28 September 2006

Famous sydney hugger

As described on this blog a couple of years back, Juan Mann is now internationally famous after his clip has appeared on the YouTube front page. Can't find the buzz and words original link, but weirdly, I saw him today in Pitt St Mall and clearly with the SMH cameras there too.

John Birmingham

Writes a blog once a fortnight over at The Bullentin. And its free!

27 September 2006

The kids are alright

I am enjoying the glimpsed lives of the late teens (early 20s?) recently. Tonight on the bus there was a large gaggle of indy kids all heading to some event together, I think it was this, actually. Shakespeare by the youth, now that's enough to make you grin for starters.

Being a bit of a starer and evesdropper, I then was watching a gorgeous triangle dynamic unfold between a young bloke with a ponytail and hat covered in esoteric badges and safety pins, a chick with short ginger hair and an op-shop fashion aesthetic; and a preppy kind of girl with a pink top and white cardie and faux pearls. It was a discussion of films, where redhair is lucidly describing two recent films (neither of which I recognised and didn't catch the titles - one may have been called Subliminal.) White cardie says "oh is that an arty film?" but her comment is missed by the other two at that moment. She pauses, to see if she's been heard, her face forming into an expression of someone who is smelling dog poo on their own shoe.

The boy and girl carry on to another recent film, so she repeats herself "Are they arty films or something?". Red hair notices this time, looks up, thinks for a second, and says "No, not really, they're in regular cinemas." and continues on. White cardie has to wait another two stops or so for a new conversation opening, and still with sneer intact says "Oh I don't watch many movies." What? I'm thinking you're about 16 what else is there to do? "I think they're a waste of time actually". The unspoken response from the other two may well have been "Ok, whatever" .. at this point ponytail boy had become quite interested in what redhair had to say and wasn't really engaging with the other girl. He carries on with asking about favourite films, to which she has a ready and passionate reply that starts with "At the moment.."

Cardie then pipes in with a comment about French film being depressing. Ponytail is reminded of the Three Colours trilogy and starts telling redhair about them. "There's these films that have a theme of depression but they're really beautiful, you might like, they're called Red, White and Blue, . . . or maybe Blue, White and Red". "Three colours, yeh, like the french flag". While they're trying to recall which order the tricolour goes in, cardie adds in "Isn't that green, pink, and er .. white"? I look out the window so as not to laugh. No malice to preppy girl, but she just really misjudged the group's social norm this time. A fleeting moment triumph for the indy misfits - that magic one when suddenly its ok to like what is a bit different, or something you found out about for yourself.

26 September 2006


I'm not talking about the bit left over at the end of the doobie/spliff/etc, but the 6 legged beasties with the indestructable carapace and the "fuck you" look on their little insectoid faces. I'm not sure how that is possible, but its true. Try looking one in the eye one day.

The issue is that some genius of modern architecture put this flat's water heater inside one of the kitchen cupboards. Of course, creating and ideal warm dark roach habitat. A little like those preferred by fleas.

A week ago my little sister came to here to stay, and I didn't want her thinking that your Aunty B could not manage the number of species living in the flat. So before her visit, I set those you beaut bombs off, one right in front of the open cupboard which had become Roach Dorado.

Effects: Sticky floor, and many roach cadavers in a localised "zone of impact". Sucessful strike to by Aunty B - huzzah! Unintended side-effect: A whole army of teeny tiny roach scouts looking for somewhere new to set up a homestead and make babies at the rate of approximately 1,287 per 24 hours. Places I have since found roach re-con include: crawling across my keyboard; inside one of my transparent plastic document sleeves for a client meeting; on the stove; on the bathroom cabinet; on the kitchen splash back. They are possibly some level of instar, to dredge up a bit of entomology for you, dear readers, and are only about 5-10 mm antenna to rear. Not too threatening now, but they will be in a couple of growth cycles.

The effect is kind of like that of the Iraq war on global terrorism, in a way.

24 September 2006

Point of clarification

Most of you know that for about two thirds of the year I live with a bloke. You may also know that we do a lot of talking. In private and in public. We talk about political systems, about environmental activism, about charity, about renewable energy, about lots of things. We rarely agree on any of these things, but I love having my boyfriend as an equal in a debate. We laughed long and hard after knowing each other for a couple of week about our repective blogs, and the dorky double life lived on online.

Anyway with that as a kind of disclaimer, I just wanted to point out something. That I respond to my compañero and his political ideas in text sometimes. And sometimes, I disagree with a theory, or a rant or a postulation. I put forward another way of looking at it, maybe a silly way, maybe one that tries to turn the topic inside out. It might look a bit like ridicule from a distance. It's not really. Its just the way I know how to love. To hear, to consider, to disagree, to opine, to continue the conversation. To engage. Te escucho, te contesto, te extraño.

23 September 2006

DeWitt., Dewho?

I am halfawy through reading The Last Samauri by Helen DeWitt. I chose this one grazing in the bookshop Gertrude and Alice, looking at actual paper pages, rather than its mention in some Hirbernian corner of the Internet. DeWitt may possibly be completely bananas. I like her immensely. Has anyone else read this satisfyingly chunky book? It appears to be her only one published, and the reading world nearly lost her there, but there's a tantalising piece on the website about another one coming.

Someone else's words today

Surprise surprise, once again it is Momus.
.. you shouldn't mess with the Strong Force. There are all sorts of "repressed repulsions" between the particles of our society, and deep in our own psyches. Sometimes we release them in the form of controlled explosions. Some of these controlled explosions are in art (think of Aristotle's idea of the "catharsis" provoked by tragedy), some in sport, some in sex. Some, less controlled, erupt into wars, murders, riots. The most fearful are shaped like a mushroom cloud.

. . . Generally, my attitude to the Strong Force is to avoid its excitements (though clearly I have a weakness for sex, if I have to choose one "controlled explosion" from the list). I'd rather be the kind of person who finds pleasure in rather tiny, boring and everyday things (hello John Cage!) than the kind of person who demands or seeks out controlled Strong Force explosions. I think that the dynamic harmony of repressed repulsions is underestimated. Just as, when things seem still, we're actually on a planet rotating at 1670 kilometers per hour, so when things seem boring, quiet or weak, there's actually a dynamic of opposing tensions at work, massive forces in miraculous equilibrium. The Strong Force is sleeping, the world is at peace. Hush, let's not wake it!
This is a post from back in June, during the world cup. Today's Momus (real name - Nick Curry - makes him sounds less unapproachable) musings are on Beauty - as if it were something completely other. Funny as I see a cetain beauty in the craggy and eye-patched.

22 September 2006

And another thing

Shout outs to Miss Max Volume who is schlepping her way around the States, soaking up cultcha on both sides of the coast from hippies to preppies - and writing Haiku about it. As you do.

On the B front - the sea is an amazing glass-like blue today, looking inviting. Yesterday was one of those days to acutally hit "send" on a media release, and some print things, and wear the consequences. Not my favourite part of being in promotions, but kind of important. Yesterday was also the day or submitting the last of a series of reports from a huge pile of data, then wrapping up my bleeding stumps that were once fingers, hoping they would grow back soon. Ah the life of a consultant - I guess I should have factored in writing about residents' lack of sports grounds and their worries about migrant integration until midnight every night for a week.

But just to share a wee secret - its still worth it when people say "what do you do" to be able to reply "oh I work for myself actually".

18 September 2006

Two bits of good news

{...especially for Bizarro}

1. I found your "Carajo!" CD. Well actually, Dad found it. Yay.

2. There was in actual fact a pretty woman with a Euro accent wearing a bikini and studying on the roof this very morning. Mind you, there are 100 more women wearning bikinis right outside the window also. On second thoughts maybe this isn't really such good news, just at this moment.

Mateship, my arse

This bloke, Jack Marx, does one on the Sydney Morning Herald blogs, and has put two cracker posts up in response to both Howard and Beasley's stinking piles of bilge on mateship the same paper last Friday. Thats a link to the second one - the originial is good too - but I realise not everyone can surf at their leisure between 9 and 5. I checked this guy out when he started and was suspicious that he was just obnoxious as a style marker, not as a real talent. But I'm starting to warm to him.

Also, the eds at SMH placed Hugh Mackay in the same edition, in a rather timely fashion. He argues that we mouth our Australian "values" as basically the same as those of the French revolution - liberté, egalité et fraternité - in the form of "the fair go", "egalitarianism" and the dreaded "mateship" - but in reality our values are Materialism, Pragmatism and Nationalism. He should know he listens to thousands of people every year talking about this stuff. Just goes to show you don't need a funny hat, dreadlocks or a motorbike to be a radical thinker. Thank god.

12 September 2006

What you readin' for

Not "What are you reading", but "What are you reading, for" - Bill Hicks

So all of youse get on over to the newly renovated Booklub and post (or comment), dammit! We have a latte-sipping literati reputation to uphold here. I don't even know who some of you are, but get to it, I wanna hear about what you're reading.

Back to butchers

I've been up to my eyeballs in butchers paper this last week. Flashbacks to last century when I was a timid young junior in a very new suit, drowning under a mountain of the stuff and wondering why I'd moved to Sydney to be a glorified copy typist. But those hours of transcribing what every stressed out community member said over a chicken drumstick at a dingy room in the town's Four Seasons was worth it. Its a bit like Karate Kid, with the wax-on wax-off, you don't understand what you're doing at the time, but later when you have to think quickly in a room full of people you realise the knack for synthesising ideas is just - there. So on Monday night I cracked out the coloured textas on my own free time to help out a bunch of vounteers do a plan. Then the rest of the week, I've been dumped with a huge mountain of write-ups done by some other poor junior sod to make sense of. By Friday. For money, which is good. I might put skype on later - will probably be around in computer land quite late the next few nights, and not posting for a while.

Meantime, to keep you amused, here's a new blog from my flaming curly-haired friend Bianca, who is currently in China - taking lots of great photos and writing stuff. There's a link on the sidebar too. She'll be in Buenos Aires in January - Mi Buenos Aires, Querido...

10 September 2006

In favour of pedestrians

It's always seemed to me that a society's respect for humanity might be better measured by the length of its pedestrian crossing signals than by any number of abstract declarations of support for "universal human rights".
- Momus, on the inbalance between pedestrian facilities and cars in the world's cities.

8 September 2006

Useful advice

Don't spit into the wind. Don't park in the handicapped space. Be kind to your mother. And c/of Wikihow "How to treat a stingray sting" .. If you believe that the stinger may be imbedded in your heart, refrain from tugging out the stinger no matter how interesting the resulting video might be.

New kid on the St

The small island nation of Sao Tome in Central Africa is selling the .st domain name. And promoting the island as a tourist paradise at the same time. Grab a bargain on easy.st or sunnysideofthe.st or sesame.st.

5 September 2006

shot thru the heart..

Bon Jovi song and real life underwater incident.I'm so un-Austrayian didn't know Mr Erwin had died until the day after when I was reading What's new Pussycat, a girl who blogs from Scotland, dammit!. Being killed by a sting ray really is just stupid.

The day it happened I heard people near me in the office responding out loud when they were sent an email, with thing like "Steve Irwin! What this about?", and I even heard the word "sting-ray" but I just thought it was one of those dumb animations or mocked up video that go round the net like like a nasty gastro bug. Sure he was a bit of a wally, but there's got to be people more deserving of a death from their profession than him.

Speaking of gastro bugs, went to see a kooky naturopath yesterday. Got Bowen therapy, stinky herbs, the whole shebang. As a (ahem) scientist, my natural inclination is suspicion when someone reckons they can "realign" your nervous system by jiggling a few pressure points. He was a very calm and trustworthy sort of bloke though, and didn't charge any extra for the Bowen business. And I realised just now that I paid far more for an ultrasound and a stomach x-ray about a year ago that revealed precisely zippo wrong with the old digestive tract, and didn't actually do anything to make the random, very real, pain go away. So what they hey, if the herbs help I'm all for it. Apparently I have a very emotional liver. Or the liver responds to emotion. Or something. And craving pickled food says something about weak digestion. And one doesn't necessarily have to suffer pain or freakouts with one's period, oh no ladies, period pain is actually not natural at all. While the man spoke some sense, I did have to stifle a large snort at that one, though, having experienced that dull thudding ache from the very first time. Which was about 16 years ago, mind you. But bugger me, if he can make it go away and fix my unruly stomach - I say bring it on!

2 September 2006

Tom Long indeed

Last night I went to see The Book of Revelation. A very self-consciously arty piece, with a couple of familiar faces, and some great still shots of urban Melbourne. But unless you really have a deep abiding interest in the flaccid willy or seeing a well muscled man writhing in chains, I wouldn't bother. The verdict by the erudite miss D was just - , clunky. We could see what the director was trying to do, we could see that you rarely get highly stylized pieces in Aussie cinema, that this extreme set-up had something to say about power and abuse and maybe gender. But the dialogue just hit the floor like a big damp bag of sand. And I always just feel embarrassed for the actor in simulated masturbation scenes.

Also, if you're like me and respond to boredom with a bit of banter, and attempt to be a bit too cool for school, especially don't go and see it in a small art-house cinema. Not that you'd have much choice in a film like this. I got shushed for the first time in a while, and wasn't even really drunk, which I think was the case last time I was shushed in the cinema. Strangely, the two men with matching shoulder bags in the row in front didn't appreciate my real time critique. I thought the point about Australian accents jarring in stark moody cinematography was quite insightful, actually. But it was after the scene with the hooded woman making use of a giant strap-on, that I was just casually asking my lovely companion if you could get them in silver these days? I didn't even think it was that loud.