Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ultra quick reviews

Comedy festival
Lawrence Leung learns to breakdance: if you are contemplating going to see one more show at the comedy festival then and go and see it. I cried not once but twice from laughing so much.
* Best of Edinburgh festival: Ok, but far from great. Much better last year.

New Albums

* Bright Eyes-
Cassadaga. I loooooooove all of Bright Eyes's albums except for this one. I don't hate it, but it's not up to the scale of his older stuff. The rawness in Conor's voice that I know and love so much is missing from this album and it's a bit too country for him.
* Arcade Fire-Neon Bible. I was addicted to the first album but unfortunately the second album fails to deliver as much variety and greatness as the first album. Again, I don't hate it but am a little disappointed.
* Modest Mouse- Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank: unlike the other two new albums this was not at all disappointing. I received it for my birthday over a month ago and it still on high rotation on my iriver and my cd player.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I'm sick of poor white guy movies

Mr T and I love movies. Especially now that he joined acmi library and our video shop around the corner is relatively cheap.

The one genre that Mr T and I both enjoy is art house. You may think with art house that you might get a bit of variety but not really. I am so sick of watching movies told by and based on white men's problems. Poor guy struggles to get a girlfriend, struggles to get a job, to be popular, to be successful, with health problems, with family. Blah, blah, blah, blah!

Yes I know that while white males hold plenty of privilege they also may have lots of problems. I'm just sick of watching stories based on their lives, told by them. I just don't want to be silenced as a woman in movies. I want women to have voices and lots of different types of voices.
God females make up close to half of the population why can't movies reflect that? Why can't half the movies be told by females, about females and have great female roles. Not females that need to be saved, that only date popular guys, that are superficial, that are 'sluts', that play games. I guess part of the problem is that female producers are not as common as male producers, but then even female producers tell male stories not female stories. So maybe it is that female stores are not validated and supported financially and I'm sure that living in a patriarchy doesn't help the situation. Whatever the reason, though females have problems that need to be told from female perspectives. Yes I know these movies exist but no way near enough.

As for the white issue, we watch a lot of international films especially Chinese films but there seems to be even less of them told by females. It's easier to fix the white issue, unfortunately there is no section for female movies. Maybe the video store could implement a very small shelf just made up of movies told by female characters.

I've decided to try and comply a list of films that I have watched that are told by female characters starting now. Feel free to add to the list. I'm not going to start right now as it is too difficult to come up with a huge list of films to begin with, I will start with the next one I see, it might be a couple of weeks though.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Great Eggs Benedict?

Mr T's family are visiting next week so if you don't hear from me for a while I'm busy showing them around Melbourne and Victoria.

But before that I need your advice. Mr T's sister has asked for the best eggs Benedict in Melbourne. Mr T and I are little clueless as you can probably imagine about where to get great eggs since we don't eat them. Ask us where to get good baked beans or vegan breakfast and we might be able to help.I have been busy reading away at the breakfast blog but most of the good reviews are not for places in the city. It would be good to have places close to his sisters hotel in the city.

It's going to be interesting time, it's the first time I will meet Mr T's family and we are going to fifteen, lots of wineries and maybe even red hill's brewery. I'm curious as to what fifteen will serve two vegans.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta with Bean Broth)

This recipes rocks and I made it up. Ok maybe not but I altered it and I'm sure it is even better than the original recipe. The original recipe is from 'Nonna's Italian Kitchen' by Bryanna Clark Grogan but I got it from the Vegan food website. For those of you who have the cookbook I would love to know what it's like I've never seen it in a bookstore in Melbourne to be able to flick through it. I love the look of Bryanna's recipes online but they always look too labour intensive for lazy me.

Anyway here is my slightly altered version. Next time I will double the recipe so that there is enough for leftovers for Mr T and I.

    • 1 carrot, chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 2 x 480 g / 17 oz cans cannellini beans
    • 1 1/5-2 cups of vegetarian stock
    • 1 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
    • 2 T chopped fresh Italian parsley (don't even think about using inferior regular parsley)
    • 1 t Italian dried herbs
    • 450 g / 1 lb pasta, such as farfalle (bows), penne or ziti

Put a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.

In a large non-stick or lightly oiled pot, steam-fry the carrot, celery and garlic in their juices for 3-4 minutes. Add the beans, broth, parsley, sun dried tomatoes and herbs. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta and add to the pot with the vegetables. Taste for seasoning. Serve in bowls with a sprinkle of parsley and soy parmesan and crusty bread on the side.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Engagement or Marriage does not equal commitment or happiness

This is something that continually frustrates me. Particularly when I hear things like 'I feel sorry for x she has been with y for 8 years and he still hasn't proposed' or 'I wouldn't stay with someone for that long if he didn't propose'.

For all we know x and y have a loving, respectful, committed, amazing relationship but don't see the point in an outdated tradition.

A piece of paper or an expensive blood diamond ring or $30,000 spent on one day doesn't mean a couple will stay together or that they will always be happy or that both are going to be faithful.

I don't understand how marriage or engagement means so much to people when the divorce rate is so high.

I guess you could call me a hypocrite on that one since I am engaged but I think it allows me to speak from another angle. Being engaged changed nothing in our relationship nor do I think a wedding will. Mr T moving here was more of a commitment that any proposal or wedding. Even before he moved here or proposed I felt more comfortable and confident about our relationship than in another relationship where marriage was discussed quite seriously.

It really frustrates me that people still feel sorry for women who are in relationships with men who do not propose to them. Maybe they doesn't want to get married. Speaking of which, Mr T and I still don't know if we actually want any sort of wedding.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Some thoughts on public transport

Car trying to keep cool on one of those hot days a few weeks ago

I have a new resolution: to try not to use my car on the weekend. As I get more and more comfortable with my bike and public transport the easier it gets. This weekend I managed it, and I've done it in the past too.

Providing there are no visits to my family in the suburbs or special occasions I think I can do it.

Since my move to Brunswick, public transport has gone from not available except for 1 really long bus ride to available in very form. Trams are by far my favourite but I now have a train station close by so that also gets used often.

Mr T and I often embark on explorations to different suburbs via public transport on sundays thanks to the sunday saver cheap ticket.

I have been loving it despite some less than savoury characters on it. I was just remarking today about how this sat in the city I was waiting for a tram in the middle of the day when a group of about 6 teenagers started chroming along side me. I've seen chromers before but never chroming together.

This comment lead to comments from many of my co-workers about how that's why they don't use public transport and how there are too many 'freaks' on public transport. I always guessed that one of the major reasons people avoid it is the inconvenience sometime caused by public transport but maybe not. Maybe it's a class issue. I remember someone made a similar comment once about people who choose to drive into the city and pay crazy amounts of money on parking and sit in peak hour traffic rather than catch public transport because it was below them to be on public transport. That I could believe but people like me who didn't earn that much surely they couldn't be that snobby.

Could it really be that simple? Just the act of avoiding 'freaks'? Or is it a fear thing?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Proof that I've always been cool

I found this pic at my grandmothers place and just had to share it. Just for the record, I don't really look that anymore.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Some evenings are just not meant to be

I was enjoying having the place to myself tonight and playing some music Mr T doesn't really care for, getting my net time, cooking the best smelling pumpkin soup and being quite productive too.

My neighbour invited me up for a glass of wine and we chatted and one glass quickly become a few while I was waiting for soup to be ready. I returned to my place turned off the soup which was perfect in every way except I felt it was missing some bread.

I then decided that I had to have bread that very minute especially since I'm hooked on potts bread. I asked my neighbour if she wanted anything from the supermarket and she said no but was concerned that I would be walking by myself at night. I explained that I couldn't drive either so we reached a compromise of me riding my bike. Yes riding a bike slightly tipsy sounded ok to me. However, my tires were really flat so I slowly pumped them and then set off thinking how great it was riding with so few cars on the road.

I got to the supermarket safely and slowly got my bread, some chocolate and other goodies and walked out to unlock my bike and discovered that I didn't have my keys. I looked and looked and looked and finally proceeded to walk home following my steps. I didn't find my keys and I attempted to call Mr T but he didn't answer and I knew he wouldn't be home to late anyway. My neighbour allowed me to stay at her place as long as I needed to. I waited for about an hour and then remembered that Mr T recently gave a spare key to my mother so I called her up only to discover that she couldn't find the spare either. In the meantime Mr T called me back and replied that it would be over an hour til he would be home. I then discovered that my neighbour had actually fell asleep. My mother called to say that she still couldn't remember what she did with the key. Mr T called again saying that he actually didn't have keys on him as he left them in the apartment this morning. I was just contemplating how much a locksmith would be and whether I could actually find one at 10pm and what I should do about my asleep neighbour, and what the etiquette is for a situation like that and whether I should leave and wait downstairs in the cold when my mother finally called to say that she had found the key.

I've just walked in the door a little before 11 it's been almost 3 hours since I set off to the supermarket my soup is now cold and I don't even feel like the bread anymore. My bike is still at the supermarket and I'm too exhausted to go and get it right now so I hope it doesn't get stolen. I also found a huge cockroach in our bathroom.

The lessons from all this:

a) perhaps not a good idea to drink on week nights
b) never drink and ride
c) give a spare key to my neighbour

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Long weekend

I had a great long weekend which involved a show at the comedy festival which wasn't the greatest but still made me laugh, lots of little chocolate easter eggs, vegan cupcakes made by me (see below), a party, some actual housework, lots of fun family time, explorations around north melbourne and Asian supermarkets (in the city), a long leisurely bike ride with Claire and lots more that I can't remember.

This was my 2nd attempt at making cupakes. Mr first attempt was xmas time when I made about 80 and Mr T dropped them all face down before anyone got to try them. I was hesitant about going through all the effort again but it was worth it. I made them and Mr T make the icing and put extra pineapple on top and everyone loved the mini ones on the bottom. The recipe is from vegan lunch box cookbook.

Sorry for the crappy pic, but that's all I have:

Monday, April 02, 2007

A choice

I got the results of my ultrasound and other fun internal test on sat. My doctor told me that I have a large cyst on one of my ovaries (6cm) and as a result of that and my symptoms that she suspects that I have endometriosis. Part of me felt a little relieved that I might have an actual reason for issues I have been having issues with my period. I wasn't too concerned with the idea of having endometriosis either since I remember reading articles about it and have heard of others having it and I remembered it being common.

Then I started reading and reading. I discovered that endometriosis is the second leading cause of infertility in females. Also for more advanced endometriosis a hysterectomy is needed.

It was crazy I might not even have endometriosis let alone be infertile (many women have it and are not infertile) or need a hysterectomy but I had this overwhelming sadness.

I still don't understand it. I'm not even sure I want children and Mr T and I have hypothesised that if we do that we would seriously consider adoption. I'm also one of those people who don't understand why some couples spend so much money and time on IVF when there are other options like adoption. I'm even had great philosophical discussions about the obsession to have 'your own children' in the face of overpopulation and the effects on the environment. But somehow now I MAY be removed of a choice and I just feel sad. I feel like a hypocrite.

On the upside I may not have to worry about contraception.

Without private health insurance it will probably be a couple of months before I am able to have a Laparoscopy to figure out if I have it.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Mr Chive

I know I said no more lunch pics, but I had to share this recipe for “Sausage Heroes with Sauerkraut and Carmelized Red Onion". It is so easy and yummy. I'm going to cook the red onion and "sausages" on the sandwich press at work.

I have lots of things to talk about but not enough time to share will post again soon, I promise.