Sunday, July 29, 2007

smoke free

its been almost a month since victoria went smoke free in all their pubs. i think i've only been to 3 places that weren't already smoke free (a lot of the venues we go to went smoke free in the band rooms a year or so ago anyway). last nite we went to a place that created a really nice looking little smoking garden on the front couple meters of the building (cuz there's not much room on brunswick street for a bunch of smokers to stand). it was really nice looking (although they're all inhaling each others second hand smoke as well as their own smoke). inside was really nice and clear without the smoke. it was great. apparently in a lot of clubs the smoking ban has caused people to notice other smells a lot more (like b.o. and farting) with no smoke stench covering them up. at least those ones aren't as toxic. i can't find the article about that but it was in the age or something. i'm looking forward to lots more nites out without inhaling smoke and having to wash everything (including jackets) that i wore out because of the smell.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

winter is over!

technically its not over for 5 weeks but i think we may have passed the worst of it (at least for a week or so.....). it's been staying in the double digits overnite (it even stayed above 15C for most of last nite!). we haven't used the central heating (or the fan heater) in over 24 hrs for the first time in a couple months!! i've been riding to work without a jacket and only wearing 2 or 3 layers a day (and no gloves or scarf most of the time!). wombat has been able to stay outside during the day (although she did protest against that one day-- flying down the side of the house when i left the gate open for a minute, going to the front door and standing with her nose in the crack waiting for me to let her in and not drag her back down the side of the house). it would be good if we kept getting rain (which we had this morning for 20 min for the first time in 5 days) cuz we really need it. its soooo much nicer when its not 2C overnite and grey and cold all day. a few more weeks and i can start planting my garden again (and hopefully the peas that have been growing all winter will start flowering).
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Sunday, July 22, 2007

casual sneakers?

last nite we went to a friend's birthday in a function room a bar in the city. our friend had prewarned all the guys to wear a collar to get into the place. zac went out and bought a nice new shirt for the occasion and looked great in his all black "johnny cash" outfit (black shirt, suit jacket and black pants) and his vegan wear shoes. we get to the door and the bouncers looked up and down zac and said he couldn't come in because of his shoes:

they're dress shoes (they actually do look a bit casual in the pic but they look great with a nice outfit)!!! the guy claimed they were sports shoes and pointed to the dress code sign that says no sports shoes. we headed outside and called our friend inside to say zac couldn't get in. our friend came out, took one look at zac and said he looked great and he'd see what he could do. we waited outside while our friend (who happens to be a lawyer) went back in to talk to someone-- we figured he's probably pretty good at arguing a point professionally. 10 min later he came out with who we think was the maitre d' and we were escorted in past the bouncers (who zac really wanted to rub it into) and we went into the party (the guy who escorted us in did give the bouncers a pretty dirty look as we went past). of course because of that incident we spent the whole nite watching guys shoes. there were a LOT of worse looking shoes than zac's (including one guy who works there who was wearing black adidas shoes that looked slightly similar to zac's but with the 3 vertical white stripes-- shouldn't employees that are out on the floor have the same dress code as patrons?). also while we were waiting outside we saw several guys dressed much worse than zac (including one guy with the most ripped up looking casual jeans i've seen in a while-- no worn jeans was also on the dress code) getting inside. we figure the guy just didn't like zac's scruffy gotee he's got going (i don't really like it either). not impressed with the way that bouncer treated zac though. the party was great once we got in (lots of good food and free drinks) but i wouldn't ever want to go back there just cuz of the way we were treated at the door (also didn't really appreciate the moose antler light fixtures thru out the place and the gigantic moose head as a sculpture just inside the door).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

the waifs

(photo courtesy of the waifs website)

last nite we went to see the waifs. it was really good (despite my sore ankle-- by the time we left my other ankle was worse than the rolled one from compensating onto the other side)! it was at the corner which was a nice smallish venue--the way the waifs should be seen (either that or outside on a sunny afternoon). it was a non-advertised gig that was only listed on the waifs website and in their e-newsletter. i spent the first morning of our queenland trip trying to get tickets (they went on sale the first morning we were away. i tried to get them thru the corner hotel website but that wasn't working so i spent $2 for 10 min at an internet kiosk for nothing. i ended up calling the corner as soon as they opened at noon to get the tix-- and probably paying another $2-3 for calling from my mobile). it was worth it though. they did a lot of their new stuff from the album they're releasing next month sometime. it sounds great-- a lot of the songs have kind of a jazzy/blues feel to them. they also did some of the old favourites (except crazy train cuz the opening act brett hunt did an amazing harmonica solo that was really good and i think vikki felt it was better than her bit in crazy train!! we only caught his last song so i don't really know what the rest of his stuff is like). hopefully they'll do another small venue gig sometime soon (won't be going to their big theatre gigs anymore. its just not the same.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

good day for nothing

guess i picked a good day to be stuck at home. apparently its 2C with the wind chill outside (and i saw something about snow in metropoleton melbourne on a news brief earlier-- might have to look up the news find out what that was about). its been raining a good part of the day too (on the right side of the pic all that blue stuff is rain. earlier there was some green, yellow and orange too-- heavier rain).
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rest. ice. compression. elevation. i learned that before i ever even took a first aid class. that's what i'm doing today. i rolled my ankle at work yesterday. it hurt. then it got worse. by the end of the day i was limping a lot and the bike ride home wasn't fun (at least i had a co-worker to talk to during the ride to keep my mind off it). i rested and elevated it a bit last nite (and put tight socks on cuz i didn't feel like wrapping it up). i was too cold all evening to deal with ice though. it was really bad by the time i went to bed. i thought i might be ok today. it still hurts. i tried walking around on it a bit to see if it would feel better after warming up a bit. nope. still hurts. so i'm now taking a sick day cuz i rolled my ankle. that just seems dumb. oh well. i guess i'll just hang out on the couch watching dvds wrapped up in blankets with the dog. i've never rolled my ankle this bad (i had a friend that used to do it like this and i could never understand how you could roll your ankle so bad and not actually sprain or twist it or anything. now i know).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

beach trip!

its the best time of year for a beach trip with wombat (only cuz she's anti-social with other dogs and this way we can let her run muzzle free). we had to go down to barwon heads to check out a couple venues for our wedding reception. the one that would be perfect has a market going on in it until 1pm the day of our wedding (if only feb had 1 more day in it-- 30days cuz its a leap year anyway), then our wedding wouldn't be the last sat of the month and there wouldn't be a market). we found another really cool option though which might be the easiest way (especially considering we haven't heard anything back from the caterers we want as to whether they will cater in barwon heads). anyway, after all the venue checking out we took wombat (who was very patient waiting in the car) to a beach. we know of 2 beaches near barwon heads/torquay that are good for her. we went to the first one but before we even parked the car we saw dogs everywhere (there's houses all over the place so everyone was taking their dog down to the beach or just letting them roam free in their unfenced yards) so we went for the nude beach near torquay (its in the middle of nowhere and i don't think many people would trek up there when there's so many beaches that aren't so hard to get to)
here's the rain in the distance when we started looking for a good beach for wombat:
rainbow on the beach:
wombat is NOT impressed with the sandy face she got fetching the ball (but she still did it repeatedly)
me and wombi checking out the rainbow:
beautiful girl:
fetching a ball (she even went in the water to get it a few times!!):

exploring the beach (she just kinda trotted off ahead of us, ignored us calling her then just went straight into the water up to her belly!! we were a little worried she was just gonna walk out to sea and we'd never see her again):

after that photo was taken she turned around, pooped in the ocean and then trotted back to us!! i can't believe she did that!!!! if she'd gone on the beach we had bags to pick it up but she went in the ocean and it washed away before we got anywhere near it!

the 3 of us on the beach:

Friday, July 13, 2007


this was fred. he was a vegan lobster zac picked up from vincent vegetarian food in footscray. i only had real lobster once or twice in my life so i don't remember what its supposed to taste like but this was pretty good (plus you don't have to try to separate the meat from a shell-- you can eat the whole thing). i ended up steaming it and then covering it in a sauce made from nuttelex, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic and some spices and then grilling it for a few min to let the sauce soak in. we poured the extra sauce on while we ate it. i don't have any pictures of it cooked (it pretty much looked the same, just no ice bits on it and it was on some rice next to some stir fried vegies). it was really good though.
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sleeping thru the nite

guess who slept thru the nite on their own bed for the first time in months?

when i got out of the shower last nite as soon as i started to walk through the lounge room wombat got up and went into the bedroom hopped onto her bed, pushed the crumpled up blanket off with her paws, curled up and layed down (i didn't even mention the word "bedtime" to her and she hadn't been out for her last pee of the nite either but i figured since she was being so smart i would just leave her and tell zac to take her out when he got home from the gig he was at). i tucked her in and then went to bed (i even tried to coax her up onto the bed with me but she refused). zac came home probably an hour or so later but i don't think she got up to go out when he asked her if she needed to go "outside" (she knows that means backyard and gets up and runs to the backdoor if she wants out). i woke up this morning around 8:30 and felt around under the covers but no dog. i sat up and saw her curled up ontop of her blanket on her bed. i told zac and he said that's where she was when he went to bed (odd he didn't try to get the blanket out from under her and tuck her in cuz he's more worried about her being cold at nite than i am). so she slept through the nite there and even though she kinda woke up to us wispering about her she didn't come up on the bed. i must have fallen back asleep laying there cuz i woke up and it was 2 hours later and wombat was STILL on her bed (yea wombi!). i went over to her to tell her what a good dog she was and give her cuddles. then she jumped up on the bed to say good morning to zac and attack him with kisses. i lifted the blanket, she went under and straight back to sleep (zac calls her a canary dog cuz she can be super hyper but you put the blanket over and she goes straight back to sleep kinda like a bird in a cage when you put a blanket over so it thinks its night time).
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Monday, July 09, 2007

keepin warm

the best way to spend a cold winter sunday afternoon:

laying infront of the heater with my baby girl watching the footy (and the best part is the demons won!)
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Sunday, July 08, 2007

queensland part 4: great keppel island

after the wedding a few of us headed over to great keppel island for a few days. zac, brent and i stayed at the holiday village (a backpackers) while steve and kara stayed at the resort a few minutes walk away. the backpackers was great. we were supposed to be in a 4 person dorm with just the 3 of us but there was already someone on the 4th bed so they gave us 2 twin rooms. they cooked up a big pot of rice every nite (except one nite where they made a really good veggie soup) and it was just really friendly and relaxed. steve, kara and brent were all leaving the island tuesday afternoon to fly back to melbourne wednesday morning and me and zac weren't sure what to do for the rest of our holiday but not long after arriving on the island we decided to stay there until friday (i think we all fell in love with the island pretty much as soon as the boat "docked" on the white sandy beach)
sunset our first nite on great keppel
our favourite beach for snorkeling (monkey beach)
the beach was pretty deserted (we only saw a few people the whole day). over the 3 days we snorkeled there we saw turtles, small sharks, jelly fish, LOTS of colourful tropical fish, some kind of ray (i think whip rays-- brent saw a sting ray), gigantic clams, lots of was amazing. the water was a bit cold for me (someone told us it was 18C but it had been 26C up until they had the cold weather/rain for 2 weeks) so i hired a wet suit for 1 day so i could stay out a bit longer.
vicious lorikeet (i think this was bill or ted):
a lot of the birds on the island were quite aggressive because of people feeding them (despite signs EVERYWHERE telling you not to). the lorikeets are addicted to sugar and knew the little yellow packets. i played tug-o-war one morning with a lorikeet as he tried to take a sip of my coffee thru the travel lid and as i took that from him he tried to grab my sugar packets from me. he nipped me a few times and then got hold of one packet. i wasn't gonna let him have it so i grabbed the other end and pulled a few times until he finally let go.
kookaburra eating a snail or something (he kept smashing it against the log then put it down the hatch):
the kookaburras were quite aggressive too. we saw an unsuspecting guy have a doughnut (and almost his thumb too!!) grabbed right from his hand. he just picked up his small daughter and ran after that. we saw woman have a chip stolen from her half way to her mouth (she was busy watching the lorikeets on the other side of her).
possum at the hostel picking at the insides of a dried up coconut:
these little guys were also quite aggressive (according to steve). he was eating pizza on the balcony of their hillside villa at the resort. he went inside to grab a drink and the possum was eating his pizza when he came back. he shooed it away and grabbed his pizza and was a bit scared of the possum. his wife made a comment that the possum wouldn't hurt him and right at that second it went for his leg and tried to bite it!!
another sunset shot (i have dozens):
bat (they were pretty cool and not vicious as far as i know):
sailing: we decided to do a sailing trip offered thru the resort "sailing with grace". it was a day sailing trip on a 40 foot yacht.
the wind was kinda gusty and not constant so we did pretty much everything but sail (the water was like glass for 1/2 the trip back). we got to snorkel in an area that had much more colourful coral than monkey beach. zac went down into the cabin area and got a bit seasick so the crew took us over to a secluded beach in the dingy for zac to recover while lunch was being prepared.
it was an amazing private little beach around the side of a cliff from where the boat was anchored. the entire shore was pretty much just bits of coral and shells. zac found a big piece of coral:
lunch was pretty amazing too. we let them know beforehand that zac was vegan so they catered well for that (and they had lots of vegetarian options). we had wraps, quiche, cocktail samosas and spring rolls, as well as chicken and a HUGE bowl of fresh prawns for the non veggie people. on the way back we spotted a few dolphins jumping out of the water (didn't really get any good shots-- just a couple grey bits on a blue background). a couple even came quite close to the boat.
our last nite on the island we decided to stay at the resort because i just really wanted a fresh shower (the hostel uses bore water for the showers so they were kinda salty) and it would be nice to be close to the spa (every other afternoon we'd had a spa at the resort after snorkeling then had to walk back 5 min to the hostel getting cold).
here was the view from our deck area of our room:
i wouldn't really recommend the resort there unless you were going for the activities they offered (like as a family with children under 12). the staff were quite young and unprofessional and the rooms weren't all that nice (other than the view)
another bit of wildlife: a bush thick knee curlew. they're really cool nocturnal birds that wander around the island.
they had a little paragraph about them in the info news at the resort and it said something to the effect of if you hear what sounds like a baby keeping its parents up, its probably just one of these birds. i thought it was a bit odd that in the last 4 nites i hadn't heard that at all. that evening we were getting ready for an after dinner spa and we heard this screaming noise like a crying baby. zac's response was "that baby is annoying" (he didn't read the info on the birds). it was one of the birds!!

our last day on the island

is it wrong that i was watching the pool bar very closely for them to open and was up there ordering a pina colada within 30 seconds of them pulling up the gate at noon (there was another woman ahead of me though)?
the view down fisherman's beach (the main beach of the island)
teasing the lorikeets with my cocktail (i think they could smell the sugar in my "adult slurpee" and gathered around hoping for a sip-- zac let one have a few licks of his after he finished but i thought that was probably a really bad idea to get the lorikeets drunk)
we spent our last nite at the yha in rocky (after waiting an hour for a bus that then took us 15 min past the yha-- i don't think he heard zac ask him to let us know where our stop is). after hiking back up over the bridge with our packs on we found the hostel then walked another couple kms back to the mall to find some food for dinner. the next morning we left sunny queensland to arrive back home to melbourne at 7C (this seems to be the temp any time we arrive back in melbourne from anywhere in july) and it was VERY grey and rainy all day (at least it hadn't snowed that morning in melbourne-- that happened once on a day we returned).
we'll definately be going back to great keppel again though (we'd have the wedding there if it wasn't so expensive for everyone to get there)
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queensland part 3: the wedding (nothing like american pie 3: the wedding)

saturday afternoon was our reason/excuse for flying up to rocky: adam and claire's wedding. it was a short, to the point ceremony in the little chapel at the resort with amazing views over the ocean (unfortunately i only brought the new camera with me and i couldn't remember how to change the metering mode so that they wouldn't be silhouettes against the blue sky/ocean behind them so i'm depending on brent for some good photos from during the vows).
here's the wedding party signing the registry:
down at the beach for some photos:

the girls and adam:
the guys and claire:
the best man and the groom with a snake (it was sort of a random thing-- after the ceremony and photos there was snacks down by the pool bar. a guy from some sanctuary was wondering around with the snake to promote the sanctuary):
the cake (made by the maid of honour-- we've got her card and she said she could try to play around and see what she could do for a vegan cake for us)
kara and steve
the first dance:
brent and zac comparing red faces-- zac was a bit sunburned and brent had an allergic reaction to the dessert. in the 10 min after this photo was taken he turned cherry red, went back to his room, took a cold shower and some anti-histamines and was fine an hour later
other than brent's reaction the food was REALLY good (especially for our table). everything was on sharing platters for the table. with me being vegetarian and zac being vegan, they brought out a separate platter with extras for us. the entree (appetizer in north america) was a HUGE plate of seafood. we only had 5 people at our table (some tables had 8 or 10) plus zac and i weren't touching the seafood (we had some bread and dips) so the 3 others had a seafood feast for an entree. i can't remember what the main was for everyone else but we had some amazing stir fried vegies and rice. dessert was a platter of gigantic pieces of assorted cakes and a huge platter of fruit for me and zac (i could have eaten the cakes but the fruit looked much more appealing at that point).
the reception was followed by karaoke which was being held in the bar/restaurant in our building (we saw the ad on the resort tv station and zac had be pushing all afternoon for people to come to karaoke after the reception with him cuz he loves to sing "love shack")

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