Monday, April 23, 2012

Telling tales: How NOT to eat Vegemite (or Marmite)

So I've just got back from spending a few days with a friend in San Francisco - yep, I went from Shakeytown to the Shakey State. Go figure. But I suppose if you only considered destinations based on perceptions of risk & safety, no-one would ever go anywhere.

My friend, who shall remain nameless, works at an independent grocery store - the kind that reacts to customer requests and is willing to stock oddball products such as wasabi mayonnaise and Vegemite. It's not quite Marmite (if it was, it might be worth a fortune: see 'Marmageddon') but it's close enough to feature in this story.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, and in honour of my impending visit (yeah, Vegemite is Australian but never mind), my friend decided to try this Downunder taste sensation at his work recently. Or, to put it more accurately, he was dared to. Some of his co-workers had found a jar of Vegemite underneath a shelving unit, and it was dangerously close to its expiration date. So they dared my friend to try it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Coming out

Over the last few years I've come to the realisation that I'm not what I thought I was. Sometimes I guess it just takes a while for it to sink in that perhaps you've only been acting in a certain way because that's what was expected of you.

But what if all you are ever exposed to are thoughts & theories that keep reinforcing those notions, never exposing you to anything different, never sharing ideas that may challenge your perception of what is 'right' and 'normal'?

I was one of those people. I followed a certain path because it seemed logical, because it was a natural fit with what I knew of the world, and of my place within society. It could be expected, given my background, my experience and my professional life, that I would follow the path laid out before me... one thing leading on naturally to the next, in a logical sequence.

But life's not like that.
I'm not like that.

I should know that by now, as I've been living in this skin for nearly 40 years... surely this should not come as a surprise, to me at least. Can I even pinpoint the exact moment that I decided to stop pretending otherwise, to allow myself to stand up and be counted as part of this group? I mean, there's no real incentive to do so (despite the rumours, there are no toaster ovens on offer), and in fact, opening up in this manner often causes people to question your sanity, your intelligence, your purpose in life, and whether or not it (or you) will ever really make a difference to the world.

But I feel that the time is right, and that if people like me don't speak up, then we run the risk of becoming totally invisible, to the point of extinction.

Ah-heh-hemmm... here goes:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Third time lucky

On Friday (and Saturday) night hubby & I were at the re-re-reopening of one of Lyttelton's few surviving drinking holes - the Wunderbar. Hopefully it proves to be third time lucky... even though each reopening party has been a hell of a good time, we're all hoping there isn't going to be a fourpeat.

The first reopening party was way back in 2010, after the September earthquake. I almost made it - I did get to Lyttelton that night, but at the exact moment I arrived in town, the Wundy was absolutely packed and heaving to a raucous heavy metal band. After bumping into a good friend of mine on the footpath, we decided to head over to the Lava Bar & hang out there for a while. It was good night, and one of the last times I set foot in the Volcano Cafe/Lava Bar before the February 2011 earthquake caused fatal damage to it, and other buildings. It was subsequently demolished, along with a large chunk of London St.