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

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I am so not gay!

I read a review of Ian Thorpe's biography on the weekend. I know, I know, I'm right up to date, but it's holidays goddamit.

ohmigod my hair!

Apart from thinking it would have been reasonable for him to brush his hair for the cover photo, the bit of the SMH review I most enjoyed was this:

Rumours about Thorpe's sexuality are dealt with directly but briefly. Hunter says Thorpe is not gay. He quotes Thorpe about a trip to Italy: "The girls have got the biggest heels, and they scoot around on their Vespas honking their horns and yelling abuse at people. When they get really upset they take their helmets off before they start screaming, and they look absolutely perfect. Then they just walk off, very dignified. I like their style." This is a lad who likes girls and fashion.

Righty-ho then. Because no gaylord has ever had a moment of admiration for a luscious Italian style queen in a rage. I am so way totally convinced!

But just to make completely sure, show me another straighty 180 in a white suit and t-shirt on their way to court. Just one. From anywhere in the world. Even Milan.

I dare you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Beach Ball

I grew up near the beach, and here we are at Mum and Dad's for Christmas (and any robbers who are thinking about ripping off my house, there's nothing for you there and our VERY feisty Russian neighbour is looking after things, even going so far as to interrogate frequent visitor Steev who made the mistake of just popping 'round. So fuck off).

I've always looked at those beautiful brown skinny girls at the beach and wondered what they thought when they looked in the mirror. When they were buying togs, for instance. I saw a pretty (no comma) large woman in a black tankini there today and was wondering what she'd thought, just in a wondering kind of way. Then she turned around and turned out to be wearing a g-string. Part of me wanted to punch the air for cellulite pride, but the rest of me was hiding in enormous speedos and board shorts and thinking she should have taken a mate with a profound committment to honesty and a tough hide about their friendship shopping with her.

Today we went to Caves Beach, one of the magic-est beaches I know, particularly for little kids. Long, gentle slope into the water. Heaps of hard-packed wet sand for castles, walking, kicking an ENORMOUS beach ball. Caves, of course. And the best. surf. announcer. ever.

... (tannoy crackles) To the hard board rider in between the flags. You're in the wrong place, mate, move immediately out of the flagged area. To all the dudes riding soft boards at the Southern end of the flags, you've probably all got the ability to be riding there, but there is a dangerous rip near you and you need to be thinking about the judgements about their own safety that people might be making on the basis of your behaviour. Thank you."

Why did I ever leave this place? Even if there are no bloody buggery jobs?

Old and New

It's a long time since I've been to an old folks' home. 1986, to be precise, when my year 10 history class went to interview the local oldies about their experiences of the depression. The woman I talked to was lovely. A bit lonely, but with happy stories to tell because she'd lived on a self sufficient farm and they'd had it alright.

On the other hand, my history teacher, a Mrs Smith, was an utter bitch. She came up to me as we were preparing to leave and said "Butter wouldn't melt in your mouth, would it, Zoe?" Unfortunately for the mean spirited Mrs Smith, this provided me with the opportunity to say "No it wouldn't, Mrs Smith, and you've got lipstick on your teeth." Just for your own future reference, there are not many sights more satisfying than a nasty teacher licking her teeth in fury while thirty fifteen year olds laugh at her.

No such shenanigans on my recent visit, which was to take Sage to visit his paternal great grandfather, Syd. Sage is two and Syd is 87 so they don't have that much in common (for example, Sage has never told me he is unlikely to last a fortnight, which Syd tells me everytime I see him). But Syd was just delighted to see that beautiful little face that is connected to his.

Sage's Nan had taken a few books so that Sage could show off by saying his colours and the like. Syd's hearing is not so tops, but Nan enunciated clearly and loudly, and Syd got every one of his colours right.

I was expecting it to be a little depressing, but it wasn't. It was beautiful. Syd asked us to walk him up to the meal room, and we made about ten old people's day on the way - well, Sage did, marching up and saying "Hullo!" I looked around the room and saw - a room full of people. Hope I don't die before I get old.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Don't tell me you can't see it

I have been copping a bit of flak at Troppo for commenting that SBS Movie Show presenter Fenella Kernebone looks like (the young) Roger Waters.


Couldn't find a proper picture of Fenella (or an improper one, settle down) so you'll have to imagine.

"Unspeakably harsh" or uncanny? Make up your own mind.

PS The award for comment of the year that most cracked Zoe up goes to FX Holden for calling DREADNOUGHT "the only gay in the village", also at Troppo.

Update: Thanks to the sleuthing skills of Mick from
to blog or not to blog, we now have a picture for comparison purposes:

Not Roger Waters

See what I mean?

And Haloscan is apparently on the fritz, so feel free to send an email agreeing with me.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The things that flatter

Is the author of this 13 years old or an idiot? Or a comedic genius? Or (d) all of the above? Some gems:

From the "Alexander Downer is LOYAL!" section: "When there was all that unpleasantness about refugee children swimming in water, who tried to set the record straight? Alexander Downer did!" and "He kept John Howard from leading the Liberals for a few extra months!"

From the Q&A: "Q. Did Mr Downer ever wear high-heel shoes and stockings?
A. This question is asked to me a lot. The short answer is "yes". The long answer is that Alexander Downer was helping to promote local industry. I wish all MPs worked that hard."

From "The Future": "What does the future hold for Australia and Alexander Downer??????? Well, it goes without saying that he would be the best Liberal PM ever, but he will probably never get the job because he isn't cruel enough. He's like a labrador surrounded by pit-bulls ... I know which one I would want to help me across the road. Perhaps if (sic)"

There is a great deal more and I strongly advise those feeling a bit glum to visit.

"Thanks for visiting my Alexander Downer web-site!!! I hope you now feel better about Alexander Downer and will pay more attention to him in the future. You won't be disappointed!!!"

No worries. No, but I will anyway. I am certain I will be.

via Steev at woodenspoon

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Died and gone to television heaven

We are moderately immoderate here in terms of our television watching. We have binges, or particular fads. The rest of the time we don't turn the telly on and do other stuff. Like blogging, or eating and drinking, or playing our new game Carcasonne (which is completely tops and you should buy it for someone close for Christmas so you get to play too).

Sage has been going to bed late (eg 8:07 pm), and waking up early (eg 4:23 am) which is a bit hard if you've stayed up 'til half past eleven drinking wine and playing Carcasonne with Steev and Pammy.

So vegging in front of the telly tonight I was delighted to find the American version of "Wife Swap". (Dinner was .anthony soup. O had a salt urge and thought miso would have been better; I thought I should have used all stock (frozen yummy homemade) instead of half stock and half water. Can't be at all mean with a soup like that.)

In my late teens and early twenties, I had a bit of a thing for Americana, even going so far as to marry a boy from Oklahoma. Given that the US is for the immediate future run by a cabal of neocon tragic-history-surmounting disciples of the saviour of the non-terrorist world, I think it's important to remember some of the very fine things about that country. Wife Swap, of course, does not fit into that category, but I must make a point of doing that in future.

In the English version of Wife Swap, class was a major factor in the adaptation of the families (who, for those who forsake reality TV, exchange mothers/wives for 10 days; existing house rules the first five days, new mom's rules the next.)

Judging from the first episode of the American series, it's neurosis + energy vs eccentricity + sloth. The biggest difference between the two series (only so far, obviously) is the happy ending. The uptight uncommunicative family loosened up a little and actually spent some time together having fun. The chaotic 3 kids and 25 pets* family sat down and ate together occasionally, and the kids realised what a good lurk they were on. It was uplifting, even if in an Oprah kind of way. The English families just seemed relieved to have normality return.

I was happy to see that my favourite sub-type wife from the English series had an American counterpart. These are the houseproud women with very particular standards and structured routines about domestic organisation and relationships. At some point, these women ask their exchange husbands if they think they are being ripped off by having a slattern for a wife. (They often agree.) I like to think of them as the Angela Shanahans.

* Including, bizarrely, a kangaroo. Is there a law against that?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Alexander Ingrate

Now that I have managed to remain unsullied by paediatric vomit for 48 hours, I have read all those ghastly "google alerts" about Alexander Downer that smirked primly from my inbox.

Obviously, the big (stale) news is that the American government is even more stupid that we thought. How anyone would headhunt Alexander Downer to run the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency is beyond me.

But the manners! The US government decides you're enough of a patsy to cop trying to topple an international diplomat considered pretty fair by - oh, everyone but the Bush administration and friends - and you turn them down and don't even issue a comment saying you're flattered but unshakeably committed and thanking them for the thought. (Rats, make a liar of me - but check the enthusiasm: "I've not taken up the opportunity to demonstrate a great deal of interest in this job".

More can be found at Rowen's and Suki's, Surfdom,and don't miss Red Interior and Saint.

As an interesting aside, Crikey noted just before this came out that "former Tasmanian governor Richard Butler gave his first interview since his controversial sacking and payout". Crikey identifies doing the interview - with Jana Wendt on ABC Classic FM, and with no mention of his $650 000 - as an essential air clearing exercise if he wanted to keep sticking his beak in it on a world wide basis.

The VERY NEXT DAY, Butler was out there giving us his two cents on Downer and the IAEA:

"I imagine he may be a little uncomfortable that he's been fingered like that (as someone who will toe the US line)," he said.
(Beautiful, isn't it, that elegant language of international diplomacy. Perhaps Ms Fits had a - ahem - hand in it?)

And to all those who thought that getting rid of Alexander Downer would be enough, think again. Someone has to be the Foreign Minister. Perhaps as soon as a cabinet reshuffle following the new Senate mid 2006. Someone. It doesn't bear thinking about.

Can you imagine this woman at a State dinner? See what I mean?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Am I being a bit silly here?

I have long conquered the old wives' tale that swimming too soon after eating would cause untold harm.

But does anyone actually know if talking on the phone during a thunderstorm poses any danger to people? Or laptops on dial-up? Even if they're running off battery power because I don't have a surge protector and am a bit paranoid post the red wine into laptop $972 incident?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

"Mama! I crook!"

No posting as Sage is sleeping like a baby, ie, has been waking up every couple of hours around the clock.

I have been very neglectful of my Alexander Downer mission, I know, but that illness (now with vomiting!) combined with the horrid feeling caused by opening your email and seeing all those Google Alerts has proved too much.

Still, we have found a solution to the first part of the problem:

Sweet relief (for mama)

I use and recommend "Phenergan".

Kid's been knocked out for near on three hours.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Hot off the Blogerque

I haven't been able to report on our barbie because from about 10 o'clock on Sunday night until about 7 last night Sage was crook, hardly slept and wanted mama every frickin' ten minutes.

But he's on the mend, and we had a great time. Kayoz, her partner and their little Liam came to play, as did Nick Crustacean and the little Dude (he does call him "Dude" too; "here, Dude, have a sausage") Canberra being Canberra, I had actually met Nick before, at a friend's daughter's birthday, which was a bit of a surprise.

Steev turned up late as usual and Link bugged down here from the mountains which was a top effort - go check out her road trip photos, especially the wind farm.

Ampersand Duck managed to pop around the next morning and catch Link who had popped back to pick up the undies pearls she'd left here.

It was really fun to meet people. That first couple of minutes after we said "Hi, I don't know you, but I read your diary" was funny, but we all had a giggle and got on with it. Except for Rob, who didn't get the change of venue messages, and Kent, who may have run away to the circus so he doesn't have to go to law school afterall.

Special mention goes to Rachel, who came straight from work and was remarkably unfazed by the tumbling mass of two year olds all over the joint, or else has exceedingly good manners. We'll have a grown up do soon, and she's promised to bring TJ. O is very excited about this because Rachel promised that meeting TJ is like meeting Xena.

Not Xena, not TJ

This is like Xena, but not Xena. Is it TJ? (and if it is TJ, is that a local wax job, darls? And can I get her number?)

Sunday, December 05, 2004

(Poor) Party Planning (by me)

Picnic update

The weather could be better, but could be a lot worse. (Except if you're at Kay's place, where it's hailing.)

The really dumb thing is that I didn't check the opening time of the gardens, and they will close at 5, an hour after we're scheduled to start. Dumb. Clever Kay thought ahead, and found out they don't extend their hours until January, so at least we know now.

Let's meet at the gardens and transfer to Black Mountain Peninsula Park, which is very close by and very pleasant. If the weather is vile, we can go to Steev's my place. We'll leave a sign up, etc.

There will be some kind of evening thing this week too, with some other out of town bloggers.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Fuck off with your faux nourishment, both of you

I watch very little commercial television because ads piss me off and I'd rather talk to the husbang or read blogs. But the other night, I saw good sort sport Liz Ellis advertising formula for toddlers. In the words of Tim Dunlop, just fuck off, Liz.

I am prepared to accept seeing "Thorpedo" "extremely low GI"* water at the supermarket because he is a shocking joke anyway. But to see someone whose spirit and spunk I've admired on shows like "Glasshouse" endorsing something like toddler formula gives me the shits.

Toddlers do not need to drink formula. Some, who are ill or picky beyond ordinary maternal anxiety - ie, who are nutritionally deficient - might benefit. But the vast majority of kids do not need it. (In general, nutritional deficiency in our society is a matter of poverty (including eg, aboriginality, or psychology.) The issues are similar to those surrounding vitamin supplements. The difference is that as an adult you can chose, and pay, to take supplements if you want to. It is a BAD*THING*TO*DO* to try and persuade people that such supplementation for little children is normal and neccessary.

Toddlers often pick. I put food of one kind or another in front of Sage at about hour and a half intervals throughout the day (and before you tell me that my maternalism is saintly but unachievable think: 6 am to 8 pm minus 1.5 hours sleep - brekkie - morning tea - lunch - afternoon tea - dinner).

Scroll down here to see what Nestle is (telling people in the food industry) it is trying to do. This explains the benefits of feeding older babies. (Hint: if you are going to click through one link on this post, this is the one.)


Sage has just been weaned, at 25 months. It's been OK, not so tricky as I feared. As O said last night, Sage has always known the comfort of the breast. For the first time in his experience of the world, that major comfort is gone. To help, he's getting even more cuddles than usual, and lots of tickling, and rolling around on the floor, and being an aeroplane on mama's feet and that kind of stuff. He has realised that breastfeeding has stopped - he patted my breasts this morning and said "Num nums gone." As a toddler, he's starting to learn about complexity, and this is part of it. I don't miss it, but once when he had a pretend suck outside my t-shirt I felt that real achey moo-cow urge to feed that all nursing mothers know.

I got some excellent booklets from the Australian Breastfeeding Association in the early days - and later. With that help, and from talking to my sister, who breastfed her daughter until she was nearly two and is breastfeeding her 16 month old son, I overcame the horrendous early struggles to get Sage to feed. Nose tubes in hospital, double sided electric breast pumps, etc.

I can remember looking at the "Feeding in hot weather" booklet and seeing a photo of a woman in the shower feeding what O and I called a "giant baby'. I am fortunate that O's family, like mine, thinks that breastfeeding is a fantastic and marvellous thing. But it can still be a bit freaky. This is normal, people.

BTW, It's important to me that people don't think I'm on some superiority trip, I'm not. I'm grateful for what we had. My favourite Aunty in the whole world, the kindest exemplar of mother love you could ever hope to meet, thought breastfeeding was yucky and weird, and - of course - her kids are all fine.

If you've got - oh, say - twenty bucks in your wallet at the end of your Christmas shopping, you could just give it to the ABA. They could really use it.

* I don't know if they expect anyone knows what the G(lycemic) I(ndex) is, but anyone who had read even a little about it would understand the only likely way water's GI would be up, would be where someone had put some form of sugar in it.

Everybody talks about the weather

but, of course, no one does anything about it.

The forecast for our Sunday picnic is looking a little ominous. Are there any suggestions if we're washed out?

Given that Rob Corr and Saint in a Straightjacket will be in Canberra this week, I think the very least we should do is pencil in a weeknight drinky to be on the safe side. I like the Phoenix, but am open to persuasion.

As a general thing for the future, I would like us to have both kid friendly and adult focussed events (ie, bars, cigarettes, rock music, etc).

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Cliches are cliches because they're true

Exhibit No. 1: "It's just not cricket."

This year, O has started playing 4th grade (ie very social) cricket of a Saturday afternoon. I have been heard to whine about this in my more self indulgent cancer-ish moments because it means I have to toddler-wrangle solo for that time. But it makes O happy and fit and he has made some new mates, so it's a good thing.

I grew up listening to political horse trading on the phone, because both my parents were very involved with the ALP and had things to sort out as a consequence. So it was very funny to hear O having similar conversations with his cricket mates tonight.

One rang home during the day to get O's email because "there's stuff going down with the team". The Board had called their captain in to tell him that they didn't think he had a sufficiently competitive attitude and was being replaced.

They were trying to stack the 4th grade team games with over qualified players to qualify those players for the grand final. For the suburban Canberra 4th grade competition. Because it's that important.

It seems they have failed, for the ten players who aren't "ring ins" reject the new proposed captain and will not play on Saturday. With a couple more mates roped in they can field an independent team in which they will not be bullied by suburban bullies, but can play cricket for fun.

Perhaps they can get a Eureka flag for their new team symbol?

An announcement

Zoe and O are proud to announce the birth of two bobcats. Last weekend, after Sage was asleep, we drank some wine and played some records. I had heard "Like a Rolling Stone" on Radio National just after it was announced to be the bestest song ever. I sat down and really listened to it, and was blown away. I went and dug out the vinyl Bob that we keep in the spare room (not in a yucky way).

The version of "Rolling Stone" I had was on "Masterpieces" and it was horrible, so we put on another record we'd bought at a garage sale and never played. It is a pristine copy of Blood on the Tracks. (I have since been looking at the net and realising how serious people are about this record. Sheesh. But it is that good.)

Just after the end of "The Jack of Hearts" there were two muffled explosive sounds and the power went off. We went out to the front yard and the sky looked like this:

Picture by O Posted by Hello

It hasn't been off the turntable since. It's on now, and O just said "Why haven't I been listening to this for the last fifteen years?". Anyone who has heard some of his more special selections could ask the same question.

PS O's current favourite is "Bucket of Rain" and mine is "Idiot Wind". Both subject to change.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Our Foreign Minister is a callous coward

I can see my new hobby will be keeping me busy. You just flick over the ABC site and get slapped in the face with this.

A summary:

A Red Cross/Crescent report indicates that actions "tantamount to torture" are taking place at Guantanamo Bay, where two Australians are detained. Leaked details are published in the New York Times (get a sneaky login from bugmenot if you'er asked to register).

Downer says the Red Cross refused his request for a copy of the report. (They have a confidentiality agreement with the US.) It is "not appropriate" to ask the US. What is appropriate is to await an investigation by the US Navy. splutter.

The Pentagon has said that it is not mistreating anyone at Guantanamo.

David Hicks' lawyer says that the report is consistent with statements made by inmates.

The political flavour of the government and the detainee are irrelevant. The government is responsible for protecting Australian citizens. Bad, nasty Liberals.