Monday, 30 May 2011

I went to my high school reunion and all I got was this lousy hangover

Saturday night was my 10 year high school reunion and despite all the ‘reunion’ clich├ęs, I had a great time. I wasn’t ‘scared’ of going or apprehensive. My very close friend was organising the shindig in question, so I was always going to attend. I had a new job, I was happy with my life and I had a new-ish dress that made me look hot. I was fully prepared for the evening.

Going to an all-girls high school, one becomes very close to one’s immediate circle of friends and by and large, the girls I see all the time are the girls I met in grades 8 and 9. My 2 closest friends in the world I met day 1 grade 8 in home room. I was looking forward to seeing a lot of the other people I’d been friendly with in high school but had lost touch with.

There were some 91 women in the room on Saturday night. They fell into people I saw all the time, people I haven’t seen since the round of 21st’s and people I hadn’t seen since graduation 10 years ago.

I learnt a few things on Saturday night:

Firstly - People don’t change. The faces walking through the door – many of them I hadn’t seen in 10 years but I still instantly recognised them. Names on the other hand were too much for me. Thank god for name tags.

Secondly - You can’t escape cliques and hierarchies, groups and labels in high school, but all of it is total bullshit. Friendships form in high school through the most random, non-selective circumstances. You find people and stick with them for 5 years, whether you really have anything in common with them or not. You’re all growing up, becoming people, so you grow with each other and learn to work with clashing personalities – because they’re your ‘friends’. You decide who are the ‘cool girls’, who are the ‘popular girls’ who are the ‘losers’ and it sticks for 5 years. The reality is, you could just have easily fallen into any other group and meeting people after 10 years, when (almost) all of the high school labelling crap has fallen away, you realise how not scary the cool girls are, how much fun the loser girls are and that you are and probably always were, a bunch of nice people who can get along like a house on fire.

I didn’t have a bad conversation, I didn’t experience any bitchiness. I had a great time catching up with girls I never, ever see but have ‘a history’ with. Many of them I’d barely spoken to in high school but at the Fox Hotel, with a little bit of social lubricant we were great friends.

Whilst I had only done ‘the usual’ uni / move out of home / live overseas / get drunk / boys / jobs for the last 10 years, some people have done some very cool stuff. Aside from marriage and babies, one person is going for their helicopter licence, one tried out for masterchef, one is a teacher in Russia, another is a teacher in a scary metal-detector school in the US - the list continues.

I didn’t get drunk until around 11:30, when my alcohol consumption for the previous 6 hours suddenly hit me. By then I had sore feet, my dress was feeling much too constricting and I’d stopped remembering conversations. I had, however, had a great night and I’m so glad I went.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The super-cool thing I found out today? Napoleon Dynamite was right.

Ligers exist. The offspring of a male lion and a female tiger, they are extremely rare and are usually rejected by the mother.

I never really thought about Napoleon’s favourite animal beyond that it had to be made-up.

Until I saw this news piece about 2 Ligers born in China and now being mothered by a dog!

That poor dog. I can’t imagine Ligers are very comfortable to suckle.

A Liger called Hercules is even in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest living cat. He’s been on Good Morning America.

And in case anyone was interested, Tiglons also exist.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Today was a great day

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You know how you have ‘good’ days. They feel great, good stuff happens and at the end of the day you have that realisation that you have just had a good day.

It’s so simple but it really doesn’t happen all that often. I think for most of us, the day meld together in a gloop of ordinariness and there is little to distinguish them. That’s why it’s so hard to express to friends we haven’t spoken in a while what we’ve been up to. Not much. Because all the good stuff that happens is usually the little things you’d only bother to tell your partner and good friends about.

Well, today, I had a good day. And the good things, in chronological order were:

  1. I saw my boyfriend on the train on the way to work.
  2. I had a pretzel or second breakfast to celebrate the impending item 3...
  3. I accepted a great new job with the blessing of my current bosses.
  4. I completed my German homework before going to class, thus avoiding embarrassing myself.
  5. When I got to UQ for my German class, a guy who was just leaving gave me his all-day parking ticket, thus saving me $3 and improving his karma.

So only one big thing happened today, but it was a great day. And if I’m honest, items 1 and 5 were really the best bits.

The only thing that would have made my day better would be this:

Monday, 23 May 2011

What did I do this weekend? I went to a strip club.

That answer provided endless amusement to my co-workers this morning. I’m not a strip-club sort of person. I barely even manage non-naked-girly-show-clubs these days. I gave it up sometime between the ages of 20 and 21. However, a friend wanted to go to a strip club and get a lap dance for her birthday so off we dutifully went to watch the naked girls.

As an experience, I didn’t mind it. It wasn’t anything like as bad as I thought it would be. I had a very dirty, grimy image in my head; unattractive women with dead eyes and disgusting drooling men in baggy leather jackets. But the girls were quite attractive and almost none of them had fake breasts. A lot of the men were skeezy, or the obligatory bucks parties and hoisting uncomfortable looking grooms into compromising positions. For me the best parts of the whole night were when the girls did some proper pole dancing; and very athletic they were too. Swinging around, twisting and performing impressive feats with their thigh muscles, it was all very entertaining and I wanted to see more. It was a shame the entertainment fell apart the moment someone gave them money because then all they did was get naked.Very quickly.

I sat next to plus one for most of it and I think I was a lot more comfortable than he was. He had been very reluctant to go and his overall assessment of the night was that the beer had been too expensive and the whole experience ‘not at all sexy’.

Ironically, the prevailing mood of the party was boredom. Post-show discussions said there should have been more costume variety, there wasn’t enough of the quality pole dancing and the house wines were awful.

There are no photos to accompany this blog for very obvious reasons.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Theatre review: The Taming of the Shrew at The Zoo

Seems an odd combination, doesn't it? Not quite as odd as seeing a play entitled 'Shit' at the Musgrave Park toilet block. Both 'Shit' and 'Taming of the Shrew' were part of the Anywhere Theatre Festival which ran from 5 – 14 May in locations all over Brisbane. The aim of the Anywhere Theatre Festival concept is to take theatre out of the 'elitism' of the theatre space into public spaces and so reconnect with audiences and some of the original earthiness of theatre.

South-East Queensland theatre companies performed anywhere except in theatre spaces – houses, parks, libraries, restaurants in this very fun and dynamic theatre concept.

Chuck and I saw 'Taming of the Shrew' by Soapbox Theatre Productions at The Zoo after Japanese BBQ. It was a really fun night. They used the whole space really well and interacted with the audience. They made a lot of thrusting / bawdy jokes which I think as so necessary in Shakespeare. He's thought of as rather high and hoity-toity now but of course he was quite low comedy in his time.

Despite the gags – which were pretty funny - I'm not so keen on the messages / comedy in The Taming of the Shrew. The subjugation of women might have been hilarious to Shakespeare's audience as mocking the status-quo but both Chuck and I weren't really laughing by the end. Nothing to do with Soapbox's performance, rather the play itself.

Thinking about it, The Zoo was a rather perfect venue for bawdy Shakespeare. Very reminiscent of 'The Globe' experience. Most of us were standing , there was a three piece band providing the accompaniment and of course, the audience could drink through the whole performance.

The only part of the show I didn't like was the length. Advertised as ending at 9:30, the show didn't finish until 10:15. So that's not late but it's a long time standing up and we both had colds and were desperately keen to go home.

So the Festival is over and no one reading this can go to any of the shows. But keep an eye out for it next year – it's really very fun to experience theatre outside of QPAC and the Powerhouse.

Read the official review on the Anywhere Theatre Festival website.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

The strangest blog that I follow

I follow a few blogs and I will probably end up discussing them or listing them here one day (I love lists). But for the moment, I’d like to ‘fess up to my strangest / most embarrassing blog-following-habit.

I realise that is doing so, I am going about this all wrong. I should create some credibility by talking about the good quality / political / arts / writing blogs I visit on a regular basis to keep myself well informed. The thing is, if I’m honest., this is about my favourite blog to look at when I am desperately in need of a distraction.

It’s called The Disney Princess.

And I probably don’t need to say too much more than that.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Grease was the word

I was surprised when my mother suggested we go and see Harvest Rain Theatre Company’s latest production of Grease. When we’d sat down to watch the movie together years ago she’d spent the whole 22 minutes scoffing at the idea that John Travolta was 18.

The conversation ran something like this:

“Kinda surprised you wanted to see this – I mean, you hated the movie.”
“I’ve seen the movie?”
“Yes, years ago. You thought it was ridiculous they had such old actors playing 17 year olds. “

And about 10 minutes later...

“FAME. That’s it, I thought we were seeing FAME. Both have singing and dancing. What are we going to again?”

I’m glad to say that even with the slight confusion, Mum still had a great night and so did I.

I hadn’t been to a Harvest Rain production in many, many years. The last show I saw was ‘Beauty and the Beast’, which for me didn’t work because the beast just wasn’t...beasty. He couldn’t be, he was a guy in a headdress.

So following on from an experience oh so many years ago, I was happily impressed by the professionalism and quality of Harvest Rain’s Grease. There was so much good stuff going on, not just with the actors and the songs, but the production itself was really well put together – good use of the set, good costumes and props. Plus there was a live band, which really makes a show – all working together to make a show that I think really demonstrates the high quality of theatre in Brisbane.

The number of the night for me was easily ‘Beauty school drop-out’ in act 2. Funnier than the movie version, with added excess and a fabulous gospel-choir chorus, it rather eclipsed many other ‘bigger’ numbers, even the finale. Doodie’s first-act solo ‘What’s that playing on the radio?’ came a close second, and that’s even putting aside the slight stage-crush I developed on Doodie.

Other highlights included the big group scenes, Rizzo and Frenchie’s selection of wigs. Though Kenike’s side burns did wierd me out a little, even from row I.

Poor Hannah King playing Sandy, did a decent job with a boring role. Let’s be honest – Sandy has the least personality of all the Grease characters and really is a kind of annoying goodie-two-shoes. Blake Testro as Danny had some real pizazz and the rest of the cast – all those kids with names ending in ‘ie’ or ‘y’ - were excellent. The ‘Mooning over you’ duet between Putzie and Jan was very funny and one of the additional songs you get in a stage-show-of-the-movie-musical.

I work in youth arts and with my work-hat on, I was thrilled to be seeing a production with such a large cast of young, talented local actors, dancers and singers.

I never would have gone to see it if my Mum hadn’t suggested it, but I’m glad I did. It was a really fun night out and I will definitely be going to see more Harvest Rain productions.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Gig Review: Against Me!, The HiFi Bar, 5 May 2011

I had THE BEST TIME last night.

Like our good friend Chuck over here says, this was one awesome gig. Everyone was in such a good mood, and without sounding like some weird hippie, the positive vibes definitely made last night a special experience.

I'll confess, I'm one of those irritating fans who only got into Against Me! after their latest album, White Crosses. I had 'I Was A Teenage Anarchist' stuck in my head for three days the first time I heard it. But Chuck gave me their early stuff too, and I love it all - not just because Reinventing Axl Rose is the best album name I've heard in ages - so I was so freakin' happy to hear it live. I love gigs, I go to quite a lot, I've been to a bunch at the HiFi, and this was hands down one of the best ever. (Well, that could be hyperbole. But it was awesome!)

Note: The truly excellent beers we had at Archive before we went in didn't hurt. Try the White Rabbit on tap, or the Endeavour pale ale. Tasty, tasty beer.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

The perfect day for a picnic

Labour Day Monday – the last day of that wonderful, extended Easter weekend – was one of those glorious Brisbane days that seem to be unlike anywhere else in the world. I was lucky enough to be taken on a surprise picnic to Scarborough.

Originally we’d intended to buy supplies for a picnic lunch but my suggestion of fish and chips by the water was much too good to be passed over. We stopped near Morgans but didn’t go in as the place was packed wall to wall. We were not the only people taking advantage of this perfect day. The fish and chip corner shop around the corner still had a queue almost out the door as well.

We ate our lunch in a tiny strip of park by the bay and afterwards had a short constitutional around the water’ edge. It was not a very active or eventful day, but it a perfect day for a quiet picnic.

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