Monday, February 27, 2006
I very much like the Baltic Imports building though, I suppose a last vestige of the Flinders St - Fish connection. I wonder if it is saveable. It's not a building, it's three, and they look Georgian.
Oh, I'm tired. I think I will have a drop of Rawson's Retreat.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
It pissed down this afternoon - quite disturbing in a way particularly when I saw the state of our gutters and realised that in fact we'd need a fire truck ladder to get up and clean out the ones at the front. You never think about these kinds of things when you buy a house. I imagine. Or maybe it's just that I didn't think about this kind of thing when we bought a house.
Anyway so Millie and Charlie and I went down to the reserve and the creek to see how it was going, and it was pretty full. See picture of the litter trap and the creek in a part that you can usually walk across as the creek just trickles through between the rocks.
While we were there an a-grade dufus in a flatbed truck came rocketing down the hill and over towards the ring-road, decided s/he couldn't get out that way, came tearing back and tried to go up the hill again - like a caged animal - and didn't have the muscle and just tore up the ground (see pic of the torn-up ground) then went off towards the footy ground and out of sight for a while then came back and backed up mightily and flew at the hill and this time went up and over it. I was really maliciously hoping the truck would flip. The dogs echoed my feelings as they behaved aggressively towards the truck, though it was across the creek from us luckily.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Cam-Pact: I purchased this CD a few weeks before Christmas and have found it an endless joy. I guess my understanding of ‘blue-eyed soul’ was always a bit vague and this sounds more to me like the classic Australian pop-rock of the 60s a la Easybeats but I don’t really care about the category, it’s just great Melbourne sixties guitar pop. Even the really silly songs (I mean, ‘Monkey Time’?!) are rad – my favourites probably ‘Drawing Room’ which is a group composition and was a b-side. Like a lot of groups from their time basically the group just sound tremendously inspired, happy to be doing stuff, commercially ambitious but also artistic.
Alastair Galbraith: always a pleasure, I have most of Talisman on there. I thought it would be good in gothic
royalchord: practically all of Nights on the Town still on there, I have recently had cause to snip a few tracks out because the MP3 player favoured them relentlessly and they were so pop they were grating. I still love the overall genre romp of rc, one of my favourite groups of all time – Tammy and Eliza are dedicated, craftswomanlike songwriters.New Estate: Rock Shop is all over my MP3 player, although I have lately chopped a couple of the more thundering live tracks as they distort in my plugs. I particularly love ‘Fool for Fashion’, ‘Palm’, ‘King Rump’ (that still makes me laugh, not bad for an instrumental track, and I laughed even before I knew it had that rude name), and of course ‘Hergé’.
Sunnyboys: I had the Sunnyboys compilation last year and listened to it to death so wasn’t sure if I should rip it (alright, as Mia says, even when I use this stupid term intending to be mildly funny, I can’t do it with any commitment and come across not as a middle-aged person making fun of a middle-aged person trying to use hip technological terms but just as a middle-aged person. Something I guess I should avoid drawing attention to). Anyway I did and I have greatly enjoyed it since, testament to the skills of Jeremy Oxley’s writing – he’s a jewel. ‘My Only Friend’ playing as I write.Clare Moore: Liquor. Listened to the Graney/Moore Hashish and Liquor when it came out and liked it a lot but it is only after ripping it that I have more of a feel for the contrasts and qualities of both. It’s not a competition but I feel at the moment that while Hashish has terrific hits – ‘My Schtick Weighs a Ton’ for instance is as great as anything DG has ever done – it’s Liquor which gets the award for overall quality. I loved Clare’s first album but over repeated listenings it started to seem too synthesised in a midi way (I have to confess the smell of midi turns my stomach a bit). This one however has the perfect balance.
Panel of Judges – this album has been a long-awaited godsend and I still enjoy practically all of it (there is a bit of repetition lyrically which makes me occasionally impatiently press the ‘forward’ button). I still constantly enjoy it.
If I may indulge another memory from the distant past: when Walkmans first came in I was excited; we’re talking here about someone who used to make a mix tape a week based on whatever he really loved that week, and would carry it around regardless of the fact he had nothing to play it on, and would then graduate to the same kind of concept only four times as long with his first show on public radio in ’83. I thought Walkmans would be great for people like me to indulge in my private music peccadilloes. I was shocked to hear someone on the radio parodying the people who were probably not then called yuppies. In this person’s sarcastic world view Walkmans had made the snowfields an eerie experience because they were now filled with yuppie skiers all listening to Buck’s Fizz on their Walkmans and singing along unaware that all anyone else could hear was their voices. Yeah, one of those things that has stayed with me needlessly.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Pics are of Olivia's flat - soon to be no more - and a live shot of Batrider at the Pop shop in the style of Anton Corbijn except that Anton Corbijn only takes live shots of Depeche Mode and when he does it you can see people in them.
Saturday afternoon began with a small pre-soiree at Olivia's aforementioned stubbie out of the six pack, which is about to be reconditioned into I think a car park for larger, probably uglier flats in boutique Fitzroy. She is moving out on Friday and moving in with a stud. Mia suggested to me that we go to 'Olivia's farewell' and all kinds of horror images flashed through my mind, including (1) my niece (2) the Olivia pictured above (3) the singer out of the Love Moods. Turns out it was (2) but she was not being farewelled but in fact... OK, you understand. After this event we all piled onto a tram heading towards the Popshop to see Batrider. I greatly enjoyed their show. There is no substitute for a fabulous drummer who can handle both very simple and complex rhythms but deliver them with great sophistication and in a unique style. The rest of the band are really great too. One highlight was when they danced to themselves.
Afterwards Mia and I went to the Oriental cafe and I had singapore noodle. Then we walked to north Fitzroy, where we'd parked the car, and drove home. The next day (Sunday) we went into town to two exhibitions (three actually but one was closed) and saw Brokeback Mountain. While I was in Wellington I had noted with amusement that various New Zealanders had been asked to summarise/review this movie for one of the newspapers (forget which) and they had all identified portions of it which went too long, or perhaps 'went on a bit' or something similar. I found this funny but then when I saw the film I kind of knew what it was all about. I liked the period element and there was some grand acting but I did have enough 'space' in the film to figure out anagrams of the main characters' names
Ennis Del Mar = Lamed Sinner
Jack Twist = Jaw tit sack
Sorry about those but I have to say the truth.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Monday, February 13, 2006
Sunday was my day off pretty much and I was determined to see not only museumy stuff (inc. Te Papa, the national museum which had some grouse exhibitions on the Italians in New Zealand, things from the collection of a mid-20th century commercial artist called Bernard Roundhill, and a more permanent one on the Treaty of Waitangi, and other stuff and the Wellington Museum of City and Sea which was amazingly good particularly the I think temporary exhibition of key developments in Wellington). Then I went to Kelburn in the cable car, which has been going since 1902 (well, in fact there seems to have been a time when it wasn’t running, but the promo guff surrounding it tends to gloss over this) and which is more or less straight up the side of a mountain, then although I had a return ticket I meandered down again, walking through Kelburn a bit and through the botanic gardens and the awful desecration of a cemetery by the Wellington Urban Motorway. In the evening I met with Pete, a friend of James’, and his wife Deb. They live in a beautiful 1958 house in Highbury which is I guess half way down (or up) a mountainside. Oddly enough we got pizza from a place in Kelburn which I had already walked past that afternoon. It was the Health and Fitness pizza which, although that title doesn’t sound promising was actually delicious. I walked back down some stairs which P&D called the ‘scary stairs’ but the only scary thing was the busted-up house or hut about half way down them – otherwise I wasn’t a bit scared. The walk back took me down Willis Street, a street I had, like Kelburn’s Upland Road, never imagined I would see again after yesterday, and everyone was out and about – well not everyone, the ‘young people’.
I fell asleep during, ironically, the awful film Valentine (ironic only because I believe Wayne mentioned this in the blog comments a few weeks ago) which nevertheless was the most engaging thing I’ve seen on NZ tv since I got here, but unfortunately woke up totally at around half past one in the morning and two hours later (as I write this) have been completely unable to go back to sleep. Since I intended to get up early and go for another walk, in one sense this isn’t the worst thing that could happen, but in another I know that I will ‘pay’ for it later on today, and probably fall asleep somewhere and miss my plane. That kind of nightmare.
A very strange yet dull thing happened after I woke at 1:38, and I promise I was not asleep, and also that I was not so excited by this I could not sleep thereafter. I was watching a dreadful, truly, truly dreadful film on tv called Wanted. And for a short time I was thinking, 'is that guy Richard Grieco?' - an actor I had not thought about as far as I can recall for about ten years. And then I decided it wasn't, though I was wondering if one of the boys in the film (made in '98) was the actor who plays George Michael in Arrested Development. But that bit's not important. What's important is that I then turned over to another channel (Sky movies 1) to find another apparently pretty awful (though I wasn't following it so closely) film starring... do I need to even go on? ... Richard Grieco. Richard Grieco!!!
Anyway, after that I still couldn't sleep so when 5 am rolled around, I went for a walk. I had decided to walk around to Oriental Bay and it was of course still a bit dark when I started and I just went for it man, for about half an hour. If I may back pedal a bit a few people who had been to Wellington previously told me that they had climbed Mount Victoria but it had not occurred to me at all that this was a thing to do in fact I had quite forgotten about it. But anyway after a while I got sick of walking around the harbour shore and I decided to go up the hill, and I just went up and up, it was of course pretty bleedin' steep, and I pressed on, and it's amazing those suburbs that are crammed onto hills, and the houses genuinely don't have any street frontage - I think that's illegal in Melbourne or maybe it's just that no-one could imagine doing it (and there's no need) - anyway up and up and then I saw a sign saying Mount Victoria lookout and damn it, I was climbing Mount Victoria - the hunter had been captured by the game, eh? And so I gave in to its charms such as they were/are and kept going and got to what I thought was the lookout and felt pretty flash and it started to rain, and then (like some dumbarse cartoon about climbing Mt Everest) I looked over and there was the real lookout - even higher. So against my better judgement I went up there too, accompanied along the way by a horrible skinny middle-aged runner woman and a fool on a bicycle (not only did he ride his mountain bike up the hill, he rode it down. I wouldn't trust my own leg muscles/co-ordination/shoe rubber on that wet grass, so god knows why he trusted his brakes). At the top also was some zen anoraked man who was just moving around the lookout at a 90 degree rate to check the view from every angle. It is a pretty impressive view. You can see the airport and so on and so forth. Well I guess if that's all you wanted to do you'd just go to the airport. Which incidentally is something I intend to do soon. My flight is in 3 hours. (By the way if Mt. Victoria is a mountain and other mountains are a mile high, we need a new word that means 'tiny mountain'.)
I spent the last couple of hours wandering through town and doing things that started to become a bit ridiculous. Then I got a bus to the airport which was pleasingly only $5 and had a few thrills eg a nutty tunnel ride in an oval-shaped tunnel (that surely must once have been a cable car tunnel?) through a mountain. The bus driver probably does it 10 times a day but I know if I tried it once or 50 times I still wouldn’t be able to avoid scraping the sides. The housing styles out by the airport were really fascinating too, some of the houses had art nouveau stained glass in them but appeared to have had all kinds of stuff added to them so you couldn’t see their original shape (or maybe they were kind of, for want of a better word, jerry built from scrap from actual Edwardian houses?). It was a nice day for it anyway as it was sunny and mild.So on the whole (I’m writing this on the plane I think about 25 mins out of
The draggy part is I have more work ahead of me in the next few months than I’ve ever had before, and it’s going to be very gruelling. And I hate gruel.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Other news, Wellington is a rulilng city which I really like a LOT, with crazy streets and insane views and it's great for me to ride my skateboard in, not to mention my freakin HORSE.
I could have stayed at home for this.
However I did (as suggested by Marc) visit Slow Boat records (I keep thinking 'Slow Poke' but I guess that is more like a porn place) and got a few interesting looking things (Mia might have a different descriptor). I also bought some strong mints. All the chips are made by the BlueBird brand and have a penguin on them. Cool, or even, kule (let's stay with cool). Conference dinner tonight.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
This evening we went and called on James and Miranda and collected our t-shirts thank you. I am most impressed with my red one and Mia's is red too but a different red. Oh, she says mine is rust and hers is siren red. Painters! Anyway they look amazing and may I suggest if you buy only one Flywheel t-shirt this year this ought to be the one.
I probably had too much coffee (three) today as I became freaking paranoid this evening that I was meant to fly to Wellington tonight or perhaps tomorrow morning. I've checked it up though and it seems all present and correct. If I missed my flight to Wellington I could see Calvin Johnson in Melbourne, which is something I'd also like to do, so... I win either way.
The car is still being dodgy but it seems like it was dirty fuel.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Monday, February 06, 2006
Most of the other comic strips I've come across during my research have been similar, nicely drawn but not particularly funny and very clearly oriented towards young children. The Argus ran a very nice series about a dog, whose name escapes me, most sequences of which ended in someone being splattered with mud or cake or horseshit.
I finished my presentation for the conference on Thursday today and I am impressed with myself that I seem likely to not be working on the damn thing the night before, like I usually do. The paper itself isn't bad I suppose either. It's so different from the published version it's, well, almost completely different. I'm looking forward to the conference and I've never been to Wellington and everything I've heard about it makes it sound really cool.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Friday, February 03, 2006
Last night as I was trying to sleep (having fallen asleep already during The Family Guy, but it's OK, I got it on tape) I felt like I was tripping, a little, because I kept seeing all these crazy cartoon images before my eyes which were closed. Mia and I discussed what I had eaten during the day (not that much) but could settle on nothing in particular that might have been responsible for my hallucination. Anyway I am surprised that this thing, located in the Brisbane Courier yesterday, didn't give me nightmares. I captured it like one might a toxic demon in a bottle so I control it and it doesn't control me. I have tried to get Picasa to work so I could put it on the profile as a picture of me, tee hee, but it's one of those many hundreds of programs I quite frankly can't get to work.