Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Brief Photo Essay

And so, you loyal reader type people came through with some ideas. I've considered them all ( thanks for the whole Israel v Gaza thing Dash, i might have to jump on Wikipedia before i tackle that one.... ), but i thought this might be the easiest, and most fun, for a Sunday afternoon. A few of you said " hey, stories from your childhood " and of course you wanted accompanying pictures - plus, this is my official entry into Andy's photo challenge. And so, please enjoy a few photos of yours truely, accompanied by a short commentary on each shot:

Firstly, yes thats me as a cute, chubby little baby. And, yes, you're eyes are not deceiving you - i am wearing a baby bikini. ( Also, this is as close to naked as you will ever get to see me, so enjoy it while you can. Or, actually, dont enjoy it - enjoying it would be wrong... ). I believe i'm almost a year old in this photo, playing in a blow up pool in my Nan's backyard. Dont ask me what those green things floating around me are - i dont exactly remember - but i'm pretty sure they must have been fun to play with.

On to Picture #2 - thats me on my first day of school, 5 years old. All together now - awwwww. Its sometime in late January of 1989 ( yes, Northern hemisphereans, we start school at the start of the calendar year, not in the middle ). Please take note of my awesome, late 80's fashioned, school uniform - a sad green pinafore, white cotton blouse and little knee socks ( that dont quite come up to my knees ). Also, please notice that I am completely rocking a mullet. Yes, a MULLET. Business in the front, party at the back. To this day, i cannot believe that my mother willfully did that to my head. The missing teeth at the front though are all my fault - they came out while i was eating an apple.

Check me out - that is me, and my new bike, circa around 7 years of age. My dad and my pa made me that bike - yes, you read that right, they MADE it out of second hand bike parts, instead of buying me and my brother a new bike each (we werent dirt poor, but neither could we afford two brand new bikes ). My bike rocked - i chose what colour i wanted, i put cool stickers on it, and you better believed my brother and ruled the neighbourhood on them. We had a group of around 6 or 7 kids in our street and we'd ride around on weekends playing " bike-tag " or we'd ride down to the Death Track. Oooh - sounds dangerous, doesnt it ? Kind-of, sort-of, but not really. It was basically this huge hill of dirt ( maybe 2 storeys high ) on some land owned by the NSW Railway. Some older kids had made a walking track to the top and then a long, bumpy, dipping track to ride down. Woo hoo! I'm proud to say i never suffered a single injury there. My brother, however, did take one memorable spill which saw him fall into a patch of weeds and end up with a whole patch of thistles in his butt....

Picture #4 - this one is especially for you Andy. Anybody who reads Andy's page will recognise that he and I may have in fact owned the same pair of glasses as youngsters. Those things are freakin' huge! Again, I have my mother to blame for my complete lack of style ( an affliction I am to do this day trying to overcome ). In case you wondered what the hell is going on this picture let me explain - i am in my PJ's and I am apparently trying to kill my younger brother ( the little kid in the blue PJ's with the pained expression on his face ). And i'm smiling because jumping on your younger brother and trying to squash the guts out of him is fun. Right ? Right ?

And lasty but not leastly, Picture #5 - me before my Year 12 Formal ( read: Senior Prom ). This one isnt exactly in the humiliating category, but i thought i'd share it anyways. Please bear in mind when looking at this picture that i have lost aprroximately 17ish kgs between then and now ( i've changed from a size 16/ US size 12 down to a size 10/ US size 6 ). I think if i had my time again i wouldnt have picked that dress. It was a velvet dress with spaghetti cross over straps and, looking back, it didnt really fit all that well. I could have found something so much more flattering. As it stands though it wasnt all that bad - definately a more timelessly chic choice than some of my friends....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda...

So.... ( and yes, for anyone who noticed, that is a reference to " Seinfeld " ). I find myself today lacking inspiration for a blog post. I feel like i want to make one, but I dont have anything particular weighing on my mind, nor any funny/scary/weirdo stories to tell. Lets call it " bloggers block " - i'm officially capable of writing, i just dont know what to write about.

And so i turn my blog over to you. Thats right - YOU - the handful of people who actually regularly read my garbage. I want you to tell me what i should write about. It could be something you want to know about me, a childhood story you'd like me to tell, or something you'd like to hear my opinion on ( if there is one thing i have, its opinions ). Or, if you so desire it, just tell me how happy you are that i've stumbled onto bloggers block, which means i'll stay quite for a while.

And so - hop to it people!! Get thinking and then get commenting. Or i'm afraid this blog may die a slow, horrible death ( okay, not really.... this will only last a few days... )

Sunday, January 25, 2009

" I come from a land Down Under .... "

Happy Australia Day everybody! Today is a national holiday commemorating the day James Cook landed at Botany Bay, essentially " discovering " Australia. Basically, its a day where we get to take the day off, have a bbq with family and friends and watch the cricket ( or, in my case today, a marathon of Project Runway Australia ). How more Aussie could you get than that ? Its all about family, friends and food. And, speaking of food - I know you non-Australian type people think we Aussies eat some weird things. You've probably heard us use terms like " sausage roll " or " lamingtons " and wondered " What in the boojesus are they talking about ? What the hell is a lamington ? It sounds like some kind of uppity posh suburb of London .... " And so, in the Australia spirit of mateship and sharing, i've come up with my glossary of the Top 5 " weird " foods we Aussies indulge in :

*NOTE* ( They arent actually weird - theyre just different. Judge food by its packaging or its label ok ? )

VEGEMITE ( vej -e -myte ):
Come on now, you've all heard of it Vegemite, we're reknowned for it! I also know that you all probably think its downright disgusting - but, of course, i'm willing to bet 9 out of 10 of you havent ever tried it. To be truthful, all the foreigners i've ever seen taste Vegemite have almost choked on their own bile, so i guess its an acquired taste. Its pretty much a fermented yeast paste - its a little bitter, a little salty, a little something you cant describe. Its all also a little perfect on white toast!
PAVLOVA ( pav - low - vuh ):
Take a look at it - doesnt it look scrum-diddlie-umptious ? Yes, yes it does. It also tastes that way, which is probably why its one of Australia's favourite dessert recipes. Its a ( depending on your tastes, of course ) either a crisp and crunchy or crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, meringue base. The meringue base is then covered in sweet whipped cream and your choice of toppings. The traditional pavlova, as seen above, is whipped cream and a variety of tropical fruits, although some fancy people have made pavlovas covered in chocolate, nuts and marshmallow; chewy candies; or white chocolate and berries. But just remember - when in doubt, always go traditional!
MEAT PIE ( mee -t pye ):
Meat pies are as Aussie as hotdogs are American. That is, to say, meat pies are the " everyman " food of Australia. Its pretty much as it sounds - a pastry shell, much like any dessert pie, but filled with a mix of minced meat ( usually beef ) and a gravy like sauce. Meat pies are the favourite snack/casual dinner for Australian men everywhere, but are particularly well loved at any type of sporting event ( meat pie at the football ? Doesnt get more Australian then that! ). Also, please note - you can eat as many meat pies as you like, but if you dont eat them with tomato sauce ( no, not ketchup - TOMATO SAUCE ) you will never pass as a real Aussie.
WEET BIX ( wee-t bi -cks ):
A quintessentially Australian breakfast cereal. If you read the fine print on the box, it reads " The Breakfast of Champions ". Damn right it is! This is the breakfast cereal that always has some kind of Australian athlete ( currently cricket players ) as its spokeperson. Weet Bix, just like the meat pie, are pretty much the way they sound - that is, they are are small, rectangular biscuits of shredded wheat. Nice and healthy, if not a little bland. They're best eaten warm, so you can " cook " them by pouring on some boiling water or milk ( or nuking them in the microwave, for the time poor people out there ), and if you add a litte sugar or a touch of honey and banana - you wont find an easier, yummier, healthier breakfast anywhere! ( except maybe an organic retreat.... )
LAMINGTONS ( lah - ming - ton-s ):
Ah, the forementioned lamington. I am telling you, my craving for one of these whilst i lived overseas was enough to rival a pregnant womans desire for pickles in chocolate icecream. However, lamingtons are about a million times more delicious than that heinous concoction. Lamingtons are, in a word, awesome - they're little squares of white sponge cake, covered in milk chocolate and then rolled in coconut. So simple, yet so, so sweet! They can also be made with some whipped cream in the middle, but being the purist I am ( oh, and i'm not so big on cream... ) i prefer the good old traditional version best. Mmm.... lamingtons.
And there you be ladies and gents. Should you have any lingering queries in regards to an Australian delicacy you may have heard of, feel free to leave a comment and i'll endevour to clear that one up for you too. Viva el Australia!
( oh, wait, my bad, thats Spanish.... )

Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Anniversary

" Happy Birthday to me, I'm one hundred and three.... "

Well, no, not exactly. It IS my birthday, but didnt turn 103. I'm only one quarter of the way there - today is my 25th birthday. Yay for me! Its been a good day ( yes, despite the fact that i had to go to work ... ), although now that its winding down the weather has decided to turn all hot and sticky, which wont make for a good nights sleep.

But hey, I had a couple of belly laughs today ( at J's expense... ), two- count 'em, two! - birthday cakes ( one at work and one at home with my family ) and got approximately 5 birthday hugs ( the best one from my neice H, she's my favourite hugger ). I didnt get a whole swag of presents, but at 25 its not really the point - but what i did get was nice ( especially the " Happy " by Clinique that I had hinted about to my sister. Good listening sis! ).

And that is all. I didnt do anything spectacularly interesting so i'll make this a short post. Hope everyone else had a good day too!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Happy Obama Day everyone! It is around 8am in the morning here right now and I have been watching Inauguration coverage for the last hour. I just want to say:

I am so proud.

No, i'm not American. Barack Obama is not my new President. But i am proud that Americans have effected such a positive change during my generation. As much as some of us hate to admit it, the rest of the world looks to America as an example of guidance, an example of the way things should be done.

What a way to do it.

My congratulations go out to the new President and First Lady Obama, and my thanks to the American public for the courage and wisdom to put such a charismatic ( and surely to prove great ) man into Office. Here's hoping that he can lead your country to new glories, whilst at the same time providing positive change for the rest of the world.

Monday, January 19, 2009


WARNING: Before you go any further, this is a rant. Please avoid the following paragraphs if you do not wish to read curse words, complaints or other peoples pet hates.

So - my desk in my office has a perfect view to the street outside. My office is situated on the main street of our town and my desk is, therefore, perfect for people watching. So i'm having a little stare out the window ( whilst i was working of course ) and i see a young girl walking along. She's petite, nice hair and she's dressed really nicely. In short, i was thinking how lovely she looked... and then she spat. On the ground. On a public street. A young girl spat saliva on a public street in front of my office.

I cannot STAND people who spit. Spitting in public is absolutely disgraceful. I mean, if you really must spit - say you havea huge loogy working up in the back of your throat, or a horridly sour taste in your mouth - than at least spit into a bin or into a hankerchief or something. Have the decency not to spread your bodily fluids all over a public walkway, where poor unfortunate people have to skirt around it. In short, spitting in public ( unles your on the sporting field ) is nothing short of disgusting.

My other pet peeve for today is domestic disputes in public. Sure, everyone enjoys being privy to a good pub fight ( you know, where people get into a huge argument whilst drunk, and are completely oblivious to the circle of peope listening in ). What I cant stand is people who think that the main street of town is the perfect place to air their dirty laundry. " Fuck you you motherfucking bitch- you can fucking walk home then! You're a dirty slut anyway! " is not exactly something i want to hear while i'm trying to work. I also do not want to see women flying at men and trying to hit them with shopping bags or sticks they have pulled out of the garden, nor do i want to see men deliberately intimidating women, grabbing them by the hair and threatening to kill them when they get home. Seriously. Those might be extreme cases ( extreme but certainly by no means exaggerated.... its all part of a show i get treated to on a semi-regular basis ) but i dont think anybody needs to be hurling abuse at each other in the public domain.

And there you have it - rant over. I am sitting in my hotel room as i have been sent off for a few days training. I've watched " How I Met Your Mother ", " Two and a Half Men " and " South Park " and i have gotten my pet peeves of my chest, so i think its time to settle in with a book.
Good nigtht everyone!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Great Escape

Today my boobies made a run for it. Can you believe that ? No, they didnt up and leave my chest area, and no i dont have prematurely aging saggy boobs. No, i was at work and my bra broke.... can you believe that? I'm just standing at my desk talking to J and all of a sudden - the elasticity is gone. Every woman out there must know what i'm talking about : when the girls are strapped in there is a firmness, a secure feeling. When that hook lets go, all that security is gone. And so it was today - and chesticles tried to make a break for it. Thank God that a) it was so freaking hot today that my bra was glued to my skin by sweat ( i know, gross, buts thats an Australian summer for you ) and b) that i work in the central shopping area of my town ( i was close enough to duck out for a minute and go and buy myself some new undergarments ).

Thank God, this wasnt exactly a Girls Gone Wild moment. I mean, i did have a shirt on after all, so it wasnt like i was falling out of anything, but there is a brief moment of mortification where you hope nobody has noticed ( even if there isnt all that much to see ). Its kind of like a guy being almost pantsed ( or dacked, as we call it here in Australia ). Sure, there isnt exactly anything on show - except maybe your boxers or your favourite tighty whities - but for a minute there you wonder if anyone has noticed anything else. (As an aside, dacking people is funny, unless your the one being dacked ).

You know how it is right ? Any intentional exposure of other peoples bodies, in the aim of embarrassing them, is funny, unless your the target. I cant remember how many times the boys in my grade during high school would run up behind someone and yank their pants down. Boy-on-boy, after a while, seemed a little homoerotic - so of course it progressed to either trying to do the same to us girls ( unless we were wearing a skirt, in which case they were just trying to get a glimpse underneath, anyway they could ). And what other form of torture did they devise for us ladies ? Bra strap flicking and, occasionally, intentional unhooking of the bra. During science class. Luckily whilst seated in the back row.

Oh, wait.... yea, thats where they got me. Science was not exactly my favourite subject, so my friends and I in the back row spent a lot of time fooling around back there. Usually we threw pieces of eraser at people, or passed notes, or talked in low tones so the teacher wouldnt hear, but one day my friends L and Jay decided it was Pick On Amy Day. This newly celebrated holiday involved L reaching behind me andi n one foul swoop, pulling at the back of my bra and miraculously unhooking it with one hand. O.M.G! How, like, totally embarassing! I had to slide underneath the desk and try and fiddle underneath my shirt and hook it back up without the teacher noticing i was gone. No mean feat let me tell you.

And so, we have learned two things: pantsing people is funny. Unhooking girls bras in science class is not.

Also: either my breasts have magically grown a cup size overnight ( please God, say its true! ) or they just dont make bras like they used to....

Monday, January 12, 2009

Short and Sweet - Its Been On My Mind

Dear Dr S - Anaethetist,

What is up with you charging me so damn much for your services ? If I knew you were going to make me pay through the nose, I would have drunk myself into a stupor and knocked myself out. But i suppose its the old supply vs demand thing isnt it ?I needed the needle and you could supply that; however you dont need the money ( which i dont exactly have to supply ). Therefore, I'm going to pay you in installments - let you sweat on it a little.
How do you like them apples ?

Dear She Who Feels So Hard Done By,

You're joking, right? I hate to tell you, but you reap what you sow. How you could expect love after giving no affection, respect after years of thinly velied insults, and admiration without innovation is beyond me. Perhaps if you'd made all these efforts ten or fifteen years ago, the end result might have been different. As it stands, your probably better off cultivating relationships with the new little people in your life.
Better luck the second time around,

Dear P,

So glad you had a happy birthday! Thankyou for indulging my need to go out for brunch; sorry we got sunburnt. Also, thanks for taking me to see your neice - she is too gorgeous! I get so carried away in m own two neices, I forget how cute other peoples kids can be. My fingers are crossed that you have your own cute little kidlets by the end of this year.
I'll get back to you about my birthday wish list,

Dear Chadwick,

So good to hear from you! The best emails are the ones that come completely out of the blue - or the white, as it were, seeing as you've told me your snowed under up there in Canada. You need to get your arse down here to Australia and get yourself a tan. Although, as the public service ads here warn us " Tanning is skin cells in trauma ". I swear that ad makes me want tot throw up. But forget all that - we have to save some money and get our respective selves on another holiday. Seriously, you were the best travel buddy of the bunch.
Wanna hit up Morrocco ?
( Thanks to this post by Andy for the " short letters " idea ).

Friday, January 9, 2009

Quote of the Day

Me: You know who is a nice girl ?
3 yr old H : Who ?
Me: You!
3 yr old H : Yea..... but sometimes i punch people.
( Cue wicked cheeky grin ).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hypothetically Speaking....

So - yesterday would have been my brother Eli's 21st birthday. We had some birthday drinks and a cake for him. My neice H insisted on singing " Happy Birthday ", which kind of made my mum tear up a bit. Thats me and him, right there.

Just imagine - the child in that photo with me would have been 21 yesterday, had he lived past the age he is in that photo. You'll forgive me if this is kind of morbid, but my head spins thinking what my life would have been like if Eli was still around. First of all, my sister wouldnt exist, at least not in the capacity she does now. My sister was born 10 months after my brothers death ( draw your own conclusion there... ) so maybe she would never have been born at all. Secondly, i'd have two brothers - Good Lord Almighty, one has been enough! What if i was the only girl in the house ? I suppose i would have been a way better wrestler if i'd grown up with two brothers. I mean i totally kick arse now, but imagine if i'd had to beat two instead of one? Oh, and i probably wouldnt have half the emotional issues i have now - the beginning of my childhood wouldnt have been as melancholy, thats for sure.

Surely i'm not the only one who ponders these hypotheticals. Of course, there are those people who prefer to say " But it happened, so why bother with the " what ifs " ? Well, i like to bother with the what ifs because its fun. Maybe not when your ponderings deaths, or divorces or dramas... but what about the small stuff, the stuff that seemed somewhat trivial at the time? The what ifs on those ones are good for daydreaming about on lazy Sundays - or, in my case, filling the space between thinking your tired and actually getting to sleep ( Insomniatic Musings, remember ? yes, it actually means something ). Take these for example ( bearing in mind that each situation is considered seperately to the next )......

What if i had gone to the class for gifted children ?

First off, Lauren i would probably still be best friends. I'd also have been better friends with some of the other girls who were in that class and, like them, i'd probably constantly travelling the world. I dont know how they do it, but 3 of the 4 girls who came to my high school out of that gifted class are ALWAYS overseas ( i know, because i stalk their Facebook pages ).
What if my best friend P had never moved to town?
Wow..... weird. I mean, the girl did totally snob me on her first day at my school so i dont even know why i'm friends with her anyway ( its cos i lubs her ). But if she'd never arrived in Year 8, I would probably be best friends with a girl named V. We would have probably moved to Sydney together, where she is now a nurse and i would be working in film.Yes, i dreamt of that once.... i could have been the female Australian version of Tim Burton.
What if i hadnt been to nervous to perform on stage with my Year 11 Drama class ?
I would have moved to Sydney after high school to attend NIDA ( The National Institute of Dramatic Arts ) and, consequently, I would be winning this years Oscar for my brilliant performance in some biopic, co-starring the ever talented and totally gorgeous Emile Hirsch - who i would also be engaged to ( we fell in love on set ). I'd be wearing a fabulous Zac Posen dress, Louboutins and some kind of Bvlgari jewellery. Oh hell yes. Ok, thats not me, thats Jennifer Garner - but i would totally rock a Zac Posen!

What if I had agreed to stay the second year as an au pair ?
Its an absolute given that i would have got up the courage to ask out my crush - which means, of course, that i would now be married to Roberto the Chilean Deli Guy. We had have a handful of sweet, perfectly gorgeous, dark-haired Chilean-Australian babies. I would also be fat from all the chicken salad sandwiches i would have consumed. ( Towne Deli, Summit, NJ - go there, order chicken salad on a Portugese roll. )
What if i had been more passionate about my Year 12 Textiles class project ?
I would be taking part in this years season of " Project Runway- Australia " which i would of course, win. My designs would then be seen on every starlet in Sydney and Melbourne, where i on they would be noticed by Paris Hilton on her next trip to Australia to attend some random New Years Eve party ( for which she was paid a ridiculous amount of money ). Though i wouldnt be entirely pleased because Paris is a skank and my clothes are ( obviously ) not skanky, she would launch me in LA - from their, a runway show at New York Fashion week using ANTM contestants. Picture it .... ( please refer to the Zac Posen dress above for inspiration ).
Oh yes, check it boys and girls - I have totally brought the pop culture references to the table for this post!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Year In Review - Insomniatic Style

So here it is, as previously mentioned - my year in review post. To clarify, these are my favourites of the year, not necessarily the technical " best ". I think ranking things as " best " is, well, best left to the experts. Favourites however, are completely subjective. Also, please note that this list is comprised only of things i have seen, heard, bought or experienced for myself. ( Side note - anything that may have been released in the US as of late 2007, but not released here til 2008, obviously counts as 2008 Footnote - the listed items are not in an particular or signficant order ). You may not agree- hell you may not even have heard of some stuff, let alone liked it. Its all about me, me, me - that being said, i formulated this list for all you people, so have at!

1. The Dark Knight - two words: Heath Ledger. Wait, two more: posthumous Oscar. I went into this hoping it wasnt all hype, and it wasnt. Heaths performance is so brilliantly dark that even minor plot holes or that horrid accent Christian Bale uses as Batman could sink this ship.
2. Juno - this just had the quirky, kind of dark, not-everybody-is-gonna-get-it kind of humour that i love. Ellen Paige just does the biting wit so well, and she has just the right amount of freckles to be believable as the odd girl ( rather than the gorgeously pretty popular girl ). I kind of loved the whole mature storyline as played out by kids thing aswell. Total winner.
3. Hellboy 2: The Golden Army - who doesnt love Hellboy? He's big, he'd red and he's grumpy but he's just trying to keep the world safe. Lets face it, he's really just a romantic at heart - the whole Hellboy/Liz thing, despite being a a mixed species romance, is totally gorgeous. Ooh, and also, lots of stuff blows up and there's tonnes of fighting and cool stuff like that.
4.There Will Be Blood - sure this movie is long, but Daniel Day-Lewis is so mesmirising that you never once look at the clock. Its no wonder he won the Oscar for this film - everything he does is just so unbelievably watchable. Paul Dano is kind of a revelation too.

And my least favourite?
Tropic Thunder - I know this one is going to be a controversial pick, but i couldnt even watch all the way to the end of this. I understand what they were aiming for, but it just fell flat for me. Plus, I think i'm kind of over Ben Stiller. He has no range: he's either the sweet, goofy romantic or aq gung-ho idiot. I'd love to see him do something closer to his work in " Reality Bites ". I just think he needs to moves past the crazy faces and dicks in zippers.

TV Shows
1. How I Met Your Mother - i really got into this show this year. I totally want to date Ted and Barney ? Barney is the shit-funniest character on TV. Don't judge me, but i would totally have a one stand with Barney.
2. The Amazing Race - yep, I am still in love with this show. I know their are about a thousand other reality shows i could be watching, but The Amazing Race lets me indulge my travel fantasys ( oh, and the fantasy of winning a million dollars ).
3. Big Bang Theory - aww, Leonard is just so darn cute. I'm just hoping that at some point Penny is going to realise it, rip off his glasses and drag him to her bedroom. And Raj has all the potential in the world ( as realised when he volunteered for that drug trial ). But its Sheldon - man Sheldon cracks me up. He's just so weird....
4. So You Think You Can Dance Australia - loved this show! So vibrant, and sexy and stylish and fun. I sooooooo wanna go and take dance lessons, except i'm kind of likely to trip over my own feet and sprain an ankle or something. I'll just keep my dancing on the pub dancefloor and far, far away from a national, television stage.
5. Greys Anatomy - the season of Izzy and George ( which was kind of awkward ), Alex and Rebecca ( which was kind of sad ) and Callie turning lesbian ( or has she ? ). McDreamy was still hot, McSteamy was still waaaay hot although, unfortunately, Meredith was still mopey. Will that change in the new season ? Doubtful - but as long as the boys stay hot and the romance and gossip stays scandalous, i'll keep watching.

And my least favourite?
The Moment of Truth - O.M.G. This is just trainwreck TV. I cant understand why anyone would want to watch this program. Its basically just repulsive people admitting to scandalous and hurtful things in a bid to make money. I'm all for the trailer park trash of shows like " Jerry Springer " but this ? This is just nasty. Much like the " contestants " on the show....

1. " My People " by The Presets - the ultimate dancefloor anthem for this year. For all of you not in the know, The Presets are an Australian dance/electronic outfit and this is the song that had me dancing everytime i heard it. " I'm here with all of my people! "
2. " Use Somebody " by Kings of Leon - my favourite love song of the year. And by love i mean i could totally use somebody like Caleb Followhill... love me Caleb, I'll love you back!
3. " Thats Not My Name " by The Ting Tings - this song is just so catchy! And, despite the fact my local radio station played it about a million times a day, i'm not sick of yet. Its different and fresh and.... its just so damn catchy! Its my loungeroom/car sing-along-song. You know, the way you sing at the top of your lungs and pretend like your a total rock star ? Yep, you have one of those too.
4. " Kids " by MGMT - totally loving the trippy, psuedo-psychedelic pop by these guys. And " Kids " is getting a lot of airplay right now, and its my favourite song off " Oracular Spectacular ". It may just be my anthem for the summer and, therefore, makes this list.
5. " Leave Out All The Rest " by Linkin Park - ah, my emo song of the year. Everybody needs a soft/loud/soft.loud rock song that they can play when they are feeling either melancholy ( I wanna die right now... boo hoo hoo ) or angry ( You are all going to regret this when i'm gone, bitches ! ). Linkin Park usually fits the bill for that kind of song, and this song falls into that category. Ah, Linkin Park - with me since Year 12.

And my least favourite?
" I Kissed A Girl " by Katy Perry - Puh-lease Katy Perry: you did not kiss a girl and even if you did it was only to impresf the horny drunk boys. I cannot stand songs like this. Firstly, Katy cant sing all that well but that doesnt matter so much in these days of slick production. The issue here is the song is a complete novelty, just sung to titillate and shock. So its gets a little controversy and then radio starts playing the crap out of it. Which only makes me hate it more. I just find it so sad that people are able to build a ( brief ) career out of such an annoying, and utterly crap, song.

1. " Pretty.Odd " by Panic At The Disco - sweet, sweet pop music, with an old-school Beatlesque twist. " Nine In The Afternoon " very narrowly missed out on a place in my favourite songs - its just pure, sweet, sunshiney pop at its best. And so is the rest of the album.
2. " Duets " by Reba McEntire - I know what your thinking: a country album. But Reba is like the queen of country and she's an all round brilliant artist, which is why she inspires artists like Carole King, Kelly Clarkson, Don Henley and Justin Timberlake to sing with her. The song she does with Justin - which he wrote for mind you - is just gorgeous, and the duet on " Because of You " with Kelly is near about as good as the original.
3. " Only By The Night " by Kings of Leon - hello, best rock album of the year. If you havent already bought it/heard it/ heard OF it, then what the hell is wrong with you ? Seriously, yoiu cannot escape the genius of " Sex On Fire " and the aforementioned " Use Somebody " so why try ? Just go and buy the album and love it. Now.
4. " Across the Universe " soundtrack by the cast of the film - if you dont know the film, its a musical using the songs of The Beatles so, thusly, this is a collection of Beatles songs sung by the cast ( who include Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess and a cameo by Bono ). My pick for the best is " Hey Jude " which, with its " Naaa, naaa, naaa, na na na na! " has been the song i turn to for a pick me up and Evan Rachel Wood singing " Blackbird ". Gorgeous song such by a gorgeous girl in a gorgeous, pure voice.
5. " The Odd Couple " by Gnarls Barkley - alternatley, the album i've found myself either playing with windows rolled down in my car, or choosing to dance around the house to while i do housework. " Run! " is a great song for vacuum dancing AND cruising the streets and " Blind Mary " is just too cute. Need to get your party ( or housework, whatever takes your fancy ... ) started ? Choose Gnarls Barkley.

And my least favourite ?
Note, that there is no entry for this one. I'm not in the habit of buying music i dont like and, although it is possible to misjudge the strength of an album ( by buying ti based on one song or the strength of previous albums by that artist ), that didnt happen this year. Hell, i wasnt even forced to listen to a crappy CD by a friend - you know, whilst chilling out, or on a roadtrip - so, consequently there is no one album i can choose as my least favourite this year. Yay for my ears!

And that be all. The years pop culture as rated by me is now over. Leave a comment, tell me what you agrred/disagreed with, how mad you think i am for a particular choice, or even just leave your own choices for favourite. Peace out yo!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Isnt she lovely? Isnt she won-der-ful ?

So there you are everybody - the very proud Aunty Amy and little Isabella. Or Bella, as she is already informally called. Its not the best photo ever but at least she's awake and we're both looking at the camera. That was taken this afternoon, so lets call it an official portrait of me and Bella when she is four days old. She's too, too cute! Let me show you a close up:

Aww, look at her! She has this cute little mohawk thing going on and a sweet, little, perfectly formed nose. Sure, she looks kind of grumpy in this picture but you probably would be too if it were 35 degrees celsius outside and because you're only four days old you have to be bundled up in a blanket. It would make you kind of grumpy, and kind of sweaty, but thats not the point. The point is Bella is a cubby cheeked little cherub and i think i will have to control myself from kidnapping her and keeping her in room.
But isnt the way all proud aunties feel ?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Belated - Happy New Year!

So a Happy New Year to all of you peoples out there. Hopefully you all found yourself in the company of good people in the countdown to 2009, and with a bit of luck hopefully you got to kiss at least one of those people. I got me a little New Years peck from an old school friend of my brothers which is not exactly what i had in mind, but hey - i'll take what i can get.

By far the highlight of my New Years was .... the birth of my neice! Welcome to the world little Isabella Grace. Yes, thats right regular blog followers, the impending new baby ( who was due on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day mind you.... ) finally arrived at 2:23am on New Years Day. Happy New Years to everyone in my family. And not only did she finally arrive, but she happened to be the first baby born in our region for 2009. How cool is that ? She gets to be in the local paper and, thus, will go down as part of local history. Bella is totally going to be famous when tomorrows addition comes out! Hopefully i'll be able to post a picture tomorrow, or at least give you a link to our local newspaper, if you want to check out my gorgeous new neice for yourself.

And now, for the part you've all been waiting for - or at least, the part you've been expecting: my resolutions. I've never been the type to sit and make a very specific list of what i want to achieve. I know some people think that putting your EXACT goals on paper and sticking them on your fridge/closet/bathroom mirror is a great way to self-motivate; I, however, am of the opinion that if you leave your goals as general as possible, you wont be disappointed if you couldnt do EXACTLY what you wanted, but you'll appreciate what you did do. Does that make sense ? For example, if you say " I want to save $5000 by the end of the year " and at the end of the year you only have $4500, you'd probably be a little letdown, wouldnt you ? But if you made your resolution " I'd like to save as much money as possible during the year " well, $4500 doesnt look so bad, does it ? So, in the spirit of leaving myself open to all possibilities and not tying myself to one specific thing, here are the three things i want to achieve during 2009:

1. I resolve to continue the gym and health routine I started in 2008. During the past year, I managed to not only start regularly going to the gym, but i kept it up. I've fallen off the wagon a little in the past two months, seeing as i've been a little under the weather, but i am pysched to get back into it. And, not only do i resolve to continue the gym going, but i also intend to push myself just that little bit harder when i can, instead of resting on my laurels.

2. I resolve to spend as much time as is possible with my neices. For the record, that would be H who is now 3, and the previously mentioned newborn Isabella. I like to think i'm a great aunty ( i was going to say good but you know what ? I'm actually GREAT ) already, but i know their have been times in the past year or so that i could have asked if H would like to do something with me, or times when we have been playing and i've given up the game just a little too early. I know she " loves my guts " - as she's just become fond of saying - and want little Bella to be the same way. I want to have the loving, nurturing , " My Aunty Amy is the bestest! " kind of relationship that i've never had with any of my aunts or uncles.

3. I resolve to say " yes " more often that I have done in the past. No, I havent been to see " Yes Man " with Jim Carrey. The truth is i've kind of come to this conclusion on my own - i've kind of missed out on a tonne of stuff because i said no. I said no because i didnt know anybody else who was going to be there; I said no because i was too tired or too lazy to make the effort to go; I said no because i was afraid how things would turn out in the end. Now i'm thinking even if things dont turn out all that fantastically, at least thats an experience right ? I've had a great 2 weeks over this holiday period because i've said " yes ", even when i would only know one person at birthday drinks, or two people out of 40 at a bbq - if i'd listened to the old me, i wouldnt have gone. And i wouldnt have rocked as hard as i did! I've made at least one new friend ( who may be a mother of 5 but she's pretty neat ) and a handful of acquaintances in only two weeks - imagine what i could do in a whole year of saying " yes " ?

And thats about it for now. I was thinking of doing a couple of " Best of " lists - say, my top 5 best movies of 2009, for example - but i've been too consumed by baby cuteness to think that much. Give me another week and i might have come up with them....