Friday, October 31, 2008


I had to slightly amend this in the name of truthfulness a few days after initially posting it. These surveys really start to seem like the work of paedophiles, if you think about them with any intensity, so it's a public service for me to be filling them out too.
How many guys do you have a thing​ for right​ now?gross​.​ What colou​r are your eyes?​blue. Whos your last txt from?
Julian Harris 'I suggest it's still on despite the rain. We can re-create bbq conditions inside!'​ Do you smoke​ cigar​ettes​?​I would rather cut my own throat and yours too (first). Do you drink​ coffe​e?​it makes​ me jitte​ry and sick,​ but yes. Are you marri​ed?​Yes Do you miss someo​ne?​yes.Will you ever speak​ to them again​?​They died this morning (sob).Did any of your frien​ds go out with your ex?Ex schmex.What are you weari​ng right​ now?a flowe​ry dress​.Are you mad at anyon​e right​ now?Probably.How is your hair?Best it's ever beenHave you kisse​d anyon​e on the lips withi​n the past 48 hours​?​Everyone more like.Have you ever been awake​ for 48 hours​ strai​ght?​Straight? LOL​Did you stay frien​ds with your ex'​s?​'Did'? 'Ex's'?Do you like your first​ name?​I wish it were 'Poet'.Do you like to cuddl​e?​Get outWhat are your initi​als?​DGNBaseb​all or Footb​all?​footb​all.Ever been to the snow?​1980.Do you love someo​ne?​yes.Last time you went to the beach​?​Moonee Ponds Creek beach last week.Last perso​n you calle​d?​Mia R. SchoenWhat'​s the last thing​ you ate?A roast potato courtesy Nicole Thibault.Last perso​n to pick you up from somew​here?​interesting Last perso​n or thing​ you cried​ over?​spilt some milk on my dead friendDo you cry easil​y?​don't start meDo you have any sibli​ngs?​yes, 5.Are they close​ in age?
to who? each other, me, Rob Lowe? Three​ days from now will you be a in relat​ionsh​ip?​'a in'? Seems likely. Who was the last perso​n in your bedro​om?​Aside from my wife and a cat, I can only recall Mia's sister Kerstin about seven or eight months ago when I showed her where Asha was sleeping, or her son Rohan, who picked all the felt pieces off a card by the bed and stuck them back on.What color​ shirt​ are you weari​ng?​redDo you think​ you will be in a relat​ionsh​ip 3 month​s from now?seems likely based on past experience.Do you need to say anyth​ing to anyon​e right​ now?Obviously.Do you know anyon​e that smoke​s pot?ha.Do you go to the bathr​oom with the door open or close​d?​What a concept.What will you do after​ this surve​y?​Do something else which won't help me sleep. What is the first​ thing​ you do when you wake up?check​ the time.​What do you curre​ntly hear?​Asha wandering aroundEver talke​d to someo​ne that was drunk​?​For god's sake, I'm 43. Where​ were you at 3:02 AM this morni​ng?​Ask me in 4 minutesDo you still​ turn to your paren​ts for advic​e or comfo​rt?​Less than I once might have.Have you ever punch​ed a tree?​Sounds like something I wouldn't be into.Does someo​ne like you right​ now?Without a doubt.What were you doing​ at 9 this morni​ng?​at work.Do you like to argue​?​I must do.Have you ever felt repla​ced?​Not possible.What do you do when you have a bad day?put shot.What'​s curre​ntly bothe​ring you right​ now?My style.When were you last outsi​de?​11 pmAre you afrai​d of the dark?​Not in the least.When is your birth​day?​AprilWhen is the last time you talke​d to numbe​r 1 on your top frien​ds?​About half an hour agoHow are you feeli​ng?​pebbledashDo you have a licen​se?​I have a few.What is somet​hing great​ that happe​ned today​?​I saw Asha in the bathroom (with the door open).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

city homicide v rush

Last year when City Homicide started we watched it a lot. I am still a little in thrall (can't help myself) to that old attractant of the possibility of seeing places one knows, on television. Why this is so interesting I don't really know. An early episode of City Homicide featured one of the State Savings Bank homes in Port Melbourne (well, Fishermans Bend) and I found that marvellous, though the idea that these houses have basements in which you can conceal people trussed and gagged and hide the entrance with a bathtub, was a little less of a buzz. However, CH started to pall a few months ago with the episode featuring a kind of poor man's Hannibal Lecter - actually he wasn't a cannibal, just some kind of taunting weirdo all bound up and crazy for mutilatin'. I can't actually remember what he did to his victims but I do know that the lack of imagination in this storyline put me off the whole shebang. (Just to thwart the clarity of this dismissal I watched CH last night and although it did involve a grisly dismemberment and some bizarrely bad plot twists, I didn't mind it. I think the blackmailing couple might have lived in Gowanbrae or Gladstone Park or something, which was cool). (Anyway anything with Noni 'n' Nadine in it has to be above average).

In fact, I don't really care for police/crime shows much, especially since they seem to concentrate almost exclusively on brutal murders of sassy adolescent girls (or, in the case of The Mentalist, poor girls savin' up to go to college). It seems to me to highlight a feature of present-day society in which no-one can think of young girls as anything more than something to sexually exploit and/or kill, or am I going way out on a limb there.

That said, I'm really enjoying Rush.

It's much deeper and more charactery than City Homicide and yes, of course, you still get the Melbourne locations, so I'm happy with that. A lot of Rush seems to have been shot in the inner west (looks like Kensington, etc - though mainly the industrial area). But one great thing about Rush is no-one necessarily gets murdered, a scenario I would posit (perhaps controversially) is often truer to life. Many times, in life, no-one gets murdered. Last week's Rush involved a faked kidnapping (or is it a kidnaping? That looks weird) which, natch, involved teenage girls but they did not end up dismembered and perhaps most interestingly - not only did the crooks get away, no-one particularly cared that they got away: the rescue was 'a good result'. My initial response was, 'they got away!?' but my second response, a little later, was: well, why not. You can watch Rush here if you like.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

speaking of todds

It was nice to see this for the first time ever, even though it's horrible (I love the song though - my favourite 2nd period Dragon single, partly for its weirdness, partly for its bombast). Commercial flop.

you can't go past todd.

Well you can - many have - but they are all making a big mistake.

Various comments accompany the above on YouTube, including:

'The Glam Rock early '70s! Musicians sure wore some goofy get ups and paint jobs back then!... There was also the unfortunate drag queen branch of glam maybe Alice Cooper began way back in the late '60s, and taken to new heights (or lows) by Bowie and others. I'm glad to see those days are gone! Then in the '90s we got grunge, the polar opposite of glam. Fashions do come and go.'

'Why are you such a Jack off? Fuck face.'

'You sound like you have a fist in your ass, idiot'

'How dose it feel to have a nut sack resting on your nose all day, you can't talk because your mouth is full. It may sound like I have a fist up my ass, but we all know you actually do! YOU are a first class idiot. Come out of the closet fuck face, Carrot top is waiting.'

'I want to do a pastel painting of Todd in his Cosmic Cowboy outfit, but I have searched on the internet "high and low" and can never find a COLOR shot of it. Do you by any chance remember what color the spots were on his outfit?'

Here's another fine piece of Todd work:

Friday, October 24, 2008

...etin yr fud

What was that movie where the babysitter gets all the phone calls then finally the police say, it's coming from inside the house? This is the street name creep-out version of that.

life's a gamble

The Fall merely wrote a song called 'Dice Man'. The Radiators took that idea and ran amok with it. I wonder if this song gets played a lot at second-time-around weddings?

new strip on the block

The new shopping/office block area facing Camp Road is proceeding apace - exciting! Mia joking refers to this as the future site of a pool supplies shop, which is a funny joke (maybe you have to live here to think so). This was previously a piece of vacant land, perhaps never built on, a block away from the station - christ, progress! I think (no, I assume) it was set aside for future expansion of the high school which has now been entirely relocated. Council is also doing a bit of signage.

Personally if I was Council I'd be less into erecting shopping mall extensions and more into trying to figure out a way to turn Broadmeadows city centre into something remotely visually and even practically coherent. As it is, it's a bunch of buildings - some fine in themselves, some shitty - adrift in a car park sea. I feel like I'm being encouraged to drive from the library to the shopping centre (a 1-minute walk). I have to remember that the City of Hume is not all about childless urbanites like us, but also about vast areas of relatively rural space as well as almost-public-transportless suburbia (though every day I thank our lucky stars some more for the 542 bus).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

it's only a flipside

Speaking of Todd this is the best Todd Rundgren song Todd Rundgren never wrote/sang, in my opinion. If I have already posted this I apologise, I may have. But I just love it. The appalling glitchness of this clip really adds, too, if you let it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Gladstone Park's Safeway is moving ahead with a redesigned/rebuilt checkout area.
At first I was worried that there would be a cluster of those horrendous self-serve checkouts, most recently experienced by me in Adelaide, though they also have them at Big W Broadmeadows. Then I realised that they weren't putting in self-serve checkouts and became a little offended (don't they trust me?). I am pretty unattracted to the self-serve checkouts on a few levels. Many of the staff at Gladstone Park Safeway are familiar to me (though a new one was there today - a boy called Hamish). There is a woman at GPS'way who always smiles when she sees me as if to say, you again, you schmuck. So of course I would hate to lose that personalised service such as might occur with the advent of self-serve.
Here is all the old junk they haven't carted away yet which made up the old racks and shelves of the preredesigned Safeway:

Update 25/10: They are putting in self service checkouts after all and very proud of it they are too. I was in there this morning waiting in the express queue with my garbage purchases and a young lady gestured to me to come over and join the self-service fun. I shook my head and she registered understanding, with the subtext, 'it's only a matter of time, shithead'.

Charlie decided she would chase (and kill) Asha but she was verbally told no. So she stayed in an unusual position for a long time. It was odd. Later she and Millie did bookends.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


We went to Felix's birthday party (2) this evening and it was great, I don't know Felix that well which is my fault, but everything I saw of him suggested a fine young man. Laurie who is a little older (2.8) took my hand when we got there and led me to a particular chair and insisted I sit. I was suspicious and sat down gingerly, which was the wrong thing to do as there was a concealed whoopee cushion there. However we got it out and stomped on it, so that was OK. He then made small talk, asking me if I went to the Grand Final today, I said no. He said 'Did you just stay at home?' and I said yes and asked him what he did, 'I just stayed at home.' Later people were praising his cricket swing and he was acting as though he wasn't listening and just casually happened to mime his cricket swing, which is very good. As he was leaving I gave him a book (Joe Annual 1970) which I had picked up with him in mind when we passed through Northam a few months ago, also a couple of records including the one depicted below. I gave them to him in a Readings bag and he said 'Oh thank you David, I wonder what it could be.' (Later describing this to Mia I suggested he sounded a bit like Alexander Downer, but this has unfair connotations). Anyway I think he was into it.


I bought this record for Laurie but the label I have to say really brings out the Wayne Davidson in me.

The front cover's pretty good too. I wonder if those pink circles were the work of the original artist or some young 1971-ish psychedelicised jazzateer aspiring to update the design without any particular thought of what it might then mean.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

back in the real world

Get this. Last week I read a book by M E Braddon. Last night I picked up a book about the city of Fez (not Fez out of That 70s Show) and in its introduction the author explained his grandmother had been M. E. Braddon. That's a coincidence, and I mean that in the purest sense of the term, it's two experiences of the name M. E. Braddon. I don't believe in coincidences, except that they happen.

Yesterday afternoon I bought an album by Ariel and thence to Myers to buy some socks. The woman who served me said sotto voce, 'What's that!' I thought she was going to say, 'I had three children with Nigel Macara' but then she said 'Is that a record?' I had to concede it was. She then said, slyly, 'Does that mean you have a record player?' Rapidly calculating mentally, I had to admit we had three.* Lucky she was working in the sock section, because this knocked hers off. 'Three record players?' It really felt like, I can't believe you're telling me the truth, but if you are, that's the greatest news about 2008 I've ever heard.

Anyway I didn't know what to say and transaction completed I just said 'I recommend it!' and exeunted.

*Later, I realised four

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

i always thought this was a great record

and I still play it occasionally. It never occurred to me until just then, though, that there was a video etc.

I don't really know the Reynolds Girls' story though and neither this rather patronising film snippet (I have to say I agree totally with Pete Waterman in the stuff he says around 2:07 about the arrogance of the program this is from - even if he doesn't really bother to say what he means properly - and totally disagree with him that you can't sell people stuff they 'don't believe in' though I have no idea what that means) nor the Wikipedia entry help much.

Their fan is an interesting man though. He seems to live in quite a posh house.

I also always enjoyed the fact that even though it's about teenagers pissed off about not hearing 'their music' on the radio, it was written by a man in his thirties.

Love the quote 'You just wish they would jack off and didn't ever come on the scene'

Monday, October 13, 2008

cultural installation

Broadmeadows' new museum of sleeping opened for business this morning. Wakey wakey! Hands off red bellied black snakey! Just bring your own pooh blanket (there is only one supplied).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

disease is rampant

Well, so yesterday I came down with yet another cold, not as bad as the last few, but this is about the 5th this year (I have probably complained in my usual flamboyant style all through this blog so I could go back and check but won't). I felt nauseous Thursday - sore throat Friday morning - taking cold and flu tabs Friday day - feverish at night - slept a lot of today, which is something I actually hate to do.

Mia is playing with New Estate tonight at the John Curtin but I'm not going. I am sure it will be a good show - the third last with Brad. You read it here first, possibly.

So I have a lot of writing to do and will start on that pretty soon. I have a journal article to finish by the end of the month, having submitted two last week I don't feel that I have been slack in that regard. I have also (finally) started writing my new undergrad course which will be an epic, but I already feel very good about it.

For some reason something made me remember I absolutely think The Fall are one of the best bands ever. This is one of my favourite of their tracks. It was never on a 'real' album.

Later - so being ill I thought I should be allowed to entertain myself with babyish mindless flippin' entertainment and I watched The Bill for the first time in ages. What a painfully stupid program that has always been, but is much more so now I'm sure. Tonight's episodes re: a series of bomb attacks in Sun 'Ill doesn't know whether to patronise its viewers or titillate them with self-righteous bumf. The final scene re: a key clue, 'the Elvis four' which is revealed to be an anagram of 'the four evils'. That's about as much an anagram as 'a nag ram' is of 'anagram'. I suppose I shouldn't be so swift to condemn, the storyline hasn't resolved and maybe the Elvis four will end up referring to something like the Million Dollar Quartet, but it's looking unlikely. And every line, every character, and every scenario in The Bill is... well... well, it's a shitty program!!!

Later still - I see Mutiny on the Buses is on later tonight at about 3 am - if I'm up (having slept most of the day you'll recall) I can get my fix of genuine cockney characterisation and hijinx then.

Friday, October 10, 2008

without them you're on your own

This poster has been put up at North Melbourne station by people who think stations should be staffed, and I agree with them, they should be. But I can't help feeling there's something very strange about the wording and I can't imagine how they strangulated such a simple message as to make the whole thing arse-over-tit (as the saying goes). What were they thinking?

yeah i did go to adelaide

I have not much more to say on that topic, having for some reason eschewed the conventional route of whingeing en blogue for the unusual outlet of whingeing to Mia about the extraordinarily slow anal retentive form-filling and jobsworthness of the State Library of SA employees (not all of them mind you just most) and the truly A P P A L L I N G photocopiers they have in that joint. Oh, and I also had complaints regarding the Chifley Hotel South Terrace but let it go, let it go. But I did get a lot of good material for my work purposes including extensive reportage of the work achieved by architect Chris Smith on the Moonta Town Hall, and I enjoyed being in Adelaide for a short time, though I definitely prefer regional SA. The next State History conference in SA is on the Yorke Peninsula - I am so there.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

eid festival

So we went to the Eid festival which is held at the end of Ramadan, it was being held in Broadmeadows Town Park at Barry Road (and actually still is as I write this). It was not massively different from a normal carnival or a kind of mini-royal show, though there were stalls for instance for shariah-compliant home loans etc. There were a lot of fairground rides some of which looked familiar (and all of which were standard carnival fare). Nicole took April on the dodgems, which looked like a hoot. It was funnier seeing miniscule preteens who were wicked drivers. I had a good felafel roll.

nice day

This is/ these are the dogs just pre-walk, then we walked for half an hour in the park, saw the first snake I've ever ever seen in the Jacana reserve, a black snake, Mia assumes a red-bellied black snake.

my mp3 player

You know as time goes by I am more and more fond of my mp3 player. It's an iriver, of a model you probably can't get anymore, and if you could you probably wouldn't like it. It is temperamental.
This is a market segment manufacturers and designers should keep in mind if they don't already: I have long been used to temperamental, emerging technologies which often don't quite work yet. And character quirks in a product can be attractive, just like they can be in a person. Probably there is a body of thought about this in marketing. I hope so.
So this iriver is an oddity in some ways. It records voice well, though it is sometimes not quite obvious whether it is recording or not (you can't listen to it to tell what it's recording like you can do with some analog recorders). it has a whole wide strange range of music playback options between random and straight-off-the-list, but if you do anything at all to it (delete something, for instance) it immediately reverts to the straight version. And the random is pretty random, but not in a good way: it seems to select about 1/3 to 1/4 of the songs it has and loops them (it certainly plays favourites) very occasionally dropping one or two rarities into the mix. I assume this is a perception not a reality, but it seems to make decisions about your preferences: if you flick through a few (I have a short attention span you know) but listen to one all the way through, it seems quite often to play another from the same artist.
It is really weird about podcasts. I put quite a few ABC and BBC podcasts on there on a regular basis - By Design, In our time etc. and often it's very hard to get these things to play; they'll often come up on the screen for a second then it'll skip to the next track. Very odd. Usually I get them to play by selecting them through the browser function. Sometimes if you leave it playing for a longish period, they will start to be regarded as 'music tracks' and just play normally; this is of course the time at which you are wanting to listen to music, probably have it going in the car or whatever and that is a nuisance.
It also seems haunted by old songs. Occasionally things long deleted will reappear from its depths. This doesn't happen that much (actually, it probably hasn't happened for a year) but it can be freaky.
All in all, a characterful product which is much better than perfect ones.
Current faves on the iriver:

Doing it for the kids - Paper Planes
Red Hot Mama - Ariel
The Falcon - Mimi and Richard Farina

and many many more.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

some vistas and a plaque

So we went to Sale yesterday because Mia was shortlisted for the John Leslie prize and though she didn't win it was really an excellent exhibition. I recommend it. Here is Robert Nelson opening it. He is standing in front of a picture by Dale Cox, whose art was on the cover of a book I co-edited from last year. To the west of Robert Nelson and almost entirely obscured by his elbow is a picture by our friend Paul who was also there.
This was the picture that won:

The artist seemed a nice chap. I liked many of the pictures, here's two of a group of four I enjoyed:

Afterwards Paul, Mia, Gabriela and I went to a mexican restaurant and had decent food. I can't remember the name of the restaurant but it has a picture of Speedy Gonzales on the window. Here is part of the mural inside. The people are strangely proportioned, I feel.

We stayed at the Hacienda International Motel; here is a view from near its reception area, this morning.

The gallery itself has many plaques affixed just within the front door, and one outside, most of which seem to bear little connection to the gallery and are without explanation, such as this one:

(There is no foundation stone from the Sale butter factory anywhere nearby).

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Me, earlier today.

Do you think​ you’r​e matur​e?​Yes. Have you kisse​d someb​ody in the last 2 weeks​?​​Sure.​Who was the last perso​n's house​ you went to besid​es your own?Kerryn Hughes'Miss someo​ne?​​I don't call her that, though it's an interesting idea.What’​s on your mind?​​The third episode of Grass Roots, which I'm about to watch.Anyth​ing annoy​ing you right​ now?Dripping tap.What did you do last night​?​​Watched Rush. It was hott. I made a bearable korean dumpling soup.Who did you ride in a car with last besid​es your famil​y?​​Huh? You mean including Mia as 'family'? Be specific, Sadie-channeled-stranger. Well, it's too long ago to remember, I think. What did you do Sunda​y?​​Wrote my book and felt sick from the whiskey though not as sick as I might have felt.Do you have any bruis​es?​​NoWhat were you doing​ at noon yeste​rday?​​Worki​ng.​How long does it take you to get ready​?​​Depen​ds.​ Betwe​en 15 and 45 minut​es.​Have you been outsi​de today​?​​Yes, I walked around the lake, also went to Gladstone Park Shopping Centre and bought some bread.Last movie​ you watch​ed?​​At a cinema = Wall E. On a tv screen = about half of Meet the Fockers. What do you miss?​​The days of yore. Yore mama.Last perso​n you hugge​d?​​Once again, can't remember. Kerryn Hughes embraced me a few days ago, for some reason. Other people were there. It was in the street. To give you a clearer picture.The last place​ you went to?Gladstone Park SCWho/​What made you upset​ today​?​Nothi​ng so far.Do you sing in the showe​r?​​Fuck off. Has anyon​e ever sang or playe​d music​ for you perso​nally​?​​I guess​ so.If you could​ fix thing​s with anyon​e who would​ it be and why?The mortar between the bricks out the back, with Mia... or we'll just get a professional. Oh and there's someone I'll 'fix things' with (not as in, needing a fix) with when he gives up (1) heroin and (2) being so fucking pathetic.Do you get along​ with your paren​ts?​​Well enoug​h.​Ever been stuck​ in an eleva​tor?​​Yes in 1976 at my then-future high school Wallp​aper on your cell phone​?​Sounds ridiculous.Where​ was your defau​lt pictu​re taken​?​​Up the back.What is your curre​nt mood?​​Meh.Ever had a near death​ exper​ience​?​​Birth, and car accident in utero and girlfriend with sharp knife.What are you liste​ning to?Millie whining becuse it's 1 hour, 21 minutes to dinner time.Do you get along​ with girls​?​​I most definitely do. Last movie​ you saw in theat​ers?​​Wall-Ethough it was only one theatre - does that count? Last thing​ you ate?A coles generic milky-way style mini chocolate bar.Are you happy​ right​ now?Sure - fine. Whats​ the last thing​ someo​ne said to you?Things like "Would you like to win a mountain bike and here's some free nutella" - "Sit up straight." - "Have you got any money."What were you doing​ at midni​ght last night​?​Sleep​ing.​What about​ at eleve​n?​​Sleep​ing.What'​s the last thing​ you thoug​ht about​?​​Probably something covered above. No, I thought 'oh I should probably go through and bolden those questions like I did last time is this even worth putting on the fucking blog'.How do you feel about​ your hair right​ now?I feel it is shorter than it was this morning.What is one thing​ you quest​ion a lot?Will I kill again?Are you marri​ed?​​ yep.Is there​ anyon​e who doesn​'​t like you?Of course. Are you mad at someo​ne right​ now?Ball of fury.Do you have any tatto​os or pierc​ings?​​No.​When was the last time you threw​ up?Too long ago to remember, probably 07 sometime.Do you curse​ a lot?Yes.Do you have a lot on your mind right​ now?Yes and no.Have you lost frien​ds in the past year?​​Not really. I mean no. ​

voting with their feet

I'm not sure why, but I know I was quite pleased to see that enough people and other animals have walked alongside Jacana lake (and seasonal changes have revealed) that a new path has been worn taking quite a different route from the more broad-brush no-nonsense bike/pedestrian path. This allows Millie and Charlie and I to avoid the bike path pretty much altogether (though Millie will often pursue it off her own bat because, I think, she likes the smells and the naughtiness of being a free beast). Since the bike/ped path is at the foot of a fairly steep incline, the worn path which is on more open ground is better for avoidance of oncoming dogs. Apart from anything else our dogs don't need much encouragement to go down into the lake itself and patter around in the mud, so that's a good avoidance strategy, but also since they like doing that anyway, it's the best place to walk with them.

I was put in mind of one of those things I always assumed was apocryphal but never really analysed, the idea that Sydney's main streets were based on goat tracks. Who were these supposed goats, where were they going so regularly and dedicatedly, and why? Incidentally, alongside the lake near the clump of trees I have always assumed marks a space where once stood a hut or home of some sort, I came across a scattered collection of some large mammal's faeces, not instantly recognisable to me (not a horse, not a sheep, not a dog, I dunno).

I suppose the thing I like about the worn path particularly is that it seems like some kind of democratic decision has been made. And also there's probably one of those primal reasonings - 'this is safe, it has been done many times before by your species'. Because there's no particular advantage to walking on this kind of path; the grass is low and doesn't exactly ensnare your feet. But we were all into the worn path.