Saturday, December 30, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

coughin' and splutterin'

I remember Dannii Minogue once telling me that the kids from YTT used to all come down with colds as soon as the last show of the season finished taping. Li'l troupers. I am the same, though not as li'l, as I developed a very stupid cold the minute I stopped work for the year. It is a pissy illness which mainly manifests (god, has that been my word for the year or what, it seems I can't open my mouth without the word 'manifest' coming out, it must be monkey see monkey do) in feeling every morning like I have been working in the hay barn i.e. very dry, sore throat and blocked nose. By later in the day I feel cruisey and have tended to think it will go away. Now I realise it will not go away and I plainly have a truly vile disease which will never, ever, ever leave me. At least till I go back to work.

A couple of days ago Mia and I went to see Happy Feet at Broady plaza. One shock was to see a cinema at Broady Hoyts with actually more than three humans in it. Of course it looked grand on the big screen, I suppose after a few days mulling it over I feel that the actual storyline was a bit compressed at the end and anyway, animals communicate with people all the time to say 'why are you doing these terrible things?' and it's not like humans drop everything and fix it all. Still, pretty great film.

Melbourne weather the last few days has been manifestly bizarre, with the coldest Christmas day on record, and minor rain every day since, not enough to do anything about the water reserves of course. It hailed on Xmas day when we were at my sister's house. It rained at least once in the evening too I think as we were going to my father's. I have finally learnt to spell my niece's name: Niamh. I just think of Mrs. Frisby and the rAts of NIMH and it all manifests. If you think I am thereby comparing my niece to a rat, then I feel sorry for you.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

charles schulz was on the money



At least I do recall a Peanuts strip in which Snoopy became unfeasibly relaxed... as Charlie is here. I am still having trouble sleeping, but looking forward very much to the end of the week, year, etc. Did some Christmas shopping which was not soothing at all. JB had a Stones live concert from last year or recently anyway playing full bore at the doorway and it wasn't pleasant. Inside they were playing Prince which was slightly more pleasant (come to think of it, weren't they playing Prince in the cafe at the student union? Yes, yes they were).

I had an awkward conversation with the youngster at the counter re: my pink credit card, which Mia has made me self-conscious about. I was sort of saying I was surprise by it when it came in the mail, suggesting I found it a little de trop, he was sort of praising it I think. But all these conversations are split-seconders not worth analysing, ay.

Monday, December 18, 2006

restless weekend

I spent the whole weekend a half-hour late (or a little more but usually just half an hour). I was late to meet Brad at the railway museum and I was late to the save Harold Holt pool demo. We were kind of late for the Chapter/Trifekta christmas show on Saturday night though saw most of a very good Minimum Chips show and so on. I am about three months late in my christmas shopping though frankly everyone you're probably not going to get much from me at christmas except my fondest wishes and respect. Anyway I didn't sleep well on Sat or Sun and certainly not this morning. Being woken up at 4:30 to take a rat-sized ailing dog outside to piss should be more soothing than it is. On the upside I went to Ceres and bought a japanese tree and a chili plant. One is in the front yard, and one is in the back. I planted them myself.

Friday, December 15, 2006

a very Jacana christmas


We are more sedate and minimalist round our way

a very Altona christmas







How beautiful is this - from front yard of Altona house last week. And god bless you every one.

if I was getting into unfunny standup, I'd start with this

Does this ever happen to you? I keep thinking it's 2007, but at the same time I STILL often start writing dates with '19...' - well, it's a thousand year habit, you can't just break it in seven years. I mean 6.

I was looking at some kindergartens in Altona during the week and a couple had murals celebrating 40 years. I took this to mean they were established in the 50s. The next day I figured it out.

Monday, December 11, 2006

problem solved


I contacted Blogger and they said Beta wouldn't work if there were a disproportionate number of dog pictures if the person operating the blog also had a cat. I said what if they had, e.g., a fish or a bird, and Blogger told me to get knotted! Here is a picture of Bela yesterday recovering from a 41 degree day with one of his favourite behaviours, pretending to be interested in things.

notes and reflections from my time in brisbane (about three days ago)


Well peeps it’s been a heady week here in Brisbane. I have attended three days of a most interesting conference at UQ, seen two owls, had some utterly harrowing driving experiences, taken the ferry five times, and spent time with some most charming people and probably dominated conversations with nonsense but who cares or knows. Or notices probably. Unless they’re on some other head trip.

Today (Friday 8 Dec) is the first day here – and this summer is already notorious even if it hasn’t happened yet – that it does seem really Brisbane summery. It’s only supposed to make 27 (whereas Melbourne has been quite a lot hotter the whole week – the only time in my life I can recall, when a change of location has been in my favour weatherwise). (Later: I think it got much hotter than 27 – I certainly did, anyway).

The college I am staying in for the duration (Mia urged me to get a hotel on the last day and I think this is sensible in some respects but ultimately just too much of a hassle considering I spend almost no time here and moving would also take time) is a full-on dump, I think I am actually the only person in this building (not right now, as there are painters across the corridor) and the first thing that struck me was the similarity between the corridors with their empty rooms like everyone had got out fast and The Shining, which is typical of my hysterical nature, but there were visual similarities. My accommodation does seem a bit like a public toilet. And I don’t think I could even really say ‘at least it’s clean’, so I won’t. They put on breakfast and dinner, I have only attended breakfast (this morning I couldn’t face it) which is stodgy baie marie fayre, I see it as a portent that dinner will not meet my delicate requirements.

I would like to here add some positive buts but there aren’t any, except I suppose, I’m not paying for it. Oh, there is air conditioning, which ironically hasn’t been all that important. Well, anyway, there’s no particular need for me to express on this subject. I am OK with it.

Yesterday I rescued a beetle on its back which was showing a great capacity to propel itself around despite its obvious problem. The UQ campus is great for wildlife, and a couple of nights ago while walking two colleagues back to their colleges (I had been disturbed to discover there is a ‘safety bus’ operating at night on campus, which indicates that walking around is an unsafe activity, so once my colleagues were returned to their quarters, I felt most uneasy by myself, but you know what? I lived) we saw two owls of different species in the one tree, and by myself I saw some unusual and unafraid herony birds poking around in the bushes, also there are literally (measurable) tonnes of ducks, geese, etc.

Later Friday – What a day of strange happenings. I saw a Dutch architecture lecture, was ripped off by a second hand record dealer (the swings of my yesterday roundabout when I scored an immensely valuable [and not just to me] album by Procession for cheap) and destroyed the computer catalogue at the State Library of Qld out of pure malition. I took a ferry and ate a felafel roll with cheese in it. I had a peach and apple juice and bought some socks (didn’t bring enough but you know me, any excuse to buy socks – the only thing I envy about Prince Charles is he always wears the best socks and he only wears them once). I took some photographs of the former Toowong library and drank three coffees.

I have good things to say, as you know, about all the state capitals. I was driving in Brisbane on the first day and that took years off my life, literally years. But it is a beautiful city, and some of its people are exceptionally charming. There is too much good food (I have doubled my mass since Monday) and also, too much bad food (nevertheless…). The Courier Mail is not to my taste, and I have read the Australian all week, and it's not either. But overall, it’s been a cool week in a hottish place, and I aim to be back within six months looking for more good times.

Saturday morning – well I went up to the South St Lucia shops, which has become my very familiar hang this week but which I imagine I may never visit again, and read the Australian and had a coffee. I had two dumbarse conversations going on either side of me. Family at next table all enlightened, mother father three kids under 10, father ‘I shouldn’t read the paper it’s very antisocial of me’ middle boy (around 7/ 8) ‘it’s very, very antisocial! Even though I don’t know what that means… (plaintive) what does antisocial mean?’ they all laugh, ugh. On the other side 40 year old boy with chick’s voice, slender figure grills friend about how much he reads. Boy obviously struggling to make conversation (friend clearly just wants to read the paper!) on a topic, reading, he is not that clear on. ‘Did you really read all those newspapers you had yesterday? And now you’ve got more!’ etc. Wife/ partner presumably of friend comes to table, early middle age, a fixed grimace smile on her face that looks like she’s put rubber bands around her head, has now to make conversation also with the boy, it is excruciating. Meanwhile, people, I am trying to read an unconvincing 2/3 of a page in the Australian magazine about Mike Brady’s 1980s battle with alcoholism, and Ruth Ostrow’s delightful unintentional counterpoint about irresponsible drunken youths.

I had gone out with no shoes on and a shirt with a pineapple on the pocket. I thought this would make me blend in with the natives but apparently they don’t let their feet touch the soil here, and nor do they pledge their allegiance to growable fruits so obviously. I mean who the hell do they think they are. I am about to check out of this dive forever, and am sitting at a table with a view onto a quite ugly courtyard, a procession of young women wearing shorts and with very muscular legs goes by, muscular I think because whatever else they’re doing here they’re rowing too. Many of them also have laptops and no I am not going to lapse into some froth a la that great character played by Warren Mitchell in the tv adaptation of the Glen Tomasetti book Man of Letters. But most interestingly I just saw the second Iron Maiden t-shirt I’ve seen in 24 hours. Are Iron Maiden the new Ramones (in this regard)? Golly. Or is there just a local fanbase of youngsters?

As mentioned, this dump is presently being painted/ refurbished – a staff member, while getting me an iron, told me this had to happen at the end of every semester. This morning I heard one of the painters saying to a couple of others (I don’t know who this was regarding, I choose to think not me, he certainly was not looking at me), ‘they’re the kind of people who look at their own shit’. Something else that obviously isn’t done in Brisbane society.

why?

Why can't I post pictures on my blog anymore? Were they too stupid?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hey hi there I'm in Indooroopilly!

I have 59 seconds left at this internet cafe - make that 47 seconds - and just thought I'd say hi, and, is that how you spell Indooroopilly?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

mum, turn around

Overheard/ seen at the entry to Gladstone Park Safeway. Three women walking in single file. The young woman at the rear says, 'Mum, turn around!'
Mum (at the front of the 3) turns around.
Woman at rear: 'You've got no boobs'.
Middle woman: 'You're so mean!'

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

nuggetz




These do not deserve individual postings, but together make a delightfully impressionistic clump.

Last night, Charlie stuck her head in an empty Whiskas box and sat there for a lo-o-o-ong time with it on her head. Long enough for me to take several pics with my phone none of which really came out satisfactorily. Guess you had to be there. Oh, and then she tore it to bits.
***
On Saturday we voted at Jacana PS. On the way back I passed four boys age approx 9-10, standing around on a corner poised to ride off on their bikes. One of them said contemptuously to another, 'suck my dick'.
***
Yesterday I was at Castro's ready to buy a coffee and 'Keep on rockin' me baby' by the Steve Miller Band came on the radio. I couldn't believe how instantly and easily I was transported back to school trip to Sherwood Forest, late 1976. I got to sit next to, and talk to, a girl I liked all the way back. It was my first opportunity to demonstrate to my satisfaction what I had long imagined, that I was actually capable of entertaining someone of the opposite sex (to me). I was 11.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

sentimental meander


As I have already said on this national treasure of a site, I am politically a bit of a utopian dickhead, with (I haven’t said this but it’s true) a Mike Leighan understanding of the upper classes (Lady Farquhar with the protruding front teeth and collies and pearls) although in my defence no particular Ken Roachian idealisation of the workers. But two events, one being my attendance at an absolutely brilliant show last night at Gertrude’s, and the other being reading a story in this morning’s Age about a maverick trader who is being prosecuted for placing a dummy bid, made me think about my friends.

I immediately reached for a stereotype to understand dummy bidder, that he comes from an environment with no cultural interest but the culture of money and its accumulation, and that he and his pals only talk about $$$ in various forms and would sell each other for the price of a… whatever an expensive thing might be. A sex on the beach or a rolex or something. Mia and I, on the other hand, walk a perilous, threadbare tightrope between financial recklessness (many weeks, we spend more than we make) and eschewing any kind of breadheadism. So, in refusing to let money control our lives (maybe I should just talk about me – Mia costs a lot less to run than I do) I make a lot of dumb spur-of-the-moment money decisions that I end up working longer and harder to pay for. Damn society!!!

Going to the Dear Nora/ Kayla from The Blow/ Mia Schoen/ Bianca show last night was however exactly the kind of thing that Go-Set reporter Wendy Saddington would have described in 1971 as a ‘flash’, except Wendy Saddington wouldn’t have liked it, but Wendy Saddington 2.1 (me) was over the moon about it. It was a night of people playing (mainly) their own songs in an either acoustic or at least just guitar-and-vocals format, except Mia who had loops and Katy Dear Nora who had some bass-n-drums-n-recorder assistance. It was pretty much a perfect show. Everyone was genuine, everyone was audience-friendly, put something of themselves into their music but in an aware, unwallowing way. And not only were there tons of people there I love in of course the unromantic sense, and I had good conversations and even if I do say so myself advanced the cause of civillisation a little bit further in our way, there was also extremely good – dare I say even cutting-edge – art being made there and then, on the Gertrude’s stage. I even got my ego stroked by a stranger.

I am not going to tie any of this in well at all. But earlier in the evening I had dinner at Peta and Greg’s place, thanks again Greg, and Greg and I did more of our dissection of the indie community economy; G was talking about a particular individual who incidentally I respect (so does he, probably) but who was a penny-pincher when it came to getting all the dosh ever owed for indie records, etc and who felt that Greg was letting the side down when he gave his CDs away for free or generally refused to participate in the indie music economy. And Greg’s argument, which I endorse, is that if you totally ignore the financial side, which is almost always going to be negligible (unless, presumably, you make a lifelong commitment to expanding forever and aspire to being The Lemonheads) it frees you up to worry only about the creative side. And this is really how I feel. G&I agree that in the main, the way bands we know tap into the ‘real world’ of the ‘music scene’ is only in the potential, kind of like the assumptions parodied in the end of Wayne’s World where if the major record company could only hear the group they’d realise they could rule the world, but they never will, ‘cos of the man or something, but meanwhile every live show at the Old Bar is a throw of the dice and maybe Michael Gudinski will wander in off the street because his car broke down and his mobile broke down and he, er, wants to hear a new band, and sign them to the label he doesn’t have anymore. OK I’ve gone too far. What I mean is, most of the people in bands we know play pretty much exclusively to their friends, with maybe a 5-10% smattering of newbies and sometimes these people are positive, and we are all part of a scene though to most outsiders it probably looks awfully exclusive and it is a bit like commandeering the Old Bar for a party on a Friday night. It’s not a private party, but it certainly has that ring to it. Know what I mean?

I don’t mind making money, though I’m pretty bad at it, but I don’t regard money per se as a devil. But I do appreciate being part of a social circle where money, even the other supposed barbecue stoppers of our age eg mortgages or even rent, are (it astonishes me when I think about it) are not the prime topics of conversation. I like babies but babies or children or school fees or whatever else are not, either. Sensationalist news headlines aren’t either. I mean I suppose we talk about music and related things or social activities or in some cases even books or tv or films, or other art including fine art, or even sometimes politics, all these topics that some might see as indicative of adults who refuse to grow up, but which when you think about it, are really mostly what’s important. And so I am very keen on my friends, they know who they are, and I am also keen on the people who I consider friends though I rarely see or have contact with them, and on the people who I seem to have inadvertently fallen out of touch with but will at some stage soon renew, and I am just grateful, because I have this excellent life. It’s not even shallow.

Mia scored a record deal with hot indie label last night.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mia is playing a show tomorrow night

It's at Gertrude's in Gertrude Street Fitzroy and it is in support of Dear Nora, who would be an amazing band if they were more than one person. I don't want to give away trade secrets but Mia is going to do some of her bird songs. This is a concept she's been working up for years now, in which she writes songs based around loops of bird calls that she's recorded herself on field trips. Lyrically she goes to the bird's way of thinking and to my humanoid way of thinking she does this very well. I think you should come along and hear it happen.

I will be there, drinking whiskey.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

mia makes great potato salad

That's an anagram, but like the best anagrams, it also happens to be true when taken at face value. I am not sure where she got the original concept from but it might have been at least partly inspired by our Denver friend Naomi who also makes a great potato salad. Pickled gherkins, or dill pickles as they may also be known, are key.

I think we let potatoes down a lot, not Mia and I, I mean everyone, except possibly Mia and I, and Naomi, because we tend to regard them as a stodgy filler for whatever flavour we are up for at that moment. But potatoes do have a terriffic flavour of their own. They are not the vanilla of vegetables, so don't say they are.

I mean I suppose unpickled gherkins, whatever they may be (are they immature zucchinis? It's incredible and wondrous to me what I don't know - like absolutely everything in my life I blame, naturally, the Victorian Education Department of the 1970s/early 80s and specifically the grotesque John Gardiner High School of Burgess St, Hawthorn) might also be seen by many as, if not stodge, at least a template, characterless in themselves. But I say not at all. Not at all. Or am I being contrary.

I have been watching the first season of 24. My verdict over half way through - well, life's too short, but then again as my friend the philosopher Andrew Withycombe (name droppin') once said, 'Life's not that short'. And both of those notions are true.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

chubby

A blog is like a pet rock. You promise to always cherish and nurture it, and then you do not. Anyway. I am gettingthingsdone in other areas right now. You better believe it. Though I still haven't read Lady Cilento's My Life and that was so on my to-do list (private joke amongst myself). Anyway I will be out of town for a few days and will get back to you all ASAP. Inspired by Eddy's response to my post below, I will leave you with my current faves:

Scritti Politti (but you knew that) most recent and earliest work (you knew that too)
AC/DC 'Little Lover'
Tucker Bs Chubby
Crayon Fields album
Company Caine Product of a Broken Reality
New Estate
Purple Hearts

and probably, since I was just delivered of it, though haven't actually heard it yet

Love Cuts Kill album

Monday, November 13, 2006

scritti politti

One of the great albums of the year for me is Scritti Politti's White Bread, Black Beer which I know Elton John also really likes (or claims to but why wouldn't he like it) and which contains some very fine and typically bizarre ballads. One of the things I really like about it is the insanely poor packaging which sets a new standard, somehow. Another thing is it sounds great. My favourite track is 'Mrs. Hughes'.

But more amazing is the relatively recent compilation of the first Scritti Politti recordings from the late 70s. I remember decades ago Epic Soundtracks wondering why the song 'Confidence' hadn't been a chart hit. Answers there were many, and I suppose one answer is that the band at that time were either very unable to play together or were very good at appearing that way, either way it wasn't going to cut it amongst Bucks Fizz and Genesis. But hearing it now I'm not sure whether I'd ever heard that song, and now I can't get it out of my head. It is very compelling.

it's a monday morning




At 4:41 am. Monday morning is typically my favourite time of the week, since I got my present job, so I am happy to get as much of it as possible, though I didn't really enjoy waking up from a dream that I was trying to squeeze out of a rock chamber and Dannii Minogue was somewhere about.

On Saturday Mia and I went to Shane's barbecue and met Felix Pictdutto-Warlow. He seems utterly charming in every way. It was his first time in a pub so I hope he doesn't get spoilt as the Labour in Vain is a cut above, particularly the rooftop. We gave Shane a very 'I'm 34' album as a present, Mayo Thompson's Corky's Debt to His Father, easily an all-time top 5 in my personal chart.

New Estate played an incredible show that evening. All the other bands were hot too. It was quite a night.

Sunday I slept too much but I'll manage. And obviously I have corrected it by getting up at 4 this morning.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

little boy with his finger in the dyke

... and the tidal wave behind him.

I wrote a piece for The Big Issue next week about how hard it was to handle Wikipedia and all its mistakes. I made a point about how I was not going to deal with it myself, because life's too short, I probably didn't say that, but it is. Anyway then I was alerted to the Wikipedia entry on Jacana, which had the most risible statements on it, one about how Jacana had 12% homeless people who made their living by begging. There was an earlier statement which someone else had removed, that said people in Jacana had been murdered for 5c. Totally ridiculous stuff. In amongst some attempts at making sense. I suppose someone wrote a half-researched thing and then someone else came in and wrote some bogus nonsense. Anyway so in a blaze of Jacana patriotism I went in and scrubbed the whole thing and wrote a few paragraphs of my own which I was fairly happy with (I've linked to it but of course there's no guarantee that what you get to is what I wrote). Now of course I have to check it constantly to make sure no-one ruins it with more dumb bullshit.

Really, I have to learn to walk away. But I'm too proud.

That reminds me, I have Hume's official stats on Jacana's demographics in the filing cabinet. Better go and grab 'em.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

where have I been?


Terriffic question, even if that's not the way to spell teriffic. I have been to Donovan's in St Kilda; to the Dave Graney, Clare Moore, Mark Fitzgibbon Point Blank show; to Healesville; to the computer to write a chapter of my book; to the television to watch The Sopranos from last week; to the park with the dogs; to Readings; and since you asked I have also been to me.

Tonight I shall be on 3CR all going well. I will be playing 'Funkytown' by Lipps Inc., 'Telephone' by Dr. Agony and traxx by World's End Press, Mackenzie Theory and Todd Rundgren.

(Later: I did not play 'Funkytown', 'Telephone', or Mackenzie Theory. I did play 'Gay Guys' by the Dugites, 'Ship to Shore' by Dub Narcotic, 'A Slow Ride into Hell' by Mercury Spectres, 'Cool' by Love of Diagrams and 'Sexbeat' by Adalita, though, so you would have had a great time, if you'd been listening).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

canberra-sydney train

I can’t recall how long it’s been since I travelled Canberra-Sydney on a train, and it’s a very pleasant experience. Have probably been on the rails for about two hours now, and it’s still not quite dark, so that's ace. The train is very squeaky indeed but that’s OK and I have two seats to myself which touch wood (actually there’s none around) will continue to the end. The first class carriage, which a few passengers including my befuddled self, accidentally got into at the Can end, is humorously now entirely empty. We are coming to Moss Vale now. One of those places which I’ve never really known or cared where it was. I think because it has such a pathetic name. Yes, I am cranky, because I haven’t slept much, ok? Also, I finished reading my second INXS bio in a week and the whole schtick pisses me off. Also, I was in the NLA all day, which is terrific in itself but I do always like to soak up a bit of Can ambience and in this case this was not really possible. I didn’t even make it to Gus’s.

Mittagong. One of those places I have never really had much time for. I think Mark Callaghan lives there. Or he used to. Or he lived somewhere beginning with M. Or his name begins with M. Possibly. Some poor sod’s getting off here. How absurd. I feel I should laugh contemptuously.

Monday, October 30, 2006

truly great joke I made

We were driving in Bendigo and I didn't have my (Mia's) camera.

Stephen: Why don't you have your camera? Did you run out of memory?
Me: Yes, so I forgot to bring it.

There was actual canned laughter!

(Actually, what I said was 'No, I forgot... er I mean "Yes, so I forgot to bring it" but who needs realism).

Funny, it doesn't seem that funny now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

public records office

Spent the afternoon in the public records office. This is genuinely one of the greatest places to go. Like an op shop you rarely find what you're looking for but you may well find something better. In this case I was a little disappointed; I waded through quite a bit of mid-1980s administrative bumf from Sandringham Council and really didn't get much out of it. That said it's amazing what survives merely by dint of it being in a council archive. I read a bit of municipal archives correspondence from the late 1950s, all these job applications from teenage girls who want to be the person selling the tickets at the pool. Imagine if you were some 19 year old in Spotswood in 1956 writing a job application out on lined paper with a fountain pen all badly spelt and mundane, and some mystical thing appeared in front of you and said, 'You know someone's going to be looking at that page in a huge building in North Melbourne in 50 years', what would you say? Best answer wins the final Ulker Cikolatali Gofret bar out of our fridge, unless we eat it first.

Like the SLV the genies are everywhere or at least I assume that's what they are, loudly dominating the proceedings, I had to leave a table I was sitting at because of these oldies reading loudly from some old register, and most annoyingly there was one name - something like Hamilton or Renton or something ending in 'on', and they both kept pronouncing the 'on' part very prominently, as though it had some significance, 'not Hamilten, not Hamiltin, oh no, it's HamiltON' was the inference (in a Kenneth Williams 'not an asp' voice I reckon). Like people who say condOM although there's no other word like that. Is there? We don't say LondON or randOM... anyway. I do love the PROV. They have so much stuff. And if in this case everyone else's stuff looked a little more interesting than mine well, I'm happy for them.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

dappled sunlight nonsense

Never mind your problems, what about the hassles I face trying to read things off my laptop screen while the train is passing through trees and sunlight. I suppose there was a time when people enjoyed this type of thing but let me tell you I have important work to do, work I had a whole week to do and which I now have an hour and a half to get finished, and damn it, I am not going to put up with all this dappled sunlight nonsense.

And for my next meaningless gripe:

I had a particularly nauseating lecturer as an undergraduate who used to rub his/her hands together in faux Dr. Frankenstein style and promise us ‘coffeeee!’ This was the days when an addiction to coffeee was a slightly edgy, terribly cosmopolitan thing to have, a bit like addiction to sex was in the early 70s. I was way up for it then (later clarification: I mean addiction to coffee in the 90s, not addiction to sex in the 70s... OK?) But as long-term readers of this catalogue of complaints and self-flagellation will know, I do occasionally wrestle with this demon.

In consultation with Dr. Clarkey (a user who was once a beacon of hope since she did not drink any coffeee until she was about 45 but not with Dr. Schoen whose general attitude is, one should always do whatever one wishes to do – imagine how society would crumble if we were all like that)(mind you she is not much of a coffee drinker) I have negotiated a significant reduction in my intake and it seems to be working, although of course I drink tea like it was air, and as I am now a nose breather you can imagine how stimulating that is.

The above was written yesterday morning and I admit I succumbed a little to a ‘reverse macchiato’ from Castro’s, the acknowledged gnarliest coffee dump on campus, yesterday and then in the evening before we went to see Children of Men, had a little Turkish coffee at Anatolian, which is the closest thing Broady Plaza has to a restaurant this side of La Porchetta’s (I don’t mean geographically though in fact, it is geographically this side).

We enjoyed CoM a lot. It was really well designed and had a neat story and a bit of good dialogue. I thought the stormtrooper symbolism was a little weak since the Britain of twenty years’ hence as depicted in the film was all about nationality (and nationalism), not race, which for some reason seems – not exactly less sinister, but not quite comparable in a satirical/metaphorical way.

I like it when things are unexplained in films, yet still seem quite plausible. The infertility thing is totally unexplained, as is the fertility thing. The last half hour when the camera (i.e. what we are seeing) gets blood on it is kind of bizarre, because we’ve never been given that documentary sense before, but I guess it works. I sort of half imagine that they got fake blood on the camera lens but couldn’t afford to reshoot, but who knows. It doesn’t detract.

I’d recommend it to anyone who likes to be thoroughly gruelled.

We saw it at Broady Hoyts, with about eight male teens two rows behind us. They were pretty well-behaved throughout the actual film (I think one of them made a loud joke once in an admittedly slightly unconvincing-manipulative-explanatory scene) but as Mia pointed out the time we really heard from them was during the trailers when the second Jackass film was being promoted. Phew! After their excited revelry in the face of that 45-second piece of… stuff… I’m surprised they didn’t want to curl up and go to sleep for a while, or at least have a bowl of nutri-grain.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

funny pleb

One of the things that any ongoing user of the State Library of Victoria's research facilities (as opposed, I'm guessing, to the people that go there to take heroin or sit at a table with their schoolfriends) has to get used to is the way that they become de facto staff members. We should all strike for the right to get a little kickback every time we show someone how to use the photocopy card machine or where the domed reading room is, and so on. But yesterday took the cake (and now I think about it perhaps this is where I got on the 'I'm an elitist freak' jag of below) for making a library user feel like a zoo animal.

I was using a microfilm reader to look at the Broadmeadows Observer from 1991 and a young guy about 20 came by and burst out with 'wow - you can just call up anything from the past in there!' I am prone to the worst interpretation of anything I don't understand so I checked myself and said 'what do you mean?' and he said 'You can just look at anything on that!' - he obviously thought it was some kind of history computer. I said, well, no, you have to get microfilms out of there - and I indicated the rows of drawers containing microfilm. And he said, 'Oh so you've got a bit of paper in there?' (he obviously hadn't registered the word 'microfilm' or considered it jargon). I showed him the actual reel of film. He regarded the cabinets and walked away saying 'This place is incredible!'

I know, I know, I should lighten up. Maybe I didn't smoke enough pot in '96.

it's all so nasty

I wonder what it would really be like if Labor won the next election. I seem to recall the Hawkeating government was a little frustrating at times but overall I see it all with a rosy glow. For the first few years of Howard it was almost invigorating, he was so wrong. Now he's been in power for so long there is no particular angsty glee to be had from his wrong, wrong, wrongness. His face still reminds me of the toothless one of those two grumpy old men who provided commentary on The Muppet Show, and his voice - particularly his accent - sounds like a colossal put-on to me. I am sure as soon as he leaves office, if he doesn't do it feet-first which seems increasingly likely, he will revert to talking plummy like he used to. It is quite extraordinary to me that this man who has ruled the country for a quarter of my life seems (am I imagining this?) diametrically opposed to me on almost everything. It reminds me a bit of a young man I was sat next to at a conference dinner in New Zealand; absolutely everything that interested him, or that he believed in (a lot of stuff about immigration etc, and he worked in an abbatoir) was so much the exact opposite of what I know to be right, I started to get paranoid - obviously I've smoked too much pot (in 1996, which was about the last time I smoked pot, and I stopped because it made me paranoid - my present state being proof of this). I started to think, 'this guy's a plant'. With Howard it's much worse, as I have to accept that a significant proportion of the people I see in the street actually voted for him. It's an indictment on me, I suppose, that I simply cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would do such a bizarre thing; I would put it on par with... um... all those other things I'll never understand, like people who abseil or people who practice witchcraft, except in most cases those things don't impact on others negatively. Maybe I'd put people who voted for Howard on a level with people who practice witchcraft and human sacrifice.

Obviously this is why me and politics don't go together. My views are extremist and naive, and I cannot really see room for compromise. I suppose part of this comes from the fact that I see incredibly basic flaws in the way human civillisation is organised, things that will surely never change, I am thinking particularly of the meat industry, or meat eating per se, but I am sure there are many other aspects. (Having said that I don't particularly condemn most of my friends for being carnivores any more than I would condemn them for abseiling. But that's part of it - I see no benefit to irritating people who won't change their ways because I want them to, and for that matter I allow for a 1% possibility that I may be wrong, a 1% that, though small, tugs at my elbow anytime I make the mistake of trying to analyse these things). I have numerous other quirky opinions about what would make the world a better place, and these are all distinguished only by the fact that they will never happen not only my lifetime, but anyone's, ever. This might be just how people come to be in their 40s. I suppose I felt roughly the same way twenty years ago but then I did not feel entirely enfranchised or empowered by dint of my age and inexperience. Now I just realise I am massively out of step with, let's say 90% of the population of earth. That still leaves an extraordinarily huge 10%, but actually the figure is probably under 1%, so I don't know why I generously gave myself ten.

On balance, I have no real idea what most or many people around the world are likely to think. And come to think of it I suppose my ignorance of other cultures and my belief in the value of local culture in part because whatever it is, it's local, puts me on a level of empathy with John Howard. That makes me feel a lot better.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

mouth breathing


I read the first sixty or so pages of a book on asthma management written by a man who had been big in a big pharmaceutical company and then went all natural. And he recommended for one thing that asthmatics should not breathe through their mouths but through their noses like normal people as the nose is a filter. There was a bothersome sentence, repeated a few times in this how to breathe chapter, saying something along the lines of 'if your nose is blocked, turn to the chapter about unblocking your nose now!' Anyway I had never thought of myself as a mouth breather, though typically for my snob approach I could readily identify plenty of others who are (and who I have quietly condemned for being so). So today I have been consciously breathing through my nose only and I have to admit it's true: I am - well, I was - a mouth breather. I actually find it quite irritating to close my mouth when breathing but now I have invented this new obsession I also find it irritating to open it when breathing. So you can imagine how I feel.

Meanwhile, drifting from topic above, not a bad weekend at the end of a fairly shitty week, I lost my mobile again (am fostering conspiracy theory) anyway at the end of Friday we went to Heide 1 to see Kim Donaldson's 'Between the Lines' exhibition and then I went home and ate a can of spicy lentil soup, not from the can, then went to the Evelyn to see World's End Press, Aleks and the Ramps, they were all I saw, Talk Show Boy and Seconds also played but I was there too late. Good night really. James and Miranda had a baby (not at the venue, but earlier in the day) and Toby and Suse are getting married... in a couple of years. Then yesterday in the day it was the first New Estate rehearsal for many weeks with all members in good spirits and working on excellent new songs. In the evening Mia and I went to Catherine McCarthy's party. Today I made pancakes and had Ashtray Boy rehearsal. Rupert has chicken pox. Tonight I stir fried many greens.

Friday, October 13, 2006

garry shandling and monty python and I


I must say I do think It's Garry Shandling's Show was the funniest show of the 80s, perhaps even beyond that.

One of those weird things that happens three or four times in anyone's lifetime, but I wish it would happen to me in things of greater consequence, but still: I remember walking home from work when I lived with Amanda in Egan Street thinking how I'd heard about this very funny program called It's Garry Shandling's Show and how it was a show about someone who lived in a show, etc, and I thought 'I wish they'd screen that here'. Then I looked in the tv guide and it was actually starting that night, at about 11pm on Channel 9. Serious!

I have quite a few Garry Shandling tapes, probably of about 7 or 8 episodes. I am amazed to find that there were four seasons - that's a lot of IGSS - and I have only seen bits and pieces, really. According to the Jump the Shark site, though, I seem to have seen many of the best ones - like the Fugitive episode, and the time travel/amnesia episode, and the Name the Schumaker baby contest (and the one where Pete thinks he's not the father of the baby and Garry flies to Chicago to quiz Jackie's old boyfriend and he knocks on the door and the boyfriend doesn't remember any Jackie Schumaker and Garry says 'Oh, what was her maiden name - that's it, Jackie Schunaker, and the guy says, 'Oh, sure I know Jackie Schunaker!' I mean seriously that is quality). (And the Jeff Goldblum one where they get locked in the freezer, I am laughing about that one now).

A few days ago, inspired by a Mojo feature on Monty Python, I was thinking about how I was a very early, young convert to MP - I remember Dad let me stay up to watch it when it was first being shown on the ABC (or, at least, when we were living in Kew, which was pre-1973). Can that be a genuine memory? He thought I would like, and he was right, the Terry Gilliam animations and at first that was all I really wanted to see. By the time we were living in the UK in the mid-70s, I was full on into it and the last series - without John Cleese and coincidentally not as good - was on. By this time no-one in the family but me was interested, I would stay up and watch it by myself. Anyway of course like many MP fans I bought the records and then there was this weird thing of learning sections of dialogue and reciting it with friends ('Your majesty is like a big jam donut with cream on top... your majesty is like a stream of bat's piss'. I'm sure none of us knew who the hell Shaw and Wilde were, or really 'got' the idea them standing around insulting Prince Edward, though I suppose we got some of it by context). Why the hell would anyone do anything so lame as recite bits of this show? I guess it marked you out as part of an esoteric clique back then.

To my shame I recall anyone who got the slightest word wrong was chastised.

I was way grown out of the whole schtick and was able to talk to girls and stuff by the early 80s when I was at a party and I heard a bunch of boys one or two years younger than me doing that same thing - reciting bits of Monty Python sketches - and then one of them said with glee, 'Hey we should write this stuff down!' That was when I knew I had wasted too much of my life already.

I suppose the humour of Monty Python was primarily that kind of humour of inappropriate interjections, social embarrassment, people talking one way and saying something else, etc. There was also a lot of stuff on the shows and records that would have made absolutely no sense to anyone after about 1972 - references to various British journalists, broadcasters (Joan Bakewell) and politicians like Reginald Maudling. (I must admit I smiled when I just recalled the cannibalism-in-the-lifeboat sketch where someone cries 'We're done for! We're done for!' and someone else says 'Shutup, Maudling.' I guess the name 'Maudling' is funny in itself).

Anyway, the reason this ties in to a program I now believe to be about 700 times better than Monty Python, the abovementioned IGSS, is that concepts, phrases and so on will pop into my head all the time from IGSS. I think this is broader than remembering dialogue (no, I didn't try to learn dialogue from IGSS) but it might go back to the same basic principle. A lot of the time things people say trigger songs in my mind, too. (As an example writing that sentence has put the fairly mundane Elvis Costello song 'Little Triggers' into my head - sorry, but it has!!!)

One thing that comes to mind as an example is from the Fugitive episode of IGSS, where Jackie and Garry are running from the cops (it turns out to be a toy helicopter - heh) and they see the teenage Grant Schumaker under a lamplight, smoking a cigarette like Bogart.

Jackie: Look Garry it's little Grant smoking! Aren't you going to say something?
Garry: I don't know... 'He looks really cool' -?

Perhaps it's a sign of a syndrome. Every time someone says, or I read the words, or words approximating, 'Aren't you going to say something?' my mind goes to that joke. Which probably doesn't come out too well in the above but it still makes me laugh.

Garry Shandling's film about being an alien from outer space was so appalling, I wanted to die when I saw it. But everything else he's done has been incredible, and I think he is possibly my favourite comedian ever - though I have to get over the general sexism, etc of some of the material (because I'm so po-faced and right on).

After IGSS he went on to do the second greatest comedy show ever, The Larry Sanders Show, a totally different proposition - totally - but every bit as good in so many different ways. The first season of this show is available on DVD and Annabel was nice enough to get it for me as a present a few years ago, and it's magnificent. It's a different kind of 'show within a show', but whereas IGSS was absolutely surreal, TLSS was very believable. I love them both. Only the first season of Larry Sanders is available on DVD and none of IGSS is available on anything, even YouTube has nothing. Even YouTube!!!

When I was in NY in '96 with the Cannanes we went to Aileen McNally's mother's restaurant (or was this '91? maybe - I think it was the same visit we saw Epic Soundtracks outside the Knitting Factory and Aileen tried to talk to him about Julian Clary who he didn't like) we ate at the table in the window and I got to sit in a chair that Garry Shandling had sat in. Look, it actually was a thrill, he is a hero to me on the level of Robert Crumb and Mayo Thompson... all these American men twenty years my senior, what's it all about?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

pollyanna

The bus driver was fuming about some 'stupid woman' who had wagged her finger at him, I think she must have been another driver at a crossroads. But a woman passenger just told him in her best Kath voice, 'Just think of something humorous, and you'll be right'. What a philosophy.

Speaking of 'she must have been', I seriously heard a student here on campus yesterday say emphatically 'should of!' I didn't realise people said this in real life.

hot day

It's going to be a hottish day today they say I intend to get to work relatively early and then cower there most of the day though I do have to get out to the state library at some point for more hijinx. Actually to trawl through issues of a Doncaster newspaper from the 1950s. I am looking for material on Park Orchards in the 50s and 60s. You got any? The question 'where's/what's Park Orchards?' doesn't count as 'material', thanks anyway.

The Sopranos wasn't on last night. How freakin' lame is that. But there you go. You remember Pete Shelley once sang about 'Nostalgia for an age yet to come'? Well, that was ridiculous, but I think that's what anyone who tries to watch any series other than Rove Live on television is fostering. We just know that in a few years television as we know it is no longer going to happen, anything close to a minority interest is going to be shuffled off to the side, so if we can watch a bit of a quality television series on a weekly basis like our ancestors used to, we should try. (Actually that's probably just me and Mia. No-one else we know is trying. I keep talking to my mother about the current series of The Sopranos and she says 'No! No! I'm only up to series three!' she gets it from the video place in Rathdowne St where they keep a record of where she's up to!)

Meanwhile on a really dependable series, Neighbours, things are spiralling out of control. I am utterly uptight about the Sky baby Carmella's cousin crazy shit, and I think the whole Sky's baby business is complete bollocks from beginning to end (surprise surprise but there, I said it). Sky has gone from being the most interesting Ramsay St character, with her manga and her discovery of 'new' music etc (I loved it when she tried to interest Boyd in ESG) to the most pedestrian. She's not even pedestrian now - she's lying down all the time and Karl's interference is even more ludicrous than usual.

Mad Max is moderately interesting, though I am reminded of the episode of It's Garry Shandling's Show where Garry is so uptight about the network boss Mr. Stravely coming round for dinner that he keeps imagining his girlfriend is verbally abusing him ('Stravely... that's a stupid name, isn't it?'). Warning: when you hear someone speaking as if they're talking through a megaphone from inside a shoebox, they're probably not really saying it. And all the time the Robinsons keep berating Max for running Cam over, there's never once any acknowledgement of extenuating circumstances i.e. he was the identical twin of an evil person who Max believed had just escaped from a secure location. Anyway whatever.

By the way re: the IGSS link above I notice that the author of that piece incorrectly claims Randy Newman sang the theme song. She's thinking of Cop Rock. But who isn't.

Back to Neighbours for a second, Katya - Ned I do not care.

Rachel - Stingray I think they should stay together.

Toady appears to have vamoosed with no fanfare. I assume he will return. Or a spinoff?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

temple of wisdom

The State Library was a drag yesterday with the following things happening:

A precocious young girl telling a librarian all about the school project she did on Burke and Wills while librarian is trying to thread microfilm onto a reel. The mother chips in with what the other kids did for their school project etc. The girl kept saying 'I know all about it, because I already did it'. The librarian's response was the weirdest thing though as she would only say 'that's OK...' to everything, like they were telling her they'd spilt milk in the kitchen.

Two private schoolboys at the microfilm reader next to me reading the New York Times for September 11 2001. One of them said to the other 'Did you know that Croatia's just invaded some country?' I won't say what school they went to but it has a purple uniform. (Clue to readers in the future: he was almost certainly talking about North Korea doing a nuclear test).

The photocopy recharge machine was not issuing receipts. No-one seems to know how to get it to do so 'because' as one staff member explained to me, 'it's private' (as in: it's a privately run operation).

Man chucks a berko at librarian in the Heritage Collections Reading Room because she says the extension cord for his laptop can't stretch across a walkway. 'It's just a farce, and you're a farce' he says. She adopts the pose of a patient monk, hands in prayer in front of her neck, and says 'Well I'm sorry you think safety is a farce but... I don't.'

100 years of electric trams



OMG, acting on a hot tip from one in the know, Annabel and I hastened to the 100 years of electric trams gala on the waterfront on Sunday. Harry the Wombat - the tram brass band - the tram from Malcolm - some genuine gunzels - it was incredible. I have quite honestly never had such a great time. See pics.

Friday, October 06, 2006

So are those steals from The Simpsons in the Family Guy meant to be IRONIC?

I mean, like, last night when Stewie is talking to pipe-smoking stockbrokers and he blows bubbles out of his pipe; or more comprehensively, the Lois/Marge is way too good for Peter/Homer thing. God, I don't really care, but god, it's annoying not to know exactly where they're coming from at The Family Guy. I suppose they're coming from the 'christ we're on a good wicket' school of television.

I am listening to loud Midnight Oil this morning, in preparation of course for this evening's prac-tease with the classic Cannanes line-up together again for the first time in 23 years as individual members strive to induction in the Indie Rock Hall of Fame in Otter St. It will be great to play music with Ole Man Gav Butler again.

I know many of you will remember my classic 'hell freezes over' quote back in the day but what can I say, Joe Walsh must of slipped something in my mickey. We were playing with the Party Boys at the time, the Ole Man Swanee line up. I met most of my best friends on that tour, at the Lady Bay as it happens. I lost them there too - swings and roundabouts. Every time I pop into that branch of Fishtails or is it Fishtales or Fishscales, down by the beach where the fumes make you sick, I think about those days, and wonder what Joe's doing. Then usually he comes back with some fish he found, or an action man with no head.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

and furthermore...


Last night I dreamt Mia was a long-running cast member of Neighbours. We were watching it and saw a scene where her character was knocked out with chloroform by the actor Simon May, playing a baddie. He administered it via one of those little puffer-brushes photographers use. I turned to her and said 'you must get hassled a lot in the street'. Like, she'd been in the show for years and we'd never discussed it, and it never occurred to me to bring it up before.

I found this picture on the internet, and didn't know what else to do with it. It's a private swim fun park in Rockhampton currently selling for $3 million.

i really like wrigley's sugarfree extra drops watermelon flavour

I have to say they taste quite a bit like bananas, which we haven't seen much of round this way lately. I feel like William Brown during the war. I mean I feel like he must have felt.

My desk here at work is covered in papers, papers, papers as well as some very scuzzy looking post it note pads and a cd in a repulsive paper sleeve that screams 'i have been in the bottom of a backpack for weeks now! weeks!' (yes, it's a lower-case scream - one of those). I also have some sampler cds what I was given by Michael at Readings. There is the putumayo groove sampler, a Trifekta release called Quiet Riot: Songs you need to listen to, a Spunk records sampler called Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste, and a Shock/Remote control release called strangely enough Beggar's Banquet. Additionally, a papermate red pen, a fluoro pen, a unipin fine line, a photocopy of an article called 'Case Study: Development in the snowy', three plastic sleeves, a spiral bound notebook, a history of Prahran, my diary, a small purple stapler with which I staple any small purples that come through, a telephone, a 'foldback clip' (are these what we used to call bulldog clips and if so, why?), a copy of yesterday's Australian, and some earphones. An embarrassment of riches, really.

So you see, it's possible to blog even when you have .01 of nothing to say.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

walked home from tram



It's about an hour's walk home from the tram. It must be very good for one. I ran and it took ten minutes. I took these pictures of the railway bridge with my phone en route.

Monday, October 02, 2006

things to do with gladstone park shopping centre



I was up at Gladdy a few hours ago and it was freakin' going off. If that means 'closing up for the night'. I bought some ginger, garlic, capsicum and coriander, also, some vintage margaret river cheese, and some tomatoes. Vine-ripened naturellement.

Why wuz I up at Gladdy? Well, like a billion other Melbournians, I was unable to travel home by train tonight, cuz there was a power outage of some sort on the lines, so I rang my mother and asked if I could, sorry, cud borrow her car to get home. She said I cud. And on the way home I bought the abovementioned at Gladstone Park Shopping Centre.

I also fitted in time to have a ride (it wuz a bit hot so I took my shirt off), and also took the opportunity to laugh at the punning possibilities of a 'reel' hose, ho ho. In a very whimsical mood tonight no doubt cuz I woke up at 3:30 this morning and did not go back to sleep.

I saw Vera di Campli as I wuz leaving work she wuz eating an apple.

Friday, September 29, 2006

i'm really interesting

One of my myspace friends, Jihyun, who is artistic and Korean, sent me a message asking me how I was goin'. I told her how I was goin' could generally be gleaned from my blog. And it made me think about my blog and I looked at the last few entries and then picked a random time (June last year) to see what I was into then. God it was fascinating. I can't believe what an interesting life I lead - interesting to me, anyway. I mean I don't know how well I write really (probably adequately but I know I have a format/template and I know how it developed and I know it has quirks, which is not to say it's quirky) but I certainly appeal to myself as a reader. Probably partly because most of what I was writing about in June last year rings true for me, even though I don't recall probably about 40% of it.

Of course some of it is depressing. I know that when I set myself 40+ tasks when Mia went overseas, I only completed about half of them. I was also a bit disturbed to see that my graphic novel is now in its 16th month with only two chapters to show for it, although I guess it is at least progressing slowly but surely. It was pleasing to see how in June last year I was pretty much obsessing over that crappy sessional teaching life - actually at that time I was on contract but whatever - which is now absolutely no part of my life, and I don't miss it one speck. I suppose I see it as only a temporary break.

Anyway, enough reflecting on my interesting self. It's going to rain, and I am going to walk to the tram like I did the week before last, and I'm going to go to work for my usual half-day on a Friday.

Inneresting story on Dannii Minogue in today's (Melbourne) Magazine in The Age, though it didn't go too deep into her psyche. I had a bit of contact with Dannii in the early days of her transition from YTT girl to pop star in her own right. I liked her a lot, and was pretty disturbed by her subsequent plastic surgery disasters. Despite what they say in the article I think it is a tragedy that she's not where Kylie is in the world's affections though it is all relative. Anyway, she'll cope and so will I.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

pip anoints ariel pink


Pic by Greg W.

i don't know what i expected but i certainly didn't expect absolute brilliant success!


Pip played at the East last night supporting Ariel Pink (pic is from soundcheck - I know there are more pics around which I will put up here asap). I mean Pip's short set was pretty iconoclastic if not bombastic, and there was stuff in there guaranteed to upset almost everyone. So even though I knew the first song came out really well, I had no idea what the audience would make of it - I could see them all but they mainly looked a bit stunned. But after the first song was over, their reaction was so incredibly positive. That made everything worthwhile, seriously. But after the show was over Marcus and I ferried Pip out of the room and everyone was slapping him on the back and calling out his name and so on, telling him they loved him and what a great show it was! I can't remember ever being at a show where people were so positive about a performer. People were telling me it was great, and I'd say 'go and tell Pip, I'm sure he'd love to hear that', and they'd say, 'Oh no I don't want to bother him'... he came away with a new record offer, and a pre-existing one triple confirmed...

It brought a tear to my eye, and I'm not joking, because we were all scared of course about how it might go, but also because I know Pip's day to day life is pretty nasty and brutish, and to then play his first show in 37 years to people who by and large weren't born until, probably, ten years after then, and for them to be so overwhelmingly into it, was amazing.

I think 'amazing' is the word of the day. Thanks go to the Pip Proud Group: Marney who was so encouraging and supportive of Pip even on stage, Julie who held the whole thing together so brilliantly with actual organisation and superb sitarring, Mia who is always me, and me. Also Greg for mixing and Louis and Mickey for driving and always being there for their father and many others besides whose names I will add in later and pretend they were always there. Also the other bands of the night were grouse, Das Butcher, Kes, and not forgetting Ariel Pink who was a hell of a guy and his scratch band - never has a scratch band sounded less scratchy. I am as I would never otherwise say blown away. Seriously. It was probably the best show I ever played, certainly the most emotionally affecting and rewarding.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

anticipation is so less better

I have to say I am pretty nervous about the Pip show tonight. It is his first show since 1969, and I don't remember that one. I am concerned too because I have always been a firm believer in the 'bad rehearsal, good performance' rule and the last couple of rehearsals have been excellent. This can only lead to problems. Anyway, Sophie Best et al have cooked up a really interesting and diverse night, so I am pretty looking forward to the other acts, and also as I said to Greg a little while ago, really my main hope is just for the Pip part of the night to be concluded adequately. We'll see.

In other news, I have announced my intention to be pissed off if the whatsername Irwin interview on Channel Nine does anything to The Sopranos. Knowing my luck, it will. I have only allowed for an extra hour after normal programming on the video recorder and I daresay this outpouring of pustulent mewling will take anything as insignificant as a good drama off the airwaves for the next three days. I suppose if I had any damn grit I'd be downloading it off the internet like some people I know.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

big weekend


Mia and I went to the show on Friday. It was magnificent as usual. I don't think the strange rationalisation of the showgrounds has made a bad difference, though the passing of the chairlift and the state pavillion are both a little sad - we cheered ourselves up with Triple Bertie Beetle and Red Skins showbags. On Saturday I had Ashtray Boy rehearsal, to which I always make sure I forget to bring one vital piece of equipment. This time it was the kick pedal. So I put the floor tom on its side and hit that, stupidly. What a mess. Then I decided I would become 2006's answer to Gavin Butler and picked up the bass and we wrote a tune with Carla on drums and Randall on saxophone, except I looked around one time and sneakily it had become a guitar. Sheeit! This morning I drove to Healesville to pick up Pip and I'm telling you, it took 50 minutes. Of course I was accompanied by the police helicopter, I guess they were showing me the way. We had our last rehearsal at Marney's place before we hit the stage at the East on Wednesday. Sheeit! Hesheeit! Tonight I am going on 3CR as the occasional replacement for the undoubtable Alison, so you'll hear me soon.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

ling's house iv

ling's house III

don't hold others back II

This morning I had an appointment to meet Clarkey at 7:30 so I did everything right. I was on the train by quarter to, waiting at Broady station. There was a long thin streak of pelican shit on the platform smoking a fag and continually making sure the door of the train was open, perhaps so his smoke could come on the trip with him but probably also so the train wouldn't move off without him. He was speed-smoking but the doors did shut, the horn did sound, and the train was about to move off, luckily he speed-jabbed the door button and got it to open again baby one more time, and he was on. Spent the entire journey listening to weird, loud music on some kind of mobile telephonic device.

Yet, he had held us back.

It was not immediately clear that he had done so. In fact, I thought I was making decent time. But when we got to North Melbourne we were told the train was not going to go through the loop, but instead was going to go straight to Flinders St via Southern Cross. Those who wished to indulge themselves on the loop had to get off at North Melbourne and wait for a loop train. Many of us did so. The next train to come along had also been converted to a straight-to-Flinders train. So we waited some more. And finally crammed three times as many as usual for that time of the morning onto a loop train. And I was ten minutes late.

That skinny smoking bastard! If I see him again I'll pop him one.