metavore: (tldr)
I'm still a bit dizzy from the reaction I got from my last post. I mean, it's livejournal. Nothing ever happens on livejournal. It was like watching a much-loved pet guinea-pig escape, run free through the streets, be adopted by a group of actors and circus performers, join a cabaret and end up on Mornings with Kerri-Anne. Or something along those lines. I'm sort of afraid to touch it in case it explodes again.

Still, whatever I did, it worked, and Little Johnny's dead. I mean, you can't survive a humiliation like that, can you? It's beyond the kind of humiliation that necessitates instant retirement 'for family reasons'. It's the kind of humiliation that you really need to just drop dead of a tragic disease after. I'm thinking maybe Huntington's, or Lou Gehrig's.

My father and I were discussing spending the proceeds of an election bet he made with his neighbours on a small memorial to John. Maybe a small stone tablet. We got as far as "Here lies..." and then we couldn't get any further because of the laughing.

I'm still a bit drunk after Saskia's marvelllous party on Saturday. I actually clicked my heels. Right around the humiliation speech, I also proposed to Anna. She's accepted, provided I can furnish her with an acceptable diamond, in platinum. I'm buying Kinder Surprises by the trayful, maybe I'll get lucky?
metavore: (Default)
After Leah and Damien posted about the trials involved in voting in the senate, I thought to myself, not this time. This time I will not be caught in a cardboard booth, clutching a pencil stub, wondering if the Hope Party are slightly lefty or slightly loony. (Lefty, I later found out.) I went scouring the internet for a party-by-party breakdown of who all the candidates were and what they stood for, but I couldn't find a thing. Just a Queensland one that wavered between lauding Pauline Hanson and describing the greens as 'losers'. I don't know about you, but if someone tries to write off a political group using the word 'loser', I instantly stop listening.

My House of Reps voting preferences were assisted a little by GetUp's little web tool, How Should I Vote, which allows you to take a 20 question test, and then gives you a list of how the candidates in your seat answered in comparison to you. It's a little left-biased - no Libs seem to have taken the test - but interesting anyway. But nothing on the senate! Nothing!

So I did a bunch of trolling the interweb, and then, well, I thought, why not chuck all this together so that the lovely folks on my interweb friends list can, too, know ahead of time what the candidate for Senator On-Line stands for?

The following is drawn from the list of Victorian Senate candidates on the Australian Electoral Commission's website. Candidates are in the order they appear on the ballot. Parties marked "Group X" etc are only listed by name on the ballot, not by party, I think because they're not official political parties, but I've tried to dig up their affiliates where possible. I also add a disclaimer; I'm a little hazy on how the hell senate preferences actually work. The implications I attach, or in fact anything I've said full stop, may be entirely wrong, and should by no means be used as a guide for voting.

Bring On The Loonies )

[Edit] It's just been pointed out to me that whoever gets your |1| preference gets $1.50 for it, provided they receive over 4% of the vote. If you'd like to vote for someone who isn't likely to crack the 4% mark, you can give your |1| to someone low on one of the bigger tickets (e.g. the fourth-listed Greens candidate) and then your vote will carry on to your real first preference.
metavore: (Default)
After Leah and Damien posted about the trials involved in voting in the senate, I thought to myself, not this time. This time I will not be caught in a cardboard booth, clutching a pencil stub, wondering if the Hope Party are slightly lefty or slightly loony. (Lefty, I later found out.) I went scouring the internet for a party-by-party breakdown of who all the candidates were and what they stood for, but I couldn't find a thing. Just a Queensland one that wavered between lauding Pauline Hanson and describing the greens as 'losers'. I don't know about you, but if someone tries to write off a political group using the word 'loser', I instantly stop listening.

My House of Reps voting preferences were assisted a little by GetUp's little web tool, How Should I Vote, which allows you to take a 20 question test, and then gives you a list of how the candidates in your seat answered in comparison to you. It's a little left-biased - no Libs seem to have taken the test - but interesting anyway. But nothing on the senate! Nothing!

So I did a bunch of trolling the interweb, and then, well, I thought, why not chuck all this together so that the lovely folks on my interweb friends list can, too, know ahead of time what the candidate for Senator On-Line stands for?

The following is drawn from the list of Victorian Senate candidates on the Australian Electoral Commission's website. Candidates are in the order they appear on the ballot. Parties marked "Group X" etc are only listed by name on the ballot, not by party, I think because they're not official political parties, but I've tried to dig up their affiliates where possible. I also add a disclaimer; I'm a little hazy on how the hell senate preferences actually work. The implications I attach, or in fact anything I've said full stop, may be entirely wrong, and should by no means be used as a guide for voting.

Bring On The Loonies )

[Edit] It's just been pointed out to me that whoever gets your |1| preference gets $1.50 for it, provided they receive over 4% of the vote. If you'd like to vote for someone who isn't likely to crack the 4% mark, you can give your |1| to someone low on one of the bigger tickets (e.g. the fourth-listed Greens candidate) and then your vote will carry on to your real first preference.
metavore: (tldr)
Sifting through old SMSes in my outbox I came upon this gem:

"... I'm willing the internet to work again like I'm willing John Howard to slip on a rhinestone and break his ankle and never dance again."*



The internet is working again now... I wonder if my other wish will come true.


*This is even funnier if you've seen Showgirls. Not that I'd recommend seeing Showgirls for any reason whatsoever. Unless you hate yourself. Then you should see it, because you'll hate Showgirls more than you could possibly hate yourself.
metavore: (tldr)
Asperger's Quiz Question 39:

Do you enjoy mimicking animal sounds?


No...

Wait.


Yes.



EDIT: Do you sometimes have an urge to jump over things?


God yes. Sweet Jesus, I have Asperger's Syndrome.
metavore: (tldr)
If these are still funny tomorrow, I might send them in. Best to give it some space, though. It's never a good sign when I find myself hilarious.

--------------

Magdalene tilted the mirror to admire her perfect nose, tumescent lips, green eyes that glinted like the Castafiore emeralds the magpie had stolen, flawless skin like creamy chicken soup with a garnish of freckles more perfect than the freshest parsley; she admired the pearls as they sat against her throat - the pearls Daniel had given her, saying "Darling, these pearls are a symbol of our everlasting love - it shall live as long as the uncaring mollusc that spat these beauteous morsels into the world; just as the uncaring world spat a beauteous you into my arms."

-------------------

Mysterious winds howled around the tower as a mysterious light began to glow in a window, where a mysterious cowled figure mysteriously held aloft a mysterious tome, on which mysterious runes and a mysterious engraving could be seen, depicting a mysterious creature with wings and mysterious horny fangy things and a mysterious sort of umbrella but it might be a hat, or a fish if you turned it sideways, but whatever it was, it was definitely mysterious.

-------------------

And a special Talk Like A Pirate Day Bulwer-Lytton Sentence:

"Stand Avast!" shouted the fearsome pirate Norwich the Brown, "I'm planked if I'll stone the crows before this Arrr gets me scurvy! It'll be me hearties before that happens! Get me doubloon, now, and be booty about it! Jolly Roger the crow's nest with a salty sea dog, and swab the starboard wenches before I ahoy the lot of you! Now keelhaul to! Avast! AVAST!!!

Photos

Sep. 10th, 2007 04:53 am
metavore: (Default)
It's late at night. I'm sorting Vonne's photographs.

Not photographs, really. I'm sitting among a life. Every surface around me is covered in them. Hundreds of them. Photos of people, parties, cats, dessert plates, exotic destinations. Mostly of people. Vonne liked to be in photographs, and to take photos of other people.

Most of them are happy-snaps. Not many are works of photographic art. Here and there a great one surfaces, mostly of Vonne rather than by her. Despite not being close to any standard template of beauty, she was a ridiculous photogenic hottie.

Photos of Eve, her mother. I don't think Eve ever really walked. Early photos propped on horses and fences and cane chairs, sometimes hobbling about in leg braces and crutches. Later photos in wheelchairs, and eventually bedridden. Eve's tenants, the Kans, in all her photos, their kids surrounding her like a very small crayon-clutching Mongol horde.

Photos of Vonne playing dressups in the garden as a child. Obligatory bridesmaids' photos. My grandfather Peter's photos of Europe, every monument with a tiny Vonne in the foreground. Photos of Vonne and JoB, Dorothy, Hugh, assorted step-children and step-grand-spawn. Whole families she knew and loved that I never really got a handle on. Friends, neighbours. All her different houses lovingly documented. All the parties she threw. She threw a mean party. Watching all her furniture and objets drift from place to place, house to house, as she got bored and redecorated. Adventures to exotic destinations documented for posterity.

Early black-and-white pictures drift into washed-out colour. Become bright and glossy. Sizes get bigger and are standardised. Eventually digital prints start creeping in. The subject matter is the same.

Vonne bursts out of photos. You can hear her laugh in the pictures, her head thrown back. You can see her looking out at you, with that mischief-on-my-mind gleam in her eye. She's holding a glass, or a cigarette, or a whole wine-bottle, or an upside-down cat. Photos of her at my aunt and uncle's wedding, dancing on a table. Leaning with glee on someone else's vintage car. Vonne had the bearing of a silent movie star and a foxy smile.

People who met Vonne inevitably fell in love with her, her shrieks, her alarmingly blunt questions, her delight in throwing swearwords down on the table like a roast bird at Christmas in her beautifully elocuted throaty voice. She'd listen to you intently for four minutes and nod sympathetically as you waffled about your troubles, then with great dignity tell you to shut up and pull your thumb out. No tradesperson, shop assistant, call-centre employee or other hapless service industry person could escape her steamroller charm. She had strings of them that followed her round, like ducklings. Everyone had arguments with her, deeply personal disagreements and feuds, but it was impossible to stay angry. You found yourself rejoining the queue of ducklings without even noticing.

Vonne might be gone, but these photographs are little snippets of her soul. A collection of images of her and of the things she loved. And I will scan them all, no matter how long it takes.

metavore: (mr kipling)
So, I went on this holiday, right. And to prove that I went on this holiday, or more importantly to prove that I'm alive, I took, like, five thousand photos. Or thereabouts.

I've put the ones from Japan online, along with some witty commentary and judicious cropping. Since Flickr will only let me have three sets (what is with that?) they can be found in a dog-eared, autumn-leaf-like pile at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictureskew/

I don't guarantee that I photographed everything in Japan, but there are love hotels, Ghibli merchandises, parfaits with cornflakes in them, maple leaves, cherry blossoms, engrishes and pink fluffy dresses for your chihuahua. If that doesn't satisfy, nothing will.
metavore: (mr kipling)
Hello all,

I've finally got around to putting some more photos on the interweb. This lot spans Barcelona, Paris and Brugge.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictureskew/sets/72157600331647444/

So far, Europe is defined by: cobblestone paving in a fanning pattern, a lot of dogs, an equal amount of dog crap, old brick buildings, random gilding of all manner of objects, a constant state of elections, overpriced everything, a total lack of lifts in train stations and an utter fascination with my hair.

Off to Bruxelles this morning. I'm going to need a holiday when I get back.

Barcelona

Jun. 1st, 2007 07:43 pm
metavore: (mucha)
Dearest Mama,

My week in Barcelona draws to an end. The weather continues clement.

I must say that when the idea of touring the Continent was first brought up, I was somewhat cautious; I suspected the rich foods and unpredictable climes would upset my digestion and ruin the balance of my humours. However Barcelona, or Barthelona as the locals charmingly lisp it, provides more than adequately the comforts of home. The locals are friendly and the young men call out inappropriate but charming greetings as ladies walk by.

I have toured the city and its marvellously-built follies, sampled the local sandwiches (or 'entrepans'), been astounded by all manner of wrought-iron balconies and quaint shops. They value art here greatly and I have been astonished with the works of Dali, Picasso and Miro that abound. I also visited the beach and have become quite red from the sun, unlike my normal pale self. I am sure it does me good, although it is quite painful!!

One thing that has surprised me is the excessive number of hounds in this city!! It seems the locals favour Man's Best Friend over the more elegant feline, and despite being largely unchained and allowed to wander as they will, they are well-behaved.

As well as hounds, this city boasts an excessive number of something not so pleasant - tourists. It is most dreadful when travelling to be reminded by the uncouth behaviour of fellow travellers that one is but a presumptuous visitor to a city, and to watch them scramble about purchasing castanets, keychains and stuffed bulls in mounds and walking aimlessly about the main street is something of a dampener on one's mood of discovery.

Still, I have largely avoided much trying on their behalf by simply avoiding the populous spots, and the company provided me in my hostel has been more than acceptable.

I shall write further on my arrival in Paris. Give my love to everyone.

Much love,
Nicole

craziness

May. 11th, 2007 07:05 pm
metavore: (mookie)
So it looks like my round the world trip will be detouring back via a little city I like to call Melbourne. I checked the fine print on my travel insurance, spent some torturous minutes wrestling with the Japanese public telephone system, and it looks like I'm covered to come back for the funeral. Despite the blurry definitions of 'relative' where step-grandmothers are concerned.

I promise to post photos of this, my newest and most exotic destination, faithfully to my Flickr account.

Japan, by the way, is still fun. Their food remains delicious, their junk remains the best in the world, their people remain the most paradoxical combination of bland and fascinating one can imagine. Very little has changed since I left - shops are just where I left them, and the same guy is still selling cat-themed postcards at Kyobashi station, though the strawberry-cream daifuku are gone. Schoolgirls are still rolling their skirts up to scandalous heights (the current fashion is for short-shorts with over-the-knee black socks and bright shoes), salarymen still get drunk and have to ask the taxi driver to stop so they can throw up, people still have ridiculous toy dogs. Ame-mura, haven of alternative J-pop culture, plastic-fingernailed big-haired skanks and - gasp! - black men - is still considered a 'dangerous' place to go. Tiny gothic-lolita girls can be glimpsed in train stations and in the street. People tell you your Japanese is amazing after a 'hello'. Nice to be back.
metavore: (Default)
This may not mean a lot to many humans out there, but I know it will to some of you.

My step-grandmother Vonne, venerable and mad and thoroughly fantastic lady, is no longer with us.

In true Vonne style, she waited until a party was being thrown in her honour (76th birthday, I believe), the house full of adoring fans and booze and music, and promptly slipped going down the stairs.

Vonne was my grandfather's secretary. They ran away together when she was in her late teens, and stayed together until he died (before I was born). She was a huge fan of swearing and drinking and dancing and loved to shock people for the fun of it. I'm not sure if she ever got around to writing her life story, but if she didn't, someone surely will.

In honour of Vonne, I will now share a bit of wisdom she bequeathed us once at a Christmas-ish dinner. To be read in the broadest possible accent of your region of choice:


Mah son Billy
Had a ten-foot willy
He showed it to the girl next door.
She thought it were a snake
So she hit it with a rake
And now it's only five foot four.


You will be sorely missed, Vonne.
metavore: (snail)
Now that I've got that out of my system.

I put some photos of Beijing up on Flickr using the painfully slow connection at my hostel last week.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28614060@N00/sets/72157600064105307/

When I'm feeling sufficiently de-communist-ized, I'll start putting up some North Korea photos as well. They are, how you say, quite something, though many fine photographic opportunities were lost through the constant policing by our tour guides.
metavore: (Default)
stupid China stupid blocked stupid livejournal stupid!

Democratic People's Republic, my generous round posterior.

After all, we know Livejournal is a hotbed of political subversion and intrigue and certainly not a hotbed of petty angst, overblown literary pretensions and lunch-recounting.
metavore: (mr kipling)
This week has been madness. By "this week", I actually mean the whole month since I left Melbourne Uni - time is malleable when you're unemployed - but the last ten days or so of this week has been particularly mad.

David has been packed off to Japan and has arrived intact, no exploded bags or missed flights, and has already been to one goth club, three temples, gotten lost several times and been overcharged for very factual peanuts (in a bowl and everything). He swears he's going to update his livejournal, [livejournal.com profile] t_r_i_p_e_, but I suspect he won't catch the keyboard bug. He just doesn't have the kind of semicolon-littered internal monologue required to sustain blogging.

I, on the other hand, am now the proud owner of one round-the-world ticket. Leaving just over a month from now.


I have to get everything booked and sorted azzap, but I need recommendations. For everything. Cockroach-free hostels, restaurants, tourist attractions, cheese and mop museums, ways of travelling, sneaky local tips, common methods of theft and bag-snatchery (heh) to look out for, competitive eating competitions, dates of frequent flooding, phrases that mean "I'm gonna smash that pretty face-plate of yours" etc.

I know a lot of you have been to the places I'm going, and I'd seriously appreciate any little tidbits or massive thirty-page essays you might have.

My destinations are as follows: Beijing, the DPRK (!!), Osaka, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, possibly some other European city, New York, San Francisco.

If there's somewhere I absolutely must go, dahlink that's not on that list, put it down and maybe I can squeeze in a side-trip. Particularly in Europe, the travel agent got so excited about my trip that she convinced me to go for a month on the Continent with nothing planned beyond eat, sleep and hit on Irish people in the hostels.

Also, if there's anyone willing to take on the job of designing the website to be set up to find me when I'm kidnapped as a cut-rate chinese bride, give me a yell, I have some ideas in the mauve and mustard range and some animated GIFs of angels flapping their wings ready to go.
metavore: (mookie)
I am, though. Bored. I've got a week left at Melbourne uni and not a great deal to do. The whole department is in a state of permanent upheaval, no developers, three-quarters of everyone on training, the rest panicking about enrolments (in which I have no involvement). I'm now sitting around full of a gluttonous lunch, gearing up to maybe eat a biscuit later on.

So - does anyone want icons?

I don't have much at my disposal graphics-wise, but I love making icons. Let me know if you want one, and if you have any particular icon desires, and I'll paintbrush the living hell out of them for you.
metavore: (mookie)
I have a cat. He's black and white, and skinny, and very tall, and has big yellow eyes, and loves to rub his face against human faces and lick noses. He'll play hunt-the-string for hours, and go for walks with you to the milk bar, and is instant flying death to any mouse or cockroach unwise enough to run across the kitchen floor. He's usually a very sweet cat, but he gets shirty when you try to fence him in.

The original trip back from the RSPCA was a symphony of tiny pathetic mewling. His first trip to the vet (in the cat carrier) was also deafening. Eventually I wised up and took him in a Bakers' Delight bread-bag, which he seemed to like more, but you inevitably got Looks from passers by who were horrified by the Tortures You Must Be Inflicting on the poor cat for it to be Making That Noise.

Sometime on saturday, my little lebkuchen-small managed to slice open his back paw, right down between the two middle toes. He was apparently unfazed by the crusted blood and horrible smell, but we hustled him to the vet, who prescribed Stitches, requiring full sedation, and then confinement to quarters for ten days.

Taking home the woozy cat post-anaesthetic was pretty funny. He managed to crawl out of his cat-bag (brand new, skull print, very stylish, thankyou smith street fashion outlet shopping) while I was driving and into my lap. Monumentally dangerous and also monumentally cute. Okay, so it was a forty zone all the way home, so probably not that dangerous, but it's quite hard to steer around a cat.

On returning home, catnik was alternately purry, screamy, hissy and passed out on the carpet. Also funny. The funny started to drop away after about 2am, when the last of the anaesthetic wore off and kitten wanted to go out.

Those tiny little kitten lungs are not little any more. The volume on my cat has been turned up over the years. The yowling. The screaming. The plaintive mewling, designed to hit whatever mental nerve we humans have for crying offspring. His little kitteny voice asking "Why are you doing this? Why? WHY? WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME??". All night. Two minute intervals followed by five minute serenades. And I have ten more days of this.

Next time he hurts his leg, I'm just going to shoot him.

Unofficial

Dec. 20th, 2006 02:16 pm
metavore: (snail)
Work functions are so much more palatable after your fifth drink. Suddenly, everything you spend eight hours a day doing seems hilarious, and all the intimidating suits in upper management are fair game for mockery and drunken wit. To hell with their histories of blank stares and inability to remember names. Chrismas is the great leveller of corporate horseshit, and the chance for true brilliance to shine through, jump on a table, kick off its shoes and do a fantastic rendition of Janis Joplin. So to speak.

I love making a gregarious idiot of myself.
metavore: (snail)
" ...and then we grow up and we end up doing things, the job thing, the career thing. The careers officer’d come to school- I mean, I ended up doing standup comedy- was gonna be in the Army, ended up doing standup comedy. Slightly different… slightly more makeup where I went. Army’s only got that night-time look and… it doesn’t work for me. No, it’s true! I like all that sort of running, jumping, standing still – “Oh, I can see you in a tree! (mocking sounds)”part of it, so standup comedy- vocation, you gotta go for that! You can’t just fall into it.

And there’s others like taxidermy! You can’t just go, “Oh, I was just working at the chip shop, and I just started stuffing animals with sand,” you know? You’ve gotta want to be! “I want to be a taxidermist! I wanna fill animals with sand. (mimes stuffing an animal) I wanna get more sand into an animal than anybody has ever bloody got in one. I wanna fill a rat with the entire Gobi Desert, so it’s really quite tight.”

They should put more things in, not just sand, that gets boring. “Porridge, I’m doing this one with porridge!” (mimes stapling the stuffed animal shut) Staple gun…

“I’ve done your dog, it’s is finished. I filled it with porridge.” (flop)

“It’s a bit floppy…”

“Yeah, that’s porridge to you, you know? You’ve got a two-level effect.” "
metavore: (Default)
So I've got a big whack of annual leave saved up.

Everyone is too broke to jaunt off overseas with me on a whim, so I was thinking of finding a small sea to jaunt over, and maybe going to Tasmania for a week or so.

Thing is, I haven't been to Tasmania since I was about seven, and while faint memories of tall trees and flattened quolls by the roadside are very evocative, they aren't practical when actually planning a holiday.

Can anyone recommend things to do or see in Tasmania? Will probably be taking the car along, I mean, what's the point of having a car if you don't go on cheese-and-wine-and-quoll tours of Tasmania.

For inspiration, and for the edification and entertainment of those unable to offer advice, I have included a picture of a quoll. They so cute.



I do like doing and seeing pretty much anything, with the exception of hootenanny and sporting-type activities. And even hootenany I could be convinced.
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