Jun 05

Empire of the Sun at Vivid Live review

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Empire of the Sun at Vivid Live

Empire of the Sun at Vivid Live

Empire of the Sun at Vivid Live

Empire of the Sun at Vivid Live

At the last minute jodeska kindly invited me to see Empire of the Sun at the Sydney Opera House. After my four night Kraftwerk marathon I didn’t think I would be back at the Opera House so soon!
We met at the food trucks for some quick pre-show jaffles. Our seats were great – front row of the circle (upstairs) in the concert hall (you can see us in see pic below from smh photos). The support act High Highs were pleasant enough – I thought Husky meets The Temper Trap.
The crowd was fairly young, compared to Kraftwerk. It was great to see so many hyped up people ready to enjoy EOTS. Even the random middle-aged Danish tourist sitting next to me had them in her iPod! When the show started, the crowd went nuts! The stage design, lighting and visuals were quite spectacular. The dancers had some crazy costumes on and kind of reminded me of the animation Fantastic Planet. When “the Steel” made his appearance I was bemused and fascinated by his flamboyant costume and stage presence. It really was unlike any Australian act I’d seen before (no, I didn’t see Skyhooks in the 70s). I was disappointed not to see Nick Littlemore perform with EOTS, I don’t really know what the story is. If you believe what you read on the internets, he won’t get out of bed for less than one million dollars! Anyway, EOTS performed tracks from their new album, some very 80s/Prince style tunes as well as the big hits from their first album. Those songs made everyone in the crowd extra happy and enthusiatic (except Gotye who was sitting four seats down from me – he didn’t dance). At the end Steele smashed up a guitar – bwahaha awesome rock cliché! I had an unexpected good time, thanks to Jodeska.

Can you see me on the balcony? About 4 seats to the right of me is Gotye

Read harsh smh review here, good photos here

Further reading: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/keeping-the-faith-20130523-2k1ta.html

Dec 20

Work Xmas party at Food Wine and Design

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Work Xmas Party 2012

You know I do lots of things and meet interesting people, sometimes I even lie to these people and tell them that I will blog about them! I mean well and then I never get around to it. Well here is my entry about meeting Rebecca and Dani, the owners of Food Wine and Design where my “division” at work had our Christmas party. The location is a bit blink and you’ll miss it on Parramatta Road in Leichhardt but around the back there is conveniently lots of parking. I have spent a lot of time on Parramatta Road driving to and from work over the past year and didn’t realise it was there. FW&D have decked out an old shop into a great space for learning to cook, enjoying food and drinks as well as appreciating art (with some nice street art out the back exit).
Our Christmas party “event” was a South American food cooking class. My colleagues cooked together as a group at various workstations under the guidance of our hosts and ate our completed dishes along the way. Some dishes were pre-prepped (such as the delicious slow-cooked pulled pork) and other things needed to be made from scratch like empanadas and quesadillas. There was plenty of food for everyone to enjoy by the end. I enjoyed the chocolate dipped churros – especially the part that didn’t involve me cooking with hot oil! The venue is great for functions, I can envisage fun birthdays, hen’s nights and other corporate events here and it can be very hands-on or less interactive if you want. They support charities through their business and have a relationship with CHW which is how we ended up having our Christmas party there.

Aug 24

Old Sikh man eating block of Cadbury’s chocolate and a coffee
Big, tall Asian guy with Louis Vuitton man bag, white pants and Nikes with gold embellishment stuffing his face with sausage in a bread roll.

Jun 30

30 June – end of financial year and a month of blogging.

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30 June

Had brunch at Sopra at Fratelli Fresh today. On arrival at Danks Street, we randomly found DeBN giving out flyers for the Greens out the front. De gave us the spiel about Egg Labelling and we had a quick chat before heading upstairs to Sopra. I was expecting a long wait & queue but strangely there were heaps of empty tables. We had a D&M over some tasty Italian food with Confused Machines, let’s say I’m compassionate but still a bit confused.
On a brighter note, we checked out the galleries on Danks Street, I really need to go there more often… there’s culture right on my doorstep! I particularly liked the exhibition at Depot II called Thread Paper Fibre Clay.

Thread Paper Fibre Clay showcases new and favourite artworks by Meredith Woolnough, Lisa Rodden, Rae Woolnough and Christine MacKinnon, at the Depot II Gallery, Waterloo, from 26th June – 7th July 2012. Exquisite, intricate and powerful, this is a collection of truly unique interpretations of nature. Through the supremely tactile and textured mediums that give this event its name, these artists explore the relationships between land, sea, human connection and imagination. From the serene to the sublime, you will be drawn by desire to examine and explore each piece in every detail.

There was an artist meet & greet happening while we were there, so it was nice to (have a free drink) meet the artists and ask some questions about their work. I really liked Lisa Rodden’s paper artworks – wish it was in my budget to purchase some art from this show. I think I saw her work in Paper Runway magazine too. Meredith Woolnough, embroidery artist’s work was great too (her work is on the back wall in the photo below).

Thread Paper Fibre Clay exhibition

Later in the afternoon we headed over to the refurbished Forrester’s Hotel. We used to go there all the time when we lived on Riley Street. There has been an interesting redesign of the space, it was an eccletic mix of South American/Hollywood/tiki tackiness with a touch of American diner. We enjoyed a few bar snacks before heading over to the Honka Princess’ birthday dinner at Zushi. Happy Birthday Jo, you look great for your age 😛

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Jun 22

22 June – What a week

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Phew glad that’s over.

22 June

Check out this lunch from the Hospital cafeteria: half serve of calamari rings, tossed salad and half serving of garlic for $4.35!

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Jun 17

17 June – Rage exhibition & unfriendly food

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17 June

Finally checked out the rage: Celebrating 25 Years exhibition at Carriageworks. It was so big and such a visual feast! After that we headed over to The Fern for some lunch. We’ve been meaning to check this place out for a while. It had a nice ambience, friendly service, funky decor and great Sunday afternoon tunes playing (old school funk and soul). Unfortunately, the food was not very good, both of our dishes were burnt. Dave got a new serving of his corn cakes made, but I just ate around my burnt burger buns. Was the chef asleep?, it really wasn’t acceptable to be serving up food like that. At least they did not charge for one of the main meals. I think this place is more about the drinking, as the alcohol list was much more comprehensive than the meals. I shouldn’t have eaten there in hindsight after Friday night’s un-IBS friendliness. Oh well, bland food is on the menu for the next 2 days.

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Jun 16

16 June – the end of SFF, Wagaya & The Falconer

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16 June

Tonight was our last film of the 2012 Sydney Film Festival. I was looking forward to The Loneliest Planet because the very good looking Gael García Bernal was in it and it sounded like an interesting story. The film had a bad start… a few minutes into the film, it was stopped and the house lights came on… someone came over the PA and said sorry it doesn’t seem to have subtitles. I had a feeling the film didn’t have subtitles, and that we were meant to not understand what the woman was saying by the expressions on the actors faces. Anyway, they replayed the film from the start and it turned out, there were no subtitles! Long story short – it was pretty boring. There was barely any story and the dialogue was hard to understand, I couldn’t understand the tour guide character’s accent when he spoke in English (and he was the most interesting person in the film). The picturesque scenes dragged on and on and a similar scene would appear again later. The camera work as they trekked through the mountains made me dizzy. After the critical incident finally happened, the couple stopped talking to each other which made it even more boring. Sorry, I just wasn’t feeling this film at all. I’m a bit disappointed, that is the third “dud” film from this year’s program. I should write a complaint to the new SFF director – perhaps he hadn’t watched these films either. Can I blame Caroline? She picked the film 😛

The Loneliest Planet
Against the stunning backdrop of the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia, Julia Loktev’s The Loneliest Planet (a clever play on the title of the travel-book series) is an intelligent and thought-provoking tale of modern love. Alex (Gael García Bernal) and Nica (Hani Furstenberg) are young, in love and engaged to be married. Travelling in the Caucasus Mountains, they hire a local guide, Dato (Bidzina Gujabidze) to lead them on a backpacking trek through a stunning wilderness. So far all seems perfect. The idyll is interrupted by a momentary misstep that cannot be undone – one that threatens to undo everything the couple believed about each other and themselves. The film plays off the relationship between travellers and the places they go, between guide and guided. It is a film about love, betrayal, masculinity, failure and the ambiguities of forgiveness.

Afterwards, we joined T&T and Mon at Wagaya for some Japanese fast food. I love the touch screen ordering system and how quickly the food comes to the table. After that we went to The Falconer again – for cups of tea (again) and desserts. Mon showed us her great new studio space looking over Oxford St. I’d love to be working in creative civilisation again. Sigh.

Jun 15

15 June

Today I had lunch “in the nice food court” with my old workmate EO. She gave me some surprising news – I’m not telling you what, it’s “private”!

After work, Dave & I had some dinner at the Eat Art Truck located at Belmore Park, near Central. I had a very flavoursome Confit spatchcock ssam with crispy noodles $12 (this turned out to be extremely un-IBS friendly) and Dave had Pulled Pork in a bun with mustard cabbage with hot sauce $12. I also had a Pear & Rhubarb EAT Juice which was very nice but also dangerously un-IBS friendly.

15 June - part 2

Eat Art Truck @ Belmore Park, Central

Confit spatchcock ssam with crispy noodles

We then walked over to Cake Pop-Up Wine Bar in Chippendale, where we met up with The Brad, Confused Machines, Adam & Ben.

FraserStudios will be closing their doors soon and the team at Cake wines will be sending the Chippo warehouse off in style with a pop-up bar. Across three weeks there will be hand picked events including FBi live broadcasts, a solo piano session from Joyride, DJ sets from the boys at Future Classic DJs as well as art installations, theatre and of course wine tastings. All four cake varieties will be pouring as well as boutique cider from the Hills and beer from 4 Pines Brewery plus delicious food from Bourke Street Bakery. it’s part of the studios’ “30 days & 30 nights” mini-festival, so go say cheerio.

It was an interesting, not too hipster gathering. There was the Jafé Jaffles van – with dishes such as the David Jafflehoff! I had a banana, with caramel & nuts number for dessert – the caramel could have been gooey-er. There was an art exhibition as well, a variety of artworks from traditional painting, installation, sculpture and video art were on display.
Artwork from


Caramelo Banana - not quite gooey enough inside

After that, we walked down the road a bit to Serial Space for this… blurb taken from The Thousands (so it must be cool)

Bee Mask from Philadelphia is a bit of a smarty pants. His music has been dubbed “intellect as sound sculpture” and comes from “[taking] entropy way too personally”. An appropriate co-star, then, is Pimmon, who was once deemed “second only to Fennesz as a laptop artist”. Stitched Vision washes low tides of noise-hush over synth melodies, and you’re probably familiar with the Krautrock mysteries of Secret Birds. Quietly, I’m most excited because DJing all night is HTRK’s Nigel Yang.

It had an old school experimental music night vibe to it, like the Clan Analogue or Frigid parties from back in the day. I met a few new random guys – there was Matt 2 and Matt 3 but Confused Machines was disappointed that there wasn’t a 4-matt/format/fourth matt. Ha ha.

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Jun 12

12 June

Today I had Practical Fire Training at work. We have to do this every year, it is mandatory training for all staff at the hospital. We also have to do theory: a series of multiple choice questions after watching a fairly dated (1990s) training video online. I passed.

Tonight we checked out Xanthi. Westfield Sydney have a special $30 Chef’s Club offer running at the moment in most of the nice restaurants in Westfield Sydney. It’s only on Tuesday nights though and I think it’s a great way to encourage more business, esp in winter. The Treungs, Chevinsons and the Wongillies enjoyed a 3 course meal of pork belly baklava, Greek salad, lamb skaras and caramel baklava. I thought the dishes were great and quite good value. The lamb was satisfying but I could have had a larger portion of the lovely dessert! It was really nice to get together with friends over a nice meal, we should do it more often.

Travel notes: Bus, train, walk, walk, train, bus, bus, taxi.

Jun 11

11 June – Woody Allen and lots of rain

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11 June

This morning at the Sydney Film Festival we saw Woody Allen: A Documentary.

Woody Allen: A Documentary

This fascinating documentary examines the creative life of the multi-hyphenate filmmaker from his early years, to his days writing for TV and doing stand up to his recent Oscar® win for Midnight in Paris. Woody’s impressive four-decade career is illustrated with countless clips:1965’s What’s New Pussycat? (an experience that convinced him never to write anything he didn’t direct); early-’70s comedies Bananas and Sleeper; megahit Annie Hall (1977); the Bergman-influenced Interiors (1978); his hometown homage Manhattan (1979); the 1986 Oscar-winner Hannah and Her Sisters; the London-set Match Point (2005); the Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem-starrer Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) – the list is as rich as it is long. Director Robert Weide includes interviews with Woody’s mother, his sister and producing partner Letty Aronson, his managers, a plethora of actors (Diane Keaton, Scarlett Johansson, Owen Wilson) and, of course, the man himself.

I was really looking forward to this one as I thought I was a big fan of Woody. After seeing this comprehensive profile of the great American director, I feel that I’m probably not such a big fan as there is so much to his life story and body of work that I didn’t even know about. Although the doco ran for nearly two hours I didn’t nod off! I found it really interesting, revealing and, of course, funny. This screening was in the spectacular State Theatre, I just don’t feel right if I don’t get to see at least one film festival film in there each year. We were up in the mezzanine but luckily no-one sat in front of us, so we had a pretty good view. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

After the film, it was pouring with rain again, so we ducked into Westfield Sydney for a hot drink and snack. This turned into lunch as well. I had a very un-IBS friendly Reuben sandwich from Reuben & Moore. Dave had some kind of hot dog extravaganza from Snag Stand.

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