#the1001project

This is likely to be the first of many diaries about #the1001project – although by no means is this my first attempt to tell these stories. I think it just might finally be the right attempt.

The 1001 Project is not a new endeavour. It began in 2015 as a means to escape anxiety, depression and the feeling I had nothing else to aspire or look forward to. It’s not the nicest of premises, I know, but sometimes the best tales originate from adversity, and this one was a point of optimism in a particularly dark time. While this list of items is arbitrary and chosen by others, it is also ultimately a reminder that I can find purpose in many situations.


The 1001 Project is a bucket list incorporating ten of the 1001 Before You Die lists published by Quintessence Editions. This means it’s more like the 11,584 project, but that’s not quite as catchy. The project focusses on 1001 Places, 1001 Escapes, 1001 Natural Wonders, 1001 Buildings, 1001 Historic Sites, 1001 Walks, 1001 Books, 1001 Movies and 1001 Tv Series “Before You Die” in addition to 1001 Children’s Books to Read Before You Grow Up.

But over the past year it has become more than static examples evolved from these curated lists, it’s also grown to include an additional category invented by my friend Andrew, which we refer to as the 1001 Additions, and it is through this list that I have gained a better sense of purpose. Including leading parkruns, playing Street Roller Hockey in Perth and making an extended effort to “do” things rather than see them.


I hope that this introduction makes sense to you as an individual. To many people it seems like a daunting task – a useless or perhaps impossible project. But I’m also happy to say it’s been an inspiring one too, on a smaller but no less important scale. I hope that if you’re reading this you gain something from it – travel inspiration, the desire to try something on your own, or the persuasion to start your own 1001 Project. But either way this is my story, or the beginning of it. I’m pretty interested to see where it goes.

Please enjoy these.

x The Girl Who Loves Stories

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Why don’t you come on over, Valerie?

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I’m a Glee fan, that’s a fact I’ve shared with you all here before. So when the most recent Perth Fringe show I saw contained some variation on “my songs have now been butchered on shows like Glee“, well, it probably wasn’t the best time to bring up the fact that I’d been listening to the Glee cover of Valerie by Amy Winehouse in the car on the way to the show.

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In my defence, I’m a huge fan of shows that make difficult content more available, the ones that share music or film I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise, and do so in a relatable, fun and inspiring way. And like Glee, that is what Ashleigh Kreveld has done with Frankly Winehouse.

I promise I’m done mentioning Glee now.

A self described “all out cabaret”, Frankly Winehouse is a heartfelt and powerful tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, featuring music, stories and a completely unique experience from Kreveld herself – from the iconic beehive hair and make-up, right down to the characteristic sass of Winehouse herself.

Accompanied by a single pianist, it is Kreveld’s voice and passion that genuinely fill the stage and the room. True to her inspiration, Kreveld’s singing voice is powerful, masterfully covering the jazz stylings of Amy Winehouse, while simultaneously providing a raw and emotional biography of the troubled artist, including idiosyncratic quips and repartee with the audience.

As young men are wont to do, however, the usual accompanying pianist obtained a sports related injury mere hours before showtime, but an impromptu replacement allowed the show to go on. With admirable urgency and composure under pressure, this young artist showed not only artistic expertise, but also confidence in precarious circumstances – not assisted in the least by a particularly hot summer evening in a small and crowded venue.

The two artists combined to create an impressive and devastatingly sincere portrayal of Amy Winehouse, a performance which was both comedic and moving. One of the most impressive Fringe performances I have seen to date, I was honestly in sympathetic tears until finally at the end we got to SING ALONG TO VALERIE!

That’s not TECHNICALLY a Glee reference, it’s just me bringing this review full circle.

Unfortunately Frankly Winehouse‘s runs in both Perth and Adelaide are over for the year, but tickets for Melbourne shows are available here, and if you have an opportunity to future to see this show or anything else of Kreveld’s, I would particularly recommend it.

x Casey

Uncle Tom’s Rabbit Proof Fence

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is on the list of 1001 Books to Read before You Die, and The Rabbit Proof Fence is one of the 1001 Movies. This blog has never been about reviewing a text, but more about a discussion into the emotion they inspire. That’s what this is.


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In the past few years of blogging, in particular the more recent 2015/2016 effort towards completing the 1001 lists, I’ve accepted few reasons to write seriously about what I’ve been experiencing. As my natural preference is towards positive or comedic creations, I tend to figure that life gives you enough lemons as it is, why delve further into the things that make you upset? No one wants to read a post on a lifestyle blog about racism, segregation or the Stolen Generation – they want to see photos of beaches and pancakes, while reading about the time I watched Fantasia with the audio out of sync.

I’m also not often a social warrior – if you want to make me cry about human failures, show me the photo of a koala sitting in a logged field, or remind me that I may get to see the Great Barrier Reef, but I will never see the Great Barrier Reef as it was in its prime. Human struggles don’t often rate on my emotional scale, and it isn’t because I’m not a genuinely kind or feeling person, and it’s not because I don’t feel for, or cry for human misfortune, it’s just because if I’m completely honest, I like to imagine Earth as it would be without us. We’re kind of the worst.

There’s only one memory I have of a serious post in relation to #the1001project, and it’s from last year when I watched Within Our Gates, the 1920s Oscar Micheaux film about slavery and racism in America. I remember at the time thinking “wow, the context of my watching this is so poignant! There are so many horrible things happening lately”, with tasering and shooting of innocent people, and several mass murders, I was upset and I’ll always remember ending that post with:

“It’s not change that we need to be afraid of, though I know there’s a lot of that going around at the moment – we need to be terrified of the ways in which we are still the same.”

I want to write poetically, or eloquently, about how I feel when I see films like Rabbit Proof Fence and read novels like Uncle Tom’s Cabin but more often than not, the reactions are more emotional and forceful. Admittedly I’m not reading as many tales as I was last year, but the aftershocks still exist, and there are still videos of police stopping noticeably shaken African American ladies, convincing them they’ve broken a law and then saying “nahhh it’s a joke! I wanna give you an ice-cream”.  I can’t decide which I hate more, that this lady had the fear of law enforcement ingrained in her, or that the police played on that insecurity to pull a blatant stunt. As ever, the phrase “Check Your Privilege” really needs to be reiterated, and yet again:

Change isn’t the enemy – be concerned about the ways we’re still the same.

Kimmy Schmidt is “Strong as Hell”

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The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Season 1
Available on DVD or Netflix online library.

A while ago at a party I was playing “Who Would Play Me in a TV Series: The I Just Met You Edition” with some new acquaintances as a sort of get to know you exercise. Now I have always fancied myself a less caricatured, less Hollywood Jessica Day [Zooey Deschanel in New Girl] with my bangs and my limitless optimistic enthusiasm so when “John Krasinski” – it was that kind of crowd – made the call that I was “clearly an Ellie Kemper”, “I was like, ‘really’?”.

I mean sure, as “The Other Kelly” in The Office, she flies her adorkable flag with Andy, but while I had always seen myself as more of the Nice Girl with a bit of weird, not to mention being exceeeedingly brunette in all understandings of the word, Ellie Kemper always struck me as playing the slightly unstable, definitely fiery-in-the-good-way, but crazy, ginger lady characters.

That was until I caught up and fell in love with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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From creators who between them have credits on 30 Rock, Friends, Mean Girls and of course, Saturday Night Live – Tina Fey and Robert Carlock – comes a show whose basis is so dark, we’ve burst right through the other side where everything is technicolour and we have to laugh because if we think too much about what happened, it’s really super creepy.

Kimmy Schmidt is one of the “Indiana Mole Women”, a group of ladies kidnapped by the leader of a doomsday cult and held in an underground bunker for fifteen years where, yes, “weird sex stuff happened”. Determined to escape the stigma of victimisation, and equipped with only her unbreakable enthusiasm, a ninth grade education, her Baby-Sitters Club Murder Mystery  and her $13,000 Mole Woman Fund, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follows her adjustment to adventures in the real world.

hispanic womanAnd it’s Fey/Carlock exactly as we know and love. From a theme song created by Songify the News‘ Gregory Brothers, a tribute to songified viral videos, to challenging the media on their manipulation of “victims” for ratings and press, S01E01 Kimmy Goes Outside! sets Kimmy up as a hard-hitting reference-comedy piece exactly as we would expect from the alumni of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock.

Enter Ellie Kemper as Kimmy

After a history of cameos as the naive, quirky girl (The Office, Bridesmaids), the psycho redhead (The Mindy Project) and comedy roles in internet shorts and late night television, Ellie Kemper has finally landed a lead role and it’s great to see that it’s one with a little bit of depth: an underlying horror story.

What doesn’t kill us, can only make us stronger, and in the case of Kimmy, her experiences in an apocalypse cult, sex dungeon has only worked to make her Unbreakable. Through the use of positive reinforcement techniques and pure willpower, Kimmy remains upbeat and positive despite dealing with her demons realistically and in a not entirely sane, way. We still don’t know why Kimmy is afraid of velcro.

Protect me? From what? The worst thing that will ever happen to me happened in my own front yard. Life beats you up, Titus. You can either curl up in a ball and die, like we thought Cyndee did that time, or you can stand up and say “we’re different. We’re the strong ones and you can’t break us!”

In the end, Jess Day is a lot like Kimmy Schmidt, in an albeit more realistic and relatable way, both are optimistic, enthusiastic and a little bit naive, but while New Girl is a show about friends and quirky adventures, Kimmy Schmidt is a show about accepting the worst and being your best anyway. And friends and quirky adventures.

Mondays are what you make of them

If you’re ever in a position in your life, financially and professionally where you can take four day work weeks, I can’t recommend them highly enough. It’s currently Monday pre-lunch, and instead of sitting at my work desk wishing the time would show 12:30, I’m listening to Rocketeer, looking at wall art of Astro Boy defeating Godzilla and helping myself to free soy-sauce in a cute, empty sushi-bar tucked away off Beaufort St and eating surf’n’turf sushi. I say alone thankfully, because my chopstick skills are non-existent.

munchiesFor someone who has become accustomed to packing every minute of life over the past two months with work, extra curricular volunteering, running and roller hockey, having Mondays to myself the past three weeks has proved to be a creative blessing. Writing has been an interest of mine for a long time, but something I never had the energy or time to focus on long enough for the word vomit to form something marketable. I’ve created a lot in the past, I’m no stranger to blogging, or video production and I can finally say I’ve contributed and even led groups to professional publications, but writing and performing has always been a backdoor ambition, something that took a back seat to filling every moment with preparation for the real world, to give myself the best chance of success possible. Without any regrets however, I can say that I’ve set myself up as well as I possibly can for my future and will always continue to do so, because there can be no sushi without perseverance, but time has finally opened up enough to have a stronger work/life balance, even factoring in four games of hockey and two runs a week.

For the most recent examples of my writing, see the Bayswater Barracudas SRHC Facebook page, where graphic designs are Zac Jury, and text is (most often, Casey Causley).

While there is the handicap of living on a lower wage, there are other benefits of the constant three-day weekend. Having the time to prep meals which saves not only money, but time and health springs to mind as a huge advantage. Sleeping in an extra day when parkrun takes over a Saturday morning, spending a day with the dog so she doesn’t think I completely abandon her, using the time to clean the house and most of all to watch Pretty Little Liars in my pyjamas. But most of all, it gives me the extra time I need to get out and do the things I always said I wanted to do, but never had the time for. Not necessarily on Monday, but when I get to live an active life on the other six days of the week, I can save the recharge time for Monday and begin the work week refreshed.

Unfortunately, having a four day work week is not something that everyone can do, or
afford or even wants to do. But life is all about thinking best case[y] scenario now, and therefore all about focusing less on what it means going without, and more on making the most of what there is.

As for the finer points of Mondays, I think trying new places for lunch is going to become a thing, and I’ll be posting a little more about Mr Munchies and their sushi later tonight, but for now I’ve lurked online for too long today and productivity is calling. Welcome to bestcascenario though.

x Casey