Monday, November 30, 2009

Obviously I am seriously mistaken.

I always thought the point of being in politics was to get more people to vote for you, not less.

Let's punch out some polls!

Update: And a little Tony Abbott quote for all the lady voters out there:

"We have a bizarre double standard, a bizarre double standard in this country where someone who kills a pregnant woman's baby is guilty of murder but a woman who aborts an unborn baby is simply exercising choice."

I think we have the Liberal Party's 2010 election slogan!

It can't all be gold

Dear Commonwealth Bank,

I really appreciated the fact that when you visited that big American ad agency with those two or three dickheads with the pencil moustaches, you kept true to the Australian spirit and poo-pooed their zany ideas about customer service. You seemed like just the kind of bank that would be smart enough to implement a few simple customer service ideas.
However, I am a little troubled that you continue to use the same ad agency dickheads who continue to give the same type of clown-shit crazy suggestions which you never use. It's been at least two or three years now and you don't seem to be getting the picture. I don't believe you're that smart after all. In your latest commercial, you show one of your rep's seven-year-old son coming up with the ideas.
Here's an idea: going to that same ad agency all these year makes you look foolish.

A credit union customer

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Who's with me?

*tsk* "Men."

As soon as I hear it, my hackles rise. She's used to saying it. They all are. That off-hand, exasperated little complaint of an explanation. Something's gone wrong. Gone missing. Gone awry. And that's not the way she would have done it. She would have injected a bit of common sense into the matter from the beginning and got it sorted without all this need for eye-rolling and the picking up of dirty socks.

. I mean, honestly. Am I right, girls?"

Yeah, well I've had a gut-full. This goes beyond that utterly hurtful Mere Male page in the back of The Women's Weekly. I've grown up being bombarded by images of dick-head dudes and dopey dads and I can differentiate myself from what I see in the media (offensive and pervasive as it is), but as I work in a female-dominated environment, more and more I get subjected to these blasé little quips with the punchlines revolving around men and their predictable meeting of low expectations.

"Were you having a man-look for it?"

My honest reply to this one is now "Well, I didn't have a woman-look - you know, standing around squawking about it until someone else finds it in plain sight."
Think I'm kidding? No one makes the "man-look" joke around me any more.
I hereby put my foot down. No more making snide little gags about men. Not around me. Not around the men in my life. All the men I know are, every one, excellent human beings. I'm proud of all them. So don't shuffle around here with your smirky little bon mots about listening and understanding and housework. I won't have it.
I'm perfectly well aware that there are too many tedious blokes out there. That's fine. Go and tell your could-burn-water cooking gags around them.
But keep that tiresome dreck away from me.

*tsk* "Oh! Men! I don't know!"
"I do! We're like women, but less whingey."

Join me, my brothers. Put this tediousness in its place and you, like me, will have to put up with it substantially less often.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm not joking, she actually said this:

"Franzy, I think we just need to get a bigger TV - one of those high-definition ones. I'm sick of not being able to see the Playstation properly and we should just complete our home entertainment system."

I know.
She is awesome.
Thank you very much and suffer in your jocks.

Monday, November 16, 2009

When your life slows down you ...

... consider writing blogs about Channel Ten.

But really, in a blog where I try to practise my writing as often as possible, the difficulty is in cracking that little word "possible".
Give me an hour and I will give you a beautiful story.
Give me a day and I will present you with a hilarious novel.
Give me a week and I will begin to wonder what the hell you've done with my family. Then I'll do some editing and storyboard a short film.
I used to get all dark and resigned as I began receiving joyous emails telling me that my colleagues were finishing their Phds. How come they were finishing? They had it so easy ...
Then I realised: none of them were starting young families and working full time. They were just at different stages in their lives.

Probably the most creative and fruitful thing a writer who doesn't write produces is excuses:
I'm too tired.
I don't have time.
I have to do something on the internet.
I'm really looking forward to watching this show.
The housework isn't going to do itself.
The weekend is just so busy.
It's that time of year.
I've just got to finish this other thing, then I can get right on it.
An hour isn't long enough.

What's that?
Those excuses aren't that creative and wonderful?
Well, they're definitely more refined and developed than anything else I've produced lately. I'm sure the circadian Ninjacockle will agree with me that good writing takes more time than raising healthy children. Indeed, it takes about the same time.
And, as attractive as playing the role of whisky-soaked writer/father/life-long enigma to our little darlings is, it takes a special kind of arsehole and neither of us are made of that particular brand of sphincter.
Plus, we also know that in every story of writing success, the drunken scribe is never the actual successful writer; he or she is always the muse. They are the dark, howling backdrop to the intense life of artistic torment that is bestowed upon their brilliant children.
What's the point of devoting fifty years to raw, powerful manuscripts and liver disease if you're just going to let the eventual spoils slip through your gnarled fingers into the hands of your cowering children?
There you are, hunched over your netbook, drinkin', emotin' and ignorin', pumping out these spirit-strangling tomes, too raw and powerful for the times during which they were written. Meanwhile, the offspring are waiting in the wings for you to drop dead of an embolism or something so they can carefully delete all your files, identify your beautiful corpse and draft up their own sly little (raw, powerful) volume, which will be reverse-ironically titled Dad was a drunken arsehole. It will sell like half-price haggis and inject the English language with dozens of new idioms (none of which will refer to Celtic delicacies, all of which will funnel copyrighted royalties into your offspring's Rowland-sized bank account).
Your successful, wealthy child will fund various attempts to reanimate you, either for a final hug or something future psychologists will refer to as "cryo-closure", but your writing success will continue to be denied because the precious hour I mentioned above will be spent not at a keyboard, recording the raw, powerful philosophical keystones that will naturally flow from the reactivated regions of your frontal cortex. That one valuable hour will spent floating in a tank of positively-charged cryo-gel while the child you ignored some 150 years previously either tries to hug you while wearing a protective scuba suit or just gives you a right ear-bashing for drinking too much, not getting a job and not realising that "raw" and "powerful" in writing terms means "unedited" and "full of swear-words instead of proper exposition".

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You know it's hot when ...

... even cold water showers don't cool you off.
... outside stops being an option and starts being a punishment.
... it's too hot to go to the beach.
... you get so sick of rabbit food that you cook a roast chook, just say to say 'fuck you' to the weather.
... partial nudity is suddenly acceptable.
... the ocean looks lower.
... suddenly everyone works for the Bureau of Meteorology.
... you start feeling a weeny bit tough as leather about exactly how many days of scorching heat wave you and all your fellow South Australians have endured ... from your air-conditioned offices.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I hear that some animals cry

I’m going to paint you a horrid little picture. Please have your expressions of shock and disbelief at the ready.
Picture a family. A happy, secure family, borne of passion and love for one another. The parents are career-minded and worldly. They work hard to see their dreams and loves come to life. They build careers and lives around this work and try to share it with everyone they meet. They try to instil in their children the same enthusiasm and drive. The father is particularly driven and his energy for his work makes him enigmatic and delightful.
Then, one day, while this dynamo is at work, he is killed. Killed by the very thing he and his family have spent their entire lives working at. It is a horrible, tragic accident and leaves a great hole in the middle of this ordinary, likeable family.
That’s not the horrible bit. Sure, it’s terrible, awful and sad. It happens every day, but generally that would have to be the worst thing that could happen to the family, right?
Some two or three years after the father’s death, the eldest child, barely twelve, enters the same line of work. And not just carrying on the passion of the work, she is made to do it alongside the image of her dead father. Gruesome, eh?
She has to talk about him, look at his picture, smile at every reminder of him, reminisce about him, even dress like him! She even has to watch footage of him working at the very activities which got him killed.
And her mum helps.

Have you guessed who it is yet?

Possibly the saddest thing about Bindi Irwin isn’t the fact that she has to go on without her dad, and yet surrounded by him every day as though there was nothing sad or solemn about it (and whether you rate him as a primo conservationist or a loud-mouthed yahoo, you’d have to admit he’d be a pretty fun dad). It’s the fact that when you watch the show (thanks ABC Kids), she is constantly referring to the animals as her friends, but is only ever joined on camera by adults and her mum. And once by a shyly-bemused Abigail Breslin. I hope she’s got some real friends with whom she does non-child-star type stuff.

An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32