Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reality TV come on down.

I simply cannot begin to tell you how much I hate reality television...in all it's insidious, soul destroying forms.
I hate that it happens.
I hate that I have to hear about it from friends, I hate that there's nothing fucking else on because of it.

FFS - I know that Colin won the first Survivor, even though I never watched a split second of it. I couldn't pick the guy out from a line up of one.

I know that Ian Roberts can dance, I know that some fat blonde chick did the bum dance, and I know that some of my really good friends - people I respect in every other way, watch complete strangers clean their fucking teeth instead of getting on with their own lives!

Dear God.

I have some pretty terrible memories of being at work a few years back, when all this was at it's peak, or was it just in the days before people hadn't realised it was embarrassing to admit that they watch it?

But I can distinctly remember quite a few occasions when I would hear the girls discussing people in low voices, sounding deeply and genuinely concerned about their welfare.
Naturally, I would butt in to see who they were talking about (maybe it was a friend of mine or a patient) and to see if I could help, only to discover, to my horror, that they were discussing people they'd never met.

Imagine for just one second if even half of that collective concern generated globally over the years by reality TV shows, had been redirected towards people who actually needed it?
People you know.
Towards you?

How many times have viewers neglected to talk to the people who matter in their lives so that they could find out how much money some twat was going to make on his renovated house, or which dopey chick was going be chosen (don't start me) to marry (FFS) some guy the network picked out from agency promo shots and threw in a suit?

How do people think that's OK?

Did you hear about the Big Brother style show in the Netherlands where the prize was a donated healthy kidney for folks awaiting a transplant?

What can I possibly say about that?

It's all disgusting to me.

Aside from the social implications that I have observed, what about the knock on effect to the Television and Film Industries?

Have you wondered why they're now releasing perhaps two good movies a year now?
Why everything's a remake, a prequel, or something with no real story?
Why movies you thought were pretty lame are being heralded as genius?
Why special effects are in inverse proportion to story line?

Notice how the only good releases are lifted directly from novels?

Where are the writers?

Well, let's have a think about how the domination of reality TV might have affected you, had you been trying to make your way as a writer when reality TV reared it's ugly head.

Reality TV's a network's wet dream. A multiple billion dollar orgasm.

Imagine their corporate glee when along came a genre which required them to pay no actors, no writers, no special effects people, hardly any editors, and in many cases, provide no set, no costumes, no make-up...hmmmm...

Compare that to the production costs of a show like the Sopranos, where, by Season 5 or 6, James Gandolfini was able to command $1,000,000 per episode.
Sure he never did the bum dance, but some of us liked it anyway.

And then think about how much the sponsors of these reality shows might be willing to put up for the prize money, location, wardrobing etc, sparing the networks even these costs?

So now I'm trying not to weep as I conservatively calculate just how many opportunities for writers were lost over the last few years as a direct result of reality fucking TV.
Can you imagine how many great shows/films will never see the light of day because the minds capable of creating them were discarded and shut out during these years?

And what are these people doing for a living now instead?

Has anyone else noticed that there are a lot of interesting and witty waiters around these days?

So, next time you complain that there's nothing on at the movies, nothing good on TV, have a think about how this all came to be and why it is absolutely the fault of Colin from Survivor and every single one of you bastards who tuned in.

Thanks a lot.

PS Special mention to Andrew Denton, who quit his high paid, high profile breakfast radio gig because he resented having to keep up with reality TV to be on the ball.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Homemaking with Mark!

After supplying my already troubled mind with The Anglican White Bread and Margarine Cookbook a few weeks ago, my friend Mark has once again come to the party with something rather special from his collection.

I can only imagine this guy's collection.
A Pandora's Box of well chosen kitschy nuggets spanning several decades.

Mark, you see, is an artist.
And a very good one.
Able to work in any medium he chooses, including those shitty Go-Lo pencils I bought for him as a joke one birthday.

You see, that impresses me.
It shouldn't, but it does.

Cat person too.

Knowing that I love to incorporate tragic things into my blog, he said to me recently,

"I have something at home that made me think of you."

I responded the only way I know how, and said, "Uh-oh."

he tells me, " it's a book of 1950's style housekeeping tips. You'd love this thing, it has beautifully drawn, very graphic diagrams of women's hands up a chicken. I'll bring it."

And bring it he did.

This cherished copy is originally from Auckland Public Library, no less, and is titled, Modern Homes and Homemaking.

Somebody paid 50 cents for it - I hope it was Mark.

The contributors seem to be a veritable army of Margarets and Beryls, the book having been aimed at the good women of England, circa 1958.

The things that Mark wanted to show me were neatly bookmarked for me, as I expected.

His picks were the diagram showing you how to thump your upside down swinging baby, should it be choking.

But more importantly, the Holy Grail itself - a series of diagrams showing you how to ram your heavily manicured hand right up a chicken's arse, plus how to skin a rabbit (booooooooooooo), then neatly remove it's pellet filled bowel, all while wearing high heels and looking sexy in case hubby should come home early from the office.
You can never be too careful.
What would those neighbours think?

Please tell me what the artist was thinking about when he drew that pic on the bottom left of the chicken plucking diagram.

But my favourite parts are some things I think even Mark may have missed.
Firstly, the page where someone has been so pedantic that they neatly corrected the spelling of effect to affect.
I salute that person.
It's almost certainly not Mark - I am all too familiar with his "hand writing."

The second is on the page that instructs us how to do the washing up.

Both the page and the concept itself are amusing enough to be sure, but what caught my eye was the fact that there are a couple of stains on this page, which suggests to me that someone has indeed required and sought guidance with this task from this very book.

How wonderful.

I have also chosen to include a photograph of what they suggest are the most nourishing foods possible.

In that photo, we see:
  • a block of Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate
  • a big old lump of butter
  • cheese
  • peanuts
  • eggs
  • fish - smoked for extra toxicity
  • deep fried oily chips
  • cakes and biscuits
  • white flour
  • liver
  • sugar cubes and lots of them
  • treacle and golden syrup - both kinds! War is over!
  • plenty of red meat with extra fat
  • are those kidneys?
Up the back somewhere, there are half a dozen mushrooms, something green and some carrots.
But they're probably just intended as a garnish.

I'm not sure what's in that tin.
If you figure it out, don't tell me.

Happy homemaking!

luv sim xo

Friday, July 25, 2008

Spoilt for choice: the best of Ebay.

Who needs a Y chromosome when you have two X's, too much imagination and really bad taste?

God bless Ebay!

Further to the challenge I set myself yesterday, of finding something worse on Ebay than beef jerky, I hopped on the computer this morning, and in the time it took for it to load the Ebay page and for me to have a little scratch, I had this thought..."Pubic hair is funny."

So, I simply typed in pubic hair, wondering if they make and sell stencils for shaping...and of course they do! Multi coloured dyes too!

So here's my first trophy.

1) Malibu Betty Pube Dye and Shaping Stencils

Love locks!
Cover the grey!

When it's time to cover the grey, may I suggest that it's also time to turn out the lights?

That was way too easy, what else do they have?

2) Devil's toenail oyster shell fossils...

Aaaah yes, devil's toenails... and why not?
Hands up who else thought he painted them red?

And then, my most pressing question...if there are fossils, doesn't that mean that both God and the Devil are nonsense?
But then, what if Nietzsche was right and God in fact is dead?
And what if he left a God shaped fossil somewhere?
Wouldn't that fuck with the Creationists?
And wouldn't it be beautiful to watch?

C'mon God, I've never really asked you for anything before....please be a fossil, I'm begging ya.

And what would said divine, self defeating fossil be worth on Ebay?

Ebay, Ebay, Ebay, are you telling me the truth?

Jurassic period? pfffffffftttttt Listen, I've had one of those, and I never went crying to Ebay about it.

OK, so looking up names of body parts body parts is kinda cheating. You know some idiot's gonna make a crust from them.

So, let's try something a little harder.

Let's drop in on the environment and see what we can do to help. That's noble.

3) Dog Poo Worm Farm

Worming your dog has never been so much fun....hang on, make that gardening with wormy dog shit has never been so much fun...

And the best thing about this product is that it's brand new...and not one of those nasty second hand numbers... imagine lugging that up to the post office.

I have no sensible comment to make about the following item and I'm not going to explain how I came to find it.

4) Prison Made Cigarette Carton Picture Frame

Pretty isn't it?
Can't you imagine your loved ones scrunched into such a special frame?
Hopefully the pictorial health warnings won't obscure the luxuriant locks of their mullets.

But the very worst thing you could ever run across on poor old Ebay, is this one:

5) Sydney Rorters - "Cheating - The Golden Years" - Obscene Propaganda DVD
Keep out of reach of children.

Ugly to it's very core, isn't it?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't these lying twats change their name yet again in 2000?
This makes their concept of a decade somewhat of a sham then, doesn't it?
But then, this is the same club who celebrated it's centenary in 2007, I don't even need to use both hands to figure out how many seasons that truly is, so...
It does seem a lot of fuss for eight seasons though.

Forest for the trees.

I'm sorry you had to see any of that, and I'm sorrier still that I couldn't figure out how to make that vile little pic come last.

As with all of those items, you're just going to have to figure out what's what on your own.
Enough with the spoon feeding already.

Just don't mix the pube dye up with the dog shit worm farm.

It just goes to show you that the kind of smut you can accidentally be exposed to on the internet is indeed potentially damaging.

Well, so I'm saying that I win at Ebay.
Always will too.
I do suspect there's at least one of you capable of giving me a run for my money, anyone else care to take me on?
Nah, didn't think so.

And yes, I know that pulling out the Rorters was unfair as the dog shit, but I never said I wouldn't play dirty.

Dog at a bone.

I like stuff.
I like people who get excited about stuff.

Just the other day, Clair was telling me, with some hilarity, a tale of her husband, Michael.
It seems he had been spending time on Ebay, very intently and methodically researching something as off beat as chicken coops for the back yard.

Well, chicken coops are not off beat exactly, but when you live in suburban Sydney, it does seem a funny thing to be fussing about, especially when you have a new baby present to fill in every spare minute for the next 20 years.

I rolled my eyes and thought, "Men."
Such a pity they had to miss out on that all important extra X chromosome, poor things.

I had a giggle when she told me this, thinking to myself that I could so easily check mate her with any number of stories of koi ponds and vacuum cleaners for koi ponds showing up at our house at all hours of the day and night.
Naturally these are fresh from Ebay, and all courtesy of those two very wonderful Y chromosomes living under the same roof as me.

But had I done that, I probably would have felt morally obliged to come on here (just like this) and make a reasonably honest list of all the dopey (yet necessary) Ebay purchases I have made over the years, in a bid to be fair rather than just critical.

I'm not going to do that today.
My self respect isn't up to it.

So, after mulling all this over for a couple of days, I can only say that I wish that I had felt surprised when Jeff suddenly went off on some wild tangent about beef jerky this afternoon.

Beef jerky?


My conservative estimate is that between the hours of 4pm and 6:30pm today, he said beef jerky to me, perhaps 200 times.

And all this is despite my pleas for clemency.

I even thought I was being quite reasonable by suggesting that he save up his next twenty comments on beef jerky and tell them to me tomorrow, but no cigar.

He was in the groove.
The same groove Michael had been in with his chicken coop.

And whilst I have no real scientific evidence to support this statement, empiric evidence alone leads me to suspect that this groove exists somewhere on the Y chromosome.

I wanted to be certain that I'm doing him justice, so I just called out to Jeffrey as I was writing this, to find out whether he was still thinking about beef jerky after his kip.

Of course he was.
Dog at a bone, that boy.

"Yes," he informed me proudly, "I just had three beef jerky riffs going on in my head all at the same time."

Of course he did.

Among those riffs is the plan to make beef jerky in my fruit and vegetable dehydrating machine...

But that's not the one that scares me the most.

It's the fact that as I sit here at this computer, there is a minimized window for an Ebay purchase on the screen, for a rather hefty amount of beef jerky.

EBAY....... for beef jerky, I mean, c'mon, who does that?

Seriously. LOL

And I know that's rich coming from me, I eat beetroot chips.

But I'm saying that's up there.

I'm even saying it eclipses my Ebay Maria Callas stamp set, my Anne Boleyn Airfix model and my Alice in Wonderland Tarot Card set, which were all absolutely vital to the strength of the energetic continuum of the Earth when I purchased them.

Well, I can't hang around here talking about beef jerky much longer.

I have to go out there and sit with Beef Jerky Boy who will be keen to tell me all about it and who will be confused and bewildered that I don't suddenly share his burning interest in dry, semi-edible, flat, sodium encrusted dead cow muscles....an interest which, to the best of my knowledge, even he didn't have this morning.

And you know, the worst thing about this is that they've both called my bluff.
I now feel that I must log on to Ebay and purchase something exquisitely stupid so that I may continue to hold my head high in male company.

I'll let you know what I decide on.

Kids, this ain't gonna be pretty, but I do so love a challenge.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day trip to Clair's

Until recently, road trips involving Clair and Simone, have always started at my place, ended at Bron's, and have involved apples, incredible heart to hearts, the aggressive tooting of the car horn at The Hut signs, yelling "Up the Rabbitohs!" at Vicki and Gavin's house, plus a selection of music best described as uncalled for.

Oh, and KFC at Cesspit with the very scary locals.
I promise you that one time we saw a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary there.
Well, not really, but it was certainly possible.
And that's bad enough.

But that was B.D. (before Daniel), and if you'd like to adjust your time pieces, it's now 33 days A.D.

And what this means is that road trips now go backwards.

They still start at mine, but now it's Bronnie's smiling face that greets me as I struggle out the door with my hexagons slung over my shoulder and altogether too many pieces of fabric crammed into my bag.

Tooting the Hut has now been replaced with waving at ANZ Stadium- home to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the heart to hearts are different in content but just as warming.
Haven't yet settled on which of Clair's neighbours will be the lucky recipients of my particular attention, but my decision, once handed down, will be final.

A day at Clair's is always fun.

But then, so is having Clair follow me around whilst using a breast pump as I vacuum for her.
In truth, it didn't occur to me until today that that was a strange thing to do. Or even that she had done it at all.
It was all just so casual.

God knows what else she did that I didn't notice yet. ;O)

I mean, apart from decorating her toilet with faux skid marks fashioned out of vegemite and corn in order to make my dunny cleaning experience more interesting.

I'm perfectly certain that not every new mother can find the time to see to details like that before guests arrive to see their baby for the first time.
More's the pity.

I think Clair should achieve domestic goddess status for that.
Priorities define you, you know.

Meeting Clair's bubba for the first time was unforgettable.
Watching her relax and trust herself as a mother was extremely satisfying, and it left me feeling very proud and contented.

My wish for Daniel is that he is able to experience and enjoy his mother as much as everyone else does.
And I hope he has her laugh. ;O)

PICS: Me, Clair and the watermelon.
Bron and Daniel
Bron and Arrrrrrrgh the Pirate Baby.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Yesterday at the football... God how many fabulous stories start like that?

Plenty in this house, I can assure you.

Well, anyway, we lost, but that's OK, we ran out like a pack of old moles and kept the tempo up for 80 minutes and then ambled off like, well, like a pack of old moles.

You can't coach that!
It's God given.

Boring, boring, boring.

I was so bored, I didn't even finish my thermos of chamomile tea for fear of dropping off to sleep.
I wasn't far off, I can promise you.

And you know something else, even sitting in Row 14, I was still closer to the wing than Hegarty was.

But that's not what I want to tell you.

In fact, I have deliberately steered clear of discussing Souths in my blog because no matter how I approach it, I just can't express any of what I feel properly.
Especially this year.

I believe I have one almighty blog in me (fnar fnar) about Souths, and I can feel it rising to the surface (fnar fnar), so it won't be long now.
It ain't gonna be purty though.

Anyway, yesterday after the game, while I was walking bleary eyed towards the car park, I headed a little off course and found myself nearing the red and green bus that doubles as a merchandise stand.

Members were entitled to 20% off, and I was checking out a jumper.
I decided against it and paused, waiting for my boys to catch up - apparently I sleepwalk very fast.
Gave me time to stretch and yawn anyway.

Just as I was coming to, a Tigers supporter (I have nothing against them as a rule), went by and made the single most appallingly daft comment possible.

Seriously, if I gave you all pen and paper, you'd none of you come up with this beauty.

Charles Dickens may have though, but the concept would have lasted a full page, if not a chapter.

As he approached the bus, he said,

"Souths stuff - it's free now."

Lordy, lordy, lordy.

Honestly, I was mid yawn anyway, so although I was put out by the fact that I had to listen to such a witless and dopey attempt at humour (?) or whatever it was, I didn't even bother myself by worrying about the unhealthy ratio of stupid people to smart ones.


Until a few seconds later when another (maybe I'm being unfair, maybe he was retarded) old guy kept staring at me in a most irritating fashion.
Eventually, he gave up trying to get my attention that way (I practice staring with my cats), and said,

" He said, the Souths stuff is free..."

I ignored him further.

He repeated his comment twice more, until I could no longer stand the utter stupidity of the situation.

I then (and no, I'm not proud of this) replied,

"Yes, I'm aware of that. I'm just trying imagine a lamer comment, but I don't think it's possible."

He was not completely satisfied with my answer. The reason/s remain with him.

I related this to the boys just as we arrived at the car.
Jeff looked at me, utterly amazed, laughed, and told me,

"Yeah, but, he probably really thought they were free..."

Ah, yes. Good point.

So, the moral to the story is what?

  • Don't drift off to sleep at the football.
  • Bone up (fnar fnar) on your ignoring skills.
  • Accept that the relative stupidity gap is widening daily. Anyone seen Idiocracy? FFS That movie almost killed me.
  • Stay on Hegarty's wing.
  • Start adding pharmaceutical grade caffeine to my "Night Cap" tea bags.
  • Start finding lame stuff funny.
So, no more catching 40 winks in public anymore.
I just thought that if the team could do it...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dragging the bubblegum chain.

Even though it may seem that way, I'm not dragging the chain at all.

I have been working quite hard on Jeff and Greg's bubblegum stories, and I had originally planned to post them as blogs, but now my ambition is to write them into a book instead.

So, I plan on just rabbiting on (no problem there) for another couple of chapters, and then if it's still flowing easily and I'm still enjoying the task and assuming the boys have no dramas with the way I'm representing them, I'll investigate how to go about it.

Unfortunately, I'm not willing to trade off sexual favours with publishers, so that means I'll have to borrow a bulldozer from somewhere and just show them what's what. Simple.

In the mean time, I may have to bug a few of you to read portions as a reality check. So consider yourselves warned.

In other news: Up the Rabbitohs!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Leave the length at the back.

Oh, and I must tell you, I over heard a wonderful conversation last week while young Jeffrey and I were enjoying ourselves immensely in a gorgeous little Cyprian restaurant we had discovered at Byron Bay.

Mercifully, my back was to the table responsible for the disturbance, else the look on my face may have created an even greater social predicament.

The table had a number of younger children, several older people and a lone teenage boy, suffering from acute mortification at being out with such relatives while there were any number of hot German backpackers walking past.

Imagine his agony when his mother's friend or aunt maybe, decided to discuss his hair do.

Off side, I say.
She should face a disciplinary hearing for that.

Regardless, in a lovely loud, nasal Aussie voice, this person told him what was and wasn't right about his appearance and then unfeelingly went on to make suggestions as to how he might look more trendy.

Why isn't trendy a c word?
We all know it should be, and I for one, am going to start spelling it with a silent c.

In fact, I'm going to try doing that to every word I don't like, starting now.
Csorry, but my conscience is quite the cbossy cmoralising cdictator.

OK, I'll stop now.

Well anyway, her advice to this poor chap was as follows...

"You should cut your hair like my son. You know, short and the front and long at the back."

--------------- O M F G -------------------

You mean, like, into a mullet, you stupid bitch?

Go get fucked, take less cheap
oestrogen, lower your voice and mind your own fucking business, you insensitive, impertinent old mole!

Well, that's pretty much what I suspect that young man was thinking. Quite right too.

I believe he was also picturing himself throttling the crass life out of her bossy, menopausal head, right there at that very table - knocking plates of fetta and olives onto the floor as he did so.
Surely no-one could have blamed him for that.

Don't the Greeks and Cypriates smash plates as a symbol of controlled loss anyway?

Not guilty, Your Honour...

And so folks, that's how it happens. That's how the mullet is still around for us to enjoy today.
And these people drive cars and are counted alongside us as members of the community...

Not too long ago, as I was having my own hair cut - a task I truly loathe, I took the time to ask the hairdresser what people request when they get a mullet.

She replied that they never ask for a mullet as such, but that they just say, "cut the front pretty short and leave the length at the back."

Of course, translated, that means,

" My mother's my cousin, Pappy done built us a trailer out of twigs and coke cans, but only 9 of my 11 ADHD children fit in it. Got any white bread?"

All that aside, Cyprian food really is very nice.
Not as simple or salty as Greek fare, and they really know what they're doing with lamb.
Hallelujah! We both really like lamb.
We stalked around Europe questing for even the smallest morsel, earlier in the year. Finally found it in Paris, courtesy of a Greek restaurant. I suspect we may have paid close to $40 each for a shish, but, mmmmmmmmmm lamb...

A couple of years ago, as we were driving through the NSW countryside towards Braidwood, Jeff was looking apologetically out the window at the sheep who were grazing peacefully, and was heard to refer to them as, "...poor delicious bastards..."

So true.

Certainly more delicious than mullet anyway.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008



How the Hell did I forget that!?

Well, I'm sorry about that.

When I have a little more time, I may go on to compile a list of C words that I like.

Yes, Gretchen, Cleveland will surely be on this one.

As will crisp, cookie, cumquat and Clair.

Try and use all three of those in a sentence why dontcha?

Please note that there are a couple of glaring omissions, but having already said cunt several times in a few days, I thought it best to leave out the more obvious ones. ;O)

Monday, July 14, 2008

The C word.

Well, which one?

Where I come from, there are many C words.

A few years ago, I did a large cross stitch for Taryn's babies. It was an entire alphabet of teddy bears, each holding a letter.
As much as I really enjoyed doing it, I sewed so much that I had to wear Band-Aids on my fingers because I'd sewed holes into them.

It took me around a week to complete each bear, so this gave me plenty of time to meditate upon each letter as I sewed.

What I discovered was that there are some letters that I just do not like.
I don't like C, F, H or N.

But especially the letter C.
And that's a pity, because C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.

But it's also for a lot of other things too, isn't it?
Many, many horrible words begin with this most reprehensible letter.

Allow me to demonstrate.

Some of my least favourite C words are to follow:

  • church
  • Catholic
  • Christian
  • corn
  • commitment
  • conform
  • Caesarian
  • carbuncle
  • corrosive
  • control
  • caveat
  • circumcise
  • conquer
  • corrupt
  • contusion
  • contrary
  • contract
  • contradict
  • consecrate
  • conflict
  • confectionery
  • concubine
  • condolence
  • condone
  • comply
  • complicate
  • circus
  • compulsory
  • conceited
  • compare
  • common
  • commodity
  • contaminate
  • commando
  • command
  • coca cola
  • cold
  • coercion
  • clot
  • closed
  • constipate
  • chastity
  • clutch
  • clause
  • cliche
  • clammy
  • chronic
  • cigarette
  • choose
  • contagious
  • choke
  • cheap
  • chase
  • chastise
  • challenge
  • chagrin
  • ceremony
  • cathartic
  • caustic
  • celibate
  • censure
  • contempt
  • censor
  • caution
  • cauterize
  • catch
  • casualty
  • castrate
  • catarrh
  • castigate
  • conventional
  • casket
  • cancer
  • carrion
  • carnage
  • convulsion
  • council
  • coward
  • carnival
  • carnivore
  • cardinal
  • cramped
  • carcass
  • captivity
  • callous
  • cretin
  • calamity
  • cadaverous
  • cabbage
  • crass
  • caravan
  • chide
  • chemical
  • coffin
  • clumsy
  • collide
  • curse
  • colon
  • collar
  • conceal
  • cruel
  • complicate
  • criticise
  • complain
  • confiscate
  • cystic
  • condemned
  • crushed
  • crowded
  • congest
  • cry
So, even if you just skimmed that list, it's easy to see that cunt is the least of our concerns.

Concern. Better add that.

And cross stitch doesn't count; it's 2 words.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cunt Bubblegum and Other Stories.

Well, this is something new for me.
I'm going to write about experiences that are not my own.

My beloved of nearly 20 years, grew up in South Sydney territory, the second of four children born to Lebanese immigrants.
His brother, Greg, being just short of 18 months his senior.

These stories belong to them.

It has always been a source of wonder and pride to me that each and every time either - and if you're really lucky, both of these boys, relate even the most fragmented story from their youth, the entire room freezes, enchanted by their shenanigans.
It's magical to watch.

Both are natural story tellers, yet more often than not, they choose to exhibit this talent through fiction rather than by drawing on their experiences.
I've been begging Jeff for many years now, to write down something of his childhood and now his escapades as a teacher, but with little success, which means that I'm going to have a crack at doing it now myself.

Now, as rumour would have it, the world was apparently a safer and simpler place in the 60's and 70's, so that these two energetic and, well let's face it (trust me on this), naughty children, were comparatively free to roam the streets of the Sydney beach side suburb of Maroubra and it's surrounds without any real fear of interruption or consequence.

And they were not alone.
They had what seems to me to be an endless army of ratbags to collaborate with and an evil genius as a leader, who happily, lived just over the fence.
Whether it was Patrick's advancing years (he was 3 years older), freakish IQ, or that he had a direct line to Satan that placed him in this role, we'll never know.

An ideal Australian childhood...

Many of these stories have been related differently to me by the boys.
And this is one of the reasons I like to hear them both speak about their past together.
Almost like twins, what one forgets, the other remembers.
The tale unfolds like a dusty old rug until even though the pattern may be faded, you're dead certain you can see just what it looked like all those years ago.
They can connect to their childhood with such warmth and clarity that it glows. It's beautiful.
I hope I can do it justice.

So, in putting this together, I'm going to write what I know and then perhaps punctuate it with quotes from the culprits themselves.
Perhaps I'll even bring Mum in on it, hang the expense.

I may go on to change the names in order to protect the innocent, but I'm not too sure that anyone actually was innocent. Not really.
Maybe that's what makes it so special.

So, standby, I shall get it together soon and you shall soon know all about Cunt Bubblegum and Other Stories.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

My fucking ripper of a funeral.

Jeff's suggested title for this blog was THIS IS NOT A DRILL. LOL @Jeff.

Just to let you know, my funeral will be very long.
So wear comfortable shoes.
Or no shoes at all, what do I care?

Don't panic, I'll not be taking up your time with religious nonsense, but with music, tea, laughs and a couple of live acts.

I have some very specific wishes, so I'd like to outline this all here and now, entrusting these plans to Clair and perhaps Yoga Boy.

Should both of them predecease me, instructions may be handed over to Taryn (who will hate them all, but carry them exactly), and maybe chkn and Monica.

I would like some Buddhist monks there to chant and do whatever it is that they do. It's not my belief as such, I just like the robes.

Because I don't actually know anyone who shares my spiritual beliefs, let alone anyone who makes a living from them, I think it's just simpler to ask people to write a few lines of what they thought of me (like a report card) and have someone read them out. That way no-one feels pressured to speak.

No priests. Don't trust 'em.
In fact, if one even happens to be walking by, I'd like the Benny Hill music to start up and everyone to pile out and chase the bastard down.
Yes. I'd like that.

No Jesus, no Christian prayers, no hymns.
At no point do I want the word amen uttered.
Should anyone feel the need to do so, they may replace it with glory glory instead.

Plainest coffin possible, red and green flower arrangement.
No carnations, babies breath or gladiolas - puke.
Souths flag on the coffin please.
No photos.

And please, no White Lady funerals. Those women look so stupid in those hats that the sound of my corpse spinning nearby may detract from the overall ambiance and tone of the proceedings. Probably not though. ;O)

You're welcome to wear black (I do so love black), but the request for people to also wear something red or green must be taken seriously. Souths jerseys considered appropriate.

Any Roosters supporters in attendance must stand together in one corner, facing the wall in a state of contrition.
They know why.

Tea and coffee is to be available all throughout the service. Good stuff too. Can you hire a couple of carts? Not Gloria Jeans, they support Hillsong.

OK, so to the entertainment... I cannot think of a time or place where you need entertaining more than at a funeral, so honestly, I don't know why it is so commonly overlooked.
Well, not on my watch.

  • at the beginning - 2 bellydancers - 1 dressed in red, 1 dressed in green, but NO audience participation to be requested...it's a funeral FFS ;O). No, that just really annoys me...seriously, do your own job - I never ask people to join in while I'm doing mine.
  • at the end - if Jo's still kicking, I'd like her to sing Glory Glory, as she has an excellent voice and no-one means it more than her. A song sheet (designed by Clair, with loads of stickers) will have been distributed so that everyone may join in. If Jo's feeling frisky, a round of "Still hate the Roosters" is definitely in order.
  • finally, a group of bagpipes is to join in and the event is to conclude with them walking out playing Glory Glory.
  • at this point, anyone with the balls to start the South Sydney chant, is be remembered in my Will (well, not really, but it sounded very Agatha Christie to say so, didn't it?)
  • bonus points to anyone prepared to start the "bullshit!" chant randomly during the service. My money's on my brother-in-law, Greg, as he's successfully started it at every Souths game we've ever been to together during the last 20 years. He started it at the Cannes Film Festival too, when his Z-grade horror film was playing there, but he changed "bullshit!" to the film's title, which was, "Bloodspit!"
The music for the service and the wake is with Clair and Adrian, although I do need to update the listing.
Punctuate proceedings with tunes as you please.

I have yet to decide the venue for either the service or the wake, but neither will be anywhere churchy or deathy.
I'll let you know, otherwise, Clair would best decide on the service (outside is OK by me so long as the sound is good), Taryn would be the right person to decide about the wake.

Well, there you have it.
I've related most of these requests to people bit by bit over the last few years, but I thought it was best to cough it all up at once, firstly so that you can sort it out, and secondly, so that you may look forward to it. LOL

No burial. Yuk, I have no wish to be landfill.

I'd like my ashes to be, well actually, I don't really care where most of them go, but I would like some of them to be scattered around under that tree in the Domain where we sit for Opera in the Park each year. That way, I will be there nice and early for each performance and I can mind the spot. Shit, I just realised, that means I will also have to sit through Carols by Candlelight- eeewwww.

Just stuff the rest somewhere sunny.

I feel rather good now that that's sorted out.

So, my friends, when I stop seeing you tomorrow, I'll see you on the other side.

Up the Rabbitohs!

luv sim xo

PS I'm serious.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Nanna's lolly jar.

This is a somewhat clumsy attempt to recreate my Nanna's lolly jar circa 1972-3.

But things aren't quite right, and Yoga Boy agrees with me on this one point at least.

Lollies were a good deal larger back then.
They were! Really they were!
And they looked better.

And it is not just relative.
I am well aware that I have grown, but lollies have altered too.

Wagon Wheels being perhaps the finest example of this evil global sweetie shrinkage crisis.
Is there some sort of confectionery inflation I'm not aware of?
With the range of sweets on the market, I fail to believe that manufacturers are looking out for the consumer's health, so I doubt it.

I can distinctly remember being in kindergarten and struggling to get through a whole Wagon Wheel at play lunch.
I remember honestly believing that they were just about exactly the same size as my face. I used to hide behind mine, although I can no longer remember what from.
Magpies, most probably. They still believe that my hair looks like fine nesting material.

Now, I haven't purchased or eaten a Wagon Wheel for maybe 6 - 1o years.
But even then, if I'd had the gumption to grab a passing 5 year old and thrust a Wagon Wheel in it's face, I am perfectly convinced that they would not have matched up.

Not even close. I've seen 5 year olds.

Try it yourself if you don't believe me.

Well now, seems to me I was going to make a point, what was it? Oh yes, Nanna. Sorry, I got distracted.
That and I'm typing with only one finger, I'm quite sure that my left arm is now not just asleep, but dead, and I have the chair arm digging relentlessly into my ribs because I'm sitting crooked, but at least Poppy is comfortable as she sleeps on my chest.

I can't work under these conditions!

Anyway, my story telling momentum is all screwed up.

So, bearing in mind childish wonderment and exaggeration, I'm trying to recreate Nanna's lolly jar.

It was (is) crystal and used to radiate the most exquisite Heavenly glow.
Each time I opened it, I swear I heard the kind of music usually played on a carousel.

Nanna kept it stocked with a very particular blend of lollies.

  • freckles
  • the crumbs left behind by the freckles (my favourite)
  • lemon sherbets
  • old school butterscotch (took me 6 weeks to find the right ones)
  • some sort of peppermint (not always)
  • those fruit bonbons with wrappers
Hooray! OK, Poppy's gone now, but I have gangrene and bruising.

This lovely container stayed with us after Nanna's sad and untimely death.
For reasons I cannot explain, it was then demoted to the cotton wool ball holder for a good number of years.
You know, those 1970's cotton wool balls...the blue, pink and yellow ones.
Do they still make those?
Why would cotton wool balls need to be blue anyway?
Far be it from me to reject the potential comedic impact of blue balls, but it really does seem silly, doesn't it?

Well, just a few years ago, perhaps when they stopped making multi-coloured cotton wool balls, I promoted this jar to being my I don't know where this goes but will probably need this again soon anyway jar, and placed it on my dressing table.

Usually I would tell you what I keep in it, but I'll spare you.

Except, you do need to know that I keep my Souths watch in it.
And the phone number of that lady who does Brazilian waxing, who I'm never going to visit.
And some Austrian stamps, some buttons, oh and stray earrings.
Sorry, I didn't mean to tell you, but that's not everything, I promise you.

But you know what?
No matter what I keep in here, every single time I open it, I imagine that I see freckle crumbs (100's and 1000's) at the bottom, and they make me smile.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

An entry from my travel diary. Munchen.

Twenty seven days on the road, often in triple share accommodation, freezing cold...walk a mile, people...

DAY TWENTY SEVEN - January 10th

Goodness gracious, what a treat!!

Adrian snoring while Jeff does the double nose whistle.
An afternoon nap can also be an adventure.
Such a pity I hate to sleep in the day. Such a waste of time.

Breakfast in Munich is excellent - as you would expect of a hotel situated right on the fresh produce markets.
Apparently you're meant to ask them to hand you the fruit and not just indulge you own hunter gatherer instincts... never mind, it was nice to find people who are as excited about fruit and vege as me.
The way they looked at me as I closely inspected their mandarins made me think they were going to call the authorities and transport me back to the colonies.

This is the way breakfast should be.
I can eat as soon as my eyes open, so I did myself proud here.
Poor Jeff, he needs hours before he can enjoy food, so watching me with pickles, radishes and chocolate must really be a trial for him.
Yes, indeed, radishes.

Chocolate croissants, pastries, schinkenbrot, brotchen, cheeses, meats, great lumps of butter, fresh vegetables, cereals, 500 jams and juices.
mmmmmmmmmmmm the Germans know how to eat.
And in the dearest little sunny tea room too.

sigh...I love Germany.

Adrian arrived at the hotel by 10am and we went for another breakfast at the Old Bastard restaurant (of which there are several). Some of you may know them as beer halls.

These places are full of fit and healthy old couples knocking back the weisswurst (white sausage), pretzels and weissbier (wheat beer) for breakfast.
If you squinted your eyes, it looked kinda like a nursing home, but with healthy people and grog. Odd.

Dear God, they actually have a weissbier sorbet on the dessert menu, complete with wafers and garnish.

Disregard my former comment about Germans knowing how to eat.

After my second breakfast, we went out to Dachau.
Bleak and awful it certainly is. And then some. I'm trying to imagine what it may have been like before they partially disassembled it.

As ghastly as it was, it didn't upset me as much as reading a personal account of life in a concentration camp such as The Hiding Place.
It is a very different thing though, to feel and experience a place like that than to watch it on TV or imagine it.

And of course the inevitable happened.
Jeff, who resisted going to any of these places was the most affected of the three of us.
He seems to need to see and touch something to be truly impacted by it.

I'm the other way around.
I think about it and imagine it from every conceivable angle and finally witness the real thing without any major trauma or shock.

It really is a horrible place. I don't think I can even imagine what Auschwitz must be like.

I really felt I needed to go to one of these camps to try and understand how my family, who I have never regarded as vicious people at all, may have lived in a country where this was happening.
Did they know what was happening?
Did it sicken them as much as it would have sickened me?

I saw one image which I believe explained rather a lot to me.
Strangely it wasn't anything in regard to the suffering of the prisoners, again rather it was about the sensibilities of the locals.
I've always been able to empathise with the victims and have read everything I could get my hands on about the Holocaust. The missing piece of the puzzle was what lay on the other side of the fence for me.

Just that one photograph in a gas chamber of an old German lady who apparently lived up the road from the Dachau camp, as she was confronted by 1,200 unburied, emaciated bodies just a few days after the Americans had liberated the camp.
The look on her face displayed a disgust and horror that told me plenty about what she thought and felt.
I'm just so glad I saw I that photo, I'd like to think that it'll help me come to terms with something.
Time will tell.

By the way...the souvenir shops here are no good.
Either expensive breakable stuff, or just really, really bad.
Not cute Austrian yodelling bad, just bad.

But, I am going back for the edelweiss choker which is certainly not worth 22EU, but it is gorgeous, so I'll be doing it anyway.

So, after this snoring nap is over, we're going to have dinner with Adrian's friend, Andreas.
Apparently, Andreas has toy trains that go around his whole garden...

We're back...
Dinner was nice, and better still, was served to me in a frying pan, telling me that OH&S hasn't made it to Germany yet.
It had an array of sausages which were singularly impressive.

Tomorrow we go to Chimsee, an island in the middle of Lake Chimsee. It has it's own old time train which goes from the train station.
We're going to see mad King Ludwig's third or fourth fantasy castle which is a miniature of Versailles.
Methinks Ludwig had a little woody for the Sun King. ;O)

Well, Adrian is staying the night with us, so that we may leave earlier tomorrow and so that I may make the absolute most of the snoring.

Pray for me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Does this make you want to punch on too?

I thought you'd enjoy these two notes that were intercepted recently by my Jeffrey.
He had a giggle at them in class and for reason(s) unknown even to himself, deposited them in his draw, which doubles as a waste paper bin on most days.

But never mind that, a system's a system.
Although I must remark that a Lebanese system bears precious little resemblance to a German system at all.
Nevertheless, it's still far superior to a Sicilian one.
More about that later.

Upon reading these notes, I asked him why he hadn't got these girls up in front of the class to write this nonsense on the board so that everyone else could correct their spelling and grammar.
Learning in action, you see.
He assured me that kids today would refuse to do so and would tell me to GGF.
But could they spell GGF?
Well, certainly they could never use 3 capital letters in one week, let alone in one go.


Bec and mitchel got a bit close yesterday holding hands I think they even walked home together cause she wasent on the bus so who knows what went on???


tahlia look at bec she is getting close to mitchell now bout 5 minuts ago she was wid brendon.

haha I no, men carlie were just saying a new guy what new guy I wanna see the new guy weres the new guy

no like, shes sitting with a new guy aww yer shes a slut it was jane who told her that i wanna punch on with her but see she wont evan look at me because she knows i will punch on with her lol

OMG I think I wanna punch on with them.

Footnote: "tahlia" is a Roosters supporter... but it's impolitis of me to condemn her for that.
Or is it just common sense?