Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sexy Boy

Would you please, a friend recently asked me, help me understand why I like this song.

The answer to this particular question was, I felt, simple: very good tune + vague Souxsie and the Banshees meets er someone else vibe + hotties = your listening pleasure.

In this particular case this was very true. But can I say say so easily exactly why I found Air's performance in Kings Park so completely amazing tonight? Was it the three bottles of wine? The presence of one of my favourite people in the world? Heaven forbid the fac that they played my favourite soongs? All of the above and more. Plus? Did I mention they were French hotties? Oh yeah...

Career schmareer

WANTED: One life coach to make all my big decisions. Ideal qualities will include the hide of a rhino, the ability to disregard my flipflopping on all matters and a cold and ruthless mind. Please start immediately.

UPDATE: Who needs a life coach anyway? I can make my own decisions, right? Er right? Right? Oh fuck have I made a big mistake? No, no. I'll settle for a big fat drink instead thankyou.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Debauchee

I rise at eleven, I dine about two
I get drunk before seven, and the next thing I do;
I send for my whore, when, for fear of a clap
I fuck in her hand, and spew in her lap;
Then we quarrel and scold, till I fall asleep.
When the jilt growing bold, to my pocket does creep;
Then slily she leaves me, and to revenge the affront
At once both my lass and my money I want.
If by chance then I wake, hot-headed and drunk
What a coyl do I make for the loss of my punk?
I storm, and I roar, and I fall in a rage,
And missing my lass, I bugger my page:
Then crop-sick, all morning I rail at my men,
And in bed I lie yearning till eleven again.
(Earl of Rochester)

They do, however, permit some gentle weeping, though you can tell they don't approve...

My lovely (older) sister celebrated her 30th birthday at the weekend. Which: hurrah. And while I was happy to be there and had fun, at the same time I couldn’t get rid of the sensation I was looking through a wormhole 5 or 10 years into the future at what my own life would be like and it filled me with a nameless terror I couldn’t quite explain, coupled with the desire for an emergency hysterectomy. By which I mean there were A LOT of babies at this party.

I have always identified with the Peter Pan-Jo March school of thought that said growing up was bad and change was awful. This is stupid, of course, because there are loads of good things about the changes that come of growing up (legal drinking, knowing better about lots of things, feeling ok about staying home on your own on a Saturday night) and you can’t stop it anyway so what’s the point in fretting? And yet seeing these writhing, squirming brats and their exhausted-looking mothers wiping snot from their noses I had the strong desire to pop off to Never Neverland and start a new life with Captain Hook and that sort of hot Native American chick.

I’m not, as you may have gathered from one or two things I've let slip over the years, a baby person. I don’t particularly like them, I don’t particularly want them and although my views may change when the hormones come (at least so everyone from family members to almost strangers assure me) I had always assumed I had the option of avoiding them for life. But oh no I don’t. Because once you reach a certain age, whatever happens, babies are a part of your life. Your family members have them. Your friends have them. They crawl over your feet at parties, demand to be looked at and, if you are me apparently, try to stick their chubby fist in your wine.

All of which might be okay if I knew what the baby rules were. But I don’t. I mean, if I'm honest I rather like fat baby limbs when you get those big creases where two fat rolls meet and, if pushed, I confess, yes, their skin is awfully soft. I was even once captivated – yes CAPTIVATED – by a blue eyed baby I saw in a church. I could barely take my eyes off this thing (it was nearly as cute as a bloody kitten, I swear it). So I can take babies. Sort of. From a distance, obviously. But what I don’t get is what I’m allowed to do and say around babies. I have no younger siblings and none of my older ones have yet taken it upon themselves to breed so I just don’t have the experience in dealing with new parents or their progeny. Miss Manners doesn’t seem to cover this crap so for the benefit of everyone in a similar predicament here’s what I’ve managed to pick up so far, mostly between drinks at the party:

1. Swearing is not encouraged. It doesn’t matter if you have just cut your arm on a particularly prickly bush or poured wine down the front of your top. Using the c-word is frowned upon if there is a pair of three-year-olds present.

2. It is not polite to call attention to a baby’s inability to control its bodily functions. No matter if this includes an absolute fountain of snot cascading down the front of the little shit’s face – apparently you’re supposed to ignore it and coo about the fact its head looks slightly less like a potato than it did in that photo its parents sent you months earlier.

3. Do not engage with a new mother about how great her post-baby body looks. Although to the uninitiated this might seem like a compliment it will, in fact, throw you into an uncomfortable round of self deprecation in which she insists she’s still fat as a cow while you shovel fried goods into your mouth and wonder if that wet patch on her right boob means she is breastfeeding.

4. No matter that practically EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON EARTH has mastered the various arts of sitting up straight, crawling, talking etc. When a new baby does these things for the first time it is a matter of great importance that potentially signifies some sort of prodigy in the making. Bystanders are expected to applaud and/or shout ‘encore’ as these amazing events unfold before their very eyes

This is the future. Get used to it, er, I suppose.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Or at least a bloody glass of wine, please

The shit thing, and the brilliant thing, about journalism (at least on a daily) is that every day is a new one. Oh vomit I sound like I’ve just come over all Pollyanna but what I mean is that you write a story, file a story, it appears in the paper the next day and you get on with it. Sometimes there are follow-ups and repurcussions, of course, but when things are bad you can grit your teeth and mutter darkly to yourself ‘this too shall pass’. Of course the flip side to that is that you have to write things EVERY DAY, thus opening yourself up to crippling self doubt and it’s twin: constructive (or not) criticism. No matter if you don’t feel in the mood for writing: you have to. Tough luck if you’re having a shocker and just want to go home: you can’t. Sit at your desk and write bitch, write, No, no, that’s not good enough. That’s not long enough. No that’s too long. Here, write this instead. Oh actually we don’t need that after all. Today I have had enough. I am writing utter shit and doing no good at all. The only thing I want to do is get out of here. A hot bath, a glass of wine - and possibly a new career as a goat herd - call me. I know I sound a bit pathetic but I’m sick of every day being a new bloody day. I want to come into work and zone out sometimes, waking from my reverie only when I decide I want a fresh cup of tea. I want long lunches and early finishes. I want a break, pretty please.

Step Up

You may gather from these posts that I have frittered my long(ish) weekend away watching movies. You may be right. But careful how you use the word 'frittered' because this might seem to suggest I've wasted my time and to suggest I wasted two hours of my life watching the (unintentionally?) hilarious Step Up 2: The Streets would be very, very wrong. In fact this movie is such a classic I've decided to use it as an instructive example to all other would-be cheesfests to show you how it's really done.

1. Start with a moody voice over on top of some gritty scenes of 'the streets'. This is not merely the only chance you will have to display any sense of realism it will also effectively dispense with any need for plot or characterisation for at least the first hour of the movie, thus enabling it to become little more than a glorified rap video.

2. Indisperse dialogue with long dance sequences, ideally when least expected. The more complex, tightly choreographed and improbable the better. Ridiculous masks are good. Oh and turn on the fake rain anytime anyone so much as thinks about dancing outside. Assuming by 'anyone' you mean a hot chick in a white top.

3. Hot boys onscreen longer than two minutes are required to take their shirts off. Unless they are supposed to be evil.

4. Hot girls (read: every flipping girl in the movie, unless she is supposed to be evil) onscreen are required to a) tear the lower half of her top off, b) wear a gravity defying push-up bra, c) spontaneously decide to wear a hat half over her eyes in order to allow her dance double to step in for the trickier dance sequences.

5. If the studio REALLY requires the main character's love interest to be played by a blonde-haired blue-eyed boy so bland he may as well be a mop in a funny hat do be sure to wedge a full blown hottie into another part of the movie, ostensibly as an arsehole-with-a-secret-heart-of-gold but really so the rest of us can imagine him tearing his short open in the fake rain while back-up dancers straddle his torso.

6. Make Step Up 3. Please.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

But I don't wanna be a cowboy...

I'm often heard complaining about the fact that it's very bloody hard these days to go to a movie with few expectations, if not a complete synopsis of exactly what's going to happen and how it's going to go down already in your head.

You know what I mean: you see the previews, you read the reviews and if you're a dork like me you even read the websites. So by the time you schlep into the cinema there's not much left to be surprised by. Oh, sure, you might be pleasantly surprised by how good something is (I mean the original Step Up certainly delivered but I must confess I had my reservations about whether Step Up 2 could deliver on the same cheestastic scale ... until I saw it, of course), or shocked by how really godawful it is (seriously I know there are loads of people you liked, nay, loved Transformers but My. God. Sex on the car-bot? Really?) but it's pretty hard, in my experience at least, to be really taken by surprise these days when it comes to movies.

So imagine my delight - in theory at least - when I was surprised not once but twice this weekend by two among a handful of DVDs I had borrowed out to help me pass the pleasant long weekend in a daze of hangovers and movies on the couch. Of course I'm not really a delightful person so as you'll swiftly notice, if you keep reading, this is A Cautionary Tale along the lines of being careful what you wish for.

Let's start with Midnight Cowboy. Okay, okay I should have known more about this movie - it's a 'classic'. But somehow I'd managed to avoid knowing anything about it for 25 years. All I had to go on was the picture on the front of a young Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman (a nice moody sort of a shot), a vague sense of some homoerotic overtones (can't be a bad thing) and that song Everybody's Talkin' At Me stuck in my head (fuck now it's stuck in there again). In my mind the movie was a sort of Brokeback Mountain meets The Sting. I don't know why. So I borrowed the movie, got stuck into it and My. God. Not the most upbeat movie in the world for a lazy Sunday. I must say I would recommend this baby because it's a classic for a reason but you might want to remove the razorblades from the house first. The entire thing depressed Andy so much we had to go for a two hour drive in the middle just to resist the temptation to end it all in a joint suicide pact.

Even so: a mostly pleasant surprise with only a light slathering of life crushing ennui on the side.

Onto my second choice, carefully chosen to follow Midnight Cowboy by virtue of the fact it was light, fluffy and starred Marilyn Monroe. Ms Monroe (AKA: jelly on stilts) may not be my favourite actor in the world but she has earned my love through association with Some like it Hot and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes so I had some expectations for the Seven Year Itch. Plus, you know, it's the one with the white dress.

What I didn't know is that it's also the one with the 'wacky' dream sequences. And the one with its 'hilarious' endorsement of widespread infidelity. And gee whiz gosh don't even get me started on the 'bawdy' 'humour'. My. God. I turned it off hours ago and still all I want in the world is that hour and a half of my life back. Sure Midnight Cowboy filled me with a kind of soft, existential despair but it did, at least, turn in some very decent performances, a killer soundtrack and succeeded in wringing a few reluctant tears from me (c'mon - the end scene? Am I made of flipping STONE?). The only tears The Seven Year Itch got out of me were tears of frustration and the tears of pain as I repeatedly stabbed myself with a kitchen knife just to be sure I hadn't died and gone directly to hell.

To conclude: the fact that it's a rarity these days to go to a film with only the vaguest idea of what it's about and who is in it is a shame. A delightful film is made doubly delightful when it takes you by surprise and you have no expectations it is required to live up to. If I think about it most of my favourite movies are the ones that have caught me unawares or slowly crept into my life: not the ones I have hotly anticipated only to be disappointed by. On the flipside, if I had the opportunity to see a preview for The Seven Year Itch I would have been able to make up my own mind that it was a piece of dull, unfunny and slightly misogynistic claptrap for myself instead of being required to take the opinions of the many film buffs apparently part of a wildworld conspiracy to pretend this shit is comedy gold. Dammned if you do, damned if you don't I suppose. What. Ev.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

..slowly, mate

Because I am a politically astute member of society, never happier than when watching Parliament Question Time and certainly not an ignorant boob who gleans her political insights from talkback radio and pages of the newspaper left by the bog roll I recently had a bit of an argument about our former Prime Minister Paul Keating. Yes, that’s right, and when I’m not having intelligent conversations about politics I’m reading books with long works in them and listening to Wagner while I do it.

Keating, as regular readers will know (Hi, Mum) is a favourite of mine for a slew of reasons, at least one of which is the brilliance of the Keating musical which might strike you as wrong but is nevertheless The Truth. Anyway, this argument centred around some of Keating’s notorious put-downs. He’s not, my opponent who shall remain nameless to protect his identity but two drinks will buy you his name and address, a very nice guy. Look, my opponent said, have a look at some of the things he says to other people. Some of it’s kinda personal - who SAYS that in Parliament?

This, to my mind, was no argument. In fact my opponent seemed to be arguing my point, if somewhat circuitously. I have always had a soft spot for smart bastards. I don’t mean just guys that are smart but guys that are smart and… well possibly kinda smarmy or arseholey about it. I know, I know, this isn’t healthy thinking but it’s about as close as I get to fancying Bad Boys. Give me Keating in a suit with a crisp comeback over some tool with tatts and a bike anyday. So Keating’s smack talk and his ability to run rhetorical circles around most of his opponents delights me.

Is this a good reason to like a politician? Maybe not. Is it a good reason to like a boy? Oh C’mon, it’s practically the ONLY reason to like a boy.

But what do I know – most of The Keating Years is filled, for me, with memories of trying to find a pair of glasses that made me look less, rather than more, retarded than I am; lusting after my brother’s friend for an embarassingly long time; and pretending I understood integration in maths. Over to you, readers: what do you think? Argumentative bully or genius? I give you Keating…

On John Howard:
1. “What we have got is a dead carcass, swinging in the breeze, but nobody will cut it down to replace him.”
2. But I will never get to the stage of wanting to lead the nation standing in front of the mirror each morning clipping the eyebrows here and clipping the eyebrows there with Janette and the kids: It’s like ‘Spot the eyebrows’.”
3. "I am not like the Leader of the Opposition. I did not slither out of the Cabinet room like a mangy maggot."

On John Hewson:
1. This is the sort of little-boy, stamp your foot stuff which comes from a financial yuppie when you shoe him into parliament.
2. Like being flogged with a warm lettuce.
3. I was implying that the Honorable Member for Wentworth was like a lizard on a rock - alive, but looking dead.

To Richard Carleton:
"You had an important place in Australian society on the ABC and you gave it up to be a pop star…with a big cheque…and now you’re on to this sort of stuff. That shows what a 24 carat pissant you are, Richard, that’s for sure."

To Former Labour politician, Jim McClelland (on the phone):
"That you Jim? Paul Keating here. Just because you swallowed a fucking dictionary when you were about 15 doesn’t give you the right to pour a bucket of shit over the rest of us.”


I never thought I would say such a thing but The Financial Review has a really interesting article on page 62 today (the long weekend edition). It’s nothing to do with finance or anythign related to my day job, it’s about relationships and whether the idea of 'settling' is actually a really good one that will probably bring you more happiness than not. Whether it’s the three glasses of champagne I’ve had or my current mood I found it fascinating and I've been thinking about it all day. I've always had to fight the 'grass is greener' side of my personality and, like most people I know, abhore the idea of 'settling' for someone who doesn't tick most of the boxes. But, again like most people I know, I've come to realise this idea throws up a bunch of complications all on its own and generally leads to you doubting yourself and having long, dull conversations in the pub with friends who keep looking at their watches.

Anyway, read the article if you have the chance – genuinely interesting stuff that I would reprint here if I had the energy (read: if I hadn’t had those three glasses).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quotable Quotes

"One is never as unhappy as one thinks, or as happy as one hopes to be." (La Rochefoucauld

Yeah the crisps drift into my belly button sometimes - whatcha going do about it?

When I was a youngster it was my parents’ habit to routinely threaten to get rid of the TV. This warning would usually come on the back of some sort of marathon Simpsons session or, perhaps, after that night before my Intro Calc exam when my father caught me watching a late night movie instead of studying (I assure you I needed the extra study time). It was an idle threat (whatever they said they loved a good Friday Night crime night on ABC as much as anyone) but it always struck me as ridiculous. Because although I was one of the few kids I knew restricted, at various times or other, to a mere half hour or TV on a weeknight (criminal by a 12+ year old’s standards) the prospect of doing away with the TV altogether was unthinkable. What the hell would I sit on the couch and watch?

So I’m as surprised as you are when I realise I have now been without a TV for about three months. Or rather, let me clarify: I have been ‘without TV’ rather than ‘without A TV’. I do have a TV – it just isn’t hooked up to the aerial. This isn’t a deliberate choice – just a combination of my laziness and Andy’s desire to stop me from watching what he calls trash and what I call brilliant. But when I say I have been sans TV for three months you mustn’t imagine this has opened some sort of cultural door for me. In your mind, perhaps, I’m in a leather recliner with a pipe, a glass of wine and Chopin on the CD player. In reality I’m smooshed down on the couch, eating crisps off my stomach and watching Series 2 of Peep Show. Again. Yes because although TV is off the agenda DVDs aren’t. In fact they’re bloody better than TV. There, I said it. Why should I watch crap when I can watch something I know I will like? Why be a slave to programming when I watch what I want when I want?
All good points.

Then why do I miss TV? Because I do, you know. At least I’m really starting to and it’s not any particular show I miss (partly because I have no idea what the hell is even on TV these days) but the idea of interconnectedness that TV does give us. Orson Welles said TV was a medium that allowed millions of people to watch the same thing and still feel lonely but I sort of disagree. I like overhearing people talk about some show or other and knowing what they’re talking about. I enjoy having an opinion on some ridiculously insignificant development on another show. I miss being able to call someone I know will be watching the same show as me purely in order to take the piss out of it. It’s a pathetic way to feel like part of a community but it’s better than, you know, taking an interest in peoples’ LIVES or something. It allows social lepers like myself to feel like we know what social interaction means.

So, dear readers and friends, when your phone rings in the next episode of this cheesy reality TV show or that ridiculously farfetched drama (*cough* Moonlight *cough*) please pick it up – I’ve got three months worth of semi-drunken TV critiquing to get off my chest…

Monday, March 17, 2008

Keep smiling, I'm reloading

Aren’t happy people the absolute pits? Oh Christ are they ever. Skipping about with their sugar-coated grins singing about flowers and unicorns while the rest of us shuffle about in the Valley of Ashes just waiting for a bullet between the eyes to put us out of our misery so we can lie down, oh fuck could we please just lie down, for a minute. Their presence offends the rest of us, actually deprives of the teensy little part of us that still retains a vague will to live. The depressed and the disillusioned, however, oh they’re the best. Striding about with their black berets, making cutting remarks about strangers and only stubbing their cigarette out long enough to make a suicide pact over the internet. These people never have to get let down because they never have any expectations. They never have to be nice to people because they’re Depressed Don’t You Know and, best of all, they never get disappointed because they’re already expecting the worst. That, my friends, is living.

But just quietly, strickly between you and me, you understand, I’m sort of having fun. I’m actually rather happy. God knows why – I’m poor, sleep deprived and may have some semi serious dental/financial problems all of my own making. On top of that my body is falling apart, potentially because the last time I did any proper exercise was around the time that fucking annoying/incredibly catchy Outcast song was at the top of the charts. Slip in a little no-home-for-Katyitis-today-or-ever and surely I should be reading Sylvia Plath and slitting my wrists in a bath somewhere.

But am I what? Am I never. So maybe the bitter twisted cynical part of me says this is because it’s nearly the end of the work day, it’s a four day week and I have a week of holidays coming up but I don’t care. I’m rather happy. And just to stuff all this disgusting syrupy shit further down your throats until you choke let’s have a look at some of Katy’s current favourite things. You may open your vomit bag… now.

Card making. Ah yes look at the time – it’s 1894 already is it? Yes, yes, there is something a little bit quaint and a whole lot twee about getting ones jollies making cards but I’ve just started getting back into it (after a glue drought-imposed break) and I find myself right now, as I sit at work waiting to be released from servitude, actually looking forward to start working on some new ideas. That’s right readers – I live the sort of wild, hedonistic life you can only DREAM about.

Cadbury Crème Eggs. What IS that shit in these eggs? Is it pure sugar? Is it unadulterated fat? And why is the idea that it resembles a raw egg yolk supposed to be a GOOD thing? These are rhetorical questions, as I don’t really care, because I love them. Mmm mmm, pre-Easter is my favourite time of year.

The weather. Not all among us are flattered by a stringy summer dresser or a strappy little singlet. Some of us, dare I suggest it, look like trussed up hams loafing in supermarket refrigerators if we so much as try. And every year, as the summer sloooowly gives way to the best season of the year, Autumn, I Thank Fuck and pull out my collection of fetching cardigans and fluffy hats. Hurrah. Hot cocoa for all (if we put the air con on first).

Entourage. Oh sure it’s sort of stupid and there’s the sound of ten in-jokes a second I don’t understand flying over my head but Adrian Grenier has the face of an angel and Jeremy Piven has the mouth of a sewer. Brilliant, schlocky fun.

Aaan that's it for now, kids, we made it through together and my reputation as a cynical biatch is ruined forever. From here on it’s all yoghurt for breakfast, drum circles at midnight and the dumb grin of a harmless puppy adorning my stupid mug. Ask me if I care? Yeah, that’s right, So’s Your Face.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chin chin

I have friends who don't drink and while I respect their choice and only sometimes corner them at parties to verbally harass them for being what I disgustingly refer to as pussies I find myself utterly unable to understand it. This is because, obviously, I am a drunken boob and these sober friends of mine possess qualities like restraint and self esteem that I am clearly lacking. But still.

I do understand why some people might choice not to drink, sort of. The hangovers, the drunken remorse, the need for extensive forensic partying - none of these things are incredibly desirable. But how, how can somebody turn their back on all that booze has to offer? These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.

Let's start with its social lubricant qualities, perhaps better described as some dutch courage for the partying set. How can somebody attend, for instance, a party where they don't know anyone well and do so sober? That's a genuine question. I salute those who can do it because they have at least three and possible seven more balls than me but I couldn't do it. At least not all the time. I'm not a social butterfly, I don't really enjoy meeting strangers (as an aside to self: yeah nice career choice then, you muppet) and if I'm brutally honest the only way I can really consider putting myself in that sort of situation is to get boozed and let that fourth glass of wine do the schmoozing for me. Faced with the prospect of going out with just my sober wit to rely on I'd curl up on the couch with the March Sisters (yes that's a Laurie shout-out, Linds, hope you enjoy it) every time.

Meanwhile booze-free I'd like to know how anyone plans to repopulate the earth. Oh, okay that sounds really bad so let me assure you I don't require a cheeky quart before hopping into bed. What I mean is how the hell do sober people take that first step from 'eh I quite fancy you' towards domestic bliss? Again that sounds sort of bad but, really, if you take that first drunken snog/shag out of the equation how do these things actually get achieved? How else does one buoy up the courage to send lascivious texts to the object of one's affection, or slur 'your buttocks look like two furry peaches in a bag' into anyone's ear? Honestly.

It may or may not have been Bertrand Russell who called drunkenness a temporary suicide, I'm terrible with quotations, but whoever it was I think he had a fair point. Depressive drinking, or drinking to escape oneself isn't one of those things it's quite right to talk up but it does have its good points. Namely, it does achieve what it promises and gives the boobs among us a little respite from a sober life of boobery. Let's illustrate with a story shall we? Years and years ago, for instance, I was about to go out one night and waiting for a friend to pick me up on the way when I learned that the then object of my affection (later to become Just Andy) wasn't going to be at this party, as I had expected him to be. Being a young slip of a thing and a bit prone to histrionics at the best of times I decided this was a tragedy and proceeded to drink myself into the floor - almost literally as Alley Cat can attest if she still recalls watching me perform gravel angels in a petrol station car park. That night and the hangover that followed were not pretty but I maintain they were preferable to being alone with being miserable, and once the worst of it started my mind was actually quite preoccupied from all thoughts of boys.

And finally, there is the simple pleasure of a crisp, cool drink on a warm day or a cold night and the warmth in one's belly it provides. It's not drunkenly cracking onto someone, texting a (soon to be former) friend to tell them they have a head like a toby jug, vomiting into a plastic bag held by a friend (yeah thanks again for that) but it's just about the best reason to drink that there is. Bottoms up.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I iz a grate spella, what iz you sayin'?

I have just noticed an atrocious number of spelling areas or typos on this page. I… I apologise. Particularly to those among my readers who are spelling and grammar nazis. I have always had terrible spelling and terrible typing but I do, I assure you, know how to spell ‘advice’ and ‘quiet’. Honest. I’m not going to go back and correct the fuckups, however, because that would effectively be a lie by omission in that it might suggest I’m a decent speller. Which I am now. Alrighty, that is all.

So the glass is half full... half empty, what?

An old and wily journalist whose cynicism I appreciate and advise I trust told me yesterday that ignorance, confusion and trying to cover something you don't understand is the perpetual, and inevitable, state of the career journalist.

Bugger that.

The worse bit is I'm starting to think he might be right. No, actually the worst worst bit is that I'm afraid this theory might extend beyond the journalism world and to the world generally. Meaning that I think what this guy was really trying to tell me is that most people spend their lives bobbing along with their legs frantically cycling under the surface, trying to stay afloat.

Depending on your viewpoint and personality this is either incredibly uplifting (hey, we're all in together, right?) or incredibly depressing (it's not getting any better, dude). I think I fall somewhere in between. For instance, I just had a complete panic attack because I realised I have two final demand parking tickets to pay, a stack of very overdue DVDs to return and I think I may have missed my wisdom teeth appointment, which took me 3 months to get, and anyway I'm also starting to suspect HBF might have fucked my insurance, which would mean I have to wait another entire year for anything to happen.

Now it would comfort me to know other people do this sort of thing, just fuck about not paying bills until someone actually tries to break your knees with a crowbar, and to some extent I assume they probably do. But at the same time I would like to think I could grow out of this slapdash approach to personal finance and Pull My Shit Together at some point in the future. That, it appears, is unlikely.

So what to do? What to do?

Well for a start why not bugger the doom and gloom because one of life's other universal truths is that everyone likes a bit of undignified shitfighting on air. It is not enough for us to succeed, others must fail, if you see what I mean as a paraphrase Gore Vidal. So watch this video of a FOX reporter and anchor sniping at each other and feel yourself become one with the universe. (It's about 1:20 into the video). Eh, it's kind of as good a solution as anything else.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Don't you start with me...

Now, before you say anything, let me say that, yes, I know I have not been keeping up with my usual excessive posting lately but I have several very good excuses, which I prepared early.
  1. The Deathtrap. Otherwise known as The Dream. Also known as My Northbridge House. Long story. Expensive story. Still far from over but far too stressful to discuss until I've had a cup of tea and a lie down.
  2. Work. Dear God. Ask me what I'm doing today? C'mon ask me? I'm glad you asked - going to an iron ore and steel conference to rub shoulders with Australia's richest man. Hmm. Ask me what I know about iron ore? Yeah, exactly.
  3. Early onset senility. Why else do I get home at night and collapse on the couch, where I lie for approximately two hours before being rolled into bed?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Saucy bitches

They don't make 'em like they used to. Would somebody start a war, pretty please? Or at least hand me my red lipstick.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Because sometimes I actually have nothing to complain about, no boy-crush pictures to post and no news to relate. Instead I am looking forward to a weekend full of Wagner, powdered eggs and lovely friends from the motherland. But sadly no bunnies to hold in the palm of my hand.

But who has to wear the rubber gloves?

The more equally a man and woman share housework, the more sex they will have, a study finds.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I have a dream?

When I took my current job I knew, or feared, I would have work-life balance problems. I had been warned. So I have no excuse to whinge, really I don’t.

But MAN do I miss finishing at 5pm. It’s not that the hours are so awfully long or the work is so hard, although every so often it feels that way, but that I am constantly consumed by guilt over not being able to catch up for a cheeky drink after work because, well, I’m still AT work, or being constantly, appallingly late for things because, yes that’s right, I’m still at work.

I also don’t have a right to whinge because as of now I am officially above the average Australian wage. Hurrah. Looks like that damn degree paid off after all. Possibly.

And don’t think I’m going to piss that extra cash away either, dear fellows. It’s no trip to the bookstore for me. I’m thinking about… wait for it, buying a house. Yes, I know, I know. It’s not really ME is it? But I have, I’m sorry to say, fallen a little bit in love with a dear little house in Northbridge. It’s small. It’s run down. It doesn’t ‘technically’ have a toilet and it needs a new bathroom and kitchen immediately but it’s also quite darling and in my favourite suburb in the city. Much like this job I didn’t go hunting for it but it came rapping on the door and I was powerless to resist.

Before I get ahead of myself I must assure you the house is by no means now, I don’t have finance approved and it’s being AUCTIONED in just over a week but still… I don’t know. I have a dream I suppose. A dream that one day I will be home before 7pm to sit on the couch with a glass of wine and watch the news. In my beautiful new house. That is all mine (and Andy’s). And that has a toilet.

UPDATE: The dream is dead. Long live the dream. Faaaawk.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

They do work a little bit, you know

I have been called, from time to time, a music snob. This - unlike wild accusations I am a control freak, a commitment phobe or have a fuse the approximate length of my pinkie nail - is not without cause. I am, of course, a terrible, terrible music snob rarely happier than when playing a game of I Can Name a More Obscure Band Than You or These Are The Reason Why Echo And The Bunnymen Will Always Always Always Be Much Much Better Than Almost Anyone You Can Name. And yet I, like everyone has, have my musical guilty pleasures. Woe betide the poor fool trapped in a confined space with me if Dire Straits’ Romeo and Juliet comes on the radio, let alone the Choirboys’ Run to Paradise or (oh God) Run DMC’s duet with Aeromosmith Walk This Way. And the less said about Guns and Roses the better.

One guilty pleasure I feel particularly guilty about is Ben Lee. I don’t WANT to like Ben Lee. I don’t want to find his music catchy and uplifting and find myself cranking up Catch My Disease when I’m alone in the car, honest I don’t. But I do and I do. Hey, I can’t help it – I even find the fact that he’s about four foot nothing quite charming.

Now the couple of paragraphs up there and what I’m about to say right now might not sound like they have much in common. I might even sound like I’ve gone a bit segue crazy but, trust me, I am going somewhere with this. Because the other day I had a bit of a chat with someone at work. Someone new who I haven’t had a very good chance to chat to at all. I ran into her at the pub and ended up having one of those not-exactly-drunk-but-sort-of-shouting-to-be-heard conversations. And, although I won’t go into the ins and outs of it all here, it was a very bloody welcome chat. I had just been through a truly shit week at work and was feeling about as useful as a life preserver with a leak, while she seemed to be super confident, super capable and super, er, better than me. But, of course, once I’d talked to her it turned out she was feeling just as insecure and lame as me. So I walked out of the pub a bit later feeling definitely happier. Then I got into my car, turned on the radio and Mr Lee’s We’re All in This Together came on the radio. A schmalzy song, for sure. But because I was feeling happy and sort of loving towards my fellow man I cranked it up and felt wildly happy to hear it. Yes, I thought stupidly and incorrectly to myself, we really ARE all in this together, aren’t we.

It was a nice thought and the next time I heard the song I had exactly the same reaction. Like a welcome echo.

My point is not that Ben Lee is great or that We’re All in This Together is great but that music is great. I’m sorry to be so kumbaya about it all but music is actually one of the best things around. Being an athiest I wouldn’t go so far as Dr Johnson (I think it was he) who called it all of heaven that we mortals know below but bloody hell it’s pretty close. And this idea of musical memory is one of the best parts.

I have access to hundreds of little pockets of emotion every time I pick up my ipod or turn on the radio. Every time I put on Ben Lee I can remember how happy I felt to hear that song in the car and this is not just a one off. Every time I listen to old favourites I’m swamped by a wealth of memories, whether it’s memories of someone who was very sweet to me once and made me blush (Belle and Sebastian’s Piazza New York Catcher), the thrill of remembering the first time I heard The Smiths and thought I might have found My Band (Please, please, please let me get what I want), a very clear memory of one day when I was just walking home from work feeling about as happy as I’ve ever felt in my life (Wire’s Outdoor Miner) or the awkward sadness of having to give someone a lift home when you’ve just broken up with them at a party (Richard Ashcroft’s The Drugs Don’t Work).

Then are certain songs I know will pick me up (Phoenix’s If I Ever Feel Better) because I’ve listened to them when I’ve been going through a bad time and managed to muddle through. Others (most of Nick Drake for a start) contrarily make me melancholy because I associate them with those bad times.

If I had to make a choice between books and music I would always choose books. For a bibliophile like me that’s a pretty easy choice, but it would still be a painful one. For even though books provide entertainment and almost endless pleasure it’s only the best of them that offer the same visceral reaction music does: that wrench in your gut at a perfect hook or the blanket of calm at the first few familiar bars of an old favourite. With music you don’t have to think and you don’t have to summon the energy to move your eyes across a page after a hard day’s work. That’s hard to beat.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hey, I said, almost....

It’s probably not a big surprise but I like doctors. I don’t mean just my parents or my brother in law or my own (hypothetical) doctor I mean I like what they do and what they stand for. They are mostly smart. They are nice and sciencey. They believe in evolution. Generally speaking it gives me pleasure to deal with people for whom cold science, reason and logic win out over everything else.

Which is partly why I’m filled with the desire to get a can of kero and burn something when I hear the latest sewage gushing forth from AMA president Rosanna Capolingua – number one candidate for a reality TV show I have just made up called Let’s Burn Public Figures Alive.

This week Dr Capolingua, for whom I will try to come up with a cutting nickname before the end of this blog entry, thinks giving teenagers access to the morning after pill without parental permission isn’t on because it won’t stop teenage pregnancy. Now really? Because I thought that was EXACTLY what it was intended to do.

But before I go on let’s hear from Dr Fuckface (hey, I’m trying) shall we? Here we hear her responding to comments by Victoria's Centre for Adolescent Health director Professor Susan Sawyer, who was bold enough to suggest teenagers should be allowed to have the morning after pill without having to tell their parents.

"Let's talk about preventing the episode of unprotected sex," (Dr C) said on Channel 7. "What we need to do is talk about preventing the teenage pregnancies ... and handing out the morning-after pill is not the way to do that.”
Personally I think Dr Capolingua’s point is a fair one because everyone knows that contraception doesn’t stop… no wait I mean that emergency contraception wouldn’t… that is because of the… oh well I mean surely…. Wait, what is her point?

Dr Capolingua said Australia had "dropped the ball" when it came to talking about condoms and the prevention of unprotected sex. "I think what we need to do is look at better education, better information transfer to young people to empower them to make the right choices," she said. "In some families there is that ability to have those conversations, but in many families there isn't. We have to provide that information to kids through other means, and certainly schools are a very important source of that.”
Brilliant. This is the net result of years of medical education and a career as a GP. No Fucking Kidding kids need to be educated about contraception (step one, Dr C, don’t send your kids to a Catholic School eh) but, really, if they DO get pregnant (either through being ignorant or unlucky or a stupid twit) the damage is pretty well done and is there really any point in making some 15-year-year old either a)have a stupid kid b)get an abortion in a month’s time c)risk being chucked out of home by asking her parents for permission to take the morning after pill and hope they give in in time?

I think not. Personally I wasn’t exactly at risk of being knocked up in my high school years, if you see what I mean, but if I had been then I would rather have chucked myself off a bridge than tell my parents. And I have very nice parents. What about kids who have shitcake parents who either don’t believe in the morning after pill or don’t believe in their little Charlene screwing around? Heaven this little SLUTS should be allowed to prevent pregnancy in the same perfectly legal way that anyone who is a few years older is already allowed to do.

In Dr C’s world the kid pays the price of the failure of schools or her parents to educate her about sex and contraception. In Dr C’s world it’s better that little Cindy gets sent to her room (read: forced to have a child) to Teach Her a Lesson rather than risk a world in which young women actually have some control over their bodies and access to drugs designed to enable them to make their own decision about when, or if, they have a child. In Dr C’s world she doesn’t deserve to be burnt alive for all of the above crimes. But in my world she almost does.