: : crazybrave has moved to <a href="http://crazybrave.net">http://crazybrave.net/</a>: February 2005

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Well, that was fun, wasn't it?

There's always a weird moment meeting your blog friends in the flesh for the first time. Fortunately for us, Steev's attempt to explain to the restaurant staff that the champagne was not intended to taste like mildew and we wanted a replacement gave us all something to distract ourselves with for ten minutes or so.

Nick Crustacean's wife had thoughfully held off giving birth so he could come, and so did Kay, commenter Jenster, David, Mark, Rach, Matty, Mel, and a few others who I didn't get to talk to while I was still sober and therefore able to remember much.

The night was very good fun. We did indeed drink the place out of champagne which may have helped. Dean got the conversational ball rolling by asking everyone why they started blogging. And you would start that conversation, wouldn't you, when your own story involved exciting stabbing incidents and necessitated the demonstration of scars?

We were a bit late getting to the pub, so hopefully Rob and Mick didn't give up in disgust. Andy will hopefully come next time. Bless him, he's a bit shy.

I believe at one stage of the evening - the later part, obviously, - I asked TJ to show me her nipple, which she kindly did. I also confessed to Sikkukkut (who comments at TJs) that I had never known how to pronounce his nickname and had always thought of him as Sickunt. So yes, I'm pretty sure I wowed 'em with the grace and sophistication.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Party like it's February 26

Plans have been settled for a meetup on Saturday. I will book a table for "blog" (because I am so goddam funny) at Little Saigon on Alinga Street at 7:30 pm on Saturday. It's in the Novotel Building on Alinga St (ie Jolimont Centre).

Further carrying on will be had at the Wig and Pen from about 9-ish. Trickily, the Wig and Pen is also on Alinga Street.

This is an open invitation event. All bloggers, commenters, lurkers, mates and lovers are welcome to come along to either or both parts. Please let others know, and in particular any newer bloggers. If you want to come for dinner, please comment or email so I can get an idea of numbers to make the booking.

One person I'm looking forward to meeting is David, who writes Let's try that again and is a sensational photographer. Check out his idea of Canberra bloggers surfacing to meet in the flesh:

heads up by David

How cool is that?


I tried to update the previous post but some unidentified html error did my head in. So:

A very interesting angle about how we discuss adoption in the context of the "abortion debate" is at the superbly named Pinko Feminist Hellcat, via the excellent Sju-sju

That is all.

Um, not it isn't. Again. Pinko Feminist's writer and President for Life, Sheelzebub (from the USA), wants to create a Ministry, and has asked for volunteers. I have volunteered to be the Minister for Distant Suckholes. Catchy title, non?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Martin at Northcote Knob posted his desire that everyone, and in particular pro-choice people, shut up about Tony Abbott's adopted son. This injunction to silence pissed me off a little - let's face it, bloggers don't blog to be told what not to talk about.

And anytime the answer is "Let's do what Tony Abbott suggests" I think we need to take a good long hard look at the question.

However I couldn't work up the energy to scare up a proper answer, particularly given the feralness of a certain ill two year old of my immediate acquaintance over the last few days. So it was with some relief I read the first item in the Crikey subscriber email tonight, where Christian Kerr just said it goddam all without me having to go all feral about it (let alone write it):

1. Hawkie, the Monk and great moments in political spin

Political correspondent Christian Kerr writes:

"The Abbott and son reunion is the most blatant personal problem deck-clearing effort since Bob Hawke got Blanche D'Alpuget to get his drinking and womanising problems out in the open some 23 years ago in her horizontally observed biography of the great man," a switched-on subscriber writes.

To which we reply "Blud oath, Narelle!"

It's essential that Prime Ministerial aspirants get personal baggage out in the open - with as much of their own spin on it as possible - before they make their run for the top job.

The logic's simple. Do so and you can't have any unwelcome revelations sprung on you when the vital hour comes - or if you have been economical with the actualite and a few more details emerge, you can simply brush them off as old news unworthy of air time.

We've said it before. Abbott used the Michael Duffy book and a senior, senior Gallery journo who got played for a patsy to keep serious and well-researched allegations of the front pages last year. Watch him like a hawk.

He's being helped all the way along by a sooky meeja. Even Lateline last night came across more like New Idea. Hardened cynics in the fourth estate have come over all clucky.

One can but laugh. The meeja at the moment are an absolute joy to behold. With a story like this, all the politically correct posturing that normally seeps from them day after day is replaced with sentimental sh*te.

Another subscriber had a good comment: "One of the things I'm enjoying at the moment is the constant repetition of the statement that Tony Abbott put 'his' son up for adoption. Yeah, right. That's a novel concept."

Crikey readers, did we say you're a clever crew?

I am, of course, a Crikey reader, and therefore it seems clever. And observant and fucking cynical. Once I asked an ex politician I knew how to succeed in politics without being a complete cheating cunt. He sucked on his fag, sipped his drink and said "Rat cunning. Absolute. Rat. Cunning. No other way."

Always assume that politicians are doing what they do on purpose. Because they are. If they're not, they're not up to the job.

(And no, this is not just an excuse to trackback the king of trackback!)

AN UPDATE - pathetic ones, join me at Currency Lad's, and get some sense spanked into you. I just wish I'd read the other comments proper before I made mine. Nic - I have no idea what could spark such rumours about Bob Carr, and I certainly do not want to think about it further.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Too fucking right.

"Mr Abbott said when Ms Donnelly first told Daniel who his father was he could not stop swearing."

There you go, you've finally tracked down your birth father, only to find out you're Australia's most famous non-abortion.

Good luck, Daniel. And don't feel you have to stop swearing at your dad.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Little end of the week, here I am, type post. Oh, and a PARTY!

I have been posting sporadically for a while, and I've just worked out why.

I've been changing a few ingrained habits lately. Not by design, but as I start delving into one vice, another one jumps up. It's like those games where you hit faux rodents on the head with a mallet.

Anyway, it turns out that the part of the brain used for rodent mashing is the exact part of the brain used to blog. At least for me. Nothing occurs to me as being something I might want to blog about. So until something does, I'll be having a little rest and reading your blogs.

And another thing:

TJ and I have been talking about a little meetup for the Canberra blogging crowd, so how about the 26th of Feb, which is Saturday week? As we were kid-friendly last time, I suggest we go adult friendly this time, although not in a Ms-Fits-type way. (Unless you're really hot, of course. Or David Hassellhoff.)

Discussion has commenced over at TJ's. Let us know via comments/email where would be fun to go and what to do. (And no, I am not never drinking alcohol again and would love the opportunity to show you all how I can ride my bike pissed. It's pretty funny, apparently).

And one final thing:

I have really tried, Link, to stretch this post out as much as possible to move David on down the page. I hope it's working for you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Cruel and unusual Valentines

O, bless him, is horrendously unromantic. This is of course, not ideal, but I am prepared to cop it given his many redeeming qualities. However, there is still no reason to go emailing your girlfriend this today with the subject "Better late than never."

I very much hope that no puppies were harmed during the making of this filth.

No reason at all. Particularly as this is the SECOND TIME he has sent me Davidmail.

PS - yes I realise I have been posting a lot of guff lately, but my brain's having a bit of a rest. When it comes back I'll get up the Liberals and other idiots again, don't you worry.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Three beautiful relationships

"I love you so much, Sagey."

" I lub joo, Mummy. I lub Daddy, too."

(momentary pause while little hands disappear into Thomas the Tank Engine underpants)

"I lub my penis."

Of course you do, darling.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

crazyfreakin'brave, alright

My mate Deb (the one who's superfit and the mother of a two little kids and has somewhat strange priorities) dragged me - in a very loving and encouraging way - toward some exercise the other night.

I can't swim as much as I'd like (crook ear) and boxing gets expensive (the good one) or repetitive (the cheap one). But I love bike riding and swimming, so Deb has lured me into a group of people who do "mini-triathlons". She says it's all levels, and her cousin who goes with her is quite useless too, so not to worry.

On Tuesday nights they have running training, only $2, so after a couple of weeks of excuses (I got my period today! It's raining!) I decided to bite the bullet. Even if the radio news an hour before it started said it was 33 degrees.

I got there a little bit early, and no Deb or Cuz. The first guy I saw was wearing a t-shirt that said "Sydney Marathon 1996 Finisher". And he had not been resting on his laurels in the intervening years Oh no. He'd been running like a maniac. Just like the other million people there who all looked like this:

There were about this many of them, too.

Which was HIGHLY INTIMIDATING, but kinda nice in parts. Still, mostly for me it looked like this:

Zoe's POV
The loneliness of the slow distance runner.

After the initial jog (oh dear, running), the stretchy bit (piece of enjoyable piss, bless you years of yoga), the gaylord drills (Now, I want to see prancing! But I don't need to hear any butt kicks" - yes, thank you Andre), then the "sets". Oh, and then the warm down run. FARK. Then the bike ride home.

Just for this week, I decided not to do the sets for the Iron Man/Marathoner/Ultramarathoner category.

Christ, is not a MARATHON enough for you people?

These psychos endlessly circle around the outside of the track, wearing tiny shorts and tefillim for runners (to tell them their heart rate is appropriately spastic or non-spastic, whatever it's supposed to be). The others were nice, but these guys were just a bit weird for me.

(And yes, I realise that I appear to have unconsicously channelled TJ's writing style, but I met her the other night and she is an infectious and enthusiastic creature and, well - IT WAS JUST THAT INTENSE PEOPLES!)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

motherhood statements

One of the trickier things about looking after a small child is the constant change. Many kids really thrive with some level of routine, but their own needs and capabilities are changing so fast that it's hard to adapt.

For their mummies, that is. Sage is just starting to drop his middle of the day sleep. I was terrified when he went from two day sleeps to one, but it actually made it more convenient to organise the rest of the day. I have resisted and resisted his desire to stay awake all day because I'm so greedily possessive of that hour or two to blog, cook, garden, etc. Oh, alright, mainly blog.

But you cannot fight someone to sleep, even someone who is three feet tall. Particularly if that person hasn't really got a handle on the concepts of reason or delayed gratification (limitations not restricted to todders, of course.)

Letting him stay awake has seen him asleep by about 7:30 at night, which means there's time to eat, talk to O, do fun stuff and even turn on the computer. And he's waking up later in the morning. Having spent the most part of the last two years getting up around 5 am (in Canberra, in winter) this is a real joy.

It was the scary and the unknown that was making me afraid. Like a lot of other things, it's much easier than I thought it was going to be, because before the event the yucky parts were so much more obvious than the benefits.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Santo clause

From the ABC:
Senator Santo Santoro is circulating a plan among his Coalition colleagues and other parties suggesting that the number of abortions could be reduced by allowing pregnant women to have a Medicare-funded ultrasound.

Senator Santo Santoro also wants Medicare to pay for women to have counselling and to get an information package sanctioned by the Health Minister.

An ultrasound is a diagnostic procedure. What is it diagnosing here? What are the implications of allowing Medicare funding of diagnostic procedures for non-diagnostic purposes?

As far as I know, clinics and providers who perform abortion routinely offer counselling. Some, for legal or other reasons, require it.

The best bit of the report, however, is this:

Despite advocating the changes, Senator Santoro says he does not intend to introduce a private member's bill on abortion.
He wants these issues considered by a private member's bill, just not one he puts forward. That's what I call having courage in your convictions.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Queen of the Solomons comes to town

What a cracker of a night I had last night. J-Mo, who has been my friend since I was four, has been living in the Solomon Islands for the last few months and working for UNDEP. She's whirlwinded back through town and could only see me last night, so I rescheduled my date with the gracious TJ (although she might have been busy anyway) and called up another old mate of ours to come 'round for dinner.

It was about 8 degrees here last night (and all day, and now - I've got a freakin' beanie on and my fingers are so cold I can barely type) so J-Mo got to borrow some flannette pjs and ugh boots and sigh in happiness at not being in the tropical heat for a little while.

She says she's been a bit up and down - the ordinary peaks and troughs of life are magnified by her lack of familiarity with her new home, and she misses her friends and family deeply. She was a bit lonely and sad on her birthday, which is Christmas Eve. So her new friends in Honiara SLAUGHTERED A PIG FOR HER and had a big party where they all sang her a special song. This cheered her up no end. My birthday is on June 27, and I am now expecting an animal sacrifice also.

I want something like this. Including the buff boys in outfits, thanks.

PS - she says there are a lot of spunks in the Solomons, but also many funny-looking people.

A day I thought would never come

Obviously, the Liberal government are not my favourite people. But I believe in giving credit where it's due, so this morning I sent the following email:

senator.payne@aph.gov.au, senator.kcpatterson@aph.gov.au, B.Nelson.MP@aph.gov.au, J.Hockey.MP@aph.gov.au, senator.ferris@aph.gov.au, S.Stone.MP@aph.gov.au

Dear Senators and Members

I am writing to express my appreciation of your public comments supporting the right of women to choose to terminate a pregnancy. I am not a Liberal supporter, but I believe it is important that those who value women's ability to access safe and affordable abortion services stand together when that ability is under threat.

Thank you

These people will be receiving vast numbers of emails and calls calling them baby slaughtering murderers and the like. It's important that we don't get shouted down.

I encourage anyone else who shares my views to do the same. If you find another conservative politician who's speaking out, please let me know in comments.

Here are the links to the media reports of the Senators' and Members' comments:

Marise Payne

Kay Patterson
Jeannie Ferris, Joe Hockey, Brendan Nelson and Sharman Stone

Update: the only one to reply so far is Jeannie Ferris. She thanks me and says that we'll be needing to speak up as this unfolds. I agree.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I am blogger, hear me roar!

Here 'tis, the inevitable "why I blog" post.

I started writing a blog with the encouragement of my old mate Steev. A long time computer fancier, he had read an article about the changing nature of the net, and how its participatory character was being overwhelmed by a bunch of surfers who were all take and no give. He wanted to start a collaborative blog. It made sense to me, so he gave me posting access to WoodenSpoon. I think I made one post - I wanted my own scene. I lurked for a while then went to blogger.

I felt weird about commenting on others' blogs at first. I knew that I wasn't understanding the rhythm of the way people communicated. I seemed to make the last comment on lots of threads, when what I wanted to do was engage. I stuck my head up at Back Pages, where there weren't many girls talking, and things began to be more fun. Like Link, once I found Back Pages, I always went there first. I still miss it. Damn you and your "book", Chris Sheil.

I love the way that people expose themselves on blogs. A real favourite is the post Grogblogging post by Dave from Completely Biased. (Dave has sadly given up, what with Kim Beazley and all. It's understandable). I loved that on his arrival home in the Blue Mountains he jotted down a list of key words so he wouldn't forget what to say. Bless! And that Weezil suggested in comments that there should be accomodations made at future events for the socially phobic.

My favourite description of blogging is Georg's - lap swimming for writers. I've always loved lapping, but been unable to do it consistently for a long time because of a crook ear (only 15 months on the public hospital waiting list so far). A nd I've always written, but it's been either work or diary.

My two day a week research contract finished up in early October, around the same time I poured red wine into the computer. I found the absence of social work contact and blogging horrible. I turned into a creepy blog tart, eyeing off peoples’ computers when I visited. Ampersand Duck pitied me, and took me into her home office. My sister made fun of me, but looked after Sage while I logged on. Being at home with a toddler can do your brain in, and it is a powerful thing to be able to feel connected to a broader world.

I don't have time to write a diary the way I used to - I used to write “morning pages”, three A4 pages every morning before you did anything else. It was a suggestion from one of those American self-help books about releasing your creative energy (in case you wondered who was reading them). In the section about having to do it first up, every day, she says you just have to get up before everyone else if you need to. Which is impossible with a newborn, and unlikely with a toddler. I have large scary boxes of that crap hidden away in cupboards, and friends who have promised they will burn them all if I go under a bus. (Like Manoly Lascaris did for Patrick White. Heh. And that's another thing I love. People who dig puns and use the words "yay", "sheesh" and "heh" a lot. I also think many newspaper writers would enjoy the benefits of strikeout.)

One thing that has really struck me in the blog world is the interactions between bloggers of different ages - there are so many young things with great blogs, like Jellyfish and Rachel of Quick Little Splinter. And blogs by older (ahem) writers, whose scope and depth of interest is inspirational (I'm lookin' at you, Mr Tiley . And check out his raisin date.). I love that we all just meet here and read and talk about things that matter to us.

I've had a few odd reactions to my little pastime. My mum was just stoked that the computer she'd provided was giving me such pleasure. Like Link, I've told a few friends, almost none of whom have been here. Bitches. O doesn't read it. Aah, let's face it, he hears enough of my point of view already - which is what I call the backpages excuse - "I only do this to avoid boring my meat friends".

We played Carcasonne with Nick Crustacean and his wife a couple of weeks ago, and it was funny to see the non-blogging half of each couple say things like "why would I read it, I already heard that story. I TOLD you that story! (That was O, BTW) My sister's partner, who is both very self analytical and very motivated, asked me if I wanted to "make anything of it" - I don't think so. My sister thinks it's a bit sad, but she reads it from time to time and mentions things I've talked about. She's very private, which is why I don't talk about their family much, apart from the odd bit of unavoidable rooster slaughtering.

Of course, there are many readers (well, not that many) I don't know, including my loyal readership in the United Arab Emirates. Bless you both. But I think of my "blog friends"; the way that I have "mother's group friends" or "uni friends" or whatever. And tomorrow, I get to meet a new one, TJ.

I was a little bit glum tonight. Nothing to write about, so I thought I'd drag up this draft that was lying around. And it's the participating, the writing something to put out there, that I value. I'm not glum now, I'm really engaged with what I'm doing, and I'm interested to see what others will say. ('specially Flute now his faith in blogging has been restored by - of all things - watching bad telly.)

Over Christmas, at Mum's, I was having some face time at the laptop in the dining room one night. She walked past and asked smiling "What do you call someone who's addicted to it?"

Duffer that I am, it took me a while to work it out. A blogger.