Saturday, January 31, 2009

As and athiest, I truly believe Africa needs God

Wow, this is bizarre, but cool.

I'm a bit slow on the uptake - this article's a few weeks old, but it's pretty surprising.

An athiest who grew up in Malawi, commending the work of missionaries in Africa.

Read the Times article here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

i have found what you are like

I love the way the words toss around like a salad in my head whenever I read an e.e cummings poem. His use of the sculptural form, the sounds it creates adds so much to the imagery.

i have found what you are like
the rain,
(Who feathers frightened fields
with the superior dust-of-sleep. wields

easily the pale club of the wind
and swirled justly souls of flower strike

the air in utterable coolness

deeds of gren thrilling light
with thinned

newfragile yellows


--in the woods


And the coolness of your smile is
stirringofbirds between my arms;but
i should rather than anything
have(almost when hugeness will shut
your kiss

e.e cummings

*** argh, sorry for the multiple edits, it keeps de-formatting, so the shape isn't present...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Little Oliver

These are some photos of the adorable Oliver James Powell, born six weeks ago. His beautiful mama is Nicki.

Jane and Oliver

Nicki and Jane with Oli

Nearly asleep on mama - what a treat

Recipe Request

So i'm trying to eat healthily, and stick to low carbs in the evening, and just generally reduce fat and sugar intake.

Do you guys have any favourite healthy snacks and meals?

Tonight I made fritatta with whatever was in the fridge, and it was pretty good, and we've done a few stirfries, a few meat and three veg nights, vietnamese spring rolls, sang choy bow.

For snacks i like vegie sticks with dip, or a piece of fruit, but that gets a bit boring. I also made apple oat bran muffins, which were good - but more of a treat.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A poem

As I've been thinking about writing and style, I looked back over some poems I have tucked away on my computer and thought I would let this one out of the box. I don't like its length, and I have no technique, but I like the sentiment.

The Party Blues

What comes over her
as the party approaches
is close to implosion.

Strange feelings
of misfit
canvas shoes
and argyle shorts

The possibility
of a dry
rasping in
her throat

while all around her
in champagne

Play a dirge,
she cries.
She cannot
stomach anything else.

The h'or douvres
will pass
like sand
in an hourglass.


I've just been reading the last chapter of Strunk and White's guide to writing called "The Elements of Style"and have been struck by the melodrama in their advice. I am, however envious of their well-executed humour!

After reading their last chapter, "An approach to Style" you could be forgiven for thinking prolixity should be a punishable crime.

Muddiness is not merely a disturber of prose, it is also a destroyer of life, of hope: death on the highway caused by a badly worded road sign, heartbreak among lovers caused by a misplaced phrase in a well-intentioned letter, anguish of a traveler expecting to be met at a railroad station and not being met because of a slipshod telegram. Think of the tragedies that are rooted in ambiguity, and be clear! When you say something, make sure you have said it. The chances of you having said it are only fair.

Young Love

My first crush was Carl, who was in my year 5/6 composite class. Of course, my affection was unrequited. That is, until it became mutual dislike, as is the trajectory of unrequited love.

I remember on our year 6 trip to the snow, he was the only boy in my class to bring his own skis. He went skiing every year, with his family, or so it was said.

What I was doing crushing on some snobby kid who bragged about skiing all the time, I do not know.

Anyway, because he'd made such a big deal of his ability, my friend dared me to call out his name when we were on the ski lift, and he was skiing below us. So I did, and he almost fell over. Now that's revenge...

Who was your first crush?

Baghdad Dreams

So I met up with one of the girls from uni today, who works for a Sydney radio station. Anyway, she told me that she had a nightmare the other night, where she was fired because of the economic crisis, and ended up working for Gloria Jeans in Baghdad!! How funny is that?!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How freaky are you?

Last night for some reason, we decided to do an online personality test - we being jo, our dinner guest and me. It was quite spur of the moment - I think it came about because our dinner guest had never done one before, and we were talking about how some workplaces make you do them.

It was pretty interesting. I mean, they always are, but I think this time particularly, because I realised our guest was the opposite personality to me! But she is one of my all time besties... so go figure. I guess we complement each other :)
The personality test revealed all the things I already knew about myself... mainly that i'm stubborn and critical haha.

According to the myers-briggs type indicators, i'm an INTJ.
In summary:

INTJs direct their energy towards the inner world of thoughts and emotions. They
use their imaginations to come up with new ideas, possibilities and perspectives. They often organise their lives on a logical basis, and produce plans and strategies to put their ideas into practice.
The most interesting aspect of the results was the role we end up playing in teams. Apparentely I'm an "innovator".
Innovators use their imagination to create new and different ideas and
perspectives. They observe the world around them, then use their imaginations to
consider what they have observed from a number of different perspectives, and
dream up new ideas and insights. Innovators often produce radical solutions to
problems, develop long-term vision and demonstrate an apparent understanding of
what cannot be clearly known.
I was thinking about different teams I've been in and how I really could slot people into the different categories described on the website.

I don't think personality tests are helpful to obsess over, but they do give a bit of insight into things - for me I think it helped to see where my weaknesses are, particularly in a team situation.

To do the 'mental muscle' personality test go here. For a description of the different roles in teams, go here.

Australia Day? What Australia Day?

Yesterday I did absolutely nothing to celebrate Australia Day. I did, however, have a relaxing day of doing nothing much.

I woke up at 11AM! Took a while to get round to showering, then went grocery shopping, played phase 10, read etc. Then had a friend for dinner, and stayed up till midnight chatting. Ahhh goodtimes...

I feel pretty unpatriotic, but it was awesome!

Liquid Breakfast

WOW my housemate just bought a blender thing recently, and I made a smoothie this morning and it was amazing!

I made a berry smoothie. It was lovely and filling and hopefully healthy. This was my recipe, which I invented.

One frozen 200ml tub of vanilla Forme yoghurt (low fat and sugar), stabbed and poked into smaller pieces.
100ml or so of skim milk
handful of frozen berries
half a banana
a teaspoon of honey

WHIZZ and ready
yum. so gooood - I never knew how good home made smoothies could be!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I felt I really needed to update you all on the big issues.

So far, so good - the poo brown rego sticker has caused only minor offence.

Meat Tray

I think I forgot to write about our glorious win at the Petersham Inn last week.

Jo and I entered a meat raffle, and won! We have eaten HEAPS of red meat this week. It's been good, particularly when I'm trying to do the whole low carb thing. I'm also enjoying using our griddle iron, which cooks the meat perfectly.

We might just have to enter again sometime, methinks.


At the moment, I am loving:
-afternoon storms
-walking places
-carrot and capsicum sticks with dip
-reading fiction
-borrowing classy magazines that I can't afford from the library
-welcome wagon, the guild league, catpower and more

At the moment I am not so loving:
-lack of clean clothes

But all in all, stuff's good.

What are you loving?

Lego Inauguration

Actually, I think this trump's my last post ...

Legoland California recreated the inauguration in Lego!!

To see all the scenes, including the motorcade go to The Guardian.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Best Inauguration blog post

If you only read one inauguration blog post, read this. It's one of the craft blogs I read - yes, i know .... anyway, just read it. So cute!
Photo and blog: Soulemama

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I finally saw Juno ($2.95 new releases at civic on tuesdays!)

I loved it!

I love that it offered hope, yet realism.

I love the soundtrack.

And I love the animation.

One of life's little disappointments

Or was it so little afterall?

Today, I had to register my car. You might think my disappointment was because of the bill at the mechanics, or the chore of having to organise it all, or being under 25 and the resultant mistrust of insurance companies.

You'd be wrong. What I was most disappointed about, insightful readers, was the colour of the sticker.

Jenny from the design department at the RTA must've had a field day choosing the colour - "So, what do you think? Mushroom? Eggplant? Mud bath brown? Nah, let's go with poo brown."

And so it is, that tomorrow I have to plaster the offending sticker on my car and live with it for A WHOLE YEAR.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blackwattle Bay 16/01/2009

Unintentional New Years resolutions

I don't like making resolutions around New Year - I just find it either leads to failure, and then disappointment. Or obsession, and then loss of perspective.

But, I've somehow found myself making semi-unconscious resolutions. This is the first time i've conscoiusly written them down:

*Walk to places, when I can: to work, to church, to the shops, the library, maybe even to uni. It's been great living so central to all these places since we moved. I will use my car a lot less.
*Eat healthier - only a week so far, but hopefully I'll stay on track.
*Be more sociable - i've been pretty sociable this week, but I'll need to keep scheduling people in otherwise it won't happen.
*Be more creative - i've just learnt how to sew, and I'm taking my camera out more. I'd like to do more crafting, but it's kind of expensive, so we'll see.

Have you made any unconscious resolutions that you're starting to make conscious?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ideas Please

Tomorrow's my day off.. but I don't know what to do.

I'd like to go on a free adventure. Any ideas?

I have a car, and would like to see some pretty landscape.

Book thing

So, the book meme was a flop! No comments...

And because I'm impatient, here are the answers:

1. Raymond Carver - Would you Please Be Quiet Please?
2. Don DeLilo - White Noise
3. Jim Wallis -God's Politics
4. W. Somerset Maugham - The Moon and Sixpence
5. Samuel Beckett - Waiting for Godot
6. James Joyce - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
7. Jonathan Safran Foer - Everything Is Illuminated
8. Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray
9. Les Murray - Fredy Neptune
10. Richard Flanagan - Wanting

What's in my ears

I'm currently enamoured with the Welcome Wagon. Their debut was recorded, engineered, mixed, and designed by Sufjan Stevens! He also contributed banjo and other delicious things. The whole thing sounds a lot like the Suf, but of course, not identical. I just love it. Particularly "But for you who fear my name".

For a free mp3 go here to their label's website.

I was given an iTunes voucher for Christmas
I downloaded:

-Liam Finn's "I'll Be Lightning" (album)
-Midlake: Roscoe (single)
-Welcome Wagon - four singles off their album "Welcome to the Welcome Wagon"
-M83 - Kim and Jessie (single)
-Daryl Hall & John Oates - Rich Girl (single)

A bit of a strange mix, I know! I was just in the mood for Rich Girl, it's so dang catchy

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cure for insomnia

I've been tagged by Ali in a book meme, that seeing as I can't get to sleep, is worthwhile doing!

The instructions are:- Take ten books, and transcribe the fifth sentence from page fifty six.- Make sure that at least five books are fiction, provide five hints, and pass the meme on to six other bloggers.

You're meant to guess what the books are... through my hints. I haven't actually read all these books through myself! haha

1) "He got up shaking his head."
Hint: From a collection of short stories an American who's famous for minimalism. The quote is a pretty good example, really. This collection was his first, first published in 1976.

2) "There were little holes in the cuffs of his thermal undershirt."
Another cracker!
Hint: The author of this postmodern 80s novel went onto to write "Underworld", the runner-up on the New York Times' survey of the best work of American fiction in the last 25 years.

3) "Yet according to a study released in late 2003 by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, people who attend church more than once a week vote Republican by 63 percent to 37 percent; people who seldom or never attend vote Democratic by 62 percent to 38 percent."

Hint: The man who wrote this book about politics and Christianity is married to the woman who inspired the TV series, The Vicar of Dibley.

4) "I tried to persuade myself that an obscure feeling of revolt had been gradually coming to a head in his slow mind, but to challenge this was the undoubted fact that he had never shown any impatience with the monotony of his life."
Hint: this is actually from page 57, as 56 was blank.
This novel is based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin, and is written by Somerset Maugham.

5) "ESTRAGON: At the very beginning."
Hint: From a play by Samuel Beckett.

6) "But he thought they were the portraits of the saints and the great men of the order who were looking down on him as he passed."
Hint: A semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce.

7) ' "Please" he said, attempting to remove her."
Hint: The quote refers to a dog, by the way. This acclaimed debut novel written by a young Jewish man, was adapted into a film starring Elijah Wood in 2005.

8) "The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistable."
Hint: Only Oscar Wilde would know..

9) "Scared the Black Flu might strike them, some confused even their families: people singing out Mum? Here I um- But my family, they aren't there."
Hint: This is a novel in verse, by Les Murray, about a sailor, Friedrich, Boettcher.

10) "The sylvan forests and sublime beaches of western Van Diemen's Land."
Hint: This is the last book I read. Regulars at this blog should know the answer...

I tag: Ben, Ruth, Nixter, Aimee. If you too, have a bout of insomnia!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's a tough life

I have a pretty awesome job. It involves drinking lots of coffee and talking. Today I had to go for coffee in the city to catch up with one of the students. And again tomorrow, I'm meeting someone for coffee about 15 min walk from my house, then going to catch up with someone at the art gallery in the evening. What a tough life!

**okay so work's not always like this, especially when the uni year starts, but lots of the time it is!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photo Diary: The End

Well, seeing as my holidays end today, yesterday's photos, taken in the city and at the State Library signal the end of my photo diary.

It's been fun, and I think it has made me more 'photo aware'. I will often think "ooh that'd make a good picture". The downside was having to lug my big camera around (hence these crappy camera phone photos - taken when I just didn't care!).
I'm proud I actually (pretty much) stuck to my plan, and took photos most days. When I started, I didn't think I'd get through the two weeks. I'm glad I did. I usually have a terrible memory, so they really will help me remember these holidays.

Anyway, here's the last batch. It's not the end of photos on this blog, but just a break from taking them all the time. Sorry the quality's not great.

Christmas trees on the sidewalk outside my apartment - there's two at the moment. I don't mind though, because they smell nice.

The exhibition I saw at the State Library

One of George Caddy's photos of people doing Beachobatics

Giant hanging chandeliers on Hunter street (the photo doesn't do them justice)


Incredible shelving and display methods at a boutique shop in The Strand. I really like it, however pretentious it is. Reminds me of either DNA strands, or a circuit board.

This pretty much sums up George Street for me...

Reading material for the bus; the summer issue of The Monthly which I haven't got round to finishing yet.

Holiday Indulgence

Aren't holidays the best time to do anything and everything you would normally write off as fanciful and/or a waste of time?

Yesterday, having read a bit more about Harvey Cushing on the internet, I decided on impulse to visit the State Library and have a read of his biography. It was really fun, going "into town", filling in my request slip, and then retrieving the book and having a good, long read while taking notes with no deadline or feeling of "I ought to be doing something else".

While I was there, I also took at look at the current exhibitions: Bondi Jitterbug - a collection of fun pictures taken by George Caddy on Bondi Beach in the 30s and 40s, and The Magic Pudding watercolours by Norman Lindsay.

Fun! You should do it sometime!

I even took some photos on my crappy phone camera, to celebrate the last day of my photo diary... but I'll post them separately.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Best gadget EVER!

So I just read about this thing called "Poladroid" that turns your digital photos into polaroids! So cool!

It even "prints" them out on your desktop, and you have to wait for the image to appear, and you can "shake" it to speed it up - just like a real polaroid. I've always wanted one - but they are so expensive, and they don't make the film anymore. Well, here's my free solution!

And the best thing about it??? IT'S FREE!

Here are some recent photos that I Polaroided

Oh, there are hours of fun ahead...

A curious character

These holidays I happened upon a great character, which I'm hoping one day might be the protagonist of a story/novel I write.

I don't think I have the stamina or skill to be a novel writer yet, but I'd love to try one day.
Last week I was watching a documentary called "Blood and Guts: The history of Surgery" - yeah I know gross title... The episode focused on the development of brain surgery. One of the people it featured was Harvey Cushing, who's considered one of the fathers of modern brain surgery. He conducted surgery on people back in the late 1800's/early 1900's when it was extremely risky and the techniques were very rudimentary (think lobotomy).

It's not his professional development i'm interested in though, but rather his personality- most notably his obsession with the brain, and the toll that took on every other aspect of his life. By all accounts he was consumed with his work, to the extent that when he heard his son had died in a car crash, he didn't cancel surgery that day.

He also put together an eerily large collection of tumour-ridden brains, photographs and documents of his patients which now resides at the Yale School of Medicine.

I'd like to get my hands on a biography, but apparently it's 700+ pages long! Yikes. Anyway, I'm enjoying the research I can do even just through the internet.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Blog readers

So I currently use Google Reader, to read blogs, but it annoys me that it takes all the formatting away. Does anyone know of a reader that allows you to see the actual webpage?

Blog Envy

I've realised that lately, I've been suffering a condition that can only be called "Blog Envy". It's a pathetic condition, and will surely only cause my own humble blog to suffer. However, I cannot help but feel this little blog is one tenth as glamourous, beautiful, insightful and entertaining as the ones I read written by people who live in loft-conversions on the edge of Brooklyn and play in the snow and read Hemingway in their spare time.

Am I the only one?

The apartment

Just thought I should say I really like our new apartment. I like it's old style charm (some might call it drab), picture rails and funny layout. I like the horrific colour combinations, and proximity to our neighbours. I like it.

The Locust Plague

Insects hit the windshield with a force unequal to their stature;
the crops are decimated,
eaten from within
by a silent army.
This morning, when you pretended to hear me,
really hear me
as I told you a story,
the fields, they swayed in mourning.

Schizophrenic weather

I just shut my windows for like the first time ever! I love fresh air, but it is COLD today. And yet, the last two days have been 35degrees +!

What is with the weather??

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I can sew!

You heard it here first, folks! I sewed two bags (with lining!) with the help of my wonderful mum.
This is the first one, under construction.

These are antique cotton reels that my grandmother used. I never really knew her as she died when I was 1, so it was a thrill to find these in mum's sewing cabinet.

This is the blue bag, completed!

I made the straps a bit longer on the second bag, as I plan to use it more as a handbag, than the grocery bag it was intended for.
I'm really pleased with both of them. I was, however, glad to have mum on hand to correct my errors and show me how to do things like give it a lining, which the pattern didn't include.

My holiday is now almost over - it's been a busy few weeks- Christmas, New Year, Canberra, learning to sew, spending time with family and friends. It's been great! The last few days I plan to catch up with a few more people, sleep in and finish unpacking.

Photo Diary update: The Cricket

My family has a tradition of going to the New Year's Test in Sydney, and this year we had tickets for Jane McGrath Day (which was on Monday). Everyone was encouraged to wear pink (men included), and buy merchandise to support the McGrath Foundation.

There was even free pink gelato..

It was nice to be part of something so unique and meaningful.

This was our view. Even after probably 5 years of going to the cricket, I still get a little tingle up my spine when the teams come out onto the field.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Adios 2008

2008: the year I moved back to Sydney to work with Christians in the Media, Obama was elected US President, and the sub prime crisis reared its ugly head.

So, what did it all mean for me?


dead herbs
vertical blinds
abc 2
spearmint carpet
expensive petrol
leichhardt library

Love: minus
Friends: many
Family: still here
God: faithful

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I've had a fantastic four days, first on the goat farm up near Lithgow for New Years, and then a roadtrip to Canberra with no real purpose the last two days.

On our roadtrip , Kerryn and I:

went to goulburn and did the obligatory big merino photos

ate in an old school diner

drove through collector

went to the art gallery

set up our tent by a river (with help from kindly camping neighbour types)

had dinner in town

drove to belconnen semi-accidentally, where Kerryn bought a $5 jumper (it was really cold!)

went up black mountain; froze to death

drove out to cotter dam, where we left the tent

lit a campfire, and cooked marshmallows


packed up tent

went in search of a farmers' market - it was cancelled for some silly car rally

ate a big breakky in town

went to a salvos store

went to parliament house

drove home singing death cab, the cure, maritime, the mamas and the papas at the top of our lungs

Some photos (beware - lots of tragic self-portraits!)

Diner in Goulburn

Big Merino

National Gallery


View from Black Mountain

Outside Parli House

On the roof of Parli House

In the Senate (in nerd bliss)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Photo Diary: Day 6/7


These little ones were born on New Years Eve, and we visited them this morning...

As you can see, I spent New Year's on a goat farm. It was so much fun, and really beautiful. Hope you had a great night too!