Sunday, November 28, 2004

To experience one moment of true happiness not at all bad.

Unless you're, you know, a brooding vampire with a soul and a curse and a billowing black coat and a no longer existing series.

Oh yeah. I've so been a-watching the Angel dvds I bought recently. Joss Whedon, you're my hero.

(Ah, Cameron. Where did you go? Oh, yeah. That's where you went.)

I've also been watching some of my old videos (me hearties, me hearties, pieces of eight etc), and found a stand up routine by Greg Fleet. In it, he talks about having a 'perfect moment', and that you're lucky if you have 7 or 8 of them in a lifetime.

The first six months that I spent in Katoomba are my perfect moment. Which, yes, is stretching the concept of 'moment' just a tad, but it's my blog so nerneenerner. I hereby present my series of moments that make up that one 'perfect moment' (with appropriate fanfare and occasional creaky noises):

Sitting by the front door, cat wrapping her tail around my feet, steam from tea rising towards me, while the Katoomba mists welcome me to the mountains, writhing, curling into my house, exploring tendrils into the loungeroom, drifting into the kitchen, fading before reaching the bedrooms. While I sit, at the centre, sipping my tea and beaming.

Following the newly laid gaslines home, drunken in the crisp a.m., stars clear above me. Watching, marvelling, at the clarity of the skies, counting the stars in the Milky Way. Walking to the station at 5am, laughing into the foggy darkness, breathing in the moisture in the air.

The smell of pine from the line of trees hanging over the footpath. Relishing the goosebumps, embracing the cold, stripping my skin of the city poisons, revelling in every icy breath.

I am there no longer, but somewhere, somewhen, I am sipping tea, tendrils of steam and mist nestling in my hair, streaming around and through me, and in that moment I am wholly content.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

"Those paintball thingies hurt!!"

Bruce Willis is suing over injuries incurred on a movie set.


In other news, Iraq = Vietnam for the Bush Administration. You think?

Monday, November 22, 2004

Record review

Can you still call it a record if it's not on vinyl? I feel kind of odd calling a cd a record, but I guess that's right. And "CD review" still doesn't sit well with me, what with my previous aversion to CDs.

Yes, aversion to CDs. Feel free to snigger over there *points to corner*

You done now?


And another question. When you get a new cd, it is completely normal to listen to it say, three or four times. A day. For at least a week. Normal, yes?


What did I say about the sniggering? Get it done, okay? I'll still be here when you're finished, and it's really hard to concentrate when you snort through your nose like that.

Where were we?

Ah yes.

Eagles of Death Metal.

I recently purchased the album Peace Love Death Metal, and frankly, have been unable to pry it away from my ears since.

I came across these guys in a roundabout way. I was watching Rage a couple of weeks ago, and they were having a very odd metal/taking the piss out of metal night. I was out of the room when I heard a song come on, and I just couldn't get the groove out of my system. Plus, it sounded kind of familiar. So I wandered back into the loungeroom, and was greeted with the sight of Josh Homme in a cut off shirt playing drums.

So, obviously, next step was buying the album.

Then listening to it obsessively for a week.

And then trying to describe it to people.

And then trying to write a review of it. Which could be seen as simply an excuse to trawl the internet(s) for pictures of Josh Homme.

But isn't, okay? Just so we're absolutely sure.

This album is funny, and dirty, and raw, and the guitars are fuzzy and everyone sounds like they're having a really good time.

The first single, "I Only Want You", is also the first track on the album, and really builds expectations for the rest of the album. Any song containing the line "I'm not gonna lie just to spare your feelings cos' watching you suffer feels much better to me" pretty much gets my vote for Sexiest Song Ever.

The album slows down a bit in the middle, with a dark and slightly twisted song "Midnight Creeper" at its' heart.

There are some reviews I've read which have been unkind to "Whorehoppin (Shit, Goddamn)" and I can see why, but I still get swept up in the rhythm and sleaze of it: "Smell those sweet, young things" and "Struttin' sluts through that whorehoppin' scene"

So, all in all, a damn fun album, which will probably stay grafted to my ears through the medium of headphones for a good long while. Alternate with Rated R by Queens of the Stone Age and any album by the Cramps for a truly good time.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

"My profession is to be free."

"That women differ from men, that heart and intellect are subject to the laws of sex, I do not doubt. But ought this difference, so essential to the general harmony of life, to constitute a moral inferiority? And does it necessarily follow that the souls and minds of women are inferior to those of men, whose vanity permits them to tolerate no other natural order?" George Sand

"What will become of the world when all women are like George Sand?" Balzac

I am happy today, mostly because I found, and purchased, an English translation of "Consuelo" by George Sand.

"George who?" comes the plaintive voice out of the darkness of the big ole internet(s).

Ah. Let wikipedia elucidate on my behalf.

"But that's a fairly obscure thing for you to know, Zuckerbaby. How on earth did you find out about her? I thought you were all about the pop culture, not some cultured French feminist who shagged famous composers and wrote romantic and political novels and hung out with Victor Hugo! Say it ain't so! It's like the world is all askew. And cockeyed!"

Hmmm. Best not to mention here that I occasionally groove along to Chopin, eh? That's going to completely blow whatever popcred I have. Good thing I didn't mention it then.


That aside, glad you asked.

My fascination with this wonderful, complex, forthright and feminist woman is all due to a teenage crush on Hugh Grant.

No. Really. Bear with me on this one, it starts making sense eventually. And, thankfully, it's all due to a movie. ("Ah, see. I knew you were all about the pop culture.")

In 1991(ish) I went to see "Impromptu". Not because I had any interest in the content, but because said object of teenage crush was starring in it.

Unfortunately, said object of teenage crush was hampered by the combination of a more-than-usually-floppy-yet-boofy hairdo and one of the more ridiculous attempts at a Polish accent that it has been my misfortune to encounter. And I've encountered some ridiculous attempts at accents (*cough* Van Helsing *cough*).

Fortunately, "Impromptu" also starred Judy Davis, Julian Sands (yes, I said "fortunately", people. I've watched "Boxing Helena" and I still harbour a fondness for him. Which, admittedly, is my problem, not yours), Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters and Emma Thompson, and remains one of my favourite films.

And yet more fortunately, I left the cinema after the film with a burning desire to find out about George Sand. Her life is more fascinating than her novels, and I wondered why, having been raised as a feminist, I had never heard of her.

A major part of the reason I had never heard of her, I suspect, is because her novels essentially tanked in England when they were originally released there, and trying to find English translations is pretty darned difficult (thus my happy at finding one today).

Luckily, I found her novels in the local library (praise libraries!!), and I also found her autobiography "History of My Life". I discovered that she had been involved in the French Revolution of 1848. Her salon in Paris had involved Balzac, Delacroix, Flaubert and many other great artists. Her funeral oration was written by Victor Hugo. She had flouted convention by living apart from her husband, dressing in male fashion, and having affairs - often with younger men. She supported herself with the written word - at which she was prolific, producing anywhere between 50 and 70 published works.

I became so enamoured of George Sand, and of her times, that I wanted to replicate her as far as I could. I remember saying to my uncle that I wanted to "dress like George Sand." He pointed out to me, quite reasonably, that I already did. Of course, at the time, I just got sulky, and mumbled something about how "that's not what I meant", before leaving in a teenage huff.

But now I get it. And I'm thankful.

I wear trousers. I have short hair. I smoke in public. I own my sexuality and the choices I make as to how I use it. I have a well paid job. I am unmarried and live out of home. I have the right to vote. I have control over my reproductive rights (for the moment). I alone am responsible for, and make, the decisions that take me through life.

And for that, I thank George Sand, and every other woman who has had the bravery to reject the role that society has decreed is hers. I raise a toast to all the feminists, past and present, and am thankful that I am in their ranks.

Seriously, rent the movie, ignore the awful accent and occasional scenery chomping moments, find "History of My Life" or one of the many biographies, and discover this beautifully unconventional woman.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Recount, recount, recount!!

This just in from

Some other websites are carrying additional news. And yet more. Interesting stuff, eh? Conspiracy theories, my bottom.

Why has a mandate been deemed to be handed to a president who wasn't elected in 2000, and in all likelihood has not been elected in 2004?



Argh again.

Basil Brush must be so happy

I am so unbelievably happy about this decision by British parliament.

Though I am slightly disturbed that the disruption of fox hunting can cause reported threats of civil disobedience, but the response to the invasion of a sovereign nation and the ongoing slaughter and horror there doesn't appear to cause a ripple in the major media.

*Removes self from high horse* Out with anger, in with love. Out with anger, in with love.

But, you know, the whole fox hunting is now illegal thing is definitely giving me the happy. If we could only manage it for duck hunting...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

It's getting hot in here... regret quoting a Nelly song.

And knowing who Nelly is.


Damn pop culture soaked brain. Poor brain - I used to use you to hold information like "This is how we tie our shoes" and "This is how we walk" and "Attempting to glue the top of one's earlobe to the bottom of one's earlobe is not going to convince people one is deaf". These days, it's all "Hey, that guy played Buffy's best friend/crush from Hemery, and then went on to Roswell, and now he and SMG are totally in a movie together! Small world, eh?" and lyrics from pointless pop songs produced by meaningless machine polished pop 'stars'.

It's so fucking hot today. It's times like these, when I'm dripping sweat and red in the face and regretting leaving the air conditioned cell that is my work station, that I contemplate making the move away from the all black ensemble. Call me crazy, but I get the feeling that wearing all black may in fact be partially to blame for my current state of heat exhaustion.

Possibly in conjunction with that flaming ball of pain and horror and heat that we puny mortals like to refer to as the sun (or my preferred term "Argh you bastard stop being so fucking hot!!!")

Australian summer - beautiful one day, fireballs and gutted houses the next.

And on that note...

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Erm. Okay. So how does this song go again?

Gosh. This all feels very strange. And, like, totally hip (or so the young people tell me. Occasionally. When I've remembered to turn my hearing aid on and my zimmerframe isn't getting in the way and I'm not shouting "What?! What?! Mmmm I'm old you know!!" in their general direction).

Deep breath.

There's a certain freedom to this that I appreciate. I'm writing this, maybe somebody reads it, maybe they don't. M'eh. It's all to the good.

Sooooooo. Icky day. I had a strange Matrix moment when I was at a class this evening. Four people and the trainer in a room. As the time wore on, and the sun left striations of light that slowly moved down the wall, I became convinced that I recognised two of the people in the class. Which I really really didn't, but my brain was all "No, seriously! You know them. From the bus...or the know them, dude, trust me on this!" I started to become convinced that whilst I didn't know these particular people, the Matrix had obviously used the same template-person in the mistaken assumption that I wouldn't notice. But I did. Take that, Matrix!!

Okay, so that was a bit strange. But the class was very dull and we old people have always had to make our own fun, you know.

Excuse me. No, excuse me. No, really, excuse me.

I have this thing. It's a thing, okay? It's a bugbear, it keeps me up at night, I find myself ranting to strangers about it, and it consumes much of my day.

"What is this thing that is a thing that it is that you have?" I hear you cry. (Or not. But we'll come to that whole hearing voices issue later.)

People don't say "Excuse me" any more.

Seriously. It nags at me. It makes me twitch and grimace and fume about the substandard humanity one encounters these days.

It's not like the phrase is unusual in any way. If I wanted people to say it in French that could be a bit odd (though, admittedly, containing fewer syllables). But no. All I feel that people should do is say "Excuse me" in the appropriate social situations. Like getting past you on the bus. Trying to move forward in a line. Dragging their screaming demonspawn past you to get to the one free toilet. When they want to reach past you to get something off the shelf in the supermarket, and you've drifted off into a sordid sexual fantasy involving the unconvincing "Lady" from Little Britain...



Sorry, got lost in the moment there.

I'm sure you would agree that these are entirely appropriate moments to enunciate clearly and precisely and politely that golden phrase "Excuse me". And you'd be right. However, it appears that the rest of the population of this big brown land feels differently.

There are a couple of standard actions and phrases that are resorted to in most of the above situations. Due to my endless search for the elusive "Excuse me" and sheer bloody mindedness, I have managed to force those members of the population who are unfortunate enough to encounter me into one easy flowing action, guarenteed to make the most sociopathic person uncomfortable.

Taking the bus example:

I am sitting on the outside seat, reading a novel. A hand appears in front of me and presses the bell. I continue to read my novel. The bus approaches the bus stop. I feel rather than see the passenger that I have trapped leaning towards me, attempting an escape through my legs. I continue to read my novel. The unfortunate passenger stands up and looms over me, pressing into the sides of my legs with their knees. I look up in (mock) surprise, attempting to make eye contact. They panic and look sideways and whisper (or, more often, mouth silently) "Sorry", at which point I kindly release them from the uncomfortable situation.

Okay, so this is the really really annoying thing, the thing that makes me purple of cheek and spittle flecked of mouth.


I mean, really? There's nothing to be sorry about (well, I'm sure there's always something, but I'm not going to delve into their private lives or political beliefs - I'm simply happy to categorise them as social pariahs due to their unwillingness to make eye contact). It's a stupid stupid phrase to use.

Have you chopped off my legs at the knees so that you can get past? No. Right, then don't be sorry.

Have you infected me with a more heinous influenza than anyone has ever encountered before? No. No sorry for you.

Have you turned me down when I've asked you out? No. Would you like to go out? No. Sorry. Okay that's a fair sorry, I'll give you that one.

See? Sorry is not the phrase that needs to be used. You know what is the right phrase? Go on, have a guess. I betcha can't guess. Really. Okay, all together now.

"Excuse me".

Happy sigh.

However, here's the rub:

You know what happens when you use "Excuse me" in every day social interactions? People look at you like you're a freak. They say "That's okay." They stare at you as if you were diseased. They start, and shiver, and slink away from you. They act as if you are finding fault with them (which, obviously, is a fair call. That's definitely what I'm doing).

Of course, the fact that every time someone doesn't use "Excuse me" to me, I mutter/shout/say/inflect "Excuse me is the acceptable form of verbal intercouse appropriate to this interaction" probably isn't endearing me to the population in general.

So what have we learnt from today's rant?

a) If you see me on public transport or in the supermarket, and you have to come anywhere near me, you know what to say.
b) Start saying Excuse me to everyone you encounter - let's start a trend, people!
c) I so needed to get that off my chest.

You're excused.

A note from the other side of the world

I am very relieved. TheAmerican has gone overseas for a holiday, and none of us had heard from him during the fortnight that he's been away. But got an email today, which was lovely, and from which I will quote, as it is far funnier than anything I could possibly come up with...

"there used to be signs at the airports with pictures of bald eagles and waterfalls and mountains and shit that said UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. But it seems like the State Department has seen fit to change those signs, because now they all have pictures of our divine pal The Riz, wearing a Budweiser hat and holding a sawed-off shotgun, above a bold caption that reads: USA--BITCH, WHERE'S MY CASH?!"

What a guy...

I'm sure all of the internet(s) has seen this site, but thought I'd plug it anyway. Gives you hope and also a vague sense of all-will-be-well-eventually.

Euwww. And also...euwww

Oh my god!! Billy Idol has had his head grafted onto a 20 year old's body!!

And if that gives you grief, try here.

Skipping through the woods, la la la la

I'm so going to be up all night thinking of exciting things to write about.


I guess this all settles down after a while, all the anticipation of writing, and the joy of seeing a little piece go wandering off into the Big Forest that is the internet(s), wondering if it'll be okay and if putting a red cloak on it was really a good idea what with all those fairy tale warnings against it (would Little Red Riding Hood have been so convincing if she was Little Camouflage Riding Hood?) and finally realising that at some point a full stop is going to be required.

Damn grammar.

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