Wednesday, April 30, 2008


You all just have to watch this:

Every now and then I see something that moves me so much in it's beauty that I am reminded what an amazing world we live in. And the above video is one of those things. That ballerina! The grace, the elegance, the balance... the stuff on pointe up on the guy's shoulders or head!

How beautiful is she, and this whole piece for that matter?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Things I Have Learnt...

I'm following Kaytie's shining example and doing a blog about things I have learnt about myself.

Though I haven't just learnt these in the past week or so, I've actually had a little bit longer that I've been really learning about myself, and a whole lifetime I've learnt about other things. Maybe 18 months, two years of self learning?

So let's see, what have I learnt?

1. I am not worthless.

2. I really don't like cucumber.

3. I am stronger than I always thought I was.

4. Dogs and children respond to calm.

5. What people I don't like or respect think about me, doesn't matter.

6. New York City is much friendlier than it is given credit.

7. Oranges make me fart.

8. I really do hate hot weather.

9. When you truly fall in love, you know it. There is no doubt.

10. Sometimes, chocolate IS the answer.

11. I know myself better than anyone else does.

12. Gutting pumpkins makes me retch. As does pumpkin ice-cream.

13. There is nothing sexier than respect.

14. When you press the close door button on an elevator made in the last 15 years, it doesn't do anything. The door just closes when it wants to!

15. When you realise that you are amazing, amazing people come into your life.

16. Cupcakes make my soul happy, particularly if they are pink. I don't even need to eat them.

17. Dignity and grace are not about being serious and "mature". They are about conducting yourself in a way that makes YOU proud, and that feels right to you. You can be as goofy and as silly as you like, but still have dignity and grace.

18. Men that can dance, are hot.

19. I am a "touch whore" or texture junkie.

20. Michael Jackson is really, really weird.

21. It really is wise to have private health insurance.

22. Boys DO make passes at girls who wear glasses.

23. American plumbing is freaky weird.

24. Never get on a crowded train at night when you REALLY need to pee.

25. My head often doesn't give me correct information, but my heart ALWAYS does.

26. Lavendar gives me a headache.

27. I can't live without lip balm or gloss.

28. I don't have to always be bubbly or funny. I can be sad if I need to. Or thoughtful. Or even angry.

29. There is no such thing as "a little bit racist". Even quiet or subtle racism must be spoken out against. And I can do so with respect and dignity.

30. You are never too old for glitter.

So how's that for starters?

I've learned lots of other things, but those 30 are things that pop into my mind just now.

What have you learned?

Singing for his Supper

Isn't he beautiful? It's a butcher bird, sitting on my clothes line, going through his repertoire. You can hear me whistling every now and again trying to encourage him to sing some more. He was really going through every sound he knew, and was quite content to whistle for me.

Sadly though, I can't feed him or his friends. Butcher birds are called exactly that because they eat meat and will butcher other smaller birds for food. And as I, and one of my neighbours have pet birds, we have to discourage the butcher birds from our area, as they will actually eat a budgie, canary, lovebird or other small bird right through the bars of a cage. I have to keep my little guy (a very, very old lovebird called Harry) inside unless I sit with him, because if the butcher birds don't get him, the noisy miners (mickey birds) will.

But I did enjoy this guy's song.


Had a great time last night at dinner with the Brissie Cysters. We went to Kapsalis Greek/Mediterranean restaurant at South Bank. I can highly recommend Kapsalis, not only is the food divine, the atmosphere is fun, relaxed and friendly, the serves are HUGE, prices reasonable and the service is very good.

So we met up early, had lots of fun talking and catching up and meeting the lovely Carly, who is new to the Brissie Cysterhood. Later in the night, Kapsalis put on a bit of a show for the diners. Greek music with dancing waiters who were great fun to watch:

And then they had a belly dancer come out to put on a bit of a show. She wasn't the best belly dancer, a bit scrawny and not all that flexible with the belly/butt stuff. But it was a bit of fun watching her get guys up from tables and make them dance... seriously, why are so many men absolutely hopeless when it comes to finding rhythm and moving with it? But our belly dancer came over to our table and let me take a photo...


They ended the night with lots of music and dancing for the diners, but by this stage there were LOTS of drunk people!

Certainly great entertainment for the Brissie Cysters.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Friends

It's funny the view that a lot of people seem to have of American folks. I've found myself having to really re-educate people since I came back from the US, on what American people are really like. Almost every time I talk about my holiday, either people are surprised at how warm, giving, intelligent and open I found everyone on my trip, or they make some kind of quasi-joking comment about how American people are stupid, narrow minded, rude, crass, pushy etc, which I then have to correct.

I guess a lot of people's perspective of the American people comes from television and movies, their Government (which truly does suck - sorry my American friends!) or that very narrow band of the population that travels outside of America. And it's a sad reality that travel outside of the United States is limited to a very small percentage of the American people.

Would you believe that I found American people far more friendly and warm than I often find people here at home in Australia? That could be because I was a visiting Australian, a bit of a novelty to most folks over there though, but I didn't feel so. I just felt that people were very friendly and warm, certainly most welcoming - I can't tell you how many homes I was made feel very welcome at, especially at Christmas time, which was a great honour for me - and while I do believe the American people don't have the luxury of the broad range of world news as easily at their fingertips as we do, (American news is atrocious - hardly mentions anything outside of the US, even when HUGE events happen!) when information is made available to them, they are a curious and interested. American people often get accused of being ignorant, but I personally believe that it is more a problem of insulated, rather than ignorance. The information just isn't there as readily available as it is here in Australia.

In fact, there was only one place that I found people rude. And strangely enough, this was the same place that those very people suggested that I may be uncouth for using a knife and fork "British style" (I can't find photos of the difference!) yet not once in the time I stayed with them, did I hear the words Please or Thank-You, and one night at a restaurant they were so embarrassingly rude and childish that I slipped the waitress $20 as we left and a profuse apology, and she replied "Oh, you were LOVELY!" I was mortified at their behaviour. And that was only one incident of several.

Everywhere else, even New York City, I found people to have beautiful manners, genuinely friendly, open and honest, fascinated with new information, generous and welcoming and hilariously funny.

It was delicious, and I made friends that I will have for the rest of my life.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Cleansing Tears

"Tears are the words the heart cannot express."

Isn't that pretty? I can't find the source of the quote, but it was mentioned on a web forum that I belong to this week, and it has completely resonated with me.

I think too many people are ashamed of crying. They feel that it's a sign of weakness, or emotional imbalance. Yes, it can be if one cries too often or in the wrong place and time, but mostly it's our way of expressing things that we're unable to express in words alone.

Plus I am now a firm believer in that any emotion, forced down, denied or bottled up is only going to hang around FAR longer than it would if you just let it slide by, let it wash through. Holding back is only going to make the emotion worse.

I can cry at the drop of a hat. I cry at toilet paper ads with puppies in them. Once when I was teasing a friend for crying at his wedding, he retorted "What are you talking about? You cried in Toy Story." Yes, I did.

I find when I'm a little buzz-headed, stressed or anxious, a good cry is cathartic. My personal favourite is to put on a good movie that gets the tears flowing and let it all out. The Colour Purple is my weep inducing movie of choice, but there are others. Sometimes a good book can do that too. Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveller's Wife made me cry so hard I got a migraine and vomited. It devastated me. Beautiful book.

But having a cry because you are sad or hurt or grieving is ok too. I had a good cry yesterday, all over a dear friend who for a bloke, handle's a woman's tears very well. He's a master tear mopper. I felt so much better for being able to express my hurt and frustration in such an honest manner with him too. He knew that just listening, then a hug and a kiss would make me feel a million times better.

I think tears are very important to us. Not just women either, it's sad that men are so often taught that they are weak or un-masculine if they shed tears, or even let anyone see them shed tears. I can tell you now, the quickest way for me to turn to mush over a man is for him to trust me enough to cry in front of me!

So next time you feel the need to cry, express those words from the heart. It will do you good!