Monday, 30 June 2008

Oh where in the world is my world wide web?

Still no internet at Harlot Heights. I languished for the ether all weekend, forced to read things on paper, with no links, and write things on paper, with no links, and see Kung-Fu Panda, down the flicks, with no links. Late yesterday afternoon someone knocked on my door. It was a man selling karate lessons. Faint with lack of html and inspired by the kung-fu panda, I signed up. For karate lessons. Which start tomorrow evening. And so I must go home, where there is no internet, and mend my tracksuit pants so they are bright and shiny for karate lesson numero uno.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Moving behaviour

I know it's been looking pretty quiet round here, but in fact what you've been not witnessing is the ultrasonic rumble of Lexicon Harlot vacating Hôtel Harlot (2 star accommodation for the peregrinating Sydneysider) and moving to Preston Heights (home to the Bourne's northernmost subterranean his-and-hers coordinating public toilets [did I mention?]). I would have notified the public earlier, only the internet won't be reaching Preston Heights until Tuesday. As soon as it does, there will be pictorial evidence, my oh my there will. Yes indeed.

In the meantime, rather than explaining how I managed to flood my bathroom within three hours of moving in on Wednesday morning, let me wax incredulical about the Starbucks logo.

This, citizens, is the Starbucks logo.

Even had I not mentioned that it be* the Starbucks logo, and even had you never seen the Starbucks logo before and/or identified it as the Starbucks logo, you could probably gather, here and now, just by looking at it, that it is, yes, the Starbucks logo. This, thanks to the word "Starbucks". And thanks to the word "Coffee", those of you unaquainted with the pre-frothed lolly-water that Starbucks merchandises will also deduce that Starbucks sells coffee. Thus far, the Starbucks logo is a paragon of relevance. But who, pray, is that sitting there in between the words "Starbucks" and "Coffee"? Is she, as I suspect, a mermaid with two tails, doing the splits, and wearing Sydney Opera House on her head? Or is she - I'm ready to be persuaded - a tousle-haired angler with an upside-down tuna in each hand? Either way, what is the relevance to coffee? Everyone knows coffee doesn't come from the sea. It grows underground.

* I am experimenting with the subjunctive mood. Please be patient.

Monday, 23 June 2008


Today, in unrelated incidents, I stubbed a toe, chipped a toof, and scalped a knee.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

I was flagging but I Preston.

Only three more sleeps til I removal into my strata title bungalow (floorboard installers and removalists willing). My strata title bungalow, as I may have mentioned, is at the further-from-the-city, cheaper and less caffeinated end of Preston, the end which I choose to refer to as "Preston Heights". Today, while waiting for the tram in Preston Heights, I was asked by a couple of locals if I could spare three bucks for a drink. This, in my opinion, is the up-and-coming entrepreneurial spirit of Preston Heights writ small. It's only a matter of time before bold young souls like these turn Preston Heights into the Precinct of Posh it is clearly destined to become.

Preston Heights boasts:

1. Arguably Melbourne's northernmost his-and-hers coordinating subterranean toilets, literally just a stone's throw from my strata title bungalow.

If these do not become the most photographed loos north of the Yarra by 2010, then I am not the infallible prognosticator I think I am.

2. A matrimonial surveillance shopfront! Literally just five minutes' walk from my new strata title bungalow. What better way to save your marriage than have the professional spies of Preston Heights stalk your partner? This, and many other essential services (e.g., custom made screen doors), yours for the buying in Preston Heights!

3. Cad plotting. I'm not sure exactly what these words mean, and this sign was actually in lower Preston, but believe you me, cad plotting is coming soon to Preston Heights.

Three more sleeps. Begorrah.

Thursday, 19 June 2008


A couple of dudes drove past me this afternoon and yodelled "slut" in my general direction. I can only attribute this to the sheaf of library liaison committee papers I was clutching provocatively in my right hand, or possibly my sexay backpack filled to its decolletage with first year essays. Naturally, I was deeply flattered, and added these dudes to this week's list of Way Cool Chaps I Would Like to Have in My John Milton Reading Group. There they join the carpenter who arrived on Monday morning to install my windows, took a gander at my paint job, and cooed, "Who's been a busy little girl then?"

Monday, 16 June 2008

Hemi-Auto-Antonym of the Day

Your essay is outstanding.

So please submit it now.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Premium Investment Opportunity

Typewriter sale, today, 660 Plenty Road, Preston, from 11 a.m. As a merchant banker and investment adviser of international renown, I say sell your teapots now and get into typewriters while you still can.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008


Forget rolling a big rock up an underworld hillock for all eternity. Try reaching 4:30 with more unmarked essays than you had at 9:00 a.m.

(My name is Sisyphus. Sisyphus Harlot. Why are you giving me that funny look?)

If you're not as excited about my flat renovation as I am, do not read on

I just got a phone call from the Alphington Joinery and this is what the Alphington Joiner said, "Alexis, your window frames are ready."

(To fill you in, those of you who missed the preceding chapters to this merry tale: I bought a second-storey spinster pad, cheap as chips [approx. 30,000 kilos of chips, the majority of which technically still belongs to el Banko], and my second-storey spinster pad was benighted with rotten window frames. Rotten in the "if you'd like a toothpick, just peal one off the window" sense of rotten. Also in the "look at the interesting orange fungus previously only sighted in the densest woodlands of Bolivia" sense of rotten. So I got this joiner to swing by and tell me how much for Brand Spanking New Unrotten Window Frames, and he quoted a figure which four years ago was a quarter of my annual income, and I said "Bally ho!" and here we are today.)

The Alphington joiner is going to drop my Brand Spanking etc. round on Thursday arvo and carry them up into my flat, I'll paint them over the weekend, the scaffolding will arrive next week, the Alphington Joiner will install the windows into the wall, the glazier will glaze, and Bob mine uncle shall be. This is excellent. This has made my day (though, of course, thanks must also go to the earth, for its ongoing dedication to rotating in relation to the sun).

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Yessir, marking essays is sewwwwww much fun

My favourite bit is where they confuse "role" and "roll": "Gurov has a vital roll in the story". That would be the one with the poppy seeds and the avocado, no?

What shall we do with the drunken painter?

This morning I turned this (note maroon suede-finish feature wall and 100% free dining setting, now sold on ee-beigh) ...

into this ...

I really wanted Bristol "Dragon" green, just because it was called "Dragon", but this here "Canopy" looked poifect on the paint card, even when pressed against the pinks of the new Harlot mess hall. Now it's up there on the wall I'm getting the cold foots. Would Dragon have been better after all? That's a lot of unrelieved Canopy for one room. I'm wondering whether I should soften it with a floral potato-print in white.

(Also! I ripped up several hundred dollars worth of almost new carpet in a couple of minutes! And there I was thinking that essay marking was fun.)

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The penguin is mightier than the sword

Great hordes of Harlots descended upon Melborneo last weekend, bearing gold, frankincense and birthday cake. And so (yes, birthday cake does this to a Harlot), all twelve of us set off for a night's penguin spotting on the beaches of Phillip Island. The "Phillip" of Phillip Island is a phonetic corruption of "fill up", the mating call of the male rare helmeted V8 racing car driver to his petrol-tank monitor. The rare helmeted V8 racing car driver is, of course, one of the sole remaining strains of indigenous fauna on Phillip (née Fill-up) Island, in turn home to the world's oldest naturally occurring bitumen grand prix racing circuit. Conservationists have been concerned for several years now that the introduction of the highly destructive Little Penguin to the fragile habitat of the rare helmeted V8 racing car driver may jeopardise breeding programs.

Like many a threat to motor racing, the Little Penguin is waddly and nice. I was reminded of the penguin chick I saw in Tasmania several years ago. Her sibling had died, but her parents persisted in fishing and feeding for two. She was a sumo wrestler among penguins, a fine advertisement for your average one child policy.

I try not to complain, but my three siblings and I have suffered unspeakably from overpopulation in the Harlotarium. Not once has either of our parents regurgitated so much as a pre-masticated pilchard into my mouth. It is to this that I attribute my terrible emaciation.

Doctor! Doctor!

I had dinner last night with a lady who has two PhDs. If you ask me, this cheapens the doctoral currency.