Time to Book

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm going to book my wedding today. That means that after a year and a half of procrastination and fretting about how to afford it, we are actually getting organised and setting a date.

I have avoided writing about this until now, because I fear that I may easily turn into that girl who can't talk about anything but her wedding, and that would be a sad sad day. But as this is pretty much the only thing going on for me this week, I guess its ok to be that sad for a couple of minutes, since it's better than admitting I have nothing else to write about.

I will be a married woman on the 14th of March 2009. God that makes me sound old. I think getting married is something that I've always equated with growing up and becoming an adult, and I'm not sure that I'm ready to be a grown up yet. It sounds like a lot of responsibility.

Instead I'm choosing to look at this big moment in life as more of an excuse to have a giant, over-priced party with all of my favourite people. I started out looking at all of the things that I really wanted and knowing what everything should look like, then once I found out what a total rip-off anything related to weddings is, I changed my mind. I think that was a large part of the procrastination - should we save for the things I want, or just have the things we can afford now? When I came to realise that a decent wedding cake was going to set me back about $700, I decided that the things we could afford now really aren't so bad. Seriously, $700 for a cake that no one will even look at and that will be sent home with them in little bags to go mouldy on the counter top or get thrown into the bin? I think not. You can buy a lot of really cool stuff for $700 and just don't think that I want to spend it on a cake.

This is part of the reason why we've chosen the place that we're having our reception - they include the wedding cake for you, so that when you cut your cake, you don't feel like you're cutting into what could have been your much needed bathroom renovation, or that new set of tyres that your car desperately need.

In truth, I'm a little nervous because at about 3pm I will officially be heading towards our wedding and there is a lot to organise and I, unfortunately, am a total control freak. I want to do everything myself, because I lack faith in others to do it the way that I want, however being my wedding, this becomes hard as I will be otherwise occupied on the day and unable to be the person to set things all up the way I want. It means that I have to find someone else to do it, and this is not something that a control freak is good at.

So for now I am going to just book, and once that is done, I know that I have 287 days to stress about it.

The Great ANZAC

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

ANZAC biscuits are the single greatest biscuit in the entire universe.

I kid you not.

I made a batch on the weekend and they were so good that if I had had the ingredients to make more, I would have eaten every single one of them and baked more so that I could eat all of them without telling anyone about the first batch.

I'm drooling just thinking about them. Ok, that's a bit of a lie - i'm actually dropping crumbs all over my keyboard while i try to devour one as I type this.

Russia in '09!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Woohoo! Go Russia!
Hmmm, not something you would expect anyone to yell out all that often, but I'm just excited about Russia winning Eurovision 2008. Not that I thought that their song was all that good, but because the guy that was singing (Dima Bilan) has a special meaning for us here at Sad Aussie Eurovision Central.

Every year, KJ chooses the cheesiest, daggiest love song in Eurovision and calls it his favourite. Two years ago, at Eurovision '06 in Greece, Dima Bilan had that song. It was a great song - we took a lot of delight in trying to decipher the 'English' lyrics (if you think you have them worked out, read the actual lyrics here and see if you were as far off the mark as I was).
KJ was especially taken by his enthusiastic, emotional dancing and by the white-painted ballerina that emerged from the middle of the piano, and I have to say that I was a little taken by the fact that he looked freakishly similar to my next door neighbour. Sadly, heartbreakingly - he didn't win. He came very very close, but he came second to the Finnish band Lordi - aka Metal music that your Nanna would approve of.

This year, while watching the semi-final, I heard a strangely recognisable voice - and couldn't believe it when it turned out the be good old Dima. This year's song had nothing on the one from 2006, but I was happy to see him win because we were so sad that he lost to Lordi in '06. I was a little worried for him that their stage presentation consisted of Dima wandering barefoot while a man with a freakishly large nose ice-skated around him. That routine didn't seem like it was very well thought out, but perhaps it was the slight element of risk to it that they were hoping would excite viewers.

Other than Dima winning, it was a reasonably uneventful Eurovision. There was a lot less piano accordion than I like in my music. The trouble is that each year, the contestants tend to parrot the previous year's top three, so this year saw a lot of emotional ballads performed entirely in the native language of the country, and a lot of dance music.

You can watch the recap here. I especially enjoyed the Latvian entry. It seemed to be the one that was most in the spirit of the Eurovision that I have come to know and love.

Eurovision Excitement

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's almost time for one of my favourite events of the year and I am excited. Only 8 days until Eurovision 2008 begins!

It was inevitable that Eurovision would become a part of my yearly routine, as it works in perfectly with my favourite hobby - singing bad music very loudly in my car on the way to work. And what is there not to love about hearing musicians from all over Europe trying to imitate popular non-European styles of music? You've never really heard rap music until you've heard it in Israeli, you've never heard swing music until you've heard it in German, and you've never heard punk music until you've heard it in Catalan.

And honestly, tell me -who doesn't like their music with a bit of piano accordion in it? Eurovision never fails to deliver on that front. It's amazing the variety of music styles that can have a piano accordion instrumental added to them. It makes everything 5% more fun. There aren't enough songs in the charts with piano accordion in them. In fact, oddly enough I don't think there are any...

I love it because even when you aren't laughing at the commentary by Terry Wogan, you can't help but laugh at some of the contestants. Every year we have a Eurovision party for the final. It's a good excuse to get together for a bit of a laugh, and this year will be a lot better, because I think they're broadcasting it in High Definition - that means i get to see singers like mini George Michael in life-like quality.

I'm running a pick-a-country-out-of-a-hat sort of betting thingy this year (does anyone know what the proper name for that is?) because I always feel a bit bad for all of the countries that don't have anyone cheering for them during the party. If anyone wants in, let me know. There are 42 countries and only 8 people coming to this year's party, so there are a few extra to go around.

I'll leave you with a video of the act that in my opinion should have been last year's winner, but shockingly only came 37th out of 42.

V8 Conversation

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The guy who works in the factory at my work is a V8 Supercar fan. I am an F1 fan (of the vague, watch it when it's on but not obsess over it like a boy kind of way). I also happen to drive a 30 year old V8. Somehow, factory man got it into his head that because i enjoy some form of car racing and because i drive a classic car, that i also follow the Supercars. Sadly, this couldn't be further from the truth. I have no interest in them at all and wouldn't even have the slightest clue who the drivers are.

He often comes to me and says things along the lines of 'did you see in the news about the V8's...?' and then follows this with some titbit of information about the V8 cars or drivers that has recently made headlines. I told him the first few time that I didn't really follow the V8's, but i think he must have gone selectively deaf when I mentioned it, because he keeps coming back to ask me if I've seen the latest news, and now I don't have the heart to tell him that I have no idea what he's on about.

Instead I've developed a kind of system of skirting around his 'news' so that it sounds as if I'm making knowledgeable conversation about it, when really I'm just rephrasing what he has just told me and adding some kind of comparison with the F1's. I'm not sure how long this is going to last. Surely at some point he's going to realise that I have no idea what he's talking about and I will have to confess that I've merely been humouring him for the past 6 months. And I don't think I could just come right out and tell him. Maybe I'll have to start watching the V8's just so that I know what he's talking about...

Toilet Humour

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

No matter what the rest of the world thinks, I am adamant in telling you that adorable little puppy dogs and cuddly teddy bears printed on toilet paper are not cute, sweet or funny in any way. It's just weird and wrong and whoever had the idea to put them on there in the first place clearly didn't think much of puppy dogs and teddy bears at all.

Also falling into this category are inspirational quotes by famous people and jokes. But only funny jokes. Non-funny jokes definitely have their place on the toilet rolls of the world.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm not sure but I think I've become that person who starts lots of home renovation projects and never finishes them. The kind of person you see on shows like 'Renovation Rescue' or 'DIY Disasters' who can't really seem to explain what it was that motivated them to start on a new project while the bathroom wall is still half missing and covered by a plastic tarp.

The problem for me is that I'm indecisive about colours. I started by painting our bedroom off-white with bright white trims - which in theory sounded good, but in practise was much more difficult. There are literally thoussnds of shades of white paint. How do you pick two shades that will go together well? More importantly, who would have thought that you could buy two shades of whites that didn't go well together!!!?? I spent three days repairing, prepping and painting the room, only to find at the end that my two shades of white didn't really match. The trims looked too dark which made the walls look too dark. So I picked another shade of white for the trims and started painting, only to find that the trim colour was great, but it made the walls look too yellow. So now I have to paint the walls again.

After the first coat of paint on the bedroom, I lost interest for a while and started on the bathroom - it's now trapped in a sort of half-primed, white-washed state, and I don't see it being finished any time soon.

Give it a few months and I'm sure you'll see me on Renovation Rescue - I'll be the paint covered woman screaming about all the white walls looking the same.