Tag Archives: Music

Missing swimming

Today I went to the pools, like I usually do. The lane availability on the website said the outdoor pool would have six lanes available, and I’m usually okay with sharing with someone else if necessary. I know there is usually squad swimming in the evenings, as well as an aquaerobics class on occasion.

But this evening I got to the outdoor pool and there was a cavalcade of people. Squad had their usual four lanes, but in the remaining ones there was a triathlon club as well as the members of the public and the group of 15 or so people waiting to do the aqua class. The triathlon club had around six or seven swimmers in each lane, the water was in constant motion and there seemed to be a nonstop barrage of noise.

I freaked out a little bit. I sat to the side of the pool waiting for 7pm, thinking that perhaps the other swimmers would be done then and the pool would settle down. It did not. If anything, it got louder and more crowded as the stereo blared for the start of the aqua class. The lifeguards took down the signs for two of the general swimming lanes to add more reserved signs, as well as closing another two for the aqua class.  There were people finishing up their swims, which I was almost hopeful at, but for each triathlete that emerged from the water another two clustered around those reserved signs seemingly waiting their turn.

I panicked.

I did something I have never done before but that felt like the only option left for me. I left the pool, walked back out to my car and drove back home. On my way I did check the smaller, 25m indoor pool to see how crowded that was. But at that moment in time I think the entire pool could have been empty and I still would have walked away. I go swimming for the fitness aspect, yes, but for me it means so much more to my overall mental health and state of mind. When I am swimming the outside world becomes a blur and I am able to slow down my overthinking brain and just breathe. Literally. I hadn’t swam for over a week because of having been a bit sunburned the last time I went, and mentally I knew that I was overdue; brain all jumbled up, becoming very reactionary and impulsive and just on edge.  Seeing the place that is supposed to be my oasis in such turmoil and with so many people put me into almost a blind panic as I walked back to my car.

Yesterday was an overload for me too so I had been looking forward to a swim to put me in a better frame of mind. I went to my first music festival with a friend. I was very apprehensive in the days (hours and minutes really) leading up to it, not at all keen on spending ten hours on a 30 degree day being jostled around by tens of thousands of strangers while straining to see and listen to musicians that I barely knew. But I went, because my friend really wanted to go and I know that sometimes I say no to things before trying them because I am nervous about new experiences, which this definitely was. The day started out fine, the smaller stage was actually really fun and the crowds were far less for the first few hours. Then we went to the main arena.

At first we stayed in the stands (the stone steps at Fremantle Oval) which were weirdly comforting to me because of all the time I have spent there watching the footy. It was an ideal perch to watch both main stages from, and watch the masses of people congregating and bouncing around without having to directly be a part of it. Even watching the bands from the steps was getting a bit much for me though. The bass of the bands and artists was just going right through me and made me feel like my heart was about to burst out of me. I have never (probably never again) been more grateful to Liam Gallagher and the complete lack of bass and treble and all that modern music junk. But then Liam was winding up and the next act was the band my friend had wanted to come to the festival for, and she wanted to go further in to be where all the other people were so she could dance to this band. Perfectly reasonable, right? The further and further in we walked (or really crushed) into the crowd, the more and more I knew that this was the last place in the world I wanted to be in that exact moment. I in fact sent that as an exact message to a couple of friends. It definitely didn’t help that we had been in the sun all day, I had been drinking without eating any food and it was around hour seven of the day. But I was completely miserable while trying not to look so for the sake of my friend. Even when Liam Gallagher finished off his set with Wonderwall and the entirety of the festival sang along in what I’m sure was supposed to be a special moment, all I could manage was token singing along while my eyes darted around and my heart raced.

My friend’s band started and there was a surge of people going the ten metres from one stage to the next, it felt like I had somehow landed on the freeway and there were cars speeding past me while I tried to cross the road in slow motion. There was no way I was about to ruin my friend’s evening with my neuroses though, so I did bob along to the music while wincing and flinching at each shove and bump I felt. As the band played their more well known songs, my friend wanted us to go further in to the actual stage part. I went along with it, because again I wasn’t about to spoil her day, but by then I felt like I was just in a blind panic. I wanted to get out, I was counting down the minutes until the band’s set was up so I could start to hope that it was time to go home. The second my friend said we should go back out (because the band were on their last song) I practically ran back to those stone steps. My friend was going to stay until the end with her cousin, because they had to go home together, so she said I could feel free to leave whenever I wanted. I lasted maybe five minutes before practically skipping to the exit.

I know that realistically I could have leave whenever I wanted to, and my friend certainly isn’t the type to have made me stay or made me feel guilty about leaving. But I’m such a massive people pleaser that I wouldn’t dream of getting in the way of something that one of my friends really wanted to do. She was back in town for the holidays from Melbourne and early on when I asked her what she wanted to do while she was here she said she wanted to go to this festival to see this band, so of course I bought a ticket with her. I figured that I hadn’t been to a festival before so why not, and I’m sure it won’t be as bad as most festivals have appeared to be. And pragmatically it wasn’t a terrible day, I did really enjoy the Valley stage and a few of the bands there.

But then this evening at the pool. I had spent all day at home alone with the intentions of recovery only to emerge to another populous display of humanity. It was too much. I left the pool after sending a snapchat to a friend, and got home ten minutes late. I then came out of the car a whole half an hour later.

Sitting in the car I felt so overwhelmed. Not crying (for once in my life, I know nobody will believe this but it’s true) but just with a rush of something just on edge. My cat was meowing as he always does when I get home. I tried to calm myself down.

I closed my eyes for a moment remembered that I was in a closed garage in a car so wondered about carbon monoxide and then thought about that scene in Sabrina where she starts all the cars in the garage and closes the door because she is so miserable but then remembered that the car was not running so figured that would be okay but then checked my phone and wondered why my friend hadn’t replied to me it had been about twenty minutes by now so I checked snapchat to see and then I looked at another unrelated story about people being so extra and wondered am I being extra with my freaking out about people but then figured that no it was really a lot of people yesterday and today and then my ears started ringing really loudly and it sounded just like the bass and noise yesterday so I worried a lot about that and realised that my ears hadn’t been ringing all day only in that moment so I was really panicking and so I closed my eyes again to try to calm myself down and I must have fallen asleep.

I opened my eyes a good forty minutes after I parked in the garage. Very heavy lidded, like I could have slept in the car for another few hours. I wanted to swim today. I needed to swim today. It’s been an hour and 1700 words since I got out of the car and I have been writing nonstop since then. I do feel calmer having gotten this all out of my head. But I still need to swim.

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Music Monday: Fooling Around

Morning everyone! Long time no see etc. I’m really becoming slack with some things, and while I may have a full time job right now, I need to learn how to balance everything so I don’t let anything slide.

Today however, it is cool and rainy outside, after a weekend with Perth’s hottest August day on record and some awesome sports. My “current mood” is quite melancholy though chilled, almost as if I’m having my own day inside reading and listening to music instead of battling to sit through a thousand and one oral presentations (because yes, I planned so well as to have two classes doing presentations on the same days, so smart!).

This week’s music, and really this month’s music, starts with Elvin Bishop’s Fooled Around And Fell In Love and throws in a little bit of The Runaways, David Bowie and Marvin Gaye among other awesome tracks. One of my favourite movies ever and my favourite album at the moment – Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1. 

My favourite songs on this album are I’m Not In Love, Fooled Around and Fell In Love and Spirit In The Sky, though that is changing daily and depending on my life events. What I love about this soundtrack is that It’s throwback music which I have always been a fan of (ask my dad!) but for some reason goes hand in hand with intergalactic adventurers. The movie is one I watch when I can’t sleep or need a cheer up (thanks Netflix!) and this album is quickly becoming one that instantly relaxes me. Admittedly a lot of albums can do that, but rarely ones from multiple artists. One of the main reasons I am looking forward to the next Guardians movie is seeing what they do with Awesome Mix Vol 2. 

Off to mark some student work, or continue reading Invasion of the Tearling. I feel like we all know which one will end up happening…

Happy Monday!

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PS: Happy birthday to my Galentine’s date Rachael! xox

Music Monday: The Cup of Life

I am a soccer (football, shush!) obsessive, and even though the Socceroos are going to have it so rough this year (there’s a line of betting of them not scoring a single goal all tournament), I am still so so excited for this Thursday! I have been listening to these three songs repeatedly all this week, and I think they are the perfect tracks to inspire that sporting passion, that national pride and absolute wonder that comes with the World Cup.

The Cup of Life – Ricky Martin (1998)

 

 

Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) – Shakira (2010)
(This song gives me goosebumps every time I hear it, and even though I have not lived in South Africa for 23 years, I still have such pride at being Saf and having had the biggest event in the world held in South Africa four years ago)

 

 

La La La (Brazil 2014) – Shakira featuring Carlinhos Brown (2014)
(Yes, I know that this is not the offical World Cup song for this year, but I’m not really a fan of that on as much as I worship at the altar of Jennifer Lopez)

Here is the official 2014 World Cup song, by Pitbull featuring Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte:

 

Hope your team does well this World Cup! My money this year is on the host nation (Brazil) or the Dutch, though I think the African nations can pull off a few surprise results too.

Love,
Andrea

Pumped for Game Four (Music Monday: NBA Edition)

So I just came across this amazing song on a Chicago Bulls Tumblr page, and I may have already played it 33 times pumping myself up for Game Four. For those who don’t know, I am a massive Chicago Bulls fan, have been ever since my uncle let me play his NBA ’96 Playstation 1 game and all the way through the Andres Nocioni/PJ Brown/Chris Duhon days right up to the saga of Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and the championship that could (should/will) be.

However living as I do all the way in little ol’ Perth, I have to stay up for a 1am tip off. Okay, I probably don’t have to stay up, but my love for this team makes it impossible for me not to. I am after all the same girl who stayed up until 6am from a 2am tip off last year against the Nets in double overtime.

So dear friends, I will apologise ahead of time if you happen to hear me yelling all the way from wherever in the world you are. Goodnight and go Bulls!
Love,
Andrea

Music Monday: Dame Del Rey

I still have this issue of Vogue, because of the amazing editorial and feature on her.
I still have this issue of Vogue, because of the amazing editorial and feature on her.

I can’t quite recall where or when I first came across Lana Del Rey, but when I did I was entranced. Not only is she a stunningly beautiful human being but her voice is phenomenal. Something about it is so hauntingly beautiful, and the songs themselves express such longing, nostalgia and individuality that I just adore. I find myself weirdly identifying with the themes in some of her songs, which just serves to make me long to be like her even more. I will admit to not having watched many of her music videos and short films (more out of the fact that I don’t really watch music videos or spend hours on YouTube) but the ones that I have seen paint an almost idealistic picture of Del Rey and her life and love, adding even more to this sense of unattainable beauty and spirit that she posesses.

So to brighten up your Monday (or depress you, depending on your reaction to Lana), here are a handful of Lana Del Rey songs that are on high rotation for me at the moment.

Once Upon A Dream (From the upcoming Malificent soundtrack)

 

Young and Beautiful (From The Great Gatsby soundtrack)

(and the Lana video)

 

Dark Paradise (Born To Die)

 

Blue Jeans (Born To Die)

 

I will love you ’til the end of time!

Love,

Andrea

10 Things

Today I was browsing through a friend’s fabulous second hand lifestyle blog and I came across her little tribute to Ten Things I Hate About You. Which I have now decided to appropriate for myself, as I am a fan of lists! This one was ten about her, I have kept her sentence starters because I quite liked them.

  1. Collecting Perth Wildcats memorabilia, Audrey Hepburn memorabilia and my newest one is scarves. Started as a necessity for what I thought would be my new job but now is just a bunch of scarves.
    20140415_155043
  2. Wishing for some fun time with my number one. Tonight is their first night off in more than a week and they want a night to themselves (being a very individual, independent person). However since I so rarely get to see them I am struggling to keep myself from sending them twenty “what are you up to,” “how is your night,” “wanna hang out” messages. Sigh.
  3. Feeling antsy for some reason. It’s been a tiring and emotional week and my sleep schedule is so out of whack that I no longer know when I am actually tired or not.
  4. Watching season one of Friends. Funniest show of all time!!
  5. Smiling whenever my dad tells me to, even in text. This goes back to my child modelling days when I was taught smile number one (big smile with teeth) and smile number two (little smile, no teeth). My whole life whenever I have been upset or angry my dad will ask me to show him “number one” and no matter how old I am (as in how old I was last week when I called him upset about something. Also on Monday when I sent him a message saying “No job L” and he replied with “No worries SMILE, and think of the positives LOVE YOU!!” I smiled even though I was crying at he time) it makes me smile. Without fail. Gosh my dad is pretty amazing.
  6. Thinking that I really wanna see my number one, that I should have saved half my Turkish bread and fish melt for later instead of having it all for dinner, and that I should really clean up my room.
  7. Recently enjoyed how many gripes I have with episode two of the new season of Game of Thrones as a fan of the book series. For example, when Brienne and Cersei were chatting this is what was happening in my head: “WTF BRIENNE ALWAYS LOVES RENLY NOT JAMIE YOU TWAT! SHE IS LOYAL AND TRUE TO HER WORD BECAUSE SHE HAS A KNIGHT’S HONOUR AND FOLLOWS THROUGH ON HER PROMISES TO EVERYONE, NOT BECAUSE SHE WANTS JAMIE IN HER BREECHES! ARGH!!
  8. Totally Addicted to bass? It’s okay if you don’t get the reference, I listen to some obscure music sometimes. Probably more TV show and books, to the detriment of almost two university degrees, one hot body, one body image and almost two whole years of my life..
  9. Craving a hug from my number one. They have a way of making me feel safe and home and excited and loved all at the same time. Plus it’s been a rough week and I would really like some level of comfort beyond “something will come up eventually, keep applying.”
  10. Looking forward to the start of the Bulls’ off season in the wee hours of Monday, the Wildcats’ Ball next Saturday, the new X Men movie and Game of Thrones. And of course The Winds of Winter. But I have a feeling that the more people complain about it, the longer it will take to reach our Jon Snow deprived hands.

So that’s ten things about me, hopefully you don’t hate them!

Love,
Andrea

Monday Music: Bump and Grind

The kind of music that I like and dance around and sing along to always seems to have rather explicit undertones, for whatever reason! perhaps it is due to a mood I’m in, or that I’m just in a 90s R&B/Rap/Hip Hop funk, so with so many of them stuck in my head I thought I would share a few here, as well as more on a Spotify playlist.

  1. Next – Too Close
    Not looking to offer fans a sensual, explicit sex track, Next gave them the next best thing: a song all about the three-letter word without actually mentioning it. With verses full of metaphors, the three-person group uses an upbeat club cut to illustrate the happy process of a man’s favorite extremity. Offering up a good double entendre, Next shows women why hard isn’t always a bad thing. “Baby, when we’re grindin’, I get so excited / How I like it, I try but I can’t fight it / You’re dancin’ real close, ’cause it’s real, real slow / You’re makin’ it hard for me.”
  2. BLACKstreet featuring Dr Dre and Queen Pen
    no diggity
    Really all that needs to be said!
  3. R Kelly – Bump and Grind
    There are two things R. Kelly doesn’t see anything wrong with — one of them is bumping and the other is grinding. The baddest boy of R&B puts his sexual desires on front street on this steamy track, as he lets the woman of his desire know that he can bust her pipes better — and more often — than her current man can.
  4. Ginuwine – Pony
    There’s something about a man that can compare sex to a pony ride and sing about it, but it’s something else when he can show you what it looks like. And there’s only one thing sexier to women than watching Ginuwine “send chills up and down your spine;” Magic Mike showing new ways to feel the sensation.
  5. Salt ‘n’ Pepa – Push It
    Salt-n-Pepa’s breakout single is a real lesson in motivation. What exactly needs to be pushed, you ask? What is “it?” Even if you’re not sure, that massive, pumping, throbbing synthesizer sample is really inspirational. As are all those “ooh baby baby” cheers of support. Yeah, hopefully you’ll figure out what you’re supposed to be pushing soon, or these girls are going to get pissed. Still struggling to see where the whole sexual thing comes in? Still unclear on the pushing? Can’t you hear the music pumping? It is hard, like… something.
  6. Silk – Freak Me
    If half the R&B ladies’ man stereotype can be credited to Barry White, the other half is surely the product of Keith Sweat. Sweat discovered Silk and wrote this track for them, and if you had to describe what a sex jam was to someone who had never seen a ruffled shirt or a velvet-covered wall before, this would be the song for the job. The chorus is direct and over-the-top without being obscene, there are baritone spoken word breaks describing putting whipped cream on your lover and, wow, the harmonies!

And for more:

Hope you all enjoy, and are not too disapproving at my taste in music at the moment!
Love,
Andrea

A Southern Hemisphere Christmas (Day 25)

I have been terribly lax with my blogging aims, but it’s been a busy time of year so I’ll use that as an excuse. But today is Christmas Day, so it’s all downhill and holiday fun filled from here!

Although I know Rolf Harris isn’t exactly in public favour at the moment, I still love this song around Christmas time. One of my earliest memories is listening and singing along to this in kindy, and it’s impact was so much so that even now it is still one of my favourites.

This song was written in Perth, Western Australia, in 1960. Rolf Harris was working at a television station with an American named John D. Brown and, thinking it was crazy to be singing Christmas songs about snow and ice when the temperature was around 40 degrees (Celsius, so about 100 F), they wrote this song. And I think that it is a wonderful story of the generosity that should be embraced at Christmas time.

Merry Christmas to you all! (Or Merry Christmas Eve if you’re not on the 25th yet)
Love,
Andrea

Music Monday: Hip Hop Hooray for Summer (Day 16)

Drums please!

I love a good summer playlist, and today’s music is in that vein, however instead of the usual Jack Johnson, Sublime and Bruce Springsteen I have decided to go in a different direction. I am a child of the golden age of rap, hip hop and R&B, so much so that I listen to those songs way more than any recent music, and when a friend recently asked me to think of a better rapper than Drake and Kendrick Lamar (both of whom I will freely admit I barely listen to) I immediately replied with “Did you not live through the last decade of the the century? I could press shuffle on my itunes and come up with a better rapper than those two.”

Needless to say my friend and I will never agree. But I am very happy to present my summer list for this week, starring (in my opinion) some of the best rap, hip hop and R&B artists ever.

  1. California Love – 2pac
  2. Summertime – Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
  3. Regulate – Warren G
  4. Hey Lover – LL Cool J
  5. Beautiful – Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams
  6. Hot in HerreNelly
  7. Runaway – Janet Jackson
  8. Ride Wit Me – Nelly
  9. Dreamlover – Mariah Carey
  10. It Was A Good Day – Ice Cube
  11. Pimpin’ All Over The World – Ludacris

Hope you have a great Monday, and remember that: ain’t no need of even askin’ brah, the best women are reside in Africa, and that’s real.

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Love,
Andrea

 

Wicked Perfect (Day 10)

Browsing along on the internet and found this gem.
This song is the very one that i will sing/say at my best friend’s wedding. It’s just such a phenomenally powerful song about forgiveness and friendship and how much one person can profoundly affect your life. Wicked to me was always a love story, but not between lovers but between best friends, Elphaba and Galinda. And this song epitomises that relationship, and what every relationship between two close friends should be. It never fails to make me tear up whether hearing the original recording, live (seen the show four times and counting, hopefully) or singing along to it in the car.