Thursday, July 28, 2005


"Hey look, Mum, I've got a heart-shaped stain on my jumper. How about we say it's some kind of stigmata and auction it off on e-bay?"

Monday, July 25, 2005

fuck terrorism

The funniest thing happened about five minutes ago. I was in the bathroom; a girlfriend had just left, the baby was deigning to sleep after four straight days of no day sleep.
I was putting clothes in the washing machine when I heard a lot of laughing, right outside my backdoor. I investigated.
Four kookaburras were sitting on the neighbour's fence opposite my bathroom's backdoor, about five feet away. A few more were just settling in.
They were having a good laugh.
Normally you only ever see one kookaburra at a time; sitting on a phone line looking smug. (Well, I always feel they are smug, because to me the kookaburra is the king of the bush, so incredibly, ruggedly handsome and masculine in appearance, so big, so proud, so noble....Until he laughs. And then you always feel slightly insulted, as though he's laughing at you, in your feeble human silliness.)
So imagine.
I counted eight.
I looked through the screen door and laughed at them laughing at me.
Settled on the fence in a row, all eight of them.
I'd never seen so many kookaburras in one place.
I'd never heard so many kookaburras laughing at me.
And I laughed too.
Last week was probably the hardest week I've had in two years, and I'm laughing.
Life is fucking great, isn't it?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

chasing skirt

The posh resort across the road had a function the other night for travel writers. A friend went. He said by the end of the night, middle-aged women were pawing him, trying to get their hands up his kilt. I said women love men in skirts; I could've told you that for free.
What do other girls think? Are men sexy in skirts, or is it just me*?

*It might be just me. Remember; I like beards.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

oh, lord...

A scientific study finds that prayer does not work. What does a believer say to a finding like that, I wonder? Maybe something like,
"Well, you can't just get everything you pray for, you know. Prayer's not like writing to Santa. You can't just pray for a Mercedes-Benz and you'll get one."*
Believers can always dismiss scientific studies as "trivialising the religious experience", as one critic puts it in the Herald story.
"How do you define a "dose of prayer?" asks the critic. So how do they define it in the study? Is it time-limited? "You have five minutes to pray. Your time" When you think about it, the study's "religious representatives" are praying for the health of complete strangers. So surely their message can't be much more than a fairly straightforward, "God, I was wondering, could you please look after this bloke's health? He's a top bloke, actually I don't know that much about him, but do you think you could give him a break, please Lord? That'd be great. Thanks. Oh, did I mention you're a top bloke? Cheers, thanks a lot."
Realistically, it couldn't take more than a minute, could it? I mean, what's to say?

*Thanks to the pointer from the saint. The actual words are:
"Prayer is not a penny in the slot machine. You can't just put in a coin and get out a chocolate bar. This is like setting an exam for God to see if God will pass it or not."
-The Bishop of Durham.

taking me literally

"Babe, can you say the whole word? You have to say the whole word or I won't know what you mean."
"The whole word, Harley. Try and say the whole word."
"Hoh wurd!"
"Okay you win, kid. Here's your biscuit."

Saturday, July 09, 2005

about a boy

(continued from)

The way he loves to admire himself in the mirror these days, how he looks at himself and gets the giggles.
The way new words are coming thick and fast now.
The way he impresses us both by pointing at everything and naming it.
The way he only says the first syllable of most words, figuring that I'll work out what he means from the context. Thus "buh" is expected to be understood to mean any of: banana, bus, bike, button, baby, balloon, biscuit. Maybe I should make it harder for him. I should pretend I don't have a clue what he means unless he at least tries to say the whole word--and just ignore all the furious indicating in the direction of the biscuit tin.
The way he can say certain two syllable words, like "tiger" and "tractor" and "apple" and "chicken" and "piggy", and of course "mama" and "papa".
The way he loves pointing out that I have a "hole" in my belly and how he likes to prove it with a finger. He won't accept that it's a belly "button". He knows what buttons look like and he's sorry, but it's definitely a hole.
The way he draws left-handed like me.
The way he loves informing me if there's "two" of something.
The way I can trick him into obedience if I say, "Show X how you can climb into your stroller all by yourself now," (haha! Got him!).
The way he likes watching the Top 50 on Rage on Saturday mornings; with favourites being songs by Ben Lee, Missy Higgins, Delta Goodrem, Destiny's Child, Eminem, Joel Turner and Foo Fighters. (I judge a "favorite" to be a song that gets him to stop what he's doing and glue his little face to the telly. But that's the problem with music video: you never know if it's the music or the video, do you?)

to be continued...

Friday, July 08, 2005

london bombings

Thousands more people's lives ruined by these serial mass murderers. What a bloody awful thing to happen.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

unhappy ending?

Mark at Ozconservative takes the high ground on abortion, after reading Anna Neylan's personal story about having an abortion in the weekend paper.
Well, I read the same article, and my feeling is that it all it showed was that abortion is never an easy choice--it's not a day at the beauty salon for a woman. It's obviously traumatic and a cause of a lot of stress and guilt for a woman. The extreme ambivalence that this woman felt is most likely something all women who have an abortion feel.
I want to ask Mark (whose blog does not have a comments facility) if he has really thought through what the consequences might've been for this woman if she had unwillingly kept the baby. Her boyfriend most likely would have still left her--after all, he most definitely didn't want the baby. Forcing him to begin a family (and/or "do the right thing" and marry because of the baby, as people used to do), wouldn't have neatly fixed everything to the satisfaction of the Conservatives. If he'd still left her, she might well have ended up a single mother on the pension--in which case a Conservative probably would've had a go at her for being a dole bludger and for not playing happy nuclear families. If Neylan and her boyfriend had stayed together-- incompatible, clearly unhappy about being parents and being forced into sharing their lives--they would've been prime candidates for an early divorce/relationship breakdown.
You can't win, can you.
It also rankles when Mark writes:

"For conservatives...there is an inherent right or wrong in different behaviours, and a moral code, reflecting the wisdom, the moral strength and the moral ideals of generations..."

Oh, for god's sake. Morals are not the exclusive province of the Right, just as a sense of wonder and joy about the miracle of life is not an experience confined to the self-proclaimed "religious" among us.
Mark decides, "An ethics of consent did not serve Anna Neylan well." A forced choice probably wouldn't have served her well either.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

rebel without applause

He's made such a tragic figure out of himself, hasn't he? Loner Latham. Pretty sad for someone who once seemed to have so much potential. I guess politics and pancreatitis make strange, and painful, bedfellows.

Monday, July 04, 2005

one good thing about music

People go into a bit of a trance when they play guitar, don't they? Reminds me of how a friend recently informed me of the fact that Jimi Hendrix once made actual love to his guitar, on stage. I did not know that. I wonder if it's true, but it wouldn't surprise me. There's something very fetishistic about the guitar.
Makes me think back to boyfriends from long, long ago, sitting enraptured on the edge of the bath tub, apparently half-delirious, strumming away furiously, murmuring and wailing and looking to the heavens (and--to my great annoyance--ignoring me).
I guess it's not isolated to guitarists. At least, I've seen entranced drummers, pianists, singers, even harpists (Harpo Marx springs to mind). I get it dancing, or singing along.
It's funny, though, innit? The power of music.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

perchance to dream

Ahhh....I'm starting to feel normal again. I've been utterly exhausted. I had the 'flu for over a week and Harley had a little cold in sympathy, and then we had some sleeping problems. I've adapted to him only having one day sleep now, but he had some major night problems last week and it's worse when they're awake at night, isn't it?
The past two times when his father has had him, we have tried Harley having an overnight stay with his dad. But the increased stimulation and the disruption to his routine over an entire weekend has meant that each time, when he comes home, he winds up having a bunch of problems sleeping at night. So one night last week he was awake, crying, almost the entire time between 10pm and 4am, and it was sheer misery. He's never been a cryer, so this was unusual and distressing. He's sleeping OK again now, thank god. Gee, I loved having those two nights off, I really did...Still, it's obviously too early for him to be having the sleepovers, so we're going back to how it was before, until he's ready. That always works out fine and a good time is had by all.
Anyway, as he's still having his nap, I'm off to have a snooze myself...heaven.....

let them eat spam

Curious report in the Sun-Herald today (no link):

"Email spam can be good for you if it comes as a steady stream of emails nagging about healthy habits, Canadian researchers have concluded. People who were spammed about healthy eating and keeping active tended to exercise and lose weight, researchers at the University of Alberbta found. The 12-week study involved 2598 workers."

So presumably those who were spammed about Viagra... bonked more?

boys meet girls

Has feminism failed? Elizabeth Meryment thinks it has, and draws on Big Brother to prove it:

"[T]he reality is that the failure of feminism, and the failure of young women to take up the cause of feminism, is beginning to have an impact on society; the behaviour in the Big Brother house is one piece of evidence of this.
"It hardly should be surprising that sexual harassment, racial vilification, poor manners and abuse should be common in the [Big Brother] house given that such behaviours are common in the community. One might believe that young people would know better, being the recipients of good generalist educations, having access to information via the internet and living in an open-minded society. Yet decency and respect for minorities and women seems to be regressing."

It's important to remember at the outset that this is not a random sample of individuals. These particular people are sampled from a small, statistically insignificant group of people--those who audition to appear on a show in which they will go to the toilet on camera, shower nude, get pissed alot and possibly engage in sexual activity. Extroverts and exhibitionists, these people are hardly a representative group of their cohort and we can't generalise.
Still, this group has shed some light on relations between the sexes. I think a lot of the problems in this year's House stem from the fact that most of the males appear to be extrinsically motivated to be there--they are interested in scoring booty of the traditional kind and keep their eyes on the prize. After any sexual pairings that were going to happen had happened, and it became clear it was unlikely for other pairings to succeed, the males separated off into a pack, led by the most dominant and self-interested male, and appear to lie around waiting for (a) the end of the game and the prize-money to happen; and (b) meanwhile, the arrival of female 'intruders' to pass the time.
The girls, who are apparently more intrinsically motivated to be in the House ("I'm there for the experience, to have a good time, to make friends, etc"), have responded by turning to each other for their emotional needs and by disliking the men.
But still--we're talking about a pretty 'abnormal' group of people, so it's impossible to infer that all men are sleazy assholes who sexually harass women. I also think you can't argue, as Meryment does, that this show reveals that women generally are still oppressed.
Are the girls in the House oppressed? They seem to be more than anything confused by the men's lack of emotionality, but you still see them try to work it out in the way women are socialised to do--by analysing relationships in alot of detail, by openly talking to about how they feel, by directly confronting the men, and by being very nurturing towards each other, in the absence of any "compassionate men". They don't curl up in a ball just because these men won't listen to them or be kind towards them. I don't think they are cowed by the behaviors of the men, even if they don't like it. It just seems to make them think less of these men.
I disagree with Meryment when she writes,
"These young women are more concerned with being sexually attractive and available to stupid men like Hotdogs than with standing up for their rights."

First, I think the women often pragmatically take the route that causes the least conflict, maybe because they figure they're only in the House for a certain time and don't have to put up with it for long. It's impossible to know how they would act if they were stuck with living with these blokes in real life. I also think it's wrong to criticise the women for flirting and seeking romance--normal for people of their age group, and geez, it's not the 50s. Young people have sex, big wooop.
However, it is sad to hear that the girls in Meryment's university lectures are clueless about feminism, unaware their grandmothers had to fight for what they now take for granted...but maybe that's a win for feminism anyway. If girls have internalised feminism--if they take for granted that they can go to university--then aren't they equal to men, who also take it for granted? It should be a given, so it's not surprising that women now expect that it's a given. But I do agree that something's probably been lost in the translation as far as how feminism has been explained to the new generations. It probably is crying out to be re-imagined and re-told.

PS. If anyone's wondering how my namesake housemate fared, well, she got booted early. This was a good thing, because she had my name and she was really wearing it out. (And she pronounced it wrong too.)