Amazing Street Art on Hosier Lane

Monday, 29 February 2016

While wandering around the streets of Melbourne, one will definitely run into a great deal of street art. Here, in this wonderful city, street art is legal in some locations. This means that you will find some of the most amazing (or some of the weirdest) paintings along the sides of a building and tucked in random laneways.

One of the more famous laneways in Melbourne is Hosier Lane. As artists frequent this location, chances are you won't see the same artwork every visit. Very rarely will you venture to Hosier Lane and not find artist painting or see tourists snapping pictures of the amazing art.

Street view of Hosier Lane

When walking along the laneway, don't forget to look up otherwise you may miss some amazing pieces...
Beautiful piece pretty high up on a building

Not only is artwork sprinkled upon the buildings along the lane but there is also art found along the pathway...


There are even some adorable animals and interesting cartoon characters to see...

Aussie as!

Cheeky fox

Had to add Thor's hammer to cover Thor's "hammer"
Even down the obscure laneways of Melbourne, one can find adventures. Seriously who wouldn't want to visit/live in this amazing city?

And until next time...
Stay Curious!


Nick Friggin' Offerman

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

One of the biggest things that tend to get taken advantage of in the US is the accessibility to amazing artists. You have some of the largest music festivals in the world, as well as some of the best musicians, actors, and actresses in your backyard (if you're lucky enough to live in Southern California). I never realised how easy it was to last minute get tickets to a concert or go to the improv to see some big name comedian perform. It happened so frequently, I began thinking this was the norm for everywhere. WRONG! Fast forward about two years and the struggle has become a reality. When American artists travel to Australia, it's normally for one show, the prices are outrageous, and everything sells out within the day.

Imagine my joyous delight when I saw that Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally were coming to Australia! I literally jumped for joy screaming that one of my favourite comedians and his wife were coming to Melbourne to perform. That joyous delight was very quickly crushed when I went to purchase tickets and found they were ALL SOLD OUT! The horror! My positive attitude towards Australia quickly turned into one of rage. Why were they only doing one show in Melbourne? That's not fair (yes I realise I sound like a whining child)! But clearly, these two care about their fans because alas, they decided to do another show! I was not going to miss out on purchasing tickets to this show. So both my partner and I stopped what we were doing at work to try and get these tickets when they went on sale at 10 am on a Tuesday. Jackpot! We scored two tickets! All was right with the world!

A few weeks before the show we received an email stating that there had been a change to the show. My heart sank. I was afraid that this powerful Hollywood couple was deciding that the land of kangaroos and boomerangs were not for them and cancelling their show. Luckily (well actually quite sadly) the change was that Megan Mullally would not be performing and instead Mr Offerman would be performing his Full Bush show. Score!

Before the show, I had re-read, scratch that, I was serenaded by the lovely voice emulating from the oesophagus of Nick (Can I call you Nick? I feel like we'd be on a first name basis) while listening to his books Paddle Your Own Canoe and Gumption. If you have not read and/or listened to these two hysterically educational books, I kindly suggest you stop what you're doing and go purchase them. Once finished, come back to this post and continue reading... Great, you're back! Paddle Your Own Canoe was great preparation for what I could expect from Nick's Full Bush show.

Sir Offerman does not conduct his shows like typical comedians. He does not stand up speaking into a microphone the entire length of the show. If you go to his shows expecting him to be Ron Swanson, you're going to be disappointed. As his background is in the theatre, his performance was more, well, theatrical. There was singing, there were jokes, and there were heaps of references to home. That probably made me the happiest. I got the jokes about Australia, and I got the jokes about America. I probably laughed about the American jokes more than most in the audience, and I definitely laughed harder at the jokes referencing being an American in Australia. Not only was it hilariously entertaining but I also learned heaps about Australia. I must say after the show I am now quite disappointed that I did not grow up in Australia, missing out on the tradition of growing up with your own koala (By the way, my partner named his koala Keith). And perfectly, Nick closed the show by singing 5000 Candles in the Wind.

At the end of the show, Nick left us with the glimmer of hope that both he and Megan would be coming to Australia next year so that we may finally be able to see their Summer of 69 show. I must admit, I am eagerly awaiting when those tickets go on sale. After seeing Nick live and reading his books, I can only imagine the supreme level of awesome that those two would produce on stage.

Have you ever seen your favourite comedian perform live? Have you ever seen Nick Offerman perform live? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Until next time...

Stay Curious!


Why I'm Basically Obsessed with Footy!

Monday, 15 February 2016

I was pretty shattered finding out that to enjoy the good old gridiron football I would need to walk up at the butt crack of dawn. I'm not joking! With the time difference, I would be waking up at about 3 am to watch the Lions play. Sometimes I would get lucky, and the games would be on Monday during the day but very rarely would the Lions game be shown. When hockey season rolled around, I was in a similar predicament. I don't know about you, but I need my hockey and football fix. If I don't witness at least one person get Kronwalled a season, Pasha be the magic man he is, and stress out when Howie's in goal, I'm a very cranky Wings fan! What was I going to do without my sports fix?

I quickly found out that Australia was not just all about Cricket and Soccer. When I was here on holiday, a friend had mentioned Aussie rules to me but somehow did not correctly convey just how truly awesome this sport is. SERIOUSLY! This is like NFL and Rugby had a baby, and then Hockey and Lacrosse had a baby and then those babies had Aussie Rules. It's a badass sport! Still, need more convincing why I'm basically obsessed (and you should be too!!):

1. Every team has that player. You know the guy. Everyone knows his name, and he's basically the greatest thing since sliced bread? For me at Melbourne, that player is Nathan Jones. He is the equivalent of Kronwall for me. I don't care how crappy a season he's having if when I watch the game, he levels someone to the ground. 

2. Let's be real, there are rules, but most people don't know them (or do they?). It makes watching the game so much more fun! When I first started watching I didn't know ANYTHING outside the fact that if you kick it between the middle posts, you got 6 points and if you kicked it between the outside posts, you got 1 point. But it didn't matter! I had just as much fun watching a game I knew nothing about as I do now!

3. Following the notion of not knowing the rules, do the rules even matter in AFL? Let's be real... does anyone seriously follow the rules? I mean come on... There's no way the players bounce the ball every 15 meters, it's just more like when they deem it appropriate. 

4. Have I mentioned how friggin awesome the game is? That's reason enough. Even if you had no prior knowledge of the game, knowing its awesome should suffice.

5. Unlike most other sport, there are no pads in Footy. I've heard from a lot of Aussies that the violence of the game has decreased to keep the players safer so I feel one day they may have light padding. But these mo' fos play an entire game, levelling the shit out of one another with zero padding! If that isn't the definition of bad arsery, I'm not sure what is.

6. There is consistent play throughout the game. I love Football (NFL) don't get me wrong. But sometimes it seems like I watch them stand around more than actually hit someone. There are also plenty of times that people get hit, and the game is exciting. In Footy, its almost constant excitement. Stoppage in play rarely occurs so for the entire length of the quarter, there's action. It's fantastic! Amazing! Incredibly entertaining!
7. And the last reason I love Footy, it reminds me so much of home. The cold winter weekends are dedicated to footy matches and chilling with your mates. Sunday Funday isn't really a thing here, but Sunday Footy Sessions make the week totally bearable. Having a great day, with great mates, watching a great sport really is what tolerating winter is all about!

As much as I hate to see summer leave us behind, at least I have footy to look forward to and get me through the winter. So lets all chuck on our scarfs and beanies, grab a meat pie and VB and enjoy this magnificent sport with our mates. Australia.... well I guess more so Victoria... thank you for Aussie Rules!

Are you a fan of footy? Be sure to let me know which team you barrack for!

And until next time...

Stay Curious!

**There are various links in this post linking you to videos that reinforce the awesome of Kronwall, Pavel, and AFL. Please enjoy!**


Unanswered Questions I Have for America

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

About a six months ago I wrote a post expressing some unanswered questions I had for Australia. There were a few things that I still didn't quite understand (and let's be honest, I still question most of them). I figured it was only fair that I also write about some of the things that puzzle me about America. Some of these I've always wondered, but some have come about from living in Australia. So let's just jump right into some of the unanswered questions I have for America:

  1. Why is it called the World Series if only America participates? This one makes me scratch my head quite a bit. If the only teams participating are from America, why is it called the World Series? I understand that baseball has branched out to other countries such as Japan and Australia but if only the teams in the MLB are fighting for a spot in the World Series... Why is it just not called the MLB Finals or something?

  2. Is the 1 cent coin still necessary? Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, etc. have all given up the one cent coin. It takes approximately 1.8 cents to make each penny. So the country is literally losing money for every coin it mints. I get there are sentimental values attached to the coin, but we got rid of the 50 cent piece... it's probably time to do away with the penny as well. Just round up or round down on a purchase when paying with cash and no one will know the difference. Kind of like that credit card that rounds up your purchase and sends the couple cents into your savings account.

  3. Why does everyone seem to complain about gas prices being so expensive? I must admit, I was one of those people. Yup, I thought gas prices were absolutely ridiculous when I lived in America. But let me let you in on a little secret. Gas prices in America are FRIGGIN CHEAP AS! Seriously! I started skipping for joy when I filled up for $0.92/Litre the other day. Does that sound cheap to you? If it does, you aren't very good at maths conversions. There are approximately 4.56 Litres in a gallon. So I was filling up for about $4.19/gallon. That was with my petrol discounts! A few days later, petrol was back up to $1.10/Litre. GAS IN AMERICA IS CHEAP!!! (please tell me your secret so I can bring it to Australia!)

  4. Why aren't Americans required to vote? Or better yet, Why do people complain about who is elected even though they didn't vote? I've really been struggling with this one. I've been trying to understand the Australian political system better, and in doing so, I try to link it back to similarities with the American system. Australians are required to vote. This to me doesn't sound very democratic. It should be a person's right to choose if they want to vote or not along with who/which party they want to vote for. But the more research I've done, the more I don't think its such a bad idea. In the last presidential election, of the 2.35 million individuals who were eligible to vote only 1.29 million actually voted, a 57% turnout (source). From the research I've done, the problem lies with those who educate themselves on the issues but do not vote because they feel that there vote will not matter or people just can't be fussed going to vote. I guess requiring everyone to vote may result in a bunch of people just voting for whoever gets the most airtime or the candidate who aligns with their political party but isn't that what is pretty much going on anyways? Or start fining people for not voting like Australia, which may force them to educate themselves on the candidate (technically you are fined for not attending, nobody checks if you actually vote).

  5. Why aren't Girl Scout Cookies sold all year round? Do I even need to elaborate on this one? Those things are like little slices of heaven. And can they please be sold in Australia? The closest thing to Girl Scout Cookies here are Mint Slice, and they're like Thin Mints on crack... delicious! But I would appreciate the variety.  Online ordering with international delivery would be nice. Girl Scouts, work on this ASAP. 

I feel like a lot of the other questions I get asked frequently are stereotypical American questions that I can easily answer but these have been a few of the questions I get a little tripped up on. Even though I may not fully understand all that is American, I have been very blessed with the opportunities growing up in America presented. 

If anyone has any answers to the questions, please let me know in the comments below! Also, if you have any unanswered questions for America, leave a comment, and I'll try my best to answer them! Be sure to read up on the Unanswered Questions I Have for Australia

And until next time...
Stay Curious!


Trentham Falls

Saturday, 6 February 2016
With Archer!
I'm on a mission to see all the waterfalls in Victoria. I know this isn't a task I will accomplish quickly but so far I've done a fairly good job of seeing the waterfalls close to where I live. One of the bigger falls relatively close to mine is Trentham Falls. This falls frequently pops up on lists of places to see in Victoria but for some reason, I always tend to forget about it. I was looking for some pup friendly hikes, and remembered that Trentham Falls was one.

Adventure time!
I did make a few mistakes on my trip. My first error was traveling to the falls on a weekend. I went later in the day to avoid the rush of people but the carpark was almost full when I got there (roughly around 4pm). The next error I made (which I thought should have been obvious) was going during the middle of summer. As bipolar as Melbourne weather is, it still gets bloody hot in the summers. We've been blessed with a lovely summer thus far but that heat does tend to evaporate water...SCIENCE! This fact dawned on me roughly about 3/4 of the drive in. As I had committed to this hike, I decided I would still go but with the promise that I would venture back to Trentham Falls in the winter to see how different the falls looks with water.

Really hoping I went the right way...
There is a main outlook platform that is about 200 metres from the carpark. Everyone seemed to be congregating there. I was shocked at how many people simply walked down to the viewing platform and then walked back to the car. Where's your sense of adventure people? There appeared to be quite a few pathways down to the base of the falls. As I was hiking by myself (if you don't include Archer), I was being rather cautious with the route I was taking. Up at the top, the shortest trail to the falls had a nice little sign cautioning people to stay away because the cliff was unstable. After taking the much longer path down to the base, I quickly found out that first, shorter trail was perfectly safe to walk down. I wasn't too upset because Archer and I had a nice scenic walk.

View from in the cave
Finally making it to the base, we were greeted by a less than tumultuous roar of the falls. Again, I had made a grave error choosing the middle of summer to visit a waterfall but that did not diminish the sheer beauty of Trentham Falls. There is an incredible cave in which one can view the back side of the falls (or lack there of as there was very little water). I almost...yes I said almost... cannot wait for winter just so I can see the falls with heaps of water. Oh lord, I hope I didn't just curse myself with shit weather for the rest of summer...

Any great falls in Victoria I should check out? What about the rest of Australia? Let me know in the comments and I'll add them to my growing list of adventures!

Until next time...
Stay Curious!