I seem to have these little off blog periods don't I? Well this latest one was induced by a bout of night duty itis combined with sinusitis and the end result was a tired, snotty, cranky me. Now I am on antibiotics, have had a moderate amount of sleep and no longer feel that death is imminent. I have achieved some (small) things in my down time such as read a book (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay) and seen a movie (Harry Potter, what else?) and played the violin in a concert (Beethoven Symphony) and gone to work. So now I am going to try and get my blog back to it's former glory (haha) before I go on a two week holiday soon. Yay!!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I haven't written anything on here for a very long time. This is due to a combination of excessive night duties and general slackness. But I do feel the need to share with you all the wonderful music that is Ingrid Michaelson.
On Tuesday I discovered that she was going be in Brisbane this Friday (which was yesterday) and I took my lovely sister to the gig last night and it was amazing! I haven't had the pleasure of seeing her live before and it was one of the most amazing live performances I have ever seen. If you listen to any of her songs you are immediately struck by the quality of her voice and the dreamy, quirky, beautiful lyrics of her songs. Despite their upbeat happy tunes they are often incredibly moving and have awesome imagery.
Me going on and on about her will not do her any justice, so I suggest you watch this clip of her that some lovely Brisbane resident kindly uploaded to youtube. Don't give up because of the banter at the start!!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
This website is amazing. Now there is a place for spelling criminals to go for rehab!! Like a penal colony for those who believe that DEFINATELY is a word!!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Now I know I intended to review Taylor's new album on Friday but there was lots of celebrating to be done and cosmopolitans to be drunk and I was just too excited!! So here is my review now. Warning: this will be brimming with over-the-top enthusiasm as this was THE BEST ALBUM EVER!
Speak Now has 14 tracks on it and I will admit I was a little bit nervous about it. I have been disappointed by third albums before when the artist is now quite famous and becomes less like themselves as a result. Well the exact opposite is true of this album!! Taylor (as we are now on a first name basis) wrote all the songs on this album without a co-writer and subsequently they are all entirely honest and magical.
She also has such a wicked sense of humour and writes songs that are funny and clever. I think it can be a big risk in the music business to write funny songs which may be misconstrued as serious, and I understand that as a result of this Taylor can sometimes be misunderstood as immature and bitter. She so is not!! A lot of her songwriting is very tongue-in-cheek and I completely love that I am often torn between singing my lungs out and laughing my head off. How is this for a lyric?
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I have seen things about the It Gets Better/Trevor Project on a few blogs floating around and I think it is just the most important and wonderful thing. For any young person to feel there is no solution to their problems is utterly tragic and for LGBT teens this is such a problem, particularly in America, at the moment. I have some wonderful gay and lesbian friends who lead fabulous and happy lives and I think it is the most tragic thing to think that some people are so marginalised and bullied that they can't see into the future and realise how magical and wonderful life should be. For everybody. There are hundreds of moving videos on youtube at the moment bringing the message "It Gets Better".
This one I found particularly moving:
Monday, October 25, 2010
On the 3rd of October the O2 Arena in London hosted the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Miserables, one of the greatest musicals ever!! Some fabulous people filmed it and it sailed its way across the ocean to my local cinema where I went to watch it last night. Wow. Amazing.
Some of you might be aware that I completely love Taylor Swift and have been hanging out for Speak Now. Now for those of you living in America, the album is available NOW. You lucky devils!! For those of us on the other side of the equator we have to wait for the actual CD to hit stores on Friday, and I'm not sure when it'll his Aussie iTunes (I'm obsessively checking approximately every 15 seconds, that's right).
So from now until then this blog will probably be bombarded with posts about the wonderful Taylor. I just can't help myself. Her music lifts me up... And on Friday there will be a very positive review of the album, I'm sure of it!!
For those of you out there who aren't as enamoured with Taylor, I apologise for excessive Taylor wonderfulness this coming week. For those who love her, yay!! And for the rest of you, go and buy her album and have a dance in a sparkly dress for me!! I'll join you on Friday.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Ash over at English Major's Junk Food is holding a read-along for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. What fabulous timing! I have wanted to read this book for ages, I can't remember what really sparked my interest, I suspect it was the use of the words 'amazing adventures' in the title, and perhaps the Pulitzer Prize mention!!
So I have decided to finally read it. Yay. I'm currently approximately 150 pages into my 636 page edition and am loving it so far. I think this is one of those books I never would have picked up if I didn't have a push in the right direction. It is so beautifully written, very atmospheric. We're aiming to be finished by the beginning of November.
To join the read-along see Ash's blog here.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
This was an email sent to me by a friend. One of those ones that go round and round. But I really really loved this one.
A minute passes. A small, hunched man opens the door. Bob immediately blurts,"Hello My name is Bob Hill and this is my wife Betty Hill. We've been in a terrible accident, and my wife has been seriously hurt. Can I please use your phone?"
Bob brings his wife in.
With that, Igor picks up Betty and carries her downstairs, with Bob following closely. Igor places Betty on a table in the lab. Bob collapses from exhaustion and his own injuries, so Igor places Bob on an adjoining table.
After a brief examination, Igor's master looks worried. Things are serious, Igor. Prepare a transfusion." Igor and his master work feverishly, but to no avail. Bob Hill and Betty Hill are no more.
The Hills' deaths upset Igor's master greatly. Wearily, he climbs the steps to his conservatory, which houses his grand piano. For it is here that he has always found solace... He begins to play, and a stirring, almost haunting melody fills the house.
Meanwhile, Igor is still in the lab tidying up. His eyes catch movement, and he notices the fingers on Betty's hand twitch, keeping time to the haunting piano music. Stunned, he watches as Bob's arm begins to rise, marking the beat! He is further amazed as Betty and Bob both sit up straight!
Unable to contain himself, he dashes up the stairs to the conservatory.
He bursts in and shouts to his master:
"Master, Master! .....
The Hills are alive with the sound of music!"
Monday, October 18, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Earlier in the week I went to this FABULOUS musical called [title of show]. My friend David (who conducts my orchestra) was musical director and played the keyboard on stage. Has anyone heard of this musical? I feel that it needs to be a priority that people find out about this because it is a sensation.
So the idea behind [title of show] is that two New York nobodies (as they define themselves), Jeff and Hunter want to enter a musical into the New York Music Theatre Festival but they have no ideas. However they decide that their lack of inspiration may actually be the key to creating a hit musical. Far fetched, yes, but they decide to write a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical. They exploit the talents of two actress friends, Heidi and Susan and create their musical. Basically they're three weeks leading up to the closure of entries IS their musical. If that sounds a) confusing b) boring or c) ridiculous, don't be put off because it is in fact a little bit of genius.
I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face, I didn't notice the minutes go by, I was inspired, thrilled, and loving every minute of it. I will admit that I initially only went along because David was in it however I am now telling everyone I know that they MUST make it a priority in their life to see this show. Unfortunately closes here in Brisbane today, but if you are somewhere in the world that you can see this show you absolutely should.
Here in Brisbane it was put on by Oscar Theatre Company, which is a Brisbane theatre company which is run by the brilliant Emily Gilhome, and they do wonderful theatre type stuff here in Australia. This was the first production I had seen by Oscar, however it was so utterly professional that I will now be going to everything I can.
So I suggest, simply because it is FUN, that if you are somewhere that [title of show] is currently playing you should go and see it. If you aren't, go and see a local theatre production of whatever you like. It will lift your spirits and broaden your horizons. I promise you.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I haven't read it, have you? What did you think? Did it deserve to win? I will try and read it over the coming months and see what I think.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Here is a musical moment that took my breath away. I went to the Pink concert on a whim last year because I'd heard that she was a 'good performer'. I consider that the greatest understatement of 2009!!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
This book was no work of genius but I loved it just the same. The character of Flavia, though annoyingly bright, is so likeable and very clever for an eleven-year-old. The plot of this book has lots of delicious twists and turns, lots of interesting trivia and delectable language. There are old-fashioned English policemen, secret identities, custard pies, stamps, King George, picturesque scenery (so I imagine), a character called Mr Twining (my favourite brand of tea) and a lot of general English delight.
I haven't read a lot of mysteries. My favourite series of mystery books are the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde, I love mystery when mixed with humour. This book is often humourous, to me simply the premise of it was humourous!! This is the first in what promises to be a simply delightful series.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
My friend informed me of this fantastic website that creates posters from famous books, they are very simple and creative. And exciting. Here are some of my favourites:
Monday, October 4, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Is everyone up with the wonder that is Glee? The second season has been on for two weeks here in Oz. I was super late in catching up with the craze but boy am I glad I have!! I love it!! Yes it is cheesy, but in the very best way. Here is the finale of Season 1.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
My sister sent me this, it is super interesting. What do you think?
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I am sick. I dislike being sick. Who doesn't? At work on Sunday evening I was looking after a particularly snotty baby and I thought to myself "I'm going to get this aren't I?". Yep. Occupational hazzard!!
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I saw this in the supermarket the other day. It made me giggle.
Entertaining fish hey? Who knew fish (particularly frozen) could be so entertaining?
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Shaun Tan (who I LOVE) has brought out some new exciting things. Firstly a book titled The Bird King and Other Sketches which is a collection of his quirky and beautiful artwork and has studies inside for The Red Tree which made me squeal with excitement!!
And also (and possibly even better) some blank journals with his illustrations on the front!! They are amazingly beautiful and I want them all. Every last one. I can't help wondering if I would draw more if I had something so pretty to draw in. I would like to think I would.
Some other beautiful things I have found recently are these divine pieces of jewellery by Amanda Whitelaw who is a Brisbane designer who hand makes all these super cute accessories. Some of them are a bit more macabre than I would normally choose but they are sensational nonetheless!!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Just even writing that little synopsis gives me goosebumps!! This book turned into an epic series of 7 which was unrelentingly exciting and devastating. So just over a year ago they announced that they were making a movie that would star Caitlin Stasey (from Neighbours) and Lincoln Lewis (from Home and Away). You could hear all John Marsden fans collectively groan, sigh and bitch about what a disaster this movie would be. Of course we would all go though, just to be sure they royally stuffed it up!!
Well how wrong we were. I will admit that one friend of mine called it "Neighbours with explosives", but I LOVED IT. Every feeling I felt when reading this book 13 years ago came screaming back to me, every tingle, every jump, every tear, my heart beat faster, I was shallow breathing, I completely LIVED this movie. Everything looked as it did in my imagination and I didn't feel let down at all. Yay.
But then John Marsden came out. He was divine!! He was so down to earth, chatty, hilariously funny, smart, just wonderful wonderful wonderful. I met him, he signed all of my books (bless his cotton socks) and had a lovely chat with me and my friends. It was so wonderful for us to have the opportunity to tell him how much his books meant to us. He was so humble and generous and I just loved the whole day.
John Marsden, you are amazing!! You're books made me laugh, cry, scream and run faster during high school cross country pretending I was Ellie and her friends. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet you, and relive my childhood for a little while.
Here is the preview for the film, which if you have the opportunity, please go and see. Hopefully you'll find it as satisfying and wonderful as I did.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I have all of a sudden become interested in astronomy. As of yesterday when I saw these pictures. Most likely another fleeting obsession... but WOW. Imagine spending your nights chasing galaxies, nebulas, comets, moons and stars! It just seems so marvellously magical!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Room is told by Jack, a five-year-old boy who has lived in Room his entire life. Room is an eleven by eleven foot room with minimal furniture, a skylight, and a electrically locked door. He lives with his mother and is often visited at night by a man he knows as Old Nick. When he turns five his Ma reveals to him that there is a whole world outside of Room and she asks him to help them both escape.
I really don't know where to begin with the wonderfulness that was this book. And by wonderful I mean absolutely horrible, nausea-inducing, moving, moving, moving. I read this book in three days, and the only reason it took me that long was because I had to work all three of them, and on the second day I was going to a party and decided to drive and thus not drink because I was too scared to go in a taxi lest I get raped and abducted and kept in a room for years and years and years. Yes, I have a tendency to overreact, but still, bloody well done Emma!!
Perhaps the most moving aspect of this book is that is told by a five-year-old. The language and his observations are entirely innocent and I felt that this made the book so much more tragic and affecting than if it were told from Ma's perspective. In this way, we are exposed to the rape, violence and manipulation that Ma experiences but never explicitly and never with detail. It is ever so chilling. The plot is fast paced and compelling and frankly, I can't fault this book!!
Good luck for the Booker Ms Donoghue!!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman in one sitting (a huge positive about the YA genre) and enjoyed it for the most part. It reminded me in a way of The House of Secrets series by Joyce Stranger that I relished as a pre-teen, Georgie's Secret (has anyone read that?) in that the central character is unconscious. Nice. If I Stay is narrated by by Mia, a classical music loving 17 year old cello player, who is involved in a horrific car accident and is stuck somewhere between life and death watching the aftermath. She soon comes to realise that she has to make a decision, to stay and live with the love of her life, or to die and be at peace.
I loved the premise for this book, I can never go past a tragedy, but there were a couple of frustrations for me. And to be fair, I'm being super picky here. No, really there was just one main issue. She misspelled Haydn. A classical composer. And Mia, who loves classical music and her cello more than anything talks about about 'Hayden'. There is no 'e' in Haydn. Now I don't know if Ms Forman was trying to make this book more accessible to the teen audience, or she genuinely didn't know the correct spelling, or if in fact they refer to Haydn as Hayden in America, but whatever, it annoyed me. I don't think it ruined the book for me and I definitely know that I'm overreacting so I will now shut up on that point. I also feel that the injuries Mia sustained (particularly to her brain) will actually require a miracle for her to recover from, but perhaps I'm a bit jaded by brain injuries in my workplace. And this is a work of fiction and miracles certainly do happen!
Overall I think that this is a great book for teens. I found it a bit too sentimental at times, but what teenage girl doesn't love a bit of drama? There is a sequel to this due out next year called Where She Went, which in itself may give away the ending of this book, but my lips are sealed. Who else has read this? What were your thoughts?