26 October 2008

Time for a Break

I am delighted to be on a break - not just a long weekend (Monday being a public holiday) as I have the rest of next week off too. That's 9 days in a row off work! Bliss!

I actually have heaps I want to do though - none of it strenuous, but I do want to get a lot done. There will be time for relaxing (some of the things on my list are simply: finish a pile of library books, and DVDs). I also hope to get some Xmas shopping done! I have scheduled in a hair cut (just a tidy really), lunch with old workmates, catch-up with Evette and Jackson... I'm sure the time will fly by!

Nothing much new to report. I've put the finishing touches on a new mixed-tape (CD), and managed to fuck up the times for a movie (we raced to the cinema, seriously pushing time, rushed in and asked for a ticket to the 10:05 session... only to be told it was actually a 10:05PM session listed, not AM. Totally my moronic bad... we saw 'Pineapple Express' instead of the intended 'The Orphanage'. God, it was hilarious!! We were the only two people in the whole cinema so we just laughed loud and long!!).

And just incase you thought I was over igoogle (Madness Hamsters!!!!!)

18 October 2008

Coming to a bookshelf...



(Emailed to me earlier this week by another Ryan Adams obsessed friend!)
It seems the prolific tunesmith has put down the guitar and picked up the quill and ink to pen Infinity Blues, a book due out via the Akashic imprint. That's the "'domestic-release' working cover" up there, but beyond that, we don't know anything about Ryan's inaugural entry into the literary sphere. Is it fiction? Nonfiction? Poetry? Recipes? ...for heartbreak? He does offer this in the blog,: "i guess this dream is coming true…..my grandparents, who taught me to write, and type and dream, i am so proud of all your hard work today, even if this is a long long sad bookbut some funny too, just like those black and white movies in the heat of the eastern seaboard- rolling through the windows of our home.....i am so humbled and so PROUD to be an AKASHIC BOOKS author......"

I WANT this. I NEED this. It will be mine, oh yes it will...

Fix It



Thanks to the Cardinology email list, the 8th October started off really REALLY well. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals' new album, "Fix It", is hitting CDs soon. Amazon have it coming 28th October, but it can be purchased earlier in a digital format (for download). I'm thiking I can't wait for it to hit the stores here... might have to pre-order it *rubs her hands together*.

Here is a link to a scan of a Rolling Stone Mag review of Fix It (4 stars, "a near classic record".

Be still my beating heart

The joy of having the Pig of Happiness on my igoogle page just got better... It changes throughout the day!!!!



17 October 2008

15 October 2008

Wild South Headache

I've been awake since before 6am, which is criminal considering today is Saturday. I was, however, in bed around 8:44pm last night... yes, on a Friday night if you please. You'll have to take into account the fact that I decided to join work mates at the "bar" around 4:30pm (ed: we have a bar-type area at our work) for a glass of sav blanc (Wild South) or 2... or however-many-I-ended-up-drinking!

We had some laughs, talking rubbish about everything from the state of the market (its hitting some of our brokers hard, and others are benefiting from all the mortagee sales), to technology (remembering the days of portable 7" record players - something I couldn't relate to), which aptly need to a discussion on the youth of today (how OLD am I sounding?! LOL).

People left in dribs and drabs; I was among the last 3. Luckily a made it home easily via bus around 8pm. I think the real drunkness hit when I was in the shower - yes, there was singing. Terrible singing. But I was home alone so no crime. Obviously the lack-o-food struck again (the only thing I ate all day as a McCheeseburger, around 1pm).

I was in no state for food though. I remember looking at the clock at 8:44pm, then I was goneburgers. I woke at 1am, and again around 3am... by 5:30am I couldn't get back to sleep.

So, I did what any normal person does: I got up, fed the cat, and got myself the best cure for a vague-hangover: cold can of V and 2 pieces of cold pizza (maybe from Thursday night?! I can't remember what night we had pizza for dinner).

Since 6am I've finished a book ('Sweetheart' by Chelsea Cain; a cracker sequel to 'Heartsick'. Seriously gives Hannibal Lector a run for his money... in fact if Lector was a woman, he might be Gretchen Lowell, the serial killer in Cain's series).

I've started another ('Embrace the Night' by Karen Chance; its the third in a silly supernatural series). And I've caught up on some of the music blogs I like to browse - I have some random stuff to share with y'all.

But first, I haven't raved about my love for google and igoogle lately. Oh, I am still enamoured, I've just been busy. This morning I changed my igoogle theme - almost had a dance-for-joy-fit when I saw this artist as a theme:



Edward Monkton igoogle theme!! Isn't that just the thing to start the day?! Once again, I heart igoogle.

And second, My Week:
Well, what a week it's been! Super-super busy. Mind-numbing. A new staff member started and I was required to train her - so I spent on average at least 2 hours a day with her, as well as preparing for and giving a lunch demo to another part of the business (I even had to order the lunch), sourcing 2 new sets of data (working through all the criteria and quotes etc), finished entering SOMEONE ELSE'S contact list into the database (don't even get me started on how I ended up doing that - their data was shocking too...), helping out another office that is short-staffed (searching and creating a marketing mailing list, then fixing around 700 addresses), meeting with one of my staff for a catch-up, attending a teleconference with staff from the Singapore, Canada, Sydney, and Hong Kong office, doing my own work... I have no doubt missed something I wanted to rant about, but you get the general idea (in case you didn't: BUSY!).

I found time after work one night to watch episode 6 of 'True Blood' - man oh man, I LOVE this show!!! Addicted! Anna Paquin as Sookie has totally grown on me.

I also watched 'Inland Empire', the latest from David Lynch. I think I am still too confused to comment on it...

Another on my DVD list this week was 'Lucky You', starring Eric Dana, Drew Barrymore, and Robert Duvall. It was an ok watch - good for a straight to DVD release (in NZ it was anyway). Nothing super-special about it though.

Sitting next to me I have 'The Nines', a 2007 film starring Hope Davis and Ryan Reynolds. I've heard some awesome things about the premise of this film and its big ideas. It will have to wait, because I am going to be out-and-about today (I feel surprisingly bouncy... even though I am writing this from bed!).

Tonight I have a fun night planned (fun for me and mine anyway!): off to Gina's for pizza/pasta delight, then back to my place for the last 'Project Runway' marathon. A few of us love the show and have been "getting" the new series, which hasn't screened here. We now have the last 5 or so episodes to enjoy (while we laugh and talk over the show, drink wine and munch on nibbles).

High on my list of weekend activities: going to the movies to see one or both of, 'Choke', and/or 'Burn After Reading'.

I'm also hanging with D; not sure of the plans.

So, wow. There you have it. I'm going to start a new post for the random stuff I want to mention.

14 October 2008

Percussive Qualities of Human Bone

Franz Ferdinand embraces percussive qualities of human bone
10:23AM Monday Oct 13, 2008

Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand were looking for unusual ways of creating sound on their forthcoming third album and decided to work with a human skeleton they had bought in an auction.

Frontman Alex Kapranos explained to MTV: "I remember we were working on a song called Kiss Me and we wanted to have a real dry, percussive sound in the chorus.
"We had this skeleton in a box that just ended up sitting in the corner of the studio, and we all sort of looked at it, and decided to experiment with it."

Each band member chose a different part of the body to play on the record.

Alex added: "Nick, our guitarist, had the hands and was clapping the bones together. Paul, the drummer, was working with the pelvis bone and a femur. We put the teeth in a glass jar and rattled that about. We smacked the ribs together and we got this really weird, f***ed-up kind of a sound that was wicked. I can't think of any records with human bones on it."

The album, provisionally titled Tonight, is set for release next year.

Article at the NZ Herald

11 October 2008

All Puns Intended

These are terrible but thought I'd share a couple:
  • A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident.He shouted, "Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!"The doctor replied, "I know, I amputated your arms!"
  • Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lita fire in the craft. Not surprisingly it sank, proving onceagain that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
  • A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, andwere standing in the lobby discussing their recenttournament victories. After about an hour, the manager cameout of the office, and asked them to disperse. "But why,"they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said. "I can'tstand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."
  • Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of thetime, which produced an impressive set of calluses on hisfeet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frailand with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. Thismade him (oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) ... asuper-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
  • A dwarf, who was a mystic, escaped from jail. The callwent out that there was a small medium at large.

10 October 2008

Rocking in the New Year

A series of gigs in early January will kick the live music year off quite nicely. Seattle's Fleet Foxes, who can best be described as psychedelic pastoral folk rockers, play Wellington's San Francisco Bath House on January 7 and the following night North Shore's Bruce Mason Centre. The band's self-titled debut got five stars in TimeOut earlier this year and is a strong candidate for album of the year.

I've only got a few of their tracks - I do like them, though not for every mood/occasion. One of those gigs where, if I had spare cash lying around, and someone to go with, I would check it out...

09 October 2008

Dad

The cutest thing! I had a call from Dad this morning before work. When he first spoke I was sure something terrible had happened - you know, the way parents call at an unexpected time. Turms out he just wanted me to listen to what was in the background at home... the new Kings of Leon album!
Yes, I leant him some albums last night: K.O.L, Death Cab, and The Stills.
Dad's verdict on the Kings? He likes them. He expected something, in his words, "grungey". Next he'll want to come to the BDO with us... well, Neil Young is one of the headliners!!

08 October 2008

Snakecharming the Masses

Can I just say: WOW. There, I said it. I've bought 3 CDs in the last 2 weeks (and the new Kings of Leon before that) and they are all Wow-inducing.

*The Stills: Oceans will Rise. Long-time fan, and this album blows my mind. Snakecharming the Masses, Being Here, and Everything I Build are my fav tracks so far.

*TV On The Radio: Dear Science. A wonder. They had me at track one.

*Cut Off Your Hands: You & I. I've been listening to this kiwi band for a while now on bfm and routinely checked JB Hifi for signs of an album. Success! Released on Monday, this album is great! I'm a bit puzzled over a couple of "jesus" songs, but other than that, solid!

Moving on from the music (oh, but how can I?! So much new GOOD stuff out there. I almost have another mixed CD ready for the select few wink wink)... This week has been slow, probably because last week I was only at work for 3 days (took some leave). Wednesday is over (*phew*) but what a day! I looked at Excel almost non-stop. One exercise took me over 3 hours, and involved merging client xmas lists from last year, with a column for every list and a tick in the column where appropriate. Lordy!
There are dramas at work, though not really involving me. One team at work is totally dysfunctional and is about to be "restructured" (not sure if that means redundancies etc). One of the team members dropped me home today and I invited her in - we ended up having a goss session (i.e. she told me all about the dramas and one secret resignation I am not supposed to know about. My lips are sealed.)
Meanwhile my role seems to be more than solid. Since I've been here (2 years this month?!) I've had 2 part-time students under me. That has ended, but I now have 2 full-time staff that report to me in some way, with a third due to start soon! Its crazy! These staff work on the database, but for specific teams. What that means for me is: I don't have to do the grunt work for that team, plus I get to allocate them work... Its pretty sweet. It is also a clear indication that the importance of the database has been recognised.
I had my quarterly review yesterday. All went really well. I achieved most my KPIs, and those that weren't achieved have been pushed out, with my boss acknowledging how busy I've been, and that certain things are out of my hands.
It comes at a good time, because we need a new washing machine and possibly a TV... I really need a new laptop (maybe "want" is the right word, but this one is soooo old and clunky. I swear its going to die again - it couldn't handle XP SP3 and died, but I had it resurrected for $99).

Anyway, its getting late. I have Mum and Dad coming to dinner tomorrow night, which will be nice. Rich is going to cook a curry. I don't think I have to do anything, except play hostess.

PS: Here is a lame pic that cracked me up:

03 October 2008

Cyanide and Ryan Adams

Two of my favourite things hehe

02 October 2008

Fav Bands

A few words about some of my current fav bands. I tend to never bother to find out anything about bands I like, which is just rude really.

Plants and Animals are a Canadian indie-rock band from Montreal, featuring two members originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, which comprises guitarist-vocalists Warren Spicer and Nic Basque, and drummer-vocalist Matthew Woodley. They often describe their music as post-classic rock. They are signed to Secret City Records. Their first full-length album, Parc Avenue, has been shortlisted for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize.Their full-length debut Parc Avenue was released on February 26, 2008 in Canada and on March 25, 2008 in the United States. The album features string parts by Sarah Neufeld of The Arcade Fire.

Arcade Fire is an indie rock band based in Montreal, Canada and fronted by the husband and wife duo of Texan Win Butler and Québécoise Régine Chassagne. The band was formed while Win Butler attended Philips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, United States. The lineup changed and solidified in 2003 and 2004, during the recording of their first full-length album, Funeral.The band is known for their live performances and their use of a large number of musical instruments; in addition to the guitar, drums, and bass guitar, the band's members also play instruments such as the piano, violin, and viola. When asked about the name of the band, lead vocalist Butler stated that it refers to a fire that supposedly occurred in Exeter Arcade.
Arcade Fire has won numerous awards, including both the Meteors 2008 Best International Album award and the Juno Awards 2008 Alternative Album of the Year award for Neon Bible. It has also been nominated by the Grammys for 2006 Best Alternative Music Album for Funeral and 2008 Best Alternative Music Album nomination for Neon Bible.

The Stills are a Canadian rock band. Four of the band members, Tim Fletcher, Dave Hamelin, Liam O'Neil and Olivier Corbeil, have known each other since around the age of twelve and played in various bands prior to forming The Stills in 2000. The band members are art students from Montreal, Quebec. On a two-month trip to New York City, they recorded several songs with the help of a four-track recorder. According to rumour, the four-track recorder was given to them after helping a friend in Barcelona who needed drug money.Their debut album Logic Will Break Your Heart was released in 2003, and touring with Interpol and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs gained them a steady following. Their second album, Without Feathers, was released May 9, 2006 on Vice Records. They supported Kings of Leon on their UK spring tour in 2007. They signed with Arts & Crafts for the release of their upcoming third album, Oceans Will Rise.

The Faint is a dance-punk/new wave band. Formed in Omaha, Nebraska, the band consists of Todd Fink, Jacob Thiele, Dapose, Joel Petersen and Clark Baechle. The Faint was originally known as Norman Bailer and included Conor Oberst, of Bright Eyes, with whom the Faint toured in 2005. He quit shortly after the band was formed, though the Faint continued to share a spot with Bright Eyes on Saddle Creek Records.In May 2008 The Faint announced that they had split from Saddle Creek and that their fifth studio album would be self released under their own blank.wav imprint. The album, entitled Fasciinatiion was released on August 5th 2008 in the U.S. The first single from the album is The Geeks Were Right.

Tegan and Sara is a band consisting of Canadian singer-songwriters and lesbian identical twins, Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Keirsten Quin (born September 19, 1980). The two have toured with Neil Young, Rufus Wainwright, Kaki King, Northern State, An Horse, The Pretenders, Ben Folds, The Killers, Rachael Cantu, Vivek Shraya, Cake, Gogol Bordello, Hot Hot Heat, Ryan Adams, Veda Hille, Little Birdy, Iron On, Little Brazil, Death Cab for Cutie and Weezer. They also performed a show at Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair.
Their fifth album, The Con, was released on July 24, 2007. It was co-produced by Chris Walla. Jason McGerr of Death Cab for Cutie, Matt Sharp of The Rentals (who was with Weezer during The Blue Album and Pinkerton), Hunter Burgan of AFI, and Kaki King appear on the album.The duo are currently writing a new album, planned to be released in late 2009.

Nada Surf is an American alternative rock band. Formed in 1992, the New York band consists of Matthew Caws (guitar, vocals), Ira Elliot (drums, backup vocals) and Daniel Lorca (bass, backup vocals). The band is best known for the song "Popular" from their 1996 album High/Low. Their songs have appeared on the TV shows: Six Feet Under, The O.C., One Tree Hill, Heroes, and How I Met your Mother, and the movies: Disturbia, The Edukators, and John Tucker Must Die.

Cansei de Ser Sexy literally "got tired of being sexy" in Brazilian Portuguese), better known worldwide as CSS, is a Brazilian band from São Paulo. Their songs have an electro/rock sound, and are sung in both English and Portuguese; their lyrics mostly concern pop culture. CSS formed in September 2003, consisting of a group of friends. Their name was taken from a reported quote by Beyoncé, who allegedly declared that she was "tired of being sexy".

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly is the stage name of English artist Sam Duckworth and his band. He is often referred to as Get Cape, Cape, GCWCF, Slam Dunkworth, Shrimpy, Captain Sandwich and "Charlie Khoo". According to Dunkworth, his stage name comes from a ZX Spectrum magazine which featured a solution for the Batman video game and one of the sections of the solution contained the header "Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly".
Duckworth grew up in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and has supported bands such as The Flaming Lips, The Magic Numbers, OK Go, Funeral for a Friend,The Kooks and Feeder. Duckworth was signed to Atlantic Records in March 2006, after playing many gigs—both with punk rock band Silverskin and as GCWCF.

Death Cab for Cutie is an American indie rock band formed in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. It began as a solo project of Ben Gibbard, now the band's vocalist and guitarist. Gibbard took the band name from the title of the song written by Neil Innes and Vivian Stanshall and performed by their group the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band in The Beatles' 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour. Their albums in chronological idea are: You Can Play These Songs with Chords, Something About Airplanes, We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes, The Photo Album, Transatlanticism, Plans, and Narrow Stairs.
TV shows/movies embracing DCFC include: The O.C., Six Feet Under, CSI: Miami, Californication, Wedding Crashers and Mean Creek.

TV on the Radio (often abbreviated to TVOTR) is a New York City experimental rock band formed in 2001 whose music spans genres as diverse as post-punk, free jazz, a cappella, doo-wop, soul, shoegaze and electro. The group has released several EPs including their debut Young Liars (2003), and three acclaimed albums, 2004's Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, Return to Cookie Mountain (2006), which received wider notice and appeared near the top of several end-of-year lists, and Dear Science (2008). Rolling Stone magazine voted Return to Cookie Mountain the fourth best album of 2006, and Spin voted the band as 2006 Artist of the Year.
The band is comprised of Tunde Adebimpe (vocals/loops), David Andrew Sitek (guitars/keyboards/loops), Kyp Malone (vocals/guitars/loops) along with Jaleel Bunton (drums) and Gerard Smith (bass). Other contributors include Katrina Ford of Celebration (vocals), Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead (vocals), Martin Perna of Antibalas (saxophones, flute), David Bowie (vocals) and Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs (guitar).

Thanks Wikipedia!

Post in Progress (PIP)

Hey, so I'm tired, and I've been posting a whole lot of stuff that is not actually by me. So I thought I'd start and publish I post that I can add to later. This will be random, you have been warned.
  • I had Monday and Tuesday off work this week (annual leave). It was super-nice to relax around home, and hang out with Mum (its school holidays for her). Plus, the added bonus is this week was a 3 day working week for me! Why can't all week be that way?!
  • I added a blue toilet block to the cistern, and a yellow citrix clip-on toilet thing... now we get green!
  • I just watched 'Flight Plan' (finally). I didn't see that twist a-coming!
  • Tomorrow my tween cousin is coming to stay for the night. I am preparing myself for a day and night of: fingernail painting, shopping, G rated movies starring Hillary Duff, and no sleep-in. That said, we will have fun!
  • Big Day Out 2009 first announcement blew my mind!! NEIL YOUNG, ARCTIC MONKEYS, THE LIVING END, THE PRODIGY, SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM, MY MORNING JACKET, PENDULUM, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, TV ON THE RADIO, SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO, THE TING TINGS, TIKI TAANE, CUT COPY, COG, YOUTH GROUP, THE GRATES, BIRDS OF TOKYO, TZU and EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING. What's just crazy, is there is still MORE to come.