Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What a twit

Me, that is.

As part of my Advanced Procrastination Program, I have set up a Twitter account. I don't really know who or what it is; other than I appreciate, very much, that it's another site for me to do things at/on/with instead of doing what I should be doing here at the computer.

I don't even know exactly what to refer to it/me as; do I say I'm @kettleschmettle? Does that sound right (to the under-35s)?

Anyway, what or wherever @kettleschmettle is, I'm there so get yourself a Twitter thing and come @ with me in Twitterspace.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Exercise can't be that good for you, can it?

I hurt my back last week being foolhardy. Dear Mr Kettle had to take several days off work to look after things on the home-front (while I lay on the couch pointing and decreeing things, like "There, man, the boy needs a sandwich!" and "I need a vanilla Drumstick - quick quick!").

Now that I am on the mend I'm wondering whether perhaps I should take better care of myself and, heavens, maybe even give exercise a go?

I've heard about exercise. In fact, I think we even have an exercise bike? It's just that I can't tell where the clothes racks end and the exercise bike begins.

On the plus side, I do actually have a pair of sneakers now. They're so clean and white it's like they've never been worn, which makes sense because they haven't ever actually been worn.

Don't get me wrong; I love sport. I thoroughly enjoy watching the Iron Man series on telly, and I've even been to the Australian Open (where I athletically lugged the picnic basket around all day).

It's just that actually doing exercise seems like such hard work, and what with my bad back and all, I don't know, it seems better not to risk it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Series, seriously

Do you ever have those moments when you realise you've changed but you can't remember the change actually occurring?

Example: I used to giggle like an idiot whenever I heard mention of the delightful but hilariously named North American titmouse; now I find I am able to speak sedately (sometimes indeed morosely) about the respectful and respected Parus inornatus. When did such a fundamental change take place? I don't know; what I do know is that I used to be young and silly and now I am, well, old.

As I may have mentioned (or possibly droned on about), I turned 35 last week. On this otherwise happy occasion, a dear friend sadistically informed me that 35 is in fact the opening bracket of middle-aged. And so I find myself, newly early-middle-aged, suddenly aware that another change has taken place.

And that change is thus:

I used to hate series of books (same as the army: you're stuck against your will until the bitter, bitter end) but last night, settling down to read Peter Carey's Jack Maggs, I caught myself thinking "Deary me, I'm really not sure I'm up to meeting a whole new cast of characters; can't they all just stay the same as my last book? I mean, really?"

Then it struck me: if I was reading a series I wouldn't have to get to know anyone new! It would all be the same as the last book, with just a few details changed here and there.

'Marvelous!' I thought, in my newly minted, closed minded, middle-agedness, 'Never need I trouble the waters of my stagnating mind again!'

I quickly abandoned Jack Maggs and retired to the couch to dream about my ideal banana chair, safe in the knowledge that the last bit of actual thinking I ever need do is find the longest possible series I can. Bliss.

One of the world's greatest banana chairs, which is coincidentally and marvellously, currently available on ebay. I just wish I lived in Narre Warren and could pick it up.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A wrap of the slam

Just back from the poetry slam thingo. It was great; no wait a minute, it was SHIT.

On the plus side, I now have a few answers to my questions from yesterday. If you're considering making your poetry slam audience debut, may I be so bold as to make a suggestion? Don't! Save yourself! A life lived without the experience of poetry-slam-competition-audience-membership is a very good life indeed.

* Are there special audience rules for poetry slams?

Yes, two: No person with perennially pursed lips should go to a poetry slam competition (or anywhere, for that matter), and when contestants ask for a topic to 'freestyle' about, don't yell out 'leeches'.

* Can you heckle?

I don't know if you can heckle at these things, but you should heckle. Bogan poets from Lismore should definitely be heckled.

* Does anyone do 'serious' poems at poetry slam nights? And if so, do they always go down like lead balloons?

My GOD! Serious poems yes. I nearly died from all the serious poems. We even had someone imagining their own funeral, as in: "You wouldn't say the mean things you say to me if you knew I was going to die tomorrow and you'd have to go to my funeral because then you'd be ashamed."


Also, yelling a poem does not make it more profound. It just makes you spittier.

* And finally, what does the winner of a poetry slam competition win, in addition to global public adoration, millions of dollars and a (hybrid) sports car?

Cash, can you believe? I paid $25 for the pleasure of being bored to death, and the organisers paid the contestants sums of money to do the boring. A very efficient system, I suppose.

You know what was more entertaining than the whole poetry slam evening? A sticker on the parcel I got today:

Gold. Absolute gold.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Your thoughts - may I have them?

In my continuing campaign for quantity posting rather than, well, non-quantity posting, tonight I put to you an item I would welcome your learned guidance on:

I am attending my first poetry slam competition on Friday night. I can't wait! There's nothing I like better than a roomful of highly animated poets.

So my questions for you are:

* Are there special audience rules for poetry slams?

* Can you heckle? If so, must it be in blank verse, say, or can it tend more towards the bawdy limerick?

* Does anyone do 'serious' poems at poetry slam nights? And if so, do they always go down like lead balloons?

* And finally, what does the winner of a poetry slam competition win, in addition to global public adoration, millions of dollars and a (hybrid) sports car?

I went to my first theatre sports night last weekend and mercy! I wish I'd thought to prepare for that before the show.

Poetically Challenged, Sydney.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gratuitous family shot

Because why not?

I should explain. We're on the ferry; not watching the apocolypse.

We do look a little 'Terry Gilliam', and unfortunately I've got my 'pleasant face' on. Oh well.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Six things you could be doing on a Monday night instead of the thing you should be doing

1. Finding an envelope and stamp for your entry into the Tyrrell's/delicious magazine competition.

2. Bringing the washing in.

3. Twisting your hair while looking at the ceiling in the right-hand corner of the room for a story idea.

4. Lying across the desk, prostrate-like, after the ceiling in the right-hand corner of the room has refused to give up any of its ideas.

5. Wondering whether exercise bikes can be used for exercise as well as hanging small pieces of hand-washing.

6. Deciding whether the saying 'Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?' has any merit and confirming no, no it doesn't.

7. Miscalculating the number of items a procrastination list needs before you feel justified in going to bed.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hurry up and finish, why don't you?

The chap across the road from us has rebuilt his house. No, he's rebuilding his house; it's not finished yet. He's been rebuilding it for the past 18 months.

I don't think it's overstating the point to say I hate it when people rebuild their houses and that people who rebuild their houses and take 18 months to do so are worse, morally speaking, than Sarah Ferguson.

I remember the day the original house was demolished. It was awesome. There were sledgehammers everywhere. The whole thing was down in about 25 minutes. What I didn't realise, flushed with demolition excitement, was the disproportionate relationship between the pull-down and the put-up. By my best calculations, as of today, the ratio of demolition to remolition is 1:31,104.

Such a ratio augers poorly for said chappy's neighbours, namely freakin' me.

To make matters worse for the slow chappy the people two blocks to the left started a re-build on their place too. It's now almost finished after, ooh I don't know, five weeks. I love the people two blocks to the left; they are my new knock-down/rebuild heroes.

I think, though, I've figured out the slow chappy's problem: while the two-blocks-to-the-left people have been building their house by attaching one bit to another bit, the slow chappy must have started with a single chunk and is carving out his house bit by bit from the inside with a hand-held grinder.

At least that's what I'm sure it must be; he's been grinding away for 18 months now. Bastard.

One banana, two banana... chairs

Just what I'm hoping for this Christmas. Anyone live in Murrumbeena Vic and can pick them up for me?

Far out they're beautiful.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

And a very happy birthday to you too

It's my birthday today. Share it with me?

Part one:

While there are many people who love to get the most out of each and every birthday, I'm probably ok not starting mine at 4:30am.

Thank you, dear son, for gifting me a full two hours more 'awake' time for this year's birthday. Really darling, you're too kind.

Part two:

One of the best bits about rolling onto the anniversary of your birth is that you get to choose 'special birthday food' all day.

Today, for a special birthday early lunch/late over-sized (savoury) morning tea I selected home-made pizza with glasses of milk and Berocca. Why? Because I can, that's why.

On reflection, it wouldn't have killed me to use a slightly larger plate. Oh well, next year.

Parts three through five:
...involve the fish tank at the chemist's, Eastgardens Westfield, rhubarb and polenta.

Suffice it to say they were all very good, and sometimes I worry I'm a partial bogan trapped in a social democrat's body.

Part six:
Dinner and a movie. Still to come...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thirtysomething blogger realises chance of becoming Senator 'slim to non-existent', returns to blogosphere for comfort, companionship

Ah time; where have you gone?

It's been a goodly while between postings, so a hearty thank you to the four dear people who have persisted, like kind parents, checking in each day. If you are not already Australians of the Year, prime ministers or MasterChef finalists you deserve to be.

What has the space of two months brought? Many a goodly thing:

1. I have started a collection of miniature driftwood. This piece is currently my favourite:

Sorry about the blurriness at the centre of the photo; I think my camera has glaucoma?

Anyway, this delightful piece of driftwood is sitting on the kitchen windowsill. I have chosen to present it, in this installation, next to that fine example of twentieth century technology, the 'rubber plug', for scale.

There are other pieces of my miniature driftwood collection rattling around the glove box, and others still in the cupboard under the fish tank. I haven't so much told Mr Kettle about my new collection yet as not told him, but I'm sure when he does finally realise all the shitty bits of wood around the place are *precious* to me he'll be stoked.

2. I have survived my histrionics about having the 'flu.

3. I have partaken of the berry of the mulberry bush (which isn't a euphemism for anything; I actually tried mulberries for the first time).

4. I made it all the way through Wuthering Heights again without wanting to kill myself.

5. I have discovered The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (but not, unfortunately, purchased my own ukulele yet).

6. I have spent a few giddy moments wondering anew why my letterbox is shorter than a standard letter.

7. I have listened to some very, very good music and wondered anew (again) why I bought tickets to see Holly Throsby this Friday night.

8. I decided I wanted to write a libretto for a rock opera then woke up the next morning with a hangover and realised it was just a hideous drunken dream.

9. I have spent innumerable happy hours imagining what the builders responsible for the renovations in the three houses across the street can do with their freakin' sanders and grinders.

10. I have learnt that 'landfall' does not mean the moment your boat or space ships lands on Terra firma (which I have been espousing energetically) but the moment a storm reaches the shore. Who knew? Not me. But now I do.

But I go on. Tell me, what's been happening with you?