Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bloody hippies!

Protect the planet from gays, Pope says

Saving humanity from homosexuality and transsexuality is as important as saving rainforests, Pope Benedict XVI says.


Gender theory, which explores sexual orientation and gender identity, could potentially lead to the ''self-destruction'' of the human race by blurring the lines between men and women.

Great! So now, in addition to the homophobes hurling abuse at me from their V8 utes, I also have to watch out for the hippies, hurling energy efficient light-globes at me from their death squads Priuses.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Saw this in the freezer section of woolies t'other day...

I honestly can't decide whether:
  1. This is a practical joke gone wrong awesomely right. Ie, junior marketing type comes up with this product name as a joke, expecting it to be ruled out somewhere up the hierarchy or at least in focus-groups. But it didn't, and now it's in stores everywhere; OR
  2. This actually tested well in focus groups and no one else shares my cerebral brand of humour.
Having immersed myself recently in Mad Men, I also can't rid myself of the image of Don Draper, dressed immaculately, holding a glass of whiskey and whistfully smoking a cigarette (or four), delivering a meaningful sermon on how 'Breast Munchies' will tap the unfulfilled desires of housewives across 1960s America.

So in conclusion, *massive snigger*!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Because I always appreciate getting new music tips from other people...

December playlist:

(Each track is also from an album well worth your time in exploring)
  1. Never Miss a Beat Kaiser Chiefs (Off With Their Heads)
  2. I'm Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You Black Kids (Partie Traumatic)
  3. You Wouldn't Like Me Tegan and Sara (So Jealous)
  4. Hit the Heartbreaks Black Kids (Partie Traumatic)
  5. Walking on a Dream Empire of the Sun (Walking on a Dream)
  6. Midnight Coward Stars (In Our Bedroom After the War)
  7. Revelry Kings Of Leon (Only By the Night)
  8. Notion Kings of Leon (Only By the Night)
  9. Human The Killers (Day & Age)
  10. Sweet Disposition Temper Trap (Sweet Disposition - single)
That last one is astonishingly good, acktchelly.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Excusable? Or just plain embarrassing?

I think I’ve turned into an 89 year-old woman.

Last week I told some kids to stop talking in a movie.

Well, not so much ‘told’, but asked them. “Do you guys want to shut up?! Seriously!”

As the LovelyWife notes, there’s a certain passive aggressive quality to my attempts to force my own personal standards of everyday common decency on complete strangers.

We used to live across the road from a child-care centre which, as you’d expect, was adequately fenced. After about 3 months of silent, repressed rage, I could no longer tolerate the daily, after-hours visits by some neighbourhood kids with their two large dogs.

These dogs, instead of being responsibly exercised in a public park, would be allowed to run and bark and crap freely in the child-care centre’s fenced-off play area. For hours. Their owners using the enclosed nature of the play area as a substitute for active supervision and interaction with their dogs.

A more confident person would have confronted these rather meek looking 13 year-olds and their ageing labradors with something like “you shouldn’t be doing that. There’s a park around the corner.” (Or, perhaps, said nothing at all. I’ve lost track of what is acceptable these days).

My attempt was something more like “excuse me, I want you to think about what happens when your dogs use the kids’ play area as a toilet, and then the kids come and play in the play area, and their hands touch the dogs' poo.”

Brilliant, n'est pas?

Anyway, I still maintain that in both the dog incident and the movie scenario, my emergency interventions were justified.

The movie in question was the unnecessarily complex Quantum of Solace – I’d invested several hours and the not inconsiderable ticket price for the privilege of being utterly confused by:
a) the first 45 minutes of storyline;
b) the whole Mathis denouement (even Wiki doesn’t know if his duplicity was a set-up, or if he was a triple-agent); and
c) Alicia Keys’ upper register

However, it seemed to me that for these kids’ parents, the cinema was serving the same purpose as the child-care centre’s fenced-off play-area was serving for the dog-owners – a convenient, enclosed space in which to park their responsibilities whilst they engaged in some other activity.

There was no way these 10 year-old boys were going to be interested in the full 17 hours of the movie and it was hence unsurprising that they resorted to what can only be described as ‘hi-jinks’ up and down the aisles.

My ever-so-slightly assertive request that they be quiet was triggered when they chose the aisle right in front of us to discuss whatever it is kids discuss in cinemas when they are bored by movies pitched way higher than their age group.

It was seriously impeding my ability to keep up with the secret-organisation-holds-stealthy-conference-regarding-purchase-of-pipeline-during-Tosca scene.

I’m most worried, however, by the fact that last night I ‘shh’-ed some women sitting next to me at the Kylie concert.

I knew they were trouble when they came up the aisle already carrying their shoes. Isn’t that something reserved for 5.30pm on Melbourne Cup day?

Or is it now acceptable to walk out your front door with bare feet and shoes in your hands?

(There’s a whole other post there about choosing footwear that’s so useless you end up carrying it, compromising the utility of your hands and feet).

But perhaps I shouldn’t say that I ‘shh’-ed them – I don’t think I was that assertive.

It was more a case of me explaining to them that their incredibly loud, long conversation regarding how they were going to emotionally blackmail their boyfriends into proposing (well, that’s what I imagine the conversation to be about), was getting “a bit distracting for all the people sitting around you.”

But srsly! Who pays $100 to go to a Kylie concert, and then sits there talking through the whole first half?! I just don’t understand. It wasn’t even a case of the occasional comment here or there, in between songs or even in the instrumental interludes between scenes.

These women were shouting their conversation just to hear themselves over the performance. And I needed all my concentration to understand Kylie’s revolutionary cross-cultural interpretation of Barry Manilow classics.

I feel dismayed.

But I'm not sure whether that's because it feels like no one gives a rats about how their behaviour impacts on others, or if it's because I'm a 'shh'-er.

*insert ennui here*

Friday, December 12, 2008

Free IQ test!

You know what always makes me feel like an idiot?

When I remember that, way back in its first season, I used to anxiously hang out for each new episode of Lost, fully expecting that all the questions would be answered and all mysteries solved.


What they are up to now, season 53? And they haven't even finished setting up new mysteries, let alone getting around to solving any of them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Newsflash! This is not news!

Have you seen the headlines this week?

I’m sorry, but do we really care?

No one really cared what Bush 'thought' at the best of times.

And with only a couple of months before he slips the keys to the White House under the mat and slinks off into history, I think the real story is, could this be any more irrelevant?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hot, crowded and conflicted - must be the Newtown Festival!

Yesterday, as the consumer palaces of the inner west echoed emptily, the free community festival of Newtown celebrated its 30th anniversary with record crowds and booming business.

Or anti-business, as the festival's director, Sue Andersen, put it. "The reason it's so unique and popular is, firstly, that it's free, but secondly, because it's not about consumer brands. One year we had a stall for [a large homewares concern], and people shunned it, like there was a big 'boo' over it. We realised it was a big mistake, and have never had a major brand since."

Full article here.

Well, a couple of observations, Sue Anderson:
  • My bottle of (tap) water was confiscated at the gate because “water is sold on-site. You can’t bring in any food or drink.”
  • Someone forgot to tell Sue Anderson that Fitness First, whose minions were wandering around spruiking their new Newtown venue, is a major consumer brand.

Apart from that, hooray for counterfeit Mighty Boosh t-shirts, fisherman’s pants and those teeny little pancake thingies.

Festivals, hurrah!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Australian Idol: les escargots ont interdit

My top five observations from attending last night’s filming of the Australian Idol Top Five:

  1. If there are 3 minutes and 40 seconds for each ad break, and allowing for 6 ad breaks, that means that Andrew G spent a cumulative 22 minutes fluffing and smoothing his fringe. Whilst other presenters/judges would spend the commercial breaks having a drink, chatting to the audience or having their make-up retouched, each and every spare second of Andrew G’s time was spent with the hair stylist. Why don’t they just save themselves the trouble and get him some lego hair.

  2. I don’t understand how they make such a polished looking program from the big shemozzle that takes place in the studio during filming. It's like a 12-year old's birthday's party in someone's garage. Thanks goodness for unidirectional microphones I guess.

  3. Everything in the studio is a lot smaller than it appears on TV (except Kyle). We were sitting in the third-last row of seats, but I reckon I could still have hit Luke Dickens fair in the face with an anvil, if I so chose.

  4. Each of Andrew G and James Mathison had siblings in the audience last night. Not that this was announced. It was just rather obvious. Andrew G’s sister was pretty much Andrew G with longer bouncier hair and a dress. I only worked out that the bloke in the next aisle was not James Mathison, and was, in fact, his brother, when James Mathison walked out on stage in different clothes. It was freaky, people.

  5. We dropped a friend home to Coogee at the end of the evening and drove past the Coogee Bay Hotel. The place was faecal packed. Go figure.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

All poo puns intended

Srsly, I do not want to read another word about the poolato incident at the Coogee Bay Hotel!

Everywhere I turn, there's yet another pointless 'update' - yet another quote from the 'victims' about how 'disgusted' they are.


You ate poo and you were disgusted? No!

People, this is not news!

I swear, we'll still be seeing 'updates' of this story next January.
In this month's bumper holiday edition of Women's Weekly - Belinda Neal's sensational new shaping underwear! Super-fun holiday knit patterns! Poo-eater Jessica Whyte's fail-safe teeth whitening revolution: "turn that brown frown upside down!"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A haiku

Wooden Meares replaced
with Bonds girl Murdoch, is change
we can believe in

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fleeting thought for the day

If the new Baz Luhrmann self-congratulatory orgy of narcissistic jingoism flick Australia will cost $130 million, and the new tax rebate offers producers 40% 'cash back guarantee', doesn't that mean the tax-payer is into this film for 52 million big ones?

That's an awful lot of episodes of the Religion Report, or the Media Report, or the Sports Factor...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pointless nit-picking - perfect for Monday morning

From today's online edition of the Australian.

Get with the program!

That logo was being used was when Qintex was solvent, Christopher Skase was breathing independently, A Country Practice was in production and Stan Grant was hosting Real Life!

Friday, October 17, 2008

fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again

The Sarah Palin baby name generator.

The Sarah Palin answer generator.

The Sarah Palin quote generator.

Tina Fey.

Tina Fey.

Tina Fey.

This photo:

Sarah Palin herself.

All deeply hilarious and very good for alleviating the workday (provided you have perfected the art of silent, desk-based laughter).

But we use to think Bushisms were funny. I used to LOVE bushisms.

Surely, I thought, the fact that there is a brand of humour named after this man would be the ultimate sign of his unrelenting stupidity. But perhaps it was distracting – a coping mechanism when futile anger and fury became exhausting.

Is it possible the humour-element will prevent a proper appreciation of the frightening danger of Vice President Palin?

Yes, Bush she is funny. But Bush she is only funny because he she is breathtakingly, remorselessly, unfailingly unqualified.

And this is not an abstract debate - there is no shortage of examples to evidence the results of an unqualified leader at this time.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This is not the Fail blog

If Australian Idol is a talent competition...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Just asking for some consistency

Given this headline:

Shouldn't this headline:

be "Heterosexual man kills and grills heterosexual girlfriend" ?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Coming up next on Rather Unfortunate Superglue Accidents, Caroline Overington tells of her struggle to continue as a sometimes-violent and reactionary blogger despite accidentally aralditing her right hand to the side of her head.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Ready to abrogate personal responsibility

Dear Wayne

I hope Canberra is treating you well and that those hard-nuts at the Department of Finance and Deregulation aren’t beating up on your Treasury boys too often.

Just a quick note to let you know that your new tax on RTDs is both costly and ineffective.

Costly, because nightclubs have already whacked their prices up by about $4 a bottle, and not the “30c to $1.30” that would actually reflect the tax rise.

Ineffective because after about 5 beers I had entered into that headspace where the costs of drinks ‘duzzn’t madda!’ and so I had no regard for the subtle disincentive built into the pricing structure of the heinous and evil bottles of filth I was drinking.

Personally, I was relying on your new tax to make my drinking decisions for me, so I left my personal responsibility at home on Friday night (I don't like to carry too much stuff when I go out - makes my jeans pockets look too bulky).

So, not only is the government responsible for my decision to hit the binge hard, youse are also responsible for my decision to switch half-way through the night from beers to RTDs. Actually, wait, if you’ve taken the responsibility of dictating individual choices, maybe then it was YOUR decision that I should switch drinks.


Which means you guys should be picking up the tab for my wasted Saturday, in which I only got out of bed twice before 7pm – both times being failed attempts to drink the smallest amounts of water and keep them down.

There goes my 6-year no-throwing-up record. Thanks a lot!

I had a Saturday ‘to do list’ as long as my newly-tattooed arm. When my LovelyWife asks me why the car is still filthy and why the credit card isn’t balanced, I’m sending her to you.

And while you’re there I’m going to need you to go the gym, change the oil in my bike, pick up a present for mothers’ day and book my holiday accommodation for the end of the month.



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Model behaviour

I should keep a clipping of this article in my pocket for when people ask me what I've got against private schools receiving public funds.

Exemption from public standards of equality and legislated protections against discrimination, yet still entitled to public funds...

Not. Cool.

In other news, I have resigned myself to the fact that Ten won't be resuscitating Australian Princess (woe!) and have now reoriented my perverse attachment to girly reality shows towards the upcoming series of Australia's Next Top Model.

Without delving too deeply into this year's bundle of contestants...

...more disturbing than the fact the Alyce was born in the nineties, yet still resembles an adult (yes, I am in the midst of an age crisis), is that her 'secret weapon' will be to bust out a sneaky rendition of Whigfield's 1996 smash 'Sexy Eyes'.

Although, ANTM will have some pretty high standards to live up to, in terms of blogging fodder.

Kylie Booby still makes me snigger.

I'd pick Kylie as my date to a homophobic private school formal any day!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Apparently, this is called 'commuting'. Not too shabby.

Yes, in case anyone was wondering, we have made it to Sydney in one piece.

I just haven't quite worked out how to fit blogging in yet.

There's absolutely no way I can manage it at work and the idea of blogging in my own time is still somehow a bit perverse.

And then there was that whole 2-month battle with Optus just to get the frikkin' internet on (note to self, badmouth Optus at every opportunity).

Did I mention that Optus sucks? No?

Well they do. They suck balls.

If I'd had the time, I would have mostly been doing some stock standard, out of the box, formulaic blogging about recent fashion trends.

Ie, 'I saw le specs for sale the other day. Honest to goodness le specs! What's up with that?!'

And other sundry moaning about skinny-leg jeans and asymmetrical hair lines.

My other main griping activity has been focussed on the residents of the lower north shore suburb in which I work. I don't know how, but when I go up the road at lunch time to grab a $17 salad sandwich, I manage to feel underdressed in a suit.

There's just something about a gold faux suede rain coat in a 32 degree February day that is. not. right.

Oh, sorry, that should be pronounced 'raaahht'.

And that quiche will be 'twenty faaaahv dollaahhhs dahling'.

To get a coffee at the local cafe each morning, I have to wade through a mass of 5 year-olds in prep school uniforms picking up their babycino and vegemited sourdough.

Don't get me wrong, it's not all bad.

I'm bound to clean up sooner or later with a lucrative personal injury lawsuit. It's just a matter of time before one of the billions of luxury four wheel drives mounts the pavement and runs me down.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Quick update

  • Unbelievably lucky with Sydney real estate - check.
  • Massive culture shock moving from public service to fiscally profligate private sector - check.
  • Wife secures transfer - check.
  • Passive aggressive signs at new workplace - check.
  • Spend more time commuting in one day than I used to in a week - check.
  • Never want to lift another box in my life - check.
  • Back in Canberra within 2 weeks for meetings with former colleagues - check.
  • 3 week wait for internet and phone at new joint (not so good for blogging) - check.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Additional signage

Well, today is my last day here in public service land.

*Feigned sob!*

What better way to mark the occasion than by wasting one last chunk of tax payer dollars by bludging off with a blog post! Stick that in your efficiency dividend, Lindsay Tanner!

Anyrate, this post isn't about that.

Insert seamless segue here

There are some really noble people in this world, dedicating their lives to worthy tasks. Take for example, those at the Office Sign Project.

After I attend to the more trifling and insignificant things on my 'to do' list (ie, moving house, etc), I might submit some examples from my portfolio of office sign photos.

In the meantime, enjoy these additional examples, sent to me by a (very) concerned citizen of public service land.

Wow - such a creative use of font colour and size! Sure to secure compliance!

F*ck - now I'm going to have to run yet another f*cking recruitment process. Knowing the public service, it will take 6 months and an unsuccessful fairy will appeal the decision to the public service commission.


PS - While I think of it, thanks for all the suggestions of things to write on the preachy office signs from my previous post. I almost went one better the other day and punched the suspected author of the signs fair in the neck. I was attending to the very important and very work-related task of printing off colour copies of real estate listings when suspected-sign-author sprung me using the colour printer. In keeping with his vigilante-esque commitment to the proper use of office equipment and resources, he reacted as if I'd murdered some puppies or something - "do you absolutely HAVE to print in colour?" Yes, f*ck-face, I do! How else do you expect me to fill in the time in which I could be working and making things easier for my successor?!!?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's a sign from God!

We've spoken before about the preachy office sign.

And if you haven't already visited passive aggressive notes, well, beware lest I nail your feet to the floor and f*cking force you to (thanks! Have a great day!).

After careful consideration and some evidence-based analysis, I have come to the conclusion that the typical author of the preachy office sign is likely suffering from a kind of God-complex.

Convinced of the righteousness of their view of the world, not only do they deign to share this perspective, they seek to use their godly powers to persuade and control all those around them.

However, as the following evidence from my soon-to-be-ex-workplace attests, righteousness appears to translate all too often into a generally annoying and patronising smarminess:

Don’t get me wrong, I do like to close the fridge door and believe it is a fairly basic function not beyond the majority of the population.

But my reaction to this kind of unbearable smugness, were I to come across the author of this sign, would be to grab the nearest dinner plate, smash it over his head and yell DERRR!!! Thanks for the tip, Hitler!”
Or, to quote Parker Posey in Best in Show: "What are you, some kind of WIZARD?!"

It must be tough though, to be so much smarter and funnier than everyone else. Always having the burden of pointing out others' flaws and suggesting humourous yet carefully insulting ways they can improve their lot. You just about hear the sighs of the author as he carefully penned this one:

The author was so obviously frustrated that his colleagues continued to shove both volumes of the White Pages into the shredder at once in spite of his previous entreaties, yet still took the time to draft his notice in a way that reminded us all how much less intelligence and wit we all have.

As for this last one:
It kinda makes you want to post your own preachy office sign. Something along the lines of:
"Alas, no amount of sickening pap or obviously unfunny goading has managed to convince your colleagues to conform themselves to your view of the world. Perhaps it is suprising to you but people don't tend to respond well to anonymous notes from patronising pricks, too cowardly to even put their name to their own notes. Now, leave us alone Thatcher!"

I think I'm going to miss the public service.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Just when you think your rut will run forever…

In early December the wife and I finally decided to put our monies where our mouths are (our faces, presumably) and up-sticks back to Sydney, the land of reasonably priced cafĂ© breakfasts, the Coogee women’s pool, lesbian soccer teams, endless beer gardens and oh, just about everything else I am fond of.

Many Canberra residents I know really quite like the place, and wish people (ie, me) would quit whinging and stop comparing it to Sydney. ‘You can’t expect it to be like Sydney’, they say. Well, we don't. We know it never can be Sydney. Which is precisely why we decided to move back.

To be fair, the place has been remarkably good to us, really. To offset the gaining of a translucent complexion and a 'winter coat', I went from a listless university graduate into a not entirely unsuccessful public servant, and did get quite accustomed to a 10-minute commute to work. It also turns out you meet some of the nicest people in Canberra, even if they are from Adelaide or Melbourne originally…

But there has to be more to life than an ability to nip home for a bowl of ice cream and a cat-patting session during my lunch hour, as good as that may be.

We set ourselves a 6-month timeframe for the move, perhaps assuming this would allow us enough time to carefully prise ourselves out of our comfy, comfy rut, without too much of a shock to the system. I sent my resume out to a few contacts and settled back, expecting to be applying for 50 bajillion jobs before anything really happened.

Just to highlight the yawning chasm (is there any other kind of chasm?) between the public sector, where any kind of recruitment action involves a bureaucratic circus of mammoth proportions (again, any other kind?) and takes about as long as human gestation, and the recruitment processes in the private sector, three days later I was asked to go to Sydney for an interview. One day after that, I was offered a job. And that same day, I accepted. And I will be starting in late January.


Our plans for a carefully coordinated, blissful and stress-free interstate move are thus looking a little shakey. Plus, this means we’ll have to be doing yet another interstate move in high summer, which, let me tell you from experience, fucking sucks balls.

So our Christmas break has been a little more hectic than usual. Apart from the trifling task the lovely wife faces in finding a new job in about one-sixth of the time we had budgeted, there’s the logistics of finding a place and moving our mountains of crap up north.

I’ve been using the past week to go through the ample storage in our current place, finally facing the hard decisions on those items I had previously just chucked in and quickly slammed the door on, thinking “I’ll decide about that when we next move”.

I’m such a bastard to myself sometimes.

I have also been busily trying to decide which kidney I will sell on ebay as a means of raising the funds for bribing real estate agents. I live in fear of battling the Sydney rental market. It hasn’t helped that the papers have been full of horror stories about the lack of reasonably priced rental properties in Sydney, with people paying $1200 a week for a storage shed in what the real estate agents describe as ‘Newtown locality’ (read Zetland).

But it can’t be worse than my original quest for a rental apartment in Canberra in early 2003, one week after the bushfires. If the 50-strong queues forming outside properties 30 minutes before they opened for inspection weren’t bad enough, the real estate agents seemed to be giving preferences to families recently made homeless by the fires, the shifty bastards.

One of the problems we face is that we really, really like the place we are in now. It has just enough room not to feel small, but is not so big as to feel like we are taking up more than our fair share of the planet. There is plenty of storage (ok, this does encourage a little bit of hoarding, but mostly just piles of motorbike magazines), it is clean and in good shape, it is on a nice quiet street and has a number of nifty mod-cons (air-con, dishwasher, off-street parking, etc).

Suffice to say we have become very accustomed to these trappings of yuppie-dom.

The current thinking is that we are willing to sacrifice some of the mod-cons in exchange for a stereotypically charming renovated terrace/semi in a suitably lesbionic inner-west location. Which, judging from online real estate sites, is probably going to cost me not just a kidney, but half a liver as well.

Better cut down on the beers, maximise the value of the ole’ liver, eh?

So please, be in touch if you know of someone looking for a tenant. Or some vital organs, for that matter.

As for the job itself, well, no more wasting tax-payers money for me! I’m stepping out (or stumbling, whichever you think is most apt) into the ‘real world’ to sample a working life devoted to maximising profits and standing up for what the company owners believe in.

Sounds pretty good to me actually. Much less fraught than attempting to maintain a pretence of impartiality in a public service whose motto is increasingly ‘whatever it takes’.

I’m guessing that this will all mean that das blogging will take a little holiday while I sort out such things as a house, net access and my new employer’s acceptable computer usage policy…

Lucky for youse guys as there is a new season of American Idol coming up soon and I could feel some unnecessarily obsessive Idol posts brewing in the system.

But there is one last public service insanity post I am hoping to complete soon. It involves walking around at work shamelessly photographing certain items, so it might not get completed until after I’ve had my final entitlements signed off…