Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday's (more than) Seven Snapshots vol.58

Sometimes, I have difficulty picking seven snaps for this weekly post; other times, I realize I only took seven pictures of Astro all week.  Today, I have more than seven.  Whatevs.  My blog.  My rules.
We had ourselves a four day weekend, so Sunday night, my guy, the boy, and I loaded up in the car and watched Goosebumps at the drive-in.

On Monday, we went to the Powerhouse Museum specifically to see The Art of the Brick: DC Comics, an entire exhibit of artwork made of legos by Nathan Sawaya.  (I highly recommend if there is one of his exhibits in your area, you go see it!)

Kid approved.  Adult approved.  What more could you want?

The exhibit exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds and laps.
At the entry, I asked Liam who his favourite DC superhero is.  He said "The Flash".  (It changes regularly.)

Not too shabby of a pic for an iphone5.  That's how amazing these pieces of art are.

I enjoyed every detail from the bubbles in the bath to the bubbles on the wall.

I'd wear this dress.

The lights and details of the pieces of lego flying off the cape all added to the artwork.  Not sure why the "S" on his chest looks all wonky.  It looked good in person.

Since we were there, we checked out the other museum exhibits.  The boy enjoyed sampling the electricity in his body with this display.

I enjoyed Satine's necklace (Nicole Kidman's character from Moulin Rouge).

Moving on, we had lunch at Surly's - a restaurant who claims to be all about "American BBQ and beer".  I had the Philly Cheezesteak.

And, I introduced the boy to chile con queso (which is the best I've had in Australia; more like the kind you get at Chili's in America).

Stuffed & miserable or stuffed & happy?  You be the judge.

Monday night...a migraine hit.  I spent the next two and a half days in bed, lights out, no reading, no tv, mostly with a wet black towel over my face.  But, I got visits from my bff.  He had no problem spending two and a half days in bed with his mama.

The rest of the week?  Pretty normal.  Except let me tell you what's going on here.  Due to four day weekend and migraines, I was behind on household chores.  I changed the kitty litter as soon as I was up out of bed again.  The boys were so happy for a fresh place to poop that they got in the tray together.  Didn't even let me put the lid on and put it in its place in the laundry room.  Were they holding it?  Is this bonding?  No idea.  Weirdos.
Hope you are enjoying your last weekend of the first month of 2016!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Badass Songs by Badass Women: A Jana and Erin Playlist

One of the things you notice as a female rock fan is the absence of kick ass female fronted or all female rock bands but women can kick just as much musical ass as men, if not more, so in an homage to those women and the amazingly badass pioneer women of rock, Jana and I decided to assemble this playlist for you guys: 
Badass songs by badass women

First, the originals:

Edge of Seventeen--Stevie Nicks. It's Stevie Nicks. *Mic drop*
Fun fact: Erin's guy has a customer that is a long-time personal friend of Miz Nicks.  The last trip through Australia, he sold her a necklace to give to her.

Bad Reputation--Joan Jett. The original rock badass chick. Please feast your eyes on this epic 80s video because Spotify does not have it available. Fun fact--this song is the theme song to Freaks and Geeks, one of Jana's all-time favorite shows.

Crazy on You--Heart. Ann and Nancy Wilson. Rock music queens.

White Rabbit--Jefferson Airplane. Grace Slick slays on this song.

Left off but not forgotten: Janis (Erin should lose her native Texan membership card for excluding Janis), Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Debbie Harry

Now, the next generation:

Celebrity Skin--Hole. Probably Courtney Love's finest hour save for her stint on SOA.

Take it Off--The Donnas.  I don't know what to say about this song except it's fun and edgy and you should know it. Fun fact: this is the band featured in Drive Me Crazy. The 90s movie. Not that Britney shit.

I Think I'm Paranoid--Garbage. This was Erin's pick and since I, Jana, am writing the post, I have nothing witty to say except I really liked Garbage when I wasn't confusing them with The Cranberries.  (Erin's note:  Sometime in the late 90s/early 2000s, I saw Garbage open for No Doubt. #badasswomenunite)

Kiss Me Deadly--Lita Ford. She hung in there as essentially THE ONLY female rep for the hair band era (except for Vixen, who went platinum during the same time. Edge of a Broken Heart is a great song, by the way).

Left off but not forgotten: The Cranberries, Tori Amos, Alanis, Ani DiFranco

The current ladies:

I Like it Heavy--Halestorm. Lzzy Hale is one of Jana's favorite female singers probably of all time and to pick one song by Halestorm is HARD, y'all. But this one seemed the most apropros for this particular playlist.

Rush You--Baby Animals. Aussie band led by the beautiful Suze DeMarchi. (Erin's note: So, this song isn't exactly their current stuff, but they still play live gigs in Australia, so they can fall into the current list of bad ass women.)  Fun fact: her ex-husband and babies' daddy is Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme fame.

America's Sweetheart--Elle King. This song is in heavy rotation in Jana's playlists because THIS is how you do a female empowerment song.

Make Me Wanna Die--The Pretty Reckless. I told Jana I was initially judgemental knowing that a young actress from Gossip Girl was just being a poser and playing dress-up, but she's actually fucking good. Jana concurs with this assessment.
Left off but not forgotten: Amy Lee, Paramore, Flyleaf

Ladies who cross generations and don't fit neatly anywhere, even though they all transcend decades:

Just A Girl--No Doubt. The scathing indictment of the way women are treated dressed up as a fun pop song. Wolf in sheep's clothing, indeed.

U & UR Hand--P!nk. Both of us, Jana and Erin, had this incredible woman on our lists and this song is such a fuck you to the douchebag men in bars and clubs and society in general that it's impossible not to include it on this type of playlist.

Other women we could have included: Dolly, Reba, Beth Hart, Pat Benatar, Cyndi Lauper.

I'm sure there's more so let us know. Who did we leave off?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday's Seven Snapshots vol.57: Taronga Zoo

On Monday, I went to Taronga Zoo with a friend of mine and her mother.  This isn't my first visit.  I think it's my fourth (?) since living here, maybe fifth time to go.  I love zoos.  I've never been to a zoo by myself, and after this visit, I decided I must change that...soon...because I want to spend whatever amount of time at whatever animal exhibit I want without worrying about the enjoyment of others.  I'm not being selfish.  I just want to sit and watch the animals without feeling rushed. 
If I was a good blogger (or a travel blogger), I'd give all sorts of tips, prices, and a whole lot more information.  I'm not.  I'm keeping with my theme of "Sunday's Seven Snapshots"...I thought I'd share some happy snaps from my zoo adventure.  (Plus, these are really about the only good ones I got because my iphone 5 sucks and the battery life has been terrible.  Rant over.)
From Circular Quay, I caught a ferry to Taronga Zoo.  This picture was taken from the ferry dock.

How fun are seal shows?  Fun.  How smart and lovable are these animals?  Very.  "Seal Theatre" sits on up above Sydney Harbour.  So, the blue you see in the background is the harbour with a red boat cruising by in the upper right corner.

Taronga Zoo right now has a lot of baby animals.  They are a zoo that prides itself on its breeding programs, and they've done well.  Here's a baby giraffe in all its gangly glory.

The elephants' exhibits overlook Sydney Harbour as well.  The male is kept separate from the females and the youngster. 

There are a couple of entrances to the zoo.  At the lower entrance, this guy greeted me as I bought a ticket.

I can't tell you in adequate words how amazing the gorillas and chimpanzees are at this zoo.  When we approached the gorilla exhibit, one big daddy (you can see his buttcrack in the upper right hand corner) was laying on his side.  While standing there, he rolled over to see a mama gorilla and this baby gorilla laying with him.  The baby got up and started to play.  Of course, I could get no good pictures because I was ooohhhing and aaahhhing too much.  I think this photo says "come play with me."

Taronga has a "Sky Safari" ... like, a cable car that hangs from the sky ... and, you know, I had to take a selfie while I was in it. 

These pictures don't do this zoo justice.  You can have "animal encounters" (feed giraffes, take a picture with a koala, have an owl sit on your arm).  There are chimpanzees and penguins, platypus and red pandas, komodo dragons and pygmy hippos....and so much more. 

Recently, Wild Ropes opened in the zoo.  Oh-eme-gee.  I want to do this!  AND, the have "Roar and Snore" where you can "(c)amp in safari style tents in the heart of Australia’s most famous zoo, and wake up to spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge."  Anybody want to tell my husband that I want to do this for my next birthday????

If you come to Australia, I promise I will be your personal tour guide (if you want me) to this zoo.  I love it.  Who's with me??

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Some videos go viral for all the wrong reasons

I'll attach an article or two to give you a little background...

Article 1

...but here's the a Sydney suburb, a 12 year old was stopped by cops for throwing rocks at vehicles and damaging buses in the process.  The mother of the kid started videoing thinking she'd make it "go viral" to show police abuse.  Actually, it's gone viral for other the video above...

Article 2 - that includes a video of the mother defending her son because, of course, he didn't do anything wrong.

Article 3

What a disgusting display of a lack of respect for authority. With this mentality, this mother will also accuse teachers of being in the wrong when her son is given detention, employers out to get her son when he is fired from a job, the probation officer being unfair when her son is recommended for a jail term, the judicial system being corrupt when her son is given a jail sentence, the prison system being abusive when her son is put into solitary confinement for spitting and throwing urine on staff............sadly, this all is likely to happen.

I hope she enjoys visiting her children in prison because that's where they will most likely end up.  Years ago, I was a caseworker at an institution for incarcerated youth.  I knew kids (and parents) exactly like this.

The kid was throwing rocks at cars and caused damage to buses. People have died from the actions of such pranks. When you are throwing rocks at cars that potentially cause damage and/or injury, you are committing a crime. On the video, threats of violence are made as well. For the safety of the youth, police, and other children around, handcuffs (unfortunately) appear to be a sensible use of force in this scenario.

This mother is an embarrassment to any other parents who are trying to raise their children with values and to learn to differentiate between right and wrong.  As for the kids, well, sadly, I'm thinking Australian taxpayers will sooner or later be paying for his accommodation, food, and healthcare in a prison.

Harsh?  Yes.  Judgemental?  Yes.  Do I hope one day there is a 60 Minutes special on this kid ten years from now focusing on how he turned his life around and is a positive force in society?  Absolutely. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts.....
It's my first time participating in this link-up, and I enjoy the "anything goes" element to why not link-up something somewhat controversial to get this party started???

Stuff, Things, etc.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Humpday Confessions with Pinterest

Once upon a time, I was a pinterest junkie.  Not so much anymore.  I still enjoy to peruse two or three times per week.  I thought I'd make some confessions today by looking at some of my pins on pinterest.
I confess:  This is a true depiction of my "to read" list, and I am guessing a few of you can relate.  #booknerdsunite #currently653
I confess:  Sometimes, more often than I should, I repin a picture of pretty clothes without any intention of following the link and purchasing that item.  #ihaveathangforprettydresses
I confess:  I use pinterest most often these days for simple, yummy recipes like this Hard Cider Pork Chops.  These were fantastic.  #getinmybelly
Some of these recipes, I pinned from bloggers that I follow, like this one from Kristen at Divulge and IndulgeI confess:  I haven't made this one yet.  #needtogetonthat #looksinsanelyyummy
I confess:  I am guilty of posting silly funnies just because they make me smile.  #punsarefun #funwithpuns
I find pictures to show my colourist.  This one served as our hair inspiration for the pink/purple/blonde ombre I have going on right now.  #mycolouristisbetterthanyours
I pin motivational quotes like this, and I confess:  I go back and read them when I'm having a bad day.  #pickmeup
I confess:  I pin DIY projects that I know I will never do.  If someone wants to make me this DIY Texas mad out of bottle caps, you'd be my new best friend.  #youcantakethegirlouttatexas
I confess:  I post pictures of jewels that I will never own, but they serve as inspiration for my jewellery making man.  It's pretty much like I'm working while I'm on pinterest, right? 
Other things that I confess I pin:
Of course, someecards......are you allowed a pinterest account if you don't pin someecards?
......and more. 
I confess:  I have spent senseless hours on pinterest.  #sorrynotsorry
Are you on pinterest?  Why not follow me?

Wednesday link-ups with Laura & LaurenAlanna & Sarah, and  Nadine & Kathy:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Aussie Author Challenge 2016: Book One

The first book that I've completed for the Aussie Author Challenge is Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington/Nugi Garimara.  I selected this book because an Australian friend of mine told me that she read this in school, and it was memorable for her. 
This is a true-story experienced by the mother and auntie's of the author.  From a terribly sad and inhumane time of Australian history, this story is set in the 1930s and tells of three girls that are "half caste" (mixed race from a white settlement father and an Aboriginal indigenous mother).  They are taken, virtually kidnapped and stolen from their families under the premise that they will be given a good education and prepared for better employment opportunities.  These children were removed from their families, unwillingly, taken across a strange land, put on a boat, a taken to a "school" that was described more like a jail with bars and the windows and padlocks on the doors. 
The story specifically follows the journey of Molly, Daisy, and Gracie as they trek over dangerous conditions to find their way back home to their own families and community.  But, the bigger scope is the actions of settlers who take indigenous land as their own, implement their own laws and regulations, and forever alter an entire race of human beings.

It's the 7th year for the Aussie Author Challenge, and my 2nd year participating (click on the picture/link to take you directly to the site for more information).  My preliminary book list is as follows:

Female Authors:

Male Authors:

Authors New to Me:

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday's Seven Snapshots vol.56

These shoes were in my Christmas care package from my mom; I sent her this pic to show her they were getting good use.

Nadine and Laura are going Whole30 this month.  I'm not, but when they both posted this recipe, I thought "damn, that looks good."  I did alter it slightly by adding a small can of corn, a large carrot, and a can of diced tomato (to add a little more veggie/fruit...isn't tomato a fruit?). It was my lunch all this week.

Caught up with some friends at the local pub this Wednesday..........

.........this was on their televisions.  Yes, those are idiots in KKK garb for a show called "Inside the Ku Klux Klan"...what a fabulous organization that Australians are introduced to via this television program. Aren't pubs/bars supposed to have some type of sporting matches on as entertainment?  Finally, they changed it.

Everyone back home is talking about the winter weather; I'm all like "this sun is super shiny in my eyes!"

A storm blew in on Thursday...thunder, lightning, wind, lots of rain...we pulled into our drive way and were greeted by this sweet girl.  She had no collar, and she was soaked!  I went inside, grabbed an umbrella, and started knocking on doors.  Neil took her inside, gave her a little to eat and some water, and posted a picture to fb.  It was getting dark, so I went back to get Neil.  Some neighbors directed us to where they thought she lived.  The next door neighbour of that house said "Yea, that's Lucy!  She lives next door."  We learned that the owner had left to go out, but maybe in the rain and wind, he hadn't shut the gate properly, and Lucy went on an adventure!  We returned Lucy to her home.  Good thing.  I think Neil was ready to keep her.

Another doggie story - yes, I posted this on facebook and instagram, but, but, but, it's a bucket of puppies!!!!  See this bucket full of happiness?  Some jerkface dumped/abandoned these TEN beautiful babies on the doorstep of a friend of mine's business in Texas.  She posted a plea on facebook for anyone who could give a good home to a puppy to consider taking one.  In just two days, with the help of others sharing the pictures, ALL ten puppies have homes!  I love the happy ending to this story.  I'm glad this happened in Texas, because if it was in Australia, I'm pretty sure Sally and Dolly would have had to welcome another dog to their domain.

Hope you're having a fantastic weekend!