Sunday, July 29, 2007

I got nothin' for yers

Try as I might, I can't think of anything to blog about. It could have something to do with the fact that I was so hung over yesterday that I really thought I might have sprained my hair.

So I'm going to send you off to see some of my funnier and far more entertaining friends and associates with newish blogs.

First on the list is daydreams of a narcoleptic bedwetter. Its proprietor is hungry, hungry hypocrite, a grouchy bastard with a satirical streak a mile wide, so give him a whirl.

Next you should defintely pop along to Snarkeology. Funny. Go.

And finally, my pal Sakura has a dandy little blog called Number 28. We always knew she was a freak magnet, but I reckon her latest post about her neighbours clinches it.

In the meantime, if anyone has any blog ideas that they can't be bothered using themselves, I'd be glad of them.


Sunday, July 22, 2007


And there was silence all across the world as kids, large and small, read.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's a fine, fine line...

Ah, it's a fine, fine line between fan and freak.

A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book called What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7? by the mugglenet people. Hey, I'm mildly HP-obsessed and I just love free books. Sold.

But reading this book made me realise a couple of things. You might consider yourself a fan of something, but unless you (a) visit fan sites (b) read/write fan fiction and (c) own dress-up outfits, you're a lightweight, baby.

When I said I'd review the HP5 movie, my ed said, "Sounds dandy! But if you're wearing wizard robes, can you please not say you're from [publicaion name deleted]? that would just be embarrassing."

And fear not - I agree. I have been guilty of (a) in the past few days, but that's just because News Ltd and the Guardian keep publishing links to "spoilers" and I'm desperate to say, "Ha! As if that's going to happen! Pfffft!"

But in the Potterverse, I don't even qualify as a fan. I'm just a lightweight who happens to have read all the books and seen all the movies. You know, a big girl's blouse in terms of hard-core Harry fans.

Fan fiction and dress-up boxes are a whole different ballgame, baby. It's like the difference between watching a fair bit of Star Trek when you're a bit tiddly late at night and actually owning a Klingon make-up set, dictionary and uniform and having a character that you've named and pretend to be at Star Trek conventions. Or putting "Jedi" on your census form. You know, weird.

So unless you're a true Potter nerd, you can have no idea how many pages of fan fiction there are out there. It's not just JK Rowling whose churning out the wizard words. Just one site has something like 40,000 fan-penned stories. I'm guessing every one of them can name the magical decree where Professor Umbridge declares herself head mistress of Hogwarts, know which floor Moaning Myrtle's bathroom is on and what makes the girls' staircase in the Hogwarts dorm turn into a slippery dip. In fact, think of that episode of the Simpsons where Homer becomes the voice of (doomed and dull) Poochie and goes to a signing event. The people in that audience are just like the Potter fanfreaks.

Can you imagine being JK Rowling at one of those events? I mean, I wish to Christ I was, because then I'd be richer than the Queen, younger, better looking and married to someone who wasn't Prince Philip. But I'm a little absent-minded, so I have to admit that if I were a famous writer and someone asked me a question about page 345 of the third book, I'd be thinking, "Oh, fafuxxake. I don't know!" I'd probably just make something up on the spot because I'd be incapable of remembering what I'd written. After all, I do that at work all the time.

But as much as I love him, one of my pals is a Harry-Hermione 'shipper. Yes, he is clinging to the ridiculous hope that Harry and Hermione are going to end up together. Even though JK Rowling has said the current partnerships won't change (in my defence, I only know this because of the review book). Even though it makes no sense for Harry and Hermione to be together after she and Ron have spent six years eyeing each other off and Harry and Hermione are like brother and sister. No. He maintains that unless the two Hs get together, the entire series will have been wasted.

Look, I really don't care one way or another. The whole series will not have been spoiled for me if H and H do get together, but I recognise that it's implausible. But there are some things that really have to be in then next book. I know there are wankers who are pretending to leak spoilers left, right and centre that Harry, Ron and Hermione all die and are reunited in some sort of Deathly Hallows afterlife with Dumbledore, Sirius and Harry's parents, but pulease! Who's going to believe that?

Harry has to kill Voldemort. Dumbledore is dead. And Hagrid and either Ron or Hermione are doomed. Also, I don't like Lupin's chances.

So fafuxxake! Can we just have the book now?! I can't stand the suspense anymore!

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Friday, July 13, 2007

You shit me to tears...

Ah, whatever happened to The Tenants? In memory of a great one-hit wonder of a Triple J Unearthed winner, I give you the things that are shitting me to tears this week:

People who are bothered by me jaywalking
I am a committed jaywalker. I say if it's good enough for our Lord Mayor, it's good enough for me. In the past few days, I've looked both ways and walked against the lights, only to have two people say (not to me, but loudly so I can hear it), "She must be colour blind" and "She took her life in her hands there!" FFS, people. It's Oddelaide. Ever tried to cross a highway in Kuala Lumpur? That's taking your life in your hands. And do you think you might mind your own fucking business? Hmm? If I get run over, I'll try not to splatter you with my tragically-wasted grey matter, OK? Now piss off.

I know that coming from me this sounds a little rich, but cheer the fuck up! You can't all have had deaths in the family/been laid low by the futility of modern existence/read The Catcher in the Rye in the same week. And I don't think that with those hairdos, you should be driving. I'd really rather you could see out of both eyes. Remember, I jaywalk.

It's not that I don't like 'em. It's just that I'd rather not see 'em. I can't remember who said it (and Google and my short attention span stubbornly refuse to oblige me) but I think it might have been Dorothy Parker: her publisher told her to be in his office at eight the next morning. The response was something to the effect of, "Why, are there TWO eight o'clocks in a day?" Hear, hear, my dear.

I don't really mind being awake so long as I don't have to get out of my toasty-kitty-warmed cocoon. Ah, bed. It's the only place to be these frosty mornings. Inevitably, I drag my sorry arse out from under the doona and tramp to the train station for my blissful half-hour of reading only to be vomited onto a platform absolutely heaving with zombies.

Yes, zombies.

Nothing else can describe the way train passengers stagger towards the turnstyles, tickets in their death-clawed fists. Their eyes are dead and their limbs are slack. What else can be drawing them forward but the faint but sustaining hope of warm brains? And I join them. What else am I going to do? If I let them know I'm still alive, they'll have bitten through my skull in the time it took John Howard to refuse to say sorry.

So piss off, mornings. I'll deal with you after midday.

Crappy attempts at marketing
Ad people, please listen to me when I say that I will never buy a product called Nurofen: Period Pain. I find the name insulting and unless it contains dehydrated vodka and super-concentrated chocolate, I can't see how it will work better than standard painkillers. Am I supposed to go, "Ooh, period! I have one of those!" and buy it? Pffft. Get a grip.

High heels
I ain't a shoe gal, as such. I refuse to have any truck with something that causes me pain and high heels are pretty high on that list. When my feet hurt, I'm in danger of committing murder, and not just the average shoot-you-through-the-skull type of murder. We're talking slow and painful, like peeling off all of your skin a hotdog skin at a time.

However, I do love boots. I think I have more boots than shoes. So when my favourite boots died, I was bereft. Just like all the other doggies (sorry, obscure Scout songbook reference) I raised a little headstone and on it I did write, "Where the fuck did my boots go?" No-one answered, so I went and bought another pair. And of course, the new ones pinched like a pervy uncle.

I have yet to sink low enough to buy ugg boots, but I demand comfy shoes, Ford-damnit!

Being expected to pay $12 a kilo for zucchini
Come on. How many people, when asked what their favourite vegetable is, say "Oh, zucchini! Every time! Love it boiled, stewed or raw." They're just padding. They don't have any taste. You use them to make your bolognaise go a bit further or add fibre to your chilli con carne. And every bastard knows that if you take your eye off the bastards they grow into something as long and thick as your forearm that would put John Holmes to shame. So do not tell me that they're worth $12 a kilo.

The fridge
I know I've whined about fridginess before, but it warrants a second whinge. How is it that stuff goes moldy with such monotonous regularity? The cheese turned blue and lumpy while I wasn't looking. And I fished out a bag with some anonymous green sludge in the bottom the other day and on the way to the bin showed it to Bloke.

"What's that?" he said, with wrinkled nose.
"Erm, you probably should ask what it used to be," I said with a blithe smile.

(Hint: it looked like squashed caterpilars, so it was probably about a book's worth of zucchini.)

Teenagers getting book deals
Now this really shits me to tears. It's even worse because I looked in The Aus a couple of months back and realised that (a) I couldn't possibly finish a Vogel-worthy manuscript by May 31 and (b) by next year I would be too old to enter. Something died in me about then. Yes, I think it may well have been the world's smallest violin, so just bite me, all right? But I had a horrible flashback to my uni days (mark one) when my thesis supervisor told me the sorry tale of suddenly realising she was Too Old for the Vogel. Ha, my 20-year-old self thought. I'll be published before I'm 35! And here one is. Not.

So, every time I see a story about some bloody over-achieving 15-year-old with a three-book deal for a gazillion bucks and who just happens to have parents who are teachers or lawyers or rocket scientists it annoys me just a tad. Christoper Paolini, I realise you are now somewhat more than 15 and that your parents paid to publish Eragon the first time 'round, but I'm looking at you, sonny jim.

When I spend my precious time cleaning something, it should bloody stay like that, goddamnit! After all, every time I scrub the scum of soap and toothpaste off the bathroom, it's another 45 minutes of my life that I'll never get back, you know? Maybe if I'd never cleaned the bathroom, I'd have written that Vogel-winner by now.

Cue violins.

But I'd also have the bathroom out of Trainspotting. Swings and roundabouts, I guess. Swings and roundabouts.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

All aboard the rude express

Recently, I had an Extremely Odd Transport Day.

It started with catching a ride on the rude express in the morning. For some reason, I got The Early Train, which is packed with school kiddies and people who would rather be asleep. I crawled on and snaffled a window seat. The woman opposite me was champing open-mouthed on a wad of gum. At 7.30am. The guy next to her was quite personable, yet chose to snort snot back into his throat instead of blowing his nose like a civilised person and to cough without covering his mouth. Little did he know that his life was in danger.

The carriage filled quite quickly, mostly with kids wearing sniffy college uniforms. Being a public school gal myself, I can't tell one sniffy school uniform from another, but I figure that if the kids are wearing blazers, then their parents are probably paying more than they should. Anyway, the little college loves had grabbed most of the seats early on and even though the train was full and adults were strap-hanging, did they stand up as they were supposed to? No! Obviously that rule only applies to public school students. They were far too good for that caper.

By the time I got into town, I'd been generous with my patented could-strip-paint look. Sadly, only the guy with the wet cough had taken any notice, but at least he was covering his germ-dripping gob. Everyone else had ignored my Medusa stare and somehow not been turned to stone. Perhaps it's all about eye contact. Still, I wanted to drop a rolled-up rubber band into the hair of the gum chewer and I really wished I had had the energy to blast the overprivileged brats who were sitting down while adults stood. I don't know which school they came from - probably No Manners Grammar.

After lunch, I found myself in a taxi driven by a guy who was literally willing to go to the ends of the earth to get me to my destination, which happened to be a wharf in the back of Port Adelaide. It's not usually that hard to get to the docks, but there are roadworks at the moment and the usual route looks a bit like a kids' sandpit minus the cat poop but with more bits of broken concrete.

Mr Cabbie decided he knew where we should be going, even though I told him I was heading for a Damn Big Ship and couldn't see one anywhere near here. Before I knew it, we were heading crosscountry over a big patch of ripped-up road. I swear if I hadn't told him three times to turn back, we would have driven off the end of a half-made bridge and into the Port River. Enthusiasm for one's job is commendable, but only to a point, y'know?

Eventually we found our way to the dock. Thank Ford, Mr Cabbie proved to be the only man in the world willing to ask another man for directions. Hallefordja. Shortly afterwards, I found myself wrapped in a fluro yellow safety vest of cavernous proportions to make the dangerous trek across a stretch of forklift-infested bitumen. The guy said the vest was one size fits all, but I think it was actually one size fits three.

My destination was a dirty great cargo ship being loaded with oranges. Hurrah for oranges, eh? Without them, we'd have no Jaffas, no vodka and orange and no Beroccas. I don't really have any other uses for oranges, but as those three are quite important I'll tolerate them.

Me and my notebook and camera got dragged all over said cargo ship: the officers' mess (bolted-down tables, manky dried flowers, remarkably low ceilings and signs warning about being shitfaced on duty); the bridge (big windows, nothing resembling a wheel and midgets in white uniforms); the engine room (more dials, gauges and pipes than your average nuclear reactor and Snow White's Seven Dwarfs running the place) and the deck and holds (goodness, what a big crane you have!) Oh, and a fuckload of oranges. About 5000 tonnes, to be exact.

As I left several hours later, a Thai crewman said, "Goodbye, sir!" Thanks, mate. That makes me feel just great. If you weren't four foot eight, I'd bloody 'ave ya!

By the time I got off the ship, it was 5 o'clock and nearly dark. The gloaming, I think Scots poets and drunkards call it. Calling a cab didn't seem like a great idea, since the guy who'd dropped me there was probably the only cabbie in Oddelaide who'd be able to find the place. I thought I'd walk to the main road and then get one. Ha.

Among my many flaws is the unfailing ability to get lost within, oh, three seconds. I have no sense of direction. I'm completely incapable of taking my bearings, let alone finding them again. I usually just start walking and hope that it's the right direction. Of course it never is.

The backblocks of Port Adelaide are not what you'd call a pleasant place to be with darkness descending. In fact, a ute slowed down and did a u-turn behind me and it was only willpower, the lack of running spikes and the realisation that at least one man in the near vicinity had recently mistaken me for a bloke that kept me from taking off like Cathy Freeman.

There weren't any footpaths, either: just rather rocky verges that led past freight handlers and pallet-makers and a rather noisome company that claimed to send things to Kangaroo Island but really just smelled like stale sheep piss. Very stale sheep piss.

So, there I was. Lost, but couldn't call a cab because I had no idea where I was. Hurrah for me. Finally, I looked over my shoulder, saw the cement works and realised that I was definitely walking in the wrong direction. I already had blisters and unless I wanted to find myself with blisters and a custom-built shallow bush grave, turning around seemed like rather a good plan.

Naturally, I had to walk back past the very stale sheep piss.

But happily I found my way into the Port without being murdered, found a cab in front of a pub I have been known to frequent and was home five minutes later.

Only to find Mr Furpants had had an identity crisis and sprayed in my study.

Rude express, crazy taxi, cargo ship staffed by blind midgets, lost in the boonies and cat pee in the house. Whacko for that day, eh?


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