Sunday, December 18, 2005


Went to my second Kareoke night at Carmilla's last night. I checked out the song list. I am the Walrus by the Beatles jumped out at me. I wasn't particularly inebriated. I hadn't turned up, then checked out the song list with the intention of singing. However, on a whim, after seeing how much fun others were having, I thought I'd give it a whirl. Live a little. Try something new. The crowd seemed cool with whatever was being sung as long as you looked like you were having fun. I figured this song might go down well with the crowd.

Waiting for my turn to go on, I cheered on M who sung some 'Mode - of course :)

Had to go to the loo. Felt I should do that since wetting myself on stage was not an option :P

Got up to sing. A mixture of nerves and being new to wearing a corset (second outing) left me short of breath. Had to consciously try and relax my breathing. Found I couldn't hear myself so sung a little lower.

Then, towards the end of the verse before the chorus, the video screen temporarily stopped working! Arrgh. It came back on a couple of lines later. After the first chorus it went again. I waited for the next chorus, looking frantically about for the Kareoke dude. Meanwhile I'm wondering where the fuck is the dude, indicating to the crowd the screen isn't working. Screen came back on somewhere into the second verse for a few lines. Then went off again for the rest of the song. All that was on the screen was the word 'video' which, for the hell of it, I sang a few times! I got a guy checking out the lists to sing some of the manical laughing at the end for me.

I am the Walrus is a great song for Kareoke purposes. You can sing every word of it sober and impress the crowd with how well you handle what constitutes a Surrealist Rap. Or you can sing it drunk/tipsy and slur your way through and yet still be entertaining because Mr Lennon was on an acid trip when he co-wrote it. Yet even if I were to sing it for you right now - or even to myself - completely sober and sitting here not on stage, I would still have trouble remembering the words. Some of it is quite tongue twisting, there isn't any logic in it. It's the kind of song you can only sing if you've been practising, or have the original vocals to sing along with, OR have the words in front of you. After my performance I told the dude off. 'That was my first time and the screen wasn't working!' He gave the mike back to me 'What are we paying you for? ;)' He later apologised to me.

The next time could only be better than this right? Actually it wasn't that bad. I recommended it to others who had never done it. I'd do it again. I just couldn't do it again last night, afraid that the screen would stuff up. At least I can blame the dude for fucking it up :P A few people told me afterwards that I did alright :D

For those of you at home wanting to belt it out here are the words :)

I am the Walrus, The Beatles

I am he as you are he as you are me
and we are all together
See how they run like pigs from a gun
see how they fly
I'm crying
Sitting on a cornflake
Waiting for the van to come
Corporation T-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man you've been a naughty boy
you let your face grow long

I am the eggman
they are the eggmen
I am the walrus
Goo goo g' joob

Mr. city policeman sitting
pretty little policemen in a row
See how they fly like Lucy in the sky
See how they run
I'm crying
I'm crying, I'm crying
Yellow matter custard
Dripping from a dead dog's eye
Crabalocker fishwife
Pornographic priestess
Boy, you've been a naughty girl
you let your knickers down

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
Goo goo g' joob

Sitting in an English garden
waiting for the sun
If the sun don't come you get a tan
from standing in the English rain

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
Goo goo g' joob

Expert, texpert choking smokers
don't you think the joker laughs at you
See how they smile like pigs in a sty
See how they snide
I'm crying
Semolina pilchard
climbing up the Eiffel tower
Elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna
Man, you should have seen them kicking
Edgar Allan Poe

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
Goo goo g' joob
Goo goo g' joob
Goo goo g' goo
goo goo g' joob goo
juba juba juba
juba juba juba
juba juba juba juba
juba juba

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


…that clothing sizing happens within years not a life time.
You’ve heard about how clothing manufacturers adjust the sizing to (flatter our egos) account for the increase in size of the average person. These labels are off the same style of basic jean but bought years apart. The second one is too saggy now, due to it being stretch denim - it stretched right out of size. I had to buy an 8 this time around.

Old size 12, for waist 65cm, hip 90cm
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New size 12, for waist 73cm, hip 98cm
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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Channeling Edward Scissorhands

It often feels that way when clipping and snipping at this ongoing project of mine. That's a good feeling, readers :) It's a kitten. The ears are taking a while to grow in. Over a year old now. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Engrish for your feel good

Mirror Mat is a sheet of pre-cut, mirror, mosaic-sized tiles with self-adhesive backing. If you choose to become a proud crafter of Mirror Mat be aware that:
‘It is made by the small parts, so please be cautious to small children’.
Possibly the only product made entirely by deviant*, Oompa Loompa prosthetic, factory workers. Or a great insult to the product’s Chinese factory workers’ size and skills [mock earnest nod]
One of the reasons you should buy this product is because:
‘It is a funky sticky!’

Relaxation Balls are a pair of hollow metal balls with two toned, internal chimes. They massage your hands and aid relaxation. An example of traditional Chinese therapy,
‘When the Healthy Ball came out it was used to improve physical conditions and mould temperament, and was popular among the people market.’
It was a failure with the marine mammal and farmyard animal markets due to a lack of hands in the targeted demographic.

*Hence the need for caution. Normal Oompa Loompas are entirely trustworthy…more so if they have their bodies with them.

In other news...

Danced to 'Question of Time' at Golgotha on Monday. That song rocks on the dancefloor! Wore a set of batwings I made especially for the night. Could feel them jiggling about on my back as I bouncily danced :)

Pic care of M.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Playing the Angel

Listening to: ‘Precious’ by Depeche Mode

The above luscious song is on high rotation. I won the album at the ‘Playing the Angel’ launch night @ Dream on Friday. Love it and ‘Suffer Well’. Every time I listen to those two I bliss out :) The synth and vocal arrangements remind me of ‘Violator’, which is one of my favourite DM albums. Now own 7 out of 11.

‘T was the best night I’ve had at Dream since the last pirate night. Great music, new atmospheric lighting/effects set up on the dance floor area, fine company…[happy sigh] Could have requested any DM song I wanted but I went blank. The next morning it popped into my head: ‘Question of Time’. Such a good track for dancing to. I’m surprised it isn’t played often. Not sure I’ve danced to it at a club before actually. Wish I’d put some thought into it during the week! It would have been the first time I requested something at Dream.

In other news…
Woke up and my first thought was that I missed M. He’s away in Sydney right now.

My day was ho hum: hanging up the family wash, hand washing my long gloves and red bustier from Friday, calling up my clients, going through some magazines and books my brother got from a dumpster the other day, pottering about on the computer for my business stuff. Then they arrived.

It’s our 3 month anniversary. M is so lovely and thoughtful. He had flowers sent to my house.

Monday, October 10, 2005


Listening to: the washing machine

Revisited an old haunt of mine over the weekend.

It was recommended online by Viscera, from Dream, in response to a ‘I’d love to dance to…’ thread on the forum little over a month ago. In person she went on to say it was the only place where she danced and that the atmosphere was relaxed. Others online described a ‘cheese level’, as in; there is a level full of cheesy music. Cheese Gromit!

In some ways DV8 is just as I remembered it; virtually the same floor layout*, semi-festy loos, bogan element, on the first level music played so loud you worry about the long terms affects on your hearing, the occasional person wearing ear plugs…

We got there after 11 to discover the Cheese Level wasn’t going to open until 1. ‘Let’s wait,’ I said ‘It’s what we came for’.
My bourbon and coke tasted soapy so I sucked it down quickly rather than nursed it.

The 1st level has evolved into a metal/heavy-shit level. They used to play stuff like, The Offspring, Green Day, Soundgarden, Nirvana and Weezer. Not my favourite bands but I’ve bopped along to some of that sort of thing. I was certainly not expecting to hear the same stuff years later. While I liked a few of the tracks played the rest left me wanting to burrow into M’s shoulder/neck/arm pit (!) to escape it, feeling like my ears would start bleeding any moment. What a relief when they cracked open the Cheese.

It was as our friendly DJ described it. One of my measures of a good night out is dancing until you’re sweaty. I can’t vouch for M’s sister who also came along – and appeared to enjoy herself – but that’s exactly what we did.

*How much can it change?’ you ask. Quite significantly if you go by the old DJ booth @ Dream. It used to be in a little alcove above the lowel level dance floor. Now that overall space is a stage and the main dance floor is upstairs.
**Hehe, adding the word ‘original’ made me mentally cue ‘Original Sin’ by INXS :P

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Glow Worm

Saturday was the first time I’d been to a karaoke night. It was supposed to be Gothaoke but the dude they got in to provide the material brought standard, crappy karaoke fare. Think Back Street Boys and Mariah Carey. Anyhoo, the crowd made the most of what they could from it. There were a quite a few hair rock selections. You could tell who were the natural performers, and a couple of people had the crowd particularly enthusiastic.

I was dressed to impress wearing a lovely, bluish black satin Chinese style dress with a floral pattern woven into it in deepest violet. I got it last week at a nearby op shop for $8 with an unfinished hem. Perhaps the previous owner was going to take up the hem or something. I took it up about 25-30cm so I could wear it with my boots. Was told I looked ‘hot’, by one of the regulars at the club. ‘That’s what I was going for’ I said in reply ;) Having teamed a fine new dress with a little hosiery experimentation I was feeling extra sexy.

A couple of home mixed G&Ts beforehand at my man’s house, got me chilled out by the time we arrived. A $4 drink special on bourbon and coke; haven’t had that mix before but it was good. I drank to delightful tipsiness and it was just as well or maybe that’s why I missed it…

…Had gone to bathroom to retouch my lippy. Striding back onto the dance floor there was a long glowing thing stuck to my boot. About a metre of toilet paper under black light. I found it rather funny, laughing unabashedly as I dislodged it. Then I proceeded to dance, pretending nothing had happened. I noticed a friend of mine grinning at me so I went over. She said she had tried to step on it as I went past. Ah well. :P

And another thing…

Petrol Station Refuelling Etiquette 101
After you’ve come back from paying your bill, start your engine and
Thank you.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Lady Meerkat

Listening to 'Confused' Instrumental, by New Order

As myself ;) :P

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Cut the cord

Listening to 'Leave in Silence', by Depeche Mode

Over a month ago I came to make peace with myself. I had been thinking about something for a few months. Finally I cut the cord. I acknowledged I was not going to ever be employed as a designer, despite my talents. It's been too long since I graduated, I don't know anyone etc... I realized I would do best to pursue my freelance visual merchandising career.

So I turfed most of my design mags that I'd been hoarding. There was about a shelf/box full. My father, as always lacking in perception or basic observation skills,
"Oh you're tidying up a bit."
Completely unquestioning as to why I'd be getting rid of just design magazines, which were originally around $15 each...

Have been meaning to mention this in my blog because it irked me that all he saw was the getting rid of stuff. He didn't see that I had let go of a dream and woken up to reality.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

She's got the Look

Listening to 'I’m on my Way', by The Proclaimers

‘Walking like a man, hitting like a hammer
She's a juvenile scam, never was a quitter
Tasty like a raindrop she's got the look’

Sometime ago a friend said this is such a silly song, quoting the above lyrics, asking 'What does that mean?'

I provided an interpretation of it that went something like this:
A swaggering transvestite, with fighting skills
She's a young con artist, who won't leave you alone
Thirst quenching but leaving you wanting more, she's got the look

Clear as mud?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Listening to ‘The Riddle’ by Nik Kershaw

After work on Sunday, in preparation for night out at a film shoot I got changed in a toilet cubicle in Melbourne Central. I had just hoisted up my panty hose under my dress and slip when I noticed on the floor in the cubicle beside me, a pair of stumpy-fingered hands. They moved closer along the floor, some orange striped sneakers came into view, followed by a young, Mediterranean man’s face! Eep! I was too surprised to say anything, though I felt oddly calm about it all. As soon as his eyes met mine he disappeared and I couldn’t be buggered pursuing him. Creepy. Not sure if this is something I should report and to whom.

Met up with my man for dinner, then we went on to our goth friend’s film shoot. We were helping out by being part of the crowd for a club scene along with a good number of others from our online/offline goth community. Some of us obliged the camera by dancing. We danced a bit, had a few drinks, and candidly provided some goth couple cuteness for the camera. Awww ;)

In other news…
Was planning on photographing the windows I installed last week. This is best done in the morning. At this time the building across the street has diffused light on it, making its reflection easier to eliminate using my polariser. It's also before the sun creates shadows from the tree in front of the store. Which is before 10 am usually. Unfortunately today is a dull, overcast day. Will set my alarm again for Friday, hoping the light will be better.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Lion King

Saw the stage show production tonight - bloody brilliant! Amazing what can be achieved with theatre know how. Had to stop myself trying to figure out how they did a few bits and just sit back in awe. Excellent exploration of puppetry and the possibilities of the human form integrating with a puppet. Beautifully stylised animals and characters, except for the meerkat dammit!

Not happy with the meerkat. The puppeteer was green and it diverted attention away from the bold orange puppet. It made them seem like 2 separate entities. I thought perhaps it would be because there would be a predominance of green background following the first scene with this character. When there was more green on stage it still didn’t work for me. It also looked more like the animated version. I was never keen on his look, despite raising common awareness of the existence of the charismatic critter.

There are still elements of the animated film in terms of Disneyness (?). They are the parts that slightly grate. However it's so much more than that.

When the music reached a crescendo, lighting, staging, sets, costumes and puppets worked together so beautifully, I felt goosebumps several times. Wonderful. The opening scene, the stampeding wildebeest valley scene, and father's voice from the stars scene were my favourites.

Monday, August 08, 2005


Listening to: ‘Spinning the Wheel’ by George Michael

Tried Heinz ‘Very Special’ vegetable with barley canned soup for lunch. It isn’t anywhere near special let alone very special unless by special you mean ‘special’. In other words it’s crap. You may well be better off drinking rinse water from your dinner dishes, with perhaps a little salt added for extra ‘flavour’.

Part of my routine before work is to duck into Coles and buy something cheap, light, fresh, and healthy for my lunch. The winners are:
O Safcol tuna with lemon and pepper, on 2 sesame seed rolls with finely sliced celery
O Velish soups, pumpkin and sweet potato varieties, with a roll
O Bag of Coles, home brand Greek salad. Oh how I love Greek salad! This bag has everything you need. Cut open the main bag. Snip open the little bags of fetta, sliced up olives, dressing. Empty them into the main bag. Hold it closed and shake it about thoroughly. Tip onto a dinner plate and you’ve got a lovely, meal sized, stack of salad.

In other news…
...My drought has broken. [twinkle in her eye, small smile on her face] Lady Meerkat is no longer on the shelf...

...Have cranked up the preparations for my 30th birthday pirate party. This is the first party I’ve ever had for myself. Growing up we didn’t have birthday parties. I’m not sure why. I guess I didn’t have enough friends. As a child I didn’t get invited to any parties either. Sad, I know :P

I composed the invite in Illustrator, digitally cut out a pic of my favourite pirate (JD as Sparrow :D) in Photoshop, stuffed up the fold lines’ relationship with the text [shrug]. I hadn’t put enough thought into where they’d go you see. Duzzen madda it’s a party invite not a brochure! Made envelopes especially for the invites. Sealed then up with sealing wax, pressing a little button (I have an extensive collection) with a ship on it, into the hot wax. Am glad we don’t usually have to seal envelopes this way anymore. Goes from solid to drippy fizzling, then back to brittle solid very quickly.

My sister has taken it upon herself to help out which is great. In return she gets to invite her friends along, all of whom enjoy dressing up for themed parties. She has gone surfing the net for activities and ways to dress our house. She enjoys cooking and hosting parties. ‘T will be piratey fun. Have just started a picture for one of the party games. It’s only a modified tracing from a book rather than an original work of art. The idea behind it is completely mine. It should be a hoot!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Real Thing

Listening to: ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ by The Beatles

I don’t claim to be a connoisseur of fine good. There are some foods I’ve tried that are just wrong and it would be obvious from their description that they are crap. Like a ‘cabonara’ pasta box, that you microwave for 2 minutes. The so called cabonara sauce was an icky, bacon flavoured paste that would seem more at home coming out of a tube of toothpaste for dogs. Or the bun from a Yupi lolly hamburger that came with the kids' magazine at work. Just wrong.

You won’t find me trying are any of the recipes from a delightful book my dad just acquired. If he dares to dish up anything from this book there will be much protesting. I’d rather eat instant noodles than anything from: ‘Classic Cooking with Coca-Cola’ (by Elizabeth Candler Graham ‘Great-great-grandaughter of…founder of Coca-Cola’, and ‘Ralph Roberts…author of over forty books’). Not all of the recipes in here use Coke. Some use Sprite and other products made by the company. Unfortunately there are no pictures so you will have your your imagination. There’s a fair amount of gelatine and layers involved. Here’s some of the culinary delights listed:
O Australian BBQ Chicken - We have a style of chook that Southern Americans are aware of - WTF?
O Pirate Steak - Arrrr… bleargh
O Forgotten Stew - Speaks for itself
O Crabmeat Supreme – It’s as bad as it sounds. Think tomato soup, Coca-cola, cheddar cheese, 2 cans of crab meat, and still more cheese.
O Coca Cola Salad
O Congealed Vegetable Salad – Oh yes, the word ‘congealed’ always get my mouth watering. A lovely mix of orange Jello, Sprite, shredded carrots, green onions and celery.

And another thing…
Have concluded that poppy seeds are one of the most pointless foodstuffs. All they do is make things look pretty. Made two tuna salad rolls for lunch. One with sesame seeds and one with poppy seeds. Not only do poppy seeds have much less flavour, but they’re messy when stuck on the outside surface of a roll. Most of them fell off onto on my plate. Oh, and they get stuck in your teeth too easily.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Mole Rats.

If there was a prize for best opening line in a Natural History journal, this one is the winner:
‘It’s a subterranean dynasty ruled by a queen who, like her subjects, looks like a four-legged penis with a tail and buck teeth’*

Here’s the animal in question, the naked mole rat:

Here’s the super cute and perky Disney version from the cartoon series Kim Possible.
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In my search for mole rats on the web I came across this rather sweet piccy I just had to share with you. A mole rat in the land of juicy chocolate turnips. Awww.... I lubs it :D

That concludes my posts containing extracts from this particular issue of Nature Australia (highly recommended reading).

* Pollard, Simon D., ‘Queens of the Desert’, Nature Australia, Spring 2004, page 72

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Plastic Birds

The other day I read about blogs that deal with more important things than minutae of the author’s life. Political blogs, news blogs etc. This blog isn’t about to be one of those, but the following is something that has bugged me since I read about it. I want to share it with you. I feel it’s relevant considering my recent mention of pelicans.

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my fascination with animal skeletons. I think they’re cool. This one isn’t cool. What you're looking at is a rib cage full of plastic.

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Until I read this article I thought that plastic bags were the main problem when washed into stormwater drains, only affecting local/Australian wildlife. Think again. This sad little skeleton is evidence of something bigger than that. All plastic washing into stormwater drains, and into the sea is dangerous to wildlife - particularly to birds. What’s more it can swirl around in the sea for decades, spreading around the globe, breaking up into more pieces, spreading further still.

What's the story behind the skeletons? On Lord Howe Island a flesh-footed shearwater chick is too weakened by starvation to move away from humans. Its belly is full of plastic. How did this happen? Its parents would have ingested this plastic when finding food for their chick. When they regurgitated food they also regurgitated some of the plastic. While smaller pieces may pass through, others will sit inside the stomach, taking up room. Too much accumulated plastic and there’s no room for food.

After reading this article - and before typing this up for you today - I went out to the front of my house and into the back lane behind it, to clean up every bit of plastic I could find. Not just bags, but anything plastic. It was the least I could do and I will continue to do this on a regular basis. I will make a small difference to birdies/critters out there somewhere :)

In other news...
The days are getting longer now. Hooray, past the half way mark for Winter!

*Hutton Ian, ‘Plastic Perils for Seabirds’, Nature Australia, Spring 2004, page 58

Friday, July 15, 2005


Listening to: ‘Now You’re in Heaven’ by Julian Lennon

Am fighting the blues at the moment. Getting annoyed, but not showing it, with people a lot. Perhaps these people are actually annoying and I was comfortably numb before… Feeling dissatisfied with my appearance more often. Fiddling/adjusting with my clothes more often than is really required (probably). I will get through it.

I have things to be thankful for. Small, silly, and/or simple things still bring me happiness and contentment. For example on the train home from the dentist (small new filling and clean up) I saw four birds flying in a line. Slowly, as they came into better view, I saw they were pelicans. The sight of these beautifully large birds, so graceful in flight, moving against the grey sky made me feel happy. I’ve always found the sight of a flying pelican an uplifting sight. To see four was rather special :)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Rainy Day Activities

Had a great night out last night dressed up as a pirate. Much fun when dancing, to fluff about in glowing white shirt, a dangly sash belt, boots and a tricorn hat. [sings] Yo ho, yo ho a pirate's life for me. Tee hee :D

Today was a classic Winter's day in Melbourne. Like the Winters of my youth, it rained almost all day. So no soccer this week :( Even if it had been fine, my group has been a lazy bunch. They seem to have dispersed, or found girlfriends who won't let them kick a ball around for a couple of hours on Saturday :P Hopefully it will pick up in Spring.

Rainy Day Activities:
I got my exercise by taking a walk in he rain, under my enormous Bunning's umbrella.
Tidied a bit in my room, did some dusting.
Completed a collage I started months ago but had stashed away for a day such as this :)

Here 'tis:

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paper collage

Monday, July 04, 2005

70 Kinky Jelly Spheres aka KJS*

At work we sell rubber balls that make light and sound – think electronic laser gun/ explosion sounds - when you bounce them. 3 year olds like to play fetch with mum by throwing them about, usually out of the store. On such occasions these things bounce dangerously close to the balcony edge, threatening to roll off and brain some poor bugger on the escalator 2 storeys below.

Today I wrote off 70 of them. I initiated** taking our usable write offs to the Salvos, thus minimizing our waste. As I carted this bag of balls home tonight, my little brain got to thinking of the ways 3.15kg of rubber balls bursting out of the bag would be a bad thing/disastrous:
1. While going crossing the balcony level to escalators – could potentially drop 3 storeys to people on lower ground level. Would this cause serious injury? I’m not sure. I missed the episode on Mythbusters regarding things dropped from a height.
2. While on long escalators down to my platform. These things would probably fall even more uncontrollably oweing to the plethora of surfaces and edges. Chaos theory in action. [propellor head]
3. On platform while train comes in. Embarassing but probably no injuries.
4. While in packed train. No one gets concussed though potentially people could trip over them and roll their ankle. Ouchy. Oh yeah and my pride might be injured, because it might be really funny to spectators.
5. Walking up ramp from station. Everyone behind me would be in trouble! High potential for falls. My reaction would probably be “Holy crap! Stop!!”
6. Accosted by someone in the street. I’d swing the bag at them just before I scoot off. The explosion of rubber balls would surprise the accoster (is this a word?) plus it would foil pursuit of me :P
7. At my front gate. The least dangerous as well as the most annoying and likely of them all.

*I remember the product code for this product, KJS, by turning it into an acronym :) Everytime someone buys one, this runs through my head as I type in those letters :P
**Have also initiated recycling our bottles in food court bins instead of chucking out with rest of rubbish.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Full Circle?

[sulk]From my first goth club pirate night back in March, to my second one this Friday, I have come full circle. I’ve gone from not knowing anyone to knowing around a dozen or more. Yet, as last night proved for me, I can still feel just as left out and lonely in a crowded room.[/sulk]

Thank goodness for music worth dancing to. After all it was what brought me out in the first place. It’s what I continue to go out for, socializing comes second place, and it’s what gives me the most enjoyment from my club.

The dressing up part? [whine] Yes it’s fun but sometimes angsting about getting the right combination of skirt/hosiery/top/footwear isn’t. I can’t not care in such an environment. Even with everyday wear I find that I feel better about myself when I’m happy with my outfit. There’s this funky pair of B&W striped knee high socks I have that I’ve been trying to work into my outfit week after week but it never works damn it![/whine] I think I’ll resign them to house/bed socks.

Maybe it’s just the Winter Blues hitting me, or maybe it’s the scene. This disillusionment seems to be the norm among the former goths I’ve spoken to. You can have too much of a good thing. I have been going out every single week for the last month. After this week I’ll make myself scarce. Perhaps that will make it special again.

In other news…
I found out tonight that my late grandfather, who used to coach tennis, coached the only (or the first - I don’t follow the tennis) Indian to win Wimbledon!

Spam Tales II

Here's the one using a perfume ad. It reads:
trust hurts.
this makes it all better.
Cheryl Thug, Emergency Cash

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Cheryl Thug
digital file

The original ad:

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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Spam Tales

Feeling lazy writing wise. Heres a bit of art I created a while ago from a series called Spam Tales. It reads:
'How Smart are YOU?'
'How close are you to being a genius?'
'Are you smarter than George Bush?'
Liguori Wunderlin, 'Millionaire Mentor Needs YOU', Generous Lender
YourBrain - 'Get paid for Yours'. 'Assured Life', 'Get a New Body for NO Money!'

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Brain Transplant
paper collage, ink

Over a few months I compiled a list of interesting spam senders and titles. I mashed them into semi-coherent spiels then I came up with collages for each story. There were 5 in the series. 3 of them, this one included, were mainly composed of material from an late 19th C children's annual that was beyond repair. I doctored the images - for example the women were not so curvey - the old fashioned way, with a scalpel and ink! The other 2 used magazine ads for perfume and womens underwear :D

Saturday, June 18, 2005

She's got legs!

Listening to: ‘Blue Monday’ by New Order

A week of several firsts for me:
0 Bought my first set of tyres. Chose not to cut corners on choice of tyre. I thought I wouldn’t have enough money to go out this week to my favourite night club, Cabaret Nocturne as a result. Ironically the venue for CN is a neighbouring tenant to this tyre shop.

0 Spoke with my manager about the possibility of my progress through the company into management. She said has mentioned to our regional manager, my good management potential. This was the first time she and I had discussed it. Finally, a employer that has real opportunities for advancement - and not spin doctoring to suck you into thinking you can grow :/

0 Walked out of Max Brenners really pissed off, contemplating ripping up my frequent cupper card, after getting fed up with waiting for service. My buddy and I chatted for a while expecting the usual attentive service on a Friday night. Had to ask for menu after about 10 minutes, then we waited another 15 minutes to place our order via waiter/ess. Stupid git of a waitress appeared to think wiping the tables next to us was more important than checking to see if we were being served, or even ackowledging that we were there at all!!! Seriously disappointed :( We had such a nice history Max B and I. Have had only good things to say about the place until now. May not go back there again - ever. F*** 'em.

0 Bought my first trench coat. Rain proof, fully lined and necessary because…

0 …Wore fishnet hosiery in public (to CN). Actually I’ve never worn fishnets in private either, unless you count trying them on, so it’s a first on two counts :)

0 Saw a burlesque show (@ CN). Never been to one before. It bored me [shrug]. Do you need to be attracted to women to find this interesting?

While I haven’t gotten to the stage where I can dance totally alone on the dance floor and be completely comfortable, I think I’m getting there. There were a few times last night where I thought I’d be totally alone. After feeling a small panic and cursing quietly, I persisted dancing in the darkest corner I could find. I ended up being ‘joined’ by at least one other person, sometimes a small crowd.

That’s the beauty of goth clubs: you can dance by yourself and that’s perfectly normal, while not attracting too much unwanted male attention. Be a woman dancing by herself in a mainstream club and … Well, I haven’t tried it but I’m sure I wouldn’t like it. Found intrusive/intoxicated males annoying enough when dancing with other people.

Did you know...
WARNING: Retchworthy factoids to follow.
… Humpback whales have almost the same weight of testicles as they have of brains? That’s 5 kg of brain to 4 kg of testicles.

To prepare a whale skeleton from a carcass, museum curators must extract that brain. It’s usually done with a hose fed into the back of the skull. Turn the hose on and the water displaces the brain which ‘balloons out like pink minced tripe if it’s fresh, or rotten haggis if it’s off.’* Despite what you’ve read in this blog about my skull recovery escapades, this is a skull I’d leave to the professionals! When they don’t have a hose they will scoop it out with their hands - yech.

* Van Dyk, Dr Steve ‘Humpbacks: cannon balls and brains’, Nature Australia, Spring 2004, page 20

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Listening to: ‘Dirty Mind’ by Shakespear’s Sister

On Monday I had trouble getting anything in focus on a telescope a customer was interested in, so got my colleague to help out. She took it and him outside the store into the atrium. Being towards the end of the day it was getting dark*. Too dark to focus on anything, save for one store: Bras ‘n’ Things. [outer smirk, giggles, some post customer cackles]

Was standing at tram stop on St Kilda Road this afternoon, Fed Square side, when I happened to look up and see a 2’ high sign saying ‘C OCKS’ [inner smirk] It was the sign for the gambling den next to the station, which normally reads (Taberet?)‘CLOCKS’ but I had happened to stand in a spot where the frame for the windows of the tram stop opposite, cut out the ‘L’. While on the tram it happened again. Two foot high ‘COCKS’ strategically framed by the tram’s windows. [another inner smirk], actually reads ‘ALCOCKS’. They are a pool and gaming tables supplier.

In other news...
[singing like Marilyn Monroe to JFK]
Happy Birthday… to you
Happy Birthday… to you
Happy Birthday… Johnny Depp…
Mmmmm :*)
Happy Birthday… to you

*When using a telescope for terrestrial use you need daytime conditions. When using it for space you need night time conditions with a minimum of ‘light pollution’.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Seperated at birth?

My best friend has suggested to me - on more than one occasion - that John Howard and Penfold the hamster from Dangermouse look alike.
"But Penfold is cute!" I retort.
Having put them side by side like this I think he has a point. Ooh crumbs!

Posted by Hello

Friday, May 27, 2005

Equine Enigma

I was reading an article in a back issue of Artichoke* on the train earlier in the week. The article looked at the excellent - do yourself a favour and see it - new Racing Museum at Federation Square, Melbourne. Captions for the pictures and further discussion of a particular feature in a project reminded me that wanky descriptions and use of ridiculously wordy language are still integral to the design culture.

'Dynamic spatial experience of the void draws visitors into the museum.'
'A glazed screen wraps the supergraphic around the multi-level pedestrian access void'

'The dynamic ribbon oscillates between two-dimensional graphic and architectonic element, resolving at various points into both. While unifying the necessary but disparate parts of the entry experience, this device also links the entry level to the museum...'

Wank, wank, wank, etcetera. 10 points to the first reader to guess what is being described.

Another equine related enigma is...
...This cigar band, from something my dad smoked. The horse is a disembodied head. Perhaps the dude holding the reins is with the mob? :P
Posted by Hello

*Design Institute of Australia's quarterly magazine - I used to be a member 'til I decided it was pointless given my current careeer trajectory.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Natural History (Dead Stuff) continued

WARNING: You may not want to read this before/during dinner/if you're squeamish when it comes to dead things

We dug up the rabbit skull (see Archives, February). Unfortunately we had left it in the ground for too long. The fissures that hold the bones of a skull together, had begun to seperate. The thinner parts at the base of the skull had partially disintegrated. The intricate nasal cavity folds - surprisingly similar to the fox in intricacy but obviously in a shorter snout - were crumbling. While useless for my brother's skull collection, I may yet use it in a sculpture...

Fortunately the darned blackbirds had disturbed the comorant skull a couple of months ago when it was almost ready. It's sitting in a plastic container waiting to me to dab a bit of PVA glue on its skull fissues, mandible and what not. Why didn't we just dig up the rabbit skull back then? In previous anticipation (is that a tautology?), we dug up gooey possum and rancid fox, that's why.


Just thought I'd share this with you :/

The following clipping is in poor taste. I snipped it some time ago from an interior design trade magazine. In case any of you are viewing this on a public computer with a crappy screen it says
'Designer ware to die for'
with a pic of a reproduction, of the world's most famous pieta` (depiction of the Virgin Mary and the dead body of Christ).

I can't believe the company concerned thought this was publishable copywriting. Did the right hand know what the left hand was doing? Posted by Hello

I consider myself lucky to have seen the original, albeit behind glass. It's a very emotive sculpture in the flesh. I'm not a believer but by goodness, Michelangelo was a genius [solemn nod]

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Why Lady Meerkat?

Lady Meerkat is like her animal namesake because she:
Is brown and athletic
Has big brown eyes
Has a little, pointy nose
Has long digits
Is usually perky and alert
Digs holes (and fills them in again with organic matter, plants and more dirt)
Has been seen perched on top of raised objects in order to see/access stuff
Stand on her toes to see better (top of CDs in racks at library)
Is dexterous
Has acute reflexes (gotten much better since started playing soccer)
Cooperative, a team player
Has bitten, nipped and nibbled her own species (in the best way :} )
Is charismatic, cute and adorable when she wants to be
Can be snarly and snappy when crossed
Eats meat
Stands upright

Lady Meerkat is not like her animal namesake because she:
Sometimes finds company stifling
Doesn't eat scorpions, grubs and snakes
Isn't stripey
Isn't covered from head to toe in fur, (although she does have downy to peach fuzz, all over and hairy non-scalp parts like every other female, homo sapiens. Is that too much information? :P)
Doesn't have a tail
Is fascinated not scared by the sight of a raptor in the sky
Has a blog. [drums] ba dah ba ping!

Lady Meerkat is a lady because she:
Covers her mouth when she coughs, burps or yawns*
Excuses herself when she burps*
Puts her napkin/serviette on her lap
Uses a knife and fork where available
Says please and thankyou
Avoids profanities*
Opens the bottle of wine a guest has brought to drink with dinner
Tries not to interrupt others when they are talking (though sometimes her meerkat enthusiasm gets the better of her)
Lets other passengers alight before getting onto public transport (among many other courteous things**)
Holds her long skirts clear of steps when climbing the stairs

Lady Meerkat is not a lady because she indulges in the following when not in polite company:
[puts hand in front of mouth while yawning]
Sorry, must go and get my beauty sleep.
Can't look as fab as I do without enough sleep ;)
Goodnight dearies...

*when in public
[edit 06/05]**benefitting (sp?) complete strangers!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Social Bat

Went to my second Goth Forum meet up and my first Golgotha (it's a bit like Blue Monday, in that it's always on a long weekend, and everyone attends if they can). Had a great time meeting more people as well as getting to know a little bit better the few I've already met.

Goreki, you're my favourite kind of funny-perky-crazy - even nuttier than me - I love that!

I would have stayed longer but my brother/companion was getting tired and I wanted to pay my share of the taxi fare. We can't all be extra perky meerkats, buzzing from drinking guarana and gingko laced fruit juice all day :*D Btw that is really good stuff if you want to get a caffeine buzz/stay awake naturally. It's like drinking coffee but your breath smells better and you don't have to pee as much. I got mine from Coles Express in the refrigerated juice aisle.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


My brother bought a box of second hand model trains at Camberwell Market. Yesterday I noticed this piece of packaging from it. We were bemused. It reads:
Solid state full circuit toilet tissue dispenser
radio ... for complete private enjoyment
MODEL : E - 1077'
Weirdo train nuts ;)

Tammy, Model: E- 1077 Posted by Hello

In other news...

My best friend is back at work, doing light duties. Upon my request, in exchange for house sitting favours, we're going to see the Lion King when it's here in Melbourne :D The puppetry and costumes for that look amazing [nod]

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Registering high on the BS scale

The following appeared in yesterday's job section of The Age, My Career:
'We seek an experienced sales professional for our dynamic retail store. Our vision is to inspire individuals to step up and become leaders whilst being champions at turning out results within their own lives...'

Intriuging, isn't it? Also stinks of BS or similar. Here's why:
'...The successful applicant will be working within the Gilbert Retail Group which is one of the most dynamic multi-store groups of Cash Converter Stores.'

Who writes this crap?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

24 uses for a little,dead, green man*

I own a piece of Alessi! Why is this so exciting?
Official Alessi Website

Alessi aka The Dream Factory, is an Italian design group that been around since 1921. They started off manufacturing metal tea services. Over the years they have elevated some designers to international fame; Michael Graves, Philippe Starck, as well as Australians Marc Newson (grrrr) and artist Susan Cohn (she designed the cohndom box). Today, Alessi is synonymous with bright, playful - and expensive - homeware.

So how can a Part Time retail worker afford Alessi? Simple: she shops at Savers :D I was wandering through there as I usually do after handing in my fortnightly form to Centrelink (Savers and Centrelink are on opposite sides of the same block here). Saw this funny green man lying on the shelf with a tummy that doubled as a pen holder. Flipped him over and there’s the Alessi logo. Whoah… this is a big deal for a former Industrial Design student to find Alessi going for $3.99 in as new condition. After all of those years of admiring cool stuff that I thought I’d never own.

I’m not a label ho mind you. I gave some thought as to what I was going to do with this dude. Did I have a use for him? Where would he take up pen holding duty? Oh hell with it, figure it out when ya get home, you can finally own Alessi. Wheeeee! He’s looking good next to my computer :)

It was my day at Savers yesterday - and not just for the bright green, Alessi voodoo doll/dead dude that you stick pens into. Noooo. I also found:
~ a velvet trimmed, black, wool felt hat from Italy which, with a bit of sewing in the right spots, I am going to turn into a 3 point hat aka a PIRATE HAT! *excited*
~ some little black gloves, with an embroided detail, with fingers that actually fit my elegantly long digits. They must be an older than they look because they are made in Western Germany.
~ a black, ¾ lace sleeve (fitted then flares/ruffs out in a Baroque/Rococco, late 18th c. style, don’t know technical term) top, with ribbon trim, lace up bodice detail with lace behind that on the front. The cool comfort of a singlet top, with the elegance of flowing sleeves. Needs a little mending. Plan to sew in a satin panel behind the lace detail since you can see bra through lace panel. I don’t want to do a Gwyeneth Paltrow and go without, since that look is no better IMHO.
All of this for $14.95! ‘Twas a good start to my day. I trotted home with a little smile on my face.

Erm, do I sound materialistic with two consecutive posts about 2nd hand acquisitions? Sorry. Just wanted to share my excitement in these purchases. This won’t become a shopping blog. Promise :P

In other news…
Got another MLP (Moondancer is yellow, with red and purple mane, glitter moon and stars on her rump), this time from an Op Shop near my best friend’s house. We were house sitting for him. His was the first house I sat. Have taken care of other people’s animals before. This was more challenging but overall enjoyable.

Have visited Caberet Nocturne @ Dream for the third time and reckon I’m in danger of becoming a regular ;) Looks like I’ve re-entered the scene at an excellent point in time! Good people, good music. *happy sigh*

*Hold 23 pens/pencils/things, plus you could use him as a paper weight

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Tips: Running a stall at a 2nd Hand market

Went to Camberwell market in morning. This afternoon, revisited my childhood, cleaning, then grooming my purchase of a pink My Little Pony!! Wheee! This pony is the same age and series (c.1982) as the one my sister had (Blossom, see link). Have been wanting to buy an original '80s MLP for a while now, vainly 'trying' to find the one I had (Applejack in non 'Earth' pose). @ $4 may have paid a little too much for her, but she is vintage, 22 years old MLP. I've seen them at the Chapel Street Bazaar for around $12, so this is not too bad.

Cotton Candy

Figured I'd be able to identify her on the internet and I did in a few minutes. Man, I'm good with a search engine. Could using a search engine to find a piece of information, be a tournament competition? If so count me in [aah smug mode]. Wow, there's a whole community of collectors out there who are experts on MLPs!

Anyhooo, got a bit distracted by that. Had planned to write up :

Tips on running a stall at a 2nd Hand market
1. Don't put prices on everything. If they are too high you appear inflexible, not open to haggling.
2. Be open to haggling. I don't care how much it cost you new. It's second hand now. Do you want to sell it or not?
3. Launder your clothes. I won't bother asking you how much something is if I don't think I can get that stain/mark off.
4. Spend money to make money, hire a clothes rack. I don't want to crawl through a pile of clothes on the off chance I'll find something I like. Nor do I want to burrow about in a box.
5. Put small toys in boxes. I love to burrow about and find a gem of a toy down the bottom.
6. Don't be too tidy/orderly. Present your goods so that people can see what you have to offer but remember you are not a retail outlet. Customers will make a mess of your neatly folded t-shirts and carefully aligned junk. Leave it that way. It looks like you had something of interest and maybe there's more.
7. Use cardboard boxes to transport goods and sell out of them with things like books and CDs
8. Align the spines of your CDs and books so that I don't have to work to find out if you have what I want.
9. After someone asks you the price, observe their reaction. For thing you just want to get rid of, offer a lower price if they put it down rather than haggle. Drop it if people keep asking but no one buys!!!
10. Avoid speaking in a foreign language about something that will make you laugh. It makes shoppers paranoid and it's also impolite. Also on conversations; don't be so absorbed in one that you don't notice a customer waiting for you to shut up and tell them how much something is.

In other words, make it easy for customers to assess and access your stuff!
Time is precious. It's of the essence. The early meerkat gets the MLP :P

Monday, March 21, 2005

Push hard, push it. Push it real good!

What is the deal with Christians trying to convert the rest of us? I don't know about you, but at the end of the working day and I just want to get home at my own brisk pace, uninterrupted by ditherers and flyer pushers.

Last week they really went the whole hog at Footscray station. There was the usual bottle neck caused by ditherers compounded by a set of flyer pushers on the bridge. One was yelling - like a butcher at the market about choice lamb chops - that Jesus loves us and has a purpose for us all blah blah blah. Then at the foot of the ramp were more of them including a little girl (about 7-8 yo) pushing more flyers. Next to them were people singing and playing guitar. They were using an amp so it was a bit overwhelming in such a small area. Then finally more flyer pushers. By the time I got to them, my polite 'sorry, no' had become a hissed 'no thanksss'.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Vampire Doobees and Squishiness

I'm addicted to the Melbourne Goth Forum! Just thought I'd explain the dearth of posts here.

My new word is 'doobee' as in ,
'Where's the doobee that fits on my electric toothbrush?'
'You put the solution into the doobee the pull the trigger. Voila, bubbles!'
A replacement word for 'thingy' since my Dad uses that now. This is cuter and it reminds me of Mr DoBee from Romper Room. Used to have a plush toy of him.

Woke up with two little bite marks about an inch from each other, on my belly. Does this mean I've been bitten by a vampire in the night ;P Well mozzies do drink human blood - as well as any other blood the little bitches* can get their faces into. Last week at soccer there seemed to be a plague of them. Couldn't stand still without them settling on you. Drove me nutty with the flapping about and noises - and that was just me. I was goalie for 10 minutes at the most. In that time I killed at least 6 of them on me. Another 6 probably drew blood and got away with it.

Thanks for your concern about my BEST friend who fell off the ladder. I'll be sure to pass on that deluge of comments to him. Did I mention he has read this blog? He could have been paralysed you know. He isn't but he could have been if it wasn't for squishy rocket toys. Although he wouldn't have been up that ladder at that time, if it wasn't for squishy rocket toys getting caught on the lighting grid. Damn and thank goodness for squishy rockets! As it is, he won't be back at work for a while yet and is relying on meds for his mobility.

*Only the females drink blood. They need the extra nutrition to produce eggs. The males drink nectar.

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Door

Last night I took home one of the toys (Yo-ho Diablo) from our store to practice with using its CD-ROM. I put some big cushions on the floor to dull the thud of each time I dropped it. My brother wanted to have a go. We shut the door so the noise wouldn’t bother anyone else. I found the CD ROM to be completely useless for this toy. In a huff I went to open the door.

The study door has given us trouble on and off and this time we can’t open it.

I thump on the door so someone will open it from the outside. No reply. So we yell a bit and thump some more. Help arrives but The Door won’t budge from outside. We’re stuck.

My brother tells our Dad to get some wire from his desk – he has been making chain mail using copper wire – but he comes back empty handed saying he doesn’t know what to get. Then our Dad fumbles about with a few screwdrivers in order to get the door knob plate off - not sure what that would achieve – while my brother tells him to leave it alone and starts trying to undo the string from the Diablo to somehow get the door open. I offer to sacrifice a copper, wire bird skeleton* I made some time ago, in order to pick the lock. That isn’t what he had in mind for the wire though, so he keeps on loosening the string for the Diablo. I sit there looking on patiently then…

…My VM tool box! Thank goodness someone moved it in here. I’d left it in the hallway from doing windows the day before. It’s here on the fireplace hearth. There must be something in here to get us out. I’ve got some string already so you don’t need to pull the Diablo apart, I say, and a screwdriver (our Dad is still fumbling away with screwdrivers complaining that all our good ones aren’t available). How about some steel picture cable? Excellent!
[cue music from McGyver!]
My cluey bro fiddles and threads the wire around the door striker, pulls and tugs and slips the striker out to open the door.

I’d been wearing a ‘guardian angel’ pin a friend gave me recently, to work yesterday. It could be just luck but I can’t help thinking maybe the little, golden fella helped.

Bytheway, that credit card trick that you see in movies to open doors is pure nonsense. That would only work if your carpenter is a thickie and forgot to put the door jam in (the thing the door butts up against when you shut it). We already knew this for a while of course - we’re a savvy family, especially my bro, when it comes to these things - but did you?

*Bit of semi-crappy sculpture I did. I could probably do better now :)

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Mark Ryden

Loved Mark Ryden's work from the first time I encountered it on the cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Dangerous’, and pirated on nightclub passes. Excellent stuff, great artistic technique, fantastic juxtaposition of the sweet and innocent with perverted ideas and black humour, would put something of his on wall if I could afford that extravagance*.

*Mark Ryden's work is available at The Outre` gallery on Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Natural History (Dead Stuff)

After the storms on Wednesday, my brother and I went beach combing at Williamstown. He has a skull collection, and was hoping to find something more to add it. I looked for interesting objects that I could use in a sculpture or jewellery, like driftwood and shells.

There were lots of washed up blue jelly fish. I rescued beached sea slugs and a couple of shrimp that were still alive.

There were two dead rabbits near the beach. Not clear how they died. The first one had one hind leg ripped off and bits of entrail poking out. We found the limb nearby. No blood but maybe that was washed away by the heavy rain. The second rabbit was bigger with a little blood on one nostril so maybe it had some kind of head trauma. It was near the car park.

Amongst the flotsam and jetsam across the beach, were about six dead comorants. No idea why there were so many dead birds of the one species. Perhaps they were juvvies who didn’t know a storm until it hit them, and got washed up afterwards.

So my brother got two new skulls for his collection. It’s not as gory or morbid as it sounds. Sure, you can’t be a squeamish type to collect this sort of thing. Skeletons and skulls are beautiful in their structure and form. We like to approach it from a layman’s scientific point of view. I like attempting to figure out how the animal died by examining the body. It’s more of a post mortem prod than autopsy (I wanted to be a vet once upon a time).

It’s very interesting to makes comparisons between species of bird, to observe to difference between a fox skull and a cat skull (much longer and more intricate nasal cavity in fox), the fusion lines and eye sockets can be compared between a cat and a brush tail possum which have similar sized heads and eyes. Placental versus marsupial, canine versus feline, parrot versus finch.

Answers to some of your possible questions (yes I know, adding this means some people may not comment):

No, we do not, nor ever will, kill anything to obtain these skulls.

Yes we avoid pulling things apart when it’s a fresh corpse. Although we only want the head, most of the time it’s just too much bother to pull/cut it off plus it could get damaged in the process.

Yes we have brought dead bodies home in plastic bags but that isn’t how it started. The first skulls were found in our backyard (birds and a rat) and under the house (semi-mummified cat).

Yes, we’ve seen and smelt animals in the process of decomposition that made us grimace about how disgusting it was. Which is why we try to be as patient as possible with the earthworms and bugs who process the bodies/heads. Recently we were lucky enough to get a small population of the type of beetles used by museums to clean up a corpse. A bird had died in our backyard so we were able to introduce these naturally occurring bugs to some extra material. We avoid touching any of it with our bare hands, until it’s thoroughly cleaned/washed.

No, our parents don’t have a problem with this. They respect that we have enquiring minds. In fact my mother is the one who spotted the fox on a morning walk

No, we would never process the skull of an animal we knew when it was alive / a pet / a failed rescue.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

A lemon isn't a lemon

All pith and no juice, what a dud this particular lemon was!

However, I think to call something a lemon when it's disfunctional, isn't very accurate since lemons are one of the most useful fruit around. You can cook with them in so many styles of cuisine in sweet, sour, savoury. Used as cleansing agents, fresh smelling. Lemonade, lemon tea. Get rid of fishiness from a frying pan, cutting board, or onion/garlic smell, any bad smell on cutting board, knife, or hands by rubbing with fresh lemons. It's all good.

Any suggestions of what a dud thing should be called instead of a lemon?

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Got contract today, and am now permanent part timer!

Saved a cricket in the tea room from starvation. From the corner of my eye I thought it was a cocky and stamped at it. I missed. It dodged my foot then I saw it was a cricket. Caught it in the plastic box my lunch roll came in. At the end of my shift I went across to the garden beds in front of the State Library and released it.

Ladder Safety at Work

My best workmate had an accident at work :( :( :( He won't be able to work for a couple of weeks at least, and will be in hospital for a few days. At least he didn't break any bones.

I didn't see it happen since I was demoing at the door, when I heard a thump and boxes spilling about. Went in and there he was, sprawled out on top of these boxes. At first I laughed - he is a bit of a joker, it would not be unlike him to do something funny like throwing himself at the piles of boxes and mucking up a stack, though admitedly unlikely with our manager about. It turned out he had fallen from the ladder after something went awry in his upper back. He couldn't move, it was too painful. After making sure he could still wiggle his toes, we tidied up around him. He felt so embarassed to be sprawled on top of these toy boxes* while the occasional customer came through the door.

It took the paramedics about an hour to turn up! I guess that's because unless you sound like you are going to die soon you aren't a high priority. In the meantime he started feeling cold, so we got a blanket, and rubbed his hands. It's very important to keep someone conscious when they've had an accident. I kept him talking or squeaking our bird caller near his head because he was starting/wanting to drift off. Laughing was painful for him but I couldn't help but say something every now and then that made us chuckle - I'm a funny lass ;o) The paras gave him a green plastic thing for him to inhale from. When I asked what it was, they para said it was a bit like legal glue sniffing - I presume it was a painkiller.

The moral of this story is be really careful up ladders;
don't stretch up and twist at the same time,
always make sure you are in a stable standing position,
and ALWAYS have someone spot for you no matter how minor the job. They might not be able to catch you but at least they'll break your fall ;) Seriously, they can make it easier/safer because they enable the ladder climber to keep their hands free as much as possible, can pass up tools etc, can better notice if you can or can't reach something or look like you are in danger, and most importantly they are there for you immediately if anything does go wrong.

*Of all the places in the store to fall it was the 'best' one, because they would have helped to break his fall, absorbing impact by collasping under him and through containing a squishy toy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Pink Sandal Quest

As previously mentioned in commentary on Mellipop I have injected pink into my wardrobe. This was after years of avoiding it completely, thinking it was a colour for little girls, and that it would make me look even younger than I already look.* A couple of years ago, as part of the 80s revival, magenta became a fashion colour again. I resisted it but eventually succumbed to its bright allure and bought a top which I hardly wear now.

“What does this have to do with a pink sandal quest?” you may well ask.

I’ve always liked to coordinate my outfits to a some extent – this goes with that, blah blah. The current thing for me in Summer on hot days, is to mirror the colour of my top with my shoes. I’ve got 4 pink tops - the right shade of pink looks lovely with my olive complexion - but no pink sandals. I tried red sandals but they don’t cut the mustard in my opinion. So the other week I decided to seek out a nice pair of pink sandals.

I spent hours in my belated search. In terms of sale time, given that my size is really hard to find towards the end of the period, I should have started looking a month ago. I tried on sandals in many places locally and in the city, a sandal in hand, padding about with one barefoot. In Myer Highpoint shoe department, I plopped down pink sandal after pink sandal: too pink, too bright, too pale, too orange, too pointy, too square, looks too much like a granny sandal, no heel, heel too high, too flimsy,** too chunky, too casual, too ‘thongy’,*** too glam, too shiny, too expensive for non-leather. Around me was the gently thud of other women plopping that right shoe down to try it on, and their partners mooching about looking either bored (mostly) or excited by it all ;)

Finally I had a break through at Myer in the city. I HAD FOUND THE PERFECT PINK SANDAL. In a mid pink, slightly dusky hued, styled daintily enough for dressing up, but not so flashy that it can’t be worn casual, a little heel, cushy insole, well priced, on sale, leather upper, by Diana Ferrari which is known as a quality brand.

Tried the right shoe on and it felt good. Gave shoe to assistant to get the lefty and try on as a pair. Sat waiting for a few minutes hoping she wouldn’t be too much longer or I might be late for work. About 5 minutes later she came out and told me she could not find the other shoe!It was the last one in my size in that colour - and in that foot.

“Damn”, I said as she offered to take down my name and let me know if the other one turns up. I’m not holding my breath. At least I got a blog post out of it. My quest continues…

*I’m 29 but the oldest anyone has me pegged for is 25. It used to be really annoying but now I've reached an age where I'm happy to look younger than I am.
**With the way I sometimes catch my foot walking, I could see some sandals getting wrecked on the first couple of wears due to scuffing.
***Thong = flip flop for those of you overseas.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Save water, with Lady Meerkat

I do these regularly over Summer. Most water is consumed by our gardens but if you don’t have one there are still a few tips here you could use.

You will need:
1-2 litre jug for kitchen
plastic bowl that fits in your sink
30 litre or so (about size of laundry basket) plastic bowl
2-3 litre plastic jug / or sliced 2 litre plastic milk bottle, for bathroom
10 litre watering can
15 litre (standard size) bucket

~ When you boil the kettle and have excess water left over, pour it into the kitchen jug, let it cool and use it on the garden / in bird bath / on pot plants / dog/cat bowl. You could even drink it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this water so why throw it away?
~ When you run the tap for hot water, run it into the kitchen jug, and use as above, or to rinse dishes before putting into dishwasher
~ Rinse veggies into kitchen jug
~ When rinsing a bag of salad leaves (Mellipop :) !), add water to bag, twist shut, slosh about, then empty water into garden etc.
~ Always scrape off your dirty dishes into rubbish/compost before washing
~ When washing your hands, put bowl in sink to hold the water then reuse it on garden / pot plants
~ When using a shower recess, catch the water to reuse on the garden. Stand in big plastic tub, or use bucket if recess is not large enough. Use bathroom jug to scoop up water into your watering can.
OR if there has been enough rain on the garden, use shower water to flush toilet. Pour water into bowl not cistern (this may take some practice to get it right). There are people in the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water yet we use it to flush our loos!
~ Adopt the 2 pee system, commonly known as ‘If it’s yellow, let it mellow, If it’s brown, flush it down’. Probably not well suited to shared households or warmer weather.
~ When rinsing your mouth with mouth wash, instead of spitting into sink and flushing it away with water, spit into toilet bowl. Leave it there – don’t flush it, even if it’s the amber Listerine, or that pink plaque control stuff. What’s worse: dilute coloured water in your toilet bowl or wasting water?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Today's yucky food stories

Dialogue between myself and cook (dad)
"There's okra."
"I don't like okra."
"If you want any, it's there."
"I don't like okra."
"Well if you want some..."
"For the third time I don't like okra!"

Just finished a pot of Nestle Mango yoghurt which was delicious then I found a foreign object at the bottom of it. No, it wasn't human skin thank goodness. Not sure what it was. Seemed organic, with the texture of sodden nut, a sort of beige colour with a few dark lines running through it. Seemed to be of plant orgin when I broke it up a bit between my fingers. I think I might leave the other pot alone for someone else to eat...

Friday, January 14, 2005

Snails and Chooks

I’m a green thumb and I prefer to do so organically. The best time to collect snails is at night after it has rained. What to do with them afterwards? I used to squash them right away between two rocks and scrape them into the compost bin. Now I save them in an icecream tub or two and give them to a neighbour who has a chook and three ducks. We minded the birds while the owner was away. I collected and fed them snails.

That chook - I dubbed her Ginger from Chicken Run - is a smart one. She is always the first on the scene when you move the bins or bags around, rake back the straw, ready to peck up revealed bugs and worms. She knows my left foot from my right. I always give mature snails a slight squash to crack the shell and make it easier to eat using my right foot. When Ginger got impatient for the next snail or I hadn’t brought any she would peck my right foot, never my left :)

The birds don’t like too many snails at a time so I hang on to them for a few weeks before they all get eaten, feeding them and washing out their tubs. Very humane, especially compared to what we used to do to snails when we were kids*. In the meantime I have made these observations regarding snails:
- That racing snail in the Never Ending Story was well made in terms of capturing the character and general shape of a snail’s face (apart from the eyes being on the short stalks instead of the long stalks). I can’t help but think of it whenever I take a close look at these buggers.

- If you sit them on a see through surface, as they slide along you can see their ‘foot’ muscles rippling which is pretty cool.
- They love nasturtium flowers more than the leaves
- Their heads are sort of translucent and when they eat orange flowers you can see each mouthful passing through the head and into the neck.
- When they’ve eaten a full meal of these flowers their poo is orange, likewise for any other coloured meal it comes out that colour.
- I’ve always wondered how such a soft bodied, seemingly toothless critter could cause so much damage in the garden. Then I read they have HUNDREDS OF TEETH. So I observed them some more and have seen these teeny weeny teeth. If you’ve ever seen the inside of a squid’s mouth – it has a cartilage-like flexible beak thingy – it’s a lot like that. They seem to have only an upper jaw of mini teeth with which they saw through their food and push it into their gullet with their muscled mouths.

*At least three kinds of torture involving water, sticks and magnifying glasses. Also on the subject of invertebrate torture: Didn’t we all love the popping sound an ant makes right after you’ve sent it crazy in the heat, then concentrated the hot spot to a pin point? Or was that just us? I’d never do that now. I fish stranded bugs out of our bird bath, collect house hold critters with a cup and cardboard to release outside, and I felt badly for the moth that was trapped inside the train carriage on the way home the other day. It wasn’t near me whenever we got to a station so I couldn’t help it.

In Melbourne we don’t have the cockroach problem they seem to have in Sydney. If we did I’d probably engage in warfare with them. ie squash them on sight and hunt them down, with maybe a spray to keep them in check. (the cockies not the people of Sydney)

On the subject of Sydney versus Melbourne, a Sydney-sider was very happy with the level of service I provided her and her boys with at work today. She said something like “You’ve been so nice. You’re obviously not from Sydney.”

'Well chuffed with that I was. Well chuffed.'
Bunty from Chicken Run

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Creative Pirate

It is with artistic pride that I present to you homemade, pirate* compilation, CD covers. I declare them to be copyright free, unlike the CDs I ripped…

‘More’ collage pics from medical magazine, ‘The Face’ (?), a Volkswagon ad, title from a women’s mag (of course)
Compiled from about 11 CDs in my sister’s collection. She has just moved out.

‘Cheerful Whistling Permitted’ double sided background image from the 2004 Melbourne Design Festival program, title and floral images from ‘Ace’ magazine, can’t remember where the teletubby came from teehee!
Compiled from a borrowed 2CD retro album that didn’t have enough good material for one CD. Padded out with more stuff from my sister’s collection.

‘Retro Playtime’ things of my childhood from Christmas toy catalogues - everything old is new again - complete with a pink square of the glossy paper we used to chop up in Prep.
Compiled from a borrowed 2CD retro album that didn’t have enough good material for one CD (again). Padded out with more stuff from my brother’s collection and another borrowed CD.

‘DeMux – Mixup Frenzy’ sticker from chemist, ‘Blyth’ image from some Melbourne arts festival program of some sort (probably)
Was originally compiled by Disappearing Boy when we were still together. Right now he’s probably thinking ‘What was wrong with the cover I made, dammit?!’ It wasn’t funky enough for my taste in design, and it was pixellated. So I put this cover together instead. I retained the original play listings because it was too much bother and retouched the disc label since theprinter hadn’t lined up the label and the graphic properly.

All of the disc label graphics shown were created using Copic markers, available from some art supply stores. The play lists were generated in Illustrator (a LEGAL copy bytheway - I’m not much of a pirate apart from the time I dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow …).

If an album looks like it has more than 5 decent songs I’ll buy it because I like the complete package that is a legal CD, whether store bought or second hand. My price cap on new CDs is $20 and for 2nd hand CDs, $6. For recently released albums, I wait until it’s been out for a little while then get it cheap instead of the rip-off that is $25+!

Lady Meerkat encourages you to own legal copies of music because infringing on copyright is a crime that robs artists of their income and the music industry will implode if you don't pay for what you listen to, pop will eat itself blah, blah, blah. You know all of THAT stuff.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Profile Portrait

Lady Meerkat Posted by Hello

Back in November, when I had time to fart about in Photoshop I assembled this little 'self portrait'. It was for the very purpose of putting it on my blog, within my profile. Now that I've got time to fart around with 'hello' web hosting and this blog I can't figure out how to insert it so I'm going to bung it here instead. Can't say I didn't try!