07 December 2008


When I was just thinking about starting a blog, my friend Miss Marzie - herself a longtime blogger - said that you meet some lovely people in blog world. Now it's not that I disbelieved her, it's just that meeting lovely people was not high on my list of motivations for starting the Daily Boop... and then I met Whimsy Cate.

Y'see the luscious, lolly-like dots you see here before you (as opposed to gloomy green and yucky yellow) are thanks to Cate and her man Tim, who wrote a comprehensive step-by-step guide through image editing and HTML that was so easy to get, I had new dots up by lunchtime.

So when Miss Marzie said I'd meet some lovely people online she was so right! Thank you Cate and Tim... you have made me a very happy Boop!

PS Whimsy Cate writes a lovely blog, as does the gorgeous Miss Marzie. So if you haven't ventured out into blog world yet, I highly recommend doing so. You'll be amazed at what - and who - is out there.

04 December 2008


When I was just two years and nine days old, my little sister came into the world. I don't know why my dad thought I needed a present to mark the occasion but I doubt very much that he was aware of the impact the three little books he gave me would have on my life.

They were by the creator of Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne: When We Were Very Young, Now We Are Six, and The House at Pooh Corner. I adored these books - especially the first two - and even now I love to pull them off the bookcase and read them loud and animated like a primary school librarian.

I don't know why I love these poems so much and I don't want to think about it too deeply in case it tarnishes the beautiful innocence of it all. But I do know there's something uplifting and inspiring and beautiful about the way stories like these can shape a child's imagination; and I'd like to think they had a similar influence on mine.

My favourites have changed over the years. When I was really little I loved one called 'Happiness' which was about John and his great big waterproof boots. As I got older I laughed out loud to 'Bad Sir Brian Botany' (an eccentric old soldier whose long-suffering neighbours took their revenge in a duck pond), and wondered at how that precocious little upstart, James James Morrison Morison Weatherby George Dupree, persuaded the King to help him look for his mother in 'Disobedience'.

But this is my all time favourite AA Milne poem. It's called 'The Four Friends' and it's from When We Were Very Young.

Ernest was an elephant, a great big fellow,
Leonard was a lion with a six foot tail,
George was a goat, and his beard was yellow,
And James was a very small snail.

Leonard had a stall, and a great big strong one,
Earnest had a manger, and its walls were thick,
George found a pen, but I think it was the wrong one,
And James sat down on a brick.

Earnest started trumpeting, and cracked his manger,
Leonard started roaring, and shivered his stall,
James gave a huffle of a snail in danger
And nobody heard him at all.

Earnest started trumpeting and raised such a rumpus,
Leonard started roaring and trying to kick,
James went on a journey with the goats new compass
And he reached the end of his brick.

Ernest was an elephant and very well intentioned,
Leonard was a lion with a brave new tail,
George was a goat, as I think I have mentioned,
but James was only a snail.

03 December 2008

I survived self promotion (and other stupid stories from the bad old days)

You may find this hard to believe but I turn into a wobbling blob of insecurity if ever I'm faced with the need to self-promote. Happily, at the grand old age of 39 I have found myself in the fortunate position of not having do it anymore... I have a job I like and, all going well, I won't need to hit the streets, trumpet in hand with which to impress a doubtful employer.

I have a husband I plan to keep, so as long as he's happy to keep me too, I won't be out trolling the clubs promoting myself as an ideal incubator for a 40-something nobody who's already been rejected by the majority of my peers.

No, it seems I've managed to all but wipe out the need to tell people what a great girl I am. But a girl will do almost anything when she's hungry... she'll even stoop to self promotion.

So I'm guessing it would have been early April in 1997. My job, along with those of a handful of my colleagues, had been made redundant in the previous January when the ad agency I worked for lost a major account. All I can remember doing with my redundancy package was buying a bikini, a bottle of Baileys and paying for fornightly visits to a tarot card reader called Annie at Orange Lane Markets. By April the money was gone.

I'd visited the two creative directors who didn't scare me to the point of peeing my pants and started to pick up a bit of freelance work but not enough to survive on. So to avoid any face-to-face time with Adelaide's creative directors, I wrote a headline, added a heart-wrenching story, a pic I'd hijacked from the newspaper and made it look like the lead the article on the front page of The Advertiser (Adelaide's daily rag). I then mailed it to every creative director I knew of and waited for the work to come flooding in.

Of course, it didn't and looking at it now, I realise it was really dumb to use than name of a real Advertiser journalist. Super dumb. Unbelievably dumb.

Anyway, last week I was preparing the spare room for a visit from my mother in law* and I came across my old portfolio; and in a tatty, yellowing envelope, I found my pitiful poverty ad.

Poverty stricken writer forced to eat her own words
By Scott McKenzie (aka the alias that probably did me out of a week's work) in Adelaide

A spokesperson from the Royal Adelaide Hospital has this morning told of the amazing survival of Tracey Linnell, a copywriter driven to survive on words alone after a prolonged dry spell in the advertising industry.

Tipped off by concerned neighbours, police entered Miss Linnell's home on Sunday; and while initially driven back by the stench of foul language, they found the woman in a room at the rear of the house, huddled unconscious over her thesaurus.

"When police found Miss Linnell, she was in a very bad way. Her condition suggested she had been eating words for at least a month, and tests showed no vowel movement for quite some time," the spokesperson said.

Asked of her current condition, he replied "Miss Linnell has responded well to treatment. Fortunately she chose her words carefully and the damage to her vocabulary was kept to a minimum."

It's expected Miss Linnell will be released later today and be fit to make an immediate return to work.

*Now that I know my mother in law's a reader of The Daily Boop, I'll refer to her by her first name (which is Lyn), refrain from swearing and blasphemy and not blame her for Georgie's wind trouble.


This is the first - but probably not the last - post I've ever written from my nine to five desk. It's been a busy, busy time in the world of traceyboop because every day when I finish work I go to my other job which is conveniently located in my head and it's called inertia.

I've only been working at inertia for the last few weeks and it's the easiest job I've ever had! I leave my nine to five and furiously fight my way through the Sydney traffic, eager to get home to the couch where the real work begins.

I try to be there by seven which coincides with the start of the Colbert Report on the Comedy Channel. The boss doesn't mind if I'm a bit late because the show is repeated on Comedy 2 at nine so in between times I can get busy doing stuff all.

When the Colbert Report is done it's time for a break so I rest my head back and look at the ceiling. I know I do this because I've noticed there's dust in the light fitting and I've made a mental note to fix it when I finish my stint at inertia. Not long after that I get so busy doing nothing that before I know where I am the time has gone and I'm back at my nine to five again.

So I hope you understand my not having time to update the Daily Boop... because I'm hell-mad with myself for letting it slip.

So... fresh, new and insightful posts will be delivered daily - as promised - to this here blog... if I gotta break the telly to do it.

22 November 2008

Heavens Above

When we’re in Hobart, we stay in a lovely old mansion called Ednam House. It’s filled with antiques, heavy drapes and something that I’ve never seen but my pounding heart tells me is there. To avoid looking into nothing and seeing something, I lose myself in the intricate details of the fittings… like this chandelier in the Augusta suite.

Red Bubble

19 November 2008


It's been a really busy time at the nine to five and I feel like I'm running out of words. Today however, there was a small reprieve... a 700 to 800 word article has morphed into a table with just a headline and an intro, saving me anything up to 600 words.

It was tempting, I must admit, to blow it all in a phone call to Bear (my best friend who uses at least three times as many words as me); or waste it on random lyric generation as Georgie and I made dinner. But I think I'll get better mileage out of writing rather than speaking. At least here I can monitor the number of words I use (120 to here) and maybe save just enough so I don't go to bed speechless.

When I first started out as a copywriter, I found myself at odds with the writer's need to have thing 'just so'. If I wasn't working with a black Artline 210 on an A3 pad of bond paper, all I could think about was not having a black Artline and a pad of the starchy bond. If it was too noisy I grumbled, if it was too quiet I turned my music up. The writer in me was a wanker and I have very, very little time for wankers.

But then one day I read about a legendary copywriter named David Abbott. He was the man behind the award-winning print campaign for The Economist (which I think inspired the brilliant bush-shelter campaign for the Financial Review) and he said that to write these ads he needed to draw up a page of perfectly ruled 10 x 3 boxes with (if I recall correctly) a particular red pen before he could begin. (293 words)

Now when it comes to copywriting, I am not a hair on David Abbott's little finger; but he changed the relationship between me and the writer forever. In just a few words he made it OK for me to have a ritual around my work, and that needing one didn't make me a precious little tosser.

I don't need bond paper anymore and I could write in a thunderstorm (like the one happening outside right now), but still I can't think straight without an Artline in my hand. (381 words)

Now if I finish now, I'll have just enough words for two minutes of pointless chatter with George before turning out the light. Nigh night. (413)

14 November 2008

For God sake, Mr Sandman... bring me a bloody dream

So what does a girl do when she can't sleep? She takes a picture of herself not sleeping and posts it on her blog of course. I mean, where else am I going to be at 4.28 in the morning?

It's been a really busy week and my nine to five has become my eight to eight; although come to think of it, it's never really was a nine to five.

For a while now it's been my 9.30 to 6.30 but that doesn't sound as compact as 'nine to five'. Before that it was eight to five but that's much too early to be poetic and frankly the traffic is just awful at that hour. Before that I had a different job and I I caught the bus to work... that was hell on earth regardless of the time. I didn't like my job much either so if I could have billed them for the time I spent traveling to and from their hall of shame in a dirty yellow rust bucket, I would've.

Anyway, it's 15 minutes until my alarm goes off... maybe I should turn it off so it doesn't wake the sleeping George. Or maybe I could be devious and let it go because then he'll make me a lovely coffee. Hmmm... I now have 13 minutes to weigh up the pros and cons...

So back to my busy week... I'm on holidays soon and while I'm away I'm going to phase out the use of the word 'yes' and replace it with something like 'Sure I can do that! It will take [insert time] to write and I can do it on [insert day]'. It's longer, I know (and probably won't fit on a sticky note) but I'm done with long days and sleepless nights... and I look terrible at this hour!

Postscript: I didn't realise my alarm clock is four minutes fast so when I heard my alarm bleating at 5.11 I bolted into the bedroom to turn it off before it woke George. I needn't have worried though... he could sleep through anything. Even my sleepless night.

11 November 2008

If I had one hundred wishes...

... I'd make everyday as special as it was today.

10 November 2008

Tick, tick, tock goes the birthday clock...

In one hour and one minute it will be my birthday.

As I write this, Georgie is locked away wrapping my presents. He pokes his head out the door when I laugh at the telly and I dare myself to sneak a look at what might be in there.

Now he’s walking into the lounge with a pretty bundle… there are six beautifully wrapped pressies (including three in my favourite Barbie paper). He catches me looking and then grudgingly agrees to rearrange them so I can take a picture.

I love birthdays… especially mine.

09 November 2008

For the last few days I’ve been struggling to think of something to write for the Daily Boop and today I’m beginning to understand why.

Y’see, there’s a certain dishonesty that goes with the job of a copywriter and I’m not talking about hyperbole; I’m talking about the need to write ‘Truman’ copy… copy that paints the picture of a perfect world, where the brand never reflects on past mistakes and immediately, wordlessly disassociates itself with something (or someone) that just doesn’t work.

Now I’m not about to launch into a what’s-wrong-with-advertising monologue because a) it’s Sunday, b) I don’t really care that much, and c) the Daily Boop is about me me me! But I do think that I’ve lost a little of myself in the shiny, happy copy I write in my nine-to-five, and looking back over my posts at the Daily Boop, I can see ‘shiny, happy’ emerging here, too.

So it’s time for some honesty and this means balancing the funny with the profound… starting now.

As I sift through the things I've written over the years, I'm occasionally taken aback by the palpable emotion in some of my earlier work, like in this piece I wrote for my mum for Mothers Day back in 1996. What makes it even more profound is that 12 years later we are all but strangers.

I had been living in Adelaide for about ten months, having left Hobart to pursue my writing career. It was coming up to Mothers Day and I recall being desperately lonely - missing my family and friends, but mostly my Mum. I was also flat broke, so with emotions running high and probably just enough money to buy a postage stamp, I wrote this and sent it to her.

It’s eleven minutes past three on Tuesday the Seventh of May 1996 – nine thousand six hundred and forty-eight days, ten hours and fifty-nine minutes since you gave birth to me.
It’s almost Mothers Days... your twenty seventh Mothers Day, my twenty-seventh Mothers Day… our first apart.
I want to tell you so much and there is so much to tell.
I want to tell you about my first memories of you.
About how I dreaded going a day without hearing your gentle, tender voice and wrapping me in your warm hugs.
I still do.
I remember you sitting on my bed to say goodnight, and how I wouldn't let you go until I’d fallen asleep.
And you stayed.
I remember how special the days were when you’d collect me from school. It was like coming from the mouth of a dragon into the arms of an angel.
I remember the arms I wouldn’t leave after getting a beating from the neighbourhood bully. And I remember the arms that wouldn’t let me go.
I remember waiting for you to collect me from Auntie Colleen’s… just watching the window, waiting for my mum.
Then you’d come and everything would be ok.
I remember the little treasures you’d hide down my bed. Do you remember the book 'You’re a Special Kind of Friend'? Well, you’re my special friend.
I remember how you’d bring me home copies of 'Tracy' and 'Dolly'. And how you’d pull out the bits you thought I shouldn’t read.
And I remember how you’d bring us home Cadbury Snack bars to eat while we watched movies like 'The Wizard of Oz' and 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' on Friday nights.
And I remember how jealous I was when you used to tie the girl next door’s hair up because her mum had hurt her hand. You tied mine up too, but you were my Mum.
I remember how you, me and Sasha argued on the way to Lewisham one day. You stopped the car and told us to get out. We wouldn’t. When we did, you drove off, turned around and came straight back. You told us to get in the car. We wouldn’t.
I remember crying because we’d hurt you. I never wanted to hurt you.
I remember the worried Mum that took me off to see Mr Seymour at school. And how she told him that I just wasn’t myself and she just didn’t know what to do.
And the same woman who, not very many years later, dragged me off to the doctor, knowing that something was seriously wrong.
I remember you standing over my hospital bed – neither of us knowing what the hell was happening – and saying, “Do you know that I love you very, very much?”
Well, I love you too. More than you’ll ever know.
When you’re sad I want to cry. When you’re hurt I feel it too. When you’re happy, I’m the happiest girl in the world.
You’re the most precious thing… I could never imagine life without you. And I’d lay down mine right now for you.
And even though we’re so far apart, we’re so close.
If I can be half as loving and nurturing and supporting with my children as you are with me, then they will be the luckiest children alive.
And right now, I’m the luckiest girl.

04 November 2008

Boop oop ee doop!

I remember watching Betty Boop cartoons when I was a little girl but it wasn't until my 18th birthday that I received my first piece of genuine Boop memorabilia. This mug was a gift from my best friend Bear and it's one of two pieces that mean the world to me.

The other is a keyring my dad gave me just months before he passed away. It's still carrying my keys and sometimes when I'm driving the little feet catch in my hosiery as if to remind me that it's still there.

There's other ones as well... like the cute Boop tin from my friend Nicola, the quilt my mother in law made from Boop fabric, and the little Boop doll that was a gift from my goddaughter Taylah which hangs on my bedroom door.

But there is one that comes without the usual feeling of affection and it hit me like a brick when I opened a draw in the spare room tonight... the Betty Boop Air Freshener (with natural fragrances apparently). I first saw them in the auto section of Big W and I thought it looked nifty and smelled ok and just because it was Boop (and not because my car stunk) I bought it. That night I hung it in Hugo (our car, so named because 'Hugh goes where we go') and toddled off to bed.

The next morning was a shocker. Hugo smelled SO BAD George and I rode all the way to work with our heads out the windows so we didn't choke. Did I mention the natural fragrances? So we binned the Boop and vowed never EVER to buy another.

A few weeks later I was visiting my sister in Hobart and she and the kids had an early birthday present for me... a set of Betty Boop windscreen shades and a matching Betty Boop Air Freshener. "Oh wow! Wherever do you find these things?" I asked wondrously (but secretly dreading the stink that would permeate my clothes on the way home).

Now this might have been a great anecdote to share when I'm invited to guest speak at a Betty Boop convention (in my dreams), but it didn't end there.

Shortly after I returned from Hobart, a colleague came bounding into my office grinning with excitement, package in hand, and said, "You'll never guess what I found for you in Big W!"

Ya wanna make a bet?

02 November 2008

These are few of my favourite things... (cue music)

In my first post, 'Blogging not Jogging', I said I was going to write about the things that make me happy, so I'll start at the top with this guy... my husband Darren.

He's known by many names: Darrenby, Dazz, Dazzler, Dazza, Dazzafrass, Count von Dazzler, Bedazzler, Dashing, Derwent, Dags, Daggy, Derwie, Virgil, Scarce, Scarcey, Scarcecrow, Rabbit, Bunyip, Bullfrog, Lightning, and Johnny Holmes (although not for the reasons you might think); but I call him George.

I took this photo as he was whipping up a tuna salsa this afternoon, which is a perfect segue into another of my most favourite things: food! I wish I had taken a picture of the salsa because it looked as good as it tasted. We piled it onto tomato and linseed crackers and gobbled it up.

It took about ten minutes from raiding the cupbard to piling the crackers so it's perfect for when your mother in law rings and says she'll be there in ten for lunch. Thankfully mine lives interstate so I didn't have to share the very first Georgie's Tuna Salsa. Here's the recipe... hope you enjoy.

Georgie's Tuna Salsa
Tuna in springwater
Finely chopped tomato, basil and parsley (don't be shy)
Lightly toasted pine nuts
Dash of light mayo
Whisker of wasabi

Combine and serve on your choice or spice- or herb-flavoured crackers.

01 November 2008

Two new words to impress your friends with

Today I added a gadget called 'Daily Sniglets' to the Daily Boop and already I have discovered two new words that ought to be in the dictionary: 'chipfault' and 'ellacelleration'.

Firstly, chipfault. Next time you're at a snazzy do and your chip breaks in the dip, you've found the chipfault... the weak point in the chip where it snaps under the weight of the dip.

Next, ellacelleration. When you're in the elevator and someone steps in and starts hammering on a floor button as if that would get them there faster, that's ellacelleration.

Now, aren't you glad you stopped by the Daily Boop?

You can find Daily Sniglets at the bottom of the page... I would have put it up here on the sidebar but frankly I can't stand showoffs.

31 October 2008

Thank you! And about that technical hitch...

I’ve received some really lovely feedback about the Daily Boop and I just want to say thanks for the support… it’s nice to know that’s it appreciated.

If you’ve tried to leave a comment but found you couldn’t, the problem has now been fixed and I promise I’ll never fiddle with the settings again!

Up yours, Mr Kearney!

(Please note, the following material contains language some people may find offensive.)

When I was in grade eight, Mr Kearney, my devilishly handsome English teacher, asked if he could read the poems I had been writing and had collected in a notebook.

All the cool girls at school thought Mr Kearney was the bee’s knees (and I think he did too) but he was much too smooth and pretty for my liking. That was until he asked to read my poems. Suddenly I was completely captivated and infatuated. I tidied up my notebook and presented it to him after class one day.

It was months before he returned my little book and by then I was in loathing with him again. And when I opened it up, I discovered he had gone through with a red pen like he would my school work, ‘correcting’ the poems I had written from my dark but girlish heart. I was crushed.

It’s been years since I thought of that cad Kearney, but he came to mind tonight as I was writing this blog. Y’see, I thought I’d post a poem I wrote for my 21st birthday and as I was keying it in, I found myself tidying things up, replacing words here and there and restructuring an entire verse. And then I thought of him.

If I had have known on the 8th of November 1990, that eighteen years later I would be ‘correcting’ this poem, I think I would have shut my notebook then and there and never written another word.

So here it is… my poem, ‘Revealed’ as written by me on the 8th of November 1990.

All kids ask their parents about stuff they want to know
but I’ll never forget when I asked my mum a couple of years ago
about her and Dad in their courting days, the mood changed in a helluva hurry
there was something she was gonna tell me and I began to worry

She looked at me with this deathly look upon her face
and I’ll never forget the day my mother fell from grace
“What’s up mum? Did I say something that might be wrong?”
She sighed, “Ya father’s not your daddy love, ya daddy was a bong

“It goes back many years when he’d deliver the milk
I’d wait in the moonlit night in my negligee made of silk
Yes, those were the days when I was young and wild and free
It wasn’t supposed to happen like this it was just too dark to see"

Well the years went by, I was out one day and well, you’d never guess
I found him in the handouts queue at the local CES
I rubbed my eyes and looked again, gosh he looked a wreck
With gum leaves over his private parts and bottle tops 'round his neck

I never will forget that day for as long as I shall live
And my poor long suffering mother I was quick to forgive
But forget I won’t; in no hurry will this one be forgot
But I asked, "When’d you two get married mum?" She said, "We did not!”

“Well what about the wedding photos with you in all your glory?”
She looked at me, winked and smiled, “Well, that’s another story”.

28 October 2008

Saved by St Peter

Just one day into the Daily Boop I can’t help but wonder if I’ve bitten of more than I can chew.

I’d never intended to call it ‘the Daily Boop’ but when I discovered ‘Wordy Girl’ was taken, I went with the first thing that came into my head. A smarter girl would have gone with something like ‘the Weekly Boop’ so as not to set expectations too high; or even ‘Boop, Once in a While’, but not being able to punctuate the URL would have driven me nuts.

So at the risk of becoming nothing more than a misleading headline, the Daily Boop musters everything she has at this ungodly hour and brings you the funniest joke EVER!

The Daily Boop advises that the following joke contains references to nuns and penises.

Four nuns die and go to heaven and as they arrive at the pearly gates, St Peter steps out and summons the first nun. He says, ‘Welcome to Heaven, child… before you pass through the pearly gates, I must ask you a question: have you ever touched a penis?’

The nun blushed and said, ‘Oh St Peter, I cannot tell a lie… I once touched one with the tip of my finger.’

‘Well,’ said St Peter lovingly, ‘just put your finger in the holy water and then you can pass on through the pearly gates.’

Relieved, she dipped her finger in the holy water and scurried through the gates and into Heaven.

Then St Peter summoned the second nun and again he said, ‘Welcome to Heaven, child… before you pass through the pearly gates, I must ask you a question: have you ever touched a penis?’

The nun giggled and said sheepishly, ‘Oh St Peter, I cannot tell a lie… I once held one in the palm of my hand.’ St Peter smiled gently and said, ‘Just put your hand in the holy water and then you can pass on through the pearly gates.’

Then St Peter summoned the third nun and said, ‘Welcome to Heaven, child… before you pass through the pearly gates, I must ask you a question: have you ever touched a penis?’ At which point the fourth nun burst forward and screamed, ‘If you think I’m gonna gargle that after she’s had her butt in it, you can forget it!'

27 October 2008

Blogging not jogging

I should be on my way home now for a brisk walk but I'm having too much fun... sort of. This is my first blog and I can't help but wonder if I have what it takes to be a consistent poster. Only one way to find out...

My name's Tracey but almost everyone who matters calls me Boop. Not boo, not boob, Boop. I write for a living and while I used to regularly write for my own pleasure, I haven't done it for years. And that's what the Daily Boop's about... me getting back into the swing of writing about the things that make me happy. If what I write makes you happy too, then I'll be doubly thrilled I started the Daily Boop.