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    Precipice - Friday July 5th 2002.





Because I'm a stubborn so-and-so, because I hadn't done any work on Precipice for yonks and had to tweak links and the like, I didn't end up going to bed until just before 6 this morning. Course, I didn't start tweaking said journal until about midnight, had a lovely ICQ chat with Cameron (Artist at Large ) who had her one year wedding anniversary the other day (June 30th), congratulations!

Cameron & Rob rushing down the aisle   Those sugared violets are disntinctly edible

I was there for the wedding, in Toronto for that whole weekend with Kymm, and a fun weekend it was. Some of the best beer I've had in quite some time (Nothing beats a good home brew!) was at that wedding reception and the BBQ's the days before and after.


June is wedding month for me. Two years ago I was bridesmaid (co-matron of honour, the other bridesmaid is also married) at my sister Sam's wedding (June 3rd, 2000). We do a mean cleavage, Sam and I! I'm second from the left at the back. Sam let the us bridesmaids pick our own dresses with three qualifications; we had to be able to wear them again (which I've done) and they had to be black and go with elbow length gloves, which she provided. So, no cabbage taffeta nightmares for us.

Silver in front, black in back, and those curls are not a good look..   We Gaden girls do a grand old cleavage

I'm aware that picture on the left is not the most flattering of me, I've put it up to show just how grey my hair was in 2000. The chicky-babe hairdresser mistook me for Sam's mother (my own mother dammit!) and then later that year someone else mistook me for Jeff's Mum, at which point I started dying my hair, thank you very much. The hairstyle, which at the point that piccie was take just screamed aging not so well Shirley Temple-esque startlet, was half finished and looked a damn sight better when done, princess curls on the top of my head.

Here's a piccie of how I look these days, next to my “son.” Feh!

Jeff and Amanda at our inlaws, with the inlaws dog Cady


My third wedding in June in three years was Melissa and Greg. They had a teeny tiny little wedding, so I got to go to the fabulous party they had 2 weeks later. It still counts, there were presents, look!

reading a very fun and layered present   So much fun I'm going to steal that idea for someone!

Course, there wasn't a present from Jeff and me, we got exactly half way to their house (about an hours drive from where we live) and I remembered exactly where I'd left their present. Ah well, when I get my act together, I'm going to organise for us to go visit and have dinner there, and this time I'll remember to take the present! It has to be taken by hand, it's too fragile to post. Yes, it's Waterford Crystal! (That would be me being silly-snarky, not rude snarky, btw.) I got a chance to check out their house while at the party, and I think this'll suit, but if not, I'm happy to keep it for myself and buy something that does. I'm prosaic about the whole gift giving thing, I'd much rather give someone something that they're going to use and like than not, money is in fact an object, and who wants to give a sucky pressie anyway?

I read somewhere that registries are supposed to be the worst etiquette. Me, I think everyone you are going to gift in life, birthdays, Christmas, weddings, housewarmings, St Aloysius day, every single one of these people should provide you with a list of things (with several price ranges, if you're going to be asking for things only in the 100's of dollars range, you're going to get a gift certificate from the nearest supermarket for the amount I can afford!) that might float their boat. You're not obliged to buy from this list, but it gives you a fighting chance of getting them something they want, and you getting the pleasure of that good gift.

I did get my act together enough to take Honey Crackles and Soused Fruit and Praline Pavola , both desserts, both of which I'll talk about tomorrow.


On the wedding theme, this last month (I never understood the idea of saying "Last June" when you only gone past it a week or so ago, last seems like it should mean last year, the month in last year. Course, I'm known for saying the other day, which can mean anything from the day of my birth to more than a couple of days ago. Anything in the last ouple of days is a couple of days ago, or yesterday. Got that? good! Let's proceed) I made the point of watching "Married in America" (won't be buying the video , but I'll have the DVD like a shot, already got in on my "yes Please, tell them we want that!" list at Amazon.com) , Michael Apted's latest foray into documentary making.

In the world of documentaries, he's famous for his "7UP" series, following a group of English kids from the age of 7, and revisiting them every 7 years. He makes the sort of "Reality TV" that I can watch, unlike that Survivor and Real World and their ilk. I first came to the 7UP series during the late lamented Chelsea Cinema Film Festival, in the early 90's. They'd a showing of 21UP and 28UP as a double feature. I had a student pass that year, and so went to see every film I possibly could. I'd never heard of the series, but was instantly fascinated at this view into a group of people's lives. Predated my journal world by 5 or 6 years, no wonder journals seemed familiar when I first came upon them.

Happily, the nine couples profiled in "Married in America" are going to be revisited every 2 years, so I can have a fix of that while waiting for 49UP, the next in that series, due out in 2007. As Rick so aptly puts it "You can't help but handicap each couple's chances of success, to guess just who'll still be together at each of the four updates at which Apted intends to visit them again."

While I wish all the couples the best success at their marriage, cause really, there's almost no-one who's a bastard enough for me to wish their marriage collapse, I couldn't help but say Yep or Nope. All completely subjective of course, I can't really know how these people are, what their couple dynamic really is, the same way I can't know all that about an online journaller unless I'm an in-person friend. But still, there are some I think I can see the cracks, some that look so solid, and some that I really want them to succeed, against the odds. Yep = I think so, NOT= oh dear, and OTF = on the fence, could go either way. Check out Kymm's review also , then check back in 2 years!

  • NOT: Amber & Scott; his parents have a plot of land just picked out for them, right near them. Right in the small town he'd love to live in. They both seperately say they've discussed it, and they both say different things, she knows he's OK with her not living there, and he knows that they will. Not a good sign. They might be together at the next doco, but the one after that, not so much.
  • YEP: Toni & Kelly; the lesbian couple. They seem solid and stable and committed and decided, this looks a keeper.
  • OTF; Cheryl & Neal. OK, I'm going to be petty and mean, but I want this one to work just to spite his horrid mother. The first words from her lips when finding out about their engagement "Don't get too excited, she's not Jewish". The stereotypical MIL, I just didn't like her. I did find the idea of therapy and counselling before the marriage a little scary, it made them seema little shaky for me. I want them to succeed though.
  • OTF : Reggie & Bettie; their career plans (actress/standup with no prior experience and no obvious shining talent, wooh) may fall by the wayside, but they seem OK. More on the Yep than the Not here.
  • OTF: Donna & Todd. More yep than Not, they're a spooner couple and these spooner couples can stay together for ever.
  • YEP!: Chuck and Carol. Oh, these two have had and still have it tough. But I so want them to make it. Of all the couples, I really want this pair to make it, they've had such a tough time, then found someone who seems to be good for them. This segment made me cry.
  • OTF: Chuck and Nadine. They seem sweet enough. he;s younger than her and might just be looking for a mother figure, but that doesn't seem insurmountable. More Yep thn Not.
  • OTF: Brenda and David. Kids from a previous relationship can be tricky, especially when the mother died tragically, it's someone you can't ever "win" against. More on the Not than the Yep here.
  • YEP: Chris & Vanessa. Oh! They are so sweet. I have no doubts about these two, they're firm and uncomplicated and just good together. He had his fingernails polished and manicured for their pictures for her, what a cutie!

Friday Five

1. Where are you right now?

At my computer in our basement office. I have a laptop upstairs, but I mostly use that for geeking about on the net while watching FoodTv, a constant source of cool foods to try, or if I see a website mentioned in the paper and want to check it right that very second. We have the one ethernet connection upstairs, hooked into our broadband (DSL) router. Eventually, there's going to be ethernet in every room, so I can see the net while I'm cooking, or tweak some stuff while vegging under the fan in bed. No such thing as too much geek, baby!

2. What have you lost recently?

Oh hell,what haven't I lost lately? My MAC (ATM) card is somewhere in the hosue from a mad frenzy of wallet clearing, which makes grocery shopping not quite as easy as I'd like. Happily, cheques are still accepted around town, so I'm not completely held hostage to Jeff being there with his card. My passport and green card letter are also somewhere in the house, as is a book with some pretty detailed job information I need in order to get some of our billing done. My entire house needs a good tidying/reorganisation from top to bootm which I'd love to do except for that whole needing to work thing.

3. What was the first CD you ever purchased? Does that embarrass you now?

I remember both the first CD I owned, and the first CD I purchased, both still hold up well today. The first CD I owned I won in a radio call in contest, INXS's album “The Swing”. I was a died in the wool LP, music on vinyl (ack, Vynl removed their lemon cake! That's just so wrong!) was the way it was ever supposed to be. The competition was to give away this newly released on CD, so that's how I came to own a CD before I had a CD player. The album that convinced me to turn over to the dark side was te first CD I purchased. U2's “The Joshua Tree” . Not being willing to write off this new meidum completely wihtout first having listened to it, I picked up their CD at the Adelaide library and sat at the brannd spanking new CD listening stations and proceeded to be blown away. I knew that album inside out, I'd been to their concerts, I'd had the cassette copies on constatn play on my Walkman, and there were sounds on this I'd never heard before. And clear, my god, so clear and crisp. I have a collection over over 500 albums, and I can't remember the last time I purchased one.

As I guess this now makes me officially old, I can still remember the first record I purchased, with my pocket money. I put it on layby (layaway), I think it was $5.00 and at the time that was more than my weekly allowance, so I put it on the tick. Not such a classic, none of the singles on it that he's famous for (“Love is In the Air" came later, “Yesterday's Hero" came earlier) but it was the only album that Spry's had of his, so I grabbed it and listenind to it obsessively. John Paul Young's “Green”. Oh dear. Trivia for you; his older brother George was one half of Vanda and Young, who released such treasures as "Down among the dead men" and "Hey St Peter", and originally were half of the Easybeats, the originators of the David Bowie covered "Friday on my Mind". His other two older brothers; Angus and Malcom Young are the lead and rythym guitarists in AC-DC. This makes John Paul Young the familia equivalent of Andy Gibb.

4. What is your favorite kind of writing pen?
I largely use Pilot and Pentel roller balls, mostly medium, but fine if I can get them. Jeff only uses a fountain pen when he can get away with it, it's an artist/purist thing. Me, I write the most legibly witha lead pencil, but that's frowned on in most legal documents.

5. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Depends on the country I'm in, and whether you're talking made by me or commercially available. Made by me, my favourite flavour is passionfruit, made with fresh passionfruit. I'm also quite partial to the strawberry hand-cranked icecream trotted out at Jeff's family barbeques. In Australia, it has to be Golden North, and it has to be honey flavoured. In the US, it's a toss up between Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey (Banana) and Klondike Heath Bar Crunch (Praline/toffee flavoured). The US makes the best mixed flavours, but I prefer the pure Australian Golden North honey, lime or any of their single flavours. Golden North can't be strictly called Australian, it's regional and used to be restricted to certain bits of South Australia. Farmers Union (or National Foods Limited) has a few sterling dairy products, including the World's best retail iced coffee (Starbucks is not a patch on it), Fruche; a creme fraiche dessert which beats the pants off anything in the US dairy cabinet, Golden North, and they've just this year purchased the King Island company. King Island double brie is an orgasmic cheese, there's no other way to describe it.

Sigh. This page has left me wanting to spend a tonne of money bringing over a bunch of Farmer's Union yoghurt and icecream and creme fraiche and and and..


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Updated 12 July, 2002

Copyright Amanda Page, 1996-2002