Friday, March 29, 2013


Sunday early morning we fly to Sydney. Unless something called 'loads' are light and this means connecting flights may be cancelled, if that happens we might fly to Sydney tomorrow night so we are already there and it's less stressful getting up there early in the morning.

Around 11 we fly Sydney to LAX. Arrive there, still Sunday morning around 6.30am.
I get picked up outside a hotel at the airport to go on the


I bet it will be quite shouty but that's ok. I'll be EXCITED.

I am already excited.

Then I have to get dropped off in Hollywood and catch a train Downtown to meet Scott, who will take me on a walking tour of the Downtown area. Apparently this is old LA with some cool buildings. Meanwhile, my friend P is going to the Opera, a matinee that starts around 4pm. Before that, he will have taken both our bags to the hotel and slept (because he will have worked on the flight over - he's a hostie. I thought I explained all this to you. Keep up, jeez.)

Then P will come and meet me and Scott Downtown (not sure why it's capitalised) and we will probably have something to eat. He will have picked up our hire car already and so after that we drive back to the hotel which is is ORANGE COUNTY.

I love The OC, I would like to get a t-shirt for Princess cause she would enjoy that ironically.

Then the next day (so this is Monday) we drive to Newport Beach. Again, OC territory although I looked up and most of the location shots from the OC aren't in, er, OC. So I'm unlikely to see the pier that Seth and Ryan rode/skated down, or the lifesaver box that Marissa sulked in. Maybe Balboa Bars don't even exist...


This is more exciting than the Hollywood tour.

OK, so we shop. I look for shirts for Clokey, and some shoes for me. And t-shirts. And maybe a bag.

Then back to the hotel. That's Monday.

Tuesday - early wake up call like 5.30am, we go to airport, fly to NYC. We arrive at 5.10pm. I don't get the time, it's a 5-hour flight but we waste a whole day. Never mind. I meet the agent that night for a drink at a funky sounding beer and ale spot in Brooklyn. Not sure about dinner, it's a bit like a date... see how we go. Meanwhile P has GONE TO THE OPERA. AGAIN. This time it's Faustus at the Met. I really didn't want to go. We stay at the hotel in Brooklyn.

Wednesday - we get up early, have breakfast. Plan is to walk across Brooklyn Bridge, go to SoHo to where the High Line is, and walk along that. It's an old railway line, that's elevated, and has been turned into a park.

I will also try to have a hotdog as per m_m's recommendation and P wants to go to a poster shop. To buy a poster I guess.

We have a 3.15pm call to room and have to make a 6.30pm flight back to LA. We arrive back in LA at 9.30pm.

Thursday - we don't have any plans yet. Maybe shopping at the Mall thingy near the hotel. Thursday night we have a very late flight back to Sydney, then to Melbs.

So happy Easter everyone, and I hope to have some news when I get back. Some things seem to be moving a little...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A few things this week

I FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE facebook page is administered by one person and that person is a young woman. She has just started a twitter page, and this is what 'outed' her gender. Predictably, the flood of comments have been along the lines of 'Wow a chick, sexy' / 'You're a hottie!' / 'I can't believe you're a girl. And you are cute too!!!'

I know I was guilty of something similar myself a couple of years ago when Alex was commenting on another blog. A few of us thought she was a guy because she always talked about science and tech stuff and seemed really really smart (and she is) - her mentioning getting drunk and getting into fisticuffs when she was younger also I think cemented our ideas, it did mine, so that when it was revealed Alex is female, I was embarrassed and felt like a tool.

So I can understand that default thinking: guys are good at and talk about maths, science, technology. but it's changing, and this is fantastic. What's not changing are the comments - sexist comments - that are proliferating when something like this happens. It's a shame and it's disappointing and I wish it didn't happen. They are being challenged on twitter and facebook and even in the mainstream media but it just makes other young women out there [probably] think: Yeah, so why would I put myself out there, you cop this shit.

So instead of people focusing on this

Genetic testing of giant squid corpses discovered all over the world has found that not only are they all the same species, they have surprisingly low genetic diversity. This suggests that some time in the recent past they were pushed to the brink of extinction, but managed to rebound and are now found throughout the worlds oceans.

and this

it's all about this

11 Mar
just discovered who you are and what you do :) Happy birthday! Q.question: how do you feel when ppl just assume you're a man?
It used to get to me, but it's happened so often I just laugh it off. People are more surprised when they find out I'm English!

Image will appear as a link
  1. now that I already guessed. Anyway, you do a really important job, and I just wanted to say thanks.
  2. Cause us English women know nothing of the sciences & should be good cottage pie makers?

and this

EVERY COMMENT on that thread is about how shocking it is that I'm a woman! Is this really 2013?

Check IFLS facebook and twitter. Have a look at the difference in comments and responses, compare when she was on facebook as just a genderless sciencey person and now that she's on twitter with a pic and a name and a gender and all that comes with that. I'd love it if this turned out to be a science experiment, a la all this interest and news is generated, it puts the IFLS stream in the main, and then it's revealed that it's a nerdy dude whose thesis is on sexism in science or something like that. How awesome would that twist be? Somehow, I don't think that's what's happening. BUT IF IT WAS?

Oh PS, I also meant to say: I'm going to LA and New York on the Easter weekend. Just came up, all random and spontaneous, decided yesterday that yep, Imma going. Moved a few appointments, it's the first week of the school holidays so I wasn't teaching. It's a whirlwind 6-day trip, flying biz class which is a little bit excellent and spesh, and plan to walk the Highline in Soho and do some shopping in LA (and maybe one of those tacky Hollywood bus tours that drive past famous people's houses. I've always wanted to do that.) So yeah. I'm also going to meet my agent, so that's exciting too.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Reading material for the weekend

Yesterday I found this site, it's a collection of 150 great articles + essays across a range of topics. You can browse by topic or by author. It's terrific.

The Electric Typewriter

Also this took my fancy this morning, via The Art of Manliness. I haven't looked at the website properly but this collection of vintage photos that show male affection was interesting.

 Vintage male affection --- 'when real men hold hands'. This reminds me of a post I did a few years ago, about a photo of Geoffrey Rush and theatre man Neil Armfield holding hands during the preparation of the production Exit the King. I thought it was a lovely photo, really lovely, and challenges our cultural thinking about male-to-male affection.

Here's the pic again:

Have a great weekend.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Just saw this link via facebook.

The media campaign against the Government revealed

This is unbelievable. I haven't read it all or closely but wanted to share ASAP.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Couple of Amanda Palmer vids for the long weekend

I see this blog sometimes as a depository for stuff I like and want to collect. That way I can keep all sorts of good things in the one place. So even though you might have seen this stuff like ages ago, I am holding it up by the corner and dropping it here.



And then if you're at all interested in seeing her TED Talk, well here that is too:

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Because I want to push Ms Knightley off the top of the page


New genetic evidence suggests that the most recent male common ancestor of all men (down the male line) is twice as old as we thought. A DNA sample from a deceased African-American was recently submitted for genetic analysis. Astonishingly, his Y chromosome was found to be completely unlike any other that's been analyzed so far - so different that when it's included, his DNA pushes Y chromosome Adam back to 340,000 years ago. That is actually BEFORE anatomically modern humans evolved.

Taken from I Fucking Love Science

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Anonymous comments

I've changed my settings to allow only people with google sign-in accounts to comment because I was getting spammed heaps which is simply a bore.

The other option was something like 'registered users including open-ID account' but I think that's for private blogs and I don't want this to be private.

SO, anyone who has trouble commenting (all five of you) let me know and I'll, I dunno, probably change it back. But the spam is getting worse.


Saw Anna Karenina tonight. Wow, the clothes; wow, the set. Wow, Keira's crooked teeth and strangely inflating upper lip (in one scene, it was almost disappeared; the second half of the movie, it was plumped). BUT we enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed the beautiful costumes and jewels:

And Levin, dear Levin:

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Blog love

There are two new blogs that I've found in the last few months. Both are women, both are writers.

The first is AWineDark Sea, written by a woman called Sarah Toa. She lives somewhere in WA, not in Perth, not in Fremantle, but somewhere she describes as 'Down South'; and place beachy and boaty and fishy. Her photographs are beautiful and so is her prose. Her life seems fantastic, and I mean that in the true sense of the word: it seems ethereal and other-worldly to me, sitting here in the city on the south-east coast. She seems to be in some exotic locale, a place so far away as to be in another country, and in my mind she is. I LOVE how my imagination constructs such an 'over there' positioning for her, and it seems ye olde worlde too, with her tales of sea-faring and fishing and gruff, salted men who probably have beards and don't like to talk too much.

A WineDark Sea

The other one is also about location as well as words for me. Dianne Gray lives in another spot in this country that holds a lot of mystery for me. She lives in far north Queensland (I think) and at the moment has just received delivery of a 100-year-old Rugby Union Club building, to be fixed-up and made habitable on her home property. To see the photos of the house site, with sugar cane (I guess, it is so. This ignorant land-lubber/city-slicker doesn't really know) is, again, thrilling. Even though I have never met Dianne and I have never been there, it's a vicarious pleasure and it's deep and quite inexplicable really.

Dianne Gray

Friday, March 01, 2013

So, Mercury

I used to take notice of astrology stuff years ago, when I had crushes on people and wouldn't have minded having some sort of romance in my life. Also when things were difficult personally, with my marriage and the aftermath of that implosion. Also when my mum was sick in the early days, and Princess was little and every day I felt I was running a marathon. I would look at my star sign and look at other ones and how they combined, how they supposedly attracted and repelled. Once my life became better, I wasn't interested in astrology. Kind of how I see religion.

But the one thing I retain from those long-ago years was that when Mercury goes into retrograde, shit gets weird. And when I started 'feeling' things, for example not getting replies to emails from three different places where I expected a response, I thought:

I wonder if Mercury is in retrograde.

And google told me that yes it is.

So anything to do with things working, mechanically, technologically, communications, phones, emails, fax machines (if people still use those), negotiations - things slow right down, things don't work, things misfire, things get lost, things don't happen for whatever reason.

So I'm keeping this in mind as I reach for even more patience than my innately stoic nature gives me.


But the funny thing is, I went to a few websites and of course all the start and end dates of the retrograde periods for 2013 were different which means that while we are in retrograde now there is not clarity about when it will end. Funny. Hilarious.