Thursday, January 29, 2009

art: jonathan harris

I'm not really sure what to call Jonathan Harris actually. Web-artist, artist, storyteller, curious mind, all sorts of things. But what is so interesting about his work is the fresh use of web media to extract information to collate a picture of humanity. It's gorgeous. It's kind of hard to describe without sound like a complete tool (which I already do), so please, be game and visit these projects, they are lovely. Or if you are not, you are seriously missing out.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

food: pancake parlour

It is only with restless indecision that I usually wind up at the Pancake Parlour. I usually am not very satisfied, but I usually know that I won't be; prices are over the top, food is average at best. Their saving grace is whimsical and wholly likeable traditional Alice in Wonderland style decor and charming parquet flooring and polished booths. And finally at last, on the menu something to talk about; Chocolate strawberry Jubilee pancakes.

In fox is a deadful (or dreadful) blogger part 2, here is what is left of the Chocolate Jubilee; a triumphant, over the top (excellently so) combination of chocolate pancakes, icecream, whipped cream, hot chocolate fudge, chocolate flakes and strawberries. Wow.

Fuck it looks like crap. But trust me, it is go-ooo-d. Probably too good. If you don't love life you don't deserve such rampant and disgusting decadence.

Monday, January 26, 2009

life: bake day

These days I don't really feel like buying clothes, or accesories, or shoes or anything for that matter really. I went to the market with Fox and came face to face with a potential steal and yet I could not even be bothered to consider it. All I want these days are food.

SO! The other day i made my way down to my friend Sushi's house and baked. First on the agenda were cupcakes. We used the spongecake recipe from The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls. Pretty much, best book ever.

They were great. I love it when cooking adventures are successful. I also love creaming, its so satisfying when the sugar finally blends with the butter. This was also our first time icing. With one of those icing thingos that is. Haha, Sushi's icing thingo looked like a massive syringe. Our first batch of icing was a bit too, how should i put it, solid? So we diluted it with some milk, but we had to be careful because otherwise it would look as though our syringe was lactose intolerant.

We decided that sugar wasn't going to fill up our stomaches. Well i mean it can, but we'd feel guilty about it. So we made a potatoe salad. Yum yum yum! You can't go wrong with 'taters. Anyway, if you were wondering: the secret it Dijion mustard.

One of the other reasons I went to Sushi's place, aside from oogling at her buys from the U S of A which she just came back from, was to pour my sadness out on a third party. Sushi wasn't so sure about that, so we decided to pour some alcohol. Into cake. Introducing our tiramisu. It was a lot easier than i thought it would be. All you need is a lot of ingredients and the perfect sponge cake.

Chocolate was one of the things we had heaps left over, so we decided to make chocolate strawberries. The thing is to not let the chocolate touch water because they kind of repel, we didn't know. So they failed. And they should have been the easiest ones too. Oh well. We ended up scraping the chocolate off when we ate them.

Miam miam!

Monday, January 19, 2009

travel: taiwan's usa homage

International Studies 101 says Taiwan and America are besties 4 lyf so when i was in the so called "renegade province" i paid particular attention to anything that alludes to their sexy sexy liasons. I found two.

First stop was a rock formation that bears an uncanny resemblance to good ol' Nixon himself. Note figure 1. and compare with figure 2.

Can you see it? The sea covers up most of his jaw but that nose, forehead and hair is very much distinguishable don't you think. In the Nixon photo he has his hair greased back which you doesn't usually but please use your imagination a little. Hilariously and coinscidentally, the stone rock Nixon is overlooking the China Taiwan Strait. Mother Nature, good on you.

Second stop: the mini Golden Gate Bridge. This one wasn't an actual pitstop but my family was so facsinated that our very friendly tour guide stopped the car just for us. I love Taiwanese people, they're so nice. Despite the fact we were dirty mainlanders. Anyway repeat process as above.

So instead of cars on the mini me, we have people. I don't know about the engineering on the one in the U S of A, but let me tell you when it gets windy mini-me really lets you know about it.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, true.

music: details in the fabric

I'm late, I'm late I know. The "new" Jason Mraz album, We Sing We Dance We Steal Things. has been out for quite a while but it wasn't until recently that I actually listened to it. Bad fan, bad fan. But wow it's pretty amazing. Rumour has it he produced it on his avocado farm. Good work.

One song in particular that I love is his collaboration with James Morrison "Details in the Fabric". The thing is, every year for a while i've found one song that's pretty much defined my year and last year there was nothing. Nothing at all. And then i heard this song and, wow. There it is. Details in the Fabric, my soundtrack of 2008. It's all about failing, or something ending and moving on from that. It may be sad and terrible, but it's ok. Everything is going to be fine. And that's a nice thought. Especially in the background Fox and I come from where we're really expecting to take a certain path, it's so nice to hear a voice that says "hold your own, know your name and go your own way". It really is.

So here is it:

Thank you Jason, thank you James.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

travel: hong kong disneyland

Admittedly, this wasn't the first pit stop of my travel around the Orient but I couldn't wait so here we go.

Yay for Disney! I had expectations of this place because everyone, even the taxi drive, said the place was tiny and takes about half a day to go around. Not true! (Incidentally the public transport system in HK is amazing so don't get cabs, they will rip you off) Although maybe its because we spent hours in the lines for rides, but that sort of thing is to be expected in theme parks yeah?
Anyway, Disneyland was like a dream, really. The place is so clean that if you saw a lone wrapper somewhere, it is only be surrounded by about fifty cleaners fighting it scoop it up. But that's not why it was dream like, oh no no no! It was the music, which was everywhere! Speakers where located eveywhere running little renditions of your favourite disney songs and, because it was near christmas, carols too. It was so cute, it made waiting in line almost okay, sort of. Plus the decorations were super cute! The place was separated into sections to showcase the various disney movies with food themed as well! There was an itenery that was to follow so you could properly experience the whole thing, but we lost it which sucked. But! If YOU go, don't lose it, use it! It would be very advantageous!

People were right about the rides i suppose, they really are for little kids. My sister had a blast. But i wasn't really bothered about that. When you're at Disneyland you feel likt you're five years old, you feel youth seeping out of your ears so who cares about rollercoasters when you can instead ride on teacups, Dumbos and a million "i'm not sure what there's are called but they're kind of like haunted house rides in that you sit in carts but instead you go to like the 100acre woods and stuff" rides?

The above photos were taken from the "It's a Small World" cart ride whereby they showcase the culture slash traditional dress of the various continents. They were super pretty! I had more photos but my camera was running out of space so we had to let them go. Sadfaceforevz.

We saw Disney characters walking about too. That was very exciting for me, especiallly because the first one we saw was Mulan. Like, zomgomg etc. They have schedeuled times and stand around they designated spots. Mulan stoof underneath an oriental looking tree, Alice (from Wonderland) stood near novelty sized teacups and Merlin around the Sword of Excalibur. As it was Christmas-ish time we saw the "Let it Snow Parade too" which was pretty sweet and all the princesses came out and we all ooh-ed and ahh-ed, because how else are you meant to act around your childhood dream? The only annoying thing was that they all spoke Canto so for us non-canto speakers we were like wtf mate? But i spose it was in HK so what can you expect under a one country two systems rule?

The most amazing thing about Disneyland were the lights at night. Wow, it is so beautiful I didn't ever want to leave. I hadn't experienced something like that ever since the Eyes Lies and Illusions show at ACMI so you know it must be good.

A really cool thing was that, when we first entered the gate of Disneyland we were given holigraphic glasses to look through when the light came out. Oh, here's what we saw:

I'm not sure how well you can see this, but they're snowmen!!! The lights come up as snow men. How cool is that? Very! But still the best was yet to come. We stayed until the very last second before closing time, to get the most out of our money yes? So as we made our slowly and reluctantly towards the gate we suddenly hear sounds of exclamations and then look up. It was snowing! Small white flakes floated down towards us, it was snow! Artificial of course but snow nonetheless. It was amazing.

Recently I've heard a rumour that a new Disneyland was to be built in Shanghai. And you know what? I've never been to Shanghai before...

Monday, January 12, 2009

fashion: cassie ainsworth

With the impending release of Skins Season three (oh boy oh boy do they look young! Like babies!), I'd like to revisit one of my favourite characters from the first series, Cassie. Completely nutty, but charmingly so, Cassie seems immune to the normalcy of the world, even in her clothes. Obviously she is a complete clothes horse, whimsical, willowy and gorgeously pretty, regardless, there are some absolutely wonderful style moments. Apparently all of Cassie's clothes on the show belonged to Hannah Murray, the actress that played her.