Tuesday, March 30, 2010

well what, hippie?


The Young Ones is on ABC2. My children are, much to the chagrin of me, busy doing word puzzles and such like. They're not even remotely interested in the (hilarious) musings of the People's Poet:

Oh, Cliff

Sometimes it must be difficult not to feel as if

You really are a Cliff

When fascists keep trying to push you over it

Are they the lemmings?

Or are you Cliff?

Or are you, Cliff?
Cliff - from Demolition (via this website)

And as the People's Poet, comic book superhero extraordinaire:

What do you think you're doing, pig?

Do you really give a fig, pig?

And what's your favourite sort of gig, pig?

Barry Manilow

Or the black and white minstrel show?
(also via this website)

On how to be unproductive and procrastinate lots...

Feeling unmotivated and generally irritable. Possibly hormones, possibly because I've been unproductive and am shitty with myself for procrastinating via very important things like twitter, facebook, and msn chats with my cousin. Because, you know, that's how I roll.

And here I am writing a blog post. Constructive, no?

Recently, I professed my dislike for cupcakes on twitter, and the 'muffin revival'. Hence, I have been scouring the interwebs looking for tasty bran muffin recipes. Bran muffins, you say? How can these possibly be tasty?!
Isn't tasty and bran muffins kind of the same as:

from Huffington Post
Cooking with Poo(h)?

No shit, (pun not intended!) I'd really think twice about a book titled - somewhat unfortunately - "Cooking with Pooh". I mean, it really means something completely different to me than it might to a three year old (not that mine ever had a fecal food fetish, but, you know, still. Kids these days...)

Also on my journeys around the interwebs, I found this (actually, I was emailed it via Huffington Post but that sounds so boring and much less intrepid):

A question that no doubt many cold hearted (and perhaps...dare I say, pro-private/anti-public health care) people have echoed:

from Amazon, via Huffington Post.

Because I often ask this question - who cares about disabled peopled!

...actually, on a much more serious note, I can't help but notice that my sister, who is eleven and has Down Syndrome, is being failed at some level by the state's education system, where she is in a class with other special needs children whose needs are...very different to her own. Her class consists of other kids of varying levels of global delay, including some that are autism spectrum, and others with more generalised (and less easily defined) delayed. These kids stress my sister out - often. Many are noisy, violent, and generally in my sister's personal space too much of the time. Which isn't to say that the teacher isn't doing a bang up job with the resources and class that he has, but rather, that this environment, as it currently stands, is not appropriate for my sister, and not conducive to warm-fuzzy-I-had-a-great-day-at-school-Mum stories, let alone actual learning.
While my parents try to enrol her in another school (a private school, or another state school that is not walking distance away -fail again education system) my sister has received at-home support from my mother, so that my sister's education isn't as compromised as it could be. Basically, my mother keeps my sister home if the teacher isn't going to be there, or if the other kids are particularly rowdy. Substitute teachers are nice and helpful, but nice and helpful doesn't always cut through the enduring bullying that my sister often endures. This is fine... but only in the respect that my sister does actually receive at-home education, but not in so much that she is denied the social experience of school, an important aspect of her developing as an adult, and becoming a productive member of society.
All of which are just as important for my sister-with Downs Syndrome- as it is for any other person.

So there.
Not what I intended to blog about, but c'est la vie.

Also, dress is being sewn, cousins are booking flights, and N has been busy sewing bunting. This particular string of bunting he's sewing strips of cotton between some cute vintage (? Are they vintage? At least vintage looking) that I bought in an op-shop. It looks similar to this:

from Craft Gossip
So cute!
I didn't get my idea from here- rather, I got my idea while looking at the hankies in the op shop. This picture I found just now - because every awesome idea I have, someone, somewhere else has had it too. And posted pictures on the internet! Awesome!

Wedding plans, ahoy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sometimes what we say comes out all wrong

Case in point:

Photo from here, copyright of the original photographer (it's a mouse).

Of course, sometimes we just mean, and say, the wrong thing.

So my (future) mother-in-law was criticising rugby players, saying that it's a thugs' sport, that there was a higher risk of injury (there isn't) and that N specifically wasn't the right body type to play it - that you have to be a certain body type (big and solid, I think). I pointed out that I play rugby, and I don't fit that 'type' to which she said, "well if you're short and squat it's ok".

And also, "have you ever seen a good-looking rugby player?!" (it was a statement, not question) to which I replied "yes, of course" ... obviously I'm not.

So, you know, instead of punching her (or just tackling her white-bread gold-standard arse) and telling her to kindly fuck off, I argued a little and then gave up.
She also criticised our invitations, stating that there was no mention of the W word on there (she actually said wedding, obviously, because she has no sense of subtlety or grace) to which I replied well, you know, people can either figure it out (and let's face it, everyone that is invited should theoretically know by now) or they can call us up and ask.
It's not rocket surgery, peoples.

In addition, I have been running daily (or almost daily). Except yesterday, when I cut my dress pattern out instead of running. Which is almost as fun but not nearly as athletic.

Monday, March 22, 2010

on Germaine Greer, feminism, and Bingle's well, bingle

An opinion piece published in the Herald Sun the other day suggested that not only was feminism a great big fat failure, but it was also responsible for "appalling rates of teenage pregnancies, damning numbers of divorces, and more unhappy and exploited women than ever". Further, Germaine Greer's "numbingly dreary, poorly written guide" (The Female Eunuch)  was completely unsuccessful, as evidenced by factors such as the size of female Olympic volleyball player's bikini bottoms, and the Bingle/Fevola issue. Bingle is generally criticised as being some kind of sexual predator, preying on an innocent (!) then-married Fevola and the whole scenario was used as an example of how "feminism hasn't really worked, so could Germaine Greer please shoosh" (I'm paraphrasing) and as a woman who, as Alan Howe suggests "are tugging hardest at the reins that hold back their gender".

He also lambastes Greer for changing her opinion, and expressing said new opinion publicly, accusing her of being as media hungry as the 'big-breasted b-grade celebrities' she has previously criticised (more paraphrasing, but you get the general idea).
And this, then, is the bit that I don't understand - surely we, as intelligent, thinking people, are allowed to change our ideas and opinions? Just as society changes and evolves, surely so are our interpretations of different issues affecting society?

Furthermore, how is it that Greer is solely and wholly responsible for the failure of feminism? Surely the undoing of the works of the sisterhood are more the efforts of a patriarchal society (one that it is all too easy to succumb to) than the failures of either Greer personally, or the feminist movement as a whole?

While accept that Greer is generally conveyed as an abrasive old bat, and I'm not about to defend her for her public commentary (she's more than capable of doing this herself) what she does do, and does very well, is challenge popular discourse on an issue, regardless of whether or not she anticipates this will be well received within popular media. That is, she opens the possibility to new ideas, different modes of thinking, and a general challenge to society-at-large to question whatever the current 'group think' on an issue may be, and in doing so, effectively moves undiscussed issues (such as the female body) in to public discourse (as she did with The Female Eunuch).
Finally, I don't think she's completely responsible for the 'Greer' image we receive in the media, as a crotchety old cranky ex-pat with too much to say and not enough media to say it in. I do, however, think that the media generally take great pleasure in portraying her as such, not the least of which (as we see in Howe's article, and echoed within reader comments) is used as a validation for the media-as-a-whole's rejection of feminism and for fixating on the body and women-as-sex-objects/inferior to men and therefore the root of all evil within society... etc.

As though oppression is the fault of the oppressed, for letting themselves be exploited.

Get real.

Frida Kahlo image from here (and originally sourced from Britannica)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dress shopping, the actual factual event.

Went in to town with my mother on Saturday to look for dresses and stuff. Not that it needed to be a sappy 'mother daughter' experience (saying I was dress shopping with my mother conjures this image) but rather, I dig her no-nonsense approach to shopping, her practicality, and her creativity. Also, she's one of the few people I know who isn't kidding when she suggests we need to lunch at a licensed venue, because shopping is, well, horrible.
So after surveying some overpriced (are they actually over priced? Really and truly, I mean, "out of my price range") dresses at some cute little shops on Rundle St, and the pain of knowing that not only was most of what I saw in Miss Gladys Sym Choon unaffordable, but also wouldn't look as awesome on me as it did on a gorgeously tall model, we made our way to a couple of fabric stores to see what we could sew.
We found some gorgeous antique-looking ivory coloured french lace, sketched a pattern to suit and went through pattern books to find a pattern to match what we'd drawn. Pattern found, we needed something to put under the lace. My mother was initially suggesting some gorgeous cream coloured fabric, very light with gorgeous drape, but it was transparent. Now, I accept needing to wear a slip of some description under the dress, but this was too sheer. We found something similar in black, and realised that the lace on the black looked freaking gorgeous. The dress will have a deep v neckline, empire waist and fall to around the knee (just above or just below? Not sure). The pattern also has gathering around the bust in the centre where the v meets the waistline, which I'll finish with a brooch of some kind. I hope.

Meanwhile, here's some inspiration for me to go running:

from here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Because changing my mind is what I do best...

Have completely changed my mind about the invitations. Hand written 'to-do' lists seem daggy and uncool now, have decided to write vital details on a page torn from an old dictionary instead.
N still prefers the to-do list, but I'm over it.

in other, unrelated news:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am Mr. Raymond Daniel, the Auditor General, Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad. In the course of my auditing, I discovered a floating funds in an account which was opened in 2001 belonging to a dead foreigner name (withheld) a national of your country. I decided to track his last name over the Internet to locate any member of his family hence I got in contact with you. I want to move the sum of $18.5M from Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad in his account to abroad.

I therefore write to solicit your quiet partnership with me in providing an account or setting up a new one that will serve the purpose of receiving this fund, Even an empty account can also serve as long as there will be honesty to me till the end of the deal and I hope you will never let me down.

After going through his records and files, I discovered that:

(1) No one has operated this account since 2001;

(2) He died without an heir; hence the money has been floating.

(3) No other person knows about this account and there was no known




This money can only be approved to you legally as far you are welling to stands as his NEXT OF KIN. Hence I am contacting you. I will require your urgent reply so that I give you the next step. Kindly forward your telephone and fax numbers. I am ready to give you the sum of $7,500,000 ($7.5M) for your assistance and partnership. While 10% shall be set aside to upset all expenses incurred by both parties during the cause of this transaction.

I look forward to your prompt.

Best Regards,

Mr.Raymond Daniel,

Auditor General.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Man, this would all be so much easier if I was like, the seventh wife, or something

Because then no one would expect anything of me. You know.

Of course, I jest.

So, an almost completely fruitless day of op-shopping made me realise that for the money I spend on a second hand dress, and altering it to suit, I could just make a freaking new dress. Turns out that, as usual, my mum was right all along. Ergh. I hate it when she does that.
The trouble is, I'm not finding anything in the pattern books (well, websites, but you know, same diff) that particularly inspires me. And that's kind of the whole point of making your own dress, right? Of doing something completely off-the-wall in it's uniquely you kind of way. (Or doing something really boring and normal, should that be what you were hoping to achieve...)

So, here are some images for inspiration. Credits are below.

I dig the style of this one. But needs sleeves. And more length. And a model that isn't practising her best farrah fawcett (and therefore making me want to punch her in her stupid perky little nose)

from here

The dress below is cute. Not sure about the second layer of lace, but I deffo dig the sleeves. Flower can go though. Model's cutesy looks are option, ie piss off and go do your homework or something.
from Bridal Bliss Designs on Etsy

And this one, without the hippy flower shit:

from hippiebride on Etsy

So then, if all these dresses were to like, do naughty dress things to each other, and then make a demented, but curiously beautiful and appealing dress baby, it'd look like this:

from English Dept on Etsy
Except without the price tag, which was like, $650, and poss with a symmetrical hem. Not sure about the layers, either. Still figuring that out.

I pinched this off a private forum, the OffBeat Bride tribe. No linkies, sorry, but it was someone's inspiration board, so NFI who the originals are from.
Finally, the dress in the top left corner - without all it's disgusting lace overlay on the skirt, minus the train and sans the length, well, I love it.

I really am a bit in love with the empire waist line thing, in spite of its sappy Jane Austen "Mister Daaaarcyyy" implications. I tend to think of it as having more, erm, Bronte sister inspirations - only, shorter, thus making it more suitable for wandering through those moors. Or whatever it was people did in moors, I don't know.

(Just quietly, Austen novels have their place, you know, and while it belongs NOWHERE near a film containing Keira Knightly, I have enjoyed the odd J. Austen - ie, all- novel. However, you simply CANNOT tell Oscar Wilde that).

Last dress picture -- love the beaded gold bit, but I can't imagine it'd look nearly as nice on me. I'm much too short, it'd just chop me in half. Plus, who wants to draw attention away from my fabourly sequinned drag queen shoes?

from pink galoshes
And it's late and I'm nearly asleep on account of it being 2 a-freaking-m. Night peeps. Or myself, as I am the one reading this.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

'your mum' jokes don't work so well on your kids

N's parents came around and 'helped clean'. Now, while I accept my house is untidy (cleaning and folding washing isn't a priority for me, OR anyone else in this house) the whole experience was...demoralising at best. N's mother made a great deal of the amount of clutter and dust everywhere - while doing little to actually resolve any of these issues.
I endured it by rearranging my bedroom, cleaning out my wardrobe (necessary - I could barely close the doors) and vacuuming under my bed. My dad helpfully replaced the broken tap and leaky showerhead, and my little brother helped paint the back room with N and his dad. Oh, to have been one of them.

So, I spent international women's day cleaning my house (and refusing to feel guilty for not being a better housekeeper) in preparation for an upcoming wedding. Ironic, no? I'm still trying to scrub the stench of horrible, hateful anti-feminist behaviour from my body (fortunately, I can now do this in the bath - thanks dad!). Might have to cut my hair shorter, or something.

At any rate, my mother, who is an expert on such things, says that wearing a white, repurposed wedding wedding dress will look like I'm not taking the whole thing seriously. Of course, the white wedding dress could also look too earnest, and I'm starting to feel that I lose either way. Thus, she informs me the only thing I can convincingly wear with my sooper-dooper-awesome shoes ("drag queen shoes, as my mum called them) is black. Minimal, a-line, v-neck black.
Now, rationally I know this, but when shopping patterns I found little that really jumped out at me and said, "OMG WEAR ME WHEN YOU GET WEDDINGED" ... .hence I am still looking.
Knowing, of course, that I will more than likely resort to the black dress.

Meanwhile, still clinging to hope, I also like this

Monday, March 8, 2010

Maybe I SHOULD just weare jeans...

Man, this whole dress business is a lot harder than I realised.
At some point I got it in my head that it'd be really cool to wear a vintage wedding dress that had been repurposed to look funky and edgy, while still maintaining its cool retro look.
Inspiration came from here:

from the Lynns Rags' Etsy Shop, unfortunately a one of a kind she made (and sold) back in 2008 or something.

However, when I contacted her about this awesome dress, she said she also does cute wedding-ish dresses from new petticoats - such as this one:

Which is an interesting avenue I haven't pursued. I've done an etsy alchemy request thingo, which, fingers crossed, will come up with something awesome.. failing that I'm planning on hitting the op shops hard over the coming weeks.

Trouble is, now I've got this idea in my head, I can't get it out!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Seems I'm not alone in drawing hand-made love notes as invitations. Well, kind of. Flush Designs used a collage of the love notes given between her and her (now) husband as the basis for her order of service. It's gorgeous, like a glimpse in to some very personal moments between them.


Slightly less sappy (and I suspect I like it a little more for that reason) are these ones, from Porterness on etsy:

Nothing more awesome than the truth. And kitty cats pimpin' cards. Awesome.

Friday, March 5, 2010

"teal, the colour of gangrene"

badass wad of cash image from here

helen razer, please stop reading my mind, kthx. I have been having the exact same thoughts.

So while procrastinating invitations and study, I was reading Ms Helen Razer's blog . Cos that's what I like to do. Helen was waxing lyrical about the tackiness of the wishing well at weddings, and even more so, the trite poems that accompanies the invitation, wherein couples request money instead of gifts.

While I appreciate the practicality of this gesture - money is a little easier to spend than a gazillion toasters - the whole thing makes me uncomfortable. I don't like it, I think it's tacky. For this reason, I don't do registries. I know it's allegedly more convenient for people and whatever, but it's the sense of entitlement and expectation that accompanies the gift registries that irks me. The dollar value that is easily identified by the gift you gave, as this was some sort of indication of your estimation of the worth of the hosts' friendship.

"We want you to buy this set of pots and pans we chose, kthx".

Eff that.

To me, the money thing is this multiplied. I don't care if you want to use the money to pay for your honeymoon, or a new dining room table, a grocery item or whatever. I'm not a bank and that is not the point of gift giving - further, it completely undervalues my friendship.

So... I make a point of not buying off the registry, instead doing what I think is the whole purpose of a gift - which is giving something from the heart that reflects how you feel about the person/couple - these have included trees, hand made items from local artists, etc.

Thoughtful gifts should be dearly loved. That's the whole point of thoughtful, no? A gift of love from me, to be well loved by you?

cuter than cute chocolate bar from StinkinCuteGifts

** "teal the colour of gangrene" line is from "The Wedding Planner" a terrible, terrible movie that happens to be on the tv as I type. J. Lo's character uses it as a justification for why the wedding of her love interest (whose wedding she is planning) won't last. Because the bride chose teal bridesmaid dresses.
Of course, I find the notion of a romantic movie about someone jilting their soon to be wife at the alter to leave with the wedding planner (who was also jilted!) odd. I mean, I know the groom and bride to be both agree to part ways, but like... wtf? Who gets that far without saying, hang on... do I really want *this* for as long as we both shall live?


Wedding industry annoys me.

these boots were NOT made for walking

from here

Walked to school and busstop, then to my office and desk, then library, back from the library, back to the bus stop, and home from school. Ankles were unhappy. Then played a very hard and fast game of touch footy, and this morning my calves were killing me.

Meanwhile it was an awesome game. We won 17-4, feels almost cruel to have a scoreline like that. N said I played very well, passes were perfect, and lots of great dummy runs.

So, you know, maybe it was worth the pain.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dad! There's an evil monkey in my closet!

Many, many things to say, but not quite the cohesiveness to make my brain say them.
First and foremost, I wandered in to the American Apparel store on rundle st today. That place is strange. Suffice it to say, I felt no overwhelming urge to purchase high waisted lurex leggings, teeny acid denim look running shorts, or erm, puffy knickers.

Their regular tshirts were not as cheap as I had imagined, either. In fact, the whole store was expensive (overpriced?)  and thus, not really worth a great deal of deliberation. I have no money, and what little I do have, I *should* be saving.

Otherwise, I have little interesting to report. So here is a funny picture:

Hover dogs. Oh yes. Miniature pinschers floating above the ground, because they're clearly evil. From here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

and while we're on the topic of deers and such like,

I don't know why this dude's question wasn't answered with the sobriety it so deserves. It seems perfectly legitimate to me.

Having said that, I don't have the answer (much too esoteric for me). Further, I suspect that his interpretation of what Martha Stewart's heart shaped pot holders might be is somewhat different to, say, your mum's. Unless, of course, your mum is a crack addict or took too much acid in the 60s.
Are Squids And Deer Attracted To Glass Cups If They Have Pepsi In Them And A Hint Of Lavender Only Sarah Palin Could Love?

As for Sarah Palin:

from here

"They are kooks, so I agree with Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh was using satire ... I didn't hear Rush Limbaugh calling a group of people whom he did not agree with 'f-ing retards,' and we did know that Rahm Emanuel, as has been reported, did say that. There is a big difference there." (actually a quote from a Fox news interview on Feb 7 2010, located here).
And for the record, I don't agree with anyone using the term 'retard' as a derrogatory term. Or pretty much anything Sarah Palin says. I do, however, think the squid question is genius.

the bride wore black and the little girl ate deer meat.

from Sodahead

No, not this kind of black.

It's just the kind of result I envisage when googling with search terms such as "black wedding dress"  and the like.

On a completely unrelated note, I found a story written by Y, on a brown paper bag.

'Once upon a time there lived a girl called "Ella". Ella was 7 years of age and she lived in the forest alone. One fine day Ella had no food so she ate blackberries and deer meat. The end.'

I like Ella. She sounds resourceful.

all the captions I can think of are totally, totally wrong. Pic from here.

In other news, I found my spellcheck, it was in blogger draft. Doofus!