Monday, December 27, 2010

On Christmas

This Christmas was a different one for me. Not only was it characterised by constant and unrelentingly bad weather, but I also spent it at my house. This is significant for one reason: I have never, in my 29 years, ever not spent Xmas Eve at my parents' farm, and gone to church at 8am the next day.

When I realised this, I felt really adult all of a sudden. Because now I get to create my own traditions, and not have to blithely follow those of my family. C and I will, in future, decide what we want to do for the holidays, instead of just showing up at the usual family 'do'.

In the end, I had a tiring, fairly stressful Xmas Day. But it was heaps of fun and comparatively less frightening that attempting to help my mother put on lunch for twelve, or whatever the number of guests is for that year.

We had a champagne breakfast with bacon and eggs, then I spent the rest of the morning prepping lunch. My brother and his girlfriend arrived and we ate well, but not too much. Everyone liked everything (phew). And then we drove to the farm for dinner, at a leisurely pace due to the ever-present rain.

I got some lovely presents, and most of all I loved spending heaps of time with my family and loved ones. Even more pleasing, I don't feel like I've over-eaten this year. And I've barely had any drinks past the one glass of wine in the evening.

Now my thoughts turn towards the next milestone - my 30th in two weeks' time. And I haven't even sent out the invites... GULP.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On rain

Rain Drops

Today I'm thinking about rain. Because despite it being December, it's been uncharacteristically wet this year. It feels like it has been raining for a month, and I'm just so darn sick of it!

December and Xmas time in Queensland should be sunny and unrelentingly hot. My days should be spent loving the air conditioning in my office and going home to jump in the pool for half an hour before dinner. Instead, it's just rain, rain, rain; plus the added bonus of sporadic flooding and hail to go with it.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am as romantic as the next person about the gentle sound of rain on the roof, and the wonderful smell of damp earth about a shower... but this is getting ridiculous!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On U2

Firstly, I would like to thank my long-suffering boyfriend C, for going with me to the concert. He doesn't even like concerts and also is not too hot on U2. But he did it anyway! Love him lots.

We started the evening with dinner – a shared pizza at Roma St Transit Centre. I don't know why, but in a decision that I would later regret (given the humidity and distance), we decided to walk to Suncorp Stadium. Should have taken the train. Then I could have arrived fresh and bright-eyed instead of sweaty and grumpy!

Anyhoo, we went in our gate and walked about ten steps and there was our aisle! We decended the stairs to find ourselves in row 11. And amazingly, nobody came to sit in front of us! I figured out that this was because no tickets had been sold for the first 10 rows. I'm assuming that was to keep a buffer between us crazed fans and all that expensive equipment? Not to mention that we were sitting directly in front of the 'star path'. C explained that to me – it's the term security uses to describe the route the VIPs take at a venue. Below is a pic that gives you an idea just how close we were to the action.

u2 004

The downside? We were basically behind the stage. Now, as I only paid $40 each for our tickets, I didn't really care where we sat, and I was prepared for 'partial view' seats anyway. Turns out it was pretty great anyway, for the following reasons:

  1. As previously mentioned, nobody sitting in front of us to obscure our view

  2. Ditto, right in front of the Star Path, so we watched Jay Z and U2 walk onto the stage, and leave

  3. We could see the whole concert on the 360 degree video screen

  4. We didn't have to stand for 4hrs, unlike the poor plebs in the main arena. I understand they paid a lot more than us too. Well, for them it was probably worth it as the 'inner circle' part was pretty much in the thick of the action, but I'd prefer a seat any day. That said, U2 is one of the only bands I have stood for, and that was on their previous Vertigo tour.

u2 002

u2 003

The action kicked off with Jay Z at 6.45pm. Turns out he didn't make use of the huge stage or move from the front part, so we didn't really see him, except for his hat. I wonder why he couldn't run around on all the circular stages and bridges like U2 did? So he did about 8 songs, only three of which I knew. 'Empire State of Mind' went off, I love that song.

Then there was a break whilst roadies struck Jay Z's equipment and set up U2's. This took about 45mins I think. And then the big moment!

I have never been so close to the band before, and being able to see them so close as they strolled up to the stage was awesome. I really, really wanted to yell out 'I love you, Bono!' but Im pretty sure that C could have died of embarrassment so I just screamed a bit.

The concert itself was just amazing. I think Brisbane should feel bloody PRIVILEGED that such an amazing band brought its goddamn freakishly cool rock show to town. The set alone was astounding, but U2 live is just another experience altogether. You know you're in good hands with them. There are no stuff-ups, no embarrassing musical errors. There's some political stuff but you do expect that because, c'mon, it's Bono.

u2 006

They kicked off with a short ditty of a song I didn't know, then went straight into 'Beautiful Day'. It was at this point that I may have lost my shit because I just love that song. It is my 2nd favourite. It started to rain halfway through 'Magnificent', but stopped by the end of the next song. It was like not even the rain would dare ruin the evening.

Their last tour contained a full set of political songs, with Bono even donning a headband with various religious symbols on it, signifying unity etc etc. I found though they still did a set of political numbers ('Sunday, Bloody Sunday', 'One', 'Walk On') it wasn't as pointed or sustained this time around. They did broadcast images of Aung San Suu Kyi during 'Walk On' though, and Bono reminded us there are still 2200 political prisoners in Burma.

The part I enjoyed the most was when the 360 degree screens segmented downwards, forming this amazing cone. The light show in this part was just amazing, and when the band was thrashing out 'Vertigo' and 'City of Blinding Lights' it was pretty overwhelming.

The only disappointment for me was that they didn't play 'Sweetest Thing', (not for me, for C, as it is his fave U2 song) and that they included quite a bit of stuff off the latest album, which I did not like. In fact the only song I can listen to off 'No Line on the Horizon' is 'Magnificent'.

We escaped directly after 'With or Without You', as I considered the evening to be complete at this point (them having played 'Streets' just prior). I believe they concluded with one of the new album songs but not sure which, all I know is that they were still playing it by the time we had walked all the way up to Milton station!

To conclude: I love U2, I love that they came to Brisbane and I hope they continue to grace us with their presence. And I hope with all my heart their next album returns to the greatness that they are capable of.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

On housework

In my opinion, the division of labour in our household is in no way even. In my boyfriend's mind however, his ability to do the heavy lifting more than makes up for the mundane stuff he just doesn't do.

Sometimes we have a garbage standoff. I'm sure most of you are familiar with this little game - it's those times when you seem to be having a competition as to who can stuff the most rubbish into the kitchen bin. And when it's full, who can balance MORE crap on top. It's a game that requires nerves of steel and a deficient olfactory system - the bin becomes smellier and grosser each day as each person waits for the other to break and actually take it out.

A big embarrassed to report, that in our house, my boyfriend usually breaks first. But it takes at least 5 days. Now that's gross.

That said, he does do the things I hate: scrubbing the loo, getting the wheelie bins in. Occasionally he even vacuums and does washing!

And still our home remains a mess most of the time. I think this is the result of a number of factors - we're both low-level hoarders, and he has a tendency to just leave things where they fall eg. shoes, socks, magazines, clothes, books, junk mail... And then there's my tendency to just stop giving a shit about how the house looks during the week when I'm exhausted from work. So a little selective blindness goes on in our household for a large portion of the time.

I read an article somewhere that the key to domestic happiness and keeping your house clean is to do a little big each day, and not save it all up for the weekend. I'm still to master that skill!


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