Saturday, August 30, 2008

any excuse

to look at this picture again.
today, we learn that:
1. it's not a wig. it's a hair system.
2. this hair system has been traced to a specific hair restoration service in melbourne.
3. this hair system languished in a box along with 20 to 30 other old-style hair systems of various shapes, hairs, colours and sizes.
4. this hair system was the lucky piece that was pulled out for tony. just think what else we could have been treated to had it been another hair system.
5. this hair system is well-travelled. bonnie doon? ocean-going yacht? athens.
6. though well-travelled and much publicised after tony's arrest, this hair system has been described by a hair expert as "so old and disgusting that nobody would purchase [it]"
7. purana detectives have many statements from hair restoration and wig experts who have identified the hair system.
8. the serial number had been removed from the hair system, obviously in an effort to stymie identification. there was no other explanation for this, the serial number is not easily removed, it doesn't fall or wash off.
9. the hair system used by tony was usually fixed onto the client's head with tape or glue. glue.
10. finally an explanation for the bad styling of the hair system. in addition to it having been put on hastily and sideways? or perhaps moved out of place by athens police as they did that caring hand-on-head, make-sure-you-don't-hit-your-head-on-the-police-car-roof thing. or perhaps shifted as he was beaten up in the cells. but in addition to that sideways movement, we learn the hair system was long and unstyled. after being glued/stuck onto the client's head it would be cut and styled.
while i was truly interested to read about this, excuse me now while i resume living my life.
have a good weekend.
ps i have bought on rage and i am reading it.
pps talk about giving pedants a bad name. all those twits writing into the age this week about mis-used apostrophes, dangling modifiers (oh, chortle, chortle), oh, let me spell grammer wrong, and be really funny and witty and the like. it's embarrassing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

free-range kids

on the radio this afternoon i heard a snippet of a segment where they were asking people to call in with things that they'd done as a kid that they'd never let their kids do.

all types rang in, but my personal favourite was the guy who said they would reverse the handle-bars on their malvern star bikes, load each with a firecracker, nick the old man's cigar cause it "wouldn't go out in the wind" and go and terrorise the neighbourhood with these mini rocket launchers.

this was the 70s, he said, when you could get firecrackers legally, and obviously could swipe a cigar here and there.

it made me think about things we did as kids that i wouldn't let my kids do.

be free-range for a start. it's a shame that we can't just let them roam around the way we did. i'm sure in the country kids do have these freedoms still. we used to be able to go out to play and be home by a certain time. and that was just after school. on the weekends, it was only mealtimes that we had to be back for - you could be gone for hours.

we'd visit friends, hang out at the park, take up residence in trees for half a day, go to the shops, buy lollies, play sport, ride bikes around the neighbourhood, play tennis on the street, hopscotch on the street. i remember being sprung outside in the gutter making a dam in the rainwater just after i'd come out from hospital with my tonsils out.

these days i have to consciously create situations where the kids go out without me, where they are pushing away from the home, and on their own learning how to handle things. this includes taking the dog for a walk, going to the milk bar and more recently, catching public transport to school and back when i'm working. but i know where they are, and what they're doing. and that's not free-ranging.

naturestrips, gutters, roofs, trees, fences, gates, garages, construction sites, parks, streets, empty schools: these were our domains.

pocket-knives, old cigarette packets, bikes, old prams/pushers, rocks, stones, wood stakes, billy-carts, roller-skates, scooters, skateboards: these were our tools.

some of the things i did when i was younger, that i wouldn't want my kids doing:

* playing hide and seek/chasey where the house roof wasn't out of bounds

* making petrol bombs and throwing them down a tunnel "to get the bats"

* buying a pack of cigarettes and then smoking them while in a tree

* stacking a scooter at the bottom of vears road hill. the end of the scooter's handle made an imprint on my stomach - a white circle that stayed there for years.

what about you?

what did you do as a kid that you wouldn't let your kid do now.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

sunday night, after the game

well, the cats beat north, but what a dodgy, weird game with bizarre umpiring and decisions i just didn't understand. and a new nemesis presents himself to replace barry hall - north's number 31, david someone? i do so enjoy having someone to hate.

and the geelong skies remained dry - the clouds were threatening but we didn't suffer any rain. there was no wind, so while we didn't have the sunburningness of a couple of years ago, it was fine.

chinese last night was ok. it gets very busy in there, it has to be the most exotic restaurant for miles, and the only chinese place, so i guess all from everywhere go there on a saturday night. princess had fried ice cream for the first time. she had exactly the same questions about it as i did when i was her age.

doesn't the ice cream melt?

saturday we all lay about reading. princess is re-reading the last of the twilight series, you know, teenage vampire, wereworld, human tale. she read the entire 4 books within 10 days. and is re-reading the last one. for the 3rd time. it was only released 2 weeks ago. mad, i tell you. i thought i was a voracious reader.

so there we all were - my dad, my daughter and me. dad reading a new james bond written by some dude other than ian fleming. of course.

it's not half bad, he said.

me flicking between the 3rd vampire/werewolf/humanoid girl love triangle book and a couple of abba books i picked up at the 2nd hand book shop down there, and the papers.

and princess with her love story.

we didn't go to the beach. we didn't go for a walk. we didn't go for a horseride.

we read. and read. and read.

dad and i caught steve hooker's fabulous pole-vaulting on friday night. and last night i went to bed at 8, and to sleep at 9. pathetic i know. woke up at 10am this morning and ate breakfast out again.

oh, to not cook. it's divine.

but to my friday night, earlier.

i went in to the town hall to hear and see germaine. first, there were the age book awards - one to don watson who i have to say in his speech used quite a few swanky words, tim winton who was suitably down-to-earth and humble and normal, and an eccentric old poetess, with witch hair and stooped physique who was really interesting and different.

and then we settled down for the main course. the place was filled with ageing hippy women, with steel-grey in their hair, yet smart haircuts. there were also younger chicks, and a few men. i'm convinced i was sitting behind the actress who played bogan janelle on neighbours. she really didn't look like a bogan.

germaine swept onto the stage in a dramatic black cape, with legs up to there. she's so tall.

i'm not going to go through the whole thing, but she was all of the following: brilliant, fast-talking, learned, scholarly, boring (she did tend to go off into lengthy quotations of obscure shakespeare passages, and i would go to the bahamas for a minute), funny, self-deprecating, moved, natural, pithy, bitchy (a couple of swipes at the murdoch paper), restrained, goofy, provocative, humble.

but at all times she was sincere. and so invested in what she was saying, so passionate.

and i don't think you could say she was formally charming, because there were gaps in her presentation where she was a bit awkward, a bit at a loss. her charm is in her naturalness and her at times gawkiness. she certainly wasn't polished, though she was competent. she spoke so well, not reading verbatim, she probably just had notes scrawled, i wonder. she was dramatic and i wondered whether she either had ever acted, to aspired to.

these are the things that stand out:

* at one stage toward the end, there was a popping sound, like a car backfiring or something. she immediately spread out her arms and said "i've been shot!" the whole place cracked up, i couldn't stop laughing, it was such a gleeful laugh. she said "not that i'm expecting to be shot!" for her to make such a quick gag, so spontaneously was telling. it showed us that she is fully aware of the enmity that she produces in others. and possibly it crosses her mind that some nutter might take her out. but almost as quickly she wanted to show that she wasn't scared, wasn't vulnerable.

* at the end she was given a bunch of flowers. people were clapping and cheering, some standing up. she stood there and accepted the applause, also she looked very closely at the flowers, peering into the base of the bunch, digging around with her fingers. what was she doing? was she checking they were moist at the bottom? was there a card down there? i couldn't see but it was proof to me she is so in the moment, and not scared of being curious and herself. she allowed herself to be distracted by the flowers, even though there were 2,000 people clapping her.

* she ran over time. she would have talked all night. she didn't seem to have a watch, made a comment about there being no clock ("as usual in these places"). she took questions. she wasn't in a hurry to get out of there. she wasn't precious.

so it was a real privilege for me. i didn't catch up with AOF but we were both there, and texted each other after. i had to race off to drive down the beach.

what a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

more germaine whimsy

and yes, it shall be whimsy. while it makes me a little nervous to just write a non-edited, unplanned piece on this topic, this woman - for it is indeed the week of the greer - i am just going to write my feelings out, and anybody who wants to be picky and neg me and say it's ill-structured, rambling and incoherent, can just bugger off. this is my blog, and i'll be incoherent if i want to.

the last time i did a week on someone, it was david hicks. back when i had hours of university master-avoiding that needed to be done every day. it was a requirement of full-time study, it was in the course guidelines.

i have no such excuses now, dear reader. i am working rather more than i would choose, but enjoying earning money for the first time, properly and regularly, in more years than i care to say. and while i like to say this is the week of germaine, i am aware that i haven't posted all week.
so, to germaine. or more precisely, this article which appeared last saturday in the age.

i've picked a bone with traceeeee before, over peter garrett's suiting up and seeming to forget all his old song lyrics. i'm sure it was her that wrote an article saying something like "leave him alone, he's gonna work it from the inside."

still waiting on that one, trace.

but to the latest. the headline is greer's latest rage more glib than lib.

i know that sub-editors write the headlines, so that's not traceeeee's fault, but the headline does announce the tone that she embraces in her article.

what does glib mean anyway? according to one source, it's any of the following:

smooth and slippery; speaking or spoken in a smooth manner; easily fluent; careless; insincere.

so it's a negative word, it seems, something suspect and something not altogether pleasant. exactly how many see greer it seems.

my reading of the hutchinson article made me think that she had missed the point. while she admits to being fascinated with the greer, and sees herself as benefitting from the social swathe the female eunuch cut through the world at that time, and the resonance since, she then goes on to methodically attempt to undermine germaine, and to cast her as suspect - geographically, politically and feministically.

she talks about the new essay on rage, particularly on aboriginal male rage. hutchison implies that germaine is wrong in thinking, from her lovely, far-away english residence, that indigenous men are self-destructing out of rage, and not grief. hutchison says that germaine was not at the sorry day in canberra, and obviously the broadcast that she watched in her lovely, far-away english residence didn't show all the aboriginal people who attended. hutchison was there, she saw that the indigenous people there were in the background, under trees, not pushing themselves to the front. so germaine must be wrong in thinking the aboriginal men were absent. ah, point scored. i haven't read the rage essay yet, so i don't know exactly what trace is referring to. but it's clear she thinks she scored over germaine about this. i'm also not sure why it's important for people to try to bring this woman down. to try to prove her wrong. and to try and cut her legs out from under her.

but going back to the rage vs grief thing - they aren't separate. they can and do co-exist. it could be argued that you can't have one without the other. what does rage come from, and how does it differ from anger. what are the degrees on the continuum. i need to read the essay to try to understand better. but back to the sorry day, perhaps on that day people showed their grief - grief is far more socially acceptable than rage. but surely the rage is there, in all of them (us?). to show rage at the sorry day would have been to show poor manners, lack of dignity, lack of good-heart. i don't know, but i guess that indigenous people like everyone else would pride themselves on their collective good-heart and their dignity.

hutchison then goes on to talk about the joanna murray-smith thing, where germaine called her "an insane reactionary who held feminism in contempt." again she tries to score points, saying the she knows that murray-smith's family are left-wing inellectuals, her mother taught hutchison english, and her father was "revered in literary intellectual circles." well, being literary, or left-wing doesn't automatically exclude a person from being an insane reactionary and anti-feminist. are all these states of being mutually exclusive? i think not.

but as usual, germaine has made her controversial comment, just a few words, and we don't know the context, she hasn't offered an explanation for it, we don't know what question she was asked to respond to. nothing. but it has to be noted that murray-smith has been criticised by other people for being right-wing and anti-feminist, eg. Alison Croggan, see article.

this is what really gets up people's noses about germaine as well. she doesn't give herself to us. she doesn't lay herself bare. we don't know anything about her. maybe in the past she was very open about her own personal experiences, couched within her writing on certain topics; sexuality, gender issues, menopause, father-daughter relationships. but in the media at large, she gives them nothing about herself. i have no idea if she's ever been married, ever been pregnant, ever had a lesbian tryst, ever been depressed, ever driven drunk, ever taken drugs, ever stalked anyone, ever plagiarised anything.

to me, she has never fallen. she has never done an insipid new idea interview. she doesn't give permission to bigraphers, but will call them parasites. why don't they create something for themselves, she wonders. why don't they get a life?

on the question and answer show last week, germaine was insulted most shockingly by the murdoch paper man. he called her old. someone whispered sotto voce that it was below the belt, perhaps it was carr. germaine threw out a facial reaction but nothing else. she doesn't seem to be affected by people trying to tear her down.
you have to admire the woman for that, if nothing else.
the whole traceeeee article just seemed to me a set-up for tearing greer down. scoring points.
oooh, look at me. i spat on germaine greer!

this was the big, green, slimy slagging at greer from hutchison, who said: "while her observations about the cultural and social crisis in aboriginal australia are astute, her cause-and-effect arguments fail spectacularly."

but where's the detail in your argument, traceeeee? you can't make a statement like that and then just leave your readers hanging. where's your proof?

at the end of the article, hutchison is getting quite bitchy, always a sure sign of someone who is desperately trying to make a point and has nothing of real substance to rely on.

"But it didn't stop Greer flying off in a rage - yes, rage - about [Murray-Smith]"

i don't know that greer has either said rage is a bad thing, or something that she doesn't feel. are you trying to highlight some sort of irony there, hutchison, by referring to geer flying off in a rage?

but finally, traceeeee writes that greer's closing comment "if i was more animal and less pseudo intellectual i'd be a much happier person" was profoundly sad and confronting to the feminist ideals she "trumpeted all those years ago."

sad? did you not see germaine's full cheek with quite a bit of tongue in it? i think she meant it literally, but she was also being funny, she was being self-deprecating and i understand what she meant. i wish i was a little more animal too. i wish i didn't analyse anything and everything, try to understand everything, get affected by everything. i wish i could just let things be, feel things, not have to work so damn hard every single day to exist without imploding.

and how on earth is that confronting - do you mean contradictory - to any feminist ideals? we all are animals, really. why can't i be a person who wants to be more in touch with my primal stuff, less living in my head, but also wants to choose about whether i wear lipstick, remove my body hair, wear what i like. it's all about choices, and choosing to react in a certain way when i realise that some things i can choose, some things i can't. and that's about it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

so tell me. do you fear the greer?

this is a post i've had sitting in drafts for about 2 years. i confess i was reluctant to post it back when i wrote it (shortly after steve irwin died) because i didn't want people criticising me for being a greer fan-girl. but two recent commenters have let me know that they too admire her, so with the numbers of support, and those two readers at my side, i want to open it up a bit. it's timely because she's here, and i'm going to see her keynote speech on rage at the mwf very soon. and also there are news articles creeping out of the woodwork each day it seems.

last night i watched germaine on channel 2 at 9.30. i can't remember the show - q and a?? - but there was bob carr, a murdoch-suit from the australian, julie bishop, and some young dude who was the only one that germaine really nodded in agreement at during the entire thing. they talked about a lot of different things, taking questions from the live audience.

i swear, it was like the germaine show. the audience clapped her several times, and while the others were so tightly held and robotic (and particularly bob carr with his fruity, snotty, pompous voice and self-serving attempts to be political towards the end of the show, bishop also tried this), germaine was reactive, animated, facially expressive, moving her body back and forward trying to see people's faces as they talked, rolling her eyes, gasping, laughing explosively at one point. and oh, the words out of her mouth were sublime. she was, quite simply, mesmerising. she was self-deprecating, referring to the female eunuch as just a book, a product of the times and that she wishes it were a better book, that it was too scholarly (i think that's what she said, i have the show taped and haven't watched it again) and that she wishes there were other books after that picked up the tempo and carried things forward. she said it wasn't the book that was important, it was the era and what was happening. and she was gracious - refusing to bite when the newspaper-turd insulted her by calling her old. while any old hack knows they can be guaranteed a good germaine quote, ie a controversial one, if they only ask the right question, she was remarkably restrained when provoked a couple of times on this particular occasion. she didn't bite, even though people were placing their metaphorical prodding fingers quite close to her sharp teeth.

and it made me think - who will we have when she is gone? i can't think of another smarty-pants in her league, who is such a light in the intellectual world. of course, there are brilliant, brilliant people everywhere. but there is no one quite like germaine.

anyway, i found this old draft and here it is. look her up on youtube. read her stuff. it's awesome.

* * *

in a world which seems to detest germaine greer, i wish to raise my hand, and say that i find it amusing, and slightly puzzling, that this one woman, who lives over the other side of the world, can arouse in all of us such a maelstrom of reaction.

let me state upfront: i admire the greer.

but then i have a habit of kind of going against the flow. while she's no underdog, i do tend to support underdogs. and while i don't agree with everything she says, i like the way she says everything. loudly and controversially. she calls it as she sees it, without seeming to have any real personal agenda. she seems to be a truth-seeker, trying to understand and to disseminate the products of her fierce intellectualisation of everything she comes across.

there are some reasons why i think she really affects people in such a visceral way. and you can't deny that she does.

with the whole steve irwin thing, the tone of the commentary at the time revealed the hate for this woman. it's funny to me that while she said something about him that many others had also said to that point, once germaine greer said it, the reaction was immediate and deafening. and let's be honest - she wasn't the only one who might have made an ironic connection between his pursuit of certain dangerous members of the animal kingdom, and his dramatic, watery end.

lying in bed this morning, i was thinking of reasons why greer affects people so strongly. this is what i came up with:

1. she is a woman and she is opinionated and she is outspoken. now before you get all femmo on my arse, think about this. while there has been a little sub-dialogue of whether we still need feminism, with the apparent thought that we have equality of the sexes, there is still a lot of inequality in many areas of society. but going beyond that, the fact remains. alot of people tend not to like an outspoken woman. what is forceful in a man, is perceived as somewhat less than attractive in a woman. and women like that are often targeted to be taken down.

2. she is not conventionally beautiful. fact: if germaine greer were typically beautiful, she would be easier to ignore. or easier for people to give what she says some credence. beautiful people have a power that others don't. people like to look at them, and they like to be friends with them and they like the beautiful person to think kindly of them. people want to be close to beautiful people. and i've got the idea that not only did greer not trade on her beauty in her youth, she railed against the conventions of beauty and challenging women and men to look at themselves and each other a bit more closely. i might have this bit wrong, about her and beauty. i think she was beautiful when she was younger, and she's still a looker in my opinion. and i'm still working out for myself my ideas about beauty and power.

3. she doesn't live here. she has abandoned this country so what right does she have to make comments about our affairs? greer has been an expat for yonks. some of our expats we like, for example... um. well, we like kylie. and barry humphries. but we love to hate germaine. she probably made a good decision to leave and go somewhere where people didn't hate her. i wonder how they feel about her in england.

4. she is childless. older women who haven't got children and who haven't done an interview with new idea moaning about their barren wombs are suspect. the thought that she might be voluntarily childless is even more confronting to us, and absolute proof that she is suspect. that there is something wrong with her. that she is nutty. what woman doesn't want a baby all of her own?

5. she is stubborn. greer, in addition to being outspoken, also seems to be impulsive. she talks without thinking, perhaps. maybe she makes statements that she would later revise, maybe not. but the fact that she sticks to her own party line, would annoy the shit out of a lot of people. other strong personalities like to be able to score points off a rival, but you can't score points off someone who won't engage.

6. she is fiercely intellectual. greer is a thinker, on which she has based her entire intellectual life and academic and journalistic output. this is what we have come to expect from men, but not women. again, she is bucking the system, and not behaving.

7. she is successful. quite simply, she has a voice. when germaine publishes an article, the whole world listens. perhaps this is because it is usually controversial, and contrary. contrariness seems guaranteed with germaine greer. there would be a lot of people who envy her reach, her audience (an audience which while mixed in its response, at least hears her).

8. she has never really fallen. apart from the incident when she was sat upon by a disgruntled student for a couple of hours and held hostage at her house, she has not really shown vulnerability. she is tough, rock hard, yet at times shows a weird tendency to do the unexpected, like appear on celebrity big brother.

9. she is a bit kooky. the aboriginal stuff fits in with this. she steps on people's toes. she gathers to her chest certain causes, appropriates them in perhaps inappropriate ways, such as saying she never steps off the plane when she travels to australia, never steps onto the tarmac without an express invitation by the local indigenous traditional landowner. if this isn't kooky, i don't know what is.

but as kids are saying these days, who gives? [in my youth it was who gives a shit? i'm glad to see the young are using cleaner expressions in some instances these days.]

people who take themselves too seriously give. and this is another thing germaine is guilty of. she seems to have little or no sense of humour. she will scoff at people and roll her eyes when she disagrees with them, or thinks them fools, and she will laugh loudly (and sometimes inappropriately) at something she thinks ludicrous. but is it funny? is she pleased and entertained or just thinking how the fuck can i exist amongst such idiots?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

just because you've got a jaunty hat -

- don't think it makes you a better barista.

a strong latte should not taste like a normal latte.

and a normal-strength latte should not taste like HOT FUCKING MILK.

and if you are going to charge $3.40 a regular size, it has to be a good coffee.

inkr7, such a disappointment.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

i know, i know

for someone who has said they have little interest in the olympics, two posts in as many days on that very topic.
unless something dramatic happens (something more than a rower lying down or another drug cheast bust) i PROMISE this will be it for me on the olympics.
i confess to watching about 20 mins of the mind-numbingly boring opening ceremony last night. immediately i noticed the military-feel of all the syncopated people, doing their big-group collectivist thing. surely we weren't being subjected to propoganda?
maybe it's my individualistic social conditioning, but after a very little while, the spectacle of it was diluted by the feeling that i was watching an army being put through its paces.
reading the paper this morning, it seems i was not the only one to have this feeling. there are reports of people being injured during rehearsals, practising for 48 hours and falling asleep in the grandstand.
yeah, human rights are so fixed now in china, all it took was the olympic games.
also, i saw a kind of bent sieg-heil from the children in costumes (were they regional wear? no tibet national costume i'm sure) while they were singing the national anthem, and having goose-stepping soldiers bring in the chinese flag. is that kosher? aren't the olympics meant to be a political-free zone? it all made me feel uncomfortable, and as if i were watching propoganda.
all this and more consume me this fine melbourne morning.
other thoughts for the day:
1. i am extremely happy with our new bordello-red velvet couch from going, going, gone. half price, just a few little fabric glue flaws. it's sitting very lushly in our lounge room now and i'm looking forward to watching the rest of west wing as a lie there like some hooker, eating my low-fat ice cream.
2. alannah hill's son was wearing a geelong jumper today. it made me think ever so much more of her. also the fact she had all sorts of crap spilling out of her black mercedes into the gutter. also her hair wasn't frou-froud, with nary a flower or feather in sight. she even smiled at me when i said "go cats".
3. where do i get the recipe for healthy'ish sausage rolls? all my cook books save one fancy-pants one are in storage. i guess i'll have to trawl the internet but i am finding net recipes can be SHIT and WRONG and DON'T WORK (witness creme brulees failure).
4. i should have gotten a coffee from d. chirico this morning. i broke the plunger last night, will have to buy another.
5. i'm happy to see a profile on chris lilley in the weekend magazine. just recently we were talking about how we'd not read much about him at all. my mum saw him recently at st. kilda library. she recognised him, and he saw that she saw. so we'll be looking out for a character like mum in his next series. will keep you posted.
6. we now have a plan involving a funky deco cbd pad.
7. i do love a good plan.
8. geelong slaughtered melbourne last night. i didn't watch any of the game. i suppose this makes me a bad geelong supporter, in addition to a bad australian
9. i really, really do hate gladiator sandals. they look especially bad on mary-kate olsen, now she's chunked up a bit.
10. even though we pay removalist men to move our heavy stuff, why do we feel so bad for them when it's a really bulky, difficult item? it's partly because they often make a big deal about access, and the object, and how tough a job it is. they are angling for a tip/more money. i say, it's your business, you're the professional. i don't care how hard it is, just do it. that's what you're being paid for.
11. love the couch.

Friday, August 08, 2008

let's get this straight

just because i am not creaming my jeans over the olympics, it doesn't mean i'm less of a good australian than any athletics-archery-swimming-groupie out there.
and by the way, i'm not a flag-hater because i think people who wear the australian flag are tossers. i'm actually quite indifferent to the australian flag.
i've never been that interested in watching sport, apart from tennis during the navratilova/mc enroe golden years, and football every since gary senior started kicking bagsful for the cats. i've always preferred to play sport than watch.
what is this nationalistic argument about some people being better australians, or more australian, than others, based on topics like sport. sport is good, i'm not against it, but why do i feel judged, somehow less belonging, when i say i'm not that interested in the olympics?
why do some people think that if you criticise this country, you automatically hate this country.
i hate gladiator sandals, but it doesn't mean i despise gladiators. they're alright in my book.