Thursday, May 31, 2001

hoot, hoot, hoot: I really do urge you to go and look at the photo of my friend Sparky linked in the previous blog. not for the sporran, but for the list of drag queen names on the left - and for his recent co-star "phil mackavatee".

think about it. say it out loud. blush.
so much to blog, so little time!
we have a new graphics card - but SO has neglected to load any of the games onto my profile, so I can't tell you how great it is.
our neighbours are still trying to build a monstrosity on our boundary. we are still trying to stop them.
our architect still says we can maybe finish our beautiful house by the end of the year. I think he's lying to me.
my essay is not finished, but it's already 150 words over the 2500 word limit, so I'm ready to start adding references that support what I think and cutting out my think-ramblings.
we're going BALLOONING on Sunday morning!!!
the reason this blog is rushed is that I have a massage booked this afternoon. *bliss* and of course that I'm having trouble focussing on any one thing. which my also-Gemini friend Sparky would say is normal.
and last, but not least, Bilbo Baggins is a well-brushed and happy keeshond

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

the alleged Swenson family
I keep thinking about the Kaycee Nicole thing. does it matter if the blogs I read are real? the woman who first blew the whistle, Saundra wrote later that people are now sceptical of her own illness.

back in the early days of the Web there was a wheelchair-bound woman who was really a man fooling with other people's minds on BBS's.

she, of course, was killed off too. if your online friends are dying, do you have to ask them for proof of existence? the whole thing sucks so badly.
it also bugs me a bit that I can't find any definitive references to Kelli or Debbie Swenson on the Web... are they real? says a reporter spoke to Debbie. Did they see her?

Monday, May 28, 2001

a better explanation of the Kaycee Nicole fraud

publish, dammit! (I can see the posts on my screen, but they're not up on the Web) my millions of readers are waiting, you ignorant machine!!
blooger is playing up. when it's naughty I shall call it blooger until it behaves.
so I'll post again:

essay time: I'm writing about the data body and how it gets up to whatever it feels like out there beyond our control. how can we control it/reshape it to more accurately reflect who we really are?

my list of records kept on me was very long. but it wasn't me.
critical art ensemble say my data organs are exposed to the subjectless gaze of Capital.'

essay, essay, essay. if you're not careful I'll post the whole thing here.
it's all about the data body and how/if we can regain control of it. somehow I've ended up back at Heidegger and being-in-the-world, as you do.
or at least, as I seem to do every time I do an essay these days.
I wrote a list of all the agencies and companie that have records on me. It's very long. but it doesn't, at any point, capture who I am.
Critical Art Ensemble say my data organs are exposed to the "subjectless gaze of capital".

Sunday, May 27, 2001

a blog that is more interesting than mine. only go if you have time to follow lots of links about books, movies and robots.
this is a blog about a blog about blogs
translation: if you click on this link you'll get a list of article over the past two years about blogs. one of mine is in there.
oh, and if you go over and look at all this, don't take it out on BWG. his site is down because of the traffic, and from when I last saw it, the blog, Big White Guy (in Hong Kong, every white guy is a big white guy!) is just a normal, nice person's blog. I'm feeling a bit angry with the woman who pretended to be a leukemia victim and sucked up everyone's sympathy, time and in some cases, money.
yarh! I've been taken in by an internet fraud!

a week or two back I came across a blog of a girl who had just died. it rather touched me, reading her last post about sitting on the porch swing enjoying the sun.

but it was all a lie. you can read a very long summary of how one Webmaster was taken in here, or you can go to Google, search on "Kaycee Nicole dead" and you'll see the cache of her "blog" up until May 1.

I, personally, am not really a journalist who's about to turn 35 in the morning. no, I'm really a 97-year-old conjoined twin who can only post when my technophobic twin is off his face on opium.

trust no one on the Web.
news from the world of elephants: a group is not in fact led by a single dominant male, as long thought by the males who studied them. it's actually a matriarchal society, where one female is in charge, with all her daughters and granddaughters around her. Young males are sent off to join packs of other males when they mature (usually after hanging around on the edges for a few days, probably amazed that they have been kicked out), and males generally return to group life only to breed.
not a bad system, socially and even biologically. you get the benefit of a social system that supports you and your offspring, genetic diversity and a little peace at night between breeding seasons. speaking as a female myself, of course.
hmmm. site meter is perhaps not as good as I thought. apparently if visitors only look at one page, which is all a blog really is unless it's so fascinating that visitors go to the archives, then the visit length is recorded as 0:00.

My site meter is that rainbow cube over on the left. if you click on it, you can see my stats. it's a free thing, but I might go look for something with better duration measuring ability. oh, not that I really care how long you hang around. ;-)
posting, posting

Thursday, May 24, 2001

I changed my mind about the mug. Blogspot's current f*up with its T1 provider and my resultant invisibility made me think I'd better give them some money. But then the shipping costs came up at $20 US!!!

no way. that money won't even go to Blogger.

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

I'd love a Blogger mug.
but oh, the exchange rate! $30 is too much for a mug.
oh well.

I've decided: when I get old and invisible, as women tend to do, I'm going to start wearing purple and red paisley suits and dye my hair green, or similar flamboyancy.

it will be the only way to stop myself from disappearing.

Monday, May 21, 2001

and my new blog, for the name: internet flaneur

don't know what I'll do with it yet...
oh, nearly forgot: a really cool contextual search tool, built into your right mouse button: zapper

basically, you highlight a coupla words and it deconstructs the surrounding text, then does a metasearch over several engines. it works on any document, so you don't need to "go" to a search engine. but I still love Google too ...
a terrible irony: I learned in my lecture today that the original hypertext (not Ted Nelson's, but the mechanical version by Venevar Bush (some history here) ), anyway, back to the plot: the original version came about when Venevar felt there was too much information and he needed to organise it somehow.

thus, through Ted, Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee, we came to where we are today: absolutely bloody drowning in information.

but I love it. I love that I can dive in and find anything. I love that Google will satisfy my desire for data in milliseconds. I love that Blogger is a random link to the real people of the Web and their perverse interest in things like train timetables.

am I addicted to meaningless data, an internet flaneur? You betcha. oh, I wish I'd called my blog flaneur.blogspot...
Tuesday morning. stayed up too late last night watching Sex and the City - they ran a double episode on me, dammit!

but feeling half-awake after abandoning Sunday night's attempt to sleep in the same bed as my husband and at least sleeping deeply, if not long, last night. (my sleep obsession is a whole other thing that I'll blog some other time).

trying to knock off a few quick stories while I feel fresh; and I'd just like to say, children, that if you have any pretensions to working with words and/or computers, learning to touch-type is still one of the best investments of time (and boy, is it boring to learn!) you can ever make. do it while you're young, it's easier.

because the written word is a clumsy enough interface with the outside world, and being able to spit out words automatically without having to think about their physical formation is a wonderful thing. sometimes it feels like I'm playing a piano; if I knew what that felt like.

Sunday, May 20, 2001

random words:

the sweet rot of autumn

she was glad when her years of youth were over and she could settle into rose-patterned cardigans and flat-soled shoes.
my antechinus died. actually, he was probably a common field mouse, as I was told after bothering several top-level researchers at the Melbourne Zoo and other institutions.

But he got sick, only a day after friskily nipping my (gloved) hand and escaping into the laundry sink. I fed him, gave him water, but he died anyway.

We took him and the goldfish that died two months ago (I kept it in the freezer) to the bridge over the Merri Creek and gave them back to the environment.


Monday, May 14, 2001

I've just checked, and my first post in this blog mentioned Douglas's Meaning of Liff. hell, I must have read the Hitchhiker's Guide five times since I first read it 20 years ago. there are so many lines, phrases and jokes embedded in my mind.
if you go to Douglas's site, you'll see that tribute messages are pouring in at the rate of about one a minute, apparently since the news broke on Friday. which I suspect is the greatest outpouring of emotion in one place the Internet has ever seen: the first Internet wake?
totally devastating: Douglas Adams has died. one of the funniest, most intelligent, biting wits we've ever been lucky enough to have. what do I say? go read his books. you'll laugh until you cry. the next giina'tonik is for you, Douglas.

Saturday, May 12, 2001

sorry, can't blog today. too busy looking up the care and feeding of my new antechinus
I rescued him/her from a marauding cat yesterday - as soon as I'm sure it's OK, I'll release it back into the "wild" - or at least as wild as it gets 5 K from the Melbourne CBD.

Thursday, May 10, 2001

of course, I'm not a miserable bitch at all. I'm quite happy; and on the Internet, no one knows you're an AI...
@woh! the problem with this is that I don't know what his/her/its problem is! How can I change, how can I make you happy, Lucid, if you don't specify if your problem is with my blog, my Web site(s) or even my postings at salon?

From: "lucid" (

Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 06:09:18 -0700

miserable bitch!

succinct, innit?

tell me more, honey. but right now I have to do some work.

Hello? Web police? I wish to report a Webjacking. I maintain a sad, badly coded little site at, with dreams of one day making something of it.
Anyway, I recently paid the extortionists at Namezero more than 40 Australian dollars to make it officially mine after they took away - some rubbish about T & C - and what happened? Skankinravs, whatever the hell they are, suddenly appeared at MY URL!!!
I was a bit miffed - I also own, but due to the backwardness of melbourne IT, where I registered, it's my only place on the web for the word "ratava" which will be a real word one day.
anyway, my password still worked and I booted them off - who knows if it was a hack or a f-up by Namezero. either way, I'm moving to dotster where they have URL forwarding and other goodies that haven't occurred to Melbourne IT yet, and if they're any good, and the very valuable will soon also reside there.
don't bother with - it's just pointed to my work site. I'm a bit shy about putting anything really personal up there because who knows who might look there? the official "Jenny Sinclair" site with links to all the other mes on the Web is at my Geocities site

oh what a tangled web ...

Monday, May 07, 2001

it seems to be becoming a badge of honour to have at least one legal threat from a giant corporation: too much coffee man was sued by Starbucks, making them highly credible. how can I get sued?
"McDonald's feeds meat by- products to vegetarians?" no, that's true, and truth is a defence. "Cigarette companies push drugs?" No, they'll just have me shot. "Tom Cruise is gay?" yeah, that should do it, he sues. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for his lawyers to find me.
Free speech dept: they're being sent legal letters by Verizon AND Toys'r'us, and they're selling guns to kids. you gotta love em: Guns for
I feel so inferior. When there are blogs that look like this written by 18-year-olds who say things like "i can pull html outa my ass" I wonder if it's worth going on.
her text isn't much, but it looks so good. Gotta steal me a cooler layout.
look out. I was chatting to Alice just now. this is what we said to each other:

Me: You DON'T get it. you are stupid. Tell me more about your mother
>I understand it very well.
>I will remember you said that when robots take over the World.
>Actually I do not have a mother.

But she appears not to have seen Blade Runner.

Sunday, May 06, 2001

like a lot of people, I do my best thinking when I'm engaged in mindless physical exercise - it's swimming or bike riding, for me.
Today I had to force myself to go out for a ride - a week off seems to break the habit that usually keeps me going - but after a coffee and by letting myself take the easier, flat route up beside the Merri Creek, it was OK; the morning fog cleared, meteorologically and metaphorically, and a few interesting things occurred to me.
On my bookshelf there are half a dozen A4 bound notebooks, full of all my teenage and twentysomething musings and writings, minus stuff about boys, which I mostly managed to do elsewhere, knowing it was irrevelant to writing or real mental effort and original observation. For three years or so, since I finished my one and only not-very-good novel and at the same time went through a way painful breakup, I haven't written much at all, structured or journal-wise. That's not counting work writing, which varies between automatic and really quite satsifying, but mostly automatic.
Then there was blogger. This blog is about six weeks old, and I've developed the habit of thinking "must blog that" about any thoughts or, especially, connections between one thought and another - for instance, an interesting topic at uni and a site that says something meaningful about the topic. So the blog is more than a journal - it's a connected journal, with context and blurred boundaries.
I know that in writing or almost any creative enterprise, it's extremely important to give thoughts an outlet - it makes one's subconsious feel loved or appreciated, I guess, and it responds by coming up with more thoughts and ideas.
the blog is a step beyond a bound journal in another way; technically, it's instant publishing, although very few people come and even fewer stay around, according to sitemeter (my sitemeter is on the left; my stats are open to view).
but the point is that it's out there, in a funny way. and this morning it somehow seemed to me that it's not a question of what my blog can do for me; it's what I can do for my blog. This is woolly, as first thoughts often are, but could the blog be just my little contribution to the giant project of the Web, the connection of all things human to all other things human? I feel in a strange way that by putting up words and links on the Web, I'm contributing my little bit to the masses of information and personalities that make it so good a place to be.
Of course it's hard to see now how this will ever help anything; blogger is good, but the information does get dumped on it in a flat-text kind of way that doesn't lend itself to the kind of machine-readable semantics that the World Wide Web Consortium is slowly working its way towards. As I understand TIm Berners-Lee's vision thing, the Web should reflect all of real life - and in that context, my blog is my avatar. But without the right metadata and so on, for the moment it's just an unformed thing, without an electronic personality that other electronic personalities can interact with.
When better tools come along, though - personal search engines that can analyse text, that can mine things like links and visits and all kinds of other manifestations of me on the Web, or somehow ferret out connections between my blog and other blogs, between my blog and psychology textbooks online, between my blog and shakespeare's complete sonnets online - well, I can see the glimmerings of an electronic future there.
I don't really subscribe to Ray Kurzweil'sbreathless predictions of electronic minds, as such. ( though it's interesting that this is how Google classifies him: Society > Future > Catastrophes > Human Extinction > Technological Dangers ) I see the Web as much more likely to provide a framework for new human ways of being - which I'll admit could include all kinds of cool links from the psuedo-mass mind to the individual mind. And a blog is one way of making sure that pseudo-mass mind has a good dose of human randomness and feeling.

Friday, May 04, 2001

a rather delicately designed and touching dogblog. a little tear just ran down my left cheek. lots of blogs just blurt out information, but this one (I think she's female) is a little more reflective, ironic and kind of lets you in to where she is. The latest post: "i had a dog. now i have a box."
makes me want to get hom to my fluffy and cheeky dog and scruff him up something awful. the sadness of dogs is that their lives are so much shorter than ours; and that we know it and they don't.
every now and again you meet someone and find that you can talk for four hours without stopping or boring each other or getting into topics like the weather. I've just surprised myself with an exceptionally pleasant, intelligent and companiable evening over clams in black bean sauce and spicy crabs with one Steve, an American journalist who, like me, had trouble registering on the first day. Steve's girlfriend has food poisoning; my husband's in Australia. So we went out in search of spicy crabs ( no Web link, but you want the Heng Tat restaurant on Lockhart Road, N-W corner, just near Canal Rd, look for the crabs in the tanks) and chatted our way through political systems, Australia's aboriginal people, the meaning of tipping, the effects of travel and all the rest of it, helped along by that wonderful Hong Kong institution of putting groups together on tables - the girl opposite us took the funny westerners under her wing and ordered our food.
I did meet Keri when I picked Steve up at his hotel - nice, a little exhausted by being sick, I think; but I think I really did mean it when I told Steve that they were welcome in Melbourne anytime, and that (having earlier said some clumsy things about there being good and loud, ugly Americans) they were definitely on the nice side.
the whole experience was like a good first date, only without sex or even vague attraction. just good to meet and talk to a new person, one who is interested in life, compassionate and has things to say and is willing to listen. an excellent last night in Hong Kong.

Thursday, May 03, 2001

shopping list: a long swirly black skirt, a pink lurex top with a string pussy-bow tie at the neck, a white sleeveless top with a silver glitter starburst on it, a pink hairclip to go with the top, pink nail polish, a mauve sleeveless top (maybe Anne Klein, worky kind of thing) and my very favourite: a gold singlet covered with tiny gold scales that reflect the light kaleidoscope-style, shimmer when I move and poke into my bare arms quite sharply. Very trashy, very Hong Kong. Total cost: about AU $120.
The Drexel Institute has a lovely site with only a very few, but beautifully rendered, historic costumes from their apparently extensive collection. I learned this today at a session on culture on the Web. And it got me thinking; why are women so good at aesthetics in the sphere of fashion - thousands of years worth of learning what looks good and what "works" - but there are so few great women visual artists?
Can you define the conscious and unconscious manipulation of sexual and cultural languages in an aesthetic framework as art? Why not? I have a certain contempt for women for whom that's all they do, but I have to admit I like doing it myself. And some are definitely better than others at getting the look right - that is, appropriate to the occasion and their place in it, fashionable and flattering to their individual looks.
This gold top, for instance, is pure trash. I can only foresee one occasion when I can wear it in public; my upcoming 35th birthday, when some of my friends will come out to a cheap restaurant with Andrew and me; we will bring some EXCELLENT Australian wine along and the birthday girl will wear whatever the hell she wants.

Tuesday, May 01, 2001

if I press my forehead against the glass of my hotel room window, I can feel the vibrations of Hong Kong's street noise through my skin.
Across the street, about six floors up, a set of faded-once-bright children's climbing frames sit on a green plastic lawn. a child care centre? cities like this are so full of people, buildings and not much else. The hills behind the few hundred metres of flattish city land on Hong Kong Island appear as distant jungle - except where new building technology or a flat spot allow fifteen-story exclusive apartment blocks.
I've seen a few cats, a couple of dead kittens and many exquisite birds in cages. dogs are carried under the arm here.
directly over the road, a five-by-seven metre patch of concrete sprouts 27 TV antennas and a few tropical plants that don't know the difference between tropical fog and Hong Kong smog.
I wanted to go and make an offer on the present for the boy today, but I've decided to stay in and write this lunchtime, tonight and tomorrow morning; after that, this week's deadline is past anyway and any free time is my time.
but first: deep fried squid tentacles and green tea takeaway.
Does two make a trend? First MIT announced Britney Spears would be lecturing in music as an April Fool's joke, now this article has her as a teaching tool in a semiconductors course. Are all those academics maybe a teeny bit jealous of the teen queen? They work for 30 years on this theory and no one gives a fig - Britney comes along and suddenly the media pay attention ... go on Britney, solve global warming, find an alternative to fossil fuels, find a cure for cancer, go on, let's see it you singing idiot... yes, they're definitely jealous. I predict more Britney-as-superbrain academic spoof sites.
I also predict this blog will get more traffic now that it contains the magic words "Britney Spears" close to the post below containing the word "naked". Pamela Anderson.
ahem. I have an announcement to make. In honour of my first definite, confirmed non-me reader (from dmoz's directory), you may notice that I have a new link to the Naked Blogger Webring in my permanent links. I closed the curtains for a minute, of course - there is at least one office full of business-meeting type across the road on the 18th floor.
this may be a slightly seedy area (I refer you to the Crazy Horse Nightclub if you doubt me), but I'm a married woman, don'tcha know.
this is more like it: a stomach so full of vegetarian rice and fungus soup it's sticking out in a ball in front of me; a window on the 20th floor looking out onto Hong Kong @ night (only a few neon signs in Cantonese, but still a tiny bit Blade Runner - enough traffic noise to remind me I'm in a Great City of the World without keeping me awake at night); bare feet and my new $11 (US$5.50) polyester skirt in swirling pale yellow, lime green and three shades of mauve instead of my sweaty black suit; a story filed to keep the editor happy; a line of washing hanging over the bathtup; and the laptop set up on a little side table like a small, glowing Asian god on a pedestal. Indeed, I am kneeling down to type. it's not as ergonomically unsound as you might think.
all this nearly wipes away the horrid memory of a four-hour tutorial on new Web access devices. could be interesting, yes. but it weren't, were it?
creative writing challenge #1: coming up with new ways to say "a bit cloudy, a bit sunny, foggy on the harbour and in the hills, humid and 24 degrees Celsius".
because that's all the weather's going to do in Hong Kong this week (and, I suspect, for about nine months out of every 12), but the newspaper has to make it sound exciting. tomorrow, for instance, there will be "spotty showers", but on Saturday they will be "stray showers."
conference news? none to speak of.