Saturday, December 31, 2005

ToxicPurity's Top 10 List of Top 10 Lists of 2005

Yes, it's the ubiquitous end-of-year Top 10 List for 2005, but rather than just compiling my favourite "best of" / "worst of" events (how to choose from so many possibilities?) it was easier just to compile my favourite list of other people's Top 10 Lists of 2005.

In no especial order:

  1. Best Blogs of 2005
  2. Worst PR Blunders of 2005
  3. Funniest Media Corrections
  4. Funniest Video Clips
  5. Most Pathethic Media Meltdowns
  6. Google Search Zeitgeist
  7. Biggest Discoveries
  8. Most Outrageous Statements of 2005
  9. Ontrack's Data Disasters & Remarkable Recoveries
  10. Top 10 Bushisms

Friday, December 30, 2005

Life In The Holiday Twilight Zone

The days between Xmas and New Year's is an odd period, not quite a holiday, yet not quite a normal working week. There's a sense that nothing is worth pursuing, certainly not worth starting up again right after the Xmas break, with the year's end in sight.

And so we continue in a state of suspended activity, coutning down the days, and now the hours, until the new year begins, and with it the promise of a return to normalcy.

In short, I've been bored to tears. Literally. But that could be the mood swings.

After the end-of-year-deadline frenzy in the workplace, the sudden cessation of stress was something I simply was not prepared to cope with. It's taken this long just to figure out how to relax again, and appreciate having nothing much to do, and enjoy how well the pregnancy is going, and just sit in the sunshine watching the wattlebirds and the cockatoos.

I've begun drawing again. Don't know when I last picked up a pencil, but it was long enough that I didn't know where anything was. It's like some codicl to the law of kipple: anything you haven't used in a while but suddenly find a need for will have vanished utterly and completely from wherever it's usually kept. In fact, the more you need it, the less likely you'll find it. Feeling unwanted and unloved, my pencils and felt pens and sketchpads have quietly retired from this world and emigrated to another, damn them.

Ah, well, there's still another week to search for them before the office re-opens on the 9th. Maybe by then I'll feel like I've had a proper break from work.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Fishy Story

So, yesterday we went down to Freo, and we're wandering around what is now known as 'The Jetty". I only know this because of the big sign. Anyway, TP is looking into the water and she gets all excited because she sees this HUGE school of fish. 'They're brown with white spots' she tells me hoping to attract my interest. I've seen fish before and I'm more interested in the clipper that's berthed there, but I head over. By this stage the school has moved so we hunt it down and there swirling amongst the million dollar pleasure craft is about two thousand or so BLOWIES. No wonder nobody chooses to fish from the Fisherman's Monument. A good way to lose your bait.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

3 Gets In The Xmas Spirit- Or When Sending Matters More Than Receiving

When the office girl told me my husband was on the phone, I glanced at my mobile to see if I'd somehow missed his call. Apparently not.

So I waddled downstairs, picked up the office phone and said "Hi, Sweetie."

"Your phone's dead," Sweetie replied.

"No, it isn't," I said.

Insert Argument Sketch as we eventually established that he'd left three messages in my voice mail without ever getting through to me, and I explained that my phone was neither dead nor silenced and had registered no missed calls whatsoever. Odd.

Back to work and more impossible pre-Xmas deadline rush.

Later, I call Skribe from Woolie's and find myself getting his voice mail instead. True, the signal is often lousy inside Woolie's, but even when I get a clear signal crossing Heirrison Island, I'm still getting his voice mail. Clearly, his phone or mine is not on the network, and it certainly isn't mine.

When he opens the door, I greet him with "Your phone's not on the network."

"Yes, it is," he replies. "I've been able to call other people, just not you. Your phone's not on the network."

We check each other's phones. We're both on the network. He switches my phone off and back on. My phone suddenly notices I have missed calls and an SMS waiting. He uses my phone to call his and gets his voice mail.

He decides to call 3 to find out what the feck is going on.

Seems 3 had been having a little problem all day with their network - nationwide: you can send, but you can't receive.

3 promises the problem is being fixed.

"What's the ETA on that?" my husband enquires.

"As soon as."

Ah, Xmas. Even 3 has got into the spirit of sharing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

So, you wanna play paintball?

Are you hard enough to do this?. Perhaps that should be, 'are you stupid enough'.

Butt Art, Boob Art, What Happened To Good Old Fashioned Body Painting?

Back in January, I wrote about Stan Murmur, or the guy who makes Butt Art, and I mused about cashing in and doing some Boob Art.

Seems there's already a market devoted to that sort of thing. I don't know. Sometimes it seems like the stupider and cheesier it is, the more likely it will succeed.

No, I can't do it. Not even Bub Belly Art. I just can't. I'm just not shameless enough. AAARRRGH.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Our Home Is Dirt By Sea

Funny how PH Howard says he fundamentally believes Australia is not a racist country - he being the selfsame jerkoff who played the race card two elections ago in order to become PM in the first place.

Times like this, I can't help but feel our country is exactly as this picture that appeared in Army.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Long Hot Weekend

This past weekend the Mad Hungarian has been frenziedly attempting to film an entire series in three days. It's a show highlighting the multiculturalism of Perth, so it's a mixed bag of cooking segments, interviews, and folk dancing.

Mainly, though, these past three days, it's been folk dancing.

Lots and lots of folk dancing.

Scores of people in colourful traditional folk costume doing colourful traditional folk dancing.

Did I mention we have no air-conditioning, and oh, a total of two wndows that actually open?

Ever notice how most tradtional folk costumes are several layers thick?

Except for the belly dancers. It seemed like every third dance act was some sort of belly dancing troupe. And even they were looking a little wilted.

Professionals all, everyone put up with the discomfort and the stress and grimly trooped on. There was only one incident of things being thrown so all in all, a surprisingly rancor-free hell of a weekend.

The only reason I was there was to emergency-edit a Xmas magic special that has to be delivered tomorrow and which, frankly, after two days of working in a small windowless room with no air-conditioning or through air-flow, was two days too many.

Think I'll go live in the shower now.


"We're not astronauts. We're just asses."

Paul French,
hoaxed 'space tourist' from TV reality show Space Cadets

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Is It Just Me..?

... or are there way too many traffic accidents these days?

Friday went by without incident, but this morning, while waiting for the bus (yeah, I'm working all weekend, bah) I watched a ute take out a traffic light.

Heading west, the driver apparently hadn't noticed the red lights at the junction of Canning Highway and Berwick until it was too late, failed to come to a screeching halt, and so, to avoid ramming the car in front, swerved hard into the middle lane, over-corrected twice, and slammed into the traffic light on the island instead.

Fortunately, no oncoming vehicles were hit by the falling lights. Various public-spirited people ran on to check on the driver and clear the road, and within a couple of minutes traffic was flowing as per normal.

My bus arrived then so I don't know how the driver fared, but I rather suspect he and his ute weren't half as damaged as the traffic light was.

That's 3 accidents in as many weeks I've witnessed. At least this one didn't involve the bus I was on, but I'm beginning to get a little paranoid.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stupid Baby Things #1

Lilypie Baby Ticker

The World's Worst Pick-Up Lines #45672

Drunk guy on bus recounting exploit to his equally drunk mate:

"I said to her: Is your name Amy?

And she said: No.

So I said: If it was, I'd tattoo it on the back of my foot."

He then demonstrated it on the woman sitting in front of him with, one imagines, as much success as his previous atempt.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Race Riots - What Do You Win?

When I came out to Australia as a student way back in the lare 80s, I was warned by an older cousin and others to expect a little racism - little things, like not being served when you reached the front of the queue at Mackers in favour of the person behind you, being pointedly ignored by some shop assistants, the odd unfriendly comment or two. Little things like that.

Even so, I was assured, Australia was a generally friendly place. And they were right. Sure, I got spat at once on Barrack St, and was verbally abused on the train to Freo once, and there was the on-going hate poster campaign by the ANM...

But those "bad" old days are long gone. For the likes of me anyway.

We slant-eyed gooks aren't perceived as real threats anymore, except by the rare nutter who didn't get the memo about 9/11. That's right, overnight, the world found a new villain race that was certifiably evil.

So, bizarrely, some of us "minorities" have finally achieved what we've always wanted: integration into mainstream Australian culture. We now share the same concerns about holidaying in Bali and airport security and anti-terrorism measures. We have all been made victims of the same global threat.

For the first time in my life, I'm not the "other". I don't feel even remotely threatened as a non-European in a European-based society. My racial identity is simply not an issue in the current climate. As an Asiatic, I might as well be white.

It also means, however, that I am now complicit in the racial attacks against the Muslim and Arab communities. And this despite growing up in a multicultural country, and having Muslim colleagues, neighbours, and relatives.

I am aghast at the racially motivated mob scenes over east, but I am also relieved not to be identified with the target group of "people of Middle-Eastern" appearance.

See, it wasn't that long ago I was one of those targeted by the inbred association. Now somebody else has drawn their fire and I find myself uncomfortable by the realisation that I'm glad it isn't me anymore.

Racialism occurs in cycles, based on each subsequent wave of immigration. The Mediterranean peoples experienced it, the Vietnamese and Chinese experienced it, the Africans experienced it. But I have a nasty feeling the present undercurrent of fear and hostility towards those communities from predominantly Muslim countries are going to see the worst of it for a long time yet to come.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Gray Fridays

Okay, that's TWO Fridays in a row now that my bus has been involved in an accident. I'm thinking I shouldn't use public transport on the last day of the working week because they seem to be getting increasingly hazardous.

Last week, someone decided to veer into the buslane directly in front of the bus and lost their side mirror as a result. This time, someone decided to step out right in front of my bus, forcing the driver to slam on the brakes. Since he had just begun pulling into the next stop, a good number of us had already gotten to our feet, and were subsequently sent flying. I got swung around into the driver's cage, but the old lady behind me went sprawling past and slammed her head and shoulder against the front board.

More contact details were exchanged, an ambulance was called for, and I and another girl kept the old lady company until her daughter showed up. Then I had to head off to work and the other girl had an appointment to keep, and the bus driver was patiently explaining to some old dear that yes, he would be travelling at least one more stop but that wouldn't be for some time as he had to wait for the ambulance and she might be better off catching another bus into town but no, she said, she would just keep her seat and wait, thank you.

I have no idea how the old lady fared. She was probably concussed and very bruised, and definitely feeling a little embarassed at all the fuss she'd caused. I'm sure she's alright. Even though she was visibly in pain and distress she was able to joke about being on HBF and so not having anything to worry about.

Now, question is, with these Friday bus incidents getting hairier each week, what the hell do I do about transport next Friday? Hmm...

Friday, December 02, 2005

"And His Ghost May Still Be Heard. . ."

Australians are a sentimental lot; they cannot resist a sympathetic law-breaker. From bushrangers to army deserters to drug traffickers, if they display some act of plain human decency, Australians will admire and even adore them.

Maybe it's the recognition of "There but for the grace of God, go I". Put in the same desperate circumstances, might I not have done something similar? Killed the cop, gone AWOL, smuggled heroin? And then, when faced with the consequences of my actions, would I still have performed as well as they did?

So we have Ned Kelly as an iconic figure of nationhood, and John Kirkpatrick Simpson as a war hero, and now we have Thuoc Van Nyugen - martyrs all to our belief in one another's basic human qualities of self-sacrifice and mateship.


This is what happens when you pull into the bus lane in front of a bus: bye bye side mirror, an exchange of contact details, and a busload of bemused passengers whose weekend just got interesting.