Thursday, August 30, 2007

and now the post for the people who don't like cats

Catterole anyone?

(can you tell that the flight is delayed and I am finding small things to amuse myself?)

be back in a bit

I'm heading across the ditch for a few days.

Weather report:
Melbourne 25c
Wellington 14c

Just as well I am going for the people.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Melbourne CBD: tuesday lunchtime

She was 30ish with short, professionally maintained hair. Every part of her dress screamed elegance and quality. The grey suit was unpretentious but perfectly cut, the shoes had a sleek heel and the handbag – where was her handbag? The only thing that didn’t fit was the man and woman, both wearing blue, on either side. They strode out of the GPO Centre, a stylish fashion precinct, together and at first I thought she was a detective but I figured no matter her seniority it was unlikely that the constable would be carrying her bags for her. She walked in a dignified manner, no cuffs or a hand on her shoulder – just an officer on each side directing her to the waiting police car.

some light relief

Time for a YouTube moment.

Not boyfriend quote of the day: "He'd be a funny guy, if he wasn't so evil"

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

a post to skip if you are not a cat person

We just found out that our sweet boy Bibi has FIV. He's lost weight and had a couple of trips to the vet. Finally tonight the new one thought to test him for the feline version of HIV. He's only been in my life for the last 3.5 of his 14 years. A gorgeous, quiet affectionate beast who loves nothing more than to sneak into bed for a cuddle.

We wimped out, have put him on a drip to buy us some time to say goodbye. There's a chance he will pick up and give up some more time with him. Selfish of us maybe. Though listless and not eating today, he'd purred every time he got attention.

Yes he's just a cat. But I am fast becoming the mad old cat woman, so I had better start getting used to saying goodbye to such creatures. As the buddhists will remind us - nothing is permanent. But human, feline or dog , we always want just a bit more time.

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out and about

I've been blogging around lately and while there is the thrill of the new, I got hit with a tsunami of anxiety. Like the first day in the new school, once I realised the post was being published the doubts began 'will they like me?', 'am I bright enough for them?' and of course 'shit I wished I'd got someone to proof it first'.

It is one thing to crap on blog in your own backyard but another to take the plunge in a different pond.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

i know the election date hasn't been set yet but...

Aussie voters, particularly those hell bent on electing the dull, bookish christian bloke who has had one big night out in the last 4 years - don't be dumb and let your party preference Family First again. Having suffered Fielding as my state senator due to Labour voters blind preferencing, could you please read and vote next time. Even better, get on board with a little pressure on the party to not preference Family First

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Monday, August 20, 2007

but wait - there's more

There appears to be more nerds in parliament wanting to raise their wow factor.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

obviously a labour party leak

Rudd, the opposition heir apparent - seems to be human after all.

He may have gone to a strip club but I bet he didn't inhale.

Update: I loved the BBC item on this (it must have been a slow news day). This is how the Brits see our Kev:

A bookish intellectual with a strong Christian faith, Kevin Rudd has a slightly dull, even nerdy public persona.

They concluded:

But in a country which once elected a champion beer drinker as its prime minister - Labor's Bob Hawke - many think it might actually enhance his chances of success.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Attention all freeloaders

Radiothon 007 is heading into the home straight - so a final reminder for those listening freeloaders to subscribe to 3RRR for another year of guilt free radio.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

the 4th new thing

I posted earlier in the week about 'three new things'. Now they are 4 for the week - I cooked with this amazing herb for the first time. Scoot over to my food blog to find out how it went, or check out yesterday's pictorial of the farmers market.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

a pic for pixie

freshly plucked from the farmers market this morning - a steal at $1 a bunch

'cos Pixie loves daffs.

it's almost enough to make me want to vote democrat

Finally a word of sanity in a week when both labour and lib leaders teleconferenced a link with all the happy clappy churches around the nation – one lone voice in the parliament has come out and questioned the madness.

Democrat senator Lyn Allison has said
THERE are too many Christians in parliament

Good old Bob Brown has stuck his hand up for the Greens – in a bob each way kind of statement he said the leaders of the major parties should be addressing faiths rather than a select group of conservative Christians. But then kicked in "There will be many tens of thousands of Christians voting for the Greens because they prefer the humanitarian and environmentally focused policies that we have,"

Perhpas the Democrats will survive this election after all?

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

not boyfriend quote of the day

"He's a good looking guy, you should hook up with him"

Allegedly Lord Lucan - Nanny killer - now a crusty 72 yo codger living with a pet possum in an old 4x4 in Marton.

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three new things

Excuse the cross-posting

Three new things

When I decided I was long overdue for an artist date this week, it wasn’t necessarily food that I had in mind. The mission that came up with for my morning off was to go to 3 new places. 3 new experiences in my hometown.

It wasn’t til I completed my joyful task – did I pick the common theme.

I started with breakfast somewhere new (for me at least) at Café Rosamond in Fitzroy. I’d read mixed reviews and figured it was probably going to be a love or hate kind of place. I followed the breakfast blog’s instruction to follow the tapeworm – but really it was the large sign “Rosamond” on the wall and the cute young men lounging in the doorway that gave it away. To give the place a chance, I deliberately choose a quiet morning. I rocked up for a leisurely breakfast to find a handful of 20-30-something women writing at their tables. Just my kind of place - quiet and unpretentious, on a Monday at least. Contrary to the review that denigrated the service, the women behind the counter were darlings. There was a touch of kiwi in having to go up to the counter to order but the staff did wander around asking if you wanted more coffee. Speaking of which the coffee was fine and as for the food - the scrambled eggs and avocado salad on crunchy wholesome toast, made me come out a fan. They get extra marks with dealing nicely with the dairy intolerant breakfaster.

Next was a little op shopping (thrift shops). For this to fall into the ‘new’ category it had to be one I’d never gone to, despite the fact that in my student days I thought I’d covered every one in a 5km radius. So I took myself off to Kew figuring it to be a comfortable enough suburb to offer some goodies. And it did. I highly recommend the one tucked just off High Street, next to the Anglican church. There were genuine bargains to be had as well as some good quality wares crammed into the tiny space. If you are after new knits – there are pristine scarves and beanies for young and old. The layettes made me wish I had a little one to bundle them into. For the crafting folk, or those wanting to scan the classic cover shots, there were hoards of old knitting and sewing patterns. If you have a royal family fetish there is a perfect stash of pictorial books hiding down the end of the shop. I walked away with a small, green glass bowl, perfect to sit ripe purple plums in or a carrot salad. But I cursed my non-carnivorous ways as the priciest item in the shop was crying to be bought – a genuine tongue press anyone?

Inspired by the avocado salad at breakfast, which was dressed with sherry vinegar, I knew I’d have to made a beeline to an as yet unexperienced foodie (sorry the F word – I’ll put a dollar in the swear jar) mecca – Leo’s Fine Foods, also in Kew. $85 later I exited with the bottle of vinegar and goodness knows what else but it was the most pleasurable supermarket experience I have had in a long time. They have a great range of fresh breads, exotic spices and most things in between.

Anyone else up for 3 new things?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

turning blue and having a tantrum

Catherine Deveny has done another great opinion piece in today’s Age, this time on the private health insurance rip-off. Like Deveny I am another conscientious objector regarding the government’s coercion into private health insurance. Until I read her article, I had also been deceived into believing the large chunk I pay, as a Medicare surcharge, doesn’t necessarily go into a public health slush fund. As I qualify to pay the levy by a mere few dollars each year, it is tempting to just work less to fall under the line but I had until today believed that paying the extra tax was an ethical act. Now I am not so sure.

Being over 30 when the Howard Administration decided to channel billions of dollars into the private health insurance industry – I was nicely under the penalty cut off. Interestingly if I wanted to take out private health insurance now, I would be paying yet another levy, for each year since my 30th birthday without insurance – not from when I began to earn over $50,000. Yet another disincentive.

Having watched 2 family members succumb to cancer, their health insurance policies helped neither of them. Identical treatment as a public or private patient - just a massive out of pocket bill for their stay if admitted privately.

The real issue is of course the move towards an American style health care system. A form of medical apartheid that just doesn’t work for anyone except the industry itself. In Bush’s America, it’s not just the millions of citizens without insurance who are disadvantaged. The majority of Americans are locked into dreaded HMOs (health maintenance organization), who decide what doctors and hospitals can treat you, along with limiting your actual treatment options. When a health plan is a fundamental perk of a job, you don’t get to choose your HMO. It also discourages you from alternative career options.

But back to Australia. The government continues to prop up the private health industry with massive rebates that has done little to decrease public hospital waiting lists. Individuals are getting poor value for money with their health cover with increasing out of pocket expenses and inflated premiums.

So what’s Rudd’s “me too” party going to do about it if they manage to noble the incumbent government? I’m not holding my breath on this one.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

life imitating art

There is a collective groan in the house whenever one of those awful federal government ads comes on telling us how fair the Work Choices legislation has been. Most people know they have been sold a pup on this one. Now the ads are to be pulled. Embarrassingly for the government one of the actors who appears in the ad, as a dad wanting assurance that his son won’t be ripped off by employers – has allegedly been doing just that himself in real life.

For now we can have a rest from that earnest woman telling us that the government is on our side.

..and the not boyfriend can have a break from me yelling at the TV screen every time the propaganda is played. Until the government use more of our taxes for another campaign to tell us how well they’ve been taking care of us that is.

Monday, August 06, 2007

floral holster aprons

It’s one of those days when I read cute crafting blogs. It fills me with desire to buy floral tablecloths, embroider pillowcases and do things with pastel colour fabric. Fortunately I can’t sew. Maybe it’s a Virgo thing that if I can’t master a straight line with thread, by machine let alone hand, I can’t deal with the disappointment of my own messiness.

And fortunate because – I don’t really like floral things. If I woke up in a cutesy crafted cottage I’d probably be violently ill.

No, what I want to work out is why I am so fascinated with that corner of the blogoshpere. Sure I like cooking, why else would I feverishly write about it? But you see no cloud icing covered with berries and shots of vintage baking ware (if I do knock out a muffin it’s now in one of those weird silicone pans – hey but it is red and might make a good shot?)

When I read these blogs I want to populate my kitchen with the cutest of op shop plates. Well I did for many years, out of necessity but now I spend my life trying to stop the surviving few from being put through the dishwasher. The silverware, similarly sourced has become tarnished from the same treatment. One day it might be nice to pull a knife and fork out of the drawer and find they match or they are not ridiculously mis-sized.

But back to cuteville. It’s a great place. A land where neither Howard nor Bush reign. Women practice the feminine arts, reclaimed because it is no longer a choice of work or home. Some of the most powerful businesswomen go weak at the knees at a pile of retro material. These blogs barely have a whisper of politics. There is rapture over old sewing patterns, the making of soft toys with a modern twist and doing clever things with buttons.

I love it. I really do. But it’s just not me. In the same way I would never tote a gun, despite my steady diet of feminist crime fighter novels. These are worlds I can take refuge in when the stupidity of humanity gets just too much to bear.

But I’d better mind myself, I have a day off today and the op shops beckon!

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

the octopus man

Quote of the day from the Not Boyfriend "I'm not an octopus! Couldn't you describe me as more like Marlon Brando?"

Personally I'd choose an octopus over that old man any day :)


Saturday, August 04, 2007

diving in

I wake up early on a Saturday morning. Weak light seeps in from behind the curtain. The sun has only just risen and its wintery presence is anaemic at best. There is no heat reaching this part of the world yet. Bed is alluring. Warm. A slumbering partner continues to dream. But my conscience drags me out of bed. Despite the fact my brain has yet to kick into gear, this is the best time of day for me to run my fingers over the keyboard.

I reluctantly get up and do what needs to be done in the bathroom, say good morning to the feline entourage in the living room and turn on the espresso machine. By the time I unplug the ibook and bring it to the nest I’ve created over looking the garden I feel the first flicker of hope. At that moment I feel totally unsure that I am going to able to write with a brain still so flat and uninspired. But I believe in the process.

It is a simple equation. Morning + quiet + coffee = words. Sometimes great, coherent words. Sometimes an entire mini chapter. I’ve become very precious about this time. It only lasts an hour or two and it rarely appears at any other part of day, I don’t want to squander it. I’ve learnt that my preferred place to write is in bed, all toasty warm while it is chilly outside but unfortunately a bed mate literally cramps my style as he stirs in his sleep and latches onto my right side, octopus like. The living room has its pitfalls. As it doubles as a dormitory for far too many cats, my lap is a kitty magnet – regardless if a computer is already occupying the space or not. I have one elderly, ailing cat breathing like Darth Vader due to a dose of cat flu, with a paw on a bit of my thigh and looking at me adoringly. There are stray hairs on my keyboard. My left foot is starting to go numb from being tucked under me – having chosen to sit on a lounge better suited to sprawling. I seek the light over comfort. This is the reason I don’t follow the sensible option and write in the study. It is dim in the morning, which makes working there so early on a weekend feel too much like a chore.

So all snug and settled, can I write? I think the best thing is to not ask that question. I pull up the latest piece of work and dive in.

I’ll see you in an hour or two.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

with friends like these

Despite the fact that myspaz is so last week, the polies are getting all upset about it. With 29,000 paedophiles detected on the site in the US alone, local politicians are rumbling about getting parental permission for children under 18 to have their profile on the site. It certainly shows once more how our law makers are so out of touch with technology. What, you have to get mummy or daddy to write a note now? You want to ban paedophiles from having internet access full-stop. How? Tatoo their forehead? Yeah that’ll work.

More alarming is the discovery that Family First Senator Steve Fielding (timely reminder to get it into the heads of all Labour voters to check their preferences before blindly supporting their party again at the upcoming federal election – it is because these short sighted souls we have that reactionary creationist representing the State) has his own myspaz page. Freakier still, shock jocks like Neil Mitchell are his ‘friends’*, so too is little Johny Howard (who incidentally has 10x more friends than Steve, which goes to show why he lives in The Lodge.

Howard on youtube, polies on myspaz….it’s enough to make you to go hang out at facebook and hide for weeks.

* actually his friends pics looks a bit like a kiddy fiddler's dream - lots of clean shaven young lads, very few women unless they are clutching husband and child as if to protect them.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

this is why the British police are so crap at finding terrorists

The boys in blue are going all out to try to find this man, to slap him with a fine. Despite the fact that the woman does not want to press charges.

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