Sunday, December 18, 2005

Seasons' Greetings and more

Admittedly, whenever I see those "[your name] needs" lists, I think "How silly" and condascendingly so. But then I tried it via googlism. Hey, it is kind of fun! Really. You going to try it? What, me hypocrite?

Went for a little stroll with da boys for this rally. There were some initial fears about there being some violence, but we went nevertheless. The only hitch was that Den, who emailed us all about the rally, was at home setting up his stereo. That's right, society is crumbling around him but at least he'll have good sound. OK, I confess I did spend a bit of energy looking around for the other bloggers who said they were going to go. I think she looks like an elaine, her a Lady Cracker, a Cotton, an Outspoken and that one a subl. Well, he *did* look like a girl to me, initially. I was standing next to the guy holding the "Racist Liberals Fascist" placard, for the curious.

The media's role in all this? Check this out, a Today Tonight transcript from July 2005, I think. It is the *only* time in my *whole* life I've ever written in to complain to a TV station.

*sigh* And on the topic of society crumbling, was thinking about how pyramid selling is illegal as a business practice cos it is unsustainable. And yet, the current model that society is based on is this ie. perpetual growth in terms of population, always needing to have more young people than old, business have to grow every year etc... Take this random thought and it's implications as you may. Sound like Eeyore, u say?

Anyway, on Sat, on the way to see Harry Potter, I listened in controlled horror as my kid sounded out her tale about how she had dared her karate instructor to break a piece of wood using the instructor's head for $2. "You what?" and when I better composed my reaction, "Look, I know I often do this to you (ie. offer money for chores0) but I dont think it is a good idea for you to dare others for money. I am sorry but I was setting a bad example for you". She seemed to understand, I think1. Fatherhood is often a series of many tough decisions. "And dont call me Dad in public", I said and clipped her ear as she walked away. I think she'll turn out OK after all.2 I didnt dare ask if the practice was now rife in Grade 3.

And on a lighter note, this vodka ad is sort of funny. Uses the Numa Numa (Romanian?) song3 as background music.

My current ear worm? It is this song by The Rosebuds. OK, so it's pop. I'm a shallow guy (but I cast a long shadow).

And finally, have a safe and beery Xmas and a terrific 2006! Joy To the World!4

C'ya next year! Ole, ole, ole... On to the world cup.

050 cents per chapter to read me the hobbit.
1I am not allowed to use words with more than 4 syllables.
2I didnt really clip her ear.
3Was going to put the "images that look like porn but really isnt" link but thought it might be too tacky. Technically work safe but....
4version by Eef Barzelay of Clem Snide.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I've made a lot of mistakes

Stay between the flags.

[Image source unknown]

Text to follow [check again on Monday, if you can be bothered to, or am I being too presumptious?]. Am a little swamped right now *AND* see YOU there at the Bourke St Mall, 5 pm, Friday (16 Dec 2005). And leave the nunchakus at home. I know I am.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I Can Stop ANYTIME I choose

Well, well, looks like internet addiction is for real after all. The Register says " destructive as alcoholism and drug addiction". Good thing I can give this up any time I want.

Blogrolling doesnt seem to be reliable. The list of bloggers on the right is supposed to ordered according to most recently updated. But is it? Sometimes, maybe.

Went to see Jose Gonzales play in Northcote. It was pretty good. I would have liked it better if he spoke to us a bit more though. Otherwise, it's almost like just listening to his CD, except you're standing with 300 other people and it's hot. One person fainted. Heat? Drugs? Who knows?

Also went to see this other piece of theatre called Prodigal Daughter. Had themes of paedophelia. A bit long, acting was pretty good but the subject matter was too heavy for me.

Plus I immediately ran out and got this excellent publication, Poster Magazine when I heard that this talented blogger worked on it. Go get your copy before they run out. Now! Go, I'll wait for you.

Was thinking of Christmas presents. I wonder what one would think of a domain name as a present. Godaddy has them for USD$9/year and that comes with 50Mb disk space. Pretty good deal. I was thinking of getting another one. Cant think of any good names. The current favourite is, a telstrafication of my surname plus a bit of my general disposition thrown in. Silly idea? Better name? Please tell.

Am listening to this song by The Shins a lot. Musically, I suspect I may be going through my cowboy hoofty beat phase.

Also I cant help but wonder why they didnt track Van Nguyen instead and catch the next guy in the chain. Mules are so disposable. Drugs should be decriminalised and controlled. *sigh*. Life is so fleeting.
But I guess nothing is forever. In fact, some very important things lasts *only* 1 year. Should be longer. It is so sad.

Man, it is warm tonight.
Went to a concert recital and joined the orchestra for the after performance dinner. On seeing me enter the restaurant, one of the violinists said to her companion, "Yeah, that's him, the guy that was clapping." "Ummm.... no, you must be mistaken. It was probably someone who looked like me", said I, walking away quickly. I dont remember clapping out of turn and the people I knew didnt contradict me. I was too gutless then to confront her to clarify her accusations. Now I shall spend nights awake thinking of what she could have possibly meant.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Thank Guus!

There are no words that can express my relief at the football results. I was waking up periodically the night after the match, recalled the match result, smiled to myself and went back to sleep. I am not super happy, just super, super relieved. Very weird, you say? I'd like to debate the point, but I cant. You're talking to a person who flew into London, caught a match, and then flew back the next morning (ok, so it was from Germany and not Australia). 3 days later, I still have a buzz from this.

Speaking of flying, there was a fly bugging me on the train to work the other day. When I got into work, there was a fly still bugging me. I suspect it may have been the same creature. It must have followed me the four blocks from Flinders St station and up six flights of stairs! What's the deal, Mr Fly? It was a Thursday too, which meant I had showered. Weird, eh?

Anyway, I have 2 upcoming first-time parent events happening. So I need to think of baby presents. Was thinking of ipod baby clothes but am very open to ideas1. But the first time parents will probably be so overwhelmed that they wont notice. Maybe some phenol-barbitol instead? Worst case, I'll resort to the trusty teddy bear.

Also, I have a little problem. I find I am spending more time reading blogs than I am with reading other stuff, ie. newspapers, novels, tech books. Not good. New Scientist has an article about gaming fanatics showing hallmarks of drug addiction. I wonder if it carries over to blog readers. Will willpower be enough?

And yet they push for the legislation for sedition. I know we get the Government we deserve but have we really been so bad? The man who trades freedom for security usually ends up with neither - Benjamin Franklin

And what's the deal with Tim Burton? How come his movies have to be prefixed with his name? Anyway, Corpse Bride is really good. Worth a viewing though I thought Nightmare Before Christmas was a superior musical.

Anyway, am listening to Laura Veir's Rapture. Strange song, but I like. I also like that song they play on that Sony commercial, Jose Gonzales' Heartbeats. He's going to be playing at the Northcote Social Club on the 29th. Though Sony are big time bastards! The nerve of them installing software2 which spies on you, without any permission. I hope they get their butts seriously kicked.

1Good ones.
2List of affected CDs listed here.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Oh the pressure, Will Robinson (*)

Hey! I've installed a blogroll. Am having trouble deciding whether I should classify the bloggers and if so, how.
a) geography (Pollen city, Syd, the rest)
b) gender (Male, Female, Michael Jackson)
c) Life scores (see previous entry)
d) political persuasion (friend, enemy, left, right, extreme left, Tony Abbott).
e) traits (amusing, incoherent, depressing, stimulating, pretentious, bad spellers)

Currently, they're all under Incoherent1. Send me $$$ if you want to be moved to some other group. ie. the cool group, or added or removed. Actually, just send me $$$.

And did you know you may now be able to patent film storylines? Sounds like a great idea, then the only kind of movies made will be David Lynch and Peter Greenaway movies, ok, Kaufman too, and WKW (cos he uses no script!).

Anyway, looking out the window down onto the 5th level hotel concourse across the road, there is this woman, purple hair, platform shoes, mini-skirt practicing whipping a piece of paper out of a guy's hand (reminds me of Jack Osbourne). And there is this almost grotesquely fat guy lounging just behind with a couple of relatively normal heavily tatooed looking guys. I wonder if they can see me gawking at them. They're probably thinking, "Look at that Batman t-shirt guy, with the headphones and opened mouth across the road. What a freak!" What's the chances Jim Rose is in town. Hmmm.. which one is Mr. Lifto, I wonder. Ouchy.

And it looks like I've found a hobby to while away the Xmas break. Origami!!! or a variant of it. Should be a fun summer. You can join me if you like :-)

we got some new people starting work.
guy #1 is sight impaired... we *all* know what he's been doing, right? *snicker* Yikes, I hope he doesnt read this. And if he does, has a sense of humour or at least not own any firearms. Grow up? What do u mean?
girl #2 starts soon, I think... apparently, she does the shot putt competitively... Will be interesting....
I guess this could sound like it follows on from the Jim Rose thingy above, but it isnt, though it could very well be. I do question my presence here at this workplace though.

* Squirt = Drip under Pressure.
1It has just occurred to me that it would have been much more lucrative if I had put everyone under some undesirable category eg. paedophile and then wait for the $$$ to roll in but I didnt think of it in time. I do play fair.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

If only I could...

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

.... I would.

Pathetic? No argument here.

Anyway, other evaluation thingies of interest...

This Values Clarification Exercise is pretty cool, I think. Possibly contentious. Definitely discussion generating.

And ever wondered How Sinful You Were?

While on the topic of sins, thank whoever up there for Barnaby Joyce. A very gutsy guy. One wonders about the other [insert curse word] puppets.

On a lighter note, I wrote a little program that does nothing. It just rearranges the letters in your text, basically to demonstrate that even when misspelt, the human brain still processes it like it was spelt correctly.
Click here to indulge me.

Anyone find Joanna Newsom's music as mesmerising as I do? Maybe it's them harps. Does it everytime.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Clown Serial Killer?

So... who in their right mind would write a melancholic song about a clown serial killer? Sufjan would, that's who. [click on picture to get the song].

Am listening to his album, Sufjan Stevens' "Illinois". I get a really big kick out of discovering a new (to me) artist that I really like. It's like discovering a whole new world. It's a great feeling.

I like most of the songs especially "The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get us!" The "John Wayne Gacy Jr" song is also very listenable and quite sad, and yet weird and sick at the same time, as this is about that clown serial killer. He manages to make you feel empathy for him, how skilful is that?

Anyway, went to see this frigging amazing movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark - The Adaptation. The video and audio quality was pretty bad but one gets used to it after a while. A phenomenal effort actually.

Also managed to go see Claire Bowditch. I've only heard the one song by her prior, Hallelujah. I found I quite liked the material she performed. Might have to go get the album now.

Played the songs to my nine year old, but she didnt like it. Maybe it's cos if Dad likes it, it must be bad. She listens to Green Day. "Isnt it a bit loud?", I asked her as I morphed into my _Dad_. When I was 9, I think I was still listening to "Old MacDonald" and his farm animals.

Topical quote.
In one of the earliest critiques of a national ID card proposal (January 1986), Professor Geoffrey de Q Walker, now dean of law at Queensland University, observed:

One of the fundamental contrasts between free democratic societies and totalitarian systems is that the totalitarian government relies on secrecy for the regime but high surveillance and disclosure for all other groups, whereas in the civic culture of liberal democracy, the position is approximately the reverse.

I let you decide which way we are heading. Big sigh.

Parting plagiarised wisdom?
Never get so attached to a poem
you forget truth lacks lyricism;
never draw so close to the heat
that you forget you must eat.

- Joanna Newsom, En Gallop
I hear The Proposition is up for all these AFI awards. I was told not a cent (unverified) of it was Australian. One wonders what the critirea is. I do recall that French movie, Long Engagement having 50% American money disqualified it from the French awards. 50%!
Also, go see Me, You, Everyone We Know. It is great, though Adrian Martin of the Age hated it. Silly Adrian.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Title? Dont need no stinkin' titles.

Spring is definitely here. My eyes are a little watery, probably cos of all the pollen I pick up on my ride in the mornings. Also gashed my right knee on the serrated edge of my bike pedal this morning. Ouchy. Have got a 3cm by 1 cm deep wound. Was getting onto the road from the sidewalk and on the 4 inch drop to the road, my foot slipped and the pedal moved up to meet my knee. I spent the next 2 minutes cycling with 1 leg and screaming silently, cos no sound actually came out. I kept thinking "I am bleeding" but did not dare look. The guys at work examined it, "Stop whinging! It looks like nothing". "But it huuuuuurts", I whined. The insensitive clods. Now I know how Nancy Kerrigan felt.

So Fiona Apple's got a new CD out (4th Oct)! Whoo hooo.... So I trudged down to the Target on Bourke St (had a gift voucher) to go buy it and couldnt find it. Trudged down to JB Hifi and was told it is not out in Australia till the 31st! What?!? But, but, but... Hmmm... does that make it OK for me to go download it instead? Sigh. So I ordered it online from o'seas. I'm not going to wait 4 weeks for no rational reason. Also emailed epic records and told them that if the record sales for this album in Australia was ZERO, it's cos we all ordered it from elsewhere cos we couldnt wait. Frigging duffers. I hope the same wont happen with Kate Bush (Nov 7).

I also went to hear Robert Fisk speak. That guy's mind is sharp. He spoke for about an hour and had 1 hour of questions. He seemed to be able to field complex questions on subject of the Middle East, Northern Ireland and the former Yugoslavia with clarity. Very impressive, more so given the murkiness of the subject matter. You might not agree with his opinion but there was no ambiguity as to what he was trying to get across. Basically, Iraq is stuffed.

Also went to see Enron the movie. The greed is breathtaking. This CEO of one of the divisions left with $250M. What can u do with $250M? He is now the 2nd biggest private landowner in Colorado. It is a fantastic story, but I didnt think the doco was as good as it could have been. Granted, it was a very complicated story. 6/10

Asked Mark to go to this music event. It was a bit too avant-garde for Mark and I. I had to apologise to Mark profusely! Ah, well. I guess one has to wade through a lot of "dirt" to find gold (not that this was dirt, it was just I didnt appreciate it). Apologies to the creator. Sono stupido. Sono animale.

Had to laugh at this. BT Labs (UK) has come up with the mp3 breast implant. How cool (and silly) is this? Full article + unavoidable snide references to the click wheel (heh!) can be found at The Register.

Current play list.
Rufus Wainwright - Peach Trees
Frou Frou - Let Go
PJ Harvey - The Mess We're In.
Fiona Apple - Parting Gift
Dandy Warhols - The Dope

Parting words of wisdom.
If you don't have a song to sing you're ok,
You'll know how to get along humming
If you don't have a Date, Celebrate
Go off and sit on the lawn under nothing
'cos its just what you must do and nobody does it anymore

""" - Fiona Apple 'Waltz'

and go watch Firefly, the TV series.

(*) All my ideas and snippets of wisdom are from song lyrics and episodes of the Simpsons and Seinfeld.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Art is the tree of life - Blake

There is a focus on Jim Jarmusch on at the ACMI. I went for 2, his new one Broken Flowers and Down By Law. BF was OK. Might have to watch it again cos I missed the first 10 minutes. The session was sold out and I had to hang around outside to see if they could round up some spare seats. DbL was great. Made in 1986! I've never seen it before cos I dont think it's on Region 4 DVD (until very recently). Considering that it's a 20 y.o. movie and that JJ is not exactly mainstream, this session too was sold out (seating capacity 180)! Lucky me turned up early so I could get a nice seat, not front row, like the earlier film. Looks like JJ has gone mainstream, at least in Melbourne.

Also went to see a couple of shows at the Fringe festival but nothing to write about.

However, the movie Look Both Ways was really good. One of the better Australian movies I've ever seen (best being Lantana).

Was reading the local papers and I found the following article.

A judge is to stand trial for allegedly masturbating with a "penis pump" during a murder case.

Witnesses claim they could hear the noise coming from beneath the robes of Donald Thompson as he sat on the bench. The judge, 58, had served at Creek County Court, Oklahoma, where he was charged, for 22 years.

The sex toy will be presented as evidence. The court has also permitted testimony that a second pump was seen under Thompson's bench. Thompson faces 10 years in prison and a $20,000 ($A26,000)
fine for each offence of indecent exposure. If convicted he would also have to register as a sex offender when released from prison.

He is accused of using the pump during two murder trials and a civil case in 2003. Jurors claim they heard what sounded like a bicycle pump or blood-pressure pump.

One saw Thompson making some movement "with his upper body and arms", according to documents filed by the state attorney-general in Oklahoma.


You'd have to be pretty determined to want to do this in a public setting *and* you were one of the principals ie. the *judge* in a courtroom.

I've announced to the guys here at work that "From this day henceforth, know now, fellow co-workers that I shall be ignoring all noises for fear of discovering the unknown".

And they were happy with that.

Speaking of adverse working conditions, there I was working away busily, minding my own business, then there is this really odd smell. Sort of like smoked tea-leaves or something dank like that.
Was going to ask "Austin, did you change your brand of cigarettes or something?" but didnt.

Anyway, it appears that another co-worker had taken his shoes off....


Now, I just need to compose a non-offensive request to put his shoes back on, without causing too much embarassment to all parties concerned.

eg. For the LOVE of GOD, can you PLEASE put your FEKKING shoes back onto your STINKING feet! or something along those lines.

Minimal fuss, minimal embarrassment.

What u think?

* Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Stuff Happens

Out of the blue, I get an email from PaulS asking me if I wanted to fill in for racquetball that night itself. I told him he'd have to be *really* desperate cos
* I dont own a racquet (yes, yes, I have ordered 1).
* the last time I played was when I last filled in for him, in 1999. That's right, last millenium!
* I have lost fitness cos I was at the tail end of a cold (was still feeling warm/cold intermittently)

But I'll do it, I said, though a few other voices in my head, the toaster and the microwave did tell me I was being quite stupid.
Anyway, I did end up playing and lost 13, 11 and 4. My quads started cramping up towards the end of the second set and most of the 3rd set. Ah well, could have been much worse, score wise.

The worse was yet to come. The next night, I'd sat in my bean bag watching whatever on TV, and when I tried to get up, I couldnt! My quads were just wasted. I had to roll onto my stomach and use my arms to pull myself up. It couldnt have been very pretty. Sports keep you fit? Doesnt feel like it.

And Today Tonight, tch, tch, tch. How little professional pride you have. I cant say I am disappointed but I am quite saddened. Such corporate irresponsibility. I hope nobody will get physically hurt. Maybe they may get charged for vilification. I felt so strongly about it, I sent them a complaint. I have never done this ever before. Transcript here.

Went to see David Hare's play "Stuff Happens". It was very well acted. The performers had lots of dialogue to get through. Pretty long though. Close to 2 hours? I wonder how I would have reacted to the contents had my politics been right of center. Nevertheless, it was a powerful play. Some reviews (of other performances) found here.

Gotta go psyche myself up for the school father-daughter mini-golf event tomorrow :-)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Crepes of Wrath

Apologies to Steinbeck. [Footnote : I've tried reading the book and mannnnn... is it dry. I gave up after a few chapters. Back to Where's Wally books for me.] Well, not so much wrath, but I thought it sounded better if it was wrath. It's more like mirth. I guess Crepes of Mirth doesnt sound too bad either.
KB changed her mind at the last minute and wanted pancakes/crepes (it's the same for me) for breakfast. Being the indulgent parent that I am, I went to the milkbar for fresh milk and got the instruments out. Beatmaster 2000, where are you? So I make like 15 and all she eats is 2! After all that! I could strangle her. Anyway, for reasons of perpetuity (ie. in case I forget again!!), I'm listing my pancake recipe here, cos after much trial and error as well as much opportunistic snide remarks from an 8.5 y.o. ingrate ("I think the packet ones are better, Dad."), I've come up with something that she'll tolerate. Kids, who'd have them? [<-- joke, I love her to bits which is why she gets away with so much. My fault though.]

2 cups of plain flour
3 x eggs
3 cups of milk
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar

This makes about 15 on my Tefal crepe pan, of which she eats like only 2, which means I'll have to eat the rest for b'fast, lunch and dinner cos I dont like to waste. I threw out about half a dozen the last 2 times I made this for her.

Speaking of food, I see they've starved another brain dead person to death. The Age covers it here. So they're pragmatic enough to let her die, but not compassionate enough to help hasten it. Such idiocy! and hypocrisy. Infuriatingly shallow minded.

Speaking of hypocrisy, I see that the USA is not happy that some Chinese company is trying to buy an American energy company. I guess what's good for the goose....,,, right? The NY Times covers it here. Ha ha.... Good thing the Chinese have short memories and dont bear any grudges. :-)

Which brings me onto the Chinese language. It's a little shameful that I dont speak Mandarin, being of Chinese descent and all. I should do a course to learn this. [flashback alert, sounds of helicopters] When I was 15, I was sent interstate for some sporty selection trial. The national chinese daily covered the event and wanted all the kids names. Of course, pumpkinhead here couldnt write his name in Chinese. Teammate tried to and somebody remarked what he had written was 'vegetable'. Forget it, I said. I wrote it down in English. Of course, the papers next day had all the names and guess whose name stuck out cos it wasnt in script like the others? Traumatised? Well, I still remember the incident. BTW, I didnt make selection either. [end]

So language course enrolment time. I looked at the course guide and what do I see. Language classes held in a restaurant and conducted over a meal? Cool. So I promptly enrolled in Italian for beginners. Starts this week and I cant wait. Am already affamato. I've actually enrolled in a 10 week course in the past but had to drop out after 2 cos of work commitments ie. I had to leave the country for a while and no, it wasnt because of any constabulary entanglements. Mandarin, you ask? Maybe next term.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


I didnt feel like cooking so thought I'd just have some toast when I got home on Thursday. Popped the bread into the toaster and 3 seconds later, I hear this bzzz-buzzz sound and voila, the house is plunged into complete darkness. Bugger. That's just great. My back was hurting cos I had to carry a desktop computer the 2.5 blocks to the new work building (*dont* ask), I was hungry plus I dont remember where the fuse wires were kept. I sort of felt my way around the house and managed to locate my bike light. Had a peep outside and yes, I was the only house affected. Peeped into the fuse box and phew, it'd had only tripped the safety circuit so no new wire was needed. Am now the owner of a new Kambrook KT97 toaster, as per Choice magazine.

Went for the Sydney Dance Company's performance of Graeme Murphy's Grand on Friday. I found it way exceeded my expectations ie. it was really really good. I normally find the dance stuff a little dull but this kept my attention almost throughout. These guys are elite athletes, in my opinion. It was half ballet and half contemporary. I'd gone to a dance thing a few months ago and at that one, thoughts like "I wonder if they feel silly prancing around like that" or "I wonder if those pants are uncomfortable" often occurred whereas at this one, I was transfixed. Recommended. Very off topic but a Simpsons episode just popped into my head.

Scott: And now over to Kent Brockman for some grim economic news.
Kent: Scott, things aren't as happy as they used to be down here at the unemployment office. Joblessness is no longer just for philosophy majors. _Useful_ people are starting to feel the pinch.
Barney: I haven't been able to find a job in six years.
Kent: Hmph. And what training do you have?
Barney: Five years of modern dance, six years of tap.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Dad stuff

Had to bribe Kimi to come with me to go see the Ancient Egyptian exhibition at the Melbourne museum. For an 8.5 year old kid, she can sure negotiate. And we're going for *her* benefit anyway.

I'd expected it to be bigger but nevertheless, it was quite interesting. There were lots of exhibits and concepts dealing with death. I hope it didnt affect her badly because we never really discussed this topic very much. She did seem to already know quite a bit about Egpytian mummies and their gods. I found out later that most of it's from that cartoon with the mummy on the ABC. And I did find her trying to write her name using the hieroglyphics. Cute.

We stopped at a bakery in Richmond and she wanted 2 egg tarts (one was for breakfast). She definitely knows what she likes.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Le Lack of Sleep

Whooo hooo... le Tour de France is on... I've always thought that given a choice of winning any sports event in the world, I'd choose winning the tour over tennis, golf, the nba, FA cup etc... They're showing it nightly, and finishes about 130am. Here we go......

Speaking of which, I was riding to work the other day (it was 11C in the morning, which satisfied my critirea for riding in, ie. double digits temperature :-) ), I spotted this lone rider dawdling about 200 meters ahead. I caught up eventually, and overtook him. As per protocol, one doesnt linger in front of an 'overtakee', so I accelerated a bit after overtaking. Fifty meters on, I peeped behind me and lo and behold, he was on my wheel. Yikes. Of course, I couldnt slow down, could I? (Loss of face etc...) So from the velodrome in East Hawthorn, till about St Kevins College, I was cycling at about 32km/h (which is faster than I normally ride). I was about to pass out when just after St Kevins, he overtook me and made a right turn towards Abbotsford. Thank you buddha. He gave a me a thank you wave as I was his domestique for almost 2kms. Now he'll never find out if I could have kept up that speed for longer. :-)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Bartok? I am not so sure I ....

"Not Bartok, is it?", was my instinctive response when Liesl asked me to go for her orchestras recital, which was met with evil cackling laughter. Sigh, I guess it is for a good cause (ie. the Children's Hospital). However, it was surprisingly tolerable. Almost pleasant. But I read that he never finished this piece and his ex-student, Tibor something, finished it for him. Maybe that's why.

Anyway, got invited to some dinner party where I had to bring my extra-large rice cooker. So I turn up 20 mins early as rice was fundamental to the success of the night. I still hadnt suspected anything when I was handed an apron on entry. Yes, I was nothing but a glorified kitchen hand. But the girls did really well cooking for 11(!). I liked the beef salad best. Nice and spicy. The host brought out her copy of The Dating Rules. What a hoot. You can sell a million copies writing stuff like this?!? Not sure if people buy them as after dinner entertainment or as a serious piece. I can tell you that it certainly succeeds as the former.

Thought I'd go see Bill Henson's exhibition before it disappears. I hadnt realised that he'd been around for so long, since the mid 70s. Anyway, some of the pieces were brilliant! I especially liked the project commissioned by the Paris Opera House. The use of light reminds me of some of Carravaggio's paintings. But some of them, I think if it was I who took them, they'd be in my junk section. Now, what I need to do is become really famous, and then all my junk photos would be hung in a gallery somewhere with really expensive frames and lighting and you'd get people like me looking at it and going 'What the...'.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Infinite mopishness

Hah! The community centre rings me to tell me that the twice postponed Indian vegetarian cooking course was going ahead with 36 hours notice, that is if I can get 2 more people to attend. Yikes... Some serious arm twisting may be in order. Good thing they were willing participants otherwise it might have got ugly ('Remember the time you needed a paper-clip?'). The first lesson was reasonably good. I was surprised how most things were pureed, onions, tomatoes, green chillies. In 80 mins, we'd cooked 2 dishes plus some paratha bread. The dough was pre-kneaded, but we got to shape and cook it on the skillet. I was amazed as to how little time it took even considering that all the ingredients were prepared prior to the class. Will try out the chick-pea recipe this week. Yumm.... esp the parathas. Salivatingly so. (Ghee is made of what!?!!). The instructor said she'd never ever eaten meat in her life. Wow!

I'd received some soon-to-expire Target vouchers from my credit card company and seeing that Coldplay has a new album out, I went and got it. Just the usual mopey, melodic stuff. Man, how can someone write such sorrowful lyrics like that? I really like it though. My current favourites are "A Message" and the impossibly despairing "What If". From the cover liner, I think their politics is leftish, just like Green Day, but a bit more subtle. Word of advice, I wouldnt listen to this if I was feeling low. And if you like mopish stuff like this, check out Damien Rice.

I'd bought myself a 256Mb mp3 player and those headphones that come with it are cr*p!

They keep falling out of my ears and when I use my Philips HD850(?), it's like FM v/s AM! I can actually hear the lyrics as well as bits which I never heard using the other headphones. So if you happen to own the same, I suggest investing in some quality headphones and enjoy the music. A pity that the Philips are not very 'portable'. OK... 1 drawback... I can hear every defect in the mp3 conversion process (some clicks and pops). Quite annoying...

Speaking of music, some friends and I went to see International Karate. Was raving about the band to the others. For some reason, they played first though they were slated to come on second. I was such a *big* fan that I didnt realise it was them till the second last song ("Hang on, that's an IK song!"). Embarassing? Maybe for others. Well, a little. My only complaint was that I stunk so strongly of cigarette smoke that I'd put my clothes in the wash first thing when I got home.

The guys at work sent me this link to an online game.... and it *is* addictive... Kitten Cannon. Have fun...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Life in reverse

I was looking to see how other people did page counters and kept on hitting the "Next Blog" icon. Took me hours cos there were some really "interesting" ones and felt obligated to at least read some of them, seeing as I was pillaging their blog for information. Most of them had lots of angst and pain in them but you get the odd humourous one, like this one It's really quite funny. A bit self-centric (said the kettle) but then, what is a blog supposed to be, eh? Anyway, I got to thinking. These blogs have links to previous blogs but in reverse order, so for me to read one's blog, I was traversing it backwards chronologically. Kind of weird. Would have been a better experience going the other way. Or maybe there is a setting somewhere which I havent figured out yet. Kind of like Memento, the movie.

Speaking of which, I was driving past Ivanhoe and was tempted to stop at one of the 2 local Japanese restaurants which I use to patronise, on a semi-regular basis. I hadnt been there for like almost 10 years. The last time I got stuff there was quite eventful. It was almost 3pm and I hadnt had breakfast nor lunch. So I walked in and ordered the chicken tonkatsu. Lady goes into the kitchen and said very politely, "Sorry, we dont have any more of that", I pointed to another dish, "Sorry again". This was repeated a few times and finally I gave up and said, "What do you have?". She looked really embarassed and said, "My husband (the cook), doesnt want to sell you anything". WHAT!?! WHY?!? "Because he saw you buying sushi from the other Japanese restaurant and he is a very proud man". HOLY COW! Anger, humour, hunger, humiliation and disbelief alternately coarsed through my head. I thought these sort of stuff only happened to stand-up comedians. I didnt know what to do. Laugh, cry, rant. In the end, I just sort of mumbled "Uh, huh" and shuffled out of the place, trying to digest what the schmoook had just taken place. Anyway, I didnt stop and promptly drove past. I wonder if they're still there.

Friday, May 20, 2005


"Absence makes the heart grow fonder", they say. I think there is some truth to this *but* there comes a point in time where the other proverb kicks in, which is "Out of sight, out of mind". When does this take place? I dont know but I hope it's soon (no visions of "Love in the Time of Cholera" happening, in case you were wondering.... heh, heh). I wonder how many adages (is there another word for these?) contradict each other. eg. A rolling stone gathers no moss versus Nothing ventured, nothing gain. Hey.... isnt google wonderful... Lookee here. By the way, they also say 'Sports keep you fit'. So take everything 'they say' with a pinch of salt. "Absinthe makes the mind go yonder". Errr... I made this up all by myself.

Poor Kylie. Hope all will be well soon. I really do. There is a plaque in the local library that said she donated some money to it back in the early 80s. And poor Doug Wood. Sandro reckons that it is a good sign that they shaved his head cos if they wanted to behead him, it would have been easier with hair (ie. something for the executioners to hold on to. Gruesome? I know.) and they know this. Hence, no hair means beheading unlikely. Schappelle? Channel 9 had some TV audience poll and via that worm thingy (viz the federal elections), the audience think she's innocent. They should trial cases like this I reckon. And God, if you're reading this blog, make it rain soon.

I'd borrowed Closer on DVD. What a brutal movie. I felt emotionally quite raw after watching it. It was quite an OK movie but it was pretty savage. All the characters were so deeply flawed, just like in real life. Reminded me a little of The Ice Storm, though it is nothing like it. Probably from the harshness of the potrayals.

Also went for this German movie with Simon called 'The Edukators' at the Como. What a badly laid out building. As the Chinese say, 'Very bad Feng Shui'. The cinema has been recently refurbished. Really posh toilets though. Anyway, in the movie, the female character had a car accident with a Euros$100k Merc and being uninsured, all her waitressing salary goes towards paying off the owner, who has 3 other posh cars. And this brought back some unpleasant memories. In August 2002, travelling on Barkers Rd towards the city, approaching the Barkers and Auburn Road traffic lights, I noticed this car on the perpendicular road to my left gently move. Being green for me, I made no big attempt to slow down and then to my horror, I realised it was not just a slight roll of that car. As it approached me, I decided to accelerate and remember thinking to myself, "I think we'll *just* miss each other". On impact, my Forester did a 180 degree turn and when I stopped I was on the other lane facing the direction I came from. Very luckily there was no traffic, otherwise, it would have been like being in a pinball machine. The front panel, the passenger door and the back passenger side door was damaged. That's right. Smack bang, dead center! I dont see how I could ever have thought we'd miss each other. Anyway, she was a P-plater and she had been on the phone with her mother and being distracted, ran the red light. It was only days later when I realised that if I *hadnt* accelerated when I did, I'd have probably killed her as I'd have hit her Colt side on, on the driver side, at 60km/h. This way, she hit *me* side on, on my passenger side. I still shudder when I think of this. I dont know how I'd have coped if I'd killed someone, and I dont even like the taste of most hard liquors. Kahlua is ok, Baileys? Bottom line, she was uninsured. I dont think her parents were very well off either (I had to give her a lift home as her car was non-functional). AAMI took care of the repairs and as I understand it, it was around $12000. I wonder how long it took her to pay it off.

And in the end, I did get some Tori tickets, off eBay. What a thrill. I think I enjoyed the buying process more than the concert. My adrenalin was still pumping 30 mins after the event. They were pretty good seats, Row C, dress circle. The concert was a little disappointing. It'd have been better if she worked the crowd a bit more. But it was just play the piano, sing, applause, lights on. Liesl reckons it's cos I hadnt been listening to her new album frequently enough. Sigh, maybe she's right, but I dont think so. I did quite liked her version of "Cant Get You Out of My Head". I rate the concert about 75/110. Meaningless, but I thought the Cat Empire concert was more fun.

Adventure? Friend rang me Friday night cos her door lock broke and she had no phone, coins etc.... so had to scoot over there. Man, I was already tired after having just ridden home against a head wind and it was *cold*, temperature wise. Anyway, rang the locksmith and $132! just to get in. A lot I thought, initially. He turned up at 10pm and left at 1130pm!!! Not much finesse, more brute force and he had the Sex and the City theme as his mobile ringtone. Not very macho. He had to break the door handle, left a little damage on the door frame but we got in, eventually. Sigh.

Bis spater.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Da blues

Hmmm... First Paul Hester, now Rene Rivkin. I dont remember this many high profile suicides so close together. Must have been really disturbed to want to do that, especially with Paul as he had 2 young children. I wonder if one "inspired" the other. It's quite sad. And then, we let the darkness creep in.

Funnily enough, a week after my bicycle "time trial", I am still not fully recovered. My quads feel quite fatigued. It was *really* easy to talk myself into taking the train into work instead for the week. I didnt expect such a level of exhaustion, but it's pretty obvious if I really think about it.

Liesl's talked me into accompanying her to go see Tori Amos. $110 + b/fee!!! For this money, I'm expecting to be let into her dressing room. Good thing I was asked to work this weekend. This will pay for the ticket, just. Now the only other problem is getting some tickets. They're all sold out. Heh.
Am furiously listening to Tori's new album so I will be familiar with the new stuff, in case she plays it. Despite her (Tori's) protestations, some of these songs remind me a lot of Kate Bush. I quite like the title track, "The Beekeeper".

I'd bought a birthday present for a friend. But embarassingly enough, the item has not arrived in time for the event. So it'll have to be a belated birthday present. Just have to stall the presentation. What is it? It's an anagram of "ME PAL PRY 3?". Heh... how appropriate, eh? Intially, I was going for a beanie copter but I had no idea how hard it is to find one in Melbourne. Plus for some unknown reason, she guessed it?!? I dont remember ever telegraphing this information, and she did remark that it wont fit under her motorbike helmet anyway. Which begs the question, why arent there any motorbike helmet copters? I wonder if there is a market for this out there. If anything, it'd be *so* cool.

Ah well... such is life.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

April, April

Funny how so many months names are also contemporary girl's names. April, May, June. Dont know anyone with those names personally but I do know an Augusto.

Anyway, April has been pretty hectic physically and emotionally. Good sleep has not been forthcoming :-( I become conscious at about 5am-530am and there is not enough time to get quality sleep and too much time to just get up and hang around. Maybe that's why my hair is falling out.

I see Schapelle is still knee deep in it. Despite the high profile of this case in the media, I see 9 geniuses decided to try their luck as well.
Quote from
Czugaj said he did not know what was in the packages that were strapped to his body. "I didn't have a clue. I had no idea of what it was. They still didn't tell us," he said. "I thought it might have been the ingredients to make drugs or something like that. I didn't think it was heroin. Stupid me."


Stupid? Let's see. Some stranger in a foreign country wants you to strap items around your body in order to conceal it. It might be that I'm paranoid but I would be *freaked* out! Stupid? Moronic, more like. What's more is that they were only paid $5000 + the air tickets. AUD$5000!?!

And what of this "mastermind" the media keeps referring to (one of the 9 arrested). What mastermind would board the same plane as his mules? If I was the mastermind, I would be back in Australia somewhere, untraceable, laughing my head off.

Anyway, locally, have been to a few events.
Shows - Maria Bamford (was ok. Thought it was going to be stand up. Pretty funny still.), Cruel and Tender (too complex for me. Couldnt get into it. Had some extra tickets for some friends but they never showed! Hi M.), Cat Empire (this was fun. Bought their new CD at the venue). Had a spare ticket here but couldnt even give it away.

Movies - The Sea Inside (I liked it), Interpreter (Nicole's hair irritated me to the point of distraction. That woman cannot act. Nice smile though.), Young Adam (was ok, bleak, depressing, futile, like most movies from Scotland, and as in most of his movies, you get to see Ewen's Schwanstuecker.).

Am not normally this active, just an anomaly. Sigh.

Have continued cycling to work. I finally got around to installing the cycle computer I bought. It's a curse. I keep timing myself based on the previous day's ride. My best average speed travelling on the Gardiners Creek bike trail, from Toorak Road, all the way to Swanston St, is 27.8km/h. Try as I may, I cannot break this. I think it's the bike that's holding me back. :-)

Hopefully, May will be kinder to me (and less hectic).

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Where did February go?

I had planned to have at least 1 blog a month but February zipped by without me noticing. Bummer, eh? I thought I better write something before March zipped past. On the flip side, at least it makes coming up with titles easy ie. next month's (ie. tomorrow) blog would have been called 'Where did March go?'. Easy.
I think missing February had to do with me getting a new job. Just too preoccupied with dealing with it.

Speaking of jobs, I read that Kofi Annan's kid has a $260,000 job at 22. Man, I wish my dad was the head of the U.N.

And poor Terry Schiavo, being starved to death. Why couldnt they just give her a shot of morphine and be done with it? What if she can feel pain? and the hunger, oh the hunger.... Funny, but when I feel hungry, I think of these kebabs with orangy coloured sauce (mustard?) that I had in an Iranian restaurant in Frankfurt. Thanks to Hamid who knew how/what to order, in Farsi.

And these guys think the end of the world is near.
Click on 'The end is nigh, scientists warn'. (registration required)
It's probably some weird Christian sect.

Good news? I guess on a micro level, I started riding to work again, even though they dont have showers here. I thought a towel dry will be sufficient. "Eeeewww....", you say? Well, you havent seen the other guys that work here.
I'd bought some reasonably good lights (front and back) and need to make 40 single trips to justify it. The number is 5 as of this morning.

I quite like my new (current job) but they'll probably want to reduce my rate if they found out. So I have to look stressed and concerned at all times, with the occasional series of muttered curses aimed at my computer.

Sigh, I'll have to think of more stuff to write tomorrow (for the April blog).

Talk soon.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Sadness permeates the world...

Guy sitting across me on train this morning was a "The Big Issue" seller...
He looked like he tried looking presentable, combed hair, clean shaven but he still look quite unkempt...
I bought a copy off him...
Walked from Flinders St train station into work...
There is a lot of sadness around...
Filthy unwashed guy sleeping on bench, and yesterday there was this really old man on the train home, probably homeless, smelt like manure...
It was so bad a bunch of us changed carriages... then there is this tsunami thing..

And Richard Alston is being rewarded for his (in)competence...
Mannnnn... I feel depressed...