Monday, December 30, 2013

I know, right?

I will cut a bitch before I stop saying that I will cut a bitch.

Scenes from a journo life

Me: Hi, I'm from (my media organisation). Is there someone there who handles media queries.

Her: We're not commenting.

Me: But I haven't told you what I'm calling about.

Her: What are you calling about?

Me: I'm calling about (what I'm calling about).

Her: We're not commenting.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Do I want to be Anna Calvi or do I want to go gay and do Anna Calvi? It's a toughie.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

“Because . . . most of us think that the point is something to do with work, or kids, or family, or whatever. But you don't have any of that. There's nothing between you and despair, and you don't seem a very desperate person.'

'Too stupid.'

'You're not stupid. So why don't you ever put your head in the oven?'

'I don't know. There's always a new Nirvana album to look forward to, or something happening in NYPD Blue to make you want to watch the next episode.'


'That's the point? NYPD Blue? Jesus.' It was worse than he thought.

'No, no. The point is you keep going. You want to. So all the things that make you want to are the point. I don't know if you even realize it, but on the quiet you don't think life's too bad. You love things. Telly. Music. Food.” 

― Nick HornbyAbout a Boy

I didn't expect it...

... but this made me laugh. I'm an idiot.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The future of Amazon's sorry-we-missed you delivery slips...

Should this become reality.

(Image via Twitter user @QuantumPirate but you can get some background by reading these guys)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Things I really have to stop saying #23

"You haven't read Rainbow Rowell's books? You MUST read Rainbow Rowell. She's amazing. You'll love her. Here, borrow my copy of Eleanor and Park immediately so we can talk about it. I'll call you in an hour: read fast."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dear Sam Rockwell

Please marry me and allow me to have 200 of your children. That is all.

Hats off

Even if I have never bored you with the story of The Time I Spent an Insane Amount of Money (for me, at the time) On a Fancy Hat you will understand, I hope, why this round-up of some of the world's best hats has sort of charmed me. Except for the Bieber and Lady Gaga. Ugh they're just the worst, no?

Conversations with my physio

Him: So then turn 180 degress.

Me: Uh huh.

Him: That's not 180 degrees.

Me: Oh yes I-

Him: That's 90 degrees.

My current obsession

Is the Man Repeller blog. You know MR: she blogs about the kind of clothes women love that men find a big fat snooze. And even though I find many - MANY - of her clothing choices to be... unfortunate I still love her with a fierceness that makes zero sense.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Dream Boat

For anyone who hasn't already read this New York Times article written by a journalist who made a perilous boat trip from Indonesia to Australia, alongside a boatload of refugees, it is basically essential reading. I had avoided it for a little while because I knew it would make me sad and now yeah... that.

Thoughts I had while watching Thor 2

1. Chris Hemsworth's body is... too much. And not in a good "woah he's too much" kind of a way but in a THERE IS TOO MUCH OF IT kind of a way.

2. I don't know enough about physics to know whether any of what's going on makes any sense at all.

3. Asgard really needs to spend a little bit less of its time and money on the elaborate architecture and the robes and a little bit more on its defensive capabilities. Maybe don't leave the task of defending the entire city up to, say, ONE GUY.

4. I want to see a spin-off featuring just Kat Dennings and the dorky/cute intern where they solve mysteries and drive around in that shit-heap of a red Volvo.

5. Related: I could also watch stuff falling through wormholes in and out of various worlds with comedic results more or less forever. I'm simple that way.

"Just ask this scientician"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fabulous Fashionistas

Like many people (I assume) I don't look forward to getting old. It's not so much about getting soft(er) corners and wrinkles so much as the feeling that the older I get the more my options narrow and the more boring those options become. So I can highly recommend this incredibly charming UK documentary (albeit with a slightly shit name), which follows some unconventional older women and has genuinely made me think - at least for a moment or two - well that doesn't seem so bad...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Overheard in my lounge room

Me: Do you mind if I watch an episode of Seinfeld?
Him: Can we watch the one with the funniness?
Me: The funny episode... of Seinfeld?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Harken to this

In which Sam DB articulates some of the reasons I too love a bit of Dan Savage.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Bridge

This one comes via the wonderful Lindsay and has kept me lying in bed this morning, watching it, when I should be sweating it out at the gym or doing a load of washing or something. The documentary looks at the phenomenon of people who kill themselves (or try to) by jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge and it is sad and fascinating.

Note: If you wound up at this page because you googled "suicide" or "how to kill yourself" and you're in a very bad place then you should a) call someone: Lifeline is a good place to start if you're in Australia - a friend or family member will do; b) believe me when I say I have done a pros and cons list many times and decided suicide is Not The Answer and c) read this because it is one of the best arguments for living I guess that I've read.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

“The sense of unhappiness is so much easier to convey than that of happiness. In misery we seem aware of our own existence, even though it may be in the form of a monstrous egotism: this pain of mine is individual, this nerve that winces belongs to me and to no other. But happiness annihilates us: we lose our identity.” (Graham Green, The End of the Affair)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Star Flaws

If being able to watch this Star Wars blooper reel isn't exactly what the internet was made for then I don't know what is. Watching the storm troopers struggling to get through a hole in the wall has, well, I'm a sad person because it's made my day.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


... cannot describe how much I enjoyed this article by Annabel Crabb on women on TV and make-up. If you like this little taster - 
"How did we get to the point, as an evolutionary species, where a woman who is intending to appear on television must first have her face coloured in by another human being, working intently at very close range, sometimes for up to 90 minutes? The experience itself is one of the most intimate encounters one can have - outside the medical, massage and cottaging fields - with a person one is not actually dating"
- then you will too.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Summer Reading Suggestions (even though it's not really summer)

I've been reading a fair bit lately and while there have been some books I've not enjoyed it feels like, for a change, I've enjoyed rather a lot of the books that have come my way - a pleasant surprise. So although it's technically not exactly summer it's close enough that you should all be thinking about books to curl up with in the Christmas holidays. These, for what they're worth, are my recommendations.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The plot to this sounds like the kind of thing that would normally make me retch: a young woman goes to work for a quadriplegic who wants to die and tries to liven up his life. There's a good reason I have never read Tuesday's With Morrie, you know - sentimentality is tedious. But this is a gorgeous book and I devoured it.

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
The premise of this book is that the protagonist goes to the airport to pick up her brother and finds out, to her horror, that he has gained hundreds of pounds since she saw him last. The book that follows from that premise is fascinating for anyone who is interested in the relationship between people and food and society and weight. I make it sound boring but it's a cracking read and - for my money - Shriver's best since the wonderful The Post Birthday World.

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
This book stood out to me because someone had likened it to Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn's insanely addictive thriller that would be on this list except everyone's been talking about it for so long that I assume you've probably either read it or deliberately avoided it. It's not really like Gone Girl except that it requires a mystery to be solved and I don't think it's as cleverly put together but the story, which follows a mother's efforts to discover why her daughter threw herself off a building, is nonetheless compelling.

Night Film by Marisha Pesel
I had high hopes for this novel about a disgraced journalist who starts to investigate a prominent film director in the wake of the suicide of the director's daughter. Pesel's first book, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, had a lot of promise but fell a bit short of being a great book and I figured that this time around she probably had her shit together. Sadly, this contained some of the same shortcomings and it's not the great novel it could have been. Still, I would recommend for anyone planning on lounging by the pool with a cocktail in the foreseeable future.

Tampa by Alissa Nutting
This is one of those books that will probably wind up on book club lists and appal some people. It's been billed as Lolita told from a female perspective (a female teacher who likes to sleep with 14 year old boys) but, to be frank, that's an oversell: it's well written but nowhere near as funny and audacious and poetic as that book. But it is a slightly filthy romp that I tore through in an afternoon and think you could too.

The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes
It seems like cheating to include two novels by Moyes but reading Me Before You made me want to explore her back catalogue and this was the one I started with. The book is packaged very much as chick lit but if it falls into that category then it's one of the best examples of the genre. It's not a Great Novel and history will probably forget it but it completely entranced and charmed me while I was reading it and that's not something I can say about too many books.

The Dinner by Herman Koch
I'm a bit out of date with this one, since I think everyone was sort of talking about it a year or so ago, which was around about when I read it. For some reason, though, I've been thinking about it again lately, which is always a sign that a book has stayed with you. Despite being set in The Netherlands the set up - a couple go out for dinner to talk about... what? - is familiar enough to draw you in and the ultimate reveal is... well. Yikes. I loved it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


That's the word count milestone I've finally cracked on my Terrible Novel. Unfortunately the novel is still terrible but fuck it: I told myself I would finish it, regardless of how much I inevitably grew to hate it and I'm sticking to that game plan. I don't even hate it that much. Not all the time anyway. To conclude: yay me.

Things that suck about being sick on my holidays

1. I'm sick on my holidays.

2. The cash I had earmarked for something indulgent like a manicure or a haircut has been spent on cold meds and anti-inflammatory drugs.

3. I feel faintly blerg all the time but don't feel like I can justify staying in bed because I should be doing All The Things.

4. My pockets and bags are filled with tissues in various states of use.

5. I'm sick on my goddamn holidays.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Movies I am currently watching to cheer me up a little bit after Atonement

1. Celeste and Jesse Forever. Actually it's a little bit depressing too but it's funny and cute and I think my Andy Samberg crush is back with a vengeance.

Movies I have watched today that made me cry and cry and cry some more.

1. Atonement. Fuck. James McEvoy - only you could make me care about a movie with Pouty McPoutface as your love interest. (Also, I don't think I'm being blinded by lust but he does seem like quite a lovely chap, no?)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Things I Did Today:

1. Removed some tiles from the kitchen of the house I am attempting to renovate.
2. Fell through the hole in the floorboards of said kitchen.
3. Wrenched my shoulder.
4. Cut my leg in several nasty places.
5. Scraped my soft, innocent bottom.
6. Bled on my shoes.
7. Bled on the floor.
8. Destroyed a pair of Leona Edmiston stockings.
9. Humiliated myself in front of the property surveyor who witnessed several of the above acts.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge." (Raymond Chandler, "The Red Wind")

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Reader, today has been a shitty day in a shitty week. A big story I have been working on for weeks has fallen over. I have too much to do and not enough time to do it. It looks like I may be out of the State for my birthday, and not for fun times but work-related travel.

Then two things happened. 

The first thing that happened was that someone I was dealing with was helpful. It's actually that simple. You wouldn't believe how many unhelpful dickheads I have to deal with on a regular basis, sometimes because they're, well, dickheads, sometimes because they're just normal people with busy lives. But I called someone up to ask them for a favour and they not only said yes but were sweet about it and made a bad situation easier.

The second thing that happened was that a friend of mine sent me a photo of a homeless guy curled up on a bench in the CBD wearing really really shitty shoes that were so old and worn through which you could see his feet through the soles. Like A LOT of his feet: he was practically barefoot. My friend took the photo because someone had bought a new pair of shoes (the tissue paper was still stuffed in the toes of the shoes) and put them beside the homeless guy for him to find when he wakes up. It's not a life changer. A pair of shoes isn't going to get the guy off the streets. They're not going to solve his problems, except for that problem he has with his current pair of shitty shoes. The shoes weren't even that amazing - they looked like  pair of inexpensive Dunlop Volleys or something pretty basic. 

But it was a sweet, kind, generous gesture that will hopefully make that guy's day a little bit easier. He might wake up a bit happier not just because he has a new pair of shoes but because he's had a little reminder that there are nice people in the world who will help others just for funsies. It also make me feel like, well, kind of a dick for whining about being sooooo busy with this job that pays my bills and sooooo frustrated at having to take an interstate trip to stay in a nice hotel. Quite possibly I've become a goddamn softie in my old age. No that's not a tear in my eye I've been cutting onions. Many onions.

Baby, no.

You may or may not have seen this story today about a toddler found dead in the back of a car a day care centre. Clearly it's way too early to say what happened to the kid. But it reminded of this amazing Washington Post article I read years ago and have thought about often since. It is a Pullitzer Prize winning article and maaaan does it feel like it. This is a story that stays with you and one you should read if you feel like feeling sad for a bit.

Monday, September 30, 2013

It's been...

... awhile since I posted a link to Sam de Brito's work but his latest column, which touches on issues of depression and how we treat depressed people, is good reading.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fact: I want this otter in my arms yesterday.

Okay so some of these animal "facts" are more, um, facty than others. Nevertheless, this list has cheered up my bleak Friday so why don't you just click on the link and let it cheer up yours too?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

8 reasons to love Coco Chanel

1. “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

2. “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”

3. “I don't care what you think about me. I don't think about you at all.”

4. “My life didn't please me, so I created my life.”

5. “Elegance is refusal.”

6. “You can be gorgeous at thirty, charmimg at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.”

7. “Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”

8. Just look at her: she's a fox.

I see...

... nothing to disagree with here.

End of the Line

Monday, September 16, 2013


That is the balance on my credit card. $0. That probably doesn't seem like a big deal to anyone else but, given I've spent the past eight months paying it off, it means a lot to me.

I've never been a huge one for running up credit card bills but late last year, for various boring reasons, I had to use my card to cover a big transaction that got my card up to about $8K - a terrifying amount to me given I'd never had more than a few thousand bucks on it at a time and then only in unusual circumstances.

That it has taken 8 months to pay it off is probably an indictment on my spending habits. But it's also a fact of life that will, I hope, stop me from ever getting tempted to run up those kind of debts again. Because, as chuffed as I feel with myself for clearing it, I'm not so chuffed that I ever want to go through 8 months of penny-pinching again. Poverty blows.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Friday

If I Could Tell You

Time will say nothing but I told you so
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be sold, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reason why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose the lions all get up and go,
And the brooks and soldiers run away;
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know.

(WH Auden)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

In David we trust

I don't often link to the Daily Fail without prefacing said link with a hate-filled rant but this article on David Attenborough, in which he suggests it's irresponsible to have big families and other interesting stuff, is worth reading if only to hear him use the phrase "swanning about" in the last paragraph.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Flames... on the side of my...

This article on the making of the wonderful, very silly movie Clue is long but worth reading if you are a saddo fan like me.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bowls of fuck, served by friends

I think it was Gore Vidal who said "every time a friend succeeds I die a little". But Vidal, despite writing one of the great coming-of-age novels didn't know what he was talking about because I am, it must be said, tickled pink that my dear friend Lindsay has made her Vagenda debut with this witty and insightful gem.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Things that make me happy

That not one but two of my lovely friends invited me over to watch this Sunday's premiere of The (Australian) Bachelor. Them's good people.


Life is a confusing, bewildering and often terrifying place. At least it is for me. So it is immensely comforting to realise, from time to time, that somewhere out there in a vast and hostile universe is another someone who thinks just as you do and loves the same things you do... in this case, that person is the gem who green-lit this absolutely marvelously fucking excellent idea.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Signs I may be a little too obsessed by my cat, Mr Whiskerley.

  1. His name includes an honorific and I'm not as embarrassed about that as I should be.
  2. I fall asleep with him beside me most nights and wake with him beside me most mornings.
  3. I have (genuinely) put off getting out of bed because Mr W has just settled into a new (cute) position leaning against me and I don't want to... hurt his feelings.
  4. I have given him nicknames, including “Whickers” and “Whickerley Woo”.
  5. I imagine I can read his micro-expressions.
  6. I ascribe to him complex emotions when what his “frowny face” probably means is “I am hungry” or “you are sitting in my chair, you bitch”.
  7. I think of the armchair as “Mr Whiskerley’s chair”.
  8. I may have more photos of him on my phone than I do of my husband (I’m too embarrassed to count).
  9. I am writing this blog.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Slow Dolly

If you haven't heard this awesome slowed down version of Dolly Parton singing "Joelene" you need to do that now.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Awkward conversations with myself

Me: Look, Guy, I know you want to go out for dinner again and buy that dress even though you have a lot of dresses and have soy mochas at Epic Espresso every morning even though that place is expensive but we are now officially in savings mode and you can no longer have whatever you want.

Myself: Sure. The thing is -

Me: No. There is no "thing". This is not a discussion - I'm telling you, buster, we are Tightening The Belt. There will be no frivolous purchase, no guilty pleasures, no what-the-hell acquisitions just because Alannah Hill has an exciting new range in store that may well be the last collection she ever designs under the label she created and it looks like magic and smells like rainbows.

Myself: Uh huh. It's just I couldn't help but...

Me: I said no. I know it hurts. I know you think "what's the harm" in having just one extra soy mocha than our weekly budget allows but every penny counts, dude - every fucking counts. This is sensible fiscal planning for a happier tomorrow.



Me: Oh.

Myself: Yes.

Me: You know about that?

Myself: Yes.

Me: You know that it was hand constructed in Portland?

Myself: Yes.

Me: From many tiny squares of eco-friendly cardboard?

Myself: Yes.

Me: And that the shipping cost turned out to be more than the actual scratching post?

Myself: Yes.

Me: And it doesn't matter to you that this was all organised well before savings mode commenced and that I was stupid and didn't look at how much the shipping costs would be and could have wept when I learned it was TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS and that I'd already been charged for it and there was nothing I could do about it now anyway?

Myself: No.

Me: Just checking. Carry on.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Slutty slut slut slut

I was going to try and write something clever about this but then I just got really, really depressed instead.

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman

Pretty much all the boys and men I spend any time with are great right-on sorts who are essentially feminists, even if they don't identify as such. That much said, I sometimes think that only a woman can know how exhausting, how relentless and how really tiring being a woman can be sometimes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Evidence I am not as young as perhaps I once was:

1. I mentioned to my boss that if they need someone to interview the wonderful Kevin McCloud when he comes to town in October, I was super keen. His response: "Who's Kevin McCloud?"

2. I just laughed at a joke about franking credits. Let me repeat: FRANKING CREDITS.

3. I stayed in the car for longer than necessary last night so I could listen to the end of Don McLean's Vincent.

So this happened

I'm not saying that I'm proud of posting a link to this photo of Alexander Skarsgaard's, um, Good China, but I'm doing it anyway. The link contains a spoiler for the finale of True Blood (which I stopped watching a few seasons ago but which Aleisha assures me is good again) but it also contains "Eric's" junk so, you know, you make the call.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

That sound you hear...

... is the last final remnants of my once fierce, mostly long-since burnt out, crush on Pete Doherty disappearing forever. Because no. Just no no no no no.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Last night I had a dream...

... that I woke up and could't figure out if it was 8.30am or 10.30am. Then I actually woke up. It was 2am. True story.

Evidence I am not a very nice person #12

Last night I tried very politely to move past a girl at a bar who was blocking my way but she was too busy bitching about someone to her friend (very loudly and obnoxiously) to hear my murmured "excuse me... do you mind... could I just...?" So when I sort of forced my way past her I accidentally jogged her elbow, spilling about half of her pricey looking cocktail on the floor and I sort of... smiled inside a little bit.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Things that have charmed me today:

#3 My former boss calling to see how devastated I was by this news.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Things I definitely should not do to perk myself up after a really awful day (that isn't over yet):

1. Gorge on leftover gnocchi and bread and butter pudding in one might carbfest that will leave me feeling faintly ill afterwards.


3. Stick head in oven. I mean, for starters, it's electric.

It is not enough for me to succeed, others must fail

Like I wasn't having a bad enough day already, now I'm basically sick with jealousy.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Things I have learned upon re-reading* the last four Harry Potter books

1. I really love the Harry Potter books**.

2. JK Rowling, for all the shit she takes over her prose style, writes really, really great fun plots.

3. The last couple of books could probably technically benefit from a far stricter edit but I'm sort of glad all that extra (read: semi-pointless) stuff I might have missed previously is in there to enjoy.

4. Ron is basically the true hero of the series, putting up with Harry being super famous and awesome all the time. Except of course for all those times he doesn't put up with him at all and, in fact, Loses His Shit.

5. Ron is also quite a shit wizard. Am I wrong?

6. George Weasley may be gay. AM I WRONG? I may be wrong and maybe it's just wishful thinking but Fred Weasley is the only one who ever seems to get any action.

7. Casting choices made in the (ugh) movie versions have coloured my view of the books forever. I now can't read the books without finding the characters of Sirius and Snape kinda, ummmmmm, hot. Thanks for nothing Gary Oldman and Alan Rickman (call me!)

8. I really love the Harry Potter books.

* re-reading is misleading because this time around I listened to them on audiobook, which was basically perfect.

** Not sure I can bear to go back and re-read the first two, though. Sure they're short but I do remember them being on the, um, simple side.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Weighty matters

I am embarrassed by the amount of time I spend thinking about my body, what it looks like, how it could look better and what I put into it. I feel lame-as-shit for letting the number I see on the scale determine how I feel about myself. I think it's kinda sad how happy losing a cheeky 5+ kilograms last year made me feel. Ditto how depressed I feel at having put 3kg back on.

These are all possible reasons why I really enjoyed this blog, which offers a slightly different perspective on weight loss not seen all that often.

The case of the 3 month wait

Bring on October 31.

Monday, August 5, 2013

My body is a genius.

It's true. My body is a genius. So genius, indeed, it's capable of gaining 3kg in one week of only moderately indulgent eating and drinking. I don't know what this means for my self esteem and ability to look at myself in the mirror without weeping but if I was a cavewoman or living off the land or something I would be CRUSHING IT survival-wise.

Unexpected lessons I have learned from watching the trashy UK TV series Mistresses #34

Ovarian cancer will probably solve all your problems.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Things I thought but did not say to the only other guy in the gym at the weekend:


Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Can just fuck the fucking fuck off today, basically. 


It is not worth getting out of bed in the morning. Especially if you have a cat curled on top of your head.

How to be a smug shit while meeting a new (religious) contact for work:

Him: (names a priest).

Me: Oh, he confirmed me.

Him: (names another priest).

Me: And he baptised me... and married my parents.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


When I was eight or nine years old I was, like many girls of my age, obsessed with horses. I took horseriding lessons every weekend with my friend Kym and after school we would either play with our various toy horses - fastening and unfastening mini plastic saddles and "grooming" scratchy fake manes - or read the latest installment in the Saddle Club book series. (It was a good read, that series, although I'm still a bit disappointed to this day that they never outed Stevie. Who did they think they were kidding? I mean, sure, she got a boyfriend somewhere along the line but I like to think, even then, I knew he was just a beard).

I digress. As part of my obsession I loved to draw horses and, because I had very little talent in the drawing department, I also loved to trace far superior drawings of horses done by people who could actually draw and imagine it was my handiwork. I should stress that it could not have been more obvious, looking at the traced drawings, that they had been traced and not drawn freehand. For starters they were streets and miles ahead of what I could actually do by myself. Moreover they just looked...  well, very very traced. There was nothing natural about them, they looked exactly like what they were: the work of a half-arsed nine-year-old fraudster.

I don't remember whether I tried to pass the traced pictures off as my own explicitly or just hoped people would assume I'd done them but I do remember, very clearly, the day on which I was confronted by a classmate called Holly M. We were sitting outside the classroom - it must have been recess or lunch, I don't remember that part - and for some reason I had a pile of my "drawings" on my lap. I was probably showing them off. Because I was a little shit.

At some point in the proceedings Holly looked at the drawings, looked at me and said something like: "Are these traced?"

A long pause in which I must have summed up my options: tell the truth or lie. 

Ridiculously, stupidly, I went for the lie. I'm not a great liar now and I can't imagine I was much better back then.

Two decades and change later I still don't really know why I lied. I mean, I guess I wanted Holly to think I was really good at drawing horses or something but why, exactly, did I care? We weren't friends. More importantly, how did I plan to carry on that lie when I couldn't draw for shit unless I was alone in my room with my horse books and, you know, some tracing paper? It was a poorly thought out plan and, even at that young age, I feel like I should have known better.

What I still remember, many years later was the overwhelmingly ache of regret the moment I lied. I didn't want to lie. I didn't want to try and carry off the lie. The lie had been instinctive and I knew, looking at Holly's face, that she didn't believe me. I was embarrassed. My face must have been fleshed. I couldn't have looked more guilty if a sheaf of tracing paper had suddenly slid out of my school jumper.

I recount this story now not because it has anything to do with anything but because I had a flashback yesterday to that little incident when I told a very stupid lie and experienced the same ache of regret at my work gym.

I am, I must point out, now 30. Not eight or nine. I am an adult. I should be better than this. I am not.

First, some back story to fill you in on the basics. The work gym is very small - it's basically just a little room with some so-so gym equipment in it. Also, the day before the incident I'm about to relate occurred I had been to the gym before work and afterwards left my gym clothes balled up in my gym bag for future use. That ball of clothes included - and this part I have to stress - the knickers I'd been wearing at the time.

Okay, you're filled in and we're ready to go on. 

So, I finished work yesterday with an hour to kill before I had to meet some friends and decided, hey, my gym clothes are still here from the previous day - I should go to the gym. Not having too much time to spare I dressed as quickly as I could, grabbed my book and iPod and walked into the gym. At this point something important happened, although I didn't realise it was happening. The knickers I'd been wearing the previous day, which had been balled up with my gym pants, had somehow ended up in the leg of my gym pants without me noticing (I WAS IN A HURRY). The act of walking into the gym, however, had dislodged said knickers from their resting position, sending them sliding down my leg, past my foot and landing on the floor beside me. In the gym. In front of the other two people that were working out in it.

I didn't notice.

Instead, I wandered over to dump my swipe card on the nearest bench and settled myself onto an exercise bike with my Lawrence Sanders novel. The iPod connected to my ears meant I didn't hear anything when the guy on the treadmill tried to get my attention. It was up to the girl on the bike beside me to alert me to the fact that he was pointing. At me. And then at the knickers. I removed an earbud to hear what he was saying.

"Is that yours?" he panted, still running on the treadmill and pointing.

I climbed down from the exercise bike and walked over to where he was pointing. Beside the entrance to the gym sat a sad pair of knickers. They were white and pink. They had flowers. They were, um, fairly big. They were my knickers.

I straightened up. "No," I said.

He knew I was lying. I knew that he knew I was lying - the way the treadmill was positioned meant he almost certainly saw them drop out of my pants. At the very least he would have known that the knickers were not there before I arrived but mysteriously appeared when I did. I knew all this. And yet still I lied.

Why did I lie? I don't really know - it was instinct. The mature thing - laugh it off and retrieve my knickers - only occurred to me after the childish lie was out there. I cursed my stupidity but it was too late to either retrieve either my lie or my knickers. The silver lining was that there was really nothing my accuser could say either and so we exercised on in silence. If my face burned red I blamed it on the exercise. 

I waited until the others had gone, risking being late for dinner by staying on the exercise bike until the gym was empty. Only once I was alone on the bike did I retrieve my knickers, seen my nobody except my own shame. I looked at the flowery symbols of my disgrace and chucked them into the bin. It seemed like the only thing I could do.

Things my pharmacist said to me today that made me a little uncomfortable for no reason I could put my finger on.

1. "That's a nice dress you're wearing. Do you not have to go to work today?"

2. "Do you get tired sometimes at around 3pm? My partner does."

3. "Do you sometimes write things... for websites?"

Monday, July 15, 2013

The new porn...

... For old married ladies is here.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I'd hit that...

... what about you?

(The shorts are, do I even need to say, an utter tragedy).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ode to the journo

My workplace is going through a fairly significant sweep of redundancies at the moment and, although they're all voluntary redundancies, it's still sort of a sad, gut-wrenching time.

Which is why most of us got together last week to get quietly (or not so quietly blathered). Drinking with journalists, by the way, is just about the most fun - and the most dangerous - thing to do. I confess I made a strategic retreat just before closing to stuff a kebab down my throat and collapse into bed. Because I am wise. Before that point, however, there were sad and funny speeches and it was simultaneously and lovely and depressing-as-hell. 

At one point in the night one of the paper's most senior journos stood up on a couch (apologies to the Oxford Hotel) and delivered this little beauty of his own creation. I had been meaning to post it and then I saw that the wonderful (and departing) Lindsay had beaten me to it. Nevertheless. Here it is anyway because, you know, it made me laugh. He's a great orator, too, this journo, so it probably loses something in not being delivered by a shouty middle-aged man on a soft and unstable velour(?) couch.
Ode to the journo
From typewriters, cigarettes, ashtrays and beer.
The newspaper journo is somehow still here.
They annoy, pester and demand to know.
But the Internet keeps telling them it is time to go.
“Piss off” they grumble as circulation looks stark,
“Without us lot the world would be kept in the dark.
Take your Twitter, your Facebook, your blogs and a text.
That scoop on newsprint is better than sex."
And how dare they call photographers relics of the past,
take your smart arse phones and shove ‘em up your arse.
Remember this ode because one day it’ll come true, us journos will rise up all shiny and new.
Until that day, there’s only one thing to do, charge your glasses cos there’s still drinking to do.
Yes. What he said.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dress me now

This Sydney Morning Herald column about how men over 30 should dress (or not dress) has got me thinking about fashion. Or, more specifically, it has got me thinking about the female equivalent and what a woman should or shouldn't wear in her thirties.

It's a toughie. 

Fashion is a personal thing and I hate the idea of being a slave to other people's ideas about what a person can wear and when. And yet every time I go to pull on a pair of ankle socks with my brogues or a pair of heels I am gripped by the memory of a book I once read that said no woman over 29 should wear socks and heels together. I mean, I still wear them, I just feel kinda guilty about it.

Much depends, I feel, on what your individual style is, where you work, what you do and where you go. I've just finished watching the latest series of Project Runway, for example, and I really liked the style choices of one of the contestants, Michelle, who is from - of course - Portland. But Michelle is 34 and I'm not convinced that every 34 year old I know could carry her look off without looking like she was trying to recapture her misspent teenage years. I've got 4 years on her and I still don't think I could pull off her hair, even though on her I think it's charming.

I agree with the SMH article on the need to embrace good tailoring the older you get. Just about the only real change I've consciously made to my wardrobe in recognition of turning 30 is buying slightly more expensive dresses that tend to be better made. I still buy the odd cheapie from Target but increasingly I think it's worth it to shell out the bit extra for Alannah Hill or Review or Gorman or what-have-you because the end result is just so much better. A willowy 18-year-old might be able to look like a million bucks in a Kmart special. A soft-edged 30-year-old? Not so much.

I don't really have a point. Nor do I have a lesson to impart. However, it would remiss of me not to mention that I am currently wearing a) a pair of earrings made out of a miniature teapot and a miniature sugar pot and b) a giant woolly blue cardigan and therefore should probably not be writing about fashion at all. You be the judge.

Note: The picture above is NOT of Michelle from Project Runway - it's a model modelling some of Michelle's clothes in the season finale. But God I really fucking love that bleeding heart jumper.

Friday fun

“Depression presents itself as a realism regarding the rottenness of the world in general and the rottenness of your life in particular. But the realism is merely a mask for depression's actual essence, which is an overwhelming estrangement from humanity. The more persuaded you are of your unique access to the rottenness, the more afraid you become of engaging with the world; and the less you engage with the world, the more perfidiously happy-faced the rest of humanity seems for continuing to engage with it.”

(Jonathan Franzen, How to Be Alone)

Monday, July 1, 2013

How do I unwrap the cute? Let me count the ways.

1. San Antonio zoo has two new turtles.

2. The two new turtles are called Thelma and Louise.


Wanna date?

So I'm not saying that knowing tomorrow is the anniversary of Ernest Hemmingway killing himself has improved my life exactly but I am saying I do rather like this literary calendar thing and I think you will too.

And now I want to rewatch The OC again. Thanks INTERNET.

So you don't have to have seen and loved both The OC and Mad Men to enjoy this faux credits sequence in which the latter is reimagined as the former but it helps. (If you're not up to date with Mad Men just avoid reading the text above the video, which includes spoilers about the last episode).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

This one comes via Dans

Overheard at my desk

"Enough about Mandela. Until he's dead, I don't want to hear about it."

It's all gone a bit kumbaya over here

I came to this lovely bit by Bertrand Russell below via this also quite lovely bit by Stephen Fry. Pretty stuff.

It also reminds me a bit of Woody Allen's nice little speech from Manhattan ("Well, all right, why is life worth living? That's a very good question. Well, there are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. Uh, like what? Okay. Um, for me... oh, I would say... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing... and Willie Mays, and... the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony, and... Louie Armstrong's recording of 'Potatohead Blues'... Swedish movies, naturally... 'Sentimental Education' by Flaubert... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra... those incredible apples and pears by Cezanne... the crabs at Sam Wo's..."

I've edited that to avoid spoilers. Anyway. Bertrand!
“What I Have Lived For. 
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair. 
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness—that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what—at last—I have found. 
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved. 
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.” 
— The Prologue to Bertrand Russell’s Autobiography

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Signs I may not be amazing at this whole Being An Adult thing

My dinner tonight was two veggie sausages, eaten with my hands, and a small glass of port. Also there was a glass of water, which I managed to pour all over myself.

Baby brain

This women regrets having children.

This woman didn't have kids and thinks she made the right decision.

This woman believes concerns about women and declining fertility after 30 might have been overblown.

This woman sometimes regrets not having kids but mostly... doesn't? I don't know.

THIS woman - no there's no link there, I'm talking about myself - really kinda wishes she could stop reading articles about babies and women with babies and women without babies and babies babies babies.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Things I thought/said/tweeted while watching The Bachelorette.

13 minutes in: I am watching and this isn't even the dumbest thing said so far: "This isn't my grandfather-type dodgeball". Um, what?

19 minutes in: Bringing up that domestic violence allegation/arrest/restraining order on a first date - bold move, Guy.

27 minutes in: This candid moment would feel more candid if 2 camera crews weren't filming it. Let me at least try to suspend my disbelief

35 minutes in: Watching a guy on a dating show get busted by his gf should be terrible but obvs it's amazing and I'm dying of happiness.

37 minutes in: This cheating sucker nearly turned it around for me by saying "oh my gosh". I mean, that's charming, right? #thebachelorette

(Okay I should mention that I'm sort of making up these times now because, honestly, I'm skipping a lot of this shit).

45 minutes in: Heights, a cold wind and being forced to don a bikini after a heavy meal?  is my worst nightmare on a number of levels.

200 minutes in (feels like): This demeans everyone. Are those horses? I don't even...

Eleventybillion hours in: "All I can do is reassure him." Or maybe stop dating those dozen other guys? I'm just spitballing here. 

I don't even know how many minutes in: And other things not to say to the girl dating another 12 guys: "I am falling in love with you and... we've barely talked." 

Mea Culpa

I have been, it has been put to me, a very bad blogger lately and a very slack one too. I know. I know this is true. The reason is very boring: essentially for boring reasons various aspects of my life are a little bit sad and confusing right now and there aren't that many light-hearted blog posts to be written about it. But, lest you worry I'm about to open a vein let me assure you there are still plenty of things making me happy - even if I'm not writing about them much. Here are some of them.

1. The return of The Bachelorette. If only because that means I can read various hilarious recaps of The Bachelorette, which are approximately 200 times better than the show itself.

2. My new hair (mostly). Even if I do look like Demi Moore from Ghost (thanks Dan).

3. The bar of white Lindt chocolate sitting, untouched (as yet) in my top drawer.

4. Maroon pants. More specifically, the fact that I tried on said pants and can see, kinda almost, a world in which I might buy and - crucially - WEAR - said pants.

5. The novels of Lawrence Sanders. No, there are no new ones (he's dead) but I've been steadily rereading the copies generously loaned to me by Belly a long time ago (I swear I'll return them) and they are the kind of books that cheer you up immediately. So so good.

6. Port. I've never really liked port but at the moment we have a bottle on the go in the house, for some reason, and there is absolutely nothing to beat a tiny little glass of the stuff when one is tucked up in bed.

7. My friends. Not to get all soft about it but some of them are just the best and their presence in my life makes it worth living.

8. My cat, Mr Whiskerley. Not to get even softer but I basically adore him. It's been so many years since my lovely old cat Tikki died that I'd forgotten how wonderful they can be. Neither did I imagine a cat other than Tikki could worm its way so firmly into my heart but goddamnit the little fucker has done it.

Things that were googled during dinner on Saturday night to settle an argument:

1. The name of the TV show on which Chris O'Donnell appears.

2. The genetic origins of the hyena.

Overheard at my desk

"Why do you have a boy's haircut?"

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I don't know...

... what this is but according to the wonders at GoFugYourself it is a genuine product, which makes this ad... sort of awesome.

Things to read on a Sunday

Con: I now have a certain very catchy, quite terrible song stuck in my head.

Pro: This made me laugh.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just another day in the office

Caller: Another thing you might want to look at - I wonder, I mean sometimes I wonder, whether this whole cancer thing isn't just a money raising opportunity.

Me: Uhhhh.

Caller: I mean, what were people doing 100, 200 years ago? They were using natural remedies.

Me: But, um, life expectancies were a lot shorter then, of course.

Caller: Were they though?

Me: Um... yes.


I swear this blog is not turning into Poetry Corner (two blog posts in a row - I know, I know). I barely even read poetry these days and when I do my tastes are embarassingly mainstream, unoriginal and kinda childish: I like W.H Auden and Robert Frost, T.S Eliot and Siegfried Sasson - poets who write the kind of comfortable and familiar verse known to schoolchildren. Sometimes I pretend I like Geoffrey Hill more than I do but I don't think I'm quite smart enough for him somehow and other than the odd lovely line or two ('One cannot lose what one has not possessed'/So much for that abrasive gem./ I can lose what I want. I want you) mostly his words just wash over me.

All of which is a very long way of apologising in advance for reprinting a lovely Clive James poem published this month in The New Yorker but it's so so lovely and sad I can't even bear it. I have long been a fan of James' journalism - his wit and great talent with words - but I never realised what an awfully pretty poet he is. The fact that he's producing this kind of stuff at the very end of his life is somehow even more impressive. Faced with looming death I'd probably spend my remaining days doing something stupid like finally watching The Wire.

Leçons de Ténèbres

But are they lessons, all these things I learn
Through being so far gone in my decline?
The wages of experience I earn
Would service well a younger life than mine.
I should have been more kind. It is my fate
To find this out, but find it out too late.

The mirror holds the ruins of my face
Roughly together, thus reminding me
I should have played it straight in every case,
Not just when forced to. Far too casually
I broke faith when it suited me, and here
I am alone, and now the end is near.

All of my life I put my labour first.
I made my mark, but left no time between
The things achieved, so, at my heedless worst,
With no life, there was nothing I could mean.
But now I have slowed down. I breathe the air
As if there were not much more of it there

And write these poems, which are funeral songs
That have been taught to me by vanished time:
Not only to enumerate my wrongs
But to pay homage to the late sublime
That comes with seeing how the years have brought
A fitting end, if not the one I sought.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

This Be The Verse

I kind of made this joke(?) on Twitter but seriously Philip Larkin's lovely poem, "This Be the Verse" is both a very good poem and a near perfect review of The Place Beyond the Pines, no?
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
 They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
 And add some extra, just for you.  
 But they were fucked up in their turn
 By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
 And half at one another's throats.  
 Man hands on misery to man.
 It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
 And don't have any kids yourself.

Note to self: try using the word "orgiastic" in conversation

I love The Great Gatsby a lot. It has occupied a place in my top three favourite novels since I re-read it in first year uni and suddenly realised what I had failed to the first time I read it: It's a perfect novel.

For a long time during my extremely pretentious years (yes, they have finished. Also: shut up) I had this quote - 
"And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning — So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
- on the wall of my bedroom as the centrepiece of this totally mad wall quotes thing I had going on for awhile and which my parents somehow greeted with endless patience. Yes I was an insufferable child but honestly I could read and re-read that little but all day it's just so gorgeous.

Once upon a time the prospect of having a favourite novel made into a movie would have terrified me. Lord knows, I have complained constantly about the string of shitty movies based on Philip K Dick short stories - another author over whom I feel a mild and entirely ridiculous sense of ownership. I don't like seeing things I love interpreted by someone else. I have no sense of generosity, only a burning feeling of entitlement that everything should belong to me and me only.

Yet somehow - how I do not know - I have achieved a zen like calm ahead of tomorrow night's screening of Gatsby

I like a lot of Baz Luhrmann's movies, I like his flashy, simultaneously sentimental and incredibly unsentimental style and I think it suits the source material well but that's not it. I have suitably lowered my expectations, thanks to a fair smattering of mixed reviews, but that's not it either. Somehow I have realised at the tender age of 30 what has eluded me thus far: the realisation that even if the movie is shit it doesn't actually diminish the book. At all. Even if it's a stinking pile of poo I will still have that book to read as many times as I want.

These lovely lines - 
"They're a rotten crowd," I shouted across the lawn. "You're worth the whole damn bunch put together." I’ve always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end. First he nodded politely, and then his face broke into that radiant and understanding smile, as if we’d been in ecstatic cahoots on that fact all the time."
- will be mine for as long as I want them. Which is quite a comforting thought really.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


... little collection of authors' hand-written book outlines is entirely charming if you have read any of the books in question. And if you haven't why aren't you reading Catch 22 right now? Because. Holy Shit. That book. Is bananas.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's a lot like my Is It Dinner Time face actually

Ok so it may seem like I spend all my time watching trailers and getting excited but I challenge you - I CHALLENGE you - to watch this trailer and not sort of agree with everything Lainey says. If you were here right now you would see my Is It November Yet face.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The preview clip that foiled my plan to keep my expectations basement level low:

Damn youuuu.

Overheard at my desk

Him: I saw a lot of girls in France that looked like you.

Me: (Barely hiding my delight) How so?

Him: Short dark hair, red lipstick.

Me: But the original is still the best, right?

Him: Well they speak French so....

Me: Oh.

Him: Yeah.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ways I have justified not getting out of bed yet this morning:

1. I'm sick. I definitely need some extra rest time before work.

2. It's really cold.

3. I'll have a really short shower.

4. I'll get dressed really quickly.

5. My hair's so short now it hardly even needs a blowdry...


1. Why do I only ever seem to get sick on the weekends?

2. Why does my head feel like it's wrapped in cottonwool?

3. If I double dosed on cold and flu tablets that would totally be twice as effective, yes?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I think...

... the title of this tumblr, The Worst Room, says it all. But this photo really drives the point home.

Things to read

This charming, happy-sad article on sex and disability is worth reading for the line "George Clooney rendered as a Sesame Street Muppet" alone.

Famous people I have been told I look like in order of how happy-to-suicidal the comparison made me feel.

Rose Byrne

Pia Miranda
(Pretty sure this referred to me only in my (much) younger days and Pia Miranda cira Looking for Alibrandi but I'll take it)

Katie Holmes
(Yes this was from a gent who was trying to get into my knickers and yes he was very drunk and yes it was very dark but I'm TAKING IT ANYWAY. Also I will say this: we both have one slightly wonky eye. So... there.)

Elaine Benes
(Is this about the brogues? I think it's about the brogues)

Janeane Garofalo
(No the fact that she's nearly 20 years older than me doesn't make me want to kill myself, thanks for asking)

Nana Maskouri
(Fuck you, Stuey)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Reasons to like my friends #13

They (by which I mean the wonderful Clowney) sent me a link to this. Also we spent an afternoon drinking wine in the sun while her seriously ill father mowed the lawn. It was awesome.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Call me crazy...

... but I really think more girls would take advantage of our free work gym if it didn't require having one's boobs measured by a strange man every three months. Or possibly if the gym reconsidered its hiring policies.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Overheard in the office

"Thank God (high profile person) is dead, I've got no stories today."