Tuesday, May 29, 2012

flash protest with camp cow

No "bull markets" in Europe these days.

The bata de cola dress is a flamenco dress with a train. One ad for such a dress says “3 ruffles front, 8 ruffles back. Inner ruffles, 2 front, 5 back. Soft boning and full lining waist to end of the train”.

If it will give me some ‘tude, I’ll have one... the black and red one works best.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

snow business like show business

I’m off to Bairnsdale next weekend, while The Other stays to tutor in the morning, perform with Choir around lunchish, then go to a giant Gang Show reunion in the evening.

I wouldn’t dream of intruding on tutoring time, but am subj do get tutoring reports – the most recent, for example, explaining how to help someone remember the anatomical structure of the penis:
  1. Take a banana
  2. Peel top
  3. Bite top off banana [swallowing optional]
  4. Force tongue into central core of banana
  5. Observe how banana splits into three parts
No, I did not try it. Feigning disinterest I wait, knowing The Other would eventually have to demonstrate. It works.



Please. I’ve always found snow rather… well, samey. Postcards featuring snow invariably look like snow. Song lyrics often mention snow. Ho hum to someone who has rarely seen snow and is not in a hurry to see more.

Choir’s repertoire, for some reason, contains many songs referring to snow.
One piece has lyrics that go something like this:
The snow, snow, snow, snow [continue with snow until you reach the end of the verse and then return to the part that commences “snow”.]

‘What do you mean you can’t sing?’ asks Mrs B, formerly singing teacher of The Other and classmates in said choir, re-formed for the School’s 50th Anniversay. “Anyone can sing. I’ll give you an exercise to do to get you started, using Mary had a little lamb…”
Mentally racing through the lyrics I stop at “snow”.

What do I care if I can’t hold a tune? At least I have rhythm.

Gang Show.

Ah, I did see a few many years ago and even enjoyed them, but was never part of one. 
The Other is a natural, despite her lack of rhythm. The funniest person I have ever met, after the Gang Show era she and many talented mates went on to produce their own revues. It was after one of these a very kind celebrity of the time [may he RIP] sponsored The Other and some mates to attend the National Theatre drama school. Lookout world.

To this day, former students regale me with tales of memorable lectures about this or that aspect of Nursing, many of them featuring outlandish costumes and most undignified behaviour.
But, at a huge Gang Show reunion someone who was not a Guide/Scout, can’t hold a tune, and was never part of the shows could only be a third armpit.

Besides, the Gang Show Theme We’ll go riding along on the crest of a wave is only a bees dick away from songs about snow.


A cousin rang and asked me to help her with something. Next weekend? Perfect. Off to Bairnsdale’s beyonds for me.
If it snows while I’m there on the edges of the high country, I shall cry.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

faint echoes

a couple of ants short of a picnic/ tiles short of a bathroom
The list goes on and on.

better an empty house than a bad tenant
[“Pardon me”, my grandmother would say, “but like it said on the tombstone;
‘Where’re you be let your wind go free, for that were the death of me.’ ”]

couldn’t organise a %&$* in a brothel with a fist full of fivers
Ripleys: that was one of my grandmother’s favourites!

don’t shXX where you eat
Plain good sense; a metaphor appropriate to any number of situations.

not the full quid/ brightest crayon in the box
another endless list

dark as a dog’s guts
Alternatively, reference could be made to Jack Johnson’s bum. No idea who he is/was – I’m pretty sure his bum must have been dark.

a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock
Some years ago I met an Irish lass who was working for a huge horse agistment in the Strathbogie Shire. A lot of backpackers who know horses take these jobs, the average stay being about 3 months. She was convinced they were pulling her leg when explaining the morning’s first job was to chase the kangaroos from the [property’s] top paddock. They were, however, serious. The property is in a perfect location for anyone wanting to see koalas, ‘roos, owls and whatnots in their natural environment.

you look like you’ve lost a pound and found a sixpence
The modern equivalent would be “you look like you’ve lost $200 and found a fiver”. If you are struggling with the concept, you possibly have a champagne taste and a beer income.

my mouth is like the floor of a cocky’s cage
The standard response to this is “You’ve tasted the floor of a cocky’s cage ?!”
But seriously, unless a cocky has been penned up for years and would be vulnerable if set free, no cocky should be in a cage at all. Can’t blame them if they tell someone what they think of the accommodation.

never never
Not just a remote outback station, the never-never was a direct reference to Hire Purchase, a usurious device used by retailers to screw people with champagne tastes but only beer incomes.
‘Twas said, of my grandmother, “If a man came to the door selling sacks of cowshit for thruppence down and a penny a week, [she] would take six”. People can be so unkind. Especially when the cow had just croaked after being fed rhubarb leaves by my mother, then a child, and who was to prove forever besotted with any form of life other than human.

better to be sick than waste it
A depression era mentality which can only lead to a big fat depression in these days of huge, massive, ‘value-for-money’, all-you-can-eat meals. A motto like this, if taken seriously, could leave any woman ‘as wide as an axe handle’. Waste is in the mind of the beholder, whose eyes are sometimes too big for their belly. Closely related to the parental guilt trip “you should eat up, there are plenty of children in Africa/ India/ China who would be glad to have boiled cabbage”, the appropriate response [and often the first sign of a child’s independent spirit] being “here, send it to’em”.

a personality like a cross between a pit-bull and a lemon tree
Fans of pit bulls should feel free to change the breed. Incidentally, scientific studies have shown anyone able to suck fresh lemons or eat grapefruit has a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock.

air pie with no crust
A traditional response used by mothers everywhere to that question repeatedly asked by children “What’s for dinner?”. Someone I know, who did not grow up in Frankston invariably received a warning in reply “Shit with sugar on it – and you’ll eat it!”

silly as a wheel
Why is a wheel silly? Beats me.

useful as a hole in a pocket
Well, that’s what I say now as my previous preferred “useful” expression is no longer PC… nonetheless I urge you to consider the imagery of “useful as an ashtray on a motorbike”

mad as a two bob watch
Watches of the analogue kind were once expensive, and a good one made a great 21st birthday present. If a watch only cost two bob [20 cents] it was bound to be a dud, with the time it told a dead cert to be unreliable if not downright crazy. Now, of course, watches are digital and dirt cheap – a ten dollar watch will keep good time and, when the battery dies, it’s cheaper to buy a new watch than replace the battery. ,

all over the place like a mad woman’s breakfast
My grandmother used her own word for “breakfast”. What can I say? She had a colourful turn of phrase, but I loved her.

the wind will change and your face will stay like that
It never did.

Any child’s greatest revenge on an adult, especially used ad nauseam without any other word or weapon. Oh, except for ‘hurry up, I need to go to the toilet now’.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

the triangle tingles

The work I’ve been doing for the last 9 months is pretty jolly boring. No, that’s an understatement. The most boring job I’ve ever done before was folding underpants in a clothing sweatsh factory where no one ever spoke to me, but it was nowhere near as bad as this.

Ivan Denisovitch, in Solzhenitsin’s novel, works in unspeakable conditions in a Soviet gulag but is able to find a challenge in his work – building a pointless wall with useless bricks, each day he tries to see if he can lay more bricks than the day before.

What I’m doing now is staring at a screen, pushing buttons every few seconds and with every push feeling frustrated because I know I could fix what’s in front of me but I’m not allowed to. There is a point to this pointless exercise but it’s against every human instinct to do something the wrong way, all day every day, week after week and month after month. Well, I can’t say more than that because I serve the public and am sworn to secrecy – if I told you more than that I would have to kill you.

However, the people who hired me are not setting out to brainwash or torture, and they have kindly provided each of us mindless workers with a top notch set of headphones – to help ease the pain of seeming pointlessness we are allowed to bring in [commercially produced and therefore virus-free] CDs and listen to music while we grit our teeth and press ‘enter’.

The music has been a treat because I’m rarely able to listen to music in my own time, and my fellow morons team mates and I have swapped discs, found new music to like or dislike, and rediscovered old faves. This last week I’ve been revisiting Dylan.

It took a while [years ago] to accept his “voice” but I did come to like it – though Joanie’s is infinitely more bearable. I get the impression Bob could be an arrogant son of a sea-cook and sometimes his lyrics are viciously/hilarious, but he has managed to achieve two very remarkable things:
The first is that he has succeeded in creating music – and creating it well – in a variety of styles. There was the stream-of-consciousness folky protest stage; there was an electric stage; something muzakly relaxing on his Self Portrait album; his Nashville stage took the divorce and the sad dog out of country and western; there was some droll tom-foolery on The Basement Tapes he recorded with The Band; and some completely astounding music on his Desire album. [Strangely enough I ignored his born again phase so cannot comment on that.]

The second is that, without doing any actual research, I would venture his songs have had as many covers as Lennon-McCartney’s music.

It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I particularly like Farewell Angelina because the words have a pleasing rhyme and meter, throw up [mostly] nice images, all wrapped up in a very pleasing tune.

not MT at all

If you like good photos of Mother Nature's gifts, or if you'd like to do some armchair travel to Montana,
check out this site http://mtwaggin.blogspot.com.au