I sometimes wish I was growing up in the 60’s in America with Drive-in movies and juke boxes at the diner and Rock n Roll at the prom. Watching Grease at Her Majesty’s theatre last night definitely brought it all back and I’ve had songs from the musical stuck in my head all day, feet tap-tapping under my desk at work. It seems like a simpler time, with less choice, yet more fun at the same time. In a way it feels like the more freedom and choice we’re given, the harder it is to do anything with it and the easier it is to feel like a failure – as if even being given all that choice, we have still let ourselves down with our poor decisions. But as someone wise recently said to me “There are bigger things to worry about than misplacing a plane ticket”. It seems like an easy thing to say but for a girl who has been brought up to have three copies of everything and lists and locks and worry lines, it’s a statement that I know is true, but a little hard to digest. In that respect, I think moving has definitely been good for me as I learn what actually matters to me and I can start to prioritize what to worry about and what is really not even worth the effort. It’s strange going from being in a noisy nuclear family with relationships, worries and repercussions to…not. It is harder and yet easier at the same time, when the only person who feels the repercussions of your actions is yourself. Or at least that’s how it should be.
It’s been a while since I wrote last and that’s partly because I’ve had a busy weekend and also some big career related decisions to make. Last week my cockroach revisited me. I went to the library and got out some romcoms for my date night with my cousin on Saturday and went home happily to make myself some beef stroganoff with mushrooms (which I am have only just eaten the last off now phewf!) and was chopping onions when my eyes started watering. So I went off to cry and wash my face and then returned to chop my onions. I was about to hold it steady when in the dim light I saw a black shape on a mound of chopped onions begin to move. Mr. Beezlebug is no longer under my bed. Nor did he stay on my onions for too long. After screaming and running to my bed, I worked up the courage to kill him with my shoe. I now have cockroach gunk on my red ballet flats 😦
On Saturday I woke up late and made pancakes, went for a run (half-hearted jog) with my cousin Noella at Fawkner park and then came back and ate even more pancakes. Then I went to the ACMI and watched an interesting Short Film called The Calling by Angelica Mesiti. It’s a portrait of the whistling languages used in rural communities in Turkey, Greece and the Canary Islands. There was a simple beauty in watching women on a farm whistling to each other to come in as the Tea truck had arrived, and milking their goats on a hill carved like the face of an old woman. After this I went to the exhibition ScreenWorlds: The Story of Film, Television & Digital Culture. It was a pleasant surprise with clips from old classics I love like Gone with the Wind, Casablanca and Some like it hot. There were others that I’ve probably seen but don’t remember like the black and white Frankenstein and King Kong. I saw the old box cameras and peeping tom movies, movies on a slideshow with handle to make it go faster, and I learnt that Wizard of Oz was made in colour by interposing the original film on itself three times in each of the primary colours to achieve a vivid colour film.
It wasn’t all just movies though – there were videogames through the ages with games like Supermario, and the old nintendos. I tried having a go at them but quickly moved out of the way for the 30 something olds who were lurking behind me eagerly. There was also an interesting section on the Editor Jill Billcock who edited Elizabeth, Moulan Rouge and Romeo and Juliet to name a few and it was amazing seeing the colours and styles that influenced her cut-throat editing and I can see why one critic said that she edited like a ‘Russian mafia don on crack!’ Seeing all these free exhibitions made me really miss my mum and my grandmother who would have loved to spend hours at the ACMI browsing through clips of old movies and videos of Kylie Minogue and Cate Blanchett alike.
I spent Saturday evening at Noella’s house being stuffed like a fat cat, eating buffalo wings and tacos with nandos hot sauce (yum!) and watching In the Land of women, starring Kristen stewart, Meg Ryan and hot guy from the OC, followed by Turn it up, some cutesy high school romance about a couple who just want to do ballet. We gorged ourselves on chocolate fondue and strawberries and marshmallows, went to bed and then woke up and ate some more. Breakfast was huuuuge with bacon, scrambled eggs, sour dough bread, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and banana and mango juice. We watched the Sweetest thing while having our massive feed and I’ve determined that I hate Christina Applegate more than ever. She is the most annoying woman Ive never had the pleasure of meeting.
On Sunday I went to the South Melbourne market and it was as cheap as everyone says it is – bag of carrots for a dollar! Score! After picking up my groceries from the markets and some chicken and bits and pieces from Aldi’s I got a bit lost, got found again, and made my way back home. The week at work has gone fast with lots of things to think about and process. Its funny how some things you learn at uni you never seem to use at work and others suddenly make more sense as you see how it applies in the workplace. Like concepts I always thought were useless but lodged themselves in some tiny compartment in my brain have now sparked to life and I see how complex contracts affect a business for example. There was a moment at work, reading over something, when I remembered a case from Advanced Tax about Mitsubishi being allowed to approximate their warranties liability as a percentage of sales as it was a fixed expense they were likely to have every year even though it was contingent. And I felt this insane joy that I knew something, something useful in my vast sea of useless knowledge, that actually made sense and I could use it at my work. It’s funny how the more you work and hear different bits of information and see how things all fit together, the more the useless stuff you learn at uni actually starts to make some sense. And I can hear lectures in my head with Audrey Sharp’s voice saying ‘The Judge said ‘Madame you do not stand before me naked’ but I wouldn’t mind seeing some of you in this lecture naked ’ (Case about the female lawyer who wanted to claim her corporate clothing as a deductible expense).
Its been a nice end to the week, sitting in the sun for lunch the last couple of days and laughing like a hyena at work as usual. I probably have the loudest laugh out of everyone at work, it’s been 22 years – too late to change it now. Grease was probably the highlight of my week, though waiting 25 minutes for a train home at Melbourne Central was not. I went to church after work for Ash Wednesday mass like a good little Catholic girl and being an Anglican Cathedral I guess I should’ve expected a female priest but it still weirded me out all the same. I left after communion and walked up to the theatre on the corner of little Bourke and exhibition street with my ash cross on my forehead and cringed every time stupid teenage girls stared at me and giggled. Your fault you don’t know shit. Poor ignorant idiots. The musical was amazing and I’m not gonna lie, there were moments when I wished I wasn’t sitting there alone with no one to share it with but those moments were few and far between.
Out of all the characters in Grease, or in any musical, I always go for the underdog, the wild child, the woman who’s fierce and strong and irrepressible. No surprises I loved Rizzo. She’s hard but shes soft, shes feminine and sexy but angry and fierce, I love her brashness, I love her childlike abandon and the way she makes no apologies for who she is or what she does and how she owns her body and her sexuality. Sandra pissed me off tbh. She could go back to being Sandradee for all I care. In the interval they played Rockin Robin, La Bamba, and some of my other faves and it made me miss home and those indian dances with jiving and waltzing and songs from the sixties.
Well its almost the long weekend, with yet another festival in the city so I’m sure I’ll be writing again soon with lots more to say and think about. But before that basketball at lunch tomorrow yay! Doubt I’ll shoot any hoops playing with my six-foot something work mates but looking forward to the sun all the same 🙂