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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Another Year...

What better way to start 2012 that to review one's imbecility of the last 12 months? Three events come to mind, but more will surely be add:

  1. In news which will surprise absolutely no one: I failed my first driving test. In my defence I had only had a few hours of lessons in the two months leading up to it, plus I ran over the curb in a very narrow laneway in Hampshire along the test route. Bah. All in all, only 8 errors though. My new teacher is called Prince and has explained the importance of having lessons in the lead up to a test rather than just showing up. He's probably right. Anyhow, I'm sure I shall eventually overcome, and it was good to get that first fail out of the way. Much like one's virginity.

  2. I have finally learnt how to ride a bike (after a childhood of such deprivation during which I never managed to get off training wheels). My friends decided to teach me on the August Bank Holiday Monday and unsurprisingly I was very good at it very quickly.

    After 15 minutes they decided it was safe to stop jogging along and holding onto my bike seat (not just because I was so good, but also because it looked a bit pervy with boy flat mate running along with his hand under my bottom). So they let me go. And I flew like the wind down a slightly descending path feeling like the QUEEN OF THE WORLD, until I spied a cyclist coming in the opposite direction and made a mental note not to plough into him. Naturally the bike started veering into him almost immediately.

    At this point I realised that my friends had neglected to teach me how to stop the bike and so I ended up smashing my face into his shoulder, knocking him off his bike and landing in a mangled heap between the two bikes and grazing my face in two places. Thankfully the bikes were okay.

    After buying me a calippo to ice my face and a soft serve to shut me up, my friends all ditched me to go cycling some more all "Hey, these bikes cost a pound an hour and I've got 40 minutes left". I need new friends.

  3. I finished a 20 mile Night Hike for chariddy in mid-September. In any such event there is always a low point. Mine was right at the start outside the Lloyd's building as i went to register.

    Some dude was putting on a jumper on the footpath with nary a care for any pedestrians who may also been using it. As I walked passed he put his arm through the sleeve with such force he sucker punched me in the face (right where I'd hit that cyclist in the shoulder as it happened).

    I turned around to give him a healthy serving of my mind but he had white hair and it's not a good look to abuse senior citizens even if they are selfish enough to get dressed in public and assault one, so I was full of unspent rage for the next hour, and therefore delightful company for all those around me. As usual.
Thankfully, the year ended with relatively little damage to my person. Except for the incident on Christmas Day, when I slipped at the top of some (carpeted!) stairs, launched myself in the air and landed flush on my arse half way down the staircase.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Clear and Present Danger

Dicky and I went gift shopping for the Miranda Devine wedding last week. Naturally, there was a DJ's Bridal Register to consult. But as it turned out we had left our run too late and six weeks out from D-Day, only the dregs are left: a white bath mat and a pistol-grip cheese knife. Sources say that all the "good" gifts had been snapped up 3 weeks after the invitations went out! Excuse me?? Who are these enthusiastic and organised wedding guests?!

Cue: a stricken dash around the CBD to the sound of Peer Gynt. Myer incidentally, was having one of its Biggest! Ever! Sale! in History! sales - can there be any greater scene of indignity than dozens upon dozens of women doing battle over bargain bins of underwear? I think not. Meanwhile, unable to find the wedding gift bargain bin, we stumbled across the most vulgar piece of glassware ever manufactured. Imagine, if you will, a thick round glass plate, from which rises a glass tube, a metre in height and 15 centimetres in diameter ending in a giant goldfish bowl attachment at the top. Bong or vase - who could tell? All I knew was that for a hundred bucks, the look on the bride's face would have been worth every cent. Against my better judgment, Dicky refused to have any part in the purchase of the bong vase, scapegoating his girflriend by saying that he'd promised her not to get any gag gifts. The rest of our search provided slim pickings. Chief among the candidates: a yellow tea pot covered with violets - kind of like your granny's nightgown, only in teapot form; and a lurid pink, butterfly shaped candy dish. As my levels of sanity are inversely proportional to time spent in homewares departments, only the fact that the groom is a cherished friend saved him from becoming the owner of a butterfly shaped candy dish.

We have settled on an Alessi platter - but not that ugly one with the little boy/girl shapes cut out of it. (MSB got one for his his birthday ages ago and it has pride of place in his living room so I can't censure it to his face but by god, it's ugly. For that same birthday, he also got a thin white tie from his girlfriend at the time. Boy, is he lucky I came along). Anyway, it's just as well we said "nay" to the candy dish because we've just been told that weddings gifts not bought off the register had to be white or beige to match the intended decor of their house! What the FUCK? How dare this woman drag our friend to live in a white and beige house? He, who dressed up as Henry VIII for his 21st complete with hose and wenches. He's not white and beige, he's red and gold damask! Speaking of, the groom is a huge anglophile and has a particular love for mediaeval English history. I had thought about getting him a jousting helmet from this cool store on George Street but I guess it wouldn't have been a gift they could both share. Unless they're into role-playing, of course. Arggghhh. *Stabs out mind's eye*.

This wedding must be stopped. And if it can't be, I will at least have a good bash at it. It would be damned negligent of me not to. I'm meeting him to interfere for dinner tomorrow night, so fingers crossed. Because friends don't let friends marry insipid, Miranda Devine loving milquetoasts. And friends generally don't stand idly by while friends do things which are liable to end in them becoming bitter and unhappy and dull as piss in a beige and white hell of their own making. Not without a fight!

UPDATE - 14 November 2006

Well, my powers of persuasion weren't what they used to be because the Miranda Devine wedding came and went. My friend explained at our dinner when I asked him (a) why he was getting married; (b) why was he marrying Fiancée Girl in particular and; (c) whether he was absolutely sure on both counts, that he was just ready. He'd had a lot of rather satisfying relationships of the sort that allowed him to sow his wild oats, as it were, and with that out of his system he was just ready to settle down.

Their wedding was actually quite fun. I had the worst case of butterflies before and during the ceremony (probably due to desperate anticipation of some divine, rather than Devine, intervention that would put a stop to the nuptials) but it was reassuring to see that the bride seemed genuinely in love and happy to be marrying my friend - and so she should be. I give 'em 3 years.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

MSB, who has been due back from Paris for the last 2 weeks called last night to again say, “Hi sweetie…I’m really sorry but I’m not going to be back until next weekend…because I’m heading off to Kaiserslautern tomorrow. Uh, miss you! Bye!”. He loves his football so I can hardly begrudge him another World Cup attendance though to be sure, when he emailed me this morning all waaaah-it’s-3am-and-I’m-still-up-trying-to-make-my article-deadline-because-I-was-too-busy-having-a-grand-time-in-Paris-and-London-and-practising-my-chicken-dancing-to-actually-do-any-work-woe-is-me, I bestowed on him all possible sympathy due in the circumstances. Namely: tough shit, biatch. He’d better start busying himself in Paris trying to buy back my love.


Monday, June 26, 2006

I am now a statistic - my parents are divorcing! After many rather tempestuous years, my mother finally gave him the boot. It’s a terrible misconception that some parents have about “staying together for the sake of the children” when having to put up with bitter tears and recriminations and being made privy to their parents’ dirty laundry is really the last thing the children want. As much as I love pater, and I do, he is a selfish, obnoxious philandering bastard and his presence for the past several years in our lives has been like suffering a slow death by arsenic poisoning. I still can’t believe mater had it in her. They’re as bad as each other in their own special ways, but she’s suffered a lot because of him and if she’s behaved somewhat erratically in recent times, we understand why. God it’s jarring to grow up and watch people who you looked up to and admired for most of your life behave so repulsively. It’s much better they’re apart.

He refused to leave at first so we had to pack his bags for him and left them by the front door. He couldn’t believe our betrayal and would take the memory of it with him to the grave etc etc and parsed on about how ungrateful we all were and that we’d miss him once he was gone (strangely enough I do! – but not enough to wish him back again). He told us that we just didn’t understand adult relationships (!), made a fumbling attempt to blame mater and accused her of being jealous, paranoid and crazy – having forgotten that it was me and my sister, who was only 10 at the time, who had initially sprung him. I assured him that it wasn’t personal, because I thought they were both crazy and not to worry because, in any case, I resented them both equally. He still wouldn’t leave! I called the police. They were very helpful.

I’ve always worried about how the Devil’s Chirrun’ would cope if it ever came to this but my sister (who is also suffering through the HSC, poor bastard) is happy and relieved. My brother, who was not a party to the baggage packing (which therefore elevated him to favourite child status in pater’s eyes), doesn’t seem the least bit bothered by it either and got the idea to sell the 40 or so ties his father wouldn’t take with him (because they were UGLY and bought during his paisley phase). My sister helped him sort them into $2 and $5 piles (!). I think I can guess which side of the family our mercenary tendencies come from. Have to say I am a bit worried about my little bro. He’s never said a word about the fighting and bitterness between the ‘rents and says that he never thinks about it because he doesn’t want to. Which sounds fair enough but that’s not healthy, right? I admit to being somewhat handicapped in my counselling attempts by knowing precious little about teenage boys. Hmph. I’m sure turning a blind eye to his porn stash will suffice.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

MSB and I continue our luckless run of crappy movies. Last night's feature was X-Men: the Last Stand. Some spoilery comments:

· I know all the Marvel freaks bag out Halle Berry for her realisation of Storm but where’s the hate for Anna Paquin? It’s not just that Rogue is completely useless because the blame for that lies with Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn. But the lousy, doughy-faced acting and hilariously bad American accent? That’s all Paquin.

· The story arc for this instalment just didn’t live up to its premise. Exploring the 2 sides of Jean Grey, especially after she kills Scott (poor Cyclops - he gets the crappy power and is offed by the woman he loves) and Dr X, and the mutant whose power was to block the powers of other mutants in his vicinity were great but wasn’t explored enough because of the “last stand” aspect of the story. It brought in a lot of unnecessary and expendable characters and didn’t give the main cast anything to do.

· I don’t understand why there was such fear about the mutant “vaccine”. Genes that can be suppressed can often be switched on again, especially if the suppressant is easily metabolised. And let's face it, comic genre cures and vaccines always have an "antidote".

· Was Magneto meant to be evil in this one? Because he actually had a point about the vaccine being used as a weapon and its genocidal capacity.

· How cheesey was the dialogue? I’m talking about lines to the tune of: “You’re either with us or against us”. And on being told that, with the mutants wreaking havoc at the vaccine centre, reinforcements were half an hour away the President says “Then God help us!” etc. Bwahahaha. I mean, there's no one in the world who could play Wolverine better than Hugh Jackman but even he was struggling in places. It’s so bad, it’s awful.

The only way to respond to this movie is to pretend that it never happened. Just like Anne of Green Gables: the Continuing Story and the BBC’s 1995 production of Persuasion. They never happened. They NEVER happened. LA LA LA. I CAN’T HEEARR YOOUUU…


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Because I live at the arse end of the world, I've only just finished watching the first season of Veronica Mars which I had to order from the US (Channel 10 programming people, you are hopeless!). Is it wrong to have so much affection for a series set in high school about a girl detective? But really, how could I resist a show that has:

· the best evah season finale in the history of television

· the most hilarious evah guest appearance by Passions' Travis Schuldt

· the best evah homage to a Molly Ringwald movie

· the best evah stunt casting featuring Harry Hamlin, Lisa Rinna and Lisa Rinna's lips (although as stunt casting goes I could have done without Alyson Hannigan - ew)

· the most adorable evah karaoke scene featuring a Blondie song

Sigh. Fun times.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Boooooo! Dreams don't come true. What's the point in living?


Thursday, May 11, 2006


Get thee to the SMH website posthaste: Mel and Kochie may go to gaol!

The possibility of such sweet schadenfreude threatens to make my head explode. I may well soil myself in anticipation.

Ostensibly, they would be getting sent down for breaches of Children and Young Persons Act 1989 VIC by broadcasting discussions relating to a current matter before the Victorian Children’s Court and particularly, by mentioning aspects of the matter that would have allowed public identification of the child in question. Or something. BUT, if there was any true justice in this world they would be doing hard time for being criminally stupid (that would be, Giggly McBubblehead, Melissa Doyle) and for being an obnoxious, cretinous, insufferably conceited blowhard (that would be David Koch, earnest chrome-dome crusader for mine collapse victims and poster-boy for accountants undergoing mid-life crises).

I can’t believe how someone as obviously lacking in neural function as Melissa Doyle can be allowed to be a morning TV host. She has a perpetual air of confusion about her and is blatantly uncomfortable and ignorant when discussion on Seven Sunrise steers into the areas of news, current affairs, politics or economics. She very often asks questions written down for her robotically without listening to the answer. The most recent example of this is the post-Budget interview with John Howard where she asked him how the Budget would effect a single person on $45K. Howard’s answer went on to discuss the situation of a couple on an income of $[X]. After which she asked him, “Okay. So what about couples on an income of $[X]?”.

Another time, she and Koch were interviewing some researcher on the spread of AIDS in Australia and (RIDICULOUSLY!) the statistics for unprotected sex in the gay community were brought up. Apparently 25% per cent of ‘mos surveyed were having unprotected sex. Naturally Doyle responded with shock and horror at such a high rate of gross and disgusting irresponsibility by homosexuals not taking into consideration:

(a) the rate of straight people who must be rutting like animals with nary a piece of glad wrap to save them; and

(b) why wouldn’t gay people in long-term relationships, with knowledge of their partner’s health, NOT have unprotected sex?

Sadly World, I’m afraid she has aready bred.

As for David Koch, I can’t quite put my finger on why he’s such a tool. I think it may be the way he seems always to be on the verge of declaring “Dear GOD, the people LOVE ME!”, and is kept barely in check by a thin veneer of vomitous faux modesty and sincerity.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

MSB and I went to see “How Much Do You Love Me?” the other night, a French comedy about a lottery winner who propositions a beautiful call girl (Monica Bellucci) to live with him for a hundred thousand euro a month until the money runs out. They have a grand old time until Monica’s gangster boyfriend Gerard Depardieu turns up. DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. Could it be a coincidence that “French farce” rhymes with “sucks arse”? I don’t think so. (From the recent selection at the French Film Festival, try “Hell”, “Lemming” and “Anthony Zimmer” instead).

Anyway, as usual, Monica Bellucci is naked and pouty for much of the movie. She’s very good at it too. But amongst all the members of the Sexy Naked and Half-naked Lady Pantheon (featuring Laetitia Casta, Josie Maran, Katherine Heigl, Ludivine Sagnier and occasionally, Scar-Jo), why is Monica Bellucci SO BORING??

Answer, because:
(a) she is never anything except naked and pouty.
(b) she seems constantly aware and conscious of her beauty.
(c) she has dead, dead eyes.
(d) she can’t act. She can’t even be convincing in a love scene and when you have a body like hers, that’s a crime.

Monica Bellucci’s ubiquitous nudity is just too much of a good thing. With the first several times it's like gazing in awe at a beautiful Roman statue. But after a while she’s like Crazy Laney from Sex and the City: “Who wants to see a pregnant lady’s TITS!!?”. Where’s the mystery? Where’s the allure? Surprise me sometime Monica and put on some clothes. And when I say “clothes”, I don’t mean caviar.


Yeah okay, more about books and book buying: The UNSW Book Fair started today! I took the day off so I could be there at opening time. Is that sad? Well I don’t care because it was SO worth it. Seriously, I was like a pig in shit. My sister and I got 44 books for about $70. And they were in such good condition too! There were so many books – books that you would actually want to read! Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Everything is Illuminated (I need to give Al her copy back), the Human Stain, Five Quarters of the Orange, Belinda, the Blind Assassin, the Red Queen, the Woman in White, Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow... and a whole bunch books on ancient Greek and Rome. It was quite scary by the ancient history and archaeology table actually with these old, nerdy academic types violently grabbing and snatching the books, almost from my very hands.

You have to be very disciplined though. When you come across books this cheap, you’re tempted to buy everything that catches your eye, but you need a plan. Fill up as many boxes as you like but then you have to ruthlessly cull! Cull! Cull! You don’t want to be like my dad who ends up with books like the Encyclopedia of Buttons or textbooks on water and concrete physics.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Some books I’ve read this year
(excluding Harry Potter translations)

A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke

This is an easy one to get through and is essentially one of those English-speaking-ex-pats-in-France books. The hero is really unlikeable though, so you want him to be as miserable as possible, get arrested and deported or at least pelted with rocks and faeces (as is hinted at in the title but is never delivered, boo!).

Of the English-speaking-expats-in-France genre, I’d recommend the Provence series by Peter Mayle and Almost French by Sarah Turnbull instead. The books by Mayle focus a lot on food and shouldn’t be read on an empty stomach. Turnbull’s book chronicles her new life in France from her first meeting with her French lawyer husband and beyond her move to Paris and the inevitable culture clash. It’s very funny and she does a good job of presenting the battle between Parisian culture and her Australian soul.

Lost Japan by Alex Kerr

Japan is in an unusual position as far as Asian countries go. It managed to avoid being colonised by Europeans and, probably as a result, has enthusiastically adopted occidental culture rather than kept it at arms length or rejected it like many of its neighbours. Kerr is an American who lived in Japan as a child in the 1960s and has been there almost ever since university. The book is on his concern over Japan’s inappreciation (is that a word??) of and misguided attempts to “preserve” its own heritage and culture so that both are now endangered by a stagnant, myopic bureaucracy. The book isn’t patronising so much as it’s depressing to read his views on how Japan has changed and what it’s lost since he’s known it. He writes as someone who loves the country more than as some overbearing Westerner who knows best. Although really, as with other situations in life, an outsider can often see a situation with more clarity than someone within it. Really, really fascinating.

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathon Safran Foer

Al lent me this one. This is a fictionalised account of the author’s trip to Ukraine to find the woman who’s family helped his grandfather escape the Nazis when they rolled through Ukraine during World War II. The story unfolds through a series of letters from Alex (his Ukrainian translator) commenting on their trip together, the fictional Jonathan’s draft of the history of his grandfather’s shtetl and a more traditional narrative describing Jonathan and Alex’s trip through Ukraine with Alex’s psychosomatically blind grandfather as their driver and the grandfather’s incessantly farting, leg-humping dog. It’s a funny and brutal and touching book about trying to understand people’s motivations, about judging the actions of others in the context in which they happened and making sacrifices that really shit you to protect the people you love most. One of the best books I’ve ever read.

Persuasion and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Call me a cliché but I'm a girl who loves Jane Austen. Her books are a panacea for all my pains. There’s an article somewhere that talks about how injured soldiers during the World Wars were encouraged to read her books during recovery to ameliorate their trauma because it was comforting to be able to escape back to a time that seemed so relatively simple and safe which is how Regency England is drawn by her. On top of that Austen is always funny, sharp and never fails to deliver a happy ending.

Persuasion was Austen’s last complete novel before she died. It is the story of Anne Elliot, daughter of a silly, spendthrift peer who has reconciled herself to spinsterhood after ending her engagement some 8 years ago to her one twoo wuv Wentworth, on the advice of a well-meaning family friend. Wentworth is a naval officer and wasn’t thought to have good enough prospects to be a satisfactory match for her. 8 years later, her family is in financial trouble and her path crosses with Wentworth’s who has since done really well for himself professionally and financially. This is my favourite Austen because unlike her other novels which are about falling in love, this one is about how love survives despite time and anger and is given a second chance.

It’s bit sad though, to think that this novel, written at the end of her life, might have been in part, an exercise in wish fulfilment for Austen’s own unsuccessful romances. (There’s also an interesting hint in this book at the rise of the middle classes in the late 1810s – where Wentworth’s sister and friend, a responsible, successful naval couple lease Anne’s ancestral home because her privileged father and sister have been so reckless and irresponsible in looking after their land and finances. Interesting).

Northanger Abbey is a good introduction to Austen’s works although it is in a different style to the others. Her wit and irony is easier to recognise here than in her other works – not to say that she’s heavy handed. The story here is about Catherine, the naïve 17 year old heroine, on her first real outing in society during a stay in Bath. She is taken under the wings of Isabelle who becomes her constant companion and is introduced to the popular gothic romances of the time. She also meets the older Henry and his sister who invite her back to their home, Northanger Abbey, for a stay. The gothic Abbey and the books she’s been reading trigger her to imagine that it’s the site of horrible crimes by Henry’s father and she sets about to investigate. It's a coming of age story really, about learning to differentiate real from false, in friends and in life and of coming into a voice of your own. Her adventures and conversations with Henry are Austen’s nod to the gothic romances of the day as well as to novels and reading in general.

I have to say that of all the Austenian heroes, Henry Tilney is my favourite (followed by Frederick Wentworth). The rest of you can have Mr D’Arcy, I don’t care. Henry is this lovely, funny, clever, gentle guy who doesn’t take himself seriously the way D’Arcy does and isn’t slightly overbearing the way Mr Knightley is with Emma. He knows Catherine is young and naïve, with a lot to learn, but he also knows that she’s not stupid and doesn’t treat her that way. He is just so lovely!

Plays by Oscar Wilde - Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and the Importance of Being Earnest

Lady Windermere’s Fan is my favourite play by Wilde. It has it all! Tight plot, snappy dialogue and a satisfying ending. It was recently adapted in A Good Woman with Scar-Jo and the gorgeous Mark Umbers as the Windermeres and Helen Hunt as Mrs Erlynn. The action now takes place on the Amalfi Coast during the 1930s. Helen Hunt is surprisingly decent – she makes Mrs Erlynn more sympathetic than a mere reading of the play does.

A Woman of No Importance is too didactic and humourless; An Ideal Husband would be an ideal play except for the last act which is a bit superfluous; and I just can’t care enough for the characters in the Importance of Being Earnest to be bothered with it much.

The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night Time by Mark Haddon

This is a story written from the point of view of a boy, Christopher (who possibly has Asperger’s syndrome), as he investigates the murder of a neighbour’s dog. Christopher is brilliant at maths and science but isn’t so good at social interaction or understanding and empathising with people. It’s quite funny and touching and gives some insight into what it might be like to have a mild form of autism (although there is some controversy on this point) and to be a parent of such a child. Haddon does a great job at conveying how much Christopher’s parents, particularly his dad, loves him not through Christopher’s own understanding of his father’s love but through Christopher’s records of their interaction together. Haddon shows, without exposition, how desperate and frustrated Christopher’s father can be with him, and yet loves him anyway even though Christopher doesn't really understand it and even though there is no way of knowing that his son loves him back. Sniff.

Currently reading:

Howard’s End by EM Forster

Genome by Matt Ridley

This is a pop-science book that came out several years ago at about the same time as the sequencing of the human genome had its greatest media saturation. Ridley marries each human chromosome with some human trait that is linked to it and tells the story of the discovery of DNA and various aspects of human nature and how genes affect them. One of the most interesting aspects of this book is the coverage of scientific rivalries and the evolution and disintegration of hypotheses and long-held beliefs. He cites some interesting studies, and he must have done a whole lot of reading to put this book together, but he doesn’t footnote it as a much as I’d like (I'm also a bit weary of his support of some "long-bow" conclusions drawn from these studies). So if you want to follow up on the papers or studies he refers to you have to track a lot of them down yourself. It's a very engaging book that's simply written and easy to understand. It makes me half-wistful for what could have been if I'd chosen science instead of law. But then I think back to those horrid hours spent in labs and I think I made the right choice.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Ellen Fanning is a twat

I caught a rerun of a heavily pregnant Ellen Fanning's 60 Minutes interview with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards last night. She sure made the most of her time at journalism school. Some highlights:

"...do you ever wake up in the morning and feel stiff in all the wrong places?" - nice going with the sexual innuendo, Ellen.

"[about Jagger hip shimmying]...do you ever look at him and think, 'Mate, you're going to put your back out if you keep that up?'".

"[about Jagger] He's got no right to be at his age, has he? He should have a pot gut. Shouldn't he?".

In response to Jagger's declaration that his first Australian tour was in 1965: "I wasn't even born in 1965".

And then she harped on about Keith's arthritic fingers, asked him if he was "sozzled" and proceeded to drink his booze. Because if you drink booze while pregnant, old rockers will think you're cool. Mick seemed to bear her line of questioning stoically. Keith however, had no qualms about wreaking revenge on the Fanning foetus by lighting up during the interview. Strangely enough, whether it was because she was completely oblivious or too ball-less both possibilities are equally likely, she didn't even ask him to put out his fag (much less stub it out on his forehead which is what I would have done).

So thanks to Ellen Fanning, I think it's now established that MICK JAGGER IS OLD and KEITH RICHARDS IS OLD *AND* A DRUNK. Next up, 60 Minutes will reveal that Janette Howard is actually just a do nothing, say nothing stick of furniture at Kirribilli. Speaking of, who can forget the Chaser's Janette Howard plate and headstrap?


It's wrong to objectify people but I can't help it:

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Jensen Ackles. He's so hot right now. In fact, if I was a smoker I'd need a cigarette, stat.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Ok, my blogging resolve didn’t last long but at least I have a pathetic excuse namely, that I’ve been away having an organ removed. It was only my gall bladder though, so I didn’t make much off the black market. And also because it was full of um, bits of cholesterol that were incredibly painful. Like, bent-over-double-and-unable-to-walk-for-about-12-hours painful. Someone told me it was comparable to giving birth which might be true because the pain was cyclical and caused by passing life-sucking items down a teeny weeny passage (the bile duct): an hour of excruciating agony, followed by a brief respite where you think, “Oh phew, I guess it’s ov- ARGGHHHHHHGGUUUUUHHHH”.

The operation was only 45 minutes and thanks to keyhole surgery I only have a deranged Picasso face of 4 small scars rather than a massive, red slash across my gut. (It really is amazing, I was up and about after a day or so. The worst aspect of it was coming out of the general anaesthetic and feeling completely out of it and woozy).

I was put on a low fat diet for a month before the operation (in February) and was then told I couldn’t have fatty foods for another 2 months! Naturally, I went and got 2 double cheese and bacon burgers the week after getting cut and inhaled them but as it turns out, the doctor was right. Let’s just say, ingesting lots of fat after being off them for a while has an immediate and explosive laxative effect.

How I came to have chunks of cholesterol lining my gall bladder is anyone’s guess. The doctor said that it just happens and actually has little to do with your diet or lifestyle. But I have to wonder, because I was virtually raised on McDonalds and Pizza Hut. In a country like Vietnam, where most of the population, while not quite starving, is certainly malnourished, people really cherish and crave fatty foods because they never have it. So when our family came here it was like, “SWEET PARADISE: Hot chips! Pizza! Burgers! Wheeeee!” In primary school I’d have Papa Giuseppe’s microwaved pizza for breakfast and 2 meat pies for lunch everyday. Then in high school, it was McDonalds for breakfast and a pizza at 10 o’clock every night before bed. I can’t believe the worst to come out of this is a dodgy gall bladder. I should be dead.

So now in the interests of staying alive, it’s yoghurt for breakfast, pasta with a tomato based sauce and fruit salad for lunch, then some healthy Asian thing for dinner. I have become very disciplined. My body is my temple etc etc. Except for when it's a sugar refinery and I go crazy with Milky Bars, King-sized Twirls, peanut butter Kit Kats and those sour gummy peach lollies. Yum.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I walk pass one of those nail parlours everyday. It's like getting caught in Chernobyl, no matter how fast I go I can't escape the rolling clouds of peteroleum solvents.

How can those poor, invariably Asian, women work there day in day out? I mean, I know we all have to work for a living but I hate to see a sister undergoing slow, self-inflicted brain damage.


We had a fire in our building today from a malfunction in the aircon system. It caused this acrid stink, like burning plastic. All I could think of while we gathered orderly around the fire exit, waiting to go, was how ready I was to shove everyone out of the way and make a run for it, pregnant colleagues be damned. I am a BAD person.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

I have been teaching MSB some Vietnamese. In exchange he teach me speak English good.

Today's phrase is:

"Hãy b?n ông Gary Glitter".

"Hay ("ay" pronounced like "eh???!" in English when someone you can't believe that stupid thing you've just heard, but in a lower register - such is the curse of tonal languages) bung (sort of rhymes with hung but sharper and said in a higher register) ohm Gary Glitter".

Which means:

Let's shoot Gary Glitter. Not that I'm an advocate for the death penalty - I only support shooting Gary Glitter in the nuts.


I drool in my sleep. It's been happening for some time now and is utterly disgusting. But I can't stop. I'll be in a deep slumber or perhaps just nodding off when I feel a warm moistness on the pillow. My brain knows that I'm drooling but is completely incapable of stopping it - my body just won't respond. Stupid brain. So I just keep sleeping and drooling and in the morning there's another grotty, crusty patch on the pillow.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

*Pokes blog* Wake up blog!

My sad attempts to return to blogging at the end of last year were thwarted by a complete lack of inspiration, mainly due to my dull, dull existence.

If 2005 could be summed up in less than 10 words, they would be: “crippling debt”, “academic failure” and “working like a dog”.

The first 6 months consisted of living from pay day to pay day so that I could pay off my student loan. I managed to pay off the student loan in August – hurrah! Am currently paying off the credit card debt I’d accrued while scrimping to pay off the student loan – boo! Nearly done with that too though.

There was also the problem of failing the dreaded drafting patents subject in my course. Le sigh. I really, truly cannot express in words how much I loathe that subject, but I’ll try. I hate “drafting patents” more than Mike Munro. But less than David Koch. I actually had nightmares about it. On the bright side, I now know that I don’t want to be a patent attorney and that reading specifications is all day is more boring than…um…reading this blog. But surely it’s better to know now after another $10,000 worth of uni fees than say, after accepting an attorney job? However, I am committed to finishing off this cunty degree and getting registered even if it kills me or puts me even further into debt with the government. I have a masochistic pride about it even.

The second 6 months consisted of avalanches of work and much hand-wringing over whether I should move firms or not. A partner I worked for was moving his practice to a specialist firm and I was offered a position there. They dangled the carrots of specialised work within IP litigation and commercialisation and…a drafting patents tutor. My old firm offered more money (3 pay rises in six weeks!) and the comfort of being somewhere where I was happy, liked and comfortable. The new place offered better career opportunities if I wanted to specialise in IP but my old firm was the devil I knew and I had a really good variety of work there. This will sound utterly pissweak but it was a really hard decision because I loved my old colleagues and I loved the group I was working in, so what was holding me back was emotional ties and fear. I doubt men ever vacillate emotionally like this when it comes to work.

The new place is okay. The first day was absolutely awful. I missed my secretary. I missed having a friend in the next office and being able to bang on the common wall. I missed all the crazy, endearing people I worked with like one of the partners who would go around flicking people with rubber bands on a Friday afternoon. Even worse, my partner and I had lunch that day and I cried into my sandwich. Mortifying. Everything was different even though I was still working for one of my old bosses and doing similar work. Things are better now although it’s been hard making new friends. The people here are nice but it’s not the same. One of the lawyers here talks to me with his eyes tightly closed.

And all the while I ploughed through the horror of another semester. I got through those subjects okay, so now it really is just drafting patents to go. You’d think that after all that studying crap I’d spend my holidays podium dancing in a club somewhere and flashing sailors but I don’t seem to work that way. My idea of letting loose has been to go the gym and practise French and Vietnamese and to teach myself Spanish and Japanese. I can’t help it, that’s just what I feel like doing. It’s disturbing – as if I don’t want to not be a nerd.

So, after the most boring year evah my resolutions for 2006 are:

1. Be less dull
2. Spend more time with my own friends compared to the time I've been spending with MSB's friends
3. Finish my damn Masters and get registered as a patent attorney
4. Go overseas to work
5. Finish HP and the Goblet of Fire in French and Vietnamese
6. Get up to intermediate level in Spanish and Japanese
7. Get back into tae kwon do - this is a broken resolution from last year
8. Become a better cook - ditto
9. Become financially literate
10. Use "fucking" less as an adjective


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

All my friends are getting maaaaaarried

Well not all, but it sure feels that way. One old friend who vowed he'd never get married this side of 30 and that we would be old crazy cat owners together is now engaged. Judas! The wedding is almost a year away and already he's spent the last four weekends driving around looking for churches and receptions venues. Ha. I bet he now wishes he were living in sin instead. Nah, probably not - he's all "why-do birds-suddenly -appear...", and aglow with the flushes of impending first marriage.

We went out to dinner with him, his fiancée, Dicky and his girlfriend the other night. She seemed to be a lovely girl - a bit too Catholic compared to his usual women (with the usual puritanical tendencies) but I’d never seen him happier so who cared? So we chatted away happily until Dicky said something in sarcastic praise of Miranda Devine and Fiancée Girl burst forth with: “Miranda Devine! Oh my God, I love her! Are you a fan? I can’t believe it! I’ve never met another Miranda Devine fan before…” A moment’s silence passed while we tried to detect any hints of sarcasm. There were none, and so much under-the-table kicking ensued.

That was when all the Eep! Moments I’d had when my friend had talked about Fiancée Girl came flying out from the carpet under which I’d swept them. Like how she was a (wet) Liberal…whereas he’s been a member of the Labor Party since he was 15. Political differences don’t really matter much in the scheme of things but what really pinged was when he said that she’s a straight (i.e. somewhat conservative) girl and he’s found himself self-censuring when he’s in front of her or her friends. It showed during dinner when he wasn’t his usual crass, foul-mouthed self. Would you put it down to growing up? Or just not being able to show all sides of yourself in front of your partner? In which case, isn’t that a bit shit (and also an augur that things will eventually end in bitter tears and recriminations)?

Like I said, he seems thrilled and he says that he’s never felt that way about anyone before but knowing that he feels that he has to self-censor in front of his future wife makes me censor myself in front of her too…and also makes me wonder how long it will last. (Although if it doesn’t, well, the first marriage is supposed to gut-wrenching and soul-destroying to prepare us for subsequent marriages, right?). But it also comes down to the fact that I’m not ready for that whole getting married and having a family business. And what do you do if you don’t get along with your friend’s spouse?! Yikes.

Wasn’t it so much more fun when everyone was turning 21 instead? Let’s go back to that!


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