Thursday, March 05, 2015

5 March 2015 Rugby, Knitting and Magnet

The evening after my last post, I put on my dancing shoes and headed to the Astor Theatre to see Lindsey Stirling. Lindsey is a YouTube sensation. I first came across her when she did the cover of the Zelda theme music and then when I heard the Skyrim theme I was her slave. I have both of her albums of original music which is predominantly instrumental and I love it.
I was amazed to her that she was coming back to Australia quite soon after her previous tour and this time coming to Perth. Not that I am complaining at all.
Jason came along with me and the crowd was pretty cool mix of people, different ages and groups of girls and groups of boys and mixed groups. It was great to see a good 50/50 gender split at a concert. She was a fantastic ball of fun up on stage and hearing the violin live with live drums and electronica was more awesome than the albums and there was no disappointment to be had. I do wish the stage had been half a metre higher but because the venue is a theatre with people historically sitting, it wasn't really built for this type of event. It was good size theatre though, still felt nice and intimate, much better than the arena type concerts.
All I can say is, if she comes back, I will be there again!
After that, last week was a bit of a blur. The business of my month certainly took its toll on me and on Wednesday I was teaching and my back started killing me. I went home and crashed, woke up on Thursday still in pain and exhaustion and called in sick. I stayed in bed half the day then moved to the couch. Kitty kept me company.
It helped, on Friday my back was still a bit sensitive and I was still tired but I was functional. This was great because I had a rugby game to go cheer at Friday Night. The Western Force vs The Hurricanes at the NiB stadium. We were good kiwi’s and cheered on The Hurricanes to win 42-13 over The Force. 
We were near a corner as one side of the stadium is corporate boxes and the other side is all Force Members. I still don’t understand the members thing in Australia sometimes, it means you don’t get any chance of getting a good seat at any time at this stadium, but I don’t want to join because I don’t support The Force and I only go to a couple of games a year here. Getting over that, there were a few nice try’s in the game. It’s still early in the season, so they were still getting in the grove but I was glad I went as it has been a while since I had been to a game.
Last weekend was also a long weekend for WA. It was Labour Day on the Monday. I purposely didn't schedule anything in as I knew I would be exhausted by then. I was very glad I did this. I did a lot of sleeping and relaxing. I even got some computer time in. I was trying to finish playing Half-life but I still have a few hours to go. Need to devote more time to it.
Magnet wanted to take a swipe with the crowbar.
Then he pretended to be a mouse.
I also started some new knitting projects which Magnet took a keen interest in…
Very Helpful.
This week at work has been busy. Catching up on lots of paperwork and documentation, and again teaching yesterday afternoon.
Reece is home now and cooked dinner last night; it was a fantastic Honey-Baked Pumpkin Risotto. This energised me to do the baking I had been meaning to do for the last couple of weeks and of course it only took 10 minutes to make.
 Rice Bubble Square - Mum's Recipe

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

New York Catch up Part Four The Met

Why do all the exhibitions finish/change at the same time at different galleries/museums? The ‘Assyria to Iberia’ exhibition at TheMetropolitan Museum of Art was finishing on the 4th January which meant that I had to decide early on whether I would try and make it there. From my work desk in Perth I had be googling these museums and I kind of recognised the name but not really, but the exhibition sounded good and in line with a lot of things I had been reading lately due to going to the Egyptian Exhibition and the Afghanistan Exhibition at the Perth Museum in 2014. I am glad that this exhibition made me go to ‘The Met’. I don’t know if I would have bothered otherwise due to poor information gathering on my part. I think because on the website it focuses on the roving exhibitions rather than the permanent fixtures.
Waking up early on the 2nd, I had plenty of time to get there for the 10am opening time. I zigged and I zagged between 5th and 4th Avenue admiring the pretty buildings in Upper Manhattan.
It was a beautiful morning, though 4th Avenue should have more coffee shops. I found lovely bakeries but they were only serving percolator coffee. After the previous day, I was in no hurry to repeat the experience.

My newly purchased shoes were rubbing on the blisters I had managed to accumulate the previous day while wearing my pretty but not good walking shoes, so though my new ones weren't producing new blisters they were definitely aggravating the existing ones. Band-Aids helped but it was still irritating when all I wanted to do was walk. The pain fades with time…and the art.
I arrived at The Met to a line of people, moving at a fairly good pace. 
Signs telling me I needed to check in my bag were definitely confusing since I saw lots of people carrying them around inside and I found what they actually meant by ‘no bags’ were no back packs though if you were carrying them on your front that was acceptable. Anyway I was happy to check in my bag and coat since it was very hot in the building and I was glad not to carry it all around with me. The end of the day was a different story.
I decided to start at the bottom and see how much I could cover as it was the Egyptian permanent display which would lead into the American Interior designs through history. There really can’t be all that much left in Egypt.
There was a complete ruin reconstructed inside The Met… completely crazy.
I enjoyed the American section, but that is probably due to my fascination with historic houses and craftsmanship.

They even had a lot of their ‘stock’ on display.
I was pretty tired from just covering these sections but thought I should go see the exhibition that I actually came to see. I walked out a door and found that I had walked out of an actual door of a complete fa├žade reconstructed inside the building…
I did a very quick look at the ‘Assyria to Iberia’ exhibition; it was quite similar to the Afghanistan Exhibition I went to in terms of structure. There were more items but a lot of it again was written information. Still very interesting and wish I had been a bit more with it.
I thought to myself, ‘Ok, you can head off now’; I was pretty tired and needed a nap. I was walking down the very long hall and happened to glance through a doorway and went ‘wow, that looks like a Monet’, I took a few more steps down the hallway, thinking I was just too exhausted and then I stopped. I was thinking that I should go back and look, because realistically when would I ever get back here and I should go have a look ‘just in case’.  People probably thought I was crazy, as I was just standing in the middle of the corridor thinking all this as my brain was firing particularly fast. And then I turned about and went back.
I walked into the room and up to the painting and confirmed that it didn't just look like a Monet, but it actually was. 
Then I turned around and realised I was in a whole room of Monet’s’. 
A dozen at least. All these rooms have connecting doorways but no doors and as I did my pirouette (looked nothing like that in real life) I looked through to the next room and almost feel over as I was looking straight at Van Gogh’s self-portrait. 
I was not going anywhere; 

I put aside my sore feet and exhaustion and appreciated art as best I could. I cannot express how awesome it all was and I can’t believe how many names and styles I recognised. 
I have never taken an art class or read a book about art but just from general consumption I recognised it so much. I also felt very dumb/ignorant that I did not know that The Met had all these paintings in their permanent display.
I absorbed until I couldn't any more. 

I was shattered by 3:30 and the entrance hall was crammed with people by this time.The line to pick up my belongings was earth shattering long and the noise incredible. I thought I was going to pass out. I don’t know how I made it back to the room. I went for the one foot in front of the other treatment.
I definitely didn't know how I was going to make it to the show that night. I got back to my room by 4pm and I wasn't meeting Rach until 6pm for dinner. I set my alarm and hoped for the best.
The rest helped but I was still grasping at straws for energy. Meeting other people really helps to motivate you. Rachel of course was very sympathetic to my day and was gushing about all I had seen (if I didn't explain earlier – Rachel didn't accompany me to The Met). We decided to try a diner for amusement. This wasn't the best idea but considering our energy levels it was certainly the easiest option. Dinner wasn't all that fantastic though my ‘lemonade’ fascinated me. 
In the end we were told our tip wasn't big enough (we didn't think the service or the food was great enough) which put a bit of a dampener on things. We shrugged it off and headed off down the street.
Rachel was heading to see ‘The Lion King’ and I was going to see ‘This is Our Youth’. We parted near Times Square after making arrangements for the next day.
I was glad I had pre-purchased, not just because it was sold out but if I was left to my own devices I would have gone back to my room to sleep and then I would have missed out on this fantastic show.

It was Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and Tavi Gevinson and I really enjoyed it. A lot of the conversations reminded me of Uni times and they did an awesome job. The set was fantastic too. I don’t know how people write scripts and built sets and act but I appreciate all the effort.
I was amused by the conversation of people as we were leaving and their different expectations and interpretations of the play. I could really go to shows every week. It will be a big draw card to go back to New York. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

23 Feb 2015 Knitting and not catch up post

I thought I should actually blog about some things that have been going on here now. Mum asked me if I could do some knitting for a friend who is about to become a first time Grandma. Of course, I said yes and then asked the important questions, like when is it due and what sort of garments would she like me to make. 
In the end I just winged it and hoped that what I made would be ok.
I did decide on this sweater pattern but since I already had something on my needles that I had been 'marinating' since last August, I thought I should finish it before casting on a new project. Just the incentive I needed. 
I give you a finished Presto Chango. This was using wool in my stash and I was very glad to use up all of it. I think it turned out ok. I did three interchangeable front panels. I think the finished size would be an 18 month to 2 year old size. 
I then started on the Quickie (5 hour) baby sweater. You can't really seen the yoke pattern in the photos, but I was quite happy with the results of the yoke pattern and the wool colour pattern. I had to dismantle a ball of wool to get the sleeves to be of a similar colour but I thought it would bug me otherwise and I am glad I took the time. I hope it fits for a newborn. It is very difficult to tell when you can't test it on any actual babies. 
I also cast on my favourite baby singlet from the Paton's Heirloom baby book in Layette. I like this as there is some nice stocking stitch which is great for the bus and a few other things that I had to sit down and wait for in the past month. 

What else has been happening this year... We dug a hole...
 Magnet supervised...
 He thought it was just for him...
He didn't like us filling it back in. Perth is built on sand and therefore our garden is mostly sand. We are trying to improve it by adding clay and organic matter. It is time consuming but hopefully it will give us better results. 
This month I have been doing my civic duty by volunteering for the Perth International Arts Festival. It's been massive. 
There was a huge lead up with inductions and rehearsals for The Giants visit to Perth. It was pretty amazing to be part of and I am so happy to have volunteered. 

The Lilliputians were amazing to watch and the Giants were very life like, absolutely amazing!!

It was very excited about the 3 day weekend for it as well as trepidation as this is Summer....lucky for us it stayed in the low 30's. People in the crowd still didn't manage their hydration and weren't sun smart but we had some fabulous people making sure we were good and even though I was tired at the end of each day and my legs were made of lead on the last day I didn't feel dehydrated or have a headache or feel sick from too much sun. I did get a little sunburnt on my forearms where I can't have put enough sunscreen off and I got quite wet on the first day so I probably should have applied more. 

Here are some videos that I took on my phone of the Giants: 

The Little Girl Giant Dancing:

The Little Girl Giant Walking:

The Diver Giant Walking:

This last weekend I was still volunteering but this was at the Writer's part of the Arts festival. Amazingly I managed to volunteer at the talk I wanted to go to and I hadn't even asked for it! If you want to know it was for Joe Abercrombie, he writes fantasy fiction, the first of which was 'The Blade Itself'The talk was exactly what I wished it would be, fun and interesting. 

I convinced Reece to play connect four, and then he beat me...
 And a final picture of Magnet helping with my knitting

Catch Up Post Part Three New York - MoMa Mainly

Since we were 13 hours behind, our body clocks were out completely. After my run in Central Park, I went back to the hotel and got ready for the day and then had to wait for the appointed time to meet up with Rachel.
I was pretty hungry by this time and our first stop was some well-deserved eats. We ended up at ‘Bon au Pain’, nothing like some pastry for breakfast. Out of desperation, I grabbed some percolator coffee, something I will never do again. It wasn't worth the $1.50.
Rachel and I decided to get our bearings on this first proper day in New York and just catch some sights. 
We did the walk past Radio City again, found the NBC Studios and headed straight for Rockefeller Centre. 
I was interested in the seeing the giant Christmas tree and the skating rink. This Christmas tree from a distance looked ok, the closer you got though the sadder it looked as it was very much passed its best. 
The ice skating rink was pretty and they were keeping it smooth with the sessions not lasting too long. I looked at the line for a go but decided against it. There were a lot of tourists in town and the queue was long.
I enjoyed looking at the buildings and looking very much the tourists by pointing and exclaiming when recognising a site.

I absolutely adored these window displays in a department store.
After a couple of hours in the bitter cold, we headed to the ‘Museum of Modern Art’ otherwise known as MoMA. Rachel had her heart set on seeing Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ Painting that was only going to be on display until the 4th January.
After the much needed removal of all woollen items and eyes adjusting, the line to buy tickets was a bit epic. 
However, it moved at an efficient pace and once we headed to the floor of interest we seemed to have lost a large proportion of them.

I lost Rachel fairly fast as she was on a bit of mission. I was amazed that as I walked in that I actually recognised a painting and therefore a series of paintings.
I don’t think of myself as much as an art connoisseur or have much of an interest in art and I thought how this being the ‘Modern Art’ museum that even less would interest me. I was much mistaken (which ended up being the theme of the trip to New York!). I didn't realise how much I had picked up from just life. 

-Why I recognised this one, I have no idea. Must be on the covers of Modern Art books...

 - I didn't recognise this one, it is one that I liked for some reason. 
 Vincent van Gogh 'The Starry Night' 
- The picture that made us go to the MoMA originally and allowed us to experience the rest of the art works. 
Thomas Schutte 'United Enemies I'
-These statues are about 4 m tall. Not sure if I could stare at them all day, but I liked them nonetheless. 

Sorry about all the pictures, but I often use my own blog to remind myself of some of the things I have done/seen and have found if I write it up thoroughly it helps in the future. 
After all this art saturation on our senses, we had been a awake a long time and it was getting dark again - which means it was about 4 pm. We tried telling ourselves that a nap would be beneficial and not ruin our time adjustment and we could get up and go for dinner and still go to bed afterwards (it did not...) and we headed back to our hotel to rest.