: : crazybrave has moved to <a href="http://crazybrave.net">http://crazybrave.net/</a>: October 2004

Sunday, October 31, 2004

50 ml red wine + $3000 toshiba = 0

Laptop off to the wreckery, tomorrow, I fear. Like Chris' recent email blackout, it has provided some time to think.

Mainly, I've been thinking about how much I wish I hadn't screwed up my beautiful computer, but also, about how a few months of exposure to the blogosphere has made me dissatisfied with print media.

I have always been a Herald reader. My Mum and Dad stayed with us this weekend, and the house was full of sections of the papers, at least three or four papers a day. But they've lost their appeal, especially the SMH, my lifelong staple. When I was an exchange student in Brazil, fat packets of cuttings would arrive every week with my mother's handwriting on the envelope. She had a serious car accident a month before I came home and the packets after that were addressed by Casio, the Brazilian kid living with Mum and Dad. He had to re-address the first one because it was in the car when her brakes failed and she drove into a coal truck, and it had been covered in her blood. Now I am annoyed at the piles of crap everyone, and my husbang is happy I can finally see his point.

Mums are good to have around at times like this. O and I went out on Friday night (which is very rare). We came home at quarter to two and the little guy was standing on the front door step in his red jarmies as we rode our bikes around the corner. He had woken up, found us absent and gone looking, while Mum and Dad snored obliviously on. Mum pointed out that this was actually a far worse thing than stuffing up an object that is replaceable with simple money. Which was very decent of her.

I am around at Ampersand Duck's house tonight having some whines and checkin' out the gear for her upcoming connubials. And I went for a two hour bike ride today with the husbang around the lake while my Aunty Tiser took the little guy to the zoo (he tried to climb into the monkey cage). So it's not all bad.

And thanks for all your kind comments. Sedge, you are a naughty man! - all the squillions of times I've had a glass of horrible plonk over that computer without a problem. The folks come to town and lash out, and look what I do.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Fuckety Fuck Fuck Fuck

I don't know whether it was the excitement that Carolinkus has fought off her demons and started blogging again, or my despair at the Senate result but I knocked my lovely glass of red into the laptop last night and I think it's very, very ill.

I'm letting it dry out for a bit, and then we'll see. In the meantime, I'm sitting in a scary internet cafe at the Belconnen Westfield with a horrible moulded brick red ceiling and it's upsetting me.

And goddamit Mike didn't get in. Hopefully I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

No, Alex, fingerpainting is after we invade North Korea

I took this picture on Sunday. I thought it might come in handy at some point in the future. But whaddaya know, as soon as Alexander Downer opened his mouth, out the crap comes.

Posted by Hello

This time it's "Downer floats media tip-off scenario in Baghdad bomb blast". What an enormous shame he didn't float the "rational thought" scenario, or the "speaking sense" one.

He told Southern Cross Radio:

"There's something that we are investigating which is that the media - some elements of the media, were on the site apparently within two minutes of the bomb going off," he said.

"Now there are some explanations for that.

"One of them is that the media may have just been nearby by coincidence.

"Another explanation is that somebody in the media was tipped-off about this and that was how they got there as quickly as they did."

There is another explanation for that, one which is noted in the article. "The blast occured about 350 metres from the Australian embassy and one of the hotels where many journalists are based."

Just as well John Martinkus wasn't there.

(And don't you just heart that Nabakov to death?)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Have I mentioned that I'm an exceedingly good cook?

And modest! And with a very great love for all kinds of cookery books. Except those with "donna hay" on the cover, although I will give her snaps for her pasta twirling tips.*

Tonight I was catching up with the man of action's side visits during his trip to Melbourne to run a marathon, and saw his post describing the finds he had made during a trawl of second hand bookshops, including a 1976 copy of the Larousse Gastronomique, Le Bible of french food and cookery.

My copy is a battered old beast of the 1979 edition, bought for twenty bucks about ten years ago. It is a wonderful reference, beautifully written and covering everyting from hippopotamus ("Large amphibious pachyderm whose flesh is much sought after for food by the African natives") to Claire, the "name of the marine enclosures in the Marennes region where the oysters are left to go green" (tempting, non?)

I would love it for my favourite entry alone: "HOAXES (Gastronomic) SUPERCHERIES GASTRONOMIQUES". In the usual exhaustive style of the rest of the work, we move calmly through the categories, from "Jest of a host" , via "To test the plate and discernment of a guest" right on to "Hoaxes dictated by events", and winding up with your straightfoward "Practical jokes".

A favourite is from the second category, where it is described how the scarcity caused by the siege of Paris in 1870-1871 led to the creation of a pie believed to be made of elephants from the zoo, but in fact made of mice. "And it was a bone, a mouse's bone, found in a pie dish that led to discovery of what lay at the bottom of the affair. But it was very good. And that, after all, was the main thing".

Isn't it, just?

* Hold long pasta in tongs high above plate. Lower pasta, slowly, twirling plate. Admire pretty circle of pasta. Strain head trying hard to remember anything else of value donna hay has ever said or done. Shrug in resigned fashion because, oh well, at least she's not in jail like Martha Stewart. Spend next five minutes idly fantasising about donna hay in Prisoner ironing machine type "incidents". Start to eat cold pasta, which has no sauce on it, because it's all in a pretty pile in the middle. Mix pasta properly. Enjoy.

More post election therapy

You may have already seen this anger management tool for those bereft by Howard's election victory.

Go and have another turn. It still feels good.


How come that whenever I indulge in blogger rage, which is quite rare, the only non-English language blogs that come up are in Portuguese? Which is the one language other than English that I can speak.

I won't link to any of them because (a) they're not very interesting and thus (b) not worth translating. And as I only speak supremely conversational teenage portuguese picked up as an exchange student, God knows how they'd come out.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

By their lycra, ye shall know them

It’s a quirky little place, Canberra, with its own charms and irritations.

F’rinstance, it shits me that you might be calmly scoping out some spunk in the Shop-Rite. You know, that husky outdoorsy type in a Kathmandu fleece* that Canberra does so well? And as your eyes drift downwards (no, further than that) you uncontrollably splutter with RAGE when you notice that the spunk SHAVES THEIR LEGS. Now tell me, how can you continue to consider someone to be a spunk when you see that?

It’s true that I do live not that far from the AIS. But there are such a large number of smooth legged fit looking chaps about that I find it impossible to believe they are all elite athletes obtaining a significant PB advantage from shaving their legs.

I mean, fine if they like it and all, but why then go about pretending ot be the husky, outdoorsy type? When you are obviously just a beefy gaylord? (BTW, am I the only person whose spellczecher automatically capitalises 'gaylord'?)

Perhaps this seems harsh. In general I have no issue with people doing what they will with their personal fur. But I mistrust these cyclists as they, their bikes, and their garish lycra clothing pollute the roads and cafes of Canberra every weekend. They are such monumental gear freaks that they have invented something called a "hydration pack" in order to have a drink of water when they're thirsty. They cost a hundred bucks, of course. Why can't they just refill the last squeezy bottle of water they bought, like normal people?

Perhaps I am becoming misanthropic and perhaps cycling is to be encouraged, given the kind of people who drive around here. But then again it's not the cycling I have a problem with, it's the appearance of cycling.

* Everyone - everyone - in Canberra, including babies, has an item of Kathmandu clothing. Me, it's a blue fleece, but at least I found mine in the park.

Please explain

Teenage boy walking down Atherton Street yesterday at about 4 o'clock: if it's so frickin' hot you have to take your shirt off and stuff it in your pants, why are you wearing a woolly beanie?

At least I know I'm not aged before my years, as I thought the snarl was a great accessory. But I'm very disappointed I didn't have my camera, Spirit Fingers style, to record this appalling fashion roadkill.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Mike speaks!

Tired of waiting to find out the final result in the ACT election, and unaccustomed as I am to checking the Canberra Times website, I couldn't help myself. I sent Mike an email.

Hi Mike, I only discovered your campaign very late in the piece and I have written about you at my weblog.

You may be surprised at your near universal appeal among female Canberra bloggers of my acquaintance! Last I saw you were a couple of hundred votes up - we are all thinking of you at what must be a difficult time.

If you are interested, you can check it out at http://crazybrave.blogspot.com/2004/10/we-like-our-mike.html


I restrained myself to one exclamation mark. But Mike answered! Exclamation mark!

I'm too cool for school to just plunk his email up here, having not checked with him or anything, but here's a precis:

- Mike is pretty stoked with the admiration coming from Canberra girl bloggers
- Mike is sick of waiting for the final countdown (doot do doo doo ..., etc)
- Mike is sad (OK, my word) that he couldn't meet (OK, doorknock) me in person and all
- One little quote "If the votes come in right, I look forward to future e-mails as your MLA."

Me too, Mike, me too. But I promise I will leave you alone now. Best of luck, buddy.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Pray for Mike

I am dearly hoping that Mike can get there, if a little huffy that Ampersand Duck got to see him in the flesh at the polling booth.

But the dang ACT election website hasn't updated its online count since yesterday evening. Things move a little more slowly here.

So pray for Mike. Here is an image from his website to help you focus - try to ignore that you can see he's standing in front of a big telly and looking in slightly the wrong direction.

tragic mike

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Swings and Roundabouts

Well, it's a big fat swing to the ALP, bless my fellow Canberrans.

There's even a slim chance that Marvellous Mike may get up. I am just so totally crushed that I didn't find out about him until Friday night, I would have been out there every minute of the day encouraging everyone to "Make it Mike!". Not that anyresemblance would need any encouragement, she completely hearts him already.

(And thank you so very much to my friend Steev, who snuck around while we were at the Murrumbatemen field day admiring fancy chooks and letting the little guy sit in tractors and popped a "Make it Mike!" sign in my front yard. You are a prince amongst men.)

Some attention is being paid to this matter over at Back Pages. Bizarrely, no mention of Mike.

Saturday, October 16, 2004


Come home, the streetlights are on and your dinner's getting cold.

Beezelbublog was tops, if a bugger to spell. Sadly, Carolinkus has called it a day. Let us know when you're back

Update: and now I've gone and put up that moon phase calendar I've always coveted. Cheers.

Friday, October 15, 2004

We like our Mike!

Our Mike! Posted by Hello

The fun never stops in Canberra.

Not content with a thorough drubbing last weekend, this weekend we have to front up at the Downer shops to vote again, this time for the ACT Legislative Assembly.

The ACT elections – which I have never voted in before, as I was a student when I first lived here and it wasn’t much point moving my Labor vote from a dead safe Hunter seat to a dead safe Canberra seat – are what Kath and Kim might call “different” and “unusual”.

For a start, there are three electorates, one of which elects seven candidates, and the other two of elect five candidates. The ballot papers list the names within each group randomly, which is a bugger if you can’t hand out how-to-votes at the polling stations.

Gloomy, pal of the marvellous Psephites, has already extolled the virtues of one of our novelty candidates, Kurt Kennedy, who is big on fruit trees, living near your parents and palindromic music.

If you are, like me, a dyed in the wool Labor voter (who may have strayed briefly to the Greens but I was in my twenties then goddamit, and you can’t hold that against me*) you don’t have the pleasure of being able to make the HTV person’s day with a cheerful greeting and meaningful eye contact. And what’s more, you have to put the Labor candidates 1-7 in YOUR OWN ORDER!

Far be it from me to mock the democratic form chosen by my fellow citizens, so I have been considering this carefully. My initial plan was to put all the chicks first, but it has developed somewhat. I’m afraid it’s Andrew Barr last. He committed the sin of putting a Year 10 Class photo from Lyneham High with a circle around his head to prove he’s a local.

I sat down tonight with all my pamphlets and found true political love. My new number 1 candidate is Mike Hettinger. We LOVE Mike here, I tell ya. LOVE HIM. This is why:

His pamphlet (which, trickily, is GREEN! On recycled paper!) talks about a smarter, greener Canberra. What first caught my eye was his objective to “Support lifelong learning for all”. Then he wants to “Promote Canberra’s Space Industry” – talk about quirky; I didn’t know we had a space industry outside the Downer Planet-arium (think South Park) after the fire burnt down Mt Stromlo and all, but what a great attitude!

But what really did it for me is the final fold over. I realise that my punctuation became a little adolescent in the last paragraph, but that’s infatuation for you. I promise that all the punctuation below is dead set original:

“A Bit About Mike …

· Mike migrated to Canberra from the US 12 years ago
· Mike came here for true love!
· Mike lived in Ainslie and Hackett before settling in O’Connor, where he is paying off his house.
· Mike actually is a Rocket Scientist!
· Mike received a medal from the US Air Force for saving the lives of two Soviet divers.
· Mike was educated at Holy Cross College by Jesuit Monks!
· Mike is a DEST workplace delegate for the CPSU.
· Mike is a member of the Australian Conservation Foundation!

And you should see the website. He's a decorated peace loving war veteran and all.

Well, that’s it, I’m smitten. If I can’t have a Jesuit educated Soviet saving peace loving war veteran rocket scientist romantic as my representative in Parliament, I don’t want anyone.

* And while I may have strayed briefly at the ballot box, I never took Kerry Nettle to the school formal, did I? Not like my husbang. I promise I will get the photo of her bronze ruched dress from his mum and post it.

Canberra ALP Senate Vote down

I can't believe I'm not Malcolm Turnbull! Posted by Hello

Thursday, October 14, 2004

An insight

I was, like many people, shocked at the bitterness with which Michael Costello (former Chief of Staff to Kim Beazley) spoke on AM on Monday morning about Labor's failed campaign.

I've been thinking about it for a couple of days, and I think that he and all the ALP big boys and girls should go on a 10 day silent meditation retreat.

Firstly, because it's an amazing and enriching experience. I've done it twice and highly recommend it. "Vipassana" means "insight" and is associated with the Theravadan school of Buddhism which is prominent in South East Asia, particularly countries like Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. The guy I studied with, Dhiravamsa, is Thai. Unlike the famously superstrict Blackheath school (in the Blue Mountains near Sydney), Dhira's approach combines elements of western psychoanalytical theory, qi gong and kundalini yoga with the hours and hours and hours of sitting on a cushion in silence. And at night you get to dance to Bob Marley.

I found that 10 days of silent contemplation really helped me to realise how much of the shit I thought I was mired in was coming out of my own head. Clarity and a little detachment would serve the big ALP dudes well now, I think.

The other reason I think a retreat would be a good idea is the silence part, or to give it it's proper name, "Noble Silence". The reason for silence is to intensify the process. But it also stops a lot of shit that does not need saying out loud, or saying in public.

John Faulkner will be exempted from the retreat, and can go and have a nice rest at the beach instead.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Post Election Therapy

Vile tories. Posted by Hello

My elderly neighbour Kev gave me a big box of second hand books he had been given recently, because he's "not a reader". He may not be a reader, but he certainly is marvellous to have around. For a start he wears pro-gun, anti Barrie Unsworth T-shirts. That plural is correct, he has a couple of different styles. And because he is becoming demented, his wife Mad Dot has a ripper of a cap they've had embroidered with "DORIS" so he can find her at the shops.

And because he is a sweet and generous soul, the kind of man who grows extra veggies so he's got plenty to give away, he gave me a big box of books. Sadly they are absolutely terrible (except for the copy of Barchester Towers that snuck in there), but they have provided me with a giggle today, which is always welcome. Cheers, Kev.

It could have been worse. We could have been the democrats. At least no one participated in novelty extreme adventure sports for Labor. Except anyone who had to get near Tony Abbott.Posted by Hello

I was hopeful that Ross Cameron would get his comeuppance. Posted by Hello

Hhmmm. But nobody's buying. Posted by Hello

It was a very long campaign, and at times an air of wistfulness was pervasive ... Posted by Hello

Monday, October 11, 2004

Go back to spleenville

Nasty gloaters have been appearing at my favourite left wing blogs since the election. Fair enough, I suppose, especially on Sunday, but I'm surprised that some of them are persisting.

It reminds me of a guy who turned up to a party we had a few years ago. It was an excellent party, but this guy was not having a good time. He was talking to my then bloke, who he didn't know was one of the hosts, and said that it was a crap party and he was really sorry that he'd left his own party around the corner to come.

Bloke in question said "if your party was so fucking tops, why aren't you there? I'm having too good a time for the thought of elsewhere to have even crossed my mind. So fuck off back to your own poxy party and see if we miss you".

Update: feeling better now, thanks. Onward, ho!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Happy Birthday, Sage

Sage is two today. We adore him.

I am sad that I couldn't give him what I most wanted him to have - a new government. Still, as his granny says, he probably is happier about the Tonka truck at this point.

Happy birthday, little darlin'

Thursday, October 07, 2004

-- amusing post title generator is unwell --

Nice to see a little of the mongrel off the leash today. From the Herald:

"I tell you one thing I wasn't doing in the late 80s, I wasn't racing around Liverpool saying we should get rid of Asian migrants and run a racially discriminatory immigration policy," he told Sydney radio 2GB.

"I wasn't doing that.

"If you want to go back into Mr Howard's history that's what he was doing at that time.

"Everyone's got a past and Mr Howard's from that era was quite disgraceful."

As for me, I'm not that hot on his present, either.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

James Packer on picking winners

"James Packer backs Howard". Well bugger me.

Because Jamie's such a great decision maker. Like breaking up with Kate Fisher who then had to do pasta sauce ads despite the Bondi pad (and yes, I know about Gough). Like breaking up with Jodhi, or whatever tricked up hippy way she spelt it, who immediately hooked up with someone poorer and better looking. Or like One Tel.

I'm really glad he's put us in the picture. My faltering hopes for Saturday are pickin' up a little.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

You wouldn't read about it

I have something uncomfortable in common with Robert Corr. We've both recently read a Miranda Devine article and agreed with every word she said. In his case, it was about Darfur.

In mine, it was the dark side of children's books. Andy Griffiths writes books for kids, and his books are loved by many kids who aren't otherwise really into reading, especially boys. There's a lot of poo, of course, and general grossness. The day my bum went psycho” is probably the best known.

His new book is called "The Bad Book". It sounds tops. Listen to this ... "One of the characters in the book, Bad Daddy, always says "no" to his son until finally the child asks for permission to breathe. The exasperated father shouts "NO!" and the boy keels over dead." Now, that is FUNNY.

"Booksellers go psycho when poo hits the fan", an SMH article on 25 September which is now archived from free access, said:

"A children's bookseller, Kate Colley, of Bloomin' Books Caringbah, said: "I'm not a prude, and a lot of the book is fun. But after reading the whole thing, I couldn't sleep." She cited the stories of a grandmother eating her own excrement, a child setting a cat on fire, and a mother sending her child across a six-lane road to be run over by a truck. "This is the first book I've refused to stock in 15 years. But some of us have to take a stand ... I don't think children need this, with so much violence going on."

Richard Hogan, the Angus & Robertson franchisee in Warriewood, said he kept The Bad Book in his storeroom.

"We've sold Griffiths extremely well before, but we don't think this one has a place in a responsible bookshop," he said. "We'll sell it if people ask for it, but we won't promote or display it."

That last guy's a real man of principle, hey? What a self-deluding turd.

I found in an op shop recently a copy of Douglas Macleod's "In the Garden of Badthings" a book of kids' poetry I ADORED as a child. I was thrilled, and immediately bought it for my two year old son. I can't wait to read him "Steam-roller Sam", which starts:

"Oh, lend me an ear and I'll happily tell
The story of steam-roller Sam
Who handled a steam-roller terribly well
And squashed all his neighbours to jam.

He flattened the Mayor, who was caught unaware,
And flattened the Minister too
Then, just for good measure, with merciless pleasure
He ironed the council to glue ..."

That's not horrifying. What's happening in Darfur is what's horrifying.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Oh, well

Four men investigated in the current "Operation Auxin" child pornography case have committed suicide.

Babies as young as two were exploited in the preparation and use of material that this operation has uncovered.

I do not believe in capital punishment, but I don't know what I would do to someone who hurt my child like this.

Justice Minister Chris Ellison has called their suicides "regrettable". I'm not sad.