And add some extra, just for you.
Monday, December 31, 2007
And add some extra, just for you.
You can read the rest of this entry, which really does get better, at the CNG Lending Library site.
Implausible Claims Made by Vanilla Ice in His 1990 No. 1 Hit "Ice Ice Baby." (Courtesy of McSweeneys)
- "Ice is back with my brand-new invention."
- "Turn off the lights and I'll glow."
- "I rock a mike like a vandal."
- "I'm killin' your brain like a poisonous mushroom."
- "I'm cooking MCs like a pound of bacon."
- "I go crazy when I hear a cymbal and a high hat."
- "I grabbed my nine."
- "I'm a lyrical poet."
- "My style's like a chemical spill."
- "If my rhyme was a drug, I'd sell it by the gram."
- "If there was a problem, yo, I'll solve it."
In Ye Olden Days I recall weekends spent shopping for a new top for the night, discussions of the pros and cons of various going-out options, the purchase of booze, the preparatory bath on the day in question. I still remember making a panicky phonecall to a good friend of mine many years ago while in the middle of a dressing-for-NYE crisis. “Will I look like a prostitute if I wear a slutty corset top with slutty knee high boots?” I wanted to know (For the record: yes I did).
Another friend and I were recently discussing our ideal New Years Eve. I think the consensus was a big boozy dinner party with everyone we liked, nobody we didn’t and the opportunity for some enthusiastic if misguided dancing. That sounds bloody good to me. Traipsing around the city in sky-high heels and forking out loads of dosh for five drink tokens and the right to have my arse felt up by a sweaty bogan does not.
Maybe if I were carefree and single I might feel differently but, even so, I think New Years is undergoing the same change for me that Christmas did between the ages of about 15 and 20. Once the excitement, the magic and the hedonism are gone all you’re left with is a day off work, a credit card bill and a crushing hangover.
Is this was getting old feels like?
Friday, December 28, 2007
At least we can thank God (or, rather, the voting public) for Kevin Rudd, who has refused to jump on the Today-Tonight-watching-support-winning train and has come out to say Hicks should be treated like any other ex-prisoner.
He has done his time. Six years in Guantanamo Bay – most of it spent without having been charged – is called doing his time. Other criminals, when they’re done serving their sentence, aren’t required to apologise to their nation or to anyone and, I say, rightly so. Sending people to prison might not be the best way to deal with criminal behaviour in all cases but it is, apparently, the only way we have, so let’s show some faith in the freaking system and say that if someone is charged, convicted and sent to prison they have been appropriately punished.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
WEIRDEST BIT: A toss-up between the job I find myself doing (and sort of liking) these days and the reasonably bizarre events of a few months ago that started with my calling a UK book reviewer a cock on this very blog and ended with me eating my words and finding out in person he was actually completely lovely. One makes for a better story but the other is probably more unexpected.
BEST BIT: Paul Keating said Kevin Rudd’s election victory felt like he’d been hosed down after ten years of being covered in toxic muck – I can’t put it better myself.
WORST BIT: Bad news affecting one of my favourite people in the world, about which I’ve only just learned, am still taking in and cannot go into here.
BIGGEST SUCCESS: Probably getting this job and not (so far) fucking it up. Of course the former came with a little help from my friends but they know who they (read: he) knows who they (read: he) are (read: is).
BIGGEST REGRET: I can’t think of anything more dire so I’ll go with the fact I have accrued a frankly ludicrous amount of parking tickets this year. The mind boggles.
BEST PURCHASE: Surely the plane ticket to take me to New York, Argentina and London two short months ago. I didn’t realise how much I needed a holiday until I spent those precious days drinking my way from BA to Mendoza. Although the dual purchases of two House DVDs and Flight of the Conchords also rate a mention.
WORST PURCHASE: Is there such a thing? Oh, okay, the stupid amounts of cashola I have spent on buying my lunch and frequently my breakfast every single day.
BEST NEW FIND: Books have been this years theme so it’s a toss-up between the gaspworthy Evelyn Waugh and the toe-curlingly good Raymond Chandler but I think the former has it by a nose. And for you non-literary types it must be Peep Show – the funniest new(ish) show I’ve seen in ages.
IN A YEAR’S TIME I WOULD LIKE TO BE: Working on my second novel with the help of a big fat advance check. Ahem.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Oh okay, fine, I’m not living on the street, or eating cold beans out of a tin or anything but Je-sus, where has my money gone? Certainly it is true, as a dear friend noted, that my book collection has expanded somewhat to fit my pretty new bookcase, and yes, I admit, I might have gone a little overboard with one or two small purchases this year but frick, this must stop.
So my plan is this, and I think you’ll agree it’s a pretty cunning one. I will simply gorge myself on Christmas – not just on the food but on the presents, the booze, the socialising. I will suck out every little drop of marrow from its bony, um, bony something and feast. This is to prepare me for the coming famine, in which there will be no (or, rather, fewer) meals out, minimal extravagant morning mochas and no more amazon.com at all. Drastic, I know, but these are desperate times, friends.
In the meantime I’m going to have a bloody great Christmas, or, as I prefer to call it, a Last Supper. All of you enjoy yours too.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
"A handy visual system that gives people with no personality some palpable criteria to judge each other by"
(The answer: fashion).
And as I'm currently without internet capabilities at home and may not blog for a day or two, to anyone I don't speak to in the next couple of days have a brilliant Christmas and a drink for me.
Friday, December 21, 2007
“Actually work’s going well,” I’ve told a handful of people this week. “Good stories, think my boss doesn’t hate me blah blah blah.”
It was all true – things were going well, I had written some good stories and I wasn’t feeling completely out of my depth. In fact I can confess to you alone, dear reader, that I was feeling quite comfortable. Quite competent even. Oh Kate.
When will I learn? Will it take more than spending working my arse off to find a new angle on a story for which the well is well and truly dry, finally coming up with what I think is a pretty good story only to have it chopped in half and jammed together with another story on the same subject? For the second time this week? I would sit down and cry but that well, too, is dry from over use.
Frick, lesson learned, weekend earned and I’m off to get drunk.
NOTE – Since soliciting friends on my blog has become the closest I get to a social life in these days of 11-hour days, if anyone wants to see the Leonard Cohen doco I’m Your Man (coming out next week) then I’m your girl – call me, we’ll talk about it.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
"Clubs are such insufferable dungeons of misery, the inmates have to take mood-altering substances to make their ordeal seem halfway tolerable. This leads them to believe they "enjoy" clubbing. They don't. No one does. They just enjoy drugs.
Drugs render location meaningless. Neck enough ketamine and you could have the best night of your life squatting in a shed rolling corks across the floor. And no one's going to search you on the way in. Why bother with clubs? "Because you might get a shag," is the usual response. Really? If that's the only way you can find a partner - preening and jigging about like a desperate animal - you shouldn't be attempting to breed in the first place. What's your next trick? Inventing fire? People like you are going to spin civilisation into reverse. You're a moron, and so is that haircut you're trying to impress."
No, no what is making me feel old is the idea of Lily Allen being a mother. I like Lily Allen - both her music and my perception of her personality. I can see why she drives people up the wall but, frick, she's only 22 and I've always sort of admired her ballsy attitude but... a child? Jesus, this is what people do now, is it? Have brilliant fledgling career, find some boy and breed?
I shouldn't be harsh because I don't have anything (ok much) against people who want to procreate but at 22 - really? You're going to spend the next 18 years of your life looking after this thing, are you? It's parenthood from here on out?
Actually I really should shut up because at least I like Lily Allen, other then the other halfwits who seem to pop them out at absurdly early ages. Better Lily Allen, I should feel, than the female equivalent of that dude who beat his "difficult" child With. A. Belt. And yet... Either way I shudder at the idea that I could have had a child three years ago, making me the same age as Ms Allen. Bloody Hell. Putting aside the poor state the damn child would be in by now how different would my life be? I wouldn't have the job I do, or the job I had, meaning I wouldn't have the friends I do, do the things I do and, by assocation, think the things I think. My view, backed up by absolutely nothing in the way of evidence, has always been, that having a child means putting yourself second for the next 18 years. I may be a hideous selfish person in recognising that I may never be ready for that, but at least I realise that, unlike the hoard of fucksticks breeding right now and, yes, You Know Who You Are.
So, okay, I may be old, but look at the bright side = I would feel even older if I had a motherflipping three year old child, instead of a brilliant book collection and a cat composed entirely of silky magnificence.
Case in point: when I left work yesterday I’d written a corker of a story for page one. My first page one, hurrah, I was bloody stoked. Then I get up today to find it’s not only been bumped (which, you know, okay) but is barely recognisable, though admittedly greatly improved, and now wearing a joint byline.
I know most journos must, sooner or later, have the experience of writing their wee hearts out only to have the story chopped and changed and half of what they wrote nowhere to be found but it is not a very nice one. Even worse when I discover the bleeding Fin has the stuff that was dropped so I can’t even recycle it for tomorrow.
Meh, I’m sorry, I’m just whining.
Next week: hilarity.
Monday, December 17, 2007
We got off to a bad start when I accosted her with a towel on Day One. The idea being I would bundle her up, open her little jaws and pop the tablet in. Weeelll not so much. The first part was okay - I bundled her up alright, or kinda, but she hissed and spat like a bitch and I was one part scared of being bitten and one part sorry for her so I let her go, figuring I'd wait a few hours until she was used to having me in her house, started to trust me and realised I was actually A Cat Person.
So we move to Day Two when I decided to get things off to a cracking start. I got the tablets out, opened the bottle, shook one out, snapped it in half, put the other half back in the bottle... only to realise belatedly that Miss Kitty knew all too well what all those sounds meant and was now hiding under the bed.
"Come on Maisie," I cooed, down on all fours "come on sweetie." Nuthin'
Then I made error number one, which was shoving some random crap under the bed to force her out. Er no, she didn't go for it but folded herself into an area the size of a hamster's rump and stared back at me with something I horribly suspected might be fear. Error two was trying to go back to Plan A.
"Come on, darling," I called to her, slowly and guiltily extending my hand beneath the bed in the universal sign of friendship, "I didn't mean to scare you, come to - oh fuck! fuck!"
The little bitch had shredded my hand. More than that she'd left one of her beastly claws embedded in my skin.
Right, I thought, two can play at this game. This was where things began to escalate and Go To A Bad Place. I decided to try a new strategy, reasoning that a month of trying to corner the little thing and stuff my fingers down its throat was going to be a long month indeed. So I simply I took all her food up off the ground, crushed a tablet into the bowl and mixed it up with a bit of fresh food. I put it down, the cat eventually emerged, sniffed it and retreated in disgust.
"I can wait!" I called after her retreating tail. And wait I could. But so, apparently, could she.
Returning home on the afternoon of Day Two (today) I found the food still uneaten. Only mildly concerned I could be starting down a bad road that ended with me starving a small, mostly innocent creature to death I emptied out the old stuff, crushed another tablet into the bowl and mixed it with some fresh food."Come and get it diddums!" I called. The cat eventually came, sniffed it and retreated.
Nevertheless I remained confident. I was, after all, a human and she was a mere feline. When it came to balancing on stuff or licking her armpits she had me beat but when it came to cunning and willpower I did, I felt, have the advantage.
"It's a battle of wills, now," I told Andy confidently. "What can she do? Sooner or later she's going to get hungry."
It was the 'what can she do?' that tempted fate, I believe. Because five minutes later I returned to the bedroom to find the little minx had shat on the floor, ignoring the presence of two clean litter trays. She paused to glance over her shoulder at me with an expression that clearly said Try Me, Bitch and disappeared under the bed.
The battle has begun...
DISCLAIMER: Lindsay, if you're reading this, er, don't be alarmed. I may have made a catskin windcheater out of your cat by the time you return but otherwise the flat is completely fine.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
We do them even though we know they’re bad, of course we do. Why? Not, most of the time, because we want to self destruct but because things that are bad for us are often fun. I eat that delicious iced donut because I know it will taste fucking good, even if I’ll regret it later while staring at my gently undulating stomach. I open that second bottle of wine because I want the finest wines available to humanity even though I know I will vow to give up drinking forever as I chip my tooth (again) on the toilet bowl. I send that text message because it’s fun at the time and I can’t bear not to send it, even if I know it’s very ill-advised and I’ll be red-faced when I see the recipient.
But the line between doing things that are bad for us but can be borne and doing things that cost us too much is very fine. Like the line between being a heavy drinker and an alcoholic; between being greedy beggar who could stand to lose a few kilos and being obese; between indulging in harmless fun to doing things that actually make you miserable.
I… don’t really have a point but these are the lines that all of us have to manage every day, constantly, is all I’m saying. And sometimes, shit, it’s really hard. And, no, I shan't tell you what I've been doing but none of it is good - sigh.
Amazingly funny, so cleverly paced you don't even notice you've been reading for two hours and sometimes hardbreaking Chandler is, quite simply, required reading for anyone who has an interest in... you know, anything. I'll leave you with the opening lines to The Long Goodbye and the warning that there will be a quiz on RC next time I see each of you - so read up:
"The first time I laid eyes on Terry Lennox he was drunk in a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith outside the terrace of The Dancers. The parking lot attendant had brought the car out and he was still holding the door open because Terry Lennox's left foot was still dangling outside, as if he had forgotten he had one. He had a young face but his hair was bone white. You could tell by his eyes that he was plastered to the hairline, but otherwise he looked like any other nice young guy in a dinner jacket who had been spending too much money in a joint that exists for that purpose and no other." (The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler)
Meeting people's partners is fascinating because it gives you a weird insight into their personality that you never get otherwise. I don't just mean you find out if they're a t or a sort of a man but I get bizarre amounts of pleasure watching people interact with their spouses and trying to figure out how their relationship works and what makes it a good match. But, you know, pr'aps that's just me. I might need some hobbies.
In a festive season crammed with Christmas party upon Christmas party these sorts of pleasures are what make the endless work-related festivities bearable, or even worthwhile. I often loathe work parties because it smacks a little of some sort of hideous en masse team building exercise in which we bond over cold sausages and warm wine but this year I've been having a ball. Granted I did make the error of leaving a certain party on Friday night before the fisticuffs broke out (for which I'm still kicking myself, I assure you) but the rest of the time, through several parties, I have rather enjoyed finding out more about current and past colleagues, including who has a degree in classics and the mind of a scholar, who once saw Midnight Oil play three times in one week and who is a total lush. Oh wait that last one was me.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
And officers in cocktail bars,
Sometimes I think of garden nights
And elm trees nodding at the stars.
With yellow candles burning straight,
And glowing pictures in the gloom,
And kindly books that hold me late.
Of things like these I choose to think
When I can never be alone:
And turns my living heart to stone.
- Packing up my wordly belongings and swearing to chuck half the shite out... just as soon as I've moved.
- Being wretchedly hungover.
- Having a brilliant time.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
"All fled, all done, so lift me on the pyre; The feast is over and the lamps expire." (Robert E. Howard)
Yes, yes, that does sound a bit wrong but it’s a strangely rewarding feeling to read someone’s last words and wonder what they were thinking at the time.
Captain L.E.G Oates’ famous remark, for instance, as he left Scott’s tent during the ill-fated Antarctic expedition, knowing he was slowing the others down and after having begged them to leave him behind, “I’m just going outside; I may be away some time” might be stretching the definition of a suicide note but it never fails to give me chills.
French writer Nicolas-Sebastien Chamfort’s - “And so I leave this world, where the heart must either break or turn to lead” - has always been a favourite for poignancy, while at the other end of the scale there is Hunter S Thompson (and you can insert your own ‘who went out with a bang’ joke here) whose note I find weirdly comforting:
“No more Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun for anybody. 67. You are getting greedy. Act your old age.Meanwhile if you’re going to use your death to get back at someone who has treated you poorly you could do worse than cribbing from poet Sara Teasdale who left this stinging slap for the lover who’d left her:
Relax. This won’t hurt.”
“When I am dead, and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain drenched hair,
Though you should lean above me broken hearted,
I shall not care,
For I shall have peace.
As leafy trees are peaceful
When rain bends down the bough.
And I shall be more silent and cold hearted
Than you are now.”
Is it the dicksnap who thought it was a good idea to have my call to their mobile company greeted with a recorded voice so very intent on Keeping It Real?
Honestly, what marketing wankhead came up with the concept to humanise said recorded voice by giving her a name (“Lara”), forcing her to use colloquialisms (er white hot rage has erased the memory of what they were but they were there) and feigned sincerity (“He-ey, looks like we’re having technical difficulties. I’ll have to put you through to one of my colleagues. I’m really sorry about this”)?
I don’t particularly care if I’m talking to a robot. I don’t really care if I’m talking to a person. What I don’t want is some kind of patronising-as-fuck she-robot on the other end of the line, pretending to care about my problems. I just want a new phone.
So that’s spanner number one.
Spanner number two, sadly, is the human on the other end of the line who dialled the phone company’s number, talked to the she-robot, hung on the line, was transferred, was transferred again, hung on the line… and then remembered she’s not even with Vodafone. Nor has she ever been. Hmm.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Reviewing Into the Wild, the story of Chris McCandless (otherwise known as “Alexander Supertramp”) who flags off the lure of Harvard law, donates his college fund to Oxfam and takes off on a road trip that eventually leads him to Alaska, Margaret said the following:
“He’s written a beautiful screenplay and taken risks with the direction, which all pay off, and he’s elicited magnificent performances, especially from Emile Hirsch. It is so close to being a masterpiece…”Well thanks, Margs, but I’ve been burnt before. No offence but around about the time you slammed Pulp Fiction and gave The Fast and the Furious four stars I started to tready warily around you, keeping my distance as I would from a well-intentioned but senile aunt trying to feed me buttons and telling me they’re boiled lollies.
Let the casting vote be Davids, sweet David, who likes complete cheese as much as he enjoys obscure Norwegian crap even David Lynch would dismiss as ‘weird’. This is what David said:
“(Sean Penn’s) a good director and this is a very good film. I was completely captured by this story, by this epic adventure…”
Well. Well, well, well. Welly, welly, welly… The thing is it is an epic adventure and it is a great story. It’s just an awful shame the movie sucks balls. Only Sean Penn, who takes himself about as seriously as the Holocaust, could distil a potentially beautiful story into a pile of clichés that beat the viewer over the head from the start and doesn’t let up until you’re lying on the floor among stale popcorn by the end, whimpering softly.
Granted Emile Hirsch, playing Chris, does a great job and looks sometimes quite breathtakingly hot while he does it and Hal Holbrook, playing a 90-year-old tearjerker, is indeed tearjerkingly efficient but a stubbled hottie and a red-eyed octogenarian does not a masterpiece make.
David and Margaret can expect their letters returned unopened and the photo collage David made of the three of us to be consigned to the bin. The dream is over.
Did you hear that all you stupid bints who go on about how much all this ‘saving the world’ malarkey is going to cost our lifestyle? And yes I am talking about someone in particular who is not a blog reader but who may or may not pay my wages so um, let me just keep right on going there...
Anyway this is pretty amazing stuff if it’s true and something I don’t think I’ve read anywhere else. One of the consultants said: “We are not going to bankrupt the economy, we are actually going to save some money.”
And this isn’t in Socialist Weekly or the short-lived by much-loved family newsletter I wrote and printed between the years of 1991 and 1992 – it’s the Fin flipping Review. Why are we not doing this already? Why did we not do this yesterday?
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Hard as it may be for regular reader to believe I do try not to write self congratulatory blogs on here. If you’re one of my friends you get enough of that in person and if there’s anything more dull than reading about somebody else’s achievements it’s probably only listening to them spruik charities and post poetry.
But a kind-hearted friend of mine emailed me yesterday to ask why I was so “fucking miserable” and if I was okay. I appreciated the concern. I’m not that wildly brilliant, as it happens but, as I assured him, I’m not going to do a Sylvia Plath either. For a start my oven is electric. But it did make me think I might be inclined to posting a bit doom and gloom on here sometimes. Sooo I thought I’d share some good news. Even if it is good in a way that neither benefits nor interests anyone but me.
There you go, there’s my disclaimer and what an anticlimax to report that my good mood is only because I actually sniffed out a decent story today all on my lonesome. It’s not a big story at all, it’s not that exciting and no doubt it will be cut to a five centimetre brief on page 909 but I don’t care – for the first day in a while I don’t feel like an incompetent boob and for the second time in oooh a month my boss has actually gone for one of my lamearse ideas. Brilliant.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Today I saw Tim Costello, of World Vision Australia, speak. I wasn't much looking forward to it because it was a work schmoozefest and (as predicted) I was stuck next to a complete gimp and given a lamb chop to gnaw on, thanks to a small oversight on the veggo side of things. But as it turned out it was three hours well spent because Costello gave a great speech. There was nothing in there most of us haven't heard before - why the wealthy western world has a moral and economic obligation to help the third world, how simple such help could be, how ridiculous the choices are that we make when we choose a larger flat screen over helping to save someone's life - but he boiled it down in a nice way to the point that I felt like empty my wallet as well as being close to tears. (Although there is a chance the latter may have been the fact I was running on two hours sleep at the time).
He also used the phrase 'lottery of latitude' - a lottery all of us won because we weren't born in a third world country or into extreme poverty. It's a pretty obvious concept but it's also pretty amazing if you start thinking about the kind of life we could all be living (or not as the case may well be) if we were born in certian parts of Africa, Asia or South America.
Costello also drew a comparison between third world poverty and a beggar on the street. When you see a beggar, he said, I think you all feel something, some sort of tug on your conscience. Even if you keep walking and don't give him anything it has an effect on you. (Considering it was a business lunch I wasn't entirely sure he had the fat cats convinced but whatever). Why then? he asked, don't we feel the same way when we ignore third world poverty and turn away from people in just as much, if not far more, need? The answer is, of course, that it is because we can't see them but that's completely fucked really.
I tend to think of myself as a reasonably caring person - I give to this charity or that, I do tend to give beggars coins if I have them, I buy the bloody Big Issue and have conversations at dinner parties about gosh how darned awful some people have it. And all that means precisely fuck all. The reality is that I spend more money on books in a month than I do on charity. I probably spend more on stockings and I certainly spend more on mochas. Is a hot beverage more satisfying than helping to improve the life of someone I can't meet or speak to on the other side of the world? It's an absurd idea. But does it matter? Will it stop me from buying my morning mocha tomorrow? We shall see but I doubt it.
What it won't stop me doing, however, is signing up to World Vision and the entire purpose of this post is, obviously, to encourage you to do the same, or at least to do a bit of Christmas shopping on their website. Seriously, dudes, don't tell me you don't have the money.
NOTE: First poetry and now charity, Je-sus. Tell you what - donate to WV and I'll try to crack a joke sometimes. Or um, at least find a really, really hot picture of James Franco... sans pantaloons.
I remember the days when 'style' referred to your ability to pull off jaunty hat or wear fancy pants...
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
For one long day many, many years ago I ‘worked’ (in the sense that I sweated blood and tears, not in the sense that I was paid for it) at a truly crappy souvenir store in the city. Don’t ask me why I wanted the job – I can only assume I had acquired a number of habits it was necessary to finance and time has blurred the memory of what those habits might have been.
Anyway the job interview turned into a day trial working behind the counter to “see how I handled it”. How I handled it was, by general consensus of the vaguely creepy couple who ran the place, pretty crappily. This was, perhaps, unsurprising given I’d never worked in retail, didn’t care much for customers and found the shop’s eccentric and frequently contradictory pricing system completely impenetrable. Plus, you know, you try giving a shit about poorly made tshirts with the Australian flag on them or crappy emu figurines that fall apart if you blink at them twice.
At the end of a soul-crushing day I went home (unpaid) feeling exhausted but mildly confident of having acquired gainful employment... only to receive a phone call that night telling me they didn’t think I had quite the right skill-set for the job. “However,” the store’s co-owner told me in a tone that suggested she had a nice boiled lolly for me if I could recite all the words to The Owl and the Pussycat, “we like you so if you want to come back tomorrow for another trial we could see how you go.”
I didn’t go back the next day but, ridiculously, I still feel a faint sense of was-I-really-that-shit embarrassment when I think about that crappy job and what might have been.
The point is, however, that there are a lot of truly bad jobs out there and thinking about them never fails to raise the spirits in a slightly sick schadenfreudey sort of way.
For those for whom my tale of exploitation and woe was not enough to perk you up The Idler, that most delightful of companion for those of us who prefer not to raise a sweat, has a nice little collection of reminiscences about the worst jobs people have had that makes good reading.
These jobs include weedbusting, washing up, and working in a syringe needle factory but also supposedly glamorous jobs like working on an animated movie (a nice reminder, if we need it, that just because a job looks good from the outside if it makes us miserable it is Not a Good Thing) and genrally is rather a good antidote for anyone who has had a crappy day.
For the record, today at least, that does not include me.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
The circumstances-out-of-my-control bit is more or less to do with where I want to live. Which is to say I want to live in Northbridge and my would-be roomie not only does not but has rejected a perfectly wonderful place just down the road on the grounds that it does not accept pets and appparently he now requires a dog (the fact that the proposed dog would be called Jean Luc Picard is not quite enough to melt my icy heart). I love, love, living in the middle of the city, love the immediacy of everything, love the close proximity of my beloved Tarts and so on this one point I have been extremely firm. I may even have yelled, once or twice, that I was not ready to move to the fucking suburbs, buy a dog and spend my weekends at Bunnings.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
"So Klara turned head to foot and put her most unmentionable part down on his hard-breathing nose and mouth and took his old battering ram into her lips."...but I was gunning for Jeanette Winterson.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."
...and not swoon? You can, and should, read T.S Eliot's masterpiece in its entirety here. I know i've linked to it before but I find it irresistible.
“God loves you. Jesus stands at the door of your hear, knocking. If you will open the door he will come in."
“To seek and to save that which was lost. To feed (his) lambs; feed (his sheep)… to humbly, freely and truthfully present the gospel clearly with sound bible teaching so that people might examine themselves to see if they are in the faith…and afterwards to be baptized by full immersion in the name of the Father and of the son and of the holy ghost.”
- To make myself sound brainy by pointing to brainy things genuinely clever people have said elsewhere. Paraphrase them and don’t link to the original source at all, ideally, if I think I can get away with it.
- To post pictures of hot boys and odes to said hot boys in the hope they might stumble on the site and fall madly in love with me.
- To complain about other people, including but not limited to Liberal voters, people who use too many exclamation points, people who don’t read, people who not only watch but cast a vote in Australian Idol, people who use the word "diarise" and people who fail to appreciate British comedy shows.
What do you think? Have I missed anything?
“I was just so relieved that the toxicity of this Government had gone, this dreadful vicious show which had been around for all these years, the active disparaging of particular classes and groups … Sometimes you see people at factories, they've been in a plant that's got toxic stuff on them and they get hosed down later. I felt on Saturday night like I'd been hosed down."Hurrah, drinks all around etc. And then? Ooh I turned to the letter pages of today’s West and read a couple of beauties just to remind me what country I’m living in. First off the rank Freda Miller, who is offering a heartfelt apology to the indigenous people in Australia, from way down in Marangaroo, for what they’ve been through since white people came to their country, killed a lot of them, stole their kids and on behalf of a society that is apparently happy to sit around and watch the 20-year life expectancy gap from a distance:
“I want to say sorry to our indigenous Australians. Sorry that they indulge in drink and drugs to the detriment of their children. Sorry that they damage the homes and schools provided for them. Sorry they have low self respect and don’t teach their children to respect the law…”It continues but why let her have all the fun when D. Ford of Osborne Park (where else?) has so much to say?
“Mr Rudd, if you have done something to be guilty about, go ahead, but don’t you dare include me when you are saying sorry. I was not involved in any way.”I could go on but I’m afraid I’ve just poured kero on the paper and set it alight. Ah well perhaps my bitter, bitter tears will put it out for me.
Monday, November 26, 2007
White with two thanks...just leave the tea bag in for 45 seconds... yeah soy milk that's right, oh and no real sugar.. uh huh, equal, hmm hmm...
Those reasons being, of course, that if you ask a not-quite-a-friend guy to hang out it sounds a looot more like a date than if you're hanging out with a female friends. The problems are obvious - if you're both single and of mildly comporable levels of attractivenesss the chances are high that you'll end up sleeping together and fucking it up. If you're not both single then probably one of you will end up fancying the other anyway and you'll never quite sort it out. Prob-lems.
But tonight I met up with a certain (blog-reading, er so hi) guy I'vemet a handful of times and got on well with, and it was so very nice just to have a chat and a drink or four and chat about fuck all and music. I tend to think of myself as past the stage of making new friends - I love the ones I have and don't see them as often as I would like - but nobody should ever be that. The enjoyment of finding out about someone entirely shiny and new cannot be underestimated. Just as the availability of a new drinking partner should never be ignored.
I'm so inpired I swear I might actually go on a man-befriending binge. Maybe. Baby steps and all that.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Most of us, I think, would like somebody to tell us what we should do every so often, to point us in the right direction or even to tell us what we want to hear. I'm a terrible one for it because I just don't trust my own reasoning (and with good cause, I assure you). When I have a problem I can't stop talking about it - friends learn to avoid me and run screaming into the night when I get a certain questioning glint in my eye. I beg you not to pity me too much when I confess that I once sent in a question to the (oh Christ, wait for it) Belle and Sebastian Q&A website while at an all time time low over a certain problem last year and my inability to decide what to do(incidently the truly delicious and sweet Stevie replied to my post and a very intellligent answer it was too - I took his advice).
For these reasons I love reading advice columns but I find that I hate most of the advice. It's predictable, it's judgy-judgy and it's dull. Enter Cary Tennis, Salon blogger, and the advice-giver I wish I had in my life. How can you not like a man who opens his reply to a woman who fears she has become an alcoholic like this:
"Thank you for your concise and beautifully detailed letter. I sense that it took some courage and focus to put things so clearly. Your letter is a reminder why many people who do not particularly care for my own writing style read the column anyway: They read it for the letters..."
"I am not even remotely qualified to diagnose people psychologically. But I will say that it crossed my mind that you might be one of the estimated 4 percent of Americans who are sociopaths..."
Our love only grew stronger when I belatedly stumbled onto A Bit of Fry and Laurie and, oh, how I wished I could invite you and Stephen Fry over for a dinner party.
By the time I got around to watching you in the TV adapations of PG Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories I was already completely gone. Even today I can't read the books without imaging your blank, foolish face in the starring role. It was love - asexual and borne of admiration, not desire for your bandy legs and floppy hair but, still.
And yet I never fancied you, nor could have imagined fancying you, until House came along. Who knew a crumpled suit, designer stubble and abrasive personality could look sooo good?
I'd love to hate this incredibly popular, occassionally smug, show but I simply cannot. I am charmed - by the show, by the concept but, er, mostly by you. I find myself wondering if your eyes have always been that blue and I've never noticed, whether you've always had a certain crinkly hot charm or if it's come to you late in life and exactly what you would look like if I could just rip off that... ahem, but I digress.
Don't be a stranger, Hugh. Come over, bring wine, we can make fun of Darling and help you out of that artfully rumpled suit...
Notice his shoes at the foot of the bed,
how helplessly they gape there.
Some mornings he needs three cups of coffee
to wake up for work,
and there are evenings when he drinks alone,
reading the paper down to the want ads,
the arrival times of ships at the docks.
Think of him choosing a tie,
dialling wrong numbers,
finding holes in his socks. Chances are
his emptiness equals yours
When you thoughtlessly hurry a cashier
for change, or frown to yourself
in rush hour traffic and the drivers behind you
begin to remind you
the light has turned green.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Now, 9 times out of 10 this is NOT the way to solve a problem, (kids – just say no etc.) but this time it happened to be just the thing. It was, in fact, sheer brilliance on my part.
You see I had, well, how do I put this? I had accidentally taken some drugs. About an hour and a half before I was due at work.
Put the phone down, Mum, I assure you that when I say I had accidentally taken ‘some drugs’ I mean I had accidentally taken a valium after forgetting I had (for reasons which require a long and dull explanation) stored them in an old thyroxine bottle. It was the morning and I had come to the fridge, only half awake, to take my daily dose of thyroxine. Having moronically put the valium-filled thyroxine bottle in the fridge along with the genuine thyroxine-filled specimens I grabbed the wrong bottle, chomped the wrong pill and realised, as the little beggar, slid down my throat, just what I had done.
Again: due in work in 90 minutes, give or take.
Generally speaking valium does not, tragically, knock me out but it does induce sleepiness and, sometimes, mild silliness. Not ideal while you’re still swimming (read: sinking) in a new job and even less ideal when you’re already knackered from having a puny six hours sleep the night before… and the night before that.
But I’d taken this stupid tablet and no way was I putting my fist down my throat to bring it up again, even if I thought it would work. Dilemma.
And that’s when the moment of genius struck, perhaps even as I gazed at the picture of Pete Doherty affixed to my fridge door - ‘what would a drug addict do?’. It was so obvious: Take. More. Drugs.
It’s all about physics really. For every action there must be an equal or opposite reaction. Or maybe it’s a bit more like that episode of The Simpsons where Homer is a truckie and, having accidentally takes too many stay-awake pills, has to dope himself up with sleeping tablets, then more of the other and so on with mildly hilarious consequence. Isaac Newton or Matt Groening – they were both well on the money.
Two No-Doze and one double-shot mocha from the hottie still working it at Tarts later and I was perky as a lamb. Problem solvered.
And, my friends, I think we can all learn a valuable lesson from this example of the triumph of counter-intuitive thinking . That sometimes what seems to be the right thing to do isn’t while, at other times, what seems like the wrong thing can be exactly what you need to do.
The bitch is, of course, that nobody tells you which is which before you do it. Because nobody else knows either.
So, for instance, because I spend way too much money on books you might think that the delicious new purchase sitting on my coffee table should be classified as ‘a mistake’. You might even call me a fool for buying it hours after I checked my bank balance and vowed to change my ways.But you’d be wrong, wrong, wrong. Because, again, this is a case where the course of action that seems completely mental is in fact completely right-on.
How, you ask?
Well it’s complicated and, honestly, I’d love to explain it to you in detail but I’m afraid I’ve just helped myself to the pills in the fridge and I…zzzzz….
Thursday, November 22, 2007
That was how outgoing Liberal MP Jackie Kelly described the distribution of fake election flyers claiming to be from a (non existent) Islamic group and suggesting the Labor Government was sympathetic to Islamic terrorism.
The pamphlet said Labor wanted forgiveness for "Muslim brothers who have been unjustly sentenced to death for the Bali bombings" and supported building a mosque in the area.
“I think its intent is to be a send-up but obviously it hasn't worked," Ms Kelly said on ABC radio "I think if you read it you'd be laughing. Most people who have read it have said 'That's a Chaser-style of prank'."
You know what else is a chaser style prank? Pumping out lies in a desperate attempt to stop what polls suggest will be a landslide victory against your party days before the election is held. Tearing up votes and distributing fake ‘how to vote’ cards for other parties. Hell, I tend to think shooting people who come to the polls to vote for the other party is pretty hilarious but call me crazy if you like.
Nobody can think this is a joke when we’re two days out from a flipping federal election and the only joke is the party involved.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
And by that I mean I'm a huge dork, obviously. I read too many books, I watch too much Star Trek, I like to talk about both books and Star Trek in public and, yes, I am sometimes partial to a good computer game. I am also kind of a music dork, or at least I have been in the past (read: don't expect me to keep up with the music the kids are listening to today).
So please don't judge me when I say that I gave a small squee of excitment today when I realised I am on the same facebook group (yeah, I know, shut up - it's a longish story) as John Moore, of The Jesus and Mary Chain (and, yeah sure, other stuff) fame. God I'm lame but, still.
Now, somebody was giving me lip in the comments to a previous post about my penchant for this moody little group but, je-sus, when they were good they were very good. I remember the first time I heard Psychocandy and swooned and Munki is one of those records that still gets a good work out. And those two albums were produced more than Ten Years Apart, people. I'm just saying. Do yourself a favour and pick one of them up - I'm off to stalk Mr Moore...
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It is an attractive idea, somehow, to think about earmarking two weeks to eliminate some of my less appealing qualities. I could, in theory, be free of any bad habit I choose, if only I can do without it for two weeks. And what couldn’t I do without for two weeks? Not much, that comes to mind. Jesus if I can live without hot water for five days, as I’ve just done, I feel I can get through anything.
So brilliant, give me two weeks and I’ll be Kate 2.0: the same old Kate but better. I like it. The only question is what I should give up? The diet coke? The booze? Bulk book buying when I already have a huge ‘to read’ pile on the coffee table? Using my ipod as a sleep aid and ruining my hearing in the process? Perhaps the handful of other very bad habits I take great pains to conceal and have no intention of revealing now? Hmmm.
I was thinking about this last night, as I divided my time between a glass of wine and a can of coke, finalising my amazon.com order as I did it. There are many not-so-great-for-me things I do that I could, albeit with some pain, give up for two weeks. It wouldn’t be fun and I would miss doing them and maybe go a little bit mad but I’m sure I could make it through a fortnight.
But what about after that? If, as I’m told, the habit will be officially broken does that mean I’ll no longer have the desire for these things? Or merely that I will have broken my natural tendency to indulge in them but will have to continue to stop myself from slipping back into my bad old ways? The latter I fear and it sounds... shit. In fact even the first option sounds shite.
The catch to this whole two-weeks thing is that, although I have many bad habits and many things I wish I didn’t do… I don’t necessarily want to eliminate them. It’s like being a flipping alcoholic I suppose – you have to want to change. A cold can of diet coke may bring me brain tumours and tooth erosion but it also brings me a great deal of pleasure. Same for the booze. The books thing may drive me to the brink of ruin but it also surrounds me with piles of lovely books and makes me feel rather happy. And there are worse things to spend your money on than obscure Hungarian novels and Saudi Arabian chick-lit.
The other habits I didn’t quite mention are probably mildly self destructive but they are also part of who I am. What would I be like if I didn’t spend too much time on the internet, overanalyse things to death and obsess over things I shouldn’t? How would I cheer myself up if not with a new book and a bottle of wine? What other bad habits would I have to develop to fill the void? And, then, how many weeks would I have to devote to eliminating those bad habits? That road leads to ruin, I say, best to quit (or not) while you're ahead and try to conceal your many repugnant habits from those around you. By not blogging about them, ideally.
Solution: Listen to Belle and Sebastian's Boy with the Arab Strap as soon as you are out of the building. Possibly do a little dance in the car park.
2. Problem: Neighbours anger me for no good reason, mostly because they have terrible taste in music and tend to bang their door late at night a lot.
Solution: Put The Jesus Mary Chain's What Do You Want if You Don't Want Love? on repeat as loud as the incredibly costly stereo will go and open the balcony doors.
3. Problem: Trying to resist the temptation to blog about work, lest you cry like a bitch.
Solution: Blog about music instead. While also listening to music. Brilliant.
Monday, November 19, 2007
This study, which apparently has been whipping up a bit of a storm in the US, sat participants in front of a computer screen and asked them to push a key every time they saw the letter M or (for half of them) the letter W on the screen. They would see a lot of the Ms or Ws in a row, thus obliging them to push the button repeatedly until they saw another letter flash up (which would be an “M” if they were supposed to be pushing the button for Ws and would be a W if they were supposed to be pushing the button for Ms) and had to stop themselves from pushing the button.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
“We are the zero-tolerance coalition when it comes to drugs,” Mr Howard said.
“It’s not right that people should have control of taxpayer money when they have been convicted of such offences.”
It all started with the not-so-big coincidence of having two conversations about the same thing.
I mean how have you convinced me that you're incredibly smart, funny and probably very good at fixing the sink or something when I can't think of a single genuinely great movie or TV show I've seen you in. I never watched Alias, where apparently you became a sex symbol and, although I have watched and enjoyed both Never Been Kissed and Rogue pardon me if I don't think you'll be necessarily highlighting those two items on your CV. Or maybe you will because what are the alternatives? Those episodes of Ally McBeal you'd rather forget? To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything? The Next Best Thing? Oh really?
And yet you manage to come off as terribly urbane and witty, even while delivering shiteful B-grade line after shiteful B-grade line. Is it because you wear suits a lot? Because you speak French? Because you managed to convince me you actually found Drew Barrymore attractive? Maybe it's just because you're really, really hot and I'm really, really superficial. Hard to say.