Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The white-footed hack

How difficult can it be, being a half-hearted hack?
You don't even need an opposable thumb.

And you can lie down on the job.
Pfft, what's she been carping about all week?


Friday, January 26, 2007


What happened? When did Australia Day become National Bloody Barbecue Day? It used to be a non-entity of a holiday and an excuse for a long weekend and that was that.

When I was a kid, I did like Australia Day. That was when Adam was a lad, in the days before compo claims and public liability wankery, when Adelaide used to have a Birdman Rally. The Birdman Rally was ace. It even used to be televised. A mob of wallies would build things with wings and take a flying leap off the end of Glenelg jetty. The person who went the furthest got a prize. The most creative bit of crap with wings got a prize. It was hilarious. There were heaps of entries and there was always some dickhead who'd just dress up as a duck or Mr Percival and jump into the water. There were people who went to huge amounts of trouble to make dragons out of beer cans and string that used to break apart in mid-air or as soon as they hit the water. There were even serious entrants who built mini hang-gliders that were designed for distance rather than amusement value. It was arseloads of fun. I loved the Birdman Rally when I was a little tacker.

Apparently, they still have Birdman Rallies in Moomba and other places, but not here. Some bloody killjoy made jetty jumping illegal because people kept breaking their necks. Pfft. That not only destroyed the Birdman Rally, it buggered up the Greek blessing of the waters as well. Now all the Greek lads have to walk gently down the ramp, taking care not to slip on the squishy bits, step cautiously into the water and wait for the cross to be tossed in. Dull, dull, dull and duller.

But, as so often happens, I digress. We were talking about Strayaday. For a good 15 years after the Birdman Rally was shot in the head by the number crunchers, Australia Day was sort of like Labour Day: a good excuse for a day off in the Land of the Long Weekend.

Then a few years ago, things started to turn weird. We were no longer the Land of the Long Weekend. We became Straya. Spontaneous barbecues started to break out all over the country. Sam Kekovitch started banging on about stuff that was "unAustralian". Strayan flags erupted from people's shoulders like huge, silly wings. Newspapers felt obliged to run front-page photos of people wrapped The Flag without the least sense of irony. This morning's Traumatiser had a perfect example. There was a girl in bathers, there was a flag, there was water. That just symbolises Straya, doesn't it? The poor bloody photographer was probably forced to take a meat pie with him as a prop, just in case The Flag wasn't quite Strayan enough.

I can't pinpoint when this happened. When did this bizarre display of patriotism break out? Was it at the same time as we all turned into McDonald's barge-arses and forgot how to cook? Was it when pub meals went super-size and you got chips with everything but had to pay extra for salad or veg? Or was about the time our lovely Federal Government decided refugees were evil, dirty people who would try to drown their children just so they could worm their way into our great country? Is that when all this blasted national pride hit? Just when we had the least reason to be proud of ourselves? Whatever the case, it seems to have taken over Anzac Day as well. Every good little Strayan has to go on pilgrimmage to Gallipoli or walk the Kokoda Track. They bang on about doing for The Diggers and remembering their sacrifice, but it's doing nothing but cheapening their memory.

I don't feel that much national pride, to tell you the truth. Yes, this is my home and I love the land where I was born, but there are far too many days when I'm ashamed to be Australian. That would be when I hear another story about our Government sticking its head in the sand and refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Or when I think of poor bloody David Hicks and all the other Guantanamo Bay inmates sitting there, slowly going mad in solitary confinement and orange jumpsuits. And any time I see John Howard's smarmy, self-satisfied little face, purporting to represent me when he says the "War on Terror" is a good fight.

Australia is the beach at the end of my street. That's the Australia I love and I'm proud of. On this, our national day, I would like to give all of those other things, all of those Strayan things, a hearty Fuck You and wish that they might choke on their patriotic lamb chops.

In fact, why don't we just move the whole damned celebration to the 4th of July and be done with it, y'all? Bring back the Birdman Rally and maybe we'll talk.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 22, 2007

Stuff you should know by now

1. You may not be able to see your own arse, but other people can
Strange but true! If I had a dollar for every person I've seen blithely rummaging around trying to pluck out a particularly tenacious wedgy, or scratching so enthusiastically they could be in training for the national arse-scratching team, I'd be JK bloody Rowling.

2. Freemasons make great scapegoats
It must be all that truck with secret handshakes, aprons and human bones. People will believe anything about them.

For example:
Person A: Who broke my favourite vase?
Person B: A freemason came to the door and before I could stop him, he rushed in, smashed the vase and ran away again.
Person A: Bloody freemasons!

Person A: Where's the remote?
Person B: That freemason who was mending the cooker must have taken it.
Person A: Bloody freemasons!


3. Mixing your drinks will make you ill
If you've had three pints of Sparkling, a Jagerbomb, a fizzy beaujolais, two cardonnays, a flaming Sambuca and a creamy cocktail with a dirty name and you feel ill, do not whinge to me. I am not holding your hair.

If you're going to mix your drinks, at least stick to Redcap's Rule: if it's the same colour, it's (probably) safe. Beer goes with bourbon and scotch. White wine goes with Stoly, Havana Club and gin. Red wine will, at a pinch, go with cosmopolitans, but it's better not to push it. Pisco Sours go with deposed Chilean dictators, so I'd probably steer clear of them.

4. "AB" does not stand for "absolutely beautiful"
This is probably an Adelaide-only thing. The rest of you, thank your lucky stars and say an extra Hail Mary or something. An AB masquerades as food and is beloved of uni students and pissheads. It involves a waxed paper box, several forks, an arseload of hot chips, half a cow's worth of greasy yiros meat and a variety of reflux-inducing sauces, usually garlic, barbecue, sweet chilli and tomato. Separately, these things are innocuous. Together, they are lethal. A bit like Sonny and Cher, really.

Two cafes in North Adelaide claim to have invented the AB. One of the cafe guys says it stands for "absolutely beautiful". Any uni student who has lived in one of the two nearby residential colleges will tell you it means "abortion". I prefer to think of it as an abomination.

It also comes wrapped in pitta bread, masquerading as a harmless, tummy-settling yiros. I found myself with one of these monstrosities in hand late one night and took a bite, expecting refreshing salad and tabouleh with my greasy lamb. Nup. Chips ~shudder~ If you've accidentally swallowed strychnine, forget the Ipecac and get an AB yiros down you.

5. Low-fat ice-cream is crap
Low-fat ice-cream is just like the low-fat Mars Bars that can cause unpleasant gastrointestinal problems if you eat more than one a year and those weird-arse vegetable crisps that claim to be healthy because they haven't been triple-fried in ox lard. None of them is worth the effort of chewing.

6. It's called work because it's not meant to be fun
Until I can get someone to pay me handsomely for lying in bed and reading books, or possibly for blogging about rubbish like this, I will continue to believe this. Most jobs have their bright spots, such as wading through knee-deep flood waters and taking tours of chocolate factories, but these tend to be depressingly irregular.

7. The cat will demand to go outside any time but when he's about to throw up
Instead he will puke in your slipper. Where else?

8. The picture on the Crap Cuisine box bears scant resemblance to the box's actual contents
Mm, grey sponge with smudge-coloured gravy and khaki peas. My favourite!

9. Offal has no redeeming features
There is a reason it's called "offal". You could stuff it with crayfish and truffles, poach it lightly in pernod and put a nice creamy little sauce on top, but offal is still something's wee filter. Do you want to eat something's wee filter? No. Of course you don't.

10. The law of gravity may be optional, but Sod's Law is inescapable
Don't struggle with this whole positive thought crap. If there are two options and one of them is shitty, that's the one you'll usually get. See cats and slippers.

11. Sometimes you will get unusual Christmas and birthday presents
Like this:

Apparently, you shove a candle up his bum.

And this:

Yes, it's life-size

And this:

What's better than one resin tortoise? Two resin tortoises, of course.

Avoiding these gifts is like trying to hold back a tsunami. Just make a pile somewhere out of the way.

This has been a community service announcement brought to you by the letters "F" and "O" and the number "shiteteen".


Friday, January 19, 2007

Feathered-mullet board shorts MUST be better

Boyos, take it from me. Chicks fear a few things in life. Finding a new hairdresser and purchasing new togs are two of them. For some reason, I chose to do both of these things to myself within the space of two days.

Let’s just say that if you see some dizzy cow wearing a hat and eating a crapload of lettuce, that would probably be me. Hurrah for fat arses and lousy haircuts, eh?

The new togs were yesterday’s horror. I haven’t had bathers for quite some time. A couple of years ago, I was stupid enough to purchase a bikini. Ask me not the reason why, mine is but to do and fry. I wore The Bikini twice and felt an utter twat both times, so the last time I was collecting up clothes for the Goodwill, the barely-worn twatkini was the first item in the bag. I hope someone with less of a bargearse than I have is wearing it and feeling happy with herself right now.

I should probably point out that while Bloke and I live roughly 90 seconds from the beach, I don’t swim. I have a small blind spot when it comes to water. OK, fine, call it a Marlon-Brando-sized phobia. That’s fine. I can deal. But whatever the case, I do not swim and I do not put my face in water. Period. However, in a coupla weeks, I’m getting’ on a jet plane. Bloke said, “They have a pool here. You need bathers.” There was a lot of whining and growling on my part, but yesterday I did my duty and went looking for bathers.

Oh, farrrrk.

Apparently, most bathers are itty-bitty triangles made of old ice-cream wrappers, nylon strings and hibiscus flowers. Pfft, who knew? The ones that weren’t made from tropical-flavoured Calipo papers and thread were all size 28 and made of tent-lengths of ruching and tucking. For the love of Ford, is there nothing in between? Why must all bathers be pink, orange and brown beer coasters held together with dental floss, or a floral couch cover? Whyyyy?!

Shopping for swimwear is soul-destroying. You have to spend a lot of time looking at all your jubbly bits in a very brightly-lit mirror. I would be far happier in a 1920s neck-to-knee cossie. Or a burqha. Hurrah for the burqha! Dateline or some such program showed some Muslim girls swimming at the beach and, all religious allegiances aside (especially since I'm an atheist and have none) I would very much be in for the beach sheet. Can I please, please have a beach burqha? Please?

I spent a good hour and a half hunting through various racks of swimwear. Needless to say, I had little joy. Finally, after much searching among floss and discarded ice-cream skins, I found a pair of black boy-leg shorts and a black-and-white halter top that covered most of my jubbly bits. Actually, it looked like something Paris Hilton would wear to a nightclub, but about 12 sizes larger. They were acceptable – quite cute, even – but before I can wear them, I must lose the equivalent of a Brady-sized bucket of K’fuck off my arse.

At least I HAVE the damned bathers. I can starve myself over the next fortnight, right?
Eating nothing but cucumber and parsley will be fun.

But I had barely recovered from the trauma of looking for togs when it was haircut time. (Rocking, drooling, whiny-noises etc.) My old hairdresser was a lovely bloke. Actually, he still is a lovely bloke. The only problem is that he sold his salon so he could sell home loans instead of haircuts. More importantly, he sold his salon to a chick who painted the whole fucking place hot pink, turned it into a “style lounge” and hung dippy chandeliers in the windows.

I cannot walk into this place without feeling like a girly idiot. I am so girly.

I coped for a few months, since Old Owner came in on Saturday mornings. The final straw came on the day when I went in to see Old Owner and had my hair washed by a 12-year-old Paris-clone. It was Wrong.

Me: “So, are you Girly-Pink-Dimwit's sister?”
Scrawny Hair Washer: “Everyone asks me that! No, I’m not. I totally wish I was, though! That would be, like, so hot!”
Me: “Er, that’s “I totally wish I were”, not “I totally wish I was”. So, why are you washing my hair?”
HW: “I totally want to be a hairdresser when I finish school! That would be so, like, totally hot!”
Me: “Erm, hm, plenty of time for that sort of thing, eh, yeah? Since you’re 12, yeah? You know, I did actually wash my hair before I arrived here… (Please! Please! Stop massaging my scalp! You’re 12! It feels like child exploitation!)”

However, I’m nothing if not a lazy cow so I put off finding another haircutter. I’ve let myself go for a few weeks. In fact, until this morning, my hair looked like an otter that had had sex with a coir doormat. Rough sex.

Sigh. Would that I still looked like an untrimmed doormat/otter hybrid.

Since I couldn’t get a haircut with Old Owner, I decided to try Place Across The Road. Mistake. Bi-i-i-g-g mistake.

I ended up with Rhianna (Who the hell is called Rhianna? I mean, really?! Rhiannon is bad enough, but Rhianna? That’s so SBG that it’s not funny!). Needless to say, Rhianna was wearing a dress and leggings. She was also about 15 and weighed four stone. I took one look at her and thought, “Ooooh, this can’t be good.”

By the time Rhianna had finished with me, I looked like my hair had been cut with a broken beer bottle. Or possibly with a knife and fork. I even had to remove a few chunks over my left ear with the nail scissors, for Ford’s sake.

I guess all I need to have happen now is for my underwear drawer to catch fire. I just bought me some new dacks yesterday, so I guess that would be the final straw. Or the toilet to back up. Again. Come on, bring it on, bitches! I’m ready!

Edit: Actually, the pants haircut was the third crap thing to happen. I forgot that the tumble dryer already turned to putty, curse it. Hmmph. Now I'm going to have to get one of those Today Tonight-unapproved repairmen...

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

You know it's January in Adelaide when...

There are more blokes than chicks in town with waxed legs. Believe me, I kid you not.

Ah, Tour Down Under. For non-Adelaide people (ie, most of youse what is sane), this is a cycle race. Our premier (Jedi - this equals "governor"), Media Mike, likes to think that our cycle race is about to take on Le Tour de France. Ha. Sadly, Media Mike is wildly delusional and also thinks that he can catch arsonists. But that doesn't mean that this isn't a fun ol' Adelaide time. Yeehah and all.

Frankly, I have no interest in cycling. I haven't been able to love it much since that Nasty Incident where I was trying to avoid looking at a really annoying neighbour and ended up pranging my Malvern Star up the back end of a stationary Ford Zephyr when I was 11. I was chewing grape-flavoured bubblegum at the time and (allegedly) my neighbour said, "Here's where it happened! Here's her gum!" So, bikes and me = not that friendly.

I do see the benefits of the Pretty European Cycle Boys, though. They're very picturesque. Toned boys in lycra, even if they're not that tall, are a distinct enhancement to any streetscape. Adelaide is a far cry from Paris, but a PECB brings one that little bit closer. Eh, bonjour! Tu es un bien barraque! Voudrais-tu coucher avec mois, ce soir? Non? Meh! Va te faire foutre!

I used to work in Victoria Square, which, apart from being courthouse-central in Adelaide, also happens to be home to the Tour Village (ie, a lot of tents) and the Hilton Hotel (where most of the PECBs stay). I'd drag my sadly unglamorous arse into work in the mornings and there would be piles of PECBs at the cafes, downing coffee. You have to pity the poor little bastards, even if they are built like jockeys and wearing athletic socks and Nike slides - coffee is the only drug they're allowed.

But it doesn't matter if one is out of the CBD (yes, Adelaide DOES have one!) because one can still get an eyeful of the PECBs in the 'burbs. I live by the beach and if one gets one's fat arse out of bed early enough in the a.m., one can see the PECBs training. For some reason, they prefer to ride by someplace purdy. Buggered if I know why. I'd way rather train in a place that was known for carjackings.

However, sometimes one can be gypped. Like this morning. I was driving to work and went, "Phwoar! PECBs!" But it wasn't really a pelleton. Instead, it was just bunch of wannabes. Even worse, some of the wannabes turn out to be chicks. You have no idea how this challenges one's sexuality.

"Phwoar, look at the PECBs! Oh, CHRIST! Chicks! Noooo! Really, I wasn't attracted to their arses at all! No! It's not my fault! How the hell am I supposed to know? They've all got shaved legs! Sob!"

Sadly, January is also the time when any wanker with a pushbike gets the thing out of the shed. You never, ever see so many cyclists in Adelaide as during the Tour. Suddenly, it's cool to risk death. Suddenly, people forget that Adelaide drivers are among the biggest pricks in the country, and will run a cyclist off the road before breakfast without even batting an eyelid.

So, hurrah for the cycle race. It's over on Sunday or something. Bah, humbike.


Friday, January 12, 2007

One green bottle...

I love a good test, don’t you? It’s so much fun. The South Australian police and transport bastards must have heard, because they developed a great one that we can all take, if we try hard enough. Well, not really. We shouldn’t try to be eligible for this one.

I don’t know about other states, but SA is a little on the Nazi-ish side when it comes to drink driving. Before you give me a bollocking, I know, I know – it’s bad. Very bad. You shouldn’t do it and NO, I don’t do it myself nor do I condone it in others. However, the fact remains if you get pinged twice in three years, Herr Flic makes you sit The Alco Test before he will give you back your licence. This is to decide whether you are a danger to society. Tests are obviously very good at predicting this.

This weekend is the annual Adelaide Schitzenfaced, so it seems quite appropriate to pull out The Alco Test. I imagine a number of people will become eligible for it at some stage over the next few days and will need to know. I'm just here to help.

Part of the test involves a little psych evaluation to find out if you are Idi Amin or Pol Pot reincarnated. Here’s one I had someone steal for me earlier:

1. Is alcohol an appropriate breakfast food?
a Only at Christmas and New Year.
b Well, there are carbs in beer and carbs in cereal…
c What else would I put on my god-damned beerflakes?

2. When was the last time you had a hangover?
a New Year’s Day. Ooh, I were crook…
b Since my eyes look like cracked jaffas, my mouth tastes like the bottom of a budgie’s cage and Fred Astaire is doing a nice little fucking tap routine on my skull, I would guess that I have one right about now.
c Perhaps you should be asking when was the last time I wasn’t hung over.

3. How much do usually you drink every day?
a A couple of drinks.
b A couple of bottles.
c A couple of slabs.

4. Your friends call you:
a Cadbury.
b Robert.
c Sozzle.

5. If you have been drinking, how long should you wait before driving?
a Until I am completely sober – preferably the next day.
b When I think I’ve had enough soft drinks and stodgy, fatty food to absorb the piss, and a good few hours have passed since my last drink.
c When I stop sweating vodka.

6. If you have had a bad day at work, what is the first thing you do when you leave?
a Go and look at puppies in the pet shop.
b Meet a friend for a drink or three.
c Get stone-motherless slaughtered.

7. If you have a hangover, do you
a Go to work, get a bacon and egg sandwich and Black Doctor down you and do your best to not throw up.
b Crawl in late and just slump at your desk looking crook.
c Pull a sickie. You feel like you’ve been dropped from 2,000 feet onto your bed and you can’t drive a car or operate heavy machinery anyway because you’re still drunk.

8. You have run out of your preferred beverage at home and it’s the day before payday. Do you
a Forget about it and drink Coke.
b Drink the Crème de Menthe because that’s all that’s left.
c Think seriously about whether metho mixes with orange juice, because you finished the Crème de Menthe last time you ran out.

9. Absinthe is
a Scary as all fuck.
b Something I tried once but have never gone near again.
c To be served in pint glasses. On fire.

10. If you go to the pub with friends, how long do you keep drinking?
a I just have a few.
b Until I look in the mirror and see Tammy Faye Baker staring back at me.
c Until I run out of money OR the last pub sweeps me out with the cigarette butts OR I pass out. Whatever comes first.

11. How do your evenings out usually end?
a Taking a taxi home.
b Starting an argument with someone I don’t know over something ridiculous.
c Passed out cold in the back of a paddy wagon.

12. Have you ever been hit by a car while inebriated and not realised it?
a No
b Yes
c Mayyyybe…

13. Where will you go when you leave this office?
a Back to work.
b Out to lunch with friends to share a bottle of wine.
c Directly to the pub to lie under an open beer tap.

14. Are you an alcoholic?
a No, of course not! I’m offended that you would even ask that question!
b What do you classify as an alcoholic?
c Alcoholics go to meetings. I’m just a drunk.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Daughter of SBG Redux

I've just demolished a bowl of vanilla ice-cream with caramel topping and I'm all sugared up and ready to take on Part II: the ickle durls. (Anyone still interested? First visit? Read yesterday's to find out what's going on. I'll wait until you get back.)

I thnk the girls' names may actually be worse than the boys' names. This is because you can make a girl's name from string and cardboard if you just put "a", "ana" or "elle" on the end. I shouldn't say that. It could give people ideas. "Stringana, darling, come here!" There are also more girls' names than boys' names: 2219 compared to 1743. I don't think there were that many more girls born than boys - it's just there are more lovely, unique names, mainly due to creative spelling.

As I mentioned last post, SBG names fall into several categories. You have the usual crimes against spelling, the "Ford-damn, you just made that crap up!", the hyphenated horrors and the ghetto names, but there are two that the boys don't have: the "ooh, darl, this'll sound classy" name and the stripper name. These two are my favourites, to tell the truth, though I do enjoy the names with random apostrophes running around all over the place like Paris Hilton.

That's just plain old wrong. I don't care if you want to be different. Go away and write it out 100 times.
Aleyna, Alizah, Amahli, Ameleiyah, Arnya, Caicee, Calleigh, Charlieze, Cortni, Donay, Eleasha, Febe, Hydi, Indyanna, Izzabella, Jazmaine, Kenede (yes, that's supposed to be Kennedy), Kayc, Keearah, Kyealea, Lateisha, Madasyn, Maddelen, Matildah, Myher, Murissa, Porscha, Rhyleagh, Summah.

Hyphenation/apostrophes gone mad
Aale'yah, Angelina-Boromey, Bre'anna, Char-Lee, Chey'Li, Emma'Lee, Eva'Rose, Halia-Rose, Isabella-Maddison, Isabella-Pauli, J'Larni, Jada-Jasmine, Jha-Zeil, K-Lee, Kai-Leigh, Layla'Raye, Ma'kaya-Lorraine, Raffi-Elle, Ruby-Anais, She-Ro, Skyler-Raine, Te-Arna, Teiria-Teaomanga.

Classy, darl, classy!
Acacia, Brielle, Chanel, Dariaux, Dior, Giverny, Lior, Monet, Revelle, Sable, Shardae, Teneille.

These are just ordinary old nouns and adjectives, people, not names
Clemency, Experience, Harmony, Patience, Serenity, Serene.

Destined to be a pole dancer
Akaidia, Amethyst, Angelle, Ashanti, Avalon, Bijou, Blayze, Bibi, Buffy, Chayse, Coco, Delilah, Dusty, Emerald, Flaire, Fayre, Gigi, Ginger, Gypsie, Hasti, Isis, Jazzelle, Jewel, Kismet, Lacey, Lelou, Loralai, Lotus, Loulou, Magnolia, Marigold, Mischka, Myky, Ocean, Opal, Pepper, Raven, River, Saffron, Sapphire, Sequoya, Star, Storm, Sunset, Tiger-Lily, Trinity, Wednesday, Velvet, Willow, Winter.

Another child is born in the ghettoooo...
Aashka, Aiyanah, Aliandra, Aliqua, Ayette, Briayshia, Chantae, Charnae, Chernille, Isheekeba, Jakira, Janaya, Kaniesha, Kanye, Kasharna, Katayah, Keshani, Kennocha, Kyesha, Lakeesha, Lashawna, Letaya, Nakeisha, Nasheeta, Natikah, Quinaiha, Qwynisha, Rachita, Rakeisha, (uh oh - we've hit the "sh" names and there's an arselolad of 'em) Shailea, Shaimsha, Shakaye, Shakota, Shakiya, Shanara, Shanaya, Shanee, Shaniqua, Shanrell, Shanze, Shaquanah, Sharanya, Sharndel, Shaykel, Shebella, Sherkia, Shianne, Shomiquah, Shontai, Sonaeya, T'nae, Ta'Shay, Taleeyah, Taleika, Taneisha, Tashara, Tanaya, Tiarnah, Tilyaana, Tkiah, Tleya, Tnisha, Trizarna.

It's not quite ghetto, but it's not quite right either. Probably made-up.
Annecy, Anyana, Arstarsia, Avantika, Azarita, Billyana, Braelyn, Casanne, Chalina, Dashiella, Deniessa, Dellen, Elleanah, Jalanie, Jordis, Kaiason, Kimly, Mairead, Mythany, Rayenne, Talise, Yazlyn.

Atlas names
Asia, Brooklyne, Calais, Chyna, Ciera, Elba, Illyria, Jersey, Manasi, Montahhareh, Oceania, Paris, Shiloh, Tarlee,

And, of course, the ones that need special jeering:

Alaska "It's so cold, in Alaska/When she takes speed/They laugh and ask her/What is in her mind." Thank you, Mr Lou Reed.
Alektra Go ask your dad how to spell your name properly.
Ambreen Christ, that's ugly! It sounds like fingernails on a blackboard.
Anastasia-Angle I know "Angel" is hard to spell sometimes. I know. It's like forgetting to put the L in public. But really, I think you should have tried a bit harder for your daughter's birth certificate.
Azaria Registry worker: "Excuse me, madam! I'm sorry, you can't use this name. We had far too much trouble with it last time. Pick another one. What about Caterina? I like Caterina."
Bligh Right. Captain who lost his ship to mutineers, reasonably foul-tempered Governor of NSW. Perfect name for a little girl!
Capri Capri pants = crap. Ford Capri = crap. Notice a trend here? If you rearrange the letters, it even spells CRAPI.
Chai This is really one of her middle names. Her first names are Spiced Soy. Her surname is Latte. Her parents are mad.
Chardennay Whoa. I know this name became quite popular in the UK after the first season of Footballers' Wives, but I thought everyone had forgotten about it now. This one always makes me think of the drag queen in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Chippy Pauline Hanson's granddaughter.
Coeli I can't wait until this kid has to do biology and the class is learning about that nasty, icky poo bug, E. coli.
Creina A particularly foul skin disease that causes carbuncles and peeling.
Dahli Since there's been a bit of a rash of people naming their kids after artists (see Monet above), I would like to think this child was named for that mad mostachioed master of the dripping clock. Otherwise, the options are (a) it's short for "darling" or (b) it's Foreign. Just in case it's the latter, I'll shut up now.
Destanee Oh, whacko. That one's pole dancing gold. She'll probably take "Susan" as her stage name though.
Demi-Tina What? Only half a Tina? Which half did they get?
Dorcus I know this is an old Celticky sort of name, but it's just too cruel to use now.
Emjay This is not a name. This is some initials that you just spelled out. Go away and think harder.
Ember Oh, right, like Amber, but, um, a bit more like a hot coal? Right. Great idea. I love it. It's fantastic. Are you an arsonist?
Jamaika-Rose Creative spelling, check. Hyphen, check. Future pole dancer, check. Poor kid. Three strikes and yerrrrout.
Kakodah Please, please, let this not be some sort of bastardisation of Kokoda. The cringe is too great. I may not survive it.
Kwalah Is this one Foreign too? Because it looks suspiciously like the name a rogue drop-bear would give itself as it tied a red rag around his head and went on a gun-totin' rampage.
Kiden No, these parents seem to have been serious.
Makita Obviously dad would have preferred a bench saw.
Margherita She has a brother called Four Seasons and a sister called With-the-Lot-Hold-the-Anchovies. (Everyone calls her Lottie for short, though.)
Maybelline "Well, it was just so cute. The first thing she did was grab my lipstick. We thought of calling her 'Slutty Red Oil Slick', but we decided against it."
Mystique We all liked that Jackman boy in X-Men (especially when he was sans shirt) and we'd all like to have a cool mutation like being able to summon Haigh's chocolate by just thinking about it, but calling your daughter Mystique is taking things too far. She's going to end up a pole dancer. A blue one.
Rykiah The first baby in the world that can be put together with an alan key.
Taimania Small island off southern Australia where everyone is just crazy about noodles topped with crushed peanuts.
Tannisen Pommy guy. Poet. Dead. Wrote "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and "The Lady of the Shallott", yeah?
Tennent Probably related to Merchant from the boys' list.
Tonique The only tonique I'm interested in is the watery sort, in a glass with my vodka. And even then, I'd prefer soda.
Zinfandel Dunno about you, but I'd love to be named after a shitty white wine. I suppose they could have called her UDL, though, so she should be thankful.

But there can be only one, as Sean Connery said when he was wearing that natty red velvet suit and dishy hat in Highlander. And here it is. The Shallow Bush Grave Name of 2006 (drum roll, etc., etc.)

Spiral-Moon Wow. I really am in awe.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

SBG Redux

I've said it before and I'll say it again. In fact, I should just make a recording. What the hell is wrong with people?

You may have noticed from my sidebar that I have a very, very slight obsession with inappropriate baby names. I'm sorry to say that the problem has reached plague proportions. For every nice, normal name like Nick and Jack and Holly and Eva, there are five nasty, shallow bush grave names like Shaniquwaah and Blayde and Jayden and Keshani. Giving a child one of these names condemns him or her to

  • a shallow bush grave (in extreme cases);
  • a life of socioeconomic disadvantage;
  • or, at the very least, to a lifetime of having to spell that crappy name every time they order pizza or make an appointment.

There are variations on the SBG theme, including the trailer trash name, the ghetto name and, for the girls, the stripper name. All are cruel and unusual punishment.

Every January, Hatch, Match and Dispatch puts together a list of all the names that have been given to children the year before. The 2006 list came out on Monday, but I hadn't had a chance to get to it until today. (Bloke cleared out for foreign climes yet again this morning (sniff!), leaving me with plenty of time on my hands). It didn't make for pleasant reading, people. Here we go with the boys:

There were the usual crimes against spelling committed by people who wanted their kids' names to be different and creative (but who just end up sounding like they have adenoid trouble or a slight brian injury): Baqer, Bay-Lih, Aksel, Adikus, Coopa, Danyall, Deazal, Dontae, Frayzah, Harrysen, Huntar, Jerramy, Jaymz, Keilghe (I think this is supposed to be "Kyle"), Linkin, Lokhlan, Maqenzee, Pheonix, Rivah, Xavaeir.

The ridiculous hyphenated and grocers'-apostrophied names: Alex-Zander, BJ-Basil, Cam'Ron, Cornelieu-Ioan, Indi-Oaklen, Jiley-Kim, Marc-Marwen, Maximillian-Claudius, O'Che, Shah-Fred.

Lord of the Rings (or just sound like they belong there): Balin (and Eowyn, Arwen and Pippin in the girls' section).

Star Wars (ditto): Anakin, Krillin, Rith, Tjeryan, Zarich, Zaak, Zixin.

US soap opera names: Chance, Moss, Reef, Rayne, Storm.

The people who think if they name their kids after someone famous, they'll follow in their footsteps: Beckham, Bonn, Bradtke, Brock, Bryson, Hendrix, Jamiriqui. (Thank Ford no-one called their son Irwin.)

Dogs' names: Butch, Banjo, Bosco, Kaiser, Kip.

The kids who are going to be teased mercilessly and will end up with eating disorders: Ador, Best, Florian, Fatonah, Linus, Mabil, Milo, Medwin, Trumby.

The kids whose parents obviously made up their names: Ashkan, Acelin, Caeydin, Braithan, Danthra, Corrado, Deontae, Dreyse, Eraynd, Jachin, Jaikye, Jaityn, Jaxton, Jharlei, Jibril, Kaiji, Navid, Naysan, Rhylan, Tayton.

The people who chose geograhical names for their children because they sounded so exotic (but since they don't own an atlas, they don't realise when they've mis-spelled them): Boston, Brooklyn, Cypress, Dakotah, Denver, Harvard, Jarva, Kairo, Rome, Yyork.

The people who don't realise that names from mythology, ancient history and Dickens often don't work now: Ajax, Hadrian, Hector, Jethro, Judah, Loki, Lucafer, Moses, Odin, Serafeim, Socrates.

There were the ones that came straight from the ghetto: Jamayne, Jyrelle, Kyrelle, Lamine, Lethaniel, Nashawn, Shakielle, Shayden, Shayaan, Tashawn, Tyrique.

And the ones that sounded kinda cool because of their connotations, but are nonetheless ridiculous: Blade, Jazz, Jet, Justice, Krush, Kouger, Maverick, Ocean, Radman (yeah, rad, man!), Rocky, Zephyr.

And then there were the real champions:

Aramis I don't care whether you named your kid after the Musketeer or the aftershave. It's a crap name and he's going to get beaten up. Often.
Apostle-Paul "Appy" for short?
Aryan Whose daddy's a white supremacist, then? Aww, cootchy-cootchy-ziegheil!
Bless Maybe he can hang around with Aryan and be a calming influence.
Dazza Are his friends going to nick-name him Darren?
Django Could this be a euphemism for the happy 'baccy? As in, "Don't bogart the django, man!" Either that, or the catch-cry of a super hero named Ebonics Man from a '70s Blacksploitation film.
Eagle Strange how no-one ever calls their kid Magpie or Lice-Besmirched Pigeon. That would work.
Fox And why doesn't anyone ever call their kid Ferret or Dung-Beetle? Oh well. At least little Fox and Eagle can play soccer together after they've finished torturing kittens and burning down the school.
Gemtree Well, I like gems and I like trees, so...
Mazin Please, oh please, tell me this is not an abbreviated version of "Amazing". It's a boy's name, so the middle name can't be Grace.
Merchant Huh?
Rathanak Klingon for, "Why, no thank you, I don't belive I will have any pudding this evening".
Oz Great. The inspiration here was either a lame Judy Garland movie or that sweet, funny US prison show. Destined to be beaten up at school.
PJ Were they sending the birth certificate by telegram? Did they have to pay by the letter or something?
Rommell See Aryan, further up. Deutschland, Deutschland, uber alles...
Safari Le sigh.
Shikane Er, don't racing cars go through these?
Tahkoma Bletch. Sounds cancerous.
Taine I believe this is a polite term for a skid mark on a pair of Y-fronts.
Taltos Let me guess, you love Anne Rice's books, right?
Tekin And your husband was big on video games? Gosh, I'm psychic.
Tresor You named your son after your favourite perfume. Wow. I'm... speechless.
Viva Hmm, I know I've heard that somewhere before. An Elvis song maybe?
Vegas Oh, yeah! Now I remember! I hope that Viva and Vegas become friends and meet an open-minded girl named Las when they grow up.
Vissarion A little-known but extremely powerful treatment for planter warts. (Ooh, let's paint a bucket of the stuff on Philip Ruddock and see if he'll vanish! If it works, we'll buy a 44 gallon drum and go to work on John Howard, Amanda Vanstone and Alexander Downer too.)
Zainul Is it just me, or is a fairly bad idea to give a child a name that rhymes with "anal"?
Zebulon Just spray on the Zebulon and bam! That taine is gone!

Oh, holy hell. I don't think I can go on. I haven't even got to the girls yet. If I don't slash my wrists tonight, I'll finish up tomorrow.

Why, oh why, are people so unkind?

Edit: Oops. I just went back to visit the Apple Barrel and realised that since I popped in this morning, people have been talking about crazy kids' names there all day. Sorry, Audrey - I didn't mean to copy!


Thursday, January 04, 2007

I knew it!

Gay people have way more fun than straight people. How do I know this? Gay advertising is so much more entertaining than the mainstream rubbish.

Sitting in the pub tonight, I found Objects of Love, the official guide to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The cover looked promising, with little circular images including a nekkid bum, some boobs and a martini, but it was the ads that really stole the show.

Page 5: an ad for a dental practice with a lovely looking boy dressed only in a very low-slung towel and holding up a toothbrush. The pitch? "Things you'll never hear at Holdsworth House Dental Practice", including:

  • "I'm sure you've had nastier things in your mouth."
  • "So, got any kids yet?"
  • "That will cost... oh, just give us your car."
  • "Come on down, and bring your sought-after pink dollars!"
  • "No need to be afraid of a little prick!"

Comedy gold! Why don't they put stuff like this in mainstream publications? Are straight people really that easily offended? I'd pay extra to go to a dentist who never asked whether I had any kids yet.

Further in, we have an ad for water: "Pump me all night". Nice. Next page? Two extremely toned arses advertising Austrian Airways with the words, "No butts about it, we've got great packages."

A few more pages in, there's an ad for a deoderant called Naked. Of course.

I just couldn't find a thing to wear.

By this point, I was starting to feel very jealous, but then I reached the art exhibition ad on page 46. Suddenly, I was not jealous at all. But I was very, very sober:

The chairs! Take pity on the chairs!

Page 53 is advertising something called Sanctuary. I'm not sure what it is, but it's for when your "muff" is "feeling tuff". Um, excuse me, but how does one know if one's muff is feeling tuff? Does it start demanding tequlia laybacks and trying to pick fights with Hell's Angels?

On Page 61, there's an ad for a place called Hairstop, with a "Cheeky Mardi Gras Special - Pay for one cheek and get the other cheek on us." Apparently, this is valued at $300. (Why does it cost $300 to wax one bum cheek when legs only cost about $35? Wouldn't an arse be fairly easy to wax? And isn't that exploiting the pink dollar?)

Seven pages later, we have a full page ad for a nudey beach on Mykonos, complete with some boys wandering along in the buff. Page 70? Cocksox, of course.

And this is just the ads! The shows and exhibitions and parties look even more fun! Mardi Gras advertising is da shiz. I'm feeling pretty damned gypped with the mainstream junk, now that I've seen this. It just doesn't look like they're even trying to be witty or amusing, compared to this stuff. As an example, have a look at what I pulled out of an envelope full of rubbish in my letterbox today:

Who ordered the shaved chihuahua?

I think I'll have the guy on the train, thanks.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ask not what your fellow bloggers can do for you...

It's hot and it's just going to get hotter. Before Saturday, I mean, not in a "global warming is here and we're all going to die" sort of way, even though we probably are. Oh, Ford, who died and made me Bono?

Anyway, what does one drink in such putrid weather when one doesn't care for beer? Why, a mojito, of course.

Here's one I prepared (and drank) earlier

And it's easy. Because I lovesyouseall, and because ThirdCat once expressed a scrap of interest, I'm going to share my carefully-guarded mojito recipe. All you need is Havana Club (or any other white rum), limes, fresh mint leaves, sugar, ice and soda water. Oh, and a glass and a mouth, but those are usually fairly readily available.

Ah, all the ingredients for heaven in a glass

The only difficult part may be finding something to use as a muddler. I use my rolling pin, bequeathed by my grandmother and also very useful for making gingerbread. I believe you can also buy small lumps of wood from sniffy saucepan shops staffed by Prue and Trude lookalikes, but no-one wants to have to go there. A sturdy wooden spoon would probably do quite nicely.

Drop a few lime wedges, a few mint sprigs and a teaspoon of sugar into the bottom of the glass thusly:

Give it a good scrunching with whatever nubby wooden implement you have nearby. Smell the mint and the lime? Mmm. Knock in a healthy shot of Havana Club and a handful of ice-cubes and top it up with cold soda water. Give it a stir to distribute the sugar and finish it with another lime wedge and a mint sprig.

If you're doing these for a crowd, it makes things much easier if you make a simple syrup because you don't have to worry about crunchy bits of sugar floating about. Don't worry, it's true to its name: simple. Put a cup of sugar and a cup of water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir it until the sugar has dissolved and let it cool. About 15ml, or half a shot glass, is enough per drink.

So, go to! It goes very well with crisps.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 01, 2007

James Joyce is like raw oysters

That should probably be "You're whit stupid".

A few weeks ago, one of the Guardian Books Blog contributors wrote a post about not liking things that one is expected to like. I can't find it now and I can't remember who the contributor was, so I'll just have to hope I'm not plagiarising him/her all to buggery. The upshot of the post was that there are some things that you simply can't admit to not liking if you wish to be taken seriously. So I thought I'd make a little list for your jeering pleasure.

I hate James Joyce with a passion
There. Said it. Ulysses was one of the most miserable reading experiences of my university life. I coped with Dubliners and found A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man mildly annoying, but nothing cold have prepared me for the horror of Ulysses. I disliked it so much that I sold it. Bloomsday leaves me pale and traumatised at the thought of Joyce buffs the world over merrily scarfing kidneys and Guiness.

I suppose I should be thankful the lecturer didn't add Finnegan's Wake to the curriculum as well. I understand that it makes Molly Bloom's punctuation- and grammar-free rant seem clear and concise.

The Coen Brothers leave me cold
Another one of those ol' sacred cows. Thinking people love the Coens. Well, I hated Fargo. It was just so damned predictable. If you hire petty criminals to kidnap your wife so you can collect the ransom from your father-in-law, there's a fair chance that things are going to go arse up, though I will admit that I didn't see the woodchipper coming. But Frances McDormand's accent annoyed me and I wanted to give William H. Macey a good slapping.

I found Barton Fink incomprehensible and not even George Clooney could incude me to watch O Brother, Where Art Thou? That said, I didn't mind Miller's Crossing, but that was only because Gabriel Byrne was in it. Even then, I don't think I'd bother watching it again. Sorry, Coen Brothers, but that's more strikes than hits. I'm afraid I'm voting you off the island.

I don't get Stanley Kubrick
Bloke and his mates love Kubrick. They adore 2001: A Space Odyssey. I think watching it is like being licked to death by a sloth.

"Open the pod bay door, Hal."
"Sorry, I can't do that, Dave."
Repeat ad nauseam. Add some flickery lighting effects and a bunch of monkeys.

I like Vietnam War movies, so I don't mind Full Metal Jacket and I can see why The Shining has a cult following, but Dr Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange just don't do it for me. Give me a good monster movie or some of Peter Jackson's old schlock films any day.

Opera, musicals, ballet and modern dance bore me senseless
The pain threshold is very low here. Perhaps I just don't have much of a concentration span. Oh, look at a the pretty moth! Sorry, what was I saying? Oh, yeah. Musical things and dancey stuff. I know I'm a philistine, but I just can't do it. The last time I saw any modern dance, ADT was still called Australian Dance Theatre and Meryl Tankard was the supremo. From the look of that particular show (the name escapes me), all the dancers had been having a collective tantrum over who would get the solos, so Meryl rounded them up and said, "Don't fret, my darlings - you shall ALL have solos!" It made me want to injure myself just to get away.

As for musicals, I can't even sit through all of My Fair Lady or The King and I, and Moulin Rouge made me want to slash my wrists after 10 minutes. You can keep The Boy From Oz and the bloody silly Lion King.

Oh, and if someone could manage to set fire to that dirty great white Cirque du Soleil tent, I'd be much obliged.

Brad Pitt is not attractive
Yeah, yeah, wash my mouth out. Sorry, he looks like a scruffy little guttersnipe. Angelina (who is known in our household as "Crack Whore" for the simple reason that Bloke thinks she's a bit of a all right) can keep him. Give me Hugh Laurie or Clive Owen any day.

Jamie Oliver is a prat
I can't tell you how bored I am with Mr Naked Chef. I don't care what he has to say about school dinners, or whether he takes miserable little street kids and turns them into miserable little apprentice chefs, or whether he has the biggest, bestest restaurant in the world. He's a wanker. Anyone who accepts 15,000 pounds to put Heinz Baked Beans on their restaurant menu and is then mortified when people find out deserves everything he gets.

Bono has a lot in common with Jamie Oliver
Sure, I don't mind a bit of U2 from time to time, but a very small bit. I started to turn on Bono last year when he enlisted that caterwauling horror Mary J. Blige to help butcher One. I was thoroughly bored with U2 by the time they finally played in Adelaide, especially since everyone in the world seemed to be going and spoke of nothing else for a week beforehand. When I heard that the guy sent his private jet to collect a hat he had forgotten, that was the finish. You have no right to bang on about saving the planet when you pull stunts like that, old sport. Go and stand in the corner.

Goat's cheese tastes like crap
I know I'm supposed to appreciate goat's cheese, but it smells and tastes like creamed sweat sock. Just give me a chunk of cheddar and a Jatz biscuit and leave me the hell alone. Oh, and while we're on the subject of food that I should like but can't stand, oysters au naturel have the texture of chewed-up snot. If you want me to eat them, you're just going to have to cook them.

Beer smells
I realise that for an Australian, admitting this is sacrilegious. It's even worse to be a journalist who doesn't like beer. I really have tried to like it, just like I've tried to like coffee and red wine, but I've finally given up. I just can't stand any of them.

I guess that's enough to keep you smirking at me for a while. When you've finished jeering, though, make me feel better - tell me some things that you feel like you're supposed to like, but can't stand.