25 January, 2007

feel the man-love!

A few musings in Jellyfish's latest slice of magnificence got me to thinking about the way straight guys express affection for each other, and the way these expressions are often - suprisingly - incredibly moving. (It also introduced me to the term "bromantic", which is Solid Gold).

My workplace is ultra-manly. Like, really REALLY manly. Most of the employees spend their days digging big holes in the ground. On the whole, they are large, gruff, uncouth and masculine in that good, old-fashioned, Aussie, blokey way.

This place is so determinedly hetero-masculine that any display of affection between the employees is usually eschewed. My father patermunkey - being one of the more civilised of the bunch - is an exception here, in that he doesn't have an insecure fear of occasionally touching (or even hugging!) his workmates. Of course the others respect him far too much to doubt his sexuality on the basis of his openly bromantic behaviour, and have dubbed him with the affectionate (albeit unsettling) nick-name "Uncle Touchy".

Just before Christmas, Jim - one of the longest-serving and genuinely respected employees at my workplace - retired. There were speeches and the giving of presents at the break-up barbecue. Jim had been digging holes for decades. For the last five-ish years, he had been digging side-by-side with patermunkey. During his speech, he mentioned several guys he had worked closely with over the years. He left my Dad till last. He was brief; patermunkey would be embarrassed by anything too long-winded. Jim described him as the most intelligent and conscientious man he had worked with at the company, and he closed by wishing him the best for the future, saying, "I hope things get better."

Those five short words, delivered in the manliest of tones, spoke volumes. They spoke of a rough few years that my family has been through. They spoke of the reliable routine of working with Jim that, at times I'm sure, was about all that kept patermunkey going. They spoke of five years of friendship - what John Howard would sickeningly dub "mateship", and what most female friends would simply call "love".

I lost it. Tears were streaming down my face, and I suddenly thought, "Shit! Everyone's going to see me crying, and I shall be exposed among these blokiest of blokes for the pathetic homo NancyBoy that I am!" But to my surprise, a quick glance around revealed that everyone was crying. All these hairy burly tradies were struggling to choke back tears. The next few minutes were surreal. After the speeches, everyone started hugging Jim and talking about how much he meant to them.

And it occurred to me - this affection, this softer side, is always there. It just gets buried behind the macho bullshit that so many men feel the need to display, in order to be perceived as men. How did this happen? Has our society managed to turn emotion and affection into something shameful, which must be quashed and hidden, in order for men to be respected by each other? Or has masculine affection become the emotional equivalent of the good silverware - only to be brought out on very special (and/or drunken) occasions?

After the man-love died down, the drinking continued for many hours. Later, one guy oh-so-tactfully suggested his workmate better get a paternity test, to ensure he was really the father of the baby his girlfriend was carrying. Paternity test?! Fatherhood being questioned?! That equates to masculine honour being threatened! Tempers flared, bodies were pushed against walls, punches were thrown. Then - after a long negotiation/placation process that made the Arabs and the Jews seem co-operative by comparison - more tears.

Whether it's their physiological nature, or a result of ideological influences in a society that has never truly evolved beyond valuing them only for their hunting, providing and fighting abilities - one thing is certain: men are very strange beasts.

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24 January, 2007

it's turkey lurkey time

So, I have moved house! To be more precise, I have moved in with the adorable Mr Byron. We have spent the last week or so turning our lovely art-deco apartment in Richmond into a very comfortable home. (For anyone wondering, this process involves a shitload of money, several wheelie-bins full of discarded packing material, and approximately 37 man hours dedicated to the construction of items from Ikea.)

Although he is currently back in Sydney for about a week, finalising things up there, it feels very much like our co-habitational life together has officially begun. *cuts ceremonial ribbon with oversize scissors* Hurrah!

Everyone keeps asking us, "So have you had any major domestics yet?!" or "So are you still in love after all the chaos of the move?" This always strikes me as a bit odd. I guess it is a big step to go straight from long-distance to living-together. But all I can say is: so far so good. At this point, our "major" fights go something like this:

Byron - Let's get take-away tonight.
munkey - Okay. There's the noodle place, the burger place, the pizza place...
Byron - I don't care what we get.
munkey - I don't care either. You decide.
Byron - But I don't care.
munkey - Grrr...
[Repeat, as above, for about twenty minutes.]
munkey - Okay fine - noodles.
[Byron & munkey peruse menu for about twenty minutes.]
Byron - I don't think I want noodles.
munkey - Grrr!
Byron - How about burgers?
munkey - Burgers! Perfect!
[Byron & munkey peruse menu for about twenty minutes.]
munkey - I'm getting the Triple C (chicken burger with camembert and cranberry *drool*). What are you getting?
[Byron peruses menu for another twenty minutes.]
munkey - Well?!
Byron - ...
munkey - There's beef burgers, there's chicken burgers, there's veggie burgers. Burgers galore! They're all awesome! Just pick one!
Byron - ...
munkey - ... ?
Byron - ... I've definitely decided to get something on a bun.
munkey - GRRR!
[munkey attempts to stab Byron. Byron disarms munkey with merciless tickling. Chaos ensues.]

This basic format of argument is applied to every minor decision we make together.

A suggestion: if you have us over for dinner, you decide what we're having. Before we get there.


belated blogiversary

In all the excitement of real-world happenings, I have been exceedingly lazy recently, blog-wise. As part of this blogcrastination, I completely forgot to celebrate the 2nd birthday of this here humble little blog! Let's make up for that now...

Happy Birthday, Munkey's Blog!

Okay, enough celebrating now. Enough! Put the fucking sparklers down, fool, it's only a blog! Sheesh.

Let me just belatedly say thanks to everyone who has stopped by in the last year. I do enjoy this online lark, and knowing there are approximately 4.3 people who peruse my dodgy outpourings, makes it all the more worthwhile.

Onward and upward!


15 January, 2007

quite possibly the most morbid thing on the internet

Brought to my attention by mental_floss magazine is this site which is simultaneously deeply disturbing and completely compelling:

As if MySpace itself wasn't wrongtown enough, these people keep track of the MySpace profiles of people who have shuffled off this mortal coil. It usually provides a brief article about how the poor sod died, as well as a link to their still-existing profile, often complete with messages of woe and tribute filling the comments box.

It's like a train-wreck; I hate myself for looking but I just can't stop. And MY GOD a lot of Amercians meet gruesome and untimely ends! Nasty.


10 January, 2007

proud to be geeky

From the wonderful Neatorama:

If you laughed at this picture, you are officially a geek.

I laughed. A lot.


09 January, 2007

start in the way that you want to go on...

Happy New Year to one and all!

I have been out of blog-action for the last week or so, due to the extremely exciting busy-ness of MOVING HOUSE. Yes, dear readers, my former dwelling at Munkey Towers now stands quiet and empty, and I have taken up residence in the lovely new House Of TurKey. My own move went off without any disasters, and Byron moves in on Thursday. Then we get to play house together! Fun!

Now, they say you should begin a New Year as you intend it to continue - and since we all know lazy blogging will be the order-of-the-year (just like last year, and the year before) let's kick off 2007 with a nice juicy New Years Meme. For this one, you're supposed to recount the first sentence you posted in every month of the previous year. Unfortunately, I realised the openings of my posts are almost invariably devoid of interest (see above) so instead, I am posting a random sentence from the approximate middle of every month of 2006:

Apparently since the female organ has been in his body, he has had an inexplicable passion for knitting, ironing, sewing and washing dishes.

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.

Snazzles valiantly tramped out into the dark to help, but she had a tyre-thingy for mag-wheels (damn her funky purple automobile and it's butch wheels) that wouldn't fit Oli's girly nuts.

Recently, I find my surly sensible brain completely undermined and overridden by the pounding heat of my heart and a profound optimism burning brightly in my belly.

In an Alice-In-Wonderland-esque sudden change of surroundings, I am now getting changed in my old bedroom at patermunkey's house.

However, there is one story today that is genuinely warming my heart against the chilly Winter.

So with my now absent-once-again boyfriend, my means of transportation out of action, and my brain feeling a little like it's trying to swim the English Channel while carrying a harpsichord, it could be said that munkey is a bit lost just now.

The film creates a troublingly palpable sense of the conflicting feelings that come with a life spent physically attached to another, while also creating an almost Spinal-Tap-esque pastiche of the music industry.

I guess the bottom line is, I will never be okay with the fact that she's gone.

So that elderly, Morse-Code-trained lady really had heard the letters SMS emanating from her (grandaughter? niece?)'s handbag.

From another perspective... if memory serves, it's always been when I've felt under heaps of pressure that I've functioned at my most productive.

Oh my God, my long-distance boyfriend from Sydney was suddenly (and completely unexpectedly) standing outside my flat!

Looking back, 2006 wasn't a bad year at all. I kind of feel like it was a year of great promise for the future - when wonderful possibilities and new adventures presented themselves... now it's up to me to make 2007 into the glorious year it has the potential to be. I'm looking forward to sharing the ride with y'all!

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