Thursday, June 29, 2006


One good thing about life in Perth is that even in the depths of winter (ie now), my garden is still full of flowers. This is handy on these cold and gloomy mornings, when I see more life and colour out the window than I do in the mirror.

nemesia detail

canary island lavender detail

allysum detail

pink impatiens

gazania detail

The last one is a gazania, or as I call it, That 70s Plant. These hardy flowers are only available in the most strident 70s colours; burnt orange, cream, mission brown and burgundy. Putting a few of these babies in makes it look like a paint chart from 1977 just fell through a wormhole into your garden.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


What can one say about 'Zombie Nightmare'?

Well, it had a zombie in it, and it was indeed a nightmare, so it's already ahead of around half of the MST3K output.

In addition it was made in 1986.

With no budget.

In Canada.

As you can see, the quality is so intense one can almost taste it.

Our story begins in... well, it's hard to say. The costumes suggest the late 1950s. A burly father rushes to protect the local Token Coloured Girl from an attack by greasers, and while his young son looks on, he is stabbed and killed.

Cue what is probably the present, and the first of this movie's many inconsistencies. The young boy is now a young man, a process which would normally take about fifteen years. However we've gone from the 1950s to the 1980s, a process that would normally take about thirty years. So either Canada was really futuristic in 1973, or the young boy is now in his late thirties, and looking remarkably well-preserved but still living with his mother.

The loss of his father scarred the young boy deeply, so deeply that he lost all ability to act or utter lines coherently. He also has trouble with simple tasks like crossing the road, and it comes as no surprise when he's knocked down by a bunch of no-good teens in a gold Mercedes.

The teens think they got away with murder (well, manslaughter). But they haven't counted on the fact that the Token Coloured Girl, now all grown up and wearing one of Tina Turner's more extravagant wigs, is a voodoo priestess. She sounds like she's possessed by a sheep, and has the emotional range of an Easter Island statue, but she knows her voodoo. At the request of the boy's grief-maddened mother, she resurrects him as a large and bad-tempered zombie, and sets him off to wreak revenge.

As is traditionally the case, the zombie then picks off the luckless teens one by one. Possibly he does this for vengeance, but it's entirely possible that he does it simply because they annoy him. They certainly annoy the audience. Their leader is a spoilt rich kid who is supposed to be a psychotic badass, but sadly, he's about as hard as a marshmallow and as physically imposing as a celery stick. The only scary thing about him is his hair; a vast, multi-hued, feathery construction with so much surface area that a light breeze could tip him over.

His gang includes a young Tia Carrere in her first movie, and already demonstrating her famous lack of discrimination in her choice of roles. The only other recognisable actor is Adam West, playing a corrupt police captain, and possibly doing this movie as a favour to his grandchildren. He gets to chew both a cigar and the scenery, so he probably considered it a good afternoon's work.

For a final word on this awful, awful movie, it's difficult to go past this bewildered quote from

"This movie is like a free-roaming travesty."

Although I'd argue that this isn't strictly true. This movie isn't like a free-roaming travesty. It is a free-roaming travesty. In fact, if you look up free-roaming travesties in the dictionary, chances are that, if your dictionary has any worth at all, you'll find 'Zombie Nightmare' in its entirety.

Monday, June 26, 2006


I have an acquaintance, a 20-something university student, who keeps a personal blog. His writing isn't his strongest suit - frankly, it's about as refreshing and scintillating as being pummeled with dusty tennis balls. He is, however, exceptionally good-looking, which may explain why his readership is several orders of magnitude larger than mine. His posts tend to look a little like this:

MONDAY, JUNE 26, 2006

I got home late from work, so I just defrosted some frozen spaghetti bolognaise for dinner. It was good. I like spaghetti bolognaise.




prettyponies said...

Yay! I'm first! I... um... spaghetti bolognaise is great! I'm first!

SparkleDiva said...

I hope you didn't get any sauce on yourself! If you did, I'll volunteer to come and lick it off ;-) Ha ha kidding!*

*Not even remotely kidding.

P.S. prettyponies, you beat me by six seconds. This ain't over, bitch.

Alex404 said...

Wow! I like spaghetti bolognaise too! I wonder what else we have in common? I look like a potato, I live on the opposite side of the planet and I'm 22 years older than you, so it isn't likely to be much, but hope springs eternal when you're as desperate as I am!

S_piper said...

Mmmm... spag bol. Speaking of food, I can tie a knot in a cherry stalk with my tongue.

TishTash said...

Now you've made me hungry LOL! What's you're recipe? OMG please show me some attention!

Spinstachik said...

Frozen spaghetti bolognaise!? That's terrible! You need a wife! Especially one who can cook, owns three cats, and lives at 12/34 Coquette Cres, telephone 0417 992 099 after 8 o'clock...

And so on. I guess popularity does have its downside.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Walking back from an office lunch with one of our attractive young secretaries...

Her: Did I tell you about my thighs?

Me: ...

Her: Well?

Me: ...

Her: Oh, wait, that sort of came out wrong, didn't it.

Me: Not at all. Please tell me about your thighs.

It turned out she'd strained them while lifting some heavy files... which is probably the least interesting story that could have come out of her original statement.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I was reading a few blogs earlier today that share a similar mindset. That is to say:

"Sorry about the lack of posts. I'm so busy at the moment - with my modeling contracts, my skydiving school, my seat on the United Nations Security Council, and the simple pleasures of time with my devoted friends and perfect family - that I barely have time to blog. I'm getting emails from my hundreds of readers asking why I haven't posted, so 'll get something up tomorrow in between picking up my new Audi and my lunch date with Alain de Botton."


Tuesday, June 20, 2006


"The Germans," as Edmund Blackadder once opined, "are a cruel people. Their operas last for six hours, and they have no word for 'fluffy'." They do however have a lot of other words, usually with sixteen syllables, and pronounced like someone coughing up a furball while shouting.

The funny thing about German is that when it exports a word, the word generally denotes something negative. German tends to provide English with words identifying subtle shades of anger and misery that never originally occured to the natives of England's pleasant, bluebell-strewn landscape. Simple examples include:

kitsch: stuff so awful that it's actually kinda neat.

ersatz: a sustitute for something real.

angst: anxiety and fear generated by nothing much in particular.

schmaltz: cloying sentimentality

liverwurst: low-rent pate.

poltergeist: an angry, destructive ghost.

kaputt: broken with no hope of repair.

verboten: forbidden

spiel: a tired, disingenuous monologue.

klutz: a routinely clumsy person.

strafe: shooting everything indiscriminately.

blitz: crushing all opposition through unending onslaught.

And those are just the simple words. When you really want to nail down the subtlties of misanthropy and grief, you need to call out the big guns:

schadenfreude: the bitter joy one feels at the misery of one's enemies.

weltschmerz: mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state.

uebermench: the superior race of super men (and look where the mindset behind that word took the Germans).

sturm und drang: a state of violent disturbance and disorder, with overtones of cacophany and/or general pain and suffering.

and, most tellingly:

kindergarten: a congregation of squawking, crying, snot-nosed four year olds.

So why is it that when people need a word that denotes something horrible, they look to German? One can only assume that it is grounded in the failings of the German national character. After all, while the Italians have given us gelati, the French croissants, the Belgians fine chocolates and the Swiss fondue, the Germans offered the world pickled cabbage. That speaks volumes.


Last week I watched one of my favourite MST3Ks, 1964's 'Kitten with a Whip', for the fifth or sixth time. It's part of the wonderful 'Girls Gone Bad' genre, and stars 60s sex symbol Ann-Margret and dependable bland guy John Forsythe. It's got it all: gorgeous dames who cause no end of trouble, uptight men in grey suits who can't handle them, and debauched teenagers who have been rendered unbelievably quaint by the passage of forty years. There's a scene in which a bunch of teenaged nogoodniks have a party, which turns out to consist of them quietly drinking themselves into a stupor and listening to rather good jazz records. I've been to formal dinner parties that were more bacchanalian.

The odd thing about 'Kitten with a Whip' is that, unlike most other episodes of MST3K, it doesn't seem to have generated any presence on the internet. There are few reviews, fewer pictures, and absolutely no quotes. This is an outrage! I refuse to stand idly by while the genius of the MST3K boys and Miss Ann-Margret goes unrecognised!

This is also a good opportunity to demonstrate the humour of MST3K to my fellow Australians and any others not familiar with it. The first half hour especially is thick with gags, and I've reproduced as many of them as I can below, although unfortunately I have to leave out the majority of them, since they rely on visual cues. But them's the breaks.

The movie begins, in true mid-60s style, with bold lines sliding up and down the screen, framing the opening credits and the title: Kitten with a Whip.

Mike: Ooh, the hottest Garfield episode ever.
Tom: Puppy with a nunchaku.
Crow: Dik-dik with brass knuckles.
Mike: Yak with a kentucky long rifle.
Crow: Hamster who writes a strong letter to the Times!

The opening scene introduces us to our heroine, running over a moonlit hill dressed only in a scant nightie.

Tom: Gentlemen, we have our kitten.

Crow: You know Ann-Margret can raise a few welts on me anytime.

She tries to leap onto a moving freight train...

Crow: Ann-Margret in 'The Woody Guthrie Story'!

... but fails.

Mike (as Ann): Oh man, how am I going to get to the hobo gathering?

She eventually comes across a large suburban ranch house.

Crow: Ah, she's going to vandalise Mr Ed's house!

She sneaks around to the back door...

Crow: Convenient home delivery of Ann-Margret.

... and breaks in, finding herself in a room full of stuffed toys and kiddie furniture.

Crow: Oh, it's Michael Jackson's house.
Mike: Teddy with a truncheon.

Exhausted, Ann climbs into the bed...

Tom: Russ Meyer's 'Goldilocks'.

... and selects a stuffed toy to snuggle up to.

Mike (as stuffed toy): Ah, lady, wait, I'm not ready for this... I think we're moving to fast... I mean I don't even know you... I'm flattered of course, but... ooh... ahhh...

Later that night, we're introduced to the house's owner, shipping magnate and senatorial candidate David Stratton. His wife and daughter are away on vacation, and he is oblivious to Ann's presence until the next morning, when he walks into his daughter's room and finds Ann in her bed.

Crow (as David): Well, this is going to be much better than pancakes!

He demands to know who she is.

David: Let's start with the easy part; your name. You do know your name?
Tom: Kitten W. Whip.
Ann: Jody. Jody... Jo. Well, that's what I call myself.
David: Very creative. Now the one you were born with.
Crow: (in deep male voice with thick Brooklyn accent) Stanley Myron Hendleman.

Ann makes a sudden break for it, but the angry David catches her before she reaches the front door.

Tom: I think Senator Kennedy might have handled this differently.

In a lengthy monologue, Ann explains that she's running away from her mother's abusive boyfriend.

Ann: How I got this far I'll never know.
Crow: Perhaps it was your pert acting ability?

Chastened by this teenaged blonde in a short, flimsy nightie, David is contrite.

David: All I've been thinking about is the damage you might be doing me.
Tom: Well, that's not all I was thinking about...

Aaaaand we'll just stop there, before I cross the line between "loving homage to favourite TV show" and "scary obsessive fanboy transcription".

The movie goes on to reveal that Ann-Margret is a Bad Girl, one who is likely to ruin David's marriage, political career and overall life just for kicks. Things go from bad to worse as he's introduced to her delinquent friends, and he's blackmailed into smuggling them over the border into Mexico, where there's more drinking, violence, strippers and novelty sombreros. Will David survive the Kitten with a Whip? Will he be forced to take a break from blandness? Will Ann-Margret squander all the goodwill she generated by starring opposite Elvis in 'Viva Las Vegas' earlier in 1964?

The only way to find out is by downloading it from the Digital Archive Project for yourself.

Monday, June 19, 2006


This is an interesting article about a blind man receiving sight after nearly half a century of darkness, recounted by Oliver Sachs as an almost mythic tale of gain and loss. It's obvious that Sachs gave his patient the alias 'Virgil' for a reason.

In a similar vein, I've often wondered how a time traveller from the past would, literally, perceive our world. A Wellsian traveller from the Victorian era might not have too many problems. But imagine, say, Leonardo da Vinci plonked down in a modern city. It's possible that some unusual objects, like sleek cars or stylised plastic toys, might actually be invisible, as his brain tried and failed to relate them to anything he knew. It may be that only when Leonardo is told "this red curvaceous metal thing is a self-propelled carriage" or "this bulbous yellow thing is a model of a distorted man named Homer Simpson" can he find the frame of reference to start accepting and interpreting the raw data his eyes have collected.

A traveller from even earlier (Pythagoras, for example) might be almost blind as he tries, and fails, to recognise anything familiar, except for an earthenware vase here and a Doric column there.

To use a more subtle example of the same phenomenon, whenever I move the furniture around in my living room, I realise that I don't usually see it as a big square room with solid bits of furniture sitting in it, but as a series of undulating planes, where the undulations are called "armchair" or "coffee table". Visually and in a sense viscerally, the corner of the room ceases to exist when it's blocked by a piece of furniture. That piece of furniture becomes the new "corner". Similarly I have no sense of potential space under the couch. It's not a large but discrete object; it's like Uluru, a part of the landscape that happens to be taller than the area around it. Each item in the room redefines the parameters of its space, in such a way that when the furniture is removed (for painting or a big party) the resultant space is alien, and full of possibilities that would never occur to me when it's furnished.

Friday, June 16, 2006


There was a power failure in my suburb this morning, but it didn't particularly bother me. Most of my clocks didn't work, but my alarm is battery powered. My water heater works on gas, with a mechanical ignition, so I had a lovely hot shower even though the bathroom was dark. I have breakfast at work, so it didn't matter that the kettle and the toaster were dead.

Yep, I thought, as I climbed onto my scooter, I'm lucky that I'm not that reliant on electricity to get going in the morning.

Then I pressed the button to make the garage door go up, which, of course, failed to make the garage door go up.

My property is completely surrounded by a high, thick wall. The only way in or out is via the garage or a garden gate. The gate is wide enough the manouvre the scooter through, but just beyond it there's a large step up to the footpath, too tall for the scooter to clear. I had to go back to the garden shed, find some old bits of wood, build a ramp, haul the scooter up it, stop as it collapsed suddenly leaving the scooter teetering on the step, frantically rebuild it with one hand while trying to stop the scooter from tipping over with the other, finish dragging the scooter up onto the footpath, deconstruct the ramp, throw bits of wood around the garden while making inflammatory remarks, then scuttle off to work fifteen minutes late.

From then on, I was somewhat less smug.


You know, I feel sort of bad for criticising the play I reviewed yesterday. A local fellow goes to all the trouble of producing a piece of theatre, slaving over a script, wrangling actors, workshopping his creation, and moving seven different kinds of heaven and earth to get his brainchild up on stage, and what happens? He gets snarked at by some random guy on some random blog and, thanks to the vagaries of Google, this review is likely to be the only one that comes up when someone searches for the name of his play.

Not that I'm going to recant or anything. That'd be disingenuous. However, I will suggest a method of finding the silver lining behind this critical cloud. Through the process of selective quotation, even the worst review can be mined for nuggets of positivity, which can then be used to promote one's work. Anyone wishing to boost "Urban Primate" can feel free to take and use these genuine quotes from yesterday's review, and thus give the impression that this was a tour de force that made Henrik Ibsen look like Dan Brown:


"an epiphany"

"it pays to be up close"

"fascinating, not just interesting"

Gee, I almost want to see it again now. Fear the awesome power of selective quotation!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


As I said to one of my friends last night, I've been doing well in my theatre outings of late. The last few plays I've seen have ranged from excellent to good. Contrast that with the restaurants I've visited, which have ranged from adequate to sub-standard, and we can see that theatre is a clear winner.

Of course, I said that before we went in to see 'Urban Primate'.

It was a local one-act play, put on at the Blue Room Studio in the city's nightclub district. To call the Studio intimate is an understatement. There are only three or four rows of seats, and as I was in the front row, I had to be careful when I crossed my legs, lest I kick an actor in the kneecap. But there's nothing wrong with intimacy, especially when you're seeing a small-scale play about a man undergoing a process of mental and social collapse. When you watch someone's mind leaking out their ears, it pays to be up close.

The story concerned a middle-aged quantity surveyor at a construction company, who daydreams about his past professional successes as he sits in his basement office, while somewhere upstairs his duties are gradually being absorbed by some new computer software. He is relegated to taking measurements for a new monkey enclosure at the zoo, in the process of which he accidentally locks himself in a cage with a troop of tamarinds. He's forced to stay there overnight until someone finds him, during which time he has an epiphany.

Unfortunately, exactly what his epiphany is remains unclear to the audience. It's evident that he identifies with the monkeys and wants to join their simple simian world. But why that is better than anything else is not explored, or at least not explained. Why is he so enamoured with the monkeys? And how are we supposed to identify with a protagonist who is so self-absorbed, disconnected from the world, and in such a state of mental disintegration, that he functions on a plane that is opaque to both the rest of the cast and the audience?

The audience needs to feel that even though none of the other characters can 'get' this man, we can. It has to be us (the audience and the protagonist) versus them. But we didn't get to see his innermost thoughts. We saw that he had deep-seated resentment, and that he was, pretty much from the very first scene, batshit insane. But that's not enough. Not if we're expected to care, and join him at least part of the way on his journey.

All of this may give the impression that it was a rotten play, and that I had a terrible time... neither of which is true. The play was interesting, and I enjoyed watching it, but I didn't lose myself in it. It might have worked better if the playwright had boosted the surreal notes that, as it was, always gleamed brighter than the rest of the performance. For example, I loved the zookeeper, who reacted to everything, from a conversation with a visitor to a mass escape of monkeys, with exactly the same laconic geniality. Or the bitchy efficiency consultant who blamed the falling stock value of a large company on a single potted palm tree they'd put in their lobby. A bit more of that, and the play might have been fascinating, rather than just interesting.

Monday, June 12, 2006


When JC suggested that I join him and a small group of his friends at a Japanese restaurant, I thought, "Well, why not? A little delicate Japanese cuisine would really hit the spot. Some nice green tea, miso soup, small bowls containing weird morsels of things best not investigated, a few judicious belts from the sake bottle... sounds like fun!" So I agreed, and arranged to meet up with him and the others later that night.

By the time I'd wrangled my way through the busy Saturday evening traffic and found a parking space, activities which both involved a great deal of impotent shouting, I was in a slightly less than chipper mood, but I knew that once I was seated at a low table with a cup of green tea in front of me, I'd cheer up again. I called JC on my mobile to double-check the exact location of the restaurant. "Ah, change of plans," he said. "We couldn't get into the Japanese place. So we'll be going to Terrazza instead. You know where that is?"

I did indeed. I knew all too well. I don't know if I actually said, "Yep, that's the one in the NINTH CIRCLE OF HELL!", or just thought it, but either way my plans for an evening sampling fine, exotic delicacies evaporated like spilt sake on a teppanyaki hotplate.

Terrazza is a chain of franchised restaurants, dotted around the city's nouveau riche enclaves as if they were contractually obliged to build one whenever a suburb's BMW ownership rate tops 80%. They always occupy brand new prefab buildings, which are then slathered in limewash, terracotta tiles and moulded cement pillars, presumably with the intention that they look like a little slice of Tuscany. Of course they do not look like a little slice of Tuscany. They look like what they are - overreaching strip mall shopfronts that have been attacked by commercial designers armed with fake wooden shutters, antiquing paint and a solid brick of cocaine.

I switched off my phone, got out of my car and made my way over to the restaurant. Instead of following JC's suggestion that I wait inside for everyone else to arrive, I stayed outside, in the chilly winter night, hoping that between my arrival and the rest of the group's, a just and righteous God would rain heavenly fire upon the building and smite it from His good earth.

But no such luck. The others arrived, and I had no option but to follow them inside. Once we were seated, and duly harranged by a waitress about garlic breads and overpriced cocktails, I found myself sitting opposite a friendly, nuggety fellow who hadn't come across the Terrazza brand. "So, have you been here before?" he asked.

"I've been to the one in Nedlands for a couple of office functions," I replied.

"What's the food like?"

I wondered how to discreetly suggest that Satan's intimate body fluids were somehow involved, but I couldn't come up with anything appropriate. But I didn't want to lie. So I said, "It is what it is."

"That doesn't sound very encouraging."

I shrugged. "It's the truth."

I looked through the menu looking for something light and impossible to screw up. Traditional Tuscan specialties like nasi goreng and teriyaki chicken were likely to be all spice and no flavour. Any pasta dish was likely to be nothing but a bowl of dense carbohydrate lightly spattered with goop. Items containing seafood were definitely to be avoided - there's always the suspicion that these prawns or scallops didn't exactly leap from the ocean straight into the kitchen.

Eventually I went with the warm chicken salad. It was constructed like a monument to cost/benefit analysis. There was a lot of lettuce, just enough chicken to warrant its inclusion in the name of the dish, a tomato, some cucumber, perhaps half a raw red onion, half a dozen strips of violently dessicated eggplant, four olives, three cubes of feta cheese, and a good, soaking ladle-full of balsamic sweet chili dressing that made every part taste just like every other part.

I munched my way through it, carefully avoiding most of the onion and all of the cucumber (Note to Terrazza: mixing something that makes you belch with something that makes your breath stink = not such a brilliant idea). It wasn't bad, in the literal sense of the word. Mediocre, yes, but not actually bad. Fortunately the company was excellent, so the shortcomings of the restaurant faded into the background as we laughed and chatted and relaxed.

At the end of the meal, I asked the man sitting opposite me how his pasta had been. He thought for a moment, pursed his lips, and said. "You were right. It just was what it was."

And I suddenly found myself in a much better mood. If I can go out of an evening and turn just one person off restaurants like Terrazza that treat food as a necessary evil, then my suffering is not in vain. I am a patient martyr to the cause of deliciousness.

[assumes expression of saintly, slightly pained Catholic-style martyrdom until struck by delayed heavenly fire.]

Friday, June 09, 2006


When my clock radio switched itself on this morning, I woke to find myself being serenaded by Smokie, singing their 1978 hit 'Oh Carol'.

In the few seconds it took for me to properly wake up and hurl my clock radio through the window, I wondered if there are any girl's names left that haven't been immortalised in popular song. The ones that have been taken run from the ordinary (Runaround Sue, Annie's Song, Maggie May) to the esoteric (Elvira, My Sharona, Delilah). I cast my mind through the female members of my family and social circle, and there seemed to be a song that at least mentioned every one of them.

And then I wondered; why are there so many songs sung by men to women, and yet so few songs sung by women to men? To the best of my knowledge, there's no song called 'Robert'. Or 'James'. Or even 'Hiroshi'. The only examples I could come up with were 'Mickey' by Toni Basil and 'Fernando' by Abba, and even then I'm not sure that the Abba one counts, given that I've neither met nor heard of anyone named Fernando outside this song. It could all be some twisted conspiracy of Agnetha's.

I for one think this huge gender imbalance is an outrage. If there's ever going to be any genuine equality in this world, the ladies are going to have to start serenading the gentlemen like there's no tomorrow. So get to it, girls!

And yes, I do realise that there's not a lot that rhymes with 'Timothy', but we must accept that the road to social justice is never smooth.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


On my way to have afternoon tea at the home of some friends, I stopped at a boutique grocery store in one of the city's wealthiest suburbs to get an upmarket treat to share.

You know the sort of place; little bags of wild Iranian figs, complicated boxes of designer chocolates from chocolatiers who produce about three boxes a year and name them as they would their children, wheels of luxurious cheese that are trucked in by a circuitous route so that they don't have to pass too close to any poor people, and so on. The store itself had lots of stark, immaculate graphics on its signage, a layout that suggested that the shelves were stocked by interior designers rather than minimum-wage teenagers, and a clientele who are so insulated from ordinary people that they don't even realise that they're supposed to be looking down their noses at you - it's simply inconceivable that a commoner oik could come into contact with them.

When the proprietress asked me if I needed any help, I mentioned to her that I am constantly keeping an eye out for sweet capsicum jam - I had some in Pennsylvania once and I haven't been able to find it locally. All I wanted to know was whether she stocked something similar. But off she went, talking about a supplier in the Basque region of France who did something similar, but she couldn't get it in because of Australia's labeling laws, then rattling off a few suggestions of obscure businesses I could try in far-flung corners of the city (as if I had a couple of spare days to drive around town looking for jam), and then off she went to get me the URL of a New Zealand company that might stock it.

I felt like saying, "Hey, if I was that fussed about it, I'd just go online and order it from the appropriate version of Amazon*! I was just curious - I don't want you to scour the globe for it!" But it was all I could do to just smile, nod and say thank you a lot.

Throughout the whole exchange, I was twitching like I do in job interviews. At any second I was going to blurt out a reference to commercial television, or admit to going to a state school, or fail some subtle class indicator and reveal myself to be a prole. Then she'd chase me out of the store and call the police, who would confiscate my Volkswagen convertible on the grounds that it's too high class for the likes of me, and make me walk home. Or, you know, something like that.

Eventually I somehow managed to make it out the door with a $14 panforte the size of an iPod, which naturally in due course proved to be exquisite.

I don't know why I feel so class-conscious when I go into this suburb. I breeze in, having forgotten what happened last time and cheerfully going about my business, then an hour or two later slink out feeling as if I've been trespassing. I have no idea how much of this is in my own mind and much is being generated by the locals. All I know is that I hate feeling like a prisoner of my class, unable to deal comfortably with those above or below me.

* 'Jamazon', presumably.

Monday, June 05, 2006


I've been sick with a bad cold for the last few days, which has necessitated a lot of quiet time at home, rugged up on the couch with tissues and asprin and orange juice. Feeling the need to keep my hands busy while my mind wandered in feverish delerium, I decided to do a little reorganisation in my CD collection.

This is what my CD collection looked like under the old system.

CDs in boring, logical order

It was divided into Rock/Pop, Jazz, Christian, Soundtracks, Classical, Comedy and Dance Compliations, with the Rock/Pop section subdivided by geography (Australians, British, Other Europeans, North Americans, South Americans).

But that looked boring. So I took a leaf out of Zemblan's book and reorganised my CDs by Spinal Colour Spectrum Order!

CDs in innovative spectrum order!

The astute reader will notice that the second shelf down starts (from the left) with Black Spines with White Text, then merges into Black Spines in Text Colour Spectrum Order. The third shelf down begins with White Spines with Black Text, and then moves through White Spines in Text Colour Spectrum Order.

Then there are the Brown spines, which don't fit in the spectrum but needed to be put somewhere.

You can just see the top of the fourth shelf down, which contains all the CDs with multi-coloured spines that threatened the purity of my new compact disc utopia. They will be dealt with in due course. Oh yes, they will be dealt with.