Wednesday, 30 May 2007

The Symbiote

30 May – Productivity was not on the agenda for today but managed to fit in a couple of apps, coffee with various parties, a badly needed but somewhat brutal massage (that was complicated by the wrong paperwork and a lack of immediately available funds for payment) and the first ride since the accident on a bike that needs a little adjusting following her own violent injuries. Frangelica and I combined into a damaged, cautious and delicate symbiote – both of us needed each other to reinforce the purpose of our existence, she needed someone to ride her and I needed to connect to something that has been a prime focus of my life for the past two years – and we both did not need the aggression of the Sydney traffic that surrounded us at every turn.  A little web stuff was done in the evening after a little feeding in Willoughby – put my warm arms out and was coldly rejected but early activity would have prevented a peak performance in any event so not too phazed about that.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Be Happy! Be Happy! Be Happy!

29 May – Did usual morning duties before wandering to the suspicious hotspot to do a bit of a search for something I really didn’t want to search for.  Realised that applications backed up with phone calls are generally better received.  Headed into town for what promised to be an interesting lecture by Ross Gittins on his new book but, whilst waiting for my accompaniers, was distracted by a call telling me to hustle down to the ASX building for a little bit of ‘putting a face to a name’ - by the time I made it back to the Mint, where the talk was to be held, all the seats were gone.  So I was very f**king disappointed.  And I left my hat behind.  Sometimes one wonders whether it’s worth going to the trouble.  However, another phone call followed by another meeting involved getting out the old Matrix designers designed purple lined whistle’n’flute and looking like a character I’ve not looked like for a very long time (unless one counts the recent incognito ‘Suit Day’).  A couple of very positive developments on several fronts was very confidence building for a moment before I realised future ramifications of these developments but one has to take the good things as good or one will never be happy.  And I want to be happy.  Saw ‘The History Boys’ in the evening which was rather enlightening, if slightly overacted but it was an adaptation of a play so that’s to be expected.  Slight resolution on the furniture front which is a part of the logistical problem I’m facing – be happy be happy be happy.

A Final Solution?

27 and 28 May – Expected hangover was remarkably tolerable all things considering, probably dismissed by the still existing real physical pain being inflicted upon my tortured body.  Was sure that I was woken by the sound of my own moaning in pain which really cant be a good thing.  Going to the movies seemed like a sensible way to spend the afternoon and got to knock of a second bird with that stone by seeing mater as well - ‘The Italian’, a Russian film whose existence I was only aware of by seeing it previewed at a Swedish (or Swiss, I have a habit of mixing those two countries up as does every New Worlder) film, not a very good movie I’m inclined to say – lesson being that orphanages are depressing and it might have been a political diatribe against people smugglers but I can’t quite be certain of that.  Evening involved getting cleaned out at a poker night at Mr Creber’s, whose shock of red hair can only fully be appreciated when he’s helmetless.  I suspect I might have got my money’s worth on the food though, a rather spectacular barbecue, unique in the absolute absence of steak, sausages or chicken – wish I was not one of the few who witnessed the uncooked calamari falling on a rather unwashed section of balcony but I’m pretty certain I identified a safe ring or two.  Taxi journey over there (how low have I sunk???) was memorable in part because it was a taxi ride and in part because he was the fattest cabbie I’d ever seen and my half eaten apple launched him off on a remarkable lecture on healthy eating.  Monday had slightly less pain and the day was broken and sucked up by midday medicals that meant productivity suffered – this also not helped by the fact that the similarity of my and my mother’s mobile phones meant that I had a days worth of calls fielded by a maternal secretary who I can imagine quite enjoyed being able to intercept anyone who might call me (every single one of them would have got a chat, I tell you).  Really stressed right now.  Cant let it push me into a corner – have to use it to fuel something but what?  
Went to an interesting lecture at the Australian Institute of International Affairs (someone’s alma mater???) with the topic of ‘Peak Oil and Climate Change’, speaker was certainly a believer in both and he was relatively convincing in explaining how the two were inextricably linked and that both were pretty much upon us.  The upbeat side of the lecture was that he saw this as a catalyst for significant social change for the better but, like all of them, he didn’t convince me that the energy solution is on the verge of solution.  The population is growing, especially in the developing world, and the developing world is sucking up more and more energy per capita (which is pretty much their inalienable right at some level) and the amount of cheap energy available is becoming harder and harder to be cost effectively recovered.  The fossil energies we have are not completely underwritten by future generations at the moment but can the renewables fill the gap?  They’re going to have to but right now the technology does not exist and I just hope necessity is the mother of invention.  I was also upset by a perception of me during the latest crash.  That was very unsettling.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Invasion Of The Little People

26 May – Still being woken up by crippling pain in my shoulder – most annoying when you’re holding off on breakfast for a while and therefore cannot consume any anti-inflammatories to numb the pain.  Did manage to find the Nurofen gel by blindly sweeping my hands across the A-frame which helped a little but when ascending the stairs after a covert mission to the garage I slammed the top of my shoulder into the ceiling and was reduced to a babbling wreck.  Woe is me.  Shortly after recovering from this latest attack on my fragile frame had a little person deposited in my care for the day – since she rejected my pancakes I was forced to entertain her with a revolutionary computer game and then took her off to Broadway to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean.  The fillum was better than the second (which was not hard) but was overly long and if it hadn’t been an early session would certainly have been drifting by the end.  As it was, can hardly complain.  For the most part Tilley was relatively easy to handle although highly critical of my bad smoking habit but I can’t be surprised about that considering I had similar views at that age (before I succumbed to the demon addiction myself of course).  Wandered the markets for a while before intercepting a more responsible adult who took charge of the ward.  Was pleasantly surprised by the relative simplicity of making baklava – highly labour intensive but not very difficult – twas for purpose of a somewhat civilised dinner party which was quite a rousing success due, in part to the baklava and the well prepared rice (via the absorption method of course) but was also somewhat supported by the company and everything else which was provided by the Moroccan obsessed (I never realised how themed that place was until that night) “friend”.  Shoulder is starting to worry me.  Amongst other things.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Timing Is Everything

25 May – Another painful wakeup which was to be expected followed by a sense of increasing despair as two attempts to do some much needed web work were thwarted by defective wifi hotspots.  The recently underutilised but perennial favourite at NoFishCafe in Surry Hills wasn’t working but I got a coffee anyway and the always reliable if somewhat slow spot at 370 Pitt (home of the old Cow Shed) was working fine for the PDA but not at all for the laptop (but I got a coffee anyway).  Hoping to find a courier who I could offload a somewhat urgent delivery to a banking friend of mine was to nowt – the only messengers I saw where peckers and schizophrenics, none of whom I could trust to take care of the sensitive item.  Despite keeping my eyes open the entire time I eventually found myself at the site itself and handed it over and had another coffee.  Feeling far too wired to be comfortable I trained back to Redfern and did find a useable hotspot but far too expose to do any serious work so that was a bit disappointing.  Attempts to fix Frangelica were also rather disastrous due to a lack of knowledge of how to get the brake levers off the twisted handlebars but am sure that there’s a trick to it which can be worked out by a better mechanic than me but until then I’ll just have to wallow in failure.  However, a late arrival by Dave lent a new observation point to the equation and we were able to locate a mysterious Allen key hole which, as luck would have it, enabled me to remove the levers.  A bit of a hack job to pry the old bars off the stem but managed to get Chevette’s original handlebars on and loaded up with the levers.  Not going to take her for a test just yet but it appears that she may be as good as new (even better, as the new handlebars are substantially narrower than her old ones – not that I plan on doing a hell of a lot of lane splitting just at the moment).  Replacement bar tape will have to wait for the moment but a slightly less sorry character was left at the end of the operation and that’s got to be a good thing.  Evening would be spent making a long wander out towards Aussie Stadium to see the ra-ra-rugby, an unexceptional game between a second tier Australian team and a second tier nation, first half was relatively close but the second half could be more accurately described as annihilation.  Also a bit disappointed by the alcomohol that was on offer – the only beer available was VB and Cascade Light so I was forced to subsist on the driver’s version.  However, one doesn’t go to the rugby to watch the game – at least I don’t, and the company was most pleasant, even if I did have to wait a whole quarter hour for them to turn up because I was on time and they were not.  After being offloaded into treacherous Redfern spent the evening making a new version of pancake batter and watching ‘The Man From Snowy River’, an Australian classic, not a very good movie, and one that was basically a love story wrapped around some nice cinematography and one absolutely incredible horse riding scene.  Huzzah turned up at the very end from the lips of Mr Jack Thompson and that was most satisfactory.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Then There Were Three (Shortly After There Were Four)

23 and 24 May – Productivity not very high on the first day but did manage to struggle through my Canadian tax return and even got it posted off.  Always a pain to do a tax return but when its for a foreign country it’s especially painful – half of the fields didn’t apply to me but still had to check every one because there’s always a figure hidden away in the middle that has to be entered otherwise the long and extremely bureaucratic arm of the Canadian government would be sure to come and get me.  Went over to Gordon to celebrate dad’s 69th birthday and was pleased to find out it was only his 68th (I really should know this, shouldn’t I?) and managed to get the last direct train to Redfern but annoyed the North Sydney train guard by a last second decision to leap off.  Woke up not knowing where I was (still having some very strange and particularly vivid dreams) but after working it out all seemed well.  Had a lot of trouble getting some bandwidth on Thursday – my North Sydney point wasn’t working and even the advertised free Bridge St connection at Wagamama’s decided not to work either (maybe they’re onto me) and spent some very unproductive and battery sucking time wandering the CBD looking for a replacement which was all for nowt.  Osteopath visit was particularly painful – even though Scott was relatively gentle the new injury seemed to get in the way.  Good to have the easygoing housemate back in the house from his little English sojourn – now have a good sounding board again and his Dreamweaver skillz are particularly welcome.  Managed to find my trusty hotspot at Abercrombie and Golden Grove still in good working order and ate an average luncheon in Newtown before heading back for some hours behind the computer screen.  Was somewhat interrupted by the addition of another houseguest (a Landmark one) which should make the next few days rather interesting.  Thought a walk would do me good so went down to the AB for a pre-arranged meeting and was unexpectedly fed for the effort.  Took James back to the household so that he could have a little of my herbal remedy and then do me a solid by clearing the house of excessive occupants so I could get some work done.  How lovely of him.

Give the two-wheelers a go

From the SMH letters on 23 May 2007 ... Perhaps if someone had read this letter and actually done something about it a while back I would not be in the situation I am in today ...  Perhaps if I'd walked down the stairs instead of ridden I also wouldn’t be in the situation that I’m in today ...
Given that the Iemma Government has cancelled the expensive and poorly conceived project to widen the Spit Bridge, can a small portion of the newly available funds be used to extend the Harbour Bridge cycleway north? Thousands of cyclists are funnelled into this point every day from all over the North Shore, only to be met with a climb of 55 stairs to access the dedicated cycleway. Let's see some inspirational ideas from our leaders, not just more of the same. Caroline Minogue  Neutral Bay

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Too Late, Too Long

22 May – Hospital A&E seem to have a rather exaggerated view of recovery – more recent visits (of which there have been far too many of late) have given me a matter of days of medically authorised leave after some pretty serious hits to the body and if this morning is any judge of where my delicate frame is at I don’t think they’re being very realistic.  The cold certainly doesn’t help and the inaction of sleep causes excessive stiffness but it was hard enough to move my body a metre across the room to turn off my alarm bell, let alone even think about being recovered.  That said, had an interesting chat with an old friend in the morning concerning my current potential future in this country which was slightly promising although still very disappointing.  Did mean brushing up on my own version of exaggeration and am really not looking forward to changing my clothes and associated activity but perhaps it must be done.  In any event, “Once A Messenger, Always A Messenger” or at least that’s what I’ll keep telling myself.  I also don’t think I’m capable of doing late night movie sessions anymore – even though it was only 8:45 the 157m Zodiac was a great struggle to keep my eyes open through the entire fillum – excellent movie, an amalgamation of Dirty Harry and All The President’s Men and one of the few serial killer movies that I’ve actually really liked for ages but too late and too long and I wasn’t the only one who was struggling in that session.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Salt And Batteries

21 May – Cancelled one medical appointment because I was too bruised to attend and made another one because of that bruise.  Heart to heart with Priti was not exactly the subject I wanted to be talking about but one would suppose that it had to be done.  On the way into town did a good deed for the day helping an old gent on his way to the home suburb negotiate through the maze that is Town Hall and generally tried to avoid the city’s couriers whilst there (didn’t really have to worry too much as none of them really seemed to bat an eyelid at the humanly dressed individual walking through their midst – did think that the Chrome bag could have been a giveaway but apparently not).  House stresses never welcome at any time but I would have loved to have been given a day (at least).  

Monday, 21 May 2007

Not With A Whimper But With A Bang

19 May – The chirpy demeanour that I originally encountered wasn’t so chirpy although the raspberry pancakes may have improved the situation somewhat (it may have).  One of the first tasks of the day was to collect my new helmet from Cheeky and then took it off to Sydenham for Saffy Brian’s sewer sprint event – a general collection of increasingly silly events starting out with a series of standing sprints through the sewers with the finish line just before a low hanging bridge which meant no skid braking until the very end unless you wanted to take your head off (or your name was Shifty [who is a very small courier BTW]).  Crapped out on those due to a bad start and also lost out betting on the various other contestants although did gain a modicum of a comeback with the trolley race (???) winning the first qualifier but then dumping my passenger after hitting a submerged bump on the second.  Decided it was probably best to leave before things got to silly but in hindsight (which is always 20-20) staying may have been a far more sensible decision.  Rode home with no issue and got my stuff together for a journey over the bridge to McMahons where a D&M awaited me.  Journey through city was relatively pleasant but once I hit the bridge I started to mentally prepare myself for what awaited but nothing could have prepared me for what did happen – came to the descent ramp at the North Sydney side and decided to ride down (which I’ve done hundreds of times before with no issue although admittedly not on Frangelica) and by the time I hit the third stage I realised my back wheel was lifting but there wasn’t much I could do about it and suddenly I found myself being launched over the handlebars and flying into the bottom of the steps with a sickening crunch of handlebars, shoulder and helmet.  The shock was pretty significant, as one would expect, but after my latest run of bike related incidents it was almost a bit too much to bear.  Found myself in a bit of a delirium which was not helped by the fact that the very nice man who rescued me was named Ron and in my frazzled state I was convinced that he was someone who he wasn’t.  Was picked up very quickly and spent the evening in a confused stupor punctuated by shivering chills, sweltering body fever, aching body parts and bewildered mood (thanks be that I had someone who loved me to take care of me).  The next morning wasn’t helped by the fact that I had to make some pretty serious decisions pretty quickly nor by my discovery that the expensive brand new helmet (bought that day) had been cracked and was now useless and Frangelica’s handlebars were twisted beyond recognition and I also had to get to A&E to find out if my body had suffered commensurate damage.  Decided that the best course of action was to go to Balmain Hospital (best waiting times in the city) which brought back memories of a 1 December 2001 visit where I was accompanied by dad after some very childish shenanigans (although they did confuse me with some guy named David, whoever the hell he is) - even though I was pushed through relatively quickly the radiologist’s lunch break and other patients did mean a fair chunk of the afternoon was swallowed (not that I was going to be doing anything anyway).  Got mostly cleared of serious injury but that didn’t change the fact that those serious decisions still had to be made.  ‘As It Is In Heaven’ failed to lighten or darken my mood significantly but luckily there were no chuggers outside afterwards to take advantage of the weakened wills of the cinema goers ... What to do?

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Bad Schoolboy

17 and 18 May – One of the slowest days in a long time – damning the high bonus dream that the other day’s Perpetual wine run had engendered – Shifty was vocally bitchy and everyone seemed very catty – even the long dreadlocked wanker deigned my presence worthy to put in a nasty cutting jibe – not exactly bullying in the workplace but not all of it was very nice.  Had to push forward my new policy of rejecting proof folders – I hate to reject anything at all but they are one of the few things that I absolutely hate carrying – generally nothing to hold onto it, cannot be put anywhere safely and has to be carried with one arm and further unbalances you by acting like a sail (they’re generally 1x1.5m).  And I rejected a fortune’s worth today (a very small fortune).  Saw Mark from the Writer’s Island for the first time in almost two years and got very drunk at the pub followed by very drunk (and a little bit of something else) at home with PJ.  Housemate scared me away but was absolutely wrecked and cut out at the piker’s hour of 1am.  Judging by the empties and the ashtray the next morning I was not surprised to hear that the partiers carried on into the 4am and I was less surprised that PJ called in sick.  Had a bit of a time shaking off the small hangover and braving the first rain in weeks.  Was very careful throughout the day but there’s always going to be a few close calls (knocked a wing mirror on Market, slid out (but caught myself) at 580 George and almost cleaned up a phone distracted jaywalker on Elizabeth St who after cursing me with some very unpleasant vernacular then proceeded to almost get cleaned up by the bus that was following me and cursing him as well) but altogether not too bad.  Much better than the previous day work wise although still not amazing but some amazingly lucky routing (had 4 pik’n’drops at four different destinations all within a 30m radius and also a couple of well timed cancellations that meant a much smoother run).  Evening was taken up by shiny blue eyes and a very ‘chirpy’ demeanour but there’s something behind them which required a bit of due care (which apparently I was not up to on Friday night).

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Smoking Saves

15 and 16 May – Started the day with an interesting but prolonged chat with the CCC gentleman and I don’t think the answers I gave him were exactly what he wanted but he didn’t seem too perturbed.  Going independent would be a very interesting development in the courier industry but not sure if I’ve got the commitment to carry through for the long term.  Ditto with any furthering of my career in the devil’s industry of stealing money from weak willed souls – as I may have previously posted if that particular confidential proposal did not come through I was not going to be disappointed.  And I’m not.  Despite lots of quiet moments throughout the day there was superb quality of work – scammed a very nice wine run out of Perpetual – as I was leaving I noticed a trolley of wine bottles coming out on the mailroom floor. Let the dispatcher know that something big was coming and ensured that I’d be a part of it (also let the shifty character in on the game so he took some of the action as well).  Indy work went perfectly with the real work for a change and I had a lot of luck with the mailroom boys having smoke breaks (came up to Chifley to drop a B&B and saw the clerk puffing away – gave him the envelope and he gave it to the addressee who was sitting right next to him, which was quite a score).  Evening was full of other pleasantries although one of the little people is still in a rather sulking mood and whilst it’s not necessarily a big issue right now there is the potential for more serious ramifications which would definitely not do anyone any good.  After a strange dream filled sleep, none of which I can remember, had one of the quietest AMs I can remember that dragged out until I had an early luncheon with father (which was very timely as I’d run out of disposable cash on that day after a paper (plastic???) money fuelled frenzy that had lasted for weeks.  Mother’s caramel slice went down a treat with some of the courier boys and shortly afterwards all the burnt tobacco offerings I’ve sent up to Hermes started to pay off – a rather hectic afternoon filled with mistaken routes, large banners and even a trip down to Redfern (where I was unfortunately hurried away by TPTB) - Clarence St is very sketchy after hours – generally one of my more favoured South-North arteries but come 5 o’clock during the winter (???) and it’s a bus choked wasteland, so many blinding lights and hardly an inch to spare between the lumbering people transporters.  Not too much fun.  

Monday, 14 May 2007

Positive Rearrangement

13 and 14 May – Woke up to a mother’s day but left the mother to her minions as I had my own mother to deal with later on in that day.  Had an unexpected visit from PJ who came bearing gifts of whiskey and unnecessary apologies and also some much needed web development knowledge.  Sometimes things work out for the best – rescheduling of maternal temporal celebrations by family meant cancelling a web session with the Link team but enabled the visit from the expert who gave me the knowledge to fix the problems that I would have struggled with had I kept the original appointment. Hurrah.  Went to Spice Siam for the second time in the weekend and completely overloaded on the crispy pork belly with holy basil ... Three servings over the course of the weekend ... Awesome ... Cant be good for me though ... But I’m a courier so I don’t f**king care!  Wooh!  Certainly would have to be one of the best dishes available in this fair city ... Unlike the crapulence of the organic café in Newtown where we went to afterwards – if you don’t know what a piccolo is then tell me!  I know it’s a wanker coffee but most places seem aware of its existence these days and, if they don’t, they tell me and I tell them how to make it.  F**king hippies ... And another thing, if I ask for something toasted and buttered I want it buttered by you!  Not given to me lukewarm with an icy pat of butter and no knife ... That’s why you’re allowed to charge $5 for $1 worth of food – you do the work.
Work on Monday was okay – was bridge bitch as Brettski was away and due to the router found myself only doing two trips over (usually four to five) - one might say that this was a good thing but everything was completely late ... None of it was urgent so nobody complained but I did feel a twinge of guilt but it was just a twinge.  Utilised the web knowledge that PJ imparted upon me the previous day when I went to Willoughby to be fed and Link Plastics is looking that much shinier.  

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Private Dicking Around

12 May – What do you do when you leave six paper napkins in your back pocket when you do a wash?  It’s been done before and it’ll be done again.  It’s semi-regular when the foil muesli bar packets are left in the back pocket due to a dearth of waste paper bins in my presence when I eat them and they’re often forgotten about by the time the shorts go into the wash but because they’re made of a plastic foil they generally don’t do too much damage in the wash but paper is never so forgiving.  Have taken on a new role as a detective – when the banking institutions and even the police don’t want to know about your problems sometimes you’ve got to take matters into your own hands and my initial investigations seem to have revealed that the culprit in the ethical dilemma is either a woman or a cross dresser (items identified that were purchased on my credit card include bikinis, scarves, tights, socks, a manicure kit, tweezers, an OK Weekly Magazine (showing that the thief is of below average intelligence), hair dye (going to try to change her identity before the task force closes in on her) - not much help from Target management with my initial enquiries but managed to convince them that they can’t hide behind privacy concerns when the purchase was made on my f**king credit card.  Various other tasks included eating very nice Thai food and negotiating choir parents trying to find the most appropriate child to take from an Australian Youth Choir.  Got the child but was sure we could have found one far less troublesome.  

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Cards and Carding

11 May – A fairly fulsome day marred by a few mishaps – at the very end of the morning run, just as I was about to hop the kerb at the Liz side of 60 Castlereagh the chain rattled and came off the sprockets and somehow managed to wrap itself around the crank, jammed in next to the chain ring and impossible to dislodge – had to carry her down to CBD to get the professionals to remove (I could have done so but would certainly have resulted in me tearing the chain asunder) - was rushed out of their by an impatient dispatcher (who may have been out to get me after the verbal shredding I gave him concerning his idiotic dive into the sarchasm and my extreme displeasure at his terrible communication skills).  Did get a lunch break although once again before I was halfway through I was hurried along with a half decent south run (thanks mate, but I’m EATING here!).  Despite a lull in the late afternoon was saved by a gold mine at FREHILs at the end of the day – 9 BP1s with the added bonus that they were only at four separate addresses with a bonus CITCRP that was actually routed through (could have been 10 but I was feeling magnanimous).  Louisa’s mobile was turned off all day – who’d have thought?  
Did you know that the Critical Mass crowd have a route through Surrey Hills which they call the ‘Paragon Route’ - Paragon does and he’s telling everyone ...  Elizabeth Square to ...somewhere or other down Brisbane down Commonwealth ... Blah blah blah ... It’s the route he used to take in the mornings when he was living at the KB ... He used to order his coffee and light his smoke and ride down this route on his way into town puffing and slucking away until he got to Eliz when he’s put the smoke in the cup and then log on at 2 Park ... Oh, Hermes, save me!  
Before a planned poker night had a second meeting with a certain individual concerning a little start-up project that might require my vast years of experience – an interesting proposal if it comes through but one fraught with ethical and time constraint dilemmas.  If it does come through, great – however, I can honestly say if it is decided that I'm not the one chosen I will not be disappointed one iota.  Took a very scenic route from mine to Ade’s via the backstreets of Enmore and associated inner western suburbs – James seemed to know where he was going and we did get there but I'm very doubtful that we took anything close to the most efficient route but I'm sure he had his reasons.  Okay results - didn’t lose too much, Scottish one was back to his usual poker self (which was to be expected).

Don't Fall In The Sarchasm

10 May – After some very loud manipulation was back on the streets (where I belong?) - relatively okay routing for the most part but a cracked stem on Shifty’s velocipede meant we were down to three bikes (four including Brettski and how could anyone not include Brettski???) and were constantly reminded of that throughout the day.  This had the undesirable result of me not having any luncheon throughout the day – in the old days this was something that I was used to but I’ve grown fat and complacent over the past six months.  To top this of I was devoid of bananas in the morning and had a paltry choc-chip muesli bar on my person so was not very comfortable throughout the day.  I made the mistake of trying to joke with the incompetent one by suggesting a lunch break at 5:00 and this had the result of the gold mine of FREHIL P1s going to my nemesis, the Paragon, who even had the audacity to bitch about it later in the evening when he did his semi-regular battery swap.  Had a very pleasant reunion with an old school chum afterwards – unexpected and not really desired (not that it was undesired) but sometimes it is nice to catch up with people from the past.  

Thursday, 10 May 2007


9 May – A relatively good start to the day despite braving the horrors of a morning train work commute which was followed by a pleasing conversation with my favourite medical professional (who’s last few appointments have been more philosophical chat than typical medical examination) - cleaned, ate, read, wrote, phoned and relaxed a bit – general tranquillity of afternoon was broken by a panicked phone call from the house mate who had unexpectedly been in possession of my credit card with the news that it had been lost (from a back pocket no less) - none too worried, a phone call was made to the credit card company to report the situation and I was dismayed to find that two transactions had been made today.  Due to the nature of the loss (it had not been in my possession at the time of its loss as I had given it to someone else who had given it to someone else who had given it someone else who had lost it) I was informed that I would be obliged to pay for the charges.  Wearily had to go through the obligatory demand to speak to someone in charge who basically repeated the company line that I had violated the policy of the credit card and therefore they basically didn’t give a s**t.  So much for the ‘cool right-on’ attitude of the Virgin company – at their core they’re just cold heartless bastards like any other financial institution. In any event, despite being liable for the cost as far as the evil institution is concerned one thing is that I’m sure as hell not responsible for paying it and a few thumbs may need to be broken to ensure that (by gar!).  

A Dilemma

8 May – Ah, the joys of sleeping in ... Not that it was a real sleep in but it was close.  Finally managed to speak to TPTB at Toll to sort out the bureaucracy and then spent several hours waiting for a driver to turn up with the paperwork (he’d been given the job as a P1 but he’s a driver so you can’t really expect him to get there in time) - after waiting for an eon wandered down to the BP to replenish the milk supply and as I came back I noticed a utility parked on Margaret St with some boxes in the back.  Had a sneaking suspicion it may have been the vehicle I was waiting for an after peering through the window I managed to make out the instructions on the Toll labelled computer which had a very familiar address on it.  Unfortunately no driver to speak of.  Looked around for a bit but couldn’t find him and, after dropping the grocery (there was only one item) in the flat I wandered back down to find him.  Managed to catch him just before he drove off but I have no doubt I’ll be waiting a while before the numbers start coming in.  Had a rather interesting meeting at the AB for a private and confidential project that’s coming off the ground and was given a slightly tempting offer which I’m going to have to think about for a while but the logistics and scale might mean I’m going to have to reluctantly decline – and that’s nothing to say for the ethical dilemma I’d have to endure if I did give into the temptation.  I’ve declined on ethical grounds before on this subject and I may well have to do so again.  Got cracked around a bit in the afternoon which I hope had some benefits – all goes to plan I should see the streets proper very soon.  
Despite not really having any interest in going I was slightly compelled by the fact that it was Tuesday to head to the cinema to see Spiderman 3 and was pleasantly disappointed.  Critics 1 – Box Office 0.  It’s not that the film was tightly packed with clichés – that’s to be expected, it is a Marvel blockbuster and that’s to be expected – but that the clichés were so ineptly rendered in Mr Raimi’s latest offering.  The OTT fight scenes were bigger and better than previous but ultimately uninspiring, the buddy banter between the newly reconciled team of Spiderman and Goblin was unbelievable as was the bizarrely reconstructed subplot of Ben Parker’s “real” killer being discovered once he’s turned into a super villain (I can hardly believe that the New York Police Department would keep track of a suspect of a car jacking murder for over two years and I’m also starting to get tired of the continuing Spiderman theme of all of the villains becoming bad only once they get their super powers).  The minimal usage of JK Simmons was criminal – the one character worth seeing in the entire series and he’s got no more than a few minutes of screen time – deplorable.  And, more than anything, the fact that Parker and MJ are shown just hugging as friends at the end, while not terrible in its own right, is basically setting up the series for another addition to the increasingly tired franchise.  And if this has been a spoiler for anyone reading this who hasn’t seen the movie then too bad, my evening was spoiled by going to the movie in the first place – why should you be complaining?

A Man Needs A Maid

7 May – Walked the morning run with only a twinge of an ethical dilemma which was almost perfectly timed with getting a bit of manipulative therapy and a heart to heart with Priti – would have been perfectly timed had I not been obliged to recount the tale of woe to a couple of well meaning messengers including Mr Rock Hard Sheffield Steel who apparently thinks I’m a real proper Englishman and had a take on the event which was slightly reassuring to me (but only slightly).  Returned the Met to Cheeky after a bit of soul searching – even a purely functional device must take fashion into consideration.  Couldn’t get a hold of half the people I needed to get a hold of but managed to cram quite a bit of stuff into the day – truly we are a time poor people.  Still managed to cook up a relatively sumptuous feast despite my best efforts but, come on, that’s woman’s work ...

No, I'll Stand Here ... Because I'm The Director

5 and 6 May – Early wakeup call to hit the film set of Lemmings ... Had been given instructions to make it on set by 8am in order to start the ball rolling but, expectedly, technical and creative reasons meant it would not be many hours before the film actually started rolling.   In my role as sound guy and general dogsbody my tasks included moving the car to a better timed parking place and hiding the parking ticket that had already been given for sitting in a disabled space overnight.  The other individuals involved in the production were of various levels of professionalism and I had to endure the discussion between the actors of how psychic their agents were (and keep a straight face).  The camera man seemed particularly intent on getting the lights right and this and a few continuity issues caused filming to go way past the shooting schedule but best laid plans are always bound to go wrong.  Some of the team were happy to kick on until the wee hours but camera man was fading rapidly post 10pm despite regular kaffirnation so a wrap was called and I shuffled back towards Redfern with the intention of an early night but Richard Dawkins’ Christmas lecture tempted me to push the boundaries a little further which was probably a mistake as the wakeup bell was none too welcoming the next morning (is it ever?).  Rolled Paddington way, not fully equipped, but couldn’t be helped.  Got to push through the fear factor at the moment, always a bit difficult but just has to be done.  Sunday shoot seemed to fl0w quite a bit better than Saturday’s – despite the adage that it is unwise to work with children the script necessitated the presence of one small baby and we managed to get through his scenes without too much difficulty.  Whenever he was supposed to cry he was smiling and whenever he was supposed to smile he cried but that’s just the nature of babies.  I would have preferred 20s style film making where we locked the babe in the closet until it was sufficiently traumatised for work but unfortunately the mother wouldn’t leave the set.  Next time.  Rest of the afternoon moved pretty rapidly in fits and starts – Ang Lee number of takes on the final death scene but a wrap was inevitable.  Still not certain whether I like the script – definitely unsure about the “message” that the film/play was trying to say ... Definitely agree that there are far too many humans being born in the world but am also pretty certain that it should keep on happening otherwise we’d be living in a crappe science fiction world but more on that once I see a final product.  But who am I to judge?

How Can You Tell The Jetfighter Pilot At a Party?

Don't Worry, He'll Tell You
3 and 4 May – Uneventful day of rest and recuperation.  These days are always unexpected and it is not often that a day comes along when absolutely no strain or exercise is required – definite advantage should be taken of these kind of days even if the circumstances in which they come about is unwanted.  Consumed a fair chunk of good and bad TV, decent and indecent film and some pretty good literature.  Had a fun time negotiating disapproval from the doctor who, as always, was very understanding.  Worst part was the dire conversations with the couriers who always like to know the details.  The ultimate fashion function accessory search was difficult, as always, a helm is a very appointment part of the gear and looks are SO important.  Managed to track down an osteopath with the help of a couple of co-workers and even managed to get in that day – just prior to the appointment had to drop into the regular Aviation Medical Clinic to pick up some documentation of the incident and found myself in a very bizarre conversation with a couple of pilots.  Initial introductions as to what airline they were with notwithstanding the conversation moved to the Macquarie Bank consortium led takeover bid for Qantas, and, lucky for me, having paid a bit of attention to the morning AM news found myself remarkably well informed on the situation and after 15 minutes of industry chat I think I left with them with a decent impression of my pilot’s credentials (although I must have been a bit slothful compared to the usual flyboys).


2 May – I’m not a suspicious man but things come in threes.  What started out as an okay day quickly degenerated with another impact ... All checked out okay but f**k.  Got mothered a bit which is always nice although a little embarrassing and spent the evening watching movies and reading my book.  Such is life.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

A Landmark

I don’t know that much about the Landmark Forum and I know that a lot of people get a lot out of it but there’s something about it to me that just seems wrong and even a bit sleazy.  There’s a lot of validity in its ‘think positive’ view on improving your life but there simply has to be a better way to fix the problems you have in your life than sitting in a room with a couple of hundred people talking about the law of attraction.  It’s brainwashing on some levels and it has a cult like feel to it when one listens to its proponents gushing about the improvements that have come to their lives through its practice.  The pyramid style recruitment is what I find unforgivable – you can’t just do the course on your own – you have to get out there and bring more people to the forums (that 20th century ideal that without growth comes extinction) and the methods they propose are sleazy.  Twice, I’ve had the phone call from a recent convert that starts so innocently yet so strangely – the first time was from a friend I hadn't spoken to in about a year and what should have been a very joyful telephone reunion instead was very awkward – we were making small talk but it was obvious he was just biding his time before he asked if I’d come along to a forum with him.  The second time was a few months later and there was the same awkward early conversation and I instinctively knew that I was about to be asked about Landmark and sure enough I was.  Even though both conversations had only taken about 10 minutes of my time I really felt used – this system is abusing its member’s friendship networks for their own personal gain.  Perhaps its an overreaction but something about it just doesn’t seem right to me.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

May Day! May Day!

30 April and 1 May – Good tidings for the day with a couple of pretty Red Bull girls asking me if I wanted some wings closely followed by the bad tidings discovery that my wallet was not where it was supposed to be.  Luckily, Dottie gave up his daily crack hit to spot me a lobster (in order so that I could get my daily nicotine hit).  A relatively solid but unexceptional day work wise with some spectacular indy stuff at the end (although if it wasn’t indy I probably would have rejected the last one – a bunch of proofs that were about two square metres and had to be taken down a lot of hills to get to their destination).  Threatened rain never really eventuated and finished off in a relatively decent mood.  Evening took me over to McMahons where the little people were alternatively sulky and joyful – some very perceptive questioning by one of them produced some interesting results.  Started to get a little nervy about the lack of appearance of the missing wallet – every potential spot was coming up negative and I really thought that the horrific bureaucratic nightmare of remembering what I had in it followed by cancelling the contents was upon me but I held off in hope.  Rushed home in morning for another failed scrabble through possessions and tracked down a few more potential locations all of which continued to have negative results.  Eventually, bit the bullet and rocked in to the Rocks Cop Shop to make the call to report it.  Rest of the day was mostly okay – had a few arguments with the incompetent one who, amongst other things, told me to fax a job back to the base (presumably with the portable fax machine that I carry with me at all times).  Final job of the day popped up at 5:50, almost a full hour after it was booked and funnily enough by the time I arrived it was closed.  And the STD job that arrived on my screen with it was meant for the next day.  How can I work with such incompetence?!?!?!  In any event, after arriving home another cursory search of the room did turn up a rather familiar black leather man purse and that made me feel a lot better.  Evening was spent eating Syrian chicken and struggling with cous cous (which nobody really likes, do they?) with family (both nuclear and extended) and returned home to find that my birthday present of a very nice 2001 Pinot Noir is a magical bottle that apparently refills itself after being drunk.  How lovely.