Saturday, July 30, 2011

Now that's one way to get my attention

I was fake sleeping on the couch. TheBoy was rolling me off it. He'd then yell 'WAKE UP!' and I'd have to react with comedic horror to having suddenly found myself on the floor with no recollection on how I got there.

Later he took it up a notch.

He carefully removed my socks ... then used the back-scratcher to scrape the soles of my feet. My super flat, constantly riddled with tears and abrasions from excessive picking feet.

It was agony!

Still ... you have to hand it to him. That was a super genius way to wake me up from a fake sleep.

A silly, greedy mistake

I had a midday doctor's appointment to discuss my ear. It was / is still weeping. The doctor told me to take a break from the super anti-biotic ear drops since the inflammation had tapered off, but noted there was something in my ear likely to cause the infection to return.

Last time it was a polyp.

While I was there I got referrals for x-rays and ultrasounds of my shoulder (tendonitis) and my left hip. She said the latter was likely afflicted by bursitis, which is a deep-set inflammation. Apparently this can be rendered almost pain-free with a steroid injection.

Now when you're beset with a range of body crap and someone says one of those items of body crap can be simply and efficiently dealt with then you tend to get a bit excited.

This excitement filled me as I skipped painfully and both gaily along the aisle of the nearby Woolies in an effort to purchase a bunch of super yummy stuff for home to celebrate.

Then I saw it. A litre of connoisseur-branded Vanilla ice-cream. Down to $5.50, saving three bucks.

Now I have IBS ... and dairy is a a trigger for me (1).

But, fuck it, I was in a good mood so I got it.

That night it was deemed to be a 'snacky-tea' which, for couplespeak, means each adult member of the household is free to roam amongst the wilds of the pantry and freezers and make themselves something to eat for just them.

I chose ice-cream. With cream. And sugar.

It was delicious.

So good I had it again.

Then ... about 1 am ... I finished off the tub.

Yes I, a known victim of dairy when it meets with IBS, ate an entire litre of the richest Vanilla ice-cream that is commercially available.

As I finished it off, the glow of cold and sugar dancing in my mouth, I hissed to myself 'totally worth it.'

Yeah ... it was. Then soon it wasn't.

Arrrghhh! (clutches guts, farts like a mother fucker).

It's now just over 12 hours since I did that and the after-effects are still going. Plus I can't have super-meds as I have to go babysit for someone later.

I totally brought that on myself.

It was certainly delicious ... it was also about a 2000 calorie intake that I really super terrifically did not need. Combined with the fact it gave me the raging bloats and left me once more sleeping alone and writhing around in pain.

Epic Mikey fail.

But ... I got back up again. I always do. Even if sometimes I don't want to.

Take that life.

(1)
I am not, however lactose intolerant according to various tests. I do suspect however I have a milk protein allergy.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Attamikey

Recently we trooped out for Turkish.

It was a nice place, near our new digs, and it was our first group lunch since we'd shifted offices.

It was a bit of a squeeze to get all of us in and it meant someone had to sit against the wall and be effectively hemmed in for the duration. I was that someone.

I got some food a little stuck and, feeling the warning signs of light-heaving coming on, I had to get someone to shift left, while the table was pulled out, and the person opposite that shifted out etc. It was like human plus fittings meets tetris.

Eventually, after staggering around to heave out some food a couple of times, I went back.

As I tried to get back in I fell sideways along the padded bench-seating's top. So I adopted a coquettish across-the-bonnet Street Strip-esq pose then announced my charity calendar, replete with other such poses, would soon be available and that for January I'd gone the mankini.

This was met with groans of horror from the mostly female attendees and I was admonished for my faux pas'ing.

I thought it was a kak.

Earlier, when the rice arrived, we all noticed that the shape of the mounds of rice was exactly like that of firm yet perky tits. There were three of them. Without stopping to think I yelled out 'hey, that's like that chick from Total Recall.'

This caused TLR—the only one who reacted with positive energy to that obvious yet hilarious observation—to piss himself laughing and declare he could not laugh again this day because that was obviously the funniest thing he would encounter. Like when Cartman loses his laugh in South Park when Ben Affleck finds out that he was given up for adoption by parents who suffered from arse-face. Because Cartman now feels he has seen the funniest thing he will ever see, so why bother laughing again?

So yeah ... a pair of stand-out Mikey Moments for Mikey. Plus there were probably a dozen other things I said that were sketchy. I blame one ear blocked—I couldn't hear what people were saying and could only rely on visual cues given the ambient noise of dining—and my natural exuberance.

I'm just so lovely!

An alarming remembrance

[Dream Cafe. Babu is on the window looking gloomy. Jerry comes in.]

Jerry: Well, congratulations my friend. You know, I sorry I missed the grand re-opening. I was out of town for about a week.

Babu: You see how I listened. I worked very hard, borrowed more money.

Jerry: I think it's fantastic. Has a certain indefinable charm.

Babu: You wish to eat?

Jerry: Let me tell you something Babu. You go back there in that kitchen and tell your chef I want the works.

Babu: Very good.

Jerry thinking: Very good? No, not very good, very great. I am very, very great.

From Seinfeld, Episode #307, The Cafe

I was on my daily walk. I had to pick theWife up in half an hour and the double block circuit which is my go to standard route is about 26 minutes. So I got my wriggle on, despite the lancing pain of my strained hip.

Yes, strained hip. Like an old person. And I’m only Dennis plus one.

As I rounded the top of left-left-left I could hear the shrill bleat of an alarm. It wasn’t a car alarm but a house alarm. So … I stopped. I walked over to see if I could see obvious signs of a break in. I couldn’t. But I saw a note about how the house—clearly a place with a home office slash business—was closed for renos and the note had a contact number and name on it.

Dave.

So I called him.

‘Hey are you Dave?’ I asked. It was hard to hear over the alarm.

He confirmed he was.

‘Your house alarm’s going off. I can’t see anyone though or signs of a break in.’

Dave, a tradie by the sound of him, cursed. He said he’d come home and deal with it. He claimed he hadn't even turned the alarm on, and so, what was that all about?

‘Do you want me to stay outside in case someone’s in there?’ I asked, all Boys Own with excitement at possibly catching a jolly bounder who may be in there and knocking over Dave’s tat.

Dave err’ed and ummed, and it was too hard over the alarm to confirm that so in the end I just ‘okay, well, I’ll keep going then.’

I hung up.

That was the last I spoke to Dave.

Off back I went along the mid-point of left-left-left, my hip screaming at me to stop, and into the gloom of evening’s approach, a deed of goodness bestowed.

Though the whole over-eager offering to stand sentinel was awkward. It also fully reminded me of the time I almost tried to force water down a thirsty fellow long-haul bus passenger’s throat after yelling ‘Do you want some water? It’s Evian’ in a seductive way as if I could convince him to change his mind on the offer.

Why would I do that? Well, because I was fully pumped from having saved someone's life. We we just leaving a rest-stop at 3 am, theWife and I travelling back from visiting her family and us not yet being car people. It was a 60 hour bus trip. It was then I noticed the wallet on the seat opposite me. It belonged to an Asian guy with limited English. Which meant he was both not on the bus and he didn't have his wallet. I raced forward and pleaded with the driver to stop then let me go look for him. Since, after-all, he wouldn’t have had any money and been left in the arse-fuck of regional New South Wales with probable communication issues, what with being EAL (2). So I started stepping down the stairs as the door opened and there was the passenger standing there. He'd likely been knocking for sometime but he couldn’t be heard over me heatedly advocating on his behalf. I pointed and shouted ‘THERE HE IS’ in complete triumph like someone denouncing a witch or communist at an insert-fora-here (3).


It was at that point the backpacker who sat next to our seats said ‘man, I’m thirsty’ to his girlfriend and I dove down the aisle to my seat to pull forth a battered bottle with about three inches of likely back-wash infused water swilling at the bottom. It was then I loudly declared that he should sup from my mingled Mikey and luxury-brand water juices because it was of the aforementioned brand.

theWife has never forgotten. She brings it up now and then. Usually by pointing and laughing and saying ‘remember that time with the Evian bottle…’?

(1) Argh, for the life of me I couldn't successfully Google that renos is the correct contraction of renovations when as-used by Australians. I rarely fail at googling. I take this as an affront!
(2) EAL—or English as an Additional Language, is the new way we describe such folk. We being public servants. It used to be English as a Second Language but then the higher-ups decided—rightly I think, but I can understand those who tutt, tutt, about the PC brigade (2a)—that this was somewhat judgmental and opted for the Additional change. I occasionally do get argy sometimes about having to deal with people who can’t understand me because of their limited English, but that’s mainly because the circumstances are usually shitty ones. Like dealing with the help-desk for Optus or fobbing off a cold-caller trying to either flog me some Tyler-don’t-likes or trying to scam me into giving them my credit card deets then allow malware to be installed on my PC (2b). Outside that, and even during that, however, I am reminded that unlike me, they speak another complete entire language. Furthermore there’s every chance they know 1-3 more than that.

(2a) PC being Political Correctness. Right-wingers tend to have a problem with it because they don’t like being glared at when they go all old school with abo or poofter in a conversation.
(2b) PC being Personal Computer. The scam has been happening in Canberra of late. My desk-buddy L had it tried on her so she kindly sent a warning email around about it.
(3) Witch being up to say CE1850 and Communism kicking off, let’s say … CE 1880 onward (2a). Mind you, given the communist-esq nature of a coven, you could have been both. Perhaps in that golden time between CE1851 and CE1879? Which reminds me. Listen to this. Now. Then part two and three. Why? It's a perfect blend of comedy and learnin', that's why. Cass, you will thank me for it. He's like us.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

But poo's the best part...

I thanked Casso today for still checking in here now and then (1). Given this is the only thing I am writing and we're writing buds ('stay true, Cass. Stay true'). So really, she sort of has to. That's the power of the buddy system. It's like that weird plot device of the person being saved having to either be looked after by their saviour or, oddly, conversely they are now responsible for their saviour. I know, it's a weird plot device. But it comes up a lot. Mostly in the form of a colonising white oppressor making a pact with a culture-traitor. Me Tonto, you Tarzan. You get the drift.

Anyway I thanked her for her continual kindness and then ... then she confessed something.

She doesn't read the poo posts.

Doesn't. Read. The poo posts.

Unbelievable. Throbbing with Latin passion I thumbed back a cutting missive.

'But ... That's ninety percent of my act...' (2)

Texting. Yet another medium of communication I have conquered.

Suck that, Kerouac.

(1) I am all too aware this should really just be addressing you at this point. Blogs. The social media equivalent of that fly that lives for but a day, then dies en-masse after it's sauced up every she-fly (1a) within flying distance.
(1a) ...don't bother me...
(2) The t in That should have been sentence case. Stupid text auto capitals.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mikey sends an email

I have aspirations. I do. Outside of life-drift, which I admit to have embraced much-long, I do harbour a secret fantasy I might, one day, write something worthy of going dead-tree and into a brick and mortar shop. The kind you sit at a card table in while autographing your book and get a brief blip of pleasure of adoration (1).

I have a number of projects on the go—I don't jinx it by saying they're books—and the inner-smug in me is convinced that they will eventually be finished with a great flourishing swish and be snaffled up faster than cookie-basket eats my son's underpants (2). And despite erring and umming about whether it counts I do in fact now consider blogging does count as far as writing practice goes. It's why I'm still here, like a grizzled prospector eking out his claim despite the entire town's populace having left, in blogland. I feel like that submarine out to whoop whoop in Red October whose Captain rightly guesses the fleeing Soviet sub commander would come that way and the book's protagonist—Ryan, now an analyst with the government—agrees, getting a carrier-bourne heli to take him out and ocean-drop him to meet up, the heli having gone past its 10 minute fuel reserve that could only be used during wartime.

So on I write—with the fantasy of finishing off those "projects"—knowing for certain I'll probably free-publish the lot with the vain hope of being spotted as a possible candidate for a publisher to recruit to their stable and thus grant me the daydream so delicately pictured above.

However the footnoting is getting out of hand. Now I'm footnoting emails. Edited extract of example follows;

I just got a stash of PDFs for Twilight 2000 first edition (before they went to GDW's somewhat annoying in-house rule mechanic of stat-limited skill levels). Man, those modules were well-plotted. A great blend of setting, NPC snapshots (their innovative NPC motivation cards-based system e.g. Ace of Clubs = "War Leader", and treatment of core-mission plus side missions. I'm reading the UK sourcebook. It's funny seeing stuff written for the future but a future for us that's passed. e.g. 1996 the soviet union invades Germany! I felt like Sir Vimes in Jingo where his pocket-demon-organiser got swapped with a parallel self and he hears his organizer telling him what was/had happened in the other timeline (1500 hours. Vimes dead in watch-house).

It's totally awesome and I totally want to play that setting ... using mah fancy universal mechanics (a blend of ... others). We should do that sometime.

Any-hoo, what KODT did your collection run to and I will bundle up issues from then on and bring on around?

So much awesome stuff has happened. The art is excellent too—the exterior scenes are a joy. There's a bit of sadness too towards the end but, well, no spoilers.

Good seeing you the other day. We should attempt to do more stuff outside of dash glow points (1) and monthly nerding (2).

Mikey


(1) Yes, that's right, a footnote. I footnote my blog now. Sometimes, like now, when I am heavily medicated (does it show?) I will go on a footnote bender and have footnoting within footnotes in a series of confusing cascades. Much like when you're in a lift and the doors open and opposite you is another lift—its doors also open—and you can see reflected in it the mirror behind you which shows the mirror in front and so on until both mirrors' centres hit the vanishing point of two of the four dimensions. Anyway, dash glow points. The dash is the en-rule between a person's start and end dates. The glow points are milestones within a calendar year that get tripped annually—basically big holidays, the birthdays in your nuclear family, and anniversaries of import (e.g. first date). So if you were watching one of those time-progression calendar flips in a movie to indicate the passing of years, those dates would glow as they skipped by. Hence, dash glow points.
(2) Monthly nerding clearly sounds like a feminine issue and one for which there is an entire, extremely over-lit, aisle in both Coles and Woolworths with products dedicated to ameliorate almost all impact such an event has within and on the family environment. Except, of course, painkillers. Thank you, big government (goes home to small forest-enclosed hut to type out diatribes about the government on a type-writer whilst listening to treasonous snake-filth like G Gordon Liddy talk about what to do when a federal agent enters your property, guns drawn).


Yep, that happened. I footnoted an email. Also, at least twice now, I've footnoted a text message. It's clearly a deep sickness. Why yes, I am heavily medicated! Weeeee.

Suck that, Kerouac (3).


(1) I once accidentally scared Terry Pratchett at a book signing. It's a long story but I got a bit agitated when Tezza turned to the page to sign it only to see a giant 'happy xmas' and a picture of a cat from the friend who gave it to me. The T-man looked confused about what to do. I was so keyed up from meeting him that I lent forward and scream-shouted 'there, THERE' whilst jabbing my finger at a tiny spot in one corner. Terry shot back and, arms extended near full, proceeded to scrawl one of his three chosen tag-lines for the sign, the book being
The Truth and the tag-line chosen being 'It's all true'. He then kind of nudged it forward until I grabbed it. I staggered off to near a line of cars a mere dozen feet away and, still keyed up—indeed, now more so—shotgunned a can of Diet Coke in a kind of 'blaze away the last three minutes' maddened caffeine-seeking panic stopper. I drank it so fast that a great bubble filled inside me and I took a step forward and, leaning across a parked car proceeded to give the loudest, and career greatest just-drank-a-coke-or-version-there-of power burp of my life. My. Life. This caused the already nervous Terry to crab walk his chair back three or four feet in three great plastic camping seat on concrete-pavement scrapes. Oh, and a scared hush from the first twenty members of the queue I just left. Stay classy San Diego.
(2) Cookie-basket is the clothing hamper theBoy's clothes go in. As a aide to getting a speedy disrobing from him I flip the lid up and down like a mouth and in an almost copyright infringing cookie monster voice demand articles of clothing—'oh boy, oh boy, socks, sock, socks. What's this? UNDIES!' etc.
(3) Confession. I initially thought it was Ginsberg who wrote that. I had to go on a light-wiki to know for sure. But what alliterative awesomeness to have Suck that, Kerouac. Additional confession, I have read neither. I am not a literary type.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ear badness

At some point in the past couple of months my grommets must have popped out. They only last a couple of years. Because I now have a raging ear infection that oral anti-biotics couldn't shift and even super anti-biotic drops are struggling to cope with. Also, the docs who looked couldn't see them there. Last time I had a rager it turned out I had some sort of polyp that caused bloody waxy pus to secrete out over many months.

My left ear is almost completely blocked. And there's a mostly horrid pressure there. More than once to relieve pressure I tried closing my mouth then attempting to exhale through pinched nostrils to pop my ear, causing a disgusting liquid bubbling sound—like that heard in a kettle as the water approaches boiling point. It was so loud theWife could hear it at the Chinese Restaurant that floats heaven-like above the floor of a monstrous pokie-palace near our respective works. She begged me to stop for everyone's sake.

I can't use ear-prongers (aka cotton buds)—indeed, nor should I according to any doctor of medicine. Too painful. Instead I twizzle tissues to a stretched klansman's-hood point and gently corkscrew it into my ear. The tip soaks, often to a depth of four centimetres, with a yellow secretion that smells ... well ... unpleasant. I can usually get three twizzles out of a single tissue, so the environment isn't too duly impacted.

So now I am waiting. Waiting for an appointment for a specialist. It's not for three weeks. I suspect I will have this infection right through until then. I will then have to get my ear drained. Then when it's all healed have more grommets put in. That's another bout of surgery (albeit minor).

Sometimes I think I am more whiny-sicky than man ... and It can't be easy to live with.


Fuck, imagine how I'd cope with something serious?!

Norway killings

Oh my gawd. I'd seen it had happened, but it wasn't until I caught an update today that I found out exactly what had happened (1).

Fucking hell. What happens to a person that makes them do something like that? Or what's in them that manages to bust through thousands of social rules to come to the conclusion that exploding and killing those you don't agree with is somehow a great good?

I've studied terrorism. I know why groups of men do it. But not solo self-appointed dark knights whose moral outlook is so utterly perverse that it leads to stuff like this.

Those poor, poor families.

(1) I know this may sound trite given the subject of these but fuck me do I appreciate being able to go to a site like Wiki and basically find the who, what, where, when, why with a minimum of fuss and effort and without bias and spin.

There goes another one just like the other one

TLR is leaving. He got a more interesting at-level gig at an org a ten minute's pushie ride from his house. He's even thinking of going the pushie instead of his throbbing man-bike. He's one of only a handful of guys I know who ride motorbikes—of which he has a passionate interest. When he gets internet access I know he spends hours shooting jokes and flames across a website sited in one of those busted arse financially dubious micro-countries so they can say what the fuck they want on it.

I don't blame him for going. His job held no passion in it. It's important to have that. The passion. Or something in your life to be passionate about. He's brimming with passion—no, not that ladies ... which is somewhat ironic as TLR is in fact ridiculously good-looking combined with cup-runneth-over-chutzpah and I've never hung around someone who receives actual leering but who happens to be packing chick-only-access man-meat (1). Just general passion for life. For family. For doing stuff. For sucking marrow. Seizing the day. All that stuff I'd do if I was completely removed from me.

So he's gone to find something else and one that is an excellent fit for work-life balance with the reduced commute.

I did a shit later on the day that he told me. It was one of those magician hanky ones—they keep coming out like linked silk squares. This resulted in the shit being of several parts and the way they floated together made them look like a big poopy letter E (2). I texted TLR to say that this had happened and that it made me sad because he was the only person at work I felt I could share moments like that with. Because to anyone else in my organisation that would be deemed either disturbing or weirdly offensive. He simply acknowledged it was awesome and that it was like when Gonzo's space family tried to contact Gonzo through alphabet cereal.

Ah, but such is work ... and is life. We all drift along, sometimes with each other, sometimes apart. But always onward ... and even as you're standing still.

So I raise a glass. Because I am completely going to miss him.

(1) It's like being in a reality show because I am an observer that sides outside the process. Like one of the bald men in Fringe. Because they are leering slash attempting-to-be-flirty-but-not-too-flirty-'cos-he's-taken with him they utterly ignore me. Like I am not there. Inter-personally invisible. If I try and pry-bar into a convo I can see actual disappointment slash irritation from said female party and sometimes a mental struggle to even recall what I said to break their train of mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
(2) TheBoy's name starts with the letter E. Whenever he sees the letter he yells 'dat's my name!'.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Gruffalo's child

We recently saw the stage show. If I had to sum up I'd say it was a total milf-fest if you were on the prowl. Of course you'd have to have a counter-kid of your own otherwise your presence would be weird.

But in seriousness, it was pretty cool. I did laugh muchly at my own-joke when a woman up the back was telling her kid the plot—'The Gruffalo's child wants to eat a mouse!'—and I yelled out 'hey, no spoilers!'

It was an interesting interpretation and I thought they handled the pacing pretty well. Though I was pain-wracked as all fucked and spent the time wincing and shifting in my seat. It was a no interval effort as well, about an hour long, which is a big call with a target audience of 'still has toilet training issues.' But theBoy fared well thanks to a quick insist from mum just before we went in (1).

Oh, the costumes were kewl too. Anyway, if you have a kid, and it's in your town, then it's totally worth it. But only if your child has actually read the books and enjoys them. Otherwise, it's probably too obtuse for them.

(1) Today theWife wanted theBoy to wear a hat that matched his outfit—and not the lime-green beanie (we each have one—which is cute as all fuck). As I came out I heard her say 'if you do I will give you a lolly.' Yes, that's right, she went the uber-bribe solely on her need for sartorial synchronicity. Later we were doing the SMH's Good Weekend Quiz and one question was who signed the emancipation act in 1863. 'Oh wait,' she said. 'I know who it is—that hat man!' Yes, the hat ... and he had a beard. The beard and hat man.' Later I told C from nerd night and he skipped over to mock her to her face about it. Thanks, C Thanks.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Would you like a cupcake, daddy?

I like to squeeze theBoy's bottom. It's ridiculously cute. I can cup both cheeks with one hand so I grab them then squeeze and release. He's forever protecting himself from such squeezes. If he sees me coming with obvious squeezing intent he will quickly sit down—or grab a bottom protecting object and yell 'butt armour.'

Tonight he was fresh from the bath. So it was ample grab and squeeze time.

So I lurked in the darkness of the entrance to the second bedroom and waited for him to run past with his PJs for changing. I grabbed him and carried him squealing to the bed to go squeeze, squeeze, squeeze.

At that point he farted into my hand.

Yes, he'd given me a cupcake. And he laughed and laughed and laughed.

Rightly so!

Pwned.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yes—I am a f__wit

The hilarious No Carbon Tax website, with its somewhat pedestrian design, has a shop. Yes, you can declare to the world through purchase of NCT products that you likely have markedly less levels of education than other Australians, lack scientific acumen and are probably white and north of forty.

Oh through NCT clothing also advise the world that you're a fuckwit.

Furthermore ... is it just me ... or does the male model for their skeptic-wear fully look like he has both a bra on and the tits to fill it ... ?

You’re so vaned—Abbott gets implant

Canberra, Australia: To save time and effort Liberal party leader and opposition leader Tony Abbott has had a weather vane surgically implanted in his mouth so he can more readily change positions on anything according to spokespeople.

‘Tony is very much of the people,’ said a Liberal staffer. ‘And the people must decide! Even if what they want is complete shit and utterly impractical.’

‘Unfortunately for Tony this requires constant revision of what he believes and also what he has said in order that he match the latest trends. Even if in writing or on camera,’ said the staffer. ‘This vane will help with that.’

The vane will help Tony announce that he has changed his position, spinning madly when he opens his mouth to revise policy on the fly or slag-off his own written policies his party wrote, such as its goal of five percent reduction on 1990 levels of carbon emissions which he later told a bunch of pensioners was dopey.

‘Tony will do anything to win and save the country from Labor,’ said the staffer. ‘Even if he has to royally fuck the country and people’s faith in government to do anything at all in the process.’

The other advantage is according to noted St Jamez family of travelling hypnotists is that if Abbott is on a real roll, changing positions in second intervals, the spinning of the vane will cause a hypnotic state to occur in those watching and making them readily pliable. Akin to the same soporific state the fuckwits get when they listen to 2GB and whatever middle-aged or old white man is on (1).

As irony would have it because the vane spins so much it's actually producing power. Moves are also being taken to hook the would-be PM into the national grid so the Liberal party can take advantage of generous schemes encouraging renewable power even as they disavow them.

(1) W
ho are pulling off about issues they have no real understanding of and who are largely relying on whatever dot points their 20 year old researcher intern slash journalism student printed off from No Carbon Tax Julia (1a) or Andrew Bolt's latest thick-dimpled screed against empirical evidence.
(1a) P from nerd night decided to have some fun at No Carbon Tax's expense and use their dodgy 'tell the pollies what they should know' webform suggestion email generator to your local politician to tell his local member what he thought of those issues ... and how even though he is doing quite well for himself now, at one stage he wasn't and knows what it is like to live on the poverty line. Also that it's good to help those below us if only so they don't break into our houses and flog our shit. It was a 10k character mastery of insightful sarcasm at the NCT's expense and I have to admit to some green-eye at his ability to articulate the points made. I suspect staffers that got to read it on-forwarded it to their media arm to strip-mine it for hilarious one-liners come next question time. Kudos, P. Kudos.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thank you internet for bringing me Bill Maher

I love the internet. Love it. I love it like Homer loves the TV. I can do so many things and find almost any piece of information just like that. It's like being a fucking god. We are. We are gods in terms of access to information than people had even 20 years ago.

I get to hear about and read about awesome stuff—and in a short few clicks find out everything I want to know (1). Like when I watch The Daily Show I can pause and hoob into wiki for a light round of backgrounding myself on a topic, then skip back in to enjoy it more as a result. From The Daily Show I found out about Bill Maher. I saw Maher's comic-doco a while back, Religulous, which was an interesting look at religion and Maher's own journey from semi-religious to not. After seeing him on another show I went and found some eps of his show Real Time on HBO.

Awesome stuff.

On the 15 July episode he and the panel were discussing the Murdoch issue. It sparked this convo.

Maher—You know ... what's the difference between Murdoch and Larry Flynt? I mean because he owns Barely Legal and Hustler and Shaved Asian...'

Panel member—The articles are great by the way.

Maher—The articles in Shaved Asian are all about shaved Asians ... but they're still good.

That is such pitch-perfect comedy on the fly that it makes me just sit there and think 'f-u-u-u-u-c-k'.

Fine, fine work.

I love the internet.

PS Hope!

(1) The other night during Humpty and Stumpty story time as we were going back and forth theBoy and the lads (Humpty and Stumpty) ended up on the moon. I said they then cruised out in a 'Sherman tank with a big bubble helmet on its turret' which I thought was pretty kewl. When we tell the stories I am often sitting in this chair—the Dr Evil chair in front of the desktop in the end room (1a)—and he's in his little cane chair across from me. So I was at the computer when I said that. I then went into YouTube and found a movie of a Sherman tank being put through its paces at a militaria show. Then I said 'and they bounced across the moon.' Then I called up footage of the moon rover doing exactly that. I can at a moment find things like that just like that. Seriously. The internet is to me Arthur C Clarke's maxim on magic and technology in action. I read a biography of Arthur C Clarke a while back
—and fuck me sideways if he wasn't an amazing polymath of scientific writer slash adventurer—where the author noted Clarke's embracing of tech. Clarke was one of the first writers to use a word processor and email-like means of communicating with his publisher. He was born into a world where the typewriter was king. And in his own career went from that to a fucking word processor ... using a computer with more computing power than all the computers in the world put together just 20 years before that. We are truly gods with what we can do now. Gods. Which gives me hope. Because we will eventually work out how to lick environmental degradation. We will eventually learn to meld with machines. We will eventually leave this rock and head out to the universe. We may be beings of energy and atomic scale machinery then but leave it we will. It's going to happen ... unless of course an asteroid fucks us up because we're not investing in the tech designed to see it and address it as a threat. An issue in fact Arthur C Clarke covered in some of his books.
(1a) Our end room is actually the master bedroom (1b). We turned it instead into a kind of second lounge room. It has an ikea fold out couch bed, a tv with VCR and DVD player, the built in wardrobes, the desktop computer, and our library of four large white flat-pack ikea bookshelves that theWife carefully assembled upon arrival. Today she made a kewl material arch for theBoy's new raised bed to thwart him from jumping up and down on it (since it's at adult chest height). She really is super handy! Which is lucky ... because I am super not.
(1b) We moved our bed into the second bedroom. It's a king-sized bed so takes up most of the room. You have to tertis-turn to walk up the sides between the bed and wall or windows. It's a bed island! Our first flat as a couple was like that. We lived in a tiny corridor apartment on the top floor of a block of units. We were there for just a year but it had such a lasting impact on us. I had pneumonia and depression, theWife was working in the public service at entry level money / responsibility. After finking out of my grad dip I started working full-time and had to catch the bus to work at near-sparrows. I had arthritis. Did I mention the depression? Our furniture included in its ranks a mouldy old couch someone had found at the tip ... finding out that after he sold it to us for twenty bucks and he telling us months later. I tried giving up margarine but couldn't and went back to it. KFC had home deliveries then and we'd order a mess of chicken that would be weeping out the bottom of the bucket when it arrived, cool and coagulated. I'd lie for hours on my tummy making up Traveller RPG worlds or characters (2d6 system mechanics; mostly-random character generation system that actually had the option of torqing your character during generation if it sucked balls). We got our first car when we lived there—a Volkswagen golf piece-of-shit that was constantly breaking down and which my dad eventually on-sold for us (he's done that twice now for us). Having friends stay over on a dodgy foam fold out stripy couch that was pretty fucking uncomfortable. We kept that couch right up until we moved to our current house. Saggy, blood-stained from years of Mikey's toe-blood from constant picking. We eventually gave it away through allhomes' allclassifieds. allhomes' allclassifieds is awesome! (/ramble).

Work Vignettes

Someone turn the heat up!
We recently moved offices. The heating in the new building—which is an older building than our old building—seems a little variable. People are rugging up with shawls and blankets at their workstations. Not me, I’m fine.

‘I’m like a walrus,’ I said happily. ‘I have a layer of subcutaneous fat!’

Cue groans from nearby colleagues who really didn’t want to hear that.

Mandatory training is mandatory
Every 1–2 years we have to do a slew of mandatory training. Understand our agreement; diversity; know your travel card—that sort of thing.

The fraud and ethics one came up. You have the option to avoid the hour of reading and skip straight to the assessment. So I did that, figuring on my giant brain to steer me right. Only you had to get 80 per cent to pass. I encountered troubles straight off with question one. But I could open another browser window. So I simply keyword searched on the local network until I found the relevant answers. Test completed, 100 per cent right. I rule.

One in, all in
Many, many, many public servant orgs have lotto syndicates. You chuck in two bucks a pay and the organizer—that gold-standard person in your area that gives a shit enough to do stuff like this—goes out and gets tickets, tallies results, and all that sort of guff. A folder comes around with everyone’s names as to who has paid. You tick off the pays ahead you’re paying for and stick your cash in the envelope. Only it’s a pain because you’re left with the folder and you have to pass it on to someone who’s yet to update theirs. You can often end up wandering around like a lost traveler seeking people to pass it on to. I scanned the folder. M hadn’t paid. I ran into her work station, threw it on her desk, and ran off whilst pant-shouting ‘no returns!’ Folder successfully passed on.

Now where did they put that?
I’ve been in my org for a while now—over ten years in fact. So I’ve accumulated corporate knowledge. Sometimes people ask me if I can find information for them. One person asked me to try and get a dated report. She could only find two chapters from it and wanted the full thing. She sent me the link to the chapters she found. I noticed that the URL string for the chapter, in PDF form, indicated the possible presence of other chapters even if no links to them could be found. So I simply experimented by altering the characters in the URL to see if the browser would open up other chapters. They did! I got them all down, put them in a folder, zipped it and sent it. I was rightly chuffed with my detective work in finding these things. Only I probably shouldn’t have said aloud ‘I’m so smart I make myself sick’ because L overheard me and laughed. Sprung in self-praise! (1)

(1) My other go-to for self-praise is to declare in mock Italian-English ‘I am a genius!’ ... which comes from Ep4 of Black Adder II.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What a lucky boy!

I am an unusually lucky public servant.

Why?

Because I do a job I genuinely enjoy doing which has a direct positive impact on the public and, for the most part, I do it well.

I have also had the complete fortune to have had a close colleague at all points in my job-path in the public service who were (and are for those in the present) awesome.

There was theBevester. I first met him when I got sentenced to the registry—who handle paper correspondence in and out and push the mail trolley around—while my actual position was due to come up for entry. When eventually we were parted—me to work in an underground basement doing the same sort of work—just three years later we were back as a team, baby! TheBeve eventually sought greener fields and left on transfer only to get promoted then get out and become a work-at-home contractor. He is still awesome.

There was Craggles in the same section. He went on to much better things as well. In addition to being funny and cool to hang with he was a gamer and through Craggles I was able to get my gaming freak on. Hooray!

Then there was A. A was an older colleague who had been a teacher, retired, then joined the public service so she could jam as much into super as she could before she got out. She was a smoker too and usually had a couple of trips downstairs a day for a durry and a bitch. A was smart, funny, professional—she took care of the sections files and admin needs and did it without a fuss and without a problem, as well as tricky stuff like freedom of information and archive issues. She let me into her confidences and allowed us to bitch about the others like giggling school girls. Since I’ve known her her family shrank with the deaths of her dad, then mum, then husband in a short ten years, as well as expanded with grand kids. A eventually retired and is now getting into University of the Third Age and other projects. She was a great person to work with. Especially when my supervisor was mentally impaired by lingering effects of a stroke and a complete absence of a sense of humour.

Then there was Ando. He got the job when theBevester left. Ando is wicked smart, has the same soft-left leanings as myself, is up on current events (and unlike me, music), and managed to get a bachelor’s degree while working full-time at work and completing it with an almost full-time study load. I worked with Ando for nearly six years in the end. He, like me, did specialist work for our org. So we were transferred like unwanted orphans between relatives all that time, and endured some spectacularly fucked co-workers and supervisors—Backy McStab, Buckwheat and Manhands to name but three. When I got transferred alone to another area he soon left the old area for a better place that made him a lot happier. I do miss him so.

Then there’s L. She’s wicked smart as well, similar views on things (people with higher education in government service do, I admit, tend to think of government as a positive influence on social health), and is very good at what she does. On occasion I annoy her, which is fair enough, but she’s a good egg.

And of course TLR. We may not work in the exact same area, he’s in my section. He’s also in his early 20s and is a mid-level public servant already. It was pushing a mail trolley around at his age. Actually … fuck it … I was unemployed between stints at uni at the same age. He too is smart, a bit of a polymath even if he lacks formal qualifications, and is ridiculously good looking. It’s amusing to see his effect on girls. His wife must be forever suspicious of other women around him, even though she’s quite the beauty herself He’s also a proper man in he knows how to do things outside of being a public servant and he has graciously extended me and my family a slot in his compound for when the zombie plague happens.

I was reminded of how lucky I was when I pinged the Beve a text. We haven’t worked together for years but we still ping each other amusing shit when we come across it, or kewl tv or music to check out.

I was complaining about my GPs’ practice having recently moved to a suburb that’s more down-heel than mine. theBevester and family used to live there until they upgraded a while back for a better house and location.

Me—Our GP joined a [new] clinic. Thus forcing me to spend more time … at [suburb] shops … Still … uggs are very in now…

theBevester—Uggs are ever-present there, much like the scent of ash tray cologne and loud swearing in public. Some trends are timeless.

Mikey—Yes yes and yes! It was like a Jim Jarmuch [sic] movie…

theBevester knew who I meant

theBevester—Lol Nice… They are like poor, unfamous Iggy Pops.

I pissed myself laughing—long, loud, great heaving laughter—as I was squeezed in between my car and the one next to me, my lime-green beanie bobbing away like a gnome giving a blowie.

Mikey—I just started cackling in [suburb]’s shops car park. You c___.

What an awesome text convo with an ex-awesome, one of the many close colleagues I’ve had the blessing to work with in my ten-years-plus of public serving (1). Good job, great people ... and it more than makes up for those odd occasions I've had to also put up with shit.

(1) What was less awesome was, whilst still laughing, clipping the car next to me when I pulled out. I pulled back in, got out, looked, saw it was a battered Mercedes that had seen better days, and err’ed and ummed about whether I needed to leave a note. There were scrapes on the side but I was pretty sure my big rubber bumper had hit their side-bumper and there was no damage from me. But, fuck it, I needed to leave a note. So I fished around in the rubbish on the back seat for a pen and a scrap of paper.

It was then the owner—a six-foot teenaged girl and her two friends
came towards the car. I explained I’d clipped it and I was leaving a note. She said not to worry about it and just drove away. I think however the fact I looked like a celebrity Garden Gnome version of Michael Moore, resplendent in said almost luminescent lime-green beanie, may have deterred her wanting to be in my presence.

Still it was a win for Mikey! No damage, no foul—phew!

My heater!

We have two cats. One is a lovely, placid near-mute. The other is a bitch. Prickly personality, yowls at you if you get in her space, whines about food and water when there's ample supplies of both (1). Her only real saving grace is I can entertain visitors by pretending she's a shotgun because I can pull her tummy down then up like I am racking in a shell.

When we have an oil-filled radiator on she likes to lie next to it, tummy facing the bars.

I just stepped into that area.

(CLAW!)

She drew blood. I kicked her away and she slunk under the futon couch. Then we had to tell theBoy 'Daddy just pushed L away because she was naughty' just in case he thinks it's now open season on the cats.

(1) I sometimes take her over to the bowls and gently press her head into one to show her I am not lying when I point at said food and water area when she does it.

Bachmann turns on overdrive, part 3

Some Salon stories of recent times.

Michelle Bachmann pretty sure end times were here in 2006.

Marcus Bachmann [Michelle Bachmann's husband] says he's not anti-gay, is very wrong.

Footage shows Bachmann clinic tries to convert gay men.

And this hilarious bit from The Daily Show about the somewhat effeminate qualities of Marcus Bachmann, anti-gay crusader... (1)

(1) Hilarious because he's so anti-gay. He runs a fucking clinic to "cure" gay people for fuck's sake.

Lines you probably shouldn't laugh at when your son says them

From Humpty and Stumpy story time. A regular re-occurring villain, kind of like how the Batman TV show would have a returning villain for each set of twinned episodes (1), is Leprechaun. It tends to reveal its presence with a shrieking 'tee hee hee hee' laugh and, even if in disguise, it still has a hat with a belt buckle on it.

In this episode theBoy kept shooting Leprechaun with his shotgun but the mischievous Irish sprite kept reforming like the T-1000. TheBoy scooped its remains up with a bucket.


'Then I pick up the bucket with bits of Leprechaun in it!' he shouted with triumph as the Leprechaun was reforming in the bucket—and trapped as it was moulded in a bucket shape and its arms and legs were all caught up in its body.

I laughed and laughed and laughed at both his excitement and the extreme inappropriateness of our story time featuring blasted apart mythical creatures and buckets of their sopping innards and outards (2).


With Leprechaun now reformed but trapped in the bucket, theBoy had to ensure Leprechaun wasn't going to come back.

'I put the bucket down a hole ... then I cover it! Cover, cover, cover, cover, cover.'

I had this mental image of him with his toy spade finishing patting down the last of the slight mound of heaped dirt from where he'd interred his opponent—still alive—in the ground (3).

Let's hope this doesn't spill over into day care and we have uncomfortable convos with the staff...

(1) the first episode always ends in a cliff-hanger with the dynamic duo caught in an elaborate death-trap or similar such situation and the second episode starting with them extricating themselves. Often via an improbable device or resource located in Batman's utility belt. Including one episode a live fish.
(2) I call new word! The etymology lies with me. Let me web check ... damn it, Urban Dictionary beat me to it...
(3) The other day in story time he had his first death trap. Humpty and Stumpty had been thrown down a hole into Officeworks (3a) and were running for the door when theBoy locked it ("I lock it! Lock, lock, lock, lock, lock"). Then he started filling the hole, and Officeworks, with water...
(3a) He LOVES Officeworks even though he's only been twice. Largely because his mum and he read catalogues together and she goes off like a firecracker when seeing all the cheap officey tat.

Bubbles DePooh

TheBoy recently became aware of Winnie the Pooh, courtesy of a scratched-up DVD hired from the local DVD shop (1). It was some movie that had Piglet as the star. Not sure what it’s called.

When theBoy sees movies or shows then sometimes characters from them end up in Humpty and Stumpty story time—the interactive him and me stories we tell during bath time and after PJs but before regular stories.

‘Humpty and Stumpty go visit Winnie the Pooh!’ he demanded.

So they did. Only he didn’t like Winnie the Pooh. Largely because I decided on a whim that Winnie sounded exactly like Bubbles DeVere from Little Britain (“Call me Bubbles, everyone does”).

After listening to Winnie ramble on theBoy asks where Piglet is, since clearly Winnie the Pooh is a boring knuckle.

Pooh declares Piglet fell down a hole. TheBoy demands Piglet be rescued.

‘A rescue!’ shouts Winnie the Pooh. ‘I will hold an open casting for female dogs to go tell the villagers that Piglet has fallen down a hole and needs rescuing. Form an orderly line ladies, I will be in my trailer. What’s that? You’re a Cocker Spaniel? Well I think you’ll be interested in the first part of your name … with me!’

The whole time Winnie the Pooh is in Bubbles mode theBoy is frantically yelling out how he’s simply getting a ladder to let Piglet climb out of the hole.

‘Piglet,’ demands theBoy when Piglet surfaces. ‘Where’s Eeyore?’

‘He’s trapped in a thorny tree!’ says Piglet.

‘Trapped you say?’ shouts Winnie-slash-Bubbles, overhearing the conundrum. ‘I will hold an open casting call for female dogs to tell the villagers that Eeyore is trapped in a tree. Form an orderly line ladies…’

TheBoy was not amused.

(1) Why is it that DVD rental places have scratched-up product? Why can’t they as a matter of course bung a returned weekly DVD, especially a children’s movie (which suffers greater knocks from multiple-viewing and handling), in their cleaning machine when they come in? Why? WHY? I am so, so sick of a movie fritzing half-way through and either skipping a scene or freezing, both events eliciting howls of ‘denied’ from the child or children watching. If you want to survive the coming broadband tsunami that threatens to wipe out your business then offer a fucking superior fucking service of quality non-fucked up DVDs.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Decadence

Being an average Ozzer I don't have many opportunities for decadence—the anonymous masked sex parties of Eyes Wide Shut clearly fiscally and physically beyond my reach.

It's Saturday morning. I woke up after a bit of extra sleep and wandered out into the dining room and kitchen to announce I was up and that I was going to have a shower.


As I spoke my eyes set on the chest freezer. I went to it and retrieved something.

A minute later I was in the shower. As the piping hot water cascaded down my Greenpeace worshiped form I had in my mouth the delicious chill of a Raspberry Split.


Oh yeah.


Cue Artist's Impression

Friday, July 15, 2011

The rescue chip

When you're going a dip with a chip, with chip standing for the place of all chip-like foodstuffs dipped in this manner, and your chip breaks off in the dip ... you have to send a rescue chip. Basically you look for a bigger, more robust chip, dip that in under the broken-off shard and lift it and its dip to the surface for easy retrieval and placement in the yum-hole.

All great stuff.

Today I was wiping my arse. Unfortunately the paper tore off between my cheeks and stuck to my party palace.

Yes ... I had to send a rescue wad of paper to go get the trapped paper out.

Needless to say it did not then go in my yum-hole. I don't play no arse to mouth!

The Importance of being Monaro

In addition to servicing the needs of New South Wales and Victoria, the Monaro Highway serves as the right ventricle vein of Canberra’s road system. A large two-lane (for most of it) freeway that connects north to south but bypasses all that messy inhabited middle stuff.

I've now thrown up by the side of the Monaro twice.

Roadside throw ups do happen to the best of us. Big night out, driving the next day all seedy like and having to pull over for example. Or a bad decision to buy any form of non-processed foodstuff from a Petrol Station then actually consume it.

For me ... it’s because of previous stomach surgery. I won't go into uber deets on it but suffice to say now and then I throw up when food gets 'stuck'.

The first occasion was after I'd moved to the new office, transferred like a star football Striker to a Mediterranean Super club. I’d gone to lunch with my awesome peeps from the previous office and made the mistake to try to hoe into the communally shared array of Chinese food dishes.

I spent the next hour yakking up in an alley-way by the restaurant … then again in the toilets back in the new offices. Finally as the saliva filled the tube behind the blockage, I got theWife to pull over and I staggered out to detached-jaw it all up by the roadside in great stomach heaving gobs.

It was a wild scene.

Now to my recent adventure.

I went on a man-date with my friend W. W is the same age as me with similar joys of family wrangling and feelings of relevance. I met him when his wife became my boss for a short while, boss 11 of 15?—something like that. He eventually transferred to a unit near mine and soon we were regularly hanging out and chatting … usually about how crap some of our colleagues were. What can I say? I am a bitch.

For a long while W wasn’t happy at work and didn’t fill fulfilled. I can’t blame him. It’s lucky to get an emotionally enriching job in a federal bureaucracy—I totally lucked out with that. Since he wasn’t happy he decided to do something about it.

He resigned.

So now he’s doing more stay at home dad stuff and does part-time teaching. He seems a lot happier.

But we don’t get to hang as much.

The solution? A man-date.

We decided to meet at a place we’d lunched at before—Asian-style cuisine that is simply delish.

It was night, a brutally cold one at that, with a chilly wind that penetrated layers and brushed at exposed skin with an icy touch. I arrived super early—misjudging my time to get there by 15 minutes—and stalked up and down the street outside trying to keep warm. Why I didn’t just remain in my warm car and listen to NPR I have no idea.

We ordered. We decided to start with spring rolls. We got the normal deep fried ones. And then the rice paper-like ones, where you can see the ingredients bulging against the semi-transparent walls.

That was a mistake. I soon discovered that after our mains arrived and the familiar feelings of tightness in my guts and salvia increase occurred.

So the process started of trying to shift it … or failing that remove the stuff that went in after it … began. Diet coke to dissolve or encourage the blockage to move didn’t work. I went into the toilets out the back—the windows open at a large crack for cold air to blow in from outside—and tried to shift it. I made numerous trips. Each time, however, the saliva would fill up the tube and off I’d go again to get partial relief.

At one point I had to use the girl’s stall, the restaurant having the boys and girls toilets—single toilet plus sink fully enclosed with their own door—next to each other. I noted with some amusement that not only did the girl’s toilet not have windows in which to blast cold air through … it was painted pink, had nice floral smell-producers and better soap, and even decorative wall sconces with sculptures of flowers curling above them. It was very nice! Except of course I spent the whole time yakking small chunks of food into the toilet water and watching the slurry of partially digested food and frothy chemical-laced blue liquid ying-yanging together in a fetid swirl.

Conscious I was not only taking up valuable toilet space, but I was using the lady’s unit, I decided to go for a walk outside. I stalked up and down the street, yakking small gobs against the base of the young trees they had growing out of protective foam rings on the pavement. No good.

So I re-entered. At that point apparently I pissed off a certain hard right federal politician at a table with another hard right federal politician who was at the same restaurant. Because when I came back in I let the door close by itself and it clearly wasn’t fast enough for her. She apparently got up, stomped over to the door, and pushed it closed, then stopped back to her table, glaring all the while at the back of my fat head.

Later myself and W slagged off work choices, long and loud. I’m sure pollie and co could well hear us.

But I couldn’t shift the blockage. I kept having to leave to spit up the stuff that went in after it—saliva and diet coke, the diet coke drunk to try to acid-eat away the blockage. Or at least try and burp so it re-settled (1).

So the man-date ended, with W nearly having to hold my hair back as I chucked up (“See, he does love me!”). I clambered back into the good car and drove off into the night, pain lancing at the site of the block in my guts. I decided to make for the Monaro and give it all one last try by the side of the road … about half a kay down from my previous yak-up all those years before.

It was clear and freezing night. As I stood up on the embankment I could see the stars above and the lights of various aircraft on approach or departure to the airport or the nearby rescue helicopter pad. I heaved, tried to burp, think “relax” to somehow command the tubes to widen and let the blockage past. Eventually … eventually I felt some of the blockage pass. It’s a weird feeling. The tightness, a lump forcing its way, then … relief.

With that it was back into the car and off to get McDonald’s Sundaes. It’s my reward when I have to endure getting something stuck.

Except of course … only part of the blockage shifted. Later that night, when on super meds and watching Iron Man on the HDMI connected combo of Mr Lappy and the Braun flat-screen tv, I couldn’t actually get the ice cream down. I had to go and have another light heave.

The thing is of course. I brought all this on myself. I only have me to blame. Not that blaming anyone would help anyway. But still … doesn’t stop me from cursing out or crying to God when I go through it.

Harrangueman, regularly calling God on the great white phone since 2007.

(1) I call such maneuvers ‘re-arranging’.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thomas says some no-noes

I take pride in my slightly-less-that-completely-crap ability to do impressions or voice mimicry stuff. Think 1980s regional university second-tier Theatre Sports level. You know held in the Open-all-hours-Chapel after the youth-group has fucked off for some group study or to watch a movie, safely and chastely. So much so the youth group leader fast-forwards the tits-out bits in Trading Places.

Safety first children. Safety first.

So I can sort of do Thomas ... and I can sort of do The Fat Controller (1) ... which sounds basically like anyone doing Winston Churchill.

TheBoy has lego-blocks, with lego in this context standing for all such fit-together-blocks as opposed to the official lego which with we as brothers developed our own secret-twins-esq language to play with—'I give you a four flat for your fat six point'.

He has a Thomas lego-block set. He made me do the voices. 'Thomas—you do dat!' is a typical such imperious demand he makes of me. He decided the plot was Thomas wanted to go fast, Ricky Bobby style, and The Fat Controller wanted Thomas to go slow. Because Thomas was enjoying his personal motivation, the joy of fast, against the imperious oppressive masters' (slash) forced collectivisation's desire for not fast. Dangerous, waste of resources, not wanting to look like a booner fuck-head etc. as well.

So theBoy is driving the lego-block Thomas back and forth along his blue bordered mummy-made table top (2) and The Fat Controller is saying 'You will rue the day you did this Thomas. Rue it. Much Rue on you. Rue on you! Rue on you!'

Being lego-like blocks they're not one hundred percent stable at high speed. So eventually all that back and forth loosened things and the back of Thomas fell off and onto the table with a plastic clatter.

'Oh no!' I said as Thomas. 'I've got a busted arse-hole. I've had total anal failure!'

Cue F.C.

'I told you Thomas you would rue the day. Now your have suffered a busted anus. Your need ... your need for speed has busted your arse-hole and led to total anal failure.'

That's adult themes meets children's comedy gold.

(1) Aka Sir Toppam Hat or some-shit. I presume to PC up F.C. because F.C. was either bad for being a rich capitalist prick who's literally fully automated the means of production, raised that means with to human intelligence, then enslaved their unique lifeforms to some sort of low-end Scottish island commodity and tourism dependent economy ... or because he was fat.
(2) You should see it. It's awesome. We were tossing around ideas for a play table and we settled on creating a larger table top for the coffee table we had—liberated by theWife's friends in a raid on her just-left college in order to furnish their just-rented house—secured to the table beneath by a close-snuggled frame. It's pretty stable! The wife painted it a light blue. It looks like the sea in those '80s Bounty ads. TheBoy has three toy pirate ships—two little people ones and an awesome Aldi wooden effort with furling sails and wooden canons and kewl shit like that—and it makes an excellent sea battle mat. Arr.

Magical thinking - Karma

AKA Karma is a bitch.

I dig the concept of Karma, though I recognise from an empirical point it's bunk as far as the oogy boogy side goes. However I do believe that if you're a hat prefaced by the word arse or anal, then chances are will eventually piss off someone enough that they fuck you up.

So call it Clayton's Karma or something.

Anyway, so I was going to lunch with the delightful Casso. Having picked her up at her work we drove to a nearby shops to attend my fave cafe in the region. When I arrived at her work, notorious for those seeking use of the god park - the one closest to the building - having to be there pre-dawn to ensure success, I not only got a park at lunchtime ... I had my pick of three. When we got to the shops ... pick of two. These are the sort of shops where fifty percent of the time you give up after ten minutes and factor in a 10 min trot from a side-street.

'Wow,' I said foolishly - if you believe in jinxes (1) - 'something bad's going to happen now. I'll probably rear end a garbage truck or something.'

No. That's not what happened. What happened was when I went to pay for lunch - with Casso standing outside waiting for me, rugged up against the brightly lit Canberra chill.

My cards didn't work. All of them. Each bank card. Not working.

It seems some delayed bills from when our cards got cancelled and re-issued got paid and it busted out daily cap. I didn't know this at the time. I just assume our cards had been cancelled ... again. So I tried the debit card linked to my pocket money (2). 'This card is expired.' telex-noise (3)'ed the reader/receipt machine. Yep it seems that expiry had happened last month.

In the end I had to go out and get Casso to pay for me.

She was very nice about it. But then she's a nice person!

Unless you cross her in a nerd game. Then she's queen shark.

(1) Which I don't ... but do love to mention 'Oh no, I've jinxed us' with a coy hand-to-mouth shocked manuever for the benefit of those that do.
(2) I get $40 pocket money a pay (two weeks). I can spend that on what I like. Otherwise I have to be frugal and not just go out and get something willy-nilly (a).
(a) When VHS first came into our lives in Oz in the mid-80s all us '80s kids all saw the first few movies available on cassette at that time. And the same previews for the same films appeared across the movies-that-were-for-hire spectrum. They were Roadshow Australia ads as I recall. One was for I live with me dad, which judging from the preview was about a shambolic near-homeless man's relationship with his son whose bitch mother got successful and fucked off with his kid or where services stepped in to remove the kid. The other was Willy Milly. A gender-bender teen school comedy about a chick who wished she had a cock (a1) .... and who with a little bit of PG magic woke up the next morning packing a meat-banana (a2).
(a1) I do not normally call women chicks. I used chicks solely for the alliterative goodness it offers when twixt with twig. When I was in uni I was once castigated by a tutor in front of the entire group for calling women chicks in some disjointed Mikey-ramble where I was trying to contribute to class discussions. So, so embarrassing. I wanted to shrink away to a dust-mote than sit there the rest of the class. But sit there I did. I didn't leave. I so hate extreme public embarrassment. Even if, as a wise-someone once said, your crappy dash-blinks are great material (A1a)
(a1a) dash-blink, the name I give the en-rule between your check-in Common Era-start and Common Era-end on yer headstone. Should, that is, ye be havin' one. I don't knows your preference. I do knows however that memorialisin' is now twenty first century, yarp.
(a2) Now that's comedy.

The thanks I get...

After a thrilling but admittedly short bout of Humpty and Stumpty stories on the way to bed...

'Go away daddy ... I don't like you.'

All because I smirked when he was sent for a pre-night-nappy wee.

Note to self. Conceal smirking.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

That boy's got talent !

We have a pair of minions. They're soft-toy releases of characters from Despicable Me. One is a the size of a small pillow, the other the size of a can of coke.

I asked theBoy if they should be called minion and mini-minion or maxi-minion and minion ... so as to be able to differentiate them.

'So honey ... what should the large one be called?'

'Poo!' he shouted.

I laughed. How could I not?

'And the other one?'

'Wee!' he said.

I'm so proud.

I have hope

There, I said it. I do.

I was beetling along, rugged up in my stolen-back-from-theWife grey top (1) and listening to a jambalaya of NPR downloads.

The first one was a story about how advertisers are going multicultural in the US because that’s where the money is. The demographics are changing in the US—becoming more brown than white with Latino-Americans and African-Americans trending in growth compared to white Americans (2). I’ve noticed that ads in Oz have become more inclusive. It’s not unusual to see an Asian-Australian in an ad. Though typically part of a crowd of white Australians (which I’d say is still unusual in that when I see younger people (3) out and about it’s rare to see non school aged adults in groups of blended ethnicity).

But it gives me hope. The world is changing, blending, becoming one. Add that the global sharing of not only resources but information. I forget where I read this recently but someone pointed out how in the 1970s $200 bought you a TV, maybe colour. Now, in 2011, it buys a personal computer that can connect to any information in the world.

Now all we have to do is fix global warming.

Then I listened to a piece about the demise of Murdoch’s News of the World. That gave me hope that shit-heel pieces of shit (yes, double shit) like that arse-rag, and the large remainder of the News Corp empire are going to be seen for what they are. The defence of vested interests to fuck people over and give them the Roman equivalent of bread and fucking circuses. Of shouting morality from the very most of immoral people. The sort of people that gave false hope to parents of missing people when they hacked said missing people’s mobile phone accounts and actually deleted messages so as to make room for more—giving people false hope they were alive. All their bleeding and invective about what they saw as scum and parasites on society stands in relief against that backdrop of utter contempt for their fellow man.

Next up was an interview with Louis CK. I’ve only just become aware of his work, having seen him on The Daily Show and then remembering him from a couple of other appearances like on Parks and Recreation. But it was refreshing to hear him talk about what it was like to have an act that had marriage and relationships and joint-parenting at its core, then getting divorced. Now his material, and his show reflects his life. A middle-aged man with young kids going through shared care. He talked a bit in the interview about the relationship comedy he once did. Like how dads really are the mum’s assistant—they get a list of chores and they run down the list to get them done. But then how he’s gone from that place to having to do it all and the realisation of the work it is to be a single parent. It helps me better understand it. I’ve had friends who’ve been single parents, either in shared or sole care, and I am astonished and amazed at the strength and effort they have in doing it. I tip my hat to you!

Did that give me hope? Well, not really.

But it was a crisp cold late afternoon. I was bathed in the glow of a dim yellow sun and a light wind brushed at my face. So I could just close my eyes and shuffle along listen to smart people talking about smart things and that I had the realisation I could get interviews like these any time I wanted, day or night.

The internet rules!

PS Hope.


(1) A top which I’d originally stolen from her, and the poor pectoral area of the jumper being pulled between two parents of boobs and not-boobs.
(2) I find it interesting that non-white Americans get title case and a hyphen but white Americans do not. Largely I suspect because they were the default. Not any more babies!
(3) Younger people?! Fuck, I'm in my late 30s. Next I'll be yelling them to get off my lawn...