Saturday, 31 March 2012

Coffee, The Cafe & Me.

Note that this will be a short post, but its subject is very close to my heart.

I love cafes. I love them. They’re like your home, but with more people that you don’t know, and even some who are paid to bring you delicious food. Cafes have a great number of uses - as places to consume, places to rest, and landmarks for navigation.

Here are the Top 10 things that I like most about cafes:

  1. When you have a ‘usual’ on the second visit (but not in an embarrassing ‘You must have no life because you were here at 10.30am yesterday’ kind of way) ~ Moby Torquay
  2. When surprise chocolate turns up with your coffee ~ Coko Black, Royal Arcade, Melbourne
  3. When, by chance, you get the squishy bench-seat rather than the hard seat ~ Sticks & Grace, Geelong.
  4. When the staff don’t just know your ‘usual’ and you’re name, but could, if required, list the top three things going on in your life (other than coffee) ~ Soul Fuel, Torquay
  5. When you can walk into the place and bump into more than three people that you really quite like, and some that you think you know but actually just look familiar because they hang out at the same cafe ~ Swell, Jan Juc.
  6. When other customers walk in and order amusing things like ‘A foccata and a normal coffee’ ~ Hoots, Winchelsea.
  7. When you take a friend to a great café that you can claim ‘I found it first’ ~ Slow Poke, Fitzroy
  8. When the place has the most amazing strawberry cheesecake of all time ~ Vegie Bar, Fitzroy (I know that this isn’t a café, but I believe the amazing-ness of this cake blurs all boundaries of reason… all boundaries of my reason anyway)
  9. When they have the Irrewarra fruit toast (because I just don’t want to ever eat any other kind of fruit toast and don’t try and convince me otherwise) ~ Dariwell Farm, Highton
  10. When the staff call you ‘Babe’ (Because this is something I will NEVER be able to get away with). – The Delicatessen on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy near that cool flower shop with the spinny flower.
I have recently decided to drop back to one coffee a day, which has given me more time to reflect on what I like (and am missing) about cafes. I guess I could just go anyway... does anyone know if they serve other drinks too?

Here are some more shoes I'll be selling at the Fitzroy Market on Saturday 21 April. AND, you should also come see me play guitar and sing at the same time this WEDNESDAY 4 APRIL at Libation in Fitzroy.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Wisdom Teeth.

I have been endeavoring to write my blog every Thursday. And now it’s Friday and now I’m not quite sure what happened to yesterday’s blog promise.

I have high regard from people who can be reasonable and efficient 24 hours every day. You know, the kind of people that puts CDs back in the right case. In a work setting, I would say I am very well able to utilise my time and energy very effectively. When I come home, however, it’s another story.

A few years ago, my dentist informed me that I needed to have my wisdom teeth taken out. As a working adult, I found this to be slightly inconvenient.  As an optimist, I decided to ask my new boyfriend-at-the-time (BATT) to take me to the dentist. It didn’t occur to me to ask my mum, but in hind-sight, I’d say that getting your wisdom teeth out is probably more of a mum-job. My plan was that once getting-my-wisdom-teeth-out was out of the way, we could have a Fun Day Out.

So we got to the dental surgery about 10am. All going well. I remember getting an injection, and then my whole mouth going very numb. The next hour or two was spent thinking to myself ‘Did I feel that? I think I can feel that? Does that hurt? … no.. yes?, as well as trying not to sneeze. And after that I had no wisdom teeth.

When BATT came to pick me up after the surgery, all was still going well. My mouth was numb and I was happy. My plan for having a Fun Day Out was still on track. It was pretty much the perfect day - until blood started dripping out of my mouth.

This was probably a low point in the day to be honest. In Twilight, they somehow make the blood thing not-so-gross. But it is. Especially when your face is so numb that you can’t feel it dripping down your chin. BATT sweetly suggested that he take me home but I wasn’t ready for my Fun Day Out to end, and so grabbed a couple of napkins and stubbornly continued Having Fun.

I wasn’t too long into the Having Fun, when the anesthetic started to wear off. My happy numbness was replaced by a sad, sad, painful sadness. BATT sweetly suggested again that he take me home, and this time I couldn’t deny it. Fun Day Out was over.

So once I was tucked unglamorously into bed (again, really a mum-job), BATT went back to his home and I ‘rested’. By ‘rested’, I mean that I lay in bed with an enormous migraine, presumably brought on by a mixture of over-activity and anesthetic. I tried calling my sister, but in my state I decided my phone was broken. In hindsight, I realise it was me that was broken.

After a while of lying in my bed in pain, with my not-broken phone next to me, I began to wonder what on earth I was going to do. Survival mode, I think this is called. Feeling clever, I suddenly remembered the little jar of Tiger Balm that dad had put in my Christmas stocking many, many years earlier (because when isn’t pain-relieving balm a good Christmas gift?). I was pretty sure I’d seen it floating around my apartment somewhere, and so crawled out of bed to find it, and eventually did.

Not being quite sure what to do with Tiger Balm, I put a tiny bit on my temples. When nothing happened straight away, I made the executive decision to smear a whole lot of it on my face. Let me be clear – smearing a whole lot of Tiger Balm on your face is SUCH A BAD IDEA. It was like someone had splashed boiling coffee directly onto my face. I called my oldest sister (apparently my phone wasn’t broken) who calmly advised me “Kathryn!! Wash it off! Wash it off!”.  Before I did though, the pain began fading into a pleasant numbness that distracted me from the migraine. And so I smeared on some more.

(I’m almost finished I promise).

BATT called me on my not broken phone and suggested he bring over some dinner. Having a mouth full of gore and gauze, I decided what I needed was fish and chips and so spent the next three hours sucking on chips until they devolved.

And to be honest, I would say that those fish and chips were the best part of my day. I guess what I’m saying is that so long as the important things get done, I’m cool with not putting CDs back in the right cover.

A beautiful rooftop view in Fitzroy.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Bacon & Eggs

I’m not sure when I decided to take an educational slant to this blog. But regardless, I am going to make you LEARN. Mwahahahahahaaaa…

Aaaaanywho. After a brief and factually deficient conversation with a couple of friends last night, I have decided to dedicate this blog to the subject of eggs. Because that’s always going to be a crowd pleaser, am I right?

A special thank you to goes out to The Internet and associated experts (egg-sperts!? Sorry...) for providing all factual facts in this post. My own, less-factual remarks are the ill-informed ones underneath.

Even though you might eat them for breakfast, and sometimes they come with delicious bacon, the actual ‘making of an egg’ process is ‘gross’. So probably don’t read about it WHILE eating eggs. Muesli in fine.  Bacon is always fine.


STEP 1: Yolky Goodness

Experts think: "An egg starts as an egg yolk inside a hen, which is produced by the hen's ovary in a process called ovulation."

I think: I guess this resolves the question of ‘what came first’, but I think there are a few things here that remain to be explained. Like, why is the yolk orange? Is there some kind of orange-enzyme that are common to egg-yolks, orange juice and cheezles? And if so, how come they all taste so different, and yet all are delicious with bacon?

STEP 2: Fertilisation
Experts think: "The yolk is released into a long, spiraling tube in the hen's reproductive system, where it can be fertilized by a sperm."
I think: This makes a little more sense… except for the bit about the ‘spiraling tube’. How spirally are we talking here? Spirally as in… one of those silly straws that go around your eyes; but get clogged really easily because they are too thick on the inside - in order to be structurally sound? And if so, how does the yolk get through such a thin tube, when banana smoothies cannot?
STEP 3: The Egg White
Experts think: "The yolk continues down the oviduct (whether or not it is fertilised) and is covered with a membrane structural fibers, and layers of albumin (the egg white)."
I think: So the egg yolk is kicking along down the silly straw tube, just hanging out and BAM!, gets covered in these grossly ambiguous “fibers”. I don’t think that I would like to be covered in fibers.
STEP 4: Chalazae…
Experts think: "As the egg goes down through the oviduct, it is continually rotating within the spiraling tube. This movement twists the structural fibers (called the chalazae), which form rope-like strands that anchor the yolk in the thick egg white."
I think:  This is an impressive word don’t you think? “Chalazae”. It kind of sounds like a perfume. In the Chalazae-Perfum advertisement, I imagine there would be some kind of scantily clad, Kate Moss look-alike, casually reclining in its coop, seductively looking into the camera and saying, in a fake-French accent “Chalazae…”.  I would totally buy that.

STEP 5: The Eggshell
Experts think: "The eggshell is deposited around the egg in the lower part of the oviduct of the hen, just before it is laid. The shell is made of calcite, a crystalline form of calcium carbonate. This entire trip through the oviduct takes about one day."
I think: This is the bit that BLOWS MY MIND. So basically all these other things happen, including this, in ONE DAY. This is a lot to achieve, don’t you think? And seriously, the shell is so hard! Imagine if we could harness that egg-shell hardening enzyme. We could use it for all kinds of amazing technologies! Like… instead of cement in houses, or… to put people into space. I’m not sure how that would work.
Aaaanywho... the moral of my story is definitely unclear. I have talked a lot about chickens and eggs (and resolved the age old mystery of which came first, not bad for a weekly blog), and also made a lot of comments about silly straws and bacon.
Consider yourself educated.
Once again, a special 'thank you' to The Internet, particularly this website:

Proof that I have seen chickens before.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Second Person

Writing about yourself is a hard thing to do.  It’s not so hard in blog-form. In a blog, you can basically share any kind of information you want, i.e. "things to do this week", and general musings about your love for cups of tea. What's great is, no one gives you any kind of score or assessment at the end (unless you count the number of people who ‘like’ you on facebook, or your number of followers. Which I don’t, for self preservation purposes).

Writing about yourself in job-application-form, however, is a whole ‘nother ball-game. Rather than self-deprecating nonsense, job applications are serious businesses. So much so that you probably couldn’t even get away with writing non-words like ‘nother’. 

And you probably shouldn’t either.

So you might have guessed that I am the ‘you’ in this situation. Yes, currently I am going through the tedious process applying for jobs in the hope that someone will employ me (please).

The difference between this blog and job applications (other than I shouldn't spend too much time writing about tea, and that non-words are unacceptable) is that I also can’t refer to myself in the second-person (I have no idea if this is the right term).

In any case, I think that referring to myself in second-person is a great idea. Here's why.

Rather than writing “I am probably the best communicator the world has seen”, I could write “Kathryn Kelly is probably the best communicator the world has seen”. Benefits include...

1) it sounds like someone else wrote it, a fan of some kind?
2) it begs the question 'should she come with a promotional poster and/or video-clip?' and
3) it reads like a newspaper headline, i.e. “Kathryn Kelly, The Best Communicator the World Has Seen?”

Perhaps I could also consider writing a song, or a poem to impress potential job-holders (again, job-holders this is not the correct term).

Just know that I started a poem, and then decided that my time would probably be better spend working on job applications.

A door referring to itself in first person.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Things to do this week:

1. Remember to eat all three meals every day (chocolate is NOT a meal). Even Saturday and Sunday.
2. Remember to do everything that I promise to do.
3. Keep a list of everything I promise to do. One big list, not lots of little lists in lots of little notepads.
4. Be more discerning about TV watching. I.e. Less Gossip Girl. The West Wing is fine.
5. Find a job.
6. Don’t stress so much.
7. Eat food that’s in the house, rather than the lovely food that’s in the shop.
8. Remember what day it is. Even Saturday and Sunday (refer to Point 5).
9. Respond to text messages when I get them, not “later” in order to come up with a better response. And then forget.
10. Pay all bills when I get them, not “later” in order to avoid seeing the total balance of my bank account.
11. Don't buy clothes at the op-shop if they don't fit, even though I want them to fit.
12. Don’t be scared of strangers who live in Melbourne. Say hello.
13. Keep my pot-plants alive, even the Ikea coriander.

Camper shoes I bought at the op-shop, that don't fit because they are not my size shoe at all. 
To sell at Fitzroy market on 17 March.