Thursday, December 18, 2008

I call paedophilia on Twilight

Since Twilight seems to be the movie of the moment, I'll jump right in. For those who've never heard of it, a quick plot summary: teenage girl goes to new school, falls in love with hot vampire guy, smouldering and sexual restraint ensue. They're in high school love, they protect each other. Cute. Andy Pants begs to differ, but I believe there is a more pressing concern yet to be addressed.

As mentioned above, the girl is a teenager, seventeen. The guy she falls in love with is also seventeen. At least, he looks seventeen. But about half-way through he explains that he was actually 'made' a vampire in 1918 when he was really seventeen. He's more than 80 years old.
And lusting after a 17 year old girl.
And everyone is okay with this??

Surely, even after decades of attending school with school children, he would have gathered enough experience to know that romantic involvement with children is not on.
But no. Everyone is flocking to the movie and simpering over Captain Hotness.
Franzy no like.
Bad medicine.

GTH - Many points. Moify for coming out of the Enya closet (if you could get back in and lock the door, that'd be greeeaat), Shippy for Rick Price, River - not for the classic music, but for extolling her son's many many talents and Kath for sticking by ABBA.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blip blip beep boop

I've got a Xmas party to help cater, I start a new job in less than a week, I have two book reviews for good grown-up books to write, one of which I haven't read yet, I'm supposed to cook tea, care for my wiff and edit my book but all I want to do is listen to Daft Punk's Alive over and over and over again.
I haven't been obsessed with an album since ... hmm ... Tool's 10,000 Days, which I had to listen to about a dozen times on and off before I found myself waking up at night with strange guitar riffs grinding down my cerebellum. Alive is an instant classic. I am absolutely smitten. I just sit here with my ridiculously large headphones clamped to my noggin, bopping my head, tapping my feet, missing phone calls, ignoring family members, waving my arms in the air like I've got two handfuls of glowsticks, a tummy full of ecstasy and a calendar set permanently to 1999. Aw Yeah. I robot dance while washing up. I actually sat Mele down, of all people, put the headphones on her head and tried to get her to nod her head in blissful appreciation of what is essentially the sound of twelve million mobile phone rings played simultaneously through really loud speakers. To her credit, she was very polite about it.

What was your latest music obsession? Not crush - I'm talking lust, people. Points go to most embarrassing story and/or worst taste in music. Bear in mind this will judged by a man whose musical taste reaches its pinnacle at Daft Punk and Underworld, a man to whom novelty songs are equal to songs whose lyrics do not contain punchlines, a man to whom lyrics have no meaning.


Many kind thanks to Myninja, Kath, LC, 327, Moify, Captain T and Tess for uniting the blogging world with the real and coming along to hear Mele and I read at Wordfire last night. For all those bloggers who are also large fans of Kath and Myninja's work, I can reveal that in person they are both devilishly handsome individuals and having them in the audience was as gratifying as it was daunting.

Photos pending spousal consultation.

Points go to River for giving me the giggles with her wonderful Hydrantophiliac vignette. Honourable mention to the often silent, but always correct Will for being so amazingly spot-on with his art identification.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mountin' Wimin

Flicked on SBS last night and watched a documentary called "Landmark Sex: Married to the Eiffel Tower" about women who fall in love with objects. Not as in "I love these shoes I got in Melbourne!" but as in "I love my archery bow, I have been in a relationship with him for six years, I have sex with him".
Like you, I had a lot of trouble getting my head around this. Firstly, there was understanding the fact that this wasn't a mockumentary. These were real women. Their most common object of love and desire were buildings. Structures. Bridges, walls, skyscrapers, that kind of thing. They love them. Romantic, sexual, committed love. The desire and passion with which these ladies talked about the Empire State Building, the Berlin Wall and various bridges around the world was identical to that fervor with which young lovers discuss their new paramours.
One lady in particular had fallen in love with a fairground ride called '1001 Nacht'. She went to visit him in the off-season where he was parked in a holding yard and wrapped in a tarp. After embracing various girders around the place, whispering odes of devotion and getting extremely red and bothered gripping the guard rail, she lay underneath 1001 Nacht and slowly, blissfully smeared her face with the thick grease from his joints. When it was time to leave she sobbed like a child being torn away
from its favourite plaything. She was covered in grease. This was the same lady who was asked to move along by a security guard after an extremely long and sensuous embrace with the Empire State Building.
Another woman couldn't help mounting just about every picket fence she saw. She even had a few favourite picket fences in her room. Just short ones, a few pailings long which she would take to bed. And stroke.
I wish I had the imaginative capacity to make this shit up, but sadly, I fall short of the mark there. This was a real documentary. About real people.

This picture is of one of the Objectum Sexuals (as they prefer to be called) during the aptly-named climax to the documentary showing her consumating her relationship with the Eiffel Tower one year after their marriage.
She legally married the Eiffel Tower.
And yes.
Yes she hitched her skirts up and mounted a frickin girder on the frickin Eiffel Tower, vag to steel.
I am still not making anything up. I merely took very very close notice of exactly which girder so that whenever I return to The Eiffel Tower, I can say to loved ones "No! Not that girder. Let's get a photo over here instead. In fact, why not Italy instead?"
Or, if I'm there with Captain T, "Hey man, sit right there, I want to take a photo. No, in fact, how about giving the old Tower a kiss eh? It'll be hilarious!"

We were telling 327 and Jimmythins about this documentary tonight and conversation fell, as it does, to fetishes. What were the weirdest kind of fetishes we could think up? (Reader points for weirdest fetish, real or not).
Stobie pole fetish.
Wheelie bin fetish.
Council traffic light fetish.
Can you tell we were walking home at the time?
Brussel sprout fetish: "OOhh! So stinky!"
A fetish for being wrapped in toilet paper.
A fetish for being praised for neat handwriting:
"What do you think of this note that I wrote?"
"Very nice."
"Ooh. Do you like my enlongated loops on the lower-case gs?"
"Pretty good."
"Thank you."
I am proud to announce that I think I've come up with what might be either the weirdest fetish or cleverest prank to bring to a new workplace: a fetish for being ignored. But you tell people about it, be really upfront.
"Hi, how you going? Hey listen man, this might sound a bit weird, but I've kind of got this ... "thing" ... for being ignored. So if you don't always hear what I'm saying first time because I mumble or whatever, don't worry about it too much."
"Mmm. That's it. Just. Like. That."
And then just walk away and spend the rest of your time quietly
sidling into the back of rooms, looking extremely satisfied until someone notices you, then lose interest and leave. Or just mutter a lot in the next room so that it sounds like you're always asking a question.
"..Mntleyh wondrf thtitle thngexist?"
"Uuuuuuuuuhhh yyyyyyyessssss."
"Did you say something?"
"Hm? No, nothing. Don't mind me. Yeah. Seeya later. That's right, just like that, hhhhhhhhoolllyy sshhhhhhittyeah .... "

Tell me that's not hilarious. Picture the looks on your co-workers' faces when you enter a room:
they'll be thinking. It's that fucking guy who gets his jollies from being ignored! "HEEEEYYY!!! Franzy!! Hey man! What's been happening? Tell me about your day! Hey everybody! It's Franzy!"
"Oh! Franzy! Hi! Let me get you a coffee! No no! Stay right there! I'll get it!"
Even better would be when you were actually able to stand behind someone and ask a question in a really, really low voice for a while, and then they finally turn around and notice you.
"AH! How long have you been standing there?"
"Aaaaaaaaaaages ... you didn't ... even .... hear me .... ooooooooooooo ..."

GTH - ZING! Point to Ashleigh. The band was there to symbolise the best "I got a job" song of all time: One Bourban, One Scotch, One Beer as played by George Thoroughgood. Which is actually all about George avoiding his bitch of a landlady and blowing all of his cash on booze instead of on the rent he owes her, which he is able to do by telling her that he has a job.
I actually have a job, but I did sing the verse as transcribed for about 48 hours straight after The Phonecall.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

She said "Yeah?" I said "Aw Yeah."

I godda jawb.
Ahm gonna payda reynt.

An then she wuz so nais!

Lawd she wa' lubbydubby.

The sound of my phone ringing has always made me apprehensive. I hate to be the one without the info. I hate it when the tingle goes up and it could change your life. The wait after a job interview is in the top ten worst times for a phone to ring. At least when you get the little white letter, you know what's up before you answer the call.
But when the phone rin
gs it could go either way.
Or it
could also be a telemarketer. Especially at 5:15pm on a Wednesday.

"Hello, Franzy speaking."
"Hello Franzy, it's Mr Employer here. How are you?"
"I'm well." (gather strength, take deep breath). "How are you?"
"I'm fine, thank you. Would you like the good news, or the bad news?"
(Cover mouthpiece to muffle audible groan. Fail to muffle audible groan). "Uhmn. Gimme the bad news."

"The bad news is, my friend ... that you have the job."
(Access mental replay. Confirm information. Thrust fist in air). "What? That's great! Fantastic! Thank you!"
"No problem."
t's the good news?"
"The good news is ... that you have the job! Aha!"

So, yes. The transformation is complete. We have moved back from Queensland and I am now employed at somewhere far less useless and more productive than The Coffee Club on Bribie Island. Now I'm drinking the coffee, motherfuckers!

Well - not quite. I start in January. And I'm apparently working for quite a prankster.
Thanks to Shippy for the job-search help. Points for you, buddy.


Everyone who was madly searching for The Mysterious Seven Story Structures can take a clue from a wonderful series I recently read called Action Philosophers! Joseph Campbell did many interesting things, but one of them was to ana
lyse stories and myths from a lot of cultures and came up with A Definitive Story Structure, otherwise known as The Hero's Journey. I have scanned it in with complete disregard for copyright below, but please, click the image and have a good look.

That should settle a few arguments.
Or start them.

Update - Ryan Dunlavey, Illustrator of Action Philosophers! has somehow found me! And directed me towards the real deal full colour Hero's Journey poster available for just US$3 (plus postage) (which makes it about $AUS4,507) from the Action Philosopher's website (please click on the image above). I urge everyone to either buy a poster or get their hands on Action Philosophers!

Far be it from me to heap scorn upon my learned brothers and sisters but mostly brothers in the sciences, but these two news items couldn't have popped into my reader with finer congruity or better timing.
The first "From nerd to word: maths geeks reclaim their cool" is about a new campaign by the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers to boost the previously "dorky" image of maths. They are attempting to sell the many exciting and lucrative careers options offered by maths.

"It's all to do with imagination," says mathematical stand-up Simon Pampena.
"Most people if you say, `What attracts you to maths?', they wouldn't say, `Imagination'.
"It's usually what repels you from maths and they'd say `Because it's not cool, I'm not going to get a girlfriend doing maths'."

Which brings us neatly to news item number two:
"Male science students uni's most likely virgins: study"

Apparently maths can teach you many things, but good timing isn't one of them.

Enthusiasm for last week's movie clippette was so dramatically blunt that I have decided to take my revenge upon you readers who refused to inundate me with copy about your memorable movie moments so that I could rest upon my laurels.
What would you call the scariest movie you've ever seen?
The Grudge?
War of the Worlds?
The Ring?
The Omen?
The Sixth Sense?
Scary Movie?

Nuh-uh. Be prepared for a new champion. It is only three and a half minutes long, but trust me on this: you will be curled up in horror as you watch. Many of you may not even make it through. Some of you may actually throw up.
It's safe for work and there's no gore. Just an ill feeling about your entire existence.
Think I'm joking? There's no punchline.
Just watch The World's Scariest Movie.


GTH - Points to Kath for the mental image of me busting a shit capoeira-style over a rural French toilet. Or 'toilette'.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I just want to contort with my shirt on

The wonderful thing about being unemployed and looking for a job is ... um ... well ... nothing, actually. It sucks Major Dogs Balls. It does lead to interesting little adventures though.
Last week my friend, Captain T the acrobat called and asked if I could still touch my feet to my head.
'Of course,' I said. 'I haven't done it for a few years, but you never lose that kind of talent as you get older, right?'
'Right,' he said sceptically. 'Anyway, shall I pass your details on to this woman? She's a casting agent.'

An hour later Angie was explaining to me that she needed a male aged around twenty-five who could touch their feet over their head for an ad. Suffice it to say that I had given it a few wobbly goes between the first phone call and the second and confirmed that I could.
'What do you look like?'
I challenge anyone to come up with a straight answer to that question. My first thought was 'Like Seth Green, but without the evil dad'. I didn't say that, of course, and ended up sending a photo. Two photos, actually. A blurry, ten year old one of me doing The Trick with my face in silhouette, and a professional shot of me from quite far away, on my wedding day, from the waist up, to convince her of my low visible-growth count. Above the waist.

So today I found myself at something called a 'casting call'. This has a similar ring to 'cattle call' for a good reason. I gave my name to the lady behind the counter and she ticked me off as 'acrobat'. The next person was ticked off as 'yoga'. Then three more were auditioning for the role of 'bloke'.
We all sat in a small holding office with the table they used in the hit Aussie film, Breaker Morant. According to the plaque on the side. I hadn't actually considered the possibility of other people being able to put their feet on their head until the two men who'd had themselves ticked off as 'yoga' began doing all sorts of strange things: removing their shoes, warming up their tendons and even
stretching. I had been busily chatting to a Cambodian woman who had been approached in a mall by one of the agents to be told she had The Look. Turns out that sometimes it's not just the world's worst pick-up line. The first yoga man to be let in soon returned from behind The Door, looking a little perplexed.
'They want a really good backbend,' he answered after we grilled him about how many casting couches we would have to dodge. We remaining two flexible gents smiled politely at each other and quietly but casually whizzed through all 48 possible back stretches, while maintaining the casual air of the seasoned performer. This is difficult to do cramped into a casting office wearing a sweaty Bonds t-shirt I'd chosen because it was the only t-shirt I had left that hadn't done that frilly skirt thing at the bottom that all tight cotton t-shirts eventually do.
Then it was my turn. Angie lead me through a couple of doors and stood me in front of a grey wall on some grey carpet. None of that music video, curved white backdrop today, mate.
'Sorry about the sweat-stains,' I said, indicating the large Jesus-shaped patch in the middle of my chest. 'I kept my warm-up jacket on until the last minute, to keep my shoulders warm.' I had hoped to impress them with my organisation and OH&S savvy. It seemed to impress them, but mostly of my sweatiness.
'That's fine,' they all said politely. 'We'll actually get you to take your shirt off, if that's okay.'
Like I said, unemployment does lead to some wonderful adventures. Or interesting adventures. I can't remember what I said. Point is: there I was in my daggy old soccer shorts in a windowless room with a bunch of smiling strangers wondering which one of them was going to ask me about my waxing habits first.
I shouldn't have worried. I did The Trick. I lay on the floor and did it a different way. I discovered that I can no longer hook both feet over my head from the front. Almost. But not quite. Not with dignity, at any rate.
Then they got me to sit in a chair (still with the shirt off, for some reason) and look like I'd just come back from the gym.
I sat in the chair. 'I feel awesome!' I shouted. 'Pumped! Not sore at all!'
'Sadder,' they said. 'More contemplative.'
I thought about sad things. I contemplated them.
'Do you drink beer?' one of them asked.
'What do you reckon?' I waved my wavy gut at them by way of reply. That went down well.
'Okay, that's great, thank you very much,' they said. 'If we could just get you to stand there, look into the camera and tell us your name and age.'
'Next to this sign with my name written on it?'
I didn't do my cute little trick of pointing out that
introducing myself while standing next to a sign with my name on it was redundant. Instead I did the world's worst Robert De Niro impression. That went down a real treat too. Maybe because I still had my shirt off.

GTH - A point to River for keeping it clean, and a point to Shippy for growing a stunning Chop Chop Mo and for turning up to cricket. It would have been two points for coming to the cricket, but I'm going to take the second one away and give it to River to teach you not to slog my bowling over the fence.

An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32