, I still can't decide if the music video is, as we Australians so charmingly say, taking the piss, or a serious attempt at a fantasy video.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A very expensive greeting card

Caution: one of the pictures in this post contains gore. The gore is a pretty colour though.

2am. Whoopee. Every night I owe the sleep bank more and more hours. Soon they'll be sending in their hired goons to collect.

Anyway, once again my parsimony has come back to bite me in the arse.

MFC and I are going to a wedding tomorrow (um, make that today)--well, actually, we're going to a reception, and not a wedding, because we weren't invited to the wedding (it's a weird story, but never mind)--and I was in Borders earlier looking at wedding cards from Paperchase. Which are lovely, but hideously expensive.

$8.50 for a card? Pah! I should just make one myself!

And so I did.

It took me 2 and a half hours. Cutting cardboard into small shapes is tricky. Oh, and 30 minutes of that was spent in triage because my finger slipped onto the scalpel I was using. So this card should be pretty darn auspicious, because a lot of blood was spilt in its making. 

Oh mighty gods of card-making and wedding paraphernalia, accept my tasty sacrifice! Let the glue on the card hold everything together and not embarrass me, let the food tomorrow be tasty and in ample portions, and I beg you, let me not look too hideous and bloated in the photographs!

It is so nice to be living at home, and be able to run into the kitchen helplessly flailing your arms and spurting blood everywhere, while shouting, "Mummy! I've cut myself!" Then you get to watch while she clucks over you and brings out the iodine and gauze and makes everything better. Yep, I am definitely enjoying this while it lasts.


Man, I thought the bleeding would never stop.
"Are you on blood-thinners?" my mother asked suspiciously.


Let's see. The materials for the card would have cost around $4. Labour-wise, I would like to eventually earn at least $30 an hour from arts and craft, so that makes $30 x 2.5 (we'll count the time spent staunching the bleeding) = $75, which makes $79 in total.

Well, well, that $8.50 card doesn't look so expensive after all.

Still, I'm proud of my one-of-a-kind beauty. I like making cards and personalising them for people, and I hope to use experiences like these to learn, so that I can make quality illustration and animation collages later on.

If you're wondering about the theme, well, the bride is a talented singer, and the groom plays guitar. In fact, they used to be in a band together. As for the rest, I think birds and bears are cute and make good silhouettes.



Friday, November 28, 2008

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade RickRoll



There's nothing I love more than seeing old legends become new ones.

Rick Astley was a huge part of my early teens. I had his first album on cassette and listened to it over and over and over again. He was so cute with his red hair and freckles, like a little English Archie come to life, and then he would open his mouth and knock you over with that big, big voice.

Definitely one of my favourite Stock Aitken & Waterman products :)

Sources: I first saw this on Wil Wheaton's blog, and he got it from MartiMcKenna on Twitter.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Made On The Left Craft Fair This Saturday


Hi guys, I'd like to throw in a little plug here for the Made On The Left Craft Fair this Saturday. Now, most of the material below is regurgitated from what I put up on my CNG blog, and I'm very sorry about that, because I would have liked to write something special and individual for this blog, and all the special individuals who read it, but it is nearly midnight and I will start hallucinating soon if I don't get some sleep.

However, unlike the CNG post, this one has PICTURES. Because I can't figure out how to put them on the CNG post.

Here we go:

The Made On The Left Craft Fair/pre-Christmas Designer Market will be on THIS SATURDAY from 10am to 4pm at the Hyde Park Hotel, 331 Bulwer St, North Perth.

The goods here range from prints and cards to jewellery to bags to clothing to home furnishings, and best of all, they are all lovingly made by West Australian designers. These are not crafts by your granny (although I'm sure those are lovely, and I secretly wish to make myself a crochet rug one day--as soon as I learn how to crochet).

I promise you that there are plenty of things here for funky chicks and dudes (you know what, with my outdated vernacular, I might as well BE a granny) who want to own a piece of striking, one-of-a-kind, contemporary art. And the prices are pretty sweet too.

Who says you have to leave Perth to find some culture? We have it all right here.

To have a peek at the kind of beauties that will be on show (I want that Odd Girl Out pendant, and one of Stuffaduck's bags, and pretty much all the prints), please go to
http://www.madeontheleft.com


Miss Ali J's lovely girls need no introduction.


Amazing art by Janet Pfeiffer.


One of hemd's unusual softies.


Jewellery from Zoila Munoz & Carlos Terrejon, Suga N Spice, and Odd Girl Out. (Back off, ladies, you're going to have to fight me for these!)


Soft and sweet treats for your house (or doll's house!). Cushion by Emma Bee, tiny cake slices by Polyclarific.

(Pictures sourced from
http://www.madeontheleft.com, and used with permission.)


You can look at pictures from the last market too. Check out all the stuff on display!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Ow

Don't go to this link if you're squeamish about cuts and flesh. (Now if that doesn't send all of you straight there, I don't know what else will.)

Hello Kitty Hell is a blog that my brother put me onto. It is written by a guy who suggested that his wife follow her passion, which happened to be Hello Kitty. So she started sourcing hard-to-find Hello Kitty items for buyers outside Japan, and business boomed.

He didn't realise her business would take off the way it did, and now he lives in Hello Kitty Hell. This blog is his way of venting. Sometimes his wife reads it, and when she does, he gets exiled to the couch with a Hello Kitty sleeping bag.

This is my favourite post so far, perhaps because it reminds me of a lot of dialogues MFC and I have had.

Did you know there are people out there who have Hello Kitty tattoos? Some even have them on their bottoms.

Insane.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blandwagon's Brilliant Blogmeet

Two weeks ago, Blandwagon from Get on the Blandwagon! issued an open invitation to a blogmeet dinner. You can read all about it here, because I am feeling pretty lazy and Blanders has already described the evening to a T.

Hey, why reinvent the wheel when someone's already carved out the spokes and attached a chariot to it?

I was a bit concerned about meeting people I only knew from the Internet, but as far as Internet meetings go, it was a huge success. There were no creepy strangers trying to sniff my hair, and I didn't end up in someone's cellar having baskets of lotion passed down to me on a rope.

Like I said, a roaring success.

My friends K, J and S were gracious enough to accept my last-minute invitation (and not heap scorn upon me for the late notice), and so we found ourselves spending a very civilised evening with Blandwagon, the Flatmate, Jarvis, and TroyG.

By "civilised", I mean that we were waited on hand and foot and served a very fancy meal where each course was served with a complementary wine (except for the very average bottle of chardonnay I brought along. I mean, seriously, anyone who has read this blog knows what a lightweight I am when it comes to alcohol consumption. Next time I will stick to what I know and bring along exotic Asian snackfoods, white rabbits or small, angry sausage dogs.)

Mmm, cheesy pastry thingy. Om nom nom.

Mmm, Moroccan lamb with pear, asparagus, broccolini, and cous cous (not yet served).

Mmm, chocolate Cointreau cake with white chocolate mascarpone.
(Sorry, I ate this too fast. This is a reenactment of what it looked like inside my tum.)

I can only say that I lust after Blandwagon's house and garden in a Talented Mr Ripley kind of way, so he should watch his back (although I'll probably need a really good disguise to fool the Flatmate).

He has a replica Eames chair that I would exchange my first-born for (hm, except if I'm handing over my first-born I should probably try and get hold of the real thing), and the place is a wonderland of eye-catching art and cool collectables and clever lighting. The photos on his blog really don't do it justice.

In fact, the whole place was so nicely decorated that J asked Blanders what team he batted for.

Well, ladies, let me delight you all by introducing my nominee for 2009 Cleo Bachelor of the Year--Blandwagon!

Thank you for a lovely evening, B.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My future looks bleak

MFC and I periodically have arguments, ahem, excuse me, discussions, about gender roles, and specifically, what ours would be should we procreate one day.

I mean, really, with such top class DNA, I consider it my obligation, nay, my civic duty, to upgrade the contents of our gene pool with my Gold Class, super-smart, super-myopic and super-neurotic chromosomes.

an9ie: So, this article* says that full-time mothers are the most depressed, compared to mothers who work part-time and mothers who work full-time.

an9ie:
But children with with full-time mothers are the least depressed. What the heck? So you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't***.

MFC: I prefer the 80s model.

an9ie: What's that?

MFC: You work full-time AND look after the kids full-time to show how empowered you are. And I work full-time and go to cocaine parties all weekend.


* Some article I was reading at the time, but I can't remember where I found it. I usually take this kind of news with a pinch of salt. These studies continue to contradict themselves, and may not take enough
variables into account. Also, they foment that whole us vs. them hate-filled mentality, which is not constructive**.

** Having said that, I am also a giant hypocrite who has started, AND had fun with these kinds of us vs. them arguments, I mean, discussions. That is, until I turn into a "them", and then it's us vs. you. Confusing, I know.

*** Personally, my plan is to give them to my mother until they can talk and wipe their own bottoms.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

From the deepest mists of time

Sometimes my parents will say funny things or tell me stories which remind me that they spent most of their lives in a foreign country. A country with a different way of speaking, and living, that was, in some cases, twenty years behind everyone else (an idyllic life for a child, but perhaps not that crash-hot for an adult).
For example, our first phone number only had five digits, and we had a rotary dial phone. We didn't get our first McDonald's until the early 90s.
Anyway, tonight, my father came in to show me a book he had mended. The book's title was Animals of Asia.

Dad: You see this? This book was in three pieces when I bought it. (Proudly shows me the hidden joins.)

an9ie: Yes, very nice.

Dad: And look at all the birds in here. I've seen a lot of these birds.

an9ie: Really?

Dad: I have eaten most of them.

Seriously, you cannot make this stuff up.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Mr Camera, why do you hate me?

You know what burns a girl? When her boyfriend is more photogenic than she is.

I don't know why, or how, but whenever my image is captured--digital, film, crayon, it doesn't matter--the camera adds 20 kilos, facial hair, a double chin, and bingo arms.

It doesn't matter if I'm all dolled up and I've looked in the mirror 20 seconds beforehand to confirm that, yes, total strangers would not immediately throw up if they saw me approaching.

And then my mug becomes immortalised in yet another awful shot and when I see myself through the lens I think, It's all over, girl. Why do you keep flogging this dead horse? Time to drown yourself in liqueur chocolates and join the muumuu club.

You think I'm joking? In my time on this Earth there have been fewer than 20 photographs of myself that I have approved of, and half of them date from the 70s.

MFC*, on the other hand, well, let me tell you about MFC.

He finally decided to get rid of the moustache that he had been cultivating since two Movembers ago, and asked me to take a photo of it for posterity.

Scene: We've both just woken up, and MFC wants to shave off his mo' in the shower, so he's shooed me out of bed to get my digital camera.

an9ie (looking at the LCD preview on her Canon Ixus 60): YOU BASTARD. I don't believe it.

MFC
(does a Mr Incredible pose and smiles at the camera): ...

an9ie:
There is something wrong with this thing. (Looks up) I can see it as plain as day when I'm not looking at the damn screen. You have bed hair. You have stubble. You look like you have a hangover. (Looks back at the LCD screen) But here it's all ... cheekbones! Symmetry! Clear skin! Bambi eyes! Gah! Stupid camera!

MFC gives me a smug leer. In the viewfinder, the face of an angel beams beatifically.

'The camera never lies,' my arse.

* For newcomers, MFC is the Boyfriend.**
** But he may not have this title for much longer if he continues to look prettier than me.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Another legend gone

Rob Guest died last night after a sudden, massive stroke. He was only 58.

I remember seeing him in Les Miserables as Jean Valjean when it came to the Perth Entertainment Centre. It was a fantastic performance and he easily eclipsed the rest of the cast with his rich and expressive voice. He had such a commanding presence.

You may recall that in June this year, I really got into Wicked, the musical, and I was very pleased to hear that Guest had the part of the Wizard of Oz.

My sister went to see Wicked in Melbourne, and she had a wonderful time. I wish I had gone along too, but I didn't want to take the time off from work.

Next year, I thought, next year I'll be able to take a few days off, see Wicked, visit some old school friends in the Eastern states. Always next year, or tomorrow.

But sometimes, tomorrow never comes.

Lesson learnt.

Rest in peace, Rob.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Go away, zombies!

I had another stupid zombie dream last night.

I SWEAR I wasn't even thinking about the darn things as I drifted off to sleep. In fact, I was reading the new IKEA catalogue (isn't it BEYOOO-tiful?) and wondering which Vika legs to pair with that shiny white table-top.

In my dream, I was enjoying a nice afternoon get-together with a bunch of people, and having an altogether pleasant time.

Come to think of it, the interior of the house did look a little like page 14 of the IKEA catalogue.

Suddenly we all turn and look outside, through the large floor-to-ceiling windows (inconvenient, in a town rampant with zombies, one would think) and notice that the sun is setting.

Voices hush, and a shudder goes through the group. We gloomily watch shadows limp towards us, drawn to the light and our fresh, warm brains.

Dammit.

The usual high-jinks follow ... blah-blah ... everyone! Quickly! Barricade the house! Oh crap, I'm being chased by something that looks like it's wearing a placenta on its head ... Somehow we all survive ... Two years later, fast-forward to living in heavily guarded bio-dome, I go to relax in the sauna and in the meantime someone has forgotten to lock the back door of the dome and the zombies flood in again. And all I have on is a towel. CRAPCRAPCRAP.

In the midst of all this, I remember thinking, "Hang on a minute. Where the &^%@&%^ is Milla Jovovich?"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Nice is sexy-cool

I think we've become accustomed to being treated indifferently or rudely by people in service industries.

I have, at least. So much so that when someone is genuinely nice or chirpy, or gives me a real smile, I really take notice.

Last week I went to the local supermarket with my mother. (This place is open till 10pm, seven days a week, which I LOVE.) Mum had the flu and wanted to get some zinc tablets. We pored over a few brands and bought the one that seemed like the best value for money.

The teenager at the cash register was reserved but polite, with short, curly brown hair. After he had packed our things, I looked over the receipt and noticed that we had paid 40 cents more than the shelf price for the tablets.

I went back to the original cashier and pointed this out to him. I know people out there are thinking, "Sheesh, lady, it's only 40 cents," but we weren't in a hurry, we're pretty frugal, and we don't like being hoodwinked into paying more than we need to (even if it is by accident). Also, as someone who's a little shy, I like doing small, potentially confrontational things like this to challenge myself.

He quietly took the bottle and went to check the price on the shelf. I expected him to come back grumpy and a little surly, but he returned as calmly and methodically as he had left.

When he came back he entered something into the cash register and took out more than 40 cents. Then he put $8.15 into my hand and, like someone handing out an award, handed me back the bottle of zinc tablets with a flourish.

"Because it scanned in wrong, you get a full refund and the item as well," he said, meeting my eyes with a big smile.

"Awesome!" I said, before I could help myself.

He gave me a thumbs-up and a little smile-click with a wink, and I thought, "No, YOU'RE awesome."

I don't rob cradles, but if I had a cute teenage daughter, I would have gussied her up and sent her to the school ball with him. Because manners and nice boys are sexy-cool.

"Hey Mum," I said excitedly as I was driving us home, "we got a free bottle of zinc and a thumbs-up!"

We both grinned at each other.

"What a nice boy!" she said.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Selective memories

This is a conversation I had with my mother about an hour ago.

Mother: So, you're going to Japan at the end of the year, right?

an9ie: Nope, Europe.

Mother: You'd better get a hair cut before you go.

(Note from an9ie: I have no idea where this came from. Is there a head lice epidemic in Europe I don't know about? A serial hair-puller? Does she want me to look smart for the Queen? I would love to see the path my mother's thought processes take from point A to point B.)

an9ie:
Yeah, I'll make an appointment.

Mother: Or I could cut your hair!

an9ie: I had the same haircut for the first thirteen years of my life, so ... no. No, thank you.

Mother: I thought you looked nice.

an9ie: I wanted a page boy haircut like all the other girls, but instead you gave me ... I can't begin to describe it ... the kids at school all laughed at me.

Mother: It wasn't that bad, was it?

an9ie: And some of the teachers too.

Mother: Oh dear.

an9ie: They called me "Mushroom Head*".


* Except they called me that in Mandarin. I went to a Chinese school**.
** You'd think I'd be able to speak fluently by now.***
*** Nope.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A quiet evening, and I enjoy playing God

I got home this evening and was greeted by silence. No TV, no kitcheny noises, even Norm was having a little snooze in his mug and not tapping on the glass going, "Oi! Woman! Where's my dinner?" like he usually does at this time of day.

"Where's Mum and Dad?" I asked my brother.

"They've gone to visit M. Mum made some fried rice but she took it all with her," he said glumly.

Then his face brightened. "But I got some KFC!"

"Awesome!"

I had KFC and sweet corn soup for dinner. That fulfills, um, one food group. Any nutrients were negated by the saturated fats and secret spices seeping into my arteries.

And then I had some cake.

After that I had some pâté on Turkish bread. Normandie's Chicken with Cognac. We had some at a work function and I am now addicted.

We have food addiction issues with my family where we will become obsessed with one item and then eat it until we become sick of it. This fit usually lasts about a week, but can go on for up to month.

My sister ate frozen raspberry yoghurt twice a day for two weeks. I think she went through three or four tubs.

My mother made mango pudding every second night for a month.

Then there was the time my mother and I baked a poppy seed butter cake (OK, maybe two) every night for a week, devouring it as soon as it came out of the oven, crisp and smelling like sunshine. Sunshine drenched with butter and sprinkled with crunchy opiates. We became more and more adventurous with the number of poppy seeds we added until the cake was more grey than yellow. This looked like it would go on indefinitely, until we discovered that poppy seeds make you extremely, painfully, uncomfortably constipated.

Never again, you delicious, evil seeds.

My brother also bought Spore, the game, today, so we've been having fun playing with that.

You start off with a little single-celled organism, and evolve it into whatever you like, herbivore, carnivore, octopus-thingy, lizard-thingy, Joan Rivers. You collect DNA points by feeding on meal units, and then "spend" them on evolutionary attachments like mandibles, new eyes, legs, spikes and so forth.

I remember Spore being in the news not long ago, because they released the creature-builder program early, and people were using it to build things that looked like human rude bits.

I don't know why they were surprised, honestly. You could put a paper doll kit of Mother Theresa on the Internet, and there will always be some poindexter who would reconfigure it into something that would make Paris Hilton blush.

In fact, that reminds me of a trick someone showed me once, where you fold one of our (Australian) banknotes a certain way, and the side with the Queen's face becomes heterosexual intercourse. I did not find this amusing, because I like the Queen.

Mind you, some of the attachments Spore has on offer do look quite X-rated.

"What the hell are those?" I asked my brother, pointing to a lineup that looked like lady-parts, a scrotum with a chunk taken out of it, and tentacles.

"Oh, they're a [sorry, I can't remember, but you'll know it when you see it], a mouth, and some tentacles."

"Huh."

I think the 3D modellers had waaay too much fun developing this game.

I had a go, and played for a little while, not seriously, just dipping my toes in the water. My planet was called "Angieland", and my first little species were called "Boogees". You would have known if I had been playing seriously, by the way, because those little Boogees would have been taking Suzuki violin, ballet, and Kumon Maths before you could say "pie".

My aim was to make a My Little Pony with a sting in its tail, but Boogee One got eaten before I could buy it some legs.

Evolution is hard. I can't imagine being the first fish that crawled onto land. It's just as well someone else got to do it. I'd still be in the water going, "Seriously, Jerry, legs are hard, man. Let's just float here for a bit longer," and Jerry, that lazy S.O.B., would agree, and we'd still be living under the sea and eating plankton.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Again with the zombies

Seriously, the bastards buggers bastards* scare me.

* Yes, I deliberated long and hard about which word to use. I say, "Those bastards!" quite often in speech, but feel a little shy about using it in writing. Then I thought about where the word, "bugger", came from, and decided "bastard" wasn't so bad.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Things that get handsy in the night

This morning I woke up for no reason at around 5.45am.

I was having an excellent dream. G. I. Joe may have been in it, and Russian soldiers, and there were explosions and guns and whatnot. Part of me knew that it was a dream, and was taking notes, because it had an awesome plot (well, I was dreaming) and I was hoping to turn it into a screenplay.

And then ... *bing* my eyes just opened and suddenly I was wide awake. I have a strange talent, (I'm sure other people will have another name for it) of waking up in exactly the same position that I fell asleep in, especially if I'm very relaxed. So I'll fall asleep on my back, hands at my side, and wake up in the same position in the morning, with pillows, covers, everything, unruffled.

Like a vampire!

So, I was wide awake for no reason, the alarm wasn't due to go off for another 45 minutes, and I was a little annoyed, because my incredible (LOL) dream was already starting to fade away. I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep. And then something gently stroked my cheek.

It wasn't an insect or a breath of wind or anything like that. I distinctly felt something soft, like a hand (if anyone makes any dirty comments they will be immediately deleted, I am warning you now) stroke the left side of my face from my temple to my chin. There was some hair over my face and I felt that tighten and press against my face as the sensation travelled down my face.

ARRRRGH. So creepy! I immediately sat up and I could feel my pulse going crazy.

Despite being terrified of the dark and Sadako, I'm still fence-sitting regarding the existence of the paranormal. But in this case, the alternative to a ghostly visitor is some kind of elongated face twitch or neurological thing. So I prefer the "ghostly visitor" theory for now*.

I then fell asleep with the light on and had some strange dreams about watching a Chinese music expert play a six-stringed fiddle, a harp that you played by folding the strings with little silver chopsticks, and a heavy cast-iron tube that played like a music box and cooked Mung bean pudding at the same time. I got to have a go and it was very heavy. Didn't get to eat any Mung beans though.

Then I woke up very grumpy at 7.30. Bleah.

* For some reason, my thoughts turned to my godmother in the UK, and how when I was a (STUPID) little girl, I asked her to prove that there was life after death by visiting me (when she died). I think I was only 7 or 8 then, but I was a pretty morbid little kid. Geez, what with that and the whole vampire turning thing, I suspect I have some kind of subconscious death wish. Or at least a subconscious frighten-me-until-I-wet-my-pants wish.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Not a great update, but an update anyway

The trouble with writing a weekly blog for a community newspaper is that you spend a lot more time thinking about it than your normal blog.

You also spend a lot of time trying to be clever in it, and checking references and things, rather than doing your usual brain-spew and quoting spurious facts, and this can take a few hours.

Then you end up too exhausted to expend creative writing energy elsewhere. Wait, you think, something else interesting happened this week. And then you either decide, Nah, it's not interesting enough for the everyday blog, or, what is worse, It's TOO interesting, I have to hoard it away for the newspaper blog. I can't even HINT about it on my everyday blog. Quick, put up a picture of the rabbit with some cheesy captions.

Dammit.

Throw in half an hour to an hour of violin practice every day, and trying to finish a big illustration that you started in July (the damn thing has about thirty layers, with names like "Left hand gauntlet", "Hair 1", "Cloud FG", "Cloud Mid", "Cloud BG", for those of you who know about digital graphics), and finding out that the library suddenly has all these books you want to read, and a full-time job, and an MFC to keep happy, and an overgrown garden that needs work, and suddenly there's not a lot of time for anything else.

Here are a couple of new posts for my CNG blog that you may not have read yet, and if you do, please leave a comment so that it looks like I am appreciated and famous and one day I might even get paid for doing it, oh yes.

Familiar Faces (13/08/2008) and Don't You Hate It When (Driving Edition) (21/08/2008) are ready for your perusal, ladies and gentlemen.

I also made a little cartoon for last week's Illustration Friday, you might find it funny, but it is more likely that you will just be bewildered and wonder why I have drawn the inside of someone's handkerchief.

Which it is not, by the way. They are meant to be cells, OK? Cells. Except I may have tinted them a little too green.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Midnight in the Bakery of Good and Delicious

OK, OK, the bakery in question is part of a chain, and combines bubble tea with baked goods and karaoke. It is not fancy, but who has eyes for decor when you're surrounded by buns and cream cakes?

Look where I've been tonight!

It's called Utopia. I believe it is part of a chain, although I'm not sure if the others in the chain stay open this late. They stop serving bubble tea around 10pm, but you can still get hot red tea with milk. The bakery and karaoke area stay open till midnight.

The one I went to is in Myaree, and I was very impressed with Google when I typed in "Utopia Myaree" and the first result was a little map showing where it was.

Let us pause to applaud for Google.

Goods are not baked on site, so unless something is meant to be served cold (like their light-as-air baked cheesecake or green tea Swiss roll), get take-out and heat it up in the oven at home for best results. The refrigerated cake display area is quite impressive, with very fancy birthday and special occasion cakes, (one cake had cream spikes going out horizontally, like a delicious cactus) and yes, I forgot to take my camera AGAIN.

I got a Buttermilk Football, I know it looks a little plain in the photo (fluorescent lighting is no one's friend), but it's pretty hefty.

Soon you will be in my belly, with some hot milky tea.

"Buttermilk", when you go to Asian bakeries, isn't the same as the buttermilk you see in a carton in the dairy aisle.

It is a crunchy, sweet, slightly salty mixture of butter, sugar, and milk powder that is stuffed into a sweet bread roll before baking. And jinkies, as Velma would say, I do love it.

I had my first buttermilk bun in Asia at a place called Angel Bakery. It had a brown brick front with fake wedding cakes in the windows, fancy five-tiered ones with white icing and ribbons and pink roses that I never got tired of looking at. (I remember craning my neck to look up at the windows because we started going there when I was a little girl.) They made the best buttermilk buns in the country.

Angel Bakery was next to Lucky Chinese Restaurant, and Lucky Restaurant made the best sweet and sour fish IN THE WORLD.

Seriously, in all my years I have never had better sweet and sour fish. It is the benchmark against which I have measured all other sweet and sour fish dishes, and they have all FAILED.

After a meal at Lucky, we would stop by Angel Bakery (if it was still open), and I would always have a buttermilk bun for dessert. Remember that trip I took to South East Asia this year? We drove past Angel Bakery and Lucky Restaurant and they were still there. Awesome.

Hmm, I don't hold much hope for this buttermilk bun/football after all that nostalgia. Anyway, I am going to take it into the kitchen now, where I will cut it into slices and put it in the toaster oven.

If it's still not great, then I am going to bring in my secret weapon and very good friend, sweetened condensed milk.

Have you tried condensed milk on hot buttered toast? My salivary glands started working overtime just reading that last sentence.

Bye!

Update (20 minutes later): Well, it wasn't bad. A little hard, but I put it in the microwave for 20 seconds, which did the trick. It wasn't so bad I had to stop eating it, but it didn't make me eat so fast I ended up with crumbs in my hair either. And what's with the raisins? Who the heck puts raisins in buttermilk buns? Next time I'm going for the chocolate pie. It looks like a cinnamon scroll, but with chocolate.

Update (30 minutes after that): I have found a recipe for buttermilk buns on the Internet. I will not rest until I can make my own. This means I'll give the recipe a bash in two months time and fudge it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reading matter

Morning all,

I've put up two new CNG posts since I saw you last.

1) The Truth is Coming, which is pretty much a giant fangirl spew about my excitement regarding the X-Files movie, and its arrival in Australia on the 24TH OF JULY. Ooh, that's tomorrow. Please let it do well at the box office so that Chris Carter will make another one!

2) I Cannot Resist, about, well, you'll see. One of my favourite places in the world.

I would have posted these earlier, but my sister dropped by unexpectedly this evening (and scared the living daylights out of me and my mother. I mean, who knocks on the door at 10.30 at night? Instead of using the doorbell? Prowlers or the living dead, that's who!) and we went out to a bakery that is open till midnight.

A bakery that serves Hong Kong style buns and gateaux and bubble tea.

Until midnight!

Midnight!

If you lived in Perth, you would understand my excitement.

Also, Hong Kong style baked goods!

It also has karaoke seven nights a week.

This combination is so awesome that I just got goosebumps. Bless you, multiculturalism.

All I need now is someone to make my favourite ba gua and I will never have to visit Asia again. Which is just as well, because I probably wouldn't fit through the front door.

Anyway, we didn't get out of there till midnight, and I had a CNG blog to finish, as per my promise to myself (and you). I also revamped my website, making it illustration only and relearning CSS and all that fun stuff. So here I am, all blogged out.

Oh boy, I'll be feeling this in the morning.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog

I suppose this is what you call one of those viral thingies on the Internet. You know, someone posts something on the Internet and then becomes popular through word of mouth (or word of blog/website etc.)

Luckily I am only two steps behind everyone else this time.

Joss Whedon and his production company, responsible for my beloved Buffy (the Vampire Slayer, of course) and who casts all my crushes (Nathan Fillion! Adam Baldwin! Sean Maher! Alan Tudyk!), has made a musical with Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie!) as a conflicted supervillain and Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer.

It is very well made, and should give hope to small budget film makers. Heck, I'm watching it and feeling inspired to make MY OWN musical. I think I'll call it Water Retention, or Why My Pants Always Feel Too Tight and It's Not Because of Middle-Age Spread, Shut Up.

The final part of the series airs on July 19th. It will removed on July 20th and afterwards you will be able to download it for a small fee. A DVD is in the works too.

The curtains are rising. So sit back and enjoy: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.


And once you're done, there's also an amusing comic to go with it. 

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bargain Hunter

The prey: A Filofax organiser
RRP: $44.95
Paid: $15.00

I've always wanted a Filofax but could never justify paying the full price. I like how you can buy refills for them as well (fairly reasonably priced refills at that), instead of buying a new diary every year.

Yep, I'm old school. I've been using pen and paper ever since my electronic personal organiser showed a very useful message that said, "Memory corrupted. Delete all or turn off?". REALLY HELPFUL. Not. 

I am feeling pretty damn pleased with myself right now, I can tell you that.

It's a real one! Pretty, shiny leather.

I like the simplicity of this model. It's like something Hemingway might have had, don't you think? Except his would have looked like it had been through the wars, seen the running of the bulls, basked in the sunset at Montmartre: a well-stuffed and slightly battered keeper of secrets.

Mmm, leather. Sniff it. SNIFF IT.

I love a bargain.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

TV I'm loving

Nothing to watch while all your favourite shows go on (Northern hemisphere) summer break? Here are some shows I've recently discovered and loved. Look for them on DVD and hopefully they'll tide you over this dry spell.

Kitchen Confidential (read about it on IMDB and Wikipedia): Based on the book by rebel chef Anthony Bourdain, this comedy was axed before it had even run for a full season. I cannot believe Fox didn't keep this around. Their loss.

Bradley Cooper, who played Will Tippin in the early seasons of Alias, has a fast mouth and excellent comedy writing to flaunt it. He also has the prettiest eyes I've ever seen on a man. Lots of famous TV names in this one: Bonnie Sommerville (from Cashmere Mafia), John Cho (one of the funniest Asian-Americans I've seen - this is high praise from me) and Nicholas Brendon (Xander's back! And he's a pastry chef! Woo!)

Hotel Babylon (read about it on IMDB and Wikipedia): A comedy/drama series about the hidden life of a London five-star hotel, and the people who keep its secrets. Dexter Fletcher (you may remember him as Spike from Press Gang) is the concierge who can get you anything at any time of day, and one of the main reasons I watch the show. It's funny, slick and honest.

Nip/Tuck (read about it on IMDB and Wikipedia): I happened to catch an episode of this on Foxtel at a friend's house and I am hooked. Yes, I know it's won an Emmy and a Golden Globe and I am probably the last person in the Western world to start watching this, but I was put off by Julian McMahon and his previous ties to the execrable Charmed. All is forgiven, Julian. Come into my arms!

Um, put down the scalpel first.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Some an9ie news

Now, although my posts here in Blogger are somewhat sporadic, those of you who need a regular an9ie fix will be pleased to know that I am going to work very hard at posting regularly to my Community Newspaper Group (CNG) blog, imaginatively titled, "Angie's Blog".

I shall hereby state, IN WRITING (so that I can't back out), that I will be posting to the CNG blog weekly, and new posts will appear on Wednesday (the writing will take place late on Tuesdays) um, weekly. And by the way, I consider 2am on Wednesday morning to still be Tuesday.

I recently posted R-E-S-P-E-C-T to my CNG blog, and Our Little Secret is fresh-hot from the oven, so please have a read (if you haven't already).

Life has been hectic, and hilly (i.e., full of ups and downs, yes, yes, of course you knew what that meant).

I have had a setback to something that showed a lot of promise (sorry to be so vague and hush-hush), which was very aggravating, but after a satisfying tantrum and drawing rude pictures of chimpanzees scratching themselves and dogs sniffing their behinds, I have recovered with even more vigour and direction than before.

My rejection even inspired a t-shirt that I hope to sell on RedBubble soon. (Not now, it's not finished, but soon.)

I am finalising one of my correspondence courses, and will set a date for the exam in late July. I have also revived my newspaper journalism course, and got a mention in their monthly newsletter as one of their success stories. I might also start taking violin lessons if the teacher can get enough people together for a group.

And I'm working full-time.

Sigh, must start buying Lotto. MFC is not going to come into a large inheritance any time soon, damn him.

Oh, and I have been playing unhealthy amounts of this little game, where little eyeballs on legs worship me, fight large monsters in my name, and let me have the power of life and death over them.

It is incredibly addictive and doesn't do me any favours in real life, but someone has to be their god.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's just talk

First of all, I have gotten off my ample behind and written a new post for my CNG blog. Like all my early morning ramblings, I consider it some of my finest work. Do pay it a visit, and read At Least There Won't Be Zombies.

A few nights ago my mother bounced into the kitchen after coming home from work (you may recall that she works in the medical industry) and said, "I met some people from China today, and they taught me some new Chinese words! Ma(3) cai(2) is 'general anaesthetic' and Sai(1) pan(3) is 'placenta'?"

an9ie: Wow, that's really useful. So I could say, "May I please have some more general anaesthetic before you remove the placenta?" or, "Waiter, I cannot finish this placenta, please put it in a doggy bag to take home."

I did not get a hot dinner that night.

Then, on Saturday, I was getting ready for a party and MFC came into the room and tried to kiss me on the cheek.

an9ie: Careful, I've got makeup on.
MFC: Oh, you mean your face is covered with LIES?
an9ie: Precisely.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wicked

Look at what arrived today from Amazon!


I first heard about Wicked from an old housemate, but the early videos I saw (illegally taken with someone's digital camera) were so bad that I couldn't make out the sound, and dismissed it as another faddy musical, like Legally Blonde.

Then Kevin Walker mentioned it on Brothers & Sisters, and my interest was piqued.

Finally, there was that great episode of Ugly Betty that showed Eden Espinosa (my second favourite Elphaba after Idina Menzel) and Megan Hilty performing Popular and Defying Gravity, and I thought it was just wonderful.

While I waited for my CD and piano books to arrive, I trawled and lurked over at YouTube for any little scrap I could find. There were plenty.

The trailer (this is the cast that performed in Rochester, not the original cast at the Gershwin Theatre), Idina and Kristen singing at the Tony Awards, and Idina's emotional Tony Award acceptance speech.

Look! Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block got to play Fiyero for some of the New York run. This just made my day. I remember listening to him before his voice broke - nice to see it's mellowed out nicely.

I hope to try out the piano accompaniment this weekend, and learn to play the voice part on my violin.

Wicked is starting soon in Melbourne, and I would love to be able to fly over and see it. Next year, perhaps. But after listening non-stop to the original Broadway cast, I hope I won't keep thinking about Idina and Kristen while I watch the Australian cast sing their hearts out.

Update: Ooh! Rob Guest and Anthony Callea are in the Australian cast of Wicked. I saw Rob in Les Miserables when they came to Perth and he was excellent, a veteran of Australian musical theatre who also played the title role in Phantom of the Opera. Anthony was a runner-up in one of the Australian Idols but ended up becoming more popular than the winner.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A quote worth repeating

I'm currently, as in right-now-it-is-in-front-of-me
-smelling-like-new-ink-and-I-am-halfway-through-it, reading The Sandman: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman, and I know that the quote below, from Rose Walker's journal, is a famous one, and I've read it before on the Internet. But I like reading it, and it reminds me a bit of what Professor Kettering says in the Chronicles of Narnia.

I've been making a list of the things they don't teach you at school.
They don't teach you how to love somebody.
They don't teach you how to be famous.
They don't teach you how to be rich, or how to be poor.
They don't teach you how to walk away from someone you don't love any longer.
They don't teach you how to know what's going on in someone else's mind.
They don't teach you what to say to someone who's dying.
They don't teach you anything worth knowing.