Friday, June 30, 2006

the good guys at the intersection of north and grange roads, at fast food junction

well done to the P plater in the red commodore at the intersection of grange and north roads at 5.55pm.

there was a person in a wheelchair that was operated by a probe on his head. he was struggling to complete his way across the pedestrian crossing. you were patient and waited, even though the light was green for you, without tooting, until he managed to tortuously and ever so slowly get that fucking probe into the little doo-dah to make his machine proceed.

it was awful to watch. i was in a right-hand lane waiting for a green arrow. i was about to jump out to see if he needed any help. i was frozen. watching, agonising over whether he would get that shaking probe, extending out from his metal head band into the socket.

he did.

and well done too, to the young and intimidating looking maybe-a-gang-member man, in baseball cap and other sundry cool-guy items of apparel who dropped his bmx-style bike near the intersection, just outside kfc, and ventured half-way across to help the wheelchair guy.

these two acts of kindness, which did not take much but were a beautiful thing to see, brought my just-below-the-surface tears to the, um, surface. they were ready to brim because this afternoon my mother and i took princess to see polanski's oliver twist.

it was pretty dark, and oh so sad. princess was goraning and twisting in her seat, clasping my arm, crying and sniffing for a lot of it. i was thinking "fuck, this was a mistake", my mother was repeatedly sniffing into a tissue. princess was asking me whether anyone in the movie was going to be kind to oliver. she whispered really loudly, "i just want him to be happy."

of course, oliver was subjected to abuse after abuse, and then when there seemed to be hope, it was taken away from him. at one stage, princess said "i don't like this story" and i was thinking, oh shit. am i creating for her a traumatic memory, much like my own ones from when i was little?*

but there was a happy ending, and princess told me about two hours later, after we had a little distance from the emotion, that she'd enjoyed it, she liked it, and would like to read charles dickens "when i'm older."

* tommy and sybil.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

happiness for me today, part 2

happiness for me today was cooking ms fits' delightful and charming soup.

and eating it.

happiness was also cuddling a sweet-smelling dressed-in-pink baby girl who coo'd and smiled and charmed my pants off.

happiness today was going to the europa cake store and buying up because we had visitors coming for lunch.

happiness was also buying the three kids a new book each. princess got the next harry potter, the phoenix one. we start tonight.

[rubs hands gleefully and tries not to cackle]

happiness for me today is knowing i am going to the gym shortly and can watch neighbours and big brother while pounding the belt on the treadmill. i really don't like that perry chick. she is beyond annoying, and i reckon rivals nikki for first murder candidate on bb, like evah.

happiness for me today was a chat on the phone with mum, talking about books, among other things.

me: you should read on beauty when i'm finished with it. you'll really enjoy it, i think. it's got everything in it. remember the early john irvings, but then he went off the boil? well, this girl is so talented. she's only 30. THIRTY!! she's writing like he did in his early days. i think authors have only got a certain number of books in them. he reached the end.

mum: i will. you know i wish roald dahl had been around when i was a kid. when princess and i read mathilda i really loved it, and i just didn't get the twist until right at the end.

me: well, he wrote some adult short stories. you know how his kid stuff can be a bit macabre? well his adult stuff he takes up a few more notches, it's really good. lots of twists and plot turns.

mum: well, i'm reading a book about mothers and daughters. i've been thinking of you as i read it. it's really wonderful. edited by joyce carol-oates. have you heard of her?

me: yeah, she's someone i've been trying to read for a while now. i got one of her books in a 2nd hand shop, haven't read it yet. she wrote an excellent book on marilyn monroe years ago, not sure, is it called blonde? anyway, apparently it's really good but hard to get... i've looked for it-

mum: have you tried those internet- is it out of print? you know, [sister's name] found those peter [so and so] dream books, you know the dream interpretation books, on one of those websites, they're in queensland and they got them from overseas and sent them down. they were really cheap and quick to get

me: yeah, i've used those sites a few times, they're good. i must remember them when i'm looking for something.

and on and on and on.

we have made a plan to take princess to see polanski's oliver on friday. i don't think it will be too dark. do you? my mum didn't think so, but then she was the one who took me to see the stage show of jesus christ superstar when i was 10, the rock horror picture show (live) when i was just a couple of years older, and sybil when i was about 12 as well. she also let me read the exorcist* (and do a book review on it for school) when i was 15.

one sadness today. gigi had to go back to the vet. she threw up again this morning, and hasn't been eating. so we went back and got some more antibiotics. hopefully she'll pick up again.

poor baby.

* mum may not have actually known i was reading it. i'm sure she also wasn't aware i was ploughing through my father's erotic novels: all the emanuelles, the fan club and the story of o at about the same time.

Monday, June 26, 2006

you know that a television show has entered your family's life in a most fundamental way when

1. on a road trip, the categories for a popular guessing game are animal, vegetable, mineral and neighbours.
2. your daughter is calling all her nintendogs sky, steph, dylan, stingray and jp.
3. the first item of business at the dinner table is discussing "neighbours theories"
4. you keep having this conversation* with your daughter as follows:

princess: i just can't believe it
me: what? carl and susan?
princess: yessssss! isn't that an affair?
me: well, it was just a kiss-
princess: but they went up onto their KNEES...
me: well- as i was going to say, it was a kiss. if they did more and carl didn't tell jenny, then that would be an affair-
princess: i just can't believe it

5. the mosaic-style promos that run immediately after each show can sometimes send our family into paroxyms of collective excitement and confusion (in equal measures) with hearty demands for a rewind, sometimes twice, before we all kind of settle down, muttering about theories, and highly-pitched chatter from princess about what's coming next on this show of shows.
6. much thought and time is invested in considering which neighbour is the favourite. princess says she likes sky and mishka.
7. on mishka, i myself have given much thought to whether mishka, admittedly almost my favourite character, is truly a russian laydee. i have seen her in other things, though, i am sure. i feel she is just acting well, though of course with all the vodka and overuse of the infinitive, it strays well inside stereotype-territory. i am impressed with the authentic phrasing of her "bad english". someone on the script team has done some english teaching and one stage, is this not true?

* i swear. i have been over this with her about six times now.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

happiness is...

happiness is pottering around in a garden on a mild winter's day.

the lavender is blooming lovely.

happiness is then being served a candlelit meal, cooked by three beautiful children.

burgers with the lot, and wedges. and every condiment you can think of.

handmade menus, place settings and cutlery holders.

then having two-tiered blue and red jelly with hundreds and thousands on the top.

this is what happiness is for me today.

Friday, June 23, 2006


i must point out that my last post contained an error. i stated that keith windschuttle is a holocaust denier. this is absolutely inaccurate, as he is a denier of aboriginal massacres and other horrible things enacted by white european settlers in australia upon the indigenous peoples. clearly nothing to do with the holocaust of wwII.

the person i was thinking of, as the holocaust denier, was david irving.

i just don't know how i possibly mixed the two of them up, as they clearly have different ideologies.

so in the interest of accuracy, and non-fabrication of history (which last friday's post now is) i state my error and apologise if i offended any delicate-flower racist* readers or any other sensitive types who were understandably upset by this mistake.

happy weekend everyone.

be nice to people. it's easy, give it a go.

and look after yourselves.

* i guess even racists get pissed off when someone mixes up their poster boys.

Friday, June 16, 2006

things that are bothering me today

sorry for being so negative but here they are.

1. the obstruction for david hicks trying to get out of his hell hole. it would be a hell hole, that is not fancy talk. the paper tells me today that he may soon be a british citizen. i hope so. regardless of what he has or hasn't done, the whole point of the geneva convention was to protect the HUMAN rights of HUMAN individuals who are prisoners of war. if he's a prisoner of war, he should have his rights observed. if he's not a prisoner of war, what the fuck is he doing in guantanamo.

and why has the mealy minded* john howard person left him there to rot?

2. i checked in an indonesian dictionary and apparently being "understanding and sensitive" to their policies equates with "turning a blind eye" and "ignoring" things such as government army atrocities and not only lack of freedom and democracy for citizens, but persecution and oppression. east timor. papua. i'm scant on the details but we all know it's fundamentally true. why would the australian government be willing to compromise the strong principles and ideology we have come to know and love? might be the same reason for iraq. something with three letters, starting with o, ending in l and with an i in it.

3. a state opposition front bencher andrew mcintosh, who had a diary pushed under his office door, which has notes in it saying that there was to be a dirt digging exercise on ted baillieu's wife and three children, the youngest 8, has said that "i'm sure every single victorian is devastated by the fact that their elected official, their government, is prepared to use the unbelievable power of a victorian government to trawl through all of those matter that are personal and private details relating to our families and our loved ones."

NO andrew, NOT devastated. not this baby here. not surprised either. so count me out of your every single victorian and back the fuck up.




i just don't know what to believe in any more.

* i don't know if you can be mealy minded or just mealy mouthed. but i'm making him mealy minded.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

this week's six feet under. only one to go.

last night i watched most of sfu from behind my hands, and a cushion off the couch. i was convinced really bad things were going to happen.
there was a toing and froing of maya between brenda who has clearly been all over the place since nate's death six weeks previously. ruth wanted to keep maya, george pleaded on her behalf, brenda agreed, then changed her mind.
ruth had a conversation with george, and said "we could raise her [maya] couldn't we?"
he gallantly ignored the "we" and what it implied, and agreed that yes, they could.
brenda was having weird dreams about billy; especially after nate appeared and told her she and billy could "be together" in all senses of the expression, that they should as they belong together, that they could go away somewhere new and set up as a couple and fuck. that last word just hung in the air. so confronting. then brenda has a dream, only of course the viewer doesn't know it's a dream. she enters billy's room (he is staying with her) he's in bed. they end up hugging, he is naked, she looks at him, he suggests she touches it, she does. they kiss. so twisted but so well done. so like a dream.
claire is going off the rails. she is drunk all the time, or stoned. drives and totals her car. so we see the end of this beautiful beast, one of the visual icons of this show for me:

in another scene she confronts two women leaving the funeral parlour, who have just been making arrangements for their son and brother. we know the dead man was young, a returned soldier, legless and missing one arm. he was horrifically injured. we know also his sister helped him kill himself. on the back of the mother's vehicle, a huge petrol guzzling suv, is a sticker that says "support our troops".
claire catches sight of this while she is drunk; she lets rip a poisonous invective against the two women, ranting that it's because of cars like this that america has invaded iraq, for oil, also that the support the troops sticker is misguided, people are dying over there, she screamed, iraqis, children, women, etc etc.
she has no idea that their son and brother was a soldier and was dead.
it was a wonderful scene, and hard to watch.
also hard to watch claire spitting abuse at the kindly ted who has been her rock the last couple of episodes. a man not more than an acquaintance but clearly a decent person who has supported her and been there for her, and, we hoped, a potential long-term, happily-ever-after future husband. claire pushed him away, told him to fuck off, told him he was a jerk etc.
david continues to lose it with his panic attacks. it's just all spinning out of control and i really fear for next week. i won't be able to watch it until probably tuesday night. and then i will mourn its finishing.
and move onto something else.

Friday, June 09, 2006

some geelong football friday news, and other sundry matters

blogger is being a fuck-arse so i can't post what i've been working on.

so in the meantime...

[throws some raw fish to the seals]

or should that be...

[throws some hunks 'o meat to the lions]

1. apparently, gary hocking is the best coach that's been down geelong way in a while. he is coaching one of the young teams. my prediction is he will be the next coach for the seniors when thompson leaves. more on thompson's destiny and what's going down at the club at the end of the weekend. my source will be reporting back later.

2. the other gary, ablett senior, "mowed off half his foot when he was doing his lawns recently"

me: fuck! shit! he must have had bare feet!

geelong deepthroat: he was wearing thongs, or something.

otherwise, i am making seafood risotto for dinner. think, beautiful coral-red tasmanian salmon, some peppery rocket leaves, some red capsicum and green peas. with shavings of pana granado.

3. if you google "pana granado" my food blog comes up in first position. i am astounded. perhaps i have misspelt it.

4. oyster bay is my new signature wine. it's on special locally for $14 a bottle, and it comes in two flavours; sav blanc and chardonnay. this is very, very good.

5. the grand hyatt melbourne is promoting a mystery package where you pay from $240 per room and on arrival every guest has to roll a pair of dice to discover what prize they have won. prizes are things like room upgrades, massages etc. they don't mention having to go and rape a neighbour, which was the ultimate roll-option in luke rheinhart's the dice man, but i wonder if they got their inspiration from said novel. check it out if you can find a copy. changed my world. almost.

6. speaking of neighbours, i want toady and katya to get it on big time. i also half wish elle had blown up in the car explosion.

7. six feet under. nate died, and i am just clenching my shoulders with dread about what is going to happen to the rest of them. i refuse to believe that he was the main character and will be the only one to have some sort of resolution. i'm hoping that other stuff happens, but also hope it doesn't.

8. watched big brother last night. it's so fucking boring. maybe because i haven't been watching it, but that conversation between blondie girl and headband boy in the spa was so dull. talk about him just not being interested in her. does she get it yet? are they a couple? she is fucking cueless if she's not getting the message. it's like they were having a couple conversation, in her mind, but he was just so not there. i reckon he fancies someone else.

Friday, June 02, 2006

friday update*

1. when i run a bath, it always comes out too hot, and then i have to let some out and put in more hot water. this is starting to annoy me.

2. we just bought arrested development on dvd.

3. last night i was loading songs to mypod, and i was rapt to see that john had cool for cats by squeeze on an 80s compilation.

4. the gigi is well, thank you all for you support and concern. we are walking very nicely now; i step out with mypod blaring.

5. i am so enjoying nikki on bb uk. also am waiting for more on the lisa and pete saga. you should check out the trilogy of terror that appears here.

this one first

then this one

and finally, this one.

6. what the fuck is happening with david hicks? he should be sent home. what the fuck is happening in iraq? we should get the fuck out of there. democracy? what a laugh. civil war is just around the corner. the war america thinks it is fighting, or says it is fighting, two different things perhaps, is unwinnable. now american soldiers shoot some civilians, it's just fucked. they went on a rampage because their mate got killed?

the julia gillard thing - abbott can call someone a snivelling grub, and then retract by saying he apologised if he caused offence to grubs, or something similar, but when gillard used the exact same words, and the exact same retraction, was suspended. haven't read today's paper so don't know what more has happened there.

7. the indigenous situation is moving off the front pages. it sickens me how the media just move on. i understand it though. what sickens me more is that there is not one politician with any power prepared to stand up and say this is going to stop, and put some money into it, and really seek solutions.

8. i am feeling really quite relaxed now having handed in my thesis. i am already thinking about a phd, and while this might seem mad, i found that i really loved the research and the intellectual stimulation. my supervisor said i should make it into a book. i have other ideas for books though.

9. in the last two days i have eaten at borsari's in carlton and di stasio in st. kilda. the food was good but i can't really be bothered describing it. i will say the oysters at borsari were outstanding, and the penne with rabbit ragu was excellent at di stasio's. the di stasio tiramisu beat borsari's. yes, i like tiramisu.

10. when i was first a student in carlton i discovered the joys of spaghetti marinara. i would eat it everywhere it was on the menu. i kept a little notebook and recorded how many times i had it. my goal was to have my centenary spag marinara in italy. i got sick of them at about the mid 70s. now i order it sometimes. i cook the best spag marinara. i don't like it with tomatoes, it must be olive oil base. i don't like the coral on scallops either. not that that's particularly relevant. and i do like parmesan cheese on it, even though that's not what you're meant to do.

how did i get onto spaghetti marinara? oh, one other thing, when i was studying for my hsc exams, i went down to my dad's holiday house in inverloch. he came down one weekend, and cooked me spaghetti marinara. he couldn't find any fresh seafood (strange, i know, being a beach side town) so bought frozen packet fish and washed off the breadcrumbs. it was fairly foul but this is a memory that i have that proves to me that he loves me. the effort he went to, with that meal.

* this is a day late cause our server went down last night.