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The Writer's Almanac [10//27//05 [4:04pm]]

After years of trial and error where email lists are concerned, I've finally found an email newsletter worth looking forward to reading every morning.

The Writer's Almanac newsletter is a text version of Garrison Keillor's morning slot on NPR. Each day, Keillor begins with a well-selected poem from poets old and new, and ends with literary and historical notes that provide brief backgrounds and interesting facts.

This morning, for example, we learned that it is the birthday of Dylan Thomas. Keillor notes, "Thomas kept a notebook for his poems as a teenager, and he continued to borrow lines and even whole poems from that notebook for his entire career. Almost every poem he wrote as an adult had an early version in that original notebook, written when he was 18 years old."

While the text version is a welcome addition to any inbox, I suggest that those of you not familiar with Garrison's rich, comforting voice download and listen to audio versions of both The Writer's Almanac and episodes from A Prairie Home Companion, a weekly radio series with news from Lake Wobegon, a humorous fictional town in Minnesota, "Where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all of the children are above average."

CD : She will have her way : The songs of Neil & Tim Finn : Various Artists [10//03//05 [4:26pm]]


Well ... ehhh really.

I was really excited about this album coming out. But unfortunatley, was disapointed. Apart from the beautiflly haunting versions of "Fall at your Feet" and "Don't Dream it's Over" by Claire Bowditch & Sarah Blasko, and the gorgeous subtle rendition of "Stuff & nonsense" by Missy Higgins, the rest of the album leaves you kind of flat.
The arangement on "Better be Home Soon" is nice, but listening to Kasey Chambers makes me want to rip my hair out. Honourable mentions go to Holly Throsby, Natalie Imbruglia & Lisa Miller. But when you skip half the album, you know there's something wrong. Better just download the good stuff off this one. Because the good ones are worth hearing.




one word: AMAZING!

Do I need to tell you the story of the Musicians of Bremen? If you don't know - google it. But these guys have taken that story - turned it into a puppet / pantomime / political message show. The puppetry really is amazing.
A giant 7-foot death floats across the stage chasing our heroes to bremen. A chorus of around 30 send there voices above the audience. it's hypnotic, confronting and very very good.

(I'm at work and can't sit here typing adetailed account. other than to say - if you're in melbourne see this and if you're not. bad luck)


THEATRE : UNDERMILKWOOD : [09//26//05 [4:13pm]]


Under Milk Wood

Everybody fantasises about living in a village. Some people actually do, but most of the rest of us cherish it as an ideal.

Probably the most beautiful description of village life ever written is Dylan Thomas’ play which traces a day in the life of a Welsh village called Llareggub.

UNDER MILK WOOD follows the many characters of the small fishing town as they go to work, make love, quarrel, get drunk, bring up their children, cherish their dreams and regrets.

Thomas’ wit extends to the town’s name. It sounds so like every other Welsh village, but is in fact “bugger all” spelt backwards. Llareggub comes back to life in a rich new production of UNDER MILK WOOD with Michael Craig, fondly remembered star of “GP”, leading a distinguished cast.

You can't escape the poetry in this piece. Beautifully written and that is what gets you through this performance. The actors have no dimension to their performance, they twit about the stage reciting words it seems they barely understand. The stage design it brilliant but after being given no reason to continue watching - I found myself dazing off into laa-laa land.
Not so great.


THEATRE : HITCHCOCK BLONDE : MTC [09//26//05 [4:05pm]]


by Terry Johnson

Direction Gale Edwards
Design Richard Roberts
Lighting Design Matt Scott
Composer Peter Farnan

With Shane Bourne, Bille Brown, Caroline Craig, Jesse Spence

Alex, a media studies lecturer, invites one of his young students, Nicola, to Greece to examine and catalogue some canisters of deteriorating film that could be of a long-forgotten Hitchcock feature from 1919.

From the few frames that can be salvaged comes the tantalising possibility that even this early in his career, Hitchcock was developing some very familiar themes and obsessions

Finally, a MTC(Melbourne Theatre Company) play with design and imagination worthy of the budget they get to play with. The design was however the outstanding factor in the production. Split screens covered parts of the precenium to reveal little worlds inside the stage. Images from Physco were thrown onto the massive Front curtai during scene changes. The set was beautiful understated ruined only perhaps by the actors frequently unnecessary nudity.
I saw this play 2 weeks ago now, and am a little hazy on the details other than for the first time in about 3 years I didn't walk out of an MTC play feeling ripped off.


Audioslave "Out of Exile" [08//10//05 [1:37pm]]


After hearing the brimming talent of Audioslave's first self-titled album, I simply couldn't believe their next cd could be superior. Two days after it hit the shelves, I popped "Out of Exile" in the cd player and was pleasantly surprised. While "Be Yourself" ran all over the charts in shiny new Nikes long before the CD was released and "Doesn't Remind Me" (a personal favorite) fishes for your emotions and snags your heart, some of the songs have a repetitive feel.

While repitition certainly has it's place (I've had many an angry mood satisfied with the first album's "Set It Off" played loudly and with accompaning dashboard drum solos by yours truly) songs such as "Drown Me Slowly" never seem to accomplish anything but filling time on the cd.

Cornell's lyrics are excellent, as we've come to expect, and the music is truly good- but in contrast to the first album, it's not quite addictive enough to listen to it through more than once at a time. Nonetheless- it continues to stay one of my oft-played cds and I give it an 8 out of 10.
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RESTAURANT : REVIEW [07//26//05 [9:26am]]

Bokchoy Tang - Federation Square, Melbourne.

Hailed as the first open chinese kitchen in Melbourne, walking into Bokchoy Tang high above the big paved centre court of Federation Sqaure feels like you've walked into a set piece from Miss Saigon or some similar Asian inspired theatreical number. Very elegant Table settings surround the large open kitchen, a grand piano plays in the corner and in the lounge area sits a chess board.
Bokchoy Tang serves traditional Northern Chinese cuisine. We chose the Banquet for two and were delighted dish after dish with the full-of-flavour food. Most surprising of all was the battered Barramundi, that came head and tail, but was all crunchy & honey flavoured. Very, very nice. (And don't even eat fish) Aaron decided to defy the waiters warning and threw a little chilli in with his already spicy chicken, a mistake he soon discovered.
Finished off with wonderful service and beautiful Green Tea, Bokchoy Tang is a must for any Chinese food lover in Melbourne.


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[07//21//05 [11:04am]]

The BlackBerry Review

Anyone who's stood over my shoulder while I sat at my computer and designed, surfed, or covered a page in Word with text knows I have a tendency to do all three concurrently, while also uploading/downloading, chatting, emailing and installing. I make it a practice to put my computers to the test.

The BlackBerry 7100 is much more computer than phone. Within the first day I'd set up items in the calendar, signed on AIM and ICQ to chat, surfed the web, listed bills in my memo pad, sms'd my number around, and figured out my payroll on the calculator. My boss's favorite form of communication is text, and thankfully the BlackBerry has enough memory to store days and days of important messages to and fro. I've yet to max out the phone book, though my contacts include the multitude of numbers in mine and my husband's families, the entire employee list at work, and friends two-thousand miles away and next door.

At first I imagined the wide design would be cumbersome, but it's much easier to find in the bottom of my purse than a tiny flip phone, and the key space (and QWERTY-style text) is appreciated when typing sentences of any length. And, unlike the flip phone, there's no danger of breaking it, save a hard drop on concrete- which is never a problem while it's holstered in it's handy black case. By some miracle of design, the 'Berry knows when it's in the case, and can be set for it to ring differently, or not at all, when holstered.

The BlackBerry has a wheel on the side for navigation, and after I'd used it for a day or two, it became as easy to navigate as a mouse on the computer.

Truly, my problems with the BlackBerry, even while multi-tasking, were minimal. It slows a bit when you've opened multiple applications, and after an overload of messages in AIM it refused to sign on to chat for two days. It's hard to do anything more than taking notes in Memos, but with the optional Bluetooth keyboard even that would be eliminated. Overall, I'm more than impressed with my little handheld.
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Journals [07//06//05 [9:05am]]


Published in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Written In Stone journals are by far the most interesting journals I’ve scrawled my way through.

From Chinese calligraphy to Latin psalms, the rubber-like embossed covers are stylish, informative, and extremely functional. No longer than seven and a half inches, mine conveniently fit in my purse, something many of my journals have failed to do. Though I’ve used and abused the ones I’ve had, the tightly bound pages have never separated, and the durable covers have never ripped or stained.

At under ten dollars, I’ll continue to line my bookshelves with these handy, clever journals as long as they’re available.
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THEATRE : REVIEW [07//04//05 [10:26am]]

Melbourne Theatre Company - King Lear
at the Merlyn Theatre, CUB Malthouse.
Saturday July 2nd, 2005

Granted, this was a preview show - the first public performance. The play doesn't "officially" open until July 6th. However I can't really see that it will improve that much. The lines will get a bit tighter, cues will be swifter and such. However, what was lacking was any real superb performance.
Frank Gallacher does nothing for Lear. Mumbling his way through lines and emotion. You're not really sure if the character is going crazy or the actor has forgottn his lines. Sometimes it appeared to be both. Aaron Pedersen plays a painful Edmon, with no emotion or substance brought to the role. Lifting the performances however, are Richard Piper and Allison Bell, as Kent and Cordelia.
Flashy production elements are included when it rains on stage and BMW cars and motorbikes are driven around the sets, but they hardly make for more than an unneccessary statement.
To be honest. I'm glad I only paid Preview prices.


REVIEW : MOVIE [06//30//05 [4:32pm]]


I saw this film on Tuesday night. If you like Oscar Wilde humour; The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband; then you won't be disapionted. Taken from the novel Lady Windermere's Fan, A Good Woman is set in a later time than the book (1930's) and a different location (the Italian Coast).
Scarlet Johanson is beautiful as Lady Windermere, but I wasn't entirely convinced by Helen Hunt as Mrs. Erlynne, but then, I'm not a huge Helen Hunt fan.
The cinamatography is beautiful, the italian coast is stunning. The language and dialogue are what you would expect from an Oscar Wilde story - a few lines here & there even stolen from the Earnest script, but hardly noticable if you don't know Earnest back-to-front.
It's been afew days since I saw and I'm starting to forget the details needed to write a decent review.


Review Card [06//23//05 [3:11pm]]

Welcome to Review Card. This community is about telling the world what you think about places, products, shows, art etc ... If it engages your sense we want to know about it! How great it was, How much it sucked. Tell us about it.
Your Mod. - Michelle.

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