Sunday, January 28, 2007

YAY! Australia Day Long Weekend!

It Sunday night, and I'm just relaxing under the aircon after an awesome long weekend. It's been quite a busy one but I took every opportunity to sleep in since I've been having a really tough time at work lately (more on that later...). So here's what I got up to!

Friday 26th Jan - Australia Day!

Aussie Day 07 - Before Gabby's #1This year we thought we'd give the drunken foreshore crowds a miss, and so Gabby decided to have everyone over for Aussie day drinks and a barbecue. Unfortunately she set up the table outside, so we were absolutely cooked by the end of the day, and the fact that the barbecue was being made right next to us didn't help! I wore the coolest (and smallest!) dress I own, and by the end of the day I'd melted the equivalent of about 2 cups of ice all over myself in an attempt to stay cool, with no success.

Aussie Day 07 - Before Gabby's #2We had the Triple J Hottest 100 on, but only a few of us were interested (the rest of the crowd kept asking what number it was up to so "we could turn this shit off already and put 94.5 on"). Despite the heat, and the complaints about the music, it was a nice relaxing drunk-14-year-old -free afternoon.

Aussie Day 07 - The girls

Aussie Day 07 - BBQ At Gabby's

Saturday 27th Jan - Emma's Birthday

Before Emma'sSaturday night we went to Emma Doyle's house for her 21st. She really went all out! When we first got there we were greeted by a friendly security guard (who looked like he could snap me in half with his little finger) who crossed our names off the guest list and directed us to the extravagantly decorated backyard. There was a bar and tables set up all around, and a projector screen set up with a photo slide show of Emma's childhood playing on it.

Emma, Vanessa, MeIt was really strange to see people from high school that I'd lost touch with, since I had a different group of friends to Em. It was also strange to be in her house again, which is where me and Matt met! We met at Emma's when I was over doing an English assignment, and Matt, who was Emma's bro's best friend was over too. Love at first sight!

I ended up spending the majority of the night catching up with Vanessa who will be going on the same Contiki trip we did last year. We gave her all the important tips that we wish we'd known about before we left, for example, skip the sex show in Amsterdam - waste of money, watch out for ear-bugs in Rome, and be wary of anyone that may have a mental break down and need to be committed to a mental hospital!

Sunday 28th Jan - Fire!

The Fire HelicopterWhere there's 40 degree heat and lots of bush land - there's (probably going to be) fire. We were walking around in my backyard today when all of a sudden we hear helicopters flying really close by. There was a fire yesterday near my area (around Waneroo Reid Highway area), so we figured it must've sparked up again. My grandma told me that yesterday the helicopters were getting water from the lake near our house, so me and Matt decided to walk down and take a look.

Right above us!There were two helicopters flying between the fire and Emu Lake. They would hover really low over the lake, and pull up water through a long hose. It was crazy to watch! I was actually really excited about the whole thing - despite the devastation caused by the fire of course.

There were heaps of people around the lake watching the drama, and more were arriving as we left. We stopped hearing the helicopters after a while so hopefully the fire got under control. I've never seen anything like it before, and I didn't even realise that they got water for fires that way. We managed to get some really good photos that were definitely worth getting wet with dirty lake water from the spray caused by the propellers.

Two Helicopters filling up

Back To Work Tomorrow...

I'm working in Freo at the moment as a vacation student for a company called L3-Nautronix as a software engineer. The company does all sorts of underwater telemetry work, and I'm working on one of the projects thats coming close to it's release date.

I'm actually having a really tough time trying to finish my task, and my mentor has just left for a holiday to make things even more interesting for me. I'm meant to be moving on to something new this week, but I'm still not finished integrating what I've done. Everyone's been really busy with the ever approaching deadlines, and so I'm sorta feeling the stress of having to work stuff out on my own.

Although, the work I'm doing is really interesting and challenging - by far the hardest work I've ever done - ever. I'm actually feeling a bit scared that I'm writing software for a Station that will be sitting on the ocean floor, part of a system that controls the automatic shut down of an oil rig in the case of an emergency - not pressure at all!

Oh One More Thing...

You know those skill testers that are a variation of Tetris where you have to build up a tower to the top of the screen? We'll I just won my second iPod shuffle on one! Matt's already written up about our first exciting shuffle win.

The first time we won was on a machine in Malaga, and I've just discovered that Timezone in Freo also has a couple of machines there. There's a cheap machine which has the shuffle as one of the prizes, and an expensive one, which has a Nano in it. The machines are rigged so that you can only win if there's enough money in it so that it's made a profit even if it looses a major prize. I've figured out how to tell if the machine will let you win by playing only one or two games, so I've pretty much got it sorted out. Now all I need to do is play the waiting game :)

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Speeches for Amy's 21st


Happy 21st Birthday Amy!

I have had the privilege to know Amy since we were about 6 years old. We were very strange children, who took pleasure in the simple things such as eating yellow sand, filming video clips in trees, trying to make rafts out of firewood and plastic bags, and trying to figure out new ways of getting our neighbour Bronny to let us use her pool.

Amy has an affect on people, and growing up with her definitely left her mark on me. For example, my fear of dogs started when Amy explained to me that if I didn’t let her dog hump me, he would bite me. It was many years of waiting for Jack to finish getting friendly with my leg before I realised that this wasn’t true.

But apart from tormenting the kids on Reflection Gardens, Amy was a kind child, with an affiliation for all creatures. Over the years, Amy has owned, and killed many animals. Firstly, there was the school’s pet hamster who came to its demise when Amy buried it in the backyard to see if it would dig a burrow to get out. Then there was the bunch of crazy crabs who Amy smashed against the wall because she liked the sound of their shell cracking. Chocolate the bunny came next, who sadly passed away due to malnutrition. Then, my personal favourite, the short life of her pet parrot, Oscar.

Amy wanted to teach her new pet how to speak, so she stayed up all night making a tape to play for him while she was at school. The tape had Amy saying “You can call me Oscar” over and over, as well as her singing “Oscar and friends”. The next morning, Amy left to school with the tape playing in Oscar’s cage. That evening, Amy rushed home to see if Oscar had learnt to talk, only to find his cage empty. Poor Oscar had had a heart attack and sadly, died. Ironically, at Oscar’s funeral, Amy decided to place the tape, along some of Oscar’s other belongings, in the shoebox that was his coffin. Even in death, Oscar could not escape the Amy-tape.

As we got older, we became more adventurous. We discovered the pleasures of smoking strawberry teabags, climbing on the roof, and driving Amy’s dad’s car. At Amy’s old house which had a very steep driveway, we discovered that we could release the hand break on her dad’s car, push it up to the top of the driveway, and get in before the car started rolling again. We called it “driving the car”, and when Amy’s dad caught us doing it, it then became known as “Shitting our pants with fear in Amy’s dad’s car.”

When high school started, we couldn’t wait for camp. Me and Amy were bunk mates in the Spinnaker dorm. This is when everyone got to find out that Amy talks in her sleep, or rather, swears in her sleep. People in our dorm often awoke to the sounds of Amy’s sleep profanities.

After we got a bit more settled in, the party phase began. We used to go to parties every single Friday and Saturday night, and we got away with sooo much together. Probably the best and biggest party I can remember was Amy’s not-so-sweet 16th, where pretty much the whole of Mercedes and Trinity were wasted in Amy’s back yard. Back then, Amy definitely knew how to throw a good party, and she still does now!

I’m glad I got to grow up with you Amy, and be a part of everything that lead you to where you are now. Happy Birthday Amy!

After - speech Hug!


When one thinks of Amy, many words come to mind: Smart, friendly, random, ready for a good time, gorgeous (I mean, look at that face!), blonde (definitely), a little bit crazy and a little bit clumsy (she’s known to smash glass doors...).

My first encounter with Amy was homeroom at the start of year 10. One of my fondest memories of that year was down in Catherine’s Garden at school. Amy, trying to be cool, deciding to show off and jump over the metre high hedge surrounding the garden...As you do...Unfortunately she can be rather clumsy and her foot slipped on the limestone step and instead of landing spectacularly on the other side,, she dived head first and rolled out of the hedge looking a bit worse for wear. Thus begun a great friendship!

I was lucky enough to go traveling with Amy last year and not a night went by without a drink in our hands. The only problem with that was being hungover the next morning and having to be on time for the bus. One such morning, Amy was feeling pretty sorry for herself and I had to have a sick bag ready for her just in case. That day happened to be the day we visited the French Perfumery ... From the dodgy rooms at the generator in London, to the free desert wine from the sexy waiter in Florence and the goings on in Amsterdam, who could ask for a better person to travel with?!

I’d like to share a poem with you guys just to demonstrate how random Amy can be. This is one she wrote to me...

There once was a man named Earl,
Who loved the most beautiful girl,
She was a gold digger
Those black folk called her ‘wigga’
She wanted his enchanted pearl

He was 48 she was 14
The young little girl was really quite mean
She kicked his doodle
Threw out his poodle
She was allergic to Mr. Sheen

Earl began to see
She wasn’t like you or me
She wanted a ring
And all his trippin bling
So he sprayed Mr. Sheen into her tea

I’d like you all to raise your glasses and give three cheers to out stunningly, outrageous, slightly clumsy but oh so fabulous friend...To Amy!

Amy and Gabby Outside

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Amy's 21st Birthday!

Amy PosingAmy Scholz's 21st birthday was on the 15th of Jan, and she had her party on Saturday the 20th at the Leederville. Amy's one of my closest friends and we've known each other since we were really young, so I had heaps of things to embarrass her with come speech time!

Before we left, Amy had a few friends over to hers for some drinks and nibblies, and to "touch up" for her big night out. It was good to have a quiet chat before leaving, since you don't really get to talk much when you're out. Amy's mum organised some sushi, chips and dip, and other little snacks for us. The sushi was really good, except for the tofu sushi which sparked up a big conversation about what the hell tofu is anyway. We came to the conclusion that it was "meatless-meat", and that it tasted bad even if it tasted like nothing.

For Amy's big present, all the girls chipped in to get her a deck for her car, and also paid for the installation. She really liked the deck, and I'm sure it'll get a lot of use since she doesn't have an antenna in the car (poor thing I know how that feels...). I also bought Amy a little pair of sparkly silver studs just as a little present for her to unwrap from me. These were, literally, out-shone by Amy's sister's present, which was a pair of diamond earings! Those were absolutely beautiful and you can really see them shine in some of the photos.

A Little Bit of Charlie's TailAs the punch bowl became increasingly empty, we decided it was time to head off, and so we all packed into the bathroom for a last minute touch up. Unfortunately, as Gabby got up out of her chair, Amy's dog Charlie had his tail caught under the chair leg! Charlie let out a little yelp, but was wagging his little tail happily the next second. Given his reaction we thought it wasn't too bad, but when we looked at the chair leg, we were surprised to find a little tuft of white hair! So poor Charlie must've been putting on a brave face!

Amy and Me in the Ladies'At the Leederville, Amy rented out one of the rooms on the top floor, and also put down a bar tab. At the beginning she was really worried the place wouldn't fill up since it was quite big! But everyone got there quite early and so it was a full house by about 9.00pm. 21st are one of those things where you see people that you haven't spoken to for ages. Amy invited heaps of people from high school that I hadn't seen for a long time. It felt like high school again! Except that every one had big plans for the future and I just found out that Kira is a mum!

Amy's Mum's Priceless ReactionAmy's ReactionAt 9.30 it was speech time. We managed to get the staff to turn the music down for a little while, but being a club, it was still extremely loud. When I gave me speech I still had to scream at the top of my voice, and needless to say I'd lost my voice by the end of it. I was really quite nervous to get up in front of everyone and reveal embarrassing childhood stories that also involved me. But I didn't mind - since I was embarrassing Amy, I may as well be embarrassed myself. Jen was meant to give a speech about high school stuff, but she chickened out! Although she gave the speech to Amy so she can still read it. Gabby's speech was more about out-of-high school stuff like our Contiki tour. Amy was so cute during the speech, and it was hilarious watching her and her mum's reactions to all stories of mischief. When we finished, there was a big cheer for Amy, the music was turned up, and the drinking started up again!
The Girls #2

Amy and Me and a BalloonAmy had a really great night, and she looked good too! She was easy to spot in the crowd as well, due to a helium balloon tied to her wrist that I stole for her from the 40th going on in the next room.

Amy and Me in the Ladies' #2It's funny that she's 21 now, because I'll never see an adult when I look at her, no matter how old she gets. Even when we're old grannies wearing diapers and working at a chocolate shop (that's our plan for when we retire - the shop not the diapers), I'll still feel like a kid around her (Awwww).

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Waiter... There's a Bug in my Pendant!

I was just recently looking through some old photos on Matt's computer, when I found some really cool ones I'd forgot about. The photos were quite old but I realised I never even saw them zoomed in! Anywhoo, here's the story...

Amber PendantFor my birthday last year, Matt got me this really cool present. It was a beautiful amber pendant, the very clear yellow kind, set in a silver rim. It was really beautiful! But there was something special about that particular piece of amber... it had a mosquito inside!

Someone I knew had a similar pendant, but it was extremely smokey, and the mosquito was barely visible. The pendant Matt got me was almost perfectly clear, so it's a perfect little window to the (prehistoric?) insect inside.

It turns out that these pieces of amber are found in the Baltic sea, and it's not all that rare to find insects sealed inside. I guess Jurassic Park lied to me and there'll be no reviving of dinosaurs at the Manea household any time soon.

Mosquito #1The amber is so clear that the mosquito is perfectly visible just by holding it over a white sheet of paper. But (trust us to do it...), we wanted a closer look! So we got a microscope and focused it on the buggy part of the amber. This was actually REALLY hard to do, since we had to hold the pendant with our hand, and even slight movements meant that the area was lost from the viewer.

Mosquito #2Eventually we managed to get the hang of it and actually got some pictures down the viewer! It really is amazing - the mosquito is perfectly intact. His wings are perfectly straight, and his little feet are even poised up like he's clapping (it's probably about as cute as a mosquito gets).

So while I think this is the most interesting piece of jewelery I own, some people tend to disagree. My grandma seemed confused about the whole thing and Matt's mum mentioned that she would be angry if her jewelery had a bug in it! I guess people usually get angry when there are bugs in things - their soup, their drink, their wet paint, their pants (?), but it was certainly a nice surprise this time :)
Mosquito #3

Monday, January 8, 2007

Summadayze 07

Yesterday was Summadayze 07 at the Supreme Court Gardens in Perth. I bought my ticket about 2 months ago because I could not wait to see Hybrid again, and this time they were performing not dj-ing! YAY!

I woke up that morning at around 11.00, and it was a perfect summer day for the event! I got ready pretty quickly, cause we were planning to get there at around 1 or 2. I tried to get my hair extra straight because I knew we'd be getting hot and sweaty, which of course means my hair would go wavy, so I made sure it was perfectly straight (keep this in mind when you look at the photos that were taken at the end of the day :| NOT GOOD!).

Me and my boyfriend Matt got a lift in at around 2ish. The queue was pretty long and we had to wait in line for about 15mins before we got in. I was a bit worried that I'd get hassled about my licence, which expired the next day, since there was already a girl crying because the bouncers didn't think her passport was her (we saw her inside later on, so she made it in the end!).

The Summadayze arena When we finally got in, all we were really doing was wasting time and sussing out the venue for when Hybrid came on. The set up was really good! There was the Summadayze Arena, which was completely outdoors, a huge Housedayze Tent which was sorta the second main stage, and a third tent which was pretty much just a sauna of sweat which we completely avoided at all costs.

The Housedayze TentAt 4.00 we saw Darren Emerson from Underworld at the Housedayze Tent. The set started slow, so we weren't really getting into it, but we were really excited to see him so we didn't mind at all. Towards the end, we decided we'd had enough of everyone else's sweat smearing on us as they danced, so we went out to get some fresh air. As soon as we got outside, Born Slippy started playing! We absolutely sprinted inside (along with everyone else) and the crowd went nuts for it! After that he played some Prodigy which also went crazy, but we really had to leave before the end to make it in time for Hybrid which started at 5.30.

As we approached the Summadayze Arena where Hybrid was playing, the extacy-pop stylings of Judge Jules got louder and louder, and we started getting pretty worried we wouldn't be able to get to the front due to the giant crowd. Funnily enough, as soon as Jules stopped playing, virtually the whole crowd began to dissipate! I guess Jules's fans aren't Hybrid fans, which suited me just fine since we got straight to the front... perfect!

The Hybrid set was AMAZING. I knew as soon as they started with I Choose Noise that this was gonna be huge. For the majority of the set I was just standing there, too amazed to jump around or dance. I knew the new album off by heart so hearing it being performed in front of me was surreal.

As soon as we spotted the singer John Graham we knew that Until Tomorrow was going to be played, and that was the exact track I was hoping for, so I couldn't wait! I know (and LOVE) all the lyrics to that song off by heart, and I couldn't wait to hear it live.

This next bit is unbelievable... ok listen to this... during the song, I was happily singing along when I managed to catch the eye of Chris who noticed me mouthing the words! HE POINTED TO ME AND STARTED SINGING ALONG TOO!!!! Ok that's such a groupie moment but let me have it... it was GREAT! That really made my day, well, my year more like it.

As 6.30 drew nearer, and the amazing designated Hybrid hour drew to a close, the crowed began yelling for one more. I was hoping that the one more would be Dogstar, but they played Finished Symphony which was definitely a good choice to end with - classic Hybrid. As the strings died down, I was already trying to figure out how we'd get their attention. I didn't manage to get the Hybrid Dish Pump shirt printed up (which... long story... would have definitely got their attention), so we figured we'd need to rush to see where "backstage" was.

Hybrid As they left, we ran to the right of the stage and tried to get a glimpse of them between the fences. We saw Mike and Chris walking around, but they were too far, and the bouncers were too mean, for us to get too close. So me, Matt, and (my cousin) Yvonne all sat down on the grass to have a rest for a while. Much to our surprise, guess who came out for a look around... Chris and Mike!!! They just... popped out right in front of us!

Me and Chris from Hybrid!!! I had no idea what to say, and we ended up just calling their names. They shook our hands, and we told them that it was a great set, and then Chris noticed that I was the girl who knew ALL the words to EVERYTHING standing at the front! So they stopped for a chat... A CHAT! They were both really nice (and unexpectedly tall). It turns out their plane had landed 2h before their set, and Perth was on the arse end of the tour, so they were rightfully exhausted. Chris said to me that he was looking forward to just get absolutely smashed and relax the rest of the day.

Matt, Mike from Hybrid!!!! and meMatt was talking to Mike who mentioned there was rumour of an after party and he would try and get us some passes if possible, but unfortunately (damn damn damn damn), no luck. After a nice chat, they headed backstage again. After a while Tim and John came out as well, and we had a chat to them too.

John Graham from HybridI was really pleased I got to talk to John and tell him how much I loved his lyrics in Until Tomorrow. There's a particular bit that goes:
"I breathe you in, as the sunlight breaks the haze to touch your skin..."
that I find extremely beautiful. I always turn that bit up, and force everyone around to listen to it. All the lyrics are really nice in that track, but for some reason, those in particular just strike me as perfect. I asked him if it was about anyone, and he said that the lyrics were "random really," (in a gorgeous british accent of course).

Oh ANDDDD one more thing. After a little while, Chris and Mike came out with some signed Summadayze posters and handed one to us. So that's pretty much... the best that could have gone! Seriously it just kept getting better. I should probably mention that I got only 3h of sleep that night (I wasn't drinking or anything, just still completely buzzing), so I had a fantastic time at work today :| but it was definitely worth it!!!

P.S Check out my hair at the end of the day... keeping in mind it was super straight when I left!
Yvonne and me
So there you go! What a perfect day that I'll never forget. AAAHHhhhhh :)

Hello World!

I'm Jess Manea! I finally got around to fulfilling my new year's resolution of starting up a blog. I'm going to use this as a place to archive stuff about my life at uni, my life at work, my hobbies, what I'm excited/angry/sad about, and also any general mish mash about what I'm up to. So hopefully I get the hang of all this blogging business soon!

So there you go, my very first post! Now here's a new years toast to many more... *ching*!