Friday, 27 April 2007


I made the laksa again last night, and implimented all the suggested amendements from here. It turned out great and the adjustments (and the mini moulinex food processor) made it much easier! This time I ended up with way too much soup for 6, but I guess that's ok - leftovers are always welcome! Following the recipe but doubling the soup bit created exactly six big restaurant-sized bowls. But of course, restaurant sized laksa is always way too much to get through. When you've paid $7 for a bowl, having too much to eat feels like good value, but when it happens at home it feels like wastage. Next time I will make more of an effort to dish up normal sized portions of soup and then more veggies can be cooked later if people want seconds or leftovers.

Also, my laptop has arrived! Hurrah! Now I just have to get them to adjust the invoice to actually show that what I bought is a laptop, not a random apple code, so that the salary packaging people accept will it. Ah, bureaucracy.


To start with, I for the life of me have no idea where this underlining is coming from. Or how to get rid of it. Sorry.

I used to buy a LOT of cds. Before I hit twenty, I was buying at least an album a week. Then I started a music degree, and felt compelled to listen to classic fm, rather than keep up with pop music. And during those 3 years, I totally lost the plot, and stopped buying cds because I stopped listening to them. So to buy two cds in one day was pretty exciting, and listening to them reminded me of why I used to spend so much money and time on them.

To start with, I listened to the Camille cd 'Le fil' on my way home from work. Apart from the single 'Ta Douleur' I didn't like any of it - I thought it was pretentious, and self-indulgent, and most of the music itself seemed basic and boring. I'd wanted more of the groove that the single promised, and instead I average version of stereotypical French music. By contrast, when I listened to Lily Allen's 'Alright, Still' straight after it, it seemed witty and fun and energetic. Like a young British female version of the Cat Empire. But one out of two ain't bad, right?

But then, I decided to give Le fil another go. So this time I listened to it in the quiet of my house, and I really listened to it. And I came to the complete opposite conclusion. Many of the songs are beautifully written, and have a real depth to them. The arrangements are amazing too. The whole album has a drone (sung by Camille) running through it, and while I wouldn't argue that this is as earth-shatteringly innovative as many seem to think, it does really bring it all together, so you know you're listening to an album, not a collection of songs. In addition, the lady can sing. She's able to sound like a full grown and angry woman, or a young and vulnerable little girl. Indeed the instrumentation of 'Ta Douleur' is nothing more than her voice, handclaps, a bass and a trombone. Pretty impressive for a groovy pop song, in which most orchestraters would jump straight for the nearest big band. Ok, so there's still tracks that I'd skip. But there's enough really really impressive ones that I'll be listening to on repeat for a while yet. It's not all funky and upbeat like the singles would suggest, but it is mostly very very good. The only thing I can't comment on here is the lyrics. Apparently my French is just not that good yet. Oh well. Soon.

But then, I got caught again! When listening to Lily Allen's 'Alright, Still' and actually concentrating on it, it turns out to be kind of average. My Cat Empire comment? Well as it turns out, only if they had David Attenborough for a producer. It's unfortunatly quite contrived and conservative musically, and the lyrics are twee. On first listen, the lyrics seemed smart and sassy and witty and confident, and basically perfectly relevant to my life as a young woman in the early 21st century. But after a couple more spins, Lily Allen comes off as an overpriviliged whinger with a big chip on her shoulder. At first she seemed like someone who would be fun to hang out with, but after listening more closely I think I'd be worried she'd stab me in the back a week later. I was even more convinced of this when I read her liner notes, where she unnecessarily takes a pop at anyone she wants to. Like the singing teacher who told her not to give up her day job. Well... I'm not sure that was such bad advice. She can sing nicely, but she's no Nina Simone either. I'd say she got famous through luck, not sheer talent. Her lyrics are kind of impressive in that she's able to rhyme ordinary speech consistently without it sounding contrived, but beyond that there's really no depth to them. All in all, 'Alright, Still' is a decent album, but I'll be limiting my listening to times when the details will be lost anyway - on public transport, or while cooking - not when I'm actually really listening.

Oh well. One out of two ain't bad.

Thursday, 26 April 2007


It's raining, it's pouring,
the old man is snoring,
he bumped his head on the top of the bed,
and couldn't get up in the morning.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

cooking with moderate success!

This is a vast improvement on previous weekends' cooking stories.

I made laksa. I have TRIED (and failed) to make good laksa before. Once an Indonesian version from Hannah's mum (no good, I think I watered it down too much), and a couple of times following instructions from a real Thai lady ('go to Coles, get a jar of laksa paste...') all with little success. But then last week I was at the dentist (I am now the proud owner of a filling) and reading a Gourmet Traveller (Dec 2006?), or more specifically that 'Fare Exchange' section at the beginning where people write in and ask for restaurant chefs to share certain recipes. And there was this one for a laksa from Sydney. And I thought maybe it would be a good one to try, seeing as it's a recipe from an actual chef, and someone liked it enough to bother requesting it. So I tried it, and it was good! Nice and fresh and healthy tasting. Easy too, and you can make the pastes earlier so that cooking it at the last minute doesn't take long. Not a 100% success (see notes below), but tasty enough that I will make it again, and can see how it could be made easier and better quite easily.

Here's the recipe! It's probably in a bit of an odd order because I jotted it down as quickly as I could. Sorry I can't remember who the chef is or which restaurant it comes from. I'll try and figure it out next time I visit the dentist.

1. Make laksa paste. Process: 1/2 an onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander (leaves, stalks and roots), 2 teaspoons of grated ginger, 2-3 small chillies, the rind and juice of 1 lime, 2 teaspoons of chopped lemongrass, 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Fry this paste in 100ml of vegetable oil for 5 minutes.

2. Make sambal paste. Process 50g chillies, 50g garlic, 50g ginger together. Heat 50ml of vegetable oil and add paste and fry for a bit. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable stock powder, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and 1/2 a teaspoon of chilli flakes, and stir.

3. Make laksa. In a saucepan combine 750ml chicken stock, 1/2 cup of laksa paste (ie. the amount you made), 375 ml of coconut cream and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add 8 grams of tofu.

4. Cook other ingredients. In another saucepan blanch 1 stalk of finely chopped celery, 2 carrots julienne, 250gm of chinese cabbage and 1 bunch of baby bok choy. Drain. Cook 200g rice noodles. Cook 500g chicken breasts.

4. Put together. Arrange veg and thickly sliced chicken on top of noodles. Pour soup over the top, and garnish with Vietnamese mint, and coriander. Serve sambal paste separately.

Notes on what I did and discovered, and suggestions to simplify things.
1. I didn't process anything - not having any kind of processing machine. I chopped everything finely, and then bashed it up in a mortar and pestle. This was fine, but I imagine a processor would be quicker if you have one (although would create more washing up).

2. Next time, I will double the quantity of laksa paste and soup (I was feeding 5 people). We ended up with massive bowls full of noodles and vegetables with the soup barely coming half way up the bowl.

3. 100ml of oil seemed a lot for the laksa paste. Next time I will use less, because it's not really adding anything - it just bulks it up a bit.

4. The sambal paste is important. Don't skip it! It made the flavour of the soup go from a bit bland, to super-tasty yummy laksa. If you're worried about the spiciness, use big mild chillies. This is what I did, and it wasn't hot at all.

5. The quantities called for in the sambal paste are a LOT. I made it with 30g of garlic/ginger/chillis because I ran out (30g is a whole head of garlic, 6 large chillies etc.). This was a fine amount, and there was a little left over.

6. I made the laksa paste and the sambal paste a day ahead and refrigerated them. This was fine.

7. I cooked the vegetables separately, as per the recipe, but I think it would work ok to just blanch them in the soup itself. This would cut down on pots, and I suspect it's only separated this way in the recipe because that's how they'd do it in a restaurant.

8. I think I would also buy pre-cooked chicken breasts. I hate cooking chicken, and I don't think it would change the flavour at all.

9. I used hokkien noodles, not rice noodles. And I didn't measure the amount. Still good.

Update: summary here of how these adjustements went on Laksa version 1.2. (The short answer: well!).

Monday, 23 April 2007

taking pretentious photos.

You may have noticed the new header. I think there's something wrong with my camera - unless the flash is on, the shutter speed is too slow and the pictures always come out blurry. I guess that's what you get with a happy snaps digital. That and, in this case, a lot of pictures of a blurry leaf and crystal clear grass. One of these days I'll learn how to make the background blur away while the foreground is still in focus.

Anyway. New header. Here is the last one for posterity. The new one is a picture I took, the old one is one of T's. The nature theme is incidental.

Also, I ordered a Macbook on Friday! Hurrah for salary packaging!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

tolerably well.

Excellenté! This one is a good one.

Another recommendation from my brother; my only problem with this book was that it was needlessly long (over 1000 pages) and therefore a little physically unwieldy - although the length is in keeping with the style, and I didn't at any point get bored.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is the story of two 19th century magicians who bring magic back to England. It's one of those books where everything is realistic except those things which are not. In this book, for example, it's typical early 1800s, and events feature like the Battle of Waterloo (real), but there's magic (not real). I'm sure there's a fancy word for this, but despite my TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR DEGREE I don't know what it is. Tom says is it magic realism? No it is not, but you get the idea anyway.

Although it's a modern book, it's written in the style of the times. Like Jane Austen, but without the marrying off, like RL Stevenson without the dark and crazy, like Dickens but without the heavy, like Conan Doyle but without the detective. But I didn't find it was at all difficult to read - more it just seemed quaint and cute when Susanna Clarke spells things like 'headach' and 'surprized'. She didn't do the thing with the exclamation marks in the middle of sentences though, which I really think we should bring back.

Anyway, the STORY. Well, it's a bit hard to describe it in enough detail but without giving too many things away. Also, the story does twist in a couple of different directions, so what you think is the overarching plotline at the beginning, is not where the book ends. Which would be a problem normally, but I didn't find it so in this book - I never caught myself bored or confused as to where it was going.

Basically it's about two magicians who want to bring magic back to England (Northern England had previously been ruled over by a fairy king), at a time when the only 'magicians' left are rather scholars of magic. Mr Norrell begins it all, but he is a recluse who, despite wanting fame and fortune, is jealous of his unique position and hoards all the magic books in England and won't teach what he has learned to others. Mr Strange is quite the opposite. He is a typical young hot-blooded lay-about landed Englishman, who takes up magic because his future wife wants him to choose a steady profession. Quickly he realises that he's good at it, and becomes Norrell's pupil. Together they set about bringing magic back, although they have personality clashes, and eventually Mr Strange goes to the continent to help (magically) fight in the Napoleonic Wars. This is the background for what happens but things get more interesting when people start getting abducted by fairies. There is a lot more to it; lots more quirky characters and events, but I think that's about all the background I can give, without giving away too much.

Yes, I liked this one, and would thoroughly recommend it. It's written well - it's not difficult to read, but has a lot of substance. It's well paced - slow enough that you're not on the edge of your seat the whole time, but fast enough to be engaging. Magical and imaginative, but not scary or illogical. The story is good, as is the interplay between characters, and it's a novel premise for a book. Good good good.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

not a tuuuuba.

My threadless tshirts arrived the other day. My 'if it's not metal, it's not music' tshirt is indeed very cool, with the sweet sweet felty type. I wore it to last night's Carousel rehearsal pain session. (Which actually wasn't so bad after all.) I don't think anyone got it though. My sense of humour appears to be rather... individual.

I just realised it would be that much funnier if I were a brass player.

Oh well.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007


Sneaky me. I read another book at the same time as the others. Normally I don't read more than one book at a time, because I find it confusing. But I read this one on the internet (here), and because that makes things difficult for bed-time reading, I broke that rule out of necessity.

I can't quite remember how I came across Two Years in the Forbidden City by Princess Der Ling - probably looking for pictures. I'd never read a book on the computer before - remember years ago when everyone worried that books would soon be a thing of the past and that by now we'd all be reading EVERYTHING online? Well, there's a reason we aren't. It sucks. It's hard and uncomfortable, and you get sore eyes quickly. I won't be doing it again, and I wouldn't recommend it.

The book itself is a couple of years worth of memoirs of the royal Chinese court, written by a Chinese lady who was brought up in France, being the daughter of a diplomat. In the early 20th century, she became the first-lady-in-waiting to the Empress Dowager Cixi who ruled China from 1861 to her death in 1908. The book seems to have been written in large part to counteract the common (Western?) impression of the day of Cixi as a devious and ambitious despot (which as far as I can tell still remains even in China - when I visited the Forbidden City, Cixi was referred to as 'the Dragon Lady'). I'm not totally sure if the book itself is successful of dispelling this impression of Cixi though. The book doesn't go into her politics or effect on the country much, and as a person she comes of as someone who is equally capable of being very kind and generous, or finicky and cruel. (Although I guess it's hard to know what to expect from rulers. Apparently Prince Charles still has someone squeeze his toothpaste for him.) Also, the 'two years' in the title is a bit of an exaggeration. The book basically covers one year, and in the conclusion chapter the author basically states that her second year at the Palace was the same as the first.

It's an interesting book, because it describes from the inside daily life at the palace during this period, but by someone who understands what elements need to be explained to Westerners. When I visited the Forbidden Palace, I found it fascinating and beautiful, but ultimately quite an empty experience, because you can't go inside the buildings - you can only peer through dark windows at the few rich furnishings that remain. I guess it would be like a Chinese person trying to get an idea of how the British royals live by looking at the outside of Buckinham Palace. It would still be awesome, but not lead to much insight. This book does give you a good idea of what it was like to live there, and what the place looked like etc., as the furnishings and events are described in great detail.

That being said, the author unfortunately is not a great writer. The interest comes from the events and surroundings, rather than the way they are described. Princess Der Ling basically just describes day to day life, and important ceremonies and events, but there is no overarching thread or story. I've read reviews of this book on amazon, and some people argued that one of the things that helps this book is the pictures, which were absent from the internet version that I read.

If you were going, or have been to the Forbidden City, I think you would find this an interesting book to skim read, or to look at if you had a version with the pictures. It might also be a good companion book to Catherine A Carl's 'With The Empress Dowager of China' - a similar sounding book by an American painter who took Cixi's portrait during the same period. It's an interesting historical read, but unfortunatly, not a great story.

*Note: Normally I make an effort to show the cover of the edition which I read, but here, because it was an e-book, I just picked the prettiest cover I could find.

Monday, 16 April 2007

cooking lots and eating less.

Another mildly unsuccessful cooking weekend! Maybe I should rename this blog to reflect the frequency of this. (It would contrast to all those blogs raving about the amazing food people manage to concoct - am I really that bad, or are they lying?). Maybe I should rename my life. Pictures because this place was starting to look dull.

On Saturday I made:

- a risotto with the World's Biggest Mushrooms,
- this chocolate gelato,
- this red velvet cake,
- a made-up salad of rocket, trevicchio, pear, pancetta and parmesan with a white balsamic dressing.
- Sunday I tried this pad thai.

Of it all, the salad was excellent, and so was the gelati (but I knew it would be because I'd made that one before).

The risotto was decent, but not my best (I think the secret is to use lots of dried fancy mushrooms, and for this I recommend chopped shitakes from the Asian grocer, because they're way cheaper than porcini at the continental grocer and seem to do as good a job if not better, although this may just be because you can afford to use more). Re., the picture - my hand is stretched out as far as possible, and I have really big hands for a girl. Kind of goes with the bassoon turf. They are BIG OLD MUSHROOMS.

The red velvet cake was ok but not mind blowing unless you count in colour (fyi: 6 tablespoons of red food colouring = 1 and a half bottles). The icing was very good and I may use it again on other cakes. I thought I was being really fancy making this cake which I'd never heard of, until Dad told me you can get them at Woolies.

The pad thai approximated restaurant pad thai, but was not as good as the recipe promised, being kind of grey, gluey and generally gross. Grrr. gLuckily, gI gonly gmade gone gserve.

On the basis of this, we have two new maxims:

Emily's cooking maxim #3
Learning to cook is less about finding the good recipes as it is weeding out the bad ones.

Emily's cooking maxim #4:
A recipe you've pulled from your proverbial has as much chance of being tasty as one from a book, the internet, etc.

At the asian grocer, I also found these excellent guavas, and some cute little (100% natural food) rosebuds going for a song, and some fujis that look like they were grown in someone's GARDEN. Yum-O! I also took Mum to this pho place (don't know its name, but it's a couple of doors south of the Lucky asian grocer on Prospect road) because she'd never had Vietnamese beef noodle soup before. I'm pleased to say the place was very standard (read: pretty darn good food with plastic tablecloths and cutlery), and the people very friendly, and she liked it!

And finally, here is a gratuitous picture of some presents I wrapped for a friend who is having her wisdom teeth out, using said rosebuds Rowan Atkinson style, included here because I'm a bit vain and smug about my present wrapping (fyi: it looks better than my poor photography illustrates). And ok, vain and smug are not so good, but I think good wrapping is important. It shows you mean it, and you didn't just buy a gift because you felt obliged. I still haven't quite figured out what I'm supposed to do with my life, but sometimes I think maybe I should open a wrapping shop. I think I could do quite well around Christmas, Valentines, etc. It seems like a better bet than the world's most unpredictable cafe anyway.

Friday, 13 April 2007

figuring it out.

I LOVE the raita at Beyond India - so much better than all the other raitas I've ever had (except maybe the smoked eggplant one I had at the Snake Charmer), but I've never been able to figure out why it's so delicious.

And then I figured it out. The magic ingredient.


Of course. It's always that simple isn't it? The sugar (icing sugar is best) is definitely it, becuase it doesn't seem to matter what else I mix in with the yoghurt it still tastes excellently better than before, and with my raitas (and everyone else's from what the internet tells me) that's a good thing, becuase they tend to be a bit of a mixed bag of whatever I can be bothered putting in: some combination of yoghurt, onion, garlic, ginger, cucumber, banana, mint, coriander, cumin, fennel, coriander powder, cinnamon, chilli powder, lemon juice etc etc etc.


Thursday, 12 April 2007


When I grow up, this is what my living room will look like. I love the combination of this apple-mint green and maroon. (In fact, I think i might like a shirt this colour to wear my maroon brooch with.) My house will have polished floorboards thoughout, and a maroon couch, and two deep brown leather armchairs. This is Greg Natale's design for the Hardwick Turnbull house, which won a commendation in the 2005 Australian Interior Design Awards.

Inside my front door will be these hooks. They are by designer Luca Nichetto, found via Design*Sponge. I don't think you can buy these - they seem to have been commissioned by a company which is not producing them for little people like me. When I grow up I will commission my own. Or these Ikea Asker pots might work screwed into the wall instead - if they start selling them in Australia.

I will keep my jewellery in these ceramic egg containers. They were made by Container Store, which seems not to be producing them anymore. I am thinking about trying to make my own dodgy version, by spray painting an actual egg carton. Found at Mighty Goods.

Also, I will have one of these on the wall somewhere, or maybe even on the ceiling. I haven't decided which yet, (maybe the horse, maybe the animal ceiling roses, maybe a colourful abstract design) but Just. So. Cool.

My house will also have a library (or at least a room) with books all over the walls and sliding ladders so you can reach the ones at the top. Unless I have another whole spare room, the library will also have a nice big heavy desk with a banker's lamp, and a little baby grand piano.

I will live in a cool Second Empire house like this one, or more realistically (since I don't plan to move to America), a nice little two story terrace house would be fine too. Maybe a named one like this:

I will also have a nice big garden, with lots of fruit trees and vegetables and herbs. And poppies! And some kind of no-brainer watering system. When we have water again to spare.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

on the good ship lollipop.

After purchasing a (ridiculously expensive!) bottle of Grenadine from Bottega Rotolo, I made a Shirley Temple on the weekend. It's a non-alcoholic cocktail devised by the owner of a restaurant where the stars of the time used to hang out, and named for Shirley Temple because she was too young to drink. It's traditionally made of two parts of ginger ale, one part orange juice with a splash of grenadine. It was ok I thought - nothing to write home about (in fact Shirley Temple reputedly doesn't like them herself because they're too sweet), but then I don't like ginger ale. It layered prettily though, and would be a fun thing to order in a bar or fancy restaurant if you didn't want to drink, but didn't want to stand out.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

somehow, not chocolated out yet.

Ok, so I'm officially doing Carousel The Worst Show In The World. Sorry Molly (and also Messrs. Rogers and Hammerstein), but childbeating and saccherine americana songs where I have to play 'pom pom pom pom' for three hours under OH&S nightmare conditions does not a party make. Can someone please give me a human-sized sound-proof bubble for my birthday? Thank God it's for charity, otherwise i'd be snapping off my fingers by now in lieu of actually being able to say 'no'.

Also: here is my ordered list of the best places to sit on a plane.

1. Window seat 'a' next to overwing exit (lots of leg room). Usually 12a but they can be tricky.
2. Any seat on a row all to yourself.
3. Window seat 'a' in the front half of the plane (closer to the exit/entrance).
4. Window seat 'f' in the front half of the plane.
5. Window seat 'a' in the back half of the plane.
6. Window seat 'f' in the back half of the plane.
7. Aisle seat in the front half of the plane.
8. Aisle seat in the back half of the plane.
9. Front of the plane.
10. Back of the plane.

So now you know. I feel so much better now that I've cleared that up.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

exercising her warped sense of humour.

I just ordered this tshirt from Threadless. I'm SO wearing this to rehearsals. Tres amusant. Did I mention I have a bad feeling I'm about to get roped into the worst show in the world Carousel AGAIN?

It's for charity
It's for charity
It's for charity


Happy Easter everybody! May you all get good and queasy from too many Lindt bunnies and creme eggs!

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

ripped off.

In between rehearsal and gig on Friday was the time for trying Sarah's, a new vegetarian restaurant on Leigh St in the city. I was kind of excited about this, because I'd heard great things about its sister restaurants at Semaphore (and Glenelg?), which have apparently been serving up amazing vegetarian cuisine for 20 years.

To begin with, the decor is kind of good and bad. It's really big and open, with polished cement floors, and black tables and chairs. I found it a bit stark, but I imagine you could find it airy and welcoming and relaxed. It's split level, and on the top half is a bar, and a space for performers. They have live music every evening, and whoever was playing when we were there was quite good, and it was loud enough to listen to, but not so loud it impinged upon conversation if you were in the bottom restaurant bit.

Sarah's doesn't have a menu as such - you kind of order the size of food you want, and you get what you're brought. So for example, mum had the antipasto platter and I had the plat du jour. The antipasto platter was the smallest/cheapest thing on the menu at $15, and there were bigger options - like a banquet platter ($25 each) and some others I can't remember. My plat was $25 with a glass of wine and coffee, or $18 without. I also ordered an apple juice. The waiters were quite helpful though, which was good because the menu was a bit confusing.

The food took a while to come, considering the restaurant was quite empty. Mum's antipasto was a couple of very small slices of bread, about 5 stuffed mushrooms, and a small serving of chickpeas. The plate of the day turned out to be a small serving of pasta-bake with a very small serving of salad. My juice never came. Mum's chickpeas were excellent, the mushrooms I liked but she didn't and my pasta bake was possibly the best pasta bake I've ever had although I don't really think that's saying so much. It had eggplant in it, and something that was kind of halfway between grapes and sultanas. Obviously a lot of effort had gone into the salad, with the carrots for example, being marinated in something. But still. $18 for an excellent but too small serve of PASTA BAKE is way too much.

Ok ok I know there are a lot of people out there who think that good value in a restaurant equals the biggest piece of meat you can get for the smallest amount of dollars, and therefore vegetarian food is almost always a ripoff because the inputs for a vegetarian dish are just not as expensive as that of a meat dish. I don't think that. I'd rather get the most enjoyement out of my meal for my money, and since vegetables are easier to prepare well (or at least harder to totally stuff up) than meat, I tend to feel like for an average dinner price you're going to get more value out of vegetables, because they HAVE to make it taste better for you to think it's good value. Also, a plate full of vegetables is likely to be healthier than a plate full of meat, and you're less likely to walk away feeling gross.

Anyway. Sarah's is not good value. Ok, they're obviously going to a lot of trouble with their food, and paying attention to detail, and yes it tastes good (although I think Sprouts is comparable) but $18 is too much to pay for a small serving of PASTA BAKE (I know I already capitalised that but REALLY) and average service. It's not like it's presented all fancy-like either. The only things that really indicate the prices are the white tableclothes and heavy silverware.

All this is rather a shame, because I was looking forward to another cool veggie place in the cbd. Still, maybe lunch is better. I noticed their lunch menu, and they serve a salad for $10 and listed baguettes for $6.50 and $7.50, so if they're really good, and of a more substantial size, then maybe that is the answer. I might try that, but there's no way I'm going back for dinner.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

a bit weird.

As I mentioned, at my cousin's engagement party, there was a karaoke machine, and some very monotone karaoke-ing a happenin'. One of the songs that was being 'sung' was a song which in Emily land is called 'Emotia Cup', but in the real world, is actually quite a famous song by Elvis, called 'All Shook Up'. Der. In fact, I probably never would've realised my error if it weren't for the fact that karaoke machines have the titles of the songs written on the screen. I probably SHOULD've realised by now that I was wrong, if only for the fact that 'emotia' is not a word, but somehow in my brain it IS a word, nestled somewhere in the Emily dictionary between 'emotion' (real word) and 'milk emulsion' (a kind of 1950s precursor to multivitamins which my ageing rellies used to feed me). This is all funny enough, but really everybody has songs that they've misunderstood (in fact, google registers 470 000 hits on the topic, so clearly I'm not the only one).

The funny bit is that I remembered a story that goes with it. You see, I know Emotia Cup because when I was in primary school there was a nice lady that came once a week and took dance classes in the Thursday lunch hour. These were quite novel, and all you had to do was rock up and pay your $2, and you could join in the (sanitised) fun. We were learning a routine to Emotia Cup, filled with such moves as the runningman. I can still do the runningman. Actually, now I think about it, this story may well explain why I am such a terrible dancer to this day.

After a while though, my friends tired of these classes, and one by one they drifted back to the monkeybars and the handball court. I liked the dance class, but since none of my friends were going, I didn't want to go anymore either. But at 7 years old, I had observed adults enough to know that it wouldn't be right just to stop turning up, even though it was a casual class. So one day, I came into the hall a little early, and told the teacher in my best grown up voice that 'thankyou for the lessons, I really enjoy them, but unfortunatly I just won't be able to make it any more, I've just gotten too busy lately'. And then I went back to the playground and joined in an elastics game that was going on.

TOO BUSY? TOO BUSY? AT 7? Too busy picking my nose and marvelling at my friend Claire's slapband.

And so I stood there, watching this guy butcher All Shook Up, and I felt how lucky I was not to be one of those embarassing people that sing karaoke. I'm past the days of mullets and hypercolour shirts. I'm past embarassing. There I was at a karaoke party cringing at the guy singing 'Emotia Cup' on one solitary note and thanking my lucky stars that I'm not THAT big a nigel. And then a little voice inside of me reminded me that 'no of COURSE you're not that big a nigel. And you never were. NOT'.

Monday, 2 April 2007

running down.

A short history of my weekend:

Friday night:
  • played a gig (money!)
  • tried the new Sarah's on Leigh St (disappointing - more later)
  • went to big book sale (it was so full they made us line up around the block, and we were on time! At lest they didn't card us...)
  • went to Mela Indian festival (ate some yummy food [and NATURA's], bought a scarf for $5, saw a cooking demo, ate some sweets)
Saturday night:
  • went to cousine's engagment party, saw the 2nd worst karaoke ever (but good on them for having a red hot go); did not participate in said bad karaoke (that would've made it the worst). Reminded of funny anecdote to tell another day.
  • read book
  • studied French
  • ate a Big Mac (oops)
  • did some washing (replaced fabric softener with vinegar and essential oil [better for environment]. No appreciable difference in cleaning power, neither smells like vinegar nor essential oil).
  • made Traveller's Lunchbox watermelon salad (yum!)
  • watched hilarious doco on Star Trek fans "Trekkies"
  • read more book