Monday, October 17, 2011

Reviews- one book, one movie, and one show

The first part of this review is a book-movie combo: One Day, by David Nicholls. The book tells the story of Emma and Dexter, college students in the UK who become friends on their graduation night, and follows them for twenty years, through bad jobs and bad relationships, tracking the ebbs and flows of their sometimes friendship, sometimes romance. At first I wasn't crazy about the book- I found Emma self-righteous and irritating, and Dexter self-centered and obnoxious- but they got better as they got older (although Dexter remains a bit of a dick for most of it), and a couple of chapters in, and I was hooked. It's funny and clever and you feel like you actually know the characters, but I must warn you, the book takes a completely unexpected turn towards the end that might leave readers a bit upset at the author.

Onto One Day, the movie. I saw the movie just a few days after finishing the book, so I was interested to see what they would do with the characters who were still so fresh in my mind. The two leads were great- Jim Sturgess is English and handsome and a natural choice for Dex. Anne Hathaway's English accent was a bit hit-or-miss, but she fit the role well, capturing both Emma's sarcasm and self-doubt. The minor characters Ian and Sylvie were perfect but they totally missed the mark with Suki, who was more like a cartoon character than a real person. I liked the movie, but not sure how I would have felt about it if I hadn't have read the book first, because I enjoyed seeing what parts they used for the movie and what omitted.

And now for the show- Okkervil River at The Forum. This Austin indie rock first hit my radar a few years ago with Black, the type of song that has you listening to the lyrics to see if you can figure out the story. To be honest, I wasn't very familiar with their newer stuff but hadn't seen them live before, and a $50 ticket is a bargain by Australian standards. (oh how I miss the Boston live music scene!). They put on a great set that was a nice mix of mellow songs with some peppier rock tunes as well, and inspired me to download a few of their new tracks the next day. (obligatory concert photo lifted from my friend Vinnie)

Sunday, October 16, 2011


The haircut I wanted vs. the haircut I got.

Oh well.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kim's visit- Part 2: Adventures on the Great Ocean Road

After spending a couple of days exploring Melbourne, Kim and I rented a car and drove down the Great Ocean Road, one of the most scenic spots in Victoria. On the first day of the trip, we checked out Bells Beach and spent the night in Lorne. Day 2 we stopped at the famous 12 Apostles (of which there may or may not be 12) and continued on to Port Fairy, a old timey little boating down past the end of the Great Ocean Road. Day 3 we drove back to Melbourne on the inland route, taking a small detour to check out the town of Fram(l)ingham, where we saw a lot of cows and sheep but did not spot a single human inhabitant. I had never been to the far end of the Great Ocean Road before, so it was fun to go somewhere new, and we had nice weather for most of the trip, although it is still far too cold to go in the water, so our surf lesson idea was abandoned.

Back in Melbourne, we did a little more sightseeing and visited Queen Victoria Market and the Ian Potter Centre, an art gallery featuring Australian art, which we were pleased to discover is free admission! We had a farewell dinner at Anada in Fitzroy (yum!) and took some silly photos at a nearby park. And just like that, it was time for Kim to fly back to Massachusetts. I had a fantastic time and it was so fun to just hang out and enjoy Melbourne and its surroundings with a friend whom I've known since I was five years old.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kim's visit- Part I: Adventures in Melbourne

Last week I was graced by the presence of a very special visitor, my friend Kim! After she somewhat recovered from jetlag, we spent the next couple of days exploring Melbourne.

On Sunday, we checked out the weekend art market in Fitzroy, made a quick trip to the city center (known as the CBD- Central Business District) and then partook in some local sporting activities, with a visit to the Fitzroy Lawn Bowls club. My flatmate Susan had made me some birthday cupcakes decorated to look like...lawn bowling! Aren't they great? Tasty, too.

Monday we headed back into the city for a delicious lunch at Flower Drum, a restaurant that a man on an airplane had once told me was the best Chinese restaurant in the world. (I take advice given on airplanes seriously.) We had the four course lunch tasting menu and it was delicious and definitely a good amount of food- the steak pictured would have been sufficient as a meal on its own. After that, we did more sightseeing and shopping in the CBD and went up to the Eureka skydeck- the highest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere! (Australia loves those southern hemisphere superlatives.) It was a cool but clear day so the view was great, and we ate footlong gummy worms and I got mugged by a toddler who snatched a brochure out of my hand. Good thing he didn't go for the gummy worm because I would have fought back for that.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Adventures on the Great Ocean Road!

Saturday, October 08, 2011


Okay, so I am a blog slacker and I have lots to post about (Kim's visit, mostly), but to tide you over I offer this link:

Apparently a haunted house in upstate NY takes photos of people while they are scared. It turns out that these photos are hilarious. Enjoy!

One of my faves.

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