Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Chrismukkah | Festivus

I love this time of year. I love it more than most other things in this world. For me it has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with friends and family and good will. It's a time when we get together with those we cherish to eat, drink and be merry. It's a time to reflect on the year that was and count our blessings. It's a time for kindness and gentleness and forgiveness.

It's also a time to decorate and celebrate and have fun! I love the smell of tinsel. I love fairy lights and Christmas trees and carols. But what I love most of all about Christmas, the thing guaranteed to fill my heart with joy is Mariah Carey's 'Merry Christmas' album. If you don't get shivers when Mariah hits those high notes in 'O Holy Night' then you are dead inside. I can listen to that album on repeat. All. Freakin. Day. In fact, I'm listening to it right now.

Christmas is also when I produce my most elaborate and beautiful desserts. Last year it was this pavlova:

Another year it was this gingerbread train:

So what do I do this year? How do I 'up' the wow factor? I am currently rolling one idea around in my brain, but it is fraught with danger and has maximum potential to fail. So, should be a stress-free holiday... Cheers! :)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Bbbbrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaiiiiiiinnnnssss

I am obsessed. Totally and utterly obsessed. By zombies.

And by obsessed, I mean watching, playing and reading anything to do with the subject matter. Currently my favourite TV show is 'The Walking Dead'. My favourite computer game is 'Left 4 Dead 2' and my favourite iPhone game is 'Plants vs Zombies'. My appetite was showing no signs of abating either - I wanted more, more, more!

Until the other night. After watching three episodes of 'The Walking Dead' back-to-back, I went to bed and indulged in one of my favourite fantasies - imagining how much of a bad-ass, zombie-slaying hottie I would be if there ever was a zombie apocalypse (think Alice, from the Resident Evil franchise). Where would I go to flee the hungry horde? And who else would be in my rag-tag group of survivors? I also wondered whether the zombie virus would affect animals as well as humans, and if so, would I have the strength to kill one of my cats if they were attempting to eat my face (the answer was a resounding "geez, I hope so").

funny pictures of cats with captionsBeing prepared for situations by thinking through all possible outcomes usually makes me feel better, but this line of thought was having the opposite effect. Suddenly I was starting to feel slightly panicked and paranoid. What were the odds that an actual zombie apocalypse could occur? Could it be a biological weapon that escaped the lab? Does this virus already exist? And if so, would zombies be super fast and strong like in '28 Days Later', or would they be mindless flesh bags that had no cognitive ability, only the instinct to feed and survive?

I was worried because I was pretty sure I could survive against the latter, but not the former. So I did the only thing I could do. I Googled 'what are the odds of there being a zombie apocalypse?', and through the fog of panic I found this shining light of reason on Cracked.com: 7 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Outbreak Would Fail (Quickly)

Sad but true, I slept soundly that night, safe in the knowledge that as long as I could survive the initial outbreak, and bunker down somewhere safe for a few weeks, that I could indeed live a long and full post-apocalyptic life.

As such, my love for all things zombies has now returned. It is also worth noting that when I relayed this entire situation to The Boyfriend the following morning, he looked straight at me for a good ten seconds before commenting "you are a weirdo".

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

TEArific

Fact: I am  extremely caffeine sensitive. That means I can't drink coffee. At all. I can't even eat tiramisu if I want to sleep in the next three days.

I have friends who could drink a coffee before bed and still sleep soundly all night long. Not me though. No way. So if I want a hot, comforting drink I am all about tea.

With only a fraction of the caffeine of coffee, I can have up to 4 cups of tea a day... then I get the shakes and feel nauseous (I am such a lightweight  *sigh*).

I wonder if there is a support group for people like me. I'm gonna google it. Maybe I should start one.. in the meantime, let me tell you about some of my favourite teas.

Twinings Earl Grey
So light and refreshing. I'm not entirely sure what bergamot is (or how to pronounce it) but it is delicious. A perfect afternoon tea. Twinings version is nicely balanced - not too much of any one flavour. I found some other brands taste like you are drinking an orange tree.

English Breakfast
This is your good all rounder. Any time of the day this little gem will make you feel all warm and cosy. Not too heavy and not too light.

Green Tea
When you feel like you need a hit of antioxidants or when eating yum cha or sushi this is the tea for you. It is the business. Totally aids digestion and stops you feeling heavy or bloated after eating a lot (as I usually do).

Dilmah Extra Strength 
My current  favourite. I like my tea like I like my men - hot, strong and dark *wwwiiiiiiiinnnkkkkkk*. So I often find that one tea bag is never strong enough. But these little gems do the trick. I put two tea bags in my gigantic-head-sized tea cup and I am happy as a pig in poop. As they say in their ads 'do try it'.

Now I know there will be tea lovers out there who look down on tea bags as an inferior tea-drinking method. And I don't want to start beef with any hardcore, fundamentalist tea groups, but I just do not have the time or inclination to use loose leaf teas. I appreciate the ceremony of tea making, and it is a wonderful thing to share a pot of tea with a friend, but when I am workin' 9 to 5 (sing it, Dolly) I am grateful for the invention of the humble tea bag.

I love tea so much I might just marry it.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Nerdy Loves Her Booky Wooks

I am one of those people who doesn't watch a lot of tv (ugh, I hate it when people say that. It's so pretentious). This is not due to the fact that I think it makes people stupid (it does), or that most of the programming is aimed at the lowest common denominator (it is), but more to do with the fact that I recently lost my remote*.

This was a blessing in disguise as it forced me to use my study break for something other than staring vacantly at the idiot box. And happily, I discovered three amazing books that I love. So like Oprah, I want to share them with you:

Born to Run - Chris McDougall
As you will note from my previous posts, I am new to the sport of running. When I went to my GP recently, we were bonding over our love of this crazazy sport and he suggested I read this book as it would change the way I think about running and the human body.

It changed so much more than that. Without carrying on like a fan girl loser, let's just say that this book helped me harness the simple joy I feel when I run. It has also made me more aware of my body and the limits I set on myself. Powerful stuff. Ooh and I learned that chia seeds are not just for growing chia pets - informative!

Bossypants - Tina Fey
I love comedy. And funny people. 30 Rock is one of the greatest shows being made. And Tina Fey is a comic genius. She's not a funny chick, or funny for a girl, she is just comedy personified.

Tina's voice and self-depreciating style come through loud and clear here. For me, knowing the back story adds depth and richness to this already fascinating comedian. The book is funny, sweet and shows another side to the good girl of comedy. I couldn't put it down.


The Bedwetter - Sarah Silverman
If you don't like being confronted by your own worst fears and insecurities - don't read this book. Sarah lays all her humiliations, triumphs and regrets out on the table for the world to see. And if you don't like it?

Too. Fucking. Bad.

I was discussing the differences between Tina and Sarah with my Awesome Friend of Awesomeness, and I think this text exchange sums it up perfectly:

Me: Really interesting their different experiences of SNL. Tina is 'the good girl' who did her time and won Lorne Michael's approval. Sarah walked in and said "pee, shit, fuck, cunt - peace out".

AFofA: Ahahahahahaha! Exactly. :) I fucking bastard cunting well love her.

Now the semester has started again and I have to go back to reading text books and journals until the next study break. So until then, read well and often. Peace out.

*I found the remote. It was stuck under the couch. Luckily I am slightly compulsive and must watch things sequentially and from the beginning, effectively preventing me from watching most of what's now on tv :)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

I can has cheezburger?

So training is still going well. I have lost 7kgs and am getting faster all the time. My first race was in May and I completed the 8km course in 52 mins.

The flip side of being so healthy and fit is that when I have a treat and eat junk food now, I REALLY enjoy it. Most notably - CHEESEBURGERS. McDonalds and Burger King are the business. It's something about that combo of meat, cheese, mustard and tomato sauce that really floats my boat.

I have always loved fast food, but now that I know how much exercise is required to burn off one, or sometimes two, cheeseburgers - it's possible that I love it even more :)

Those LOL cats really know what they're talking about..

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Run, Forest, RUN!

You know by now that I am becoming an exercise-loving loser. Well dear reader, hold on to your hat cos this post is dedicated to a website and accompanying iPhone app that is designed to help you track, record, and improve your fitness!

...

Um, are you still there? That's ok, you take a minute to recover. I'll just be playing with my new favourite app..

So it's called RunKeeper and it's FREE! It uses the GPS in your phone to map your route in real time and this super friendly woman gives you progress updates every five minutes to keep you motivated. And it totally works! I now have a 'Street Team' on the website too, which is a little like adding friends on Facebook. I get a status update on my homepage when they complete an activity.

So, this is my life now. I would feel more embarrassed for myself except for the fact that I have lost 1.4kgs this week! Can you believe that? Who knew that regular exercise was the key..  :) So that's it, I'm a loser and I LOVE it.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Rediscovering My City

This morning I woke up with raging period pain. But rather than hiding in bed watching episodes of Mad Men, I decided to get dressed and go exercising.

What a total loser. I can't even comprehend what came over me. I haven't felt the spontaneous urge to exercise in months. And yet, at the moment when it felt like a midget was swinging from my uterus, I ventured into the great outdoors.

It was a beautiful Sunday Summer morning and as soon as I started walking, my spirits lifted. I am fortunate enough to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I was headed towards the Botanical Gardens.

I hate those smug self-satisfied fitness freaks who get up early every day to pound the pavement, but this is the view I was greeted with as I came up the hill, and for a moment, or maybe only a fraction of a moment, I got it. The city was really turning it on and the tourists were out in their hundreds. And as I looked at the beautiful harbour, I felt proud and amazed at the city I call my home.

Did it make me any less bloated? No. Was my lower back released from the vice-like grip? No. But I was sufficiently awed that I might just do it again tomorrow.