Monday, February 27, 2006

I'm bort

I'm not typically one to make fun of how others speak.

Unless of course it is patently hilarious in which case I make an exception.

Thanks to the open plan office, I am able to regularly experience the aural delights of a colleague I call "keybort woman".

She has attained this moniker on account of her stubborn inability to properly pronouce the 'd' sound.

From her lips, a 'd' is inexplicably hardened into a vile and incongruent 't' sound.

Hence, 'keyboard' becomes 'keybort'.

And this woman has become keybort woman.

In the comfort of our own home, the LovelyWife and I have expanded on this trend and have identified the following kinds of bort scattered amongst the everday of modern life:

Cheese bort
Dart bort
Bort of directors
Dash bort
Score bort
Diving bort
Surf bort
Snow bort (thankyou Winter Olympics)
Black bort
Australian Wheat Bort

Today, I discoverd that it is not just when 'd' appears at the end of a word that it is mutilated by this woman. You can, apparently, harden your 'd' sounds whenever you like!


"That's what my frients dit. They bought a house in Turner ant then when they solt it, they solt it for over a million tollars.

"Ant, then they borrowed another tree-hunret and tirty thousant tollars... which is a lot now they have three kits.

Ant I sait 'you're kitting'! Don't forget that chilt care is really expensive."

Sometimes I just wanna sneak up behind her and whack her over the head with my keybort.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Long but short

You know that feeling you get when you realise a certain number of years have passed by and you think "gee, it doesn't feel like that long". Then you sit back and reflect on all the things that have changed in that time and if you're anything like me, you start to get a feeling of unease that time can pass so quickly, so quietly and so easily by.

Soon, you will see a lot of fuss in the papers about the tenth anniversary of Howard's 1996 election victory. People seem to like nice, round numbers. I also suspect newspaper editors know that readers love nostalgia and that many column inches can be filled with pictures of John Howard's eyebrows 'over the years'.

Ten years sounds like a long time, and it bloody well is. In politics, that's a helluva lot of parliamentary sitting periods in which to force through horrible legislative agendas. Its also a helluva long time to completely neglect and ignore pressing social problems and to run down vital infrastructure.

It allows one to perfect the art of blame-dodging, diversion politics and agenda-setting. And if you do it over ten years, you can slowly but surely erode principles of accountability and responsibility without anyone really noticing. You can slowly and subtly change the way people think about each other and their place in the world, until all one cares about is oneself and how much one owns.

The way we're going at the moment with priorities in this country, I reckon the Government could propose a scheme whereby tax-payers could forgo a millimeter of skin every year in lieu of an interest rate rise and we'd all be stripped down to our organs before anyone bloody noticed.

Its the three 'P's - don't touch my property, plasma screen or private school fees and you can do whatever you want, Johnny boy.

Oh, and 'petrol', of course.

But this 'ten year anniversary' will also mark a ten year anniversary of my own. In a week or so, it will be ten years since the most liberating and thrilling night of my short life at that time. Ten years ago I attended my very first mardi gras parade.

I may have spent 6 hours teetering on the edge of a stolen milk crate, dripping with Sydney's late-summer humidity, pushed and bullied by a bunch of completely trashed american muscle-marys, but I don't think any number of cliches will adequately describe just how fucking fantastic I felt that night.

And pretty much ten years to the day later, I'll be in the parade for the first time. And this is where I stop to think 'crap! time passes so quickly and easily'.

A lot has changed for the mardi gras since then. Back then, it was still telecast on ABC television and it seemed like there would never be too many floats or too many marching/dancing groups and club anthems.

The party was bigger and bigger and more frikkin' expensive each year and back then, the papers' favourite stories were about the mighty pink dollar and how delightfully fashionable (read: unthreatening) 'lipstick lesbians' could be (I still hate that phrase).

Of course, now we have 'new' mardi gras, corporately sponsoring itself into absurdity and each year brings less and less media attention, with ABC telecasts one of the first casualties of the Howard/coalition-backbench crusade on the ABC.

The papers now churn out ever-predictable stories asking whether mardi gras is relevant, and the financial troubles of the group (and others like it, such as the Satellite group) are of more interest to the mainstream press than recent rises in homophobic violence.

Nostalgia is nostalgia is nostalgia, but for what its worth, I'd never go back to ten years ago. I may have felt liberated and excited back then at a kind of freedom I hadn't previoulsy known. But I have that everyday of my life now, and the enduring and life-affirming contentment that this brings will always be more valuable than the spontaneous release, no matter how joyful, of years of repression and compromise.

But, ten years ago, at the end of that fucking marvelous night on Flinders Street (that's the best viewpoint, don't you know - and an easy walk through to the Beresford) a man walked through the crowd, hailing into a megaphone, the surprise victory of John Howard's coalition party. No one believed it then, and I can barely believe he's still here.

Maybe at the end of next week's parade, some similar turn of fate will arise. Yes, it is no doubt foolish to place hope in the life-altering potential of a decimally measured anniversary, but as far as the political and social direction of this country is concerned, I happy to hang on to whatever shreds of hope I can find.

Happy mardi gras.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Television tidbit

Madga's Funny Bits

We should all sue for false advertising.

Complete and utter disappointment.

Rehashed characters and jokes interspersed with funniest home videos and foreign commercials.


Monday, February 20, 2006

Weekend pictorial

I think this counts as my most ecclectic weekend in some time.

I rode a 1940 BSA 500 vintage motorcycle:

I decorated a child's birthday cake (thankyou Women's Weekly birthday cookbook!):

(They say it's a 'monster', but I'm not sure how close we got to the real thing with this effort).

I went to said child's birthday picnic (hopefully he'll grow into the bike he got as a present):

And, I went to the mardi gras Fair Day, which I was a bit unsurprised to learn now features the world's most over-zealous security guards, confiscating people's alocohol at the gate and ensuring that no one had any kind of spontaneous fun. It seems that these days the only kind of fun to be had must be paid for or must easily attract corporate sponsorship.

But anway, it was a typical stinking-hot, super-humid fair-day, complete with extra-vain gay-boys, cranky dykes and a smattering of drag queens with heat-defying make-up.

It also seems now that every single cause, no matter how whacky or loony, has made fair day its home. How else can I explain the presence of the Raelians, who were being avoided in droves, despite this enticing invitation:

My fair day 'mission' this year was to register with the Dykes on Bikes to ride at the front of the parade in a couple of weeks time. Mission accomplished!

So please start sending in some costume ideas keeping in mind that leather can be very expensive and difficult to look after.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

So we watched the Winter Olympics last night...

Figure skating is evil and should be driven from the face of the earth.

In fact, any activity in which women wear costumes featuring skin coloured stocking as a means of creating an illusion of being scantily clad are the work of the devil and all good people on earth must band together to fight for an end to such atrocities.

I move an amendment that women only be allowed to wear these costumes with the prior approval of the Health Minister, which should ensure we never see them again.

For the good of society, of course.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

It's a mixed bag

Seven is now promoting its new Mincing With the Stars series.

Just when you thought the crapulence quota was teetering on the edge of explosion, Seven now has Simone Warne as a contestant, who they are promoting as a 'celebrity mum'.

I can just imagine the PR schmoes at Seven, sitting around fighting each other over whether it should be 'celebrity child-support recipient' or 'single mum', and so they just combined the two to come up with the hysterically deceiving 'celebrity mum'.

But then again, if they can sell Dayrl Somers as some form of entertainment, I guess they can sell anything.

On another note, after coming up with the year's best one-liner last week (I warned you I was biased), the LovelyWife topped that effort by passing her test and getting her motorcycle P plates, without dropping a single point.

Always good to see a lady on a scooter blitz a test in the midst of the bluff and bravado of big burly blokey bikies (who later failed - heh). Gotta love shadenfraude.

So now I am trying to convince her to get one o'these:


Sensible financial decisions be damned!

Let impulse and vehicle-related debt live forever!

I guess we'd need to get ourselves a cosmopolitan lifestyle to go with one of those little babies.

I am willing to make sacrifices and move to Italy in order to make sure our lives match her new scooter.

Very big of me, don't you think?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Special Guest post

Here is a special guest post from the LovelyWife.

Well, not strictly speaking.

I guess it would be more accurately described as 'special post where I just write down something the LovelyWife said to me the other day that I found amusing'.

Which is close enough.

So anyway:

Syrians burn Danish embassy.

Iran vows trade sanctions against Denmark.

Danish troops in Iraq shot at and stoned.

The LovelyWife's prediction?

Next week's New Idea and Woman's Day to carry the cover story "World's hatred of Denmark torments poor Princess Mary".

I might be biased, but - GOLD!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I missed Bromwell High for this??!

Shows like Lost and Prisonbreak are terrible for impatient, read-the-last-page-of-the-book-first types like me.

It is easy to get sucked in and think ‘oo, maybe this week they’ll get rescued/escape’. But then, you know that as soon as the show is a success a second, maybe even a third series will be commissioned and you’re never gonna see any frikkin resolution.

So I reckon Prisonbreak must have blown all its budget on buying waistcoats for the chief warden because it seems they had no money left over to fund more than one facial expression for the main character, Mr Whatsisname.

Here he is looking anxious because he doesn’t know whether to side with the white boys or the homies:

Here he is looking conflicted because his plan to get incarcerated to save his brother may end up causing his nephew to 'go off the rails':

Here he is having warm fuzzy thoughts about the prison nurse:

Here he is after proving his allegiance in the showers:

And so on.

So I’m not sure how highly this ranks in terms of ‘greatest prison-dramas in television history’.

Not as highly as Bad Girls. That’s for sure.