|trivial tales from someone who's always in it|
Friday, February 28, 2003
Despite the Dreamboat’s assurances, I did indeed suck, but not to the degree I’d anticipated. It was a minor-league suck; the ‘Brandy and Dry Through an Average-Sized Straw’ kind of suck, and not a major-league ‘Double Chocolate Thickshake With Extra Ice-Cream Sucked Up Through A Piece Of Bucatini Pasta’ effort.
The Mighty Sand Fleas
While we were driving to the venue, the Dreamboat told me the name of our team: the Sand Fleas. I can live with that because the ‘flea’ part is a pretty accurate metaphor for my own stature when it comes to the world of sports. I’d come up with a couple of ideas for team names as well: “Eat Our Shorts” and “Die Screaming, You Muthas”, but the decision had already been made and I didn’t get the opportunity to plead their case.
The Puny Opposition
The opposing team was called Body Count. Initially, I thought this was to do with their expectation of wiping out all their competition, but as they were two players down last night I’m starting to wonder. If they’re three short next week, I’m going to suggest that someone call the authorities.
Soaking Up the Ambience
It was very hot and everyone was sweating profusely. The games were running behind, so I had plenty of time to watch the other players and absorb the fact that they were all caked in sand from head to foot. Some fairly serious psyching up was necessary at that point: “Don’t think of it as granulated murder that you’ll still be picking out of your crevices in three days’ time. Think of it as a free and very effective exfoliation agent.”
The Truth About Cats and Dogs
The passion with which some guys will quite literally hurl themselves into sports never fails to amaze me. They don’t seem to care that their spines weren’t designed to support their body weight in oblique contortions or that they’ve just come within a millimetre of stoving in their skulls or that they’re filthy and they stink. They love it. They can’t get enough of it. The Dreamboat is like this.
Women, on the other hand, seem to have a more strongly-developed sense of self-preservation. I’m not saying they don’t get passionate about sport; they just seem less willing to spend the remainder of their lives in wheelchairs.
And then you have women like me. When faced with the prospect of getting dirty and raising a sweat over something as meaningless as a rubber ball, they’re likely to turn to the nearest person and say, “Get that for me, darling, would you?”
These extremes are a bit like the difference between cats and dogs:
Dog Owner: Here is a little rubber ball. Over there is a pile of festering refuse which is separated from us by a chasm spanning 10 metres. I am now going to throw the ball into the refuse and you are going to retrieve it. OK?
Dog: Yeahyeahyeah! Thank you, master! You spoil me so much! Lemme at it! I’ll run as fast as I can, clear the chasm, root around in the rubbish, eat the more revolting bits, come back with the ball, throw up and eat some of that too. Then can we do it again? Huh? Please?
Cat Owner: Uhhh … I’m really sorry to disturb you, but would you please mind moving over a little so I can have a fraction of a corner of the pillow to myself?
Cat: Get real.
Cat Owner: Sorry.
The upshot of all of this where indoor beach volleyball is concerned is that a Dog Sand Flea goes home, has a shower and announces in a tone of wonder that he even had sand lodged in his bum-crack. The Cat Sand Flea smiles understandingly and goes back to removing those annoying three grains from her hair. And they both agree they can’t wait til next Thursday night so they can do it all again.
Thursday, February 27, 2003
In an act of consummate stupidity, I have joined a beach volleyball team. I don't know what I was thinking a couple of days ago when the Dreamboat said some guy at his work needed two players and was I interested, but it must have been something totally unrelated involving food, alcohol, a good rogering or interesting permutations thereof. I remember asking a couple of token questions to prove I was located in the correct space-time continuum – “Do I have to wear a bikini?” (no) and “Do I have to know how to play?” (don’t think so) – and then blurting out the frighteningly firm ‘Yeah, OK’ of No Return.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I had this notion that the team was going to get together, slap a ball around in a desultory fashion for ten minutes and then bugger off to the pub to get acquainted. But no. The Dreamboat informed me that we have to rock up to the venue (it's indoor beach volleyball, something I didn't know even existed) tonight at 7.15pm and play three games.
Niki: Three? No-one said anything about three.
DB: They're only 17 minutes long.
Niki: You're kidding. That's a bloody hour. I want out. I didn't think this through properly. I don’t want to spend a whole hour trying not to break my neck in a sand-pit.
DB: Don't worry about it. You'll be fine.
But I won’t be fine. I will totally suck at it. I know this from prior experience and I wish to hell the déjà vu had kicked in before I said yes rather than after.
It was back in the carefree days before Hubby #1 and I tied the knot. We hadn’t been going out long and I wanted to impress upon him and his family that I was a cool chick with a healthy sense of adventure.
Some of his friends had formed an indoor volleyball team and needed two players. They also needed a coach and asked Hubby #1’s older sister to do the honours. God knows why. She was a Jolly Round Person minus the ‘jolly’ part, and the only exercise I’d ever seen her perform was removing the cellophane wrapper from a new packet of cigarettes. Her husband, a weedy little guy who used to regularly show up on my doorstep at 10.30pm with requests to cash cheques so he could purchase more cigarettes to unwrap, also got involved. And thus, Nazi Boot-Camp was born.
They made us run over sand-dunes at 7 o'clock on Sunday mornings. My polite objections (“I’m a Creature of the Night. I don’t do mornings.”) were ignored. They procured a blackboard and gave complicated, rambling lectures on the mechanics of ‘setting up’ and ‘digging’ and ‘the spike’, mostly read aloud from books. They named the team ‘Hoozizit’ (‘whose is it?’ – presumably referring to the ball) and took vast sums of money from us to print this abomination on t-shirts which we were then forced to wear in public. In short, it was hell.
Those Who Can, Do; Those Who Can’t, Referee
It didn’t help that I sucked at indoor volleyball. I was so unremittingly dreadful that the Boot-Camp Nazis took me off the team and made me a referee instead.
“But I don’t know enough about the game to ref,” I protested.
“You’re intelligent, aren’t you?” they responded doubtfully. “You’ll pick it up.”
But I didn’t. I would stand on my little stool and blow my little whistle and wave vaguely at the net whenever it seemed too much uninterrupted play had gone on. My refereeing career ended after a couple of weeks when a team complained that the ref was a bloody moron who didn’t know what she was doing. I was demoted to ‘sideline cheerleader’.
After my removal, the good old Hoozizit team went from second-to-last in the competition to runners-up. They dispensed with the services of the Boot-Camp Nazis shortly thereafter, a decision which embittered them both greatly. I resolved never to attempt playing organised sport again.
And so here I am, years later, about to embark on a new round of humiliation – that of the Indoor Beach Volleyball Suck Artist. If any charitable souls want to wish me luck, feel free.
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
DB: I read your blog post about Saturday night's BBQ. It was funny. I loved it.
Niki: (preening) Really? Which bit did you love best?
DB: All of it ...
Niki: (nods in agreement because she has no modesty or shame)
DB: ... but especially the part where you said you "distinctly remember" taking Rufus home to bed.
Niki: Oh? Why's that?
DB: Because you didn't take Rufus home, babe. I did.
Niki: Oh shit. You did too.
He could've said nothing and just written it all in the Comments for me to find later, but he didn't. Therefore, I'm presenting him with the Hot Water prize for Excellent Show of Discretion and Restraint In The Face of Great Provocation. And, as usual, I win the Nong of the Week award.
Which is why I thought I'd mention it.
Monday, February 24, 2003
It's been five years since I had a dog around the place and I'd almost forgotten what it was like: the whole 'all-I'm-doing-is-lying-around-barely-breathing-but-I-can-still-shed-fur-over-every-surface-in-the-house' kind of thing. Not to mention the 'my-nose-has-an-undue-fascination-for-your-crotch' stuff, and the 'I-don't-care-that-you're-watching-a-DVD-because-I'm-here-and-I-want-all-your-attention' logic. And then there's the doggie pièce de résistance: the 'I-might-look-like-I'm-dead-but-just-open-that-fridge-door-and-watch-me-erupt-into-life' drama.
I'd forgotten the cool little pattering noise their claws make on hard surfaces and how they follow you from room to room and how good it feels to pretend that you're actually talking out loud to the dog and not to yourself. These things alone made it worth having him for those few days.
Anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time will know that I occasionally moan about not having a border collie called Baxter on which to lavish sickening amounts of affection. The Cosmic Brie, in this instance at least, obviously grew tired of my whining and decided to oblige. Sure, It produced a border collie/blue heeler cross called Rufus and only for four days, but it was far better than nothing. Which is why the Big Cheese can remain secure in the knowledge that It will remain my Delicatessen Deity of Choice for the forseeable future.
Sunday, February 23, 2003
Mid-afternoon today, the following conversation took place:
Niki: So did you enjoy last night?
Dreamboat: I think so. I don't remember any of it.
I, however, remember everything. I remember this:
Guest #1: Are you working yet, Niki?
Niki: No. Being the Dreamboat's ho is a full-time occupation.
I learned a lot too. I was informed there is a tiny town in WA that's a haven for anyone in Australia who's on the run from the law, which is useful to know if you're ever in that predicament. Apparently, you can go to the pub, strike up a conversation with someone and say, "So, what are you running from?" and they'll tell you. Just like that.
I distinctly remember taking Rufus home to bed and then all of us deciding at some ungodly hour of the morning to walk to Guest #3's brother's house to have a spa. Guest #3's brother is away on holiday. His spa was supposedly "only 200 metres down the road". In reality, it was about three times that.
When we finally arrived, Guest #3 was unable, for reasons I couldn't quite determine, to turn on any outside lights. The spa was completely empty. Guest #3 gave us a beer, said, "Well, we're off. See you later," and left with Guest #1. We sat in the dark clutching our beers for 20 seconds until the Dreamboat said, "Does anyone remember how to get home?" Sometime over the course of the night, he'd lost his glasses and was half-blind. He was half-blind for other reasons too, but losing his glasses didn't help.
Guest #2 ended up sleeping in our spare bedroom. He went home around 10.30 this morning. Much to my sorrow he didn't do the dishes before he left.
No doubt word of our hospitality, good food, generous alcohol supplies and willingness to travel in the wee small hours will quickly get around, and I suspect the Dreamboat and I will soon be on Karratha's social A-List. Rufus certainly enjoyed himself and it's only a matter of time before he starts bringing hordes of his doggie friends over to feast on burnt sausages and lamb chops. Who knows what next weekend will bring ...
Friday, February 21, 2003
1. Weight Loss
It's official: I've lost a shit-load of weight. I'd suspected this since Saturday night, when I detected a thin layer of air between my trousers and my thighs, but over the course of the week there's also been outside confirmation. My neighbour, for instance, said to me yesterday, "Jeeze, girl. You've lost a shit-load of weight." Okay, so I'd just agreed to look after her dog for four days while she went on holiday, but I'm sure the two events are unrelated.
When the Dreamboat and I signed up for personal training sessions at the gym, Sam (our trainer) took photos of us. She's sharp, that Sam. She made me pose with my legs apart so I couldn't jam them together and tuck all the surplus lard in behind. As you can see, the Dreamboat kindly agreed to pose with me in the 'before' shot to provide some scale.
The 'after' shot speaks for itself. In my opinion, you just can't go past the Nekkid Jungle Workout as an effective means of shedding that unsightly blubber.
2. Acquiring a Tan
I haven't had one of these for nigh on 15 years, and although my alabaster-and-freckled skin isn't the type that tans in the truest sense, there's some definite beige action going on.
The Dreamboat likes it. "I've never seen you with a tan before," he said a few weeks back. "I think it looks really good."
"But I don't want a tan," I protested. "I spend a lot of time and money trying to ensure I don't get a tan."
"Well, I think you look great," he replied.
That's all very nice but I really didn't want to cross 'Professional Goth' off my dwindling list of career opportunities.
What's So Disturbing? (In 25 Words Or More)
In a nutshell ... if I'm slim and healthy-looking I'll have less to moan on about to you lot. And then where would this blog be? For example: "Today I took my superbly-toned body down to the local pool. I no longer swim or perform anything energetic and distasteful like aqua-aerobics. I'm so buffed and brown now that the local council pays me to simply stroll around and inspire everyone else. After only 10 minutes it was clear that everybody there (including the babies) wanted to be me, and I knew my work was done. I spent the rest of the day fending off admirers and modelling in a tiresome photo shoot for Sports Illustrated. Tomorrow I'll tell you about my Brazilian wax."
It's just not the same, is it?
Sure, I'll always have the Silver Nether Thicket to fall back on, and I could probably spin a post or two around the subject of the line extending from the bottom of my nose to my top lip that's growing more noticeable by the day, but let's face it - Pale, Puffy and Frumpy was what made this blog truly great. (And kept it going until today - Hot Water's six month birthday. Yay!)
It looks as if we've all got a difficult adjustment period ahead of us. I'll try to eat more pasta and go back to swilling gallons of beer on an hourly basis but something tells me this awful New Me might very well be here to stay.
Thursday, February 20, 2003
Well, the meeting was fantastic. It was inspiring. It was well worth being there. Everyone was friendly, the time just flew and there was so much excitement and creativity around that people had to be physically restrained from climbing on their chairs and bursting into spontaneous haiku.
At least, I assume that's how it was. After driving around in the dark for half an hour trying to find the venue, I gave up in disgust and went home.
The Dreamboat, ever sensitive to the subtle nuances of my moods ("I drove around for half a f**king hour and stopped twice - twice! - to ask for f**king directions. No-one had even heard of the f**king place. And one of them was a f**king security guard, for Christ's sake. I hate this f**king s**thole of a town."), quickly assessed the situation and administered First Aid in the form of a bottle of red wine. Then, in a demonstration of quite remarkable devotion and selflessness, he sat with me through an entire 90 minute episode of Survivor Amazon.
I only have four weeks to locate this damned venue before the next meeting. Considering it took us two months to find the local nightclub, I don't fancy my chances, but maybe something good will come out of it after all - I'll write a book about my struggles. Working title: Survivor Karratha.
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
It was six weeks after I'd moved to Australia. I had just shifted house - if you can accurately call a converted cellar in a Sydney boarding establishment a 'house' - and was spending my first night in the new place. I was really looking forward to getting a good night's sleep because I hadn't had one in the whole time I'd lived in the cellar. Falling asleep inevitably meant waking up to find numerous little cockroaches busily skittering over my person and this had kind of put me off the whole 'catching some zzz' thing. It didn't exactly sell me on the attractions of living in a cellar either.
The only problem on that first night in my new heavenly abode was that I couldn't convince my brain it was safe to enter unconscious mode. It wouldn't believe me. It kept coming up with objections. It got bloody obnoxious and started reminding me in a hectoring tone of all the assurances I'd made to it in the past that had subsequently turned out to be inaccurate, like being a 'late bloomer' and amassing a huge fortune by the time I was 25. I considered drinking something alcoholic to kill off a few of its noisier cells and thereby shut it up, but the flat was empty except for all of my worldly goods (two suitcases) and a couple of utensils I'd borrowed from my new flatmate who hadn't yet moved in. In the end I resigned myself to another night of insomnia, threw a quilt and a pillow on the living-room floor, lay on my stomach next to them and started reading a newspaper.
The living-room was enormous and, apart from my bedding and me, totally empty. It was a hot night and there was no-one around to be horrified so I was clad only in a pair of cycling shorts and a bra. I was reading the classifieds and starting to get drowsy when I suddenly felt something run up my mostly-bare back. It moved so quickly that I thought I'd imagined it, but when it continued up the back of my neck and onto my head I had to accept the fact that I was being violated by a very real Something in possession of a lot of legs.
At this point I did two things, because panic is always a good incentive to multi-task. The first thing was to freeze. The second was to start imploring the Big Cheese to:
a) Pleasepleaseplease let it be a cockroach. Cockroaches aren't so bad. I could almost handle a cockroach.
b) Pleasepleaseplease not let this cockroach (it just has to be a cockroach) run down over my face.
c) Pleasepleaseplease just make it disappear. Vaporise the shit out of it, as a personal favour to me. Show me Your ineffable power, O Cosmic Brie. Justify my faith in You.
As usual, the Holy Fromage ignored me entirely, bastard dairy product that It is. Well, no. That's not altogether true. The multi-legged thing didn't run down my face, for which I will always be grateful. It jumped off at the point where hair meets forehead. It landed on the carpet about a foot away from me and squatted there, eyeing me with an expression of pure evil. It was a huge huntsman spider.
This thing had been crawling on me! It touched my skin! I took one look at it and immediately prepared to make Panic Response Number One, which involves screaming until either one is hoarse or the medication arrives. But this was all taking place at 2:15 on a Monday morning and I had just moved into one of twelve apartments with very thin walls. Panic Response Number One was out of the question, so I was forced to make do with Panic Response Number Two: sobbing "Ohfuckohfuckohfuckohfuck" for five minutes.
Eventually, I realised I'd have to do something. My brain was crowing, "See? Told you it wasn't safe" and unless I took some action I could see it never letting me sleep again for the rest of my life. I couldn't bring myself to try killing something so big, fast and disgusting so I grabbed a plastic takeaway container and threw it upside-down over the huntsman to imprison it. Unfortunately, the spider was bigger than the container and I was pressing down hard, so sizeable portions of spider legs remained at large. I slid a piece of newspaper underneath it and scooted the whole lot to the furthest corner of the room.
After half an hour of calming down to the point where I was only mildly hysterical, I turned off the light and tried to sleep. And then the bloody spider started throwing itself against the sides of the container. The repeated impacts made small but clearly audible thuds. The newspaper rustled. I didn't get a single wink of sleep the whole night.
When my flatmate arrived the next day, I was half-insane with exhaustion and the spider was still very much alive. He took it away and disposed of it. I didn't inquire into his methods.
It wasn't the only huntsman encounter I was to have in that flat but it was the most 'intimate'. I should've recognised it for the bad omen that it was, but my discoveries concerning the Chubby Psychotic and the Draconian Dunny Ban were yet to be made. One day their stories will be told.
Monday, February 17, 2003
I saw one of these the other night. It's called a Get The Fuck Away From Me spider, but in the sort of highbrow circles where I'm forbidden to mix, it's also known as a huntsman. If you're not familiar with cute Aussie arachnids, let me fill you in:
These things can grow to the size of a saucer (some varieties are much bigger). Yes, a saucer. A large saucer; not that diminutive piece of craftwork cradling your espresso cup. They're also fast. Very fast indeed. If a huntsman and I decided to have a friendly sprinting competition, just for the hell of it, I'd win by miles ... but that wouldn't mean huntsman spiders aren't really, really fast. It would just indicate that I'm really, really scared shitless.
Oh, and they bite. The reference source I checked (you don't really want a link to it, do you?) assured me that the bite of most varieties of huntsman is of low toxicity and won't cause anything other than 'localised pain and swelling'. It didn't mention anything about the subsequent cardiac arrest when you realise that a monstrous creature the size of a substantial piece of crockery has just been gnawing on your leg.
When I lived in Sydney I was introduced to a guessing game that's very popular among motorists. It's called 'is that fucking thing on the inside or the outside of the back window?' The spiders love this game and often add to the suspense by suddenly disappearing without a trace. It's a little-known fact that huntsman spiders have a great sense of humour and relish every opportunity to indulge in practical jokes and jolly japes.
Because the huntsman preys on other freakish forms of insect life like cockroaches, most Aussies I've met have been happy to tolerate them clumping around the house and leaving dirty footprints the size of babies' heads. Quite a few people I've known even have something approaching endearment for them, and would be horrified by the merest whispered hint of insect-spray involvement. This is because they are hippy lunatics.
As for me, well I've taken a leaf out of the Ancient Greeks' book. In a transparent attempt at appeasement, they flattered the horrific Furies by dubbing them The Kindly Ones. I took one look at the hairy little horror on the verandah roof the other night and promised to address it as Danny DeVito if only it refrained from eating me.
So far, it's worked.
Sunday, February 16, 2003
I wish he'd lived to see my little brother grow up. I wish he'd been alive when his grandchildren were born. I really wish he'd had the chance to meet the Dreamboat. I think they would've liked each other, even though Dad was notorious for hating every guy I went out with.
I suspect that my brothers, sister and I inherited our singular lack of worldly ambition from Dad. Not that he didn't have any himself, but he believed the most important thing was to do something you're passionate about. If you made money at it, well and good. His own passion was dance and he eked out a meagre living teaching it. He put it before everything else, including us, which drove the Dowager Empress crazy and me too, when I grew old enough to feel the lack.
It was because of Dad that I got involved in dance. You wouldn't believe it to look at me now, but I was a NZ champion ballroom dancer and at one point was ranked in the top six in the Asia-Pacific region. After he died I turned professional and kept going for a year or so, but eventually chucked it in because it wasn't the same.
Dad also got me into writing, in a weird sort of way. He saw a kid's poetry competition advertised in the local newspaper and encouraged me to enter. I was seven. I dutifully trotted into my bedroom with a pencil and paper and tried to come up with something. Two hours later, he came in to check up on me and found me crying with frustration. He didn't say anything. He just walked out and came back half an hour later with a poem he'd written himself. I had no qualms about passing it off as my own and sent it away a couple of days later. It came second and I was furious that the judges actually thought an eight-year-old girl called Julia had written a better poem than my Dad. When I went to the official prize-giving I poked out my tongue at her, poor girl.
I thought it best to confess this deceit now rather than later, just in case I become famous and the tabloid papers get hold of it - "Booker Prize Winning Writer's Illustrious Career Founded On Childhood Fraud", etc. If nothing else, the incident made me determined to excel at writing, to prove I could do it by myself.
Anyway ... I wanted to say something about Dad today and this is how it turned out. I don't know if it's come through in recent posts, but this was something of a rough week for me and this 'anniversary' has kind of capped it off. Normal impersonal fatuousness will resume tomorrow.
Saturday, February 15, 2003
... the Dreamboat only has to get that "Come hither, wench!" look in his eyes to remind me that every day is Valentine's Day in this house. Sometimes it's Valentine's Day more than once. You really needed to know that, didn't you?
The most surprising Valentine I ever got in that period of pre-history known as 'My 20s' came in the form of a dozen exquisite red roses waiting on my doorstep with an anonymous card urging me to be someone's Valentine Rose for ever. My boyfriend denied all knowledge and wasn't too thrilled when he saw that the mysterious flora dwarfed his own offering in size, quantity and overall swoon value.
I rang the florist in an effort to identify the sender, but she refused to divulge the information. Florists live by a strict Code of Silence in the way that doctors, priests, lawyers and journalists are meant to. The difference is, they mean it. I don't think they get enough credit for that.
The enigma was solved the next day when I got a visit from one of the people who lived in the flat downstairs. Louise and her boyfriend Paul had become staunch drinking buddies of ours. Many was the happy hour we'd spent scrabbling around for loose change with which to purchase illicit Sunday beer from the back door of a naughty pub on Manchester Street.
Louise: Wow, what beautiful flowers!
Niki: Yeah, they're stunning, aren't they? The thing is, the card wasn't signed. I don't have a clue who sent them.
Louise: Ooooh! A secret admirer. So you don't have any idea at all?
Niki: No. I even rang the florist but she wouldn't tell me.
Louise: (with a very intense look in her eyes) Are you sure you don't know?
Niki: (thinks) Oh. Okaaayyyy ...
Oddly enough, my boyfriend wasn't perturbed by this turn of events at all. In fact, he looked quite pleased. I'd even go so far as to say 'hopeful'. Until the day when a gay friend of Paul's approached him with the same intense look.
But that's another story.
Friday, February 14, 2003
Who else married someone who was born on Valentine's Day, so that it becomes one of those things you always remember even after you're divorced and not all that interested in remembering because you're ecstatically happy with the person you're now with and your stomach is still doing flip-flops from the sloppy cards and gorgeous orchids you received?
No-one? Ah, well.
Happy Birthday, C, wherever you are.
Thursday, February 13, 2003
I hate to admit it, but living in Karratha is really starting to get to me. I mean, really. Before we came here, friends who’d previously done tours in this neck of the woods told us we’d love it: the great social life, all the diving, snorkeling and civilised outings in boats one could wish for, the myriad opportunities for employment and continuing education … it sounded paradisial.
The only voice of dissension in the midst of this hallelujah chorus was our friend Jas, and if you’re reading this, Jas, I’m sorry to say you were right. The place is cliquey, political and, if you don’t have kids or employment and you’re not interested in studying Child Care 101, lonely as hell. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that the whole bloody planet is on the brink of war. Knowing my luck, the bastards will destroy everything just before my birthday and if I’m really fortunate I’ll live long enough to watch the celebratory smoked salmon in the fridge sprout eight eyes and start braying like a donkey.
But Enough of Morbidity
In an effort to cheer myself up, I decided I needed to Think Positive. Come on, Niki girl, I told myself. You’re supposed to be creative. Use your imagination. Think cheerful, uplifting thoughts and share them with all those nice people who read your blog.
Yes, I answered myself. Yes! I’ll cast my mind into the future as I want it to be. A future that doesn’t involve anything more complicated than a long, colourful life and an interesting old age complete with all the accoutrements I desire. And thus, it was born: the list of essential accessories for the crone that I hope one day to be.
1. Firstly, the look: a cross between Maggie Smith and Miss Haversham from Great Expectations – gaunt, razor-sharp and mean.
2. Wardrobe: black, of course. You can never go wrong with black. It’s elegant, sophisticated and will no doubt go perfectly with what’s left of my teeth. I’ll have black dresses, black hats with black veils, black shoes and stockings, black bloomers and black bras – if crones wear bras, on which subject I’m rather ignorant. At their age, I’m wondering if they just tuck their boobs into their knickers. Any crones reading this, please email and enlighten me ASAP.
3. Walking stick: I won’t need one because I intend to be agile and spry, but they're still de rigueur for all serious cronehood candidates. Mine must be black, with a silver handle carved into a likeness of John Howard’s head to remind me how influential and inspirational I’ve been to so many of the world’s great leaders. The tip of the cane must unscrew to reveal a wickedly honed blade so that I stand a fighting chance when all those Slayers attack me in the mistaken belief that I’m a vampire.
4. Twenty four hip-flasks: one for every hour of the day. If I end up being more rotund than originally intended, I want to suspend them from my hips utilising a customised belt-type arrangement that could double as a whip for driving off those pesky autograph-seekers.
5. A raven to sit on each shoulder: I picked up this nifty little idea from the Norse god Odin. However, my ravens shall be fitted with silver guano-scoopers and they will not be named Thought and Memory like Odin’s tatty avians. No indeed, my feathered friends shall be called Gin and Tonic.
6. A parasol/sun shade: the true mark of gentility. Mine must depict jungle scenes on a black background and be liberally sprinkled with images of tiny little people engaged in lewd and perverse acts, just in case the aged Dreamboat requires some inspiration.
7. A monocle suspended from a black silk cord: because they’re cool.
OK, that worked. I’m all cheered up now. Can’t wait to get old!
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
When I was a kid I was terrified of the dark. Not being able to see was frightening enough – for as long as I can remember, my greatest fear has always been losing my sight – but there was also the usual plethora of monsters to deal with.
Monsters I Have Met:
There were the vague, general monsters that caused frequent agonies of indecision about whether it was better to leave the bedroom door open (so you could see them coming and maybe get out in time) or closed (to keep them out). Every night for years I went through an elaborate ritual of checking under the beds, inside the wardrobe and (inexplicably) in the space between the Venetian blinds and the window panes, to ensure no errant fiends were lurking around waiting to devour me.
Then there was the monster that lived under the covers at the foot of the bed. I practiced my fledgling negotiation skills on this particular specimen: “You can have all the cold part down the end where my feet don’t reach if you promise not to crawl up when I’m asleep and grab me with your icy hands. But if you really want to grab something, go to that bed over there and grab my sister’s feet instead. She won’t mind.”
The worst monster of all was the one that came out of the toilet when you flushed it in the middle of the night and chased you down the hallway. If you weren’t quick enough, it would drag you back to the loo and force you to accompany it to its lair past the S-bend, where you would languish in poos, wees and misery forever.
The monster who lived in the dunny scared me so much that it took every ounce of courage I possessed to answer night-time calls of nature. On one occasion, the very thought of it was too much, so I peed on the polished wooden floor in front of my parents’ bedroom door and went cheerfully back to bed. The Dowager Empress my mother nearly broke her neck on the stuff the following morning and wasn’t impressed by my comprehensive explanation about the Dunny Monster.
Invisible Friends Should Be Heard and Not Seen
The only way I could calm myself down when I got frightened at night was by making up stories and telling them out loud to my invisible friend, whose name was Tarzan. As far as invisible friends go, Tarzan was superb. He even talked back. He specialised in telling me things I wasn’t supposed to know about:
4 year old Niki: Mummy, Uncle Neighbour sleeps in a different bedroom to Aunty Neighbour. And he plucks his eyebrows and files his nails just like you do and he has lots of ladies’ clothes in his wardrobe.
Dowager Empress: God in heaven! How do you know that?
4 year old Niki: Tarzan told me.
Tarzan was worldly-wise; I was a bit precocious. It was a potent combination.
A Very Scary Story Indeed
Ever since that time, whenever I’m nervous or frightened, I have a tendency to babble. There is no better illustration of this than when I decided to lose my virginity. I made an appointment with the local Family Planning clinic, got the whole contraception thing sorted out and announced to my boyfriend that it was time to get It over and done with. We selected a suitable night and betook ourselves off to the boudoir but the actual deed didn’t take place until three weeks later. It became something of a private joke between us. He’d say, “Shall we have a philosophical conversation?” and I’d know the proceedings were very likely to take a sweaty turn thenceforward.
Finally … The Point
You have probably worked out by now, O astute reader, that this whole post has been nothing more than one long babble. And that’s because I'm very nervous. What’s currently going on in the world is scaring the shit out of me. It worries me that the Dreamboat works at a large, profitable and strategically-located gas plant. I’m petrified at the thought of travelling overseas in July. There are still capricious monsters lurking around in dark places and the only way I know of dealing with it all is to tell stories to invisible friends ... which I guess means you lot.
And if I occasionally slip up and start calling you ‘Tarzan’, I hope you’ll understand.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
The letter's greeting was a little too formal for my liking - 'Dear Fellow Australian' as opposed to 'Nikilicious, My Vixen' - but I suppose right now Mr Howard doesn't want to be seen to be too obviously playing favourites with anyone other than George Bush. This is called 'diplomacy'.
The 'fellow Australian' bit was a nice touch ... very inclusive. He's such a warm, hospitable bloke, the PM. I think it's got something to do with his being a Leo.
I was tempted to scan in his signature and impress you all with my in-depth knowledge of handwriting as a tool of character analysis, but decided against it. Small, silly, harmless actions like this can be very easily mistaken for terrorism and I wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea. Suffice it to say that Mr Howard's signature definitely leans to the right. That should be enough to get you started.
Well, I read the letter and I read the booklet and then I turned my attention to the complimentary fridge magnet that completed the package (they think of everything, these government types. I guess that's why they rule the country). It adhered to my fridge after only four attempts, which I thought was damned impressive. I also really liked the space for recording important telephone numbers. Nothing promotes feelings of safety and security more effectively than knowing you have ready access to vital contact numbers for your hairdresser and the local pizza emporium.
Monday, February 10, 2003
A couple of the Dreamboat’s friends stayed with us on the weekend. It amazes me that anyone would voluntarily take time out of their exotic travel itineraries to come to Karratha (possibly Aboriginal for ‘Where Civilisation Comes To Die'), but I guess that just shows the high level of esteem in which the Dreamboat is held by everyone he’s ever met.
I hadn’t met Martin and Isobel before, but I knew they’d be terrific because all of the Dreamboat’s friends are. They’re very much like him, in fact – intelligent, successful, funny and partial to the odd tipple. I desperately wanted to make a good impression and almost managed to pull it off, but then Saturday night rolled around and Your Correspondent messed everything up with her usual lack of aplomb. All I can do now is illustrate in point fashion the Dos and Don’ts when you’re around people you want to impress:
1. Don’t drink two bottles of wine before going out to dinner. Sure, there are four of you drinking, but resist the temptation to do it anyway. Trust me.
2. A bottle of something containing bubbles is fine during the meal and won’t do you any harm (provided you’ve followed the advice in #1), but you might want to reconsider the four bottles of red wine that follow.
3. Don’t assume that the wild, abandoned dancing you’re doing in the bar later on is as much of a hit with the crowd as you think. The people you want to impress are good indicators of your success in this area. If they’re shielding their faces and edging towards the nearest exit, chances are you should restrain your Madonna-like propensity for grabbing parts of your own anatomy and whooping loudly.
4. Listen to your partner when he says going to the local nightclub (evocatively named ‘Trawlers’) afterwards isn’t a good idea. If you can hear your own voice growing ever more shrill, attribute it correctly to the influence of the Peasant Within who should always be ignored.
5. After watching the departure for home of the taxi containing your loved one and the people you want to impress, don’t fall into a bush.
6. When you defiantly decide to go to the local nightclub anyway as a matter of principle, it’s always a good idea to know in advance where it actually is.
7. After finding a couple of people who know the way and are happy for you to accompany them, don’t wait until you’re walking up the nightclub driveway to realise you have no money.
8. When you reach the entrance and unexpectedly see your loved one waiting for you by the door, hug him, apologise and promise to meekly go along with anything he wants. Don’t get involved in incoherent conversations with other nightclub patrons in the taxi queue unless you want to cringe with embarrassment to an even greater degree when you recall the night’s events on the morrow.
9. Hiding in bed until lunch-time the next day could be construed as cowardly.
10. Apologise profusely to your loved one and the people you want to impress. Accept any and all good-natured teasing as being the very least you deserve. Refrain from moaning too much about your hangover. Strive for exemplary behaviour over the rest of the weekend. Blanch with shame whenever you recall the incident and resolve, like Your Correspondent did, to become a Better Person.
Sunday, February 09, 2003
Hey! What are you naughty heathens doing, polluting your immortal souls by reading this sick, sinful rubbish ... on a Sunday, no less?
Flee this den of iniquity!
Get thee to church! (Or a nunnery.)
Saturday, February 08, 2003
Ugly Friends aren’t born into their positions. They generally start off as an Ugly something else and work their way up through the ranks.
I, for instance, actually began life as a Sweet Child. I remained so for four years, until my sister was born and everyone suddenly had a basis for comparison. It was generally agreed from that point that I’d set my flat little feet upon the first rung of the Ugly Friend ladder – I became the Ugly Sister.
My rise to Ugly Friend status was a steady one over the ensuing years, but spiked into absolute certainty at adolescence. When my sister also heeded the call of Life’s Hormonal Prompting and we started frequenting the sort of places that Life’s Hormonal Prompting suggests are good places to frequent, I had the dubious honour of being both the Ugly Sister and the Ugly Friend, which was rather confusing at the time, but logical if you think about it.
It was around this time that I realised there were different types and degrees of Ugly Friendhood. Here they are:
1. Common, Garden-Variety Ugly Friend
Not so easy to spot as you might think, because they’re usually concealed behind a mountain of everyone else’s coats, bags and drinks. The dedicated observer will, if diligent, spot the occasional glitter of a wistful eye as it reflects back the light of the strobes. Or it could just be a metallic button.
2. The Ugly Friend With a Big Mouth
A shocking combination because, as my sister and I agreed on the phone the other day, the Ugly Friend is supposed to Know Their Place. (That didn’t stop me from excelling in this category, however.)
3. The Ugly Friend With a Big Mouth Who’s Also Drunk
If you crave notoriety and want your excellent credentials as an Ugly Friend engraved in the minds of large numbers of people for ever and ever, this is the way to go.
4. The Ugly Friend Who’s Drunk, Crying and Throwing Up in Someone’s Garden
Every teenage party has one of these. A very clever method by which the female Ugly Friend can exact revenge on her more popular companion, who is forced to leave the arms of her Beautiful Stranger and act concerned – unless she wants to come across to her BS as a heartless bitch and bad friend.
5. The Ugly Friend Who Puts Out
Another specialty of the teenage female. While employing this tactic will guarantee her popularity of sorts, it’s generally only among other people’s Ugly Friends. But at least it keeps her busy.
6. The Ugly Friend Who Doesn’t Realise They’re the Ugly Friend
Isn’t this annoying? You’ve enticed your BS over to your table with a deft combination of physical allure and discreet applications of pheromone spray and you’re trying to have a conversation, but your Ugly Friend keeps butting in. You smile over clenched teeth and imply that your Ugly Friend might be more gainfully employed by procuring additional drinks or fucking off in some other useful way, but he or she persists in running through their repertoire of lame jokes and babbling on about how they plan to go to third world countries and teach the complete works of T S Eliot to impoverished locals. What’s worse is that your BS is listening with something approaching admiration. You can’t blame them because they don’t know any better, but your Ugly Friend’s behaviour is execrable and you have a sneaking suspicion he or she knows it. The nerve! This type of Ugly Friend quite often finds themselves on the receiving end of physical violence, but that’s ok. They then get to sue, use the payout for plastic surgery and marry their doctor.
Finally, if you believe you’ve been unjustly cast in the role of the Ugly Friend and don’t know what to do, here’s my advice:
1. Hang out with people less attractive than yourself. They’re bound to be around somewhere.
2. Get rich. People with lots of money are never Ugly Friends … at least, not to their face.
“So what next for you, Niki?” someone will probably never ask unless I invent them first. “Where does an Ugly Friend who has reached the pinnacle of her station many times over go to from here?” That’s easy. All I have to do is just wait for time to take its course until my nieces are old enough to fly to Australia for a holiday. Then I’ll assume the last and greatest of the Ugly roles – that of the Ugly Chaperon.
Thursday, February 06, 2003
Oh Ravishing Incandescent Star of Australia’s Otherwise Lacklustre West,
When an acquaintance of mine recently asked me about the concept of the Ugly Friend, I immediately recalled your mentioning something about it in that beautifully-written piece you dedicated to your gorgeous and effervescent sister. I thought if I asked nicely and was servile enough, you might be willing to enlighten him.
Praying you will one day deign to use me as a naked foot-stool,
Calvin (not my real name)
Don’t bother changing your name. You are a figment of my imagination. Obviously not the brightest figment ever plucked from the cast of thousands in my brain, either.
Now pay attention. The concept of the Ugly Friend may seem simple enough, but it is actually far more complex than you realize.
Here's the scene: you’re young and beautiful in the way that only people sans grey pubes, stretch marks and 10 superfluous kilos can be. You’re all scrubbed up and ready for a night on the prowl with your best friend. Both of you are hoping to score.
You look across the crowded bar/party/séance and your eyes meet and hold those of a Beautiful Stranger. You’re captivated. You’re besotted. You think you might be in with a chance. And then the BS nudges the person they’re standing next to. This person turns around and stares at you. Behold! The Ugly Friend.
(I want to interrupt briefly and draw your attention to the fact that what I’ve written so far is non gender-specific and doesn’t reinforce any sexual stereotypes. This is where you’re supposed to whistle softly and mutter, “Shit, she’s good.”)
So there are two of them and two of you. You’re all eyeing each other up. You know who you want, and you just kind of assume that your mate’s going to end up with the Ugly Friend. No hard feelings, of course. It’s just the way things are. And it never occurs to you that the object of your desire, for their part, is in the process of assessing you and your companion and reaching some sort of conclusion about which of you is the Ugly Friend. Embarrassing misunderstandings often occur at this point, simply because this important part of the process has been overlooked. I told you it was subtle.
I must emphasise here that the Ugly Friend is almost never ‘ugly’ in the strictest sense. True physical ugliness is far rarer than beauty. I can’t recall ever meeting anyone in real life who was bile-spatteringly putrid in the looks department. No, what determines Ugly Friend status is a matter of degree - one person is considered marginally less physically attractive than their companion. In another place, at another time, they might very well play the role of the BS themselves, and some other poor Ugly Friend will be left to watch the coats and bags and protect half-empty glasses from over-zealous table clearing staff.
It’s that arbitrary. It’s that unpredictable. It’s that exciting. And you thought your life was boring. For shame! How could life possibly be boring, knowing that every day we, and people like us, are wandering around classifying everyone we meet and being classified in like fashion ourselves? There's young Millicent, leaping out of bed and joyously cleaning her teeth, thinking, "I wonder what I'm going to be today - Beautiful Stranger or Bush Pig? Can't wait to find out!" Now that's the sort of joie de vivre that's sadly all too lacking in this world.
Meditate on this, O Lucius, until the next instalment, where I shall elaborate on the different types of Ugly Friend, how they’re created and what to do if you believe you've been cast in the role unfairly.
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
Go there if you're a lover of animals. Go there even if you prefer to remain Just Good Friends. And if you've ever been made to suffer for your deep appreciation of bird-shit aesthetics and feline experimental dance, go there and feel vindicated.
Then check out Kelly's moving accounts of her experiences with a few of God's little creatures. Confronting though these stories are, they're not enough to put me off dreaming of the day when I can have a border collie called Baxter and a fluffy tortoiseshell cat called The Dread Pirate Roberts all for my very own.
Not that I'm hinting or anything.
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
Remember two weeks ago? That was when Your Correspondent strutted her stuff in the local swimming pool having mistakenly donned a pair of the Dreamboat's undies instead of the lower section of her swimsuit. And last Tuesday? I'll never forget that one - the discovery of that first grey hair thriving in a place where the sun don't shine. (Actually, I'm kind of looking forward to acquiring a few more, so I can use the new name I dreamed up for that region: the Silver Nether-Thicket.) As for today ... well, read on.
It started at 9.00am with a hike over the hills behind the Karratha Information Centre with six other demented women. This was supposed to be in aid of a lost cause called 'fat burning'. The temperature was 39degC (roughly 95degF) and every fly in the southern hemisphere felt compelled to show up and cheer us on.
After 15 minutes: Niki has dropped back to second-to-last in the line. The woman behind her is really struggling. She has to stop a few times to rest, enabling Niki to pretend that she is only lagging behind to help and isn't on the brink of collapse herself - no way, nosirree, not our girl.
After 30 minutes: Niki is heard muttering, "Fuck this hiking shit. I am so over it." The woman behind her says, "You just read my mind."
After 40 minutes: Sam, our trainer (who is half-dead with the flu herself), is concerned about our condition and suggests we turn back. She runs ahead to inform the others. Niki watches her bounding over the rocks with all the vigour and stamina of a mountain goat but is too weak to applaud in admiration.
After 50 minutes: Niki keeps whimpering, "Never again. I am never fucking doing this again," over and over to herself as a kind of despairing mantra. The woman who was previously struggling has found her second wind and is now ahead, yelling encouraging motivational slogans over her shoulder.
After 60 minutes: Everyone else is gathered in the car-park sharing stories about how invigorating the experience has been. Meanwhile, Niki is crashing through the doors of the Information Centre, yelling, "Hi. I'm here for the air-conditioning." The concerned staff show her to a seat in the Centre's theatre, where she recovers sufficiently to watch part of a video presentation outlining the many outdoor attractions of the region.
After 70 minutes: Our tragically-flawed heroine goes to the pool and does some laps. Because she's an idiot.
So, just what did I take away from the experience? Sun-stroke and a blister the size of Cyprus on my right heel.
But it gets even better on this, the Tuesday From Hell, because today I found a new bodily imperfection. You might think I've got nothing else to do apart from scrutinising different parts of my anatomy and you'd be right. My only defence is that in a climate like this where one spends most their time wearing as little as possible, one is bound to make the occasional unsavoury discovery about one's person.
Today's revelation: stretch marks. Bloody stretch marks, snaking around the tops of my legs like albino tattoos. And I don't have any kids, so it's not like I can blame them and lock them in cupboards and generally make their lives hell for wrecking my once-perfect body.
Is this what old age in the 21st century is going to be like, I wonder - everyone appointed a designated day for icky surprises? They'd keep their diaries free on those days and say to their friends, "Sorry, folks, I can't play bowls on Thursdays. Last week it was liver spots, the Thursday before that my spleen exploded and tomorrow I'm expecting to excrete my colon." For this space cowgirl, it looks as if Tuesdays are going to be the days to watch out for.
Incidentally, I was born on a Wednesday. Those of you who know the rhyme might recall that 'Wednesday's child is full of woe.'
Monday, February 03, 2003
Jo is four years younger than me. She is married to a wonderful guy, has three beautiful, high-spirited daughters and is generally an all-round legend.
At her birth it was obvious to everyone that she was destined to be the Beauty of the family. I was the Beast. In actual fact I was meant to be the Brains, but my sister, not content with merely hogging all the pulchritude genes, snagged a very generous dollop of grey matter as well. This was my first inkling of just how unfair life can be.
It was Jo who introduced me to the concept of the Ugly Friend – a subject that deserves a post all to itself, and on which I’ll elaborate some time soon. When she reached adolescence and was forced to step over the prone bodies of salivating worshippers every time she left the house, she instructed me on how to talk to guys. (“I rule. You serve. You’re here solely for my entertainment.”) And that dance sensation of the 80s that shocked and scandalised the patrons of many a Christchurch nightclub – the “Funky Christ” – was her invention. (Feet and legs together, stand straight with outstretched arms, lower head and then swing it rapidly from side to side, preferably at twice the speed of the music. This is a dance that should only be attempted by inebriated professionals. Neither Jo nor I take any responsibility for resultant neck injuries.)
Other masterpieces to her credit include “Monster Dancing” (which, on a couple of extremely worrying occasions, even the Dowager Empress our mother has performed) and an obscure form of experimental dance called “Suzie Is A Liberated Lady” that I won’t even attempt to explain.
She is so quick-witted that in our younger days she was the only person in my world who could reduce me to tears of frustration in 30 seconds flat. When we got a bit older and decided to pool our resources, the result was truly horrifying. One of our friends, having listened to us tear a movie to bits one night, later said to me, “You two shouldn’t be allowed in the same room together. You bloody scare me. I’m not kidding.”
Another time, her then-boyfriend – who she’d been seeing for a few months and was quite smitten with - approached me wearing an expression of utter woe and said, “Do you know if Jo actually likes me? Sometimes I can’t tell.” I patted him on the shoulder and said, “Of course she does. Take it from me, she’s head over heels. I’m the one who can’t stand you.” To this day I’m not sure he ever believed it was meant as a joke.
As for the pick-up attempt … Jo was sitting in a bar on Rottnest Island when some guy who’d been ogling her since her arrival approached and uttered the immortal cliche, “Where have you been all my life?”
“Well, up until three weeks ago, I was a guy.”
Sunday, February 02, 2003
Although I am still in mourning following the departure of my friend the Supreme Being, I decided today it was time to get on with my life, such as it is. The Dreamboat and I were feeling a bit nostalgic, so we leapt into the fiery chariot and drove the way people do when they're driving very fast but still respecting the speed limit, to the local Video Ezy in the faint hope of finding a copy of Heathers.
I was amazed to discover they had it.
We grabbed it and kept browsing. I wandered through the Drama and Comedy sections, paused briefly to peruse the cover of a modern cinematic classic entitled "Teach Yourself Breakdancing" and stumbled into an aisle labelled "True Stories". It was there, alongside biographies and films like Escape From Alcatraz, that I saw Phoenix the Warrior. I really wouldn't bother following the link if I was you, but if you're wavering, just know that it was also released as "She Wolves of the Wasteland". That should be enough to make up your mind one way or the other.
What chilled my blood is that someone in the Karratha Video Ezy considers this film about a bunch of poor ladies who survive the Chromosome Wars, lose most of their clothes in the process and subsequently follow a despotic leader called "Bitch" to be a True Story. Hell, maybe it is. Maybe that's the sort of stuff that actually goes on in small Western Australian towns. I mean, who would know?
I am beginning to suspect that our taxi driver on Friday night was speaking in code when he talked about the "new bunch of school teachers" arriving in town. He was, in fact, trying to warn us that Karratha will shortly be overrun by mostly-naked warrior women who will deprive the male population of their valuable seed and then dispose of them in messy and violent ways. This explains a lot about why I haven't really made any female friends here yet. They're all waiting for the right moment. When the signal is given they'll seize me, force me to rip my best sarong in strategic places and transform me from an Outback Stepford Wife into a feral amazon brandishing a machete.
In the morning I am going to beg the Dreamboat to flee immediately to safety and take me with him. Somewhere like Rome or Tahiti would be nice, but to be honest, right now I'd settle for any place that doesn't have really frightening video stores.
Saturday, February 01, 2003
Last night the Dreamboat and I took the Supreme Being out for a farewell dinner. Over the course of the evening I heard a couple of very telling remarks which go a long way towards illustrating the temper of the times in Karratha:
1. It’s Cattle Market Season
Our taxi driver shared this little gem:
“All the young guys will be out on the prowl tonight. A new bunch of school teachers has just arrived in town and the blokes are out to snap them up. You should see them. It’s hilarious. They’re like a pack of wolves. Stick around in the bar after dinner and watch the show. Just make sure you stay together because any woman seen to be unattached will be fair game.”
2. Don’t Go Breakin’ Our Hearts
The waitress who looked after us is a kiwi. She’s been living in Karratha for six years. Here’s her take on the locals’ view of people like us:
“We tend to come across as stand-offish with newcomers, it’s true. But there’s a reason for it. We don’t see any point in making new friends because they always end up leaving when their project’s finished. And then we’re left behind, really missing them. After a while it gets too hard, so we stop bothering and just stick together instead.”
It’s in moments like the latter that I find myself wondering how the hell I’m going to survive a minimum of fifteen more months in this fucking town.
Nominated for stuff in the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Australian Blog Awards.
This means I should be taken very, very seriously. You hear me? Very.
meditate on this, Noddy
Hurley: Maybe the dog can find water. I mean, dogs can find pot and bombs, so I'm sure they can find water.
Created by JJ Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber and Damon Lindelof
Niki (Your Correspondent): a shy, retiring, sweet sort of soul who wouldn't say boo to a goose. Born in NZ of Irish parents, jumped across the ditch to Oz in 1998. Hates cabbage and has always craved a life of complete obscurity. So far, this wish has been granted. Dammit.
Karratha, Western Australia ... again.
from the cheap seats
"This person is not a team player."
High school Biology teacher
"... an idiot."
The Dowager Empress
"... powerfully irritating."
A former spouse
"... dangerously mischievous."
current attention grabbers
Curling up with:
The View From the Valley of Hell
Drowning out the world with:
Your Favourite Driving Songs
Staring fixedly at:
Directed by Jonathan King
Trying hard to:
Reassure The Cat about The Dog
other recommended blogs
Bad News Hughes
John Howard: P.M.
S.A.F.E. (Saving Animals From Euthanasia)
Bert Is Evil
Ask Sister Rossetta
the good old days
webrings and cliques
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