Saturday, January 31, 2004

it seems that every time I ride up the Merri Creek I see something new.

this morning (yes, it's still possible to go for rides with a 2 1/2 month old baby), it was a man with his little girl. he looked, well, foreign; possibly Iranian or thereabouts, with darkish skin, a high forehead and a silly moustache. she was four or five, chubby, dressed in a floral frock with thick long black hair tied back. she was riding a pink bike with training wheels, instructing her Dad when to hold onto her bike - for instance when crossing rough terrain or a scary (though safe) bridge. the last glimpse I had of them was them feeding the ducks in Coburg Lake. and whether it's close to the truth or not, I imagined him to be a refugee from some horrible conflict, with images no one should have in his memory, savouring the peace and beauty of Sunday morning walking by a quiet, semi-deserted lake with his lovely daughter.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

so I'm trying to sell my sportscar, for obvious reasons.

today I got a msg from a potential buyer. I called back. it went like this:

"Hi, this is Jenny with the MX-5, I know you said call Saturday but I've got a little baby and I just had a moment to call you back and ... hello?"
"Hello, are you there?"
"have I disturbed you?"
"Is that Adam?"
"Um, I think I'll call you back later, it doesn't seem like you're with me right now."

if he has the $$ to buy a late model sportscar, I suspect he got it either by being a rock musician or by dealing drugs. weeeeird.
this looks like a new language. I think the author might be Indonesian. it was the title that got me: "Lets Rock dicks and bebs!!!!!!!"
to me, it would be harder work to invent all those misspellings - 4get, tat, rite - than to write it correctly. but this has a voice

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I've met one seriously misogynist gay guy in my time, but plenty of straight ones.
mostly tradies. you know them when you see them: no eye contact, short answers, lots of head-ducking, literally. this could also describe a lot of geeks, but they can avoid female contact, whereas your average tradey deals with women at home all day, so comes to resent and scorn us.
my strategy, which I've had to use twice today already, is to just speak slowly and clearly and stick to the practical details. but by the second one, a very young plumber who blundered around our yard instead of just asking me where the gully trap was, I was over it. so I proceeded to sit in the lounge room breastfeeding the baby while he walked in and out running taps (and running up a bill at $2/minute!). he hated it. I didn't care.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

blogcrusing still has its moments, you know. randomly from Blogger's front page, a young man muses on love, faith and really cool toys.
on the CD player: Aaron Neville singing Summertime, one of my favourites whether it's sung by him, by Janis, by Big Mama Thornton or anyone else. It reminds me of a hot night in New York City, down in the subway: a man was sitting on the platform across the tracks singing that song and calling out for donations - even New Yorkers were amused and throwing cash.

but a second later a man holding a gun ran along our platform, and from nowhere came what seemed like 15 plainclothes cops (think agents swarming in the Burly Brawl). the busker was up the iron stairs in a flash and I hid behind a girder whle the cops literally covered the guy with the gun with their bodies. that was ten years ago, when New York was still dirty and dangerous.

a few nights later at a Nick Cave - I won't say concert, because all he did was read from his bad novel - I got chatting to some guy who walked me up Broadway to my hostel. halfway there, a street vendor suddenly lunged across in front of us at another man on the kerb, his knife flashing. and me, the naive little Australian girl, I was the one who grabbed my new friend and steered him around the scene as if nothing was happening.

but Aaron Neville: it's occurred to me that like many of my favourite things, I'm not sure how I came to know of him. I just love the guy's voice, and even though he's from Nawlins and I'm in Melbourne, I've seen (heard) him and his bros. five times. but why? how did I know to start listening to him? with Massive Attack, for instance, it was in Dan O'Brien's car on the way to a photo shoot when I said "who's this playing"? but the Nevilles? I have no idea.

maybe it was that same summer visit to New York when I went along to a free park concert and grooved to them in Central Park in the sun. but I think I must have had an idea I liked them to even turn up there. Syd Straw, on the other hand, was serendipity, the support and saving grace of the annoying Nick Cave performance.

do good things find us somehow?

I'll probably never see Aaron Neville again. the last time was on a hot Vegas night at a poolside show under a full moon - only a few hundred people there, so I could go and stand front and centre. that was, I know, enough.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

remember snail mail? (actually, at our house, there are real snails in the letterbox).

today I received: a note from an old friend who suffered a loss 11 mths ago but is now doing OK, with her new business card.

a calendar of views from a friend living in devon.

signed notes from his liitle girls thanking me for xmas presents, including the information that they were used to wake daddy up (they were toys that made Australian bird calls)

and a very late xmas card from my sponsored child in Zambia, with a tiny stick figure of a girl for signature.

all of which are now displayed around the place, taking up visible residence in my material world.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

when we bought this house, there was rising damp in the walls.

we spent $7000 on damp treatment and plastering. there's still damp in the walls.

Friday, January 02, 2004

batgrl is too kind.

of course I haven't been blogging much; but these are the things parenthood is teaching me:

why women are better at multitasking, and picking up where they left off.

that you can achieve things with a tiny baby around, it just takes five times as long.

that perversely, what you really need in extremis is other people doing it just as hard.

that when people tell you that the moment you see your first child, the ground shifts beneath your feet, they're right.

that it's possible to read complex novels with a small child; as long as it's really small and latching on well...

that six hours' broken sleep is not a bad night, it's an unacheivable dream.

that naps (and I already knew this) are Good.

and that it certainly can be worth crying over spilt milk, if it teaches you not to let the baby chuck up the next time.