31 July, 2010

Restaurant Review: Garcia's Mexican

Last night I went to Garcia's Mexican with LM and Moba. It's a decent place, nice atmosphere. Staff are friendly, food is tasty and not over priced.

Food: the food is, surprise surprise, Mexican. Prices for mains are between $19 and $27. The portion sizes are quite large.
Flavour? I was feeling sick, so I just got a salad and rice. The salad was covered with cheese and wholegrain mustard, and some sort of dressing, which I really didn't enjoy. The flavour was too strong for me.
LM got a chimichunga. Well, it was advertised as a chimichunga, but really it was just a very big burrito. He said it was tasty though, despite not being authentic. Moba enjoyed her taco too.

Kids' Menu: There is a children's menu, but that doesn't mean it's kid friendly. I don't think they would object to kids, but there's not any entertainment for them so they might be bored (obviously you know your own kids though, so you know what keeps them occupied). The kids menu is a little plain. Chips and chicken nuggets, OR chicken or beef enchilada, OR chicken or beef taco, AND a dessert (ice-cream or jelly). Not exactly expansive. But the "Entrees" are just small dishes, so that's another option.

Vegetarian Options: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, there's a "vegetarian" menu with exactly two dishes on it. And one of them can be stuffed with chili con caƱe, so... No. If you're eating with vegan or vegetarian friends, or are vegetarian or vegan yourself, not the place to go.

Accessibility: No steps! Big plus. However, the tables are very close together, not much room to manoeuvre a scooter or wheelchair. From the door, there is about a one-inch drop to the floor. The curb cuts outside are a fair distance from the door as well, but there is a very wide bay near the curb cut. The chairs are hard backed and have no arms.
The menu has large font with good contrast, black on white. The lights are not overly bright, but there is globe above the tables so you can read the menu. The place is fairly loud, but not overly echoey (yay for sound dispersing fabrics!).
The counter for reservations and to pay was very high though. It was high for me, a standing person, I can't imagine trying to see over it if i was in a chair, or even shorter than I am.

Service: The staff were friendly and did what they could to make sure we were happy. But it was fairly hard to get their attention when we needed something, like more water or the dessert menu.

Dessert: YUMMY! I got sorbet and LM got mud cake and it was noms.

I'm not going to give a rating - I don't do that. I enjoyed it, but your needs might be different. But if there's anything else you want to know about the place, just ask.

28 July, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Spider Pie

A round grey pie dish on a grey bench. Inside the dish is a home made, unbaked apple pie. The dough on the top has been arranged as a spider web. A piece of dough covered in cinnamon is shaped like a big spider, a much smaller piece, also covered in cinnamon, is shaped like a fly.

27 July, 2010

Women in Comics: Getting It Right - Batwoman: Elegy

I have spoken before about how comic-art is often sexified, as in "The Pose".
I have spoken before about the horrible treatment of women in the X-Men films.

But today I want to do something different. Today I want to talk about women in comics done powerful, done interesting, and most importantly done well!

I was once again sucked into DC world when Quality Keith recommended Batwoman: Elegy1 to me. After reading through the first few pages I couldn't resist and bought the hardcover.

Let me start with the art.

The artist for this comic is J H Williams III, the same artist for the Promethea series. Already he gets a plus in my books.
Aside from some really beautiful backgrounds and surrealist covers, one of the things I immediately noticed was that Batwoman wasn't sexualised! Yes, there are a couple of shots where you get some nipple-suit action a la Batman and Robin, but she is clearly not drawn for sexual appeal. Yes she is sexy, but that's not Herr reason for being there.

Her proportions are well done. Her outfit is practical. Her action shots, and there are quite a few, are not artistically designed to give the best view of her arse without any practical benefits. She actually kicks arse and is shown kicking arse! You would not believe how happy this makes me!
J H Williams III, you get two big thumbs up from me!

Now onto the plot. I'll try not to reveal anything for those who haven't read it yet.

Batwoman: Elegy is written by Greg Rucka. I hadn't actually heard of him before picking up this book, but now I'm gonna start searching. This book is well structured, well placed, and just fucking fantastic. I was hooked from the second I picked it up. After reading a few comics where I felt "Good, but meh" this was a welcome change.

Batwoman, Kate Kane, is the star of this show. She is saved once by a man, but this is not because he is stronger than her or because she is inherently weak. She is a very well fleshed out character. Her motivations make sense, she is deeply layered, she isn't just a cardboard cutout out there to please the men.

Oh, and she's a lesbian.

The villain of this story is also a woman. A strong woman who is in charge of a group. She has a frightening presence that gave me chills.
And seriously, seeing two well-fleshed, well done women kicking arse was such a delight.

If you haven't already, get your hands on a copy of Batwoman: Elegy. If this review doesn't convince you, then the introduction written by Rachel Maddow might nudge you in the right direction ;-)

I know I'm generally a Marvel woman, but I will venture to DC again and again and again if I can get more of this :D

1. My spellcheck recognises Batman but not Batwoman. #patriarchywhatpatriatchy

22 July, 2010

Rage Blogging: Shut Up BB

This is the first in a series of me talking about things that make me angry. Warning for this series, it will often include violent imagery.

This post is less rage, and more angrily annoyed.
BB refers to the qualified caregiver in my room.

Today BB was being really fucking annoying. It's not much, just the little comments. The ones that go on and on and on and on and just leave me wanting to smash her against a wall. It started with the tape.

She has some silver duct tape in our room. It has Toddlers written on it. BB bought this tape, but there was no indication of this on the tape. It just said toddlers. J used the tape. J is not in the toddler room, she is in the baby room. She was told to get the tape specifically from the toddler draw, so she did.

First BB went off at J. She told her off, said it was her tape, and she shouldn't be using it. Can't she see it says toddlers? J apologised, said she was told to get that tape, that she hadn't used much, but she's sorry Nd wont do it again.

That wasn't good enough for BB. BB went on and on and on about it. Mostly this was directed at me. Being in the room, I'm the one she complains at. And boy did she complain! She was at it for a good hour and a half! And after lunch, when we were sitting with the toddlers trying to get them to sleep, she started up again!

Which brings me to my second point. Talking. In the sleep room. While I'm trying to get my toddlers to sleep. Come on! This has been brought up in staff meetings before, you constantly criticise the other women who do it, why the fuck are you talking to me?

The children are trying to sleep! No wonder it takes them a while with you rabbiting on constantly! And then you act hypocritical as well, and tell the toddlers off for talking! Look, it's a distraction. Stop. Seriously!

This concludes the session of rage blogging. We now return you to your regular programming.

21 July, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday: There's A Pumpkin On My Head

Me: a white woman with (in this photo) dark purple hair. I'm wearing a dark blue shirt, black jumper. The straps Fromm my backpack are visible on my shoulders.
On my head is an upside-down plush Halloween basket shaped like a smiling jack'o'lantern. It is orange with green arms and legs. The basket strap hangs down under my chin.

20 July, 2010

Picture Blogging: A Walk With AtariCat

This post is graphic heavy.

Note: Atari (often called AtariCat) is a small grey tortoiseshell cat. She has fairly long, fluffy fur. Her colouring is mostly light grey, with darker grey stripes and patches, as well as light brown patches. This works together to give a mottled effect. Her eyes are yellow.
In all these photos, she is wearing a black collar with two small bells and a green tag (the tag is actually a chip from an Atari). She has a pink lead attached to her collar.

I have a cat. Her name is Atari, because she acts like an old game on an Atari console (often running back and forth the house, for no perceived reason). Atari is an inside cat, but she likes to get out. Every week or two I take Atari for a walk, so she can experience the fresh air and new smells and have a bit of fun.

Here are some pictures I took during on of our walks.

Freedom at last!

AtariCat crouches on some dead leaves. A brick wall is behind her. Creeping along the ground and up the wall is a vine with big green leaves. She smells one.

I are jungle cat!

AtariCat's head can be seen, fuzzy with motion blur, between some ferns. The ground is dark soil with scattered dead leaves and twigs.

Is this a cave?

The ground is dark soil with scattered dead leaves and twigs. AtariCat is standing under a concrete slab (bottom of stairs) with a brick column next to her and a brick wall behind her. She is looking up and to the left of the photo.

Ooh, what's under here?

AtariCat has her back to the camera. She is crouching on the ground, which is covered in dead leaves. She is sticking her head into a patch of green vine leaves.

Even in the wilderness, my cunning discovery skills has found me a couch!

AtariCat sitting on the arm of a blue couch with floral patterns. A reflection of her and the couch can be seen in a window


AtariCat lying on her side on a square-brick path. There is yellow sand on the path. One of her front paws is running her head. At the edge of the path is leaves and a limestone stone.

19 July, 2010

Things I Learned In Childcare

This list is a collection of things I picked up while working in the childcare industry. Some of these things I'm sure parents will have picked up too, others may be industry specific.
Just a bit of light-hearted fun :-)

  • Babies are loud. Very loud.
  • Sometimes babies are loud for no reason and no matter what you do, you can't calm them down.
  • And then someone else will come in, pick them up, and they'll be fine, leaving you feeling rather silly. Damn.
  • Toddlers are also loud, and often make a game of it.
  • Sometimes toddlers are loud because the other toddlers are loud and they want to be the loudest.
  • Maybe you should just invest in earplugs.
  • When it comes to books, songs, games, tyres no such thing as "Too much" in the mind of a child. Unless you want to do it, at which point the child is bored.
  • You have never finished the nappies of the day.
  • No matter how many times it happens, it still feels gross to be pooed on.
  • Expect snot by the bucketful.
  • This sort of work is really gross.
  • Red paint will not wash out.
  • There are some children who will not eat fruit, bread, vegetables, noodles, meat, chicken, eggs or soup.
  • They will, however, eat dirt, sand, snails and milipedes.
  • There is no "right" way for a child to develop.
  • But everyone will tell you that this child is developing the "wrong" way.
  • If you are a mother, no matter what you're doing, you're doing it wrong.
  • You will have a song stuck in your head for weeks. As soon as it leaves your head, a child will request it.
  • You will want to take photos to show your friends, and will be upset that you can't.
  • At the end of a long day, when you feel like shit and just want to cry, one of your kids will give you a hug. Nothing feels better.