Sunday, 11 October 2009

it's october now!

it's october now! okay let me say that again. it's october now!!

i moved down here in mid-august, where has the time gone? well yes, everything turned to shit, but that's okay, because as we all know - everything turns to shit eventually.

i will turn 30 soon. when i was 22 i asked my colleague to shoot me when i turned 30, because thirty is old. i've since reassessed my views on that. kinda.

i wonder how things are going in my new job. not sure really, but i'm sure it will turn to shit eventually. maybe it already has.

do you think my blog is a well of positivity? well then you, sir, are an idiot.

Meanwhile, since my first week here I've been reading The Alteration by Kingsley Amis, a book in an alternate-reality religious world in which a young singer is to be castrated. yes, off with his bollocks, to save his pure voice. It's a thin volume, and I still haven't finished it. I'm not sure why, but obviously it's not a page turner.

goodbye,
monuments.

giving up easily

so.

you move interstate to be with somebody who has pursued you and convinced you that it can work. then you get dumped. then you try again, but they complain that you make them feel uncomfortable. what do you do?

nothing. fuck 'em. keep working, realise that Jean-Paul Sartre was correct: hell most certainly is Other People.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

loser

here i am, sitting around like a loser, eating breakfast on the floor of a unit with no stuff in it. the removalists have just been and gone, and my stuff will be on a train down south very soon. i finished up my old job last week, and now running around like crazy trying to move and get settled in before my new job starts.

crazy.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

sir, we must respectfully ask you to leave

i'm leaving town. very soon. i've decided to make my employer redundant and choof off for a new job down south. so anyway, here's a list of things that i will always remember and miss about my time here:
  • the lush green of my suburb.
  • being able to cycle to work in 15-20 minutes with minimal traffic hassles - something I've been doing for 7 years.
  • cycling Mt Coot-tha and Mt Nebo/Glorious, cycling with MF.
  • lunches with M!
  • driving L home, him sitting next to me in Stormy, Deloris' Ten Lives playing on the stereo. and the drive back, alone, just me and Deloris.
  • catching up with CTMFW and the SandWoman.
  • spring and summer humidity.
  • my pokey little unit.
  • the fucken 470.
  • and of course, a great deal of Certain Special People.
and as a counter-point, things i won't miss:
  • people asking me why i don't leave town.
  • evil memories and marks on my wall from a few years back.
  • too many memories - everywhere you go, there's an overwhelming layered tapestry of previous memories from that place.
  • and of course, Certain Spectacularly Unspecial People.
laterz,
monuments.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

yeap

strange few weeks, it never rains but it certainly does pour, and now i'm chasing more options than i really want to have. i also have the option of doing nothing and sitting pretty right where i am.

but that's not an option.

see-ya's,
m.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

a damp box, a letter

6th June '90

Dear Mr Monuments,

Thank you for your correspondence. I appreciate your position and understand the difficulty that you would have in attending interviews during work times.

Fortunately you are blessed in having such a courteous and highly academic son who poses no problems in the classroom or playground.

He is a model student who tries hard to please at all times.

Maybe we will be able to meet some time in the future.

your sincerely,
Ms Carter.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

apocalyptic helicopter, arctic rain

cycling over the top of mt coot-tha: returning to life, recovering from the pain, exorcising the poisonous fire from my veins. i glimpse out across West Brisbane and see the Enoggera Reservoir, strangely full of water after the breaking of our long drought. it's getting very grey, and i realise this ride has been a mistake.

minutes ago i had begun climbing the mountain in humid sunshine and even cursed the unexpected warm weather. now i can feel the clouds sweeping in, only 300m above sea level and the city below. not much of a mountain.

and then: apocalyptic dread. a thunderous roar that i can't pin down. i'm looking around uncertainly, thinking that heavy rain is about to reach me, and i'm hearing it come drumming down nearby. but that can't be it, it's too loud, too wrong. i'm powering up a small hill by the Channel 9 TV studios and it becomes clear, the helicopter is readying to take off. i've been unnerved by an apocalyptic helicopter yet again.

meanwhile, as a i undulate my way over the mountain's top, the rain comes in, such a contrast to the sunny weather just minutes before. i begin the descent in the rain and begin to wonder how bits of rubber against shiny metal rims can be called brakes at all? my hands begin to freeze and cramp from holding down the brake levers, and it feels like winter again.

just five minutes later, i'm back at sea level, the sun returns, i dry out, and it's all in the past.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

i been back.

yeah, been back awhile now. from honkers. w00t. a week of treating ourselves, lots of fun, not a worry. then straight back to it, put that damn project to bed and now some expert thumb-twiddling time in the office.

then the very next weekend i went to sydney. am i trying to keep "bris-time" to a minimum or something? i don't know.

now they're suggesting that things are quiet and we may want to consider taking leave, or unpaid leave, or 4-day weeks, or whatever. but i just did that already. and i need to be busy now, not bored, not at a loose end.


Cold Afternoon, by Minimum Chips

cold afternoon. who's to say it won't.
stay inside and listen.
walk around the garden, once or twice.
you like the rain. and you like it when.
clouds are dark and cold and grey.
stay inside and listen.
walk around the garden.
stay inside and listen, if you like.
stay inside and listen.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

for a short while

for a short while, the rain just kept on coming. i was looking elsewhere: different weather, different city - but still, the rain just kept on coming. i've had no hot water for a week now, but the skies open up at will. a warning came to me last week, out of the blue. bad way for an atheist to begin his easter, and a tense few days. but some supportive friends and a good few days of cycling brought it all to conclusion today. and i think the rain my have moved out to sea. for a short awhile.

on saturday we fly to hong kong. honkers. or "honkers, w00t", as i can't seem to stop saying.

honkers, w00t!

a week of unpaid leave in a new place might clear things up. but that has a familiar ring to it. road trip, anyone? coming back is never easy. maybe i shouldn't be coming back, maybe i should be heading on to something new.

i've been forced to re-evaluate, and i've given some things up. maybe i'll stop thinking, but only for a short while. after that i need to regain ambition. energy. confidence.

thank you,
monuments.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Another year, 23 seconds slower

Today was the 2nd Mt Coot-tha Cycle Challenge, once again featuring a timed ascent of the mountain. The times have already been released, and I was 23 seconds slower than last year. I expected this, being in worse shape, having hardly done any decent rides or climbing since the Mutual Community Challenge Tour 155km in Adelaide. Despite the slip in time, I'm still reasonably happy to have made it up in around 10 and a half minutes. During my own training it takes anywhere from 12 to 13. Last year I remember my heart rate reaching 104% of its supposed "maximum" and staying like that for most of the climb. Today it was more like 96%, meaning I was not able to push myself quite so much. I was also extremely distracted by a fast but rather old guy who was wheezing the whole time like an old dog being taken out for a run. But I still overtook heaps of people and had a fun climb.

The rest of the 70km ride was pretty uneventful, but it was a nice day for it and I finished in around 2.5 hours. Then I cycled home and spent the rest of the day being pretty damn lazy :)

the hazards of love

I've never really gotten into the Decemberists. I enjoyed Picaresque, but not enough to motivate me into exploring their other albums. However, I think I'm just one of many people who has already been captured by their epic plot-driven new album - The Hazards of Love. And I'm saying this without having taken the time to investigate or follow the tale behind these songs, I'm speaking only in terms of the music and songs themselves.

The pinnacle (for me), at Track 8 is The Wanting Comes In Waves. It wasn't until I heard this on my first listen that the album struck me in the way it has. I think this will become a true classic, although only time will tell how the story and true end-to-end listening experience settles in to my mind.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

mogwai at the tivoli, 3rd March 2009

I can't write about this gig, because I can't do it justice.

So I will simply link to another review and echo the set-list they published:

The Precipice (last on The Hawk Is Howling)
Friend of the Night (Mr Beast)
Scotland’s Shame (The Hawk Is Howling)
Hunted By A Freak (Happy Songs for Happy People)
Mogwai Fear Satan (Young Team)
I Know You Are But What Am I (Happy Songs for Happy People)
I Love You, I’m Gonna Blow Up Your School (The Hawk Is Howling)
I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead (The Hawk Is Howling)
Thank You Space Expert (The Hawk Is Howling)
2 Rights Make 1 Wrong (Rock Action)
Like Herod (Young Team)
Bat Cat (The Hawk Is Howling)
New Paths to Helicon Part 1 (Ten Rapid – collected recordings ’96-97)
We’re No Here (last on Mr Beast)


Simply awesome. I don't know how or why I missed them on their last two tours in Brisbane. I hadn't seen them live since their CODY tour at The Zoo, a long time ago now. Silly me.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

the gigs of february 2009

This has been one of the best months for live music that I remember in years. I think January-March is always the busiest time of year for both international and local acts touring in Australia, but this February has been truly exceptional:
  • Laneway Festival- Stereolab (!) and The Drones are particular highlights. I've seen Stereolab here many times over the years, but this was the first time they had returned since Mary's passing.
  • Propagandhi, first time back in Brisbane since 1998.
  • Dave McCormack doing a Sunday arvo Powerhouse show.
  • British India at The Zoo - shit crowd, but good band and DZ were an awesome local support act.
  • Death Cab for Cutie at The Tivoli, supported by Youth Group.
Now if that's not enough.... I can start March off with Mogwai at The Tivoli this Tuesday.

w00000t!!!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Bob Dylan - Love Sick

I'm walkin' through streets that are dead
Walkin', walkin' with you in my head
My feet are so tired
My brain is so wired
And the clouds are weepin'.

Did I hear someone tell a lie?
Did I hear someone's distant cry?
I spoke like a child
You destroyed me with a smile
While I was sleepin'.

I'm sick of love that I'm in the thick of it
This kind of love, I'm so sick of it.

I see, I see lovers in the meadow
I see, I see silhouettes in the window
I'll watch them 'til they're gone
And they leave me hangin' on
To a shadow.

I'm sick of love, I hear the clock tick
This kind of love, ah, I'm love sick.

Sometimes the silence can be like thunder
Sometimes I wanna take to
the road and plunder
Could you ever be true
I think of you
And I wonder.

I'm sick of love, I wish I'd never met you
I'm sick of love, I'm tryin' to forget you.

Just don't know what to do
I'd give anything to
Be with you.

Friday, 30 January 2009

textual montage on a road trip to Adelaide

huge motherfucking donut; mating trucks; truck-on-truck acti0n; hole in the ground; the cottonball clouds [lee ranaldo]; twenty seconds of blessed rain; silos; Moree; Walgetti Spaghetti; Rubis titties; deep-throating beer; Betel nut;
endless road; taking things too far; ghost town; ghost bitch [sonic youth]; martian landscape; obese mating trucks; worst sausage roll ever; suburbia; dry heat; cyclistas; thanks for the Coopers, Miss Ball; blowing hot air;
solitude; mistake with a corker; cantonese dinner; in Bizarro World, the sun sets into the ocean; covered in fishy water; two beaches in one night; we saw a shooting star; chai latte; already sick of the sun; Norwood to Mawson Lakes; Delfin, baby; it's all about the lake; killer plants; another beach; garlic prawns on rice; Bizarro sunset; cold and windy; watching tennis; sweet farewell;
cycling adventure; huge fucking climb; wheel-sucking the kiddies; a stirling effort, getting lost; accidental vineyard detour; Hahndorf; sausages; beer; Kransky; chilli dog; real coke; cyclistas; a stirling detour; a lofty goal on a Lofty mountain; gorgeous descent; takoyaki; tendrous ribs ramen; best iced tea; river; harcore swan action; university; gardens; killer sausage; bum-burner; sasquatch; beer meet shirt; dessert wine; Sichuan accompaniment; damn sausage; multi-core platinum; sweet farewell;
damn sausage; grey; cheese; the graaaaaapes; tired; damn sausage; early night;
early morning; awesome gorge; sore feet; love that climb; sweetness overload; that last 20km; pizza pizza; beer beer beer; slept through it;
KoM; walk; U-turn; wasabi peas without beer; gutter-trash; lancey the nancy; roll me down; beer beer beer beer; dead kennedies; do it anyway; hasty retreat; sweet sleep;
check-out; aussie names; Motel Adjacent Casino; brilliant; letter to Mike Rann; slow coffee bitch; shady park; elcaro; intense sun; 0.05 - don't drink drive; over it; motherfucker in tree; kransky dog w00t; listen to Mike Rann; fucking love that song; wheels in motion; no CDs; wasabi peas with beer;
james bond; silos, daniel!; strike a pose; bunk bed; three [australian] states of insanity; woombaloomba; dentistry; western freeway; taringa; fare thee well.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

an intricate form of torture

I've just read Haruki Murakami describing cycling as "an intricate form of torture". And I can't help but agree.

I'm in terrible form right now, and signed for the 155km Mutual Community Challenge Tour as part of the Tour Down Under in the Adelaide hills.

It may well kill me.

w00t,
monuments.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Murakami, on being alone...

From What I Talk About When I Talk About Running:

It might be a little silly for someone getting to be my age to put this into words, but I just want to make sure I get the facts down clearly: I'm the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I'm the type of person who doesn't find it painful to be alone. I find spending an hour or two every day running alone, not speaking to anyone, as well as four or five hours alone at my desk, to be neither difficult nor boring. I've had this tendency ever since I was young, when, given a choice, I much preferred reading books on my own or concentrating on listening to music over being with someone else. I could always think of things to do by myself.

Even so, after I got married at an early age (I was twenty-two) I gradually got used to living with someone else. After I left college I ran a bar, so I learned the importance of being with others and the obvious point that we can't survive on our own. Gradually, then, though perhaps with my own spin on it, through personal experience I discovered how to be sociable. Looking back on that time now, I can see that during my twenties my worldview changed, and I matured.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

What I read in 2008

In chronological order:
  1. Heaven's Net is Wide - Lian Hearn
  2. The Dirty Beat - Venero Armanno
  3. Jake's Thing - Kingsley Amis
  4. Mortdecai Trilogy - Kyril Bonfiglioli
  5. Pistache - Sebastian Faulks
  6. London Fields - Martin Amis
  7. House of Meetings - Martin Amis
  8. To Live - Yu Hua
  9. No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy
  10. The Second Plane - Martin Amis
  11. You Can't Do Both - Kingsley Amis
  12. Night Train - Martin Amis
  13. Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
  14. Sputnik Sweetheart - Haruki Murakami
  15. Green Man - Kingsley Amis
  16. The Information - Martin Amis
  17. Anti-Grav Unlimited - Duncan Long
  18. From Lance to Landis - David Walsh
  19. The Death of Marco Pantani - Matt Rendell
  20. Everyday Drinking - Kingsley Amis
  21. Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolfe
  22. Amis and Son: Two Literary Generations - Neil Powell
  23. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz