My Life Abroad: The Adventures of Two Birds
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Mon
1
Jun '09

P!NK

The Funhouse Tour is a fun one, Dawn and have been waiting months with these tickets to see Pink.  This is the first time to experience Pink for both of us.  We started off by going to Richmond to enjoy “the best” Mexican food available in Melbourne at Mexicali Rose.  Really, if you get the chance, you must go. 

Rod Laver Arena looked like a carnival, the stage was set and we thankfully missed the opening act arriving just :10 minutes before Pink started.  In a red sequenced leotard she hit the stage hard, this is a big tour for her – with 14 sold out shows in Melbourne alone.  Dawn commented on how she does it but the show is a “show” and just like Broadway they go on night after night.  And she is definitely buff, looking awesome – she’s definitely been working out.  The show, like I heard last year has quite a bit of trapeze acrobatics.  Not just Pink but her dancers as well.  It’s quite a show. I got a couple short videos and a lot of nice pictures but we did have nosebleed seats.  We did get a taste of Queen, Led Zeppelin as well as a very interesting and hot rendition of Divynals “I touch myself”.

Here are the pics from the night, always first my favourite, then click on the rest to enlarge!

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We did have a great time, and wish you could have come with us… but next time fer sure!

Wed
22
Apr '09

Jason Mraz live at the Palais Theatre, Melbourne

Well it’s that time again, Jason Mraz and Toca are in town and making their way around Australia once more.  I won’t go into every detail but for those of you that wanted to see the pics – they are in. Thanks for my girls meeting at the ESPY and hanging for Mraz – it was great as always girls!  Love to D & N. 

Click on the video below to see a clip from the show or log into TheLaineyBird on youtube.com and see all my Mraz videos.

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***

Mental Status: Exciting, our 3-year anniversary is this week!!
Favourite thing this week: Seeing Jason Mraz again, always uplifting.
Book this week: The Black Market by James Patterson.
Happy Moment: Knowing only 50 days until we move into our first house… I really need boxes!
Looking forward to next week: Seeing P!nk with Dawn on May 31.

Thu
16
Oct '08

Lou Mars: Big Winner of Nationwide Dixon Drum Contest

Well my “band” days may be over, but it’s far from over for my old Simply Irresistible drummer Lou Mars, he’s won a nationwide contest put on by Dixon Drums “Drum your way to Hollywood” through votes of YouTube.  Sensational!  Long time friend, Lou was one of the reasons I started our previous band and I’m so happy and honoured to say that we’re still great friends today – I’m so proud of you Lou!  Go kick some ass in Hollywood!

Lou placed 1st out of 46 contentants and has won a beautiful set of drums, a trip to Hollywood to play on the A&R Channel for the Dixon Drums Special and studio time at Westlake Recording Studios to play with some of the music industrys best!

Congratulations my friend!

Fri
11
Jul '08

Arriving in America (day 1 of 35)

Arriving in America via Qantas 

35000-feet-qanta.jpgMan, I seriously felt like we got upgraded to Business Class.  When we checked in I complained of Rod’s “long legs” – cause that works sometimes to get different seats (of choice), and they offered us Emergency Exit Row seats.  So that was nice.  But when we sat down we found that the third seat was free!  OH MY!  It was great, I got the window and got to lean against the bulkhead to sleep and Rod got this isle to stretch out his legs.  As you can see from this picture at 35,000 feet, it was purce clouds.

With about 3 beers and a cocktail each, watched a movie (Rod watched Fargo and I watched Untraceable and with Ashley Judd and Flawless with Demi Moore), we popped a sleeping pill, had a meal and we slept almost the rest of the way. Meals were decent and we had good service. We actually felt rested when we arrived! I’ll have to rate this the best flight one of the very best, and it was Qantas (we usually fly Air New Zealand).

Enough about air travel… we had a car waiting for us at the airport, you know… one of those guys in suits with the bluetooth headset glued into his ear with a sign that said Ms Hay. Funny. He was a Pom (English) named Steven that’s lived most of his life in America. He was great and explained every street and shopping centre, bridge and building on the way from the airport to Union Square.We’re staying at the Marriott on Market Street in downtown San Fran. We are here, on Fox FM’s dime, for three day. Yesterday we shopped… Old Navy and GAP is right across the street from the hotel. Couple malls. Then we were off to the Fillmore to meet the Veronicas.

The Historic Fillmore Auditorium

the-fillmore-wall.jpgThe Fillmore Auditorium is a San Francisco icon. It is one of the venues that has been around since the mid-1960’s.  The Fillmore became a focal point for counterculture in general with acts like The Grateful Dead, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, and so many others. Legendary ambience and stellar performances with light shows, strobe lighting and uninhibited dancing was what it was known for. Started by the infamous Bill Graham, the auditorium fell to the hands of a deteriorating San Francisco neighbourhood and the venue was moved in 1968 from the original building on Geary Blvd to where it stands today on Market Street. In the 1980’s the Fillmore became a private club called “The Elite Club” and later became a club for headlining punk acts like Black Flag, The Dead Kennedys, and Public Image Ltd. During the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989 the venue was severely damaged and closed. Graham died in a freak helicopter accident in 1991 (ironically right outside the main gate to the Navy Base I was stationed at in Vallejo California), when his helicopter, flying too low, got caught in the electrical pole wires and all were electrocuted. In 1994, through the wishes of Graham, the Fillmore was reopened with the band The Smashing Pumpkins playing the first show. The Fillmore has once again become a San Francisco hot spot with frequent shows, the capacity if 1,250 guests. The venue was great, a real experience, and there were plaqued pictures of many artists and bands that have played the venue, quite a sight.

The Veronicas play The Fillmore Auditorium

The Veronicas were one of the opening acts and played a short :30 minute set with some of their music from their first CD and some new tunes that have just been released. They were known by the crowd and were warmly accepted. They closed off the show with Hook Me Up before Natasha Beddingfield headed on stage. We were called back stage to meet the girls as they walked off stage.They are so tiny and when I say tiny I mean they come up to my shoulders.They introduced themselves Lisa and Jess and the first thing Rod asked is “who’s with Dean?” ha-ha!I believe it was Lisa, she said “I am” and batted her eyes. Cute. They were so nice and asked about us – this was their gig on the U.S tour and they were heading back to Brisbane on Sunday. I got a coule little posters for some friends from work’s girls, and brought things of the girls for Jess and Lisa to sign – which they did gladly. I took a few shots during the show. We had a really nice time , they put on a great show and my personal item to take home wasn’t a signature – I got my picture with them for the blog and here it is:  (I am crouching down a bit so I don’t look so damn tall!)

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Next stop China Town…

We’re off this afternoon to walk around China town and tonight to the top of the Macy’s building for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory” which is a great restaurant that also makes specialty Cheesecakes (per the name). From there we hope to get some good pictures of the city at night. Tommorrow we are going to take a bay cruise, possibly a dinner cruise. Stay tuned for more info, I’ll be blogging daily as we have FREE wireless Internet access from the Hotel!  Only in America! HA-ha.  Here’s a few shots from our first day in San Fran the city around Union Square, the hotel, and Rasselas Jazz Bar (click on the pic to enlarge):

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***

Mental Status: 15-hour flight was’nt too bad, still recovering from jet-lag but making the best of it. 
Favourite thing this week: Looking forward “this week” to selling more Reunion tickets, and seeing Mom on Sunday.
Book this week: Two books this week:  1) Everybody Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger (the author of The Devil Wears Prada and Chasing Harry Winston), and 2) The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross.
Happy Moment today: Helping Candace buy her ticket to visit us for Thanksgiving.
Looking forward to next week: Visiting my Gramma, seeing my friend TeeBiss and meeting his fiancee, and Lucy’s Mexican cooking!
I already miss: Norelle, Melzie, and my kitties 🙁

Mon
19
May '08

Hell Yeah

If you’re thinkin’ that my life
Is a hoot and a holler
From the start of the day
To the dark of the night
THAT it’s ringing like a bell
That you only wanna follow
And trust me when I say
I’m just trying to get it right
Still I think about myself
As a lucky old dreamer
If you’re asking me to tell
Is it worth what I paid?
You’re gonna hear me say
Hell yeah it is
And I say it loud
I loved it all
And I’m not too proud
I freed my soul
Just let it fly
Hell yeah this crazy life around me
It confuses and confounds me
But its all the life I’ve got
Until I die
Hell yeah it is
 
 
 
If you’re asking for my time
Isn’t much left to give you
Been around a good long while So I gotta say it fast
Time is all we’ll ever need
But its gotta have a meaning
Be careful how it’s spent
Because it isn’t gonna last
I hear you wonderin’ out loud
Are you ever gonna make it
Will you ever work it out?
Will you ever take a chance?
Just believe you can
Hell yeah you will
Gonna be okay
You might get lost
But then you’ll find a way
Don’t go alone
Can’t be afraid
Hell yeah this life is here
And it’s made for livin’
And loves a gift that’s made for GIVING
Give it all away and have it still
And hell yeah you will
I’ve been livin’ in a bowl
With a lot of people starin’
With my feet on shaky ground
And my head up in the sky
But it’s where I wanna be
It’s a life that’s made for carin’
Got a song to pass the day
And a girl to share the night
So if they ask you when I’m gone
Was it everything he wanted?
When he had to travel on
Did he know he’d be missed?
You can tell them this
Hell yeah he did
He saw it all
He walked the line
Never had to crawl
He cried a bit
But not for long
Hell yeah he found the life that he was after
Filled it up with love and laughter
Finally got it right and made it fit
Hell yeah he did

~Neil Diamond

Fri
18
Apr '08

A free trip to the U.S.?

Well I really can’t believe what has happened.  Yesterday on my drive out for a site visit and training at one of our many hospitals, I hear a contest on the radio (Fox FM) to see The Veronica’s live in concert in the U.S.  So of course I think… hmmm, free trip to the U.S.?  I entered immediately texting my name in:  LaineyBird.  Low and behold I get a call back saying I won a CD!  And I’m now in the drawing to win the trip, tickets, and the backstage passes.

The Veronica’s In Concert

veronicas-4ever.jpgGot a call today when I was out with Rod and 10 other of his work mates for lunch at the Dumpling King.  Fox FM was calling to make sure my phone was on in case I won today – thought that was weird.  At 3pm sharp I got the call and I AM THE WINNER!  We won two tickets to the U.S. and the concert is in July, and backstage tickets. They are billing the concert in New York but they said it could be anywhere.  We will keep you posted on the dates and the information as soon as we get it.  We will extend the trip on either side to accommodate the Reunion, the spreading of Dad’s ashes at Yosemite, my Reunion in Houston and whatever else we can cram into this trip!  You can check out The Veronicas online at www.theveronicas.com.au.

So…  I’m off to have a drink with my husband and celebrate!  See you in July!

Fri
8
Feb '08

My husband the Metalhead

metalbirds.jpgIn aSea of Black

Look.  Don’t get me wrong, heavy metal is great and all but… Iron Maiden was crazy out of this world. Obviously Birdie was in his element and loved every second of it.  I was glad to tag along for this adventure purely to see his enjoyment at the very least.

We were lucky enough to meet up with friends before the show and get our ‘drink’ on, then staggered to the show to see Maiden doing their top songs from the 80’s.

In the sea of black t-shirts, arms protruding into the air, fingers pointing in approval, we bang our heads to the beat. I am amazed at the differences in concerts here and in the United States. Australia was robbed of many metal band tours back in the day – they were lucky to see a few bands once or rocks_50.jpgtwice. 

One thing I can say about these metal heads is that they absolutely go all out.  Maybe they haven’t seen Iron Maiden since 1988, but it was like yesterday to them.  Dawning the old Iron Maiden rock t-shirt – some, like Birdies, with battle scars from the years gone by – they came out in droves to see Maiden rock the Rod Laver Area this week in two shows. 

We had so many in our group we had to split into two nights!  Overall we had a great evening and got to catch up with friends old and new.  No photo album for these few shots but click on the thumbnails below to get a look at our night.

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Hope you enjoy the photos! And thanks to Chris for helping me get some good shots of the band on stage.  Check back Sunday for our wrap up of the $1,000 Dollar Draw at the Cricket Club and pictures from our night with the gang.

***

Mental Status: Another weekend of eBaying (is this a new word) and Cricket parties. Weee
Favourite thing this week: Coffee with Norelle and Alex, and our new tent arrived today!
Book this week: 7th Heaven by James Patterson
Upcoming events: Event at the Cricket Club on Saturday night, and looking forward to my girls night in the city with Norelle and Mel to see Jason Mraz only 39 sleeps away.

Sat
3
Nov '07

Hummergun @ Barbuka, Melbourne

Our good mate Blair G. is in an excellent original band, heavy rock with some great lyrics.  This is my tribute to Hummergun for finally getting to my first show (due to my recent travels). Barbuka in Melbourne is a crazy little venue with red lighting and candles set into brick walls, this place reminds me of some of the places in Chico, CA that I used to frequent. Kinda felt like home.  Hummergun get’s two thumbs up!  If you want to know more about Hummergun you can find them on Facebook Groups: HUMMERGUNROCKS! or on MySpace at www.myspace.com/hummergun  

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HummerGun (right: Blair) are a heavy rock/metal group out of Melbourne, formed out of the ashes of two very different groups. Coming together in late 2006, they very quickly gelled into a cohesive songwriting unit, using their knowledge and love of different styles to write heavy and melodic rock songs with tinges of metal. This songwriting relationship continues to grow amongst the band, with later work demonstrating that HummerGun have found a style that is definitely their own.

Counting among their influences everything from the riff laden rock of Led Zeppelin to the acoustic thoughtfulness of Alice in Chains, HummerGun have very quickly gained a loyal following through this unique style, combining melodic elements with huge riffs, and occasionally, and surprisingly, the blind fury of metal.

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Performing their first shows in March 2007, HummerGun have very quickly gained a reputation as a phenomenal live band, combining intensity with tight playing to give consistently amazing performances. With front man Mathew Timms stalking the stage, his vocals complemented by the deft playing of Blair Gowans on guitar and underscored by the brilliantly tight and heavy rhythms of Damian Hartin on bass and Damian Boult on drums, HummerGun’s is a live show not to be missed.

What I learned at Cricket

I’ll call this a new segment to the blog, we spend about every weekend at the Cricket Club and I do run into something new each week. This (Cricket) is something I’m still trying to understand, and last week I got to try my hand at keeping score for Birdie’s Cricket match.  Quite interesting, and I actually learned more about Cricket than I probably wanted to know.  I can officially, without help, keep score now.  I’m actually proud of myself.  Of all the partners and wives amongst the Cricketers, I am the first to ask to be able to score.  Ah HA!

What I learned at Cricket this week:

1. Hitting a ball out of the park is worth 6 runs (essentially 6 points, it’s like a home run).

2. Emma’s wallet is much to big for her purse (we laugh about how she has a George Costanza wallet and she doesn’t get it… ) By the way, this picture is real.

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3. Bella the Cricket baby looks better in my sunglasses than I do.

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4. Aussie sausages look like hot dogs.

5. My Birdie runs a mean BBQ, and he even looks mean doing it (even though he’s not).

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6. The Cricket Club bar is named after our friend Pete.

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Mon
22
Oct '07

Woy Woy, Australia

The quaint little seaside country town of Woy Woy

The more I travel, the more I get to see some of the smaller towns of Australia.  Outback is a word I didn’t really understand until I came here, and “country town” is another word. Woy Woy is a coastal town and a southern suburb of the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia, located on the southern reaches of Brisbane Water north of Sydney.

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Woy Woy is located in the northern half of the Woy Woy Peninsula, a densely-populated estuarine peninsula that also includes the districts of Umina Beach, Ettalong Beach and Blackwell, in addition to several small sub-districts. (Wikipedia)

Really now, before I came here I was thinking “Woy Woy”, what kinda name is that? And coming from California with the many Mexican city names as San Jose, San Carlos, Buena Vista, Chico, Del Mar, Los Gatos, La Habra, El Paso De Robles, and Rancho Santa Margarita – I have to think more about the first settlers of Australia, their native people, the Aboriginals.  Most of the city names in Australia were named by the Aboriginal people, including the town I live in: Nunawading (nun-a-wad-ing) as well as Woy Woy.

This is a cute little town, and it does remind me of Grass Valley, California.  I still do love the mountains, and the country quite a bit. Here are some picture of Woy Woy and my trip this week.  Click on each pic to enlarge.

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Next this week I am on to Newcastle, Australia.

Tesla Live in Melbourne

We met up with friends Claire, Rob, and Blair to go to the Tesla show in the city (Melbourne) last weekend when I was home. The thing about Tesla is that they were big in the 80’s as a hair metal band, but here in Australia they didn’t get much airplay. 

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It was suprising to see so many Australians that would pay $50 bucks a ticket, there were about 300 people crammed into the hot and sweaty HiFi Bar in Melbourne. It was standing room only to hear some of our 80’s favourites.  The best was Love Song

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All original band members – they may be looking older but they sound just the same.  Excellent show!

***

Mental Status: Had a good training day today, at a very nice hospital with a great staff.
Favourite thing this Week: This week my favourite thing was Tesla with Birdie on Friday with Rob and Claire.  We had such a great time!
Song of the Week:  Love Song by Tesla
New Book: The Quickie by James Patterson – almost done!

Sat
4
Aug '07

Gwen Stefani @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

I must say that I have seen a million-and-a-half bands live, tons of big concerts.  I’ve seen Depechgwen-stephani-10.JPGe Mode seven times and been to three Lollapolluza’s.  My favourites besides DM is John ‘Cougar’ Melloncamp, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and now we add another… Gwen is just divine. I would say that I love No Doubt and anyone that knows my ‘singing talent’ has heard me do at least one of Gwen’s classics. 

I decided this year I was going to see Ms. Stefani, and even though I didn’t get the seats I wanted by purchasing through the internet – I struck two hot seats on the floor off eBay.   I love eBay.  My BF Melinda and I were very impressed with the show. Costumes were great, the dancers were awsome (did you know the 4 female Japanese dancers names are Love, Angel, Music & Baby – the name of her album?) and she really has great stage presence.  I can’t believe that she just had a baby – damn she looks great.  One dedication went out to “The King” as she referred to her son Kingston, and when the music started for one song she shouted “Oh!  I love this song…” like a pre-tween fan. She ran into the audience, chased by large bodyguards that could barely keep up, and stood right in the seats among tons of fans and sang her song – and of course everybody singing along. During one music break  she said “you want a picture with me?” to an audience member in the front row – then took her camera, and laid on the stage holding the camera up so her face and the fan were in the picture together.  Very cool.

So, my camera phone is cool and all but doesn’t take very good pictures for something like this so luckily Mel was ‘camera-ready’ with some brilliant shots.  These are for you, my friends, to experience our excellent adventure with Gwen Stefani.  Click on the little pictures below to see the full shot.  There were just too many good ones… thanks Melzie.

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*** 

Book:  Reading “The Thomas Berryman Number” by James Patterson.  Back to finishing this one.
Favourite Thing Today:  Saw ‘The Simpsons Movie’ and loved it!  Also got to have drinks with my gal Sally – today was her last day working in hell.  She has been promoted to a lovely job at St. Vincents Hospital in Melbourne.  CONGRATS SAL.
Favourite Thing this Week:  Leaving Sunday to go to Queensland on my first week of interstate training!  Weeee!  Also, next weekend we are going to ‘Movie World’ (kinda like Six Flags/Universal Studios) on Saturday.

Sun
1
Apr '07

Welcome to Laineybird.com

This is it… it’s the New Blog!

I’m so happy to finally have my own website. I’ve thought long and hard about moving my very large blog to my own site where I have more control over what can be posted. I’m proud to have my brother Adam on board as my Web Consultant – learning to navigate through this web of pages can be daunting… but here we go.  Additionally I want to thank my friend Tom for helping me with frequent questions about how to do alot of this website building stuff. Tom has helped me bring to life my new photo albums. To see any of the photos we take, click on the Photoalbum link under the sidebar called Pages on the left.  Another new page I have put together is The Story of Two Birds, which tells the story of how we met. Please feel free to leave comments and enjoy our posts.

CHORDS
lainey_mel_50.jpgRecently we had a visitor, a friend of a friend Claudia was visiting Melbourne from Boston and we took her in for a few months so she could spend her money made working part-time on travel and having fun rather than rent. She was a great tenant. She has since moved on to Sydney and in another week she will be residing in Tokyo for a year. She purchased a gift certificate for us as a thank you, to a local Mexican restaurant (for which there are not many around here). Afterward we wandered next door to a bar called Chez Bar and heard some live music.  This acoustic trio Alan, Nick, and Rod played tunes old and new and really sounded great. On the break we talked and they offered for me to get up and sing with them. I did a couple numbers with singer/harp player Alan and we had fun. They asked me for some music and invited me back to play with them for the Chez Bar closing on Friday. Of course I was so happy to be invited, I sent on some good songs: Beautiful by Christina Agulara, True Colors by Cyndi Lauper, and It Must Have Been Love by Roxette. Additionally they threw in a number of Hot Stuff by Donna Summer. It was fun and I had a great time. My best mate Mel (pictured above) and myself danced the night away and had a great time listening to Chords renditions of Aussie songs by Midnight Oil and others. I’m hoping that I will progressively get the chance to sing with them as a featured artist at future gigs.  Here is a shot from the gig at Chez Bar, 30 March 2007:

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Chords feat. Lainey

BIRTHDAY WEEK!birthday-flowers.jpg

I really can’t believe that I’m 37 this week. Time is really flying.  I was taken out for a wonderful dinner with my husband, his parents, and our best mates Mel & Brent. I got some lovely gifts and we enjoyed great company and a wonderful evening at one of my favourite restaurants Indochine Vietnamese in Box Hill. Friday was a busy night with dinner as well as singing with Chords later in the evening.  I’ve been recovering all weekend from that one night. I guess as we get older it becomes more difficult to tie one one like we used to. I know it has been for me. Today my husband brought me the most beautiful flowers as he always does. I am happy to be so loved by one person. Tonight is my actual birthday night and Birdie is taking me out to a romantic dinner at the Golden Dragon Palace, he got us a table near the grand piano and we are going to have a 5 course Chinese meal to die for! I can’t wait.

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Our annual camping trip is upon us. We are excited this year to have two new couples join us and the Hartogs and we hope to build on our fun weekend away with friends.  Okay we’re all packed, well except for ice, and food. One of the good things about having this weekend away is being able to spend time in the winderness and enjoy the outdoors. Also there will be some good poker and drinking going on. We are looking forward to an excellent four days out camping, be sure to check back to the blog after the Easter holiday to see our camping trip pictures! I will be posting all the gritty details here along with some excellent photos and a new photo album.  Be sure to tune in.

2 WEEKS TO GRADUATION Only two more weeks until I graduate… it’s the final countdown.  I am very excited to have a bunch of little letters after my name, I’m starting to think that might be one of the good things I get out of all this edumacation thang. Well, except for the large financial aid bill.  Gulp!

***

Mental Status: Coming to a cross-roads. Is 40 over the hill? Is 37? Well either way I’d have to say that I have loving friends and family, a wonderful husband, and a lovely best mate (Luv u Mel).
Song: The Final Countdown – Eurpoe
Favourite Thing Today: Well besides its my birthday, going to see Notes on a Scandal with Heather and a fancy schmancy birthday dinner with Birdie tonight!
Favourite Thing this Week: Getting ready for the camping trip.

Mon
16
Oct '06

Josh Read

June 25, 1973 – October 14, 2006

I’m not even sure if I am in shock, hearing the news today about Josh’s accident. This guy 1-josh.jpgseriously “rocked”. I met Josh in the early 90’s when he was playing with Jensing, around the same time I met Clint Bear, Pete Demas, and the other Lincoln clan. Josh and Pete lived downstairs from me in my first Chico apartment, and they were like my brothers. The took me to parties, we stayed up all night playing pool and we really had a fun time. Clint and Josh have always been great friends from the Jensing days and were more recently playing together in my former band ‘Simply Irresistible’ of Chico, California. Things were still going strong for the band and they were planning to play their biggest gig on the day Josh died. My prayers and thoughts go out to the band and all Josh’s co-workers at Woodstock’s Pizza, and his friends. As the josh3_042404.jpgGeneral Manager of Woodstock’s Pizza in Chico, and a new home owner – we as friends, all really looked up to his drive and achievement over the years. It’s so hard these days to make it as a musician and he was really able to keep everything running smoothly. Always with a smile, Josh would always bring laughter to a room and you could never feel out of place.

I really have to spend some time reflecting on life – so fleeting. You never know when your time has come. Live life to the fullest and those around you will celebrate your life. My father died so young, it was hard to understand at that time – but he lived a good, fulfilled, wonderful life and I know that his spirit lives on in me each and every day. Josh, your spirit lives on in your friends and family, it lives on in your music, and we will never forget you.

You will be sorely missed.

You’re in my prayers,

Lainey

You can read more about Josh and leave your own message on the Woodstock’s Pizza Home Page, where there is a lovely memorium.

Fri
11
Aug '06

Jason Mraz in Concert

Show at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Melbourne

[From the ‘Shaunna Jomes Appeal’ Foundation]

This show was worth waiting for.  It’s been four years since I met Jason Mraz in an Oregon benefit show with John Popper.  Mraz has come a long way and he is better than ever.  Apparently his first show in Melbourne was back in March of this year, this show (7 August) was the Mraz trio doing songs old and new – phasing in and out of old classics and capturing the audience.  Jason is really funny and has a great stage presence, he had the audience singing along with one song about ‘drinkin a forty’.  Everyone singing… nobody knowing what the hell a forty was.  Hilarious.  Thank gawd he explained – it got a real laugh. (Oh Shaunna, it was sooo fun!)

Rod and I got some pizza before the show and saw the bongo/singer Toca out with his family for dinner (a few tables away). We didn’t interrupt but I was pleased to see they were just hanging out down the street from the theatre. I believe it’s a bit different here being a new act and all, they aren’t so recognizable just yet. I always love to see this incredible trio, the sound, the vocals, the fretless bass!  They promised to be back soon and I’m looking forward to seeing them really hit it big here.

mraz2.jpg

The acclaimed “adult contemporary” Mraz trio.

I admit I get a little star-struck when I see Jason, he’s actually a really nice guy.  Meeting him and John Popper back in 02 was a highlight for me.  They promised to be back soon and I’m looking forward to seeing them really hit it big here.  I can’t wait!

Immigration Status

Well, another week and things are moving along quite well.  I started with filing our paperwork and paying our $2000 fee to file. Paperwork includes but is not limited to the following list (all certified copies):

  • Birth certificates (both);
  • Any/all marriage and divorce certificates (both);
  • Full copies of passports (both);
  • All military records, discharges, etc.;
  • Two statutory declarations by Australian Citizens on my character (which is
  • bviously sketchy) and the validity of our relationship;
  • Police clearance from last city I lived in U.S.;
  • FBI clearance;
  • Australian Federal Police clearance*;
  • Full medical: physical, blood tests, x-rays*;
  • Bills from the last year showing we reside together and share responsibilities;
  • Lease in both names;
  • Evidence that we share financial responsibility: joint accounts, credit cards, loans, etc.;
  • Postmarked letters addressed to both of us;
  • Verification of past addresses for 10-years;
  • Each write a separate letter of how we met and our intentions;
  • Proof of contact prior to the 1-year required living together: phone bills, mail, email, etc.;
  • Photos/photo album (I supplied a copy of relevant blog/journal pages);
  • and of course our applications: Rod as a sponsor, mine as the applicant.

It’s been quite an ordeal but after we submitted our application (with all above attached), but about two weeks after we filed we got a letter from the “Family Residence Section” of Immigration to come in for our interview (9 August). At this interview we met our caseworker (who will remain nameless), who turned out to be a real awesome guy. I had a few sleepless nights prior to the interview, but I think he really got us – it went well and pending my medical results and Aussie Fed report, he says we will be approved in no time. 

So what happens then you say? Well, I am granted temporary residency for 2 years. At the 2-year mark I will have another interview, with a new caseworker, and if all is well (i.e., in a valid relationship/marriage) I will be granted permanent residency. Two years following permanent residency I can apply and interview for Citizenship (dual citizenship). It is a long process but it will be well worth the wait.

What’s coming up…

Our friends are getting married on 2 September: Di & Erik Erdmanis.  And we’re throwing a big Halloween bash, costumes and all at our house on Friday the 13th of October!  Halloween is not a big holiday here in fact kids don’t dress up at school or go out for candy.  And most of our friends here have never been to a costume party in their lives! I’m looking forward to the band playing at the party, as our first gig was cancelled due to the sponsor.  We’re working on more material and hope to be out playing soon.

Christmas plans and other new stuff

Mmmmm.  Well, we’re planning our trip back to the State for Christmas.  We’re lucky enough to have Rod’s parents join us for Christmas they will be travelling with us on the first 10 days of our 30 day vacation. We’ll be with my Mom, grandmother, brother & his wife in Sacramento from 22-31 December.  We’ll spend 4 days in Chico/Paradise, then jet down to Vegas for another 4-days with my cousins Kimmy & Chad (and baby Gwen), 3 days in Los Angeles to see Lola, and my cousin Dan, and then to end in San Diego for our last week with my brother Adam, and wife Jill, as well as a visit with my best buddy Candace (a.k.a. CandyAss).

I know I have a new car and all but the price of petrol (gas to you Yankies) is sky high here, quite a bit more than you pay in the U.S., so I have taken up commuting to work and back on the Train.  It’s quite good if just for the fact that I can read on my way to work 1-hour in each direction rather than yell at people for driving on the wrong side of the road. I’ve finished the whole series of Dan Brown books (DaVinci Code, Angels & Demons, Deception Point, and Digital Fortress). I loved Angels & Demons a lot, second favourite is Deception Point. Now I’m reading the new novel compilation “Thriller” edited by James Patterson. The compilation is 30 authors of short-story anthology of thrillers by the organization International Thriller Writers, Inc.  It’s quite good so far. If you like this sort of thing (murder mystery-ish) it gives you in insight into several authors, how they write, their genre, characters, etc., through a short story about 10-20 pages per. I’m one that’s stuck on just a few authors (James Patterson for one) and this gives me a real opportunity to find some other authors I like. So far I am most impressed with Lee Child, an English author, and I hope to be picking up one of his books after I finish this quite bulky novel.

This weekend Heather has invited Dawn and myself to Flinders for the weekend.  Unfortunately Dawn is sick but Heather and I are going anyway – a girls getaway of sorts.  At Flinders Heather & Blair’s parents have a home, where we will be visiting.  I hope to take some great pictures to share from my weekend. Check back next week for the details.

***

Mental Status: Weary. Need a rest.
Song: Remedy – Jason Mraz
Favourite Thing Today: It’s Friday! Leaving in the morning for Flinders with Heather.
Favourite Thing this Week: Well, Mraz of course… and seeing our friend’s Mel & Brent’s new house (we were the first visitors!) – it must feel nice to be home owners.

Fri
30
Jun '06

Fiddler on the Roof

Topol in Fiddler on the Roof

I really couldn’t help but sing along, this is my favourite musical of all time! 

Topol in Fiddler on the Roof

Lainey’s Review: Fiddler on the Roof

Topol’s theatrical performance was as stunning as his performance on screen in the early 70’s. Funny to say that he hasn’t changed much in his characterization of Tevye, the father of a traditional family in Russia during the First World War. As the modern world starts to impact the lives of the village, and Tevye’s family (including his five daughters) the world becomes a new place. Topol is on an international tour and during their one month of performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne, with an exceptional cast of 35 of Australia’s best actors, singers and dancers including Judith Roberts, Barry Crocker and Maggie Kirkpatrick.

This was a wonderful production with great dance and musical numbers. Topol gave a top notch performance in his role as Tevye and really made me love this musical all over again.  If you can catch this international tour starring Topol, buy tickets right away.

***

Mental Status: Wonderful evening with my husband at the theatre and a special dinner together.

Exercise: On the routine, lost 3 kg already!  Look out!

Song: “Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match” – Fiddler on the Roof

Favourite Thing Today: Got my first form of Australian identification!  I’m feeling very official today.

Sun
15
Jan '06

The Putnam County 25th Annual Spelling Bee

My First Theatre Experience

Mum and Dad took Rod & I to the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of the Putnam County 25th Annual Spelling Bee yesterday.  It was a great musical production and had a great cast.  I know this shows on Broadway but if this show comes to your town, you’ve gotta go check it out!  Hilarious! Thanks Chris & Barb for showing us such a great time.

Click here for the Melbourne Theatre Company

Cast includes David Campbell, Tyler Coppin, Bert Labonte, Natalie Mendoza, Natalie O’Donnell, Christen O’Leary, Marina Prior, Magda Szubanski, and Tim Wright

Director Simon Phillips

Music Director Ian McDonald

Set & Costume Designer Dale Ferguson

Lighting Designer Matt Scott

Choreographer Ross Coleman
Music & lyrics William Finn,

Book by Rachel Sheinkin,

Conceived by Rebecca Feldman

Currently playing to standing-room-only houses on Broadway, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE is the offbeat musical creation of Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist William Finn (Falsettos), Rachel Sheinkin, and Rebecca Feldman. This hilarious tale of overachievers’ angst – tender and sardonic – pits 10 contestants (six actors and four audience members) against each other in a battle for the spelling championship of a lifetime.

Among the adolescent brainiacs are multilingual national finalist Marcy Park (Natalie Mendoza, Coup d’Etat), Putnam Basin district second runner-up Leaf Coneybear, Magna Magnet for the gifted and unusual representative Logainne Schwarzandgrubeniere (Christen O’Leary, Urinetown), last year’s finalist – eliminated for health reasons – William Barfee (Magda Szubanski in her MTC debut), newcomer Olive Ostrovsky and last year’s county champion Chip Tolentino.

Also on hand at the showdown are comfort counselor Mitch Mahoney, longtime local Bee hostess – and former champ – Rona Lisa Peretti (Marina Prior, also making her MTC debut) and Lake Hemingway-Dos Passos Junior High Vice-Principal Douglas Panch.

At THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, these young people in the throes of puberty, and their grownup supervisors who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.

“Can you spell I-R-R-E-S-I-S-T-I-B-L-E? A riotously funny and entirely adorable new musical.”– The New York Times

“The best in town – that rarity of rarities, a super-smart show that is also a bona fide crowd-pleaser.”– The Wall Street Journal

“This winning new musical is so generously warm-hearted, only the most bitter misanthrope could resist its charms.”– Variety

 

Winner:

2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical

2005 Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical

2005 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical

***

Mental Status: Frazzled, working on Immigration paperwork.

Physical Status: Feeling like I’m getting a cold.

Favourite Thing Today: Extra sleep and split pea soup.