Thursday, 13 December 2012

Soundtrack.


I’m sitting in a café in Fitzroy, and a beautiful song has just come onto the sound-system. I'm jealous I didn’t write it, but also happy someone else did (see previous post ‘I hate you, Regina Spector').  I don’t know who it is, but if there was a soundtrack to my life, I’d like for it to be in the mix.

I write music and play it. I also sing it, dance to it and generally enjoy it’s being around.  Like most people, I associate bands, songs and albums with the people and events that have populated my life. Like any good soundtrack, they have enhanced these experiences and relationships.

And they are mostly folk-pop (kidding… maybe).

Since I was very little, the soundtrack to my life has been quite nice.  I can remember watching my anonymous mother Susan dancing around our lounge-room to Paul Kelly’s ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ (there were many large and repetitive arm movements involved). I knew dinner was ready when ‘Passionate Kisses’ by Mary Chapin Carpenter came on the stereo (a great dinner song, I swear).

To me, home sounds like Paul Kelly, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys and The Indigo Girls. Family holidays sound like Crowded House and Things of Stone & Wood. Holidays with friends sound like Paul Simon, Flight of the Concords, and the Big M ad (“Amy was a girl on the side of the road, I picked her up and away we go, I 'm leaving home without you I know…”). Trips overseas sound like Bon Iver. Ex-boyfriends sounded like Ball Park Music, Laura Marling and Vince Jones.  High school sounded like Harvey Danger, Blink 182 and Something for Kate (maybe just a smidge of cheeky Hanson for good measure).

My liking of nice music (please ignore earlier Hanson reference) (…actually stuff it, they were awesome - you know it and I know it) was largely influenced by my anonymous father (my mother’s only record being the Beaches soundtrack). He regularly sang to my two sisters and I at bedtime, in a vocal style that I thought was purely ‘Dad’ until I released it was mostly ‘Neil Young’. Our favourite lullabies were James Taylor’s ‘Sweet Baby James’, Jefferson Starship’s ‘The Baby Tree’, Donavan’s ‘Circus of Sour’. And strangely enough, ‘Big Ted’s Dead’ by The Incredible String Band. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realised that these were interesting choices of lullaby. My sister even had a Big Ted. Must’ve been tough to sleep after that…

He also played guitar (though mostly this was limited to The Beatles’ ‘Rocky Raccoon’), which I thought was pretty darned-freakin’ cool until the 'my-dad’s-a-rock-hero' illusion was recently damaged when, while “jamming” (and I use this term so so loosely), he shared with me his theory that all songs are made up of just two chords: G and C.

They are not.

But apparently Rocky Raccoon is.

I was surprised, in 2005, to find out that my father was a music-bully (MB). I was visiting his brothers and sisters in the US when they decided it was the perfect time to tell me about this  One story (told with not-just-trace amounts of real bitterness) involved him chasing his younger sibling with a chair, threatening her safety should she attempt touch any of his records, with particular emphasis on his Bob Dylan collection.

I can relate.

My relationship with music, particularly CDs (I know I know… ‘streaming’, ‘internet’, whatever)  is quite emotionally charged (though perhaps not ‘chair-wielding’ charged). Many of the bands and CDs that I have mentioned throughout this post are ones that I now own, simply because home doesn’t seem like home without them. And so I feel pretty lucky that home was filled with such great music. 

But then again, quality is in the eye of the be-listener.

…because no matter how hard I try not to, I freakin’ love Taylor Swift.  Freakin’ love her. 

She can be in my soundtrack for sure.



Passionate Kisses, Mary Chapin Carpenter

Private Helicopter, Harvey Danger

Circus of Sour, Donavan

Rocky Raccoon, The Beatles










Thursday, 8 November 2012

Signed, sealed, delivered.


Yesterday I received a little piece of cardboard in my mailbox, which told me that the postman had visited while I was out. It told me that I had a package waiting for me at the nearby Australia Post, and that at my convenience I could go and collect it. 

What fun! A Surprise Present (SP), to be received at my leisure! Maybe a love letter from a secret admirer!? Maybe I’d won a prize!? All that was certain was that it was bigger than would fit into my postbox.  A lengthy love letter, perhaps? Perfect!

Thanks to the wonders of modern email and online banking, the only reasons I would ever go to the post-office these days is to either collect something, or to send something else. Both activities, in my opinion, are exciting - and provoke similar feelings to Christmas.

Current financial challenges aside, I really like giving gifts. My anonymous mother tells me that when I was little, I used to wrap up little objects (gum-nuts, twigs, dried flowers) in paper, and leave them around the house (in my parents bed) for them to find and enjoy (to stick in their backs while they slept). The joy that I got out of this activity was very real, as was my anonymous father’s resulting hay-fever. Presumably this behaviour continued until I got me some cash (although maybe now is the right time for me to re-discover the art of twig-giving).

My family has a certain system of gifting at Christmas. It lasts a very, very long time, and generally ends with us all sitting around in a lethargic fashion as though we have participated in some kind of endurance-based sport. 

It starts with one person collecting a gift from under the tree (a real tree, mind you... don’t try and fool me with any fake tree b*llsh*t), who gives it to another family member/hanger-on-er-er, who opens it while others keenly observe. After an appropriate amount of admiring/holding/trying-out/on, the open-er goes and collects a gift for someone else. The whole process is peppered with comments from my anonymous mother, such as “Oh, did that say ‘Bridget’? Actually that one was for Meghan/Kathryn/Oscar (the dog).”

Let me tell you: parting with a gift that you’ve opened is emotionally difficult.

Anyway…  so I have just received a slip-de-joy and off I go, slip in hand as though I’d found it inside a chocolate bar. 

One of the major things I think I find so appealing about the Post Office Experience (POE) is that the whole idea so straightforward.  Something needs to get from Point A to Point B. How often are problems as simple as this? If it’s big, you put it in a big box. If it’s small, you put it into a small box, or perhaps an envelope. If it’s breakable, there are a plethora of cushy-options to choose from; from bubble wrap to shredded newspaper, to those little peanut shaped beans that seem like a good idea until you spill them everywhere by accident and then have to pick them up while they make a sound that you feel in your stomach. Either way, the problem can be solved, and generally is solved by way of stationary.

Just imagine if all issues could be solved through delightful and satisfying foldy bits of cardboard! As someone who’s head generally thinks about things all at once and not ‘through’, finding the right box/envelope for the right occasion makes me feel like I have really achieved something. A small success to tick of my lengthy life-list.

Anyway. 

I waited in line. I showed my ID. And in the end I did receive my package. Turns out it was something I’d bought for myself on eBay. 

And I couldn’t care less.

Maybe I’ll start posting myself love letters.



The Docklands Market. A nice (if not slightly obscenely warm) way to spend a Sunday. 


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Yes, that’s a lot of dresses. No, I am not ashamed.


When I was quite little, my anonymous sister Bridget told me that I had no sense of style.

It hurt. Not only because it was delivered with the kind of purposeful flippancy that only an older sibling can bestow, but because, in my opinion, it was not entirely true.

I’ll elaborate.

When I was about six, my anonymous mother Susan bought me what can only be described as a purple clown suit. Onesy. It was a fiesta of spots and stripes, had smart black buttons down the front, and a comically large pointy collar.  I loved it. Not only was it stylish, but it also had the practical element of disenabling me to wear my usual tracksuit pants backwards; a scenario that, at that time, happened more often than not. Perfect!

I wore my purple clown suit (PCS) around the house and to school, and the love affair continued until one day my friend’s pet mouse ran up the sleeve and could not be extracted.

Throughout much of my early adolescence, my wardrobe choices revolved around a pair of overalls (a similar idea to the PCS, but with greater access for removing unwelcome rodents), a skivvy, and a pink and white striped hat that my anonymous Aunt Sara had bought for me at a local Geelong market. I thought I looked great. Hell, I did look great.  I was Alex Mac. 

I wore my ‘ovies’ most days, apart from school days when I was forced to turn into a blue school uniform.

My school uniform was a prison in clothing-form. It consisted of a blue boxy dress, blue jumper, blue socks, blue shirt, blue tie, blue kilt, blue socks and - the bane of my adolescence - a blue blazer. Sports days were for blue tracksuits (at this point generally worn the right way around). I still struggle with ‘blue’ as a general concept.

So, with all this blue to deal with five days a week, high school clothing decisions were mostly restricted to ‘boxer shorts or bike shorts’ under my school-dress, whether my ‘royal blue’ scrunchie was close enough to the ‘sky blue’ outlined in the school’s dress policy, and what to wear on casual dress days (overalls, of course!). For one glorious month in 2001, (to my seemingly easily evoked delight) the school trialed a ‘no tie’ policy, which led to such an immediate flurry of wild behavior among the ‘ladies’ that ties were swiftly re-instated. And just in time, no doubt.

It was when I started university that I decided that I would become a dress wearer. In those days (the olden days of 2003), dresses had not yet come back into fashion (though my mother’s LL Bean catalogue would say that tracksuit dresses, and skorts, had never left!). So I decided that if I was going to wear dresses to uni, I would have to do it from day one, so that people who didn’t know me (and my overall inclined behaviour) would just assume I did that kind of thing all the time. “No big deal guys, that’s Kathryn Kelly - she wears dresses”. Totes.

Like they cared.

My first dress was a pink floral number. I wore it on my first day (and by that I mean second day… I forgot to turn up on the first day.), with my carefully practiced guise of confidence. I felt summery and pretty and special and I loved it. I wrote songs about it. I never looked back.

Luckily, the rest of the world was watching (as I had evidently assumed they would), and so dresses came back into fashion quite soon after.

So it comes to the point where I reveal I spent the next nine years accumulating enough dresses to be able to quite comfortably wear a different one every day for one month, and still have quite a few left over to keep my wardrobe satiated. 

Yes, that’s a lot of dresses. No, I am not ashamed. (Note that I am slightly ashamed.) I love them all. And if you go back through the ‘Coming Up Kathryn’ archives to October last year, you will find dorky and sentimental dedications to 31 of these dresses. 

If only there was some kind of month-long celebration of overalls.




 My first dress. And some chickens.





Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Cool Change


I’ve never been very good at small talk.

…nope.

At parties, you are most likely to find me in the kitchen trying to spend a lot of time deciding between different kinds of sandwich. A well-placed fruit platter can add a couple of minutes to this process, and also opens opportunities to discuss seasonal fruits with fellow kitchen dwellers (KDs).

It’s lucky for me that I live in Victoria, Australia, where if all other topics of conversation fail, I can rely on one that is foolproof. I mean other than seasonal fruits.

My dad, who arrived here about thirty years ago from the USA, has always said he can’t believe how often Victorians discuss the weather. We talk about the weather so much that even questions that don’t specifically related to it, do. “What’s it going to be like on the weekend?” really means “what is the weather doing on the weekend?”. “It’s going to be nice tomorrow” isn’t a statement about one’s love of Wednesdays. Imagine where we’d all be if we had no rain, hail or shine to discuss. We’d be endlessly awkward and conversationless. We’d be clogging kitchens everywhere.

When I was little, I clearly remember most summer-weather small talk revolving around what seemed to me to be the unicorn of the summer season: the cool change.

For those who don’t know (and by this I mean dad’s sisters: the only people reading this who live outside of a 100km radius of me and my computer), a ‘cool change’ is the point in a summer day when a breeze lifts from the ocean and blows on over to your place, dropping the temperature by a few degrees. The climatic equivalent of comic relief. 

It’s the point in the day that you get to stop surviving and start living. Once the cool change comes through, you are free to do all the tasks that somehow seemed unmanageable and unrealistic before: watering plants, cooking dinner, strolling down the street or getting out of your chair. When I got old enough to drive it meant going to the beach for an evening swim. The specific time of it's arrival is endlessly discussed throughout the day, though it normally arrives about dinner-time (presumably for a free meal). 

Maybe talking about the weather is the conversational equivalent of a cool change. Something that brings comfort and ease. Something that makes really horrible, tedious exchanges manageable.

And if that fails... 
you can always go to find some more sandwiches. 

Are strawberries in season again?


Perfect boiled eggs.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Owning it.


Last Saturday night I sat at home like a kid in a candy store.

I don’t know at what point in my life I got so excited about staying at home, but I sure am into it. I was happily doing all kind of home-ish activities; wearing loose pants, eating multiple ice-creams (I assume that is the reason they sell them in packets on six) and determinedly not leaving the house even to go to Video Dogs (No I still haven’t got the hang of downloading things – what of it?), when I decided to take a closer look at some TV.

Gosh, I love TV.  I just love it.

I know it’s not cool to love TV. In my defense I don’t watch a lot of it. Partially because I am pleasantly busy in my life, and partially because there is nothing on that’s any good. Mostly it’s just a choice between boring reality (shows), and different flavours of CSI. And let’s face it, the only CSI worth watching is Miami. That Heratio does an outstanding job.

So I was flicking through channels on my happily lonely Saturday night, when I stumbled upon a film called ‘Some Like It Hot’ on the ABC. 

At the point when I channel-stumbled in, there was slap-tastic scene going on, which involved multiple women (in their underwear!) having a party on a train. One of these women was in fact a man, which to me was quite obvious, but somehow not to any of the underwear clad women.

But maybe CSI has boosted my detective skills.

Now even though I pretend to have somewhat of a sense of culture (please disregard CSI Miami comments from earlier), I must admit that this is my first real experience of Marilyn Monroe. I mean, other than Marilyn played by Michelle Williams (it’s now more official than ever that Dawson was out of his league with both of his female co-stars). Culture.

Some quick maths and Googling tells me that when SLIH first hit the screens in 1959, my academically inclined mother would have been picking up her first crayon. Which to me is interesting, because for as long as I can remember, Susan Kelly has been well on top of drawing with crayons. So this tells me that SLIH came out a while ago.

And let me tell you. That Marilyn is amazing. Not ‘amazing for the time’. I mean actually AMAZING. In all senses of the word.  If I hadn’t been determinedly couch-bound, I myself would have been rioting in the streets. Those were not dresses. Those were sparkly bits stuck onto rude bits. In an amazing way.

What I also found interesting, was that her character (named Sugar!) wasn’t solving crimes with test tubes and an Alabama accent like women do these days (Wow, I am really digging myself a shallow CSI grave here aren’t I?). No no, she was far too busy playing with beach balls, wearing kickin’ outfits, and generally trying to catch herself a rich fella. The dumbest of blonds. (I mean that in ‘Don’t complain if you are blond because YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN’ kind of way).

The cool thing was - she was totally owning it.

She didn’t change who she was in order to appear smarter - no way. And you know what? She did get herself that man. She even sailed off into the sunset. And at the end of the film I felt nothing respect for the lovely Sugar. She got everything she wanted - and in sparkles to boot.

So I have decided to take a leaf out of her book and ‘own it’ too. 

I have decided to start by bravely declaring my love for TV. Maybe no sparkles just yet.


 What is this????

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Orange Leaves & Cafes.


As I grow older and ‘wiser’ into my full-sized grown-up self, I appreciate winter-time more and more. Now it could just be my love of accessories talking, but doesn’t winter just seem more romantic (in that non-romancy sense of the word)?

Winter is a time of fire-places, rain on windows, and multiple-movies-in-a-sitting. It’s a time when drinks are mulled, and you can eat fish and chips in your car while you watch the surfers and secretly think ‘Suckers, better you than me’.

Summer does, of course, have its summery perks. Just a bit showy, maybe? Sunshine… exposed-skin… sitting outside… fish & chips on the sand (and the host of sand-related issues involved with that). Whatever, summer, I say – give me a car that smells like fish & chips for three weeks.

In the last year I have moved from a small seaside town, where summer meant one thing – tourists.  Personally, I enjoyed being able to complain about tourists. All Locals secretly do. (NB: I am only able to refer to myself as ‘Local’, but not ‘A Local’. Very different.) It brings us together in an annual bonding ritual known as Tourist Hate (TH). Truth be known, the only time I noticed it was in line at Ryan’s IGA… which was fine because my coveted ‘frequent customer tag’ implied my superiority at check-out.

‘Schoolies’ are a particularly enjoyable breed of tourists to complain about. These are the ones who have just finished Year 12, and are looking for some frivolity before they start pretending to be grown-ups (as we all are I am pretty sure). They are young and do silly things that Locals love to hate – from the more traditional trampling of flower-beds, to stealing my recycling bin. Which, is a gift in itself really. Because: a) it gives Locals something to justify their TH, and b) it warrants a trip to the local Council Offices –a Mecca for small-town complainers. (Apparently they use the bins to stow illicit alcohol – the scallywags.)

Winter in a beach-side town is a whole different story. There is something pride-provoking about living in a town other people pass through only on holiday and special occasions. In winter, Locals get to rejoice in the privacy, quiet and beauty of their place. A different sort of beauty that other people miss because they are busy living and working somewhere just that little bit too far away.  The incidental loveliness that is there every day when you step out of your front door.

After almost 8 months of living in this big town of Melbourne I am beginning to see the loveliness that exists here as well. Beautiful old buildings and secret parks and orange leaves and warm cafes...

But WHERE are the good fish and chip shops?


Out my front window. How can this be bad?


Saturday, 9 June 2012

I hate you Regina Spector (not really).


A while back I went into JB HiFi in Geelong, in the hopes of finding a particular song to play at my Grandma’s 80th birthday party. After a quick and unsuccessful search through the shelves and computer-system for Glenn Miller’s ‘I Dream of Genie with the Light Brown Hair’, the kind store-person directed me to the Geelong Regional Library.

I liked that very much.           

It reminded me of a scene I saw in TV show, where one of the characters joked that technology was cyclical. And perhaps it’s true. And maybe the way we access music, like climate change, is cyclical (KIDDING). Maybe after iCloud comes (L)iBrary.

I love CDs. This fact, combined with an unfortunate lack of knowledge regarding ‘downloading’ and ‘streaming’, means that I have a modest but satisfying CD collection. I keep them in my lounge-room in a CD rack, which I found (after much searching through furniture/CD/music shops) at Ikea. Ikea is apparently the only modern establishment that still sells CD racks. Maybe I need to move to Sweden – I think we’d get along.

Just like my Grandma, I am slightly wary of computers. Now that I have this very small computer due to leaving my larger one on the roof of my car (see a previous blog-post for details) I am even more wary of storing precious things like music onto it.

But mainly I just don’t like the idea of ‘downloading’ or ‘streaming’ music. I don’t want to ‘stream’ music. I want to listen to it (yes, you may be picking up on my aforementioned lack of understanding about the whole ‘streaming’ thing). But still, I just want to listen, and hate the person who wrote those amazing songs for the simple fact that I didn’t write them. I hate you Regina Spector (not really).

I know it sounds like I am trying to demonstrate that I am ‘above’ downloading. It sounds like I am taking the musical higher ground. (Actually, it probably just sound like I hate lovely songwriters for no good reason). But that’s not what it is (the no-good-reason-hating part is true…). I am pretty what it is, is actually a deep-seeded selfishness that presents itself in the form of not wanting to share music.

And by ‘share music’, I mean share my music. I am quite happy to share yours.

As I have articulated and inferred to in many previous bloggy posts - I am an unacceptably and outrageously sentimental loser. Nobody is as sentimental as me. I can form the same degree of attachment to my grandma’s old necklace as to the egg-cup I bought at the op-shop yesterday. 

And I mean this in a good way Grandma (who am I kidding my Grandma does not read my blog).

Basically, I don’t even want you to borrow my CDs because you might try and burn them. Again, not because of copyright stuff. Copyright Shmopyright.

Basically… I don’t think you deserve it.

I just don’t think that you have the right kinds of happy-feelings when you hear those songs. I don’t think should get to ‘own’ it without also getting the cracked CD case that is cracked because you left it on the roof of my car outside JB HiFi. I don’t think you have the right kind of story to ensure that you love the CD like it your own puppy/baby/Macbook Air.

Yes, I know. It’s good to share music. Michael Franti is right – everyone deserves it. But still I can’t shake this selfish feeling.

I could console myself in knowing that if you take my music, then I become part of the story of ‘you and the music’. I.e. ‘That time Kathryn lent me this amazing CD and it changed my life and I am now a better and more sentimental loser because of it all”.

But I don’t. Sorry. 


The Elwood Market last weekend. Best honey-joys of my life. 50 cents each! Thank you Elwood.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Under Sleep.


This morning I got up at 4am to catch an early flight, and now I am a little scared of myself. Because past experience of tired-me, says I am a loaded cannon. A loose fire-arm. A whole host of gun-related analogies.

Because when I Under Sleep I do lots of stupid things, which I will discuss further in a sec.

Sometimes I don’t even realise I’ve Under Slept it can creep up so gradually. A second hot-chocolate here, an accidental episode of ABC’s ‘Model Agency’ there, and next thing you know you’re seriously wondering how come that German model doesn’t just RELAX, when what you should be wondering is how you will pretend to be a normal, awake grown-up tomorrow.

Luckily the ‘stupid things’ (mentioned above) come with their own 'thought-clues', which I believe are designed to help me recognise Under Sleep.  And over time I have come to acknowledge these thought-clues as old friends, and to greet them knowingly upon their arrival in my head (which is always unannounced and awkward - like when your boss dresses as Santa to the office Christmas party).

Typical 'thought-clues' can include:

  1. ‘Where did all of these bruises/scratches/grazes come from?’
Answer: All the things I have recently started absent-mindedly walking into.
  1. ‘Gosh, I certainly have been dropping lots of things lately.’
This has in the past included (but has certainly not been limited to) alcoholic beverages, anything glass, other peoples’ wedding rings.
  1. ‘Where did I leave my phone/keys/wallet/coffee/laptop/car?
Answer: fridge/medicine-cabinet/roof of my car (usually that last one).
  1. ‘I can see that it’s not that funny, but I am giggling anyway’.
This one can be quite pleasant for observers- particularly good for the self-esteem of those in my life prone to telling poor-quality jokes.
  1.  ‘That’s certainly not how it sounded in my head’
[Insert any number of accidentally offensive comments here.]

I like to think that these thought-clues provide an opportunity for me to rectify the problem before something really really bad happens. And by ‘really really bad’, I mean an above-average amount of accidental self-harm, or the loss of all my friends through super-annoying and clumsy wedding-ring-dropping behaviour.

And now to bed.


The brownie I bought myself after a particularly unfortunate bout of Under Sleep - when the bocconcini in my salad turned out to be... quail eggs. 



Monday, 7 May 2012

How Many Foods Can You Cook in a Wok?


So this week I got a job. It’s a job that sounds cool. It’s near my house and in the morning when I walk there I’ll buy coffee from a cute café where the barista wears hawaiian shirts.

I start my job in two weeks, which gives me a lot of time prepare, and also a lot of time to purchase things I don’t yet have the money for. Also, it provides me with two weeks of actual holidays to spend doing holiday-things, without having to write job-applications. After this next two weeks, holidays will be a commodity to be nurtured and treated sensibly. Like bank accounts. Or puppies.

When I was little, holidays were exciting, magical, and most importantly happened four times every year. Both my anonymous parents were teachers, and so their holidays coincided with mine. At the time, I didn’t realise their occupation was the reason for our ability to take family holidays. To me, it seemed infinitely sensible that the world just stops four times a year, so that everyone can be with their families and eat ice-cream (never mind the people who serve the ice-cream… maybe my family’s holidays were somehow staggered with theirs').

It certainly never occurred to me that when I grew up I might not get my four designated holidays per year.

It seemed (read ‘seems’) insane.

When I was growing up, my family spent many of our holidays camping in various coastal towns. As mentioned previously, most my memories from these events revolve around ice-cream. Also disagreements of which foods can be cooked in a wok (not as many as you think, Dad), and disagreements over the rules of Gin Rummy. Our last family holiday began with my wok-loving father putting up metal tent-poled in a lightning storm (while my mother and two sisters cried at him from the car), and ended with some unpleasant (and lasting) tension between my anonymous sister Bridget and I regarding ‘Who left the tent open in the rain?’ (and I swear it was probably not me. Plus, the Tarago was a pretty sweet second-choice sleeping option, in my opinion). Anyway.

When I got a little older, I realised that only The Lucky Ones; school-teachers, get four holidays per year. Meanwhile, other perfectly good grown-ups make do with much less. It is my believe that the doctors, administrative workers, engineers, council workers, draftsmen and hawaiian shirted baristas that I know all work quite hard too. They suffer the same three-thirty-itis as teachers. They know the pull of the Freddo fundraising box (and have had to live through the twenty-cent price increase) the same as teachers.

And yet, when it comes to having time out to eat ice-cream and cook wok-food, these poor plebs are annually under-compensated.

After some caffeine fuelled thought (the most reasonable kind), I have decided that there ought to some kind of dramatic Holiday Uprising. A ‘Huprising’, if you will. I will lead it through the powers of this blog (with my eleven ‘followers’ in tow), and you can join if you like. We'll can Hawaiian Shirts (Up for discussion).

Hmm. It comes to mind that I have a lot of friends who are teachers. Also more family members who are teachers than who aren’t. Also, I think at least five of my eleven ‘followers’ are teachers.

But I reckon together we could take em’.


Another potential Huprising outfit that I found in a sewing magazine. Seems like it'd be good for all ages. And would also work at bedtime. 




Friday, 6 April 2012

The Soggy Weetbix of Opinions.


You may have noticed that many of my blog posts have taken a distinct ‘Here’s something silly that happened to me’ flavour. This happens quite often, because this happens quite often.

A lot of the time it’s easier to write about ‘things that happen’, rather than things that I think about things/incidents/animals/foods in a broader sense. Because as hard as you might try, you can’t disagree with me about things that happened to me unless you were there (which I don’t think you were. And even if you were, I doubt that you read this blog).

So that brings me to my belief that a fear of sharing one’s opinion has two folds.

Fold 1. Fear that the opinion may be ill informed and wrong wrong wrong.

Fold 2. Fear that the opinion-ee won’t agree with the opinion at hand, and won’t want to be sit with you on the bus anymore (or equivalent).

But that’s a bit of a cop out really isn’t it? One can’t live one’s life keeping their mouth shut. How would they get food in there? And really, no one wants to sit at the back of the bus with someone who has nothing to say. That would be boring and weird (unless you a stranger to me, and then they should ALWAYS keep your mouth shut).

My nerdy, opinionated freind Wikipedia just today defined ‘opinion’ as ‘a subjective belief, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts’. My subjective emotional belief based on these of these wiki-facts, is that this is quite interesting.

Facts huh? Does this mean I would be wisest to have ALL the facts when I decide to have an opinion? Otherwise I could potentially make an opinion-ass of myself.

And if so, than it should only be on very special, rare occasions that I have any opinion at all.  And only after extensive and expensive research done by university students in white coats (and not the ones who stand behind the make-up counter at Myer).  And if not, than any old person can have any old soggy-weetbix opinion about anything that they know something, or nothing, about.

Cool!

But… I don’t want to have a soggy weetbix, ill-thought-out opinions. I only want the best ones. I want to have crunchy-muesli-with-fruit-and-nuts sort of opinions! I guess for now, while I can’t afford to pay university students to undertake extensive and expensive trials, all I can do is try and get react to the most factual facts, and try not to make an opinion ass of myself. And hopefully you’ll still want to sit with me on the bus (or equivilant).

My unreliable internet wouldn't allow me to upload a picture, so I will describe it for you. This picture (not attached) was found in a sewing magazine, of a pyjama-clad family. The father, who is reasonable attractive, is wearing pyjamas with puppies on them. Presumably the wife is disappointed with this turn of events, which one can only assume occurred began when she started sewing the family's pyjamas (or he did). So no-one can really be sure who's to blame.'








Saturday, 31 March 2012

Coffee, The Cafe & Me.

Note that this will be a short post, but its subject is very close to my heart.

I love cafes. I love them. They’re like your home, but with more people that you don’t know, and even some who are paid to bring you delicious food. Cafes have a great number of uses - as places to consume, places to rest, and landmarks for navigation.

Here are the Top 10 things that I like most about cafes:

  1. When you have a ‘usual’ on the second visit (but not in an embarrassing ‘You must have no life because you were here at 10.30am yesterday’ kind of way) ~ Moby Torquay
  2. When surprise chocolate turns up with your coffee ~ Coko Black, Royal Arcade, Melbourne
  3. When, by chance, you get the squishy bench-seat rather than the hard seat ~ Sticks & Grace, Geelong.
  4. When the staff don’t just know your ‘usual’ and you’re name, but could, if required, list the top three things going on in your life (other than coffee) ~ Soul Fuel, Torquay
  5. When you can walk into the place and bump into more than three people that you really quite like, and some that you think you know but actually just look familiar because they hang out at the same cafe ~ Swell, Jan Juc.
  6. When other customers walk in and order amusing things like ‘A foccata and a normal coffee’ ~ Hoots, Winchelsea.
  7. When you take a friend to a great café that you can claim ‘I found it first’ ~ Slow Poke, Fitzroy
  8. When the place has the most amazing strawberry cheesecake of all time ~ Vegie Bar, Fitzroy (I know that this isn’t a café, but I believe the amazing-ness of this cake blurs all boundaries of reason… all boundaries of my reason anyway)
  9. When they have the Irrewarra fruit toast (because I just don’t want to ever eat any other kind of fruit toast and don’t try and convince me otherwise) ~ Dariwell Farm, Highton
  10. When the staff call you ‘Babe’ (Because this is something I will NEVER be able to get away with). – The Delicatessen on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy near that cool flower shop with the spinny flower.
I have recently decided to drop back to one coffee a day, which has given me more time to reflect on what I like (and am missing) about cafes. I guess I could just go anyway... does anyone know if they serve other drinks too?


Here are some more shoes I'll be selling at the Fitzroy Market on Saturday 21 April. AND, you should also come see me play guitar and sing at the same time this WEDNESDAY 4 APRIL at Libation in Fitzroy.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Wisdom Teeth.

I have been endeavoring to write my blog every Thursday. And now it’s Friday and now I’m not quite sure what happened to yesterday’s blog promise.

I have high regard from people who can be reasonable and efficient 24 hours every day. You know, the kind of people that puts CDs back in the right case. In a work setting, I would say I am very well able to utilise my time and energy very effectively. When I come home, however, it’s another story.

A few years ago, my dentist informed me that I needed to have my wisdom teeth taken out. As a working adult, I found this to be slightly inconvenient.  As an optimist, I decided to ask my new boyfriend-at-the-time (BATT) to take me to the dentist. It didn’t occur to me to ask my mum, but in hind-sight, I’d say that getting your wisdom teeth out is probably more of a mum-job. My plan was that once getting-my-wisdom-teeth-out was out of the way, we could have a Fun Day Out.

So we got to the dental surgery about 10am. All going well. I remember getting an injection, and then my whole mouth going very numb. The next hour or two was spent thinking to myself ‘Did I feel that? I think I can feel that? Does that hurt? … no.. yes?, as well as trying not to sneeze. And after that I had no wisdom teeth.

When BATT came to pick me up after the surgery, all was still going well. My mouth was numb and I was happy. My plan for having a Fun Day Out was still on track. It was pretty much the perfect day - until blood started dripping out of my mouth.

This was probably a low point in the day to be honest. In Twilight, they somehow make the blood thing not-so-gross. But it is. Especially when your face is so numb that you can’t feel it dripping down your chin. BATT sweetly suggested that he take me home but I wasn’t ready for my Fun Day Out to end, and so grabbed a couple of napkins and stubbornly continued Having Fun.

I wasn’t too long into the Having Fun, when the anesthetic started to wear off. My happy numbness was replaced by a sad, sad, painful sadness. BATT sweetly suggested again that he take me home, and this time I couldn’t deny it. Fun Day Out was over.

So once I was tucked unglamorously into bed (again, really a mum-job), BATT went back to his home and I ‘rested’. By ‘rested’, I mean that I lay in bed with an enormous migraine, presumably brought on by a mixture of over-activity and anesthetic. I tried calling my sister, but in my state I decided my phone was broken. In hindsight, I realise it was me that was broken.

After a while of lying in my bed in pain, with my not-broken phone next to me, I began to wonder what on earth I was going to do. Survival mode, I think this is called. Feeling clever, I suddenly remembered the little jar of Tiger Balm that dad had put in my Christmas stocking many, many years earlier (because when isn’t pain-relieving balm a good Christmas gift?). I was pretty sure I’d seen it floating around my apartment somewhere, and so crawled out of bed to find it, and eventually did.

Not being quite sure what to do with Tiger Balm, I put a tiny bit on my temples. When nothing happened straight away, I made the executive decision to smear a whole lot of it on my face. Let me be clear – smearing a whole lot of Tiger Balm on your face is SUCH A BAD IDEA. It was like someone had splashed boiling coffee directly onto my face. I called my oldest sister (apparently my phone wasn’t broken) who calmly advised me “Kathryn!! Wash it off! Wash it off!”.  Before I did though, the pain began fading into a pleasant numbness that distracted me from the migraine. And so I smeared on some more.

(I’m almost finished I promise).

BATT called me on my not broken phone and suggested he bring over some dinner. Having a mouth full of gore and gauze, I decided what I needed was fish and chips and so spent the next three hours sucking on chips until they devolved.

And to be honest, I would say that those fish and chips were the best part of my day. I guess what I’m saying is that so long as the important things get done, I’m cool with not putting CDs back in the right cover.


A beautiful rooftop view in Fitzroy.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Bacon & Eggs


I’m not sure when I decided to take an educational slant to this blog. But regardless, I am going to make you LEARN. Mwahahahahahaaaa…

Aaaaanywho. After a brief and factually deficient conversation with a couple of friends last night, I have decided to dedicate this blog to the subject of eggs. Because that’s always going to be a crowd pleaser, am I right?

A special thank you to goes out to The Internet and associated experts (egg-sperts!? Sorry...) for providing all factual facts in this post. My own, less-factual remarks are the ill-informed ones underneath.

WARNING!
Even though you might eat them for breakfast, and sometimes they come with delicious bacon, the actual ‘making of an egg’ process is ‘gross’. So probably don’t read about it WHILE eating eggs. Muesli in fine.  Bacon is always fine.

HOW TO MAKE AN EGG, IN FIVE EASY STEPS.

STEP 1: Yolky Goodness

Experts think: "An egg starts as an egg yolk inside a hen, which is produced by the hen's ovary in a process called ovulation."

I think: I guess this resolves the question of ‘what came first’, but I think there are a few things here that remain to be explained. Like, why is the yolk orange? Is there some kind of orange-enzyme that are common to egg-yolks, orange juice and cheezles? And if so, how come they all taste so different, and yet all are delicious with bacon?

STEP 2: Fertilisation
Experts think: "The yolk is released into a long, spiraling tube in the hen's reproductive system, where it can be fertilized by a sperm."
I think: This makes a little more sense… except for the bit about the ‘spiraling tube’. How spirally are we talking here? Spirally as in… one of those silly straws that go around your eyes; but get clogged really easily because they are too thick on the inside - in order to be structurally sound? And if so, how does the yolk get through such a thin tube, when banana smoothies cannot?
STEP 3: The Egg White
Experts think: "The yolk continues down the oviduct (whether or not it is fertilised) and is covered with a membrane structural fibers, and layers of albumin (the egg white)."
I think: So the egg yolk is kicking along down the silly straw tube, just hanging out and BAM!, gets covered in these grossly ambiguous “fibers”. I don’t think that I would like to be covered in fibers.
STEP 4: Chalazae…
Experts think: "As the egg goes down through the oviduct, it is continually rotating within the spiraling tube. This movement twists the structural fibers (called the chalazae), which form rope-like strands that anchor the yolk in the thick egg white."
I think:  This is an impressive word don’t you think? “Chalazae”. It kind of sounds like a perfume. In the Chalazae-Perfum advertisement, I imagine there would be some kind of scantily clad, Kate Moss look-alike, casually reclining in its coop, seductively looking into the camera and saying, in a fake-French accent “Chalazae…”.  I would totally buy that.

STEP 5: The Eggshell
Experts think: "The eggshell is deposited around the egg in the lower part of the oviduct of the hen, just before it is laid. The shell is made of calcite, a crystalline form of calcium carbonate. This entire trip through the oviduct takes about one day."
I think: This is the bit that BLOWS MY MIND. So basically all these other things happen, including this, in ONE DAY. This is a lot to achieve, don’t you think? And seriously, the shell is so hard! Imagine if we could harness that egg-shell hardening enzyme. We could use it for all kinds of amazing technologies! Like… instead of cement in houses, or… to put people into space. I’m not sure how that would work.
Aaaanywho... the moral of my story is definitely unclear. I have talked a lot about chickens and eggs (and resolved the age old mystery of which came first, not bad for a weekly blog), and also made a lot of comments about silly straws and bacon.
Consider yourself educated.
Once again, a special 'thank you' to The Internet, particularly this website: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/birds/info/chicken/egg.shtml.


Proof that I have seen chickens before.


Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Second Person

Writing about yourself is a hard thing to do.  It’s not so hard in blog-form. In a blog, you can basically share any kind of information you want, i.e. "things to do this week", and general musings about your love for cups of tea. What's great is, no one gives you any kind of score or assessment at the end (unless you count the number of people who ‘like’ you on facebook, or your number of followers. Which I don’t, for self preservation purposes).

Writing about yourself in job-application-form, however, is a whole ‘nother ball-game. Rather than self-deprecating nonsense, job applications are serious businesses. So much so that you probably couldn’t even get away with writing non-words like ‘nother’. 

And you probably shouldn’t either.

So you might have guessed that I am the ‘you’ in this situation. Yes, currently I am going through the tedious process applying for jobs in the hope that someone will employ me (please).

The difference between this blog and job applications (other than I shouldn't spend too much time writing about tea, and that non-words are unacceptable) is that I also can’t refer to myself in the second-person (I have no idea if this is the right term).

In any case, I think that referring to myself in second-person is a great idea. Here's why.

Rather than writing “I am probably the best communicator the world has seen”, I could write “Kathryn Kelly is probably the best communicator the world has seen”. Benefits include...

1) it sounds like someone else wrote it, a fan of some kind?
2) it begs the question 'should she come with a promotional poster and/or video-clip?' and
3) it reads like a newspaper headline, i.e. “Kathryn Kelly, The Best Communicator the World Has Seen?”

Perhaps I could also consider writing a song, or a poem to impress potential job-holders (again, job-holders this is not the correct term).

Just know that I started a poem, and then decided that my time would probably be better spend working on job applications.


A door referring to itself in first person.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Things to do this week:

1. Remember to eat all three meals every day (chocolate is NOT a meal). Even Saturday and Sunday.
2. Remember to do everything that I promise to do.
3. Keep a list of everything I promise to do. One big list, not lots of little lists in lots of little notepads.
4. Be more discerning about TV watching. I.e. Less Gossip Girl. The West Wing is fine.
5. Find a job.
6. Don’t stress so much.
7. Eat food that’s in the house, rather than the lovely food that’s in the shop.
8. Remember what day it is. Even Saturday and Sunday (refer to Point 5).
9. Respond to text messages when I get them, not “later” in order to come up with a better response. And then forget.
10. Pay all bills when I get them, not “later” in order to avoid seeing the total balance of my bank account.
11. Don't buy clothes at the op-shop if they don't fit, even though I want them to fit.
12. Don’t be scared of strangers who live in Melbourne. Say hello.
13. Keep my pot-plants alive, even the Ikea coriander.



Camper shoes I bought at the op-shop, that don't fit because they are not my size shoe at all. 
To sell at Fitzroy market on 17 March.


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Nice warm bath and a cup of tea.

I’m pretty sure that my brain only has a finite amount of space inside. Like an underwear drawer. Sometimes that amount of space even seems to get smaller, and stuff comes out when I don’t put more in. Which seems unfair, and not scientific at all.

When this happens, it’s usually my mum who suggests a nice warm bath and a cup of tea.

These two things have always been my mum’s solution to everything. When I was little, I was pretty suspicious that everything could be fixed with various forms of warm water. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realise that even though there are some things my parents shouldn’t get to have an opinion on (i.e whether Dawson’s Creek is ‘rubbish’), there are some things that make more sense than they first seem to. That, plus the fact that I don’t see thoughts falling out of my mum’s brain onto the ground, is why I should probably trust her about the about the nice warm bath and a cup of tea (NWBaaCOT) thing.

The problem with NWBaaCOTs, is that they always seem like such a waste of time.

“DON’T YOU UNDESTAND? I CANT POSSIBLY HAVE A STUPID BATH, IVE GOT ALL THESE NON-BATH RELATED THINGS TO DO, WHICH I CAN’T POSSIBLY DO WHILE I’M IN THE BATH. EVERYTHING WOULD GET SOGGY AND IT WOULD BE A SOGGY DISASTER. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?? IS IT?????”

The problem with this kind of reaction is that if you don’t do the NWBaaCOT thing, eventually everything will fall out of your brain onto the ground anyway. And then you are entirely useless and crazy, with no friends, no bath and no tea.

So what is my point here? What IS it?

I guess it’s that mum was and still is right. But not about the Dawson’s Creek thing, because I leant a lot of big words from that show.


My lovely old boots.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Mid-Brunswick Street


A mid-Brunswick Street cafe is the perfect place to reflect on the diversity of living in the city.
To my right is a presumably wealthy young American woman, having a business-like conversation with her colleague “the dress is like, classic, you know? And I thought I’d wear my hair like, classic, you know?” To my left is a presumably homeless man falling asleep in his cup of coffee, which has been provided by the cafe.
With no job to my name yet still having paid for my coffee, I decide that sitting in the middle of these two parties is probably a symbolically accurate place for me.
The bottom end (or city end) of Brunswick Street rises high on one side with social housing complexes. On the other side is a range of happily-placed community service facilities. Walking past I see:
1.              A man aged 70-ish sitting with his small dog
2.              Three middle aged men chatting outside the laundry mat
3.              Two young women walking with their young children
4.              Teenage girls in their school uniforms sitting and talking 

On initial observation, these people seem less wealthy, more culturally diverse, having more spontaneous social experiences, and (at a very superficial glance) more happy.
The top end of Brunswick Street boasts a number of cafes, restaurants, vintage clothing stores and upper-class dress shops. Walking past I see:
1.              People quietly waiting for the tram
2.              People walking to work alone
3.              People sitting in cafes “And I thought I’d wear my hair like.. classic, you know?”
4.              People buying things in shops

People are seemingly more wealthy, less social (in the spontaneous sense), more poorly dressed and (at a very superficial glance), less happy.
The middle of Brunswick Street houses a few cafes, a few dress shops, some sparse social housing and me.  In my building, people don’t talk to each other, and I don’t talk to people, because they don’t talk to me. Strange, I think.
So this gets me thinking... Why is it that when I walk past the sky-rise social housing mysteries at the bottom of Brunswick Street, people seem happier?  I’m not saying it’s a perfect observation, but maybe sometimes less money does equal more happiness.

I made these.
Also, I am playing at Libation, Fitzroy at 8.30 on Wed 22 Feb, and the Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy at 8.30 on Thursday 23 Feb. Come see!