Oh my

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:21 am
highlyeccentric: A woman in an A-line dress, balancing a book on her head, in front of bookshelves (Make reading sexy)
This morning I made pancakes and ate them on the balcony, and started reading Arundhati Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. I'm only about two chapters in, and am already blown away by her prose and her... I don't know what to call it, exactly, but it's there in God of Small Things and it's there in this one, and I haven't found anything in between that quite tastes like they do.

Other facts:

- yesterday I spent 200 chf on a handbag. It's a very nice, very understated handbag made of good leather, so probably worth it. (There was a Fossil bag I liked, on sale, considerably cheaper, but it had suede panels and was probably more fashion-dependent.) Friend R went shopping with me, and I think I disappointed her: I did not want sparkles, or colour blocks, or quilt effects, or tassels, and most things with gold embellishments I thought were too overdone (for me: underdone for R, I'm sure). I kept gravitating to bags she described as 'my aunt has one like that'. Basically I wanted something considerably smaller than my satchel, that I can wear with a dress, and that won't draw much attention (so I can carry it with ANY dress. Or with a more masc outfit if I so choose).

- We then went prowling through the makeup section. I learned a lot of terrifying things about makeup. Again, a bit weird, because I'm attracted to makeup as a THING, but evidence proves I don't bother wearing it. R kept being like 'this would look good on you'. Well, yes. Except I wouldn't wear it. I bought some single-use face masque sheets from Sephora, though, and that turns out to be quite rewarding. I haven't had a good masque since I stopped buying clinque (the Sukin mud one may or may not have been good for my skin, but it didn't feel like anything on and was therefore a disappointment).

There have been some Girlfriend Situations in the past week that have varied from bloody brilliant (gosh I'm looking forward to seeing her!) to anxiety-hamster to quietly worrying.
highlyeccentric: Garden gnome reading - text: can't talk. dorking. (Garden dork)
As with the previous instance, most social-media using persons have probably got the general idea, but here I present a summative post for friends, relations and the terminally curious, covering the period Halloween-Christmas 2013:

What I did in Europe, by Amy, Age 26 )
highlyeccentric: Sir Gawain: as gay as christmas - especially at christmas (Gawain)
A general announcement regarding Christmas correspondance*: I have an arbitrarily-assigned budget for the purchasing of stamps. Once I exceed that, there will be no more Christmas cards. There's not so much an order of priority for postage as a mixture of luck and deadlines to various countries. If you get a Christmas card, lucky you; if not, it is probably just that I ran out of money, not that I ran out of love!

*This announcement does not pertain to persons of non-christmas culture or persuasion.
highlyeccentric: (Sydney Bridge)
I had thought about writing summative posts every month, but my housing situation was too precarious and stressful at the end of September to even think about it. I might aim for bi-monthly instead? Those following me either on DW/LJ or Facebook have probably got a reasonable idea of what my life has been like since I got here, so feel free to skip or skim - part of the purpose of this post is that I can fling links at non-social-media-using relatives if it seems useful.

Dear friends, family, internauts, and terminally curious persons, It may have reached your notice that I have moved to Geneva )
highlyeccentric: Manly cooking: Bradley James wielding a stick-mixer (Manly cooking)
So on friday I was going to make tomato, lentil and rosemary soup - except I didn't have rosemary and my carrots had gone manky. Nor did I have celery, the other customary ingredient.

Instead, the following:

1 x onion, fried with thyme and a generous pinch of sweet paprika
2 x cloves garlic, chopped and fried with above
A handful of baby potatoes, halved and fried for a few min with the onion
1 x cup of lentils, pre-soaked
1 x cup of borlotti beans, pre-soaked (and brought to the boil and RINSED at least once)
1 x can of tomatoes
Vegetable stock equal to the capacity of the aforementioned can (about 480ml?)
Bring to boil, then cover and simmer until potatoes are soft, then add
Pinch of cracked pepper
1 x medium capsicum (bell pepper), in chunks
Simmer until the capsicum starts to soften


That kept me going for a few days. Then last night I made a stab at Eggplant and Lentil Stew, using a mix of honey and lemon instead of pomegranate mollasses. That was more like mushy PURPLE food, because of the eggplant. I added some green beans, and another capsicum, and served on cinnamon-and-lemon rice. It was pronounced good by housemate and [personal profile] leareth, with the caveat that [personal profile] leareth would have delighted in any food she didn't have to cook, since it was 9pm and she'd just got in from the airport.

Next weekend housemate is having a board games night, to which everone is bringing sweets and her boyfriend is providing norwegian hot dogs. I'm pretty sure I can stretch my budget to making fancy salad in large proportions, given how much I love feeding people.
highlyeccentric: French vintage postcard - a woman in feminised army uniform of the period (General de l'avenir)
A friend - a small, fey man - and I were at the bar, buying last drinks. A large happy drunk man was "dancing" next to the bar, and by dancing we mean full-blown karaoke style, down on his knees singing and at some point putting his arse in the air and waggling it around.

Friend, quietly, to me: when did this become a gay bar?
Me: I... do not know.
Friend: Not that I'm complaining.
Me: *shrugs* Arses!

Friend commences ordering his drinks. Next thing I know, large hands are cupping my butt. I become somewhat confused, because the individual most likely to be placing large hands on my butt is in another country. I turn around, and Mr Arse Dancing is groping by butt.

Me: That's my butt!
Mr Arse Dancing: It is?
Me: That's my butt. (Moving my butt out of his reach)
Mr Arse Dancing: Is it?
Me: Yes. It is my personal property.
Mr Arse Dancing: Oh. Is looking ok?
Me: Yes. Looking is ok; touching is not.
Mr Arse Dancing: *makes a big show of examining my butt*
Me: I hope it is satisfactory.

Mr Arse Dancing steps back a little, and I insert myself between Friend and the bar, instructing him that he is not to leave yet, because my butt is under contest. Friend says of course, and seems a little surprised that I felt I had to specify this to him. I don't think to put Friend between me and Mr Arse Dancing, which perhaps would've been a good idea. Tiny he may be but he still occupies space. For some reason, perhaps boyed by drunk logic, I thought I had accurately asserted my position and Mr Arse Dancing would resign himself to looking.

Mr Arse Dancing waits until I'm ordering my drinks and resumes handling my butt. At this point the general manager, who may or may not have noticed, but is friends with Mr Arse Dancing, turns up and engages him in a strange homoerotic wrestle on the bartop.

What. Just what?
highlyeccentric: Demon's Covenant - Kitchen!fail - I saw you put rice in the toaster (Demon's Covenant - kitchen!fail)
Sunday night I had a small assortment of people over for a two-course fondue dinner. As I'd managed to sleep until 1pm (don't ask), most of the day was taken up with preparations. K made almond macaroons; I soaked lentils for a lentil, basil and tomato salad side dish. Then a tedious process of grating cheeses, slicing breads and chopping chocolate.

The end products were thus:

Roast Pumpkin with cheese fondue. Which was a-fucking-mazing. The pumpkin turned a glorious bronze colour and smelled fantastic, and infused the fondue with a delightful sweet tang. I'd used gluten-free countrygrain bread for the bread layers, which worked remarkably well. And in the absence of anything identifying itself as gruyere, this was made on a mix of emmental and generic made-in-germany "swiss style cheese".

Slightly less heavy, Swiss Cheese Fondue, which caused me to buy brandy for the first time in my life. Again, not made with the recommended cheese, because although the extra food miles involved pain me a little, the extra cost in the Tasmanian-made version was alarming.

We served these with an assortment of sides: salami, very popular; potatoes, likewise; broccoli, mostly consumed by K; proscuitto, popular but i think it was overwhelmed; and pickles, not so popular. Obviously pumpkin could be scraped out of the former dish.

Then for dessert:

Choc-orange fondue, made on cointreu instead of brandy. Candied orange rinds were also provided, but not the macaroons from the recipe (K made Campion and Curtis' easier version).

And a variation on the Family Circle "Fudge Sauce for Ice-Cream", which I don't think I've ever chronicled here:

Instructions! )

I made the above on white chocolate, since we had a few blocks to use up. It was sickeningly sweet and amazing. Strawberries and marshmallows rounded off the dessert portion. We, that is I and Peta and Kiera, also drank two and a bit bottles of wine, including the "Shook me all night long Moscato" I've been saving for a suitably hideous occasion. It was in fact hideous, and Peta dubbed it 'Angus piss'.

This was all well and good, although I was sad to throw out the pumpkin at the end of the night. I suppose I could've turned the remaining fondue and pumpkin flesh into cheesy pumpkin mash, but we had ZERO FRIDGE SPACE left after storing the small side dish of cheese-and-GF-bread fondue and the leftover white wine fondue. And the chocolate ones, of course.

Just as well we did save the savoury ones, though, because K and I just had a most fantastic leftovers experience. You know those moments when you suddenly feel like you're living in someone's unrealistic fantasy of what young professional people do in their child-free evenings? Yeah. We fried mushrooms and chorizo and made toast and broccoli and reheated some roast veggies and a dish of fondue and stood around in the kitchen spearing small food on forks and laughing at what ridiculous foodies we are even when eating leftovers.

Photographic proof )

I think the chorizo and mushroom were better fondue sides than anything we came up with on Sunday, actually.
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)

YES ME. Also [personal profile] kayloulee. And it was fucking amazing.

Here is a long ramble! )

TL;DR I had a fantastic time and we sang and danced and it was fantastic.
highlyeccentric: Black boots and leather pants, ankles crossed, against brown grass (Chris Pine, Details shoot) (Boots - CFine)
Still in Gerringong. Because we tried to put me on the train but the train did not turn up. I am ensaddened, because yesterday I stuffed up my connection at Redfern and thus missed my connection at Kiama, so Maddi and co. came to get me and I didn't get to go on the cute diesel train after all. And today the train didn't turn up! So I haven't been able to catch the cute diesel train.


Also you guys I have the best girlfriend.
highlyeccentric: Manly cooking: Bradley James wielding a stick-mixer (Manly cooking)
Apparently there's a direct correlation between getting laid and culinary inventiveness! Win. Kris says she's happy to continue as my, ah, muse in return for delicious fudz.

Without further ado, I present to you: Strawberry Toffee Pancakes.

(Due credit: 'In the Kitchen', Campion and Curtis, for their blueberry pikelet recipe; Crepes of Wrath for the caramel idea, [personal profile] clavicular and [personal profile] kayloulee for nomming on variations of this recipe over the past few months.)

Dietary and accessibility notes )

General note: Unlike the Crepes of Wrath version I linked to, this pancake lacks structural integrity and won't make nice stacks. Using whole berries or bannans would help, as would using wheat flour. Personally I feel structural integrity is secondary to deliciousness.

Measurements are in Australian standards and ingredients/tools by common Australian terms.

Ingredients and method )
highlyeccentric: Teacup - text: while there's tea there's hope (while there's tea there's hope)
Today we went to a picnic. Not just any picnic, but a *feminist* picnic.

We talked to Actual Humans. And I think I may have got sunburnt and I do seem to have become overheated, which is weird, for me. We thought about going to buy food, because we have very little of it, but that sort of ended after a grumpy encounter with Harris Farm.

Now I have to prep class for tomorrow and also learn Latin words.

Also I feel quite shitty. Don't know why. It's K's job to get overheated and mine to ruin baked goods, but clearly this week we have swapped.
highlyeccentric: The Marauders (shoebox project) (Marauders)
but in all other respects, weekend rather spiffing.
highlyeccentric: Firefley - Kaylee - text: "shiny" (Shiny)
Cannot has internet connection yet because I wasn't able to print out the passcodes from my inbox yesterday. They're on Sjazz's hard drive instead, but she's off doing exciting Birthday Things for now.

[personal profile] kayloulee and I invented the BEST FOOD EVER.

It is: toasted apple and cheese tortillas.

You get your tortilla, and lay teeeny thin apple slices down the middle of it and then cover them in cheese and toast it and then fold the tortilla in half. THEN YOU HAVE NOMS.

Other things:
1. Latin will kill me
2. Am only capable of comprehending 1000 lines of Old French poetry a day. Some days I can read that in an hour, some days it takes me four hours, but invariably, brain fizzles out after 1000 lines.
3. Going to dinner with some college people tonight.
4. Going latin grammar book shopping with Lucy tomorrow, because we really know how to party.
5. Meeting up with Aissi on Saturday.
6. Going to see french film on Sunday. Thought it was LAST sunday, but no, it is not.
7. Have exam at nine am on monday. FUNZIES.

Finally, you should know that [livejournal.com profile] eggs_maledict and performed some TRULY MAGNIFICENT impromptu interpretive dance renditions of the Seafarer and the Wife's Lament outside the quad yesterday. ("I'm all ALONE in my BOAT and I HAVE NO FRIENDS" and "I'm all ALONE in a HOLE UNDER A TREE and I HAVE NO FRIENDS", respectively.) Classic works of literature living on into a new age, I tell you.
highlyeccentric: Firefley - Kaylee - text: "shiny" (Shiny)
Saw the year out with good, dear friends. Spent not one minute of the night feeling socially awkward. Saw the new year in in a great big puppy-pile of a group hug.

It was pretty awesome.


Nov. 3rd, 2009 03:15 pm
highlyeccentric: Me (portrait by Scarlet Bennet) (Not impressed)
We went to the shop to buy bourbon.

Says [personal profile] clavicular: What's bourbon made out of?
Says [livejournal.com profile] kitsunejin: Wheat, but it's distilled, so I can't see how the gluten would climb up the distillation pipes.
[personal profile] clavicular: I was going to say "I don't drink alcohol, how would I know how it's made", but then I thought - you don't need to eat babies to know how they're made!

And then we got drunk on pink wine and talked about feminism and porn and lesbianism. And we ate dead pig and we're now going going back to watching Hot Fuzz.
highlyeccentric: Sheer Geekiness, unfortunately - I just think this stuff is really cool (phd comics) (Sheer Geekiness)
Amy, I think you're going to like this: my perception of you has been consistently queered all night. Out of the corner of my eye, I keep thinking I'm sitting next to a guy. Why, yes, I've been doing gender in modern asia for a semester, queer is now a verb.

A sentiment I find satisfactory, in a theoretical framework I find pleasing. K warms the cockles of my heart.

[We went to see The Mystery of Edwin Drood tonight. I was wearing my spiffy new shirt from YD - it is a notverymanly man's shirt. My brother has one the same (but in a larger size), and I now have short hair. Also black skinnies wot joel has undergrown and so gave to me.]
highlyeccentric: road sign: car eaten by monster (pic#320259)
Quel que chose que ma chere Lucy et moi avons établi ce soir:

Merde ce passe.
Merde ce passe SUR TON VISAGE.
Merde ce passe SUR TA MERE.
(Ça, c'est qu'elle a dit.)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (One Way)

I know this, because, on the way back from seeing Avenue Q (it was good), [livejournal.com profile] sjazzmreow noticed that the post box on the corner was smoking gently. It turned out to be unusually hot to the touch, so, after some consternation (Sjazz: should we call someone? Me: but who? Sjazz: *examines box* there's no number on here! K: We could call triple 0. Sjazz: It's not an emergency... Me: we could call uni security and ask what they think?), we went into Gould's and the strange old man called Newtown police.

By the time we got back out, the box was smoking like a chimney stack, and had attracted a couple in evening dress and some staff from a nearby restaurant. The couple turned out to be plain-clothes cops, and I rather embarrassed myself by insisting they weren't, because I'd just got off the phone to the cops. Then someone pointed out that the lady had guns.

A waitress poured an icebucket of water in the box, to no avail. The policeman in the nice suit disappeared off with her, and reappeared with a jug of water and a bucket and a pile of napkins. Much fuss was made about the suited fellow throwing his jug into the postbox, but mostly it just splashed off the mail-chute door and did no good.

Then two uniformed police turned up.

A passerby tried to hit on Sjazz, and K scared him off. Then the firetruck showedup, and four firemen spent ten minutes getting a hose into the postbox and thoroughly dousing the contents.

After a while we gave up and went home. Many people are going to be upset with Australia post when their mail either a) disappears or b) turns up in one of those Damaged Mail bags covered in grey-brown sludge. We would rather like to see the postman's face when he (or, of course, she) opens the postbox on Monday morning and finds charred soggy debris.

Interfering with Her Majesty's Australian Mail, kids. It's a serious offence.
highlyeccentric: The Marauders (shoebox project) (Marauders)
OK, you know what? I LIKE MY FRIENDS. I have awesome friends. I keep making new friends, and they continue to be awesome, and, for the most part, work well with my existing friends. Who was it was telling me that I should take official notes every time social stuff does not in fact go awry? (I think it was the infinitely sensible sjazz?)

Alice, aka sommeille, came down to Canberra for the weekend, for the combined purpose of seeing myself and Lucy. Alice is AWESOME ON TOAST. We had a few hours to ourselves, and nattered on about such things as The Wanderer and his man-pain (which I will not be able to take seriously ever again without picturing Alice singing 'this is the way we row the boat'... :D), the joys of substantive adjectives, and Alice's completely batty family. We may or may not have veered dangerously close to D&M territory at times, too, and nothing exploded. Knowing things about one's friends, it's always an interesting experiment. Alice is Good People. I don't see much of her; I'd like to see more of her; but regardless of whether or not this happens, I think I Can Has Good Friend.

Last night, I had a party! It was supposed to be more dinner than party, but I think it's officially a Party if it ends up with teenagers making out on the couch. This is a thing which has never happened to me before! (Being host to such a thing, anyway. Let's not talk about my brief foray into party attendance as a teenager.) I dunno, it's probably a silly standard, but I feel like having parties, or sedate gatherings, as the case may be, at which Stuff Happens (and people go away and remember that time at Amy's place when Stuff Happened and people met and whatever) is an important component of Real Social Life. That it is possible to have such a thing with a handful of people, a mishmash of food, not all that much alcohol, and a high level of geekery is really quite excellent.

Stuff which Happened also included the meeting of Alice and kitsunejin, who turn out to be THE SAME PERSON. Quite different personalities, as anyone who's met them knows, but uncannily similar sets of interests and HILARIOUSLY similar backgrounds. How many sapphically inclined Australian students of Asian studies were born in San Francisco to lapsed Christian fathers and mothers who were the children of communist jews? Much glee was had over this, in English and Japanese, at an extremely fast pace and much to the amusement of Ali and I.

There were six of us, and we were an excellent six. Female homosociality ftw. Uninhibited queerness ftw. It was all very affirming after the demoralising encounter I had on Friday with garden-variety homophobes. At some point in the evening, we'd managed to tangle ourselves up in a giant group hug in my kitchen, and the niceness of it all hurt my heart. Back in my camp-going days, groups of us would wind up sprawled out on the grass or the worship hall floor, or piled up in group hugs, or whatever, and that was what stuck out to me: the sensation that I could spin around and around and crash down in any direction and there would automatically be someone to fall on. The physical proximity goes with the emotional, I guess.

College was a bit like that, at its best. You guys, the group which collected itself around K and I last year, you were like that. I left last year with the horrible feeling that, once again, as soon as I'd found myself a secure network, I was leaving it behind. Cue END OF THE WORLD, reboot Loner Drive, etc. Maybe not that dramatic, but it was a possibility.

Lookit this. Seven months in, and I have a) not lost the network I left behind and b) gathered a new one, which integrates quite nicely into the old one when geographical proximity allows. I had expected it would take years before I found another group amidst whom I could be as comfortable as I was last night - and I would not at all have expected that I could compose such a group myself from disparate acquaintances.

Also, I counted. Excluding workmates, I have exactly one straight friend in this town. Skep, step up and take a bow! ;) That's... quite cool. Especially since I didn't arrange it that way on purpose.

highlyeccentric: I'm in ur history, emphsizin (Wimmenz)
Alice, Lucymonster and I are mooching around my house, listening to music and complimenting one another. For reasons unknown, I decided to paint my nails, and then Lucy painted Alice's.

Says Alice, staring at her fingers: This nail polish thing is such an exercise in gender performativity! I almost feel like a real girl now...
Me, holding out a hand to be carefully shaken without disturbing the nail polish: Excellent. It has been an honour to perform gender with you. We should do it again.
*Alice and Amy burst into gales of laughter*
*Lucy looks terrified*


highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)

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