29 August 2010

Filming the sketches. Best day ever.

I'm gonna make a grandiose statement and say that filming my sketches for No Limits yesterday was one of the best days I've ever had.

As fantastic as when I met the cast of Rush. As heart racing as when I met Callan Mulvey. As thrilling as when Darren Hayes kissed and hugged me from the stage and held my hand during a song. As touching as my first kiss. As rewarding as graduating from university.

It was brilliant. And so much fun. We all laughed a lot. A lot.

It all came together in the end. The weather was perfect for outdoor filming. Friends spared some of or all of their day to co-star. The Grit Media staff were very professional and encouraging. And I didn't giggle during sketches, contrary to everyone's fears during (an extremely brief) rehearsal.

I put a call out on Twitter for males to star in my sketches, as my friends originally lined up couldn't make it yesterday. I had a couple of people contact me, and I chose one based on him being a polite emailer, he showed good spelling, was good looking and the first to respond. I had visions of him turning up and being all weird, but he was absolutely fantastic, we hit it off straight away, and I think I've made a good new friend in Rohan. The sketches were very personal to me, and I really needed empathetic people to co-star, and Rohan did this perfectly despite us not meeting until yesterday morning.

It was funny to see people on the street stop and watch us film. During one scene, I was wolf whistled at. And you know how I yearn to be wolf whistled at! It was a friend from work. How funny!

I feel proud to have written, cast, starred in and co-directed these black comedy sketches and I can't wait for you to all see them when they air next year on No Limits.

One thing I learned through filming the sketches was the severity of comments made to me about my appearance. When people in the street stop me to ask why I look like this, or comment on my appearance, I just take it. I shrug it off. Just another thing really. Just a part of my life. But writing these down and delivering these statements hit hard. And now I realise why my friends and family are so quick to fiercely defend me.

I didn't take any photos during filming. It was too busy. After the sketches, however, some of us went to a bar. I had many drinks. Many drinks indeed.

Trudie, Scott (cameraman/director extraordinaire),
and Rohan (thank god he was normal).

I marveled at the stuffed, pearl-clad ostrich.

Many drinkies indeed.
I wish I had written the giraffe into the sketches.

Rohan and I practicing awkward kissing.
(I changed the script midway through.)

Rohan was the best fake-date ever.

Thank you to everyone involved yesterday. You truly made my day and I value your friendship and commitment so very much.

23 August 2010

A big YAY! I'm a writer!

Just received an official offer as a contracted writer at DiVine. A big YAY!

Back in March, I submitted some writing to DiVine. The editor read it and looked further into my blog and selected a couple of blog entries he thought could be good modified for DiVine. Since then I've written nine articles for them - all of which I'm really proud of. Especially the body image article that has just been published.

It feels so great to be contributing to this website, and making a difference to the disability community (and also educating my friends, family and strangers).

I will still be working my full time job, doing uni until the end of the year, presenting/interviewing on community TV and volunteering at the Children's Hospital, though.

I am going to toot my own horn here - I am so proud of myself for following for my dreams to be a writer and now achieving them.

Also, I think I was far too tired to fully appreciate filming for No Limits on Saturday, but thinking back now, I am really proud of the great job Carrie and I did at the dinner-dance.

Neither of us had been in front of the camera before, and I think we were both in a new environment, but I really feel like we made a difference to the disability community and achieved personal success. It was a great buzz to be directing, interviewing and presenting - challenging yet so much fun!

Wow. I love life!

22 August 2010

The Auction Rooms Cafe - North Melbourne

When Jentopia suggested we do Saturday morning breakfast at The Auction Rooms Cafe in Errol Street North Melbourne, I squealed with delight. Twitter told me the first scene in episode one of the latest season of Rush was filmed there. It's one of my favourite ever moments of Rush. (The scene is at the 1:34 mark of the video.)

The Auction Rooms Cafe is wonderfully rustic. Jen and I loved its ambiance. Sugar in positively antique tiny Heinz pea soup tins, flowers and drinking water in old long neck beer bottles (the only time I've ever drunk from a long neck beer bottle), pipes turned into lights hanging from the high ceilings, and amazing lead lighting features.

I'd loved to have captured the lead lighting clearer, but I was worried I was taking too many photos.

This is an artwork of colourful milk crates strung together, hanging with the slope of the roof in the courtyard.
Saturday morning was brilliantly sunny - it was nice to have the sun streaming in through the windows, providing us with delicious warmth.

The front counter is atop a baked goods cabinet – grainy breads, tarts and beautiful cupcakes. I fell in love with the flourless chocolate one with blue sparkly icing.

Though it's a bustling and uber trendy cafe, frequented by uber trendy customers (I need to rethink my striped hoodie and jeans arrangement for next time) the service is friendly and attentive. The male waiters are cute and unshaven, like they've just rolled in from playing a gig the night before. They wear a range of hats, jingly chains and bracelets, and I saw a kerchief tied to one waiter's wrist.

The menu combines breakfast and lunch and is available until 3.00 pm. It's a menu full of simple dishes – mostly eggs, stews, salads and sandwiches – made very interesting. Prices range from $6.50 to $19.50

Jen had the Opening Bid – toast with deep orange yolked free range eggs, field mushrooms, spinach, bacon and tomato. She said it was healthy and delicious.

I had the French toast. It was certainly the most unique French toast I've ever eaten. And quite possibly the best. It was made of beautiful fluffy bread stuffed with toasted coconut, drizzled with tamarind and maybe chilli sauce and served with vanilla crème fraiche, lime and coriander. It was sweet and zesty and rich all at once. Fantastic!

Jen said her coffee was so good it didn't need sugar.
My hot chocolate was great too – very chocolatey and no milk taste, though could have been hotter.
Jen and I had a great chat - about work and food and plans for new blog projects. I'm so glad I met her because of blogging.

We ate breakfast around 10.00 am, and despite me only having an election day sausage after bellydancing to see me through to 6.00 pm when filming finished and I was served dinner, it sustained me well.

Jen gave me a mix-tape CD, which unfortunately I'd left behind when paying yesterday. I called them to check if the CD was there, the staff said they had it at the counter, so this morning I went to collect it.

I couldn't resist another breakfast – so I got the Counter Bid – a vegetarian breaky with a side of smoked bacon. The Counter Bid contained the delicious poached eggs, buttery garlic mushrooms, roquette, pesto all served on a rosemary-parmesan baked polenta cake. This polenta was full of flavour, unlike so many bland and gluggy polenta dishes I've tried/cooked. Another awesome dish.

I think I've found my new favourite breakfast cafe. Can't wait to head back there soon.

First filming assignment

Yesterday evening was my first time filming. My first time in front of the camera. Actually, if you count the You Tube video of me with the Rush cast, it was my second time.

While my sketches were postponed again due to bad weather, I was sent on a bit of a reporting job.

I directed, presented and interviewed with the lovely Carrie, my No Limits co-star. Callum and Daniel did a great job as sound and camera guys.

Carrie and I had a lot of fun, and I felt like we were proper journos.

We were at a dinner-dance event for people with disabilities at a town hall. While the event was funded and advertised by the council, planning, decorating and running the event was done by a committee of very talented people with disabilities. This enabled the event not just to be for people with disabilities, but for them to get a say (and develop skills) in how they wanted the event to run. The committee said they felt very valued and included by the council they worked with.

It was so great to chat to the committee on camera - they were very excited! We also danced with and chatted to some of the participants on the dance floor. Carrie and I enjoyed giving the committee members and participants a voice, and they were very appreciative for the opportunity.

Carrie and I spent a lot of time talking to the people we were going to interview on camera before filming began, taking note of names, roles and activities they did leading up to the event.

While I was a bit nervous, feedback from the camera and sound guys, and Carrie, was that I looked and spoke very comfortably in front of the camera. I think my day job as an events planner made me comfortable approaching strangers for a chat, and I did my best in engaging them for the camera.

Here are a few outfit shots from yesterday.

Dress by Temt, jacket by Target, boots by London Rebel, stockings by Myer, necklace by Wiyomu, headband by Diva.

No Limits will air on Channel 31 from December 2010.

21 August 2010

A sausage for the nation

It's election day in Australia today.

The Age predicts it's going to be close.

I think we live in a lucky country, and I appreciate being given the freedom to vote, because there are so many countries who don't allow women or minority groups, or anyone at all, to vote.

But I have found it hard to differentiate between party policies when most of the media and advertising from both Labor and Liberal has been slagging off the opposition. I did like this profile on Julia Gillard by Mia Freedman last week.

It may be unAustralian of me not to know much about politics. I am proud to have a female PM. But other than that, I'm disinterested and uninformed.

The other day work friends and I had a coffee, and they were discussing the election. I honestly had nothing intelligent to contribute to the conversation, and I emphasised this by saying 'if all I'm worried about is the lack of picture on my hot chocolate froth, I clearly have no intellect regarding the election'. A friend of mine wrote on her Facebook that she is very excited to be able to vote for the first time today - this was a nice thing to see, I thought, despite my ignorance to it all.

It is very Australian of me, however, to be excited about sausage sizzles on election day.

I have a lot on today, so I chose to vote in the city on Thursday. My main concern about casting an early vote was whether I could still have a sausage today.

I put it to Twitter. @snagvotes said 'Yes. It's your democratic right! ;)'. @daisystreet said: Oh, absolutely! In fact, I think you should get *two sausages simply for being so organised. ;)

So today, after breakfast with the lovely Jentopia, belly dance and a spot of shopping, I went to my local primary school to get a sausage. I bypassed the queue to get my sausage. 'I've already voted, I'm just here for a sausage', I told the voters. 

Sausages were categorised by party leaders. Mr Abbott (or Mr Rabbit, as Gillard says) sausages were plain. It would have been great if they were rabbit sausages.

Julia Gillard, our first female and red haired PM was represented by Red Hot Rangas.
 When I was a kid, Mum would tell me she could never tell me who she voted for. It was a highly confidential and personal thing. My sausage choice didn't represent my vote. Can you guess?

19 August 2010

Music I've Been Missing - cover versions

I've been wanting to do one of these for ages. Cover versions. Because I love them. And they're the music I've been missing.

I love these covers more than the original. The way the artists have interpreted the originals is to be commended. I enjoy that there is something different in the cover songs. I know there are some bad cover versions out there but I think these really show the artists' versatility and pay respect to the original.

I apologise for some of the songs not having moving video clips, but I hope you enjoy the songs anyway.

The first few are Australian artists. I adore Australian music out of any other genre.

Genevieve Maynard's Am I ever Gonna See Your Face Again?, originally by The Angels is a favourite cover of mine - Gen, I know you sometimes read my blog, can you please put a YouTube video of Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again up to showcase your talent in this song? Meanwhile, you can hear a bit of it here.

Bertie Blackman - In the Air Tonight (Phil Collins)

This was done for Triple J Like a Version. When I first heard it, I was blown away. I really like Bertie Blackman and I think this shows off how powerful and controlled her voice is.

Sarah Blasko - Flame Trees (Cold Chisel)

This song is from the movie Little Fish. The movie is so brilliant, Cate Blanchett is so beautiful and Sarah Blasko's cover of the classic pub-rock song by  Cold Chisel adds magic to the movie.

Darren Hayes - Lost Without You (Delta Goodrem)

This was a tribute to Delta Goodrem at the 2003 ARIA Awards. I was told by a source very close to Darren that Darren's appearance was a surprise, even to Delta. Sometimes I sing this song in the shower, emulating Darren's vocal style. I am not as good as him. But if I keep practising...

Megan Washington and the Bamboos

I've become a fan of Megan Washington this year. She reminds me of Missy Higgins without the drawl. This song is very cool. I like the Kings of Leon version just as much.

The Vines - Ms Jackson (Outkast)

I like the Vines. Craig Nicholls is rather eccentric, but I like their rocking sound. I particularly like this balladesque cover. 

Ben Lee - Float On (Modest Mouse)

Ben Lee's Awake is the New Sleep was on high rotation for many hours when I first bought it. I think he's an interesting and quirky lyricist. I enjoy the original by Modest Mouse but like Ben's version better :)

Nirvana - The Man Who Sold the World (David Bowie)

I eased my way into Nirvana through their MTV Unplugged album, and The Man Who Sold the World is a favourite of mine. I am not sure whether I've heard the original by David Bowie.

Placebo - Johnny and Mary (Robert Palmer)

I didn't hear the original by Robert Palmer until it was randomly played on Triple M a few years back. I like the drums and energy of Placebo's version. Robert Palmer's seems a little flat.

Florence and the Machine - Hospital Beds (Cold War Kids)

I know a few Cold War Kids songs and like them very much. When I hear this song through my headphones, it feels like Florence is singing in the same room as me.

Tori Amos - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)

Ok, so I don't like the Tori Amos version more than Nirvana's, but I like it a lot. It sounds like a music box.

I've been wanting to share these covers with you. I hope you like them as much as I do.

18 August 2010

Carly and Kristy's Laksa King adventure

I met up with Kristy last night. She was in Melbourne on business. It's become a tradition to meet each other in our respective cities when either one of us travels for work.

We went to the new Laksa King in Flemington. It's flash. Lots of communal tables, funky chairs, and an indoor wall garden. It's a very busy place – we waited a while for a table. During this time Kristy showed me pictures of cakes she and her boy bought from Zumbo. I experienced cyber food envy - I wanted one of those beautifully handcrafted cakes. Maybe she can bring me one from Sydney next time?

This new Laksa King has been open a few weeks. It used to be hidden away in a dingy alcove in a shopping centre around the corner from its new home. There's another Laksa King outlet in the food court of a local mega-mall, but it's too risky eating there because there's a high chance I'll buy something from Cue after my chicken laksa.

There is over 130 items on Laksa King's menu. Fried noodles, seafood dishes, spring rolls and fried rices, and more. Despite the large selection, I only ever get the chicken laksa. We both did. We did branch out by ordering the roast pork belly with star anise, soy and caramel sauce and Asian greens to share. I had some roti. The meal was giant, delicious and $20 each! And warming on the chilly Melbourne night.

The giant bowl of laksa was mildly spicy, filled with rice and egg noodles and chicken, and the eggplant and tofu absorbs the wonderful coconut flavoured soup. I made a claim that this is the best laksa in Melbourne.

We thought the pork belly was the most tender we'd ever tasted, though would have preferred the skin to have been crispier.
Kristy was particularly excited about the pork belly.

My roti was comforting. I love the texture and semi sweetness of roti. I wish it wasn't so fattening.

In between slurps of noodles, we talked about wildly inappropriate topics that only good friends can get away with talking about. Our conversation was ridiculous at times!

We laughed about just how much food we'd ordered between us, and were delighted that it was so damn cheap. We mused about how we should have worn elasticised pants. Maybe if we had have eaten at the Laksa King in the food court, we could have stopped in a Target afterward to buy ourselves some elasticised pants.

Blogs you might like to check out

I have found some blogs that I really enjoy and want to share with you.

Yes and Yes. It's an American blog with really interesting interviews, personal stories, advice and style. Yes and Yes covers some serious life and world issues, as well as some lighthearted ones. I once read a story about a girl who was raised by parents who grew and sold marijuana. Yes and Yes is like This American Life in print form.

I have already mentioned this one a few months back - Raising Ruby It's the journey of a labrador puppy in training to be a service dog for a person with special needs. A cute, cheeky and smart labrador with fabulous owners doing good in the community, what more could you want? Raising Ruby has been nominated as a finalist for the Petties pet blog awards - you can vote for the blog here (choose 'servicepuppyruby')

And Pluck Your Strings. It's a music blog written by Lachy, a Melbourne based journalism student. It features reviews of CDs and concerts, and particularly focuses on Australian indie music. And Pluck Your Strings has opened my ears up to music I'd wish I'd been listening to sooner. The Middle East, Cloud Control, Jinja Safari...to name a few.

Kendi Everyday. A fashion blog. It's not your average fashion blog (the kind I dislike - showing off excess wealth, picture after picture of amateur models or pictures pilfered from pages of Vogue magazine - I prefer fashion blogs with more substance). Kendi Everyday is just a pretty girl wearing attainable and practical outfits, and every so often she does a 30 for 30 remix challenge which gives new life to an existing wardrobe. Not only does Kendi dress fabulously, she can write! And with humour.

So Now What. Bern Morley is a hilarious 'mummy blogger'. I don't read many 'mummy blogger' blogs - most just aren't in my demographic. But Bern writes with such honesty, humour and humility - not just on the topics of parenting, but work, family and some hearbreaking things like death - and I can identify with her writing so much. She also shares a love of Callan Mulvey with me. Bern has also been nominated for a blogging award by Kidspot, and if she wins she will get a well deserved holiday. You can vote for Bern here.

Enjoying the Small Things. Another 'mummy blogger', this time based in America. I was drawn to this blog because Kelle Hampton has shared an amazing story about the day her baby girl Nella was born in January 2010 - Nella was born with Down's Syndrome. Kelle is a brilliant writer photographer, documenting the growth and fun times of her two gorgeous little girls - Nella and Lainey (age three). Kelle's blog is so heartwarming - she expresses such love and emotion through her blog.

Hedonistic Hostess. This blog belongs to Marion Grasby from Masterchef. All entries but one to date are before she became Australia's favourite Masterchef contestant. I admire that she's studied a Masters in Gastronomy!

I hope that you check out some of the blogs I mentioned, and love them as much as I do.

17 August 2010

Vote for Nikki to win a dream!

I've previously blogged about my friend Nikki in the Miss Shop Style Off competition. Just a quick reminder that the competition is still on, unil Friday 20 August.

Winning this competition is a dream of Nikki's, and it'd be great if you could send a vote her way.

Nikki is beautiful inside and out - she definitely deserves to win! Look at her fabulous style!

All photos are from Nikki's style blog, Flair to Remember. After you've voted, check out her blog.

How to vote:

♥  Register as a voter here: http://www.myer.com.au/missshop/register.aspx?vote=1
♥  Check out her profile & click the 'Vote for me now' button here: http://www.myer.com.au/missshop/profile.aspx?id=1034
♥  Then click the validation link in the email you'll receive from Miss Shop! (Very important as this will ensure your vote is counted!

If Nikki wins, this is what she will get:
  • A $25,000 MYER shopping spreeeeeeee!!!
  • 2 VIP Tickets to the first ever Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival Myer Miss Shop Show
  • Flip Mino II HD camcorder valued at $299
  • Be a Shop Til You Drop fashion assistant for a day

Good luck Nikki, and thanks to my readers for your votes!

Let's help make Nikki's dream come true ♥

16 August 2010

Music I've been Missing - 2006

It's been a while since I've done one of these. But today my memory was piqued by a conversation I had with a friend about our music tastes.

I mentioned Camille's Ta Douleur from her album Le Fil and couldn't quite hum the tune. And I couldn' sing the lyrics as they're in French. I love the sensuality and beat of the song. I first heard it in 2006 and recall traipsing through Sydney streets the day after the Darren Hayes concert at the Opera House to buy her CD.

This memory of Ta Douleur reminded me that 2006's music was the music I've been missing.

The first half of 2006 was a difficult time for me. Without going into too much detail, because of my no blogging about work rule, I was not coping at work and my health was suffering dramatically. I had 40 sick days in nine months. The situation was awful - it consumed me. I lost confidence. I lost the ability to believe in myself. And sometimes the ability to smile. The only thing I could think of to temporarily escape the situation and get 'Carly' back was to move home with my parents for four months in June of that year.

This move worked wonders. I gained confidence. I only had one sick day. I recovered. And I got Carly back.

Albury is a small town. And with small towns comes a limited choice... homogeneity, I guess. I find it hard to do things alone like I do in Melbourne because everyone goes out in groups. People go to nightclubs but all I want to do is see a band at a pub. And there is a commercial radio station that is pretty bland (sorry Ash, I know you read this!).

The move to Albury meant I was no longer commuting on the train - I drove 60 minutes to work and back each day. When I left Albury in 2003, I listened to the commercial radio station When I returned in 2006, I soon found out that this station was not for me. I couldn't bear Snow Patrol, Justin Timberlake or Kelly Clarkson after a week. So to save my sanity, I switched to Triple J.

I loved the tom foolery in the mornings with Jay and the Doctor. I loved hearing Robbie Buck on Friday afternoons when I finished early. And I loved Hack on my 5:30 trip home. Sometimes I'd drive further just to listen to more of Hack.

The music I discovered on Triple J was awesome too. And when I think about it now, I reckon those four months back in the country weren't so bad. I loved this way of discovering music. Just listening to the radio and hearing songs I liked. All because I chose to listen to another radio station. I got to do that more.

I got my health back on track.

I met some new people.

I saw some old friends.

I learned some new skills in a different job.

I saw Darren Hayes at the Opera House.

I hung out a lot with a boy I liked.

I spent time with my parents and dogs.

And I returned to Melbourne in October to a brand new beginning - and have never looked back. SO MANY opportunities have come my way since I moved back home and returned to Melbourne.

And in 2006 I discovered this music on Triple J.

Regina Spekor - Fidelity.

Regina is wonderful. I adore her quirky lyrics and vocal ability. I've seen her live and she is breathtaking.

Bob Evans - Nowhere Without You.

This is where my love affair with Bob Evans began.

Angus and Julia Stone - Paper Aeroplane

And this is where my love affair with Angus and Julia Stone began. I saw them later in 2006 and they were AMAZING. And I've followed them ever since. Been to every tour in Melbourne, plus one at Hepburn Springs, since 2006.

The Infadels - Love like Semtex

I can't say I know any other music by The Infadels. But I really enjoyed this song. Someone told me what semtex is. It's a cement.

Pony Up - The Truth about Cats and Dogs (is that they lie)

Like with Love like Semtex, I don' know any other Pony Up songs. This YouTube clip has reminded how cool the song is, so I may need to explore Pony Up.

Gotye - Heart's a Mess

This came on my iPod tonight on the train trip home, and I still found it as divine as I did in 2006. I feel like I'm moving in water when I listen to it.

Eskimo Joe - New York

While I'd been a fan of Eskimo Joe for a few years leading up to 2006, New York would have to be my favourite Eskimo Joe song. And seeing Kav Temperley live on Saturday night reminded me of how great Eskimo Joe are. I love the huskiness of Kav's voice.

The Eagles of Death Metal - I Want You So Hard

This song is a bit of fun! There's something sexy about the lead singer. It's the bogan in me lusting, I think. Again, no further Eagles of Death Metal consumption.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Phenomena

I don't think I am cool enough to listen to this band. But I still listen.

Gossip - Standing in the Way of Control

Again, I don't think I'm cool enough for Gossip!

On Australia Day 2007 I went to a Triple J Hottest 100 party. It was a great day with great songs.

2006's music was definitely the music I've been missing. I am so glad the temporary move enabled me to discover these wonderful artists, many of which I still listen to today. And I credit it to helping get Carly back.

15 August 2010

Offspring on Channel 10

I must be in the minority because I love Australian movies and television drama programs. Hell, I even like some Australian comedy, particularly of the ABC ilk. Not many people I know enjoy, or admit to enjoying Australian made film and television.

Little Fish is one of my favourite movies of all time. So is Candy and Looking for Alibrandi. And Look Both Ways is pretty good, too. I have the post September 11 telemovie Marking Time on DVD. Surburban Mayhem. Noise. The Black Balloon. Clubland. I could go on... But it's tiring searching then hyperlinking.

I like family shows like Packed to the Rafters and Always Greener. And Seachange, as reminded by Jen.

You know my thoughts about Secret Life of Us. Adored it back in the day. I watched the first series again recently and loved it. Especially Claudia Karvan, Sam Johnson and Deb Mailman.

I've been watching Heartbreak High on ABC3.
The younger Callan Mulvey melts my heart. As does the present day Callan.

I watched five episodes of season 1 of Underbelly. Mainly because of Callan Mulvey. See below.
I stopped because Callan's character died and I needed time to recover from seeing his wonderful acting in the coffin, and the excessive violence and sex. I don't know if I've recovered yet – I might just perpetually watch the first five episodes.

Rush is wonderful. It's fast paced, full of action, a little romance, and funny. You know that I think the men of Rush, or the Sunnyboys, as I refer to them in my tweets, are the hottest ever.

And I regard Love My Way as the best TV show of all time.
I once watched the entire first season of Love My Way on DVD one New Years Eve. Alone. I bawled my eyes out. Because I was alone on New Years Eve and because I was exhausted from the drama. I was once again in love with Claudia Karvan because of Love My Way. Love love love this!

I want to watch Tangle and Spirited but these are on pay TV. And I don't have enough time or money for that. I will wait for the DVDs.

So when Offspring was advertised on Channel 10, I was excited. I loved Asher Keddie in Love My Way, and in Rush. And I loved her dress in the Offspring ad (I have searched and searched on Google but can't find it for your reference.

The show looked quirky. Like Secret Life of Us. Only grown up. I especially love TV shows set in Melbourne. And this one is. I find something identifiable about shows set in Melbourne – not only the setting, but the way the characters live. I think in these shows, you see characters similar to people you really know.

The cast is good looking. Extremely good looking.

I was super excited about Offspring until last week when my excitement levels dropped lower than a rapper's jeans. It was because it was advertised EVERY FRIGGIN' FIVE MINUTES. Seriously, Ten. Every friggin five minutes. I was seriously thinking that I wouldn't need to watch the show with the amount of advertising Channel 10 was throwing at me.

So I was delighted to find that I could download the episode for free from iTunes yesterday, so I could watch it ahead of time, without ads – I actually feared Channel 10 would advertise Offspring DURING Offspring. The advertising was that damn excessive. It was on par with the election campaign.

My expectations of Offspring were met. It was quirky. Funny. Well written. A great cast. And I loved Asher's clothes. She is gorgeous.

Asher plays slightly neurotic Nina. A lot less neurotic than Julia in Love My Way. Waaaay less. But still neurotic.Offspring also stars Don Hany as Dr Chris (niiiiice), Deb Mailman as Cherie (love) and Kat Stewart as Billie (beautiful and versatile).

Nina is a successful obstetrician who has a lot of self doubt. The story revolves around her slightly dysfunctional family - though I expect most families are like hers. All three adult children have not achieved in certain areas of their life.

I enjoyed the music, especially the bits performed by Eddie Perfect's character.

The setting was not instantly recognisable as Melbourne though. And there was excessive use of the iPhone ring tone. It's the xylophone one. That shitted me. There was too much ringing of the iPhone. Me, I prefer the harp. There was also quite a bit of Apple placement. Macbooks galore. I saw at least two, and an iPod too.

I also thought it was far less sexual than the ads insinuated. The sexual innuendo in the ads was probably to sell the program to women and men.

I can see a few openings for some good storylines in Offspring. Cherie's situation with Darcy, her baby's unexpected father. Chris's missing wife. Billie and Mick's on-again-off-again thing may get repetitive though.

As a whole, I enjoyed Offspring. I don't think it will match Love My Way, and I don't think I can hope for another Secret Life. But I think I will enjoy it.

Read a proper review at The Age.
(Click on all pictures for their source.)

Lizzie Velasquez

I was so moved and inspired by seeing Lizzie Velasquez on Channel 7's Sunday Night tonight that I had to find out more about her.

Lizzie has an extremely rare syndrome that means she cannot put on weight. She also ages rapidly and has lost part of her eyesight. She is stared at so much, and was humiliated on YouTube.

Her story made me cry.

Though my condition is no where near related to hers, I can identify with her social challenges. And I definitely empathise with her desire to prove herself.

I admire Lizzie for telling her story and educating the world about diversity and looking beyond appearances. She's doing amazing things getting out there in the media and influencing peoples' outlooks. She has such a positive attitude - and she is confident in herself - more people need to think and act like she does.

Find out more about Lizzie on her website.

Mary Poppins at Her Majesty's Theatre Melbourne

Mum and I went to see Mary Poppins on Friday night.

It was wonderful!

The night started off with dinner at Stalactites Greek restaurant. We had a feast! (Excuse my dodgy photos, I was playing around with the camera settings.)

Pita bread - so delicious - sweet and soft and didn't leave me with a sore tummy like processed bread.
Eggplant dip
Pickled octopus
Mum's lamb gyros plate
My lamb kebab - so massive and full of garlic - superb!
I did the colour accent thing on my camera.
With Mary Poppins poster. (Jacket by Miss Shop, dress by Target Limited Editions.)

I bought up big in the merchandise department. A book, a program, a brooch.
I loved the set so much that I bought a little cardboard one which I assembled.
I wanted the snow dome and the tshirt. When would I use them, though?

Did you know that PL Travers who wrote Mary Poppins was born in Australia?
The show was amazing! I have only been to one other stage show (if you don't count Inspector Gadget and Humphrey B Bear when I was about four years old) - Saturday Night Fever - and I loved Mary Poppins so much more than Saturday Night Fever.

The performers, singing, dancing, costume and set were flawless. It seemed the whole audience loved it. And it made me so proud that this performance is made in Melbourne.

Verity Hunt-Ballard played Mary Poppins. She was brilliant - I want her coats! But I thought the star of the show was Bert the chimney sweep, played by Matt Lee.

The messages Mary Poppins portrays are also beautiful. Reach for the stars. Family is more important than money. Even if you're a chimney sweep, or a bird lady, you can still have a happy life. Look past appearances.

It was so uplifting, and I am still singing 'Chim Chim Cheree'. A work friend and her family were there the same night as Mum and I, and she said they all enjoyed it too.

Photos weren't able to be taken during the show, so here are some from The Sydney Morning Herald.

And these ones:

The show has received wonderful reviews:
A super Poppins flies in
No medicine in Disney's bucketfuls of sugar
Mary Poppins

I thoroughly recommend seeing it!

Mary Poppins is playing at Her Majesty's Theatre Melbourne until December.


Related Posts with Thumbnails