Archive | April, 2012

Bottom – by Karen

26 Apr

I am rather prudish when it comes to the scatalogical. I don’t like it when people talk about their bottoms in a functional sense, make jokes about their farts, or discuss their poos and farts at all in front of me. I don’t like it when people fart loudly around me, and no, I don’t appreciate that you’re “not trying to hide it”. As I am married, some extent of fart-joking capacity has had to be acquired over the years, but it doesn’t extend to other people. I will admit that I enjoyed the other night when all the Voice judges were making jokes about Cee-Lo’s farting, but only because it showed up that Carson fellow as quite the stuffed shirt. Which I can’t relate to. *cough*.

I remember a conversation with a friend once in which she asked me why I wasn’t interested in dating a guy we knew. We got along well, had lots in common, but honestly, the main roadblock that came to mind when I investigated my lack of romantic feelings for him was… his enthusiasm for talking about poo. It seemed symbolic of other aspects of his personality – but what? Perhaps too much earthiness and attraction to well… the shit in life.

I once read a Tim Winton book in which he would describe the character’s butt muscles (or sphincter even!?) clenching each time they experienced fear. There was even a bit where he describes this happening to the main character’s young child, something like, “Billie’s bum muscles tightened” (forgive me if that’s not an accurate quote, my Google searches for those terms were about as successful as you might imagine). Anyway, that was it for me and Tim Winton.

Now I could blame my repressed childhood for all this, but I think that would be unfair. I’m quite happy for you to tell me about your sexual experiences. I love a good romp down illicit substance memory lane if you feel like sharing those stories. And even gross tales of poor hygiene or, I don’t know, tick removal procedures, will only endear you to me. But butts… What’s inside them, or threatening to come out… The bottom line is I’d just rather we talked about something else.

Austin Powers. Great movie. But I did NOT enjoy the line about the "turtle head".

Bottom – by Tabitha

26 Apr

Have you seen the TV show Girls, which is supposedly the new Sex And The City? I’ve seen only the first episode, and I guess it’s like Sex And The City in that it has all-female stars and is set in New York and is about female friendships, but apart from that, I think it’s going to be very – VERY – different.

The show has been criticised for its “joyless” sex. But actually, the characters are in their early twenties, they have crappy relationships, they’re not really comfortable with themselves, and so OF COURSE they have terrible sex. It’s awkwardly, hilariously, cringe-inducingly accurate.

This image is taken from a particularly excruciating scene in which Hannah, pictured, is being instructed by her shit-house boyfriend on how to be sexy. Specifically, he says: “Grab your legs. When I get back, I want you to be in the exact same position, but take all the rest of the shit off.” Which is what she’s doing.

When he gets back, with the lube, he then makes a move for “the wrong hole”. Her response is: “Please don’t do that. That feels awful. Thank you.”

To me, the scene is the perfect representation of the reality of what they’re always calling the pornographisation of the sex lives of young folks. There’s this hollow, macho posturing by the guy, this sad willingness on the part of the girl to be artificially posed into a “sexy” position, but the end-result isn’t shiny, bouncing, airbrushed porn-star sex. It’s just crap and awkward and embarrassing.

I worry about the proliferation of pornography. I really do. I worry about the teenage boys out there who have this completely free access to a limitless supply of masturbatory material, and how oppressive that must be. And I worry about the teenage girls who see all these vaginas so unlike their own, or indeed, anyone’s.

I had a really fascinating conversation recently with a woman who writes about the challenges facing young girls today. She told me that girls as young as 13 get Brazilian waxes now. In fact, Brazilian waxes are absolutely the norm among teenage girls in Australia, she said. But this isn’t because they’re any more sexually active than we were. In fact, these girls get Brazilian waxes for years without anyone – other than the beautician – ever seeing their pubic region. It’s just “the done thing”, like shaving your legs, or straightening your hair every day (which somehow became another of the “done things” when I wasn’t paying attention). Doesn’t that just make you want to take the girls of Australia and shake them, and say “What the hell are you doing?”  I’m sure they’d really appreciate that.

I presume it’s a passing fad. In fact, she told me that pornographic trends in vaginas indicate that pubic hair is coming back in fashion. But good God, what next.

All I can say is, after waving their labia in front of beauty therapists for so many years, these girls will surely feel right at home when they get their first pap smear.

Nudity by Beth

24 Apr

BOTTOMS make me think of NUDITY. What’s the nudity factor in your households? I think it has everything to do with the level of nudity that you were raised with as a child. I was raised with a fairly high degree of in-house nudity. No going to a nudist beach for holidays or anything, but we didn’t always close the door when we went to the toilet, and I remember my parents being naked wasn’t a big deal. I mostly didn’t see Dad naked after a certain age, but Mum kept up the nude factor. I must have been more shy with my own nudity, being a teenager and all, but now I’ve BECOME MY PARENTS. Of course! It is inevitable.

Not feeling it is essential to go to the toilet with the door closed is very handy for having a toddler (who wants to sit on your lap as you pee). But that’s the only real benefit I can see to my nudity policy. Everything else is surely just a matter of choice and taste.

My dear ex-flatmate and I (a woman) were both on the same page with a bit of incidental nudity and it made for a very harmonious household.

I like nothing more than staying in my PJs as long as possible, but failing that, if I have to have a shower, I’ll do my daily house-business in the nude if at all possible. Jeff has different ideas about nudity. As in, it’s not how you do the housework/cook dinner. He will tell me I’m nude (when I am nude), as if I may just have forgotten to dress. “Thank you dear”, I say for the 1,000th time, totally not intending to get some clothes on. The other day I was making lunch in the nude and Leo came and told me I wasn’t wearing any clothes. See, you BECOME LIKE YOUR PARENT/S, even when you’re only 2 years old!

Microscope – by Tabitha

22 Apr

Like Justyna, I had a microscope as a kid which sat on the shelf in its box. The great failing of microscopes is that you can only look at things on slides, which is really limiting, unless you like performing biopsies.

But I was also given a little handheld microscope, with a light, through which you could look at absolutely anything, and at quite impressive magnifications. It looked like this:

Those of you with children should go out and buy one of these RIGHT NOW. I don’t think any gadget from my childhood brought such prolonged educational joy. You can use it on the family dog, on things you find in the garden, your siblings, foodstuffs, and various parts of your own body. When I was a kid, I had a disgusting corn on the heel of my foot, and I would pass hours investigating it with this microscope. I also, less revoltingly, discovered that images in books are made up of tiny coloured circles thanks to the same device.

I still have this handheld microscope, and as an adult have used it to investigate all kinds of moles and ingrown hairs and various suspicious bugs.

Its most notable use was after a trip to the Pittwater YHA with Anthony many moons ago. We acquired an alarming number of ticks while we were there, and spent the evenings removing them with the special tweezers the YHA supplied for just this purpose (GROSS!). When we returned to Simmons Street, I noticed I had a little pimple on my head, and over several days, fiddled and picked at it, to no avail. Eventually I asked Anthony to inspect it with the microscope. I remember his fateful words: “It’s moving.”

That is correct. A tick had lodged itself into my skull, and I had been idly playing with it for days.

I feel like this post has made me sound like a revolting human being. But I can assure you, under a microscope, we all are.

 

Microscope – by Justyna

21 Apr

Physics was too abstract. Biology a bore. Chemistry I actually didn’t get. And geology wasn’t popular enough to be taught at my school. I do remember carving up a horse’s eye and sticking bits of it under the microscope though. The stench in the lab was amazing. The slippery eyeball indeed a sucker. That’s my memory of science in high school. Of course there was also Mr Tobe, the science teacher, who managed to collect bits of saliva in the corners of his mouth when he spoke. The saliva was of a chunky variety with bits of stringiness that stuck to the upper and lower lip for gross effect. It’s the saliva that should have been collected and placed on the glass plate thingies and examined under the microscope. It was always a topic of conversation and fascination amongst us all. Come to think of it Mr Tobe looked EXACTLY like Tobias in Arrested Development.

For some reason this week’s topic microscope has made me think of gore and how I cannot handle it at all. I spend most of a Game of Thrones episode hiding behind my hands. When we were holidaying in Albania a couple of years back and visited a market, I couldn’t handle the raw meat smell and the draped pig skin and intestines hanging out of sloppy buckets. I dry wretched instead. But do you know what makes me wince the most? The human eye. When you pull down the skin to reveal the red bit. I shudder at the sight. And kids who used to flip their eyelids inside out were my worst enemies. I rather be punched with full force to my gut than see a flipped eyelid.

When I was ten or so my dad bought me a toy microscope. It was money nicely wasted. It didn’t interest me at all. It stood on my bookshelf in its original packaging gathering dust. He should have had bought me a Babysitters Club book instead. To add to my collection.

Microscope – by Karen

21 Apr

Check out Finn’s manly response to this miniature snake Richard found in the garden today. A young Steve Irwin in the making!

Since it seemed all botanical and microscopy,  I thought I would write about the snake for this week’s topic. After its ordeal with us, we did release it back into the garden pit, but someone else on the internet put theirs under a scope:

“It’s a thrill to see two black minute eyes staring back.”

Wikipedia tells me there are scales over those eyes, which is why the snake gives off a very blind vibe. I’m surprised Richard (who discovered it while digging) actually realised it was not an earthwormy, centipedey type of thing. But the way it wiggles gives it away. So strange to see something so small move like a snake. It also feels dry and smooth to the touch, and you can see the tiny scales.

Woe betide you if you are a biologist of my acquaintance. With surprising frequency, I will be discovering strange animals and bringing them to your attention on Facebook for immediate identification.

Microscope by Beth

20 Apr

Finding microscope a difficult topic for no good reason.

So I give you this lesson in perspective.