Thursday, December 20, 2007

Photos from last night at the Christmas thing.

For the first time in three years, the view was actually clear, as opposed to us being closed in by smoke from bushfires or fog, as we were in the previous years. Although I guess that forced us to admire the Christmas decorations (which are beautiful). Later in the evening, a thunderstorm was happening in the distance over the city and it was all rather gorgeous.

Plus the evening itself was hilarious (particularly with my officemate and his girlfriend) (oh, and then with the plunger thing - got a vid of that somewhere!).

Thank God for the end of the year.

And thank God for no work for a few weeks at least. Even though it pays the bills and keeps me out of mischief, sometimes you do sort of think to yourself, "Gosh, I think I need a holiday or I'm going to scream. Loudly."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'll drown my beliefs
To have you be in peace
I'll dress like your niece
To wash your swollen feet

Just don't leave
Don't leave

I'm not living
I'm just killing time
Your tiny hands
Your crazy kitten smile

Just don't leave
Don't leave

And true love waits
In haunted attics
And true love lives
On lollipops and crisps

Just don't leave
Don't leave

Just don't leave
Don't leave

True Love Waits by Radiohead.

Just because it's been stuck in my head this evening.

Per aspera ad astra

I bought the Oct/Nov/Dec issue of cream the other day because of the "This Era Vulgaris" article. Although I could have just read it online, but there's something about having a physical copy of the magazine in your hands that's more satisfying than words on a screen.

Anyhoodle. I was standing in the newsagent flicking through the issue and stumbled across the article and am standing there reading it thinking, "Yes, yes, yes. I must buy this. Damn this vulgar era." Not that every era isn't vulgar in some way or another - there's something to be despised in every decade/century/millenium really - but I thought the article summed up so well the way in which our culture so happily feasts on the rotting carcass of trash.

Particularly interesting was the statement by the writer of the featurette, Thereyns Koo: "No longer does the mainstream aspire to dressing up, reading challenging books or listening to clever music, but instead are determined to dumb down the world around them even more, to avoid challenge or change." Amen hallelujah. It pretty much sums up the instant gratification culture and the way in which people are more than happy for "information" to be disseminated through less-than-reputable sources ("I read it on Wikipedia!" "A seven-year-old could have written that!!"), using it as some excuse to avoid having to engage in too much further thought or in-depth analysis...

Instead of being inspired to greatness, we're told to keep it dumb. Particularly if we're female, in which case we should be both dumb and slutty (and yet somehow chaste, because although guys demand you put out, they apparently don't like it if you do), as well as subservient to the whims of men, air-brushed and lifeless. And if not, we must be fat, hairy, man-hatin' feminists. Having an opinion about the things that matter in life is something that seems to be frightening for people, whether you're male or female. However, what you *really* need to have an opinion on is whatever Famous or NW or whatever is peddling about celebrity x this week. As if it matters.

Koo also notes the way in which literature isn't immune from vulgarity at the moment and it's something I strongly agree with. Earlier in the year, my friend Kim and I were lamenting the death of the more interesting variety of book at the hands of such things as chick-lit and other mental midgetry while we were in a bookshop in the CBD. I find it enormously hard to care about chick-lit as it all runs on the same basic theme of 30-ish female faces challenges and singleness, other challenges, nice man, more challenges about as mentally taxing as choosing shoes in the morning, happily paired off with nice man at end of novel. Ooh, innovative. Challenging.

Bad fashion, bad books, bad music, bad art, constantly reveling in things that we really could care less about. Not that the occasional bit of trashy goodness should be avoided at all costs, but why not make the intellectual version of junkfood just a small part of our viewing/reading/consuming "diet"?

Instead of aspiring for better things on an intellectual and personal level, we're encouraged to aspire for the latest plasma-screen tv or a holiday to Bali or some other superficial way in which to "reward yourself" that only depletes your bank balance as you attempt to keep up with the Joneses.

It's all frustrating. Why should we celebrate mediocrity when excellence can be aspired to?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

This afternoon, the Pirates of the Carribean-style production of Pirates of Penzance was on ABC when I got home (admittedly, only the last half hour of it or so). When it was finished, I dug out my Pirates of Penzance CDs and cleaned the house while singing along. And probably annoying the hell out of my neighbours. And not being able to reach the high notes Mabel does. But that's something I'd not want to do, for fear of breaking glass.


The whole thing made me feel rather nostalgic. When I was growing up back in the glorious state of South Australia, my parents and I would regularly attend the Gilbert and Sullivan performances put on by the Scott Theatre group. That was from a very young age for me (and I was terrified of The Sorcerer when I was about five - the production featured a character appearing in massive explosion and puff of green smoke). And it wasn't just G&S. It was going to all sorts of concerts and theatre productions and art exhibitions and so on.

When we moved to New South (Cultural Drought) Wales, it kinda stopped. And I've done a bit of it since moving to Victoria, which is far better than NSW. But I miss all of the concerts and productions and everything so much.

That's just my little whinge, I guess.

And it's something I have to work on - finding more interesting things to go to, exploring alternative cultural stuff, just getting back in touch with the things I enjoy instead of life being all about work. Which is not really all that exciting.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Painting evolution

After seven hours, the painting is done. Hurrah! It's a present for my parents for Christmas - just something simple. Although with the amount of time it took, I guess it's not that "simple." But still, at least it's done (aside from a couple bits to add some more paint to and the frame to work on).

Friday, December 14, 2007

New Shoes

Two pairs of shoes bought today while shopping for final Christmas stuff. I needed new black ones for work, but these are perhaps a little too high and squeezey to be a sensible option. As for the gold ones... They had to come home with me, you see.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The weekend so far...

^ Christmas decorations, which look like they were designed by some Scandinavian IKEA person called Sven. Although they were in a cheapie shop...

^ Finished making truffles for the work people Christmassy thing. I never want to make truffles again. Well, other than the dark chocolate ones with glace ginger centres, coated in another layer of dark chocolate. So, so good.

^ Raspberries. Organic. $4.50. So luscious!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I found this today while flicking through a notebook, and seeing as I can't be bothered coming up with anything to post, here it is:

Country. Public. Transport. A combination of words to fill you with horror.

The quiet 7.30 run with loud Vega FM. The abundance of teens who live there and tote around Supre bags, which are not really a replacement handbag in any sense. Combine that with trackpants and my overwhelming desire to scream. Especially when they involve horrible flourescent colours.

Trackies, Supre bags, some weird variety of country-meets-Frankston wear. Emo/punk-wannabe guys who look like they think life is all pain in between hittin' on chicks and working at the local supermarket to earn some money for hairdye.

And there's so much greyness. Cardigans, shirts, camel-toe trackies... All in varying shades of blandness.

A lone kangaroo in a sun-filled patch between trees in a scrap of bushland looks up as the bus rushes past. The sun's further up in the sky, glinting in the corner of my eye. On top of that, we're inflicted with U2.

A bee fuzzes along at the window as we pull up at traffic lights, disappears as we drive off. The bus pulls up a few metres ahead to let some elderly people and guys with bad hair onto the bus. One smells like cigarette smoke and the attempt to cover it up...

I guess you could say it's a love/hate relationship with public transport. Melbourne trains are fascinating, though - never fail to have freaks on there, such as the guy who spent 15 minutes or more telling a friend and I about the evils of plastic shopping bags, which according to him, make houses burn down. Not that they're bad for the environment. No. THEY. BURN. DOWN. HOUSES.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The winner of the Turner Prize has been announced. First, I should say I think the Turner Prize is great and I like the idea of it. And some of the art of it. But then at the same time, so much of it is a load of bollocks. I mean, Mark Wallinger's work was described thus: "In this meditative yet disquieting work, notions of national memory and allegory converge to continue Wallinger's examination of the themes of identity and representation."

As you do when you dress as a bear and wander around a gallery.

I wish I was British. Then I'd definitely be trying to enter with whatever randomness I could come up with. For example, this film from last night with the rain...

...which I think can safely be interpreted as our need to allow ourselves to occasional regress to our childhood states of enjoyment and pleasure in simplicity. I shall call it "Regression Verse 5." The shortness of the film is indicative of the shortness of our lives, and thus the need to make sure we are able to find enjoyment in every possible moment.

My other idea is a single solitary stick in a huge room with a tv with blaring static only at one end, which will represent the alienation and disquietening aloneness of the clinical, technological, meaningless 21st century.

And if the judges don't like it, I can simply smack them with the stick. In an art fashion.

For those interested, there is also the Turnip Prize.

Last night's rain

And this was actually after it had stopped raining - water was cascading down the steps like some kind of unwanted water feature when we had the serious downpour.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Demon Dentist of Fleet Street


I had to go to the dentist today. And, in the words of Bollo, "I got a bad feeling about this" as soon as I saw the dentist. You know how you just have one of those gut instinct moments that says, "RUN! NOW!" but I was in uber-heels and really needed something done about my tooth.

Instead of fixing the area of concern, the dentist drilled and filled (unnecessarily) the other side of the tooth, completely nowhere (in tooth terms) near the actual problem. When you're unable to feel what's going on courtesy of the anesthetic, that's not really a good thing.

So now I have to go back on Wednesday to get the tooth fixed. Properly. Although now I've got an unhappily flattened "filled" opposite side of my tooth. And I'm so cross.

I miss my normal tooth :(

Saturday, December 01, 2007

For the first time ever, I made focaccia.


It worked out so well! Topped with kalamata olives, thinly sliced marinated artichoke and caramelised onion. Of course, it was about 3000 degrees in the kitchen while doing the cooking.

Really should avoid doing any baking during the Summer, for fear of melting the oven...

Oh, and surely I'm not the only one to be kind of disappointed about The Side Show getting cancelled? Yes, I am? Oh... But it was good! And Paul McDermott - so gorgeous! *sigh* Ah well.

Moses supposes his toeses are roses... Heh.