kidattypewriter

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ten Lessons in Etiquette

1) Do not pick your nose, especially if you have quick-drying superglue on your finger.

2) Do not eat your relatives, unless you have a knife and fork handy.

3)Do not stare. If your eyelids have been stapled open, then it may be necessary for you to gouge your eyes out.

4) Use a gentle, moderate tone of voice when swearing. When saying "Please" and "thankyou", shout. It shows everyone how polite you are.

5) Remember to swear correctly: "For fucks' sake", not "For fuck's sake" or "For fucks sake".

6) Ladies first: especially during sex.

7) If you see a little old lady standing by the road, help her across: the chances are that she will be a wealthy heiress, and she will give you all her money.

If she does not give you all her money, take her right back.

8) It is wrong to have children. They shout, run around, and say impolite* things. If you happen to have any children lying around, rectify this situation by locking them in the basement closet.

*Impolite=Honest.

9) Always carry a handkerchief, in case it should be necessary for you to dispose of human remains during the day.

10) Shake the hand of everybody that you are introduced to. If they do not have hands, then some other form of bodily contact, such as kissing or sex is considered appropriate.

UPDATE! - Actually, now that I come to think about it, I'm not sure whether "For fucks' sake" is the correct spelling. Is the 'fuck' being referred to singular? Or is it actually a plurality of 'fucks' that is being referred to (in which case, the rule stated above would be correct)? In short, does the term mean 'For the sake of a fuck', or 'For the sake of all fucks?'
Then again, maybe when the term 'fuck' is being used in its swearing context, then it is not acting as a verb at all. So perhaps we don't need the apostrophe?
What do you think, readers?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Replacing Less Complicated Words With More Complicated Ones

Check out this big-ass German compound-noun I learnt in high school:

MEERWASSERHALLENWELLENSCHWIMMENBAD

It means something like hot water swim bath. But that's nothing compared to this big-ass German compound noun:

DONAUDAMPFSCHIFFAHRTSELEKTRIZITAETENHAUPTBETRIEBSWERKBAUUNTERBEAMTENGESELLSCHAFT

Apparently it means something like, "the club for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services."

Not that I'm a genius in the German-language or anything - I don't accidentally write posts in German while drunk, for instance - but I reckon those Germans have got it right. It's about time English got some more compound nouns of its own ...

Glass = Drinkthing

Knife =
Cutthing

Once we get the basics of compound nouns, we can start working putting concepts together:

Fork = Eatthingthatgoeswithcutthing

Spoon = Othereatthingthatgoeswithcutthing

Sound beautiful, don't they? There are no end of everyday items that these nouns can be applied to. Transport items, for instance:

Car = Itemthatgoesvroom

Road = Longflatstonyobjectthatitemthatgoesvroomgoesvroomon

Or things of nature:

Tree = Woodthingwithleafystuff

Bird = Thingthatlivesinwoodthingwithleafystuff

Clothes:

Hat = Roundclothingitemforupperbodypart

Shops:

Market = Largeplaceforexchangingmoneywithgoodsand/orservices

And the body:

Head = Upperbodypart

Hand = Bodypartattheendofanotherbodypart

Once you get all this worked out, you can turn quite short, dull things like poems into impressively long and incomprehensible works of art. Thus:

I put my hat upon my head
And went into the Strand
And there I met another man
Whose hat was in his hand.

(Dr Johnson)

This becomes this:

I put my roundclothingitemforupperbodypart upon myupperbodypart
And went into the largeplaceforexchangingmoneywithgoodsand/orservices
And there I met another collectionofseveralbodyparts
Whose roundclothingitemforupperbodypart was in his bodypartattheendofanotherbodypart

Or this brief quatrain:

One day I saw a bird
Sitting in a tree
And that little tiny bird
Was looking back at me.

Becomes this epic of personal experience:

One day I saw a thingthatlivesinleafystuff
Up in a woodthingwithleafystuff
And that little tiny thingthatlivesinleafystuff
Was looking back at me.*

*(I'm still working on a compound noun for this one. It's a toughie.)
Wonderful, no?

No?

UPDATE - What's that - this post was boring? Oh, go and look up swear words in the dictionary then. Some people are never amused!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Possible Characters For Novels #1

Dr Angst Herzinfarkt

- who has developed his brain so much that he is able to shift physical objects with his cerebral muscles. He makes his brain do sit-ups in the morning and push-ups at night. The third-cleverest man in the world, he holds regular hypothetical tea-parties with theoretical guests at his large lodge in the hills of Vienna (They are universally admired, even if no one actually turns up).

He likes listening to Webern, Arvo Part, and Megadeath.

Rememed

"Ming the Merciless could have told you as much fifty years ago."

- The fifth line of the twenty-third post on this blog - a meme from Nails.

PS - If any of you folks want to do this meme, go right ahead: find the twenty-third post on your blog, find the fifth line in that twenty-third post - and post it!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Tragic Mushrooms

I put Hawkwind on the CD player and went and put some mushrooms on the stove. In five minutes, they were done: and as I ate my mushrooms, with bread and sour cream, I contemplated how everyone who was anyone was mailing me, saying they could not make it to the blog Christmas drinks tonight at Carlton: and I wept.

Then I went and put The Ramones on the CD player and logged on to Hold The Button and clicked on my mouse. And, for some reason, that did not make me feel any better. At all.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Leaky Pen

Hi! I'm Bill Leak, award-winning artist! This is my story, and it's all about me!

In case you were wondering what I look like, here's a self-portrait by me!



Aren't I attractive?

You know, I've had a long and fascinating career as a media-commentator, caricaturist, satirist, and above all, as an ARTIST for many of our major Australian newspapers. In fact, all two of them. And I'd like to tell you about it now!

In the beginning, I experimented with a number of artistic methods, including cubism and other such non-Bill Leak styles.
Here's one of my earliest cartoons. It's slightly reminiscent of Pollock, slightly preminiscent of Emin, and I like to think it has a little Breughel in there, too:



Touching, isn't it?

I quickly developed my own unique and original style, and it was during the Whitlam years that I REALLY started making the big bucks. Here's a cartoon I did then:



Side-splitting, isn't it? But nowadays I don't like to be so realistic in style.

Right at the moment, for instance, I'm going through what can only be described as my 'squiggly phase'. I like to think it combines minimalist complexity with a maximalist simplicity.



Ah. I'm reall proud of my work, and I only hope you'll like it, too. Actually, I don't give a stuff if you like it, so long as you publish it and give me big steaming wads of cash. After all, I am a genius.

- BILL LEAK

Thursday, November 24, 2005

As "Easy" as "Pie"

Tony makes a very good point:

Then after your food is coated in sauce STOP squeezing before you turn the bottle upright. It is as easy as pie. (Apparently pie is easy.)

Pie is certainly not easy, but it is delicious, if it is done correctly. The best pie is, of course, meat pie. (If any vegans are reading this post, I feel your pain; I really do - now can you please bugger off and read some other post?). But something so simple as meat pie can be so difficult to do correctly.



Firstly, where should you get your meat pie from? Supermarket pie is to be avoided: even the best supermarket pies come with their delicious meaty gravy frozen, which takes something out of their freshness. Furthemore, getting the pies in proper edible condition is a lengthy, difficult, and sometimes costly process, and many catastrophes must be avoided.
7/11 pies are cheap, but often poorly made. The crust is moist and doughy (on the matter of the proper crust, read on); and the mince has the same consistency and taste of sludge. Furthermore, they are often either too hot, or too cold.
Gourmet pies have something to say for them, but it can be hard to find a good one. Some are exceedingly expensive (pies are a good meal for a working person, so if you need more than two gold coins to pay for them, they're probably not worth it.) Worse, many 'gourmet' pie cooks defer to the disgusting tastes of their upper-class clientelle. Pies should never have more than three vegetables in them, and any pie containing cheese should be avoided.
On the whole, the best pies are bakery pies. But even here, it's best to be careful: some bakeries reheat their pies in the microwave, leading to sogginess, and pies that are often too hot or cold (and often both at once). Others, although they heat their pies in the proper manner, neverthless purchase them from a pie manufacturer, instead of lovingly crafting the pies themselves.
Finding the 'right' sort of pie bakery is in fact an art in itself, and can take a lifetime of training.

The next matter is the crust. What sort of crust should a pie have? Some say a pie crust should be flaky; some say that it should be fleshy and moist. I incline to the flaky school myself, although a pie should not be 'overflaky'. The result is messy and often very itchy. Furthermore, some pie cooks, in their zeal to achieve a perfect 'flakiness', can burn the pie. This should be avoided.
Readers should, of course, experiment until they find the perfect amount of 'flakiness' for themselves; but they should remember that flakiness should enhance the flavour of the crust, not detract from it.

Temperature is another important matter. How hot is the perfect pie? Again, it is very much a matter of finding the right medium. A pie should not be cool, tepid, lukewarm, or warm; rather, the correct pie temperature lies somewhere in between fairly hot and piping hot. If the pie is merely 'fairly hot', then it tends to become lukewarm by the time it is eaten. However, if the pie is 'piping hot', then it cannot be held in the hand and eaten. This, of course, is the only way to eat a pie: those people who eat pies with knives and forks are cretins, and should be shot.
It should also be added that a 'piping hot' pie, once the eater has balanced it in his hand, has a tendency to gush hot gravy all over the eaters hand: painful, and unecessary.
(The matter of gush will, perhaps, be taken up in a later post.)

Now; what are the correct ingredients of the perfect pie? In fact, there may be no correct answer to this question. I hold to the rule that, so long as there is 75% to 100% meat in the pie, then the actual ingredients do not matter so much. If a pie has less than the requisite amount of meat, then I contend that what you have is not a pie, but a misshapen pastie.
Here is a brief list of possible pie ingredients:

- Chicken

- Chicken and mushroom

- Beef


- Beef and mushroom


- Chicken and carrot


- Pork


- Beef and Bourgundy


(Sweet 'Fruit pies' also have something to say for them. They may be eaten cold, and indeed make an excellent snack between two of the most important meals of the day, breakfast and brunch. But that is another subject entirely.)*
Pies with cheese should never be eaten. It is an insult to cheese, and an insult to meat.

What sauce should you put on the top of your pie? Certainly not barbeque sauce; as Tony quite rightly points out, it is a 'ghastly affair' and whoever invented it 'needs working on'.
Tomato sauce, of course, is the correct condiment; but what type of tomato sauce? Again, this is not a subject on which I am certain, and maybe I should open up the comments box for a poll:

WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF SAUCE TO PUT ON A PIE
a) Homemade Tomato sauce
b) Homebrand Tomato sauce
c) Rosella Tomato sauce
d) Some other variety of tomato sauce? (Industrial American-style ketchup, perhaps?)

Pies are a wonderful meal, and should be eaten often and frequently. If you are in any of the following areas, I can recommend these pie shops:

New Lambton Pies, New Lambton Road, New Lambton, NSW
Harry's Cafe de Wheels, Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW
The Bakery, Bay Street, Port Melbourne, Victoria.
Various pie shops in Coburg and Brunswick, Victoria.

Anyone else got a favourite pie shops?

* As an interesting anthropological footnote, I should add that my friend David has apparently discovered an amazing store which sells canned pies. I can't, of course, endorse such a radical departure from the pie-norm, but one shouldn't deny it before one tries it.

The Gospel According To Tim

This guest post is by God. Frankly, I'm not sure about his style - he has a terrible habit of starting his sentence with 'And', if you ask me. Nevertheless, I think you'll agree, his subject's an important one.

GOD REVIEWS THE AUSTRALIAN IDOL FINALS

1) And it came to pass, in the days following Dicko's reign, that a man known as Sandilands did walk the earth, crying, "Yea, verily! Thou art fat!" and, "Wanna make somethin' of it, Holden, you bitch?"

2) And the people were sore oppressed.

3) And in that time did many people walk the earth, singing, "I am the true Idol!" And verily, many did not know what to think; and they did scratch their heads and say, 'Who to choose?'

4) "For Emily," said the Teenage Girls, "hath natural talent, and verily, she is black: and she hath been sore oppressed. Yea, she is the true Idol, or I be a monkey's uncle."*

5) And then the Gays of all the land did lift up their voices and cry, "No! We picketh Katie DeAraugo to be our True Idol! For she hath flair and a natty sense of rhythm for a white girl from Bendigo. Plus, she's cute!"

6) And so the people came together, and the Teenage Girls did txt, "OMG! EMLY 4VA!!!!!" And the Gays, seeing this, did txt in, "EMLY SUX!!!! KA-T RLZ!!!! TRST US, WE R GAY!!!"
Then darkness fell upon the land, and Andrew G. wept.

7) Then upon a Monday did that other guy, (not Andrew G.) come forth, and proclaim, "The 3rd Australian Idol is Katie DeRaugo!"
And verily, she did open her mouth then, and sing to them, "Listen to your heart," or "Angels bought me here", or some such tune. I knoweth not: for I kind of tuned out at that point. And people looked upon her, and saw that it was so.

8) And then she ascended and became part of the Holy Trinity, alongside Sebastian and Donovan. And the people did rejoice to know that the true Idol was among them, for a year at least (notwithstanding the vagaries of the Music Charts.)

9) Upon hearing of this news, the Teenage Girls did weep, and the Gays did point and laugh, crying, "Ha! Suck shit, bitch!" But the Teenage Girls waited until their parents were out of the room, and took out a picture of Guy Sebastian, and their Cleo Dildo: and they rejoiced.

10) And as for me, I looked upon the earth, and I was sore depressed. So then I went and tormented a family of Mormons with thunderbolts. And that made me feel a little better: but not much.

HERE ENDETH THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO TIM

*This gospel endorseth not the theory of evolution.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What Memes May Come

Oh no! The dreaded meme has struck!

10 Years Ago:
I was "studying"* "hard"** in my final year at school. I got quite a high score in my final exams. I attribute this result to all my "hard work."***

*"Studying" = Not really.
**"Hard" = Not much.
***"Hard work" = The examiners always marked my school up for some arcane statistical reason.


Five Years Ago:
I was "studying hard"* as a postgraduate at Sydney University. At the time, I was studying for a one-year postgraduate course, but due to my sheer brilliance, I managed to cut it down to a measly two years.

*"studying hard" = Yeah, right.
One Year Ago:
Stuck in a dead-end part-time job in Newcastle. My work consisted of me writing reports about other people who faked injury in order not to work. Earning enough money to spend and eating enough food to survive. "Volunteering"* for a young-persons group even though I wasn't quite-young-enough at that time (and probably never will be again).

Two months later, I was offered the opportunity to dig holes for a living. Hell, yeah!

*"Volunteering" = "Working Hard" with other "hard" "workers"

Five Yummy Things.
Croissants.
Muffins.
Freddo.
Schnapps.
Omelette a-la Tim! (Like normal omelette, only cooked by me. It's tasty, if you're me.)

Five Songs I "Know"* By Heart
Rule Britannia.
The Drinking Song. (Here's to so and so, he's true blue ...)
"I Hold Your Hand In Mine", Tom Lehrer (see comments).
"Peaches En Regalia", by Frank Zappa.**
"Cool", West Side Story.***

*"Know" = You can substitute 'Na na na na na' for some of the actual words, can't you?
** The fact that this song has no words or singers doesn't matter, does it?
*** I mean, given time, and the occasional bit of help by electric cattle prod, I'm sure I could learn all the words.


Five Things I Would Do With A LOT Of Money
By myself a supersupersized symphony orchestra.
Get the biggest library in the world.
By my family a condominium in the Himalayas.
Get a shrunken head.
Go on a trip to the moon.

Oh, yeah, and do something for world peace, and all that.

Five Things I Would Never Wear.
A Mycenean funeral mask. These days, Sumerian funeral masks are more the thing.
A viking helmet. Because you never know when you are going to run into a cranky Pictish warlord.
The Santa Claus suit. Because you never know, I might get mistaken for this guy.
A birthday cake. That's just stupid: cakes are for eating, not wearing.
A tutu. What, do you think I'm crazy? Tutus are soooo 2004.

Five Favourite TV shows
The Simpsons.
Futurama.
Black Books.
Dr Who (old, not new. I mean, levitating Daleks? That's balderdash, man!)
Little Britain.

Five Things I Enjoy Doing
Reading.
Criticising.
Eating.
Drinking (usually beer-related substances; but also caffeine-related ones, as well).
Nothing.

Five People I Want To Inflict This On
Rachel
Nails
Tim
Darlene
Misha

Cough, Splutter, Etc

*cough* .... internet troubles at my house ... *hack* ..... not much time to post ... *splutter* ... waiting for my flatmate to get things sorted befor... *retch*

In meantime, anyone want to have a drink? Rachel and me and a couple of other bloggers and assorted other human-like creatures will be meeting up at the Clyde, on Elgin St in Carlton, this Saturday afternoon, from about 7.00 pm onwards. Leave a comment if you'd like to come, or mail me ...

Friday, November 18, 2005

When The End Isn't The Finish

Sometimes, books I read have several blank pages at the back. I don't know why, but they do. Maybe the printers throw it in there for some reason, to round the number of page numbers up.

Maybe the writers always intended them to be there. Maybe they have a profound and deep and intimate significance; maybe it is impossible to understand the book without these blank pages.

Or then again, maybe the blank pages suggest that there is more of the book yet to be written. Maybe after the writer wrote THE END and sent the novel off to the publisher, they just decided to go on and keep on writing. It's a disturbing thought - is the writer really finished with what they're saying? Perhaps different editions of the same novel exist, where all or some of the blank pages are filled out; where the writer found what they wanted to say, and wrote it out, after all.

Or then again, it could be that the blank pages are simply there for you to fill out. Next time you pick up your copy of the classics, why not write your own version in the blank space at the bank?

The Little Old Curiosity Shop
Little Nells Uncle is a bad man. Little Nell dies. The End.

Hamlet
A young bloke can't decide what he wants to do for ten thousand lines, then kills everyone. The End.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
There's this lion, see, only he's really Jesus, and there's these four children, and they have ever so much fun! The End.

Then again, it would be so much more sensible to write things like shopping lists or recipes in these blank pages. Hey, it's what the authors would have wanted.

A Letter To My Fellow Workmates

Dear Wretched Simpering Anaemic Milksops,

I'm not even sure what that phrase means, but I think it probably applies to you. Every time I go down into the kitchen to get myself some coffee or tea, I look in the fridge for an ordinary sized carton of milk.
Instead, what do I find? Skinny milk, diet milk, soy milk, skim milk, light milk - everything but regular, lard-based milk.

I can understand that, from time to time, you want to cut back on your cholesterol intake. But always? From my observation of the contents of the work fridge, you are drinking much too much of this diet milk.
Here's a tip: if you want to cut back on your weight, then it's not a good idea to ingest anything in huge quantities. And certainly not the same thing, day after day.

This obsession has gone too far. I demand that my desire to guzzle ordinary, cow-produced lard once or twice a day be attended to! Rectify the lack of lactose in the fridge now!

Tim

PS Of course, if any of my fellow workmates are reading this, that doesn't go for you guys. I love you.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Inaccurate Magazine Titles

Women's Weekly
Monthly magazine.

TV Week
See above.

New Idea
There is nothing new here. Certainly no ideas.

Dissent
Nope, none of that in here.

Marie Claire
I have no idea who the hell Marie was, and I don't think Claire has anything to do with it.

That's Life!
No, it's a magazine.

Men's Style
Enough said.

Anyone got any of their own? I've never read it myself, so I don't know if Harper's is really Bazaar at all.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Absinthe

Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder
Vodka makes every woman look like Jane Fonda
Laudanum makes you think your girlfriend is a fish called Wanda
While Midori is only drunk by bogan chicks called Rhonda
Who drive a Honda.

THE END

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Ways To Amuse Yourself #3

While on public transport:

1) Set your mobile phones alarm for one minute
2) When the alarm goes off, pick up the phone
3) Bark into the phone: "Yes? What? Excellent. Kill the fuckers! KILL THEM ALL, I SAY! Only in such a consecration of blood can my father have his revenge! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Other possibilities:
- Use obscene bedroom speak, making everyone on the tram think you are speaking to an intimate lover;
- Talk in another language entirely. For instance, starting reciting Master Basho's haiku randomly into the phone.

This excellent method for amusing yourself will also work if you arrange for a friend to call you up.

O Come Into The Garden, Maudlin

Who cares about utter despair and complete boredom? Extreme emotions are stupid. What really matters are the slight emotions, the small events that get us by from day to day.*

Amused resignation to general cantankerousness
Much more productive than full-blown rage.

Bemused contemplation of future lust

Confused satisfaction

That feeling of bored melancholy you get on Saturday afternoon, just after doing the shopping but before seeing your friends
One of the most common emotions. Not to be mixed up with ...

Sunday listlessness


Distant disinterest
(or vice-versa)

Not-quite-but-almost-distaste

Semi-hunger

That feeling of paralysis you get when you see a snail charge at you with an axe

Companionable loneliness

Avuncular isolation

Slight amusement felt upon hearing the name of a person who you once wanted to lick

Nail polish blues

Pre-Tuesday gloom

Not-sick-but-not-wellness

Red Whineiness
The feeling you get on a Sunday morning after a long Saturday night drinking red wine.

* Yeah, that's right. I'm blogging about feelings. Wanna make something of it, punk?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Photo Phun

Look at this photo, and tell me:

Is the clown on the left:
a) A sober guy successfully imitating drunkenness?
b) A drunk guy unsuccessfully imitating sobriety?
c) A sober guy successfully imitating a drunk guy unsuccessfully imitating a sober guy?
d) A drunk guy unsuccessfully imitating drunkeness?

Or something else? I wish I knew the answer. Somebody TELL me!

(Photos courtesy of Rachel, who recently posted about an evening of poetry and drunkeness on Swanston and Collins Streets ...)

Gloomed To Death

I think that the end of a purely materialistic civilization with all its technical achievements and its mass amusement is . . . simply boredom. A people without religion will in the end find that it has nothing to live for.

That's T. S. Eliot. If his poems are anything to go by, he knew a lot about boredom.

In the room, the women come and go
Speaking of Michelangelo


And -

I think we live in a rats alley
Where dead men lost their bones.


He certainly has an optimistic outlook.

He's also a pasisonate poet. His poems are full of extreme emotions, ranging from deep depression to exuberant melancholy. I wouldn't be surprise if he gloomed his first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood into bipolar disorder. The history books are out on that one, but you never know.

In his most famous works, he manages to combine this all-pervading gloom with his characteristic boredom. Mix the lines up a bit so that their meaning gets confused, and the results are devastating:

What is that noise?"
The wind under the door.
"What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?"
Nothing again nothing.
"Do
"You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
"Nothing?"

I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.


God, I wonder if he was like this in person. No wonder his wives left him. That's from his poem The Wasteland - virtually compulsory reading for any second year student at Uni studying English lit. Once I even considered writing a translation of The Wasteland into the English language, so we could see what he really meant:

April is the cruelest month.
Viv got angry at me again today.
I don't know what's got into that bitch lately, maybe s
he doesn't like me smoking?
I don't know. You fucking bastards will be laughing on the other side of your face, one of these days.
Yeah. I'm going to be a REALLY GREAT poet. You'll see. Fuck you.

I don't think this poem is going very well. Maybe I should convert to Christianity.

Those are the pearls that were his eyes. (Hmmm, like that line, must use it ...)

Nah, makes too much sense.

Then again, Eliot did once come up with this memorable piece of conversation:

Person at conference: Mr Eliot, what do you mean by the following?

Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper tree

Eliot: I meant three white leopards sat under a juniper tree.

I think we can all agree with that.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday Morning Fun!

Hey, want to have some fun? I know what we can do! We can try to make our own LEUNIG cartoon! That'd be fun! Yeah!

It's quite simple:

Step 1: Draw a picture of a sad man.


Step 2:
Then, for no reason at all, throw in a picture of a duck!



Step 3:
Then throw in some other, completely random, picture. Anything will do!



THE RESULTS

Once upon a time, there was a sad man sitting by the river.

He was very sad.

Then along came a duck!


All of a sudden, a sofa fell out of the sky and squashed him to death.



He was so shocked, he forgot to be sad about it.

THE END


UPDATE!
If you want to make a Leunig cartoon, it also helps to have the following:

- Pictures of scary looking women!
- Pictures of teapots!
- Pictures of angry looking men!
- Some sloppily written, sentimental poetry!
- A poorly edited inner-city newspaper for gentrified left-wing voters that will publish your stuff!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

That Sinking Feeling

It begins ...


Dear Everyone,

I'm having a great time here in Melbourne! The other day I took a short trip outside to take off my shoes, and when I came back in, this is what the sink looked like!

Tim


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Become Crappy For No Good Reason

Australian Yoga Life uses the word 'yoga' six times on the front cover. I counted. On the back cover, it appears nine times. There is also a picture of a seat that should never have been invented: the purposes of seats is for sitting in, not for breaking our backs on.

Leafing through the magazine, I find mention of 'Yoga' this, 'Yoga' that, 'Yoga' schools, 'Yogis', 'Yogic teachers', 'Yoga warehouse', and Yogic Yoga Yoghi bears eating yoghurt while ... you get the idea.
There are pictures of people adopting various anatomically unlikely positions, of their own free will. There is also an advice column written by Kojak ... sorry, by Acharya Ram Sivan, 'a Westerner born of a Jewish mother and Christian father, converted to Hinduism in India at the age of 17.'
Dear Rami,
Can Buddhist concepts like
shunya, or the void, ever fit into the Hindu world where there is a supreme Self or Paramatma? Or does shunya moreso parallel the concept of akasha, or cosmic space?
Mmm hmm.
Shunya, contrary to popular belief, does not mean 'the void' or 'nothingness' or 'cosmic space'. It means 'zero', which is the basis for all manifestation or non-manifestation. Zero is the sum total of all mathematical possibilities in the universe.
*Whips out calculator* Gasp! He's right!

Speaking of maths, I'm not quite sure that some of the positions adopted by models in this book are possible, according to the laws of geometry, as we know it. I wonder if they had to wire their mouths into place to keep that eery android-like smile in place.

The articles have titles like 'Navasana: boat pose' . Description: 'Navasana speaks to us as if saying "Rise up from complacency and reclaim your inner power." This is an in awakening pose that can shift stagnant patterns and open the door to living life fully.'

Whatever. There's also an article called 'Getting your man to Yoga'. Description: 'There is a quiet couples' revolution happening today in Australian yoga. Women are drawing their men to the yoga mat ...'
I am never getting married. Ever.

Australian Yoga Life is a magazine for people who don't have one - a Life, that is. It is not sold in all good newsagencies. If you're looking for an interesting read, I urge you strongly not to buy this magazine - before it's too late.

A Song from Smelbourne

(For Gem)
A Plea to the Goddess Obscenia

Goddess of all rank aromas,
Lice-infested carcinomas,
Eldritch stinks told of in Homer's
Famous Smelliad;
Queen of all things slimy, smelly,
Of puss-infested bowls of jelly
Or just that guy upon the telly -
Peter Hellier:

Patroness of toilet scum,
Or greasy swabs from grannies bums,
Or post-digestive effluvium
With name's like Hailey's Vomit
Since your dominion is old cheese,
And mouldy breads and rotting bries -
And humid dogs that swarm with fleas,
And all things we omit:

Grant then that you do not souse
One room within this little house
With maggot, mould, or turd of mouse:
Keep your distinctive pong.
We do not like your viral spores
Exuding from our walls and floors
Take it back - or keep it for
The bitch two doors along.

Send all future camel dungs
To grace the noses and the lungs
Of Fraser, Whitlam, Mao Tse Tung -
They're more deserving, surely:
Reserve a ranker perfume still
For those who tried to block The Pill -
I'm sure, O Queen that these fools will
Rank in your opinion poorly.

We beg you, take your mould and must,
Your things of slime and dirt and dust -
(It's not that we don't like you - just
Our noses are too weak
To stand this constant exercise)
Take them elsewhere - somewhere high
And far away, with lots of flies.
They'll love your reek.

(Edited and reposted this morning)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Attention, Girls and Boys

Got some copies of the NSW School Magazine yesterday. They pay something like eighty dollars for over twenty lines of poetry. Not bad, eh? Time to send them something ...

DON'T PLAY WITH KNIVES AND FORKS
A Lesson

Little girls and boys
Should never
Play with knives and forks -
O no. Not ever.

A little girl I knew
Called Jane McGee
Once fiddled with her fork -
Then RAN AWAY TO SEA!

Where she got a job
Juggling axes for
A pirate and his parrot
Called MCGRAW!

She travelled all the world
In a silver Holden car
And everyone would cry,
"There's Jane - A SUPERSTAR!"

Then, when she was old,
She took to bed
With a dreadful cold -
And next day, she was DEAD.

So listen up, kiddo:
Get this into your head -
DON'T PLAY WITH KNIVES AND FORKS:
Play with your spoons instead.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Blahfinitions

Lawmaking: The process of drafting and passing a law through parliament for the public good.

Boremaking: The process of arguing at tedious length in favour of a new law about to be introduced, to the extent that you bore your listeners to sleep. Then you pass whatever law you want and nobody worries.

Filibustering: Delaying normal parliamentary process by speaking for as long as you like on an unimportant topic.

Sillyflustering: Speaking for as long as you like on absolutely meaningless topics, for no reason at all.

***

Got any blahfinitions of your own?

Nerdarama

I've been watching Australia's brainiest kid. Oh, shut up. It's a work of genius, I tell you. GENIUS! By the time I tuned in last night, all the dumbos from Wallarang Primary school, or wherever, had been culled away. It was the last twenty minutes, time for the final Geek Off.

In this Geek Off, three kids were asked five questions each. They each had to choose a particular category for their questions, and they were then shown where these questions were in a grid. They then had to remember where these questions were, then they were asked the questions in succession. Sounds complicated? Yeah, now I know why you didn't do so good at maths.

The first kid is this tall Indian lad called Mithra Somethingorotherathon. He chooses the topic Nelson Mandela.

NERD!

Apparently, he's interested in Nelson because he's experienced racism, or stuff. Sure thing Mithra. I'll let you get back to your Gameboy now.

The second is some kid called Ashkaa Whatchamicallit. Her topic is The Brain.

GEEK!

I mean - Jeez, could you get any geekier if you tried?

The third is Pernina Su. She's small and tends to stumble over her questions. She chooses the topic Mao Tse Tung.

WHAT?

I'm shocked. I shout at the television, but - I think I'm beginning to like this kid. Instead of choosing a geeky subject, she's chosen to talk about one of the most bloodthirsty dictators of the twentieth century.

At one point, Mithra gets asked the question, "What was the nickname of Nelson Mandela's long-time wife, beginning with W?" Mithra pauses for what seems like FIVE FREAKING MINUTES before saying,
"Uh ... Winnie?"
This, of course, is cue for me to shout at the television, "Of course it is, you stupid kid! Don't you know anything? CHRIST!"

Aashka gets a toughie: "Of the brains four lobes, what is the first, in alphabetical order?" I don't know this one. You probably don't know this one. Aashka obviously didn't know this one, either. She starts to sweat and the thinking music plays and we all start to pull at our collars. Then Aashka says,
"P-parietal!"
W-R-O-N-G! LOSER! You LOSE! The correct answer is "frontal". Did she spend the entire minute thinking over the spelling of parietal?

Pernina Su slays the opposition. She correctly names The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. She stumbles over Mao's date of birth (1989? that poses some interesting problems for the historians of communism) and gets the date of the Chinese revolution mixed up. But by the end, she's the winner - and I'm on the edge of my seat, whooping it up. PERNINA SU - YOU ROCK!

I'll be tuning into the final for sure. But on a side note, what's with Sandra Sully hosting it? Anna Coren, last years host, was way better, and makes me want to .... hug her. Lots.

UPDATE! Now this is a competition I'd like to see:

SULLY:
Pernina Su, Australia's brainiest kid - today you face your greatest challenge of all. You are going to have to match your wits with a two-time winner of Sale of the Century!

PERNINA SU:
Bring 'em on, Sully.

(Fat champ off Sale of the Century waddles in)

SALE OF THE CENTURY CHAMP:
You watch out, Australia's brainiest kid - I'm goin' to kick your arse!

PERNINA SU:
You wish, flubberface.

SULLY:
First question: how can you get cooties?

SALE OF THE CENTURY CHAMP:
Bzzz! I know! I know!

SULLY:
Yes?

SALE OF THE CENTURY CHAMP:
I ... um ... just give me a second while I ... can I phone a fri... ?

PERNINA SU:
Bzzz! I know!

SULLY:
Yes?

PERNINA SU:
By stepping on the cracks in the pavement!

SULLY:
CORRECT! Second question: complete this song -

Jingle bells, Batman smells,
Robin

PERNINA SU:
... flew away,
Lost his pants while over France,
And found them in Bombay.

SALE OF THE CENTURY CHAMP:
Hey! I knew that one!

PERNINA SU:
HA! In your FACE, Fart Breath!

SULLY:
Okay, next question - and if you answer this one right, Australia's brainiest kid, you'll get into double figures and win the game!

PERNINA SU:
I ain't scared, Sully.

SALE OF THE CENTURY CHAMP:
*Sweats*

SULLY:
How do you do a nipple cripple?

PERNINA SU:
Bzzz! Like this! (Leaps from buzzer, on top of fat Sale of the Century champ and executes the perfect nipple cripple)

SALE OF THE CENTURY CHAMP:
Aaaaaaargh! Have mercy! MERCY!

SULLY:
Australia's brainiest kid, YOU WIN!!!!

(Exit fat Sale of the Century champ in tears, helped off by Pernina Su)

THE END

A Note on the Curious History of Trans Allosquia

Trans Allosquia, as every good Lithuanian child knows, has a very curious history indeed. This curious history goes back right to the Dark Ages (which are otherwise known as the Nineteen Twenties.) In the chaos that followed the first world war, many conflicting ideologies fought amongst themselves for control of the continent of Europe. The Vienesse, for instance, were right into the waltz, while the people of Lichtalbania thought that the snappy rhythmns of the tango were the modern thing. Invariably, it was the innocent people, who just wanted to sit at home and read a good book instead of go out and dance the night away, that suffered. They were continually conscripted into gigantic cross border dancing competitions, events at which they were expected to defend their fellow dancers by hurling weapons such as butterflies and other small avian creatures at the opposition, at the same time singing their national songs and poems.
Naturally, everyone got heartily sick and tired of this, which led to the famous 1932 PETITION TO THE FEDERATION OF NATIONS, where a number of Lichtalbanians got together, and signed a document which said that they shouldn't be forced to go to these dancing competitions, when all they wanted to do was sit at home with the latest thriller by Poet Agner Morxyffyn*. Unfortunately, at that time, the Federation of Nations was controlled by a particularly enthusiastic devotee of the gavotte, who declared (much to the annoyance of just about everybody) that from now on, dancing competitions would be compulsory right across the world and, in those nations where it was already compulsory, they would be Even More So**.


Yes, that's right: there's some new chapters up in my ongoing novel project. Want to read? No? LINK - CLICK - NOW!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Drumroll, Please ...

Presenting ...

THE GREAT AUSSIE DIPTHONG

Fragments of Conversation I Overheard Yesterday While Transcribing Radio Interviews and On The Train

Jobs can get to you after a while. They become a second nature. I think I'm starting to instinctively note down random conversations of other people that I hear...

1. ... first began nursing, we had to start out by cleaning people's BEDPANS. And the young people of today ...

2. I may not be the brightest carbine light in the gas shaft, but you've got to get those kids thinkin'. Get the calculators out of the school-room, and get the MOYND workin', mate. Jumpin' kangaroos! What are they thinkin'?

Yeah, I'm with you, Don.

3. Hello. Hello? I'm at Jewell now. Yeah. JOOOOL! Alright. I'll see you at the shops in a few minutes. Alright? Yeah. I'll just walk down there an' see you in a few minutes. Alright? Alright?

4. No. No. No. I agree with you. No, it's good. And I support you in that, I fully support you. So I'm a happy girl! Alright.

5. No. If a guy grabs me on the bum at the nightclub, then oym foyne with that. Oy can deal with it. That's royt! Oym foyn. If I don't tell you about it, don't worry about it. But if oy say this goys bothering me, then you go ahead and beat him up!

Would you excuse me? I think I'll go outside for a while and bark at the next-door neighbours dog...

Friday, November 04, 2005

For Fucks Sake

The title of this review should be taken as literally as possible. The other day I went to an erotic art exhibition.



It was a thought-provoking exhibition in many respects. For instance, thoughts like the following were provoked again and again:

"Ooh!"
"Gosh!"
"My!"
"Hmmm ..."

Many questions were raised. Questions like:

"How the FUCK did she just do that ...???"
"What the HECK is he going to do with that ...???"
"Is that what I THINK it is ...???"
"Is she really ...???"

Many of the images are striking, in that one is struck repeatedly by such profound observations as:

"I didn't even know they could fit that ma... "
"Wha ...???"
"I hope SHE knows what she's doing ..."

It was, in short, a vigorous, stimulating exhibition, an exhibition which similarly makes you hot and bothered then takes your breath away and then which rouses the imagination and firms the mind until ...

(Sorry, I think I got carried away there.)

To tell you the truth, the pictures were unarousing. Not uninteresting, just unarousing. Some satisfied our sense of curiosity/voyeurism: one picture was called, "Mickey humping Minnie with Snow White and Prince Charming." And who hasn't had fantasies involving various cartoon characters? But the picture was flat; there wasn't any real action there. A bit like porn, except you're not allowed to masturbate. Oh well. Hopefully Mickey had a good time.

The exhibition raised interesting moral dilemmas. No, no, not those questions about 'the objectification of the female form' and 'the contrast of the public and the private in the modern life', or even 'when is it appropriate to bring out the handcuffs'? (Although you could ask these questions, too). I'm thinking in more practical terms: how in the hell do you tell people that you've been to this? Who could you trust to go to this with? What on earth would you say once you got there?
But then again, maybe I'm asking too many questions. God knows, in this day and age, it would probably be considered appropriate to go along there wearing nothing but a pair of purple underpants on your head while groping Pamela Anderson's silicon boobs which you'd bought off ebay that morning and while also being masturbated by a black dwarf. Hey, maybe it would even be encouraged. Isn't that the point of these exhibitions? To break down barriers, challenge prejudice and, er, encourage us all to have a good fuck?

I don't know, I'm just writing this. I didn't stay at the exhibition for too long, anyway. At the stairwell, I paused at the signature book, and looked briefly through the signatures.
"Great exhibition" one person said. "It's good to see sexuality portrayed in an artistic way."
Er yes, quite. That is the point of an erotic exhibition; it's kind of there in the title, innit? I walked down the stairs and out onto the streets. I think I was already thinking about what my dinner that night was going to be. Later, I was struck by another thought: who would bother going to a sex show if they could be at home having sex, anyway?

Maybe the same sort of person as the guy who goes along to a sex show and then sits down and writes a review of said sex show. Or reader of said article by said guy who goes to said sex show. Or ...

Stop reading, you perves, and go out and get ROOTED!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Drinklings

Want an excellent reason not to read Antony Loewenstein? Try this post.

Australian culture "defined":

"Almost 50 per cent of people believe getting drunk occasionally is part of being Australian, a survey suggests.

The study of more than 1500 Australians, by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, found one in 10 reported having a problem with alcohol at some point in their lives. Three in five said they knew a friend or family member who had experienced an alcohol problem.

Germany, on the other hand - with its own myriad of problems, to be sure - recently hosted the annual Frankfurt book fair, the largest in the world:

"The other pleasant discovery was the real seriousness with which the German media treat the fair. Almost every radio network in the country (they are state-based there) had a huge outside-broadcast van parked near one of the five huge exhibition halls; television interviews with authors, critics and publishers seemed to run non-stop; the newspapers treat it thoroughly."

Hard to imagine in Australia. After all, why celebrate an "elite" artform, when you can grab a beer or ten?

Australia's cultural immaturity lives on.
Actually, drinking and culture do go together. Noah sung and cultivated grapes. Ecclesiasticus wrote,

Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.

Christ turned water into wine for a wedding. The Greeks had a God devoted to the drinking of wine. So did the Romans, the Norse, and just about every other polytheistic people. Omar Khayyam wrote;

A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness,
And wilderness were paradise enow.

Keats loved 'the blushing Hippocrene'; Byron wrote,

... the future is a serious matter,
And so - for G-ds sake! - hock and soda water!

Lear 'drinks a great deal of Marsala/but never gets tipsy at all'; Australia's own A. D. Hope was overjoyed when he found that the formula for love was an alcohol:

At Munich on the Isar
Those molecules were found
Which everyone agrees are
What makes the world go round;
What draws the male creation
To love, my darling doll,
Turns out, on trituration,
To be an alcohol!


and Dorothy Porter had this to say on the subject:

I like to have a drink if I'm able,
Two at the very most;
Three and I'm under the table,
Four and I'm under my host.

So there you go, Antony. By the way, did you know that snobs are stupid, make boring company, and have less culture than a tub of yoghurt? 'Cos you're sounding like one at the moment.

UPDATE! Anyone got any favourite poems about drinking they'd like to share?

UPDATE! I'm working on a poem about Loewenstein's blog at the moment. Here's how it goes so far:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Loewenstein's blog is silly,
And Antony is a p

I just can't think what to write next. It's a toss up between,

a) Peacenik conspiracy theorist, and a very silly person too
b) Person who I have great disagreements with, in case you never knew

Hmmm, a) or b)? What do you think?

Hairy Story

By the way, did you know a woman on the other side of the world gave birth to her first child the other day? It's true! In other news, ten thousand other women did the same thing, four thousand five hundred and sixty two sat and stared at the wall, one started to paint her toenails green with pink polka dots, and five ate turnips for breakfast.

Really, why should I care if Mary Donaldson gave birth? The Australian media seemed to think I should. It's something to do with her husband, who just happens to be a Grand Baron, or Dark Overlord, or Mighty Legislator, or Prince, or something like that. He's basically one of those ordinary guys who, through no fault of their own, are born into positions of ridiculous privilege and power.
Fairy story? Bugger off. I prefer the fairy story which ends with an entire town being tricked into jumping in a lake. Or with a witch being thrown in a barrel full of spikes and rolled into the ocean.

So, what does this new kid have to look forward to? Growing up in a palace? (Great - where's he going to go when he wants to get some Maccas?) Meeting Prime Ministers and talking economic policy (when he'd much rather be at home playing on an Xbox?) Being famous and appearing on the covers of all the Danish newspapers? And, um, being famous and appearing on the covers of all the Danish newspapers?
Personally, if I ever met this kid, I'd tell him to study his Family Tree. Not to find out about his great-great-great-grandfather's wife (and also his cousin), or the time when his uncles aunts uncles father conquered Transmistria, but because he'd find he shared a lot in common with the Family Tree.
After all, they're both rooted.

Yawn of the Dead

Working early on a public holiday is crap. Daylight saving sucks, too.

I think I can't think this early in the morning. Somebody feed me some fresh brains, now ...
Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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Me person. Live in world. Like stuff. Need job. Need BRAINS! (DROOLS IN THE MANNER OF ZOMBIES) Ergggggh ...