Friday, March 19, 2010

You can't stop progress

I am awaiting the arrival of my Kindle (Australian version) from Amazon. I spent some time arguing against the introduction of such technology. After all, books are a beautiful thing, not just a practical thing. The reading experience is not just about absorbing information.

But then I realised:

a) I am drowning in books. When we moved out of our old house, where we had bookshelves overflowing with books, we cleared out a lot of them and donated them to Lifeline (who hold a giant book sale every year for fundraising). However, many moved with us and live in plastic crates in the garage. The single bookshelf in the (not so) new apartment is overflowing with books and the stack on my bedside table is about to topple.

b) If only they made them out of edible paper, how much more practical would that be? You could have a double-y enjoyable experience and you wouldn't have mountains of books to trip over.

c) I was sounding like one of those people who argue that albums sound so much better than CDs (and iPods). They talk about the crackle and the "warmth" of the sound. Bollocks. Whatever "warmth" I may be giving up for the convience of having my entire music collection on a gadget as big as half a cigarette packet I am more than happy to sacrifice.

d) In my world convience generally wins over warm and fuzzy philosphical ideals.

Thus the Kindle is about to enter my life and I am so excited. The idea that I can have many books on hand, in my handbag, with me at all times, is mindblowing. Planes, doctor's waiting rooms, the bench at my children's swimming classes, will no longer be places of lost time and boredom. I will be whipping out my Kindle and catching up on all the reading I rarely get to do. Oh, bliss.

Stay tuned for a review: or what happens when reality crashes into my dream landscape.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Turkeys and Penises and Mud Crabs, oh my!

Sunday night I returned from a weekend in Noosa with my mum and sister. It was my non-denominational Festive Season gift to them and a much anticipated break.

I have never been to Noosa before and was filled with anticipation, especially for the legendary shopping.

My introduction to the shopping was swift and painful. The very first shop we entered on Friday afternoon presented me with the most glorious handbag, a beacon of handbagy wonder. Eagerly I asked the saleslady to get if from the shelf for me. Eagerly I examined its beautiful, intricate detail; already projecting how much happier and more fulfilled my life would be with it on my arm. Eagerly I fumbled for the price tag, mentally reaching for my credit card and finalising the transaction. Eagerly I threw the bag at the hovering saleslady: $1585, that's how the price read. At first glance my brain simply registered $158.50 and instantly I thought "wow, what a reasonable price for such a beautiful bag, wrap it up". At closer inspection I realised there was no full stop or dash seperating any of the digits and the horror dawned on me. ONE THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE DOLLARS (not Lira or Yen or even NZ dollars to bring down to a figure my mind can comprehend).

It was almost totally down hill from there. The first half dozen shops we entered featured $800 dresses, $400 jeans and the most wonderful boots, the price of which I was too terrified to enquire about.

But this is not a totally sad tale. At one of the shops I discovered Desigual, a Spanish brand of clothes made just for me. Crazy colours, fabrics, prints and textures; just the sort of stuff I love. Mum and J bought me a skirt for my birthday and I can't wait for the weather to cool down a little so I can wear it.

Apart from the wonderful/horrible shopping there a number of other memorable things about Noosa.

The turkeys. They are everywhere. The streets, the cafes, hiding in the scrub around the beach. Where do they come from and why are they are there?

The penis trees. Otherwise known as Padanus Palms, these trees literally look they are growing penises instead of roots. Yes, I am as deep as your average puddle but these just cracked me up every time I saw them... and I saw a lot of them. [See pictorial evidence below.] Mum and J got well and truly sick and tired of me nudging and pointing each time we passed one (about 100 times a day).

The mud crab. We had the most delicious, indulgent Queensland Mud Crab cooked in garlic butter, with lots of herbs and big slabs of crusty bread to mop up the gorgeous buttery sauce on Saturday for lunch. Mud crab is one of life's true treats for me. It's something I rarely have but often crave. Mmmmm....

And memorable for all the wrong reasons was Noosa Marina Sunday Markets. If there was an Olympics for piss weak markets this would certainly be in gold medal contention. "Markets" is really too strong a word for this collection of crappy stalls: stick on fingernail decals, handmade pottery mermaids, new age crystal rubbish... and these were the best of them. The advertised "fresh produce" consisted of one stall, out the back in the car park, with a sad display of half a dozen of a few fruits and vegetables. The only positive of the day was the lovely Ferry ride from Noosa to Noosaville and onto Tewentin. Oh well, live and learn.

So onto a few pictorial moments from the weekend...

Mum and I enjoying some Krispy Kreme action before boaridng our plane.

Ladies who lunch. Waiting for our
Mud Crab while enjoying some
very yummy cocktails.

Yes, I have no shame.
(But it does look like a penis doesn't it?
It's not just my dirty mind.)

Sunday, March 07, 2010


So just when you think you've heard of everything your sister throws a "Vajazzling" at you over the yum cha table. "Va.... what?" I stammer.

"You know, Vajazzling... bedazzling for your vajayjay." She says it in a manner which implies that this is a fact everyone knows. Humans require oxygen to live, pigs can not fly, vajazzling is bedazzling for your vajayjay. Of course! Der! Tell me something I don't know!

Apparently this newly created attempt to befuddle money out of over-preened young women involves waxing your lady parts followed by an application of Swarovski crystals to the general area. If you don't believe me (and surely I wouldn't believe myself) take a look at THIS.

In my youth, when mammoths roamed the earth and Adam Ant was the height of masculine good looks and sophistication, we would preen ourselves by plaiting our freshly washed hair into 100 teeny weeny tiny plaits (thanks to my friend's teeny weeny tiny braces elastics) on a Friday night, resulting in a head of diabolical frizz on a Saturday morning. Imagine, going to a lot of trouble to achieve frizz!

This Medusa-like frizz would be complemented with an outfit of a short black tutu, shiny tights where one leg was black and one bright red, a t-shirt of red and white stripes and very pointy, black patent leather shoes.

So I know how to go about attracting a mate of the opposite gender and I also know that women have been doing this successfully for millions of years (unless you don't believe in evolution, in which case they've been doing so for just over 2000 years, a theological point I probably don't have completely correct). Any old how, what I'm getting at is that we seem to have been perpetuating the human race in a reasonably successful manner for a very long time without the help of Vajazzling. Obviously men have been totally repulsed by our non-Vajazzled vajayjays (I just love saying "vajayjay", try it, you'll like it) for all these years.

I know that Big Jay, upon returning from his golfing sojourn to Coffs Harbour on Wednesday night, will be pleasantly surprised when he ventures underneath the stretched out Target pyjama pants of questionable vintage and the giant, washed-to-within-an-inch-of-it's-life Antony and The Johnsons t-shirt which is my lingerie of choice in the boudoir. Know what I'm saying?

Friday, March 05, 2010

You got to have faith?

It's pretty well documented that I'm a cynical bitch. I don't suffer from an over abundance of faith.

Faith in politics and/or politicians.

Faith in the media.

Faith in my fellow humans (mostly).

Faith in any sort of god and/or organised religion.

So it hurt my brain to hear on the radio yesterday, during a discussion about religious education in schools, that (are you sitting down?) only 19% of Americans believe in evolution (NINETEEN FUCKING PERCENT!!!!) and a marginally less obscene 42% of Australians.

I accept that such surveys are often skewed in various ways and I accept that there would be a certain percentage out of the 81% (and 58%) who would argue that humans were dropped on planet earth by aliens but that still leaves a shocking number of people who believe that us humans were created by a guy in a robe and a long beard who lives up in the sky.

That sort of information causes an overload in my brain. I don't know how to process such data.

But I have come to accept (though not understand) that there are fans of Celine Dion and Andre Rieu in the world so I suppose I will eventually find a way of living with such mind boggling information.