Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sam takes a break

Too little too late, after all it has been eight weeks since the infamous Caroline Wilson dummy affair. This is nothing to do with Nine respecting women, more about major sponsors pulling their advertising on the show, with Crazy Johns intimating they'd follow the lead of the ANZ. Now the Nine damage control crew are intimating health reasons and counseling for Newman to be sidelined til this persistent issue blows over. It's a big steaming turd really, if this was the case they would have done something about it two months ago - it is only about money and ratings.

On that note as much as I think financial institutions are the residency of the devil, the ANZ has pulled two ethical rabbits out of the hat of late. They were first cab off the rank to ditch the Footy Show citing the misogynistic stunt and this week announced they wouldn't back Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania. Are they going to the wall or having a most out of character attack of conscience?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

for all the dads out there

Helen Austin

I've watched this so many times I almost broke youtube (thanks Diana for fbooking it to me).

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random tales from the city

There is a sign in the window of a Bourke Street café that has been bugging me. “Experienced Coffee Maker Wanted” is scrawled in an unsteady hand on a tacky piece of paper. Something has since been covered over and other words added to it in the month or so since it has been stuck on the glass. Otherwise it looks like quite a good café – stylish without being over bearing, yet still comfortable. Every morning that I pass it, it is empty unlike others in the same strip. Perhaps the punters would feel more comfortable in this coffee obsessed city if the ad asked for a barista?

This winter those old style, chunky patterned jumpers and cardigans are in. They remind me of something some Scandinavian buck would have worn swooping down the slopes on his wooden skis circa 1955. But these little numbers are made in China and though alluding to warmth are mostly acrylic. Lars would have died in hypothermia if he’d tried to ski in such a garment.

A pilates studio in Little Collins Street advertises a “Casual Breathing Class”. I don’t know about you but I breath very formally. In and out. As little variation to the rhythm as possible.

I’ve just noticed my gmail account announces to me “You are invisible.”

Ah that explains a lot!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

solstice cake

For those of us in the part of the world where it is getting a tad cold and grey I have a wee challenge. Winter solstice approaches and what better way to honour it than with a cake? For pagans (and others) everywhere, over at confessions of a food nazi I am hosting a Solstice Cake event (that is a christmas style fruit cake made by the middle of the year).

Go on, why don't you.

All details on how to share your creation over at food nazi.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

stress relief

What I find offensive about this report about a guy caught viewing child pornography on a public computer in a airline’s club lounge in Melbourne is not just what he did, but that the defence cited “he was under enormous pressure at work” as an excuse for the behaviour.

What are we doing to socialise men in this country that appropriate stress relief is looking at degrading pictures, sexualising 6 year olds? This is not an inditement of an individual but of our culture.

Other than cruising for masturbation fodder, what do you do de-stress?

Friday, May 16, 2008

apparently I'm the world

Now for something calmer and less ranty.

You are the World

Completion, Good Reward.

The World is the final card of the Major Arcana, and as such represents saturnian energies, time, and completion.

The World card pictures a dancer in a Yoni (sometimes made of laurel leaves). The Yoni symbolizes the great Mother, the cervix through which everything is born, and also the doorway to the next life after death. It is indicative of a complete circle. Everything is finally coming together, successfully and at last. You will get that Ph.D. you've been working for years to complete, graduate at long last, marry after a long engagement, or finish that huge project. This card is not for little ends, but for big ones, important ones, ones that come with well earned cheers and acknowledgements. Your hard work, knowledge, wisdom, patience, etc, will absolutely pay-off; you've done everything right.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Spookily, when I was into tarot this was the card that came up for me in every reading. Am I always ending something? What about all the beginnings?

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

not so deliberately barren

While I take the shortest of moments to silently congratulate my friends on their attainment of motherhood and a much longer one to talk to my own mum, across the sea, cloaked in the early stages of Alzheimer’s (she know who I am and I hope she will spend her remaining years on this planet being cognisant of those who love her) - I’d like to put it on record that I hate Mothers Day.

Ok, poke a stick at me and call it envy. Actually it is not; rather it is my annual day of mourning. In this post-falling-of-the-Twin-Towers world with the resurgence of family values, crafting and apple pie I’ve been left a little stranded. Like Tracee Hutchison, I missed that boat bearing the fruits of my fecundity. While I’m equally annoyed that some of us are invisible to the politicians, I don’t begrudge provision of greater maternity leave and childcare, I may not be a parent but I am still a feminist. But please if you are the proud friend of a late-30s or early-40-something female without children could you just take a minute and read her piece about being on the receiving end of careless questions and comments. They must be universal because I have had them all and too often from people who mean well but should know better. The “just go out and get knocked up by a stranger” line got a beating throughout my 30’s reaching a frenzied peak as the end of that decade came into sight. My gorgeous GP at the time crowned the notion with the nifty moniker “sperm bandits”. No, neither of us saw wilfully stealing someone’s DNA as an ethical thing to do. But oddly people who wouldn’t (these days at least, now they are trying to install values into their own offspring) lift an item off the shelf and slip it into their bag without paying would suggest a much more elaborate form of theft. The ‘hopeful’ stories of ridiculously old women bearing children, dropped like crumbs as if I was a starving creature, leave me bewildered and overwhelmingly tired. The patronising assumption that I had never wanted children (untrue), pity or even exclusion from certain child-centric events continues, even now.

Though my mother has been gracious about her lack of grandchildren it is very, very difficult to witness someone else’s parent sharing her sorrow on the subject. How much understanding or compassion would it take to consider that perhaps having 2 grown children, even if they haven’t produced offspring, may be better than the alternative? It can be very tough when something so personal and private becomes public property, with a bundle of assumptions and expectations.

I don’t mind when a good friend asks gently over a bottle of wine how I feel about the kid thing, respectfully acknowledging the status quo without presumptions, as one did recently. We all have our journeys of grief and pretending they they don’t exist is worse than never going there.

So while I’ll send up a cheer almost any day agreeing that maternity is a wonderful thing and every mother I have ever met has done or is doing a fabulous job, especially for enduring those endless hours of domestic, mind numbing drudgery – I’ll just try and avoid the cafes and restaurants today. Even the galleries and movie theatres and other such public spaces where families tend to gather. After all it is just one day, I have my garden and for once the Not Boyfriend is in Melbourne today, so I don’t feel quite so alone.

But I’m not trying to garner pity. I've had a quiet coffee on the deck listening to birdsong already this morning, there is a warm body waiting in bed for an undisturbed cuddle and have no demands on my time til tomorrow. Life really isn’t that tragic.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

goggle eyed in Melbourne

After the last post everything else just seems shallow. So if I am going to dive to the depths of mediocrity I am going to do it with the best of the dross. Life without a TV is going well, thank you very much but we’ve hardly been starved of screen-based entertainment. And no, life is not at all lessened without the tiniest smidge of big bro 08.

We've delightfully found all of session 4, thus far, of Doctor Who on Youtube. You don’t need a link but the episode guide on the Beeb is a good help. So far there are 5 episodes cut into 10 minute pieces and we’re hoping that number 6 (spoiler: the Doctor’s daughter) will find its way to the web sometime this weekend.

Speaking of television stations holding back on programs they’ve bought til a time that it suits their ratings, 10’s been hogging Flight of the Conchords since at least September last year and it will finally be on free-to-air starting from this Sunday night (10pm or so if I remember correctly). Do yourself a favour and watch it. It is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in years, though I could be biased because I am secretly in love with Bret.

But the highlight of the weekend for anyone in Melbourne is the St Kilda Film Festival. A world renowned festival of short films that has been amusing locals for the last 25 years. Thanks to the lovely unknown angel who popped my name on the opening night invite list a few years back I get a peek at the best of the crop each year. They were all good. Please don’t make me choose. Ok – if I must, it is “The Funk” written and directed by Chris Jones and produced by the delightful Melanie Coombs. It is very Melbourne, short, pithy and to the point. Mel, if you don’t know her, was the producer of Harvie Krumpet, the woman who graced the Oscars stage a couple of years ago.

Have a great weekend.

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

This is not art

This is not Tracey Emin

This is not an installation.

This is the affordable housing crisis.

Underpass, Brunswick. May 2008

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

mane interruptus

I love Thursdays. I get to sleep in. I go to the market. I have no other agenda. I like it this way.

But things don’t always go according to plan.

6.30 am: NB’s alarm goes off and he heads off in inclement weather for a swim.

6.35: I toss and turn a bit then switch on the radio news. Dream of boats crashing on the harbour.

7.30: Bell ringing and loud thumping on the front door startles me from sleep. Rush to answer it as the urgency reminds me of the last time the disabled neighbour had an accident. Fortunately no blood just Australia Post delivering an internet purchase. (Some non-glamorous but hopefully wearable shoes in a half-size).

7.31: Try on shoes. Do they pinch a little? In the store the 6’s were to small and the 7’s too big. Why do the 6 1/2s feel a tad tight?

7.35: Well I’m awake now, maybe I’ll do my “morning pages”.

7.37: NB arrives back from swim. Urgent discussion about state of the kitty litter and other such important things while I attempt to write.

7.50: Oh good, words starting to flow now at last.

8.00: Phone rings. My father calls from NZ to discuss the state of the kiwi dollar. Really.

8.15: NB out of shower and making his juice and breakfast. More domestic discussions.

8.25: Give up and go back to bed with a warm laptop.

8.30: Hear the pitter patter of rain – rush out to try and save the clothes on the line. Too late, now I’m wet too. And cold!

8.33: Back to bed.

(more phone calls, cat wrangling, not boyfriend threatening me with cold hands….ok I give in, it’s just going to be one of those days).

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