Saturday, July 31, 2010

perth end july

Perth from Mia's parents' house

I am in Perth it is the 31 July and my feet are very cold but just at the point before it being painful. Also I know that I will soon have a shower and put on some favourite socks so I'm handling it.

Pregnant Taffy

Taffy, who was very pregnant, is now slightly less pregnant (remember that lie about a little bit pregnant?) as she had one of her puppies last night and the rest refused to come out, or some part of Taffy refused to push them out, I suppose is a better way of putting it. So I gather she is presently having a caesarian. This is putting a damper on prospects of getting to the... god I haven't slept enough or something I can't remember... tiffin, tapstac, trilobite... it'll come to me. Where we were planning to go today.

Much less pregnant Taffy. You might not be able to see but this is her with all her pups out.

Yesterday we went around the place and a few op shops I was very pleased to pick up a copy of Whatever Works (which I'm showing to students on Monday as an example of urbanity, or rather, as a film which deals somewhat with the concept of urbanity) and also a copy of Jim Crace's Being Dead, a book which I had long wanted to read and now almost have. I recommend it, or at least up to page 170 or thereabouts.

Perth has changed so much since I first came here in 96. Now it seems like a huge unending strip mall - that's unfair - but some of it is like that, seriously, those crazy highways, if they can line them with strip malls of all the same kinds of businesses as everywhere else, they will. ('They' - shudder).

Truffle festival. That's what I was trying to remember. I've never had a truffle.


OK, here are a few trufflefest pics. Here is Issy, the Truffle-finding beagle (she abides here). She did a demonstration of finding which of the pots on the stage had truffles in them:

This is the audience loving every minute:

You probably thought, knowing my penchant for the mot juste sarcasme, that was going to be a picture of bored people. But they were loving every minute.

I overheard this man, who was there with two others of his age, say two things in an accent which might have been his or might have been affected. One was, loudly, 'I HATE de truffle!' (to much laughter from his pals) and the other, to a little less laughter, 'RidOCULOUS!' I wonder who he was.

These insect girls were giving high fives to scared infants.

Just to end: here is a picture of Mia and Taffy's firstborn, Tymmy.

And here's one of Tymmy, a very noble, fop beagle in the superior class:

Just to clarify, Tymmy is from Taffy's first litter. He wasn't born yesterday.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

riff in my head

I dreamt that I got a chance to hear again a song I really liked from my late teenage years, by one of those bands who made, you know, a minor hit then an album and then they didn't really do much else, and I heard this song and it was a kind of mid-paced rocker, and I thought, god I never thought I was the kind of person to really like that sort of thing but apparently I am.
That's bad enough but I still have the song in my head now, and unlike when Keith Richards dreamt up Satisfaction, it's really, really horrible and I can't get rid of it. Mind you, Keith didn't really appreciate the value of Satisfaction at first. Mind you, I can't write music so there's no way I could record it or do anything with it even if I thought it was rad.


The song as it is playing in my head includes an audience clapping along.

Monday, July 12, 2010

tv quiz

Stolen from Wayne.

Do you snack while watching TV?
Very rarely. But I will eat dinner watching tv.

What is your favourite TV show?
Of all time - It's Garry Shandling's Show (though I'm having trouble getting through the box set). Currently - Big Love, Mad Men, Community, Doctor Who.

What TV show makes you run to change channels?
Sport. Hey Hey It's Saturday.

How do you view your TV guide: online, on-screen, newspaper, magazine, other?
'Where's the fucken Green Guide? This is last week's.'

Have you ever been surveyed for your TV-viewing habits or do you know anyone who has been?
Yeah in the 70s.

Do you watch TV news and/or current affairs regularly?
News, 7:30 report, the first twenty minutes of Q&A.

Do you watch any TV “soaps”? (Truth please, even if it is embarrassing.)

What other series shows do you try not to miss?
Well I'm excited Rush is coming back on. Three more sleeps. Hope it finally jumps that shark.

Any previous series or shows you really liked?
Of course, I'm 45.

Do you have pay TV or are the digital channels enough?
They're not enough, but do I want to pay a thousand dollars a year for repeats of (tries hard to think of some generically uninteresting tv show from yore) The Wacky Races?

Do you only watch certain TV shows online?
Very occasionally try i-view.

Do you regularly use services like ABC catch-up or other online replays?
What did I just say? Pay attention.

Do you ever pay any attention to the adverts?
I like the coffee break ad and the AMI 'what about me' ad.

I don't endorse or use either of these products.

Do you multi-task while watching TV & if so what else are you doing?
Sometimes read or draw.

Is there a TV show that makes you laugh out loud?

Have you ever said no to a social invitation to stay at home and watch TV? (Truth again please.) Mind telling us what the show was?
No doubt, though not for a long time.

Do you record TV shows & if so why and how (VCR, DVD recorder, TIVO, laptop, etc.)?

Least favourite TV personality/actor/character?
I don't really pay attention any more.

Most popular TV personalities/actors/character?
Who cares. They're all a bunch of wastrels and bludgers.

Have you ever seen anything really memorable on TV (not news/events – made for TV drama, etc.)?
Yeah the Den and Angie argument on Eastenders late 1986 where the window washer kept barging in. Also one time on Neighbours in the early 90s Jim pointed to the toaster and the toast popped up and Paul was balancing a spoon on his nose.

Do you prefer TV series or stand-alone shows?

Is there a specific show you find yourself recommending over and over?
Community, it would seem, judging by the above.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Whatever happened to burcin kapkin

This morning is a mental health day as they say which will involve a long dog walk, review of six book chapters back from the editor, and I dunno what else. The newspaper is still too much of a downer for me so I started watching old Home and Away on 7two. Instantly I was swept up in a story of Roo being coerced into surrending baby Martha (played by Burcin Kapkin) by Brett Macklin, under threat of Alf being driven out of business by the Macklin Corporation. Compelling.

It’s interesting isn’t it how so many Australian soaps include massively rich businesspeople with multi-million dollar projects that impact on everyone. It’s amazing how Paul Robinson for instance can move amongst people many of whom depend on him for their salaries, etc, but while relations with Paul are never that easy in Ramsay Street there is certainly never any sense that he is better than anyone – he doesn’t even seem to think so. In fact, most people seem to assume he is worse than them. I guess Brett Macklin, who was a much lesser character, is kind of similar. That said, it’s a different world in soaps where people always have to be ‘reset’ every few weeks or written out. Now I’m watching Shortland Street, which was a great favourite in the early 90s when SBS used to run it. I do enjoy New Zealand soaps – Outrageous Fortune etc – particularly because it doesn’t just seem to be a parallel universe, it is one. And because SS is a Grundy production (or whatever they’re called now) they often have actor crossover with Neighbours. Well, historically that’s been so though the episode I’m watching now is difficult to get into. I did enjoy the fugitive with eczema being referred to by his former girlfriend as having a poxy face (thus you knew he was innocent and she was flying off the handle, using his affliction against him).

Shortland Street is a classic soap premise, hospital, and must be wonderfully cheap particularly the cheap clothing (they’re usually wearing light blue pyjamas, like all hospital employees, even the doctors). They don’t seem to do too many second takes either if the amount of accidental furniture kicking, etc that goes on is any indication (nb this is just based on one episode – maybe a weirdity).

I must say that SS’s multiracial cast shows up Neighbours for its unrealistic whiteness, something I know is an issue but tend to forget in the day to day.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

dying man's wishes

Cleaning up my office I found these notes I made on behalf of Pip who was hoping to get out of the hospice he was in (he didn't, or at least, in the last few days he did but that's all) and also some lollies and chips. He was always hungry.
The most indecipherable line is 'musk sticks'. The last line was I think written while walking.
By the way, Tamsin did have a good suggestion for a place that might take Pip, but he was too sick to go anywhere really, and I was a bit uncertain it would be ideal, as it was apparently fairly Catholic and Pip was over godbotherers.

* Later, just wanted to say a piece I wrote about Pip has just come out in the latest Yeti, buy it here.