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Life in Black & White

This weekend is all about colour and pride here in SF, but lately, I’ve been drawn to working in black and white a lot. I’m enjoying seeing life in contrasts.

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Version 2

And here’s one recent weekend’s adventures, called ‘Pierre (& Cozette)’.

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Viewing the City Through the Eyes of Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Last weekend, I went to see May’s installment of Midnites for Maniacs. A live drag show booked out the Castro Theatre, so the M4M crowd found a new home for the evening in the Mission. The Roxy Theatre is the oldest remaining cinema in San Francisco, with a woman selling tickets in the box out the front and one stall in each of the bathrooms and one person behind a vintage candy bar selling small batches of popcorn.

It was an evening devoted to the work of French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. I’d not heard his name prior to last week, but now I’m a big fan. This was my favourite M4M double bill by far, and Jesse showed two of the French director’s films: Amelie (2001) and The City of Lost Children (1995).

Whilst I was not a fan of The City of Lost Children, Amelie is certainly one of my all-time favourite movies. But it was great to see them back-to-back to study his style, composition and narratives. I love that he uses many of the same actors in his movies. I even returned home to watch his first movie Delicatessen that, like Amelie, has a phenomenal musical score (especially this — it’ll stay in your head for days!) . All three are related, aesthetically, and it was interesting to hear Jesse’s discussion of each film.

So when I found myself wandering around the city the other day, I was still thinking about Jean-Pierre Jeunet and his characters. I wandered up and down the hills, lost in thought.
How would Amelie see the city?
Or Miette?
Or Louison? Julie?
How would Jean-Pierre make his characters see the city?

This is how I think Jean-Pierre Jeunet would see San Francisco.

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Three Things

I could wax lyrical about loving three day weekends (and I do!),  but here’s three other things:

1. Remembering to Look Up

I have been riding to and from this one particular BART station for years, and yet I have never taken the time to look up. I finally did this week and saw a beautiful glass dome allowing natural light to illuminate the platform. I love beautiful moments like that.

2. Eurovision Final

Being in the US, I have heard nothing (NADA) about my beloved Eurovision Song Contest. But the final starts in about 30 minutes and I’m going to be tuning in online to watch the single greatest event of the year.

This year, Australia is competing (SO EXCITED!) to celebrate the 60th Anniversary, though it’s not the same without the sass commentating of Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang (or even the UK’s Graham Norton). I can’t count myself a fan of Guy Sebastian, but I will be so proud to see him on stage, competing. For Australia. In the Eurovision Song Contest. If I thought I was proud to see Jessica Mauboy sing last year whilst they were tallying the votes, I know this is going to blow last year out of the water.

Lee Lin Chin, the most bad-ass newsreader in history, will be reporting the results on our behalf. Just thinking about her potentially saying,” Vienna, this is Australia calling!” but with a bad-ass twist, gives me goosebumps!

I’ll be proudly flying the flag for Australia and Sweden, as always. Oh, and for Conchita. Aber natürlich!

3. Midnites for Maniacs

Tonight is a special Midnites for Maniacs here in San Francisco, and Jesse Hawthorne Ficks will be playing one of my favourite movies: Amelie. It’s part of a Jeunet Brothers double bill with Amelie and the City of Lost Children. Even though this isn’t at the famous Castro Theatre, you can bet I’ll be there, armed with my Junior Mints.

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Crossing Over to the Dark Side

The time has come.
I’ve made the switch.
I have crossed over to the Dark Side.

I bought my first Mac Book Pro.
And I have no idea what I am doing. There’s a key called ‘delete’ even though it actually does the job of backspace. But there’s no equivalent of the delete button. The keyboard shortcuts I use on PC as though they’re going out of style don’t equate. But it’s quite humbling to be a beginner once again.

It’s all an adventure, right?
Now, if I could only find where it put my damn files…

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05/05/15

Today has been a hard day.

I was off kilter before I even woke up. I left home without my glasses. I cried on BART over a most unbelievably sad podcast. The first email of the day was one of those passive aggressive critical emails that makes you want to upend your desk and walk out for good.

And then I saw the date: 05/05/15. It all made sense.

It’s been exactly ten years since we lost our Grandpa. Pa. And whilst daily life has marched on and the sadness abated to a dull hum, it never truly leaves you.

So tonight when I returned home, I pulled out my Kikki.K box filled with all my sentimental things: photos, notes, trinkets. I made a mental note to bring these things out more often, to surround myself with memories and more of my past. They shouldn’t be hidden away like they seem to be right now.

I poured over the photos of a man who was once a giant to me and strong as an ox. Someone who would do absolutely anything for his grandkids.

He showed his love through photos. He documented our lives, and would always develop the photos at a photo shop right near us so he’d be close enough to ‘pop by’ and show us, hot off the press. He’d race over to hold down the fort when one of us broke bones or needed stitches. And blew off his 29th anniversary at Lodge to pick us all up from the Blue Mountains when we were involved in a serious car accident.

When I was back in Sydney last year I spent some time converting my old cassette tapes to digital files. It was on one of these tapes that I had a chance to hear his voice again. I hadn’t heard it since 05/05/05 and it was overwhelming and marvelous and sad and joyful all at the same time. I sometimes just play it just to be transported back to the old house in Johnstone Street, laying down on that itchy yellow three-seater, listening to records with my grandparents.

A decade may have passed but it doesn’t mean I, or we, have forgotten him. I am too cynical to hear those platitudes other people sprout like ‘forever in our hearts’ without rolling my eyes. But sometimes, they’re just necessary because the sentiment is true.

He is still on my mind and in my heart.

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What Goes Around…

When you attend a school with a strict uniform policy, there’s very specific rules about how you conform, lest you be sent home with a note requesting immediate replacement of unsuitable item of clothing. The one thing Mum and I always fought about was shoes.

I spent years railing against my Mum and her insistence that I wear good, proper school shoes. She always chose the pointy-toed brown Clarks for my A-width foot, and I detested them. Everyone else had Doc Martins. I felt I was the loser with old lady shoes.

And now,  I am the proud owner of these babies.
In brown.
Purchased by choice.

On the plus side, these ones are a little nicer and more refined. But the same elements of the old ones I detested are all there. How time changes everything!