Currently viewing the tag: "kate!"

So…er…hi. Hello. Attempts at keeping a blog: still a fail.

What’s happened since I last blogged? Well!

I’m back working in the mildly soul-crushing job I had when I last lived in Melbourne. It’s basically where rich people pay me to read the newspaper for them, and I pretend I live in a steampunk dystopia. This is enhanced by my now-regular presence at Rose St. on the weekends, an artist’s market where I hawk the stuff I otherwise have on etsy. It’s fairly effective, because hipsters like cheap jewelry and it’s in the heart of hipsterville (though, as I discussed with another artist there, the area is decreasingly trendy and we’re worried the hipsters are disbursing across the city). The job is full-time and I get paid a salary, which is weird but not unpleasant.

Kit and I went to Port Fairy for the folk fesitval, which I hadn’t been to in 5 years. It was great, lots of fiddles and instrumental groups, though last time it was ALL KATE ALL THE TIME, so I was a bit sad without that element. None the less, we saw a lot of acts I really enjoyed, including Ben Sollee from the US who I’d somehow never crossed paths with before, which is funny since we lived on opposite sides of the same mountains for a long time. Really great, weird folk-blues-jazz cello. Also loved both Beoga and Frigg, instrumental groups from Ireland and Finland, respectively.

We saw Kate a few times last weekend, and have gotten a copy of the new album Nightflight a few weeks early. It’s really gorgeous, and if you click over to the Kate tumblr (see sidebar), you can hear some previews. Much love.

My birthday was gorgeous, the first really fun one in years. I gave blood and chatted up the workers at the red cross about how I should work at the red cross, too, and then wandered around bike shops for a few hours before purchasing a gorgeous bike on sale. I am looking forward to a life of not being strictly beholden to the tram schedule.

In conclusion:

lazy Tuesday

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It’s almost the end of the year, and I’ve done a rather terrible job writing and updating. I played with the layout a bit, but I’m not sold on it as a permanent fix. The 2012 layouts should be out soon, so I’ll hold out and see what’s coming and how I’d like to play with them.

Melbourne continues to feel strange, home and not-home all jumbled up together. The past month has been harder than the ones before it, as I find myself missing Stina and Dylan badly even as I’m growing into more and more of my own person. I read somewhere recently that it’s not unusual at all for autistic people, but especially autistic women, to lack a strong sense of self and identity–it’s something I definitely identify with (oh, irony). I have been so defined by that friendship for so much of my life, and all of my adult life at that, that I have of course been confused and lonely and unsure of how to go about being me separate from them. I’s been a good thing to mull over, thinking about how to deliberately choose who I am and who I can become.

I know 2011 hasn’t been particularly great for many people in my life, but it’s been positive on the whole, for me. I’m happy to be here. We’re in discussion with our immigration lawyer to begin my trek towards permanent residency. I have a job, albeit a terrible temp one, and make enough money to live comfortably and save for said immigration. I have grown infinitely more comfortable with both my autism and my gender, and my metacognition is much happier than it was a year or even two or three ago. While I am still sad because of Stina and Dylan, I am feeling like I am going to be okay.

Next year is going to be good. There are lawyer appointments and immigration agents to meet. I’m going to have a booth at a local artist’s market in January, and if it goes well I’ll sign up for more times in February, March, and April. I have insurance that will pay for me to get a massage every once in a while. There is a very, very strong chance we will get a second kitten to keep crankypants happy and entertained. I’m going to Port Fairy. Kate Miller-Heidke put us on the guest list to come see her for free, because we’re awesome. I’m considering scraping together the cash to take a course in Auslan (Australian sign). I found a choir I want to join. Maybe we can talk Hez into visiting. I’ll try to write more here, not just reblog on tumblr.

I think it’s going to turn out just fine.

lovesthe window

out on the pier at St. Kilda

cuddles

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Etsy business is super stagnant (like nothing in over a month stagnant). I have some new pieces to list, but I’m honestly no longer sure what’s good and what isn’t. If you kind visitors would please head over to my shop, take a look around, and then tell me what I’m doing wrong, I’d be much obliged.

That aside, my fandom tumblrs are doing super awesome excitingly well. Yes. I started a Kate-themed tumblr, the obviously and fabulously named Fuck Yeah, Kate Miller-Heidke (I realized I couldn’t change the terrible layout of the other Kate tumblr, and also I am pretty sure I am the most awesomest Kate fan and therefore I should be in charge), and the Branden Rose tumblr is also thriving (aside from the problem of very little content in a very little fandom).

That aside, life appears to be happening with or without my consent, so I am trying to keep up and not get overwhelmed too much. I am currently supposed to be thinking about how I want to write a Statement About Autism for other adults and teens who have just been diagnosed, but all I have right now is: look, it’s going to be okay. It turns out that autism probably accounts for all the things you like AND dislike about yourself, because it isn’t something you should think of as a disorder you can separate from you, but rather a way of experiencing and thinking about the world. Adjusting to the idea that you have a developmental disability may be rough, but giving yourself permission to need the things you need to get by is the most radical form of self-care available to you as a person. You may have been forbidden to rock, or flap, or nail-bite, or echo, or pursue something you love down to your spleen because they make you look like some retarded autistic kid, but if any of those things make you better able to cope with a world not designed for you or by anyone like you, then you should probably do them. And also, you ARE that retarded autistic kid. Sorry. You’re pretty fabulous.

Which is not super inspiring.

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Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready?
Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Let’s go!

Does your hair look right?
Is your fly done up?
Have you popped your pimples?
Have you got your coat
And some lippy on?
Just keep it simple.
Are you all cashed up?
I could lend you some–
Well, I’d be glad to.
Have you had a think
And a warm up drink?
Now, now, now, now.

Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready?
Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Let’s go!

Is the cat put out?
Is the iron off?
We don’t wanna come home
To a fire.
Have you trimmed your beard?
Are your sandals shined?
Do you look like
A hipster messiah?
Have you got your keys?
Have you got ID?
Did you bring a comb for Gary?
Have you had a think
And a warm up drink?
Now, now, now, now.

(Get ready
Get ready
Go!)

Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready?
Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Let’s go!

Leave your book and leave the mirror
‘Cause you’re already stunning.
The sky above was never clearer
And the engine’s running.
So cast aside your novelty ties
And bury your vendettas.
Life is short, but tonight your ass is mine, mine, mine, mine.

Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready?
Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Let’s go!

Leave your book and leave the mirror
‘Cause you’re already stunning.
The sky above was never clearer
And the engine’s running.
Well the end is nigh and there’s not much time
To get things rolling.
Life is pain, but we’re okay, now, now, now, now.
Now, now, now, now.

What have I forgotten?
The horns!
Now, now, now, now!

(Get ready
Get ready
Go!
Get ready
Get ready
Go!)

Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready?
Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Let’s go!

Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready?
Are you all ready?
Are you ready, get set,
Are you ready, get set,
Let’s go!

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For Dylan.

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[Video of Australian countryside, with lyrics in white as they are sung:
I really like Christmas
It's sentimental, I know, but I just really like it
I am hardly religious
I'd rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond Tutu, to be honest

And yes, I have all of the usual objections
To consumerism, he commercialisation of an ancient religion
To the westernisation of a dead Palestinian
Press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer
But I still really like it

I'm looking forward to Christmas
Though I'm not expecting a visit from Jesus

I'll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They'll be drinking white wine in the sun
I'll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They'll be drinking white wine in the sun

I don't go in for ancient wisdom
I don't believe just 'cos ideas are tenacious it means they are worthy
I get freaked out by churches
Some of the hymns that they sing have nice chords but the lyrics are spooky

And yes I have all of the usual objections
To the miseducation of children who, in tax-exempt institutions,
Are taught to externalise blame
And to feel ashamed and to judge things as plain right and wrong
But I quite like the songs

I'm not expecting big presents
The old combination of socks, jocks and chocolate is just fine by me

Cos I'll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They'll be drinking white wine in the sun
I'll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They'll be drinking white wine in the sun

And you, my baby girl
My jetlagged infant daughter
You'll be handed round the room
Like a puppy at a primary school
And you won't understand
But you will learn someday
That wherever you are and whatever you face
These are the people who'll make you feel safe in this world
My sweet blue-eyed girl

And if, my baby girl
When you're twenty-one or thirty-one
And Christmas comes around
And you find yourself nine thousand miles from home
You'll know what ever comes
Your brother and sisters and me and your Mum
Will be waiting for you in the sun
Whenever you come
Your brothers and sisters, your aunts and your uncles
Your grandparents, cousins and me and your mum
We'll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Darling, when Christmas comes
We'll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Waiting for you in the sun
Waiting for you...
Waiting...

I really like Christmas
It's sentimental, I know...]

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…is that I like spreadsheets, organization, and Kate Miller-Heidke.

Just got done making a spreadsheet that shows the titles of the songs from which I’ve pulled titles, the songs in the official canon I haven’t used yet, the songs that are official or semi-official canon but are covers, and the demos which have any sort of name. This is actually the third spreadsheet of its sort, as I have one keeping track of the number of times I use a song and one that lists the song, the lyric, and the date.

So I’m feeling a bit compulsive and pleased, now. And tired. Tried to go to the library, but the lights are made of some sort of migraine-creating forcefield that also happens to emit visible light, because within ten minutes my eyes and head ached. I feel sort of spoon-drained now.

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I’ve been blogging here for a year, and nearly a hundred posts.

There have been two Kate-lyric exceptions (both for MBT fangirling) and this will make my 97th published post. In this time, I have:
-Used lyrics from “Caught in the Crowd,” “Dreams,” and “The Truth” six times each (fun fact: I don’t like “The Truth”!)
-Used lyrics from “Blah Blah Blah,” “Day After Christmas,” “Our Song,” and “Out and In” five times each
-These seven songs account for 39% of my post titles
-I’ve used 34 songs, 32 of which are part of the official discography (including Elsewhere, Kate’s previous band). Including Elsewhere there are officially 54 songs (not including multiple releases or versions of a song), and I have an additional 32 or so demos. I think I’m going to have to make an effort to use all of the released songs for a title in the coming year. No promises.

In less compulsive, more personal news, I’ve had a bunch of interviews for jobs. The one I like best is for a group home and assistance organization in Chapel Hill who work with kids and adults with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, and some neurological disorders. In practice this means a lot of people on the autism spectrum, some with Down Syndrome, some with CP, many with more rare disorders and disabilities, and a huge variation in levels of assistance needed. I knew it would be a good fit when the interviewer went off on a long tangent about how their clients are people and have every human right we do (I guess I passed for NT yesterday), even if they also need some help with ADLs or holding down a job. He used some language I only hear in the disability rights movement and stressed that you have to respect everyone as an individual or it would never work. I have a follow up interview tomorrow (after the first yesterday), so hopefully it works out! I’ve also interviewed for an in-home counselling position, and didn’t get a job at a local bookstore–but I did get an interview at a sister store later this week.

AT NO POINT DID I BREAK DOWN INTO SOBS OF FRUSTRATION OVER THE AMOUNT OF MONEY I NEED TO SAVE TO SUCCESSFULLY MOVE TO MELBOURNE.

I credit the cat and his soft, soft tummy for this. Little known fact: sticking your face in a cat’s side and breathing deeply is incredibly good for destressing.

I’m looking for something that will keep my brain occupied. I love anagramming and the last phrase was very successful. I want a two or three word phrase (maybe four, if one is an article) that is easy to remember and has 20-25 letters. The last one was “the very hungry caterpillar” and it worked really well. Suggestions?

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Despite the loss of spoons and almost inevitable migraine that will have me in bed tomorrow afternoon through sometime on Tuesday, I have to say that this weekend has been incredible.

I drove up to Staunton yesterday (Saturday) morning, taking a long route through a national forest and over many pretty streams. Lots of wildlife. Last night I saw Kate in a private gig in Charlottesville with Stina, Dylan, and a few other friends (and about 50 strangers), where Keir kissed my cheek/ear and I got sweaty hugs. I’ve just returned from Vienna, Virginia, and another Kate gig. More hugs. A new t-shirt.

Oh, and the part where Kate dedicated Shoebox to me on a whim, explaining how she felt like she should dedicate something to me because I was an American who had been in Melbourne when they were taking any gig they could get, and I’ve seen all of these songs thousands of times, but at least it’d been a while since then.

There was also the part where the audience was so genuinely enthusiastic that she did a real encore, not at all like in Melbourne, where it’s just expected. She was genuinely flustered and pleased, asked for suggestions. After rejecting mine (For The Hundredth Time or Apartment), she accepted Dylan’s early birthday wish for I Got The Way. It was fabulous. I’ll post a video once I have my camera cables. Later, she let him buy her a beer and promised I could pick out songs in the future, as long as I gave them a bit more warning than that.

I will sleep when my insides stop feeling electric.

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On Monday morning, after a long night of not-quite-sleep reminiscent of being 8 and waiting for Christmas morning, I hauled myself out of bed at 6. I was on the road by 7, headed north.

View Directions to Staunton, VA in a larger map

The top line, where they split, was my route going to NYC, the bottom my route home (I ultimately changed my mind on the drive home from a third route, as my guess that there might be more places to stop on US highways rather than interstates proved to be drastically wrong).

More precisely, I drove to Iselin, NJ, where there’s a big giant train station for the NJ Rail, with covered and monitored parking garages and an inexpensive train ride into the city.

At first, driving was okay. I had a new book to listen to, and was super excited.

listening to Lord Sunday

This quickly became despondency, however, as I realized I was going to be in the car forever and might die.

sick of this...!

After a full seven and a half hours of driving, I had learnt two important things:
1. New Jersey is AWESOME. They pump your gas for you and it’s miraculously much cheaper than every surrounding state, and their roads are very nice. The single toll I had to pay at any point was a mere $.75 to cross a bridge into NJ (just that direction, too).
2. I have been lying when I say I don’t hate driving so much anymore.

However, I fucking love trains. They take you places with an extremely predictable route and schedule, and you don’t have to do anything but sit quietly and stare out of the window. Just being in the train station made me excited.

Ready to get on the train

The ride from NJ to NYC reminded me of nothing more than the couple times I took the train out to some of the suburbs of Melbourne on exploratory missions. Parts of NJ looked distinctly like Footscray.

Once in the city, I realized that even with the traffic, I’d overcompensated for time and had to kill about an hour. This was managed with a browse through the large bookstore just outside of Penn Station, and then the subway ride down to SoHo, and a bit more shop browsing there as the pub was ridiculously easy to find.

I felt very fancy ordering a prix fixe menu, though none of it was awesome enough to warrant writing about, except the couple behind me who insisted on loudly referring to it as the Price Fix menu. Er…French, ur doin it rong.

My first impression of Kate was “Peach princess!”, and that’s what stuck with me for the gig (despite the creepy drunk man at the table next to me who shouted through the gig his enthusiasm and how much he loved her–later, his companion would regale me with a story about how she spent $4000 to fly to Adelaide to see Kate, because she wasn’t going to fly coach, you know, and couldn’t grasp the idea that the price she paid for a pair of tickets was actually slightly below average for a pair to a Kate gig).

Angry!piano

peaches and cream

Kate and Keir

There was very little dancing, which is saddening–I hate that she seems to think American audiences won’t enjoy her antics, but maybe she’s right. She’s so much more alive when she performs in Australia, though, to my eyes–more manic, flaily, stompy-dances. It was a great show, though, and Keir was very sweet, though the story she told about him being confused for Ben Folds was probably pretty accurate (unlike the rest of the stories, which she’s been recycling for 3+ years).

The show was sold out, so there was a massive crowd to buy her seriously under priced CDs and get them signed, so I only had a few moments to say hi and get my pilfered setlist signed before she had to leave. While I was waiting, a very nice man asked me out, which was…strange. Apparently he has a terrible habit of asking out queer girls, and was very apologetic and sweet. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually been asked out before. With Kit it all just sort of happened.

As it was apparent Kate was not going to ask me to be her groupie at this time, I started the journey home.

on the train back from NYC

The train was delayed leaving Penn by about half an hour, though I was glad of it–there was a serious concern everything on that track might be cancelled for the night, so half an hour suddenly seemed like nothing. I made it back into the car and started the drive home. It was…long. There was a lot of coffee and Dr. Pepper and a moderate amount of junk food. I spent the time between 3 and 5:30 singing along loudly to Kate to keep myself awake–at one point doing only the harmonies, for the challenge of it (it proved not to be very challenging, unfortunately) and for the day when Kate decides I need to be her back-up singer.

I slept for a very long time when I got home.

set list and ticket

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