Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Disappointment surely is a bitter swill that fills the mouth and forces you to spit or swallow.

Tonight, for me, it was Fame.

Yes, Fame.

In long, it was humourless, no actors had any charisma, actoring talent or presence. The characters were dull, uninteresting and uninspiring. None of the teachers were marvellous. In fact they were all shit, Kelsey Grammer and that nasal woman included.

I found it insufferable, tedious and grim.

They'd changed the names. In this day and age, clearly, there can be no black character called Coco. Oh no no no. And Bruno? That's too old-time-Italo-ethnic. Let's make him Carlo, because the Hispanics came after the Italians, swarmed into the great melting pot that is America.

Fuck that. He should have been called Hussein.

Oh, but wait. There was a Malik - a black dude. To me it's a good Muslim name, but there was no reference to religion. He was a rapper/actor with anger issues about his dead sister, shot at 11 in a drive-by.

Oh cliche-ridden piece of shit that you were, Fame.

I turned to my daughters carefully as the credits were rolling afterwards. I waited until they told me what they thought. Great, good, I liked it. I held my tongue until I was pushed to say what I thought.

"My one was better, I thought, the old one. But it was from my time."

They nodded at that. They understood. I am an old dag, and I can't appreciate that wonderful movie that unfolded in front of them.

"I remember the old one being funnier. It was heavy in parts, but there was also lightness and joy. This one was just so serious for most of it."


"Didn't you think?"

Silence again.

Then Princess said, "But they were under so much pressure. Of course it's going to be serious."

'Yeah," I said. Wanting to let them have their Fame.

But they don't know what they missed out on.

This for one:

Monday, September 28, 2009


Well, it all went brilliantly. BRILLIANTLY I TELL YOU.

Tooth settled with some quick Nurofen and I got onto the antis.

And we drove, oh how we drove. The weather was filthy for most of Victoria. It took us an hour and a half to even get onto the Hume, fucking hell, my inner voice was going, while don't worry, we'll get there my outer voice was going.

Stopped for petroleum and food about 3.5 hours in. Then a coffee stop for about 10 minutes after another couple of hours. Princess talked the whole way; her story idea for a book. So not only am I to try and write my own books, I have to help her with hers.

God help me.

We managed without music or any other diversions for hours. It was only as it got dark that we put some on. First we listened to a truly atrocious CD called Great Driving Songs or somesuch. It's Clokes' and because most of our stuff is in storage still, we are light on for CDs. We skipped through most of the tracks. They were woeful.

Then I tried to introduce her to Fat Boy Slim. She liked the first song, then wanted to skip the bit where the lyric is Fat Boy Slim is fucking in heaven. Fair enough. Then we listened to the Beach Boys. The good old reliable Beach Boys.

It was dark and my night vision is not great. We crawled along, driving very carefully, also cause by now my tooth was hurting again. We got there. We checked into our very clean, nice motel, about 5 mins drive from my bro's house. We ordered in food, had showers and slept together in the Queen size bed, using the single as our vertical wardrobe. Am I the only person to do this?

Next morning we decided not to do anything. The weather was cold, so we woke up at 9am to feast upon our breakfast tray, then lay in bed watching tv (her) and reading (me.)

I had texted my sister the night before, with no reply. Then I texted my brother-in-law cause he's usually good with his phone. No reply. Then I'm starting to worry a bit that their plans had changed. Imagine if they'd all driven to Melb? I had checked they'd be there through the week, so was fairly confident but when you do wild and crazy things, sometimes your brain can make you second-guess stuff.

So I called my brother on his mobile. He answered and was happy to hear from me. I asked if the others were there, I hadn't heard, yes, they were there, he said, sitting on the couch. They were all getting pretty excited. The bbq was going to get fired up, and they had a couple of other friends arriving to have lunch and watch the game.

"Oh ok," I said. "Well, I'll call later, to talk during the game, have fun!"

He he he.

Then I set about making mini floggers for the kids. Then we got ready and went and picked up some bbq meat stuff and two bottles of champagne and a box of nice chocolates for my bro's long-suffering partner. When Melba and her sibs get together, we can be a little much for other people.

We drove there. Princess said she was nervous.

"What if they're not happy to see us?" she asked.

"They will be!" I almost shouted at her.

"But how can you know?" she asked.

"Because they're family, and they like us. It'll be good, don't worry."

So we managed to get to the door. We rang the door bell, Princess hid behind me, scared. They opened the door and we jumped up and down shouting "SURPRISE!! SURPRISE!!"

It was awesome. My brother was really moved, I could tell. They couldn't believe that not only were we there, but we'd driven up the night before. Sneaky!

We had lunch, cracked the champers and settled down to what was a fantastic and exciting game of footy. It would have been bad if Geelong had lost and we'd been a miserable little cavalcade back down the Hume. As it was we flew our Scarf of Victory, only pulling it inside the window once we got to St Kilda Junction. We wore our Hats of Victory for most of the weekend.

I got back last night to a table full of newspapers, oh joy. Reading through them, still not finished. I have sheets of newspaper stuck to the wall with blu-tack. My father is incredibly happy, not least because of my sneaky plan. My brother is happy we went up, and my sister cried when she saw us, and then again when the Cats won. We jumped up off the couch, we shouted, we stamped and we howled.

It was great.

And getting a text message from INC was great as well. Thank you friend. Thanks too to everyone who asked about my tooth. It really is a bastard but it's behaving itself now. I'm so glad we went. Surprises are good like that if you have the right family. And Princess really jumped on board and got into it as well. She hates long car trips, but there was not one complaint. She is the acest of all.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Things facing me today.

In a little while, I am going to pick up Princess from my mum's place and we are going to drive to Canberra. My brother lives in Canberra and my sister and her family are there visiting. I had planned to go up this past week but couldn't because I was working.

But then the Cats got into the Grand Final.

And I know everyone will be at my brother's watching. Us three kids haven't ever watched Geelong in a GF together before. My sister and I went to the 1995 Grand Final. There is a photo of us and our devastation afterwards. When Geelong played Hawthorn in the 1989 Grand Final I was on a road trip to Lake Eyre with two friends, and on that Saturday we drove four hours or so to a pub that was showing it. We sat in the mostly empty front bar and drank beer and then went and kicked a footy with the aboriginal kids outside afterwards. Two years ago, we were in Istanbul and couldn't find a tv showing it. There were phone calls to my dad and brother who were both there but not sitting together. And last year, we were at friends' watching, and that of course was depressing.

So I figured this might be the last chance for a long time? It would be a really feel-good moment to all be together if they win.

So I formed a wild and crazy plan to drive up there, check into a motel nearby, lie low and then about an hour before the game, ring their doorbell and just be there. Mad and spontaneous.

Great plan, innit?

Booked the motel, printed out google maps, have a little bookshop to visit half an hour out of Canberra tomorrow morning, a little side activity.

Princess jumped on board and is very excited. I had to tell my mum, and yesterday my Dad (because he asked me and Princess to the Parade today. Never been to the Parade, never want to go) and I swore them to secrecy.

I want it to be a complete and utter surprise and my sister and her husband and children are all very loud people so it will be effective and satisfying.

EXCEPT for my fucking tooth.

I went to the dentist Wednesday morning for further work on a root canal. I wasn't in pain, just having to floss frequently because the tooth had chipped. But it wasn't bad, he said, luckily I hadn't cracked the tooth, blah blah blah. He cleaned it out (again) and while it didn't hurt, it was unpleasant. I'm not good with things in my mouth. I think I've mentioned here before I used to have dreams of my mouth and throat being filled with cotton wool or barbed wire or broken glass and me having to breathe around it all the while trying to pull the stuff out.

If I believed in previous lives I would think I was probably buried alive, with dirt filling my nose and mouth and throat.

I also have a fear of me or someone I'm with choking on food and dying.

The tooth was ok when I left. It was ok for the rest of that day. A little tender but I wouldn't say painful.

Yesterday I went to work, and it was still the same, ok but not terrible.

Then last night, Clokey and I went out to dinner.

We went to a new place in Fitzroy Street called Waldorf diner (they really shouldn't call it a diner, just Waldorf would be fine) and enjoyed the food. Sausages, bread, all made on the premises. Slow-cooked food, beautiful pork-belly, divine beef carpaccio. Only one mention of "foam" on the menu and it wasn't really; more a potato puree and yummy.

The tooth was fine. I chewed on the other side, but no real problems there.

We came home, to watch the Footy Show (I couldn't bear it, what a horrible show it is, all the prancing around of the "hosts" it's like watching a neighbourhood kid's concert) and we had some ice cream.

Maybe it was the ice cream, but my tooth has gone from not terrible to very terrible.

Before I turned my light out in bed last night, it was so painful, I couldn't read my book. I took two Nurofen, and that must've helped because I managed to sleep until 5am when it woke me up.

Since then, I dozed, and now I don't know what to do.

I am miserable right now with this tooth, and I am in the comfort of my own home with my dentist virtually around the corner.

What will I be driving off to?

Is there dust in Canberra?

What will the weather be like?

Will the Cats lose?

Will it be worth it or will the whole weekend be a disaster?

Is my tooth a bad sign?

I feel a wreck, so tired, with a headache (referred pain?) and a tooth that's killing me.

All I want to do is crawl back into bed, but I need to get in the car and drive all day.

Was it the ice cream that triggered it?

Will it settle down again if I avoid ice cream? (Easy enough to do.)

What should I do?

I'm a stubborn person. Once I get an idea in my head, I don't want to change a plan. Especially when it involves such delicious surprise and fun.

UPDATE - my lovely dentist rang back, he is going to organise some antibiotics and Panadeine Forte for me. He thinks working on the tooth has stirred something up, and the antibiotics will help. I am anti the antis, but in matters like this, I will take them happily. So yay, let me go now. Get ready, get the drugs and head off. Will report back Monday.

Go Cats.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm thinking Fridays are a good time to do diaries. Except it's Thursday. Woo hoo.

So hasn't it been wet today? What the hell is going on with Beyonce and the dude who interrupted Taylor Swift? I haven't really caught up. And the evil father who incested his daughter, for fuck's sake. At work we get all these emails that have been filtered IN for sexual content, either socially, psychologically, medically and so on. You guys at work have filters to get rid of this shit, whereas our servers allow all kinds of stuff. We have to go back to work and look up "felching" and "choat."

I get to go to my desk at work and there are all these alerts from the librarian pointing me towards articles about everything you ever wanted to know about sex but were too afraid to ask.

[Apologies to Woody.]

Today, I was busy explaining to Year 9 girls how head lice and pubic lice are DIFFERENT and don't use the head treatment "down there" or you will burn that shit. Did you know that pubic lice cannot live in your head hair but it sure as fuck can migrate to your chest hair (general menfolk, non-body-builders) and underarm hair (general menfolk, non BB and non-European laydees)?

Does that even make sense. I don't care. My weekend starts TONIGHT.

Also, we had condom balloons being patted around, girls in a huddle at my "kit" pulling out all manner of ribbed, warm heated and tight-fits. I had one girl fit a condom over her entire hand and she was licking the end of it. All I could think of to say was

"Doesn't that taste yucky?"

During my short time in the job, I have already used the expression "If you were my daughter, I'd say you should..."

I have already used the expression "We know that girls are giving oral sex - or head jobs - to boys more than they are receiving. It. Why is this so?" and I make my eyebrows beetle at this point.

I have already used the expression "slut-stick" for the Implanon contraceptive rod. In a purely homey, I'm down-with-it way. I think I'm not "comfortable" using that term so I won't any more.

Today I was told that a "blue veined cigar" is another name for... you guessed it PENIS.

Did not know that one but I worked it out pretty quickly.

I am no longer a sex-ed virgin. I have masterfully handled the hot-pink dildo, and parried the question:

"Is that a sex toy?"


"Yes. It most certainly is. But it's not mine. I got it from work. But I chose the colour!"

I am loving my new job. It's fun, it's honest and it's important.

And there are statistics!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Looking looking looking

Things that are pretty much a deal-breaker for me when looking at houses to buy.
- spa baths
- hot tubs
- pools
- gazebos
- feature walls
- sponged feature walls
- low ceilings
- stupid fucking floorplans
- cross-hatch parquetry flooring
- any parquetry flooring really, other than the very tasteful, very expensive type, which is rare
- floating floorboards
- aluminium window frames
- vertical venetians
- gravel or stones on pathways or driveways
- wood panel bathrooms
- slate flooring
Sorry if I've offended you, but really no one will know if you have any or all of these in your house. Most are cosmetic and can be dealt with, but things like this

you know the owners are thinking it's a major feature, especially when it's the hero shot for the ad.
Suburbs we are looking at circle Melbourne. It's too fucking hard and it's giving me a headache and I think I need to eat some cake. Luckily, there is some in the fridge, thanks to Princess turning 13.
I am mother of a teenager. How did that happen?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Our Quentin - response to Inglourious Basterds.

Quentin Tarantino is a special type of boy. I reckon he's probably the large version of a kid only a mother could love. You can tell he would be annoying as shit socially, professionally and if you were unlucky enough to happen to be in some kind of intimate relationship with him.

Scene 1: red carpet, cocktail party, awards night.

Quentin: So, you know, huh, what's your favourite movie?

Me: I don't know.

[insert one hour diatribe of his top 10 of the best and the worst movies, ever, in the whole world.]

Me at intervals of 8 minutes: Where's the drinks waiter?

* * *

Scene 2: on the set

Actor 1: So, I think I got it. You want me to [insert interpretation of script here, character attributes, foreshadowing of plotline, consideration of subtlety of facial descriptions] and you want my tits out, when I die.

Quentin: NO, NO, NO. NO TITS!!!!! MUMMMMMMEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Actor 1: Sorry. I thought you said you wanted boobs.

Quentin: No. I. Said. That. I. Wanted. You. To. Die. In. Bits. That means when the soldier shoots you, there will be alot of bullets. A humungous lot. But no tits. IN BITS.

Actor 1 to actor 2: God he's a fucking pain.

Actor 2: That was short, Diane, what are you talking about? He storyboarded me dying. He's got my head getting stomped and beaten with a bat by "The Bear Jew", the baseball wacko, I get shot, and before that I have dialogue so I have to, you know, foreshadow my death.

Actor 1: Yeah, I know. Subtly.

Actor 2: No. Not with subtlety. Fuck, is this your first Tarantino movie?

* * *

Scene three: with a girlfriend, or a goat, in bed.

G: So, what's your thing, babee?

Quentin: You know what I really dig? If you talk about movies while we do it. But it has to be one of my movies. And it has to be a really intense scene, you know, like when John and Uma are eating burgers or when Pumpkin and Honey Bunny are about to do the holdup. I wanna get some of that tension going, right here baby.

G: ...


* * *

I think Quentin would be fun to be around for about five minutes. Even if he was being fun and loose and not all intenso-man-about-film, I'd probably still get sick of him pretty quickly. When we were kids, my brother had a friend who was so in your face, so annoying. He would get in front of us and the tv we were watching, to annoy us. He would be really loud, using "funny" voices, mucking around. The thing was, he was amusing for a short while. Then he got annoying and he wouldn't stop. As an adult, he was obsessed with movies and emailing forwards all the "funnies." He didn't know when to stop. I get the feeling Tarantino is a bit like that.

I love Quentin Tarantino's movies. If it's made by Tarantino, then rest assured, I will be buying a ticket and sitting there to squirm and peek through my fingers. Even my mother went and saw Pulp Fiction.

"It's very good," she says. "Violent, but very good."

Reasons I loved Inglourious Basterds:

1. the opening scene is filled with tension. He plays with the audience, he really does, and you know something is going to happen, but not what. It's agonising, and sad, and tragic.

2. that a character who kills Nazis with a baseball bat has said this about the backstory:

My guy is a guy from Boston who gets every Jew in his neighborhood to sign his baseball bat with the name of somebody they're worried about in Europe. The thing is that he doesn't want a machine gun, he doesn't want to shoot Nazis, he wants to beat them to death with a baseball bat. He wants to feel it in his hands when he's busy pummeling them to death. This character thinks of himself as a Jewish warrior, who is fighting on the behalf of those who can't fight and for everyone who can't be there. When I kill that guy, I didn't want people to think, "Oh, this is Eli being a psycho with a bat," I want you to really feel that pain and that rage, which is very real. There were branches of my family that were wiped out in the Holocaust. My roots are from Poland and Austria, Russia, that's where I'm from, and my grandparents who got out and survived, all the other relatives didn't and got killed, so it was very real to me. It was a very real, very personal role, and I held a great sense of responsibility in doing it. It wasn't just an acting job.

3. Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa. This is the guy everyone is raving about. He is amazing in this movie. He is the most sinister villain for years. What a dab hand he is. How cruel he is and the strangling scene where he rides Kruger like some demented jockey as she bucks and splutters under him; he shows how personal it is.

4. Melanie Laurent who plays a French girl whose family are slaughtered by the Germans. She has the opportunity for revenge later on in the movie.

5. Diane Kruger. The fact she doesn't have the requisite retrousee nose-job nose. Refreshing. A good portrayal of an actress-spy under pressure.

6. The cinematography. Beautiful. Just exquisite, particularly in the opening scene.

7. The music. An overlay of spaghetti western music. It worked.

8. The use of German and French, and subtitles. For such an American guy, you might have expected them to all speak with American accents, or bad European ones. Not so. The change to English in the opening scene at first seems like a convenience.

Oh, let's get rid of the subtitles. They've had a taste, we've made a point, but now let's do it in English.

No no.

There is a reason for the change to English. Fucking brilliant.

Subtitles appear in the rest of the movie.

9. It goes for 2 and a half hours and my arse did not notice.

10. Sylvester Groth as Joseph Goebbels was very good. He is a Nazi film buff and there is a scene where is he excited about the screening and he does something with his hands that is very comical yet touching. He is a baddie, but he's obsessed movies. Very Tarantino.

11. Brad Pitt and his jaw. Nice to see this matinee idol was happy to distort his face for the sake of art. A tick from me.

12. The shoot-out in the bar. I love Tarantino's extended scenes. Some might get bored with them, but he just builds tension, layer upon layer, and you can appreciate the actorly skills as he probably shoots them in one shot? That's a big assumption, maybe I'm wrong, but it would be a Tarantino thing to do, n'est-ce pas? I can't be bothered researching. At the end of this scene, there's only one survivor, and she doesn't last too long.

13. Having the idea to have two plots to destroy the cinema and everything in it. And neither group knows what the other is doing. In the end, the Basterds get to them before the fire does. Have they cheated Shoshanna out of her revenge? Little matter, she is being dispatched upstairs.

14. The scene where The Bear Jew and his sidekick break into the upstairs box. They prepare in the bathroom, strange weaponry strapped to their hands, and the slo-mo action of them getting past the guards is very Tarantino; his mark is all over it. Or his spray.

15.The fact that there is now a movie where Jewish people are not portrayed as victims; they are the aggressors, they are someone to be feared. These basterds have the Nazis scared, wtih stories getting back to Hitler, making him concerned. And then they kill him, and Goerring and Goebbels and

Things I could pick at if I had to.

1. Brad Pitt. Let's face it, the man is a distraction. It was fairly difficult to see him as Jewish and as a Nazi-killer. He is always Brad Pitt which is a bit hard for him to get away from. I think he was the weakest of the main characters. A pitty.

2. Hitler. I guess he had to stay in the stereotype range of how Hitler has to be portrayed. Anything less and there is the risk of being accused of showing him in a human or even sympathetic light. Better to stick with the parody, I understand it, and the dude did well. He was only a small character anyway, a small but central character.

3. Mike Myers plays a general who is obviously an uncle of Austin Powers. I wonder if that was deliberate or the only way Mike can "do English." Knowing Quentin, and the crazy guy that he is, it was possibly an intentional reference.

4. The scene at the showing, beforehand where the Basterd crew pretend to be Italian friends of Bridget von Hammersmark. It was a comical scene with underlying tension because you know Landa is a master at sniffing out the falsities.

5. We don't see what happens to Shoshanna's man. He heroically tossed his smoke onto the pile of celluloid at the back of the screen to start the fire. Did he go down with the ship? Not important? Probably.

6. The way von Hammersmark and war hero Fredrick Zoller come to an end. I would have liked to see her seduce him, or allow him to take her instead of them killing each other. But that would be against the NO TITS rule, and also would mean a smaller body count. Also against Quentin's code of operations.

* * *
Things that unsettled me:

The violence. To have it shown, a man's head being beaten with a bat, bodies being pummelled by bullets, a woman strangled most graphically. And at the end a close-up of a swastika being carved into Landa's forehead.

At times I couldn't look, I had my hands up and peeped. The old cushion on the couch trick from my childhood. To think that impressionable young people (and they are fucking impressionable, they just don't know it nor how much) are seeing this movie. It's a bit of a worry, but that's just me being old and motherly and teacherly I suppose.

The trickiness of the subject matter: Nazis and Jews. While I love the idea of rewriting the Second World War, there would be some (and not just on the Jewish side of things) who might see this is sacrosanct, not in a good way, but somehow untouchable, and that it shouldn't be tampered with even in fiction. Everybody wishes that Hitler could have been killed or taken out of the picture, and the war ended earlier, or not happened at all, that the Holocaust hadn't happened. I looked around to see what the Jewish commentary might be.

There's a page here where someone has gone through a range of sources which have published articles.

And this article which refers to the problems of revenge. There was a screening at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, attended by the Weinstein Brothers (makers of the film) along with director and major actors. Some people in the audience commented on feeling satisfaction when they saw the cinema being burned down with Hitler et al locked inside. "With Hitler there, and all those high Nazi officials—how great would it have been?" one said.

But the final word best goes to Tarantino's producer, Lawrence Bender, who said that he read the first draft and then told Quentin:

As your producing partner, I thank you, and as a member of the Jewish tribe, I thank you, motherfucker, because this movie is a fucking Jewish wet dream.

Taken from this article here, Hollywood's Jewish Avenger.

Friday, September 04, 2009

My Friday

Today I have to:

- drive son to school. It was the concert last night, he is going to school late

- get Father's Day present for hubby at Southland. I fucking hate Southland. I hate any and all shopping centres, but if I have to go (ie to appear normal to girlfriends) my choice is Chaddy, darlings.

- this picture represents what disturbs me most about fashion people. Can you see any skerrick of embarrassment in this picture? Any trace of self-awareness of how shallow and parasitic this industry is? I see no cynicism in this picture, and there should be. Lots of it. I am having trouble reading one of my favourite blogs because of pictures like this, and particularly because of the two dudes on the right. The blogger is light-on whitebread, and can't punctuate to save her life, but she is pretty and wears fab clothes and she posts pics of herself. I like to watch.

These people should look like Grace Boddington from Vogue magazine. In my opinion she was the star of September Issue, the biopic about Anna Wintour, editor at Vogue.



Grace is a tough old bird who is a stylist, so she arranges the pictures and the models and the clothes and the props. She's been doing it for decades, used to be a model herself. She's still in the biz because she loves it. Those boys above, why are they in the biz? To look like that at parties?

Movies I want to see:
Inglourious Basterds

Movies I've seen:
September Issue - good bit of fluff but actually I think it put Princess off wanting to be the editor-in Chief at American Vogue. A good thing?
Coco Avant Chanel - ok
Beautiful Kate - disappointing.

I have much to do today. Get ready for tomorrow's writing thang, including a pitch. For fuck's sake. I never want to pitch anything to anybody. I've stalled and gotten back on track about five times in the last month. I have too many ideas and go around in circles. I'm sad I'm almost finished the final Maria Hyland novel, which is her first one. I've read them backwards, why I don't know. But I love her. And where am I going to get the goodness now?

Happy weekend. Be good, be nice, don't king-hit anyone, don't kick the cat, don't belittle a child. But swear all you like, and eat some cake. Or some fish and chips from the shop in Glenhuntly Road. It's near the intersection with Orrong, up from the supermarket going east.
Best. Chips. Ever.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Good thing about today:

The sun is sunshiney and it feels good on the face.
Bad thing about today:
Having to pull a bit of poo out of Gigi's bum.
Also, yesterday went well, thanks for all your good wishes. It all went smoothly. Onwards and upwards.