Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 3 – MELBOURNE - Show at the Corner

We woke up today determined to ride the tram back down to Fitzroy and get brekkie at Soul Food. The ride took a while due to rush hour traffic but we managed to evade payment once again. By the time we made it to the Café, our heads pounded as a consequence of our caffeine deficiency. The waitress greeted us - Two Soy Lattes stat! I should mention that I’m beginning to fall in love with these drinks. These Aussies somehow get the “milk” to froth up like I’ve never seen, and sometimes it tastes just like a nice, slightly sweet and nutty cream. I’m already setting up my self for disappointment, but I might have to do a search around Philly for one like I’ve been getting here (Ants Pants – I’m looking at you). Soul Café does a fine rendition – they even do the froth art that adorns the top. No matter – I needed my fix so it was gone in a flash.

For breakfast Eric and I went with the Big Brekkie – 2 Eggs any style (I got mine fried; Eric went with scrambled), Multigrain Sourdough Toast and a choice of three sides (I chose avocado, onion, and spinach; Eric selected the same, but he sub’ed out onion for hash browns). I also ordered a side of the house relish – when I asked what it was like, the server replied that it was really beautiful – sold. I wish people in the States used more flowery words like that to describe food – it really causes the eater to grow excited.

Just about everything on the plate was great – a perfectly ripe avocado, sweet and toothsome caramelized red onion, free range farm fresh eggs, and absolutely delicious thick-cut, crunchy Multigrain toast smeared with a creamy vegan spread (I couldn’t believe it wasn’t… oh never mind). Eric’s hash browns were shredded and shaped into balls before they were fried, so they had an extra crispy exterior and a nice, soft, chive-studded center. My house relish was indeed beautiful – a lime-y, cumin-y, tomato puree that had a nice sweet and spicy kick. The only clunker on our plates was the spinach – it had a weird spice or flavor added to it that I’d never had before – I hate to say it, but it tasted like barnyard hay. No matter, everything else was so good, we just pushed it to the corner of our plates and forgot about it.

We walked around Fitzroy a little bit more and I stopped in an art store to buy some sketching supplies. I felt like I had a "Don't Help the Stupid American" sign strapped on me, because I felt like everyone who walked in was getting assistance but me. I stood looking at pencils for 20 minutes and another 15 at the sketchbooks. With no help, I was forced to answer my own idiotic questions - and the longer I went without advice, the more ridiculous the inquiries were. What size tablet should I get? Do I need pages that will rip out? How big should the point be on the pencil? Will the graphite smear on this kind of paper? Wait, they don't still use lead here, right? I certainly don't want to get lead poisoning as a result of some innocent doodling. Should I get a spiral-bound book, or will it come loose and prick my fingers like my high school notepads. Is this a paper recycled? Will the pages disintegrate if I drip coffee or wine or curry sauce on them? These are all things I love to consume while drawing!

No one came ever came to answer these ludicrous inquisitions. Perhaps the workers glimpsed over to see a wild headed girl kneeling to the stacks of tablets as if she were in the midst of some sort of insane prayer to paper. Maybe they investigated further to view my furrowed brow adorning crazy widened eyes which examined just about every writing utensil in the store. No wonder they avoided me! Either way I made it over to counter with some sort of selection. A young man clad in an apron approached me just before I set my purchases down. "Did you need some assistance in finding something today?" I examined his face for a sarcastic smirk - did this fool not see me wandering helplessly about his shop?! There was no indication of a smile - I relaxed my squinted glare and shook my head. I paid the $5 for a pad, pen, pencil, and eraser. At least I most likely (inadvertently) picked out the cheapest sketching commodities - ah the Slick Frugality gene. Hey - I'm not complaining.

We hopped the Tram back to the hotel (haha - avoiding payments yet again - what rogue criminals we are). Eric did his laundry in the tub, and I found it too humorous NOT to take a picture.

Pretty much right after that we headed over to the venue (The Corner Hotel) for sound check. There was free wireless there, so of course Eric and I opted to stay there for the night, rather than going back to our room.

The show was great - the standing-room-only crowd was so energetic that any jet lag or exhaustion instantly dissipated. At the end of the night, Adrian even repeated his crowd surfing adventure that first happened at The Corner 3 years ago. I'll admit that I ran off stage to avoid getting pulled in myself - but in doing so I rammed my knee into one of Adrian's 4x12 Marshall cabinets. YOW! If any of you ever wanted to know - those edges are SHARP. I still have the bruise to show for my yellow-bellied clumsiness.

In the end, it was a fantastic time and I couldn't wait to experience the rest of rambunctious Australia!

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