My Inner Child

There is an inner child inside me. I suspect there’s one inside everyone but sometimes my inner child is hiding, or is too scared to come out and play lest it be laughed at and judged. I’ve been trying to encourage my inner child to play out in the open a bit more. Why should everyone else’s inner child have all the fun?

My inner child made an appearance the other night when I was brushing my teeth. I’d forgotten to plug in the charger to my electric toothbrush and the battery was getting pretty low. The sound it made was a deep, low buzzing sound. Before I knew it, my inner child was belting out a terrible impression of Tibetan throat singing to match the low pitch of the toothbrush.

I thought it was hilarious. My cat just looked at me like I’d lost my mind. I reminded him that I once saw him fall off the top platform of his scratching post cause he was trying to catch his own tale. He walked away. That’ll teach him to judge the Food Provider for having fun.

Binge Cooking

I’ve been on a bit of a cooking binge lately, which is weird for me. As an ex-chef I find that my enthusiasm for cooking comes in waves. I’m either really excited to get into the kitchen and create something, or I’m online trying to find someplace that will deliver without a minimum charge that only a family of four could meet.

I love to eat but sometimes I can’t muster the energy to cook for myself. After all, it’s just me. If I’ve come home from a particularly gruelling day at work, the last thing I feel like doing is making a mess in the kitchen that I’ll only have to clean up. What I really feel like doing is taking the lid off and eating straight from a plastic takeaway container while I down a glass of wine.

Lately, I’ve found that two things tend to get me excited about cooking something for myself:

  • A visit with one of my friends who loves to cook. She gets me inspired and tells me about a new ingredient she’s discovered or a new recipe she’s tried. Very often, I will leave with a scribbled-down recipe and a zip-lock bag of a new spice blend she’s made.
  • The purchase of a new cookbook.

Both have happened recently which have led to my increased interest in getting into the kitchen. And it’s summer in Brisbane, too. A time when I generally tend to survive on hastily thrown together salads as opposed to heating up the kitchen with the oven and stove.

The cookbook in question is the new Eat Vegan book. Recipes and photos from one of my favourite Melbourne restaurants called Smith & Daughters. If you live in Melbourne, or are travelling through Melbourne, or you are a person who likes food in general then I recommend that you do whatever it takes to get yourself there. The food is delicious, so I was very excited to get my hands on some of their recipes/secrets.

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May I recommend the Hot Cheddar and Pickled Jalepeno Dip on page 46? It’s the first thing I tried on their menu the last time I dined there and it will rock your world. The Brazilian Black Bean Soup is pretty tasty too and was on the menu at Chez Jocelyn last night.

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Now I’m shopping online at Gewürzhaus for the Ancho chillies I can’t find in Brisbane and planning my meals for the coming week. Strange (and spicy) times ahead.

The Dreaded Friend Request

A few weeks ago, I attended a weekend writing workshop. I learned a lot and had a great time in the process. At the end of the weekend, someone set up a closed Facebook group so attendees of the weekend could keep in touch with one another. The idea was to share information, opportunities, success stories, etc., and so far it’s been as promised. But then one day, I received the Dreaded Friend Request from one of the attendees.

Cue awkward feeling.

I’m not an anti-social person, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that if I were to accept this friend request, then this person would see the kind of things I share on my Facebook page. Hence the awkwardness. I’m not on there all that often, but when I am, you can be sure I’ve found the cutest cat videos or gifs and hit the share button. I also most likely came across a post from Peta or Animals Australia about one of the many unfortunate cases of animal cruelty and shared that as well. My current celebrity crush posted a picture on his page? Throw that into the mix as well. Its a veritable bouillabaisse of mixed interests.

While my closest friends and cat-loving relatives may find this endearing, it’s sure to scare off everyone else who stumbles across my posts. For a few days I toyed with the idea of setting up a separate Facebook profile, a sort of public page for ‘professional’ use, information, connections, etc. But this seems like far too much effort involved for someone who’s rarely on Facebook.

So, I hope that the kind person who thought to reach out to me and send the request isn’t too offended. I’m only trying to spare you, believe me!

Do people still buy DVDs?

This question was asked of me recently with the distinct flavour of, “Do YOU still buy DVDs?”

And the answer is yes, yes I do. I realise there is this thing now called Netflix, where, for a small monthly subscription fee, you have access to a plethora of TV shows, movies, documentaries, and what have you. But there are two challenges I face with Netflix:

1. Australian Netflix < US Netflix.

There’s a lot of content on Australian Netflix, don’t get me wrong, and I’ll probably never watch all that’s on offer. Nor do I want to. But US Netflix has more choices. Oh, you have a sudden urge to watch an episode of Seinfeld? Too bad! We don’t have Seinfeld available for your viewing pleasure. It is available on DVD though…

2. I live in the mini Dark Ages when it comes to my internet.

I have 12GB per month on my mobile broadband plan and believe it or not this is just not enough to binge-watch a season of Arrested Development AND leave me enough data left over for general internet activities. I have found that about an hour of Netflix will chew up just under a GB of my data. I do have 20GB per month on my mobile plan and on occasion, I will watch the odd episode of something while on the bus on the way to work. But the majority of this data is allocated to downloading podcasts and audiobooks, and social media usage (don’t judge me).

So, yeah, I buy DVDs.

DVDs are great. You can re-watch an episode without using up more data. Very often there are special features included on the DVD. My personal favourite is the Blooper Reel and I firmly believe that every single DVD sold should include a Blooper Reel, whether it’s a comedy or not. I recently bought Season 5 of New Girl and at the end of watching the season finale, I flicked back to the main screen, excited to watch the Blooper Reel and any other exciting extras that had been included. But I was horrified to find that there was nothing. Not even a behind the scenes. Not cool.

Recently though, I’ve purchased season passes to Upper Middle Bogan (season 3) and the first season of Rosehaven (two hilarious Aussie comedies) on iTunes. Sure, downloading them chews up my quota, but I can re-watch episodes or parts of episodes whenever I need a giggle. AND both shows include a Blooper Reel. Win win!

So, yes, I buy DVDs. And I’ll be going out today to buy a couple more (box sets). And judging by the huge selection on offer at my local DVD store, many others buy DVDs too. I don’t think the DVD will be obsolete any time soon.

Now I just need to shop for more DVD storage.

I Peed on a Phone (A True Story)

INT. BATHROOM – DAY

Picture dingy shopping mall toilet with badly mopped floors and a weird lingering smell.

A RANDOM WOMAN hurries out of the Ladies as an INNOCENT BANK EMPLOYEE rushes in.

The innocent bank employee swiftly moves into the cubicle, after three cups of tea that morning the situation is urgent. She slams the door shut and after a few seconds starts peeing. She hears a minor commotion outside in the corridor.

A random woman is talking urgently to the NICE CLEANER that looks after the general upkeep of the dingy bathroom and surrounding areas.

RANDOM WOMAN

I need your help! I’ve dropped my phone in the toilet. I need you to get it out.

NICE CLEANER

You want me to get your phone, um…out of the toilet. Really…?

RANDOM WOMAN

Yes, it’s in that cubi… Oh my god, someone is in the cubicle…

The innocent bank employee is finished peeing. She flushes.

RANDOM WOMAN (CONT’D)

Oh no, this can’t be happening! Oh, my god!

The innocent bank employee opens the door and comes face to face with the random woman. The random woman shoots her a look a pure vitriol.

The innocent bank employee side-steps the random woman, walks to the basins and washes her hands. Even in face of adversity, the innocent bank employee takes hygiene very seriously.

The random woman goes into the cubicle and is silently looking into the toilet bowl.

The innocent bank employee exits the Ladies swiftly and encounters the nice cleaner on her way out.

NICE CLEANER

Did you happen to see a phone in the toilet by any chance?

INNOCENT BANK EMPLOYEE

Nope.

The innocent bank employee walks back to her office, content in the knowledge that this will be her ‘something weird that happened today’ event.

 
NB: The underlying moral of this harrowing tale is: have the courage to get your dropped phone out of the toilet bowl yourself. Or someone may pee on it.

THE END

What it’s like watching the US election results unfold (from an international perspective)

Waking up first thing in the morning:

  • People are still voting, don’t get too excited yet. We won’t see any results in Australia until around lunchtime. Pace yourself.

Late morning:

  • Some polls have closed and some results are trickling in. Still early days. Don’t get too excited just yet. OMG, there’s a pic that’s gone viral of Trump looking over Melania’s shoulder, making sure she’s voting for him. Hilarious. What a dick. He can’t possibly hope to win. I hope Melania voted for Hillary.

Lunchtime:

  • Trump is ahead? How is that even possible? It’s ok, there’s still time for Hillary to surge ahead and take the lead. A little nervous though, I must admit. It’s like the plot of a suspense movie. All has to seem lost before the hero wins. Just breath and focus on work.

Mid afternoon:

  • Work? I don’t think so. I can’t sit still and I’m constantly hitting refresh on all the news tabs I have open on my phone. Why are the results different on every single one of them? They’re covering the same election, right? Be consistent! And why is Trump in the lead? Who wrote this story?

Late afternoon:

  • Have been refreshing the news throughout the bus trip home. Trump is 4 points away from winning. I feel sick. I get home and put my bag down and refresh the news on my phone one last time. Trump has won. I have no words.

Later in the evening:

  • I’m reading posts on twitter about how Americans are reacting to the news. There’s a lot of posts that seem to indicate the rest of the world is now laughing at them.

We’re not. We’re scared.

Ps: Any laughter you might hear is that nervous laughter that you do right before shit hits the fan.