Friday, April 30, 2010

a sequel? already?

I learn from yahoo news that 'only Sarah Jessica Parker's character, Carrie,' is 'featured on... promotional posters for Sex and the City 2?'

I am reminded of a story told during my days at Deakin by a colleague who was asked by an international (American) student after a history class, 'You mentioned the Second World War... does this imply there was a First World War?'

I didn't know there had been a Sex and the City movie. But I'm glad I know now; easier to avoid.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

talk of the town

(from last week, sorry) I have enlightened beliefs on the matter of the Melbourne Storm rorts because I have no interest in whatever the kind of ball game it refers to, to the degree that I gather it’s about rugby league (I assume ‘NRL’ stands for ‘National Rugby League’ though if someone told me it was a league of Rugby Union players I would not be shocked) but what that actually is (in relation to rugby union or whatever other lemon-shaped ball games there are that aren’t AFL) I don’t know at all.

It would seem that Melbourne Storm, which is a team, found ways to pay certain players more than they should have, to keep the team successful, which it was.

The bit that most intrigues me was the suggestion that some of the people responsible for this deception and corruption might go to jail for up to five years. That is amazing. I am really torn. If I were king they probably would go to jail, but then again, I might be sending people to jail just for being interested in rugby league, or perhaps I’d be a benevolent ruler and only send them to jail for thinking it’s important (they can still be interested). Certainly I would outlaw people paying for the services of players. I would also send the woman in the seat perpendicular to mine, to jail for the crime of filing her nails in my presence. Unbearable vibes of a scratchy pink board on a fingernail and rude, too.

Anyway the idea that people might go to jail over something to do with a stupid ball game that makes no sense is very amusing. It shows to some degree that our society is simply cockamamie, though at the same time I would be totally into people who made their money out of in some way organizing the playing of stupid ball games going to jail. You see how this presents me with a moral dilemma.

As it happens I also don’t really believe sending people to jail is a solution. In jail they no doubt learn about more sports and are encouraged by their corrupt peers to take greater interest in intricacies of ball games. It is a vicious circle. Or, if you like, cycle.

Next vignette: Oh I used to work with a designer, this was at Attic Press, who used to call vignettes ‘vonettes’, I mean she probably spelt it vignette, but she didn’t know how to pronounce it. She always came at it as if explaining a new concept too, the vonette, something very specialized that only she had knowledge of. I can’t remember what it referred to in design and nor do I now care. I am then reminded of the woman I worked with who pronounced mural ‘muriel’ and foccaccia ‘f’couchy’. The muriel problem is, I think, fairly widespread: in this person’s case, it was as if she actually was unable not to make the ‘i’ sound between the ‘r’ and the ‘e’. The f’couchy was just laziness I think. It was a new innovation (as innovations so often are) in Sydney 20 years ago, and like Kylie Minogue and Kate Ceberano, people had a lot of trouble pronouncing the name for some time. There was the transition period when people had actually learnt how to say it, but put a kind of affectation in their voice as though only an affected person would know how to say such a word. Then people realized life was too short and just started saying the damn word.

Last night we watched what was probably about 2/3 of the Drew Barrymore-directed film Whip It. I have to say what we saw was pretty poor, though like a lot of these things it probably wasn’t our demographic. I have been trying to think of ways that it might have turned out to be a brilliant film following the scene where the boy and girl jump in the swimming pool with their clothes on (as far as I’ve seen it or will ever see it probably). My first impulse is always to imagine the actors turning to the camera and explaining why the film has been rubbish so far, but of course that’s a cop out. I suppose the best idea I can think of is that somehow the film moves away from its boring roller skating premise and into some kind of more character based study of the family. Also, introduction of the actual song ‘Whip It’, though I always preferred ‘Girl U Want’, myself, and ‘Snowball’, all from that album Freedom of Choice.

I greatly enjoyed Tony Martin’s second book A Nest of Occasionals and I suggest to you that you read it. He also writes weekly for The Scrivener’s Fancy which I have bookmarked on the right. The other writers are very fine too, on the whole.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

not mellower

Oh no I still have my angry young punk attitude. For instance my fury at not one but two dumb grammar errors (oops, nearly typed 'grammar areas') in this piece of advertising email guff.

And this time I'm going to do something about it!

birthday cut my foot

Every morning I go out to greet the beagles it is a tradition and there is no reason not to do it on my 45th birthday. They generally respond with reasonable gusto and I don't think it was extra gusto on behalf of Master's 45th (315 in dog years) that had me thinking that, somehow, Millie had scratched the heel of my foot (as opposed to the heel of my ear). It bled a bit and I thought little of it but it got more and more painful throughout the day until by mid-afternoon I could put no pressure on it. Last night revealed it was actually quite a deep hole, nothing surely to do with Millie who is a very powerful creature but not in the habit of stabbing people in their feet and why start now.
So I spent my birthday hobbling and feeling weary and woozy, I am not sure why those last two came upon me as well, but they did, and in fact I wasn't even able to stay up and watch QI. Imagine. Is this what the rest of my life is going to be like.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I won’t say reasons to be cheerful as that is a cliché but that is probably my meaning. There are a lot of things around at the moment that are likely to make a 44 year old white man living in the suburbs of the large Australian city in which he was born feel relatively content. I am not saying it is as thus and shall always beest, and nor am I saying that the fact it is thus means it should always be. All I am is noticing this is presently the case. I don’t wish to be smug or to invite karma off smugness… OK disclaimer over.

I enjoyed seeing She’s out of my league. I thought it was really a pretty funny film. I have always had a sick leaning towards entertainment I didn’t have to think about much. It cushions and lulls me. I don't feel guilty.

We got this really big pumpkin out of our backyard. It was amazing. Mia reminded me it is not just a case of a natural accident, that she cultivated it, which of course I know to be true. I was thinking only yesterday about that annoying ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ saying. It is annoying because a pumpkin we might otherwise have paid money for grew on a plant in the backyard. OK. It was delicious.

I am liking this Yo La Tengo album which came out I guess late last year and which I am listening to now on the tram.

I really liked Jim Crace’s latest book.

It’s autumn, my favourite time of year, and coming up to my birthday.

We had some children round our house on the weekend who were blithely and aggressively patting Charlie and she didn’t savage any of them once.

I’m getting an electronic drumkit for my birthday.

Also, eggplants are still frequently appearing in the backyard. These are eggplants that if you saw them in a shop you might buy them even if you don’t like eating eggplant. (I do, a lot) just because they look so amazing.

I have a great podcast regimen now, based on NPR, Radio National, and Radio 4. There is pretty much a new program for me every day, sometimes 2. Oh, also I listen to Boxcutters, which isn’t a radio program made into a podcast – it’s just a podcast.

I walked alongside the Western Ring Road today to the Airport West tram. It took about an hour. It was fine.

Alright now I am starting to think of more things and they are starting to be less marvelous and bug me so I will stop this list now. Thanks for your indulgence.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

we decide who comes to our backyard and the circumstances under which they come

Charlie, dismayed and distraught that she can't get to a kitten which has just wandered through the fence, because she is tied to the hills hoist. Millie, happily off with the fairies.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

calling ye olde statte library

'Hello I would like to order an item from offsite please'
'Certainly, what item would you like to order?'
'It's a magazine called Garden Cities and Town Planning.'
'Is cities "...ys" or "...ies"?'

actually I meant 'alligators'

Sometimes when I'm writing about agitators I get so upset I just magnitogorsk magnitogorskmagnitogorskkkkk. And that's just washing machine agitators.

Monday, April 05, 2010

rowland and ollie at trash

I saw this on Rage a few months ago and it was (and remains) incredible!!!!! I assume Trash is the shop that Karen Ansell and Uschi Flett ran? Ollie and Rowland's band (Young Charlatans) played about 10 times I gather. How could they not have been incredible!?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

best band

spoilt for choice

Not one but two Michael Keaton films on tv tonight! The Lindsay Lohan Herbie film and then Multiplicity. I think I will probably choose Multiplicity because I like the idea of being duplicated, I could certainly get stuff done, then again, the other me (whichever one that was) would probably take more on too. If it was a genuine me, it would take more stuff on in fear of one time having nothing to do.

Also Last Action Hero. Which I enjoyed the first time around.

Then later tonight, speaking of Keatons and Action Heroes, The General.

Friday, April 02, 2010

todd rundgren's album, arena

I reviewed this album elsewhere a while ago and now I have to say it's in my top 5 Todd. Now listening to it I can't even remember how I thought it was so extreme when I first heard it. My Todd top 5 is probably: 5. Hermit 4. Wizard true star 3. Arena 2. Runt 1. Something /Anything. I guess it is interesting to me that I can really like the work of someone like Todd while really knowing no-one else who likes his work like I do. I don't know if that's part of the interest. It is also interesting to me that something like the Pixies for christ's sake - a nonsense band of no merit - can fill Festival Hall, but Todd is not popular anymore. Extraordinary.