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Hello friends!

I figured I may as well update this because things are good, and it's nice to have a note of that sometimes.

Last time I wrote - September 2009 - I was excited because I had started playing in a little duo. We wound up doing a couple of gigs at the Swan Lounge and Basement, which went great, and proved to be just what I needed. Shortly after I did my first show at the Swan Lounge which turned out better than I could have imagined. Since then I've played at a bunch of my favourite venues - the Bird, Velvet Lounge, Hyde Park Hotel, Rosemount, Mojos, the Moon - and a couple of awesome events (Alex's An Evening of Showtunes, where I played a bunch of songs from CATS while dressed as a cat; the Beaufort Street Festival.) It blows my mind and overjoys me that I am now getting paid to play music.

I went through a weird patch of anxiety last year because I was doing too much - managing two musical acts, temping, playing music with a bunch of people, doing some freelance arts management work and songwriting and not sleeping. I was also having a great deal of trouble with my wisdom teeth at the time. They were causing a lot of tension headaches and pressure in my jaw which only compounded my sense of being permanently tense. I woke up in a panic every night, fell behind in my music management work and felt really terrible for a little while. I pretty quit doing everything, spent a couple of weeks catching up on sleep and making myself feel better. I realised then that I wanted to devote my time to making my own music and it was making me miserable not to have enough time to spend on it.

I relaxed a lot.

This year my mission has been to work as hard as I did last year, or harder even, but to devote all that energy into my own music. I've been cutting out a lot of dead weight and timewasting. This also means I've been cutting down on aspects of my social life, which I admit I find pretty tough on occasions, but it's a means to an end. I know that it will return, and mostly I don't feel that deprived. I still get out a couple of times a week.

My priorities this year are music, exercise, healthy food and sleep. The latter three are not very exciting but they facilitate the first. I want to get in the best physical shape of my life; I feel convinced this will make me a better performer.

I did wind up doing that triathlon, by the way. It went well!

I've designed some cabaret-style shows which I'll be perfoming in the upcoming Perth Fringe Festival. I've facilitated the process from beginning to end and created the show all on my own and I feel uncommonly proud of this. You can read a little more about it at my website, if you like.
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hellllooooooo everyone! it's been a long time, hasn't it?

there is a lot going on at the moment.

you know i'm crazy about marky mark.

i am still temping. i sort of like it! my office is just around the corner; i go home on my lunch breaks; the work is easy; i can get a number of computer-based things done during the day if i need to

yesterday i went to O-DAY at WAAPA because i am officially doing a graduate certificate in ARTS MANAGEMENT this year. it was fun! the people in my course seem sweet; the lecturers seem cool.

i have been training for a TRIATHLON. WHAT?!!! it's in less than three weeks time. sometimes i get mildly stressed about it, but yesterday i realised how fit i am getting. still probably not fit enough to actually do a triathlon, but fit enough to see the tenuous formation of muscles in my abdominal region (only at the right moment; only in the right light)

i'm taking a short course in GO GO dancing at sugar blue burlesque! we have a performance on the seventeenth of march. i have no idea what i am going to wear?

last week i messaged a guy on perthbands.com who wanted a female vocalist to collaborate with. we met up a couple of days later. i was really terrified but it worked out well, he is a super nice guy and good guitarist (he is a guitar teacher) and writes nice little moody country songs which are fun to sing, we had our second rehearsal last night. i am proud of myself for taking Affirmative Action and even though it scared the holy shit outta me at the time, it has worked out well. i'm getting a whole lot better at Getting Things Done
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What is the absolute worst part of returning to work or school after a particularly long and relaxing vacation? How quickly do you reacclimate to the daily grind?


"topical"

ps. my answer is BADLY
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1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Travelled in South America. Crossed a border and booked into a hostel in a new city ALL BY MYSELF (i.e. without Ro). Lived in a share-house. Lived with my lover(!) Spoke Spanish to Spanish-speakers. Got to scoot around backstage at a gig in a little golf buggy. Sang in front of an audience (twice!) Played my original music to a couple of people.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't entirely achieve them but I did a pretty tolerable job keeping up with them. I have made a pile of the things for this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Greg & Aimee had their second baby girl, Phoebe.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina. New Zealand for a couple of hours.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Better organisational skills, better fitness, more energy.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 10th - when I left the country.
August 10th - when I was supposed to leave SA but didn't.
June 4th - my birthday.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not dying or getting raped or mugged, surfing in Peru, singing in front of the ol' audience, getting accepted into University, hiking the W (more or less), climbing that fucking mountain to see Macchu Picchu. Finishing fucking War and Peace. Seeing Leonard Cohen :0

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not practising Spanish as much as I could have/should have. Not jogging enough, or generally doing enough exercise.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not really, no.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My traveller's guitar, by far. Also my poncho and my superhero dress. And tickets to Leonard Cohen.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The Marquis. Still loves me after I leave him in Australia for six months to go gallivanting around the world, plus he's the funnest and nicest and most romantic and stimulating man I know. My beloved amigos, for being so wonderful at staying in touch and making me happy when I missed them. My parents, for trying not to stress about about the travels and, let's be honest, for lending me money when I got back and couldn't find a job. And my travelling friends: Rosie & Anna, Jen & Trin, Trevor, Pato, Mark, Jonno, Josh & Allison & Santiago, Matt & Otis, the Arequipenos et al.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
People were very good to me in 2009.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Various South American economies.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Leonard Cohen! Travel! Marky Mark! Coming back to Perth! Every time I crossed the border into a different country! Getting into uni! Secret/Shitty Santa! Buss!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Jason Mraz - I'm Yours.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?
Happier! So much happiness. I'm off antidepressants and I'm still the happiest I've been in years.

b) thinner or fatter?
Sameish? This never seems to change much. Less fit though. My abs are rubbish. On the upside I have been using Johnson's Holiday Skin every day so I have a charming light tan, that's not really relevant is it? Sorry.

c) richer or poorer?
Poorer, technically, but I have more disposable income now.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercise, speaking Spanish, surfing, hiking, meeting people.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Reading War and Peace. Joke! I don't know, sitting round in hostels drinking cups of coffee? That was fun though.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my fam down in Bunbury/Augusta.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I fell in love with everything.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
PEEPSHOW.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Ro. Just kidding.

24. What was the best book you read?
Steinbeck, East of Eden.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Asaf Avidan and the Mojos. Also, jumping onto the Arcade Fire bandwagon about a decade too late.

26. What did you want and get?
A job (eventually), volunteer work with Sunset Events, entry into my course for next year, a surfing lesson

27. What did you want and not get?
More surfing lessons, incredible highly-paid part time work

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Where the Wild Things Are, Harry Potter and the HBP, I need to watch more films for adults.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 23. Ro and I hiked into a valley in Bolivia. It was subtropical and warm and there were butterflies everywhere and we swam in a river. Then we hiked back to the top, had dinner and met a great girl from Amsterdam with whom we went to a Saints' Day Celebration on the top of a mountain that night.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A better job? My job is pretty decent, though.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
I didn't really have much of a fashion concept except for "Arggggh I hate all my fucking clothes" in South America. Since I've been back I've been excited by dressing up. I'm into beehives and rockabilly and glitter. And I like pretending to be a superhero, and I like over-the-knee socks, and at the moment I like pairing chunky black and white with soft powder-pinks and baby blues.

32. What kept you sane?
Ro (awwwwwwwwww), the unwaning love of M.M., Born to Run, anyone who assured me that they missed me. Facebook, when I was away. Antihistamines, when I was going on long bus trips.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Evo? Leonard Cohen, still, obviously.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Actually now I think about it probably my biggest regret of 2009 was that I was pretty apolitical. Attitudes to climate change solutions made me pretty annoyed, as per usual. Political approaches to art (e.g. proposing that a Danny Green fight would be considerably better for the people of Perth than a festival of new music).

35. Who did you miss?
Everyone.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
As above: Rosie & Anna, Jen & Trin, Trevor, Pato, Mark, Jonno, Josh & Allison & Santiago, Matt & Otis, the Arequipenos.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
If you think someone has really bad food poisoning, you should call the doctor straight away.
I'm not a complete hack and a useless jerk all the time.
I'm alright at doing things.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Oh, some day girl
I don't know when
we're gonna get to that place where we really want to go
And we'll walk in the sun
But 'til then
tramps like us, baby we were born to run
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hahaha man i am cracking up because i just saw a sponsored ad for a livejournal community for Leap Year, the film, only i read it as "Leapy Ear"

life is good
happy festive times

love love love
caro

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hey uh guys

if i were to play at an awful open mic night would you come?

the idea makes me feel like i'm going to throw up but i want to "progress" as a "songwriter" and i feel that the next logical step is being able to play my own songs in front of an audience even though open mics are the most tacky & frightening things ever :0

it would be really cringey

love caro

what's the shoe sitch?:
Australia, Perth
what's the mood sitch?:
2010 is frightening
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i'm in ecuador you guys! we just got back from the jungle and all my clothes are wet and smell of urine.

i saw: monkeys (the best), two sloths (quite boring), ANACONDAS (the biggest was four metres! they get up to nine!), caiman (like crocodiles or alligators), blue and yellow macaws, a tarantula (in the roof of the hut where we slept) and some other things that were pretty great. i made some nice friends too.

we're essentially gonna be in transit for the next five days, although we'll stop for a night or maybe even two in mancora, peru. then we go to lima and fly to BA for the last two weeks. i am so excited. buenos aires is my favourite.

i have been invited to move into the apartment next door to M.M. the good bits of this plan are:

-close to my devastating and erudite beloved, but not qite LIVING TOGETHER (we would have a shared balcony though)
-awesome apartment in the freaking historic BEAUCOTT building (!)
-right next to where i want to go to school next year
-excellent neighbourinos (m.m. obvs, but also the delightful taryn and bianca)
-nice neighbourhood
-within cycling distance of exciting things (leedy, northbridge, CBD, the rosemount, hyde park)
-i wouldn't have to pay bond
-across the road from the flying scotsman (!)
-across the road from planet video/planet books
-across the road from IGA

there would also be room for one other person in the apartment.

the bad bits are:

-cockroaches (maybe)
-the apartment isn't free until early NOVEMBER

so i would need to find a place to live until then. i'm not sure how easy that's going to be or if it's worth it - but i like the sound of the apartment so much that i'm tempted to find out.

i've changed my mind re: study for next year. i'm gonna apply for ECU's grad dip in arts management. i think. the idea excites me more than teaching right now.

i miss you all so much it's kind of awful. i can't stop thinking about how much i want to hang out with you all and how many fun things i want to do and i get so jealous on facebook&twitter when i see you've all been hanging out and having grand old times. but happy, too.

love,
caro
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oh hey guys what's up!

i'm in peru. today i saw a ¨mummy¨ (not actually a mummy because her organs were intact, but a frozen girl who was offered as a sacrifice to a mountain god and found buried in a volcano. HEAVY.)

i also spent two hours walking around a convent and bought alpaca legwarmers!

man i've been going crazy buying gifts for my beloved ones. in australia i hate buying gifts, but it is so much fun when you have six months to choose what to get for people! unfortunately i can't fit much stuff in my bag.

i always hated ponchos but NOW I OWN ONE and it's so great!

moriarty i think you would like it here! there are mummies AND jungle.

i really miss having long hair.

we are considering going to colombia but shhh don't tell my mum.

love caro!

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hello internet! i felt like posting here for some reason!

thank you to you kids who sent me music for my birthday! you are flipping sweet (i guess). it was a really rock and roll birthday (assuming that hiking and eating chocolate and going to bed just after midnight is rock and roll which i am pretty sure it is)

we are in coroico, probably the greatest place on earth (maybe not quite but a great place to spend a week).

in two months and four days i will be amongst you all again, and i am getting really psyched for it.

here are some things i plan to eat when i get back (in the first couple of months, there's no real hurry, except for the rigatoni)

-truffle rigatoni with sundried tomatoes and snow peas, from siena's in leederville.
-a veggie moon burger and a caramel coke
-that really tasty vegetarian enchilada from the mexican kitchen in fremantle
-fish and chips (only without fish and with salad) from cicerello's
-anything from viet nosh

i have been thinking about things i like eating in perth a lot lately!
and things i like about perth in general, e.g. music that isn't pachanga, lots of people to speak australian english to, handsome boyfriend who lavishes me with love, beaches that aren't made of volcanic rock (awesome but not for every day). i wholeheartedly maintain that western australia is amazing and is beautiful and is one of the best places anyone could ever live.

that doesn't mean that bolivia isn't freakin' awesome though. for one i don't know where else you can get coffee, orange juice, eggs, bread, butter and strawberry jam for $3-4. man, i love breakfast! and the women wear wacky clothes. that's all for now!

ps. i've been reading so many books
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hello everyone! i am in sucre, bolivia. although if you would like to learn about what i am doing in bolivia i suggest you check out the blog.

i have been looking into plans for next year and i am seriously thinking of doing my diploma of education. it is no secret that what i like doing more than anything is playing music, but since that is not going to get me any money, at least not any time soon, i am going to need a job in the interim.

it seems that UWA does not offer primary teaching, which is what i would want to do, so i would be looking at going to ECU.

this is kind of an exciting thought! i like the idea of being back at school again, just for a little while. and in this strange old world teaching is one of not all that many good and beneficial things someone can do with their time, and i want to be a good person, i haven't been trying hard enough.

in other news i'm wildly, fiercely in love with m.m., i haven't been jogging in two months, i went to a britney spears tribute concert last night (disappointing), i'm looking for a cheap banjo and/or 8-track in bolivia, and i miss you all horribly.
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