Tuesday, December 20, 2005

it's official!!

yep, that's right it's official! officially the season for silliness. i was trying to avoid the xmas thing for as long as possible but its here and in all our faces now.
i am far too broke to celebrate xmas and there's a few rather delicate presents to be organised. people are going away to visit their families, other's have their's coming into town. this time last year my parents were on the other side of the world and i had the pleasure of sharing my xmas with some lovely friends. this year it's back to normal with my family doing all the normal stuff (well normal for our family).

something that really struck me this year is the amount of alcohol that seems to be flowing in the silly-season. i for one have only been to 1 maybe 2 xmas parties and found myself drunk as a skunk ..and i'm not really one for drinking taht much usually. other's seem to be REALLY hitting the piss. one friend even expressed concern for their health. it's a crazy time of year that's for sure.

other traditional xmas thangs: the beach!! seafood, chocolate, bbq's, good crockery, candles. the boxing day trip to the cinemas will also be continued with the release of the new Narnia film as an adequate Lord of the Rings replacement.

as yet my fam have not set the xmas menu just yet, but there is discussion of taking our meal out of the house and down to our local scenic river-side luncheon spot. it gives me images of tupperware, over cooked meat, beetroot stains and sticky fingers but who knows, ti could be quite pleasant.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

yoga - gemelli

went to yoga both mon and tues this week. really exciting stuff.

i've got big weaknesses any time i try to twist my hips in a bent position but i've been learning all about how to relax the muscles on the back of my hip and find that good spot. in particular we've been working on the gemelli which is the smaller muscle just under the glutes. i've decided to make friends with it. it might be small but damn it makes a big difference.

in particular we were doing alot of inverted poses on monday nite. think: flat steady hands, upper arms inside shoulders, scapular down back, long spine, then stack hips at the top of this tower by pulling the upper glutes and gemelli on top just like building blocks. it's beautiful really.

Smooth Arms also attended a class with me last nite. oh my god, i was quite surprised. he was excellent. you should've seen his Down-Faced-Dog. it was amazing!! "how do your hands/shoulders feel?" "what?? oh, there's no weight there, i can almost just take them off the floor." i'm always somewhat taken aback/disappointed when someone who never does any yoga can make it look super easy when i've been working on this stuff for 2.5 yrs now. it really was amazing tho. he really IS a natural. ..well minus the wierd rib cage thing.

Ham and i have settled down in yoga these days. much less rowdy, but i'm sure it would've been obvious to the yoga teacher that Smoothy is a friend of mine by his general behaviour. hehe. he's just too much fun, i guess.

so this is the last week of the term for yoga this year which is a bit scary. i'm not sure what is going to happen over summer, i'm in pretty good shape and dont want to loose it. hopefully i'll maintain some of it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

yoga + dancing

as i said before, jams are fun. and are made even funner if all sorts of different people go in with all sorts of different partners. i've just gotten my hands on some more footage from the mlx weekend, including stuff of some jams on the thursday nite.

it's funny even watching footage of myself dancing makes me nervous - esp performances or jams. it's like i'm back there in the moment with all these people watching me but this time i get to be the observer/critique/cheerer. am i nervous of my own assessment?

anway, so i watched it and was pleasantly surprised by it. infact i was soo over come with joy at the perfect display of posture that i had to gloat to several people (including my yoga teacher). i guess i wasnt expecting it to look too great but i just suddenly realised that the work that i've put into my posture with yoga has been integrated into my dancing (well to a degree).

i liked the way my neck went right into my back and my spine was the longest, leanest thing eva!! not too keen on the amount that my hips are moving - might need to work on some more abdominal stabalising exercises. but my feet were certainly moving fast and while they didnt leave the floor clearly at every moment they were certainly not dragging and I WAS DOING TRIPLE STEPS. another nice point was my arm. lovely and long. outstretched in a nice relaxed way - slightly curved - and right through my wrists and finger tips.

another good thing about watching more 'social' stuff (compared to performance stuff) is that i can see where i missed stuff and the lead has compensated for me. oh i love thy leads. such lovely things.

i know that i already mentioned how i love people actually social dancing in jams and specifically with a variety of different people but i'd like to reiterate. it's my favourite thing!! i have a crush on all leads that do that. mwuah!

while i'm holidays i think i'd like to get back into building my dance fitness up. esp with the http://http://www.harlemhotshots.com/en/ coming to www.melbourneswingfestival.com.au. i've certainly got the time anyway. plus i'd like to work on a few more aerials again. it's that time of year: sunshine, day light savings, no study, holidays.


oh boy am i looking forward to my dory to come home so we can make more excellent meals.

that's not to say that im not having an excellent time without her. dp outdoes herself every single time and cheeney is still iron chef brunswick. but i've also had to adapt and have found that Smooth Arms is also an excellent cooking buddy.

on friday we made an excellent risotto that would make the ladies jealous. i had to take a photo to commemorate.

this one had tomatoe, spinach, thyme, basil, garlic, mushroom and a REALLY nice parmasen! hooray for stinky cheese! and yes that is a ladies salad beside it.

bbq round up + pics

well on sunday i held a BBQ of sorts. partly for xmas, partly for some internationals that are in town partly cause i wanted to make the most of the sun but mostly just cause i CAN and i'm holidays.

it went quite well. Ham and Cheese came over early and offered their services (which i am eternally grateful for). we ate well! oh boy did we eat well. there was; tandoori chicken kebabs; paprika chicken wingets; little hamburger things; 2 x ladies salads; spicy spanish potatoe salad (without the chilli); a variety of bbq-ed vegies (including thyme & red wine mushrooms); fresh crusty bread; a delictable selection of pestos, dips and cheeses; fresh fruit; and other lovely things that some thoughtful guests had brought along. yum!

pictures have been posted on dp's flicker page. cheeney was playing with his fish eye lense which makes everything seem bigger and grander than it actually is. as you can see it was a gorgeously sunny day and the shade that we enlisted from Smooth Arms was much needed. the garden looked superb actually, i was surprised at exactly how well it scrubbed up. the house as well - you can hardly tell that my parent's only realised what was going on 2 hours earlier*. ..mind you i did spend the week leading upto the BBQ cleaning the house in it's various forms on a full time basis. and it's never looked cleaner.

there were also some lovely friendly people there to hold it all together (including one swede**). i also had a moment of realisation that half of my friends that are male are all:
-camera nerds
-bike nerds
-computer nerds
guess what the popular topics of conversation were?? ..and does that say something about me? am I a massive nerd as well?? oh dear.

and like all good event's held at my house i got to have a few drinks to relax after all that running around at the end. it's not like i can take credit for the organisation (i made a good attempt at Miss Delegation) it seems that i dont always do so well in pressured situations like that. ..and nor do any member of my family***. it's all for the learning tho. i think of them like dance competitions or public speaking - it gets easier as you go along.

all in all it was most enjoyable. perhaps i'll be able to manage alittle more independently next time.

*my parents may just be competing with my bro for the oblivious award. ..and yes i did tell them! two weeks earlier and several hundred times inbetween as well.
**sorry linnea!
***as demostrated several times during the day. thanks mum!

Friday, December 09, 2005

london = poop

does anyone else feel like australia is relocating back to the uk? i'm still constantly amazed at exactly how many people i know that are going/have gone. i cant imagine what proportion of the london population is actually from Oz. at first i was shitty, but now i'm REALLY amazed. what is going on? honestly? i spoke to someone tonite who said "just get a one way ticket. do it now!" ..oh yeah doz, there is a nice frenchie coming your way.

but then again it is 2 am and i'm starting to ramble.. it's REALLY bed time.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


in swing dancing 'jamming' is something that is use quite common - just as musicians use jams as a way to showcase their skills so do dancers. a circle is formed in which there is (usually) one couple that pulls out their bestest stuff for a short period untill (ideally) they are kicked out of the circle by the next couple.

i've noticed that melbourne has been feeling somewhat jam shy in the last few months. i'm not sure entirely why but i had suspected that it had to do with some unwanted attention recieved by certain people who regularly reside in jams. they became reluctant to jump in and others are not neccessarily rising up to the occasion.

during mlx i was surprised to see so many jams (the first nite had two jams and the usually crappy cbd) ..but if i think about who and what was involved in the weekend i'm not entirely surprised that there were so many bursting to get out there and shake their groove thangs. there was a pretty nice vibe during the whole weekend, and people were generally alot more social and excitable than usual. the perthies are also total JAM SLUTS!

jams can also be manipulated to inndividuals/groups advantage. traditionally a spontaneous event, such things are rather easy to stage as either showpieces (for non-swing crowd), ice breakers (at balls), ego builders ..or a whole range of other uses. i was involved in recently in one such event where the music was pre-organised and a routine pre-choreographed to be pulled out in the second half of a jam. this was surprising for some (esp the poor couple that got trapped at the start) but it soon became apparant later on what had occured. i'm still not sure how i feel about the whole thing as a general rule - i mean: how far is too far? how does it make the previous participants feel to be upstaged like that? what about the people who wanted to go in afterwards? what about the audience? did they expect more a traditional performance format? ..it's not like it was the first time someone had done it - it has become an increasing trend to see multiple couples doing short routines in a jam - but i think we just took it to a whole new level.

tonite i witnessed a different kind of jam. there was a band playing at our usual thursday nite haunt and the crowd was getting tired-er and tired-er and the songs were getting longer and longer. so someone suggested that we 'jam' the last song (which was a cruiser track). and i was surprised to see that the whole room got into it. this kind of thing was a very supportive atmosphere and i quite enjoyed it. a simular feeling might be observed in a jam that is part of a class where everyone was included and cheered. my favourite part is not just that all different kind of people were going in - from all different levels - but that people were going in with different people than they usually dance with. mixed and matched dance partners = real social dancing. ..and well, the obvious part (seeing as i dont have a partner for this kind of stuff) is that i get to go in too!!

yes i am a bit of a jam slut. it's true, i wont deny it.

so, how do we encourage different people to get out there in jams? leading by example? cheering harder for new people? spreading the word? staging jams more often? who knows.

my bed time. xxc.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

time to say goodbye to a friend

this household has been the home to two fine furry friends in the last couple of years but last nite one of them passed away.

it was pumpkin that went - as named for her orange fur and excessive cuteness. she was the most active and excitable of the two. my mum went outside late last nite to check on them before bed and found her layed out and still. poor little thing.

the other bunny -spud- seems fine, just pottering along. although i'm quite concerned about her long term mental health because they certainly relied upon each other greatly for support and dreaded being apart for any length of time.

i have been using pumpkin's image (a pic that cheeney had taken while babysitting one day) for quite some time now (as profile pic) but i dont know if i feel so comfortable about that now.

in the past we have burried pets in the garden and planted a new plant over each in memorial but i'm not sure what we will do now.

Monday, December 05, 2005



yes, this is my music of the moment right now. cant get enough. i definately need to get hold of the whole albumn. i first fell in love with 'cannonball' and 'delicate' following a friends advice. but this live version of 'volcano' is also exceptional drewlable. i quite like this chick's voice, it's delicious.

zach braff

i'm still having dreams about him. cant say much more than that. he's dreamy!!

ps. thanks to free to air tv for still providing my regular hit at 2 x episodes every week day. oooooh!

Sunday, December 04, 2005


for those of you that dont know, i'm a bit of a dancing freak. i like swing dancing in particular - which includes: lindy hop, charleston, shag and balboa.

balboa is a more upright dance with intricate footwork where the follow is pretty much expected to be passive and allow the lead to put his grand scheme into play.

recently i've been working on this dance a little bit more and i'm becoming increasingly impressed with the mechanics of it all. it seems that while i do tend to get frustrated with the lack of improvisation possible by the follow, if i just relax into it and treat it like blues then i'm much more likely to enjoy it. focus on the all consuming connection.

i like the fact that there are a million different variations in footwork and that it is purely up to the follow paying attention every step of the way to make it work. you can be seriously musical with the millions of options available.

i'm still somewhat disappointed with the fact taht people are grinding* the differences between blues and balboa. how can they not realise that they are more closely related than any of the other dances. while balboa might also be danced with very earlier era music like charleston, i would still make links with blues before charleston. charleston is just too much FUN. ..oh dear i think i'm starting to get back to my 'bal = boredom' argument but when you compare charleston to balboa - i know which one i would prefer.

back to the connection: while it does require quite alot of precision and awareness of both parties i would argue that it would be less than what is required for blues dancing. due to the fact that the precision remains in the same axis the entire time (from head to toe following a straight line down the spine - it almost reminds me of yoga) where as blues requires an ever changing axis that can be moved and realigned at any time.

so if blues requires more awareness then how come blues isnt considered to be harder than balboa? i think blues is a more accesible dance than balboa. in blues you can get by with a few imperfections and issues and still have an enjoyable dance. whereas with balboa you either get it or you dont - there isnt really a whole lot of room in between. and not to imply that if you can follow balboa that you dont have anything more to work on, that would be rediculous. ..and i think i'm already teetering on the edge of sounding like a tool as it is.

*pardon the pun

date # 3

well all is going well at the moment. since date number 3 i'm feeling like i've hit the jackpot.

on date number 1 0r 2 i think i mentioned something about wanting to see more theatre generally and how it was one of my favourite things to do. and you guessed it -yup- date # 3 Smooth-Arms took me to see some nice ameteur theatre.

not exactly top quality stuff but fantastically enjoyable none the less. the opening scene had me slightly worried with heavy issues like depression being tackled right from the get-go but as it unravelled there was many laughs, bad singing and naf costumes. think: scruffy art students meets local pub band ..right down to the terrible posture.

afterwards SmoothArms and i went to get some ice cream and ate heartely. we're getting along really well. jackpot.

date #4 wont be for at least another few days as he's gone away for the weekend but i'm certainly looking forward to it.

i've had a pretty amazing drought this year and typically: when it rains - it pours! yesterday would've had me extremely excited by the attentions from one particular sat arvo Treat but it was just too little too late. my affections lie elsewhere, now. shame.


i've been doing yoga for quite some time now and am just starting to move up to the level 1 class. i'm feeling like this is something i'm ready to do. sure i'm dont always have the same level of fitness but i'm starting to feel like an old hat at the beginners class.

this week samlet and i went to an intermediate class (for the first time for her, and the first time in quite some time for me). we sure were worked a hell of a lot harder than in the beginners class and back to being the worst in the room. i think our teacher was trying to be nice and not scare us too much knowing how fragile i was after my last intermediate experience. but one of the first poses that we were asked to do was very frightening indeed. never had i been more stressed at yoga. i had to choke back a bit of spasmotic demands to come out of it and was clearly in a cold sweat.

not the rope wrapped around my waist - that was digging into my flesh increasingly over pose. the strap wrapped around our feet meant that there was no getting out of this thing wihtout help from others. and we were facing the wall for those of us whom are slightly clostrophobic. afterwards i discovered that this was meant to be 'a supported head stand' which i suspect would've worked much better if my head was actually touching the ground. ahh the agony!