Saturday, April 28, 2012

All things Melbourne Part 2- from twilight to night

The Melbournian fast approaching his twilight years:

When I was younger, an uncle often referred to me as a 'trendsetter'!.. Now I wonder if it was code for something other than 'fashionable' . Anyway, we Melbournians, are trendsetters.. and I don't mean code for Gay, sure some of us are, some of us are metrosexual even ( I am never sure if that is code for bi-sexual, or bi-curious). We love anything as long as it comes in black... well that is not completely true.. just kind of.   Oh.. did I say that already??   Ekkk!! Surely a sign of age. Another sign is my tetchiness and strong unfaltering feelings (or are these just stereotypes of aging?). Recently I have found myself saying 'no, I don't like that!', in a tone that screams 'don't even dare to question this! On a recent Sunday night photo shoot (samples of which, will be below), I was out way past my bedtime. I think a clock struck 10.30pm as I smiled smugly. I was clever enough to bring my nice wool cardigan, which was now keeping me warm. I recall noticing with much disapproval, not only the numbers of young people out and about! I couldn't help but wonder why their parents were allowing them out at this hour, shouldn't they be in bed, if not, then surely there are things to be done- Chores, homework etc. But my oh my!, I was mostly unhappy about how under dressed for such cool weather these young people were. My head turned from side to side and as my lips pursed. I was not happy at all. It was not all bad news though, as I did see a couple of younger people dressed appropriately and to these young people I smiled approvingly and felt reassured that when the reigns of power are handed down, we will all be ok in the hands of these particular young people... obviously not the under dressed ones.. because if they can't even work out what to wear on a cool night, how the hell are they going to manage a whole country??? 

Ok,  enough about the prematurely aged person- me. As we left off last week at Birrarung Marr, it is only fitting that we begin again from there! So prepare yourself for:

The city from twilight to night.

The rowing sheds and Southbank skyline, across the Yarra river:

Because of a combination of factors, such as slow shutter speed, twlight etc I think this photograph is left looking more like an artist's impression of what the bridge will look like once it is built, rather than the actual photograph that it is!!

Twilight in a lane with the beautiful Dani.. note the eaterys!

The Arts Precinct:

yes I love this sign.... I think I took 20 shots of it.... obsessed?.. maybe :-)

In and around the Arts Center:

Cool lit door way in the arts precinct:

Our proof that we are cultured- The Arts Center on a cloudy night:

Looking across the Yarra river to the city, around 11pm on a cloudy night.

The city on a cloudless night:

and here my friends, is where we say goodnight.
My bed awaits me, as does yours await you.

all photographs, copyright Matthew Schiavello 2012.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

All things Melbourne part 1- The Melbournian and Day

The Melbournian:

 We Melbournians love anything as long as it comes in black... well, that is not completely true.. just kind of. We are kind, friendly and forgiving. Ignore the stories of the gangland wars, they happen everywhere and only add an edginess to our beautiful city. We love fashion and have built an ever growing shrine to it, called - 'Chadstone'. We invented Aussie rules football. Back when I was a child and referred to as 'Master' (oh, how I do miss those days... ), it was called VFL- The Victorian Football League.. now those other States (yes those ones full of terrible coffee.. (it is a widely known fact that we Melbournians are coffee snobs)), anyway, now those other states have honed in on our action..and just to show how nice we are and that we can share, we let them join in on the fun and we relabeled it 'AFL' .. 'A' for Australian. Speaking of which, Melbournians will generally support at least one AFL team and will look dumbfounded at you if the word 'rugby' is murmured, even if you mention 'Melbourne Storm'. At this point I should be very clear that it is not all about sports, for we Melbournians are a cultured bunch and we built an Arts Center to prove it!

Melbournians also love lanes and alleyways and going to cute pokey, cool bars that seemingly pop up over night! We love the new and the novel and then drop what ever it is like a hot cake the moment something better comes along.. probably explains why we are a city full of people either transitioning to their next relationship, or like myself, seemingly permanently single. Coming back to cool new places, the general Melbournian rule of thumb is 'the more people that know of a place, the less likely we are to go'. We Melbournians are complex creatures, we may talk your ear off about some obscure film or arts festival, or bang on about our art or music project that we are trying to get up and running (we are all aspiring artists or musos). If you are a 'northsider' like myself, you probably also go to 'open turntable' nights and spin leftfield indie tunes (throwing in a few mainstream hits of yesteryear.. just to be ironic and 'cool'). Those northsiders that can, squeeze themselves into their  hipster ultra-skinny leg jeans (well, as skinny as we can get our fat thighs into), speaking of fat, you can spot Northsiders who are over thirty by our one-too-many-brunches tummy, spilling over the waistband of our too tight pants. Some of us may be found with our guts sucked in and pondering if corsets will ever be cool again, and if so, where can we buy them (umm maybe that one is just me).  When not pondering about corsets, we will be blogging, or taking photos of the food we have eaten, to then review in our blog, alongside our inspired 'Band of the moment' reviews. We will read broadsheets like The Age and pretend we know the difference between The Labour and Liberal Parties, as we sip lattes and alcoholic beverages in cafes and bars...we may seem a pretentious bunch, but we're not. If a Melbournian sees you on your own, we will smile, we may say say hello and ask if you would like to join us... and maybe, just maybe we could workshop an idea for a collaborative conceptual art piece!!  
Speaking of which,  I have this one idea for something called 'Multicultural, Indigenous, Disadvantaged Women: Left lonely and marginalized but still hopeful of a world that is Environmentally Sustainable and free of Domestic Violence, as we search for our voices in an ever changing  community of cultural and religious diversity'. Given that the title hits most of the funding 'buzz words', there is a really good chance that we might be able to apply for some funding from the City of Moreland, to put it together and present it at next years Sydney Road Festival!! .. err I'm just saying.... 

Here are some Photographs of the city during the day:

The view from 48 Floors up:

Back on the ground :

Bikes are all the rage:

Some of Melbourne's famous Lanes:

We love to sit, eat and drink!

No matter how small, or how dirty a lane is, we will probably set up an eatery or bar. Take this for example:

I am sure even this lane will have a queue waiting to be seated soon!!! The kitchen/unisex toilet can go right behind that colorful screen!!

Melbourne loves it's Sports:
The G for those who don't know... as in MCG... as in Melbourne Cricket Ground. Where confusingly, football is also played. They should just call it the Melbourne Sports Ground- MSG..ummm on second thoughts, maybe not.

 Melbourne loves it's Arts:

Melbourne loves it's bookstores:

Melbourne loves it's many beautiful parks:

And as dusk falls over the 'top end' of town, let us say goodbye for now.. and meet back here at Birrarung Marr next week for part 2- 'Twilight and Melbourne by night'!.

All photographs, copyright Matthew Schiavello 2012.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What is it with……Terrible Bosses?

What is it with……Terrible Bosses/'people managers'?

Gee I could go on for ever about terrible people managers and bad bosses, but I won't bang on about things because I am all about ‘be here now’ (Whenever I say that phrase, I fear people will think I am an Oasis fan. I really dislike that album cover and I do much prefer their earlier works). I think I am also about keeping nephews and nieces occupied.. just stepping off topic for a moment -oh yes,  the joys of being an uncle. I firmly draw the line at changing nappies and wiping bottoms. At a recent family event, I was the only one free to accompany my six year old nephew to the toilet.  I was cool, calm, collected and said assuredly 'I can do this'. I smiled thinking- I am a great uncle!, seriously... how good am I.. till I saw my nephew wriggling about.. almost ready to explode.. 'Umm what do you need to do in the toilet'... I went white as he replied 'number 2'.. OMG.. I panicked, grabbed my sister, practically shook her and asked at a million miles an hour "He knows how to wipe his bum right?? cause I don't do that stuff.. does he know.. yeah??!!!. My sister just laughed and said.. yes, he knows how to wipe his bottom'.. I was calm again.... reached for my nephews hand and said with a big smile- 'lets go to the toilet, yay!!' the whole 'be here now' thing, it works every time!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand- terrible bosses. I seem to be a magnet for terrible bosses/people managers. Unfortunately I am not alone in this. Sadly, I have so many stories, but as I just spent half the blog talking about taking my nephew to the toilet, I now only have enough time to share just a few stories of the terrible, the horrible, the sad and the incompetent bosses/people managers who have been in my life.

-I once took a male manager aside to talk through some things he had said and done that had really upset and offended  me, only to have him respond with 'what?!! are you talking about feelings? I am trying to be pragmatic here and get things done! I don't understand this!'... As our conversation wound up, I told him that I was left feeling worse than I did before. He shrugged his shoulders and said 'good'.  

-I once worked for a large bank and would need to take signed blank cheques off-site on a daily basis. My boss often signed them for me. As part of my role I would take some documents to an external agency, if they could take them off me to finalise they would and we would have to pay them on the spot.  These cheques could be made up for amounts ranging from $65,000 to over $800,000... all dependent on what this agency could take and do.  One day, my boss was in a meeting with upper management and was asked why we needed to do this, as they were concerned about signed blank cheques leaving the workplace. Unfortunately she had no idea why we did this, or what it was I did, so she had to leave the meeting to come and find out...

 -I once had a female manager who thought she was much younger than she was and dressed to make sure that we all knew just how young she thought she was. I could never understand why anyone, let alone a people manager would think it was appropriate to wear boob tubes to work, especially when working in a bank. Mind you some of these ‘tops’, for want of a better word, had writing across the front that went from one nipple to the other. You just couldn’t help but look at what was written. It is not about being a pervert, but as humans we are all sticky beaks!!!  I often feared that people would think I was staring at her very large and perky breasts..I kept wanting to go up to people, shake them manically and yell 'you know I’m gay yeah?!, I"M GAY!!!!  I’m not staring at her breasts, I reading what is on her TOP!!!” This workplace also had half yearly staff satisfaction surveys and this manager was always rated TERRIBLY by her large team. One year her manager came in and talked about how the business itself has ranked well in the latest survey and had improved against the last survey, but our direct manager has not fared so well and her ratings are EVEN LOWER than they were in the last survey. He said that he will leave that with her to discuss with us. I will point out that some of the poor ratings where about our direct managers communication, how supported we felt from our direct manager, our direct managers openness, staff moral etc.. suffice to say that when this manager left and our direct boob tube wearing manager took to the front of the room, she put one hand on her hip, glared at us exasperatingly, took a breath to calm her self down and then said ‘I don’t even know If I want to talk about this’… and she never did.

Terrible Bosses/people managers... Bless them for making us really appreciate the good bosses out there.. who are few in number and are worth their weight in gold.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

killing time pt2

Here are some more pictures of when I was wandering the lanes of Fitzroy Killing time before meeting a mate. All taken with my trusty and always in my bag, Sony Cybershot, 'point and click' camera.

 Hand from the drain:

all photographs, copyright matthew schiavello 2012