Sunday, February 03, 2008

Pass the Parcel

There’s been a few instances of late that I have been told by others I know that I am a complete package. What that exactly means varies between each person who has said this to me, but essentially they regard me as someone who should be in a relationship.

It’s depressing enough that I am single and I think about being with someone at least twice a day if not more, but then to have other people who exacerbate this singledom, is more depressing. You wish that they never opened their mouths to state their claim. But it’s part of nature. I say and do it all the time.

Maybe it’s annoying for me because I can see the qualities I have within myself and don’t understand why a quality man cannot see them as well or maybe it simply lies in the fact that I am not a complete package. The answer lies in the latter. Anyone who says otherwise is just doing their best as a friend to convince me otherwise.

A friend from Milan called me a complete package the other day and I wondered why he could see it, yet others in this narcissistic community of ours cannot. The problem lie within self esteem, I know that much. But also lies within the fact that anyone I take a liking to inevitably becomes a friend, because the window of opportunity is small and passes by quicker than a Japanese bullet train.

As the biggest marketing event of the greeting card and floral industry – Valentine’s Day – approaches, it’s inevitable that the depression of being single will sink in yet again. You try hard to avoid all that crap that they emphasise and push down your throat, but it creeps in somehow. To some degree, it creeps in. Anyone who says it doesn’t is lying. It does.

A close friend suggested we do something for the dreaded day together, primarily because he finds himself single after an intense romance. So I agreed to do something just as romantic, as though we were in a relationship. Although I’m doing for him so that he doesn’t get too upset, I’m doing it for myself too. It’ll be therapeutic somehow… I hope.

But going back, what constitutes a complete package? Of course, it changes from each person and naturally, our list of what we want in someone is complex, specific and almost completely unachievable. But ever the optimist, I think there is bound to be someone or at least a few people that fit the bill.

Maybe that’s why they keep calling me the complete package?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Eat @ Taxi Dining Room

There aren’t many places where you can get amazing views of the city in Melbourne, particularly as there is no harbour like our friends up north. In fact, you could probably count them on one hand. And to get great views alongside amazing food is even more of a challenge.

Taxi Dining Room
is the ultimate in fine dining with the most amazing views in the city and it is worth every single cent. Located above the popular pub Transport in Federation Square, Taxi is a little hard to get to, especially with the drunken bogans and sheilas down in the pub below. Unfortunately, these very people spoil the overall experience but only ever-so slightly.

The concept is modern Australian with a distinct Japanese flavour and the food is flavoursome, creative, mouth-watering and delicately put together by head chef Michael Lambie and his team.

Being in a large group meant exploring a wider range of dishes starting from the entrées which included extremely fresh sushi and sashimi tasting platters, Szechuan duck broth with crispy duck egg & Morton Bay bug dumplings which was deliciously wet and crunchy and creamy Crystal Bay prawn gyoza. The entrées only served to make us want more.

The mains were mixed. The Salt & Pepper Fried Duck with eggplant pickle was filling, crispy and maintained moisture quite well despite having almost no fat, unlike other duck dishes of its type. The Roast rosettes of Lamb with pea puree melted in your mouth while the Roast Port Philip Bay snapper fillet received mixed reviews from others – mainly not being substantial enough.

Taxi is set in an extremely modern surrounding and wait staff are dressed too casually for a venue which boasts fine dining, these two elements combined take the experience down a little. However the service is attentive, informative and pleasant.

Taxi is not for the everyday dining experience and like most other high-end restaurants, comes the price tag which might shock you if you’re not prepared for it. The wine list is extensive and expensive with wine by the glass starting at $12 and bottles going as high as $2200, yet the cocktails list is very tempting and inviting.

Together with the food, attentive service and amazing views, Taxi is one place you must dine at for the experience. Its only fault is being located above a noisy, popular watering hole and its casual environment/attire.

4.5 of 5

Feeling great in 08!

A belated Happy New Year to all! It’s been a nice break away from the blog as it has given me opportunity to enjoy my surroundings and people I am with. I’m not even sure if people are still reading or even checking the blog anymore… Nonetheless, I will (on occasion) post my adventures and I hope you enjoy.

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday season and took advantage of the stifling heat that blessed or melted us throughout the two weeks of the holidays.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Anniversaire heureux!

Okay, so it’s been only a matter of days since my last post announcing I was taking a break. So sue me. I thought it was important that I highlight the fact that today is the first anniversary of this blog, which started off as a means for me to express myself through written word, an outlet of my creativity and writing abilities and basically somewhere to whinge and bitch. And a year later, I’m still doing it, albeit not as often as I once did.

It’s been an interesting year with many deep, soul crushing, esteem destroying lows and some highlights, all mainly stemming from people I know or situations I have found myself in. Not everything has been shared here, and I believe that not everything needs to be shared.

Although this is a public blog, like many others written by people it’s part of lives and captures our emotions, feelings, frustrations and elations. To a large extent, readers respect that. After all, we are all human.

So have I achieved everything I set for myself in the past year? Yes and no. I have made personal progress with certain aspects of my life and yet I still seem to find I am in Square One with other things. Most of these things I tend to believe will be the key to my seemingly elusive happiness.

Although there are only a few weeks left in the year, I’m going to grab them by the balls as best as I can and enjoy them, living it up as much as I can.

If I want things to change, then I will have to change the way I think. Something I’ve known for far too long, but done nothing about. So I may be back peoples, even if my hiatus was short lived. Just keep those positive, loving and entertaining coming. I just hope people have read this!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

We interupt this broadcast...

I've decided to take a bit of a break from blogging for a variety of reasons including not having the time or much to talk about. This was a long time coming, so it's time I actually announced it.

I've met some great people through this and established great online friendships with others.

I'm sure I'll be back soon enough. In the interim, I'll be checking out all my favourite blogs and enjoying what (and who) I have around me.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Over at Ricky Martinville…

For those playing at home, you may recall that I encountered a work colleague at a gay bar in Melbourne’s gay south side village with results that would fit well within the screenplay of a sitcom.

It was expected that there would be some awkwardness between the two of us, neither of us wanting to draw unnecessary attention to our sexuality in a predominately male chauvinist work environment. And my expectations of what was to occur that following Monday morning played out to a tea.

The odd thing was that despite the fact we barely spoke to each other prior to seeing the other out at the said gay bar, for weeks following, neither of us actually encountered each other within the office at all. It was all very odd. How could have not run into each other you say? Easy, it just seemed that the timing was off.

But about two weeks ago, about a month or so after it all happened, something changed. We needed to become involved with each other due to an event I was organizing. He was dealing with clients and he had to follow my directive. So as we worked together during the course of the two day event, I allowed my character to come out (no pun intended).

So jokes were shared, general conversation was created. He seemed comfortable with me and me with him. Now we say the usual hello and goodbye but on occasion it goes beyond the pleasantries to general chit chat. Nothing has ever been said about our sexuality, and nothing needs to be said. It’s not the time or place and there is really no need raise it.

I don’t expect a full blown friendship. But at least that weirdness has gone. I guess it’s all part and parcel of being at a new workplace which is continuously expanding and trying to find your place within it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

In Nightmares No One Can Hear You Scream

I’ve always managed to keep my work life and my personal life separate with a degree of success. Never letting on too much about myself to the people at work and avoiding going out too much with work related functions, particularly with people who I would consider just work colleagues.

Come the end of the work day, I walk out those doors I leave my work brain behind and don’t think of it until I walk back in through those doors the next day. It might sound like wishful thinking but I manage to succeed to a degree.

But you can’t help your subconscious and the mind of its own… literally! You would call them dreams usually as the collective noun, but I much prefer the term nightmare. You see, I have been dreaming about work and things/tasks/events related to work to a degree that it is downright horrifying. I’d say so damned horrifying that it’s on par with Freddie Kruger slashing me apart.

In these nightmares, you can’t escape unless you wake from your slumber. But I know if I do, then it’ll be tough to get back to sleep and even tougher not to even think about work and the nightmare when I am awake. It’s tricky.

So why do we get sucked back into the thought of work even in our dreams? It’s not a good thing if you ask me. To be thinking about work in your dreams is slightly disturbing and not good for the mind or body or the soul for that matter.

So how do you avoid thinking about work, especially in your dreams? I think my currently nightmares stem from the fact that I do not have something else to focus on such as a hobby or a boyfriend. I think that if there was something else for me to focus on then such nightmarish happens wouldn’t be happening… or at least they would be curbed to an extent.

So what do I focus on? How do I separate the realness of work and the dreams of work colliding together into a nightmare that not even Sigourney Weaver can save me from before it bursts out of my chest? And how come my dreams aren’t full of naked muscle men in a hot steamy romp? Damned dreams!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Eat @ belleZain

Unlike the Harbour City, there are only a select few places where you can enjoy fantastic views of the sun, sea and surf in Melbourne and Port Melbourne is one of those places. With so many restaurants, bars and cafes vying for your patronage and offering a meal with a view, it’s tough to decide on which place will be the best value.

belleZain (1 Beach St, Port Melbourne. Phone: 03 9646 6706) is one such restaurant set in modern surroundings that gives you the views with a light modern meal to match.

The décor is slick, modern and sexy with plump cushions abound clearly marked for the designer set of the surrounding posh Port Phillip crowd who dine here. But it’s the glass panelled patio dining area which is the selling point. The views of the expansive Port Phillip Bay are breathtaking. With the sun beating down, the sand of Port Melbourne beach, the giant palm trees and blue sky – this is all about sex appeal.

But what about the food? The menu stems from the Mediterranean with Italian and Spanish influences and on paper sounds very appealing. A mix of pastas, risottos, tapas, wood-fired thin crust pizza and then an interesting mix of seafood and steak mains, there is plenty to have your mouth watering.

But the menu suffers from the latest trend of using overly fancy words for describing the elements to each dish and when the meal arrives, there just seems to be something lacking.

The Cavatelli pasta with Confit Duck Ragout sounded very tempting, but lacked some basic flavours and had a very watery base which detracted from the overall dish. The Linguini with Tiger Prawns and Seared Scallops was creamy and light but lacked a little in prawns which would have made the dish far more filling.

The pizzas proved popular and had a great combination of contemporary and traditional toppings. The wood fried element added to the flavours and added a deliciously crunchy crust which left you licking your lips.

The dessert menu proved equally tempting with Saffron Panna Cotta and White Chocolate Raspberry Brulee on offer. The wine list is extensive and sources quality wines from Spain, Italy, Australia and France.

belleZain tries hard to be something that it is not. Perhaps it’s not the place to order pastas dishes, but it’s not worth for the pizzas alone – there are better places to get quality pizzas. Service is above average and courteous, but not the standard it should be for what it wants to be.

belleZain is a good spot for a light, quick lunch on a warm summer day.

2 of 5

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Shiny, Sparkly, Shimmering

It’s funny how things you initially love and think is the greatest thing since sliced bread soon becomes stale, tired and yesterday’s news. As humans it seems we need to be entertained to a certain degree to make sure we still show interest in something.

Case in point with my enthusiastic entrance into the world of gay clubs and bars. Although initially I was drawn to the “thumpa-thumpa” of the music and the well manicured (or scruffy) men around, soon after I became bored of it all and wanted something more. I became bored of going to the same places and hearing the same music and not seeing what else was on offer. The shine wore off.

Then came along a monthly night which I loved instantly with its different crowd, great eclectic mix of music and New York underground club surroundings – I was hooked! I couldn’t wait to get to the next one.

But it was only a week or two ago when I realized that I was over it and I now need something new to entertain me. Or was it that I was just not feeling it that night and I was not in the mood? I can’t be too sure. I’ll have to see what happens the next time I go… If I go that is.

So what do you do when the initial shiny glimmer of a new whatever starts to inevitably wear off? Do you continue to get involved with it or do you move onto something that entertains you in the way you are wanting?

And if so, does the response you take for those things reflect on how you will react and respond with relationships? Are you willing to give it your all and go for the long haul or resign yourself to the fact that it can’t or won’t change?

I’m not sure if I react the same way for such situations or whether I process them with the individual respect they need. I actually think I’m in the latter camp. One thing is for sure, I’ll try that one night only bar again and decide whether it’s worth it again.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Eat @ The Lion of India

A stalwart of the North Essendon restaurant strip, The Lion of India (192 Keilor Rd, North Essendon. Phone: 03 9379 2161) is big on quality and the abundance of fragrances and flavours that Indian cuisine has to offer all in a modern surrounding.

The Lion of India specializes in Tandoori Indian cuisine and as always there are so many options that it can be hard to settle on just one meal, especially if you love this type of cuisine. The Lion caters very well for both carnivores and vegetarians with at least 15 dishes in each camp.

We started our Bollywood feast with a selection of Pakora dishes including Chicken, Paneer, Cauliflower and Eggplant Pakoras. And although they were delicious, they were slightly over cooked in the deep fryer as they were a dark shade of brown rather than golden brown, resulting in the spices losing their flavour. An interesting accompaniment to the appetizers was finely chopped Granny Smith apples, a nice refreshing addition to a deep fried dish.

The mains are just as tasty and will definitely leave you feeling full to the brim. We selected a couple wet curries and a couple of dry curries. The Chicken Shahi Korma was creamy with coconut and cashews with a mild spice factor while the Beef Curry was not only spicy but packed with a multitude of spices and herbs – perfect for soaking up with some hot buttery and garlicky Naan bread.

Of the dry curries we tried the Bhuna Gosht which was deliciously fragrant and tasty that I can still taste the curry paste with the traditional Saffron rice which mixed in herbs and grains rather than the urine yellow Anglo stuff. The Chicken Makhmali was an interesting selection, but lacked the excitement the other dishes had.

The service was a tad slow considering the restaurant was only a third full but was supplemented by the charms of the waiter we had whose voice would make Kamahl proud. The modern surroundings of the restaurant new venue work well and shy away from the typical dingy overly crowded feel that so many other suburban Indian restaurants have.

The Lion of India is definitely worth the visit and although Indian food is always overpriced for what it is, somehow you leave satisfied, full and wanting to go a second round after resting for an hour and knocking back a mango lassi.

3.5 of 5