May 28

I have been after this book for a while. As an ABC (Australian Born Chinese), I have always had some interest in the history of Chinese in Australia and especially Sydney because it’s my hometown. This book first came to my notice when I attended a talk by the The Chinese Heritage Association of Australia in 2007. I looked for the book on amazon but it was not available. Luckily today I went to the State Library to see the World Press Photo 08 exhibition (still have time to do things I enjoy – yah). Of course I went to the book shop afterwards. Red Tape, Gold Scissors: The Story of Sydney’s Chinese was on the shelf. (Actually I also saw it in a glass display box in a hidden corridor upstairs while looking at old photos of Sydney with the bridge half built, but anyhoo). There were 2 versions, the only difference were the covers – green or red. I thought, if any Chinese person is making the choice, they’re going to take the red one of course. As I was paying for the book, a dude (aka a grey haired gentleman) comes out of the back and says “Oh, would you like the author to sign it?”. I thought he was the author (duh – he didn’t look like a Shirley, I didn’t realise the name of the author at the time of purchase). So he gets a lady to come from the next room and she is Shirley Fitzgerald! How random! She signs the book for me with best wishes and I decide to have a chat with them on their way out. This chance meeting really spurs me onto writing about my family history and how they came to Australia even more now.

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May 27

It’s over. I finally made a zine, printed it and sold it at a zine fair. The MCA Zine Fair was great, there were so many creative, crafty and interesting people running stalls. There was a big crowd attending as well. I didn’t sell that many zines to complete strangers, mainly it was friends and acquaintances that took pity on me. I also ended up giving away some to people or swapping them with other zinesters at the fair. What could I do better next time? Have a less busy, more eye-catching cover and preferably in colour. Hey it’s not my fault I was made redundant and couldn’t use the colour copier at work for free 🙁 I had to pay for the copying (so I only had 30 made)! I enjoyed sharing the table with Aliza and her Malaysian food zine, Yum! It was very popular with the mature age zinesters at the MCA. It was also great to share with Pony & Mrs BJ (btw should I be spelling your name Beccy or Becky?). They had a lot of zine action to sell and a lady from the MCA Education dept was particularly interested in Horse and Hound (Mantis & Yensher’s teenage diaries c.1990). Anyway, if you came down, it was great to see you there, if you didn’t, maybe I will put the zine online or maybe I won’t.

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May 25

If you have read my new zine, you will know all about me, but if you haven’t, here it is!
Why now?
One of my favourite Sydney photographers, Boudist just blogged about his new about page & how if you start reading someone’s blog, it’s like entering a conversation in the middle. So you should have an about page to introduce yourself.

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May 21

I am looking for Norman Chan, he used to go to Northmead High School with me in the late 80s. The last time I heard from him was a letter he wrote to me in 1995 from Queensland. I guess in pre-email days it was easier to lose touch with people. We were pretty good friends at school, we had that “honker” connection (even though he was really from HK and I was not), but he moved interstate before we finished high school. We corresponded via snail mail for quite a few years until 1995 (when I was a mad raver and what not). I’m not trying to hook up with an old high school sweetheart or some crap like that – I love my husband, ok! I’ve tried Googling, Facebook etc etc. There are about 50 Norman Chan’s on Facebook and they don’t all have pictures either. Since I haven’t seen him for about 15 years, that will make it difficult too. It also doesn’t help when you have no idea what network they may be part of now. He might not even live in Australia anymore. Do I have to send a message to each one of those people and ask them if they are the Norman I am looking for? Is that lame? Should I forget about him? I think it would be nice to make the effort because we used to be good friends. His brother Bernie used to work at Qantas – does that help? Anyone got any free or cheap detective hints for me?
Why now? I actually do think about him occasionally and I was going through an old “box of memories” tonight and I found a few cards & letters from him. Remember, I have a lot of spare time right now.

May 20

I have a bit of spare time on my hands at the moment. We are fortunate enough that if I don’t get a job straight away, we will be OK (for a little while). I’m getting over the hurt, and looking towards the future. Thank you all for your support during this difficult time – my career just died.
I’ve been busy working on the zine for this Sunday as well as applying for some work. While taking my time to read the newspaper, I realised that the Sydney Writer’s Festival starts today. Although I saw the events calender a month ago, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to attend a lot of things during the day because of work. But now… ha… I have time to enjoy a few things I am interested in. I’m thinking about doing this: Digital Storytelling 2 Day Workshop. Other things that have caught my interest at the SWF:
Re-imagining Australia
Chris Wallace and Megan Lewis explore Australian symbolism and imagery.
127: Design Outlook: Australian Book Designers and their Visions
Book designers discuss creating Australian books that stand out in a crowd.
Hot Chocolate: The Dark Sweet Side of the City
A chocolate tasting walking tour of Sydney. Hosted by John Newton whom I saw at the supermarket last week (who would be appalled at my terrible writing skills here).
The Secret Life of Backpackers
30 days, 30 nights, 30 hangovers. Barry Divola discusses his insights into backpacker culture. I love Barry Divola’s work! He wrote Fan Club which is awesome and you should read it if you love music.

I also cleaned up and vacuumed around home today, gave some InDesign help to Mrs BJ for her zine and for dinner I prepared this simple pumpkin soup with Dave’s help.

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May 15

Bad news

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I was made redundant at work today 🙁
Now what am I going to do with my life?

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May 14

You may have noticed my recent entries have been quite negative and critical, so I thought I’d write about some other stuff going on.
I am making my first ever zine called “Australian Rozie” (funny that)! I’ll be selling them at the MCA Zine Fair on Sunday 25 May 2008. I’ll be sharing a table with Aliza from work and Becky Jo & co. I’ve always wanted to make a zine, I used to pick them up when I was in high school and recently there has been a resurgence of zine making amongst people I know. So it’s a bit of a “perzine” – a personal zine where I’ll write about stuff I’m into and give worldly advice. Just like this blog I guess. The fun part is I get to design it myself, which is a change from work where I never get to chose my own layout, fonts or colours, there’s either a corporate style guide to follow or some art director tells me what to do. My zine will be all ME ME ME! 🙂
Who knows if anyone will buy one, I don’t even know how much to sell it for. Hope to see some of you guys at the Zine Fair – it’s part of Sydney’s Writer’s Festival too.

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May 12

I am quoting my brother Jme with the above statement.
This is a story about what should be a simple and painless Mother’s Day lunch.
Firstly, I googled “high tea at swissotel sydney” because I wanted to make a booking for this Sunday. The first thing that comes up is the review of high tea at the Swissotel on the awesome foodie blog Grab your fork. Nowhere on the first Google page is any link to the Swissotel itself. So I look up their site another way and there is NOTHING about the High Tea that is supposed to be offered at their hotel bar/restaurant. Also, there is no phone number easily found on their homepage. Like duh! So I go back to Grab your Fork and there are all the contact details neatly at the end of the review. I call up the hotel:
Rozie: “Hello, I’d like to make a booking for Sunday for High Tea.”
Hotel Girl: “High Tea??? Oh, umm…” Not a good start. She puts me through to the “bar”.
Male with strong Asian accent: Err, Umm, booking? It will be $35…Err, umm, can I have your credit card number… (something about securing the booking).
I kind of didn’t want to give this unprofessional sounding guy my credit card details, but I did because I didn’t want to miss out on the Mother’s Day booking. So I give him all the booking details a “normal” place would need. I got off the phone with a slightly bad feeling…
Sunday (Mother’s Day) comes along and I need to add one person to the booking. So I get my brother to call up.
Jme: “Hi, I’d like to confirm a booking for today and add one more person, here is the name, time etc”
Hotel person: “Err umm, ummmmmm… we don’t have your booking”.
WTF???
Anyway, Jme made sure that there would be a table for us when we arrived at Swissotel an hour later.
So, the service when we arrived was a bit random, most of the staff are young and obviously inexperienced. On a positive note, there was plenty of food and a lot of variety from savoury to sweet which was nicely presented. The chocolate fountain didn’t seem to be working properly and the chocolate tasted a bit yuck which was a disappointment. It was quite busy but the place wasn’t packed out. When it came to paying the bill, I noticed that it said $45 per person. I think it was the manager who was taking our money. I told him that the guy on the phone told me it was $35. The “manager” said it was actually $45 because it was Mother’s Day. At this point, I decided to tell him all about my previous experience with this lunch. He was somewhat apologetic and exasperated. I know that there is a shortage of decent wait staff in this city… but that ain’t my problem. The manager of this hotel needs to get the staff’s $hit together. He did give me a small box of chocolates (as some kind of compensation) but that’s not going to stop me blogging with an iron fist. So, I gave him my business card, and now I wait to see if the Swissotel will follow up on my complaints. Of course, this is not the only place I’ve been to in Sydney with questionable service, but I just haven’t the time to blog about every experience. Wish I was a professional blogger!
Phew – glad I got that of my chest.

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May 10

While I was doing my Sydney Town Hall Steps thing on Tuesday, JTV were getting people to listen to and view some new tracks on an iPod. I went up to say hello to Rosie and introduced myself (Rozie meets Rosie!), then I ended up being interviewed. Rosie Beaton asked questions such as: Do you like it? Would you dance to it? What kind of fruit would this be? See some pics here. The first track was by Grafton Primary. I quite liked it (Relativity) and it has a cool video with trippy graphics in the background and I like the strap on keyboard/synth action. I mentioned it was a bit like The Presets (I’ve really been getting into them recently). Though I feel like everyone is channelling Dave Gahan through voice or image at the moment.
So I watched JTV today because I was hoping to see myself (I love myself on tv 😉 ) and there I was for a few seconds! Later on during the show, The Presets were on. I’ve read a few articles about them saying they used to go to clubs (like Club 77) and raves. I said to Dave that I don’t think I ever saw them around (back in the day), but they probably didn’t look so “outstanding” back then. Anyway, later on we went shopping in the city, while having a Max Brenner chocolate break in David Jones, one of them walked past us.

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May 08

Dear Handbag Queen…

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I like handbags. Sometimes I want to buy them online. I like mid-priced handbags ($100-$200). When buying online, I want to see the product (with detail) before I dish out the money. Otherwise I just have to go to the shops and touch them. I don’t want a crappy little out of focus image. I want to see the back and front of the bag, the pockets, zips, straps, handles and what’s inside (mobile phone holder?, more pockets?). Handbag Queen isn’t the only web store that does this obviously, but I just happened to be looking at their site and it bites. If you want to see a great bag buying site (obviously they don’t have the same type of bags, but anyhoo) check out Rushfaster. They have great choice, simple navigation and great pictures of the products.

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