Tuesday, November 23, 2010

reintroducing my friend rick

i wrote this yesterday. it was sitting in drafts because i already posted yesterday. i know i am allowed to post twice in the space of 24 hours but i just can't - consider it my personal form of OCD. anyway, i decided i must post now while the topic is hot (physically, metaphorically). and it's hot because: one of the greatest posts ever written by the man i am about to speak of was yesterday posted on mamamia. please read it. it's truly amazing. and i am so. damn. proud.

there's this guy. his name is rick. he's not my boyfriend but i do kind of love him. i met him ahhh, about five years ago i think and, because both of us suffer from a very weird disease called socially-inept-around-new-people-but-i'll-get-there-and-then-we'll-be-great-mates, we didn't really talk much and just stewed in our respective corners of the newsroom.

and then one day, something happened. and i don't even remember what but i bet you it was awesome. the result? i realised this rick guy was fucking great. we started chatting more and my realisation only strengthened.

then we both discovered the other had this secret blog thing going. wow? you too? really? what's the address? i read and read and read and read. i couldn't stop. rick's blog was fucking amazing. hilarious for a start but also so very clever and, importantly, as honest and raw as any i've ever read.

that blog doesn't live in cyberspace anymore. rick got a new job, which was great, except it meant goodbye to the public display of all those fantastic words.

hiatus over. rick has returned to blogger through the ambiguity report and i am fucking stoked.

i am also swearing a lot. sorry. i try not to mostly. but this is a swear-worthy post because i am passionate about this guy and his words. i am so glad the two of them have reunited.

read his stuff. be inspired.

Monday, November 22, 2010

life's better with a book

do you know what's exciting? starting a new book and loving it from the first page. so few books, even some of my all-time favourites, have failed to do this. cannot wait to read on.


thanks a million to kate who recommended this read when commenting this book-related post a little while back.

Friday, November 12, 2010

banana-rama

i always keep my bad bananas. i stick them in the freezer because, you know, they're great for baking. but then i never bloody bake anything and i just end up with a stack of black bananas in the freezer.

frananas no more. i am baking a banana flavoured something, goddamit.

thanks to taste.com.au and its fantastic what-ingredient-do-you-want-to-use? search engine, i made the tastiest damn banana bread ever the other day. shall i share? okay.

bread us up, punks!
banana and coconut bread
serves 8 (or just me over a few days)

ingredients
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
270ml can Ayam coconut cream
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana (about two bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

method
1.
preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan-forced. lightly grease a 6cm-deep, 
10cm x 20cm (base) loaf pan. line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at long ends.
2. sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. add sugar and coconut. stir to combine.
3. place coconut cream, eggs, banana and vanilla in a jug. whisk to combine. fold into flour mixture. spoon into prepared pan.
4. bake for 75 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
5. stand in pan for 10 minutes. turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
6. gobble.

taste reckons serve with strawberry jam. i reckon, whatever. there was no way i was putting anything on the final product. it didn't need it. delish.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

why i love editing: reason 759

some people write things like this:

The Establishment encourages you to assist in minimising the impact on the environment by taking practical steps to attain an environmentally sustainable transport system to the venue.

extract from real email send by real people. someone hand me my red pen.

Monday, November 8, 2010

oooo hindsight, you came and you found me a turkey...

i was just having a squiz at my post library and cleaning up my drafts. finishing them sometimes, deleting them mostly. i came across this way down the line. i wrote it in april. i am not sure why i didn't post. probably had one of my self-doubting moments. i've just read it, expecting it to be incomplete yet it seems finished. it also still rings true. so, here 'tis. how i felt in april. how i still feel now.

so, this post has been floating around in my mind for ages now. ages. and the only reason i haven't put finger to keyboard on the matter is time. me and my severe lack of time.

you might have noticed that i haven't written about dark days for a while. and that's because, well, i haven't really had any. i have my moments, fo' shiz. but something's clicked inside me. some little voice, which i wish had've spoken up years ago, has said 'nah, fuck it. i can't be bothered caring about that shit anymore'. it's grand. grand i tell ya.

but it's not all sunshine and lollipops in my world. things still get me down and i am still very much a work in progress. one thing i have pinpointed lately which i desperately need to address is my inability to see the wider picture when things go wrong.

for the first 12 hours at least.

i've noticed recently that i am, despite popular opinion (including mine), quite rational. i can see and respect others' points of view, even if i don't agree. i can take a deep breathe and move on when things aren't going my way. i can let go of things i cannot control. i can take a good look at my options and weigh up the ramifications.

yeh, i'm totally smart.

that said, i cannot do this until i have first had a complete meltdown.

aaaaaaaaaaarghhhhhhhhh. there's no ice cream left. no. ice. cream.

sometimes it takes only a matter of minutes for me to: realise i am being irrational, calm down, take a common sense approach. so why can't i apply that reaction immediately? before the anxiety? the panic? the stress?

and it's not as though it takes any kind of inner pep talk to get to the rational stage. it just tends to happen. it's as though i simply need to get the crazy out of my system.

from this i have learned i should never react to difficult/bad/emotional/stressful/annoying situations immediately. i should probably even steer clear of voicing how i feel straight away, especially to anyone involved.

rather than a panic room, i think i require a vent room. full of cushions. and chocolate.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

keep calm and cut my hair


i tried a new hairdresser the other day. i'm not unhappy with my regular hairdresser - in fact, she's probably the best i've ever had (to the point that i can forgive her the water down the back during the rinse) - but i couldn't get an appointment before last saturday's wedding and really wanted slash needed a touch up.

i saw this as a opportunity to try a little place i'd spotted close to home. it's right next door to a cafe i frequent and the interior styling really appealed to me. it's got character where my regular salon's styling is a bit obvious.

i'll stick with obvious.

first, i had to return the next day to ask for the finished product to be fixed. then, i had to ask her it to be fixed a second time when the first 'fix' did nothing to alter my zebra sideburns. fuuuuurthermore, she made two serious conversation errors; both involving ill-thought out comments insulting my home town and the people who live there.

but the icing on the cake (well, it actually came first so it was more like the flour in the mix) is what i wanted to bring to your attention...

two weeks before my appointment i popped my head in the salon post coffee and managed to secure a highly sought after thursday night slot just before the wedding. winner. i briefly explained what i was after. hairdresser-to-be responded:

"yeh, it's looking a little brassy"..."hmmm, you're probably due for a cut".

thanks scissor sister but i've got two weeks left with this hair so lay off. plus, i didn't even book a god damn cut and you know it.

this happens to me all the time. in fact, one of the things i really liked about my regular was complete the absence of this sly criticism. the first hairdresser i tried in sydney was probably the worst. she spent the entire appointment returning to the subject of my hair's awful condition and how great it was going to be once she'd saved it.

what i can't work out is whether it's a strategy or not. they're essentially having a crack at the previous hairdresser, also known as the competition, so it makes business sense in a way. on the other hand, it doesn't encourage me to come back.

and i hate to play the 'busy' card but it's not easy to find three spare hours to sit in a chair no matter how up-to-date your magazine collection is. it's even harder when you have to give up a subsequent hour the following morning for mistakes to be rectified.

as a hairdresser, you should lead lead by example and always sport a spectacularly healthy and fashion-forward 'do. as a writer, i should lead by example and always illustrate strong spelling and grammar (lack of capitals acknowledged). and since i politely keep to myself the fact your shop sign is missing an apostrophe, i'd appreciate it if you left me and my brassy crop alone.

hmph.

good, bad, ugly hairdresser experiences: got any?

Monday, November 1, 2010

making friends and influencing people

(as usual) in two minds about posting this. feel i need to get it off my chest. also feel that this post defeats the purpose of deleting the message (which you're about to read about) and trying to forget i ever read it. if this post goes missing at a later date, you know why.

i got a facebook message on friday. it was from a complete stranger. and, as far as i can tell, we don't have any friends in common either.

the subject line simply read "hi". the message?

"do you mean to come across as a pretentious dickhead on the internet?"

and that's it. that's all barry had to say.

a lack of alternatives suggests barry is referring to camelshoes.

i hate that barry's message was so hurtful. i hate that it made me rack my brain for possible pretentious posts. i hate that, for a moment, it made me wonder whether my online presence was worth the trouble.

but after the moment of drama i came to a pretty simple conclusion.

i don't believe i am pretentious. i don't believe camelshoes is pretentious. (although, if i am honest, i am sure both of us have had unintentional pretentious moments).

still, i would rather be pretentious than nasty and i think it's pretty nasty to seek out a complete stranger on the iternet just to make them feel low.

what about you. ever received hate mail?
does it get to you, or are you a water-off-a-duck's-back kind of person?
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