Tuesday, 31 July 2012

At the risk of being inappropriate. . .

Have been watching the Olympics, like the rest of the world presumably. Very annoying that we're in a different time zone, so hard to see races live. Trying to watch the rowing but have to keep taping it. What they do bears little resemblance to what happens when I get in a boat, still, I recognize we both have boats n' oars etc. I am in awe of them, they are machines. Machines.

However, that's not the inappropriate part. That comes into play when watching the swimming. The men. Under 'gorgeous' in the dictionary surely there's a picture of all these male athletes. I mean, there is no other way to describe them.

Oh to get my hands on just one of them. 

Which leads me to ask how the officials down there on the pool deck manage to look so professional. Some of them almost looked bored even. If I had the job there'd be a little grin on my face at all times.

Hm, wonder how you do get a job at the Olympics. . . 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Vive la france but the huddled masses are really getting up my nose

The National Gallery of Victoria is currently hosting an exhibition called 'Napoleon from Revolution to Empire' and on Bastille Day opened until midnight so Melbournians could flock to see it.

And so they did.

I also went. We had tickets for the 9-11pm session, along with numerous other people. The queue to get into the exhibition reminded me of the queue at the airport in Bali when two 747s were ready to take people back home to Sydney and Melbourne. It was almost that long, but not quite. 

There was, however, about as much room as on board a plane. Yes, you're right I am exaggerating. Suffice it to say, it was crowded.

This led people to stand in a semi-polite circle around the exhibits taking in the splendors of the Napoleonic era, until someone decided they needed to look closer and ignoring all those peering on from a distance they'd simply walk in front of everyone, stop, and inspect the exhibit from close range. This happened time and time again. 

The lovely people here let me use this image
No matter that I took pains not to obscure anyone's view and stand at a distance, someone would invariably come and stand in front of me, and everyone else. The same thing happened as I read the accompanying description on the wall plaque. In fact once I was standing next to someone, we were both reading the description, then she moved closer to the exhibit and stood right in front of the plaque completely oblivious to that fact that I was still reading it. 

With huge self restraint I only sighed heavily once. After an hour I gave up and simply left. 

A couple of weeks ago I was also at a restaurant/bar, standing next to the bar, while my friend ordered a drink. As I was standing there a young man squeezed in beside me and pushed me out of the way. Apparently I was blocking his use of the EFTPOS machine to pay for his drinks. My self-restraint was not evident on this night and I turned to sarcasm and asked him, “Does that usually work? Pushing women out of the way?” Fortunately he didn’t hit me but mumbled something about using the EFTPOS machine, I assured him that if he’d asked I would have been more than happy to move.

What has happened to Melbournians? Have the majority of people lost any notion of courtesy? No wonder we have road rage and some of the kids I teach are sorely lacking in manners. I am happy to note that’s only some of them, the others have nice manners. However, I am disappointed in Melbournians at the moment. :-(


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

I’ve always relied on the kindness of strangers

Taking action after my slow Sunday has left me with sore hips, quads, waist, lower back, upper back, triceps, biceps and armpit muscles. I tried out a vinyasa flow yoga class today. This type of class is more active and dynamic, it’s a solid workout. It was fabulous! I may have found my new obsession; goodbye Bikram.

In a strange turn of events I’d have to thank the on-line dating guy who recommended this class to me. Well, I would except after a few text messages I didn’t hear from him again. But who cares about that?! I have a new yoga class to go to, yay!

After this class, which had me beaming and enjoying the endorphins rushing hither and thither, I headed down Glenhuntly Rd in search of a late lunch. I found a nice little café, Mr Guy, playing some funky music with a courtyard out back where I could sit in the sun and bask.

The owner took care of me like I was his favourite niece. He brought a cushion out for me to sit on, he changed the shade umbrella so I would get some sun and he played some very mellow music - possibly not just for my benefit - for me to get my zen on with.

Here’s where I come off sounding ignorant.

When I asked who was that terribly mellow man singing the owner replied Leonard Cohen. I was shocked that I’d never heard Leonard Cohen sing, and I told the owner so.

“I can burn the CD for you if you like,” he offered.

Laughing, not considering he was actually serious, I replied, “What now?”

Yes, indeed. Now.

I have a Leonard Cohen’s Greatest Hits in my car now. I will obviously have to buy some of his CDs. My immediate favourite, with violins - oh, how I love violins - was Dance me to the end of  love. (And surely it's a tango too?)

Following this interlude I decided I should possibly stay home for the rest of the day as Monday had already peaked. Not so.

That evening I went to a Tango class with a friend. In direct contrast to the salsa crowd the men at this class were lovely and encouraging. I had some issues with walking backwards. Who knew? However, one of my partners told me it takes months to learn to walk backwards properly. Then we tried another more complex step.

In theory when they show me the girl’s part I can follow it, although perhaps not as quickly as everyone else. However, when I then danced with a man my steps completely left my brain. It was OK though as each partner just guided me through my steps. Sigh.

When I got home after the class, I figured out how the initial instruction went with actually dancing with someone. Ah. Now I see the light.

This class was about as far removed from our Saturday night salsa experience as possible; I will be a regular there from now on.

Ah, the kindness of strangers.

Stella x

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Dross . . .

(Don't say you weren't warned.)
Have lost some of my blogging buzz recently, possibly because I've been busy going out and enjoying myself. This is a good thing as you can never have enough dancing and socialising. Well, actually you can if you're a bit of an introvert like me and need some down time after said dancing and socialising but for the rest of it, it's been great.

Except last night. We hit the First-Saturday-of-the-Month salsa night in town. The previous two times we'd been there I thought the night had potential. I thought if we persevered and kept going we'd get to know people and spend more time dancing and less time standing around trying to look relaxed, like I'm enjoying the music, and yet keen to dance, or to ask to be danced. 

It worked twice. This is not enough times for me to pay money to go, to watch the crowd who are 'in the know' greet each other effusively, dance with each other, and occasionally rudely shove past you on their way to the dance floor. We devised numerous strategies to increase the likelihood of being asked to dance like standing near the dance floor so we'd get asked to dance, then moving to another place because other women stood in front of us, separating so that we were clearly there by ourselves and there simply to dance etc. 

We ended up leaving as we felt uncomfortable there. This is not what dancing's meant to be about. It's meant to be about enjoying the music and having a great time. We will not go back. What a shame.

As a consequence I think the night has triggered that lonesome Sunday feeling I used to get. Sunday is usually my rowing day which means I get to exercise and socialise but I've suspended it this Sunday to get rid of this chest infection once and for all. 

So what am I doing instead? Clearly I am wasting my Sunday away surfing the net. . . in my defence I did get up and walk the dog and chat to the neighbours but since then, yes, have been surfing. I may be having some sort of existential crisis: if I got a 'real' job would that give me meaning? But then I like not having a 'real' job and having freedom. (Not sure how I think surfing the net is going to help.)

If I did something useful with my day and went to Bikram, would that give me purpose, but then seems a long way to go to stand in front of a mirror and sweat while trying not to scowl at the woman in front of me who seriously needed to WASH her feet before coming . . .

But enough of that, found this Little Gordon Ramsey. Very funny - you have to overlook the kid swearing, but funny.

And obligatory cute dog picture

(Found it at We know memes. . . somewhere. . . .)

Could I get one of these dogs and take it on the train with me when I go out partying? Then leave it with the bouncer at the venue while I go inside and dance? Then it can escort me home again. I'd call it Cujo, obviously. It'd be perfect. No?