Sunday, May 31, 2009

Adelaide Football Weekend

Having booked flights for this weekend back in December, in Grand Final hangover state, it seemed like a good idea at the time to go and watch the Hawks play Adelaide in Adelaide. I am really not sure, sometimes, why we put ourselves through it! Melissa had to ditch the trip in the end, to wow her employer, and so Mum and I met up at the airport on Saturday afternoon for another trip away together this year.

Checking into our room at the Grand Chancellor, before having brunch along King William Road and wandering up and down Rundle Mall for the afternoon. After spending the most money at Haigh's, which seems to be an Adelaide footy trip tradition, Mum and I had dinner at the Pasta Palace (a cricket trip in Adelaide tradition!), before some time at the casino for Mum.

After a lazy 9 hours sleep for me (on a weekend! Amazing!), Mum and I had brunch before finding our way out to AAMI Stadium on the shuttle. We met a very hungover Jenny, and Michelle, before finding out seats in a sea of Adelaide fans.

After missing the first Hawk goal from Buddy, we certainly didn't miss the next 5 from assorted Adelaide players, to ensure that the day was not ours. The goals flooded for the Crows, with lone standout from Rioli dribbling through at our end, warming us up briefly.

As the scoreboard become more painful, Mum received a gift from a seagull above.....and then it started raining. Bloody Adelaide for the footy...why!!!???

The highlight of the weekend was perhaps watching the team check in for their flight, which actually happened to be Jenny's flight. Mum and I flew home very jealous....with Tim Rogers two rows ahead our only consolation prize. We were not even quarantined for swine flu, after a woman behind us was unwell all the way home.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Order Of Melbourne

Late nights and stress, and a bit of work, allowed me to finally submit my Supervision Plan for the consideration by the Psychologists Board of Registration Victoria today...and thus, much needed Friday night drinks were sough for the end of the month.

The Order Of Melbourne was drawn out of the pack for the Project, and whilst avoiding the sections of central Melbourne blocked off after a gas leak during the day, Mary and MJ, Bec, Alissa and Lana joined me as we walked to the bar.

Admiring the stuff animals all around, we found a table for a few drinks, before going upstairs for a peek at the much reviewed rooftop. Tiny and cold at this time of year, this would be a great place an a warmer day.

Mary, MJ and I then ducked in next door, to have a drink at Red Love. Much colder in here, because of the balcony, this bar was busy and had many big group functions here. A mix of early 90s music kept up entertained for a drink, before we called it a night.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yves Klein Blue

Last night after work, Dan and I met Nicole for a quick bite along Swanston Street, before ducking across the road to the Toff In Town for Yves Klein Blue's single launch.

Having a drink in the bar on the left side of the second floor before doors opened, we then found our spot on the floor to this sold out gig. Not quiet as many people crammed in as I would have expected, but plenty of music-types, with Oh Mercy band members and even a Wiggle amongst us!

This four piece band from Brisbane started with Michael hidden away on keys to the side of the stage, before he launched into the second song from front and centre. Engaging, he talked to the audience, and had us enchanted with his energy.

At one point, he declared that their borrowed equipment was experiencing issues, leading to the rest of the band leaving him on stage, and he stepping away from the mic, to shush the crowd. He then played a track acoustic from the edge of the stage, soon jumping down and playing in the middle of the floor, with the crowd parting to let him through. Taking time to meet the crowd face to face, and belting out the song so the room could here, this performance was impressive!

Back up on stage with the band returned, they played Silence Is Distance, before the new single from the upcoming album, Getting Wise. They couldn't really finish without playing Polka, which they did after Michael declared 'ok, one more!'.

A great show, another exciting young Aussie band about to become very big, surely! With engaging gigs like that, and a national tour about to start....very big things ahead!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Oh Mercy and Little Birdy

With the office deserting Friday night drinks, I met Katie and Kylie just outside of our Project 2009 destination, Marrakech. Having picked this venue for Virginia's birthday drinks, we were looked up and down for entry and grilled about having our name on the door...pulling Virg's name out got us in eventually!

Walking down into the dark opium den-like cavern, we stumbled through the dark rooms for a couple of drinks, and after confusion about the bathroom (and finding a broken seat...), we decided we would move on for pre-gig food and further drinks. Finding Brisq along Little Collins, we made our way inside for more beers and quite impressive pizzas.

Our night however, was actually focused on the HiFi Bar. Showing our tickets to the sold out event, we grabbed another drink upstairs as the first act played, before we got downstairs and grabbed a posse on the end of the steps down to the front of the stage, giving us a full view.

Little Oh Mercy were up next, a show I had been anticipating since we booked these tickets. Their sound seemed very loud, and it seemed like our little foursome were a little overwhelmed at playing at such a full and large venue.

In My Stride as an opener, the band showcased their new EP to this crowd, with Eliza not only featuring with backing vocals, but talked to us! She's coming out her her shell, which is very exciting! Alex, charismatic as always, led up through tracks like Seemed Like A Good Idea, Lay Everything On Me, and still my favorite, Salvation Jane.

A brief interlude, and then the headline act of the night, Little Birdy emerged onto stage, with Katy Steele starting with the strong and powerful Brother.

Switching guitars, and later playing keyboard, Katy had the crowd eating out of her palm, singing along, and captivated throughout. Tracks like Please Don’t Lay Me Down and Better Off Alone gave us the full power of that voice. She played Beautiful alone on stage, mesmerising the crowd.

Treated with Six Months In A Leaky Boat, and the amazing Hairdo, the encore included Into My Arms and album title track, Confetti. Amazing band live....stunning! We walked away totally blown away!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

AIH and The Presets

On Thursday night we finally got to use tickets we bought back in March, to the pre-sale sold out show at Festival Hall. After making it back to the office from my thrid supervision session, and having my Supervision Plan approved by my supervisor, and thus ready to submit, I grabbed Dan and Mary for drinks downstairs at ...if. We were soon joined by Kym, for pre-gig drinks.

Katrina and Kylie finally made it to the big smoke in time for another round of drinks and a snack, before we piled into the car, to make our way to the venue. Arriving just as their was a lull, it was a race to get to our door, searched, padded down, and down to the fllor for a spot for the second act.

Architecture In Helsinki was actually my main reason for getting tickets to this gig, and they didn't disappoint. Opening with a new track, and then an awesome, fun Hold Music was full of energy, and led a packed multi-purpose room Fesival Hall into dacing like crazy!

A couple more new songs, including a slow one dedicated to Bert Newton, lost some of the crowd, before they launced into a cover of Teardrops, then Do The Whirlwind. That Beep had the bulk of the audience moving, the set ending too soon with Heart It Races....can't wait till they do their own shows again!

Bumping into Dianna and Amy in the crowd, our little group were soon surrounded by tall, young lads, eager for the headline act. The massive room went dark, and then with light-show backing, The Presets emerged.

Opening with a massive verson of Talk Like That, the room erupted! Songs like This Boy's In Love, and If I Know You and then Are You The One? My People, and then the encore finisher I Go Hard, I Go Home.

Top night, loud, two great Aussie bands, and I don't think I have danced that much or hard since I got old! Ha!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Year Ago

This time last year I was sitting in Melbourne International Airport, awaiting my flight for my "trip of a life time". A whole year ago. Blissfully unaware of DVT, and hanging for cricket in the Caribbean.

That trip meant that calculating my Visited Countries annual map, I got to add Jamaica, Antigua, amazing Cuba and Barbados to the count.

My trip last year allowed me to catch up with Talia in NYC, and everyone in London too. Plus introduced me to a whole bunch of top blokes and sheila's through Waving The Flag.

Since then, getting back to international travel after the DVT scare and threat to the continued infection of the travel bug, my trip across the ditch with Mum has also let me collect another stamp in my passport.

visited 32 countries (14.2%)

So much white space remaining! With my passport full, and 5 useless months of validity, effectively making my trusty, crusty, mouldy little blue book null and void, I am in much need of some travel inspiration! At the moment, it may be a static year, till this time next year, again. Time will tell!

Harpoons and Components

Last night Nikki came over for dinner, chats and drinks, before we grabbed a tram up Lygon Street to meet Nicole at the East Brunswick Club. Walking into a fairly empty band room, we watched as a young garage rock Shaman Son punished our ears.

A few dirty white's to numb the pain, we made our way to the front half of the room, ready for The Harpoons. Having seen none of them at this point, and with no activity on stage for set up, the lack of movement started to get alarming. Soon Jack come to get things started, but it was soon clear that our little band were not feeling ok about being up there. Bec emerged, but was very reluctant to get started, and revealed that Marty, their drummer, was yet to arrived. The boys coaxed her into getting started, and Marty arrived towards the end of their first song.

Having been anticipating this gig all week, it was so exciting to hear the harmonies and Bec's amazing voice through tracks like Everywhere and Faith. For the last song, Garden City, of the 30 minutes set, there was dancing and energy from the crowd, making it all the more disappointing that we didn't hear more of them.

The headline act soon filled the stage, The Ground Components were complete with a Colombian bongo player, trumpeter, Sri Lankan bass player, and loud and crazy lead. They demanded your attention, with lyrics belted out at you, a South American groove feeling, and overall catchy feel to them.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Samson and Delilah

Nursing a surprising hangover this morning, I following the instructions left on the kitchen bench and made my way to Cinema Nova to meet Jenny, Jules and Mary to see Samson and Delilah.

Having read a review saying that the opening scene was going to change Australian film forever, the confronting, real and frank portrayal of Aboriginal communities, chroming, violence and helplessness left a hollow feeling as we left the cinema.

The story of the isolated existence in a small settlement in the middle of outback Australia, Delilah is carer for her elderly grandmother, Samson lives in the same small community. With minimal dialogue, the story unfolds slowly in front of you, giving you a very real sense of their lives.

Sad, and yet so sweet at times, these two kids become each others support. Moments to make you laugh, but a whole movie to make you think.

As tragedy unfolds, these two kids escape the community, only to find an equalled wretched existence in town. Their lack of purpose, funds, and support finds them in situations of abuse, and further helpless drug use. An all too real look at life out there in neglected Aboriginal Australia. As we sat shell shocked as the credits rolled, the woman in front of us declared 'that's what we've done to them'....

Baroq House

Pulling Baroq House out of the pack for this week's Project 2009 destination, talk around the office was that there would be a full on dreass code, and that we may not get in. Being Michelle's last day at Konekt, and personally having a day at work where cracking the beer fridge very early was a threat, there were many pre-drinks had before the group stepped out.

A big group from work, Alissa, Bec, Nikki, Bree, Steve, MJ, Tara, Sarah, Michelle and I walked down to Drewery Lane, and straight into Baroq House. Being asked if we were just here for drinks, as opposed to what I wasn't sure, we were let in, no questions asked, no judged look at jeans.

Mainly because it was empty! And our large group filled the dark, ornately decorated band room. It did start filling up as we got into our second round of drinks, including an Australian Idol within the room.

Melissa finally dragged herself away from work to meet me at the bar, in time for Steve to come and announce the Hawks were two goals up, giving us our cue to leave the Project in search of a pub with the footy from Perth showing.

We wandered down Swanston Street, and found a big screen in the Oxford Scholar, known to us from Nikki's pubcrawl. A jug of beer got us through to a Hawks win against Fremantle, and back to our expected winning ways.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Monday Night Football

After a dismal showing for my own team on the weekend, and the prospect of the Monday Night footy experiment, I talked up the footy all day at work...and got one willing participant!! What kind of place am I working in!!??

A Collingwood fan, MJ was talked into going, and thus as darkness was falling over Melbourne, we abandoned the office for a few pre-match drinks, back at La Di Da, discovered as part of the Project. We then made our way to Etihad Stadium for the clash with undefeated St Kilda.

Much had been written in the press over the week about the Monday Night experiment - that it was too hard for families, too hard for fans who would have to travel, and that it just wouldn't work. Well, close to 48,000 showed the AFL world that this was all just not true. People came, suits, families, school groups, making the scheduling of games like this a real possibility moving forward.

The little family in front of us astounded with the endless supply of food Dad brought out at quarter intervals - Mum had clearly worked all day to ensure Dad was to take the four boys, plus a friend, to the match. Rolls were filled with hot dogs from a Thermos, then at halftime they all got a pie out of warm stacked individual tins. Popped popcorn was their 3/4 snack. Unbelievable!

This little family was certainly a distraction for MJ, and the dismal display for her team out on the park. St Kilda were a fast moving, well skilled machine out there, and disposed of any hopes for the Pies after a gallant first quarter. The Saints looked the goods, and put on the type of display I was looking for. They looked like we did for the last half of last year....the Saints look to be marching in!

Halfway through the third quarter, MJ said we could leave at anytime, she'd seen enough. But sadly, I don't leave during a match, not matter what...I think she's still speaking to me!! Hee hee!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

La Di Da and A Footy Nightmare

Back to the Project for another week, after work drinks led us to the very dark, and very full La Di Da. Just a hop and a jump from the office, and conveniently for me on the way to Etihad Stadium.

Only having time for one more drink for the night in the end, before rushing off to the game, I had a beer with Tara and Sarah, Michelle and Dan, before joining Rick and Melissa outside the gate, of a fast filling Stadium. Seemed like a great bar, with a decent crowd, indoor and outdoor options....but alas! The footy!

Should have stayed at the bar! One of the worst games I have had to sit through for a long time. I think one 20 second bit of play by the Hawks....and the rest was rubbish. Essenscum just ran away with it.

Melissa and I met up with Kelly and Matt and half time, who I haven't seen for years, which was pretty cool. Perhaps that, and Cyril Rioli the only highlights of the match! The 'Scum ran away with the match by some hideous margin in the end, and acted like they had won the World Championship. Well, la di da!!

Feeling bitter (!), devastated and low, Melissa and I, Rick and Tim made our way out of the crowd to the Royal Melbourne - where not only we were gutted with the result, we were smacked in the face with bad, loud 1995 music, and then the vision of the footy replay! Oh god! What a nightmare footy experience!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Psych Supervision Commencement

Yesterday, after years of procrastination since my first attempt, I have met with a new Supervisor to work through starting my Provisional Psychologist process. I have found her through Cairnmillar, and after our first meeting it's all systems go....and I have a lot of work and organising to do!!

Since completing my 4 year Psychology sequence at uni, being my Bachelor and then Honours year, I need to either study more or complete 2 years of supervised practice. This also means that I need to complete and have accepted, a Supervision Plan, with the Psychologists Registration Board of Victoria. This is the hard part. I have had one knocked back, and I have been disheartened by the process. After finally picking it up again last year, I found that my supervisor no longer had capacity.

So now, reaching my longest stint ever at one job, and realising this registration will not only open doors, but will also shore up my professional standing, it's time to tackle it again.

My supervisor has a great and solid background in clinical psychology and teaching, and is picking up more supervisees. She has talked to me about the need for perserverance, and the expected difficulties to get a plan approved. And also the lengths of support she has been providing for this process.

Loads to do. The Plan, the Log Book of all my weekly supervision sessions, and a summary of every psych related things I do.... Recording everything and being organised...not things I am good at!

I feel like I am blogging about it, almost to keep me honest and on it. Scary, starting this massive endeavour again. So much to do!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Hawks Pip Blues in Thriller

Still feeling under the weather, I got the tram in to the MCG for my return to footy, after two weeks off. Getting to our designated seats just as Roughie evened up the goal count on the scoreboard, the sun was shining, but the wind was freezing!

With Melissa interstate, Jenny, and Dan came and joined Mum and I at our seats, for a thrilling game. All swine flu-ey, I must admit that I may not have taken in the full force of the enjoyment and excitement of the 8 goal shoot out between Roughead and Fevola at the other end. 9 it should have been, as Fev's last kick in the last minutes shaving the the Hawks an 8 point win. Heart stopping stuff! Love it!

Walking back into town, I meet up with Fiona and Dave, in town from Darwin for a weekend of footy. As they were licking their wounds from our match, the replay allowed punters at Transport to live the last quarter all over again.

The mini reunion group of Flaggers then made our way to meet Garry and his family, for dinner in Chinatown at Yuriya Teppanyaki Restaurant. Massive feed! Was so lovely to catch up with Fi and Dave, and Kim, Meggsy, and Nev, and Garry.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Sister Bella

Back from holidays and keen to get back into our Project 2009, this week's drawn bar was Sister Bella.

With the growing media fears about Swine Flu, I am battling a cold from hell, and given my recent time in New Zealand, I have been a target for germaphobic attention this week! Feeling like death, and having tried every remedy I know (other than rest, of course! How do you get that!!??), I plowed through to Friday night drinks, thinking that my old friend beer could not possibly make me feel any worse!

Medicinal beers at work were taken, before we ventured out into the cold night to find the bar. Hidden down an alley off an alley, down behind David Jones, Dan, Alissa, Bec, Michelle and I found the entrance, marked only by a bouncer and a Coopers Green sign, and made our way upstairs.

Lana soon found us, as we huddled near the bar, in this funky and full gathering place. Jenny and Virginia found us, as we were scoping out the population in the bar, with positives for all. Beer to sangria, and I am sure I saw jager shots being done in our group, Jenny and I managed to grow tired and a bit drunky, leading to a need to head home.

Grabbing a taxi in a last ditch attempt to make it to The Empress for The Good China. We actually made it inside to the band room (without the need for the cover charge - I owe the China $6!), we saw the end of one song, and then their full version of Maple Leaves.

Turns out this was the end of the encore, which was a shame, but I am sure there will be more opportunities to see them soon. It seems the whole Ryan fan club was just in front of us, with this little band developing quite the following!
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