Sunday, July 30, 2006

Women in Music

Before the Yeah Yeah Yeahs show I went and saw Angie Hart who used to be in a band called Frente which when you look back was kind of indie for its time. Her individual stuff is quite different a lot slower and she really does have a pretty voice.

I've been thinking about how the three most recent shows all had female lead singers. You could be mistaken from thinking that women dominate my music collection however sadly they don't. I probably like more female musicians than some however men still dominate the music scene well the indie/rock/folk/punk/whatever else scenes that I tend to listen to. Take for example these three bands despite each having a female lead singer there are still more men in the bands than women.

Also, all women groups are still kind of rare, which is indicated by how when they do exist they are always described as 'all girl groups'. You never hear all men groups defined by their gender. Ok there are 'boy bands' in the pop world but in the rock/indie scene they are the norm.

Then of course you have some men and women who have only a few cds in their collection with women featured in them, they have strictly male cds only. Why though?

Btw, photo taken by Mr T, maybe I should just have a little small print down the bottom that all band photos are taken by him

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sucky things

* having to pay back $700 tax still not sure how that happened but i'm guessing something to do with me lecturing for a semester last year boosting my salary up a little
* going back to uni which means having only 1 day off a week at the moment
* my job or rather my colleague I would love to quit in a week ot two but I can't afford it even more now that I have a nice big tax bill
* this weather, when it ever end?

So if you don't hear from me I'm wallowing in self pity for a little bit or rather just trying to save money and living a relatively boring life.

Now to menu planning with a emphasis on spending the least amount on groceries without compromising taste or good nutrition. Any pointers?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What do you do?

when you hear loud shouting between a neighbour and her partner so loud that you can hear it over the top of the tv and you know they have 3 young children. Do you:

a) call the police

b) ignore it

c) wait it out then decide

Tonight I was faced in this situation and I called the police annoymously. While it might be over reacting and she and the kids might be fine I couldn't bear it if something happened and I didn't make the call.

Monday, July 24, 2006

More variety thanks to menu planning

No its not dessert its a soup with beets in it, yes you read right. I saw the recipe called beauty and the beet borscht in La dolce vegan and thought sure I feel like something different and it payed off. It was great, tasted like tomato soup with a nice beet flavour. On top is vegan sour cream made from a recipe in the same cookbook. I have to admit I was dissapointed with this cookbook after trying one recipe but its starting to look better with these recipes and the lentil and quinoa stew.

Next, one of my all time fav recipes savoury shepherds pie with sunflower seeds on top from how it all vegan but in mini form thanks to these new tins my mother purchased.

Now the dessert: super fruit tart from Dr Fuhrman's April Menu minus the blue berries on top. This rocks and I was very proud of myself because its more effort than I'm used to. Next time I won't even bother with the extra fruit on the top. It's great by itself.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Went and saw them on Tuesday night. We arrived super early only about 20 minutes after the doors open and already all the couches/chairs and the first half a dozen rows of people standing very filled at the forum.

The first thing I noticed was the smoke, the last two venues (northcote social club and east Brunswick club) have been smoke free. The second thing I noticed was how many teenagers there appeared to be. For some reason it never occurred to be that teenagers loved them probably because most of the shows I got to don't have many teenagers. I was stuck between two teenagers smoking I felt like I was developing lung right then and there. Really gross, anyway back to the show review: they were awesome. In the top 3 or 5 shows I've ever seen. The suspense before they come at was amazing you could feel it in the air and hear in what seemed to be everyones comments. Once they started playing everyone seemed to be singing and dancing it was just one of the moments where you went 'wow'. The one thing that surprises me was how much Karen O smiles. I don't recall any other musician smiling so much in their shows. Mr T also remarked that she looked sad at some point in the evening and that he worried about her (so sweet). I was half expecting her to spit something out at the audience (bananas, grapes, beer) but she didn't. It was one of those shows as well where it was all about the lead singer. I loved the way she dances around in circles kind of reminds me of a little girl completing not caring at all. Her costumes kind of remind me of that as well. Its hard not to dance when the lead singer is enjoying dancing so much herself. I normally enjoy watching the other members of the band too but I kind of had to tell myself too and even then it didn't work.

I have to admit I'm biased about the band though. I liked the last album but I fell in love with them with this current album. I know, I know many of their fans were disappointed and the reviews have been mixed with this album but its just had a fuller sound or maybe it was just timing. I have a theory that the first album you really listen to, I mean over and over to and give it a chance is normally your fav. For example white stripes. For me it was elephant for Mr T it was white blood cells and for someone else maybe their older or their latest album.

It was great mix of songs from both albums and a couple from their EP. I loved the combination of songs, and their faster and slower ones.

In summary, it was worth all the smoke and worth every dollar I paid for +

I'm think it is quite likely I'm now go into a mini obsession where I can't enjoy anything but the yeah yeah yeahs for a couple of weeks like I did with bright eyes last year.

*Photos taken by Mr T

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Problems I have with weddings and marriage

I've been thinking a lot about this and yes my relationship with Mr T is more than fine. Below are just a few of the problems/issues I've been having either with marriage or weddings.

* Discrimination against same sex couples marrying

* patriarchal association with marriage that STILL exists today

* The way society values de facto couples vs married couples. My de facto friends/family members are not in relationships that are any less in value or commitment or love or anything else than my married ones are. Call Mr T what you want, my partner, boyfriend, husband, fiance I still feel the exact same way about him but people do think differently according to the title I give him.

* The expense and stress all for ONE day.

* The 'shoulds' and 'musts' involved with wedding. There is no way you are getting me in a big white dress or making my single female friends and family members stand up while I throw them a bouquet of flowers.

* The obsession over the smallest of details: invites, flowers, colour of ribbons on chairs.

* The competitiveness and bitchiness from those who attend weddings particularly some bride to be's.

I think the problem is we both kind of feel like sell outs in two ways. One, this day is more about everyone else than us. It doesn't cost $2,000 to feed and provide drinks for the two of us for just one meal. It doesn't cost $5,000 for us to know that we are in a loving and committed relationship. We are having to compromise on a lot of things for example music. Some how I can't see my family enjoying most of the music we enjoy.

Second, there is or rather was a small part of me who wanted to be married for the validation side of things, not his but other peoples. Or rather for priority list. I kind of feel vulnerable in one way as a intercultural relationship because lets face it as a wife (still hate that term too) I will be called straight away if something happens to him (eg: accident) even if he is in Hong Kong and I'm in Melbourne. Sure as a girlfriend I will be called hopefully but I wouldn't be as much as a priority, I could be dismissed as just his 'gwai moi' girlfriend. This is obviously more of a problem when we were doing long distance compared to now when we are together.

At first we approached it as we will do it our way and have certainly started to discuss most of that stuff. I'm either wearing bright red or blue (my 2 fav colours), i'm not taking on his surname, we are having it small and as inexpensive as possible, and I even found a catering service which I would love to support: Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Catering Service, scroll down the page to download their flyer.

We generally boycott things we disagree with for example: sweat shop products, non vegan items, blood diamonds etc. I guess as well I have been thinking about it in terms of the way we see organic food. If you want prices to improve for organic products you have to buy them. Well if you want de facto couples to have the same rights or rather values as a married couple then wouldn't it be best to stick it out as a de facto couple.

Besides we have started to realise that the money we could spent on a wedding could go on a decent overseas holiday.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Am I just over analysing?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Red wine stain removal

Imagine you have a new quilt cover (see below for an example) and your partner sits on top of your bed drinking red wine and chatting to you.

Now imagine you make some comment about being 'careful with that' only to be met with 'sure' and then moments later your partner spills half of the glass all over it.

Trust me that one or a combination of the tricks below work in removing it:

1. Soak area in white wine
2. pour salt over area and rub gently
3. pour baking soda on area
4. pour boiling water over area

Thanks google!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Good things part 3

My live musical show drought has ended.

We went and saw howling bells an Australian band on sat night thanks to a tip from Mr T who read about them in UK music magazine NME.

Lead singer Juanita Stein-Photo taken by Mr T

I was very impressed and my drought doesn't end there either I've got another 3 shows coming up in the next week and a half.

Btw, have you ever noticed that everyone seems to blog on a monday?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Good things part 2

Just to prove I do actually cook without recipes too. Here is some steamed asparagus with a bit of lemon juice, olive oil and some almonds on top (yes just a little bit over cooked) but still very yummy.

One half of the new king sized quilt and slightly creased new quilt cover, Mr T thinks the new quilt cover looks like one of the blogger templates. We previously had a queen size quilt, but king is 4,000 times better for tall Mr T and blanket hog me. Plus its super warm.

I finally got around to making some magnets from left over Coopers lids. Coopers is only surviving family-owned brewery in Australia, plus its vegan and doesn't employ beer girls and has the cutest lids.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Melbourne is a vegan friendly city

It always surprises me when people in Melbourne say to me 'isn't that hard?' in regards to being vegan. They obviously however lack creativity and insight into how veg*n friendly Melbourne is.

For starters there are 40+ veg restaurants in Melb. Yes 40+

While I mostly eat out at veg restaurants, well you do have to support them, plus its an easy night out with sometimes too many things to choose and too many too choice from. I do also eat out at non veg restaurants and I've NEVER found myself in a situation where there is nothing to eat.

Plus there is a whole host of veg stuff going on all the time.

To further prove my point. Here is a new Melbourne vegan blog which is kept up to date will all the upcoming social events including Vegans Unite (which has had over 100 members at some events), Vegetarian Network of Victoria social events, Animal lib events, Food not bombs times, talks, festivals and other things happening. For example: Peter Singer's recent talk at Melb Uni, and free yoga times in the park. It used to be a mail list that I'm on (one of 3 veg*n melb ones i'm subscribed to). While I don't really attend any of the social events, it is good to check just to see what is happening. If I checked it on time last time I would have made Peter Singers free talk. It's run by a guy called Peter Carr who knows everything and everyone around the veg*n circles and a lot of other people too. Want a flatmate he can probably hook you up, want advice about caterers again pretty good. Want to buy something he knows where to go. The guy is simply amazing with his contacts.

It reminds me of how an old American PETA acquaintance was once telling me how he used to argue with the big PETA boss (what's her name?) that in terms of the worlds more vegan friendly cities Melbourne should come 3rd. She had never been here though and disagreed and thought it should be some place in the UK. Maybe the one with vegan pub wherever that is!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Good things part 1-food

Since the last post, i've figured I should write about the better stuff aka NOT the cold weather in my life. As a result of winter and being a hermit I've been cooking a lot. I've also acquired vegan with a vengeance so I can finally try some of the recipes everyone in veg*n blog world have been raving about. So far I've tried the kale with tahini sauce (very good) and the chickpea bake however I realised just towards the end I didn't have any fresh chives so I used dried. I found it to be a little boring not sure if it was just the chives though. Here's a pic:

I'm still menu planning and its going really well. I find that i'm getting more variety than I've ever had. Last week I experimented with quinoa which i've never had before. I made the lentil and quinoa stew from La Dolce Vegan and I was very pleased. Also from La Dolce Vegan I made the sloppy Janes which was very good. Mr T has requested it again this week because he enjoyed it so much.

My mother also bought me a copy of the Easy vegan cooking which is not something I would have thought of getting for myself. However, i've already made one recipe from it which has been quite good, the jam delights (below) which were great warm and the next day cold although the recipe did seem to need more margarine than it asked for:

And then to further prove that my mother is the greatest, she made garlic bread and this amazing lasagna: