Thursday, May 31, 2007
My lovely friend UK friend Bec personifies this. A fellow Television Without Pity nerd and Ho-Yay enthusiast I am frequently flooded with nostalgia for London every time I stumble over something so trashy and fantastic that I know that she alone would appreciate.
She’s also much funnier than me so you should all be reading her new blog.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
But some pretty new research has really excited me. Apparently another 28 planets have been spotted outside our solar system, bringing the total to more than 200.
Most interestingly researchers say they are seeing more habitable planets that could support life.
“We are beginning to see that our home is not a rarity in the universe,” saidIt will probably never happen in my life but the possibility of discovering intelligent life on other planets and finding out what they know and what they are like is just amazing.
Geoffrey Marcy, a professor of astronomy at the University of California
Berkeley, who led the team.
Of course once they see what we’ve done to our world they might not be so keen to be Best Friendz 4 EVA.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I used to be able to do the splits, once upon a time when I wore leotards and had the physique of a harp seal pup. That time has long since passed - the flexibility at least, if not the physique. These days, although I do make some claim to fitness, there is a difference between being able to manage the walk back from the corner deli with a bag of croissants in my arms and being able to put my legs out to ridiculous angles for no apparent gain. But this month, or rather next month, it is game on. I have started my stretching exercises and I vow that by the end of June I will have done it or died in the attempt.
Anyway, if anyone else has a goal in the making let me know what we might goad each other on, possibly while listening to Eye of the Tiger and jogging along in matching tracksuits.
The cretinous children who scamper around you as you try to buy a fucking saucepan, putting their sticky fingers on everything when they’re not having a screaming tantrum or blowing their noses while mere feet away from you.
The inane muppets who insist on walking in front of you at a speed approximating a senile Aunt looking for a place to die.
The ridiculous queues at the checkouts inevitably caused by some tool who doesn’t want to pay $8.99 for a disgusting crocheted placemat when the sign clearly said $9.88.
I loathe the place. But, of course, I love it. I am like a beaten girlfriend when it comes to Ikea. No matter how many times I leave the store in a rage I always go back.
‘Never again,’ I say to myself, as I swear loudly about the ridiculousness of having priority car parks marked ‘family’ as though you need to have dropped something out of your uterus to park within shouting distance of the door.
Has anyone ever come out of Ikea happy? I mean, really? I went there yesterday on my day off, officially in search of a saucepan and a cutlery holder. I came out with a large wooden plate and a photo frame. Seriously. I don’t know what happened. I want into an Ikea coma as soon as I stepped into the homewares section.
Half the problem is that everything is so cheap. Too cheap. I could spent $8 on lunch without blinking so why shouldn’t I spend it on some natty colourful shoeboxes that I really feel would help me sort my life out, really get it all together? And, sure, all my previous attempts at creating harmony in my wardrobe have failed but surely this is merely because I have lacked the proper tools to really get things in order...
And I think that that, right there, is the reason why I, among others, keep going back. I hate what Ikea stands for just as I hate the experience of being there but I love the feeling of hope that fills me as I browse through throw cushions. Nowhere else quite caters to the consumer experience in the same way, offering me a little peak at what my life would be like if I could just have a special place to put my pashminas, a better system for storing my DVDs or more time to really get at the grout in the corner of the bathroom.
Of course I don’t have any of these things and probably never will. On the plus side I do have a pretty fetching wooden plate and a photo frame I don't really care for.
Monday, May 28, 2007
...I am out of the loop. Absolutely out of the bloody loop. I have completely failed to blog about a fantastic little event that took place in the music world about six weeks ago. Why did I fail to blog about it? Because I didn't even know it happened until today. Frick!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I should be: Sticking my head in the toilet. Oh or doing some writing.
Last good deed: Cleaning the house. Not that I get any fucking credit.
Last bad deed: Being too hungover to drive to the RSPCA this morning. I still love you Mr Frisky!
Last good interview: Animal rights author Jeffrey Masson. A lovely guy.
Next big story: Hopefully one Lindsay and I are chasing up.
Next month I hope to: Do the splits.
I am reading: Pat Barker's Regeneration. I can't usually stand books set during wars (don't ask) but this story follows poet Siegfried Sassoon and is fantasic.
I am listening to: I can't get The Zutons' Why Won't You Give me Your Love out of my head.
I am dreading: Bad news.
I am looking forward to: My next diet coke.
Friday, May 25, 2007
These are labs are performing traumatic tests on animals thought to share at least 94 per cent of our genetic make up. They can laugh, solve problems, learn sign language and make and use tools in the wild but we seem to think it’s acceptable to keep them in tiny cages and use them for experiments for our own ends.
For anyone who is interested the Release Chimps website has some great and horrible stories about chimps that have been rescued from labs. They also have a petition going.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I’m sorry I haven’t been more neighbourly - I’m not really the sort to chat on the doorstep or, you know, answer the door to knocking. I like my own space and, in return, I’m happy to give you yours.
But. We. Have. To. Talk. About. The. Power. Ballads.
More specifically we have to talk about the power ballads you have been playing lately. And loudly. I don’t know what they are called, I don’t know who they are by but I recognise them and I want to kill myself every time I come home to hear them reverberating through our shared wall.
Why are you doing this to me? Is this about last weekend? I’m sorry - I know, in hindsight, that having a piano in my house was a dangerous move when I'm all-too-likely to come home late and in the mood for The Entertainer and, yes, not everyone enjoys the musical stylings of Run DMC as much as I do but this is taking things too far.
I am already a relatively empowered woman. I do not need this in my life. I don’t know anything about you but I’m sure you don’t need this in your life. Nobody needs this in their life.
Please get some taste or at least a pair of good headphones.
I have a high-speed internet connection and I’m not afraid to download some hardcore pornography and play it… loudly.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
“‘You care for me a little bit, I do think,’ he admitted, ‘but I can’t hang all my life on a little bit. You don’t. You hang yours on Anne. You don’t worry whether your relation with her is platonic or not, you only know that it’s big enough to hang a life on.‘I was yours once till death if you cared to keep me, but I’m someone else’s now - I can’t hang about whining for ever - and he’s mine in a way that shocks you, but why don’t you stop being shocked and attend to your own happiess?’” (Maurice, E.M Forster)
I was in full angry-little-L-liberal rant mode, giving what I thought was a searing indictment of McCarthyism and how little times had changed when she surprised ten types of crap out of me by asking me what McCarthyism was. I… didn’t know what to say. I was quite genuinely shocked that anyone could not have heard the term (sorry anonymous blog-reading friend whose name I will never reveal!) but, as it turned out, she wasn’t alone. A quick survey revealed several people in my immediate social circle who had never heard of Joseph McCarthy or what he represented and it’s a real shame.
This isn’t intellectual smugness speaking but it’s a real, real shame if people today don’t know about our reasonably immediate past. The idea that those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it a cliche but a good one. There are huge lessons to be learned from history and I really don’t feel that we as a society have learned very much at all. I’m not exactly breaking new ground in suggesting there has been more than a whiff of McCarthyism breezing through the western world in the past few years where people are accused of being unAustralian or unpatriotic for burning an Australian flag, not supporting a steady erosion of individual rights or wearing a burqa.
Anyway, all this is a long way of saying I’m looking forward to seeing The Crucible tonight in a big way. Obviously I’ve yet to lay my eyes on this particular production but, all things going well, anyone who hasn’t read the play or seen the movie would do well to make their way to the Playhouse for a play that is, tragically, just about as relevant today as it was 55 years ago.
Just as tragically this version will, I hear, not star Daniel Day Lewis. Curses!
UPDATE: It was good and well worth seeing. I agree with some of Dan’s comments boltongray.blogspot.com and I wasn’t blown away with this production per se (though I thought the set design was great) but the material is so good it’s a completely gripping experience.
Monday, May 21, 2007
- Ned Kelly's on the run again, apparently. Or, should I clarify, his bones are.
- Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson should piss me off by describing a car as "a bit ginger beer" (read: queer) but I just throw up my hands and say "Oh, Jeremy, you're the living end".
- Until now former US president Jimmy Carter has always been the Trivial Pursuit answer I can't get. But hearing him rip into George Bush is always fun.
- I know there's a 'Daniel Radcliffe' and 'I'd like to lick' joke in the news of a series of Harry Potter stamps but I'm too busy scrubbing myself with steel wool to make it.
- The vegetarians win a battle and I can still stuff myself with Mars Bars. Is this a victory?
(Apologies for the aside but I once went a little bit CRAZY myself where that movie is concerned. While browsing in the local video store I saw a young couple looking at a copy of C.R.A.Z.Y. Because I had seen the movie recently and loved it I had a burst of confidence and a desire to steer them away from the copy of Snakes in a Plan in their other hand. So, as I was standing right next to them I said "oh that movie's great, you should get it out". They gave me a look like I had just asked if they wanted to come back to my car for a threesome and said they had already seen it. I smiled and edged away, skulking around in the Science Fiction section until they left the store. Good times.)
Anyway back to Cote... well maybe not. To be honest I lied when I said there were a lot of things to like about him. Until recently I didn't even know he existed. He's hot, a good actor and knows how to choose good scripts but... reeeeeaally the only other thing I'm basing my love of him on is the fact that his list of film credit shows he has appeared in two movies called The Horse Trader's Daughter and The Belly of the Dragon. And both of those movies sound like they would be pretty awesome.
So it comes down to this: he dresses up like David Bowie and performs Ground Control to Major Tom. David Bowie. Major Tom. Face makeup.
And, honestly, isn't that enough right there?
Sunday, May 20, 2007
I consider myself fairly boy-mad (despite being 4+ years monogamous) but I've always at least tried to remember how awesome my friends are and act accordingly . However great your relationship, if you have one, or however hot the guy you spy across the room at some dodgy-arse dive (I pray for you you haven't just been at Carnegies because... jesus), boys really do come and (sadly) go sometimes and it will be your friends who are there to pick up the pieces and nurse you back to health.
Okay I'm choking on my own vomit here so I'll end by saying that maybe I wouldn't cut up so rough if I hadn't spent the last hour of my life trying to flag down a taxi for a semi-disabled friend after the spanner of a boy she ditched us for bailed on her. Tool.
UPDATE: Yeah this is a cautionary tale right here. Don't. Blog. Drunk.
Friday, May 18, 2007
This is just my community service announcement bit to say that everyone should go as it’s a good cause and an easy way to do your bit. Plus my dog is super cute and you can pat her.
UPDATE: He was fantastic. Just as rationally passionate and compassionate as I hoped he would be with enough doubt about what he was doing to make him sympathetic. Awesome. Definitely one of my most enjoyable interviews ever.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Unless my current life take a surprising twist I am unlikely to do any of the following things:
- Become a cartoonist
- Marry Chloe Sevigny
- Become obsessed with a serial killer and risk losing my family and my life as a result.
Lucky me I don’t have to because last night I nabbed a free ticket to Zodiac and now I feel I have lived through a lifetime of all of these things.
My love for Jake Gyllenhaal (give me a break - I’m not checking the spelling) and Mark Ruffalo is outweighed only by my love of Robert Downey Junior. Seriously, I love, love the RDJ. And the fact that all three of them were in the movie was a huge drawcard.
Sadly, as Paula pointed out, it was not unlike sitting through three hours of Law and Order: The Less Exciting Years.
Oh sure people died and it was alternately funny and creepy in places and all three actors did a bang up job but, jesus, it was long. Not just long but long. And it felt it. I don’t have ADHD and I do have a pretty good attention span, particularly when RDJ is onscreen and wearing a cravat but for most of the movie, including the many, many years it spans Nothing. Happens.
Maybe the number of red herrings, blind alleys and unsatisfactory results are what real policing is all about and maybe, in that way, it’s slightly truer to life than the average thriller. But just because my life as a journo consists mostly of long phone conversations and council meetings I don’t see anyone trying to remake All The Presidents Men with this kind of realism.
Though I would totally be up for it.
Alternate titles to Barack Obama's book The Audacity of Hope If It had been written by President Bush.
- The Impertinence of Facts
- The Insolence of Public Sentiment
- The Nerve of Congressional Oversight
- The Hubris of Habeas Corpus
- The Effrontery of Climate Change
- The Nucular Hope
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
I am quite the expert in wasting time.
This is not quite the same as being able to cure cancer or perfect an arabesque but it’s what I got lumped with and it’s what I happen to be rather good at. We all have to play to our strengths and in the interests of helping others to help themselves this blog is devoted to the best ways to waste time…. specifically on the internet.
Your first stop is the most amusing gossip site on the internet. Yes it’s kinda stupid and very trashy but it’s also sort of awesome. From there it’s just a hop skip and a jump to the Go Fug Yourself girls who offer the kind of fashion criticisms you wish you could come up with on the spot. In the old days I would have suggested trying Fametracker next but the website’s currently on hold so if you do want to check it out just go through the Fame Audit or Celebrity versus Thing archives, which are still very fricking funny. I never thought I would be convinced by their verdict in the Johnny Depp versus chocolate debate but I really, really was. Madness.
All this, of course, is foreplay because if you really want to waste time, not just waste it but really waste it you can’t go past Television Without Pity. I’ve been spruiking this website for awhile but most people’s eyes tend to glaze over when I get to ‘it does recaps of TV shows’. But… it does. I occasionally use it to catch up if I miss a crucial episode of a favoured show but much more enjoyable, I find, is to read through archives of shows I’ve seen before just for the benefit of their super snarky recaps. Yes I am a dork but honestly this website’s great if you’re a bit of a TV nerd or a bit obsessive.
If you’re not but you still have some time to kill Overheard at the Office and it’s cousin Overheard at the Beach offer a good time. I sometimes suspect some of them must be made up but, disturbingly, most of them probably aren’t. Very amusing, though not too time consuming (which may be a plus or a minus, depending on where you stand).
If you’re still at a loss you can broaden your horizons or your mind or something and read some classics online. This is addictive but will at least counter some of the suspected brain-rot from too much gossip and fashion-sniping browsing. Maybe.
Next instalment: How to entertain yourself using only a telephone directory and a mobile phone.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
(A Passage to India, E.M Forster)
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
- The dirty feeling associated with getting (semi-trashy) DVDS out of the library can be assuaged by also borrowing a few large intellectual-looking books that you never intend to read.
- Homemade soup assembled from leftover ingredients in the back of the fridge/cupboard tastes quite good. If you’re hungry enough.
- Concerts involving barber shop quartet after barber shop quarter may, in fact, be almost free entertainment but they will cost you your will to live (sorry Billy).
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
For me it happens from time to time whenever someone quotes a slightly obscure movie or book that I love and it never fails to excite me because, sadly, not all of my close friends share my (frequently strange) likes/dislikes/interests and talking to a kindred spirit is an awesome thing. Until, of course, you find out that while, yes, they may be a big fan of Firefly they are also a neo-nazi/Liberal voter/porn baron. (Really, deep down I know that it's what you're like, not what you like, that matters.)
I had that feeling today (the good one, not the post-nazi discovery one) when a certain TwoP-er sent me to this website and to a page lovingly titled ‘Boy Kissing’. Yes it is exactly what it sounds like.No it’s not really safe for work if someone is likely to wander by. And yes it did put a smile on my face.It’s not exactly HoYay because the subtext is more, well, less sub and more text but whatever.
Boy kissing is a weird thing in that not everybody gets it or particularly likes it. It’s such a cliche that straight boys like to see two (or more) girls going for it but, surprisingly, it doesn’t seem to be quite the same among the straight female population. Or maybe they’re just a little shy. Whichever it is I want to know. Straight girls (and the rest) check out the website and let me know what you think.
Monday, May 7, 2007
No more food. Other than what I have at home, obviously. I have dukkah, frozen veggies, pasta as far as the eye can see, two packets of pastry and I own a pie maker. This is my food until pay day. No more shopping. The shoes were a very pretty mistake. No way am I returning those puppies but I can handle no more shopping for awhile.
No more booze. Allow me to clarify: no more non-free booze. I have free drinks on Friday and four bottles of wine under the sink. This, too, I can just about handle. Minimal car use. In hindsight purchasing a pair of highly impractical (though lovely) very high red heels before I made the decision to walk everywhere may have been premature. I don’t care. The petrol tank is barely above empty and there it will stay. Diet coke. Weeeell, this is a grey area. The fact is that I have no diet coke in the house. And that I can’t handle. I know I have a problem: I know it’s probably growing a brain tumour in my head but whatever. We all have to go one day. I will buy diet coke. But not $109 worth.
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Thursday, May 3, 2007
However, on the off chance that the 'something' I achieve could be something impressive but detrimental to humankind (ie: the A-bomb, gunpowder or formal shorts) I choose to keep reading crap and bring you gold like this site which chronicles the life and times of working on an IT help desk:
Tech Support: "Ok, let's put your operating system disk in the drive."
Customer: "Ok...which way does it go in?"
Tech Support: "The shiny side faces down."
Customer: "Alright...um...which way is down."
Tech Support: (rolling eyes) "Towards the floor."
Customer: "Ahhh...so what way does the other side face?"
Tech Support: "Are you kidding?"
Customer: (outraged) "Hey! I'm not a computer genius, ok? That's why I called you!"
Tech Support: "Ok, that side faces down too."
I bought the CD Oh Inverted World straight away and played the absolute shite out of New Slang. Constantly.
Years and years later I was so excited by the presence of The Shins music (and New Slang in particular) on the movie Garden State that I believe I hit Bec in the arm when we saw it together. Possibly quite hard.
Then suddenly The Shins seemed to be everybody's new favourite band or whatever and, I admit, I felt a bit pissed off. Where had all these people been years earlier when I was trying to force my friends to admit New Slang was the best song they'd ever heard or perusing music magazines for a glimpse into who the hell they were? Bastards. I sulked about, rolling my eyes when anyone tried to tell me how good they were, rolling out that classic indie music snob catchphrase: "Oh I prefer their earlier stuff."
Yes, yes it's very true that I am a music snob and a bitter jealous one at that but something good has come out of The Shins' apparently new-found popularity because they are coming to Perth in August. Yay. Tickets on sale next week.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
UPDATE: The cat is back. Order is restored. Crisis averted, though I may have been exaggerating a smidgen when I said it was so very close to 1000...
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
I was thrilled to find out today that Lindsay hates the KFC ads as much as I do because they are the absolute pits. How fucking sad are the lives of the women in these ads that having their own bodyweight in deep fried chicken shoved down their throat is supposed to be the highlight of the year? And why do their families get to sit around with shit-eating grins, acting like they deserve a medal for waddling their giant arses down the road with a twenty?
Moreover, why are these ads strongly implying to me that 364 days a year these women are chained to the stove? Why don't their husbands put down the drumstick and get into the goddamn kitchen more than once a year? I swear I've seen one of these ads in which the mother ends up cleaning up after her disgusting progeny, though that may have been a dream I had during one of my KFC-ad-induced rage blackouts.
Almost as bad as KFC's offerings was the sad little press release I received today from... I don't even know who, suggesting that the best way for Dad and the kids to celebrate Mother's Day was to get into the kitchen (again) and bake her something with cranberries.
Oh jesus. Is this really what mother's day has come down to? Chicken fat and cranberries? Just do me a favour and rip my womb out right now.