Saturday, December 31, 2005


Well, the papers this morning say it will be the hottest new year’s eve since records were first kept, but the temperature of 42+ has been revised a little, down to just high 30s. I still feel I should stay in the same spot and not do too much unnecessary moving around. Nevertheless we are going to go to the Old Bar tonight and see Panel and it might be an OK night. I dunno.

We spent the last couple of days at Heathcote I was writing a journal article and Mia was painting and Millie and Charlie just lay around indoors. Charlie was too freaked out by all the smells on the ground (she hasn’t been to the country before) to piss on it. How heritage-aware is that. Ultimately she could bear it no longer and found a small bush only about twice her height to get on top of and piss. While we were there she growled a lot too though, including when she saw a couple of kangaroos – a small and a person-height one – in the shelter of some trees just inside the boundary of the Heathcote property. This was yesterday. I have nightmare memories still of Millie and Silver racing off to catch kangaroos a few years ago so these dogs (Millie is the same dog of course) weren’t off their leads at all while we were at Heatchote. My father’s whippets have caught up to kangaroos a couple of times and got big gashes in their sides for their trouble.

We had two days without newspapers or television, it was great. When we got back last night we read the newspapers and watched two movies on DVD one was Rock School which was pretty good but I felt that the main guy’s motivation was difficult to divine. True, he had a big success at the Zappanale, but does this mean his methods were always correct? And how weird was it that in 2003 (when the film was made) he seemed to be equating ‘rock’ with ‘rock from 1966-1972’ and basically teaching the kids all the stuff. I mean the guy was probably younger than me, anyway, so it was obviously a retro interest in any case… but… you know. All that Zappa, Hendrix, Black Sabbath stuff. I am not saying that’s not rock, but it’s a very small part of the canon.

The other film we watched was 28 Days Later which is the one where the entire population of Britain is infected by a virus called rage (if I was a crapped out newspaper columnist I’d make some hilarious comment here about how they already are-ha-ha-ha) except for a few scant types who have to escape all the others. Very Day of the Triffids in its execution (especially the explanation as to how the main guy escapes the initial outbreak) but actually pretty effective at least until the second half when they end up in an army barracks and surprisingly for all the soldiers are if not as bad as the ‘infected’ people they are definitely a different kind of threat. The reason I say this is not effective is that it seems to set the story on too limited a course – a lot of British films, if I may say so, end up doing this – they start off on a broad sweep and end up plodding in the nitty gritty. Of course I can’t think of any examples, so maybe I’m wrong. However generally speaking I thought it was a pretty good film. Now I am getting too hot to type (I already wrote ‘a pretty god film’ then ‘a pretty goof film’) and might have to go and get under the house for a while.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

christmas eve pink stainless tail

Mia and I went to see Pink Stainless Tail play at Pony on xmas eve. It was a pretty great show really even though there were bass string/kick pedal problems which I think pushed them to be more inspired players than usual (that sounds like damning with faint praise, I'm not saying they're not always inspired players, I'm just saying there was a particular edge to the whole proceedings which I think in part came from their frustration/difficulty). I think they are one of the best rock bands in Melbourne, and it's a shame that no-one really seems to like them much. They are as much to blame for this as anyone I suspect. Firstly, they send out oblique strange promo material before shows that possibly confuses people and secondly their actual presentation is as guarded as it is funny. But it doesn't matter in the end because I'm sure we all had more fun that night than most adults.

On Boxing Day we went to Gavin and Jane's for some kind of gathering I drank too much vodka and then a bottle of cider and something else, I forget what it was. Apparently was ridiculous trying to ride bicycle home much to Mia's irritation. Sick all day yesterday and clearly still feeling the effects - can't type properly, keep making errors every 2-3 words. I only get staggeringly drunk about once every 6 months, not surprisingly it sneaks up on me when it happens, I don't realise it's happened.

Charlie gave me the vodka for christmas. There's about 2/3 of the bottle left but I'll try to enjoy it responsibly... soon

Friday, December 23, 2005

missing link

I was in Missing Link today and bought the Lakes LP and the Architecture in Helsinki LP and one of the young men behind the counter said under his breath 'good taste'. And I said, 'did you say "good taste"?' and he said yes and I said 'you should say that to everyone who comes in here, just "good taste" under your breath, because I was amazed at how good it made me feel.' He said he could not in all conscience do such a thing because of some of the things people bought. I still think it would be a boon to sales. Though judging by the amount of studded youngsters apparently cashed up they possibly don't need more sales.

Later I got my haircut at Simon the barber's of Glenroy. Totally ten dollars and thoroughly recommended. Simon is a bit bald but that seems to make him care more about the hair of others. I'd have the complete shits with all the haired individuals I attended to.

nevertheless good old douglas fir eh

However I do enjoy getting Douglas Fir down from the top of the cupboard in the music room. He is a sound-sensitive talking Christmas tree who sings a couple of songs. One is 'Jingle Bells' and the other is one of his own invention which is particularly great because he garbles the bits he couldn't be bothered thinking up and just cuts to the chase, so it's something like 'Ba ba dada da, christmas joy, ba ba dada da Santa joy, ba ba dada da give me stuff, ba ba dada da not enough', in a kind of Pee Wee Herman voice. Love it. The downside of Douglas is he is sound-sensitive so he's likely to go off at any time, and so you often want to turn him off, but coming towards him to turn him off sets him off again, and you have to wait until he's got through another 'ba ba dada da'. You don't want to turn him off in the middle as his eyes and mouth are open and it might look like he's been shot or something. When he sings his eyes light up green which looks excellent particularly in the dark. Charlie was amazed the first couple of times but now she just regards DF like everything else, with weary disgust.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

if i only had a heart

I suppose once upon a time someone who didn't care for christmas was a novelty. I the great writer cannot even say the slightest interesting thing on this subject. I can't be bothered. My brother is similar, only more so, but he made a practice of drawing attention to his tude on this. I just suffer in silence. Thinking everyone knows I'm not suffering. What am I supposed to do, act like I'm on ecstacy? I'm not a Christian but even if I was I think I would still hate the fuss. I just hate fuss.

OK, enough of that. I have thought some interesting things this week actually but they've all disintegrated into nothingness over time. Doesn't matter. I am, er, going to switch credit cards, and, um, it's quite warm today but I'm going to take the dogs for quite a long walk this evening.

Last night we went to Francesca's house for 'drinks' and I had ginger beer and some actual beer. Conversation did not move into radical territory. It's funny how aware I am of people talking about themselves, mainly I think because I am jealous of them - I wish I was talking about myself. You know how it is, I'm sure you're the same. I really wanted to get Ada a copy of Pee Wee's Big Adventure but it seems to have been eviscerated (to use the word of another in a co-authored paper submitted yesterday) from the canon.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

forgive me dear diary...

I seem to have done so much lately that I haven't told you about. Well, basically it's because I have had to spend a lot of time at the Baillieu library researching Hitler and I haven't been very near the computer very often, and when I am, I feel I have to be fast. Also as mentioned previously dear diary this computer is very slow and it's frustrating waiting for it to respond to the simplest demand.

Last Friday was the Beat christmas party, we were gone by the time Airbourne came on which is in one sense a shame because I wanted to see them, in another sense don't care as a la Jet and The Vines and whoever (I know I'm not saying anything radical here but that's OK) the hype has already exceeded anything they could be. I did see The Inches, who were quite good and massively loud - my ears are still ringing two days later, and yesterday morning when I was listening to LRB's greatest hits (there's a lot you don't know about me these days dear diary) I could also hear a distorted echo of it, which was pretty nasty.

On Friday I watched Suddenly 30, not only the whole film but also the director's commentary. The DC was really good because he was so self-deprecating, or at least, he was constantly telling us this was a mistake, that was a mistake, I should have done this, we should have done that. At the end he says, I hope I didn't spoil your enjoyment by going on about the mistakes, there were a lot more that I restrained myself from commenting on! Pretty funny. Also I watched a few early episodes of Seinfeld and yesterday I watched Passion, starring Richard Roxburgh and which everyone said was bad when it came out but I thought it was really pretty OK. Above average for a biopic (a genre I have never been that crazy about).

Have you noticed a product on TV called Nice 'n' easy roots touch up. That to me is globalisation gone mad. All those words/phrases that have severe ramifications for Australians, presented as benign on an American (I assume) product. Luckily Australians are so polite, though why you'd touch up your easy root after the fact is anyone's guess but they do things differently in the northern hemisphere I suppose.

I can't help feeling Kerry Packer isn't long for this world.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

i really like this tom bass statue in elizabeth street

And it seems I am not alone in this opinion. I saw a little film about Melbourne made in the 1960s recently and it included this statue as a feature I would suggest it's a bit of an icon though I suppose these days a fairly unsung one as it is not really 'Australian' in theme or content. I have Tom Bass's book about himself somewhere but can't presently put my finger on it.

southern cross

Spencer St Station was officially named Southern Cross yesterday. I heard some women at Flinders St dicussing it. Sort of along the lines of, 'we'll never get used to calling it that'. One of them said, 'Like it took me years to get used to calling Museum station Melbourne Central'. The other two obviously had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

grainger museum

I notiice that in the latest Mess + Noise Minimum Chips cite the Grainger Museum as an aspect of Melbourne that grabs them (I also note that Ellen is in the pictures but not the interview, but that's another matter). However they claim to have never been in it. I have been in it but not for a long time. I have been reading about it however. Apparently Grainger hoped that the skeletons of both himself and his wife would hang in the museum. Chalk another one up to bureaucracy that that great idea never came to fruition.

I have finished the first chapter of my graphic novel and have published it, as of today. Anyone want one? Two bucks.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

libraries and so on

As you, the multitude, know I am usually very quick to update here. I haven't lost interest but I have to say my life has lost its usual sprightliness. Every day I go to the library (either the Baillieu or the SLV) and read newspapers on microfilm. I do this for money. Sometimes I photocopy some material. It is not only boring it also puts one in a bit of a trance.

I assume Neighbours is finishing up for the year this week, and I must say it's been a corker of a year. Having Joe come back was a real buzz and I hope he returns next year, which apparently is a distinct possibility. Meanwhile I am enjoying Kim and I hope he gets up to various shenanigans in the new year as well. I feel like Steph has been pregnant for about 5 years and can't get too excited about her baby stuff. The Dylan and Stingray in jail business is making me uneasy.

I notice Neighbours has been using a lot of flashbacks lately, and dream sequences. Odd, really. Every time I see this kind of thing I am reminded of the time Clive hit his head and imagined a Christmas fantasy. In my no doubt distorted memory of this, various cast members were angels on a tree. Or were they faces on Freddy Krueger's pizza?

I have been reading a truly awful book about Nick Cave's records. I stopped counting the mistakes after about page 45 when I had amassed about 20 just based on my own limited knowledge. Not only is the book full of mistakes, it's full of missed opportunities, in terms of tying things in together. The thing I like best about Cave is he doesn't seem to rate himself very highly. Now I'll go back to the books I was reading earlier.

Today I had a quick squizz at some early editions of Juke (from May 1975, when it started). It was pretty good then, though the first issue had a big interview with Shirl and the third had a big interview with Red, so I'm almost afraid to read issue five, which presumably will be a big interview with Bongo. Daddy Cool are in it quite a lot too - a page-long interview with Gunther Gorman. Apparently his real name is Ian.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

rupert's first ashtray boy show

Actually, this was post-show, but as you can see he is still suffering the after-effects.

Friday, December 02, 2005

kitty pain

Bela hurt his leg sometime this morning. He was busting for something because he woke me up at 5:45 this morning to go out, next thing I knew Mia was saying he'd broken his leg. For his part he crawled around a bit and hid behind the tv. At 8:30 I put him one of the dog travelling cages and hauled him up to the vet's. Turns out he hasn't broken his leg (it certainly looked like it the way he was dragging himself around) just had a fight and had a piece taken out of it. Antibiotics, stitches etc. Little macho prick. Here he is trying to pretend everything's fine and he's worth a couple of hundred bucks anyday so what's the big deal.