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).