Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy New Beer!


As most of you lot will know, I'm a big fan of test cricket and over the past couple of weeks I've been following the New Zealand and Indian matches fairly closely.

Unfortunately, this also involves watching a lot of commercial television, an action normally on a level with inserting red hot needles into one's scrotum.

One ad that particularly irks me is for a health insurance company - whose name I can't be arsed finding out - which involves ordinary looking schlubs finding their "healthy selves", said "healthy selves" having a slightly manic healthy glow which I find deeply unsettling.

Oddly enough, both "normal" and "healthy" selves seem to be having an absolutely cracking time, with the punch line being that the company can help you find your "healthy self".

I don't think that's likely to happen to me.

Healthy Ramon: "Normal Ramon! It's me, Healthy Ramon!"

Normal Ramon: "Yes, and?"

Healthy Ramon: "I here to say that you too can have my healthy glow!"

Normal Ramon: "Oh?"

Healthy Ramon: "You just need to give up the booze!"

Normal Ramon: "Yes?"

Healthy Ramon: "And the fags!"

Normal Ramon: "Right."

Healthy Ramon: "And the fatty food!"




Normal Ramon: "Fuck off, you weirdo."

That's it for 2011 comrades and what a long, strange trip it's been.

See you on the flip side*.

* Whatever that may mean.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A "beware the wrath of the women" PSF.

"What rhymes with scum-sucker?"

That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said
“Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps
Fra Pandolf chanced to say “Her mantle laps
Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat”: such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked
Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
—E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master’s known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The only Poll that makes sense.

Robespierre had a very bad press.

Well the catch up with Melbs, Mr E and Kettle on Saturday was ace.

Much beer was drunk and many lemons were...errr...lemoned.

Over the course of the conversation, we discussed a number of ideas about the future of this blog. In the spirit of half-arsed democracy that hovers uneasily, I wouldn't mind getting your feedback about where we should be headed.

Would people like;

* More posts analysing the meeja/politics?
* Book/film reviews?
* Obscure/possibly fanciful aspects of history?
* Amusing cat stories?
* Stuff that passes over my mind?

I know Kettle is keen on more PSF, so I'll crank that sucker up again.

Or should we just say "enough is enough" and put this puppy to sleep?

Over to you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stop me if you think you've heard this one before.

How will the breakup of The Smiths affect the Rudd-Gillard thingo?

To the Canberra Press Gallery.

Chaps, I know it’s the silly season and all and the desk still expects you to file even if nothing is actually – you know – happening in Canberra, but you really need to ease up on the whole “Rudd versus Gillard” thing.

It’s just getting silly.

Witness the current brouhaha over the decision not to give the tender to run the Australia Network to SkyNews*. Instead of focusing on what the decision means in terms of broadcasting policy, how the region perceives us and whether the entire tendering process was a good idea or not - the stuff I rather thought journalists were supposed to do - a goodish chunk of the Gallery decided to focus on how the entire saga reflected on the “Rudd versus Gillard” Strum und Drang.

Spare me.

What’s next?

“Earthquake in China kills thousands, will Rudd challenge?”

“Syrian Government accused of massive human rights violations, can Rudd and Gillard get along?”

“Obama’s nuclear plan reveals stresses within Labor.”

Sit back, have a quiet lie down and a cup of tea and trying and work out what’s important and what isn’t. Because, quite frankly, you’re making yourselves look absurd.

* And stop it with this cutsie-poo typography. That joke isn’t funny anymore**.

** You see what I did there? I worked two Smiths references into the one post. Win!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Puss's Most Awesome and Amazing Wedding!

So, it's been a while! Apologies for my extended absence.

Essentially, I tried to do too much myself (appalled at the cost of things), my bridesmaids weren't being very helpful (I was trying to be subtle in my requests for help, and in their defence, I am not known for subtlety), started a new job, tried to keep doing a full time uni load, and the result was having a nervous breakdown back in March and ending up on anti-depressants (which made my attempts at slimming down impossible).

But! I am all awesome again now! Getting weaned off the anti-depressants as we speak.

So, the wedding was quite the extravaganza. Squirrel themed, with a lot of little touches. I started out with quite a large budget, and then, as I said, was appalled at the cost of things, so I made a tonne of stuff myself, but instead of then putting aside the money I had saved, I just put it towards other stuff, so that the wedding ended up being quite the production! I was really just trying to make sure everyone had an awesome time. I hate boring weddings!

Entrance to venue

Ceremony room

Reception room

Practically everything was hand made. What I (and my bridesmaids, once they realised I needed help) did myself was:

-hand made over 300 paper flowers to decorate the venue

-designed and made all of the stationery

-hand made the napkin rings (with leftovers from the stationery)

-hand made the menu towers for each table

-hand made the table "number" cards for the tables: 11 different types of squirrels. On the back of the card was info about the squirrel for the guests to educate themselves

-made the wishing well out of an old stump, lacquer, paint, and some wooden letters and ribbon

-collected a tonne of vintage tea cups to stack and use as décor

-created an "our story" board, with photos of both the groom and I, as well as various keep sakes. My stuff started on the right, his on the left, and we merged in the middle with photos of the two of us together and keep sakes from our time together

-designed and had made my wedding dress

-designed and had made the bridesmaids' dresses, and the bridesmaids' shoes

-designed and had made the mother of the bride's dress

-designed the menu for the venue

-took detailed measurements of everything at the venue (including furniture) so I could create to-scale floor plans for the layout (I like to know how everything is going to fit together!)

-organised Azalea bonsai trees to be created as centrepieces

-took piano and voice lessons from March onwards to learn to play and sing Regina Spektor's version of John Lennon's Real Love (I had no previous musical experience)

-collected various jars and bowls for use on the lolly buffet, as well as decorating mini suitcases with collected vintage post cards of all of our honeymoon destinations (and the groom hand made the blackboard heart tags, because they were really pricey on Etsy)

-hand made the lolly buffet boxes (unfortunately this pic is not the right way out, so you can't see the decoration on the front - scalloped paper with cute squirrel button and ribbon)

-went to dance classes with the groom to learn a hip hop routine to MC Hammer's You Can't Touch This

-searched long and hard for 6 pairs of Louboutins (start tall, and work my way down to flats!)

-purchased vintage 80s board games for the guests to play during the cocktail hour (which was actually two hours)

-hired a photo booth for the guests to amuse themselves in during the cocktail hour

-provided a range of bathroom products for guests to refresh themselves with throughout the night (there was a lot more than this photo shows! Everything you could think of, I had provided it)

-hired a Mr Whippy van to dispense ice creams for dessert

-provided flat shoes for the girls, so they could dance all night

-bought a range of vintage-style handkerchiefs, which the groom's grandmother embroidered with our initials. These were for guests to take and use at the ceremony if they needed to

-bought a bunch of glass jars for the venue to fill with home made lemonade for the guests to drink on arrival to the ceremony

-trawled Etsy for finishing touches, such as tiny felted squirrels, felted acorns, felted acorn & oak leaf place settings, squirrel buttons (for decorating), squirrel paper clips, hand crafted hair pieces, Star Wars lego cufflinks, ostrich feather signing pen, vintage-style paper straws, other wholesale craft things to create the décor

-trawled the internet and op shops for other things, such as vintage silver coffee sets, vintage books, tea cups, 3D squirrel puzzles for the guests to put together, acorn salt & pepper shakers for the table, squirrel table number holders, vintage-style easels for signs, and a billion other things!

-hand made the flower bouquets and buttonholes the night before the wedding

Other highlights included:

-an awesome string quartet

-the DJ playing Weird Al Yankovich

-the vintage Jags

-trivia cards for each guest, with whoever scored the highest at the table taking home the bonsai centrepiece

-people cutting it up on the dance floor

-everyone having a super awesome fun time, and many of the guests saying it was the best wedding they'd ever been to! They really appreciated all of the little details and things to keep them occupied.

There were only two small glitches. The photographer had us stand at the front entrance of the venue after the ceremony to do a "congratulations" thing (people are supposed to come and say hi before you dash off for photos). Unfortunately, it wasn't really the right space, and not many people came to say hello, because they couldn't see us. We should have stayed in the ceremony room.

The second was that I had put together a box of props for the photo booth, including hats, blackboard signs, moustaches on sticks, glasses on sticks, etc etc. When the groom and I went into the booth to take a photo, we noticed they weren't in there. I sent the event co-ordinator (my sister's husband) off to find the box, but he returned saying there wasn't anything. I knew that wasn't right, because I'd brought it to the venue myself. In any event, I let it go. Two days later when I went to pack up the venue, the box with all of the props was right there. So our photo booth photos of guests are nowhere near as fun as they could have been. Oh well.

So yeah, overall, it was a great day and night!