We Insult because we Love

The_Scene: Shopping. Well, not so much shopping, as idly drifting past retail outlets whilst continuously abusing each other. Friends are cool like that.

Shine: Oooh, shoeshop.
Jac: Mmmmm, shoes.
Shine: Shall we?
Jac: Lead on, Macduff.
[A shop assistant materialises out of nowhere in a well-planned stealth ambush]
Assistant: Hi!!!! Can I help at all?
Jac: Gah! We’re fine thanks.
Shine: [inarticulate mumble]
Assistant: Let me know if you need anything, OK??!?!?!!
[returns to lie in wait for next victim]
Jac: Where in hell did she spring from?
Shine: Her unquiet sleep in a zombie grave?
Jac: It’s a given, in retail. No, I mean, who knows what they want the very second they walk in the door? I’ve barely figured out what this place sells.
Shine: Shoes. I tell you this ’cause you’re none too bright.
Jac: True. My mouthbreathing does disturb the neighbours.
Shine: It’s a wonder you bother to go to shoe shops at all. I mean, it must be difficult to buy shoes, considering your freakishly deformed feet.
Jac: It’s the extra toes.
Shine: I thought it was the webbing.
Jac: No, that doesn’t bother me. Also, I can swim like the dolphins.
Shine: You look like a dolphin.
Jac: Ah. That’ll be the blowhole. Nature is cruel.
Shine: I’ve never liked dolphins. Why do the New Agers love them so much? They’ve got that creepy grin, you know they’re up to someth – oooh. Cool boots.
Jac: Those ones? I like the green lining. And they’re … [looks at price tag] … made from leather tanned from the Queen Mother’s corgi, by the looks of the price.
Shine: Mmmmm. Expensive corgi boots.
Jac: Mmmmm. Free goo.
Shine: AH! COBRAS!
[Heads turn]
Shine: [sotto voce] Night terrors, ma’am.
Jac: Behave or we’ll be escorted out. Again. So are you trying on the corgi boots?
Shine: Neh. Expensive dog, the corgi.
Jac: You know those words that sound weird when you keep saying them?
Shine: Corgi?
Jac: You feel it too.
Shine: Corgi corgi corgi.
Jac: I shall name my first born Corgi.
Shine: I would seriously pay you to do that.
Jac: This is why you never have any money.
Shine: True. And I’m hungry.
Jac: Corgi?
Shine: Sushi.
Jac: Dolphin friendly?
Shine: God no.

Spirited Away

I have been in Tasmania.

Yes, it was great, thanks for asking. Went over on the Spirit of Tasmania, which is the overnight ferry from Melbourne to Tassie. I have always wanted to do this, and it was a lot of fun. A lot of people were worried about the crossing: I have never seen so many sea-sickness tablets being downed at once. Also, those little pressure point sea-sickness wristbands? Hilarious. As it turns out, the sea was completely calm and the only effect was a mild roll when we moved out of Port Phillip Bay and into the open sea. In fact, the effect on me was sopophoric and I found myself lulled to sleep. In the bar. Do I rock or what. My reputation will never be the same.

Going going gone

Unfortunately, my eBay habit has reared it’s ugly head again. I thought I had subdued the eBay. I flogged it grimly with the too-large jeans I bought, and finished by smacking it roundly upside the head with the too-small skirt. Clothes off eBay? Bad idea. Especially if, like me, you are too lazy to measure yourself with actual measuring apparatus. (In my defence, I don’t know where my sewing measuring tape is. I do, however, know where the toolkit measuring tape is. Good luck with getting a bendy metal strip wrapped tightly around yourself, because I’m not going there. Apologies all fetishists.)

I remember fondly the halcyon days of my beginnings with eBay. I would sit bolt upright, peering intently at the screen, doggedly sure that all sellers were out to fleece me and steal my bank account details, and quite possibly my kidney. I would buy only the things I most coveted, which I could not obtain through any normal retail channel, from sellers with about 3 million positive feedbacks, and only for amounts of money I was comfortable with throwing into the void. “Well, I’ll never see THAT again,” was my common thought after bidding. Damned sellers would always send me the item, as described, along with a friendly note, thus forcing me to begin the pained process of composing an original masterpiece of feedback where I tried to avoid long strings of AAAAAs compounded by +++++s. And so the slippery slope of dependence begins.

I developed cravings for things I never before noticed. Case in point: the vintage scales. I am very happy with my (many many sets of) scales, I am. My favourite ones are in the bedroom, holding all the spare change, just waiting for the fundraisers to ring the doorbell and set off the baying hounds of doom. (That would be the dogs, who take their doorbell duties very seriously.) Mr. T amuses himself by playing with the weights and seeing how many ounces of coins we have amassed. (Victoria is suffering a coin shortage. It is entirely our fault.) However I never needed or even wanted scales before I saw them on eBay. (Precedence dictates this sentence must be bracketed.) And now searching for the scales has again consumed my life.

It is small consolation to know I am not alone. I know eBay has consumed the lives of many. And I admit that I have encouraged at least two acquaintances to join me on the dark side. But this wanton consumerism must end! I am making a stand! No more ….. dammit, an outbid email. What fool dares to stand between me and retro kitchen accessories?


It’s been a barrel of laughs around here lately. Similar to a barrel of monkeys, but with less monkeys. Considerably less. Although now I think about it, one of the dogs has suspiciously prehensile front feet. He can get the lid off a Coke bottle faster than I can.

Mr. T is sick, wide-screen-with-surround-sound kind of sick, with special features including the vomiting and the foetal position and the incoherent listless whimpers. I really, really don’t want to get this particular illness. Head cold? Fine. Touch of the flu? Bring it on. Heaving, racking spasms involving long hours stretched prone on the bathroom floor through lack of energy to stagger back to bed? Not really my scene. Regardless, I do my Required Part, which involves bringing water and tempting food morsels (not required, for fear of regurgitation) and dealing with the house and phone calls and dogs and a very angry cat. (I don’t know why he’s so angry. Maybe he’s found out he’s adopted?)

However, the end is in sight. Mr. T is feeling a bit better today, thanks for asking, and requested his special Comfort Food for dinner, which is macaroni cheese. For the love of God. I hate macaroni cheese. But I dutifully complied and made macaroni cheese, including (by specific request) the bacon all crispy fried and chopped up. It is a measure of my disdain for this meal that I had to consult a recipe to make sure I was not just basically making a cheese sauce with pasta shapes. Turns out I was, and this was actually correct. So eventually dinner was created, ladled gently into a small bowl and offered to his Sick Majesty, who was wrapped up in the mohair throw rug (my rug! mine!) and slumped on the couch watching TV.

He ate six bites. I hate him.

It’s just like WWE Smackdown!

Google vs Yahoo … who will emerge victorious???

Make them fight!

I feel like I’m watching Gladiator all over again!

But without the tigers. Which is a shame … the tigers were the best damn bit of that movie.

Communing with Nature

Short week, this week. Short sentences too. I go camping. Now back at work. Bah.

It was Labour Day here on Monday and a long weekend materialised. Huzzah for long weekends! Huzzah! As it is a sin to waste 3-day weekends, Mr. T and I left our place on Saturday morning and motored up to the VIC/NSW border. Here we gambled compulsively with all the other old people who crossed the border into NSW. (I think the gambling laws are more lax there – they will let you lose your childrens’ homes, as well as your own.) But no! There will be no gambling. I am not bored by many things, but to enter a Tabaret is to send me into a waking torpor. Instead we set up camp by the side of the Murray River and proceeded to do nothing. For three days. This, funnily enough, does not bore me. Doing nothing by the side of a river is a great deal of fun. For me, at least. Just keep me away from the blackjack tables.

To distract our minds from the evils of gambling, Mr. T created a homely campsite, including the tent, gazebo, several tables, bananana lounger, chairs and of course the carpet. (Yes. Carpet.) All we needed now was the hammock. To this end, he threw a rope over a tree branch; but on the way down it hit an unseen wasps nest. Unseen until this point, I might add. Once all the wasp things came storming out of it, he saw it pretty clearly. Happily for us observers, he followed correct Lampoon protocol and ran screaming like a girl, waving his hands round his face, for a good 10 metres or so. Ah, good times. I’m sure the wasp things thought so too, until they met the kiss of fiery death bestowed by the insect repellent spray and the gas match. Mr. T is a vengeful enemy, with a surprising ironic twist. Fear him.

More Crashing, Less Skillful Driving

I got to go to the Grand Prix today, with some work people. They gave me a T-shirt with one of our brand logos on it to wear. It was a size medium. A men’s medium. It could have fitted me and one of the dogs quite easily. So I pawed through the box and found a mistaken order – a kid’s size large. Thank you very much – that will do nicely. And when I got to the Grand Prix all the other women, in their oversized men’s polo shirts, looked at me enviously. Little did they know I had been formally identified as a large child.

The Grand Prix is not a bad day, even for someone like me who is only peripherally interested in cars. It was a gorgeous day and there was lunch and free drinks and an excellent view of the track. We went for a wander after lunch and nearly got run over by any number of official golf carts, obviously driven by repressed racecar drivers inspired by their high-octane surroundings. There were lots of races – the formula 1 practices, the celebrity challenge practices, the old racecars and the V8 supercars. There were probably more but they blended together after a while. Fun day. Although the tram home lacked some of the speed and cornering ability I had come to expect.

Oh ho ho, I am witty, no?

Hell freezes over

It was 36 degrees here today, which is hot. (I feel sort of obliged to find out what that is in Fahrenheit — and also to see if I spelled Fahrenheit correctly — but I am going to do neither of those things.) Hot. Is what it was. But only outside. Because inside my office, the air conditioning is set at a level which would make even an Eskimo draw his fur-lined hood a little bit closer round his neck. The two people who overheat easily somehow get full say over the temperature, leaving the rest of us who have fully functional internal thermostats to quietly pull on jackets or hunch a bit closer to the laptop screen. I am not impressed with lugging a jacket into work with me on even the sunniest days. Those who cannot control their internal temperatures should suffer, rather than us fully functioning types. That is all.

All the Young Dudes … and David

The venerable Bowie came to Melbourne last week – shall we go? Are we not Rebel Rebels? Why, it seems that we are, and we will.

Mr T and I got there relatively early, and saw the opening set by Something for Kate. I hadn’t seen them live before, and they rocked. I do like watching guitar & bass players perform – there’s only so many ways you can dance while playing. There’s the default mode, where you concentrate on playing and stand stock still. Quiet head nodding is acceptable here. Then there’s the most common “stomp and play” style. Head movement is mandatory, and it helps to have a large quantity of hair to thrash around. I like this style best – so much variety! Stomp up and down the stage? Or left to right? Both feet stomping together, or in a sort of marching motion? I can see this evolving into some sort of drinking game while watching bands in the pub. “Double stomp AND a hand flourish! Everyone drink!”

David Bowie can’t really dance either, although he did try. I think Heroes may be ruined for me now after witnessing the ludicrous hand waving during the line, “like dolphins … like dolphins can swim …” I was terrified he was going to clap the back of his hands together like a seal and completely ruin the moment for me. However, no. Thank God.

Regardless, the concert was great and a good mix of old and new. He still has a great voice – and so distinctive. It is great hearing songs you never thought you’d get to hear live. I have been humming along to myself for days. My verdict: I think he’ll make the final 10. Two out of the three judges seem to like him.

The sands were dry as dry.

  • Reading:
    “Otherland” series, Tad Williams
  • Listening:
    “Walkie Talkie Man”, Steriogram
  • Watching:
    “Newlyweds” … I can’t watch, but I can’t look away.
  • Eating:
    Lindt bunnies. Damn you, expensive, delicious bunnies.
  • Liking:
    The figs ripening on the tree in the backyard. Now if only the dog doesn’t eat them first …
  • Pondering:
    Is it wrong to spend over $200 on a pair of shoes? Hypothetically speaking, that is.