Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Won't you get hip to this timely tip...

I do find myself speaking to the television a little more of late. Have you often noticed that sometimes things are just pronounced differently and then all of a sudden everyone is doing it? It started with Nestle which we all know as children we crudely pronounced it as nestle as in to rhyme with wrestle and then one day it became nestlay. In the last few days I've noticed that according to our newsreaders many things are becoming enveloped. Not pronounced as in placed in an envelope but more like a combination of envy and eloped, en-velloped. When did it change? I didn't get anything in the mail. No memo or public address that I can recall. Now it's caught on like one of those buzz word like 'outcomes' and 'moving forward'. On watching a report on the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission which I am already wary of anyone turning up to work in a bow tie and expecting to be taken seriously, they referred to the Californian bushfire strategy of stay or go which sounded a little more like a logical go or go policy, a bit like you have in your workplace. Have you ever known anyone to want to stay and defend their desk? However, the point I was getting at (really?) was the Californian fireman stated that he tells the occupants to leave via the safe route. Not pronounced as route but pronounced as rowt to rhyme with doubt. I doubt that he cares much about pronunciation and fair point but I really hope it doesn't catch on. 'Get your kicks on rowt 66' simply won't do.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

More weeping women

Art Melbourne is a yearly event of collected galleries all showing under the one Royal Exhibition Building roof. It was previously known as the Affordable Art show however their idea of affordable and the general public's seemed to clash so it was renamed. I went along this year as I have done now for the last few. I have purchased the odd print, nothing too sizeable or unaffordable that it won't fit in the space of a small French hatchback without having to put the seats down. Don't make me do that! It's a relaxing Sunday occupation of wandering around the various exhibits in intelligent silence when really your mind is the worlds toughest critic and you are quietly discrediting away the artists works thinking '$1500 bucks for that, who painted it an elephant?' It seems the naked woman is a faithful subject matter as has historically always been the case and these days in the era of easily accessible porn, a reclining nude would barely raise an eyebrow - or so I thought. I came across 3 framed photographs of the same naked model. She has very pale skin and thick wavy red hair. In each of the photographs she is lying on her back, in the first she has blood gushing out of her mouth, the second dripping from her nipple and the third from her vagina. Blood that would be the result of a stab wound. I felt angry even looking at them and even more angry when I got close enough to see that each one had more red dots (meaning sold) beside it than most of the exhibits I had seen. My initial reaction was give me the names of the sick bastards that bought this crap. And then with the collective artistic vibe of the venue I thought maybe I am wrong to say this is crap and who am I to say it's not art? It's obviously appealed to many (I still want their names) so should I accept this as art and not become one of those "ban it" people who seem to be dominating every inch of our society today. I walked away needing to have my questions answered. A bit like those columns in the paper where you write in with your etiquette question like "if another customer at the deli pushes in front of me to get served first, should I demonstrate maturity and say nothing, life's too short blah, blah, blah or punch them hard and say rack off thunder thighs you can wait for your salami a bit longer?". I would like to ask my question to Picasso (and he was alive and he probably wishes he was alive for me to ask) what his interpretation of this. He, being I'm sure accustomed the tut tutting of polite society as he presented compositions of women, penises and lots of other naughty stuff. The problem was this wasn't naughty stuff, this was violent and shocking but not in a Guernica kind of way, more just a bad acting in another episode of Underbelly kind of way. And yes, that's definately not art.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A touch of Coco to release me from reality

I intend to go and see a movie on the weekend, Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky which from what Margaret and David tell us on the Movie Show, is not a great movie and perhaps a little bit on the dull side. But I disregard this in order to gain a glimpse of the background Art Deco apartment which makes my eyes light up where I make this kind of soft sighing sound like most people do when they see babies or small dogs. I've become one of those old people that go to the cinema and notice the linen bed sheets and the festoon blinds, while the two star attractions are shagging each others brains out front of screen. I have been known to interrupt the "yes, oh yes..." with a whispered "do you think that's Egyptian cotton?" I saw Miss Pettrigrew Lives For A Day over and over again which probably has one of the more slender movie plots around but the apartment deserved an Oscar alone. I long to swan around an apartment with a grand curved gold staircase in my oyster silk ostrich feathered robe, martini glass in hand and lengthy list of gentleman callers to call upon. Unfortunately the reality is more likely a gungy t-shirt, laundry basket in one hand and remote control in the other. Still that's what movies are for. Have a great weekend folks. Now, where does one find ostrich feathers these days?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Speaking words of wisdom

According to The (London) Times '63,000 flights over the past four days have saved 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide...'. See, every cloud does have a silver lining (even if it is made up of broken glass and ash). A triumph of non air based travel has prevailed as people scramble for sea berths, bus seats and expensive sore bottoms in taxis. Should we really be so concerned about a little weather event in a land where only the local people can pronounce the towns? Board the planes and take off I say, let's see what modern aviation can do. Surely a little grit with your cabin pressure is merely exfoliation whilst flying. Your meal tray might have a little more crunch than usual and the roar of the engine might be muffled due to the giant condom it's wearing - trojan for toughness during turbulence but at least you can say I got to where I needed to go. Yes, the ability to get to the wedding, scheduled medical procedure or back to work location is the most important thing right now and a mere volcanic eruption should not stand in our way to get to where we must get to. And then what? We have to get to somewhere else. And then somewhere after that. What happens if we don't go anywhere? Do we have to get anywhere if we don't go anywhere? I think what happens then is you just be. For a brief moment anyway. Just be. Enjoy it if you can.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No Scrambled Eggs for Dinner Tonight!

It's either feast or famine at my place and this weekend I've gone down the road of culinary champions without the need for an unshaven celebrity chef and 20 seconds of anticipation music. I started the day with a trip to the Farmers Market. The sun was warm and the park was humming. Puppy school was well underway when I arrived and I was fortunate enough to witness today's curriculum of sit, stay, come, and sit and try not to embarrass your owner. The market stalls form a circle of a organic growers, a few not so local bakers and a few too many jars of jam that any one human being can consume in a lifetime. The mushroom man has fungi that could easily pass as a hat and the rhubarb lady with her commitment to her brightly coloured red friend producing tarts and jams every time however I suspect that when she gets home if someone so much as mentions rhubarb she would come at them with a carving knife. So tonight I cooked a duck breast slowly in a pan with some boiled kipfler potatoes that accidentally fell in the pan to be coated in duck fat. The leafy green salad took away the guilt factor as I carved my knife through the pink, moist meat and crispy potatoes. You know when you've done good on the organic gourmet richter scale because you get that, at one with nature feeling like you somehow saved a tree and a whale somewhere got within a few metres of the beach and said 'no, not today'. All praise to farmers markets and the farmers who get up so very early to give us such joy. Now, if only I could remember if it was sit, stay, come or sit, come and stay?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

North and South is fine by me

I decided to do something brave over Easter and get in my car and travel to a shopping mall. Within 15 minutes I have arrived at the queue of cars snaking into the layer upon layer of concrete car parking. I must have been early for mall shopping standards because I found a car park quite quickly and felt like I should be awarded some sort of a prize. I glibly walked away from my parked car and entered into the giant monument of bewilderment. I was in the 'new' section apparently. It had changed since the first time I went there in the 1970's when it was a shopping corridor with a north and south but no east or west. It had about 20 shops and a ramp for excitement. Now it has a grand piano and possible some undiscovered tribe living somewhere in the loading dock. There was a movie once about a man who lived at an airport. If you ask me he went to the wrong place, no baby grand there! I walked in and out of shops one after another with enough enthusiasm to think that I was going to have a difficult choice decided from all the shopping choices that surrounded me. After an hour I realised I hadn't really progressed very far from where I came in and noticed that I had forgotten what it was that I actually came for. By now the twinkling piano was starting to piss me off and the lack of anything different from the previous shop was becoming very dull. The energy drained away from me and I regularly looked up into the sky light to make sure night hadn't fallen. I walked passed the same shops or so it seemed, and eventually found my way back to my landmark that lead me back to the car park. Having purchased nothing and with tired legs I walked through the car park in search of my car. I did that, searched for my car that is for nearly half an hour. I'm yet to understand the attraction with these places even with everything under one roof but never having been an all your eggs in one basket kind of girl I guess I might have been happy with 20 shops and a ramp after all.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

No Safety Goggles Required

How handy are you? I asked myself this question last night watching one of those home improvement shows where you can put an extension on the house before the next ad break. This segment was about decorating a child's bedroom as a forest wonderland. Our presenter directs us to a table with plywood and then instructs us to "grab your jigsaw" and make tree cutouts. Is it me or did I get the wrong presents this year for Christmas? How fortunate for the child to now have a bedroom painted as a forest including cutout trees to hang things on. When I was a kid I was lucky to have a bed and any request for a forest wonderland interior makeover would have been met with parental disapproval and that the fairy light should be sufficient entertainment to get me through to puberty. I feel fortunate that my mother didn't possess power tools as her extreme phobia of spiders would have reduced the trees in the backyard to a pile of wood chips and probably a side of the house as well. I'm not handy and I'm not particularly good with spiders either. On discovering a mouse in my lounge room a few years ago I locked myself in my bedroom (not a forest wonderland) and felt compelled to call the police. What are they using my taxes for exactly anyhow. So unfortunately due to the fact that I don't keep men or pets in the house anymore leaves me with no alternative but to call for help when things squeak, go out, fall off and break down which is exactly what they should be showing on the home improvement shows. 'Next week on Better Holes and Breakdowns...How to change a light globe with no ladder, freshly painted fingernails and not the slightest bit of interest'.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bored to be Alive

It's confirmation that you are getting old when you start referring to people as "young people" and then that disapproving "tskgghhh" sound comes out of your mouth as a sound track to old person's disbelief at what you are looking at. I discovered today that flirting has a whole new meaning now that we have technology. Where as before, a note, a call, a punch on the arm was all that was needed to say we were "going 'round". These days apparently it's expected you need to submit (sext) a close up picture of a body part on a mobile phone as part of the courting ritual. Preferably your own body part and not one cropped from somebody who is ten years younger or fitter. Personally I prefer photographs of me to be more distant than that. Basically it would be taken at such a distance you would be hard pressed to confirm it was actually me let alone a shot of thigh or breast. Facebook and the Skype prove no match to a Blue Light disco where one could lean up against the wall all night listening "Born to Be Alive..Born, Born, Born, Born to Be Alive". Drinks weren't spiked because you brought your own bottle of Jim Beam and nobody stabbed anybody because the studs on your t-shirt sleeves said you were tough enough. Cars were old and crappy and the only thing getting high was your hair. You were permanently bored and hated the world. With songs like Born to Be Alive being played over and over again we had every right to be bored. Come to think of it those young people should be bloody grateful our generation invented the internet or they would still be dancing around their handbags.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Eating

The Easter long weekend is in my mind one for eating, sleeping and more eating. It's a relatively boring weekend with trading chaos as religion and public holiday rates drag down the grates of the local supermarket but the local TAB opens its doors to the needy, downtrodden and depressed. It's just a shame they don't sell food or I'd be there. With an offer to share a Sunday lunch with my family's family including people ranging in years from half an hour old to 154, I declined the ritual and embark on a weekend of dining out. So far the quest has been a collection of blessed home cooking in a restaurant kind of way, Sicilian beef cotolleta (read schnitzel) at the Canteen with fabulous Rosa looking out over the pass as I look down on Flinder's lane lunchtime foot traffic. Rosa has been producing her family meals since the family was invented and even though there are only 3 main courses to choose from the choice is one of the hardest quests of the day. Saturday saw me at the Cellar Bar performing ancient macrame with the Australian newspaper just to get it to fit on my teeny table to leave enough room for a lamb ragu with penne and glass of Italian red. The waiters in this place have a sense of European pace and importance which is sadly missing from a lot of local eateries, they switch things on and off your table like they were hidden under eggcups and swapped around before you can remember what was there before. And today Cafe Vue provided a cold wagyu burger at a shared table with a couple sitting next to me that thought it was acceptable to put their toddlers nappied arse on the same table I was eating at. If I had a rottweiler and told it to sit on the table someone would call the cops. I wish some people would stay at home. So tomorrow is another day and another food opportunity, then I really will need to stop doing this before a) I'm broke and b) my pants are too small.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Blonde Age

When I was much younger the movies promised a future where everything would be easier and require less effort due to the rapid rate of technological advances. By now the thought of manually vacuuming my house would be a distant memory along with changing the speed from 45 to LP on the record player. I would be served my dinner by androids, my car would be a spaceship and all of the doors in my house would automatically slide open and closed with a swift 'whoosh' sound. So why in these days of wireless revolution do I find myself feeling like I'm wearing nothing but animal skins and holding a wooden club in my hand when I speak to salespeople about purchasing a new computer? Having walked into an electronic appliance shop today I'm approached by a slightly distracted or non interested employee who finds me puzzled by an array of computers that all look the same but vary vastly in price. Mr I'm So Up With It kicks off the sales pitch with "they're pretty aren't they?". Not in a fun, let's use humour to show warmth and empathy to a discerning customer kind of way, this was more let's be a smart arse because she's clearly a dumb blonde. I stood there and stared at him thinking about how the pretty computer will look sticking out of his backside when I decide to persist a little longer. Mr I.S.U.W.I goes on to overload me with must have add ons and enough electronic devices to allow me to browse the internet with at least 14 devices anywhere in my house including my washing machine and dryer. I was able to interrupt him only briefly to explain to him that I don't "connect", "route", read instruction manuals or wish to have access to anything remotely termed a help desk because I want someone who knows what they are doing to connect this stuff. He couldn't comprehend this request so he ignored it and went on to prattle off flexible rental arrangements and considered he had closed the deal. I took his shiny brochure and said "leave it with me" and left the shop to return to my cave. I think I can put up with my Flintstones PC just a little longer. Now where's that android, it's cocktail hour.