Monday, April 27, 2015

lorraine crescent ten years ago: 'it was foggy this morning, and jols' (27 April 2005)

It was very foggy this morning in fact as Mia pointed out there was also a lot of smog too. I was driving along Citylink and on my left I could see the tops of buildings obscured by smog/fog/city was on fire. It has been a bizarre April. By the time April comes around I am used to it getting chillier and more to my liking, but it has been very warm every day. A week ago they were saying the second hottest April ever on record but I reckon now it's going to be the hottest, unless the next few days are 0 degrees or something which would bring the average down. I get paid today.

When you read in the papers in a few years' time that Jols cause the body to eat its own organs, think of me dying horribly, as I am the world's no. one Jols consumer. I have almost exclusively alternated between forest fruits and blackberries, but as I write I am on some orange ones. I don't like them as much as the others (that was predictable). I would certainly like some apple Jols though. I would also like to know where Jols come from, as this is about the only edible item (I can't call them food) that I know of which does not state this on the box. The box says they are 'packed in Australia using local and imported ingredients'; since the only ingredients is a bunch of Jols, this doesn't even make sense (unless the packaging is included as part of the product, which would be stupid). The place they come from must be horrendous for it not to be listed on the package, but I was under the impression that this was even illegal. I suppose I was wrong there. I wonder what Jols stands for? Just Our Luscious Selves? More suggestions please.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

lorraine crescent ten years ago: 'extraordinary' (25 April 2005)

Tamsin and Rob

Peter Alice Tamsin

I never would have thought, in my wildest dreams, that one day I would be a person who could say 'the party was a huge success'. Not that this was a grand ambition of mine, it's not like I'm figuratively sitting on a figurative slag heap of failed parties. I am not even sure how you fail a party. All I know is this one was a huge success.

Clue one: I almost completely only drank one thing. Can you believe I even considered perhaps not drinking anything, because I felt such a sense of responsibility to my revelling acquaintances. That would have been so stupid and such a betrayal of everyone's expectations. OK. So I drank whisky and soda and it went really well. Sometimes I just drank soda. Once I was offered a drink and asked for soda and was given cider but that was really good too and I don't think cider really counts as a drink to interfere with your main drink, it's a complement to everything. Late, late in the night I drank some claret. (Yes, I know people tend to say red wine these days but shit man this was CLARET). Otherwise I was on the whisky 'n' soda, a delightful drink though rumour has it it sometimes makes me verbally aggressive. How foolish.

Clue two: I waved to people and often got their names right. It makes you feel like royalty! I can't believe how great that was.

Clue three: I invited all kinds of people from all over the place. Strangest and biggest success was an old, old schoolfriend I hadn't seen for 27 years. He had even changed his name, and I don't know how I remembered that or even knew about it, but I did. By the time he showed up I was reasonably drunk and effusive. It was great. My mother was even more pleased to see him. I was amazed that he seemed so cool. In fact I have a slight horror that I committed a terrible faux pas with another schoolfriend who had been there, then left, then come back: I told him who'd been there in his absence and said 'he's cooler than you AND me!' as though, you know, it'd be easy to be cooler than you but can you imagine he's even cooler than me. But that might just be how I remember saying that. You can't ask someone if you spoke that way, can you, because they are unlikely to remember you having done so unless you remind them. And additionally I would reveal just how incredibly uncool I was (if it hadn't already been obvious) by indicating that I'd been fretting over this uncool statement.

Clue four: introduce people to other people regardless. I'd never thought this would work before, but it does. I forget how social people are. I expect people to act like dogs in each other's company, but they don't often, and that's great.

Clue five: have incredibly good bands playing. New Estate, Origami and Pink Stainless Tail. It really was outasight.

Clue six: That's all I have time for now. I want my afternoon tea. It's been a harrowing day correcting a journal article, worrying over content of a seminar, trying to figure out essay marking etc, and now I am going to an art opening in town.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

lorraine crescent ten years ago: 'oh thank god (relieved sob)' (23 April 2005)

I am returned unto you, good as new. I got a message from Doug at Blogger Support who suggested I had fallen victim to a minor bug and said I should use the 'pick new' link and change the template. And I did and here we all are, soon to forget the trauma.

Today is not my birthday but it is to be my birthday party, which I am co-hosting with my friend Peter (safety in numbers). He is nine days younger than me so he is technically not yet 40; when I say technically, I mean: he is not yet 40. But he has kindly condescended to still associate with me in the farce that we are of an age. I turned 40 on Wednesday and felt very little about it. I still look younger than 40 (you know, I look about 38) and though I admit this might be the beginning of a horrible remainder-of-life spinning little homilies, I even thought up a way of explaining to people half my age (i.e. my students, some of Mia's friends) what it is like to be 40: 'Imagine being twenty and then waking up one morning and you're 40. That's what it's like'. I found it very slightly annoying, when my grandmother said in her 80s that she didn't feel any different (mentally, she was physically very delapidated and she knew it) from when she was 20, and I would think 'but what about the things that have gone on around you, all the experiences, all the maturity and wisdom, etc'. But now I suppose I get a very, very slight inkling of how it might be possible to feel that you remain essentially unchanged despite everything you've seen and done. And that is even more annoying. As I said to some of my students last Wednesday, when I was 20 I wished everyone 40 or over would just crawl into their graves and wait to be buried. (When I told Mia this she said she didn't feel that way about 40 year olds when she was 20. I am sure she did have a much more mature attitude. I put mine down, in part, to being so involved in music etc and the punk rock aesthetic and feeling somewhat oppressed by old people's culture.) That said, I remember when I first met Mia, she was 23 and I was 31, and she was of the opinion that 31 was a somewhat amazing age to have reached. Which is not to say she thought I should therefore top myself.

Anyway, so the party, I am intrigued as to how it will turn out. On the one hand I feel an incredible obligation, because I have asked all kinds of people to the same place, and have really no idea what'll happen, of course, but particularly in this case because the only connection many of these people have with each other is me (or Peter, who I think has invited even more people! That might be a good thing, because people won't expect to have some connection with each other necessarily). How can I juggle it all? It feels like a terrible sitcom where someone has to be doing two things in two rooms at once, and keeping on making excuses to go from one place to another. Except it will be 50 things at once and all in the same room. But on the other hand I just have to cast off this stupid white man's burden attitude to other people's social relations. People know how to look after themselves socially (I tell myself). If they don't, then my lousy efforts to help won't get anyone anywhere anyway. Phew, I am relieved. The party is to be held at a Brunswick hotel which I must say I have issues with but it will probably be a pretty good venue all told. Cautiously optimistic.

We have taken to letting the dogs in in the morning and in the evening for sleeping time, which they are doing now as I write this. Millie is of course an indoor dog through and through and considers this long overdue restitution to her injured dignity at being relegated to the back step ever since Charlie arrived on the scene. Charlie has usually had the attitude that being let into the house is like being let into a china shop and being told to explore her inner bull. But with a beagle's nose. And so it's all been about sniffing everything everywhere, whatever she knocks over and pulls apart. There are two baskets in the living room, one of which Charlie likes so much I think she just wants to consume it. She has bitten quite a bit off the edges. She has ripped up the pillow that's in it for cushion purposes. However that said she has settled down quite impressively to something reminiscent of respect for the requirements/obligations of an indoor dog life, and after about 20 minutes or so of rampant Charlie behaviour she usually goes into that general beagle power-sleeping, which is not only like a power nap (deep sleep in seconds) but also establishing oneself as a powerful presence via sleeping. I am going to put them outside in a minute however as I want to go up to Broady plaza and, firstly, buy some breakfast provisions at Bi-Lo, and secondly get a money order from the bank for 12 euros for a Skaldowie single I stupidly bid for on e-bay a few weeks ago. Not that I don't love Skaldowie and their impressive psychedelic folk-rock that no doubt rocked Poland to its otherwise staid foundations in the 1960s, but I promised myself and everyone around me that I would stop buying crap off e-bay and then I went into a trance and did it again. I stopped myself almost immediately at a tiny little bid on this single, but no-one else wanted it after that, so... NO MORE, that was something a 39-year-old might do but not a responsible homeowner in his 40s.

By the way I say that being 40 means nothing to me but I did do a band flyer last night of someone trapped alive in their coffin. I'll have to think that one through.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

lorraine crescent ten years ago: 'hurt my toe' (18 April 2005)

In more scintillating news, I hurt my toe on Saturday night walking down the unlit corridor, I banged it on the case of a bass our neighbour Ed leant us a few months ago. It, it being the toe, has since gone an angry crimson.
Sunday was alright in the scheme of things apart from my limping. We went to the Record Fair at Ukrainian House in Essendon. As it happened I didn't feel that much like buying records, so passed up on things that at other times would probably be milestones for me, like a single of Hush doing the Crunchie ad. The only thing I actually bought was a Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich album, which is alright in a halfway-betwixt-bubblegum-and-Manfred-Mann kind of way, but when it comes down to it who needs it? I didn't, but it cost $2 so who cares. Mia got some better things, a great Muddy Waters album on Chess with sleevenotes by Willie Dixon etc. Also Nico's The End and Sergio Mendez. Pretty decent really. The thing that really put me off I feel was the fact that we were there about midday and the record stall proprietors were eating food, which meant many disgusting smells and foul mouth noises. Also, I don't have that much money at the moment.
On returning I went back to the essays I am hoeing through with gusto. Got a lot done in terms of marking on the weekend which means I can return a big batch of essays to students today and will probably be able to return most to my Wednesday and Thursday class as well.
My sister and her family came over briefly, the girls retired to the music room quite fast and Olivia (almost 3, unless she's almost 4, though that seems unlikely) did a very creditable 'Do You Know the Way to San Jose'. Mia cleaned the house dramatically all weekend and I take my hat off to her. I couldn't have done it.
I have not kept a diary in about ten years, but every time I come across things I've written about day-to-day life in the past I am amazed at how little I remember. I don't remember it even if I write it down. In a related incident I got a book out of the library to aid me in a lecture and then, in notes on a similar subject, discovered I had read the book in its entirety and made notes on it, four years ago. I have absolutely no recollection of doing so.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

lorraine crescent ten years ago: 'A familiar tramp' (16 April 2005)

Went for a walk down by the wetlands/creek just before it got dark. Which it now is. Millie and Charlie were as usual incredibly excited. Charlie has been known many times before to bark uncontrollably at people she meets particularly if they have dogs. The barking still goes on but these days I think I notice a little restraint and something approaching a willingness to one day retire from this activity. Last time she and Millie met someone (not with a dog; some young guy who I couldn’t really see because he was in silhouette on the other side of the hill, not really even shouting distance if I’d wanted to shout) they were very gracious and pleased to see him, for no reason as I’m sure they didn’t know him. That was the first time I’ve known Charlie to meet someone happily. Well this evening she met two women with a spaniely-type dog; the women seemed to enjoy her barking but the spaniel ignored her totally. Then shortly after a woman with an Alsatian who wasn’t pleased. I am not sure how displeased the woman was (she had a prominent set of headphones on so she wasn’t really there) but the dog was against the whole scenario. Naturally Charlie went back for second barks and thirds. Oddly enough, after those events, which occurred just as we reached the ring road, the furthest point of the round-the-wetland walk, we didn’t see any other pedestrian or dog on the bike track side, which is usually far more crowded.
Down at that ring road end, however, I did see two herons. One was grey and small, another white and quite big, it looked too stylised and fragile to actually belong to nature. They were close together (though surely not friends or related?!) where the creek runs over rocks before it goes under the concrete bridge. Later, I saw another white bird in the middle of the wetlands area either with fantastically long skinny legs or sitting precariously in a tiny clump of reeds.
Young teens were doing footy training down at the oval. It is nearly time for Neighbours. Then an evening of marking papers and cleaning.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

lorraine crescent ten years ago: 'the thing is I have coffee issues' (15 April 2005)

For some reason I now can't recall, in around 2009 or 2010 I deleted the first few Lorraine Crescent posts from the site; now they're here again in a celebration of the first decade of your favourite blog... stay tuned

I find that when I drink coffee habitually, I become of course edgy and irritable, you expect that, but more annoyingly I (1) get very weary seemingly in proportion to the awakeness of a few hours earlier, and (2) I get very hungry (worst case scenario - I get really hungry for something sugary eg chocolate, which I very rarely crave). Neither of these things are pleasant (edgy and irritable is, of course, a delight). I have also experienced very unpleasant stomach pains, usually not from coffee itself but from its combination with other things eg orange juice. Maybe I should drink them separately (joke). Also - the whole original problem that made me think my excessive coffee consumption wasn't such a great idea - the sensation of having a numb liver. Anyone who hasn't experienced this feeling (as far as I know, I'm the only person who ever has) will find it an unusual idea, after all, who feels their liver most of the time anyway? But oddly enough its numbness is quite noticeable. And, of course, you have to think that really, it can't be good.
It's all very well to say I should give into it, but that presumes two things: one, that I really like it (but in fact I am long past that - I don't get much out of it at all, and find it really easy to resist) and two, that it's a cultural norm that you'd have to be weird to avoid. I'm lucky enough to live in a culture where (within what I consider reason, so I'm lucky in that, too) I can pick and choose which 'norms' I want to take on.