Jul 26

The Mindful Woman By Sue Patton Thoele

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I borrowed The Mindful Woman By Sue Patton Thoele from the library. I really enjoyed reading it and recommend it to anyone who would like some calming inspiration in your crazy world. I started trying to practice meditation over a year ago, but it’s kind of fizzled out. It is really hard to meditate properly! Anyway, this book gives you small chunks of “gentle practices for restoring calm, finding balance & opening your heart”. I also discovered Google Books today – you can have a really big preview of the book online! Warning, the language is a bit “hippy”, but hippies are pretty chilled out.

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Sep 09

I’ve recently finished reading Jason Donovan‘s autobiography, Between the Lines: My Story Uncut. I bought a 2nd hand copy from Vinnies for $7, but later saw it brand new in a discount book store for even cheaper! Jason Donovan was one of my many teenage idols from the 80s. Remember him from the glory days of Neighbours? It really hasn’t been worth watching since Kylie left 😉 He had quite a few hit pop songs such as: Too Many Broken Hearts, Especially For You (with Kylie Minogue), Sealed With A Kiss, Any Dream Will Do, When You Come Back To Me and Nothing Can Divide Us.
His story is very interesting, as an innocent teenage girl, I always believed the story that Kylie and Jason were just friends, when really they were in a serious relationship for quite a few years. There is no way that would happen now with celebrity private lives becoming big business. He really dishes the dirt on their relationship and Kylie – such as, she liked to crochet! In the book, Jason is very honest and self-deprecating, especially the part when he describes being at a party and seeing Michael Hutchence cracking onto Kylie – the beginning of the end for them. He is very truthful about his drug addiction and recovery too. I was also interested in hearing his side of the story about the The Face libel case. It’s a good biography, if you were/still are a fan of Jason.
Did you know he was on Australian Story in 2001?

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Jul 21

I read, “I Bought Andy Warhol”

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As a fan of all things Warhol, I Bought Andy Warhol by Richard Polsky was on my reading wishlist. Luckily I picked it up at Ariel for only $8 (a hard cover even). I know I said I wasn’t going to buy books anymore, only borrow them from the library (btw speaking of library books… oh that’s another story) but it was cheap and it wasn’t available at the library. The author is an art dealer (since the 80s) and his goal is to buy an Andy Warhol artwork (under $100,000). The book also covers how the world of art dealers and art auctions worked in the 80s and 90s. His style goes from condescending to self deprecating, sometimes he sounded like a ‘wannabe” and others times a big snob. I was interested in the many references to Andy Warhol of course, but also the Californian art scene (which I had just recently learned a lot about after watching The Cool School). He also referred to work by Joseph Cornell whose work I only discovered when I went to SF MOMA last year. Overall it was an interesting story, but his writing style kind of annoyed me.

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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 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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