What the hell is a flying green song-rabbit?!

Grongbit (GReen sONG rabBIT) is the result of our nicknames combined. "Our" meaning the three founding authors. The flying comes from our guest-turned-permanent blogger, Butterfly Coffin.

And yes, rabbits can too fly, sing and be green.

Feel free to leave a comment!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Random thoughts

As I sit here about to type out a post about a trip to The Athenian and uploading photos, I change my mind. Instead I'm going to talk about something that briefly entered my thoughts last week.

Currently in Biochemistry class we have been learning about different types of cancers and what causes them to occur + how to treat them. I have no idea why we're doing this in 3rd year of Nutrition (and why it is so god damn hard too...). Anyway one slide in the lecture particularly stood out to me. It was a family tree of a family who had familial cancer through five generations. The cancer were of several different types that struck over half of the males and females of the family. It is a particularly sad genetic disease called Li-Fraumeni syndrome which increases your susceptibility to cancer. At the time friends and I joked those people should not reproduce as everyone suffers with the grief of losing family/chance of getting cancer and financial and emotional burden. Do you guys think these people should reproduce?

I guess the lecture coincided with the same week I went to the doctors to get my blood test result back and found yet another thing wrong with me; I thought to myself god I shouldn't be allowed to reproduce either.

So apparently I have Vitamin D deficiency too now. WTF? I swear I get sun exposure but apparently my blood levels of vitamin D puts me at medium deficiency and I have to take vitamin D tablets now... I dont want oesteoporosis when I'm old =( And low Vit D levels have been implicated in cancers and loads of other diseases.

Also I'm so used to my blood test results now coming back littered with asteriks that it wasn't a suprise my haemoglobin levels are low due to my low iron stores. My doctor now classifies me as chronically low iron levels. CHRONIC?? He told me to get more iron tablets or face iron injections every month which I would really not like... I hate the iron tablets though as they give me terrible stomach pangs sometimes and as a side effect constipation due to the very high iron dose. Today however I decided to put my nutrition skills to use and bought myself a bottle of liquid iron solution that is lower in iron and hoping it will work (If it does, suck that doctor. Pfft injections, my nutrition skills beat yours! lol)

The good news though is that my pre-diabetes is under control and apparently I "no longer have it." The doctor said I was probably just on a diet that was too high in carbohydrates. I'm still going to try and watch what I eat though to make sure I'm not one step into the door again.

So to sum up. I have low iron levels, this is really important in pregnant women for reasons I can't remember wtf. Also since I've always had chronically low levels that don't seem to get better I could just have bad absorption... Also low vitamin D levels in a mother can cause bad bone development (Rickets) in babies as not enough transfer to baby. My pre-diabetes before could lead to gestational diabetes when I'm pregnant which may mean caesarean birth that's been related to many other problems in babies. As well as this I have the body of a 10 year old with not wide enough child bearing hips lol. And I'm a frail short asian =( Coupled with I don't have enough beauty or brains genes to pass on, I don't think I should ever have kids.

Lol I'm kidding I still like kids =). I am however planning to take control of my health. Nothing I have is life threatening but they do decrease quality of life. Constantly feeling tired is not something I'm very fond of especially as an already sleep deprived uni student. So I'm going to test out what Iron formulation work for me, get plenty of sun in spring/summer and eat healthily (with desserts...). I've transferred all my medical files and stuff from my parents to my own filing cabinent and I now go to the doctors myself with my own medicare card and pay myself (I feel so grown up at 20 and finally going to the doctors on my own lol). Wish me luck =)

Sorry for the self absorbed, pity myself post. Taking medicine makes me sad =(((. I'll post The Athenian pictures soon =)!


Monday, August 23, 2010

As A Showboat Wench

Those ads that have been popping up everywhere from YouTube to blogs about this special offer for a showboat cruise and cabaret show hooked me in. I mean, hey it'll save me $100 if I was to otherwise book on a different date right?

I chose to go on our anniversary (not really) and because I couldn't really decide on another date. It was free, but then again I booked really early. I believe the price has gone up due to demand so it is now $99 per person, but still not a bad price for what you get.

The showboat is a paddle boat and operates most nights, so if you're in Darling Harbour you'll most likely see it. I had seen it many times before and always wondered what it was about!

So, in the package you get a 3 course dinner, a 3 hour ride on the boat and a 1hr cabaret performance. Most drinks are covered for free, but they do have others which cost extra.

I'll get onto the pictures now.

Waiting at the dock. Dress warmly!

As N and I were boarding the ship, we suddenly realised sheepishly that we were probably the youngest people here. We were pretty much surrounded by middle aged couples or adults attended an engagement party/hen's night.

Unlike people our own age who would otherwise be partying hard and drinking, we're going on a romantic dinner cruise on the harbour. God we are old lol.

Upon arriving at our seats, which was very close to the stage (yay!), there was already a platter of cold entrees waiting. By this time I was starving since I didn't eat before coming so I quickly snapped a few shots and dug in.

Smoked salmon wrapped tomato and red onion salad, Moroccan spiced chicken ribs, vegetable frittata and Thai red roo salad with tatsoi.

Oooohhh how delightful sounding!


Some wines are free, so I stupidly order a white wine. I ended up asking for a large pitcher of orange juice in which ti dilute the wine and San Pellegrino.

Ok no flash sucks, but it still look delicious.

The boat trudging along out of the dock and into the harbour. It's basically a very slow circuit passing the Harbour Bridge every so often, but after awhile N said he felt slightly nauseated!! I think it was just hunger pains since it went away.

No flash again. I'm one of those people who feel awkward taking photos of food.

Oven roasted ocean trout on a bed of potatoes, roma tomato salsa and rocket, pink grapefruit and roasted cashew salad.

Unfortunately, the main dish was not spectacular. The skin on the ocean trout was leathery and could not be eaten at all. Huge letdown! I was looking for a lovely crispy skin! The trout was quite flavourless - you could taste ocean trout and if you have an appreciation for the pure taste of fish you will enjoy it, but I like mine with more salt. If I had to nitpick at anything it would be the lack of flavour, otherwise the fish was cooked very well and the flesh was soft and smooth.

The salsa was quite tasty and the salad just alright. I did enjoy the chunks of grapefruit and the crunchy cashews.

You can choose what main you want from a selection of 4. Unfortunately N ordered the same thing (this is a huge pet peeve of mine).

If anybody is thinking of getting a dish, they might want to try the chicken in creamy shiitake sauce or the veal cutlet. There is also a vegetarian option.

A break in between meals and a pic of the paddles!

I totally forgot to take a photo of the dessert platter, but there was a really good pavlova, Belgium chocolate mud slice, berry and vanilla pannacotta and tiramisu.

The pavlova was better than I thought and now I have a good impression of pavlovas (after several disaster ones that taste like crap). The chocolate cake was exactly that, pannacotta wasn't as smooth and creamy as Gary Mehigan's and had a more jelly-like texture rather than cream, and the tiramisu was moist with just a hint of coffee.

Sydney skyline.

If you look closely, there are actually seagulls! Seagulls were flying round and round the boat, probably able to smell the food wafting around it.

Here's a better shot of one!

After taking in the cold, sea breeze and exploring the decks it was time for the cabaret. At this point I was told I couldn't take photos so I only have a few from the performance :(

The lovely singer. She was pretty and I love her hair :O

WARNING: The below pictures are rated PG13. Discretion is advised and this is certainly NSFW!

More skyline, the Opera House and a bit of the Harbour Bridge as well. The photos don't turn out as nice as it really is.

Luna Park of course.

Then the performance was all over and we slowly made our way back to King St Wharf. Shame.

Eh by this time we were still hungry and needed to buy some macarons from Lindt Cafe. Oh yes my little pretties look at all those delectable macarons! *swoooooon*

Bought about 15 of them hehehehehe! Check out all the salted caramel ones!!!!!!

And KFC. Told you we were still hungry, but not hungry enough for full meals. This was more like a snack.

If they continue to have sales, I might just go again. I had a very enjoyable night and why not, it's got food, singing, dancing and you're on a boat on Sydney Harbour.


Books I Have To Read Before I Die (Extended Bucket List)

Books to read (and re-attempt) before I die:

The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende
Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
Paula - Isabel Allende
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Divine Comedy - Dante Alighieri
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Cloudstreet - Tim Winton
1984 - George Orwell
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The 5 People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee


Friday, August 20, 2010

Good Food & Wine Show 2010

The Good Food & Wine Show was held in July this year from 16-18th. This would be my first time attending because every year I don't hear about it until AFTER, which sucks!!

I managed to get tickets, but not for any of the classes like wine tasting or cheese tasting. Those classes fill up really fast...

I went with N and was shocked at how much wine there was. I mean, it's good FOOD, THEN wine. Nevertheless, I might have gotten a bit happy-chappy from all the wine tasting hahaha.

AND I HAD THE WORLD'S BEST PANNACOTTA. See below for more details.

I did manage to score seats at the Gary and George show, so I saw the judges from Masterchef in real life! A little exciting and a little star struck, I must admit.

Unfortunately, this guy:

Kept talking on and on and on and I was like, hurry up and show Gary and George!!

Then they showed a short video clip summing up their beliefs, values and ideas on cooking and food.

It was a while before the actual hosts came out to much applause and the MC trying to get crowd to cheer. You know, "Everybody on the left, GARY!!!" "GARYYY!!!" "Everybody on the right, GEORGE!" "GEEEOOOORRRRGGGGEEEEE!!!"


I think they took it a little far there. I just want to see the food.

Gary and George posing.

The show overall was just okay. The food was simple (short timeframe after all), I didn't get chosen to sit and try it though :(

I was so close to winning a frying pan too! I knew the answer but in that moment blanked out. I was so upset :(((

After the show we wandered around more, tasting wines, eating tea and salsa samples before we decided that those nibblets weren't very satisfying and that we should actually buy something to eat.

Some of the chefs putting on shows for the duration of the event had set up stands selling their dishes. They're not really their, it's just other people prepping their recipes. We decided to try some of George and Gary's stuff as we'd just come from their show; gotta see for ourselves what the hype is about.

Gary's vanilla bean pannacotta with honeyed roasted apricots, $6

This is the best pannacotta I've ever had, though admittedly I've only have a couple. I guess it pays to use actual gelatin rather than powdered?

The pannacotta was rich and creamy, but not sickeningly so. It was milky, definitely taste the vanilla and just SUPER SUPER CREAMY OMG SO HEAVENLY. I ended up eating most of it and not giving Mr. N much at all ohoho. The apricots were alright, I thought it would be fresh apricots marinated in honey but they were actually dry. Not what I was expecting, but the pannacotta saved it.

George's braised chicken with celeriac.

I don't remember much of this dish except that it was crap. Really crap. George, I thought better of you. This dish was so bad and wasn't even very warm that I had to buy another dish to put this one out of my mind. That was how bad it was.

The chicken was flavourless, the celeriac limp with hardly any crunch (like cooked lettuce, I HATE cooked lettuce). A tiny sprig of dill didn't do much to flavour it.

The most disappointing thing I ever ate at $24 a pop. All dishes come with either a wine or French beer, however.

I ran back out to buy another, more satisfying main (all mains are $24).

Tobie Puttock's gnocchi with marjoram, prosciutto and tallegio cheese, $24.

Sorry, kinda dug into it coz we were so hungry by then (and disappointed in George, who is N's favourite judge).

This was a little better. The gnocchi was quite soft, very buttery and the prosciutto added good saltiness. And with cheese, it was just what I needed to wash away the disaster before it.

Wtf N is so greedy, his hand keeps coming up in pictures, the idiot.

We chose white and red wine. I'm no wine connoisseur (yet!) but I didn't like the reds. There was too much acidity (and possibly tannins that I'm tasting in there) coming through.

Abrupt end!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

17th Biennale of Sydney Festival Thingy at the Creepy Cockatoo Island

Because I'm too lazy to go through everything we did on the day, here is some photo porn for you!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Well, it seems that the boy has finally left what was a very long vacation and it's all work and uni from now on.

There were no tears this time. It is just another stage that we have to go through.

I have an interview on Wednesday and hopefully I can get my first real job in a stockbroking firm!!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Playing With Auto Focus

Just fiddling around with the autofocus on my Panasonic Lumix FS7. Making some interesting effects here.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Gluhwein what? Glue wine??

Forgiveness is needed for my lackluster posting. I really am bad at keeping blogging up, which in turn is bad on all accounts because as a communications student, I should have a prominent online presence and be an avid blogger.

I really have no excuse, just been so LAAAAAZZZZYYYYY. After my internship finished I spent most of my days eating and getting fat. No, really I gained something like 5kgs again. Super fml.

Right now I'm just posting a few photos of the Alpine Winter Festival behind Hype Park that ended on the 4th July.

As soon as you arrive you are hit with a forceful aroma of sizzling German sausages, hot wines, cocktails, chocolate, ice and mud.

We had gluhwein, which is a mulled red wine with cinnamon and orange juice :O It was surprisingly good; the warmth of the wine may have contributed to a slightly lower alcohol content and hence, more flavour. Or perhaps it was the watering down with orange juice, who knows.

AHAHAHA how awesome, this was $10 for 5 minutes or something of that nature. The balls were on leashes lest it fall off the fountain-magig and onto the road.


It was at this point that my camera ran out of batteries, boohoo.