Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jeebus is sick of your prayers.

Yep, my boss is into Jeebus.
She uses the company gear and staff to print off the weekly church bulletin.
Which means we get to read it... And oh what fun it is.

Now a brief bit of background.
I'm not into Jeebus.
I'm not into someone else instead, I don't know that there is an omniscient presence that sees over us and I don't know if I believe in any kind of theism.
At the moment, I'm pretty happy in making my own decisions on all things existential and I don't need a god or a text to define my morals, thank you very much. I'd say my self-defined set of values and morals are pretty good. I'm not a philanderer, I may be slightly greedy, I do get jealous from time to time, but I'm not harming anyone. I think Buddhism would be the closest an organised religion would come to representing my interests. Although I'm probably a tad too militant to be a Buddhist.
Come to think of it, science is the best option when it comes to explaining my world.
And I'm happy for you to believe in whatever it is you choose to, just don't try to recruit me for any of your nonsense.
So the boss uses work for Jeebus tasks.
And whilst folding the Jeebus pamphlets, we have a read of what's happening in the church.

Friday: Pray that Mr Johansson will find help with his current difficulties.
Nice one. Single out the bankrupt guy for prayers. I'm sure that's what he needs because his overdraft mainly consists of hopes and dreams, so surely enough prayers should be worth something, right? That makes the church like a giant ATM. Cha-ching!

Saturday: Pray that the Youth Group has more people return to hear about the Lord's word.
Wait, what? You're praying for more people to come and learn how to pray? This is getting a bit too 'meta' for me. And tell your damn godsquad teens to leave me alone. I don't want your brochure and your hymns are old and shitty.

Sunday: May we pray that Pastor O'Brady's sermon reaches out to those who need it the most.
Again with the praying about praying. Since when did prayers become so self serving? Oh what? Always? Ok... Amen!

Monday: Pray that the children have enjoy themselves at playgroup and that The Lord may reach out to all of them.
Ok, that's a no no. No touching the children. Even if you are a deity. Also, don't kids do this anyways? I didn't go to church playgroup, but by hell did I have some fun in the heathen sandpits.

Tuesday: Let us pray that Sanyan Patang's chemotherapy is effective and that his family are looked over during this testing time.
Sounds like Mr Patang's been a-sinning! Ok, that's just poor taste, but seriously praying for science? Isn't that like the old cliche of fucking for virginity? Or eating for famine? Or fighting for peace? Granted it's nice they're supporting the family during a rough time, but praying for the chemotherapy to be effective? I imagine the people of the church stood around Mr Patang's hospital bed, holding their hands over him going "Wow-wow-wow-wow-wow-wow"
all psychic like.
You could call it Pray-diotherapy if you like. But I don't think it would help...
Maybe I'm just a pessimist.

And so the list of prayer targets went on.
This got me thinking that isn't it a bit selfish for this people to be praying over such minor things.?
And if you were Jeebus, or God or whichever one it is, wouldn't you be a bit pissed with people telling you about this stuff all the time.
It's be like being in high school again and having your mum constantly asking "Have you done your homework yet?"
No, but I'm about to, give me a chance dammit.
Likewise, Jeebus probably WAS going to help out Mr Patang, but you lot have been so damn annoying, asking him to do things every five minutes that Jeebus has cracked it and decided Mr Patang can sort himself out.
This goes for all of the suggested prayers. Praying for the children to enjoy playgroup? If I was Jeebus, I'd be like "Seriously you guys, fuck off. The kids can enjoy things themselves just fine. What you want me to do? Apparate or some shit? Is that what you want? You want me to apparate and do some baloon animals or something? Sheesh. Go find some real conundrums, ass-hats."

"Did you want a balloon animal or not? Now what's wrong? Oh your scalp is burning? Well go tell mummy to stop praying cos she's PISSING OF JESUS!!! God I hate kids... Hey, you there! What the fuck are those flowers for? Are they dandelions? God I hate dandelions..."

I do find the whole prayer thing to be very self-centred. I mean, shit, you want something? Why not work for it like everyone else. Stop being a slack ass and do the hard yards. Stop asking for money to come your way. Don't pray that life will get easier. No one likes a pussy. Especially one that spends their time praying that Jeebus will make everyone stop calling them Monobrow Mary. Here's a tip. If you want a deity that will fix that problem, screw Jeebus, go get a Venus and shave your damn eyebrow lady.

I think if everyone who spent time praying did something actually worthwhile instead, a shitload more good things would get done. Think about that next time you're kneeling in front of your bed. Instead of sitting there, hands clasped asking god to help you pass your mid semester exams, why don't you get out a fucking text book and do some actual reading.

If I never post again, know that God came under the cover of darkness and stole my soul away.

So today was a day of rage*, blaspheme and generally unwholesome outbursts. Probably not to be repeated, so if I've offended you**, do come back cos it's likely my other posts won't be so offensive. Probably.

* Regarding today's ...errr... outburst. I realised when i got home tonight that I hadn't eaten any lunch. And when I don't eat, I get super grumpy.
So if I had eaten lunch, I probably wouldn't have had such a tantrum this afternoon.
Rage and Biscuits is a bit of a misnomer now I think about it. If I have biscuits or any food for that matter, I don't get grumpy/rage-y... Maybe I should call this Rage or Biscuits.

**This post is all in jest, so please God, don't let anyone be offended by it. Kthxbai.

Vital signs returning to normal...

Apologies for massively furious vent.
Work is seriously shitful right now though.
After my little tantrum I spoke to my colleague about it and it turns out everyone (there's 4 of us) is feeling the same.
So i called a crisis meeting and now we're working on a problem/solution list to compile and take to the boss.

My boss is basically a 5 year old running a company. If she sees something shiny, then that's the new priority for her. Which means a fuck tonne of work then gets passed down onto me and my colleagues to 'sort out'. She has no people management skills and every time an issue is raised by myself or someone else, she turns the conversation into one about some new project she has in the works- the adult equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going "LALALALALA"
I feel like I'm screaming at a brick wall most of the time. Especially when she insists she has the final say on everything anyone does, yet is only in the office fleetingly, maybe for a total of 12 hours a week.
It's a nightmare.
But anyways, something constructive is coming from it as we're all compiling a list of issues and proposed solutions which will hopefully bring about some change.
I say hopefully as I have been through this exact process 3 times in 15 months here and nothing has changed apart from half the staff quitting. Oh and they haven't been replaced so what used to be 8 is now 4.
Whew.... Life can suck balls sometimes.
Oh well, this time next week I'll be boarding through knee deep powder in Italy.
Hells yeah!

PS: Actually, considering I'm a world away from my home, have the opportunity to do things like go snowboarding in Italy and get to curl up in bed at night with the coolest girl ever, my life isn't all that bad. High fives to life!

Fucking shit fucking piss.

Just when you think things are on the up, your job turns around and decides to be a fucking ass-hat.
Dumbass co workers/bosses who can't even CREATE A FUCKING BASIC SUM to add up two cells in excel and have to get you to show them.
Yes, this from someone who's apparently a company director. Specifically in charge of budgets and the like.
This certain colleague is also asking that I create paper files of everything I do on the computer. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? I'm not slaving away just because you're too much of a fat lazy fuck to actually use the tools you have.
And when i raise concerns about certain schedules for projects we're meant to be working on, I get told to ignore it and concentrate on something else..

Me: But, I really think this is important and we need to do this immediatel....
Boss: Drop it... Two weeks more won't matter, we'll come back to it then.

Now it's been three weeks and the other parties involved in said project are becoming irate and I'm the one that has to field their angry phone calls and apologise for incompetence i was trying to stop. Which means in this other party's eyes, I sound like a completely useless wanker.
Fuck this. Seriously, this job can fuck itself in the ass.
I'm sick of stupid c-words that won't work or are completely inflexible in their ways.

I flipped after yet another phone call today, threw my phone down and shouted 'Fuck this bullshit. This place is fucked!"
Luckily everyone knows how much of a spastic boss we have and how retarded the situation in this office is so it was agreed that things were in fact fucked.
This doesn't make my life any easier though as I now have to endure a shitstorm of rushed work which I was on track to avoiding before people started making printing out unnecessary shit and putting it into lever arch files a priority. Fuck right off you dense bunch of fucking r-tards.

Grr... If anyone so much as looks at me on the tube tonight, I could totally punch them.


End violent outburst.

Yep, today I'm putting the 'Rage' in 'Rage and Biscuits'
Normal blogging will resume shortly, promise.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My colleagues, on Australia:

You know when sometimes you're roped into something so absurd that it angers you because now you're implicated in a conversation that will go down as being one of the single most retarded things of all time?

Female Coworker1 (FCW1): Oh, I vomited once when I was underwater.

Female Coworker2 (FCW2): Oooh, gross! How?

FCW1: Well I was over in Australia (gesturing across the room towards me, because apparently, I'm Australia in it's entirety) and I was snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef and we'd had too much to drink the night before and I had the urge to throw up, so i pulled my snorkel out and vomited in the water.

FCW2: Oh that's disguting.

FCW1: Yeah i know, and then all the fish came up and were just eating it like 'chomp chomp chomp'. (Making chomping gestures with hand in front of her face)

FCW2: (Even more alarmed) Ewwww!

FCW1: Yeah they were like those little silver fish... (Pauses, shouts at me) Hey Jiminy, you know those silver fish that they have over there?(Placing hands about 30 cm apart which I assume serves to indicate the approximate size of the fish.)

Me: They have silver fish everywhere, FCW1.

Trying to identify a specific type of fish with 'silver' being the only descriptor is like trying to find a restaurant in India with 'unhygenic' as your sole clue. And no 'sole' wasn't intended as a fish pun. But it can be now I noticed it.

FCW1: Yeah, but you know the ones in Australia that swim around and then they'll be under a jetty in the shade?

Me: (Incredulously) Are you serious? It could have been a million types of fish. I mean, nearly all fish are silver and I don't know what fish you saw under a jetty. I have no idea what you're talking about.

FCW1: Oh well... (Then to FCW2) Yeah, well anyway., these fish were just swarming around eating all the vomit. It was crazy! (Doing 'swimming fish' AND chomping gestures with hands)

Oh. My. God.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Facelift, mofos!

I was sick of the black and white tube power cable photo in my header. It was too bland and boring.
I mean we're in the age of Web 2.0 aren't we?
I should have a plethora of shiny glossy buttons and loads of gradients and some kind of nifty widget in my sidebar that lets you book your holidays through your social network contacts whilst sms-ing your travel details and Flickr photostreams to your friends and family who can then use the included link to view the Youtube video of you dancing to your favourite Pandora station with your Myspace friends? I should have this! WHY DON'T I HAVE THIS!?!

Ah, where was I... Oh yes.. the photo
Compositionally, it was sheer brilliance and university professors around the world often emailed me to ask if they could use it in their textbooks.
I said no, go take your own pictures. They left me offerings of incense and small children and solemnly returned from whence the they came.
Ok, that's all lies. My photography isn't anything special at all. But at least this new shot isn't completely monotone.

I might post some other photos sometime soon too... Pictures make things pretty and I admit, the white and blue on black isn't the most engaging theme for my blog.
Until I wake up one morning and realise I have gained the magical skill of template production, I shall stick to adding pictures.

In other news:
Owing to a higher-than-usual influx of enquiries, non-blondie and I are working on a super secret awesome project, soon to be completed. We apologise for any interruptions to your service, but assure you its going to be vaguely interesting
But it shall be revealed soon...
Hold your breath! I dares ya!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Random Thought #12983

If I was deaf, I'd organise dinner parties for non-deaf guests and after a tasty dinner I'd suggest we play some parlour games. I'd let one of my hypothetical guests choose the first game, after that we'd have a nice dessert wine and then I'd always suggest we play charades.
And I'd fucking win everytime.
Having sign language in charades is like having a waterbottle full of EPO in the Tour de France.
And provided you were swift with the hand movements, your guests would be none the wiser. Mind you, you'd need a hypothetical co-conspirator, but that wouldn't be hard to sort out. Everyone wants to be a winner at charades.
Especially when all it takes is three swift hand movements and you can be all: "All Along The Watchtower! Jimi Hendrix!"
Hell yeah! How you like that hypothetical guests? Lured here with the promise of dinner, you're now forced to bow before the charades talent of your deaf host. Mwahahaha!!

See, I think my 'positive outlook' thing is a pretty robust philosophy.

Although if your hypothetical guests whipped out the Playstation and wanted to play Singstar, you'd be fucked.

Phone-y Business

Another normal day at work chasing people for this and that, organising something or other, managing a new project and occasionally answering the phone trying to help people out.
And then I get a phone call.

jiminycricket: Good morning, Place of Work, jiminy speaking. (Yes I have good phone etiquette, you plebes should try it out some time.)

random phoner-innerer: Hi

jc: Hi. What can I do for you?

rp-i: I would like to speak to *mumble mumble mumble*

jc: Ah, sorry who were you after?

rp-i: Bai Long Tong

jc: I'm really sorry I don't think anyone by that name works here, what was the name again?

rp-i: Bai... Long... Tong... last name Tong, T... O...

jc: Yes, I understand. We don't have anyone here by that name, was it something I could help you with? What was it regarding?

rp-i: Nothing. It's personal.

jc: Ah ok....

rp-i: *hangs up*

Bai Long Tong!
Haha.. I though that was what you did at the homewares store when you needed utensils to cook something on a really big fire.
Or perhaps I misheard and he said Buy Long Dong. In which case I'm freaked out as it looks like spam has now made the jump to telephony. I'm perfectly happy with my dong thank you sir. I would not care to upgrade. Next they'll be calling and offering me cheap poor quality replica watches: Bai Rong Klok?
Then i wondered if maybe I was having a prank played on me. I mean come on... Bai Long Tong??

Later on today i received another call. This time to my mobile from a number I didn't recognise.
I answered it and it's some guy from some company who found my CV on monster (which was put up in April 2007 and hasn't been touched since).
He offered me a job working in strategy for their Point Of Sale division.
Which is based in Rome.
What the hell? Rome! Me! Work! Strategy!
I had to decline as I'm kinda locked into my current work and I don't really want to uproot from London now that non-Blondie and I are are sorting out all our travel budgets and finding a new house and everything else.
So it's nice to be able to say I was offered a job in Rome, but nicer to say I've got an awesome girlfriend that i can travel all of Europe with very shortly.
(That has to be worth at least 10 brownie points, doesn't it?)

Friday, January 25, 2008

There's some sense behind all this, I swear.

Screw memes, I think the best way to gain some insight into what someone is like is to record what they do as a part of their daily goings on. And I decided that for blogging purposes, the best way to do this is to record all the search terms you use for one day.

And so...

Things I have entered into google today.

- Russia potato
- Vodka wheat
- Google reader alphabetical order
- jiminycricket
- Melbourne dust storm
- bloomsbury bowling lanes
- Namco southbank
- Network config mac
- Sheep stomach
- Autobots breaks
- Salary calculator

Also for a little further insight into my life:

Random excerpts from The Girl and my googlechat nonsense:

The Girl: careful
Me: Careful of babies!


Some time later....

Me: Maybe if I do this well while I'm here I can chisel myself into it so well that they'll NEED me to keep it running. Which i can definitely do from back home for 400 dollars a month
I will be the WEBMASTER!!!! WEBMASTER!!!!
Whoa, nerd klaxon is going bananas
The Girl: hahaha
yeah, that works
easiest way is to just not give them the account details
so they can't get control of it
Me: eggsackery
The Girl: and threaten to write horrible things on it and send it to their entire database if they dont pay you!
Me: hmm... i like your evil ways
The Girl: YES!
and kicked them when i did it!
The Girl: Also, i am now the proud owner of a laminated seating diagram. HUZZAH!
Me: v00t!

And then again, a little later...

The Girl: yes, it makes ACTUAL sense, not crazy jizzle sense
Me: lol
Crazee Jizzle
Lethal Bizzle
Dizzee Rascal
Kevizzle Ruddizzle
The Girl: kevizzle rizzduzzle
Me: lol, sweet
He pwned Johnizzle Howdizzle
The Girl: does the name 'davensac' make you think of something dirty
like, a butterflies testes?
Me: Like a man and his scrote...

Umm. what?
I don't even know what we were talking about. No doubt it was important...

Also I hereby trademark a term.
That term is 'capsident'.

Capsident™ is what you say whenever you accidentally bump the caps lock halfway through the sentence and stART TYPING IN CAPS FOR NO REASON.
If this happens to you, simply write "Sorry, capsident!" and any presumptions that you had begun yelling mid-sentence are waived. It saves you going back, deleting everything and retyping it.
I seriously own this term. I searched for it in google and it exists nowhere else on the internet. So it's mine.
™ Motherfuckers

In other news, my decision earlier this month to make an effort to be more positive has paid off.
At 5pm today, I received an email out of the blue from my boss with the subject 'Salary Review'
Fuck... I presumed bad news.
I read the email...
."..blah blah blah... We're very appreciative of your continued efforts and would like to offer you a 15% payrise, backdated to January 1st 2008."

Fuck yeah. So now I've worked myself into a position where my main repsonisbilities are the upkeep of our new IT systems and the development of our marketing strategy using a new corporate blog I've created.
The boss thinks what i'm doing is revolutionary. It's not. It's called Wordpress. But I'm gonna take all the credit I can get, cos it doesn't come around very often.
My boss also suggested I may want to maintain the blog after I've left England, which would be awesome. Getting paid in pounds while I'm back in Australia would be super awesome.

Will be interesting to see how it all pans out...

Good times... Things seem to be on the up for a change.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

All Aboard the Douche-Train.

Public Transport.
Now there's a topic no one EVER has anything to complain about!
But seriously, today was different. Tube journey was fine. All the way until I was a few stations from home.
I thought we stopped at Earl's Court, but apparently we stopped at Douche Park.
Captain Ass-hat and what I assumed to be his long-suffering girlfriend/wife boarded the train.
The guy was an arrogant South African who wore a pleather jacket, corduroy jeans and brown brushed-leather shoes. Oh, and his hair was slick, centre-parted and so greasy it looked like he was secreting enough oil to warrant a 'war on terror' on his scalp. (Ooh, political!)
Upon sitting down opposite me, he began his rant.
As you're all probably well aware, I'm partial to a bit of a rant myself. However I don't rant with a captive audience. You can click away at any time.
But I couldn't get the fuck away from this guy. He spoke at his partner, but for the benefit of everyone else.
"Don't expect anything in England. People are useless. Everyone does the bare minimum and don't ever expect anyone to have your back. It's disgusting. People are so lazy and I'm the only one who does anything at work. That Jodie, she's absolutely useless and I'll be the first one to laugh upon her demise after the boss reads my email about her. She makes terrible decisions and I hope she gets fired."
Way to alienate everyone within earshot, chump. I bet you have heaps of friends.
Moving to England and insulting English people on the tube is like going to Mardi Gras and complaining about street parades or going to Utah and picketing against mormons. You're gonna get hated at.
So while his voice boomed throughout the carriage, his wife sunk her head and nodded in embarrassed silence. I felt so sorry for her. If this guy was an egg, he'd have a little red ink dot marking that read "Class 1 free range asshole"
Now, before you go calling me a hypocrite, I'm conceding that I too sometimes have similar views on the English work ethic (except all you super English people that read this, you're ace.) but I usually air my grievances to The Girl in the comfort of our flat or to you guys over the internet and I don't publicly criticise the people I'm immediately surrounded by.
The worst part was, you could see this guy took some great satisfaction in knowing everyone could hear him. He was so smug and sure of himself that I wanted to vomit on his poncey brown shoes and press little wrinkles into his corduroy jeans, so he looked permanently disheveled.
In his head, you could see he fancied himself as a master orator. A modern day Marcus Antonius if you will. In reality he came across as a complete fuckwad.
The guy was such an asshole, I could imagine him taking great satisfaction sneaking around at night eating kids' dreams and wiping his sweaty, greasy palms on his corduroy pants.
Unfortunately I've been in London too long and my only reaction to this jackass' shenanigans was to stare at him disapprovingly.
So many people seem to validate their existence by making shitty remarks on public transport. You know when the station manager announces "Due to a signaling fault, the next train is delayed. We suggest you move to the Northern line platform and continue your journey from there." it's almost always followed by a middle-aged suit or a mad cat-lady yelling "Yeah well WE suggest you fix your damn trains!" as they look around nodding, expecting their fellow commuters to be applauding. This is always followed by everyone staring at the ground and quietly hating on the loudmouth. Wow, you're such a genius suit man/cat lady. You're voicing your opinion on things. Ooh and you're using mimicry to comic effect. People must think you're hilarious. Nice one. Go fuck a dog.
It's getting to the point now where I'm sick of people being idiots and I'm going to start saying something.
I'm not going to say just anything though. It'll be something incisive and witty like "Pull your head in" or "Pipe down" or "Go fuck a dog" or something.

Yeah, I'm gonna change the world.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fear not, I'm going insane!

At work today I was talking about Jaws from the old Bond movies. And the discussion went that people of extreme size, be they extremely tall or extremely small have a shorter life expectancy. Danny DeVito's name popped up and I concluded that he should be dead already because he's a tiny tiny midget.
Which got me thinking... Is there a guideline around when someone stops being short and starts being a Midget?
So I did me some research and apparently there is!
4 foot 10 inches. That's the cut off limit for being a midget.
This in turn got me thinking about people like Danny DeVito. He's five foot neat. Which means he's two inches off being a midget, and as such, is not entitled to all the benefits midgets are privy to, like entry to the Carnival of Little Folk, which is a tiny fairground made from Lego, in which midgets can ride the matchbox rollercoaster, enter the shoebox of horrors and look at the freak show, which is made up of even smaller midgets with moustaches.
I would be super pissed if I was four foot eleven. An inch away from midget-glory. Err... No innuendo please.

Someone at work also put on a cd entitled 'Songbirds', which unfortunately wasn't a new-age relaxation compilation with tie-dyed sleeve art. It was a collection of boring music by female singer songwriters which is meant to be soothing or something and possibly stop your ovaries from drying up as menopause approaches and making crackling sounds when you walk.
Anyway, it wasn't really to my liking and there was one particular song which came on that I found particularly annoying.
Now before I go on, I have to admit I have this amazing gift (or as The Girl would say, a fucking annoying habit) of having a kind of 'verbal shorthand', where I leave out important parts of what I'm saying and throw out seemingly random words.
So when asking who this particularly annoying song was by, I said "Is this the dead girl?"
Which in my head was a more concise form of "Is this artist Eva Cassidy, who after a battle with cancer, passed away leaving her music to be more widely recognised and a top selling album posthumously released?"
Needless to say, my colleagues, all of whom are female thought that calling her 'the dead girl' was highly insensitive.
Oh well... It made sense in my head.

I'm tired... Need sleep.
Pay day tomorrow. Fucking sweet.
Monthly pay is a shitbox idea.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

As if by magic...

... the sun comes out!

What the hell, England?
Just when I've made up my mind that I hate your weather and that you're generally a pretty miserable little island, you piss all the clouds off and fill the office with warm sunshine.

The downside to this is that your last 9 months of damp, grey darkness has rendered my skin translucent and now this sudden burst of toasty brightness is giving me a sunburnt pancreas.

I'm putting the 'cool' back in tentacle... *

I don't think I've ever been this pale... I'm all see-through like a jellyfish or something.
Which would be fine if I was bobbing about absorbing nutrients and stinging unwitting children somewhere in the Pacific, but unfortunately, I'm not.

Can't wait to get back for an Australian summer.

*Worst jellyfish pun ever. Sorry.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Funny.

- Silom Village out in Ealing. Tasty, good value Thai. Almost as good as home.
- Sunday sleeps on the couch.
- Running madly through crowds of people at Aldgate East, up one set of stairs and down another and making my train just as the door closed. Awesome
- The Girl's passionfruit and cream spongecake. Yum. Also her chicken with a red pepper sauce.

- Drunken crack fights on the bus on the way home from Ealing. Crazy Racist Irish Old Man fighting with Council Estate Mums. Surprisingly, Council Estate Mums showed a reasonable amount of restraint and managed to be the bigger people. Although there was some profanity screamed over the head of sleeping baby, they still came out the moral winners in my books.
- Having a couple of drinks and deciding it a good idea to buy 49p cherry wine from the bargain clearance bin at the supermarket. Anyone for robitussin flavoured alcohol? Gross.

- Guy on the train thinking he's super cool in his suave suit, cufflinks and wanker bleach-stripe hair do. All his efforts to exude an aura of cool were undone by the song playing through his headphones- TLC's 'Waterfalls'. I'm sure he would have argued that it was actually a Jacques Lu Cont white label mix, but I know it wasn't. Not so cool now Mr Suity Man. Ha. I bet he sings into his hair straightener of a morning.
- The story in this morning's Metro about Ronnie Campbell, the MP who was supporting National Fetish Week.
He even commented: 'I must have a thousand [fetishes] but, hand on my heart, I couldn't tell which is the most important one. Probably the horses.'
Later on he retracted all statements and withdrew his support for National Fetish Week. Apparently there was a misunderstanding as to the MP's definition of fetish. I think he's probably just a bit embarrassed by the publicity he's getting over his pony love.

Anyone else have any goods/bads/funnies/horse fetishes?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Super Helicopters and German Rappers and Crunk Teeth

Hey ho!
It's Friday night, non Blondie is working again and I'm bored at home. Life is sucky.

Luckily, there's distractions. I came home in a proper shit of a mood. I was going to go to the gym, but was too fucked off and I've ended up doing nothing.
Which brought me to here, the couch.
Which is where the distractions began.
The first distraction was the television show Airwolf, which randomly showed up on screen, possibly courtesy of my flatmate's poor taste.
Airwolf is the perfect combination of the worst acting, the stupidest plots and the best eyewear 1984 had to offer.

White suit guy's all like 1980's heli-pirate real estate agent or something.

This from imdb:
"Airwolf is a high tech helicopter created by a government agency called "THE FIRM". The scientist who created it, is also a bit deranged, he steals it and takes it to Libya. Deputy Director Michael Colesmith Briggs, codenamed Archangel, who oversaw the Airwolf project has to try and get it back. Stringfellow Hawke, the only other man other than the creator who knows how to fly Airwolf, is recruited by Archangel to go to Libya to try and get it back. Only problem is that Hawke is a bit of a loner and an introvert, and his fee for doing this job is that THE FIRM must locate his brother, who is MISSING IN ACTION in Vietnem, dead or alive"

Best. Storyline. Ever.
No doubt such a storyline leads to all kinds of conundrums. Luckily, no one knows how to blow up conundrums like secret agent dudes in super-helicopters!
I watched for five minutes and then distraction number two popped up.

Now I'm not that much of a fan of this gangsta rap nonsense. It's uber gay. Pimps and hoes and guns and knives and skunk and Cristal and caps and cribs and crack and lederhosen.
Yep, today's Guardian brings in the tale of a German rapper who goes by the moniker Massiv.

Summoning the power of Pec-Tiger, Massiv grew some shitty facial hair instantaneously.

He's been admitted to hospital after being shot in a supposed gang fight, with a bullet apparently grazing his shoulder. Police suspect however, that it was actually fabricated by Massiv and his posse to gain some street cred.
Which makes sense considering that "until two years ago the singer, who has convictions for drug dealing and threatening people with knives, was living in a one-room flat with his parents and sister..."
HA! That's so gangsta. A playa has to start somewhere though, I guess.

And no wonder all the haters be trying to stop him when he's rhyming like this:

"Here in the ghetto no one is satisfied with 300 euro a month benefit after deductions."

Fucking lol. How's that for flow!
It's like in the US how all the drug ads have a 20 second disclaimer detailing all the contraindications and fine print.
When he's rappin' bout dem bitches, I bet he'd be all like:

"I'm pimpin ass out, like bratwurst from a tin.
And i'm rollin' wid da money all dem bitches bringin' in....
Although they work no more than 4 hours straight, without a 15 minute break as required by the Working Time legislation, motherfuckers. Ho!"

Surely it would take more than a bullet graze to earn street cred in Germany. I mean, they make gang-fight bullet-graze fisting-porn over there, so I'm tipping he'd have to at least fellate a dog at the same time if he wanted to drum up some publicity.

But then, he'd probably have to take out his crunk teeth to do that... Conundrum!!!

We need Airwolf back to sort out this one!


I'm trying to decide on which blogging platform to use for previously mentioned work blog...
I'm very familiar with blogger and feel comfortable with it, but I'm not sure it looks professional enough. And not being particularly well versed in CSS, I'd be using a standard template with a custom header for the time being.
Aside from templates and what not, blogger seems to do everything I need to do: supports third party code, embeds media, and is flexible enough to allow things like Post Pages etc.

The other option I'm considering is WordPress.
The templates seem cleaner and less obviously branded than blogger templates which I like as it makes the blog look a little more independent and professional, which it needs to be.
The cons to this is that I don't have any real working knowledge in WordPress, (although i'm sure I can pick it up without any dramas) and that i'm not sure it supports some third party codes, especially any java in the template (sitemeter java code for example). Am i right that WordPress does have built in stats based on Google Analytics?
What's it like usability wise?
I don't want to create my own template yet and want to keep things simple initially so I can show the boss how effective the concept is before getting into nitty gritty template changes, so...
Nerds unite!!!
And provide me with some guidance, please!?

New and Improved. Now with 20 percent more awesome in every bite!

It's a good day!
I made my mind up last night that from today, I'm going to make a conscious effort to be more cheerful and not be so negative about things. I'm also not going to be as sensitive to little things that usually piss me off and get me mad and I'm generally going to try to be more fun to be around. Like I used to be. Before I became a scrooge.
So I'm thinking positive!
And everything's sweet. Just talked myself into a new job at work. Convinced our Chief Executive the best way to market our new stuff is through a blog, which is going to be super cool to set up and run, due to the sector i'm working in. So that makes me happy.
It's also Friday which is good news.

The only downside for me at the moment is that I'm having more pants issues, in that my blue jeans, which were also suffering from a faulty zip have also now become crotchless with a sizable hole in the err... crotchal region.
Luckily you can't see the hole normally but I'm going to have to be careful to mind my manners on the tube and keep my knees together.
But it's going to take more than that to shake my new found high spirits. Although I still reserve the right to hate on people that walk diagonally or that tow around stupid wheelie bag things.
If I become one of those obscenely happy people that reply to everything with "Oh, wow! That's so awesome!" or "Totally amazing" or "Good on you!", then you have my explicit consent to backhand me into a healthier state of cynicism and apathy.
Also, if you're on the tube tonight and can see a guy's boxers through a hole in his jeans, politely let him know as you could be saving me heaps of embarrassment.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Ok, this is pretty lame, but it's the easiest meme I've seen in a while. And by doing it, I'm probably pretty lame too... Damn... I hate it when I'm lame.

A - Age: 23. Or 4 if you ask The Girl
B - Band listening to right now: Manchester Orchestra. No they're not an actual orchestra and they're my favourite new discovery. (Listen to Where Have You Been? It's super cool.)
C - Career future: Self employed bazillionaire.
D - Dad’s name: Rob. Or Dad.
E - Easiest person to talk to: The Girl
F - Favorite type of shoe: A pair of DVS's I used to own that aren't made anymore. Or Vans slip-ons.
G – Grapes or Grapefruit: Grapes. Provided they've been peeled for me. Oh and they have to be seedless.
H – Hometown: Secret Location. A quaint NSW country town on the banks of a river.
I – Instrumental talent: Guitar. And a tiny bit of piano. Also FL Studio for electronic stuff.
J – Juice of choice: Apple, Orange, Celery, Carrot and Ginger.
K – Koala Bear or Panda Bear: Panda Bear. Because there's no such thing as a Koala BEAR. Sort it out, rest of the world... Geez.
L - Longest car ride ever: Hometown to Hervey Bay, QLD... Can't even remember how many hours. More than 10.
M – Middle name: Can't say... It would be instantly recognisable to anyone who might know me in the real world.
N - Number of jobs you’ve had: 10. Including part time supermarket gigs in high school.
O- OCD traits: Randomly highlighting text on screen as I read things. Anyone who is near me when I use a computer gets so pissed off with me doing this. Which is bad as I'm the IT contact at work.
P - Phobia[s]: None I can think of.
Q - Quote: At the moment: "... I live in a part of London, which for most of the time is on fire." James May.
R - Reason to smile: Umm... Happy things. Heaps of stuff. I don't like this question. There's my answer: Not this question.
S - Song you sang last: 'Where Have You Been?" - Manchester Orchestra. Albeit quietly while The Girl was having a shower.
T - Time you wake up: 6.40am
U - Unknown fact about me: When I was a tiny child I once ate dog poo. It was old and white but when my mum found me it had reconstituted to a brown sludge in my mouth, apparently. Gross. Don't hold this against me.
V - Vegetable you hate: Mushrooms. Mushrooms are the pubes of Satan.
W - Worst habit: Aforementioned text highlighting. Or leaving out important parts of what I'm saying to someone and giving them a seemingly unrelated bunch of words.
X - X-rays you’ve had: 2. Ankles. Ouch.
Y - Yummiest food my belly likes: Anything not containing mushrooms. Especially good Thai.
Z - Zodiac sign: Cancer

I'm not tagging anyone as I don't want you to feel obligated to participate in the lameness. But if you do have a go, let me know so I can see your ABC's.

I'm new to this blogging game, but I think etiquette dictates I should identify my source. So, I found this meme lurking over here.

Bed time now. Need sleeps.

Random Thing

You know which feeling is ALWAYS good?
Less itchy.
Less itchy is like the ace of spades in the feelings deck of cards.
Providing it's a G-rated set of playing cards that excludes abstract feelings like love and whatnot.

Sometimes my brain spits out random chunks of crap. And no matter how much you polish it, it's still crap. Only shinier.
Come to think of it, feeling shinier would probably be a pretty high card too. Unless it was like overactive-sebacious-glands-shiny, which is probably a two of diamonds or something shit like that.

Remind me not to blog when I'm tired.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Gym-iny Cricket

Ah the gym......
A place where like-minded people can gather, exercise and together, work towards their goals of ultimately achieving a healthier lifestyle and being a fitter/stronger/faster/slimmer person.
HA! Yeah right!
I was never really into gyms. Growing up, I was pretty isolated out on the farm... Not too much in the way of fitness centres. Nonetheless, I was and still am fairly fit and active. I played footy at an interstate level, I play mixed netball in a well regarded comp(Shush, it's an awesome game and if you're hating at me, I don't care), I snowboard, I slalom waterski and I run. Plus I did half-finish a degree in exercise science... That must count for something? It doesn't? Crap.
When I was younger the closest gym to me was about a 25 minute drive away. Unfortunately, the town the gym was located in had a... how do I do this tactfully... particularly unpleasant group of Italians that had a pretty rough reputation.
I hated them and unfortunately, the gym was their home. I mean, where else can one go to oil up their muscles, whistle at other guy's girlfriends whilst the guy is standing right there (it happened) and generally impose yourself on normal, easygoing people.
This bought about a distinct disdain for this particular gym and until I had settled in here in the UK (and by settled, I mean put on a bad number of kilos) I never ever wanted to go to a gym again.
Aforementioned kilos necessitated a gym membership however, and I joined the local one. Committing to pay a ridiculous amount to pick up heavy things and run on the spot inside their building, I pushed my hatred of gyms aside and entered with an open mind.
Which was promptly jammed shut.
My gym schedule consists of the following: free weights, treadmill, rowing machine, the circuit room and occasionally a yoga/body balance class.
I don't ask for much and I'm fairly autonomous, however there's another group of twats who've made my new gym their home.

"In just twelve weeks, you too can become a smarmy asshole! Wait.. What? You can see my wang? Shit."

This time it's the Polish Mafia. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not stereotyping or anything of the sort, it's just that this particular group of 8 or so guys really fucking shit me.
I sit on an empty bench and pick up some weights.
"Escoos me.. You be long?"
Yes I will be. I just sat down, so wait your fucking turn. Asshole.
So then the intimidation starts. Whilst I'm lying on the bench lifting away, one of them comes and stands right beside me, flexing and posing as he looks intently into the mirror.
Again, another of them will come up and ask "You be there much longer?"
Fuck. Right. Off.
I've been on here for 5 minutes, there's 50 other things you could be doing, but you've decided you want my bench.
It's horrible, the entire weights area is like their own little masturbatorium where they all stand around flexing and stroking each others biceps whilst rubbing their tiny steroid-shrunken hard ons.
OK, the last bit's not true, but the rest is.
They insist on yelling with every single rep. Bwoa! Bwoa! Bwoa! Bwoa! Ad infinitum.
Yes, we get it. You're lifting a heavy thing. Well done.
Not only that but they all walk around hissing when they exhale and standing over anyone else that's working out.
I think it might be a testosterone overload and they have to vent the excess hormone before they rupture a deltoid or something.
Why do people have to bring so much attitude to the gym?
No wonder there's women's-only gyms... If I was a girl, there's no way I'd want these assholes ogling me every time I walked past.
Can't people just work out without having to flex in the mirror every two reps?

Anyways enough of the ranting... I just had to get it out of the system.

Aside from the Polish Mafia. I like the gym. And now non-Blondie is working some nights, I get really bored, so the gym is a good place to whittle away the time.
Plus I can probably score some cheap horse steroids!

An aside: You know how the hole in a donut is like a little puckered kind of shape? Is it just me or does anyone else think big weightlifter guys look like a whole bunch of donut holes stuck together? Annoying, veiny donut holes. Ha! Best insult ever.

Anyone else have a issue with assholes at the gym? If so, any suggestions for disbanding/eradicating said assholes? Aside from 'Bring the pain' cos that's probably not likely to happen.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Whoa... Feedback

This is the funniest movie trailer I've seen in ages.
Unfortunately it's for a Jerry Seinfeld movie and I'm not much of a fan. Nonetheless, the trailer is gold.
I want someone like this to narrate my life.

'No, I like it in here!'

A Milestone in Pants

After a short hiatus, I've returned.
I was struggling for things to write about... I even had a go at the meme the girl did, but after a couple of hours of soul-searching I realised I couldn't come up with three things I was passionate about, let alone eight.
This was quite upsetting and I got rather angry at myself for having no direction and not being committed enough to stick at something long enough to develop a passion for it.
I mean, there's probably 10 things I really enjoy doing and that (I think) I am quite good at. The problem is, I lack the guts to pick one of these and stick at it. My biggest concern being I don't want to pick one thing then realise a year or two down the track I really wanted to be doing one of the other things I enjoy. How can I be sure that whatever I pick is what I actually WANT to do and am passionate about?
Thus my internal conflict raged on.
Long story short (and reinforcing my feelings of lacking in the commitment stakes*), I ditched the meme. I was looking forward to sharing my impeccable musical/cinematic/literary tastes with everyone, however you'll have to wait a little longer before the height of good taste in all things is revealed unto you. Or something...
Feeling frustrated and dejected, I got ready for work this morning.
After a small incident, which is to be described in a moment, I had the sudden realisation that I HAD actually achieved something!
Hooray, today marked a milestone!
The milestone being that until today, never EVER in my 23 and a half years on this earth had I ever had dysfunctional zippers on absolutely every pair of pants I own.
That's right people. I hear your gasps of shock and amazement. I am totally a winner.

Whilst dressing this morning, the zip on my favourite Original Penguin pants decided it hated all the up and down business and the two sides of my fly decided to go their separate days.
It was a cold walk to work today. Especially for the boys**.
This travelling caper is for chumps. Funds are limited and I don't want to buy tonnes of clothes only to have to pay more money to ship them back home or alternatively lug them all over Europe.
As such, I currently own 4 pairs of pants: Three pairs of jeans in varying colours (blue/grey) and my original penguins...
I liked the original penguins because not only were they suitably cool, they were also completely intact. Until this morning.
Now my entire collection of pants are kept in check by a sole safety pin, which I have to pull out of one pair and put into another whenever I change pants.
This means any time I'm wearing pants (which is most of the time), they're precariously slung about my hips held up by a tiny silver pin and a fuck-tonne of willpower. And sometimes a belt.
If you see me, standing on the tube, awkwardly grasping at my crotch, I promise I'm not a creep, I'm just being stabbed in the pubis by a dodgy safety pin. I thank you in advance for ignoring me and pretending nothing is happening.
Anyone else had any milestones at late? Also anyone have any advice for fixing pants?

* It's ok babe, I'm not lacking commitment in the relationship department. Don't make me sleep on the couch! Please! I have no pants to keep my legs warm!

** Yes, I'm talking about testicles.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

And now for something completely different.

A farm is kind of like a giant playground, but with heaps of things that will kill you.
As I grew up, I despised my parents for my horrible upbringing. Whilst my friends hung out at the beach, I was rounding up cattle in 40 degree heat. Whilst they rode around on BMX's, I was vaccinating sheep. Whilst they were flirting with girls, I was dragging a breeched calf out of it's mother's giant bovine vagina by it's placenta-coated hooves.
Sexy, no?
While everyone else was growing up normally, I was a victim of child labour. Slaving away because I was told it's what i had to do. Pull my weight.
And I hated it. I cursed my parents for putting me through it all, but looking back now, I wouldn't trade it as i had so many experiences that were so absurdly bizarre, it actually makes for good entertainment, even if the joke's on me!

I'm going to put the whole nostalgia thread on hold for a bit but I'll punctuate my future whining and complaining with some more stories of rural dysfunction.

So, next time you're back be prepared because I'll probably be complaining about the state of society or something.
Either that or I'll be full of joy as I've recently managed to convince the boss to take me out of my current role of drudgery and move me into something much more interesting.

More to come soon....

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

And that's how yours truly saved the day with a coke bottle.

A quick disclaimer:
For anyone who's just come along, this blog isn't dedicated to stories about some guy growing up on a farm. It's merely a phase which should end soon and I'll return to normal and blog about things like work and people and the price of a wheel of cheese.

Until then, sit tight and embrace the hick-ness.

Fires played a pretty big role in my upbringing.
Bushfires ravaged our farm when I was 8. Killed a lot of our livestock and left charred black sheep lying around. It was a completely alien environment, smouldering black piles dotted across smoking landscape. The sky glowed a dull, eerie orange and the skeletons of trees provided a canopy of embers as they slowly burned from the top down.
As an 8 year old this was pretty scary and you'd think it would give me a bad impression of fires. Bizarrely it did the opposite and now I've ended up a bit of a closet pyromaniac. Not a hedge-burning one, but more of a 'Oooh, fireworks' one. More on that later.

Dad and I were burning off some crop stubble one afternoon when the wind suddenly picked up and began swirling like crazy. There were dust devils starting to form and as they grew they picked up all the burning stubble, so there ended up being big towering columns of fire, which are to this day one of the most frightening things I've ever seen.
Of course, things couldn't go smoothly on our farm, so rather than gradually fizzing out, one of the columns of fire blew closer and closer to our giant big hay shed. Which it then hit. And subsequently set alight.
This was bad. Tens of thousands of hay bales all aflame as though we were hosting some kind of anti-marshmallow hate rally.
What was worse was when we noticed that around the other side of the shed, we had a family of rabbits which had set up home amongst the bales.
In complete terror the rabbits, which were also aflame, were running across the track...
...into our other hay shed.
Which was subsequently set on fire.
Luckily, we were insured, but a lot of time and resources were wasted, from rebuilding two sheds, to cleaning up the debris after the fires.
So that was a bit of a setback. But not enough to deter my interest in fire.

On an infinitely more dangerous scale, I had a close call with the flames not long after.

I can has machez?

Thinking it would be a fun experiment, a friend and I stole some bullets from our gun cabinet and rode our motorbikes off down the bush. Our plan was to light a small fire, place the bullets on top and then hide behind a tree and watch our own budget fireworks display.
Unfortunately we didn't think things through very well and our youthful boisterousness nearly got the better of us.
We stopped in what could probably be classified as dense redgum forest during what was definitely classified as a Total Fire Ban.
Lighting a small fire about the size of a saucer, we dumped the handful of bullets on top and hid behind a big solid tree.
We waited... Nothing.
We waited a little longer... Still nothing.
I stuck my head out from around the tree. Our little, saucer-sized fire had spread and was now about the size of a car tyre. This was bad. We thought we'd wait a little longer, as hopefully the bullets would go off, then we could put out the flames.
So we waited. Still no bullets.
Again, I stuck my head out from behind the tree.
By now, the fire was covering an area roughly the size of a double bed and was spreading quickly.
I was absolutely shitting myself. In my small child-mind, there were two options for us:
1) Run out and try to stomp on the fire, hoping that the bullets wouldn't go off and hit me.
2) Leave it until the bullets go off and then put it out. By which stage we'd have had a bushfire on our hands and would be responsible for burning down thousands of hectares of land and killing all manner of wildlife and quite possibly people. Sweet!

We went for option 1.
Running out from behind the tree, we started stomping on the edges of the fire. If we could stop the spread, then we'd be fine. Unfortunately, two small boys tiny stomping feet were absolutely fucking useless and by the time we'd stomped out one little section, there was another bit breaking away.
I was panicking so much I could barely breathe. We were failing, the fire was winning.
Then I spotted it. A dirty old squashed up 600ml coke bottle. And beside it a tiny puddle.
I ran over and grabbed the crushed brown plastic bottle and squeezed it back into a shape which vaguely resembled it's original form. I then plunged it into the puddle which probably contained enough water to fill the coke bottle twice.
Running back to the fire with my muddy water, I started pouring it around the edge of the ever expanding ring of fire. It was working! We were beating the fire!
And then all hell broke loose.
There were cracks and pings and bangs and whistles as the bullets reached critical heat and began exploding.
In my elation at being able to stop the fire spreading, I'd forgotten about the bullets.
And now I was no more than two metres away from them and it was like being on the front line. Bullets were whirring around in the air and shooting off in every direction.
I did my best to shield my face and head as I poured the rest of the bottle around the edge of the fire and dashed back behind the tree.
Panting, almost crying we waited until the bullets stop cracking and whizzing.
We then ran back over to the puddle, refilled the coke bottle and got back to trying to put out the fire.
Slowly we managed to contain it. We ended up taking off our shoes and socks, dipping our socks in the puddle and whacking the fire out.
By the end of it I was absolutely exhausted.
What was to be a bit of fun had turned into the biggest ordeal I'd ever had to deal with...
Worst of all, there was no way we could tell our parents what had happened, so we had to pull ourselves together and go back to the house acting as though nothing had happened. Which is difficult when you're a scared 10 year old that's wracked with guilt.

My parents still don't know about this.

Now I keep my pyromania sate by watching fireworks on TV. It's way safer and you don't end up with wet socks.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


So we're onto story number two in the 'Jiminy Grows Up' saga.

Story number two is a story of all the pets that came and went. And no I'm not going to bore you with stories of crappy little dogs that were so cute and oogie woogie baby shnookums, who's a little bubby wubby that shits on the floor so cutesy... No, none of that bullshit.

Growing up on a farm you're privy to more than the usual selection when it comes to pets. Sure I had cats, dogs and goldfish but I also had leeches, cows, sheep, a fox, random birds and so on..

So we'll kick it off with the cats. Nothing too exciting here. Most of our cats were feral cats we found somewhere on the farm. As such, most were insanely aggressive and would go from brushing against your leg to leaving claw marks in your scrotal regions for no reason. I don't know what happened to them all though. One got bitten by a snake and died. Another disappeared for a week, then randomly appeared halfway up a tree a few kilometers from our house. We still have that one. It eats alot of bugs. The rest must have exited with no real fanfare...

The Dogs.
We went through alot of dogs. Previously I'd portrayed my dad as someone who was into animals, someone that would go above and beyond the call of duty to save a drowning sheep, or rescue a butterfly or whatever.
Well scratch that, because now I'm going to portray him as he really is; A vicious killer.

Dog Number One: This was a playful, intelligent blue heeler that got excited about anything be it a shoe, a dragonfly or a tractor. It also had a penchant for sitting in the back of the ute and leaning out around the side. I told dad I didn't think the dog should be leaning out so far, but he gave me the 'Nah, it's fine!'. So I shrugged and assumed that dad knew best. As you have to when you're a child.
One day I come home from school and find out the dog's fallen out of the back of the ute and been squashed. I was shattered. I screamed at dad that I had told him this would happen. He looked at the ground, obviously upset for the loss of the dog. That was the end of Dog Number One.

Dog Number Two: This was a crazy, hyperactive kelpie puppy. It was rather fond of snapping at the wheels of anything that came close by- Tractor, motorbike, car, ute, bmx, anything. Again, I pointed this out to dad and suggested he tell it off should it continue it's dangerous ways. "Nah, it's fine!" I was told. Hmm... ok... I thought.
One day I get home from school. Mum somberly told me that Dog Number Two had been squashed whilst snapping at the tyres on the tractor that dad was driving. Again, cue yelling at dad. So that was the end of Dog Number Two.

Dog Number Three: A brand new border collie/kelpie cross. This was a playful little pup. Unfortunately, it too enjoyed chasing anything on wheels. Again, I told dad to berate it if it kept doing it. And he said... 'Nah, it'll be fine!"
A few weeks later. A very guilty looking dad tells me he ran over it on the motorbike.

I think that sums up the dogs. Also, I've stopped calling dad 'The Dog Killer' as I can tell he feels really guilty about having three dead dogs on his conscience.

The Cow.
Or more accurately, the steer. Larry was a tender hearted steer, orphaned at a young age and cared for by us. He was awesome. You could feed him, pat him and he would even let us ride him whilst he strolled about munching grass. Larry's downfall was that he was too attached to humans, so when we'd put him down the paddock with the rest of the cows he's see the lights of our house at night and would jump fences and walk through channels to come up and stomp around our verandah. Which became a pain, but wasn't too much of an issue.
Our laundry was a little weird and the only way to get to it was by walking outside as the laundry door only opened onto the verandah.
One fateful evening Larry was longing for some human interaction and came trundling up to the house. The laundry light was left on and thinking this would be his best option for getting some attention he decided to venture in.
Then came the mayhem. The only explanation we could come up with was that as Larry walked into the laundry, he bumped the door which swung shut behind him.
We heard what sounded like a wrecking ball wrapped in a mad cow and we got up and ran outside to see what all the commotion was about. Dad opened the door and then jumped back out of the way.
Now, as you all know, cows weren't blessed with particularly nimble extremities and with no way to open the door, poor Larry had panicked.

And by panicked, I mean shat all over everything.

So this mad animal comes hurtling out of the laundry, covered in a foul, slick green and takes off along the verandah and into the backyard.
We peered through the door.
Being a laundry, it contained numerous whitegoods; a washing machine, a dryer, a chest freezer and the hot water system.
These were now greengoods. The entire laundry was covered in smears of green cows shit.
There was even splatters halfway up the wall. "How does a cow shit up there?" Mum had asked.
A mass cleanup ensued as dad took the motorbike and escorted Larry back down the paddock.
After a few hours of scrubbing vomit-inducing shit off every surface in the laundry, we were all sent to bed. Mum was not happy. When dad got back from escorting the green beast, I heard mum having very stern words with him. Then I drifted off to sleep.
Life went on, I had school the next day and there was other things to worry about. After about a week, I noticed we hadn't seen Larry for a while.
"Where's Larry?" I'd asked dad.
"Oh... um.... he's... Ask your mother."
Which I did.
Mum responded to my question by taking me out to the now clean and sanitary laundry.
Opening the previously green chest freezer, she gestured inside.
Gazing in, I saw a massive stack of plastic bags with little stickers on them.
Chuck beef.
Stewing Steak.
Fillet Steak.
Coarse Mince.

I gasped as it dawned on me.
The freezer that had once been coated in Larry was now full of Larry.
"There's Larry." Mum said, grinning.

A few days after 'The Greening', Larry had been sent to the abattoirs and mum had the local butcher reduce Larry to bite size meal form.
As the immensity of the situation sunk in, I swallowed hard and vowed to myself that I'd never ever shit anywhere other than the toilet.

Thinking back, it could have been quite traumatic for a developing child to eat his former favourite pet. And it would have been, had I not had other things to worry about...

The Sheep.
Eggbert was the best pet ever. A merino lamb, abandoned by it's mother. A runt, if you will. Eggbert was found lying half dead in a paddock. We took him home, fed him milk formula and raised him up into a big strong lamb.
He played with the dogs and would come up for pats. It was like 'Babe' but a sheep instead of a pig. When we'd go to bring in all the other sheep, Eggbert would run along beside me on the motorbike, bumping around with the dogs, completely oblivious to the fact we were bringing all his fellow sheep in to be trucked off and slaughtered.
Life was good. Eggbert was happy. I was happy. Then one day Eggbert disappeared.
"Where's Eggbert dad?"
"Oh, we had to umm... send him off... with the rest of them."
My jaw dropped. So again, my parents had sent one of my pets off to be slaughtered.
"But he was a pet!!!" I shouted.
"Yeah, well what were you going to do with a pet sheep? It's just going to shit everywhere and when it gets older, you're not going to look after it."
Having just lost Dog Number Two recently, I retorted.
"Well, for starters I wouldn't have run over it."

Best call by a 9 year old ever. Or so I thought at the time. Moments before I rushed off and cried.

Next story: More tales from the farm. Or something. Unless I change my mind.

If you're sick of hearing about my childhood, please say so and I'll think of something more interesting to write about.
Or if you don't want to hear anything from someone who once called a pet Eggbert, I'll understand.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Waltzing Matilda, well kind of...

Story number one....
(See this post if you're wondering why I'm suddenly regaling you with stories of my childhood)
Now to set the scene:

The time: Sometime in the early nineties? Maybe? I can't recall exactly.

The setting: The family farm, rural Australia.
So droughts suck ass and during a period of my childhood we came to fairly tough times courtesy of that horrible little boy called 'El nino'.
Extended periods of drought brought on an almost complete collapse of primary industries, at least in our local area where 95 percent of farmers relied on irrigation to grow crops, feed stock etc.
It was a pretty grim time. The farm looked like more like a tattered paper bag. Brown, creased and bleak, the ground torn open by the burning hot sun.
All our crops were dried up and dead and we had to buy in feed from Queensland i think where they had a tiny bit more rain and were able to grow enough grain to sell.
We were only barely able to feed our numerous flocks of sheep and even then the heat took it's toll and many died from exhaustion, lack of water or hunger.

So enough of the scene setting.

I'll cut to the chase. This story is about my dad giving mouth to mouth resuscitation to a sheep.

In a small gully in one particular paddock, there was a tiny mud pool; the only remains of what was once a babbling little creek which used to flow through the property.
One day we were riding down to check on the sheep when dad pulled off to the side of the track, jumped off his motorbike, ran over to the fence clambered through and began wading into the knee deep mud.
I pulled up on the four wheeler (or quad bike for those of you whole call them that) thinking dad had finally lost the plot.
And it turned out he quite possibly had.
Turns out there is this dirty, mud caked ewe stuck in the mud, it's head partly submerged, it's back legs just sticking out to it's side, flailing. The sheep was drowning in the mud. Nasty.
So as dad's wading out into the mud, the sheep stops moving. I was only little, maybe 8 or 9, and it was a little disturbing and even upsetting. Thinking about it now, it was all kinds of symbolic in terms of the whole drought situation.

I was pretty upset as this poor sheep had just drowned in the mud, but dad waded out, grabbed the sheep and dragged it back out to the edge of the muddy pool.

So for me that was game over. Dead sheep. Oh well. There's still a few more around the place. No big deal. Apparently, I wasn't fully understanding of the situation. Little did I know that the financial situation was so dire that we needed every sheep we had and that things were ALOT more desperate than i had thought.
Like, wrap-your-lips-around-a-muddy-dead-sheep-and-pump-it's-soggy-
woolen-chest desperate.
Which is exactly what happened.
I looked on in amazement as dad channeled Hasselhoff and proceeded to give this ganky looking sheep the kiss of life...
After some time, the sheep kind of shook a bit and moved it's head a little. Dad was rapt. I was dumbfounded.
We carefully draped the barely conscious glob of animal over the back of the four wheeler and I drove it back to the hay shed where we built it an impromptu enclosure out of hay bales.
We then brought it some water and some feed.
For me life went on, I had school to go to and sandpits to dig in and whatnot...
A few days later the sheep died. Dad suspected pneumonia. I thought it probably was too old anyways. Dad said i was stupid and told me it was pneumonia. He wasn't very happy about it and i thought it best not to argue with a man who's willing to kiss a sheep.
A man who kisses a sheep has nothing to lose.

I find this all funny now and I've brought it up with Dad, who just mumbles and shakes his head dismissively. He probably doesn't appreciate me going "Hey Dad, remember the time you made out with a sheep?" in front of well, anyone actually.

Next Story: Pets- The Musical.

Growing up

Hello there chumps and chumpettes.
It's Friday afternoon here in gloomy London and I've resigned to the fact I'm probably not going to do any more work today.
In place of doing actual work, I've been thinking.
With the flurry of New Year's Resolution posts, I got thinking about what i'm doing, where I'm going and all those nonsense existential things. I'm not going to make claims about what I'm going to achieve in 2008, instead I'm going to start a succession of posts which document some of the interesting times which have bought me to where I am now. Maybe after this exercise I'll have a greater understanding of where to go from this point in my life.

So where to start...

My earliest memory is being on holidays in Queensland and walking around in the hull of a shipwreck on Fraser Island.

I think this is it? Is this still there? Does anyone know anything about it or was it a figment of my underdeveloped 3yr old imagination?

From there, I just remember a heap of things happening and I can't really put them into any kind of accurate timeline, so for a few posts, I'll just give you a snapshot of a moment in the life of a more innocent, optimistic and more enthusiastic jiminycricket.

So it begins.

*Cue next post*

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The dreaded return to work.

So, after the holiday bloat today marked the Dreaded Return To Place Of Employment Day.

I tried. I tried really hard. I tried projecting and all; Work would be good. My boss would cease her banshee-with-a-butterfly-mind ways and I'd be able to perform my job properly. The mad Welsh woman at work would for once not give me a story about one time when her and someone else did something which is loosely related to whatever it was I was previously talking about. Perhaps for once, I'd find the temperamental work microwave's 'Golden Period', which is the elusive perfect cook time, either side of which your lunch is either cold or exploded all over the inside.
Alas, no amount of positive thinking could bring me to rise above the 40 minute argument with my boss over how to get a certain font weight onto the new computers. This may not sound all that bad, but my boss is to computers as Hitler is to charity chocolate drives.
After printing out 15 pages in different fonts, changing the contrast on the printer because 'Maybe it's the printer not making it bold enough'... I finally just said I'd deal with it later and promptly blocked my mind from ever recalling to do this task.
Fed up, I emailed a recruitment agency I'd been in touch with when I first arrived in London and gave them a list of things I'd like in a job and prostrated myself before them, through the medium of email and willed them to find me a new job.

So please cross your fingers, squeeze your rosaries, throw peanuts to your Ganesha, do whatever you can to help the forces that be bring me a new job. Pleeeeeeease.

So my highlight of the day was when I heard the radio say "It looks like we could get snow here in London tonight". I couldn't help think that tonight at some dive in Brixton, a bunch of hip, jive cats are going to be bouncing to the 1993 number one hit 'Informer' with Canadian reggae/pop-rapper Snow.

Don't you remember? A licky boom boom down?

Unfortunately, I don't think this will be the case... I laughed inside a little though.
Incidentally, it turns out the name Snow is actually an acronym for Super Notorious Outrageous Whiteboy. It's true. Wiki says so. I thought maybe I could assume that acronym and update my CV accordingly.
Surely that would bring in the job offers.

Anyone else not enjoying this back-to-work rubbish?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Urge to kill rising....

I hope this isn't a sign of how the rest of the year's going to be...

My old employer in the US sent me through a cheque for the amount owing to me at the end of my contract, It was a relatively small amount of about US$400.
I subsequently went and lost the cheque whilst on the way to deposit it at my bank.
So i emailed the HR contact at my old work and in an effort to not look the fool, told them to cancel the cheque immediately as it had been damaged and was no longer legible.

This would prove to be a bad move.

After a number of emails, the HR guy in the US told me they didn't keep track of cheque payments and he'd have to go through all the cheque stubs manually to search out my cheque.
Way to run a large business, douchebags.

Some time passes and I'm getting eager to get my money, so I email Mr HR Guy again who tells me they found the cheque, and it's been cashed and has my signature on it.


So some dirty fucker has found my cheque, signed some bullshit and cashed in.

Now I'm left in this horrible predicament where I have all this anger, but I'm unsure as to where I should be directing it.

At the Cheque Finder? Well obviously, but not really. I'm not so angry at this person. To justify things in my head, I imagine the finder to be a poor homeless guy, who stumbles across a cheque, takes it to a dodgy bureau de change and cashes enough money to house and feed himself and Christopher; his one-armed, polio-ridden son. More likely it was one of the strung out crack fiends that live down the road, but I push that thought to the back of my mind.

Should I be angry with the person behind the counter at the bureau de change? Well yes. This is where my anger would most comfortably reside. Directed toward the incompetent fuck behind the counter who manages to cash a cheque that is in someone elses name and in a foreign currency. I'm sure you need ID or something to cash a cheque. Don't you have to put your driver's license number on the cheque as well? Or something? Anything? Arghhhhhh!!!

Unfortunately the only point I can come back to is that if I had initially told Mr HR Guy that I had lost the cheque, rather than told him it was 'damaged', I wouldn't be in this predicament. He could have cancelled the cheque immediately and there would be no problem. My tendency to post rationalise things in order to protect my ego tells me that the company is so incompetent they wouldn't have been able find the cheque to cancel it anyways, but I know this isn't the case.
Which only leaves me to blame myself.
And only being able to be angry at myself makes me angry too.
So now there's this snowball of anger rolling around inside me. An angerball if you will. Growing larger and angrier by the second..
I'm going to bed.
Fuck you 2008. You'd wanna be better when I wake up.