A Travellerspoint blog

My new haircut!

... and other interesting stories

sunny 24 °C

All of you who have seen my Facebook recently will know that I've gotten a haircut, but I think I should reiterate how long it's been since I've had a proper haircut. The last time I got my hair significantly cut, I'm sure it was last millenium. I guess I must have been in sophomore year of high school, or maybe freshman year because by junior year it was long enough for a ponytail and I had dyed it red. In any case, I got a terrible, horrific haircut that made my hair really short and embarrasing because it was a boy cut on a slightly wavy head of mousey blonde hair. That was probably the last time I cut my hair properly. I've gotten cuts, don't get me wrong, but they've never been more adventurous than layering, and for the most part I've kept it in a ponytail. In fact, when I went into the hair salon, the woman asked me if I wore my hair in ponytails because my hair's growth patterns had been affected by it. Crazy!

th_DSC00167.jpgAt any rate, I've gotten a rather drastic haircut, but it's very short and pixie-like and I adore it. I had my first bad hair day today, after sleeping on it while it was wet. (I will obviously never do that again. Ever.) But otherwise, it takes about five minutes to straighten (that's if I go crazy with it), and two seconds to scrunch up with some hair product. That's just a few minutes up from whacking it in a ponytail, and this is so much cuter!

This photo was taken right after I got back from the salon, and I have yet to manage to get the sides to stay quite so flat against my head, but that's just a matter of standing there with the hair straightener. Mostly, I can't be bothered, and I just let my hair kick out at the sides because that's just as cute if not cuter. My bad hair day today (in which there was a patch at the back sticking up horribly and I couldn't get it to stay down no matter how much product I used) was remedied very easily by a hat, which worked really well with the kick-out parts, and so even when it's misbehaving, I love it! It also seems to be happy with headbands, which I would have been sad to miss.

Haircut Rating: 10/10! The fact I've spent three paragraphs talking about my hair should have tipped you off...

Other interesting stories? Well, they're not so interesting in hindsight! I've got an absolutely full plate and there's nothing I can do about it. I would love to just take some time, just a few days to cool down, but there is no rest for the weary about to graduate. I'm taking tonight off from reading, studying, or attempting to start an essay, because I really feel I deserve it, and also possibly because I'm lazy. Work has been crazy, uni is getting me down, and I just want some time off.

I can complain until the cows come home, of course, but there is plenty great that is going on as well:

  • New job is fantastic. People are great, staff discount is incredible (cost price + 10%), and it's always busy and exciting. Haven't officially resigned from the newsagency, but I might end up doing that when the excuse of "uni is too hard!" becomes null and void.
  • Related to the whole "new job" thing is the money I'm finally making! I'm two weeks off paying up my credit card (well, maybe three, since I have to buy tickets to another music festival on Monday...), and it just feels GOOD to be making money again. No income + debt = a sad Alex.
  • I get to write a paper about homosexuality in late imperial China, and most of the suggested reading list is online and printable. No more photocopy room and reserve bullshit!
  • I am officially DONE with university in six weeks. It'll be a long and crazy six weeks, but after that there will be NO MORE! (Until I decide to go back to uni, just for fun, in another country or something, haha.)
  • OMG MUSIC! It continues to be my life. I will upload some songs for you all, but I just got the new Vasco Era CD and it is AMAZING and will probably overtake Joel Plaskett in my life. Which is saying something, as I've been listening to Plaskett non-stop for about a month now. And we're going to SEE Vasco on June 1, too, which is amazing! Bob Evans is coming up soom and also Evermore is playing at the Enmore but I still don't have tickets for that one, haha.
  • Honorable new music mentions go to: Gotye, Cold War Kids, Max├»mo Park, Aqualung (opening for Evermore, incidentally), Mika, The Fratellis (THE ALBUM IS AWESOME GO BUY IT), Kings of Leon, Whitley, The Kooks, The Decemberists (I didn't like them until The Crane Wife), Arctic Monkeys... and OTHERS!
  • TELEVISION is the other half of my life, omfg. I am in love with Doctor Who and need somewhere to unleash my love of David Tennant and his Converse. Also, America's Next Top Model and how crazy is it that they are/were in Sydney, I keep looking out for models. IT'S SURVIVOR NIGHT TODAY and I love Yau Man. Who does not love Yau Man. That isn't even a question, no two people do not love him. There are other shows my family is into but I have only seen a few episodes, which have been amazing: Heroes, Brothers & Sisters, Friday Night Lights... um, and some other stuff I can't think of, but there is a whole lot. Our bandwidth suffers every month.

That's just about it for now! There are other uni-related things, but they are boring and take up my entire mindspace at the moment anyway, so there's no point in putting them out on paper (as it were).

I miss you all, but I'll definitely be back in commission and properly updating by the end of semester. SIX WEEKS AND I GRADUATE, GUYS! SIX WEEKS!

Posted by alexifer 01:43 Archived in Australia Tagged photography Comments (0)

ONE OF EVERYTHING!

Nobody asked, but you're getting it anyway!

rain 17 °C

So, I'm sitting in the library instead of in class today at 3pm because I am quietly going insane. I guess the trigger of it was the fact that one of my teachers decided to change the assessment requirements (but more importantly, SCHEDULE) yesterday, so that he wants a first draft (the roughness of which has yet to be determined, or told to us) in the same week as I have an essay worth 50% of my marks for another class. That is enough to drive someone mad, yes? Admittedly, I did get him to push it back for me another week (during the week that, hey, I also have to do an 8-minute presentation for the class, pukes), but it still makes me mad.

Looking at the rest of my academic diary, I have a vocab quiz in the same week as I have the draft and the presentation due as well, for my Business Chinese class which is just about the most boring thing I can think of.

And this is all before week 12, at which point life will just get hard all over again. I think that I preferred that time I had three major take-home exams or papers due on the same day, rather than a constant and uninterrupted flow of stress. At least it made for a quiet post-break lull!

Add to all this the confusion of the last couple of weeks in terms of money, finance, and job-related stress. My boss from the newsagency hadn't been giving me very steady work since I got home, and given the insane amounts of money I owe both my credit card and my parents (it's up around $2000 now, all up), I was really pissed off. I got the job at JB Hi-fi, as I did mention a few weeks ago, and I just started there last week. I was so tired and the trek out there takes me an hour, but this week I've got a public holiday shift that pays double time and a half so I'm excited about some money actually coming in, instead of just going out.

I'm also starting another little job, one day a week, cash in hand, for someone needing to get past receptionists at global companies that have headquarters in China. This entails sitting at a desk for about six hours, using my Chinese to get past a receptionist to someone who can speak better English, and ask that person for contact details for later use. It shouldn't be too difficult, but I need to get my hands on some vocabulary before I start (on Friday), which might be the difficult part of the exercise. But it's good work - nice on the CV, easy, lets me use my language skills, and $100 a week that I don't have to tell the government about. I'm very excited for that. Dude, two weeks of that and I can buy a Paul Frank watch I've been eyeing off for two months!

My social life has gone sort of... weird. Hanging out with musicians is all right, but it doesn't feel quite normal. I don't see anyone at uni that I usually do, and everything else in my life is sucking away my energy to want to do much unless I'm asked, so I'm left being a little upset that I've only seen Leah once since I've been back (in the first week, too! It's been so long!), and I'm not making any new friends and blah blah blah.

But my social life has always been weird, so I'll go back to talking about uni. I put in a request for a little sheet of paper that will tell me exactly what I need to do to get my degree. Hopefully it will be exactly what I'm thinking (put in an application for some useless junior credit points I got at UMass and never submitted later), but at least when I get the letter back within the week, I'll know and I'll have my plan of attack all laid out for me. That was sort of a weight off my shoulders, even though it doesn't actually help me in the short term. I'll still be neurotic about it until I've gotten the piece of paper.

And, to put the final nail in the coffin of my going completely insane, I just don't want to be at uni doing this at all. I'm not enjoying my classes as much as I'd hoped (the Greater China class is an absolute joke, I could go on for hours), and work has been more of a pain in the ass than it ever should have been, and all I want to do is get out of it all and get a stupid 9-5 so my life is regular for a while. I'm sick of the unpredictability of it all, it's just frustrating and I feel like I've been running and running but not going anywhere for the whole time I've been home, so it would be nice to get something routine to do for a while.

My plans after uni, of course, don't amount to much. I'll probably mess around for a couple of months with my casual jobs and then get something more fixed, something boring and office-y that I don't have to think about. I'll do that for a while and then see where I am. I want to live in Shanghai for a while, so I'll work on that theory, save up some money and try to get there for the Olympics. Beijing is a boring city, but I'll visit and then Shanghai will get the immediate overrun from Beijing so it'll all be good.

Maybe after that I'll work on making a plan that lasts a little longer than eighteen months.

Posted by alexifer 03:35 Archived in Australia Tagged postcards Comments (0)

The Great Escape, 2007!

Sun, Wind, and Rain!

rain 15 °C

I don't have anything like the time needed to go through all the many, varied, and interesting things that happened over the three-day weekend that was the Great Escape festival, but contained herein are the highlights, and included are some of the better photographs, either from my phone's camera or my cousin's.

FRIDAY 6 APRIL 2007

1) Ben Kweller: The big pull for my going to the Great Escape this year, or at least the first tug. Unfortunately, there were massive sound problems on the Village Green (aka main stage) all through the weekend, and we were treated some especially awful ones during Kweller's set, but I still really enjoyed the show. His energy was great, and though it was a huge setting (I much preferred him at the Gaelic Club and the Corner Hotel), I was really excited to see him for the first time. After so long obsessing, finally I got to see Kweller in action!

2) The Vines: It's always great to see a big act like this from afar, and that's exactly what we did with the Vines. I'm not really that familiar was Vines stuff, so we wandered a bit, caught... that song I forget the name of, Ride or something, the one that plays on car ads these days, and that's about all I paid attention to. And while I know I should have enjoyed the Vines more than Wolfmother, I was impressed by the fireworks display during Wolfmother's set ;)

3) Fourplay: An interesting surprise at the end of a very long day. A modern string quartet, Fourplay does their own original work and covers of other songs and it's all really interesting. There are some songs with vocals, while other songs seem to utilize one of the violins as a "vocal" set. I recorded a piece of their cover of "Reptilia" by The Strokes, but it wasn't long enough to bother uploading. Definitely check them out, though.

SATURDAY 7 APRIL

1) Won Phreely: What can I say, Wons is the best, and he really did an amazing job at the festival. Better than his sets for Mellow Gold, that's for sure. ;) He did stunningly, kept the audience (which grew considerably due to the annoying rain outside) entertained throughout, and the band he had with him did really well. Unfortunately, we had to leave early for the next big show, but he said goodbye to us... just before his last song. :/ He seemed to be enjoying himself, though, so it was all good.

2) Bob Evans: Despite it being alternately sunny and then rainy (though he was singing "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" during a clear patch), Bob did a great set. It was funny to see him on the main stage, though; last year, he did a three-day residency at the Riverside stage, which was tiny, and this year, he was on the Village Green! It must have been a crazy year for Bob, and he's back on tour in a couple of months. Go Bob!

3) John Butler Trio: They always give off such a great vibe, and they didn't disappoint at all. The crowd was really mellow (even the crazy dancers we saw didn't go too insane), and it was loads of fun just to be standing there. Everyone seemed to be enjoying and embracing the rain, even though it definitely made a wet patch in an otherwise great evening.

4) The Panda Band: Who opened for Evermore that time I saw them seven dates in a row, so I knew their older stuff very well. I saw a few Evermore fans in the crowd, but I was still surprised to see that lots of people got excited when they played their old tunes. Their new songs were really good too, though, and they have polished up quite a lot since I saw them last. Good job to them, getting a gig with Gomez!

SUNDAY 8 APRIL

1) Joel Plaskett: This review couldn't go without mentioning "Billy" Joel Plaskett. He did a three-day stint at The Terrace, a medium-sized, covered stage just on the hill behind the Village Green, and he was great. I had seen him the week (or two?) before that, at a tiny little venue in Sydney, and really enjoyed all his songs and the show in general, and he didn't disappoint on any of the days. It was nice to wake up to something familiar in the late morning, and even though he didn't play the same set every single day (he did a solo gig on Saturday because his drummer was "sick" -- read "hungover") it definitely gave a sense of routine to the days. I've just bought his "intro" to the Australian market, called Make A Little Noise, and everyone should get it because Joel Plaskett is awesome The End. :D

2) The Living End: What can I say. The Living End were made for festivals. They've been at three out of four festivals I've ever been to, and they never fail to disappoint. When you see them at a festival, you know exactly what you're getting, and that's an anthemic sort of sound that the whole crowd can rock along to. They've got an amazing energy that doesn't really seem to be spoiled even when the bassist has a smoke break on stage, and even though they're pushing the outer limits on their rebellious youth age, they still punch out "Prisoner of Society" like nobody's business.

That is no by any means the entirety of the festival, but the mere highlights! There were a bunch of other bands we saw, though none quite so compelling as the ones mentioned, and the atmosphere was great otherwise. Even if it did piss down with rain on Saturday!

(PS - all the photos from the weekend can be found here!)

Posted by alexifer 06:15 Archived in Australia Tagged events Comments (0)

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