belated birthday celebrations

Tuesday was my birthday (and also my birthday twin Anna Wintour’s, so happy belated birthday to her as well), but because the Captain and I were both so busy we decided to celebrate today instead. Something that we’ve both been wanting to do is go to Bounce, which is an indoor trampoline park, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to go.

I haven’t been trampolining since I was about fourteen and managed to trigger a dormant bout of food poisoning by jumping on a trampoline in a friend’s backyard, so I wasn’t sure how good I was going to be at it. It was super fun though! We got an instructor to show us some (very basic!) tricks and we immediately decided that we’re going back next week as well. We got super sweaty and gross as well, so it’s obviously a pretty good workout. This form of cardio is way more fun than jogging, just saying. I really hope there’s something like this in London as well!

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After that we went back to Smith and Daughters because we knew we’d be able to get a kickass birthday dinner there, and they didn’t disappoint. I even got a pin of their awesome neon “eat vegan” upside down cross! All in all this birthday gets 10/10, would definitely do it all again.

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I have been simultaneously sick and PMSing for two whole weeks now, and basically unable to do anything more interesting than the very basics. I may have exacerbated my illness by my insistence that going into the city for some window shopping and Starbucks (via bike, no less) counts as part of the basics, but I just get so bored if I stay in for more than a day.

I still wasn’t fully well yesterday, but the Captain and I had tickets to a  show, so out we went. We started our night off with some hot pot, which I hadn’t tried before. The food was perfectly fine but my tongue is still burnt so I’m thinking it won’t be my new favourite thing. But it’s always fun to try something new!

After that, we made our way to the Spiegeltent in Alexandra gardens, to see this cabaret/circus show that was part of the Melbourne Festival.

It was definitely one of the better shows I’ve ever seen, with some pretty diverse performances! I always love fire shows and contortion, and there was some super cool hand balancing as well. Totally worth getting out of bed for, even with a blocked nose!

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Me and the Captain went to a burlesque/cabaret performance the other night that was so weird. We thought it would be more circusy, because it was put on by Circus Oz, but it turned out to be mostly cabaret style acts which is also fun, obviously.

The Captain wasn’t that enamoured, but I loved it! It was everything that I wish that cabaret normally is; there was, for example, one performance where a woman came out dressed only in dreadlocks down to the floor that covered her face and most of her body, and a huge, hairy merkin. The entire performance was basically her jumping up and down the stage and swinging her dreads around. Absolutely hilarious!

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My favourite of the night was a performance where a ketchup bottle acted as a metaphor for death and stand in for a heart – it was just the right level of pretentiousness and weirdness for me. I sometimes feel like burlesque performances are a bit too straightforward, and I would appreciate a bit more weirdness. It’s not for everyone, but I thought it was super interesting!

Alexander McQueen at the V&A

A few weeks back a friend and I decided to go to the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the V&A – I’d wanted to go for ages, but I just never got around to getting tickets. So when I found out she wanted to go as well, I took the chance to actually plan something rather than just thinking about it endlessly! We had a look at the website, and realised it was so popular that they couldn’t keep up with demand. They had ended up opening it up for 24 hours a day during the last days just to give people a chance to see it! By the time we actually tried to get tickets the only ones available were between 2am-5.30am the last Sunday and Saturday… You’d think that was the end of it, but I had decided to go, so I went. I’ve never been to a museum at 2am before, and I can’t say I think it was an ideal time to go, but it was absolutely, completely worth it.

Alexander Mcqueen was the first designer I could ever really pick out of the noise of the fashion crowd – I got into fashion a couple of years ago (before I properly discovered makeup) and he was the very first one that caught my eye; his designs were just so innovative and unique. So when I first heard about this exhibition in its first incarnation back in 2011 (in New York, at the Metropolitan Museum) I prayed that I would get to go at some point in my life!

I walked around the exhibition in a daze; just being so close to these masterpieces felt monumental, and seeing creations in real life that I’d previously only admired in pictures was pretty special (I wasn’t quite as moved as the guy who struck up a lament when he had to leave, but I think I also wasn’t quite as drunk).

One thing that I didn’t really expect was how inspired I felt by this exhibition. It made me feel like I’ve lost a lot of the things that used to give me direction in my life and that I need to get back to my roots and create a lot more. I think that really drove home to me the beauty of fashion – when it’s done right, it’s so much more than just clothes. Alexander McQueen was definitely an artist, and such a unique one at that. I am so happy I had a chance to go!

(Pictures borrowed from here and here)

Frozen

Yesterday the Captain and I went to see Frozen; yes, it’s exactly as good as everyone says! There were definitely some things I would have changed in terms of execution, but to be honest, kids probably wouldn’t know anything about foreshadowing anyway, and it’s primarily a children’s movie, right? It was really moving and beautiful even with the minor issues, anyway.

retrograding

Today is a rainy, terrible day in Melbourne (not surprisingly; we’ve been having lovely weather lately and this is the kind of city where eventually the bad weather you’ve missed out on will catch up to you). I decided that I was not leaving the house in any way except virtually, and in my idle faffing about I found a site where you can play all the old Sega Genesis games online.

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Anyone recognise this? I played it ALL THE TIME when I was an impressionable child. The Lion King was (and is!) my favourite Disney movie and this video game is my childhood, basically. I never actually managed to beat it until I was 22 and got an emulator from a friend (which has since been passed on to another friend), but I loved it so much. I could never beat the second to last level, because that’s basically a great big maze, and my spatial reasoning was not sufficiently advanced at the time (I’m not sure if this is true but I need you all to know I know big words).

So yeah, that’s my plan for today and all other days this week.

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Look at his little terrified face! Run, Simba, run!

birthday shenanigans

Last weekend was my birthday weekend! My actual birthday is November 3 (same as Anna Wintour, for the record!), which fell on a Sunday this year, so all weekend was devoted to parties and other fun stuff!

On Saturday, we went to a lesbian halloween party dressed up as slutty Aladdin and slutty Jasmine! It was alright, but kind of small. I feel like it was a good way to start the birthday weekend, at any rate. I don’t think I have any pictures of just me in my costume, but that’s okay –  my favourite was the one I wore on Monday, anyway. We didn’t win the costume contest even though we were obviously the best dressed! But the girl who won brought all her friends to cheer for her, so… I’m not bitter, I swear.

On my actual birthday, I had decided that I wanted to go rock climbing! I’ve never done it before, and I am absolutely terrified of heights. It seemed like a good way to live up to my motto and keep challenging myself! We went to Hardrock in the city, and it was absolutely amazing. I was so terrified! I was shaking, hyperventilating, almost crying, but to my everlasting pride, I managed to climb all the way up to the ceiling! I asked them how high it was, after, and they said it was 18 metres! I’ve been telling everyone I know about it (and even people who I don’t know, who strike up a conversation with me) just because I’m so proud of myself. Conquering my fears, birthday style!

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To get our strength back, we went to Vegie Bar in Brunswick, and I don’t think I can fully express to you how amazing the food was. I had two types of daal with rice and roti, and I am basically drooling right now just thinking back to it. I wish I lived next door – I swear I’d be in there twice a day! For dessert I had an amazing dark chocolate cake which I couldn’t quite finish just because it was so rich, but I remember it fondly. And it was all vegan! I didn’t quite realise life could be this good, before.

To top it off, on Monday night we went to yet another lesbian halloween party, this time dressed as slutty Captain America and slutty Riddler. I was way more pleased with this costume! I found the party a bit better as well, so we went out with a bang.

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Here’s an instagram shot of my makeup!

And here’s my full costume! I was also wearing slutty American flag shorts – not sure you can tell in this photo, but they looked awesome. I definitely feel like my birthday was celebrated properly and in style!

NaNoWriMo 2013

Ever since 2007, I have (sporadically) done Nanowrimo: National novel writing month. You’re meant to write a novel of at least 50.000 words in November (even if it’s shit! Editing it is for when you’re actually done!), and if you manage that, you win! One of the things I’d really like to do during my year in Australia is start in on my dream of writing for a living and actually do something about it – you’ll never be an author if you don’t actually write, right? So my bad habit of procrastinating ends now.

When I say I’ve done NaNoWriMo in previous years, I mean not really to the fullest extent because I have never actually finished it. I’ll give myself a bronze star for participating – failure is the best way of working out what doesn’t work for you, after all! With that in mind I should know exactly what to so by now though, so this time I’m here to win.

One thing I’d like to do differently this year, for example, is that I’d like to go to some meetups for participants. I think that having someone cheer you on can definitely make a difference if you’re not used to actually writing all the time, so I am hoping that will help me stick to my goals. I also don’t really know anyone except the Captain here in Melbourne yet, so I am keen to get to know some people so that I can get out of her hair and let her do her own thing once in a while! The first one I can make is tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll have loads to report after that. Here’s to a really productive November!

future pole dancing expert

I keep saying that as soon as we’ve moved into our new flat, I would start doing all the cool things that I always wanted to do. It’s easy to say for sure, but sometimes it’s not so easy to actually do! This time, it definitely will be, though.

One of the things I’ve been wanting to do for a while is take pole dancing classes, and I’ve been checking out Pole Divas. They have a lot of studios and offer both pole, hoops and silks (which, for those of you who are unaware, is that thing circus princesses do when they tangle themselves up in two massive scarfs and then fall all the way down to the floor, miraculously stopping just two inches above it. I’d be terrified but I’m super keen to try). The very best part is that in two weeks (that is one week after we’ve moved) they are holding an open day! How serendipitous. One of their locations is very close to our flat, so I’m going to go there and check it out! They have one studio in Richmond that is offering a hoops class, which I definitely need to check out as well. Hopefully by Sunday in two weeks I’ll know which classes are right for me, and I’ll be well on my way to becoming an expert in pole dancing!

Cabaret

On Saturday, I had the most amazing day. I got to explore the city a bit more, and obviously because I’m so interested in flowers (???) I went to the botanical gardens! Joking aside I was quite keen to see what kinds of plants they actually have here, considering I go crazy every time I see aloe vera or palm trees growing in someone’s garden.

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Gawgeous! I don’t know that it’s coming out all that well in this picture, but Melbourne in general reminds me a lot more of (how I imagine) the southern US states (not that I’ve ever been, so I am probably wrong) with a bit of South America thrown in for flavour (yup, never been there either).

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I found a lady garden! Not that kind, unfortunately. I was well tired of walking around at this point, but apparently this particular part of the botanical gardens was dedicated to women who fought for their country, and clearly that’s the kind of thing you need to pay tribute to (preferrably not by making crass jokes about vaginas).

In the evening, Captain Z and I went to Red Bennies for a show that I won tickets to (I never win anything! You have no idea how exciting this was to me!). It was amazing! It had everything! Magic, cabaret and burlesque! My favourite part was this absolutely gorgeous woman who did two burlesque performances; for the first one, she started out dressed as a man, and for the second one she wore an absolutely amazing skirt that looked like fire sweeping around her, and matching fans. Seeing her perform really reignited (haha) my passion to do the same thing! As soon as we’ve moved to a place of our own, I will start seriously pursuing some kind of performance classes (either pole, burlesque or aerial – can’t quite decide yet).