Saturday, December 31, 2005
Apologies to Zoe, she hasn'y seen Eric Bibb live. but if it's any consolation, I only saw him the once. Of his three concerts, I skipped the first, thinking there were plenty of opportunities, saw the second, and then had the third ripped out from under me by an unannounced rescheduling. Meant to be at 2, went on at 11. GAH! Pig people. Anyway, small mercies I caught the first one.
Finished my workshops and had much acclamation, to my joy. Apparently there are great workshops being run by uptight people. I am not uptight and don't care if my class wants to make something I hadn't planned. This is apparently a great skill. Helps to have no set materials list! I love the look on someone's face when they make a book. It's wonderful.
Didn't get a chance to make any kind of Ampersand Duck t-shirt or apron so no one has seen my little logo yet. Maybe next year, when I've conquered the (bookarts) world. Mwah-ha-ha-haaaaaaa.
-- Martin Pearson doing a fantastic reading from Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf, accompanied by two celtic musicians, nancy Kerr and James Fagan. He read an excerpt up to the death of Grendel. I'm sorry he didn't include Grendel's mother, a character I've loved in a hatey sort of way since childhood. Proof that every baddy has a mother that loves them. Martin said he might do that another time! Hooray!
-- Bewland's Bluegrass Circus. Bluegrass! Circus! Very good circus! Excellent bluegrass! Included a wild version of "The Devil goes Down to Georgia". Heaven!
-- Misinterpretato, a three-piece jazz combo who just play up a mellow storm.
I'm finally on holiday, my first day with non-work-related thoughts for over two months. Drinking and lolling starts now.
Hold that thought. Happy New Year. See you next year.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Fuck it is HOT here, in every sense of the word. The kind of sticky, sweaty heat that make you drink gallons and you only need to go to the toilet once all day. I went to the toilet a short while ago, mopped myself off with some toilet paper whilst sitting there, and realised on my way out that I was flaking small bits of soggy bog roll off my neck as I walked. Eek! Mind you, of course no-one noticed. There are far weirder things to gawk at.
I taught my first batch of visual art workshops on Tuesday. (It's Thursday today, I have to keep reminding myself! NO sense of time here. The only reason I need to remember is that I’m teaching another batch tomorrow.) Went swimmingly, except for one small glitch – they forgot to order my materials! Or they did order them but nothing arrived. Or some such excuse. GAH! Luckily I am a very resourceful person, and managed to teach both a workshop in printmaking and one on simple bookbinding with very rudimentary materials. And the students were great. They didn't care that there were no water-based printing inks! They used the oil-based ones with gay abandon, and made terrific prints, which we then bound into star concertina books. They walked away toxicly (!) filthy, but very happy. I hope the 'cleaner' inks arrive by tomorrow!
Highlights of the festival for me so far:
- Eric Bibb (sorry, really no time for link-making, will do a picture gallery when I get home in a few weeks). The man is … oh, no words. Graceful, smooth, gorgeous, fun, GOD. Zoe will be green reading this. But she’s seen him live before, so now we’re even.
- people watching. When I'm not at shows or teaching, I’m helping with my brother-in-law's stall, selling hats and silk clothes (Never Give Up stall). Lots of people watching. Bikinis are the new black. So are cowboy hats. Especially with bikinis. There are costumes everywhere, and people of all shapes & sizes. People are strange.
- the storm last night. Thunder, lightning, rain! All over by brekkie, tamped the dust down, and gave a brief glorious coolness that has, alas, gone.
- Emma Dean, one of the Kate Miller-Heidke (sp?) band members, who is brilliant in her own right. If she had a cd I’d buy it.
No time left! Hate timed sessions. Back again another day. Hope you’re all having a great time. Oh, and nobody here misses Kerry. It’s a bit 'Ding Dong the witch is dead'-ish in the streets. But who would expect otherwise? :)
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Last day before we leave for Queensland and I'm running out of packing time! Nice to sit down for a few minutes and play with html. Deep breaths. Feel like one of these creatures is lurking behind a corner waiting for me, ready to jump out and say 'Time's Up!'
Mr Padge thought he needed to be in as well. Since Mr Pooter got all the fun yesterday, here he is:
Monday, December 19, 2005
-- child waking up at dawn's crack and squealing about presents, waking us all up as well
-- light breakfast in bed, listening to a radio refreshingly free of cloying carols
-- getting dressed in nice clothes, breaking open the champagne and the Santa hat and opening presents
-- playing with/reading the back of/ taking photos of said presents until lunchtime
-- sitting around the dining table with best china etc eating prawns, oysters, fresh Atlantic Salmon, ham, salads, adn drinking lashings of nice wine
-- lying bloated on the couch in front of the tv and having a nap
-- entertaining beloved guests in the evening until you all fall over from exhaustion.
The shops were open for those last-minute emergencies, there were no horrid tv presenters offering us feel-good Christmas stories, and no Queen's massage. We missed out on our traditional swim at Tathra Beach because it was frigging freezing -- we were all in long sleeves all day!
So it felt like the real thing, and now I find myself wondering why everyone else is rushing around looking frazzled. Admittedly I'm also frazzled, but not by Christmas. I'm trying to get my head around my Woodford art workshops. We're leaving on Wednesday, heading North, and I've only just started getting my head in the right space. Eeek!
My present haul was excellent this year. I got all the things I asked for (Clare Bowditch CD, boxed set of Black Books DVDs, Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones) plus a few surprising extras (B-52s CD, DVD of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a juicer). Mr Pooter and Mr Padge got a set of mini-boules. I can't wait to set up a boule-playing cat photo. They gave each of us a pair of socks, separately wrapped -- left foot from Pooter, right foot from Padge. Very cute.
The cats were very happy at the farm, and Mr Pooter developed a fascination for the internal stairs between the upper and lower floors of the house. I had to stop him from trying to slide down the bannister a number of times:
Friday, December 16, 2005
It's a brutal time, this Christmas season. I'm off for my first Christmas Day, at my parent's place tomorrow. Taking the cats for a country weekend, which is always amusing.
Probably won't be near the computer for a few days, so here's my wish for everyone's weekend:
Red Roses (above),
Speaks for itself, doesn't it?
Ciao for now.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
A lot of admiration for my Orange Pelorian Cat bag. It's been going lots of places with me (including to dinner with a famous acronym in Bathurst), but nowhere so appreciated as among a crowd of people enjoying the funky street art. Have I mentioned how much I love that bag? The pocket holds my mobile and clip-on sunnies, and the rest holds EVERYTHING. I'm having a week of being grateful. Today the gratitude goes south to Laura.
Feeling happy because I had my last day at the art school today in my present incarnation. Hopefully in the next few months I will be reborn into a better life. Chatted to a Very Important Person Who Has a Lot of Sway today and he lifted my spirits immeasureably. So much so that I had the energy to brave the shops again and have got all my presents except one. And I know exactly where that one can be bought. Not quite time for that big deep breath but getting damn close. Hold that thought.
Oh -- and absolute turn-up Brownie Points to Dean, who not only came to the meet the other day, but rolled up to byrd's today and as a reward got to meet one of the Coalition of Sedition dudes. Onya Dean!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
These red roses are for Zoe, because she gave me Aerial by Kate Bush.
Who knows who wrote that song of Summer
That blackbirds sing at dusk
This is a song of colour
Where sands sing in crimson, red and rust
Then climb into bed and turn to dust
I played it on repeat while doing some letterpress printing today, an experimental piece about the colour red for an exhibition in Redcliffe, Qld, next year. That album is a wonderful thing to print/think/get creative to.
We went up to the top of the highest hill and stopped
It was just so beautiful
It was just so beautiful
It was just so beautiful
This is where the shadows come to play twixt the day
Dancing and skipping
Along a chink of light
Somewhere in between
The waxing and the waning wave
Somewhere in between
What the song and silence say
Somewhere in between
I heart Zoe.
|You Are Japanese Food|
Strange yet delicious.
Contrary to popular belief, you're not always eaten raw.
Thanks to Kate for this one. I love doing weird tests on Tuesdays. Try this one:
|You Are Prancer|
You are the perfect reindeer, with perfect hooves and perfect flying form.
Why You're Naughty: Because you're Santa's pet, and you won't let anyone show you up.
Why You're Nice: You have the softest fur and the sweetest carrot breath.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Check out the cool tat on Bumblebee's back. He got it in a showbag years ago, and I found it under a pile of papers when I was trying to clean up my deep litter style office today.
In retrospect I should have put it on his front, because he can't really see how cool it looks apart from the photos I took. But it does look better on his back. It's a lovely, smooth, child-skin back, and the bird is gorgeously glossy (at least until it starts cracking and flaking off!). It should impress his friends tomorrow at school. It impresses me.
He's playing with some of our Mighty Max Collection. He and I have been collecting Mighty Max toys for ages. They are the most imaginatively designed toys I've ever seen, and if you can find them with the miniature figurines intact they are hours of ghoulish fun. They are spin-off toys for an awful, awful American cartoon that only lasted one season, and the toys are waaay better than the original concept. We find a lot on ebay, but there's always something lurking at the local trash'n'treasure market.
Bumblebee and I had an exhibition at the art school about 18 months ago, in the library showcase. It features fun collections inbetween serious student shows, and we put everything up, with proper labels. It looked terrific. In fact, I might hunt out a few photos from that time and add them here:
Mighty Max Skullmaster box. You can see the real thing in the picture above. They have comic strips on the box to show you the sort of action Max is getting into!
"Mighty Max Squishes Fly." The titles of the toys are always descriptors, not names.
This is Mighty Max himself. He's about 2 cm tall, and his feet make a particular shape. This is so that everytime you see a double footprint in the toy, Max can fit into it. The fun is looking for the footprints.
This is a Lava Monster, and everything about him can be a vehicle or a weapon or a hiding place or a secret laboratory. See the two other figure at the front? MM tries to be educational as well -- Max time-travels with a Viking Warrior (Norman) and a weird little yoda-like figure called Virgil. They meet baddies in places like ancient Egypt and the jungles of the Amazon. We're making up a story where they meet Dr Who.
"Dragon Island", with it's own bomb-carrying dragon (go figure), a life-raft and various hideaways. you can aso see it in the first photo with Bumblebee.
Finally, Bumblebee in his best granny-knitted jumper, in the winter of 2004, checking out his first ever public exhibition.
Oh, BTW, byrd's having an exhibition on Wednesday if anyone's interested in groovy paintings on car panels and other random bits of modern urban material.
Wed 6pm at 41 Hawdon St, Ainslie. Worth a look, and will probably be reasonably priced too. Whatever he doesn't sell has to be carted to Brisbane on the weekend, so he'd be grateful if they could go to good homes.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Then we sat on the castle and checked out how many cute guys were in the area. :) Lots riding by on bikes! Kaysahn thought we could lie across the path but Annabelle said that idea sucked. There was a cute guy sitting under a tree having a picnic with some older friends, and when he started sword fighting with some of the kids we knew he was posing for us! LOL!!!! :)
Nalinda and Tegan kept going down to the lake to talk about the way Brayden stole Kayla from Declan, but when they got back we put on some dance music and stood in a circle and danced a bit. LOL!! Then we wound it down with some Missy and lay on the grass yakking about all the goss. It was an exxy day. :) We never wanted it to end. :(
2. Text from TJ: Trees down everywhere and the place is deserted! I text back soothingly: I'm almost there!
It did look a bit ominous when Bumblebee and I arrived, but that was because there were trees down everywhere from the storm last week and the place was deserted apart from a couple of young teenage girls with a portable stereo. TJ was lying under a tree trying successfully to look nonchalant. Then suddenly people started appearing –- 14 y-o girls (squealing and posing like self-conscious supermodels), people walking or riding past (we peered at each one suspiciously), and the occasional arrival of another blogger.
It wasn't a big blogmeet, but it was fun. Rolecall was TJ, myself, Dean, and Crit with a flying visit from non-blogger but general nice guy Foo.
NEWSFLASH: Bloggers spotted lolling in park
We talked about many things, including shaving legs in the dark, can you wear thongs to confirmations, and the funny things test-i-cley do. We watched the teenage birthday party with keen blogger's eyes, and ate and drank some wonderful things, including an enormous pomegranate.
This was a bonding experience, all sucking and spitting pomegranate seeds whilst nattering
Snaps to TJ for most of the exotic food.
D'arcy and Bumblebee acquired two new friends in the castle who came with a vigilant Nana. So we opened the champagne and relaxed, knowing that Nana was on duty.
Then they went home, and Dean took over. Dean had never been to the Castle before, after gawd knows how many years he's lived in Canberra. He was rapt. It is pretty cool, with tunnels and walls to climb and nooks and crannies galore for hide'n'seek.
Dean (left) and Bumblebee (right) play hide'n'seek at the castle
Dean has earned my vote in the Australian Blogging Awards for a new category called Best Children's Entertainer. D'arcy and Bumblebee were in raptures, having an adult not only play with them, but have real sword fights on a stone castle with them! [The fact that there was a gaggle of nubile teenage girls nearby meant nothing, I'm sure.] [Really. I know you just loved playing with the kids.] [I mean that. You were ACE.] [You’re on Bumblebee's list of favorite adults, and will be for YEARS.]
Dean and Bumblebee spar while TJ takes a photo and I take a photo of her taking a photo... self-referential bloggers!
I only intended to stay for a couple of hours, but ended up there for a lot longer. It was exxy.
*all names taken from yesterday's Canberra Times Birth & Deaths column.
Friday, December 09, 2005
For about four fricking years I have been getting a monthly bill for 5c. I've tried to pay it, to no avail! It's not like I care a whit about Telstra, it's just that a lot of probably very nice trees are dying for a lost cause here.
Today (as if I didn't have enough to do) I decided to tackle it again. I'm regretting that impulse.
First contact was the recorded voice saying, 'If you know what your call is about, please say it clearly now'.
I said, 'A STUPID BILL!'
The voice paused, and replied, 'That would probably be Accounts and Enquiries. If that is correct, please say Yes clearly.'
Next time I'll say something ruder. They're obviously prepared for it.
I'm still on hold. Mohammed (to his credit he didn't call himself Wayne or Bluey) is having a complete computer meltdown trying to transfer the 5 cents from my closed landline account to my active mobile account.
It's time someone wrote a revised Dante's Descent into Hell. I'm in one of the outer circles right now.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
My mother hated her straight hair, which I think was a hang-up from the generation before, who still spend every waking moment in curlers and have perms every few weeks. So I suffered from Teenage Perm Syndrome until I learnt to love my lack of curl. During my twenties I had long straight red hair. Durng my mid-thirties I have had mostly long straight black hair, occasionally with quirks like blonde ends or grey roots. I've been keeping it a fairly dark red-brown lately, trying to avoid the scariness of the grey roots. My aim is to have a very very short cut in my forties and purge myself of the need to colour. It will take a level of bravery akin to when I grew out my fringe and aired the Scary Brow to the world. I get taken a lot more seriously without a fringe. My wrinkles look serious too.
Anyway, until today I looked a bit like this
and I could do this
You get the idea [only quick sketches, my nose and chin are not as perky as that! Fun though, a bit like playing with a Barbie head in Photoshop].
But every few years a girl likes a change. I went into a hairdresser at lunchtime on a whim, one of those no-wait places. Made sure the girl kept my ponytail so I can add it to my samples-of-past haircolour collection, and let her cut upwards. Nothing amazing, but I did get a shock towards the end...
I had my glasses off, and she'd put the usual black plastic cape around my shoulders, and with my myopic eyes I looked at myself in the mirror. GAH! my inner voice said. HOLY CRAP!
I'd gone from this to this!
Then the hairdresser did a bit of a blow-dry and I put my glasses on, and I looked like a nice, harmless, fluffy duck. Phew! Don't want to be taken THAT seriously.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
This Saturday, 10th December, 12.30pm onwards (I'll stay for a couple of hours, anyway... can't speak for others) at the Castle playground in Commonwealth Park.
Easiest park is off Constitution Ave, turning in at the lights next to the CIT. Park, walk through the tunnel into Commonwealth Park, and turn right and walk towards civic. You'll find yourself walking past a big stone playcastle.
Look for something vaguely piratey on or near a picnic blanket. It'll be me and probably the delectable Ms Teejmahal, since crazybrave Zoe has been unfortunately doublebooked and won't be making an appearance (still, 2/3 broads ain't bad!)
If the weather is wet, we'll raincheck until someone can be arsed organising something else.
BYO anything you want to ingest. Kids welcome. Especially big ones.
I found the actual post it belongs to fascinating -- the only other man to mention revolving testicles in my consciousness is Spike Milligan, and most of the time you think he made that sort of stuff up to get a laugh.
I know that film clip is sped up, but do testicles really do that? How often? How fast?
My man is travelling around Australia this week, so I can't ask him until he gets back -- not the sort of thing you ask on the phone! So come on, all you men of my [virtual] acquaintance, 'fess up. You probably hear female plumbing stories all the time. Give me some male plumbing deets.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Next time you have a day off, could it not be a Tuesday? I really need to vent between menial jobs! Going off soon after arriving at work, and coming back on air just before hometime is just teasing.
Any hoo, this is what I collected along the day:
1. Now here’s a fun tale of blogging woes…
Here at the art school, when you graduate, you put up your graduating work in one big exhibition throughout the school. A few days before the opening, we have Patrons' Day, when people and businesses who sponsor scholarships and funding programs get to wander around and have first dibs on what they want to buy or bestow awards upon. Then a few days later the big exhibition opens with a awards ceremony, and speeches and everyone walks around happy or sad or, as is usual with art school students, acting very cool as if they care about shit like that, man.
But they DO care, don't they? One of the students here got a bit pissed off at the process and blogged about it just after Patrons' Day.
The Deputy Director (who also blogs, albeit very academically) read the post, and made a comment
To his credit, he posted a big slice of humble pie.
Heh. I like the way the second post suddenly becomes less about him, and more about feeling angry on behalf of other people. That lovely tone of righteous indignation. He's not backing down, oh no.
And he's suddenly realised that you’re not just writing to your mates on the web… you're writing to THE WORLD.
2. Innocent fun with testicles on Loaded Dog (or test-i-cley, as they say on Little Britain).
Ok. Home time. Bumblebee's Christmas concert and the launch of my school cookbook! Cooking Ninja didn't make the cover, but he's on the title page. Hooray!
Monday, December 05, 2005
I went to Bathurst on Friday for another opening, an exhibition that I've been preparing for the last 12 months.
Bathurst was also hit by the wave of storms that seem to run straight through south-east Australia. We were staying at a lovely ex-orphanage Bed & Breakfast that had a marvellous view over the valley.
I sat on the verandah and watched a wall of grey move over the view:
Then another wall of grey moved through the first, and as it moved across, everything in its path bent over. I was mesmerised. Lightning flashed everywhere, and the wind was akin to a typhoon. I felt very safe in my doorway, looking out across the 2-metre wide verandah, and I just stood there, fascinated, until the rain started hitting me in the face.
This sequence of photos is within about 15 minutes!
The electricity ran out, which meant candles for all, a very romantic thing in a 150-yo building stuffed with antiques. I couldn't read, so I spent lots of time playing with makeup in front of a candle-lit mirror… was relieved to see, later in the evening under fluoro light, that I hadn't overdone it!
I expected no-one to go to the opening. We barely made it ourselves, but never underestimate art-lovers! (This was apparently the same for the grad show in Canberra.) The opening had enough people to make it interesting. It was fantastic to see all the work up, even better than when we took it to Mackay in February, because this time we had the funding to frame it properly, build custom-made plinths, and really make it look schmick.
This is just one view of the exhibition. There are 91 works in the show, 9 years worth of collaborative work by my boss and various artists! I've been involved for the last 3 or so years.
Afterwards, we were invited to the home of the local Great Artist for dinner, along with the Director of the Regional Gallery. After a few recent blog conversations about mentioning names in posts, I am reluctant to type his name here, but maybe an acrostic would be fun (bearing in mind I'm not even going to try to make it good poetry):
That he is amusing is undeniable; I am
In awe of the beauty of his high-ceilinged
Mansion, built in gold-rush times,
Stuffed with fabulous art and books,
The six dogs and a cat, seven children and an
Obviously doting privately-schooled third wife.
Red walls around the twelve-seater table, candles in old silver; he
Relaxes at the head of the table, surrounded by his paintings,
Inciting mischievous arguments, dropping names, calling them cunts,
Expounding his right-wing theories with champagne while the world
Revolves widdershins around him.
Hmm. One of those situations where you look at someone's art and think: how did it get from there to there (ie, personality to canvas)? Because it's beautiful, sensitive art. Anyway, to put it plainly, he's an talented, frustrating but endearing bugger. I quite warmed to him through the evening. I'm certain, despite sitting next to him all night and being reasonably engaging, that he'd walk straight past me if we ever ran into each other again. I liked his wife. She was very sweet, and sharp as a tack, despite looking completely fluffy. I'm sure it's a survival tactic.
Anyway, got home in one piece, albeit completely hungover from the vast amounts of champagne that flowed in the Victorian mansion. I even managed to have a heart-to-heart with my boss and tender my resignation for next year (effective sometime around March).
I had my first proper day off yesterday for weeks. Took Bumblebee to see Harry Potter (will post separately about that later!), and tried to catch up with sleep. But today I'm almost dead on my feet, and to be honest, I think it's because I feel so much relief. It's just hit me that the exhibition is on its way around regional Australia, and I'm on my own way to a few changes…
Friday, December 02, 2005
So I'm driving along Northbourne Avenue, heading south, with JJJ on the radio, heading towards the AP's house. they mention World AIDS Day, I remember it's The Birthday. Flick him a quick affectionate 'stupid dickhead' thought (he committed suicide a long time ago) and suddenly, at that exact moment, JJJ plays Clare Bowditch's The Thing About Grief, from her latest album.
Readers, it was a freaky coincidence, and I cried for at least 10 kms. I love and hate crying in the car. You feel so private, but when you're at lights you realise that the person next to you is watching the snot run down your face with an odd look on their face. Especially when you have a wildly painted car like mine. They look at the car, then they peer inside. And there I am, bawling. Ay yay yay.
If you've ever lost someone, whether to death or a bad break-up of friendship, do listen to that song. It's fabulous. Sharp, insightful lyrics, catchy and not too sad tune, delivered with deadpan emotion. It works. It's like picking the most painful but satisfying scab from your heart. I'm going to buy the album as soon as I return from Bathurst (so easy to type Bathrust!), where I'm heading in three hours, for an exhibition opening.
And I managed to pull myself together before arriving at the AP's house. The thing about 85 y-olds, they don't have brilliant eyesight.
POSTSCRIPT: suddenly realised how much this applies to poor VN in Singapore. My heart goes out to him, his mother and his brother. That's a heavy load to carry -- for all of them. Apparently it's all happened, according to the news on the way to B's school. What a stupid waste of life. I guess a lot of people around Australia are going to be thinking about the nature of grief today. Hopefully some while they're enjoying the cricket.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
I'm a surface social person, inwardly quite shy, and I've always found most humans quite impenetrable. I ride/walk/mosey through life seeing people as mobile mysteries which will never be solved or understood. However, I'm constantly curious about what motivates them. As an army brat, I never had long-term friendships, and never had the chance to know people over years of interaction. I'm very good at having long, deep, meaningful interactions with total strangers at a bus stop, or an art opening, or at the supermarket, but also very good at running away when there's the chance of making a close friend. Interaction! Responsibility! Intimacy! Scary! Thank goodness for people like Best Beloved and Zoe who just kept coming around until I couldn't do without them.
However, and I'll stick with a oceanic theme here (since I've helped organise a pirate-themed face-to-face meet-up with whichever Canberra bloggers can be arsed turning up – very scary!), blogging has allowed me to wander through a crowd of people and not see a crowd of closed-up oyster shells, but a crowd of potential pearl containers. Who knows what those closed-up faces, not meeting eye-contact, contain? They might not be looking around engagingly, but they could be composing their next post as they wander to work!
When I blog, I interact with other humans without physicality, and that appeals to me a lot. I find people so interesting, and blogging never fails to surprise me. I write to people I would probably never get the chance to talk to, even if we were in the same room. I know you are a heady mix of academics, executives, nerds, geeks, right-wing extremists, etc etc etc. Who cares? We're in hyperspace. We're all equal. I love it. And when I do meet people, it's a blast. I've never been so happy about meeting people before. You probably know more about me than my partner does! (because he doesn't read my blog.) And there's no harm in that (as long as you keep some of this crap to yourselves :) ).
A newly outed lurker on my blog, Whitebait, writes in his 'About' section:
this blog might die on its ass without warning. but you know the best thing about it: like a significant number of other blogs it is a gift. Maybe one of those gifts you will want to hide in the back of the closet until the relative who gave it to you makes that unexpected visit, but nevertheless a gift. You don't have to pay for it and there will be no advertisements. Whitebait hopes there is something in here that sparks a moment of interest or pleasure.
I don't care how long I blog for. What I've got out of it will stay with me for the rest of my life. It's a hoot. When it stops being a hoot, I'll stop doing it.
OK, now to go to bed to sleep off the bottle of wine I've drunk tonight at dinner while Zoe babysat. You're all beautiful. Zigactly. I don't think I'll regret this in the morning, but you never can tell…
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Decided to follow the yellow brick road from Quirkie to Fluffy to me and play with Google a bit. You type "(your name) needs" into Google and post the first 10 results.
You can tell I'm bored when I make myself do a meme. But this was fun. Since I've proved (somewhere on For Battle) that no-one else but me has my real name, I just typed "Duck needs". Look what I got, in no particular order. I couldn't decide what to cull (sorry), so there's 15.
1. duck needs some friends to hang out with
2. What this duck needs is an interior designer.
3. If a duck needs to go somewhere fast, it flies.
4. Duck needs to be properly prepared to be palatable.
5. duck needs bronze work
6. duck needs help – from all the animals.
7. DUCK needs good people, with strong hands to help us run many of our events.
8. duck needs a name
9. Every little duck needs to have fun and have a friend
10. The DUCK needs you. He can't do it alone.
11. The duck needs to be in your hand so you can match the bill and feet to the
12. The duck needs to be as crispy as possible.
13. A duck needs no lessons in duckmanship.
14. "Duck Needs Being Ducked"
15. Remember the duck needs to continue to continue peddling [sic] otherwise it will sink.
I think that last one is my favorite. I wonder if it's a South African duck?
Here's a balloon, just for you.
Postscript: Since it's another Boring Tuesday (a meme in itself), here's also a link to a fun read about iconic landmarks in Canberra. It ties in with the SSB sculpture meme.
Monday, November 28, 2005
AD: G'day. Do you want to finish what you were doing before I use the machine?
PM: Nah... (AD fumbles for her coins in a hungover/tired/inept manner) ... not unless you want a free ticket (said in a very laconic manner, almost sarcastic).
AD (mustering her last shred of jocularity): Of course I want a free ticket, wouldn't everyone? Heh. (makes to put coin in slot)
PM: Ok then, put your money back. (PM opens the machine, presses button, gives AD a full-day ticket, smiles, then gets on with what he was doing.)
AD (not faking new burst of energy and goodwill): Good for you! Have a great day!
PM: Yeah, you too, have a good one.
AD walks back to her car with a renewed interest in the day, which lasts until the mid-morning sugar-starved energy-low when she thinks 'Well, that's $7 I can put towards the $68 parking fine the bastards gave me last fortnight'.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
It's my wedding anniversary today.
Yesterday we had a party, not just to celebrate this fact, but to give our friends the party we promised them in lieu of a wedding. Anyone who has lurked here since I started blogging knows that we had a very very small, quiet wedding, and that I had a very horrid failed pregnancy at the time, the complicated aftermath of which dragged on for a boring number of weeks. So we didn't have a party last year. We had it last night.
The loudest, noisiest, most interfering guest was Mother Nature. Best Beloved said, around Thursday, that he feared it would rain on the weekend. Yesterday until 4 the weather looked like it could do anything, so we optimistically set up the back yard with bright-coloured tarps (good for shade and shelter), lanterns and chairs.
At 4.30 a HUGE freak storm hit the city. Hail, lightning, heavy rain... The street outside flooded up to cover the footpath and one friend stood on my verandah watching the water rise up the tyres of her ute -- all her final post-grad wood assessment pieces were in the back! All we could do was pour more champagne and watch. (I like to think they came out of it ok. She's a sensible girl who had wrapped them in tarps.)
The kids went out and stood knee-deep on the road. Cars came around the corner, hit the water, and either ploughed through (if they were 4-wheel drives) or beat a hasty retreat (if they were sane). Eventually the water went down the drains, with a fantastic suction whirlpool that kept everyone amused for ages.
Our tiny house filled with adults and kids. I was worried that we'd run out of space, and deeply impressed that they'd braved the weather to get to us.
Later on the weather cleared enough for the back yard to be used, the BBQ fired up for the Indian nibblies (it was a Bollywood theme, of course) and the world's soggiest game of Boule. The heavy silver balls span through the air and landed on the grass with a wet THUNK. As I'd imagine cannonballs would land on a muddy field. We were trying to make them land on the marker, which was one of Bumblebee's action figures (with his full permission and participation). It was a hoot.
Anyway, after 8 hours of champagne, bollywood music and curried nibbles, I feel like crap today. I tried to keep today free to recover and maybe see a soothing movie, but a number of emergencies have arisen involved a scholarly edition layout in the middle of a press run, so I have to work. This post is basically a desperate attempt to get the grey matter into gear before tackling the problems of missing footnotes and musical notation.
I may be back with more, or I may just spend tonight with my head under a pillow moaning...
Thursday, November 24, 2005
...for there is a Canberra Blogging Pirates Meet planned to celebrate the encroaching holiday season. Teej, Crazybrave and I are brewing up a stormy and most cunning plan.
This one is family-friendly, but that doesn't mean can't come if you don't have children. Just bring lots of beer and be prepared to be nice to other people's children, is all we ask. Or you'll walk the plank.
Marauders from other Stamping Grounds are more than welcome... which is why we're posting so early. Gives you time to plan for the winds and stash some vittles.
Date: Saturday 10 December
Time: 12.30ish onwards
Place: The Castle Playground, Commonwealth Park, Canberra.
How to tell who we are: up for suggestions!
I guess wet weather plans and more deets will evolve closer to time.
Pass the word! Polish up yer boots! Arrr...
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
To all those who have asked over the last few weeks, and to anyone else interested:
The ANU School of Art Graduate Exhibition 2005 will open on Friday the 2nd of December at 6pm.
Do go. It's a fun night, with mostly cheap funky art. Boring link here.
Unfortunately I'll be in Bathurst, but that's another story.
Monday, November 21, 2005
One parent submitted this:
THAI CHICKEN WINGS
1 Kilogram Thai chicken wings
1. Pre heat oven to 190 degrees.
2. Lightly grease a deep baking pan,
3. Place chicken wings in pan.
4. Cook for about 1 hour, turning once
5. Serve with salad and plenty of napkins
I shit you not. All that is missing is 'from the Woolworths Deli Counter'. I take full responsibility for pulling the recipe, seeing as how another parent gave us a recipe for marinated chicken wings that actually bothered to include the marinade ingredients. Sheesh!
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
It was all good fun, of course. We had pizza and beer beforehand at my place, looked at BB's extensive collection of books and ephemera on freaks through the ages, and then toddled down the Canberra Theatre. (I was in complete fluff mode -- BB and I decided to ride our bikes, then just as I was walking out the door I remembered that my bike was at the bike shop! Argh. End of a LONG week. Luckily our babysitter had brought his bike and was about my size, so he rescued the day.)
The crowd was obviously not the type that would attend the ballet. Lots of black clothes, blonde hair, piercings, lots of men with shaved heads and facial hair, including Zoe's partner. BB said it looked like the crowd that attended the Chopper Reed Tour. One thing I did notice was the relative busyness of the alcohol bar
compared with the boredom of the man serving coffee and cake:
I guess he does well on ballet nights.
We weren't allowed to take photos duing the show. I'm sure I could have snuck some, but I was too busy laughing. Jim Rose is a cracker, and the backbone of the show. His patter is unceasing, and keeps you in stitches. With him was Bebe the circus queen, who does a bit of angle-grinding over her pubic region and sitting in a vaccuum-sealed bag holding her breath for a reasonably long time (I held my breath comfortably for the same time as she did it, which spoiled it a bit for me). Also Mr Lifto! Who can still do some pretty awesome things, but is definitely getting past his prime. He can lift great weights with his ears and nipples, but his old trick of lifting with his penis is over, with his poor old pecker in a serious splint and looking quite painful.
Amber Pie the porn queen was pretty good, having a tug-of-war with Mr Lifto between his penis and her vagina, but as mentioned above, he's having a bit of trouble with his bits, so it wasn't a very serious stouch. She apparently threw the blue condom, but O and I think it was an audience plant who 'caught' it -- he looked quite comfortable, and extremely creepy and sleazy. I suspect he was their road manager. I snuck this photo:
Did he get up in anyone else's show?
The best acts of the night were Rupert [Rufus? damn my memory] and Big Mak. R was the sort of guy who can swallow objects, regurgitate, stick his penis in a racoon trap, and blalance a working lawnmower on his chin while the audience throws heads of lettuce at it to see them get chopped up. he was excellent.
Big Mak was Jim Rose's answer to other shows taking his idea of people contorting through tennis racquets (something Captain Frodo of the Happy Sideshow, now in Circus Oz, excels at). Big Mak is the world's fattest contortionist. He passed his body through a hula hoop, not from top to bottom, but from front to back. Halfway through he stopped, with Jim announcing that we were watching 'a quarter of a ton of camel-toe'. Heh.
Best Beloved had a great time. They explained how to insert a spoon fully into your nose, in a complete reversal of the 'don't do this at home kids' philosophy. He's got plans to try it today, and keep practising until he can gross out the nephews and nieces at Christmas. He also had his photo taken with Big Mak after the show:
BB is a very shy man, so I've preserved his dignity somewhat with a brown paper bag (which he always mentally wishes he has in photos).
I came out understanding why BB thought The Happy Sideshow was a better gig. They were inspired by the JRC, but they made it into a tighter, funkier, sexier show. The JRC, last night, just stood on a stage with no frills and mucked around. Jim Rose pulls it together with his wit and sass. The Happy Sideshow used to have loud, pulsing music, excellent costumes and larger props; everything JRC has, but more so, and with superb showmanship and teamwork. It's a damn shame they broke up, and Australia is the poorer for it -- but maybe it is better that they shone for a number of years then moved on, because the Jim Rose Circus, which has been performing since the early 1990s, is starting to look a little tired and frayed.
Friday, November 18, 2005
I was just on the phone to said lass -- she rang to see if I'd picked up my tickets yet -- and halfway through the conversation there was a loud noise and she screamed at me
YOU HAVE A SMALL PENIS!
I was rather startled for a moment and wondering if she knew something I didn't, when she apologised and explained that there was a rather idiotic Harley
We're sitting centre, 4 rows back. Zoe and consort are side, 2 rows back. She wants the blue condom. So do I. The boys aren't allowed to have it, they have to pass it to us.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistras Flying (UK: Penguin, 1984 (1936))
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Before I describe the GAH! in question, I'll just fill you in -- I've had a week of different batches of visiting relatives -- from both sides of the family. None of them have stayed in the house, thank fuck, but it's involved a lot of cooking and cleaning.
Low points were going on antibiotics for infected lungs so that I couldn't drink myself jolly and having an extra guest who ended up being a CRASHING bore, dominating every speck of conversation (and I couldn't drink so I had to stay polite).
High points were seeing the relatives, and whipping up a smashing bread & butter pudding for the second dinner from the stale French baguette left over from the first dinner. I used Seville orange marmalade on the crusty slices, and the bitterness worked beautifully.
The picture above is another Bumblebee photo, but it so sums up my day today. I think I've been so tired from family-wrangling that today I just blew a fuse. I just couldn't get my head around anything, and consequently everything went wrong.
Please indulge me for a minute (!) while I have a bit of a bitch about my working life. My boss is driving me CRAZY. I call her Scarlett to her face, so I'm happy to use it here, because she is just like Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With the Wind. She is a very good business woman, but she sees everything as a Big Picture. The small details are something she'll 'think about tomorrow'. I happen to have a talent for fleshing out grand plans, for achieving the little details, so for a while we've made a good team. GAH
But today all her tomorrows arrived -- and me caught out with half a brain! Suddenly we have less than two weeks to iron out the little wrinkles of a large travelling exhibition. Stuff I've been querying but getting no answers about is suddenly pressing (gosh, lots of iron imagery here), and she's getting stressed. People I've been fending off on the phone like a cranky door-bitch are finally catching up with her. If I wasn't so tired and cranky, I'd be quite enjoying the sight of her getting stressed. But her stress is, ipso facto, my stress. There's only the two of us.
GAH! I keep telling BB that the only way I'll ever extract myself from her psychic vampire clutches is by moving cities. He used to tell me not to overreact. He doesn't anymore.
Then again, maybe this is just a big PMT rant and when I think about it tomorrow I'll be able to cope. GAH!
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I went to the IR Meet at the Canberra Racecourse, and what did I see?
-- lots of people, even for Canberra
-- no spare seats, people overflowing the stadium
-- workers with banners
-- babes in arms
-- someone in full academic regalia
-- people dressed up
-- people dressed down
-- young people looking about themselves incredulously, marvelling at being at such an event
-- red balloons, at least 99, which people would pop periodically to add to the cheers
-- grey clouds, but at the very last cry of 'A Battle We Will Win!', the sun burst forth in all its glory
-- lots and lots of crawling traffic (all of us with bicycles smugly zoomed past). Thumbs up to everyone who organised it and those who came, thumbs down to choosing a venue which bottlenecks even on a day with no event and no roadworks
-- a room full of people wanting to make a difference, but not sure how, including me.
After the first few speakers, including Kate Lundy and Jon Stanhope (with a microphone malfunction which made his words disappear at every crucial point), we crossed over to satellite coverage of the Melbourne rally. Boy, it looked amazing. But cold. But amazing. Lots of guest speakers. Cheers and Jeers rom the audience at the appropriate moments. Big cheer for the Catholic Archbishop, even though he had the personality of a boy's school headmaster. Obviously lots of catholic workers in the crowd. Huge cheer for Bob Brown. Sudden eerie silence for Kim Beazley, which warmed up to applause once he'd made his point. A very interesting people-watching morning for me.
Lump-in-throat award goes to two finalists, the James Hardy asbestos victim, and the woman whose husband died in a workplace accident, and who came on stage with the kiddies. All emotional strings pulled. Resolve strengthened. More must be done. I'm an apathetic bird who needs to get with it. I put my name on petitions, mailing lists, donated money.
Then rode back to work in the increasing rain, feeling positive.
Monday, November 14, 2005
The comic is published by a certain Tim Todd, a revivalist minister in the US, who runs a mission called Truth for Youth. I ordered a comic (they cost next to nothing, and are even cheaper in bulk, of course), and it arrived quick smart, along with a glossy brochure advertising how effective Minister T-odd has been in his crusade. Nice printing, I thought, until I actually handled the brochure, which has a prickly, sticky feel to it, like it had been hair-sprayed. But not as much as Tim Todd! Whose title on the inside back cover of the comic is 'Publisher/Evangelist', with a drawing of himself. Not a hair out of place. Lots of teeth. Just like his photo on the brochure.
I quite enjoy Harry Potter satires -- didn't mind the Barry Trotter books, and there were various odd Chinese wannabes on the net a few years go at HP peak freak time. But this comic is just plain vindictive and utterly unimaginative. Check out the first seven pages. Ari (it has a bit of a manga feel to the drawing, and in fact was produced in Japan for TT) has a best friend called Minnie who his parents disapprove of because she distracts him from his "Christian' friends. Ari (we later find out his last name is 'Potiphar') and Minnie have a love of Hairy Polarity books in common. One day they wander into a bookstore and discover the original HP manuscripts, written by the author, Dr Bela Verbosi. Just picking up the books starts a spell sequence that whisks them into dark magic central, full of pentacles, witches and devil worshippers. Hogwarts is called the Pigzits University of Scintillating Sorcery, Dumbledore is Professor Doltus Dumbitdown, and there is the incisively witty Lord Vulgarmouth who apparently tried to 'whack' Hairy when he was a baby.
The whole 'story' (I'd balk at using the word 'plot') is desperately trying to convince people that Harry Potter and his friends are satanic. When spells are cast, the words are things like 'HURTEM HOAXUS', and 'KNOCKUS YUSOXOFF'. Eventually you get to the point where Ari & Min find the author, a balding elderly man under the spell of the 'real' Lord Vulgarmouth, a demon called THUUKUS, DUKE OF DEMONS. Oh, quake in your boots. Ari discovers his saviour in Jesus; Minnie thinks her newly-acquired white magic can save her skin, but she is really in a coma until she calls out to Jesus and is saved too...
And just when you think it is all over, the back cover gives a written diatribe against Harry Potter, about how it represents a Godless universe. It lists 20 examples of appalling evil. I'll give you some:
#1 = sacrificing animals [fairy nuff]
#2 = emphasizing power regardless of good or evil [uh huh]
#9 = projecting or traveling [sic] without transportation [hmm]
#12 = divining by crystal gazing [bugger]
#13 = Telling lies, stealing, breaking rules and cheated advocated in Wizard ethics by copying another student's homework (oooo)
#14 = approving of astrology [ahhh]
#17 = taking mood-altering drugs used by real witches and shamans [:)]
and this is my favorite:
#20 = Believing death to be just the "next great adventure."
I thought Christianity did believe in something following death? A better thought than 'the great full-stop' (not my cup of tea, any of it, but that's another story).
There is absolutely no mention of the better qualities of HP -- friendship, loyalty, team spirit, kindness, family togetherness, sportmanship. It's all mouth-frothing, bitter, unconvincing stuff, and I'd like to meet any teenager who would take this pap seriously. Mind you, it's probably bedtime reading for the Olsen Twins.
BTW, BB loved this addition to his collection. he has two big boxes of like stuff. He especially likes the idea of being on Minister T-odd's mailing list. I guess we'll be buying one of the Yoof Bibles next, just to see what's really goin' dahn in the US of A (and, according to Minister TT, all over the world...)
Postscript: My Olsen Twins link came from a blog called Bent Corner. Just found it on Google, but it's going straight onto the blogroll. Try this, and this. And, go on, treat yourself to this. I never thought I'd type this, but LOL.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Mr Padge and Mr Pooter greeted us back from the movies today with such come-hither looks that we started joking about giving them porn names. We'd just been to see Inside Deep Throat, and they were obviously aching for something yummy.
We decided on Kitty Longstocking for Pooter, who is the 'girl' of the two, and Magnum O-Puss for Padge, a very masculine cat. I couldn't resist illustrating this (please forgive the dodgy photoshop; I just couldn't spend a lot of time on it!).
I quite enjoyed Inside Deep Throat. It's quirky, funky (great soundtrack) and jam-packed full of eccentrics and interesting politics. I came out of the cinema feeling extremely sorry for Linda Lovelace, and not for the first time in my life. I've seen the movie, read the biography, and followed the press stories. It seems like everyone profited from her but her -- including the feminists. Even when she tried to get some normal employment, no-one would keep her on once they found out who she was. As her sister said, when she died (in a carcrash in 2002) she didn't have a cent to her name.
We saw the movie at a morning session today, and were the only people in the cinema, which was great because we could openly make comments through the film. And any film which features a pussy cat is a film worth going to, even if the name of the poor creature is Adolf Hitler.