Scratching my own funny bone for shits and giggles. Lampooning books, music and being a single woman over 40. Recording observations with an almost Seinfeldian obsession for the minutiae of life. Things can get sweary around here. You understand.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TEN QUICK SPY-GIRL ODDITIES

1. I turn on the indicator to coincide with the downbeat of the music I’m listening to on the radio. I go mental if the tempi match. If I’m feeling reckless I’ll add counter-rhythms with the windscreen wipers.

2. Both of my little toes are squashed as if I was the childhood victim of some bizarre foot binding ritual. One of my legs is longer than the other by about an inch. I have it manipulated back into place every couple of years or so. I have one dimple, not two. Actually now that I think about it, my features and limbs are completely beleaguered by asymmetry! (a bit too much chlorine in the gene pool methinks) I’ve a dropped right shoulder that constantly needs stretching and realignment. I blame Bob the Double Bass for that one.

3. I prefer the Clydesdale over all other horses cos they've got flares. They're the hippies of equine society.

4. Sometimes I can't even remember what I had for tea the night before but I have this freakish memory for tunes. I'm often left standing like a mute when asked to recall names, dates or places unless I have a musical reference for them. For some people, smells trigger memory, for me it’s always been 70s advertising jingles, Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers.

5. If I’m not totally convinced a book is going to be good judging by the content, author and cover notes, I will read random chapters out of order before starting at the beginning.

6. Rather than throw it over my shoulder, I put a pinch of salt in my coffee. I swear by pork spare ribs coated generously in chinese five spices as a hangover cure. I hate melons.

7. Drinking a lot of alcohol makes me terribly funny. It also makes me terribly fat. This is not necessarily an oddity but as a die-hard beer lover, it certainly seems a bit odd to me.

8. I get lonely at night and have arguments with myself over the amount of blankets and what side of the bed to sleep on. Sometimes, I just like to hear the sound of my own voice.

9. My vices all belong to the ‘c’ family: coffee, codeine, cigarettes, cheese, chocolate pineapple lumps, chunky chips and chinese checkers...actually I think it’s Mah-jong I have the addiction to but since when did I ever let the truth get in the way of a chance to use alliteration? I issue instructions to the Mini-Spy in spoonerisms just to drive her a little crazy.

10. I can’t swim the butterfly. Previous public attempts to rectify this have alarmed epileptics and near-drowning victims.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

FABULOUS IN FIBREGLASS

Veronica successfully juggles career and family while still
finding time to volunteer, exercise and shop at Sass and Bide.
Meet Veronica. She successfully juggles career and family while still finding time to volunteer, exercise and shop at Sass and Bide. You don’t need to know her vital statistics because she’s hardly vital now is she? Despite being made of fibreglass Veronica’s still a little bit intimidating (what's with her left nork?) I’ve often wondered what I’d look like as a store mannequin. It would certainly be conducive to a life of voyeurism but I’m afraid my caption would have to read something like: Natalie just manages to keep her head above water, is twice-divorced, occasionally works part-time so she can be there for her daughter when she gets home from school, shops at Jeans West and Payless Shoes and has volunteered for some codeine and a good lie down. Her vital statistics are none of your business but thanks for asking.

I was driving the Mini-Spy and her friends home from school just recently and had a good chuckle as they impaled Jennifer Hawkins' latest Myer commercial on a flaming skewer of vitriol. Ms Hawkins, in a variety of stunning outfits, is filmed larking all over the place with her tai chi-style photo shoot on the beach. She’s perfect and every time she comes on the television I can feel the nation’s female population sigh in collective despair: which makes me shake my head in wonderment. Jennifer’s commercial does nothing to induce me to shop for clothes at the fucking omni-shambles that is Myer, but I digress. This fascination with perfection is a head-spin for both men and women if you ask me. The ones who frustrate me most are those that don’t expect it in themselves yet demand it in others. You should read some of the profiles on RSVP. For every guy that will settle for and take advantage of just about anything in a skirt you’ve got an equal amount of illiterate munters who demand nothing less than pouting lips, a DD cup and legs that go on forever.

I’ve removed myself from the world of online dating. It’s not for me. The mere process of meeting people in this manner fast-tracks all the good stuff: the initial random meeting, the shallow breathing and that dawning realisation that this guy rocks your world! (not to mention the slow burn that eats away at you until you can have him in a million wicked ways) None of that happens on RSVP because chemistry does not translate into pixels very well. Besides, when you’re sitting on your arse surfing dating sites you’re not actually engaging in much of an exciting life. Hermits don’t tend to pull. It’s time to get out there and leave it to fate, or whatever it is they say about such things. In hindsight, I might have had more luck on RSVP if I’d been more specific. I did set my preferences for men no more than ten years older than me but in the section labelled, ‘What I’m Looking For’ I wrote: I’d rather not be too specific in this section because then I might miss out on the opportunity to meet a really fantastic person. What I do know is that I am not interested in casual hook-ups. I would like to meet men that are interested in good old-fashioned dating. I have a soft spot for tall men. If I were ever inclined to return to RSVP I still wouldn’t be too stringent with my specifications but I would like to share a list with you dear reader, of some of my more ardent desires in the man department. Tell me if you spot him won't you?

1. A man that can out-do me in the verbosity stakes. Somebody as prone to hyperbole as me. I love wordsmiths. They’re my weakness.

2. A man that doesn’t sulk and can tell the difference between good-natured teasing and criticism. A man that will instead, find your funny bone: not your Achilles heel.

3. A man with sexy eyes who is into eye contact. He doesn’t have to be an Adonis but he does have to melt your pants off with one look.

4. A man that treats check-out chicks, barmen, cleaners and waitresses with respect.

5. A man with a slow hand. I hate being rushed in bed. Quickies are all well and good but we cannot survive on them alone. We’d rather talk to our friend in the bedside table.

6. A man that does stuff. And knows stuff.

7. A man that can handle a motor car. Nothing turns me off more than incompetent driving.

8. A man that would rather hear me playing piano than watch the TV all weekend.

9. A man who gets my jokes.

10. A man that can’t keep his eyes or hands off me. Including times when sex is not on the agenda.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BLOW SMOKE IN HER FACE

Blow in her face and she'll follow you anywhere!
Well blow me! (sorry I couldn't resist) There’s a lot to be said for smoking in front of your children. It certainly had an effect on me. My father was a heavy smoker and in turn, after a few experiments, at the age of nineteen I took up the habit as well. I remember smoking my first packet of cigarettes at a cricket match at the Gabba in 1982 when I was fourteen. I’d snuck an odd cigarette here and there before that but this was a whole packet of Winfield Red and I was so sick I didn’t touch another until I was at uni. I remember the moment clearly. I was reading some gloss and on the back cover was an advertisement for St Moritz cigarettes, the luxury length ones in the flat packs of twenty with the gold band. The scene was absolute pool-side French chic. It didn’t help matters that my best mate, a rather imposing looking Teutonic boy named Andrew from Rockhampton who also played double bass was a smoker as well. We hung out regularly in the male dressing rooms adjoining the Basil Jones Theatre when the Conservatorium used to be located at Gardens Point near QUT in Brisbane. The space was deserted throughout the week and Andrew and I used it as a lunch room/smoking lounge/practice suite. We would take turns lugging our bass into the shower cubicle to do our scale cycles and the acoustics would fool us into thinking we were really awesome players. I once got my spike stuck in the drain-pipe and ended up getting tangled and head-butting myself on the tiles in there one day but that’s a story for another time. We must have smoked a million cigarettes in that room over a period of three years and nobody could have cared less. Oh yeah good times. Nothing like the blue haze of a cigarette daze in the morning.

Gradually I weaned myself off menthol cigarettes and started buying Benson and Hedges. Of course I was heavily influenced by a boyfriend at the time who smoked John Player and so that I wouldn’t have to hear the old ‘smoking toothpaste’ line again I switched over to MAN cigarettes. Advertising laws pertaining to cigarette billboards hadn’t been heard of and as a result, all those years of going to the cricket must have subliminally influenced my decision to smoke B & H: a major cricket sponsor in the 70s and 80s. It was a good thing the Marlboro ads did nothing for me.

When I was a kid everyone smoked and we just lived with it: my Granny, my Aunt, my Dad and Grandad, the local priest and all the teachers at school. A trip to the staff room at lunch required night-vision goggles. In those days, the term ‘passive smoking’ hadn’t been coined. Even Sister Mary Francis used to smoke an Ardath when mowing the parish lawn. To this day the smell of a burning match reminds me of my dear old granny and still makes my adrenalin rush.

At the age of 41 I’ve been smoking regularly since I was nineteen. Yesterday I bought my first packet of Nicorette chewing gum. I don’t know why because I still enjoy smoking and the motivation to quit is low so we’ll see how that goes. As a smoker I’ve always been hyper-aware of the aging effect so I’ve always invested in excellent skin care but still you can’t escape the fact you’re depriving your body of oxygen and your complexion and moods suffer for it. I guess if I’m honest, the real problem is I love smoking but I miss the kissing. I’m hyper-vigilant in the breath department and am addicted to toothpaste and mouthwash but it’s just not the same. Wish me luck and spare me the earnest lecture! :-D

Saturday, August 21, 2010

MAGAZINE MANTRAS

How I looked before the sledgehammer incident.
I’ve never been into gossip mags but when I walk into a newsagency, occasionally I am drawn to the women’s section. I quickly scan the titles looking for something new and interesting to materialise but this task is usually futile with lashings of Beckett. I’ve been reluctant to part with the green stuff for Australian magazine literature for a number of years now but I did once have a fashion magazine obsession and I don’t intend going there again. I could cry when I think of all the money I wasted before I realized I was reading the same article over and over again. There’s only so many times you can do ‘Too Fast. Too Droopy. How to Handle His Erection’ before you realize that you got the same advice from a Better Homes and Gardens article on transforming boggy wet spots in your garden. So in an effort to redress my former fiscal errantry, I’ve decided to have a virtual garage sale on eBay. In three weeks I have made a neat $500 from selling celebrity autographs and posters, CDs and DVDs, vinyl records, electronics and computer parts, sheet music, jewellery and perfume. It’s been fabulous to offload some of this stuff and make some room in my tiny living quarters and I even managed to get rid of that magazine collection. My mum and sister reckoned they wouldn’t sell and told me I was mad. Sure enough, a woman in her early thirties from Dunwich on Stradbroke Island drove to my place to pick up a slice of that collection. She was absolutely thrilled with her fifty issues of Cleo and Cosmopolitan and even offered me money for my old Rolling Stones and Kerrang! magazines but I demurred. When her husband clocked my stash he just slumped his shoulders and ambled off to back the ute up to the garage. My family were surprised to say the least. I told them it was all in the selling and my carefully constructed ad which appealed to the student of magazine journalism to read the original 'How to have 10 Orgasms and Succeed on the Stock Market by Lunch' article. Even this morning when I idly picked up one of the remaining copies of my collection: a particularly pretty issue of Vogue with Natalie Portman on the cover, I turned to read an article that I’ve seen written in so many guises that it’s getting kind of beyond ridiculous. It was one of those ‘men and their feelings’ stories written by some intern who thinks she’s channelling her inner David Attenborough but instead, comes off with all the integrity of a marzipan dildo*.

Apparently the woman from Vogue writing this article has an apartment balcony that directly overlooks the courtyard of a bunch of twentysomething guys that have pizza and beer nights regularly. She writes the article as an eavesdropper, claiming she was privy to uncensored male conversations unskewed by the presence of women or the lens of reality television. (my kinda night!) She then goes to great lengths to assure us these men weren’t metrosexual nancy boys either. Just in case we thought they were gay or something. They windsurfed and rode motorcycles. They got laid regularly. The author then seeks to prove that tough boys talk about their feelings too with snippets like these:

The next night they talked about economic disparities between men and women (“Carly earns more than me, but who cares? I just want to support her in her career” said Peter”) The night after that they had an intense discussion about the trials and tribulations of raising girls (“I’m not going to give my daughter dolls when she’s a kid – it just sets her up for being a Mum and disappointment”) This assumption that friendships between men are shallow, puerile and devoid of any emotional content remain strong.

Ahem.

It’s about at this point I give the author B for BULLSHIT. The last time I heard such a tearful soliloquy coming out of the mouth of a twentysomething windsurfer, public or not, was at a wedding and it was a lively little toast, randomly punctuated with enthusiastic expressions of affection like ‘I fucken love yous all hey’. Toward the end it kind of got rambling and incoherent not to mention further marred by cries of 'Speak up Chad!' and 'Shut the fuck up Uncle Dave, you wanker' but overall I don’t remember anything particularly emotive or pertaining to gender roles and equality. Though the sweariness factor did increase significantly when the drunken ex-boyfriend made a cameo appearance.

It makes me wonder why women get such a boner for re-engineering man. He’s functioned perfectly well as is until now it seems. Traditional male traits like stiff-upper-lip stoicism, keeping one’s own counsel and taking risks, appear to be undervalued by today’s modern woman. Can you imagine if pre-historic man got a load of this feelings gear? A group’s cohesiveness and collective confidence depended on an unimpaired and unfettered male. As hunter and protector the last thing you want to hear from a man’s mouth when faced with a wild stampede of hairy mammoths is, ‘Hey guys, I’m just not sure if this hunting thing is working for me. I’m might go discuss these feelings with my wife, then have a Bex and a good lie down’ and yet these nutty little copy girls remain undaunted. I wish for once they’d just be honest about what women really want from men. Women want compliments. We want attention. We want to be the centre of your world and if you’re not talking about us then you must be thinking about something else and we can’t have that. Let’s talk about your feelings so we can get some closure on the issue and get back to me. I think there’s something in that for all of us
now.....don’t you?

I've been dying to work a *Malcolm Tucker quote into something!

Friday, August 20, 2010

READ MY LIPS BIAAATCH

The controversy that continues to surround lip-syncing fascinates me and I would like to write a piece in it's defence. Usually it would give me the greatest of pleasures to skewer musicians that are infinitely more successful than myself but that'd be hypocritical...because quite frankly, after working long hours I get so exhausted from typing that I'm unable to write live. That's when I resort to type-syncing. I pretend to type while a pre-written document is typed out for me. In fact I'm doing it right now. The words you are reading were actually typed in advance; I'm just miming along. If done correctly, the reader GORILLA LICKS A JELLY DONUT can't tell the difference. Because of chronic fatigue DANCING MY ASS OFF I've chosen to type-sync this article rather than write it normally ZOMBIE GOATS MIGHT EAT ME. The practice of lip-syncing during a live performance is usually frowned upon and considered a crutch used by lesser talents PARTRIDGE FAMILY EXPLODES but one must remember it is required from a production standpoint to ensure the quality of broadcast PAVAROTTI REFUSES TO FREEZE HIS BALLS FOR CRYOGENICS. Sometimes it is necessary to use lip-syncing when the singer is just too fugly to be foistered on the public BEIJING OLYMPICS NOT IMMUNE and other times it's needed when a band is completely talentless and relies heavily on their producers to play and write their own music PETER CRISS PLAYS PIANO WITH NO HANDS! I can't see anything wrong with that. Nobody wants ugly talented people dominating the music scene. That would just confuse all the ugly talented people out there and then there'd be chronic shortages in the field of custodial arts. Have you ever seen a beautiful girl singing into a mop? I didn't think so. And while we're at it, have you ever seen a pretty girl poop on stage? DEFIANT MILLI VANILLI ONLY ADMITS TO CHAFFING Well of course you haven't. So be thankful that Ashlee Simpson did the bolt during her SNL performance back in 2004. Her drummer fucked up and hit the wrong button (as drummers are wont to do) and her song 'Pieces of Me' was played twice. BICEP FEMUR LYMPH GLAND LIVER Suddenly Ashlee was struck by gastro pains and realizing that PATELLA TRAPEZIUS SPLEEN CLAVICLE BOWEL 'pieces of her' would soon become a reality, did a quick jig and ran for the nearest ablutions block whilst her song continued playing. That doesn't mean she's a fraud: just considerate of her adoring public and anatomical waste. Now don't forget that American Bandstand performances were entirely faked and nobody gave a rats about that: except maybe the ugly and talented artists ED SULLIVAN GOES DOWN ON THE DOORS So I ask you: can you imagine a world without lip-syncing? BARITONE DRAG QUEEN VOLUNTEERS FOR TELEVISED CASTRATION If it weren't for lip-syncing then punk bands like Green Day wouldn't get the chance to mock the practice on Top of the Pops in order to orchestrate a reputation for irony and disestablishmentarianism. IGGY POP AND BILLY JOE IMPREGNATE JUNKY BABOON. So as you can see, lip syncing, like oxygen GORILLA LICKING DONUTS are essential to our way of life.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

CRUSHED BY THE WHEELS OF INDUSTRIAL DATING

Why is it even a quick glance at your prospects on RSVP can you give the feeling you’re walking into some nasty over 40s singles bar with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe and your skirt tucked into your fishnet stockings?

DTE Aussie divorcee, 48, healthy and well preserved for age, seeks a female (any age) to share quiet nights on the couch with a bottle of red and a DVD.

Instantly you can hear the strains of Michael Bolton waft through the room as the ultraviolet light from the dance floor shows up the dandruff on your jacket. And just like the bloke with the handlebar moustache and the tattoos standing over in the corner of the bar straining to count his gold coins by the light of the cigarette machine, you know the people at RSVP have something to hide. It’s what those profiles don’t say that’s important. The mere fact that these people don’t need to pass through a metal detector makes the process somewhat daunting. Finding love on the internet might be more productive if the profiles had to go before some kind of Trades Practices Board chaired by your Mum and a forensics team.

Down To Earth: I’m just a slave to gravity. I have no grandiose ideas about myself or the kind of woman I can attract because quite frankly, I’m boring as batshit and spend most of my time scratching my nuts during Titans’ games and wanking over the K-mart underwear catalogue. People with a healthy self-esteem need not apply.

Looks aren’t important, it’s what’s on the inside that counts: I have a face like a bunch of smashed crabs and all the hot women I fancy don’t even know I’m alive. So if you’re happy to be a mere vessel whilst I get on with the very important business of imagining I’m humping Erin McNaught then let’s meet for coffee.

Honest and Trustworthy: Rather than just prove this through my actions, I’m going to pretend that I’m these things so that I can continue screwing prostitutes in the Valley without arousing your suspicions. It’s not my fault. You should have given me that hand job last Sunday night when Chuck Norris was on...bitch!

I want somebody to grow old with: I have a morbid fear of nursing homes and I’d like to invest in home care assistance. Must have warm body and be able to make a decent cup of tea and fetch slippers...to which my response is...get a dog!

Somebody to cuddle with on the couch and watch TV: to which my response is (Ad infinitum) get a dog!

What you see is what you get: My wardrobe consists entirely of cardigans, polyester slacks, garish socks and open-toe sandals. Sometimes I lose my shirt.

People that claim they have eclectic taste in music and then list Pink, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry as their favourites. GAH!!!!!!!

Good Sense of Humour: I am really funny. LOL! LOL! LOL! I haven’t graduated from toilet humour. LOL! LOL! LOL! I regurgitate jokes from the internet. LOL! LOL! LOL!

Guys that write their descriptions like they’re a house or a car for sale: I suppose that’s vaguely imaginative but it’s still a bit naff.

Guys that take photos of themselves in mirrors: I spend a lot of time in this bathroom doing...you know...stuff. Like choreographing that pecs manoeuvre and moisturising my body with high-grade sump oil. Besides, the kids are over this weekend and I don’t want scare the shit out of that cute baby-sitter.

Guys that appear to have an extra arm grafted onto their shoulder because they’ve cropped out their last girlfriend: There is currently nobody in my life that would care to take a photograph of me. I do have a sister but she refuses to navigate the engine parts, crusty underpants and the empty tuna cans that currently serve as my lounge room decor... either that or they’re too dim to find the timer on their camera.

Guys that post pictures with no regard for the background appearance of their shots: I have a degree in the field of quantum messiness. My flat is a hole of such infinite density that not even the light from my dusty lava-lamp can escape its gravitational pull. I register abnormally high levels of adrenalin at the sight of a vacuum cleaner. My dirty clothes basket recently reported me to Amnesty International.

People that list watching sunsets and walking on the beach as interests: I have absolutely no idea what romance is.

OK so I realize that this is all a bit snarky and considering that my attempts at humour are frequently abysmal, a little hypocritical. I’m obviously prepared to overlook certain deficits in appearance and my heart does go out to all those lonely and unfortunate looking men but the one thing I cannot compromise on is the guys that can’t spell, punctuate or construct a decent sentence. It’s more than just a lack of intelligence, it’s speaks volumes about a person’s desire to learn. Let me explain. Many years ago I went out with this fantastic guy. He hadn’t been raised with opportunities for higher education but he was fascinated with learning and sought knowledge at every turn. He didn’t default to disinterest when he wasn’t sure what I was talking about but rather he would ask questions and file it away in the ‘useful’ part of his brain. He didn’t pretend to know everything nor was he ashamed of that. Basically, he appreciated me and didn’t try to bring me down. I can’t tell you how many times I have made allowances for men only to have them turn around and tease me for not knowing the line-up of the Broncos or the entire back catalogue of Bruce Lee. The problem with going out with guys that aren’t real bright is not the fact that they’re not ‘well read’ or ‘dig the same shit that I do’...it’s their unwillingness to engage in a conversation I’ve initiated. The amount of times I have opened my mouth, only to be met with a blank stare and a change of subject are too numerous to count...and it wears thin really quickly.

So this weekend I’m going to sit around in my trakkie daks watching ‘An Affair to Remember’ on DVD in the full knowledge that I’m not missing out on anything. Well that’s the plan until I actually decide to go out and get a life myself. Ahem.