New music?

Anyone have any music recommendations? Anything you've been listing to lately that's knocked your socks off? I'm in a bit of a music rut at the moment and need some inspiration!

I listen to pretty much anything except country and hip-hop/rap, so suggest away!

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Green smoothie

Today's smoothie:

1 glass buttermilk
1 large dollop natural Greek yoghurt
3/4 glass water
3 leaves (plus stems) Chinese broccoli
1 medium banana
1 handful frozen berries
1/2 tbsp spirulina
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp maple syrup

I'm trying to get some good bacteria in after the antibiotics course I've just finished, and this is a delicious way to do it. I love buttermilk on its own but it's also very yummy in smoothies.

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(Un)natural taxonomy

"On those remote pages it is written that animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the Emperor, (b) embalmed ones, (c) those that are trained, (d) suckling pigs, (e) mermaids, (f) fabulous ones, (g) stray dogs, (h) those that are included in this classification, (i) those that tremble as if they are mad, (j) innumerable ones, (k) those drawn with a very fine camel's hair brush, (l) others, (m) those that have just broken a flower vase, (n) those that resemble a fly from a distance."

Allegedly from The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge, an ancient Chinese encyclopedia, via Franz Kuhn, via Jorge Luis Borges. (So, in fact, it may have been entirely fabricated by Borges.)

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SFF2010

Let the winter ritual begin! This year I'm seeing 5 films, which is about on par with past years. Unfortunately the festival is on right before and during my exam period so I'll have to be very, very disciplined with study during this time.

The movies I'm seeing are:

Fri 4 June - Red Hill - Australia - Desolate country town horror.
Sun 5 June - The Disappearance of Alice Creed - UK - Abduction thriller listing Blue Velvet and The Shining as its influences.
Mon 7 June - The Loved Ones - Australia - Gruesome and hilarious horror.
Tue 8 June - If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle - Romania - A prison film featuring a semi-professional cast (many of the actors are actual juvenile inmates).
Sun 13 June - The Game of Death - France - An adaptation of the Milgram experiments.

Woooo!

Puffed rice green smoothie

Apparently, I'm happy to chuck whatever food* I've got around the house into the blender to make green smoothies - and so far they've all been drinkable to delicious. Today's concoction:

1 glass moo milk (out of soy/rice milk today =/)
1 glass cold water
1/2 celery stick (incl. leaves)
2 crumbled rice thins (puffed rice, basically)
1 ripe pear
1 handful ripe green seedless grapes
3 tsp Milo
1 tsp spirulina

The result is pretty nommy - a bit nutty, sweet but not too sweet, and fairly full-bodied. I love green smoothies because I'm not a natural fruit lover. Veggies I adore, but fruit I can take or leave. Same with milk - unless I have it with cereal, I can go long stretches without having any. Same with yoghurt. Smoothies are also great because, unlike juicing fruit, they preserve the pulp and skin so you still get the fibre and other goodies - not just (natural) lolly water. And it means I can also add spirulina - which is great for you, but hard to incorporate into other food (at least the powder stuff is, which is what I've got). Smoothies are pretty quick to make and to consume too.

* while I would consider adding egg, and maybe cheese to a smoothie, I draw the line at meat of any sort. Liquid steak = wrong.

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Cupcake frittatas

I got this idea from naturalliving I think. Over the weekend I got some lovely silicone cupcake moulds (they are <3) and I decided to put them to use. I like this recipe because it doesn't use any oil, and most of the ingredients (except the eggs) can be substituted to suit whatever you've got in the fridge. It's most certainly not a vegan recipe though, or a recipe for cholesterol watchers.

Cupcake Frittatas (the ingredients make 5-6 mini frittatas)

4 330g eggs
2 tbsp natural/Greek style yoghurt (you can use milk but yoghurt makes the eggs much fluffier)
1/2 ripe tomato (or sundried tomato) - finely chopped
1 handful baby spinach leaves - roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
1/2 handful grated parmesan cheese
S & P

Whisk the eggs in a big bowl, adding the yoghurt while you whisk. Add all other ingredients. Spoon runny mixture into 5 or 6 cupcake cups.

Bake at 150`C for about 30-45 mins, until the frittata tops are raised and golden. You can also poke with a knife/fork/skewer to make sure the mixture has solidified all the way through.

These can be eaten on the spot or refrigerated for later noms - microwave for about 30 secs and enjoy.

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Yum Cha

I'm looking for recs for good yum cha places in Sydney. I already know about Green Gourmet and Phoenix Skygarden...any others?

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Free books!

Yes, the time has come for me to do the unthinkable: get rid of some of my books. Here is the current (though hopefully ever-growing) list. If you'd like some of these books, leave a comment please. If you're in Sydney I can meet you to give you the books, if not, I can mail you the books assuming you're happy to pay for postage.

1. Retro Gaming Hacks - Chris Kohler, 2006. Good condition.

2. The Volcano Lover by Susan Sontag, 1993. Good condition.

3. Shogun by James Clavell, 1975. This is an older edition and clearly looks second-hand but no pages missing.

4. Blue Genes by Val McDermid, 1999. Good condition.

5. Lazarus by Morris West, 1990. Good condition.

6. Mila 18 by Leon Uris, 1961. Good condition although it's an old book so the pages have yellowed.

7. The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka, 2002. Good condition.

8. The Three Miss Margarets by Louise Shaffer, 2003. Very good condition.

9. The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith, 2002. As new.

10. Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals by Iris Murdoch, 1992. Good condition.

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Volunteering

Has anyone on my flist ever done volunteer work with a charity? In particular Lifeline, women's shelters or other women-centred services, homeless shelters, services for physical/mental disabilities, any other crisis help lines or help centres?

I have done volunteer work with a homeless service before, and collected money for various charities, but I'm thinking of getting more involved over the summer holidays, assuming I'm still only working part-time, and would love to hear some opinions/experiences.

Authorly goodies

Both Caitlín R. Kiernan and Catherynne M. Valente did really interesting interviews for WoW Insider's 15 Minutes of Fame - Caitlín's is here, Catherynne's here.

And both authors have free stories available online right now - The Belated Burial by Caitlín (warning: don't read if you're claustrophobic or have a fear of being buried alive), and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne.

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