Monday, 30 March 2009

navire à vapeur

Ok ... pretensions aside ... on Saturday we had the old gang over for Steamboat!!

quel est le sens de navire a vapeur?? (oops I think I just butchered the french language - c'est abominable!!)

Well Steamboat is a chinese dish that is very much like a fondue with stock. You may also be familiar with the nipponese variant called Shabu Shabu!! Essentially you have a pot of simmering stock at the centre of the table, and your guests choose from a variety of raw ingredients which they can put into the stock to cook. At our home, everyone gets their own individual wire baskets and fat arse soup spoon..

I love doing Steamboat, because prep work is sooo easy for this. Although the longer you cook the stock the better. Everyone has their own version of this stock, although the mainlanders prefer theirs a little sweeter, peops in singers prefer theirs a bit more robust, more porky!!

My stock includes pork bones, chicken carcasses, loads of ginger, spring onions and coriander, and at the very end, the addition of prawn stock, made simply from fried prawn shells:

prawn shells being fried
main stock simmering away

Our usual raw ingredients are beef, pork, prawns and an assortment of chinese leafy including choy sum, bok choy, chinese cabbage and crinkly chinese lettuce, along with shitake and enoki mushrooms. We also scored some baby squid - $5 a tray - SUPER!!

The raw meat/fish ingredients I usually marinade in a mixture of pounded ginger, finely sliced spring onions, sugar, soy sauce and chinese cooking wine. The vegetables don't require any preparation apart from washing and cutting and the assortment of fish, squid and beef balls just need to be plonked on a serving plate.

So we spent most of the afternoon veg-ing out while the stock slowly simmered away on the stove. And when our guests arrived and were enjoying pre-dinner drinks outside, we laid the table:

Steamboat is not a quiet meal - it can be very territorial ... "don't mess with my basket of goodies" "get your own" "hey thats my fishball" ... the louder the better ... and of course while you're waiting for your food to cook there's plenty of time for liquid libation!!

  Happy hoarsed-voice and inebriated punters all round.

Eventually we'll make it to the top of the stairs!

Ok .... so we had dinner at a Melbourne Instituition ... Grossiiiiii ... erm if you were going to finish that with Florentino ... then Not Quite!!

We only made it as far as the Cellar Bar ...

We will one day venture next door to the Grill .... (baby steps)

and if we're very lucky ... then we'll venture next door and up the stairs for the full Florentino experience!!!

Grossi is your old school Italian complete with gruff elderly waiters and romanesque prices ... the service from our young waitor was perfunctory, but Salieri the ancient mafia runner (not his real name .... sorry I know ... Stereotype!!) kept telling us that our table was too small for 4 people much to our obvious consternation (I had the full Office look on my face and M had the "i'm ready to rumble" look he gets like when he's at the checkout at our local supermarket) .. and getting on M's offside in the process .. but he did put things to rights by joining tables together for us, and when J turned up and flashed her boobies (no not literally) he was all smiles and jokes ... I even chipped in with a 50 50 comment whilst moving my upturned palms up and down ... "dad joke alert"!!!

Anyhoo ... even though its the cheaper end of Grossi's culinary empire, the food is still pretty damn amazing. And of course its the place for celebrity spottage ... even as we settled into our little snug, Thomas Kenneally was browsing in the bookshop nearby.

We shared a plate of salt cod croquettes for starters, I had the penne with smoked chicken and peas, M had the sardines wrapped in speck and served with a pile of spiced breadcrumbs, both J & C had the roast pumpkin tortellini. ALL cooked to perfection and delicious in the simple execution ... I can just imagine the dance that occured when our dishes were being prepared in the kitchen ... you know the story of the tailor who could kill 7 flies with one blow ... well I imagine my penne being whipped together with a single balletic flip of a kitchen towel!!

Now don't come expecting american diner portions, the amounts are just right ... anymore and we will be calling the fat pig police!! Although I felt like dialling their number when we all pulled for a dessert each. M & C had the sticky date, J had the baked cheesecake and I had the bread and butter pudding ... TDF!

No pics I'm afraid ... Salieri would have clubbed me on the head and smashed my camera ... fo' shur!!!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Monster Mash!

Ok ... let me just perpetuate the hype ... but it is Spike Jonz!! So its gotta be good ... right??

Where the Wild things are ... Trailer

Now if we can only get Chris Cunningham to dip his toes in the feature film world ... I'm sure I heard that he was working on a horror movie ... what ever happened to that?

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Monday, 23 March 2009

"How Scandinavian of me!"

Ok ... there must be something about all that ice and the snow but these scandy's really know their way around the cold tectonic plates of electronic music. They understand the pulses and the bleeps and the blops better than anyone else ... and they certainly have a vast tradition to draw on ... all that genetic musical memory must divulge itself in new and interesting ways as the decades roll on ... I'm hoping I'm not jinxing this but here are 2 alpine examples that point to a revitalisation of the genre ...

(i) Fever Ray - Self Titled

The side project of Karin Dreijer Andersson from The Knife. Abba this is not, and it could very well be contender for Album of the year for me. This is how I prefer my electronic music - dark and brooding. With Karin's strident overdubbed vocals like banshees for BVs barely contained or vocodered into mannish almost lycanthropic proportions ... this is not something you want to be putting on late at night when you're all alone in the dark ... In conjunction with the release of the album, here are 2 accompanying vids to whet your appetite ... inscrutable and creepy!!


(ii) Royskopp - Junior

Flipside of the coin .. this is bouncy, happy charm dance music ... with a hot list of scandinavian electro goddesses on guest vocals including Karrin, Robyn and Lykke Li ... you may disdain of Royskopp's borderline commerciality, but you certainly couldn't resist some if not all of its charms, at least until the next car/drink/electronic product ad or the ad nauseuam radio airplay sets in ... so get in quick and enjoy it now before the nuff nuffs get their tacky hands in.

Review here.

Oh and both of these CDs are currently priced at $19.99 each over at JBs ... c'mon ... there's a fraction of the stimulus package!!

And just for shits and giggles ... another fun mash-up ... remember them ("thats when we used to vote for him").

Home is where the crap is ...

Ok ... firstly congratulations to C & M on their nuptials!! It was very much appreciated that I was included in the invite ... I don't really think it was entirely out of a sense of obligation ... but I'm curious as to whether it was a given or had to be agonised over in some form or other.

Let me just say that the Gulf Station in Yarra Glen could be the perfect setting for a wedding ...

It was the perfect day, perhaps a little too hot and as the dress code was Cocktail, I'm not sure it was the ideal for the sunsmart amongst us, but there was shade around the edges and plenty of bottles of water to be had. The bride looked stunning in gold offset by the bright blue of the bridesmaids ... not going to be winning any fashion awards ... but simple and elegant.

Being a country wedding, I believe I was the only non-skip at the event, a bit like being the only "gay in the village", but that was certainly not the case. The trusty old gaydar went off several times during proceedings. Awkwardness set in when it was time to take the family photo, which thankfully didd't eventuate, although I think some people were a bit miffed.

We had crazy in tow so there was a mini-tanty when we drove to Healesville for a quick tea and pie, then it was off to Mt Evelyn at the bride's house for the reception. They had a massive marquee in the backyard of their house and there was heaps of food and drink and what would a country do be without the ole Nutbush City Limits!!!

Apart from crazy going all funny at the end of the night, I actually had fun. K was so pissed but soooo much fun!! Both J and P have grown into attractive young adults, and lets face it apart from the horsiness C herself is pretty hot, and her husband M couldn't be called ugly by any ones standards. H like quite a number of other young lads there had the knifepoint hair and white shoes ... H went one step further with a white belt ... but who am I to judge!!

PS - still hate these family do's!

Sunday, 22 March 2009


Ok ... much as I am completely obsessed by music and have pretty much dabbled in every conceivable genre including yes even the ole contry and western, some of the metal variants I just haven't been able to come at, regardless of the angle. D who I work with has been trying his best to educate me, and I have been trying my best to accomodate him as he finds everything outside EMO, Pop and Metal as being indie!!

But he has introduced me to the likes of Refused, who's last CD is still on my regular ipod playlist. D recently "backed-up" a cd for me with some of his choice cuts, well choice cuts that he thinks I may actually listen to ... and first off I have found one band at least that will be making its way onto aforementioned playlist ...

(don't laugh ok .. they're from Portland Oregon and are called ....)


They've got a pretty cool website and I believe are classified as progressive metal ... another journo-derived genre perhaps?? But we love this stuff anyways, so who are we to knock it!

I'm currently listening to the two tracks on a 7" that was released in conjunction with a tour - Tomorrow will never come!

And for good measure, here's The Refused. EXCELLENT EXCELLENT SONG!!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Golden Balls ... and I'm not talking about Beckham

Ok .... FMD (i.e. fuck me dead) ... guess whats hanging in Melbourne Central at the mo ... a ferero roche easter egg made out of gold foiled balls ...


Thursday, 19 March 2009

Jethro Cave in Fash-Un and I want to be a module

Ok ... I'm afraid that the slim silhouette is still very much in for the A/W season ... and you guessed it .. mainly block colours, black included, layer upon layer upon layer ... i.e. your typical melbourne fashion show ... including rock royalty ... well take a pinch ... Jethro Cave in the jester's garb blowing metaphoric rasberries at the paps!! Some people get paid alot of money by just being who they are!!!

Ooh and apparently he was dropped from the Myer show due to his "erratic" behaviour ... girlfriend probably dropped a few too many ... R was doing BVs for CODA at the show and he saw Jet at the run through ... Cave Jr was nowhere to be seen when it was curtains!!

Anyhoo, the evening started out with a couple of quick drinks down at Section 8. Never been?? Well you gotta go ... while the weather is still reasonable warm.

The intention was to hop next door after for some Dumplings at Camy's ... but alas the beverages delayed matters a tad ... so it was a quick stop at KFC (Hungry Jack's had closed down) for a trully rancid dining experience, then onto the tram off to the docklands. It was an easy enough tram to spot as fash-un had inexplicably thrown up on it ... fringes, black, black, more black, more fringes ... you get the drift!! R bumped into his neighbour who now works at Nom'd ... one of the labels featured in the show we were going to ... and one of my favourite haunts on Gertrude Street! We didn't really have to figure out what stop was ours since .. you guessed it ... fash-un pressed the bell.

After yet another culinary disaster in the free ice creams courtesy of (don't even!!!), and catching up with JP for the tix and well the catch up, it wasn't long before we were esconced in our seats ... a little bleary eyed .. desperately craning necks for crap celebrities, trade ... etc ... R went all quiet as he has a keen eye ... meanwhile I was desperatly trying to take a pic of Miss Jay ... and if you say "Miss Who" right now ... your credibility stakes have just gone up 2 million!!! Miss Jay dwells amongst the towering pile of caca that is known as America's next top model, dispensing sartorial tips on how to walk!! And this, kids is what Miss Jay looks like .. please explain ... its Marcia hines in drag with not an ounce of fashion sense or taste:

Here was my pitiful attempt at snapping a pic ... look really really really closely ... pretend its one of those magic eye paintings .. his shiny tackiness will eventually reveal itself:

Can you see it ... spot the alice band??? No? Well feast your eyes on these beauties instead:

Anyhoo .. this year wasn't as great as last years. We didn't get to see alot of men's clothes and Alpha 60 continues to dissapoint when once it was so exciting. The show opened with Fool ... rainbow coloured chunky knits and patchwork teddy bears on heads, hips, back ... you name it ... just a little bit of crazy in the arts and crafts department at spotlight!!! Great way to start the show .. with clothes Kedra would wear ...

Then it was onto Alpha 60 - always with the cool concepts and cool music (radiohead in this case) but the clothes ... meh

The rest was a blur of starvation and construction ... antipodium, jack london, friedrich gray, nom'd, six, therese ransthorne .... admittedly this is more of the "alternative" show ... so if you have some old collared t-shirts ... just drap them round and round your torso over a pair of long johns and knee socks ... then cover your head with an old jumper ... and suddenly you're a "module" in a fashion show!!!

We left feeling underwhelmed and also hungry ... so a quick bite at one of the few joints still open ... and we were off home ... well I was ... R went for a midnight bonk ... and I endured the late 86 tram!!! Believe me something always happens on the 86 tram at night ... I was privileged enought to listen to Mr VB Can In Hand proclaim that he was not a racist ... but just calls it as he sees it .. at least he has the capacity to have some form of thought process ... good on the tight vested guy to have pulled him up on it from a few seats back ... so impressed!!

Till next year here's my tip... get T-shirts of various lengths and wear them one on top of each other ... find something in a sheer material that is cropped and wear that as the top most layer ... get your old tracky daks ... stick some black gaffa tape at random intervals ... stuff it into striped knee high socks ... and then straight into some high top something or others ... if you can afford it .. get a cropped leather jacket ... preferably with the biker style side zip .. and wrap a woolen scarf round your head ... that is Fash-Un!!!

Dodo dodo dodo dodo bop bop bop Fa-Shun!!!

Ok ... everyone ...

"Turn to the left
Turn to the Right
We are the goon squad and we're coming to town ...."

(and if you are now going "beep beep" then I am so proud of you!!!)

More to come ...

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Phrase of the Day

Ok ... been seeing this phrase cropping up all over the joint - sui generis!!
And I'd love to be considered as sui generis ... but sadly, no ... more like sui generic!!!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Ok ... Craig has broken my heart ... and in the immortal words of Morrisey:

"if you must write prose/poems
the words you use should be your own
don't plagiarise or take on loan
coz there's always someone somewhere
with a big nose who knows
who'll trip you up and laugh when you fall
who trips you up and laughs when you fall"
Cemetry Gates from The Queen is Dead

Apparently Chris from NYC thought this up to begin with ...

I no longer have a wet spot for you Craig ... now I need to go home and listen to my Nik Kershaw records and have a slice of white toast for consolation.

PS ... since when did "gift" become a verb ... jeez make it up as you go along why don'cha!

Roxy and Gatehouse

Ok this is the new lingo ... Proxy and Gateway will now heretofor be referred to as Roxy and Gatehouse ... and speaking of further malapropisms (well not really, just wanted to use the word) ... me and R are off to FASH-UN!! tomorrow night. We are gracing the docklands with our greasy presence for the Yen Show courtesy of the lovely JP!!!

There will be pics galore I'm sure and hopefully a concise run-down on the run-way ... and there better bloody be free ice creams like there were last year ... the fact that its a school night will keep the liquid jollities to a minimum ... but I'm sure we will give it a good ole jollification try!!

And we can only keep fingers crossed but I'm sure the overall impression will be as always that FASH-UN!!! has gone to the dawgs (insert really fucked segue here):

(some friends have kids .. others have pets!!)

Ringo "G-G-Goodnight Vienna" Starr
Leonid Brezhnev ... no seriously .. that is his name!! ... oh yeah well I bet your friends eat hair and sniff their toe jam!!

And in final canine related news, M and the lovely rainbow band (snigger) played at the Guidedog open day recently ... now apparently they don't deserve our donations because the CEO or equivalent drives around in a BMW and thats a no no in the not for profit stakes. However this comes from J who is the CEO of a similar nfp org, who drives around in the latest fat arse Commodore (third one in as many years) ... which I believe could potentially cost as much as a regular Beamer????

Also was "reliably" informed that our recycling really doesn't get recyclced becoz its expensive and there's a lack of funding so the bulk of it end up as landfill ... jeez ... who can you believe these days??? Maybe ignorance is indeed bliss sometimes.

Anyhoo, back to the dogs ... out of respect I didn't go all lily tomlin on their furry arses, much as I dearly wanted to .. it was a pleasant enough way to spend a day ... but really ... it would have been heaps more fun if I had a penful of these little darlings all to myself:


nearly scored a black lab from the spca when I was younger ... ended up with Twinkle instead

(LUCY!! 2)

So thank you rainbows ... for this lovely if slightly unecessarry segue:

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Come to the Supermarket in old Peking!!

Ok ... so you know what they say about Hong Kong ... you can get anything there!!

Well presenting the i-fone!!!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

From the hips of babes ... !!! The Single Ladies junket keeps on keepin on

Ok ...!! We are starting young these days ... pedos please avert your eyes ... AD-orable!!!

Touched! for the very first time

Ok ... please tell me that this was in aid of fancy dress, otherwise its time to burn those old records ...

Still not sure who this is?? Can't tell even with a glimpse of those roided up biceps??

Like a wannabe virgin give you a clue???

Here's another one ... material girl raids avril lavigne's cast offs at local opp shop ...

Oops ... oh no you didn't!!! Jus coz you tongued me and my ex doesn't give you the right to steal ma look!

(pic courtesy of

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

English Vogue, American Vogue, bloody Abyssinian bloody Vogue

ok .. so we finally made it to the Abysinnian in good old Flemo ...

If you have not had the pleasure of eating Injera bread ... and anything spiced with berbere ... you need to fix this dire sitch asap!!! Get yourself down to the nearest cab driver haunt and chow down ... this is comfort food at its very best ...

We have had Injera bread meals a number of times before and admittedly the Abysinnian is on average a few dollars more ... but the food is pretty damn fantastic!!!

I was nursing a bit of a cold so wasn't really up for a heavy red, so I ordered a portuguese Rose and M had a Dashen beer on our waitress' recommendation.

We decided to share an entree and went for the Silsy which was simply sauteed onions with the berbere spice, ghee and a bit of tomato sauce served with rolled up injera bread .... HEA-VEN!! And spicy too ... I don't know how the whiteys coped!! I am on a mission to score myself a packet of thie berbere spice, which is 80% chilli and 20% of a varity of spices ... so the menu "helpfully" informs me ... and believe me we have been trying ... I think we went into every halal type store in Footscray!!

For mains we chose two to have with the bread - Dorho Wott (signature chicken dish, again with Berbere .. a must have for your first go) and Derek Tibs (lamb cubes grilled with ghee, green chillies, onions and rosemary).
The lamb was a bit tough but we really didn't mind at all ... and the egg in the Dorho wott was perfection!!

To ease our full tummies we tried their coffee which is infused with ginger that acts as a digestive .. worked a treat!!
You can explore their menu here.

The recession depression rag!

Ok ... as things are looking shaky at work and the economy at large .. I have had to bite the bullet and forgo the following luxuries:

(i) French and Saunders Live!!! (I know ... cyanosis is setting in even as I type this ... you don't know dear reader(s) how much this is hurtin' ... but at $174 a pop for just normal seats ... its too hard to make the numbers work

(ii) Human League - V Sideshow (rumoured to be doing the entire Dare album)

(iii) M83 - V Sideshow

(i) has been addressed somewhat by scoring the DVD for $9.95 at JB's.

(ii) and (iii) could possibly be alleviated by me going to V with R ... but its still a decision yet to be made

However, me and M have splashed out on a photo that our talented friend L took for her first major exhibition ... we loved it from the first time we saw it .. but have dragged the chain until now ... K&M scored another one from this series ... and now we have our very own:

L brought it round on Monday and initially we had it hanging above the fireplace -

along with another photo of L's, the Lab partners print that P gave me, and a little creation of my own ...

But then we decided that it didn't quite fit the space so we moved things round in another corner and ended up with:

I still don't quite like the way it cuts across the picture rail line ... but for the time being we are reluctant to put any holes in the walls ... we may consider lengthening the string .... but at least it is now in a corner with a print by L and also another photo ... and my speaker is no longer covered by the door ...

We had to shift the 2 Margaret Preston prints across to where the other Preston print hangs ... so now we have a Preston corner ... or the nanna spot as I like to call it:

And what was it all in aid of ... our anniversary ... well soon to be ... (did you make it to the toilet ... or have you spewed all over yourself?)

and guess what!!! Still hurtin'!!!

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