28 February, 2006

i canna doo't cap'n! i just dunna have the poower!

It is approaching the height of tedium to talk about the weather. To mention it in a blog post might just hit that zenith of snore-worthy snoozefest. However... warn't that one hum-dinger-doozy of a storm on Saturday?! Hoo-eey!

From inside my humble little dwelling in Munkey Towers, it might have been mistaken for some kind of Old Testatment Wrath-Of-God type deal. Verily the Lord did flood the lands, and fire and brimstone did fall from the sky! Well, at least there was some mindbogglingly heavy rain (and hail! in February!), and some motherfuckering lighting strikes and claps of thunder. In fact the lightning was so close to my flat that you could hear the zapping electric noise of it flying through the air before the deafening crack as it struck whatever-it-struck. One of the things it struck was a power pole just outside my building.

Of course this had dire consequences for my electricity supply. "Oh no!" thought munkey. "My clock has gone out! Gollygoshdang this storm! I'll just sign on to the
Bureau of Meterology Radar online and see when the storm is likely to pass. Oh no! I'm a fool, I'm a damned fool!" Of course (for those readers as absent-minded as me) it's important to remember that in a black-out, nothing works. Well nothing electric, which is practically everything that matters in this day and age. But nothing could prepare me for what was to come...

I decided, since my abode had been zapped back to the Dark Ages, that Oli and I would trundle off to patermunkey's house for good-cheer and electric-goodness. So I packed up my crap to stay the night, bundled myself (through the pouring, teeming, torrentialling rain) and into Oli's safe confines. Ahh here we are in the warm dry car. Safe and sound. Now, to patermunkey's house we go.

I turn Oli's key: *CLICK*! Yes, lovers and dreamers: *CLICK*. No *grumble-grumble-ROAR*. No *rattle-rattle-PURR*. Just *CLICK*.


How could this be?! Has this cataclysmic disturbance in the electrical balance of the universe actually managed to sap the power from poor little Oli's battery?! Has some Buffy-style demon decided to simultaneously remove all power-sources from my life, to enforce a difficult but necessary lesson about embracing the power within? ...Okay okay. Perhaps my battery has been on the way out for a few months now, and perhaps I was in full knowledge of this and procrastinating (as usual) about buying a new one, and perhaps this remarkably inconvenient coincidence is simply fate's CRUEL way of slapping me on the wrist.

Anyway, the RACV man visited me in quicker time than expected - surprising, given the conditions - and I got to patermunkey's house in time to scald my hand with boiling gravy, engage in in-depth discussion with my Aunty-S and Uncle-I, and indulge in drunken phone-calls with a certain lovely boy. So in the end, the storm passed and all was well with the world.


21 February, 2006

chemist chunts

Why do we here in Australia call them chemists anyway? They're not chemists, they're pharmacists. Actually, only the one standing up on the raised platform is really a pharmacist. The rest are just shop assistants. For future reference:

The folk on the left are Chemists. The folk on the right work in a Chemist/Pharmacy.

I ran out of my Meds. This is troublesome. Don't fear, lovers and dreamers, it's not that troublesome. It's not like I'm going to flip off the deep-end and start
behaving like my neighbour just because of 48 hours without my drugs. But, unfortunately, I do experience a withdrawal effect. It's difficult to define or describe. It's this funny, dizzy/disorienting feeling that creeps through my vision and balance. It's not necessarily unpleasant, just a little weird, and leaves me feeling a bit uneasy and uncertain. This, I realise, is why it's necessary to spend a full year phasing out the damn things (a process which I'm about half way through).

So here I am (finally) at the Chemist. I hand over my prescription. I take my little ticket that tells me to come back in fifteen minutes. I peruse JB Hi-Fi and pick up those Sufjan and Tori CDs I've had my little munkey eye on. I go back to the Chemist. The young-lady at the counter is not a chemist. She's not even a pharmacist. She's a fifteen-year-old braces-wearing shop assistant. But is that going to stop her asking awkward and unnecessary questions about my perfectly legitimate and altogether necessary prescription medication? NO SIREE!

As I'm about to hand over my cash and go on my merry way, I notice she's reading the instructions on the script. She starts reading them out. Okay, so she's thorough. Fine fine. As she - in her best teenage warning tones - mentions that this kind of medication usually has side-effects, I agree - "Yes, I've experienced those to some extent. But it's fine..." MISTAKE!

Little Miss Busybody instantly grabs the nearest more-senior staff-member and starts prodding her in my direction, as if I'd asked for assistance. For the love of God, I was just making conversation! Just give me my fucking pills and let me get out of here! So now the older Chemist-Lady (older being a relative term - she's still younger than me) is bleating at me. "Blah blah side-effects. Blah-blah only as directed. Blah blah Very Careful." In my head I am
baring my gums and flicking my gorgeous long red hair in an uptight fashion. On the outside I am stoically smiling politely. Trying to defuse the two pairs of enquiring eyes currently drilling me, I say, nonchalantly, "It's really fine. This is my regular medication. I've been taking them for over a year and..." MISTAKE!

"Oh... over a year!" Her eyes light up with self-righteous know-it-all smuggery. Inside my head: You shut your fucking little mouth right now. For your own good, lady, Do Not say another word. On my face: stoic, polite smile. Her: "Well, you really ought to consider cutting down or even cutting them out. You usually don't need to take them in on ongoing way. You should really talk to your Doctor..." The younger one is out of her depth now, but stays, nodding at me in a vaguley reproachful way that just screams "kick my head in".

Inside my head: I'm well aware of the nature of my own medication. Perhaps the fact that I JUST HANDED YOU A PRESCRIPTION FOR THESE, would alert you to the fact that I really do need them, and I'm not just taking them for the hell of it! On my face (stoic, polite smile): "Yes. I know. I'm in regular consultation with my Doctor." Her (not knowing when to quit while she's being a total cunt, making a dick of herself but embarassing me): "Blah blah side effects. Blah blah harmful if prolongued unnecessarily. Blah blah did I mention Very Careful?"

Inside my head: What the fuck?! Okay, one of my personal heroes died by overdosing on his Meds, but you don't know that, and that's not why he's my personal hero. I am not hairy or scary or druggie looking. I am wearing a nice shirt. I have glasses. I am a sensible, intelligent person who is not about to scoff the entire packet of tablets as soon as you let me out of this fucking shop. Get off my fucking back and give me the medication AS DIRECTED BY MY DOCTOR, WHO I'M QUITE CONFIDENT KNOWS A DAMN SIGHT MORE ABOUT THESE THINGS THAN YOU TWO CUNTS PUT TOGETHER! On the outside (smile a little more strained, tone a little more terse): "Yes. I. Know. I'm. In. Regular. Consultation. With. My. Doctor." Her (patronising smile): "Well that's all you need to do."

Now, what prompted my next action, I really can't say. Perhaps I was just seeing how far I could be pushed before I went completely over the edge and finally gave them good reason to suspect my stabililty/ability to self-administer simple medication. Whatever my subconscious motivation to stir the pot even more, I did it: I asked for a packet of Nurofen. MISTAKE!

Both the Pharmacy poppets dithered and frowned. "Are they okay together?" the younger one asked the older one, in an almost conspiratorial whisper as if I wasn't STANDING RIGHT THERE. The older one looked lost, all at sea. In her confusion and panic, she actually thought to look to ME for advice. Refer to the patient's own experience of their own medication?! What a novel fucking concept. By this point, sheer amusement at the absurdity of these two had taken over from my anger. "I have taken Nurofen semi-regularly - whenever I get a headache - the entire time I've been on my Meds. It's never been a problem." They looked uncertain, but could obviously sense a "listen you little cuntrags, if I wanted to overdose on Nurofen I'd go and buy a trolley-full of the shit at Bi-Lo. Now quit the bullshit and make with the drugs" lecture was well overdue. So they finally gave me my stuff, took my money and bade me "have a nice day".

I walked away, shaking my head, a paraphrase of the Julianne Moore pharmacy scene from
magnolia playing through my head: "I come in here. I ask for these things. I give you the things. And you have the fucking indecency to ask me my life? No! You Suck. my. DICK. Where is your decency?!"

I used to feel a little discontent with my local pharmacy where they are almostly harshly brusque, barely saying hello before whisking away your script and ushering you towards the cashier. Now I feel like sending them chocolates and a bouquet of roses.

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16 February, 2006

guest blogger: mlle moodles!

It is now my unmitigated pleasure to introduce the first in what will hopefully be an irregular series of guest-spot blogs here at VotM.

Today, munkey steps away from the lectern to make way for my dear friend and some-time political advisor: the one and only Mademoiselle Moodles. Give her a big hand, lovers and dreamers.


Lately, whenever people ask me how I am I either burst into tears or grimace and start throwing my soap box around the room. Here are just three brief examples of why I’m finding it difficult to sleep at night:
  • Liberal MP, Danna Vale, claiming that Australians were “aborting themselves almost out of existence" and that Australia would be a Muslim nation in 50 years. The obvious solution of course if for white women everywhere to lie on their backs and conceive one, or many, for the country.
  • The US Government, after promoting democracy in Palestine, is now trying desperately to undo democracy in Palestine. The US government is claiming Hamas has no political legitimacy because while it did win a majority in parliament, it failed to win the popular vote in terms of actual ballots cast. Sound familiar? Just cast your mind back to Florida, 2000.
  • US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ eloquent justification for the US Government infringing on civil liberties and breaking the law by spying on the American people, and why the media should stop questioning their actions: "You would assume that the enemy is presuming that we are engaged in some kind of surveillance," he said. "But if they're not reminded about it all the time in newspapers and in stories, they sometimes forget." Brilliant!
Every day I’m confronted with yet more examples of the ineptitude and general lack of respect for humanity and human rights displayed by the illustrious leaders of the western world.

For anyone else who fears becoming a rabid madwoman who mutters to herself while normal people cross the street to avoid them, here’s what to do to ensure a good nights sleep:
  1. If you’re a woman, find a robust fertile man and start breeding. Start now and don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. If you’re a man, regardless of your sexual orientation, start spreading your seed.
  2. All civil, political, and human rights are highly overrated. They impede the ability of our leaders to do their job. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you will sleep through the night.
  3. Or you could just haul a year’s supply of vodka into a cave somewhere and drink yourself into a happy state of denial.


Thankyou, my dear. Personally, I'm thinking the vodka option is sounding quite peachy. Cheers!


cloudy and wordy

So, I guess if you opened up my head with a chisel, and examined the puff of musty dust that came drifting out of my gaping brain, this is what it would look like:

I stole this neat thingy from Pavlov's Cat. It's a wordcloud, which somehow (magically, no doubt) reads your entire blog, and then makes a pretty little cloud of your most-used words (excluding boring things like "the" and "a").

So I guess that means I like talking about film and love and snazzles and fun and music and children and dreams and boys (no big surprises there) ...among many other things, including myself I guess, since both my nicks appear in my 100 most-used words. Oh well. It's all narcisism, so why try to hide it?


14 February, 2006

sugar-pie, honey-bunch, etc.

It is Valentine's Day. You might remember my feelings about Valentine's Day.

Although, to be completely fair to this International Day Of Marketing-Induced Capitalism-In-The-Guise-Of-Romance, my instinctive hissing and snarling probably arises because I have always previously been feeling lonely and/or heart-broken on this day. This year, I am in Tentative-Happy-Happy-Joy-Joy mode. So it's a bit of a conundrum. Do I turn my back on all my years of stoic cynicism? Would it be hypocritical to feel gooey today? Thank goodness I have found a series of e-cards that perfectly meets my needs:

From the site:
This year, celebrate or commiserate by sending an anti-valentine. Stick two fingers (or one, if you're that way culturally inclined) at any organisation with a vested interest which prescribes how and when to show your feelings. Send it today, tomorrow, or any day you damn well please.

So if you feel like celebrating Valentine's Day with a healthy lashing of cynicism and just a pinch of bitterness, be sure to check out these cards. In fact, check them out anyway, because they're fucking funny.

So yes. Love and kisses and all that. *ahem* Adieu.

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On January 31st 2006, in a post entitled drink up and think of england, The Voice Of The Munkey credited Lady Lilikens with a nasty revelation relating to Cooper's Beer. It has been brought to our attention that the aforementioned revelation was made, in fact, by The Mistress - information discovered during the adventures of her self-proclaimed farcical love life. Sincerest apologies from everyone here at The Voice Of The Munkey (well, you know, me) for any offense caused. We love you, Mistress!


For the record, the revelation was that Coopers Brewery, despite being favoured widely by lefty students and vegans, is a contributor to the Liberal Party - the only major brewery to [edit:] exclusively sponsor the Liberals. So next time you're sipping down a Coopers, remember: you are really just sucking John Howard's cock.

EDIT: I must concede that this may in fact, not be true at all. But it's fun to see people squirm when you tell them.


09 February, 2006

when penguins have more sense than people

Mr David has alerted me to important developments in Queer Penguin News. (No, not QueerPenguin news but Queer Penguin news.)

Bremerhaven Zoo in Germany has managed to find itself with an over-abundance of male Humboldt Penguins. Apparently this happens quite easily, as the penguins' gender is very difficult to ascertain until they begin breeding behaviour. The wonderful quirk of nature here though, is that the penguins themselves couldn't give a hoot (or a squawk, or whatever it is that penguins do) whether they have members of the opposite gender to couple with. In the absence of females, the males adopt the "any port in a storm" policy. They simply form gay couples and find nice round pebbles to nurse - keeping them warm as if they were eggs.

This would be all very well (not to mention extremely endearing) but unfortunately the species is in danger of dying out. So Bremerhaven - in an effort to get some breeder action happening in its penguin enclosure - made a deal with Kolmarden Zoo in Sweden, which has an excessive proportion of female penguins. So the saucy Scandanavian penguin ladies were shipped in, but to no avail.

From The Age:
...the birds arrived in time, but were too shy.
"The Swedes are rather stand-offish," said zoo chief executive Heike Kueck.
Once again, four local females were quickly snapped up and the rest of the 22 penguins formed broody male couples and are keeping pebbles warm.

So let that be a lesson to all my labia-equipped readers. Don't be stand-offish like the Swedes! Playing hard to get doesn't make guys want you. They'll just turn gay, and shack up together with a nice pebble.

The truly absurd thing about this story is the fact that gay activists have flooded the zoo with hate mail, proclaiming that by introducing females and trying to get the males to breed, the animals' keepers are "interfering in the penguins' freedom of sexual orientation". This is the kind of absurd over-politically-correct hyper-sensitivity that makes munkey throw his hands in the air. I'm all for a bit of rainbow-flag waving, but ridiculous action like this just damages perception of the whole cause, making all queers look like irrational whining poofters in the eyes of those we should be trying to win over.

To paraphrase what Snazzles said to me the other day in typically eloquent style: It's so frustrating when people whose views you essentially agree with, make total dicks of themselves. You want the other side to make dicks of themselves, not your own.

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what good is sitting alone in your room?

My stomach staged a twelve-hour rebellion last week, but I recovered surprisingly spritely the next day, despite missing the delights of a long-overdue West Wing Fiesta. The next night I met with The Mistress for a short evening at Hairy Canary where we gossipped about our battles with cigarettes and boys.

Saturday was spent with Mr Stephen. We went to see Brokeback Mountain, and both really connected with its underplayed portrait of a crippling lack of self-acceptance. I am getting sick of people saying "Yeh, it was okay, I guess." What they mean by this is: "I am so accustomed to my diet of music-videos and The Simpsons that I wasn't sure what to do with 2 ½ hours of character-based understatement." Don't get me wrong. I'm not proclaiming it the film of the decade. And I'm actually really interested to hear negative opinions. But "Yeh, it was okay, I guess" isn't an opinion. *film-snob munkey*

In the face of the mostly banal and/or downright inaccurate things that have been said about this movie, Mme Moodles sent me an essay from the New York Review Of Books. If - and ONLY IF - you have seen the film, I strongly urge you to read
this wonderfully insightful article. Don't read it if you haven't seen Brokeback Mountain, because it gives away everything.

After the movie we had a cocktail at the Carlton Yacht Club (someone should really inform them that there is no water, let alone yachts, in Carlton) and dinner at Vegie Bar on Brunswick St. Further beverages were consumed at the Bar With No Name, before we wandered to The Peel for a spot of people-watching and mocking the trashy pop videos playing on the big screen. *music-snob munkey*

It was an afternoon of munkey-Snazzles time on Sunday, as we further indulged our obsession with God-like power by playing Sims2. The munkey-Sim managed to successfully propose to his cute pirate-Sim crush, and get him into bed for a "Woo-Hoo", which was extremely (depressingly, when you think about it) exciting to the real-life munkey behind the controls. Unfortunately the pirate-boy we created for Snazzie's Sim seems a little mentally-ill - dreaming about babies and rings one moment, and deciding to wander home mid-make-out session the next. I tell you, lovers and dreamers, it really is quite frightening how emotionally engaging a computer game can be.

Earlier this week, we had a trip to Capers Cabaret in Hawthorn to see one of their Showcase nights of new talent. Our friend Ms Carla was to be the closing act, of three short one-woman shows. The first two performers both had great voices - particularly the second - but their between-song "banter" was... I think the kindest word is "misjudged". You know that awful cringing feeling when someone is standing before a crowd telling horrendously unfunny "Boom-boom!" jokes, and the audience titters politely? When you feel embarassed for the entire human race? That's the one. It's kind of sad to see a brilliant singing performance marred.

Fortunately (and I'm not just saying this because she's our friend) Ms Carla was a shining light and a breath of fresh air. Her singing and song-choices were wonderful. But what really set her apart from the other performers that evening, was her material between the tunes. In fact, the word "material" doesn't even apply - she was simply being herself. She didn't try to be funny, she just is funny. She didn't tell structured jokes with a punchline surrounded by flashing light-bulbs. She was just natural - openly a little nervous, but witty, affectionate with her audience and accompanists, and utterly compelling to watch and listen to. I hope the other young-ladies watched and learned.

As another week staggers inexorably towards its oh-so-welcome end, I am looking forward to the future with a sense of nervous energy - terror mixed with optimism and just a pinch of confidence. Stay tuned, dear readers, because I suspect either a Happy-Happy-Joy-Joy Post™ or a For-The-Love-Of-God-It's-All-Gone-Horribly-Wrong Post™ will be coming your way in the not-too-distant future. *melodrama munkey* Watch this space!


03 February, 2006

xena vs. pluto

[Cue Ms Snazzles' world-famous impersonation of the Xena Warrior-Princess Battle-Cry.]

Object 2003 UB313 is a "rock" with a surface of frozen methane and nitrogen snow, and an average temperature of -248°C. It rotates around the sun in an elliptical orbit, at its furthest point finding itself twice as far from the sun as Pluto. An article published in the most recent edition of Nature magazine, has revealed UB313 (nicknamed Xena, while its single moon is dubbed Gabrielle) is around 3,000km wide - dwarfing Pluto's diametre of 2,300km.

But here's the rub: is it a planet, or not? We all know scientists can be an amusingly adolescent bunch when it comes to their disagreements, and astronomers seem to be among the worst of the lot. Supporters of Pluto's planet-status have been pulling faces and saying "Nyah! It's SOOO not a planet! It's only a friggin Kuiper Belt Object!" However the discoverers of Xena were quick to retort: "I know you are, but what am I?!"

The problem is that Pluto and newly-discovered Xena are in fact both uncommonly large Kuiper Belt Objects. These chunks of icy debris from the Solar System's explosive origins number in the hunderds-of-thousands, slowly orbiting the sun at enormous distances. Pluto, in fact, displays some profoundly un-planet-like behaviours: its orbit is tilted at 17° from the plane of all the other planets, and is also absurdly elliptical - Pluto slips closer to the sun than Neptune for decades at a time, before again becoming the most distant "planet".

So Plutophiles are in something of a quandary. They don't want their beloved space-rock's status as "furthest outpost of the Solar System" to be taken away by haughty Xena. Yet, if Xena is denied planetary status, then what claim can Pluto have to that title, since it and Xena are essentially the same kind of entity? Meanwhile, if Xena is acknowledged as a planet, where do we draw the line? How many of these Kuiper Belt Objects can be considered planets, and who misses out?

We shall all be waiting with baited breath, for the verdict of the International Astronomical Union on UB313's status. Unfortunately, if they are declared a planet/moon system, Xena and Gabrielle will be renamed. All planets identified by the IAU are given names from Classical Mythology - and I don't think TV Mythology is allowed, alas.