Monday, November 30, 2009

Come On Come On...

More politicians behaving like rock stars. You can almost hear the distant strains of "Do you want to be in my gang, my gang, my gang, do you want to be in my gang ... oh yeah" coming from the windows of parliament as we face yet another week of the same front page star struck lunch box legends. More staged just getting into my car routines after phoning 20 members of the press gallery to be in the drive way so you can say "I have nothing to say" but take the picture and someone will email you the rest. Save us from more lycra shots with do-gooder slogans strategically placed for maximum coverage but still not quite enough, more tie removed shirts and rolled up sleeves and smiling faces promoting calm under pressure. But the biggest crime of all? To be photographed with a three legged dog to show your caring side. Well best of luck to you all but let's give it to the dog. After all, at least the dog is man's best friend and that's got to be worth something in the polls. "I'm the leader of the gang I am".

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Synthetic Stew

I was disturbed recently to hear of a fashion designer being harassed about the placement of rabbit fur trim on a jacket collar of her latest design. Apparently the protesters arrived with buckets of fake blood (do they carry this stuff around in their car?) and the anti fur campaigners rattled sticks and stuck pins in her effigy until she relented and removed the trim. What's wrong with these people? I'm afraid the animal is dead. You can hook it up to an electro cardio graph and hit it with a thousand volts shouting "clear" but it ain't coming back. It was a rabbit. The principle ingredient of a stew. Also known to attack vegetation in plague proportions. Honestly if you attached a locust on to your lapel someone would be jumping up and down (obviously the locust initially but then it would probably stop) about cruelty. Foxes, rabbit, rats, pigeons, ample opportunity to recycle them all with a bit of imagination. And as for the fake blood splattering brigade it's only a matter of time before someone attacks them a sharpened vegetable or two.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ding Ding

I think the 'Melbourne in love with its trams' saying is a bit of a myth really and whilst there would probably have been a good argument to keep the horse and cart, someone made a good decision somewhere. I travel by tram a lot because my failed governments were too busy pulling each other's hair and calling each other names to put in a decent underground railway system and I don't find many people on board commenting about their affection for this rattling, bitumen destroying pile of tin. Trams belong to an era when we were just experimenting with steam trains and it didn't take very much for us to get all excited and give them names. Today's tram travel is an overcrowded bore and the wearing of i-pods is mandatory to drown out the noise of those women who persist in calling their equally bewildered friends whilst travelling on the tram and sharing the details of their weekend plans, colleagues worst attributes or previous night's vomit inducing binge. Shut the fuck up. If only my hardened glares would reach into their tiny brains.

A man in his 70's got on today and requested the 20 something to move her weary handbag from the seat so he could sit down. Can I slap her for that alone? He seems happy to be on his journey and was looking around and clearly wanting to join in a conversation with someone. He says to disinterested bag carer "she's warming up out there today...". He gets in return a grunt with not so much as eye contact from her. How rude. Are we so important that we can't provide some convivial comment on the weather? I took out my earphones as an offer of an alternative in case of the need for further discussion but he obviously thought better than to speak to the woman with the "shut the fuck up" look on her face. In some countries no one uses mobile phones on public transport because it would be ill mannered. If we kept the horse and carriage the traffic system would probably be the same with dedicated horse lanes, spray painted horses advertising the latest Grand Theft Auto game and MyHorse Card systems that don't work, and when the carriage pulled up at the lights you would hear "I was sooooo blind it was awesome". Clippity Clop. Ding ding whatever.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mornings with Morons

With a little more time than usual of late I have been watching commercial morning television. I see that whilst the general population gets older, the morning program presenters get younger. And more stupid. The constant reference to "ladies" as in "ladies try this at home" being for beauty products, the all believing magic housework products or any other snake oil they can get you to buy with three easy payments, I find this term outdated and belittling to say the least. The term 'gentleman' went by the way of the top hat and tails but they persist as if we are glued to our screens with an aproned lap full of peas to be shelled.

My favourite story, well actually it really is difficult to choose between the man (gentleman?) who built a stage coach out of toothpicks (please) and the clueless child they sent in to review a hotel cellar full of Bordeaux wines. I think she thought the word Bordeaux meant with no motivation and nothing to do. Then of course is the constant stream of in program advertising for useless items that will either guarantee a hernia before you get a six pack or at best lie idle in the cupboard while they suck continuous payments from your credit card for something you didn't need. And lastly the health topics, my favourite. For most of the year they tell us diets don't work "and here's Dr Nobody to tell us why" then they give us a six week challenge and recommend enough sugary processed food to keep you preserved well past your use by date. And don't think of turning to another channel because there they are again. But younger and dumber. I'll turn it off. I'll look out the window instead.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Life's like a box of chocolates

Another notice for a "run" has been pushed through my mail box. It's either fun, great, Australian or just an opportunity to make people pay money for something that was totally free the day before (oops did I say that out loud?). I'm informed of road closures over the entire weekend. Imagine someone closed down your street and said you can't get in and you can't get out between these times on the weekend because people want to run on roads which is far more harmful than running on a soft track or treadmill (oops said that out loud too didn't I). So there. Personally, I am a gym person and fitness is the god of all that is good but when you tell me I can't leave my house because increasingly these events seem to be appearing with no difficulty in closing down the city whatsoever I question who gets the bigger benefit. So now that I've "fully acquainted myself with the impact" outlined in their brochure, on their website and been encouraged to refer to government road upgrade web pages (for total traffic oblivion) which all equate to meaning stuff you we're making mega bucks from these Forest Gumps and we are going to continue to do it more and more while they continue to hand over their cold sweaty cash. There is nothing "great" about this event in my view, there is nothing Australian about it either and if you are keen to run there are plenty of suitable parks, beach side pathways, gyms, around the clothesline, whatever that don't cost half that much. Be warned if I need to go to the shops on the weekend I will be re-arranging those orange and white traffic obstacles and directing them all towards St Kilda Pier. Splash.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A pain in the past

Needless to say my infected tooth did not get better over the weekend. A large lump appeared on the roof of my mouth and my top lip had swollen like my plastic surgeon tripped over my handbag on the way to inject me with silicon. I no longer could consume food that had not been pulverised and all liquids mostly ended up in a puddle in my lap. So today I met with an endodontist whose title roughly translates from its Latin origins as licensed to torture people with smouldering instruments.

As I sat in the waiting room I flicked through the scrappy over thumbed and out of date magazines but then came across a hard cover book about the history of Collins Street. The photographs were magnificent of the different eras of architecture, the street scenes from horse and carriage to cars and of course fashion. As I poured over the black and white prints I thought wouldn't it be great to go back in time to look in the shops of beautifully crafted garments, hand stitched gloves and tailor made footwear. Then as I progressed through the book I got to the chapter on the medical industry inhabitants of the east end of the street. I thought to myself how glad I am to be sitting in a dental surgery today and not in the 20's when the latest technology was not much more than new leather straps to hold you down and a hot poker. And then my name was called. An hour later I staggered out of the surgery holding my face and no, a hot poker wasn't used but on a pain scale, gee I'm not quite sure which I would prefer. So hopefully the swelling will go down and I will stop frightening small dogs and children but not before my next hot date with sharp instruments. Such progress.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Smile, you are not in Paris

I avoided a lot of the summer last year by jumping on a plane to Paris. Very tres chic of me however it was the coldest I think I have ever been. Now that the Melbourne air is hot and breathless I'm wanting to recall that cold fresh slap in the face of minus 4 degrees that you get from a European sidewalk where the freshly washed streets are frozen with ice and you try not to land on your backside. As I write this I feel the pain from a screaming front tooth that's badly in need of a root canal as my self administered drugs are beginning to wear off. For the cost of a plane ticket to you know where my tooth will be fixed and so will my passport be in the bottom drawer for another year. Toothless in Paris was never a title for a great movie so I will be opting for the dentist chair on Monday morning. Well and truly over the fear of the dentist having had so many things go wrong with my teeth I now no longer reach over the back of the chair for his throat and scream for Novocaine. In fact I believe my teeth have been most generous and paid for his marriage, put his kids through school, come through with some great family holidays and in fact if you look closely, the back of the dentist chair has a gold plaque reading 'this chair was brought to you by ....' and there sits my name. It's a pity there are no frequent flyer points for dentist visits because I could be warming myself in front of a nice handbag counter at Galleries Lafayette right now. Cest La Vie

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Money can't buy sleep

What were you doing at 5am this morning? Sleeping? Me too. Apparently we've missed out. We should have joined 4,999 other people to queue up outside a shopping centre for a $100 gift voucher to launch their new luxury brands wing. Yeah one hundred bucks is nothing to be sneezed at but pre dawn pushing and shoving is no way to start the day. For that price you'll get a Hugo Boss sock or a Gucci ...well nothing actually. So now I guess I can call myself a supermodel if I won't get out of bed for a hundred bucks, well maybe not quite so super at that price. Shopping is one of the great benefits of living in a free country, it's what wars were fought for weren't they? The battle of Burberry in the trench coats is a somber reminder of what freedoms we take for granted today. So yes, go forth and battle the crowds to bring back your glorious if somewhat small piece of victory if you must. Just don't expect me to answer the bugle call.

Monday, November 16, 2009

To have and to hold... and PARTY HARD

I don't know about you but brides scare me. If ever I've seen an event turn an ordinary woman into a screaming control freak, it's one where someone has succumbed to the bridal virus. It's like watching a volcano erupt, you can see the hot molten lava spewing towards you but you are fixated and you just can't seem to run away. So when I see the latest fashion news about weddings I'm keen to absorb it all like it's a feakshow circus act. "Come see the bearded lady swallow swords and turn into a python" or better still, see crazy women make irrational decisions and throw money like there is no tomorrow. According to today's online Age "Everyone wants to look like an A-lister" and it's all about being raunchy and not looking like a bride. According to this bridal expert "She just wants to rock a sexy look."

So what then, she's walking down the aisle in her underwear and fishnet stockings with a Crown Lager in her hand and singing, sorry miming something by Britney Spears. Why be a bride if not to look like one? Unfortunately we've looked to Hollywood for our matrimonial inspirations and we all know what a huge success rate they have with marriage. No longer the doves to be released out of boxes, instead let's release political prisoners and instead of a church aisle it's a red carpet complete with hired paps. So what happens when the gala premier is over and Brad Pitt turned out to be Big Pratt and there's no money left after spending it all on the after party formerly known as the honeymoon? At least you can wear the underwear again.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Me Time

Is it me or do others loathe going to the hairdressers? A trip to the hairdressers for me is as exciting as going to the dog groomers. I know that there are people out there who look forward to the 'me' time but for me this is wasted time when I could be doing something more important. I have usually flicked through all of the trash mags within a matter of minutes of being seated because god knows there is nothing to read in them other than made up bold captions relating to deranged celebrities and photos of them looking like they have just been found wandering alone in a desert for months surviving on nothing but beetles and grasshoppers. When finally the time arrives to wash the plutonium off my head I'm asked to bend my head backwards (just like the toothbrush with the flip top head) while someone with fingers like edward scissorhands massages my scalp to the point where I think my skull will cave in and her fingers will poke a hole into my brain. Sitting back again in front of a mirror looking like someone's cat that fell in the pool, I'm playing The Einstein Factor with my special subject being my hair part. I lose 20 points for not knowing how much "this much" means and she cuts away regardless while I remember not to cross my legs in case she cuts my hair on a slope and I look like an 80's new romantic. Nearly 3 hours later I am released and somewhat poorer only to have to face it again in 8 weeks time. I guess it's just not me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Friday Garment Special

The last day of the working week and nothing to wear. As I point my divining rod into my wardrobe there is not a drop of summer workwear to speak of. Stuffing back in the coats of wool and dead animals as they leap out of the open door, I start to reach into the dark depths of wardrobe backwaters. Sectioned off at the rear of the cupboard is no mans land resume of retrenched ball gowns and fancy dress outfits (at least that's how I will explain it for now). This would be where one finds such things as old bridesmaids dresses of violet taffeta with mutton sleeves that are as attractive as they sound, the short leather black mini skirt that did well for the 80's and still bears the marks of beer and bands from the venue that has long gone and of course those never worn but often tried on white pants that were so transparent your old faded undies might as well be worn on the outside. As time ticks on the sense of urgency begins to take its toll. Furiously there is pulling out of the cupboard, off from the hanger, thrown on the bed and reaching in for another. It's getting desperate when you are sizing up the dry cleaning bag with the zip up front and wondering if your head will fit in the hole. It's navy? Where was that bloody Maria Von Trapp woman to pull down the curtains and make me some clothes when I needed her? Ah well, at least it's the end of the week and with a bit of luck no one will ask why my dress says 'same day service'.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From The Big Screen to the Big House

Two CCTV vans will patrol CBD trouble spots we are told in today's media. Two? Gosh! How on earth will we escape them? How will we know when they are approaching? Will they be in disguise? Will I hear "Action" at the intersection? So many questions and so few reasons not to poke fun. So other than providing some seriously brilliant funniest home videos, I dare say that camera footage from trouble spots will be just that, camera footage from trouble spots. It will be replayed on our nightly news over and over again, the police will sell it to the highest bidder and not very much will change at all. So for the contribution of $150,000 from the latest patrons of the arts formerly known as taxpayers, we can expect an epic tale of weekend city street scenes shot in 360 degree panoramic vision starring an unlikely cast of Melbourne's finest. Lights, camera, knives, broken beer bottles, action.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm a size 10 and enjoy late night margin calls

As I pick up my newspaper today a small flyer from a bank slides out all bright and cheerful. I pick it up and am drawn in by its bold design. "We're bringing back over 600 bank managers" it reads. Brilliant. I wonder where they been keeping them. I open up my flyer to learn about 7 of the 600 each with name, a few interesting comments about themselves and their individual mobile telephone numbers. I learn that one is a huge cricket fan and is "following up" and another is a fun-runner and does whatever it takes. I'm not sure if I should ask these people for a loan or out on a date. They all tell us where they can be found and that they are my local Bank Manager even if they all are located in the CBD. My favourite would be Erika Perkins, she says "I'm a dog with a bone". I believe the term is 'like a dog with a bone' unless of course Erika is a German Shepherd then by all means enjoy your bone. She says she is helping you into your first place. First place? When you are born? Is this woman wrenching babies from their mothers to take them into the living room? And then there is Delia Taylor who is a mum of two and is keeping an open door. Some people keep gold fish but a door is perfectly fine if that's what you enjoy. All in all it would be difficult to sum yourself up for a bank flyer in no more than two bullet points. I can think of two right now, but I don't think the bank would print those.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The summer model

Two glorious days of mid thirty degrees and summer feels like it has arrived. The warm air is blowing through the streets and there isn't a cloud in the sky. It's great to feel the heat from the sun but by 4pm I'm over it and ready to turn on the air con. Too lazy to go to the beach and a list too long as why it wouldn't be worth it, I settle for a repeat showing of Jaws to remind me of what summer used to be. Coming from stock that gets burned under an electric light bulb a day in the sun is something that would require major preparation to the point that by the time I was ready to go out summer would be over. Women can't just chuck on the shorts and head out.

Women are just made differently. I was considering this the other night watching an old episode of Parkinson when he asked his female guests Sharon Osborne, Joan Rivers and some young person that I probably should know but don't, if they had a choice would they wish to have been born male of female. They all replied female and quoted all the usual girly responses, shoes, babies etc. Personally, if I had been asked I would chose male. I think that when the female body came off the production line they got it wrong. If we are to believe the scriptures that male came first and then the design team created female, that's when they stuffed it up. Just like car manufacturers when they try to improve on the original model they end up sacrificing the basics. So instead of the good old reliable, can do one thing at a time, all the accessories on display, they then tried to refine it. They put in airbags and added intricate workings that quite frankly work for a while and then fall apart. The new model whilst more sleek in design and according to the brochure is capable of multi functions at the one time, looses its gloss after a while and is prone to leaking. Should have stuck with the original I say. But alas, without a complete overhaul including spray paint and alignment I will not be going to the beach this summer as the paintwork will fade in the sun and I'm not going to mention the spare wheel.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stolen moments

Jail for an ANZ Bank employee who stole $800,000, the headlines read. I look down at my keyboard, nope. No tears there. Banks don't cry over $800,000 they just steal it right back. So no tears. But what saddens me is to learn that the reported thief spent the haul on gambling. Shame, shame on you for not spending it on something more useful. Why can't we be reading about the woman who stole for a Prada shoe fetish or exquisite Italian designer gowns, a fur coat made of the last goddamn panda in existence, I don't bloody care but not on pokies. If only the thief that stole from the masters of thieving spent her last week staying in hotels so large she needed a satnav to find the bathroom with a golden tassel to call the butler to turn the magazine page. I wouldn't mind if she even went to a plastic surgeon and spent the money on getting breasts so big she needed scaffolding just to stand up straight (I'd like to see the bank try and get those back), but to put it all into machine that goes ping ping ping is just plain wrong. She could have bought her own pinging machine with that much cash. Wrong, just plain wrong.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Shi**ing News

As I sit at my computer and look out the window the soft sound of the late afternoon (really late) birds (as in where the bloody hell have you been late) fills my conscience. Sometimes it's nice to have just the natural sounds. No television advertisement yelling orgasmic sounds over washing powder, no doof, doof or..doof coming from a speaker anywhere. Just the gentle twitter (very late as in I am throwing all your twigs out of the tree and onto the lawn late) bird calls. I live alone which is the preferred method of living, just ask any of my past or current lovers, family members or deceased flat mates. As a solo dweller and part of an apparently growing statistical trend I often catch myself with the occasional mutter. Nothing too dramatic, just a comment or repetition of a banal observation to remind myself that I'm not dead.

I have a view of Port Phillip Bay and every now and again I spot a tanker slowly trekking across the water stacked with layers of containers. Without fail, I can't resist the temptation to say out loud ' more shit coming in'. Somehow I get a sense of enjoyment knowing that the ship of shit has been spotted. In my mind it's filled with useless articles that will fill the discount stores with brightly coloured plastic shit that nobody wants but everyone can afford. It never occurs to me that the containers might be delivering lifesaving pharmaceuticals or more importantly imported wine. I'm sure they come in by plane, and beside that would take all the fun out it. Does anyone else find themselves making the odd random comment to thin air or is it just me? Perhaps it is the very first indication of madness or just getting old and stupid. What really scares me is that sound you make when you get up from squatting down, you know the oooppphhh sound? That starts at about the age of 30 and gets louder as time goes on. For now as the sun sets I'll sit here and listen to the sound of the birds chirping loudly, and throwing suitcase loads of twigs onto the ground.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Etiquette or Retro Rubbish?

I'm in the middle of reading Mirielle Guiliano's (of French Women Don't Get Fat fame) Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire. Savoir Faire meaning the ability to do or say the right thing. I believe this is something that everyone deep down is hopeful of, otherwise we would be all have rocket launchers in the back garden instead of water tanks. I enjoy reading about business etiquette and doing a personal assessment of my own behaviours and discovering I am borderline acceptable to have in public and not quite in the raised by wolves category. In the business world, etiquette is very much sculptured by the culture of its inhabitants. Times have changed, I have worked in companies with call centres whose inhabitants viewed my daily wearing of hosiery as either so archaic they thought I was attempting to be retro in a creepy kind of insane way, or had some rare skin disease on my legs that required covering.

When it comes to etiquette, the public or social world leaves you to your own devices. Coming up to the season of Christmas breakups, too much booze and bad food breakdowns I'm considering the advertisement for the Debretts Etiquette for Girls who apparently range from 16 years to 30. Beyond that I think you are expected to be too far gone and left to your Abba collection or expected to do the right thing and go away and die.

With headings such as 'Flirting to meeting the parents, The capsule wardrobe and Special occasions - from festivals to polo and private jets, Dining out, socialising and entertaining at home' I can only anticipate that after reading this I will have flirted my way into a new family, taken pills that make me think I look good in clothes, taken a private jet to a polo match on the way back from a festival and will have a home big enough to entertain more than 2 people. I also note that this website offers a competition whereby you can win a bottle of whisky. No doubt after which you will have disgraced yourself enough to forget your newly learned skills and returned to the great Shazza you were in the first place. Cheers.