31 December 2008

One last thing

I'm drowning in other people's "Best of 2008" lists, so I'm not going to add to the pile. Instead, just one lovely thing from 2008 that still makes me laugh every time I see it.

The shiny guy does always worry.

See you next year!

29 December 2008

If a tree falls in a forest and no Aussies are around to hear it, does it make a sound?

I woke up this morning, as I have so many, many mornings of my life, to news of conflict in the Middle East. Today it’s the second day of Israeli air attacks in the Gaza Strip, with a ground attack looking highly likely.

The prospect of yet another war there, even after almost 600 years of conflict, should be news in itself.

Why, then, does the story have to be run on our local news – Seven’s Sunrise, to be exact – like this: “Trouble in the Middle East has flared again and Aussies are caught up in it.”

It reminds me of the way disasters are always reported: 370 people died in the plane crash but no Aussies were on board.

If Aussies aren’t involved, can it still be considered legitimate news?

Update: the "Aussies caught up in it" turned out to be one Australian woman who works with a humanitarian organisation in the Gaza Strip. It's her job to get caught up in it.

28 December 2008

I know who should play Karen

I can't believe that Mamma Mia! was a hit musical and a hit movie-of-the-musical while the only decent thing anyone ever made about the Carpenters, Todd Haynes' all-Barbie Superstar, was banned.

A Carpenters' jukebox musical, which will artlessly be called Close To You (although Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft would be pretty good), can only be just around the corner.

Let me get a jump-start on the movie-of-the-musical casting for the role of Karen. Hollywood casting directors, I give you Feist.

25 December 2008

A special Christmas Day message for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

Fuck you, asshole.

Another power-crazed German determined to wipe out an entire people. Terrific.

24 December 2008

Dreams of glitter and style

I really must try to use the word "silversational" more often.

Happy holidays, everyone!

23 December 2008

Please remember those less fortunate than yourself

At this special time of year, please take a moment to remember the people in our world who are suffering the most: the poor souls in the "before" section of infomercials.

Angry woman with hectic kitchen-tile pattern struggling with the washing-up. Her apron print, like the tiny broomsticks in Fantasia, suggests even more dishes to come.

Frustrated woman who saves time by not having to iron her pants and who can make and attend a manicure appointment but can't quite get it together to take a tray of hamburger patties out of the freezer.

Shorts-'n'-sneakers–wearing family forced to endure eternal wait for dinner in bored silence while sipping water from wine glasses at table set awkwardly for four.

Depressed, messy man who has to use eight saucepans and two ovens to produce dinner from a jar.

06 December 2008

Would you mind if I put you on hold?

43 minutes spent talking to my phone company’s “care” call-centre in India. It took nine people to answer my ostensibly simple question: What is the status of my order?

No record of the order. No match for the receipt number. “Would you mind if I put you on hold?” For five minutes.

Along the way, inumerable requests for my date of birth. I know for sure that I’ve never given it to them, and I said so. But still they ask because it's in the script. And then, “I’m sorry, sir, nothing is coming up on my computer. Would you mind holding just a moment?” A five-minute wait, then transferred to someone else, and the routine starts again. 

Nine times.

In the end, I was given an email address. I immediately wrote an email and had a response within 30 seconds.