28 June 2006

Zzzrt !

That's the familiar old sound that brown packing tape makes when its comes off the roll. Just got back from my Nanna's place again today to take out the dozen or so boxes that have been stored there for nearly a year. I managed to unpack and sort out 3 tubs and 1 bag to take to Sydney. Its almost all clothes. Its a melancholy experience seeing things inside boxes that have been out of daily use for a long time. Shirts become discoloured, favourite fabrics are now soaked in mothball smell, making them slightly repulsive to hold. I re-called 2 important things:

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

When grown men cry

It was Lucas Neill, realising what had happened after he tried to defend in the penalty area. Within ten seconds the team were out of the tournament after fighting their way into the top 16 for the first time, ever. And was that a sweaty face, or was that a fit young australian choking back the tears while the world's cameras took a tight close up of his face? I was in a crowded terrace house lounge room in the city centre, with 2 people I know and 10 people I didn't. In the stunned silence after the whistle I could feel the welling in response. After saying hurried goodbyes, I jumped into the Camry (thanks Dad) and zoomed off through the streets - much busier than usual for 2am on a Monday. The cold night air froze any tears forming in their ducts. Today: feeling particularly blue, hollow and emotionally wobbly. Is this normal when your team gets World Cup sudden death? Oh, hang on, it is normal for the day your period is due, which mine is. Boys out there, if you're sharing this feeling, record it for future reference. A warm beverage and a cuddle isn't too much to ask, perhaps.

24 June 2006

Its just about the round ball

Love it when the Poms give their sage wisdom about the Australian pysche, as in this article in the Guardian. Its even more annoying when those clever tea-sipping intellectuals are more or less right.
"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. . ."

"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
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.

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

Wanted: Slave to the overtly wealthy

Check this out. Its a real, true, I'm-not-making-this-up job ad for a "life-style consultant" for American Express. You see, when you have a Platinum Card you get access to this super special service called a concierge. They basically do whatever the hell you ask them to. Send a suit back to Milan for repairs? Certainly, sir. Book a 5 star hotel suite with spa for my mistress and a trip to Disneyland for the rest of the family? Right away, sir. While you're at it Matthew, cancel third world debt for me, will you? Er, is that the whole globe or just sub-sarahan Africa you were after?

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.

Lies damned lies

.. and statistics. Yes I have fallen. Sucked into the vortex of statcounter. But I have paid Karmic penance for the addiction. The only search that has appeared more than once and brought readers here is "bec and leyton hewitt". Or "leyton hewitt pics". Oh the humanity. As mermaidgrrl aptly puts it they're like Australia's number one Arayan pin-up kids.

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

Oh well

Nice try boys. another late night lined up to see the Croatia match now. Hi Johnno and Toby if you check in tomorrow!

Half Time

So what was with Ronaldho missing that clear kick at goal at about minute 30? Have the AWB got onto the the case? Is there some backroom contra deal going to protect their sugar exports or something? Zero all so far. Nerd house is tentatively breathing out. And here's the run down on yellow cards - I had to look it up.

17 June 2006

World Cup

Being in the cup rocks. For all those a bit foreign to the round ball...this is the best place to look up match times, click the mousie on the time to get a little auto-conversion to wherever you are in the world. Ok so our house has traditionally been fairly non sport-oriented. (Except for Mum playing the North Adelaide SANFL matches on the radio on the weekends while doing housework and occasionally watching the grand final). Dad always had a preference for the round ball, being a Pom and all, but I think in a more intellectual way. He's more your book readin' type. I think I picked up Ma's enthusiam for the crowd mentality or the hive mind. I'll never forget her yelling the loudest when watching the AFL final on the bigscreen in a certain National Science Museum theatre in my years as a student. It was the Crows playing for a second-year-running win and I think the phrase bellowed out over the heads of my post-grad classmates was "C'mon stop playing like a bunch of gerrls" .

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

Where in the world is Aunty B

Well today, in Adelayed. From sometime in the first week of July AT THE BEACH. A well known beach in Sydney - the Southern hemisphere's Emerald City. Me and Mr B have scored a flat from a friend who will be changing the world from State-side for while. It has two whole rooms (count 'em) plus a kitchen. You can gaze out on an uninterrupted view of the waves crashing on the shore from the front windows. And of course hear them too. You can also use the roof do yoga, drink beer, hand washing, or practice belly dancing if the mood takes you. The word is a hot French chick uses it to sunbathe nude, not minding the former male resident to hang out and chat. Haven't told the boyfriend that, but maybe he'll get a pleasant surprise one day.

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.

14 June 2006

Time in motion

Does anyone else find that with every airport upgrade they increase the distance to walk from the plane, to the gate, through the airport to the luggage carousel? I approve of this. It seems that human beings are much calmer if they are moving, as if towards some final goal, than if they are made to stand stationary and impotent to the timing of the bags dropping out of that vinyl covered flap. Even if the time it takes to have your bag in hand and be waiting for a cab is identical.

9 June 2006

Ready read read

New post over at Booklub. Yes, I can hear you all screaming "for gods sake woman, get a life". I'm currently officially working on Project:Life.*

*One novel at a time.

7 June 2006

ow ow ow ow

Aunty B yesterday while chatting to fellow volunteer on mad installation art project. "Oh well the thing about tattoos is of course the pain, you know, its a right of passage, a bikie thing, a tribal thing, a sailor thing , so you have to expect it to hurt, thats all part of it. Its all good." I am clearly full of shit. Happy to now have bright green, yellow and a touch of red giving the seahorses on my lower back a new lease of life. But oh my it hurt. Oowee, worst than toothache. Worse than bad sunburn. I keep getting new flushes of pain up my side when twist the muscle slightly. I was ready to submit after 10 mins. Luckily it only took about 30. Off to have beer now.

4 June 2006

Weekend Quote

So there we were, in a pub strategically named after a piece of local government infrastructure formerly in the vicinity. It was about 3.45am. I was sitting with the lovely Miss M, with the long blonde locks. The lights in this fine establishment are brighter than in the old days, but they still turn them up a bit more when its about time to go.

At this point, an older gentleman, about 5ft 5, ambled up to us, and in a soft irish brogue said "gargle snel irl'be nice me jinners". Pardon? "Oh, needle be sivving gryne ee me hyhdle names Brian". Well good evening Brian. Beatific smile from our wee man. Have an nice night Brian, and a good weekend. Brian ambles off.

Take two: Tall, young-ish, perhaps uni post-grad, bops up towards our post by the wall. Does the little choo-choo train arms dance for sec, looks at me, looks at Miss M, smiles, raises eyebrows, then jauntily cocks head towards the door. We look slightly mistified. The bouncer is making the first polite round-up of the punters. This fellow boogies a little more then, with total composure, drops the line, "C'mon, ladies. Hurry up." Miss M and Aunty B can no longer handle it and collapse laughing, and have to hold onto each other, wiping away the tears. Valiant effort, dancing boy.

1 June 2006

tech nerd stuff. look away.

Are we there yet?

Ross Gittins points out that a growing economy is not the only indicator of national well being.

The bureau's figures show that, over the nine years to 2003-04, the average weekly income of the poorest fifth of families rose by 22 per cent in real terms. The middle fifth saw their incomes rise by a fraction less than 22 per cent while the richest fifth got an increase of 19 per cent.

Fully 14 per cent of mothers and 9 per cent of fathers in couple families report high or very high psychological distress. For lone mothers it's 24 per cent. About 18 per cent of children - more than 600,000 - live without an employed parent.

Over the past 10 years, the number of bird and mammal species listed as extinct, endangered or vulnerable rose from 120 to 169. Over the decade to 2003, the rate of land clearance fell by 38 per cent, so that we now clear a mere 283,000 hectares a year, half of it in Queensland.
Although on the upside, Lee Tulloch of The(sydney)magazine June06, lets us in on the secret to eternal happiness: its a GHD hairstyling iron. RRP $255. Her "thick, erratically wavy hair is tamed in a breeze without having to lift weights at the gym to get her arms into shape". Ah, how I love this town.