Thursday, July 31, 2008

Talents you wish you had

We all have something we wish we could do. Over the years there have been many things I have wanted to be good at. I remember in early highschool I wanted to be good at horseriding, even though I only went about once a year at my friend's farm. And when I was at school, I wanted to be good at maths, even though I was really bad at it.

But really, both those things were never going to come in handy (sorry maths people! It's true., hehe) But something I really, really wish I was good at is drawing.

Ok some may argue this too would never come in handy, but imagine, I could make my own beautiful cards with amazing designs on them. I could play pictionary with great skill and ability, and actually make the dog look like a dog, instead of a nondescript animal like figure with out of proportion limbs. I could draw for pure leisure, instead of my terrible attempts at artiness which end in frustration.

I also wonder which part of our make up determines whether we're good at drawing or not. I assume it has a lot to do with spatial awareness, and visual thinking. See, when I draw, everything just comes out wrong. I can't do perspective, nor fine detail. Just jagged lines that only sometimes look acceptable in a 'homemade' arts and craft kind of way.

What talent do YOU wish you had?

*** The picture is of a drawing by Carson Ellis, one of my favourite illustrators. He does all the album artwork for The Decemberists.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Had dinner with the parents last night, and mum gave me these beautiful flowers from the garden. Had to take a photo in the morning light.

Project Runway

Not quite... project runway. But my projects are finished. The beanie and the jumper are pictured. Sorry you can't see the jumper heaps well - a terrible self portrait. It's a jacket thing. Anyway, it's super short (not sure why - I think maybe because I used different wool the one specified) so not sure if i'll wear it much in public! But it sure is warm.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Some trolley action

I had a rest day today, because I hadn't really stopped since MYC and it was lovely, sleeping in and not worrying about the time. I then convinced Jo to come with me to IKEA this afternoon, to look for a bookshelf. Bookshelf I did not find, but man, those trolleys are awesome...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I've been thinking...

It's scary how much my upbringing/familial relationships have determined my response to daily situations.

I grew up in a somewhat ambivalent family situation, where you never quite knew what emotion would come next. Depression, terminal illness and alcohol don't really make for a happy environment. And these circumstances, and the patterns of behaviour I learnt has really moulded me into who I am, for better or worse. And I'm really only just now coming to grips with it.

It's been an interesting little journey, working it all out. And I still have a long way to go, but I'm glad I'm learning things about myself. It's like being given the keys to a chest that's been hidden under your bed all your life.


Because we've had a pretty rough week, involving cancelled engagements (of the wedding variety) and kitchen fires, Jo and I decided to pull together a team of people and do pub trivia for the first time in a long time.

Infact, I usually flinch in horror at the thought, but with good company and giant schnitzels on offer, I could nae refuse.

Anyway, the whole story is we came second! And purely through luck. At the end of the last round, you can bet all your points and double them if you get the Question right. We got it right (who knew our friends' knowledge of Farscape would ever come in handy), bringing us from near last to 2nd! So they gave us a voucher to spend at the pub. Awesome.

Might do it again sometime. But hopefully not to placate us after another housefire...

Monday, July 21, 2008

WYD Rant!

Ben says everything I have been thinking about the WYD hoohah on his blog here.

That people truly believe paying a lot of money to sing songs and worship and a small german (?) man in a tall hat can make them closer to God really dismays me. But I understand the desire to cling to the tangible. I just wish we would lift our eyes to Jesus, the one who has done it all - the author and perfecter of our faith. We can only be close to God because of him.

"And this is a gift from God, so that no one can boast."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

To Russia with Love

We're taking the students away this week for the annual Mid Year Conference with a bunch of other students from other universities across NSW. Really looking forward to it (the freezing cold not so much!). It's on resurrection, and Philip Jensen is giving the talks. NICE. Will be out of Sydney for world youth day - phew!

But, sadly... I will miss making a contribution to the Crime and Punishment book group i'm currently in! So a few brief comments..

Really liked this week's reading - was hooked. Quite a bit of suspense, really.
Do people think Raz would've actually taken advantage of the young girl, had the policeman not come along? And what was the point of that encounter?

Also that dream! Quite disturbing, lots of interesting themes of sacrifice. What do you think it's meant to represent? Obviously on the surface, it's about the manner in which he'll kill his future victim. But do you think it represents something deeper than that, like oppression towards the Russian underclass? I'm not sure, but it seems quite significant.

In terms of the murder, it's weird how mixed his motives are. He flirts with the utilitarian idea that by murdering a pawn broker he's preventing other people being ripped off by killing her, but then there's also the basic motive of wanting money to avoid having to be so dependent on his family. I assume the latter half of the book explores these motives more deeply.

Also Looking forward to a depiction of Alyona Ivanovna rivalling Ben's previous character sketches!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Nanna Diaries

I'm popping over to the 'rents place this arvo to leech my mum's craftiness. I need her to help me block the jumper I've finished knitting. Quite excited to see how the thing will actually look/fit.

I'm definitely earning Nanna points with this knitting addiction. But I still go to bed way too late to be a real Nanna. Plus I can still eat things that need chewing.

Friday, July 11, 2008


It's bad news day!

We got our electricity bill AND a notice of rental increase in the mail today.


If anyone knows of someone wanting to move out, jo and i might be looking for a 3rd housemate (to bring cost of living down). Or if you know of a cheap place to live HOLLA.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More amazing book sculptures

I read about some more cool sculptures here, but these are in Sydney and I can actually go and see them!

Perhaps I shall make a day of it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My father's secret double life

When I was little, we used to often drive down the Pacific Highway, and go past the Bob Jane T-Mart shop at Artarmon. My dad looked so much like the sketch drawing of Bob Jane on their logo that for a good few years I was *convinced* my father was actually Bob Jane, and had been lying to us about working for the Bureau of Statistics.

The logo's changed now, and doesn't look so much like him, but I can't find the old one. Although in my opinion, he looks like the newest logo too!

I now laugh at the thought of my father having a double life. But when I was 5, it was devastating! i

Monday, July 7, 2008

The finding fairy

The finding fairy must be really pleased with me at the moment...

Not only did I find my diary the other day, I found four books I'd been looking for yesterday, under my bed!


Sunday, July 6, 2008

This time last year

This time last year... I was settling into life in the country. I have a folder in my pictures file called "Orange July 2007". There are photos of me in the lovely old house I lived in and out and about town.

I feel all nostalgic, so here they are.

The view from the house one cold morning.

In the mini kitchen

This photo's a sequel to the serious shot I had as my profile picture for ages.. on Lake Canobolas.

Token pretentious "mirror image" shot..

Beautiful sunset

I do miss Orange, I miss the people and the climate and the stunning scenery. But I missed my friends and family heaps when I was there. Funny how these things happen.


What is a blog for if not for pointless updates about the most trivial of things?


I lost it a month ago, and had been using an inferior substitute... NOT ANY MORE!

Take that imaginary diary stealer!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Music dreams

I used to be quite obsessed by music, to the point where I decided it was probably unhealthy to be so into one thing. So I've cut back dramatically on how many cds I buy and gigs I go to. It helps that I can't afford the lifestyle anyway. But I do miss being 'in the know' about music.

Anyway, because it's my last day of holidays and I'm blogging like there's no tomorrow... here's a list of cds I'd buy if I were going to buy any, but know I won't end up buying them anyway (haha stupid category).

Death by Grand Salvo

The Bowery by Firekites

Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes

Narrow Stairs by Death Cab for Cutie

I think the cover of fleet foxes is a great parody of Pieter Bruegel!

I'm really enjoying listening to Venus Traps Fly by Machine Translations at the moment. And oldie but a goodie.

Speaking of Books

I was walking up Glebe Pnt Rd to meet a student the other day stopped at Sapphy's second hand bookshop, because I was early. They have a discount table out the front of the store that's usually full of 80s self help books that aren't worth the paper they're printed on. BUT... one book, caught my eye.

It was a delicate pink book with a green binding. It had no title, just a picture of a cat dressed in ornamental garb. How peculiar, I thought. I turned the spine round and read "POOR MINETTE: The letters of two cats, by P.J Stahl."

I opened it up and it had a beautiful inscription.

and title page

But the real surprise came when I read a little bit, and saw the beautiful illustrations throughout of these cats dressed as humans, with completely human personalities!

Here is an example of the text:
Brisquet is one of those candid egoists who are quite willing to admit that they are far fonder of themselves than of anybody else, and whose only passions are those aroused by theier vanity. Tomcats like Brisquet invented the art of philandering to make themselves attractive to our sex without being obliged to fall in love with us.

I just love it! So applicable to so many rogues out there...

So anyway, I bought it, because it was only $3. I took it into the shop and the woman behind the counter was shocked how cheap it was and said it was a good find.

As I was walking away from the shop I looked further inside the book, and discovered it was published in 1954 and was a first edition, printed in London! Crazy times... So I did a bit of a google search. The first thing that came up was a copy on Amazon for over US $100... but then I looked further, and it's more reasonbly listed around US$15 in other places.

But I didn't buy it to sell it. Poor Minette is stuck with me!

These are stunning

I can't get over the intricacy and imagination involved in these book sculptures!

They would look so beautiful perched on a bookshelf somewhere. Would be hard to dust though...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Two seagulls sit

After waking up for the 9th day in a row after 9am (ahhh holidays)I did eventually get out of my PJs, into the shower and out the door to the train station.

It was such a glorious day for a trip to the art gallery; the sun was bashing through the leaves in Hyde Park and bringing out all the personal trainers and their slaves (I was in shock, there were probably about 20 different pairs along the road towards the gallery alone).

For the novelty/nostalgia factor, I took my old film Canon SLR with me - such a funny feeling when you take a photo and go to look at the result and there isn't anything there! But I just love love love the natural sound of the shutter. mmm film. Not sure where I'll get it developed, or when, or how I'm going to scan the photos, seeing as I don't have a scanner, but still. Nice for a change.

I also took my knitting (am knitting a beanie at the moment as well as a jumper). I soon discovered that public knitting apparently gives people the right to talk to you, unannounced!

I was sitting on Lewisham station, knitting away (knit two, purl two, knit two, purl two) when the woman beside me begins to stare at me, through the corner of her sunnies. When I look up, she looks away like a startled seagull.

[A train goes past, not stopping]
"When's the next train due to come?" Seagull asks.

"12:19. I think."

"Ooh I hope that wasn't our train forgetting to stop."

I chuckle slightly to stop the awkward interaction getting anymore awkward.

[30 seconds passes. I'm intent on finishing the row before the train comes]

"What are you knitting?"

"A beanie."

"Ahh.... at least you can knit!"

"I only learnt in April. I'm still getting the hang of it."

"My daughter had to knit squares for school. And I tell you - it was the parents who ended up doing it...."

I chuckle slightly again, trying to concentrate on the row.

The seagull isn't done with this conversation yet. "Sewing and knitting - it's a lost art, isn't it."

[Train arrives! yes. row done.]

"Mmm... I'm not a very good sewer."

Like two seagulls on the beach, brought together momentarily by the promise of something great, we then scuttle off into separate carriages.