Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Waiters Club

After an AGDA student council meeting tonight, I caught up with my mum and sister in the city and I thought we'd check out The Waiters' Club in Meyers Place.

I'd read reviews and been meaning to get there for a while and now I've been, I'll be back again soon.
It's no nonsense, no fancy presentation, no micro-herbs, no hyper-designed interior, just formica tables, paper napkins and hearty, traditional Italian fare.

I had the roast veal, which was served in a perfectly seasoned rosemary gravy. Served with steamed carrots and broccoli, a potato and corn, it looked like something my grandma would serve up but tasted like something my grandma would serve up if she was from the north of Italy.

My mum and sister's meals were equally as palatable, with the veal saltimbocca being a winner in my books.

Finally, to top it all off, it's very affordable, has a fantastic atmosphere and is tucked away enough to avoid the throngs in the street.

Oh, the creme caramel is also pretty awesome. Hence me now feeling very sated and laying around slothfully.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On being a douche

Sometimes It's fun to be a douche. I tried it tonight.
I've been receiving emails every now and then from a car dealership who must have the wrong email address for one of their customers...
They sent me an email today to let me know that I had nearly finished the financing of my 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan. (I don't own a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan)
I decided to be a douche and write a reply. Just for jokes.
Here's how it played out:
To: Joshua Crowe
Abingdon, MD 21009-3063

Dear Joshua,

Congratulations! In only six months, the term of financing on your 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan from Schaefer and Strohminger will end. You may be interested in looking at a new vehicle and get an idea of the value of your present vehicle. We would like the opportunity to offer you our services once again.

Schaefer and Strohminger offers the highest trade for your current vehicle, and the best, no-hassle purchase experience. Please keep in mind that we represent many manufacturers, including Mazda, Jeep, Dodge, Honda, Hyundai, Pontiac, GMC Truck, Buick, Chrysler and Chevrolet. We also have 400 plus pre-owned cars, trucks, SUVs and vans of all makes and models from which to choose.

Please contact us at the dealership @ 410-893-0600 or email us with any questions or to set up an appointment. You can visit us on-line to view inventory and pricing.

We are excited about helping you with any of your automotive needs.


Drew Bauer

from: Jeremy Crow
to: sales@sandsauto.com
date: Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 8:08 PM
subject: Re: Hello from S&S

Hi Drew,
Thanks for the congratulations. I'm Jeremy Crow and I live in Melbourne, Australia. To my knowledge, I haven't financed a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan from Schaefer and Strominger. Whilst I am intrigued to find out what the value of one of these would be, I'm afraid that due to me not owning one, I probably wouldn't be able to put its value to any use.
I'm sure if you contact Joshua Crowe via another means, he may well be willing to look at upgrading to a new vehicle from one of the many fine manufacturers you represent. You should recommend the Honda Odyssey. It looks like a similar vehicle to the Dodge Grand Caravan and is slightly more expensive, which I'm sure is appealing to you being a car dealer. It will run 25 miles per gallon, which is the same as the Dodge, so I think the thought of upgrading, without increasing his carbon footprint would be a definite pro for Joshua, especially in these ecologically aware times.
The only other thing to take into consideration would be the current economic climate, and the atrophy of wages associated with it. Perhaps you should still push the Honda Odyssey, however keep the 2010 Honda Mazda5 as a fallback option, as it is slightly more affordable.
I'm sure with the trade-in of his current vehicle, Joshua would find such an offer hard to resist.

In summation, I guess what I'm trying to say is I think Joshua Crow has given you an incorrect email address.

Best of luck with your endeavours and I hope that Joshua and yourself can maintain a healthy client-salesman relationship going forward.


Jeremy Crow

And that's my fill of being a douche for a while.

Friday, August 28, 2009

On Being Proactive

No, I'm not talking about that acne blasting crap on the infomercial.
I came across A Brand For London which has been set up by Moving Brands.
Very cool idea... It's an excellent insight into the building of a brand and it rather cleverly gives Moving Brands a bit of authority, maybe even a degree of ownership over the redesign.
It's a pretty sharp way to get the inside track.

It's also a useful tool for anyone without an understanding of the design process to see the work that goes into creating a brand that represents an entire city, especially London.
It's much easier to elucidate the value of design to people, when they can see the work that's gone into it. This would avoid the public backlash that is generally associated any time a major, justifiably expensive branding exercise takes place (See: City Of Melbourne rebrand/London 2012 ID), which often stems from a lack of understanding of how a brand has been developed and the rationale behind it.

Anyway, I'm meant to be doing work related things, but was quite impressed by this.

Oh, by the wya... Frigging weekend, people!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beyond coincidence

With the AGDA For Love or Money event coming up next week, I've spent the last month or so doing a bit of a push to a bunch of online media people to see if we can get word of the event spread around. I even got to set up a blog for it, which is cool...

It's been pretty successful... Managed to score some posts on some cool blogs and sites, as well as a bunch of Twitter retweets and mentions, which is handy. Seems like the various social platforms work well for promoting these kinds of events...

Anyways, I'm sure that's boring for everyone.

The point is, frigging check this out:
It's a screenshot of part of an interview I did for The Vine
Note the last of my responses in the bottom of this picture.
Then look at the Bankwest ad on the right....

What are the chances? Seriously though, what are they?

What are the chances that 1) Some idiot makes a reference in an interview to a pet rock that grows grass for hair and 2) The website this interview sits on then randomly generates an ad which contains a pet rock that grows grass for hair whilst aforementioned idiot is viewing it?

Effing slim, I say.

And that, good people, is all it takes to blow my feeble mind.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Go to bed Jeremy

Have been finding myself up late a lot recently...

Busy organising online things and other stuff for the AGDA student council's First Five Out event (Come check it out, 3rd September, it's going to be awesome), which is good fun.
Also sorting out some freelance stuff which is about to ramp up very shortly.
Plus, I've got neglected school stuff to get on with, sport to play, dinner to prepare... So on and so forth.
Can't say this is a complaint though. I'm at my best when I'm busy. Although I am very much looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday. Hells yes.

And here's some quick, Twitteresque reviews to give this post some kind of purpose:

District 9 - Brilliant. Avoids the stereotypes of the genres it treads and is thoughtful, open-ended and intelligent all at once. Plus it has a fighting robot, which I'm a sucker for.

Coraline 3d -Awesome. I heard Tim Burton designed the characters... It looks like it. With Neil Gaiman writing, the story is very clever too. And dark. Dark like a shadow's beard. Definitely worth checking out.

People who suddenly stop in the middle of the footpath for no apparent reason - Terrible. I hate you. No stars.

Panama Dining Room - Fantastic food, great service, relaxed but classy atmosphere and desserts that I'd walk the Arctic Tundra to get to. Oh and the arched windows look out over the city skyline, which is pretty ace.

Mountain Goat Brewery - Awesome warehouse setting, tasty pizzas, relaxed crowd and good beer. My pick of their beers last Friday was their stout which had been filtered through fresh hops flowers and coffee beans.

And with that, I'm calling it a night.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nano-trending Episode 2: The Weirdening

Ok, following on from the last post, I just had a run through the search history on my shiny Mac at home and my nano-trending results were even more bizarre. So odd and disjointed, in fact, that I think the government may have me listed on some kind of blacklist document managed by the Centre for the Identification of Undoubtedly Crazy People.

So, my searches in the last while have included the following:

binary star system
caring for aloe vera
covering iron whilst waxing snowboard
down syndrome tiger
explosions in the sky
fictional order of monks
giant vagina northcote
hedgehog map
kid strangles dove
london graffiti attacks
midget tupac
office turn into inflatable people
wallabies crop circle
we were promised jetpacks

Ok, so I just write a couple of decent sized paragraphs attempting to justify the schizoid nature of my searches but decided that you've probably already made your assumptions. And yes, you were correct: All these searches took place on that crazy night we took loads of acid and ate heaps of shrooms, remember dude?
Let's just say I'm inquisitive and never speak of this again.

Anyone else care to share what's nano-trending in their world at the moment?

Pro challenge: Write a (coherent) short story containing all these terms.

Footnote: Really want to do this on a public computer.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I call this one 'nano-trending'

As is the fashion these days.. Everyone is into 'trending'...
Basically, those identifying 'trends' are people who gather data on what other people are talking, tweeting, blogging, singing, whinging or ranting about and then draw conclusions from these such as the following:

'This season's colour will be Fuschia'
'Tangello sales will rise by 48%'
'China. Democracy. Next financial year.'

So, i thought I'd do a little 'trending' on myself. I thought it may allow me to predict what I'll be up to in a couple of month's time.

Using the search bar in my browser, I entered each letter of the alphabet, which brought up my search terms since whenever the last time I cleared my cache was.

The results were startling. And perhaps slightly unnerving.

So, without further ado, here's what's trending in Jeremy's world at the moment:

Ayn Rand
Aint nothin gonna break my stride
Bags of Zing
Collective noun horses
Captain Planet shoes
dOGME 95
dead mum carrying father's baby
Flourish of trumpets
Ghengis Khan
Horatio Caine's blazer
Hand-rendered vignettes
Plastic made from seaweed
Rollercoaster kills child

I'm as confused as you are...
And that's just from my work computer. I'll try it out at home and see what else comes up.

In the meantime, I think it's fair to presume that tomorrow, Ace of Base will play a county fair where, after a flourish of trumpets, a rollercoaster kills a child when Genghis Khan's Frogskins are found to be made from seaweed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Meanwhile, in another universe...

Occasionally the GoogleAds server throws up a "contextual" ad that you just can't go past.
A while back, I found the BananaGuard, with its informative tagline "Protect your banana!" thanks to an ad in my Gmail sidebar.

Tonight, I was greeted with this little gem:
That's right. Improving your life is as simple as jumping to another dimension! Hooray!
"But how do I perform this jump?" I hear you ask.
With some kind of new technology? A time machine of some description? A psychotropic elixir?


With a set of 6 informative and educational CDs! All for the low price of $197USD!!

After having a flick through the testimonial-laden site, I discovered that apparently, you can jump dimensions and pick up skills from OTHER-DIMENSION-YOU!

That's right, other-dimension-you is a photographer, painter, novelist, tennis champion, world leader, 19th century libertine or any other thing you could want. All you have to do is pop over that fold in space-time, be other-dimension-you for a while, then jump on back to this dimension and show off your newly acquired skills! It's that easy!
Women will kiss you in the street, people will throw wads of money at you, you'll ride a scooter!

Quantum Jumping's Jesus-figure is 81 year old Burt Goldman. He figured out how to perform this little quantum jump thing and according to him, you can even get yourself a BEACH HOUSE by travelling to other dimensions. It says so on his website!

Amazing stuff.

I was about to do some reading and fall asleep, but I just got word on the grapevine that other-dimension-me over in Dimension 9 (where I am a Capoeira instructor to the stars) is having a super awesome party. I'm not sure I'm dressed appropriately, but who cares when you can frigging quantum jump!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

State Of Design Opening Night

Went along with some AGDA peeps tonight to the State of Design opening preview.

Was really good... Some great stuff from the Design:Made:Trade exhibition preview with an interesting mix of conceptual stuff and crafty odds and ends.
My favourite was the kit studio from Arkit. Very smart and sleek and it's classified as a shed, so you don't have to get council approval top erect one... Super cool. There was also awesome cards and assorted tat from Able and Game and some wicked jewellery from one of the coolest collective nouns going around : A Skulk Of Foxes

Anyways, no photos allowed inside, but here's some pics I took around the place and on the walk home:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What rhymes with cloister?

I've said it before; grammar is quite important.
I spent the weekend snowboarding up in the mountains. On Saturday evening whilst I lay sprawled on the armchair feeling particularly exhausted, an ad on the local TV station used the word "moister".
This was used to indicate that the thing being advertised was more moist, or contained more moisture than some other thing.

What a horrible use of English. It seems the people writing the copy for the ad were of the impression that grammar is the lady their grandpa married.

I don't know how this happens as you'd think there would be someone involved in producing this abomination of an ad that would flag the use of the word "moister" as being unacceptable.
Apparently not.

And so it was that Saturday was the day 'moister' became my new most abhorred word. If only I could remember what product it was used in relation to, I could advise everyone against buying it.

The End.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sure, and I'm allergic to rants...

Just to warn you, this could end up slightly rant-ish...
Stick with me though, if you can be bothered.

Not that long ago, stating you were a vegetarian was an accurate way of letting people know you enjoyed naked bushwalking, showered in alignment with the rising of the Pagan moon (which is rarely) and had dreadlocks by accident.
Now though, times have changed.
Have you ever had to fill out those forms when you're attending a function or whatever, detailing your dietary requirements? Me, I usually leave it blank as I'll eat almost anything, providing it's not made of vomit and insects.

Today at work today we got this:

I have severe allergies and need to have a meal with:
no milk
no wheat

no colourings

no artificial flavourings

no natural msg

no preservative

no seafood

low amine vegetables

low salicytate vegetables
low fructose

Absolutely no cherries

absolutely no strawberries

absolutely no blackcurrants
absolutely no raspberries

absolutely no blackberries

absolutely no kiwifruit

is it possible for you to cater for me?

Of course it's possible to cater for you! We have boundless amounts of water! Also, there's some dust gathering on a plate by the windowsill over there, so you can have all that dust too.
You're welcome.
This sounds like recipe for everything on the menu in purgatory.

Is this what we've now come to then?
Is this out of necessity, or is this a result of a society gone haywire?
If you're eating a tofu ragout with a legume salad, dressed in a reduced soy jus off a burlap plate with utensils made of recycled hemp shoes because you want to, or because it's healthier, or because it's more sustainable, then good on you. High fives all round.
However, if you're going to claim that you're doing it because you're allergic to everything else, then I call 'humbug!' and insist you take a good look at yourself.
What did people do ten years ago when they didn't realise they were allergic to everything? Oh that's right. They burped. They felt bloated. They farted. Because it is normal. Feeling a bit bloaty after eating ten pieces of toast is normal. It doesn't mean you have to now purge every time you walk down the cereal aisle in the supermarket. Getting greasy hands after eating chips isn't a medical condition, it's from the oil they were cooked in. It's normal.
What we're doing these days, is an excellent job of putting the hype back in hypochondria... Err... Hypeochondria?
Ten years ago, if you had allergies, you carried around an epinephrine shot because if you got stung by a bee you died. Allergies in the 90's were things that killed you or made your face melt or turned you into the elephant man. Ten years ago, you didn't create a veritable Noah's Ark of banned foods that are forever denied entrance to your gullet because they made you loosen the waist on your designer sweatpants a little bit once.

Sort. Your. Life. Out. People.

It's one thing to be lactose intolerant, or have Coeliac, and yes, I may go so far as to say, you may be one of the rare people to actually suffer from a bunch of allergies, but when you start listing every goddamn organic item under the sun as an allergen, it may be time for you to pop back into your hermetically sealed bubble and quietly leave.

Back to my incredibly witty hype-hypochondria pun; All of this is a result of hype. The same thing happened with ADHD. And with Swine Flu (Or H1N1 as the science people like to call it.)
The more people hear about the incidence of these things, the more prevalent they become. Why? Because of influence and hype.
The science people I mentioned earlier are still debating over whether the spike in ADHD diagnoses in the last decade is a result of more people becoming aware of the symptoms of an already prevalent condition, or whether it is because of the ease inherent with putting a problem in a box. Is it easier to discipline your kid or is it easier to buy in to the hype, have him/her diagnosed with ADHD and medicate?

Same goes with these supposed food allergies. It's the power of the herd (Although 'the herd' sounds like a bit of a wanky marketing term to use). It's the principle behind Digg. And The Hypemachine. It's a hashtag in Twitter. It's viral marketing (pardon the pun).
Something is recognised as being 'it', a few people of influence highlight it, a few more people take this is run with it and voila! Everyone's allergic to something and has to take a 15 tablet-a-day course of supplements to ensure they don't die from "high amine vegetables".

Anyways, I had a point in there somewhere and I think the point was this: Hype giveth and hype taketh away.

These exacerbated medical conditions are the negative result of hype. The facemasks on the train are a result of hype. The proliferation of sensationalist media is a result of hype.
But good things come from hype: Brands that people love. Start-ups with brilliant ideas. Your new favourite band.

All of these have hype and 'the herd' to thank/blame.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you find out your new favourite band has a rider that looks like that list at the start of this post, they're probably not going to be around to make a sophomore album.

NB: Yes, this is disjointed... I'm just hoping it sounds more inane-rant-ish, than insane-homeless-man-on-a-soapbox-ish.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Charcoal. Not just for digestion.

Just when you think you're getting good at something, go check out But Does It Float and eat a fuck-tonne of humble pie. Seriously talented people.

A favourite:
Robert Longo working in charcoal

Also, this is some of the most stunning animation I've seen in ages... Simple drawings plus mega-skillful rendering...

Clockwork from David Prosser on Vimeo.

Makes me think I've got hells long way to go...