Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Supermarket Reaper



^ The Grim Reaper checks what the goss mags have to say about Michael Jackson in Safeway and then wonders, Is it Helgas?

Went to Safeway on an out-of-the-blue kind of trip, which was kind of reminiscent of Bi-Lo runs at odd hours of the morning/night/day when at uni. But it was amusing enough. Although not as amusing as the time Clare, Anna and I bought plastic toy soldiers and super-glued them to things around uni. We were obviously rather bored at that time. But ahh, happy memories.

Also found Jelly Joy! stocked in the lolly aisle. I loooove Jelly Joy! It's a seaweed jelly with fruit flavouring and is all kinds of squishy, slimy goodness. Might take some photos of that tomorrow. But I should also take photos of the Peek-a-Blocks (they had elephants in them! I love elephants!) and post photos of Elvis googling Elvis (which didn't cause space and time to tear in half and suck us all into the swirling vortex of nothingness).

^ Vitamin Water. Like cordial, but so much more expensive.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Manky mandarin


^ The most disgusting mandarin. I was cutting up mandarins to juice on Friday, and this one looked perfect on the outside. But inside, it was rather weirdly mouldy. Shrieked and flung it into the scrap bin, then vigorously washed the knife and was a bit hesitant about the remaining few mandarins. Just in case...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My question exactly

Overheard when exiting Safeway:

Early teens guy earnestly to his mother about the resurgence of 1980s fashion: What kind of society normalises that!?
Mother: *shakes head sadly*

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Küche, Kirche, Kinder und kommst du mit?


^ Nothing will ever beat cheese and salad sandwiches from Apex bakery in Tanunda, but this sandwich I had at lunch today came pretty close.

Okay, it may seem odd to blog about a sandwich, but it was fantastic. Particularly the bread. The inside was soft and fluffy, with the most perfectly crisp, crunchy crust and a flavour of proper bread.

I think the bread is what makes a sandwich. The bread from the Apex bakery is - quite seriously and with absolutely no exaggeration at all - the best bread. The sourdough process and woodfiring are things done by other bakeries, but they don't get anywhere near Apex in terms of flavour, texture and tradition.

I actually had Apex bakery bread at K and S's place about a month or so ago. It was almost a religious experience. Although it was slice of the simple white loaf, lightly toasted, I couldn't add anything else to it other than some butter and took forever to eat it, simply because I was enjoying it so much. There may have even been some moaning involved.

Being away from the Barossa and rarely - if ever, now days - going back makes me realise how lucky I was to grow up there. Not just because of the gorgeous countryside and having great friends there, but also because of the food traditions. They all grew out of the things the German settlers brought with them, and I think there's been a wonderful continuation of the traditions of the regional cuisine. There's a book called Barossa Food that explores all of this kind of thing and was written by someone my Mum used to work with. Maggie Beer's also done a lot for Barossa food.

The main problem is that when I start thinking about the Barossa, I get incredibly homesick. I remember the sweeping corner you'd drive around on the way from Greenock to Nuriootpa. There was a farm house there and every year, they'd have dill cucumbers for sale. There was Linke's bakery in Nuri with the best pasties and bienenstich. The bakery in Angaston made really wonderful lamingtons. Apex was where you went for streuselkuchen, too.

The multitude of restaurants in the valley, offering food from the most simple through to complicated. Red cabbage at Cafe Heidelberg and oh my gosh, the schwarzwaldkirschtorte. There was also a lovely little restaurant in Bethany that I can't remember the name of. But we went there for my grandparent's golden anniversary and it was lovely, from what I remember of it (it was years and years ago).

*sigh*

Just one sandwich and I'm all nostalgic.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Random booky ramblings

I find lists of "must" see/visit/do/eat/drink/listen to/etc things rather curious and usually end up reading them. Most of the time, these sort of lists tend towards the pretentious bollocksery side of things, because obviously you haven't really lived until you've sipped holy water from Lourdes while walking the Great Wall of China reading War and Peace in its original Russian, accompanies by a child prodigy on a zither.

The most recent list I've read was this morning's 100 novels everyone should read in The Telegraph.

Of the 100 novels on that list, I've read 30 and there are a handful I've wanted to read, but never found a copy of - something I'll be rectifying when Penguin releases their next lot of Popular Penguins, which includes Cold Comfort Farm. Additionally, I'm puzzled by the inclusion of some novels by certain authors when they have other novels that are far superior (such as having Dumas's The Three Musketeers, but not The Count of Monte Cristo, which in my opinion, is a far greater novel in content, themes and understanding).

Then there's the books on the list I've attempted/started to read.

I found Middlemarch so boring my eyes wished to pack a suitcase and move to Siberia for something a little more interesting (obviously, I didn't get far with it). Anna Karenina is a book I've been forcing myself to attempt to read for years. Every now and then I pick my copy up, read a few pages and remember why it would take me approximately the same amount of time as a nuclear winter to finish because I find it so interminably dull. Crime and Punishment was more punishment than anything. I've almost finished 1984, but it's not as scintillating as it's sold as. Ulysses was... is that a shiny thing over there..? Tess of the D’Urbervilles was about as exciting as Wessex on a wet day.

Anyway.

There's the other issue - the rest of the books on the list are ones I have no interest in. Which is akin to admitting to being a book heathen, because these are all of the kind of books you should read when wanting to not sound like a total philistine. There are some books that are just meant to be read to be discussed in certain ways in certain circles. They're not meant to be enjoyed. You're just meant to enjoy the feeling of satisfaction when you tell people you've read them and they either look awed or puzzled.

All of this aside...

There's no point to making a list of the best books or films or anything ever made. It'll change all the time because new things are constantly being made to fill the needs of the masses. Tastes change all the time and there aren't that many books that will remain constant. Unfortunately, there are many, many texts that have disappeared over time (although there are more companies working to bring them back to "life" - such as Persephone Books).

If I had to compile a list of the 100 books I think people should read before they shuffle off this mortal coil, I'd probably want to update it every now and then as I come across other books that make books on the list seem less important or relevant (but my top 10 would definitely include The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Martin Chuzzlewit and Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens and fairytales by George MacDonald (in particular The Golden Key)). I'd probably want to just make a list of books I've enjoyed, rather than books I feel I should have enjoyed.

No list will ever please anyone, let alone everyone - personal tastes and whatnot. But it's interesting to see what interests others and what they feel are important novels.

^ Diva sales can sometimes be a useful thing. This style of ring was still priced normally on the racks, but I found one of them on the sale pile for $5. Hurrah.

Sunday, June 14, 2009




^ This king parrot landed on the railing while I was hanging out the washing and he was bobbing around to Hilltop Hoods (I think he liked Chase That Feeling), chattering away at me in parrot-y language. But he just wouldn't do it when I tried to film him. Cheeky minx.

He stayed around for about 40 minutes or so, wandering up and down the railings, hopping around on the ferns. He'd get really excited when I'd make parrot noises back at him, which was amusing. Most of the time, I could have just reached out and patted him, but resisted the urge. He would have either freaked out or used the beak. Or both.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Snowmen







^ Made a couple of snowmen while up at the snow this morning.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Placenta update:

Officemate: Your hair looks so shiny and soft today! It's not just because I'm hallucinating with the 'flu, is it?
Me: No. It's the placenta.
Officemate: Oh! So you finally used it? Cool!

Later...

Copyeditor: I thought your hair looked especially spritely today.
Me: The placenta worked!
Copyeditor: Awesome! Wait, holy crap, you're serious.
Me: *nearly falls over laughing*
Copyeditor: I find it hard to think of anything I'd be less likely to put anywhere near my head. Other than a power drill.

So the Hask Placenta stuff worked, really. It has made my hair noticeably softer and shinier and I'm pretty pleased with it. Will definitely be buying more tomorrow and then lining up the little vials on the bathroom shelf, which I'm sure will be considered a selling point of the house if/when it comes to that.

Placenta.

Hask Placenta for hair, that is.

I have to admit, I was disappointed. I had been hoping it’d be slippery. Gooey. That it’d drip satisfyingly in a viscous sort of fashion. But it was watery, insipid, not at all what I’d expected (and secretly hoped – I kind of wanted to squeal like a little kid when I poured it onto my hands. Instead it was a response more along the lines of, “Oh… Dull!”).

Incidentally, Invaders Must Die was totally not the right sort of album choice to accompany the use of Hask Placenta. It’s too energetic for something so non-industrial/watered-down lambing season.

And it didn’t even have much of a perfume. Not that I was expecting it to smell of sheep—more like I’d thought it would probably have a heavy perfume to encourage people to distance their thoughts of just where the placenta comes from.

It had all looked so promising in its little vial, though, with the pearlescent sheen the liquid had when you shook it up. Hopefully that sheen is what will make hair shiny and happy.

So far it doesn’t seem to bad.

I also did another thing for the first time ever—used a hairdryer to dry my hair. In the past, the only time I’ve used hairdryers was to make those puffy fabric paints puff up in the late 80s and to dry condensation out of my camera. My hair’s naturally pretty voluminous (not to mention in possession of a mind of its own and tendency to want to get into everything). Hairdrying it turned it into the biggest hair this side of the 1980s.

It wasn’t even fully dry when I decided to stop so that I’d be able to get out of the bathroom.

Bend Your Mind by Elysian Fields is the perfect hairdrying song, though.

Hask Placenta verdict: Womb for improvement.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No heroics?



^ Random photos of Kez in her cape. For some reason, it kind of makes me think of Hot Fuzz.
video
^ Sedately "dashing" through the snow.






^ SNOOOOOOW!

And fantastic snow at that.

Kez, her lovely husband M and I went up to the snow today at lunch. There was apparently 28cms of depth, but that would have been up on the summit. Access wasn't available to the summit, unfortunately, and it was dangerous enough driving up to the carpark we got to with the amount of snow on the road.

But I love snow SO much. I've been ecstatic all day to the point where getting up at 6.30am to leave for work at 7am wasn't something that overly phased me (had to be there early as Larie had to be at work early). Apart from how cold it was this morning. I woke up around 4.30am, got up and put the heater on, hoping it'd take the chill off the air before I had to get up. It hadn't. Soooooo icy.

Also tried out my new snow boots and gloves. The gloves are okay and it's nice to have warm hands while up there. But you can't do anything at all hands-related without it being in the most fumbling fashion possible. The fingers are so thick with padding that you can't feel anything through them, so gripping stuff isn't the easiest, particularly when it's something small like a camera. Ended up going around with one glove on, one glove off. Worked for me.

The boots, however, are magnificent. Warm, waterproof, not really very slippery. Thank-you, Aldi!

Autumn remnants


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Something I can't explain

Was going thru my Hotmail drafts folder and found an email I'd started writing on Sunday, May 4, 2003.

It simply says:

"Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln!"

I'm as puzzled as you are.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

I totally forgot about posting this on Thursday night after grocery shopping, but it amused me way too much to not post it.

Mum to her two small children: You're going to bed early tonight!
Little boy: Whhhhhyyyyy? Why do I have to go to bed early?!
Mum: Because you've been going to school and punching on...
Little boy: But I haven't done that!
Mum: I was talking to your sister. I heard you have been swearing at school!

Hmm. Is it becoming that kind of area?

In other thoughts regarding shopping: whatever happened to green Frogs Alive, why would I want to buy hot chocolate called Taboo, why were the CD wallets with the chips and who programmed the night's radio selection of 50s/60s hits (with added emphasis on the Tom Jones)?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

"I'm looking into the future - and it's not very pretty..." - Bubble, Absolutely Fabulous




^ Yay. Bubbles.

I was going to leave these entries as just the images, but I'm up late burning photos onto CDs and was thinking more about things, mostly stemming from spending time this afternoon dancing around on the back verandah with a huge bottle of bubble mix and a wand.

In almost all of the bubbles, my house would be reflected, making a shape like a horizontal cat's pupil. As much fun as blowing bubbles is, the reflections kind of made me a little sad. This is all due to (probably) having to sell my house sometime in the near future. Whenever I work on cleaning the yard or house now, the niggling thought is there in the back of my mind that all of it is for that.

And I hate that.*

Ever since I was little, I've wanted to live in a wooden cottage. This one came along at the right time for me with work and everything as a rental, and then ended up being the one I bought due to not being able to find other rentals that allowed pets (mostly). The house is comfortable, although it has its flaws (okay, so there are lots of flaws, but it's still my home and the first place I felt like home in since we left South Australia).

When the Black Saturday fires threatened home - as they did for close to a month - I kind of started to feel divorced from the place. What else could you do if you expected everything to be gone at some point in the near future? Why not start to cut your feelings off or try to come to terms with things that looked certain to happen?

Then when we could return safely and things were okay, it was so good to be home.

But then there's another sword of Damocles that looms. Cicero asks in Tusculan Disputations, "Does not Dionysius seem to have made it sufficiently clear that there can be nothing happy for the person over whom some fear always looms?" Okay, so the story of Damocles is more about tyrany, positions of power, etc than just about being an ordinary person with an ordinary life, but I think it still makes sense. It's hard to keep on keeping on cheerfully when everything coming all too quickly looks so meh?

Regardless, I'm trying to be happy. I'm trying to do things I want to do, have fun, make the most of the gorgeous area in which I live, take lots of photos, keep my fingers crossed about the snow situation, have some laughs and all of that, rather than just shutting down or giving in to the more nihilistic feelings.

So anyway. Pretty, transitory, elusive bubbles. Bubbles that delight me when they clump together to form uber-bubbles, the way they shine, quiver, float, make a faint pling sound as they burst, a delicate beauty made of nothings.

Anyhoo. Bohemian Like You by the Dandy Warhols has just been on Rage so I can go to bed a happy woman.

* For those curious, that relates to work. And I don't blog about work (apart from amusing things said by the officemate). I don't mean U2 by that, although I do have a serious dislike of U2 and their sanctimonious drivel.

^ More bubbles.

^ And they call this rainbow cake..?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Pencil case


Produce




With the long weekend coming up, I have grand plans of actually stewing all of the quinces I've bought recently in an enormous pot on the stove and having enough stewed quince to make even the most serious quinceaholic happy.

Didn't resist buying more today, though. Or strawberries and asparagus. Nothing like fresh produce.

Monday, June 01, 2009

That is quite a portfolio you've got going on there...


^ It may look a bit gross, but it's butterscotch and it's delicious. Made it yesterday in an experimental mood. And it was surprisingly easy, although it looks absolutely nothing like the photos of it in the magazine where it's all caramel-coloured, sleek and perfectly sliced. Cutting this stuff up was a pain. It's either not solid enough or too solid and grabs the knife as if it wants to wrestle it from you.

Anyway. Very easy. Although I had the fire extinguisher next to me all the time just in case. Can't be too careful... And with the way the mixture bubbles up, you can use the fire extinguisher to beat it back into submission.

In totally unrelated thoughts, I bought new shoes on Friday!


I just went down to get a new hand mixer (the old one that was around 30 years old broke last weekend after making that cake - it was probably too much for it - and it made me inexplicably sad). But then I saw these shoes and another pair, which my ankle protests about. They came home with me as well, though.

The broken leg thing has curbed the shoe buying to a degree, but hasn't stopped it totally. Have to book back into the physio, actually. I'm missing wearing heels and he can help me get back into them. It's important to have goals/priorities.

But red shoes! Red shoes with a ribbon! Hurrah.