Saturday, May 24, 2008

Plastic Palace Alice, The Greasers, and Oh Mercy

Last night Belinda and I headed over to the East Brunswick Club for the album launch of Plastic Palace Alice's "The Great Depression." We didn't know much about the band but were impressed by their musicianship and the epic, ornate nature of the songs. They even did a cover of Jefferson Airplane's "Don't You Want Somebody To Love?" which was entertaining.

The real reason we went to the show though was to see the opening bands Oh Mercy and The Greasers. Oh Mercy kicked off the night with their folk-pop tunes. It was a mellow set but this young band has a great catalogue of songs already, which I would love to get my hands on as a CD release. Next were The Greasers, an off shoot band for Little Red's Dominic Byrne. The Greasers are rockier than Little Red but the songs and harmonies are still there. I was really happy to hear them perform "Metamorphosis," one of my favorites. Their debut album is coming out next week, so I will be eager to get a copy as I think the songs will be a bit more polished on record.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blueprint for Early Childhood Development and School Reform

It is my second week working in the Research Branch and today I got the opportunity to attend the final consultation forum for the Blueprint for Early Childhood Development and School Reform at Moonee Valley Racecourse. Both Ministers addressed the audience about the Blueprint discussion papers and the government's reform agenda. Then we broke up into three different workshops. I was a scribe at one of the tables for the Early Childhood Development discussion. It was interesting to hear what the various professionals from different parts of the sector had to say. After the workshops everyone reconvened for a plenary session to finish up the afternoon's proceedings.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dinner and Breakfast on the Mountain

Last night I met up with Fran at Melbourne Uni and we headed out to Kalorama to have a birthday dinner for Peter and Rebecca at Peter and Mark's house. It was chilly in Melbourne so we knew it would be a cold night on the mountain. Thankfully the boys had the fire going when we arrived. We ate Indian for dinner and cake for dessert (although most of us were too full to eat it). I stayed the night and played games of pool with the boys (won against Mark and lost against Peter).

Melanie came and picked me up in the morning and we drove to Olinda for breakfast at Ranges. We got a table by the fireplace and I had pancakes with a side of bacon. After eating we visited a few of the antique shops before Mel took me to see her house in Tecoma. It's a very peaceful place being surrounded by trees and I admired all of her art deco furniture. We chatted for a bit and had some tea before Mel dropped me off at the train station for the hour long journey back to the city.

Friday, May 02, 2008

San Francisco and Beyond

Louise Bourgeois’ Crouching Spider
It has been a fun and relaxing second week in the Bay Area. On Tuesday Lynne and I took the ferry into San Francisco. We had lunch at the Ferry Building and then walked around the Embarcadero and downtown for some shopping. It was a gorgeous day and I bought a few things but didn't do too much damage to the bank account. That evening Lynne and Jeremy came over for dinner and American Idol. Unfortunately my parents hate Jason Castro, but at least Lynne was there to back me up on liking him.

On Wednesday my brother came and got me bright and early and we headed up to his new house in Green Valley (between Fairfield and Vallejo). It was my first chance to see the house and area where he and Simi will soon be living. They have been having basic work done around the house before they move in- painting, floors, carpet cleaning, etc. The house looks great and is big enough that they will probably never need to move again.

Angel Island
Yesterday Lynne and I took the ferry to Angel Island for a hike. We walked around the perimeter of the Island (4 1/2 miles) and had great views of the bay along the way. They are gradually fixing up the various Army buildings and Immigration Station around the Island. After taking the ferry back we had a late lunch in Tiburon and then headed for home- sunburnt and tired.

Unfortunately my time is now up and tonight I fly back to Australia. It has been a quick two weeks but was nice to be home and spend time with family and friends.
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