Post #34: It’s Bracket Time!

Welcome to the thirty-fourth post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone.
If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.

Post #34: It's Bracket Time!

Hurrah, it’s bracket time! It’s that time of year where I get to fill out my Bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament.

I just watched the President fill out his bracket (the ‘Barack-ket’, as ESPN was calling it). The Pres knows his basketball! He tipped the Tar Heels to win it this year, but I went for Georgetown. I went there on my exchange/study abroad program, so I have to pick them to win. Hoya Saxa!

NCAA Tournament Bracket 2012: Duke v Georgetown.

At the moment, professional Basketball is really lacking that je ne sais quoi. The NBA has suffered a great deal from the lock out, and the Golden State Warriors are perennial cellar dwellers. There’s just something about professional basketball that feels so… 1994.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I adored basketball growing up in the 90s. Unlike other girls, I did not take up shopping. I took up basketball. I was ALL about the Sydney Kings and the NBL.

When teen girls have posters of the heart throbs from Dolly magazine on their walls, I had the D-Train and K-Mac, Leon Trimmingham, and Greg Hubbard. I was so starstruck I couldn’t speak when I met my favourite player, Damian Keogh, at a book signing at Bankstown Square. Steve Carfino was constantly visiting our school to teach us basketball fundamentals (and our PE Teacher would just about faint with excitement – she totally had the hots for Steve). I would peer through my fingers anytime Tim Morrissey touched the ball, and have done much the same for his post-basketball writing career with the Telegraph. The Kings were a massive part of my life.

I played the game as though my life depended upon it. And in a sense, it did. My goal before leaving school was to make the rep squad for our athletic association, IGSSA. All of the girls from our school picked for an IGSSA representative squad had their name painted onto a merit board in the school hall. I desperately wanted my name on that board. It meant everything to me.

In year 11, I was picked for the IGSSA basketball ‘B’ team, and I was over the moon! But after a falling out with a PE teacher, my name was omitted. I fought this for a year, but they wouldn’t budge. So I turned around the next year and made the ‘A’ team. Vindication! And when the time came for names to be painted on the board for 1998, I stood there and watched the bloke paint until my name was on that bloody board! I may not have had enormous talent for the game, but I lived it and loved it. And to a degree, I still do.

Hoya Saxa!

Post #33: New Music

Welcome to the thirty-third post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone.
If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.

Post #33: New Music

My parents have become ultra cool. I think they’ve always been cool, but now? They have caché.

It seems that every time I skype with them, they tell me all about the great concerts they have been to, and they great events they’ve attended. Sneaky Sound System? I had to google them when after hearing my parents talk about how great they were live. They know more about current music than I do! And this week, they went to see New Order… I needed to get hip to what they’re talking about – and fast!

Enter Pandora internet radio

I have made a conscientious effort to broaden my music horizons, but I don’t have the time to sit down and read all about what the ‘young folks’ these days are into. That’s where Pandora has come in handy – I just put it on when I’m at my desk at work. Easy. And two weeks in, I don’t think I can ever go back to living without it. We’ve been in an exclusive relationship ever since.

So here’s a couple of my new faves so far, to start the week off right. Maybe it’s new music for you, maybe it’s so old it’s almost retro.

Happy listening!

1. Camera Obscura – “If Looks Could Kill”

Secretly want to be like these girls.

2. Vampire Weekend – “Oxford Comma”

3. Matt Pond PA – “Snow Day”

4. Neutral Milk Hotel — “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”

5. Noah And the Whale – “Five Years Time”

6. Phoenix – “1901”

7. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – “Janglin’”

Post #32: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Welcome to the thirty-second post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone.
If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.

Post #32: Ten Things You Didn't Know About Me

I could not exaggerate just how busy things have been at work, lately. I am feeling like I need both a personality transplant (it’s all work, work, work!) and to leave it all behind in favour of a beach in Thailand.

So here’s a few things you might not know about yours truly:

10. Next week, the Canadian and I are taking Lightsaber Choreography classes. That’s right. Lightsaber Choreography classes. How excited am I? This.

9. I am obsessed with puppies. Particularly black labs, dalmatians and greyhounds. I don’t love too many cats, but I am really nice to my landlady’s cat, Simone. She hisses at me every time I see her and has never let me pat her, but I’m still nice to her.

The best puppy in the world: Neo.

8. I take German classes, and really dig learning the language. I have a super teacher, Katja, who hails from Rostock and owns a black labrador. Sie ist super!

Ich habe studiert.

7. My drink of choice is Bulmers/Magners. When we were out in the Lower Haight this week, the American introduced me to their new pear flavour. And did you know that they’re coming out with a Berry version with a hint of peach? YUM!

Mmm... Magners Pear.

6. My special talent: catching flies and mosquitoes out of the air with my bare hands. It’s a skill that carries a lot of clout, particularly in Australia.

5. I love being outdoors, and exploring the city on foot. We walk almost everywhere. Each time we go wandering, we piece together a little more of the map of San Francisco.

Fort Funston

The view from Twin Peaks

4. Sometimes, I sit in the same seat on the same train on my way home from work. Occasionally, someone leaves little messages for me. The contents may be religious, but I still really appreciate it.

A little encouragement after a tough day. #thankyou

3. We live in a part of the city that doesn’t have any real supermarkets. So we do much of our food shopping at our local Walgreens where they lock random items in perspex cabinets. Toothpaste and instant coffee are under lock and key. True story.

Toothpaste is a big-ticket item in San Francisco...


2. I own ten coats. Yep, ten, and five of them are blue. It may sound like total overkill, but living in a city that requires specific layering techniques, I have grown accustomed to dressing accordingly. Each jacket has a specific function and temperature range. San Franciscans – who’s with me? But what I really aspire to either wear jeans, t-shirts and sneakers to work here in the city or wear cozzies and thongs to work in my beach-side bungalow in Thailand. A girl can dream…

This is what I wear to the beach in SF.

1. I like to take photos of vomit on the footpath. One of the best days to do so is just around the corner. Hello, St Paddy’s Day!

Aftermath of New Year's. "They held her hair, but not her feather boa..."

Post #31: The Obligatory California New-Agey Granola Epiphany

Welcome to the thirty-first post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone.
If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.

Post #31: The Obligatory California New-Agey Granola Epiphany

I feel as though I am emerging from an extended period of fluctuation in my life and am awakening a renewed vigour within. I have experienced great moments (days, even) of clarity, and I have been actively shaping my life to be what I want it to, and what it ought to be. I have goals and dreams to achieve, and I can see now exactly what it is that I need to do to achieve it. It’s so empowering. The fog of uncertainty is clearing!

I have enough clarity to know that it feels fleeting, so I’m taking charge of these moments to chart, grow, learn and develop before it fades. Maybe this is my real California new-agey granola epiphany?

One of the ways in which I am trying to pass it on this new heightened awareness and clarity, is through mentoring a good friend from work. Scorpio and I are very alike and have a similar set of values and traits. It’s such a pleasure to work with someone who is on the same page so I can leave the disclaimers behind. One of the things I admire most about Scorpio is her tenacity. At the moment, she is working on what I think is The Fabulous Idea. But she is on an all-too-familiar undulating wavelength: big peaks with frenzied activity and so many ideas your hand cannot write fast enough to record them, and stagnant troughs in a cycle of self-doubt and mental fogginess.

I believe in Scorpio’s Fabulous Idea, and have really relished being a wise old sounding board. I enjoy working with her to spot potential problems, and address them with solutions. She has been most kind in indulging my need to explore this mentoring angle, too.

A beautiful representation of emotions

[Source: Artist Linda Donohue on Etsy]

The amazing thing is that I can see The Fabulous Idea: I know how it’ll all play out. I have seen it.
She can build something that is useful and has the ability to reach and inspire a great many people. This is potentially a great long-term project — one that personalities like us struggle with (patience is sadly not a virtue bestowed on either of us). But I want to reassure her in the periods of self-doubt that it will work out. It’s going to be a phenomenal experience for her, and is the type of project that will open the doors for her that she deserves. This is a stepping stone to bigger and greater things, but just like me, she’s impatient to get to the good bits!

Through her and in some respects seeing my traits reflected back at me, it has been a real awakening. There is just so much work to do to get where I want to go and also help Scorpio achieve her goals, but it’s just as important (if not moreso), to enjoy the journey there.

Post #30: A Visit to Wine Country

Welcome to the thirtieth post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone.
If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.

Post #30: A Visit to Wine Country

I always had a sneaking suspicion that Sonoma was the poorer, younger sister of the Napa Valley. But not anymore.

On Saturday, Sam the Canadian and I spent the day up in wine country, relaxing after Sam’s tough week sitting the Cal Bar exam. It was a balmy 22 degrees C/ 73 degrees F: a marvellous winter’s day for a trip up north.

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Post 29: Downton Abbey

Welcome to the twenty-ninth post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone.
If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.

Post #29: Downton Abbey.

Post #29: Downton Abbey.

Everywhere you go here in the US, there’s some reference to Downtown Abbey. It has officially taken the country by storm. And now I know what they’re all banging on about it, for I have joined the swelling ranks of those obsessed with Downton Abbey.

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