Sunday, October 31, 2004

... too cream-crackered to think of a title ...

Among other reasons for fatigue, is the fact that I lost an hour of sleep last night -- stinking daylight savings time, its not fun for that first twenty-four hours.

Good day, yesterday. An eight and a half hour shift at Borders, capped at either end by catch ups with old friends. Before work I met up with Lisa, a mate from my days as a desk bitch (read: receptionist) at MotorOne. We brunched at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. I had a giant iced latte and we talked of our respective jobs, My replacement at M1 (Lise discovered this girl was sending nasty emails about her from her work 'puter); our plans for further study and the future; dance classes and bad blind dates (hers); trips to Miami (mine) and other girl stuff.

Then I went to work.

After close at Borders I joined the old gang from high school who were winding up an arvo of bowling with dessert at the Pancake Parlour. I got home at midnight (now 1AM), pigged out on pasta and went to bed, woke up, repeated (the work part, anyway).

I'm at Uni now, half-arsedly studying for Tuesday's Politics exam. All I can think about is the stench of feet creeping up from under the computer desks, thanks to someone who doesn't have the good grace to wear shoes. Urgh. I think I might head home and check out Aussie Idol.

Exams, schmazams.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

"...other people break into a cold sweat, if you said that these are the best days of their lives..." (Blur)

These are the days.

At least I think they are. Your parents'll tell you that Primary or High School (depending on their persuasion) were the days, but they were just playin' with ya. They couldn't be the days, you knew that then.

In your twenties tho, adolescence is behind you, but you have no real responsibilities yet. Every day is about what you want to do, what do you want to be? Where do you want to go in your gap year or Summer break? What's your poison? (And the effects of binge-eating, drinking and other over-indulgences won't show up for years yet).

There are only possibilities. Possibilities and part time jobs and bar tabs and arts degrees. Meaningless crushes and student priced tickets around the world. If ever there were days, then surely these are it...

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Another blast from the past and a brush with a C grade celeb...

I served Richard Stubbs today.

At least I think I did. It could have been some other middle aged man with curly hair and a deep, distinctive voice---I didn't get a good look at his EFTPOS card. Reg 5 (on the music floor, for lay-people) is bustlin' at the mo.

1. Some off my fave Borders staff work on the music floor
2. I may or may not have served Richard Stubbs there
and 3. The other night I served an old lecturer from my RMIT days, altho I wouldn't have recognised him --- he was all bearded and beanie-d.

Former Lecturer recongised me tho, and mentioned that he'd run into at least one other Borders staffer who'd done Media @ RMIT in the form of Matt The Englishman. It turns out Matt actually finished the course(!) and next time I worked with Matt we compared notes on fave lecturers and tutors, most hated subjects and favourite destinations to de-bunk to when it all got too much and the siren call of the city was too hard to resist (I favoured visits to Luna Park or St Kilda's Astor Theatre over my Monday arvo Digital Media lectures, personally...)

Good times.

I dig the egalitarian approach to pop culture favoured by Borders staffers. For too long I have lingered somewhere slightly off-centre, finding the beret-wearing arts wankers of city Uni life too, well, wankerish but finding the suburban cult of Big Brother too damn stoopid. Give me the middle path. On my morning break I might want to talk over the brilliance of a Charlie Kaufman film or the latest offering of European cinema, but by lunch I'm ready to deconstruct performances on Oz Idol and bet on the winner.

Who says you can't have it all?

Quote of the day:

This one's from the archives, from an interview Richard Stubbs did on Recovery, lo! so many years ago...

"...and I'm thinking, 'oh my god! I'm gonna die on my way to the birthday of a singlet!'"
--Richard Stubbs on his brush with death in a private jet on the way to a Chesty Bonds anniversary party.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The writing's on the wall...

On the staff room wall at Borders...

* An official apology from the Acting Rosters Dude about the tardiness of our new rosters (now three weeks late) that goes something like this:

"Apologies for the lateness of the new rosters but they're really hard... and scary."

* An Occ. Health & Safety poster featuring Santa lugging a huge sack. The work "crack" is imposed --- like something out of a Batman cartoon --- diagonally across the sack to suggest that Santa has cracked his back under the weight of the sack (hey -- poetry!) and the caption reads "Don't let workplace safety take a holiday".

Underneath someone has scrawled on a post it note: "Why is Santa delivering crack to the kiddies?"

Tee hee. I'm diggin' this place.

Monday, October 18, 2004

The sun never sets for shopping centre staff...

Ah, retail. I hate it, but here I am again... :)

I guess I can call it practise for the endless days of a Norwegian summer next year. You do get majorly disorientated when trapped in a box for nine hours straight. Borders has windows, but not on the music floor, where I spent most of my shift yesterday. I told curious customers the time, but it meant nothing to me. When I broke for some peppermint tea just after 9PM I coulda sworn it was about 5 and still light. 'Tis surreal.

Since I started at the store I've been prepped for kooky requests from customers. So far the closest I've got was a request from a middle-aged man with three kids buzzing about his ankles. He asked for "a book by Jenny Wade" and when I did a search the only book that came up was a sex guide. I tentatively asked if this was the one he was after, he nodded and his kids giggled. Which brings me to---

quote of the day...

Still baffled by the geography of Borders, I enlisted the help of fellow staffer Andrew no. 2 with the horny gentleman's request.
Me: Um... where's the sex section?
Andrew no. 2: (grinning wryly) Oh, can't you wait?
Then he glimpses the ankle-biters and adds: I think he's had enough!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Is there a chapter in the manual about how to STOP?

Our blog assignments were due today, so there's no real reason for me to keep posting but I tell ya: this blogging stuff is addictive. Is it strange that I find myself composing blogs in my head about certain events as they happen? Most of them never get written but nonetheless, surely that is a neurosis?(!)

Last night I had a bizarre dream. I and several family members were in our living room when my sister spotted a low-flying sky-writer outside our window. The small plane left a trail of white in its wake -- like a string of toothpaste -- and from it hung a banner than said something subversive. We watched with alarm as it flew nearer and nearer to our house until eventually a woman -- wearing Dame Edna-esque goggles and carrying what looked like a surf board under each arm -- became visible, perched at the 'tail' of the plane. She jumped, and glided into our backyard and then proceeded to pace up and down as if looking for something. I invited her in for a cup of tea but she declined before spouting bizarre prophecies. she knew things about us that she couldn't possibly know. I became intrigued and had to know more. I asked her her name but she wouldn't tell me, saying only "beware of post offices". I went to shake her hand but suddenly she was three inches tall and I was wearing over-sized dish washing gloves and she could only shake the loose tip of one finger.

Suddenly we are at a kind of service in my backyard. I am seated in the front row, along with dozens of people I've never met before while the mysterious prophetess -- now returned to her full size -- is playing scrabble with the priest on my lawn. The scrabble tiles are huge. The priest suspects foul play and runs around upturning everyone's scrabble tiles, looking for evidence. Then, in the real world the doorbell rings and I wake up.

The scariest thing of all was that at one stage the dream me was wondering how I would write this up as a blog?!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

"Days keep rolling over, escape to the undercover..." (Powderfinger)

I think the best way to deal with this is denial.

"I'm sorry... John who? What election?"

This morning my alarm went off at a nasty pre-dawn hour as usual, I filled up at a servo on the way into work at 3 digits a litre, I shelved books. I told myself that I'd seen this one coming, and that nothing would have changed under Latham anyway, so what was I bitchin' about? But it was only when I decided to pretend the whole thing was a nasty dream that I felt just a teeny bit better...

Saturday, October 09, 2004

When I grow up...

I wanna be a government employee !

... But only if every day was like today.

'Twas my last shift with the AEC (the real last shift, unlike the promise of yesterday's last shift with its last minute extension to today). Free muffins and juice were supped by all and a slow but steady stream of calls dealt with inbetween intra-cubicle games of stress ball volleyball --- if an outsider has wandered into the AEC offices they may have been reminded of a rock festival crowd; a sea of hands tapping a giant beach ball around, only imagine the beach ball is tiny and made of stress-ball rubber, and the hands are seperated by cubicle walls --- and juggling demos by the some of the more talented call centre staff. I learned to play poker and had some stellar hands on our make shift filing cabinet/ table.

A hard day's play for a hard day's pay...

Quote of the day:
" we went out into the night in our balaclavas (this was before September 11, so you could still wear balaclavas around and people would just go, 'hmm there's some guy from TISM')..."
- John Safran

Friday, October 08, 2004

Well that was...


Another day in the telephone mines today --- 8:15AM til 5:30PM aaaaaargh! --- at one stage I heard a tres familar voice at the other end of the line. I resisted screeching "Jodie? Is that you?!" until I was absolutely sure. It was. One Jodie J Hill: stellar comedienne and ex-audience warm up chick @ ABC TV's Recovery from way back when... way back when I was a fan, and later, when I was the world's longest-serving work experience kid and resident book reviewer. We spoke of voting protocol and ye good olde days @ the ABC. Of all the AEC call centre lines in all the box-shaped cubicles in the world, she dialed mine.

What a small freaking world.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

There is salt in the air and gum on my shoe...

Its a good thing, I assure you.

What I'm sayin' is that today feels like Summer.

I finally finished that toturous essay on the inter-war migrational trends of the British Empire(!) for my history class and I am over the 'hump' so to speak. It was the hump essay. The one that made me doubt I would ever finish
anything. It took me an entire week to pen the introduction, for fuck's sake: every time I sat down and tried to go on my mind filled with successive deadlines. And the desire for a muffin. (An aside: Adaptation was not one of Charlie Kaufman's best films in my humble opinion--probably my least favourite, and more than eclipsed by the blissful and inspired Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind--but I loved the scene where he sits down to write and can think only of coffee and muffins. It goes to show that even 'gods' are human... Did I just type that 'cos I thought it sounded interestingly contradictive? Am I, then, no better than those try-hards who fill pages with deliberately edgy, 'subversive' text and repeated use of the word 'fuck' which people are forced to consider 'brilliant' because they can't understand a friggin' word, a la the wanker who hacked up a lungful o' phlegm onto a page, called it 'Jesus is Green Man' and ultimately led to my wasting 15 minutes of my life in a recent writing tute?! Hm. In that case, I take it back. My 'interestingly contradictory' phrase, that is, not anything nasty I said about afore-mentioned phlegm-spinner).

Now where was I? Oh yeah...

I'm not quite coastin' from here til Christmas but getting that history essay done has made all the difference. All else is attainable now. Another 2000 words on a yet-to-be-chosen Global Islamic Politics topic; a similar length of ruminations on modern philosophy and I'm home free.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

"She works hard for the money/ So hard for it honey..." (Donna Summer)

A lovely bunch of callers on the line(s) today at the AEC call centre -- my reward for gettin' up at 6AM on a Sunday, I guess(!) Mostly oldies, but the friendly (if verbose) kind, rather than the disgruntled brand. My favourite was probably a woman who sounded like an ageing drag queen and called me "hon" when ringing to enquire whether her ballot papers would arrive by mail in time because she's an MS sufferer -- in remission -- and can't get about easily. Lovely gal, for a Liberal voter(! :)) I shoulda rushed home -- two essays due soon, and I don't have a single full day free between now and the deadline -- but Triple J was playing a nostalgic Blur special (Back in the Js with Blur) and I hadda listen. Ah, memories. Those were the days (Js)...

Back at home I ate a three course lunch rather than get started, then got transfixed by John Safran's new radio show for the next three hours. Among his guests were an outspoken, liberal-minded Catholic priest; a former member of Melbourne outfit The Young Professionals whose petitioning to be let back in; and a Fringe act who use snakes and bellydancers in their performance. How's that for a kooky bit o' Sunday arvo radio? Would love to be seeing more of Safran's Monday night show -- John Safran vs. God -- am intrigued by the dichotomy of the man. At first glance he looks like a cynical shit-stirrer and media prankster. A bit of a laugh, but ultimately another Gen Y naysayer. But the interviews I've read about his latest show have been illuminating and... thought-provoking. The show looks at the world's major religions (and a few inbetween) and has John asking a Shiite cleric to put a fatwa on Rove and hanging out at a voodoo ceremony where he witnesses a goat sacrifice but can't share in the general gorging on blood that follows, admitting he is a "big hypocrite" but looking exceptionally queasy the whole time. In the show he's not just poking fun at the pillars of modern society but at his own audience who he dubs "left-wing pinkos" whose demography he illustrates with a pie graph. Says John the quiet interviewee (as opposed to the feckless larrikin): we may make fun of George Bush for being a stoopid Christian, but the fact remains that religion is an important part of most people's lives and that can't be discounted. Hmmmmm. A big hmmm. Superficially silly but forcing us to see stuff in an entirely new way. A modern day Andy Kaufman.

(endnote: Somethin' tells me that John would disagree with my assessment. That he'd think any attempt to intellectualise his work was pretentious and any tendency to compare him to others was misplaced or just insulting. Whatever. I love ya work, John, call it what you will...)

Thou art a very ragged wart...

I have...

a penchant for Shakespearean insults

two looming essay deadlines

relatives in my living room

a crush on a guy in a covers band

a gash in my index finger from the serrated edge of a clingwrap box

an overdue library fine

lofty goals

dreams of summer