Thursday, March 24, 2005

bollocks to this..

..I'm off to New Zealand.

To kick some ass, drink some tequila and soak in the hot pools. Mmmmmm..

At least I will be off as soon as I get all my packing done. Yes, I should be packing now but some things (everything!) are better put off till the very last minute.

I'm a terrible over-packer. Or a great one, depending on your POV. I tend to take all my stuff and try to jam it into the suitcase. When this invariable fails to work I'll go though and sort out all the essential items and fail to pack them. Over the years I've gotten adept at traveling with a lot of useless stuff. Taking polar fleeces & polypro when going to warm climates, remembering the torch but not the batteries, taking shaving foam when tramping, that kinda stuff.

Right, I better go try to pare down the suitcase so it at least shuts.

Ciao lovelies.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


I've no idea where my head is these days.
*looks under bed*
Nope not there.
*wonders how I can see without a head*
*wonders how I can wonder without a head*

As you see.

A disturbing development on the music in my head (wherever it may be) I had Mr Burns' song "See My Vest" running through my head the whole day last Friday. Analyse that one..

I also managed to remember a dream I had the other day. Well part of one. Just the bit where I was driving and giving some other car the finger. I've been driving in Sydney too much.

I was going to tell you all about the heinous salmon day I had the other day, but.. I can't be arsed griping. A salmon day, for the uninitiated, is the feeling of swimming upstream all day only to get screwed and die. Even though I've left the aquarium the fish analogies still haunt me.

I can't be arsed thinking up anything. So I'm just going to pull stuff from some of my notebooks. Observations on my pathetic daily existence. It's not going to be coherent, but then I'm rarely coherent...

Like the other morning when the first thing (no pun intended) I saw on the way to the bus in the morning was an elderly man pissing on the side of a car. Not on the wheel either - all over the door. He obviously had no prostate problems from the coverage he was getting too.

Zoning out on the bus to work, watching the morning commuters scurrying off to work, quietly loathing the 9 to 5 rat race (including my part in it), when the bus stops with a tree right next to my window - with columns of ants marching up & down the trunk. Irony eh? Sometimes mother nature has excellent timing.

Running to cross the road to get to catch/miss a bus and running up onto the sidewalk by a one-legged man on crutches. I felt strangely ashamed. Like I was flaunting my able-bodiedness in front of him..

Beware, when driving and listening to the radio really loud, that if they play Rammstein and you have a shaved head people will assume you're a Nazi.

Gah. Most of these are illegible, and I've no idea if I've expanded any to blog posts before.

I'll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the sublimely ridiculous 'Simply Dancing' tv series: "The cha cha is so bubbly it makes the Wiggles look like Nick Cave!"

Monday, March 14, 2005

music of the mind

Since no-one seems interested in my political opinion.. *sniffs*'s something I've been thinking about for a bit now. Does anyone other than me have a soundtrack to their life? Not, obviously, one audible to everyone else - just music playing in your head. All the time.

I wake every morning with a song/tune in my head, it's usually the first thing that I consciously notice (unless the cat has woken me by chewing on my toes again..). I almost never remember dreams these days and I don't sleep much anyway, maybe 6-7 hours a night, but the music is often the last thing I remember before dropping off and almost always the first thing upon waking up. On a couple of occasions I've fallen asleep and woken up with the same tune and it's been quite eerie - almost as if I've not slept at all but time has just jumped forward to the morning. A very depressing thing on a weekday..

The morning music doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what I've been listening to lately. Or even what I actually like - although I've thankfully never had to awake to Usher or Britney inhabiting my head. Sometimes I've no idea where they come from, especially when I don't have the song in my collection or haven't heard it for a long time, years even. But I guess my subconscious must be mulling things over while I sleep as I often come to a deeper liking of a particular song after playing it over in my mind.

Recent first songs of the day include:

Little Know It All - Iggy Pop
Whiskey Tango - Tanya Donelly
Momentum - Aimee Mann
Miracle Drug - A C Newman
Twilight - Elliott Smith
Beat on the Brat - The Ramones
Quattro (World Drifts In) - Calexico
Colossal Insight - Roots Manuva
Power to the People - John Lennon
Girl U Want - Devo
I'm Waking Up to Us - Belle & Sebastian
India - Psychedelic Furs
Breakdown - Jack Johnson
Return to Oz - Scissor Sisters
Sunrise Over Sea - John Butler Trio

I don't know if there's a theme there, or even if their needs to be. I'm not really looking for an explanation and I'm usually quite happy with the choices my subconscious makes, it just got me wondering whether anyone else experiences something like this? I'd heard recently that musicians are much more likely to have an internal musical score but, since I'm about as musically talented as your average draught excluder, I don't see how that applies to me.

Perhaps I was a jukebox in a previous life.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

political map of my heart (or other unspecified internal organ)

Reading Paula's thought-provoking blog Celebrating Mediocrity prompted me to repeat these online 'discover your political flavour!' political tests I'd done over a year ago. And do the moral politics one I'd not done before (apparently I have morals! who'da thunk it?).

My previous scores are way back here if anyone's interested.

Political Compass:
Economic Left/Right: -7.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.26

Which appears to show that, compared to last year, I'm fiscally more conservative but less tolerant of authority. True I guess - I have no money so it's difficult to be radical with nothing.

Political Survey:
Left/Right -8.7847
Pragmatism +1.2909

Which says I'm still a pinko lefty but have become less pragmatic about it. Becoming an idealist in my old age perhaps?

Moral Politics
You scored -4.5 on the Moral Order axis and 2 on the Moral Rules axis.

The following items best match your score:
System: Socialism
Variation: Moral Socialism
Ideologies: Social Democratism
US Parties: No match.
Presidents: Jimmy Carter (90.89%)
2004 Election Candidates: Ralph Nader (92.03%), John Kerry (81.12%), George W. Bush (47.85%)

Of the 61055 people who took the test:
1.1% had the same score as you.
11.6% were above you on the chart.
76% were below you on the chart.
78.9% were to your right on the chart.
14.6% were to your left on the chart.

Personally I found the Moral Politics test a bit confusing and slightly more bollocks than the others but I guess it's just the trappings that they dress it up with. It's all the guff like 80ish% connection with horse-face Kerry, only 15% of the population are more left than you you wacko, and my variation being something waftily titled 'moral socialism', that makes me leery of the test. I hate labels and divisions, like there's supposed to be a clear-cut distinction between these groups.

Bah, it's too late & too hot. I can't think enough to dissect it. Read Paula's commentary, I agree with most of what she's got to say. Especially the bit about euthanizing 'New Right' fucktards, although I'd settle for sterilisation and 'Running Man'-style game shows. With no survivors.

Friday, March 11, 2005

bad asssssssssssssssss

I'll just indulge in a little self-congratulation now - at karate tonight I whomped one of the guys in the chest with a cracking roundhouse and dropped him like a sack of spuds. Potatoes that groan and gasp in pain too.

True, I did feel really bad about it at first - no-one likes to maim their friends. Well, not by accident at least. But once he got his wind back and it was apparent that no permanent damage was done I felt much better about it. While he is 'only' a brown belt, he's at least 3 inches taller than me and a good 25 kgs heavier (funny how I still do height in feet & inches but weight in kilos, eh?).

I'm beginning to feel like my karate is getting back on track. Finally. After nearly a year of dental fuck-ups and no kumite (translation: biffo) the last few months have seen my fighting move from glacial slowness to stunned mullet through epileptic chicken and now hovering around dangerous epileptic chicken (frothing at the beak).

I may not quite have my eye in as yet but the enthusiasm and blood-lust are there. I managed to stay in the fight with my sensei most of the evening. Right up to the point where he cracked me across the face with a hook kick. I swear he had both feet on the ground at the time.. He had his DV camera there this evening so that's been immortalised on film. Yay.

Unfortunately my roundhouse was off-camera so all that there is to prove it is a thwack and a lot of groaning.

Next training is on Saturday arvo so more updates then, if I still have the use of my hands..

Thursday, March 10, 2005

it rubs the lotion on its skin..

A few links for your amusement, since I've not been posting links (or, indeed, anything) much of late.

This one came via the lovely Michelle (always a source of quality kitten photos). I laughed long & hard, proving that I am so totally a geek.. (and I *love* the stick figures on his sidebar)

The best of the LotR rip-off gifs: Boromir's invisible phone. *still giggling*
No, I take it back: the Horn of Gondor is the best! *snorting with laughter*
Hang on, this one beats all.. *expires laughing*

The catchiest, creepiest song I've heard in a long while: Lotion (go to downloads and have a look at the video).

Finally, quote of the day from Alexi Sayle:

"Americans have different ways of saying things. They say elevator', we say `lift'...they say `President', we say `stupid psychopathic git'...."

I've no idea when he said it or which President he was referring to. Could have been any of them over the last 20 years or so...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

add it up

I saw the Violent Femmes tonight. Forgot my camera though so you'll have to take my word for it. Wish I'd had it: the gig was at the Enmore Theatre in Newtown, a cool old venue, and there were a number of times I wish I'd been able to capture the scene.

I've been a Femmes fan for about 20 years now and this is the third time I've seen them. It was amusing seeing the range of ages there, from teens to fortysomethings. Great to see they're still striking a chord with teens of today with their angsty death/drugs/sex orientated lyrics. The crowd was less active than the previous one I'd seen - that was 10 years ago and at a University Orientation so it's not surprising. But they were still extremely vocal and plenty of arm waving. And some guy, who must have been VF's No#1 Australian fan, right in front of us absolutely going off his nut - screaming, shouting & dancing like a wildman. That was so great to see - he must have been 19 or 20, and would have only just been born when the band formed. He had even bought several t-shirts which he gave to some of the people around him towards the end of the night.

While they've not really put out anything new that can hold a candle to their seminal 80's work they really know how to put on a performance. This time the original drummer (Victor DeLorenzo) was back with the band and centre-stage throughout playing his trademark snare, cymbal & tom standing up (when he wasn't running around the stage or generally acting the madman). He was definitely the liveliest of the three and did the most interacting with the crowd. He also did a big drum solo (when do you ever see that these days?!) which was hilarious as well as excellently done.

By contrast Gordon Gano (guitar & vocals - I shouldn't have to tell anyone this stuff really!) kept himself out of the spotlight almost entirely - except for a couple of guitar solo bits. His voice definitely hasn't changed with age, still the familiar nasal whiney twang. Great to hear *g*

Brian Ritchie on bass had the most extensive collection of instruments of any bass-player I've ever seen. He played 5 different kinds of bass throughout the night from a large acoustic-electric bass guitar, to a fully electric upright bass, an electric bass guitar, a 2 string slide bass, and a bizarre single string upright contraption that honestly looked like a mop handle with a wire attached. All of them sounded brilliant.

The best bits for me (since I wasn't into dancing tonight) were the extended jazz-like jam-sessions they had with some other musicians - a couple of sax players, banjo, slide-whistle, trumpet, and accordion. I loved their rendition of 'I Held Her in My Arms', and 'Gimme The Car' was brilliantly realised despite (or perhaps because of?) them all being parents now. The jazzy, quirky noodling that is part of 'Black Girls' was also particularly cool. They ended the set with a lengthy 'Kiss Off' which had them going crazy and getting the crowd going wild too.

All-in-all a superb gig. If you get a chance to catch these guys you won't regret it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

call me david

For I have killed Goliath. I can prove it: I've got his death certificate.

I did King Kong the other week too (Kong is actually his middle name btw). He was a pussy.

I've massacred many luminaries, such as Doris Day, David Bowie, Salma Hayek, Robbie Burns, James Dean, Kenny Everett, Keith Richards, and Nina Simone. Amongst others. I'm an unstoppable killing machine.

You could even call me Judas - I've killed the Messiah. Well, probably just a messiah.. (actually it was a typo, shoulda been Massiha.. still, it's nearly as good as the 'Scared Funerals' one *g*)

It's been a while since I tried to get myself Dooced by ranting on about work and the weirdness that goes on there. Actually I'd probably appreciate being fired, the shine has definitely come off this job. I'll tell you about the guy in my office with the persistent cough sometime when I can do it without frothing at the mouth and fantasizing about tying a knot in his windpipe..

But some of the amusing, interesting or just plain bizarre things I've come across:

The guy who's nickname, recorded for all eternity on his death certificate, is "Dick Honey". He had no excuse, his first name wasn't even Richard. Another had the interesting moniker of "Duck Bong". I'm baffled.

A trio of hilariously (to my puerile mind) named Chinese women: Fook-Ye, Kitty Fok, and the last called Sha Wing. Oh, you just can't make this stuff up.

But showing that the Oriental people aren't the only ones to have silly names, the lovely Grace Myfanny from England had me in stitches. What were her parents thinking?!

And of course there was the Bozo. From a family of Bozos. And he had three Bozo children. Sheesh.

The woman inexplicably named Cloreen. I wonder if she was employed as a pool sanitiser?

The most interesting place of birth: "under a tree" and in the 'Name of Attending Doctor' field "there was none". Brilliant.

Then there's the guy who died from (amongst other things) an occult bowel obstruction. I know it's a valid medical term but it makes me think he'd been eating wax voodoo dolls.

In the oddly-named-towns category there's Bogangate, NSW. I'm picturing a town of mullets, black jeans and Motorhead t-shirts. And Holden HQ's of course.

It gets funnier when you get into medical acronyms. Sprinkled amongst the prosaic HT, AMI, COAD, IHD, etc are gems like TNCF - meaning Toe Nails Cut & Filed, and GOK = God Only Knows. You know if that's on your chart in hospital things are looking grim.

More amusingly there are the actual official medical abbreviations FLK and FLM. Translating respectively as Funny Looking Kid and Funny Looking Mother. Oh man, I was in hysterics when I found that..

But it's not all shits & giggles - there was a guy who's profession was listed as 'Circus Performer', but given that he died of chronic alcohol poisoning must have been one of the sad clowns.

And just the other day an overweight diabetic who'd had three separate amputations in the last 4 months of his life. Talk about dying by degrees.

There are so many sad stories. People who have died destitute and alone and not been found for days or weeks. Or in one memorable case, years. Sure there are many who've lived long lives and are mourned by family and friends, but there are others - like the woman in her twenties who died suddenly (24 hours!) of septic shock, leaving three children under 5. Or the 90 year-old woman who'd had severe Alzheimer's dementia, depression, anxiety and immobility for 20 years. I just hope to have the faculties left to take myself out before I get that bad.

Damn. Sorry, I didn't mean to get all depressing. There's just a lot of death about and when you work with it it's hard not to dwell on mortality far more than most people find comfortable.

I meant to write a bit about the death of Doctor Gonzo the other day. Not so much about him personally but the effect his books have had on my life, from reading them and also through Rupert & mine's interesting attempt to recreate portions of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". Man, those are some brain cells I wont be getting back. Maybe another day.

I've also got a bitch about the Academy Awards all stored up too.. I've got rants about most things when it comes down to it.

And this post goes to illustrate why I should stick to photos of cats. I just don't know when to stop..

How about now? Righto.