Lying at the meat shop, hemp oil dosing & another fast rail ‘vision’ for Hardworking Australians

I lied at the meat shop today and it felt real good. My favorite place for sausages and dead flesh is Donato’s in Carlton, a fancy, pancy meat shop that plays opera as a soundtrack for slicing and chopping. I’m a regular – if you count maybe 20 visits over the last 20 years as such. They know me there, I’m the lady with funny hands who needs assistance with the door, and so a bit of chit chat is always in order, today, from one of the lovely familiar-faced butchers (as he passed me my minimally plastic-wrapped brats)…

“You got the day off?”

“Yes,” I lied.

“Lovely day for it, you picked a good one for it.”

“Yes,” I smiled, bundling my meat awkwardly into my impractical bag.

“We got the holidays coming up, got anything planned?”

“Yes,” I lied, “Going down the coast…Anglesea,” I embellished, “What about you?” I asked as he handed over change.

“Haven’t been back to Italy since 1989;” he said, “My wife doesn’t even know where it is,” he joked.

As I caught my tram home I felt well pleased. For lying to the nice Donato man. For suddenly realising there’s no need to reveal the truth. To answer his friendly question with an all too worrying phrase…

“I don’t work,” I could have said. “Don’t want to either,” I might have added. But then things would just get awkward. Because it’s just not on to say such things. To admit to being a person left out of the budget, as I sit here now listening to Frydenburg on TV, announcing plans for another fast-rail ‘vision,’ and a great big lump of yummy yummy surplus for HARDWORKING AUSTRALIANS, and HARDWORKING AUSTRALIANS, oh yeah…and those HARDWORKING AUSTRALIANS as well. In the Gillard years it was all WORKING FAMILIES and WORKING FAMILIES and WORKING FAMILIES, so that’s double not me, being family-free (neither husband nor sprogs) and a bludger to boot.

My fibbing today I could blame on hemp oil dosing, the lovely buzz I’ve recently  discovered that’s not supposed to get you high, but then hey Stanley Brothers of Charlotte’s Web fame, why did my ham sandwich seem so damned interesting? The butter a hyper-nutty yellow and the sun on my face an utter delight…it’s not supposed to give you a buzz, just relax your max and damp out inflammation…hmm. I confess I digress yes yes…

Anyhoo…I don’t know exactly why I lied in the sausage shop today, but by golly I’ll do it again! I’ll be one of you, oh working Australian crew! But maybe this time I’ll go somewhere more interesting, the south of France maybe, not just plain ‘ole Anglesea…😊

Truth warriors : Over-active skeptic glands and the lure of flat-earthing

When a friend of mine told me she knew people who believe the earth is flat, I assumed it was a symptom of her particular geography – living in a small town on the outskirts of Melbourne where quirky people go to live their lives freely.

But no. Flat-earthers are a growing breed. They’re OUT THERE, multiplying in fact, coming to us via Netflix documentary and social media platform. They believe the world is a disc, not an orb with a heart of red-hot lava. They believe we’ve all been hoodwinked en masse, been made to believe lies, lies concocted by malevolent authorities.

And flat-earthers (and other overly skeptic folk) are great believers in their selves, and what I mean by that is they trust what they hear, feel and see above everything else, especially what’s been shoved down their throat by authorities that can’t be trusted.

If there were such a thing as gravity then wouldn’t we feel it’s great weight? and if the world was spinning at a million miles an hour then we’d be flung from our homes into deep, dark, space. You can’t smell carbon dioxide so it can’t really be toxic, and the photo of our blue planet is a just a photoshopped fake, or, as some flat-earthers believe – just a very clever painting.

What motivates climate denial is clear. It serves the purpose of dirty energy profiteering, but why would THEY want US to believe the earth is a particular shape? What purpose does it serve? What benefit is it to THEM that the world continue as a globe rather than the (cough) truth: a flat plate illuminated by two stage lights known colloquially as ‘moon’ and ‘sun’.

A certain amount questioning is indeed a healthy thing, but an over-active skeptic gland creates belief systems gone haywire – states fuelled by the great chasm of THEM and US – and the temptation to be a ‘warrior for the truth,’ a born-again fervor cradled in a delicious, righteous, halo.


Married at First Sight: the holy grail of commitment & the unhappy state of doomed relationships

The new ‘rules’ imposed on the mostly unhappy couples in this year’s installment of Married at First Sight provides yet more evidence (as if more were needed) that this show is the worst case of exploitative, scripted, manipulative reality TV ever invented.

The weekly ‘commitment’ ceremony (the bit where couples get to discuss the week’s progress) has been altered since the show’s inception. It used to be that if either of the couple elected to leave the experiment (throw the towel in on their faux marriage) then that person could…well…leave.

But now if either party writes ‘stay’ inside their little black folders then both parties must stay. Hm. Okay. Why? Well, you see the ‘experts’ explain: It’s an opportunity for couples to work out their differences and clear the air for love to grow. Because the sacred aim of relationships (it seems) is to make them ‘work’ at all costs – weather the torrid storms of better and worse…or worse and worse as is mostly the case – with or without the help of professional intervention.

And the professional intervention in this car-crash of a show is truly disturbing – encouraging the continuation of unhappy pairings for the sake of ratings, dismissing one party’s decision to leave in favour of gifting them with the blessing of further imprisonment. Because with the help of baby steps they can make things work – they get one more week to confirm or deny – is so and so really the incontrovertible cunt they discovered on their tropical honeymoon? Will their non-existent physical attraction somehow blossom into unstoppable passion? Will she get what she wants and finally be thrown on the bed? Will he no longer retch at the mere thought of engaging in flagrante relations?

Hey ‘experts’. It’s a pretty sick message to send out – advocating staying when leaving is clearly the best course of action. There are people out there trapped in abusive relationships who don’t need to hear that commitment trumps all. Okay? And Just admit it. Your new rule is designed for one very bad reason – to stir up trouble, add insult to injury and inflame the state of unhappy coupledom – cause after all, it is a rating game, and when other people suffer we get to feel so much better…and maximum conflict always gets the best boner.


Brides ignoring big red flags – toxic messages & Married at First Sight

I told myself I wouldn’t watch this year but I did. I did and I am. Watching the most disgusting, most manipulative, schadenfreude-y show on the box…

Anyhoo, last night on Married at First Sight, the ‘experts’ commented on the action taking place at the dinner party (the obligatory episode where the couples get drunk and act like fuckwits). They made a point of calling out the bad behaviour of the runaway hubby (called away on day one of his faux honeymoon to attend the funeral of his exe’s mother)

The bad behaviour was not the ‘running away’ to comfort his ex girlfriend in a time of need, but rather, his complete lack of empathy or ability to recognise his TV wife’s hurt – his failure to contact her for 5 whole days of his absence. He denied having received her message, and when he finally turned up late to the dinner party, greeted her with the incredibly insensitive sing-song, ‘Honey, I’m home!’

Mr Runaway then confides with Mr Arrogant in a quiet corner away from the ladies, and they write off the ropable bride’s feelings in the usual manner, calling her ‘illogical’ and dismissing her totally. They slap each others backs and say,  ‘Na mate, she’ll come good…” After all, Mr Runaway wants to ‘make it work’ (i.e. keep his repulsively handsome mug on show – on the show)

The experts (cough cough) who’s most venerable job is to match couples based on compatibility – such as a bloke with commitment issues and a sheila with abandonment ones, and a man who ejaculates backwards into his stomach with a woman desperate for children – quickly condemned Mr Runaway’s poor behavior. And that was good to see. But then…the condemnation is completely nullified by the next scene…the faux bride calmly explaining to her faux husband why she was so hurt, with the addition of a voice-over expressing Mr Runaway’s thoughts as she does so, taking the piss and making fun of her, painting her as a nagging bore and putting her down once again. Awful. Just awful.

On a previous episode, Mr Arrogant and his bride sip cocktails on a tropical beach paradise, and she begins to tell him about her life growing up in foster homes. He squirms, looks impatient, then finally blurts out that he’s ‘not her therapist.’ He goes on to explain – he really can’t handle listening to someone else for more than 2 minutes – and she was ‘raving on.’ At the dinner party, one of the brides confronts him – did she hear him say she was fake earlier on? He says no…in fact, on the contrary, he actually has a ‘high’ opinion of her – he thinks her a ‘pretty blonde’ and what’s more he’s ‘had plenty’ just like her, slapping her with a back-hand compliment (you’re dime a dozen sweetheart) Awful. Just awful.

But sadder still is that both brides of Mr Arrogant and Mr Runaway are too willing to forgive. They shut their eyes, and walk straight past the huge red flags waving in front of their faces, they both – as the blokes predicted with a nod and a wink – come good in the end.


Rubbergirlz, Goat Soap and the United Australia Party. Something for everyone at this year’s Australian Open

If you’re watching the tennis like I am you’ve no doubt been exposed to some highly repetitive advertising – Goat Soap, Rubbergirlz, and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party…Uber eats, ATP river cruises. Yep there’s something for everyone at this year’s Australian Open.

Let’s start with Goat soap. A catchy little tune that’s successfully ear-wormed itself into my brain, “…goat soap, goat soap, gettcha-gettcha goat on…” What is it? It’s goat soap – made from milk of goat rather than the animal itself (I hope) – but the strange thing is, I’ve only ever seen this ad aired during the Australian Open, and that seems odd. It’s not a big brand – it’s packaging amateur not slick – so how the hell can this funny little product afford so much Aussie Open air-time? There must be some bucks behind the humble goat soap I think. Who owns it? And who do they know…?

And then there’s what’s his name – Charlie Sheen in the offensive ‘Rubbergirlz’ Ultratune ad, playing the familiar role of sleazebag ‘rescuing’ a harem of well-inflated Rubbergirlz presumably primed for his personal use…If I could be bothered to make a formal complaint I would. But I can’t. Oh what a classy ad. See. They’re Rubbergirlz. Women with inflated lips and assets – rubbery, like the product itself. You know. Tyres. Rubber. Get it? And Charlie’s gonna pork ’em. All of ’em.

Then Clive Palmer pops in to let the people know that no politician can be trusted except him. The people of Australia must rise up against them. You know, them. The liars. The cheats. The enemy. The people who will destroy our country unless we do something about it. Get angry people. Okay? And then of course there’s Uber Eats. A company who’ve levered themselves into ‘cool’ via the reliable tool of celebrity status – allowed the privilege of on-court spruiking, neatly spliced into the action so we know it’s okay, and for those of you who prefer fine-dining to the convenience of home-delivered meals, take a carefree, throw-back-your-head-and-laugh gleefully European cruise with APT. Enjoy the company of other middle-aged, cultured, slim, good-looking folk with shit-wads of cash. Yep. There’s certainly diversity of product-flogging in between points this year, so let’s get back to the action shall we? Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!…gettcha-gettcha-goat on…

Girls who DO are attractive TOO – a very important message from inside the Terrace House

I’ve just consumed the latest installment of Terrace House, a very nice two-night binge thank you Netflix. Terrace House (for those of you in the non-know) is a fly-on-the-wall style Japanese reality show that documents (supposedly without the aid of scripts or story-line nudging) the lives of 6 young people (ages 19 to 32 ish) as they go about their daily lives.

The focus of the show is, of course, who likes who and the budding romances that invariably develop, but the inhabitants also discuss career goals, or, for the younger ones, the lack of them. To make things more interesting, the reality-action is punctuated by  a chorus of observers, official voyeurs who (for the most part) serve up witty quips and intelligent observations about human behaviour.

As with all reality TV shows, the casting is predictable – all inhabitants are good-looking and one or two of them usually work as models, and there is also usually a amateur/professional sports person in the mix – a skater or snowboarder, and generally male, but, in the last season, this role was filled by Tsubasa, a female ice-hockey player who is faced with the dilemma of choosing between her old team, or joining a new one with better prospects.

Tsubasa, (not your average girly girl but altogether very lovely) is thoroughly engrossed in her training throughout the show. She trains till late in the evening and often misses the healthy sit-down meals lovingly prepared at the house. She is a shy but cheerful young woman, and she catches the eye of Shion, a very sweet being (and male model) who asks her on a date.

Their friendship grows slowly and we don’t know…will it morph into something more? It does. Eventually. But in the meantime he supports her dreams and goals. Is thoughtful. Kind. Goes to watch her compete (at the mostly empty stadium) Watches her zoom around the ice with a look of undisguised awe. He stands and claps and cheers her on – he doesn’t feel inferior or exhibit signs of emasculation, no Tsubasa’s great skill makes her attractive to him.

It’s great to see this on TV – a guy feeling comfortable in the role of admirer and supporter instead of the admired and supported, and we need more of it. Guys cheering girls on – and women (young and old) need to do less watching and admiring and find something they like to DO, and DO it. That’s what guys do. They DO things, whether it’s snowboarding or gaming, they DO stuff.

Of course the aim is the same for boys and girls (in hetro terms) Both strive to be attractive to get themselves a mate, but in their pursuit of sex/love, boys get to learn something that’s a satisfaction in itself – regardless of whether it gets them a girl or not. They play guitar, they pull out a skateboard…but a girl thinks that what makes her most attractive to boys is the very passive activity of looking good, and looking good per se does not sustain the soul. And despite being taught that there are no limits these days, I think girls still worry that being too smart or good at something will turn the boys off.

Which is why the delightful love story of Shion and Tsubasa is so important. It shows that girls that DO are attractive too, and that boys cheering them on is just part of the deal.

Note to self for Christmas day – don’t go all stress-balls, okay?

Fried chicken done in baking-soda puffed batter, a home-grown basil pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and Spanish olives, thyme and rosemary infused BBQ baby octopus, apple cabbage carrot and creme-fesh coleslaw, a marshmallow strawberry mousse, pickled cucumbers, and delightfully bitter-sweet Campari cocktails…

That’s what I’m whipping up for Christmas lunch this year, my contribution to the yearly feast that’s replaced the focus on gifting – although we will have a tree (plastic and over 10 years old) and some inexpensive pressies, less than 10 dollars from the op shop I reckon.

It’s at my place too so I’ll have to clean the loo…plus sweep the floors and get rid of the cobwebs, plus put all my clothes away and sort through the papers on the table, oh, and clean all the glasses and find enough bowls and keep the benches clear and synchronise dishes, and greet family guests and get them a drink and arrange all the chairs and light up the BBQ and refill the ice-cubes and keep an eye on the chicken and most of all…

…I’ll try to remember to not go all stress-balls.


Is Australia sexist? Or is the answer to that question way too obvious…

I just saw the SBS documentary, Is Australia Sexist? So, now I’ve seen it – am I now in possesion of the answer? Yes. The answer is yes. But I already knew that. Derr…

Australia is sexist and so am I. Because I live in Australia and Australia is sexist. Because Australia is a country on planet earth and planet earth is sexist. (Can’t speak for the flora or fauna of the world, but us humans sure are). A more important question might be, what is sexism? Or how is Australia sexist? Not that this documentary doesn’t expose some interesting territory. The objectification of women as sexual objects for example – the experience of sexual harassment in the street, the wolf-whistling and unwanted staring women experience at various times in their lives – or repeatedly on a daily basis for that matter.

My most memorable personal experience of this type of sexism (treating women as objects rather than humans with a right to go about their lives without harassment) happened quite a time ago. It was a lovely spring, sun-shiny day and my spirits were high. I was about to cross the street outside my house in Carlton when a man, leaning from his car window called out, “Hey sexy!” (or something like that) When, in return, I yelled, “piss off,” (or something like that) he screamed at me angrily, “Ya fuckn ugly slut!” before revving his engine and speeding off like a true hero.

Yes. Delightful. First I was sexy (and thus worthy of attention), and then, when I dared to step out of the frame -become a subject with the right to respond – I immediately became undesirable, ugly. Disgusting. I remember the sudden shock of it clearly, feeling angry, violated, shaky, and later, an uncomfortable feeling lingered…perhaps he was right. Perhaps I was…ugly.

Right now I’m tossing up if I should post this at all. I don’t want to ‘invite’ trouble. I’m very aware that some troll might respond by calling me an ugly bitch who needs to be raped. That I deserve everything I get because I have a vagina and dare to speak my mind.

In Is Australia Sexist? A woman confronts a man for making the comment, “nice long legs…” He says it in a rather detached tone, as though describing a race-horse in a parade. He then defends himself, says the comment was just a ‘compliment’, the implication being that she should (presumably) be grateful, not upset, angry, intimidated or fearful… He then goes on to say he ‘couldn’t help it’ – after all, she was committing the crime of walking past – she invited the unwanted attention apparently, simply by having the temerity to exist.

Of course we all love to look at others, admire forms and faces, but I think some men have been so thoroughly conditioned to gaze shamelessly, I don’t think they’re aware they’re doing it. I used to live on a street that shared a corner with an old-style coffee shop – the type where men gathered to play cards and socialise. They would hang around outside, not to smoke (smoking was allowed inside) but just to look…

In order to get to the main street I had to walk past one or more pairs of ogling eyes, so, to combat this almost daily dose of objectification, I developed a technique to make me feel less powerless…I found that if I stared back boldly – without flinching – then they (eventually) looked away! It felt great to turn the tables, flip the power dynamic so they got a dose of what it’s like to be seen primarily as an admired/reviled object. Yep…it’s not very nice.

So. A top tip for men who care about equality. For men who want to make society a place where women feel safe – If a woman you find attractive walks past (or indeed exists in the same vicinity as you), don’t say a word about it. Please keep your thoughts to yourself. Keep in mind that a woman is a person. Not an object. And it’s best not to stare – to gaze shamelessly as though she’s nothing more than a two-dimensional picture on a screen. Please avert your gaze, give women some psychic space so they can go about their business as freely as you do.



Flogging & Blogging – What’s the Point of all this Blagging?

Good question, she says, shuffling nervously and buying a few seconds of time…Er-herm…Well, the uncomfortable truth is: like millions of other online entities clamoring for attention in the ever-expanding binary cloud, I too seek to build a ‘presence’.

Because if you plan to to flog anything these days, it seems you have to flog yourself first. Even if I do manage to eventually snag a deal with a traditional publisher, they’ll most likely expect me to do some of my own promotion…Hence this little HungryBrain blog I’ve pulled out of my arse for your enjoyment (and possible edification). And one day when my intelligent and witty historical romance is released (my challenging dark, satirical novella Top model Hotty is available now), I’d like more than just a few people to know about it…not just the two followers I’ve collected so far – both plastic surgery clinics in India – their interest clearly generated by brain-free bots totally missing the gist of my anti-surgery post.

So, if I want to expand my following the experts suggest I write content of value to an intended audience, and devote my focus to a single theme instead of spouting haphazardly from day to day – what’s got my goat lately or put bees in my bonnet…

“It’s like a diary,” I told a friend when asked what my blog actually was, “…just one that anyone can see…” But it’s not like a diary at all. A diary has no intended audience – except perhaps one’s future self or the closest of friends. And diaries are safe havens for private thoughts, not public forums open to hateful trolls or potential employers seeking to eliminate weeds, so, with that in mind, I won’t be droning on about hopeless love affair no. 7, or getting philosophical about ‘the point of it all…’ And I certainly won’t be battling double-vision after downing a bottle of Tyrell’s Long Flat Red and a dozen Peter Stuyvesants at 3 in the morning, scrawling indecipherable woe-is-me monologues about my chronic lack of identity – ENOUGH!

No. Times have changed and I’m old now. Oldish…well, much older than some and much younger than others, but thankfully wise enough to know that writing and drinking isn’t the greatest cocktail ever invented – even with the convenience of auto-correction and font-lettering to disguise the scrawls of high blood-alcohol.

And I have to admit – I’ve jumped on this blogging bandwagon in true amateur fashion, or to put a little spin in it – organically…There’s no business plan underlying my actions, no ‘intended’ audience I can identify at this stage, but if I want to capture followers I must quell my distaste for predetermined shapes, I must offer ‘value’ to my customers…or, as I discovered from the Netflix documentary, Follow Me, I could just cut to the chase and well…buy some…

Yes, that’s right folks – if you’re feeling a little unpopular you can reach for a cash remedy and boost your viability, ‘for sale’ followers available in two flavors apparently – the cheaper fake variety, or the more authentically expensive ones…and, as the salesperson in Follow Me cheerfully pointed out when pressed to explain the difference between the two, the real followers would (potentially) interact with you, whilst to the fake ones would not…Sigh

Blogging has become a very serious matter, evolved from its grassy-roots to its current incarnation of sales generator – a fact that becomes plainer by the day, with advertisers more than willing to splash wads of cash at individuals with huge followings. The result is this: bloggers have become blaggers, and the evolution of person as product continues on its merry way…

Okay folks, better get on with my flogging…