Tuesday, October 24, 2006

... my ticket has been maxed

yes, today i went beyond the bounds of my 1+2+3 weekly metcard ticket - i had to pay an extra $8.40 for a return connection from werribee to geelong. pretty bloody inexpensive, i reckon, and i was very impressed with how cushy the v-line trains are. or at least the ones i caught.

attached to this is a tale of two eateries. the first eatery was a hotel bistro at apollo bay. the second was the wharf shed cafe at geelong. one impressed me greatly. one did not.

i had what i felt to be a delicious porterhouse steak with even more delicious mashed potatoes (and i love good mashed potatoes... just ask, i don't know, anyone who's seen me eat at sizzler (although that might descend into a comment like, "doesn't he take a dinner plate to the chocolate mousse section of the dessert bar?") or perhaps at my mum's place when she's cooking rissoles - and hers are par excellence), along with some stir-fried vegetables and a delightful peppercorn sauce. all-in-all, scrumdiddlyumptious. the table-clearing was pretty damn efficient too, i might add. the meat was cooked so well that i thought i may well have to explore the other meat-cooking categories one or two south of my usual "well-done". not blue, or bloody... but maybe medium-well-done, or medium.

i also shared a pizza with cheese, pineapple, and chunks of virginia ham. it wasn't very big, and while it tasted delicious i didn't think the size or quality warranted the rather inflated price-tag attached. what put me off more than the price (and i paid almost twice as much for my steak meal, so please don't think i'm being a cheapskate... in this particular instance!) was the service. i really felt like i shouldn't have been there, and i felt like i didn't earn enough to be there. given the prices they were charging for the drinks on the menu, and given a reasonable guess as to the cost prices of those drinks, i think they could have spent more money on water jugs so that any table that wanted to keep one on their table would be able to. i was singularly unimpressed by eatery #2 and will not be returning.

i'll leave you to mix and match which goes with which.

p.s. i also got to see the remains of the twelve apostles. (part of the reason for the road trip from geelong.) very cool. the long and winding road that is the great ocean road, however, needs regular stops for replacing of... ummm... convenience bags. excuse me...

Monday, October 23, 2006

... swm seeks impetus

i'm a little bit tired. haven't been sleeping fantastically, but that's hardly surprising given where i'm staying. i think the reason i feel so blurgh today is that i have to do (finally) my washing. oh the trials of life!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

... slow news day

well, it's a slow news day today. it's about 8am and i'm getting ready to go down to elizabeth st to pick up my morning coffee at hudsons before i wind my way out to surrey hills. i was recommended to go to surrey hills presbyterian by a friend in sydney, so i figured what they hey. who knows who i might meet? (after my brush with fame last sunday!)

i started to do a small 'zine last night that i'm hoping to photocopy before i go and leave at sticky on or before friday. if nothing else it gives me something to do in my downtime besides watch tv here at the yha. the people running the place here are very nice.

there is a small child... if you know my definition of a small child you know this could be anyone between the ages of 12 months and 12 years - this small child is toddling around and definitely bends more towards the 12 months limit.

there is a small child wandering around behind me in the internet cafe here at the yha. she's as cute as a button, with funky grandparents who are looking out for her while her parents enjoy a holiday here also. the grandparents are doing a great job, and it strikes me as a pretty cool way to holiday. you can have a family holiday with the kid(s) and your folks, or a second honeymoon with your spouse and leave the kids with the doting babysitters. everybody wins!

sigh... i probably need more sleep. toodles!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

... late night in

well, tonight (wednesday the 18th) i decided to have an early night in. i ate some things that are bad for me for dinner, and i don't think i'll be feeling the ill effects of them until about 8am or i have a myocardial infarc, whichever comes first.

i'm up late because the yha had channel ten showing in the lounge and i was hoping (foolishly) that i'd get to enjoy my wednesday night viewing. ncis was ruined by noisy people playing pool and battlestar galactica was ruined by noisy asian poker players about six feet away in the dining area. i'm glad i called mum anyway, not least because (hopefully) she taped both shows for me tonight.

today i visted pakenham. it was pretty much what i expected, reminds me a lot of dapto when i was growing up, but with more shops (rather like warrawong or cronulla now). the area itself (surrounding pakenham) is very dry and kind of country. mum says someone told my sister it's a bit like campbelltown; i don't know if that's socioeconomically true, but it feels like it might be. i grabbed a bunch of flyers from the library along with a copy of the local rag and posted them home - i hope my sister can make some use of them.

i also got to visit one of my favourite shops in melbourne: sticky, a community resource for people involved in small press stuff, 'zines and what have you. every time i go there i spend at least twenty bucks and today was no exception. i must have spent about $38.80, give or take. one collection of books, from the states, is called caboose and if you want to find out more about it you can email the writer, liz saidel. (i don't know if that link is going to work, but try it and see!) very cool stuff. i hope that once i move to melbourne i'll be able to somehow be involved with what sticky are trying to do. city library here in melbourne is also trying to help out zinesters and small press peeps by getting a 'zine library up and running: good on them, i say, and i hope to get involved with that too.

hmm, what else? i may have to move rooms tomorrow. apparently there have been a lot of school groups through here recently; this is the reason that the wine and cheese night last night never eventuated. alas.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

... surprisingly tired

funny, you know. i was pretty tired before i left for my holidays and guess what? i'm still tired! add to this that this morning i rolled over (my patented roll-over-and-get-another-thirty-minutes-of-sleep rollover) a good three or four times and i was up at 7:30!!! what the...?

so the last couple of days have been cool, very relaxed. i feel unhurried, which is nice, although the side tasks i allotted myself for while i'm here (find a job, place to live, for january) are starting to weigh in on me a touch. that being said, i feel that i'm likely worrying over nothing.

yesterday i did a lot of wandering around. visited two or three cafes here in the cbd, including my little alley-oop, which is still there, even though i have a sneaking suspicion that susan isn't running it anymore. i'll have to check again. found a great cafe that was almost literally a hole in the wall - i though alley-oop would have been the smallest eat-in cafe i'd been in, but this little one (whose name escapes me, something starting with a "p"? tiled steps leading up from an alley near some fashion shops, like bathroom floor tiles?) definitely gave it a run for its money.

i also stopped in at word bookshop in the port phillip arcade. that was pretty cool, and i always enjoy the very brief wander around that it is. i have a sneaking suspicion that they have more music than koorong. maybe it just feels that way. i don't know. i may go back and pick up one or two bargains, but until my last friday i'm trying to hoard my money a bit.

that being said, i did lash out tonight on the best pumpkin risotto i've ever had. the pumpkin soup which precursored it still wasn't a patch on mrs thoms' pumpkin soup (the quality of which, i think, may never be matched), but the risotto tonight was amazing and i got the biggest glass of lemon, lime and bitters i've ever drunk. (ironically, a british girl who's here for a year on a working visa was working at the same shop earlier today!)

i will be buying up some 'zines once i get to sticky when it's open (they trade wednesday to friday from 10 until 6) and if i'm really lucky i'll be able to get "a is for..." which is a 'zine i spotted last time i was there but which i wasn't able to get that time. it's a rather subversive little text which uses crimes and other... distasteful thing to illustrate letters of the alphabet.

i'll be dropping into sticky on the way back here, however, after my day to the end of the zones: my 1+2+3 weekly ticket allows me to travel right to the very edges of civilised melbourne society (i don't think it takes me all the way to geelong) and tomorrow that edge will be pakenham. my sister has got a job there (cue irrepressible cries of "huzzah!" and thunderous applause, thank you very much) and i thought i'd check out where exactly it is that she's going to be working. i'm told that it's a growing place, no longer a sleepy little hamlet at the end of a train line but rather the thriving hub of a vibrantly growing collection of housing estates. i can't say i'm expecting to see many trees.

lots of people have been asking me if i'm liking melbourne. i am. that being said, i have noticed one or two little quirks about melbournites; in particular, melbourne drivers.

i know i don't drive; i feel that i've been passenger in cars often enough to have some measure of skill spotting good drivers from bad ones, and at least being a passenger means i'm not necessarily supposed to be looking where i'm going while i observe said drivers in their automalconduct.

melbourne drivers don't seem to spend much time shouting at each other. they do seem to be quite willing to curse pedestrians. this interests me, i suppose because trams (and, by default, pedestrians) figure so heavily here in melbourne. there are generally more people in the roadways sharing space with cars that maybe drivers feel they have no choice. i remarked that in sydney drivers shout at other drivers and simply run over pedestrians. that is a slander and a slur on the inimitable and unparallelled skills of sydney drivers.

trains run more on time down here than in sydney. more explanations are offered than in sydney. far fewer people use them here than in sydney. i heard that some had to stand in the train for three whole stations before they could find a seat. oh my.

more later, i guess. the road goes ever on and on, the road goes ever on...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

... touch of fame

i had a pretty great day today.

i rounded it out with my friend barb at koko black on lygon street, where i enjoyed a pretty amazing hot chocolate (frothier and lighter, not as heavy as a hot chocolate from max brenner's - not better, just different) and used their toilet (adequate to requirements). while i was there i took a picture of my hot chocolate with my mobile phone and tried to send it to my friend dave. i don't know if he got it because i've had no reply and i've only just this last week has mms messaging activated on my phone, but i thought with all the photos of coffees he takes perhaps he'd like one of a hot chocolate.

in the evening (before koko black) i went to a... retelling of the book of esther by a group called backyard bard (there's a website, i think it's backyard bard dot com but i can't quite recall right now and i have three minutes left to write this entry). it was fantastic. if you get the chance, go see 'em.

visited my friend sue ellen's church, which was ok and reminded me a lot of my old church in dapto.

and the touch of fame?

lunch at the chiswells'. you know? the chiswells'? graham and nicky? well, i know a lot of you who read this (i.e. the maybe dozen or so friends who read this) probably have already met them, i know dave knows them quite well, erika too, i think. but it was big for me.

and now? on to sunny melbourne!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

... fifteen degrees cooler

i'm now in melbourne, enjoying temperatures fifteen degrees cooler than in sydney! yahoo!!!

the plane left sydney at 13h15 and when i was crossing the bridge earlier on the bus i checked the temperature and time on the kyocera building in north sydney - 36 degrees. so glad to be enjoying cooler weather here.

enjoyed a hudson's coffee as soon as i could arrange it and getting from the airport to the yha couldn't have been easier. checking in was also a breeze. i'm going to pick up some shopping at coles, brekkie cereal and milk, maybe some bread and cheese for lunch.

i have my weekly travelpass thingie, and i'm going to spend my holidays wandering around melbourne, getting a feel for it...

i feel relaxed already!

Friday, October 06, 2006

... friends

hey, i don't know what kind of friends you have. i'm sure they're great and all, but i am fairly certain i have the best friends in the world. God has blessed me with awesome friends and while i don't show them the appreciation i should always show, or pray for them as often and as earnestly as i should, or keep in touch with them as closely as i should, i don't think i've ever felt like i'd be better off without them.

and heaven will be better than my friends! wow...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

... the (not) ugly (at all really)

to the woman who was sitting in the second car of the hornsby train that left central at 6:29; on the vestibule seat on the left side of the train, nearest the connecting door to the next (my) car; with amazing fair skin, strawberry-blonde hair, freckles and smiling eyes...

you quite took my breath away.

... the bad

a brief note on escalator ettiquette.

the "keep left" signs are there for a reason. not everyone wants to wait an extra three minutes watching you get lovey-dovey with your other half - some of us simply want to get past.

functionally, escalators are there to move people up and down stairs faster than they would simply on foot. like a moving walkway, they are not there as a comfort accessory - they are not there for you to have a rest after your long, weary day sitting at a desk in an office or sitting in a train from [fill in the name of a station here] - they are there to get you from a to b without having to actually say "to".

if you must rest, read the above section on keeping left.

... the good

i went to black stump last weekend. i'll blog about that another time.

tonight i went to see the devil wears prada. yet again, i wish i'd held out and read the book first, because i think that it'll be hard to get the performances of the actors in this film out of my head for some time. (this is one of the reasons i haven't seen memoirs of a geisha yet, and that's already out on dvd!)

prada really was good. i laughed out loud in more than a few scenes, and while in some respects it was fairly cookie-cutter fare, in others it had some quite good stuff in it. the style of the film was very cool and while i (as anyone who knows me will attest) know nothing about fashion i thought that the calendar-flip-style sequence of andy sachs' fashion evolution was quite nifty. stanley tucci demonstrates once again how incredibly underutilised he is.

anne hathaway is an actress to watch, i feel. i get an intense audrey-hepburn-esque impression from her; she is very clean, even when her characters aren't taking the moral routes they should be. i am confident that she will be in the industry for a long, long time; not a bad thing (unlike, for example, gary busey or eric roberts) and i hope that she will lend hollywood some of the class it has lost since the heydays of actresses like lauren bacall, rita hayworth, bette davis, audrey hepburn, and katherine hepburn.