Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Get It Out, Prudes!, or The Sexualisation of Nudity

Today as I wheeled my lame and punctured bike home, I passed an Islamic couple (I assume, since she was covered top to toe in a traditional fashion), and I was all too aware that they both averted their gaze down and away as they passed me in my bare-legged short summery skirted attire. There was no open disdain, but there was a deliberate aversion.

I always feel hyper-conscious of this kind of reaction. But today it actually bothered me. Not because these people seemed to be judging me. Indeed I doubt if they gave me two seconds thought. But I wanted to turn around and shout "C'mon! They're just legs. I'm using them for walking! Just like 'he' is." I certainly didn't want them ogled. They are hardly remarkable as legs go, nor text book examples of sexy legs.

And the whole episode got me thinking about prudishness, religious or otherwise. Here's my thoughts in a rambly nutshell:

Prudishness offends me because it assumes that my naked body is a sexualised body. It does not allow my naked body to be anything other than a sexual object. Whether this is the 'morally overlaid' prudishness of religious doctrine (I use inverted commas because I do not think that religion equates to morality), or the prudishness of the friends who don't want you to see them get changed, they all seem to me to be slices of the same pie, the difference is one of degree. 

I can't sunbathe topless on the beach because my breasts are always always always assumed to be sexualised in our society. To the man and woman I passed on the street today, my bare legs were equally sexualised. I think they're just legs. I also think they're just breasts. Don't even get me started on the whole limitations-on-public-breastfeeding stupidity.

This prudishness makes me resentful for a number of reasons.

1. Prudishness places the responsibility for the sexualisation of women's bodies on women. 

It is my responsibility to display my body appropriately, given mens' assumed inability to stay cool headed around breasts, and possibly legs and hair as well depending on where you sit on the subject. It is not assumed to be mens' responsibility to be able to refrain from harassment or assault if there are breasts around. Perhaps not legally, but colloquially, most people seem to think this is true (maybe not right, but true). I allow that there are times, places, contexts in which my body will be sexual. And to some people more than others. But mostly all those bits of my body are either functional or negligable in terms of their contribution to my interaction with the world and the people in it.

2. Some women who buy into arguments for prudishness where the female form is concerned particularly bother me, as they are implicitly demanding that their naked form be sexualised. I often see this as a manifestation of sexual insecurity, that such a woman can't accept or allow that no one cares that she just flashed her undies, or 'popped out' of her top - she insists it's a big deal.  It demands sexual attention simply for the act of physically being. I think this is a bit lame, as a rule.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Reflections on my Twenties

My Twenties started off pretty well, with a year spent travelling around Europe. They'll end with a job I love (and dare I say, am good at), a relationship I value more than I'm prepared to go into on this blog, and seriously amazing people that I can call good friendsAnd in the middle: years of adventures both unexpected and planned.

The short version is:

They just got better, and better, and better. Sure I occasionally lost my way, my dignity and the odd pair of underpants, but I gained an awful lot of self-knowledge, (some) calmness and contentment, some bust size, and plenty more besides.

If I can say as much for my Thirties when the time comes, I'll have no regrets*.

But enough for such pleasant reminiscences - I have a party to prepare for.

*Except my bust size, which will hopefully stay much the same.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rain Riding

I just rode home from Swan St in Richmond, what I would deem a medium length ride, on one of the rainiest nights we've had in ages. You would think I hated it, but I didn't. Admittedly I'd had quite a few lemon margaritas, and this may have contributed to my zen-like state. 

I'm not sure what it was that I enjoyed most about the ride. Some possibilities include:

  • It didn't feel like a long ride (see note above re: margarita consumption)
  • It wasn't cold. Or if it was, it didn't matter because I was warm.
  • Maybe it was the knowledge that, despite the rain, I was on my way to a warm house, warm bed, cup of tea and some YouTube.
  • Maybe it was riding down side streets I'd never travelled before, gawking at the architecture, and the street life at 11pm on a Friday.
  • Maybe it was the transition from the unfamiliar to the familiar; the fascination of the new and strange replaced by the comfort of the known and cherished. This transition actually took place very rapidly. One moment I was careening down some entirely new street in Richmond, only to turn, cross Punt Rd, and recognise every building, every intersection, and tread the well worn path to my house. Richmond was a reminder of the mainstream that I am generally so removed from; I was returning to my self-contained, intelligenstia, artsy-fartsy bubble. I do love my bubble.
  • Maybe it was the newly acquired benefit of Sharryn's punishing gym sessions, and the fact that I didn't lose my breath or feel a strain. I could have just kept on riding.
  • Maybe it was the aftermath of a pleasant evening, and the knowledge of fun times in the days ahead.
  • Maybe the steady rain also echoed the melancholy undercurrent I'd been feeling and ignoring all day, of knowing that one of my very favourite people was away, and that however much I'd like to see him, I wont get to for another week.
  • Maybe it was just because I'm a bit naff.
All these thoughts and more occurred to me, as I rode home in the rain.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Weary thoughts accompanied by wine

A universal tetchiness is permeating the world; It has crept up slowly throughout the day. 

Those of us who have yet to succumb to the attitudinal pallor (like the kind lady who served me at the deli) smile warmly at one another in tacit agreement that it doesn't have to be this way, our smiles evidence that not all is lost.

While those around us spiral slowly inward, ever more enveloped by their gripes, our days can still be redeemed by pleasantness.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lacking the urge

I have been feeling extremely contented lately*. And the thing about feeling contented, is that it really diffuses my motivation to write**.

That is all. For now.

* I am, however, very annoyed at my bike seat which needs tightening with an Allen key, and sinks 6 inches every time I go over a speed hump.
**Since I am disinclined to write awful schmultzy doe-eyed stuff, just as I imagine any potential readers would be dismayed to encounter it, and fair enough too.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The big questions

Today I was asked, by my boss of all people, where I wanted to be in five years' time. My response was "you sound like my Mum." Not the most mature, but a standard act of deflection.

Still, he persisted. I didn't honestly have an answer. I realise that the most suave response might well have been to rattle off a description of ambitious yet realistic achievements describing the perfect mid-thirties existence, as described by Sunday Life (don't even get me started on the new format: "how to: get a flat stomach, how to: iron a shirt - Blergh!) but just couldn't visualise it.

My mother, an otherwise resoundingly pragmatic woman, is unfortunately a big believer in 'positive energy' and 'visualising goals' blah blah blah. Admittedly she is mega-successful, but I attribute that more to her 5am starts than the Deepak Chopra cassettes she keeps in the car. She has rabbited on to me in the past about how I need to be able to articulate the future I want for myself - apparently then it will just magically happen.

I, however, have a different strategy. My strategy is all journey, no destination, admittedly. I figure that as long as I make decisions that are the best thing for me at that point in time (not in a ridiculous, not-factoring-in-consequences way) then wherever I end up is where I'm meant to be. So, decisions like: go back to uni, take this job, go out with him, go on that holiday, all get made simply by asking: "Is this the best/right thing for me to be doing?". And if the answer is yes, then so be it. So I can't possibly know where they'll lead me. Let's face it, the best laid plans of mice and men and so on don't guarantee anything. And if you ask me next year where I want to be in 5 years time, you'll probably get a different answer to the one I'd give you today.

My mother has observed me with a not-so-well-hidden skepticism as I've doggedly meandered through my 20s in this fashion, every so often coming out with "but surely working in a cafe isn't the best thing you could be doing" and "the magazine is doing very well but what about your degrees?" and so on. And it was with some equally ill-contained pleasure that I pointed out to her a few months ago that my mazy path has lead me to somewhere I'm happy to be (and she is equally pleased about), AND I've managed to be content pretty much every step of the way.

In some ways this will seem contradictory, because I am regularly accused of being and over-planner. My response to this would be that I like to over-plan on the short-term, and thus anticipate that the long-term will just take care of itself. My long-term plan is made up of my short-term plans. Rather than my short-term plans being decided by my long-term plans. Rightly or wrongly. All means, no end. In case you hadn't worked it out yet, I have basically no assets. But I do drink nice wine.

So, no, I don't know where I'll be in five years' time. I don't know where I'll be in one year's time. I do, however, know what I'll have for breakfast tomorrow. I worked that out on Sunday when I spent my last $20 for the week. And that's a good start.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Disney Princesses: A half-arsed feminist analyis

So, the other night, I was unable to sleep, and so I did that which I'd been lamely threatening to do for some time: I sat up and watched Beauty and the Beast on YouTube. Someone has kindly uploaded the film in nine chapters (and chapter nine is just final credits).

It was awesome. The only downside was that it was 1am and I felt it would be unneighbourly to my aurally long-suffering housemates to sing along to the Gaston song with all the gusto it assuredly deserves. I just mouthed the words and grinned and slapped my thigh a lot. And I pretended that cartoon Gaston was real life Hugh Jackman. Which is a totally normal thing to do by the way.

And, I also cried - not least because I was too stressed out to sleep. But also because of how awesome Belle is, and how her love prevailed against the odds. The odds being the beastliness of her paramour, ostracism from her entire world and some pretty severe past wrongs done to her by Mr Beasty.

Anyhoo, all of this is tangential to what I actually wanted to write about, which is how the Disney Princesses of the 1990s - particularly The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, all offer at least one glimmer of positive role-modelness for little girls. And by little girls, I mean me as a little girl, mostly.

You see, I was never especially girly. I always dirty, shouty, and quick to resist any hint of gender inequality. Anything boys could do I could do better, or at least do without having to wear a ridiculous dress. So it's interesting that I loved these movies so much when they came out.

Admittedly, I am one for a bit of a song and dance. But I would still loathe the dancers if they were in any way weak or pathetic (I give you exhibit A - Sandy from Grease). And admittedly, Disney princesses all end up with their men, who save them dramatically at least once a film. So let's not get carried away with the whole Disney as advocate for women's rights or anything.

But, let's recall that watching these movies I was a young and extremely curious and restless child living in the suburban no-mans-land which is Heathmont. That's the Heathmont that's between Ringwood and Bayswater. Heathmont, where your schoolmates grow to marry your other schoolmates and progenate young because they all belong to the happy-clappy church and they purchase houses a few streets from their parents house and the whole thing goes on again.

The thing that resonated most for me with these doe-eyed protagonists was that each of them wanted to escape! Escape the expectations of their family, or community or peers. And they wanted to escape beyond the horizons of their current world to discover new opportunities for themselves.

The development of this idea throughout the three movies is quite interesting to me as well. Ariel simply wants to be away from what she knows, and is inspired by her love for a handsome man from the world beyond the ocean. She finds her fulfilment by stepping into the shoes of a beautiful princess, and it is very much her beauty that gets her there (given that she essentially woos the Prince without her voice).

Belle more actively rejects the future proffered by life in a provincial town, where she would be expected to abandon her intellectual pursuits in order to find fulfilment as the wife of a brutish oaf, the ridiculously bulbous Gaston. Despite an eccentric father, Belle feels constrained by the world at large, and finds her happiness through a prince, yes, but not a handsome one. Belle is easily my favourite of the three because the catalyst of her adventure and ultimate happiness is not her beauty, but her bravery, kindness and character. It is these traits that pave the way for her to wind up in a fairytale castle with the finally handsome prince.

Princess Jasmine has the slightly different predicament of being trapped inside the palace - and she simply longs to get beyond the palace walls where she perceives a greater freedom (although the price of that freedom is poverty). Rather than leaving her world to run off and become a pauper's wife in order to keep her happiness with her beloved (I would LOVE to see Disney sell that one!) she manages to change her world in order to enable her happiness within it. Good work Jasmine!

So anyhoo, that is a small insight into why I love Disney movies. That and the songs.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beer and chips

Some days dinner is just too hard. These are the beer and chips days. I might round it off with some fried eggs. Don't worry, I'll go for a run in the morning.

I am feeling particularly gratified to be stuffing and crunching away with the delicious salty crumbs scattering down my front, while cravatted men waffle on about the fine knowledge of Italian cuisine and the difference between barley and farrow on Masterchef.

I made these chips by opening the bag! And using the corner of my skirt to twist the top off my delicious beer. Mmmmm.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My private power ballad playlist

Gutsy lady hits, to be wailed by me at opportune moments, in a particular order:

Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler
Nobody Does it Better - Carly Simon
Heaven is a Place on Earth - Belinda Carlisle
Piece of My Heart - Janice Joplin
Today I Sing the Blues - Aretha Franklin
Can't See My Way - Etta James
100 Days, 100 Nights - Sharon Jones

The first three tracks feature heavily in my karaoke selections (along with Alice Cooper's Poison, Bon Jovi's Blaze of Glory, Michael Bolton's Love Is A Wonderful Thing and Queen's Don't Stop Me Now), while the list then verges towards the soul end of my musical tastes. If I were to meander further from the dubious 'power ballad' label, there'd be some Porgy and Bess and Sarah Vaughan lord knows what else.

The catharsis of wailing a power ballad with abandon is matched only by the tolerance of my good housemates and general acquaintance.

On Saturday afternoon I had the added bonus of a grand piano to writhe around on top of, a ridiculous pleasure that everyone should experience at least once in their lives*.

* Wear your good knickers if you plan to kick your legs. And be careful, those things are slippery!

Friday, June 12, 2009

In Two Minds: The Porn Conundrum

I like to think that I know my own mind. I am certainly prone towards neurotic levels of analysis: of others, of situations, and of myself. And like any somewhat neurotic person, nothing motivates me more in my analysis than a conundrum, some inexplicable feeling or situation. But recently I've hit upon an inherent truth about myself:

I am completely, and frequently, capable of holding two contradictory positions simultaneously.

I've been aware of this in a murky way that I'd never examined too closely until a year or so ago, when I realised that I both loved myself and hated myself to an uncompromising degree. This is something that I think most people, on some level do. We think we're quite special and unique, and when we get a promotion, or a new lover, we feel very gratified that other people are recognising our true worth. And at the same time we can loathe ourselves, and feel deserving when other people reject us or hurt us, and punish ourselves in all kinds of cruel ways. I know I do. I think I'm smarter than most people and can be smugly righteous, and yet in the past I've deliberately physicaly hurt myself (not in a suicidal way!) because I think I'm so shit, and I needed an outlet. Other people have other methods like alcoholism or 'arsehole' syndrome. I feel vainly gratified that my lover would choose to be with me, yet would find it pathetically understandable if he were to abandon me for someone more attractive. I think these things all at once. It's amazingly daft.

I can't remember who said it, but I recall a line being delivered to someone else: "You are both far more important, and far less important, than you think". To me, this is nearly always true, except for those wonderful glimmers of humble perspective which are the exception rather than the rule of my thinking.

But the other day this internal contradictory state crystalised quite profoundly for me. I was looking up porn on the internet. I haven't really done this before, but I was curious, and so I went looking. The footage I discovered was both compelling and also in no way sexy. I had a sort of clinical fascination with it, and moreso with the people who were making it. What were they thinking? Did they find it empowering, sexy, or just a way to pay the bills? Did they have low self-esteem? Do they see their bodies as an instrument that is seperate from some kind of 'self' or are they deliberately undergoing a something more experiential. Do they find it gratifying to imagine all kinds of people getting off on the footage, or did they just want to be famous? Were they exploited? Or were they exploiting? Or could both be true at once? And how was a viewer accessing these images on a laptop in the privacy of her room possibly to know the difference? All these questions and more have been occurring to me since, as have recurring images of some of what I saw (none of which could I relate to what I knew as sex - all those bleached and hairless genitals made it all seem highly removed from my 'real life' experiences).

The only conclusion I have come to is that I like porn, I find it curious and arousing and it makes me question my body and has stimulated some new bizarre fantasies. And at the same time, I find it confronting, it makes me feel a bit upset on behalf of the performers and worried for them when I try to understand their self-image, and troubled that some people see this as the pinnacle of possible sexual activity. And some of it makes me really angry. And some of the stuff that makes me angry also makes me hot. But then a lot of people can find self-destruction appealing, so I guess there's no rocket science going on there.

I can relate to people who defend porn, and who occasionally curl up at home and have a good go at themselves whilst watching it, and I can also read and intellectualise about inherent power dynamics and active vs passive gender roles and find it all a bit off. I've never really been much of a post-feminist after all.

For now, I'm not going to think about it much further. I shall remain a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, couched in a mystery, who is a bit of a hypocrit.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Night: Nana Night

For the longest time, Saturday night has been the night I'm most likely to spend in. It seems counter-intuitive to most people I tell, but seriously, by the time Saturday night rolls around I'm thoroughly knackered.

It would be easy but incorrect to blame this on my relatively new grown-up job with regular hours + overtime arrangement. You see, in the height of my partying days, this pattern of Saturdays on the the couch has held fairly steady (except for those weeklong benders that my body is no longer capable of sustaining).

Usually, at the moment, my week shapes up thus:

Monday: I'll be newly reminded of what the week ahead requires of me, and often spend the evening at home and cook a lot of food, stockpiling for the week ahead. There is a high probability of dvds with housemates or the gentleman caller, who may equally be called upon.
Tuesday - Thursday: There'll be busy days at work, often starting quite early. Then racing off to something or other such as a meeting, drinks with friends, dinner engagement, movie, theatre, gig, exhibition opening, festival event, dinner with family member, and the usual combinations of the above. I am rarely home of a weeknight.
Friday: Post work drinks with workmates, then out to somewhere or other. Friday is always accompanied with a big sigh of relief that I get a couple of days to wind down, to which I then apply poor judgement, liberal quantities of booze, and shouty conversations late at night in bars with people I wish I saw more of.
Saturday: The thrill of having a whole day to myself is such that I generally get quite carried away with regards to what can actually be achieved in one mere day, and set myself a frantically scheduled to-do list, which I race through with an urgency that belies the notion of a 'day to wind down'. I'll try to get up before 9am to fit in a run, get to the market or at least supermarket to stock up on food, clean things, catch up with people, and think ridiculous thoughts about getting to relax eg "from 3:15 - 3:50 I'll read in front of the heater, oooh, whilst baking a tea cake!, but first I'd better wash all the dishes from yesterday so there's some room in the kitchen." Often, I'm also a bit seedy.

It should be noted that I'm rarely able to keep to my plans. For example today I slept until 10:30am, got up, rode to the supermarket, cooked up a big hot breakfast (which took bleeding ages because our oven is so crappy), and then somehow watched an entire series of Black Books with gentleman caller. Before I knew it, it was time to meet Amanda for cake, and my list was uncommenced (except for the supermarket/hot breakfast part - two things I greatly enjoy ticking off on a weekend). However, between 5pm and 7:30pm I downloaded 6 podcasts and listened to three of them, did all the dishes, a load of washing, tidied, dusted and vacuumed my bedroom (no small task), marinated steaks for dinner, checked emails and played with the dog.

By any given Saturday evening, the prospect of costumes, parties, cold night air, the feigning/mustering of high spirits are often a bit beyond me. Especially when I know in advance that the week ahead offers not a single prospect of an evening at home. I don't even have the energy to tell you about Sunday, but it certainly involves a few hours work.

Also, I would like to pause for a moment to sing the praises of the 'nana-ry': home cooked meals; heaters; comfy couches; ug boots and elastic waist lines; hot cups of tea; wine that has already been paid for; movies; books; bed. Pass my crocheted blanket...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Pants Rant

Dear Kayser,

Please stop publishing large glossy images of bean-pole shaped women and labelling them apples and hourglasses.


The picture's a little small, but is still clearly retarded.

Kayser, the women in your ads are bean-poles, plain and simple, and no more or less beautiful than other body shapes for it. But this is not my point.

My point is that terms such as apple, hourglass, and pear have been adopted to encourage recognition in women, particularly the impressionable and the young, that female bodies which are something other bean-poles* are completely normal and should be acknowledged as such. In addition to being normal, bean-poley women are privy to a pervasive and subtle series of advantages that other-shaped women often miss out on. To commandeer these body-shape terms to sell underpants lacks taste, responsibility and also plain logic. I may be rounded but I'm not blind.

Are these ads trying to convince non-bean-pole shaped women that Kayser's skimpy lace concoctions are designed just for them? Because all I'm seeing is standard issue underwear models. Men may like them, but men don't buy that many briefs, so I'm stumped.

HOURGLASS FAIL, people. Honestly, the presence of a-cup breasts does not an hourglass make. A female they make. A diverse gender but generally a breasted one.

Until I see a pear shaped bottom, preferably sporting requisite dimples, snugly wrapped up in your undies, I remain utterly unconvinced that they will be anything other than a literal pain in my arse.

On behalf of the young and impressionable, I would also like to add FUCK YOU KAYSER, YOU ABHORENTLY RECKLESS PIECE OF CRAP COMPANY. GIVE ME BACK MY PEAR.

* I heard these women referered to as zucchinis tonight, and needless to say was filled with mirth.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The world is on my side.

As Leith and I sat side by side on the QANTAS jet yesterday, which was slowly taxiing down the runway, we observed dark grey clouds sort of frothing quite low in the sky ahead.

"Look!" Leith suddently exclaimed.
"What?" said I.

Shortly after this, there was more, very observable lightening, really very nearby. I was sort of thrilled in a scaredy way by this, and wondered aloud whether the lightening could strike the plane as we flew threw the stormy skies.

"Where have you ever read about lightening striking a plane?" Leith scoffed.

I protested in my usual pedantic fashion that I'd never claimed to have read about it, and was simply musing on a hypothetical.

As we sat in our room at the the hotel in Perth last night, Leith was on a call to one of his clients, and I had checked my email, and briefly flicked to the Age Online. And there, in bold type in the lead story position at the very top of the page was this headline:

Lightening Strikes Plane

with further details about several planes that were struck by lightening that very afternoon, one of them on the same route we had flown.

I got enormous pleasure by frantically beckoning to Leith as he continued his conversation, and pointing triumphantly at the screen.

"I read it there!" I mouthed smugly.

He looked suitably annoyed and amused.

It is in these tiny serendipitous incidences that some of my greatest, and most petty, joys reside.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cheese Day

Today I went to Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula and learnt to make cheeses from goat milk. They're currently sitting in cloths on my sink, draining their whey and waiting for me to rub them down with salt. Yum!

I learnt many things today, about cultures (the microbiotic kind), about goats, and some other stuff too, but mainly I learnt that there is no such thing as Too Much Cheese. I ate cheese in the morning, and from the batches as we were tampering with them in very controlled ways, and then I ate lots of cheese at lunch, and then seconds of the lunch cheese, and then some more in the afternoon, and honestly, I could just keep eating cheese. Especially with some wine.

I came away with cheeses, and Greek yoghurt, and wine and olive oil (to marinate my fetta with some rosemary), and lots of fliers! I can't see myself making cheese at home regularly, especially in my current house. It requires the dedication of some clean kitchen space for a couple of days, and a range of bits and pieces. But I definitely plan to go to another workshop or two this year, and get me some more CHEEEESE!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Deep Fried Night #2: Oil Overload

On Thursday Gavin came round and he, Leith, Andrew and I had Deep Fried Night #2: Oil Overload. We fried a bag of potato gems (Andrew dipped these into oyster sauce, which was very very wrong), a bag of potato wedges (which we ate with salsa and sour cream), four chicken schnitzels (which were the unquestionable winner of the night), dim dims and spring rolls.

Then we ate doughnuts and watched Twin Peaks.

Twin Peaks was originally the reason for getting together, but the deep fryer stole the show, as deep fryers often do.

Later, my sleep was disturbed, not by visions of Bob crouched at the end of my bed (eurghghghgh), but by a sort of slimy sloppy discomfort in my tummy which required several night time excursions to the bathroom and the Eno jar.

Deep Fried Night always leaves me with a greasy regret, and foolish statements such as "I'm only eating raw vegetables for the next three days!". But who am I kidding? Deep Fried Nights are super awesome. Newcomers to Deep Fried Night stand around awe filled, Leanne pretends like it's gross and she wants nothing to do with it but manages to hang around long enough to eat the wedges, and Leith gets all excited and weilds the oil soaked basket with a flourish. Deep Fried Night #2 was another such success, although I may have gone too hard too early on the potato gems, but then hey, I'm only human!

And it can't have been that bad, as I followed up on Friday with pizza for lunch, and then pizza for dinner (from a different pizza parlour - I do have some dignity). As I rode to Mel's house with the dinner pizzas I sang:

"Oh who eats the pizza in your neighbourhood?
In your neighbourhood? In your neigh-bour-hood, oh
Who eats the pizza in your neighbourhood?
It's the pizza that you eat each day!

Natasha eats the pizza in your neighbourhood!
In your neighbourhood..."

You get the idea.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Actually, we leave so much behind.

When I was about Two I forgot to eat snails. I looked down at them, and where I once saw food, I only saw snails. I guess I ate other things instead.

When I was Five and starting school I forgot that I liked the colour blue. I'd always known that I'd liked it, but suddenly I stopped liking it, and started liking pink instead. Just like that.

When I was Nine I forgot that I knew anything at all. It seemed that all knowledge was relative and nothing was fact. Ever since then I've been forgetting to forget this, only to forget it again for fleeting, clarifying moments.

At 11 I forgot how to throw temper tantrums. Sure I could still rant and scream, but the old days of 'stomping' and 'bellowing' were over. My desire to reason my way into getting what I wanted forever after trumping my raw emoting.

I woke up one day and forgot to that I'd been supposed to be scared in the night. I'd just slept peacefully through till morning.

When I was 13 I found a resilience I never knew I had, and a fierce sense of protection for my individual family members. Getting these cost me the knowledge that my parents were faultless, but I guess that always had to go sometime.

In my late teens I forgot that I was beautiful. There was always something very noticeable to remind me that I wasn't. Usually my nose, or otherwise my hairy legs or my knees or some other innocuous body part.

At 19 I forgot what it was I wanted to do with my life, my one grand plan dissolving and leaving only hints and hunches in its wake.

When I was 23 I lost all my romanticism and trust on the corner of Little Lonsdale and Exhibition streets. I just bundled myself into a cab, smeared away my tears, and didn't think to check for them until it was too late. The great thing about my romanticism and trust is that slowly but surely, they've been finding their way back to me. I could probably help them out a little more. HALLOO THERE. I'M IN NORTH FITZROY!

Last Sunday I forgot not to eat potato gems twice in one day. Them's the breaks.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I am at the office on a Saturday, and feeling a bit bummed about it until I just realised a moment ago that I can burp really loudly and no one will know.

I did a nice big juicy one, and immediately feel much better about being here. Who knows, maybe I'll undo the top button on my pants later?..

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Dog's Life

Sometimes I just wish I were a puppy. I would get fed everyday, rubbed down every morning, and in hot hot weather I'd get to run around the park at night with a bike light strapped to my collar like a Disco Puppy!

For the last week or so I've been wanting to write about the return of the truly excruiating period pain that I used to get as a teenager, and which hit me like a drunk on King St again last week. But to be honest, I couldn't summon the energy. During the actual pain I was very inspired to write about the whole experience, and afterwards I was both tired and also over it.

To clarify, I wasn't interested in cataloging my pain, more the conundrum of feeling like it wasn't 'done' to be able to own it frankly. So I found myself hiding it, while at work anyway, to save others the awkwardness of having to acknowledge my imperfect endometrial system. Anyway, the short of it is that I begrudged this. But it also led to some misunderstandings. It was clearly quite obvious to a few of my workmates that something was wrong, they'd ask if I was sick and I wouldn't know how to explain that I was unwell, but not sick, and there was nothing to be done.

Because menstruating:
- isn't illness, it's symptomatic of something quite normal and natural;
- isn't contagious, and doesn't need to be quarantined (the only thing worse than being at work while in period pain is being at home, bored and panicked about missed work while in period pain);
- is going to keep on happening to me for a large part of my exisitence; and
- I'll be fucked if I'm going to miss out on anything (work, fun, anything) because of it.

That said, I would like a little leeway to:
- go to the toilet at 45 minute intervals without sneaking;
- wear a heat pack across my navel;
- curl up on the floor periodically, as necessary (I would be more than happy to stay late at work to absorb all floor-curling time); and
- the basic ability to acknowledge it, since it's perfectly goddam normal.

There. That is my rant about menstrual pain. A bit gross, and a bit depressing, but true. And now let us sit back and think about Disco Puppy, racing her little red light into great whirling streaks around and around at the park.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Word Verification

Okay, so I just wrote that last post, then went checking some of my favourite blogs and comment streams. A comment I'd posted on my friend Nattie's awesome blog had required that I type the word "sperm", which I naturally thought was fantastic, so I'd included this info for the delight of others in the bottom of my comment. Mel commented below and also added her word verification "broslato" which she imagined as describing a particularly manly Italian dish. And then I had the brainripple (let's not call it a wave) of compiling a fake dictionary of word verification words and their meanings.

If anyone is even slightly taken with this idea I ask you to please do one, or both, of the following:
a) tell me your thoughts via the comments in the usual fashion; or
b) tell me your word verification and what it means.

As a childhood lover of the game Balderdash
I anticipate that this shall be both amusing, and a good insight into how many people ever read my blog. I'm hoping for as many as five!

2009: A Few Highlights So Far

Leith - accusingly, to me:

"You shook your goodies at Flava Flav."

Leanne - hypothetically, then again moments later to Isobel:

"You have a mad rack, don't you."

Leith again - post triple-fried donut incident:

"I regret everything...and nothing!"

Dion - pondering the deep-fryer:

"Tash! Tash! KFC, Tash!"

Brendan - as Public Enemy announce they are going to perform It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back in its entirety:

"Oh. My. God." (accompanied by a slightly hysterical facial expression)

Also worthy of inclusion in this list is Nat Graf's resolution to grow two inches. He didn't specify where...ladies...