psyanide


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Moving!
psyanide
Hooray, we're moving away from our douchebag neighbours!Collapse )

Tasmania 2012
psyanide
We're back from our week-long jaunt in Tasmania and this is the holiday post complete with photos and videos!

Day 1: Saturday
Our first day so we didn't get up to much mischief. We took the plane from Tullamarine to Hobart. Man, I used to think that international flights were cramped. Ugh. I hate flying.
Anyway, once we'd checked out of the airport we picked up our hire car and much to our dismay saw no apparent way we could plug in our iPods to listen to real music! We made do with some Tasmanina pop radio station as we drove to our hotel, the Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel.

Since it was still early we had a couple of hours to kill before our room would be habitable so we dumped our bags and wandered down to the Salamanca Market. I rather liked it there. Lots of home-made things like fudge, baked goods, jams and relishes, soaps, jewellery, etc., as well as the usual touristy crap like cheap Tasmanian devil toys that were probably made in China. We stopped by the bratwurst truck and had some weisswurst for lunch accompanied by a refreshing fizzy chilli lime drink made and bottled by some people at a different stall.

By the time our room was ready and we were heading back to the hotel, it had started to rain lightly. Good thing the hotel is only ten minutes' walk from Salamanca.

Our room was well lush! It was an executive spa apartment so it's got the spa (which we were using every couple of days with Lush bath bombs), a kitchenette, nice big bed (too soft, and the pillows too flat), and even a washing machine and dryer tucked away in the bathroom! Nice.

For dinner we wandered back to the docks to try some local fish and chips at Fish Frenzy, and then retired to the hotel for a spa bath whilst watching a movie on a laptop (we brought both of our laptops with us lol).

This is the view from our room.


Day 2: Sunday
First things first: hotel buffet breakfast! It was hardly as grand as the buffet breakfasts we've had in Hong Kong or China (the Novotel Beijing Peace had everything!) but it was as much as you'd expect from an Australian buffet breakfast: a range of fruit juices, a few varieties of cereal/museli, some fruit salad and yogurt, croissants, bread (and toasters), and the cooked food like hash browns, bacon, poached and scrambled eggs, sausages, tomatoes, etc. Still, buffet breakfasts are awesome.

The plan for the day was to hit up the Tahune Airwalk, about 90 minutes' drive out of Hobart. I discovered that I still remember how to drive a car, despite not having driven one in the last couple of years. Nic discovered that we could connect our phones to the car with Bluetooth and play our iPods that way. Phew!

We decided to stop at the nearby town of Geeveston to stretch our legs and look around. We encountered a guy walking a couple of dogs the size of bears. These handsome creatures were Tibetan Mastiffs named Ben and Elsa, brother and sister. The guy bought Ben on the condition that he take Elsa as well; she was born with only one eye and the breeder thought she'd be happier with her big brother around. Awww! They were incredibly calm and friendly (and hairy) and now I want one, ugh. Such gorgeous creatures.

After that we hit up one of those ye olde lollie shoppes for some snacks before continuing on up to the Tahune Airwalk. We walked amongst the trees and kept going until you actually feel your knees weaken when you look down. Impressive views though. I'm only a little bit acrophobic but I refused to go all the way to the end of the Cantilever; I reckon I did damn well just by being on the Cantilever at all!

Once we'd made our way back down from the airwalk we decided to continue along to the Swinging Bridges which made me feel a bit like Indiana Jones. It's not altogether pleasant when the person in front of you is walking along and inadvertently making the whole bridge sway and bounce. It was a really nice day for this sort of bushwalking-esque activity and I think we both felt good for the exercise.

The view of the Huon River and surrounding forest from the Tahune Airwalk.
Coming up to the first of the two Swinging Bridges.
Me crossing the second Swinging Bridge.
Riverscape from the Swinging Bridges.

Dinner was at Me Wah Restaurant which is supposed to be the Chinese restaurant in Tasmania. It's quite a lavish-looking restaurant so we both felt a bit embarrassed and underdressed in our jeans and hoodies as we were shown to our table... until we saw a couple of Asian guys at another table dressed just as shabbily as we were.

I had a delicious abalone soup to start ('shredded greenlip abalone, shiitakes, winter bamboo, sun dried conpoy, black fungus, rich master broth') and Nic tried the wonton soup which was also really good (except that they call it 'Chinese ravioli' on the menu). Amongst a few other things we also ordered the pork belly to see how good it would be. Nope, our pork belly is still the tastiest, crunchiest and juiciest.
(And, likely as not, the worst for you, but who eats pork belly to be healthy?)

As we dined we were painfully aware of the other non-Asian diners around us who have no idea how to eat at a proper Chinese restaurant. Silly gwai lo (鬼佬) think that it's like any other restaurant where each person orders one meal for their own consumption, so at Chinese restaurants you've got people ordering entire dishes of honey chicken or sizzling beef or steamed fish (that's a whole steamed fish) for each person, thinking that that is their entire meal, when you're actually supposed to share everything and eat it with rice.

At one point one guy from a neighbouring table was talking to a waiter in a way that implied he was a semi-regular customer so I thought that perhaps he would know what he was doing. Turns out he didn't and even went to order two of a particular dish because he liked it so much, at which point the waiter seemed a little taken aback and tried to explain how the whole 'sharing food' system works. He was not successful.
So that was extremely culturally painful for me.


Day 3: Monday
Spent most of the day at MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art. The museum of wanky art, more like. There were some interesting pieces but most of it came in varying degrees of wankery. There's the Cloaca Professional; a machine designed to simulate the digestive system. It gets fed twice a day and does a poop into a glass dish every day at 2pm. The smell was quite powerful and I actually struggled not to upend my recently-consumed lunch. Another 'interesting' piece was a black and white photo of a naked man on all fours being mounted from the rear by a large dog. The curator's (?) thoughts on this was "This is absolutely fucking disgusting". It's good that they don't seem to take things too seriously at MONA; there was a piece that comprised of a plain ceramic dish with a kitchen knife resting in it, filled with water with two small goldfish swimming around and the caption for that was "Poor little bastards".

I like the way that they give you an iPod Touch and a set of headphones to go on your own self-guided tour of the gallery. There are absolutely no information labels or placards on the walls so you don't tend to have a dozen people crowded around one piece trying to read the tiny information panel. The iPod lists the artwork in your immediate vicinity and you can read up on anything you want, listen to the artist's commentary, read funny captions like the ones above, listen to music that is to accompany a video being displayed, etc. You can also vote on whether you 'love' or 'hate' a piece and the iPod will display statistics on how many people have liked/hated the piece and such. Really quite interesting. A bit annoying to have headphones clamped to your head and the iPod and cables flapping about your person.

Outside it was another spectacular day of blue skies.

After we got back from MONA we decided on an impromptu trip up Mount Wellington where it was chilly and windy and picturesque.

We were pretty tired after all that so we ordered room service for dinner and had another spa bath and watched a Harry Potter movie on my laptop, tee hee.


Day 4: Tueday
This was a bit of an odd day. We had ideas of going to Me Wah for yum cha, only to read their website properly and learn that they only do yum cha on weekends. Bastards! I guess they don't have the population to be able to support yum cha every day? So we decided to put on a load of laundry (socks and undies) and looked up a Thai restaurant for lunch. We walked out to the place for lunch and found that the restaurant we were after had long been replaced by something else, so we wandered on and found another Thai place. It was okay.

After lunch we kept wandering, nosed about a second-hand bookshop and happened up on a Red Cross blood bank so Nic went in to donate some blood (being of a weaker constitution with a congenital heart murmur, I figured it wouldn't be wise for me to try to donate blood for the first time whilst on holiday).

We'd already booked our tickets for the Port Arthur ghost tour later that night so the whole day didn't get spent faffing about! We timed our dinner at the Ball & Chain grill so that we would arrive a little early for our 9pm ghost tour. I did the driving out to Port Arthur (about 90 minutes) and we saw a number of pademelon wallabies (most of which had had an unfortunate encounter with a moving vehicle).

The ghost tour itself was great fun. Would have been better if a couple of the older people, mainly that one guy, hadn't spent most of his time making smart remarks. There were ruins of a nice old church that looks eerie at night with all the windows lit up with candles. Nic wandered off to look around and frightened another person from our group when he materialised out of the dark. We visited the parsonage that is supposed to be haunted by the late Reverend George Easterman - creepy disembodied footsteps in the night and all that.

In another building we went into an underground room where dissections were performed and our tourguide told us an awesome story of a band of tourists on their ghost tour being frightened out of their wits by what turned out to be a mouse (that they couldn't see).

Our last stop was the Separate Prison which is super-creepy in the dark. There are long corridors lined with doors, some of which opened into pitch-black cells. I took a blurry photo of one of the corridors. What do you reckon? Is that white streak a ghost? I took a photo of the same corridor when we went back there during the day and there wasn't anything there.

In the end I wasn't sure whether I was relieved or disappointed that I (or anyone in our group) hadn't encountered anything spooky but it was a fun jaunt nonetheless. We heard some cool stories and got creeped out. Nic and I saw the small, round shape of a pademelon bouncing off into the dark.

Nic did the driving back to Hobart and on the way we saw more pademelons, a wombat (possibly dead), a brushtail possum mama crossing the road with a baby on her back, and a couple of rabbits.


Day 5: Wednesday
The morning was spent at the Cadbury factory! Too bad they no longer do the tours any more, and all you get to do is sit in a conference room while a guy talks about the history of chocolate-making and stuff (he was quite funny) before letting you loose into the 'gift shop' (a small shop area with a lot of Cadbury chocolates and sub-brands of lollies at cheap prices).

I jumped back behind the wheel to take us back to Port Arthur to see it again in broad daylight. We stopped by the Tesselated Pavement on the way. It was another clear, sunny day to be a tourist but all that walking and driving is exhausting. Nic drove us home so I napped in the car.

For dinner we had some yummy curry and lassi at Flavour of India.


Day 6: Thursday
Up earlier than usual to go to Tasmania Zoo!

Unlike, say, Melbourne Zoo or Taronga Zoo, Tasmania Zoo is not actually in the capital city. It's in Launceston. Actually, it's at the back of beyond of Launceston. And it's a three hour drive.

So we were driving along some pretty small roads, many of which are dirt roads, thinking "Is this seriously one of the two routes going between Tasmania's two biggest cities?" It's pretty dismal. I did get to swerve to avoid hitting an echidna that was waddling across the road.
Anyway, we finally reached Launceston and Google told me to keep driving, so I kept driving. The road became a lumpy dirt road and there's nothing but Australian scrub for miles and we started to wonder if there actually was a zoo there. Another echidna by the roadside, snuffling about for a meal.

Well, welcome to Tasmania Zoo. It's... rustic. It's like a guy fenced off a slab of land out in the back of nowhere in Launceston, built some fences and sheds and stuff and put the animals in there. We actually came to like the, er, rusticity of the place though. Turns out you can buy a cup of pellets to feed the wallabies through the wire fence and because they're used to being fed by visitors, they'll come right up to the fence to check you out.

We saw a number of bird species including this chap with the vibrant greens; an eastern quoll catching some rays; a Bennetts wallaby that came right up to the fence; a sulphur-crested cockatoo that said 'hello' and 'hello cocky' as well as making woofing and meowing noises; a couple of Australian dogs (dingo hybrids); one of the two wedge-tailed eagles; and of course some of the Tasmanian devils that are part of a species conservation/breeding program. We even got to see them fighting over some food during one of the regular scheduled feeding sessions where the keeper talks to you about the devils.

Video of the devils scrapping.

Very long drive home, I napped while Nic drove the first leg of the journey. Ended up taking the route that actually runs along some real bitumen roads, so no idea why Google told us to take the dirt roads.

We had Italian food at Ciuccio on Salamanca Square that evening.


Day 7: Friday
We couldn't think of anything much to do so we just kind of winged it. We went to TMAG which I kind of liked a bit better than MONA but it housed an eclectic collection of modern art/sculpture, colonial-era portraiture, a small gallery of coins going back to ancient Rome and Australia's older currency, and an exhibit on Antarctic exploration. That didn't take long, so we continued onto Salamanca Place where there are a number of art galleries/shops, bought some souvenirs and had lunch at a little Vietnamese place. The afternoon was spent doing very little back at the hotel, and then we decided to go to Annapurna for dinner.

Pro tip: if you've got a hankering for Indian food in Hobart, go to Flavour of India. Annapurna just isn't as good.


Final day: Saturday
Last-minute packing and stuff, final breakfast and checking out of the hotel. We bundled our bags into the car and left it in the hotel carpark while we wandered down to Salamanca Market to do our last-minute shopping. This was mainly Christmas presents for family and friends and were almost all in the form of something edible. We tried to take it slow because we were also waiting to go for some yum cha at Me Wah at 11am.

Yum cha was nice and I'd not be surprised if it's the best yum cha in Tasmania. Having had it in Melbourne more times than I can remember, though, it didn't impress me and young Nic has also developed some discerning tastes in yum cha. The selection of dim sum is limited and it was a little on the expensive side. The Satuday yum cha service is also à la carte which takes the fun out of the usual yum cha experience. The trolley service only runs on Sundays. I wonder if the selection is better then, or if it's the same stuff on the menu?

Nevertheless I really like the restaurant itself and the service is great. The toilets were really swish; they had shelves with little red cotton towels rolled up in case you didn't want to dry your hands with a paper towel like some sort of peasant.

We had two or three hours to kill before we had to be at the airport so we drove out to the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary to see some more cute aminals. See what I did there? At the admissions counter they give you a brown paper bag with some pellets in it so you can hand-feed some of the creatures there. The first enclosure we came across housed a potoroo who was very excited about pellets. "Oh my god I love pellets!"

There's a large pen where visitors can hand-feed small kangaroos and wallabies, a few birds, elusive creatures like wombats and echidnas that we didn't see, etc. The Bonorong Sanctuary is also breeding Tasmanian devils so they had a number of those around, including this funny guy who kept doing laps of his yard.

We still had an hour or so to kill so we visited the town of Richmond, where Australia's oldest bridge is (how exciting) and finally went to the airport.


Final thoughts
Tasmania is picturesque and fairly quiet for a capital city. Can be a bit boring for a proper city slicker, I reckon, if you run out of touristy things to do. That said, it's still more interesting than Canberra.

Maybe it's because we don't know the area and were relying on internet reviews, but the range of restaurants seems very limited. It doesn't a Lygon Street equivalent (Melbourne's Italian district) or even a Chinatown, doesn't have a token 'trendy hipster' area like Fitzroy.

I really enjoyed going to the zoo (not so much the long drive) and the ghost tour, eating tasty Indian food and wandering through the Salamanca Market. Seeing the local wildlife hanging around the roadsides, sometimes even during the day, was a novelty. The Tahune Airwalk was great as well, especially the part where we met those Tibetan Mastiffs. <3


Now that we're home and unpacked, there's crap all over the living room and I don't want to go to work, ugh! If I stay in bed and pretend I'm sleeping, can I not go to work?

(no subject)
psyanide
I've posted this on Tumblr and FB so might as well do it here too.

Can't sleep, have been lying in bed for three hours without sleeping a wink.

Driving me insane.

You know how it is: get frustrated because can't sleep, and can't sleep because frustrated about not sleeping.

So, naturally, I got out of bed to complain about it on the internet.

The neighbours at #4 are awake as well and they were COOKING. At freaking MIDNIGHT. There's no mistaking the sound of a wok. Who the hell needs stir-fry at midnight? Even if you had a bad case of the midnight munchies, couldn't you just make a peanut butter sandwich?

Someone on Tumblr was wondering where this (NSFW) is from and was very happy when I told them it's from Tokyo Gore Police. My good deed for the day.

Have had a glass of warm milk so going to try this sleeping thing again.

Typing is therapeutic.

Aaaand someone's car alarm has gone off.

Food meme
psyanide
1. What’s your #1 comfort food?
It changes from time to time but pasta dishes are usually good.

2. If you were on a deserted island, what one food would you want to have with you?
Since Asians tend to eat a lot of fish (my parents cooked steamed fish at least once a week for dinner) I reckon I could survive on fish for a fairly long time, provided I could actually catch them from the surrounding waters. I suppose I'd probably want some form of plant matter to go with it, like broccoli or rice.

3. What is/are your signature dishes?
Roast pork belly. OM NOM NOM.

4. It’s Friday night, you don’t know what to cook. You opt for...
Either fish and chips, or pizza/pasta from the little Italian restaurant down the road. I love that nonna does the cooking there <3

5. What’s your biggest weakness when it comes to food?
Donuts! I adore donuts. And those godawful fried/steamed pastry things containing some sort of miscellaneous meat byproducts masquerading as dim sims, I love those too.

[Clicky]
6. What food can you absolutely not eat?
Oyster mushrooms: the arabitol in oyster mushrooms makes me violently sick.

7. You need a drink. You grab a...
Water. I don't drink enough water. That or some sort of juice.

8. What’s the most decadent dish you’ve had?
I dunno, pork belly? Peking duck? I'm sure I've had a lot of decadent foods but I can't think of any right now, and I tend to prefer simpler, homely, comforting foods.

9. What’s your favorite type of food?
If I could only eat three kinds of cuisines for the rest of my life, I would choose Chinese, Italian and Indian.

10. Favorite dish?
I love lots of foods!

11. If your partner could take you to any restaurant you wanted, which one would it be?
Kau Kee (九記牛腩) in Hong Kong. They deal in only one thing - Chinese beef brisket - and it is amazing.

12. Are you a soup or salad person?
Absolutely a soup person. I always hated salad as a kid and that only started to change in the last several years or so.

13. Buffet, take-out or sit-down restaurant?
Sit-down restaurant. Might as well eat the meal at the place it was cooked at.

14. What’s the most impressive dinner you’ve ever made?
Four kilos of pork belly for ten people.

15. Do you consider yourself a good cook?
I'm kind of a rookie but I'm learning and I'm getting more confident.

16. Do you know what vichyssoise is?
Some sort of potato soup, I think. The animals in Animal Crossing sometimes talk about it.

17. Who’s your favorite TV cook?
I don't really have a favourite, but Heston Blumenthal is fun to watch. Not only does he go nuts in the kitchen, I like that you actually see him make things that are actually suck, which is something you rarely see on cooking shows. They're always irritatingly perfect.

18. Can you name at least three TV cooking personalities?
Jamie Oliver, Donna Hay, Ainsley Harriot, Kylie Kwong, etc.

19. Homemade or homemade from a box?
I'd prefer not using anything pre-mixed or pre-packaged but sometimes stuff in boxes is handy for those times when you Really Can't Be Fucked.



Bold for the ones I've eaten, italics for the ones I'd like to try:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O shot
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Single malt whisky
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal *
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
100. Snake


* I had my first and only Big Mac Meal by accident in Xi'an last year, where we pointed at some new crispy chicken burger on the menu and somehow ended up with two Big Mac Meals instead. WTF.
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OHMYGOD
psyanide
OH MY GOD. The jacket I bought on Etsy has arrived and this thing.

Is fucking.

AMAZING.

She originally quoted 2-3 weeks for production and another 2-3 weeks for shipping. It only took about 10 days' production and another 12 for shipping, and it was made to custom measurements (since I don't have a particularly feminine figure). The materials she used are just lovely. She even used blue lining at my request. I was so hesitant about spending $200 on a jacket but it looks and feels like something you'd pay well over $500 for in a shop. I took a couple of photos but frankly it looks a bit shite when it's just sitting on a coathanger. I wonder if it would suit the dress I'm wearing to Steph's wedding today? :3

Man, I am definitely keeping an eye Laura Galic's stunning designs. Everybody should buy something from her, she's fantastic.

OH MY GOD
psyanide
My jacket from Etsy has shipped.


Eurovision semi-final #2
psyanide
I was going to nuke some popcorn but decided to snack from a box of Crispix instead. Also, I've got the beginnings of the flu.

#01 Serbia: Nice piano and violin work.

#02 Macedonia: Could have done with a more interesting outfit. Oh here we go, cracking out the drums and guitars. That was unexpected but kinda cool. Cellist is so hardcore, she's shredding her bow. I rather liked this song.

#03 The Netherlands: Fire! And she thinks she's a Native American chief. So not into that song.

#04 Malta: Guys are really into that vertical peaked hairdo aren't they? It kind of looks like the members of the band are just posing with their instruments and not really playing.

#05 Belarus: Interesting mic stands! Is he wearing chainmail? I'm kind of getting into this. A bit risky performing a song called 'We Are The Winners' if you're not going to win.

#06 Portugal: I like that she's doing something a little more traditional but otherwise don't really care for this act.

#07 Ukraine: Eugh, sounds like one of those awful upbeat 'inspirational' songs. Also like that Adele song. Think she did a sneaky bypass of the 'no more than 6 people onstage' rule by having the rest of her backup dancers on that screen behind her.

#08 Bulgaria: Lady, with features as pointy as yours you shouldn't scrunch up your face so much.

#09 Slovenia: It's sort of a pretty dress she's wearing but it does make her look like a loo roll holder. Tom (ex-workmate) says it's not fair that she has elves with her. Not a bad song.

#10 Croatia: Her dancers crack me up. Tom knows her (who she is, not personally).

#11 Sweden: Wind machine is working overtime on this girl! Bit of a Hammerdance there. She's even got snow! I think she's trying to turn kung fu into a dance form.

#12 Georgia: Um... I don't know. I can't tell if I like it, or if my brain is being ironic and trying to make me think I like it.

#13 Turkey: Military-goth boyband? Very awkward dance moves. OH MY GOD THEY MADE A BOAT.

#14 Estonia: EMOTIONS! He wants to fuck you with his eyebrows. Now he's going to go backstage and cry because of his emotions.

#15 Slovakia: FUCK YEAH! He thinks he's Justin Hawkins. I kind of like this.

#16 Norway: Smouldering. Guy looks like the lovechild of Tom Cruisei and Peter Andre.

#17 Bosnia & Herzegovina: Respect for someone who can sing and whilst playing the piano. A decent song, I think. work that wind machine!

#18 Lithuania: 'Love Is Blind'. So he's wearing a blindfold. Okay, he decided to take it off. Has he even reached puberty yet? Hahaha people on Twitter are saying "Love is blind, not deaf" XDD

Aw that's it for the semis.

* * * *

Blindfold guy from Lithuania's in the finals. I hope he doesn't win.
Bosnia's in, I liked her okay.
Estonia's in, he was pretty good too.
Ugh, Turkey's through to the finals too.
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Eurovision semi-final #1
psyanide
#01 Montenegro: UM. NOT SURE IF SERIOUS. Weird rapping aside, what's with that Trojan horse? I like the dancer who's not wearing a shirt underneath his suit jacket XD

#02 Iceland: Nice harmonies and cellos. Rocking a bit of violin there.

#03 Greece: First vapid pop song with uninspired lyrics. Hehe, people on Twitter are being a bit mean XD

#04 Latvia: Your mum and aunties decided to get a pop group together. Except the main singer; she looks like a man.

#05 Albania: Wow, what is going on with this chick? Why does she keep screaming at me? Oh god, she sobbed at the end XDDD

#06 Romania: Whoa, bagpipes and psychedelic pulsing visuals. And fire! *drinks*

#07 Switzerland: The bassist is a girl in a corset! Singer's trying way too hard, man.

#08 Belgium: Looks like the friend from Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV series. Pretty enough.

#09 Finland: A cellist - nice. Pull those shoulders up, girl! No slouching! Her voice doesn't suit this song. Someone on Twitter says she looks like Ariel. I think she looks like Poison Ivy.

#10 Israel: Oh dear. The 70s want their... stuff back.

#11 San Marino: A cheerleader, paparrazo, scientist-dork and a flight officer? Christ this song is awful.

#12 Cyprus: Anne Hathaway and Liv Tyler's love child? Song is not terribly inspired.

#13 Denmark: Wow, you should've known better than to wear that onstage. I love that tiny little xylophone though!

#14 Russia: Funny little grandmas! They sound absolutely dreadful. Are they actually babushkas?

#15 Hungary: Points for being passionate. Not a bad song.

#16 Austria: Nope, I cannot take this seriously. Not even ironically. The outfits on the pole dancers are dreadful. Oh but they light up!

#17 Moldova: Ugh, Moldova's act was silly last year as well.

#18 Ireland: Oh god, Jedward. Here we go. Oh dear god. Nice water feature though.


UK: Boring.
France: What the fuck?! I have no idea what is going on.
Italy: What's with that awful orange wig?
Azerbaijan: Channelling Celine Dion again.
Spain: The overbite's not doing her any favours.
Germany: Not bad but I wanted you to sing in German!

* * * *

Oh god, Moldova made the finals.
Screaming banshee from Albania made the finals too.
Matryoshka grandmas are in!
Ahahaha and Ireland. These guys look like a couple of Macaulay Culkins.
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Bad day
psyanide
I left my lunch at home.



It was a nice Thai red curry with prawns, zucchini and baby corn, too.

Broke
psyanide
Well, there goes one of our beautiful new Bodum double-walled glasses.

Gutted.

I need to stop throwing knives and things into the sink when there's something already in there.

The first Pork Belly Extrrrravaganza
psyanide
The recipe for our first Pork Belly Extrrrravaganza last night:
-almost 4kg of pork belly
-steamed jasmine rice
-baby bok choy
-stir-fried water spinach
-lemon meringue pie
-eight awesome friends
-Lindt chocolates and 1.5 kilos of Killer Pythons from san and katisu

Thank goodness for:
-the dishwasher
-getting better at this pork belly thing (look at this crackling! That cannot be good for you.)
-having made just enough pork for everyone
-Nic for being a better host than the socially awkward me (I just make the food; he's the pretty one!)

<3 you guys!

Hong Kong - Day 1
psyanide
We're on holiday!

After spending some 8 hours on a flight to Kuala Lumpur, 3 hours at KLIA waiting for our connecting flight, another 3 hour flight, enduring wailing babies and inconsiderate, elderly seat-tilters, and lots of fragmented attempts to sleep we've finally arrived at the first destination of our Asian holiday: fair Hong Kong.

It was another 30-minute shuttle bus ride from the airport to the Nathan Hotel where staying. By then we would have been wearing the same clothes for some 35 hours straight and wanted nothing more than to have a long, hot shower.

Our hotel room is pretty nice. The weather somewhat less than hospitable: mid- to low-twenties, cloudy and extremely humid.

Once we'd showered and had a bit of time to relax, we ventured outside looking for food. Feeling tired we decided on a nearby sushi bar (very nearby) and had some freshly prepared sashimi, then retired back to our hotel room to wind down.

And today is our first full day in Hong Kong! I'm feeling much better after 10 hours' sleep. Going to shower and head up to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast. Then we'll start our adventures!

More like die-tamins, right?
psyanide
HEALTH RISK WARNING ON VITAMIN PILLS

http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/health-risk-warning-on-vitamins-20111011-1lj3u.html

COMMONLY used dietary supplements, including multivitamins, do not extend the life of older women and may increase their risk of death, a major study has found.

Now, I don't believe that anybody should be popping loads of vitamins—particularly multivitamins—daily and indiscriminately, but this article? "Increase their risk of death"? The risk of death is one hundred per cent! It's just a matter of how and when. People who write these articles/studies really need to reconsider their choice of words.
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Tyrion has won!
psyanide
Peter Dinklage has won an Emmy for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones!


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