Saturday, September 30, 2006

A body in the garden..?


Hiding in the briars *teehee*

An odd little creeper growing in the yard.

Woodland violets.

Late-night photos in the garden.


While clearing the front yard this morning/afternoon, I uncovered a bag of clothes buried in a shallow "grave."

They were rather old and the plastic bag they were in had started to break down, and the only reason I really noticed them is because a flourescent yellow centipede crawled out of the bag when I raked over it.*

Rather a surreal moment... I'm digging around afterwards thinking, "Great, so when's a body going to turn up?"

With all of the junk that I've uncovered in the gardens on the property with my gardening adventures to date, I kind of wouldn't be surprised if there was something like that around!

*This is in the area of the garden under a lot of bushes and trees that I've never done any work in before.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

After having not looked at Radar for yonks, I thought I might check it out while wandering around the blogs on the Sydney Morning Herald. It's a lot quieter there than it used to be... And my favourite bit, Style Council, is missing for the week.

Although checking this comments page did provide some entertainment and I think Mark Latham might have discovered blogging (scroll down far enough and you'll see enough references to "suckholes" to see what I mean ;). The mind boggles.

When I grow up...


When I was little, I really wanted to be a detective. But I think it was probably due to far too many readings of Nancy Drew books (and not wondering 'til a few years later how she actually managed to have any brain function left at all, seeing how many times she was smacked on the head and knocked out). And now I find I still have no idea of what I want to be, other than myself, which is a handy starting point, but not a career.

Still would love to have done medicine and become a doctor. Would also love to have done more with massage/reflexology/physio sort of stuff. Or kept up with learning languages. But my current desire, if I won the lottery or something (which would require buying a ticket... so that's where I'm going wrong), would be to go back to the Barossa, buy a farm and work with producing organic foods as my family used to. But I blame that entirely on loving (most of) the Barossa, it's food, culture, heritage and so on rather a lot,* loving organic food and getting enthused by The Cook and The Chef. Maybe write a cookbook or two... Do creative things. You know the kinda thing.

But then I'd probably get rather bored of that after a while.

Still, I miss going to watercolour lessons at one of the galleries with a local artist. I miss Apex Bakery. I miss living in an area that wasn't terribly bushfire prone. I miss having acres and acres of land to roam about on.

Buuuuuuuuut... Don't we always want what we don't have? Plus there are a lot of positives to the local area currently. Apart from that bushfire hazard thing. The amazing deli down the road, cheap antique store, nice neighbours...

*Not the inbred, boring, freakish or touristy bits. Although sometimes the touristy stuff can be really good.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mmm-mm-mm-mmm, make up your own mind?

I read McDonalds dishes dirt of fast food film this morning in The Age, how it's just a "happy coincidence" according to Maccas that they've started their "Make Up Your Own Mind" thing when Fast Food Nation (the movie, not the book, natch) is going to be released here in Australia next month, as well as the book's author, Eric Schlosser, being in town.

Making up my own mind about McDonalds, eh?

Okay, okay, so I'm a vegetarian so it seems a bit redundant, but Maccas isn't just about two all-beef patties slapped on a bun any more (or was that Hungry Jacks? Can't remember, don't pay much attention to beef, I guess). There's the "Healthy Options" stuff with salads, a particularly yummy yoghurt (I dread reading the ingredients for it if I ever find it...), that kind of thing. And something with pasta?

Still, I'm not really sold on it at all, because food now days goes quite a long way beyond the "simple" ingredients like potatoes, a bit of ground beef and some salad stuff. Junk food is generally highly processed food, which cuts beneficial elements of the original foods involved, flavours and colours get added, etc. Sure, the beef patties shown on the new Maccas ads might be happily squished and boxed in a cheerfully nice way, but are there additives? What else is in the burger other than beef? And what about additives in other fast food products?

Reading an extract from Fast Food Nation doesn't inspire me with all that much confidence, other than the confidence to seriously read labels on food packaging more regularly and intensively. Plus having seen Super Size Me... No... Also, on a purely aesthetic level, I don't really like the way the yellow blobs ooze out like liposuction yellow fat on the Make Up Your Own Mind website's "front counter" section.

Anyways! Junk food obviously shouldn't be food that people are eating every day, or even more than a couple of times a week. However, we should probably also be avoiding heavily processed and refined foods anyway as much as we possibly can, which don't always come from fast food places, but your local supermarket.

"Fictionalised thriller" or not, Fast Food Nation will probably be a movie that will raise some interesting points, and hopefully get people reading the book. We need to think more about what we're eating, where it's from, how it's processed and so on, and yes, make up our own minds.
List of things to do on Friday (can't find spare paper at the moment):

> Walk
> Pay Telstra bill - ohh, exciting
> Buy some groceries
> Ring Jim's Mowing or something of that ilk
> Clean yard out as much as possible and get a whole lot of piles of leaves, etc together, provided Jim's Mowing-style people can come sometime
> Write feature article on love - argh!

Great, 23 and already life is mundane. I'll have to put it on my list of things to do to make things a little more interesting... Somehow owning a house and doing house-related stuff makes life so much more serious and un-fun. But it does have its perks too.

Like preparing for bushfire season. And homeloans. And insurance. Plus repairs, maintainence, council rates, yada yada yada. And being able to do whatever you want with the garden and house, renovating, repainting and so on. I like that bit.
This morning I had some time free after finally wrangling with the computer and e-mail and hopefully getting things sorted out (for now), and caught up with reading some articles that had come in a regular weekly e-mail that contains interesting news stories, snippets, etc. One of the articles that piqued my interest was one entitled Teachers speak out of turn, which was written by Greg Toppo and appeared on

The article was about teachers blogging, and some who have been fired for their blogging activities (including a young teacher who got fired for writing about having to teach wood shop without any equipment). It reminded me of something I read earlier in the year about a blogger who used the name La Petite Anglaise, who lost her job for keeping a blog (which wasn't about her work and apparently she only wrote it a couple of times at work).

Found some "stats" on fired bloggers, too, which is a bit weird. There was another link to not only those who've been fired, but also people who have been declined jobs because they keep a blog (even non-offensive ones) and bloggers whose lives have come under threat because of writing (these tended to be in countries such as India, Iran, Egypt, etc), but I failed to copy it down. C'est la vie.

A lot of bloggers do it under their real names, and more and more are high-profile individuals. We get politicians doing blogs, celebrity bloggers, celeberity-spotting bloggers, artists, etc. Of course, blogs are not your run-of-the-mill diary in which you scribble your innermost thoughts before locking and hiding under a mattress or whatever. They're a public forum and as such do attract public attention, regardless of how obscure you may think the little corner you occupy in the blogging world may be.

However, it does seem a little odd for there to be such a level of backlash regarding blogs. Yes, there is a point if your blog is defamatory for your work, people at it, etc, but if it's just a day-to-day run of the mill thing (as Petite Anglaise's is), it begs the question of fairness. Millions of people keep a blog - there are more than 50 million of 'em on Technorati. More and more pop up each day.

But I guess it does serve as a warning to be careful what you say, where you say it and how you say it. Blogs ain't really the place to be spilling your guts, I suppose.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Some really do like it hot

At the end of a news report about global warming on the news tonight, they mentioned George Bush's February hour-long meeting with Michael Crichton, who wrote State of Fear, a novel that tries to sh!t all over global warming concerns (ooh, it's really the environmentalists who are doing it! People who like the environment are soooo naughty, they should just go to their room and think about it - naughty wee devils).

Apparently he hasn't yet met with scientists to seriously discuss the matter or something like that. So I really hope that Bush does something about those damn dinosaurs on that Jurassic Park island once he's done with the War on Terror thing. They're a freaking menace! Particularly those raptors... Maybe call in Sam Neill or someone to help with it.


*sigh* And I can so see why one of my friend's sisters has a crush on Anton Enis. He's so gorgeous! And that accent... Yes, noticed it before, but I'm so sleepy at the moment and just had to comment about it. And I can't believe that doing a google search for how his name is spelled brings up Democrat's senator Andrew Bartlett's blog as one of the results.


Ministry of Silly Raindances

Funny writing about the need to do raindances over Summer earlier, and then reading the news about Malcolm Turnbull and the Office of Water something-or-other and then thinking, "Great, I can get him to do the raindance stuff for me. Wonder how much he charges per hour?"

The ridiculous thing with all of the drought and horrible weather and whatnot that Australia's been experiencing is that the Prime Minister still isn't really acknowledging global warming and isn't doing anything toward the Kyoto Protocol (which even Russia had the decency to sign). Saw him on Lateline the other night saying something about how reducing fossil fuel usage isn't a good idea because wouldn't help Australia in the short-to-medium-term or something like that.

I will admit I am confuzzled by this (and it was late at night, so maybe I sleepily hallucinated it or dreamt it entirely... ikes. Was it even the PM? Brain, stop failing me! And stop demanding more sleep!).

Anyways! In the short term? The SHORT term? No, no references to the PM's height there, but does this man not think, "Sure, not great for the short-term, but by golly I reckon it'd be just great for the long-term." Unless he just wants it warmer and warmer for an eternal season of cricket?

And why does it make me think of Hamilton Johnson in Fletch Lives when he's revealed as the one dumping toxic waste around the area, saying something like, "It'll be alright, Momma. We'll get far away from this chemical swamp and just sit back and watch them all de-com-pose!"?

There might be some disagreement about whether or not global warming is a fact, but the climate change we've experienced is very much real. So why not try something to at least see if it'll work to make it less of a problem? Better than having increasingly hot Summers and sod-all rain.

Open Blogging Letter to SMH

Dear Sydney Morning Herald,

As long-time readers of your newspaper and website, we have noticed your recent trend of increasing your stable of blogs and "opinion" work, particularly on your website. Currently, there are 38, yes, count them, 38 blogs on your website.

Does this mean that there will soon be an SMH blog for every Australian, which will make sure that none of us are left behind in a way that Bob Hawke could only have dreamed about?

As bloggers with more than five year's blogging experience between us, and having written an advice column for a number of years, we believe we would be excellent candidates for your current penchant for blogwhoring. Admittedly, we would prefer to write about subjects we have some knowledge of, but we're also not adverse to branching out and blathering on about subjects completely unknown to us (and maybe dress up as a man - if others can be that unoriginal, surely we can too?).

We have noticed that you seem to be missing something for those in the 19 - 25 age group . As we are both young and fit into this age bracket, we thought we could write about things facing youth of today. Things like university, job hunting following uni, youth culture and various other twee things, perhaps involving relationships or penis size. After all, you gotta give the public what it wants, do you not?

We hope that you consider our proposal, flippant and somewhat sarcastic as it may be.
Della and Clare

It's a show about nothing... how will we know when it's over?

Because I've done some angsty whinging about fire season/bushfires/burning to death/hating computers lately, I thought it was time to share the love and write a list of things I'm lovin' at the moment.

> Mark Latham releasing another book, entitled A Conga Line of Suckholes. Because it's just going to be bad. Bad in a snarky "I lost the election and if you keep staring at me, I'll break your @(#*&!(^!#^ cameras!" way. Although I don't much like the grumpy gnome with hairy caterpillar eyebrows who's the current PM, there's probably a number of reasons to be glad Latham didn't make it to the top job. Or there might be a lot more smiting going on in the country. Not that there's not an abundance of that anyway. Oooh, that hurts my brain, I don't like any of them or what they've been doing to the country. Must stop thinking about it!

> Having Thursday off last week. That was awesomeness in a day entirely. And I have a new frying pan, which is heavy enough to stun a dugon, should such a need to do so ever arise.

> Not being the only one who doesn't really like the Sam blogs on SMH (they're inflicted on us in The Age as well). They're mostly loads of codswallop, as my dear departed Nanna would have said, full of stereotypes, unoriginality, mysogynistic twaddle disguised as general twaddle, sexism, etc. And have about as much journalistic integrity as a koala in crack. And all the blog-humping that goes on with the two Sam's stuff. Ew! So don't need to know! Fairfax, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!? You didn't used to be too bad. Why are you shattering my girlish dreams relating to not-so-shabby journalism? Yeah, sure, blogs are great, I love 'em (look, I'm writing one - huzzah), but on a newspaper website? Just lacks a bit of class.

> Dried blueberries. Cannot emphasise this enough. They are fantastic. And pistachio nuts. And roasted almonds. And dried paw-paw.

> Hilarious TMI from friends. You know the kind that has you both in stitches laughing outrageously, even though it's so very wrong.

> Fairly Odd Parents. Yes, yes, kid's show and whatnot, but it's my Friday afternoon brain candy and usually makes me laugh. And why not enjoy some silly things now and then? :)

> Fiddling around with the radio and finding Thomas the Tank Engine being read on a station. No idea what station it was, just some random little one. Was mucking around with the car radio in my office mate's car yesterday and the TtTE thing was the first station I stumbled across. Kind of scary. Not a fan of talking trains. Also found a station playing loud wailing music/chanting (which may or may not have been a call to prayer?) and someone singing like a scalded cat with its particulars in a rat-trap before realising it was Jimmy Barnes. That clears that up then. And almost two years after moving to Victoria, I found JJJ. Used to listen to it slavishly, but haven't done any radio listening for that almost two year period. Might listen to it again, but probably won't. Will avoid TtTE

...she thought she'd better beat it while she had the chance...

Nothing like some Noel Coward in the morning. Especially when it's particularly freezing. But I'm not complaining! I like this cold weather. We can have more cold weather as far as I'm concerned. In fact, a Summer like the one of '04/'05 would be fantastic.

Really hate it how all of the news I watched last night contained dire warnings about the coming bushfire season, in particular for the areas around me. Eep! But it shall spur me into action.

Once I get the yard cleared (if that's possible - must call a gardening service on Friday), it'll be time to work on the inside of the house. Not much point to doing renovations if the house gets burned down, I hear you say, but if we emerge on the other side of the fire season unscathed, may as well have the house ready for whatever comes next (like top coats of paint).

Was talking about it last night with Boss (a friend with that nickname, not my boss) and there's nothing as comforting as hearing someone say, "Yeah, I'd be worried if I lived where you do with the Summer that's coming."

Do I have to do raindances?

Monday, September 25, 2006



Just read an article in The Age about how this coming Summer is going to be the most horrible, horrendous bushfire season for a long time and that makes me rather worried. And I think it really is time to work on getting things carted away from around the property.

The past weekend *was* going to be a time for working on the yard and getting things into some semblance of order but we had gale-force winds happening ALL WEEKEND. So very unimpressed by that. Although there was one mildly amusing moment when I was standing at the bedroom window, gazing at the trees being thrashed around in the wind, and the most enormous tree branch flew past the house in a rather graceful fashion and landed on the back lawn on the second level down.

Although it did break one of the garden walls... *sigh*

But yes, the bushfire thing has me mildly frightened. I do live in a wooden house, there's bushland all around and I have the strong desire not to burn to death or see my home and contents incinerated. Oddly enough...

So it's time to get hunting for some Jim's Mowing or whatever people, break out the cheque book and part with the sheckles as well as copious amounts of leaf litter, branches, twigs, etc that have chosen to "grace" the back yard over Winter.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I had a good chat to Bill last night about the loss of my lil' Russell-muffin (one of the multitude of nicknames my dog had) and it was really good. For once it was nice to talk about it without getting the, "Oh, it'll be alright," rubbish or someone going, "Well, it's not that bad really, it's not like he was a person," or any variety of similar touchy-feely crud.

Of course I still miss the little munchkin, even though he would pee on the rug by the fireplace out of sheer spite when he was in a funny mood and had no shame when it came to licking his bits when there were visitors. But he was an awesome dog, and it was good to be able to talk about that and everything else.

Although Bill had me in tears when he was like, "So tell me about when you and Derek first met." It's so stupid, but I was a total blubbering mess over it for a little while, but it actually cheered me up after I got over the tissue-clutching moments. And reminded me that even though I was so upset after my other dog had died, thus leading to getting Derek, the world doesn't stop.

Dogs really have a way of getting into your heart, marking their territory, curling up, snuggling in and making it their home.

That's probably enough mushiness for today!

I hate computers!

Well, the e-mail on my work computer decided to go to hell in a handbasket yesterday so I lost everything. So far nothing's brought it back. Damn depressing and I'm going to have to hunt around to get back in contact with people for manuscripts, articles, photos, etc that were sent recently. Argh!

That'll learn me for not backing stuff up for a month or so, but things have been busy and I guess it slipped my mind. So let that be a lesson to you. And me. And dammit, I hate computers.

Anyways, starting the day with a breakfast of a nice healthy chocolate fudge muffin thing, which I suppose is marginally better than a line or two of coke, packet of Marlboros and twelve cups of espresso coffee in terms of healthiness (and no, that's not how I start my day, thank-you ;). Must work harder on this detox thing, or will die early and/or painfully - Mum's been doing a family history thing looking at how and why relatives died and it's depressing.

We've got a list of stuff like diabetes, stroke, heart disease, heart attack, angina, Sjogren's syndrome (or however it is that you spell it), lupus, sudden unexplained deaths, cancer (including breast cancer - oh joy), etc. Although... it kind of seems like the ancestors either died at a not-that-old stage or lived to well into their 90s. Still, can't hurt to change lifestyle and hopefully not die too early on.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hold your horses, reverend..?

This has got to be the best reason ever not to pray like a Pharisee, if ever you were looking for one, and maybe take more of the tax-collector approach.

And now I'm off to try to stop laughing.


The guy who writes the Loose Canons column for Ship of Fools has such a wonderful way with words.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Somehow thinking of television and Tony Robinson got me thinking of childhood shows that I absolutely loved and the show where he used to tell stories and wander around a garden sprang to mind, along with something with frogs and custard and the words, "Plop... plop... plop. Right into the custard..." and you just knew that it wasn't going to end well for them (although I think that it did?).

So it was time for a google search, where I found out that the show was called Tales from Fat Tulip's Garden. LOVED that show :) And most of Tony Robinson's other kid's shows, like Blood and Honey and the one about Joseph and his military coat or something and one episode that started out with, "It had been a lousy week for Potiphar, all his bills had come in at once, the roof was leaking..."

Then somehow that all triggered a memory of the show called T-Bag, which I also loved (and thought the guy who played T-Shirt was kind of cute - that's him above in that schnazzy blazer - ikes!). Ooh, ooh! And Puddle Lane!!

And Scooby Doo, without Scrappy of course. And The Addams Family, a multitude of cartoons on Agro's Cartoon Connection (although I didn't like Agro), The Muppets... oh-so-many shows! All so funny. Happy memories.

50 Years of Mind-Numbing Things

Wait, that makes it sound like I don't love television, when the fact is, I do indeed love television. Particularly because it's provided us with ABC and SBS and not just because of BBC drama series and "artsy" French films.

Didn't watch the 50 years of a box with a screen on channel 7 last night because I do believe I was doing something else at the time. Or watching that thing about the worst jobs in history with Tony Robinson (love his work - especially those cunning plans) while being so very glad I'd not eaten dinner yet.

Anyways, looked at some pics from the event this merry morning. They're generally disturbing to say the least.

Exhibit a: Belinda Emmett.

Cute dress and pretty brooch, but she looks as though she was caught by the photographer in a moment when she's expressing the desire to gnaw through something and then beat a number of people with a gold Logie or two (maybe one in each hand, arms flailing like a windmill).

Exhibit b: Someone from Home & Away.

Make that someone from Home & Away looking like an anorexic tangello. Fake tan = bad! And if it's a real tan, you'd wonder whether she crackles when she walks. Surely people would have learnt the orange skin look is only for those with jaundice or Z-grade British celebrities.

Exhibit c: Jennifer Hawkins.

Although she's probably quite lovely and gets invited to school formals by teenage lads, the dress reminds me in the most stiking way of an ice-block that used to be around when I was a wee kiddy back in the mid/late 80s. Something involving citrus flavours. Not nice.
Following Saturday and yesterday's "What Weekend?"-a-rama, I saw smoke billowing up from an area around my house when leaving the seminar. Although my officemate had told me earlier in the day that burning off was going to be done on the mountain behind my house, my heart still leapt into my mouth when I saw it.

The bushfires in January were really rather scary...

But the burning off was being done by the CFA (God bless 'em!) and it was oddly comforting to know that they were working to minimise bushfire risks for the coming Summer, which the neighbours have been making dire predictions about. Plus it was gorgeous once the sun went down and the trees that had been burnt were glowing like sticks of amber against the night sky.

And I was kicking myself for not bringing the work camera home!!! The photos on my phone are fantastic enough, but don't do it justice. Plus it would have been interesting to see how images would have turned out from 4am when the wind picked up and fanned the flames to life again.

I'm most certainly not looking forward to Summer, even if it brings cricket, mangoes, raspberries and long days. I don't want to burn, and I don't want my house to burn either!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I've been asked to write a feature article about the squishy, warm, fuzzy, smooshy, wonderful thing called love (aka: lurrrrrrrrve, luv, schnookums, the thing that makes you feel like your heart has turned into a million butterflies and pushes the words "I love you" to the tip of your tongue) for a Valentine's issue of a mag. Can't you just feel your heart pounding in excitement right this very instant!?


Sorry, just being a little flippant, as usual. Realistically, I'm not entirely sure what to write about. Not that I don't like love or have a Scrooge-worthy attitude to it, it's just that it's... feelings... Yes, I'm a girl who doesn't like to talk about feelings.

But I'm sure that there's an angle with the love thing that would work nicely. Larie suggested looking at love in the 21st century and modern approaches to it, which could work very nicely indeed! Muchos gracias!

Still, kinda ironic for a single person to write about love for Valentines! But it will be fun.

Della's childminding service

Captain Patch-Eye Peg-Leg, first mate Stripey Sparkle Bits and
cabin boy Jim-Bob on the White Foam, which is kind of like the Black Pearl in its
utter, striking dissimilarity to it...

Well, the small child is in the office again today, and as my officemate has heaps of work to do, I've been mostly keeping her entertained. So far we've made pirates out of pieces of plastic, stickers and textas, and boats for them out of pieces of packing foam (as pictured above).

Now it's on to jokes, as obscure and gloriously different as only children's jokes can be, including her joke, Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it had no head. It got chopped off by its bottom.

If anyone can explain the deep existential meaning of that, I'd appreciate it...

Apart from the sound of my all-together too early alarm, the first thing I heard about this morning was about the shootings at Dawson College in Montreal. Don't particularly like seeing pics of a covered body early in the morning, shooting sprees are scary and sad, plus almost all of the Canadians I've met in my lifetime have been absolutely fantastic people, so it saddens me that something like this has happened :-/

This is all on the same day as I hear there's news of a Port Arthur massacre-inspired movie being planned. Mmm, tasteful. But I'll admit that the guy who's planning it, Luke Farquhar, has a point when he says that humans are the biggest threat to other humans.

As humans, we do seem to have a penchant for killing, and most often it seems to involve other humans. Particularly those who are "different" from us or who hold differing political, religious or whatever views (just think of the death squad stuff happening in Iraq at the moment that's seeing bodies turning up on the streets of people who have been tortured and shot in the head).

But religious/political extremism aside, it's sadly often people's loved ones that get bumped off, with most murders being committed by someone known to the victim.


In other more cheeful thoughts, I'm willing to admit I did get a giggle out of hearing that Naomi Robson from Today/Tonight and her crew were arrested in Indonesia, which is uncharitable and so on of me, but really, T/T has the shonkiest "journalism" (if you can even use the term with that show) and if they're not willing to follow proper processes with the laws of other countries... Well, tough.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Love Spicks and Specks, particularly for the following comments made tonight by a rather hilarious New Zealand actor whose name has escaped my mind:

"We can thank the Greeks for this song, because 3000 years ago, they invented thinking."
"The early bird gets the worm, but I'd prefer eggs and coffee!"
"Rome wasn't built in a day, but I bet some of it was"
"A good man is hard to find, especially if he's hiding... in a field... with combat gear on... and a fake beard..."

Yes, yes, sad, but good for a laugh.

What's that distant whirring noise I hear?

Hmmm... No, it's not the sound of the Easter Bunny coming to visit us in a helicopter... (maybe I have had too much Lano & Woodley)

Maybe I'm just grumpy because the last strawberry I ate at lunch was a bit plastic-tasting compared to the ones before it or because I really dislike Justin Timberlake's music, but I hate it when people say things like, "I'm bringing sexy back," as Timberlake is meant to have said about what he's doing for the world with his album or songs or something.

It just always makes me think, "What, where has it been? Was it on a caravan and tenting holiday to Broome? Why were we not informed that it was gone? I hadn't seen anything about it on that show about missing persons that was on - why?"

Plus there's something with how he wants musicians to change what they do because they hear his album? Yes, can just imagine all of them going, "My God, what we've been doing 'til now has just been plain wrong, wrong, WRONG! Justin has shown me the way!" accompanied by the sound of pages and pages of scores being ripped up and thrown around the room, and the far-off whirring noise of Bach spinning in his grave.

And doing a brief ode to Smells Like Teen Spirit at his concerts? Justin Timberlake paying tribute to Nirvana is... argh! Don't get me started, especially after I had the misfortune of flicking through channels last night and seeing 20 to 1 totally and utterly missing the point of that song and grunge and everything. You just kicked my childhood, Channel 9! What's next? Bagging out Fraggle Rock?

*deep breaths* *ahem*

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Excuse the poor quality image! Strangely harder to take a pic of something on a computer screen than I'd thought it would be...

But this was on and I was kind of wondering why news of Bush vowing to catch Osama bin Laden would be on the "National" section for Australia? Unless Osama is hiding out in Australia and they hope that by including the story in that section he'll go read it and go, "Oops, looks like the jig's up, fellas, guess we can't keep pretending that the rugged Outback is Afganistan and we're just a band of merry travelling sheep-shearers who by pure luck are all remarkably good on the sornai," or something?

Scary thoughts indeed.

The Warped Aussie Values Tour '06

I'm a bit unsure about the Australian values on Visa forms thing that Kim Beazley is proposing. What are these values exactly? I thought it was time to do some research...

Doing some hunting through things of Australian legend, which have been passed down from generation to generation and have become an intrinsic part of life, I have discovered legendary Australians, legendary stories involving Australians, legendary Australian things. Obviously these are what forms the very lifeblood of this country! The moral values! The... sorry, getting choked up with emotion here...

*misty-eyed moment* *ahem* ;)

Anyways, from some of the legendary things, a shortlist of things for potential Visa-applicants to agree to may just include these kind of things:

> You will be equipped with a set of clanky, heavy metal armour with what looks like a bucket with a post-box slit in it for a helmet, handed a gun and expected to hold up the local bank. Or a stagecoach. Or both. Can't do it? Well, there's obviously not going to be any gallery exhibitions dedicated to you!

> Gallipoli. No more need be said, other than clutch it to your bosom like a maternal boa-constrictor.

> You will be put on a flight from Australia to London, in which time you will have the opportunity to try to eclipse the legendary David Boon 52 . The Doug Walters 44 will be considered acceptable. Those failing this test will be labeled commie weirdo wowser girlies and not allowed back on the flight to Australia.

> On the cricketing theme, you'll be expected to be able to explain, in detail, the ins and outs of the Leg Before Wicket rule. And express the fervent desire to field at short fine leg for hours on end in the hot sun. Failing this obviously means you'll never understand Australian values, or know Don Bradman's batting average for memory.

> Ugg boots must be embraced for Winter, thongs in Summer. Blundstones will be considered year-'round acceptable footware and you shouldn't have to explain your resulting odd tan to anyone when you're wearing thongs.

> You will be tested for your performance of the Aussie Salute. No, not the one-fingered one, or it's relative, the two-fingered variety, but the one that swats away the flies. Shortest way up, shortest way down. Unnecessary flailing will see points deducted.

> Vegemite. Know it, love it, slather it on toast. Also memorise, "Weeeeee're happy little Vegemites as bright as bright can be, we all enjoy our Vegemite for breakfast, lunch and tea!" (which also cues knowledge test of what "tea" is in Australian vernacular).

> Sing Waltzing Matilda on request. Rendition with best John Williamson-style voice will gain bonus points.

> Men dressed as women = comedy (a concept broadly applicable to many cultures). Knowledge of most famous Australian one, Dame Edna Everage, vital.

That's all I could think of for the time being...

Note: purely satirical, in no way endorsing attempting the Boonie 52, or even the Dougie 44, or holding up banks, stage coaches, sounding like John Williamson, etc.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A photo I took from last month, discovered while going through files and deleting, moving and examining them all. Quite like the light on the Norfolk pine and the way the sky goes from pinkish-white to sugary blue.

*reflects on beauty of nature*

Annnnd now back to work.

Enter Spring, cue green bag population explosion

The past weekend was a rather lazy one, apart from finding some motivation to begin Spring Cleaning in the kitchen (which got sidetracked by going through the recipe books and cooking far too much and ending up with a full freezer).

The most frightening thing, apart from an ex-broccoli in the fridge, was the proliferation of green bags in the ex-pantry area. There were about 25 of the things and I have the sneaking suspicion that they've been breeding, which would explain the noises that come from the kitchen at times that I had been attributing to the 'fridge.

Solution to the overpopulation problem? Use them to put all of the stuff to donate to St Vinnies in! I'm pretty sure that once I get to tackling the other rooms, there's going to be plenty of stuff that puzzles me deeply as to why I own it and will subsequently be stuffed into a bag and sent to a place where random things are truly appreciated and have a dollar value...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Not the greatest photo (flash photography always annoys me, but too dark without it), but this is one of the paintings I did yesterday to make the kitchen wall a tiny bit less stark. And the whole area a little less red/white/clinical surgery-style. Should do more art, but there aren't enough spare walls to put it on.

And the house is small. So either I sell the art (which reminds me to take some to the gallery place) or build an extension to house things. Or clean the area under the house... But let's not think about that!

Spiders. Ack!

Friday, September 08, 2006

So many pages, so little time

Being a book lover, this thingy appealed to me. Really, you can't have too many books (unless you also can't fit into your house). All of those pages and pages of papery, wordy goodness... Mmm...

One Book That Changed Your Life:

Hmm... Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder is one book I remember reading when I was a fair bit younger that made me look at the world differently and fostered a fascination with philosophy.

One Book You Have Read More Than Once:

Jane Eyre. After reading it for the first time in Year 12, I've read and re-read it far too many times (and still love the Beeb's production with Timothy Dalton, too). I'm not a romance novel kind of person, but Jane Eyre is so well written and fascinating, plus the romantic elements of it aren't bad.

One Book You'd Want On A Desert Island:

Robinson Crusoe for the irony? Or Building a Raft from Desert Island Materials and Successfully Navigating the Seven Seas for Dummies? A copy of all of the scripts for Lost? If none of those were available, something long, interesting, has human interest, history, etc. Or Jane Eyre, in case I was on the desert island for some time!

One Book That Made You Giddy:

I'm assuming it's not from having it lobbed at your head. But there have been quite a few. Pretty much any of those books that present thoughts, whether in fact or fiction form, that make you sit back for a few moments pondering the concepts. The Solitaire Mystery wasn't too bad for that.

One Book That You Wish Had Been Written:

Tough question. Would the right answer be one by me? ;)

One Book That Wracked You With Sobs:

There have been a couple, but I can't think of them off the top of my head. Usually it's the sort of ones that kill off favourite main characters.

One Book You Wish Had Never Been Written:

Anything Mills and Boon. Or generally those ones with men in pirate shirts on the front and rippling muscles beneath. With a woman with a dress on that makes you go "Whoops, popped out again, 'scuse me while I stuff 'em back in" clutched in their arms.

One Book You're Currently Reading:

I'm a person who never has only one book on the go at a time. The most smarty-pants kind of one is Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton. Although I'm also reading Martin Chuzzlewit, Book of Lieder and The Magician's Nephew and am gagging to find a copy of Our Mutual Friend because I haven't read it in years.

One Book You've Been Meaning To Read:

Loads. I own more than 700 books, have read them all and really should re-read them. I've been meaning to read more classics and try to one day finish Anna Karenina because so far I've only ever managed to get a few hundred pages in before quitting and wanting to go drink a lot of vodka. While in the Russian spirit, I also have to one day tackle the basic Russian textbook from my Mum's highschool days and see what there is to be learnt.

A dingo took my chicken!*

While spring cleaning, I've been watching the repeat of Insight. A guy on there was speaking about corruption and how the occasional person is pulled up and prosecuted for it, and used the phrase, "killing a chicken to frighten the monkeys."

Having never heard the phrase before this year, it's been something I've kept hearing all year from various random people. Hurrah for the resurgance of somewhat bizarre phrases, I suppose.

Guess it wouldn't work to alter it for the Australian market, though, because koalas probably wouldn't give enough of a stuff ("Go away, busy sleeping, don't touch my leaves"), dingos would do it themselves first and just look at you with a look that says "I'm still hungry and incidentally heeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!" and feathers in their teeth, and kookaburras would only laugh.

*Unoriginal, yes, but it's a Friday and my day off.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Stay here, mein butterfly!

Borrowed the work camera again. MUST buy my own.

Aside from that, watching Norman Wisdom movies (again). Gotta love it when your family makes up DVDs of your favourite movies and sends them to you! Although it feels a little odd on occasion that they're more technologically advanced than I am, as I sit here smacking some rocks together to power the computer (well, no, not really).

Anyways, time to return to Square Peg.

"Was war dass??"
"Ein mouse. I'm going to set ein trap for 'im. Or 'er."
Talking with Cap'n Clanki about a recent lack of cartoons to go with some work she did (the cartoonist was "having a busy week and forgot" - an excuse to remember for the next time you don't do something you've had almost two months warning for) and remembered how drawing cartoons or just weird pictures of things seems to go so far back through our lives.

The first things we do at school when we start out are those "diary" things where we draw odd, disporportionate stick figures and houses with four squared windows and curly smoke coming out of the chimney that look like they've all come from the same primal psyche. Our teacher writes something to go with the pictures that we dictate, like On the weekend I had Froot-Loops for breakfast and visited my grandparents and my dog got yelled at because he hugged Uncle Fred's leg...

Then we move on to drawing silly things all by ourselves and accompanying it with our own shocking attempts at handwriting that are indecipherable today when we look back at old books but somehow got a gold sticker and a nice comment from the teacher.

From there it's a bit of a blur and then you're somehow in high school drawing cartoon-ish things in books or on worksheets or just in your books instead of actually doing what you're meant to be doing. Year 10 maths books filled with cartoons and stories and four pages of work for the entire year... A serial cartoon in Year 12 biology that left you almost crying with laughter and unable to explain to the teacher just why that was... Year's worth of cartoons in study hall...

Then The Grumpy Judge cartoons in law classes at uni...

Then you're at work and there's no time for silly cartoons or much else that's too creative, even though you're in a "creative" kind of job. But it's probably a good thing, somehow! Or there'd be a blog AND faffing around drawing that would waste time.

Hello and welcome to the kelpline...

For the life of me, I find it very hard to get excited about a lot of things that others doing detoxes or going vegan or are vegetarian or anything like that get excited about.

Example #1: kelp granules.

Yes. Bits of kelp. Something in my brain wants to scream and convulse in a non-good way about that, even though I love seaweed-based jelly (particularly the ones sold in the Asian grocery stores at the Central Markets in Adelaide).

My Mum bought me a box of kelp granules to assist with the detox thing about a month ago and I still haven't been brave enough to open the little packet within the box. Although if their objective is putting me off of eating, they manage quite well. Just one look at the mangled kelp puts you right off dinner.

I suppose I really should throw it away. But maybe I'll take the plunge and try it and it won't be too bad. Or I might even start liking brussel sprouts. There's a first time for everything!

But I believe that's often one of the things that's probably heard before imminent death, like, "Hey y'all, check this out!" or, "I bet I can make this in one jump on my motorbike!"

Sleep is not the enemy!

Well, my voice is back.

But I had to go home sick yesterday from work around lunchtime. Managed to get myself into bed and slept from around 1 'til 7.30pm, which made me miss Futurama (although they've gone back to really old repeats)! And my guilty pleasure of Neighbours (it's in the so bad it's good category of brain candy), but c'est la vie.

After a couple of hours up pottering around in that kind of dazed post-long-sleep mode, I went back to bed and slept 'til about 6am. Had the strangest dreams the whole time... The sort of things that would make Freud bite his pencil in half. And take that as you will.

As an aside with dieting thoughts, A balanced approach by Bridget McManus was interesting. The whole detox thing is going well, although the weekend saw WAAAAAAAAAAY too much chocolate involved (heh, was worth it).

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I have no voice!

The 'flu thing that set in with avengance over the weekend has stolen my voice. As well as made me feel like I've been run over by a truck. Stayed home today - was in bed 'til the afternoon sometime.

But no voice is so frustrating. Have to write things down if I'm trying to communicate with anyone. If my voice isn't back tomorrow, I'm still going to head to work and take a whole lot of paper and pens and let my officemate enjoy the peace and quiet.

As for answering the phone... Hmm...

Monday, September 04, 2006

My goodness.

Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter and wearer of the khaki shorts 'n' shirts combo extraordinaire, dead?!

That's rather bizarre if it's true. He's the sort of person you love to well, not love, but not hate, just kind of let people from overseas love and make assumptions about us all owning a kangaroo from... And he was kind of funny. Plus it never hurts for people to be passionate about sharing Australia and its animals with others.

But death by stingray would not be a nice way to go. If he has in fact gone. And it seems like he is.

The past couple of months have been so deathy. My great-aunt died on Friday morning, although not with a stingray involved. But still, pretty sad all 'round.

Famous in our own lunchtimes

Kel tagged me with Famous in our own lunchtimes. So here goes!

1. What do you like most about where you live?
In terms of my house, I like that when you're inside sitting on the lounge or lying in bed or whatever and looking out the window, it seems like you live in the tree-tops. Plus I'm working to change the house around and repaint and renovate and although the garden is wild and mostly untamable right now, it'll be great to finally get that sorted out next year. I like how friendly the area I live in is, how good the cafes are, that there's snow on the mountains in Winter, the neighbours are lovely and the local deli still makes me weak at the knees.

2. Is there anything strange about where you live?
I was told once that the biggest populations locally are: pagans, gay/lesbian and Adventists. Odd combination, really, I guess. Other than that, there's a strange house that always makes me think of the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel. Apparently the guy carved all of the wood for it himself - there's bizarre decorations, gargoyle-style things and so on. Always kind of hurry past there, if only because it brings the sound of clanging oven doors to mind.

3. What's one of your all-time favourite music albums, and why?
That's a really hard question to answer, mainly because the answer would be different all the time depending on what mood I'm in, etc. One album I keep coming back to is Together Ibiza Vol 1 mixed by Norman Jay. It was one of those that come with the Ministry of Sound mag (yay freebies), but it's just really well done.

4. Did you have a passion for something as a kid that you still have now? (If not - what is one of your passions now?)
Books, writing, drawing/painting/oil pastel work. Own more than 700 books, write a lot of random stuff and don't do as much art as I used to, so I should get back into it.

5. What do you like most about having a blog?
Just being able to natter on, in a rather exhibitionistic fashion. Having a blog is also a great way of keeping in touch with people from high school/uni/etc when you don't often get to catch up in reality, on the phone, on msn, whatever.

Pick 3 (or more) people and give them the opportunity to be famous in their own lunchtimes! :)

I'm tagging Melody, Jesus and Kristin to start with.

Monday madness?

Received a forwarded e-mail this morning from an acquaintance, which was a bit of a surprise, and even more so when I opened it.

It was one of those annoying "Immigrants should either become just like us or get the hell out of our country" forwarded e-mails, which you imagine are typed with one hand while the other brandishes a pitchfork. Strangest of all, the e-mail concluded with the slightly bitter delicious irony of their e-mail signature that talks of respect, inclusiveness, fairness and generousity.

But I digress.

I hate it when people premise things with, "I'm not a racist, but..." and then it's followed with a comment like, "What this guy wrote was like totally true! LOLOLOLOL!!! OMG! Finally someone's telling the truth!" when they may as well just say, "I'm not a racist, but white power!!! And down with grammar while we're at it!" and run around in some sheets with a pillowcase over their head (Genehackmankickyourass!).*

Then the "God is part of our culture and if you don't like that, then go away" thing is wheeled out in the forwarded message, when really God isn't that much of a part of most people in the country's culture other than to go to church for Christmas and maybe Easter services, the occasional christening or wedding and for funerals.

Why do people think it's a good idea to pass those kind of e-mails along? For our edification or something? Psh! I know it's naive, but I still find it surprising that there seem to be so many more people around who are comfortable with expressing thoughts along those lines and saying multiculturalism is tearing our societies apart. It just seems silly, because multiculturalism is far more interesting than monoculture. Even if it means that some people don't speak perfect English** or express a desire to move to the MCG.

Are these people forgetting what those from other cultures have brought to our country? Sure, there are some bad things, but every single culture has some bad elements in it. But without immigration, where would the late-night kebab come into things? Or felaffels? Or sushi? Awesome Chinese grocery stores where you can get everything from seaweed jelly to slippers? Fantastic festivals like Sch├╝tzenfest or the various Greek festivals, especially the one at Semaphore? Radio stations like EBI FM? Salsa, flamenco or bellydancing lessons?

*Thanks to Fletch Lives for that one.
**Because those who write the "LOLOLOLOL" things are the paragons of the English language?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Copying and pasting because I can't be bothered doing anything more with it right at this moment *yawns* Must make this cake sometime. Or shape it into a cake version of the Acropolis.

Egyptian Chocolate Cake

1-3/4 cups unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup brewed strong coffee
1/2 cup butter or regular margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Cinnamon Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves; set aside.
Combine chocolate and coffee in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until chocolate is melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
With an electric mixer set on medium speed, cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in vanilla and the chocolate mixture. Add dry ingredients alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.
Pour the batter into 2 greased and wax paper-lined 8-inch cake pans.
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes, or until cakes test done. Cool in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on racks.

Cinnamon whipped cream: Chill a large mixing bowl and beaters. Combine the cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in the chilled bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set at high speed until soft peaks form and the mixture is thick enough to spread. Do not overbeat or you will have butter instead of whipped cream.

To assemble: Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with some of the cinnamon whipped cream. Top with the second cake layer. Frost the sides and top with the remaining cinnamon whipped cream.

Refrigerate until served.

Serves 12.

On a more cheerful note, so much for going to bed!

I absolutely love Norman Wisdom movies and The Early Bird is on this morning and although I have to prop my eyelids open with toothpicks (almost), it warms the cockles of the heart.

Of course slapstick isn't the most sophisticated of comedy, but it's well done and the golfing session is absolutely priceless! Plus the ripping of the wallpaper all the way down the stairs. And the mowing thing's not too bad, either. Actually, that sort of approach to gardening might just fix all of the problems in the back yard.