Friday, January 30, 2009


A tip for those suffering the next Melbourne heatwave of 1908/ 2009 proportions (so hello 2110 I suppose). (Or 2011 or whatever):

If you burn your hand however mildly under water from the garden hose trying to fill the dogs' bowls in the late afternoon, do not then cut up chillies using that hand to gather, as it may well sting unpleasantly for some hours thereafter.

If you ignore the above and find yourself in such a situation, run your hand under the cold tap repeatedly.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

so it's hot so what

I hear they're doing it even tougher in Adelaide. Well, we get through heatwaves: that's what Australians do. The one we're presently taking on in Melbourne this week is purportedly the hottest week since 1908 (years only went a week in the good old days). I mistakenly thought, when I first heard this, that my 99 year old grandmother Mavis would be the only person I knew who could verify this, then realised that of course she is 99, not 100, so while she might have experienced it in utero, she basically didn't.

I suffer more in extreme heat because I am naturally a very warm person; it's most uncomfortable and sad for me, and however others feel it's usually worse for me (this is true of practically anything). Well, plus the car radiator seems to be massively overheating too (what do you need a radiator for in a car anyway?) which makes it nervous to drive. Tomorrow I am going to brave public transport, which is most likely going to mean going very early and coming back quite late (i.e. avoiding the crush at peak hour). Wish me luck. I know you can't help yourself whether you want to or not.

By the way, I drank all the soda water in Melbourne. Sorry about that.

it is a heatwave, that's my excuse

Thanks Polly

Where​ did your last kiss take place​?​
blarney stone

Who knows​ a secre​t or two about​ you?
everyone but me

Four words​ to expla​in why you last threw​ up?
it was my turn

Have you ever burne​d yours​elf?​
on a drug deal you mean?

What'​s crazy​ to you?
John, Arthur Brown's World, paving; also I hear Ken Bruce has gone mad.

Favor​ite cuss word:​
ditto (ditt-fuckin'-o)

Who is proba​bly talki​ng a load of crap about​ you right​ now?
channel nine

Who is your hero?​
george lazenby

Would​ you ever want to be a super​model​?​
yes but I wouldn't want to be one - i'd only want to want to be one

Who is the most exper​iment​al perso​n you know?​
julian williams. he is over the moon about it.

Do you tell white​ lies?​
only that sort

When is your next party​?​
never (12th of)

Who do you want to be with right​ now?
special someone

14 Do you scrat​ch when and where​ you want to scrat​ch?​
you bet - doin' it now

How do you handl​e a break​ up?
with verve

Your motiv​ation​ for tomor​row?​
closer to the end of the heatwave

Do you know what you will wear tomor​row?​
somethin' snazzy

Last perso​n to make you laugh​?​
a retarded person who fell out of their wheelchair and squashed the banana they were eating, which was the only food they had, all over their hand-knitted purple vest and they cried.

Last thing​ you ate?
an insect

Do you ever go a few days witho​ut chang​ing your under​wear?​
what underwear

Have you ever accid​ental​ly eaten​ an insec​t?​
only if i was unaware it was in the insect i was deliberately eating.

Do daddy​ long legs freak​ you out?
with lipstick, yeah

Have you ever clean​ed up someo​ne else'​s vomit​?​
perhaps accidentally while cleaning my own in the vomitorium

Have you ever dropp​ed food on the floor​ and eaten​ it?
eaten the floor? because that's what you said.

Do you kiss your pets on the mouth​?​
not after kissing them on the arse - that would be unsanitary

Do you talk baby talk?​
if i want to be fucking understood by the morons around me, yes.

What seria​l kille​r do you find most distu​rbing​?​
screw you and screw this (retreating steps and door slams)

Do you watch​ court​ tv?

Would​ you ever work in a retir​ement​ home?​

Do you belie​ve plant​s have feeli​ngs?​

Do you laugh​ at peopl​e with "​bowl"​ hairc​uts?​

Do you have nervo​us twitc​hes?​

Are you ever purpo​sely irrit​ating​?​

If you could​ fly, where​ would​ you go first​?​

Do you prefe​r boats​ or plane​s?​

Love or lust?​

One best frien​d or 10 aquai​ntanc​es?​

Favor​ite food?​

Do you belie​ve that your first​ love never​ dies?​

What upcom​ing event​ are you waiti​ng and ready​ for?

Curre​nt smell​?​

Do you get your nails​ done?​

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the age continues to sum up the spirit of... the age

I am not like this big Age bagger or anything, after all, I'm a subscriber and read it every day (despite what I am sometimes told). However, the article on Abi Tucker in today's is... well, fine, apart from the risible:

But she really made her name in the hit youth drama The Secret Life of Us. The series instantly struck a chord with the target audience of twentysomething generation Xers.

Suddenly, everyone was hauling old couches to the roofs of their apartment buildings, sharing spliffs and discussing their latest one-night stand.

I admit: I was no longer a twentysomething by the time TSLOU came out, but I do find it hard to imagine it as the creator of the widespread use of (shared) marijuana or discussion of individual sexploits. Of course, we did drag a couch up onto the roof, it rolled and fell into the back garden killing 11 flatmates.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

best film ever made

Someone has been kind and smart enough to put five minutes of the funniest film ever made, Make Mine Mink, on YouTube, inc. almost all of Kenneth Williams' only scene, I believe one of his first film forays.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

what will they do next?

Scene: an editorial office in The Age. A young minion is being hauled over the coals by a slightly older editor.

Editor: I have to say that when I saw this article I was very, very disappointed. Very disappointed indeed.
Young minion: I...
Editor: We all want to break new ground, and we all want to be ‘out there’. We all think we can take arts journalism a little bit further. But I’ve been round the block.
YM: I...
Editor: Now, I asked you for an article based around Leonard Cohen’s support bands. It’s a hot topic. Leonard Cohen is, basically - I'd never heard of him - but he's more or less Canada's answer to Nick Cave. So it’s probably the single most important question of 2009, at least until (sotto voce; the Editor turns and genuflects to a large framed poster of Nick Cave) he comes again... or... (he turns to a large poster of Tim Rogers) he farts, opens an envelope or blinks. (Here the editor goes off into a reverie, sitting back in his chair and chuckling with amazement that he should live through these times). What will they do next? What on earth will they do next? More films for Nick? More forays into theatre for Tim? Another... another album? From either of them, this year? (A small drop of saliva drops from his lip at the tasty prospect).
YM: I...
Editor: (snaps back to the present). So, the Cohen supports. Yes, yes, Paul Kelly. I mean, we should have talked to Kelly, that was a good move, he’s kind of... well, he’s in that Tim Rogers vein of being a man playing a guitar, in fact, you should have said that; the readers might get a little confused being told about some man playing a guitar, except his name is not Tim Rogers or Angus Young. And I was of course gratified – very correct – to see you mention You Am I in the first column. But how many of our readers do you think were alienated by your complete lack of any mention of Nick Cave until... (his voice becomes both scandalised and uncomprehending) the final column?
YM: I...
Editor: This is a music story. Nick Cave and Tim Rogers are music. How many albums were released last year? I mean, really, how many?
YM: Two?
Editor: Two!? Two! Two! You idiot. You scum sucking, foetid, emanation...
YM: Dig Lazarus Dig and Dilettantes... oh, Tex Perkins’ Ladyboys?
Editor: (Closes his eyes and points straight ahead from his desk to the large shrine to Brian Johnson across the room). Black Ice, you fool. Black Ice, the single most... the most perfect... the... Why am I wasting my time with you? Why?
YM: I...
Editor: You march in here, jumped up and absurd, demanding I run a so-called pop music story about ‘Leonard Cohen’, with only the barest mention of Nick Cave... I suppose you’re one of those outlandish beatniks who think one day the EG might feature a cover story that is not about Tim Rogers or Nick Cave?! I suppose you think there is some crazy little utopia somewhere, some kind of ‘alternative scene’ or whatever you call it, where some so-called ‘musician’ is not Nick Cave, or Tim Rogers, or Angus Young... I suppose you’d like to see some kind of fascistic regime where a quality newspaper such as The Age, Australia’s greatest broadsheet, ignores its single most important duty – by which I mean, of course, in-depth reportage of the activities, attitudes, widespread importance and of course extraordinarily high quality output of Tim Rogers and Nick Cave.
YM: And AC/DC.
Editor: What will they do next? What will they do next!? Yes... yes! I see it! It’s next week’s EG cover story!
YM: ‘Tim Rogers and Nick Cave... what will they do next’?
Editor: Now you’re learning. Brilliant idea! A new year, a new set of challenges... A couple of hot new talents, Nick Cave and Tim Rogers. Nick ‘n’ Tim, Tim ‘n’ Nick. What will they do next! What does Leonard Cohen think they'll do next? What do AC/DC think they'll do next!? What does Tex Perkins think they'll do next? What does... what does Tim Rogers think they'll do next!

Crossposted at Sarsaparilla

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

what do you want from life?

In 1979, we had a student teacher whose name I don't recall, who was obviously this amazing idealist who wanted to unlock the kidz from their rigidity conformist vibe. He was short and intense, with (now I'm painting a picture of his vibe rather than recalling what he really looked like, because I can't remember) big teeth and a squarish jaw and short, almost frizzy curly hair. He wore striped t-shirts and jackets and denim jeans rolled up a bit, in a way that probably makes sense if (I know what this is like) you are generally a little too short for your pants, though it was also something of a fashion.

For one lesson, an English lesson, he had a tape of a song by the Tubes called 'What do you want from life'. He had typed the lyrics out and roneod them and gave us each a copy, then played us the song on one of those tape recorders, you know, 1979 style tape recorders. I knew nothing about rock music at the time but I knew this was shit (listening to a bit of it now, I realise neither he nor I nor any of us knew a thing, it is much more i-ron-ic than it seemed in that Hawthorn classroom in 1979). I remember one suck student pretending to be interested in The Tubes as if ingratiating oneself to a student teacher had any validity.

A week or so later the student teacher lost it in class because he wanted us to write an essay on 'plastic conformity and barbed wire of the mind', and someone said they didn't want to because it was shit and he yelled, 'OK so it's shit right, you still have to do it'. Whoever our normal teacher was at the time confided in us (!!!) that he wasn't going to get a very good mark, primarily because of that. This was from a time when teachers tended not to say 'shit'. (Not the same thing, I know, but still to do with mention of taboo bodily function; I was amazed when I was included in a conversation with the librarian at high school who mentioned that the name of the organisation 'Mensa' reminded her of the word 'menses'.)

Anyway, I have to concede now, thirty years later, that 'what do you want from life' is not a ridiculous question. I suppose most of all I want sufficient material wealth to be able to pay someone to extract a grass seed from my dog's nose (the Tubes did not include this possibility) and in fact I would like this as often as necessary, though I might have to get her a facemask if this happens that often; or pay someone to take a branch down that has half-fallen on the house, as happened a few days ago (eventually we called the SES as it was dangerously playing the electric wires).

because i'm worth it

They just paid $287 for a 24-hour stay at the vet's during which he extracted the queen bee of grass seeds from my left nostril, which was presented to them in a small test tube, bloody on a cotton wool pillow. I have put the entire incident out of my mind - why dwell? - and am on to the next thing. I look forward to a renewed and invigorated regime of barking at nothing and sleeping in apparently terribly uncomfortable positions.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the african man's oeuvre

I dreamt that I spied some 1960s African novels that I had left in the rain, and I went into a schtick about 'you know how you've always got a pile of African novels you leave out in the rain somewhere...?' these were detective novels by a writer whose first name was Malcolm, they were a uniform series with colour covers that simulated, to my mind, stained glass. I started to read one, having noticed them consciously for the first time, and they became my new favourite thing.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I am drinking ginko tea which purports to improve one's memory and sprightliness, or rather, its makers do. It is slightly less revolting than I would have expected, but still faintly revolting. Last night Rage played some eps of Countdown from I think 1981 and 1983. The 1983 one included an homage to the Blues Brothers, and KC and the Sunshine Band. It did remind me that I love 'Give it up' by KCATSB, and I enjoyed the finely honed versatility and performance of the group's percussionist and two drummers. Inbetween the Countdowns Rage played some videos that were probably supposed to be classic disco era songs but which were in many cases the original artists performing rerecorded or remixed versions of their old hits,* eg a late 1990s (?) Candi Staton doing 'Young hearts run free', and what seemed to be Sister Sledge either reperforming or miming to the old 'We are family' many years after the original, etc. What the point was of these crapolas is anyone's guess. I suppose once again I will get the comments 'those artists were exploited the first time around and it was only when they redid their songs they made some money etc etc'. Actually news flash I didn't ask them to enter the music industry and just because they happened to be a one hit wonder well, no-one owes them anything subsequently. But they are asking me to look at their new versions of old songs that I have heard enough for one lifetime anyway! Wow, the ginko is working already (in the wrong ways).

*I bet whoever programmed these songs did not check whether they were originals or was perhaps even too dumb to care about this most important point.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

much better thank you

Although it is ridiculously hot today and apparently will be for some of tomorrow too, though not in the later afternoon I believe, I do feel much better. The lipitor has worn off and now, I suppose, it’s the replacement drug (name presently forgotten) which is giving me cramps in my feet. (I have resolved to cut out as much cholesterol in my diet as I possibly can, though I seem unable to recall this in the daily excitement of buying food, so for instance I got an iced coffee with icecream. I remembered in time to say, no whipped cream.) I am writing this on the 401, which continues to be a terrific bus. One day I would like to introduce it to the 542, ‘hey, I know both you guys, one gets me to work from the station, the other less frequently gets me to a point not a million miles removed from home, from a selection of three stations. So we spend a lot of time together but you guys have never really met, have you’. Of course it might be awkward if it comes out that they don’t really know me, either, I just feel familiarity with them like I do with the coffee shop workers because I see them every day. But they see thousands of people every day.

How have you been? Had a good break? Not me, I don’t have breaks, although I do have four weeks’ accumulated leave which I really must do something about, though wasn’t it Bon Jovi who said ‘I’ll take leave when I’m dead’? Yeah (snicker).

So in case anyone else asks me, no, I didn’t go to All Tomorrow’s Parties at Mt Buller. I mean I’m sorry, but I don’t like festivals, and despite the fact that practically everyone I have ever met was there, I… er… don’t like festivals. I stayed at home and wrote a conference paper and watched six episodes of the first season of The Wire. Now there are only 3 left. I got the first four series in boxes from JB for fifteen dollars each - about as much as a movie for half a day of wasting life one'll never get back, rather than a couple of hours - etc etc whingetc.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Laurie, exhausted after a hard day of bowling at his and his father's joint birthday party (cumulative age 43) plays piano, Coburg bowling club 11/1/09. He did not say 'it's got a good feel this old joanna'. He did tell Nicole Thibault she was rock 'n' roll (and she is).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

something excellent

this dexy's midnight runners song from my childhood or a little later. (Actually I was 20).
Who wouldn't foreground that drummer?!
I don't know what I like the most - the spoken stuff at the beginning, the song itself, the aforementioned drummer, the sailing down that deserted city street - definitely the best Dexy's moment, and there were many (I never really listened to that second album - should I?)

my disposition 2

Without wishing to put too fine a point on it (particularly since that is one phrase the literal meaning of which I don't fully understand), I am of the opinion that medication I was on until five days ago put me in a rather unfortunate mental state, which possibly I am still coming down from, or I am just understandably and naturally pissed off that I wasted a few weeks being in an unfortunate mental state. It was certainly having an adverse affect physically as it was giving me muscle cramps etc and then I did some medical journal research (gosh that sounds important but what I mean is, an hour or so typing keywords into a journal search engine) and found some material that suggested to me that my suspicions were correct (and another that would have suggested to me, if this was my inclination, that the opposite was the case, but to an extent I know what I know about what that stuff was doing to me). Anyway I got a replacement medicine which my doctor had to get clearance from Canberra for (!!!) and which may make my arms ache, though this hasn't happened yet. It's anti-cholesterol medicine.

Last night Annabel and I discovered the joys - and I do mean the joys - of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. You should check them out, you will love them. Word has it they were very important to Nick Cave and his chums when they were starting out. Annabel was particularly interested in this connection and pointed out many elements in common between SAHB and certain earlier Cave works, such as 'Zoo Music Girl' and 'Cry' from the Prayers on fire album.

This morning Annabel left for Albury, ready to spread the news about the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a hot new act they haven't heard about in Albury yet, but which will no doubt mean a lot to them.

I'm going to do some weeding and mulching (that is not code).

Thursday, January 01, 2009

nearly lost millie

Distracted and flustered on the Merri Creek, I let the dogs off the lead without really thinking about the fact that it was a strange place and they wouldn't be that aware of where they were. And Charlie was ahead of me but Millie was behind and I assume she was completely thrown by either the arrival of two huge white dogs (can't remember the breed - Afghans?) and two fools on a trail bike. Millie disappeared. I spent about 3/4 of an hour looking for her, asking everyone I came across whether they had seen her (luckily I had Charlie as an example) or not. I had lost her on a footbridge with a path either side, so there were 4 ways she could have gone, and then of course hundreds, because there are streets all around.
I had almost given up, and was on the verge of getting into a car and driving around looking for her, and ultimately I'm glad I didn't - I sort of realised that was the next step and not a good one. So I went back to the search. And then I went down the one path I hadn't been to any extent and came across a guy about my age who, when he saw Charlie, said 'are you looking for a dog like that?' Imagine how I felt. And of course I said yes. And he said she had come to his house (probably the first actual house she had come to, right on the edge of the park space) and tried to get in. And his son (who I had already seen out walking two other dogs) had looked after her and he had gone looking for the owner.
Pretty amazing.
I don't know how to thank those people! Except the way I did at the time, copiously.
Note to self: try to be less stupid in 2009.