Monday, July 31, 2006

i'm waiting on another 20 or so pollsters to kindly leave their comment on my undie poll below

but in the meantime, evidence the world has gone crazy.

i didn't even know this existed, until now.

what's your blog worth on the "fantasy blog stock market"

also i really really want to buy the red espadrilles from husk. just looking at them makes me feel summer is on the way.

Friday, July 28, 2006

friday poll - I NEED HELP (please)

last night, i found myself in a conversation where i was outnumbered, four to one, on the following question:

do you wear your underwear to bed?

this means, explicitly, do you keep on your underpants in bed, either under pyjama bottoms, or a nightie. or do you take them off, and then put on your pyjama pants or nightie, or whatever.

now, i don't, as a rule, wear my undies to bed. by the end of the day, they need to be in the dirty linen basket. but the people i was with all most strenuously and loudly argued the undies have to stay on.

men and women.

catholics all.

i would like to know what readers think about this. if i can get 50 people to tell me their position on this question, next time i see these people i can either validate them, or myself. if possible, i would like to be able to group results, ie if you can indicate basically what you wear to bed, varieties if any. and also, if you wouldn't mind, an indication of whether you are catholic or not.

is that too much to ask? forget the religion bit if it offends thee.

and i promise i'm not a pervert. i'm just curious. and a compulsive researcher.

have a great weekend.

* i thought maybe they've been trained to keep as many layers of fabric between themselves and their hands at all times. whereas, in my family, non-practising church of englanders, anglicans now? my parents walked around in the nude, well from shower to bedroom. there was no coyness. to the point where one of my childhood gags with the kids down the street was to mimic my dad and his swinging penis. the penis was simulated first with fingers, then with a ruler until finally the joke got out of control and i remember doing the dad walk with a rake swinging from side to side. of course, there was a silly noise that went with this visual. kind of a duh-duh-duh in time to the swinging movement. i hasten to add the neighbours never SAW dad's nude walk, as performed by him; but it was my duty to reveal all sorts of secret-family business to my friends. what is princess telling her friends about me? actually, i was reading her homework book and she was putting words in sentences. this was one of her sentences:

smooth. My dad's hair is soft and smooth but my mum's hair isn't.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

tim fischer, i think i love you.

tim fischer has got it down. the man is talking sense.
he's saying israel is targeting civilians and the un positions. he says it's happened before, that israel bombed/missiled a un outpost in exactly the same place as the one done a few days ago. the previous time 104 fijian un peacekeepers were killed. he said, there is "form" on this subject, and there is a "rogue element" in the israeli "military machine." he also said he is getting lots of emails from israel-supporters, which is what always happens when anyone speaks out against israel, the government. not israel, the people. [this is not necessarily in the article above; i heard him on the radio. and apart from him not being able to pronounce 'reco[G]nise' he was pretty damn good.]
anyway, it's just not like me to agree with a national party politician. because i'm one-eyed, biased and clearly can't look at both sides of an argument. i also like to wholly embrace stereotypes, and paint all people with the same conservative brush, including alot of labor people.
things that have shitted me so far today:
have you noticed the plastic bags in supermarkets are getting thinner? I KNOW, I KNOW, THE GREEN BAGS. stop shouting, i use those, but on the occasion where i have a leaky jar of golden syrup, like today, i ask for a separate plastic bag. so kill me. and then once i have that plastic bag, i want to load it up, make the fucker work in penance of the environmental havoc it is going to cost our planet. so in goes a bag of bread, in goes 2.5 kilos of meat, and then it starts to break.
the other thing that shits me, but not today [yet] is this. has anyone noticed that "verse" is now used as a verb? ok, we have geelong versus collingwood. and we have "verse" as a noun, ie writing some verse. but now kids of today are saying things like "we versed the other team and beat them". am i the only one who is being constantly deranged by this phenomenon? and it is a phenomenon. it is happening all over melbourne i bet. can we do a small survey? any readers with kids around melbourne please report back to me: do your kids say this? and in which region in melbourne do they go to school? you don't have to say the second bit if you don't want. and if you are overseas and have kids, is this travesty of english happening over there, wherever you are? do you correct your kids? i've corrected princess and she resists me, calls me old fashioned [this is like a slap in the face. moi? old-fashioned?] and says "that's what all the kids say. mum, move into the modern times!"
so, to my today.
i am not taking the gigi to dog training classes.
sad gigi.
i'm also not going to gym.
sad melbournegirl.
reason = i am sick, again, and this is another thing that's shitting me today.
what i am going to do is make boeuf bourgignon (again) and spaghetti bolognaise and upside-down pear cake (this is the best, people have orgasms when they eat this cake. really!). john's family are coming over for dinner. usually we go north to his parents' place on a thursday night for the big italiano feast. but his parents are away in qld having a holiday so i thought it would be nice to have his bro and family and sis and family down south to eat.
it was a good idea, but unfortunately my work has cranked up. the research stuff i am on top of, and thankfully i don't have to go into uni on monday for a meeting, but i am doing stuff for my brother as well, and he has a symposium he's organised at a uni interstate, and i am debugging his software as he writes it, as well as making edits to the userguide. it's really hard and makes my head hurt. i am a text girl, not a computer geek. though i try, and i can use latex and know a bit about using linux. i feel like a hacker when i talk like this. it's like that scene in a fish called wanda where john cleese is wooing jamie lee curtis with his russian and italian etc. and she is going wild. for some reason, hacker-talk does the same to me. i. don't. know. why.
anyway, away. to boeuf. to pears. to mozilla. and to the rest of the day.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


[warning. what follows is long, rambling and self-indulgent. i hope you won't detest me for being too revealing. i never was good at playing elusive and hard-to-get.]

yesterday morning i woke up really early with period pains and couldn't get back to sleep. i got up. got some books from my bookshelf in the other room, one of which is the black book, by orhan pamuk.

i took panadol and i got back into bed and lay there in the dark with the books on my lap. i intended to put on the lamp and read, but didn't want to bother john.

i lay there in the dark, and somehow started thinking about a story i started writing about 6 or more years ago, when i was in istanbul last.

now that's a long time. 6 or more years, to have started a story, written 60,000 words, felt very pleased with alot of it, inspired and magical, and then to leave it.

there are reasons why i left it. it's like it came gushing out of me, like a torrent of words and ideas, then i dropped it. it didn't run dry. i turned away from it.

several things happened in quick succession that left me no space to write. no space to even contemplate.

my mother was with us in istanbul. she was diagnosed with cancer while we were there. suddenly, pleasant days filled with pottering, and drifting through bazaars and having lunch and absorbing the beauty and sounds and smells of sultanahmet became a jarring mesh of doctor visits, tense ferry rides, trying to keep positive, and worry.

we were given the diagnosis over the phone on christmas eve. our sad little christmas tree, which i had found down a cobbled and twisty alley way, sat fully decorated in the corner of the room. presents were beneath it. plans were made for the midday meal the next day.

it was horrific.

fast motion now. mum flew back to melbourne dec 27 or 28, for more tests and treatment. i struggled on in turkey, guilty and worried. princess struggled with her turkish childcare centre. my marriage was a disaster in itself.

i made the decision to come back to melbourne, in july of 2000. i had no idea of how much time my mum might have. we were careful not to ask that question. when i arrived back i developed pneumonia. my mum was very sick. alot of it was on my shoulders. then my husband came out around january 2001 and told me he wanted a divorce. this was a long time coming but the fact he said it in response to me saying i wanted another baby was pretty cruel. he left, princess had to deal with her parents splitting. my mother was sick, really sick. my sister was pregnant and couldn't really help much with mum. i had gotten a job within 3 weeks of coming home, a great job at a graphic design company where i was studio manager. it was cool, funky fun young designers. the boss was a woman younger than me, but she was great. we had a ball, i loved my job.

it helped me survive.

there were times when i was so depleted. as a parent, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend. lots of people helped me, i had some wonderful friends.

i struggled with money, but i managed. i insisted on buying ali out of his share of our secret-life-of-them flat in st kilda. he tried to buy me out, but i told him that wouldn't be happening. i would be buying him out. this was a huge achievement for me. i out-manoeuvred the best salesman i had ever come across.

there were endless rounds of treatment for mum. visits to peter mac. cooking for her. periods of her living with me. it was really hard, there were times went i felt i was going mad. and i felt so guilty because here was my sick mother, the woman who had helped me all my life, been there for me in times of need, and i was struggling to give her what she needed from me. everything was turned upside down. now i was the mother, she was the needy one. and i wasn't coping at all well.

i did all the right things as a parent to princess. swimming lessons, ballet classes, read to her every night, let her sleep with me when she needed to, gave her hugs and kisses, encouraged her to speak to her dad on the phone, was reasonable and controlled when he brought a girlfriend out here, let princess spend a lot of time with them, let them take her to tasmania for four days when she was only 5. we spent a lot of time talking about feelings. we still do. now princess can say to me, mummy i feel that [this or the other]. she is genius at talking about her feelings. i put a lot of effort into helping her develop her sense of humour, her compassion to others, her generosity and her self-esteem. i have worked really hard at all those things, as a gift to her. and as part of my role as her mother.

princess was having difficulty with her reading at school, i was worried, i was pathologising everything. her school was crap, indeed, but she also had some sort of learning difficulty. i was desperate. i was thinking things like oh well, not everyone is academic, in an attempt to take the parental pressure off her. she's artistic, i thought. how wonderful.

then everything started to go wrong at work. the boss had put me on a pedestal. i'd seen her do this to other people, suppliers etc. and seen them fall. as i inevitably did too. i hung in there as long as i could. i needed to be in a job to rejig my mortgage to pay ali out. on the friday i signed the paperwork, the following monday i gave notice. i got out of there before all my self-respect had completely gone. i did the right thing by her to the end, creating work for myself because she had stopped my work flow. i cleaned the fucking venetians in the coffee room.

the family took a trip to byron bay. it was great. i decided i was ready to have someone in my life. i had felt so alone during the years. even during my marriage, at times i'd felt very alone. so john came into my life and i felt things were possible again. i enrolled back at university to do a postgraduate diploma. i did really well, four subjects in one year, and three top class H1 results. i was also toying with a career as a cop. i sat the entrance exam and blitzed it. my application was halted because i wear glasses, so that was that. i wasn't prepared to have laser surgery and then maybe fail the psych exam. or the fitness exam.

john and i became more serious. things were going really well. taking things slowly, making the kids a priority.

i applied for a scholarship and got one to do a masters. this took off some of the financial pressure. i'd been keeping things together by doing consultancy work for my bro - he was a lifesaver with sending work my way. my credit card was inching up to the limit of 10K. things were pretty dire, but i slept fine at night. luckily.

i moved house to move princess's school. needed to be in a zone for a better school. did that, moved her school, found someone to help with her learning issues. we got a puppy, the gigi. my mother's health had been really up and down, culminating in her being on crutches. she came to live with us again. during this time again i became really really stressed. but then she improved and now she is brilliant.

moved again, this time in with john and his two kids. we are in a fabulous big enormous house with huge garden, tennis court, such a feeling of space. the kids are happy enough. we are happy enough. it's still early days, but we are getting married next year and i have started a scrap book.

i finished my masters thesis a couple of months ago, i've joined a gym, i have some research assistant work and even two days work this coming week for my brother. i have discovered the joys of curb your enthusiasm, the beauty of arrested development, and waved goodbye to six feet under. today at prahran market i looked at how beautiful my mother looks, with her hair grown back all curly and done up in a girly-type of do. i argued with her about how she has decided to give my brother our grandfather's gold rolex for his birthday in september. see, our relationship is back to normal! me ungrateful and bitchy daughter, she patient and loving mother.

i've been blogging since last june i think it was. or even may. i've not written a post dedicated to this, like i thought i would. i've met wonderful wonderful people on here. like a whole new world of friends.

but i think what blogging has done for me that is more important than anything was get me writing regularly again. i kept a diary for years when i was younger. i have more than twenty volumes, all different sizes and bindings, all hand-written, mostly filled with tripe, but alot of my history is there, on the page. and now i have another journal, online, of the last year of my life. not everything is here, but alot of the day to day stuff is. i was looking through my archives the other day, and marvelling at how some of the stuff is really good and i put so much effort into some posts. it got my creative juices flowing again.

so that when i woke up at 6.30 yesterday morning, and the whole house was quiet and still, instead of turning on the light and bothering the ever patient, totally tolerant and wonderful john, i got up, got my laptop, and opened a file on my computer, in my documents folder, called the sugar men. it's 60,000 words long so far. i am proud of it, and it's not finished. i thought i would get back to it in another 20 years or so. but the time has come, perhaps. now.

i opened the file and i wrote a couple of pages. cause while i lay there for ten minutes in the dark yesterday morning, i thought of a way to reorganise this story, a new order, a different way to present it.

and i was excited and inspired.

i never get up early if i can help it. this is evidence of how this matters to me.

wish me luck.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

new turkish islamic swimwear

the newspaper tells me that these are now available in turkey. that "conservative women" don't swim because they don't want to bare their flesh on the beach.

well, that's bullshit. more than 15 years ago, i saw conservative women swimming at the beach on the south of turkey. they were wearing their clothes: big baggy skirts/pantaloon things with big baggy t-shirts. and headscarves.

they got wet. they lolled in the shallows. they laughed and screamed and giggled. they stayed in for hours and hours. they were just loving that water.

and then when they got out, their clothes clung to their every curve. their every mountainous bosom, rounded hip, pendulous belly. you could see their bras through the thin, transparent t-shirt fabric.

and i thought to myself "that looks sexier than a high-cut maillot."

which is exactly what this little number will look like, once it hits the med.

well, maybe not sex-ier. but pretty damn RAUNCHY nevertheless.

Friday, July 21, 2006

how are you with scary movies?

last night we watched this:

i don't quite know what possessed me. i am pathetic when it comes to horrors etc. i have seen many. from cutting my adult molars on "disaster movies" like earthquake, the poisidon adventure, killer bees, towering inferno, the devil's triangle, death ship, then moving onto friday the 13th, nightmare on elm street, when a stranger calls, texas chainsaw massacre. then i think i started resisting the teenage thing to see scary movies because they were too scary. once i got over that peer group pressure thing, i just stopped. it was easy.

then a few years ago i watched blair witch project and scared myself shitless. couldn't watch it with the sound on. the sixth sense almost killed me. a couple of years ago i tried to watch the ring and couldn't get through the FIRST MINUTE with the sound on. had to then watch the entire thing in fast forward, scene by scene, then rewind and watch again.

so why did i want to watch wolf creek? i really don't know. today i've been having flashbacks. it was disturbing and so creepy.

who's seen it? what did you think? am i a wimp?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

not too good today. thanks for asking.

i'm not feeling well today. had a sore throat last night. my throat is my vulnerable spot. if i'm going to get sick, it will start there. so no gym today. but i have some work to do, and now that i've taken panadol i feel i can do some of it.

i'm starting some research with a lecturer at uni. he got a grant to get an assistant so he and i will be investigating identity in grade 6s. should be interesting.

i'm pissed off i missed an interview with an academic on the radio who spoke about the lebanon-israeli thing. apparently he was balanced and measured, and explained what is going down, and why. might check if it's been podcasted.

what do you think about podcasting? what have you listened to and have you ever done one yourself?

reading this morning in a section of the weekend paper about how the People are taking over the mass media, with things like blogging. there was some statistic about tv viewing falling to an all-time low in the states, and at the same time a figure was released about the number of myspace members. coincidence?

you'll be happy to know that r.kelly and his diabolical trapped in the closet is now receding from my every waking moment. what has helped this was a very disturbing dream last night, of which i can only recall woody allen and his enormous penis. i don't know anything about mr allen's appendage. is it large? i have no idea. but in my dream 'twas enormous, and exposed in a room of socialising chit-chatterers.

in the meantime i leave you with this. just to replace that image you now have in your head of woody's wood. sorry about that, but i like to share.

World watches as another onslaught shatters families
Carol Nader
July 18, 2006

MY GRANDMOTHER stared death in the face last year. Her heart became so weak that it almost stopped beating. She has been battling poor health for many years, has been in and out of intensive care, and can barely walk. But last weekend, she had no choice but to walk. With the frightening sound of bomb blasts nearby, her children dragged her 86-year-old frame from her bed, bundled her into a car, and fled their home in the Bekaa Valley.
My uncle has also been forced to desert his home. A few days ago, he closed his business in Sidon in the south of Lebanon, gathered his family and headed for the peace of the mountains.Another uncle lives in Saudi Arabia because he cannot find work in Lebanon. He has been in Beirut, visiting his family. Now he is stuck there. He is unable to return to work. He does not know how he will support his family while the bloody mess continues.
There are so many stories like this. And for thousands of Lebanese who have already lived through too many years of war — and who, with the war showing no signs of abating, are once again stocking up on supplies — the events of the past week are very much a case of "here we go again".
The events have conjured up memories of the way things used to be, back in the 1980s. Visiting Lebanon 20 years ago as a child, in the middle of the war, was a shocking experience. The sound of gunshots. The overwhelming poverty. Buildings blemished with bulletholes. The dangerous exercise of trying to get around the country. The electricity constantly cut off. Beggars who had lost limbs dragging their bodies along the floor.
Lebanese Australians are shattered that this tiny country that has already been through so much is under siege again. The civil war in Lebanon ended 15 years ago. It has taken since then for the country to lift itself up and start the slow, arduous process of rebuilding.
There have been so many setbacks. But there have been good signs in recent years: the withdrawal of Israeli troops in 2000, the withdrawal of Syrian troops and spies last year.A few days ago, there was reason for hope in Lebanon. At least people could walk the streets freely, without fear.

That hope has all but gone.
More than 100 Lebanese civilians have been killed. Israeli civilians caught in the middle of Israel's war with militant group Hezbollah are suffering too.
Civilians in northern Israel are, like the Lebanese, innocent victims in all this. They are paying the price for a war that civilians in neither country started, or want.
Meanwhile, the world watches, does nothing and waits for the situation to intensify, as it inevitably will.

from the age online today,

i wanted to put a photo here, but blogger is not letting me upload right now. so go here and see it for yourself. or if you have the age at home, just open it. front page.

Monday, July 17, 2006

snippets from the brain of mg, today, monday 16 july, 2006

"open war"

"civilians burnt alive"

death toll in lebanon 90+, ALMOST ALL CIVILIANS

two israeli women and one boy dead

one israeli sailor found dead, three missing

no pressure from us government to see if israel can be persuaded to ceasefire

150 lebanese targets hit by israel, fewer than a dozen of them linked directly to hezbollah

tens of thousands displaced lebanese, mainly poor, forced to flee for safety

"israel's crushing military onslaught against gaza and lebanon has killed scores of people"


other things in the mix:

r.kelly "melodies"

the green fairy and thoughts that it was quite good

research work i should be doing now

maybe i have to go to canberra in a couple of weeks to help with some training at a conference

it'd be nice to have a holiday in the sun somewhere this year

it won't happen. we are trying to keep expenditure down

but when that carpet sells... maybe...

no, it's best to keep any extra money for the trip next year

roquefort is really a bit watery. castello blue beats it hands down

should i take gigi for a walk, it's not raining anymore

i need to vacuum

i need to have a shower before i pick the kids up

i can vacuum then and maybe we'll take the gige for a walk then too

yay geelong

poor collingwood

i loved stick it. it's a great movie and i will tell anybody and everybody probably several times to see it

wonder when we are going to get a chance to watch some of the david attenborough planet earth shows i've been taping

i love the way attenborough is just referred to as david by me, princess and my mum. princess is a long-term fan. she's been learning about all things nature from david for years. when other kids were dancing to wiggles and watching play school, she was learning about giant water pythons that can ingest a whole cow; breeding cycles of almost everything that breathes and the difference between mammals and marsupials.

david is the best. it'll be a truly sad day when he dies. princess cried when, after watching an abba documentary, she learned that they broke up decades ago. she also was very upset to hear roald dahl was no longer with us. but i think when david moves on, we will have to light candles and have some sort of ritual.

Friday, July 14, 2006

the green fairy. she's mine

i have the absinthe. she sits on my sideboard, green and gorgeous. what a pretty bottle. i fully expect to not enjoy her insides and then she can remain, a guest in my house, for a couple of decades. people will notice her, and comment on her.

is that...
they'll say

i'll say
tastes like shit

full report sunday night, monday at latest.

but to other matters.

i was browsing through my current bible, larousse gastronomique. this is like part dictionary, part encyclopaedia and part recipe book. my copy here was published in 1966, but the original was 1961.

it is seriously funky, with black and white plates and the most amazing information on all things french food. i got it from one of my favourite second-hand bookshops, down at sorrento. dahling. you know, i think a whole heap of richo fucks emptied out their bookshelves of GOLD, pure GOLD, while they were renovating and buying in, and tanning and filling their summer closets with espadrilles and caftans.

i love my larousse gastronomique.

it has snippets and even poetry.

witness, a most fitting ode to brie:

Now then, let us shout with all our might:
Blessed be the land of Brie.
Pont-l'Eveque, get thee behind us!
Auvergne and Milan, out of our sight.
Brie alone deserves that we
Should record her praises in letters of gold.
Gold, I say, and with good reason, Since it is with gold that one must compare
This cheese to which I now pay homage.
It is as yellow as the gold worshipped by man,
But without its anxiety
For one has only to press it with one's fingers
For it to spit its side with laughter
And run over with fat.
Why then, is it not endless
As indeed its circular form is endless
As indeed its circular form is endless?
Why must its full moon, eternally appetizing,
Wane to a crescent?. . .

now, before anyone says this is cheesy, i love it because it's pure, unadulterated deification of a most yummo cheese, and i love anything that is that passionate.

write a poem to a cheese. why not.

almost there, happy bastille day

guess what?

i got a four-hour park in carlton today.

i know, that's almost impossible.

this meant i could have my meeting at melb uni. THEN go to tiamo's for a mucho rapido plate of spaghetti marinara (have i mentioned on here that during my uni days i used to eat a lot of spaghetti marinara, like everywhere i went that served it, with the intention of enjoying the centenary marinara in italy? this plan fell off its wheels around marinara number 60-70 when i got a bit tired of them. the palate will let you down like that. i had a bit of a break, and now am re-engaging with the marinara. anyway, tiamo's is one of the original sources of this indulgence. i know, their marinara is not gourmet, and it eats like one of those supermarket mixes, which i DETEST, however i will argue to the death that tiamo's marinara has a well-deserved place on my list, in much the same way you never forget the person who took your virginity. tiamo's took my marinara maidenhead.)

you can tell i'm getting excited because i'm talking too much.

then after the tiamo-spaghetti-bolt while reading the paper, i went around the back of readings to the french deli sublime-ation tipped me off about.

it's not there anymore.

it's now in lygon street, next to the anz bank, at no. 290 i think.

on my way there from the old laneway place, i stopped at that food and wine store on the corner of lygon and help me out here, elgin? it runs up to the uni, almost at the sidney myer asia centre.

and there i bought a cote du rhone for $20.

and their absinthe was $70 per (very spesh) bottle.

i didn't buy it. i thought, more cash for cheese.

but then i went to the cheese shop, they had gay* little french flags going and the server-girls had parfait french accents. there i got:

roquefort - $10

a brie'ye type of white cheese - $10

and some gruyere. also $10.

so that's only $30.

i've decided to make french onion soup for entree which won't be expensive. so now i think i might go to dan murphy's to price the absinthe.

i want to try the fucking absinthe.

thanks to everyone for suggestions. the caramelised onion tartlets sound gorgeous fluffy. i might email you anyway for the low-down.

so this is our menu.

1. french onion soup made the nice way

2. boeuf bourgignon

3. cheese

i think that will all work well.

* this meant in the enid blyton way. princess yesterday mentioned something about someone in the harry potter book we are reading together now (number 5? the phoenix one) "behaving queerly", as in suspiciously or oddly. it was so quaint and so very very blyton. i suppressed a smile. i love her so much.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

saturday night gourmand-fest, i am getting very excited.

well. even though we ate boeuf bourgignon last night, my bro-in-law has decided that is what he is cooking for saturday night. i sensitively didn't mention my little jump-the-starting-gun effort last night.

so it is up to me to do entree and dessert.

dessert i am thinking to go with one of my oracles, an advisor who is a veritable font of wisdom in all things food, magical_m, who suggested i just do an awesome cheese platter. one of my other oracles, sublime, has told me where to get the cheeses [Les Pates Parisian in the lane behind Readings in Lygon Street.] my third oracle, elaine, gave cheese to be had at victoria marche, however i will be parking once and once only in carlton. as sublime said, the parking is the worst. thanks also groverjones for validating the cheese choice, and i'm not craig for validating the desire for absinthe [or for one of those really spesh bottles, anyway.]

so cheese platter it is. platter. that's so '70s. cheese board? cheeses. and perhaps some chocolat if they sell that too.

HOWEVER, while all this is really nice and groovy, i still need an entree.

i was thinking the freshest oysters from prahran market? but then huitres are not symbolic of france. someone mentioned mussels, but none of us are partial to mussels and my sister had a really bad experience of eating about 5 huge bowls of steamed garlic mussels in france simply because she didn't want to offend her french friend who was insisting she eat them. i don't know that she's done a mussel since.

so, please to be providing some suggestions for entree. we could do a salade nicoise or similar, but that would be really boring. especially considering for a few years it was the only thing my sister served on the few occasions we were invited to dinner at her place.

so i say non to the nicoise.

oh, i just had a brain wave.


why not embrace the '70s with vol-au-vents and a cheese PLATTER.

and just in case anyone is going to suggest fondue, i have no equipment so that's out. too much mucking around also, and with cheese for dessert that wouldn't work.

another thought: garlic prawns?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

boeuf bourgignon is bubbling in the oven at 350F

my dad is coming to dinner tonight, so i thought i'd cook one of his favourite all time red-wine and jazz dishes - beef burgundy, or boeuf bourgignon.

i'm using stephanie's recipe from her big orange book, and i was surprised that larousse gastronomique doesn't reference it. the closest i could find is entrecote a la bourguignonne which tells me to use a garniture which includes red wine, small mushrooms and small onions. which i am doing. i'm not sure what entrecote means, perhaps a cut of meat. i'm guessing garniture means sauce or stock. i can't be bothered dragging out my big red french dictionary.

anyway i am on the right track and it smells fucking fantastic.

* * *

on the other side of this week's topic - poliwood and how pete and john are getting it on in the schoolyard, we now have backup for pete from brother tim.

pete: my parents always told me if you have done nothing wrong, you have got nothing to fear by telling the truth. i told the truth.

tim: i can confirm that our parents taught us to tell the truth.

what you can't see behind these words is the half-nelson pete has got tim in, to make him speak on his behalf.

the other thing you probably didn't realise is the ENORMOUS FUCKING IRONY of a liberal politician saying you don't need to worry about telling the truth IF YOU'VE DONE NOTHING WRONG.

read between the lines here.

if you have done nothing wrong, you should be scared of telling the truth. therefore don't.

so, is john going to hand over that lolly he promised to peter in december 1994?

i heard costello's press conference this morning, and at the beginning his voice was shaking, he was very emotional. at first i was convinced he was sad, and was going to announce his retirement. then it became clear he was STAYING PUT. he has decided to go with the stubborn sit-out approach; look at him, arms crossed, face red with anger.


and john is taking the prufrock defence: "no, he's got it wrong, that's not what i meant, that's not what i meant at all. i'm keeping the lolly, and i don't care what your brother says.

* * *

finally, i have a meeting with princess' teacher for parent-teacher get down at 2.45. i have it written on my hand because LAST year i was the worst mother in the world and friggin forgot.


i know. how could i forget something like that? well, my only defence is my life was a lot madder than it is right now.

so, looking forward to hearing how well behaved she is in class, how she applies herself, works hard and doesn't waste too much time flirting with the boys. (grade 4 you know, that's when it all starts.)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

short break in french theme, to bring you


first you need this:

then sit back and watch the show, which has it all. intrigue, betrayal and lots of sex.

who will win?

i don't care; anything that will destabilise the federal government can only be a good thing.

is it poli-wood perhaps. where two young bucks fight it out over the ultimate prize?

is it a western, where there is a standoff, threats are made, and then a showdown, pistols at dawn?

a romance? a tale of broken promises, a la mikado.

whatever it is, it's very interesting and very entertaining.


Monday, July 10, 2006

from the serieux to the fanciful

hello, dear bloggers.

last week's theme of bring the hicks home was a great success. i have received an email from john howard saying "oh all right, then, you win, i'll push to get him back here."*

so that business is done with.

onto my next project. a french dinner next saturday night at which my sister, bro-in-law, fiance john and i will gorge ourselves senseless on french delicacies and assorted bevvies, all as a tribute to la belle france, and the good old tour.

it's a year now since i was introduced to the delights of the tour de france. much like shifty drug pushers, my sis and her hubby last year INSISTED that i sit down and watch a fucking bike race. quickly i was hooked. apart from thrilling to the french country-side whipping past, the deviants along side les rues and the incroyably interessant tidbits of information regarding testicle friction, lance armstrong's triomphs et how some people kill themselves in this race [the tears, the joies, etcetera], it was fascinating to see how their legs can just keep on going, even up hills.

so, this week presents a count-down to this feasts of feasts; a grotesquely laden table at which 4 gourmands will sit, and over-indulge, and masticate their way up to 10.30pm pedal-off.

another reason for hosting a french dinner is for years i have been wanting to try absinthe. there's something most attractive about drinking something that is green, alcoholic and which was only until recently illegal in this country.

so, here's the deal. by friday, which will be when i do my food shopping, i am soliciting suggestions for the menu. my sis and her husband will be doing maybe one main course and either entree or dessert. and we will do another main course and either entree or dessert.

i am betting i will be doing dessert, so am trying to think of suitably french dishes. so far, i don't think i can top souffle. only problem is, i have never cooked souffle before. and i know they are temperamental. i will do a test run on thursday night, to make sure they work out ok.

any suggestions on other dishes? drinks?

to get myself in the mood, i will be doing a french theme this week.

grosses bisoux

mg x

* enormous lie

Friday, July 07, 2006

bring david hicks home

带来大卫hicks 在家

breng het huis van David hicks

apportez les hicks de David à la maison

holen Sie David hicks nach Hause

φέρτε το σπίτι του Δαβίδ hicks

porti i hicks di david a casa

デイヴィッドのhicks を家に持って来なさい

데비드 XXks을 집으로 가져오십시요

traga hicks de david para casa

принесите hicks Давида домой

traiga los hicks de David a casa

bring david hicks home

komma med david hicks hem

أحضرت دايفيد هكس إلى البيت

david hicks eve getir

Thursday, July 06, 2006

on david hicks, waleed aly tells it like it is

this is going to get me on a few more lists, no doubt. luckily i never plan to be a politician, minister of religion, school principal, director of a major corporation or member of a royal family, otherwise there would certainly be dirt to dig and bring out later on.

on the subject of nadine's guilt-free three and fluffy's guilt-ridden three, i've had a lot of trouble working out what mine would be, and where the line is between the two categories.

but for today, waleed aly is my poster boy for justice. it was michelle g in canberra the other day; see how fickle i can be?

check him:

today in the age on page 21, waleed's article on hicks is headlined "rights reduced to rhetoric".

let me pull out two paragraphs:

when several UN special rapporteurs, on behalf of the UN commission on human rights, labelled the treatment of guantanamo detainees "torture", the howard government relied on the assurances of the white house, and spent more energy defending the regime than ensuring an australian citizen's human rights. we have left hicks there for 4 1/2 years. we left mamdouh habib there for three. then he was released without charge.

the right to a fair trial; freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment - in the human rights landscape, these are colossal landmarks. without them, other human rights become mere rhetoric. immediately after world war II, anyone could have told you that.


we talk of human right being as important as security. but in truth, we subordinate them to political imperatives.

that should be unthinkable in a nation that pioneered human rights.

but then, perhaps, we are no longer that same nation.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

For subby

Don't Lie

this one goes out to sublime as a cheer-up. keep up the good work, you're almost there.

haiku for hicks*

how lonely you are
in a foreign cell, just one
adelaide boy. shit.

you must be so sad
or are you depressed much?
suicidal, yes?

what do they feed you?
do you get some exercise?
letters from loved ones?

do they beat you, dave?
taunt you, or hurt your psyche?
or do they do worse?

do they leave you there
alone, night and day, alone
with no one to see

not even a rat
a friendly living creature
that might comfort you

just to see whiskers
poking, twitching through the bars
do you have bars there?

do you wear orange
every single day, dave-o
do you have a beard?

are your eyes sunken?
is your skin really pallid?
can you sleep at night?

do you know at all,
do you have any idea
that some people care?

there are people now
who are writing to the press
sending letters in

there are journalists
who are trying hard for you
to bring justice home

to bring david home
not just bleeding hearts and lefts
but normal people

people who just care
about things like right and wrong
and bringing you home

* apols to la nadine, for hijacking her most lovely art form and besmirching its beauty and turning it into a naff form of political protest.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

hicks, grattan and me

well, apart from the loverly dxxxx and mars who have left comments, it seems it's me and the other mg on this topic.

say hi to michelle.

i'm not criticising anyone who didn't leave a comment; i know there are bigger and more important issues to focus on right now*, other than a man who has been left to rot in a jail overseas without a fair trial. or any trial.

michelle tells me today on page 9 of the age that the people who are against the government on this are: major michael mori, hicks' lawyer; david mcleaod, adelaide lawyer for hicks; the greens; australian democrats; fairgofordavid (support group). ok, thus far we have a list of people who could be argued to have vested interests.

what about the following?
nicholas cowdrey, nsw director of public prosecutions; law council of australia; international commission of jurists (australia); lex lasry qc, he of the fight for the underdog fame. and cindy sheehan, mother of killed us soldier, ok she has a vested emotional interest.

then there's lord goldsmith, british attorney-general; reverend john sentamu, archbishop of york; brigadier gerard fogarty, a soldier somewhere i guess, doesn't specify and gerard brennan, former australian high court chief justice.

oh, plus 76 lawyers who signed an open letter to the pm; people who were willing to put their names to this protest.

and then there's me, and maybe you.

against this is listed, as supporters of america's treatment of hicks:

john howard and the federal government
kim beazley and the federal opposition
george bush and the us government

the final word has to go to mori, hick's us lawyer. he's a marine, and he looks like one. he says that "marines love underdogs. i'm a marine" and always signs his emails with "sf" which refers to the expression semper fidelis (always faithful.)

again i ask.

send david hicks home.

and if howard says one more time "i believe, and i think most people would believe" i will fucking scream. i am not most people. most people in this country are idiots because they voted that government back in again. i'm sorry, if you voted liberal at the last election, you are no friend of mine. let's get that out there.

and by the way, are people not commenting because:

a. they don't give a rats about this

b. they're scared of being associated with me, ms sedition? in which case i will have to do the GOB cocococo chicken dance at you most promptly.

c. i have no readers?

i welcome feedback, even in email form so you don't have to have any visible connections to this most incendiary of blogs.

* this is my disclaimer. if you happen to have a post currently on any of these topics, DO NOT TAKE OFFENCE. it's not aimed at anyone in particular, i'm just trying to be funny, so please don't get cross my friend. you know who i'm talking to. yes, you. just move your little green hand away from the delete-melbournegirl-from-blogroll-button, nice and slow.

[insert smiley face here]

i'm mad as hell and i'm not going to take it anymore.

Monday, July 03, 2006


the following is from michelle grattan, in the age, yesterday 2 july, 2006.

"John Howard is obsessive about David Hicks - there is no other word for it."


"The PM has become a crusader against someone who, whatever he did - which was unsavoury but in the end didn't amount to anything with tangible consequences - has alread paid the price many times over.

Hicks' training with al-Qaeda did not break the Australian law at the time. It didn't produce any terrorist act, or plan for one. It can't justify the extreme punishment to which he has been subjected."

"Yet nothing shakes the Howard Government's conviction, or its willingness to go along with what George Bush wants to do about the Guantanamo prisoners. It remains unswayed by the intense and mounting international criticism of Guantanamo Bay."

"If it had been behaving rationally, the Australian Government would have insisted on the return of Hicks long ago."

like britain.

"Now that the Howard Government has been hung out to dry along with Bush by the United States Supreme Court's king hit against the President's military commission system, a pragmatic response would be to say, "Enough, send him home please." Instead, Howard is simply stepping up efforts to paint Hicks as a major villain."

the last word must go to michael mori, hicks' american lawyer, who said:

" The Australian Government was the only government that ever said the commissions were appropriate for their citizens, that they (would) provide a fair trial. Not even the US (accepted the commissions for its citizens)."



have a great day all.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

the mg-hicks polemic series, part two


this is just one of many shameful things the australian government has allowed to happen, if not purposefully enacted.

hicks is an australian citizen.

howard says he has no sympathy for a person who trained with al-qaeda.

that is irrelevant. howard is playing god. regardless of what an australian citizen has done in a territory other than their home country, it is the duty of this government and its representatives to assist that person so that they receive support, in ways both legal and humane.

if there is a case against hicks, lay it on the line.

if there isn't, fucking do something about it.

either way, he shouldn't be left to rot there.

bring him home.

let it run its course.

stand up for what's right, and true and just.

for fuck's sake, howard, it's not as if anyone is asking you to APOLOGISE or anything.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

it's time to bring david hicks home

this week, all i will be blogging about is david hicks, how he is being left to rot in cuba by john howard, who has no "sympathy" for him because he trained with al-qaida, how his human rights are being ignored, how australians must demand he be brought back to australia, charged with something, and allowed to answer any criminal charges in court. we have to remember that a person is innocent until proven guilty. and even if a person is guilty of crimes as charged, that person, that human, is offered a certain amount of protection by his or her civil rights.

why is david hicks being painted as the boogie man?

he did not cut up any bodies and put them in a barrel. he did not rape and murder a girl in a toilet in a shopping centre. he did not drug and degrade a woman on a cruise ship. he did not kidnap and murder hitchikers between melbourne and sydney. he did not kidnap three children from a beach in adelaide, nor did he cut a fly wire screen from a bedroom window in beaumaris and steal a child called eloise. he did not fly a plane into a building, and he did not put a bomb on a london bus.

david hicks has not done any of these things.

he should be brought home, charged with an offence and then dealt with in the proper manner.

why isn't this happening? because like an incompetent parent, john howard has backed himself into a corner. also, there probably isn't a charge that they know would stick, ie no evidence, so they have no where to go with this. and if he is kept at guantanamo, then it's the "out of sight, out of mind" scenario.

bet howard is shitting himself at the thought of guantanamo being shut down. then we might have to take him back.

and what will they do then?