Thursday, July 31, 2008

Number One 80s Week

Oh My Molly Ringwald! I just had the best idea EVA. 80's freakin' week! Julia's slightly 80s related post has inspired me. Not that it takes much to really get me excited about the 80s, I kind of love that decade, in fact my 21st was "Come as your favourite 80s movie character" themed. As much as I love the 80s though, it has been somewhat ruined by the 80s fever that has been sweeping the fashion and music of the Supre-esque crowd (for our internash readers Supre is a super-trashy-tween-slut clothes store. Basically it's nasty). Regardless I felt that it might be fun to have a little theme week here at Number One Millionaire, because seriously, who doesn't love a good themed event?

I think the only way to really express my excitement about Number One 80s Week is in true 80s fashion...through dance. Admittedly this linked video is not an example of 'dancing for excitement', oh no, it's better. Kevin Bacon dancing angry.

And Kevin Bacon is just the beginning, this week will be full of all kinds of 80s goodness. Now, to kick it off I found this amazing trailer for the film Valley Girl, which I have never seen but I think I need to now. Hope you find it even a fraction as hilarious as I did (yes, that is Nicholas Cage. It's difficult to recognise him minus his signature receding hairline).

Stay tuned for many more 80s related movies, music, fashion, maybe even some tasty treats this week.

Heavenly Hash


I had the perfect lead in planned for this recipe.

It was going to be all about how Margaret Fulton's heavenly hash is, like, the ultimate 80s food. The epiphany, the true essence of the eighties.

I was going to say how heavenly hash is like these outfits:

...made edible. All sweet and creamy and puffy like.

Then it was going to lead into a fabulous future post about Kate Bush, my ultimate girl hero.

Unfortunately, my mother-turned-food-historian, rudely informed me that heavenly hash is the ultimate 70s food, the epiphany, the true essence of the seventies. She based this on two pieces of evidence:
  1. The Complete Margaret Fulton Cookbook was, indeed, published in the seventies; and
  2. A love interest of her's used to make it for her when she was a medical student in, you guessed it, the seventies.
The bastard.

Anyway, I've concluded that as I was born in the eighties, I can make up my own mind about what is quintessentially eighties to me. So I did. And came up with this. Hmph.

Anyway, much like the eighties, this dish is about as frumpily, kitschly unfashionable as you can possibly get. As a result, it's pretty now, in a way. And I love it. I mean, how great is the name. I just love to say it: heaaavenly - haaaash. So great. I like to think that it's what heaven is made of, in Margaret's imagination. The ingredients list will put you off, yes, I expect that. But believe me. It's pretty much divine. It was the all-time favorite dessert of my brother and I for our entire childhoods, not just because we loved the dish itself (which we did), but because it was the only time we got to eat marshmallows, or any kind of lollies for that matter. It always felt like a personal triumph, like we'd tricked her into to giving us sweets without her realising it. Sometimes, she wouldn't use up all the marshmallows, and we'd sneak into her study late at night, find them tucked away in one of her many very lame excuses for a hiding place, and toast them over the open gas flame on the stove.

I think the secret to this particular dessert is that the sour cream balances out all the other sweet ingredients, so it isn't sickly, and the spices give it a subtle, delicate, interesting flavor. You must try it, preferably with your hair in a dramatically high, bright scrunchy-held side pony.

Also, it should be noted that this must be made with canned pineapple and mandarin. Don't try using just won't be juicy or mushy or kitschy or seventies/eighties enough.

Heavenly Hash

Adapted from The Complete Margaret Fulton Cookbook


1 small can of mandarin segments (around 200ml)
1 small can of pineapple pieces (around 200ml)
1 packet of pink and white marshmallows (250g)
1 1/4 cups of sour cream
a pinch of ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 tablespoon cointreau, compulsory
the seeds scraped from 1/2 a vanilla bean, very optional


1. Drain the fruit and halve the marshmallows
2. Toss carefully togetther in a large bowl
3. Whip the sour cream together with the cardamom, ginger, orange rind, cointreau, and vanilla (if using).
4. Fold the cream mixture through the fruit and marshmallows, and chill for at least an hour (so all the juicy deliciousness has time to mingle) before serving.

NB: Margaret's recipe includes 1 bottle of red maraschino cherries, but that's waaay to retro for me. I draw the line at maraschino cherries. And besides, Mum never used them. However, I suppose you could include them if you wanted to. It's not like I'd ever find out...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Dangling Conversation

Emily Dickinson by Mark Siegel

Hope is the things with feathers,
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm,
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

- Emily Dickinson; Hope is the Thing with Feathers.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Catching signals that sound in the dark.

Clouds from aeroplane window.

A number of my childhood naiveties were rudely ripped from my psyche these past few weeks traveling through Asia. One of these was my idea that flying in an aeroplane was the best. thing. ever. Nine hours on a night flight trying to sleep on budget airline seats taught me otherwise.

After i calmed down from a near claustrophobic panic attack, i embraced the fact i wasn't going to get to sleep and i realised that the view from my tiny window was pretty incredible. At this particular part of the journey home we were flying over what appeared to be an ocean of peaks of translucent dust, under a dazzling veil of stars.

This is a mix of soft, ethereal songs i made while watching my fairy floss sea reflecting over all that's been and all that's to come.

Love, fear and a dash of Bill Murray

I always find it a little bit scary returning to something after an extended break and this blog is no exception. I have been informed (numerous) times that I need to post and I want to, I desperately want to but there is a certain amount of fear involved (too melodramatic?). This fear I feel is somewhat (exactly like) the sensation of absolute dread that I used to get on the first day back to school after summer holidays. I was always worried that for some unexplainable reason my friends, enemies and everyone else would completely forget who I was. Every year I thought I would have to reintroduce myself to every person and teacher I had ever met. This can, I think be explained one of two ways:

1. I have a very real fear of actually being forgotten as this in fact frequently happens to me (Sorta like that episode of Buffy when there is a girl who actually becomes invisible because no one acknowledges her. So of course she wreaks her oh so violent revenge. I guess that is something to look forward to)
2. I have possibly watched Groundhog Day one too many times in my youth (serious love for Bill Murray)

I also get this similar feeling now when I go back to work after more than two weeks, but I blame this on the time I went away for 5 weeks and my work did in fact seem to think I had quit and therefore canceled my computer access and I was also locked out of the building. The roundabout meaning of this story (rambling) is that I also have a fear of coming back to the blog as I shamefully have not posted for quite some time and as above story indicates I am deeply fearful that you have indeed forgotten me and my zany (nonsensical) ramblings as well as my love of using brackets.

Now to dispel with the self-indulgent part of this post and leave you with some lovely artworks to peruse in your spare or not so spare time.

I recently purchased How We Are Hungry , which is a collection of short stories by Dave Eggers and I was very taken by the cover illustration. It piqued my interest so I did a bit of heavy research (Google) and discovered that the artist, Daniel Chang, does many lovely illustrations. A lot of his work seems to be for magazines and advertising as well as stand alone pieces. It's not particularly groundbreaking or even thought provoking art, but it is vibrant and enjoyable and worth a bit of a looksy (or look-see. not quite sure, non-words are always the hardest to spell).

cover of How We Are Hungry

all images sourced from Daniel Chang's website

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Teensy, Weensy Little Pictures

Little Pictures call themselves a "pop duo from New Zealand", and they were sweet enough to send me a copy of their new album Owl + Owl via a very sweet little e-mail, filled with praises for this here blog.

So I couldn't resist posting them.

Plus, they're pretty much the cutest little things ever, and are obviously hip to all that is cute in the cute imaginary right now - like owls and xylophones, New Zealand, TS Eliot and metaphors involving potential love interests as cute little treasures kept in cute little pockets. In fact, they're quite possibly even cuter than this, the "cutest kitten evah":

They have that whole hand crafted lo-fi indie-pop sound, with lots of xylophone (which wins my heart, every time) and synths, and the added bonus of an intriguing 'are they lovers, siblings of friends?' mystery going on, which I know ya'll love. On certain days, this level of twee might leave me feeling like I'd gorged on way too many sugar cream puffs...but today I can handle most anything.

Little Pictures - Hopeful and Hopeless (mp3)

Little Pictures - Eliot (mp3)

{And speaking of sugary creamyness, stay tuned for a pretty fabulous recipe. Should be up in the next couple of days. It's boss.}

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Writer's Block

photograph by Sarajea

As previously mentioned, I've been trying to write the first chapter of thesis. Thesis is now due in exactly three months, and, as more people than I'd like to count have commented: "wow, that's, like, really soon". Given that I've only written 2000 shoddy words out of 18 000 hopefully fabulous ones, things are looking a little grim.

Today I did everything I could to prepare myself for a big day of writing. This included, but was not limited to:

  • Getting up early, showering, and eating a big and nutritious breakfast (mmm...felafel)
  • Scrubbing my desk, and removing excess clutter in the hope that it would have the same effect on my mind (but actually resulted in a rather time consuming re-design of much of my room)
  • Tidying up all the folders containing my thesis research, notes etc on my desktop
  • Drinking copious amounts of tea
  • Getting everything out of the way that may have given me cause to procrastinate later (e-mail, facebook, blogging, etc - and, as you can see, I'm still there)
  • Writing a humble list of things to achieve; and
  • Writing myself inspirational messages on post-its like "do it for yr futcher!", "WRITE, you stupid, lazy mole!", and "what would Germaine do?" and sticking them around my desk
It is now 4pm, and, apart from "stupid", "lazy" and "mole" I still haven't written a word.

So, friends, consider this a cry for help. Help! What do ya'll do when writer's block/study block/inspiration block/the black devil of procrastination strikes, and threatens to eat your children? I could use the advice...even if it seems lame, cliched or downright silly...please?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fat Man in Boat, Arty?

It's hot and i'd be lying if i said any of the people here look like this.

Love from, Jaimie and Vanessa.
(From Ko Sam Sam, Thailand.)

PS- We'll be back, and we promise not to post about the weather.

i'll be your plastic toy...

from the series Butterfly and the Infinite Sadness by Yann Orhan

Another series of pictures and musics, for no particular reason except to procrastinate from the drudgery of thesis. Ohhhh the drudgery.

Right now it's very cold* and very dark, so if you feel the need, consider that the theme.

photograph by Bernhard Quade

Bill Henson, Untitled # 20

from the English Kills series by Andreas Laszlo Konrath

Patrick Wolf - London

House by Remi Thornton

From the May 2008 Series by D.B. Whitaker

Mono - A Thousand Paper Cranes

* You know, I had never complained about weather as much as I have since I've been blogging...and I've recently noticed that this seems to be a common theme. Everyone in the northern hemisphere is blogging about how horribly hot it is, and everyone in the south is whinging about the cold
through chattering teeth. Which has lead me to the following conclusion: bloggers really only ever blog about the weather.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Listening to honey

Some of us aren't in Kuala-Spend-More, or Thaiwonderland, or Singa'song-sing-happy-day-land. Some of us are in cold, horrid, Canberra. Cold, horrid, scrape the ice of your car for 20 minutes at 7am before running late to your graduate position interview Canberra.

These among us have to content ourselves with small pleasures, like receiving a beautiful Etsy purchase in the mail:

'little wings' necklace from locallibrary

Or discovering, quite possibly, the best song of the year:

Air France - June Evenings

Yep, I'm willing to call it. This is my favorite song of the year, thusly far. It was wrong, terribly wrong, of me to have posted Air France before I'd listened to the whole EP and missed this gorgeous treasure. But believe me, I'm payin' for it now. This song is like audible honey...elderflower-rosewater scented audible honey.

Enjoy, my lotus flowers, my candlenuts. May it warm the cockles of your dear, sweet hearts.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Vanessa and i (and Katherine) are in Kuala Lumpur. It's pretty much the best thing ever. We all spent ridiculous amounts of money on clothes today (Ness and my first ever Topshop experience) and have had a fine time wining and dinning (spasticially cheaply).

On a not so fun note, the water here is a strange brown (similar in colour to washed old blood) and i may have lost my sisters digital camera, hence why there are no hilarious pictures of us in front of the Petronas Towers.

So instead make do with the tourist shot and wait in baited breath for tomorrow's zany shots. I haven't laughed as much as i did today for a long time. This holiday is perfect timing.

Love you all.