23 December 2006
Today we went shopping at the enormous retail chain recently located in Bondi Junction, and remarkably didn't get crushed in the stampede to buy hams, cake and bon bons. This weekend's summary:
Reading: Clash of the fundamentalisms - Tariq Ali
Shopping: For cashews, cherries and cases of beer
Watching: God on My Side at Moonlight Cinema (24th Dec)
Drinking: Too much.
Looking forward: To having little sister here for one whole week in Jan
See you all around in the silly season. I hope you all get to be really silly.
19 December 2006
I rocked up to the stop while the bus was sitting there, flashing silently, bus driver calmly waiting behind tinted glass. Two other men were at the stop. After about five minutes standing man has answered the mobile while looking at the front of lurking bus and made arrangements to meet them at Circular Quay. Then standing man asks sitting man "Do you know when is the bus leaving?". "Sitting man says "they go about every 10 minutes, did you know its pre-pay only?". He actually volunteered this extra information, unlike many residents of the Emerald city, who it would not have occurred to do so, as this was an Aussie-speaking dude. The reply: "Oh, really, no [mild panic, adopts righteous tone] and how would someone who's just a visitor to the city get a ticket?" Answer from both of us in unison "just there at the Newsagency."
In clear line of sight from the stop there is also a sign that says "Tickets for 666 sold at Newsagency, not 10 metres from where you are standing, pillock." Lesson for this week: Never assume someone will read something just because you put it in front of them in 100 point lettering on a yellow background.
5 December 2006
While thoughts are running through my head like "Should I just keep walking? /Should I call the cops? /an ambo?/How will I establish if its someone passed our or just sleeping? /Oh my god am I going to have to touch a potentially dead body??". Meanwhile Biz takes a few steps closer, he tells me later, to get a better smell as that will give a good indication of what's going on. (By the way, he's an aid worker, not pyscho serial killer). After I think I said "should I call someone?" the feet wiggled, and the person probably sighed at the idiot locals, then rolled over. This triggered an immediate wave of relief - oh its just a homeless guy. Not dead. Nothing to worry about after all.
4 December 2006
Anyway, my alter ego, Missy B, attended the workchoices rally last week, cunningly disguised as a Radical Cheerleader. Me and Miss Stacey were attached to a union group and help with a pre-rally rally, (sung to the tune of hot!hot!hot!) .. "no way no way no way no way, work choices suck suck suck". Comdey Gold. Bit of a light hearted approach to yet another profoundly disappointing episode in Aussie politics. Yes, you may all see the irony, nay, possible hypocrisy of a sole trader attending a rally to protect worker conditions and collective bargaining. Shouldn't you been joining the Chamber of Commerce these days BSharp?
But I'm cool with it. All my working life I've enjoyed great conditions won by those before me - paid holiday, sick leave, super, etc. etc. and really can only do what I'm doing now thanks to a good start. And I might want a real job again one day, and will be slapped with an AWA quicker than you can say "40 hour week". And "if you don't accept it there's someone who will".
And even worse, according the unions, there are special conditions on the building industry, whose workers can be fined or gaoled for attending stop works or workplace meetings. Ok so the building industry can be a horrible bunch of protectionist bully-boys, but they can also do amazing things like the green bans of Sydney in the 70s. Anyway don't listen to me on it , check it out for yourself at www.yourrightsatwork.com.au.
23 November 2006
18 November 2006
Here's a good link (for time-wasting): the willfully obtuse blog - now linked in the sidebar for your convenience. Exactly as the name describes, compiled by a lovely bloke in Finland.
Here's a bad link, found on above blog: its electron microscope pictures of the mite things that live in your follicles, especially in your eyelashes if you aren't careful with cleaning your makeup. I really don't recommend clicking this thing. I am having trouble getting this image out of my inner vision - a wormy body with its head jammed into a pore - no exretory organs, just living on your face. I'm now troubled by the idea of these things, even though I know the whole world is a whole soup of microscpic organisms.
12 November 2006
Yesterday at about 11 am, the hair dressing girls were sitting around doing nothing, and I was vaguely considering trying to muscle in for an appointment there and then if the price was right. The conversation went a bit like this:
BSharp: Hi, I just wanted to know what you'd charge for a half-head of foils?
Bleached blonde hairdresser: With a cut?
BSharp: No, just a blow dry thanks. (At this point you need to imagine my unwashed and unbushed heavily layered hair that is kind of coiling around my sunnies on one side, and pointing out at right angles on the other)
BBH: So what are you doing with it at the moment, darl? Do you style it often?
BSharp: Er, sometimes, it was actually cut recently. (I hate the way hairdressers always say that. I push on and start to explain my exciting plan for a kind of corporate/punk hairdo)
BBH: Right, well I would do that just a bit at the ends, but then I would blend it up with the top section too, and sweetheart you've got toothpaste on your face.
BSharp (thinking): No, the whole point is to create a line, dammit, you are so not getting it ."What?" (Looks in mirror, rubbing at one side of mouth. Yes I really do.)
BBH: Oh, there on both sides
BSharp: Haha, I guess thats what happens when you're alone all morning. Thanks!
BBH: That's ok, I do it all the time (Lie), I just thought you'd want to know before going outside
BSharp: Yeh, thanks, well I've got to do my laundry now, bye!
Aside from the outrageous price I can clearly never show my face in there again. So I went for an eyebrow wax instead which is cheaper and fulfils the desire to look a bit tidy on return of my peripatetic boyfriend from a four-month work trip. So aside from all those other nice love-nest things, I'm very exciting about having Biz back to tell me if I have two giant white blobs of goo on either side of my smile, before leaving the house each day.
9 November 2006
7 November 2006
My day so far has been bollocks in a load of little ways.
Tried to call indsutry magazine abou a 400word story - got machine
Tried to call Victorian Minister's office - dur its Melbourne cup day
Tried to book roach control - all full till next week, after Mr B is back
Tried to book hair appointment - Friday is my new girl's day off, no other time
Tried to call primary school volunteer coordinator - can't find freaking diary.
I'm about to give up entirely on today, as it's clearly not working for me, and I won't be able to get any sense out of anyone after 3 PM anyway. But happily Miss J has also just encapsulated a whole world of bullshit. Her litany of the actually useful add-ons to a mobile phone says it all really. Brava!
*Although I have to sneakily confess to having a bit of a soft spot for the break for melbourne cup in Sydney offices, precisely because it is so stullifyingly dumb, that by national consensus we've put aside about an hour to have a champagne, wear a hat made of waste paper and staples, and yell at the TV on paid time. The place I've been in that did it to the most extreme was the big consultancy charging mega-bux per hour. Enforced betting is pretty nyeh though.
4 November 2006
3 November 2006
31 October 2006
Extracts from an article on the newest fad of "torque-ing" from New Matilda.
'We were flying blind, really,’ says Dr Grevious T Wishbone, Berkeley-based information theorist and former bassist for the Grateful Dead. He may well be the first person in the world who ‘torqued’ when he and three colleagues gathered at a San Francisco juice bar and shockingly turned off their laptops.
We’re speaking on the phone — a popular torque-ing plug-in — and Wishbone remembers that his first contribution was a three-minute piece on why he didn’t like George W Bush, and did like Mission Impossible II. ‘All the time I was thinking “but there’s no record of this! What if someone in Toronto wants to know that I’m irritated by razor scooters?” And then my friend said something, so I had to “listen” and “pay attention” [two software extras developed in the wake of the torque-ing revolution] to him.’
Nb. I saved this as a draft to blogger a couple of days ago when I was chained to the desk working solo into the night (as I am now). But today I got two invitations to two seperate company's christmas parties! An unexpected benefit of visiting more than one workplace. Yippee. I'm going to go to both.
30 October 2006
"Deployed from a retractable mast on the ship's deck, the kite is controlled by a central console that operates like a plane's autopilot system, monitoring and recording over 100 measurements in fractions of seconds to keep the kite in its optimum position.
Once up, the kite flies at between 100 and 500 meters above sea level where the winds are around 50 percent stronger. In these conditions it's designed to take on the optimum aerofoil shape that ensures that the kite can maximize thrust whatever the conditions."
28 October 2006
So anyone, thoughts? ** And, Read, you know that means you. Is it better to blast someone into the hardest most challenging part of a new world, or just reveal a little at a time? Actually I should rephrase that as I already have an opionion on what's better.
Do you prefer to unload all both barrels right from the start, or just let fly with a warning shot over the bow first? Take your new lover to a full blown bondage club or just bring out the fluffy toy cuffs when you're alone? Hit your audience with the full force of climate change disaster predictions, or just talk about efficient lightglobes?
* Yes, I've got Door Door and Birthday Party Hits albums from pre-Bad Seeds era, but that's just excessive.
** Any new readers especially welcome
Oh and while I've got the playlist set up, anyone else want a copy of a Nick Cave Retrospective, Aunty B style? [I.e. enough songs to make you sick] Be cool if you could burn something for me in return..
27 October 2006
Now I know marches can be dreary depressing things, "what do we want" .. "someone to just please listen for a change".. "when do we want it" "..now!" And it gets pretty cringey to see those marchers who think its still 1976 and are wearing their best indian skirt and carrying a plam frond, and who've given their kids some placard that's too clever for them to understand.
Well this time, at least there'll be some visual stimulation (and maybe viceral too... ) at a big debut of the Radical Cheerleaders! -- of which your humble narrator Aunty B is one. So come along, hang out, march, hide behind our block of black and hot pink if you don't want to get caught up in any embarrassing chants. And the buzz on the street is that Kochie and the girl from Sunrise program are going too. Wow, mainstream media on a protest rally, I'll be durned. Maybe see you there.
Oh yeh and if you dig petitions - here's a groovy animated one - that shows the locations of all the people who give a shit about climate change on a map on Australia. I think they've hit 40,000. (It doesn't publish your name, just suburbs and tallies).
23 October 2006
18 October 2006
"There's a song called 'Red Right Hand', and a sanitary napkin company back in New Zealand wanted to use it, which was tempting ... but that was the closest I've ever come."Nick cave, speaking in a forum of musicians led by Javis Cocker in the weekend Observer about not selling music to be used on advertising. I think I would have seen his humour in letting that one go through.. but would have been in tears had The Weeping Song been used for eye-drops or something. The whole piece is a really good read. Link via Null device.
17 October 2006
To keep you amused, in lieu of any original writing on my behalf - here are the notes from a recent boozy discussion on how to spot fake boobs. (A common passtime in my neck of the woods)
- A bony rib-cage then a round globe majestically rising out and up over the neckline
- Boobies that stay 'saluting the sun' when a lovely lady lies on her back on the beach
- The seemingly magic 2 half-melons of "inner cleavage"- the part between the breasts with no visible support
- Something about the way they move when jogging - that was from a local guy - I don't really get it though.
10 October 2006
In the words of bloggosphere super-star, dooce,
People asked me how I keep my house so clean. I call it 'having a mental illness'.
Now those of you who know me or shared a flat will know I'm not a paragon of tidy or clean virtues, and I freaking hate vacuuming. But due to the warm weather and age of this building and its abundance of crevices - Aunty B is turning into a compulsive surface-wiper and floor mopper. Bizarro be warned. Oh, no political metaphor hiding in this post either.
8 October 2006
*with a very special shoutout to Ivy and Geetar Boy - MissI - I don't have yr email addy.
5 October 2006
"meat in a meat pie to be defined as "real meat" or flesh attached to bone." because "At the moment the Australian icon only has to include 25 per cent "meat" and meat is defined as any body part from a range of animals including goats, deer, camel and even buffalo or rabbit."If there's anyone reading this from overseas, feel free to laugh at my island nation right about now. Athough Mrs Mac does do a nice "beef" pie mind you.
4 October 2006
During the cold war perhaps? Or maybe - in this morning's newspaper written by our own Prime Minister. I'm frightened. No really, I'm not just trying to be funny.
But it kind of falls into place that his over-riding world view is that of the cold war. Looks to Aunty B like he simply can't imagine a different kind of world to one where there is one bad ideology (commie-terrorist) and one good ideology (capitalist-the "free world") and that the two will forever be locked in a bloody battle to the death. No room for an imperfect world where we try to make the best chances for everyone.
Maybe thats why we give people a "prize" of $4,000 when they have a kid - rather than than produce good tax-funded child care and maternity leave conditions for everyone. Well done - little breeding working person! Congratulations for giving birth in the right country at the right part of century, under our political ideology. You want to spend it on drugs or a new car? Well that's ok because you live in the free world and have just exactly the same opportunity as anyone else to live by your own choices. Off you go now.
3 October 2006
What in fact happened was there was much stomping up and down the stairs, and when the door opening an intensely loud blast of "ROCKET- yeah, satellite of love.." poured out through the walls of my flat. Bwahahaha. That's not .. it can't be.. Def Leppard? I got in the shower, and when I got out some other guest arrived, door must be oppening to the shared corridor again "POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME.. (in the name of love)". Yep. Dep Leppard. Hilarious. It was a glam rock bonanza for about the next hour.
As I tucked myself up with a novel there were more beautiful hits like "Time After Time" by Cindy Lauper and "Sussudio" by Phil Collins. WTF? These kids look about 23 - those songs were ancient when was 18 for gawds sake, what is the world coming to? I just popped the old ear plugs in and dozed off chuckling. Although if next time its Ronnie Size I'm calling the cops.
* well electronic from the mains anyway.. heheheh
28 September 2006
27 September 2006
Being a bit of a starer and evesdropper, I then was watching a gorgeous triangle dynamic unfold between a young bloke with a ponytail and hat covered in esoteric badges and safety pins, a chick with short ginger hair and an op-shop fashion aesthetic; and a preppy kind of girl with a pink top and white cardie and faux pearls. It was a discussion of films, where redhair is lucidly describing two recent films (neither of which I recognised and didn't catch the titles - one may have been called Subliminal.) White cardie says "oh is that an arty film?" but her comment is missed by the other two at that moment. She pauses, to see if she's been heard, her face forming into an expression of someone who is smelling dog poo on their own shoe.
The boy and girl carry on to another recent film, so she repeats herself "Are they arty films or something?". Red hair notices this time, looks up, thinks for a second, and says "No, not really, they're in regular cinemas." and continues on. White cardie has to wait another two stops or so for a new conversation opening, and still with sneer intact says "Oh I don't watch many movies." What? I'm thinking you're about 16 what else is there to do? "I think they're a waste of time actually". The unspoken response from the other two may well have been "Ok, whatever" .. at this point ponytail boy had become quite interested in what redhair had to say and wasn't really engaging with the other girl. He carries on with asking about favourite films, to which she has a ready and passionate reply that starts with "At the moment.."
Cardie then pipes in with a comment about French film being depressing. Ponytail is reminded of the Three Colours trilogy and starts telling redhair about them. "There's these films that have a theme of depression but they're really beautiful, you might like, they're called Red, White and Blue, . . . or maybe Blue, White and Red". "Three colours, yeh, like the french flag". While they're trying to recall which order the tricolour goes in, cardie adds in "Isn't that green, pink, and er .. white"? I look out the window so as not to laugh. No malice to preppy girl, but she just really misjudged the group's social norm this time. A fleeting moment triumph for the indy misfits - that magic one when suddenly its ok to like what is a bit different, or something you found out about for yourself.
26 September 2006
The issue is that some genius of modern architecture put this flat's water heater inside one of the kitchen cupboards. Of course, creating and ideal warm dark roach habitat. A little like those preferred by fleas.
A week ago my little sister came to here to stay, and I didn't want her thinking that your Aunty B could not manage the number of species living in the flat. So before her visit, I set those you beaut bombs off, one right in front of the open cupboard which had become Roach Dorado.
Effects: Sticky floor, and many roach cadavers in a localised "zone of impact". Sucessful strike to by Aunty B - huzzah! Unintended side-effect: A whole army of teeny tiny roach scouts looking for somewhere new to set up a homestead and make babies at the rate of approximately 1,287 per 24 hours. Places I have since found roach re-con include: crawling across my keyboard; inside one of my transparent plastic document sleeves for a client meeting; on the stove; on the bathroom cabinet; on the kitchen splash back. They are possibly some level of instar, to dredge up a bit of entomology for you, dear readers, and are only about 5-10 mm antenna to rear. Not too threatening now, but they will be in a couple of growth cycles.
The effect is kind of like that of the Iraq war on global terrorism, in a way.
24 September 2006
Anyway with that as a kind of disclaimer, I just wanted to point out something. That I respond to my compañero and his political ideas in text sometimes. And sometimes, I disagree with a theory, or a rant or a postulation. I put forward another way of looking at it, maybe a silly way, maybe one that tries to turn the topic inside out. It might look a bit like ridicule from a distance. It's not really. Its just the way I know how to love. To hear, to consider, to disagree, to opine, to continue the conversation. To engage. Te escucho, te contesto, te extraño.
23 September 2006
.. you shouldn't mess with the Strong Force. There are all sorts of "repressed repulsions" between the particles of our society, and deep in our own psyches. Sometimes we release them in the form of controlled explosions. Some of these controlled explosions are in art (think of Aristotle's idea of the "catharsis" provoked by tragedy), some in sport, some in sex. Some, less controlled, erupt into wars, murders, riots. The most fearful are shaped like a mushroom cloud.This is a post from back in June, during the world cup. Today's Momus (real name - Nick Curry - makes him sounds less unapproachable) musings are on Beauty - as if it were something completely other. Funny as I see a cetain beauty in the craggy and eye-patched.
. . . Generally, my attitude to the Strong Force is to avoid its excitements (though clearly I have a weakness for sex, if I have to choose one "controlled explosion" from the list). I'd rather be the kind of person who finds pleasure in rather tiny, boring and everyday things (hello John Cage!) than the kind of person who demands or seeks out controlled Strong Force explosions. I think that the dynamic harmony of repressed repulsions is underestimated. Just as, when things seem still, we're actually on a planet rotating at 1670 kilometers per hour, so when things seem boring, quiet or weak, there's actually a dynamic of opposing tensions at work, massive forces in miraculous equilibrium. The Strong Force is sleeping, the world is at peace. Hush, let's not wake it!
22 September 2006
On the B front - the sea is an amazing glass-like blue today, looking inviting. Yesterday was one of those days to acutally hit "send" on a media release, and some print things, and wear the consequences. Not my favourite part of being in promotions, but kind of important. Yesterday was also the day or submitting the last of a series of reports from a huge pile of data, then wrapping up my bleeding stumps that were once fingers, hoping they would grow back soon. Ah the life of a consultant - I guess I should have factored in writing about residents' lack of sports grounds and their worries about migrant integration until midnight every night for a week.
But just to share a wee secret - its still worth it when people say "what do you do" to be able to reply "oh I work for myself actually".
18 September 2006
1. I found your "Carajo!" CD. Well actually, Dad found it. Yay.
2. There was in actual fact a pretty woman with a Euro accent wearing a bikini and studying on the roof this very morning. Mind you, there are 100 more women wearning bikinis right outside the window also. On second thoughts maybe this isn't really such good news, just at this moment.
Also, the eds at SMH placed Hugh Mackay in the same edition, in a rather timely fashion. He argues that we mouth our Australian "values" as basically the same as those of the French revolution - liberté, egalité et fraternité - in the form of "the fair go", "egalitarianism" and the dreaded "mateship" - but in reality our values are Materialism, Pragmatism and Nationalism. He should know he listens to thousands of people every year talking about this stuff. Just goes to show you don't need a funny hat, dreadlocks or a motorbike to be a radical thinker. Thank god.
12 September 2006
So all of youse get on over to the newly renovated Booklub and post (or comment), dammit! We have a latte-sipping literati reputation to uphold here. I don't even know who some of you are, but get to it, I wanna hear about what you're reading.
Meantime, to keep you amused, here's a new blog from my flaming curly-haired friend Bianca, who is currently in China - taking lots of great photos and writing stuff. There's a link on the sidebar too. She'll be in Buenos Aires in January - Mi Buenos Aires, Querido...
10 September 2006
It's always seemed to me that a society's respect for humanity might be better measured by the length of its pedestrian crossing signals than by any number of abstract declarations of support for "universal human rights".- Momus, on the inbalance between pedestrian facilities and cars in the world's cities.
8 September 2006
5 September 2006
The day it happened I heard people near me in the office responding out loud when they were sent an email, with thing like "Steve Irwin! What this about?", and I even heard the word "sting-ray" but I just thought it was one of those dumb animations or mocked up video that go round the net like like a nasty gastro bug. Sure he was a bit of a wally, but there's got to be people more deserving of a death from their profession than him.
Speaking of gastro bugs, went to see a kooky naturopath yesterday. Got Bowen therapy, stinky herbs, the whole shebang. As a (ahem) scientist, my natural inclination is suspicion when someone reckons they can "realign" your nervous system by jiggling a few pressure points. He was a very calm and trustworthy sort of bloke though, and didn't charge any extra for the Bowen business. And I realised just now that I paid far more for an ultrasound and a stomach x-ray about a year ago that revealed precisely zippo wrong with the old digestive tract, and didn't actually do anything to make the random, very real, pain go away. So what they hey, if the herbs help I'm all for it. Apparently I have a very emotional liver. Or the liver responds to emotion. Or something. And craving pickled food says something about weak digestion. And one doesn't necessarily have to suffer pain or freakouts with one's period, oh no ladies, period pain is actually not natural at all. While the man spoke some sense, I did have to stifle a large snort at that one, though, having experienced that dull thudding ache from the very first time. Which was about 16 years ago, mind you. But bugger me, if he can make it go away and fix my unruly stomach - I say bring it on!
2 September 2006
Also, if you're like me and respond to boredom with a bit of banter, and attempt to be a bit too cool for school, especially don't go and see it in a small art-house cinema. Not that you'd have much choice in a film like this. I got shushed for the first time in a while, and wasn't even really drunk, which I think was the case last time I was shushed in the cinema. Strangely, the two men with matching shoulder bags in the row in front didn't appreciate my real time critique. I thought the point about Australian accents jarring in stark moody cinematography was quite insightful, actually. But it was after the scene with the hooded woman making use of a giant strap-on, that I was just casually asking my lovely companion if you could get them in silver these days? I didn't even think it was that loud.
31 August 2006
- The cat sat on the mat.
"Where the cat has been sitting, and will continue to sit, weather conditions permitting, is on the mat."
- On fine days, the cat sits on the mat.
"A legislative framework will be required to allow the cat to be able to sit on the mat, at the local, state or federal level."
- We need a law before the cat can sit on the mat.
I'm not resentful of convoluted writing these days. In fact if I can untangle it and help a few more people undertand the author's point, it makes me quite happy. If I could untangle all the world's confused and over-complicated manuals that would be just fine. So I've just been making up fantasy tutorials for technical writers to pass the time. That is one above. Hope you like it.
28 August 2006
26 August 2006
The curriculum for early education changed a bit in the 80s and 90s and kids learnt a method called "whole language" where they were encouraged to read whole words and get the gist of English that way. But it seems this only works if you're immersed in reading and writing all the time, and kids who don't get much practice outside school end up faced with longer words, with no way of breaking them down into component parts. The course coordinator told me that they actually see a word differently to you and me - a bit more like an 8-digit phone number, if they haven't learnt phonics. You'll be pleased to know that schools are switching back to a mix of phonics and whole language, so the wee tackers have more of a chance to get the tools in place to help them later on.
But to the really interesting thing I learnt. This teacher wants to move on to do practice with descriptive exercises. Basically, "what I did on my holidays". Communicating something you've seen to someone who wasn't there. You see, nowadays, any kid with a mobile phone camera can send a photo of where they are to a friend. If they're doing that a certain learning stage, they may not ever use or possibly even learn written descriptive language.
Mind you, probably make for a lot less boring blogs, down the track.
25 August 2006
20 August 2006
Monday saw two meetings in a row with my favourite client. Design work is progressing to schedule, and the team seems pleased so far. Did my first week with 2 days in the city in an actual office (gasp! First time in a year, nearly to the day). You'll be pleased to know it wasn't too traumatic to re-adjust to the culure of quiet, airconditioning, water filter, and needing a code for the door. Bit like riding a bike (or wearing clothes, with er, darts). Mind you it was a grreat feeling to come back to the flat er, i mean, home office, crank on the Tori Amos and do the projects I'm in charge of in between days. Trakkie daks and Tori and breaks to go the laundromat and havea coffee in the sun - how could anyone work any other way? Tuesday night caught up with Johnno of world cup blog fame, in the classic ex-scholar blowing through for one-night-only style - always a pleasure.* Also had a lovely suprise visit from Miss J taking advantage of the fishbowl's relative proximity to the city to get some late night work done.
And just got back from a 2-night mountains sojourn, complete with a visit to a great couple moving back into their newly renovated cottage. Not a cottage anymore! Its got a cunning northfacing back rooms and deck to make the most of the winter sun and shade in summer, a 9,000 L water tank, cross ventilation, insulation, a no-electricity insulated cold store for use in winter (this is the Blue Mountains with sub-zero temperatures), and other tricky bits and pieces. And they have a funny new big- eyed baby to share it with! Aaw.
Just checked in with the folks darn sarth to tell them to bring their togs on their visit to the emerald city next week, the sun is amazing. The ocean here is warmer than ever recorded for this time of year, but not to worry I'm sure the annual fish migration and spawning will adapt to us messing with the East Australian current. Somehow.
And.. word of the week: Inveigle:
- To win over by coaxing, flattery, or artful talk.
- To obtain by cajolery: inveigled a free pass to museum
16 August 2006
14 August 2006
9 August 2006
8 August 2006
"The program analyses the image of eight facial expressions, such as the position and shape of the mouth, the openness of the eyes, and the angle of the brows, to work out the emotional state of the viewer," Dr John Collomosse of the University of Bath in south-west England said.
7 August 2006
In reality I'm only maxing out at about 4-7 indivuals a day on the old statcounter (I think the same 7, honestly). I kind of gave up on the old blog being a bit mysterious and aloof - as everyone is connected to everyone these days and, you know, now my Dad has the address. I don't think he drops in too often though. Of course now I also have a dedicated librarian readership (who are all hot stuff on the net, and masters of the IT milleu). Tell me your thoughts sister and brothers. Comments open .... NOW!
6 August 2006
Police in the German city of Aachen received an unusual call for help when a woman telephoned to complain her husband was not fulfilling his sexual obligations.
"The police officials did not feel able to resolve the dispute, let alone issue any kind of official order," Kemen said.
4 August 2006
"Satire ties you in to your enemies, puts you on the same page as them. If I tied my intellectual agenda to the latest bomb explosion or military incursion, even to decry them and call for restraint (as if terrorists and generals would be listening, anyway!), I'd basically let hate and aggression come to dominate my worldview. And it's likely that, subconsciously, whatever my "high moral ground" position on these events would be, a little part of me would be secretly thrilled to be where the action is, and secretly delighted every time some spectacularly violent escalation took place, just as a satirist is when the people he attacks do something which shows them at their most ludicrous, hateful and stereotypical. "Listening to: Door, door, the Boys Next Door
"Does a rain-dance, in my room, then assumes, the dive position"..... "hear the taps, fill the bath almost dark, in the dive position" " .. I sigh, to you, touch me, touch me, touch me."Could I just love Nick Cave any more?
Most fucked up thing today - the quote from Human Services Minister Joe Hockey:
"We are a target, we always have been a target and we will be for a very long period of time."I'm not going to link to the full article, in a teeny-tiny-almost-silent gesture of protest. He's talking about Australia here, in case I have any international visitors. I'm sure that there is an almost corresponding line in 1984, and don't really have the inclination to go hunting for it. Always have been... pardon? Always? What is a human services minister anyway? Is he the man I should talk to about the leaky toilet? About whether I'm getting enough, er, human servicing? I mean, really.
2 August 2006
Dr Jo Williams, UCL Bartlett School of Planning, said: "Current trends show that one-person households are growing more rapidly than other types of household. Previously, the typical one-person householder was the widow, often on a tight budget and thrifty. The rise in younger, wealthier one-person households is having an increasingly serious impact on the environment. But we have identified possible opportunities which arise out of the group's expansion and diversification.Beachside eco-village, bring it on!
"'Regretful loners', who are forced into living alone by circumstance, create demand for more collaborative lifestyles, such as more widespread co-housing schemes, where you have private space such as a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen but share some living and storage areas. It allows people to share household chores such as cooking; DIY and gardening; share goods such as tools; and consume less energy."
1 August 2006
- Of, relating to, or resembling a phallus; phallic.
- Relating to or overly concerned with masculinity.
- Walking about or from place to place; traveling on foot, itinerant
- Of or relating to the philosophy or teaching methods of Aristotle, who conducted discussions while walking about in the Lyceum of ancient Athens.
30 July 2006
Imagine a regular pot of water boiling water for the rice noodles, and a frypan with oil heating next to it. When dropping the noodles into the boiling water a broken bit flies of and lands in the oil. I turn my back, to get the veggies, and lo! its puffed up and turned into a crispy noodle. So I tried some more.
The trick seems to be to get the oil so hot its smoking, and nearly burning the pan. The the noodles need to touch the hot oil, and they magically puff up. Its like popcorn! But they don't fly out. I would normally try this is a wok, but I am currently wokless due to housesitting constraints.
Anyway, here's the end results. Mmmm...
29 July 2006
But then I guess I'm happy to spend a few minutes blogging about it. Just as shallow, but with no friend to share it. Oh, for the record, I shaved 'em last night - there's no moral high ground over here - just a cranky conversation censor.
"It's a mistake to think there's only beauty in pain.
Fertility religions celebrate life, whereas Christianity and Islam celebrate death and resurrection."
"Joy Division were quite a good band, but New Order are better, ne?
Because, finally, it's better to be alive than dead, and happy than sad."
28 July 2006
. . . I saw a pink and white galah fly into the local primary school playground. It screeched, landed, and immediately drew a crowd of little tackers to check it out. Moments later the JP teacher was calling out "leave it al-own, kids leave it al-own", follwed by "it must be very frightened, don't get too close", while Mr Galah strutted around for a while with his crest fanned out, looking around like he was the school landlord or something. I dawdled around the perimeter for a bit because I love watching animals in any setting, but refrained from actually stopping outside the playground fence at lunch break because I don't want to be mistaken for a creepy molesterer. So I don't know what it did after that. Nice little reminder about empathy from the teacher for the kiddies though, I thought.
and then . . . looking out the window later I thought I was seeing a couple of ususal swimmers who do laps of the beach, and sometimes wear black wetsuits. Then I wonderd why they kept disappearing under swell for more than a few seconds. Then I saw a fin loop out of the water in a classic dolphiny manner. And goodness me if there weren't about six of them making their way across the beach between the heads. I reckon only about 10 metres behind the line of surfers. I was a bit paralysed to know whether to try to run down the beach for a better look, or try to find where the video camera was hidden, to capture it. It was only a couple of minutes show in the end, but I was sqeaking with excitment up in my little fishbowl flat.
26 July 2006
Oh and maybe they are friendlier here by the sea.. but its reasonable to decline to tell the boy who makes your coffee in the morning exactly *which* apartment you're in, isn't it?. Especially when he can see the building from his workplace. I mean he's only made my coffee twice. That's not just inner west paranoia, its common city cageyness.
*Mr Biz is off wearing the white good guys' outfit again for a bit. And he doesn't like some of the more, er, pungent of my culinary tastes.
23 July 2006
22 July 2006
21 July 2006
With the fuel price currently tipping out at $1.50 a litre following the latest Middle East "instability", I thought my car-owning readers may appreciate a little background reading in popular Australian model car fuel economy. (Source: NRMA Motoring and Services)
Ford fairlane - 4.0L engine, takes 11.6 L to drive 100km.
It can accelerate from 0-100 in 9.1 s
Holden commodore - 3.8 L engine takes 10.6 L to drive 100km.
Accelerates 0-100 in 8.9 s
Honda CR-V - 2.4L engine takes 9.6L to drive 100km.
Accelerates 0-100 in 10.1 s
Toyota Yaris - 1.5L engine takes 6.1 L to drive 100 km.
Accelerates 0-100 in 10.7 s
So lets see, 2,000 km, at 1.50 a litre of petrol, in a Ford equals $348, while in the mighty Yaris (now available in auto) equals $244. Goodness me, when the western world starts going down the road of allocating a carbon allowance to each citizen, like has been proposed in Britain this week, this will be very useful information indeed! This community service brought to you by Aunty B eco-services Inc. I shall return to posting about dreams, period pain, and/or Hugh Jackman next time.
19 July 2006
"Australia was already experiencing the effects of climate change and a sea-level rise was "virtually certain" to cause greater coastal inundation, erosion and salt-water intrusion into freshwater sources as well as damage to infrastructure and coastal resources, the report saidMeanwhile our flat is being buffeted by a series of squalls and storms. The rain gets thrown against the windows in rythymic bursts, as the wind seems to cycle round the bowl of the ocean and the cliffs. At night its a little like being under the ocean, as you can hear the waves crashing in time. The night before last I dreamed I was helping a dolphin give birth. She was on a human bed with sheets, on dry land, and writhing with the effort. It was a vivid experience of her grey, muscled form , larger than human-sized. When the baby was born it was having trouble breathing and the mother performed a kind of mouth to mouth. And in the same night, on the Northern beaches, a day old whale was stranded when separated from its mother.
18 July 2006
I would make some scathing commentry here but really he just says it all himself, plain as day. Bugger the rest of you, me and Janet will be dead so my kids have enough trust money to run really expensive air conditioning.
"As an efficient, reliable supplier, Australia has a massive opportunity to increase its share of global energy trade," he told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Sydney.
Mr Howard gave a nod to fossil fuels' contribution to rising global temperatures and changing weather. But he continued to reject both the Kyoto Protocol and carbon emissions trading or a carbon price as a way of dealing with climate change, preferring instead to rely on as yet commercially unproven carbon capture and storage technology.
"The Government's energy policy framework unapologetically emphasises the role of new low-emission technologies to deliver a sustainable greenhouse outcome and it unapologetically seeks to preserve the economic value of our energy resources at a time of soaring global demand," he said.
15 July 2006
11 July 2006
5 July 2006
Turn on a light, preferably 75 watt or brighter
If necessary, clean whatever room you're in. Changing your surroundings for the better both clarifies your power over the world and gives you a few minutes to do some problem-solving on a less grandiose scale.I knew a tidy house was the answer to a crisis of the meaning of existence. Also includes tips, warnings, and things you need, such as:
Imagine several *different* people you like or respect giving you advice. Don't pick anyone abusive. Or try Mr. Rogers, your first grade teacher, and that girl (boy) you had a crush on in 9th grade. They don't help very much, do they? But it's fun talking to them.
- To know yourself
- To know what it means to be human
Also visited a shop called "Pepe's Papiere" they had two whole walls devoted to fancy A4 paper products. They had 3 aisles of journals, notebooks, photo albums, invitations, envelopes. Recycled? Nup.
2 July 2006
Saturday morning. Discover unpacked CDs, suncream, shampoo, reference book, thongs, and bolivian pillow covers, that must be added to bulging pack.
Saturday 1.15 pm. Bsharp and mjs arrive at airport, as they call for all passengers to check in immediately. Proceed to check out desk. Pay Aus$21 for the extra weight. Bugger. Informed that flight boards at 1.20.
Saturday 1.17pm. Team sharp proceeds through security carrying the *other* 20 kilos as hand luggage. Pause on hearing .. "Paging Miss Sharp, will Miss Sharp please proceed to .. mffle mffle mffle grrble". Mjs helpfully comments "oh that's you! they're paging you, I've never been paged before.. well my ex-boyfriend did once".
Saturday 1.19pm. Remember how if you're delaying the plane, they just take your luggage off, no more pages. Start jogging (in skirt, boots, and carrying unwieldy file box).
Saturday 1.20pm. Approaching boarding gate - the last on the concourse - gate is still closed, just to hear second page..."Will Miss Sharp, Miss B Sharp, please return to check in counter 39, to pick up your ID card. Miss Sharp please return to check in counter 39." Faaaack
Saturday 1.23pm. Back past 10 gates, double back along check-in counters, get ID ("It was up on the top counter" - yeh right, I know how you budget airlines like to play with people), back through security, down to gate, and mjs waiting diligiently with all unwieldy hand luggage. Get into last place in queue.
Saturday 1.30pm. Boarding plane, and a country lad now sitting in the front row with his parents says "you got your id then?" Big grin. Grit teeth, smile, laughs, "ah yes thanks".
Satuday 4.00pm (EST). Waiting at baggage carousel at Sydney Terminal 2. Glamorous blond about to take large lime green faux croc skin bag off the belt smiles and says "oh so you got your ID then?". Yes I did you horrible, organised, blow-dried person. Now LEAVE ME ALONE.
28 June 2006
1 - Its almost impossible to throw clothes out or give things that are still "wearable" away, but once they're disappeared out of sight you don't ever conjure them to mind. If anyone in Argentina asked me the contents of those boxes, I wouldn't have been able to answer except for a few framed postesrs, and a favourite platter maybe. So if you have to cull 2/3 of your stuff.. don't worry, you'll never know its gone.
2 - There's no point putting things away for best. They go out of fashion. I could already see some of my stuff packed away in a box for another 20 years to become a teenage girl's discovery, being cleaned up and worn as "retro". Possibly they will already be retro next week, when I'm back in Sydney.
27 June 2006
24 June 2006
"This intense passion of Australians for a football code they are still trying to decipher is part ambush, part national sporting fanaticism. Many Australians absorbed every moment of every sport in every Olympic Games since Melbourne in 1956 because of national pride in their own men and women contesting something considered important by the rest of the world. . ."And while on the topic. Its a tad lame when normally decent Aussies try to take the piss out of the game. Like the Chaser last night on TV, doing a re-enactment of the over dramatic drops players do when there's kick to the ankle/calf etc. Cute when guys who usually parody aggressive Aussie culture get sucked into the "toughness" cliche, which is supposed to be part of all our national endeavors.
"With the southern and eastern European migration came soccer, a game derided as 'wogball' by the chauvinistic and racist society of the late 40s, 50s and 60s. It was played in dirt paddocks, not on groomed sports ovals. There are anecdotes of immigrant schoolboys being caned for daring to play the game, as well as for speaking in their parents' tongues to each other, in the playgrounds."
Thanks to null device for the lead
One of my most vivid memories of watching (SA)NFL* was when one guy literally walked onto his opponent's head in studded boots, while the other guy was on the ground. After the play has moved on. Actually in the old days of the league when there was only one or so cameras on the enormous pitch, the real men used to take a leak out on the field during play, up a sparsely populated end. Now that's Aussie. Aunty B will chuckle heartily on the day when our culture manages to make a subtle shift. Imagine applauding our boys' dramatic skills when trying to encourage a penalty on the field. Lord knows, actually appreciating the Arts might not be far behind, then... Viva Australia Latina!
*Bet you eastern states types didn't know we had our very own footy league down here. Yeh and the player was from Glenelg Tigers, I think. Thats Australian Rules btw. I still can't understand that Rugby business.
20 June 2006
I read about this service as the ultimate example of marketing that aims to constantly jack up people's concept of what it is to "have everything you really need". Hence making us endlessly dissatisfied with life and desiring more stuff. In a book called Affluenza. At the linked site you can download the first chapter where the author points out:
Ten years ago the gold credit card was a mark of distinction, a sign that you had made it—or at least that was the message the credit card companies put out. But too many people began to qualify for the gold card and its symbolic value became diluted. So the credit card companies invented the platinum card, designed to be accessible only to those at the very top of the pile.
Determined to stay ahead of the game, American Express has now introduced a black credit card known as the Centurion.
Hello tabloid fans.. not much celebity gossip here, sorry. Except maybe about Harry Kewell. What was that altercation with the ref after the Brazil game? Keep your hair on Harry. Us aussie chicks and nary a few blokes are hanging to see you play again - and a charge of "professional misconduct" might keep those toned thighs relegated to the bench for the Croatia match.
19 June 2006
17 June 2006
Anyway, I love the shared mindless celebration. Call me populist. I love being a in a pub with yelling happy people all staring at the screen. I especially love when the screen shows other people all over the world with the same level of interest in their team. I like to think that the World Cup encourages a kind of global solidarity, where everyone is chuffed to see other countries' supporters in their colours, there is such a global diversity that very few get riled up with that viciousness born of binary frustration. (Celtics-Rangers, Boca-Juniors, Blues-Doggies, Liberal-Labour, for example). So I bear no ill will to Mother. Her genes helped me get absorbed into the last world cup while in the other hemisphere, together with countrymen of my second nationality. It has also been useful in at a couple of live Port Power matches in Sydney, and a running of the bulls in Central Spain.
Finally, check out my mate Johnno's blog. He's actually over there catching all the Australian Round One games. Now that's good value Buzz.
15 June 2006
Have been given the run-down by the current resident on the characters who regularly use the outdoor exercise gym right in front of the window, sounds like an extended eccentric family. I am unbelievably excited about all this. And the phone has even started ringing on the work front, maybe there's something in the stars. So today the divine mjs and I went to Officeworks, and submerged ourselves in a veritable wet-dream of coloured folders, recycled paper reams, card holders and the like. You see, I don't want to actually do any work from a home office, I just want all the beautiful stationary to match.