Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I drove home, it rained, the traffic of course doubled because it was raining, I took a turn-off from Elgar Road because all I could see were the red lights of a thousand other cars' arses ahead of me, I meandered around the backstreets of Box Hill/Mont Albert and eventually found myself in Whitehorse Road and thought OK this traffic is so appalling I'm just going to stop somewhere and do some essay marking and have some dinner, so I did, a Malaysian noodle restaurant which - well - wasn't that great, though I had some coconut juice, a personal favourite. But at least the traffic did die down but by now I was doomed to meander so I came home Kew-Heidelberg-Preston-Reservoir-Broady. The plus side was that Australia Talks Back was doing a show about Canberra, and I had a good time with that. But it was ultimately a 2 hour drive and I don't ultimately feel enriched.

walk to glenroy

I walked to Glenroy this morning (therefore cunningly slipping into zone 1) and it was most pleasant. I didn't say hello to everyone like I did last time I went to Glenroy - I mean, how much of myself can I give the people? I noted that the shops at Jacana have really upgraded; Lazy Moe's HQ is now there and another business has set up, in addition to the David Lynchian chinese take away, Broady pizza, the never-open sub-op shop, Golden Tofu and the combination hairdresser/plumber. It is a good walk to Glenroy but no doubt I will tire of it as I tire of all my peccadilloes.

Monday, May 30, 2005

scraping through

I managed to scrape through the remainder of the international students' essays yesterday, barring about three (and of course the late ones, who I have no strict obligations to - all bets are off as far as prompt return of essays is concerned when they're late, for whatever reason). This just means I have to start on the first year students' essays, though it looks like there's going to be a strike on Wednesday which will mean I won't be in a position to hand most of them back that day anyway. Also, I went for a reasonably long walk with Charlie and Millie which involved the loop up through the grasslands beneath the electricity pylons and around the Broadmeadows Community Park. At the creek there last time I saw strange guys in the bushes (a beat? drugs? fishing? dada theatre??) yesterday - adding to a Van Gogh moment I was already having as the setting sun made concentric circles in the long grass and thistles - an elderly woman was harvesting a large leafy plant from the creekside. Inbetween these two VGMs I had an Edward Hopper moment due largely to the strange perspective of the houses of Meadow Heights up there on the drastically steep grassy bank.

We watched the last two thirds of the second new Dr Who last night. I don't have a clue why this intrigues me so. There's no sense in it. It's not that great. It's not really edgy or anything. I just can't help enjoying it. Obviously I was programmed at some point. We also watched about a third probably of a Wesley Snipes film from 1997 some kind of whitehouse conspiracy murder mystery - you have to wonder why anyone would give a shit. I am turning into Dexter from The Children's Bach, kind of a deliberate erasure of understanding of American culture. As soon as I realised the title of the film - Murder at 1600 I think it was - referred to the street address of the Whitehouse, I wished I hadn't figured that out, because I am being too receptive to cultural imperialism.

On Saturday we watched a review copy of the DVD of The Naked Bunyip, the 1970 sexploration documentary which played to packed houses in St Kilda when it was released but which the mainstream cinema chains wouldn't touch. It's actually a pretty decent film, some of it is even still relevant in a funny way. Speaking of in a funny way, I also watched Let Loose Live last night, and found it pretty lacking. One or two good things: I do like the wide shots at the end of each sketch at which the actors break out of character and the whole 'liveness' of it is revealed. There were some actor/comedians I hadn't seen before (or didn't recognise) who were pretty good. I can imagine the woman who played the annoying girl in the waiting room will probably go far.

So, all in all it was a bulk boring weekend of TV and essays. This is the one time TV is really important, because you're always looking for a palate cleanser when the essays start to blend into one another.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

dire weekend

A huge amount of marking awaits me, crouched on the dining room table (the marking, not me, and anyway it's not really crouched - it's just lying there - I think too much essay marking really puts you in a land of bad writing. Certainly I find myself after a while very keen to apostrophise non-possessive plurals. I hate what these bastards do to my otherwise pristine mind).

I bought a hat yesterday in Glenroy. Mia and I had seen it a few days before when we didn't have enough money to get it and yesterday I did so I got it, damn it. Mia says it looks appropriate on me but that this is disturbing.That could mean all kinds of things. It was made in Sri Lanka. As with cars and dogs, I have a very limited understanding of variety of hats, so I don't know what sort it is. Grey. Not a top hat or a fedora. Actually it might be a fedora. Or is that a kind of big cat.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Graham Kennedy is dead

I did feel something when GK died, though I have to say I'm surprised by the large amount of publicity this has received largely because I, a television addict in early middle age, don't recall finding him irresistable. When someone starts their career on TV in 1957, you'd have to assume a lot of their diehard fans have died. I remember him primarily for Blankety Blanks, which I admittedly enjoyed for a time when it was on, but it was hardly genius. When you see old clips of Gra Gra with custard pies, etc, you wonder what it was about. Obviously you had to be there.


I feel terrible after walking from Wattle Park/Bennettswood to work. About a half hour walk through pleasant undulating suburbia of the post-war predominantly housing commission variety. Not enough sleep (up until 12:30 writing reviews and lecture stuff, and up at 6 this morning).

I am not an Animal is actually just not that funny. It looks good, there are some good bits, but in the main it's just not that funny. Just not that funny.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

winding down

As far as teaching is concerned, things are winding down somewhat as of this afternoon. I have one more major lecture in the 3rd year subject and two in the 1st year subject. The 1st year ones won't be too hard (Whitlam dismissal and Republic debate). I hope fervently not to get sick immediately after the teaching ends - that's always a drag, but it happens a lot. I remember Dannii Minogue once telling me that the Young Talent Team would all get bulk flu the week after the season ended, such little professionals.

Monday, May 23, 2005

danny butt and eurovision

Danny Butt came to town yesterday and I picked him up at the airport, and we went to Meadow Heights shopping centre and bought some pide. Not real pide, at least, I know they don't sell it as pide, and don't buy it after 9 (as we did) because half the fun is it's warm out of the oven. Get there around 8. You may have to wait a while, and you'll also have to ask for it by name and/or describe it, which is a drag, because they don't call it pide. They call it something else. Danny insisted on paying for it. I don't know if he later regretted this but he did eat some even colder, voluntarily, later in the day. I stole a lemon from the tree two doors down and found that putting it on the ricotta and parsley pide made it taste like lemon cheesecake.

Danny came with me to Marc's surprise party. What a strange afternoon that was. Marc's Debbie took him out of the house for a short time and they were supposed to come back at 5 (I think) but in fact came back earlier to find a whole bunch of people scrambling to get from the kitchen to the front room. Like a prat I gave up and just sat on the stairs waiting for him to show up, because he'd seen us all racing from the back of the flat to the front of it. So what was the point? But he still went ahead with it and went into the front room and got a 'surprise'. In the more general sense, he was surprised. Or, at least, he hadn't expected it. Today he sent out a group email that read:

'thanks so much to all of you for coming to my birthday
party... it was a real surprise, i had a wonderful
time (especially cleaning up)! i hope you all enjoyed
yourselves as much as i did! we'll no doubt all catch
up soon at various events. until then, keep well... '

'Especially cleaning up'... what does that mean? Oh, right, I remember, he really likes cleaning things up.

Danny is a very well-travelled person who seems to be needed everywhere. I am amazed by his life. It was great to see him, anyway. He is not sure whether he will be in Teheran next week and whether he'll be in Ulster next month. I suppose we can all say we're not sure of such things, but he's got reason.

Then Mia, Danny and I had dinner with Michael and Nicola at the famous I Carusi and then went to Michael and Nicola's house and watched Eurovision. I picked the Greek winner very early in the piece, I promise not knowing that she had won, though it had apparently been broadcast on the killjoy ABC earlier in the day.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

say it loud again

I can't believe that in his book Jimmy Barnes says his wife had to be moved from a hospital because of golden staff infection. I'm serious. Page 78. I note from the internet that co-author Alan Whiticker is more commonly found writing books about rugby. But who knows, maybe Alan did a good job and Jimmy rewrote it to read more working class (this is an obsession of his).

Surely the most obnoxious thing about this foul work is the title - purloined by one James B from another - but seriously, Jimmy, did it occur to you that the second line of that song might not directly relate to the world of Barnes?

I just walked back from Glenroy, in just under an hour; if I'd gone via Pascoe Vale Rd it probably would only have been half an hour but I chose to go through old Jacana. There was (is) a garage sale on at Fox Ct but as far as I was concerned, not very good. They did have a record player that I thought about for a short while but I would only want it to give to my sister and I am not sure she'd want to have it in the house.

Mia and I had been in Glenroy to get breakfast at Dairy Queen. I had a foccaccia and she had breakfast no. 2. Dairy Queen is festooned with remants of its previous incarnations. In the 80s it was a 'food centre'.

I am exhausted, we didn't get to bed until 4 or was it 5 and Mia's cousin rang at 10.

Friday, May 20, 2005

say it loud

I have never liked Jimmy Barnes, and his so-called biography Say it Loud is not helping. For one thing, he has a ghost writer to help him, but if the ghost writer has improved the situation I cannot imagine what a book by Jimmy would be like. It's so badly written it's scary. Not only spelling errors but full of highly annoying typographical quirks like, every band name in italics, and (a bit like James Freud's book, which is Tolstoy compared to this) someone appears to have just done some research on him and put it in front of him to jog his addled memory, which means that no myths are challenged and plenty are regurgitated word for word. Yet, I continue to read it, despite not only not liking Jimmy, I am not even interested in his work. I caught two seconds of him barking something out on the ABC during the week (I think it was 'Chain of Fools') and I said to Mia how amazing it was that people would actually want to listen to something so unappealing but more to the point so characterless. And yet, I continue to read his 'life story'. He calls Dragon 'Dragons', for god's sake. And yet...

snot on drycleaner ad

Someone has done something very witty outside the drycleaners' at Gladstone Park. There is a sign featuring an advertisement in which two young professionals, man and woman, are walking side by side and she has her hand on his arse through his suit jacket. The ad says something about them being very clean. Someone has stuck what looks like, but surely cannot be, an enormous sluglike snot deposit between her fingers.

Maybe I am middle class but I can't believe this is really snot. Mainly because I don't want to think someone in Gladstone Park discovered an incredible stash in their nose and decided to drive down to the shopping centre in their 4WD (see, I am already starting to believe it) and ran in there to stick it in the absolutely wittiest place for such a thing in Gladstone Park or the north west generally.

More likely it's a snotlike item, maybe something from the food hall which is not that far from the dry cleaner's.


Flora is a relatively cheap (actually, it has the air of cheapness more than anything) indian eatery in Flinders St. We went there last night and got little banquets. I had a lassi too. The second time within a week that I have been able to sit in front of a large screen showing indian pop music videos, though these were less edgy than the ones at Tandoori Times and more new romantic (man looks to ground, downcast; woman dances/runs past in pinkish garb; man looks up - was she really there?).

I started to watch Evil Angels this morning because I heard on the radio that the courthouse scenes were filmed in Broadmeadows. But I think they're just interiors. What a rich life I do indeed lead.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

lesser works of christo

I have only been getting the Trent Reznor refs in recent Achewoods by comparison (there's a lot of gaps in my 90s music knowledge) but today's strip is a classic http://www.achewood.com/

last night I dreamt I took a train to Mildura

The train station was labyrinthine. I paid a lot. I had forgotten to pack a bag and the train was just about to leave. I had a lot of thick books in my hand. I said to the stationmaster, 'does the train go all the way to Mildura now?' and he said, 'Did it ever?' So, do I have to educate people even in my dreams?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

harper's bizarre

I have three albums by Harper's Bizarre. Two of them are ex-radio station from the same record fair where I purchased many ex-3DB (I think?) albums includinng The Springfields and The Equals. These two are scratched to hell. The one I taped last night to listen to in the car was one I had never really spent much time with, The Secret Life of Harper's Bizarre. Now, of course I have a reputation for taking kindly to obscure and ridiculous farcical records from days gone by, but I do quite like Harper's Bizarre. They were a vocal quartet from the mid-60s who didn't do much songwriting of their own but instead created a fairly bizarre melange of old standards ('Sentimental Journey', barbershop) and good stuff from up-n-comers like Randy Newman and Van Dyke Parks. Not particularly because of the VDP connection, I think, but probably definitely because of their west-coast-USA-ness, they come across quite Beach Boys-y in some ways; they also sound pretty Simon and Garfunkelish (one of their big hits was a version of the song best known as 'Feelin' Groovy'). To my ears the best stuff is the Newman and Parks material, particularly as these two pretty much get into the swing of it all writing pretty timeless (by which I mean, self-consciously timeless - ahistorical, in a sense) material. TSLOHB is, to my mind, a more subversive record, filled as it is with song fragments and gunshots, though the gunshots appear to be more about the American Civil War than about the American Vietnam War (or are they?).

Last night I started afresh on my De Garis documentary script. Miranda tells me that a page of script equals a page of screentime. So far I have three pages but they're pretty decent pages. Since I have no more lectures to write this week (although I do have three next week!) I am going to do a little more this morning as I wait here for students. It's going to be grouse.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

rice dish

Made a rice dish this evening from cookbook Leslie gave me for my birthday. From Paraguay. Ate too much of it.

it was very foggy this morning

I couldn't see Broadmeadows Sporting Club from the western ring road, and you know what that means.

Monday, May 16, 2005

getting dark

I have about 22 hours to write a lecture on postmodernism. Of all things. That's so 1999. How deep should one go? In what direction? I'm embarrassed to even admit I'm writing a lecture on postmodernism.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

a gentle rain of biryani

Peta's birthday last night we went to her (mother's) house for drinks (I had great red courtesy Kerryn Hughes) and then to Tandoori Times in Gertrude Street which now has a wall of MTV-style videos of indian women smacking their own bottoms or Lionel Richie-style romantic songs, not that I could hear the music I was just able to sit there contemplating the visuals. The food was as usual excellent, although our waiter tripped or skidded or something and threw a whole lot of biryani over us. Later I found some on my tie which looked like it had fallen straight out of my gob and in fact it might have but thanks to the biryani incident I had a good excuse. We got Peta a subscription to a great magazine for her birthday so hopefully she will like it. Admittedly I decided on it on the basis that it was the kind of magazine I would like a subscription to (now that I have subscriptions to the two other magazines I really want) but that is henceforth always going to be my criterion for choosing a present.

Then to the Old Bar to see great bands Paper Planes and the ubiquitous New Estate (Love Cuts Kill also played and unfortunately we got there late). I was drinking whisky and soda a lot but sometimes I just went with soda. Apart from anything else I was feeling huger than usual from all that Tandoori Times so I needed to pace myself. I had good chats, anyway, with Shane about Elf, with James and Shane about Sandra Bullock (they both think she is marvellous), with Marc's girlfriend Debbie about... I can't remember, with Bianca's boyfriend Mark about his social work degree-in-process, with Brad about Tasmanian railways, with Peta about astrology, with Nina about whitegoods, and with Kerryn Hughes about... I can't remember. We got home at about 4.

On the Sunday we were up late and it soon became clear that we were not going to make Olivia's fourth birthday cake-cutting, because the Honda was still in Brunswick and we would have to rely on the train - not a bad thing in itself if we were just going into town, but we also had to come out again on the Sydney Road tram (or take a taxi across town from, for instance, Essendon) and considering Olivia hadn't personally requested our presence, I didn't see too much point. I have had her birthday present for some months now, a great Achewood 'here comes a special girl' t-shirt. She will probably dismiss it as ironic.

Mia watched Meet the Fockers in the evening but I was scanning pics for my lecture (the international students) this afternoon. Its title is The Lucky Country. I am going to play them 'Orstralia' by The Saints (not really one of my favourite Saints songs, but I'll cope) and then in tutorials I am giving them vegemite, tim tams and red lemonade - not really for any reason but I think I had made vague promises to force vegemite on them in the past. Maybe I am also trying to make up for the dream I had last night in which I shouted at them all. The class was taking place in a large Victorian potting shed.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

sandra bullock

Yeterday whilst doing menial tasks (you don't think I'd just watch television, do you?) I watched Miss Congeniality with the commentary (having seen it at the movies some years ago) and then later in the evening, with nothing at all to do except supervise the correct sleeping of two beagles, got Two Weeks Notice from Blockbuster and watched that. I think Sandra Bullock is really funny, and I bet you in twenty years, for all that she is more or less ignored now (she's getting older apart from anything else) these movies will be seen as classics of a more-or-less screwball nature. Two Weeks Notice for all that is nowhere near as good as Miss Congeniality, despite coming from the same writer (and producer - Bullock) probably in part because Hugh Grant is such a pain in the arse. MC only has a peripheral male romantic interest, in fact it could almost have got away without one, and has a lot more physical comedy (alright, basically just falling over) in it. The commentary was pretty good, too. I couldn't bear to watch 2WN with commentary because Hugh Grant contributed. Also, I had Elf to watch.

I don't think Will Ferrell is as funny as many others whose opinion I often respect seem to think. In fact for a lot of Elf he just seemed to be doing a bad impression of Shane Moritz (tall, American and some indefinable other element). That said, I watched it twice in one evening - once alone, and once when Mia came home. I don't think I have ever been able to do that with any film ever, and I'm amazed I was able to do it with this one. It has two commentary tracks, one by the director and one by Ferrell. Ferrell's is a dry as a dead dog's donger, the director's one 5% more interesting because a little more technical. The 'forced perspective' of the elf/human scenes is one interesting part, explained in too much detail.

For some reason (Jane Campion) I also got In the Cut out. Haven't watched that one yet. May never. I really liked Campion's Sweetie and Angel at my Table but haven't had much time for her work since. But you know, DVD one-new-release-and-two-weeklies deals make the world go round.

Friday, May 13, 2005

monika brand coconut jam

I always enjoy my Pascoe Vale Road Market forays and this was no exception. Before I went to the PVRM I had breakfast at Dairy Queen in PVR itself, this is a standard diner-type place with booths (pretty unusual in Melbourne these days) and a dumbass breakfast system which I have encountered before: you can't deviate from the set breakfast. So I started listing what I wanted (mushrooms, baked beans, egg, chips - basically I fast on Fridays) and the woman said that wasn't going to fit with the set breakfast. Well, I said, can I have egg on toast, with mushrooms, baked beans and chips as extras and a cup of tea? She said that comes to $8.50. The set breakfasts are in the $7-$8 range, and the egg on toast was $5.50, so I don't know how much the extras were but I suppose they were about 50c each. When the plate came out it was more food than most people in this world eat in a week. I think I might have once again been benefactor of the north-west suburbs opinion that if it doesn't have meat in it it's not really a meal and therefore it's an insult to charge meal prices (similar opinion to be found at the Broadmeadows Sporting Club). Anyway I did very well. I'd give the food a 6 and the tea - get this - an 8.

PVRM is largely good for its cheap and decent vegetables and fruit (the apples had white stuff on them which I assumed was not liquid paper but bird shit - so they had seen the sun and the wide open spaces!) I got some brussels sprouts, a personal private pleasure. I expect to be hungry again in about four days... I also got some Matamis Na Bao aka Coconut Jam from the Philippines. Ingredients: coconut cream, brown sugar and water. It tastes a lot more like toffee than I thought it would, but the 'serving suggestion' on the front is to add it to white rice, and I look forward to doing so. Also, some instant Vada Mix ('COUNTRY OF ORIGIN-INDIA') which I was attracted to as it is described on the box as 'Lentil Doughnut Mix'. I think I have had Vadas at the Indian takeaway in Flinders St. This box came with a free jar of Tomato Pickle (actually, I think it was the other way around, but whatever). Looking forward to cooking those up. It's just water and 'cups of mix (without heap)' and then you fry them in a pan.

Also I got an unreasonably large block of bulgarian fetta, and some anchovy fillets for Mia. And the bananas looked just right - a bit green at one end. I wish I was hungry.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


I am waiting for Mia to text me from the train (we tend to text each other 'Glenbervie' when we pass through Glenbervie station) so I can get in the Honda and go and pick her up from the station. Meanwhile I can hear Millie whining at the back door but there's no point in letting her and Charlie in as they will play up, get all settled, then I'll have to put them out again when I get the Glenbervie. Also we may go to Broady plaza and do a quick shop although I don't want to buy fruit or vegetables until tomorrow at Pascoe Vale Rd Market (I think that's what it's called although I usually forget and call it Glenroy Market) which is cheap and fun. Yes, there is Glenbervie and Glenroy up this way, Glenbervie I think is not really a real place however. This week we (the first year class) had a set text of the first Edna Everage monologue where she talks about Moonee Ponds and she says it's just near the Glenhuntly tram, which is perverse, it's nowhere near it. Bizarre. But I just remembered Edna initially came from Highett, not Moonee Ponds, so I suppose someone at sometime has recast the script to MP, but omitted to change the Glenhuntly reference.

Add to my list of books I am reading Mark Rowlands' Everything I Know I Learned from TV, subtitled Philosophy for the Unrepentant Couch Potato. I imagine I have been asked to review this because I am a television critic. But at this point I am not sure I am that excited by it. I have been dipping though, which is probably not the way to go. I should read from the start.

I accepted a lift part-way home this evening from a colleague who lives in Thornbury. I was deposited at Fairfield where the sign said the train wasn't coming for over half an hour (this is at about 5:30 pm!) then the sign revised and the train was coming in 7 mins. All the seats were taken so I wandered up to a far end of the platform where there was a seat (I was carrying tons of stuff) but there was also a weird guy up there huddled in the corner listening to a radio. He was old. Actually when the train came in I saw his face and he looked like a character actor I sometimes see on tv but whose name I don't know. The train was quick to get into town but then I just missed my connecting one, ultimately I didn't get back until 7:30. But on the way I corrected student tests so that was good. I also scored a free ride into zone 2 without a ticket, something that's pretty easy to do on the Broadmeadows line most of the time. Famous last words.

I have compiled a selection of my recent writing to try and get some magazine work in the coming months when my workload and wages fall. I am feeling on top of my game (blogging is perhaps helping) so I am keen. I want to write for The Monthly, Eureka Street (again) and if they go well The Bulletin.

Someone has given me a subscription to The New Yorker - for my birthday, I'm guessing. I haven't had a subscription to The New Yorker since I was about twelve. I'm looking forward to this. I am thinking about getting a subscription to Eureka Street. I already have one to The Monthly. Oops, I've just been glenbervied.

blood on david bishop's knuckles

It was a great Neighbours moment last night when David Bishop realised (but how??? I missed Monday's show) that Paul Robinson was responsible for all his problems, and punched him in the face. Excellent stuff. Actually I am only assuming that Paul is responsible, because I missed some episodes before. I have always liked Paul though I think his present ultra-schemer incarnation is possibly over the top, but I guess he doesn't have Helen around to give him a softer edge.

I can hear all these kids from the high school next door (I assume it's them and not people on this campus) yelling and banging things. Sounds like they're really getting some release from it all.

Last night I watched Medium, what a tedious show with a great premise.

Add to my list of books being read Thomas More's Utopia and Jimmy Barnes' biography I've Always Been Bogawful. That's right, two more books about rock music. I have never liked Barnes. His book is an 'as told to' and the person it was told to didn't know how to write either. Fas-cin-ating. And take Bridget Griffen-Foley off the list as I returned her to the library.

Mia and I went to an excellent Vietnamese restaurant in Glenroy last night. It was very clean and casual. I had tofu and beansprouts. I love Asian restaurants with a tray of sauces (that chili sauce that looks like tomato sauce and is a bit chemical-y being a personal favourite). I also had a green bean and coconut milk drink - fantastic. I don't know why but since I cut down radically on coffee I have really upped my sweet drink intake. I am right into this chai (I'd never had chai in my life before about three weeks ago) you get in a cafe in Swan st. My teeth are really brown, I noticed yesterday. Maybe a trip to the dentist is in order. Have 'em all out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

you were lucky

I 'lost a post' earlier this morning. It was by far the dullest of all of them so far. You were very lucky.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

what I am reading at this moment

Bridget Griffen-Foley Party Games (about the press and Australian politics since WWII)
Frank Hardy Power Without Glory
War and Peace
Diane Langmore Prime Ministers' Wives
Marion Maddox God Under Howard
Some V.I. Warshawski how do you spell it mystery I stole from my mother
Ulrich Ellis Self-Government in the 70s: The Case for Northern NSW

The Monthly

watched desperate housewives and the neighbours had an argument

I told Mia last night I was sick of Desperate Housewives now, but she said 'you say that every week', so I suppose maybe I should just shut up, because it still seems to be required viewing round our way. Zach looks very much like a man I used to work for on an occasional basis and so I kind of see him when I see Zach. This is not why I claim occasionally to be sick of the show, I guess I am a bit wary of the post-postmodernism of it where every trauma of the conventional soap is hedging its best because it might actually just be some kind of reflexive exploration. When in fact it's just a soap opera and not as funny as Neighbours (last night on Neighbours when Stingray's drums fell into the lake he said 'Oh... Belgium!'. This is funny and cool because O(h?) Belgium are a Melbourne band. Not many viewers of the show would have been aware of that but it spoke to me alright.) http://www.wefearconspiracy.live.com.au/

I woke around midnight as the real neighbours on our eastern side were having a huge battle. This has only happened in my experience once before, a few months ago. One of the family, I assume, anyway a young man they know, wanted to gain access to the house and was banging loudly on the door for a long time (last time this happened he broke a window). At first it sounded like shots (I always expect people to be hanging round my neighbourhood with guns, ever since I witnessed a police raid on the house across the road when living in Colliers Wood in London in the mid-80s). Eventually the police came and told them to stop, but they were still talking it through hours later. Actually I could only hear one voice but presumably it was a bona fide conversation - not a monologue.

Big Brother is the worst thing that has ever happened to Australian television, and god knows that is saying a lot. The thing that depresses me the most is that people around the country actually talk about this at work, school or wherever the next day for crying out loud. I imagine people 'oh my god'-ing just like the housemates themselves did when they came into the house for the first time on Sunday. No, I don't watch it.

Monday, May 09, 2005

it was jeannie little dammit

I was not acting gay in that last post (see below) but acting like Jeannie Little. How different could those two things be!? http://www.melbourne247.com/show_event.asp?fmt=m&event_id=8385 I will rewrite it later in more masculine tone. Maybe my inclusion of the delightful phenomenon of Pauline Pantsdown in my lecture on Australian politics this afternoon caused me momentary confusion. http://www.pantsdown.wild.net.au/pantsdown10.htm

darlings what a weekend

When I look back over the last few days all I can think of is what a socialite I have become, from flitting to Hell's Kitchen with Eliza and Leon and their friend Steve on Friday afternoon where I partook of honey and ginger vodka and then to the Vic where Golden Circles and Varo (a Taiwanese group who had apparently been advertised as 'hip hop' but weren't) and the reliable New Estate were all on. Saturday was James' 41st birthday party where I was on the Yeni Raki, what a remarkable aniseed-grape spirit the Turkish people have given us via the bottle shop at Meadow Heights, and how on earth did that stuff stay unmolested in our fridge for three months? That went on for a long time, most of it spent in the backyard of Jane and Gavin's charming Coburg (some upwardly mobile individual should coin a word that distinguishes Coburg just over Moreland road from the rest of Coburg - you know, Brunsburg or Cowick) residence breathing in the very earthy smoke from a large fire. The food was excellent. I was interested to note that Rod Grant quite likes blues music. Then on Sunday it was Olivia's 28th birthday at the Rob Roy for New Estate accoustic which went down exceptionally well. All told I got bugger all DONE but I nevertheless got to wave my feather boa in a few martinis and popped a couple of monocles too I would say.

Friday, May 06, 2005

hitachi washing machines are great, but...

We have a washing machine previously the property of a well-known local footballer who lived in the house we used to live in in Brunswick. It's a Hitachi and the few times we've had to have it fixed our repairman Paul has told us it's a great machine - because Hitachi really only experimented with washing machines and weren't totally into the built-in obsolescence game. OK. Well today its pump hose split when I turned it on and there was water all over the floor. Most of it I got out with a broom, it felt kind of surreal sweeping water out the back door with a broom. Charlie was upset by this eventuality and whined in a way I'd never heard her do before. She apparently found it surreal too, but not in a pleasant way. Now Paul is coming back tomorrow to look at it again, and I guess replace the hose. I thought I was going to be a real handyman and fit something neatly back into place when I opened up the back but no way. It's a hose with a hole. The mind boggles. I reared back in fright.

I just got a text message from Shane that reads 'go eat a chimichanga it's cinco [sic!!!] de mayo'. I have no idea what he means.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Mouche Phillips

Did a quick yahoo search. It would appear she's done a lot of production work in Tasmania lately.

rice paper rolls

I caught a few minutes of Playschool yesterday morning and Justine Clark was on it, I know they do those Playschools all in one hit (a few a day) so I guess if they make a mistake they just plough on, I think she made a mistake when she offered co-host Simon a paper bag with what she said was a 'rice paper bag' in it. Maybe there is such a thing as a rice paper bag, filled with things, but I doubt it actually. I bet she meant rice paper roll. Anyway I thought of this because we had rice paper rolls for dinner last night. They are a little laborious but well worth it. Mia puts tofu fried in garlic and chilli, capsicum, bean shoots, vermicelli, carrot and... I think that's it, in them. We had a choice of two sauces: a straight (I think?) chilli sauce and a peanut sauce which she makes with limes.

Like an idiot I forgot to bring some leftovers to work today but like an idiot I will probably eat them when I get home - if they're still there.

Justine Clark(e?) was once Roo on Home and Away, she was also in Family and Friends. I wonder what happened to Mouche Phillips.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

that last one was a lie

Or at least the last part of it was, just to create controversy. Today's Achewood was really great anyway, at least the bit where Ray says he figures he may as well find out if he is a savant. We didn't get the paper delivered this morning, or at least, it came so late I only had time to read the front page, and my faux-cranky snapping didn't make the front page, I can tell you that (at least not of The Age).

Sometimes the newsagent just doesn't deliver and it really gets up my nose. The weird bit is that the nearest delivering newsagent to us would be in Glenroy, which is miles away. I mean surely the Gladstone Park newsagent is about half as far away. I think there is a culture in Gladstone Park, where houses are $50 000 more than they are around our way and it gets even cheaper the further east you go, of just ignoring our area altogether. When I joined the Gladstone Park Video Ezy the guy in the shop asked where Jacana was - and I'd walked there, in 20 minutes! Very weird attitudes. I mean The Age's printing facilty is probably closer to us than the Glenroy newsagent.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

current state of achewood

Achewood has more or less become a staple of my life now. I marvel at it. Although I am also critical. I think the various characters' temporary deaths have become something of an old saw we could probably do without. There must be other devices. On the plus side I do like the way the strips have become so huge most of the time. The dialogue is often some of the best stuff but by the same token a few of the characters are ill-defined and others are too broad. Yeah, actually I am really sick of Achewood I can see right through that crap. http://www.achewood.com/index.php

now for my feelings about driving to work

I have two main ways of driving to work. I either take citylink, which takes about 45 minutes in the morning if I can get past the Calder Freeway bottleneck before 7am (which is when it becomes a bottleneck), or I go via Greensborough and Box Hill, thus avoiding the city and most of the city traffic, which takes an hour or so, regardless of the time of day. I enjoy Greensborough more, because it's a little more exotic, but I also enjoy citylink more, because it's quicker.

On the way I flick between three radio stations. Either 3RRR (but ever since I've been on radio myself - that is, since 1982 - I've had a lot of trouble listening to music on the radio, so I prefer when they're talking to when they're playing music, by and large, though I do sometimes like the music), Radio National, or 774. 774 is the most annoying, third choice. RN has the greatest peaks and lows. I absolutely refuse to listen to sports news or any sports-related material on any of the stations. I also cannot listen to a certain prime minister so any time his rusty-hinge voice comes on I'm out of there. The breakfast people on RRR are really good although I am disturbed sometimes at how little they know. Then I am also sometimes disturbed by how much they know (compared to me).

If I'm going to drive, which I only do for some of the week anyway, it's almost always preferable to get here early, so as to get a parking space. Otherwise you have to get here and hang around in some strategic place in the car park about 5 minutes past the hour and hope some of the slack students will come and get in their cars and go home. Not that I have ever cruised or stalked but it feels a bit like cruising or stalking. You have to try and read people's body language and figure out what their inclinations are.

Monday, May 02, 2005

cold feet

At last winter is approaching, after the most ridiculously hot April. I have definitively cold feet. We even let the dogs sleep in the laundry last night, it was so cold. I think I will build them a kennel with the aid of the home handyman book I bought at an op shop in Haberfield a few weeks ago. Indeed that would never happen if I lived to a hundred.

The show yesterday was a great success, we were all thrilled with ourselves I would say, I did not remember the lyrics but I had them stuck to my ride stand with an ingenious rubber band and clothes peg arrangement unfortunately I couldn't see them all the time but I had my wits about me and just made stuff up. We played with La Huva who were a really smart, snappy little rock band. Very Sydney but in a good way (there are good ways).

Having stayed up late last night to write a lecture I am now kind of running late to get to work.