Saturday, June 28, 2008


It's on it's on!

Internet is flowing through the wires and the air on Bribie! As is the milk froth down at the local CC ... I am perfecting my previously flawed technique of frothing the milk and learning what the buttons do. It's not as difficult as you might think, there are only two. I will blog further about coffee making techniques and follies in the future when I have more phd work to do.

In celebration of my impending internet connection I am writing a meme blog on Word to save and post later when (if) the internet happens. If you are reading this on my blog then it has either a) happened or b) I am at the library furiously clicking ‘Post Blog’ while trying to multitask my bank account, my email and blogger in the fervent hope that it doesn’t all efficiently shut down before I can save my work.

Anyway, I’ve been tagged by Myninjacockle and the meme seems appropriately self-indulgent for someone looking to avoid the dreaded first steps of a second draft, so here flows nothing:

What Was I doing Ten Years Ago?

I was discovering that starting first year uni directly after completing year twelve is so much the same as makes no discernable difference. That said, the discernable differences were:

  • All the people I hung around with in year twelve were no longer half as interesting as the massive swathe of new people I could have hung around with if only I had more than one class a week with them. Bachelor of Arts means hanging onto your peer group for dear life. I had yet to discover an in at the student newspaper.
  • Being the biggest fish in the English pond in high school made you highly useless at university English where they expected you to have read an entire book, every week, before the Tuesday tutorial. Every week. I don’t think I ever came out with more than a credit.
I was also entering a stint of mad crazy employment in order to save for a large overseas trip that was going to save me from university. By the time uni finished in around August (or whatever stupid-early time of year it finishes) I was working around 40 hours a week in four or five separate places of employment. I was a telemarketer for a fly-by-night rental-listing company, a drinks carrier for the corporate perverts at Footy Park (never had my arse pinched by so many drunk businessmen), a waiter at a gypsy restaurant and a watch salesman to name just a few.

Five Snacks I Enjoy in a Perfect, Non-Weight-Gaining World

  1. Fancy potato chips.
  2. Salt’n’vinegar beer nuts.
  3. Fresh nashi pears.
  4. Homemade salami.
  5. Big slices of parmesan cheese.

Five Snacks I Enjoy in the Real World

Sorry, girls. It’s the same as above. I don’t buy into food-based guilt trips because I firmly believe that they are a psychological trick designed by corporations to manufacture desire for the products that they sell and to fuel support for capitalism in general as the new religion. You eat and then you feel guilty and so then you shop and so then you feel guilty and so you eat etc. And, if you don’t believe that, I don’t really snack. I eat a really fucking big meal and then wait until the next one.

Five Things I Would Do if I were a Billionaire

  1. Build dream house. It’s got a lot of wood, antiques, plants, chrome and art deco shit. Surrounding it is a large garden with a two-level octagonal greenhouse for Mele. Way out the back is the secret cave where I keep the cars.
  2. Contact all friends and family. Force monetary kindness upon them. This sounds philanthropic, but is actually on moral par with the secret car cave – I just really get my jollies from spending money on people.
  3. Charities. This includes setting up literature scholarships for poor kids.
  4. Travel. Trains in Europe. Cars in the US. Chauffeurs in Asia – I’ve seen them crazy roads. Pick a place to write in and do it.
  5. Food and drink. Only the best, for everyone, all the time.
Five jobs that I have had.

Hmm. See above, but I’ll elaborate.
  1. Fly-by-night telemarketer. Here’s how it worked: every Wednesday and Saturday morning at 4am some poor dude would come in to the office with the first papers hot off the press. He would go through the real estate section and copy out the rental ads by hand onto neat little cards. At 8am me and two other shifty types would come in, divide the cards between us and set about calling the people renting properties and asking them if they would like to include their properties on our ‘free listing service’. It was essentially free advertising for rental property owners. The money came from the poor bastards who were so desperate to find accommodation that they would pay $120 for a three month ‘membership’ which allowed them to come in every Saturday morning and ask if there were any properties that matched their chosen specifications (five bedrooms, allows dogs, smokers okay, etc). Think but you’re paying $120 for some 18-year-old to look it up and tell you there’s nothing available.
  2. Selling watches, pens and sunnies. A mate of my dad’s has always had businesses going that involved me shaving, wearing a shirt and turning up on time in order to fast-talk people with loose cash into buying an engraved pen or a gimmicky watch. I mostly managed to complete all three tasks. They even opened a store in the Myer Centre called Trenz which might be still there in the basement next to the toilets.
  3. The Easter Bunny. Kids, go to bed. I was the Easter Bunny on numerous occasions. Basically this meant getting into a full rabbit costume and hugging semi-terrified toddlers and, for some reason, a lot of teenaged girls. My favourite one was the Cadbury Easter Bunny because it was at the Myer Centre and there are a lot of bored teenagers dying for an excuse to stop acting so cool all the time. My least favourite was the Bunnings Easter Bunny because the suit involved a complicated air-conditioning system that, when it was working, kept me cool and the suit inflated. When the batteries died the whole thing turned into a large, heavy, sealed plastic bag and made me faint.
  4. RQF Report Writer. My most grown up job ever. Lots of money. Big grown-up meetings with important grown-up academics. Unending frustration at having to tease a sales angle out of two decades of someone else’s research for an outgoing federal government.
  5. Brewster. See previous post.

Three of my habits:

  1. Scratching scabs on my scalp when I’m thinking which makes scabs which I scratch when I’m thinking. It’s disgusting. I want to stop. I wear a lot of hats when I’m writing.
  2. Correcting people’s speech. ‘No, it’s “Lap-ell”, not “layple”.’ What an annoying prick.
  3. I was going to put ‘picking my nose’, but that’s more like a necessity rather than a habit, so I’ll go with ‘laughing at my own jokes’. Someone has to, even if it’s just that tiny exhalation of breath to let listeners know that I’ve made a funny, I can’t help it.

Five Places I Have Lived

  1. Millswood. Treasured childhood home.
  2. Collinswood. First home away from home.
  3. Maylands. Worst hole ever.
  4. Belfast. Long term hostel sharing room with masturbating Scotsman.
  5. Bribie Island. Stay tuned …

GTH - Ah kids, it's been a while and I'm sorry. But anticipation makes sweet the fruit that returns from the blah blah blah Murphy gets the point for his extremely accurate summation of last entry's header. It is indeed the only road out of and off of Bribie Island and the one we'll be dynamiting when the mainland zombies start running amok. River also had a red hot go but struck out with the guess about the ships - those misty shapes are in fact the Glass House Mountains. Not as spectacular as they look at sunset, but still a pretty nice little view compared to the carpark and the corrugated iron fence we used to have in Maylands.

I am also instituting a new Guess The Header policy, or feature, if you will. I'm going to post the complete picture in the following entry so that you can gain some perspective, if not over your lives, then at least over what ever I have cut a slice from the previous week. But only if I remember.


  1. I once got sucked into one of those $120 rental find companies. I was sent to view numerous homes where the floorboards would collapse as I walked on them, or bedroom 3 was a 4'by 4' space off the back porch, one where the bathroom & toilet was a separate building down near the back fence. After a few weeks I wrote off the cash and found a place on my own.

  2. Nanoo nanoo when you wrote: "Being the biggest fish in the English pond in high school made you highly useless at university English where they expected you to have read an entire book, every week, before the Tuesday tutorial. Every week. I don’t think I ever came out with more than a credit."
    ** SAME HERE. My head was larger than my arse then, thinking I'd romp the English stuff home (being my school's big English fish as well) and instead got shoved squarely back down to earth when my first essay got me a 62. What was most frustrating was that on paper I earned two passes and one credit for my three years of Major English Texts but the marks were friggin' cruel - 64, 64 and 74!

    Agree to re Parmesan cheese. I always hope that some crumbly pieces accidentally fall off when cutting a chunk to put into our poncy zyliss grater. I love eating the stuff plain.

    Re RQF framework - was offered a role for a few months at literally DOUBLE my HEO level, only for Bulldog (in full bully mode by then) to knock it back, saying that my 'administrative skills' (as a lowly, run-of-the-mill HEO4) were 'needed' at her Centre.

    Looking forward to reading your insights on coffee making 'cos I'm still crap at it.

    GTH - early designs for Tron the movie?

  3. Oi Kath, don't wait for crumbly bits to fall off the parmesan, cut yourself a chunk and bite in, like the rest of us. Life is too short to sit around waiting for the cheese to crumble......

  4. I RORTED THE SYSTEM of those rental companies by buying my mate's off him for $20 bucks after they found a house almost instantly.

    Twas a complete waste of time. I sincerely hope that scam died most terribly in the arse for whoever thought of it.

  5. I know. It was a terrible scam and I was only in it for the money I was saving for an overseas trip. I think I quit within about a week of leaving.

    I honestly did feel guilty when it was my turn to go on the phones and take calls from people looking for rental properties. The phone line was open for TWO HOURS PER WEEK, one on Wednesday mornings and the other on Saturdays. These poor people would ring up, ask if there was anything, be told that there was nothing and then abuse me for a few minutes because they paid $120 for no results.

    Ahhh ... sweet dodginess. Those poor people.


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