Saturday, September 29, 2007
In the year I was born, ...
This photo was taken of John Lennon, who only had a year left to live.
Moscow hosted the Olympics
This mob, including Topol, starred in the Flash Gordon movie.
Mount St Helens erupted
Finding a good drug dealer was apparently as easy as letting your fingers do the walking
And this creature was Miss Gay America
Do get along to www.missgayamerica.com/ formers/formers.htm if you can. It is well worth it.
I have a thing for middle-aged women.
I can't explain it. It's not a nanny complex. I don't want to have sex with them or dress up in nappies and have them spank me or anything. I just find middle-aged women very sexual. Very attractive. In the same way the French do, I suppose. I'm not one of those people who thinks women at 35 are on the scrap heap. Actually, I think that's when they're becoming their most attractive. In full bloom, if you will... until they're about 45 or 50.
At which point they aren't suddenly unattractive, you understand. It's just that particular age range that seem to attract me.
I just wanted that on the public record.
I also have a thing for old men.
This is definitely not a sexual thing. I just like the fusty-mustiness of them. The crazy clothes they can wear to the shops, as if it doesn't matter that 40 years has past since they bought the suit and wore it to their kids' weddings. It's still good.
I love how they're set in their ways and cantankerous. How they talk about how things were "in my day", as if my era is somehow deficient. I love their stories and worldly advice. I love their misunderstandings of technology and how things work in MY day. I love their eyebrows. And I delight in looking at their hands and the way you can read a lifetime's work in them.
I like pepper trees. They remind me of the coastal holidays of my childhood. Sunshine. Caravan park cricket. My four wonderful years in Albany. My good friend Kerry... who will tell you they're called Agonis flexuosa and proudly has the only Agonis street tree on her stretch of Middleton Road, the escutcheon of which is lined with plain trees. There is one out my bedroom window, in the neighbour's back yard, and it fills with birds and in the morning the sun shining through it plays shadows into my bedroom.
I like chooks. Chickens, if you prefer, or hens, more specifically. Red ones, white ones, black ones. Pure breeds and hybrids. I love the way they cluck and busy themselves. I love watching them bobbing for bugs and seeds. Dust bathing. Cleaning the nose holes in their beaks with their claws. I especially love it when they sneeze. And I delight in the tame ones plucking up the courage to come visit you, meandering into the house, facing off with the cat or the dog, eating the cat's food, or eyeballing it out. Watching the dog round them up. Hearing them cluck triumphantly after an egg is laid.
I like the sound of the cello.
So deep and mournful. Melancholy. Sad. Joyful. So very definitely the sound of my soul, the way its harmonics and mine resonate. I adore seeing the cellist wrapped loving around their instrument, as if it were alive, human, a lover, and so fluidly yet precisely caress the strings with the bow. I love Elgar's Cello Concerto. I love the adagio best. I love hearing a cello in pop songs. I love artists who use a string section. I like hearing music I like orchestrated.
I like the words.
I like the way some words when thrown together conjure up such delicious imagery. Crystal Palace. That's a good one. Why did they have to pull it down? Cock. I don't know why, I just love how it sounds coming out of my mouth. Sure it's dirty, but a word which exercises your cheek muscles that much to say it can't possibly be all bad. The Resistance. Perhaps too many war movies as a kid. The Resistance. It's up there with The Gestapo. I could have belonged to either of these organisations because their names are so good. What do you mean they're polar opposites? Chipping Sodbury. It's a place in the UK. I didn't get there when I went for a visit earlier this year, but it sounds so edible somehow that one day I will have to go there and just stand under the village sign and absorb its glorious mixture of letters.
I like the following people, because they have such good names.
I like narwhals.
I had completely forgotten about these creatures until I saw them on a documentary last weekend. I was one of those kids who was fascinated with animals and knew perfectly well the difference between turtles, tortises and terrapins. I had a book with a picture of a narwhal in it. It intrigued me endlessly. Like a unicorn, but a whale.
I like things that unexpectedly remind me of my childhood... which is more and more becoming a distant memory. Kids at school now look back on the eighties in exactly the same way as I looked back on the sixities. So long ago. So not a part of my life but long enough ago to be endlessly fascinating. The 80s, people! It's hardly ancient history. I like seeing kids in supermarkets in my old school uniform. I like seeing jersey cows. I like that I'm going to the Royal Show this week, where I spent so much time in the cattle lanes as a kid. I like the Wombles. Multi-stripe carpet. Brown corduroy. Faded photographs of my grandma and I on the farm. I like the quilt my mum made me. I like the fabrics I chose. I like the box brownie a friend gave me for my 21st. I like a lot of people I don't see any more.
Tori. Fucking. Amos.
Last night was one of the most euphoric concert experiences of my life. Thom and I scooted off to the Tori Amos gig at the Perth Concert Hall.
If she was on again tonight I'd be going again. I wish I'd gone Thursday night, so I could have known she was so good and then gone again last night.
She has THE MOST effortlessly powerful voice... which she occassionally adds an impishness to that is somehow eerie.
But this woman is amazing. A new hero for me. I mean I've long liked Tori - it's a gay rite, I believe - but now she hits hero status.
She is one crazy bitch and I love her.
I couldn't get enough. I've never ever been so transfixed at a concert in my life.
(Okay, maybe at Kylie, but that had more to do with the amazing back-up dancers... I hardly remember the befeathered showgirl herself. LOL).
Tori, who is so incredibly enchantingly pretty, played a heap of songs from her standard book - including A Sorta Fairytale, which is one of those I-am-so-sad/happy-listening-to-this-song-I-could-die-oh-no-perhaps-I'll-just-play-it-on-repeat-for-three-days songs.
Her costumes were crazy... her piano playing the most incredible and inspirational I have ever seen. Her song writing... the arrangements with the band... even the light show... everything... I fucking loved it and wish I could have stayed in that experience for another hour or three.
Oh, and that's the other thing... the concert hall was a little under stocked with audience but even then, Tori gave 100 per cent. A brilliant concert and she certainly didn't short change us with how long she was on stage.
Apparently her gig has been different every night in every town as she dresses up as the five or seven or however many characters from her new album.
I love her. Especially after her very short chat to the audience... when she said she had loved Australia and really didn't want to go home. There was nothing false about it... you know the way there so often is with musos placating an audience. No, she looked liked she meant it.
I don't think those eyes or that face - which betray so much emotion as she plays - could lie.
I love her I love her I love her.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Look at this man.
Of course you recognise him, he's Vladimir Putin, the Russian President.
This man, this country, fascinates me.
Here is a man who sacks his cabinet and installs an unknown. Constitutionally he can't stand for a third consecutive term and the new PM, Viktor Zubkov, is expected to play Patsy - being controlled by Putin until power can be handed back to the former KGB man.
Yet another minister had to resign from cabinet completely because he was Zubkov's son-in-law and it constituted a conflict of interest.
To all intents and purposes the FSB (the KGB by any other name is still the KGB) is now running Russia. Journalists and former KGB operatives are being assassinated all over the place. The hard-won democracy is being slowly crushed under an all-seeing regime with amazing spies and tentacles, yet the Russian people love the man. They love the way he's running things.
I've taken to reading the news wires every day for the latest on anything Russian. Fascinates me. Absolutely fascinates me.
...that I can taste it.
Mykonos. Greece. A boozy island-hopping holiday with my boy.
I've been onto my Dad's travel agent for an idea of prices, just to gauge whether this is ever likely to be a going concern. Great news is, it is.
And the delightful Robbie mentioned it today as if it was already a fate accompli... which always makes stuff more exciting, hearing other people talk about it.
I. Cannot. Wait.
I know I've already had a big holiday this year and several of my friends have fantastic overseas trips coming up much sooner than I, but I'm just SO excited.
It has taken me a while to notice that I actually was bitten by the travel bug while I was away... but I was. And I'm excited!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I give my title the capitals not because I refer to the respected British publication, but because I believe the Times we are in are important. There is some mood for change.
Some mood for governmental change, domestically.
Some mood for taking climate change seriously, although I fear too little is being done, far too late.
There is some mood for change in Burma. And it is being done in a dignified manner by the most dignified of men from the world's most dignified religion.
But to continue to existentialist mood of the post below I want to point out I am excited very much by these moods for change because I think in each instance they are good for mankind. But ultimately, even if nothing comes of any of it, and it turns out that cool wind of change I feel is actually just the air conditioner, it won't matter.
If the temperatures increase by a few degrees because of human activity... if to thirds of all plant and animal species are wiped-out... if all the ice melts and the sea levels rise and the ocean temperatures change and if the ocean currents change... if all of this makes the miserable human civilisation unsustainable and unable to cling to life on this beautiful gift we inherited, then cest la vie.
It is for the best. This planet will recover.
I watched a reasonably ordinary documentary - The White Planet - at the cinema on the weekend. It told me nothing new and said nothing interesting, even on the question of climate change, but the narrator did say one thing which resonated with me greatly: It is we for whom time is running out, for Mother Nature has all the time in the world.
And she does. Life evolves and teems from one iceage to the next. When I was a kid and I learned the sun was a star and stars are alive and things that live must die, I was terrified I would live to see the sun die. Even then we were being told by teachers we were killing our planet. We're not. We're killing ourselves and taking a hell of a lot of species with us as collateral damage. But the Earth and the Sun will keep spinning... long after we have returned to atoms.
I think I've just discovered my Nihilist side.
I've reached that point where I'm too old to be a child protege and too young to be in anyway acclaimed. I'm at that not extraordinary point of my life we all get to where I understand that I'm no more special or remarkable than the people around me and therefore must work very hard to be remarkable before I die, so that all the people I thought I was better than, understand that there was something behind it and not just delusion.
I figure the right age for me to now do something noteworthy is probably 55. By that age you're considered old enough to have lived enough to be wise enough to do something remarkable which other people will actually consider is an achievement worth 30 seconds of their attention. I know this sounds a little Warholist... if such a thing exists. With a tinge of existentialist.
So the bad news is, for the next 28 years I'm living in a meaningless achievement void until I get to an age where my achievements will be as respectable as they would have been if, say, at the age of five I'd filled a concert hall with dignitaries wanting to listen to my amazing piano compositions.
Everything you do in your middle years is ordinary. People just accept whatever you're doing as being the thing that you do. Your chance to be noteworthy has passed.
So does it really matter how I fill the void, as long as I pump out a Man Booker Prize winner when I'm grey at the temples and dressing exclusively in black skivvies the way ageing arty homosexuals seem to do compulsorily?
I guess I'm asking, where do I fit in?
Monday, September 24, 2007
I need to put out an All Points Bulletin: please don't use my old email address... firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't use it any more at all.
I didn't spread this message around far enough before and as a result I have missed out on a brilliant opportunity.
Wonderful Phil... Canberra Phil... wanted to come for the weekend to relive last year's experience, when he was working in Perth and Thom and I took him to Parklife and showed him a good time.
I would dearly dearly have loved to do exactly that. But I missed his email. Not his fault... my fault.
Please use my Gmail email, darlings... to ensure I get your message. I don't want to miss out on fantastic fun like this again for no reason.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
God I put up with some unbearable smugness in my life: Exs who think they're better than me, editors who... well it does matter, we all know which unbearable bitch I'm talking about.
But this takes the biscuit. So I'm doing something about it.
Dear Impersonal Medling, reporter, ABC.
We used to work together, do you remember? We were equal-ranked reporters for sister papers. We used to get along okay, despite your self-obsessiveness.
Then I happened to make a crack which hit too close to the bone and you became angry at me. You couldn't do so openly because it would be too hard to explain to people. I had, afterall, pointed out that you were spending a hell of a lot of time with someone who wasn't your husband. I won't delve too far into the 'lady doth protest too much' reaction to my joke. We both know the truth anyway.
Then I drunkenly told someone, who you were being sent to work under, that you would be hard to manage. Turns out I was quite right on that front, too, but that's neither here nor there. What it DID was give you a reason to hate you openly. A decent reason for me to dislike your informant - the balding gargantua.
Neither of us work at that organisation any more so it made sense that we might eventually rock up at the same press conference - me for the daily paper and you for the sadly-no-longer-credible-I-meant-just-have-a-look-at-who-they're-employing-these-days-ABC. So when it happened a couple of weeks ago and we were both covering the same story and we pretended to be nice to one another, it was almost a relief. It had happened.
I found it hilarious to that night see myself on TV, in the background of your poorly structured story. Certainly confirmed for the bosses I had indeed attended the event they had asked me too. Did I care? Not beyond thinking it was funny that someone who hates me so much couldn't manage to edit me - a bystander - OUT of her first ever TV news bulletin.
So when a wonderful friend passed on to me that you said you'd deliberately put me on TV, a whole list of reactions were experienced:
a) Er, sure... bet you didn't even notice me you cloth-eared bitch.
b) Bet it still bugs the shit out of you that I was in frame
c) How sad is your life that, if you did that deliberately, you think that I care
d) How on Earth would that in anyway affect me? Am I supposed to be upset or excited or something?
e) You say you "got me on TV"? Darling, I've done plenty of TV and have no ambition to do any more... so what is your point?
f) You're a sad fuck who can't move on.
I know it may seem like I can't move on either, seeing as I'm blogging about you, but the unbearable smugness of your statement just reconfirmed so much of what I think of you. And I wanted to tell you. And I figured writing here meant there was a slight chance you might see it, because you're clearly obsessed enough to visit occasionally.
So I offer this advice to you: Let it go.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
This is the highest rank of respect a film or television program can be given: The Vic Hatch Seal of Approval.
My wonderful father, bless him, absolutely bollocking LOVES the kind of shit movies pretentious film reviewers like to lather in bile-filled spittle in the hopes no-one will go see them... thereby sending a clear message to Hollywood to cease and desist.
I'm talking about stuff like Die Hard 4.0, which he saw the other day. Thom and I had already seen it so we couldn't wait to discuss it with the old man.
He. Fucking. Loved it.
He loves the unbelieveable bits because they're so unbelieveable and I love that he cares enough to announce "that's bullshit" with a whacking great enormous grin right across his face, as if he expected nothing but believeable dialogue, credible action sequences and more-than two dimensional characterisations.
I knew Die Hard 4.0 would get the Vic Hatch Seal of Approval the minute Bruce Willis was standing on the back of a Lear Jet which was spinning out of control, mid air.
And sure enough... etc.
I kid you not, this is a mark of respect. Thom and I now base our movie choices on the Vic Hatch Seal of Approval. It was quite good to us with Shooter and Dejavu.
I cannot recommend those films highly enough. Nor, I'm sure, could Dad.
Life has too much pretention in it. Too many arty-farty glitterarti types to want to take the simple Dukes-of-Hazzard-style enjoyment out of life.
Don't fall for it. Embrace sheer entertainment. Embrace the Seal.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I'm thinking about making my life carbon neutral. All of it.
I went onto the website today (www.carbonneutral.com.au) and they have some kind of rudimentary calculator on there which tells you how much carbon you're responsible for billowing into the atmosphere each year. You then make a donation and that is used to plant trees which offset your emissions.
I did a story on carbon neutral when I was working for How The Quest Was Won on the ABC. It seemed like a good idea. That was just to offset your car emissions, but this calculator can offset everything - house, car, air travel, etc.
Well I've always been a bit green - though not as green as I could be - and despite Grandma making me plant literally hundreds of trees on the farm as a kid, I think I can do more.
So I'm thinking I could plant enough trees to cover my carbon emissions for my entire life to-date. Only I have to calculate how much that would cost. It may not really be feasible.
But then, how feasible is selfishly using and not replacing the planet's resources willy-nilly and irresponsibly?
Yes, dear friends, if I do this I am going to be the smuggest bitch you've ever met in your whole life.
I'll keep you posted.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I get into a hubbub of excitement about a few things. Not a lot of things, but a few things.
For instance, I will google ravenously for any information about an impending James Bond movie. 007 is a life-long obsession for me, which started on those long late Saturday nights when I was a kid when nothing was on but Dad was engrossed in Roger Moore or Sean Connery classic Bond tale. I loved the 60s look of the films and the great names and slightly silly villans. There was an unconcious campness that I loved. I've since read the books and seen all the films. Now I scour the net for clues to JB22... the new and nameless film due out in November next year.
Another thing I have had a life-long obsession with is Doctor Who. I loved Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker in the role when I was a kid and I loved that my Dad had also cowered behind the couch each time the Daleks had screeched "exterminate" when he was a tacker as well. When I was 14 I sketched incredibly intricate, measured to scale, pencil drawings of both the TARDIS and a Dalek. (I couldn't do it now if I tried). I was thrilled beyond belief to know a new version of the show was coming to our screens a few years ago and LOVE David Tennant in the role.
So when, last night, I stumbled across a website promising to sell me a foot-high scale model remote control Dalek for just 30 pounds sterling, well I couldn't resist.
Oh yes, this is going to be a good Christmas. I absolutely cannot wait.
I. Am. A. Big. Nerdy. Kid.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I picked up my new laptop day. I may ever-so slightly be in love.
Dan and 17inch platinum Apple MacBook intel pentium 3,000,000MB piece of computer artistry hand in hand, bounding through a field of long grass, in slow motion.
I. Could. Rub. One. Out. Over. This. Computer. I. Am. So. Excited.
It's truly, truly beautiful. It is shiny and new and it is sooooooo fast.
It's like trading in your rusty old Morrie for spick and span straight-off-the-production-line-but-fitted-with-all-the-sexy-extras Maserati.
Yes, it is $4000 worth of computer. But it is SHINY and it's NEW and it's MINE and I love it. Call it my quarter life crisis.
And I love fast wireless broadband. I can now watch YouTube in realtime, rather than visual staccato.
I'm really pissed that I'm at work right now an unable to play with my silvery new beauty. Just WAIT til I get home!
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Tomorrow I pick up my new computer. I'm so excited. It has been so long in the coming - I ordered it like two months ago. It was before I started at the West!
Since then my 15inch notebook laptop has increased in size by 2inches and price by $200... which was their deal to appease me. I am dead excited about getting this computer. I have waited far far too long. It's wireless, it's faster, it's portable, is platinum coloured and sleek and sexy and I just want to live with it forever!
We did it. We went away for the weekend to the Hutt River Province: That independent sovereign state in the middle of the mid-west of WA.
What a bunch of nutbars.
It was worth every second.
In 1970 a farmer called Leonard Casley got the hump with the Government's plans for taxation - something to do with wool or wheat or one of those farmy kind of things - and rather than just shutting up, he suceeded.
So there is 10,000 acres of WA that is a different country. They will stamp your passport and everything, if you want.
It's rather famous. I remember my parents talking about it when I was a kid and it absolutely fascinated me.
I had to wait until I was 27 to get, there but I'm so glad I did.
Prince Leonard greeted us on the drive (the Queen never did that for us) and informed us Princess Shirley had just finished preparing lunch and he was going to have a bite to eat and we could go down to the tearooms and help ourselves to some cake and tea if we wanted. We did. The room was lined with great shitty paintings and memorabilia like copies of the Hutt River Defence Force News newsletter.
He has a chapel, complete with thrones and more shitty paintings - including one of Prince Leonard painted as if he were the pope. Goodness knows what Il Papa would think of that.
He has his own stamps and medallions and constitution and an anthem written by Jon English and a pyramid made out of green corrogated perspex.
If only the Egyptians had thought of it.
He's a seedy old fuck I wouldn't leave small children with and he's clearly absolutely barking mad, but I'm glad I went.
He's very old now and can't possibly be around for too much longer. I realy felt like I met a piece of Australian history yesterday. I highly recommend the seven hour drive from Perth to go see him and the province.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
For most of my life there has been a silent furry little friend in the background. She wasn't my pet, she was my aunt's (although she lived with my grandparents back home of the farm for 99 per cent of her life), but she really belonged to the entire clan. Everyone loved her.
You may have noticed I'm writing in past tense. That's because today Mokey was laid to rest.
That cat was 19. And until two weeks ago still looked as fit as a fiddle.
I'm used to animals dying. I know that sounds awful but when you grow up on a farm it is a fact of life and, sometimes, a necessary evil. You learn not to get close to certain beasts, but even then some animals (family, I'm talking about dairy farm favourites like old Bonnie, who was born the same year I was and sent off for hamburger meat sometime around either my 18th or 2st birthday, I forget which)just charm you into friendship.
I also had a brave little dog who fought with a snake in the house yard. She fought valiantly but was lost in battle. I've hardly ever cried so much. (I was in my 20s and living out of home by that time, too).
Mokey, from memory, was born in the hay shed. Although I'll stand corrected, Michelle, if I have that wrong. (I might be confusing it with another litter of kittens born to the feral cats in the hay shed). We got two kittens out of the litter but only one survived. The other was mauled in a fight. Possibly with a dog.
I'm vague on these details because I was only seven at the time.
That cat has been a part of a generation of Hatch family lives. I, at least, remember Tabs and Crystal - the previous family cats - but most of my cousins wouldn't.
Several very pretty girls (with features kind of like mine) are bereft.
A couple of weeks ago Mokey disappeared. Grandma thought she had taken herself off to die. Animals do that.
Pop found her ten days later, down by a neighbour's shed, scrawny, malnourished, blind, deaf, breathing with very great difficulty and miaowing wildly. Trapped in her own little mind and scared out of her wits. I hope on some level she knew she'd be found and was back safe in the bosum of the family home for the last few days before Grandma finally acquiesed and took her to the vet.
The last time I saw her was when I visited Grandma for her birthday late last week. Moke' has been buried beneath the rosebush I gave her as a birthday present. Rose bush tributes to family pets are a tradition for us.
It's a sad day in my family. We have lost one of our much-loved members.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Some nights on night shift are really busy. Sometimes you're really busy doing stuff you have specifically been ordered to do and then it doesn't get a run.
Sometimes something totally random and unexpected happens and you end-up getting page three or something.
Sometimes you go to the bosses with a great idea for a story and they kill it off.
Sometimes they come to you with a great idea for a story but it is actually a shit idea for a story but that doesn't matter you have to work your magic and make it happen and if you don't then you're a bad journalist.
Sometimes on nightshift, nothing happens at all.
I have days when I love it here and days when I wonder about asking to be transfered to the arts section - which is my out if things go bad.
I don't hate it here: Don't get me wrong. I always feel like coming into work. I do love it. I couldn't go back to what I was doing before. But I'm frustrated because I'm not being used as well as I could and I'm not writing anything like the good stories I was writing where I was before. I used to arbitrarily get to tackle yarns. At least police nights offers an independence dayshift doesn't. That said... sometimes it is very very quiet indeed. And I sit here bored.
Listening to the Police scanner for ANYTHING.
Yes. I am bored right now. Bored. I have nothing to write about either, so you're getting my stream-of-consciousness dribble. LOL.