Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rawf rawf rawf

As I made my first coffee for 48 hours I could literally feel my neurons barking at the fence like starving, rabid dogs. They even followed the scoop of ground coffee from side to side, pulsing first on the right lobe as I scooped the coffee from the tin and then across to the left and then down as I dropped it into the plunger. Scrabbling paws and manic keening were all I was as I filled the plunger with water and waited the itchy, yelping 3 minutes for the brew.

I can stop any time I want to.
I just don't want to.

Monday, October 26, 2009

And speaking of which

I promised myself that I wouldn't post about work, but some things are just too, too sweet. For clarity, I work in a university department which helps students with learning techniques like essay writing, referencing, research and time management. I returned today to a message on my answering machine from a student:

"Hello. Can you tell me how to use Endnote?* Oh, but how are you going to call me back? Hmm. This is a perplexing concept ..."
*hangs up*

Me (to answering machine message): "Madam, if the concept of the telephone is beyond your ken, then you haven't a hope with Endnote."

*bibliography software

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Get it while it's incredibly stupid

I know editors are being downsized in the mainstream media, but I didn't realise that it actually meant hiring 7-year-olds.
Read the tag-line for this video, before someone changes it.

Minimal posts due to completely exciting hospital trip this weekend! We're all better now!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When that girl came out of the traffic I thought she wanted to hit that man. He had just powered straight past me in a big hurry to skip the growing snake in the right hand lane. The big lazy one that drapes from the turning lane and makes all the straight ahead people nervous, like they're going to miss their house being there. So bam, out she skips in her little Hyundai and they come together like two fists full of spare parts. She didn't even look before she skipped out. Lucky she was in a car. They were both okay, walking and I powered on through, winning the race to the lights and I made it home first.

Monday, October 19, 2009


trying to pick up a heavy bag which sitting on its own strap
sinking into the couch only to realise that the controller is over ..................................there
subtitles are too fuzzy
this coffee is burnt
so's the milk
three precious hours in which to study, half an hour reading internet comics, half an hour installing some bloody update
sunnies aren't dirty, that's a scratch
headphone cord gets caught and pulls at my ears
all this poetry is pretty much unreadably tedious
shin + bedpost
either no one's listening to me or I'm talking across the top of everyone
the more comfortable the pillow, the more likely it is to be bin night
the unblogworthy drollery of the suburban 9 to 5
blowfly + oriface
i'm just trying to eat my lunch and read my book I'm not really interested in donating five minutes of that to chit-chat
why won't Australian Top Gear read my blogs and hire me as a writer

Thursday, October 15, 2009


his weight in my arms and in my lap when he falls asleep
the gravelly rattle of various cruds rocketing up the vacuum cleaner hose
tilting the rear vision mirror a fraction lower on the way home because I'm slumped in that big comfy cross-country seat
the fanged French kiss of the morning coffee
paying a bill with my own grown up money that I earned

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I hate all racists. And the Dutch.*

What do you do when, in your professional capacity working in a university, you come across someone who needs help, but somehow blames that need on "cashed-up Asians"? Not literally, but in that roundabout way that ingrained, casual racism has which makes it seem more thought out and considered to the user, but just proves how circuitous a route your racist is willing to travel in order to shift blame and retain their ideological laziness.

To sum up: her lecturer is unhelpful because universities care so much about attracting internationals with the folding stuff that they forget about "Australians". A guy doing a Phd studying Australian states is unsuitable because he's being paid to do so by a foreign government, the implication being that he will return home, taking that knowledge with him. Which is apparently a bad thing. All these foreign students have money and laptops and broadband.
"And many don't."
"Oh yeah, yeah! Heaps of us (note the familiar "us") are doing it tough."

It might seem unusual, but I'm actually pretty dry and straight forward when I'm at work. I take a little bit of pride in my direct, professional manner. I'll slip in the odd dick joke, but by and large I'm not "on". It means that I relax. I don't have to think of my own interesting little chit chats and opinions, it's just the company line, straight up and let's move on. I have a small reputation for efficiency and proficiency. It's comfortable; easy.
This doesn't really help when university policy has neglected to include tearing the retched flappy ears from pug-nosed racists who repeatedly identify themselves as being victims of equity issues.

So I went and wrote a blog.
That'll show 'em.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Friday Arvo Age Quiz

These are for points:

Question 1: Am too much an Arnie fan that even when an Arnie-less remake of The Predator is slated for 2010, I get excited and begin planning taking my Dad to it?

Question 2: Are anyone else's eyes dry as bones?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

You should be thanking them!

And in the Channel Nine news this morning: Channel Nine show Hey Hey It's Saturday offends with a racist sketch on eternal Aussie favourite, Red Faces.

Cut to extended clip of five podgy white guys in afro wigs in blackface dancing and miming to a Jackson Five song. Stern commentary by our morning news reader informing us that these men had painted their faces black. More blackface dancing. They're mostly in sync.
Enter another white man, dressed as Michael Jackson circa HIStory, with his face painted white. (get it?!) More stern commentary pointing out that the newest member of the Jackson Six has his face painted white.
Cut to Red Faces celebrity judge (white) American, Harry Connick Jr, looking dumbfounded and drawing a shaky zero on his scorecard.
'If you had done that in the US,' pronounces the singer 'It'd be "Hey Hey Show's Over" - off the air.'
Cut to chubby little Daryl formally apologising to Connick Jr for offending him (no one else, just him), in that semi-fake TV apology tone where light-entertainment types have to eat humble pie and pull it off with all the sincerity of a group email.
Connick Jr says that he wouldn't have come on the show if he knew that Grown Up Golliwogs were going to be part of the deal.

Guess he underestimated the moronic desperation of insulated aging white guys ...
The man who played Michael Jackson now reckons that he wasn't being racist, because he's a) Indian (and of course no Indians are capable of racism because they get racismed themselves!), b) a doctor (and doctors are immune to racist behaviour, just like parking tickets) and c) don't forget, he was just trying to be funny! (Oh I get it ...)
When asked if he would perform the skit in the US? "Absolutely not."
Because racism is only okay when its subjects can't lynch you. And because no Australian Aboriginals (or anyone else who thinks that they're "black") should be offended because they should know that they were being Americans.
Not Australians - Americans. See? It's different.
No Aboriginals have the right to be offended and no way do they get an apology.
Only the white American guy gets an apology.
And noneof those black Americans get an apology either, because they didn't see it and didn't complain at the time.
And anyway, what has a bunch of wealthy doctors from "different racial backgrounds" painted in black face got to do with a couple of centuries of racism that's been over for decades?

And remember: they were just trying to be funny!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A stifling review

Tim Winton's Breath

**spoiler alert**

Is just like Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo, but with Michael Hutchence swinging from a wardrobe door in the background.
No, not really an addition I would have made either.

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