Thursday, July 30, 2009
But it does make you do strange things. I stole chocolate jaffa biscuits from a colleague today, two were actually offered to me but knowing that the polite offerings were not enough, I had to resort to theft. There is chocolate and there is chocolate. Cheap compound chocolate always tastes stale to me like eating Easter eggs in November but chocolate biscuits at 4pm on a weekday, somehow is better than (insert your vice of choice ie., cigarettes/cocaine/wearing your partner's underpants) well lots of things anyway. Which poses the question, is there a supreme chocolate biscuit out there that outranks all other chocolate biscuits? We may have moved on from the tim tam and the chocolate royal is probably only found in the outer regions nursing homes these days, but a mint slice will always be a classy biscuit. What's your chocolate biscuit of choice I ask?
at 6:01 PM
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
When I look down at the keyboard there is no love for this plastic replica of what was once a beautifully crafted machine - the typewriter. The early models were not for the faint hearted. They were big and grey and if your fingers left the home keys you slipped down into the bowels of the metal pronged intestines that meant you could kiss the skin on your finger goodbye trying to get it out. A manual typewriter had no on/off button, it was portable and travelled anywhere that you could take a very heavy suitcase. When the electric typewriter came along it was pure love. It was a sensual piece of machinery. It sounded sexy and had a feel better than popping plastic bubble wrap. Clackity, clack, clackity clack the metal ball would spin around from letter to letter with the slightest depression of your finger and sometimes even continue on without youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. There was no need to back up, download, save, save as or even control shift delete. What you had, you had in front of you and if you stuffed it, you started again. I miss them but unless you're going to send your blogs out in with an enclosed stamped self addressed envelope their time has truly gone. So here's to all the old typewriters out there, may your return lever never rust and your QWERTY stay shiny.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I'm not a fan of flying at the best of times. It doesn't stop me from being at an airport, packed and with passport in hand within the hour but if I had a choice of long distance travel, flying would not be my preferred option. Basically I don't know how heavy things take off and fly. I have some confidence that the pilot does however when it comes to turbulence I'm not so sure. I prefer an aisle seat so I can't see out the window at least until a round of drinks has come my way. So today when I heard that a front wheel fell off a Virgin Blue plane just prior to take off, I'm back in the foetal position. How could this happen? Imagine sitting in your seat waiting for takeoff (and I'd be reading the emergency procedures card and watching the safety demonstration ready put my hand up to ask a question) when all of a sudden all the people on the other side of the plane slump downwards with the sound of a hubcap circling on the tarmac outside. Apparently it was only when the plane took off that someone noticed a wheel on the ground!!! At 35,000 feet there is no RACV... where is that drinks tray?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I fear Melbourne is going through a serial cook at home phase. This could be a sign of the economic times or more likely attributed to a recent reality cooking show. I will admit I have been through similar phases myself whereby I've more than felt the need to cook, and when I say cook I mean cook anything and everything. I'm talking about bread, peking duck and making my own fish stock. Warning, never go through my garbage bin because boiled fish eyes never look the other way. As an undiagnosed condition, I made it myself mania can be detrimental to relationships and one's bank balance. You know when you've crossed the line of 'hey let's cook a roast this weekend' to waking up the household at 5am to roast the stock bones before heading off to the market in search of some unknown herb that's only grown off the coast of Cornwall. The cooking fetish can often be associated with an obsession with fresh ingredients. Before you know it you're cornering the local fruit and veggie guy accusing him of holding out on you by having the best stuff out the back for his mates. Yes folks, it's a slippery slide to compulsory dinner party hell. My advice is to step away from the chanterelles and put down the turnip. If you are spending your entire life in your home kitchen you'll miss all the great food on offer by paid, skilled, chefs. I'm at least three years in recovery now and have much more time for other obsessions - that don't involve fish eyes.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Well there is just something a little weird and annoying about neighbours isn't there? Something that ignites the short wired fuse in our brain that would normally show tolerance. Something frustrating about neighbours that could excuse the Dalai Lama from firing a rocket launcher through his kitchen window just to get the point across. I woke this morning to find a towel hanging down on to my balcony from the one above. The type of towel that you wouldn't voluntarily pick up, a towel that says too many trips to the laundromat, a towel that belongs in the dog's basket. But today it's a flag dangling from my balcony to remind me I'm not alone in the apartment universe. A declaration of independence from the rules of an oppressive body corporate regime. Personally I like apartment rules such as no public nudity in the public areas, no smashing into walls and no backing a furniture truck over the front lawn, all of which have apparently been ignored according to my apartment bouncers. I'm definitely going to spend a little more time lingering at the letterbox from now on, as soon as I work out which dog basket is missing a towel.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Kick up your heels it's Friday. Friday is the day that you smile a little more, it's the spring in your step day and when the final whistle blows you're Fred Flinstone all the way home. Saturday morning is like unwrapping presents on Christmas day, full of hope and excitement then Sunday night comes around too soon and the tinsel wrapped disappointments are put under the bed for another time. Enjoy your Friday and when the day is over, skip all the way home or to the nearest bar, whichever is closer.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Cleaning the house requires special criteria. For example you can't look at the mess anymore or your very judgemental family member/friend is coming over and you know she'll look in corners (she, because you could have a native tribe living in your walk-in and he still wouldn't notice). One necessity for me is music. Housework cannot be done, well not be me anyway unless the mood is right and the housework music is very loud.
Which poses the question what is the best music to clean the house with?
For me, no kitchen floor will shine without Iggy Pop's Search and Destroy. Nancy Sinatra's greatest hits will get the vacuuming done and if we're talking about the shower screen it's got to be The Saints, Know Your Product. This works for me. What works for you I wonder?
Monday, July 20, 2009
The Australian newspaper today tells us that there's probably never been a TV program quite like MasterChef. There is in fact in England and America, and that it's called syndication but no point getting technical. Well I guess I am the only one who couldn't watch MasterChef. Unfortunately I would need a new television set everytime I tuned in. What a load of reality crap this was. Winning this show does not qualify you for the title of chef nor does it make you a master of anything. Even after being promoted as the winner and being given a large sum of money this person is no more capable of working in a commercial kitchen than the man who stood behind the camera. If people think this show had any resemblance to the hard work of the hospitality industry they're as smart as puff pastry. In a commercial kitchen there is no presenting a plated dish to the background hum of anticipation music while the chef de cuisine scratches his chin in silent contemplation. The plate would more likely fly past your head toward the bin which would be your indication that it didn't cut the mustard. And even when you do manage to get it right, there will be no small pieces of glitter falling from the roof, nobody will care about your personality or that you've donated all of your internal organs to the Children's hospital, they care that you've done your job on the grill section. This show rated above and beyond everything else not because it was inspirational and a new insight into the world of cookery - but because everything else that was on was shite.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Having visited a colleague in the hospital emergency department today, I was amazed at the amount of technology as in computer screens that were in this small room. The poor man was attached to so many coloured wires just to monitor his heart, he looked like the back of my television set. Every time he moved, he got a blip on the screen and a new number displayed in the corner, for a while I thought it was powerball night. Technology is at its best in these places, knowing he was wired to the mother ship outside the curtain, should an irregular blip occur they would fly in and stare in question at the screen, and then hopefully him. Fortunately he was given the all clear and he was disconnected, the monitors were shut down and the machines went quiet, but I was still curious to know if raised his arm high enough, could he get channel 31?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Let me just say this of what I witnessed today. I looked up at the television and saw Rock of Love Charm School. It is the end of the world as we know it. If one of those girls was my daughter I would send her to Afghanistan. These people are as charming as a wet cigarette. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Tomorrow is the 14th of July and of course, Bastille Day. I declare tomorrow a day of celebration of all things French. Take some time tomorrow to find an excellent patisserie and start your day with crumbs down the front of your shirt. Drink French wine at lunch and when your boss asks you what you were doing tell him or her you don't speak English today. Talk about (good) food incessantly until your colleagues ears bleed and get a little moist around the eyes when you say the word truffle. I love everything about the French because they have so many rules and they break every one of them. Traffic lights are for those who have no balls, marriage is just a guide and life does not get any better by getting up early. So tomorrow, eat well, break rules and storm whatever your Bastille may be. Bon Chance.
Friday, July 10, 2009
It's time for me to think about moving. My apartment is in the process of being sold and the prospective buyers are spending more time in my lounge room than me. Whilst the temptation to buy my apartment is very great, unfortunately they won't take VISA so I'm off to view apartments on Saturday. I always feel positive walking into a new apartment block thinking this could be my new home. Then when I open the door that sinking feeling sets in. The window is 3 inches away from the high rise office block next door with 5 floors of call centre operators all staring into your bedroom window. Then there's the stove. The previous tenant cooked an entire goat every night and most of it still remains on the oven door. The carpet has worn so badly it resembles your old teddy bear and the bathroom looks like an ancient Greek ruin inclusive of the weeds growing between the tiles. Who knows what they think of my apartment. At least I don't need to clean my shower with weed killer.
at 7:30 PM
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I'd be lying if I said I'd been watching the Tour de France for years. A late convert however I was stunned to realise that SBS had bumped Le Tour for the cricket. The faithful following of Le Tour were sidelined by the sport of cardigan wearers whose idea of fitness is measured by how quickly you can pick up a jam sandwich. The world's biggest event of two wheeled sprinters was sadly sent to SBS2 and replaced by the tour of tea cosies with the French Alpine descents apparently no match against some worn out grass oval and a few tired legless seagulls. Shame on SBS for attempting to force people into purchasing digital set top boxes. Knowing that the average cricket fan would more likely have a doily on the top of the telly rather than any piece of digital technology I will put away my Lycra padded bike pants and get off my bicycle (even if it was nailed to the gym floor it still felt like I was going somewhere).
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Who do I need to sleep with to get fresh local garlic? The supermarket fresh produce section has more frequent flyer points than Kevin Rudd and probably has better representation across the G20 nations. Who are they kidding with this fresh food advertising? Consider how fresh you feel after flying from Mexico (garlic) or the USA (oranges) or even Thailand (mango). Now even if they fly first class and are gently wiped down with a moist towelette on descent, nobody not animal, vegetable or politician can arrive fresh from flying half way across the world to be transported to a produce warehouse (sorry departure lounge) to await transportation. Why do we import lemons when every suburban backyard has a tree obese with them? Next time you are subjected to jet lagged lettuce and travelled the globe artichokes refuse to let them through without a passport or simply feed them to next door's sniffer dog. It's time to look up the date of the next farmers market.
at 8:07 PM
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I'm afraid we haven't been putting on our best for our new visitors, Tom and Katie. Taking them to the Aquarium assumes they've never seen a fish before and whilst the tank of local yarra river species with their 3 eyes and heads on backwards might be fun for the kiddie I fear that Tom and Katie would have come away wanting more. As for subjecting them to an AFL game well I would be surprised if they are still here, because watching men in tight pants break each others faces may not be their thing - god knows it's no one else in the world's thing either. Perhaps a drive to the seaside, park the car and look out at the bay would be nice provided it's not a dredging day. They are too late to go on the chairlift at Arthur's Seat because unfortunately that broke. They'll need to wait a little longer for the big wheel at Docklands because that broke too. I'd recommend a tram ride, it's much better now with the third track so when one of those breaks it can be towed away and you don't have to walk home. Aahh, Melbourne loves it trams. Melbourne probably loved the horse and cart too but that argument was won years ago, but I'm getting off the point now. No, it's time to bring out the nice crockery for our guests however we just should make sure all the broken bits are repaired beforehand.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
What should a teenager's first car be? Given the amount of tragic accidents on the roads, I'm beginning to wonder if we should delay them driving at all until they are at least 35 years of age. However sometimes we forget what it was like to be a teenager. Of course I remember because it was yesterday (stop it!!!) but I can recall me in my Ford Cortina with the passenger doors that didn't open and my girlfriend in the Hillman which had no floor in the back seat. We would drag each other off at the lights reaching break neck speeds of nearly 40 kms an hour. Crazy days. Cars were a statement then as they are now. They had an engine that was about as powerful as the lawn mower but what mattered was the stereo system. The most high tech it got was a bass button the made everything sound like Motorhead singing underwater. The Ace of Spades ... the phrmphh of splosshsh.
at 8:17 PM
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I'm going to see the movie Chanel on Saturday starring Audrey Tautou. I'm a big fan of Chanel .. and who isn't but I'm not a great fan of old Aud. She always seems to me like she's sucking lemons. I hope she will prove me wrong and provide a sterling, citrus free performance. Chanel would have to be one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Unfortunately for some however having scored a much well coveted goodie back does not guarantee style as can be seen from the two unfortunate specimens perched above. If you are going to display a Chanel bag in public, for Christ's sake at least get out of your pyjamas.