Nicole is a super-generous human being. This is the softie she made JW for his birthday -- it's a mini Jasperella the Uberhund. The big Jazzy isn't quite sure what to make of her little doppelganger, but JW and I think she's very cool.
(Nicole has in the course of our friendship made me a needle roll AND a pincushion AND some fridge magnets AND some quince jelly AND she bought me a skein of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino to make these.)
This is JW and he is wearing the navy and orange beanie I knitted for him. We like orange stuff here. One day I should take a photo of every orange thing in the house. You'd be impressed. Or not, I can't tell with you, oh internets. The hivemind is fickle.
Please also admire our lovely cream couch. I am not sure why two not-terribly-tidy adults with a brown dog were moved to purchase a cream couch, but it is very comfortable, even if I have to vacuum it twice a week to get the dog hair off -- and she's not even allowed to sit on it. While the dog is allowed inside the house, she is not allowed on couches or beds. Ever. Yes, I am a big meanie.
And here is the delicious chunk 'o' beef I cooked on the weekend:
Beef fillet, tied with string, gently poached in red wine with thyme and bay leaves and peppercorns, with lightly blanched beans and asparagus, and served with a dribble of EVOO and cooking juices. (Apologies to all the vegie readers for this gratuitous meat shot.)
I also baked JW a cake. Unfortunately, it came out looking like this:
So I poured a whole heap of ganache (dark chocolate melted with cream) over it until it looked like this:
As indicated by the example picture in my Women's Weekly Cooking Class Cakes cookbook, it's meant to be a Sacher Torte, but I have renamed it the 'cowpat cake'. (Apologies for the glary blurgh shots, I am in desperate need of a good polarising filter.) It has to be the ugliest cake I have ever made.
But then we ate it with cream and it was very delicious.
So the PM claims sole responsibility for his government when it comes to Australia's economic growth but won't wear any blame at all when it comes to possible interest rate rises?
Right. So positive economic growth is all about what the government does, while negative economic factors have nothing to do with the government at all. Instead, it's all about the bananas. Or am I missing something?
This is a picture of JW up north in the Chichesters doing whatever rockologists do in such far flung places. Yes, he's wearing a flyscreen. Apparently the little bastards are virulent up there and particularly like to crawl up nostrils.
On that note, happy birthday JW. You're the bestest fella I know, and I'm extraordinarily lucky to have you in my life.
Editor's note: I promised myself that today I would try to find time to write an intelligent post. This is not it.
In the midst of war in the Middle East, the banana-driven inflation rate rise, and various and sundry other Bad Things, I am happy because we don't have to move. JW rang up the evil real estate agent and told her that we couldn't possibly afford another $50 a week, and somewhere in the shrivelled dark recesses of what was once her soul, she decided to only up it by $20. We have accepted the offer.
It's not ideal for us, but right now we'll take long term loss ($1040 in the next year) over short-term pain, drama and expense. Though I suppose if I do a proper cost-benefit analysis, moving would work out more expensive -- hiring a truck would cost us a few hundred, plus time and the inevitable week or so of take-away meals, and then the costs of having the phone, electricity and gas put back on and so on.
The only thing I was remotely excited about was the possibility of moving out the serial killingest suburb in Perth for somewhere a little more, I dunno, interesting -- like Mt Lawley or Leederville. A suburb where the median age wasn't 96 and the car of choice wasn't the Range Rover (not that there's anything wrong with that, of course). Nonetheless, I am glad to do without the drama. Really, really, really glad.
Thank also to all my peeps who were very sympathetic last week during my five-day-long panic attack, especially JW, who gave me his hankie to sob into when we ran out of tissues.
Congratulations to Zoe, and belatedly, to Armaniac, on the soon-to-be new additions to their families. I'm pretty ambiguous about having children of my own, but other people's little 'uns are just wonderful, especially the bit where I have no responsibility for them at all.
Unfortunately, none of my peeps in RealSpace show the slightest interest in procreating so I can play with a baby every couple of days -- I wonder why? -- so I just have to admire other peoples' kiddlies from afar.
Finally, where has Chockylit been all my life? Though the cafe I work at makes splendiferous cupcakes, so I have no need to cook such indulgences. We're not really allowed to eat the cafe's cupcakes, unless they are old, damaged, or in some other way unfit for sale -- say if they are 'accidentally' dropped en route to the cake cabinet or smushed 'accidentally' by the back of one's hand whilst being fished out of a box or if the icing is 'accidentally' smeared everywhere when one is cleaning out the bottom of the bikkie box... Yeah, you get the idea.
This cafe work is really eating into my blogging (knitting, reading, housecleaning, writing, being a girlfriend, dog walking) time. Ah well. What I have instead is the warm glow of satisfaction that only being a productive contributer to the vast capitalist machine can bring. And a dodgy knee that isn't getting any better thanks to 8-hour shifts and a concrete floor.
In other news, we are moving house soon. Where to, we do not know. All we know is that we cannot afford another $50 a week in rent, as the minion of the devil real estate agent has demanded we pay. So the great house hunt begins again. I have moved over 40 times in my relatively short life, and apart from the throes of major depression and the death of a relative, it is my least favourite state of being. We have the added hassle of finding a place which is dog friendly as well.
Also, JW has had a possible skin cancer removed from his back, so we await the biopsy result with some trepidation. Worst case scenario is basal cell carcinoma, which isn't as bad as melanoma; best case scenario is that I'm a panicker and it's just a harmless little (huge) mole, which has been ripped from its perfectly content life on JW's back and mercilessly tortured at a pathology lab for no good reason. Fingers crossed it's the latter.
Okay, more like read-one-Patrick-White-novel-athon. I've always been rather terrified of White and have never, ever, knowingly read a single word of his. Sad really, but I dedicated most of my teenage years (and probably much of my 20s) to not-very-worthy reading, so I've got a lotta catching up to do when it comes to literary pursuits.
So I'm in, and hopefully it'll be a novel I can get from the depths of L-space, because I am astonishingly poor right now.
Excuse me for one second while I have a little rant about said poorness. Read it at your peril:
Fuck freelancing! It is so frustrating to wait WEEKS and WEEKS for any money to arrive, and the sad fact is my credit card is resting on exactly its limit, and I celebrated being paid by the cafe yesterday by having sushi and then a macadamia and white choc chip biscuit and a latte, thereby blowing $12 and now I feel guilty as well as fat, and I have about $3000 worth of invoices unpaid right now and it is unbelievably annoying to have so much money SO CLOSE and yet so far! SHOW ME THE MONEY WORLD! Also I have many pairs of undies with big holes and it is JW's bithday next week and I can't afford to get him anything decent and the dog needs more non-fecal food and I have some medications I need to buy as well as a phone bill to pay and $97 in the bank right now.
Okay, I feel better now. I'm excited about taking part in my first ever book group, even if it is with my friends in the computer and not in the book group of my imagination, which always featured a cafe with big comfy chairs and a fair bit of red wine.
And never blog about the Middle East. Two rules that will hold you in good stead.
Another useful rule of thumb for daily living: do not go on Skating with the Stars. So far, the toll is: one severed tendon, one broken rib, one broken leg, one fractured spine. Dear god. All for a stupid TV show about ice dancing b-list celebrities.
Other stuff. Why should Cadbury should own colour purple, at least in relation to chocolate? This sort of legal argy-bargy about colours and trademarks fascinates and repels me. In corporate branding, colours are a big deal -- I used to work for a design agency that dealt with big firms like Macquarie Bank and AGL. Getting the colours 'right' was incredibly difficult, especially with monitors needing calibration, trying to get customers to understand pantone colours vs non pantone, the effects of varnishes and paper stocks, etc etc. I'm glad I got out of that industry fairly quickly -- if there's anything more frustrating than spending four hours in a meeting discussing the perfect shade of orange to use for a corporate document, I've yet to find it.
Finally, at Majikthise, a thread asking how often you cry -- linked to ideas about hormones and male vs female teariness, through the experiences of a FTM transperson. Anyway, I'll admit it -- I'm a crier. I cry, on average, about once a week, ranging from sniffles to giant wracking sobs. I have no idea if this is normal, but for me tears are an almost involuntary physical reaction to an overwhelming emotional state, and there's nothing I can do the staunch the flow. Afterwards I feel physically awful but mentally calmer, so I suppose crying has some therapeutic benefit, though frankly I'd trade my left arm to be one of those stoic resilient stiff-upper lip types.