Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Ski Trip 2012

On the weekend, my friends and I went on a ski trip to Thredbo in New South Wales. Or in my case, 'ski' trip as I did not ski. Nevertheless, the weekend was definitely the most fun I have had in a very long time. We departed from Central in the evening and boarded a coach, headed to Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains. He arrived at our resort, River Inn, which is right next to the snow slopes at around 1.30am. Exhausted but still excited. The following morning we got out of bed at 6am and at 9.30am headed to the ski slopes. My friends all went off skiing and I decided to wander around. I stumbled upon a bushwalking track titled 'Merritts Nature Track' and followed it.
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Chairlift

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Thredbo River

Droplets

It was snowing a fair amount on Saturday however on Sunday morning we woke up to a thick layer of fresh snow. I have never seen fresh snow; usually it is this icy mess that looks terrible. However walking outside to the snow covering the entire landscape was truly beautiful.
Sunrise

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I thoroughly enjoyed escaping from Sydney for the weekend. It was fantastic and will definitely be one of my most memorable moments of my life thus far.
Saturday, 16 June 2012

Maria Kochetkova

My final exams are finally over and now I have time to finalise all my requisite paperwork for my exchange next semester. During the past week, I stumbled upon an intriguing article in Dance Magazine concerning Maria Kochetkova. I first discovered this San Francisco principal dancer from a video from Anaheim Ballet's YouTube account. From this video she said something that stuck with me:
It's not so much about talent but how much you want to do it and how smart you work. How smart you accept all the difficulties that come on your way because there will be many, but they are there to make you stronger not to push you away from what you love.'
I think that what she said is so inspiring and is not restricted to dance (ballet). The article in question was this one and the quotes that were memorable included:
“Since I was 10, I had to work hard to get everything,” she says. “Nothing came easy to me. I knew there would be no help from other people.”
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Kochetkova left the Bolshoi’s school at 18 without an offer from the company, and, in the new post-Soviet world, she looked West for opportunity.
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Kochetkova’s contract was not renewed when Monica Mason succeeded Stretton. But, then, Matz Skoog invited her to join ENB.
The article made me reflect. So often in life, we only ever hear about someone's achievements and this is because people end up embellishing and refrain from disclosing certain information. When I am preparing for interviews and I read the partner's resume I feel so intimidated. These people seem to have accomplished so much in such a short period of time and I end up feeling as though I will never be able to achieve even a fraction of what they have achieved. Yet, it was only when I read that article concerning Maria that it made me realise that people present their lives in the best light possible, which of course is understandable. I guess it was eye-opening because I had read a lot of other interviews with Maria and they had all stated 'she left and went to XX' rather than stating that she did not get offered a contract. Hopefully I will be able to remember this when I am applying for clerkships this time next year which seems to be a 'dog-eat-dog' world, a situation where hundreds of applicants apply for 5-15 positions.
Friday, 1 June 2012

Vivid Sydney!

I cannot believe that it was the last day of Semester 1 for 2012 and I am already half way through third year. It is incredible to think that next semester I will be overseas. But before that, I still have my final exams which start in exactly a weeks time. Tonight I went to Circular Quay to see the lights for Vivid Sydney.


Hopscotch  
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Sydney Skyline
I think I will really miss Sydney.
Thursday, 10 May 2012

Dinner + Playground + Max Brenner

With only 3 weeks left of university this semester, assessments and stress is starting to pile up. Luckily I only have 1 more assessment next week before my finals, all of which are scarily close. Last Friday I had a dinner with two close friends to catch up, unwind and forget about the stresses associated with our respective degrees. I finished comparatively earlier than both friends so I spent a few hours wandering around the city; I also left Lincraft with 3m of red velvet! (I don't know what I will do with it though). I've said this many times before, but I love Sydney and I think it is a gorgeous city.
QVB

Darling Harbour

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I had always intended on visiting the new playground at Darling Quarter but had never found the time previously. That place is amazing and the inner child in me thoroughly enjoyed everything.

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After the sun had set, I ventured to Chinatown in search of the Emperor Puffs which I adore. Along the way, I came across this laneway decorated with paintins and these glowing spirits (?).

Street Art

Kimber Lane

Emperor's Puff

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After dinner, we went to the playground and it was amazing. The children had left and this time, I was able to try all the equipment; the flying fox, giant slide, sand digger ♥♥♥ and this circular-swing-like contraption. It was the most fun I've had since the Taylor Swift concert earlier this year.
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Later, we went to Max Brennar. I used to frequent the place weekly, however the place is just ridiculously overpriced. $2.50 for melted chocolate? I could buy a block of chocolate myself for less than that and melt it myself. $6 for chai? Seriously? The prices are insane however once I forget that factor, I do quite like the place. Yes, I did purchase the over priced melted chocolate (aka chocolate lick) and white chocolate chai.
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Chocolate Lick
Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Girl's Night

On Easter Sunday, my friend had a girl's night at her place for a catch up. University has been a little hectic as of late and it was a much needed day off.
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She is currently rearing chickens and had bought an additional 6 chicks from the market. They were so adorable albeit, a little noisy. The black one is the oldest and yet the weakest and she believes it may be because the wings are too heavy. Unlike the other chicks, it refused to jump out of the box and stayed inside, fixed in a corner. I spent a large portion of the night keeping the baby chick warm in my hands (where it also fell asleep!) but when we went to prepare dinner, my friend made a little protective tissue cave to keep warm.We had Vietnamese rice paper rolls which I adore since it feels so healthy and nutritious.

Chopsticks

Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll

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For dessert we made lava chocolate chip cookies and they did not turn out as amazing as the online recipe showed them to be, but they were incredibly delicious nevertheless.
Sunday, 11 March 2012

Taylor Swift 'Speak Now' Concert

Yesterday I attended the Taylor Swift 'Speak Now' concert. Two years when I attended her 'Fearless' show I was relatively near the front but this time I wished to be a little closer to the stage. Truth be told, I wasn't very excited about attending the concert originally as I felt as though I had 'outgrown' her music. Her songs were lovely but I found I connected more with other artists such as Ingrid Michaelson, Allie Moss and Amy Kuney.

I arrived at the arena earlier than I had expected (2.30ish) and sat in line. At this time, there was a lot of groups scattered in the line, most sitting next to the fence or the wall (so they could lean). Awkwardly I asked the group of girls nearby if I could sit there, worried that I was taking someone's spot but alas I was not.

At around 6pm the gates opened and like cattle, we were herded through security. Compared to the previous concert, the security felt a little more lax; last time the security guy went through my bag whereas this time I just opened it and he barely glanced and waved me through. Alternatively, I may have simply gotten a stickler for protocol on the previous occasion. I was fairly nochalant waiting in line before but seeing everyone really excited was, well exciting for me too. It was at this stage that I lost my friend and her friend. In the meeting room before heading to the floor, I made a friend. Now this is where it gets random. I asked him if he had come with anyone because he was male (yes, it was a presumption but usually accurate) and he told me no. Shock #1. He then asked me if I spoke a certain language and I told him no so I asked him if he was an international student and he told me yes, from China but was studying in Canberra. Shock #2 (he drove all the way from Canberra and was going to leave straight after the concert). Trying to make small talk, I asked him about the merchandise bag that he had and he pulled out a 40cm x 20cm sign which had LED lights that spelt out 'Taylor'. Shock #3. It was just so unexpected. We decided to be mosh buddies then and there. (Side note: when I am happy, I tend to be very very random. After he told me that he was studying the same degree and with the same major I hi-fived him. I don't know what compelled me to do that). People slowly got let in and obviously there was a mad rush where, I am sure, that I had at least 6 different bodies touching mine. This was when I grabbed onto his arm (because we said we would stay together) and then he held my hand. For the first little while it was 'okay' because I was too busy trying to breathe but then it got awkward so we just linked arms. I also got given a glow stick necklace from him! We got onto the floor and we were second row behind the barricade but off to the left of the stage (which was the angle that I wanted to be at). At this stage I was so excited I think I sent a text to my friend that said 'I am so ducking close!!!' because I don't have the f-version in my dictionary. Oh auto-correct. Thankfully as I was so close to the front I was able to put down my bag in front of the barricade and the security people were able to squirt water into our mouths which was much needed.

Hot Chelle Rae was the opening act and I admit, I had not heard of them or their music. But it was pretty good and the lead singer was incredibly attractive. Surprisingly thin too and the girl to my right knew all the words and was singing; she was probably one of the few people who knew all the words to the songs.I didn't get too many good shots of the band as I was still trying to figure out the camera settings.



(Once you get past the amusing blurred face, look in the bottom left hand corner of the security guard. LOOK AT HIS EYES.)

Finally Taylor Swift started with 'Sparks Fly' and cue screaming. The worrying part was that for a few seconds, I couldn't 'hear' the screaming (or more accurately the true extent of the screaming) so I had to cover my ears but then my ears were fine after that.



(The light glare was terrible, but there is just something I love about this shot even though you can't see her)












(If you look on the underside of his guitar he always had extra picks to give to the crowd. The girl next to me got given a pick!)

After she went to the mini stage, there was this massive push at the front and the girl in front of me was being incredibly annoying. Since she was at the front she intentionally used the gate to push herself back and subsequently push everyone else behind her. Around this time till the end of the show, I was pressed up against the girl's ass in front of me, someone had one hand around my waist (or maybe their hand just got stuck there), someone's elbow/ face was on my left shoulder and my head was resting on someone's cheek. The girl's shampoo (or conditioner) in front of me reminded me of coriander. It got to the point where whenever I lifted my arm to take a photo, I couldn't bring it down completely and more often than not I just my arm resting on my head. There was no air and there was a moment where I felt sort of weird but I just pushed past that. At that time, I was immensely grateful for working at the pie shop where there was no air-con and it was permanently incredibly humid and at around 30 degrees; it taught me how to breathe when there was no air.



















But it was totally worth it! The last time I went to the mosh, it was fun but definitely not as fun as last night. Being around so many people who are just singing and jumping is just really infectious. On a side note, I couldn't for the life of my understand why the two girls in front of me had their long hair down. Everytime I had to lift my hand/ was moved my hand got caught in their hair and I was so tempted to offer them a hair tie but they were just so annoying that I didn't really care in the end.

The night was amazing and it reminded me why Taylor Swift is so truly amazing and she is gorgeous beyond words. I've said it before, but hearing her talk made me realise how 'American' her accent is. Which doesn't make sense because I know that she has an American accent, perhaps it just gets warped a little in recordings (interviews and other recorded audio). Or maybe it is because it becomes even more evident surrounded by Australian accents.