Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hola in Melbourne

Last night after work, Jenny (my current housing provider) and I headed out to South Yarra for a film as part of the Spanish Film Festival.

We headed out and secured our (free) tickets at the Como Theatre, before backtracking back toward the train station for dinner and sangria at Fiesta, dinner destination of the tennis stars during the Open. Jenny chose the Hewitt Burrito, and I took the Agassi - apparently developed with the respective tennis star's input, but I really don't think there was any different between the two! The sangria was great though - a dinner very reminiscent of dinners in London with Jenny.

Our film for the evening, 53 Winter Nights, selected based on it's synopsis and screening time, was a look at three people's lives after a chance and incedental intersection one night at a bus stop. Interesting look at circumstances and consequences.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Anxiety Tunnel

Roughly once a week I need to drive out to our Dandenong "satellite" office to see clients, which means driving out through the CityLink roads, and through the tunnels.

Now, in the week I started work, the fatal accident in the Burnley Tunnel happened, and looking back I think I had only ever traveled in one of the Melbourne tunnels once, late at night where there was no other traffic.

So now, I am driving out there, through the scary tunnels with all the trucks and merging, and changing traffic conditions. Now, when I am not driving very much at all, with no car, totally reliant on public transport, and have driven maybe a handful of days over the last two and a half years. Needless to say, not as good and as confident as I used to be!

It's bad enough that the air quality down there is deathly. But does the CityLink control dude need to interrupt radio transmission to announce current conditions, current speed limits, and current lane closures - out of the blue mind you, scared me to swerve the first time!!??

The intimidating trucks, the speed in such a closed environment, and the general darkness down there brings to mind rollarcoaster type experiences, in terms of the anxiety symptoms felt. You are just in for the ride once you have entered, not sure you'll make it through to the end, but you have pretty much committed, so there is no turning back now. You just have to go with it, and hang on tight, heart racing, sweating, and scared, till the light at the end of the tunnel finally arrives, and you are blinded by re-entering the sunshine at the other end.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Architecture and Muscles

On Sunday night, after a trip to Ballarat for the weekend and Mother's Day duties, Jessie and Noodle, Katie, Kelly and I went to the Prince Ballroom to see Architecture in Helsinki. Just like last year...weird!

We arrived for the support act before AIH, Muscles. He was hilarious, and had us in stitches - although I don't know if that was his intention. A young lad standing in front of a set of keyboards turning out his techno beat and eclectic tunes. His Icecream song was a winner. He dropped the top keyboard in the middle of one of his tracks, which only emphasised the feeling that we were witnessing his usual bedroom at home practices! His final song Hey Muscles, I Love You was just too funny, with the chorus line of 'Hey Muscles, I love you, I want to have your babies' very catchy! Hee hee.

The Melbourne group soon joined the stage, and launched into their fun and funky songs. A collection of new and old, they did not disappoint. Full of energy, and quite sweaty at times, the band played their unusual collection of instruments, belting out their hits in the happy go lucky way that you can't help feeling fun and silly for. Whirlwind will always be one of my favourites, The Cemetery was also very good, but It'5 was a massive hit for the home crowd!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bookcrossing and Book Launch

On Tuesaday I attended my first offical Melbourne Meet Up for BookCrossing, since being away.

We met at The Brandon, in Carlton, for dinner and red wine, and the usual book swapping. It was great to catch up with Megan and Andrew, who I haven't seen since I have been home.

Last night, Michelle, Bronwyn and I went along to Shane Maloney's new book launch for Sucked In. Following Shane Maloney at the moment because he is the scheduled speaker for our Australian BookCrossing Convention this year, in Melbourne in October, we thought we could pop along and show some support, and start to learn about the books he writes.

We needn't have worried about the support aspect, as the Trade's Hall Paddy's Bar was packed with people for this event! We rubbed shoulders with media personalities, and politicians alike, soaking up the free drinks, and awaiting the launch.

Having not read his previous books, we were amused by the opening and official launch by in character (for the novels) Mick Malloy, before hearing a politicised and controversial, but very funny, introduction by the man himself. Surrounded by flags and slogans from Unionists, the atmosphere was jovial and much admired of this author.

Looking forward to hearing him speak for us in October, but I certainly need to read a volume or two of his work!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Footy overload

On Friday during the day at work, some football tickets were going begging, so I nabbed them! The Friday night game at the Telstra Dome was St Kilda verses Carlton, and the spare, free work tickets were for the Medallion Club...all good.

Jessie, Noodles, and Saint Rhys came along, and we even enjoyed the car park allocated with the seats. Up to Level 2, a rare treat for Hawthorn members who usually get minimal privileges at the Dome, and into the bar for beers in a glass before the match.

It was quite nice being impartial at a match, and not feeling the stress of being emotionally involved. It ended up being quite a good game, and with a run to the bar for a round at every change, it was a great way to spend an idle Friday night!

Saturday rolled around for the all important grudge match between Hawthorn and Essendon. From the past few years, this clash always promises to be fiery and with a bit of biff to liven up the passion between these too clubs.

Nicole and Michelle joined the Reid clan, and with threats of rain for the day we sat under cover in the Great Southern Stand at the MCG.

The Hawks, with young kid Buddy Franklin kicking nine sensational goals, romped it in in the end, much to our delight!

Drinks to savour the win, and to rue what could have been for Nicole and Michelle on the wrong end of the scoreboard, was had at Time Out, in Federation Square as the rainless sky melted into dusk and darkness.
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