July 27, 2009

Jake Ryan vs. The Geek

Last night Mr Fantapants decided to humour me and sit through Sixteen Candles. Again.

It's no Pretty in Pink, but it has all the hallmarks of a John Hughes teen movie classic (uh, that'd be Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and John and Joan Cusack, plus a large dose of angst), including a hunky love interest in the form of Jake Ryan, who became a symbol of teen boyfriend perfection. Apparently girls who saw Sixteen Candles became so enamoured with Jake that 'real' guys failed to meet their standards forever more. This condition has a name: the Jake Ryan Effect. (Slightly wary hat tip to writer Hank Steuver who brought this phenomenon to people's attention in a 2004 article in the Washington Post and seems eversoslightly peeved that people are still interested in it.)

Anyway, I was watching the movie last night with the Jake Ryan Effect in mind, possibly expecting to experience it a bit myself. In fact, having actually paid attention to the character instead of being sucked into the hot-guys-can-fall-for-flat-chested-girls soft focus storyline, I came away realising that Jake is actually a bit of a dickhead, as evidenced by:

  1. him having no conscience about lusting after Samantha when he is seeing someone who's thick but totally devoted to him
  2. him telling The Geek (Anthony Michael Hall's character - seriously, only hunks get names) that aforementioned gf is passed out upstairs and wouldn't notice if he 'violoated her in five different ways'
  3. him basically giving aforementioned gf to The Geek and telling him to do what he wants with her
  4. him driving a wankmobile sports car
  5. him being rude to Sam's grandparents on the phone

Okay, am starting to clutch at straws here, but Exhibits 1-3 are enough in my book to make Jake Ryan totally not great boyfriend material. Of course, being a John Hughes film (and John, I do love your work but you really have some screwed up ideas about portraying young women as objects), Sam is too busy being grateful to Jake for getting her undies back to notice.

Forget the Jake Ryan effect, I'll take The Geek any day.

July 20, 2009

Layer upon layer upon layer

On Saturday we finally started making our lasagna garden. First we had to make the inevitable trip to Bunnings to scope out the options for materials. We had a feeling hardwood would be too expensive, and a pain to cut into the right shape since the longest side of the bed is curved. And we were right . In the end we settled for sturdy six-inch plastic lawn edging tape, surrounded by a wire fence to keep out the cats who've decided our front garden is the local kitten pissoir.

We cleared the area, replanting the few daisy bushes, nasturtiums and violets that we wanted to keep and cutting down the two trees that were struggling to survive (and were completely inappropriate for a tiny suburban front yard - what were the last owners thinking?!).

Of course, since we're very much trying to build this garden on the cheap, luxuries like mulch and soil were beyond the budget. We had no trouble covering the area with old newspapers, but when we got to the rest of the 'brown' layer we substituted peat for the square foot of compost we've managed to make since getting the compost bin in january and some dried leaves from previous pruning days. And the 'green' layer was comprised of the stuff from the top of the compost bin that hadn't yet rotted down and the lawn clipping from our tiny patch of grass.

So far the lasagna layers are only about 1 inch deep. We need at least 6 decent inches before we plant in spring, so there's still a lot to do, but it's a start.

July 15, 2009

Home remedies

As I write this I am sitting with a cotton pad doused in hydrogen peroxide bandaid-ed to my top lip (take a moment to picture it, guffaw, move on) in a desparate attempt to kill the cold sore that started appearing yesterday.

Having already had what I consider to be my annual coldie in New York (and it having been so big'n'bad'n'nasty that even a pharmacist felt sorry for me, I a) really wasn't expecting another one, especially so soon and b) am mightily pissed off!

Having suffered (and I do mean suffered) with way-worse-than-average cold sores since I was sixteen (curse you first-ever boyfriend who told me that the blister on his lips was from licking the salt off the rims of cocktail glasses), I know that there is no way to get rid of a sore overnight; that it must develop, burst and scab (I do hope you're not reading this over lunch) before it begins to heal; that there is no point making it feel more important than it is (all hail King Coldie).

But I still spent over an hour this morning searching for a cure. And I'm still hopeful/gullible/desparate enough to try some of the more promising sounding ones. Of course, some of these 'remedies' were just plain bodgy, ergo, I will not be:

  • rubbing earwax on it
  • rubbing the oil from behind my ears (ears!) on it
  • soaking it in urine
  • rubbing it with salt until the entire blister has been rubbed off (along with about 10 layers of skin, I suspect).
That said, I am:
  • putting ice on it
  • soaking it in hydrogen peroxide
  • soothing it with a cammomile teabag
  • tempted to try putting a paste of garlic on it.

Of course, getting rid of the coldie is now a full time job. Thank god it's my day off work.

July 6, 2009

Now I'm really a Victorian

Today I gave up my last vestige of NSW-ness and finally got a Victorian driver's licence. The photo is, of course, hideous, but I reckon in 10 years' time I'll look at it and think I look young and carefree, rather than unstylish and disheveled. There was nothing behind the 3-year wait to make the switch except my own cheapskatery. The upside of being a non-driver with a licence is that as a reward for not having any demerit points (hard to rack up if you don't drive), I got a 10-year licence for $119. Double bargain!

Today is also my first work-free Monday. Yay! I had planned to work Very Hard on Book 2 today, but I'm only just getting back into it after neglecting it for a few months, and looking at it afresh is making me reconsider the plot that I thought was finalised...ho hum and chiz.

In other news, I've been:
  • reading: How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier - the first book I've read by JL, purchased on a training trip to Bairnsdale, decision to pay full price based on how much I enjoy her blog. HTDYF is a rollicking good read, despite the fact that Charlie, the protagonist, is a sports nerd (and a cricket nerd, at that). At first I found it jarring that JL made up a slang for the world she created in New Avalon, but in the days since I finished reading it I've caught myself thinking 'shut up, doxhead' and wanting to tell Mr F he looks 'vastly pulchy'...
  • eating: far too much good Spanish food, in the name of research (not mine).
  • watching: roller derby - I still don't understand the rules, but for sport it's highly entertaining (and unlike AFL matches, they sell full-strength beer).
  • making: small knitted things for imminent new arrivals in Sydney and Melbourne.
  • planning: a lasagna garden for the front yard so that Mr F and I can live out our Good Life fantasies come spring (I'll play Felicity Kendall, natch).