Republic of Moreland

March 9, 2008

Headline in here thanks ta

Filed under: books & writing,nonsense — Kath @ 9:04 pm

Moreland Leader’s savvy-sub-editors working overtime.

But if you want to witness the nadir of suburban newspaper reportage, read Helen’s post here.

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October 22, 2007

“Like the guy in that ad with the microwave”

Filed under: books & writing,nonsense — Kath @ 6:27 pm

This semester I started teaching first-year writing students at a university rated at the very bottom in the Best Universities Guide. It’s located in Zone 3 — or what was until recently, when Zone 2’s girth expanded. Most of the students are from suburbs listed on the bottom rung in the real estate valuation pages (those suburbs topping the unemployment charts); many are first-generation Australians; many are the first in their families to go to university. I’m guessing they wouldn’t think to describe themselves as I’ve just done, and sometimes I feel like an impostor.

I love my students — I really do. As a colleague said, they don’t have tickets on themselves.

Sometimes I find myself teaching them tenets of good writing I’m yet to learn myself. One class exercise was to minimise adjectives and let our verbs do the hard work (I wish!). Each of us had to write a passage describing someone in the room, and then read it to the class.

Knowing that adjectives would indeed flow, I became anxious as students started scribbling. Polite restraint isn’t characteristic of my class, and I was fearful of the offensive descriptions that might ensue: of flesh billowing out of too-tight jeans; of try-hard piercings; of swampy complexion, fussy synthetic track pants, prim hijabs, a smile that goes down instead of up, nicotine fingertips, overstated bling, service-station sunglasses, solariumed cleavage, lank hair.

The adjectives did pour out, but not as I’d second-guessed, with my Zone 1 prejudices. A scarf was described as knotted noose-like around the wearer’s neck. (The wearer chortled.) A woman was described in purple prose (by the lank-haired lad) as having hair that cascaded mermaid-like on to the pleasing tension of her t-shirt. (I swallowed and looked at the woman, who grinned, unblushing.) Another woman named every shade of grey in a headscarf: dove-grey, rain-grey, corporate-grey. Someone was “like the guy in that ad with the microwave…”

I love my classes: they are so intimate. Semester is almost over, and I’m sad.

June 20, 2007

The perils of multiculturalism 2

Filed under: Brunswick,food,Lygon Street,mischief,nonsense — Faithh @ 10:16 am

A while ago I walked into the little Italian pasta shop on Lygon St, the one where you can buy fresh pastas and sauces they’ve made themselves. While not exactly regulars (we are capable of whipping it up ourselves), we have shopped here before on several ocassions without mishap. The old guy shuffled out into the store and I asked him for some bolognese sauce. He looked slightly bewildered but shuffled out back where he vanished for a very long time. Far longer than usual. When he came back he was holding a dozen eggs! Which he had apparently taken some trouble to put together. They don’t even sell eggs!

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He had been gone so long and I was so flabbergasted and intrigued by this complete miscommunication that I didn’t correct him. I then picked out some cheese and spinach ravioli from the freezer and asked again for bolognese sauce. He shuffled out back and quickly re-appeared with bolognese sauce. I went home with ravioli, bolognese sauce and a dozen eggs.

Something similar happenned to me once before living in an area very similar in many ways to Brunswick, just one of the quirkier joys of multiculturalism. Has any one else had similar experiences? Would you have tried to explain you didn’t want the eggs? And if so how? Strange theatresport moments as you try to act out ‘egg’ in the negative? My gut instinct has generally been if I stuffed up such a simple message then maybe it’s best to leave it.

June 4, 2007

Passive-aggressive notes

Filed under: art,books & writing,nonsense — Kath @ 12:27 pm

This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Moreland, but I just couldn’t resist. I don’t normally take much notice of WordPress’s most popular site list, but over the last week a blog called Passive-aggressive notes from roommates, neighbors, co-workers and strangers has topped the list. This site rivals Brunswick’s Mrs Washalot blog for originality. It’s hilarious: take a look.

April 23, 2007

Midnight mayhem in Moreland

Two nights ago I awoke to the sound of screaming.

No, I didn’t copy that from my grade 4 creative writing “opening lines” exercise. I actually did awake to the sound of screaming.

It was coming from my back yard. Out of sleep’s fug, it dawned on me that the alarming sounds were coming from the chook pen. I grabbed the torch and raced outside to hear the delicate tinkle of a cat-collar bell. My chickens were all out of the coop, clearly agitated.

I didn’t see the cat, but yesterday a tabby, wearing said bell, was casing the joint. I threw stones at it, as one does. But it kept returning all day, eventually terrorising the baby chooks. In broad daylight!

Despite my stone-throwing, word of larks at Number xx got around, and before long a tortoise-shell cat was stalking the back yard, And then you, spooky.

My chicken-coop, being of open plan (Eames era) design, is a drop-in facility for all class of creature. It’s not maximum security, but it looks like I’ll have to work on upgrading it today.

Unless anyone has suggestions as to how to keep them there kitties away. I’ve heard of pepper to deter dogs: is there any non-structural deterrent for cats?

February 4, 2007

Protected: Why I lie to market researchers (and how you, too, can earn money messing with their heads)

Filed under: mischief,nonsense,politics — Kath @ 12:10 pm

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January 18, 2007

Species unique to Moreland

Filed under: art,nonsense — leonaaardo @ 6:06 pm

Waterbird
Waterbird (more…)

January 15, 2007

Can’t have it both ways

Behold the cup and saucer, from St Vinnies, nine bucks. (more…)

January 6, 2007

Cosmic Carpark

Filed under: art,Brunswick,nonsense — leonaaardo @ 4:40 pm

Supernova
Supernova

An empty parking lot in Brunswick. I’m crossing it, heading back to the studio, having just been caught in a sudden downpour, a rare thing in these post Al Gore times. Suddenly I notice something in front of me. There on the wet asphalt a kind of infinite cosmos is unfolding… (more…)

December 24, 2006

Skywalkers

Filed under: art,Brunswick,nonsense,North Fitzroy,rooftops — Kath @ 9:45 pm

This post comes from the lovely emilie zoey baker.
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December 22, 2006

Open for business

Sydney roadWELCOME TO Republic of Moreland. I did pen a tagline under its masthead but, for reasons unknown, WordPress refused to publish it. I thought about using Almost Pretty, the title of a history of Sydney Road, which, incidentally, is the longest continuous retail strip in the Southern Hemisphere, or so a prominent local real estate auctioneer is very fond of shouting. (If you’re lucky enough to covet property, you know who I’m talking about. He with the year-round suntan.) It’s an impressive fact, until you think about the other cities in the Southern Hemisphere. Anyway, suggestions for the tagline, and how to get it up there, will be warmly received. (more…)

Santa has come to town

Filed under: nonsense — Kath @ 12:19 am

Yes it’s obvious, but a survey of Christmas kitsch seems apposite in Coburg. I’ll add more as (walking) time permits.

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