Monday, January 30, 2017

waking up at 3:35 am

Happens a lot these days, and it's a pain. Did I tell you about the sleep app I got? It tells me how long I was in bed for and the 'quality' of my sleep. It's usually in the low 60%s. 'Well that's just your opinion', I say. I'm wrong, of course.

Friday, January 27, 2017

shit's fucked

I have done so much blogging on LC over the years I am sure I have repeated myself many times. I have probably even repeated that observation that I am sure I have made before, that when I discover I have repeated myself fairly comprehensively I feel happy that it seems to indicate I am being truthful. I am sure I have also posted this so I won't make a big deal about it but I still enjoy it.

2017 has got off to a fairly shit start. I remember yonks and yonks ago a somewhat introverted acquaintance telling me that he was surprised by the candid nature of this blog, and that I was then surprised also because I didn't think I gave much away at all, though I suppose it's in the eye of the beholder right. My future biographer(s) (hi) are going to have a lot of work getting to the bottom of the stuff I post here, and reading between the lines, and etc the etc. Because there's seriously not much revealed, and this is probably even truer of the last three years' complete car-train-bus-helicopter smash that my turn o'the mid-century life became, more or less entirely through my own efforts, though it has to be said, people are fuckin' weird. Have you ever noticed that?

I'm sleeping poorly. I have temporarily taken myself off that rad diet (which was so fuckin' working - don't worry I am going back) just to get through the next few days of grant application writing, which needs oodles of self-indulgence and sugary stuff. I am not enjoying the heat and I am not enjoying the various stresses of going back to work, almost as much as i hate gritting my teeth so hard they almost crack when people ask me if I've gone back to work yet, yes people still believe I work six months of the fucking year. I seriously work harder than anyone in a white collar job I know (I possibly don't know anyone not in a white collar job - not going to overthink or even plain old think that one) as I told an uber driver (my first ever) this morning, I can't relax or take holidays and that's actually fine.

There's a lot of sadness going round but the saddest thing is I can't even really be bothered finishing this post properly. Maybe one day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

the tropical bird with the long toes

Jacana (the tropical bird with the long toes) will be the name for the housing area west of Pascoe Vale Rd. and south of Broadmeadows Road.
The Housing Commission informed Broadmeadows Council last week of the acceptance of the name.
But Council will maintain that the area east of Pascoe Vale Road will still be called Broadmeadows so that it won’t lose its identity.
The new Jacana station will be built mainly to serve residents in the Western Commission settlement.

(FOOTNOTE: Road construction work in this new area, north of the overpass in Pascoe Vale Road is almost complete. More than 500 homes will be built there).  ‘”Jacana” – District Name’ Broadmeadows Keilor Observer 27March 1958 p. 3

Sunday, January 22, 2017

early days #3

 [Not Jacana-specific, just a bonus early example of Housing Commission tenant shaming]

Friday, January 20, 2017

early days

I've been looking through old issues of the Broadmeadows and Keilor Observer lately, actually not for Broadmeadows material but for things pertaining to Keilor, tell you about that later. But in the meantime I have uncovered some stuff about old Jacana, from its formative times.

In an irritating quirk that I just discovered, I now realise that the annotations I painstakingly made to each of these iPhoto pics detailing date and page number for each of these, has somehow been eliminated not only from the pictures as downloaded to my laptop, but also from the pictures as they remain on my phone - though they were there until I started downloading. Anyway. It probably doesn't matter. I think most of this stuff is from 1960, though it could be from '58 or '59, because I also looked at those...

More soon...

Friday, January 13, 2017

i thought it would be fun to do this because i can't imagine a time i could be less in the mood

What is some of your favourite music?

When the chips are down, I would have to say, that while I would resist the descriptor of 'white pop music' (not that anyone really thinks that's a thing exactly, but you know what I mean) and also of 'postpunk', which I also think is a bit of a misnomer, most of my favourite music sits somewhere in the orbit of those ideas. My absolute favourite band, as you will know if you've read about it here, though I'm unlikely to talk about it much anywhere, is The Red Krayola. That band formed the year I was born, didn't really exist much between about 1968-1974 and 1987-1992 but is essentially as old as I am, inasmuch as it's a band and not one man using a 'band' name for most of his musical projects, which let's face it is really what it has been since 1974. I first became aware of this band in 1982 and I've been pretty devoted ever since. Obviously I like some records more than others, on the spectrum of oh, let's say, Fingerpainting which I have in CD and vinyl format and neither of which really appeal, to Soldier Talk. 

I like music made by guitar-drums-bass bands mainly with keyboards sometimes, usually sort of alternative pop, with a few exceptions. I really like Todd Rundgren, Versus, We Ragazzi, The Undertones, Orange Juice, Dave Graney/Clare Moore bands, you know the kind of thing I’m talking about. I have written about all this stuff.

List your three favourite scents. 

Not very scent-oriented, sorry.

How do you ground yourself or recharge?

That’s the thing. I don’t know how to do either of those things. I wish I did. I have no strategies. I kind of, in some sense, resist strategies. Nothing works. But maybe I don’t really want anything to.

Any ways you treat or spoil yourself? 

No. Coffee in the morning. You old charmer.

Besides your blog, do you have a creative past-time?

Yeah I guess I do, thanks for asking. I draw occasionally, and I am learning guitar, sometimes I write songs. I have made little films. Although I will usually only do really realised creative things when I’m asked to, usually by Stewart Anderson who, unreasonably, believes in me.

Share something difficult you've been through.

As you know, my marriage ended three years ago. Well, technically I am still married, but you know what I mean. So in a sense I haven’t been through it – I’m still going through it.

What helps you fall asleep?

Sleeping pills.

What is one strength and one weakness of yours?

A strength is, I am delightful. A weakness is I am too delightful.

Have you ever received a letter or written one to someone else?

Um, yes, I really have. More than one of each variety actually. I am not sure why that would be surprising, even if I was, say, ten years old, but I’m not, I’m 51.

What makes you feel powerful, what breathes life into you? 

Fuck all.

What's your favourite thing to do at night?

I am not that into night.

If you could go back to any eras, what would they be? 

1920s. As long as I didn’t have to stay there.

Your favourite things to wear at home? 


If you could be immortal or have an extremely long life span which would you pick and why? 

I need more information frankly. Immortal as in, can never die, regardless? Even if I was decapitated, or cut into 500 pieces? Or put in concrete and buried at sea? Because I’d rather be dead than bored forever, and/or unable to move only think and see and feel. Or immortal as in, can die anytime I want? Well, then, why limit myself. The only difference between being immortal and having a long life span in that instance is, you’d be able to choose when you died. Also, does immortal mean eternally young or at least, not getting any older? Or does it mean being 1004 and looking it until you’re 1005 and looking it? Need to know.

Tell us about something positive you have done for yourself or someone recently.

All I ever do, is positive things for other people. Why pick and choose. Everyone gets the benefit of my generous good nature.

One thing you like about your appearance?

I’m handsome and cute. That’s a tough balancing act but I pull it off.

Something that makes you feel better after a hard day?

There have been times when, following a stressful situation, I genuinely do like a stiff drink. But on the whole, I’m always on. I don’t need something to make me feel better. Well, obviously what would make me feel better after a hard day is coming home to someone other than Nancy, someone I liked and who gave a loose root, although come to think of it as well, coming home to Nancy is pretty nice.

If you have one, name a favourite book & movie. 

Don’t know about favourite book. Always held that my favourite movie was Make Mine Mink. I’ll stick with that for now.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Alright I did kind of fall off the wagon today for the same reasons roughly that it's going to be a challenge to stay on the wagon (whatever tf the wagon is) in March, April, May. I was asked to go on Radio National Overnight last night to talk about swimming pools (why not. I've cowritten a journal article about them and they were one of the things covered in the book I co-edited with Hannah Lewi). They wanted me in the studio at 4:20 am (btw I looked it up on google maps and it said it would take me 24 minutes to ride my bike there. I left 45 minutes before time and just made it. I don't think I'm that slow. Except I suppose I was) and I gave myself plenty of opportunity to get about 6 hours' sleep beforehand but sleep just did not come. I wasn't apprehensive of the radio or anything, I have absolutely no idea what the problem was, but there was one. I was wide awake. After a while I got up and did the dishes, even kind of emptied the fridge a bit (not like Dagwood, I just mean, tipped out some old fruit juice etc) on the assumption (this sometimes works) that I'm so fucking lazy that work makes me want to sleep. But no. So basically I did the show (it was such a hit that the 30-min spot, mainly talkback, I was on was extended to 60 mins) on no sleep. But wait there's more. I had to take Butterball to the vet at 9:20 for his cortisone injection (#2). I did doze for an hour between about 6:30 and 7:30 but essentially STILL as I write this (9:10 pm) I have only had one hour's sleep since yesterday morning. I did alright all things considered, but you have to keep your stamina up in that kind of situation with a lot of carbs and fluids. Fucked. Tomorrow will be different.

Saturday, January 07, 2017


Well I haven't fallen off the wagon but I guess I will have to consider next steps, as the last few days have been a bit scattered. I'll figure it out. I had people over for dinner on Thursday which meant cooking a lot of the day which meant checking that things were OK which meant that I kind of ate throughout the day. Then yesterday ended in a bit of a chip and dip frenzy... I think that overall I still didn't eat much more than a main meal's worth on either days but spreading it out through the day is not the best way to do it, seemingly.
This is more like notes to self frankly. As I said before, it's everyone's obsession anyway isn't it.
Today is going to be obscenely hot and I am not going out once, if I can help it at all. I have a big thesis draft to read and some documents to draft, so I think I'll be fine just wasting the day away on not-wasting-anything (maybe I'll get to the end of season 3 of The Good Wife too, who knows).

Monday, January 02, 2017

weight weight don't tell me

Since 2002 (and before, but 2002 was the last time I significantly lost weight, due to personal trauma which stopped me eating for a week)* I have had a weight problem. I must say that by and large people have been very nice about it, insofar as I have rarely been called a disgraceful fat fuck, only once or twice, and then by people close to me. I have noted only that when I have slightly lost weight, people (oddly, usually men) have noticed and paid me a compliment. It’s a weird world, where almost everyone you know is in some way weight obsessed, to the degree where I suppose it is almost a given, perhaps it is a given, I guess I’m assuming it’s a given.
I’ve always wanted to deal with this because of course it not only affects my self-esteem but also it is physically uncomfortable a lot of the time. One of the reasons it is so problematic to deal with it – particularly in the last decade when I’ve been working and teaching consistently – is I’m guessing because in a schedule of teaching and other ‘performing’ episodes in amongst a high-stress but sedentary environment, I am often required to use (and replenish) a lot of energy quickly, yet my days are inadequately structured. I also sleep poorly, which I gather is part of the problem, though I’m not sure why.
On top of this, and recognizing that this is probably a self-thwarting, denial problem, I also find exercise boring and irritating, and will seek to avoid it wherever possible. I went to the gym a lot a few years ago, you might recall. I couldn’t stand it. The other people, mainly. I really enjoy walking long distances, but they have to be interesting. I am not proud of this element of my personality.
So about a month ago – I’m not sure when – I just stopped eating so much. Essentially, one ‘real’ meal a day, and some minor things like fruit or nuts the rest of the time. I didn’t put an X on the calendar or anything – I just decided one day that this would happen. I have eaten almost no bread, and very little in the way of processed foods, aside from the one meal a day, when anything goes, really (of course, I’m still a strict vegetarian with vegan leanings).
It’s silly to even be saying this, probably, but I’m really pleased with the result so far. I haven’t weighed myself or anything but I have noted that some clothes that I foolishly purchased in Finland because I loved them, even though they were slightly too small, now fit. Extraordinary, right, who’d have thought.
I don’t even know where this is going as a topic, just want to say, in this regard if in not many others, I feel pretty great. I am going to keep going along this track. To my shame I did eat some toast yesterday (after NYE, where I stayed up till 5 and had like an aperol spritz and a couple of proseccos but was in no way drunk, but still felt kind of hungover) and I kind of got the bread bug again, the processedness of it and the sugar, I suppose, and I forgot how good it was… bizarre… of course, it’s not good. Hopefully this will strengthen my resolve.
It’s so silly. Once I get on top of this weight thing I’ll be unbeatable, although I’ll probably come down with cancer or Spanish flu or something but I’m looking to a little sweet spot between being everything and dead.

Wish me luck.

PS Don't tell me I'm starving myself. It doesn't take much to stop me feeling hungry for a few hours and I do eat something to keep my metabolism churning. The point is I've been overeating far beyond my needs for decades. 

*A week isn't enough in itself but after that I taught myself to not eat anything solid before 6pm. Not entirely dissimilar to what I'm doing now.