Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Zut alors!

The blog and I, we've been spending a bit of time apart lately, seeing other websites, avoiding eye contact. But, y'know, as a great man once said (I think it was my sister), abstinence makes the heart grow fonder, and I am back, on bended knee, offering up sweet nothings in parentheses and a heartfelt pledge to try harder in the future, especially in the mastering of html.

Meanwhile, the Visigoths have mashed Western Civilisation As We Know It into a cultural purée alarmingly suggestive of textured vegetable protein.

Firstly, Connex had the temerity to replace the "Snailway Crossing" sign in my street with something that reads "Railway Crossing". Philistines. Philistines who marginalise nematodes, moreover.

Secondly, I received a letter from a place of higher learning. "Dear Dr Harlot", quoth the letter, "Thank you for your acceptance of our invitation to act as an examiner of the project submitted by –– for the award of –– of ––." Naturally, the receivance of such an invitation signals the high-point of my life thus far. Truly, said I to self, Thou has reached the high-point of thy life thus far. But what, prithee, is the deal with all those nouns? Don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are nouns – piglet, asafoetida, elbow – but your acceptance of our invitation to act as an examiner? "Thank you for accepting our invitation to examine", mayhap? This kinda hypernominalisation will only end in tears, I tells you.

Then the final blow: I received the prize what-I-won in the G--------d story competition, and it included a bottle of Hair Removal Crème (crème, note, with two ees and an acute, not dowdy old unaccented cream). This Hair Removal Crème promises to chemically burn the poor wee hairlets from a person's personal arenas of hirsutitude. Fortunately, I've been in the market for paint-stripper, but still, what excuse for a magazine sends out vials of Crème D'Acide to persons who may or may not be body-hair-conscious fourteen-year-olds with skin allergies? It's a good thing they threw in a tube of watermelon lipgloss, is all I can say.

And that, citoyennes, has been my week. My time has been entirely taken up with witnessing these abominations unto nature, except for the brief juncture wherein I signed myself up as a fan of Sigmund Freud on Facebook (a mistake - my fingers slipped), and the odd moment or two spent marking and/or avoiding marking my pile of essays.

It's good to be back.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Chuting the chit

It has come to my attention that "shute", as in "the essay shute on level five into which students should shovel their innumerable essays for my beady-eyed collection tomorrow morning", is in fact spelt "chute". And there I was thinking the world held no surprises.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Empty vessel, filled with purpose

Yea verily, though my cup of meaningfulness hath lately gone all droughty (meaning displaced in gallons by my clinically certified wallpaper-and-pink-toilet preoccupation), now it runneth o'er. This, because I, good comrades all, have been appointed Recruitment Officer for Melbourne's premier pro-frog community choir. You heard me. Recruitment Officer. For Melbourne's premier pro-frog community choir. If that's not going on the ol' CV under "Meaningful Extra-Curricular Executive Appointments", then I'll eat my tam o'shanter. The mauve one.

I mention this, not to boast, oh no, no, no, but because if any of youse fancies spreadin' the noos about compost making, justice for all, and being green (green bean) in song, me for to contakt please. The Green Singers rehearse on Monday nights in Northcote, quite near the fancy-schmancy baked potato shop.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

The road to vegan is paved with good intentions

Nothing to say for myself, really; just wanted to show off my beast-friendly cupcakes (praise be to the felicitous aminglement of No Egg, Nuttelex, sugar, vanilla, flour, baking soda, cocoa, rice milk, dark choc chips, alfoil patty pans and heat). Also, my two-tiered cake stand, lovingly bequeathed by sister the eldest.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Through a class darkly

One of my comrades wagged work today, and in the course of filling in for her in classrooms new, I had an alarming encounter with a mirrored wall. The Academie de La Trobiata names its edifices after disciplines (I, for instance, work in the Humanities 2 Building, where the humanities are a whole integer more humane than in the Humanities 1 Building). This mirrored wall was in a room on the bottom floor of the Social Sciences Building, and I was sore taxed to describe the role of a mirrored wall in teaching a young scholar how to graph her relative Gramscosity.

Meanwhile, there I was trying to impart oysters of wisdom to a group of students who wanted to know where I'd hidden their real teacher, and every time I adjusted my knickers or scratched an armpit (my own, please note), a mirror me up the back of the room stared self-consciously back.

Here's where my moment of glory happens. I said - oh my! this was funny! - I said, "So, how about we try a reflective exercise?"

At least I knew that I was hilarious. Sir Edmund Hilarious.* The mirrored wall redeemed itself in an instant.

I'm præternaturally sensitive to interior decor these days, what with my impending baronetcy and all, so I did think quite seriously about this mirrored wall business. Concerned parties will be pleased to know that between mirrors and the wallpaper of my heart, the wallpaper of my heart is still winning.

Here, by the by, is a portrait of the wallpaper of my heart.

It's designed by Florence Broadhurst, whose artistic progeny resides here. It costs a ka-squillion dollars, but it's worth it just to be able to ask unsuspecting young acquaintances whether they'd like to pop up and take a gander at my Florence Broadhurst.

* In the four hours since typing the words "Sir Edmund Hilarious", I've thought better of them, several times. They're staying, though, as a public homage to those who hear me say things like this on a regular basis and continue to feed me. You know who you are.

Monday, 7 April 2008

The Hunt for Pink Toilet

I have just donned my jodhpurs and rinsed the Ribena out of my hipflask, because if one is to go hunting the Holy Loo o'er hill and website, one wants to have all the right accessories. I think it's the lack of jodhpurs that's been working against me so far (only rigorous scientific experiments will tell, of course).

Up to this point, in the absence of jodhpurs, I've unearthed several designer toilet lids illustrated with dolphins, one pink toilet here (but its exit-shute goes straight down rather than curving off to the right as per my plumbing), and any number of bog-ordinary white numbers.

Also, I have tentatively decided that whoever decided to call their dunny-design company Fowler may not have thought the matter through thoroughly.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Terry Beagleton

There's a cunning device attached to this website that notifies me of the briars and snags of world-wide-webitude o'er which intrepid internetians have lept their way hither. This enables me to distill elaborate statistical conclusions. For instance, at least half the people who read this blog appear to do so because they've typed chastity pants into Google. Winner of today's Lexicon Harlot Memorial Prize for Excellence in Googling One's Way to Glory goes to whoever googled Terry Eagleton is my underpants and clicked on the first site that came up.

[Special condition: conferral of your chocolate frog depends on documentary proof that Terry Eagleton is indeed your underpants.]

Wherein Baron von Harlot takes umbrage at several of the nation's sacred pastimes

In an effort to stop obsessing about the pink toilet scarcity, I pootled along to a pub trivia competition last night. If you heard, from the tippy-top of your turret in Ontario, the heart-rending strains of a bespectacled baron wailing in the wilderness, it was me, at the most heinous excuse for a pub trivia competition of all time. The questions went something like this:

1. How much does Wayne Carey weigh?

2. Who manages the North Melbourne Fooball Team?

3. What is Wayne Carey's wife's name?

4. Which is better, Essendon Fooball Team or Collingwood Fooball Team?

5. [Insert question about the Antipodean Fooball League.]

6. [Insert question about Wayne Carey.]

7. [Et cetera. Ad infinitum. Ad nauseam.]

I s'pose the 'Bourne can't be all trams and skittles, but really, is it necessary to invoke the term "trivia" so very literally? Whatever happened to the sort of trivia a Victorianist bagpiper with entomological interests could excel in? Y'know, questions like "What is the Latin name for the cat flea?", "How many syllables in 'Charles Dickens'?", "Were there any pink toilets listed on ebay today?".*

* Have just realised I don't know how to punctuate this sentence. Corrections and suggestions will be respectfully filed for future acts of pedantry.