Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Identity Ask Meme

Sunday after the Australian Football League grand final - and I'm a little bit dusty. Had an awesome time cheering on a team which wasn't mine and I forgot how much I like drinking beer - but I do need to remind myself that I am no long in my twenties.

Regardless, today's meme, as always, comes from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1: Favorite style of clothing?

Me? and what I wear? Casual with bit of a biker chick feel to it. Lots of black, biker boots, with a smattering of red for good measure. I also like bright colours - but not prints.

2: Do I ever get “good morning” or “good night ” texts?

Nope. Well, rarely. I'm not in a relationship so it doesn't happen. I do get check in mails from my friend who I go wing man for now asn then.

3: Have I ever kissed the last person I texted?

No, that would by my gym buddy. She gets a peck on the cheek for her birthday. I'm not discussing the person I texted before her. Yeah, well.

4: When did I last hold hands?

About six weeks ago at a Masonic ritual. Oh, you mean romantically - can't remember.

5: How long does it take me to get ready in the morning?

About an hour. I can do it in less time, but I need to ease into the day.

6: Have I shaved my legs in the past three days?

No, but I am overdue a leg wax. This is a job for my week off.

7: Where am I right now?

At home, Melbourne, Australia, at my desk.

8: Do I have someone of the opposite sex I can tell everything to?

Ah, yes. Do I tell him everything. I tell him most things.

9: How often do I wear a fake smile?

Probably once a week. It has to be done. It normally happens at the gym when Cleo ask's me to do something I don't want to do. I plaster on a smile and get on with it.

10: When was the last time I hugged someone?

I hugged lots of people yesterday. I'd had a lot of beer to drink and it was Grand Final day. It's what you do when it's Grand Final day and you've drunk a lot of beer.

11: Is there anyone I trust even though I should not?

There was one person, but he's no longer in my life. I'm pretty careful about who I trust completely. (Which is only a few people.)

12: What is something I disliked about today?

I have a small hangover and I woke at 2 am and didn't get back to sleep til five. Tired with a hangover. Great. It doesn't happen very often.

13: If I could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be?

Alive? Hmm. I'd love to sit down and talk to Malala Yousefai. She's incredible.

14: What do I think about most?

In not strict order, food, sex, keeping active, keeping employed, travel, books, cinema, writing.

15: Do I prefer to be behind the camera or in front of it?

I love being behind the camera. I am an iPhone instagram photographer - and I love it. My Instagram handle is PandoraBehr.

16: Do I prefer talking on the phone or video chatting online?

I'm not much of a phone talker, and both have their uses. I use Video chatting for friends overseas more.

17: Do I believe in ghosts? How about aliens?

Yes. I've had a few too many ghost experiences not to believe - and the universe is huge - I think it's selfish to to reason that there are other life forms out there. Will we meet them, who knows?

18: Do I believe in magic?

Of sorts. I'm a witch - it goes with the territory.

19: Do I believe in luck?

Only that you make your own luck.

20: What's the weather like right now?

It's a pleasantly sunny Spring afternoon here in Melbourne. It's about 16 degrees Celsius (About 60 in the old measure)

21: What was the last book I've read?

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa.

22: Do I like the smell of gasoline?

Not particularly. I get head spins from it.

23: What was the worst injury I've ever had?

Bruce the Bum Bruise. I fell over, speared my left butt cheek on a fence post at ground level. Had a lump the size of a large orange in my bum. Took 18 months to resolve completely.

24: Do I spend money or save it?

I'm a spender, but I am getting better at saving it.

25: Can I touch my nose with my tongue?

Not quite.

Today's Song:

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Though Provoking Questions

It is the evening. I've had a bitty day - went to do Pump for the first time in about two months (and it was glorious).I've been for a float. I've gone to see Blarney and the Maow Maow - the latter being in a better mood than he was last weekend.

And now I'm doing my blog post. Questions, as always, from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1 When was the last time you tried something new?

Today. I made Chermoula Chicken for dinner tonight. First time. It was glorious.

2 Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?

Nobody. It's a pointless exercise. I look around my friends  - some are doing well, some are not. So be it.

3 What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?

Let's have a gin and tonic. (I have one to hand at the moment - Hendricks, with mint and cucumber infused tonic - bliss)

4 What gets you excited about life?

The thought of travelling. I'm off to Hong Kong in March. Yay.

5 What life lesson did you learn the hard way?

Don't get involved with committees.

6 What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago?

Reading. Kissing. Going out with friends.

7 Do you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know?

I ask a lot of questions. You can never ask too many questions.

8 Who do you love and what are you doing about it?

I love lots of people. They are my friends. I try and be a good friend. Don't ask about my romantic life. I'm not saying anything.

9 What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?

That Christianity is really not the way forward - especially when it comes to running a government. Sorry, keep the church and the state separate. Please tell this to our new Prime Minister.

10 What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?

Save money - I've paid my car off.

11 Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?

Strength. It's good to let it all out.

12 What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

I'd drink more. (Says she with a gin and tonic in my hand)

13 Do you celebrate the things you do have?

I may not celebrate, but I do say thank you. An attitude of gratitude is a good thing.

14 What is the difference between living and existing?

Love. Friends. Laughter. Having enough.

15 If not now, then when?

If not not, then why not?

16 Have you done anything lately worth remembering?

I went to Bali and threw a party for my birthday - both life events were excellent. Great fun. Even if I got an earthquake for my birthday and a monkey stole my sweetcorn.

17 What does your joy look like today?

Joy is normally found snuggled up next to somebody who I don't mention. If he is not around, then joy is a sleeping cat in your arms. Joy is often found in cuddles.

18 Is it possible to lie without saying a word?

Hell, yeah.

19 If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?

I think that person would be around on a limited basis. I am trying to be a lot kinder to myself. It is kind of working.

20 Which activities make you lose track of time?

Reading. I can read all day. Also happy to walk all day too.

21 If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

Shakespeare. Writing. And according to my friend Jonella, I could teach people how to put together flat pack furniture.

22 What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

Travel... and sex. Want and need both of these things. Both prove elusive from time to time, but they make life so much better.

23 Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of?

Not any more. I let Lachlan go a few months ago. He was dead wood. Gone. I'm starting to think I should put the masons in this pile. Thinking about it.

24 When you are 80-years-old, what will matter to you the most?

Friends and health. Both of these things are far too important to lose.

25 When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards and just do what you know is right?

When your gut tells you to go for it.

Today's song:

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The 65 Questions Meme

There is so much going on at the moment. I'm just back from Sydney - early for a change, which means that a lot more can get done today These things include:

  • Ironing
  • Cleaning
  • Getting some more stuff done for the Property Association
  • Maybe do some writing
  • Get thinks ready for the week ahead
  • Finish my book
Questions, as always, are from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. Do you ever doubt the existence of others than you?

Not sure what this question means - do I doubt there are other life forms - no, not really Will we meet them - probably not. Odd question.

2. On a scale of 1-5, how afraid of the dark are you?

2. I'm fine when I'm inside, no so good when I'm in open spaces outside and it's pitch black.

3. The person you would never want to meet?

William Shakespeare. Clive Owen comes a close second. 

Oops, I read that wrong. I would never ever want to meet Donald Trump. I think I would be in prison after. Peter Dutton comes a close second. Awful people.

4. What is your favorite word?

Serendipity. I think if I ever had a daughter I would give her that as a middle name.

5. If you were a type of tree, what would you be?

A Moreton Bay Fig. I love those trees. If not, a big oak tree would suffice.

6. When you looked in the mirror this morning what was the first thing you thought?

Crap, I need a bit more sleep.

7. What shirt are you wearing?

My favourite black long sleeved t-shirth with a sequined print on the top.

8. What do you label yourself as?

Lots of things. A woman. A wannabee-pom (Englishperson), Shakespeare nerd, Wiccan, Kabbalist, weirdo, writer. That will do for the moment.

9. Bright room or dark room?

Dark room. I get called a vampire regularly.

10. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Getting ready for bed after going out to the Pop Up Globe.

11. Favorite age you’ve been so far?

Forty was pretty good.

12. Who told you they loved you last?

I can't remember the last time somebody told me they loved me. Friends tell me occasionally, but more than that... oh, I don't count that - Lachlan doesn't count any more. That was a few weeks ago on my birthday. Lachlan is an arse.

13. Your worst enemy?

The Australian Liberal National Party - think the Republicans.

14. What is your current desktop picture?

I don't have one set - too distracting.

15. Do you like someone?

I like lots of people.

16. The last song you listened to?

This was on in the car as I pulled into the driveway a few hours ago.

17. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up?

Donald Trump. If I can't get him then Tony Abbott can be blown up instead. Both are just as destructive as the other.

18. Who would you really like to just punch in the face?

Tony Abbott. Actually, most of the Australian Federal front bench can line up behind him.

19. If anyone could be your slave for a day, who would it be and what would they have to do?

Oh, can I please have Clive Owen. Please. I'd be kind. I promise. I don't bite - unless asked nicely.

20. What is your best physical attribute? (showing said attribute is optional)

I have nice eyes, ankles and hair.

21. If you were the opposite sex for one day, what would you look like and what would you do?

I would like to be at least six foot tall, have all my hair, a bit of a hairy chest and lightly muscular.

22. Do you have a secret talent? If yes, what is it?

I can recite stuff when rather drunk. Jabberwocky, Khe Sahn, Shakespeare, Prufrock.

23. What is one unique thing you’re afraid of?

Huntsman spiders. This is not unique - but general spiders don't freak me out too much, but I hate huntsman spiders. They are not poisonous, but they are the most horrible things on earth. It's a bit irrational.

24. You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your disposal.

Okay, I've given up bread (or gluten) But if I could please have a Coronation Chicken sandwich with lots of curry mayonnaise, currants, toasted almonds and chicken. I used to love them when I was in England.

25. You just found $100! How are you going to spend it?

Gin. Good gin. Or my phone bill. Which ever comes first.

26. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, but you have to leave immediately. Where are you going to go?

Back to either London or Ubud, Bali. One or the other.

27. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. “Be brand-specific” it says.

Hendricks gin with Fever-Tree Light tonic with rose petals / cucumber / raspberries to garnish.

28. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place? 

There will be no uniforms. Ever.

29. What is your favorite expletive?

F*ck. I use it regularly, but sparingly. As with all expletives, they go down better when they're not expected.

30. Your house is on fire. You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don’t worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what’s the one thing you’re going to save from that blazing inferno?

My grandmother's colander. I love that stupid spaghetti strainer, but it is one of the few things I have remaining from my gran.

Today's Song:

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Food Again Meme

I am working on Freemasons pack. Or more to the point, I have been working on this pack of information for some Freemason's business for the last week - I think it's been finalised now - thank goodness.

And the cat has just gone home - I will miss her - she's a sweet little thing.

Anyway, not it's blog time. Question as always from Bev and Sunday Stealing.

1.   Ever had ramen noodles? How do you fix yours? Do you add anything to them

Yes I've had ramen noodles - there are heaps of ramen places around where I work - being near Chinatown. I've been known to have mine with chicken broth, chicken pieces and a bit of chili and black vinegar. Everything like this is better with black vinegar.

2.   Do you like spicy foods?

Hell yeah. Bring on Mexican, Indian, Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian food - please.

3.   Crispy or grilled chicken on your salad?

Grilled chicken. Better for you.

4.   Do you like corn on the cob?

I do, but it is messy to eat - and needs to be served with lashings of butter. Also, since I was in Bali and a monkey stole my corn off my plate, I'm not sure if I like it any more. Bloody monkeys.

5.   Pumpkin or apple pie?

Apple pie. Pumpkin is a savoury dish - best for pumpkin soup or roast pumpkin which goes with any sort of roast. I'm Australian - pumpkin is not for sweets.

6.   Dinner rolls or crescent rolls?

Crescent rolls? Are you talking about croissants? I like really fresh dinner rolls - but they must be fresh. And crusty.

7.   How do you like your eggs?

I just like eggs. I do love them medium poached. If I can get them as a salmon benedict, even better.

8.   Most expensive meal you have ever eaten?

I went to Vue de Monde last year. I think it came to about $350 with a couple of glasses of wine. It was amazing. The food was incredible. The views amazing. It was a great night.

9.   Do you like stir fry?

Yes. It does depend on what is in it though.

10.  What kind of pots and pans do you use?

I've been trying to replace my cheap pans with some better, solid stainless steel ones. They are an investment. I also love my Tupperware pressure cooker.

11.   Do you like Brussel sprouts?

They are okay. I won't cook them, but I will eat them if put in front of me/

12.   Canned or fresh tomatoes?

Fresh tomatoes are better for salads - they are even better in Greece where they are sweet and taste like apples. The canned ones are easy when cooking.

13.   BBQ Chicken or Ribs?

BBQ Chicken is a staple for any Australian who doesn't feel like cooking, especially as every supermarket has them readily. Ribs are great, but you have to find them.

14.   Do you like coffee?

I love coffee - but I have been forced to give it up - and I feel a lot better for it. My staple 'coffee' now is a decaf almond latte.

15.   Cupcakes or ice cream cake?

Cupcakes - but this is a bit of a moot point as I'm trying to stay gluten and diary free. Ice cream cake always tastes strange over here.

16.   Hot dogs or polish sausage?

Hot dogs. The best ones are found at the Keith BP Roadhouse on the way to Adelaide. Toasted bun, lashings of sauce and butter. We do hot dogs a bit differently over here, my American friends.

17.   Do you like cinnamon toast?

Yep - again, is this like French toast? The best, which can be found here, uses challah, and is found at Cafe Delish on Bambra Road in Caulfield.

18.   Do you eat dinner at the table or in front of the TV?

I live alone, so I'm normally at the table in front of the telly.

19.   Do you like to BBQ?

Of course. It's the Australian national dish.

20.   Do you like cold cuts?

Is that like sliced cold meat? Yeah, it's fine in moderation in summer. And I do miss fritz. It's an Adelaide thing. Mention fritz outside of Adelaide and nobody knows what you're talking about. (I think it can be equated to mystery luncheon meat. But you only get it in Adelaide.)

21.   Do you like rice?

Yes - but I prefer brown or red rice over white rice.

22.   Macaroni and cheese?

That's American food. Also gluten and dairy - so no point. It's okay. A Mexican friend makes the best Mac and Cheese.

23.   Key Lime Pie?

Also an American thing, which I believe is like a baked lime cheesecake - and there was a restaurant in London which did a great one. As it contains gluten and dairy, there is no point in it for me.

24.   Favorite Fair/Carnival Food?

I'm a bit partial to fairy floss (or candy floss it is known of in America) Toffee apples and dagwood dogs are great too.

25.   What kind of gravy do you like?

Gravy is gravy. Does it come in any other form other than chicken or onion?

26.   Jalapeno Poppers?

Oh yes please! Again, good memories of these when I was in drama classes in London. The pub we went to after class did legendary poppers.

27.   Broccoli/Chicken Alfredo?

Neither - I'm not into creamy sauced pastas - and as I'm gluten and dairy free, there is no point.

28.   Do you like cottage cheese?

Not really. The creamed cottage cheese is fine - the stuff that looks like congealed sick not so much.

29.   Do you like lasagna?

No. I got a really bad case of food poisoning from lasagne (note spelling) many years ago and I've not been able to look the stuff in the eye since).

30.   Do you like hard boiled eggs?

Yep, They are great in salads.

This has made me hungry.

Today's song:

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Theatre Review: A Doll's House Part 2

Melbourne Theatre Company, Sumner Theatre until 19 September.

Somewhere in the annals of my back brain there was a memory of studying Ibsen. I think it was first year uni. I remember rather liking Ibsen - mainly for the structure and probably, subconsciously for the way people had to get out of sucky situations. I liked Ibsen more than Chekhov. That is easy. Ibsen had a point. Chekhov rambled on without a point, like the rest of the Russians - although I adore Uncle Vanya and always will. (If you get a chance, look up Vanya on 42nd Street - Wallace Shawn is amazing, Brooke Smith, heartbreaking. I also think my girl-crush on Julianne Moore started here).

Anyways, digging around in my back brain, also known as google, I began to remember the plot of A Doll's House. A woman stuck in an unhappy marriage scandalously walks out on her husband. The last moment of the play, Nora, the lugubrious wife, storms out the front door, walking out on all she knows.

Ibsen wrote A Dolls House in 1879.

Fast forward nearly 150 years and the imagination of playwright Lucas Hnath is piqued.

And Nora, some 15 years later, returns home to her husband, the house keeper and her daughter.

Hnath's tight script brings Nora back to the family after 15 years. Where has she been? How has she survived? What has happened to her family? Why has she returned? All of these questions are answered in a plausable, and watchable 90 minute on the stage. It's smart, funny and touching in equal measure as a now confident Nora comes to take her final freedoms from her husband.

This production of this well reviewed play is great. Marta Dusseldorp is excellent and the returning Nora. Greg Stone brings just the right amount of bewilderment and indignation to her deserted husband, Torvald. Zoe Terakes and Deirdre Rubenstein round out the cast as Nora's now adult daughter and the family housekeeper.

This is a tight and engaging play. The minimal set, a door, two chairs and a few coat hooks, is the perfect foil to let the drama play out. Dusseldorp, in particular, is fantastic as the unrepentant Nora - a strong woman made stronger for rebuilding herself.

This more than made up for the disappointment of the last MTC play we saw. 

4 Stars

Today's Song: (Which has been stuck in my head for two days now)

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Freaky Poptart Meme

I am a little bit under the weather today. The birthday party that a friend and I had planned went off without a hitch last night. It was awesome. Had a great time - but a few too many gin and tonics were imbibed - and yeah -  great time was had, but I'm just a touch tired and dusty today.

Questions, as always, from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

What is one thing that you would change about yourself if you could?

My weight. It's been a struggle all my life. I would love to be naturally slim.

Name three exotic countries you would like to visit:

Just three? I'd love to go to Uraguay - it sounds amazing and I have friends who can recommend places. Iceland is also on the list, just for the sheer beauty. My third country is Cambodia - mainly because I would love to see Ankhor Wat - and it is not too far away.  There are plenty more countries I want to visit.

What do you think the secret to life is?

Striving to be happy. If you're doing this, you are living.

Best concert: 

It's a toss up - David Byrne at the Brixton Academy in the early nineties, or Hunters and Collectors at the Tivoli in Adelaide in around 1990. A close third would be the first time I saw The Pixies up in the Gold Coast with the original line up. They were - and are, phenomenal.

Song you can listen to over and over and not get tired of: 

This: It's been my favourite song for over thirty years.

Worst movie music soundtrack or score: 

I think that would go to the remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - the Johnny Depp one - they ruined that film - and the music was crap.

A song you wish wouldn't get stuck in your head but always does: 

Oh, that would be this. Damn you Kylie Minogue.

Who was your FIRST date?

Oh, that would be the gangly, spotty lad, with the lank greasy hair and glasses from year above when I was sixteen. We went to see Police Academy - the original movie - which is still funny.

Do you still talk to your FIRST love?

No. Oh, and it was the same gangly, spotty lad, with the lank greasy hair and glasses from year above when I was sixteen

What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?

Probably a sip of dad's beer when I was a child. Then the odd glass of mum's wine in my early teens.

What was your FIRST job?

I used to work over the holidays at the local general store. I started work when I was 14.

What was your FIRST car?

The first car I owned for myself was a Ford Fiesta, which I bought off a friend when I was in London. I also loved the old EJ Holden I drove around as a teenager, but technically that wasn't my car.

Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?

I was five years old and we took a small plane over to Kangaroo Island for a holiday. I remember my sister vomited most of the half hour ride over there. My first time on a big plane was when I went to New Zealand with my parents when I was seventeen. Funny, planes are a part of my life now.

Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk?

Funny, I only got close friends when I was at uni. Mariah and Geetangeli are still in my life. Mariah is in Brisbane and Geetangeli in Christchurch. We still talk and get together when we can.

Whose wedding did you attend the FIRST time?

One of my cousins - I think it might have been my favourite cousin's wedding. She was eighteen, That was pretty normal back then.

Tell us about your FIRST roommate.

Oh, do I have to. The first time I moved into a flat after college I moved in with this very strange red head. She was young, rich, strange and we shared her flat on the beach. It lasted three months. It wasn't an enjoyable experience. I remember she wasn't home much, but when she was, she played awful loud music and had a lot of men over. It was all a bit much for me. I'm glad I got out. I was warned about her. I wish I'd listened.

If you had one wish, what would it be (other than more wishes)?

I wish my niece never got leukaemia.

What is something you would learn if you had the chance?

The piano. I forever wish I had received piano lessons as a child.

Did you marry the FIRST person you were in love with? 

I've never been married.

What were the first lessons you ever took and why? 

I've took flute lessons from the age of 12. Out of school work, that was the first extra-curricular classes I took.

What is the first thing you do when you get home? 

Take off my shoes. I don't like wearing shoes around the house.

Today's song: