things i can do because they’re not specified in my lease

in uni, a friend’s lease specified ‘no ironing on the carpet.’

things that aren’t specified ‘not to do’ in my lease:

install a door from the garage into the house

via a tunnel

data retentionpen pen

install a pool in the courtyard

just a little one

keep penguins

keep a squid in the swimming pool

call for the resignation of the president of the Human Rights Commissioner because I don’t like how she mentioned I’m breaking some human rights

Gillian Triggs: It was the first time in my career that anyone has ever asked for my resignation.

Penny Wong:

Q: Were you shocked by this proposition?

Gillian Triggs: I was deeply shocked.

Triggs is telling the committee the secretary of AGD suggested to her a new position would be found if she’d vacate her spot at the Human Rights Commission.

Triggs: It was definitely said to me that an offer would be made for me to provide work for the government in areas of my expertise in international law.

(This is amazing. Truly.)

sorry where was i

break human rights

make demands of a sovereign nation because i gave them some cash when they were in a lot of trouble

actually my parents’ friends’ aunt gave them the money

but i thought about it

iron on the carpet

bronze on the carpet

install an ai to do all my stuff

fill my house with bees

replace all the windows with linux

(it’s a type of glass)

be nice to strangers


museum shops of the world: melbourne museum

Welcome to a new occasional blog series! Here at No Award we love museums and art galleries. But you know all about museums and art galleries, and we know what you really want to know: what’s in the shop at the other end. Well, wonder no more! Brought to you by Steph and Liz and the No Award Staff Writers, this is an occasional blog series of museum and gallery shops not only in Australia’s capital cities, but Australia’s tiny towns and some cities of the world. 

The Melbourne Museum Shop is located next to the Melbourne Museum exit out onto the forecourt between the Museum and the Royal Exhibition Building. Steph visited just before sunrise this morning, as part of her White Night experience. The staff were fun and chatty and self-deprecating.

The shop has several shelves of locally and museum-published books, a great selection of Indigenous and Indigenous-themed picture books across several Countries (including two different books about The Seven Sisters and one titled ‘Light Skin, Black Soul’), and the usual variety of dinosaur paraphernalia and astronomy things. There’s also a small amount of tram and Melbourne miscellaneous (including the emblematic Skipping Girl Vinegar who seems to be everywhere right now), and a bunch of stuffed toys that don’t appear to be mass produced. There are also rare print replicas for purchase, and a variety of rocks.

Steph restrained herself to just one book, Islam Dreaming: Indigenous Muslims in Australia by Peta Stephenson, but was severely tempted by The Place for a Village: how nature has shaped the city of Melbourne. Next time.

islam dreaming and a coffee

Museum: Melbourne Museum

Day and time visited: 06:30, Sunday (end of White Night – shop not usually open at 06:30)

Items purchased: Islam Dreaming: Indigenous Muslims in Australia, Peta Stephenson (book)

Location: Nicholson Street, Carlton Gardens

Getting there: 96 tram has a Museum Stop, or walk from Parliament Train Station

Rating: 3 and a half cane toad skin purses out of 5

there’s a pain goes on and linkspam

Nova Peris says MPs walking out of debate shows total disrespect to Indigenous Australians (IT DOES)


By the awesome Sulagna, Life Hacks for the Marginalised

The UK is giving tourist destinations Mandarin names

A very US-American term (so I would dispute “By now everyone has heard of Columbusing”) but I accept this article: What will White People Columbus next?


In today’s Ladies Written Out of History by Men: Monopoly’s Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn’t Pass Go

A young Azn-Australian faking it til she makes it, A++

At New Matilda, on the Black Work for the Dole

Steph spent many an hour watching the Leyland Brothers World tv show as a young Australian and cannot wait to check out this Australian Story on iView.

In awesome accessibility news, the RBA is introducing tactile bank notes? How does the RBA keep making awesome advances in bank notes. First the polymer bank notes that are slowly taking over the world, and now this!

AARLI, a totally adorable Indigenous upcycling fashion brand, is looking for some Pozible loving

thoughts on the first morning of the lunar new year 

My fingernails are too long, but I am bound by the moon and some hours too late; now I must put up with these claws until Saturday.
The cat has covered the floor in fur; I hope the Kitchen God doesn’t drop by. Can one stuff his mouth with sticky sweets every day of the year, just in case? Surely someone has tried this.

Did I eat enough noodles?

More importantly, my mother is a goat. Did she eat enough noodles?

What the world really needs is a series of quirky lunar new year movies to watch every year. Two of them should star Gong Li, and one of them should be set in Australia and feature Joan Chen.
Will Lee Lin Chin be dressed to theme? I love her.

Why don’t I own any work appropriate red dresses? This is unacceptable.

Dumplings for lunch. It’s traditional.

there’s a linkspam in my soul

A little bit magical negro, but really interesting: How the Peanuts Comic Strip Got Its First Black Character.

About Lentil As Anything, the pay as you feel chain, and how people are cheap. Stephanie adds: contact me privately for LAA gossip, which we shan’t publish cos it’s gossip from ex-employees of LAA.

We’re mad that this isn’t a No Award post: Buzzfeed goes to Canberra.

Regarding Side-Eye, at The Lifted Brow. No Award acknowledges that this is an excellent response to being called out on a thing, and that The Lifted Brow is choosing not to make money on a word that has come to English from AAVE is great. And this has led us to asking questions about the USAmericanisation of language. Stand by for later, I guess.

Relatedly, as Australians we might not know this term, and I think it’s one we need to know: Strange Fruit. You might know it as a Billie Holliday song, or a song that your favourite band covers. Do you know what that strange fruit is? Have you ever thought about they lyrics? Steph didn’t, until recently. It’s African-Americans having been lynched. They are hanging off trees.  It’s a song and poem about lynchings, and racism. Dead African-Americans are the strange fruit. Which is why it’s amazing that a bar (in the USA) named a cocktail Strange Fruit.

Speaking of: Why NBC didn’t need to make The Slap. This article veers a bit into the ‘woooo Aussie tv is so diverse’ territory, which obviously is untrue. It makes some great points about US tv, too. And also I would suggest she’s slightly incorrect: it’s not that US tv refuses to air non-US English programs; it just won’t air the ones set now. It will air the period dramas.

Somewhere in Sydney lie the remains of a man many South Africans regard with the same kind of reverence as Nelson Mandela.

SURPRISE: Spike in number of fatalities from shark attacks could be related to human population increase.

US thinktank asks if TAbbott is the most incompetent leader of an industrialised nation. Click through to the original piece as well, the comments are hilarious.

Sorry more US stuff, which defeats the purpose of NA’s purpose, but VERY IMPORTANT because we suffer this stuff in Australia, too: #chapelhillshooting. A white atheist fanatic shot three Muslim people. Reporting has been pretty terrible, all ‘a white man’ and ‘their religion may have had something to do with it.’ REALLY? Some media outlets are reporting it as ‘a parking dispute’, which is one way to refer to it when you can’t bring yourself to understand reality. The most common type of American Terrorist is a white man with a weapon and a grudge.

Bill Shorten spoke about Closing the Gap, and several Coalition MPs walked out in response. More thoughts at the Hoopla.


none for you, bespoiled whore

Here at No Award, we like to know our readers are looking their best. And so, No Award is very pleased to present to you a Wedding Etiquette post, thanks to Friend and Official Calligrapher of No Award, Moya, with assistance from Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette, 1952. We do it all for you.

On declining attendance after acceptance:

You certainly may not back out of an accepted invitation because a more attractive one has arrived. Illness, death in the family, or a sudden business trip are acceptable excuses. If you receive an invitation to the White House for the same date as that of a formal wedding invitation you have
already accepted the White House invitation takes precedence over a social one. A regret, following a previous acceptance, may take this form:

Mr. and Mrs. Morrow Truitt
regret that the sudden illness
of Mrs. Truitt
prevents their attending
the wedding on
Friday, the ninth of June

If the regret is occasioned by a summons to the White House, the second and third lines read:

regret that an invitation to
The White House

On veils (Moya says: This just makes me want to go around putting veils on everyone ever.  YOU DON’T GET TO DENY VEILS TO PEOPLE, AMY VANDERBILT):

The bride who has been married before never wears a wedding veil nor does she wear white. Otherwise she dresses for the time of day and the degree of formality her wedding calls for and wears a corsage. Her head covering is either a small hat or a flower arrangement. It is only the bride’s
previous status that determines whether or not she may wear a wedding veil.

On the role of the best man (This makes Steph assume rape and forced marriage, so that’s nice):

The best man has always had an important role in all
weddings. In ancient times, when marriage was by seizure of some girl out-side the tribe, the best man was chosen for his brawn and bravery, as he was needed to fend off the bride’s male relatives and, later, to prevent the bride’s escape from the groom.

The best man takes the groom ‘firmly in hand’, aka, Shipping It:

The best man is adviser, messenger, valet, secretary, and general factotum to the groom. He takes him firmly in hand from the very start of preparations for the wedding, seeing to it that he is fitted for his wedding clothes, if new ones are to be made for him or if they are to be rented that he has
the ties and gloves for the ushers, that he confers with the bride on the needed flowers for ushers and for her bouquet and his boutonniere…

I don’t even know what this is (Moya says: ​I assume this is to make sure the guests don’t escape.  TIE THOSE PEWS TOGETHER, BOYS, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW IS A FLIGHTY ONE):

After the bride’s mother is seated and the canvas, if there is one, is down two designated ushers, starting with their left feet first, walk together up the aisle to the last reserved pews where white satin ribbons have been carefully folded and laid alongside of the decorated aisle posts. They pick
up the entire bundle and, again in step, walk the length of the pews, as rehearsed, drawing the ribbons behind the aisle posts in a straight line, placing the loop at the end of each ribbon over the last aisle post.

On poor silly mens:

Ushers, as members of the wedding party, always give gifts to the bride, individually, before the wedding or together give the couple some major gift from them all, with contributions to the fund tactfully geared to the circumstances of the least affluent usher. A silver tea tray, a chair, or coffee table things the new household needs are appropriate and better than separate gifts from each usher, as men are usually greatly befuddled as to what constitutes a suitable wedding gift. They are often visibly relieved if the bride, when asked, has a concrete suggestion along these lines.

On the modern bridal gift:

On or just before her wedding day the bride receives some personal gift from the groom usually something to wear. Loveliest is a string of pearls, but the modern bride if her husband can afford it may think in terms of a mink coat or her own roadster.

Moya’s official stance on wedding etiquette:

Modern brides have the obligation to do precisely zero of these things, although I am all in favour of hitting up anyone available to give you a roadster as a wedding present.  But not a mink coat, unless it’s artificial.  (Seriously, go for the roadster).

(And do what makes you happy, especially if that involves wearing forty-seven veils at your third wedding. Veils are great and the judgemental ghost of Amy Vanderbilt will be a feature attraction for your guests.)

No Award end note: Moya is available for calligraphy for weddings and parties, and her nib collection is excellent.

tips for time travelling on the cheap

Tips for Time Travelling on the Cheap

  1. Don’t travel through time.

Notable travellers through time who ruined it for someone and definitely don’t deserve that power:

  • Marty McFly and Doc Brown
  • Doctor Who
  • The crew of the Enterprise. Every crew
  • Hermione Granger
  • The crew of the Enterprise-E
  • The Terminator
  • Cameron (unknown model of Terminator)
  • Bill and Ted
  • Austin Powers
  • The Time Traveller

Notable travellers through time who didn’t ruin it for anyone:

  • Maybe Martha Jones
  • Scrooge, in the company of Gonzo and Rizzo and a few creepy ghosts, but only because that wasn’t time travel, that was a strong cheese before dinner and some Muppets

Things that get ruined by time travel:

  • Come on these all caps are intentional
  • If you go back in time and condescend to a lady, who knows want misandry or misanthropy you encourage
  • You can’t trust people not to ruin things
  • Look at how the Doctor is all benevolent and STILL RUINS THINGS
  • I can’t even

You may discontent in the comments, but please note that you are wrong. Time Travel is the worst.

Something something lyrics linkspam

What lies beneath: Sydney gets the southern hemisphere’s first body farm Australia

We Need To Talk About Fairy Bread – Please note that Stephanie has chosen to take “you can’t gentrify fairy bread” as a challenge. But also, what counts as gentrification? As a lower-middle-class person from Perth’s dodgy suburbs, is it gentrification if I take my favourite childhood snack and change it up?

The Future’s Been Here Since 1939: Female Fans, Cosplay and Conventions

Favourite pieces from this weeks’ AusPol: Abbott coins “doing an Abbott” to mean making a mistake; on the impacts of Sir Prince Phillip; on Adam Giles and the NT.

New site Future Black, decolonising design in Australia’s built environment.

One for stationery nerds and people with Khe Sanh earworms: The illustrious history of the yellow legal pad

The article title is misleading, but about how talk of Polyamory is white, when Polyamory isn’t. (Surpriiiise)

MAPS of the countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Notes on the Melbourne Free Trams. We were just going to link this with no commentary, but it turns out Steph has some feelings. The entirety of the City of Perth is a Free Transit Zone (FTZ, for those from Perth), and it a) takes in a huge chunk of the tourist attractions, and b) is used a lot by workers who drive to work, and then would ordinarily take taxis or cars between meetings at different ends of the CBD. The FTZ and the ubiquity of the buses, as well as the existence of the Cats (buses that exist solely to do laps of different sections of the CBD), means they do get used. And don’t end up with the overcrowding issue that Melbourne’s CBD trams were already experiencing. I don’t have a solution, I’m just saying.

Attitude round-up

Last year, the ABC axed RampUp, its excellent site for discussion around disability.  A short time later, comedian/writer/disability advocate/all around hero Stella Young passed away.

That quote, ‘the only disability in life is a bad attitude’, the reason that’s bullshit is … No amount of smiling at a flight of stairs has ever made it turn into a ramp. No amount of standing in the middle of a bookshelf and radiating a positive attitude is going to turn all those books into braille. – Stella Young

Now, the ABC is airing New Zealand show Attitude, a series of short documentaries about people with disabilities.  There is also also a crowdfunding project for an Australian version.

Unfortunately, Attitude doesn’t seem interested in prioritising the experiences and views of people with disabilities.  Here’s a round-up of posts about why it’s not great.

The problem with ABC’s new disability series, “Attitude”

Disability voices have to be heard to change attitudes

Disability media and Attitude TV — Carly Findlay discusses her hopes for the Australian version

Attitude series and the power and responsibility of portraying disability on mainstream TV

More favourable:

Graeme Innes, formerly Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner, writes in favour of Attitude.  

I respect Innes a lot, but I strongly resent that Attitude seems to be entirely aimed at an able-bodied audience.

A different kind of attitude

(note: this post talks a lot about the so-called third world, and basically trades disability inspiration porn for poverty inspiration porn)

For my part, the whole concept of “attitude” is fraught.  My rheumatologist constantly praises me for improving my chronic conditions by having a good attitude, and it makes me quite uncomfortable.  It’s easy to exercise and practice self-care when you have a full-time job, a functional bike and access to an affordable public swimming pool.

And it’s distressing to realise that you’re being classified as a Good Patient just because you have these advantages — while, for example, your mother is classified as a Bad Patient because she has no energy to exercise, no access to a pool, and the public rheumatologist who sees her intermittently assumed she was an alcoholic.  (She’s a teetotaller.)

And I don’t even have that great an attitude.  “Yes, I have multiple chronic illnesses.  It’s very dull.  Let’s get on with it.”  That’s me on a good day.  In a bad week, I can and will bore everyone I know with my incessant complaints about being in pain — but my rheumatologist doesn’t see that.

Adam Baldwin/Supanova/GamerGate round-up

Adam Baldwin is an actor, best known for Firefly, who also holds some very conservative opinions, coined the term “GamerGate”, and facilitated the doxxing of game developer Zoe Quinn.  Here’s a handy round-up of his behaviour.

Supanova is one of the very few pop culture expos in Australia. Adam Baldwin will be a guest at the Sydney and Perth events in June. Suffice to say, lots of people are unhappy about this.  There is a petition to revoke his invitation.  (You should sign it!)

People discussing the matter have been doxxed, abused, driven from their preferred social media platforms, and generally treated badly.  (Liz got off lucky with some rather tedious mansplaining.  Nice try, guys, but I work with lawyers.)

Supanova, meanwhile, has engaged in some epic fence-sitting, also some general rudeness, also tried to manipulate a feminist comedian into supporting them. (The original article, published in Fairfax’s Daily Life, has been removed; the link is to an archived version.)

A summary.

The thing is, this isn’t about Baldwin’s politics.  Hell, Star Trek: Voyager‘s Roxanne Dawson quotes Bill O’Reilly on her Twitter, but I wouldn’t say she’d be an inappropriate guest at a nerd convention.  It’s Baldwin’s behaviour, and that of the people he supports, that’s the problem here.

As a small, fat, feminine and female nerd, I would not feel safe at an event as attractive to misogynist bullies as Supanova with Baldwin as a guest.  And I wouldn’t want to give money to a company that engineers that situation.

Baldwin himself is easy to ignore and avoid — I’ve attended a whole lot of Supanovas, and accidentally encountered a guest once. But the men he attracts?  Most are just keyboard warriors, mired in self-hatred, lashing out at women to compensate for their problems.  But as Brianna Wu’s experience would attest, some are dangerous.  And Baldwin feeds them. That’s why I don’t want Adam Baldwin to be a paid guest at Supanova.

#ride the night


In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I rode in Melbourne’s inaugural Ride the Night. It was a midnight to dawn ride through Melbourne, raising money for YSAS (Youth Support and Advocacy Service), based in St Kilda.

Midnight to dawn is a bit of a misnomer, I suppose. With 2800 riders, we were let off in waves, and my posse of Beth, Danni and myself found ourselves in the last wave, heading out closer to 0100. We zoomed for a bit, only to be stuck in a queue at the lights as we came out of Birdwood Avenue and attempted to move from Domain Avenue and onto Albert Road. Despite having 2800 riders, we didn’t attempt critical mass, and so we waited to move 2800 riders through a normally operating set of traffic lights.

Anyway, aside from the rain, that we were suffering congestion and bottlenecks is really my biggest logistical issue. And I acknowledge that the rain was no-one’s fault! I had a very excellent ride, even in the rain, and it was the longest I’ve ever done in one go. I feel like I learnt things about myself as a rider in inclement weather, and it was awesome cycling areas I’m unfamiliar with. Thank you to Bicycle Network Victoria for putting it on.

On a personal level, I can’t read inspirational maps. The RTN map was such, illustrated with some animals for the zoo and the wheel for Southbank. But I struggle to read and remember them. For someone whose greatest skill is ‘ability to navigate streets I haven’t seen in a decade, since I was 8,’ that’s a big issue.

ride the night map of no sense for stephanies
ride the night map of no sense for stephanies

Certainly it explains how I ended up doing the Western Loop, heading towards the end, with no idea how it had happened. I was redirected onto La Trobe Street from Swanston as I headed for the Northern Loop. I thought, oh, damn this map, we must go up Elizabeth or Queen. But there were no people, and no signs to indicate a turn. And always, in the distance, I could see a flash of red, a bike light.

Long story short, I ended up riding by myself through the horror movie wasteland that is Port Melbourne at night, so of course I didn’t stop my bike to check gmaps, so the best I knew of it was when I arrived at rest stop G and they yelled ‘hooray you’re at the last rest stop before the end!’ And for me, personally, what would have solved this was a proper map, with street names and landmarks and stuff. You know. Like a proper map. It could have been a mud map, that would have been fine. I know it would have been big. Maybe this could have been solved by downloading the app but I’m running out of space on my phone.

My biggest actual complaint is the detritus. Before the event, Danni and Beth were very eager to get glow sticks, until I told them why I wouldn’t be using them:

  • Due to the chemicals inside them, though they’re made of plastic they’re single use and can’t be recycled.
  • The chemicals inside them are not very nice for the Bay.
  • We live on the Bay.
  • Litter. What if we lose them?

Then I picked up our rider packs, and there were half a dozen cheap glow sticks in each of them. I know they were cheap, because between the three of us we ended up with at least two glow sticks that failed to glow. I caved to puppy eyes at this point, because since we had been given them by RTN and BNV, I conceded we could use them. We secured them with cable ties.

There was no real fear of my being lost after I lost my crew, as the entire ride was littered with the detritus of our ride. Riding so quickly, and in the rain, meant no one was really given the chance for littering other things, but the glow sticks – oh, the glow sticks. I reached a point on my ride, when the rain was heavy and we were doing Beaconsfield Parade in St Kilda, when I seriously considered stopping riding RTN in order to simply start picking up glow sticks. I was so angry, and I still am. My daily commute includes Napier Street, which was part of the ride, and even though it was over halfway through the ride, this location, this morning on my ride I still spotted several lost, lonely glow sticks lying on the road.

REMINDER: There is nothing between storm water drains and the Bay. When something goes into those drains on the road, you know the ones, that’s it. They go straight into the Bay, no filtering or whatever. So many people assume there’s filters. There’s not.

I’m really disappointed that we were encouraged to use a thing that’s so environmentally unfriendly and is so easy to litter without even noticing.

However I did have a really great time and I look forward to future Ride the Nights. And thanks so much to my donors.

My recommendations for future Ride the Nights:

  1. Different start points or scheduled start times. Especially with the rain, waiting in a queue for 45 minutes before we started cycling, and then getting stuck in traffic at 0100, made the experience unpleasant before it could even begin.
  2. A proper map.
  3. Road blocks or traffic control as an extension of this management.
  4. No glow sticks. Use that money on reflective face paint, or another light, or something less damaging and encouraging of poor habits.
  5. Clearer signage.
  6. Delicious vegan breakfast options.

Danni has also written about Ride the Night.