Monday, January 23, 2006

summer activities

oh boy has it been hot lately!!! whoa, i get out of the shower and i'm already sweating, so i feel like i'm sweating all the time. my house unfortunately got abit warmer than it should considering i've got lovely thick brick walls and not many windows.

my parents have gotten abit of a shock from leaving weather like this and going to snow in europe - i suspect it's quite a rude shock to adjust to.

but nice summer things can still be done in this weather. desperation sent me to the cinema on friday and i almost went shopping yesterday to escape the heat. some friends held a traditional swedish crayfish party on sat which was lovely in the airconditioning comfort but my fish stinking clothes didn't appreciate stepping outside into the heat - oh boy, that's a stench!! quite an enjoyable lunch tho. sad goodbyes for a visiting swede and nice friends to chat with.

yesterday was lovely too. Smoothy and i packed up a picnic and headed down to fitzroy gardens for some music and lazing about in the grass. the music wasnt exactly ideal and the usual swing demonstration voices were a tad distracting but the food, surroundings and company was extremely pleasant. the original plan included many more poeple and a game of twister but this ws much nicer. ahhh.

right now it's alittle bit cooler- so i'm airing my house out hoping that it will last till the next 40degree day.

i'm starting to get abit lower on my list on MUST-DO summer activities; i've already been to the beach, zoo, jazz in the park, bike riding, pleasant park walk, had lots of bbqs, picnics, games nites, lots of wine and cheese evenings, eaten lots of fruit (including cantalope), late nite gelo bar visits, tuesday nite pearly shells.
things i havent done yet: the nite market, moonlight cinema (although their schedule is much less enticing this year)..


on thursday nite at the usual weekly social dancing haunt there was an informal competition held in preparation for an upcoming festival involving several exciting events and a much more in depth competition evening.

one particular comp was a "lindy-battle" of the likes which has never been (to my knowledge) held before in australia. the term "battle" to me raises images of hip-hop, break and popping/locking and the format of this wasnt too far from that. we were dividing into 2 teams of 6 couples and to take 2 phrases of music in turns. captains were elected and about 3 mins planning was provided before it commenced.

i fucking loved it!! i had the time of my life. i cant think of a better way to approach competitions. it was like one big massive jam but with your buddies, and the opportunity to jump back in with further ideas again and again. usually with comps you are either dancing while your opponents are or only get one opportunity to out-shine each other during the "shine" periods. this back-and-forth format with "listening" and "speaking" roles opens whole new doors for playing off each other and using the inspiration provided by other parties' efforts as the basis of taking your own dancing to the next level. i might liken it to that "coversation" that occurs during a social dnace between the lead and follow. ..just en mass

i also especially like that it is in team situations. the pressure is not on just one or two people to perform every single time and it leaves it open for alot more variation and showcasing of different people's strengths(weaknesses).
i liked the fact taht the teams were chosen randomly at the last minute as well. there was no time to get caught up in the competitive clicquey stuff because you had no idea who you were going to go with anyway. i also liked the fact that you had to make friends with your team mates just like THAT. it made for a really nice vibe. the fact taht i had some very fine friends on the opposite team meant that i was playing up for them - and the whole (not serious) agressive/fighting/ battle thing - by doing all sorts of playful gestures in an effort to wind them up a bit (and the crowd).

i think i've decided that i prefer there to be as little planning as possible, allowing people to actually respond to the other team as they bring it - rather than just going through the motions of what was planned 5 minutes ago.
not to say that there isnt any value in having a few tricks to fall back on when you're stuck for ideas.

i also think that a flexibility across the team in regards to whom is dancing next and what will be performed allows for more variation and interesting dynamics on the floor. a captain/team that is unwilling to get carried away in the moment/fly on the seat of their pants would be a great hinder on overall creativity of the battle.

i like to think that the actual competition coming up will inlcude a nicer balance between lindy-hop and silly stuff (that's not say that i wasnt one of the main drivers behind the silly stuff - but if i were alittle smarter i would try to hold back and have the silly stuff in context a little more). i'd also like to see more musicality and kick-yo-ass lindyhop/charleston/swing dances.

i did however like that fact that there werent that many aerials going on. i suspect that it would cause a much more dangerous situation than the standard competition-aerial situation. aerials in themselves are quite crowd pleasers but generally a spectating crowd is alot more diserning about how aerials are included/inserted into the dancing in a competion - there is time to watch and listen carefully during a spotlight. but this team-battle-thang is far more frenetic and chaotic ...with some couples being kicked out unprepared by their own team members ..and the music, all but the phrasing, is ignored.

for photos see and search dogpossum.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

digital freedom!!

it might be really old! it might be really slow! it might even take up more than half of my desk and give me a neck ache stooping to use it. but it's mine, and it makes me happy.

as seen at i am now in debt to The Family and will one day need to repay this favour otherwise live in fear of 'taking a trip to Vagas' ..or perhaps Broady, if we localise it.

but really when it comes down to it, i dont mind being looked after by an underground crime syndicate like this one, at least i know that the upmost care will be taken with all food preparation and the their websites will never crash*.

..although i'm not sure how they are going to transport any carpet rolled bodies on the back of their bikes. that'd be some hardcore paneers!

*haha! ..well not without alot of shouting first.


yep, thats right i have posted in ages!!! i'm a slacker.

lots been happening tho. well lots of nice summer things, i havent really had a whole lot of time for things like blogging or other such nerdy internet things (unless it involves sudoku - yes i know!)

so, how was my xmas?? lovely! enjoyable! just a nice quiet lunch with the fam and an international visitor. we had delicious oysters, prawns and crayfish with a nice light salad. i drank lots of champagne and wine. my mum made a gluten free xmas pudding with custard. i got haighs chocolates instead of stocking fillers. my dad is still increasingly obcessed with mince tarts. he ssearches them out like a predator. they have no hope of survival. to him xmas is all about mince tarts. when visitors come over he might offer them one (not to the family tho) but you might note than the one he is actually eating is of quite different quality to the ones he's happy to share.

to me xmas is not about the pressies, it's about the food and the grog. i felt like i drank alot over the holiday period. and ate lots too. many evenings with nice wine and cheese. my waist is still feeling it. i'm getting back into the active stuff again but some of my clothes are fitting more snuggly than i would prefer. and i sweat profusely still.

started getting abck into yoga. realised what 2-3 weeks off does to your fitness. ouch!
also starting doing a bit of bike riding. i'm attempting to get myself alittle bit bike fit so that i can do nice social bike riding type things with Smoothy.

speaking of Smoothy ..just allow me to gush for a moment .. :) ahh! what a lovely thing.

he also managed to feed my game obcession for xmas. after solving abit of a mix up i've gained a copy of 'cities & knights' (which is a settlers extension set) and an on loan games box from my good cambridge friends. so it's all sytems games at the moment. i'm currently yet to work out the exact rules of this new thing but i'm ever excited about such prospects.

so yes, zot and lott have left our sunny shores for the cold and miserable winter on the other side of the world. but even more excitingly: much closer to holland and an interesting/impressive new job. i was a tad concerned that they would make the flight at all but all went well. craziness. here's hoping they've arrived safely and are making themselves comfortable in their new home. australia will miss them and wish the best of luck for their new beginnings.

been doing abit of cooking as well lately. with ham, with Smoothy, with my fam, by myself. i've decided to write a recipe blog. possibly to be converted into a database (listed by ingredients) at a later date - depending upon Smoothy's time constraints. last i made a mediteranian rice salad with tuna. there wasnt a whole lot around the house but that work a treat:
-half a can of tuna
-one cup of rice
-2 tomatoes chopped
-half a cucumber
-half a dozen black olives chopped
-parmasen cheese.
cook rice, cool. add other ingredients and pour dressing over:
-T olive oil
-T balsamic vinegar
-t grainy mustard
-half t garlic
-T lemon juice
top with fresh chopped basil leaves and parmasen cheese.
serves 2 hungry people.

other tasty treats that i'm loving at the moment. is lamb. or red meat. has to rare!! thyme is also a new flvour that i'm using a bit lately. made a good thyme and lemon lamb with a olive,fetta and lemon rice salad and a yoghurt and spinach cold salad. sam serves this with a tomatoe and chickpea vegie slop with lots of cumin and corriander. but when i made it my bro made a cumin chicken and i made a sweet salad (well it tasted sweet next to the other things) of: capsicum, picked onion, tomatoe, and cucumber.

Smoothy made an excellent risotto also with tomatoe, spinach and thyme. we had issues with the broth and made it far saltier than my tastes but it was still pretty nice.

hmmm i'm getting hungry now...