July 21st, 2009


Female Appreciation Month more links

I am so loving checking out everyone's embedded tunes!

jasonfischer appreciates Le Tigre
babalon_93 appreciates Kate Nash
pharaoh_katt appreciates Lily Allen and Alice in Videoland
lyndahawryluk appreciates Hole and Regina Spektor
benpayne's discovery is Amanda Blank
catundra is doing some awesome posts but they are flocked. She featured some Suzanne Vega yesterday which reminded me to note that I really hate Luka, as a song.

And um, cause it's cool, Jimmy Carter leaves the Southern Baptist Church after sixty years because of its treatment of girls and women


Happy 40th Anniversary to the MOON LANDING!!! AND WOODSTOCK! Both events were significant events in both my parents' lives and thus by extension, mine, on account of being born only 7 years later. Wow. I think that makes me old!

Right now, 40 years ago..

Right now, 40 years ago, Armstrong and Aldrin were walking on the moon.

"Here Men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."

Mysteriously, NASA didn't seem to keep much of the footage and didn't even have a PR plan about the momentous and memorable photography that has inspired generations.

From Boing Boing: Unlike the digital camera era of today, in 1969 we were shooting on film, typically looking through a small optical opening on the back of the camera that corresponded with what the camera's lens was "seeing." But with our large space helmets, such a viewfinder would have done little good anyhow. So, similar to cowboys shooting their sixguns from their hips, we aimed the camera in the direction of what we wanted to photograph, and squeezed the trigger. Given that ambiguity, it is even more of a credit to Neil that we brought back such stunning photographs from the moon.

if you look more carefully at the reflection in the gold visor on my helmet, you can see the Eagle with its landing pad, my shadow with the sun's halo effect, several of the experiments we had set up, and even Neil taking the picture. It is a truly astounding shot, and was the result of an entirely serendipitous moment on Neil's part. Later, pundits and others would wonder why most of the photographs on the moon were of me. It wasn't because I was the more photogenic of the two helmet-clad guys on the moon. Some even conjectured that it must have been a purposeful attempt on my part to shun Neil in the photos. That, of course, was ridiculous. We had our assigned tasks, and since Neil had the camera most of the time we were on the surface, it simply made sense that he would photograph our activities and the panoramas of the lunar landscape. And since I was the only other person there . . .

Ironically, the photography on the moon was one of those things that we had not laid out exactly prior to our launch. NASA's Public Affairs people didn't say, "Hey, you've got to take a lot of pictures of this or that." Everyone was interested in the science. So we did the science and the rest of it was sort of gee-whiz. We had not really planned a lot of the gee-whiz stuff that, in retrospect, proved quite important.

I've been following the lead up to today and been reading and hearing all sorts of glib, flip remarks. One that has stuck in my head is - the most important achievement of mankind - or something to that effect. And I keep thinking about that. Surely indoor plumbing, hygeine in surgery, the polo vaccine, eradication of small pox ... would have impacted on more people's lives than NASA going to the moon? I mean, it's an awesome endeavour and proves that we can leave our planet and it brought us pyrex. But in terms of achievements with wide reaching impacts, is going to the moon really the most significant thing we as a species have ever achieved?

One small step for a dog... or I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning

I took one of those big, and hopefully close to final, steps in my getting over the ex last night. I'm still sort of fascinated by that whole "takes half the time you were together to get over someone" thing that was probably a flip remark on Sex and the City or something.

See, even though we've been broken up for what? coming up to 2 years (about 20 months?), I hadn't actually stopped sleeping on my side of the bed. Not because I thought he was coming back. Not because I wanted him to come back. Mostly because I didn't plan on remaining single for long and so didn't want to do that whole thing where you get used to sleeping on your side of the bed again. But yeah, that's kinda creepy.

Anyway, I let the dog sleep on my bed and we've been having some negotiations on who sleeps where. I have been staking claim, sometimes at my own peril, to my side of the bed. And he has been wanting to sleep there too, or else on the right hand side of me, closer to the window. Last night was loud and wintry again and I was kinda being nicer to him and moving more into the centre of the bed. And then I realised that it's like ridiculous to only sleep on one side of a queen size bed and not fully enjoy the luxury of you know ... the star position, or sleeping diagonally, or trying out the other side of the bed entirely. I mean, I might be single for the rest of my life, do I really want to spend the next 60 years sleeping all cramped up holding onto the dream of sharing my bed and my life with someone? Seemed a bit pathetic an idea at midnight last night.

I think I'm finally coming to an acceptance of things. That maybe I'm meant to be single. And that actually, that's ok. I'm happy in my life. My life is filled with love and laughter and inspiration. And I'm gonna be ok.

And so, I decided to sleep on the other side of the bed last night. And you know what? Best night sleep I've had in ages.


just things, in a random order

I bought Benji a new dog toy today. It lasted an hour. I caught him in the act of destruction and he tried to look innocent but the wad of stuffing sitting in his beard was a bit of a giveaway.

I have a love-hate thing going on with having a dog. Sometimes I think it's nice that there is a creature who gets up and comes with me when I go to check out a noise or refill my drink or whatever. But sometimes I find it annoying - what if I just want to walk to the other end of the house by myself? But I also get caught out cause if it's been too quiet for more than 5mins and I can't sight him, then something bad is being done in another room.

I inhaled Season 3 of The L Word this weekend.


Female Appreciation Month Day 8

Today I hung out with Cyndi Lauper.

I had her on my list because I'm an 80s kid and her voice very much defines part of the backdrop that I grew up against - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, True Colours, Time After Time. But to be honest, I wasn't really taking her more seriously than that, really. I also enjoyed her guest mentoring on Australian Idol last year.

But I had seen her promoting her new album, I think it was "At Last" at that time, a year or so ago? She was talking about her project the True Colors Tour. She was so intense and earnest about it, and she sang a really lovely version of True Colours to accompany it. The True Colors Fund is Lauper's own project to celebrate the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and advocate for the basic values and freedoms that she believes should be shared by all Americans.

It was all this in my mind that I picked up two of her albums on the weekend - At Last and The Body Acoustic. I'm not sure what I was expecting but what I got was just an absolutely gorgeous day of listening to exquisite music.

At Last is a series of covers of mostly jazzy songs. Just unbelievably beautiful - mature, haunting, moving and soulful interpretations of some much loved songs. They really show the her range and how gifted a vocalist she is, and also how gifted a musician she is in how she brings her own interpretations to well-loved songs like At Last, La Vie on Rose, Unchained Melody and so on.

The Body Acoustic takes the well known Lauper songs, and some others, and again reinterprets them as well as bringing onboard singers like Sarah McLachlan, Ani Difranco and Shaggy to duet with her.

For me, both albums showed the richness and beauty of Lauper's voice and what she brings as a performer to the delivery of a song - even Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, which fundamentally was a flip, glib number.

I'm sad to be moving on tomorrow to the next artist as I'd love to stay with Lauper a bit longer. I see she has a new album out and I might chase up some more of her older ones at some point.

Here's True Colours, recently performed:

Can't embed At Last but here's the link and it's really worth checking her out as a jazz singer. Just stunning!

And my favourite song from The Body Acoustic - Above the Clouds

All this Lauper music reminds me that the version of True Colours that is my favourite, is Kasey Chamber's version

Which leads me to have to include Not Pretty Enough in Female Appreciation Month. Chambers wrote this song directed towards the Australian commercial radio stations who wouldn't play her music. She thought it was because they thought she wasn't pretty enough. Ironically, this song was picked up and played a lot and brought Chambers into the mainstream arena. Also unable to embed, here it is.

Bit o' country to finish with, Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, Rattling Bones

And some more links for Female Appreciation Month:

random_alex appreciates Fiona Apple
benpayne discovers Kid Sister
catundra appreciates women in Western Art, starting with Artemisia Gentileschi
Also, catundra unlocked a bunch of her previous posts appreciating Suzanne Vega and Serena Ryder, Voice of the Beehive and Kirsty MacColl