Thursday, February 26, 2009

Its a small world after all

A few bits and bobs (again), but I didn't want to advertise that in the title (again) so I thought for a moment and that line popped into my head.

When 'Salina was a baby, I formed the theory that THAT SONG is actually not a song generated from baby's toys, but a continuous loop playing in the upper atmosphere that baby's toys channeled.

Yes, yes, I may have been slightly touched during that phase of life (don't mention colour-coded pegs and we should get out of this, Jeanie) but there are moments when certain songs do that to you, aren't there? (Aren't there?)


I was thinking about life and social networks and connections and such the other night - must have been a slow night of the tube - and I realised how lucky I am because I have made many wonderful friends and connections through the genius of the internet (and I have to admit it, some of those wonderful friends were made before I discovered blogging!).

There is also the positive of catching up with old real-life friends through the wonders of the internet (and dare I say it, cough facebook cough - I still hate it, just it has its uses).

Here are a few little things I have learned from these friends in my more recent very limited wandering of the internet.

I once knew a girl in Brisbane through poetry. She was wonderful - very confrontational feminist poet and zine queen - exactly my cup of tea.

In those days she also had a bald med-student boyfriend and a mane of red ringlets you can only get by making deals with the devil crossing an Irish redhead with a Grecian goddess.

A few years have passed since then, and she is now the partner of a balding doctor (not the same one) and has two gorgeous children and writes novels.

A few years ago, the Grecian goddess (her mother) was quite ill, which awoke my friend's desire that more be done for research into prevention and cure for leukemia, and is going to lose her locks for the cause.

Her thick, long, red, ringletted hair. (I was going to post a picture, but all her photos I have access too are photos of her kids. Imagine gorgeous with an order of amazing hair.)

I feel like crying - mainly because I wish I could give her some money for her efforts and can't right now (although if the world turns the right way for me, that would change).

Here is her link.

Another friend of a friend of a friend (and frankly, that is the whole state because Queensland - 3 degrees of separation) that I first met on a forum has a blog. About food. I love blogs about food.

What makes this one different is she is a food writer at the main Queensland Newspaper - so she gets to talk about real food things going on in Brisbane.

In fact, if you read me, are in Brisbane, like food and wouldn't mind a free feed, she even has a competition at the moment offering such. Go check it out.

And finally, the pitfall of internet socialisation I discovered recently.

I won't go into details (you know, someone may want the novel length version one day) but let me say that politics and business networking sometimes make unwise bedfellows, especially when you cannot see how the whole "room full of people" are reacting to your words.

That was a rhetorical "your" as in not really you or me, but the people who I saw having a decreasingly polite discussion over the past few days.

Oh, I did stick my oar in, with a "I can understand both sides and that she is feeling under attack. Maybe we should not have this going on right here." sort of statement.

Don't. Ever. Do. That.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The weekend that was

  • 'Salina's team won softball. I have realised the difference between hers and the other teams is all the very cheeky boys who will steal bases on the flimsiest pretexts, and slide home even if not under pressure.
  • shopping. The grocery stores have recognised the economic downturn by making beef mince the same price as most more expensive cuts. As a result, the fancy schmancy other animal varieties have become cheaper than the beef variety.
  • Persistance is the key to getting a girl to tidy her room. We think. We are persisting with this theory. Again, I say sorry to my mother for the failings I see in my own offspring directly attributable to me.
  • I finally ticked off the "tidy up all the crap in the garage" task. I got to go for a trip down memory lane. Wow. I now know what boxes various pieces of incriminating evidence are.
  • The mince experiment made for a loverly lasagne.
  • Persistance is the key to getting a girl to tidy her room.
  • The beach offered not many waves, but a great deal of laughter and delight to all.
  • And finally, a pictorial of our Sunday afternoon task.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

LIFE'S FUNNY LIKE THAT - I'll bring cake

Hooray!! Hooray!! Its Deb's (virtual) Kick Chemo to the Curb Party today!!!

When Bush Babe mentioned to me her secret idea, I applauded her wildly (but of course I didn't show it, because I am all cool most of the time), and then fell into one of those pits of despair.

I have nothing to wear and no beautiful photos to share.

Then I bucked myself up with the old stoic "its not about you" slap across the face.

I also got a lightbulb moment when I realised blogs are truly a blessing when dealing with social anxiety.

And the lightbulb turned green when I worked out I can do what I tend to do at parties, which is bring food.

(I know, I know - eternal proof that neither genetics OR environment will make one artistic)

May I present to you the "Nectarine Apple Upside Down Cake" - and its motto - "may look like crap but is beautiful to all other senses".

In fact, to borrow 'Salina's superlatives, it is "heaven, delicious, scrumptious, tasty, devine, extravaganzational" and she has requested it for her birthday cake forever more, which I think means its pretty good.

In fact, discovering this recipe was a bit like discovering Deb's blog. Bear with me while I try to make that analogy work.

I happened up my trove of recipe books for inspiration and ended up with the bones of a cake that came alive with my substitutions.

Deb happened upon a comment at Confessions of a Pioneer Woman (who would be the trove of recipe books part of the analogy), visited Bush Babe (that would be the inspiration) and the rest, as they say, is history. Like this cake if offered around.

And I happened upon Deb and found someone who not only had the ability to see blessings and joy in every detail in life, but who also had the gift to give that joy to others through her writing. I ended up with the cake.

Speaking of cake, this was one of those recipes born of need. You know, you have 4 nectarines that sort of got forgotten in the bottom of the fridge and no-one is stepping up to the plate to scoff them anytime soon and you are in a delicate situation where (a) you need to make something sweet because having something sweet in the house is a definite bonus guaranteed to lift any spirits (and possibly sink any scales), and (b) your every cent is allocated and it would break your frugal heart to dispose of perfectly good fruit.

Anyway, the recipe - first a nod to the original recipe found courtesy of Dr Google many many moons ago.

I have substituted from the original when you see the *. Due to the great sugar depression over the last few weeks in this household, we didn't have brown OR caster sugar but had to make do. The best recipes are devised with make do.

Preheat the oven to 180 (moderate). I used one of those cute little flexible cake tins - a round one about an outstretched-woman's hand across (very technical here!) so no preliminary skirmish with greasing or flouring required.

80g butter - melt and pour into the bottom of the tin.
1/3 cup raw* sugar - sprinkle over the butter.
4 nectarines* - slice and find a few 9 year old girls to arrange artfully over the sugar and butter mix.

Beat 2 eggs, then beat in 2/3 cup sugar in small batches.
Grate an apple* (I maybe could have used 2 here) and add pulp and juice to the mix.
Add 1 tsp vanilla essence and beat.
Add 1 cup self-raising flour and 1/4 tsp salt and mix.

Pour over the topping mix.

Bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool, hide from small children, unmould and attempt to photograph!

'Salina wanted me to write "smile and enjoy your party, Debby!"

I hope you enjoy your day and the joy that it is the last chemo and I do say a prayer of thanks that you live in the modern era where you can be turned into a pincushion and walk out the other end of treatment with hope - because you give so much hope, darling.

Gentle hugs.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Me and my Valentines...

Here in Australia when I was a kid, not so much was made of Valentine's Day as seems to be in the modern era or other parts of the global village.

We had no commercial radio, and the local ABC specialised in local sports, local weather and playing their one album they bought each year on the budget. One year it was Toto. That was a good year.

Our television viewing was snowy ABC or even more snowy local commercial television - we didn't watch a great deal of the local station coverage, so I am not sure how much VD was pumped.

I remember ONE time there was a big thing made of VD at school. We were learning about the mail system (heck, the local town ONLY HAD a post office) and the teacher thought it a good idea for us all to make Valentines and secretly send them to each other. Everyone dutifully made one Valentine, one girl got 27 and the rest of the school got nothing. It was an experiment that was discontinued due to mass depression and the fact that the most popular girl must have sent herself one rather than break anyone else's duck.

Being at a girls boarding school did not make Valentine's Day a happy experience for most. Too early in the year to form hookups with boys boarding schools, too many holiday breakups from last years hookups and the fact we were locked away - well away - from those few Valentinos who made the effort.

University - well, let me say the University years were marred somewhat by my despising about half of the human population because of the sins of one and militant feminism does not go hand in hand with the whole hoopla surrounding VD.

When I lived in Sydney and the fast-paced world of advertising, I was slightly diverted from my course of hating all men to let a few inside the barricades. Of course, I did chose them from a pool of those who were even less VD-savvy than I given their cultural background. That, and I made a point of holding relationship break-ups in the dying days of January to save anticipation and disappointment. (Okay, that wasn't the only reason, no doubt, but it makes a good story).

I did receive one present when I failed to break up in time from one of my paramours during those days.

Jerome (as usual, not his real name) was from one of the tiniest countries on the African continent, whittled by European deals at the end of various wars. Well, actually he was a refugee from one of the tiniest countries on the African continent, due to his father being an enemy of the tinpot dictator. He had been brought up by a travelling Catholic priest who apparently collected rich dissidents kids throughout Africa. He had lived all over the world holding a variety of names and jobs. He had an exciting story - but personally he was... I am trying to think of the right words. He wasn't flashy, he wasn't extroverted, he was a trained accountant who worked in a furniture factory because his qualifications weren't recognised. He was sweet.

Valentine's Day dawned on a Friday that year, and I awoke knowing we were going to see a great band together that night.

I knew I was highly unlikely to receive a card because - well, quite frankly the knowledge he had of the Saints was extreme but the whole love token thing? Also, I had shed my angry girl skin a bit, but buying in to the whole capitalist enterprise (despite me working in advertising) was not the burning desire of my existence.

So the day started at work with me not wanting anything, not anticipating anything and a good night with my boyfriend planned.

Throughout the day, girls at work received more and more elaborate offerings with the office going "ooh" and "ahh" and I - I hate to admit this - I cracked a little.

I started thinking "well, I don't want the whole shebang, but an acknowledgement would be fine".

I knew that he worked criminally long hours to get his pittance and so his access to shops and phones and such were rather limited, but I had worked myself up by the end of the day into a "he had better have done something" rage. (I may have had a hormonal coincidence going on.)

So by the time he was meant to be at my house, I was primed. By an hour later and he hadn't shown, I was pissed (in both the Aussie and American sense) and in full VD combat mode.

Then he showed up - with the cutest little teddy bear holding a little balloon that said "I wuv u" - awwww.

Yeah? Well, awww doesn't cut it with me when my head is full of steam.

I have to admit it now, but when I have a head of steam up and a boyfriend in the cross-hairs, I think it must be a pretty scary sight - it certain put the fear in a few. (V never gets me upset, of course)

He was late because he had to find this little thing for me, and that just made me madder still.

Now, believe me when I say I am very good at having an argument when I have had a bit of time to build some pressure, so poor Jerome was stunned by my assault. Poor beggar, he had only tried to do the right thing. He had no idea that there was NO RIGHT THING he could have done.

Going out to see a band. I cancelled that. Stay at home and have an argument, a much better use of time.

Then of course I started dinner, had a reconciliation with him, fell asleep and nearly burned the house down when the rice caught on fire.

So really, VD is not high on my radar to build anticipation.

Since that day, only 2 boyfriends have lived through the curse of VD with me.

P. - 'Salina's father - survived two. The first I expected nothing and he gave me that. The second I was expecting him to give me a break from looking after our beautiful baby - and I got the same present as the year before. There was no third.

Just as well, really.

And then there is V. V is very wise.

Today is the 15th. Our anniversary. A much better day to celebrate.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cold Turkey

Was it only Thursday night that my supplier ran out of the good stuff?

I didn't notice the withdrawal that much yesterday, kept myself busy - called in a few times to see if I could get a fix but each time the answer was the same - no supply.

I don't need it, I know I don't need it - but oh I want just a few little hits, a toke, a taste of the goodness that is my daily blogsurf.

Bloglines has let me down - stuffed up and now happily tells me I have 0 feeds. This, to a girl who was mainlining three figures and in way over her head - it is like ripping the bandaid off a wound.

The good news is that once upon a time I backed up my database of feeds.

The bad news is that was many moons ago.

The good news is that I had pared my addiction way down, so looking at those large figures in Google Reader I almost felt virtuous that my more recent order from Bloglines was such a low three figures.

The bad news is that many of those blogs are out of date or my sphere of what I want to know - and many of my favourites had not yet been discovered.

The good news is this gives you all opportunity.

The bad news is my roll over there to the right is ancient, so its only half helpful. It is on the cards to update.

The good news is - pop in to comments, say "hey Jeanie" and give me a little love and I will be eternally grateful. I need a little of that honey.

I will never get back the high that was Bloglines (even if they turn around and say all is forgiven). They have let me down and even if I go back to that trough I will do so with fear in my heart.

I might have to fill the void with real life.

Scary, hey?

Thursday, February 12, 2009


On the way home from a job this morning, I saw two RBT (random breath testing) units - one on each side of the road - on the way out of town.

It is a hard-drinking area. Heck, it even has a major spirit bear its name. But I wonder how many were caught at 11.30am.

On the way to softball training into town by a different route at 3.45pm, another one pulled me over.

"Oh look Mum. They're breath-taking," said 'Salina.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nothing to say

I did have heaps - I had a great post in my mind on Saturday about the beautiful day we had and the beach and the poetry reading on Saturday night - but now...

We are all in shock.

Right now it feels like July 31, 1997 or September 12, 2001 or December 27, 2004 - just gutted and surreal.

We saw a small amount of footage on the TV of the fires on Saturday night - but you expect bushfires in Victoria in Summer.

We heard the unfolding of it over the last few days, and it is devastating.

There were arsonists - but even if every arsonist was locked up forever there would still be bushfires.

It reminds me of Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine's book "Last Chance To See" where they saw a snake expert before going to Indonesia asking about how to survive if a snake were to bite them.

The advice was "don't get bitten".

Sometimes nature is cruel. Nature gives storms with lightning and no rain. Nature gave man fire - in the words of my father "a good servant, but a harsh master".

I am gutted, but I am here, beside the beach, 2000km away when many people's lives were devastated by fire.

Just as I am here, beside the beach, 1500km away when people's lives are being devastated by floodwater.

As many from the flooded North are saying "at least we are alive" and are gutted by the bushfires.

The Red Cross needs blood - that is all I can do, really.

I would love to give money, but due to the lovely "economic downturn" my contribution to half the household running has been stretched to cover whole. V has been able to get 2.5 days work this year. He is out right now driving by every building site to see if any work is happening, if there is any work to be had.

Up here, it is paradise but we now have huge unemployment. There is at least two stories of companies going bust for every job advertisement.

There are almost enough empty units and houses in this quiet seaside paradise to house 1/3 of the homeless from the fires. Maybe I should suggest it to the local Chamber of Commerce?

Sure - there would be no jobs for the refugees - but there are roadside stalls and markets with veges and fruit.

It puts it all into perspective - I have a home and will not starve. I have my loved ones. I have a storm threatening and it is muggy - and I thank whatever lord is watching over me and beseech him or her to give my blessings to those who need it more.

I apologise for the crap post. I really don't know what to say, and that is so unusual for me.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Facebook on a Friday morning

As long time readers may be aware, I am not a huge fan of Facebook.

Sure, its a great way to keep in very loose touch with distant relatives, old school friends, fellow bloggers and mates from a few forums.

But as I have never been one to pass on chain letters in real life, so find it very bizarre that I am flung items of this ilk and even more so.

I don't poke; throw beads or snowballs; give Christmas trees, ornaments, Easter Eggs or hickeys - in fact, if it requires me to follow a three-step procedure, download an application and/or rope other friends into it, count me out.

And I am sorry, while I will occasionally nod in the direction of a Breast Cancer cause, but I don't think by clicking here - and here and here - will make the world emit less greenhouse gases, save more whales, lower racism, facism or fear. And I truly don't think I have saved one square foot of rainforest by continually, virtually watering exotic virtual plants.

Its not that I don't care about my friends on Facebook - I always check status updates and will comment on a few. Heck, I even occasionally update my own.

I comment on articles posted by a few that are interesting and that I am likely to read (so if you put up a political insight into the shifting world or something poignant and interesting).

On the other end of the spectrum, I feel like a good shower when someone sends through yet another "x politician is satans spawn because I received a chain letter and 10,000 people agree". I am still hoping that one got forwarded to my because they thought they were saving a rainforest.

This morning, the truly schizophrenic polychotomous nature of Facebook was highlighted for me.

One friend through a forum has just made dinner. One of my best friends when I was in my single 20s is travelling overseas - but the shine appears to have worn off her trip. A friend I have made through blogging has posted a political article of interest. A girl I went to school with is now a fan of McDonalds.

So I hop on, commented on half of that but no more and forgot to even update my own status - because I don't have time for facebook - there are blogs to be written and read, forums to be checked, work to be attended - and for the first time this year, tuckshop to man.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Melbourne 1997 - and the (actual events in the) worst ever poetry night in my memory

So, where were we?

Oh yes, coerced Selwyn into accompanying me to the South of the river poetry night.

The night - a winter's Thursday evening.

The place - a cafe in St Kilda.

The reason - poetry reading, 7.30 - 9.30pm

Rain had just started falling gently when we set out on our quest. Combining Selwyn's map-reading skills, the foggy weather and the vagueness of the address, it took some time to find the cafe referred to in the listing.

But get there we did. A fairly deserted road in the less popular edge of St Kilda lit very intermittently by street-lights.

On the walk from the Rig to the cafe, I fell and skinned my knee - had I known this was the exciting point of the evening, I doubt I would have gone any further and instead sat in the puddle I was in and cried.

Selwyn would have preferred to see this as a sign and need for liquid refreshment - I know that because he said "why don't we go for a drink instead" several times during the drive, the walk and the picking me up from the pavement.

But I was made of much sterner stuff and had hopes.

These hopes almost shrivelled when we entered the establishment. I can't remember the name of the cafe, but it had "Blue" in the title - probably in reference to the tinting of the window, perhaps as a tip of the hat to the jaunty nautical theme it attempted to emulate, maybe because that was the overwhelming response of the clientele upon entering.

But there are days when my optimism can overshoot any signs of foreboding, and this was one of those days.

So we were in the cafe. Which brought the total population in the cafe to 2. The lights were on, but it could not have been more deserted. Considering we arrived about 20 minutes after the reading was meant to have kicked off, it was not a good start.

After a few minutes of staring at each other, we noticed a small bell by the register, so we used it to see if there was some secret society meeting going on elsewhere. Eventually the proprietor of the establishment appeared, and he was slightly disgruntled by our intrusion.

After apologising for being in his cafe, I asked about the alleged poetry reading and was advised that the guy who ran it generally turned up about 8. We ordered coffee and water (at great inconvenience to the owner) and sat to wait.

10 past the hour, finally another body entered the cafe. I interrogated him and found that he was not the organiser, but a friend of his and fellow poet. After a brief question and answer session (to call it a conversation would have been a disservice to the concept that conversation is a two-way interaction) he went to the opposite corner of the cafe to go over his poems. 10 minutes later, the organiser entered, looked briefly in our direction, rang the bell for the owner and huddled with his friend.

The rush was on, because by by twenty-five past eight - nearly an hour after the advertised start - the crowd had swelled to five, with the entry of quite possibly the most perculiar woman I had ever seen at a poetry reading (and I can assure you, that statement covers some perculiar woman territory) lugging a battery-operated Casio keyboard and a large striped shopping bag.

Shortly after this (with some prompting by Selwyn) I approached the organiser to enquire about the reading and its likelihood to kick off (I didn't add Selwyn's "before the pubs shut" remark) and was advised there was usually more of a turnout and it would all be jolly good fun and then he was served with his free dinner (the four coffees we had bought going a long way to improving the cafe coffers, no doubt) and I was dismissed.

I was caught on the horns of a dilemna - stay and hope, or cave to Selwyn's cajoling and fund a trip to the pub.

Luckily I was saved having to decide, because abruptly the friend stood in the middle of the room and began to read.

Apparently the friend was something of a scholar, because his words were styled very methodically and in such constant tonal pitch that only some obscure poetic "form" could excuse its dirge-like rhythm. I believe it was based on a story in the dark ages about knights and a long trip towards the battleground - a very, very long trip where nothing much happened. We never quite got to the battleground, because after about 10 minutes of torture the organiser stood and interrupted him with "thank you (insert name of friend here)" and pulled out a book of his poetry.

Or rather, pulled out a book of someone else's poetry. He didn't actually say it wasn't his poetry, but he also didn't say whose poetry it was, he said "this is a poetry book I picked up once" and then went on to read a selection of some other poet's work.

Now, if you have ever been to a poetry reading, you know that this is not good form - not because it is someone else's but because he went to no lengths whatsoever to attribute it.

At some point, his homage ended. This was only noticeable because he sat down abruptly and within seconds the lady with the keyboard began telling us all about her day and how she had found the Casio in a second-hand store that morning (what luck) and had scrounged around for the necessary cash because it was such a bargain and would expand her creative freedoms and just hold on a tick because she had never set it up before, never played it before, never ACTUALLY PLAYED A KEYBOARD before but weren't we all going to be in for a treat.

I was feeling like a drink myself at this stage, but out of respect for fellow poets (there is a code) didn't feel I could just get up and leave. Darned middle-class poetry ethics!

After setting up the keyboard and having a little tinkle, she dug around the shopping bag and found some sheaves of papers.

At least she attributed. "The following stuff is by (insert name of poet here) who was a mate of my Dad's but he died before I was born." She then let rip.

She sang in a high-pitched nasally squeal indecipherable words, stopping in the middle of lines to find just the right (wrong) notes on the keyboard for dramatic effect.

Thank goodness the poet was dead, was all I could think, and stayed sane by imagining him spinning in his grave at the travesty that was being performed on his words.

I whispered to Selwyn that there was no way I could perform my poetry to these people, definitely not my good stuff - but I was saved from having to make any decision on what quality I might have to offer by her sudden cessation of wailing, and the immediate leaping forth of the friend.

Apparently his knights hadn't arrived at the battleground, so he resumed his dirge from where he had left off, and took us right to about ten minutes further in the journey.

Again, the organiser interrupted and found another poetry book to trample on another unattributed poet's efforts.

Again, the screech and wail of the woman with the keyboard - at no point was there more than a 10 second break between the players, at no point was any eye contact raised in our direction, at every point Selwyn's request to leave this affair for a drink became more and more appealing.

It took another cycle of this "entertainment" before I could insert my "we have to leave now" - and we fled, out into the cold, down the sodden street, into the Rig.

"Can we go for a drink NOW?" asked Selwyn.

"Lord, yes" was all I could weep.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Melbourne 1997 - and the (background to ) the worst ever poetry night in my memory

Warning - this is only part one of what is turning into a VERY long spiel. So much I have had to leave off today's episode and will hopefully finish tomorrow...)

Thank Jay for bringing forth a memory I had thought banished into the black hole of my mind.

To expunge, you must all live through vicariously the worst night in my whole poetic history.

The good news is - the odds are good that you weren't there. Very few were.

The year - 1997.

The town - Melbourne.

Now, Melbourne and "bad poetry" is actually not often said in combination.

Melbourne is such an excellent town for poetry, in fact, that the Melbourne Age (the local newspaper - in those days a broadsheet and not some freebie pamphlet) used to print a listing of all readings every week.

And in the main the readings in Melbourne were fantastic and worthwhile and a great time was had by all. The Dan O'Connell, the Art of Mother Love, the Brunswick - all venues etched favourably upon my memory of great poets, great poetry and great times.

But this memory is not any of that. This memory has very little the adjective "great" could possibly attach itself to.

In 1997, I was embarking on my dream - to be the sort of hippy poet who could just hop into her van, Rigg (named in honour of Diana of The Avengers), and be free-spirited.

Unfortunately, I also have an unfortunate star-sign for such a quest. This meant my jaunt clockwise was stopped at the bottom right corner, and my bovine tendencies (to get a job, to put down roots) had ensured my stay in Melbourne to be somewhat longer than I had intended.

In 1997, I also entered a relationship. One that led to my eventual departure from the city, not for its unfortunate habit of being absolutely crap on the weather front (it wasn't Winter that blew it for me, either - it was the nasty way it did any season, any day) but because, apparently, a city of over 1 million people was not enough to buffer me from constantly repeating a cycle of interaction with Mr Wrong.

Selwyn (and I have changed his name, because that is what I do with real people on this blog, not because I actually think he would ever read a blog) did have some points in his favour.

I mean, he pursued me quite avidly - when we weren't together. He wasn't always on best behaviour when I relented, however.

He also had an unfortunate addiction to alcohol, the establishments that served it and the behaviour that attended to imbibing it in large quantities quickly. Luckily, he was generally far too broke to give his addiction full reign - always a quality to look for in a non-recovering alcoholic boyfriend.

So it must have been in one of those heady few days in our relationship where I had some shekels and he didn't, when our delight in each other was still so fresh he was still wanting to impress me with his new leaf (oh those beautiful first two days of any reconciliation) and so he deigned to join me in going to a poetry venue.

Now, those of you who don't know Melbourne, is it true that every great city is split into two, generally done so by a body of water?

Because Melbourne was (and is). And for great poetry readings, I lived on the wrong side of the Yarra.

Generally three or four evenings (or afternoons) a week, across the river I would go to get my fix of great performance (see how wonderful Melbourne is?) and I desparately wanted to find a local venue.

Several times I had seen advertised a reading in St Kilda.

Always the evening that it fell on clashed with something or other else (cough - generally reconciling with Selwyn, hanging out with him at some dive drinking and playing pool OR lamenting with my flatmate the disappointment that was our love-lives) but came the auspicious date when the stars aligned, Selwyn relented and we were all set to get some local culture.

(just realised this is a darned long post already, so I am going to make this the intro and continue the story tomorrow).

Monday, February 02, 2009


No no, not me - hoo-ray. And thank you all for cheering on the sidelines and offering morself (lol a typo there, but I am going to leave it, tipping my hat to Freud) of encouragement - it meant the world. It seems that several litres of Adams Ale and a good night's sleep can make the difference.

Anyhow, needed a way to kick that last post of drivel to the kerb (or at least lower on the page) and thank goodness the television stations have come through for me in my hour of need.

No longer am I required to flick desparately around the cycle of 5 channels in the hope of seeing something to catch my attention - once again they are vying for my trade.

Admittedly, many years ago I was a-wake up to the television stations tendency to frock up like tarts at this time of year - mainly because I worked in an industry where I had to know which trick was likely to garner most public support and therefore most bang for the advertisers (and in the dark ages, that meant my clients) several thousand bucks.

As a result, I have a gift. I can digest a television schedule at a single reading and regurgitate it days later.

And due to the tendency of V and I to value our time together, there are programmes selected for addiction value quality, and programmes disdained for their clash with the former ability to lower our IQ threshhold.

Tonight was the first night, and again Monday nights hold that most beautiful ritual - ardently watching Desparate Housewives together.

Or rather, again Monday nights hold that most beautiful ritual - ardently watching Desparate Housewives, laughing hysterically at moments while V snored peacefully to my left.

The good news is that Tuesday holds another beautiful ritual - me retelling the whole darned thing to V.

Its really a good thing he has me, isn't it?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

In which I bore you again with the little bits of my belly button fluff

Oh my, feeling a little put upon today, aren't we?

I shouldn't.

I didn't get up until 3 minutes to 8!!! Of course, I didn't go to sleep until 1.30am, but that was because it was a good book (Al Franken - Lies and the Lying Liars who tell them - very funny unless you are a right-wing commentator in the US, no doubt - as I am not one of them, I laughed, I almost cried and I kept annoying V with reading bits out of it).

And before I slumbered I had an excellent night last night.

We had the most scrummy spaghetti bolognaise a'la Jeanie.

'Salina went to bed and we read another chapter of her horse chapter book, only having to explain the terms "titbits", "coyly", "coaxed", "raptures" and "patronising". Its a book I got for $0.20 from an op shop and was published in 1968 (yes, before I was born) - but I had not realised how much the world of junior fiction (not just the vocabulary) had changed in my lifetime.

We got an excellent episode of Iron Chef (although I had seen it before - note to SBS - do you think there might be some episodes more recent than 1998 that we may not have seen? Always quality, of course, but worth contemplating).

Rockwiz was fantastic, with Adam Green and Toni Childs - if you want to watch something awesome online, here is the link.

We also got to see the majority of a fantastic movie from France "Love is in the Air" - very funny, very worthy.

So why so grumpy?

Well, that is the bit that doesn't go on a public blog where people I may know, through blood or casual acquaintance, would be a bit all "oh jeanie, you don't mention things like that".

Let me just say - 4 litres of water, one Ural (use by date 1995, but in a pinch I can look past mandatory labels), two panadol, a cracking headache and a mantra of "I don't really need to" while keeping within dash distance to the facilities hasn't fixed it.

Either that, or a combination of that and the old "week before" blues means I am just fresh out of inspiration.

Anyone got any advice? About the inspiration or my euphamism, I am at a point past caring.

Oh - and I know that many people have way bigger things to deal with - huge, life-altering things that make my little whimper sounds of joy.

Really I do.

But today, that knowledge bounces off me while I create my little pity party.

But first, I need to go again.