gemfyre: (doe a deer)
2017-04-06 05:29 pm

(no subject)

Until recently I was peripherally aware of the song Strange Fruit, but I figured it was something like a jazzy version of Spill The Wine, "Eat the strange fruit, get high" etc.

The song features in the soundtrack to The Man In The High Castle and I actually listened to it.


Boy was I wrong about it's subject matter.  This song is brutal, visceral and deeply sad.  And it doesn't need any interpretation, it speaks for itself.

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin' in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The buzzing eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

Here's a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot for the trees to drop
Here's a strange and bitter crop
gemfyre: (Red dress)
2017-01-04 08:14 am

2016 Year in Review

I forgot I hadn't done this.

3 things

- Hamilton
- Bayeux to Bayou
- Luke Cage

That's pretty much it.

The rest is still just me crying over soldiers and marines.
gemfyre: (Default)
2016-07-20 12:48 pm
Entry tags:

Long haul fights SUCK

Honestly we were as comfortable as we could have been on an economy flight - but the dry, pressurised air in a plane means I CANNOT sleep properly. I functioned for 24 hours on just resting and snoozing for maybe half an hour at a time (and waking up gasping).

We were lucky that both flights had plenty of empty seats, so on the first one we had two seats each across the aisle from one another - right up the back, I don't know why people don't like it there - there is more space and the loo is RIGHT THERE if you need it. On the second flight we had three seats to ourselves - that was unfortunately directly over the wing obscuring the view and causing annoying vibrations, but we were right by the toilet again. (Hey, it's priority with me okay!)

We followed a setting full moon out of Perth and it turned RED as it set. I may have been a nerd and looked at it with my binoculars - spectacular.

While I didn't manage much sleep - I DID manage to watch Gone With The Wind, now I am totally ready to look at pretty plantation houses in Atlanta and New Orleans.

I started handwriting notes, but as the day wore on I stopped bothering.

Couldn't see the Burj Dubai due to a dust in the air, but I did note that Dubai suburbs are neat and sparse and constantly threatened by the desert. Roads in neat squares with roundabouts at all the corners, but a corner of the suburb might be disappearing under sand. Occasionally a rich person's property shows up - green lawns and large pools of water.

My first glimpse of the desert from my window had be a bit overwhelmed. I am over the Middle East!! This tumultuous, but still beautiful part of the world. It's unfortunate not everywhere is 'safe' or easy to visit, but then again, I'd want to go EVERYWHERE and it would make decisions really hard.

The plane out of Dubai was first delayed by a runway closure (probably the dust storm), and then a child had to be evacuated from the plane because they were too ill to fly (how this came on suddenly and the parents didn't realise beforehand I have no idea), but after about 1.5 hours delay we were in the air.

Paris was still 34C when we arrived. And the air-con at Charles De-Gualle seemed faulty as we waited in the loooong line at customs. While in the line however we got chatting to a guy from Melbourne. Later on we came across him at the train station and he informed us that the train wasn't running due to an accident! There was a replacement bus though. It was now about 10:30pm and we were all buggered so we decided to share a taxi as his hotel wasn't far from ours. I think it was worth the extra cost.

Ah, you know that delirium that sets in when you haven't slept properly. After checking in and dumping our stuff in the room we went downstairs to get some food - it took bloody long enough to arrive but it was good! Then showers and sleep around 1am. With a CPAP, in moist, warm air, blissful.

And of course, now it's 6:30am and I am awake. I can hear birds outside!! The sun is up. Eeee eee eeeeee!!
gemfyre: (Red dress)
2016-07-17 07:02 pm
Entry tags:

Artichoke Lemon Limbo Rice

The original posting of this recipe - which appeared in an LJ cooking community years ago - is long gone, and I keep realising I only have a handwritten copy of it when I mention it to other folks. So I'm finally getting around to putting it in an easily shareable format.

This is one of my favourite recipes - it's really easy and tasty and filling and surprisingly - 100% vegan!


One serve of cooked rice - still hot (I use white but you can probably use other kinds, honestly my cooking technique and exact amount of rice varies, so cook it however suits you)
Cooking oil of your choice
3 tbsp raw cashews or cashew pieces
1 tbsp Urud dahl (you can get this from most bulk food or oriental/Indian food stores)
1/2 tsp red/brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asfoetida powder (also known as hing - if a place sells Urud dahl it will probably sell hing as well)
Artichoke hearts in brine - halved (I use a whole 280g jar, but whatever you fancy - don't use marinated artichokes - the mixed up Italian and Indian flavours just don't work)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp tumeric powder
2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Once rice is cooked place it nearby and keep it warm while you prepare a frypan that has a lid. I currently just make the mix straight in the rice cooker once the rice is done.
2. Heat a bit of oil in the frypan (I use a small frypan and the oil is maybe 2mm deep max).
3. Add the cashews and fry until they darken a few shades and start smelling toasty and awesome.
4. Remove the cashews and place them on the warm rice (but keep the oil in the frypan - I'll let you work out a method of doing this that works for you).
5. Add the Urud dahl, mustard seeds and hing (I get these together in a small dish while the rice is cooking), turn down the heat a bit and put the lid on the pan. Swish the mix around, you will hear the mustard seeds start popping. Keep cooking and swishing until they stop popping.
6. Add artichokes (careful - the brine on the artichokes will spit when it meets the hot oil) and stir to mix and heat the artichokes.
7. Once artichokes are heated add the mix to the rice (don't worry about keeping the oil this time - chuck it all in!)
8. Add the salt, tumeric and lemon juice.
9. Stir to mix and then eat!

I often get generous with the tumeric, but I've learned to NOT be generous with the asfoetida because it easily overpowers everything if you overdo it.

gemfyre: (Red dress)
2016-07-17 06:46 pm

It's almost here!!

Less than two days until I get on a plane to France.

Follow my adventures at [ profile] bayeux2bayou
gemfyre: (Red dress)
2016-07-01 03:45 pm
Entry tags:
gemfyre: (Red Eye Platinum)
2016-01-01 01:14 pm
Entry tags:

2015 Year In Review

As usual, it started how the previous year ended, with a mini-series called Band of Brothers. Sometime in January I read Stephen Ambrose's book which was the main basis for the series, then straight after read Don Malarkey's book. And then proceeded to devour many other Easy Company related books. I now have only a couple left to read.

The other big thing in January was the debut of Agent Carter.  Seriously, can you get any more awesome than Peggy?  The dancing!  The music!  The clothes!  Peggy just being an immense, awesome badass.  I am so so excited that it got a season 2.

After becoming firmly entrenched (heh heh "entrenched") in HBO War fandom, I watched The Pacific and found it was even more harrowing and brutal than Band of Brothers.  Part of it was set in Australia (Melbourne specifically) and all of it was filmed here.

It must have been not long after that that I was convinced to watch Homeland which features Damian Lewis, again playing a serviceman, but GySgt Nicholas Brody is nowhere near as noble as Dick Winters.

Homeland was riveting and I devoured the first 3 seasons in short order.  I figured now I knew a bit more about modern Marines I was ready to watch the third HBO War series - Generation Kill.

G-Kill certainly had its moments of utter shock and frustration, but overall it was kinda hilarious.

I read the book of Generation Kill and began reading Bob Leckie's book about his experiences in the Pacific theatre of WWII.  By this time I had gone from being pretty much ignorant of how most of the military works to understanding ranks and structures and tactics and strategy and firearms like it was a breeze.  Amazing what access to the internet and other nerds and reading some books can do.

Among the books I read was Larry Alexander and Forrest Guth's "In The Footsteps of the Band of Brothers".  From this book I was able to map out (sometimes even pinpoint buildings) significant areas in Easy Company's European campaign.  The fandom seemed quite impressed with my efforts.  Hey, I was mighty impressed.  I had originally made the map so I could get my head around places and distances.

Swancon was in April and I discovered that the nearby Goodearth Hotel had rooms twice the size and half the price of those where the con was actually being held.  I managed to sell a few of the decorated combs I started making in February and to show off my ever growing collection of swing/vintage dresses.

A couple months later was Supanova, where I got to briefly meet Elizabeth Henstridge, who complemented me on my costume even though I was not wearing a costume - admittedly it WAS a paratrooper/Steve Rogers/Peggy Carter mashup look so I can see where she got confused. :D

At the end of the financial year, as I was intending to maybe move out soon, the company I was working for went down the gurgler.  It wasn't a big deal for me, I hated the job and had plenty of savings and was still living rent free at my parent's house.  It was an inconvenience, not a disaster.

I gave up completely on Game of Thrones, season 5 skewed too far from the books and intention of the story for me to care anymore.  Watching it only makes me sad and angry for what could have been.

I also abandoned the third season of Hannibal about a third of the way through, it was getting a bit pretentious for me, but really should finish that up because apparently the ending was fantastic.

I did however go to Queensland, which I had planned while I still had a job.  Brisbane, Cairns, Julatten and the surrounding areas were fabulous.  I got plenty of new birds, including Albert's Lyrebird and Southern Cassowary and over 300 species of fish photographed on the Great Barrier Reef.

My visit to Queensland was also an opportunity to visit areas where some of The Pacific was filmed.  I also passed through Canungra, an old training site near Atherton, a bomb site near Mosman and the Artillery museum in Cairns.  Stuff I never dreamed I'd be interested in.  Now I have a photo of an 88 gun and it means something to me.

Oh gosh and how could I forget - I also visited Dreamworld while I was over there and went on all the roller coasters, of course, plus a bunch of other rides and it was fab.

Watching Generation Kill introduced me to the very handsome, talented and TALL Alexander Skarsgard so I watched some more of his work.  Among it, all 7 seasons of True Blood in the span of 3 weeks (the last season all in one day).  This series reminded me of a vampire story I had written in high school and was just like eating candy.  In retrospect it's a ridculous show, but extremely entertaining and visually appealing.

Flash kept being loads of fun and at time Arrow was only still watchable due to Felicity and Neal McDonough hamming it up as the seasonal Big Bad.

Gotham continues to be awesome and is currently in a mid-season break.

(could this be The Joker??)

In the Marvel universe Age of Ultron was fun, but a little disappoinitng.  Antman was surprisingly great.  And Agents of SHIELD continued to set up future events in the Marvel universe.  But of course the big thing was the release of a certain trailer and now everyone is taking sides.

(no prizes for guessing which side I'm on)

There was also Daredevil, which showed that when Marvel isn't teathered by mainstream channels it can really get dark and violent.  I was impressed.

I was about halfway through Hanks and Spielberg's first colaboration - From The Earth To The Moon - when water was discovered on Mars.  Watching FTETTM just blew my mind that it was actually a thing that occured.  In the late 50s some people asked "Can we get a man on the moon?" and a decade later it was DONE.  And now it's a very real possibility that a human being may set foot on Mars in my lifetime.  It gives me chills just to think of it.

I finally got around to watching Unsere Mutter Unsere Vater, a mini-series about 5 friends on the eastern front in Germany and Russia during WWII.  It was heartbreaking as expected, and a good opportunity to practice German, which I have been learning on Duolingo.

Then one day I was just toddling around Facebook when I saw an article for a series called The Man In The High Castle.  A quick look at the opening sequence had me watching it immediately.  This series will sure give you trust issues.  And give you lots of food for thought.  It also spawned one of the cleverest and at the same time, stupidest advertising campaigns I've ever seen.

In other parts of life, I am still swing dancing and loving it.  My fitness is improving.  I try to do at least 2 nights of lessons per week and social dancing on most weekends.  I also went to my first weekend workshops - Shagabout - which focussed on Shag and Balboa, Stomp Off - which focussed on solo Jazz and Summer Swingfest which was all about Lindy Hop.

I've pretty much immersed myself in the 1940s.  I listen to the music, I dress up in vintage style, I'm fascinated by the war, I'm even cooking ration food.

Mum and dad went to Canada for about a month just before I headed to Queensland and this heralded the beginning of my ration cooking journey.  I learned that Duke Ellington and ration pancakes at breakfast is a beautiful thing (the pancake recipe discovered at 1940s Experiment).  The colouring book craze infected me and I learned that it provided a perfect opportunity to listen to podcasts and it wasn't long before I discovered The Ration Project - which REALLY inspired me to try some interesting things and taught me a lot about WWII.

I am currently reading Masters of the Air about the Eighth Air Force during WWII - the book that Speilberg and Hanks next war series will be based on.

Which brings us to the end of the year 2015.  On New Year's Eve I finished watching Marvel's Jessica Jones.  Another Netflix series that didn't pull its punches and gave me an appaling villain to digest.

And possibly the biggest news.  It's happening - in July next year Desiree and I will head to Europe and the U.S. to see many amazing places, among them a lot the sites from Easy Company's WWII campaigns.  Some which I have mapped out in detail.  I am still in a state of disbelief over the whole thing and we are already busy organising everything.

So... if 2015 was the year OF anything that thing would be WWII, that period in history between about 1935 and 1947.  I seem to be half living then at the moment.
gemfyre: (doe a deer)
2014-12-31 03:22 pm

2014 - Year in Review

So the new year started like the old one ended. Playing loads of Lego Marvel and getting really into figure skating in the lead up to the Sochi Olympics.

I managed to find a few dodgy livestreams of the skating and stayed up late to watch as much as possible. I was watching the livestream when Russian legend Evgeni Plushenko did a triple axel during warmup and came down wobbly and didn't stop holding his lower back after that. A few minutes later he'd withdrawn, to everyone's shock and surprise. No doubt that rattled all the other competitors because the men's skating was a bit of a farce. I came to adore Misha Ge, who went out with the intention of entertaining rather than medalling and succeeded with flying colours, and Michael Christian Martinez, a kid from the Philippines with fascinating moves and the first Olympic figure skater to hail from a tropical country.

Misha Ge during his rocking long program performance.

As my New Year's resolution was to learn how to make-up, I researched nail-polish again and discovered that formulas had generally changed and the nastiest chemicals are now omitted from many brands of polish. I bought a few bottles (8, because piCture pOlish has a deal when you buy 8 or more bottles), and my skin didn't protest at their use. So I bought more. And more. And discovered hundreds of nail art tutorials on YouTube, and that nail art supplies were cheap as chips on eBay, and let's just say I haven't had a week without nailpolish on since.

Nail art, inspired by Stephane Lambiel's "Magical Zebra" long program from the 2006 Olympics. See? More figure skating!

In the land of fandom, Game of Thrones started really veering off course from the books and annoyed many people, myself included.

But the really big event happened in April when I went to see Captain America : The Winter Soldier. It's now a new year and I still haven't stopped obsessing over these two super soldiers.

Suddenly my Tumblr dash was full of the terribly aesthetically pleasing Sebastian Stan and Chris Evans, so of course I had to investigate their catalogue of work.

Of Chris's other movies, the most affecting was the post-apocalyptic Snowpiercer and the most entertaining was the predictable but pretty What's Your Number?

The majority of Seb's movie career is rubbish, but I managed to watch the entire mini-series Political Animals in a day and be utterly heartbroken by TJ Hammond.

Then I turned to another of his old shows, called Kings.

Well. Like CATWS, I haven't stopped screaming about Kings since. This show aired in 2009 and got axed after one season when it desperately needed a 2nd to tie up its' loose ends. I've rewatched it all the way through about twice and keep rewatching random episodes and find new details every time. Religious overtones, political machinations, terrible people doing terrible things – it's an amazing show I recommend that everyone should watch it.

Other shows that I watched and enjoyed:
Hannibal – season 2 managed to have a few scenes that almost made me dry-retch. I am impressed.
Agents of SHIELD – This show just keeps getting better and better. It really found its feet during the CATWS crossover episodes, when everything went to hell with SHIELD. The mid-season cliffhanger has not left me screaming in anticipation as much as mourning some characters who deserved so much more.
Once Upon A Time – after watching episode 17 (the one where Sebastian Stan's character debuts) a few times I figured I should just watch it all. What a delightful little show. I still have to start on season 3 then catch up with season 4. I'll get around to it.
Arrow – I finally got around to watching all this. I went to Supanova when I was about 2 episodes away from finishing season 2 and got spoiled. But seeing as it was Manu Bennett (who plays Slade) doing the spoiling, I was okay with it. (I also got to see Ming Na-Wen from AoS at Supanova and discovered that she is a delightful bouncy fangirl like the rest of us).
Flash – Arrow's counterpart show. Less heavy and more predictable, but delightful. I just love all the little DC references in these shows.
Gotham – The other great DC universe show. Baby Bruce Wayne and rough-around-the-edges Alfred give me life. And finally an iteration of The Penguin that makes me interested in the character.

Guardians of the Galaxy was fantastic. Who imagined we'd all fall in love with a talking raccoon and a dancing tree (well okay, probably lots of people). But it was better than I even imagined it would be.

So my love of all things Steve and Bucky and my slowly growing collection of swing dresses had me starting to get into all things pre-WWII/1930s/1940s. Then a friend said I should come along to swing dance classes with them.

Since then 90% of the music I have been listening to dates from before 1945. I have become a huge fan of Glenn Miller and The Andrews Sisters. I have learned to Lindy Hop and Charleston and Shim-Sham and Balboa. I have met lots of cool people. I still haven't really made any friends – but that's always a challenge and a slow process for me. I intend to keep going to lessons and social dances. If nothing else it sneaks me a few hours of exercise without me realising too much.

I stopped getting my hair cut and growing my fringe out due to laziness, but that has evolved into a purposeful growing out so I can put pretty clips in it and do pompadours and victory rolls. My goal for 2015 is to learn how to do hair, because, like make-up, it's just one of those things I never really learned about previously.

Finally, the year has ended on a show from 2001 called Band of Brothers – which fits right into the whole 1940s/WWII thing I have going on. I finished it last week and have almost completed the re-watch already – it's definitely a show that requires a double watch through just to get all the people (I don't want to call them characters, because these were actual guys out there on the front-lines in Europe) straight. The show is visceral and immersive and amazing and harrowing. Don't watch it if you have a weak constitution (watch out for ep 9 especially, and a brief moment in ep 3 that I seriously cannot watch anymore), but DO watch it if you're interested in WWII stuff and want your heart shattered into tiny pieces.

At first, after the whole thing with Kings happened I figured we'd have another Year of the King like 2012.

But on further consideration I realised it was totally not a Year of the King. Three of the main characters in Kings were/are a General, a Major and a Private come Captain. Steve and Bucky are a Captain and a Sergeant with a unit of commandos. And Band of Brothers... well 'nuff said.

So I hereby dub 2014 – The Year of the Soldier.
gemfyre: (Red Eye Platinum)
2014-11-28 06:42 am
Entry tags:

Spotted yesterday

Observed yesterday on the way home from work - 2 crested pigeons at the corner or Abernathy and Gt Eastern Hwy Bypass
gemfyre: (doe a deer)
2014-11-16 06:33 pm
Entry tags:

Nail Art 101 - Part 1 of Tools

Okay, so I have decided to start a series on nail art - because omg it's so easy to do really nifty, complex looking designs and everyone should know how. As with most things though I notice most sites and tutorials don't start with the basics, they assume a certain amount of pre-knowledge.

Okay, so I am definitely not perfect in the art of the nails. I know the theory of cleaning up the edges and applying polish neatly - but in reality neither happens very much. Most of the time I find myself picking off excess nailpolish in the shower the night after it dries (tip - it is easier to pick off the stuff on your skin when your skin is wet - but also make sure the polish is 100% dry - like 12 hours drying time).

Tools of the trade

You can do a lot of nifty designs with just variety of colours (I have 100+ nail polishes - you don't need that many, but if you get into nail art you may suddenly have an urge to acquire a certain colour or finish for a design idea - this is what happened to me) and some simple tools. I get all my nail art tools from eBay, they tend to only be a few dollars, but they can take a while to arrive from China.

- Base coat & Top coat

For ages I never understood why people would bother with base coat and top coat, but now they are essentials. Base coat will help strengthen your nails and stop the polish from staining them (some colours stain more than others) and top coat will smooth out multi-layered designs and protect your nailpolish - I find my polish lasts about a week with a good top coat. I also highly recommend finding a good black and white polish. I hate black or white nails on their own - but white is essential as a base for bright colours and black is used for various patterns and highlights, and also works as a base for certain types of polish. I go through black and white polish the quickest.

- Other household things that are useful

Save a few glossy magazines as a surface to do your nail painting on. This will protect your tables and provide you with somewhere to test out colours, create blobs of polish for dotting and painting, mix colours, remove excess polish from your brush... it's useful, trust me. Don't use newspaper - the ink will stain your skin and it's too absorbent for blobbing and painting nailpolish onto.

I use lids from takeaway containers for blobbing/testing/painting because it's even less absorbent than glossy paper, and also gives me a better idea of how the colours will look on my nails. Ice cream container lids would also work, or any bit of flat, hard plastic really.

I find a shotglass is very handy for putting some polish remover or acetone into so I can clean brushes easily.

Cotton balls are ideal for removing polish and cleaning stamper plates. In my experience, non-acetone polish is useless, I use stuff with acetone (straight acetone is best for polish removal but worst for your skin) and wash my hands thoroughly afterwards and moisturise.

Other things around the house that can come in handy -
- Plastic bags - for stone designs
- Toothpicks and bobby pins - for dotting and other fine designs
- Disposable plastic cups - for water marbling

- Dotting tools

Dotting is probably the easiest way to get a cute nifty manicure with not much effort. I bought a set of nail art brushes and dotting tools for about $5 for the lot. But you can also use a toothpick, or a bobby pin, or a round headed pin stuck in the eraser of a pencil, or anything else small and rounded.

You can find hundreds of idea for dotting designs on Youtube or Pinterest or Instagram or the nail art tag on Tumblr or just Googling "dotting nail art" or "dotticure" or something similar.

Here's how you dot

1. Paint your nails with a base colour. It's best to choose a colour for the base that won't show through the colours you are dotting. This will depend on the shade and the type of polish - I sometimes test beforehand on a takeaway container lid (I have plenty, and they are really useful for nail art stuff). If you really want a lighter colour over a darker colour you can dot with white then go back over with your colour.
2. Place a blob of the colour you are dotting with on a surface - I use plastic lids, but a glossy magazine will work as well, don't use non-glossy paper because it's too absorbent. Just pull the brush straight out of the bottle and gently touch it to the surface and a blob of polish should form. Don't blob too much in one go because it will dry quickly - just refresh it as you need to.
3. Dip the dotter of your desired size into the polish blob then dot in onto your nails. You can sometimes get 2 or 3 dots before dipping back into the polish blob. Clean the dotter with a tissue before moving on to another colour.
4. Once your design is finished wait for it to dry then apply top coat. Grin proudly as your friends fawn over your fancy "Bali" nails which you did yourself in the comfort of your own home.
gemfyre: (Red Eye Platinum)
2014-10-25 02:38 pm
Entry tags:

The tale of the nails

My sister was a nailbiter, but it was a habit that never plagued me. I've always been able to grow long, nice looking nails. These days I can't let them get too long or else my ability to DO anything with my hands diminishes, and I also scratch myself to pieces with the claws.

I've always liked nailpolish. It was colour I put on myself, and it didn't feel gross like makeup on my face did. I had a decent collection of mostly cheapie nailpolishes.

Then my eczema moved to my hands, and painting my nails soon resulted in serious itching and irritation on my nailbeds. After a while I figured I'd better stop. I eventually gave my polish collection away to a friend.

At the start of this year I decided I wanted to learn makeup. Mineral makeup these days smells much nicer and is a lot less irritating. I'm not sure what I had Googled, maybe "Non-irritating nailpolish", but whatever it was, one of the hits was a site called Picture Polish. I leaped in and bought 8 bottles first time, lucky when I tried them, they didn't cause my fingers to itch like mad. I guess you could call the rest history.

If you buy nailpolish you may be familiar with the term "3 free", which seems to be popping up and more and more. As technology improves, nailpolish no longer needs some of the nastiest chemicals in it. The 3 which are used less and less nowadays are toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate. It seems that 3-free nailpolish is fine for me to use.

One interesting thing is that I can now sniff out polishes that I probably shouldn't use. These are often older polishes that friends have passed on to me, or some cheaper brands. If I smell that distinct smell then check the label, I'll often find toluene or phthalates among the ingredients.

I've now had my nails pretty much constantly painted since March, and they are in pretty good nick! Next up I'll do a post on basic nail art techniques. I've learned A LOT on YouTube and nail blogs, and nail art seems to be one of those things that clicks with me, even though I often say I'm as creative a brick, I can always think of something to do with my nails (often too many things - then I have a tough time deciding!)
gemfyre: (Default)
2014-09-16 10:19 pm

Eeeee dancy dance

I almost talked myself out of it, but I didn't and I went to the Tuesday night class and we did Charleston variations and it was loads of fun. I really really like this whole swing dance business.

Now let's see how my knees are tomorrow. I really wanna do it again tomorrow night.
gemfyre: (Boobtits)
2014-09-10 04:42 pm
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Sudden - or maybe not so sudden incursion of Crested Pigeon into Perth metro area

A couple of years ago I started noticing a pair of Crested Pigeons hanging around near the RSL around the corner. Seeing as I drive past there everyday on the way to and from work I always keep an eye out and see one or both of them at least once a week. I saw a pair elsewhere near home - I'm guessing it may have been the same birds.

A while back I saw one bird on the verge along Abernathy Road. Today a flock of about 7 birds flew across Abernathy on the way home from work. I am 99.5% sure they were Crested Pigeons - Rock Pigeons don't have that distinctive flight patten.

I'm betting we're gonna see a lot more of them in the metro area in the future. Soon they'll probably be as common here as they are in Adelaide.
gemfyre: (Madness is like gravity)
2014-09-09 09:16 pm
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Fans vs fans

Hello Livejournal, that's "Dear Diary".

So I was contemplating today... yesterday... sometime recently, the two different types of fans that tend to pop up (they can crossover).

You have your 'mainstream' fan. Someone who enjoys a movie, or a TV series or a video game or a book/comic and proceeds to purchase lots of licenced material to show how much they like the thing.

Then there are the 'fangirls' and 'fanboys'. People who are more likely to create and consume fanworks rather than licenced material.
Things like - fanfic, fanart, fanmixes, cute little handmade plushies, T-shirt designs sold on Redbubble, funky jewellery that subtly implies elements of the thing that is loved.

I was thinking about my main fandoms and the only licenced thing I think I own - apart from the DVDs, are Pop-Funko figurines.

Just a thought - feel free to comment or discuss.
gemfyre: (Default)
2014-09-05 08:19 pm

(no subject)

I've been listening to so much swing music I'm worried I'll burn myself out and suddenly not be able to stand it anymore.

Mostly Benny Goodman's Sing Sing Sing and all the boppy upbeat Andrews Sisters songs. I just don't seem to be getting sick of them. But it was like this with figure skating music. Although - I do like listening to that again now.

Hrm... *goes on Youtube to seek out vids of figure skating programs to swing music* Awww yisss.
gemfyre: (Weapon of Choice)
2014-09-04 07:42 pm
Entry tags:

We're six jerks in a jeep - BEEP BEEP

My Nan and Pop would be proud.

I remember when I was a teenager staying with them and playing my music loudly and it was stuff like Bon Jovi and Trixter and a bit later silverchair and Nirvana and of course they complained about the noise.

The last few days I've been listening to (and singing) a bunch of Andrews Sisters songs. A lot of these songs are old standards, so I'm familiar with them, but now I know the words to them, some I didn't even know HAD words previously. I never thought something like Chatanooga Choo-Choo could conceivably become a favourite song of the moment.

It's amusing reading the comments on the YouTube vids of their songs - so many people going on about "How horrible and obscene" modern music is and how "OMG Candyman (by Christina Aguileira) is so disgusting and sexual, and stuff like Andrews Sisters isn't." Have these people ever listened closely to Hold Tight? That song is hella dirty, they ain't singing about fish & chips there. Really, nothing has truly changed, I'm quite happy to be bopping along to Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy one day and the next headbanging to Counting Bodies Like Sheep.

So yeah, Swing, which is my thing right now. Finished my second round of beginner classes and I'm starting to really get the nitty gritty of some steps down, which is great, it's all just practice and repetition - and bonus exercise! Intermediate class was learning a move called the Hacksaw, which involves frantic kicks and looks really nifty, and the Suzie Q, which is a low down shuffling move which is absolute HELL on my knees. Despite having the scary name, I'd rather do the Hacksaw.

The knees really freakin' hurt this morning, they are considerably better now but still not 100%. By mid tomorrow they should be okay.

And achievement unlocked - doing the Charleston to Sing Sing Sing. Happy BJ.
gemfyre: (Funky ass shoes)
2014-09-01 10:06 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

So I bought 17 more nail polishes.

gemfyre: (BJ tongue)
2014-08-31 12:02 am
Entry tags:

Hi Livejournal, I'm learning to Swing Dance!

I also wanna try to use poor old LJ more often (how often have I said that?)

- I need to learn how to be led. Hopefully it's something that just comes with practice and time.
- Wow, I thought a toenail was poking into another toe, but it seems I have managed to break a toenail and part of it has come off and it was bleeding and I had no idea.
- I have NO idea where the guys at SDA get their energy. Some of them were going the whole night, and not slowing down. I wonder if I will get anywhere near those energy levels if I keep this up.
- Stucky feels intensifying.
- Where can I learn Balboa? It's like someone shoved all the fancy moves in Quickstep into a dance and removed the stuff that moves you around the floor at a rapid pace.
- Jive is so ingrained in my head that I keep slipping into it while doing Lindy Hop - annoying.
- Sing Sing Sing actually has lyrics.
- Need more Andrews Sisters.
- I think I need to learn Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen and sing it at karaoke.

yeah, it's now midnight, waiting for sleep wave to hit.
gemfyre: (Captain Slow)
2014-01-11 08:47 am
Entry tags:

Another weird dream

Another that was a relief to find it was just a dream.

I dreamed I was on holiday, like I will be soon down in Denmark. There were various details but this is just the most memorable.

I was parked in a carpark somewhere and it was on a slope. I'm driving out and something must have distracted me, I can't really remember, but anyway whatever it was caused me to accidentally hit the corner of the car in the row in front of me. Just a slight dent. The woman in that car starts yelling and I get out of the car to apologise and stuff, and she gets back in her car and drives off... I have left my handbrake on.

With no car in front to stop it my car rolls off, too fast for me to catch up, it rolls down the entire carpark, hitting a few things as it does so then comes to an embankment and topples over. All because this silly woman DROVE OFF.

There was more but that's the essence of it.
gemfyre: (Funky ass shoes)
2013-12-30 02:44 pm

2013 - Year in Review

Last year was the Year Of The King. So I was trying to think what this is the year of.

I considered things and this is my conclusion.

We have Boltons in Swaggy Pink Capes and Greyjoys being sexy pirates.

We have Iwan Rheon being all sparkly eyed.

SDCC happened.

This happened -

And this happened -

Then THIS happened -

And at the end of it all I was sucked into the sparkletastic world of this fabulous bastard.

So, I declare 2014 - The Year of Fabulous!