Thursday, November 30, 2006

Married? Yes, Mallied!

The other day I had coffee with my beloved E and L. They were telling me about the 'night on the town' (operation get L a boyfriend) they had while I was sick in bed throwing up my ice-cream (damn you ice-cream, why don't you love me when I love you so much?). It's no big secret that despite the sick thing I've sort of had enough of nights on the town not because I'm over getting maggoted or daggy dancing or even singing along to unmentionable songs at farking 3am (kill me) - but just because I find the meat market depressing and if I'm going out I'd rather not be depressed thanks. Back at the coffee shop E and L were telling me about how they were descended upon by a big bunch of boys (table for two it was apparently) who all dragged chairs from far and wide for a chance to be with them. I never quite understand the mentality of "wow, there are two girls - let's get a group of 10 and go over and bombard them". Everyone knows it's a two man job - hero and wing man. Sure, girls all laugh about the wing man manoeuvre but hey, it works. I'm not sure what these particular guys were planning - maybe they were going to play marbles to see who won them or something. Who knows?

Anyway, E was especially amused by her guy - whom she termed the pants dropping wing man - and how he never even asked her if she had a boyfriend when indeed, she has a husband. It's like he didn't care if I was married or not! He never looked down at my ring and even after I asked him if he had a girlfriend he never asked me; he just kept on talking. What is with guys? Can I add that E just happens to have the world's biggest diamond engagement and married ring on her finger. You could use it to cut through a rope. It's also blinding - I'm talking looking into the sun, kind of blinding, you cannot not notice it! We mused about whether men look for rings on girls or whether it even matters to them if they're all ringed up and married - because in their minds all girls are fair game.

I asked her if her marriage ever came up at all during the night and E said that it never did. She mused something that still has me thinking - For the married person, when do we disclose? If I blurt it our as soon as he comes over I'll look like I have tickets on myself and he'll get defensive but if he doesn't ask it'll never come up. I don't want to offend someone by assuming they are trying to pick me up when they will obviously deny ever doing such a thing and in the end make me look stupid and then exclude me from the group. Do I have a moral obligation to disclose my marital status even if we're just talking or should they not assume I'm single and ask me?.

What do you think?

Guys do you care if your pick up is married or not? Are all girls fair game? Do you look for a ring?

Girls, do you?

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"Father Mayii?" "Yes, you may"

This morning I woke up at about 4am or so thinking oh shit, reports! Every time I tried to fall back into dreams I was driven back to waking life with the nervous tension brought on by adrenaline and stress. I don't know how people function in personalities which are constant and even - living at an even pace because they are planner or whatever. I don't know how they do it, but it sure would be nice to experience that just to see.

I gave up on sleep and went for the tele instead, but as anyone living in this wide brown land will tell you, the only thing on at that time are TV evangelists. Personally I think they're a laugh riot and I'll quite happily watch them. They're very good at what they do - I'm not exactly what you'd call a devout Catholic (read: heathen) but half way through This is Your Life (or was it This is Your Day? meh) I'm usually on my feet yelling Praise Jesus! with the rest of the crowd. As I said, they're very good. I don't know if TV evangelists have a gift from God, but I do know they have the gift of the gab. There's a difference - usually that difference is money but I guess it depends on who you ask.

I don't really want to go into my own journey with religion. I am not completely taken by the devil, but I am also not one for prayer. I grew up with a lot of prayer around me and I don't know if it gets you closer to God or even is the language of God. Sometimes I think it's an excuse not to be responsible for yourself - Catholicism especially asks you to turn to prayer if you do something wrong - as if prayer absolves you somehow of the responsibility of your actions. Sorry, I don't really believe that - especially if you're reciting poetry - but I understand that it gives comfort where there might otherwise be none. For me though, official prayer is the word of man (and I do mean man at the exclusion of women) not God at all. Maybe making up your own is the way to go - if there is a God, surely he's sick of the same old Our Fathers being said over and over and OVER. I'd sure as hell want some variety.

I guess that part of me that will happily watch a TV evangelist is the same part of me that will be interested in church (err, at Christmas) despite not being a religophile (made up word). I don't see them as teachings exactly but I do like listening to people's points of view and usually it encourages me to think about my own life and own experiences - even if I don't necessarily agree with the message itself. I like explanations of everyday life, even if it is through the proxy of the bible.

This morning after the discussion: "if President Bush needed prayer to make an important decision would you know what to pray about?" - which immediately sparked a woman to start speaking in tongues (err, yes, the language of Bush - apparently) there was a woman on the tele called Beth Moore who was talking about oppression. Despite being a few short of a 6 pack her "sermon" was interesting. Her starting point:

Genesis 29:32 (KJV) And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.

She focused on that idea of feeling that by changing who we are and living for others because we are afraid of not "being loved" (or approved of) is oppression. She argued that affliction in the case of the bible verse really meant oppression and that real oppression is when we allow others to dictate our self worth.

Through half sleepy eyes, I wondered about all the women I know, including myself, who have changed themselves in some way in order to "be loved" and how exhausting it is to live your life in accordance with someone elses idea of what you should be. When you think that someone else is going to withdraw love, or even not give you approval because you are who you are, then it's akin to living in fear isn't it? How many of us live in that constant shadow of fear of not being loved or good enough and will sacrifice a sense of self in order to ensure that 'love happens'? A great lot of us I'd think. So how many of us are really walking around not being ourselves? Don't we trust our of sense of self worth? Does everyone measure themselves in accordance with what others think of them? And can that ever result in love?

oh - I gotta go, Benny Hinn is about to bless me.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006


So yesterday when I turn up to school everyone was very nice to me regarding the illness and saying that I looked so much better than I did last Tuesday (ohhhh you don't have white lips anymore! That's a good sign!). I felt loved, in a warm and fuzzy way. aww.

Ten minutes after walking in I realise reports are due in two days! Talk about giving a girl a heart attack. I guess, missing out on a week of school will mean you miss all the important memos. This would be okay if I had actually started writing my reports like all the other diligent teachers (dweebs). Actually, I haven't even written the proforma for the reports yet - or, even thought about it. I am what is known as a last minute girl. I wish I wasn't quite this last minute though.

I am quietly shitting myself and trying to think of how I can utilise class time to my advantage so that I am not bothered by kids. Impossible of course.

Isn't it good that I'm back on the coffee?

In other news, I swear I keep turning into the stereotype of an art teacher the further along I go through the job. Yesterday, I spent the whole day with red plasticine in my hair. The kids kept telling me about it in every class I had (you look funny!) but I was just so busy I didn't even have time to go to the bathroom to take care of it. Of course, I really wished I had taken care of it because by the time I was at the checkout of the supermarket the check out chick noticed it. She did that thing people do when they're trying to appear tactful when someone has something in their teeth but they don't want to embarrass the person by being too obvious and just saying you have an enormous wad of disgusting green stuff in your teeth clean it out before I throw up. You know: you got a little...*pointing shyly* um...nearly..um.

Yay me!


Monday, November 27, 2006

For those about to rock

I was never a metal girl. The closest I ever got was having a friend in year 9 who was a self proclaimed metal chick. She wore a lot of black, not that that means anything - I wore a lot of black too. Though, she also wore leather cuffs with studs on them and black lipstick. She also drew the tattoos she was going to get when she was 18 in pen up her arm. Bingo. She was really nice but I have no idea why she was friends with me. We were very different - friendship clique wise. I mean, I think I wore a scunchie in my hair back then and maybe I chewed gum in class once in a while but that was IT.

Anyway, the point is that when I went to see Metal: A Headbanger's Journey at The Kino the other night I was not quite expecting to be as enthralled as I was. It was the music fandom that drew me in. If you are a fan of music of any genre you must see this documentary. I insist. Probably the closest idea of metal I have is watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure a million times as a teen, but despite this shortcoming I almost wet my pants in glee while watching the doco - I just got it.

Basically the movie takes an anthropological and sociological approach to the history of Heavy Metal music: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal etc. If it had guitars in it and one of the lead singers had scraggly hair, then you can bet it was mentioned in this documentary. Sam Dunn, the writer and director was something that only a true fan could be thorough and passionate. I loved the charts and the interviews and the journey he took the audience on - from the UK to the US and of course to Norway - home of the most outrageous and threatening brand of death metal.

The whole thing got me thinking about where I stood on the metal family tree. I like and have liked many songs by bands that could be constituted as metal - Kittie, ACDC, Poison, Guns and Roses, Twisted Sister, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, but somehow I have totally escaped being part of the subculture and being totally drawn in by the bands themselves. I mean, I was a Led Zep fan but that had nothing to do with metal..not for me anyway (and it's a matter for a later MM anyway, so I won't go on about that). Sam Dunn brings up the idea that if metal fever hasn't got you yet, you won't ever get it. I guess my interest in most of these bands were fleeting or superficial. Another thing Sam Dunn brought up was that the world of Heavy Metal is a twisted and complex web with many styles of music interacting with the genre of metal and creating new and interesting genres.

The part of metal that actually does interest me from a fan perspective is arguably not even metal anyway, and more 'hard rock'. Funnily enough I spent my teen years hating this band - unlike the rest of the population I might add. They did nothing for me at all. In fact I only started taking them remotely seriously only about 6 or 7 years ago. They are an Australian institution - legend...bogans. I'm talking ACDC. I was talking about the boys with bro a couple of weeks ago. Do you think that ACDC are bogans? I asked. Bro answered in true bro style Yeah, but they do bogan with style. I'm not quite sure what that means but there's something in it. Perhaps the difference between a hardcore bogan and a stylish bogan is talent. I don't know.

My choice for today's Musical Monday is a wonder. When I finally stopped hating ACDC I wondered what the hell took me so long to love them? And truly, it was this song that did it. I can't even remember what made me take notice in the first place but when I did, I felt it somewhere in the styled bogan part of me that might have been repressed for far too long or maybe it was a case of I was blind and now I see. Whatever it was, if you haven't sipped from the ACDC goblet yet I hope your cup overfloweth today and if you've already had your share then you'll already know what a goodie this is.

Back in Black - ACDC

And also, because I just can't resist. Here's one for any Aussies who were ever in school in the 70s/80s. It may be a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll, but if you're in school and in the know then it's obviously a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll (or chiko roll - depending on what side of the tracks you were from).

It's a Long Way to the Top (if you want to Rock and Roll) - ACDC


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh, Moses, Moses! You stubborn, splendid, adorable fool!

I was rather perturbed by the lack of sausage sizzle at the polls at the local primary school on election day. Is it not written into our laws that there must be a bang up sausage sizzle at every election poll complete with burnt onions, shredded tasty cheese, lots of sauces of all varieties served by women wearing fluoro parachute tracksuit bottoms? No? Well perhaps it should be. Instead they had a cake stall - NO LAMINGTONS! Cake stall with no lamingtons? I don't even know what to say about that except that it was a disgrace.

The thing I like about election day is walking into the general area and childishly refusing to accept any of the liberal or national party pamphlets but accepting all on the communist party ones. What? We don't have a pinko communist party in this state? Well where the hell do I sign up to start one? Anyway, while standing there doing my civil duty by ticking the little boxes, that I add many an early suffragette had to FIGHT FOR the right for women to do so I always get the urge to pop my head over into the next booth and ask them who they're voting for. If someone did that to you, would you answer?

Anyway, the candidates - as I mentioned were all of the blander than bland variety. These days there is a fine line between what constitutes a conservative party and a progressive one. Are they all the same with different frosting on top (had to bring the cakes up again somewhere)? I gotta say - probably. In any case, IMO the best man for the job won yesterday (and by that I mean, well better than the other guy anyway). Maybe in a few years there will be another best wo/man that is of a different persuasion but for now I'm glad that a party that actually considers education, health and worker's rights to be paramount to creating a great state got the job. Whether they keep their promises is another thing entirely.

Steve Bracks, the labor leader mentioned in his victory speech that his winning (yet again) had a lot to do with people not liking the IR laws. Basic run down for those not in the know - the IR laws are one of the most evil things to happen to this country in a long time. You know that scene in The Ten Commandments movie where Moses becomes a slave and he's is shackled up in chains and forced to pull heavy sandstone (?) like a common mule until he has no energy so he collapses with exhaustion? Then the slave drivers, of course, in true dramatic style start whipping Moses while he's down. Well, that's what the IR laws mean to the common worker in this country. Am I exaggerating? Okay, maybe a bit. ;) But not much.

Peter Costello, our federal treasurer came right back on Steve Bracks' claims about the no one liking the IR Laws with an intelligent and well thought out response of nuh uhhhhhhh, You should shut yo mouth before I tell John Howard on youuuu!. Lovely, I love politics.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Peaceful Saturday

The day starts off quietly as most Saturday mornings in the city do. Melbourne is still wrapped in a peaceful blanket and rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Overlooking the Yarra River while sipping their espresso type people are already wearing their sunglasses in face of the unusually bright sunny morning. It is not quite crisp but not quite warm yet either - somewhere in between, but I've got the air conditioner on anyway - I like things fresh. I turn the wheel this way and that, under the bridge, through the mall frequented by those early morning sightseers and across this city which seems to be in continual refurbishment: The scaffolding like a suit of armor around many of her landmarks.

By the time I've finished my errands and do the drive back through the smooth quiet streets there is a small crowd gathered outside the old pub on the corner of Flinders and Russell. They are leaning against the bricks, propped with signs and giving very good scowls. Jesus invites everyone to the table one sign says. I smile thinking that it only sat 13 anyway. Other signs tell far more blatant messages condemning the G20. The police look on from behind their barricades with a practised indifference. One is learning against the water barrier with both arms, a stoic expression on his face. He's been here before, I can tell and I do a double take because I haven't. It's beginning to warm up now and the sun is being filtered through the leafy part of Finders Street making bright irregular patterns on the footpath and road below. People are smiling and strolling past, some walking hand in hand and gazing around in wonder, others rushing past the NGV with their hands in their pockets. You'd be hard pressed to find a person that cares today, I think to myself.

R.O. and I catch up for lunch. She is missing the city, with its hustle and bustle. Country NSW is a long way off - and Brisbane, the nearest big city just makes her miss Melbourne more. She's sick of the quiet, peaceful serenity of waking up to an eyeful of blue seaside each morning and perfect weather. The lack of stress is making her stressed. I think it sounds divine...for a while anyway. We share little anecdotes about our days apart. I think she'll be back soon.

Later that evening I'm treated to that hustle and bustle when I try to make my way back into the city. Every way in has been blocked off, and the sound of sirens can be heard in the distance. A throng of disheveled people make their presence felt by shouting about fascism and capitalism - but the message gets lost somewhere beneath the drum beats. A young girl rides on her bike holding up a sign admonishing "terrorist capitalists". Further into the city are puddles of broken glass and other bits left over from the riot. I guess people started to care after all.

The police look calm and collected, like the beast has been tamed - many of them have their hands on their hips as they patrol the outskirts of the city, many more control the traffic. I catch one of them, on his own absentmindedly fiddling with this walkie-talkie and looking at the protesters near parliament house with a wistful little smile on his face. Maybe he used to be part of that crowd, maybe he still is, somewhere inside - maybe he doesn't quite agree with the way of the world either. I catch his eye and he winks.

The next day a newspaper reporter wonders who these hippies are and indeed where do they disappear when these events are over? "They're" probably putting a parking ticket on your car right this minute, mate.


Thursday, November 23, 2006


The good thing about being off sick from work is being in your pajamas all day long and not feeling guilty about it - not even one bit. Okay, it is true that I pretty much spend all my holidays in my pajamas and not feeling guilty at all (if is there any outfit that is better than yer pjs then I wanna hear about it) but, it's nice to have an excuse anyway.

I knew I was sick because half was through my lessons on Tuesday I thought, fuck me if I talk, I'll throw up all over the kids. So I stopped talking and at the end of the lesson when little miss wanna be teacher's pet came up to tell me that we didn't get all the sewing needles* back I didn't care. She could have come up to me and told me that there was a kid EATING needles and I wouldn't have cared. I was so nauseous I couldn't see straight. Luckily at that moment the Italian teacher walked past like a knight in shining armour (except he was in shorts, t-shirt and long socks - whyyy?) and I explained my predicament while holding my hands over my mouth and running for the loo (on the other side of the school, of course). I can't think of a job where it is more of a pain in the arse to be sick at than teaching (okay, maybe if you were fighting in a war and you couldn't stop sneezing while you were on a stakeout then it'd be a bit stressful - does one go on stakeouts during the war? I have no idea).

Since then I have been making good friends with the toilet seat and crap TV. Yay me. Still, being sick is actually more fun than teaching the grade 5/6s sorry to say.

Things I have been doing while sick

* Watching my DVD of The Henderson Kids, which was my all time favourite show (after Neighbours and Family Ties and maybe Charles in Charge, err..also Growing Pains..okay I was a total TV whore) in the 80s.

* Finally finished watching Weeds (oh no, I'm going to have to cross Martin Donovan off my TV boyfriend's list. He turned out mean :( boo). And starting on Heroes (perhaps am still a TV whore).

* Sleeping

* On the email to friends who are at work Soooo, whatcha doing?

* reading blogs, why don't you guys update more often? Geez!!!!!

* Feeling guilty about reading blogs all day and getting irrationally angry because they are not updated enough.

* Listening to the Ipod (Everybody was Kung Foo Fighting, deedeedeedeedoodoodededoo).

* Thinking I'm well enough for ice-cream and then finding out I'm not.

* Two hours later: Maybe I'm okay for ice-cream now ...Nope, I'm not.

* Playing the "if I won a million dollars on the tattslotto what would I buy?" game.

* Doing that thing where I look at something in the room and close one eye and switch eyes. Camera one, camera two, camera one, camera two.

* contemplating disappearing from existence by taking a holiday in December/Jan. Somewhere not hot. ugh.

Aaaand that's about it really. As you can see I lead a very full and exciting life.

*Incidentally I almost failed sewing when I was in school. I can't sew for SHIT and now I'm teaching others to sew! Actually now that I think of it, some of the kids in the grade were better than me at it!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Oh noes, Ian Thorpe called a press conference yesterday to come out of the closet (finally) but instead announced his retirement! What-What? How did that happen? I had my glitter face gel and copy of Alicia Bridges' I like the Night Life all ready to go in the CD player, I was that excited but what happened instead? No dice! I should have known, after all he is ancient at 24 and wears too much hair gel to ever really cut through the water like he once did - also there was that little problem with eating fast food and partying hard with the who'swho in Hollywood. Anyway, at least he came up with a good reason for throwing in the chlorinated towel - citing boredom at staring at black line all day among other things. Luckily none of us ever get bored at work and feel like throwing the towel in by 24. Err! Actually, it's very Australian, now that I think of it.

As demonstrated in other posts of mine you will realise just how devastated I am by the news. What shall we do without him? Can the Australian swimming team go on? Will shares in hamburgers suddenly rise when Ian takes up on a steady diet of them? Is he going to being the face of pearl necklaces (hahaha) in that sponsorship gimmick? Will he continue being Australia's premiere fashion doyen? Oh lord, so many things to worry about! At least the rest of the world now has a chance to win a couple of gold medals in the pool every now and again.

Speaking of wusses the Victorian election race is hotting up for the big boom this weekend. Everyone is complaining about how much they hate the bullshit that goes on during the political race and dislike the childlike name calling and shin kicking that goes on, but I disagree. I LOVE it. I wish every month was political election month. There's so much to see and do. There's the political mudslinging: Ted Ballieu helped secure the sale of Victorian schools during the 90s and then profited from their sale? Now if that isn't evil, I don't know what is! Personal mudslinging: Ted Baillieu's mother in law discovered with a huge billboard for the Labour party (her son in law Ted Baillieu is the Liberal president) in her front yard. Hilarious! Gimmicks involving wearing too tight speedos while trying to prove what a trooper you are. Not a good look Mr Baillieu, ever! Come to think of it Mr Bracks, you are guilty of this too. Gimmicks involving other people wearing bathers as they confront you about your crappy environmental politics. Oh yes Mr Bracks, did you have any answer for her at all? Ahh, there is so much to laugh about during this time. It's hard to know what to read first in the paper actually

It's no big secret that politically speaking I'm a dirty tree-hugging hippy. I am not that impressed by political candidates who have a fuck load of money, a la Ted Baillieu. I don't think those kinds of people can ever identify with the common people who struggle with day to day living. Yes, that would be MOST of us. Plus he has his fingers in too many business shares for my liking. What's going to happen when a political decision conflicts with a business one - oh right, the War in Iraq happens. Unacceptable! That's not to say that I have completely demonised him or anything - some of the things he says make perfect sense (gay unions okay. yay! Ian Thorpe will be rapt!). But something is NQR about him. The problem is, there is also something NQR about Steve Bracks (the Labour party president) too. Sigh.


Monday, November 20, 2006

I'm lost in my words; I don't know where I'm going

I've already done a Musical Monday on Air (French Band) some months ago. They're one of my favourite electronic artists. You may have heard their music in the movies The Virgin Suicides, for which they did the score and Lost in Translation to which they devoted a song or two. Every time I listen to them part of me wants to take off for a space adventure on a rocket ship - which I suppose is exactly the ambiance of their sound - spacey, melancholy, mood music. Yeah, I know - rock music's worst nightmare. But don't worry, I like my rock just as much, thank you.

This particular song The Vagabond is from their album 10,000Hz Legend and features Beck. I've listened to this album a lot and like all my favourite music it was my good friend for a while. Sometimes music takes on a personality and becomes more than a tune it becomes a part of you. That's how I always felt anyway. There are a lot of songs I've picked up along the way in my funny old life that are "my songs" and this is but one of them. From listening to 10,000Hz Legend it was The Vagabond that spoke the loudest to me and I think it is just sublime - yes, even though I hated it at first (it's the harmonica that did it - the enemy to my ears). There was something about the lyrics that drew me in though, I just identified so much and for a while it became my theme tune. After that, I saw the harmonica as the perfect accompaniment to the melody and lyrics. How can you not have a "vagabond" without a harmonica anyway?


Sunday, November 19, 2006

the other side

We size each other up with nervous smiles on our faces - which is what tends to happen on first meetings. The questions I want to ask are inappropriate; my, those muscles are big - how often do you work out? and of course tell me everything about this family that no one ever talks about. The thing about these kinds of gatherings for me is that this side of my family is a mystery - every time I meet someone they are completely new, on a fleeting visit and usually unable to speak English so communication apart from hand gestures are out. One side gives me nightmares. The other side is an unknown quantity. This 'other side' are the side I never met, hear about, or even know the names of. Generations past of grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts and cousins I wouldn't know how to address if I ever met them - though so many have passed on. People I wouldn't know how to contact, even, baring names I can't pronounce and speaking a language I only ever heard through screaming conversations in through the phone line, circa 1987. Long distance. Telecom.

But here is one of them - who has not seen my mother in over 50 years and I am fascinated by the strong familial traits he and my mother share, the eyes are the same, the mouth is the same the expressions are ..uncannily the same. The traits have been diluted through my brother and I though - hardly in existence anymore - like the family itself. They speak at each other in broken English interspersed with the mother tongue. Leaving me clutching to the tail end of a conversation suddenly turned confusing.

I listen to the nostalgic recollections about the old monastery that was ruined by the communists and the brothers who lived there and made handmade cheese by a secret recipe; sold to the French after the war. Funny stories about my uncle building unique wooden sleds and sending my mother hurling down a snowy hill at a high speed, causing her to break her nose from the crash at the bottom. Family wars over soccer teams, with team colours painted on the trunks of trees outside the homes of non-supporters just to test their ire, and of course the ever explosive diatribes about political life in post war Europe. Everything is still emotional and things get personal very quickly for the inhabitants when a country is ruined and torn apart.

I try to build a memory bank of these things so that one day I have a reference point as to who I am.

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Friday, November 17, 2006


Last night I had a dream that I sat down to dinner with my extended family, cousins, aunts, uncles etc and they all proceeded to tell me the things they hated about me. It wasn't good. When I woke up I lay there in my bed with the covers pulled up around my chin blocking out the cold morning and thought about it for a long time. The dream was quite timely considering that there have been a few family issues lately that I've somehow gotten involved in without actually *getting* involved. Maybe that's the problem and I need to get *more* involved but to be honest, I can't see the point. It's all infighting about issues that are not going to be resolved, they haven't been for too many years already. Anyway- the family issues have made me feel a little insecure (read: feeling like shit) and while that fact was probably the starting point of the dream, it still doesn't explain the content.

Anyway, the dream felt so real and I know enough about myself to know that when I have those kinds of "real" dreams that it's something I need to take note of because there is something I need to change or that something is about to knock my world about. I was almost late for school because of it. I know that dreams are important because they are what your mind tells you without all those walls we put up during waking life - and that can be pretty terrifying. I've got to wonder whether these mean things I heard (in the dream) are the things I tell myself or whether others really think them about me. I'm pretty hard on myself - and noone has ever told me anything to my face that I haven't already told myself (but worse) in my head.

The dream has put me completely on the back foot. I can't stop thinking about it.

Do you ever feel that sometimes no matter what ever you do, or say, or be it just won't be 'good enough' for some people?

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006


There's something about teaching that keeps your neurons firing. I've learnt a great many things from children, probably learnt more from them than they've learnt from me to be completely honest.

It's been hailing on and off all day (didn't we just come off a heat wave?) - each break brings with it a sliver of blue sky and a touch of glare behind the heavy grey snow cloud laden sky. Around lunchtime was when it hit the worst out our way. Big sultana sized globes of white ice firing down from the heavens making everything white below. I couldn't speak over the sound of it without shouting.

Immediately 23 or so little feet bounded towards the windows and they all stood there squealing and shouting and staring at the strange sight outside. I tried in vain to round them all up again. Back to work they went, painty palate knives still in their clenched fists but their eyes kept wandering towards the windows and their voices kept rising and rising until again they were all up and walking towards the windows. Again, I round them back up like some kind of kelpie keeping the herd together and keep doing it until I am frustrated, exhausted and ready to give up altogether.

Later, I asked the v.prin how his kids were during the storm. He laughed and explained how ridiculous, loud and bouncy they were, like mine. I asked him what he did to counteract that. I just said "bugger it" and let them all go and watch the storm out the window. That's what they really wanted to do and we weren't going to get anything done while the storm was going anyway. After the storm we went on with what we were doing before.

Lesson #1: You can't fight the rip - it's too strong. Swim diagonally with it, but never against it or you're a goner.

I spent my lunchtime in the resource room laminating art prints. Not exactly a fun way to spend your time. Laminating is excruciatingly slow business. I am the girl who is constantly running into sliding doors because they don't open fast enough! I don't do too well with slow stuff. Anyway, lately I can't quite seem to get ahead of my workload. Every time I look around there is something new to add to my ever-growing list - perhaps I should stop looking the hell around then, eh? But I digress.

In this laminating process I'm mounting prints (don't be rude) to coloured board and then putting them in the sheath (err) and sliding them through the hot, tight slit (um - this doesn't sound quite right). Okay, it's not as exciting as that. It's just boring, frustrating and time consuming. M, the teacher who wrote me that nice note the other day happened to be walking past the resource room and saw me muttering to the laminator while simultaneously flipping my hair out of my eyes and giving every art print the evil eye. Obviously I am a very composed person whose body language never gives them away. She walked in and offered to give me a hand. I smiled and said no. I hate inconveniencing people. When it comes to asking for help I am decidedly male about it all (stubborn and stupid - sorry guys but you know you are - plus I am lumping myself in with you). She insists on helping me. I insist that she go enjoy her lunch break. Once again she insists and I, by this stage am completely frustrated and am ranting like Dame Looney Madwoman about how it's important for her to have her damn lunch break and this is a one woman job blahblahblah.

She just gives me the 'you're dumb' look (I get it a lot) grabs the prints and says that if I don't tell her what to do she's just going to start cutting them up and sticking them on any old way. I finally relent and M is left to mount the prints and put them in their little sleeve while I put them through the laminator and cut off the excess plastic. We're talking and laughing and making jokes and we're done in no time.

lesson #2. Sure it might take a strong character to reign me in, but its okay when that happens once in a while. Sometimes I just need to let others help me out. It's easier and it's funner (made up word).

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

oh my ..

*sliding up to me*
...*looking over shoulder*
Looks like you're going to get your budget
...all of it
Yes, even the media centre. They were very impressed with your proposal. It was a good one.
But you didn't hear it from me.

*walks away*


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Monday, November 13, 2006

Moo-sical Monday

If someone had asked me a year ago why I thought it was that men leave women and never come back, I would have said this:

New Cow.

New-Cow is short for New-Cow theory, which is short for Old-Cow-New-Cow theory, which, of course, is short for the sad, sorry truth that men leave women and never come back because all they really want is New Cow.

Animal Husbandry - Laura Zigman

A few years ago I read one of those chick-lit books that struck a chord. At first I laughed it off as typical paranoid woman's business, but then the thought that though it might not be true it certainly sounded true, and felt true, and wait - men all around me kept reaffirming that it was true with the things they kept doing and saying to me, in just a 'wink wink nudge nudge - don't tell the girls this but I'm going to let you in on a little secret' type of way..and I thought. Oh Jesus, maybe it *is* true:

Are men always on the look out for the "new cow"?

The book Animal Husbandry is fiction but it does reference a man called Glen Wilson (whose ideas I don't necessarily promote as my own) who wrote The Great Sex Divide: A Study of Male-Female Differences. The book looks at how basic biological differences between males and females have had important evolutionary and social impact on the genders. And according to Glen, it all comes down to this:

The males of most mammalian species have a definite urge towards seeking variety in their sexual partners. If a male rat is introduced to a female rat in a cage, a remarkably high copulation rate will be observed at first. Then, progressively, the male will tire of that particular female and, even though there is no apparent change in her receptivity, he eventually reaches a point where he has little apparent libido. However, if the original female is then removed and a fresh one supplied, the male is immediately restored to his former vigor and enthusiasm.

And that's that.

And that is also the starting point of the New Cow Theory in Laura Zigman's book. Here, the main character reads an article in the science section of the newspaper about The Coolidge Effect which "describes the re-arousal of a male animal by the introduction of a new female" (click that link and take note of the male ejaculate graph). She generalises this to explain the curious and infuriating behaviour of all men who leave women for seemingly no good reason like: "it's just not going to work" or "I have commitment issues".

I think the premise of the theory was that men say they 'fall out of love' citing incompatibilities or just a general feeling that it's not right. Which they do believe to be true. It's not a lie. BUT really it all comes down to this subconscious biological imperative for 'new cow'

The book goes blahblahblah until at the end something nice happens and all is resolved and explains that perhaps the New Cow Theory is just about women being paranoid: Men really do love us and want to stay with us forever even when we don't shave our legs everyday and get a bit pudgy and wrinkly and grumpy and ...they realise we are just human, just like them. Love trumps biology.

...or does it?

But even after all that I was left still thinking about The New Cow Theory. Why did I think about it? Well, I guess it's because I keep hearing over and over and OVER again from men themselves that men are polyamorous creatures - not suited to monogamy at all (honey) - it's nothing personal, it's just biology, so stop trying to pretend we're monogamous and let's just fuck already! I keep reading it on blogs written by men. I read about it in scientific studies and it keeps being reaffirmed in the actions of men around me both in the public eye and not.

I know there are theories that dispute the The Coolidge Effect and some animals find a mate for life and indeed - if we're thinking that women don't leave then we're really wrong. Women leave plenty. They also cheat. But do we cheat for different reasons? Maybe the men who find one mate for life are like the male species that mate for life - rare. And so I am left with one burning question;

In 50 years time, are we going to see any 50 year marriages? Or have all the bulls found new cows by then?

What do you think? New Cow Theory - truth or bullshit?*

Here's some thinking music - which is from the movie Someone Like You, starring Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd - and is the film adaptation of the book Animal Husbandry.

The song is Absolutely Cuckoo by The Magnetic Fields - and it has been the reason for my secret smile this week. It's one of those quirky, lovable, whimsical melodies with lyrics that I've fallen in love with and have decided to print out and wear as a sandwich board. It's only fair.

Absolutely Cuckoo - The Magnetic Fields

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* Or is this one of those questions that
-people in love say "bullshit"
-people not in love say "maybe"
-people who have been jilted say "send 'em all to the Big Mac factory"?

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

You'd think people would have stopped caring by now!

To the people who are still fucking well searching for Axel Whitehead + penis + arias in google hoping to get a squizz at Axel's enormous hot throbbing cock but instead coming up with my blog,



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Saturday, November 11, 2006


Isn't it funny how the bad things that happen stick out in our head? I know for me, when things go wrong I go through my mental filofax and pick out all those things that have almost destroyed me and replay them over and over again until I feel even worse. I reaffirm how crap I am by relying on the bad memories to support my inadequacies instead of the good. But shouldn't it be the nice things that are on file for instant replay? I have to admit, that apart from a certain notable, I am always the first in line to tear myself down.

When I was in year 12 our psychology class made warm/fuzzies about each other. It's where you write something about everyone in the grade and at the end you have a envelope full of warm/fuzzies about you written by your classmates. Our teacher said that whenever we feel that life is beating us down we should open the envelope and read about the nice things about ourselves. Sometimes you need to be told, instead of telling yourself. It's been 11 years but I still have that envelope. It's not full of anything life-affirming or even deep but they do give me a warm/fuzzy feeling when I read over them and yes - every few years I do. Even though I don't speak to 90% of those people anymore, it still makes me feel happy to read them. There are also a few cards and things from kids that I've kept which also are part of that 'envelope'. Those good things, they're there yes - it's just more of an effort to access them than the bad stuff. I don't know why.

Sometimes this journal is like that envelope. Every so often, I might read over warm/fuzzy entries I've written or come across a comment that one of YOU guys made and it gives me a little buck up. Maybe I don't have the resources to deal with things properly, so that's why they're important to me - but they are. So thank you.

And here's something for my future warm/fuzzy - just so I know it ain't all bad, even when it feels like it is:

Yesterday, I was standing in the corridor talking to a teacher about my pop art display and feeling a little bad about what had happened with that parent when one of the kids I taught last year (the one who ranks up there with my favourite teaching moments when he finally wrote a sentence all by himself) comes up, buries his face in my middle and squeezes me tightly in a hug. He smiles up at me with his snotty little face, gives me a grin and then goes back to hugging. I totally melt. Then another kid comes up and joins in the hug. Then another. Then another. Then another. I am soon surrounded in a Georgian skirt made out of children. It made my day. I love hugs.

Then I got to the art room and M, the PE teacher had written me this lovely note about how she thought I was such an inspirational teacher and how my displays made her day and, and, and ...nice stuff. So I wrote her a little card back thanking her and letting her know how great she is. Another 'made my day' moment.

I need to put these ones in my little envelope I think.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

getting it off my chest

In this, what I laughingly call my teaching career I've had many a run in with a parent. It goes part and parcel with the territory of being an educator unfortunately. I've had a few dodgy moments in my time. When I was in the classroom there was the parent who came in shouting and abusing me while I was in the middle of a lesson, then the one who picked a fight with me in the school playground about which class her child was going to end up in next year, then the one who complained that her child wasn't doing well academically but refused to do any of the comprehensive homework plan I painstakingly made up for her and who could forget, my favourite - the one who stood outside the classroom just staring through the window for a few hours...every so often tapping on the glass and freaking out the children (and me) - until I had to get her 'removed'. In 5 years, that's not bad as a track record - in fact it's pretty good. You'd hear worse over morning tea in any staffroom any day of the week. No wonder teachers are among the most highly stressed of all workers.

Since taking on the art role however I've missed this crucial part of the teaching cycle - the parent involvement thing. Parents don't really care about what goes on in subjects that aren't Maths and English - so as the art teacher I fare pretty well in the 'stressed about parents' category. Whenever I see a parent these days they're always complimenting me on the wonderful art work or letting me know how much their child lives for art each week. What can I say? It's been a plethora of warm and fuzzys. That is, until today.

Today while standing on my tip toes (damn short genes) pinning up the kids' Pop Art inspired pieces of work up while trying not to fall over myself, one parent comes up and strikes up a conversation that I knew wasn't going to go well from her opening line.

Do you realise that when you don't put up a piece of artwork by every child at least once that it's a blow to their self esteem? You have no idea how damaging that is to a child.

Uh, excuse me? I think I stood there on my tip toes and arms raised in *artwork pinning up pose* with my mouth just hanging open not knowing what to say. What can you say to that anyway? My classroom and art room have always been one cheer away from a pep rally in terms of building up self esteem. I felt the pain of being not good enough one too many times as a child to not rectify that for other children as best I could as a teacher. I thought I was doing an okay job of it too. I'm thinking about this while the parent is now going on and on about how there are certain children (her child) whose artwork rarely goes up while other children have had their work up countless times (she named names) and why can't I rotate the work more often and give everyone a go in the limelight? While the prinicple for everyone being equal in having their work up is all well and good - it isn't going to work in the real world.

Hey, lady - how about this for an explanation? You child, although a talented artist is unable to produce anything that even resembles a finished piece of artwork. I don't put up pieces of work based on perceived talent - I put it up based on results and based on the amount of hard work someone puts in. If a kid is going to put in 150% on a piece of artwork and they truly tried their best then it's going up - end of story. Why would I spend my time following up on a piece of work in my time that should have been completed in the alloted time? I'm very clear about the work timeline - I give the children an outline of what I expect at the beginning - if they finish early then I'm okay with it. If they don't finish and they don't want to do their piece for homework then they know from the beginning that it ain't going up. Quite frankly with 4000 pieces of artwork coming through my art room in a year your child can only have as much time as I can allow - that is the same amount of time as any other kid has. How's that for fair?

Furthermore, I have a limited amount of space to use for our corridor galleries and a school to represent by the artwork I choose. We have parents, children, visitors, politicians and prospective parents coming through this school all the time - why would I put something up that looks anywhere close to being unfinished when I have over 400 pieces of other finished work to choose from? Guess what? All your children have been represented in the gallery anyway so stop trying to disguise your obvious jealousy of another child's talent and so called 'fame' by being a martyr for the unspoken masses of children who never get to have their piece of artwork up. I'm not buying it. Hey, say you find something better to do with your time than sitting around counting and keeping notes on who does and doesn't have their artwork up. Honestly how boring.

Not only do I not get enough time to rotate boards as much as I would like, I don't get enough time to do them for each piece of work we produce. This would be my after school and my before school and my weekend that I spend sorting through work, mounting it, presenting it, creating a display and putting it up here just like I'm doing now. Maybe I do need to create a database of all the children's work I see and display while I'm sorting through that big 4000, but until someone shouts me a secretary I can't quite see that happening. Say, since you've already taken note of it, maybe you can do that job for me?

But I didn't say this. I stood there nearly in tears and feeling like I was the worst teacher in the world. But there you go, finally my clean slate of art room run in with parents cherry has been broken
Go me.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006


It's Saturday morning and the traffic is gaining momentum. Already the chill is beginning to settle over the city - moving downwards in a slow drizzle of rain across Racecourse Rd. I am standing near a dodgy looking kebab shop trying to avoid the rain and doing my favourite thing; people watching - disguised as looking for a place to have breakfast. Race day is always a fine day for it.

The early morning crowd is finding their way to the station - walking in packs as they do on days such as today; the boys club, the marrieds, the girls. The boys are wearing un-tucked expensive shirts with a faint purple tinge, or pink, or blue, their top buttons undone and their hair styled in gravity defying coifs or hats worn fashionably low over the forehead, like Bogey - but less dangerous. The men are in silk ties and single breasted suits with their hands in their pockets, or juggling their girlfriend's handbag, looking a mixture between uncomfortable and impatient.

A group of women huddled together against the cold tap past in unison. I can't decide whether they look glamorous or are just trying too hard. The fascinators seem to be getting bigger every year and it's not a look that appeals. I look down and chuckle to myself at their footwear (but they're so comfortable, I swear!). The comments do nothing to convince, only to amuse, but the shoes do their work - they look pretty good. Overall, the raceday look for women is as always inappropriate if done wrong and these girls in their too skimpy, slightly trashy, almost nightclub attire looks very wrong. Very, very wrong - but the boys will love it - so you take the good with the bad. One particular girl stands out from the rest - wearing a red dress, simple and modest, but you can tell the material is fine. She has a group of flowers in her hair pinned at the side of her bun, not a stiletto to be seen and no fascinators either. She is a vision - sexy and understated - a flamenco dancer in a sea of nightclub go-goers.

I am fighting to stay beneath the shop awning now as the fine mist coming down from the sky begins to gain strength. The groups of race day goers win by sheer numbers and I am forced to abandon my little post for the harsh reality of the wet footpath. The only place worth eating at is a little cafe on the corner - part bookstore, part eatery. It is comfortable, warm and friendly - and I feel as though I could sit and people watch all day long, undisturbed, from my little vantage point near the window.

I watch the waitress struggle to keep up with her orders - sorry, was that a sausage or a hashbrown?, listen to the cook laugh heartily and find myself sneaking peeks at the long legged man in the chair diagonally opposite. How he folded himself neatly into such a small space and still maintain a sense of quiet confidence is beyond me. He is certainly the biggest presence in this small cafe. I watch him smile to himself as he scribbles something in his notepad. Perhaps he is writing a book, a memo, a love letter or a shopping list. By now, I've learned to do this without the aid of writing materials. Mental notes on everyday, mundane happenings - which are always extraordinary to no one but me tend to stick in my head these days. Every so often the man looks up and out the window at the groups of race goers. He shakes his head and smiles to himself and then intently scribbles something else. He's obviously new at this. Give him time and he'll be able to write those fine details without a pen too.

The drizzle stops and the man, finishes off the last of his coffee, gathers the tools of his trade together and walks out of the cafe. I make a mental note to remember him.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Top Ten TV Boyfriends

I was over at Cafrine's neck of the woods and came across a great post about her top ten TV boyfriends. That would be the boyfriend that doesn't actually exist - but the one you sort of wish did. Never being one to resist the pull of trashy pop culture I couldn't resist but do it too. So here they are - in no particular order my top 10 TV boyfriends. I've tried to vote for characters rather than actors...

DEA Agent Peter Scottson from Weeds -(Played by Martin Donovan)- Okay, it's no big secret that I have a big crush on Martin Donovan anyway (as evidenced by my man crush post a million years ago) - but hey, I like persistence in a man and this character had it so hello officer!

Diver Dan from Sea Change - (played by David Wenham). I know, I know! He's totally inappropriate boyfriend material. He was a bit of a layabout, smartarse, not sure what he does for a living...or even if he MADE a living but he was intelligent, confident, great with kids, didn't take any shit from that lawyer woman, an environmentalist and totally stuck it to the man (not in a gay way) every chance he could. Perfect!

Tom Sloane from Daria - (voice by Russell Hankin). So he's a cartoon. What's wrong with that? Okay, it's a bit sad - but I like comic type boys - especially ones who are super intelligent, understanding and kind. Also, he totally falls for the geeky girl. That is TOTALLY cool.

Mr Darcy from 1995 BBC Mini Series: Pride And Prejudice - (played by Colin Firth). He came out of the lake and his shirt was wet. Do you understand how great he looked? (okay this picture highlights the sideburns instead of his great beauty but you get the picture). Apart from all his faults (and there are plenty) in the end he gets it together and shows strength of character by standing by the woman he loves. God that's hot! Am convinced that real Mr. Darcys do not exist and we are all stuck with horrid Mr Wickhams instead. That is why so many women are obsessed with Mr. fucking Darcy (or fucking Mr Darcy, as it may be).

Chris Stevens from Northern Exposure (played by John Corbett). He was the wise and lyrical radio guy with a social conscience, mighty easy on the eyes and looks like you could lean against him and he wouldn't crumble. What more can a girl ask for?

Dr Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap (played by Scott Bakula). Yeah, he's not really one of those types of guys that sticks around is he? And yet, a genius, a romantic, a bit of a dork and a total hero. Love it!

Xander Harris from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (played by Nicholas Brendon). Yeah, okay it's not a full on crush but it's there. He's not that lucky in love, he has no superhuman powers, he's a total dork and he got his eye gouged out. Um. But hey he's funny, he's loyal, he's a great friend and he's totally human. Humans are good.

Jon Stewart from The Daily Show. Sarcastic wit - LOVE IT.

Rube Sofer from Dead Like Me (played by Mandy Patinkin). There is one fatal flaw in this man - he's a grim reaper. Apart from that I admit that there aren't many redeeming qualities. I have nothing to say about it except that Mandy Patinkin gives me the horn in pretty much everything he does, I can't help it... even if he does have a girls' name.

Anton Enus from SBS News. Finally a male "eye candy" newsreader under the age of 50 (sports journos do NOT count - as anything -, sorry). Sure, he's GAY - but that somehow makes me love him more. I always stop to watch when he's on.

Honorable Mentions:
janitor from scrubs - I just love him!
Chris Farley from Saturday Night Live - not sure if I was allowed to include him since he actually IS dead, but hey, again LOVE him, plus he makes me laugh.
Mal Reynolds from Firefly - anti-hero hero.
Kel from Kath and Kim - I think this is my love for Glenn Robbins coming through. Kel is one of those truly good souls of this world. So he's a bit of a dag, but at least he's a prince in polyester.
Magnum PI - Tom Selleck I admitted this at a conversation at a wedding once (embarrassing TV crushes was the topic) - yeah, I got laughed at BIG TIME.

[I promise this is my last pop cult list/post for a while]

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Breaking News: Lionel Wins The Showdown!

Fuck that midday thing, I'm going to go right ahead and declare that Lionel Richie is the winner of the Musical Monday Showdown by two votes. Thank you for helping me make my decision - trust me when I say that I've been thinking about this one for years. Now, when someone asks me who I think should be executed for the other to live and prosper under musical Armageddon I will answer with complete confidence - Billy Ocean.

Anyway, that was exciting but back to the normal old drivel.

I have this doona cover that I swear gives me weird dreams. It's a deep claret colour and it's made from quite a heavy fabric. I don't know if the heaviness of the cover affects how I sleep, or the colour puts me in a mood ripe for craziness - maybe it's because it was cursed by Satanists (I hear this can happen at the Sheridan factory) - I don't know. But whatever it is, I sleep like a rock and have fucked up dreams whenever I plant myself under it.

Last night I dreamed that our crappy 3 minute movie from the movie project was being made into a real Hollywood movie directed by Stephen Spielberg. Admittedly, they had to pad the storyline out somewhat in order to make it to the regulation 90min extravaganza (actually that's weird since SS's movies are usually an excruciating 3 hours long these days - without needing to be may I add - maybe he didn't want to waste 3 hours on a crappy kids movie eh?) - but I never expected them to pad it out quite so interestingly. Anyway, suffice to say, shooting took a wrong turn in the scene where Jack Nicholson leaves "my grandmother" (err), pushes me up against the wall and has his nasty way with me. I remember thinking this isn't part of the script, and then it was on! He was talking the whole time, but I can't remember what he was saying. Then I woke up.

What the fuck? I mean seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?

Yesterday we had a report writing day at school. How much report writing do you really think I got done when there were lamingtons available all day in the staffroom and teachers to catch up with? I swear to God I spent the whole day either eating, checking my email or bitching to someone about why we even had to be there when it was obvious that everyone else in Melbourne was taking a four day weekend.

We had a staff meeting at the beginning of the day where we had to list our "wish list" for things to spend the excess left over from the budget. We do this every year. Every year we talk about what a great idea it would be to put a cover over the tennis courts so that PE could still happen on rainy days - every year we end up with some sort of beautification being done to the grounds instead. This year we'd obviously had it because day spa and winery ended up on the list.

Someone googled "metaphorical stories on bullying" the other day and came up with this journal. Gee, the guy/girl would have got here to find my little rant about Lionel and Billy. That would have been quite some letdown on his/her part - sorry to disappoint mate. Also sorry to disappoint all the anal sex fiends that find their way here after my little entry about the anal queen the other day. Should I put some other choice phrases on here just to see if anyone actually says hello? I wanna see who comes here for King sized butt plugs.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Life is full of full of endless possibility and choice. I think most of the everyday choices we make are ones made on the go - not too much thought goes into them. Toast or cereal? Unleaded or Unleaded Super? Hair up or Down? Cardigan or not? Other choices are never really reconciled, even after the decision is made Him or HIM? Voting for whom? Does she pass the grade or not?

Then there are the choices that never really seem to get made. They are the ones you deliberate over for a while, get exhausted from thinking about them all day and then finally shelve it into the 'too hard' category - only to bring it out again next time with the hope of finally settling the decision once and for all.

It doesn't happen and so you shelve it again.

But there is one decision, one choice that will be settled here and now and you're going to help me make it, in our first:


That's right folks, I'm going to ask you to make one damn hard hitting musical decision and if you're a music lover in any way shape or form you will have already deliberated over it anyway. Battle lines shall be drawn. If one has to be eliminated for the other to musically exist, which do you pick?


Both had hideous hairstyles, both are known for their love of the 'fine knit sweater top' (sometimes just sweater..not even finely knit), both had many hit singles here and abroad, one could even argue that there isn't enough room in the world for both Billy and Lionel. Why do we need both, when one would surely suffice? A cruel attitude yes, but life is cruel folks.

Life is cruel.

Lionel Richie born Lionel Rockman Richie Jr in Alabama, USA. Once a member of the popular 70s soul and Motown act The Commodores ("Once, Twice, Three times a Lady" - not quite sure what this means) - left his soul roots behind to go solo. After which he was dubbed by a critic (and I quote from his wiki) - "the black Barry Manilow" (not good, I take it).

As a solo act he had such hits as Dancin' on the Ceiling, Hello, Say you Say me, Endless Love (without which we would never have that great ice-skating scene from Happy Gilmore/ not to mention the You Tube extravaganza of the GW Bush, John Howard spoof) and the truly great All Night Long (All Night) ("let the music play on, play on, play on, play on").

Known for his "soul glo" hairstyle, rather fetching mo and endless supply of turtle neck tops (or skivvies as we call 'em Down Under). He supplied the world with (adopted daughter) Nicole Richie and without him the Michael Jackson song We are the World wouldn't have been as erm...something.

With that in mind, I present to you one of my personal all time favourites: All Night Long - Lionel Richie (which he put on rather an embarrassing Caribbean accent in order to sing - perplexing).

Billy Ocean born, Leslie Sebastian Charles in Trinidad (instant cool props and could explain why Lionel felt the need to Caribbeanize (made up word) his own song), but based in the UK. Started his early musical career as Les Charles. Obviously that went nowhere since no one has ever heard of "Les Charles" and so he cleverly adopted Billy Ocean and soon after entered musical stardom (eighties style).

Ocean is known for such hits as Love Really Hurts Without You, (which contains the great lyric: "you're givin' it to some other guy" - where *it* refers to 'hot sex', I imagine). Stay the Night, There'll Be Sad Songs to Make You Cry, Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run) (There's that Caribbean thing again!) Loverboy (one of the only 'English' songs featured in the Russian movie "Dolly" in the house party scene - am I the only one to have seen this movie? 80s/Soviet life/Gymnastics?... Also featured on a Jazzercise video tape of mine from 198something). When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going (We're talking from the movie "Jewel of the Nile" here), Suddenly, Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car (poignant) and the utterly forgettable Licence to Chill.

Billy is best known for his rather fetching white suits, writing songs for Latoya Jackson (for shame!), not being part of any known feeding the third world type songs and well..I can't explain this but it needs to be submitted to you, the jury as evidence anyway:

Is this a slap in the face to Lionel Richie's attempt at Caribbeanizing (made up word) himself in All Night Long? Is it simply his new look? Has he given up? Or is this the new cool? I'm confused. You must be too.

"I am twice the Caribbean you are!"

And so I present to you one of my favourites Loverboy - Billy Ocean (which contains the rather selfish lyric "gotta have your love, gotta have it, AAAAAALLL too myself").

Trivia from Wiki - AKA: Hey look they've both been made honourary somethings!
* Richie is a honorary member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans.

* In 2002, the University of Westminster awarded Ocean an honorary doctorate of music.

Don't throw your vote away on a third party folks: PICK YOUR LEADER - Lionel Richie or Billy Ocean (and no, you can't pick both, as attractive as that may sound - and you can't pick neither either). Remember, make your choice wisely as in this game one cannot exist while the other roams free. If you're THAT embarrassed about your mad gay (some think of both as ladies) love for Lionel/Billy then just answer anonymously or by email. I won't track you down.

Sorry wdky, I know you're shaking your head in horror - and yet you still must vote.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

fly on the wall.

I haven't written about her in a while even though that's why I originally started this journal, over a year old now - maybe I've just stopped noticing those idiosyncrasies that were once so appealing, or maybe I'm sick of writing. It's too hard. I don't know. Somehow tonight I'm taking note the nice things about her again. They way that the silence of the car park is broken by the sliding doors which open to warm friendly banter, broken Italian, syncopated footsteps and cars whooshing - people sounds. It's what makes the place come alive.

I'm standing behind a couple as we go up the smooth escalator - the one without steps. She is small with dreadlocks and a colourful scarf wrapped around her head and he is tall, lanky and neatly packaged behind shiny combed hair and sensible glasses. They laugh at some sort of in joke and I smile to myself. I like the juxtaposition - in high school they would have been mortal enemies.

As always I am late, not quite fashionably, more just plain old late - but I stop to look at the too expensive shoes in the window anyway before fighting my way through the cinema crowd and then linger to listen to the scraggly old man play Mozart on his violin outside the complex. There is quite a crowd gathered around him as he sways to his own playing, and even the dreadlocked girl and her unassuming friend are huddled together watching and listening as well. The melody drifts along the street getting caught in amongst the gentle sounds of the tyres along the road. Groups of people wander through the gathered crowd, glancing over their shoulders at the musician as they walk past. Urban classical, this music becomes, over the top of the traffic. I look at my watch and I too make my way through, past violin man and over the road to the restaurant where I can't hear him anymore.

Everyone is already waiting and I make my apologies as I sit down. There is quite a crowd in the place and a big one waiting outside too. I order some red - I don't usually drink red, but tonight it seems somehow right, besides I really need it. Bugger the headache. Everyone is talking loudly to counter the other patrons - it's a clinking, shouting, glass dropping, storytelling, boisterous laughter extravaganza. Everyone has their elbows on the table and is dipping their bread into their soups or sauces and talking with their mouths full. This is really how eating should be; involved, relaxed, enjoyable and social, non? Leave the white tablecloths and clinking crystal to the pompous arses. I like tables that have scratches and dents on the surface.

#2 has bought a house, G is worried that her job will become obsolete should there be a change in government and M is telling of how one of her students made a website detailing that they wanted to sleep with her. Teenage boys are dumb, we all agree.

We finally leave the restaurant and another group of girls hungrily grab our table. Our bizarro twins? Maybe. Everyone is talking at once as we make our way down the street, past the bookstore, past the bakery and over the road again. Violin guy is still playing his urban classical string melodies and they too meander behind us as we wander towards a suitable place for a coffee. So many endless possibilities.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Read About It.

Apparently tax payer funded ABC television is too left wing and something needs to be done about it.

What they could do is fund new shows that might work to address the so called imbalance that Aunty has by presenting a more right-wing or neutral agenda to stand alongside the pinko stuff. That might be an idea!
Hey, how about this?: They could axe a really popular show that actually rates well (unheard of on the ABC) that just happens to like poking fun at the War in (or is that ON?)Iraq and our Prime Minister and then pretend that it has nothing to do with politics or elections.

Nah, I'm not reminded by certain fascist book burning agendas last century at all. I'm not even thinking at all of the blacklisted Hollywood communist sympathisers of the golden era here...

Quite frankly, the way I see it - if you're in power then you have to expect that people will disagree with you and be vocal about it. I don't want to live in a world where it's not okay to be vocal about political matters. That's what politics is there for - to be challenged, argued, fought over, deliberated, thought about and voted over. We get nowhere if nothing is challenged. If anything it keeps people on their toes. Also importantly to our unique "Australianess" is making fun of politics. We are nothing if not old buggers when it comes to that kind of thing. We are rarely hand on the heart type people. For that to happen a sporting accolade must have been achieved or a sad passing of an old icon must have happened. These moments are earned not flashed about like they're going out of fashion. In between those rare moments we crack open the jokes. Is this so hard to understand?

Furthermore, if you are as much of a stupid arse as our Prime Minister then you deserve a good schlocking by any possible means. If you're also involved with this planet's dumbest excuse for a world leader in any way shape or form (in this case - as a lap dog) then you need to be reamed hard and proper. If you're going to be a dick and you're in the public eye then watch the fuck out. Them's the breaks. Yep - I have no problems with this - whether they be left wing, right wing or bloody KFC chicken wings.

I'm wondering if personal blogs/personal websites are going to end up as the only place where people can be controversial? Pirate media indeed. Arrrrr me hearties

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ash Wednesday

This morning I woke to an unfamiliar rat-a-tatting on the roof. I almost leaped out of bed with my stackhat on and called for the allies to come save me when I realised that the unfamiliar sound was actually the pattering of rain on the roof. Nothing better in the world than that sound. I can't remember the last time I awoke to such a glorious melody. We need the rain, no one needs to say it twice - but yet there were all were this morning in the staff room, gathered around the window and staring at it come down in even sheets turning everything shiny and slippery and remarking about how much we needed this. I could have lay in bed all day though, alternating between listening to the rain beat down while I bury my nose in a book or just dozing with the rain as a background track.

The man on the radio was talking about how this summer they are expecting bushfires to rival those of Ash Wednesday 23 years ago, when over 500,000 acres of forest, land and homes went up in flames and many lives were lost. I remember that day. Everyone had been talking about the bushfires for a while and in school we had been learning about what to do if there was a fire. Stop, Drop, Roll. I practised it a bit, just in case. On that Wednesday in February Mum had told me that I was to stay inside because outside was dangerous. It wasn't a suggestion - though not many things were in my family. My parents had certain expectations of our behaviour, end of story. I didn't really understand why, if the bushfires were so far away in the country that I couldn't go outside in Melbourne. But of course the smoke had already begun billowing around our way at this point. I was 5 or so and my curious short arse had pushed the kitchen stool over by the window so that I could climb atop see the orange haze settle over our fair city and turn the backyard dark and dusty looking. It turned the sky too dark for an afternoon - plus it was hot. Way hot. The trees in the backyard were just dark shadows behind the film and there was a faint musky smell in the air that had somehow permeated through the walls of our double brick home. I pressed my forehead against the glass (which I did a lot - as I recall) and wondered about fires and whether smoke was like clouds and you could dance around on top.

Never being a girl who liked taking orders, I climbed down off the chair, opened the creaky screen door with my little hand and stepped onto the balcony. I was wearing shorts and sandals. I remember this because my sandal was undone and I had to bend down to buckle it up again. I went and stood with my face pressed in between cool bar railings and watched the sun try to fight its way through the haze. Orange behind haziness - that's what I remember most about that day: The colours. I stayed there for a while, on the balcony in the silence of the afternoon and watched that fog-like haze in amazement.

Mum came out a while later hysterical and screaming at me to get inside.
Apparently there had been a search inside for me first and then a worry that I had somehow gone off and gotten lost in the smoke.
I got a spanking for disobeying.

We all ran outside squealing with excitement the next time it rained marking end of bush fire season. I'll never forget it.