Saturday, August 29, 2009

Silverton Souvenirs

These fabulous antique bottles are souvenirs from my trip to Broken Hill back in June. I found them at the Silverton Cafe (which makes great damper burgers and terrible coffee). If you ever get out there - make sure to visit the cafe as it sells beautiful antiques dug up in soil around Silverton.

The bottles are the strangest, yet most enchanting souvenirs I've ever collected. I love them because of their beautiful colours, and fantastic labels. They sit on my bedside table and remind me of the Roald Dahl book, George's Marvellous Medicine...

This lovely purple one is a "Pick-me-up". It says down the bottom of the bottle: "This bottle is the property of Pick Me Up Condiment Co Ltd Sydney 1930".

This one is the weirdest. It says "World Famous Blood Mixture" on the front and Lincoln Clarke's on the side.

This little one is a poison bottle, and simply says "Not to be taken". I love the deep blue.

This is Magic Brunswick Black. I love the name and wonder what on earth it was supposed to do for you!

This is one of the more common bottles, and says "Wood's Great Peppermint Cure for Coughs & Colds". I wonder if it did any good.

This last one is a tiny brown bottle which says Morses Indian Root Pills. Who knows what ailment it was meant to cure, but it sounds dodgy! On the side it says W.H Com Stock

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The ever-knowing not knowing book

I have a full-time job working with Christians in the Media on a university campus, meeting up with people studying communications, encouraging them in their faith, running bible studies, reading the bible with them one on one, praying with them and hosting events for the group.

It's a very people-oriented job, which was new for me when I started in January last year. By nature, it's similar to being a chaplain or a counsellor. It's a job that employs both the intellectual and emotional sides to my brain - which makes it both tiring and rewarding.

I spend much of my time with an individual or a group, with the bible open before us, learning and growing as we sit in awe of God. These moments where I get to be with people as they have life-changing realisations, are such a privilege, partly because while they're having a lightbulb moment, I am too. I get to have little epiphanies every day.

I was reflecting just this afternoon how much I've learnt in the last 18 months, purely from spending most of my day with my head in the bible. At the moment, I'm probably reading 5 different books of the bible with girls from the Old Testament and the New, plus writing bible studies on all the minor prophets.

You'd think spending all my time in one book would be completely boring and monotonous. But it's not. The bible is endlessly profound, and reveals something new everytime you read it.

When I became Christian I wondered if my interest in the bible, and my faith would be something that would wither and fade as I grew older, like other interests had.

I can honestly say five years on, I can't imagine losing interest in the bible - and ironically, it's been studying it so in depth in the last 18months that has convinced me I'll never have plumbed its depths. It's one of those things where the more you know, the more you realise you don't know. And for this, I'm thankful.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stitches and Craft show

So the craft show was good. When I first walked in I was a bit worried. All I could see for miles were tacky appliques, lace doilies, freaky looking dolls and the ShamWOW guy.

Thankfully, I soon realised there were four levels to the venue, and the top level had the good stuff. Some of the stalls I enjoyed were:

The highlight of the day, however, was watching Handmade Nation, a documentary about the handmade movement in the US. It made me want to become a bespoke printmaker like the cool dudes at Little Friends of Printmaking.

The other highlight was watching a sock monster making demonstration by Claire of Craft Schmaft.
image credits: from the top - shelbyville buttons, cloth skirt, craft schmaft owl, sonic youth poster by little friends of printmaking.

White Rabbit

I love a good bit of product design. Today I was walking past a liquor shop selling a beer I've never seen before. It's White Rabbit dark ale from Healesville in Victoria. I think it's only been released in the last couple of months, by Little Creatures.

It has a great name and I love the lush green logo, and the cute rabbit hiding. I don't even really like beer, but look how cute it is. Sorry I couldn't find a bigger picture. Their website has the same scheme though.

Friday, August 21, 2009

yay for craftiness

To increase my weekend fun at least tenfold, and cheer me up after farewelling the lucksmiths, tomorrow I'm going to the Stitches and Craft show.

Three cheers for sock monkeys, handmade softies, craft demos, knitted goods and lots and lots of talented women (and maybe men?) in one place.

Stitches ahoy!

Farewell my love

These lovely young men have been a meaningful part of my life for at least seven years, and yet, they will be gone from tomorrow.
They are The Lucksmiths, a twee indie pop band from Melbourne who wear their hearts on their sleeves, love words, puns and sunshine.
Tonight, I'm going to see them play their last ever show in Sydney. End of an ERA (pronounced eh-rah, for impact).
Isn't this the cutest:

I tried to write an opera for us

But I didn’t get that far’

Cause trying to
sum you up in song

Is like catching sunlight in a jar

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ahhhhhh finally

I finally found a nice, free aesthetically pleasing alternative to google reader.

It's called Blog Lovin , and it looks a lot like twitter.

It has really great functions, like the search function, and the "other people who liked this blog also read..." recommendation function.

Yay! Easy to read, stylish and helpful.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Brain strain

I started reading this article in the current issue of Jacket about George Oppern's [beautiful] poetry and Heidegger's phenomenology, and it sent me down a philosophical rabbit hole.

I've been reading so much my eyes and brain are starting to hurt. But I love it. It sometimes scares me how strong an impulse I have to try and know/understand/learn everything. It's exhilarating, yet exhausting. I'm glad I have a sturdy notebook in which to write down the constant barrage of new information.

Good news

I need to change a few things in my recent "What are you..." post.

I want to alter the grieving and rejoicing categories. I did write, that I was grieving the thought of Dad soon undergoing chemotherapy.

Well, Praise the Lord (literally), in the last two weeks my Dad's cancer count (well, actually technicall his PSA) has gone down. And the secondary cancer they believed was present in his ribs is now inconclusive based on bone scan they did last week.

This is amazing! We all thought this week's consultation would result in him being put straight into a new chemo drug trial as a last resort.

Instead, the Dr thinks the massive steiroids he was on for his inflamed lungs have supressed the cancer, indicating the cancer is still "hormone responsive"... which is a good thing. So, they've put him back on steiroids!

So, from grieving to rejoicing.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Smoothie for lunch

I had a smoothie for lunch. The last spoonfuls of ice masquerading as yoghurty sludge stuck to the bottom of the lime green polystyrene cup. On the bus I made awkward sucking noises, the ones that make everyone want to turn and look at you. No one did of course, that would draw attention to them, and I was the current social scapegoat.

When I got home the icy sludge was still jammed to the bottom of the cup. I thought, I could drop the whole cup in the bin, and the sludge would go with it, all the way to the tip, in the non-biodegradable lime green cup and it might never melt. What is the half-life of Boost Juice, I wondered? I made a mental comparison to uranium and thorium, estimating it would last a few years longer given the empirical evidence so far gathered.

Impatient, I took the lid off . It was one of those ones with the bubbles you can impress to indicate whether you're drinking low cal or not – an irrelevancy at this point. I banged on the bottom of the cup, taking a gamble, holding the upturned cup over my mouth.

The cup was wider than I'd estimated and the gamble quickly became failure. I watched the icy sludge fall from the bottom of the cup onto my mouth and face; some into my throat, some onto my shirt. The smoothie was done with, sequestered in private; my pride in tact.

In the Zone

I'm in the zone... you know that lovely warm place of happiness after you've thought your way around something?

I'm currently writing a seminar for our church weekend away on creativity, and it's taken quite a bit of thinking and studying, which are two of my favourite past times. I get a real buzz from developing logic from disparate information, bringing it together into a coherent whole. That's what I loved about journalism, and still enjoy about all forms of writing. Creating meaning out of what could be chaos.

It makes me miss uni, and the triumph felt when before you is an essay - built like a jenga tower - with pieces of logic and reasoning that form a complex argument that hangs together.

Thinking about going back to uni next year... a bit scared to though. Not sure if it's the right decision. But how does one ever know?

What are you....?

Loving... the evenings are getting darker later, the air is warming up

Hating... washing up

Grieving... my dad starting chemotherapy soon

Rejoicing... at the birth of lots of tiny new babies. I got to hold a lovely soft, pink bundle that was less than 36 hours old on Monday.. newborn hair is AMAZING.

Working... on a seminar on creativity for our church weekend away (just finished - YES!)

Cooking... roast chicken, kanga bangers and lots of boiled eggs. Anything low-maintenance

Thankful... for many things. But especially noticing how I have everything I need.

Learning... patience and contentment

Planning... what to do next year

Feeling... excited at the possibilities, daunted by the uncertainty

Looking forward to... finishing reading The Sea by John Banville.

What about you?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

all songs considered

One of my favourite podcasts (second to This American Life) is All Songs Considered, on NPR.
Two recent shows I enjoyed - one featuring new/exciting bands from the Pitchfork Music Festival and their "Best Songs of 2009 (so far...)" show. Here's their voters' top 5:

5; Listomania - Phoenix (touring in Aus this week actually)

4; Zero - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

3; Bloodbank - Bon Iver

2; Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear

1; My Girls - Animal Collective

I would've probably put Grizzly Bears' Two Weeks in at number one. So DANG CATCHY! And more awesome with this video.

Glad my favourite band Wilco's new album made it into top 5 albums of the year, also the Decemberists, another favourite. Sad Andrew Bird only made it to 6.

grizzly photo credit

today I

had a headache which was actually from yesterday and is still here. Not sure when it will go away

Monday, August 3, 2009

band names

I have strong feelings about some band names. For example....

Exquisite Corpse


Why? Mystery.

What is a band name you hate?

These days

today I dropped my glasses into my wonton soup