17 November 2005

hey there IS someone out there

Wow thanks crew for adding your thoughts. I am deeply deeply afeared for the nation whenever I log onto ABC or SMH at the moment... I would like to write a more considered post about it and about what we are learning just from looking and listening around Argentina. They had a military dictatorship here for around 20 years. In that time they handed over massive powers to the police who subsequently disappeared around 30,000 people, they don´t actually know the figures. They whisked people like the school teachers of playwrights who wrote seditious works off the streets and they were never seen again. Walking around some of the monuments, I have easy imagined the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach everyday, knowing that members of your family could be next.

It doesn´t seem in the slighest bit alarmist to rant rail and be very alarmed about Australia´s situation right now. Sometimes you have to go away to see your own home a bit clearer. "Disappearances" have already happened in Australia. Under the guise of DIMIA, through detention and deporation of Australian citizens.

They have now had a "democratically elected" govt here for about 13 years, but they still face massive corruption and a violent and secretive police force. The government took power away from the police through law changes, but they still haven´t got the balance back. The mothers of the disappeared still congregate every Thursday in town asking for prosecution of the guilty. Once you go down that road, it seems like its a long time before you can turn back.

11 October 2005

Australia you´re standing in it

I haven´t sampled much local news in the past 2 months, what with galivanting around and all. We get cable and thanks to cnn now know far too much about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. By the way they had to backpeddle like some kind of downhill cycle race, when it came out that that news about rapes in the super dome, stacks of dead bodies, and rampant crime in flooded areas, was pretty much rumours made up and passed on by scared people.

Anyway, when idly loggin on to the smh from time to time I´ve spotted 2 nasties, the detention and deportation of peace demostrator, Scott Parkin as a security risk, and the recent annoucement of WorkChoices. Shudder. Trade off your holidays and other rights, to have a more risky position, no protection for your salary and no collective power. How are Aussies feeling right now? You alert or alarmed?

15 August 2005

22 July 2005

biggest cojones of the week

Hats off to Louise Barry, who seized her 15 minutes yesterady with both hands, by asking Prime Minsiter John Howard whether the London bomb attacks were linked to the conflict in Iraq. In fact, asking him , while she was in traction, after an operation on both legs and her spine, caused by the bloody bombs. Note that Louise, described as an "environmental crimes investigator from Port Stephens" by the Sydney Morning Herald, gets only paraphrased, while the PM's retort is covered by over 100 words. In that one breath he manages references "our" Douglas Wood's opinion on the war (that we should be there).

Now gentle readers, do bear in mind that while Douggie undoubtably had a shitty scary experience in Iraq, he was actually there in the first place because of the war - ie. there are construction contracts for, er, profit. Poor old Miss Barry, was just minding her own damn business and nearly got her legs blown off. No great suprise their opinion would be different. Unlike her poor co-recoverer, Gillian Hicks, who did actually get both her legs blown off.

"They both had gone through an awful experience,"

"(Ms Hicks) has of course suffered a double amputation and self evidently I was very moved by the tremendous spirit that she displayed and the sense of optimism and hope that she demonstrated about her life into the future.

"I'm always touched when people who've been through such terrible experiences can have such positive outlooks.

"I think it's a lesson for all of us."

Thank you Prime Minister, you evil little worm. I'll leave you all to dwell on what that lesson might actually be, kiddies.

11 July 2005

unwired my ass

if you are thinking of getting a wireless internet connection in a low-lying plane ridden area of sydney.. don't. And if you are comparing providers - Unwired is totally CRAP. Droppity dropity drop outs are the order of the day. My friend has adsl into the house and then wireless connection to the base station , which is at the wall. Much better, much faster. Just doing my digital duty.

And hey everyone - get tickets for DAVE'S SOLO SHOW. He's well funny. August 1-6 Tap Gallery.

6 July 2005

musica viva

Music is the stuff of life, so here's my memalicious entry for mid week. Blame Betty Sue.

1. Total Number of Records (CD, vinyl, cassette):
I think about 350. Used to count them with a secret smug shame but gave up on that.

2. Total Volume of Music on My Computer:
No freaken idea, being old skool cd queen, the concept of "gigs" as a measure music is just all a bit foreign. I know that Biz has loads and loads and loads as he worships at the temple of limewire. Betty, you'll be pleased to know that a recent addition was all the David Bowie songs in Portuguese from the Life Aquatic soundtrack. Nice.

3. Last Record Purchased:
Oh no! - embarassingly an Arabic top 40 Mix. Its got 2 good tracks at the beginning and sadly the rest is lame. Songs need a really good beat when the only word you can recognise is "habibi".

Can I go the one before? Nick Cave's rarities triple album. But the cd purchasing slowed dramatically upon serious saving for the BIG TRIP. Readers, more on this later, Betty you will have the LED-life-sucking machine sooon... very soon.

4. Last Record Listened to:
Well there's a 5 cd changer in the machine, so there's rarely just one album cued up. I think it was actually Cat Empire's first album. With some loungeroom dancing thrown in. Other recent contenders - Once in a Life Time/Best of Talking Heads, Desmond Dekker

On that note...now that the ipod walks among us I oft hear it said that music has been boiled down to the unit of the song, and the single reigns supreme winner of pop culture wars. But I say NAY, dear readers - the album still speaks. We do not plan to do away with novels and only read our favourite pages, do we? So if you want to communicate with say, Thom Yorke then play the whole thing. It will just make more sense.

ipods sound tinny anyway.

5. Five Records/Songs I Listen to or Are Meaningful to Me:
Just five?
The Ship Song - Nick Cave
Ever Fallen in Love - The Buzzcocks
Lock it - Falling Joys
Brown Girl in the Ring - Boney M (my first favourite song, apparently)
Walkin' after Midnight - Patsy Cline
Big Science - Laurie Anderson (the album - because everyone else hates it soo much)
Just like heaven - The Cure (I know, its lamity lame lame)
She's got a girlfriend now - Reel Big Fish
Welcome to the Jungle - Guns and Roses*
Beautiful Freak - The Eels
Unguarded Moment - The Church
There is a light that never goes out - Smiths (but only a joyful shower rendition)

thats' enough.

6. Tags:

Oh I hold back from naming anyone...do the music thing if you're keen, I'll read it coz I'm a nerd. Although i did inadvertently make up a meme about housemates, if anyone's in the mood..

7. What albums are on your wish list? (sneaky extra criteria added ..hint hint.. anyone have electronic versions handy?) New White Stripes; New Eels; Like Version - Triple J; New Cat Empire

*Only kidding, just testing if you were still awake

27 June 2005

Faces from the past

This is my grandmonther's mother (on Dad's side). She was born around 1890. Spooky huh?

25 June 2005

And for the boys

In Toronto there's a gorgeous new statue commemorating Alexander Wood, depicting a 19th century "sex" scandal . Our Alex was a well respected magistrate unitl 1810, when

A woman reported a rape, noting she had scratched the attacker on his genitals. Wood took matters into his own hands, lining up the suspects and demanding that they drop their pants so he could "inspect" them.

The incident is commemorated on the statue's granite base, with a bronze plaque depicting a man's rear end with his pants around his knees, and Wood's outstretched hand in mid-examination.

Sounds like an initiative worthy of CSI 200 years later to me, but sadly Mr Wood was too forward thinking for his time, and was run out of town because people though he was interested in those men in a more than a professional capacity. Sounds like the Newtown police could take a tip from old Alex in how to catch a criminal....

The upside of the story is that the locals have been rubbing the bare bum on the statue for good luck.

21 June 2005

Scary scary monsters

I had a dream in the early hours of this morning. In it, there was a large airport terminal where someone had planted a bomb inside. I started to run outside at full speed. Then I stopped, because a former work-mate was inside. I turned back, went into the back area of the airport to look for her. It turned out John Howard was inside, he was walking on top of a very high ledge that ran round the inside of a large and shadowy room (approaching hangar dimensions). John Howard was trying to get me out of there or attack me or something, and then he jumped on my head. I remember a very vivid feeling of his ankles on on either side of my ears- I was standing up, it was a bit like an acrobat balancing act. He was clamped on and I started to panic and try to beat him off with my hands, as I was trapped and held down. Just as the terror really started to kick in, I woke up.

19 June 2005

When spin goes mad

A quick update from Sydney media slut. Sometimes spin doctoring is just so over the tops its laughable. Under the heading of "13 detainees slash wrists at Villawood" comes this gem from Mandy Vanstone:

A Department of Immigration spokesman confirmed a "small group" of people had "self harmed" inside the detention centre, but refused to say how many or how seriously they were injured.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone said: "Self harm is not a form of protest the Government condones. I urge anyone - media, advocates and others - not to encourage such protests.

A form of protest the government condones??! Well DUR.. that's because its a protest against government actions. And a pretty damned serious one at that. So her media monkeys get her to responds by telling us to only select "government approved" forms of protest?.. get me off this terrible island.

16 June 2005

for the ladiez

Hey y'all.. I've recently had a review of my last coupla months of blogging (yes okay, Aunty B pretends to have a real life but actually its all a carefully constructed ruse) and it struck me that recent posts have been rather, well, overtly, er, hetro. And frankly, that was a bit of shock, to have come over all exclusionary. So in humble tribute to our mighty sapphic sisters* Aunty B brings you a small piece of reporting from the cutting edge world of Science.

You may have noticed a recent snippet in your daily rag loudly dictating that the female ability to orgasm could be genetically inherited. Read the fine print:

The discovery of a genetic basis for the ability of women to orgasm raises questions about its evolution. One theory is that it is a tool for mate selection, the idea being that males best able to bring females to orgasm are also the best males to help raise children. Another is that the female orgasm produces movements that increase sperm uptake, and therefore fertility.

But studies of other primates suggest otherwise. Female stump-tailed macaques have orgasms too - but mainly during female-female mountings, which hardly supports the fertility or mate-selection idea.

12 June 2005

your world news update

Hi homies,

Well looks like things are calming down a bit in bolivia. Which is nice to hear. Although I'm not too sure about this new president dude, Rodriguez,

Also, let us be capable of discussing the issue of natural energy resources and their effective ownership by the Republic of Bolivia. The constitution states that the resources are originally owned by the state. Nothing has changed.

What has changed is the way to manage them, and it is Congress and the legislative branch which must be capable on this opportunity, or in its reviewed capacity following an electoral process, or when the most opportune moment occurs, to solve all the difficulties and render effective that constitutional principle, and a better way to recover what nature and God gave this country.

Que? If thats not a bit of governmentese double speak I don't know what is.

Meanwhile on the home front
.. some statesman in a farflung province of Eastern Australia is going to build some a gas power plant or two. But there's also a trial on for increasing the cost of energy in peak times, which is eventually good for reducing emissions because it controls the amount of new supply you need. Although at a rate of 12% of homes in 5 years, mind you.

And finally, Garret gets a sound bite into the press about nuclear power still being a fairly crap idea. Thank god - although it was Sunday night of a long weekend. Did someone say global warming?

21 May 2005

Going to the chapel and...

Well I've been to two whole weddings in the last 3 weeks. And they were both divine.

And just quietly that makes ten weddings in adult life. I consider myself an expert guest now. From spotting the oddly-shaped envelope, to having a special "wedding" handbag, "wedding" wrap (a pretty but totally ineffectual shawl for your shoulders, boys) developing expertise in going "off-register" for friends since you've known since student days. An aside... Gift registries are for Great Aunties, I don't care what anyone says about it being about what the couple actually needs in the house, they can get stuffed, noone is going to make me buy them a matching toilet brush set! [Well unless it was a direct reference to the the time I regurgitated a massive yum cha breakfast, while suffering a terrible hangover from a party we threw while sharing a flat -for example]

I've been to Canberra, Adelaide, the Cotswolds, the Gold Coast and the 'Gong. I've seen weddings on a boat, a thai restaurant, a fancy hotel, a coupla gardens and a coupla churches. Even was the main act at one*. Generally, I'm the ubiqutious girl guest though, quaffing the champagne and wolfing down the 3 courses with delight (especially if it inludes gravy).

So I just though I'd share with you readers some compulsary wedding ettiquette. And also if any of you are brewing a plan to tie the knot, in the old skool tradition.. then don't forget...
  • Make sure there is an older uncle or grandfather present who is just walking that fine, fine line between delightedly chatty, having the chance to converse with so many nice young women in a legitimate setting, and hideously leery and overbearing. Can careen from one to the other in course of the event;
  • Brides: you must remain in To.tal. Con.trol . You will have organised everything down to the last detail, and sail through the thing in the manner of a highly paid events manager rather than a blushing virgin (well that's how new millenia emerald city chicks do it anyway);
  • Brides: you will suddenly realise you're going to have to wear high heels to keep that dress off the ground.. "high heels, what, I haven't worn these hideous things since my year 12 formal!" you have been warned;
  • Make allowances for over-emotional friends from university, who insist on either excessive glass dinging/over enthusiastic toasts/starting the dancing/not buying pressies from the register/cracking on to your younger brother - or all of the above;
  • Brides: Thou shalt be pissed by main course. This is mandatory, don't be embarassed. In fact, this is my favourite part, because a drunk bride is always an exceptionally happy drunk.
  • Grooms: You will exhibit best social behaviour in the whole history of the realtionship. You will personally greet every single person at the thing, effortlessly gliding from one group of guests to the next with the aplomb of a French diplomat.
  • Grooms: You may also say something borderline between racy and incredibly sweet and romantic during your speech. Its touching. Do not, I repeat, do not mention: a) the cost of the event, b) any of her ex-boyfriends, or c) anything about anyones' family members.
Anyway, its all good. Although I have been noticing a worrying trend towards sensible daytime affairs that wrap up about 5 with half the guests still sober and capable of driving. I now fear most of my friend-wedding opportunities are exhausted.. but for any more of you.. c'mon, you'll never have hilarious Aunty Vera stories without a completely debauched evening bacchanal. Stop being such growned ups!

* oh hang on, I didn't mean the bride, I was literally, the entertaiment. Dancing. Heh heh.

15 May 2005

The little things

If you've read one of the Dirk Gently books this will make more sense to you.

I was walking in Tugun a couple of weekends ago. (Sounds like a Patsy Cline song.. I'm a walk-ing, on the gold coast, on the free-way, just like we used to do.. ). Anyway I was walking along the side of the Gold Coast Highway, to meet some cats from Sydney for dinner. And its about 7.30 pm. and theres a million cars swhooshing past and bugger all pedestrians. Then one of the super bright freeway-grade streetlights clicks off.. - just as I walk under it. Like exactly the moment I pass underneath. And I laugh to myself because this happened in a very funny Douglas Adams book, where it was the work of the God Thor trying to get a woman's attention.

Then, the awfully nice inner-west types who were also visiting the gold coast walked me back to the motel at about 11-ish. As we passed under the same streelight, it just jauntily clicked on again. Nice one.

And then .... a few days later, crossing at the pedestrian crossing on my very own block. You guessed it. Streelight shuts of with a definitive CLICK. Spooky, man.

14 May 2005

New Look

Yes - its baby poo brown. Welcome to your suburban Primary school colour scheme. That grand service called CommentThis, where some nice young American man provided free hosting for injokes and obscure ABC Tv references seems to have shut down. I was so upset that I have not posted for weeks out of sheer desolation.

Yes its true all. The witty repartee of last February is lost to cyber space. For any new readers (well a girl's allowed to dream ain't she?) a synopsis of the last 18 months of comments.

"I reckon he likes you"
"nah bullshit"
"Yeah, honest he does [insert hilarious banter and many silly puns]"
"Well ok maybe you were right"

"Hey I realise many of my friends are in the neighbouring suburbs but I've become so de-socialised that sometimes I can provide greater attenion spans to the LED screen and optic fibre than to actual flesh and blood humans"
"me too"
"me too"
"hey I'm overeas gimme a break"
"oh, okay, lets go to the pub".

So get to it kids.

6 April 2005

ooh memes

They're such a nice poetic idea. If anyone else does the flatmate meme, tell me in comments and I'll post up a link to your blog or journal. Miss Risa, I reckon you'll have some good international ones.

4 April 2005

On the treadmill

Yo buzz kids I'm on the freaking housemate-merry-go-round again. Let me recount for you my own personal -felafel-esque shaggy dog tale of the parade of housemates, in my nine years in the game. And to make my references completely transparent, told in the style of the Hugh Grant/Andy McDowell scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral (you know the one).

1. Girlfriend from uni, first flat out of home. Struggled with dishes and dirty plates in the living room, but introduced your hostess to gravities, hot chicken and spring onion sandwiches for any meal, clubbing on a weeknight and the art of vomiting to prolong your night's enjoyment. We're still in touch, she has a one-year-old now.

2. Unknown, suspected Aspegers film student at first introduction, now longtime friend. Brought to the house an amazing depth of knowledge of all things Star Wars, spaghetti westerns, japanese samauri films, and Phillip Glass. Tobe-wan I'm still disappointed I was only allowed to play with the ewoks but not Boba Fett.

3. The writer. I hear he's nearly finished his novel now, but I think its a different to the one he was working on in 1996. Ooh that was mean, matty if you're reading this I still think you're awesome! Brought great facial hair, prowess at Mario cart and doobies for breakfast to the house. Also had a problem with dirty dishes in the loungeroom (bedroom, hallway, balcony, etc)

4&5 Canberra. Two chicks. One army reservist with a motorbike and a kelpie, and the other with a serious gym habit and suspicion of full cream yoghurt. Great babes, both straight, we got on like house on fire. Which reminds me , fuck that house was cold!

6. Replacement for 8 weeks at end of lease for motorbike girl. Strange. She disappeared and I evetually got my share of the bond after they took out all her unpaid rent. $36.50. Found the cheque the other day actually. Never did get around to cashing that sucker in.

7&8 Syndey. Two male lawyers. Good friends. Matching motorbikes, helments, and an eyebrowlifting collection of german porn in the tv cupboard. The older one was pretty warm, 45 y.o. divorcee, with weights in his room. The other one was a tad uptight. Did a floor to ceiling clean every Sat morning while playing hard house music. Permanent mirror ball in the lounge room. God knows what his girlfriend made of it.

9. One of the continuing gem-friends. Vegan, greenie, mostly happy, fair, honest, funkee and funee. Weehee! Shout out to Miss A you know who you are.

10. The most gorgeous girl in the inner west. Only shared for a couple of weeks, so I don't have much to say. Unaturally beautiful and university educated to boot!

11. Cupboard boy. Oh my god I can't believe someone lived in that poor excuse for a room. Well it was only for a couple of months before the fiancee followed from darkest Adelaide. Mr C discovered seafood pizza from Lucky's and pide's ... mmm... pides.

12. Does miss J count? So we did share for more than 2 years, but that was after, like, about 10 years of sisterhood, and another 1 or 2 since (I've lost count). Eventually I reckon we've evolved a sixth sense for pissing each other off, but abundantly compensated for by the astounding cooking, converation, topnotch thinking, advice, hand-me-down clothes and handmade prints. Oh and buffy. I totally owe you one.

13. One lovely polite young man now a newsreader on your ABC. Great choice of flatmate. How on earth we managed that level of good luck I don't know. And he's got this you-beaut girlfriend who works for the guidedogs. Keeping it real.

14. An angel. Really truly. Former course-mate, pumpkin scone baker, tap dancer and hobbyist. I even got invted to her wedding to the interstate beau last year. Was placed at the couple's "former housemate" table. Aaaaw.

15. The absentee beau. Well it was only for a few weeks after he moved to same state (and not before time too!)

16. J-boy. It worked on an economic level. His girlfriend was a jehovah's witness with plastic boobies. He had three jobs, and never came home. Very nice and clean though.

17. J-2 . Good conversation, was learning to horseride, manacled to the laptop for postgraduate work. But was only ever camping really.

18&19. Miss Betty Sue and Mr Right. Of course it was always a relationship of convenience, but dammit a good one. Betty cooks a mean lampchop and mint zucchini my friends. And writes such a lovely blog. I am so buying her a pair of those high heeled slippers with a pompom for her birthday. Shh don't tell her!

20&21. Ginger and the missus. You love it you slag! Wotcha doin' straighty? I loike it, mate, etc.. A laugh a minute, big personalities that filled a fairly small flat.

21. The bizarro-beast. Seeing he's here in the cave den with me there's not much I can say. Muchos buenos desayunos. Cojonudo!

30 March 2005

From the new desk.

Hey word up itchy P! Nice of you to drop in. However, I must disagree with you there. See, much of one's readership has become familiar personally over the years with some of the subtler ways a society that still has one set of rules for blokes and another for sheilas, (like, er, lower average pay for the same work) . Then when one reads *another* missdevine article harping on about how nasty people are to femme columnists, and at the same time claiming that "feminism' is done and dusted, i think it is only fair to vent. As does betty sue with such style and panache.

And in other news. The casa sharp web-den is now fully wired, refurbished and is just incredibly inviting to sit late into the night at. So feel free to provide me with oxygen, or things to talk about. This is all thanks to the return of a somewhat battered biz-meister, and a trip to the giant Salvo Store at the End of the Universe (Tempe) , for exciting furniture actually pupose-built for writing at - who woulda thunk it. (Yes the headline wasn't a typo, until now your aunty B has suffered cramped hands at the mercy of the worlds smallest and wrong-heighted desk, all for your reading pleasure).

Hey and maybe I should report that I am a lady of leisure this whole week.. Two glorious week days and one weekend left. I could get used to this caper oh yes. Bit of redecorating, bit of lounging at the beach, bit of home cookin'. The days are so full!

10 March 2005

Miranda Devine is a shrieking harpie (part ii)

Apologies for hijacking Bee's blog for this one, but my blog is too happy-go-lucky for the visceral rage I feel right now. Rage now doubled by the fact that I wrote a stinging rebuttal and then bloody blogger bloody lost it.

Fairytale Defies the Feminists
Mary's love story shows romance is hard-wired into women's DNA, writes Miranda Devine.
Wherever Crown Princess Mary of Denmark went in the past week
she was thronged by admiring little girls dressed in plastic tiaras and frilly
dresses. From Sydney Opera House to the War Memorial in Canberra, Mary
Glucksborg, nee Mary Donaldson of Tasmania, was greeted enthusiastically by
junior wannabe princesses, proffering posies and Fruit Tingles.

Once again Miranda Devine has confused "telling one side of the story backed up by undisclosed sources and misinterpretation" with "journalism". According to Devine, the celebrity crush that surrounds Crown Princess Mary is enough evidence to declare feminism dead, irrelevant and buried under six feet of concrete.

She couldn't be more wrong. Devine has failed to grasp the fundamental tenet of feminism which has remained unchanged since Mary Wolstencraft: Women should have the right to choose their destinies. If Mary Donaldson chooses to become a princess, that's her lookout. But that doesn't invalidate the choices that other women make.

It's interesting that Devine uses the enduring popularity of fairytales to back up her claims. I love fairytales, I love the romance, the supernatural, and the way all the loose ends are neatly tied up, unlike life. But I'm adult enough to realise that fairytales don't really have happy endings. Most that involve princesses have this structure:
  • Princess, who is good and beautiful, is living the good life.
  • Princess exercises her curiosity and opens the forbidden box/door/cupboard/window/eats the apple/chases the golden bird/otherwise is disobedient (usually to her father).
  • Princess is punished for this, by hardship, pain, banishment, loss of beauty, loss of status.
  • Princess only recovers above when rescued by a prince. Returns to golden cage having learnt not to step outside the boundaries set for her.

Mary dropped kilograms and went to deportment school after meeting Fred. She moved to Paris, learnt Danish and transformed her posture and image before he proposed. She has relinquished her Australian citizenship, converted to the Lutheran faith and given up her rights to any children in the event of a divorce. She has worked as hard on cultivating the relationship as she ever did on her career or university degree.
Unlike many of her diffident peers, she put herself on the line for love. To her, becoming a wife was a serious ambition.

A trip to Paris and a June Daly-Watkins course? Devine has a strange idea of what it is to put yourself on the line for love. Men and women all work as hard on cultivating a relationship as they do on their career. Many make much harder choices than Mary's had to make.

And let's not forget that most of the buzz around Mary has centred on what she's wearing. To paraphrase Germaine Greer, a feminism that celebrates the "right" to be pretty (rather than the choice) is no feminism at all - it's consumerism.

By Devine's theory and going on recent Sydney events, all Australian children want to be Olympic athletes as well, and all Australian teenagers want to be Hollywood actors, and all Australian male adults want to be Wallabies, and all women want to be Linda Evangalista. People flock to celebrity because it's celebrity, not because they necessarily want to live the life behind it. It's naive to think otherwise. We all have the right to choose our destinies, and to dream. Why is Devine so frightened that some women may avail themselves of that choice?

I originally wrote a much longer, more considered and (if I do say so) better critique, but blogger lost it. So this is the bare bones. Anyone want to start a "Wrong Again Miranda" blog?

9 March 2005

Australia - youre standing in it.

Larrikinism - a legit cultural movement. According to wikipedia of course.* But I reckon TISM may have written their own entry. Call me crazy.

* Yes, I do realise my information sources are limited to SMH and one or two blogs, that must make me one of the blinkered and un-informed masses, right? And this one was care of null device too.. not even doing by own research. Crap isn't it.

7 March 2005


Hey kids Cannabis may trigger psychosis.

Sydney psychologist Andrew Campbell said there was much debate about whether cannabis uncovered an existing psychosis, or caused it.

"My view is that it is bringing on new cases of psychosis," he told the program.

"I see a lot of people with long-standing psychosis and if I see one in 10 people in a day, seven of them will have used cannabis on a daily basis at the first time of onset of psychosis.


Your ever-caring Aunty could have told you that, years ago.

28 February 2005

and another thing...

I found the NSW police media release site. Its scary, macabre and occasionally hilarious. I would never have known there were streakers at Tropfest if not for the boys in blue.

Miranda Divine is a shreiking harpy.

And taking the easy route on reporting on a big issue. Again. Here is a blog rebutting her stoopid article on Kyoto from the weekend. ps - Tim Lambert? If you have a sophisticated ping when ever someone links, hi - are you from Adelaide?

And just quitely. Say, just for a moment that the greenhouse sceptics are right. All those hundreds of climate scientists have been under the influence of some kind of paranoia-drug released into the water supply by evil, green activists. I still don't get it. Why do writers like Miraaanda freak out so much at the simple idea that we should, er, perhaps cut back on emitting any substance in volumes many times the natural concentration?

I'm sure she wouldn't like it if I came and sprayed, Carbon dioxide, Carbon monoxide, or hell, even sodium bicarbonate in large doses in her living room. Its just not nice. So why is she so incredibly keen to defend these whole industries or governments who are just not being nice. Did she not listen to her nanna as a child?
It was a riot, baby.

For the last couple of nights there has been riots in Macquarie Fields. Petrol bombs, the lot. Although my guess is that by tonight there will be about as many media people there as those spoiling for a punch up. Graffiti appearing in the last couple of days reads "Police will die", "Cops kill kids", and "We will kill you dogs". NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney is a tad riled by the sounds of it, saying "I've been a police officer for 40 years and have never seen these sorts of slogans written on walls at any time in this state".

A few months back there were riots in Redfern. Something's up in Sydney, my friends. Other cities don't have riots every few months.

I don't reckon having our cops slinking around in paramilitary get-up really helps the situation just quietly.

In other news, the Princess Mary beat Prince Frederick in a yacht race. And Pauline Hanson is now going to be a real estate agent.

25 February 2005

It will only take a minute

Or... how Aunty B had somewhat intimate body parts plucked out most unexpectedly this week.

So there I was, hungover as all hell after the cushion room birthday feast. Struggling with normal human interaction, and a particulalry unpleasant phone call with a "senior" person, and staying focused on writing the odd 200 words here and there, as is my professional speciality.

When suddenly it was 5 minutes to my dental appointment that I booked earlier that week. Cunningly placed mind you to avoid my birthday, and extend a lunch break at work but without much thought to the fact that it was the notorious, mid week day after. Cue scary music.

So oh well - bit of a liedown in the dentist's chair - no worries, may even be peaceful. You see, dear readers, I'd just booked a check to see what needed to be done with a top wisdom tooth which so far had slipped quite unobtrusively into line with the other teeth, and seemed reasonably happy, but was starting to bump against the bottom ones on occasion.

Sayeth dentist Jeff "oh we could thet out right her if you like" - he was South African - what is that about he medical profession? You see, Jeff said it had to come out anyway, so why not now, it wouldn't take long. So I did. Get it off the list of things to do, you know.

Just thought you'd like to know that. Big brave B had her tooth "most untimely ripped" on Thurday, and then went straight back to work. One neurofen, one bit o' gauze that I had to take out quick smart because it was making me gag, and a quiet arvo of writing and feeling slightly woozy. Ha. take that traditional fears and phobias.

I am so having a day or two off when mr biz lowbagger gets back from the zone.

Also - betty sue is hilarious. We have a mutual fan club.

20 February 2005

Things that made Aunty B cry big hot lumpen tears last week

Yours truly, bunker dwelling, Aunty B apolgises for oscillating between girly navel gazing of the variety to paraphrase one Padriac McGuinness talk of "kittens, hair and their knickers and such" and wanting to howl at the eyeball melting horrors of the world seen nightly these days.

Upon watching a doco on ballsy brave German doctors taking documentary evidence of radiation poisoning because of shells used by Nato in Bosnia, and in both Gulf Wars.

There some info here on wikipedia. Its pretty grusome. Basically weapons with depleted uraninum create a nice big bang. However, it's now certain the leaking radiation from spent shells mutuates genetic material for generations, but they're left lying around on battlefields, in populated areas and near food stores, and in one instance an ice factory. And of course vehermently denied to be a health risk.

But it wasn't the numbers that did it - it was the photo album that the female pediatrician in Baghdad was keeping with pages and pages of misshapen, almost unrecognisable bundles of flesh still-born there in the last year. And hearing that the mothers were often blamed and divorced.
Well after a shout-out like that.. who could say no?

Trouble is I haven' t had a great deal to say that is very blogworthy. You may be interested in my agonising train ride down from the blue mountains tonight. In the pouring rain.

Starts with a fit young Australian several seats back calling a friend to tell him about his party weekend. "yeah we were drinking home made rum. 60% proof, man." "I've been out all night, man. Crashed out at 5 am. Got up again at 6.30." "Yeah - 60 % proof, man". "We left the club at 4" "It was full of Uni students, it was great, they were all on E". "Yeh man, even the bouncer, he got up on a table and stripped" "Yeh he was dealing it, man".

Know why I know it word-for-word? because after 15 minutes of this he rang another friend - and told him the whole thing, *exactly the same*. It was mind-numbingly excruitiatingly, upholstery chewing- boring. Although the old gent next to me did start making jokes about it which was pretty funny. Luckily his phone ran out of battery before we could take bets on how many times he'd tell the story.

Then there was the dad in jogging gear giving life advice to the 11yr old son, talking to him like a an adult mate at the pub, taking a phonecall from the partner apparently, and complaining about fighting with the (presumably) kids' mum. With girlfriend (apparently) getting a mouthful of exasperated frusted man-talk, and hanging up.

Then there was the guy with the manky leg and swaying walk at Central, yelling at his (presumably, again) girlfriend about her weight, in an tremolo voice... "huge.. look at you.. you're Huuge".

Oh yes, all the freaks were out tonight. Must be the rain. I did get some knitting done though.

Sayonara, good night.

31 January 2005

Cranky cranky cranky.

I, AuntyB, expert coffee maker-and-meeting-room-wrangler-for-random-Korean-professionals, ponytail-wearing, hair-drying novice, dance fetishist, word-smith, ghost writer, snack-providing-inner-urban-hostess-with-the-mostest , have got the utter shits.

I shall not trouble you, gentle readers with the cause of this angst. It would not be becoming of me to do so. I shall merely share with you some possiblities of, comment-vous-parlez, "anger-management" as we refer to it in the modern junk-pop-speak.

1. Write lengthy, bitter sarcastic email(s). Hm - not so good as they tend to have a permanent life out there in cyberspace. Upside - immediate vent. Downside - tends to make one look like a complete twat with OCD. And who needs email anyway when you have a BLOG? Ta da!

2. Eat a meal consisting of doritos, salsa, samosas (deepfried), and dumplings, all in one sitting. Did it. Just made me feel full and slightly sick. Still pissed.

3. Take it out on colleagues. Now there is an idea. They're all completely pre-conditioned to tiptoe around young women in the workplace for fear of charges of harassment, bullying or
discrimination. But then those suity tend to act nice to your face then go away and nurse their simmering resentment until they get a chance to shaft you reeaal god. Been there done that, not so flash.

4. Relfect on how lucky, safe, rich and blessed with good health one is, and really what does one have to complain about?. BO-ring.

5. Smash something up. Anyone got any interesting old stuff what needs destroying? Post in comments kiddies. We could make it art , you know. Take some ditigal photos and make a montage for the punters. We could stage "group-rage-therapy" a new completely misguided self help cult that I just invented. Yeh. Pass it off as some kind of peace-creation by venting all those daily aggrevations, insults, and pyscholoical cuts and wounds one suffers living in the harsh world that we do.

6. Wait for it to pass, and exercise adult restraint in not posting to blog read by some of one's best friends who are bound to check in on ones' state of mind and ask embarassing questions. Well that realy would be sensible wouldn't it? But part of the whole "Story of B" seems to be about getting less sensible as one gets older. As Marcia would say.. "Just go with it, darling"

7. Cultivate a hermit-like , intellectually rigorous and witty persona online with a multitude of fans and a bright new future in the Americas? Nope, the Christian already has the corner on that market.

8. Jog, swim, walk, or do something vaguely aerobic? Are you kidding, that would actually like, work, in flushing out the anger hormones, and I like to wallow, dammit.

9. Cultivate some totally absorbing mental activity that encourages a "state of flow" as espoused by Ross Gittins like writing, painting, doing a thesis, etc etc. Is it okay if this pursuit isolates one from the rest of humanity, creating a cocoon-like impenetrable shell of distance? Coz I've always seen that as a bit of a boy thing really. Maybe that's why blokes often seem to have their shit together more.

10. Drink. (hic) Er , not this week - my liver is silently screaming and trying to book online for a vegan detox clinic in the Blue Mountains.

Well there you have it - Aunty B's top 10 options list for getting out those frustrations. Let me know if any work as I'm off to blob on the couch, Ta ra.

17 January 2005

Meme Shmeme

I tried to nonchalantly drop the term "meme" into a conversation today. Then I had to define it. So I actually looked like a bit of a nerdy dufus rather than a nonchalant cool web-savvy chick. Cest la vie. So because I mainly pinch half my ideas from Miss B. Sue. Here's my (slightly modified) 2004 run down. You may want to view it as a game of "pick the odd one out". Or not.

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
Took a language class, ate a tequila worm, swam at Bondi Icegbergs, kept up a webdiary for 12 months.

5. What strange frontier Australian towns did you spend the night at?.
Cooktown, Laura (where I met the one-handed, dirtbike riding "Joe"), Cardwell (rockabilly haven of the Far North), Coffs Harbour (right nextdoor to "Mermaids" brothel); Pt Douglas.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
Style, decorum, wisdom, painless periods, tact, world peace.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The one at the tequila bar in Surry Hills. Not telling.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Coordinating my skirt and my shoes. Camping for, like, 2 nights in a row. In two states.

12. Whose bee-haviour merited celebration?
Arhundati Roy.

13. Whose bee-haviour made you slightly cranky and gave you something meangingless to carp about in airports?
Those trashy tramps who made the Von Dutch brand ubiquitous. A curse on both their houses! Look, really what is with that label, it was a damn motorbike parts guy who hated consumerism. I mean is that just the final word in bullshit appopriation of counter culture or what?

13A. What were your most oft-referenced authors or commentators that you haven't actually read much of?
Naomi Klein, Germaine Greer, Ms A. Roy (whoops), John Quiggin.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Savings. And into the ocean via our industrial revolution-era seweraage system, my kidneys and more beer than is healthy for a woman my age (in reverse order).

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
Anything by Little Birdy.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Bitching and moaning. Club-hopping and cocaine snorting. Procrastinating. Making shit up.

20. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Cleaning the flat. (See earlier post on flea control). Dancing.

22. How many one-night stands?
I made a coffee table that doubles as a lamp-stand.. does that count? Oh hang on, probably not as it was in the new year. It was entirely constructed from found objects though. Neat huh?

23. What was your favourite NSW Government program?
Er.. the one they didn't shut down. The Christmas decorations, oh no, wait, that was the City of Sydney. (ha ha little local insiders joke that one, fellow emerald city locals). No really, the one where they decimate the level of service on the trains then put more inspectors on stations. Or the one where they amalgamate all the environmental agencies to create super-departments with less funding overall but bigger policy areas. Oh its just too close to call.

25. What was the best book you read?
Oryx and Crake

27. What did you want and get?
A new computer. To be distracted by other people's problems. A brand new pair of rollerskates.

28. What did you want and not get?
To win an argument with Bizarro.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
"The guy threw a Birkenstock, he doens't even understand fashion yet"

33. What special new skill did you acquire?
Knitting. I made a whole scarf. Yay me.

33.a Who was the best teacher of sacred female arts and crafts in 2004?
--Mango Mitzu
33.b Who had the most patience for arabic fantasy whims, bad taste stage cossies, and workplace overanalysis?
--Betty Sue
33.c Who did the bestest post card correspondence from the most variety of locations?
--Miss J
33.d. Who made the best Calzone in the Inner West?
--Bizzo Bomba
33.e. Who made th most triumphant return to the antipodes with natural accessory talent in-tact?
--Missy D

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.
Spanish has two words for the verb "to be".

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"They laugh because they know they're untouchable, not because what I said was wrong" - Sinead O'Connor.

40. What is the meaning of life?
Practice, practice, practice.

12 January 2005

Greer escapes from reality TV

Hey thanks for the link. But how depressing, that 30+ years after her crazy mags and super books torpedoing into the public domain, some English twats promoting a special brand of mass media humilation seem to have put one over our gutsy first lady of being smart and disagreeing with the mainstream. See the thing about Germain is she's rooly FUNNY. Why do the brits not seem to get that, and they have to punish her? The sperm comment was hilarious, the Cleo lady she was talking to was giggling.

Check these quotes:

The professor of English literature at England's Warwick University wrote in 2001 that watching Big Brother was "about as dignified as looking through the keyhole in your teenage child's bedroom door" and getting hooked on it was "downright depraved".

The beginning of the end may have been the medieval role-playing the housemates had to act out in the last two days in which Greer was the cook and was involved in petulant spats with Nielsen over who ran the kitchen.

"Germaine is off a bit, but the rest of the group is having fun, we're a real team," Nielsen said.

Greer revived her firebrand bra burning days when she tried to lead a revolt against Big Brother, but failed to convince her housemates to stage a naked sit down protest.

Man I wish she'd got the sit down protest going. Just goes to prove my theory that Big Brother has exactly the same effect on people as in "real life" oppresive control. Ordinary and even smart people behave as if it matters if you do what some disembodied voice says even though you are clearly on a make-believe set full of windows and trick doors and god knows what, designed solely to get advertising and money from sms. Bummer hey.

Oh and great discussion M Risa and Dr D, keep it up! (I'm almost embarassed that my main motivation for that last post was a cheap laugh at willies and yr lonely author being a kind of inverse howard hughes).

7 January 2005

True story.

Tuesday night, my first night back after 2 weeks schlepping around the south east coast. I've got into the house midday and had a shower, tidied up, checked in with the girl possie, put my washing on, had a nap. Happily wrapped in my cosy blue nanna dressing gown, I settled into the couch for a bit of teev at about 8.30.

Avidly watched the sbs world news to find out what's happening in the region. Then was mildy pleased to see our Ms Greer appear on the screens, hosting the video-doco version of "The Boy", which turns out not to be a pervy old middle-aged foray into adolescent sexuality but instead quite a considered and conservative critique of art in the 16th/17th century (as far as I can tell, I don't know much about art..etc).

I'm actually enjoying the intellectual side of it, been watching for about an hour when my housemate, redleadership, appears. So he walks into the room for a greeting, just when Germain is commentating on the long history of "the gaze" in art, and exploring it for the viewer in modern times.

She's opened the show with a glamour photo shoot for cosmo of this rather husky young 18 yr old bloke with the pre-requisite six pack, wavy dark hair and faded demin, etc. She's been making quite a compelling argument towards nude young men in art being a celebration of form and not blatantly homosexual, throughout the show. She's shown Raphelite art, Michelangelo and a host of renaissance paintings and sculpture so far. But of course just when my housie walks in the room (about 40mins into the show), there's the same teen model, posing for a group of middle aged painters, sans pants, glorious todger in full view, in the most lurid pose I've ever seen for a life drawing class.

And there's me on the couch in dressing gown, freshly outta the shower. Nice.

While redleadership is trying to catch up and chat, I'm kinda trying to keep up with the commentary around his shoulder .. at which point he turns around and cops an eyeful of the "old birds" enjoying "art" and in his eyes, me, checking out nudie boys when no-one's home.

So while I don't do the banter justice now it has come up as a topic of conversation twice at dinner with friends. Sadly, the art-lover defence just doesn't cut it. I even tried to give him a synopsis of the show up to that point..but alas.. he was not convinced. Let this be a warning to you fellow serious young insects!

Aunty B signs off from the world o' (f)art .

6 January 2005

Dot slash dot

Oh ha ha, Betty Sue , thanks for the email .. Here's a geeky fun game for all you other retrotech lovers...

4 January 2005

Oh, and thanks -

- to everyone who expressed concern about the parasite situation at casa Sharp. Its been a lot better thanks, there was a back up charge from the cavalry pre-Christmas, and we're gradually winning, although we deeply regret the length of the conflict.

For the record, the more people have responded to me off-line about the flea post than any other missive, and miraculously not to sever the friendship due to unreconcilable differences of hygiene standards. Astounding. You're all a bunch of freaks.
Er, Happy New Year

Well hello again gentle readers, I am back in the Emerald city. Having covered the equivalent of approximately 3,375 km since Dec 23, most of it in the air. Events of note for Chrissy /NY were:
  • a beer or two at the Grace Emily;
  • an event-free family Christmas despite (or due to) the 2004 inclusion of not-one-but-3-new-male additions to the table following the 2004 pecadillos of the grown-up girl cousins. Aside: you didn't have to listen too hard to hear the unspoken "oh thank goodness, we were getting worried they would all be 30-something and still on the shelf, perhaps we shouldn't have spent all that money on a good education" of the extended fam;
  • a hasty departure of one afore-mentioned male companion to tsunami-ravaged SE asia to distrubute aid;
  • a rapid change of travel plans and jettisoning of the heavier camping items;
  • the new route to Falls festival... plane, bus, shuttle, train, bus and shuttle again (and that was one way) - THANK GOD FOR DRAMAMINE;
  • camping with 14,000 bogans;
  • Playing a very high class game of scrabble with the erudite Miss J under the big top at the back of the valley stage (I only won b/c she let me have QED [an illegal move scrabble fans] to complete a 3-way move for about 50 points, otherwise she totally kicked my ass). Nb. Travel scrabble courtesy of Santa - oh, alright, it was the incredible Mr Biz - all round grumpy-assed legend;
  • Billy Bragg giving it to da man - solo, pot bellied and proud;
  • Mellibourne - trams, cafes, Art, Glick's bagel shop, pots o' beer, and the Divine Wide-eyed kid and her incredibly convenient pad at zero notice.
So phew, time for a nanna nap for Aunty B, hi to fellow travellers and those far from home, love and peace to youse all, I'm off work till Monday - give me a ring, text, instant message thing, smoke signal or morse. (Except if you use the latter I won't be able to understand. But it would be cool).