Thursday, March 31, 2005

Riding the Bus

After work today I walk out of the building and out the gate, up Omnibus Lane, right onto Ultimo Road, left along Harris Street to Broadway and across to Railway Square. That's where I catch the bus home.
I lean against the railing and pull my book out. I read a paragraph then look up to see if the bus is coming, then look around at the other people. My eyes almost pop out of their sockets to see a tall and brown and muscular woman proudly striding along with her breasts almost popping out of her top. There only appears to be some thin lime green material on either side, barely containing them, I can't see how. My mouth snaps open and I blink a few times rapidly. Am I hallucinating? No, there she is and there they are. It's not even summer any more, and it's getting pretty cool now, especially at this time of day. I don't feel the cold, but if I did I would have my jacket on. But here is a woman with her defiant and magnificent breasts thrust boldly out and into the cool Autumn air.
Still marvelling, I make my eyes move back down to the book.
Several buses charge up and one of them is mine. I join the crowd and climb up the stairs, my face in the ass of some sweet-smelling young uni student. It doesn't bother me. It is not uncomfortable. I don't move back. She doesn't seem to mind, either.
It occurs to me that I am surrounded by desirable women.
I hand over my $1.60, always exact change. The bus starts at this stop so there are always plenty of seats. Some people look at me as I walk up the aisle, some people look out the window. I find an empty seat, slide over to the window and open my book. After I read one sentence four times, I look around at the other people on the bus. There is a man with his hair sticking up, he is looking at the ceiling with his mouth open. In front of him is a woman with white wires coming out of her ears. Another man is wearing a suit, he is reading the sports section of the newspaper. What is so interesting about the sports section? Sometimes, just for the hell of it, and sometimes to see if there are any pictures of synchronised swimming, I will flip through the sports section and all I ever see is pictures of people with distorted and grotesque facial expressions.
The bus stops at some traffic lights and I look out the window at the cars alongside the bus. There is somebody in each car operating that vehicle. They have to negotiate traffic and deal with traffic lights. They get impatient because they get another red light, or get mad because somebody cuts in front of them. I'm glad to be on the bus. I got my book and I can read it, don't have to watch for red lights or idiots swerving in front of me. The bus driver handles that, and he is a professional, it's his job. Anyway, the bus is enormous. It wouldn't matter too much if some idiot swerved in front of us. And I can look up from my book anytime I want and look at the other people on the bus. The people with the white wires coming out of their ears. The junkie couple up the front facing us all with half-closed eyes and eyeballs rolling around lazily, loudly discussing "twenty cent".
The women reading books they refuse to show me the cover of.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Haircut

Late last night, after I had finished writing here, I went and cut my hair. I have been cutting my own hair for seven years. It is difficult to think of a situation that made me more uncomfortable than sitting in a barber's chair having my hair cut. Also, half the time the barber would do a terrible job. It looked like he had used a knife and fork. After one particularly freakish atrocity, the time came around when my hair needed cutting once more. I was half drunk and looking at it in the mirror. Yes, it needed cutting, alright. I shivered and moaned to think of yet another trip to the *professional haircutter*. Why couldn't I take a crack at it? How hard could it be? Not that hard, surely! Instantly and with sure conviction I made up my mind, and rushed over and grabbed my scissors, wet my hair and began cutting. It wasn't hard. Cut some here, some there. Don't get wreckless and cut too much at one time. But not only was it not hard, it was liberating! No longer would I have to worry about sitting in that chair, sweating and feeling uncomfortable, making small talk and going home to find out what manner of butchery had been committed. It was another thing I could do myself! It was like a man who lived in a world where the only food came from one restaurant. Every day the man went to that restaurant. But that restaurant was a place of horror. Rats crawling on the floor, and cockroaches, the waitress was mean and smelled bad, and the food always made the man sick. The man felt sick in the stomach every time hunger came upon him. THEN! Then one day walking home, sick and sweating and in enormous despair, from that restaurant, he takes a different path home. Along that path, behold! he comes across a small and charming house. An old man and woman are standing outside, smiling and waving their arms in a welcoming, friendly manner. They are dressed in simple but clean clothes, they do not smell bad, they are a nice old couple, and they are standing behind a table with different food ingredients on the table. Some eggs, some bread, tomatoes, onions, all kinds of wonderful things! These kindly old folk inform the man of the purpose of these items, and how to cook them, one by one, in a particular order, and by various means; some boiled, some roasted, some fried. They sell these items to the man at a fraction of the cost of what the nightmare restaurant charges for its hideous, foul fare. They tell the man he can come back anytime, they will always be there. See! The man is liberated forever from having to go back to that nightmare restaurant that has always caused him such crippling misery!
And in the same way was I liberated to discover I could cut my own hair!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Ring 2


I have been revving myself up for the last week for The Ring 2 so today at work I was all ready to split early and catch the 4:00pm session. I walk over to the boss and say, 'Boss, here I am to let you know I aim to get the hell out of here at 3:45 today.' Boss make some strange sound and I walk back to my desk. I already know I'm gonna leave early, but just in case I've forgotten something, which I know I haven't, but just in case, you know, I write on a small yellow Post-It note: 'YOU ARE STAYING BACK UNTIL 5:00 TODAY, RIGHT?' and jam it against glass of COLLEAGUE's workstation. COLLEAGUE look at it squinting and start shaking her head. Then it all comes back to me. Last week we arranged to flip around so I would stay back on Tuesday this week. Ah. Well. OK. I'm a big boy, no need to throw a tantrum. I will just go to the 5:45 session.
I stayed back until 5:00, then got the hell outta there. Outside it was interesting. Daylight saving finished a couple days ago so it is much darker out there now. I threw my arms out, flapped them around a bit, enjoying the new darkness. I walked up to George Street then along to the cinema. There were a lot of people in the lines, and I gave a lot of them the Evil Eye. Goddam lines. Goddam lines of people. And what a surprise! I found myself in the line that was NOT MOVING. At the beginning I was looking at a cute Asian girl in the line next to me. (I could not take my eyes off her mouth: the small, thoughtful movements of her bottom lip as she watched the video screen showing movie previews. Ah!) A few minutes later she was buying her ticket and I was still in the same place. My head spun around a few times like Linda Blair, I stamped my feet, wobbled my head from side to side, and muttered darkly. Those mutterings seem to be getting louder. A cranky old man at 37! HA! Pretty amusing. So what. Lately if I feel cranky I don't worry about covering it up. After that I calmed down, the line moved again and I got my ticket. $7.40! SUPER BARGAIN! (Although for the past month Tuesdays have been $5.00. Bring it, punk.)
I went out to the street again and had a cigarette, read some of my book and walked back inside, got a vanilla choc-top and went to Cinema 11.
Cinema 11 does not have an enormous screen, but it does not have one of the tiny screens, either. There were a lot of people in there already and my favourite positions had gone, so I had to sit a little closer to the screen than I would usually, but it was OK. No need for tantrum, or hair-pulling.
Time for the previews. For the past six weeks or so I have been seeing the preview for War of the Worlds. I am positively VIBRATING with RABID DESIRE to see this movie. Anyway, after about half a million other boring previews the movie got started.
Maybe I revved myself up too much for Ring 2, because it really disappointed me. It was boring, the characters were dumb and annoying (Naomi Watts needs to be rescued again by David Lynch), it seemed to go on forever, it wasn't very scary, there was a dumb scene with buck deer with big antlers going nuts and ramming a car (actually, come to think of it, that was one of the highlights!), there was a lot of dumb water that wasn't scary, the sound was not used effectively (unlike in The Grudge), some of the music was OK but not loud enough, one scene was very good which was the scene of Samara running up the side of the well, I kept looking at my watch, kept rolling my eyes, shaking my head, groaning, jerking around in my seat. Did I rev myself up too much or was the movie simply average?
Well, at least it was nowhere near as lame as Seed of Chucky. *vomit*

Monday, March 28, 2005

Broken Robot

Hello. Can't write nuthin'. How depressing. Black cloud. Over head. Big cliche. Who cares. Yes sir, I am trying to not go at the work lightly. Instead go darkly. In despair. Not fun. Not feel good. Ha ha. Still laugh. Idiot grin. Walk outside. Walk inside. Look at wall. Eyes roll back. Jerk and twitch. Laugh some more. Sigh again.
Walk outside. Up dark street. Get some beer. Come back home. Glass of beer. One glass down. Three to go. TV on. Every time. Look at screen. Feeling sick. TV off. Write words. Like robot. Broken robot. Laughing crying. Circuits shorting. Sparks flying. Arms flapping. Legs jerking. Not working.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

A Survey of Some Recent Blogs IV

Are there any good blogs out there? Probably not. But let's take another look, fired up with mad optimism!

1. Real Estate News. Another ad blog. *vomit* Look out because I am coming to torture you and kill you! Here I come! Start running! HA! I have caught up with you! I am torturing you and you are screaming! The pain is MONUMENTAL. Don't worry, I now kill you and you are dead! No more Real Estate News ad blog! YAY!
2. A blog where my mouse pointer suddenly turns into a white teddy bear head with a pink ribbon. WAAAAAAAAA! I kill you, too!
3. Musings on Communication and Culture. God Almighty how boring your blog is! And dull! Deadly dull and boring! I sleep now! Insomnia cured!
4. Cute little Asian pork chop blog. You can write "stuffs" and "dun" instead of "don't", no problem, only giggle and smile at me forever! How dear you are to me! It's LOVE!
5. This blog, only one post: Say "Hello World" to MyBlog!! I will not! I will say you are off to a bad boring start! Hello! Goodbye!
6. A blog from Norway. Yay! In Norwegian. Boo!
7. Daexo. Well as you can see, this is me levelling up to Level 43. [You lose 36 hitpoints due to an attack by a cyclops.] Ah, videogames! I will not abandon you forever! Can anybody tell me when Final Fantasy XII is coming out? How about The Legend of Zelda? *sigh*
8. A picture frame ad blog. Perfect! I will need one of your picture frames for the picture I take of you shortly after I have finished committing atrocities upon your stinking repulsive ad blogger corpse! Now that's what I call serendipity!
9. Real Catholic. Real Boring! Hail Mary full of grace the boringness is with me!
10. Memoirs of the Last of the Gwynne Tribe. Singapore noodle blog. Yes! I think we have something promising here: My parents have betrayed me. Turn me over to the Sith at once. I like the way this young noodle writes! And behold! I have found a blog that does not suckity-suck!
My work here is done! Goodnight!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Army Barracks

I went out for a walk tonight. I decided to walk around the perimeter of the army barracks. Whenever I walk past it, I always wonder what is going on in there, what are they up to. I think of how much neater their rooms must be than mine. It doesn't bother me because they are told to clean their room. I can do it, or not. If I have something I think is more important, I will do it, and to hell with the dusting. There is always something more important to do than dusting. Anyway, I wonder what they are up to in there besides cleaning their rooms and shining their shoes. What do they do at night? I try to see in but the wall is too high. A big sandstone wall in the way, all around the edge. I can't see much looking through the main gate, and if I stop outside the gate and look in, the guard looks at me. So I start walking again, uncomfortable to have the army guard looking at me. All around it there is the big wall. At regular sections along the wall there are holes that were put there to shoot out of, and they are angled, wider on the outside than the inside, so a gun can fire left and right. Depressingly, these have been sealed up with concrete so I can't look in. At one point, I see the roof of a building over the high wall. What is that building? Is there anybody in there? If there is, what are they doing in there? It is very quiet on the other side of the wall. All I can hear are crickets. How many army men are in the barracks? They are very quiet. Maybe they are cleaning their rooms. Are they allowed to go out at night? Maybe they have been allowed to go out tonight. I still want to know what is on the other side of the wall. The wall is pretty high, it looks like thirteen feet. I think about bringing a ladder, setting it against the wall, climbing up, sitting on the wall, pulling the ladder up and putting it down on the other side and climbing down. What would I see? How far would I get? I could put charcoal on my face. Are there motion detectors? Do soldiers patrol the grounds? What would happen if I was caught? They wouldn't find it amusing, or appreciate my curiosity. I realise it would not be a good idea to climb over the army barracks wall with a ladder. I walk back home.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Night Piss

I walked through Hyde Park at 1:00am. I had to piss desperately and there is nothing better than pissing surrounded by trees. I walked up to a big tree in sufficient darkness and pissed away. Glorious! Ecstasy! I was drunk and talking, telling the tree what a wonderful feeling it was, what a wonderful place this was, this night, this park, not a soul around, just me and the trees. I was talking and laughing. I felt pretty damn good. The tree was there in front of me and above me, like an ancient giant, it didn't mind that I was pissing on it, it knew that I honoured it, that there was nothing but drunken joy radiating from my soul.
I had just finished pissing and looked up into the tree. There was a little face peering intently back at me. A possum! The possum was sitting there on the branch, perfectly still and at ease, curiously examining me. I began talking to the possum, Aren't you a curious little fellow! If you want to know, I just stopped to urinate on this nice tree here. I see you looking at me. You do not seem to be afraid, only curious, that's perfectly natural, you must have heard me talking to myself, and laughing. Well, I am happy, you see. Isn't it a perfect night, and so quiet, with nobody around? You are still looking at me, I see you are interested, I am, too. Do you want to say something? No? That's OK. I will continue. But aren't you a dear and curious little fellow!
After a long time of this one-sided conversation, the possum moved off up the branch, and out of sight.
I walked off, feeling ridiculously happy. Some wonderful, nameless thing had passed between myself and one of these night creatures!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Friday Night Lights


There was only one movie I wanted to see after work today; as for the others, I either didn't want to see 'em or I had already seen 'em. I stalled as long as I could before leaving work, what a strange thing to do! Not so: it was raining outside and I didn't have an umbrella. I went eventually, and got half soaked on the way to the movie house. When I got there, I had some time to kill so I went up and sat on the floor against a wall and read my book. Unsurprisingly, it wasn't long before some cinema employees came up and asked me to move, they had to put a fence up so they could form an orderly line with the moviegoers. I got up and went to the opposite wall and stood there for a while, looking at the people in line. I was over by the wall, by myself. I felt pretty good.
Then it was time to go in to watch the movie, Friday Night Lights. Why was I going to see a goddam sports movie? Because Billy Bob Thornton was in it, that's why. Billy Bob wouldn't put himself in a movie that sucked, and if he put himself in a sports movie, there must be something damn good about it, and I was about to find out what that was.
The movie is based on a book, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger. This all happened in 1988 in a small town called Odessa, in Texas. The local high school football team has a new coach, played by Billy Bob Thornton, and he does his best to get them through to the end of the season in order to win the state finals, blah blah blah. Sounds boring doesn't it? Well it sure ain't, because not only is Billy Bob at the top of his game (*UGH!*), but this is a sports movie for people who couldn't care less about sports, or, in this case, American football.
I've been itching to get to this, so here it is: the music in this movie is surprising and awesome. No wait, it is SURPRISING and AWESOME. Early in the movie a Public Enemy track is heard blasting from some car. Of course, this is 1988, when Public Enemy were the most insane shit around. Chuck D and his intelligent and hypnotic ryhymes, Flavor Flav and his spazzy rhymes and big clock and moves, Professor Griff and his S1Ws and their comical serious military moves, and those kettles boiling over and over and over. BRING THE NOISE. But what the hell is this music doing in a sports movie? Jocks never listened to this stuff, did they? There is something going on here...
Another song in the movie is New Noise by a band called Refused. I only know this band, and this song, from the music video which I have seen several times, and goddam it is something else. The lead singer must come pretty close to exploding, there is so much energy running through his mad, jerking frame. And the song is a corker.
And still! there was this other music throughout the movie: instrumental, no voices, lonesome epic guitars, melodic and heartbreakingly beautiful. Was it Godspeed You Black Emperor! ? No sir, it was not. Staying back to watch the credits roll right through, I found out that this music was made by a band called Explosions in the Sky. Ah! What a perfect name! What perfect music! And in a sports movie! A sports movie with perfect non-sports music!
Friday Night Lights! Recommended!
*explodes*

Red Eyes

Woke up with red eyes, had little sleep, stayed up late gesturing excitedly, making plans, feeling TITANIC.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Life Aquatic


When I gladly left my workplace at 3:45 this afternoon, I took myself along to watch a movie called The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I have been looking forward to seeing this movie since seeing the preview many times this past month, before other movies. It looked like it would be a good one.
In the movie, the GREAT Bill Murray plays Steve Zissou, a man who makes marine life documentaries, like those made by Jacques Cousteau in the '70s. I was a kid in the seventies and remember many weekend afternoons watching these fascinating programs. Wes Anderson must have seen them, too, and obviously they made a strong impression on him, because in this movie, he has captured the goofy, heroic deep-sea adventurer style perfectly.
Anyway, Steve Zissou has been making these marine docos, but his career is going down the toilet, people seem to be wising up to the fakery going on in his films, but he must make another somehow, because during the making of his last one, his colleague and best friend was attacked and eaten by a mysterious Jaguar Shark, so, like Ahab and his mad quest for the White Whale, Zissou must quest for his Spotted Shark. By a great stroke of luck, he meets a young man (Ned, played by Owen Wilson, another actor I like, quite a likeable fellow) who may be his son, invites him to join his crew, and Ned offers to fund the mission with his inheritance.
There is a wonderful scene where Zissou gives Ned a tour of his ship (The Belafonte) and we see the entire ship in cross section, the camera swooping around from room to room, and we see members of the crew in each room, doing their thing. A memorable scene!
Another highlight was, or were, the various sea creatures shown up close. In one scene, a young boy presents Zissou with a gift: a spectacularly colourful seahorse in a water-filled plastic bag. The camera zooms in to a close-up shot of the seahorse, and it does a very amusing little dance. This was perhaps the best use of CGI technology I have seen in a movie in recent times.
I have to mention that not only is Bill Murray in this movie, but so too is Willem Defoe, who plays Klaus, one of Zissou's faithful crew members, who feels enormous admiration for his captain, and comically so at times, and is quite jealous of Ned's relationship with Zissou.
The music in the movie was very good, except for the black dude and his acoustic guitar versions of Bowie songs sung in Portuguese. I would not be surprised if I was in the minority here, but these I found annoying, and a drag.
In the middle of the movie, I noticed two people get up out of their seats, and in a very covert manner, make a sneaky dash across the aisle and sit down again. What was the meaning of this? I had to understand it. Craning my neck, and moving my head from side to side looking at them in their new position, I tried hard to figure it out. They moved from one side to the other. I could not see how they had improved their position. Was right preferable to left? Why then did they not sit to the right from the beginning? There had to be a reason behind it, there had to be. Did they simply do it to make me wonder about it, to make me miss some of the movie? Well, they succeeded, on both counts, and I am still wondering about it. I remain confounded. A mystery!

Are We Having Fun? Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Are You Having Fun?

I didn't write anything here last night because I worked at another rave party selling glo-stix and t-shirts and CDs. This one was at the same place as the other ones I worked at recently (at the skate centre in Penrith.)
This time we couldn't get a lift out there so I had to hire a car, it was silver, a Hyundai Getz. Is it named after the jazz dude Stan Getz? Who cares.
There were twice as many kids at the party as last time so we were selling glow products at a frantic pace, but we are professionals, it was no problem.
One of the dudes there who I talk to sometimes told me that he had started up kickboxing again, so I told him I'd bet he had seen Ong Bak, and he replied sure he had, so we talked about how excellent it was, and what a sensation Tony Jaa is. I asked him if he got black eyes and bruises and stuff from kickboxing and he said sure.
A girl came up and asked me the question I dread, or one of them. Not one of these nights passes without somebody asking me. They all want to know: Are you having fun? Do I look like I am having fun? If I look like I am having fun, then I probably am. If I don't look like I am having fun, then I am probably not. One minute I may be having fun, the next minute not, so if you look at me that next minute you may assume I am not having fun, whereas a moment ago I WAS having fun. Also, maybe I am not having fun but I tell you I AM having fun, because I feel compelled to answer in the positive. Anyway, do you really care if I am having fun? Does it matter to you? Do you care about me? Do you have a boyfriend? You see now, it is not an easy question to answer. Do you have time to listen to me as I explain how I can have fun and not have fun? No you don't because you must report to the dancefloor. It is impossible to be having fun all the time, and thankfully impossible to be miserable all the time. If I say yes I am having fun, I will feel like an idiot. It is a complicated business, no doubt about it.
Please excuse me, I have not slept. Now I am also hallucinating. I don't feel so hot, to be honest.
I am not having fun.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Night Walk

Tonight I went out for a walk, it had been raining, puddles everywhere, but no problem: no holes in my shoes. Drop of water fell from tree and landed on my nose, I jerked in surprise, my head leaping back and almost snapping my neck. A drop of water! That was all, no need for alarm.
Dog growled at me from behind fence, I made a loud booming Great Dane bark, or what I thought that would sound like, and the growling instantly stopped. I heard little doggy footsteps moving in opposite direction at high speed. I am the big dog in the street, easily frightening all other dogs. I stride along, feeling powerful, I go for walk by myself, unleashed.
Further along, woman putting bin out on street, sees me coming, races back inside and slams door. She must be afraid of dogs.
I think about all the times walking home late at night and there was a woman walking ahead of me. Always I notice the moment when they hear my footsteps behind them. I think of all the scenes from movies and TV shows where the woman realises somebody is walking some distance behind her, seems to be closing that distance. She looks back over her shoulder, again and again. Nothing. Nobody. Mounting terror. When I am the guy walking behind, it seems to me I am more uncomfortable than the woman, because every time this happens I want to call out to her, shout something like, "Please don't worry, miss, I am not a rapist. I am not following you. Well, I guess technically I am, but what I mean is, I am not pursuing you. Please do not be alarmed or frightened. I am just walking home to my apartment, that's it right there on the left, down near the bend in the street there, you see it?." Would that reassure her? It probably would, so I should do it, but probably won't, because I would feel ridiculous. Maybe it is better that for a brief while the woman wonders if it is a rapist behind her, than for me to make a damn fool of myself in a quiet dark street, and feel ridiculous.
Anyway, back to my little night walk around the neighbourhood.
When I got to the end of the street, I turned and walked along Oxford Street. There were cars zooming by, mostly in one direction, out to Bondi. It's a big deal on Friday night for the kids to go zooming out to Bondi in their hotted-up shitboxes. When the lights are red, and the cars stop, there is always one that has some kind of monster sound system blasting some godawful shit. Their taste in music is appalling, but I look in the car and they are all wearing stupid tracksuits, so at least they are consistent.
I walk past a local pub. Well, it used to be a pub, now it is a club, and there are many *young people* outside. They are not talking to each other, but talking to other people on their tiny phones, so tiny I can't even see them. They don't want to talk to people around them, it seems, only to people who are some distance away. Those people will never be where they are, but always at some remote location, so they can communicate inanities to each other through their TECHNOLOGY.
I am at the club.
You are at the club?
Yes. At the club.
Are there hotties there?
Yes. Are there hotties where you are?
Yes. There are hotties here, too.
What did you say? I can't hear you...
What did you say? It's pretty noisy here...
Blah blah..
Blah blah blah..
Yippity-yip..
Yappity-yap...

I turn at the next street, and God Almighty what a great surging relief it is to be back in the darkness, the noise receding behind me. There are people in their houses all around me, sometimes I see them through the window, briefly, as I walk past. I think about PEEPING TOMS, are there such people still, today? Do those people still exist, going about their covert, obsessive business? I admire them. They have their hobby. It must be a hobby frought with risk and danger.
Still wondering about the life of a peeping tom, I arrive back at my apartment building, and walk inside.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Intermission [aborted]

Tried to write a movie review, spent two hours doing it, it got worse as time went on, had to abort the damn thing. Can't write shit tonight. What a retard. Gonna poke myself in the eye and go to bed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Dirty Look

After work I had to go to the supermarket to get some supplies. I got the stuff and walked out, a bag in each hand. Halfway back to my place a woman was coming towards me, as she neared, I looked at her face and I'll be damned if she didn't give me a dirty look. Why did she do that? Did I somehow provoke that dirty look? My t-shirt didn't have any swear words on it. I didn't have a t-shirt like I saw a guy had in the street one time, a black t-shirt with big white letters that read: LET'S GET DRUNK AND KILL GOD. I am sure I didn't smell bad, and anyway, because she was still at some distance when she made that dirty face, there was no way she could smell me. I did not give her a dirty look, I was thinking of other things, not her, so didn't think about her one way or another, so I didn't give her a dirty look, or a lustful look, or a happy look, or an angry look. What else could it be? Was my photograph on the news? Were the police seeking me in conjunction with some abominable crime? Not to my knowledge, they weren't. I have committed no abominable crimes recently.
At last, when she was far behind me, I realised what it was that inspired that dirty look. I was carrying plastic bags from the supermarket. I did not have a GREEN BAG. I did not have my stuff in a GREEN BAG, those *environmentally friendly* bags everybody else seems to use these days. Right then I recalled that a split second before she hit me with that dirty look, her eyes went down to my two plastic bags, then back up to my face. THAT was when her face transformed from a not completely objectionable face, to one sporting a mean and dirty look, aimed square at myself.
Goddam it! I mumbled, and spun my head back to look for her, but she was out of sight, long gone. Goddam it!, mumbled I, once more. Boy, did that dirty look make me mad! What did she think I did with those plastic bags once I had emptied my grocery supplies out of 'em? Head out to the beach to find some dolphins to suffocate? How could she know that they are the perfect size for my plastic bin, so I use the damn things as bin liners? She don't care, don't think, just fire off dirty looks at fine and well-intentioned members of the community who have found the perfect size plastic bag for their plastic kitchen bin.
Goddam it, give ME a dirty look, will ya? I said, no longer mumbling.
HORRORHAG! I boomed, rattling my plastic bags in righteous fury.
I walked the rest of the way home in heroic disgust.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Ong-Bak


I'm no martial arts fan, but I was pretty excited to go and see Ong-Bak, a Thai movie starring a guy called Tony Jaa. I went and saw it this afternoon.
The story is pretty simple. Ting (Tony Jaa) has just become the best fighter in his small country village, but then his teacher tells him not to ever use his skills. (Ha! Like hell he won't. We know better!) Some young gangster from the city (Bangkok) comes in and steals the head from their Buddha and returns to the city with it. In a village meeting to decide what to do about this crisis, Ting volunteers to go and get it back. He goes to the city to try and get it back.
The first scene is insane. The young men of the village are trying to scramble up a big tree, each one tries to push the other off, lots of them fall out of the tree, and pretty high up too, some of them. How did these actors not get hurt? Even if they are stuntmen, how could it not hurt? The scene is amazing, but it's simply a warm-up for what comes next.
Even though Ting was told by his master not to fight, not to use his Muay Thai fighting technique, he is soon put in a position where he has no choice, which is in a Bangkok fight club, up against an enormous GI Joe-looking monster. From that point on, the movie sets up a variety of scenarios for Tony Jaa to display his AWESOME moves. These include machine-like punches, blocks and chops; acrobatic cartwheels that end in crunching kicks; high jumps that land with elbows hard down on the skull (I cannot understand this one - how could that not hurt yourself? Wouldn't you sometimes accidentally hit your funny bone?). There is a long chase scene through a market where Jaa somersaults over tables, jumps through a roll of barbed wire, does a split slide beneath a moving truck and jumps to run across enemy heads.
The whole way through, Ting is a damn likeable guy. He's only fighting these idiots because he has no choice, and he has to get his village's Buddha head back.
Another thing, the music was very good, a different kind of music I have not heard before.
One of the minor characters stood out for me. He was one of two big boss gamblers in the Bangkok fight club, an older guy with a tracheotomy who used one of those devices held up to the throat that made his voice a robot voice. These always get my attention because when I was 10 I had a paper route and one of my customers was a man who had one of these devices. I always got a little creeped out when I peddaled up to sell him his paper, and he would say *THANK YOU* in his robot voice.
Anyway, Ong-Bak was damn good, amazing, totally awesome and breathtaking, a guaranteed-to-make-your-damn-jaw-drop movie that I will recommend to EVERYBODY, whether they give a flying spin kick about martial arts movies or not.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Who's Afraid of Peter Straub? I Am


I wrote in my blog that Peter Straub was going to help me with something. I had never read one of his books, but still he promised to help me with something, maybe to help me select which book of his to read first. Next thing I know, I got an email from him, it said, "You are in violation of copyright. I am coming to torture you and kill you in a very horrible way. See you soon." I was terrified, thinking that if Peter Straub is serious, and he is a writer of horror books, what unimaginable (but not to a horror writer!) atrocities he would inflict upon me! At that same moment, I also saw his house, it was night and there was a man in the front yard, the yard was all overgrown, a jungle, and I saw that man through black and gnarled branches. He was struggling with something, somehow restricted. Then I saw what it was, he had managed to release himself from being tied to a tree. He got loose and started running, his face twisted and grotesque with fear, his hair wild. He had been tied up in Peter Straub's nightmarish and overgrown front yard.
There was also a sign stuck in the ground: "YES, YOU ARE BEING HUNTED."

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Filipino Subtitle Retards

I just finished watching the DVD of the movie Spanglish, starring Adam Sandler. But this was not a regular DVD, it was one of those two dollar Filipino jobs. One way to tell is the box covers look like shit, a really crappy lame colour xerox job. Another way to tell is that the movie is still in the goddam cinemas here. But the subtitle job on this movie was something else. It was terrible! It was wonderful! And hilarious! I only pity the poor deaf folk who watch it, but then again, these DVDs are illegal, aren't they? People shouldn't fuck around with this dirt cheap, illegal shit, right? Anyway, I am going to share these retarded and very funny subtitles with you. The highlights, anyway.

First, some notes. These Filipino subtitle retards did not bother to attempt to subtitle ALL the dialogue, sometimes it was every fourth line, sometimes every second, sometimes every seventh, and they gave up completely for the final 30 minutes of the movie. The subtitles simply vanished. The Filipino subtitle retards said fuck it, too tricky dicky, and went out for chicken's feet.

In the movie, Adam Sandlers' daughter is called Bernice, the Filipino subtitle retards called her Britney. The Mexican woman was called Flor, the Filipino subtitle retards called her Flod (and later, Clore.) The dog was called Chum, the Filipino subtitle retards called the dog Junk.

Right, now we can get down to business. The first part will be the subtitle as it appeared on screen, the second part (in brackets) will be the actual, spoken dialogue:

I'm just trying blank. (I'm just drawing blanks.)
Embarassed felt fault. (I'm embarassed, it's my own fault!)
Spending my time on mad. (I spent all my time on math.)
I'm glad to hear it because... (I'm glad you didn't get here earlier because...)
It's the same piece. (This is the same page.)
My mother did not understand her mailbox. (My mother did not understand her male boss.)
He's acting perfect small passion of restaurants. (Eating at this perfect, smaller, passionate restaurant...)
Actually do. (Ah, sure you do.)
Go get yourself on. (Yes, go get settled.)
I was thinking...I don't know what to say. (The flea market was...I don't know what to say.)
I not hit the critical. (What about hypocritical?)
days here. (I am dazed here.)
OK, that doesn't happy very well. (OK, that doesn't happen very often.)
I really enjoy the stars is starsky. (I really enjoy the Star Wars trilogy.)
She is not as best type as your wife. (This is the best time of your life.)
Do it for me, I will start punching myself with eggs. (Do this for me or I will set my hair on fire and start punching myself in the face!)
hey, body. (hey, pal.)
I can't pulling my keys. (I just can't find my keys.)
Want some pot? (Want some port?) [port wine, that is.]
but duties call and I am silver (but duty called, and I am sober.)
are you really that hard to me (Are you really that much nicer than me?)
that first step to hell (that first step out of hell.)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Silver Cars

Yesterday after work I headed over to see Andre and Cheryl's new house. I didn't have my bike so I had to get a train from Central to Redfern. I walked up to Central Station, through the underground tunnel, where were the buskers? There were none there. Usually there is one every 30 metres. You would walk past a busker playing a Casio or a didgeridoo, then keep walking, and just as the sound was about to disappear, there would be a new sound ahead, somebody playing a triangle or reciting bad poetry. But yesterday there was not one busker, not even somebody playing an old acoustic guitar with two strings. What have they done with the buskers? Anyway, I had other, more pressing matters to attend to, like buying my ticket from the vending machine, which did not go smoothly. It said $2.20 so I put in a two dollar coin and a fifty cent coin. The machine rejected my fifty cent coin, the stupid machine spat my coin back out at me. I kicked the machine, did not hurt my foot, so kicked it again. At the same time as the kicking, I also loudly called it a GODDAM SHITTING NO GOOD PIECE OF JUNK FUCKIN SHIT. Then I dug around in my bag for a goddam twenty cent piece and put that in and the machine was good enough to accept it and give me my goddam ticket.
I walked up to the platform and half the population of Sydney was right there on that platform. A train pulled up and along with half a million other people I jammed myself onto the train. I thought of what I'd seen of the Japanese train system, all that was missing here was the guy with the plank to help squeeze us all in there. In Sydney, we can take care of that ourselves, thank you.
It was a hot day, or maybe it was not a hot day, I'm always goddam sweating anyway. Jammed in the VESTIBULE as I was with all these other people, I was sweating like a fiend. In these circumstance I feel very self-conscious, even though why the fuck should I worry if somebody sees me sweating like a maniac, still that's how I feel. What does a person think when that person sees a group of people and one of them is sweating like a bastard, for no apparent reason? The sweating man (unless he is an athlete in his natural habitat) is a disgusting creature, who is no doubt guilty of some grotesquery, and clearly has some abominable thing to hide. THAT is what the person thinks.
Anyway, in that VESTIBULE I found something to occupy my thoughts, to take them off the subject of my sweating face and how grotesque and disturbing people must surely find it. Right next to me was a man, and on the other side of him was another man who kept looking at the man in a strange way. They were both average looking men, not wearing business suits, they could have been men whose job was a plumber or electrician. The second man kept staring at the first man, but the first man did not notice, but I sure did, and was fascinated. I had to understand what the second man found so interesting about the first man. The conclusion I came to was that he found that man attractive, he kept looking him up and down, sizing him up, checking his pecs and no doubt wondering what he looked like without his shirt on. Did he have a large penis? Did he have a problem with premature ejaculation? I was sure he was thinking those things. For sure he wasn't looking at the man in a regular, casual way.
Anyway, the train arrived shortly at Redfern, so it was time to leave the man to his homoerotic daydream. I was real glad to get my sweating face the hell off that packed train, into wide open space I threw myself, then up the stairs. I walked the rest of the way to Alexandria, and Andre and Cheryl's house.
They were at war, as usual. This time they were debating an excess water bill. I found it fascinating. No, I didn't. Andre grabbed some of his home brew beer and we walked across the road and down a little to the house they are moving into. The house was bare except for dead cockroaches scattered about the floor. The house had been nuked with bug killer. We went upstairs to the room with a balcony and drank beer and looked at the street from the balcony. Andre found an empty drug bag and a cigarette that had been emptied of tobacco. It wasn't long before he took off back to get more beer, and I had to go too, I had to go. No toilet paper in new house. On the way back from the old house to the new house there was a comical scene where Cheryl wanted to come over with us and Andre said, Well if you go over there, we'll go over there. I, being the sole voice of reason, a sort of referee, made a suggestion, Goddam it, why don't we all go over there and try to be the fuck nice to one another? So we all went over there, to the new house, and spent the rest of the night sitting around in the empty front room, sitting in old abandoned office chairs we found in the street.
I thought of the ANIMAL FACT I had read earlier that day under the lid of a juice bottle, it was about the bullfrog, so I posed the question: What is the only animal that never sleeps? Andre, or maybe it was Cheryl, said the shark. It went on, nobody guessed it, I gave a clue, which was, you will find them in the swamp. Somebody said FROGS! so I said Damn close! In fact it is the bullfrog!
This question game was so enjoyable, and we were by that time feeling pretty good and buzzing on the beer, so we continued with a movie game. Name five movies featuring Jack Nicholson! Name five movies directed by Alfred Hitchcock! Name five movies where you see somebody going to the toilet! And so on. It was fun and enjoyable. We were really putting away those beers, too. Ah! Friday night!
Later Cheryl told me about her SILVER CAR observation, that there are silver cars everywhere these days, as though it were perhaps some kind of conspiracy. I didn't believe it, and told her that she probably only saw so many because she was looking out for them. And anyway, I thought the most popular car colours were white and red. But then even later, when we were heading back so I could get my bag from the old house to be driven home, I'll be damned if Cheryl didn't prove her point. Right outside, along the street, were ten cars.
Eight of them were silver.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Pumpkin

It's Friday night, the night for my Survey of Some Recent Blogs IV report but I just got home from visiting Andre and Cheryl at their new house across the road from their old house, and it's rapidly approaching midnight, no time to write anything substantial before midnight, when the bell chimes twelve times, then I turn into a Blog Pumpkin, always got to finish this before midnight, that is my rule, to write here EVERY DAY EVERY DAY it's 11:48 and fast running out of time, I am obsessed with the RULE and can think of nothing else, could think of an experiment where I have ten minutes to write a post for the day but I'm frozen, knowing, convinced that it is impossible, I am under tremendous pressure and going insane knowing I can't write anything at 11:51 with nine minutes to go, and even then maybe the works will freeze, Blogger like a robot with circuits shorting and sparks shooting out, denying my post, delaying forever, only de-clogging and getting through just after midnight, which is too late. I'll have to hit the button NOW, can't stop looking at the clock, can't even think, room around me half there and flashing, distracting, hear hands of clock ticking amplified a thousand times, deafening, I've failed I've failed, here comes the PUMPKIN...

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Wall Clock Failure

Our wall clock at work broke last week, I figure it's been broken a long time because every few weeks I gotta climb up on the desk and change the damn battery. But this time it really broke, it stopped for good. Anyway, when my COLLEAGUE phoned the storeman to ask for a replacement, he told her he don't give out clocks no more. COLLEAGUE and the boss couldn't believe it, they were scandalised, started huffing and rolling their eyeballs, like it would make a difference. I climbed up on the desk, pulled the clock off the wall and threw it in the bin. There was silence. A bold move will achieve that effect!
That happened early last week, and ever since then, many times each day, I look up at the wall where the clock used to be, I see it not there, and I feel like a lab rat who constantly returns to the little slot for the piece of cheese, not knowing that the scientist collapsed and died from a massive heart attack days ago. Nobody is there to put the cheese in. And there is no clock on the wall because the government no longer supplies us with a new clock when we ask for one.
Today the boss decided to do something about it. An hour before lunch she declared that herself and two other COLLEAGUES were off to Ikea to buy a new wall clock. She promised it would be the GROOVIEST wall clock in the entire museum.
You PROMISE?, I said.
About three hours later she returned with a box and gave it to me. There was a clock in there, I was sure of it.
I got it out of the box and couldn't figure out how to get the back off the goddam thing, I had to put the battery in. Boss took it and had a go, but after five seconds fiddling with it, I could see she was ready to throw it at the wall it was supposed to be carefully mounted on. I quickly took it back off her, and figured it out. I put the battery in, jumped on the desk and attached it to the wall.
Boss stood back marvelling. She had damn good taste, she knew it, and now we were surely reminded of it.
It looks fabulous!, she cried.
It looks pretty stupid, I said, watching her.
Naturally, she didn't hear me.
Doesn't it!, she exclaimed, wringing her hands in an ecstasy of triumph.
Her eyes were shining, her taste in wall clocks was breathtaking!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Woman Reading on the Bus

On the way there, to my brother's house, on the bus, there was a woman sitting across the aisle from me and she was reading a book. I tried to see what the book was but she had it flat down. Why couldn't she just turn it up for a second so I could get a look at the cover? Why was it always flat down like that? I wondered if she perhaps didn't want me to see what she was reading. Maybe it was a Danielle Steele novel, in which case I wouldn't blame her for keeping the cover flat down away from sight of other readers on the bus, the majority of whom must surely have more imagination.
Disgusted, I looked around at other people on the bus. Now look here! There is a twenty-something DUDE with white earphone wires. Why are they white, and not black? Why are they white, and not pink, or purple, or lime green? I remembered that yesterday when I was walking home after seeing Old Boy, every second person I saw had those white wires coming out of their ears, and they disappeared somewhere in their clothing or bag. They are all robots, I think, made by a big electronics company and put out on the street to walk around in the hope that these white wire-equipped robots will convince other people that here is something desirable. How many of these robots step out into the street to get violently bounced up into the air by a fast-moving vehicle? They didn't hear the horn blast, because the white wires were in their ears, transmitting some kind of musical atrocity at deafening volume.
Suddenly something happened. The bus had stopped to let people off and to collect some people, the bus driver slammed the accelerator, as they like to do, and it achieved the desired effect: a woman desperately reached out to a pole to balance herself but was swung around like an insane and fully clothed pole dancer, and landed in the lap of a seated man. She flailed around, looking up at the man, she had an embarassed, comical expression all over her face that seemed to say, I didn't mean to do this, you know. I really did not intend to be down here, in your lap, looking up at you like this. It was the bus driver and his accelerator pedal. The man smiled back at her, he understood. No harm done. She got up and smiled at everybody. Everybody smiled back at her. I smiled, too.
I enjoy riding on the bus, despite those women who refuse to let me see what book they are reading.

In The Office, In The Woods

I'm alone in the office, my COLLEAGUE has left and the boss never even arrived, she took a sick day. Fifteen minutes to go then I'm gone, going to Brother Mikel's for dinner. He lives over in Balmain, the opposite side of the city to where I live.
But here I am. Normally there would be the hum of office machines, but now our office cricket is also making some noise, talking to me, or singing, or trying to communicate in some way. I like the sound of it, this at-night-in-the-woods type sound. Strange to hear in an office.
A woman from another part of the building came in to drop a letter off, and I directed her attention to the sound. Is that a cricket?, I asked her. She appeared to like the sound, too, because she got a big smile. She wasn't sure if it was a cricket. It could be., she admitted.
Yes, it could be, alright. Let's say it is until we find out otherwise. But my little friend in the roof, he is silent now. He stopped, suddenly. The office machines rule and hum once more.
I am out the door.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Old Boy


After work today, I did what I like to do after work some days, I went and saw me a movie. This one was a Korean movie called Old Boy. It was a very good movie. Since when did these Koreans know how to make a good goddam movie, you ask? Yes, I'd like to know that, too. But let's get on with it, shall we?
OK here is the situation: Man is drunk and makes damn fool of himself and gets hauled in to cop shop, continues to make damn fool of self and pisses in the corner and yells a lot, friend comes to bail him out but somehow drunken man gets abducted and imprisoned in a hotel room for 15 YEARS. Locked in, he can't get out, and he's only got a TV, a small one, not a nice widescreen one, and they only feed him fried dumplings for every meal. He can't get out (although he tries to tunnel out with a chopstick) so he practices shadow boxing and gets pretty damn good at it, makes his fists hard by punching the wall, and watches endless TV, and grows a pretty wild looking haircut, great mad insane excellent haircut. Then after 15 years are up whoever locked him up there lets him out. Not hard to understand, he is now boiling with furious hatred at whoever locked him up for so long, for no apparent reason, he aims to get REVENGE, it's time for some MASSIVE PAYBACK. Then a guy reveals himself as the one who locked him up, but tells him he did it for a damn good reason, and if he doesn't think hard about his entire life (pre-lockup) and find the answer in two days (July 5) then the guy is gonna go and kill every woman that he has ever loved, or will love, I guess.
Well, that's all I can write about the story, without giving some big shit away, so I'll write some other various stuff about it...
I don't mind subtitled movies at all, I'm coordinated enough to be able to look up and down and read and see what's happening at the same time, but when the subtitles are plain white like in this movie, it's enough to make a fellow jump out of his seat, raging and screaming obscenities like a Tourette's dude in a long post office queue. Could there be many things more INFURIATING than white subtitles presented on a white background? No, not many things, I'll bet.
There is a live octopus-eating scene in this movie. How many movies have you seen with somebody eating a live animal? Not many, I'll bet. Have you seen a man bite the head off a foot-long octopus and cram its writhing tentacles into his chewing mouth with one tentacle trying to pull his nose off? If you watch this movie, you will see it.
This movie has one of the most GODDAM AMAZING fight scenes I have ever seen. Our man goes up against a group of perhaps twenty weapon-wielding thugs in a narrow corridor. Our man is armed only with a claw hammer. The style and superior choreography of this scene would make John 'Hard-Boiled' Woo shed a tear of enormous pride.
The music is very good, a classical type music with simple, strident melodic progressions. The music was, indeed, excellent and perfect.
The acting was superb, so was the dialogue, and the movie looked great.
The movie Old Boy was a very good movie I can recommend, but only if you have a strong stomach. For the first time I sat right up in the back row and during a few scenes I saw just about every second head spin in repulsion and jam backwards and firmly into the head cushion. Aside from that, the audience was well-behaved.

Monday, March 07, 2005

500,000 kilograms

On the way back from work today I was on my bike, on the footpath, going slow, there were people around and they were jumping in front of me. Plus, I think there is something wrong with the balance. Anyway, I slowed right down and got off my bike because I saw a picture stuck to a pole. I went up to it and examined it closely, it looked like Kool Keith. No writing on it, but I was certain the man in the picture was Kool Keith. I was about to get back on the bike and ride off but somebody tapped me on the shoulder. I spun around. It was a short man wearing a bright yellow shirt, his hair stuck straight up and his eyes moved from side to side constantly. He started jabbing his finger at a car parked nearby. A regular-looking sedan.
'Is that your car?' I asked him, it was all I could think of.
He started moving his head, not up and down, or from side to side, but around and around, in a big circle. I looked around, I wanted to see if anybody else was curious about the man, but they all seemed to be going about their business, oblivious.
I said to the man, 'Yes? No? Have you locked yourself out of your car?'
He quit moving his head around and leaned closer and said in a soft voice, 'That car weighs 500,000 kilograms.'
My eyes went back to the car. 500,000 kilograms? That seems a lot, surely it couldn't weigh that much? But, really, I have no idea how much cars weigh. But 500,000?
When I looked back at him, his head was moving up and down and his eyes had grown wider, the eyeballs were still now, looking at me intently. 500,000 kilograms. He was certain of it.
'That seems like too much.' I said dumbly.
Right then he yelled it, '500,000 kilograms!' That got everyone's attention. They all turned to look at the man. He ran up to the car and jumped on to the front part, the lid above the engine. He began jumping up and down, landing heavily, jumping and jumping, his arms swinging out from his body. On his face was an enormous, triumphant grin.
It was hard to believe, but I saw it. I saw him going up and coming down, his shoes making a loud noise on the front lid of the car, he was really coming down with full force. The thing was, he wasn't making a dent, the metal wasn't giving an inch. It remained in perfect shape, stubbornly immune to his mad assault.
This car. Maybe it did weigh 500,000 kilograms, after all.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Disgrace

I woke up at 8:55am then went straight back to sleep. Woke up again at 11:00am and finished reading Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. The book is about 52-year-old English Literature professor David Lurie, who teaches at a university in Cape Town. He's been married and divorced twice, now he's got a girl he pays money to fuck every Thursday afternoon. When he sees her one day in the street with her two sons, and she sees that he saw her and them, she drops him like a hot potato and won't see him again. Then he gets the hots for one of his students, a cute little 18-year-old, and manages to fuck her a few times. Her boyfriend gets jealous about this and reports his ass to the university. He has to go to a hearing, he doesn't really give a fuck, the men on the panel seem to care that he doesn't seem to mind throwing his career away, while the women on the panel are clearly REPULSED by him. To them, he is a monster and would best be done away with as soon as possible. Anyway, in DISGRACE, he goes out of the city to stay with his daughter on her little farm, she's a lesbian but her girlfriend bailed on her months ago. The daughter makes a living by selling flowers and vegetables at a Saturday market and she has dog kennels where people pay her to mind their dogs while they go on holiday or whatever. Things are going pretty good, there on the farm, the father even starts volunteering at a local animal welfare shelter, but then something really shitty happens. Father and Daughter are out walking some of the dogs when they see three black dudes up ahead in the road, the father is instantly nervous, but they walk past. But then they turn and head back home, the three black dudes are there waiting for them. You can probably figure out what happens next, it ain't pretty, but it's not graphic. Coetzee is restrained in his descriptions of sex and violence. Anyway, this event makes things pretty uncomfortable and tense from now on between father and daughter, as you could probably imagine. It doesn't help when the daughter's neighbour, an old black dude, seems to know something about the three dudes and what they were up to. This old guy, he is not a very likeable guy. Actually, none of the characters in this book are very likeable. The weird thing is, this book was hard to put down, I wanted to read it right through in one go, but about two thirds the way through, I realised there were all these things that I didn't like about it. There were good things about it, like the guy defending himself in front of the stupid committee, and some pretty good writing about old men and young girls, but a lot of annoying things about it, too. By the end of it, the annoying things seemed to neutralise the good things. For instance, the way I figure it, if a writer knows what he's doing, you feel like you know the characters. But here, aside from the father (the main character), I never felt like I knew any of the other characters, they just pop up and say things. It was like I was at a carnival, at the shooting gallery, and these heads kept popping up and saying stupid things. Who the fuck are they? Do I know 'em? No. Do I care about 'em? No. *BANG! BANG! BANG!* Not only that, but the dialogue was terrible. And none of the characters were likeable. Except for the father, in the first half of the book. That's what I think it is, the first half or two-thirds was good, but then it all went to hell. One of the blurbs on the back cover reads, "A masterpiece...perhaps the best novel to carry off the Booker in a decade." Firstly, if this book is a masterpiece, the moon is a tomato. Secondly, if this is the best book to win the Booker Prize (what the fuck is the Booker Prize anyway?) in a decade, then it seems to me that either the judges for the Booker Prize don't know a good book from an Elvis Pizza flier, or that THE NOVEL is in a goddam sorry state these days. Which is it? What do I think is a fine novel? Easy. I read one recently and it was called To Kill a Mockingbird. If somebody can point me in the direction of a novel published in the last ten years that even comes CLOSE to that kind of quality, I will put it at the top of the list.
Meanwhile, I am going back to take a second crack at Moby Dick. UGH!

Piss in a Bottle

Why not stay up longer. What the hell. It is 3:05am. Still feel wide awake. Don't have to get up for work tomorrow. Here alone, nobody to answer to, I can do what I please. Yes, thank you, I will have another beer, don't mind if I do. A cigarette? Why, yes, I think I will. Gotta piss? I can piss in a bottle. Why not. Those movies on SBS and no ads for toilet break. Piss in a bottle. Talking on telephone to friend who is sensitive to toilet noises? Piss in a bottle. At your convenience, empty bottle in toilet. Rinse bottle, use again. I saw Howard Hughes and he had two dozen bottle of piss lined up against the wall. I call him brother. I don't line bottle of piss up against wall, I can pour them down toilet when I get off the phone. Bottle of piss no problem. Piss in a bottle.

Funniest Music Video

Coming Up - Paul McCartney

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Mardi Gras Night

Somehow today I forgot it was Mardi Gras night tonight. I don't know how I forgot, because I walk (or ride) up and down Oxford Street every day, and all this past week our gay and lesbian friends (and those big stunning yet kind of frightening drag queens) have been out in force, revving themselves up for their big night. What happened was, early this evening, just after 7:00, I walked up to Ariel aiming to buy a book. See, today I finished To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and it was such a great goddam book, I don't mind telling you that there was a part near the end where I found it hard to see the words on the page from the water that had started pumping out over my eyeballs. Anyway, it was a library book, and it was really beginning to fall apart, but it was such a great book, so I got the idea that I would buy them a brand new copy. So here I was outside the bookstore, but the goddam door was closed. What the fuck? That place is never closed. Every night it stays open until midnight. I looked at the closed door, trying to figure it out, and then I saw the little sign: SORRY, CLOSED FOR MARDI GRAS. Berkelouw across the street was closed, too. Ah goddam it. Well, I guess I'll go back tomorrow.
I went to Chicken With a Difference, got a chicken chilli cheese burger with extra chilli, and walked back home.

Thanks to *Me*

Big thanks to Me, a regular visitor here lately, who made a comment on last night's post suggesting I check out a site called flickr.com as a way to find some good blogs.

Please go right now and I mean IMMEDIATELY and look at this AWESOME photograph of a Great Grey Owl. I have a new plan now, and that is to move to Montreal so that I'll be able to see these birds with my own eyes, up close as possible. Now to learn as much as I can about these extraordinary birds. How long do they live? What do their nests look like? What do their babies look like. What are their mating rituals? Do they mate for life? Do they stay with one mate for life, like many other birds? What different kinds of things do they eat? Do they live close to people's houses? Do they live in other places besides near Montreal? What sounds do they make? I thought owls slept during the day and hunted at night. This one appears to be awake in the daytime. I will find out as much as I can about the Great Grey Owl.
Thanks again to you, Me, otherwise I never would have found this wonderful owl!

Friday, March 04, 2005

A Survey of Some Recent Blogs III

1. Here's a category new to me - a missing person blog. Bring Michaella Home. "Michaella is a talented, exuberant 14-year-old..." Says you. "She's also missing." No, she's not. "UPDATE: It has been reported that Michaella is now safely home! Breathe deeply, everyone...and hug your kids." Feel the love, then puke your damn guts out. I feel better. Do you?
2. A life insurance ad blog. Life insurance in 10 minutes or less. I'll bet I can decapitate the perpetrator of this blog in 3 seconds or less.
3. daveniceguyblog. Dave just had a baby. That's nice. Dave went to his mum and dad's birthday party. That's nice. Dave didn't like Michael Moore, but now he does. That's nice. Dave's grandmother had a birthday party. That's nice. Dave feels bad because he wanted to change the world while he was at uni, but now he has a regular job and likes the money and fuck it, somebody else can change the damn world. Dave, you are changing the world with your blog. You are changing it very slightly, so very subtly and slightly into a slightly more boring world. Next!
4. A goddam piece of shit fucking ass discount perfume ad blog. I will kill you a million times a million ways all horrible and video it and make a blog to display it until the end of time. I will receive a Nobel prize for doing that.
5. Yet another boring schoolkid's blog with tiny little writing in small boxes and little things that move around the screen. It's so clever! I wonder how they did that. Then I see a line like this, Science period was totally sucks. You know what? Your blog was totally sucks, and I don't care how you did that. You know what else? It's depressing how many of these blogs that was totally sucks.
6. A blog called One Grain of Sand. One post. Finally, have decided to look for a new job and share the woes and obstacles that will be encountered during this process. That is so interesting. *ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ*
7. A blog with only photographs, there's only endless photographs of two idiots standing next to different things, and in different places, with idiotic grins on their faces. Who are they? Do I care who are they? No for sure I do not care who are they. Technology is not good because too many people have access to it and can make dumb blogs like this one taking photos of themselves next to different dumb things in boring scenes that bore me and bore you. Please make interesting blog. Stop taking photos of yourselves next to dumb boring things.
8. hello here's the Sizepro Penis Enlargement ad blog. Whoever posted this blog must be strapped down with big rusty chains, frightening mechanical studded dildo machine rolled up and jammed into that person's asshole with no lubricant, forced in, pushed hard in, foot-long leather mechanical dildo wrapped sadistically in barbed wire ready to go, machine turned on and turned up to full power. does this sound sadistic and cruel? only let me indulge my insane fantasy, it is only fantasy, maybe sick but not real, not real like these Sizepro Penis Enlargement ad blogs. Please step up to the machine, sir, or madam.
9. Well look here. A baby blog that doesn't suck (although the baby does) About Mano
10. Christ on a bun here's another idiot who describes their life as "CRAZY". Listen here, you and about a hundred million other blog robots describe their life as CRAZY. Your life isn't really CRAZY, you know. Your so-called CRAZY life is nothing more than a bunch of things that happen to a billion other people. Simple, everyday things can be interesting, but when you describe them as CRAZY, somehow everything you write is magically transformed into something MONUMENTALLY BORING AND NOT CRAZY AT ALL. You will see, I am not just being mean.

Friends, I can't go on. I'm too depressed. This quest is too damn depressing. There's nothing out there. Planet Blog is barren and deadly boring tonight.
Blog Scout Leader over and out.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

I Saw Her Again Today...

This morning I walked to work and I saw her again. I haven't written about her here before, but since I saw her again this morning, I'm gonna tell you about her.

When I walk to work, I go out of my apartment block and up my street then turn right onto Oxford Street, the main street that goes right into the city. So when I get to Oxford Street I join an army of walkers, all heading in the same direction.

Most of the walkers are not interesting to me, they are just people who are walking to work, I don't bother giving 'em a second look, but there's a woman I have seen regularly over the last couple years, and God Almighty I am crazy about her. On those too rare days when I turn the corner, and she is there, my heart damn near leaps out of my chest in pure joy. I have found her again!

She's not very tall, she wears normal-looking clothes, no dumb power suit with sneakers, or anything like that, but nice clothes, clean clothes, and she doesn't carry one of those stupid Fitness First backpacks that every other damn walking woman seems to have, and her hair is reddish-brown, not long, not short. But the thing is this: every time I have seen her she is walking along, full steam ahead, reading a book. God, how I love her!

This is what happened this morning and every other morning I have seen her:

I see her and I am filled with a joy so intense it's like the sun exploded. Everybody disappears, only she remains. It doesn't matter that I am heading to work, this woman, walking and reading, she enchants me. My world has been perfected.

Just about every block we have to stop at a corner, now is my chance to covertly try to see what the book is. What is she reading? I have to know. One time it was a Leon Uris book. I'd never read a Leon Uris book before, but now that I saw her reading one, I knew I had to. I still haven't, but I will. It's pretty hard to see the title of the book because she flips it up and down, it's hard to read the bouncing front cover of the book. In a way, it doesn't matter what she's reading. Well, OK, maybe it does matter. It would break my heart to see her reading something like Danielle Steele, who my COLLEAGUE reads and let me tell you I never let an opportunity pass without taking a shot at her about it. But I'm sure she doesn't read Danielle Steele, I'm sure of it.

Today I saw that she was reading a book by somebody called Lesley Pearce. I've never heard of that author but there must be something good about him, or her, and that book, otherwise she wouldn't be reading it so intently. And she walks, reading all the way, only dropping the book very briefly to check the traffic at the corner, then the book flips back up in front of her face. God, how dear she is to me! Does she have somebody who appreciates her? Somebody who shares her passion for books? As I walk near her, I imagine I could be that person. Why not? Surely we are made for each other. Could I feel like this otherwise?

She walks all the way up to Hyde Park, but it's there that we go our separate ways, and it is an ENORMOUSLY depressing moment. She goes off diagonally, through Hyde Park, and I keep walking straight down, where Oxford Street becomes Liverpool Street. I can't help looking over again and again, I see her, I watch her appear and disappear through the trees. With that book up near her face, eternally. She gets smaller and smaller, until at last she disappears, and I can't see her anymore.

I will see her again. If only it could be soon!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

No Sleeping Pills For Me

This morning I woke up, then fell asleep again, then I could hear the radio, I looked over and the numbers were blurry, I felt groggy. I decided to take a sickie. I only seem to have one or two a year anyway. What the hell. I felt better about sleeping in and feeling groggy. The only thing I had to worry about was if, when I called in sick, I would be told to bring a doctor's certificate, which naturally would mean a trip to the doctor. I called in, and wasn't told to bring a doctor's certificate. I went back to sleep and got up just after midday. I went out to the pharmacy and asked them if I could buy sleeping pills over the counter, I figured I probably couldn't but it was worth asking. At the pharmacy, the woman at the counter told me I had to have a prescription for sleeping pills, then went into a long sales pitch about some homeopathic pills, containing Melatonin. I know about this homeopathic stuff, there's about half an atom of Melatonin in the damn things. Well, I wasn't convinced, and anyway I looked at the pricetag on the bottle and it said $22. $22 for a few atoms of Melatonin? No, thanks. Not only that, but with these you had to take three throughout the day, then before bed put five in your mouth, but suck them, not swallow them straight down. When I declined at the end of her long pitch, she looked disappointed, and as though I had wasted her time. I didn't feel bad, she acted like a goddam used car salesman.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Constantine


I went to work today but went home sick before lunch. I haven't been sleeping too good lately and have been feeling pretty damn run down. This writing-every-night business can sure take it out of a guy.

Anyway, when I left work I didn't go home. It's BARGAIN TUESDAY at the cinema and right now, until near the end of March, all movies are $5.00 a pop. You can't rent a new release for that. So was I gonna go straight home, even feeling run down? The hell I was. It's just sitting, and looking, and listening, after all.

I went and saw Constantine and boy was it a stinker. I used to read the Hellblazer comics in the early nineties, and back then I thought they were pretty good. The movie was so bad, now I'm wondering if those comics were any good.

So what was wrong with this movie? The dialogue was terrible, every five minutes I was shaking my head, looking at other people in the theatre wondering if they also thought it was lame. It was hard to tell, I could only see the back of their heads, and it was dark. Keanu Reeves tried hard to be Constantine, and sometimes I found myself sort of cheering him on, You can do it, you did that line OK, keep going! but ultimately it was a disappointing performance, plus along with the stupid story that was at no point compelling, the guy really had the deck stacked against him.

Oh well, at least the audience members behaved themselves and didn't make a peep.