Sunday, April 24, 2011

Why I can never get Pay TV

The LifeStyle channel -- Location, Location, Location, A Place in the Sun, Grand Designs, Homes Under the Hammer, Fantasy Homes by the Sea... the list goes on and on. It's like an orgy of home-buying Britishness, and i just can't drag myself away from it.

Also, 16 and Pregnant thanks to MTV and Don't Tell the Bride on LifeStyle You. Yes, I really am that pathetic.

Also, almost constant Jamie Oliver, Nigella and those witty witty Gilmore girls.

Seriously, universe, are you trying to make me the least productive person ever this long weekend??

Monday, April 18, 2011

I dug the clapping as much as I dug Jesus

As mentioned previously, I have just been reading Benjamin Law's hilarious The Family Law.

Benjamin is a rather funny fellow. He muses on life, family, growing up, and being a young gay man of Malaysian/Hong Kongian/Chinese heritage.

I can't say I exactly relate to this final aspect, but there are so many things in this book that had me going "oh my gosh, YES!" and "seriously, Benjamin, have you been researching my entire life/stalking me since birth?" (This last matter is currently under investigation by my lawyers.)

One of the things in the book that literally had me wriggling, singing, laughing and "oh my gosh"-ing on the tram in a most embarrassing fashion was Ben's description of his experiences with Christian music.

Herewith, the excerpt:

Every morning before class, we filed into our daily worship session. Devotions covered a road range of topics: forgiveness; receiving compliments gracefully; documented Satanic possessions. Music came courtesy of the school band, a misfit hodge-podge of whichever musically inclined students were available that week: recorder, baritone clarinet, piccolo, French Horn, bongos. One of my favourite songs was 'The Blind Man', a participation-based hymn made up of verses featuring men suffering various afflictions -- blindness, deafness, paralysis -- searching for Christ to show them the way.

'The blind man sat by the road and he cried!" we sang. 'The blind man sat by the road and he cried!' The final verse simply involved singing 'The Blind Man!' followed by frenzied, rhythmic clapping to fill in the gaps. Years later, singing the same song in high school, it struck me as undignified and mean, implying the blind man was not only visually impaired, but also had some form of palsy that made him clap in a wild, uncontrollable fashion. But as a Christian-hearted seven-year-old, I dug the clapping as much as I dug Jesus.
It's like he READ MY MIND! Seriously. As the child of a protestant minister, I grew up with this music, and none of it struck me as strange until I'd already been singing it for years. The particular version of this song that we always sang also involved an "uhuh uhuh uhuh baby" refrain that was very special indeed.

So now I've had this song stuck in my head for days and my boyfriend and colleagues want to kill me.

And it made me think of another christian-music-anecdote from my childhood that my family LOVES to tell at group events.

See, there's this song called Jehovah Jireh (which means God in um Hebrew or something) which goes "Jehovah Jireh, my provider, His grace is sufficient for me..." etc.

And I used to (when very young) stand up tall and proud and sing out at the top of my lungs:

JEHO-VAGINA, my provider...

Apt, really, in some ways.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I hate good books

Really good books should just be banned.

Only mediocre to pretty good allowed.


I've had a run lately of reading those kinds of books that you really don't want to stop reading. You want that tram trip to be just a bit longer, you lie in bed at night wishing the book would be just a bit boring so you could go to sleep, you sit at work dreaming of going home "sick" so you could start reading again in the elevator as you leave.

And even when you're not reading you're thinking about it.

I wish I could say the books I'm referring to (in my recent history) are Dostoevsky and Balzac or something. But no, sadly. I'm talking about Follett and Corbett.

Yes, that is Ken Follett. *cough cough*. Someone handed me a copy of Pillars of the Earth years ago and I devoured it. I then ummed and ahhed for awhile when World Without End came out, but was recently given a kindle (which I LOVE!) and it seemed the perfect book to get me going. And oh how addictive it is reading about plague-ridden England and the construction of bridges. Oh yes.

And Corbett? Who the heck is Corbett?

Claire Corbett, to be more precise, is the author of When We Have Wings, a novel I was sent for review recently. Another of those books that certainly has its flaws, but just grabs you, sucks you in, leaves you wondering what happened to your good sense and makes you dream about flying.

And I'm now busily consuming Benjamin Law's The Family Law, which has me guffawing in trains, tittering in lunch break sushi joints and smirking at my desk when I peer into my bag and read a passage.

More on Law later methinks.

But in the meantime I'm going to seek out average books. Find myself something that's enjoyable but forgettable. Something that will send me to sleep.

Actually, Dostoevsky probably just about fits the bill...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The man three cubicles over strikes again

"Sorry I haven't gotten back to you until now Phillip, I've had my head down all afternoon."

"Yes, Phillip, she did give me a heads up about that."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An Office

The tea room encourages us to believe in Peace and Harmony. And teaches us how to respond to a bomb threat.

There's a man three cubicles over who I have never met. He speaks very loudly on the phone and calls everyone by their first name repeatedly. He says things like, "It's a robust policy, Paul. But Paul, I think we need to think about synergy and work together to achieve strategic implementation, Paul".

In the stationery room, on a top shelf, there are six of those beige plastic boxes with see-through brown lids and little square plastic dividers inside, to store floppy disks.

The air conditioning makes us very cold and people sit in their cubicles wearing scarves and beanies.

When the boss closes her office door, someone always "goes to get something" from the cupboard on the other side of her dividing wall -- you can hear every word she says.

People hoard "the good pens" in their desk drawers.

Overheard at Flinders Street Station

Girl with flannelette shirt and army surplus bag to girl with half-shaved head and black framed glasses:

"Don't ya think it's funny how people wanna be all, like, ironic?"