27 May 2009


I didn't think I'd find an official australian image funnier than the infamous hand-dryer of Katoomba, but this one is also fairly genius.

See how the eagle is shaking talons with the kangaroo? If the animals can do it, why can't Australia and New Zealand? Please notice the differences presented between America and Australia. The first: Australia's pedestal seems to be made of several ancient-looking coat of arms, whereas America's features a design of relative simplicity, though it is rather derivative, wouldn't you say?
The hilarious: America's motto at the bottom is "E Pluribus Unum," and Australia's motto is "Australia."

It's time for another Monty Python reference: AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA AMEN!

Dear readers, you will be pleased to learn that the boy wonder and I have finally found a new apartment! It's not far from where we currently live, it's a one-bedroom, it's even got a cute balcony. I'm so excited I can't even say. Now, how we're going to manage to move out and be ready to receive my sorely-missed family by Tuesday, I don't know. I'm sure we'll make it.

Craig and I have been feeling a little more at home in Sydney lately; we've found some very cool things to attend. Penguin Plays Ruff is one such event; local writers get up and read out some fictions or non-fictions. It was held in an ultra-hip location: above a convenience store in Newtown. It used an ultra-hip publicity method: Facebook. Even the setup was hip.

Everyone was to sit on the floor, there were red curtains, and one solitary and very solid mic. I was worried for a moment-- I'm not hip enough to be here! Everyone will know I'm a fraud...then I realised my pants were too tight for me to sit cross-legged. I was safe!

The next time you hear from us, we'll be in new digs, tired, and being stuffed with all the Indian junk food you can imagine!

14 May 2009

Scooped: Baffi and Mo!

My favourite cafe has been open for months, but I still can't find anything about it online. Odd, I know, because Sydney has a ridiculous number of bloggers, foodies, commenters, and oh so many mind-numbing twits posting their stupid tweets about their every boring, useless and tweedious synaptic fire. Twats. They are simply not helpful.

Me, on the other hand. My blog is full of only useful, interesting things. I bring you what the rest of Sydney's blogosphere won't dare.

Baffi and Mo
94 Redfern St.
Redfern, Sydney NSW
(02) 8065 3294

They don't have a website yet...or an email address. That's how they roll. Because they care more about good coffee and delicious food than about their web presence. WTF??!? My Soldesign-trained SEO heart breaks. It breaks, and that is why, dear readers, I tell you about Baffi and Mo.

They make amazing coffee, they use Bonsoy, and they serve artisan Sonoma toast with avocado and roasted tomato and garlic. Their logo is a mustache (awesome!) which they stole from me (hey!) as anyone in Mr. GB's Intro to Graphic Design Spring 2007 class will attest. Ahem.

They have amazing wallpaper. Hand printed by fancypants Sydney printmakers at Chee Soon. The return of the artisan.

And their open kitchen makes the place feel like you're hanging out in your friends' house. The women who run Baffi and Mo are also super friendly and sweet. It's my favourite place to enjoy a weekend morning. If you're in Sydney and reading this-- you should go. If you're not in Sydney-- well, you should be, because I miss you.

Oh, and I don't know what this "follower" thing in the right column is, but you should join, because a certain Mr. Whitepants Soul Avenue did, and look how together he is!

10 May 2009

Congratulations, Christopher!

Good friends, I am happy to announce that my pal Christopher Kemeza got into the Graphic Design BFA at GSU!! I'm really proud and happy for him (you can see his work here.) It was really wonderful to get such news this past week, because it hasn't been the easiest. For some reason, I spent most of this week nauseous and uncomfortable. I couldn't eat a full meal for three days and my outlook on the world was getting bleak. No, I'm definitely not preggars. Don't even think about it.

The other great news this week is that Craig and I have decided it's time to move into our own place. I've been tired of living in this apartment with our flatmate for months now, but finally, Craig agrees with me-- so I think we might actually do it this time!! I can't wait to move out. It'll be expensive, but it's so worth it, because I've run out of ways to make fun of our flatmate. Now I just can't stand her.

So we've begun the unbearable and torturous quest that is known to all Sydneysiders as "looking for an apartment, and then competing for the one you like." Sydney's rental market is so glutted with prospective tenants and so short on decent places to live that tons of quasi-illegal stuff ends up happening, but tenants have no power to stop it. For example: we saw 5 apartments this past week and two of them were falsely advertised. It's a really terrible competitive process, and all I want is to be moved out before my family gets here. That's my goal; I know it might not be acheivable, but it's what I'm trying for.

In other news, it's been a really social week. That's right. Because I'm never more entertaining than when I'm about to vomit. 2SER, the radio station I...radio (?) at, had a launch party because they moved into new offices. Craig and I caught up with the Final Draft bunch and we drank the free drinks and had a great time. The group headed over to Chinatown (because it's in pondering distance) and we settled down to some noodles, tofu, dumplings, and braised eggplant.

I told someone I was applying to ANU -- in Canberra-- for school, and a Final Drafter named Sara said, "Are you ready to be bored shitless?"

And here, my good, my dear, my forgiving friends, is where I make an ass of myself. You're not surprised, I know, because you have seen how I get. But in case you'd like a reminder, this is essentially what the rest of the conversation sounded like, though admittedly I was a little drunk, so I might be exaggerating a little:

n*: Well, um, no, but I don't find Sydney to be all that intellectually stimulating.

sara: Sydney's totally intellectually stimulating! I go to the theatre every weekend! I have tons of intellectual stimulation here!

n*: (imagine Homer Simpson here) Ooooh- hooo- hooo! The Theatre! Aren't you just clever and brilliant! I'm looking for MORE than just going to the theatre!

sara: And really, it just depends on who you're around; if you don't have any friends, then you will be really bored.

n*: Yeah! Wait. I do TOO have friends!! How dare you, lady?

sara: I wasn't saying you don't have friends--

n*: Pshaw! Anyway, it's just hip to hate on Canberra and say it's boring. Everyone says that--

sara: Yeah, but can you really live in Canberra?

n*: [snicker] I lived in Atlanta, in case you don't know.

sara: Everything's really inaccessible, though, everything's far apart--

n*: So? GET A BIKE! (really too loud)

sara: I'm really safety concious, I don't ride bikes

n*: Oooooh, sure, because your car is really really safe.

sara: I don't own a car.

n*: [silence]

sara: Sydney's just got so many nice restaurants--

And then of course, I pulled out my Ethiopian restaurant card, and the conversation quickly moved on to various other more interesting things. But for a minute there, things got very pointlessly heated. In the end, I didn't prove anything and I acted like an asshole. That side of me gives me such agida, you wouldn't believe. I know y'all back home are used to it, but I thought you should know that Australia hasn't really changed me.

I'm tired of everyone in Sydney acting like I'm an idiot for wanting to go to school. ANU is the best school in the country and has a really good program, but everyone in Sydney acts like deciding to go to school there makes me a boring person. I'm tired of this assumption, that no one likes Canberra, that it's a terrible place to live...

And I keep finding myself defending my choice, even though I'm not sure they're wrong. I might be incredibly bored in Canberra. I think the program I've applied for is great, but it might be awful. I might really regret leaving Sydney. They could be right... but, as you all know, I'm not the kind of woman who's going to let other people know that I'm worried I made the wrong decision. Even if I am worried they might be right.

Last night, Benedict came over to interview me about my book collection-- it's a segment we do, you go to someone's house, get drunk and talk about their books. Benedict's partner Monika came over later and Craig had made a full-on Ethiopian feast, including imitation injera, and we had a lovely night. Oh, there were also anise, almond and fig cookies called "Koala Noses" from The Veganomicon. Adorable. Benedict brought some of his home-brewed beer (an amber ale and an alcoholic ginger beer). It's definitely among the best homebrew we've had the pleasure of tasting & is the kind of thing that inspires you do try your hand at brewing some yourself.

I geeked out about my vintage graphic design books, Craig geeked out over engineering, and Benedict and Monika were incredibly patient with two such nerds as we. This morning I woke up still full, lazy and pleasantly hungover, with a hoarse voice; I haven't felt like that since the best nights with the oldest friends back home.

Moving to Canberra might be harder than I thought.

04 May 2009

Pie for you, pie for me!

Sydney's getting crisper by the day and it's starting to feel like it did when we first got here. Which makes me realise we're ever closer to celebrating our first year upside-down and below the equator. We're preparing for the big family visit (in June, my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece are all coming to Australia for about a month!!). I'm pretty excited to see everyone again, even though it might be weird to hang with my family for a whole month. I haven't done that since...high school or something. It's going to be a lot of fun seeing everyone-- and I look forward to re-introducing myself to the kiddies (hereafter referred to as "chickens" or perhaps "chooks"). It's been a long time since we've seen them, and I'm worried they don't know us anymore.

Anyway, the little chickens have a lot of allergies, so Craig and I have been researching food they can eat and trying out new recipes. We want to make sure the cute chooks are well-fed and in love with us again before they leave.

This Vegan Key Lime Pie isn't completely allergy-safe yet, but it was pretty delicious. We got the recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen, and the recipe made enough for one pie each!

On Saturday night, it rained and rained. The weather was nasty and the lightning was frightful. But we had a birthday party to attend for the lovely Portia. This picture is from a previous party, but she looks pretty much the same, just a few months more mature.

It took a cab to Wynyard, taking a rail bus instead of the train because there was trackwork going on, crossing the Harbour and two umbrellas, but in the end, we made it to Lindfield and Portia's party still relatively dry. It was a wonderful time; Aaron supplied some thought-provoking conversation, as usual.

Craig woke up with a hangover on Sunday, because that's what happens when you drink half a bottle of red wine and a Hahn Super-Dry. Consider yourself warned.

If you want to hear what I've been up to on the radio show, check out the podcast. I've just contributed a piece to the Make-Believe show.