Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Have you ever borrowed someone's time? How do you give it back?

I've got to admit that, while it would be incredibly frustrating to have happen to you, and while it's spiritually demoralising to watch happen to your own country's team (or the team of a country you believe should win), I love bad refereeing decisions. Livens the game up. Makes me laugh. Laugh at the impossible! Ha! Ha ha!

Which brings me to Franzy's blogging rule No. 39: You know you're scraping when you blog about television. I've always maintained that this blog wouldn't be a diary or a scrap book or a bitch-about-work journal. It's been all three over the years and there's been ups and downs, periods of rain and drought. Lately, however, I am (like I imagine the much-missed, but always just around the corner Ninjacockle) finding myself not only time-poor, but brain-poor as well. We only have so much luv to guv, as our trans-Tasman neighbours would put it (ut). So, to turn this briefly into a journal: I work 9 to 5. I get home. I do family stuff. I put the boy to bed. Three nights a working week, I sit down in front of the computer and try to read and write PhD stuff. It's tough. Lots of the time I don't make it. Saying 'No' to close friends who just want to come over for dinner and a baby-viewing is much, much harder than saying 'Nah, tomorrow night' to studying from 8pm until 10pm or whenever the words begin to go double on the screen.

I am writing this at 11pm. Screw what time-posted thing says. That's Yankee time. 11pm it is. And the worst bit about that is that I'm trying to line myself up with the little picture in my head of the masterful genius writer, slaving away while the rest of the world (time zone) withers and slumbers. But the fact is that my brain is a little tired. I'm not cracking code for living, but I'm not digging ditches, either. My brain's default setting after about 8pm is: "Whiskey/TV". Turning that into "PhD then flighty, creative book ideas" requires a little more flick of the switch. Even churning out a blog entry which doesn't rely on my son's radiant beauty for value is usually beyond me.

You'll notice in the graphic to my left, that my main activities, work and sleep, are the only ones I can prove that I do on a regular basis.
Sleep because I am still sane(ish)(or am I?)(Who said that?)(etc) and work because I'm able to pay for this internet and the food that keeps me from falling over.

The only non-accounted-for activity is 'Time I should spend being creative'. I say this because it's normally time that ends up being TV or Brainless Internet surfing.

But tonight, it's blogging.

Where the hell did all this energy come from?

I yam goen to bed

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hákarl for Pim!

Congratulations, Julia Gillard!
But, more relevantly, congratulations Pim Verbeek, you've timed your exit so as to illicit the least media coverage possible of the Socceroos not making the final 16. Somewhere, in a plane over Africa, Pim is chewing on a rollmop, watching Australian news coverage, steepling his fingers and muttering "Eeexchellent." (This is how one sounds while masticating the vinegary fish of defeat).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And with a special appearance by Pete Best on vuvuzela ...

So I'm watching the World Cup, because it turns out not to be on between 1am and 8am, but starting at the grown up time of 9:30pm every night, and I'm wondering ...

A) Beatles fan?


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm going to do some work this afternoon though!

Today, I am home sick from work. It's the kind of sick where you're not really that sick but your immune system is a bit depressed and since everyone around you seems to be dying of advanced zombiism, it only figures that a bit of bed-rest is a good thing.

It is taking a super-human effort not to:
a) Do housework
b) Cookc) 'Just' finish off a bit of Phd work
d) Sit down with a blank sheet of paper and plan a movie script
e) Do anything outside in the garden

Instead, I have been devotedly watching cartoons and drinking hot coffee.

And trying not to think about what happened when I dropped Charlie off at childcare.
Take a knee, team. This was tough:

Normally, when I drop him off, I'm on the morning sprin
t. Every detail of the morning routine is precisely timed and any deviations cost precious seconds and result in being late(r) for work. That boy is fed, changed, packed and in the car with black-ops efficiency. Any extra nappy change only speeds up the rest of the process. I am David Copperfield and Enrico Rastelli, only faster and better-looking.
I swish into childcare in my finery, keeping a friendly banter while I sign Charlie in, then I put him on the floor, facing away, ask him what on earth that thing is, then I am Elvis, baby. By the time he remembers I was there, I am cutting off fools on South Road and getting my fix of baby-boomer radio on my way to the Bacon Factory.

This morning was different. I wasn't in a rush. We ate breakfast together, played blocks, talked of old times. We even read stories and brushed our teeth with real toothpaste. Oh! How we laughed. Instead of the whirlwind drop-off, I strolled in, bade a good-morning to his fan-club and signed him in. But when the time came to sit on the floor, he went full attack barnacle koala. Buried his face in my jumper. I had to sit down with him and play with the toys enough so that only about fifteen other babies swarmed around (I'm kind of the Pied Piper that way) and he felt okay enough to sit in front of me. And not on me.
I stood up quietly.
I left the room.
I shut the door.
Then, I made the crucial, fatal error. Every parent does it and it never, ever helps:
I looked back.
He was looking for me through the window. I waved and left with my hands covering my ears.

I've mostly convinced myself that he is actually going to have a much better time playing with the other kids, rather than wailing and being bored with a sick dad, but ...


Anyway, here's me on my sick day:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Question of the weeeeeeeeeeeek!

"Do you think the reason we've been having so many earthquakes recently is because we've
taken so much oil out of the earth's crust? You know, because oil is a natural lubricant?"

I'm not kidding about this. I tried a few half-hearted rationals, but they're not worth even recording. I mean, where do you start?

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