Wellington on a Plate

A Monday night, dark and wet as most of them are at this time of year. My friends in high places are at the 2012 Wellington on a Plate launch, but I’m somewhere better…in bed with the WOAP site and at least 30 tabs open to investigate the offerings.

The offerings this year didn’t grab me as quickly as 2011, there’s a lot of hapuka (fish) and Parkvale mushrooms on the menus (delicious no doubt, but not exciting), but the more I look the more I like.

When the printed programme was released I painstakingly went through it marking the tastiest sounding dishes in the Dine section. I gave extra points for a menu that made me want to eat everything.

There are surprisingly (and sadly) not many vegetarian entries this year. Especially in the burger section which was won by a vegetarian burger in 2011, and yet there are three dessert burgers on the menu. Was this a result of the collective unconscious or are dessert burgers being paraded on the NY food catwalks?

My picks for each section:

Event

Arthur’s Whiskey Breakfast – $80

This will be the first time I attend something from the WOAP Event section and it really wasn’t a hard choice. Breakfast and whisk(e)y, two of my favourite things. A four course breakfast with matched whiskeys sounds like heaven.

I’m super excited to be attending on the 11th.

Burger

Mexi Jalapeño Popper Burger – $17.50

Lower Hutt’s Hot! Like a Mexican! (formerly Las Margaritas) burger is going to get me on a bus, that’s how good it sounds. Beef, jalapeno, onions, salsa, and sour cream with a side of corn chips and guacamole.

It’s also the only burger in Burger Wellington that has a vegetarian option.

Dine

Fork & Brewer Lunch – $25

This was by far the hardest section to pick just one offer from. But the Fork & Brewer know how to win a girl’s heart: with mac & cheese. Or more precisely – Mac & Beer-Cheese: Macaroni served with a Scotch ale beer–cheese sauce and smoked pork lardons.

Their lunch menu includes 2 courses and a glass of Wellington regional beer. I’d pair the mac & beer cheese with beer brioche pudding and a dark beer that will compliment the rich meal (go big or go home!).

This August is going to be an expensive month with the NZ Film Festival and WOAP both on. But they’re worth saving your dollars for.

Carlucci Land

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The rain could not keep us from Carlucci Land for long.

Despite the biting wind and our hangering bellies (we went straight after work and stupidly neglected to bring snacks) we battled through 18 holes of mini golf on a crazy course covered in metal sculptures we were encouraged to interact with.

Sure it’s not a very manicured or maintained place: the greens have been reused from old tennis courts and are covered in bits of trees; there’s an angry rooster which was, thankfully, safely tucked away in the shed while we played; and the course is full of potentially unintentional sinkholes.

We had a great time though. It took six of us around two and a half hours so we didn’t finish till just before closing time. Probably because we spent so long on the shit talking aspect of the game.

There were mandatory scorecard nicknames (Sexy Jesus TYVM) and 66.6% of us got into the hole in one club!

MINIGOLF
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Crocodile
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Extra notes: Lots of interesting putting stances from Laura, brandishing of putters like croquet mallots and hockey sticks from Pia (and the penis statue she found in the bush), hip thrusting from me, backfiring of the shit talk for Brend, winning in a totally understated way by Fi, and Tim not losing despite every indication that he was going to.

The revolution will not be privatised

Occupy Wall Street

A guest post from Brendan.


One of the more frustrating things I’ve had to deal with the past few weeks is the horrible coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. When it first started I read a short article on the BBC about a handful of protesters who got arrested trying to pitch tents on Wall Street in New York. The BBC said there were a few protesters remaining, but were expected to clear soon. Two whole weeks later the movement explodes onto the scene with massive arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge. Just as we’re being told they’d all disappeared!

Turns out Occupy Wall Street is fast becoming one of the most important movements in modern history. Still, no one seems to want to talk about it. It feels like everyone keeps pressing the snooze button, refusing to wake up and face the music. More and more opinion pieces crop up, which is good, but the mainstream media can’t help but marginalise the movement.

The media is reporting the movement doesn/t have any clear goals, and that what they’re protesting about isn’t fully understood. Give me a break! It’s like good journalist research has been thrown out the window, and the research has never been easier. All you have to do is go to their website and you will find all the information you need. Their manifesto is easily accessible on the New York General Assembly website. Better yet check out this video. I couldn’t have said it any better.

The movement has grown so fast you can now found actions within your own area. Hell, half of the United States has woken up with ‘occupations’ taking place in most main cities. LA, Boston, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Chicago. Take your pick. The best thing is it’s spreading across the world. Australia is mobilizing in a big way, and little old New Zealand is organising despite battling press obsessed with the Rugby World Cup.

We may not have it as bad at the United States, but things aren’t exactly rosy here in New Zealand. We too are falling into the trap of corporate excess run free. Look at the South Canterbury Finance debacle. Ask yourself exactly what our troops are doing in Afghanistan besides getting shot. Who are the buyers lining up for our public assets? Why is the price of milk so damn high when we are a dairy country? How is the wage gap getting wider and wider? Whose brilliant idea was it to waste tax payer money on a fleet of BMWs that nobody wants anymore? We have the chance to stand up with tens of thousands across the world on the 15th of October. At time of writing around one thousand people are going to march in Auckland in a show of solidarity, there are around 300 supporters in Wellington (at the time of writing) and that number is growing daily. This isn’t a ‘hippy’ collective, this isn’t a bunch of unions, it isn’t a bunch of wayward youth. People of all walks of life are standing up to a broken system in the hands of a very rich few and demanding it be fixed. We are the 99 percent, and we are fighting for a better world.


A note from Kim: There are marches being organised for October 15 all over the world. If you’re interested in the cause please find a group near you and get involved.

Remember remember the 5th of November

Taken with my iPhone. Yeah you heard me. My iPhone*

guyfawkes

*Not actually my iPhone yet as I haven’t paid my friend for it. She lent it to me to try out for a couple of weeks and now she’s never getting it back. It’s been like giftmas ever since she handed it over.

I’m such a dweeb.

Comedy Divas

Ever had a seagull on your left shoulder?

Um, no.

Ever had a magpie on your right shoulder?

Where is this going? No, I have never had any seagulls or magpies on either of my shoulders.

Ah, but I bet you’ve had a cock or two in your mouth though ay.

I wish I was a comedian. Even though I’d never have the guts to get over my intense fear of public speaking, with the thought that someone at the back of the room can actually see how hard my heart is beating through my shirt. But I’d love to be able to write like a comedian. Like Nicole from More is Better, I never skim her posts because she’s so fucking funny.

Tonight I was lucky enough to score a ticket to Comedy Divas. Seven hilarious lady comedians cracking jokes about stupid vegans; how they’re all totally sexy playas; and how homophobia would be more acceptable if it was like arachnophobia – The valid fear of finding a gay man in your bath tub. I do like Jim’s (female, funny lady) chosen name for the evening better than Comedy Divas though: Funny Cunts.

If you ever get a chance to see Justine Smith, Maeve Higgins, Irene Pink, Zoe Lyons, Jan Maree, Jim Stanton, or Sarah Harpur perform don’t hesitate. These ladies are amaze.

Party Time! Excellent!

My last post was almost 3 weeks ago?! That’s fucking ridiculous and perhaps just the kick up the ass I need to show me how lazy I’ve been. The best cure for writers block is to just write something, anything, “they” say. So it’s worth a try.

Friday night saw my first party at 361, a K party (dress up theme, not ketamine sharing) in honour of my inhabitation of the flat. Smarty pants flatmate Jason set the up the photobooth he created to capture everyones costumes/inebriated states.

Here are a few goodies.

Photobooth 1

L to R: Kiki of Kiki’s delivery service (aka flattie Kate), Kermit (aka Michael), Karen O (aka flattie Sophie), Karl Lagerfeld (aka Laura), Koala (aka Emma); Kanye (aka flattie Jason), Karl Lagerfeld; Kleptomaniac (aka Stacey), Kate from Lost (aka ME); Klytemnestre (aka Jo).

Photobooth 2

L to R: K’ Rd hooker (aka Hannah), Kramer (aka Finn), Karen O; KGB officer (aka Karen), Jo; Me, King Midas (aka Ella, she was originally gold in another language but I can’t remember the language), Kate; Kaleidoscope (aka flattie Brendan), photobomber Stacey.

Photobooth 3

L to R: Laura (omg isn’t she perfect as Karl?!), pieces of Kermit; Karaoke queen (aka Beth), Stacey; Kelly (aka Kelly), Jo, Kink (aka Bad Tom); Kate, Sophie, Emma.

Photobooth 4

L to R: Kid (aka Anna), Jo, Tom; Flatties pre dress up – Me, Sophie, Kate, and photo bomber Jason; Me, Karen, Jo, Kim Thayil (aka Lisa); Michael, Laura, Me.

Drinking Rum Is In My Job Description

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I love rum. It’s my favourite alcoholic beverage. So when Jo put out the feelers for someone to accompany her to a Monday afternoon rum cocktail championship at Bettys my hand went up immediately.

10 of the top bartenders from around New Zealand competed for a chance to be flown to Cuba and represent NZ in the Havana Club final next year. I expected to see lots of interesting ingredients and fancy tricks and I wasn’t disappointed.

Arriving at 1 when the event was supposed to start meant we were unfashionably on time, but it also meant we got in on the free drinks (!) from the first round. Ginger beer, lime, and dark rum to start with. Yum.

Nearly all of the contenders were as good at entertaining as they were at bartending. With 10 minutes to create 3 drinks they still found plenty of time to make crude jokes and banter with the presenter. With cocktail names like butter my nuts, and one of the contestants claims that his pina colada will make 18 year olds putty in his hands, it didn’t take much more encouragement for Jo, Laura, and I to giggle loudly things like “give it a wet shake” and “it’s all about shaking the flesh”. More free cocktails probably helped. Jo’s twitter hashtag for the event was proving more and more accurate – #cockchamp.

Cockchamps

Christchurch competitor Charles injected a kiwi flavour into his drinks and his humour. His first cocktail being a brojito which contained watercress and L&P and came with a side of fry bread in the shape of a pig face.

My award for most entertaining went to the final competitor of the day who was running very late due to being held up in customs. He arrived in a red bow tie and butchers apron claiming he was late because he was 3 cigars and a bottle of rum over his limit and had to “dispose” of them before he could get on the plane. He ended up going 4 minutes over his time allowance and said he’d have to share his photos of Cuba with the winner because there was no chance he’d get to go again.

In the end it was the sole female entrant – Claire Harlick of Matterhorn – that won. Girls just do it better.

Most entertaining trick – Pouring flaming liquid between jugs
Coolest looking drink – Pina colada in an old fashioned milk bottle
Tastiest cocktail (from the few samples we got)- A chocolatey porter beer concoction from Johnny of Hawthorne Lounge
Most impressed by – How many ingredients these perfectionists make from scratch!

My creation

WordCamp NZ 2009 – I’ll Be There!

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A couple of weeks ago I learned through the blogging grapevine that WordCamp is coming to New Zealand for the first time. And I immediately thought what the hell is Wordcamp?

From the WordCamp NZ site:

WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. WordCamps are open to WordPress.com and WordPress.org users alike.

There should be interesting speakers and networking opportunities for both bloggers and developers. Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of WordPress, is a keynote speaker for the event! Early bird tickets are a steal at only $75+GST for both days and the price includes a tshirt. If you order before the 23rd of July your tee will be ready on the day so you can be an über nerd. Kinda like wearing a band’s tshirt to their concert. Except the only people likely to draw similarities between going to a concert and going to a geek gathering are the type of people that go to WordCamps.

Anyway…when I found out the event is being held only a few blocks from my house in Wellington, and after I convinced Chickie Little to come with me, I lost any excuses for not going. So on the 8th and 9th of August you’ll find me at the Mt Victoria Bowling Club attending WordCamp NZ. If you’re a WordPress user and you can get to Wellington on the 8th and 9th it would be great to meet up. Let me know if you’ll be around!