2 December 2004
Alternative title: Why Bee currently smells like a hippies' outdoor party and she has been vacuuming at 9pm on a Thursday night.
I have a confession to make. My house has a flea infestation. No pet has lived here since September, 2004. This has been affecting my sense of self-worth, my relationships with flatmates and guests, and my personal comfort level when tormented by a galaxy of itchy red lumps all over my legs.
I have finally however decided to come clean, admit to the problem and take steps towards a flea-free existence. Tonight has been my 6-legged parasite catharsis. And funnily enough, these horribly successful products of evolution are teaching me some of life's lessons that my dear old responsible Dad has been trying to drum in verbally for a lifetime.
So seeing as I am sitting in the office, coated in citronella oil (neat), wearing a fumigated dressing gown with the air conditioning on "freeze dry motherfucker" setting, suffering the solitary pain of the invertebrate warrior, I may as well share my sad sorry tale of woe. One part of me wants to keep this deep dark secret out of the light of polite society. But I am your ever compassionate Aunty B, and where I've learnt the hard way , I hope just one person can share my personal revelation simply through reading a blog when they should be doing some paid work. You will live a better life, I promise.
Disgusting flea fact #1: Adult fleas excrete poorly-digested congealed blood. They then live off this indefinitely when there are no mammals in the vicinity.
It all started in August this year, when the aging cat house-guest (its a long story) started itching more noticeably than before.
Oh darnit, that's a lie. It started back in bloody 2003, about 3 months after said cat first left my residence with his owner, for a better life in another suburb with a backyard. The weather warmed up, and lo and behold, a small cocktail party of adult fleas hatched in my flat.
They got transferred from the guest bed out back to my bed, via a swapped doona. The housemate of the time noticed them and so did his lovely companion with the silicon-enhanced figure. So I promptly bought 2 flea bombs at a cost of approx $14.95 and fumigated the 2 problem rooms. Bear in mind, gentle reader, these have wooden floorboards, and the only soft furnishings are bedding. Apparently - problem solved. No fleas for around 6 months.
Important Life lesson #1: Never assume you can deal with a problem just once and never have to tend to it again.
So, fast forward to about July this year. Cat is back for a medium-term boarding arangement. The small furry one has been sleeping in B's boudoir, making poor substitute for Bizarro who is away promoting the forces of good. He has also been whingeing for attention far more often. Bizzo returns, cat is banished from bed while humans occupy it, however still craves close physical contact (the cat, alright!). Concurrently, two fresh new housemates arrive, to partake in the joy of communal living.
Meantime, Aunty B has started to become tormented by itchy, crawly feeling whenever the feline is in proximity so is glad to have him out of the room. She vigorously washes all the sheets. The shapely but happily silicon-free Betty Sue starts to notice red itchy lumps whenever she spends her television hour watching Kath and Kim in the back room. Oddly, the boys in the household remain unaffected, however the ever-considerate Bizarro does wash out all the couch covers as a gesture of solidarity.
Betty Sue buys the cat a flea collar, and makes liberal use of powder. Aunty B arranges for cat to find alternate accommodation. She puts off further pest control until there will be no mammals in the house during the day.
Important Life Lesson #2: Never, ever, put off a difficult task if it is something that will make marked improvement to your mental or physical health. A stitch in time saves nine, my friends.
Housemates move out in early September to the pre-planned love nest in another inner-city suburb. I suspect the growing flea volume hastened their departure. Aunty B gleefully turns to the bombs again thinking "ah ha! This was so easy last time- goodbye forever hideous beasts."
Disgusting flea fact #2: Approximately 5% of a flea population are adults at any one time. That means for every horrible jumping menace there are around another 10 in egg, pupae or larvae stage.
When Aunty B returns home after bombing day - all living creatures in the house are dead, including daddy long legs, cockroaches and flies. That'll show 'em, she thinks.
Three more weeks pass. No flea problem. New groovy housemates appear.
Housemates in terrible polite English fashion point out that there may, in fact, be more than the desired number of species living in the house. Which of course is a very lovely house, mind you. The lovely lass part of the new couple even offers to buy a flea spray, as she is the worst affected by bites. Oh okay, I may have kind of suggested/bullied her into it. A bit.
Important Life Lesson #3: Take responsibility for problems of your own making.
The spray seems to have controlled the population in the couch. All good. Once again long suffering Aunty B washes the darn couch covers, cushions and all bedding, airs the main doona and the guest doona, washes the front and back room rugs. Housemates do the same. She surface sprays her own mattress, including underneath, and airs the room at the same time. Sadly, during this uber-wash day, she leaves a lot of soft furnishing on the line while out having a boozy lunch with Betty Sue, which then gets caught in a classic Sydney downpour. Most is dried but some is a little damp and has to finish drying inside. In the washing basket.
Disgusting flea fact #3: Fleas have been around for millions of years - a fossilized flea found in Australia is said to be 200 million years old. It does not differ significantly from today's fleas. They live on penguins, for Pete's sake.
Fast forward to this week. Aunty B has been interstate for a few days. While she was away her room was closed, dark and the big bad city hit 40 degrees C two days running. The humble home office has now become a perfect flea breeding ground.
Now, your old flea ridden author has more itchy lumps on her legs than she can count, is sleeping badly, is getting out of bed well before 8AM to escape torment, and cannot wear skirts to work for fear of her terrible secret being revealed. This evening, I walked into the office, a little humid den, and within about 3.7 seconds had three little bastards on one ankle and four crawling on the other. Yes I counted. I'm like that.
In sheer frustration I turned to the internet. That is how I now know a collection of disgusting flea facts. Guess what? the best natural method of flea control is vacuuming. Every day. And burning the dust bag. It sucks them and their eggs from the carpet and eventually breaks the life cycle. Cheap surface sprays really only deal with adults. (See disgusting fact #2).
Guess what is Aunty B's least favorite household chore? Guess who has grotty floors and rugs?
Yup. The other thing fleas need to thrive is moisture or humid conditions. Bingo. So another control method is to dry them out, then they kinda die of thirst and hunger after hoovering up all their food.
Important Life Lessons #4, #5 and #6. Don't put off the vacuuming. Don't leave damp clothes in the washing basket. Always keep up simple, regular maintenance against outbreaks of bad juju - its better than having to deal with the consequences of a long period of denial.
One flea website even has direct advice: "Do not leave the problem until it has become so serious that your pet is really uncomfortable and you have fleas jumping all over the place, especially to.. [the point of] ... household infestation, as this will become very difficult to control. The longer you leave things the more serious the situation will get and the more difficult then to remove. "
I feel this statement applies to many important facets of life.
So thank you,
30 November 2004
My old flat mate's step dad, has had a book published. Its called Ghost Writer and its by J. Harwood. I intend to check it out.
The 'laide is still there. I must say the pubs are definitely improving and they're cleaning up some of those old sandstone building a treat. Lovely place to visit.
Shout out to my bratty old mates and their portagaffs, fitness habits, and children's fantasy film doubles. T-man why didn't you say the local art house was screening *Labyrinth* (as well as dark crystal)?? Ooh David Bowie in tight vinyl. Damn.
I have lots of mozzie bites.
I think maybe that its not such a hot idea to take clear fell fromheritage forests , and use the leftover bits for electricity. Macadamia shells on the other hand, bonza. I have no other news.
24 November 2004
Swarm of bees attacks rescuers at crash
"Emergency crews suffered multiple bee stings when they were attacked by a swarm of bees at the scene of a fatal honey truck accident on the Golden Highway near Dubbo.
A 66-year-old Dubbo man died when his truck, laden with beehives and wax, crashed into the back of a semi-trailer near Dubbo at 7pm (AEDT) yesterday, a NSW police spokesman said."
Woman pelts police with pickled kittens
A New Zealand woman who was furious about police taking her three preserved snakes stormed into the Hamilton station and threw a jar of pickled kittens at the counter. Susan Hoskyn, 39, said she was so mad she could barely contain herself as she made her way to the central North Island police station about 1pm on Sunday. "I walked in the door and said 'You've taken my snakes - here, have my pussy as well', and slammed the jar on to the counter'.
19 November 2004
I hope this guy has credited our Don Watson for what looks like a direct interpretation of last year's book "Death Sentence - Decay of the Public Language".
English journo John Humphrys' book laments the growth of "cliched, dumbed-down, inflated and bogus management-speak" which he says now passes for English. In particular he criticises political leaders for being sucked into using meaningless phrases and hackneyed mantras to disguise policies or protect themselves from accountability. Its called "Lost for Words".
By the way - Don has released a follow up "Dictionary of Weasel Words" to help aussies spot and send up this rubbish. In all good bookstores now.
Credit for link: The Null Device
18 November 2004
Hey - I saw people offering free hugs in Pitt St mall today! I thought they were just a figment of Dr D's... a hook created to hang a one liner off.. . But there really were about 3 people holding carboard signs that said free hugs.
Of course, I took a wide berth around them, being concerned that a complete stranger would lunge in for an un-invited full body contact if I got too close. So I sadly remain ignorant of their point. World peace, I would image. I suppose there are worse things. Tell me more if you know what this is about.
16 November 2004
1 November 2004
The Queen urged Tony Blair to take more action on global warming. I kid you not. Apparently she's worried that the weather at Balmoral has gone a bit funny...
by the way, Russa ratified the Protocol. This means the Kyoto Protocol will be legally binding for 55 developed nations responsible for 55% of global emissions in around 60 days. It means signatories can trade off the good things they do to reduce emissions, and make money from being green. Most European countries have targets of a couple of per cent below their 1990 emissions levels. Australia negotiatied 8% above ours.
Oh, what's that, we aren't ratifying? So, Australian companies can't like, gain extra income from things like tree planting and renewable energy? But we're going to meet our targets for environmental reasons like, er, likely complete destruction of the Barrier Reef? But we don't .. want... to ... endager.. australian indsutries that trade with developing.. countries... with no .. binding.. targets.. like Aluminium exports.. or ... er.. coal... or something.... Oh, right and who's STOOPID idea was that then? Oh that's right. The election. Bugger it.
27 October 2004
24 October 2004
Just spent the whole day with the small crew of fabric engineers. Turning flat surfaces into 3-dimensional ones. An art requiring a detailed understanding of multi-dimensional physics, maths, intense concentration and artistic flair. And all mastery that your Nanna (or her nanna) probably aquired by the age of 19. Who says girls minds don't visualise shapes through 3-dimensions that well?
Then watched the Da vinci show. I mean, clever and all - but he didn't seem to actually construct much, did he?
23 October 2004
.. I thought this blog would probably be music -heavy, with the occasional joke thrown in about human foibles (in the big bad city). You know, kind of hyper-cynical but knowing and cool, and sometimes thought provoking. Snuh; well - me and my one million buddies at www.IM.shithot.com.au/great_taste
As an aside, one Bsharp (intrepid girl scientist and pyschonaut) has discovered that the aural and visual and physical and cerebral, while complementary, do tend to compete for one's attention. So when there is good musica and, ahem, life, to be appreciated, blog goes all quiet. Funny that. But just for old times sake...
Listening to - Nicholas of the Cave has a new double album out. (The Lyre of Orpheus and Abbatoir Blues). Given it 3 or 4 spins, but can't report much as I haven't felt like I've worn it in yet. The great thing about St Nick albums is that they're like leather jackets, kind of comforting and heavy and nicely moulded. Will provide an update if I feel like its when I've got more comfy in it.
Saw Royal Crown Review (again) and Cat Empire (again) . Both great fun, musically tight as a very tight thing, and swingin'. Both with enthusiastic and devoted fans (love that in a gig). But sadly, a bit like a juke box on both accounts. Delivered what was expected and expertly. It would be nice to hear a new RCR album, without wanting to be harsh at times they sound like they're covering themselves. The kebab afterward was pretty awesome though.. I reckon they add some secret magic ingredient after midnight to those things.
Now of course have sore eardrums and must be careful with my shell-likes.
Bargin bin impulse buy : Best of Sinead O'Connor. I hearby admit to a love of the whirly synthy self-conscious nineties joy of the Emperor's New Clothes. ".. how could I possibly know what I want when I was on-ly 21". Yeh, go Sinead.
10 October 2004
Unquestioned conservatism. Nationalised fear. Lack of analysis. Status quo. Gloating. Power trips. Careerist politics. Unenlightened self interest. Protectionism. Sound bites. Pretending. Doublethink. Squandered opportunity for Australia to be the most enlightened paradise island on gaia's green earth.
9 October 2004
Well, I'm off to vote. Might have a bit of a sausage for lunch at my local primary school too. Aside: are there any other countries in the world where an election day fete is such a common occurence? I thinks its lovely - go make your choice on governance and help out with the local kiddies facilities too..
Always a bit of the old cognitative dissonance at election time. Fundamentally, my life is awesome. Free, rich, comfortable, dignified, wide open with choice, mostly equal gender-wise, and shared with quite a few people I like thank you very much - you know who who all are - only pity about the distances in this wide brown land, but luckily I can afford plane fares.
But however fundamentally unsatisfied at how the national 'hood has been run for the last few years.
How can this be? Is it the cult of personality that is seeping through the web of supposedly universal sufferage? Is it the isolationism (did I just make that word up..) that perhaps was doomed to swamp an island nation afer a couple of hundred years? Is it the sneaking uncomfortable suspiscion that just maybe not everyone has it as easy as me, and that there is a web of invisible forces keeping those without without and those with with..? Perhaps its the nasty creeping virus of thinking that governments should act like groups of individuals that make product.* Is it maybe the soundbite, slogan, and strobe of visual grabs that pass for public discourse? (oh shit, I just used the word discourse on a blog - time to wrap it up).
Okay. Best outcome for tonight for me - that the house ends up a dog's breakfast, full of random independents, and Labor has to form a coalition with the Greens to from government. That the senate is so all over the shop that these big kids who have forgotten why they wanted to be there in the first place, actually have to listen to each other and try to find a way to work around their differences to get any laws passed, rather than snuggling down into comfortable bunkers of entrenched positions of "who has the numbers".
Ahhh - free speech- it feels gooooood.
* bzzzt. wrong wrong wrong. Governments serve the people, companies serve to the people - subtle but important difference, John, Bob, Michael, Steve.
1 October 2004
A good ole standby to shake-off the cobwebs of apparently cranky-pants millieu..
Polski orgorki pickles. My cordless keyboard. Maps. Travel itineraries. The moment when old blokes realise you know more than they assumed. Warm Sunshine before 9am. Warm evenings. My warm boyfriend. Old fashioned photos developed from film. Fresh linen and recently vacuumed floorboards. Running into ancient uni dudes on King St. Holdiays. Dancing. Mohawks. Tatoos. Christmas Turkey. Johnny Depp. Writing sentimental rubbish like a 14-year-old and just not caring. Not having to ever talk to a real 14-year old. Seasame balls at yum cha. Little Melbourne bars. Coming inside from the rain. Finding a great new band. Getting tatooed. Shoes. All of them. Reading a really good idea. Compulsary voting. The internet. Being a grown up.
Feel free to post yours......
29 September 2004
I enjoyed reading this. Its a list of "tricks of the trade" from a whole bunch of occupations. A lot of them are quite psychological. My favourite:
When helping someone fix their computer over the phone, and you want them to see if all the cables are plugged in correctly, don’t ask, “Have you checked to see if the cable is plugged in?” because the customer will always say, “Of course I did, do you think I’m a moron?” Instead say, “Remove the cable, blow the dust out of the connector, and plug it back in.” The customer will most likely reply, “Hey, it’s working now—I guess that dust really builds up in there!”
25 September 2004
Hey team, Russ Meyer died last week. Legendary director of Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill; Beyond the Valley of the Dolls; Vixen; Mudhoney. Enduring influence of the indie rock circuit. He was 82, a recluse and suffering from dementia.
Some Meyer trivia, in memorium...
- Told NY Times that the first time he visited a whorehouse, as a soldier in France during WWII, he was taken there by Ernest Hemingway.
- In a 1996 interview with The Associated Press, Meyer described his films as "passion plays. ... Beauty against something that's totally evil."
Leonard Maltin extracts...
The acknowledged pioneer of the sexploitation film began shooting home movies as a teenager, using a camera given him by his mother. He was a combat photographer stationed in Europe during World War 2, an experience he claims molded his outlook and personality. Upon returning to the States, Meyer photographed industrial films, girlie-magazine layouts, and occasionally worked on Hollywood productions. He directed a "nudie-cutie,"The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959), which dispensed with the usual conventions of nudist films and served up a ribald storyline and amazingly endowed women. The overwhelming success of started Meyer on a prolific career in sexploitation films all characterized by a frenetic editing style, a predilection for big-breasted women, and liberal doses of rough violence.
21 September 2004
Watched the film "Daredevil" recently. I'll cut right to the chase - its worth half a star for the kind of nice 50s feel to the flashback sequences. It was a dud. But something struck me about it. See what you think. Here we have:
A vigilante character who wreaks terrible revenge on domestic crimes that far out-strip the severity of the original allegation.
- Example: our protaganist is a sympathetic lawyer whose client is an implied rape victim, and the sleazy nightclub owner rapist walks away free. So said character heads out at night, sets fire to the club, wacks about 3 guys and then kills the accused by chucking him under a train.
Protaganist is convinced he is carrying out "justice".
An Irish Catholic preist appeals to the protaganist's moral sense that he is not bringing about justice when it is motivated by vengance.
A reporter is seeking out the proteaganist vigilante to expose him as a dangerous psychopath.
The protaganist (Daredevil) goes in search of the ultimate evil, the boss who organises all the crimes and assassinations in the city. When he discovers that the ultimate evil is also the biggest business leader, he simply disables him temprorarily, effectively allowing big, embedded crime to continue to operate without controls. Daredevil sites "I'm not the bad guy" to to justify this decision.
In a confrontation with a killer hired by the crime boss, some church windows get broken and the priest's life is threatened. At this point the priest condones the vigilante, while he is rescued and allowed to go free.
After the big showdown with the crime boss, the reporter has enough evidence to expose both organised crime and the vigilante's identity. But he self-edits the last detail in his reporting, instead allowing our "hero" to carry on his petty vengences without public scrutiny.
- Example: The reporter, on seeing the shadowy Daredevil flit past of a night after some thief, kind of salutes and says "Go get 'em Matt" (or simliar).
Daredevil is a self-styled police force, inventing his own level punishment with no system of governence who is sanctioned by the church and the press, but who veers away from challenging capitalism to preserve a public opinion of good vs evil. Sound like anything from recent world politics to you? The movie has no sense of irony either. In case you were wondering.
20 September 2004
Another somewhat silly publicity stunt recently, was by a group of men in the UK (noticing a trend here?) who protest against supposedly preferential treatment towards mothers in custody cases. Its was in the Guardian and the SMH et al and I can't be bothered finding the link because is was just an excuse to publish an amusing photo.
This bloke got dressed up as batman, right, and stood on a ledge at Buckingham Palace for a while, to draw attention to the plight of these terribly descriminated-against fathers. Its made a cute photo - I'm not sure what the super hero angle was though. But, well, maybe they're having trouble getting custody because they're rather rather pre-occupied with dressing up in tights, a mask and a cape...
Just a thought.
18 September 2004
Blokes may get 28-day mood swings too! So says some researchers in the deep north of Mother England think so anyway. Hardy har. Okay so I'm obsessed with the cycle. But life is all just cycles, right? Trust me, it is.
"A study by psychologists from the University of Derby in England suggests that men may experience cyclical symptoms similar to, or even worse than, those suffered by pre-menstrual women, including moodiness, discomfort and loss of concentration. "
16 September 2004
31 August 2004
This article appears to be the NSW State:
a) reassuring NSW "clubs" that they can still make money from their poker machines
b) explaining that "clubs" that make less than one million dollars ..assume Dr evil voice.. from them will actually pay less tax than they were before [this is a good thing????]
c) and listing the hundreds that earn over $1M who will pay more tax
And the federal government:
a) asserting that the increased "pokie tax" has cost thousands of jobs already [it was only introduced last Wednesday]
b) predicting that people will stage mass protests in Hyde Park against the pokie tax
Hello? Is any one out there? Is anyone awake? Like, what , all those people who flock to mass entertainment venues, (they're not clubs in the old fashioned sense of dib dib dib anymore I do declare), for the extremely cheap drinks, bodgy djs and seafood basket specials, actually *care* about what the the club pays out of its pokie profits. Right on, get out there and march against the man, taxing those good, pure, true and honest "gaming" dens. Fight the power. Huh?
The old argument goes that clubs put money into the community and this will reduce that amount. Snort snuffle snorlte. I 'm sure all my dear readers in this state will have difficulty reconciling the crowd huddled a those machines having much use of the sports field that the local league club recently re-seeded, or whatever it is they're supposed to have actually done. Has anyone seen a direct report of one of these mythical community projects by the way?
30 August 2004
Yesterday I discovered possibly the worst example of crack-addled thinking to emerge from that mire we call "marketing". You may be aware of that the humble sanitary pad has an adhesive strip on one side. This is simply to keep the thing stuck in your knickers, (don't panic any boys reading this I promise not to mention any bodily functions). Anyway, to expose the gluey bit one peels off a piece of paper not unlike those on the flaps of the more expensive line in business envelopes. One brand which shall remain nameless has decided, no doubt after a brainstorm by some marketing genius living in Double Bay, to adorn this piece of paper with what can only be described as "trivia". Each strip has approximately 8 items on it, reminiscent of the bit of paper inside your hat in a Christmas cracker, of the following calibre:
- The King of Hearts is the only king without a moustache
- The largest number of children born to one woman is 69 in Russia
- The average human will drink about 72,737 litres of water in their lfifetime
- One avergae, 13 people die every year from vending machines falling on them
WHAT IS THIS CRAP??? What do they think, hapless Aussie women sitting in the ladies at work with blood up to their knuckles (sorry boys, I lied) are just HAVING A LITTLE REST? LOOKING FOR A LITTLE BIT OF TRIVIA FOR DOWN AT THE PUB THAT WEEK? IN NEED OF A DOSE OF QUIRKY INFO? The company in questions has named this travesty "Odd Spots" to match their funky retro packaging no doubt. What is odd, is that any unexpected or unwanted bleeding (ie. during pregnancy) is generally referred to as "spotting".
24 August 2004
Have you ever looked up in the Queen Victoria Building? There are two clocks suspended from the ceiling and from underneath they just look like blobs of Edwardian kitsch. Go up to the first floor and their true nature is revealed. One clock is shaped like a castle, which is pretty boring. The other has 6 sides each featuring a colonial diorama, eg convicts and the lash, settlers, explorers etc. And circling around the dioramas, on a never ending loop, is a bewildered looking Aboriginal warrior. With spear. Stuck far away from the wealth of the squatter and his sheep, the tasty bread, the barrels of rum, condemned forever to circle in view but never get close enough to be dangerous.
Maybe it's just cos I have a lot of time on my hands these days, but I think there's an unintended metaphor in that clock.
23 August 2004
My compadre, a Comedian who has a solo show in Melbourne. Go you good thing.
I have updated this thing we call profile. But I worry that blogger wants to be livejounrnal. And am now nervous that I shall pick up the habits of a whiny student goth. Oh, who said that? Never fear readers your Aunty B shall be ever-vigilant, and steadfastly keep herself nice.
Oh, and yesterday some blonde chick had a little lie down in a boat. (We call them "power naps" in this neck of the woods). Suddenly its all terribly important to half of Australia - well those that pick what stories to run on 4 corners seem to guess its top of our viewing prioity list. Nyeh, I think I'm missing something. Also my glamourous housemate tells me that the ladies baths are very crowded this week for her early morning swim. The attendant explains "Oh its the Olympics, it willl quieten down in a week or two, this happened last time as well". Ha ha hardy har.
11 August 2004
10 August 2004
6 August 2004
Its on. Tonight - first push. Fragmentism is the new social code. It's behind the news, behind our habits. We're all chatting away in our cells, dissembling, de-coding, fragmenting, re-piecing and re-assembling. Take it from me, there are so many fragments out there in the world its a fundamental law of phyics that they will soon coalese. And why not be one of those moulding the whole big papier mache mess into a shape that makes some more sense than our non-sensical metier? Or less sense. Take your pick. Dean's cafe, street of the Kellet clan, Kings X, founded 1849. After the dark, before the light.
5 August 2004
The BBC is making a new series of Dr Who. They confirmed yesterday that, yes, it will feature daleks after the beeb won a legal wrangle with the estate of the guy who designed them. Dr Who will be played by Christopher Eccleston who has been in a bunch of British dramas, 28 Days Later and Existenz. Yippeee. I hope they don't screen it when I'm at school, I mean, work.
4 August 2004
1 August 2004
nb. Currently making up for recent laxity of communication with every-bloody-body (you know who you are - I've been totally crap), and also noticed that Miss J is approaching the number of posts on Sea Green as made on B&W which just can't happen*.
Two most recent videos watched... Lair of the White Worm - compulsary viewing for Hugh Grant fans - one of his earlier roles in a Ken Russel shlock horror pastishe with a terrible script, confused editing and the most unlikely aparagus shaped dildo you've ever seen. .. and School of Rock - with some good natured and g-rated laughs. Worth it for Joan Cusak. Why doesn't she get any lead comedy roles?
*Possibly beacause my main contributing author has finshed having frustrating but highly amusing inter-continental adventures for a while...
I was at the local small supermaket today at approximately 10.45am on a Sunday. This is clearly student hour. Of the other people in the queue, were:
a) a chick in her pyjamas and ugg boots buying only white bread.
b) another young lass in black jeans, hole "celebrity skin" tee-shirt and the most astounding bed hair, buying instant macaroni, 3 bottles of V and a pink acrylic beanie.
c) me, having showered and dressed, buying Dr harry's kitty litter (its recycled!), damp absorber, cat food, fresh orange juice and dolmades.
When did this happen? I think it was while I was reading the business section of the newspaper.
One dry article from the business review weekly about Australia being short-sighted in its economic choices.
And another from John Quiggin's blog who also writes for the Fin Review about the Greens economic policy being quite sensible and wise.
What does this mean? Well its probably an indication of how the daily toil of one BSharp has taken a turn of a more "serious" (read "mainstream") nature. Ie. I now need to read bits of the goddam fin review. But every now and then in the depths of the arcane writings on debt-to-equity ratios and economic growth and other mythologies, you find a little kernel of truth. If you can't be bothered clicking on the above, and quite frankly I don't blame you I'd rather clean the bathroom with my tongue, the top one says that our short horizons mainly based on election wins make us make dud choices when it comes to the, er, prosperity of our nation. And I think I use the word prosperity in the broadest sense here - like how much fun we're having not just how much everyone earns. And while I only profess to understand half the words, and I don't hold truck with that line about how not saving is really really bad, I think this is kinda interesting:
"The real issue is the excessive diversion of funds into property speculation and consumption spending, from the conventional priorities of investment in infrastructure, business and sustainable employment. That capital deficit is made up by loans and equity investment from foreigners."
Which I think means everyone rushing off to buy houses as their biggest investment ever are ripping themselves off, because its not really long term investment for the individual (the payback is only a couple of percent in the end) and definitley not an investment in Australia's pool of finances, either because all the mortages are kind of bundled up and raffled off overseas. I knew it. Ha- renters - not a second class, but holding the whole economy together.
21 July 2004
Hey all you far flug mob. A word of excuse.. Aunty B's been putting in the big hours in front of the computer screen recently in the daylight hours, and just can't get motivated to make any new words in her spare time. And god forbid that Buzz would become uninteresting or bland! Quel horreur!
but just for some ambience ..
- Listenting to: Cure B sides (thanks to Merry risa and co.); MP3s; Lou Reed; the whir of the dalek-esqe air purifier at work; Falling Joys (still); Fourplay; PWEI; TMBG; and I don't care what you boys out there think - Tool really do suck a lot.
- Reading: the new Louis deBernieres .. in giant hard copy because I couldn't wait.
- Smelling: my brand new mattress..firm as a very firm young man's.. oh .. that's right this is a public text.
- Touching: wool and needles and merino/possum wool mix; computer keys.
- Looking at: Andrew Denton; odd french movies on SBS; holiday photos; the daylight hours get longer.
- Tasting: vegetartian meals; Australian-grown and roasted coffee; bad food court lunches.
4 July 2004
Everything round these parts is an "experience". There's the whitewater experience. The cultural experience. Your rainforest experience. Your reef experience. Your coffee experience, your experience experience. You get the picture.
Queensland road sign-writers are secret da-da-ists. My favourites so far are "Rest Stop or Dead Stop" amd "Drunk?, Tired? R.I.P." (the latter in the shape and trompe l'oeile style of a gravestone).
There's nought as queer as folk. Adventuring Dutch, a dirt-biking tradey with 2.5 fingers on one hand seeking humane advice on his son's HSC choices, Rene of Boissevain the mad French crystal enthusiast. Nothin' like some big open spaces to bring out the diamonds in the rough out here.<
The Telfunken TCD3700 is a king among discount stereo equipment. Four wheel drive only track? Several fords, corregations, dips, pitholes and turns along the way? This mighty MP3 compatible machine played Michael Franti and the South Park soundtrack for every single one of those 75 kms, without a jump, skip or glitch, buffeted only by a sturdy felt hat and a calico bag. Simply astounding. Which reminds me. Dramamine. Its the shit.
Putting the ass in class. An honourable mention for "stuck in the seventies motor inn bistro award". Last night we were dumstruck, confounded, and enraptured at the venue to end all venues. It was the shells-screwed-to-wall water feautre in the entrance with all pipes showing ssurrounded by concrete frogs and "lazy mexican" garden ornamnets. It was the one other table occupied by four elderly citizens and a not-quite-middle-aged son tucking into a round of seafood baskets. The moustaches on the bar man. The tiled floor. The live 2-piece limping through versions of Heartbreak Hotel, Love me Do, Imagine, Hippy Shake and other gems from the 60s, 70s and mid-70s. The t-bars on the girl tourists also having meals. The enourmous, cheap servings. The enourmous space adjacent to the bistro containing a couch right in front of the dance floor. The incredible dancin' fools who showed up clearly ready for a big Saturday night in their best kit and freshly shaven. The music appreciation by punching the air of afore-mentioned crowd. The surprise divergence of the third set to include "Just Another Brick in the Wall" and "Blister in the Sun" complete with the sequenced signature snare drum breaks. We loved it. All of it. And no groovy night out in Sydney town with as many A-list guests as you care to mention will surpass the experience.
Greetings buzz girls and boys. I have the pleasure af writing to you from the the north eastern region of our great continent. That's right its sunny Kween-land.
And what an overwhelming string of experiences its turning out to be. From El Bizarro risking physical if not verbal assault by sipping a glass of Chardonnary at a very, shall we say, masculine drinking establishment on the 4WD track to Cookown to the astounding milkshake-shaped polystyrene cup o' chips we got today at the mobil roadhouse when asking for a "large" serving.
But first an aside ... Ross (of most recent comment and also esteemed host of the Bad Seed website) I have no idea what your point is. But that's cool its been like a fun mystery guessing game for long hours of driving. Possibly its a reference to my earlier rapier-witted piece about "high-risk" communications then my later use of an electronic medium, and perhaps the reference to face to face discussion .. making this a tad hypocritical.. but that was clearly satire n'est pas? Perhaps its some techy thing and Ross has inadvertently been spammed by someone hiding behind my old email..hmmm sorry I don't know how to stop this. But anyway ..congrats you're the first person I don't actually know to post.
19 June 2004
I record for the readers that I never asserted that I sweep once a week, simply that I would like a housemate to do so. Aunty B would also like cleaner, but we can't always get what we want.
Current tally of this week's experience:
- Sheer frustration at meaningless beauracracy: 2 counts
- Sudafed extra strenth congestion pills swallowed: 5
- Eucalyptus throaties sucked: 1 packet
- Free settler cities visited: 1
- Baths taken: 3
- Documentaries watched: 1
- Meals containing red meat since documentary viewing: 0
12 June 2004
..is "laid back" but also remembers to sweep the kitchen floor once a week
..is "easy going" but remembers bin night every second week
..likes great rock and roll, but doesn't play it when I've got an early morning start
..is "up-front" but is polite and circumspect about my more grotty tendencies
..likes cooking extravagant meals for the house, but doesn't leave a pile of nuclear dishes
..is "open-minded" but does't take drugs
..is "alternative" but doesn't clog the basin with hair
..is "sociable and out-going" but doen't have obnoxious friends stay over for a week
..is "warm and friendly" but doesn't have noisy sex
..recycles, conserves energy and water, but isn't a boring hippy
10 June 2004
I just tried to read something on the SMH website and it gave me this message.
"We want you to register so we can improve smh.com.au and keep the site free.
"The information you provide will give an overall profile of our readers and enable us to work better with advertisers.
"We don't want to show you more advertisements but we want to ensure that the advertisements you see are of interest to you."
But... none of the ads are of interest to me...
By the way, what do we think of Peter Garrett putting his hand up for Labor?
6 June 2004
Oh, well I suppose there's a good point about our leaders' homogenous views of society, and yes that is bad. But I just thought the gay overtones of the Howard/Bush report was funny. Ha ha they had an intimate breakfast. I am cracking myself up thinking of Bush asking JH "how he likes his eggs" out at some presidential function.
5 June 2004
These are direct quotes...
"The Prime Minister's White House visit suggested relations between him and Mr Bush are as warm as ever. The President invited Mr Howard to join him in the Old Family Dining Room for an intimate breakfast"
After the talks, Mr Bush described Mr Howard as "a close friend of mine" and said he valued his advice. He said he appreciated the support of Mr Howard in keeping troops in Iraq".
Bush warns Latham on Iraq pull-out
A story about a girl with two mothers that was screened on the ABC's Play School has sparked a political storm . . .
The ABC's head of children's television, Claire Henderson, said the segment "showed one of the many types of family groups that exist in Australia today". . .
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, warned the ABC against becoming "too politically correct". "I think I'm representing the majority of Australian parents," he said yesterday. "My kids watch Play School. I think it is an excellent production, but I think it's important for those program producers to ensure that they are not just responding to minorities . . . I don't think it's appropriate."
The Health Minister, Tony Abbott, who has three daughters aged 10, 12 and 14, said: "I think that if I'd been watching it with my kids, I'd have been a bit shocked."
Play School's Lesbian Tale Sparks Outrage
.. make up your own mind boys and girls.
1 June 2004
30 May 2004
Two things observed in the last two weeks....
A pilllar on the street that would normally have a grey cover on, with its outside off and its inside showing. A thousand red phone lines, all coming out of the earth and joined to this central column. Noone around, no service van, on a street with plenty of pedestrians. It looked like R2 D2 in the nude. A swift slice of a stanley kife would surely have rendered the whole block phone-less.
A man who stood on to the train platform at 8.30 am. About 6 ft tall, wearing red, fringed loafers, brown vinyl three-quarter leggings with criss cross seams, a blue chesty bonds tee, a red bead necklace, lipstick, and a mid-sized red handbag. Ordinary short haircut. Broad across the shoulders with a masculine build. Head held high, and strangely attractive for it. He sat in the sun waiting for the train in the other direction.
Sometimes I like this city.
29 May 2004
.. to see the ladies having transatlantic discourse. I dig it.
Another thing I dig is postcards in the mail. They are like getting lollies for a girl without a sweet tooth. So many thanks for that too. Oh yeh, and panties. (That will make sense to a select few). Not much else to report today. Did some home decor. Got overwhelmed by the sheer volume of material things. Again.
26 May 2004
Paying people to have babies is a cack-handed, retrograde, imperialist policy. How different is it from eugenics or the white Australia policy of the 1960s? What is it if not another way of saying, "We want more people like us, not people like you?"
22 May 2004
20 May 2004
I knew I kept this gem for a reason. Have been cleaning out work emails from the cache recently.... enjoy.
Young Nanna-ism is about finding the Nanna within and nuturing her. It is about recognising the benefits to mental and physical health of the occaisional nanna-like activity. Young Nannas cherish their inner nanna and thereby find the way to enlightenment
How do I know if I'm a Young Nanna?
If you have ever done any of the following, you have already made contact with your inner nanna:
What do I do with my Inner Nanna?
When you have made contact with you inner nanna, it is your duty to let her express herself. At first you may find it hard, and even embarrassing to accept your inner nanna. Start slowly in a place where you feel comfortable and safe. You may need to coax your inner nanna out with some eucalyptus oil, a lavendar bag, or perhaps a butter menthol. Now carry out one inner nanna-ism. Don't rush yourself, and stop if you feel uncomfortable. Do this every day, and you will soon find your inner nanna more forthcoming.
Soon your inner nanna will express herself spontaneously. You will find your inner nanna pops up at the times when you need nurturing. It's important not to fight your inner nanna, she knows better than you do when you are in need of a nap, a warm jumper, or a nice cup of tea. Your inner nanna is always looking out for you.
What if my Inner Nanna begins taking over my life?
Some people find that their inner nanna gets a bit out of control. You may suddenly be overcome with an urge to visit a bingo hall; or find yourself scolding your boss for not wearing a singlet. At times like these, it is helpful to have a quick nanna-repressent handy. You could carry around a walkman with some heavy metal music; or try eating some of those nasty foreign foods or drinking a can of coke in the street with your shirt untucked. These will send your inner nanna burrowing for cover, and you can resume normal adult behaviour, hopefully without too much embarrasment.
If you follow these instructions, you should be able to develop a warm and caring relationship with your Inner Nanna, and become a true and proud Young Nanna. Young Nanna-ism is all about balance. Treat your Inner Nanna well, and you will find she brings just enough sensible shoes, early nights and nourishing soup to your life. Remember, it's not about age, it's about your state of, ummm, oh dear, my memory's not what it used to be, love.
Created by Betty-Sue, 20 September 2001.
16 May 2004
As some may know, your Aunty Bee doesn't mind a bit of rock and roll and a whisky sour. So on this occasion she accompanied some gentlemen to a venue that shall remain nameless, at a time when she really should have been in bed. On waiting patiently to enter said venue with quite a group of frankly undernourished but well dressed youngsters, a large contigent of Sydney's finest approached from across the road. I mean at least 10, if not 15 without uneccessary exaggeration. Now on seeing this, as a good law abiding Aunty, I thought "Goodness! what a lot of police, but I suppose Oxford Street can be a fairly violent place at this time of night, maybe there's been a bit of gang trouble or poofter-bashing, its good that my taxes are protecting our more fringe citizens". (Or something of that nature) But then I noticed they had quite a cute, bright eyed labrador in tow. And oh look - they are inspecting all of the skinny indie kids. Now, in not the bightest of moves, my friend who has spent most of his adult life in Adelaide, allegedly had some of the weed canabis sativa on his person.
So what follows is about half an hour of searching, humiliation and general dicking around, with the rest of us kind of struck dumb. I for one was rendered near speechless by the pant-tucked-into-jackboot fashion choice of our premier law enforcment agency. Are they in some kind of aesthetic competition with the ubiquitous property guards you see in the CBD?
I digress. Some onlookers in the immediate vicinty commented "Oh they're looking for drugs.. wow lucky we just put all of ours up noses a minute ago". So myself and my companions proceeded to the venue, sans weed, consumed some whisky sours (or simliar) and jumped around to aggressive music.
Some time later we all felt like having a kebab. In the crowded kebab shop some large young men were have a heated argument complete with shoulder shoving. The tone of which was along the lines of "Why would you say that mate, you're racist that's what, c'mon mate, you're just a racist..". Turns out one of the gentlemen has called the other one Arabic, and perhaps spoken or mocked Arabic to him. The subject of the comments was, in fact, Portugese and he was a little riled. There were about 20 big blokes in that hot venue, all I assumme at the end of a big night out. Not a police person to be seen. Meanwhile a man in a well populated suburb has been breaking into single women's home at night. I wonder, has he been arrested yet?
Sydney. Cops. Dogs. Arse. Guys ... have you caught any rapists today?
13 May 2004
Celebrity Boyfriend Corral
"Hugh is the over-developed, studly Clydesdale that every Corral worth it's oats needs"
Super, floaty word map thing
Sadly, you need Java or flash or something to view it. And it used to be free but now there's only a trial. But give it a shot.
All due credit to Miss A for those.
Its a bit nasty. Good nasty. "Teen checks text message during fellatio".
(That one was mine)
9 May 2004
I have realised since a previous post that I had, without noticing, blithley used a term like "human rights abuses" in a public medium. For this I am truly sorry.
Don Watson, George Orwell, you said it would happen and now yours truly, Aunty B, has succumbed to mealy-mouthed, pasty, weedy words to describe the horrors of the world. I meant "torture of guys who're involved in the latest war". I don't even know if they were soldiers or not, so I can't draw on a decent noun. I meant "subjugation and general shittiness". I can't even pretend though that it surprised me, as its pretty hard not to notice the constant repeating mandlebrot pattern of this kind of behviour in our species. And image and reality has gotten so mixed up these days.. I am struck by how much that particular front page photo with its mix of Jesus Christ pose, uK Kl_x Kl_n* and 1950's horror film.. looked kind of like a still from a Nine Inch Nails video. Maybe its wrong to write that. I dunno.
What to say about our lives, so far from that place ... not sure about that either. Spread the love I guess. (Man). And to a certain semi-vegetarian aussie bloke - keep it up on the road, looking forward to seeing your big old grin again.
* don't want any nasty google searches ending up here.
8 May 2004
Umm, not much at all actually. I think I'd mentally resigned a long time ago.
Some of the future careers that I've daydreamed over the past few months:
- record company mogul (Aunty B, I need you as a partner and talent spotter)
- fashion designer
- owner of website to rival Crikey.com
- political advisor to amazing environmental company
- director of non-profit group
- etc etc etc
I have $10k between me and the dole, but in the mean time, buzzers, keep you ears to the ground for me
7 May 2004
And another thing Betty-sue .. will Athens be ready for the Olympics? I seem to remember many people casting nasturtiums on whether Sydney could pull it off, and we had the .. well, you all know how good it was here. Juan Antonio said so. I'm just looking forward to Roy and HG's show. They'll be there for 3 weeks during the games.
Actually, for the Sydney-siders, HG Nelson is doing a show at the Enmore theatre that looks pretty interesting. Also Kiss have announced a second show, following their Entertainment Centre extravaganza, also at the Enmore, for a more "intimate" experience. Ooh there's a scary thought - being intimate with Gene Simmons.
So here are some things I learnt this week:
Well thanks for reading, I've got to go and catch "That's Dancing" on the ABC. Oh the glamour.
6 May 2004
Has her finger on the pulse. I think you made that last post before the stories hit the paper about the recent human rights abuses. I figure you've seen the photos all the way over there in Greece too. Its a murky bloody world. And I'm probably the last person to point it out, but Mike Moore is trying to get a doco released called Farenheit 9/11. Disney isn't too keen. Or Miramax , or someone. Anyway, here's his website.
30 April 2004
26 April 2004
Radiohead were awesome! Now I'm not a big fan of the stadium-style show, and the radiohead ticket price was over my usual cut-off. While being fully in favour of buying entertainment, that kind of cover price can sting. Anyway - they started with some songs from Hail to the Thief, which I don't have, so the gig was just giving me a kind of big rock band vibe, without really stirring any emotions. Also there were some young 'uns next to me who had clearly dropped some party goodies, and had become intensely annoying with the smoking, chewing, sweating, chattering, incessent phone calling to friends, and the lighter (!) - word for new players: its really uncool to do the lighter thing these days. Its 2004 people.
But they know their craft those pommy boys, and throughout the next 90 min they managed to be totally in charge of the mood of 10,000 people. Awesome. Rock and Roll.
- the giant digital flat-screens with the orange and green effect footage of Thom York shot from above
- the rendition of Fake PLastic Trees
- the live recreation of the always surprisingly musical bleeps and loops from Kid A/ Amnesiac.. it went all disco. How on earth do they do that?*
-Jonn Greenwood playing his computer touch-pad gizmo like a real instrument
- the totally memerising way Thom york put his face right up to the camera, and beamed out 50 times life size to the audience, his eyes and cheek filling the entire screen, then offered the screaming crowd back to itself.. (I guess you had to be there to get it)
- the sychronised drumming from 3 band members in (I think) "Climbing the walls".
- the perfectly timed encores - b/c I'm really over the excessively long times bands wait these days, when you know they're going to do and encore, as the house lights are all still down..
*just checked the tripleJ online forum and disovered the tracks in question were "idioteque" and "everything in its right place"...
Concert rating: double plus good. They took some incredibly introspective music and made it something that ten thousand people could enjoy together. Respect.
25 April 2004
One of the great things about holidays is that one can marinate in lucious prose and have mental space to consider the ideas it raises.
I'll start that novel one day.
22 April 2004
'Ol "Buzzsaw" Aunty B rides again.... Into the arena to lasso me some more o' them jittery exec-ew-tives. Oh lordy, its like herdin' cats out thar! But this week its been a case o' jumpin' back in the ring and jist giving it another whirl. Fellas watch out, because before you know, that purty little unthreatening-looking lassy will have you dancing like a bear in Russia. You'll be runnin' to Aunty B to ask what to do about that big bad 'ol many-headed snake we call the meedja round these parts.
In other reporting
There has been rapid growth of the proportion of Australian worker in casual or part-time work. This means workers have "low hours and pay rates, limited job security, unpredictable earnings and hours, no paid sick or holiday leave, and limited access to other rights and forms of leave". (Chifley Centre). The report goes on to say how rates of casual employment leap in "feminised" professions like clerical (more than half). And concludes that "over time, an economy dependent upon a larger and larger slice of casual employees will face a deteriorating skills base, lower workforce stability and higher turnover costs. This is both inefficient and inequitable." Amen.
19 April 2004
Two friends now joined in legal matrimony. I could gush or wax lyrical, but really guys it comes down to this :
You are a pair of corageous, big-hearted humans and I am in great and honest admiration of your choice. The ceremony was honest and touching, the event was real celebration, and the families were beaming. Hope you have Have a most joyous life with lots of the things you love in it.
Train doors don't work like lift doors. When you stick your arm they don't open again, you just end up with a sore arm and wounded pride.
14 April 2004
8 April 2004
..quote for a while. "Now what would the Dali Lama do?" . . The other stupendous Miss B In reference to being recently dumped by a boy. Bless you, darlin'.
Oh yeah - and Biz, word up, thanks for giving Buzz the lowbagger seal of approval. (Although you know Missy Sharp ain't seekin' no approval from any an-nee-body now, hear?)
And lo, regular reader....your fave ethernet-auntie is off on holidays to celebrate the ressurection of our Lord, JC. Hopefully there will be no posts for a while. And everyone can just shut-up about "mini-breaks"!
6 April 2004
New CD's ....
Goldfrapp - Black Cherry. . . Not as many slinky booty-twitching pop gems as I had hoped, but enough to stave the cravings.
Little Birdy - Self-titled EP. Have been playing Relapse on repeat. Sad, I know.
The Sundays - Static and Silence. Ten bucks secondhand. Ten bucks! Well worth it for Summertime, the rest is a bit easy listening. Good for Sunday afternoons.
Robbie Williams - Escapolgy. Total rubbish. Only bought because it was on special and needed party pop songs. None forthcoming . . . anyone want the darned thing?
Living Colour - double CD Vivid and Time's Up. One for the old days, surprisingly still listenable. Remember Love Rears Up it Ugly Head? I'd forgotten.
Cat Power - What would the Community Think. Chan Marshal, indie music's favourite nutter. Not sure yet, giving it a few listens.
Things making Aunty B Cross . . .
The NSW Government. Just don't get me started. But it has to do with:
a) treating things like train travel as a revenue stream rather than an essential service, hence expending the bare mimimum on maintenance and new infrastructure
b) announcing a fantasitic credit rating and a surplus for few years running
c) throwing a giant tanty when the feds pull back on the GST gravy train
d) announding a big old deficit in their 3rd term, to pay for things like rail service repair and extensions
e) paying for the deficit through "belt-tightening" in areas like the Department of Women, The Carnivale multicultural festival, The Migrant Training Scheme, The Towns and Country Water Sewage Recycling Scheme, and the Urban Design Advisory Service.
Are any of these points related, Aunty wonders?
Biggest "dur" moment in the scientific media . . .
"Excessive television viewing may increase risk of ADHD" - University of Washington Researchers
That's Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder for the uninitiated. Well HELLO . . . TV is created in 30 second slots. The good scientist in me must note though that the findings have been queried by long-time researchers in this field, and treated with suspicion as being too simplistic. But crumbs any health science finding that ends with "The best thing parents can do is turn the television off and talk to their kids and read to their kids, which is a much more positive activity than watching passive television," is okay in my books. Thanks to Frank Oberklaid, director of the Centre for Community Child Health at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital for that one.
Hey wideyedkid .. doin ya proud!
5 April 2004
On realising that she was not in possesion of the fabled magnetised pass key that would let her through the barriers of the underground passageway...
In one sweeping glance the fearless B the Blighted took in the 3 members of the enemy crew who were posted at all possible exits ready to ambush the unwary adventurer. Quelling a moment of panic her seasoned campaigner's mind took over and she sighted a likely getaway route from the subterranean cavern. Avast ! Over there, the wee landlubber in the chambray shirt. See - he hesitates as he fumbles for his own legitimate pass to the freedom of the sunlit world above. Like quicksilver she sidled up behind him and most casually strode through the barrier within a hair's breadth of those unforgiving jaws as they clamped shut with menacing clunk, right behind her most shapley and pert posterier. And right beneath the noses of the be-bagded servants of the evil lord C Rail! Triumph again, and mistress B supresses a grin and verily skips up the stone staircase to spend another day wrestling with the forces of darkness and mediocrity in the dirty ship of fools governing the Emerald City.
I'm in London and I have an irresistible urge to purchase stylish stuff. At Topshop. At Knickerbox. At Muji. At Gap (and yes I know they're an evil multi, but they are the only makers of jeans in the shape of Betty Sue's bum) At Morgan. At Mango. At Paperchase.
Must stop - three months in India should have given me a new spiritual appreciation of poverty, but London erased it in 3 days. Must dash - shoe sale calling me
4 April 2004
By the phone ringing. Dreaming that I was in a team debate. (A mass debate, perhaps). The audience was a large garden party-bbq-type arragement. Had thought up some good rebuttal to the other team, but in my turn the audience were all talking and carousing loudly no matter how hard I projected. Was about to wolf whistle to get their attention when the mobile shrilled from the back room.
31 March 2004
I walked to the train station as usual. But on the way, I approached the local supermarket loading dock in the optimistic sunshine. The roller door was open by about half a foot and at the very moment I drew near, about twenty tomatoes rolled out from under the door towards the street. They traced a perfect parabola towards the curb, and then the downhill slope of the road. They rolled red and ripe, while a scrum of schools boys scuffed past on the opposite side of the road and laughed. No-one picked up the perfect fruit that had no visible owner, but a few of us office drones saw the colour and motion and smiled to ourselves.
24 March 2004
First of all I apologise for my diatribe last time - I was having a bad day. To answer Aunty B's intelligent questions:
no, Indian women are not seen in public very much. about 80% of the passing traffic is male. Women are very seldom seen without a male companion.
yes, saris do have a saucy bit of tummy showing, but they don't show ankle, and really the only glimpse you get is of the side (not the tummy). There's no touching in public, no nudity (Indian women bathe in their saris), no kissing allowed on TV or in movies...
Maybe there is an inbuilt need to repress someone - it's often said that in India, the lowest caste of all is woman.
International Womens Day eh? Love Aunty B's list of top chicks and terribly flattered to find self in company of Helen Razer - I love Helen and wish she'd come back to public life. To the list I'd add Joan Kirner and Moira Rayner and Ann Summers. International Women's day in India was marked by the President exhalting women to raise themselves up and inaugurating the Foundation for the Preservation of the Girl Child. The parliament passed legislation banning sex determination of foetuses through ultrasound (too many parents aborting baby girls). And the Chennai police raided and closed down a performance of The Vagina Monologues on the grounds of public obscenity. Sigh.
I've been perusing the Indian women's mags as well. The best of the bunch is Femina - a weird mix of you-go-girl and family life. This month's edition includes articles on:
- Managing your investments (in which I found out that women here still need a man to guarantee a bank loan - either your father or your husband);
- Foreplay (that is, 8 different ways to give a foot massage, nothing more risque than that);
- 10 ways to stay beautiful in winter (interestingly, not one commercial product gets a plug, the tips are all things like "rub yourself with almond oil", "make a face mask from cumin, heem and apples", or "oil your hair with coconut oil")
- Profile of the woman CEO of ICICI Bank (their slogan is "we have more customers than Australia has people");
- Raising happy kids; and
- "We don't want to have kids" - the new phenomenon of the childless couple
long post.... time to stop
The hypnotic web-based clock - is it art or science? +
To the ridiculous...
Shooting for THE COLONY is starting in August 2004 and continues through to December 2004. SBS is looking for three families and individuals to re-live the experience of their ancestors in the period 1795 to 1815. They are also seeking ten single Australians aged between 18 and 45 to live as the original convicts did.*
. . . Hopefully being SBS they won't hold back on the local warfare, torture, buggery, bubonic plague, near starvation, and endemic corruption. I'd watch that.
+ Props Miss M and wideyedkid .. Artist details on the site..
*Thanks to CC for that one.
21 March 2004
A field of boffins called "evolutionary pyschologists", who hang out with linguists in the uni cafeteria spend some of their time trying to work out what language and human speach is actually for.
The old-skool model says that it is primarly about improved detailed, more accurate transfer of information. Better information means finding better hunting grounds, passing on new skills and knowledge to the next generation, sharing new discoveries in medicines and health, generally just being more competetive, and better able to breed.
But perhaps its not so basic as all that. Actual field observations on people using language and interacting show that for the large majoriy of the time people spend talking only a minute fraction is spent on exchanging data that is in any way related to survival. (Oh, by the way we're talking scientists evesdropping on conversations in the most "natural" settings they could find - crowded cafes, trains, presumably hairdressers salons, making tapes then anyalysing them in a terribly rigorous manner back at the lab). Its mostly completely banal meaningless stuff....our Jason's new job, celebrity marriages, Sheena's dress for the wedding, re-itererating something they said 5 minutes before, what's on at work, Janette's trouble with the baby, the terrible aesthetics of the building going up down the road, the lastest internet flight deals..... you get the picture.
A biologist may deduce that you are wasting a load of precious carbohydrates and brain computing power with this constant drivel, and why on earth did such a giant brain develop in the first place that could cope with something as complex as language?
Well, dear reader, this mob reckon from their studies that the primary purpose of language is to build and strengthen human relationships. You may have noticed me touch on this subject before. Other beings are so fundamental to our survival that we are constantly chattering, sharing , reinforcing our relationships. As miss J notes - "I trust you, I am interested in you, I am connected to you". Possibly the actual information, while important, is secondary to the exhchange.*
Today I was subjected to a lot (and I mean a lot) of talk about cars. Car racing, car models, car performace, car manufacturing and distribution. My end of the table at the Aussie barbie had a higher ratio of middle aged blokes at it, and it the subject just kept coming back around like a bad penny. Having little experience or interest in pretty much all the topics on offer I felt a bit like one of these researchers. Since we've established that any exchange is likely to be totally removed from issues of day to day survival, perhaps so-called conversations like these act like a natural filter for who on god's green earth one is to form bond with. Ipso facto, boredom is clearly an evolutionary tool for weeding out people who you have no need for in life. Bear it in mind kiddies.
*note: complete lack of referencing indicates that this abstract is entirely formed from a sketchy memory of a bbc science doco. Of course.
17 March 2004
My mother is a wine guzzling bad influence on me. Chardonnay anyone?
It was international women's day last week. Anyone notice? So an appropriate if somewhat belated Bsharp fave chicks list:
- Germaine Greer (queen of nerdy academic aussie women), Courtney Love (I don't care what anyone says, I know she's a giant fuck up and she flaunts it. Go Courtney), All of The Slits (except Budgie because he's a man), Cheryl Kernot, Natasha Stott Despoja (for having more balls than the rest of cabinet combined), Isabella Allende, Angela Carter (RIP), Patsy Kline, Debbie Harrie, Dusty Springfield, Julie Andrews, Tanya Donnely, My gem-friends, Fee Fee L'amour, , Helen Razer, Miss S.Archer (how could I forget), Frida Kahlo, Mish M, both the Angel[l]s, Anias Nin, Kim Deal, Madonna (ooh didn't expect that one), Valery Wilde, Sarah Michelle Geller, Judi Dench, the skinny one from Smack the Pony, Betty Sue, Sister Wendy, Tank Girl (Alright! I know she's fictional and created by a bloke, but what the hell), Rene Zellwegger (not often you see the hollywood types poking fun at themselves), Salt and Pepper ("Hey Pep, I don' think they're gonna play this song on the radio"), Siouxie Sioux, Valerie Salonas, Libbi Gorr.
12 March 2004
ouch ouch ouch - my head hurts. It's all wrong what I have done to it.
Classy entrance huh? There is a classy story behind it too....
OK - this isn't so hard, I reckon I can do it, but maybe not today - I just need to go back to day dreaming my way through the rest of the day.
The gym instuctor said the other day that day dreaming is good - it means you are alive. I know it is good, but now it is qualified. Ha! yeah by the gym instructor - oh dear - not only does my head hurt, it clearly isn't working properly.
11 March 2004
An audience spruiker for the SBS current affairs program Insight called me last week. They will pay a whopping fifty bucks for people to go to Artarmon on a Tuesday night to watch the show being taped. Its in a new format where they encourage audience questions (but speaking on camera is not compulsary). You'd be at the studio from 6.30 pm for 2 hours. There's a nice bit of cheese and bickies first and canass some issues for the panel to discuss. Each week has a topic like, you know, terrorism, or genetic engineering. All the easy stuff. This might be up some readers' alley, so to speak. If so, you need to call a nice fellow called Ron at McNair Inginuity Research. 1800 669 133. (Its okay to post the number, they're a promo firm! They called me at 7pm at home, anyway... ). I can't make Tuesdays due to a prior booty-shaking appointment. Get in there. Mix it up.
5 March 2004
Miss Mitzu! (Drum roll please) Glad to have you in the nerd lounge.
As for me - not much to report. Perhaps some changes, some new things, and you know how the Aunty crew loves nice new things. Fresh housemate, different work stuff, a change of feeling of here in the bunker, I think it might be activity. Maybe something else. I thought that chrysalis would probably have its uses.
Current Music: There is Power in a Union - Billy Bragg, Lockit - Falling Joys, Obsession/Tango - Shakira.
3 March 2004
"Ooh it feels just like walking on the moon" - Now I wonder why the slats on my couch are all out of their brackets? hmm.
"You know I think you just use it as a barrier. Really." - Thanks Miss J.
"I'm wondering if its time to put some pants on".
Club Hawaii was a roaring success, and there is a digital image record too.
26 February 2004
25 February 2004
Music, sweet music preserver of sanity. Dan Brodie you are among my favourite Australian men. Music and smells I think both talk to the same section of the brain. Vague recollections its the limbic system, but don't quote me on that. There's the first part of a doco on tonight on the ABC, about emotions. Its called Primal Instincts and is on at 8.30 pm tonight. "For the first time on television, Primal Instincts examines the primitive forces that drive us to acts of creative inspiration, passion, even murder". Here in the bunker there is no ABC TV, so if anyones catches it can they send me a review? Or even stick in on comments here - dont be shy, I'll give ya full credit. I love this shit where science tackles emotion and and trys to hang rationalism on the mystery of existence. The docos are usually done well, and always re-enforce my sense of awe in biology and life on earth, rather than make it "disappear in a puff of logic" (thank you Mr Adams).
And it has occured to me that a casual reader may get a sense that 'ol Aunty B has bit of thing against men. Well she doesn't actually, in fact there are some man-traits that she admires and even emulates. (I did say some). So in the interest of balance, here's some more of my favourite Aussie men:
- Phillip Adams, Leunig, Paul Kelly, Andrew Denton, Don Watson, Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Dale Royce - Rockstar, Tim Flannery, Adam Spencer, Richard Kingsmill, Paul McDermott, Bob Brown.
- John Ralston Saul, Henry Rollins, Carl Hiassen, Robbie Williams, Louis deBernieres, Ben Elton, Joss Whedon, Johnny Depp, Tim Robbins, Tom Robbins, Lux Interior, Robert Smith, David Suzuki, David Attenborough, Douglas Adams.
Ther are more. Chicks to come in another edition of BSharp Idol.
23 February 2004
Hey, it was my brithday today. And everyone was astoundingly, mind-bogglingly nice. And best of all I got both Kath and Kim dress-up fridge magnets. From different people. Independently. Super chuffed. That human beens can listen to you just crap on non-stop all year, then send emails, texts and get cool stuff is beyond me.
THANK YOU WORLD OF FRIENDS.
19 February 2004
I love Ross Gittins. He's an economist come good. Read this article, it will expire off the web in 9 days.
And.. its a bit de-flating when a new niche-marketing target group depicts you to a tee..
"They are high-earners, articulate, green and getting increasingly cheesed off with corporate Australia and politics"SMH 18/2/04
15 February 2004
Hi Betty Sue. Yes, a timely reminder that I really should spend a bit less time complaining. Do Indian ladies generally not spend a lot of time in public? (excuse my terrible cultural ignorance -- its due entirely to, well, ignorance). Because the ladies here have those beautiful saris with the terribly saucy bit of stomach and waist showing, I would have thought that the female form was not such a huge novelty... Or is the western-ism part of it? Or perhaps just that seemingly inbuilt need for humans to select a class that is considered "other", and make their lives unpleasant? Sounds like the hassling would get very boring. I hope Andrew is being a suitably dutiful husband. Thanks for the updates, with great lashings of irreverance.
And to last night (Valium day), well there was a party, there was good dancey music, the was a Perfect Match homage (perfect snatch, anyone?), and I got a couple of good chat up lines to add to the list. Namely : "Aren't you a bit young to be flirting with me?" Excuse me... who said I was flirting? I just had 4 vodkas in a row, I was trying to stand up and using you as a focal point! And how old are you? I'm not even remotely in the ballpark of "young!" But thanks for giving it a shot anyway. And in case you are gasping in anticipation about whether this went anywhere.... Well, no, they turned the ugly lights on about about 1am. And there would have been problems with border patrol anyway (eastern suburbs resident).
So - to the interesting part. Mixed tapes. Look away now if those words make you go rigid with boredom. In true Nick Hornby style, I am using the technology to make a few cds. (All from my own collection of course- note to corporate music giants scanning blogs). Now, in this instance I'm going for *obvious*. Tracks people know. Not the cooler-than-thou- god I-am-such-a-hard-core-music-fan style, that's just for me in the privacy of my bedroom.
The themes so far are: "Cheesy Pop", "Nu-swamp" and "Retro indie cool" (alt. title: "Oh I remember this one from uni!).
Post your track preferences, if this is your bag, baby. Oh - you may be asked to follow up with the cd.
14 February 2004
Indian men are raised as little gods with no contact with women. As a result they have no idea how to (1) treat a woman as an equal; (2) interact with women in a social setting.
I'm getting round india in baggy pants and a neck-to-mid-thigh baggy shirt with long sleeves and I still get treated like I'm walking round topless in hotpants - whistles, stupid kiss-kiss noises, arse-pinching, boob-bumping and the staring, oh my god the staring. Staring from a train seat less than a metre away for three hours straight - eventually I pulled out a sarong and put it over my head. Sure I couldn't see a thing but at least I had some privacy.
And the other annoying thing? If I'm with my "husband" I might as well not exist. I could shout at the top of my voice and they'd ignore me. I pay for dinner and they give him the change. I start a conversation and they talk to him.
By golly I'll be glad to be back where at least someone pays lipservice to equailty!
11 February 2004
9 February 2004
That was so funny I thought it deserved another airing. Well its been a full week and clearly noone reading this is interseted in the literatry semantics of what is male versus female in text. Sheesh! Fine. that's just fine.
Well clearly to my mind the notion of male is tied to the idea of "non-expressive" or "low on words" or "__r'kin silent". Because your estwhile Aunty B just CLAMMED UP the second she wondered how on earth to use a self-publishing medium the way a man would. No idea really. Just as well I didn't suddenly morph all the bits that go with blokiness, wouldn't have had a clue what to do with them all.
So I've learnt that gurly might just mean verbose. And I really have no problem with that. There's plenty of words to go around. I mean its not like we're going to run out or anything. Heaven forbid!
Did I mention I've just been at the sly fox? Coupla cocktails on a Monday night really goes a long way towards thinking about the nature of things.
Anyway, its good to be me again. Was kind of thinking a virtual 7-day gender change (evenings only) might be creative way to divert attention from the womb and into the intellect. But no, it wasn't boys and girls. It was a virtual stoppering of the flow. A finger in the dyke, so to speak. Ahem.
Things to come.......
Valium day. The pash palace probably. Reminds me of December quote "everyone likes a pash". They do. Its true.
MY BIRTHDAY. Yaaaaaaaaaaayyy. I'll be older. My car insurance would cost less. If I had a car.
Miss J's birthday. My sister's birthday. My housemate's birhday. My couple-friends birthday(s). A whole bunch of little fishies swimming around in the Cooltown pool. Love to youuse all.
Well, I've got to get my beauty sleep. Keep myself nice and all that.
Sweet dreams bloggy land.
8 February 2004
I have to go to the dentist. My inner west friend who has a dentist brother has recommended a "Dr Andronicus". As in, "Like the coffee". I'm taking this as a good sign.
6 February 2004
Its tough thinking what a bloke would write before putting finger to keyboard. Dunno how a real bloke does it.
On tuesday night, I met someone interesting. He works for medicens sans frontiers - an "aid-workers roadie". Having just got back from 10 months in a Afganistan, preceeded by a stint in a Somalian refugee hospital, living under armed guard, I was stuck for what to say over a beer. "Well, this week was good I spent a lot on electronic consumer goods to further my career goals in a wealthy, western society... Gee this beer really hits the spot after a hard day arguing with bureaucrats.. Wow the latest big budget hollywood gun-flick with vampires was a load of old bollocks wasn't it....?"
4 February 2004
2 February 2004
I’m sick of the blood. I’m over the innate desire to keep other people happy. (Or at least not upset). I’m tired of the 28-day cycle of despair, optimism, frenzy, focus, reproductive drive, compulsion, lassitude, ennui, and repeat. I’m fed up with saying something about 7 times to male managers, and watching younger, less experienced guys say the same thing once as if they discovered it yesterday, and guess what? … get listened to. I’m done with the carping, whining tendencies. I’m finished with even being aware of gender issues. Enough.
For the next week you can all address me as Bill Sharp. Tell me, how does a man behave as a denizen of the internet? Post your thoughts, people.
Post scripts: Soul, your art stuff rules, babe.
*explanatory note...a spark for my obession with gender.. Sam Chater is a girl! She writes such detailed, trainspotting-style music reviews on Punch and Judy that I thought she was a he for ages. Go Sam.
Okay kids, here's the latest...
First I gotta do the obligatory weather commentary: what the f'? Yes, I've heard all the 4-seasons-in-one-day rhetoric but it's gotta be experienced to be believed. I've been gifted with two very poignant wisdoms on Melbourne's meteorlogical (sp?) mayhem: "if you don't like Melbourne weather, wait a minute" and; "we get Adelaide weather with rain on it" That about sums it up.
Meanwhile, the art all around me is equally variable with similar effects - one minute I'm sweating, shivering the next. *Finally* visual stimulation that moves me.
I've just come out of my 3rd session of the Resistance film program put on by acmi - it's a focus on Australian counter culture - Sharpies, Punks, Surfers, Radicals - and Street Artists - it's all excellent... especially some wicked little mini-docos on the stencil movement which are filling in all the gaps between my own street explorations both here and in Adelaide. And my prolific photographic/note-taking research is turning up interesting connections - like spotting stencil worx here that I've already encounted in the hometown (cab?) - what is this? a touring exhibition? ;-)
Ideas are coming thick and fast - barely have time to capture them, lock them down... the lanes are unrelenting - each one overflowing with art whether it be a Melbourne City Council sanctioned installation or the stencils that I'm seeking out. This place is one giant gallery.
What about the acmi gig you ask? Well that's all going pretty well so far - though I do fluctuate between blind panic at the enormity of the task (and the 5 minutes we've got to do it in), to feeling more calm and focussed than I ever have before. I still get disarmed by the amount of people asking my curatorial opinion... and then disarmed again when I have a thought-through and articulate one to give! But I will say this: I have never been to so many meetings in my whole life! I don't know how anyone gets anything done around here ;-) Oh, and exhibition openings. If you don't schmooze, you lose!
But enough hi-brow - everyone knows I love my lo-brow... went and saw 'Step into Liquid' - surf movie made by Dana Brown (son of the guy who made Endless Summer) - I love that shit!
Okay - gotta run and see another session on stenz ills... so here's the no-frills report:
Primary source of the bean: Degraves Espresso (and yes they serve it in a paper cup!)
Best Visual Art (in a gallery): The giant 20ft x 20ft letter "X" at acca (australian centre for contemporary art)... as Witty noted: there's something very Sesame Street about it.
Best Visual Art (on the street): the whole of Leicester street, Fitzroy - Stencil Nation!!!
Best Performance Art: the guy on a mike in Fed Square doing a running commentary on all the people walking past... the kinda stuff that runs through yr own head, but broadcast for all to hear - *killed* myself laughing :'D
Weird-assed Scene of the week: the Hari parade on Swanston... led by a piano accordian (!?)
Thought for the week: how yr exempt from a madness classification whilst roaming the streets in yr pyjamas if you are within a block of a hospital.
New big-city skill: becoming a seasoned jaywalker with the best of 'em - Woz sent me running across Lygon street and into the night yelling out "break all the rules! break all the rules!" behind me... and I flagrantly ignored every green man all the way home.
Best Quote from Resistance: "there's a lattice of coincidence that lies on top of everything"