Wednesday, November 29, 2006

to beta, or not to beta

...that is the question?

Are the bugs ironed out with the new version of blogger? Is it safe to change over? Can you do it at a click of a button?

ONE MORE THING: thanks for those who have commented so far. Are there any Mac users, especially ones who use Safari who have changed over?

Monday, November 27, 2006

soul food

Why is live music always a feast or a famine? For some strange reason it is for me. But this weekend there was enough to fatten even the most anorexic rock pig.

Friday was a veritable smorgasbord at the RRR 30th birthday bash. Apart from being assailed with waiters handing out free drinks and morsels of food (which is always rather pleasant) there was a wonderful spread when it came to music.

The RRR band, pumped out mainly 80’s alternative – the line up included the cherry haired Phil Wales, Gary Young (Daddy Cool), a tight black t-shirted David Bridie (MFTCC)…guest vocals from Ron Peno (Died Pretty), Rob Craw (Huxton Creepers), Tony Biggs doing a TISM impersonation….so much, so good, too many to remember. More entertainment from Dave Grainy/Moodists, Blue Ruin and the Models. Got to say Ian (Quincy) Mclean still looks fab and his singing just gets better.

Sunday, was a rare My Friend the Chocolate Gig – a weekend when “too much David Bridie is not nearly enough”. Though hearing one 40-something woman referring to him as “the middle aged women’s sex symbol” made me wince. The moniker I’d last heard had been “think women’s”…!

Songs from the new (unreleased) album wove beautifully with old faves, the usual on stage banter and the odd live performance cock up which is always endearing. But the guernsey for night goes once more to Hope’s sartorial choices. This time huge, red traditional wooden clogs with black and red stripy socks. Quick girls, run to your nearest Dutch shop before the rush!

A weekend full of such fine musicians, politically edged, low ego-ed and on top form – what more could a (middle aged?) girl want?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

"...just get me to the church on time"

If only I could perfect grabbing my camera out of my bag and taking a photo while changing lane at 80 kph down Dandenong Road. IF I could have the snap of the day would have the wedding car of the moment. Imagine this - you've got the ivory dress, the bridesmaids in some pastel shade and you rock up to the church in...a shining black Hummer with a white wedding ribbon on the front bonnet, of course.

Some days I feel as though I'm moving through an episode of "Kath and Kim".

Thursday, November 23, 2006

love letters

I’ve been very popular lately. It’s been years since I’ve had so much mail. Real mail. Printed on paper. In fact, some days my letterbox is bursting at the seams.

The best, so far, was the one I got today. It was from one of Australia’s rock legends and he wrote to me! I’ve never had anything to do with the man in my life, but all of a sudden there is addressed mail, in my box, all the way from sunny Maroubra. I open the envelope and his baldhead and piercing eyes look back. No way! Peter Garrett has written to me! Well ok, not me exactly. But me as in “Melbourne resident”.

For those outside of this little corner of the world it is State election time here in Victoria. Peter Garrett, once front man of Midnight Oil, once champion of the Indigenous, once crusader for the forest – is now a Labour man, a member of the Federal Parliament. It seems strange out of 150 elected representatives, this man from another state had the urge to contact me about my choices this Saturday. Hell, even my Federal MP, also a member of Pete’s party, hasn’t bothered to drop me a line. I mean, this guy’s usually a prolific writer, well when he’s up for election that is – but not a peep out of him lately.

So why is Pete so keen to contact me and what's the bee he's got in his bonnet? Mr Garrett, once a friend of the environment and many things alternative seems very, very worried about the Greens. He seems to think that these guys have gone into an unholy alliance with the real bad guys, the Libs. "Following the recent preference deal between the Greens and the Liberal Party..." - those were the words he used. But poor Pete seems to have got it wrong. The Greens nicely left me a leaflet, printed on recycled paper, to tell me their preferences*. Maybe Pete was upset that the Libs weren’t last on their preferences and this is what was concerning him? I can just imagine the consternation back in the verdant party room “Who to put last – the scumbag Liberals or the rampant, right wing christians?”. It appears they searched their souls and chucked Fundamentalist First at the bottom of the pile, just a nose in front of the Libs. But this isn’t what Pete was implying.

Or maybe he is really, covertly working for the Fundamentalists? After all – Labour preferenced them way ahead of the Greens in my Federal seat at the last election. Thanks to Labour’s decision to do so (or as this is a democracy, their blind followers who had faith they wouldn’t do something so dumb as endorse a party that was so far away from their own values rather than one that one that was in a closer neighbourhood ideologically speaking) my Federal senator is now a member of Family First.

Who’s afraid of the Greens then? Pete and his friend Bronwyn seem to be.

I’ll let you into a little secret Pete. I was a Labour voter for many years. Call it a youthful folly. Now I am entirely unaligned. Though this election I now have 3 parties on my hit list – all vying to be number 6 on my preferences – Liberal, Family First…and Labour.

Why? Because campaigns like this, which deliberately tell scare mongering lies, really piss me off. I expected more integrity from the Labour party, but this is why I feel so totally disenfranchised by you and your peers.

I was your target audience for this letter, Pete. But you got it oh, so wrong.

* from the Greens website
2 COLLINS, Isabell (PP)
4 PIKE, Bronwyn (ALP)
6 GEBBING, Rebecca (FF)
5 PAPAS, Steve (LIB)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

picture... 1,000 words

Street art: North Carlton, Melbourne, Australia - November 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

thorpie watch - the retirement

image shamelessly filched once more from The Age

It's been a long time between drinks here at Thorpie Watch, but finally the news is out. The Thorpedo is officially in retirement. Back in August I hinted a change of career was in the air for him. Lets see what arises for him and those big flippers yet.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


According to The Age and no doubt all the media - the G20 protest today was full of violence and disorder.

For the few hours I was there I saw more than the reported 2,000, happily marching, chanting and hanging about in the sun. There was music, drumming, clowns and performance art. There was no confrontation with police. Some protesters were even consuming food and beverages from the very multinationals they were supposedly out to attack (in their Nike shoes, at that).

Don't believe everything you read in the press.

Update: After digesting the media message about the protest all weekend:

Uniformly the mainstream media, even SBS, has shown the same footage of violent protest repeatedly. By getting side-tracked by the small handful (probably 10 out of 2000-4000 people) they used it as an excuse to not mention any of the legitimate reasons why people were protesting peacefully.

To read what the rally was really about, who spoke and what actually happened check out this report in The Green Left Weekly,

Monday, November 13, 2006

gone surfin'

With the coldest, rainiest week forecast for months, I'm heading off to the beach. The cats are sat, the holiday house is booked, bugger it we're going! Back in a few days...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

he's too young to be a widow

Just read that Belinda Emmitt has died.

For years she has appeared diminutive but fiesty as the cancer nibbled away at her body. There is nothing positive you can say about a death like this - 'courageous', 'battle", "at peace"...are all platitudes designed to sugar coat the fact that she has died far too young, a good woman leaving behind a man who certainly appears to love her and I am sure many friends and family equally as bereft.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Those fair folks in the US of A may not be dead from the neck up afterall. Despite the christian majority fearing prolifers, stem cell research and a desire to pull out of Iraq - the shrub seems to have lost some of his buddies in the house.

But how will they get out of the mess they've created in the Middle East?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

sports news

Radio National news this morning; "Six people were treated for hypothermia at the Melbourne Cup yesterday".

Quote of the day:
"A fake tan is not a coat".

So much for global warming.

Friday, November 03, 2006

a good day to be cloned

I’m split today between honouring the dead and being with the living. It’s been one of those weeks where there has been an anniversary, a 3rd death in 4 months and peak stresses for those who are at the point of finishing the academic year. Today it all comes to a head. I have a dozen clients to work with and a funeral for a friend’s father, out of the city, that I want to go to. Though I only crossed paths with him briefly, being physically there to show my support for a friend at such a tough time is really important.

In the end, the living have won out. I have limited slots in my diary to rearrange so many people and my initial attempts to do so were thwarted at every turn. I realised this took my stress levels to a very uncomfortable place and I had to make a decision.

I did. But I still don’t feel good about it.

I know that a funeral (like a wedding) is just one day on a very long journey. The day usually passes in automatic when it is you in the front row saying goodbye. I know that things get rougher as the weeks and months go by (sorry L if you are reading this, but it does – but the good news is that eventually you turn a corner and realise you didn’t cry that day, then that week, then that month.)

I know all this, but still don’t feel better. Even though the wine, flowers, food, friendship and support will be offered limitlessly in the future.

Just not today.

Today I am in two places.

But deep down the place I want to be is in bed, hiding under the doona with the cats, until it is tomorrow.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

so what if the washing gets wet

It’s raining outside.

I heard it around 5am. A gentle noise. Not a forceful, icy downpour. Spring rain in a blanket of small drops. I wasn’t sure if it was a tram at first, rumbling down the street a block away. Rain has ceased to be a familiar sound. My initial instinct was disbelief.

I opened the door a few hours later. Not cold, not hot. A feeling of glorious dampness. Not an odour you’d like to detect in a glass of wine, but a smell of hope, cleanliness. The kind of aroma that makes you smile.

If all it takes is leaving the washing on the line overnight – a thick cotton blanket and a weeks worth of sheets, I’ve got this drought licked!
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