August 28th, 2008


What he said!

OMG! Was reading douglascohen's post yesterday about synopses of short stories and was totally agreeing with him. And then? What do I get this morning? A fricking synopsis of the short story I am about to read in the core, and in fact first sentence, of the cover email.

Yes douglascohen talks on behalf of me when he goes off about the lack of necessity and in fact lack of desire for a synopsis for a really short story. And in fact, if I think about it, I am yet to come across one case where the synopsis sold the story to me or even piqued my interest in reading the attachment.

I too try to avoid reading them, except of course like this one where it's the frigging first sentence.

So yeah ... I'd suggest spending the time elsewhere.

The day I drank Moonshine

So I *finally* made it into benpeek's Nowhere Near Savannah but in the outtakes section! Truthfully, I was looking forward to him telling the story but it was far funnier than he makes it out to be.

Basically, it seems right that the first time I ever drank moonshine was with benpeek. Thre's some kind of poetic symmetry about it. Or something. The idea was that I would break up the long haul to NYC by stopping over in Sydney, crashing at his place and he would drop me at the airport, after a lovely rest, and I would meet up with catsparx and Rob for the rest of the journey. What was I thinking?

Ben of course talked me into staying up the whole night so that I would be *really* tired the next day and thus sleep on the plane. No! I don't sleep well in public (apart from that time I fell asleep in that nightclub but that was different). And I don't sleep well when I am overtired. What was I thinking?!

So instead of refreshing and sleeping, I found myself wandering around Coles at midnight with Cas and Ben shopping for apple pie and milk after having a very unique tour of the Western Suburbs. And then stopping off at Cas' to pick up this mysterious alcoholic drink. Which for some reason, Cas' girlfriend's grandmother would bring home for her "duty free" yet always in its own crystal decanter. *I* am naive and wouldn't think that was at all odd.

Ben of course is ever the skeptic. And as he pours us out a shot glass each of this stuff that kinda smells like peaches but wayyyyyyyy more toxic he says: Man, this is moonshine. For some reason, I always pictured moonshine would come in a barrel rather than a decanter but ... what would I know about the world anyway? I wasn't going to drink it - not at the start of a 5 week trip that I decided not to get insurance cover for Crohn's Disease for it. But come on! How many times in your life to you get to drink what could be moonshine with Ben Peek?

So ... I did the shot. And um ... yes indeed. That was moonshine. Burned all the way down my throat to my stomach and brought a tear to my eye. Strong doesn't remotely cut it. And then Ben offers another?!

The best bit was catching up with them again on the train at Penn Station and finding out that it was indeed moonshine! Course the bit that sucked was overestimating how early I needed to be at the airport and sitting for about two hours and not falling asleep waiting for Cat and Rob to get there. And then being wayyyyyy overtired. Not sleeping at all for the rest of the flights. Getting cranky with security staff at LAX and decided to take out a hit on Osama Bin Laden and then finally getting to our hotel in NYC, dumping our stuff and heading straight out to Scott and Justine's party before the con. I don't think I sleep for something like 40 hours or more. And I never recovered from jet lag for the full 5 weeks - and I never ever get jet lag - and I still blame Ben.



I've had one of those days where things just keep getting in the way of productivity.

But ... am definitely going to have an Election Night Party at my house. So rock up from the polling booth or maybe anytime after 5pm. Email me for the address if you don't know it. And I'm thinking I will supply TV tuned to the preferred election coverage, nibblies and soft drinks. Bring appropriate mellowing liquids if you fear the result will be upsetting to your mental wellbeing. And maybe I will do homemade pizzas???? All comments will be considered.

Please RSVP by next Thursday for catering purposes.


I wish it would just rain already.

Last night I had another bizarre dream. I dreamed I was at the Olympics and I was at a venue watching a very odd sport - it was sort of a cross between handball (in terms of what the court looked like) and well curling, except the teams were made up of about 10 women per side and they each had brooms and they were SWEEPING. Yes, the sport was something about being really good at floor sweeping.

Y es I was outraged at the time in the dream. Now I am thinking ... night before last I was out on a limb and last night I was watching the floor be swept clean as a team sport. And ... I really am not eating *anything* before bed and just having herbal tea. This is *my* brain on nothing... at all. Should bring back the drugs, maybe?

News item of the day


A Palestinian couple locked their disabled son and daughter in two stinking, urine-stained rooms for four decades out of fear they would ruin the marriage prospects of a healthy child if discovered, police said.

The case has highlighted the shame felt by families who have children with disabilities in Palestinian society - made worse because of poor services and the practice of first-cousin marriages in Arab communities.

"This is sad, shameful and awful," said Imad Abumohr, a disabled rights activist.

Few people in the rural town of Beit Awwa knew of 38-year-old Basam Musalmeh and his sister Nawal, 42. They were kept since they were children in two dank, crumbling concrete rooms that stank of sweat and urine behind their family's house.

Police found the siblings during a raid late last night, searching for Hamas loyalists and criminals in the village, said an official who asked not to be identified because the Palestinian Authority publicly denies it cracks down on the militant group.


"I'm sure there are other cases of hidden people in the rural areas," Abumohr said.

The siblings' father, Ibrahim Musalmeh, married his first cousin decades ago and had eight children - five disabled children who died in childhood, Nawal and Bassam, and another son, who has since married.

Arab communities often favour marriages between first cousins as a way of keeping inheritances within the family. It is not considered incest, and there is little awareness that marriage between close relatives increases the chances of having children with disabilities.

The siblings' uncle, Mohammed, said the family kept them hidden away to avoid bringing shame on the family. Many Arabs stigmatise disabled children and refuse to marry their siblings, fearing they, too, will bear children with disabilities.

Okay. So for me there were two really interesting points in this article. Firstly the bit where the Palestinian Authority publicly denies cracking down on militants but quite clearly is doing so. That's really really interesting to me - and kind of uplifting.

The second is the idea that ... you don't associate marrying your first cousin with disabled children yet will be put off marrying a sibling of a disabled child for fear of producing disabled children - which, let's be honest if inbreeding results in the first, it will likely be an issue in the second.

Food for thought, I guess. On both counts.

(no subject)

You know how people say that loved ones never die they just go on to exist inside you ... or some other kind of corny line? Today I had this moment where I had to stop and go, "that is completely my grandmother coming out of my mouth."

I'm ready for pilates class and it's 11.55 and the others who I go to the class with haven't come past my office yet. And I'm all antsy and I turn to J in my office and say, "I don't know where they are, I'll have to go and find them ... I like to be in a particular *row*." And then I had to stop and laugh cause that is utterly ridiculous, who cares what row you are in but that is completely something my grandmother would have said. And it was kinda nice to stop for a minute, and laugh, see her in me and remember her for a minute.

And then? We were late and couldn't get our row and there we are up the front and I'm grumpy about it, which A thinks is hilarious, and then the *instructor* says, "aren't you guys normally in the back row?" Um yes? Hello! Grr.. and then even *she* noticed my hair colour change and commented, like everyone else, how great it looks. Guess I'll stick with being a dark chocolate brunette for a while then.


I sat down 3 hours ago to get a bunch of work done and I have done none of it! Admittedly, I'd totally forgotten the Art Auction finished tonight 7pm Perth time - I know, I should read my own blog some time! Anyway, today has been a day of crazy where no matter how hard I tried to get my list of things done, I kept getting spanners thrown in the works.

Still ... somehow, despite all of that, Shiny Issue 4 kinda got itself to almost ready to go out into the world. Weird.

And I stood in front of my whiteboard to look at what I set myself to get done, and it was totally different to what I thought was there. Doh!

Gonna choof off to bed and hope for a more directed day tomorrow.