halloween 2016

One of our family rituals is celebrating halloween each year. Celebrating halloween isn’t overly common in Australia (only one of our neighbours was also doing it), but it’s certainly more popular than Thanksgiving (which we also celebrate).

This year we went with a ‘Day of the Dead’ theme where the boys got dressed up, they did a mini trick-or-treat to our neighbours house, then we all watched The Book of Life – the boys loved it! Good times.

we went to the go between bridge concert

We all ventured down the street for the Go Between Bridge Concert last Friday night, Junior Pixels included as babies were admitted free! It was kinda weird watching a live music concert on a bridge, but the incline allowed us to have a very good view even when standing at the back. The night was a lot of fun, we ended up seeing Josh Pyke, Robert Forster and Angus & Julia Stone play. The Stones were our pick, which was expected, and when Angus sang The Yellow Brick Road I couldn’t believe my luck. As the fireworks began, we managed to hail a green cab (literally a three wheeled bicycle) who took the three of us home. What an amazing night!

preserve your little rituals

One of the 10 commandments for total happiness that appealed to me most was number 3: preserve your little rituals.

One of my favourite rituals is drinking jasmine tea in these beautiful little cups we bought in Kuala Lumpur, and in the case of this photo, enjoying freshly cut watermelon with it too. Good times.

the breakestra @ the hi-fi

We went to see The Breakestra at the hi-fi in West End last Saturday night. We saw them play in November 2006, and this time was just as good. The venue was a lot cooler than last time, but it wasn’t very full, perhaps a quarter capacity. One of the highlights was seeing DJ J-Rocc do a warm-up set. He dropped a nice variety of hip hop with nice short kuts.

fantastic fantastic mr fox

Junior pixels turned a quarter of a year old on the weekend, so to celebrate we went to see our first movie as a trio. We decided on Fantastic Mr Fox for a number of reasons. Kitty and I both grew up with Roald Dahl galore, and we both love Wes Anderson films.

Wes didn’t disappoint. The film’s stop motion was amazing, the characters were quirky (George Clooney is awesome) and the soundtrack was great. Roald Dahl would have been impressed. The best thing about it was that Junior Pixels didn’t cry. Awesome.

a new blue moon and magical mushrooms

Yesterday I noticed some funny looking mushrooms/fungi growing in one of my potted succulents. I don’t think they’re magic, but they are rather magical looking.

Tonight marked the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. For two days I have thinking about whether 2010 is the beginning of a new decade or the last year of the previous one, and I’m still as confused as ever (you’re not one when you’re born, you’re zero, but there was no ‘year zero’).

The other things that made tonight great is that it’s thirteen years ago to the night that I first went out with Kitty. We were also lucky to see a full moon tonight, the second this month and thirteenth this year, meaning it is a blue moon. It’s all rather special.

apt6 @ goma

We took Junior for a walk in the pram to GOMA this afternoon to check out the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT6). He only gave us enough time asleep to view one floor, but from what we saw it was an excellent collection. Luckily it’s on until 5 April next year, so we have plenty of time to go back and check it out again. Here are some of the cool things we saw today.

cornerstone roots & salmonella dub @ the hifi, west end

I ventured out last night, sans Kitty, for the first time since junior pixels arrived. I really wanted to see Cornerstone Roots & Salmonella Dub who were playing at the Hifi in West End, Brisbane.

The show was quite good. It was far from a sold-out show (about quarter capacity), probably due to the expensive $50 ticket price. Cornerstone Roots were great, especially the vocals, and Salmonella Dub were also good, but I was let down by the lack of vocals since their departure of Tiki Taane. Oh well. Still a good night out, good to see some live music.

Cornerstone Roots

Salmonella Dub

 

uk ireland 1999: 10 year anniversary redux

This month marks the tenth year anniversary of my very first trip overseas. In 1998 I finished school and had just turned seventeen, so I decided to take a year off before starting Uni. I ended up working in Australia in a cafe for about nine months, then spending just under three months backpacking overseas. I went with Kitty, who I started dating in year ten in high school. We went to the UK, Ireland, Paris and Thailand.

Some of the things I remember from the trip were:

  • Wondering what the fuck we were doing after being grilled by British Immigration after a 30 hour journey over;
  • Being well and truly sick of seeing castles after navigating our way completely around England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales;
  • Thinking the Avebury stones were better than Stonehenge because you could actually touch them;
  • Freezing our buts off, everywhere we went; and never being able to manage a hot, or at least warm, shower in any hostel we stayed (says something about our budget);
  • Visiting my first ever Starbucks;
  • Thinking Glasgow was cool, even though people told us not to stay there;
  • Being admitted to hospital in Cork, Ireland for the first time in my life, with the worse case of food poisoning I will ever endure;
  • Deciding at the last minute to travel to Paris from London for our last day in Europe. We slept in the bus overnight on the way over and arrived at 3 am. We then left the same day at midnight and slept in the bus on the way back. The bus drove onto a ferry on the way over, and drove into a train (channel tunnel) on the way back;
  • Ireland using a different currency called a Punt, which no longer exists with the Euro;
  • Everything being so darn expensive, considering one dollar bought less than 40 pence and I just saved all my money working as a 17 year old in a cafe for $8 an hour;
  • Getting to Thailand at the end and actually having money left.

Good times.

a brand new baby was born yesterday

“A brand new baby was born yesterday,
Just in time
Papa cried, baby cried
Said, your tears are like mine.”
~ Jack Johnson – “If I Could

At 11:23 am yesterday, Junior Pixels entered this world. He’s a beautiful, happy and healthy baby, and I am very proud of his Mama for doing so well.

My plumerias also flowered yesterday for the first time in two years. Beautifully timed.

Frangipanis 25 Oct 2009

our last trip to sydney, for a while

Last weekend in Sydney was great, we’re also going to Melbourne for the same thing in a couple of weeks time.

Here’s some of the things we found/did/loved.

venice beach, california

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We’ve spent the last few nights at Venice Beach in California. It’s definitely an odd place, like nothing I have experienced before. The great thing here is, amongst the craziness, there are some hidden gems.

Like this place we went for lunch: Mao’s Kitchen, a Southern Californian style Chinese restaurant. The food was amazing and the interior and staff were really cool. Kitty had this amazing ‘Stassen’ brand Ceylon jasmine tea. We ordered too much food but got the rest take-out and had it for dinner.

maos kitchen

Another cool thing about Venice is the canals. They’re all small and quaint and the houses on them have really cool gardens. They’ve got paths and bridges and so you can freely walk around and over them.

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There are lots of cool succulents about.

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I went to the most amazing garden store this afternoon called Big Red Sun Gardens and was completely blown away.

Big Red Sun

There’s also other general coolness around.

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We fly back to Brisbane tomorrow. I sorta can’t wait to be home.

juiced nyc

We’re currently flying from New York City (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX). Yes, that’s right, I am writing this at 35,000 feet in the sky, thanks to Virgin America’s inflight wifi internet which is unreal.

I thought I would take this opportunity to post photos of some of my favourite parts of NYC. After a week there NYC is immediately is in my all time favourite cities list, it’s just such an amazing place: architecture, food, art, culture, style… everything. We felt very safe the whole time we were there, didn’t feel threatened once, unlike San Francisco.

Not sure if we can visit NYC again in the near future (it’s a loooong way from Australia) but the memories should last a lifetime (oh, that sounds so cheesy).

desmond tutu center, nyc

We’re staying at the Desmond Tutu Center in New York City which is in Chelsea, an area with lots of nice, old terrace homes where people live with their dogs (they walk them every evening). There is loads of street art here and lots of funky people and cafes everywhere. It’s very much like some parts of Melbourne, except a lot older and with more history.

The actual hotel is really nice, it is new and clean and the staff are friendly. It was only USD$149 a night including a basic breakfast which is very cheap for Manhattan Island, and I think I know why. They can’t advertise to the general public because they don’t have the right permit, but that doesn’t stop us staying here and it being an absolute bargain (Holy hotel! Chelsea seminary checking in guests illegally). We’re stoked with it. Here’s some photos:

Update: 19 May 2009: Apparently they’re trying to get a legit permit this Thursday night. See this article (linked here: eek)

san francisco so far

We’ve had a great couple of days so far in San Francisco. The weather is crap, but we have managed to enjoy ourselves anyhow.

We’re definitely trying to go to Alcatraz tomorrow and hopefully we’ll walk the Golden Gate Bridge sometime soon.

Photos, as usual, by Kitty.

take a jumbo, across the water, like to see america

So we are in the USA. The flight was long and the V Australia service was pretty crap, I guess you get what you pay for.

We’ve been in San Francisco for a couple of days now. It’s nice, but not what I expected. It’s quite dirty and there is a huge homeless population that you really notice.

chinatown-san-francisco

We’ve had trouble finding somewhere nice yet affordable to eat. American food is weird to us. We found a nice Shanghai place called the ‘House of Nanking’ near Chinatown which was enjoyable.

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The bill came to USD$52 including tax (9.5%) and tip (15%). Nowhere near as cheap as Australia!

We’re planning on doing some more full on sightseeing over the next few days including Alcatraz. Should be fun.

junior pixels

Introducing junior pixels…

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These pixels show the inside of Kitty’s belly.  They also sorta show what junior pixels, also known as space prawn, will look like when he/she arrives. It’s apt that all we know about junior pixels is what we can see in these pixels: pixels really have come to represent the very first stages of life.

We’re both crazy excited. The arrival of junior pixels will be a big milestone for our relationship, and will be the beginning of many adventures and good times ahead. I just need to ensure I don’t bore people too much with talk about babies.

We fly to Los Angeles on Friday morning. I just hope we don’t get swine flu when we’re there 😦

fat freddy’s drop touring oz in march 2009

My pretty much all-time favourite band are touring Australia next month. With a choice between the Tivoli in Brisbane on a Friday, or two gigs (Saturday & Sunday) in Byron Bay, we opted for Byron, with the added bonus of the Byron tix being about $20 cheaper.

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The last time I saw them was in late 2007 and they blew me away so it has been a long time coming: I can’t wait!

  • 9 Mar 2009: Palace Metro ,Melbourne
  • 20 Mar 2009: HQ, Adelaide
  • 21 Mar 2009: Enmore Theatre, Sydney
  • 27 Mar 2009: The Tivoli, Brisbane
  • 28 Mar 2009: The Great Northern, Byron Bay
  • 29 Mar 2009: The Great Northern, Byron Bay