It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Think about this, friends

Anna has arrived safe and sound and is good company as always. It’ll also be handy to have a house-sitter while we’re in Brentwood.

6 days to go! We are currently trying to work out a schedule for flipping Beth from Oz time to GMT, and I’m really very confused as a result. Why can’t the UN sort it out so that it’s daylight everywhere in the world at the same time? Bureaucratic nonsense, that’s what I call it.

A couple of decent movies have kept me entertained (Alphaville, Kinsey), but the most pleasure has come from a DVD of series 1 of The Muppets. The brilliance of this show cannot be summarised in words, even those of the Swedish Chef, so I will say only this: Mernermerner.

In other excitement, I bought a copy of Talisman Dungeon on eBay. I'm sure you're all as excited as I am.

He’s not from San Francisco, he’s from Hunter’s Bar.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Beth has no snooze button

Babies are not alarm clocks. Such was the lesson for M and I this morning when we woke up an hour later than planned thanks to Beth perfidiously having a longer kip than usual. Chaos ensued and as a result I missed out on my planned lie-in until noon. So if I seem crabby, that’s why.

Anyone excited about Gnarls Barkley? You should be, Crazy is gonna be huuuge I reckon. Speaking of huuuge, Arctic Monkeys have just announced a Sydney date - lovely.

Picking Anna up tonight, she’s staying with us for a while. For those who don’t know her, she’s the sister of Rob who was best man at the wedding(s). She is fresh from performing as a hedge in the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony. But we’ve all had that dream haven’t we?

PopJustice is funny.

I will not pretend, I won't say I'm alright for you. You cussed tinker.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Friday ennui

I'm just posting now to fill up another boring 5 minutes of work. It's the weekend in three hours. There's nothing to tell you about really. I've barely seen Beth cos of late shifts at work and my film course last night (The Spy Who Came in From The Cold - v brutal, v good). She's as adorable as ever. Her habit of sticking her tongue out all the time is a little odd, but that's OK.

M is obsessed with the large-scale banality that is the Commonwealth Games. She refused to come to bed last night because she was engrossed with the weightlifting. Weightlifting! The coverage is ultranationalistic and I can only follow England's mighty success against India in the cricket on the interweb. Sigh.

Games with the boys tomorrow, then a dinner party at ours with various mates and a Sunday afternoon barbie with mother's group, none of whom I know. I suspect the women will talk mainly about nappies and the men about cars. The only conversation I remember from the last shindig was a guy trying to explain derivatives to me. Something dull involving money, I think.

Weekend in 2 hours 55 minutes...

She offered me free love. At the time, that was all I could afford.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

To be fair, Higher Than the Sun (Orb remix) was a good call

Avoca at the weekend was fun. It was the three of us together with Adam, Rhyl and baby Evie and also Mark, Tanya and baby Oliver. As you can imagine, things were a little different from our trips up a couple of years ago, what with nappies everywhere and a faint but constant crying noise in the background. Having said that, I did end up drinking beer at 3am and watching Rage, so...not that different.

Talking of Aussie music media, I seem to have fallen down some kind of demographic crack in the pavement. I currently have my car stereo tuned to 4 stations:

  • Triple J - Yoof/indie radio. Some good stuff but an over-reliance on bland guitar bands and (noooo!) Ausiie hip-hop, which is even worse than it sounds.
  • FB- - Earnest but underfunded local music radio. Interesting music when it isn't too abstract, but the DJs are awful
  • ABC702 - Radio 4, only Australian - Sydney actually, so you get local traffic reports mixed in with news from Darfur.
  • Some awful "Classic Hits" station which I occasionally listen to in a "know your enemy" kind of way.

Back home there are quite a few stations I could happily listen to (Radions 4 & 6, London Live) - I wish there were equivalents here. Thank God for t'internet, now I just need a car radio that can tune into Pandora.

How I love The Onion.

Jesus Built My Hotrod. It's a love affair.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

20 days and counting

I’m having a gentle afternoon at work doing a few odds and ends to while away the remnants of a long week. Luckily I’ve got an “Old Skool” CD of early rave tunes to keep me entertained. There’s some preposterous stuff on there, but the highlights still sound great – “Papua New Guinea”, “Go”, “Pacific State”, “Voodoo Ray”….sublime. It’s enough to make me want to drive all night around the M25 with an extremely large mobile phone.

I’ve found myself reading 3 books all at the same time, which is a good trick if you can do it. They’re all good, but.

Oh, I’ve posted a few pics at - enjoy.

I'm off to Avoca in a coupla hours. See ya!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Strawberry is good, but strawberries and cream is perfect

I'm stuck at work right now - it's a Sunday afternoon at the start of term, so obviously there are very few students about, so it's very boring. On the other hand, I'm on double time, so...

Yesterday was great. We hooked up with our mates Lari & Rob (Hi Lari!) to do the popular Spit-Manly bushwalk, which overlooks Sydney Harbour. It isn't a particularly long walk but I had Beth in a backpack, so I got a bit knackered by the end. Well worth the effort though, and one to add to the itinerary for future visitors. I'll try and Flickr the photos asap.

In the evening M&I watched the facinating Birth of a Nation, a crazily racist but massively important movie from 1915. At the time, audiences would've been stunned by the new film grammar which we now take for granted: close-ups, moving cameras, cross-cutting etc. A modern audience barely registers this but is stunned by the overt racism of the story - essentially, the heroic KKK rescue America from the threat of uppity negroes.

The Flaming Lips, The Arctic Monkeys, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah...could be a vintage year.

If you could make evertbody poor just so you could be rich, would you do it?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I wouldn't know a big end if you threw one at me (100th post - woohoo!)

My car mechanic thinks I’m a moron. He already knows that I am utterly ignorant about both cars and money – which are the subjects about which all of our conversations revolve – and the situation is exacerbated because I am now nervous and fumbling in his presence. Yesterday I went to have a trivial piece of work done but didn’t have the requisite nut (it later turned up – in the glove compartment). I went back this morning and gave him both the nut and another widget. We then had a long conversation about the nut being the incorrect item, so I agreed to go back home and have another look.

“It’ll look like this, right?” I asked holding up the nut
“That is it.”
“But that’s what I gave you in the first place.”
“No you didn’t.”
“Yes I did.”
“No you didn’t.”
(Squealing) “Yes I diiid.”

He just looked at me pityingly and did the job. He didn’t charge me, and I knocked a load of merchandise of a shelf whilst reversing out.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

It's an anagram, you fools

Lovely quiet time on Friday and Saturday, but yesterday is all a bit of a blur. Lunch at Karen & Steve’s, and then we nipped into town with Max to meet up with Nick & Lou at the football. It was the Australian Soccer Grand Final, the first ever, and everyone was a bit surprised that it was a sell-out. The football was rubbish but beer was drunk and Syd-er-ney won the match, to much jubilation. We could hardly let the day end there, so we ended up in an Italian restaurant drinking wine and eating mediocre steak. Huzzah!

Meanwhile the Flaming Lips album remains on heavy rotation, Infernal Affairs got me very excited about the Scorsese remake and I’m ploughing through the Da Vinci Code; it’s a passable yarn, but I’ve read better prose in a photocopier manual.

We’ve got the power now, melon farmer

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Stars Are So Big...I Am So Small...Do I Stand A Chance?

Hey kids, I’ve managed to get my hands on a pre-release copy of the new album by the Flaming Lips, and you’ll never guess what – it’s ruddy ace. In fact, it's worth buying just for the song titles. This week’s catchphrase: Yeahyeahyeahyeahyeahyeahyeahyeah.

Off to watch Sideways at an open-air cinema tonight, and on Sunday it’s the frist ever Grand Final in the new Aussie football league. Amazingly, it’s a sell-out – I can’t wait.

Reading a book called Freakonomics, which is very good fun. The dismal science can be fun.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

News Quiz will never be the same

I had a glorious day yesterday. M was at uni so I took a flex and got to look after Beth for the whole day on my own. Don’t worry, she’s still intact and in our possession.

So, what did I consider fit and proper activities for our first big day together? Why, the movies and the library of course! The cinema does “babes in arms” sessions for parents with young kids, so the place was full of surprisingly well-behaved bubbas. The movie was crap (Casanova) but Beth wasn’t bothered ‘cos she spent the whole time looking back over my shoulder at the other punters and grinning inanely, and occasionally shouting. It was all very cute. Eventually the tedium of the movie overcame her resistance and she fell asleep on my chest, which was just so lovely it almost moved me to tears.

Next up we went to the local library. Beth couldn’t find anything she liked (there’s not much of a Russian literature section) but I walked out with 3 DVDs and a bunch of CDs. Then we got the bus home, and I was happy.

I also watched The Passion Of Joan of Arc yesterday, which is mind-blowing, as is the big water number at the end of Footlight Parade. (I talked a colleague into buying the Busby Berkeley DVD box set, so I can borrow them and copy them, hee hee).

"I had absolutely no expectations of Tony Blair, and even I have been disappointed." - Linda Smith RIP