Tag Archives: Cool kids

To do, or not to do.

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(Surprise!)

I am so excited.  I actually have things on my to do list that have to be done.  Real world stuff, I’m telling you.  You know?  Work / chores / preparation for the next study session.  Stuff that could make some sort of difference to the world outside the web – or, well.  Well, it could make a difference to my outside world.

Gosh.  Um.  Count em up: There’s like, well, 7 things in total.

(Not entirely sure how they got there.  Could’ve been black magic.  Seriously).

And 7 is a good, robust, healthy number, isn’t it?  Deadly sins aside.

I got so excited by this new-found level of importance, I decided to procrastinate on taking action.  Leave the list freshly baked and untouched.  (Ok  – since we’re sitting in that confessional of truth you keep shoving me back into – mainly so I could blog about it).

I even wrote “Blog about the to do list” on the bottom of the to do list.

But rather than tell you about the ground-breaking material on the to do list, (don’t worry peeps: it’s sure to be best-seller material as soon as I gets-around to adding “Find a publisher” on it), I thought I would let you know I have done some things that are not on the to do list.

(This doesn’t mean that I didn’t do them –  those things not on the to do list.  I did do them.  Proving a point I can do things, whether they are to do, or not to do – lists be damned).

Let’s tick ’em off – shall we?

1. Marathoned Seasons 1 & 2 of The Office (US).

A few issues reared their ugly head when undertaking this not-listed do that my feelings wish to express;

* Reliving the angst of the (at-the-time) unresolved Jim/Pam ship.  Ugh.  Was she the biggest idiot, or not?  I mean… it’s ‘Jim’.  His adorability ranks second only to that of ‘Michael Scott’ himself (post season 1).

* Having my soul destroyed with remembering how much I miss seeing Steve Carell’s face on the tele-box every week.  (Settle down, I don’t have a crush on the 40-Year-Old-Virgin’s face.  Creeps.  I have a crush on his funny).  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not that Ed Helms is not funny.  He is uber-funny.  He’s just not Steve funny.

(“That’s what she said”).

* Marathoning with those guys made me want to marathon Parks & Rec.  (‘Cos, you know?  I love Amy Poehler as big as I love Steve Carell).  And that there, people, is heading into dangerous territory.  I cannot, not, not be marathoning with the tele-box all day every day.

(Fact is fact:  My feelings do not have the stamina).

2.  Made my way through the entire list of Triple J’s ‘Next Crop’ 2011 / 2012.

Probably no real cons to this one.  Good things happened to my ears and feelings.  This can’t even be accused of a counter-productive non-to-do to do.

(I can whistle while I work.  Special mentions to: Bleeding Knees Club and The Rubens).

Check the whole thing out, people.  I guarantee you will find some music to thrill your ears.

3.  Trawled some other people’s to do lists.  Incidentally, this has given inspiration to create another ‘to do’ list for my very own self.  Thankyou Write 2 be, I shall be spending the next few days in heavy research mode (read: catching big waves on the web world) to create my own 2012 Must Reads.

(Text books: be damned.  I’ll get to you when my feelings are up to it.  I am putting a keen focus on balance in 2012.  Balance on what gets put in front of my eyeballs –

I’m open to suggestions here too.  Please keep in mind though that I really can’t get oxygen to my brain when the fog of fantasy is crowding my personal space.  I huff a bit at sci-fi too).

Now.  Back to balance.  Where was I?  Oh yeah.  Hold on Eric Stonestreet/Modern Family… you guys up for 26 mile or so?

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Locals night. Lots of meat.

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Someone to watch over meat.

It’s taken me months to put this post together.  Actually, I tell a lie.  It’s taken —days.  Strike that.  Hours –  across many days.  (It’s taken some time for me to come to grips with my feelings, ok!?)

But.  I had to tell someone out there in the universe about this episode in my life, at some point.  Someone… outside the rest of this town.  (Let me tell you: the townspeople know).

So.  This is a story about meat.  (Consider yourself: warned).

Just as well the tenuous grip that I had on the roof-racks that looked like a freight train headed to Vegetarianism… slipped a little while ago.

Technically: this meat came in the form of a meat tray.  Of the kind you win when you participate in a meat raffle.  (That type of event spectacular that unfolds with a high degree of frequency all around the plenty and many pubs, clubs and variety shows that have infiltrated Australian culture).  If we’re taking a good long hard look in the streaky mirror of honesty here, we (us, all of us,) would surely have to confirm that the meat tray is as much a dominant Australian sub-culture as 30/40somethings fangirling Khe Sanh (or anyone who sings it) each time it makes an appearance at a similar venue.

I digress.  (Well, that’s… new?)

The meat tray wasn’t actually won by me.  Technically.  That’s what SOMEONE would have you believe.

But.

The money that was handed over to the two nervous youngsters selling the raffle tickets did come out of my broken down purse.  The purse that was on my person, people.  (Inside my broken down, red-wine stained WSDPP handbag – cos Fair is Fair).

Sure, that money may not have been hard-earned by me.  Figuratively speaking.

Still.

What goes around comes back to my purse and therefore me, I say.  I am not keeping a ledger that clearly shows the balance of probability that the money belongs to one side of the equation or the other.

Enough of the petty penny counting though.

This meat tray was there to be won, and I was party to winning it.

I would like to insert some MeTube footage here to show you what happened when the winning took place.  This is a thing that cannot be happening though.  There is no footage.  None.  (It’s not like Mike Moore – cool kid – finds my life interesting enough to follow me.  Despite the persistent fan-mail I address to him and his greatness).

I will describe it though.  (Because I would like you to feel like you’ve had your eyes gouged out every day for the past two weeks).

Ah, feelings.  One of my top 10 favourite things that exist (existentially or otherwise).

I felt:

Overjoyed.  Surprised.  I also felt like the Gods of the land of Good Lady Luck Land had finally…. finally… taken a good long hard stare-face at me (and the other party who was party to winning) and thought:  “Let us amuse ourselves here for at least a good ten seconds”.  (I am only remotely amusing on a few pints of Bulmers.  No more, no less.  No doubt you’ll agree).

Cut to scene setting:

The Farmer’s Arms Hotel, Daylesford.  (A fabulous place with fabulous hosts and a fabulous menu).  A cluster of volleyball medals hang around the neck of a stuffed stag which hangs upon the wall above us.  We (someone who I know fairly well and I) sit at the bar chatting to new acquaintances Alison and Paul (part-time residents).  They are to our right.  To our left are new friends Marty and Geoff (we know them through Sal, who we met through The Farmers Arms gals).

Surrounded by all of us, we are led to believe, are a swarm of locals.  (And I reckon that could be correct, because some of them are starting to look pretty familiar, people.  Pret-ty fam-i-li-ar).

A number of these locals, including us, are here to be competitive about the meat raffle.  (Maybe other stuff too.  That’s not the point though.  Is it, now?)  The thing is: I was amongst those of the locals that rushed there just that little bit too quickly at 5.30pm sharp to get bar seats.  (Or the dress circle as I like to call it.  Best seats in the house to watch the raffle go down).

I can’t totally remember what the raffle was in aid of.  It’s the pints of Bulmers, you see.  It could’ve been for the benefit of Daylesford & District Municipal Band Inc.  (I hope so.  Otherwise my non-hard-earned $10 has gone to a couple of kids with a sneaky sense of humour).

Whatever, whatever.  There are 3 facts important to your vocabulary and memory with regard to what on Lady Luck Land happened for the meat tray to be won and taken back to the house of Hepburn that I live in.

1)      Add em up:  The 2 hours and $10 plus $80 odd spent at the bar on Bulmers and an astonishing looking/tasting tasting plate played a big part in earning le household a whole-lotta-meat.

Value is the watchword here.  (This value extends to the notable fact that the tickets were only $1 each.  I mean, what else can one get for 100 cents these days?  Not a lot, right?  Not a lot.  And, not even only that fact.  When anyone threw 10 bucks at the youngsters, they gave you the eleventh ticket FREE!  Caaa-ching!  And since SOMEONE’s own personal lucky number is eleven/11… well… I think the term is:  Sold! To the lady with the star on her back…and the over-eager one sitting next to her).

2)      Some things are certain in life:  We (the co-winners) were convinced we were going to be winners.  There is good, solid evidence for this.  Don’t try and tell me there wasn’t.  You weren’t there.  Were you?

This evidence would hold up in any court of legal stuff.

Example: Just one week before this particular event we were seated so close to the winner (of the meat of that week) that we could practically touch it.  Not that I did.  That would be weird.  Right?

Well.  It was right there.  And I’m from the school of thought that says: a brush with destiny is not good enough.  You’ve got to go back and get it for yourself.

So.  We did.

We had no questions in our head asking:  “Do you really think you’ll be a winner tonight?”

No.  Our inside voices were merely saying: “Can’t wait until we take that meat tray home tonight”.

High fives to Plato, dudes.  Appetite, Spirit, Reason: those guys were all on the same page in my mental faculties for once.

3)      It was time:  You know what I’m talking about here, right?

It was time to put our mark on this local, this town, these people.

(This is what winning a meat tray can do for you).

I mean:  Whatever, whatever.  I guess I could go gangbusters about the place with other making marks options:  clever street art, tireless volunteerism or soap-box protesting right outside Coles spring to mind.

But.

Those aren’t really things that capture the essence and spirit of me being able to convey my emotions and feelings amongst a large group of people who are congregated together for the mere sake of –

Well, sake of: being together (and together with their pints and hopes of winning the meat tray).

Anyway, anyway.

To cut an even longer story short:

Barrel draw, winners of 6-packs, cheap bubbles and what not.  Those things went down.  Then comes the meat.  And…wait for it…

Our names were not on those tickets. Apparently.

(What?  What??)

But.

Turns out winner winner chicken dinner was actually someone who does not own a fridge in this town (read: out-of-towner).

So.

Amidst shouts of redraw, redraw! We knew that fate, destiny and Good Lady Luck were finally, finally in-da- house.  Yeah, yeah.  Our time had come.

(The situation was perhaps most eloquently stated by friend Crispen Pants as “the Steve Bradbury of the Meat Tray World”.  Thanks to Facebook: We like that one).

A squeal from me (and I can be loud – I’ve done it before).  Yelps from the co-winner.  Cheers from the crowd.  Jealous gasps from new friends.  Arms flailing about by all of us.  All the while of course, the stag stared down at us in – well, probably in wonder.  After all, this was joy in its most overwhelmingly delighted state of affairs.

Suffice to say (and to wrap the story up): Winners are grinners.  We got lots of offers.  We could have made our life-time quota of friends right there and then (it’s something we seem to be trawling for regularly on Friday nights).

Such a shame the BBQ didn’t fit in the U-haul.

Anyway, anyway.  Instead of taking up offers and inviting all-comers back to the house of Hepburn for some ribs and snags, we settled for feeding ourselves for the week.  Lots of meat.  Local style.

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Epilogue:

To make up for the lack of hospitality we vibed the locals that night, we promptly hurled about dinner party invites over some days that followed.  This.  This you will hear about across multiple episodes.  Spoiler alert: We really need to go panning out in them there hills for some etiquette, I say.

Caffe? I walk the line.

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EM - hanging out with Pimms Cup at Perfect Drop

A good coffee, people:  A good coffee.

This morning I have made one.  This I am proud of.

It’s not even – well, just – I normally don’t spruik my own wares too much is what I am promising you.

Back to the beans though.

Let me clarify exactly what I’m talking about with the coffee:

Latte.

Because we (all of us included) need to be specific.  We need not to delve into the expertise of others;  blacks (short or long), “cuppa cappucinno” (as my mum likes to call it), or anything else.

Latte is endgame.

Maybe not for you?

It is for me.   Except on random occasions where I (and my feelings) suddenly decide espresso on the rocks is the only creature on the planet that could ever really understand where it is that I come from.  (That could be true regardless).

So, according to research (including mine) a good latte needs: correctly frothed milk (keep the pitcher cool people), good fresh beans (not talking baked here), an eye on thermometers (no need to burn baby burn) and, a well maintained machine…

BUT.  Let’s take a step back then and look at that evidence.

Now…

Let’s throw it aside and forget pragmatics are necessary.  Because: they are not.  Ok, there are a lot of reasons (for sure) why the pragmatics get good coffee happening.  But just to humour me (and let me have my humour), pretend there are some things that just go above and beyond these pragmatics.  There’s a lot o’stuff that goes on in this world that doesn’t jump on the bus all stops to Pragmatic (and even those that do: some don’t pay the fare), right?

Taste.  For example.  We all have it…. well, ok, debatable.  And I don’t mean to be offensive to those who suffer Dysgeusia.  (Pretty please Karma, do not be a bitch).

I, for example, seem to like a good hard kick-in-the-teeth (sweet-bitter-sweet) coffee flavour (I could munch on beans like they were a packet of Supreme Cheese Doritos – I quite like them, is all).

Second to this, I like a bit of chocolate to my flavourings (pattern emerging here – I like chocolate, like… ok, chocolate and I may need some relationship therapy soon because obsession is not completely healthy.  Not in technical terms anyway).

Chill…

I am not here to dole out lectures on how to make a good coffee.  (For those of you interested in wasting some time on the web of the wide world today – learning some tips – the following could be up your spooky, cold, dark alley: Coffeegeek.com and Radified).

Anyways, learning from those that know, be damned.  My ability to turn out something worth drinking can be put down to 3 plain and simple pieces of the reality of what it means to be me.  (I still think all good things come in 3’s).  These are the difference between me personally creating coffee nirvana or, alternatively, creating a latte that looks and tastes like it’s straight from a Tim Burton fairytale:

1)      Fluke.  You can call it Celestine Prophecy if that’s your thing, but: right place, right time is probably the safer option for this topic.

2)      Coffee Kudos.  Ok, ok, we all have to probably recognise the fact that mean bean=mean ends.  I’ve tried a few.  Mmkay, a LOT.  A lot of beans is what we have tried over the course of our existence with a coffee machine.  And before that?  Well, I have been drinking coffee ever since Nescafe tempted mum with the free Shaker deal (young: I was shorter and a whole lot lighter than I am today).

So.  Skipping all the ones that may not have crossed my life-path and destiny to date, and the ones I won’t talk about (because, even I fear litigation), there are, for me, two standouts:

Coffee Basics.  These dudes are my new local roasters and I love them.  You should check them out too.

Atomica.  A friend-fellow-fan rec.  I’m not sure what the full story is to the growing, roasting and what not.  But you can figure it out for yourself by visiting Atomica Cafe in Fitzroy.  Whilst you’re there, get one of their breakfasts.  (I insist).

Also, I asked the bean question to the Book and Twitter today.  Sneaky survey purposes only.  (Shits and giggles behind all that).  Responses?  Well.  Well, what did I expect?

“Anything Fair Trade!” claimed B from the Central Coast.  Wholeheartedly supported with a thumbs up by J from a similar place.

(Yes, I’m hip to that, because Fair is Fair, and Fair is one of the best things to happen if we are ever to save this world from the slippery slope it’s on).

Cousin C from Bathurst: “Fish River Roasters

(Proving a point that you can always rely on family to be helpful in times of need.  Although:  trust my dad to throw in some random comment clarifying his passion for Maccas coffee.  Not helpful).

Peaberrys” piped in G-R.

(More helpful.  And she’s a dancer.  So, you know.  I’ll know where to turn if I want some extra kicks. ‘Like’).

And:  A comment from M from Morpeth leading me up the garden path about some joint in Manly that she couldn’t remember the name of.

But.  (BUT).  At least M made an effort.  Way to go team.  390 “followers” (and I know I’m not Jesus, but JEE-SUS) on Twitter, and 655 so called “friends” on FB and not even – not even 1% of them can be bothered to watch my every move and comment on it?  I even posted at 9.30am whilst I was sipping the latte (feet up, back deck, nice view).  What gives!  Give it up!  What?  Do these people that I know (mainly know.  At least 10% of them anyway) have work to do or something?  Whatever dudes.  Don’t come crying to me when you think I should have publicly commented on your latest change in relationship status.

Move along crowd.  (Me included).

3)      Pushing the red line.  I like to use the analogy: going for broke.

Despite my adventures as a smaller Darls (riding pushbikes with no brakes, jumping bareback on horses that didn’t belong to me, hurling myself off ladder swings, throwing rocks at school windows on a dare…), I am not what many would describe as an avid risk taker.  But.  But, I can surprise those that even think they pretend to know what I’m all about.

To be technical about this in coffee making terms:

Imagine me.  Imagine my kitchen (the one with the flies).  Imagine my beam me up coffee machine (yes, it’s a Sunbeam).  Also:   Imagine a couple of accessories that help me make my coffee.

Now, here’s the thing.

Accessories are crucial to me pushing the red line.  Because.  (This is what happens):

I just like to shove a whole lotta ground coffee (and press it down as tight as my pathetic muscles will allow) in the thingy that gets shoved up into the thingy.  Then – well, all hell breaks loose.  That is what happens.

I press the button that says it is “manual” (whatever that even means in this context), and then I grin maniacally whilst jumping up and down when the dial on the beam machine for beans goes beyond it’s sunny gold and heads where pragmatics would tell it:  it just shouldn’t head.

Red line.  (It’s not even a thin one).

I get off on it.  Every time.  (I won’t dare use analogies here).

Look, this is enough talk about me and pushing boundaries.  Time to finish up.  But before I do…

Quickly let’s just touch on two other important things, shall we?

One is something that I’d love to be able to do: I get hearts and stars in my eyes when it’s presented in front of me.  The other is a relatively new revelation to me – something I think I could marry, should this country ever truly embrace the term “marriage equality” (up yours Jules and Abbottface, I see Green):

1)      Latte art.

Come on peeps – you know what I’m talking of.  And don’t tell me you wouldn’t smile a little bit if you were served up a latte etched with the image of a baby seal (or one of these things).

And the like.  Let’s keep it simple yet complex – “Beauty:  Appreciate it.  Red hot technique: big applause.”

Summary: I like a bit of art on my latte.  (My own attempts are still a little like Leunig on Speed – just, not in a good way at all).

2)      Espresso Martini.

I know, I know, not latte.  Still, this is a factual point worth stating that needs to be said and shouted from the roof tops to share with all coffee lovers of the world.  (Unite!)

You are looking here at someone who digs cocktails deeper than some of the excavation action happening in W.A and every other beautiful place on the planet (not cool, people, there is only so much dirt in this world).

My “first time” with my new love was a gentle, but thrilling experience at Perfect Drop.  (Deliciously perfect wine bar in the magical land of Daylesford).  Not meaning to be slutty or anything, but I backed it right up a few days later by spending some time with EM (that’s what we’ll call her now, ok?) over at Horvat’s (another wonderful great wonder of Daylesford town) just a few days later (hey – that dirty little martini called me, people – she called me).

(Latte side note: if you are in this place of all great wonders of the world there are some good cafe coffees to be had.  Just sayin’.  Hot tips: Breakfast and Beer, Ego’s Culinaria, Frangos and Frangos, and The Gourmet Larder to name just a few… hey, only been here a little while, will try everyone’s eventually.  Because Fair is Fair.)

Back to your direct needs though.  If Jo down at your local R-y refuses to put in the time and do you some action that results in Espresso Martini, I reckon you should do it for yourself.

There are a few versions apparently, but for starters… See here.  And see what I’m talking about:  Take action.  Trust me, you’ll never look back.

Don’t care for me dishing out plugs for Absolut?  No worries, do your own Google dude.  Heh, maybe EM is old news to you (an ex-lover even)?  Sorry, I can be a bit slow on the take-up of uptakes.

Will try harder, better, faster, stronger next time.

Yes my friend(s) (if that’s what you profess to be), push the red line is what I am prepared to do for you.