Sunday, June 30, 2002

"Obviously, this was a mistake. This hot dog posed no threat to us."
Via Hoopty
for the person who came here looking for old suitcases
so I prepared for our impending move not by organising all our stuff, but by going up to Ballarat to have lunch with Mum and Dad yesterday. sometimes it's just been too long and you have to say "forget these boxes and stuff, let's do something that matters, you know?
lunch was at a combination cafe/record shop that I used to work at when it was a record/video shop. I have so much history there, you wouldn't believe.
we found a warm sunny window spot (it was cold out) and just talked and munched on great polenta and mushrooms, plus fresh OJ and great coffee. every country town has a place or two like that; you just need to know where to find them (not that this one isn't in the Good Food Guide)
Then Andrew and I celebrated our impending huge expenditure on renovations and my ridiculously frivolous trip to the US by buying $500 worth of really nice ceramic pots and a small fountain. well, it was a 50 % off closing down sale...we squashed it all in the car - it's still there - and came home to pack madly spend half an hour apologising to the dog then go out for GREAT sushi and the computer animation session of MIAF.
I liked one that seemed to be based on an evolutionary algorithm; small flowers connecting into chains that became sealike creatures, all to an electronic background. there were some good little French vignettes, bar one called Head Cleaner by a person who must have been quite disturbed - it sure disturbed me. disturbing in a more lyrical way was one about a WWII army deserter who was seeing through a bird's eyes. I like to get a bit of weird animation stuff into my own head every now and again. Animations seems to do two things well - use the medium for things that just can't be done by actors (the old eyes-popping-out-of-the-head thing, eg), and great characters.
from what I know, a lot of good animators started out doodling the characters, and the plots came later.
(apropos of nothing in particular, I am the proud owner of a signed Ren and Stimpy T-shirt.)

lessee, what else this weekend? nothing much more; an almost normal Sunday morning of a bike ride and lunch and some gardening and then, yes, the packing. you never have enough boxes.

btw, an app I need: something that recovers your last 1000 keystrokes. the above is a retyping of a post that I lost when I hit some stupid key or other. d'oh!

Thursday, June 27, 2002


Airline Ref: L4KJKM
Journey Information:
1.MELBOURNE-LOS ANGELES Travelling Time: 14 hrs 05 mins
Meals served: Lunch, Breakfast


Airline Ref: BNPZDJ
Journey Information:
1.LOS ANGELES-LAS VEGAS NV Travelling Time: 1 hrs 04 mins


Airline Ref: BNPZDJ
Journey Information:
1.LAS VEGAS NV-LOS ANGELES Travelling Time: 1 hrs 13 mins

Journey Information:
1.LOS ANGELES-MELBOURNE Travelling Time: 15 hrs 20 mins
Meals served: H, Breakfast

I've booked
Well, I've confirmed it's not finger agnosia...

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

No X here. or here.
you know what? I'm not ashamed that I came home from work and had a nap this afternoon. hey, it was only half an hour. then I jumped on the Web and did my column for next week. and tomorrow, thanks to stupid US time zones, I have to go in for four hours on my day off. so I'm fighting the guilt and trying to enjoy sitting here with the heater on, the cold wind whistling outside, my dog grumbling in the corner, wearing very comfy clothes and pretending that it's not slacking, it's creative downtime. heh.
blog meetup day.
in the flesh is de rigeur, it seems.
BlogOn Asia is not only the rice bowl of the world - you can dip into these blogs both locally and in the global diaspora for some tasty mental treats.

Written in English and Japanese, Exile is a curious mix of musings on literature and film with the doings of a Japanese college student.
"I read Faust, Oedipus and Hippolytus. I've been reading The Myth of Sisyphus (Albert Camus) and Nausea (Jean-Paul Sartre) both in Japanese," Tadafumi writes. In the next breath he's telling how he hopes to go out with friends that night. Before you know it, he's on to almost poetical random thoughts: "I've not cried with tears for 12 years, but one year ago I cried without any tear in the middle of the night. When heart is too thirsty, eyes ask for tears."
He quotes Hemingway, confessing to "needing" art and is fascinated with the fluctuations he sees in girls. Tadafumi quit his technology studies to take up literature.
It's hard to get a handle on this serious young man, but maybe you don't need to. As he says himself, "Nothing can vanish the fact that at this right moment, I am living."

Big White Guy
The Big White Guy gets his title from his relative size and colour as a gwei lo (European) among the throngs crowding Hong Kong.
He's a Canadian expat with a thing for Hong Kong. A resident of the Causeway Bay area, he manages to convey just how different Hong Kong is from Western nations without being wide-eyed or patronising. That may be because he has been married to a local for nine years, or it may be because he seems free of preconceptions and fear of the unknown.
He headlines his commentary on China's Web censorship with a line from David Bowie's Little China Girl: "Oh baby, just you shut your mouth", and dismisses the chances of catching dengue fever on Macau with a breezy "chances are we'll be fine ¤ just another joy of living in Asia".
A photo gallery brings his impressions to life and, if you like his style, go to the "tales" link on the right for longer, more complex glimpses into his life.
When you start reading each entry, be alert: every now and again the BWG slips in a hoary old joke dressed up as a story.

Roses are pink?

Most things are pink here, it seems. Thao's blog is a prettily designed thing, with lots of flowers and frames; it packs a typical dose of teenage attitude.
She's a Sydney teenager with a Vietnamese background, doing all the usual stuff: yum cha with the aunties, catching Spider-Man at the flicks and spending an inordinate amount of time gossiping with friends on the phone. Oh, and complaining about her parents and obsessing over friendships, as most teenage bloggers do.
She's in year 11 this year; you won't believe what these kids have to do at their school "motivation" camp!

Weblog Wannabe
Winner of the Asian category of the "Bloggy Awards" earlier this year, Weblog Wannabe is one of those blogs that never seems to stand still. Written in Indonesia since January, 2000, it's a good old-fashioned time-wasting blog.
It covers the latest trends in blogging - "Wordlove" is "linking to your favourite webloggers using interesting snippets from their own weblogs, of course!" - throws in a link to images of boxing cats, and tops it all off with a whimsical global "duck project" that is delightfully without any point at all.

Monday, June 24, 2002

tonight I saw how the other half live.
I drove across town and entered a white-painted, brightly lit old ballroom or cinema, a place with a sense of theatre, where hundreds of expensively dressed, middle-aged white people had parked their $50,000 cars outside and entered for the auction.
the auctioneer stood at a podium in front of a red velvet curtain. the works were displayed on a blue felt-backed rotating easel, the better to move quickly and smoothly from one work to the next.
One painting that went for about $30,000 had the artist's name on the back in large black uneven letters, like a 3rd grade child's signature. the works were all by Aboriginal artists who work in dusty courtyards and don't get paid much. not that they'd want to be at Sotheby's anyway, I guess.
I went to see the Emily Kwngwarreye paintings. (link later, Google is slow) I have wanted one since I saw her amazing retrospective a year or two back; she didn't start painting till around 70, died at roughly 86 (no one knows when she was born) and rivals Rothko, Pollock and Monet, sometimes all in one painting.
I really like her work. The auction house had said some might go for under $10,000 and I had a bizarre fantasy about extending my mortgage and getting one. but I couldn't get a catalogue and all the ones sold while I was there went between $25,000 and $105,000 for the really big, lovely Yam Dreamings and pink blotchy ones. I hate the woman who bought the pink blotchy one. not really, but it disturbed me to see how she, and most other buyers, put their bidders' paddles up without twitching a muscle and didn't even look pleased when they won.
the room was warm. people only laughed when something funny happened with the money, like when someone went up $2,500 on a bid already over $200,000. there was a burble of conversation. it only fell silent out of respect when the bids got over $300,000 on one particular painting.
The auction house makes 20 %. In five minutes, they would have made $100,000 on two paintings, by Rover someone. another artist was called "Queenie". these are nicknames, unfortunately like names given to dogs.
the paintings were full of life, colour, the breath of hot outback winds and the twinkling of stars. they show the tracks to water, the roots of the yam, the colours of rock (before there were oil paints, the paintings were done on bark with ochre and didn't survive).
I felt somehow ashamed to be there. what makes my desire for these paintings better than the mercenary $$$-based logic of the auction room, where the people of Toorak and Armadale gather to validate the value of "their" art?

so much to blog, so little time.
I feel sorry for all you Americans who can't watch Music Jamboree.
this is a show put together by a man who, on a "race around the world" reality tv show, streaked through jerusalem, broke into Disneyland and put a Haitian curse on his ex-girlfriend, while other contestants earnestly interviewed worthy people about worthy subjects.
in the first episode of the show, he set up a radio shock-jock to believe that drug dealers were pressing ecstasy tablets bearing the station's logo. the tablets were delivered to the station by a rollerblading hippy wearing orange fluffy trousers and pink rabbit ears. the whole setup was unethical, sneaky, and the funniest thing I've seen on TV since South Park went off.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

for a while now, I've had a list of music types going. I've got one for every letter of the alphabet, bar three: K, V & X.
I can't just cheat by saying "violin and Xylophone". it has to be a particular style.
hmm, who do I know who's a music freak?
(sits back and waits for bait to work, even if he does have a job now, and therefore no time for his old friends)

bebop, blues
new wave
quiet listening?
swing, symphonic
this is a gratuitous plug. Dotster continue to answer my emails in a timely and useful fashion. this is so unusual among cut-price Internet services that I felt moved to say something nice about them here.
Well, it's actually started.
With moving-out a week away, and builders-moving-in a fortnight hence, I could put it off no longer: Packing.
I hate it. who doesn't?
So much stuff to be dealt with, wrapped, assessed, chucked, filed, moved, moved again because it went in the wrong place the first time. So many decisions to be made. So many boxes to assemble, so much bubble-wrap to cut into neat wrapping-sized pieces. So much time and chaos.
And because a lot of this stuff isn't coming with us - it's staying here or going into storage - I'm feeling a slight sense of loss. I kind of like my stuff; none of it's valuable, but I have these things because I find them aesthetically pleasing, and I know it's six months to a year before I get to take them out of the boxes. The front of the house will also have workmen in it, so everything needs to be well sealed up and dust-protected.
Inevitably I'll need things, too. I can only schlep so many clothes over to the house-sit, and my mode of dressing in the mornings is to stare into the wardrobe, pick one item and then decide what else might go with it. Naturally, this means a pile of discarded scarves/shoes/bras on the bed when I rush out the door, but it works for me. now I'm having to be Miss Sensible Packer and take only the things that I wear often and know will be useful. how boring is that?
anyway, we can't do it all at once. we'll probably move out, then come back and clear out the back. must remember to take lots of pics as the wreckers move in...

Saturday, June 22, 2002

I'm supposed to be working. My husband is in the kitchen cooking. He thinks I'm doing a bit of stuff on my freelance column.
but in fact I'm having another list-making moment.
there are two kinds of lists; things you should do and things you've done. I keep both.
this qlogger thing appeals enormously to my record-keeping side.
If it suddenly became crucial to my continued existence that I be able to say exactly how many kilometres I'd ridden, metres I'd swum and repetitions of my morning exercises I'd done in, say, the past 279 days, I can confidently say I would continue to live. It's like that.
I think both kinds of lists are a way of keeping control (control freak? me? say that again and I'll make a list of ways to stop being such a control freak). Do I feel like I'm not achieving enough? a list of things done will let me check the facts. Do I feel like there's too much to do? Writing a list, while not actually constituting action, feels like it, and gets all those jumbled-up tasks out of my head and down on paper.
I'm not proud of it. It's just the way I am.
I wonder if I could connect the cycling log to the odometer on my pushbike...
I'm so immature. but they seem to be serious. it actually works!
and as for this, well I don't know if they're serious: Do you toke more in the morning? We don't really want to know.

I'm not allowed to do this... I haven't asked permission.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

really funny the first time
via the empty bottle
riding my bike home in the dark, as I've had to these near-solstice evenings, I had a flash of physical harm. It's been ages since I fell off my pushbike or was in a car crash. But for a second there I had a clear picture of how violent a sudden impact with the body can be.
we feel invulnerable most of the time. we try not to think about how exactly like any other physical matter our bodies are, and how easily they can be broken.
I hope it wasn't a premonition; it didn't feel like one, more an awareness, a body memory.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

The war on terror is not being televised; it's being blogged, mostly by patriotic or pacifist Americans.

Blogs of War
The Blogs of War offers discussion on all the main "war on terror" news, wondering aloud why the US hasn't caught more terrorists, and whether the dirty bomb was a real threat.
It's a good place to find terrorism trivia, like the news that one of the World Trade Center attackers, Mohamed Atta, actually applied for US Government funding to outfit a plane for a "crop dusting business".
Some of it is a bit bloodthirsty, though. The site quotes a Hollywood actor as supposedly saying: "There's only one thing these people understand, one thing and one thing only: abject, unbelievable, horrifying, terrifying fear.
"And until we're ready to strike that deep in their hearts and souls, we are going to be at war. And once they realise that they have to understand how powerful we are, not in our actual physical power, but in our heart and soul commitment to that power, only then will this terrorism stop."
The comment: "There's only one way to stop a terrorist: cut his head off," is followed by: "It's hard to argue with that."

Blog Nation: The Book
This blog was set up to compile interesting or significant posts about the events of September 11 in order to publish them as a book.
It mixes links to some of the most moving material on the Web about that day with meta-discussion about the idea of the book and whether warblogging is a distinct type of blog at all.
Blog Nation's definition of a warblogger: a generic term meaning "sometimes comments on politics, foreign policy and the intertangled web of culture, religion, media, general wonkism as it relates to 9/11 and its aftermath".

Keep Trying
Still wondering what a "warblog" is?
Mike Sanders at Keep Trying has been pondering the question too, coming up with his own answers and answers from elsewhere, like "A warblogger is someone who strongly condemns terrorism, such as that of 9/11, and is politically committed to efforts focused on the reduction of terrorism".
Keep Trying is a bit of a metablog, having examined the nature of blogging since it was set up. Sanders links, too, to the New York Times article that helped set off the debate over whether warblogs were corrupting the idea of blogging itself.

Daddy Warblogs
Last week the Daddy seemed to have trouble distinguishing between global conflict and the World Cup soccer. But he's not alone in that.
Daddy (aka Steven Chapman) wonders about the role of Islam in the conflict: "Could it be that 9/11 was at once a genuine act of war and a desperate act arising from a culture in decline, that the feelings of powerlessness in the face of Western success made such an act more likely?"
Then he goes on to condemn America's soccer credentials: "Get thee hence from my sight, America! You are a one-nation axis of football evil ..."
He says his aim is to "baffle my readers over just what the hell is my view on the morality of war". It's working.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

You've seen Being John Malkovich, right? (those who haven't can leave now).

I think my thing is I want to be Sarah Jessica Parker. I don't want to stay in a cockroach-infested hostel, pretending it's fun. I want a cool apartment, I want to walk around in weird funky clothes, I want a local coffee shop, a bookshop to hang out in. I want to go to poetry readings and bleeding-edge art openings in deserted factories. I want a front door I can close, and I want it to open onto a neighbourhood I can pretend is mine, just for that two and a half weeks. and if I can't do that, I don't think I want to go at all.
I hope I can find an apartment-sit that can do all that for me. someone offered me a place on 1st and 2nd for 50 days for US$1500. sounds great, but I only want 17 days for $800. decision time soon.

(the fact that apparently sjp's Sex and the City lifestyle would cost about US$2.5 million a year to maintain, clothes included, bothers me not at all. I want it anyway).

(ps: another thing there should be a word - a VERY rude word - for - accidentally hitting some combination of keys on the keyboard that closes your entire window just as you're about to hit post. )

Monday, June 17, 2002

online i-ching.
(teenage mumble mode)
yeah, so NameZero, like, I registered a domain name with them? m'paid'n everyfing.

and you know, when the membership thing expired, hey? I couldn't get my email 'cos they, like registered the URL to their crappy madeup mail system instead of my real deal address. and I said to them, like, BEFORE my membership expired, I said, hey guys, I said, change it back, willya?
damn thing never worked in the first place, too.

and they never, did they? so that was a waste of money, bigt-time.

so there's my URL, ticking over. it don't point anywhere 'cos my membership's expired. but it runs out on August 6, I think? August summit, anyway.
So I email Dotster, my good mates, they've been really good, hey? and they say nup, they need to confirm with the registered email address. bummer.
so I say "guys, those (&)^)*^&^%^ at NZ, they won't let me get at my mail." and Dotster say, like, "fax us a photo ID and stuff".
so I do.
and then they say "cool". and I'm getting my URL back. dotster rock, man. namezero suck. I don't think there's any actual, y'know, humans checkin' the mail there no more. dotster, they're people. real. man.

(/teenage mumble mode)
working on: my own personal mirror project.

against orders, I went for a swim tonight. now my back is frozen up from shoulder to shoulder and neck to middle back.
but I'm glad I did. there is nothing for clearing up the angst of a Monday like going up and down a blue swimming pool for half an hour, even in the dark and the cold.

and there's always Ibuprofen

when/if I next get to the US, the first thing I'll do is stock up on melatonin, sleeping pills and strong Tylenol. I actually don't take them very often at all - the sleeping pills maybe once every six weeks if I get very strung out, and then only half a tablet. but you can't buy that stuff here. they don't trust us with it unless a dr prescribes it. and melatonin works, hey?

Sunday, June 16, 2002

what I'd get paid if I worked in the USA
quick movie blog. should be working.
but I feel compelled to warn my loyal readers that Ocean's Eleven is a crock. of what, I'm not sure.

a few points: hi-tech security codes are not printed on bits of paper. they are generated by an algorithm on small tags that change every 60 seconds
the little chinese guy could have drilled a hole in the bottom of the trolley
they would never have got through that door without a card
casinos watch not only the customers, but the staff - and especially people dressed up as staff.
museum curators don't go to fights
what if she hadn't been wearing a coat with pockets? where would he have put the phone? that would have blown the whole deal.
and what the thing about Sol and the briefcase was, I'm not sure.

I could go on. but the whole thing was less credible than Mission Impossible (which I saw BEFORE I began boycotting anything with Cruise or That Woman in it), and because of that, less thrilling.
great photos of what's beneath NYC

via possibly the world's first archeology blog!
my horoscope tells me I must call on my "inner mogul".
but I have tendonitis of the shoulder and have been forbidden to swim, prevented from sleeping and am generally a vague, pathetic creature.
not much of a mogul.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

I am on page six of the Google listings for "blog". not bad when you think about it. blog
a href="">blogblog
instapundit has an intern! I want an intern!
(well, I actually have one here at work right now, but I can hardly ask him to seek out cool links for my blog and find a good way to describe the slightly elf-like, distressingly sexy manchild I saw cycling in to work this morning, and articulate my complex reaction to seeing this unreachably funky and aloof creature almost fall off his bike, thereby being transformed for just a second into a goofy teenage boy, now can I? no, I have to get my intern to rewrite press releases and do harmless articles about how schools use computers and the Web, don't I? if you wanna be my blog intern, apply below)

via Ev. you know where he is.

ps: then again, I don't get 30,000 hits a day. maybe when I do I can have an intern. I wonder if Keanu wants to learn to blog? (and how well he'd take "direction")
Scene one: rainy Friday afternoon. Jenny enters multi-store malltype thing, walks past rack after rack of Stuff on display, thinking "I have absolutely no urge to buy stuff today."

Scene two: Jenny emerges at other side of multi-store complex, carrying a new umbrella and two cardigans (sweaters) from Saba, one black and one a kind of pink with a dash of mauve.

what happed?

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

two things leave me with a flushed face, a sense of relaxation through all my muscles and hair that is scrunched every which way.
and only one of them is a wonderfully tough massage from my favourite back-cracker, Michael.
looking at warblogs has reminded me to blog something: my very first, split-second reaction to opening the newspaper on 12 September (probably midafternoon 9/11 US time) was divided between disbelief at the towers having fallen and horror the idea of America's war machine being awakened. until then, the nukes, the guns, the sheer force, had been so much in the background and I could pretent the US was just a source of generic hamburgers, movies and the place where New Orleans and New York were...

The Tower, btw, is the one card you don't want in your tarot reading.
blogrolling thought: if I have to assign everyone a level of importance, won't my bloggy friends know what I think of them? is that how Mike Sanders arranges his groups of five?

(not that I'm anywhere on his list or anything)
I'm looking at war blogs and the rest for the next blogon colum, and strayed into a discussion on Keep Trying of "respected journalists' " blogs.
henceforth would like to be known as a disrespectable journalist.
and if you think this blog has anything to do with my work, think again. I work for a paper that several years back issued an edict that we all had to "admit" any ownership of URLs. and whose publisher is on the record as saying that the Web is just another delivery medium, not something intrinsically different.

(will let you know if I get fired for this post; we don't have a First Amendment in Australia, you know)
today's blogon

Reality game blogs

Who needs a vast television network, cross-media promotion and a secure house in Queensland when you have the Internet? These DIY reality shows are the goods..

"Alliances, scheming, plotting are fine. If they interfere with the course of running the game, it is not fine. So feel free to plot together ..." If only Big Brother was this upfront.
Blogwhore is part game, part parody of the attention-seeking antics some bloggers get up to to boost their hit rates.
The rules, ad hoc as they are, are that each Wednesday and Saturday for six weeks, one participant gets voted out of the game by the other players.
A special task will be set twice weekly, and the person who does the task best is immune from eviction for one round.
Players have to post on the Blogwhore blog at least three times a week and, so far, the game seems to be to analyse the other players' photos and posts to the nth degree, and to try to produce shocking yet amusing content.
This can take the form of posting naked photos of the blogger (taken in a mirror, with steam providing a modesty cover) and faux-nastiness, like this, from player Michelle: "Now. You people are being way too friendly to each other. I'm in this for the backstabbing, the lying, the cheating, the people sleeping with each other, sleeping with dolls or priests or whatever. I want action."
To add to the fun, the host finishes the rules with this: "oh yeah. and i reserve the right to change the rules. but i'll be fair about it. really." (sic)

Blind Date Blog

This blog seems to be some kind of attempt to take the personal exposure of blogs to a new high.
"Contestants" answer intimate questions about themselves on the blog and are subject to a public vote-off every week. (By now, there are only two couples left.)
At the end of the game, the two "winners" must go on a blind date, accompanied by the game's hosts, who will be taking copious notes for publication on the site.
The date will be paid for by donations from the audience -- up to more than $US300 ($A521) at last count -- and if they can't spend it all, they get to split the remainder.
Players flirt shamelessly with each other, offer opinions on contestants' bonkability, and reminisce about their love lives: "Everything I learned about relationships (well, up to college) I learned from TV," writes one.
Another answers the question of what it would be like if all the daters were at a party together:
"Todd, we would sit on the sofa discussing the perils of dating and giving each other advice.
"Sandra, we would instantly click. About 50 per cent of our conversation would be spent in hysterics. The other 50 would be in deep, serious discussion about important lifestuff.
"Ank, we would flirt a lot. I would love hanging out with you, and would try to convince myself to fall for you. but in the end, the fact that you are centred, funny, kind and cool would inspire me to sabotage any potential connection we might have.
"Josh, you would get on my nerves, in a fun way.
"Cheryll, we would immediately forget each other's name," and so on.
Although the daters are aged from 19 to 34, the whole thing has the feel of a teenage weekend camp, with emotions to match.
The eventual date will be a boy/girl date, which is a little surprising considering this is a project of gay blogger Ernie (featured in BlogOn last week.)
Depending on your own preferences, you can read the blog by "girl posts" or "boy posts" only, or search by post from your favourite dater.

Yet another Ernie production (he's a self-confessed "laid-off Web developer", so has plenty of time for all this), PSB1 v PSB2 pits the teams from two "survivor" blog games against each other.
Survivor Blog One seems to be winning right now; although the rules aren't entirely clear, it has more posts up. Maybe it's just a place for reality game players who just can't let go.
Each blogger has a link to their personal blog, where their "actual" reality is recorded

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

phew. that was close. mere SECONDS from jumping up from my desk, scattering papers everywhere and yelling at everyone who works within 20 metres of me "WILL YOU SHUT THE HELL UP I'M TRYING TO WORK HERE!", I discovered that if you plug the headphones in next to the CD-ROM tray instead of the side jack, the sound is much better.
I have no idea how I survived trying to write a shopping list here, let alone a feature article, before I got Gregory Isaacs's groove happening inside my head...

Monday, June 10, 2002

heh. I record not just one, but EIGHT - and ALL EIGHT - hits for the query "sex site in Colombo".
Blogcon/nyc deliberations:
Downside: no one wants to share a room with mein Vegas.
Upside: The Neville Brothers are playing that weekend, and I'm sure I had "hear Aaron Neville sing just one more time" on my big list of things to do with my life.
I'm supposed to be working (at home on freelance stuff, today's a public holiday here), so I'll be quickish; but we went and saw our potential housesit place this afternoon. it will only last for 10 weeks, which is annoying, but otherwise it's perfect - a good location five minutes' drive from here, a backyard for Mr B, a gate onto the schoolyard at the back, a nice sunny back room with a decent gas heater, and a relaxed owner. now all we have to do is get the building project started on time.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

cool. I don't have to go to New York. I can make it.
(boingboing again)

ps: If I can/make it here/I'll make it/anywhere (sorry, worst paraphrase-of-a-Broadway-song-pun ever.)

look closer. it's not what you think.
via BoingBoing.
went to see a report on a survey danced last night. it was good. funky chunky. must blog fully...busily working on a presentation I have to give on blogging in a few months; if I go to BlogCon maybe I can give it there too? it all contributes to the tax deductibility of it all. if I go.
want to know what really goes through a losing gameshow contestant's mind when he's smiling and saying "thanks very much?"
via Looby Lu, who is partly to blame.

Saturday, June 08, 2002

and speaking of rap, here's a shout-out o' total disrespek to those nuthin' types at Hotmail, who changed my (and everyone else's) preferences to allow them to sell my email address. I changed it back as soon as I could, but it has caused me to get a lot of spam straight into my inbox, bypassing my highest-level filter settings. this has happened on an address that is not listed anywhere on the Web and formerly got no spam at all. if you use Hotmail, you need to check your personal profile settings.
I admit it. I typed the phrase "R.Kelly XXX" into Google. shame, Jenny, shame. But I didn't go so far as to install Quick Time just so I could see the video. I'm not that depraved.

Friday, June 07, 2002

hmm. maybe the old link worked by pointing to something, which is no longer there - and of course it wouldn't work on my offline versions. still...OK, enough of this.
too weird. I've just looked at my archives (as in the files I keep on my computer) and they are missing the link, too; and this when I view them offline!
there is no reason for this. the template I was using last year has hyperlinks. and I'm sure that up until a couple of weeks back, the link worked. what, did the magic expire on that trick or something? including retrospectively? weird, weird, weird.
heh. I feel pretty clever here. instead of doing all that, I grabbed an archive link from another template and used it instead. took a few goes to stop it creating a huge narrow box at the top, and I still have my daggy "life, vegemite" description up there in text, but my archive links are back. something must have changed at Blogger; I wonder if everyone using that template has that same problem? must be driving them MAD. did me.
yeah, it's ugly. whichever one you're looking at. turns out the fault seems to be with the actual template I was using; whether or not I renewed it from "choose template".
so now "all" I have to do is pick a new one and reinstate comments, blogrings, pic links, sitemeter, etc, etc. draw your own little icon of a little man at work.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

look, I have to sleep. so you'll just have to do without archives for a bit longer, OK?
it's weird; there isn't even a link to them now, just the word "archives".
and no, I have not touched my template. at least not near the archives bit.
I can feel another reconstruction job coming on....

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

that didn't last very long. this week's blogon:

Lifestyle choice? Born to it? These blogs may answer the question: are bloggers born, or made? (and by the way, the authors are gay.)

Little. Yellow. Different.
"Like Speed Racer, only gayer," trumpets the site of Ernie, a Bay Area (San Francisco) gay geek with attitude.
"I wanna be a geek, you see. But not just any geek. I wanna be someone like Chris, who can crank out XML editors and Java RSS aggregators and spreadsheet emulators using nothing but javascript the way some people brush their teeth before going to bed, and yet is still cool enough to play in a pop band. Or Leonard, who can spend hours discussing the
nuances of CSS and DHTML using big scary words that fly over my head, and yet still gives a pretty good lightshow if you give him a pair of glowsticks."
He's firmly embedded in the West Coast blogging culture, and tells illustrated tales of his crazy offline adventures - such as crashing a car in a creek last New Years' Eve - but not so badly that he forgot to take digital photos for his blog.
There's a touch of the Dilberts about Ernie; his stories ring with familiarity to many contract workers, like the struggle to get back in the building when he forgets his security pass, and the time he was sacked with half an hours' notice - he still suspects it's because he bitched about a coworker on his blog.
`If someone read LYD and left the page thinking that my weblog was nothing but a big mass of yellow gayness, they really weren't getting the point." Not much chance of that.

A whole lot of diverse bloggers looked around one day and realised they had something in common; not to put too fine a point on it, they were all dykes.
So they formed DykeWrite, a kind of uber-blog where selected posts from members' blogs and posts especially written for the site form most of the content.
This ranges from "what's it all about" stuff - "What is Dyke? What does the word "dyke" mean to you? Do you consider being a dyke different from being lesbian (I do.)? Is it a lifestyle, a political movement, or both? How do you feel about people who jump on you for using the word "dyke"? Which do you prefer, dyke or lesbian, or do you care?" - to individual tales
of what it's like being a woman's woman in a man's world.
Lots of links to some unusually thoughtful and emotionally open personal blogs, too.

Gay News
Gay News is an automated news service linking to media reports on gay issues worldwide, from Egypt's anti-gay laws to the latest on HIV treatment to what young Elton John is up to these days.
It picks out the best articles for a "spotlight" segment and despite its United Kingdom-United States bias, gives a lot to think about.

Swish Cottages
Clubbing, pub trivia nights and Michael's fabulous party on Saturday night: just another day in the life of London-based blogger David. His favourite hangout is the Vauxhall Tavern; he's even written an A-Z of what he loves about it.
"F is for five o' clock, four quid, full, fags, fashion, Fred Perrys, footie kit, fraternising with friends, fancying, flirting ..."
When not socialising madly, he complains about middle management meetings and lets you know what he thinks of the latest CD releases.
For that uniquely British touch, heoffers the London Sun's "real story" on British soldiers in Afghanistan: ""Troops were shocked when they were targeted by frisky fellas wearing PINK LIPSTICK, NAIL POLISH and PERFUME."
A photographs page gives the impression of random moments from a day wandering around London.
Follow the link to his friend Marcus's site, where you'll fine reviews of Kylie Minogue's London concert and another perspective on David.
Swish Cottages seems to lack an archives link; enter the word /archives/ after the main URL to step back in time.
I may never post here again. I may just add links to the sidebar with blogrolling. who needs redundant descriptions and opinions anyway? plus, when I come here, I am compelled to click on "view web page" and then to check my stats, which usually sets me off on some random surf. bad, bad, bad.
I would just like to say that Hoopty is a sweetie and that Blogrolling, where he sent me, is a fine site if you want to run a huge and well-updated links list. and don't we all?

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

just ignore this post; sometimes the only place to keep your bookmarks is on your blog, especially when you work on three different machines.
(thinks: would Ev incorporate a permalink blog function that didn't require template coding? like a toolbar button that opened a special "sidebar" window where you could blog as normal but it would stay on the page? or is that making it tooeasy for the newbies?)

Richard Woolcock r/e

towns shearing r/e

peter lees



Monday, June 03, 2002

"latex suit garden hot rain pain small men work"
now that's a search string!
waah! JeanNine is more Jedi than me!

yes I'm working. I just wanted to write something quickly as a change from all the writing:
another thing there should be a word for: to place something found aside in a supposedly easier to see place, with the actual effect of making it impossible to find when the owner comes looking for it. what shall we call it? to Toorak it.
as in "I dropped my keys next to the car, and it took me TWO HOURS to find them because some idiot had tooraked them onto the gatepost."

closely related to Malverning: to put something in a safe place that you can't possibly forget. and you know what happens then.
something else there should be a word for: to link to someone in a quote, as in: "I realized the perfect model for my proposed Public Service Announcement
Do you know why I'm not smiling in that picture up there? It's not because I'm looking for the sophisticated-executive look. It's because I'm embarrassed to smile. It's because my teeth are literally rotting due to my pack-a-day habit."

we could call it "to bendigo."

as in: "check out this bendigo to Ev's latest rant"
I consume, digest, and excrete information for a living

now that is getting closer to what I feel about blogging. sort of mindless info-munching and excreting. what a lovely image, huh?
(caveat: of course, I have not fully read either this or the 73-blogs article, nor have I done the Berkeley course. you should really just ignore me.)

:: how jedi are you? ::
a Berkely course on blogs, also found at Daypop, that seems to me to almost entirely miss the point. at least the point of what I like about blogs. news is all very well, I know from experience, but what about the people-ness of it?
stolen from Daypop as usual: really gross pictures. if you go here, it serves you right!
"What happens when we have 73 blogs about Wooster, red blogs, prose blogs, gun blogs, ska blogs, braless blogs, blog blogs, bong blogs, 29,471 Boston blogs, when we have three blogs for anyone who thinks for a living or lives for thinking: a blog for work, a blog for play and blog for family? What happens when Laura Bush, Zonker Harris, Bill Gates, Britney Spears, Homer Simpson, John Edwards and Tiger Woods all blog?"

I'm glad you asked that. this article actually confirms my feeling that as long as we all read about as much as we're read, blogging will be just fine. although I take issue with the headline "making a living from blogging". that's not the idea. live first, then blog.

Via Jill.
When the mirror hit the floor, she sat up in bed and shouted “not yet.”
then she said to her husband: “what the hell was that?”
Why should he know?
She opened the door as if she’d never been through it.
Seeing the circular mass on the corridor floor, she looked up for the hole in the ceiling where the thing had crashed through.
Gathering the pieces together the next morning, she asked “why do these things always happen at three in the morning?”
“Why can’t they happen while I’m at work, or out shopping; it wouldn’t be so bad just coming home to it. Why do I have to participate?
The big pieces she kept, stacked with their curved edges poking up out of a green bucket in the shed.

my archives keep disappearingfrom the front page. they'll be back soon. at least I know they still exist
caffeinated soap
a keeshond puppy: 'nuf said.

Sunday, June 02, 2002

last-ditch attempt to get BlogCon moved to Melbourne: Saturday night. boy's birthday. setting: Katsalidis-designed restaurant in the city; polished concrete walls with rich timber panels, very soft music, black-clad waiters who can pour wine from about five feet away and not spill a drop, etc. high interior decor point: the slab of granite in the ladies' room instead of a sink. the water ran off it like a waterfall.
drinks: g&t, champagne, a couple of glasses of excellent cab sauv.
menu: an amuse-bouche of warm frothy mushroom broth. crunchy breadsticks. mushroom tortellini on shredded celery with oysters (me) prawn and scallop mouthfuls (him), followed by tender medium rare venison on a bed of caramelised winter vegetables (me) and a sort of yummy red snapper steak thing (him), followed again by poached pear with chocolate cakey-mousse, topped with melted Valrhone (spelt?) chocolate, poured over the desserts at the table. A couple of coffees.
all absolutely perfect, in very civilised surrounds.
total cost (frightening for me, but it was his birthday): about $104 US.

we should run an ad campaign: Australia: 50% off everything.
hotel rethink: how about a cheap, clean and well located dorm room?
not that I condone cheap wog humour...but get some hair on your chest.
I hate it when ... I wander into work on a Monday morning, completely forgetting that I had a phone interview lined up with a Very Important Person.
I love it when ... I check my voice mail an hour later, readying myself to ring and grovel, and get a message from the PR saying she "can't find him" and will try to get him on the phone asap.
and did I tell her that I'd forgotten when I spoke to her? oh no. I need every brownie point I can get.
puppy photos. Batgrl and Platypus are dog angels.

other tearjerking dog rescue tails (woof woof) at If I was in the States I'd take 'em all.
hoopty's killed his comments. which is a comment in itself, I guess. and I thought I was being a control freak when I hesitated to get comments, being aware it would make this space less my space.
my back hurts. at the front of our house is a respectable pile of hard rubbish. at the back are all our plants, tucked between the garage and the fence. I spent an hour and a half this afternoon wearing a stupid face mask, picking asbestos pieces out of the soil behind the garage - and picking up smashed bits of what was once a beautiful tiled fireplace in our lounge room, which I will include in a mosaic with the bits of the mirror that smashed to the floor at 3 am yesterday morning.

so I guess the moving has begun. but right now I'm making chicken curry, having sent Andrew and my nephew off to get The Phantom Menace. yes, I know it sucks. but I have this thing about completing the set...

Saturday, June 01, 2002

$50 for these? I don't think so. will have a special section devoted to scoffing at such prices.

my new collection mania: old suitcases, those cardboard ones with metal catches and leather straps and retro-printed linings. I bought FOUR in Ballarat yesterday (one was a Samsonite case); this would not be remarkable until I add that I had to get them, plus my bag of clothes, home to Melbourne in my cute-but-miniscule MX-5. not even lack of carrying space can stop me, it seems. I think the suitcase thing is a reaction to our impending move. if we have to house-sit, I can use them as a mobile wardrobe that will look cute stacked up in the hallway; if not, they'll still make good storage for the stuff we leave in the house, (none of which will be worth stealing, if you're stalking me, unless you like 1970s paperback novels, old mismatched socks and back copies of papers I've written for)
and old suitcases are cheaper than proper boxes at only $2-$5 each

went house looking again today. found one I really like; it's a bit more than we wanted to pay, but has a great feel, polished boards and is close to a huge park where we could walk Mr B.
now that I've read the comments on Hoopty's blog, I'm even more confused. I wouldn't say this in his comments, but everyone was forgiving each other and spreading the love so enthusiastically, I wonder if there was a problem at all? or is it the virtual community equivalent of having a fight with your boy/girl just so you can have make-up sex?