Sunday, July 31, 2005
The Muddy Spurs played a magnificent show for which they should be applauded. Well, they were.
Today Kathryn Clarke came over which was a welcome event and she brought this amazing organic chocolate which was unbelievable. But you had to believe it because it was there. She agreed with me that the picture I put on the toilet door was very funny, but a little undergraduate. I had purchased it at the $2 shop at Meadow Heights but get this for one dollar. Wait till you come over and see it. I always enjoy talking to Kathryn Clarke. She would qualify as one of my oldest friends. She is very, very, very old. We went for a walk in the reserve with Charlie and Millie. Millie went apeshit barking at a bicyclist and also the blimpish beagle we have met there a couple of times already, who I have now discovered is named Sadie. I would not necessarily have picked Sadie as a beagle due to her zeppelinesque figure but her temperament fits. Whereas Charlie's doesn't - that yapping and howling little menace. I ate two whole boreks today as well as a vegetable pastie. I am turning into a bit of an airship myself. Again. I was surprised to find myself boasting about my titanic qualities in the current Big Issue. What was I on when I wrote that? (A deadline?)
This is a page from my graphic novel which has stalled at 8 pages so far but which I think about all the time so I imagine it'll just take a good idea to get it started again. I am not going to discuss it too much because I might change my mind about how it operates.
I seem finally to be able to post images. Of course last time I did this they disappeared overnight (that's my story). I have accumulated quite a few pictures many of them from my mobile, but a lot of them I have kind of forgotten the relevance. Here (somewhere, I can't figure out how to arrange them to my satisfaction) is a picture of when it was very foggy in Lorraine Crescent a few weeks ago. I seem to remember thinking of this photograph, at the time, 'yeah that's exactly how it looks'. Unfortunately the mist failed to obscure the pretty damaged car that our neighbours have had on their verge for the last year, but if I shut one eye it's hardly there.
Also you will see a picture of Charlie being naughty, something we oh so rarely see around here. Millie blithely attends to sucking her leg, a hobby she'd go mad without. I seem to recall Charlie was destroying a small box, which I was happy for her to do (in a sense) because it had a stain on it or something - I had originally picked it up for long-term storage from Pascoe Vale Road Market but decided it was itself damaged goods. It was not to know how damaged goods could be.
Also a picture of the flyover on Flinders Street being demolished, which I took from the train a few weeks back. Kind of what you might call an action shot.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
The Karl/Izzy stuff was great, though, and the Boyd/Kayla/Steph/Max/Ashlleiighhe storyline, though showing Steph in her usual revolting light (you know, that tomboy biker chick who justwantsababee) and Boyd in his usual cringeworthiness, is still pretty compelling. Has Summer really gone? That was a hasty exit if so but she seems to still be in the opening credits, however that might be to quell our anxieties.
P&H have three boys ranging from 8 to younger. One thing I found particularly strange about them (though it didn't make me feel squeamish the way it once would) was they are so touchy. I suppose what I really mean is touchish. I don't remember being so happy to sit on (relative) strangers' laps or touch their backs when walking behind them, etc. I imagine my commenting on it says more about me than them. Also clearly they are just comfortable in their house with their parents and each other there, etc and why shouldn't they be. It's not often I spend much time with boys and I admit I got a little swept up in the general hilarity particularly as they whipped themselves up in the half hour or so before they went to bed. It's a pretty amazing dynamic and they were all in their different ways a hoot. That said I don't know how P&H cope with the constant ruckus but obviously they do, very well.
Obviously having boys under ten affects one strangely and I discovered that P&H did not like Shaun of the Dead - fair enough, it's not very good really though I found it mildly satisfying - but they apparently really didn't like Napoleon Dynamite, and that, I feel, is very strange.
I spoke to Mia this morning, she called at 7:30 - seems like she has been to every gallery Europe has to offer and by bizarre coincidence she was in the Netherlands when she got an email from a Dutch man who wants to buy one of her paintings (ie he had no idea she was in the country). Unless it's a trap. She says her London show went well and the Dutch relatives have been really hospitable, which is their reputation (the relatives'). I wish I'd been there particularly for that bit.
Once again the carport is not being painted (I really thought the local Amish would come to the party for that one) well, in truth, my workplace hasn't paid me for a month and I am not sure when they are going to do so again, so I can't afford luxuries like paint. Also I admit when I looked at it again I don't think I've really removed enough of the old paint, and I need to invest in some sealant for the back part where there has been a bit of a rust issue (the carport, a classic piece of gangly seventies design, has too much of an overhang on the gutter - presumably to limit the amount of big things that get into it - but this also means it's hard to get major detritus out). I did want to present Mia with a repainted carport on Tuesday morning but too much dazzling paintwork out front may detract from the beautifully repainted bathroom, not to mention the watercloset, which now has some pictures hung in it for quiet contemplation (a picture of the stairs at the first house I lived in out of home, 202 Abercrombie St, for instance - why did I take that picture? No-one knows, least of all me, but I suppose the same strange impulse that made me keep it 20 years and then stick it in a $2 frame and put it on a wall; and a picture of a warehouse demolition in Brisbane also from the mid-80s. ) All very tasteful.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
The Grey Tapes aren't playing on the weekend now, we have had to cancel, which is a good and a bad thing. I really need the time to get the house in a kind of presentable state for when she gets back. Although it's not looking that bad but I need to get something like paint remover to get paint off the fixtures, etc in the bathroom and the toilet room. Yes, some of it is new paint drips (particularly on the ugly tiles at the bottom of the wall) but there are also paint drips scientists have carbon dated to 1974.
Last weekend I was talking to John next door about the former owners of our house. I asked him what Mr. Watts died of, and he said 'old age'. I queried this because the one time we met the Watts widow she said she and her husband had been young when they bought the house, which could not have been before 1972 (ie when it was built) and even if he was thirty in 1972, he died about ten years ago so he would only have been in his fifties. John said well he drank a lot. Sounds like there is a story in this. I propose a seance!
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
At least my hands are covered in white paint so I look like I have been doing something valid in the real world.
The rain was going in sharp diagonals, then it switched to straight downwards, now it has virtually petered out. Mia could tell me what that was all about.
(By the way, what does one actually call the room the toilet is in to distinguish it from the toilet itself? I had a problem with this describing what I had painted to Shane, who is in any case not of this world. I personally feel that 'toilet' is one of those idiotic metaphors like 'sex'; both of them are stand-in 'nice' words which have come to mean something a little more cutting-edge than that for which they were originally employed, but in both cases they're bullshit. I don't want any of you to tell me you had sex in the toilet, alright? You fucked in the dunny and that' s it. No wonder I had to paint it.)
Monday, July 25, 2005
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Last night Michael and Nicola and Nicola's sister and her boyfriend (I'm unsure of how to spell Nicola's sister's name so, out of respect for her culture I will not attempt to render it here - if only the world had adopted the Shaw alphabet years ago, rather than widespread use starting in a couple of years once I really start publicising it a lot). It was a reasonably subdued evening - they were all tired off their drive Syd-Mel, and then there was drinking as well, Rawson's Retreat and Jacob's Creek. I made a lasagne, a private joke to myself as when Simon, Ginger, Francesca, Tom and Ada came round last Monday I also made a lasagne. Ha ha. Well, it's a private joke. This one was probably not quite as good as time got the better of me and I panicked white-sauce wise, though it was still alright I suppose. Then we had some of the Coconut Jam on rice, which everyone said was very palatable but no-one finished, even though it was a small amount. The dogs liked it though.
Got to get up to Bunning's and get some bathroom paint.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Today it was all fine. And now it is time for me to have my soup. I have been listening to Explosive Hits 77 this morning.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
I would have enjoyed it all more if I had not become convinced about half way through that I had left the heater on at home that morning.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
This morning about 5 minutes from work I almost collided with a massive fawn 4WD which shot out from a side-street in a manner that suggested a rabbit when you come too close to its burrow. I must have scared the poor thing. I slammed on the brakes and honked the horn. I was worried that perhaps I was in shock (it was a very near miss) and didn't know whether to stop the car because I might be going to do something weird. But I don't think I did. (I mean I didn't stop, and I don't think I did anything weird).
Tonight I'm going to see Ed Kuepper and Jeff Wegener, see you there.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Last night was The Cannanes at the Town Hall Hotel. I think there were about three people there I didn't know by name and those I'd seen before. And it was a small crowd anyway. A lot of people (well, four: Shane - Mark - Debbie - Olivia) were there earlier in the evening en route to something else (mainly the GoBs, but Olivia was going to some bizarre Arthouse thing - what was that about!?) but S, M and D returned to the Town Hall about half way through the Cs' set along with Toby.
Olivia has a friend called Tristan who she and her friends call T-bone. I thought there was probably potential for giving everyone an initial+ name, and James said Toby was already known as T-boy (which is particularly good as it is an anagram too). But then I stalled on Olivia (I could only think of O-zone, which is pathetic - it's funny what other words come into your head, like I was thinking 'O for an Osram' - which was and perhaps still is a brand of lightbulb - in the Good Weekend last week they suggested that lightbulb brands were generic and no-one distinguished between them, of course I immediately thought 'O for an Osram' then too). For me, I could be D-notice, though I don't know what a D-notice is. Shane could be S-bend, or S-club 7, I'm sure there are plenty more S's. Marc I said could be M-train, but I bet there are many other M ones too. A people could be A-grade, A-bomb, A-political; B-grade, B-flat, B-good... C-plus, C-side... oh, I'm so good at this. X-file, Y-front, Z-andtwonoughts. D people could also be D-sease.
The Cannanes show got off to a pretty bland start but it picked up and by the end they were really firing. Before that to kill time primarily I went to the Nova and saw My Summer of Love which struck me as having a very predictable and dull plot. I knew kind of what was going to happen (girls in small town fall in love, it goes bad) but I could tell from about the first five minutes (maybe that's an exaggeration - let's say ten) how and why and so on, and I was thinking 'oh, no, not that line of dialogue' before it happened. I really was killing time. I was actually about as bored during the movie as I had been during the pre-movie ads, most of which were repeated. What I really wanted to see was Sin City - even then only becuase it got such rave reviews and I wanted to scoff at the idea of a film that takes visually from the style of comic books/strips - just like I once scoffed so happily at Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy - but there were no appropriate sessions. Before the movie I went to the Architecture library and before that to Billy Hyde's and bought a hi-hat stand. It was pricey. But I really love it. So far.
I spoke to Mia just as she and the entourage were pulling into Oakland. They're playing in SF tonight. They have made a second Possum Moods album (as Possum and the Moods now). Something to look forward to.
I have run out of suspension files, which is fucked. Hopefully when I return to work on Monday I will be able to pinch or recycle some. People often just throw out suspension files, but they're pretty exy - well, about $1.50 at the cheapest stationery places, and that mounts up very fast. I must say the filing cabinet has never looked so healthy.
I also borrowed Bob Dylan's Chronicles from the library yesterday but haven't really started on that yet. Instead for some reason I'm reading Wreckless Eric's biography which was also at the library. Today I am going to be cleaning, filing if possible, perhaps practicing drums and definitely finishing off my paper for the Wellington conference next year.
Music played this morning: Both sides of The Motors' album (I really only like the first song each side), second side of Dave McArtney and the Pink Flamingos' first album (in honour of S. Moritz's particularly visceral response to the album cover artwork) and side one of Herbie Mann's Push Push, just to confirm I still don't like it. Next on the list? I think Flash and the Pan.
Friday, July 15, 2005
Later: I did a lot of filing and ate some soup.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Anyway so I was up all night, and of course on the plane across the aisle from me was a big, Of-Mice-and-Men kind of big, guy whose enormousness might have been attributable to his ability to feed continually on his own snot. And the 1 hour flight seemed to take about 5 hours even though Annabel lent me a comic novel to read which I am actually enjoying and intend to finish this evening.
I got a bunch of great records in Sydney, which I know is what you really want to hear about. I got four records by Hurrah (2 LPs, an EP and a hybrid) I only ever was really keen on their song 'Flowers' which was a b-side of a single I once had, which is reissued on the hybrid, so that's great. I guess I will listen to the others. That was a sound investment as each of those records was 50c. I also got a 2JJ live late 70s album and the Motors' Tenement Steps which I remember coming out in 1980 and being bagged by the right-on RRR people as being cod punk/new wave by old people, which it probably was but I'm enjoying it. Also a couple of cool singles including a promo EP for the Cumquat lable which I must do some research on. And a Utopia album Swing to the Right and... probably a lot more but it's cold in this back room and I want to go back and sit in front of the heater with those dogs I feel so much empathy with. Who are presently barking at the back door just as I would if someone locked me out the back after I ate my dinner.
Extraordinarily (of course, not) my workplace have contrived through incompetence to remind me how little they require to give me a proper job, by cutting me off the internet and tossing me back and forward between the usual (cliché, I know) petty bureaucrats in an organisation that has a ratio of 2 administrative staff to one academic, as I said to Kathryn Clarke the other day, they needed one to take me off the internet, now they need another one to put me back on but I have to find the right one. She being administrative staff herself (and working at the time I called her to complain) it seemed appropriate to dig the knife in as far as it would go. The fact that she works for another organisation on the other side of the nation, irrelevant. Those people all confer all the time and you only have to know one to communicate with them all.
A few days ago I arrived at Broadmeadows station on foot with a few minutes to catch a train and was confronted by two gormless youths, one prodding at his mobile by the station entrance and the other smoking a stupid cigarette by the stairs leading to the dumbest pedestrian bridge on earth. In the vast space between the two a $50 note was curling over on itself. I picked it up rapidly attempting to make eye contact with either boy in case there was to be some problem. Neither of these young men wished to deal with another person, and had obviously had no eyes for their immediate environment either, because they hadn’t seen the fifty. I think this is the beginning of me starting to wonder if perhaps some people are stupider than me.
I was in ACMI later that day with a copy of Sweet and Lowdown which had been due back the previous Thursday, so I was all ready to pay a $15 fine. I was told this would not be required as their computer had crashed earlier in the day and all the records were gone. I had to tell the woman behind the counter how this was the second lucky thing that had happened to me, that I had also found fifty dollars. She said the same thing had happened to a friend of hers a few days ago, ‘so it’s been a week of pineapples’. My first thought was, she calls a $50 note a pineapple because of its colour (I am pretty familiar with the $20 being a lobster but I’ve never heard a fifty being called a pineapple before). My second thought was, no, her friend bought $50 worth of pineapples. I didn’t say anything. A few days later I decided my first thought was the right one.
Friday, July 08, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Meanwhile I am headed for Sydney for a few days of grim spending and keeping up appearances. Actually I am not keeping up appearances at all. I am dressing comfortable. It just seems right.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Sunday, July 03, 2005
On Friday when I got home Bela had a dead mouse he was casually flipping around like it was just one of the cool things he was into. I think he had been on this project for some time because I had noticed earlier in the day he had a lot of interest in my coat, on the chair inside the door and I of course had no idea why (and no particular interest). So now he's had his first kill (that we know of) and he strutted around like Scarface for a short time.
Suitably for a house of carnage such as this, there was a snail on the step which seemed terribly unhappy but I couldn't figure it out. I took the recycling out in the morning, and then later saw this snail which seemed to be trying to get out of its shell on the step. I thought I must have run over it with the trolley thing we keep the recycling in, and figured a bird would finish it off any minute. But it was just there straining. I tried to pick it up, and its shell was still intact, but it seemed to puff up which was disturbing so I left it for a while. Finally I went out there and picked it up. It was so odd, it was seemingly trying to crawl over a big prickly seedpod that had either become stuck to it or was in some way obstructing it... most peculiar. Anyway I put it on the grass and figured it had a fighting chance to work out the whole situation. It was gone later.
Yesterday afternoon was the glamorous and glittering wedding reception for Andrew and Katrina. Andrew's and Katrina's speeches were beautiful and they looked very handsome together. I noticed that the two glasses of red I had drunk by this time seemed to be making me ridiculously drunk. I was blabbering and being stupid. I congratulated Andrew's mother on her speech and really had nothing to say. I was a goof. We went back to Michael and Nicola's house and ate borek and then went on to the Old Bar, I started drinking whiskey and that's where things really went downhill; I recall telling Shane and Olivia they should get married - I recall very little overall however. The bands least of all, which is ridiculous, as it was a good line-up.
This morning I was very sad and throwing up. There were the usual stages of a hangover with a few interesting extra elements. One was visions when I closed my eyes of Peter Boothish (but more abstract) scenes of carnage, in black on red. My god! Even now (12 hours later) I don't feel great but I will live, I would say. Randall, Carla and Rupert came round and we went for a walk with the dogs. Rupert was right into the beagles and they were very good with him, although Charlie barked a bit much in the first instance. We all got a lot of mud on our feet.
Friday, July 01, 2005
I spoke to Mia yesterday and apparently when she, Tracey and Boyracer played New York Mike Myers came to the show. Well, I guess he's a man of taste, if you forget about that shit-drinking scene in the second Austin Powers.
I just booked my flight to Sydney for next week. I should have done this months ago but I seem to have managed it ok. The one problem is it leaves me with virtually no money for the next five days. Well, this is not an unusual situation, however, it does make me think now might be the time to drag all those stupid review CDs off to Dixon's (later: I did, though they only bought a few, but they gave me $58 which I'm not about to complain about).