Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bid early, bid often

I have wonderful, happy memories of this machine. It was the first time I'd stayed up all night, drinking beer and playing head-to-head computer games. James Bond, Golden Eye and shouting "I got you!" and "No, you didn't, fucker!" are all hazy memories that I will treasure for a long time.

I also used to have a stack of other games which I had rented from a [large, litigious video rental company] in Ireland, shortly before returning to Australia. The owner of the long-term hostel I was staying in (see "Heeeeeere's Emery") was something of a small-time sleaze-bag. A pleasant enough fellow on first meeting, but after some time it became apparent that he ran casual, non-HI-certified hostels so that he could meet young, single women who were travelling the world and open to new experiences and drinking too much. That, and he never repaired the place. The second floor landing which I put my leg through one day remained a large enough hole to consider scrapping the first flight of stairs and installing a fireman's pole for four months. Because of the events described in
Heeeeeere's Emery, I joined the local video store, obviously before they became aware that allowing transient backpackers to rent movieJust before I left, I popped around to the local [large, litigious video rental company] and rented as many New Release Nintendo 64 games as I was allowed, packed them in my suitcase and boarded a plane to Thailand. Unfortunately, those games are almost gone and Super Mario Land and Body Harvest are all that remain. Plus two controllers.

The bidding has begun at $15.
If the winning bidder is a previous commenter, they will get a special prize and three points!

GTH - Shippy for hilarity. Mele for hilarity, hotness and trying to her husband incarcerated.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1. 2.

I don't often plug blogs for people I don't personally know, but this spark from The Age website's bloke blogger, Sam de Brito, is a real inspiration.

For those too lazy to click, the premise is "For every subject, there are really only two things you need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important."

My own suggestions are:

1. Keep it interesting.
2. Rewrite.

Customer Service:
1. The customer is always wrong.
2. The customer who aren't wrong are morons.

Designing frontpage:
1. Keep it busy.
2. There must be at least one visible bikini at all times.

Doing a beer-can shotgun:
1. Eat the beer, don't drink it.
2. Crush can and throw.

Making coffee:
1. Make it fast.
2. Serve it hot.

Working in a university:
1. Complete what you start.
2. Know more about computers than your boss.

1. Use fresh ingredients.
2. Clean up as you go.

Buying a used car
1. The dealer is lying to you.
2. You don't have to buy it.

Reviewing a book
1. Read the entire book, no matter how bad.
2. Give reasons for your opinion.

Music Appreciation
1. No one else's taste is as good as yours.
2. Your taste sucks.

Not to be taken the wrong way

I'm well aware that I'm supposed to be blogging about the wuvvy-duvvy wonderstuff about being a father, and I will, in time. At the moment though, it's private. If I'm not blogging about the good stuff, it's because I'm too busy enjoying it for myself.

Let me just say this though: lust is not an emotion I expected to feel.
Love, sure.
Excitement, pride, relaxation, joy, wonder, exhaustion, sure.
But when I look at him sleeping, or looking at something, or shaking his chubbier-every-day arms around, or saying that little "Ahwu" at the end of a cry where he's gone on a bit long and got distracted, I feel an intense desire to
grab that little boy and press my face into his body, to howl ecstatic yodels into the sky and squeeze him until all the toothpaste comes out. Call it familial arousal. I sometimes fantasise about some vague threat to him, just so I can imagine happily tearing that threat into little, squishy pieces to simply express my lustful energy elsewhere.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And Marconi dreamed on ...

I've got a couple of mates who are all brothers and fond of practical jokes. No, this isn't one they played on me.

For those of you still reading, I was reminded by Kath's recent post about phone calls of this prank, which was actually a revenge prank for something else entirely.

One of the recently-pranked brothers, let's call him Ducko, designed a flyer for a Rockin' Roddy's pizza shop which was celebrating its grand opening in the local area. The way Rockin' Roddy had decided to celebrate was by giving a free pizza to everyone who called up the delivery number and shouted "Rockin' Roddy's Pizzas are the rock-rock-rockingest in town!" down the phone. Rockin' Roddy knew his market: just the kind of crazy young types who would be willing to shout something silly down the phone for a free pizza. At 3am. Did I mention that Rockin' Roddy's was a 24-hour pizza shop?
With the flyer all designed, Ducko then copied it a couple of hundred times and, with the help of a few friends, distributed it to every house in the area.
Of course, Rockin' Roddy's never existed in the first place and revenge was beautifully exacted when Ducko placed his brother's home phone number as the delivery hotline.

For weeks the phone rang hot at all hours with everyone from stoned yobbos to jolly-housewives hollering "Rockin' Roddy's Pizzas are the rock-rock-rockingest in town!" into Ducko's brother's ear every time he lifted the phone.

In other news: Charlie now lifts his head easily and can roll over from his stomach to his back. And if he's not rolling over when we place him on his front, he's working his arms and legs back and forth and slowly moving across the ground on his tummy (and, let's be honest, his face when his neck gets tired). One might even call it crawling, if he weren't, you know just six weeks old.

GTH - Shippy for effort, River for 'fully baked' and Mele for, well, read the damn post!

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'd like to thank Goddess

While I'm building up a nice head of steam working out how to expound upon the utter contempt I have for 100% of the media of fatherhood I've come across since becoming its target, I would like to take you all through:

A day in the Life of Mele, UltraSuperMegaWoman

1. Up at 1:30 am. Change Charlie, keep cleanbits and dirty bits separate. Battle fatigue and urge to wake Franzy Snr while having nipples chewed on for around half an hour. Become draped in goo. Get yelled at.
2. Up again at 4:30am. Repeat. Get yelled at again. Battle with guilt at waking Franzy Snr on a work night to exercise his superior swaddling skills to truss the little feller up tighter than an inappropriate metaphor (see photo).

3. Up at seven. More poo. More yelling. Battle with guilt at asking a poorly-slept Franzy Snr to make toast.
4. Win guilt battle too late, watc
h Franzy Snr leave for work instead of making breakfast. Replace guilt with jealousy at having to stay home while Franzy Snr gets to swan about, interacting with real people. Eat cold toast while having nipple squashed unrelentingly.
5. Attempt to catch up on sleep. Be shouted awake 45 minutes later after sleep-deprived Franzy Snr's swaddling becomes unraveled and Charlie decides that having his arms out of the wrap = End of Everything Beautiful.
6. More nappy-changing. More feeding. Feel depressed at mountain of housework.
7. Trade opportunity for morning nap in for morning of scaling Mt Housework.
8. Reach summit. Receive guests. Make coffee, provide homemade cake, clean up after guest
9. Walk to shop. Do shopping. Get gawked at for having tiny baby in sling. Walk home. Put away shopping. Begin to prepare lunch and dinner.
10. Drop everything. Change pooey nappy. Get pissed on. Change everyone's clothes. Get pissed on again. Change everyone's clothes again. Feed Charlie. Get pissed on again. Change third set of piss-soaked clothes in an hour. Finish feeding Charlie in the nude.
11. Dress Charlie. Dress self. Get puked on. Change most of clothes and put everything in washing machine. Wrap Charlie tightly and put to bed. Ignore screams of indignation. Return to five previously-unfinished tasks. Fight off life-ending fatigue.
12. Eat cold toast for lunch. Worry about appropriate nutrition intake from steady diet of cold toast.
13. Reach the summit of The Houseworkahorn (or Die Hauswerkahorn). Find air quite thin. Lay down to rest before attempting to pitch camp and slaughter a yak for food. Drift into dream of Swiss Alps and chocolate.
14. Roused by screaming seven minutes later. Change nappy, clothes and cot-sheets. Get pissed on. Have nipple chewed and thrown up on.

15. Keep grim eye on clock, waiting for Franzy Snr to return home. In four hours.
16. Attempt more housework, receive more telephone calls and visitors, just as Charlie seemed due for a long sleep which could be coordinated with a maternal afternoon coma. Repeat.
17. Franzy Snr arrives home. Thrust Charlie into his arms and skip freely about the house, doing all the two-handed chores which were pushed down the list during the day.
18. Cook dinner, give Franzy Snr various manly two-handed chores and feel guilty about doling out the housework so soon after the Bacon Bringer has returned from a hard day's slog. Be reassured that doing the vacuuming and taking out the garbage isn't exactly on par with the Gulag-style torture
previously-envisaged for Franzy Snr. Continue to feel guilty, but less so.
19. Receive dinner guests. Battle mixed feelings of extreme fatigue and guilt
at falling asleep in dinner.
20. Shouted awake for another nipple chew by Charlie. Listen to shouting as Franzy Snr performs a nappy-change and wonder why Charlie chooses to piss and puke only over his mother's limited range of comfortable house-clothes as opposed to Franzy Snr's seemingly inexhaustable supply of slowly-perishing t-shirts.
21. Have nipples chewed in front of guests. Get puked on. Go to bed at 8pm.
22. Woken by hungry shouting at 10:30pm. Overcome fatigue-induce
d nausea. Attempt to hold Charlie safely while being pissed on and shouted at.
23. Spend one and a half hours feeding, wrapping, unwrapping, changing, patting, picking up and putting down Charlie until deciding that since he's fed, mostly-dry and it's night, then it's time for bed. Go to bed and listen to half an hour of grumbling and screaming until Sandman finally gets off his arse and dumps a truckload of the good silica into the baby room.
24. Repeat.

Seriously: Mele is my hero. Watching the birth was like watching someone lift about half a ton of bricks in one go and doing it. Impressive, non? Watching her do th
e above list for a month on no more than 3 hours sleep at a stretch, for a month, is simply unbelievable. Bear in mind that the above represents the minimum of activity in a typical Mele-day. Minimum. That's not counting regular things like doctor's appointments, family commitments, the mind-bending minutiae of housework (washing machine, set, dry, hang, over, on, off, look for medicine, towel, phone, pen, puke, wipe), the baking - she regularly makes utterly delicious cakes and slices and thinks of things I can make for my lunch for up to three days in advance. In between all this she is still able to carry on intelligent conversations and continue to be the beautiful, kind and generous woman I know and love more every day.

Here's to you, darlin'.

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