Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"I Think I Could Be Wife Material; I'm Quite A Good Cook"

Sweetheart, that means you are a good cook.
I am seriously distressed and disgusted. There is not a post-it note big enough for the TV show "The Farmer Wants A Wife", from whence the above quote came. I guess it's the ocker version of The Bachelor, it is full of very skinny eyebrows under too-blonde hair, and the silences on their "five minute dates" are excruciatingly akward. Craig The Sheep Farmer in particular is painful to watch. His conversational gems include "So you handlin' this weather alright or what?" and "How's things been goin' today, alright?" and my personal favourite "d'you reckon you could handle lookin' after me in the bush?"

So, yes, it's official. Feminism is dead and we might as well be living in 1956. I am going to give up the thesis and try to forget what I have already learnt because I don't think I should be too educated. My only quandry that I can see is that obviously I need to be a better cook, but if I forget how to read then I want be able to read any cook books. How will I get around that?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Affirmative Action

I've drawn a line in the sand. I have decided that it is not enough to believe something to be wrong without doing what you can to right that wrong. I bought a post-it note pad, that I now carry with me at all times, along with a pen. Just as the City Rail anti-terrorism ads suggest, when I see something, I say someting. I write my message on the pad, and then stick it to the person who needs it. The message says: "Crocs. Never ok."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Small Effort - High Impact

Rather than agonise over a fabulous topic to post, and then spend hours refining the nuances of my writing style (my usual apporach to posting, I am sure y'all can tell) I am being a little lazy and just collecting some funny quotes to share. The first one isn't all that funny but I think my version of -Lo's name is (snaps to me), and she doesn't generally say really funny things, so this was the best I could come up with.

J to the 'ello:

"Men really disgust me if they don't have a nice smile, nice lips and nice teeth. They have too many disgusting habits, like scratching themselves all the time. And it's really weird how guys think that passing gas is the funniest thing in the world. They love to do that thing in front of girls and laugh about it."

Jessica Simpson:

“I think there's a difference between ditzy and dumb. Dumb is just not knowing. Ditzy is having the courage to ask!”

But our winner is clearly George W. These are all from THIS MONTH alone:

"My job is a decision-making job, and as a result, I make a lot of decisions."

"I got a lot of Ph.D.-types and smart people around me who come into the Oval Office and say, 'Mr. President, here's what's on my mind.' And I listen carefully to their advice. But having gathered the device, I decide, you know, I say, 'This is what we're going to do.'"

"You know, when you give a man more money in his pocket -- in this case, a woman more money in her pocket to expand a business, it -- they build new buildings. And when somebody builds a new building somebody has got to come and build the building. And when the building expanded it prevented additional opportunities for people to work."

This was last month but it's pretty special:

"All of us in America want there to be fairness when it comes to justice."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mere Men

I remember reading trashy women's magazines like Woman's Day from cover to cover as a kid on school holidays at our family holiday house. Not only was there no TV, but the house was in a place that had two public buildings: a phone booth and a toilet block. Yes, there was the beach, but we ended up being there in Winter a lot. We made our own fun. Sometimes we would stare for hours at the passing cars, and wave at the people who looked in the windows at us. So now you understand how thrilling a Charles and Diana Anniversary Special Edition 17 page spread could be to a ten year old. I remember there was a section where people would write in with little stories about stupid yet funny things their children/grandchildren had done (who all seemed to be called Miss Two or Master Five). There was another one called something like Mere Men, that was reserved for the same stories about husbands/brothers etc. Now I have such a story of my own:

After being away for two weeks, I returned home to notice that the dishwasing liquid was quite light in colour but almost full. I was quite impressed, thinking that Mere Man must have filled the empty bottle with water to make the most of the dregs. It was suprisingly bubbly and effective. I then noticed that it smelt not unfamiliar, but not as I had remembered. I looked in the kitchen cupboard, and saw that what had been an almost full bottle of Wool and Delicates clothes-washing detergent was now nearly empty...Admittedly, the phrase "seek medical advice if swallowed" was VERY small, and on the back of the bottle.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


A couple of days ago, I headed into my old uni for a spot of microfisching. I was after an unpublished thesis on Busby Berkely musicals. After spending a few minutes being puzzled by my failing attempts at communication with the librarian at the information desk* I got it all sorted, discovered some interesting and some uninteresting things about Mr Berkeley and also about Dr Steike who wrote the thesis. There were a few choice phrases that stood out, but this one is by far my favourite:
"The collapse of Berekely's five early marriages shows an apparent failure to deal with women." I love that he says "apparent failure", because we must never make statements in Cackademia that we cannot 100% back up. It is certainly possible that he married five women who were after green cards, or were really men, or maybe they all divorced him because he farted a lot. You can't be too careful.

*Me:I've never used the machines before.
Librarian: - - -
Me; Well, should I just go in there and try to figure it out for myself?
Librarian: - - -
Me: And just come back if I need any help?
Librarian: - - -
Me:Um, well is it very difficult?
Librarian: - - - well...I would say it's... ... ... relatively difficult....
>fortunately (for my sanity and for the professional pride of Librarian), at this point another librarian got off the phone and helped me out

Friday, October 19, 2007

Interweb: Friend of Foe?

I wish my life was a blog page.
I have always liked writing lists but now I feel the need for something a little more complicated. I have been writing a list of everything I need to do for my thesis, but I really need some pop up windows or side bars with extra info that is related to and will effect the progress of items on the list, but does not belong on the list itself.

I know that there are things available, but the ones designed by someone else are no good - it needs to be set out the way I want it so I know where to look for the info. Stupid Google Apps for example is about 5 screens of mostly useless lists of crap that I will never, ever need...why would I check the weather on my uni email account? Well that might actually be a good idea, but to find that I have to scroll through information for undergrads, stuff about discounts at The Quarry*, information on placements on the ScholarShip**... and while I am in rant mode, how is it that Google Apps Single Sign On for my uni email account now means it takes me three times as long to sign in as it did when there was no "Single Sign On". Or is the interweb just mocking me because I am not married and don't have a boyfriend?

So my question remains: is the interweb friend or foe?
And we find another set of questions has been posed: why do things at Macquarie have such cringe-worthy, dumb-ass names? what will be next? why can't they just keep things simple, like calling a refectory a refectory, or having summer school in a school instead of on a ship? Answers welcome.

*Oh hilARious - those crazy kids calling the MacQUARIE refectory "the 'quarry"... what a great joke!
**More hilarity - a SHIP that you sail around on and get extra credit points...come ON!! I can't believe the name let alone the concept is actually real

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Library Etiquette

I am "enjoying" a little sojourn in Adelaide for a few days, and have been spending my time in the Barr Smith library at Adelaide Uni. It's got me thinking about acceptable noise levels and mobile phone etiquette in such places. In the two days I have spent there so far, a few phones obviously on silent have gone off, but the people talk on them anyway.Kind of defeats the purpose of the silent mode... One guy planned his whole day very loudly, including asking for details on Nonna's movements (but not bowl ones as far as I could tell). So maybe it's not all that unacceptable, but I still feel a bit funny about it. Am I the only one? Because the other day, after someone's phone went off that wasn't silent, I thought to myself: It's embarrassing enough when your phone goes off in a library, but it's even worse when the ringtone is Savage Garden.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Standing Ovation

What is the deal with the standing ovation? I think that they should not be handed out willy nilly. I think that sometimes they are given away too freely, but maybe my criteria are just very different from other people's. I went to Berlin last night, part of Graeme Murphy's final season at the helm of Sydney Dance Company (did that sound like a press release or what?). I really enjoyed it but felt it was uneven in some ways; there were peaks and troughs. For me, to give a standing ovation, it should be impeccable and beyond technically perfect. There should be an extra "I don't know what", as the French would say if they spoke English. There were lots of great things about this show but it didn't move me. I will admit that I was very tired so maybe it was just me. But that brings me to another point - I'm not sure how I feel about the "mexican wave" standing ovation, where people stand up because the people around them have done so. If you think it is deserving of one then stand up. Don't stand up just becasue the person next to you thinks it is deserving of one.

But back to my thing about different criteria. Maybe last night they gave one because it was opening night (is there a separate protocol for this of which I am unaware?) and/or it is one of Murphy's final things with SDC. I personally don't think either of those things warrant a standing ovation, but perhaps to other people they do. Another awkward thing is that you need to think everything and everyone was amazing, because you can't half stand up, or have a neon sign over your head saying "This is for Johnny"... although I can see that catching on. So iOTA, if you read this, I would have given you a standing ovation, but I didn't have my neon sign handy.

Audience Celebrity Spots:
Tim Freedman
Paul Keating

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Trends For Summer 07/08

I thought I'd share my ideas on directions in which I see the season going. since now is the time we should all be thinking about updating our wardrobes (not to mention political affiliations and beliefs, literary tastes and other things that should all be colour co-ordinated).

Paradigm Shifts:
Chai is the new Latte
Gluten Intolerance is the new Vegetarian
Atheist is the new Mormon
Chrones is the new Chronic Fatigue

What's So Hot Right Now?:
Throws for the couch
Stories featuring Oprah's new gardening guru (Jamie Durie) and his sexy, secret, shameful, seedy past as a stripper
Making Emos Cry (that way everyone is happy)

Trends For the Future (2009 and beyond)
Blogs about tea
Thai Fisherman's hats, gloves and shoes
"Scientology is the new Black"
Austrlian Idol contestants' Greatest Hits compilations

I know that much of this is pretty profound stuff, so please feel free to make buttons, t shirts etc featuring any of these as slogans. I will not charge for copyright. Now go forth and be fashionable.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Hills Are Dead With The Sound of Music

What makes a film a musical? What makes a film a dance film? These and other exciting questions are being shouted at me from the windows of W6A (the world's second ugliest building*, and home to our questionably illustrious department) by DCMS staff and acolytes every time I cross the car park to enter.
...Ok, maybe I have a little cabin fever, and this is the result of a slightly crazed imagination. In reality, it's only one or two people doing the shouting. So, with all the carry on, I am thinking about this a lot and believe I have come up with the definitvie answer to the second one at least. Here it is: A dance film usually contains plot that is centerd around dance, and also some actual dancing. The most important element, however is that someone dies or is already dead. Let's look at some examples:
Save The Last Dance - mother dies
Flashdance - Hannah the mentor dies
The Red Shoes - dances herself to death
Bootmen - dead mother, AND the brother dies
Billy Elliot - dead mother
All That Jazz - protagonist dies
Dancer in the Dark - single mother who basically dies (but this is Arty, so can't be expected to follow the rules exactly. It needs to be Clever and Thought Provoking)

Does this work for musicals?
Sound of Music - dead mother
West Side Story - Tony dies
Moulin Rouge - Satine dies
Wizard of Oz -TWO witches die (plus Dorothy is an orphan)
Once - dead mother
Oliver - I can't remember this very well because I saw a school production and had to block a lot of it out (no offense Koala) but I have brought in a outside expert to help me with this list and he assures me that Nancy dies.
South Pacific - someone with a dumb name dies I think we get the point

There are loads more but the list is getting boring. One final comment is that lots of Disney movies like The Lion King also follow this theme.

I think this is pretty strong evidence. The End. By Sophie

*it's pretty well documented that the world's ugliest building is the one I currently live in. I personally don't agree with this, but then, I don't have to look at it because I am inside it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Shitney Spears and Not OK-Fed

Well, it's not so much those two that I want to rant about, as the terrible excuses for English you come across when you read comments posted by people on a Britters/K-Fed article. Lack of punctuation aside, I have a few problems with this one:

They are both trash and the kids belong with someone decent that can raise them to be good upstanding citizens. They are screwed up human beings if one would call them that*. These celebrities if that is what you call them# deserve far less if any media attention. The important issues in this country seemed to have far less if any priority than this garbage you keep reporting on^. Give Us a break

*You just did
#well it's what you just called them.
^But you still read it - didn't you?


Monday, October 1, 2007

I Would Like To Be Gentially Superior

The problem with third years is that they have usually learnt to self-edit, and don't write such funny things in their essays. I have been doing a bit of marking and it's really not as fun as it could be. Last semester, the best one I read was this: "These people are genitally superior". I'm still not sure what the student actually meant, because even "genetically superior" didn't make sense in the context.

In other news, the sun is shining, people are sailing boats outside my window etc blah blah blah... just a typical Sydney day. I'm not bored with sunshine precisely, but I think it is a little overused, kind of how I feel about that hyper-real, we-must-talk-to-one-another-quickly-and-while-wearing-black-overcoats-in-order-to-catch-the-perp aesthetic of crime shows on TV. I didn't demand it, but I am happy enough to engage with it for a while, even though it's always the same old same old.