Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another List
Because I love lists.
Paul mentioned that Rolling Stone had released a list of the top 100 albums of the last decade:

The most important music of the '00s as chosen by more than 100 artists, critics
and industry insiders
Well, I just had to see what they were!

1 Radiohead: Kid A

2 The Strokes: Is This It

3 Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

4 Jay-Z: The Blueprint

5 The White Stripes: Elephant

6 Arcade Fire: Funeral

7 Eminem: The Marshal Mathers LP

8 Bob Dylan: Modern Times

9 M.I.A.: Kala

10 Kanye West: The College Dropout

11 Bob Dylan: Love and Theft

12 LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver

13 U2: All That You Can't Leave Behind tick

14 Jay-Z: The Black Album

15 Bruce Springsteen: The Rising

16 OutKast: Stankonia

17 Beck: Sea Change

18 MGMT: Oracular Spectacular tick

19 Amy Winehouse: Back to Black

20 The White Stripes: White Blood Cells

21 Coldplay: A Rush of Blood to the Head tick

22 Green Day: American Idiot

23 D'Angelo: Voodoo

24 Bruce Springsteen: Magic

25 Radiohead: Amnesiac

26 Cat Power: The Greatest

27 The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

28 Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Fever to Tell

29 Sigur Rós: Ágaetis Byrjun

30 Radiohead: In Rainbows

31 My Morning Jacket: Z

32 Lil Wayne: Tha Carter III

33 Daft Punk: Discovery

34 OutKast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

35 PJ Harvey: Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea

36 U2: No Line on the Horizon tick

37 50 Cent: Get Rich or Die Tryin'

38 Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker

39 Kings of Leon: Aha Shake Heartbreak

40 Kanye West: Late Registration

41 Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

42 Elliott Smith: Figure 8

43 The Killers: Hot Fuss

44 System of a Down: Toxicity

45 Kanye West: Graduation

46 Justin Timberlake: FutureSex/LoveSounds

47 Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes

48 TV on the Radio: Dear Science

49 Fiona Apple: Extraordionary Machine

50 Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake It's Morning

51 Spoon: Kill the Moonlight

52 M.I.A.: Arular

53 Kings of Leon: Only By the Night

54 Norah Jones: Come Away With Me

55 Robert Plant and Alison Krauss: Raising Sand

56 Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend tick

57 Death Cab for Cutie: Transatlanticism tick

58 Danger Mouse: The Grey Album

59 Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights

60 Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

61 The Shins: Oh, Inverted World

62 Johnny Cash: American III: Solitary Man

63 Kanye West: 808s and Heartbreak

64 Gillian Welch: Time the Revelator

65 Manu Chao: Próxima Estación Esperanza

66 Antony & the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now

67 Björk: Vespertine

68 U2: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb tick

69 Missy Elliott: Under Construction

70 Sleater-Kinney: The Woods

71 Bright Eyes: Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Eart to the Ground

72 Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand

73 Coldplay: Parachutes tick

74 Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium

75 Arcade Fire: Neon Bible

76 Sigur Rós: ()

77 Yo La Tengo: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out

78 Sufjan Stevens: Illinois tick

79 The New Pornographers: Electric Version

80 Kings of Leon: Youth and Young Manhood

81 Ryan Adams: Gold

82 Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R

83 The Black Keys: Attack & Release

84 Eminem: The Eminem Show

85 Coldplay: Viva La Vida tick

86 The Postal Service: Give Up tick

87 Gnarls Barkley: St. Elsewhere

88 Brian Wilson: Smile

89 Radiohead: Hail to the Thief

90 Amadou & Miriam: Dimanche a Bamako

91 The Hives: Veni Vidi Vicious

92 Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago

93 Johnny Cash: Unearthed

94 The Libertines: Up the Brackett

95 Alicia Keys: Songs in A Minor

96 The Streets: Original Pirate Material

97 Wilco: Sky Blue Sky

98 TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain

99 The Hold Steady: Almost Killed Me

100 Leonard Cohen: 10 New Songs

11 albums. That is how many I have on this list.
How many do you have?
I am going to have to think about which albums I would have included.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Back to school, and work

The kids went off happily back to school this week, as did I.
There were no complaints from them after they joined their new classes and adjusted to a routine again.
And no complaints from me.
Three cheers for a new and busy school year.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pesky Possum... but oh so cute!

Last night, as I went out to tuck all the animals (the pet ones) into their beds, I was confronted by a hissing possum. I think he was hissing at Benni the bunny who lives on the deck.
He has been causing a good deal of noise over the past few months, barrelling down our roof, and sometimes falling onto the deck. I actually think there must be more than one as I don't think one creature could make so much noise.
Last night he was very bold and held his ground. He wasn't moving anywhere for a human brandishing a torch. He even let me move the fairy lights away from his feet - I didn't want the wires damaged by his claws.
And so I did a sweet and kind thing... I gave him a nectarine.
Bad bad bad idea, I know. Now he will never go away.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lars and the Real Girl
Last weekend I saw a truly lovely movie.

Written by Six Feet Under scribe Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl is a heartfelt comedy starring Ryan Gosling as Lars Lindstrom, an awkwardly shy young man in a small northern town who finally brings home the girl of his dreams to his brother and sister-in-law's home. The only problem is that she's not real - she's a sex doll Lars ordered off the internet. But sex is not what Lars has in mind, but rather a deep, meaningful relationship. His sister-in-law is worried for him, his brother thinks he's nuts, but eventually the entire town goes along with his delusion in support of this sweet natured boy that they've always loved.
I found all the characters to be likable, and the way the small town accepted Lars (& Bianca) was both inspiring and funny - there were many giggle out loud moments.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Healing Process
Recently I have been able to watch many wounds heal on my body.
It has been a fascinating experience.
• First comes vasoconstriction — blood vessels leading to the wound tighten to reduce the flow of blood to the injured area.
Platelets (triggered by enzymes leaked from the torn blood vessel) rush to the scene. These sticky blood cells clump to each other and then adhere to the sides of the torn blood vessel, making a plug.
Clotting proteins in the blood join forces to form a fibrin net that holds the platelet plug in place over the tear, and in just a few seconds or minutes (depending on how bad the scrape is), BLEEDING STOPS, thanks to coagulation! The fibrin plug becomes a scab that will eventually fall off or be reabsorbed into the body once healing is complete.
• The blood vessels that were constricted now dilate to bring white blood cells rushing to the scene. White blood cells engulf and destroy any germs that may have gotten into the body through the open wound.
Fibroblasts (cells that are capable of forming skin and other tissue) gather at the site of injury and begin to produce collagen, which will eventually fill in the wound under the scab and create new capillaries to bring oxygen-rich blood to the recovering wound.
Skin along the edges of the wound becomes thicker and then gradually migrates (or stretches) under the scab to the center of the wound, where it meets skin from the other side and forms a scar (about three weeks after the initial injury).
Scar tissue will become stronger and fade gradually over the next several years as more collagen is added, but will only have about 80 percent of the strength of the original skin.
(Go Ask Alice)

Left ankle cut.

Right ankle at the end of December.

Right ankle at the end of January.

Aren't we wonderfully designed and made!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Road Trip Collage

I just discovered Shape Collage. It turns your photos into a collage of your choice.

It is free to download, or you can use an online version.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Road Trip - Day 5
We decided (well, I did - Oliver complained bitterly about the decision) to drive from Melbourne to Sydney in one day.
We left the caravan park at 8am, and arrived in our gate at 7.30pm. I thought that was pretty good as we stopped many times on the way for snacks, leg stretching and other bodily functions.On the way home my favourite stop was an antiques store in Holbrook.
Some wonderful bird houses caught my eye as we drove through the town and closer look was very necessary.
I now have one hanging from our back deck, hoping to attract some local bird life.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Road Trip - Day 4 (cont'd)

We had a BBQ at David and Gretta's house, with Rachel and David (the small one).

Thanks for a lovely evening Jones family.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Road Trip - Day 4We caught the tram to St Kilda, and visited Megan and her family in their new home. They have recently moved from Seattle to Melbourne.
From there it was a rather hot walk down to the seaside.
St Kilda beach is part of a bay, so there is no surf, and there is a lovely boardwalk and cafes to enjoy.

After we had been out in the sun long enough, we left all our friends and made our way back into the city.

In Federation Square we found the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

It was fascinating (and cool!) with lots of hands on activities.
You can see some timeslice animations the kids made here, here, here and here.

Afternoon tea was had in a little lane way Melbourne is well known for.

And then it was back on the tram to the caravan park.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Road Trip - Day 3
We caught a tram into the city, and then out to the zoo.

The Melbourne Zoo is just 4 km out of the city's center, and is beautifully set out.
We entered by the back gate near the tram station.

The butterfly house was a highlight...

as was the under water world.

The reptiles were horribly fascinating...

but my favourite were (are) the giraffe.

Lauren continued her map reading skills whenever we stopped for a drink - she earned the title of 'Map Girl' during our holiday by constantly keeping up with our location via a road map I bought.