Thursday, January 31, 2008

Strong Latte, bills, Surry Hills, Sydney

Woah! That makes up for the weak-ish one I had yesterday. Strongest strong latte of the blog so far. It seemed undrinkably hot for about twenty minutes, but that could be because it was sitting in the punishing Sydney January sun. The bill was a bit pricy, but I should have expected that from a place called “bills”. They may not capitalise the name of their restaurant, but they sure are capitalising on the food.

There are about twenty wireless networks in the area, but all these smart Sydney people have a password. That's what separates Sydney from the rest of the world. Off to Newcastle today for the first gig of the tour.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Latte, bills, Surry Hills, Sydney

Ugh. Too much beer last night and not enough sleep. I didn't really mean to get pissed, but if you buy three dudes a round of pints, what goes a round comes back as another two rounds. So it wasn't a huge night, but I sure didn't feel like getting up at 6:30 this morning. Anyhow, I digress. It was a long day. bills. I'm pretty sure there's no apostrophe in there, and they insist on not capitalising the b. Kind of like silverchair. Quick service, not ridiculously overpriced (for what is essentially a restaurant in a hotel), and pretty good. A bit weak by my standards, but hey I'd only had four hours' sleep. The tour starts tomorrow, which is where the coffee adventure really begins.

Latte, Channel Nine, Sydney

I was ready to denounce Nine for only having a tin of Nescafe Blend 43 DECAF in the green room, until I went downstairs and saw the Pavoni in action just out back of the Today show studio. Impressive. One of those manual ones with the handle you have to pull down. But by the time I was ready for it, they'd already packed it away in the box. Was this a dedicated Today espresso machine? I'd be mighty impressed if it was. But Hoss went off somewhere (possibly the cafeteria) and found us a tray of lattes. It was so good I actually yelled out “Yeah!” and did some sort of Lleyton Hewitt fist-pumping move. No easy task while holding a paper cup of coffee. Or maybe it just seemed that good in comparison to the prospect of instant decaf.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Short Macchiato, home

I was wrong. I decided I couldn't make it to Sydney without another coffee in my system. Surprisingly I still wanted to fall asleep as soon as I got on the plane. I guess it's like those people who can fall asleep while standing up on the Underground in London just because their body is so used to it.

Strong Latte, Las Chicas, St Kilda East

Yep, it was effing strong. Lots of mums with kids around today. The kid at the table next to me had a copy of Dear Zoo. They let me have a flip through for old times' sake. I could never figure out
a) why the zoo kept sending this kid so many dangerous animals
b) why they had a dog sitting around the zoo
c) why they didn't just send the dog in the first place, and most importantly
d) why the zoo was sending animals to anyone at all, let alone a kid
That violates some sort of quarantine regulation, I'm sure.
"Do you have any snakes in your bag, sir?"
"Hell no. I've got a hookup at Melbourne Zoo. He just keeps sending me reptiles. I have no need to risk being caught by you guys any more."
Going on tour tomorrow, gotta go organise things. My next coffee may well be from Sydney. Ugh. Wish me luck. It all hinges on where we're staying I guess...
Ah. Crown St. Excellent.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Latte, Alimentari, Fitzroy

It's hard to know who is open on public holidays. Surprisingly Madame Sousou (about a block south of Alimentari, amazing food but not the greatest coffee in my experience - just like France!) were open, but they aren't usually open on Monday. That's like a public holiday from the Bizarro planet. But we went for Alimentari instead, who were open too. The coffee was awesome. The meatball wrap is pretty bad ass too. I'm coming back here for more of those. Actually that's what I said about a year ago last time I had one, but it's not often I'm in Fitzroy during the day, unfortunately.

Latte, home

About to watch the second half of Last of the Mohicans. I'm pretty sure I haven't watched it since high school. I never realised how epic and nineties the soundtrack is. That's possibly because it WAS the nineties last time I watched it. I also never realised how Point Break-esque some of the dialogue is:

"How is that you are heading west?"
"Well we just face north, and then real sudden-like, turn right."

"We just thought we'd see how you boys are doin'."

There's some extreme accents too, especially the Colonel Munro character. Were Scottish accents that pronounced in 1757, or does that guy just have an accent so the audience goes, "He's Scottish"?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Short Macchiato, Blue Tongue, Elwood

The milk came in a separate jug. Nice touch. But I always feel weird ordering a coffee that can be downed in 3 seconds, sitting opposite from someone with black or herbal tea who has to let it sit there for 15 to 45 minutes before it is drinking temperature. They had some sort of weird foam handle on the glass (with the tea in it - T2 Lemongrass and Ginger, with honey, very nice) that worked in the same way people sometimes wrap a serviette around a coffee glass. You can pick it up, but it's still searingly hot. Unfortunately my short mac was starting to look like five other people's latte dregs poured into a cup by the time the tea started to cool down. I guess the only way around that is to order the tea first, then order the coffee twenty minutes later.

Latte, Batch, St Kilda East

Yes! I gotta admit I just felt guilty not including Batch in my first week of coffee blogging. I got it takeaway, good thing really, it was packed in there today. Listened to the Viceroys' "Heart Made of Stone" on the way home. Sly and Robbie kill it on that one.
"Story of My Life" is growing on me. I like the song, but it's two verses too long and the singer is a bit crap. I finally got past the song on hard mode in Guitar Hero III, and then got about 70% through "Rock n Roll All Night", but then lost it in the solo. Hard is hard.
This post is dedicated to the six inch bit of gaffa tape that is holding my rear left bumper on right now.

Latte, home

Channel Seven pisses me off, but at least they got one thing right. Scrubs on Sunday morning.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Espresso, home

Thanks for the take-away cup lids Lando!
I made this one to get me over the late-afternoon-post-enormous-lunch hump, and for the gruelling nine-minute drive to Albert Park to visit Cheeks, Dave, Kath and their dog Milo. I'm pretty sure Milo is named after the dog in The Mask. I almost had a "hey I've seen you on Facebook" moment with Milo, but other than that initial weirdness we got along great. My previous experiences with beagles had been:
- Snoopy
- The drug dogs at the airport
- With smoked salmon and dill
Maybe that's bagels.
He's quite bitey and diggy and even climby (he got through Cheeks's open window to lie on his bed) but we got along pretty well. Maybe he was just sniffing the latent dog smell on me from Tosh this afternoon. Dave was out. I feel weird about how many times I've been at his house but only seen him once. We (everyone except Milo, he resumed his Charles Bronson impression in the backyard) headed over to Gunn Island, which, at 8PM, was not yet full of cockheads. Little Creatures on tap.
When we got back to the house, Milo the little creature was nonchalantly walking about the backyard with hands in pockets, passionately cursing in a questionable French accent, kicking the dirt around. I guess that means there is no blind spot between the guard towers.
Then I drove towards Fitzroy, and was involved in a traffic collision. I say "collision" because "accident" implies it was nobody's fault. Thank God for 24-hour claims hotlines. It turns out "I was driving and another car turned out of a parking spot and hit me" is a pretty open-and-shut case.

Latte, Lamonica, Mornington

I'm not quite sure what a lamonica is; it could be a character from a French-dubbed episode of Friends, a mouth-operated reed instrument, or a brand of organic chicken. It sure as hell isn't in Blogger's spell checker. But what I do know is that every time I go to Mornington, another 15 cafes and bars have opened. I'm not sure exactly which businesses are closing down to make way for the ridiculous throughput of coffee-consuming traffic. But it's a good thing for anyone who's thirsty on that side of the bay. More competition can only mean a higher level of caffeination per capita. Spent the rest of the afternoon trying to take photos with my dog. It didn't work out like I'd planned; every time I had the camera ready she tried to lick my eyeball.
Happy Straya Day.

Latte, home

"Story of My Life" is easily the crappest song in Guitar Hero III, but I just found out that when you get to HARD mode you no longer have the option of skipping the songs you don't know and still getting to the next level. You have to do ALL of them. So that means I have to beat "Story of My Life" on HARD. Not only is it extremely boring, it also goes for about four and a half minutes for some reason. But it's too hard on HARD, and that pattern is going to continue for all the other songs I don't know. So today I went back and clocked everything on EASY. I got 100% on "Hit me With Your Best Shot" too. Nice.
Gonna need more coffee to beat that Slayer tune..

Friday, January 25, 2008

Latte, Las Chicas, St Kilda East

I had about 12 minutes to sit in the sun and realise how ridiculously hot it was before the other guys turned up. We moved to the shade. The Zisser turned up about ten minutes later again, proving his localness by walking in through the discreet rear entrance. I gotta try that some time.
We've heard various rumours that the recently-closed Red Rooster across the road is going to be a live music venue soon. Could be exciting. They've repainted the wall at The Wall. I'm not a fan. As Jumps said, you gotta be careful painting a brick-wall-like pattern on a real brick wall. I think that has cemented my allegiance to Las Chicas. I just gotta convince everybody to go to Batch instead now.

Latte, home

Shit, running late. (or running latte, maybe)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Latte, Bennetts Lane, Melbourne

I was right, it was a bloody long day of rehearsal. And now we've got a Genie gig. The coffee at Bennetts and I have known each other for years; we get along quite well. I used to have a set list stuck to my wall, which I wrote one night before a Bennetts gig under the influence of extreme coffee load-up. It reminds me of those "spiders on drugs" postcards. I decided to draw a diagram of the name of each song, rather than write them. Ah, coffee.
I heard "The Traveller" over the PA afterwards on Jeremy's ipod. That's Cat Empire circa December '99. It sounds better than I remember, we could actually play back then. It's a big fucking leap from what we sound like now though...

Latte, the red place on Victoria St, Richmond

It's been a quite unproductive first half hour of rehearsal. I only really got another coffee because I had nothing else to do. Plus, it's gonna be a loooong day, as I've already mentioned. Take away latte, they're the best of the bunch in this corner of Victoria St. The food is so good around here though that it's almost worth eating something instead, even if you're not hungry. I highly recommend Beef with Broccoli and the prawn spring rolls from Ha Long Bay. But I digress. Food is not coffee.

Strong Latte, New York Tomato, Richmond

New York Tomato is at the corner of New and York streets in Richmond. I'm not sure where the tomato comes from though. People who are curious as to where the tomato comes from should search youtube for "daft punk revolution 909", that video goes into great detail about the tomato's journey. Anyway, I'm here so early because I had no bread in the house and I saw that as an opportunity to get some interesting breakfast happening before rehearsal, start reading "Josh Harnett wants to do this...", and add another notch to my coffee-blog-locale-belt. It's a strong latte because it's gonna be a loooooong day...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Latte, Gypsy Bar, Fitzroy

A bit weak, but it tasted like coffee at least. Beautiful day for it too. Some think this much sun is not the right weather for hot beverages. They don't get it.

Latte, home

Gotta go to rehearsal. In situations like this I usually make one in a take away cup. But I'm out of lids. Wow, I'm really living up to the "blogging about boring shit" idea aren't I.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Flat White, Las Chicas, St Kilda East

Okay Jan turned up. Better have another one.

Just like MJ said: "If you're thinkin' 'bout bein' my baby it don't matter if you're flat or white."

Latte, Las Chicas, St Kilda East

Hmm...not a huge attendance at Chicas today. And the music has taken a turn for the worse. I remember when I started coming here, they played Jack Johnson and Moby all the time. Then the Z-Dog and I complained, then they started playing Stevie and stuff. But today it's like late 90's clubland, but outdoors, ten years later. "Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)" etc.
Coffee is quite good though. That's right, that's why I'm writing this.
By "not a huge attendance" I mean I'm glad I brought my book. "Musicophilia". I'm reading about a guy who had a seizure when he heard a certain piece of violin music. I wonder if you can catch that from late-90's commercial house music...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Latte, Borscht Vodka and Tears, Prahran

"Hang on man I gotta take a photo for the blog."
"So what are you gonna say about this one?"
"It's good."
"Anything else?"
"I dunno. I find it hard to say anything if there's nothing wrong
with it. I find it harder to say what I like about it than it is to say what I don't like."

So what does this say about me? Am I always looking for flaws, or am I easily satisfied unless something REALLY wrong is immediately apparent? Is the glass full or is the glass not empty yet?

Espresso, home

Let's call it a slightly-too-long-short-black. Maybe it's the shape of the glass, but I always let them go too long. Slightly bitter as a result. The Lindt Excellence that Hannah gave me after the Frankenstein gig on Friday should disguise that though. I'd take a photo of it but I just reinstalled Windows and haven't got my webcam or bluetooth working yet. Plus I drank most of it while I wrote this.
Blogging, trying to get technology to co-operate, and revving up for potentially scary meeting this afternoon.

Latte, home

Watching Hot Shots 2. It has moments, but not as many as the original.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Latte, home

Not bad. This one is from the "attempting to boost creativity with caffeine" department. Messing around with my drum machine.

Latte, home

To accompany my late-morning medium-difficulty attempt on Muse's "Knights of Cydonia" on Wii Guitar Hero III...

It turned out ok. Jasper Blend #6. The milk is always a bit of a gamble with my machine, but today was ok. I accidentally poured it backwards (starting with the jug pouring on the near side of the glass rather than the far side), but hey I didn't really notice once the GHIII notes started flying at me.
Considering doing an Eddie Van Halen mod on my GHIII controller...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Espresso, Carlisle Wine Bar, St Kilda East

These guys are pretty consistently awesome. It maybe looked a bit shorter than usual, but otherwise right on.
Minus points for bringing out milk with the "black earl grey" too. But I don't want to start a debate over whether they thought "black" meant "black tea" as opposed to "green" or "white". But if you specify earl grey, it's not anything but black tea, and therefore "black" or "white" should denote whether you want milk or not. But that's getting picky. But hey, I am writing a blog about this stuff.

Strong Latte, Presse, Elwood

"A latte. No, actually make that a strong latte."
I go for strong if it's after midday and I haven't had one yet. The expectation is that it's the same sized beverage, but with more coffee. Two shots, less milk to compensate. That makes sense. It's a latte, but its taste and effect is stronger. That's why I was surprised when the guy bought this out:
The silly-looking weird tall glass with a handle. I couldn't help but notice that there were plenty of normal glasses behind the bar. The guy said, "You ordered it strong." I still think it would have been strongER if it was in a normal-arse glass. But his banter about capsicum spray later on made up for it.

Well, the coffee was great (my shitty cameraphone doesn't do it justice) and eye-bustingly strong, but I have to deduct 500,000 points for the silly glass.