Monday, 19 June 2017

My First Concert

There have been many times in my life when I have wondered wistfully why I was born in 1971. This meant that only a year later in 1972, I was one year old. Yep, I'm a genius, but we already knew that. You see, 1972 was the one and only time that the Carpenters visited and performed in Australia. Sigh.

I would have LOVED to have been there right in the middle of the mosh pit! Oh okay, there was no mosh pit. I suspect they're overrated anyway. Who wants to waste time with all that when they could have been transfixed by every note and Karen Carpenter behind her drums?

Apparently their concert was broadcast on Channel 7. The black and white footage is floating around on Youtube, so at least there's that.

When ABBA mania hit Australia in 1977, I seemed to be oblivious. This was In spite of my enthusiastic singing into a hair brush pretending to be Agnetha, just like every other six year old Aussie girl. So I never got to see the fab four either. In fact, I don't distinctly remember what my first concert was. I'm a tragic person. 



The luckiest little fan wasn't me.  Sigh. 




My auntie took me to see the stage musical CATS when I was approximately 14 or so, but that's a little different I guess. Around that same time, I was utterly DEVASTATED because The Nolans (in the mood for dancing, anyone?) were performing at Rooty Hill RSL (classy!) and I couldn't go because I was underage. Cutting edge taste in music all the way, as you can see. Of course it's a mystery why, being such a cutting edge rebel and all that, I didn't just sneak out and fake my age to get in. I'm such an enigma.

Ultimately I ended up seeing the following musicals/shows:


  • CATS
  • Anything Goes
  • The Rocky Horror Show
  • Phantom Of The Opera
  • Les Miserables
  • Rasputin
  • Carousel 
My memory is bit patchy about most of the above, to be honest. I mean, it's hard to remember yesterday let alone thirty years ago. Or is that just me?

Additionally I attended the following concerts:

  • Simply Red
  • INXS
  • Midnight Oil
  • Gloria Estefan
  • Michael Buble
  • Barbra Streisand
And a few other Aussie groups...

I suspect that Simply Red was the first one and I ended up seeing them twice, so I guess I like them. I haven't listened to them in YEARS though. Weird. 

Something that strikes me is the price of concert tickets. I often see some lucky Carpenters fans sharing their vintage concert tickets in Facebook fan groups. The prices on them are so ridiculously cheap. Around five bucks fifty or something. Nowadays they're so frightfully expensive. Oh well, just as well I'm not really into mosh pits and the whole scene.

To be perfectly honest I wouldn't say that a typical rock concert is really my thing. Surprising, right? Shut up.  I don't do well with loud noise and crowds due to my sensory issues. However, I would have loved to hear Karen Carpenter's voice in person. And that will never happen. It will be one of my lifelong sorrows. Cue weepy violin music... Or mournful meandering oboes because that's a Carpenters trademark. I love it. Again, I reiterate - shut up. 





So excuse me while I go and watch the above Youtube video and pretend it's 1972.  Is there a problem with that? 

What was your first concert? 

Friday, 16 June 2017

Overrated Books

It's never been any secret that books are one of my most favourite things in the whole wide world. As far as I'm concerned, you can never have too many books. Also, it's not hoarding if it's books. Because I say so. And that settles the matter. 

Ever since I was a child I always had a book permanently attached to my hand. Shame it's now often a phone... but that's another story...

Even so, there are certain books that failed to enthral me. It's even more puzzling when they're books or authors that are so beloved and popular. It leaves you wondering if there was something you missed. Is it possible that you read the same book as others? It's a very curious thing. Let me assure you, I am the furthest thing from a reading snob. Read what you like, I say. If it's some sort of  Game Of  Thrones fan fiction, who am I to judge?

I've gone from a passionate love of Enid Blyton (who probably seems unhinged and secretly racist to today's kidlets), to the completely stupid Sweet Valley High series as a teen. Then onto reading Mills and Boon romances, then a tonne of dubious 'chick lit' and implausible thrillers. My main purpose in reading is pure escapism. So there will never be any judgement from me. 

However, there have been a few books I just don't get. Without further ado, here are three books I consider to be overrated:


THE SLAP BY SOME DUDE WITH AN UNPRONOUNCEABLE NAME


Yeah, that dude. How do you pronounce it?

I read it last year because I'd heard good things about it. It sounded like an interesting premise: a group of friends at a suburban barbeque where an adult slaps another person's child. 

To be honest, the only part of the book I enjoyed was the description of the food at the barbeque. Which probably says a lot about me... Ahem...

It seemed to me that every single character in this book was thoroughly unlikable.  Maybe I'm too much of a Pollyanna or something, but I need to feel like I actually like at least one character to care about what happens to them at the end of the novel. 

Another thing that disturbed me was some of sex scenes. In one, a female character fantasises that she's being raped. What the...? I don't have a copy of the novel anymore to quote the scene, but it bothered me. Maybe some women like it rough, and good luck to them, but rape? Really? 

Also, I'm wondering if there is really quite so much drug taking among the Australian middle classes? It seemed like every character was into drugs.  I dunno, I guess I just live in a bubble... In Sydney's western suburbs surrounded by druggies and meth labs... Yet I've never taken an illegal drug in my entire life. Go figure. 

Anyway, I'm sure this Christos dude doesn't care what I think. He's too busy winning literary awards and writing his next best-selling, critically acclaimed masterpiece, while I'm sitting here writing this crappy blog. Sniff. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS BY EMILY BRONTE






Yes, you read that right. I am really going to call this classic of literature for nearly 200 years overrated.  Confession: I've never actually read the entire novel. I've tried several times during my life and I just couldn't do it. And I LOVE AND WORSHIP the Bronte sisters! Jane Eyre is one my favourite novels of all time. I could read it again and again. But not this. 

I know that Emily Bronte is considered to be some sort of incredible brooding genius; and she probably was. It's not her, it's me. For so many years I figured I had to force myself to read this, because it's such a classic. But you know what? NO. I just can't. Besides, I know what happens at end, anyway.

SPOILER ALERT: Heathcliff and Cathy die and their ghosts wander about the moors and haunt people, and then Kate Bush writes a song about it and dances about in a field or something.... Yeah, that. Overrated. Moving on. 


                            I recommend the Kate Bush song/video NOT the novel. 



ANYTHING BY JODI PICOULT




I thought I'd give this author a go because she is so incredibly popular. She's sold enough novels to fill the Atlantic ocean or the entire cosmos or the Sahara desert or... You get the picture. She's sold a shit tonne of novels. I guess people like her. I don't. The first time I tried to read one of her novels was many years ago. I picked up a novel called The Pact. It was about a suicide pact between two young people. However, I wasn't in a very good head space at the time, due to having lost a baby. Therefore, I decided that reading a book about suicide wasn't a good idea. Fast forward several years and I spotted another Jodi Picoult novel called Plain Truths on a sale table. I figured I'd give her another go.

As I vaguely recall, the plot centred around a hotshot lawyer, who somehow ends up defending an Amish girl, accused of murdering her newborn baby. Look, it was actually a good story, but it just went on and on and ON. By the middle of the novel I'd guessed the ending, anyway. So it just seemed superfluous to have hundreds more pages. I ended up skipping ahead to the ending, and my guess was right. Personally, I wouldn't bother reading any more Jodi Picoult novels, but as I mentioned, she is SO popular and famous. I guess it's just me. Shrugs.

A google search shows me that this novel was made into a TV film in 2004, starring Mariska Hargitay. It might be worth a watch, rather than wasting days or weeks on the plodding novel.
 




So there you have it. Three novels I thought were overrated.  Then of course there is 90 percent of the entire self-help, non-fiction genre...and anything with vampires... and the Fifty Shades series.. but I'll be here forever...  

What about you? Have you read any of the above novels? 

Which books do you think are overrated?

Friday, 9 June 2017

Mistakes

Greetings and salutations! Here we are again on another fabulous Friday! Which means it's time for Friday Reflections. 

I have to chosen to write a post for the prompt: write a post about making mistakes.This may be a mistake...  You decide. 




I make lots of little scatter brained mistakes on a daily basis. In fact, I came to the conclusion that I am some sort of hapless doddering Mrs Bean character long ago. Read it about here. It's funny to read about... Well, if I didn't laugh I'd cry...


Now it's time for a random list for no particular reason: 



LIST OF LITTLE MISTAKES I MAKE IN EVERYDAY LIFE





  • Putting the wrong clothes away in the wrong drawers.
  • Leaving the shopping list at home.
  • Forgetting to even write a list.
  • Writing a list, then leaving it at home.
  • Taking the list, but still forgetting to buy essential items written on it. 
  • Getting the dodgy trolley at the supermarket.
  • Choosing the slowest check out. 
  • Forgetting to replace the loo roll (I gather this is generally more of a dude thing, but I'm special...)
  • Buying/borrowing more books before I've read the ones I've got... No wait. This is NEVER a mistake! 
  • Forgetting the pizza that was in the oven... (on the plus side that means I burned a bazillion calories in just half an hour!  BOOM TISH) 
  • Picking up the wrong kind of schnitzels at the supermarket (the ones with corn instead of plain), an act of vile, callous and unforgivable EVIL as far as Mr 8 is concerned. 
  • Forgetting where I put my glasses/keys/phone five minutes ago....


You get the picture. This list could go on and on and ON. 

And that list hasn't even covered other past mistakes, such as my infamous mullet-perm of 1987, and the time I thought wearing shirts that looked like table cloths was attractive.  See below. What was I thinking? 




BIG MISTAKE


However, the biggest mistake I am currently making is this:

Not getting enough exercise. Followed closely by eating too much. OOPS. 

This in turn causes me to a) gain weight, and b) become more prone to anxiety.

This is also after choosing the word MOVE as my  one word for this year. Oh dear. 

So, yesterday I was at the shops and I had a big, wobbly, stupid, batshit crazy panic attack. Not fun. I haven't had one for ages, so it's very disconcerting when that bastard pops up. Well, it can go f#*k itself. I am making myself move again. I've always found exercise is one of the best strategies to combat it. 

As 'Anne' says, tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.

Or you know, fresh with no CAKES in it.  Since my mistakes often seem to feature baked goods. Ahem.  




Now I am signing off, because I really and truly need to get up and MOVE. 

What mistakes do you make? Do you learn from them?

Friday, 2 June 2017

Ten Reasons I Love Tea

Greetings, Earthlings.  How are we all? Well? Happy it's Friday? Bursting with enthusiasm and joy? All of the above? Nice. I'm not. Sniff. 

Nah, I'm good. Just have a pesky old headache, that's all. Nothing a good cup of coffee and some ibuprofen won't fix. Which segues neatly into today's topic:

TEA! 


I know. I said coffee before, but I like to surprise you with twists and unexpected turns. Since my head is pounding, I'm taking the easy option with the lovely old list-post. Why not? 

Here are ten reasons I love tea:

1. Tea warms me up on a cold winter's day. 
2. Tea never talks. I can sip it in blissful silence. 
3. Tea comes in convenient bags, with or without strings. 




4. Tea is one of the simple pleasures in life which is supposedly good for you, due to its antioxidants or something. I'm far to lazy and headachey to do the proper research. Shut up. 
5. You can drink it in lovely, pretty, dainty cups with saucers and pretend you're a character on Downton Abbey. Just me? 
6. Tea is the perfect companion for CAKE. Unless you prefer coffee. That works, too. 
7. You can have it in a pot or a cup. There is something so comforting about pouring it from the pot into those dainty cups. See above. This time you can pretend you're one of the servants on Downton Abbey, fantasising about spilling the scalding liquid on snooty Lady Mary's frightfully expensive gown. Again, just me? 




8. Cup of tea + good book + rainy day = Perfection, with a capital P. It's the simple things in life, people. 
9. Tea fixes everything. Have you ever noticed how in the middle of a crisis or something emotionally draining, the first thing people do is pop the kettle on for a refreshing brew? Or is that just in those historical saga type novels I read from time to time...? 
10. Tea provides the illusion that I'm much less socially awkward than I am. I'll take my small talk with tea, thanks. At least that way, when I can't think of anything to say, I can sip away. Luckily, I am not prone to spilling hot drinks or this theory could go awry quite easily...

And there you have it.  The ten reasons I love tea. Oh, and I do like the taste of it. That helps, too!

What about you? 

Are you a coffee or tea person?