Monday, February 26, 2018

Cocktail Master Class at Varnish on King

This weekend Andrew and I went to Varnish on King's Cocktail Master Class. We had such a great time, I can't wait to go back and do this again! I honestly can't recommend it enough, it was such a great event.

The knowledgeable Tris gave us a great introduction to the various Wild Turkey and Russels bourbons we would use, which meant tasting 6 shots of bourbon. I don't have much of a pallet for bourbon or whiskey yet but really enjoyed comparing the different styles side by side, and even managed to get a unique smell of chamomile tea from the 101.

Cocktail Master Class at Varnish on King

Then, together with Varnish's bar tenders, Tris lead us through the techniques to make stirred, shaken, and churned cocktails. We learned to make the classic Old Fashioned, the sweet Gold Rush with a fig twist, and the pretty Mint Tulip, taking turns in groups of 6 to have a go behind the bar.

Cocktail Master Class at Varnish on King

Cocktail Master Class at Varnish on King

Cocktail Master Class at Varnish on King

We learned a lot of things we'll definitely use, but also some things that we probably won't (for example, we're probably not going to make the raspberry syrup). The main point I took away was that having a lot of ice is important. When you shake a cocktail you want to use better quality ice than you even use in the drink itself to make sure that any dilution is minimal.

Cocktail Master Class at Varnish on King

Cocktail Master Class at Varnish on King

Cocktail Master Class at Varnish on King

Cocktail Master Class at Varnish on King

Cocktail Master Class at Varnish on King

To balance out the drinks there were awesome snacks throughout the class too, the whole event was very generous for the price. This was really fun to do with just a couple, but the entire class was only 12 people so it would be really fun to book it out with a group.

Then for a complete change of pace we went and saw Paddington Bear 2 at Moonlight Cinemas with Simona, Antonio and the kids. I hope we managed to hide the effects of our previous date well enough!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Fringe Festival 2018

The Perth Fringe Festival, which amazingly is the 3rd biggest fringe festival in the world, is such a fun time of year. The entire city is buzzing with people and shows every night of the week during February.

Each year we go to to quite a few shows, mostly circus (and always the Kinetica shows) with a few other genres too especially if other people organise the night. This year Andrew bought me a few tickets for Christmas, one of which was Le Aerial which was my favourite show of the year.

Here's a little review of the shows that we saw this year!

Kinetica - Syncope
https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/syncope-fw2018 

Kinetica (a Perth circus company) always put on an amazing show, and every year the talented group of performers get better and better. They're always so amazing to watch and we never miss their main show which this year was Syncope, a moody and dark circus show set in the matching sentiment of St Georges Cathedral. I can't believe a church opened its doors to a circus performance, but the dark and beautiful old building really was the perfect setting.

This type of show is what I think Kinetica does best; dark performances to eerie music, with Dark Matter a couple of years ago being a similar theme. Perfect for a date night!

Kinetica - Sinsuality Noir
https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/sinsuality-3-noir-fw2018 

This is the first year we've gone to Kinetica's other show, Sinsuality, which is the third year this show has run in various incarnations. The MC, BarbieQ really made the show, using her razor sharp wit to get everyone laughing in between the beautiful performances which were themed on the 7 deadly sins.

The quality of the show was as high as the other Kinetica ones (although more of a sexy theme), and the collaborations with other artists was really great. I loved the mix of circus and burlesque; I usually find burlesque shows a little bit samey, especially the long ones, but intermixing it with circus was a great contrast.

This is one of the shows Andrew bought me a ticket for Christmas for, and it was a really nice date night but would also be good as a girls night out.

Fringe: Sinsuality

One Fell Swoop Circus - By a Thread
https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/by-a-thread-fw2018
What a beautiful and unique show! The group of very strong male and female performers transformed a rope attached at two points on the roof into a variety of different apparatus; very inventive.

The rope was sometimes used as two ropes for syncronised performances, pulled down between the pulleys to acts as a hammock like apparatus, and was used as a kind of seesaw where the performers would launch each other high up by pulling down on the other side of the rope. While this was the main part of the show, there was also a lot of acro and hand balancing.

The show ended with the performers pulling the rope off it's pulley system and dragging it off with them which was a lovely end, but made me cringe at thinking they'd have to rethread it after every performance, how annoying for them!

We saw this show as a girls night (Amy, Emma, Tracy and Sam), and I think we'd all definitely recommend this show.

Aerial Arts Australia - Le Aerial
https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/le-aerial-fw2018 

This was my favourite show of the year, it was breathtaking. The group of performers were all female, except for the presenter who introduced acts and sang beautifully alongside the performances which added a great element to an already impressive show.

The performers were all so strong with incredible bodies. The apparatus included hanging pole, silks, straps, a doubles cage used similarly to a cube, floor acro, and a bird cage used for contortion. The performances were very polished, with a few things I'd never see before, especially on doubles silks.

The contortionist, Ruby, was my favourite part of the show. I'd never seen anyone that looked like her before, she was so tall and long and slim which made her contortion show so unique and beautiful.  Typical Jess I ended up balling my eyes out (contortion makes me cry, OK?). 

Fringe: Le Aerial

Table Flip Productions (Chase Paradise) - Ho Life or No Life
https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/ho-life-or-no-life-fw2018

Obviously Krystal's pick, this was a fun girls night out with Georgia, Erin, and Krystal. It was a really funny and, I'm told, accurate show (Krystal could definitely relate), and it was a really great insight into this segment of the industry. Chase had some great stories, with the best one being about how her dad found out she was a stripper.

Fringe: Hoe Life or No Life

Matt Hale - Mindfoolness
https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/comedy-hypnotist-matt-hale-mindfoolness-fw2018 

This was the first hypnotist show I'd ever seen, and I left slightly less of a skeptic than I arrived, although most of Andrew's work's friends left with their skepticism confirmed. I think the show was typical hypnotist show format where 12 people are asked to the stage and the host slowly removes people as it becomes evident they're not getting into the "suggestions". Unfortunately no one from our group made it up; I would have loved the insight into being on stage!

The one thing that increased my interest was a particular suggestion the host gave to one girl on the stage convincing her that she was the worlds best hypnotist, and she would try and hypnotise him with the catch that when she tried to get him to sleep, saying the word sleep would make her fall asleep. So when this played out, as soon as she said the word sleep she went completely limp and fell over, being caught by the host!

Now, if someone told me, "just fall I promise I'll catch you", there'd be a bunch of "are you sure?"s before I would commit. The fact that she just fell straight over made me thing there might just be something to it!

It was a fun night, especially the maths and numbers parts, but not really my thing so I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry to go to a similar show unless it was a group thing again.

Grant Buse - The Birds and the Beats
https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/the-birds-and-the-beats-fw2018 

The performer of this show is a sex education instructor for special needs children (with autism), and his show was centered around the funny side of learning about sex, in particular focusing on how consent is never taught, presented in the format of anecdotes and songs (plus the splits!). This was another one of those fun shows that I don't think I would ever think to book on my own, but definitely enjoyed it.



Monday, January 1, 2018

NYE 2018 at the Garden's New Orlean's Mardi Gras Party

Happy New Year! 

NYE 2018

This year we decided to stick with what we know works and go to Leederville again for NYE. We had a pretty big group going together including high school friends, friends from work, and Yvonne and Carina, our cousin who I remember as tiny baby. We used our place as a base just in case we struggled to get an Uber so that we had the train as a backup, but managed to get 3 really easily.

NYE 2018

NYE 2018

NYE 2018

We arrived at 7:30pm which in hindsight was a little bit early although we managed to get an awesome table in The Garden part that we held on to the entire night. We explored in small groups throughout the night and did the countdown at the Blue Flamingo again.

It was a really great night, definitely worth the $70 although this year the food was a bit less diverse than 2 years ago and the music was a bit samey in all of the different sections of the venue. Unless something clearly better comes up next year I think I'll try organise the same thing again for NYE 2019!

NYE 2018

Here's some other snaps from the holiday season, including Christmas lunch at my parents, Christmas dinner at Claire's and Yvonne's visit. As usual we got spoiled with great presents this Christmas, and Claire did an awesome job hosting dinner at her place for the first time, although we missed Michael and Iva who were in Serbia this year. I just said goodbye to Yvonne who's leaving for Switzerland tonight, it was a short stay but I think we made the most of it.

I can't believe I'm back at work tomorrow already, I'm definitely not mentally prepared for the 8:30am meeting first up!

Christmas 2017

Unexpected bunny horror

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Triple J Hottest 100 of 2017

My votes:
  • Methyl Ethel - Ubu (#4)
  • Phoenix - J-BOY (no entry)
  • PNAU - Go Bang (#7)
  • The xx - I Dare You (no entry)
  • Ball Park Music - Exactly How You Are (#18)
  • Charli XCX - Boys (#60)
  • Franz Ferdinand - Always Ascending (no entry)
  • K.Flay - High Enough (no entry)
  • Lorde - Green Light (#6)
  • The Presets - Do What You Want  (#93)
Would have loved to fit in:
  • alt-J - In Cold Blood (#72)
  • Arcade Fire - Creature Comfort (no entry)
  • Spoon - Hot Thoughts (no entry)
  • Gang Of Youths - Let Me Down Easy (#2)
  • The National - The Day I Die (no entry)
  • Peking Duk & AlunaGeorge - Fake Magic (#12)
  • RL Grime - Stay For It (no entry)
I think either a Lorde track or Kendrick Lamar will win.

Update: #1 was Humble by Kedrik Lamar, I think that's a really good one to represent 2017. So glad Ubu got so high! After Go Bang got in Andrew and I had a big debate about whether or not Ubu would get in at all, I was disappointed and skeptical but Andrew was absolutely sure it would make it and he was right! Go Methyl Ethel!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Neville's 70th B'day Down South

Last weekend Andrew's family went down south to Dunsborough to celebrate Neville's 70th birthday.

A beautiful house with beach views, Vasse Felix, Eagle Bay, SUP at Meelup beach, Cullen, and there were even bunnies on the running track by the beach. It was "officially paradise"!

Neville’s 70th at Vasse Felix

Neville’s 70th at Vasse Felix

Neville's 70th Down South

Neville's 70th Down South

Neville's 70th Down South

Neville's 70th Down South

Neville's 70th Down South

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New Zealand - Last day in Wellington

We're currently at the airport waiting for our flight back through Melbourne. Today we made the most of the QT Museum Hotel with a big sleep in an a lazy morning.

We had some great coffee at Hangar where Andrew got a "coffee three ways" paddle, really cool. The gluten free pistachio and cardamon cake was wicked. I have to say that the gluten free culture here is really awesome, so much better than Perth! Everywhere has clearly labeled options and the choices are not token crappy alternatives to the regular menu, they're actually what I would choose regardless.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

The walk to the cable car was windy, and it was even windier up the top. We (let's be honest, just me) lasted about 10 minutes and almost got swept away down the mountain. The cable car was really cool, and we really enjoyed how many noises it made. There were a couple of dings when the doors closed, a couple of bells when it was about to move, a little tune when we were ready to go, then a bunch of bells every time we passed a station but didn't stop. I think it would be Andrew's ideal job.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

We had a beautifully presented lunch at Hippopotamus and enjoyed the view of the harbour one last time.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

What an amazing trip! I love the idea of a half skiing, half exploring holiday, it really makes it feel like two holidays in one. New Zealand it such a cool place with welcoming locals, liveable cities of just the right business surrounded by the most spectacular natural beauty I've ever seen. I'd love to come back and explore some more, especially in the north island where we didn't get to spend enough time.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

New Zealand - Wellington

The QT Museum Hotel is something else, I've never seen anything like it. The room itself is wicked, but the unique part is feeling like you're living in an art gallery, it's so stylish! We're also lucky to have a view of the harbour from our room.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

Last night we had one drink at the hotel restaurant, Hippopotamus, then went to kitchy cool Leroy's Bar for "dinner" and a drink. Because we'd more than eaten our $55NZ worth on the ferry from Picton our dinner was some tacos and kimchi loaded fries, yum.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

This morning we work up with a coffee from Mojo's, then headed straight to Te Papa's museum. We budgeted 2 hours but ended up staying about that in the Gallipoli section alone. The Gallipoli exhibit was so well put together, with spectacularly realistic displays by Weta, and fantastic visual representations of what happened from different perspectives. We absolutely loved it, but needed something a bit more light hearted so we spent a couple of hours in the natural history sections to bring up the mood, and what better way to lift the mood than to see the only preserved specimen of a giant squid.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

We even managed to find the dead horse! (We were too embarrassed to ask because Phar Lap wasn't on the maps).

New Zealand - Wellington

The next part of the day was a bit of a struggle. I'd gone to the gym in the morning and had an apple and a coffee for breakfast so was fast running out of energy. Anyone who's seen me after not having food knows things get dire; I don't get angry or in a bad mood or anything, I just literally can't function and am liable to get hit by a car or something. After the 30min walk to Garage Project and arriving at 1:30pm, we realised it was closed until 3pm. Andrew acted fast and managed to get me to Grill Meats Beer for a gluten free burger post stat, and it really was just in time. We then went to Tuatara around the corner for a beer and a chat with the brewer, then made the slow walk back to Garage Project (we'd traded the low energy slow walk for the we ate too much slow walk) for a couple of tasting paddles.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

Man NZ beer is wicked! Tuatara has been a surprise source of consistently good beers, and Garage Project was really cool although a little left of center with it's quirky beers and interesting sea weed snacks. After the interesting selection of the day's special tasting paddle we got one more paddle to share of the favourites including the absolute favourite, Death From Above.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

After Garage Project we braved the rain and headed back towards Cuba Street where we decided to go see a play, the Pickle King. I won't stay too much about it (because Andrew might disapprove of me being mean), but I will say that it was not my thing. The cast was really talented and I was really impressed with the production, and overall I really enjoyed the experience but I think that type of theatre is lost on me. I found myself asking "is this real life?" on more than one occasion. Maybe it was the beer.

New Zealand - Wellington

Dinner was ramen and yakitori at Kazu and it really hit the spot, especially in the rainy weather.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

I can't believe tomorrow is our last day! We have late checkout so we're going to make the most of the hotel and possibly grab lunch at Hippopotamus.