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July 5, 2010


Posted by dogpossum on July 5, 2010 4:27 AM | Comments (1)

This is how we make lasagne.
It's easy and it doesn't take all that long to make. We don't like bechamel sauce, but we _do_ really like the layers of tofu - fu sucks up flavours. We occasionally replace the 'fu with some home made cheese, but that's an added layer of fuss. It's also an added layer of dairy if you're going vegan.

We make vegie lasagne because it's nice. We have also discovered that simple is best - just like pizza.

1. Make some red sauce.
Get some chopped onions and make them transparent in a pan with some olive oil. Make some crushed garlic cook a bit. I add it after the onions are almost ready, because I hate the bitter taste of burnt garlic. I cook the garlic until it's almost brown. If it's not cooked enough it's not sweet enough and it kind of boils in the red slop.

We like to brown some sliced mushrooms (button, swiss brown, whatevs). I take the onions out of the pan and do the mushrooms in the pan.

Add the canned tomatoes, or a bunch of fresh ones if they're really really ripe and nice.

Add a can of brown lentils. These are really important - their nutty flavour is important. If you have some soaked and cooked dried ones on hand, use those. Red lentils are a bit dull - use the tastier ones. The French ones would be wicked.

Let it simmer for a while, til it gets thicker and richer. Add some scrumpled up fresh basil and some salt and pepper if you like.

2. Slice some pumpkin REALLY thinly.

3. Slice some firm tofu (not firm silken tofu, but actually quite firm tofu - firm like a wobbly cheese) about a centimetre thick, or as thin as you can get it.

4. Get some fresh baby spinach.

5. Get some lasagne sheets.

6. Layers, baby. Alternate the ingredients - tofu, red slop, lasagne, red slop, spinach, lasagne, red slop, pumpkin, lasagne, red slop, tofu, lasagne, red slop. I try to get the red slop directly onto the lasagne, because you need the moisture to cook the pasta. But the spinach is usually good enough, and has enough water in it to help make things moist and cook the pasta. If you're making 'real' lasagne, lots of layers of pasta is good. But we tend to prefer the vegies to the pasta, so we don't use as many layers - maybe 5.

7. The final layer should be a layer of pasta. I then add a layer of thinly sliced fresh tomatoes and shredded fresh basil. Then I grate some cheese onto that. But not heaps and heaps of cheese, because it's very rich. I use something tasty - the point isn't a melty mass (like you might get with a mozzarella), but a crispy or tasty layer. It's cool to skip this layer if you're going vegan - the tomatoes and basil will be nice enough without it. I like the cheese, but the Squeeze doesn't like it when it gets really crispy.

8. Cook it for a long time in the oven. It takes ages, usually an hour. You know it's cooked when you can push a skewer in easily. You want the pasta cooked al dente, or to your taste. We like it pretty well cooked.

"lasagne" was posted in the category domesticity and fewd and gastropod

April 15, 2010

gingerbread noms

Posted by dogpossum on April 15, 2010 2:17 PM | Comments (0)

This is a recipe I've used lots of times. I've tried the 2 Fat Ladies one, but this one is better. It's from Vogue Entertaining Aug/Sep 1996. It's from a special they did on 'country cakes', and every cake I've made from that collection has been really really good. I'm not very good at cakes, but this one is heavy and solid and is difficult to ruin.

250g butter
1 cup sugar (I use a soft brown sugar)
1 cup treacle
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2 tsp bicarb soda
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger (I replace this with fresh grated fresh ginger. In fact, I think the fresh ginger is the most important part. I use the youngest ginger I can find, and grate a heap of it - 2.5 big tablespoons. The amount you use should depend on the ginger's freshness and age and your own taste. I like the cake really gingery, but not everyone does. Also, you might like to be careful about how finely you grate it. I like chunks of ginger, but it's not for everyone)

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg (as per usual, grate it freshly yourself and the difference will be amazing)
I also add 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ground mace, but these are quite aromatic and not really to everyone's taste

Butter and flour the sides of a 23cm square cake tin and line the base with baking powder (this is a big cake, so I use my larger loaf tin). Preheat the oven to 180*C

Melt the butter in a saucepan with the sugar and treacle and set aside to cool.

Beat the eggs and milk together in a bowl and add the bicarb of soda, which has been dissolved in a little warm water.

Pour the egg mixture into the cooled treacle mixture. Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg (and other spices - but perhaps don't sift the grated ginger, just add it) together in a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg mixture.

Mix well with a wooden spoon (I usually use the electric mixer here as I always find it hard to get the lumps out otherwise. But beating can make the cake a bit too light and fluffy, and while it settles a bit as it gets older, the fluffiness doesn't really suit the cake).

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, let stand for 1 to 2 minutes and turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.

The recipe says to serve it with whipped cream. But I like it spread with butter. It gets better if you leave it in a sealed container (or tied plastic bag) as the outside softens and gets stickier.

"gingerbread noms" was posted in the category domesticity and fewd and gastropod

March 3, 2010

mid-week report

Posted by dogpossum on March 3, 2010 10:05 AM | Comments (1)

This is just going to be an account of things I've done lately, as I'm trying to get my brain in gear for doing readings and some writing.

Today I did the third run of week five of c25k. That was 5 minutes walking, 20 minutes running, 5 minutes walking. I ran for twenty whole minutes without having to stop. I haven't been able to do that since I was in an athletics squad at thirteen. It's pretty bloody amazing. And it wasn't as hard as I thought. My knees did get a bit sore from the impact, and I really felt the limited range of movement in my right ankle, but otherwise it was ok. I'm pretty tired now, and I don't have that massive, crazy adrenaline-charged energy I usually have on days I run, but I don't feel terrible at all. In fact, I am tough.

Tomorrow I'm off to Melbourne for Blues Before Sunrise, a blues dancing exchange. I'm not doing workshops. I never do any more - I'd much rather spend the daylight hours being a tourist and socialising. I'm not interested in any of the teachers either, which is usually the deciding factor. I'd really like it if Damon Stone came back so I could do some historically informed blues dancing classes.
I'm doing some DJing there (as I mentioned earlier), and I'm interested in seeing how Melbourne's social dancing is going these days. I'll probably play the sort of set I do at Roxbury these days, as Melbourne used to have slightly higher tempos than the Sydney SP gigs, but I'll also keep an eye on the lower tempo range as it's an after-class gig.

I'm also looking forward to buying a good sports bra. I've lost a bit of weight since I started running and this has meant that most of my clothes no longer fit the same way. Most of my wardrobe is cope-with-able, but I'm finding that I really need to get a smaller bra. I've got three super awesome Berlei ones that are actually still in good shape, even though they're about two or three years old. Apparently the elastic goes in bras after a few zillion washes, so you should replace them. But I like these and they were fricking expensive ($70 each). They're not, though, really fitting properly, and I'm getting some bad bounce which actually gives me a bit of a stitch. Egads. So I'm going to go in and get fitted at Myer and then have a look at the outlet store in Brunswick to see if they have what I'm after. I really do have to buy at least one good one for running in.

The semester has started and I've been to two of my three classes. There's an option of getting credit for one subject because of my previous study, but I'm not sure I'll take it. I should, because it'll save me heaps of money and make the workload easier, but I'm actually interested in the content. It's really just basic semiotics and critical thinking, but it's applied to information systems and data management, which is interesting. I really could just do the readings and guide myself through the content on my own (seeing as how I've spent a couple of higher degrees learning just how to do that), but I think the discussions in class could be interesting. At any rate, I have until week four to make up my mind and then withdraw without academic penalty. I should withdraw - it'll save me 1.5 thousand dollars.
Classes have been interesting. The one I'm thinking of dropping was a little frustrating. It really was like being in a first year semiotics/intro to cultural studies subject, but in a very light weight way. It felt as though the discussion was going really. really. really. slowly. Partly because the group doesn't have the sort of discussion skills you get from an arts degree, but also because the tutor/lecturer is kind of adversarial, and this shut down the contributions. It's also because it seems as though information management people are only just discovering concepts like cultural diversity, active readership, meaning as a product of reader + text not inherent in text, etc etc.
The literature is equally slow - it's very tentative about its claims about audiences and users and the status of texts, which is very ANNOYING. These things are so standardly basic in cultural studies, it feels as though we are reinventing the wheel, but without actually using any round shapes. It's a bit interesting because it also makes clear the fact that info management really does rely on the idea that texts do have innate or essential value and meaning. If they didn't, you wouldn't collect and catalogue them and libraries wouldn't exist. The very nature of cataloguing is that texts and items carry meaning within them.
I think this is why the field is having such difficulty accommodating the idea of users as a diverse bunch with different needs and interests. If your text is the important bit, you really have to assume that readers have a shared value system and shared approaches to text. I'd like to see how the literature ultimately deals with this stuff, but right now articles published in the 1990s are all 'you know what - anything can be information! Even a building!' and I'm all 'oh fuck, didn't we talk about this thirty years ago?' So it's very frustrating, but also reveals a whole lot about the way museums and libraries and things work.
It's super frustrating because I'm used to teaching these things to undergrads, and I'm not particularly enjoying the way the tutor in our classes is handling discussion. This stuff really requires a lot of talk and testing from students; they really have to actually do the whole 'meaning is made not innate to texts' thing in class through their own discussions and exploration of readings. But this can't happen if your (white, male, hetero, alpha-male...) tutor can't let the discussion move away from him-as-focus. It's really emphasising the way patriarchy relies on masculinist ways of communicating and engaging in public talk and the negotiation of ideas to maintain the status quo. And while this tutor is all about 'multiple approaches to texts' and so on, he can't see that his own discursive style is enforcing boring old hierarchies and status and modes of engagement that marginalise women and not-patriarchy-types. This is way poop when your group is 90% middle aged women with badass careers behind them. I mean, you've gotta be doing something wrong if you manage to reduce a loud, enthusiastic, cooperative group of mature aged women students to silence. Self-reflexivity, please.

But I am really really really enjoying being back in a class again, as a student not a teacher. I did have to fight my instinct to manage the discussion in the first tutorial (especially when I could see the tutor squashing the discussion). It is hard to change the way I work in such a familiar setting. Tutorials are so clearly hierarchical. The tutor really is the alpha, or at least the guiding, structuring entity. And while I don't mind being in the beta position (yahoo! no lesson planning!), I'm finding it hard not to act on my instincts to lubricate discussion. I think in part it's because I'm also used to being in academic discussions where everyone knows how to talk - you know how to keep things rolling along.
I also think it's a part of being a woman in talk - women tend to do more affirming, active listening and general social lubrication. I've noticed that women tend to respond to alphas in a particular way - affirming, listening, agreeing rather than volunteering ideas, disagreeing or asserting themselves. In a group setting, when faced with an alpha, I tend to square up, to assert myself. And I'm trying not to do that in this class because it then encourages a sort of competition between me and other alphas, but it also provokes a particular response from the women in the group - agreeing, nodding, etc. And while that's all very nice, it also shuts you off from the sort of serious, hardcore communicating women do in all-female groups. Sure, there are particular hierarchies and power dynamics at work there, but they're not such blunt objects. So I need to chill and step back because a) I'm not responsible for the smooth and productive running of the tute, and b) these are my peers, not my students and I'll gain a lot from remembering that.
Basically, this has reminded me of how challenging being a university student is, and of how academia is - despite all this talk about discourse and collegiality - absolutely all about competitive, masculinised interaction. While it was professionally a good idea to learn how to do this type of behaviour when I was teaching, it's actually a fairly shitty way to be in a cooperative, collaborative class setting. So I'm trying to - once again - stop talking and to listen more. To not be the first one to answer questions, and to not 'take control' of the discussion or social setting, even by doing things like massaging conversation or discussion, or heading off at the pass disruptive influences.
It's also a real change to be a student within the university. I'm used to the status and privilege of teaching and researching. But as a student, no one will provide my reader, no one will tell me where to be at any one time, no one will organise rooms for me. Staff deal with me in a different way (I'm definitely lower status). It's super-nice to have other students treat me as peers, though. It's strange because though I've always tried not to be a 'we are gods' type academic, I've still benefited from the higher status of being staff. But I just haven't noticed it. So that shift in status is kind of destabilising.
I noticed it most yesterday when I couldn't find my lecture room. When you're doing the teaching, everyone has to wait for you to find the room. But when you're a student, things just continue whether you're there or not. I found this a bit daunting because it was the first class of the semester for a new subject. So coming in late, I found it tricky to catch up.
This class was discussing stuff I really know nothing about - the internal architecture of information systems like google or databases or search engines. It's taught by a computer science dood (who's really a very good teacher and a lovely guy) and it's run a bit like a computer science subject - practical lab work and lots of contact hours, but NO READINGS (that blows my brain). So I'm going to have to learn how to learn in this new type of setting.
I'm kind of lucky that I do do dance classes regularly - I have ongoing experience learning how to learn in a class, and being comfortable with not knowing things. I think that dancers in the lindy world are very much about learning and knowledge... well, most of them are. The ones who are interested in historical dance forms tend to be very interested in learning. Learning new steps, routines, etc. But there's a great deal of difference between learning a routine from an archival clip or being in a dance class, and learning how to construct databases in a computer lab.

So being a student again is challenging. But it's also very exciting. I really love being in a group again, rather than working independently as you do during a PhD. I love hearing other people talk about their ideas, and having my own brain fired up by their saying things I'd never have come up with. I love this part of teaching, but when you're part of the group it's as though you have permission to just let your brain go, and follow ideas much further. When I'm teaching, I have to stay on track and keep the discussion within some sort of structure, as you have some goals and definite things to achieve. But when you're a stood, you can just let your brain run on and on and on. It's fabulous, and I love it SO MUCH.

Meanwhile, less fabulously, the bathroom renovation continues. The tiling is going on as I type, insulated by my headphones. The floor will go in today (hopefully), and then it will be tiled tomorrow. The vanity should be in by the end of the week, and the plumber in and doing the bits and pieces that make water work and the toilet exist. Next week they put in the fittings and shower screen. So, really, it won't possibly be done by next Wednesday, unless we're really lucky. But it should be done by Friday.
I haven't had a shower since Friday, and though I'm doing a good job with buckets, I'm looking forward to showering in Melbourne. Especially as I'll be dancing so much. But the bathroom will look good, and I think I did a good job choosing the tiles. It's all white, but the shade of white matches the old tub. The shiny (rather than matte) tiles mean it's already far brighter in there, and the whiteness is really good for light. There're no external windows, just a skylight, but the new downlights have also made a big difference. I'm not entirely happy about the vanity, as it will just eat up room, but we just couldn't afford a custom-made one, which is what would be required. Well, we could have afforded it, but it's not a good investment in a flat we won't spend the rest of our lives in.

And that's just about it, I think. I have some readings to do now. :D

"mid-week report" was posted in the category academia and c25k and domesticity and learning and lindy hop and other dances and melbourne and teaching

February 9, 2010

twitter continues to swallow up my intertubes brain

Posted by dogpossum on February 9, 2010 5:28 PM | Comments (0)

Things are kind of rolling along here in Sydney.

It rained all last week, every single day, and that was terrible. But today it's sunny again. SUN!

This is what it was like last week (and this is WHY I couldn't go out running yesterday morning when it was raining, TWITTER):

I've started doing the couch to 5k, which is really just an interval training approach to running 5km. So far I walk/run about 4km. It makes me feel like a gun. I didn't think I'd like running this much, but the endorphines are fabulous and helping me stave off a case of the unemployed-understimulated-uninteresting-s. It also helps me keep my mood stable - no 'what am I doing with myself?' introspection and anxiety... well, a little bit. But mostly that sort of thinking is under control. I'm also delighted by the effect just a couple of weeks of the program has made to my dancing. That, as well as finally ditching the wedding-exchange cold has me feeling fit, collected and energetic on the dance floor. Yay.

In other news, I'm all signed up for a pgrad diploma in Information Management. It will cost a ridiculous amount of money, but at least this degree will get me a job. I'm especially interested in digital archiving and increasing the accessibility of public collections like the Powerhouse's, the National Archives, the State Library, etc etc etc. It's all a bit exciting. I was asked to teach some undergrad subjects when I contacted the postgrad coordinator, but I said no because a) that's too weird, and b) I want to focus on my own study and to (brace for ridiculously over-achieving ambition) do really well and kick arse. There's a complicated online enrolment process (not like in my day, when we had to line up at the office to hand in our forms in person) and a heap of screwing about to do yet, but it's all happening.

This is a fairly demanding course, so I'm not sure just how much traveling for dance I'm going to be able to do this year... not that we could afford much, what with the zillions of dollars this course will cost. But I will make do with local Sydney and Canberra stuff and a mid year trip to Melbourne and November trip to Melbourne for MLX. The latter are combined with family visits, of course. This means, sadly, that I won't be able to go to Hullabaloo, which I tend to think of as one of the Big Australian Events, both in terms of DJing and dancing. The dancing is good and the music is good at Hullabaloo, and Perth always puts on a quality event with lots of attendees. I'd also have liked to DJ at Hullabaloo (if they'd have me), but we simply can't afford $1000 in plane fares plus assorted expenses. That's a subject and a bit of my course right there.

In other news, I've been experimenting with bread baking. I'm not hugely good at it. It looks ok, but it tends not to taste too good. Sort of sweetish and overly yeasty. I'm going to try some sourdough next (as inspired by Tammi to see if that improves the flavour. A different sort of yeasty taste. But I've not had a chance to get the starter going, yet, so that's a way off. In other food thoughts, we've been eating well, but the shitty humidity has sapped our appetites. Lots of boring salads and little interest in anything else.

On the DJing front, things continue as usual. Lately Sharon has been DJing like a demon, inspired by international travel and an unfortunate laptop theft. I think the theft was actually a good thing, as she's been going through her music, re-adding CDs and transferring files from her other computer, rediscovering forgotten stuff and adding new things. It's meant that her DJing has suddenly had a burst of inspiring energy, and is absolutely great for dancing. She's a madkeen balboa dancer, and much of the music she loves dancing bal to is my perfect cup of lindy hopping tea. Yahoo.

The tempos in Sydney have also jumped up quite a bit (interstate visitors over the wedding exchange weekend last month commented on the speediness), and I have to say that this also delights me, as I really do prefer the higher tempos for dancing. By higher, of course, I mean over 160bpm. Tempos at other Sydney venues remain ridiculously low. I'm not interested in a majority of songs below 120bpm (srsly) with the odd dodgy 'faster' song for 'balboa'. Egads.
We've also got a Swiss DJ in town who's also a bal nut and a solidly swinging classic jazz fan, so nights at the Roxbury have been really, truly great dancing. For me. One thing we've noticed, though, is that the beginners have sort of dropped away a bit. In part, I think because the first half hour (8.30-9 or so) is super-fast tempoed for bal-nuts and crazyjazzlindyhopfools. By 9, things return to normal, but the tempos over all have been a bit higher.
This is great for me, and great for the scene as a whole, I think, as Sydney really needed a wider range of tempos in the classic swing vein. There's lots of superfast neo at Jump Jive and Wail, but that's not much good for lindy hop (well, for my lindy hopping taste). So we just needed some faster stuff. Right now, though, I think we could perhaps re-administer a little more at the lower end of the spectrum (120-140) just for variety's sake, and then we're laughing.

When I DJ I'm very conscious of working the wave (moving up and down the range from 130->200 and down again), and the mega-humidity and heat have made this even more important. My last few sets have seen me working a fairly predictable wave: 140-160-180-200-180-140- etc. It feels as though I'm covering the tempo bases pretty well and managing dancers' energy levels more effectively. I think in the recent past I've tended to clump at specific tempos, neglecting the wave. I've also tried hard to manage energy levels as well. Though dancers are more interested in higher tempos, now, they simply can't hack the physical demands of fast lindy hop in 90% humidity (which is where we've sat for the last two Roxbury nights) and mid 30s temperatures. It's just too draining - the humidity in particular.
I think that balboa has, once again, to be thanked for many dancers' comfort, or willingness to experiment with, faster tempos. Faster tempos simply seem less threatening when you hear them more often. And when you hear really fast tempos, 180bpm just doesn't seem too fast at all. Which is very nice. My own increasing fitness has made it much easier to deal with the humidity and to enjoy faster dancing again. Yay.

Though we have perfect growing weather now (warm, wet, sunny), we still haven't put in a proper herb garden. We are feeling its lack quite seriously, but we just haven't had time to get to the markets for plants, or to get some seeds sprouting. We must get on that ASAP, as fresh herbs are so important in our day to day cooking.

Twitter continues to swallow up my intertubes brain. It's the instant gratification that I like. I'll try to do better.

I'm sure there's more to write about, but I can't think of it. So, enough, then.

"twitter continues to swallow up my intertubes brain" was posted in the category academia and djing and domesticity and fewd and gastropod and lindy hop and other dances and music

January 7, 2010

vegie lasagne

Posted by dogpossum on January 7, 2010 7:30 PM | Comments (0)

- paneer (yes, again)
- baby spinach
- red slop: canned brown lentils, canned tomato, onions, garlic, fresh basil, olive oil. Would usually include mushrooms, but they were skanky
- very think slices of butternut pumpkin
- top layer of sliced basic and tomatoes.

It was finally topped with a layer of ordinary yellow cheese (some sort of cheddar situation).

"vegie lasagne" was posted in the category domesticity and fewd and gastropod

January 4, 2010

making paneer: add acid

Posted by dogpossum on January 4, 2010 8:38 PM | Comments (2)

Basically, to make paneer, you take the milk off the heat just as it boils, add the acid and stir while it's on a lower heat. It just separates like magic, greeny whey, white blobs of curd. Awesomely satisfying.

Following a Madhur Jaffrey recipe, I began by adding some white vinegar, even though I've added lemon juice in the past. It didn't work. As you can see at the beginning of the clip it just looks like sort of lumpy milk. But then I added a couple of table spoons of lemon juice and it DID work - the curds and whey separated just like magic. Or just like science, really.

I have to add here: this recipe (for both paneer and the final dish that I made) are from some charmingly annotated photocopied pages from a Madhur Jaffrey cookbook that Kirsty sent me aaaaaaages ago. As in _years_ ago. Kirsty is my first choice for recipe-book-testing. I gave her my mega Jaffrey recipe book and told her to 'find good stuff' because I couldn't handle the text-heavy-ness of it. She found fully awesome stuff. But I think these photocopies were from another book.

Jaffrey is wicked cool. I find her recipes quite simple and easy to make, but the style of the directions can be a bit confusing. I think she's often making dishes from memory, so she might describe quantities in a mixture of teaspoons, cups, ounces, grams, handfuls and so on. But it's worth dealing with this stuff for her lovely historical and social introductions and commentaries to recipes.

"making paneer: add acid" was posted in the category domesticity and fewd and gastropod

January 2, 2010

carrot salad

Posted by dogpossum on January 2, 2010 7:40 PM | Comments (0)

We had this with some aloo palak for dinner. Nom!

This recipe's from 'Cooking With Kurma.' This is basically grated carrot, lots of chopped coriander, lemon juice, a bit of salt and some spices cooked in a bit of oil: cumin seeds, urad dahl (I had none so used some toasted sesame seeds), curry leaves and asofetida.
It was very light and fresh and tasty with the spices adding that darker, dirtier flavour.

"carrot salad" was posted in the category domesticity and fewd and gastropod

December 20, 2009

Happy Christmas!

Posted by dogpossum on December 20, 2009 7:42 PM | Comments (0)


I've been making popup cards. It got a bit fiddly and annoying, eventually, and I ran out of card long before I actually made cards for all the people I had on my list.

I've also uploaded (finally) some popups from the last time I did some popup work, which was about a million years ago. Last year... no, 2007 perhaps. Sheesh.

If you're following me on twitter, you've seen all these before. But it's nice to have them in my (poor, neglected) blog as well.

"Happy Christmas!" was posted in the category crafty bastard and domesticity

December 8, 2009


Posted by dogpossum on December 8, 2009 3:36 PM | Comments (0)

I cleaned the house and browsed the Spotlight catalogue. Good thing I also watched Stepford Wives.

Now that I've read the catalogue I know they have 20% off made to measure blinds, and that they'll come out and measure your windows for free.

If we didn't need blinds for our sitting room so seriously I'd think I was mad.


"today..." was posted in the category domesticity

November 23, 2009


Posted by dogpossum on November 23, 2009 9:19 PM | Comments (0)


Originally uploaded by dogpossum

Finally, we have kitchen. Finished on about Monday the 9th November, we had a party on the Wednesday and cooked for 10 people. It was freeking horrible cooking in that tiny space. There is NO WORKSPACE. Click the pic to see all my notes.

I have big plans for this kitchen, but only a tiny budget, a budget which must first accommodate the scary bathroom with its 1970s approach to water proofing.

"kitchen!" was posted in the category dogpossum and domesticity and fewd and gastropod

October 30, 2009

reward for poor painting skills: mad dumpling orsm

Posted by dogpossum on October 30, 2009 8:33 PM | Comments (0)

Yesterday we did the first coat of paint on the ceiling of the lounge room. We sucked. But we have had the floors done and they look GREAT. These dumplings are from New Shanghai Something or other, and they are great. I had red rice and chicken, though. And we both had choy. Click through to this pic to see more photos of our floor, and then to see the painting we did today.

We did the first coat on the walls in the lounge room today. It looks terrible; we will definitely need a second coat. But then we did the ceilings upstairs and did a MUCH better job. So we figure we're on some sort of long, slow learning curve.

We are so tired.

On the ride home, we stopped in Summer Hill to get some food for dinner. A middle aged man with short cut hair (gauge 2 maybe), dark, fashionable glasses, some sort of red shirt, driving a small red convertible alpha romeo, rego starting with V nearly hit me. Because he was trying to do a u-turn down the main drag of Summer Hill at peak hour. When I stopped and pointed at my eyes (as in 'look'), because his window was up, he opened his car door and yelled, "DON'T YOU LECTURE ME!" and then "GET OFF THE ROAD!" Ironically, I was just about to pull over and off the road. Then he did a really bad 3-point u-turn and drove off.

There were about a million people in the street and (once again) nobody said anything. He was clearly in the wrong and I was a bit shaken. He was the most dangerous of urban animals: a middle class, middle aged man in a car, embarrassed and then angry. They are the scariest creatures in the entire world. Also, they are fucking arseholes. But I was polite and just rode away. At first we thought he was trying to turn around to come after us. But he wasn't. He was nuts.

Is it driving a car that makes people crazy? Or do they start that way? My feeling is that driving a car makes you crazy. Cyclists tend to be rocking their endorphines (unless they're arseholes), but driving a car immediately makes you a) dumber, b) aggressive, c) angry. Motorists tend to think that they're invulnerable when they're in their car. That their car's bubble makes them immune to everything.

When I'm on my bike, I'm intensely connected to and aware of what's around me. So I'm very, very aware of cars and bikes and pedestrians. And I'm also a much safer driver since I started riding a bike.

If you drive a car, please, please PLEASE check your blind spot a million times before you open your door and before you pull out. And then check again. Because you could kill a person on a bike.

"reward for poor painting skills: mad dumpling orsm" was posted in the category bikes and dogpossum and domesticity

October 27, 2009

crazed renovating woman bores internet to tears

Posted by dogpossum on October 27, 2009 10:26 PM | Comments (0)

terracotta floor tiles

I am nuts for the idea of these tiles atm. They are made of terracotta and they're hexagonal. Click the linky if you want to read more.

I have also started thinking about door handles.

I've never even considered these things before. And we have had to get some housey type things in a hurry. Choosing paint was rushed (but really, there's no choice beyond 'classic white' for a small flat that has dark bits). I could perhaps have chosen a stain for the buttery yellow, knotty pine wood floors we've just had done in a clear satin water based finish.

I am still humming and hawing over painting the woodwork white. I'd like to get this shit done before we move in. But then, I should probably go slow on this stuff so I don't screw things up.

We will also need to get a glazier in to fix a stupidly 'mended' window. And I need to get the dodgy painters in to do one room (the hall over the stairs - the ceiling is >5m and it's over the _stairs_.)

After a while, we'll redo the bathroom (which is really quite important) and then the kitchen (which is less important, but assumed greater importance when we discovered a leak this week).

And then I want to get the space under the stairs made into cupboards or large, pull out drawers. And I want to open out the 'wall' which edges the stair case into think palings or even just leaving it open (and dangerous!). And we will really need some built in bookshelves in the lounge room (we'll cover an entire wall with them).

I like the thought of doing all this stuff. We are doing the painting ourselves, though we got a dood in to finish the floors (I'll let you know what sort of job he did. He's very nice, but you never can tell.) We'll get a plumber to do the plumbing stuff, and a proper tiler to tile because those are jobs you don't want to have to live with if you fuck up. But we've discovered we quite like doing this renovation stuff. The Squeeze is concerned he'll like it too much and we'll be renovating everything, forever.

So, in order of priority, I should be thinking about:

- the woodwork round the doors, etc

- getting all the locks changed, including the window locks. Years as a rental property mean that there are definitely dozens of copies of the keys floating about. So we need new ones.

- the bathroom. I have no idea on this one. We have a good iron bath and a decent toilet bowl, but we need to rip out the shitty shower unit ASAP and the vanity is screwed. It's a tiny room, and very poorly laid out, so we'll need to really think carefully about how we do it. I'd like to keep the bath as it's in very good nick, and I had thought about putting the shower over the bath, but that's not always a good idea, and not great for re-sale. We'll need lots of new tiles and possibly need the ceiling sorted as it does open out into the attic space under the roof. Nice and bright but also DIRTY.

- the kitchen. It needs redoing entirely.

- the built in bookshelves and other assorted fitting and joining and random acts of carpentry. I need a good cabinet maker, I think.

"crazed renovating woman bores internet to tears" was posted in the category crafty bastard and dogpossum and domesticity

October 26, 2009


Posted by dogpossum on October 26, 2009 10:08 PM | Comments (0)


Orsm glass jellyblubber light fitting/mobile/awesomeness.

I love mobiles and I really like jelly blubbers. I'd really like this gorgeousness.

"want" was posted in the category domesticity

The awesomeness of 70s regional architecture

Posted by dogpossum on October 26, 2009 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

Kitchen wallpaper

Here are some pics from our new flat. I'll try to write about this process properly. Probably won't be any time soon, though.

"The awesomeness of 70s regional architecture" was posted in the category dogpossum and domesticity

October 11, 2009

long overdue roundup

Posted by dogpossum on October 11, 2009 11:40 AM | Comments (2)

I'd really like:
Gordon Webster's CD 'Happy When I'm With You';

Duke Heitger's CDs 'Prince of Wails', 'Krazy Kapers', 'Duke Heitger's New Orleans Wanderers;

Probably some other ones as well.

I'd also like to get over this cold I've had since Wednesday. I've been lying in bed napping and watching telly for days and it's getting really old.

The Squeeze has installed the new version of Movable Type. It's pretty fancy. I should probably have switched to a better blogging application, but that's a lot of work. Meanwhile, MT and I are struggling on together.

Twitter has stolen my life. Mostly because I can use it on The Squeeze's old ipod touch when I'm lying in bed being pathetic.

We have bought a flat and are moving in in three weeks. I haven't booked a mover, bought paint for the painting we'll do in two weeks, finished packing, given notice to our land lord or... done a bunch of other jobs. I'm not freaking. I have booked the lawn mower guy to come do the lawns the week we move out.

SLX was fun, but boy did I get a heavy dose of the exchange flu for my efforts. We have another exchange coming up in the near future (SSF) and I hope I'm together for that. We'll see. Then it's MLX in November in Melbourne, and I really hope I'm well by then - it's the biggest social dancing event of the year for me. And DJing. I'd like to get a bit on top of my DJing for that.

PS I've just come across this great set of live toobs of Heigter playing in a restaurant, over on Jazz lives.

"long overdue roundup" was posted in the category domesticity and music and objects of desire and television

August 21, 2009

i like

Posted by dogpossum on August 21, 2009 5:33 PM | Comments (0)

I like it that the garage across the road has

All work carried out by... Qualified Tradespersons
painted on its windows. As though, despite the fact that they're an all-male workplace, they've everything in place, ready for their first female mechanic or panel beater. I can imagine them making sure they have one of those pink bins in the toilet and practicing their collaborative meaning making and affirming noises in conversation.

If only the internets could learn from their example.

"i like" was posted in the category domesticity

July 5, 2009

things i have done regularly lately

Posted by dogpossum on July 5, 2009 9:53 PM | Comments (5)

Cooked a large piece of meat in milk for a long period of time. Pork, chicken, whatever. I'll cook it, you can eat it.

While searching blindly in my backpack, felt something soft and hanky-like, pulled it out and discovered it was a single maxi-sized pad*. This has happened: at the bi-lo checkout with a middle aged woman cashier, trying to pay for bread with a cocky indie boy salesman, rummaging for cables at the DJ booth while sitting next to a very-christian tech-dood (this happened twice in one weekend with two different christians), looking for a hanky, desperately, while trying to obscure a post-sneeze-excitement nose. The one time I actually _needed_ a maxi (as in badASS absorbency) pad I couldn't find the fucker.

Played more than one song from The Spoon Concert album while DJing for a bunch of spazzed out lindy hoppers. It's like a sickness. Not the lindy hop - my playing stuff from this album. I just can't help it. I need to get some sort of clue.

Wandered why mormons bother with plural marriage** where the arrangement is one man + many women. While I know that many women is a fully sick option when you're looking at running a conference or a university degree or planning a lindy exchange, I'd have thought the ideal solution is one woman + many men within a marriage. Because I sure as fuck know The Squeeze is run a little ragged riding back and forth between the couch and DVD shop and could do with a sub some time soon.

Thought I might like to re-watch Aliens, mostly for Bill Paxton.***

I like imagining him ranting "Game over, man, game over!" when the Law discovers he's a polygamist.

Wandered why I didn't believe people when they told me Veronica Mars was good. I used to enjoy that bit in Deadwood when Kristen Bell was eaten by Woo's pigs. Now I can't believe I wasn't into this shit.

Wished we had broadcast TV. But only when people are tweeting like motherfuckers about freakin' Masterchef. Whatever _that_ is.

*as in PERIODS.

**this is what happens when you re-watch Big Love.

*** Big Love, again.

"things i have done regularly lately" was posted in the category djing and domesticity and fewd and fillums and gastropod and lindy hop and other dances and television and veronica mars

June 16, 2009

swine flu and jazz

Posted by dogpossum on June 16, 2009 6:09 PM | Comments (3)

The weather is fairly shit (it's cold and rainy) and I've been ill with a craptastic cold since Friday, so spirits are low here at chateau de snot.

Today I finally felt a bit more normal and had managed to get a better night's sleep last night. This cold did impede my research, but it didn't stop me sewing yesterday. Not sewing terribly well I discovered today, but yesterday I took a lot of care and time to make a skirt that's kind of mutant and a collared shirt that's... well, let's just say interesting. I am trying to get better at making collared shirts with set-in sleeves. I haven't sewn anything in about six months, so it's all a bit challenging. But sewing's not really all that complicated, and it's difficult to forget how to do it. I have made one white collared shirt so far, and it's a bit bung. The problem really is the colour. I look really, really bad in white, and this style really doesn't suit me - too much white fabric and too much shoulder-structure-action. Ah, well. I'll have another bash tomorrow.

Being ill in our noisy house has finally convinced me that we probably should move somewhere quieter and on a quieter street. The Squeeze is agreed: quieter house would be good. But our house is large and has a garden and is renovated. So it'll be a smaller (and probably crapper) quieter flat. The thought of moving is anxiety-inducing, of course, but it'll be worth it for the chance at better nights' sleep, uninterrupted by loud trucks. So I'll start looking into that this week. Sigh.

We're off to Tasmania for Devil City Swing on Monday, going a bit earlier so we can have a bit of a non-dance related holiday. I'm looking forward to just being away. There's some dancing involved, but no major sets (one band breaks night - blurgh - and one late night - the first of the night, so not a terribly great spot). I'm sucking it up, though, as it means I'll be able to go home earlier on the early night and the band breaks set is the DJ version of community service, I've decided. I'm still packing injury, having overdone it a bit with the cranky poo last week, so no - or very, very little - dancing for me over the weekend. Good thing the DCS exchange is not a hard-dancing event - there'll be lots of people to talk to. And, if I play my cards right, plenty of little bubbies to squeeze (Hobart dancers tend to bring their bubs to dances - can I get an amen?!).

On other, DJ related fronts, I have a lindy set on Saturday night at the Roxbury, which I'm hoping will be as fun as the previous weekend, which was a big night. It was the Friday of a long weekend, though, so I can't really expect the same size crowd. And I did have a bit of a crappy technical experience (wtf's new about that? I have decided I suck with technical stuff - must get my learn on IMMEDIATELY to rectify this). But I am looking forward to it. I'm also down for a blues night on Sunday, which'll be good as there're blues workshops on that weekend. This week is also balboa week at the Bald Face Stag (urkiest venue ever), but I haven't heard back about that. I'm up for the challenge though: one day I will be a badass balboa DJ.

I am, as a consequence, trying to get on top of my music so I can play some decent sets in the coming week. There'll be at least four of them, possibly five, in all the major dance styles, I'm going to need to have mad skillz and a clue about my entire collection. I do have some lovely new things from emusic, though, which is always exciting. I've also sorted out my technical problems (knock on wood), so things should be a bit smoother. A visit to Hobart does mean, however, a trip to the best music shop in the country:

Music Without Frontiers
147 Collins St, Hobart, TAS 7000
p: (03) 6231 5411

It does not have a website. It's also very tiny. And it has the best range of jazz I've ever seen in a real, live shop. And its divided into 'nostalgia', 'classic' and 'bop', then with a separate section for blues (subdivided into jump blues and trad blues). Then that side of the shop moves into soul and funk. It's an absolutely fabulous collection. I've been there a million times, but I've never quite gotten to the other 3 racks of CDs. It carries _everything_: opera, country, alt., pop, etc. EVERYTHING. And the guy knows everything about each CD. He's also a bit loopy, but then, you'd have to be. And he's just had to deal with the opening of a JB HiFi, which sucks arses. He needs a website. He always cuts me a deal on my CDs, and is very occasionally patient when I want to preview stuff. I spend a few hundred bucks there each visit, and I see him about two times a year. And every CD I've bought from him has been really amazingly great. More expensive than the internets, but then I'm buying from a real person, the only person in a small city who bothers to bring quality music to the people, regardless of label or fad.

On a slightly related front, emusic has decided to fucking FAIL me just as I was getting seriously addicted. Those of you who have accounts will know that they've decided to carry Sony products. This means that they're increasing prices (by a really big amount) and also limiting access only to people who are in the US or Europe. Unless you already have an account with them. This means that my 50 songs per month account, which cost me about $14.99 will now only get me 35 songs per month for the same price. There will also be - apparently - '<12 song album deals', where you can download an entire album for the price of 12 songs. But only on select albums. This is actually a super bargain for me, as most jazz albums (especially the older ones) are around 20 songs. But let's just wait and see which albums will be marked for the deal. I wish I'd downloaded all the Chron Classics I'd had my eye on; now they'll be far more expensive and less awesome a find. It's all a big shit, really. I've been expanding my musical purchases with emusic, particularly in terms of shopping outside jazz and blues, and in buying music from indy labels. I'll wait and see how the 12song deal goes, but I think I might ditch my emusic subscription for buying CDs from amazon or downloads and CDs from places like CDbaby.

There are far more interesting and coherent posts about the emusic changes over at flopearedmule here and here.

And I'm finally going to get my arse over to a Sydney Jazz Club gig to see some live music. Watching George Washingmachine at the recent Darling Harbour Jazz Fest (which wasn't terribly great - stage FAIL) I was reminded of the awesome musicians in this town. None of whom we see at lindy hop gigs. But I'm going to get it together and go check out some of the hot shit in this town:

The Bechet Night: Bridge City Jazz Band - David Ridyard, Frank Watts & Nesta Davies
Friday 19th June 7:30pm
Club Ashfield - 9798 6344

Note the glorious venue: Club Ashfield. The worst freakin' part of Sydney is the RSL/club/gambling culture. Pubs here SUCK ARSE, in part because they are so dependent on pokies and gambling for revenue. Liquour licenses are expensive, and it's not really possible for little pubs to get by without pokies. There's not the same community pub culture in Sydney as in Melbourne. This is a very great shame.

But I'm interested in the music. So I'll go check it out. Anyone in the neighbourhood is welcome to join The Squeeze and I. We will not be dining in, but instead getting our noodle on in the main drag of Ashfield, which is a gastronomic universe away from the Ashfield Club. Possibly not a universe we should be occupying. Or even visiting ( offers a disturbing amount of evidence).

I'm also planning on going to see the Ozcats (legends of Australian jazz) on July 31 at the Drummoyne RSL.

I have to pause at this point and say:


And, please, not one with comic sans. Man, jazznicks are crap at internet. I feel like hiring myself out to them, if only to save myself the pain of reading their websites or having to try and find a paper jazz newsletter so I can learn about them. These guys are _so_ into social media, but the sort of social media that involve paper and nannas talking hardcore at the bar.

I am also considering a trip to the Newcastle Jazz Festival (28th-30th August). The names on the program are pretty good, but mostly, I'm thinking about a fabulous hostel I stayed at in Newcastle years ago. It's an old, converted mansion on the beach and was just about the most fabulous hostel I've ever stayed in (this one, I think).

I am a big fat jazz nerd. But at least my shirts are interesting.

"swine flu and jazz" was posted in the category djing and domesticity and lindy hop and other dances and music

May 5, 2009

no, not the dentist

Posted by dogpossum on May 5, 2009 7:43 PM | Comments (0)

Yes, the dentist. Again.
I went in for a quick inspection today, and while I was fine all day, fine in the waiting room, I started to tremble in the chair. My heart was pumping so hard I was getting funny vision. I was sweating and teary and desperately wanted to bawl.
Dentist's verdict: one small cavity to fix up next week. Root canal site of 2007: fine. Otherwise: nice mouth.

Still, I came out of there shaking and feeling faint and wanting to cry.

Goddamn that root canal of 2007. GodDAMN it.

"no, not the dentist" was posted in the category domesticity

April 23, 2009

i don't usually dream about smells

Posted by dogpossum on April 23, 2009 11:06 AM | Comments (0)

Last night I woke up, sometime late, thinking I could taste petrol fumes. Exhaust fumes. I hate that taste - it's the worst part of waiting for a bus on Paramatta Road or in the city. I think it was just a dream (especially since allergies have plugged my nose so I can't smell anything), but isn't that strange? I don't usually dream about smells.

"i don't usually dream about smells" was posted in the category domesticity

April 13, 2009

list of dislikes

Posted by dogpossum on April 13, 2009 6:17 PM | Comments (0)

The Squeeze made a list of things I don't like:
- the patriarchy
- the local McDonalds-type dance school
- high heels
- people who drive cars

Another list of things I don't like:
- not getting paid for things
- picky eaters
- mess
- noise

He scratched the last two. When asked to list the things he doesn't like:
- big pieces of food
and then he got distracted.

"list of dislikes" was posted in the category domesticity

April 9, 2009

and then I'll write some

Posted by dogpossum on April 9, 2009 1:36 PM | Comments (0)

Someone should go to the shops and buy veggies. But I don't think it's going to be me. Yesterday I made it down to the shops for a few bits and pieces, but today I'm feeling a bit too crap to ride to Ashfield (all of fifteen minutes away, at my usual speed). Yesterday I spent about fifteen minutes walking around the video shop trying to think. I don't want to spend time wandering around the veggie shop trying to think today.

I have a bad cold and I don't feel so great. But Fats Waller is trying to cheer me up. He might succeed.

I don't actually feel bad, mind you. Well, I feel rough physically, but I don't feel bad in an emotional way. I actually feel pretty good, post-orthotic ecstacy-wise. I think I might do some hardcore jazz history research soon. I need a decent music journal. But I don't think there's much cultural studies work on jazz. Seeing as how it's from the olden days. But I'll have a look. And then I'll write some.

"and then I'll write some" was posted in the category article ideas and domesticity

February 25, 2009

because everything i am is domestic these days

Posted by dogpossum on February 25, 2009 9:30 AM | Comments (1)

There are eight doozers erecting scaffolding around the three story heritage building across the road. The doozers are making lots of noise and performing general acts of physical skill, bravery and derring do. I am choking a little on the testosterone. Soon the painters will be able to finish the top floors. But not until these doozers have finished their show.

My foot has suddenly flared up over the last week or so. I began yoga two weeks ago. The connection is irrefutable. It breaks my heart. I will see if we can amend the poses for me tonight, but for now it's not looking so good. I'm left with just cycling for exercise. It's not enough. I have considered swimming, but something is putting me off.

Semester starts in two weeks and I'm teaching in (yet another) giant first year introductory media/cultural studies subject. Same old, same old. But I don't mind it - I can teach it with one hand tied behind my back, and can get on with developing some decent teaching technique, rather than worrying about learning the content.

I have to get a book read and reviewed for a journal. It's slow because it's not a terribly well written book and I keep distracting myself. Will do better today, though.

We are both still losing quite a bit of weight. The Squeeze more so than me. One of us needs to go buy some smaller shorts ASAP. We share a few of them, and they're all now ridiculously big on us. Neither of us is particularly keen likes shopping for clothes at all, so it will be a race to not go. I bet it's me at Jay Jays sometime next week.

It's killing me to not be able to dance. Just killing me. My foot has not improved, so there's no chance I'll get to dance any time soon. Just walking is still painful. Back to the specialist in a week or so. Where he'll tell me there's nothing that we can do. I haven't gone this long without dancing in ten years. Hell, I haven't gone longer than one month, let alone three in all that time. I am trying not to be badly depressed about it, but I'm not doing a very good job.

Oh, the comments are back on. The Squeeze fixed it. Good on him - he rocks.

Stumbled across this bloke recently. I am highly skeptical. I smell a bit of gendered division of labour there. There is no gendered division of labour in our house at the moment. The Squeeze has to do it all (bar grocery lists and purchasing). My foot is too sore for me to vacuum or stand up long enough to clean. He is a very wonderful Squeeze.

I am spending too much time on faceplant and twitter. But then, the entire developed world is, I suspect.

"because everything i am is domestic these days" was posted in the category domesticity

February 16, 2009


Posted by dogpossum on February 16, 2009 4:12 PM | Comments (0)

You know your day to day life is small when getting a couple of loads of laundry done feels like a huge accomplishment.
Even if they were sheets.

"small" was posted in the category domesticity

February 1, 2009

bob willis and the texas playboys' Tiffany Transcriptions

Posted by dogpossum on February 1, 2009 2:31 PM | Comments (0)

ttbw.jpg Suddenly, I want this Western Swing classic. I know most of the songs, either via jazz or my western swing faves.

Initially recorded for a furniture company to play in their shops (!), this collected set apparently has greater live and vivacity than their other recordings. I don't much care, so long as the band continues to remind me of the Hot Club of Cowtown... though it should be the other way around.

It isn't as hot here in Sydney as in other cities and I have largely recovered from the world's worst stomach virus. Three days of throwing up. Two days in bed. One day partly up and out of bed, mostly sitting or lying on the couch. Today I had a real lunch and kept it in my body. For about two hours. It was pretty cool, though - I had digestion going and everything. My ps are visiting. It's been hard. I have been foul. But then, I am ill. They're acclimated to Hobart and think this is hot. We know it's not in the 40s, so we think it's nice. Apparently it's broken 30 in Hobart this week.

I have recently begun saving water from my showers. The Sydney water restrictions aren't as tight or as well policed and publicised as in Melbourne, so collecting water makes me feel badass and way wicked. Also, it's free water for our new baby plants. I have plans for a rough tomato/basil patch near the compost bin. But the seeds didn't come from Eden Seeds, which is just plain weird. I will chase it up on Monday if I'm up to it.

Bought new songs on emusic yesterday. Suspect it's not so good to buy music when so trashed. But it could shake my collection up a little.
Just finished Alison Bechdel's Essential Dykes to watch out for. It's great, as you'd expect. Have eye on Fun House.

Humidity is high. But that's ok.

"bob willis and the texas playboys' Tiffany Transcriptions" was posted in the category djing and domesticity and greenies and music and objects of desire

January 26, 2009

bikes, cockatoos, plants and the freakin' humidity

Posted by dogpossum on January 26, 2009 9:53 PM

I can't figure out what I've done with the comments. They're busted. I think this blog needs an overhaul, anyway - it's been ages since I did the templates. Probably also need to update to new MT. Or new blogging tool.

- We are biking tourista grande! We are riding our bikes everywhere. I am trying to find a nice way of putting them on a map. Bikely isn't very helpful (it has a craptastic site). Am considering special cycling blog. Nerdy enough? NO! But we have discovered some lovely river-side bike paths (Cooks River) and some sneaky off-road shady tree lined bike paths (somewhere in... Petersham? Parallel to... Hewson Canal ?). We have also decided we don't like riding through stupid Darling Harbour (well, across that bridge - the Piermont? - it sucks) because not only are pedestrians dumb, but tourist pedestrians are stupidly dumb. I am also having brought home to me just how un-bike-aware Sydney drivers are. It's like they freak out when they see a cyclist - they swing out really wiiiiide to get around us. Or they crawl along behind us. Melbourne motorists have mad cyclist-aware-skills. Also, Sydney drivers pull up at traffic lights at the very last minute. This is terrifying if you're just in front of them, pulled up with one leg down, waiting for the lights to change (but also makes the point: do NOT hug the curb at lights - TAKE THE ENTIRE LANE).

If you'd like to come bike riding with us, drop me a line. I am very unfit atm, so we go slow. Especially on hills. We have taken many friends for their first-in-10-years bike rides. They've liked it. We're kind and are quite happy just to poodle along, chatting and sticky beaking.
We also avoid busy roads and we like to explore and 'just have a look'. We like a combination of urban streets (lots of windows to look in) and leafy bits. We've been surprised by how leafy Sydney is, and how many nice, quiet streets there are right here in the inner suburbs. There are also some really great bike paths. Even the city (on a Sunday) isn't so scary. Though I don't ride on the actual road.
We also like to stop regularly for cake.

- It was recently very hot here in Sydney. But now it is only quite warm and incredibly humid. It's been drizzling all afternoon. That's good, because we rode to Bunnings in Ashfield today (via Harbourfield) and bought plants. When we got to Bunnings we were (once again) shitted off by its shitfulness: no bike loops (well, duh - it's like _the_ most car-centric place ever... after Ikea), inept staff, etc etc. But we bought plants. A grevillea and some sort of native climber (whose name I can't remember). I wanted Telopea and Protea, but they are fuck-off expensive (as in $50 for small pots). So we said "fuck off!" and got the common-as-muck moonlight grevillea and cheapy native climber. Then we rode home. It was so hot. It was overcast, but I got burnt badly. Because I am a dickwit.
When we got home we rested. Then we cleaned our house. Then we planted the plants. I actually supervised (because I am still injured - and will be for at least another couple of months, if not forever (the future isn't looking too good for my poor foot injury, but I don't want to talk about that because it makes me cry. A future without dancing will do that.) The Squeeze dug. In the light rain. He was sweating more than it was raining because it's so warm. The holes are great, though. And the dirt drains nicely. Anyways, we planted those suckers.
Now we need another grevillea. I did see something I liked: some sort of grevillea (or was it a narrow-leafed banksia?) which had dark purpley/marooney leaves. It was neat. I was thinking a couple of those with a bunch of knee-high purple grasses (which were just near by) would be wonderful. But I can never go past the grevillea. And I wasn't sure the purple one flowered - it didn't have a very useful tag. I did want to get something indigenous to this area, but, frankly, we're a bit short of accessible nurseries here. You have to have a car to really get sweet lowdown. I am going to check out the Marrickville markets some weekend soon - I need a cheaper source of plants. And I also want to stay away from the Bunnings type plants. I want something that's not force-grown in big green houses or big plantings. I want tough plants grown in some poppa's back yard in cheap pots. Something street-wise and rough.
Anyways, I'm going to get those natives happening down the front, in front of the main bedroom windows. The climber will climb up the railing on the front steps (but I'll clip it to stop it getting onto the top rail). I'd really like to plant up the grass down there with some taller native grasses, but I don't think our land lord would like that. I'm also thinking about veggies and herbs again. I just can't live without my herb garden any longer. And this weather is so plant-perfect. We'll see.

ct.jpg- Today we saw something awesome. As we were digging in the garden (well, The Squeeze was the one actually digging - I was standing under an umbrella in his crocs supervising and carrying the watering can) a bunch of rowdy cockatoos landed on the facade of the olden days flats on the opposite corner. There were about six or eight of them and they were obviously feeling their oats. Feeling all charged up by the cool and wet (after a little research, I've discovered they like to flap about in the rain to bathe themselves). They clambered about on the front of the building shouting for a while. Then they flew over to the olden days garage on the other corner. That's when things got good. They're such big, flamboyant birds. All yellow combs and huge white wings. They were very loud and social and clambered about all over the place, using their beaks and claws to get about. They were also digging about in the cracks of the buildings and the power pole. They spent some time pulling the power pole to bits (literally - they pulled great chunks off the top and threw them on the road) and shouting. Then they started pulling bits off the garage's facade.
They started just digging in the cracks and pulling off bits of plaster. Then they started pulling bricks out of the facade. Real bricks. The big chunks of masonry and plaster and brick fell down with big crashes and the cockatoos shouted and laughed and called across to each other. They were spread out all over the facade and the power lines and power poles, upside down, ride side up, combs up, wings out. It was awesome. Eventually the guy in the flat above the garage stuck his head out the window to see what was going on. The cockatoos kind of sneered and shouted at him and carried on. Until one pulled a massive brick out of the wall and nearly dropped it on another who was trying to pull the window awning off. Then they got a scare and had a shout at each other, then flapped up to the power pole. And then down the street. It was like a rowdy bunch of... large, rowdy birds... were moving their way down the street, shouting and talking and pulling shit to bits. It was fully sick. I didn't think to take a photo til far too late. So just take my word for it, ok?
It's nice to live in a city with lots of native trees and plants, and, consequently, lots of native birds. Unlike noxious-weed-Melbourne, which is chock full of stupid introduced plants.

- Today we rode up the bike route to a little cafe in Dulwich Hill. It was full of skanky yuppies. The food was ok. Then we decided to ride on to the Bunnings in Ashfield via Harbourfield. I got burnt. We both got freakin' hot. We rode back from Ashfied. We are badarse.
Yesterday we went in on the train to Town Hall station to collect The Squeeze's bike from his office. Then we rode across Piermont Bridge, down the side of Darling Harbour. We spent some time looking at a ship. That was neat, but not as neat as the books in Piratica. They're the best because they're pirate ships. Captained by women.
Then we rode along the beach, looking at yuppy warehouses flats. They were boring. We rode past the park where they were having Jazz On The River. The grass was all brown, crackly sticks.
Then we rode on to the Fish Market. The market was hot and crowded and The Squeeze didn't like it. So I foraged some sushimi, prawns and octopus. Then we rode on.
We were pretty freakin' hot by then, and I was feeling weak, so we caught the light rail (which is just like a kind of piss-weak tram, but with REAL conductors (so you have to buy tickets) and which you can TAKE YOUR BIKES ON !!1!). That was a nice, short trip to Lillyfield.
From Lilyfield station we rode up the hill across Paramatta Road, then up a little hill and taking a right turn at a little cafe (which was called something like Lily and Somebody or something. It had its name written in white in 'American Typewriter' font on the window and was closed). Then we rode along the bike lanes to an old building which looked a bit like an old train station or some sort of feed station (a sort of Victorian loading or despatch dock).
Then we kept on riding along the ridge til we got to... um... a park.
Then we turned left on a road which had no cars at all.
Then we... rode a bit. Then we went down the Hewson Canal bike path, which is very nice and shady, but made me think 'don't ride here by yourself ever, ladies.' We saw no one on that very nice bike path but three tiny little girls with bright white hair and one giant, bald dad.
Then we rode on and up til we got to the road that goes under a bridge - the end of Marion Street (which I think of as the road near the corner where I nearly stacked it on our first Big Ride).
Then we continued on and got onto another bike path past a giant dog park with about a squillion dogs roaming about.
Then we rode on to the bike path that runs along the canal that goes into the ocean.
Then we rode on. I can't remember what happened there, but we ended up coming out on Old Canterbury Road at that weird stop sign. Then up Old Canterbury Road to Dulwich Hill. I was especially badarse on that last bit.

Basically, I am badarse because I'm not scared of hills any more. The Squeeze is badarse because he rides his one-gear bike very slowly, just behind me (but not too close or he gets yelled at). Going slow is harder than going fast.

"bikes, cockatoos, plants and the freakin' humidity" was posted in the category bikes and dogpossum and domesticity and greenies and sydney

December 26, 2008

i need that little nibble more

Posted by dogpossum on December 26, 2008 5:48 PM | Comments (0)

We are sitting on the malodorous settee listening to CW Stoneking (pwning present, Squeeze!) and playing on our laptops. I have just finished all the cashews. I have also eaten the last gingerbread tree biscuit. The Squeeze has eaten the last mince tart. Neither of us can bare another piece of turkey, though we are thinking about having meat cake* and tomato soup for dinner.
The Squeeze has been making his way through some chocolate hearts (the 2nd mother apparently has a standing order with her chocalatier). I thought I might fancy a nibble of milky chocolate.
"Can I have a lick of that chocolate?"
I look up to see him carefully transporting it from his mouth to the wrapper. It is largely intact and has only a thin layer of kiss. I decide I need that little nibble more than we need to adhere to The Rules.

*aka stuffing that has not been stuffed into anything.

"i need that little nibble more" was posted in the category domesticity and fewd and gastropod and melbourne

December 25, 2008

mid-christmas time-wasting

Posted by dogpossum on December 25, 2008 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

The turkey is in the oven (since 11, eta 1.30), the custard is made (using, once again, Delia's recipe), prawn recipe is floating somewhere in my near-conscious mind. Not at the front, though. That's occupied with:
- cherries (eating)
- 'I like pie, I like cake' (courtesy of the Goofus 5) is my christmas theme song (finally, I succumb and am playing it over and over so I can finally exorcise it)
- possible timing for roast potatoes
- phoning parents (who're in Brisvegas for christmas with the brother before they fly out to Hong Kong for awesome new year action)
- emusic (goddamn it... I just can't stay away. Now it's Ruth Brown with this awesomely-80s-covered album)

There's more family on the way for lunch, and we have now called the international family, so that's all done. For the hour before lunch, this lot (the Squeeze's mum etc) have all disbanded to various spots around the house and garden for reading books, playing ipod games and fiddling about on the internet.

There's no trifle this year (though I have hope for later in January), but food-wise, it's not too shabby. In the spirit of christmas awesomeness, here's Delia and Snoop Dog makin' wid de potato magic.

"mid-christmas time-wasting" was posted in the category domesticity

December 7, 2008


Posted by dogpossum on December 7, 2008 4:05 PM | Comments (1)

In the two weeks I was in Melbourne I read three of these young adult books. They're called 'Pretties', 'Ugglies' and 'Specials' and they're by some guy whose last name starts with W. I want to read the last one, 'Extras'. They're not very good, but they're quick reading. I am very into young adult fiction (YA for those of us in The Trade) atm, mostly because of 'Titus Groan'.
Now I am reading this other dumb YA book called 'City of Bones' or 'Bone City' or whatever. It's kind of crap. No Diane Wynn Jones, that's for freakn' sure. Also, finishing off 'Tehanu' the other day (go Ursula Le Guin, go!) has ruined me for anything less. Jeez, that's some good shit. Also, has anyone read the other 'sequels' in the Earthsea series? I think I might.

Basically, this big binge on books (I'm also reading '1984' for the first time) is the product of a trip to that giant second hand book shop in Newtown and some time in Melbourne with Galaxy. She made me buy books (well, I bought the two Buffy season 8 volumes I was missing, but didn't go with the Angel because it was all FREAKING EXPENSIVE. No more Minotaur bookshop for me). I also went to a game shop and bought some more Cheap Ass games (NEED GAME PLAYING FRIENDS! NOW! min. 2 players for my 3-player games). And I bought a broach. And then, because I was obviously ridin' HIGH on the crazy horse, I stopped. But the ride, while it was on, it was so good.

So now I am all about buying books. Usually I wait for The Mother to bring up a shipment or I re-read, but I can't re-read those bastards any more. I can't even count how many times I've read them, but we're over 10. So now I'm buying the buggers.

Also, I am thinking about emusic again.

And, I haven't bought anything for anyone for christmas except my little brother's kids. Because I am crap. But I'm not sure anyone but me wants Chronological Classics CDs, jewelry by local artists, squids of YA fiction (actually, I'm not sure about that one - I think one of my nieces is into books. Because she is into adolescence, almost, and has turned into the nerd of the family. Finally - another nerd is born. She aims to be a chef when she grows up, so I figure that's a win).

Anyways, I hate buying christmas presents. I'd rather make them, but the fabric shop is TOO FUCKING FAR AWAY. It makes me crazy.

And, I have injured my plantar fascia, so I am hobbling around in pain or sitting on my arse watching DVDs (Heroes is less than A1 second time through, but it fills the gap). Or reading YA fiction. Can I just say: YA was better in My Day. Which was about the 70s, apparently, as that's when all the YA books my Ps had were published. Considering I was born in 1974, I guess they were planning ahead. Phew.

Have I mentioned the pain in my foot? Physio has hopes for me and a big dance camp in January, but I'm not so sure. It's a lot of pain. I blame MLX. I can't walk without pain. I can only just walk without a limp. Most days. I do the exercises, though, and I hope. I'm not sure about this getting older thing. It was better when I could just drink drive and get into pakour. Now that I am old, I am reaping the effects of my ill-spent youth. Which, actually, was mostly spent wearing docs and shaving my head. Oh, and going nuts in the university library. With the books. Because, you know, the UQ library had a fair few more books than the Sandgate High library. And you could just _borrow them out for free_!
Anyway, with that and all the disco dancing, I think I damaged myself a bit. The physio reckons fracturing something in my ankle horse riding when I was in my early 20s is responsible for a dodgy ankle today. At the time, I shrugged it off. Today, I suffer. Also, the once-fractured right wrist is also giving me trouble. So this is the lesson: breaking limbs has long term consequences. Which SUCK ARSE.

I am not coping well with the enforced home-stay. I want to go out. Into the world. I hadn't realised just how much walking I do in my day to day life. To the train station, down hill (excruciating on the home trip). To Ashfield for groceries (returning home to empty house, home alone til the weekend, local shops CRAP for veggies, partner working full time so can't go to shops: shitful!). To Marrickville to explore the local fabric shop. To the train station for a 2 part trip to the fabric shop in Green Square. Around Circular Quay, just to look.
Not to mention dancing.
Anyway, if I had a car, I could probably get around. But I'm relying on the bus, and it's not so good. It's just about driving me MAD.

A trip to Burwood yesterday to see a (terrible) film was really hard. I wanted to look in the Burwood shops and eat dumpling. No. Go straight to the cinema. Once I got there, I was in real pain. Then I had to stop off in Ashfield for our veggies. That was ok, but by then I couldn't imagine getting home from the train station in Summer Hill. So I caught a cab. It was so frustrating and painful - ordinarily the 20minute walk to our house from Ashfield would be delight. I'd walk through the park and pick some rosemary. I'd sticky beak in people's gardens. I'd think about things. But yesterday, it was a big piece of crap. Getting a cab felt like a failure.

The physio says riding a bike would be a bit less painful. But I have this stupid left over cold from MLX which is also making me very tired and weak. Which is probably why yesterday was so hard. But I'm also still scared of the traffic.
Fucking hell, this sucks. Injuries: be over! But the physio says we're in for a month of work before I can dance. Which makes me cry. No christmas performance :( No social dancing at three christmas parties. Nothing.

I think I'll buy myself another book. Or perhaps a few million more songs on emusic. I deserve them.

"waaaaaah" was posted in the category bikes and books and domesticity and lindy hop and other dances and melbourne and mood swings

October 10, 2008

hairy feminist signing in

Posted by dogpossum on October 10, 2008 6:52 PM

I've had hairy legs and armpits for so long I tend to forget that there's anything unusual happening down/under there. But every now and then someone else'll notice, and I'll get a suprise. Look at that! Who'd have thought!

I'm always impressed when I see other Ladies with hairy armpits - that's awesome. And I see them so rarely. It seems the most radical people on campus these days are academics - if I see someone with hairy armpits (international symbol of radical inattention to grooming) I think "YEAH!"

But every now and then someone else'll notice and I'll remember. Usually, their gaze gets caught. And they keep having to look. And they look away. And they have to look back. It's kind of odd - I mean, it's so ordinary to me, I simply don't notice it. But for most people, a Lady with hairy pits or legs is so unusual it gets a stare. I mean, people can't even really See homeless people on the street, or a guy asking for a dollar. But they can't look away from a bit of delicate insulation.

I've always been a bit disappointed I don't have really hairy legs, but since giving up shaving as a bad job in 1990 (grade 10, thanks) and forgetting to shave my armpits at about the same time, what little hair I do have has gotten a lot less fierce. It's kind of soft and delicate. It lacks angry feminstah passion.

I'm not much into 'beauty products' either. Sorbelene, shampoo and conditioner, herbal toothpaste, blistex for my chapped lips and some no-chemical soap. That's all I need. Oh, and a bit of hair colour for when I've forgotten to get a haircut. Because I figure it's not worth being scruffy if you don't make the most of it. It takes me 15 minutes to get ready to leave the house.

Something that's brought home to me whenever I spend any amount of time with another woman who isn't as into minimal grooming (and, well, that seems to be most women), is just how much time all that grooming takes up. I really can't believe people waste good reading time shaving their legs. Or good bullshit-story-telling time in front of the mirror. I rarely look in the mirror (puberty's over - the good stuff has happened and I doubt anything much is going to change for the next twenty years). I'm not about to tell people to get over that grooming stuff - that's their business. But it really does stun me.

The bit that really bothers me is the fact that most men don't bother with this stuff either. Sure, there're stories about metrosexuals (and I do have a few in my acquaintance), but for the most part, all this attention to physical appearance is something that clutters up women's time. Would it be wrong for me to point out that all that grooming really is part of a grand plan to keep you from Looking Up and noticing that there's more important shit going down? I mean, how could we possibly get on with fighting The Man (or kicking arse with righteous fury) if we had to stop and spend two hours every day fixing our hair? I mean, how much fun are we if we're always worrying about what we eat or how our trousers fit us? If my arse is inside my pants, I figure it's a win. If I'm clean, then we're all laughing.

So what I'm saying is: grooming. It's ok - it's not bad in itself. But when it's only the ladies who 'have' to do it, then there is something wrong. That's not cool.

I have plenty of more important things to think about. Who's going to relearn all those historic jazz dance routines? Who's going to sew all those amazing new clothes? Who's going to teach those darling little chundergrads about essay structure? And the internet's not going to fill itself full of shit, is it?

I'm also a little concerned by the emphasis on pain and self-punishment in grooming. Don't eat that, even if you want it: deny! Pluck that hair out - handle the pain! Put that hot wax on yourself, then pull it off (but don't you dare get turned on)! Stick that chemical-tested-on-bunnies right up in your delicate eye ball. Wash your vag out with that stuff. Wear that incredibly constraining waistband - you won't want to do any dancing or stunts or have any fun. And no one will want to see your fabulous physical comedy.

I mean, really, am I alone here? Is it just me that thinks all this shit is just plain nuts?

[btw this rant is in part inspired by a fabulous collection of Germaine Greer's letters to newspaper editors and small publications. I want it.]

"hairy feminist signing in" was posted in the category domesticity

September 30, 2008

scarily productive

Posted by dogpossum on September 30, 2008 9:29 PM

We'd watched an episode of the WW, eaten some pizza and some of the Moblerone (more on that later). I decided it was probably time for bed, what with the wailing and grizzling and lack of fine motor skills.
I was disappointed to see it was only 7.30.

I have been going to bed early and getting up early. I have made two blouses (collar, sleeves with gathers, buttons) and a skirt and have marked a lot of essays. I've been up since 7am. This is all new and scarily productive stuff. I have also developed a whole lot of mad tranky doo skills.

The pizza was good. Calzone, filled with panchetta, ricotta, tomato, garlic and yum.

"scarily productive" was posted in the category domesticity

September 10, 2008

the perfect hue

Posted by dogpossum on September 10, 2008 12:23 PM

I found amazing 'blackout' curtains at the spotlight in Bondi for only $40 (75% off). They are stunningly effective, something which pleases a person who regularly goes to bed very late and needs to sleep during the day.

They are also the shade of a crushed-strawberry fruit drink.

I also have a pink chenille bedspread (also courtesy of spotlight, only $20, the colour of strawberry milkshakes, deliciously fuzzy and nice).

Over the bed I have hung a small square quilt that I made from remnants left after making three different dresses. These dresses were maroon needle cord, plum shot-silk-looking cotton and a complicated pink rose pattern.

The Squeeze declared that the room now looks like the inside of ripe fruit.

"the perfect hue" was posted in the category domesticity

August 15, 2008

round up

Posted by dogpossum on August 15, 2008 12:24 PM

Enough of the random posts. Just join them all together and make one long stream of consciousness post.

Right now my stomach is feeling unsure. It began feeling unsure yesterday after I had chicken salad from the joint in Summer Hill. I wouldn't have eaten there if it hadn't been 4pm and I hadn't forgotten to have lunch. I'd also walked to the hardware store (again - I freakin' love that place) and then round the long way to the shops, mostly so I could look at the flour mill that's up for redevelopment. I am fascinated by the fact that there's a giant flour mill just down the street, and that it's joined to another flour mill in Dulwich Hill by a special-duty train line. That one's been made into flats, though. But I'm still really interested in it. It seems I'm not the only one into flour mills. There's always someone leaning over the railing on the bridge over the railway, staring at the giant white flour mill (the one in Summer Hill). It's a pretty good view - a long view, from a height. And it's so freakin' big. And you just know that the people having a stare are thinking about what they'd do with the site if they owned it. I don't know why they're bothering - it belongs to a gang of crows who've been terrorising the pigeons in that neck of the woods, and they're not likely to cede it to a bunch of no-winged two-leggers who'd like a little light industrial inner-city living.

So yeah, my stomach feels a bit odd. I can't decide if it's dodgy chicken salad or anxiety. It could quite possibly be low level anxiety. This is the first day I've had to myself in the new house with no real jobs to do. I guess I need to go up to Ashfield to get groceries (we have none). I'd really like to get into the city to a) go to see some Art, and (more importantly), b) find that tapestry speciality place. But I'm apparently crippled by... that thing that makes it difficult to leave the house. I think I might chalk all this up to hormones, as I've actually been feeling quite wonderful ever since we got here. I really like traveling and I love being in a new city. I like all the walking. Plus Sydney's fabulous weather is making me feel so good. I hadn't realised just how draining Melbourne's grey skies and nasty cold were until we left. I am remembering how nice it is to live in a warmer climate. But I'm not so struck on the increased humidity - I am also remembering its effects on my allergies.

It's not so much that I've been shouting at innocent blokes, but more that I've been trying to rub my nose off my face and had trouble concentrating. It could be PMS, but I actually am pretty sure it's allergies screwing with my mood. I'm trying not to take antihistamines as I seem to be on them every single day, but it's not really making me feel nice.

I'm also at home because I'm waiting for tradesmen #62 000. Actually, it's more like tradesman #9. Really. I am liking living in a house where the owner actually fixes things. The things we've needed fixed have been fairly inconsequential... well, except for the River of Effluent... but they've been fixed immediately.

1. windows painted shut? fixed (Charlie, from Greece - my favourite)
2. fence built? done (whatsit from Malta - initially my least favourite, but later one of my top 5)
3. forgotten bathtub spout? done (young fulla who's name I can't remember. ok)
4. garage door doesn't close? not quite fixed, but at least a couple of blokes came to look at it (one of whom was Mal, whose parents were from Italy).
5. garage door still not closing? still not fixed (another bloke who failed to return and give me his life story, though he did provide a few interesting tips on the tensile strength of various metals).
6. sound proofing? quotes done (including.... can't remember his name either. But he was Greek by descent and he lives in the outer suburbs but works in Marrickville. He recommends the cakes in Leichardt)
7 and 8. River of Effluent? dammed. ("Maria! Send tradesmen, please! The garden is full of effluent!" 2 young fullas of skip descent, up to their knees in human waste, giving our drains a good routing. White neighbour-cat carefully discouraged from helping)

9. Today it's another sound proofing guy. Apparently the owner is going ahead with it (which is wonderful). He was supposed to be here between 9.30 and 10, but it's 10.39 now. He and the garage door guy have failed to return.

Part of me is worried about all this tradesman action. I don't want to use up all my credit now when I'll certainly need it in the future... or will I? We have obviously moved up a rental bracket, to that wondrous place where wiring isn't illegal and life-endangering (we have a trip switch! No plug points have caught fire! We have had electricity for at least three weeks!) and where plumbing is generally sound, barring the usual hiccups of a house that's over 100 and recently had new pipes installed. No water mains have burst, filling our veggie patches with boiling water. No windows have broken, letting in arctic winds. And the stove works wonderfully. There are no mice (knock on wood), but I have seen one large cockroach in the house. I remembered why I actually wear thongs. After I dealt with it The Squeeze proceeded to sing 'la cocka roacha!, la cocka roacha!' around the house for about five minutes in a Tom Waits voice. It was entertaining, but perhaps too entertaining so close to bed time - it was difficult to sleep with the thought of Tom Waits serenading me in a Mexican cantina.

So I'm wondering if we're tempting fate with all this tradesmen action.

This hasn't stopped me asking if it's ok to dig up the garden and plant zillions of herbs. Ordinarily I'd just do it, but the landlord seems pretty house-proud, so the rules are different. Our back neighbour (who lives in the back part of this federation home) is a chef, so he's also quite keen on a herb garden/veggie patch. He is now My Friend, partly because I am still in post-move aggressive friendliness mode and will not allow otherwise. He is also the owner of aforementioned friendly white cat (Alby).

Alby is convinced he actually lives in our part of the house as well, and follows me around all day. He divides his time between sleeping in front of the front door in the sun, trying to climb into my laundry basket, romancing me with quite lovely accapella and playing in Rivers of Effluent. I am mightily allergic to cats, so there's no physical contact, a lot of "No! Don't go in there! Get out of there!" This has, of course, made me both the most interesting and the most appealing part of our neighbourhood.
The other day Alby was joined by Fluffy Tailed Black Cat from round the corner, and they both proceeded to play in the mulch and attempt domestic incursions. Alby failed (I think he's a bit dumb - he's very pretty, being white with pale blue eyes and a pink nose - but he's not so smart. He's also quite young), but FTBC had a little more luck. I was making the bed when a pair of large black ears was followed by a goofy black face over the other side of the bed. As I picked him up (physical contact! Aaaargh!) he let out a sort of 'mrprrft' purr-burp and kept up the chainsaw action as I clamped him under the armpits and hefted him outside.
I have also seen a giant orange and white tom with a mangled up face. Both Alby and I gave him a deal of distance as he marked out the new trees as his territory. We were both willing to concede him sovereignty.

On other fronts, I am working at Gleebooks doing functions (thanks Glen!). I like it a LOT. I was too late for sessional teaching this semester, but have lined up some contacts for next year. I have already DJed one set here in Sydney and am set for a blues set this Sunday. It seems there aren't too many DJs here, which is a shame. But I'm really enjoying dancing, so I'm not sure I'm ready to DJ a whole lot. I will set limits.

Last weekend we went to Canberra for Canberrang, the Canberra lindy exchange. I bought a Tshirt and DJed one set. We stayed with an old school friend of mine and only attended two night's worth. I think I prefer shorter events - Fri, Sat, Sun nights max. Any more is kind of too much. We went on the bus and it wasn't too bad. It was also very cheap. On the way back it snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed. It was like Europe. With eucalypts and kangaroos. We had a good time, over all.

We have quite a few friends here in Sydney, and have already had interstate visitors. Next week we get more. And the next week The Squeeze's matriarch arrives, so we will get our tourist on, big time. Which I'm looking forward to. I feel like the OPERA HOUSE is out there doing fun things without me every day. Then we have people coming up for SLX in September. Then my mother in October (perhaps). Then we're down in November for MLX. Then it's christmas, which we may spend in Melbourne, but we aren't sure. So it's all systems go. Sydney is apparently one of those cities people really like to visit. Partly because it rocks - there's just so much to do. And also because the weather is nice. Which is where it pwns Melbourne.

I like Sydney, but I am a bit sad that there are so few fabric shops. I have seen two in Marrickville, and I have been given the sweet lowdown by a dress making Hollywood lindy hopper, and will get on into the city (Haymarket) to find more. Then there's Cabramatta, but that's miles away. At any rate, none are a short bike ride away, so it seems I will have to find new hobbies. Or rediscover old ones. I have also found a yoga studio quite near by, but it is some sort of arty made up bullshit yoga, and not straight out iyengar. I need to get on that ASAP as I miss yoga already. Also, I haven't ridden my bike once. This means that I'm getting more exercise, but I am missing my bike. Poor blacky, stuck in the shed all day, bored and lonely. The Squeeze has been riding to work in the city and comes home with stories about having his arse kicked by the hills and making friends with other bike riders. This city is disturbingly friendly. Everyone seems so delighted that we've left Melbourne for Sydney - there're lots of "How do you like it?"s and chats with strangers about cake. There are fewer conversations about the weather, but I suppose that's because it's so nice here there's really nothing to say beyond "pwoar - another freakin' beautiful day, hey?"

Alright, that's enough blathering. I have to go.... well, not do anything, really, but I might as well think about doing something other than making internet. You know the rules: get out of bed, change out of your pajamas (or pa-yamas! if you're Tom Waits a la cantina), leave the internet alone after a couple of hours. It is, unsurprisingly, a beautiful day, and there're fabric shops to stalk.

"round up" was posted in the category bikes and djing and domesticity and greenies and lindy hop and other dances and old sew and sew and sydney and yoga

July 31, 2008

sinner, you better get ready: more liveblogging unpacking

Posted by dogpossum on July 31, 2008 11:09 PM

My mum got me a few great CDs when she was in Washington (DC, that is). She went to about a million Smithsonian museums, and gotted me some great CDS. Just in case you didn't know, the Smithsonian collection includes some freaking amazing recordings of American folk music (including jazz, blues, gospels, spirituals, etc etc etc). I am a big old nerd for late 19th and early 20th century American music. I prefer jazz and blues, but I'm also a nut for some of the sort of music you might have heard on the Cohen Brothers' film O brother, where art thou?. Anyhow, one of the CDs mum got me is called VA/Classic Southern Gospel From Smithsonian Folkways. I know my grammar is broken, but I am suddenly very tired.

Any how, I have moved on from Leadbelly (which was another mum gotted CD, btw) to this stuff. Beginning with The Lilly Brothers singing 'Sinner, you'd better get ready'. Sweet. I like this sort of southern gospel/bluegrass type stuff for the obvious development of British/European folk forms. I'm a nerd for being able to hear the history of a music/see the history of a dance in its current form. Especially when we're talking about diaspora. I likes folk music and dance because they change - they're not institutionalised and static. They're constantly changing to suit people's needs and interests. Just like language. Fully sick.

(If you're interested, mum also got me a couple of Harlem Hamfats CDs: a document self titled job (vol 3) and Let's Get Drunk and Truck. I love that shit).

"sinner, you better get ready: more liveblogging unpacking" was posted in the category digging and domesticity and music

"the television, he is fixed": more 'liveblogging' unpacking

Posted by dogpossum on July 31, 2008 10:43 PM

So spoketh The Squeeze. All that talk about being an AV queen and setting up the electrics... what rot. The upshot: basically, I got real bored and wandered off to chip the paint off the door latches so they'd close properly. Truly. Well, I only did two doors before The Squeeze said (rather pathetically) "that was the one job I really wanted to do." I did text him today to see if it was ok for me to do the electrics and he was cool with that. But the door latch chipping? Not to be shared.

So the television, he has electrics. More importantly, the airtunes is now G-O. So I have Leadbelly on, starting with my favourite song, '4,5 and 9'. My version has Willie the Lion Smith. It reminds me of... oh, I don't know, one of those modern 60s artists like... Bob Dylan. Anyways, it's a great song. I like it.

For the past couple of nights I've been in bed by this time. Tonight I am on the couch, making sweet, sweet internet. The Squeeze is off in another part of the house doing something rattley. There's a large, loud plane labouring overhead, on it's way to Marrickville and then the airport. I have cleverly covered up the second loungeroom powerpoint with a full (and very large) bookcase, so I'm getting lappy power from a too-tight cord, stretched from behind the afore mentioned telly to the couch. The coffee table is just a bit too far away to comfortably rest my feet. I feel I might have grown new heel bones. If Mz Tartan has new bones disease, so do I. But obviously a more exotic, northern strain affecting the nether extremities. I wish I knew where the sitting room cushions were so I could ease my discomfort. Meanwhile I have to balance the lappy way down on my legs, so my arms are stretched waaaay out.

There are many, many cafes in Summer Hill. But no hardware store. This is a Wrong Thing, and perhaps a sad indication of Worse To Come. To whit*, I have seen only one fabric store in this big city, and that was in Marrickville. Apparently Marrickville is the place to be. Like Footscray, but with hills and no trams. There's a dearth of trams in this town, and I feel the lack. The roads are disturbingly narrow and tend to twist and turn a bit too much. What have they got to hide? I like a long, straight road that tapers off in the distance.

We have not had telly since we moved in, and haven't missed it. What with all that going to bed early. But now we do. The Squeeze is in another room and doesn't seem to have missed it. I'd rathe listen to Leadbelly yelling incoherently about someone's momma. The internet, though, she has destroyed our after dinner conversation deader than ever telly could. It requires greater attention.

Another important thing before I sign off: I own three dining tables. One is a large chunk of pale pine that I took from the Parents in Brisbane and had dropped off to me in Melbourne on their way through to Hobart. I sanded it back. It's large, hard and heavy, and you can stick it full of pins when you're sewing. Earlier this year The Squeeze inherited a couple of dining tables from his grandfather, as selected by me (tables, not grandfather - though I would have selected him. He was ace). One is silky oak. One is... well, I'm not sure, but I'm suspecting some other sort of oak. Both are covered in a nasty dark varnish - the sort I've sanded away from many other pieces of hidden, beautiful native woods. I haven't managed to sand either of these tables, though. Not in six months. But when we moved into this house, the removalists and I had a little discussion about the three dining tables, and where I should put them. Or have them put (they were doing the putting - I had the greater responsibilities of Directing Putting and Crossing Off Items on the master list). I decided to put the larger grandfather table in the (lovely black and white tiled floor) kitchen. It looks sweeeeeet.
Anyways, the other two are now in our not-very-secure garage (along with the bikes - cross your fingers and knock on wood for their safety, friends), waiting for me to make a Decision about them. I am considering making over part of a bedroom for a sewing room. That will require a table. But I'm not sure it's worth it, seeing as how you can only buy your clothes ready made in this town.

...another note: when I'm at my most active, lifestyle wise, I have no time to sew, but run out of clothes as I get skinnier. When I'm at my least active, I have plenty of time to sew, but bemoan the expanding girth requiring new widths and elasticated waist lines.

*This is the first time I've used this expression. I am pretending it's proper talk.

""the television, he is fixed": more 'liveblogging' unpacking" was posted in the category domesticity

live blogging (almost) unpacking an interstate move

Posted by dogpossum on July 31, 2008 4:47 PM

The best part of moving in is unpacking the backpack you've been living out of for a month. Opening drawers is a far better way of accessing your clothes than unzipping pockets.

The next best thing about moving in is finally being able to do a few loads of laundry and then letting it sit out on the line in the sun all day.

Another very nice thing about moving in is reminding yourself that you can a) reassemble Ikea furniture, and b) assemble complicated home audio-video set ups all on your own. With judicious use of Tshirts for moving large, heavy thing and walks to the cafe for recuperative afternoon teas.

I have also been struck by the kindness of people. Not just strangers, but all sorts of people. Before we left Melbourne (which, I should note, we did only last week, only three weeks after our decision to follow The Squeeze's job offer north to the land of winter-days-that-feel-like-Melbourne-spring) I had a series of emails from friends (and strangers) offering to do me favours - hook me up with work, hook me up with DJing gigs, help me find a place to live, host us while we looked for a house of our own, etc etc etc. These people have all been so wonderful - there've literally been dozens coming out of the woodwork, offering advice on transitional accommodation, teaching gigs, new town tidbits (where to live? Where to dance? Where to shop?) and even just dropping a line or calling or emailing or just stopping by to say 'welcome!'

At this rate Sydney is going to win friendliest city. I'd remembered it being a bit faster and ruder than Brisbane or Melbourne, but it's actually still Australian-type friendly - just faster. The real estate agents have been polite and helpful (!!! no wai! WAI!!1!1!), there are Brunswick type people (Malta, Greece and Italy were all well represented this week - Charlie, Nick and Maria, respectively), though there wasn't quite enough interest from passers by in the removals truck on Tuesday. If this was Brunswick at least half a dozen little men would have wandered out to have a stare and to offer advice. I guess it was the rain kept them away.

I have spent the last three days unpacking like mad - kitchen first, followed by books. Mostly to clear away the book box ramparts keeping us from the couch, our beds and making dinner. Today I have reassembled a desk, a bed and a stereo cabinet. Yesterday I built five book cases. On the first day I was so tired when The Squeeze came home from work (he had to start straight away, or he'd be here carrying heavy things) I could only lie pathetically on the couch while he made dinner in our lovely new kitchen. Then I went to 'just have a lie down' at about 7.30, before ending up passing out - dead to the world - about an hour later. But last night I was able to stay up til at least 9.30! Partly because the internet was finally unpacked and reassembled. I think it's an Ikea product - took an inordinate amount of screwing about.

Speaking of which, because we found a house on the first day looking (true! direct from the airport and everything!), we were able to use our hire car to do some Large Object Shopping. We'd been staying with a variety of friends and family of friends during that week (a big shout out to the Frase's Ps and to my Ps' buddies), so had visited no fewer than four different shopping centers. In part because the outer suburbs don't seem to have strip shopping here (just malls). But also because we ended up going to a (blurgh) Ikea to buy a new cupboard. It was crowded and just as horrible as usual - we didn't enjoy it one bit. Though I did see a rug I quite fancy (could be Strib, though it wasn't as brightly coloured as that one in the picture... could be Gedser), we didn't find a cupboard (though I guess wardrobe is a more accurate term) and we didn't buy one single thing. Luckily we'd been to a Big W just the day before (at the far superior... Burwood? shopping centre - we recommend that centre. It had a wall of windows to the outside world in the food court, and you could see a pretty sandstone shrine while you ate your fairly decent salad), so we didn't end up buying a rubbish bin or a broom or a stupid animal-shaped dustpan and brush from Ikea. Instead we bought ordinary, dull as dishwater ones from Big W. But it was useful having a car for a week while we looked at houses. It was easier to get around (especially when it rained), we could buy those Large Objects - jumbo sized laundry detergent and bottles of juice, brooms, etc and it gave us a quicker way to explore a large city.

Overall, we Approve of Sydney. It is, unfortunately, a bit hilly and the streets are a bit narrow for bikes. They have hardly any bike lanes, and the few bike riders we have seen seem a bit dumb - they don't drive too safe. The car drivers are utterly clueless when it comes to driving safely with bikes, and we suspect there'll be less biking in our future... though I hope not. The Squeeze likes to commute by bike and I like the independence and freeness of it.

Remind me to post photos - our house is sweet. I am especially in love with our kitchen and bathroom - new! Cleanable! Sweet!

"live blogging (almost) unpacking an interstate move" was posted in the category domesticity

July 11, 2008

whinge, speech, whine, blah blah blah

Posted by dogpossum on July 11, 2008 7:23 PM

Now that most of our stuff is packed up there's not much crafting to be done. No pop up tools. No sewing machines. No yarn. Just me, the telly, all the Buffy and Angel DVDs and the heater. I could say that I'm bored... but that would be... ungrateful? Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to dinner: ma por tofu. The Squeeze is the best ma por tofu maker ever. He's always been a really big fan of that particular dish, and now I love it too. It's comfort food. Yummy, delicious, glutinous comfort food.

In other news, it is pretty good to have the house stuff under control. Packing is right on track. The garden is still kind of trashed - it's steadily being worked on, but the weather is a bit off-putting. The cleaning looms, of course - five years worth of occupancy is going to take a little more cleaning than I'm used to. But it's a good thing we're tough.

--Aside: Doesn't Buffy whine and whinge and speech and bore and whine and annoy and whinge and ... oh, man, will she ever shut up? Season 7 is just one long, boring, annoying bitch fest. Harden up, Buffy! Good thing Angel brings it a little more in the parallel season...--

Is The Squeeze ever coming home? All that ma por tofu talk is making me HUNGRY!

I don't think I have anything more to say, really. So I might as well carry on with the annoying Buffy rubbish.

"whinge, speech, whine, blah blah blah" was posted in the category domesticity

June 5, 2008

he has white whiskers and is large

Posted by dogpossum on June 5, 2008 1:04 PM

There is a large, mostly black tom cat who lives in our neighbourhood. He is coloured exactly the same way as Silvester. He's large, he's slinky and he's kind of a doofus. Every day, from my desk, I see him making the rounds of the neighbourhood. I'm at my desk, not him. He's slinking under cars, pouring himself over fences and swaggering up to passing nannas for a quick pat. He has white whiskers and is large.

"he has white whiskers and is large" was posted in the category domesticity

March 24, 2008


Posted by dogpossum on March 24, 2008 9:40 PM

This afternoon The Squeeze arrived home with his backpack chock-full of groceries. "There're joobs in there"
And then I scampered into the kitchen to find the joobs.

"There aren't really joobs."
"I just said that to get you to unpack the groceries."


"curses" was posted in the category domesticity

December 14, 2007

seasonal rhinitis

Posted by dogpossum on December 14, 2007 11:39 AM

Argh. These allergies are killing me. Snot everywhere, sinuses aching, dizzy and confused, itching all over, shaky, sneezing, coughing... Is it the weather (I've been taking antihistamines every day for ages, so surely it's not that?), or is it the semi-annual going-through of boxes of old crap that are drowning in dust? Argh. I'm not tough enough for this.

"seasonal rhinitis" was posted in the category domesticity

May 10, 2007

i know...

Posted by dogpossum on May 10, 2007 4:30 PM

It's 16 degrees and I know it's winter because the papers are steaming as they come out of the printer.

"i know..." was posted in the category domesticity

April 26, 2007

totally badass

Posted by dogpossum on April 26, 2007 5:06 PM

I've just carried a very heavy, three-shelf shelf-thingy. Sort of 50s style, where each layer of shelves is a bit shorter than the one below.
It's white, but solid wood underneath - I will liberate it.

I saw it on the side of the road, on Victoria Street as I was going down to the butcher. I had a good squizz, couldn't see anyone, and legged it, giant, heavy (solid wood) shelf over my shoulder. In the butcher I asked if anyone knew who owned it (or the four nice red-seat, black-leg 50s chairs it was standing with). No one did. I decided it was ok to take it, if I was quick.

After buying some stuff, I nipped across the road to the bus stop and spent 5 sort of worried minutes waiting for a bus. Thank goddess it was the 508 - they lower themselves to let old people and people carrying shelves climb up.

Then I carried it home. A ten minute walk extended. It's a good thing I'm very strong and with a low, wide centre of gravity. I'd like to think I'm terribly badass, but I'm not sure taking abandoned furniture qualifies me.

"totally badass" was posted in the category domesticity

April 10, 2007

Right now

Posted by dogpossum on April 10, 2007 4:00 AM | Comments (4)

Right now it's 2am and The Squeeze and I are sitting on the bed in the front room peeking through the blinds at about 3 thousands cops. Periodically a bloke on a megaphone asks 'Paisley' (Painsley? Ainsley?) and 'Joseph' at number 4 to come out the front door, down the path to the front gate with their hands up, where the police will give them more instructions. Apparently, this is the police, and they want to talk to them about a police matter. The house is surrounded. They will not be harmed.

Like I said, there are about 3 thousand police all over the intersection outside our house. But it's quiet, except for every other dog in the neighbourhood barking and then not barking and then barking again. Every now and then the police give instructions and a car siren goes off. I hear a couple of bangs that I imagine are gun shots (as if I'd know what a gun shot sounded like), but are probably people throwing things around.

It's a quiet Brunswick area, and while we have quite a few households of noisy teenagers in our street, there are far fewer problems in this area than others I've lived in. I've never had to call the police, not even for late night noise. My family used to live in a now-very-swish part of Brisvegas next to a boarding house with a few blokes who really scared me. We called the cops nearly every weekend because they were fighting and scary. I've lived in quiet suburban areas where I've called the cops while a frightened woman hid in our loungeroom from her abusive partner. When we lived in Fiji our house was broken into and we were scared quite a bit at night, until we left, and then there was a coup.

But this isn't a noisy area. Which is kind of the point, I guess.

So there are all these cops on the street. The Squeeze went out a little while ago to have a sticky beak and was asked to return to the house. It's kind of bizarre. We made jokes about the Victorian police and the promise that no one would be hurt. But they're all out there now, very serious and square-shaped, and it doesn't really seem all that funny any more. I have put on clothes, just in case. I'm not sure what the in case will be, but I want to be ready.

"Right now" was posted in the category domesticity

March 29, 2007

anyone need a thesis written?

Posted by dogpossum on March 29, 2007 5:35 PM

Ok, I'm bored.
This whole no-job, no-study thing has palled.

Writing articles? I've tried, and now I'm bored.
Job? Can't get one. Well, not an academic one (it is kind of a quiet time of year - and that fancy job in the US didn't work out. :( ). I'm not ready to work at JB just yet.... though I could handle Basement Discs. But please - fourteen years of tertiary education to return to my retail roots? I don't think so.
Domestic maintenance? I have to be bored - our house gleams. But that hasn't helped our mouse problem.
Sewing? Done a lot, kind of over it.
Quilting? Yeah, same.
Crocheting? Well, it is pretty much crocheting season again - I can bear to have a lap full of wool once more. But really - this isn't high brain stuff.
Compulsive dance practice? I'm looking for high brain stimulation, thanks.
Compulsive cooking? Getting there.
Compulsive shopping? Stalled by my lack of solvency. But encouraged by the proximity of good grocery shops and my renewed interest in eating-for-interest.
Fillums? Yes, many.
Television and DVDs? Yes, even more.
Gardening? Quietish, but on the horizon.
Ob-con laundry? Oh yes - ask The Squeeze about his drawers. Both types, actually.
Webbing? I'm just about to sort out the site for MLX7. And the MJDA site needs to go to a blogging program. But I've lost interest in FSP. Though I'm tempted to take it up again after some stooge thought that Frankie Manning story was for real. God, never heard of satire?
Reading? Reading (and read) far, far too many books lately. All fun books, and no productive 'work' books. But reading lots and lots of articles (I am pillaging the databases with my new, sneaky back-door access).
DJing? Boring. Bored. Like a drill. Sigh. That's so 1939.
Yoga? Twice a week and thinking about a third session. Flexible? √ Strong? √ Calm? √ sort of. Bored? √

I think I should make my thesis into a book. I have no idea where to start or how to do it, though I have had a look at the MUP help guide. It's not all that helpful, though. But really, what else am I going to do? I have 5 articles (or so - I forget exactly how many) coming out soon, and it's only March. Even I'm sick of me and my articles. And I'm running out of journals to hassle. I need something challenging.

Anyone need a thesis written?

"anyone need a thesis written?" was posted in the category dogpossum and domesticity

March 11, 2007

this is a great weekend

Posted by dogpossum on March 11, 2007 12:17 PM | Comments (5)

Right now I'm supposed to be midway through a day of workshops over in Prahran (or wherever they are). But a water main has burst and I am trying to get a plumber to come fix it. Why can't I find a plumber willing to rip me off for a few hundred bucks on a Sunday? I could leave it, but then it wouldn't get fixed. :(

This is the exact same problem we had before - the bung pipe in the veggie patch. The owner had his bullshit 'plumber' (ie some stooge who isn't a qualified plumber) 'fix' it last time and, well... I thought someone was hosing down our house, went outside and discovered where Melbourne's water was going. Up into the air, over some laundry, and all over the back yard.
The emergency plumber will cost a bomb, the landlord will try to make us pay it and I'll get so angry I'll try to kick the shit out of him write angry things on the internet and frighten The Squeeze with some shouting.

So now I'm sitting here TRYING to find a fucking plumber. The Squeeze is off doing stupid moomba shit and doesn't have a mobile, and I'm seriously sleep deprived and dehydrated. The classes yesterday were in a really overcrowded, hot hot HOT room and I haven't been able to drink enough to stop feeling thirsty since. We also had to suffer through two classes with a few bullshit American hot shot teachers and I'm more than a little shitty about being ripped off.

This is a great weekend.

"this is a great weekend" was posted in the category domesticity and lindy hop and other dances

March 6, 2007


Posted by dogpossum on March 6, 2007 7:05 PM

The neighbourhood kids are playing on the road, pulling some bmx bandits action. They're all boys and about 10 years old. One of them just asked another: "Hey Costa, have you ever actually been in a real wrestling match?"
He's not the only one who'd like to know.

"speculation" was posted in the category domesticity

February 21, 2007

she who dies with the most fabric wins

Posted by dogpossum on February 21, 2007 3:12 PM

Bravery report
Ok, so I survived the dentist yesterday. The appointment took about 10 minutes, was absolutely painless and very effective. The dentist was all "Why didn't you come in? There was no reason to suffer that pain for so long for such a little thing?" and I was all "I was scared," and then he was "but I'm not scary, am I? You can talk to me" and then I went "it wasn't rational. If it was rational I would have come in."
But it didn't hurt, he didn't charge me and it doesn't hurt any more. It was just a bit of sticky-out filling that was bumping out into my bite and needed filing down so it didn't echo impact up into my jaw. So now it's all nice and I am much braver about the dentist. He had to remind me: "But that last time was a root canal. That's the most painful thing you can have done. Nothing else will hurt like that." I can't help these things.
I was pretty brave all up. I only teared up a bit when I told him I was scared. I don't know what my problem is - I can get up in front of a few hundred people and do a bit of strutting and telling of shit. I can get up in front of zillions of people and dance like a fool (with authentic chicken steps and all*), do the worm and so on. I can deal with aggressive bullying blokes. I can teach groups of surly teenagers about the internet. I can run massive week-long dance events. I can play music to ensure a room full of picky dancers have a good time. But I can't handle a bit of pain.
Sigh. Something to work on, I guess.

So I go back in a year for a regular check up. I'm sure I'll be back to my pre-surprise-root-canal bravery by then.

Yoga update
On other fronts, I went to yoga again today. That's two weeks since last time. I suck, because I love yoga, it makes me feel so good (though it's hurting at the moment), it helps me avoid injuries and muscle strain in dance and it's fun and social with lots of nice nannas. But I went, and that's what counts.
Then I went to Sugardough and had a nice salad roll and a cup of tea followed by a nice brownie. Then I bought an olive bread thing (like a skinny french loaf, but not as skinny as those Italian bread stick things - help me out here, Galaxy, will you?) which I love eating toasted with fetta cheese on top.

Sewing news
Then I went to the-fabric-store-whose-name-we-cannot-speak and bought too much fabric. I will blog images if I can ever get them off The Squeeze's camera (I have a backlog on there). I bought:

  • some black stuff to make a dress for The Squeeze's sister's wedding (two weeks away or something). It will have straps, a high waist (sort of empire-lined, but A-line skirt), a bodice that's in three bits (I've forgotten the proper name, but it gives a more fitted look) and I'm going to make some little flower petals or some sort of shaped pieces to sew onto the front to add detail. I have a nice purple version I should also blog - I'm too fat for it these days, but it's still one of my favourites. The shaped bits will be like petals (two pieces sewn together to give a bit of a 3D look) and are a black-on-purple paisley-esque print. Very tasteful.
  • some cream background craft fabric with nice green crocodiles printed. This will be a bodice for a dress with a high waist (again - it makes my body look longer), with the sirt made out of an interesting greeny patterned craft fabric. All crocodiles would have been fun, but perhaps a bit too unflattering. I like interesting prints, so I wouldn't have minded the crocodiles all over. Just not the cream background. It will have the green as bias binding around the top of the bodice, and maybe the straps will be the green as well. I'm thinking a crocodile pocket as well. But I haven't decided on the pattern yet. If I love this dress, it may be the wedding outfit. But it's my first green dress ever and I usually don't like any colour that's not black, purple, pink, red, maroon or some other warm colour. I look shit in blues and greens and whites and yellows and oranges (because I am 'olive' coloured. Which means I look yellow when I don't have a tan, which means I look a little jaundiced. I also have dark eyes and eyebrows)
  • two big pieces of white voile with black prints. One is a nice rose sort of pattern (like a line drawing - I know it has a real name but I've forgotten it). The other has a stronger black print and is William Morris-ish. I doubt I'll ever make anything from them but I like looking them. And as we all know, she who dies with the most fabric wins.

Quilting news
Come on, summer, get over yourself. I have a new project to finish and it sucks to have to put the fan on so I can bear to work on it.
Remind me to post some pics of my latest (divine) job, will you? I am all about quilting using found or remnant fabrics, so most of my quilts are quite small, but also quite beautiful**. It's nice to see vintage fabrics from which I made favourite dresses (which died ages ago) all matched up in one quilt.

Cinema review
Yesterday I saw Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man and really enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of Cohen's music and I really liked all the music in the film. It's a doco, but a pretty arty farty one (not much useful knowledge in there), and it's mostly footage of other people at a concert singing Cohen's songs. Rufus Wainwright does a freaking amazing version of Everybody Knows which blew my brain and made the whole film worth the entry cost.
It does, however have fucking Bono and The Edge talking about Cohen and performing with him. I wanted to scream profanities at them. I fucking hate U2. I fucking hate Bono. He sucks arse. And can't sing half as well as he thinks he can. And the Edge? Shit, I could play guitar better than him. It was so pathetic to see them playing with Cohen after people like the Wainwrights, the Handsome Family, Nick Cave and Jarvis Cocker doing these wonderful, interesting versions of Cohen's music. And Bono is suck a wanker. I mean, Hallelujah is a wonderful song, but so freaking obvious.
But aside from thaose nasty little Irish moments, the film was neat. Go if you love Cohen, but don't go if you don't like him. It'd suck if you didn't like him.

*the peck is a very Frankie Manning move. These days I am saying "what would Frankie do?" whenever I want to spice up a basic step. So I imagine I have a giant, 90-year-old-man arse, an interest in boobs and a really low centre of gravity. It really helps me get down off my toes and work it. Just like a dirty old man.

** not in a 'man, you're so talented! what a fabulous bit of patchwork/quilting!' way, but in a 'aren't they nice fabrics?' way.

"she who dies with the most fabric wins" was posted in the category domesticity and fillums and old sew and sew

February 18, 2007

i have yet to put on clothes

Posted by dogpossum on February 18, 2007 5:17 PM

It's currently 38 degrees, the house is all dark because the curtains and blinds are trying to keep the heat out, and The Squeeze is still asleep - I think he's just not recognising today as a proper day at all. He went to bed at about 1 or perhaps a bit earlier and has just slept right through. I did get him up to change beds earlier because he was drowning in his own sweat in the other bedroom. In fact, I think I need to go wake him up to force some water into him.

I, however, have done some fiddling on the internet, mucked about with an article I have to get back to the journal eds by next week, wished I had access to a couple of nice DJing books (they're not even in the library so I can't go check em out this afternoon), listened to a bunch of music and thought about buying this, worked out it would cost me $189 or so, revised my stance. Reviewed the bands/band leaders on the set (the Chocolate Dandies, Henry Red Allen, Mildred Bailey, Fletcher Henderson, Teddy Wilson, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, Billie Holiday) and decided that I might just have to have this after all. It's seven CDs for $189. That's twenty or so dollars each. For awesomely re-mastered loveliness. Still, there is the whole being poor thing.

Yesterday I didn't do a very good job of coping with the heat. Usually I'm pretty tough, but yesterday I ended up having to go home and lie down. After quite a few hours at the pub in the air-con. But riding about in 38 degrees is a bit rough. Especially if you spent the night before dancing and sweating like a fool.
It's still hot. The house is hot. I'm sitting in front of a fan and trying not to let my metabolism respond to the exciting music I'm listening to - no elevated pulses!
I think I'm going back to lie on the bed and read some more.

I have yet to put on clothes today.

"i have yet to put on clothes" was posted in the category domesticity

February 15, 2007

i am a complete baby

Posted by dogpossum on February 15, 2007 10:57 AM

Ok, so I've been trying to pretend that I haven't been having any trouble with that tooth that I had the wonderful surprise root canal in last year.
I thought it was just me being picky when it continued to ache and ache in December. In January. But now, in February, it actually hurts a fair bit more, and aches up into my jaw.

Needless to say, I've discovered I have a new dentist phobia, and making an appointment to see the dentist has been ... difficult.
But today I did make an appointment, and I'm going in next Tuesday to have my head cranked open again. Yay for brave me!
I am pretty freakin' scared. Like, scared in a crying way.

I can't even say that I'd much rather have them dig it out and fix it than continue to suffer through it. There's something much worse about going in and choosing to lie there while they dig around and hurt me a fair bit than just suffering with an ache. I know it's not rational or logical talk here. There is no ration. There is no logic. Just scaredness.

But the dentist lady said that what's probably happened is that the crown 'sits a little too high in the jaw' and that my 'bite is affected'. So they'll just 'take it down a bit' (a couple of milimetres at most) so that it sits a little lower. Basically, the top bit of the root filling is sticking up and getting bumped a bit too much when I bite down and that this is causing pain that feels like nerve pain. It really does feel nasty.
But that's all speculation. I'm actually going to believe the speculation because I'd much rather a bit of tidying up than having the whole thing dug out and done again.

I really wish that the anaesthetic had been more effective last time. I think, if I had to have another root canal, I'd choose a general anaesthetic. All the joking of my previous posts aside, that was some pretty scary stuff. And some pretty nasty pain.

I am a complete baby. But at least I'm tough enough to get myself in there for another appointment.

"i am a complete baby" was posted in the category domesticity

January 2, 2007

once i've learnt something, it sticks

Posted by dogpossum on January 2, 2007 12:49 PM

I am having a lovely time tappa tapping here at the computer, but there's a knot of anxiety deep in my belly. It's the 'I should be working on my thesis not screwing around on the internet' anxiety.
Talk about learnt habits dying hard...

I should be writing articles, but really... there's no rush.

I also have a bunch of fabric calling out for me to go sew (you should SEE it - there's some really pretty stuff there).
And I should pop up to the shops to do a bit of grocery shopping.
And I really should think about the set I'm doing on Thursday night (I amn't DJing as regularly as I was, so I need to practice every now and then to keep my music fresh in my mind).
And we spent some time working on that Tranky Doo yesterday afternoon, so I should put some effort into learning it (I was, as predicted, the slowest learner. And I'm so unfit I really couldn't hack the pace. But I will get better - and once I've learnt something, it sticks. I hope).

But, you know - that internet, she is like a black hole. And what's my rush?

"once i've learnt something, it sticks" was posted in the category domesticity

December 14, 2006

best work christmas party story

Posted by dogpossum on December 14, 2006 10:14 AM

Last week The Squeeze's bosses hired a magician for the christmas party.
One of his mates, having hidden the magician's gear, declared "Let's see him do some fucking magic tricks now."
Hilarity ensued.

"best work christmas party story" was posted in the category domesticity

November 30, 2006

pathetic sicky bub posting

Posted by dogpossum on November 30, 2006 4:49 PM

Ask me what I've done this week.
I've been lying in bed all day everyday since Monday. Sleeping, or drowning in goob. I am weak, pathetic.
But I've had the internet to keep me company. That and a few good books.

I have to get it together for the Canberra trip (if I have the Bad Ears, I'm not flying. No way).
But I've just discovered a good friend is doing a paper on dance in my session at the CSAA conf, and I'm keen to hear that and talk nerdy dance with her.
Plus the papers for the cultural transmission in dance seminar arrived, and I'm interested. I've heard they're also doing a workshop day. I'm pretending that will involve dancing of some sort (which is exciting, considering there are papers on capoeira, indian dance, contemporary dance...). But I bet it doesn't. Unless I'm still pretty crook, then it will definitely involve actually dancing.

Oh dilemma, dilemma.

I've also ditched tonight's set at CBD (thankfully) - I'm finding walking to the clothesline pretty difficult still. Man I HATE this stupid cold.

...and that's enough of that rubbish. I'm off to read something on paper.

"pathetic sicky bub posting" was posted in the category domesticity

November 16, 2006

perhaps a decoy lamp

Posted by dogpossum on November 16, 2006 6:02 PM

We have ant problems at the moment.
The coffee table is COVERED in them. They're busy making trails to the giant bunch of (lovely) waratahs and banksia and protea Crinks gave me for my birthday (one of the birthday highlights I forgot to mention in that last maudlin, birthday sook post). Some of them have made it to the dining table where I'm marking. The ants, that is. Not the flowers. Unfortunately. I have to keep brushing them off the students' papers. Or blow them off my laptop. Every now and then one gets under the keys. I wonder how they're all doing in there.

Bugs freak out The Squeeze (or should that be freak The Squeeze out?). But not me - I'm from Brisbane. There are very few bugs in Melbourne. It's cold. And it's urban. I have almost completely lost my leap-out-of-bed-when-you-feel-something-in-there-with-you reactions. And my super-fast-removal hand flick. When we're sitting on the couch watching Kerrie in the evenings, I just pick up my glass and tuck my feet under me while The Squeeze shrieks and tries to wipe the table clean (again). He is obsessed with Ant Rid (which I don't even think about, ever).

It's difficult to care about a few busy ants when you've slept with giant cockroaches and had to type with the lights off and the computer monitor on a low glow, with perhaps a decoy lamp on in another part of the room because you had no flyscreens.

"perhaps a decoy lamp" was posted in the category domesticity

October 30, 2006

this surprise root canal experience has had repercussions we are yet to enjoy

Posted by dogpossum on October 30, 2006 8:17 PM

Well, after dentist appointment #4, I have a little dentist trauma to deal with. Now that the local has worn off, my face hurts and I'm a little upset. I don't know how much more of this I can take. But I have one more appointment scheduled. So that will be four sessions on this one fucking suprise root canal. Today we filled the canals (3 of them, no less). We attempted it without local today, but one good jab in the hole with the pokey thing and I shrieked in agony, and the dentist decided we needed local. He doesn't understand why it hurts as much as it does. I try to be brave, but mostly, there's some crying.

The tears just sort of roll down my cheek and into my hairline (because I'm upside down, flat on my back in the chair), and then the snot sort of trickles down inside my throat and makes me cough. And big, long strings of cry-saliva attach themselves to the dentist's rubber gloves as he reaches for another pointy thing, and then flick off to slap my chin. As he rubs his rubbery fingers around inside my mouth, the cry-saliva - sort of thicker and goobier than normal, watery saliva - adds a new layer of interest to the whole experience, and I can't help but think about vaginas. And how your vaginal mucous changes when you're ovulating. So I can't help but associate this whole thing with hot sex.

So, you know, this surprise root canal experience has had repercussions we are yet to enjoy.

Beyond the delight of post-probing jaw pain, impending (massive) debt and disturbing thoughts about bodily secretions, all this dental work has at least given me an excuse to see a fair few films. Word Play = good stuff.

"this surprise root canal experience has had repercussions we are yet to enjoy" was posted in the category domesticity

September 8, 2006

Gastropodry: bunny and Jay

Posted by dogpossum on September 8, 2006 8:12 PM

Right now I have a bunny (on) the oven... oh, look, I'm sorry. That was far too desperate.

To restart: I've finally succumbed to the temptation and am cooking my first rabbit. It's the perfect opportunity: The Squeeze (who loathes meat on the bone, and finds the thought of eating bunnies distressing) is out, it's Friday night so I can stop worrying about all the things I have to do - until tomorrow, and my new Jay McShann album arrived today. Gotta love that Kansas City action.

I'll report back later on the bunny.

"Gastropodry: bunny and Jay" was posted in the category digging and domesticity and fewd and gastropod and music

July 17, 2006

it's ok - don't panic

Posted by dogpossum on July 17, 2006 1:48 PM

To all those who've checked up on me after the sicky bubs post:



I'm ok.

Status report: as per usual, the second wave of serious head cold (which, incidentally, also struck down my father this week - in two rounds - no doubt an indication of the vulnerability of small-nostrilled people to this sort of thing) has settled in comfortably, and almost a week later, while I have now been out of the house all of 3 times, I now have the horrible ear thing again.

While it mightn't sound so terrible to have blocked ears, it's kind of awful for someone who relies on their ears as much as I do. It's difficult to dance when your balance is screwed and your awareness of your surroundings stuffed by unreliable hearing. It's bloody difficult to judge sound levels when you're DJing through an ear's worth of goob. And riding your bike is terrifying when you can't hear approaching cars or balance properly.
But I have a doctor's appointment booked for tomorrow, so either she'll look inside and be frightened enough by what she sees to syringe me to blessed unimpededness, or she'll see nothing and I'll have another day on the kick-you-on-your-arse decongestants. The latter is always a joy for someone as responsive to these sorts of drugs as I am. I am sure The Squeeze is looking forward to mildly-psychotic and scarily insomniac speed freak girl as much as I am.

On (un)related fronts, Angel and everyone else are dealing with the Darla/Drusilla fallout (don't you just LOVE those episodes?) and Buffy is freaking out under a pile of narratively excessive dramas: Glory's nabbed Dawn/the key, Spike is hot for Bot-love (and yes, he is kinda small, but pretty compact and well-muscled, Xander), Tara has been brain-drained by Glory and of course, Joyce has just passed away.

"it's ok - don't panic" was posted in the category buffy and angel and domesticity and television

July 12, 2006

poor sicky bub

Posted by dogpossum on July 12, 2006 2:10 PM

I am terribly unwell. Well, not terribly, if I can still type.
But I have massively sore and swolen glands, a nasty sinus headache, a sore throat, lots of snot, some coughing, horrible aches and pains in my joints and a recurring temperature.

The cold that tried to ruin my weekend in Tasmania, the weekend before, which had quietened down, was obviously kicked into gear by my preemptive weekend of dancing the following weekend, and yesterday I started getting crook.

I woke up at about 4am with a massive temperature, all confused and distressed. I was freezing, but also burning up like the sun. I went to find some cold water to drink (of course it was a success - a confused, feverish person walking around a dark house looking for the fridge), then I decided that the only person who could help me out at that exact moment was The Squeeze. On my way to find him (cleverly hidden in bed), my sore right instep started hurting again (it's a recurring dance thing - like fallen arches, but actually a hamstring issue) and made me cry.

So the poor Squeeze had a snotty, feverish crying person startle him awake as they tried to climb into the bed without putting any weight on their sore foot.
Then there was some more crying, as he carefully placed me back into bed, and applied the tried and true Squeeze Method for calming distressed Hams and confused sick people - the clamp. This really means that he rolled me up in the blankets, wrapped an arm around me and exerted his full weight of Sleep. It took a bit of clamping, but eventually I calmed down a bit, stopped crying (what was with the weeping? Man, those feverish confusion thingies make for some weirdness), stopped having strange, confused half-hallucinations (which could only be solved by rolling about in bed, from side to back, to front to side and back again... eventually actually solved by some serious clamping) and fell asleep.
I feel a bit strange now, but those panadols took the edge off my temperature (that was another issue - I couldn't figure out how to get warm. Blankets and pajamas seemed too complex) and I'm not feeling quite as terrible as I did.

But I'm definitely not getting out of bed today. I'm going to lie here and read and wipe my nose all day.

"poor sicky bub" was posted in the category domesticity

July 4, 2006

fate consipres against me. again.

Posted by dogpossum on July 4, 2006 1:40 PM

So you guys all know that I'm in the middle of some serious last-round thesis editing, right?
The supes is back in about two weeks, I have a conclusion to (re)write, an introduction to (re)write, etc etc?

Well, this weekend past, we decided to pop down to Tasmania to see my ps and coincide with a visit from my nieces to my parents. That was all cool. Except for the bit where I do as normal and get sick. We did no walking, I sat on the sidelines like a nanna at a dance in Tasmania, I piked on a bunch of social engagements, and the only parts of the beautiful Hobart I saw after Saturday was through the parent's lounge room windows (which is actually quite a lot, really).

RIght now I'm trying desperately to understand the written word (and to produce it too), and it's not really working. I've been full of goob since Friday, though at least I've not napped all day today (as I did yesterday and the day before - hell, I even fell asleep during Angel the day before).
I thought I might do some work.

But I'm finding it really difficult to hold thoughts together. Reading is easy - it's the comprehension that's getting me. And I don't think it's such a great idea to try to edit/rewrite in this state.
Yeah, so that sucks, seeing as how I have the rest of this week (today, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) plus next week to do these little jobs, but we have this big dance thing on this weekend, which I think I'll actually skip. I'm not particularly interested in the Evil Empire's third (or is it fourth?) 'national competition' weekend. Particularly not when they can't seem to run even one social dancing weekend. But we will have a lovely houseguest, which will be nice, possibly two. Then my parents will be down next week.
So yeah, thesis work?
Why is it that on the one fortnight when I really want to work my guts out, before the semester begins and teaching with it, when I really want to get this motherfucking* thesis out of the way, fate consipres against me?

Should I panic? Perhaps. But I can't really manage to work up the energy. Plus it's hard to breathe, and it's not worth panicking if you're not going to wail while you're gnashing your teeth. Well, I could manage some wheezing (what with the lovely congested chest/sinus thing**) and a bit of moaning...

Yeah, so, ok, I think I'm going back to bed. Pick up some veggies and milk for our empty fridge on your way home, will you?

*sorry about that cuss.
**packed sinuses and blocked ears on a plane: interesting. Not as painful as I'd thought. But to feel the pressure inside my head shifting and popping and oozing was kind of unsettling.

"fate consipres against me. again." was posted in the category domesticity and thesis and travel

June 9, 2006

crossing my legs and letting the plumber get on with it

Posted by dogpossum on June 9, 2006 12:54 PM

The plummer has been here since 9am (which was rough after my late night), all the water is off and my bladder is screaming. But I daren't interrupt him - he's replacing all the taps in my bathroom and kitchen (which is exciting, especially if you know our taps).
It's not too bad, really - I learnt a lot about our landlord. Apparently he's a hairdresser who owns lots of houses and a factory and a shop(s ?). He's also a tightarse.

All this is kind of upsetting, seeing as how it took months and months for him to do little, inconsquential things like:
- fix the leak in the roof that steadily trickled water down our wall and ceiling and left a very pretty water stain
- fix the wiring in the bathroom so that we actually had a light in there. And an extraction fan that wouldn't set the house on fire
- fix the toilet that leaked from the outflow pipe. Yes. Imagine that wonderfulness
It's a little bit shitty that someone with so many assets fucks his tenants around. But as the (Italian) plumber said, "people who have money chase it."

There are other things that need fixing around our house, but we don't think about them unless we have to. For instance, the wiring in our house is a bit of a home job. Our first night in the house a plug point caught on fire. The electrician was afraid to work on it, and when he came to install a trip switch (the safety switch that clicks the power off automaticaly when something blows - it stops a gajillion vaults flowing through you when you do something silly) he said he couldn't as the wiring was so crap. In fact, it's illegal wiring.
We blessed our landlord when our power failed a summer or two ago and we had no power for 24 hours in two periods. Just long enough for all our frozen food in the fridge to defrost, and for us to die in the heat.

Yeah, renting rocks, but heck. We can leave any day. Not that we want to - our house is actually quite great for the price, and in the best location. And I've been renting for over 10 years now, and never lived in any house as long as this - 2 or 3 years now. So I'm just crossing my legs and letting the plumber get on with it.

"crossing my legs and letting the plumber get on with it" was posted in the category domesticity

May 9, 2006

could this be cabin fever?

Posted by dogpossum on May 9, 2006 2:50 PM

It's cold and windy (ah, the downside of Melbourne in the autumn - overcast skies, endless Antarctican winds, rain. rain. rain),
I have some serious muscle tension in my right shoulder/back/neck which is trying to become a headache,
I'm worried about an article I have to submit on the 20th which isn't re-edited yet (because my supervisor(s) can't keep up with my prodigiously productive brain. hell, my productivity is scaring even me at the moment),
our lounge room is full of drying laundry that smells odd,
I'm in that difficult blanket - quilt interum period, where it's too hot for a proper quilt, but too cold for less than 6 blankets (whose weight no doubt contributes to my muscle tension, seeing as how I can't roll over in bed as I'm pinned to the mattress by 60million blankets) so I'm not sleeping properly, or having weirdo, too-hot dreams about superheroes (all sans cape),
I'm sewing obsessively (they're nice camel needle cord trousers. why thankyou, but it's not camel - it's sand. only $4 a metre),
I can't face cooking or doing the washing up (Saigon City, you are going Down - no more home deliver for US, thank you very much),
mysterious boxes keep arriving (as per usual - I see the parcel guy nearly every day), but they're never for me (seeing as how I can't afford to buy anything more often than once every couple of months - and then only cheap CDs) and they're never worth opening as they're always cords or bits of computer and boring if you're not an uber-nerd,
did I mention the muscle tension? ow! Dang, I need more exercise, but anxiety-induced malaise and autumn weather are not condusive to long bike rides or step-step-triple-step practice,
I love my yoga mat, especially now it no longer smells weird. Was it wrong to hose it in the backyard?
I've just read some fascinating articles on the phenomenology stuff, but half of me is distressed because it's way too late in the thesis progress to discover important articles and I'm not sure I'm buying this bullshit phenomenology crap,
I think I have that thing where 9months pregnant women suddenly aren't sure they want to go through with this. What will I do without my thesis? You know you have to give it away as soon as it's done, don't you?
I'm partway through a crazed Buffy re-veiwing obsessession. Somewhere in season 3 (best season ever), and I'm still getting at least one good scare (though usually 2-3) for each 2 episodes we watch a night. I get startled/scared easily. I think it's because, when we were young, my brother and I went through a prolonge phase of scaring the bejesus out of each other. We'd wait behind doors or under beds and then jump out at the other, yelling "YAH!" to scare the other. And it worked. Thing is, the more scares you get, the more easily scared you are. Plus there's the whole anticipationn-of-a-scare thing. I mean, we both thought it was neat, even when we were scared and angry-laughingly chasing the other round the house for retribution. But still. I'm still a trembly leaf person. And I've noted that (having just leapt out of the larder at our p's house, after huddling silently in wait for ages, fleeing from my life from my hulking younger brother, both of us giggling like fools, leaping cats and ignoring shouted 'stop shouting! calm down!' threats from the ps) that he's just as susceptible to the scare as I am. What have we done to each other? Made it impossible to watch scary films? Or perhaps made scary films that much more exciting for ourselves?
I'm dancing like crap. Like real, terrible, awful crap. I need to work on my dancing to get better, but it's just not a priority in my life at the moment (not when I have trousers to make).

could this be cabin fever?

yoga. I need yoga. Thank god class is on tonight!

"could this be cabin fever?" was posted in the category domesticity

April 28, 2006

back to the endless I-did-this-today story....

Posted by dogpossum on April 28, 2006 6:51 PM

I find that drinking black tea (or digger tea as it's known in our house) after lunchtime makes it difficult to sleep at night. Yeah, yeah, call me pussy caffeine intolerance girl, but there you go. I don't even try to drink coffee any more - it makes me nuts (though not as nuts as gelati made me on the ride into town last night ... is it wrong for The Squeeze and I to take such great delight in riding through the crowd of seagulls in the parking lot of the Markets, yelling all the way and praying we won't hit a bump in the dark and break a leg?).
So there's some illicit pleasure in sitting down to a cup of tea at 5.53pm. But hell, I say, if you can'ty drink caffeine after 12 on a Friday night, you're not really living!

Anyhoo, one week later I go in to Uli to have the experimental mass removed from the middle part of my head. We're not just talking fringe here, we're talking girly bits... no, wait, the girly bits are mostly there still, but smaller. Tidier. Anyhoo, after a week of deliberation, experimentation and consumerism ($15 for hair product? That's crazy talk!) I decided a long fringe was not for me. Long as in longer than half a centimeter. I exaggerate not. Both The Squeeze and I had decided we much preferred the 'pixie fringe' as he calls it - I discovered it years ago when it was actually fashionable, and now I'm aiming to look like a serious feminist academic til the day I die. No fringe shall be longer than 2cms. No jewellry shall not be silver. No shoes should not be practical/comfortable, unless teamed with a hideously expensive handbag and black-rimmed glasses.

[diversion] Which reminds me. At a very interesting seminar on Thursday, I decided that breaking an icing sugar-coated biscuit with a spoon to make smaller nibbling pieces was a good idea. Of course, both pieces went everywhere, luckily not during the paper itself. Now, I didn't freak as this shit happens to me all the time (let me repeat - all the time. I don't fall down all the time any more, but I sure as shit drop stuff, knock things over, etc etc. And please, let's not talk about the very public too-long-held-down-click-button-on-the-laptop-while-DJing-so-causing-a-song-to-begin-midway-through-another-song-on-multiple-ocassions thing). But the best bit was watching white powder fly out in all directions. Not so great a way to win friends in a room full of cultural studies types.* I apologised, giggled irreverently and perhaps shouldn't have proferred a used hanky.

*this is a joke utiilising the stereotype that all cultural studies types wear black turtleneck sweaters, black rimmed glasses and black trousers. While they mostly did in the 90s, now most of them seem to have passed into the 'comfortable' fashion bracket. At LaTrobe, anyway. Phew - I wasn't sure I could manage the dress code.[/diversion]

At any rate, I now have awesomely excellent super-short hair. With minor girly bits but major pixie fringe. All free and included in my original haircut price. Phew. And double phew for DJing - I dropped $60 on a fabulous colour - dark marooney red (which will lighten, I was assured, as the colour sets... which is hairdresser word for 'fade' I suspect). And boy did I score the gossip. Mostly restaurant related.
Apparently Bali Bagus (said Bar-goo) is ace. La Paelle (Spanish/Moroccan) is great for small groups but crap for large groups. There's an Ethiopian place in Fitzroy called Lalla/Lulla/Lilla something or other and is amazingly wonderful.
I also met a local artist type person who does interesting ziney stuff (that one's for you, Skirt).

I popped in to Spotty to get something for a subdued winter jacket/jumper. While I adore my bright pink and red micro-fleece hoody (Hello Kitty hood lining - pics will follow), sometimes it's not really the go for a more conservative colour scheme. I can't really wear bright pink with plum cords and a cream blouse. Well, I can, but it's kind of.... vivid. So I got some blackey/grey stretch denim (no, don't worry, I'm not tempted to make some low-riding tight, straight legged jeans... I was THERE in the late 80s/early 90s when that shit was cool the first time. And I am NOT going there again) and some black micro fleece to line a very basic jacket. It will have a metallic zip (ie black tape, but silvery teeth), and either a hood or a collar. I like hoods because they're practical in this godforsaken climate (esp if they're water resistant), and I'm tempted by the idea of a fleece-lined hood, but it could all go tragically wrong. We'll see. The whole jacket will probably be like my waterproof, red, quilted one (sort of box-shaped), esp with the layers and all, but I love that red jacket (could be a little longer though - esp on the bike) so who gives a fuck.

Speaking of which, bike jumpers and jackets have a little lowered 'saddle flap' (is it just me who thinks of those curves on the bottom of men's shirts as being like the flaps on a saddle...? Go horsey girl, go) to cover your lower back and crack. Because, of course, you bend over to ride your bike. Those low-riding trousers are awesomely obscene on bike riders (though very entertaining on the novice bike-kid - ha-HA I strike another blow against the horrid teen-groover invasion of B'wick!). The high-waisted trouser is very pleasing, as are stretch fabrics. In fact, the three quarter tracksuit pant is perfect.


yes, I think I had mentioned the importance of practical clothing for active lasses before. Whatever.

Back to the endless I-did-this-today story....

I picked up some of those FUCKING AMAZING sausages from Nino and Joe's for dinner tonight. Is it wrong to drop in to a butcher just to browse? Is it wrong to be delighted by the close proximity of hairdresser to Spotty to butcher?

I declare Friday culinary day. Wait for pics. And will endeavour to start a meme. Can you start a meme if only, like 3 or 4 people read your blog, and only about 2 of them blog themselves? I reckon you can. In fact, I think you're even cooler if you don't start memes for other people. I think a meme can be cool with just one person in it....

Anyway: on Gastroporn* Friday (whichever and whenever Friday you choose), you have to write a post about a meal you have recently prepared or consumed. Photos are optional but certainly preferable. It doesn't have to be great food. I will try to do this later today...btw, ignore the times on this blog as they're a bit out of wack.

*I really wanted to type 'gastropod' there.

"back to the endless I-did-this-today story...." was posted in the category domesticity

April 26, 2006

um... no, nothing to say

Posted by dogpossum on April 26, 2006 11:59 AM

Finally the sun has come back, after far too long of dreary, overcast greyness and cold.
And of course, with the drear goes my recent - and somewhat startling - spate of super-productivity. In a week I edited two chapters quite aggressively and wrote two articles.
And now, of course, I'm left wondering whether or not I should go to the cinema. I think perhaps I shall, as the Nova, our local cinema has something wordy and all about human relationships on this afternoon that I'd like to see. Don't much care what, so long as it's got some nice cinematography. No, no, I've already seen Water (and yes, it was wonderful - I liked Fire and Earth, but this was probably the best). Something else, thanks.

On a side point, yesterday was ANZAC day, not something I care much about, but my attention was briefly caught by a little story on the news about how the RSL had 'forbidden' family members to march with photos of servicemen in the parade. Which I thought was strange - it seemed appropriate to me, and perhaps emphasised the fact that the march should perhaps be about memorialising loss as well as 'appreciating' soldiers... but then, I don't know much about the issue, so...

...and I have nothing more to write. Seems I've used up all my words for the week. Oh well. Will go sew something in hot pink cordurouy instead (!!).

"um... no, nothing to say" was posted in the category domesticity

February 28, 2006

not sure i want to go rollarskating, but you know.

Posted by dogpossum on February 28, 2006 6:09 PM

I've just suddenly been caught by a strange [insert smartypants theory word here like 'existential' or 'postmodern' or whatever here] moment:

How does the touch pad on my laptop work? No, I mean really, how does it work? How does it know that I'm touching it?*

Meanwhile, back in the concrete, undertheorised, Pragmatic Feminist world:
today I had chuckguts. It started at 6.30am (which is more considerate than starting at, say 10pm and continuing on for 12 or so hours, a la Taswegia (do NOT eat at a restaurant called 'Blue Skies' in Hobart. It will make you vomit until you bust eyeball blood vessels)). It meant that I couldn't go to my first yoga private today, which I was quite looking forward to. It meant that today I couldn't eat the chochy we made last night (that's chocolate brownies to you - last night The Squeeze brought me a mug of milk and the hot chocolate powder in a moment of confusion. I guess it's kind of the same as a chocolate brownie and a glass of milk. There was also some comment about our old couch, but I forgot what exactly). I guess I could have eaten it, but I kind of like to keep my saturated fats/gross sugars in my body for more than, say... 3 minutes.

But I'm pretty much ok now, thanks. Not sure I want to go rollarskating, but you know.

*I want to make a joke about playing "I'm not touching you", but I can't. I can, however, make a mental note to make Clever and Witty Joke Entry about Dave's Riki massage joke some day soon. It makes us both laugh and laugh. Which is perhaps more an indication of how much time we've spent at home over the past couple of months, but I like to think it's because we're witty and also carefree and lighthearted.

"not sure i want to go rollarskating, but you know." was posted in the category domesticity

February 24, 2006

i experiment with style

Posted by dogpossum on February 24, 2006 9:12 PM

As my girth steadily decreases, it occurs to me that increasing my weekly exercise would make it possible for me to eat more.
I can think of nothing more perfect.

At the moment I do dancey practice at home twice a week for an hour. Step-step-triple-step, step-triple-step and very little else - so dull it's almost frightening. The dullness has not deterred Crinks from declaring - regularly - that she'd like to join me. I'd like to think that it's my scintillating personality that attracts her, but I'm actually sure that it's more a combination of extreme dance nerdery and a lack of daytime occupation. I say no to her pleas because I'm not sure I want anyone else to see me jiggling up and down like a fool, determined to keep my hips parallel and ankles strong. It's not even something I can share with The Squeeze.

Beyond that, I also go to yoga twice a week for an hour and a half, onesies and bubs. I love it dearly, have a smarting crush on my teacher (it's an alignment thing), and have discovered that my Ankles Are Weak. I dread the thought of being thought weak ankled, or having anyone notice my less-than-stable ankles, so I am working on them. Both my Down Dog and my 20s Charleston basic have improved imeasurably since making the ankle discovery.

I also social dance three times a fortnight, from 8.30 til 11.00 and 9.30 - 11.30 or thereabouts. I ride to dancing on Thursday nights (half an hour each way) and ride my bike everywhere. The new bike is truly Built for Speed. And I am increasingly looking as if I too were designed in a wind tunnel. So to speak.

On other fronts (no, that wasn't a clever way of moving on to further discussion of my physique), I DJed for the first time to a Melbourne audience. It seems I've completely reneged on my previous decision to abstain from DJing, and have suddenly decided I like it Very Much. The $25 for a 1.5 hour slot has in no way influenced my thinking, nor has the contribution it will make to my private yoga class next week.

And I am sure that my new interest in entertaining the swing dancing masses has absolutely not a thing to do with my new found love of the stage. New found in that the stifling stage fright of my teens has been replaced by a definite interest in standing in front of a large group of people and doing exactly as I like, sure that it is all about Me for anywhere between 5 and 95 minutes.
If I do seem in danger of becoming a crazed megolamaniac, limelight-grabbing glory hound, be sure to step in, will you?

To round off this week, it seems the Ps have discovered the previous post about their house and the included accusations of mental instability. I have not denied it. In response to my father's comment that "all our friends have said they like it" I could only respond: "all your friends are polite."
I'm sure he's now sure that I am the most conservative member of the family.
This does not mean that I am ashamed of my parents. It's far too late for that - I would never have survived adolescence if I was that delicate.

On the topic of familial decoration, my brother has acquired his first ink.
While he is 29 this year (4 years younger) I don't doubt that my father is still imagining he's 14 and somewhat in shock. I'm sure my mother, however, is secretly terribly excited and has already broadcast full details to all of Hobart, Brisvegas and now Melbourne. My father did concede that though he wasn't comfortable with the thought of the pain involved, he did think that it was a very nice piece of art. I will post photos as soon as they come to hand.

I, however, remain undecorated, and offer only this post as my contribution to the family's Experiments with Style.

"i experiment with style" was posted in the category domesticity

February 2, 2006

brown. browner. brownest

Posted by dogpossum on February 2, 2006 9:24 AM

Having my scholarship extension approved has resulted in an immediate downing of tools. Don't tell the Supes. No, I'm not telling off chauvinists in the shopping centre, though I did almost get into a fight with a guy in a big red car who nearly killed the cyclist in front on me on Sydney Rd last weekend.
Though I've exchanged keyboard for sewing machine.

I scampered out to Brotherhood* earlier this week to find a new couch to replace horrible old Brownie. Last time I was at Brotherhood I picked up Reddy (formerly a Brownie, as all good rental/sharehouse couches are) for about $20. Prior to that I picked up a nice three piece (also a Brownie), covered the cushions and all for $90 including nice fabric. This week they had nothing under $100 and I was a bit shocked. Goddamn teenage hipsters moving in the 'Wick and pushing up prices. Go back to Brunswick Street.

Yesterday, prompted by a late night drive-by on Sydney Rd near Bismi, I drop in to the Salvos and find us a new couch. $65 seems a bit much, but heck. It's a score. Only parts of it are brown. It is (was), for the most part, mushroom pink and a lovely velour (and a 3 seater). I then scooted down to Fabric Central further south on Sydney Rd and bought 8m of nice fabric which looked burgendy with goldy stripes. Got it home and The Squeeze decided it was a ghastly shade of brown. He is colour blind, so I ignored him. This morning, checking out the three cushions I covered last night (I am a couch cushion covering DEMON), I decided he might be right. Oh well. I'm hoping a couple of red and gold cushions (made from fabric from the sari fabric shop) will make it look like a hippy couch rather than a brown sharehouse couch. There are some bits upholstered in pink, but I'm considering covering them (either with a cover or getting jiggy with a staple gun). Either way, the pink matches the fabric so it's ok.

But the new couch is very nice. It's actually quite well made, and is comfortable. It feels soft, but has structure. The Squeeze declared that he liked the way his feet didn't touch the ground when he sat in it. A definite improvement on Brownie, where your knees were at chin height owing to the fucked up base.** I'm fairly sure he also liked the feel of the pink velour against his bare skin, but didn't mention it, seeing as how I'd probably be a bit short, considering the whole covering-cushions project.

I go back to the fabric shop to get the rest of the fabric today (which, by the way, was a great upholstery fabric for only $10 a metre - 140cm wide).

Right now the potato lady is driving past in her truck. She calls out "Potatoes, potatoes. Fresh and new". They come in from the farm and drive around Brunswick selling potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, grapes, melon, etc. All of the locals who'd troop out to haggle (this is the 'Wick - this is what we do. There's not much else for us stay-home-types*** to do otherwise) thought it was a bit pricey.

It was only a month or so ago I discovered they sold organic stuff. And today was the first time I'd heard them advertise that fact. Their sales have improved, but people still try to haggle.

*the charity shop on Brunswick Rd - Brotherhood of St Laurence
**Brownie now lives in the shed. Soon I will have to buy a couple of Bob Marley 'fabric posters', a couple of bottles of Orchy juice and take a bucket out there. Then, when I've lured in a few of those goddamn teenagers, I can start culling.
***mostly Greek widows, Italian poppas and phd students who're kind of cabin feverish and delight in long, complicated discussions with strangers. And haggling.

fyi: there is a Brunswick Street (in Fitzroy/Nth Fitzroy), a Brunswick Road (running perpendicular to Sydney Road, and pretty much the point at which Carlton Nth turns into Brunswick) and the suburb Brunswick (and Brunswick East, Brunswick North, Brunswick East). They're all in the same general part of Melbourne, just not in the same suburb. Think that's tricky? I catch a bus on Victoria St that runs east til it hits Victoria St which runs Nth/Sth. That's where I get off. It then crosses another Victoria St further Nth. None of these are the Victoria Pde or Victoria St which runs East/West across the top of the CBD from Nth Melbourne to Collingwood.

"brown. browner. brownest" was posted in the category domesticity

January 26, 2006

those kisses-and-kisses had better be good

Posted by dogpossum on January 26, 2006 5:53 PM

In our house there are complicated rules about when to speak and when not to speak in the morning.
Most of these rules are not written down, or even vocalised. They also tend to vary, according to the day, the night before, the temperature, the amount of thesis conducted, the scholarship extension progress and so on.

A generally good, all-rounder type of rule:

do not speak unless spoken to

Which is partnered by the rule:

do not touch unless touched first

And just when it seems like these rules are completely crazy and really just a masque for a completely crazy person, who almost seems like they are always in that week before the red zone on the pill packet - the week that should actually be coloured red, The Squeeze decided, because that's the really dangerous part of the month. And red is a good colour for danger. Or warning.

... and wait, what was I saying? Yeah, so ok, so just when you think that all these Alice in Wonderland rules are really just signs that the other person you live with is, actually, wishing they could fit into a teapot, they wake up at just the right temperature after a full 9hours and grab you and kiss you and kiss you.

I know I'd like to think that those are the moments you wait for - the kissing-and-kissing. But do they really make up for the crazed ranting and furious yanking-out of clock radio cords, just as you've slowly woken up out of the deepest sleep, at just the right temperature, and are really quite enjoying that lovely string concerto? Particularly when you flash the little scared wide-eyes response to the insane declaration: "It/you woke me up again! I was asleep! I need to be asleep!"
... it seems like that little rant can happen at any time, regardless of whether or not you've made any noise at all.

I guess some people are just nuts. And don't wake up well.
Those kisses-and-kisses had better be good.

"those kisses-and-kisses had better be good" was posted in the category domesticity

December 14, 2005

truly, the greatest post

Posted by dogpossum on December 14, 2005 10:37 AM

Still sick, but definitely improved.
Woke up at 10:30 and went to find The Squeeze. Couldn't. At first I worried that I'd driven him off with my insane shrieking last night: "Go to bed! Stop making noise! You keep waking me up!" It wasn't my fault, I swear - it was the antihistamines in my cold and flu tablets making me NUTS. And kind of irrational. Didn't help that I kept waking up out of a deep sleep, all disoriented and unable to breathe, just because the poor Squeeze had - Goddess help him - opened the bathroom door.
Can I help it if I'm in the grip of a temporary (please, please, let it be temporary), antihistamine-induced insanity?
I've kind of got issues with antihistamines - I love them because I have allergies of various sorts most of the year (cats, dust, melaluca*, general seasonal stuff) - but I'm also afraid of my psychotic reactions to them. They make me NUTS. Kind of furiously, irrationally angry. Like a hormone thing, except chemically induced. They also make me dehydrated. But last night they were putting me to sleep, and with the amount of liquid I had in my head and chest (despite the 3thousandpillow tower of prop) I needed that sleep.
But anyway, I get to sleep, I wake up, and I have no clue where The Squeeze has gone. And I'm not sure I blame him. I find out later that he's off with a nerdmate, doing nerdy things.

Nerd things that The Squeeze does with his nerd mates:
- looking at cameras
- playing with cameras
- eating pide at A1 and drinking tiny cups of turkish coffee that leave them highly, highly strung - like a 4 year old on red cordial
- talking about computers
- looking in camping stores, talking about camera-trips (don't ask), buying hiking shoes (The Squeeze), buying bags (Yames)
- making up stories about computers/cameras/coffee

I'm sure they're having a lovely time.

And while I certainly don't want to be with them (it'd be like a non-dancer hanging with a pack of dancers at an exchange - teeedium), I'm kind of jealous of their mobility. I'd planned to go look at a bike I'm going to buy today - they were going to make it up for me. But I don't know if I could make it over there. In fact, I'm thinking the couch looks pretty dang good from here...

....and that's about all. Great post, huh?

*most-used tree for streetplanting in every city I've lived in

"truly, the greatest post" was posted in the category domesticity

November 13, 2005

hola amigos!

Posted by dogpossum on November 13, 2005 8:34 PM

Originally uploaded by dogpossum.
Yesterday we had many people around for a Mexican Bandidos lunch. We did intend to dress up, but a lack of effort on my part and supreme busyness on the parts of both myself and The Squeeze resulted in a non-effort. Various guests, however, obviously familiar with our high fancy dress standards, did make an effort. We have photographic evidence. There was a little regret on our parts for not putting on the giant mo and firing rifles into the air, but we settled for a pinata and truly awesome food. TRULY awesome food. All Mexican themed (or as Mexican as a couple of gringos in Melbourne - John and I - could manage). I ate so much I thought I'd die. Then we brought out the fruit and brownies.
The meal featured many avocados, mangoes and spanish sausage, a big snapper, pork ribs, an amazing organge and spinach salad, a lovely bean salad, mango salsa, chili con carne, rice, tortillas.... and a million other things.
Then we beat the shit out of the pinata.

You can, of course, check out the photos on flickr in the Bandidos Party set.

"hola amigos!" was posted in the category domesticity

October 26, 2005

You know it's a low-hygiene week...

Posted by dogpossum on October 26, 2005 6:58 PM

when you use the vacuum to clean the garlic clove skins off the kitchen bench.

I bend my head in shame.

"You know it's a low-hygiene week..." was posted in the category domesticity

October 10, 2004

lotte reckons we should make it into a sauna

Posted by dogpossum on October 10, 2004 10:24 PM

ok, so i'd be going nuts if i wasn't numb. another three years under howard. with free rein in the senate.
oh man.

i guess it's time to jump ship, really. things will get worse. very doom and gloom, but really. i'm ashamed to be australian at the moment, re everything from refugees to iraq.
on rrr this morning the spin people made the comment that it suggests that we're living in a more conservative country now. i wonder if this means we'll start getting more politically active on the left. get into some demonstrating. i'm about ready to get into the rallying thing.

if i finish this thesis (i will, i will) i will quite happily go overseas to work...

i'm working on this lecture for tuesday. still. but it seems under control. now i have to do the powerpoint thing, which will no doubt take heaps of time.

the garden is nice. we have planted a bunch of native shrubs in the front yard, to get a bit more privacy. the squeeze has dug over the back garden patches and planted some seeds (bit late, really). he's also very proud of having recently 'plumbed' his greenhouse. he's added a line from his irrigation system which he's run through his greenhouse and is watering the seeds in there with fine drip attachments. it's all very technical and i know he likes this part far more than the other gardening bits. i gave him the irrigation system and the greenhouse (which is plastic, portable and pretty ace. lotte reckons we should make it into a sauna) as birthday/xmas presents and they were a great success. i'm not sure how i'll top them, so i'd better get thinking...

"lotte reckons we should make it into a sauna" was posted in the category domesticity

August 13, 2004

it's a sad, sad day when you're eating instant noodles for breakfast

Posted by dogpossum on August 13, 2004 11:19 AM

but it can't be helped. my first night of proper dancing since i've been back (where i dance like a nut all night) and i wake up feeling a little ill. now, i've been dealing with herrang cold remnants since i arrived home last thursday, but it seems the IT nerd version of the cold which laid The Squeeze low has decided to take up residence in moi. sick again. so i'm feeling tired and rough and a little disappointed in my immune system. i thought we were a team.
at any rate, despite my attempts to eat only sandwiches since i arrived home, there is no decent bread in the house. the only alternative for sick-girl was obviously instant noodles. and i think the milk has gone off.
meanwhile, the handyman (who i quite like) is wacking things in another room, attending to 2 of the 10 or so items on our list of 'fix it now you bastards' things. a list we sent to the real estate agent before i left (we're talking at least 7 weeks ago). only now, since i've been home and threatened to kick arse have they done anything about this list. a plumber is promised, but i doubt we'll see him any time soon.
meanwhile, the lease is up, so we're living on borrowed time and with little room to apply pressure to our arsehole landlord. we are trying to decide whether or not we should move. unfortuntately, though, areshole landlords dominate our price bracket, and while we pay too much rent here, it's still cheaper to stay than to pay for all the moving crap.
ah, renting. how wonderful it is.

"it's a sad, sad day when you're eating instant noodles for breakfast" was posted in the category domesticity and lindy hop and other dances

May 15, 2004

ikea is its own punishment

Posted by dogpossum on May 15, 2004 7:04 PM

so we went to ikea. even though we hate going there, we hate victoria gardens and we were both sleep deprived.

but we finally managed to buy a couple of chairs to let us seat 6 round the dining table. at $28.50 each, the only ones who luck out are those chinese kiddies who sacrificed their eyesight for our bullshit entertaining priorities.

we also purchased...

a lamp (The Squeeze loves lamps, and i must say i encourage this love: i am obsessed with Light since i started fussing with the cameras that litter our house);
a desk for me (mine is too high and causing shoulder ache), which will need to be exchanged tomorrow as it lacks a keyboard drawer - 100% essential, i feel;
a cheap-arse mat for our loungeroom floor;
a huge pine coffee table - not the chic 50s inspired (or preferably 50s original) i had envisioned, but bought, goddamn it. The Squeeze is wondering how he could have lived without a coffee table prior, and has moved everything he owns to the loungeroom, where we are camped for The Duration;
4 super-large glasses;
a new cutting board to replace the skank-ridden one i'd carted through four sharehouses since i moved to melbourne;
some fancy halogen light bulbs (more Light);
and The Mother bought some useless crap, in keeping with her role as crap-magnet.

we have to go back tomorrow to exchange the desk. it will no doubt be another awful experience.

we also bought a vacuum cleaner. from godfrey's, not ikea. and from a very nice man who was sorely disappointed by our complete lack of interest in Features or Heads. we only wanted a reasonable Suck, though we quibbled over cloth v paper bags (The Squeeze, in his charming ignorance, felt that no bag at all, or even a cloth bag would be best. prior experience encouraged me to push for the option of paper or cloth). now our house will be cleaner, though using a vacuum cleaner will not by any means involve saving labour - everyone knows that white goods (and their lesser, greyer brethren) are designed to prolong domestic tasks, and so reduce the amount of hours spent Sewing or Working or Looking at the Intynet.

our trip to victoria gardens was as hellish as ever - a mass of fukked up transport issues, bullshit service, confusion, frustration, physical exhaustion and sensory overload from all the bright colours, the horrid acoustics in the foodcourt and the abba overdose.

we were further enshitted by:
- the ikea lady stopping us taking photos of The Mother in her red shirt in various chairs, or of each other (oh, ikea is lovely for Colour);
- by squeezing all this shit into a hatchback;
- by having to leave the carpark to get to the ikea pick-up, and then returning to the carpark to go buy some lunch.

at one point i had to get out of the car (i was driving), lower my head and use all the dirtiest swears i know as my sleep-deprivation, sensory overload and over consumption caught up with me, making it impossible for me to untangle my seatbelt from the flatpackages which had The Squeeze pinned in the backseat.

we felt we had to stop off at Filou's on lygon st for amazing french pastries and berry pie. so we did. there was no other way of salvaging the afternoon. Goddess bless Filou's, Goddess bless.

when we got home The Squeeze went into a construction frenzy, assembling chairs, table, lamp et al, and the house now smells of plantation beech/pine. i've varnished the chairs and arranged our new purchases attractively throughout our home.

can i just state, for the record, that victoria gardens sucks, and that ikea sucks. majorly.
despite it's helpful little community service display pushing the trams in the foyer (as you leave the damn place), the arsholes won't let you take trollies outside their little cordoned off area. nor are there any taxi ranks at vic gardens that we've yet found. so good luck getting your humourously named, flat packed, plantation whatever back to brunswick on the tram, kiddies. it's really only feasible to go buy shit at this place if you have a car. a car with a large, clear space in it.

so the display in the foyer is no doubt designed to install a little warming glow in departing middle class tossers (and dinky young groovers) who are left feeling that it's terribly nice that the tram is so handy, and isn't ikea wonderful for encouraging us to use it? all this as they toddle on out to their saabs or vw golfs.

the lack of bags nearly brought The Squeeze to fisticuffs, when, faced with 2 chairs, a table, another table, a lamp and a whole slew of little bits of crap, the check out chick refused to give him a free bag to pack all said little shit in, despite the ridiculous amount of dosh he'd just handed over. if i'd been there, i'd have suggested the check out chick get her arse out there to help him carry all that crap out to the car (sans environment-destroying, yet handily revenue-generating plastic bag, of course) one by bloody one. but i was fukking around with the car. and the bullshit pay-parking system.

while i am all for reducing (recylcing, reusing et al) and am infuriating compulsive about keeping and reusing plastic bags, jars, boxes, etc, avoiding buying stuff that needs lots of packaging, and SCOFFING at the little plastic bags in the fruit shop, while i lug my backpack of veggies to my bike (and panniers), there are times when i feel selfrighteously smug swedes totally need a big fat kick up their socialist arses.
especially after they've taken pains to stifle The Squeeze's creative instincts not only with the camera thing, but also with pointed comments about his interpretive dance response to abba in the shelving section.
arsholes. fukking arseholes.

i am not buying all this lefty good will. all these low prices are not (despite the friendly little signs everywhere explaining that the lack of useful staff to carry fukkinheavy flatpacked shit is part of Keeping Costs Down) a result of carefully managed labour and packaging decisions in-store, but are actually the direct result of assembly and production operations in countries that do not have child labour legislation.

and i have to add: don't think you can make it round that goddamn rat-maze without going to the toilet at least once. and don't think there's a shortcut through all that shit to the toilets. there's not.
nor should you be foolish enough to believe there is a way to circumvent all this consumer frenzy encouraging store layout - all instructions from smiling swedes will be useless, all helpful signs will be wrong.

ikea sucks.
but god, there's no way a dink couple like us will escape without buying something in a primary colour, or a plantation wood.

"ikea is its own punishment" was posted in the category domesticity

some updates

Posted by dogpossum on May 15, 2004 6:48 PM

i feel that i should extend my fashion palete from only red, pink and purple, to include blue and green. with the help of my lovely assistants ikea and spotlight.

work: delivered the paper last thursday and it went swimmingly. minor problems:
1)too long. thought so, but supes said it was ok. will now follow instincts in this matter
2)lack of dvd player was a poo. hard to talk about dancing when people don't have a clue what it looks like
3)lack of purpose-specific footage was irritating

craftiness/expressions of obessive-compulsiveness:
bought some primary colour cotton fabric to make small, quilted seat cushions. mmm-mm. also bought some green and blue wool (not acrylic, for once!) to make sexy crocheted things using the book of stitches The Mother bought me yesterday. also considered beginning embroidery sampler at 11pm, but vetoed in favour of 100% attention for Kill Bill.

the p's are here and this too is going swimmingly. suprising, really, when you consider the fact that our two bedroom house is now sleeping four, none of whom will sleep with any of the others because of Snoring. NB - i am the only non-snorer. my loss, obviously.
we have been out to dinner a few times (including Growlers last night, where i saw People i know and had a nice dinner), been to ikea (which is shameful, but the p's had hired a car), so we could buy some crap.

"some updates" was posted in the category domesticity

April 22, 2004

shop-a-docket haircuts - just desserts

Posted by dogpossum on April 22, 2004 5:39 PM

I’ve just remembered this excellent story.

When I was living in the share house in Enoggera in Brisbane (with Paul and Jase), Jase was really really poor (living on Austudy at $120 a week, I’ve noted in another entry). He also had really big hair. But he was too poor to be able to afford a reasonable hair cut, and he certainly carry on with all that big hair. He was overjoyed when he found a hairdresser shop-a-docket deal after shopping one week. He went off and got his hair cut, came home and asked, somewhat mournfully, if I could help him fix it up.

Seems the hairdresser had taken one look at his shop-a-docket, entitling him to a $5 hair cut and given him exactly five dollars worth of grooming. Took her about 10 minutes, all up. And it was a work of inestimable beauty. Sort of uneven, with big chunks cut out here and there. So I tidied it up and he looked a damn site better.
And Paul yelled (because he always yelled everything, and sounded a bit like Seinfeld), “ah, you dickhead!” and then laughed his “ah-HA” highpitched laugh.

Moral of this story?
It’s better to get a household member to cut your hair than to take a punt on a $5 shop-a-docket hair cut.

"shop-a-docket haircuts - just desserts" was posted in the category domesticity

The Squeeze is sick

Posted by dogpossum on April 22, 2004 3:41 PM

he started off in bed with his lappy, with a strict one-hour limit from me, but wandered in here where i'm 'working' a little while ago, looking decidedly the worse for wear. he's been asleep now for about an hour and half, after a big 10 hour sleep last night. he's not well at all, and took the day off to rest. he's got a nasty temperature, sore throat, achey head, goobers. just like a bunch of swingers and at least one of his workmates.
i have preliminary goobs in my sinuses, but i'm pretending they're just allergies, or left-overs from pushing myself dancing last night (those whole 5 or so songs).
i will be strong.

"The Squeeze is sick" was posted in the category domesticity


About dogpossum

i live in melbourne sydney, australia, like jazz music and dance, swear too much, sew, drink a lot of tea and adore puns. ask me about my phd.