08 April, 2014

Tiki Time at Jungle

 
Saturday we headed out to the Eat Street Markets to sample a range of delights before making our way into West End for the first ever Tiki Time at Jungle. A Robot Productions event (run by Lori Lee Cash, the beauty and brains behind the Brisbane rockabilly scene including the GreazeFest Kustom Kulture Festival), it was the first of its kind for LL and Jungle was certainly the perfect venue for it. By the time the night was in full swing, the place was full of hibiscus bedecked kanes and wahines. DJ Leapin' Lawrie was spinning vinyl 45s all night playing plenty of classic rockabilly, although a little more surf or exotica would have really set the mood.
 
 
Now I have a confession to make. I may have been having a bad hair day (read skin, hair, dress) and I may have had a little meltdown at home. First of all, I've been trialling a new skin care product I was sent and I must say I'm quite disappointed with it. I don't normally get many pimples and I've actually discovered a great skin care system that really works for me (Shiseido White Lucent for those playing at home). Unfortunately this new product caused me to have the mother of all break outs, which wasn't making me feel the greatest.
 
 
Then when I put the dress I had been planning to wear on, it was too baggy and had no shape to it. I thought it looked most unflattering. I searched my closet for an appropriate belt to pull in the waist but couldn't find anything. Time was running out and I was dithering about, whinging about what I would do. The Man suggested that if we hurried up we could leave early and stop at a shop on the way to buy an appropriate belt. I figured this was my best option so I slapped on my make up (trying my best to cover my pizza face).
 
 
I didn't even have time to do anything with my hair. Just shoved in a couple of hair flowers and in half an hour we were out the door. I may or may not have said something along the lines of 'fine I'm ugly today everyone will just have to deal with it'. Such a diva haha Anyway, we rushed into the shop and I found a belt that would do the job. I figured once I was away from the mirror I wouldn't really know if I looked bad or not anyway.
 
Once we got to Eat Street I put it all behind me and had a great time with some friends as we shared plates of all kinds of goodies. If you have an afternoon or evening to kill and like to try lots of little bits of yummies, I highly recommend it. We filled our tummies and then it was on to Jungle for Tiki Time! I was being a very good girl and being designated driver so I only let myself have one cocktail but I made sure it was worth my while - a zombie! Mmm mmm my favourite!
 
It was great to catch up with everyone in such an intimate and funky setting, with plenty of opportunity to have a chat. I love my live music, but it's certainly easier to catch up with people when you don't have to shout over the band. The atmosphere was great - friendly, laid back and lots of fun. It was really relaxing and enjoyable and I was having such a great time that I didn't even care that I was sober. Everyone was dressed in their tropical finery and looked fantastic! Then it came time to announce best dressed.
 
 
And wouldn't you know it, IT WAS ME! I actually couldn't believe it! Baggy dress pizza face won best dressed? Get out! Haha It's quite rare that I am lost for words, but I really was. Considering how many beautifully dressed ladies there were, I must admit I felt a little undeserving but it was very nice all the same. Lori Lee assured me it was a fair vote between her and the bar staff so I guess I just had to be gracious and accept it, even if I personally would have chosen someone else.
 
Isn't it funny though. The one time I feel crap about how I look and get ready in a rush. It felt like the universe was telling me to get over myself. Ok universe, I hear you loud and clear. Perhaps I shall ponder it some more as I am enjoying my prize. Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention, my prize was a $150 bar tab at Jungle!
 
I'm sure I can give that a nudge next time I stop by, don't you?

04 April, 2014

What Happens in Vegas

The Viva Las Vegas festival is right around the corner. Some of my friends are already over there, others are leaving this weekend. This time last year, on this very day, I was in Vegas. As you know (because I can’t stop talking about it) I’m heading back there in August. Last time I gambled exactly $1 of someone else’s money haha Even though I’m not much of a gambler, it is Vegas after all and I wouldn’t mind giving it a shot this time. Who knows, maybe I’ll even win! Probably not, but I might as well try anyway. I’m making a plan of all the things I want to see and do that I missed last time around. Keep in mind it’ll be pretty hot in August, so I dare say I’ll be spending most of my time inside air conditioning drinking, shopping, eating, gambling and maybe even winning.
 

Casinos

Given that I know almost nothing about how to play table games, I need to brush up on my skills. Roulette seems like fun and blackjack sounds pretty exciting, so between those invites to annoying games on Facebook and asking around the few friends I know that do gamble, they recommended Top Online Euro Palace Casinos as a good place to start. There’s lots of different games to play and some generous bonuses which should hopefully make my small stash last a little bit longer before it’s lost to the house.
 
We’re staying at The Flamingo so no doubt I’ll try my luck there. Given that I’m not the most passionate gambler though, I doubt I’ll waste too much time traipsing around the Strip to find casinos. Although I have heard The Mirage has better odds for roulette and the Alamo is good for blackjack. I guess we’ll see. 
 
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Hotels

Although Vegas might be all about gambling for a lot of people, it certainly isn’t for me. There are so many awesome hotels to check out with heaps of crazy attractions like the wildlife habitat at the Flamingo, the water fountains of the Bellagio, the Fall of Atlantis and Forum shops at Caesars Palace, Shark Reef Aquarium and House of Blues at Mandalay Bay, the volcano eruption of the Mirage, the Paris Eiffel Tower and the gondola rides of The Venetian. Eek I can’t wait!
 
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Thrills

There’s also plenty of stuff to do for thrill-seekers. The rollercoaster at New York New York is a must for some people, but Insanity at the Stratosphere might be the most self-explanatory ride in Sin City. Dangling 900ft above Vegas may seem like fun now, but how about when the chair starts spinning and tilting and hitting 3G’s? Hmm? I still can’t decide if I’m going to be brave enough to go on this, although I really want to!
 
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Music

It’s also a great town for live music, which is right up my alley as you know! One of the most atmospheric venues is the Double Down Saloon on Paradise Road. We wanted to get here last time but we just didn’t get a chance, so it’s high on our list this time. Their motto is “Shut Up And Drink”, which sounds perfect to me! There’s always great music there – even if it’s just the amazing jukebox.
 
So tell me, is there anything else that should be on my list? I can’t wait – wish me luck!

01 April, 2014

100 Happy Days

If you follow me on Instagram (you should!) then you've probably seen me posting to the hashtag #100happydays over the last week or so. In case you haven't done your own detective work (which is totally something I would do) I thought I would share it with you because I think it is a really awesome concept. It's basically just a little challenge for you to share something daily that makes you happy. It doesn't have to be anything earth shattering or grand, it could be something as simple as sliding into fresh sheets or putting your socks on straight out of the dryer.
 
I know myself, it can be very easy to miss the little things that make you happy, especially if you're feeling down or just busy and overwhelmed (like I have lately) and I think it's certainly worth reminding yourself. 71% of people who tried to complete the challenge thought they didn't have enough time to do it. That's 71% of people who think they are too busy to be happy. That's sad. I'm very much about noticing and appreciating the little things and being grateful for all that you do have, so this challenge had me written all over it.
 
Even better, you can officially register as part of the challenge, choose which platform you want to submit your pictures on (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). You can even create your own hashtag for sharing your pictures if you'd prefer them to remain a little more private. It's completely up to you. The you submit a picture each day of what makes you happy, with your hashtags, and at the end you even get a little book of your happy moments to look back and remember. How lovely!
 
The thing is, this challenge is about you, FOR you and no one else. It's not about being happier than someone else or being in competition or showing off or anything like that. For all intents and purposes, your images could be 'boring' to anyone else. The point is that you take time in your day to stop and consciously think about the little things that have made you happy. It's designed to improve your mood, increase your optimism, amplify your gratitude and just generally make you feel good.
 
I have to say, so far I'm loving it! I feel more relaxed, more present, less overwhelmed, my thinking feels clearer and I am actually more motivated. It's easy to feel like things are getting on top of you and I had been letting that negativity creep into things, including sadly the quality of this blog. But I am totally reinvigorated and feel so much more in control, not to mention I've got some great content that I'm really excited about sharing coming up. Stay tuned for one heck of a shot of colour and positivity!
 
Won't you join me? Lets get happy together!

25 March, 2014

Breather

Phew! Well it's been hectic times around here the last few weeks. My personal life got quite busy and to be honest I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed and emotional. Thankfully I had no plans for the weekend just gone other to relax and take a breather. Unfortunately last Sunday I received a text message from my housemate telling me she was pregnant and that her parents were coming over from China and that I had 2 weeks to find somewhere else to live. Cue a general sense of panic. My first thought was to put the feelers out with all my friends on Facebook. There were lots of kind offers from friends near and far and it was very heartening to see such love and support for me. It sure helped to cheer me up. Unbelievably though, I was scouring Gumtree for share houses when I came across one that almost seemed too good to be true!
Is it not amazing!?
Not only was it big and beautiful, it was also in a lovely area (not too far from where I used to live in Holland Park) and still nice and close to work, not to mention it was cheaper! I called the number and wouldn't you know it, they could have me round to check the place out on Monday night. I went round and it was just as lovely in person as it looks in the pictures, plus the housemates seemed friendly and fun. They're into travel and when one of them started talking to me about Man V Food I knew this was the household for me. I drove home and texted them right away saying that I'd love to take the room if they'd have me. Always seeming to be one to land on my feet, they texted me back saying they'd love to have me too! Just over 24 hours after being told I had to move and I found a brilliant place! I couldn't believe my luck.
 
The new place has a kitty! Meet Andre AKA Fatty
However, that only gave me 4 days to pack everything up ready for the move this weekend just gone. Luckily a lot of my stuff was still packed from the last time I moved and I really only needed to pack up my room which didn't take long. And so it was that on Saturday my wonderful sister and brother-in-law brought round their ute and, along with my wonderful Man, helped me pack it all up and take it over to the new place. Of course it was just my luck that the only 5 minute window of rain we had in the whole entire beautiful sunny Saturday was while we were loaded up and driving to the new place with my mattress strapped to the top. It got pretty soaked. We had to leave it out on the deck for a day to dry and air out. Thankfully we could stay at The Man's place on Saturday night so we didn't have to sleep on the floor.
 
First shower beer in the new place!
We got everything moved in on Saturday, which left Sunday for unpacking, but not before a super fun night at the Soused Seas, the amazing private tiki bar of our new friends Rod and Maxine. Our friends Dani of Black Lagoon Designs tiki mugs and Evan of Johnny Voodoo's Barbershop introduced us to Rod and Maxine, who are also going to Tiki Oasis this year! I drove so that The Man could enjoy some well-earned drinks but we definitely need another trip back when I'm not driving - the cocktails they were making were fantastic! It was a great way to blow off some steam after a big day moving and was lots and lots of fun.
 
I am the only one not soused here ;)
Sunday it was time to put my bed up in my room, unpack all the boxes and really settle in. I was just putting the final fur coat into my wardrobe and as I pulled my arm out of the closet, I cut it on a wire shelf that had a sharp bit sticking out. It sliced me pretty good, not deep enough for stitches but too deep for just a band aid. There was blood running down my arm and I was most concerned about it having split my tattoo. I pressed some paper towel to the cut to try to stop the bleeding while we headed to the nearest pharmacy for some assistance. Thankfully the cut was nice and clean but it didn't seem to want to stop bleeding. Some antibacterial and a few steri-strips and I was put back together. It's starting to heal nicely now and I just hope it won't affect my tattoo too much once it's fully healed. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
 
Not my TCB!!! :'(
For what was supposed to be our 'designated weekend off' it certainly turned out to be much more eventful than we were hoping. Still, the new place is fantastic and I'm settling in nicely. Now I'm really looking forward to the Easter holidays for a chance to really catch my breath and relax, because it looks like from now until then we'll be pretty busy! Sigh.  

18 March, 2014

Mr Guitar Geek

 
Sunday just gone we headed to Morningside RSL for a fantastic afternoon of rockabilly markets and rockin tunes by the likes of local Brisbane band Twang and The Hi-Boys headlined by Mr Entertainment himself, Deke Dickerson all the way from the USA. Despite receiving some rather crappy news that morning, I was determined to have a great day. I had a pretty new dress to wear and with such fantastic bands and great friends, it really wasn't hard to be well and truly cheered up!
 
Can we just take a minute to appreciate this dress? I'm in LOVE! I so very rarely am able to wear anything strapless. With such a big bust, I usually find it impossible to find anything that fits correctly and doesn't threaten a wardrobe malfunction but this dress is simply divine! It fits like a glove and it even stood up to the test of a couple of fast and furious dances! A++!
 
First up were Twang who I just LOVE! Their style is the perfect mix of rockabilly and country and their beat is so great to dance to. Fast enough to keep things fun without overdoing it. Also, Mariee is their female frontwoman, something that instantly appeals to me. Not only can she play the guitar but boy can she sing! She has a great voice that showcases a restrained power, kicking butt without overdoing it. There aren't that many female-fronted rockabilly bands, particularly in Brisbane, so think Twang are just the bees knees.
 

Next up were The Hi-Boys who play fast and hard despite their classic look. These guys give it all they've got and play so fast that it's almost impossible to dance to them. It's kind of a shame because they deserve some dancefloor appreciation by in saying that, they've got a real jump beat vibe that really brings the energy up in the room. For me they kind of represent a sort of Go Cat Go meets Rusty Pinto sound which I love! Their rockin tunes were the perfect opportunity to catch a breather from the dancefloor without losing my enthusiasm or momentum.

 
Of course everyone was waiting for Deke. Having seen his Guitar Geek festival at Viva Las Vegas last year as well as at previous years' GreazeFests so we knew we were in for a treat. They don't call him Mr Entertainment for nothing and his stage presence plus the obvious rapport he has with our mate John Flynn made for a rather cheeky yet entertaining afternoon. This man is a guitar god but it seems his talents know no bounds as he swapped instruments with the guys doing a bit of both drums and the double bass.


Some of my personal highlights of the set were There Stands The Glass, Chicken Walk, I Might Not Come Home At All and one of my most favourite songs Flattop Pickle Head by CK Louis which saw Deke on drums. And then of course there was the dance off. Not your typical dance off though. John Flynn impressed everyone with his robot and moonwalking skills while the poor VIC drummer was facing a tough QLD crowd. Then some lady volunteers were requested. Despite The Man urging me to get up, I think I'm glad I didn't. You see, it looked a little something like this. HAHA.


All in all it was a brilliant day and I certainly danced my blues away!

13 March, 2014

Tattoo...Thursday?

I know I’m slightly out of synch with my regular ‘Tattoo Tuesday’ post but I only got this baby finished on Monday and wanted to wait until the swelling had gone down to post it. So that you can see it in all its glory. And damn what glory it is! I am in LOVE with this tattoo! I can’t wait for it to be completely healed so that you can see all the shading and detail in it. Mark has done an amazing job!
 
It’s on the outside of my left calf and it pretty much takes up the entire area, from ankle to knee, just to give you a bit of an idea on its size. It only took two 2 hour sittings with Mark (Suicide) at Voodoo Tattoo in Loganholme to complete. Not bad huh? He’s been doing this for a long time so he’s nice and quick but the quality of his work is unbelievable. He does the BEST shading! I mean, look at the shading on the devil’s face!! I think it might be my favourite part about this whole tattoo. Nailed it!
 
I’ve been planning this tattoo for a little while now and it’s inspired by two of my most favourite kustom kulture artists of all time – Coop and Vince Ray. The devil is of course inspired by the iconic Coop devil but the style and the girl is very much Vine Ray’s. The inspiration for the girl was actually taken from last year’s Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender poster, also designed by Vince Ray. And the devil with his finger under the gal’s chin? Well that’s a personal little detail.
 
 
The scene itself is taken from the cover of a rockabilly compilations CD I have and I just love the effect of the streetlight illuminating the brick wall. I wanted it to feel a bit sleazy, like some kind of clandestine meeting in a back alley. I love hair and really, what outfit would be complete without some leopard print? I am so pleased with this one, it was actually a great area to get tattooed. It didn’t hurt a bit and it’s healed really well, really quickly. I’ll be sure to post a photo once it’s healed completely so you can see all the colour, shading and details pop!

Ah this tattoo caper, the more I get the more I want. Lucky I’ve still got plenty of bare skin left!

25 February, 2014

In Review: Wolf Creek 2

 
Saturday we headed into Southbank to catch the second instalment of the outback slasher, Wolf Creek 2. Having loved the first one, I couldn’t wait to check out the sequel and was quietly hoping that they wouldn’t ruin it with a second film that was lacking. The first movie was impressive, particularly given it was shot in chronological order in just 25 days! Rated R, the first movie was certainly much more graphic than this second instalment which was only rated MA, however what it lacked in gore it certainly made up for in bizarreness.

It’s been almost 10 years since we left Mick Taylor, homicidal bushman, in his hunting grounds of the Australian outback. Presumably continuing to add to his body count, this movie picks up with a couple of German backpackers who are exploring the vastly beautiful Australian outback carefree. That is, until one night after visiting the Wolfe Creek Crater, Mick stumbles onto their illegal campsite in a National Park. Explaining the pitfalls of illegal camping, he offers them a lift back into town and it’s here where things start to go wrong.
 
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Mick Taylor (once again played brilliantly chillingly by John Jarratt) begins yet another murderous rampage through the isolated outback. Whilst her boyfriend Rutger isn’t so lucky, Katarina manages to escape and runs into British tourist Paul Hammersmith (Ryan Corr) bloody, hands bound and screaming for help. Bundling her up into his car, Paul and Katarina are then stalked by Mick in a high speed chase across the barren land. Paul becomes the focus of this life and death cat and mouse game as he tries to survive the night in the isolated killing fields Mick Taylor seems to know so well.

There are definite parallels between the Ivan Milat backpacker murders and the Peter Falconio murder which make this saga all the more chilling, particularly as it claims to be based on a true story. While the body count is lower and seemingly less gruesome in this second instalment it’s certainly no less brutal and is far more psychological than your typical slasher movie. John Jarratt once again puts in a brilliant performance as one of the creepiest killers to ever terrorise our screens and no doubt you’ll be hearing that trademark laugh in your nightmares.
 
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I thought Ryan Corr was actually quite good as Paul Hammersmith also, putting in a gritty and believable performance not to mention a pretty good British accent as well. My favourite scene in the entire movie is a completely bizarre encounter between Paul and Mick in an underground torture chamber. Having finally captured Paul and brought him to his lair, Mick is ready to inflict some serious pain on the ‘vermin’ foreign tourist when his knowledge of Australian culture and history becomes the only thing between him and Mick grinding off his fingers one by one. Perhaps the most bizarre part of this entire scene which I absolutely loved is a rousing rendition of Rolf Harris’ Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport sung by the two as they slug down rum and get to know each other a little better.

Like most films of this genre there are plenty of laughs to be had along the way, despite the brutal on screen antics of old Uncle Mick. There are also some great tracks used in the soundtrack that put such a bizarre spin on the action happening on the screen. I love all that weird kind of stuff, so this was right up my alley, although The Man was a little disappointed in the lack of gore. I on the other hand thought it was great to see a movie that didn’t just rely on the shock of body parts and gallons of fake blood to give you the heebies.
 
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Another aspect of the movie that I loved was the fact that you can’t help but kind of like Mick Taylor, despite his homicidal tendencies. When he’s not hacking people up, he’s actually a pretty funny guy who delivers some great one liners. The other thing I loved was the fact that so much of the cinematography of this film could be used as a tourism ad for Australia. Edit out all the parts where tourists are being hunted, tortured and brutally murdered and you’ve got yourself some spectacular shots of Australian landscapes. Add to that the footage of backpackers having a fantastic time in some unbelievable locations and you feel yourself wondering why you don’t just quit your job, pull on a swag and get out there and explore this amazing country of ours. Don’t worry, it’s not long until Mick shows up to remind you why you don’t.

Thoroughly enjoyable – I give this 7 severed fingers out of 10.