23 December 2006

Consumer day

Quick update for all you webheads out there. Aunty B and Mr B are staying at their gorgeous sea-side pad, having a few Christmas orphans with interstate and overseas rellos here for lunch. I'm feeling a little bad that my folks are missing one of the two precious offspring this Christmas for the second time in a row. But I'll be there in just a couple of days .. we can still drink Baileys and eat mince pies.

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

Stop, wait, go

I read a quote by Momus the other day about public disobedience and self expression. Something along the lines of "its okay to walk around naked in Berlin so long as you stop at the red man." I Was at the bus terminus near my place the other day, waiting for a special express bus to the city. Lets call it the 666. The said bus has a moving LED display above the windscreen that says alternately "666 to Circular Quay/ Pre Pay Only" and a giant triangular yellow sign on the front that says "No tickets sold on this bus". It runs about every 10 minutes in the summer and tends to sit on the curbside at the terminus for up to 10 minutes, before drawing up to the actual stop so it starts the journey on time.

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

Bodies on the street

On Sunday night, me and my beau were strolling back along our moonlit street after a very satisfying veggie thai meal with our local GE campaigner and AC/DC fan. We came level to what looked like an old futon that had been dumped on the street several days ago folded in a sloppy kind of roll and somewhat water-logged, when I noticed the soles of a pair of dirty but very much real, human feet sticking out the end. I kind of froze, and Biz looked around as I said "er, there's some, er, feet in that." I just had an immediate vision of it being a dead body, and worse, a body that had been there for several days without anyone noticing.

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.

You can't stop the scavengers

Sitting over a boozy Christmas lunch the other day I heard such a blogworthy tale. It's set during curbside collection - or hard rubbish day - as some of you may know it. It involves a mother of 2 kids under 3 and her sister touring the suburbs of Sydney's North Shore and Northern Beaches area. Said Mum just loves hard rubbish day, and according to her husband is pulling out toys for the kids and household items for days after, with an uncommon glee at the volume of free stuff you can get, that people were just going to throw away! To emphasise just how dedicated she is to this scavenging, hubby tells us she peed in the bushes that day. "What?", we ask - yes, well she really needed to go and realised she was too far from home to go back to use the loo, it would have meant the end of the trip, so she just stopped and went in the bushes, so she could keep on going and get more stuff. After this I was wiping my eyes with merriment and we were all congratulating this woman in her absence on her stoic determination. The best part is I know her too - used to be in the same team at work. She is a paragon of style and cool, and this just puts her even higher up in my estimation.

4 December 2006

By popular demand

Thanks Betty Sue. I've been a bit bereft of blog ideas the last two weeks. Posisbly it was due to funneling my ideas into various proposals and plans. Its a sad fact of being self-employed that your most creative work goes into telling people just what they're going to be paying for. And thats the bit that you don't get paid for. Sigh.

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.