Archive | November, 2012

This Charming Man

29 Nov

It’s was 38degrees earlier today and it’s still too stiflingly warm to write a deep and meaningful post. It’s going to storm tomorrow but still be frustratingly warm, the kind of weather you’re not sure how to dress for. Oh well, typical four seasons in one day.

I’m a big Morrissey fan. The guy was a lyrical poet and extremely influential but so few people my age have heard of him or ‘The Smiths’. ‘Everyday is Like Sunday’ is one of my favourite songs. There’s a Morrissey song for every experience, ‘How Soon is Now’ for those dark moments, the catchy ‘The First of the Gang to Die’ when you feel like dancing despite the morbid topic, ‘Let Me Kiss You’ for when you love someone who doesn’t love you back, ‘Suedehead’ for just because and ‘Moon River’ that is maudlin and heavy and very unlike Audrey Hepburn’s light and sweet version.

I’ve written 15 (this is number 16) posts so far and all the artists have been male, so uncool.

My girlfriends and I would talk about our ideal guy and I had a list of what I wanted. Yes, an actual list that I wrote down on the train. From memory:

1. He had to be taller than me when I wore heels. I’m 5’7” so it was a must.

2. He had to be handsome. People say looks fade in the long run but, at least you’d have twenty years of them still goodlooking. Personalities also change in the long run and there must be some attraction. Hey, I still in my teens at the time.

3. He had to have gone to uni. Nothing against those who didn’t go onto further study post highschool but it’s what I wanted.

4. He had to have a decent job or at the least potential to have a good job. Ideally a doctor or lawyer as every parent wants their kid to date one.

5. He had to be my husband and be the father of my children. I’m still fairly traditional. I value loyalty, honesty and trustworthiness.

6.  He had to like books and music I did. I wanted to be able talk to him about the things that I liked.

7.  He had to have white skin. No racism there, it’s just what I’m attracted to. I also prefer brown hair over blonde.

8. He had to be a natty dresser. I’m not the world’s most polished and fashionable of girls but I didn’t want to date a scruff.

9. He had to be ‘pure’, not smoke, drink, do drugs, not swear and have had very few girlfriends. I’m a good girl.

10. He had to have a decent family who would accept me.

In summary, I wanted a metrosexual model who was educated and enjoyed reading. A beautiful nerd who was faithful and would marry me and we’d live the perfect life with 2.5 kids and a picket fence.

I’ll write about what my ex was actually like in my future posts.


Oxford Comma

24 Nov

I’ve read articles and blogs bemoaning the death of the semi-colon. It’s got a funny name but is so seldom used that some are calling for its removal. The oxford comma is used even less than the semi-colon. At least the oxford comma was immortalised in a song by ‘Vampire Weekend’ The ultimate hipster band and one of the few modern bands that I really like. ‘Contra’ is one of the few albums that I have listened to in its entirety. Who gives a f*** about an oxford comma indeed.

I vote for the death of a few words and I am not alone in my hatred, see this list . Swear words and racial epithets aren’t included. And I’m not going to put down the slang that we Gen Y-ers use. Man, this will be like, totally epic.

Moist: Universally hated by all women, could there be a more disgusting word. There are ‘Facebook’ pages campainging for its removal. I knew I wasn’t the only one who found it icky. It brings up connotations of chocolate cakes or female body parts. I shudder when the weather man uses it

Panties: I thought it was a cute word when I was a kid, very American, but as I’ve grown older it sounds so wrong. So childishly cute in a skeevy way. I agree with the Huffington Post, it sounds like a word that a paedophile would use.

Grotesque: I don’t mind words that have bad meanings but sound bad. It sounds ‘slimy’ somehow. It didn’t help that I read a book with that name which is an exceptionally dark book about prostitutes, paedophiles and private school girls by Natsuo Kirino.

Banal: I like the word but it’s one of those words that people avoid saying as they’re unsure of how to pronounce it. Making it rhyme with ‘canal’ is a safe option.

Pimple: I wasn’t acne prone during my adolescence and it was only when I started working fulltime that I got a few of them. It just sounds icky, maybe because it has the word ‘pimp’ in it. I use the American word ‘zit’ instead.

Flesh: It makes my skin crawl, something so animalistic about it. It reminds me of Shylock (whom I actually feel sorry for, he’s got a bad rep) wanting to hack off Antonio’s flesh.

Squat: I hate doing them in exercise but they bring up inelegant connotations of going to the loo.

Belly: It rhymes with ‘jelly’. I use ‘tummy’ as it sounds cuter.

Bulbous: It sounds so fleshy, like a tumour filled with pus. Or a technical term for a scrotum.

What are your most hated words?


23 Nov

Remember ‘Sadeness’ by Enigma? Probably the only song that charted that had Gregorian chants. It’s a strange, hypnotic, sensual song. I didn’t like it when I was young, it was a bit too weird. The interest in mysticism in the 90s probably stems from this song. Interesting song, religious and about the Marquis de Sade. Ah Sade, that crazy weirdo. The original practitioner of s&m, he believed that sex had to be painful to be pleasurable. It’s quite a topic for a popular song.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and not in Aus), you’ve heard about the Jill Meagher case. A pretty woman who worked at the ABC who went missing and was later found dead. In a senseless attack by a stranger.

As insensitive as it might be, I’m a bit over it. It was undoubtedly horrible and sad but the media really overplayed it. Every front page was dedicated to Jill and it seemed that every news program was too (from the two minutes of tv I saw in waiting rooms). I read that a couple of other women had gone missing as well but they were just mentioned in passing. Those women it turned out later had died of natural causes but they had been missing for about the same time as Jill and potentially could have been in danger.

So Jill had been out drinking with her work colleagues at night and then vanished. There was footage from a clothing shop and she and a man were outside and appeared to be arguing. The mystery heightened, did she know him, were they having an affair, was he a stranger. Her body turned up a few days later, she had been stabbed and the killer arrested. A seemingly ordinary guy and it was an opportunistic killing.

The media increased its frenzy. It became more obsessed about her, this pretty Irish expat with a bright future had been taken from us. She had worked at the ABC as a Radio Coordinator so it undoubtedly had something to do with the intense press coverage. It got to the point where Jill’s family actually asked the public not to say anything more that might bias the trial against the killer.

Then the marches started. March for Jill’s memory! Peace March! March for more public cameras! Say no to violence against women! It’s not as if women are being murdered on a regular basis and that this murder could have been completely avoided. There will always be sickos who will go out for a kill. We know about ‘stranger danger’, it’s been drilled into us. We’ve heard enough about women being murdered and avoid dark alleys.

A young girl, Sarah Cafferkey recently reported missing and later found to be murdered, again by older men. Unlike Jill, it is believed that Sarah knew these men. This incident happened a few weeks after Jill’s murder so it has heightened the public’s paranoia and sadness. It seems as though so many young women are being murdered and that Australia is no longer safe.

Both Jill and Sarah have become the poster girls for violence against women. Not just by strangers but by family members. There is to be a ‘White Ribbon’ march as somehow their murders have increased an awareness of domestic violence. Whilst it is always good for there to be stands on domestic violence, it seems like a bit of a farce. Jill and Sarah hadn’t been victims of abuse, they had just been targeted a couple of twisted men.

The public needs this. The picture of Jill next to a bookcase is haunting. She is looking upwards and smiling, innocent looking, pale faced and pretty. She is white, middle-class with a good job, things like this aren’t meant to happen. Sarah is smiling and looks your typical popular 22-yr old.

The public’s obsession with the women is exhausting. The more marches there are, the more hysteria. They need to preserve the memory of these two pretty white women. Let them, it’s upsetting yes but frankly, the marches are about rebelling against the patriachal society. Men killed the women. It’s a march about feminism, we have the right to wear short skirts, be alone at night and not be murdered.

Just Like Heaven

22 Nov

I got into ‘The Cure’ when I was at uni. I wasn’t sure I’d like them as they wore a lot of eye makeup and the horrible emo subculture was popular at the time. I went through a punk music phase for a couple of months (never dressed that way thank goodness) and a friend said that if I liked ‘The Clash’ then I’d like this band. I was hooked from ‘Friday I’m in Love’.

I love reading. I don’t buy small bags as I always carry around a book. I read on trams, wating rooms, etc. I immerse myself and get transported to another world.

I was a precocious reader and obsessive about it. It got to the point where my parents didn’t like it as they would have rathered I read school and improve my maths (yes, I sucked at maths. Still do). I was an only child and we didn’t always have a television, I was terrible at sports and so I read everything. I read the children appropriate books the Enid Blytons, ‘The Babysitters Club’, ‘Paddington Bear’, ‘MaryPoppins’, the Hans Christian Anderson fairytales and the like. My parents’ books that I wasn’t supposed to their true crime Ann Rule type books, ‘The Godfather’, Elizabeth Taylor biographies as well as their trashy magazines. And the books they didn’t mind me reading. ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Tess of the D’urbervilles’, ‘David Copperfield’, ‘The Scarlet Letter’, ‘Sons and Lovers’, ‘Dracula’, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘The Jungle Book’ and so forth. And the text books and ‘worthwhile reads’ that they wanted me to read about or by Freud, Marx, Satre and Camus.

This was the 90s and all before I was 11.

It was an interesting childhood. I had a very active imagination as one could imagine. Bored with school as they plodded through Roald Dahl books. Hopeless at maths but known for doing well in English subjects. It was the same throughout highschool though I read fewer classics and more by Man Booker Prize and other literary award winners. And I discovered Ruth Rendell.

I seldom meet people who read and I’m in good company on ‘WordPress’. Some are proud of the fact they don’t read. I can’t fathom it.

I sometimes have to bite my tongue when somebody waxes lyrical about books like ‘Twilight’ or ‘The Da Vinci Code’. I’ve read a shameful amount of chick lit so can’t really talk but gosh, it’s painful. I thought that ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ was a big pile of okay and I’d figured out who the killer was and a lot of the mysteries at the start. The only good thing that came out of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ is that it spiked an interest in Leonardo Da Vinci. The thing that came out of ‘Twilight’ was ’50 Shades’. Nuff said.

I’m reverential with a book. Each turning of the page is symbolic and I’m breathless with anticipation. I’ve experienced true happiness in pages and have been transported to magical lands. I laugh, I cry, I get angry. I feel on top of the world, I feel like I’m on the bottom of the world, I feel like I am at one with the world. Some reads are truly life-changing experiences. I pity those who have never had that experience.

Mink Schmink

21 Nov

Eartha Kitt, what a woman. She growls, she purrs, she drawls and her voice is sultry and confident. Her voice is smoky bars and seduction. She somehow made couple of Christmas songs dirty but playfully so. Santa wouldn’t stand a chance. I don’t know about her as an actress but it seems like she had a decent career.

‘Mink Schmink, Money Schmoney
Think your hot now don’t ya honey.
What have you got if you haven’t got love’.

Well for me, I’ll always have nice pens.

I am a stationery addict and have been since I was young. Back in primary school it was Faber Castell connector pens, Xoom crayons, Lisa Frank paper. The rich kids had Derwent pencils.  In highschool,  novelty Asian stationery was all the rage. I was an odd teen who would ask to see the pencil cases of others as theirs held such interesting things,. ‘Hello Kitty’ and her friends on pens that had lil dangling things off the ends. Pencil cases with mirrors in them and a cartoon character. And expensive for highschool some had $15 pens, $40 pencil cases. I competed of course, my pencil case was tin with a French quote on it and my pens were ‘inky’.

I don’t use standard ballpoints as a rule and instead use ‘inky’ pens, felt tipped, gel or rollerball. I have scrawly, slightly old fashioned writing that looks rather pleasing with ‘inky’ pens but terrible with cheap ballpoints. Whenever I need to write a form in public, I eschew the nasty supplied pens and use my own.

I turned into a stationery snob when I got to uni. My friends mainly used the Bic four colour pens. But one had a fountain pen, ink bottle and all. I started pens and mechanical pencils from opshops and on occasion, from specialty pen stores. Oh what a different world specialty pens are. And the brands I collected. Faber Castell, Shaeffer, Parker, Cross. Never a Mont Blanc but someday.

And the paper in the those stores. Heavy, good quality parchment. Colours, patterns. And the  leather desk accessories. Bliss. All obscenely priced, all very nice.

I no longer use whatever diary happens to be popular. I am a ‘Filofax’ girl.  I had tried the ‘Moleskine’ system and though the paper is excellent, it’s fantastic for jotting thoughts but no, not as a diary. I love the binder system and the fact that I can customise my diary. I’ve read forums comparing the two brands. Oh it’s a heated debate. ‘Moleskine’ is popular amongst the hipsters, the artists. ‘Filofax’ is for the corporate and other creatives. And I write with cheaper Pilot, Artline or Uniball pens, whichever is handy.

There’s something so old-school about a sleek silver pen and a leather diary. Heck, writing is considered old fashioned. But then again, I still send Christmas cards.

For me, writing was important. Less now unfortunately, I’ve turned to my laptop to write and my notebooks were sorely neglected. A writer who still uses paper and pens needs to use the finest quality stationery they can afford. Your words come from your soul and mind, why spill those thoughts on cheap paper. Why write your signature using a cheap pen, your name should get the best. An artist uses the best paints they can find, a builder the best hammer and so forth. Your magnum opus shouldn’t be on supermarket paper. What do you write with and on?

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

20 Nov

‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ is one of those songs that sound like it’s going out of its way to annoy you. It’s quite good really, charming with deceptive simplicity. It is probably the only popular song ever with the word ‘litigate’ in it. Despite the song being a hit, it killed Bobby McFerrin’s career. He has real talent and to the mainstream audience he’s a one-hit-wonder, he is fairly respected in the music world. I was ‘Youtubing’ accappela songs and came across him singing ‘Blackbird’. Wow. It’s nothing like ‘The Beatles’ original version but I suggest that you jump onto ‘Youtube’ and check it out. Great vocal style and the man looks good in a blue jumper.

This blog is ‘Part 2’ on the shite book list. When I first read ‘Bridgs of Madison County’, I hated it. I was about 9 and my neighbour was getting rid of a some old cat calendars and the book just happened to be in there. This was the first book I’ve ever thrown against the wall. I was a very precocious reader who had read quite a few classics as well as the standard children’s books. It’s a good thing that my parents didn’t notice the book. They’re the kind would have disowned me had I read ‘Spills and Swoon’ (Mills and Boon), Jackie Collins type books. My mother has never forgiven me for reading Jaqueline Susann’s ‘Valley of the Doll’s (but it’s iconic trash).

I mentioned before that I read the one star reviews on Amazon for ‘Twilight’ straight after reading the book. I wanted to restore my faith in humanity and had to know that somebody out there found the book as rubbish as I did. Thank heaven there were. Then I looked up the one star reviews for ‘Bridges’.  Thank you, ‘Goodreads’.

I found a copy in a second hand bookshop. I’m so glad I did. I saw the book in a new light thanks to the reviews. The passages I found so ridiculous back then have just become better with age. I howled with laughter at some of the quotes.

‘If your evolutionary branch is a dead end, as you say it is, then I want you to hit that end at full speed’. (I wanted the characters to drive into a real tree).

‘Robert, when we were making love last night, you said something that I still remember. I kept whispering to you about your power — and, my God, you have that. You said, ‘I am the highway and a peregrine and all the sails that ever went to sea.’

See? Genius. It takes a certain mind to think up sentences like that. Every single sentence could be a entry in the ‘Bulwer-Lytton’ competition.

I thought back then it was just a terrible attempt at a love story. I don’t want to attribute to Robert James Waller such lofty ideals but it could be seen as a comedy, a brilliant satire of a romance novel and a bold attempt at challenging what the mass public like. A bit like the ‘Naked Came the Stranger’ of its day.

The plot is very ‘The Notebook’, maudlin tripe about two people and who fall in love/lust and the obstacle is that Francesca is married to a nice but forgettable man. A quote from ‘Goodreads’, ‘forget him, Waller does’. Bored housewife bonks travelling hippie photographer and then pines after him for the rest of her life as she ‘sacrificed’ love to be stay with boring husband and two children. Then at the end we find out that both housewife and hippie photographer die. Said housewife wrote letters to her children detailing her sexual relationship with said hippie photographer. Ick, ICK. Instead of acting as normal people would and throwing up at the thought of their mother having sex with this weirdo, her children feel guilty about being a burden between true love. Oh you’ve got to read the cringworthy sex scenes. Unbelievable. Sometimes when I’m in the mood for a laugh, I read parts of the book.

I used to talk about ‘Bridges’ with a former friend of mine.  We did a search and found that ‘The Shadow God’ by Aaron Rayburn was considered ‘the worst book ever’. The Amazon one-star reviews are just great and we found it so funny that my friend ordered the book from America. Quotes:

Spiers’s eyes popped extraneously from their socketsThe lamp’s glow was very weak compared to the blue glow emancipating from the basement.It infiltrated his lungs, filling them with a kind of innovativeness he had never felt before.

See? Forget your degree, forget the good books that you’ve read, forget your skills as a wordsmith. Making it big as a writer sometimes means writing tripe. Anything goes, anything sells. As Scott Adams said, ‘never underestimate the stupidity of the general public.

One Headlight

17 Nov

‘The Wallflowers’ was part of my uni playlist and ‘One Headlight’ was played excessively (On my Creative Zen, no iPod for me back then). They’re the kind of band that people like but don’t obsess over. I fell in love with Jakob Dylan. Oh god. Beautiful man.

It’s 04.00am and what better to do than entertain myself with a blog. I apologise in advance for the disjoined nature this entry is bound to be. I’ve decided to write about a couple of popular books that I hated so much that I went on Amazon to check out the one-star reviews. So here’s Part 1. ‘Twilight’ and ’50 Shades of Grey’ have been reviewed to death but really, the more negative reviews the merrier.

‘Twilight’-Stephanie Meyer. My ex bought me the first book as it meant to be like ‘Harry Potter’ with vampires (I’m a big, big ‘Harry Potter fan. In fact, I’ve put his birthday in every diary I’ve had since I was 14). So I expected to like this book though I didn’t know what it was about. The start was supremely boring and the writing amateurish. So, she meets this really goodlooking family, blah blah and thinks the guy doesn’t like her as he’s a tool but it turns out he does and then 2mins later it’s twoo wuv. And then oh god, the descriptions about his looks started. Oh the repetition.

I won’t go into an in-depth analysis of how toxic their relationship is as many have touched on that topic. I literally threw the book across the room as I was so disgusted by the repetition, creepy stalking, the repetitive descriptions, pining, the repetitive descriptions, the Mary Sue characters, etc. I actually bought a second hand copy later as I felt guilty about destroying the book that the ex had gotten me. The sequels were even worse, I didn’t think that was possible. I read them all, bored whilst staying at a former friend’s house and besides, I like to know what I’m bitching about.

I hate the idea of impressionable tweens reading this dreck. I’m disgusted that stalking, fantasising about killing, etc is okay so long as it’s ‘tru luv’ and so long as the man is ridiculously good-looking and wealthy. What does it say about us that this is popular. Just a few years ago, ‘The Princess Diaries’ was the most popular thing. How did we get from a feminist princess to being a pushover for this illusion of ‘love’? Is feminism dead? Or have we redefined it. We now have the right to choose stalker bad boys thanks to feminism.

Now onto’50 Shades of Grey’ by EL James. I knew about the media hype. How it had increased the sales of ropes. I knew it originated from ‘Twilight’ fanfiction so I only have myself to blame for bothering. Everything I hated about ‘Twilight’ was magnified in ’50 Shades’. The rubbish writing, the mawkish heroine, the older, wealthy man, the any-sane-woman-would-call-the-police-or-psychiatrist-on-him-but-it’s-true-love-because-the-author-says-it-is plot, the endless descriptions about the said older, wealthy man’s perfect face and eyes. Oh the frackin’ eyes. Don’t these women like oh, feet or anything?

I found myself bored, bored by the writing in ’50 Shades’. I rolled my eyes on every second page. I’m not against smut, we are adults after all. I used to sneak read my mother’s ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazines as a kid and have read more risque books (had been re-reading ‘Belle De Jour-Secret Diaries of a Call Girl) and gosh, if people’s sex lives have been improved by this book, I can only assume that they’ve done it maybe a few times purely for conception. To these people, I suggest that they watch a few dirty movies.

So, the descriptions about sex just got repetive. They were absurdly cringeworthy. Purple, purple prose. You know it’s a bad book when a book is known for being smutty has sex scenes which are just dull and repetitive. They were oddly clinical somehow. Back to the ‘plot’. Christian treats Anastasia badly but it’s okay, he’s really hot. Oh but it was ‘consensual’ sex you say. It was actually scary the control Christian had over her.

What I dislike about both books is how imbalanced the relationships are. The girls are cliches, ingenues who ‘tame’ seemingly unattainable men. The men are dazzling, debonair and dangerous. The Mary-Sues offer nothing to the relationship other than just being their ordinary selves. Well, Bella turns into a super-sparkly vampire and naturally, super-powerful. At the end of both series, both ‘girls’ get what they want. Baby and a guy. And their story is everywhere. Carrie ends up with well-off Big and can indulge her shoe addiction without guilt. I’m sure most who do online dating tick the box for well-off, tdh, gsoh, etc.

We need more stories about successful women who date less successful men. Or are we not ready for that. Off to sleep, 05.15am!