!!!!

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This blog is moving! Please update your links/favourites/rss to http://emmaville.typepad.com and enjoy the wonder of my new home, especially the easily updated link log. cheerio


The Plan

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Today, an email at work: The NSW Government is developing their long term State Plan and are inviting the community to respond to a questionnaire. This is your chance to have your say. The site is: http://www.nsw.gov.au/stateplan/ Then select "have your say It's a very select organisation, the NSW public service. I bet not everyone got a personal invite. I will not be "having my say" however, as I, like many other NSWalians I suspect, have a plan of my own, which is to not vote for the government at the next election. Iemma is welcome to "have a say" on my plan, I have always welcomed reader response. Morris, please make comments of my plan of not voting for you concise, with reference to public transport and Sydney's dirt. Hint: Any plan to teach Sydney people that it is frightfully rude to enter a train carriage or lift before people have had a chance to get out could swing my vote.


Jinx!

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I just saw my flat on the telly, some slightly pretentious thing on the ABC about emerging artists. I was watching this girl who takes polaroids and makes felt badges talking and I recognised my kitchen. All the flats in this building and the one opposite are identical, I recognised our landing and front door as well. So I live near a cute felt badge making artist who in her own words "like to read fat books." Which brings me nicely to my next point. I too am reading a fat book myself, Charles Dickens' Bleak House, 990 pages of small print, few pictures. I have been labouring away at this for quite a while, determined to actually read some Dickens rather than waiting for a lavish BBC drama version. And now I find the ABC are showing just such a drama starting this Sunday. So I urgently need to finish the book before the TV version starts, or I never will and I have spent too much time on it to give up now. I have 4 days and 330 pages to go. So far not bad, lots of nasty money grubbing lawyers and a pock-scarred herione in distress.


I still can't shake this cold.

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I am so sick of coughing, and blowing my nose, and especially waking up with a head that feels like it has been bashed by a brick. Hint: don'e waste your money on Codral, it has a pseudo-ephedrine substitute - pseudo pseudo ephedrine perhaps. Sadly, it lacks the speedy properties of Sudafed as well, which you now have to supply your drivers license when you buy it, lest one is running a backyard drug lab.


It's been too long

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But I've been ill. Sniffles that started on Monday grew through the week to headaches, blockages, sneezing and the use of 3 boxes of Kleenex moisturised tissues. Finally seem to shake that. I lost all interest in the computer, and found 70 new emails when I went to work this morning. I have read 500 pages of Bleak House however. Meaghan and The West Wing got me through the weekend. I wrapped up woolly and saw Separate Lies at the Verona on Oxford Street, which fed my spririt. I recommend it to anyone who wants to watch something clever, and moving, without sex or violence or special effects. And on my way home I felt a tickle in my throat. It was there again today, although I did go back to work (can't stay away forever) and this evening it feels red and sore. I also think I was greviously ripped of by my too-trendy chiropractor tonight, who spent 5 minutes on my back before sending me off for a reading from the machine PharmaPhad or some such, which read the anti-oxidents in my skin through a small blue torch. I am in the low (purple) range. I shall not be going back, and in future will stick to the nice Koreans in my building who sit on my back and pummell my shoulders, to marked difference.


end of term

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I’m sitting here, killing time at work, with nothing to do because I finished my take home exam early, for god’s sake, and I have put it in my tutor’s pigeonhole can now go off for cocktails with Sarah with a clear conscience. I haven’t finished an exam this much before time since the ASAT in the TEE, and I got really good mark in that so maybe this is a good sign. It was a media law thing. I had to give legal advice on a program that called a politician corrupt, dishonest and had pictures of him entering a gay bar. What are the defences to this defamation? Anyway, I am going for half price cocktails. And trying not to think about the hugely relevant current affairs story with balanced sources that I need to conjure up tomorrow. I’m trying to use the Internet to find the answer to a problem. The Internet is not really helping, possibly because the internet is the problem.
Evidently, I have some web knowledge. I know how to hard code a basic web page in html, I understand css (sort of) and I know what a server is (sort of). My question, to the more net savvy readers of this blog, is this: how do I get my pages that I have designed uploaded? What is FTP? How hard is it anyway?


666

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Someone I work with, a sometime troll actually, rang this morning to say that his partner had given birth to their first child yesterday. So the anti-christ has come from the midst of my branch. I think it's a sign.


I could actually feel my cartilage

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Usually, when the fire alarm is called at work, we groan and stand up to see if anyone is taking it seriously, and finally wander out when the office fire wardens with their red helmets come and tell us to leave. But this time it was different. The voice on the PA sounded....worried. Unrehearsed. There had been and incident on another floor and we needed to leave now. A small edge of panic in his voice that made me grab my bag, my coat and head for the fire exit. Everyone else was doing the same. Twenty-four flights of stairs down. Fast as we can, people pouring in the exit doors from other floors along the way. Flights of identical concrete, and unfortable thoughts of September 11. Finally we're out in the street, a teeming mass of grey public servanthood assembling in the park. After the clutch of fear in our chest, it is a perverse irritation to find there is nothing wrong. No fire Engines. No plane in side of building. Eventually, when we are out in the assembly park and everyone has got their cigs out and are wondering if we should all just shoot off to the pub, police and fire engines do come screaming along and road is blocked and we wait, and wait, and wait. A gas leak, which is interesting because no-one realised that the office building has gas. The queue for the lifts is so long that I realised that by the time I got back, it would be time to leave again, so I just left. Mum phoned the office, and got the impression that I had gone to choir practice. Close – Chiropractic appointment.


Motivational talk

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Tony Golsby-Smith is a director of the management consultancy firm, Second Road. He was hired by the newly chosen Managing Director of Our ABC, Mark Scott, as a consultant when the Razor Gangs went through Fairfax newsroom and sacked about 100 journalists. This is some of what he had to say when interviewed on Media Watch last week: We have a model called the ABCD model which creates an intellectual architecture for how to frame the conversations of change. We don't just have meetings, we have creative workshops where people actually map conversations and capture them and synthesise them. We have a process of involving what we call the voices of change, three voices of change which are important in any big system, that is the voice of intent, the voice of design, and the voice of experience. There are a lot of toolkits there, as well as quite a bit of theory which I just alluded to briefly. You can sum up my doctorate as the western world brought the wrong thinking system from Aristotle, which was a bummer of an investment. Lets see if I can do this WITHOUT a PhD: I’m about to think outside the square of my current work/life balance module and creatively tackle a minor systems efficiency issue, having first done a risk analysis of the possible end results and implement a design which I feel will benefit the organisational sociology constructively, independently using the 123 initiative model and synthesizing it for long term productivity. No freaking idea what I’m talking about? I’m going home earlier than I usually do, because my shoulder is hurting and my boss won’t notice as she is in a meeting.


Random Sunday Night Thinking

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I think I've been aware for a while that I'm getting more and more like my mother. I spent today in a cleaning frenzy, washing and drying three loads of washing, buying more washing up liquid, buying a scrubbing brush with a long arm so I could scrub the black mould that forms from the dryer, protecting my clothes from exit mould, folding and putting away three loads of washing, and plotting the carpet cleaning I am going to get done in August because like my mother before me, I cannot stand the stains on the carpet. It feels good to get this done. I am so happy that Anna has been evicted from Big Brother, although I suspect that if I were to be in the house, I would be losing it with a filthy tongue just like her. What was the point of The Office American remake? A genius English TV series, which actually won an Emmy in its own right in the US, and they remade it. I watched it tonight, and it wasn't bad, but the pointlessness of the exercise was breathtaking. Really, they speak English over there don't they? I had a blinding flash of insight on Saturday night when I realised that House, wonderful as it is, is just a poor man's Cracker. Women are more embarassed talking about waxing their upper lips than they are about brazilian waxing. (I'm just thinking this, it's not based on any weekend experience, so there's no need to get all embarassed yourself and pretend the whole post doesn't exist)


Big Brother idiocy

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This is not good for the reputation of West Australian’s. Ashley (man, pretentious mini-beard) is not aware that the earth rotates around the sun. Rather, the sun is a kind of beach ball that the east coast gets first and then tosses over to Perth later in the day.
12:15am Ash is talking about the WA sun. In WA the sun might get up later, but they still have massive days because they live on the side the sun comes down on. From the fan dairy
Intruder Jade’s profile - no comment necessary.
Why I want to be a housemate I believe I have mastered the art of life to some extent. All you have to do to get anywhere you want, or anything you want, is just be what others want you to be. When it comes to important aspects of your life you need to know who people want you to be, and be it. With this theory in mind and my current boredom with life (because I can have what I want when I want it) I want to play the game of Big Brother. I believe with this theory I could win Big Brother and fool all of Australia into thinking I'm someone that I'm not. The whole game of Big Brother is the game of fooling the people in the house into believing you are their good friend and are the type of person they like and get along with whilst also fooling the audience into thinking that you would be a good friend for them and that they can relate to you. About me I love to be sociable almost all the time except if I'm in a sh** mood, which only happens now and then when stupid people sh** me... I don't mean to sound up myself but no matter where I go, what I'm doing or how little make-up or daggy clothes I wear, I always seem to get guy attention. I'm really compassionate towards others. I love helping anyone and everyone, as long as they appreciate it - if they don't appreciate it they know how I feel about it! I think a hell of a lot - this adds to my intelligence, as I am constantly thinking about everything. Every aspect of every situation I analyse in my head before it occurs, this is how I succeed a hell of a lot at what I do, no matter what it is. I always have a plan A, B, C, D, E, F and G. The website describes Jade as a student. I’m looking forward to finding out what she is studying.


Oh, Mum!

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mum & em sepia Dear Mum, You probably cannot see the picture above this text, as the firefox on your expensive Mac seems to be stuffed again, and I am not there to fix it. It's the first photo on my flickr account though. Thank you for being so wonderful and loving and supportive from such a distance. Despite force feeding me fettucini and taking a recent decision which makes me feel very old, I miss you on days like this. Happy Mother's day! Love from your favourite child, Em


Domestic Goddess

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Saturday 10:00 Get up. Wash up all pots and pans from last night. Clean entire house. Shop for afternoon tea for 10 book club members 11:00 Separate eggs. Start whipping. 11:08 Beautiful snowy white peaks have formed. Slowly add sugar, as per Best Recipes of the Weekly cookbook. 11.19 Perfect Pavlova mix. Draw circle on greaseproof paper with felt tip pen. For the first time in my entire life, I have shaped my pavlova into a perfect circle. Carefully set slow oven.

white peaks

12:00 Pavlova still white. Meaghan arrives to help set up afternoon tea, bearing cheese and daffodils.

flowers by the window

12:30 Pavlova still not light brown. Lift from oven. How has the mixed de-peaked? What looks like unwhipped egg white floating on bottom on tray. Put back in oven. Book says it can take up to 90 minutes. 1:00 Pavlova still no where near cooked. Busy myself with other fool preparation, hoping it will suddenly harden up. Meaghan distracts with photography.

meaghan

1:30 Pavlova has been in oven for 2 hours and is still nowhere near cooked. Timing is now completely buggered, as Pav needs to cool in the oven before I can put the mini spring rolls on hot. 1:35 Emergency Pavlova rescue call to mother. Mother not home. No point calling mobile – she never has it on. 1:50 Abandon Pavlova. Notice as I take it out of the oven that the oven has switched itself off, as it sometimes does on low heat, offering a clue to strange de-whipped state of Pav. Start laying out other food. Cover Pavlova tray with tea towel – try not to think about. 2:00 Guests arrive. Make a million cups of tea and coffee. The group, generally, dislike my choice of book but that's tough. 5:08 Guests leave. Drink 2 glasses of wine 5:45 Heat remaining spring rolls in oven. 6:02 Put half cooked Pavlova in oven, which is still hot. 7:06 Remove finally cooked Pavlova from oven. Decorate with cream and fruit. No one else to share it with, so I eat it myself over the weekend.

completed pavlova


TGIF

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I have been so tired all week. I have been hit by a massive hay fever attack, leaving me, at times, lying on the carpet under my desk bleary eyed. Add that to my developing a truly unaccountable Big Brother obsession, having happily ignored the first five series, although I just had to mute Big Brother Uplate (which I'm watching now) of crippling embarassment for Jamie and Katie, having the kind of naff pre snog conversation that can make you cringe afterwards even when you know no one was listening. Kids, you're in a house filled with cameras. This is going on TV. Anyway, I'm addicted.

In between sleep, taking medication, work and TV I've been coming to grips with the Channel 7 versus the world marathon litigation in the federal court this week, whilst trying not to commit subjudice (that was a three hour class last night), having long talks to a very kind and helpful journalist from The Sydney Morning Herald, editing a radio piece on the subject, which meant I didn't get home till 8 tonight. I've just collapsed in front of the TV with a class of wine.

I've also spent a very weird hour on the phone with Mum, who reports all manner of medico-legal lesbian sex scandals, 65-year-old virgin hermit painters, multiple murder miscarriages of justice from my home state. At least the neighbours will have the joy of being able to watch their kids play in the park while they wash the dishes, when their renovations (and child-bearing) is complete. That's a happy story.


alter emma on friday

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what's happening?

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fragments of my life, I'm not sure how they all fit together but make of them what you will. Anzac day was crisp, and cold, and the light in my room was perfect, pale and soft..........The tree outside the kitchen window are quickly turning orange, and there are swift winds all over Sydney........I watched the dawn service at Gallipoli while I changed the sheets, clearly it was freezing there too............I thought the significance of asking 'men to remove their hats during the last post' was diminished. Men don't wear debonair trilbys anymore, the male polar-fleeced back packers all wearing matching green'n'gold beenies did take theirs off, but the girls kept theirs on..............It is traditional, when performing foreign dignitary duty for your country by laying a wreath, that you hold it solemnly before you like you are gripping a steering wheel, lay it down carefully and then back away slowly, still facing the wreath and nodding before you can move away...................it seemed to be the american that didn't get that, he just swung it under his arm like a hoop, laid it with the others and walked off.................oh well.................and what was all that stuff about never letting it happen again in the speeches? Don't they know there's a war on?..........Australia's first casualty in Baghdad looks like it might have been a suicide, in addition to the horror of the wrong body being shipped home to the family.............I've been spending my time tracking down people on the Solomon Islands who I can record interviews with..............I can't ask them to call me back, so I just have to keep calling..............I've been renewing old friendships, rediscovering the warmth of that familiarity, it's making the back of my head glow............my boss is going mad, I'm the only person who has noticed..............I have discovered A Beautiful Revolution. You should start with the 100 page novel past life...............I'm engaged in an assignment, a legal simulation game. I'm a lawyer, and ASIO is tapping my phone. I've decided to do something illegal so they'll arrest me.............My work is so meaningless, and I must leave soon....................but I feel blessed in all my friends and family, all around me....................


Reconditioned

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General boredom + restlessness + frustration = decisions have been taken + plans made + need to spread wings
  • After a few encouraging chats with recruitment agents, the OJD (Office Job of Doom™) is definitely going – I just don’t have room in my head for this brain sucking nonsense any longer.
  • Gym membership also going. I need a change
  • I have enough frequent flyer points for a return trip to Fiji or New Caledonia (+ tax) and now have itchy feet. If anyone feels like a week in the south pacific around late August, early September then get in touch!
  • Tomorrow is a public holiday!
  • I am using too many exclamation marks. I hate that.
  • Thank you to divine Meaghan and Graham for sanity saving cheese/dinner/video/sleepover/breakfast/second video/flowers on the weekend.
™ - Registered to Helen - though not for long super accountant ……..


Post watch

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I present some of the bigger stories from the west you might have missed over Easter. First up, the good name of our fair city was damaged in eyes of some visitors from the motherland. A British couple say they were forced to stay in Australia for five extra days after their passports were stolen while they slept at Cottesloe Beach Chalets in February. "Even in the Congo and Kazakhstan we have never been robbed, so this incident was particularly disappointing” That’s bad. But it can’t be helped by the archaic conditions in which cops are forced to toil out there. Better facilities for police in the western suburbs will be one of the demands put to the state government by the Police Union in negotiations on work agreements. Mike Dean, president of the union, said the stations were "absolutely archaic". He called the Cottesloe police station "a bunch of old mining huts", referring to its demountable office extensions. Arthur Hartley, though, who celebrated his 70th wedding anniversary to Edith Sidwell this week, remembers tougher times in the realm of our former overlords. Arthur said he was an active member of his Freemasons Lodge, and had recently lectured them on the need to modernise. Arthur said he worked as a junior clerk in the City of London for 35 shillings a week. "I left to avoid starvation. London was very unpleasant in 1926. Moving on, a Liberal Senator from Victoria made the long flight over to give couples in the west some valuable advice on their relationships. The person who holds the toilet brush usually does most of the work in a house, according to federal Workforce Participation Minister Dr Sharman Stone. "I think a lot of couples should do a toilet cleaning audit on their relationship," she said. And of course the letters…. Penny Knight is concerned the lives of Perth’s future lawyers, stockbrokers and politicians could be in peril. With the building at the corner of Stirling Road and Stirling Highway, Claremont, now gone, this would be a great time to build a pedestrian underpass to stop Christ Church Grammar School and Methodist Ladies' College students playing dodge with the traffic twice a day. I think their parents should drive them to school in a four wheel drive. I think that would be safer for everybody. This person doesn’t wish to put their name to it, but they think they have hit on a solution to all the domestic violence, property crime, traffic accidents and mental illness in the Claremont area. Instead of verge parking around the Showgrounds being banned, the Show should be relocated. It is not the agricultural show it was originally intended to be but a Luna Park-type entertainment. It should be relocated to an area where there is suitable parking and this would eliminate all the disharmony that has developed in the community. Name and address supplied. This person has some kind of snide point to make When you can count 118 ducks, two black swans and umpteen turtles in Lake Jualbup, Shenton Park, in one lunch break, does that mean that the people who said Subiaco council was stupid last year for thinning out the jungle on the lake were wrong? Fairly happy Subi ratepayer Broadway, Nedlands (Name and address supplied) I really his/her argument would have been strengthened if they had made the effort to actually count the turtles as well. And finally, Ron James of Onslow Road, Shenton Park deserves this week’s paranoia award for his letter. This is a timely reminder as the world faces bird flu and deals with natural disasters. What staff would be available during a major disaster - including doctors, nurses, health workers, police, ambulance and other public servants? Staff may not be available or refuse to work, putting their families first in any major emergency. We need lists of local families and residents who could look after children in an emergency. Retired health workers could be part of a disaster team, using their expertise and skills developed over many years. The need to review pay for disaster situations should be a standard protocol. In New Orleans, there was early anarchy due to not enough police. No there were not. There weren't enough ducks either, and their toilets were filthy.


Goodness, Truth and Beauty

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"Little girls," said Miss Brodie, "come and observe this." They clustered round the open door while she pointed to a large poster pinned with drawing-pins on the opposite wall within the room. It depicted a man's big face. Underneath were the words "Safety First." "This is Stanley Baldwin who got in as Prime Minister and got out again ere long," said Miss Brodie. "Miss Mackay retains him on the wall because she believes in the slogan 'Safety First.' But Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth and Beauty come first. Follow me."
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Vale Muriel Spark. Miss Brodie is brilliant, of course. But for a rare treat, I recommend A Far Cry From Kensington


happy jesus died day

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Had a good beginning to the 4 day bludge? I've rented my videos, go the oven chips in, mopped the kitchen floor. No eggs, we're not doing eggs anymore, just lots of gin and tonic. I recommend Solaris, although Sylvia wasn't bad. One Perfect Day and The 25th Hour are still waiting, I'm going for movies with death and drama and endings this holy festival. I've also watched a motha-load of West Wing over oven heated light'n'crispy fish fillets lately and I'm a bit drunck. WW is great background noise. Going to Villawood detention centre tomorrow - should be a barrell of laughs!!!!!!!!!!


remembering today

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emma april 10, 2006


random

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Unexpected knock on the door yesterday. A man from Energy Australia wanting to speak to my flatmate, as the bill is in her name and he ‘needed to give her some money back.’ Good news, I thought, assuming we had been overcharged. She wasn’t home though. Did she know was coming? “No,” he said, they had sent her a letter saying they were coming round but not when or why. Can I sign for the money? No, he insists several times that he can only speak to the person named on the bill. By this time her boyfriend has joined me in the hall, saying she will be back later but they will be heading out to dinner. Can we call him on his mobile when she is back? Yes, OK. Pen and paper are fetched and the number is taken. Flatmate is phoned. Flatmate phones Energy Australia man. Energy Australia man has been seriously dishonest. Turns out that his unsolicited visit was to offer us a ‘discount’ if we signed up to some new contract for the next few years.
*****
Now that I have given in to the inevitable and popped a Zyrtec, my feelings of wanting to scratch off my nose have been replaced by a drowsiness that’s dragging me to the floor in a sea of yawning.
*****
In keeping with my tendency not to discover any new innovation until about 2 years after the rest of the world, I checked out MySpace today and could not make any sense of it at all. Is it just ugly blogging meets RSVP? The only profile I clicked on was that of a 23 year old southern American ‘marine wife’ with two kids and a lot of pink hearts on her site and a lot of ‘LOL, I just figured out what a jpeg is..’ shite


last night

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Like the drone worker bee which I am supposed to be, my body assumes that I because I went to bed at 8.30 I should be ready to wake up at 4am. It is wonderfully dark; the streetlights blend with the plane trees to bathe my street in spooky green shadows. I try to imagine there is something dreamy in this situation; instead of pressing my face to the pillow in desperation I lie on my back and pretend I am Scarlet Johansson in Lost in Translation. But Giovanni Ribisi is not lying beside me, nor am I about to be befriended by Bill Murray and have my faith in life’s possibilities restored. I toy briefly with the idea of getting into work really early, and then decide that is ridiculous.As I drift back to sleep I have a brilliant idea for a novel, but it’s gone now……..


it's been far too long between posts

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I no longer understand the forces directing my life. I've tried hard work and and a positive attitude, but there have been so many surprises lately that I feel I'm floating into the future without clear direction, but lots of possibilities.

In the meantime - Happy Birthday Mum, Em xxx


dear internet

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06-03-22
It's raining. I've just put another blanket on my bed and flannel pyjamas on. I've got a cup of tea and the radio is on, so I'm fully immersed in my old lady comfort zone. For the first time in a while I'm starting to relax and feel good again. I'm taking steps to alter a few things that have been bothering me for quite a while, and I'm feeling a lot less stressed, because I have not been feeling too good lately at all, I have to say. I'm thinking about buying fabric and planning my next sewing project, or making a day trip to somewhere I've never been and taking pictures. Spreading my wings a bit, having a bit more fun and ditching the routine for a while. Any suggestions?


SYDNEY – LONDON – PARIS – BEIJING - BEIRUT

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When the Iemma Government released its Financial Statement, in which they announced they were sacking 5000 public servants like me (details of where the cuts will fall have not yet been released), the paragraph that stuck out for me was this: "We recognise that particularly in Sydney - Australia’s only international city - the costs of living are higher. We are determined to provide best value to taxpayers. We will be increasingly disciplined with regard to budget management and take the necessary prudent measures to protect our budget position." Sydney - Australia’s only international city. The justification used continually as to why Sydney is the greatest place on earth, despite the fact that nothing works properly, we are taxed to our eyebrows and the state is so broke it’s going to sack people to be ‘responsible’. It seems to be used here as the catch-all, foolproof excuse for anything – crappy public transport, huge fees for everything, tollways, hospital failures, mob violence. “The train system is a disaster here.” “Oh, but Sydney is a much bigger city, with far more demands on it.” Demands that Sydney is comprehensively failing to meet. This belief in Sydney as so far above the other Australian cities is so widespread, it has lead to ridiculously lowered expectations on the part of the people who live here, I’ve noticed. They just expect their public services to regularly break down and when I suggest that people in Perth wouldn’t put up with this, they just shake their head and say well, “Sydney is so much bigger, and it’s an international city.” Sydney is home to big banks, law firms, financial deals, the stock exchange and big IT. Which makes it international in its professional services to the region, and one with which it competes hotly with Singapore, Hong Kong and increasingly Shanghai. It doesn’t appear to explain why they can’t get a bus service organised. I think by international, a lot of people mean the pretentious side of Sydney. I should feel so special, because in Perth I would not be able to walk through King’s Cross past the drug addicts and prostitutes in 4-inch heals and white shorts to suck back a gin and tonic with a man wearing a pink polo shirt with the collar up, before taking a crazy cab ride home through a toll road. Now Sydney is planning to add another “international” notch to its belt: Premier Morris Iemma said yesterday: "Water cannons are used to great effect to disperse riots and civil disturbances in Europe, the Middle East and Indonesia. We have never used one in NSW before but recent events have demonstrated we must be prepared for large-scale public disturbances Because there’s nothing like being able to sweep the drunken kids-of-Home-&-Away-when-they-decide-to-hold-a-white-supremacy-rally off their feet with high powered hose during a period of strict water restrictions to really prove your weight on the international stage.
**********

Found via Crikey.com What the cat ragged in For me and many other Xers, the choice of going to university has proved to be a financial disaster. Three years ago, I wrote an open letter to Brendan Nelson suggesting a “degree buy-back” by government, a la John Howard, post-Port Arthur massacre, buying back the heavy-duty guns (acquired for fuck knows what purpose) that were owned by Gympie (et al’s) white-trash. In hindsight, I was educated in a vacuum, leaving me not only ill-prepared for work in the 90s – the decade of pillaging the public commons (most obviously in the former Soviet Union, but also with a six-years-behind handicap in personally joining in the looting frenzy.


tranquillissimo

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It's the end of the day and I can relax. I have washed up, taken out the rubbish, sorted the bills and left them on the kitchen noticeboard. The casserole has been shared out into four plastic lunchboxes , which I can take to work for the rest of the week.
I've got the lamp on, and Henryk Gorecki's Symphony 3 playing and I can sit back with the laptop. I've put mysterious green traditional chinese linement on my neck and shoulders, which is making them tingle and I'm breathing in it's heavy medicine.
I did not sleep well last night, I woke at 4am with a start, and a headache, and pummelled my pillow trying to get back to sleep, forcefully, which never works. I fell into a restless doze and woke again to the radio at 6.30 with someone in Innisfall talking about the terrible winds coming in, and it seemed to merge with my restlessness and the delayed horror of the story I read yesterday sinking in, until eventually I dragged myself out of bed, and made coffee.


I hate Sunday night

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Ashlee – do go and see Match Point, I think you'll like it. A very dark, compelling story about quite a charming, decent man who gets lucky and then very unlucky (or does he deserve all he gets?). Jonathan Rhys Meyers is fabulous, and it's a shining example of why it's very bad to have rich parents who hand everything to you on a platter.
How is it that Labor can ace election in the states, as they did this weekend in Tasmania and South Australia, and yet be so completely munted federally? And why is Simon Crean swaggering around like he's won an election, instead of just hanging onto his own preselection?
If you are looking for something to read, then don't go past Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (he of Remains of the Day brilliance). It's literary, readable, moving, fast paced and just utterly compelling. I started it last night at 8:30 and I finished it today at 6 after just stopping for a few breaks to eat and stop my head from spinning. When I was in late primary school and high school and book a day wasn't unusual for me, but it is now. Not just because I don't have the time, but because I don't find stories that grip me anymore. But I did with this and it was wonderful to be that absorbed in another world again. I have chosen it for my book club (because I am hosting the next meeting) and it's a fair bet that some members are going to hate it, with its incredibly dark theme slow revealations. Well, too bad. I really hope next week will be better than last. Less tiredness, less annoyance. It's been tough getting through work with a cut in internet time, but I'm learning to skive pretty effectively off-line too. I have reading to do, transcriptions to type and phone calls to make.


this tuesday

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Blog silence unavoidable – I've been using the internet at work too much apparently. The lovely reporting Ashley has recommended me on her site – and I can heartily recommend hers too. At the moment she's writing her way round Europe here and here. I saw Syriana today, and kept my eyes pressed shut during the torture scene. It was very good, very moving and violence, beautifully shot and no neat endings. Apparently Syriana refers to the dream some in the West have for remaking the middle east in their own image, which makes it a very cynical and appropriate title for this film. I've had the day off today, waiting for the washing machine repair man to come. He did, in time, looked at the machine for a while then announced that it needed a new timer (he fears a cockroach might have gummed it up), he didn't have the parts and would need to come back again, at some time at our convenience between 12-4. The flat is still full of flowers, chocolate and wine leftover from the journalistic salon that occurred here on Saturday night, a most satisfactory evening for all. I'm now sitting back, watching the bill (it's always the bill, isn't it?) under the delightful influence of still night. Sleep Well


Pathetic

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The shoes I wore yesterday now have a huge hole on one side. The shoes I wore to work today developed an enormous gash across one sole one way in this morning. I now have no functioning work shoes apart from the boots, and it's a bit warm for those.
A colleague is now playing the latest Madonna album with those mysterious headphones that broadcast out, not just into the ear. What has happened to headphones? The old ones, in the walkman days, with the headband and the foam earpieces, never did this. Those terrible white ipod ones feel like nails driven into the eardrum and and are clearly audible, especially in trains and lifts.
How is one to deal with this? Do you turn, polite and puzzled to the person and pretend it's all just an accident?
"Um, I think your headphones have started broadcasting outwards."
Or do you just exchange small smiles with the other people in the lift - this person has no idea that we can all hear Natalie Imbruglia shrieking "AND YOU'RE DOWN ON YOUR KNEES" into his 45 year old boffin head?
The headphones my work mate is using look like silver ping pong balls cut in half and sort of loop over his ears. I think the key must be foam over the ear piece. I also have a pair of loopy over the ears headphones, but with foam. Foam in not cool, obviously. Hard metal against delicate sensory organs is cool, and I am not cool, and I got mine from K-mart and they work very well. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I do actually test them occasionally, by putting the music on, then putting the headphones on my teddy bear and checking that I can't hear anything. I don't want people giggling about me on the train on the days I decide to swoon to Frank Sinatra on the way home.


Tired

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I've not been such a good blogger of late. The truth is that I have been so tired lately that I have lost my sense of humour and just procrastinated. What have I been doing lately?
  • Ruminating on the utter unsatisfactoriness of my current employment situation and planning possible solutions
  • Recording interviews for 2SER, then finding myself locked out of the building when I went to edit them into a story on Saturday
  • Committing myself to going out everynight this week. How did this happen? Tonight it's a lecture by Robert Fisk at the Seymour Centre
  • Basking in the wonderful and therapeutic hospitality of Meaghan and Graham, involving Thai Takeaway, The West Wing, fresh hot cross buns and fabulous tea in the morning
  • Helping a colleague with her German homework
  • Planning exquisite revenge for people who, after all the work I put into my applications, can't even be bothered to send rejection letters
  • Photocopying the entire textbook for one of my classes so I don't have to buy it.
  • Seeing Match Point - more on this later.

Looking over this list, it looks like I have been busy, and vaguely productive. But I am not liking the texture of my life at the moment, and contemplating the efforts I am engaged in to change it is wearing me out.


A Parable of Modern Life

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telstraS25telephone I've just been to buy a basic landline phone, which will allow me simply to answer and make calls. I had to go to three shops at Broadway before I found one that was cheap,basic and not sold out and I got the last one from the display cabinet. "Bloody students!," the man in the telstra shop said.


Making it up

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I'm exhausted. I've spent the day addressing selection criteria. For those of you so ridiculously fortunate never to have done this, this is a marathon 'claim for a position' where you explain how your skills, training and experience totally match the requirements for the job you want. They are very big in the public service, where people might have a Masters in Archaeology and be an absolute genius at corporate planning for the criminal justice sector. I've been working in the public service for long enough now to know that they don't actually look at your qualifications, your CV or your cover letter. They have a list with names on one side and selection criteria on the other and they tick or cross each one and if you meet them all you get an interview.
Examples of selection criteria include:
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a team environment to achieve individual, department and organisational goals.
  • Ability to work in a team environment, often under tight time constraints, to achieve departmental and organisational goals.
  • Self motivated with the ability to work independently.
  • And in fact the application I have just finished included ALL THREE of these, and it's a stretch meeting all them this many times, I must say. Because it's not enough to just say “I am self-motivated and can work independently.” No, you have to demonstrate that you have done this, with examples. i.e I in my current position I am requried to be self motivated in getting out of bed, dressing myself and getting myself to the office every morning, ususally by 10am. Once there my priorities are self directed and I am left relatively unsupervised, so I usually get a cup of coffee and surf the net for the first 45 minutes. I often use my own initiative, for instance taking advantage of my boss's flakiness by claiming to have put important documents in his in-tray, confusing him for long enough to give time to frantically find and do the work that's overdue. Is this a test of my suitability for a job or just my ability to blag my way into an interview? I think the latter, and I would sink into the ground with shame if anyone ever actually read my applications, they are so painfully earnest, pushy and exaggerated. Thankfully super-Meaghan gave me a lot of advice and someone at work lent me an old one of theirs to copy from (I'm not the first apparently, I just have to promise not to apply for the same jobs as her) so I got through it. Please don't ask me if I've heard anything though, I can't bear saying “No, I was clearly completely unsuitable and have failed.” I'll let you know, probably by politely worded bulk letter.


    .......

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    A patient at a Melbourne psychiatric hospital hit federal Health Minister Tony Abbott in the face today. This person sounds remarkably sane to me. I wonder what the mad monk was doing there?


    Bled Dry

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    Yes, I'm giving something back. Unable to ignore the persistent phone calls and letters, I made an appointment at Clarence Street to give a pint. They are appointment only now, which means you don't have to sit for 45 minutes in the waiting room, drinking the weak cordial and running to the toilet, before you can sign to say you have never lived in the UK or had a tattoo lately. This is before you can sit in the second waiting room till they call you to the bleeding recliner rocker. Then you have to wait for the actual needle. The woman doing the questionaire was obviously so bored she had just memorised a monologue. “Any immunisations lately been overseas since your last vist haven't been sick at all.” By the time I calculated that the tetanus shot has been in October she had forgotten the question. “What?” “I had a tetanus in October” “Oh, OK” I had been bleeding into the tube for some time when I noticed the bag seemed to be bulging quite a lot. I couldn't see the monitor but I was starting to wonder when someone was going to unhook me. I waited. I looked around for the nurse looking after me but I couldn't see her anywhere. The bag got fatter and fatter, much fatter than I remember it being last time. Another nurse passed by and looked at my blood bag, and stopped. “Who was looking after you?” “Um, I don't know her name.” She turned the machine off and took the needle out, and then I got pixels in my view and static in my ears. I was tipped backwards in the chair, perfectly designed for restoring blood flow to your head. I had cold cloths put on my head and neck. Another nurse rubbed my hand. I was then told one of the most transparent lies I have ever heard. “I think watching the needle come out probably just made you feel a bit queasy, that's all”
    ***
    I do actually know a bit more about blood banks than the average arts graduate, because when I was in primary school my mum worked at one and I used to go into work with her fairly often. It was a great job, in some ways, because in those days it functioned as a sheltered workshop for medical professionals with serious work-life balance issues. One of the things I liked best was the tea-room, the lounges and the little packets of individually wrapped biscuits and the kind, old age volunteer tea ladies. I'm sure Mum did do something, I know she started a magazine called The Plasmapheresis Donor, but all I can remember is sitting in armchairs having tea and biscuits and everyone laughing a lot. I couldn't eat too many biscuits, because I hadn't given blood, but the message was clear. Blood donation = treats. When I was in grade 2 Mum was invited to talk to the year 7s about blood. At assembly each class had to report back on what they had learned, and I glowed like a celebrity as the big kids dutifully recited that Dr W taught us that blood has groups and Dr W told us about... “Emma, is that your Mum?” I was too much of wuss to donate blood when they came to our high school but I was told that in deference to your teenagehood they gave coke and a mars bar.
    I am very disappointed that now that I am finally a blood donor there are no biscuits, no coke, no mars bars and not even any tea! I was given an apple joice in a box and pale pink hot dog. I did enjoy their laminated placemats though, each with a story and photo of someone whose dire illness was averted through a blood donation. I think it's no accident either that they have only chose very cute people, mostly babies


    Issues

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    Owing to a big and unbloggable personal crisis there will be no proper posting today. You can email me if you want the sorry details. However, elsewhere online the Herald is finally having a forum worth reading on office jargon. Theres no "I" in team but there are four in "platitude quoting idiot."


    Democracy in Action?

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    I got this email from GetUp on Monday: Subject: Malcolm Turnbull MP still undecided on RU486: Can you call him? Dear friends, Thank you for emailing your MP to support the passage of the Private Member’s Bill on RU486. As you are probably aware, the Senate passed the bill by an overwhelming majority and it is now before the House of Representatives. The debate starts on Tuesday and is currently poised on a knife edge. Your Member of Parliament (MP), Malcolm Turnbull, is one of a small number of MPs who have not publicly declared which way they will vote, and may still be undecided. There is significant political pressure on them to vote against the bill, with Health Minister Tony Abbott claiming that a “yes” vote is akin to a vote of no confidence in Parliament. The Prime Minister has also clearly stated his intention to vote “no”. From our communications with MPs, we know that they are significantly influenced by the views of people in their electorate. Because your MP remains uncertain about their vote, you have a unique opportunity to exert influence on his or her decision-making process, by making your views clear. Over 5550 people have already emailed their MPs urging them to support the Bill. Now we are asking you to go the extra step by ringing your MP’s office directly. Because you are in his electorate, you have the best chance of influencing Mr Turnbull's vote by ringing him and telling him how you feel. Mr Turnbull's phone number in Canberra is (02) **** ****. Can you call him today? You can find talking points on this issue on our blog. If your MP is unavailable, please speak to his staff and get a commitment that they will convey your comments directly to your MP. If you could let us know that you've called by replying to this email that will help us measure our progress. Thank you for being part of this – and good luck with your calls. The GetUp Team and Reproductive Choice Australia I actually chickened out on calling him, I think I was afraid I might actually get to speak to him. But there is an email feedback form on his personal website, so I sent an email explaining that I lived in his electorate, I supported TGA approval of RU486 and I hoped he would support it to. And today I got this back: thank you Emma for writing to me, I do intend to support the Bill. all the best malcolm There you go! I wonder how many calls and emails he got?


    Happy Valentine's Day

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    Happy Valentine’s Everybody! I give you the best of the west - The West Australian’s Book of Love. ADAM aka GOOBYLICIOUS ATTENTION EVERYONE! Ad is the most wonderful, loving fiance a girl could ask for. To all those who missed out: SUCKED IN! I got him & I'm never lettin' him go. Ad, I love u to the ends of the earth. Thanks for making me your poncey. Love Noo xx. Till Adam shags the bridesmaid at your wedding, they build a freeway right next to the marital unit, your tits start to sag and the kids start showing signs of learning difficulties. But at least you'll still have this little framed classified ad on the wall, reminding you that that the rest of Perth got SUCKED IN! AGU Happy Valentines Applebelly. Love Lisa with the big t/s. Applebelly? t/s? wtf? ALEISHA Goodbye beautiful I treasure the time we spent together, you have made me a better person. Please do not be sad. Please continue to share your beauty with others. I won't forget you. Aleisha, go and bring the bunny rabbit inside now, then lock all the doors and windows. ALEXANDRA Happy Valentine's Day! Love, Daryl xxx P.S. Elle, check with Qantas QF648, departs on Wednesday 15th February. Daryl, Mate. I’ve got a bad feeling about this. I don’t think you should have mentioned in your message of love to Alexandria that you’re running off with Elle tomorrow. Chicks get pissed off about stuff like that. ALI All I have to say is let me in Love, Moulder Ali – yes, this does constitute a breech of the restraining order. YVONNE To my beautiful wife. I know sometimes I drive you mad but my heart is in the right place, right next to yours. Love you with a passion. Joe Yvonne – you could have had a new pair of shoes for what he paid for this ad. Doesn’t that drive you mad? ZIGGY I watch you from afar. To me you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen LOVE TAXI Could this be a new lead on the Claremont killings? Those beautiful girls that just…got into a taxi and were never seen again. WILLIAM (Will): Still want a sister for Ryan? You say I'm stunning in tight pants, your just as stunning. Our kid would be! I CAN ignore name tatt on your behind. I'm serious now. So, what's with our friends joking about you and a large brunette? Lucky we know you - BIG ladies??? Aliens haven't altered your mind, have they? You gave us a laugh, my Valentine. S Does anyone know a divorced man named Will with a son called Ryan? If so please get in touch. I need to know what the name tatt of his behind says. Dispatches from the Functionally Illiterate: WALDO, hello, do I no u? To the world u r one person, to me u r the world. I love u from top 2 tootsies. Will u dakonk with me? Happy Valentine's Day my Frogalet. Love always, Bobbette xoxo SOPHIE (my chicken) To my angel, u r me n i am u tgthr we r sophir! Love u to the moon & back Kabir I actually think there could be grounds for some kind of class action against mobile phone manufacturers and the subsequent destruction of written English they have wrought. Sandra "I want Bitty' I HAVE LOVED U FOR 26+ YEARS AND ALWAYS WILL CLIVE XXX “I want Bitty” – the adult male character in Little Britain who is still breastfed. Sandra – I don’t know whether Clive is your son or your boyfriend but it’s just never gonna work. SARITA If I've confused you, I'm not sorry, because you are and always will be too beautiful [sic]! The respect and desire I have for you, I accept the choice you have made is perfect. So I wish you both all the love and happiness our world has to offer. Trust me everything is going to be fine. With my integrity and my honour as my witness, never think for a second that I will ever forget you. MZ Sarita- "Yeah, it was confusing, a lot of it, actually. The late night phone calls, the dead squirrel on the lawn, the hearts drawn in blood on the laundry door. But I'm beautiful, I guess that's how it goes." SEXY India, Lemur, Oscar, Victor, Echo, Uniform Fleurbear x Alpha Bravo, India, Lima, Lima Tango, Hotel, Echo, Mike, Echo, Delta Victor, Alpha, Lima, Echo, November, Tango, India, November, Echo! SEXY REXY I luv ur hugs, I luv ur kisses, But most of all I luv 2 catch those fishes! LOVE UR PRINCESS xoxox Rex Hunt – you thought getting beaten up in Byron Bay was bad. Don’t ever come west. SHELLE We seem to have grown somewhat apart. But just let me say that I love you, always, right from my heart. DYLAN There aren’t many problems that can’t be put right with a poem, I guess. SHER, let's forget last year and start again. Happy Valentine. Love Markus. Markus’s brother’s baby is so cute, Markus is glad Sher didn’t go through with the abortion now. STACY S. Wen u get older u work out your mistakes an more importantly the big regrets we all make. I've been alone 2 long an know my biggest mistake an regret. Mine was letting my true love go. Stacy I Loved u the moment I saw u, an fell in Love 12 hrs later. I'll neva stopped loving u, an I wont let u go again that easily. The song "Truly, Madly, Deeply", listen again 2 it bcause I've stood on mountains, but not yet with u. I should have travelled 2 Europe with u an I'll be travelling again, hopefully with u. There' s a mountain i need 2 stand on with u. There's not enuff words 2 tell u how I feel since 1st meetin u, I c u every nite an day in my head, I would say all my heart and soul but u have them already an always will. Life's 2 short not 2 take that extra step so let's take it together b4 we r given "wings". U know who this is, ring me 0437 157 528 u know I Love U an i hope i know u well enuff 2 know u feel the same deep down. I hope this reaches u as i dont know where u live xxx HAPPY VALENTINES ::Speechless:: STEPHANIE East Cott, 2 dogs, Mandurah High. I love you Stephanie from East Cott with one dog is sobbing into her pillow as I write. GINA. If I don't hear from you within the next 15 years I will assume you're not interested in me. I'm sorry but I have run out of patience.Love always G.T. Yeah, I think it will be safe to assume she's not interested if you don't hear from hear until 2021. GODDESS MMMMWWAAA Will send TV repair man round to take a look at your set and check out internals so you get the picture. Then you'd better watch it. I will do the fine tuning and any adjustments needed. You can give me a hand with antenna. Oh my. LOVE COMFY Kinky! I caught you a delicious bass... IF it's the same for you, I'll just hang. Friends forever Love Kasey We have to take out a fricking ad now? And give them a fish? What happened to just not calling? INGA For some years now we have grown together and I have observed you. Today, if nobody else, I can testify to what a remarkable woman you have become.You epitomise the strength and integrity that men and women aspire to, confronting every situation that's been difficult. You can stand your own and speak your mind. You exercise thought and practice intelligence. You're always honest (no matter the consequences) and don't think twice for fighting for what you believe in. You don't fall prey to social custom or expectations but seek truth and understanding in the quest to define yourself and who you really are. For all your pain; your many tears have brought you depth of wisdom and understanding in life's lessons. You've stood in the face of adversity and spat at it. You've done it the way many cannot (for lack of courage)...ALONE.What makes you beautiful is your inept* ability to be yourself...naturally. You are comfortable; with no fear, facades, charades or pretension. Most importantly; you have learnt that to truly love, one must first love thy self.Be proud of yourselfyoung lady. Smile and enjoy your day. xoPS: Keep up the "tough bitch'' act, it suits you! Yeah, he loves her honesty, really. *SIC!!! IVAN Remember that club sandwich, our long passionate hot summer nights ...Are you ready for more...call me I love you Elaine Must have been a bloody good club sandwich! And this, dear internet, is my Valentine Smoochie to you!


    Thinking

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    I've been thinking about the whole muslims-rioting-over-offensive cartoons thing and basically I think three things.
    1. It's completely over the top, the rioting, of course. 2. The cartoons themselves, published if you're interested on Tim Blair's ugly blog, are rubbish. 3. Why haven't any of the wizards interviewed in the media suggested what I think is highly likely? Namely, that maybe those protesting about the cartoons are angry about more than just bad taste images of the prophet, and like the whole over the top Diana death grief thing of 1997 in our world, it's merely a catalyst for the outpouring of deep feelings of anger and frustration that some members
    Anyway I was thinking all this as I was walking home when I got to Fiveways. Cutesy, fashionable Fiveways with its little streets and wanky cafes and quaint pub and then I saw this:

    anti choice tossers

    And I have to say it offended me and my values and beliefs and I felt like throwing a brick through the window.
    I don't even know why these nerds set up in Paddington. The rich, conservative proffessionals of the Eastern suburbs might vote for Howard but there's no way they would put up with bearing unwanted children. No.
    I see on the news tonight that Tony Abbott feels that the senate's vote to remove his veto over RU486 is a 'vote of no confidence in Government ministers.'
    WELL SPOTTED TONY! Correct. As the holder of a law degree and the elected member for Manly you are not qualified to make medical decisions over drug safety and women's health.
    And would someone please point out to the man that he was not elected Health Minister. He was chosen by John Howard. So stop whining about democracy in this debate.
    If you are offended by suggestions that your Catholic faith would make you biased in your decision why not just approve the current application for the drug? That would prove you're not a christian right winger that wants to control women's bodies.
    And as for your ridiculous 'This will lead to backyard miscarriages' claim, What? What? What is a backyard miscarriage? Is it like a backyard abortion, which thousands of women died of before abortion was legal? Or is it like the thousands of natural miscarriages that take place every year, entirely without medical supervision? Or just an attempt to cloud the issue?
    And to the freaks who took out those ads threatening that women will die if medications are approved by doctors and scientists, rather than the elected, well, you lost today. Suck it up.
    Must Watch TV In this program Compass goes back to the time before the pill, when abortion was illegal, when the single mother’s benefit was only a dream, when women with an unwanted pregnancy were faced with dire alternatives.


    Linking

    6 comments

    Mesmerised, by the trailer for Match Point, Woody Allen’s latest film. Not sure why, maybe it Jonathan Rhys Meyers, maybe it’s the obvious attractiveness of the London setting, and fascination that Allen has done something so different this time. Young people, London, no Woody. The film does not, ostensibly, look like anything special. Attractive young people messing up their lives in rather clichéd ways – “There are no little secrets”. And I have not enjoyed Allen’s recent films at all. But I think when you make movies like Annie Hall you buy a lot of credit with your audience, so we’ll see. Laughing at Sleepless in Seattle recut as a horror movie. Desperate to play Tomato Patch’s Sound of Music drinking game.


    I've got that 'Sunday Night' Feeling

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    The weekend has been smooth, smooth, smooth. Left the office at lunchtime to go produce a story at 2SER, set up and edited in record time. Had a bath and lay in front of TV till midnight, then slept in until 11.30, lay around drinking coffee before going way down south for a perfect afternoon of book chat, gossip and divine afternoon tea provided by sOL. Then Megan and I wandered back to her place, drank wine and ate fresh soup and played a VERY INTENSE round of trivial persuit with Graham and then I went to sleep on her sofa. Made it home about midday, crashed out with the movies, set off a roach bomb in the kitchen to fight the ever growing menace. Now I'm watching Legally Blonde under the influence of Stilnox. Tomorrow is monday.......


    I am writing in response to your advertisment ......

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    We are recruiting at the moment, for a clerky type job. It’s reasonably well paid, and you need a degree. I have spent the afternoon calling people to get them in for interviews, so I had to look at the applications to get the numbers, and I found gold. I have changed some identifying details, to protect myself and everyone else. » List of Education completed stretches over a page. Includes Dept of Environment Artificial Insemination Course » Skills: chicken health » Interests: Surfing the internet » Major use of bolding: I believe that my skills, competencies, qualifications and experience have prepared me to take on the responsibilities of the advertised position. (Why is experience not bolded?) » Interests: Family, health, crafts, ceramics, arts, outdoor sports and Human Emotional and motivational problems (emphasis added) » Summary of Skills (each with a little tick symbol next to it) covering one whole page. Final skill listed: strong determination and loyalty » Applicant draws attention to valuable experience by a huge change in font. I counted four in one page. » Most people list their work history in reverse chronological order (ie they put their current job first, and work back). They do this because otherwise the first thing the reader will see when they look at your application they will see: Bouncing Bob’s Activity Centre – Assistant » Personal Qualities: Pleasant disposition (would make excellent ladies maid, circa 1890) » Finishes cover letter Yours truly, Applicant Yours truly???? It's only a job application, and everyone lies in those. » Thank you for considering my application. I can be contacted at fuzzywuzzybear@…. Remember people, these are the ones who have been selected for interview. I am not sure how this makes me feel about my prospects of finding another job in this crazy world. Maybe my CV needs work. In the meantime, I direct you to the cover letter samples over at A Softer World


    As long as you've had your shots...

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    John and Jackie are 15. They got bored one day, so John suggested having sex. But Jackie said it wasn’t a good idea, because she could contract a strain of human papilloma virus that can cause cervical cancer. “Otherwise it would have been no problem, mate” she said. Isn’t Jackie well informed? She must have read this article in The Australian. Vaccine sparks promiscuity fears CALLS to make a world-first cervical cancer drug available to girls as young as nine have been criticised because of fears it would promote teenage promiscuity. Trials of the vaccine, developed over 15 years by Australian of the Year Ian Frazer, showed it to be 100per cent effective in protecting women against infection with four strains of human papilloma virus that together cause 70per cent of cervical cancers.
    So fewer women would show abnormal cells on their pap smears, fewer would have to go through treatment and ultimately, fewer women would die. That’s nice But experts concede it raises sensitive issues because it cannot cure existing HPV infections and, for maximum effectiveness, it has to be given before women first become sexually active.
    How strange! A vaccine that you have to take before you get the illness for it work.
    As a result it is likely to be recommended for girls aged nine to 15. The vaccine already has the backing of John Howard but Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce said MPs should be allowed to debate its "social implications". Possible social implications of a reduction in cervical cancer:
  • Huge cost savings on cancer treatment for Medicare
  • Fewer dead women and accompanying upset relatives and friends
  • Honouring Professor Frazer this week, the Prime Minister said he would discuss with federal Health Minister Tony Abbott (uh oh. Mr No-sex-please-I'm-a-hypocrite) making the vaccine, to be marketed under the brand name Gardasil, available to young women across Australia. If approved, it could be available privately in the second half of this year at an expected cost of up to $400 for a three-dose course. An application for a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme subsidy would be likely shortly afterwards. But Senator Joyce said the decision whether to approve the vaccine should not be left to the TGA because "they will talk about the therapeutic aspects - they are not there to talk about the psychological implications or the social implications".

    Imagine. A drug evaluated on it’s health benefits. Vaccines are social things, aren’t they? It’s interesting that not only do these wowser politicians make no apology for blatantly trying to exercise control over women’s’ bodies, one would almost think they like the idea of ‘bad women’ becoming diseased. It must be good for us to think of sex as a potential killer, because that's what they want, and they somehow think it's any of their business. "There might be an overwhelming (public) backlash from people saying, 'don't you dare put something out there that gives my 12-year-old daughter a licence to be promiscuous'," he said.

    Because of course that’s how it would be delivered. The school nurse would say “Here's the sex jab dear, now have fun.”

    Senator Joyce - who has four daughters - said he would be "personally very circumspect" about giving such a vaccine to girls who were too young to cope with the potential consequences of sexual activity.

    It would be really good for Australian women if Senator Joyce could work out his personal issues around his little girls one day having sex privately. He also needs to understand that women can develop HPV at any age, from just one partner. Catholic women who wait until they married can get cervical cancer. Your wife could get it Senator - How do you think your young girls would cope with that, Barnaby? “We could shoot up heroin though, if you’re bored?” Jackie said. “Whatever. I’ve only got one needle though,” said John. “Oh, that’s OK. We got the Hepatitis B shots when we were 12, so we can share needles and still be OK.” “Great, no worries then. Give me your arm.”


      Four things

      7 comments

      Philobiblion has sort of tagged everyone, and since she made me one of her Friday Femmes Fatales I thought I would give it a go. Four jobs I’ve had: 1. McDonald’s – urrgghh 2. Foreign Language Bookshop in Perth 3. Education Officer – National Union of Students 4. Receptionist for Surgeon who performs face-lifts and nose jobs. Four movies I can watch over and over: I can only think of one - A Room With a View Four places I’ve lived 1. Cairns, Queensland 2. Subiaco Road, Perth 3. Dresden, Germany 4. Sydney Four TV shows I enjoy: 1. Prime Suspect 2. Coupling 3. Shameless (much underwatched show in SBS, Monday 10pm) 4. 4 Corners Four places I’ve holidayed: 1. Bali 2. Finland 3. Brisbane 4. Albany, South Western Australia Four of my favorite dishes: 1. Mashed Potato (by me. I mash harder than anyone) 2. Teriyaki Chicken (as done by Taka’s kitchen in Perth) 3. Christmas Chicken (special W family recipe) 4. Passionfruit Ice-cream (made by Granny) Four sites I visit (week) daily: 1. Helen 2. Dooce 3. Go Fug Yourself 4. Me Four places I would rather be right now: 1. At home, having a bath 2. In Perth, lounging around with the dog 3. Berlin 4. Having coffee in Glebe


      The rabbit tap

      5 comments

      Further to my earlier post about the new water tap at work that someone thinks looks like the rabbit from Donnie Darko, here are the pictures.

      the rabbit tap

      the rabbit tap's ears

      What do you think?


      Five days

      3 comments

      I really only like posting when I’ve got something clever or funny to say. But nothing like that has happened. I had four days off work. On Thursday I rented 6 DVDs, including a divine Prime Suspect with cool, tough Helen Mirren running rings around all the men. I just have to watch Metallica Movie, rented on Cheerbear’s recommendation, before they’re due back. On Friday I went into 2SER and interviewed someone and edited the story together all by myself and tomorrow it’s going to be played on the radio. On Saturday I went to Bronte with Sarah and we waded about 500 metres in knee length see weed before giving up and going round to Tamarama, where the sea was a perfect clear blue and we got tossed around by the waves, and then I went home feeling like I’d stretched every muscle in my body and my hair full of salt. On Sunday Meaghan and Graham and I went to Centennial Park, where it was perfect. Sunny and dry and swift cool breeze in our faces. We rented bikes and circled the ponds and horses and paperbark trees. We lay in the grass and watched the ducks and drank iced coffee and it was the most perfect relaxation ever. Today I’m back at work.


      That film with the rabbit

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      Someone I work with has just given us all headaches by saying “The new water tap looks like that rabbit, you know that rabbit in the film with the boy, he’s like the boy’s friend, the rabbit you know, it’s one of the 10 most popular films in Australia, what’s that film called, the film with the rabbit?” 20 minutes later someone figures it out. “Donnie Darko” And the new water tap in the office kitchen looks like the rabbit, apparently.
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      I’m celebrating a few things. Firstly, despite the above this is the first day in nearly two weeks that I haven’t woken up with a headache. I had a bit of breakthrough about fours days ago on my way back from the beach when the word “Panadol” flashed into my brain. I never normally take it because it does nothing for me but I just had this sixth sense that it might, this time. This has been a perverse headache that has not responded to my usually standby, double strength Nurofen. This week I have also got myself organised to get to work at 8.00, which means I get an hours peace in the morning plus I can justify leaving at 4.30 which is fabulous. Mum has found the wonderful Michael Nyman CD that I stupidly left in her CD player at Christmas. This has been a great source of worry to us both. And finally, it’s the end of my week! Yes, tomorrow is the Invasion day holiday and I along with 90% of my office I am flexing off on Friday. I don’t really have the time banked but I can make it up later and I booked this back in December. People that didn’t think this far ahead and who now have to come in so the office is moderately staffed are a bit… annoyed. It might help if us flexers stopped gloating. But we’re not going to do that.


      Thoughts on 'Memoirs of a Geisha' – The movie

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      You might dislike The simplistic plot Problem, row, neatresolution. Very tedious You might be bored By the slap-on-some-white-powder And-stage-a-catfight-nature Of the central conflict You might wonder Whether the filmmakers genuinely expect us to Rejoice when Chiyo triumphs and gets a record 15000-yen ($150) For her virginity at auction. You might squirm In the bit where Chiyo lies on her back and is Unwrapped like a present by the buyer. The fade to blur is a cop out. You might be disgusted By the way the villain of the story’s badness Is indicated by her having a boyfriend of her choosing (forbidden), And wants to control her earnings. You might laugh out loud In the dance of seduction on 12 inch pyramid platforms Which resembles a seal trying to escape a straight jacket. You might puzzle At an ostensibly ‘Japanese’ story using actors Who are Chinese and Malaysian. Do all Asians look the same to the director? You might question The overtones of paedophilia In the foundation Of the central love story. But mostly, you will resent The two hours of your life Wasted. That you will never get back.


      Reaping the rewards

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      Another bad day at work. Persistent headache only just lifting now. Board meeting of homeless men’s housing charity this afternoon. Cannot think of anything I feel like less right now, especially as I know there will be a dummy spit over denied funding which will require at least two hours of self indulgent ranting by attendees (not me, I’ve lost whole months of my life to pointless arguments in meetings, plus I just want to curl up on the floor and sleep. It has not stopped raining in Sydney for the last 4 days. Sub-tropical = shite. My computer screen is turning my eyes into hot, stinging lumps of lava but alternative activities away for desk (eg filing) induces stabbing pains in right upper back. I have just printed out all 50 pages of Shauna’s work category entries. It is somehow very comforting to read other peoples’ office misery and inertia stories, combined with job hunting frustration. Traffic to this site is up, a bit. According to hit counter gadgetry, some people found this site by typing the following terms into Google or Yahoo.
      • The weld club (am number 6 in the world!)
      • Hate sock monkeys (very disturbing)
      • tangled webs donor (coming here must have been a terrible disappoinment)
      ONE BRIGHT SPOT: I have nearly enough frequent flyer points for a return trip to Fiji, or one trip each to Brisbane Melbourne.



      marcel white Says: I don’t think you have got the grasp [sic] that there is a difference between a woman’s body, and her autonomy over it, and the body of the seperate [sic] human being she has inside her. The only fairy tale is the one about once upon a time there was a ‘choice’ and none of them lived happily ever after…… Suki Says: marcel, You should provide me with a postal address so that I can collect all my used tampons and post them to you with a microscope. You might just save a baby that has detached from my uterine wall. COD ok? You can view the full debate here.All part of the latest Carnival of Feminists happening here.


      Various illnesses

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      "He has done a tremendous service to all those who suffer mental illness," Mr Kennett said. "I'm very sorry for him personally that he suffers depression and that he has had to resign when he is quite clearly at the peak of his political career. But, in the way he has resigned, he has given great hope and great dignity to the thousands of Australians who suffer in silence." Jeff Kennett on the resignation of Geoff Gallop as the Premier of Western Australia to recover from depression.
      Have a good break Geoff. *********************************************************
      I must have developed a kind of physical telepathy with my parents’ dog. We both developed infected limbs at the same time, and required the same medication. Now my recurrent shoulder injury has flared up and Rocco has developed one, and is taking similar anti-inflammatory drugs that I do. I’m not sure if he’s affecting me or me him. P1010011 Either way, get well soon fluffy dog!



      Sarah & Emma Ear Candling 4

      Ear Candling is the American Indian art of drawing wax out of your ears and clearing the sinuses by inserting a linen tube candle into your ear and burning it down to a certain level. I must say a lot of wax came out and I feel clearer although I see Wikipedia is a bit negative about it. Meg very kindly offered to help with the ‘Get Emma another job project’ or as she put it “WTF are you still doing there?” The generous girlfriends brought lots to drink, plus we had chicken seasoned by Masterfoods and liverwurst, so altogether I feel much refreshed and more cheerful about being back in Sydney.

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      SOCK MONKEY GROUP

      I have had a few requests for the sock monkey. I got the pattern via Loobylu when she used it for a months of softies. It can be found online here. If you are feeling particularly adventurous there is also a pattern for Sock Elephants which I have not tried.


      UNTITLED

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      I have hit a belated jet lag wall caused by lack of sleep (and Xanax!) last night, heat, air-conditioning not function at work so not getting a break during the day either and various personal issues that were raised at the committee for solving Em’s problems farewell breakfast on Sunday in Perth. I therefore invite you to look at good things happening on other blogs: Maudlin Post Secret has a few gems amongst the angst. Check out this and this! Leany J in the City has flatteringly linked to me and sent me a nice comment, and she has a very cleverly designed site. Ever fabulous Green Fairy has highlighted the dark side of love by linking to Ten Reasons Why You Should Never Accept a Diamond Ring from Anyone, Under Any Circumstances, Even If They Really Want to Give You One.
      And finally, there are Carnivals of Feminists happening, which should keep you reading for hours….


      RETURN TO WORK CRISIS LOG

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      11.32am Negative Observations Get up It has been raining, but air is warm = steamy No milk in fridge = no coffee Take train to office, buy milk on way. Make large coffee, two sugars upon arrival In-tray exploding out of control Delete all new messages in email in-box, most without reading Look for new job on internet Make second large coffee, again two sugars. Starting to understand why weight ballooned last year Colleagues as depressed as ever Positive Nice email from friend Invite to drinks on Friday Phone call to Juliana 1.30pm
      Someone just told me the worst Christmas story I have ever heard. Office Friend went home for Christmas (interstate), had her wallet stolen on Christmas Eve (therefore no cards, cash or ID for days and days), had a row with her brother on Boxing Day, became ill and ended up being hospitalised, finally returned to Sydney as she was due back at work and discovered that her cat had killed a mouse, the body of which had been rotting inside her house for 10 days, in a period of rather warm weather. She told me this when I remarked that she looked remarkably cheerful to be back at work....


      I *heart* IKEA

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      I thought about it, and I realised it would actually be easier to drive (my Gran's borrowed car) to Ikea here in Perth, buy whatever I wanted, pack in my luggage and take it back to Sydney than it would be to go to the Moore Park Homemaker Supa Centa in Sydney as this requires two buses and at least 5 hours. So I went this morning. Interestingly, every single family in Perth with at least 3 kids under 10 had also chosen today to go to Ikea. Weren't people supposed to be going back to work today? I sat on Scarborough Beach Road with my indicator flicking right for 15 minutes, my desire for clever plastic Swedish homewares slowing falling while I waited to just get into the driveway. Quite a few people on the left drove up to the entrance, looked at the car park and just drove off.. But once I made it inside it was good. I can ignore screaming kids if I have to, and it's easier if you look at their worn, out arguing parents lugging a pram the size of a small jeep while trying to agree on a Sofa and restrain the little bastards. One suddenly feels so young and free somehow. And there was so much fantastic stuff. Plastic lunch boxes with hinged lids $2.95 for a pack of three! One of the best things about Ikea is the way that you can find stuff you never knew you needed in the first place. I wasn't looking for a tray that makes heart shaped ice-blocks, but as soon as I saw it I had to have it ($1.95). Ditto the laptop bag ($14.95), colour storage solution boxed ($4.95), Mousepad with pretty coloured circles on it ($1.95). For once I had a car with me so I didn't have pay those smug bastards for plastic bags. Ikea is so concerned about the environment that they prefer you to put your stuff straight into your 4x4, rather that using those dolphin killing (or whatever the problem is) carrier bags. None of which impressed me in Sydney when I had to hug 3 giant cushions all the way home on the buses, plus carry wine glasses in my spare hand, because management at Ikea hadn't really considered you might be helping the environment in other ways.


      HAPPY NEW YEAR

      2 comments

      Due to unexpectedly falling asleep at 10.30 at last night’s party I was as fresh as a daisy this morning, and had a lovely breakfast with Cheerbear at the world’s most fabulous Cafe 130, utter cool in it’s unpretentiousness. You can take your parents there, study, go on a date, whatever and you will ALWAYS get a table and a fabulous coffee. The man that owns it is so cool that he knits, apparently, then sells his garments to David Jones.
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      No resolutions, I’ll never keep them. I have installed firefox on my parents' computer and have de-christmasfied the css. I showed Mum all this but she didn't notice. Can you spot me in the header picture?


      festive season

      10 comments

      I hope you all had a good Christmas, and got everything you wanted. I escaped a hot, steamy Christmas Eve in Sydney and took a Virgin flight back to Perth.
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      Christmas day has come... and gone.... Lots of salad, seafood, relatives, cricket in the park.
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      Everyone liked their sock monkeys
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      Australia's richest man and media proprietor has performed his final great service to the press by dying during an extremely slow news time, not only sparing the media from desperately filling space with stories about the sales and Tsunami anniversaries, but ensuring himself massive obituaries. The Australian has even interviewed Las Vegas Casinos, who will of course miss him very much. I drifted into Toys 'R' Us yesterday. I can't really say why. I was so obsessed with Care Bears when I was a kid that I do like to check up them sometimes, and the toy makers have started messing with them in disturbing ways.
      Freaked out fitness instructor bear
      Genetic mutation bear
      Depressed bear
      And then I saw the most depressing toy I have ever seen. I can see that giving kids doctor's or firemen's outfits might be a bit naff, and giving plastic guns and kitchen sets reinforces gender stereotyping but is there in child, anywhere, let alone any parent willing to buy it, who would want a MACDONALD'S EMPLOYEE PLAYSET?
      WITH DRIVE-THROUGH KIT!


      I FOUND THE DISK, IT WAS MIXED UP WITH THE CHRISTMAS CARDS

      1 comments

      The Christmas social whirlwind picked me up on Thursday and didn't put me down again until yesterday lunchtime. Started gently with a homeless men's group board meeting/Christmas dinner (lovely smoked turkey followed by summer pudding and pannacotta custard, with emotional blackmail from the treasurer to finish), then spiraled into excitement with a professor's Christmas party featuring half the staff of ABC radio and lots of lovely red wine (Chris, if you are wondering what that cheese was you found outside the next day, it was Meaghan's extraordinary exploding Brie). Lovely picnic in the park on Saturday, followed by horror evening of c-list celebrity and commercialism worship at the 'Carols in the Domain', which, though seen live, had ad breaks so it could be televised and even the candle holders had logos on the them, so that they stood out in relief against the light.

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      Breakfast in Chippendale organized by friend who didn't turn up, frustrating hour spent scanning in Kinkos with retarded assistant who insisted that images could only be scanned into a pdf, not jpg. Rally at Town Hall against racism in afternoon, at which I saw half the office and old comrade Paul Coates with his contingent, iced coffee in Chinatown with another old comrade, exhausting search in Myer for kris kringle before lugging food all the way home. Monday taken up by frantic completion of job application before branch Christmas lunch at Spanish restaurant, sangria, double gin and tonic at the pub before returning to office to complete planning day packages.

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      Tuesday I had to get to work at crack of dawn to set up projector with Melissa for executive planning day at Radisson, before returning to divine management-free workplace and read blogs until eyeballs are burning. Return home to lie in darkened room and drink gin and tonic. _________________________________________ I think I'm starting to like The Bill again. They seem to have temporarily stopped the creating-drama-through-insertion-of-workplace-psychopath-character (it did get boring after the first four). I quite like DI Manson and the love-affair with Andrea thing turned tragic when she died after being sacked for being an undercover journalist. I think he's the same Andrew who was such a nerd/heart-throb in Cardiac Arrest years ago, whose doctor character also had an extra-marital affair with a nurse made him very attractive. What was I saying? Yes, The Bill. Enjoying it again. Not the sharp half hours of the eighties and nineties (remember those feet walking along cobblestones in credits? I used to watch it with my Grandpa on the brown sofa), but an OK, mildly believable storyline featuring Manson and his lawyer wife who have a nice house and delightfully unwhiny accents. Jim and June and their sordid dysfunctional marriage nowhere to be seen for a change.






      flex empire

      relief from boredom

      fourth estate

      useful

      pointless but amusing

      home industry

      old episodes


      ATOM 0.3