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  1. Come with Me

    Not long ago I was watching a program on ABC2 that finished before the hour, so they played music under a scroll of what was coming up. There was one song that caught my ear, and I knew I had to have the album.

    The group is Idan Raichel Project. Some would call it “world music” (what kind of label is that anyway?), but they prefer to call it Israeli music.

    The song that captured me was called “Mi’Ma’amakim” (Out of the Depths), and it is the first song on their myspace player. It just resolves itself so well. Gorgeous. But it is now the song called “Bo’ee” (Come with Me) that is my favourite. It’s the second song on the music player, and while it starts out a bit slow, the rest is seared into my consciousness. I find myself humming at all hours of the day and night. I blame it on the octaval vocals at the end. (Want to make a brilliant song in my book? Throw in a vocal line an octave lower. Mmm… clinches it.)

    Anyway, check out the documentary videos on their myspace. Maybe you’ll find them inspirational too.

    Sadly they aren’t heading north enough in March.

    ** Check out the Idan Raichel Project store at Amazon.

    Posted in Inspired.

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  2. Australia Day Today

    I asked around about the significance of Australia Day, but no one could give me an answer without googling. It’s the anniversary of the first European settlement here, and I only knew that because I’m re-reading Bill Bryson’s Down Under. (I am finding it infinitely more hilarious now than when I first read it six years ago when it was called In a Sunburned Country
    (American Version). Any expats here who haven’t read it, really should. The first chapter is online.)

    As far as traditions, it seems to be all about the Aussie concept of the barbecue and also listening to Triple J’s Hottest 100, though there apparently are fireworks for those interested.

    So we’re going into the valley in a couple hours. Hans and the guys have a show… at 4:00 of all times… and then we’ll probably just make our way home, unless someone really tries to convince us to go to the free Josh Pyke concert.

    ** Celebrate Australia Day by watching Australia, available at Amazon.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  3. Non-Universal Marketing

    Setting the stage: We stopped at a shop on the way in to work to get some juice. There was a display of Limited Edition Big Red gum by the cash register. (Australians don’t really do “cinnamon” so much.)

    Me: So kiss a little longer
    Hold tight a little longer
    Stay close a little longer
    Longer with Big Red

    Sing with me now!

    That Big Red freshness lasts right through it
    Your fresh breath goes on and on
    While you chew it

    Come on!

    Say goodbye a little longer
    Make it last a little longer
    Give your breath long lasting freshness with BIG RED!

    Don’t you know the Big Red song?

    Him: I thought the answer was pretty obvious when I didn’t join in.

    Me: Weird. I thought everyone knew the Big Red song.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  4. Pretty Things

    Yesterday, for the first time in a long while, I found a whole bunch of sites on the internet that interested me. I’ve been quite un-entertained by the w-cubed lately, thus the lack of posting perhaps.

    It all started with the discovery of Below the Clouds… a site on which I cannot read a word, but the pictures and hyperlinks have lead me to such amazing finds, such as:
    handpresso: if you ever find me camping (which is highly unlikely), I would most likely be found with one of these beautiful coffee-making devices.

    Retro Joy: hello! A candle holder that looks like the base of a joystick. Does it get any cooler?

    Moss Online: store with many pretty things I’ll never order.

    A Low Impact Woodland Home: so hobbity, so earth-friendly, so how I wish I could be knowing realistically it will never happen.

    Cassette Tape Dispenser: it’s a sticky-tape dispenser shaped like a cassette tape. Love it!

    ♥ I also found Bella Dia today through one of the sites I linked yesterday. Just love those yarn ball flowers.

    ** You can get the Handpresso Portable Espresso Machine at Amazon. (If you love me, you may also get me the Handpresso Wild Outdoor Picnic Set with Deluxe Case… so beautiful!)

    Posted in Creative, Inspired.

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  5. Obligatory Heath Ledger Post

    I was watching one of the morning shows yesterday when the news came through, and I spent the rest of the day refreshing the local paper website and tmz.com. So sad and shocking. Even more sad that reporters are quick to jump on any detail that might imply something scandalous. (i.e. him being “surrounded by pills”… or really just having bottles of pills in the house.)

    I can’t really say I’ve seen any of his work in the last five years though. Oops. I’ll have to rewatch Two Hands now after becoming semi-fluent in Aussie slang.

    ** Have a look at the Heath Ledger movies at Amazon.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  6. A Thought

    I love the way my wedding ring catches the light as I type on days when I’ve scrubbed it in the morning. I should really remember to do that more often.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  7. Crafty (& Stuff) Links

    DIY Swiffer covers made from fleece or microfiber.

    CraftChi: so many cute crafty ideas there. I am so making an apron like this. These embroidery cards are really cute too… if only had I had some thread I needed to store.

    Curbly: Make your home a better place. (where I found the apron link)

    Real Simple Cleaning Chart — I’ve been all about “spring” cleaning lately.

    ♥ How-to: Fusing plastic bags

    CraftZine

    ** Check out the Real Simple library at Amazon.

    Posted in Crafting, Creative.

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  8. Linky Links

    ♥ My household found this very funny:

    (via The Copydesk).

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  9. Ants in My Pants

    Being in the house all day long over Christmas break, I had to face what I feared most. The ants don’t only come out on the weekends, and in fact, spend all day every day trekking through my house in search of a moth carcass or a lost crumb. It was when they started coming in through the BEDROOM window, going down the wall, under the bed, and out into the hallway that I really lost my shizz.

    Let me point out that I KNOW ants, okay? It’s not like Iowa or Michigan or Indiana or Tennessee were somehow ant-free zones, and this is a totally new experience for me. (Not like when I moved to Michigan and faced cockroaches for the first time in my life… I mean, eww!) I realize that ants are everywhere, but it is the sheer number of ants that we have here that is absolutely mind-boggling. It’s not even one KIND of ant… I can at any given moment stand outside and point out at least four different varieties traipsing around.

    (I was trying to find a link for you to show all the different kinds, but it was giving me the heebie-jeebies. Google it for yourself.)

    What was worse was that people trying to console me were just feeding me lies.

    LIE #1 – They’re harmless.

    If the only reason I notice that there are ants on the floor in the living room is because I’m sitting on the couch and have just got bitten in the sensitive area between my toes, then I’m sorry, but they’re NOT harmless.

    LIE #2 – At least they’re not dirty.
    What? Seriously? They’re bugs. I don’t care if they just took a bath. If they are carving their way through MY FOOD, they are DIRTY.

    LIE #3 – This is Queensland. There’s not much you can do about ants.
    Wrong-o. That’s why they invented exterminators.

    So after some tears and wailing that I could never open my home to another guest ever, we made a booking with Elders. (Super easy to do, book right online.)

    The guy came on Tuesday, and I am feeling much better about life.

    The Spider That Nearly Ate Me
    Interestingly, the same morning that the pest-control guy came was the same morning that I saw my first huntsman inside the house in ages. I couldn’t have just spotted it from afar. No, this one was hiding in the little jar of kitchen utensils I have on my kitchen counter. So when I picked up the tongs to get my chicken out of the oven, it came RUNNING UP MY ARM before I shook it off in mild convulsions. It ran under the dishwasher and was later found gasping for breath after the Elders guy sprayed under there. Sorry, buddy. MY house. Don’t forget it.

    And More on the Ants
    So Wednesday we were walking home from the train, eagerly looking forward to spending some time in the ant-free zone. We were walking through a semi-wooded area, when I felt the bite of a meat ant through my stocking. We made the mistake of stopping to try and remove it, not realizing a nest nearby must have been recently disrupted. Soon there were twenty or more on me and twice as many on Hans — all madly trying to gnaw through the leather of our shoes or the flesh on our bodies. It was absolutely disgusting, and once we had kicked them all off, it took all my strength to make it the rest of the way home without vomiting. A mistake that will not be made again soon, to be sure.

    ** For the only GOOD ant in this world, check out the Adam Ant store at Amazon.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  10. Tidbits

    ♥ The photos below were from our Australia Zoo adventure last week. Despite the wind and rain, it was a wonderful day. We saw Terri feed the crocs. Got to see the tiger cubs. I was most impressed that they promote recycling and use real silverware and crockery to reduce waste… love it! I am now reading Terri’s book My Steve and relate to it in a weird way.

    Lego Batman is coming… eeee!

    ♥ Two youtube videos you really need to watch: 24: the Unaired 1994 Pilot (omg!) and Trajen is the Movie Font.

    ♥ We are trying to get back into our jetlagged routine from last year when we got up early and went to bed early and thusly did not suffer in the heat so much on the way to work. We’ve worked up to 6:00 with 5-5:30 being the goal. I’m a bit cranky.

    ♥ I am seriously thinking about getting YogaToes. I have no idea why.

    ♥ Our illness at the beginning of the holidays is now under suspicion after we returned to work to discover that six of the ten of us who went to dinner that Friday night before were all hating life on Sunday. For the record, I thought the place was skanky the moment we walked in.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  11. Fruit Salad… Yummy Yummy

    My husband has a bit of an aversion to fruit due mostly to childhood experiences involving “overripe” fruit. Let’s just say… his parents are Dutch. You don’t waste food.

    The thing was that I knew we were going to have two weeks at home, and I didn’t want to be snacking on naughty stuff the entire time. I wanted to have some good snacks in the house too.

    So I made my mom’s Fruit Soup, albeit the Aussie/Danielle way — which is to say that this country doesn’t always have the ingredients, and I don’t always measure. But it is so great and so refreshing, and I’m sharing the recipe here.

    Fruit Soup
    3 Tbsp Sago (the real recipe calls for tapioca, but I’ll be darned if I could find that here)
    2 cups water
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 oranges juiced
    2 lemons juiced
    (Bear in mind that the lemons were the size of the average sunkist orange, and the oranges were the size of an average grapefruit, you might want one more of each if they are small. The original recipe calls for frozen orange juice and lemonade concentrate, but we don’t have that here. I liked the fresh juices just as much.)
    1 box frozen strawberries thawed with the juice
    1 container/can diced peaches with the juice
    2 branches seedless grapes (red and/or green) halved… approximate amount, more or less would be equally good

    Put sago, sugar, & water in pan. Boil until sago is translucent. I think I ended up adding more water because of my unfamiliarity with sago, but it was probably fine without.

    Remove from heat and add juices and fruits. Stir well and chill. Stir again before serving. Serve in a pretty dish by itself… but it is divine over ice cream.

    I had intended to add other fresh fruits from the market, but they weren’t very flavoursome. Still it was a hit, and I have even been told that I can make it again. Success!

    Posted in Cooking.

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  12. On Holiday

    I’ve been busy enjoying my holidays.
    (Photos from Australia Zoo.)
    I’ll be back in love with the internet again soon.

    Posted in Creative, Exploring, Photographing.

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  13. Happy New Year!

    No 2007 post retrospective here.
    Been sick and been busy, but just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year.
    Resolutions and all that forthcoming.
    Life’s gonna be great in 2008…

    **Get U2’s New Year’s Day MP3 at Amazon.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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