Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What fresh hell is this?

As I* was browsing the trade marks register of Australia for fashion tips (as you do), I came up with this tasty trend for summer.


Now, I could be wrong about what this means (fashion forecasting on the basis of a logo and its description is always a tricky business). If I am not wrong, people are trying to make a virtue out of the greatest fashion folly of our time, which results from the head-on collision of two fashion trends which have dominated the late nineties and early noughties, the g-string and hipsters.**

All I want to say about this is - just because it's been trade marked, doesn't make it OK.

But just in case, I am staying inside this summer.

*or my friend Caroline. That part is unimportant for the purpose of this anecdote, but props to Caro (who has also noted the entry of visible bra straps into the trade marks register).
** I know it was foreshadowed by the Brownlow catwalk a year or so ago. Still and all.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Art imitates life (or something)

If you have ever wondered how movie star-turned-politicians make decisions, look no further than their movies. I love ( a little bit, and am a little frightened by) Arnold Schwarzenegger's recap of the recent California special election:*

"If I would do another 'Terminator' movie I would have Terminator travel back in time and tell Arnold not to have a special election"**

And let's face it, Ronald Reagan's career makes a lot more sense if you assume he based it on Hellcats of the Navy . Just look at the review on IMDB:

This one ... arrives late in the post-war genre. Nobody in it is weak. The enemy is dehumanized, the dialogue trite and exhausted, the action scenes shot on the cheap, and the story is twisted, hard to follow, and sometimes pointless. ... The performers do as well as they can under the circumstances, although Nancy Reagan is definitely in the wrong part here. ... The cast has a lot of familiar faces, but none of them memorable because of their having given good performances elsewhere, only memorable because we've seen them so often before.

Let's pray James Earl Jones never enters politics.

*for once, it's about content as well as syntax.
** Yes, I'm aware this isn't immensely topical any more. It takes me a while to catch up on current affairsa

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A touchy issue

More on the 'when apparently innocent words and phrases are deeply wrong' front (an old theme for this blog), there is a sign near my work that troubles me every time I see it. It is for a masseur, and after opening with some new age guff about healing the mind and soul as well as the body, it ends with a line, bold and centred, saying:

you'll be touched.

I understand that being touched is pretty much the whole purposes of massage (except for reiki massage, which is a whole 'nother thing). But somehow, bringing it to the forefront of the mind like that makes it seem like they are offering sexual favours in exchange for cash. What I want to know is, why is it so?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lest we forget

This morning, as well as remembering the veterans at 11, I am going to give a quiet minute to remembering the Whitlam government. The first substantial anti-discrimination laws, a start to Aboriginal land rights (which was never fully realised), withdrawal from the Vietnam war, a focus on the environment and lots, lots more.*

Maintain your rage.

*Yes, ok, a terrible track record with money. But Gough's legacy is more than economic.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The chance of a lifetime!

While the Howard Government are overhauling the industrial relations laws , they are showing a distinct lack of vision about the other ways they could transform workplace culture. Why not follow the lead of the German company who have made smiling at work compulsory?* In the words of a company spokesperson,

Once it was part of the contract, however, our employees really started to think positively.** Mood is an important factor in productivity and everyone here works hard and is happy.

If you wanted to suggest that the draft legislation should be amended to include a provision of that kind (oh, and to express your support for any or all of (1) the abolition of unfair dismissal protection in work places with less than 100 employees, (2) making minimum wages lower and (3) replacing award safety nets with five minimum conditions and (4) generally creating a worker's paradise here in Australia), there's an opportunity to make submissions online to the Senate Committee. So get writing, and let John know you are with him all the way!

* Attentive readers will have realised that a specific provision to this effect will not be strictly necessary. With the changes to unfair dismissal provisions, most employers should be able to sack any unhappy campers, which is probably best for all concerned really. One door closes, etc.

**... about looking for another job (editor's addition)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


All right. I have come out of semi-retirement because I was tagged. Here's twenty things about me before I lapse back into silence. I tag Jo of Freeway 9 (who is the person Pete should really try to get blogging again) and Scott of Scott2Bcertain.

1. I play soccer. My dad's the goalie, and my sisters are also on the team. We are onto our seventh season. We have made it into six grand finals. We have lost six grand finals. At the end of last season, we were going to change our name to the Bridesmaids, but the guys on the team vetoed it as too cissy (cause losing six grand finals on the trot is really, like, macho). We are playing our seventh semi on Sunday. I wish I could say I was excited about it.
2. I am a vegetarian for ethical reasons, which I am proud of.
3. The thing that spurred me into being a vegetarian was the Save Toby website, which I am ashamed of (still, it's better to be a vego as a result of reading it than to donate money, which was my initial impulse).
4. I have no interest whatsoever in gardening.
5. I think I may actually be a shopaholic.
6. Janis Joplin's Bobbie McGee is one of my favourite songs. When I was little, my sister told me some wholly mythical (I think) story about how Janis Joplin stole the song from Kris Kristofferson after a messy break up and beat him to the recording studio with it. Even though I'm pretty sure it's a lie, I like the song better because of it. I spoke to Ted Egan recently (yep, all the big names here), and he told me he's recorded a version in Pitjantjara, which perturbs me for a number of reasons.
7. I wish I had one extraordinary talent.
8. I am a word nerd. Yesterday, I texted some people when I found out there was a cafe called Cafe Verb in Flemington, speculating whether it was active. I got a reply back saying that as it was near the train station, it was transitive. This amused me more than it should have.
9. I have two beautiful but exceptionally stupid dogs, one of whom is brain damaged from eating almost a whole packet of Nurofen as a puppy. We had to pump her stomach and keep her on her feet for 5 hours afterwards. I recently had to jump in the Yarra to save her because she liked the idea of swimming, but couldn't figure out how to do it once she was in. It was a five degree day.
10. My family are far and away the most important people in my life. When I think about how much I admire every one of them, I get a little choked up.
11. My other hero is Muhammad Ali. Such amazing grace. Whenever I am in a tough situation, I ask myself what he would have done. The answer is enlightening more often than you'd think.
12. I am a terrible cook. I would like to put this down to a lack of application, but suspect it has to do with a lack of aptitude.
13. I change my mind more than average - about little things (I am a nightmare to eat out with, and have chased more than one waiter back to the kitchen after immediately regretting an order) and about big ones (I thought Latham had just lost the plot when the book came out, and now I am starting to think again, although I think his way of delivering the message was ill thought out). But I tend to only change it once - I don't perpetually vacillate - and there are some issues on which I am the model of constancy (John Winston Howard is pretty much never getting my vote).
14. I have talked about quitting my job pretty much since I started it, in 2001. Secretly, I don't mind it. But it is almost time to move on.
15. I double book social engagements a lot, despite constantly suffering the consequences (and inflicting them on people I love). It's as if I have two separate diaries in my head, and I can't work out how to merge them.
16. I love Rock DJ far, far more than I should.
17. Planning the future is not my forte. Luckily, serendipity has worked well for me in the past but it may be time to start taking a more active role in my own life.
18. My favourite weekend of every year is spent on a houseboat on the Murray with some of my favourite people (including Pete from Glutbusters and his delightful girlfriend, known to the blognoscenti as the Redhead)
19. I have terrible, terrible taste in movies. I love Dirty Dancing (one of my favourite wedding stories is the chick who got her husband to learn all the moves from the dance at the end, including the lift, for their waltz) and I now cry within the first three scenes of Steel Magnolias at the sure knowledge of what's to come.
20. Postcards make me insanely jealous of whoever's travelling, even when they detail travel bugs in bilious detail, but I also love them and demand them from friends, acquaintances and near-strangers. I applied to work overseas after getting the last two (from Salt Lake City and Beijing).

Hmm. I'll be back when I can think of something more meaningful to say about Australian politics than the written equivalent of Edvard Munch.