Sunday, September 30, 2007

Oct 1st

My God. Tomorrow is the Queen's Birthday in Western Australia! And me without a present or least there is time to find a cake!

Happy day to all my favorite Queens.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cars cars cars cars cars cars cars

Kevin tells me that tomorrow we will buy a new car. Well, not at NEW car- but a new very-old-car. I've got only 2 items on my wish list. OK. Maybe three.
1. Power steering. This one is actually a little negotiable.
2. Air conditioning. MUCH LESS negotiable.
3. No noxious fumes. TOTALLY NOT negotiable.

I haven't told our old car. He's still waiting patiently in our driveway under the mistaken delusion that we might get so desperate that we'll drive it again. I hate to be harsh - but I think even Kevin has recogniz(s)ed that "Wow. Is THAT a bad idea."

See, last weekend (Sat) he actually drove all the way to Indooroopilly (I have no idea- something like "In- dru-pilly"). The original plan was then to drive further to Ipswich...and back home in the wee hours of the night. All of this madness was, in fact, inspired by his passion for boardgames.

Love. It drives us to poor decisions- and Indooroopilly.

Yes. He made it TO Indooroopilly. About half-way he woke from his lust-coma to find that there was smoke coming from EVERYWHERE - enough to possibly obscure the clear vision of OTHER drivers. Like the poor sod who was behind him. But, so as not to lose face with the Gentlemen Gamers of Verona he kept on.

Keep on keeping on.

He did, however, take the train to Ipswich and back home.

Meaning that on Sunday I got to ride home with him in the smoke-mobile.

You get a lot of attention when your car looks like a carbon-emitting Pig-Pen. People honk. They point (various fingers). They roll down their windows (JUST A LITTLE) to holler "Your car is on fire".

We made it home with still something like 54% lung capacity....and NO tickets.


I haven't told the smoke-mobile. But, it isn't like that. I haven't had an unnatural affection for a vehicle of the automobile persuasion since I was in my teens/twenties. Fritz, the Wonder Car!

He broke my heart. And, there's never ever been another true love.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


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What is it about museums of modern art?? How avant-garde? how cutting edge? is it to name yourself The ___ of Modern Art? Yes, in Brisbane we've got the GOMA - that would be Gallery of Modern Art. Somewhere, no doubt, someone is drawing up plans for their city's Building of Modern Art, District of Modern Art, Restaurant of Modern Art, or my fav The Center (or maybe Centre) of Modern Art. None of this should be interpreted to suggest that I don't thoroughly enjoy a trek to the local OMA. I've gone twice now in the last month.

While my Uncle Carroll was visiting, we did a big museum day and visited the Brisbane Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Art Gallery. But, we missed the GOMA. I was disappointed because I'd seen a postcard of the current installation by Katarina Grosse- and I really wanted to see it. So, in time, I have. Twice. She works with industrial sized spray guns of paint. She paints BIG. Walls, man. And, wall sized canvases. And, balloons. And, dirt. One word. Color. (Colour. Guess you might call that two words.)

Kevin and I really enjoyed the sculpture by an Indian artist (I believe) who was trying to capture the experience of transcendence. He had large brightly colored pits that grew darker as you looked down or through them until you reached eternity. I'd show you- but they're gone. See, that is part of why I went back. I needed some photos.

For you.

So, I guess my trip today was a bit of a failure. Some of the exhibits had closed. And, my camera closed before I'd seen all the exhibits. My batteries died. I tried to coax my camera into taking "just one more" photo. One more painting by the Thai painter Vasan Sitthiket sending more sinners to hell. I closed it up and walked around the gallery-giving it a "rest". I opened the battery compartment and closed it. I shook the camera. Alas.

I must go back.

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Sinners are monks giving lottery tickets... They will be kicked by marvelous feet until death. Vasan Sitthiket 1991

Saturday in the Park

Kevin's spending the day gaming. He's taken the smoke mobile wayyyy to the other side of town. I'm wondering who will return tonight. So far, 7:24 PM, there have been no messages saying the car has finally expired. He's a brave, brave man.

As for me, I spent the day playing. I went to South Bank and wandered along the Brisbane River and through the Botanic Garden. It was a beautiful spring day. I was not alone in my strolling. The path was filled with people and strollers and bikes and Elvi. Unfortunately, I have no photo of the latter. I know. I never get the right photo.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Comments on images

Just thought I'd share a couple of frightening "photos" of women I've encountered here. Really, Australian women look pretty normal. I don't know what is going on with this.

First- this photo appears on my latest carton of soy milk. I think it is female. But, I really can't make out what is going on here. Especially around the left side of the face. And, why does it look like we are viewing her through our own glass of milk? (At least that is my interpretation of the ring within the photo.) The least of my worries is the seam that runs down her face.

Obviously, this is an ad- but for what? I want to run and hide each time I see it! I can only assume that the person who tweaked this photo has heard that people find larges eye to be attractive. But, really. No one has eyes like this. Obviously, these people need to discover Halloween so they have a place to put their freakish ideas.

On the other hand, this is a pretty cool bug.


The end of winter. A big festival along the Brisbane River. We made it for the fireworks. They were firing them off from two bridges and 3 barges in the river. It might be more fun to be at one end where you could see everything- instead of looking right and left trying to catch the best... but you probably need to get there a little earlier.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The internet is restored!

At long last we have been reconnected! All hail Telstra!! (I think that is right.) It has been an interesting trip back into time. I wish I could say I made good use of all that time I was "saved" from the web. Yep. I really do.

I've decided that I should just bundle up a collection of photos from the rest of my traveling (and the second group of family visitors) and jump back into the present. I don't think playing catch up with JULY is going to work.

So- here goes. (By the way- don't you think this toy is a bit sick? Especially to be selling it in an airport gift store? Can you put the busted up plane back together? Can you find all the missing body parts?)

I guess I've been working backwards- so first Alice Springs (Northern Territory). Alice isn't a very big town. There isn't that much going on. We, in particular, didn't find much to do. Elaine really wanted to go on a camel ride but that didn't work out. Instead, we visited the museum of women in the outback (That would be the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame.) Lots and lots and lots to read. A very hard life in a very isolated and harsh place. Interestingly, it is housed in the old(e) gaol (that is jail in American). Coincidence??? We also saw the original hospital set up by John Flynn who founded the Royal Flying Doctor's Service (RFDSA ) and "The Residence" where the representative of government lived- and the royal family visited- including Prince Charles who got food poisoning there! There is a pretty amusing photo there of Queen Elizabeth's first visit there in the 50's with a fly crawling across her face. (Outback flies = bad. Fortunately, they are less common in the winter.)

Any visit to Alice should involve a hunt FOR Alice Springs- which is pretty, pretty, pretty small. (I'm posing with it. It is the puddle beside me.) It is right off the Todd River (in which Elaine is drowning) - the site of the annual Todd River Yacht Race (Henley-on-Todd )

Scenes from our Outback Adventure. We drove from Alice to our home away from home at the Curtin Springs Wayside Inn and Cattle Station. The idea in and of itself worried my mom and Marianna. They were very pleasantly surprised by the accommodation and friendly "inn keepers". Anyway, we got there about 2 and ate a quick lunch and then got directions to Kings Canyon. They looked at us like we were crazy. It was about a 2 hour drive...and darkness would fall be falling by 5. It isn't a good idea to be driving across the outback in the dark ESPECIALLY in a rental car for which it is verboten! Kangaroos, cows, and camels- oh my! But, it was so, so, so worth it. We were came upon a whole herd of wild camels and saw a pair of dingos! Elaine and I took a quick hike through the lower portion of the canyon in the warm light of late afternoon. And we didn't hit anything on the way "home".

The next day we drove to the park and viewed The Olgas (Kata Tjuta) and Ayer's Rock (Uluru). OK. Maybe I manipulated a couple of the photos of the rock paintings at Uluru.

P.S. I make no apologies for my love of the white barked gum trees.

Finally, a quick recap of the second wave of visitors:
Australia Zoo; The Glass House Mountains; Sydney: Darling Harbour, Touring Sydney harbour by water taxi, The Sydney Opera House, The Maritime Museum, The AMP Tower; Brisbane: Whaling in Moreton Bay, Various Museums

Friday, September 07, 2007

This site is temporarily un-anned

If you had half the neurotic potential I have, you have been asking yourself "What have I done? What have I said?" thinking I was purposefully avoiding you... The fact that you've stumbled onto this blog accidentally by pushing the next blog button probably - in all truth - makes you much more neurotic than I am. And, as is usually the case in these situations, I will reply "It isn't you". I am without a connection to the internet- yesterday, today, tomorrow.... Someday, perhaps, my prince will come. But, first someone on our RIM must move or die.

So, these internet cafes are pretty odd places. I ducked up the stairs into an dim hallway following a young Asian man with a brief case. I wasn't fully convinced I wasn't going to end up in a peep show. Once inside I get handed a slip of paper with the number 33 on it. And, now I sit while around me people surf and chat and TALK OUT LOUD on their phones.

I'll never get caught up with my email again. Or, my on line friends. Or, this blog. The short account for the time being- since I want to leave by 6 pm-
1. We moved. I love the new house.
2. We have no internet.
3. Last weekend we enjoyed a total Bourne immersion. I loved the new film.
4. We have no internet.
5. I'm working full time now.
6. We have no internet.
7. My family is all back in the US and Halloween is coming. What do you think of dressing as a phillip screw? and a brad? You know, all in grey (with a spiral around one of us) and big round flat hats with name tags "Hi! My name is Phillip"
"Hi! My name is Brad"?? Kevin thinks Australia isn't ready for this.
8. We have no internet.

I have 177 email to go- and only 16 min. I better move along.