Friday, August 31, 2012

quicko: names

I'm sure that there are some names that are distinctly more American, or more Australian.  The trouble is, I'm not sure which are which.  I've been told that Kyle is American, and I've certainly never met a Lachlan in America (though I think it's really more Scottish?).  What would be some other names that are distinctly more one nationality than another?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

public service announcement: the fringe festival!

The Sydney Fringe Festival is coming up next month -- September 7 - 30!!  Time to find fun tickets to buy now!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

quicko: (possibly offensive theatre jargon)

I just came across a new Australianism, that, from what I gather, is highly debated in terms of precise meaning/origin/acceptability in society, but everyone seems to agree that it belongs in the realm of the theatre.  It's "chookas," which is roughly equivalent to "break a leg."

Explanations I've come across vary from
1.  Rhyming slang of "chook" (chicken) which goes "cluck cluck" which brings "luck."
2.  If you get a big enough audience (I think this one is pretty suspect really ...) you all get to eat chicken for dinner.
3.  If the house is "choc-a-bloc" (very full), you have a big audience and that's good.
4.  None of the above?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

quicko: purpose as a verb?

What are your feelings on "purpose" as a verb?  As in, I heard a sermon (in Australia) with the phrase "what God purposed you for."  I'm not sure this is a really an Australianism, but really more of either an idiosyncrasy or a new use that's becoming more accepted in English-speaking countries in general.  Frankly, I think the purpose of purpose is a noun sort of purpose, but maybe that's just me.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

quicko: "unspoken"

It occurred to me recently that there's a standard prayer request among American circles that's missing in Australian ones, at least as far as I've noticed:  "unspoken."  It's hard to say whether it springs from being less likely to be forthcoming about our own lives, sins and struggles with our fellow Christians or from a genuine attempt to reduce the prayer chain gossip, but I suspect there may be a bit of both involved, depending on the precise situation.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

quicko: from overheard

From mX's "overheard" again:

American:  I love the Aussie accent!

Australian:  We love yours!

American:  Oh my gosh, do I have one?

photos: biennale and cockatoo island

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

photos: around the bridge

update: further bus bloopers

So now I've found the previous list of genuine, real-life, totally-happened-to-me bus incidents.

--Sneezed on.  (Different, of course, from the tactic of blowing your nose while others are boarding to discourage them from sitting by you.)

--Stepped on.

--Flailed all over the place in an attempt not to fall over while going around a corner.

--Stuck in the bunch at the front.  This one drives me absolutely berserk:  when there's a ton of people bunched up at the front of the bus and plenty (plenty!) of aisle space empty at the back of the bus, but no one takes it!!  What a selfish someone-or-other in the middle!!  To rub salt in the wound, it's even worse when the driver then stops letting passengers board (obviously, you're again running late in this scenario) because there's "no room."  When clearly there is.  Just someone in the middle won't let you have it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

update: bus bloopers

So there have been tons more things going wrong for me with buses lately.  A small sampling:

--The bus you're on when you're running late and decide to stop and patiently make up its time (or let TONS of people on at Central.  That's my pet peeve lately, people at Central.  They ought to be done away with.)

--You can be waiting for a bus to take you to Wynyard at, let's call it Broadway, and a 412 and 461 (neither acceptable options) can stop and take up so much space that the 436 and 440 (acceptable options) that get stopped behind them can't/don't/refuse to see you signalling them and plow back off into traffic, thus making you miss two possible buses right in a row and then have to wait even longer until the 470 can make it in time to save the day.  (Love the 470.)

--It could be a morning.  A Tuesday morning.  I don't know why, but Tuesday mornings are by far the worst, and you can be waiting for a bus at Neutral Bay and they can just ALL NOT STOP and keep flying by with tons of passengers -- or some passengers but a predisposition not to stop, as some buses are -- as you keep watching your clock and it gets later and later and finally one will manage to stop long enough to squeeze you on into the huddled masses and it can still take ages then and even on the next bus you transfer to in the city can take ages because the driver is (for once!) too darn polite and stops and lets every old lady and her dog on and slow down instead of speed up at yellow lights and just generally saunter its way down George Street until you're very nearly arriving at school after your students ...

It's been a bad run of it lately, these buses and I.  Then again, we've never exactly gotten on swimmingly.  But just when you think you've mastered them.  Nope.  Sneaky buggers always (always!) keep an ace up their sleeves.  And usually a few spare trumps to boot.

Monday, August 20, 2012

photo: church by the bridge

Isn't my church pretty?!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

photos: cronulla

Cronulla is the opposite end of Sydney from me, but it's beautiful and well worth a visit.  See?

Friday, August 17, 2012

quicko: blue? cheese

Granted, I hate cheese, so I might possibly be making a grave mistake here, but surely it's supposed to be "bleu" cheese?  I always remember seeing bleu cheese crumbly on top of salads, but in conversation with my local Australian friend at the grocery store (friend in the real sense, not some stranger I stopped.  stop panicking about my social skills.) I was told that this is how Australians spell all "bleu" cheese.  (Can you see the little French flags on the cheese in the background?  I don't think they'd be happy about this ...)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

quicko: tacky

Aside from the definition involving Christmas yard decor in February, Australians also use "tacky" the same way Americans use "sticky."  It all came out in conversation the other day when some co-workers said their "Blu-Tack" (Australians have issues spelling the word pronounced "blue."  More to come on this in a subsequent post.) wasn't looking so blue, but more gray, so of course I told them that that was why "Sticky Tack" is such a better name for the squashy entity of goo.  They argued that was redundant, because "sticky" and "tacky" have the same meaning, which I said was ridiculous, because of course they don't.

Hence we discovered:  in Australia they really are synonyms, but in America they are not.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

photos: the evening sky

From a little while ago, but the sky was absolutely stunning --

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

a break from your regularly scheduled program

Oh wow, have I just discovered a fun game or what!  It has nothing to do with Americans and Australians aside from the fact that it has a lot to do with English ... don't tell me you've never killed an ... unspecified period of time ... creating book spine poetry!

I just found out about it this morning (I know.  It's taken me absolute ages to get around to actually concocting something.  Slack Kimmy.) and am absolutely thrilled, though I'm realizing it's harder than I anticipated for several reasons.

First, you can only work with the books that you've currently got access to.  No fair going off to find To Kill a Mockingbird or Looking for Godot or I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings just to get a verb in there somewhere.  (Really, it's amazing how few books have verbs in their titles.  One of those things you rarely think about until you go trying to write poetry with them.)

Second, you can only work with the book that you're willing to admit you've got access to.  Sure, you might have a copy of The Baby Who Saved Doctor Cynical, but do you really want anyone to know?  (A gift!  It was a gift!)

Third, you can only work with the books that you're currently supposed to have access to.  It turns out that an entire shelf of mine is filled only with borrowed books.  (It's a long story.  I got sucked in The Wheel of Time just at the same time like four different friends all lent me a handful of books and now I can't read any of them until I finish the Wheel of Time because there's so many characters if I put it down I'll never be able to remember which of the Forsaken has actually been killed with balefire yet, let alone which is Mesaana skulking around under a different name or even the Daughter of the Seven Moons is so important.  See what I mean?)  Thus:  if you see a book here that is yours, I know it is yours and I will get it back to you.  Let me know if you need it before the next ... three years are up.  Aw, make it two.  I want to be done before I'm 30.

Fourth, I just have to throw a whole bunch more caveats out before you judge me too harshly:  the collection of books I have here is exceptionally motley.  I have good taste, really I do (come on, I like Hardy and Shakespeare and the last third of most Dickens), but here I'm surviving solely on a staple diet of borrowed and gee-I'm-moving-what-should-I-do-with-all-these-oh-I'll-give-them-to-Kim books.  And, obviously, The Wheel of Time series, but that one (tricky little graphic designers) puts all their titles vertically instead of horizontally on the spines so they don't lend themselves quite as easily to book spine poetry, though, trust me, if I'd been desperate for A Path of Daggers or Lord of Chaos, I've got them on hand.

The next caveat is that, gosh, this is still all a lot harder than it first appeared.  I think I was spoiled to get to see a really good version first on the Daily Vowel Movements blog, but, well, my excuse is that I lent my children's books (all 4 of them here ...) to my 8-year-old tutoree and he's taken them away on vacation.

Okay, so anyway, I had a whole lot of fun making a whole lot of mess (that's another thing:  had to get the camera angle right so there was no stray laundry making an unfortunate appearance ...) to find that, really, either I'm not that good at this or (this is what I personally am going with) I've just got a bizarre selection at books at present and if I spent as much time trying to write the silly thing as I did blogging about, it would've been way better.  And anyway, maybe I can try again tomorrow night.  I've got a couple titles that are just dying to be used.  How I Paid for College, for example.  Or Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue.  Crying out!  (Oh, and one more thing:  haven't actually read all the books.  Again, don't judge me too harshly if they're trash.)

A Short History of Nearly Everything:
The Shepherd, the Angel
and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog
Just Walk Across the Room.
Attack of the Theater People!
Down Under.

Incidentally, how well does Down Under work as the end of pretty much anything?  Like throwing "in bed" at the end of every Chinese fortune cookie fortune?
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the poem.  Down under.

quicko: taco salad

It has recently come to my attention that Australians are unfamiliar with taco salads.  Thus, I submit Exhibit A:  a menu that I discovered at a Mexican restaurant in New South Wales.  Take special note of the second item on the list.

Monday, August 13, 2012

update photos: crash test drama

Look at my amazing fan club!!  These guys came out to support me last Monday night at Crash Test Drama.  It was a really fun night AND I remembered all my lines :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

quicko: the olympics

I was going to make some profound statement about Australian coverage of the Olympics, but in many ways I think it's very similar to the American -- biased in favor of itself, full of ridiculous commentators asking the most stupidly awkward questions and unlikely to show to the sports you actually want to watch when you want to watch them.  But like I said -- it's what I'm used to.  I've  never encountered any other way of watching the Olympics and yet I still do!  I'm happy to cheer for the Australians as long as they're not playing the Americans ... in which case ... go USA!

wild, wacky weather

The weather in Sydney's been making a nuisance of itself this weekend.  Usually it sits around at 75 sunning itself  prettily, but it really got a bee in its bonnet about something recently.  I don't know who's offended it, but, gosh, I'd hate to be in his shoes.  Just being nearby seems to be bad enough.

Usually I don't complain about the weather (I tend to figure whatever happens happens ... why bother checking to find out?  If I look bedraggled enough, someone usually gives me an old, half-broken umbrella to borrow.  Besides, I tend to like rain and storms and snow.), so it's really more a sign of boredom that I bring it up.  Since my standard pace is flying madly around late for everything, I think the fact that I had an urge to floss my teeth (floss my teeth!  who gets urges to floss their teeth?!) speaks volumes.  Sufficiently busy people cannot possibly worry about such things.

Wow, do I sound discombobulated today or what?  Maybe it's because I haven't got my contacts in.  Throws everything slightly fuzzy, hey?  If you've never read my writing before ... trust me, I'm usually much better.  Don't know what's wrong with me today.  Going stir crazy I suppose.

Ah, yes, stir crazy.  Because not only has it been bad weather (oh that was what I was going to tell you about!  Sorry, on a tangent now, you'll have to hang on a couple paragraphs.), the bad weather is also making me sick.  Now, I'm not remotely a believer in the whole "the weather made me sick" when it's happening to anyone other than myself.  And as a caveat, it's not technically the weather in my case, but the unfortunately hideous heater.

The darling little heater probably no reader but my mother will remember because it came from way, way back in 2008 when I first started this crazy little blog and had no idea that a whole half dozen people other than my mother might happen to read it.  At that time, I was convinced the darling little heater didn't work at all.  However, my father came out for a visit a couple years back and informed me that it works just fine, it's just that it doesn't actually produce much heat.  Which, really, I could have sworn was the definition of "working" for a heater, but he insists it's not.

So, darling little heater and I have been trying to keep ourselves warm (neither succeeding), but one of us contributes very negatively to the air circulation in the room and the other of us is getting a cold.  I'll leave you to work out which is which.

Back to the weather.  So here's the thing:  it is cold.  Really cold inside.  I don't know what the temperature is, but it's not pleasant and requires like three layers at all times.  Kind of like a British house.  Besides being cold, it's also been tremendously windy.  I think I read the winds have been blustering away at something over 100 kph, which is ... roughly as fast you're allowed to drive on the freeway.

On Friday evening I was walking in Manly after dark and more freaked out than I've ever been walking in Manly before.  Not only was it dark and cold and enormously windy (that howling sort of disconcerting wind), there were no other people anywhere around.  It wasn't that late, but it was pitch black and, I learned later, they'd stopped the ferries.  (That high of winds!  They stopped my sweet little ferries!)  Usually there's a few stragglers coming off heading in my direction, but not this time.  Just Kimmy and the howling wind pressing through the darkness together until we arrived in a terrified little heap at a friend's door and came in of the cold, cold weather.

Nope, not a typo.  You thought I was going to say "in out of the cold, cold weather" huh?  Well, I was, except that that wasn't actually true.  It was just as cold inside as outside.  Of course inside there was another darling little heater and a couple of blankets and hot tea, but they unfortunately did not make a big enough difference that the preposition "out" was warranted.

And that's really the end of my story.  In summary:  cold, windy, bored, sick, discombobulated out.  Maybe the pictures will help make sense of this.  See the little yacht with its unfortunate incident? It's supposed to be tethered out on the open ocean with its other little yacht friends, uh oh!

Good gracious.  Really my writing will be better later.  It seems to have got a bug today too, sorry!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

quicko: high tea

The other day my friend Bec happened to come by a voucher for a high tea at a lovely little spot by the harbour.  We went and had an absolutely delicious time of it!