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It’s my birthday on Monday. Instead of doing the grown up thing that everyone seems to do these days & plan a casual meet up at a pub for drinks, I decided to have a good, old fashioned, juvenile piss up* at my place. I arranged for the kids to spend the night at their granny’s house, invited some people and proceeded preparing my house for a party. At some point, I got it into my head that proper lighting was needed. I became fixated on getting fairy lights and tea light candles. After much consternation, I managed to purchase both these things & the hooks needed for hanging the fairy lights. The problem? I suck at doing decorating stuff. So, I decided to invite my decorating mad, fairy light loving & self confessed anal retentive friend over to help me. Let’s call her Di.

We began by discussing what arrangement in which to hang the freakishly long string of lights I had bought.** It turns out I wasn’t very organized and really had no idea what I was doing. Surprise! While the children ran amok around us, I finally decided on a rough idea of a general way of hanging them and we started sticking the hooks on the wall. During the course of sort of eyeballing*** where the hooks should go, she said that if it were her house, she’d have her husband (let’s call him Chuck****) getting out the ruler and the spirit levels to make sure it was perfect. Remember what I said about her being anal? Yeah, that. 🙂

Fast forward to lunchtime and we were chatting about who will be at the party. She’d met a few of the people who will be there and I was trying to help her remember which face went to which name. Following on from that, it turned into me explaining the various romantic connections between this particular group of people. They have what I affectionately refer to as a “love cloud.” Basically, they’re polyamorous. It can seem complicated at first so that’s why I thought Di’s eyes glazed over for a moment. Then she said, in a reverent tone:

“That would be awesome! They ALL could have rulers and spirit levels!”

So, there you have it. A benefit to polyamory that I bet you never even considered!

A blurry photo of the fairy lights or, as Di pointed out, Cullen guts.

*      That’s Australian for a drunken event.

**     I’d wanted two or three short strings but was only able to find this freakishly huge one.

***   We did, you’ll be happy to know, eventually get out the measuring tape & do it somewhat “properly” though not to the standards that Di would insist on for her own home. 🙂

**** It’s not necessary to give him a nickname, really. This is the only time I will mention him in this post. However, calling him Chuck makes me giggle. 🙂

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A new lifestyle/diet trend has come to my attention recently: The Paleo Diet. As lifestyle trends go, this one doesn’t sound too bad. The argument is that eating closer to how our ancestors ate in the Paleolithic period will somehow make us healthier. I’m not sure it would be some miracle health solution but there is sense in cutting out processed shit, refined sugar, etc. I can even understand the arguments against dairy despite it being my favourite food group and having no intention of ever giving it up. I think there is some merit in the idea, I’m not sure it’s possible (or wise) to try to follow the rules of the diet to the letter. But, in my opinion, there is definitely some merit in the basic idea.

Having said that, though, the very phrase “I’m on the paleo diet” conjures up images of my friends attempting to roast a ptarmigan in a pit in their suburban backyards … or, better yet, in the park down the street because they don’t have a backyard. Ooh! Maybe they go hunting for squirrels in the park with their handy sling shots! After taking down a friendly park squirrel, they forage for “wild” vegetables in the neighbour’s garden … I could go on and on here.

The diet should be renamed The Ayla* Diet. Think about it: Ayla invented everything from the bra to the needle, domesticated horses and great sex. She even invented the spear thrower (ok, her well hung boyfriend helped her with that), discovered that hitting flint & pyrite together makes sparks to start a fire, and discovered that watching other animals having sex is a great aphrodisiac (In other words, she invented porn. Wooly mammoth porn in this case). At some point during all that, she became the first human being to work out where babies actually come from! Seriously, it’s not much of a stretch to believe that she also invented the latest diet/lifestyle trend for the 2000s, is it?

I envisage a strict exercise regime to compliment the Ayla Diet. It involves lots and lots of spectacular sex … in caves … and on plains … and in huts constructed from mammoth bones … and in hot springs … and on glaciers … and, well, you get the idea. Maybe I should market this Ayla Diet idea. I could be rich like that Atkins guy. He’s rich, isn’t he?

*  If you don’t know who Ayla is then reading this about the Earth’s Children series of books might help. It’d help more to read the books themselves, though. They’re entertaining, somewhat educational and funny as hell (in the way that things are funny when they aren’t *supposed* to be funny). 🙂

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Last post I mentioned that I’d recently seen Amanda Palmer in concert. It was at the Fly By Night (a most excellent venue) in Fremantle and we’d bought the tickets for our 8 year wedding anniversary celebrations.  It really was an excellent show. It being the Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under tour for her album which she described as a “love letter” to Australia, she came out on stage wearing a Union Jack corset and an attempted Southern Cross drawn on her breast in a hilarious mock up of the Australian flag. Whatever else that can be said about Amanda Palmer (and I will touch on that in a minute), one must admit that she is an entertaining performer. She’s theatrical and over the top yet still manages to convey a feeling of authenticity and familiarity with her fans. It’s a delicate balance and one that I’ve seen very few pull off well.

As far as the other things that can be said about Amanda Palmer, I got into a conversation of sorts about this when a friend (and fellow Ani DiFranco worshipper) posted the above video on Facebook yesterday. She said she didn’t much like Amanda Palmer and thought she was a bit overrated before she saw this video but now she thought she was starting to see what all the fuss was about. I responded with what I think now is probably my best attempt at summing up my feelings about this controversal performer. So, please excuse me while I pull a Richard Dawkins and reference myself (I drop out of italics occasionally where I’ve edited my original words to better convey what I meant):

I’m not a huge fan, tbh. I enjoy some of her music and don’t really own much of it. I do, however, enjoy watching her. She’s like Peaches or Madonna … I just like watching what she’ll do next. I don’t think she’s as edgy and radical as she seems to think she is or that her fans seem to think she is. I also think she can be an entitled douche occasionally. However, she is a performance artist worth watching just for sheer entertainment value and occasionally, just occasionally, she hits on Truth in her songs. Map of Tasmania is one time. The Vegemite Song is another. She’s often hilarious and fun to watch … which is why I’m also going to her free ninja gig in the city tonight. It’s a good excuse to go out and enjoy myself at any rate. 🙂
My friend basically concurred with me here and then I added:

Also, I think that she’s an interesting/important figure historically merely because of the way she’s harnessed social media to drive her career. Social media: She’s doin’ it right. A lot of up and comings can learn from her in that regard.

At this point my friend claimed that that was one of the things that irked her about Amanda Palmer and that she was basically a Big Brother era star. To which I responded:

That’s what I mean by doing it right, though. She’s *not* all that much like Big Brother in that she’s pretty authentic, not fake, etc. She puts herself out there and is, really, just being herself (which is at times quite prentious, but you get that). She makes herself really accessible to her fans in a way that not many people do/have done/do well these days and she uses things like Twitter to do it very effectively. I really think that people studying the social media phenomenon will be using her and Neil Gaiman as examples for a long time. They didn’t necessarily break new ground but they hit upon the way to make Twitter/social media work well for them iykwim.

Again, she’s not a fucking saint or necessarily worthy of the unconditional worship that some of her fans bestow upon her (but then, I’m sure people say the same of how we worship Ani DiFranco) but she is a significant figure nonetheless.

Damn, somebody should do a thesis on this shit.

The conversation went on and I did mention that we all can be entitled douches sometimes and that was pretty human. I’m not sure Amanda Palmer has always managed to gracefully own her privilege/entitlements when she cocks up but, again, that’s pretty damn human as well and just adds to the point I made about her being really authentic and accessible to her audience. Let’s face it, we’ve all cocked up (sometimes spectacularly) in our lives and dealings with others and not all of us deal with said cock ups gracefully all of the time. Hell, I’m sure there are some of you reading this who think that I have cocked up by even writing this. It happens. Sometimes we learn from it, sometimes we don’t. I try not to pass judgement as I know I’m not perfect or innocent, either.
In short I still enjoy her performances both on Twitter and on stage; I enjoy a good amount of her music though I am not a hardcore, obsessive record buying fan (though, I rarely get to buy anyone’s records these days & rely mostly on TripleJ for music); and I really admire the ovaries it takes to go out and do the kind of stuff she does. I am a very self conscious person and I always admire those who can put themselves out there and perform especially in the way that Amanda Palmer does.
But enough about that. Let’s get on to the ninja gig fun! Amanda Palmer does this thing she calls ninja gigs. She announces via her blog and Twitter when/where she will do a free impromptu “gig” that usually consists of her, her ukelele and whatever friends she happens to have with her at the time. I missed the first one she did in Fremantle two years ago because I had two small kids and it was really hot that day. I decided that the effort of getting both kids out & keeping them contained during a ukelele gig in a park on a sunny, hot day was just too much hard work. Afterwards, I found out there were only a handful of people who showed up and she’d gotten Neil Gaiman on the phone (this was before they’d even announced they were romantically involved though it was pretty obvious)! That was when I vowed to make it to the next ninja gig near me even though I knew it probably would never be that small or that awesome again … I had missed a golden opportunity.
Yesterday, I texted my friend, Joni, and arranged to meet her in the city for the gig. Amanda performed outside the Art Gallery at 9:30.  She even brought the band, Michaelangelo and the Tin Stars (from Melbourne), who opened for her the night before. It was great. She put on a hilariously entertaining show and it even culminated in a 28 ukelele (yes, 28 ukeleles!) version of Creep by Radiohead which I got on video. Amanda tends to do meet and greets at both her concerts and her free ninja gigs and this time I managed to get in line early enough to get to meet her. It was a little awkward as I didn’t really know what to say and ended up just babbling about the Vegemite Song (which I do love). You can see the picture at the top of this post. But, bloody hell, if I babble incoherently when I meet someone like Amanda Palmer, who I like but am not obsessed with, then what the fuck would I do if I ever found myself in the presense of someone I really, truly worship beyond all reason (and blindness to her faults … of which I’m sure she has many but I don’t want to hear them) like Ani DiFranco? I’d probably just drop dead from the excitement.
Enough of my rambling, though. It’s time for the grand finale: My not so great video of a moment of awesome involving 28 ukeleles, Amanda Palmer and a man made pond in the middle of Perth:

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Bring Out Your Dead!

Just a quick post to say: I’m not dead! (Actually, I’m only mostly dead but Kochanski is definitely dead, Dave.)

If you’re still reading after that stream of nerdiness then you’re either just as nerdy as I or very tolerant of my random quoting. I commend you!

So, yeah, not dead. Though most of you already know that due to my copious tweeting about absolutely nothing of importance. Mostly I’ve been busy parenting, visiting with family (my sister in law is over from London with her 1 year old daughter), battling a cold and trying to keep it all together.

There have been a few significant dates that I should note. January 18th was my 8th wedding anniversary. Has it really been 8 years? Wow! Also, today-ish marks the tenth anniversary of my move to Australia. Yes, around this time ten years ago, I was on a plane thanking my lucky stars that I left before Dubya was officially sworn in. Also, next week Hottest 100 Day … er, Australia Day marks three years as an Australian citizen for me.

I have half formed posts in my head, some of which I might actually get around to typing out and posting. We’ll see how long it takes me to get to that point. All I can hope is that whatever virus I have at the moment does not get bad enough to inspire me to write horrible fanfic. I did that a few months ago and will now always use whether or not I am brain addled enough to write fanfic as a benchmark for how sick I am. Just count yourself lucky that I wasn’t brain addled enough to post it on here!

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It’s that time of year again. Festivus season! In honour of this most sacred holiday, let us gather around the Festivus pole (remember, no tinsel … tinsel is too distracting) and air our grievances for the year.  So, without further ado, here are my grievances in no particular order:

1.) To the Douchebags:  A lot of douchebags have irritated me this year from Kanye West to Sen. John McCain to your average internet troll fuckwit on Twitter (and don’t forget Russell T. Davies). You know what? Being a douchebag is really bad. You shouldn’t do it. So, fuck off, douchebags!

2.) To my friends in the US who  haven’t come to visit me nor have they paid for my ticket to go visit them: I think this is very inconsiderate of them and it should be rectified immediately. What’s that? They don’t have any money? Pfft, they can always sell their house/worldly possesions/first born children to raise the funds! Do I have to think of everything for you people?

3.)  To my US student loan company who’ve made repayment from my country of residence impossible: You’ve got to be kidding me! This is so ridiculous, it’s comical! News flash: The rest of the world exists, they have their own currency and banks and *sometimes* Americans even choose to live there!  International transactions involving money happen all the time. Get with the program! (The full story is really quite ridiculous & could make an entire post but I haven’t decided whether it is wise to do that.)

4.) To my house that doesn’t clean itself: You’re a pig sty. Pick up your game. It’s 2010 and will soon be 2011 … haven’t we invented self cleaning houses yet???

5.) To Dora and Diego:  Dora The Explorer and Go! Diego Go! are two are the most obnoxious tv shows ever to grace the airwaves. That fucking map can burn in hell … if only that would shut it up. And, Diego, eggs are fucking eggs! They are not “baby eggs.” There is often a baby inside them that will more than likely hatch out of said egg but the egg itself is not a fucking “baby egg!”  The sooner Dora falls over a cliff or something eats Diego, the better.

6.) To the world: You’re not as small as the interwebz makes you seem. Damn you, world! Don’t you know that I should be able to just walk over to all my friend’s houses?

7.) To Perth Drivers: Seriously, people, learn how to merge. That’s all I’m sayin’. (Ok, that’s probably not all but I realise that you can’t handle too much at once so let’s just stick with learning to merge for now.)

8.) To anyone who addresses correspondance to me as “Mrs <Husband’s name or first initial> <Husband’s surname>” or to both of us as “Mr. & Mrs <Husband’s name or first initial> <Husband’s surname> : You’re a dinosour who clearly has not been advised of the progression of time. It is now 2010. It will be 2011 soon. A woman is not the property of her husband regardless of whether she chooses (as I did) to change her name after legal marriage (I say legal since marriage is not soley a religious institution). I’ll pause to let you process that new and shocking information. Ok so far? If not, I don’t care. Just to clarify: MY NAME IS NOT <Husband’s name>! My first name is Kareena. I say “first name” for a reason, by the way. It is not a “Christian name” because I am not Christian. Get it? Probably not. Until you do get it, please do not send me anything via post. In fact, don’t talk to me. You’re too stupid.

9.) To the company who I pay to deliver organic fruit and vegetables every Wednesday: You fail. You’re supposed to deliver on Wednesday afternoon, usually getting the box to me at around 2ish. Yet far too many times you have waited until 4PM to text me to tell me that the person who normally does the delivery is on holiday or whatever and cannot bring it. You then send it via courier the next day. The courier often doesn’t arrive until 3PM. Thursday is usually the only day I have to do the rest of the weekly grocery shopping and I cannot do it unless I know what fruit and vegetables I have. You can shove your courier up your collective arses. I’m finding a new company to provide me with organic produce in the new year.

10.) To the creators of Single Father: Not only did you create a script that was almost really good but kind of  not due to strangeness, odd format and a totally inappropriate soundtrack but you missed two if not three prime opportunities to show us David Tennant naked … or at least more naked than you did show him. I mean, really, if the BBC could produce something that included Christopher Eccleston completely nude* this year then I think they could have done us fangirls the same service with Tennant. **


 

*    Not that I’m complaining about getting the full monty from Eccleston. Not. At. All.

** Really, I only put this grievance in because I had 9 already and I thought that an even 10 would look better. Oh, ten and Tennant … hahahhaha … geddit? No, unless you’re as hopeless a Doctor Who nerd as me, you probably won’t. Sigh… Also? I just proved once again that everything can be brought back to a Doctor Who reference. Everything. Even a post based on an episode of Seinfeld. It’s a Festivus miracle!

And now, as Festivus rolls on, we come to the Feats of Strength!

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Teh Interwebz

I met a cool new friend yesterday. She’s from the US and is here with her husband and 5 year old daughter for two years (her husband is military so they’re here for his job). We went out for dinner without kids or partners and just had a really good chat. It was fab. But that’s not really what inspired me to write this post. What inspired me was the fact that I met this new friend online.

I found myself remembering the days back when Teh Interwebz was new. Back when it was still a little strange to spend hours online and everyone (except Kim) seemed to be paranoid about meeting people from the internet face to face. Back, even, before LOLCats had their own blog. Remember that?

When I was in highschool, we made a huge big deal about going to meet these potentially shady “internet people” in groups in public. I remember once when my friend Erica wanted to meet some guy, we descended en masse with at least 4 or 5 people (including Erica) to meet the dude at the Sit ‘n Spin in Seattle. The poor guy must have felt ganged up on.

But it’s not like that now. Meeting people via the internet has almost become the rule rather than the exception. I met most of my friends here in Perth via internet forums and pretty much all of them I met irl without even a second thought for paranoid security. Sometimes we even have new people come to our houses (often in a group meet up situation but that’s just a coincidence more than a rule).

Do I have a point? Does this mean anything? I don’t know. I’d like to think it means that the internet is a fantastic tool for communicating and that it makes the world a little smaller. Sure, it can be used for evil and for Nigerian email scams (not to mention a whole lot of porn … but some of that isn’t so bad ;)).  But, for the most part, the internet is a good thing and I would not know so many really awesome people if I didn’t have access to it.

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And So’s Yer Dad!*

I had the tongue piercing taken out this morning. Technically, today was the two week mark which usually means downsizing of the jewelry. But I’d decided that I didn’t want it so I had it taken out. I hated it. It felt Wrong.  Wrong wrongity wrong face from Wrongtown Wrong-annia!*

Flippancy aside, I’m feeling really awful about this. I feel like an irresponsible idiot who should have known better. I recognize that I’m being overly harsh on myself but it doesn’t stop me. I’m trying really hard to chalk it up to living and learning but the old self loathing just won’t go away. In the meantime, I’m being overly cautious about cleanliness and aftercare and waiting for everything to go back to normal.

* If you saw what I did there then you’re clearly as much of a dork as I. If you didn’t see what I did there then I pity your lack of dorkiness.

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