Thursday, January 31, 2008

Strange creature

^ The freakish worm I found in the front yard this evening. A flourescent yellow worm. I really wasn't aware they made worms in flourescent yellow. Or flourescent anything, really, when it comes to worms.

Just had to share.

Sunshine-and-buttercups yellow worms are awesome! Also, I love how full of freakish things the yard has been with this house. You really never know what will turn up next, from bags of clothes buried in a garden bed to banana slug yellow worms.
One of the guys in my department at work had a stroke in the early hours of this morning, which we were told about when we got in to work. He looked fine yesterday and we were all really shocked about it.

Our immediate boss called us into his office to tell us more about it and for some reason, it made me feel all tear-y. Perhaps because I need more sleep, mostly because the guy is really lovely, and partly because it made me think of how a massive stroke on top of a massive heart attack killed my pappa.

Rather depressing, really...

And tears at work is kind of awkward.

People look at you if you do it. With expressions on their faces like, "Ohh... she's... hmm... crying I think is the word. How do we handle this? Does this break social conventions? I think I'll look at the wall. What a nice wall." Which is also awkward.

Hopefully the work guy will be okay.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Lazy Blog Entry Solution: A List.

This time, a rather random list of CDs in my house, some of which are loved and treasured, others that are so-so and one that is there for the embarrassment value only. So here we are...

Serious Über-Favourite Thing:

Particularly because I got the limited edition and it comes with the DVDs and gorgeous book and well, it's Rammstein. I would probably sell my first-born for Rammstein tickets.

Other Über-Favourites:

It makes sense that my other uber-favourite CDs are all of the other Rammstein albums I've got. Part of me is tempted to get the Emigrate CD, simply because Richard Kruspe's in it, but then I'm not utterly sold on Emigrate...

South Australian Sentimental Favourite:

Okay, I love the Hilltop Hoods and would do regardless of whether or not I was originally from South Australia and them being one of the very best live acts I've seen.

Favourite Album Art Thing:

The Prodigy's single for Smack My B!tch Up, which just was rather fascinating somehow. Plus German shepherds are all Komissar Rex-y, which can't be a bad thing! Unless one mauls you.

Current Listening Love:

In Rainbows. It's one I really didn't like at first all that much, although I do like Radiohead quite a bit. But after listening to it a few times, it grew on me and now I'm quite glad I got it. Could have downloaded it, but that would take effort. And I like shopping.

Most Embarrassing CD:

*scrubs self with Dettol* Ugh, I cannot believe I bought this! I loved the song Backstreet's Back, but the rest was terrible, even to my 13-year-old ears. Or was it 12? Don't remember, trying to suppress those memories... Backstreet Boys are seriously bad. I should just use this as a frisbee.

More shoes. Quelle surprise.

New favourite shoes. Until I get my next pair of shoes, probably. But these! They have skulls and crossbones! And a little skull/crossbone "buckle" - yay! It's like having emo/pirate feet.
I think my blog is still somewhat on holiday mode.

Penguin challenged me to do a month's worth of a theme (on bananas - came up with a few thoughts about that, like with Dr Who, recipes, Coffs Harbor, etc), but mostly I'm unmotivated. Which would explain a whole lot of photos of the cat, random objects, shoes and blog entries that are about as intellectually challenging/stimulating as a bowl of oats. In a hat.


And politics? Since the election, my interest has sort of dried up. Perhaps that's because I'm glad there's been a change in government. State politics doesn't overly interest me at the moment, because all that seems to be covered is the bay dredging stuff. Excitement plus.

Then when you're back at work, you're so busy thinking about work that there's not much time to get too passionate about other things to rant about. By the end of the day, there aren't really that many coherent thoughts left rattling around in the brain cavity.

So maybe I should write about bananas for a month.

Or not.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

^ Random things I rediscovered on the weekend.

'Twas an odd weekend, for all its long weekend-y goodness.

Somehow watching Peep Show on the weekend was rather depressing. And aggrivating. Probably because it made me think about my dating life, the sort of guys I go for and so on. And that's usually an odd place to go...

Super Hans reminds me of the guy I dated for a while when younger. And was obviously insane. You know those kind of older guys you date when you're in your late teen years and think, "ZOMG, an older man!" An older man who is generally an utter, total knob. Which you only realise after going out with them. Ack.

Jeremy Osbourne's the kind of guy you're not at all interested in. Ever. Mark Corrigan is the kind of guy parents/grandparents seem to like, while not realising those kind of guys are about as attractive as the idea of throwing yourself under a bus. In spite of all of the sensibility and carefulness.

As for the kind of guys like Jeff Heaney... Oh dear. Those are always just a little bit too tempting, even though you know they're probably jerks at some point along the line. Hopefully minus the sappy-music-crying-along thing, though.

Where are the normal men in this world?!


No, just being silly there. There are quite a lot of normal men still out there. It's just obvious there aren't normal men on telly. And obviously there's been too much thought put into this. But I blame the wisdom teeth and painkillers for those and all of that fun sort of stuff. It seems ironic they're causing problems now after I've gotten them x-rayed on Friday...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

And another blog entry for good measure...
Gilchrist announces retirement.

Oh what!?

And on Australia Day, too! That's just un-Orrrstrayan. It's a day when he should single-handedly be making a triple century while downing a few cold ones, wearing budgie smugglers and watching Neighbours re-runs from the 80s, and getting his hair mullet-ed.

Realistically, it's a shame. But I guess it'll make some of the radio and tv commentators happy, after they'd been whinging about Gilchrist not taking every single catch, not being acrobatic enough to join Cirque du Soleil, etc, etc. Obviously holding records and doing well just isn't quite good enough for some commentators. The lesson from that is to just try harder.

Still, he was the best wicketkeeper-batsman we've ever seen, I think, and definitely an incredibly exciting player to watch when he was batting freely. Still remember seeing him in one of his early one dayer at Adelaide Oval and talking about him replacing Healy in the team with some random drunk guy who later managed to get beer on me (and everyone else in the area) during the Mexican wave.

I think I'll rather miss that all (Gilchrist's cricket, that is, not the beer thing. Although the Mexican wave... Now there's something that's important to cricket!).

^ Random lava lamp moments.

I love my lava lamp, although it's really some variety of 60s/70s kitsch, recreated for consumers in the mid-90s. When I was younger, I went through a phase of absolutely loving retro things (and to some extent, I still do). Annodised things, funky old vases, Glo-mesh handbags... So how could I resist when Cunningham's Warehouse rolled these out for $25??

There's something relaxing about watching the globs of wax rise through the lamp. And my favourite thing is when the wax is first slowly heating up (like in the first pic). It looks like some variety of freakish alien foetus in a glass or something.

Which isn't all that relaxing, I suppose...

Devil kitty

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The random cat was just around.

Yesterday he spent about three hours curled up with me sleeping, resting his head on my tummy, which was kind of relaxing. And somewhat nice when recovering from uber-headaches, for some reason.

Tonight, however, he appeared at the front door, meowing. And was in a playful "I'll scratch things! Yay! Hold still while I bite your hands! Yum!" sort of mood. He's rather odd, really. But at least there's consistency in his moods. Demented as he may be.

Still wonder who on earth he belongs to, though.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This morning I was hunting for some things and actually managed to find some old things I'd written that had been published. It was kind of odd reading things from around eight or so years ago, still with high school perspectives and really random quirky humorous moments. Along with some real pap, which was mostly towing the line sort of writing, which I'm not sure I believed in then and still don't really now.

And I'd completely forgotten about having written most of it.

Obviously it was memorable... The ironic thing about it is that in recent times I've had people say, "Oh, do you remember when you wrote article x, y or z?? It was great and I loved it!" and I'm like, "No... Are you sure that was me??" And apparently it was me. But then there are some things that seem to rush into the past with greater alacrity than others.

At least it was better than finding an old diary or something along those lines. I recently found a box of letters a friend and I had exchanged over the years while in early high school. They're so tragic, full of petty matters that obviously had some importance at the time and none at all now.

In some respects, there's a lot of stuff you write while growing up that just makes you think if/when you read it as an adult, "I'd swear the person who wrote this was on drugs, were it not for the fact that I wrote it and I know I wasn't on drugs. Ugh!"

Then you throw it all out.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

After all that depressing business with the water heater stuff, something more cheerful is needed. Apart from pole dancing in supermarkets. So I'm putting up some pix of the new shoes I bought on Friday. They're just cheapie ones, but I loves 'em.

Especially the sparkly star on the purple suede ones. Just got to remember not to get this suede pair wet. Had some others last year and they went in a puddle. Since then, they've just looked sort of sad... But they're disgustingly comfortable, so they get to stay.

This officially takes the number of shoes I own to 69.

Good gracious! Rather a few too many pairs, in some respects. Maybe it's time to make the local St Vinnies happy with donations of many shoes again.
Someone on my MSN list has some rather disturbing name thingy about having joined some stripaerobics/pole dancing class at their local gym. Traumatic. But it reminded me of something random and amusing that happened in Townsville.

I was in one of the supermarkets there and wandering around, doing some shopping (as you do). When I got to the dairy section, there was a little kid twirling around on a support pole thing, saying to his mum, "Mum! Look at me! I'm a pole dancer!" His mum's only response was, "That's a job for women, dear."

Talk about discrimination...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Seeing as I had a whinge about the plumbing situation in the previous blog entry, it's only fair I update the blog about said situation.

The plumber arrived on time this morning and was a rather jolly, friendly sort. Which was a relief, because sometimes it is a bit of a gamble with tradies. I mean, I've mentioned the creepy plumber before. Those are the situations where it is perfectly acceptable to make up a husband. Anyway.

After the plumber was nearly devoured by the spiders that live in the roofspace, he explained what one problem was and how it needed to be fixed. And the part should be in on Monday or Tuesday, so that's all that needs to be put in. The water heater itself doesn't need to be replaced immediately, so I was ecstatic about that.

But what was causing the water to leak out under the house! That was the next mystery.

Looking under the house, the plumber guy discovered that the water was actually leaking out of the copper piping under the house that leads up to the water system. In another fortunate moment, the hole in the pipe was on an exposed section of pipe and not in the wallspace like I'd feared. HURRAH! Well, as "HURRAH!" as you can be about that sort of thing. It's more a comparative "HURRAH!" in the way of, "It could have been so much worse, but it's not! Yay!"

So he fixed that in about 10 minutes or so. What had happened was that whoever had done the plumbing (a complete idiot, according to the plumber) had put a clamp over the pipe to hold it onto the beam, which you're not meant to do as it reacts with the copper and makes it decay. Thus the hole in the pipe and instant, unwelcome watering system. Just makes me hope whoever the idiot was hasn't done the same thing with the piping inside walls, etc... Ugh.

Although this whole situation has made me feel about as useful as the Pope's testicles (to steal a phrase from The Vicar of Dibley). I'm really not all that handy when it comes to practical things, although I do okay with painting, mowing, wood chopping, changing washers on taps, etc. But when it comes to matters like this, I just sort of apply the blank expression of minimal knowledge.

Friday, January 18, 2008

It never rains, but it pours... (down the walls inside the house)

People often say they wish had hair like mine, or shoes, or whatever. But if they're sane, they wouldn't dare say they wanted my house... Mainly because my house is starting to boarder on ridiculous.

About half an hour after I got home this afternoon, I heard a really odd noise coming from the ceiling in the hall. Couldn't work out what it was, so I went under the house to get the ladder in order to look up in the roofspace (aka: where the spiders live in abundance).

When I get under the house, there's water pouring down one of the house strut things... I'm like, "(insert various inappropriate words)!" and rushed back up, turned off the stopcock thing to the water heater. The water heater is conveniently located in the ceiling. Darn houses built in the 70s.

Called Dad in a panic, which is one of the ways in which to deal with things, obviously! He suggested turning off the mains as well, which I'd forgotten about while running around like a headless chicken. Then I started draining the tank (it's still slooooooowly draining).

Then I called a plumber. Not the creepy one. The creepy one was just... err... creepy, obviously. The plumber I got through to was very helpful and is able to come in the morning. Hopefully he'll be able to work it all out and fix everything.

Unfortunately, all I want now is a long, hot bath... Ugh.

The magic of my life.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

^ Echidna bits and pieces I found in Queensland, and then found again in my camera case after having forgotten about them... Hmm. My parents' comment when I found the quills and bones was, "Morbid child."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Art without permission?

I was reading an article earlier today in The Age about Banksy and whether "laneway graffiti" could be worth more than the average house, following the sale (for £208,000) of one of his works on a wall in London.

Meh. Why not.

Although all of the effort you'd have to go to to actually own it would be more than annoying. Plus although I like stencil art and graffiti in general (providing it's well done and not just tags), I'm not completely sure about how it gels with other art forms in terms of "ownership." Graffiti isn't something that's been designed to be "owned," isn't portable and is usually looked on as being something of a menace, rather than given the appreciation that quite a lot of graffiti work deserves (particularly with Dest's work or stencil artists like Vexta in Melbourne).

And in some ways, I'm kind of curious about Andrew McDonald's comments about the need for things to not be preserved when it came to street art. When it's good street art, it's always a little disappointing to see things getting painted over by either owners of the buildings (such as those along railway tracks) or covered with someone else's low-quality graffiti work. But I guess it is rather transient, and is designed to be. It's exposed to the elements and the whims of those who own buildings or fences or whatever other public spaces the work is done in.

It makes me think of a Wizard of Oz-style piece, which I believe was done by members of 21C, that used to be on the line into the city around Ascot Vale or so, which was painted over by the building owners and then that subsequently has been covered with other graffiti. Graffiti in and around Melbourne does tend to be of a high quality, though, so I guess that's what makes me far more sympathetic to it than were it to be those stupid scrawls you see repeated and repeated on fences.

Part of me wonders whether the popularity of some forms of graffiti will mean that it loses something of its individuality and "anarchy," becoming just another commodity that gets packaged, marketed, worked to death... I 'unno.

All that said, there is an absolute load of utterly rubbish graffiti out there - in fact, it outweighs the good by a ridiculously large amount.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

At the pineapple of his career...

^ Pineapple growing at one of the cemeteries in Townsville. I actually saw this type on an old Gardening Australia repeat on ABC2 the other day and thought, "I must write the name of that down..." but of course I didn't, so I can't remember what it's called.

ABC2 is fast becoming a favourite. Although it's not for Gardening Australia, which usually doesn't appeal to me all that much. Perhaps it should, considering the state of the garden. But it's got so many good things on it. Cartoons will almost always make me happy, though. Plus comedy shows not on the normal ABC or other channels, like Spaced. Monkey Dust and Peep Show. Bliss!

Dream a little dream

There must be something in the water.

Lately, I've been having the most epic, bizarre and memorable dreams. Not sure if that's a good thing, particularly when you dream of a monk kissing your feet. Which was just deeply odd, as you'd imagine having a monk kiss your feet would be (and no, it wasn't in a Princess Fergie kind of way!). Perhaps it's still all that disgustingly hot weather and lack of sleep due to that catching up with me...

The strangest thing has been dreaming of incredibly creative persuits, which in turn is frustrating because you know it's only a dream. In particular, I've been dreaming about going to fascinating places and taking lots of photos. And they've been great photos I've loved. Most people who know me know that my camera is some sort of extension of myself now days, so I guess it makes sense that it's embedded in dreams. But it's just annoying when it's all dream photography!

Oh, then there's painting and sketching! Although that's something I could just actually do in waking life, as opposed to those photo issues. Anyone else ever had those kind of things happen with their dreams?

Thinking of dreams, really should be asleep. Hopefully without dreams of monks tonight. That was just awkward.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I know it's probably boring the bollocks off you, but look! More photos from Townsville... This time from the Botanic Gardens. I'll try to write something now it's a little cooler compared to how it's been for the past however many hours and hours and hours on end it was RIDICULOUSLY hot (too hard to think in hot weather, other than about ice-cubes). Much more of that 40+ stuff and I think I would have melted, slid between the floorboards and ended up in a puddle amongst the cobwebs beneath the house.

What a happy thought. But Melbourne weather of late has been even more crazy than usual, the insane hussy. The cool change is very, very, very welcome (apart from that bit about the subsequent lightning strikes and causing even more work for fire fighters and all of that).

Anyway. Photos.

Song of the day: Resolution - Emigrate.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

...And even more from around Townsville

^ Statue of Jesus at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Townsville. The cathedral looks down over the city and has a somewhat imposing position on a hill. Was quite pretty, althoug the view's nowhere near as good as the ones you get from Castle Hill.

^ More of Sacred Heart.

^ The view of Magnetic Island from Castle Hill. The afternoon we were up there was perfect (albeit hot and humid), with wonderful clouds and things weren't too hazy. Although a little kid who was up there with her parents apparently didn't like being up there and was crying loudly about how hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh it was and how she wanted to go hooooooome, while clinging to the post of a pergola thing.

^ The T&G building, which looked in a rather sad state.

^ Another photo of The Strand. It was really gorgeous there, although you couldn't go swimming where you felt like it. If you wanted to go for a dip, there were special net areas to swim in to protect you from stingers. At other beaches in the area, there were signs about what to do and how to apply CPR if someone gets stung, along with a bottle of vinegar to pour on the wounds. Which is probably more socially acceptable than peeing on anyone who's been stung.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

More shoes. Should stop buying them, really.

Oh, and the new carpet. Drove my Dad mental when chosing venetian blinds for the kitchen and laundry windows - it took forever, but there are so many terrible venetians out there that I don't want in my house - and then he was astounded with the way in which choosing the carpet took about 0.025 seconds. It was like, "I want that. There it is. Taking that one home, then!"

Home ownership is rather an expensive thing, all things considered. But it's worth it for the beautification of ones domicile, I suppose. Hopefully the new blinds are value-adding when it comes to sale.

Held to ransom?


I usually love cricket - it's one of the redeeming features of Summer, along with mangoes - but this utter bollocks about the stuff between the Australian and Indian teams at the moment following the Second Test in Sydney is driving me nuts. Talk about things being blown out of proportion!

In the final days of the match, I was rather disappointed with the way in which some of the Australian team members behaved, and pretty unimpressed with the umpiring (even though it favoured the Australian team). Following the game, I did feel sympathetic for Anil Kumble and the way the Indian team was feeling.

But their three-year-old-in-tantrum-mode behaviour in recent days has been most unimpressive. Threatening, Pakistan-style, to take their bat and ball and go home? Demanding (and getting, somehow) Steve Bucknor to be removed from the Third Test? People dismissing the "monkey" issue? I really don't know. Plus the way in which most people in the media appear to have lost their heads over the entire thing... Yes, I'm looking at you, Peter Roebuck. Mercy.

I think there's validity to the Indian team feelings of being ripped off by the umpiring. The game really should have been a draw. The poor umpiring cannot be blamed on the Australians, though - after all, the umpires are chosen by the ICC from countries not involved in the Test in order to be impartial. Everyone makes mistakes, too. You'd think this could be one area in which the Indian team could perhaps make a complaint of some variety, but generally suck it up like most other teams do when decisions don't go their way all the time.

At some point or another in the history of cricket, every team has benefited or seriously lost out because of poor umpiring decisions, most of which are based on things that happen within a matter of seconds, all without instant replays to make a choice on, or snickometres or whatever else.

Is there such a storm about the other issues in an attempt to distract from the alleged racist remarks? Who knows. But I don't think the issue of racism should be dismissed, as it seems like some would like it to be. Regardless of who is saying it and why, racist comments really shouldn't be acceptable and should be punished. And yet somehow Ponting is in trouble for reporting the problem? This puzzles me. Why should racism be allowed on the field, or kept under wraps like the other sledging? And why the heck should there be sledging anyway? Plus, if Singh did say it, wouldn't he know how Symonds and others would feel about the "monkey" thing after what happened with the Indian crowds in October 2007? In the hearing, Mike Proctor was "satisfied beyond reasonable doubt" that it happened, and "he meant it to offend on the basis of Symonds' race or ethnic origin."

This reminds me somehow of the issue with Darren Lehmann a number of years ago when Sri Lanka was touring and he uttered a couple words in Brisbane. He was in the Australian dressing room following his dismissal and overheard by a couple Sri Lankan team members in the adjoining room. Instead of pretending it didn't happen, Lehmann apologised in person and in writing. The Sri Lankan team didn't lodge a complaint, but the ICC later charged Lehmann independently.

In that case, Malcolm Speed noted his awareness of the apologies and the Sri Lankan reluctance to lodge a complaint, but believed it to be in the interest of eradicating racial vilification in cricket to do something about it. So, is there going to be consistency? If they are going to have the rules, they must enforce them, rather than faff around with them.

The whole thing is beyond ridiculous, as is that stupid burning effigy crap. Definitely takes the desire to see any more of the India vs Australia series away, which kind of reminds me of that Russian model in one ep of The Simpsons where Moe does his bar up saying, "All zis shouting is takink avay my horny."

Other people's thoughts on it can be found here.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Here comes the fuzz...

Of late, I've been watching the occasional episode of The Bill.

And it's been good.

We used to watch it religiously when I was little and throughout my teenage years, until it went all soap opera-y and lost the focus on crimes/solving thereof and those years were spent piffling on about the rather sensationalised private lives of detectives (particularly the blonde lady with personal issues).

Now it would seem it's back to looking at the crimes, solving them and that sort of thing. Also, there's the rather cute guy who plays Smithy. I'm easily pleased. And obviously it's still far too hot, seeing how my brain has ceased normal function and is marvelling at The Bill being somewhat more "normal."

Friday, January 04, 2008

This holiday can be summed up in one word.


Lots and lots of books. Finally bought myself a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo and it was devoured in a couple days with not sleeping enough because the Count was keeping me up late at night. Should I be ashamed of not having read it before..? (Yes, seen the movies/series, but you know how different they usually are from the book.) Who knows. Takes time to get through everything...

But it was far more fascinating than I thought it would be, as well as somewhat more depressing. It doesn’t seem like Edmond Dantes is made a better person for hunting revenge, but less sympathetic to others, perhaps. A little harder. A lot angrier. But then you look at what he went through and can perhaps understand how part of his humanity would be stripped away, and how you’d have to abandon sentiment to be able to really make a serious quest for revenge.

But then if Dumas had set his character to forgive and forget, there would be no novel and that would be the end of it. So the bitterness is excused. To be honest, if I was imprisoned and then had the escape and opportunity with wealth presented by the Spada’s hidden box of riches, I think I’d be fairly keen to work on exacting some sort of revenge, too.

Although revenge isn't a good thing - in the end, it proved to be somewhat depressing. All the death and loss and rather saddening punishment of others, rather than the people who caused the arrest and imprisonment of Dantes just made the revenge less delicious. Plus the character of Valentine was so enormously BORING and such a simpering "Oh whatever shall I do!" little twit that I found it hard to be sympathetic to her at all and skipped over chapters with her in it.


But other than that, Dumas wrote it incredibly well - it just elicits so many mental images that at times you lose your breath with how caught up you are in the story and its vision.

Some photos from a couple of cemeteries in Townsville. We didn't find any relatives in the first we visited, but then discovered the grave sites of a number in the more modern cemetery.

The more modern cemetery had some of the most insane tombstones there in the new section. I won't put up any photos of them, because they're so unusual that they'd be easily identifiable and that might be insulting to the families of the dead.

But for goodness's sake! These things were like some sort of enormous block, covered with tiles, enough decorations to make you worry that the lid would cave in on the dearly departed, along with some statues of Jesus and Mary. Too much money and too little sense perhaps..? The heat and humidity got to them? Who knows.

I much prefer the older style of tombstones and grave markers, like those in the photos. Yes, I guess some of them can be a bit oversized or imposing, but at least they aren't tacky. There's a bit of romance and skill to them, which is why I like them so much. In some ways, it's sad to see tombs untended and overgrown, with broken stones and cracked grave tops.