Tuesday, April 30, 2013

25 Years Since World Expo '88

It's been that long since my home city of Brisbane held this wonderful event!  I was 15 years old and in year 10 of high school.  But unlike most kids, my Mum was offered to work there and we got to see behind the scenes before the place opened!  What a great opportunity that was!  
We got to see the rehearsals of the night parades, the monorail in its testing stages, meet the 'Towards 2000' cast and crew - and get autographs.  And I got to meet Bruce Paige.  This man read the news for Channel 9 here in Brisbane then and it wasn't so long ago he retired from there.  He did a piece about the monorail live from the Expo site and - just as they went back to the studio - he turned and saw us all there.  I got to shake hands with him and have a chat with him about what I wanted to do with my life.  Bruce was such a lovely person and he greet my family the same way you saw on the news, just very polite and pleasant.  I found my autograph book recently and found his autograph in it, still looking as new as it did all that time ago.  It brought back that memory so clearly.

But World Expo '88 was a time where Brisbane City itself was opened up to the world.  Our little city went from being tiny, unknown and domestic to international, a tourist attraction and 'grown-up' almost overnight.  
I remember my brother and I both had 3-day passes at first.  We had both come into a little money and asked our folks if we could have season passes; which ate up the whole of the money we had coming to us.  So, Mum and Dad thought it would be a good experience for us.  And so, we got season passes; and I got in and used mine for a good part of my year 10 year.  It was wonderful and I went into Expo most days when I knew there wasn't anything really important going on at school.  
I've got almost 2 passports filled up, a souvenir coin from there, photos I took of the day and night parades, photos of Oz - Expo '88's Platypus mascot - and I also got to meet K.I.T.T the car from the Knight Rider television show.  They had him on display and I just happened to join a line (which wasn't too obscure when you were around the Expo site; as there were many lines going places, you just didn't know where) and I waited around an hour to find out where it went.  By the time I found the end of it, I was looking at the car; and regretting the fact I had forgotten my camera that day!  It was one of my best memories of World Expo '88... to meet and be able to sit in the driver's seat of the famous Trans-am; the original one too!

I couldn't tell you a memory that was the best or worse, but there was a lot about Expo '88 that really did need to be experienced to understand and know it was real.  There were so many pavilions around - and the New Zealand one was the one with the longest lines for some unknown reason - but I did enjoy going there.  However, whether I went there on my own or with family, I had a good time.  It was a safe place because of how much security was around the place and that it was a friendly place to be as well.  It also proved that Brisbane had a long way to go in its growth, development and people power... and as a city, she could do it.
And you know, all these years, later, Brisbane has proven to be a city that has grown bigger than expected.  A couple of years ago, I went to see Sir James Galway in concert.  His last visit here was in 1986 - before World Expo '88 - and he told us that he stayed at the exact same hotel he did the last time he was here; but when he went for a walk, he got lost and had to ask for directions back to his hotel.  The kind people of Brisbane walked him back; and he asked what happened to our city, a lot of people in the audience called out:  'World Expo '88!'.  And you know, I think they're right.     

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Simple Life

Life is supposed to be simple, isn't it?  We are born, we grow up, learn, go to school, graduate (or not), go to college and/or university and then go out into the world and make a living for ourselves and families and live our lives.  

Simple, right?  

Well, not really.  So many things can get in the way, happen and screw up those plans we make for ourselves in the early parts of our lives that we don't realise exactly how complex our lives can become.
In between our health, work, family and paying the bills to keep the roof over our heads, our lives should be a lot simpler than it seems.  Many people have made their lives complicated by taking on a lot more than they can handle; and it's really not that hard to be in the world now and still live simply.

Okay that sounds a bit backwards, but it's not.

For a lot of you, you know me as a blogger, a reader, a collector of handbags, vinyls books and a gardener.  I love to cook and have a major medical condition - Epilepsy - and yet, I live very simply in this world of complex things.  I live from week to week on a Disability Pension - which I manage to put away around 1/3 of each fortnight into 4 savings accounts.  With these accounts, I'm saving for different things, but it doesn't mean I'm dipping into them all the time.  
I don't have a credit card.  I once did when I traveled to the UK, but I filled it up with money and used what was on it.  When I got home, I tried it out as a credit card, but found I couldn't work out the payments, so I had my bank get rid of it and to never send me another - and they haven't.  To date, I have no debt.  I pay all my bills on time, I pay in cash or eph-poss and if I don't have the money, and I want something expensive, I work out a payment plan.  I have been working this way for almost a decade, and it works.  

There's other things that I do to make my life easy.  I cook at home, don't eat takeaway food and, seeing I have my own music collection, I have a huge array of music to entertain myself.  Having my own dvd collection also helps in being able to watch what I want when I want... my movie collection has paid itself off many times over when I've wanted to have a movie marathon over a weekend; and it's been lots of fun.
My life is a lot simpler than most people's.  I'm an artist too, so when I want to do something for somebody's birthday or for them at Christmas, I can find the right things for them in the right places, or I can easily make the thing I want to give them.  

My life never used to be this simple.  I had a lot of stress in it and I found it difficult to live.  But when I organised myself and figured out how to get the movies I wanted to get, figured out what food I wanted to eat and have in my pantry, when I learned to cook different meals for myself, I found that life became easier.  I still struggle with things from time to time, but my life has gotten a lot easier; even though it's taken me a while to get into knowing how to work within my own boundaries and money too.  

So, how do you make your life simpler?  As you all know, I have been cleaning out my townhouse.  This is another way to keep my life in perspective too, and to keep myself from hoarding.  So, even though my house may be messy, everything has a place when I have to clean up... and that's a good thing.  At least I have come this far with my house.  Anyway, until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.        

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Supernatural Is Awesome!

Okay, it's no secret around my family and on my Facebook page that I'm a huge fan of Supernatural.  I love the television series so much that I've changed the cover of my page to one that has 'The Road So Far' and a silhouette of the Impala driving along a darkened road with just one headlight (it's a shot from the first show of season 1.  But I love it!).  And I remember when I first watched this show all those years ago thinking it might not come to much; that I'd watch it and not worry so much of it... that I couldn't become as much of a fan of it as I did when 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' came out.

Boy, was I wrong about that!

Very wrong!

I started really getting into it and not wanting to miss any episodes of it.  My folks found it hard to get me to go on holidays when I wanted to stay home and see it on tv.  I was the same way when 'Moonlight' was on (you know the one with the vampire investigator who only worked to rid L.A. of evil?  It only went for one season).  Anyway, I was dragged off to the coast and I ended up sulking and brooding down there while I missed two episodes and the show had big scripting problems and suffered through the writer's strike in 2009 or so.  It was dreadful.

But when 'Supernatural' hit our screens, I was totally hooked from the pilot.  It was something I had never seen before with actors I'd never heard of before in it with a hot, gorgeous car I'd love to own in it.  And that's the main attraction in it.  This show built from one episode of jaw-dropping violence, supernatural themes and fast action with two very hot, delectable men in it and I just couldn't wait until the following week.  And seeing that 'Three Rivers' had been axed at the pilot, I hoped 'Supernatural' wasn't heading towards the same fate... and it didn't.  I loved it and have watched it ever since.
I boasted and bragged about it and tried to tell my family the story about it; and failed.  It's so hard to explain the whole thing of this show to anyone who doesn't watch it - and hasn't watched it from the very beginning - and they come in halfway through.  And this is something my Dad did one Monday night.  He decided to turn it on and watch an episode and found it was grotesque and disgusting.  After the first 10 minutes, during the advert break, he called me saying it was a sickening and horrible show and he doesn't know why I watch it.  I told him that he can't just jump into the middle of the season, because it's like opening a book in the middle and expecting to know what's going on... he didn't want an explanation and didn't want to know anything about it since.  However, my niece watches it and loves it and so do some of my friends.

I do love how the story is turning out.  I have just finished watching the first five seasons again; and it's been a great ride to remember what happened, who's been in it and how it's all been turned around and come back.  Now, I've gone out and ordered in seasons 6 and 7 and I'm waiting for season 8 to come out as it's still being shown on tv and a date for its release hasn't been set.  
Now, today, I've only just heard that the producers and writers have decided that there will be another two seasons on top of the ones already there... so there will be seasons 9 and 10 coming up.  And Jared and Jenson are ready and willing to step up to the plate for the job.  It's been a great show and seeing it's been so successful and the franchise is rolling along so well, they want to keep it going as the fans don't wish it to go away.  So, I'm looking forward to this whole thing and to see how far it will go. 

So, what big show series are you a fan of?  Be it 'Dark Angel', 'Buffy' or 'Angel', let us all in on your guilty pleasure of television series.  Do you own the whole series of one or the other - or all of them?  And do you have weekends where you have a marathon of particular shows?  Do tell, love to know what you all get up to with these old - and new - shows.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.       

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What A Weekend!

Wow!  I feel as though I started last week, had appointments all week and didn't stop until yesterday afternoon... and now, I have time to scratch, I can catch up with my laundry, washing up and checking the mail.  And this morning, I finally caught up with two of those things - finally!
I'm so tired though.  I feel as though I could go back to bed and sleep another 6 hours.  But I won't, I'll just keep trudging along and doing what I normally do, but slower.

So, how was your weekend?  Busy as well? Or slower and more relaxed?  Mine was a bit of both, but I found it was busy on some aspects as well as being able to sit down for a while to catch my breath.

On Saturday, I watched The Hawks kick butt in Tasmania with The Dockers.  It was a great game; but the second half was brilliant!  While it going on, I make Pumpkin and Walnut Cannelloni.  Yummo!  I made sure I made a lot so I had enough for Sunday night; I knew that I'd be too tired to do anything for dinner.

Sure enough, on Sunday, it was a full day out and about.  Mum had invited me out to brunch at The Coffee Club at Stones Corner to commemorate Uncle Allan's passing away yesterday (as not everyone could make it yesterday).  Almost all of us had Eggs Benedict in some way shape or form.  I had tomato with mine, while Frank had spinach and mushrooms with his as well as salmon and other bitsAll but my cousin Kate had coffee (she had orange juice).  But we all had a lovely time talking about technology, holidays and fun times with Uncle Allan and other things too.  
Then, it was time to leave.  It had gone around 11:30am and we all had to be somewhere; especially us.  So, off we all went in our own directions.  And before we knew it, Mum, Dad and I were at the Kingston Butter Factory by around 1pm.  They had spent some time talking to Uncle Iain and Aunty Narelle after brunch, so that why's it took a while to get there.  However, we made it and Mum and Dad were only going to drop me off and take off home.  But they ended up staying to see how my speech went.  I kinda fumbled my way through, but once I said I was nervous and to excuse any mistakes, I got a few laughs from saying so, and I was on my way.  A train even drowned me out a bit and I waited for it go leave!  Talk about funny!  I got them laughing in the right places and Ged thought it was a good speech too.  We finally got the book 'Nosebleed' launched and he relaunched another book - 'I Am Leather-Man' from 2001 - and everyone was happy! We stuck around for a bit and then went home.  Mum and Dad said it was a good relaxing afternoon and that my speech was a little rushed, but they thought it was funny and light.  

Then yesterday, I was out the door at around 10am to catch a bus to Mum and Dad's place to attend my craft group at the Springwood Community Centre.  On the way, I picked up 2 boxes I'll be using at their place to store some stuff.  I spent my day trying out new patterns I had designed for my Crafty Pegs and finding that some of them worked out, while others didn't.  Anyway, that was my long, long weekend of a lot of things and activities.  How did you go with yours?  Was it rush, rush, rush?  Or hang out with friends and enjoy the time?  The weather was great for it wasn't it?  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.        

Saturday, April 20, 2013

First Date In Eight Years

Yesterday, I had my first date in 8 years.  I was a little nervous about it and wondered how it'd go.  Would I feel terrible, would it be good, would it fun?  I didn't know until it happened.  And I found it was like getting together with a friend; good wonderful friend.  And I'm pleased it was like this.
Jeremy and I chatted for an hour at Rocky's Bakehouse and enjoyed the time of lunch while we swatted away flies and listened to the traffic.  We had our laughs; but we also talked seriously about how we felt about starting a new relationship in our lives, how much it scared us both and what we expected out of it.  
Soon, I were walking towards my place.  I had been to The Big Apple where I had to pick up a few things for dinner, and I suggested we head back to my place to have a serious sit down and talk in a better environment where we could be comfortable.  And it was good to be able to kick back and listen to some music and talk about funnier times in our lives.  
Jeremy and I have a lot in common; and just enough not in common to get along.  I don't want to change him and he doesn't want to change anything about me, which is great.  We have talked about our differences in religion and how he eats meat and I don't, how he smokes and I don't (but he's looking at giving up because he doesn't want to smoke around me) and he loves it that I enjoy gardening and cooking too - and that is real home-made cooking - and not take away food.  And the best thing is that we're not rushing into anything; we don't want to hurry as there's not real deadline to rush towards.  I don't want kids and he knows why.   He knows about my Epilepsy and loves my book collection and how I think.  He also likes how I think too... this one is a rare find and I'm not about to let him go.  

I've had so many good ones slip through my fingers over the years simply because I didn't realise they were good ones.  And now, I've been able to identify Jeremy as a good one (and from my past experience, I've been able to spot from the last few I missed out on,I spotted this in Jeremy), I'm not about to let him go.  I want to take the leap of faith and see where this leads us.  But I'm in no rush and hurry about this.  I'm not the marrying type, but if this leads to a lasting relationship, well, so be it.  If it leads to marriage, okay.  We know we both have luggage as we're at the age where each of us has it, each of us are both set in our ways and don't want to change or be changed by someone or for somebody.  And this is something we have talked about... I'm just glad we're being so honest about it all up front, and I look forward to the next time I see Jeremy.  He went home at 4pm yesterday as he had to travel for over an hour to get home down the coast.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.   

Friday, April 19, 2013

One Heck Of A Week!

Just when I thought my week was going to be easy, it turned into a week of being not.  Right from the get go, it started out being a very busy week and didn't let go of me; not until this morning when I could sit down and take my time with things.

I'll begin at the beginning - a very good place to start of course.  Sunday was a wet kinda day, so all my laundry ended up being inside instead of out on the line as planned.  I couldn't do anything else around the place I had planned, so I washed up and ended up on the computer here surfing the net and doing some writing.  
Monday was a massive day out.  I was away early on the bus to Garden City where I bought myself a Diamond Touch at the Shaver Shop for $20.  This thing is fantastic.  Do try it out.  I also bought an Easy Step Mat which sucks up all the dirt off your shoes and keeps you from tracking it all through your house.  A great thing!  It was also $20 at Big W.  Before I knew it, I was off to Springwood by bus to pick up a free-standing coat rack from Target.
While at Springwood, I was also going to attend my Craft Group at the Springwood East Community Centre.  I arrived at Mum and Dad's place just on 11:30am; a mere half and hour before my group was to start!  So, I unpacked my gear, grabbed a drink container and made my drink and prepared myself for the afternoon and headed on up to the centre.  While there, I painted two clothes pegs and had great laughs with the girls and then - before we knew it, after some builders put in a set of double doors at one end of the hall - it was 3pm.  I packed up my gear and walked back to my parent's house.  This was my Monday.  I was stuffed.  I spent an hour putting together the coat rack with IKEA-like instructions and a pretty picture on the front of the box with the idea that I needed a spanner but really when I looked at how it went together, I needed a screwdriver.  And by the time I figured out how it went together, I wanted something as stiff as the drink and not the tool!

On Tuesday, I dragged myself out of bed, shoulders killing me, and wishing I had more sleep to my night.  I was going out again!  This time, I bussed it to Mum and Dad's place to sort out two boxes of my childhood toys.  They had been boxed up when I was in high school and put away by my folks and now it was time for me to look into them.  So much of this brought back memories, it was amazing!

A Blast From My Past 

I thought a story from photobucket would be better than a series of photos... it was a lot more fun to put together too.  Hope you guys enjoy it; and you remember toys from your time here too, as well as some things from World Expo '88.

Wednesday was my only day off.  But it didn't mean I didn't have any problems.  I had my fair share of them.  The computer I'm on now played up big.  When I turned it on, it went back to the factory settings; deleting all my photos and acting as though I had just bought it and turned it on.  And yet, it knew I needed a password to get into it.  Stupid thing!  So, I called Mum and Dad on their mobile and they came around for some coffee and Dad looked at it saying his computer did the same thing the other day.  I did remember my stereo system played up a little, with the 3-cd platter doing a little dance and getting stuck before behaving itself (and it hadn't done that since I bought it).  So, something was going on!  When we turned the computer back on, it was all back to normal - stupid thing!

Well, yesterday, I was off to the doctors to get checked up at the gynie.  He and I chatted about what the Pill did to me last year and he said it was good I stopped taking it; we'll try something else, seeing I can't take anything to do with the Pill now we know what it does to me.  He had a look and said surgery to remove the cyst was my best option now and to put in an IUD to help with contraception.  I won't be having the operation until next month, so I have plenty of time to get my house and life into shape for somebody to stay with me for a bit afterwards.

Today, I'm off on a date with a lovely man, Jeremy Murphy.  He and I are having lunch in a little over an hour's time.  I hope it works out well and we get along okay.  I haven't seen him online this morning, so I'm guessing he's on his way to the restaurant we agreed on.  
So, this was my week.  How was yours?  Good and busy like mine?  Or slow and sunny and relaxing?  Let me know, I'd love to hear about it.  Until my next post, take care keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.