Friday, December 28, 2007

Dyke with tent!!!

Bargain! A tent for thirty dollars!

Add to that a swag and a spirit cooker and I was gone. Not to mention a big fuckoff esky and a shitload of home brewed beer.

Last night I set it up for the first time at a spot fifteen metres from the beach and thank christ I bought the thing because it rained. I am proud as punch. The little doosey has it's own little satchel and is MINE! My own little mobile home.

Words do not do justice to how satisfied I am with this purchase.

I swam naked in the surf for the first time ever at dawn this morning. It felt good to be out there, but apparently there's a cyclone headed that way so the surf was choppy and bashed me to bits. Even though it's afternoon I'm still scraping sand off myself and I can taste the bits I swallowed. Funny how you have to have the taste of dying to feel alive.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Warning: Emotional Shit

I've packed all my gear into storage and left town. Headed for the ... "sanctity" ... of the parents' house.

Har-de-fricking-HA!

You'd think that your family could understand best that you need time to get your emotions under control after you've uprooted yourself from your familiar home of more than ten years and fucked off to an uncertain future. I don't want a shoulder to cry on, I'm quite used to doing that on my own anyway. I don't want support as such. I'd rather be stronger within myself than rely on the people who have been a source of emotional instability for so long to help me through the changes.

What I do need is to be treated as an adult, rather than a misfit child.

What I need is some space to hide out and reorganise my life into something more outgoing and postive - rather than small and scared and running away through necessity rather than choice.

Fuck you, my parents.

A small note to Devil's Advocate:
Please don't argue me on this one. It's a blurt - emotional shit that I needed to put on a page to get it out of my system. If I'm argued on it I think I'll just cry more.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Today:

I have:

... hauled my overtired arse out of the swag I'm currently sleeping on (complete with a golf ball and two lighters - no wonder my ribs are sore) and got to work at 6am. An accomplishment considering I am dealing with a three day hangover.

... stuck my hand into a rotten sweet potato. They have an acidic stench that burns at your nostrils. I don't reccomend it.

... had four boxes of apples descend in the direction of, and connect with, my head. One after the other. Fourteen kilograms in each. That's like having four two year olds thrown at your head. With pointy bits.

... removed rotten potatoes from the contents of a 50kg bag. You can tell there's a rotter in there when the bag gets a wet spot on the outside. That's one wet spot that I don't find appetising at all. Open it up, tip it all into a shopping trolley and then you find the culprit/s. Ususlly the bastards sprog all over the other potatoes - it's a foul cum-like substance that stinks enough to induce vomiting. I was over cum before I worked in this part of the industry but hell, seeing this stuff and smelling it would make anybody think twice about swallowing a mouthful of it ever again.

... been called the same name by the same guy that comes in at the same time every day. It just happens to be the same time that I clean the floors. I fucking well hate being called Sadie. John Farnham fucked it up for everybody who has ever cleaned around customers as far as I'm concerned. No matter whether I try to get it done earlier or later, he still walks in and calls me that fucking name. The old prick must hang out to hear the sound of the vacuum before he comes in.

... merrily dug through a bag of onions to pull out a few for an order, thinking about other things, when by feel I came across a maggoty rotter. Yummy.

I would like to:

... recieve at least three comments telling me that I'm a whinger and to get over it.

... get some spam telling me how to make my dick bigger (yep, got a long way to go there).

... read twenty posts about politicians I don't know doing things I don't care about.

... be told that I'm fat because I ate all the leftover pizza in the fridge.

... find another redback spider in the outside stuff that I have to pack into storage.

I will:

... go back to bed, jerk off, and attempt to go to sleep.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

PhotoHunt: Small

SMALL




NOT Small





I don't know if this happens all over the world, but it certainly does here in Australia. We take something that is a feature of a town, supersize it in a fascinatingly ugly way, and then we call it a tourist attraction. Tamworth claims the title of Country Music Capital, hosting an annual festival with a world's longest line dance record attempt. In general, a good place to stay away from.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A love letter

Dear Anonymous,

You're persistent in your misinterpretation of me, and I'm beginning to admire it. Perhaps the misinterpretation is mutual. Words are fickle things.

I wrote Is this the lesbian equivalent to girls saying that the guy they picked up couldn't get it up? and you responded, as you have every right to, in this public space. I'm a little disappointed that you will not put a name to your opinion, but that is your choice, as it is my choice to allow anonymous comments in this space.

My question does refer to erectile dysfunction in a way - an insinuation that I could not perform due to intoxication. It is also a way for the other party to cover up for rejection, as you mentioned also -

"To explain your question, there here are the standard reasons a woman would give that insult:

1) To justify sleeping with someone and regretting it
2) that they guy did in fact have erectile dysfunction
3) to cover up that she had been rejected by the guy and that he said no, which does happen"


So. I don't fall into category number one, because it didn't happen. But the other two? Yes. In an equivalent way. However, you say that it is not an equivalent. I'm intrigued. Why? A lot of the things I write about are generated from my feelings, and I was trying to find a simile to express the indignation and hurt I felt at hearing this rumour. I cannot say outright that the feeling IS that of a male being subjected to the he couldn't get it up rumour because I won't presume to know what it is like. I'm just looking for similarities here.

I keep going back to my inbox to read the last paragraph of your last comment:
"To answer your message to me on the next post, home is where the heart is and I hoped you enjoyed your sleep while reading this. I wish you all the luck in the world in finding where ever fortune my see you settle. As long as you are surrounded by people that appreciate you for being nothing but yourself, then you are home."

It's a truly gorgeous answer to my question, and I thank you for it. You might be a little cutting and opinionated at times, Anonymous, but I think I like you. Stick around, and I hope that someday we will be able to be on equal terms and address each other by name, as I'd like to thank you personally for those words.

Cheers,
Vic

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What is home?

As I pack my life into boxes with labels, I'm losing my head. This is real.

I'm preparing to hit the road with a suitcase and a swag.

That means no daily idea of home, or not in the traditional I just want to get home to my own nice comfy bed sense.

It brings me to thinking... What is home anyway?* Define home.

*Dear Anonymous commenter from the previous post: I would appreciate your insight on this one too. In fact, why don't you write a lecture series on it? I'd be more than happy to fall asleep during it for you. Or maybe I should call that passing out - the difference appears to be a little unclear these days.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

McSeediness revisited

Way way back in the beginning of the year...

It was a seedy friday night at the main drinking sludgefest pub of the time. I was picked up by a girl and went home with her. I'm pretty backward when it comes to these sort of things - it was the first and only time I've ever gone home with somebody to their place before on the first meeting. When I got there I thought, Vic, is this really what you want to do? Shag a random person you don't know? In their house? So I said sorry, I don't want to do this. And went to sleep.

Only now do I hear rumour that people were told that I passed out. Not that I said no thankyou.

Is this the lesbian equivalent to girls saying that the guy they picked up couldn't get it up?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Gaydar moments

Gayman has a theory that all dykes walk the same. They have a walk. I can't describe how it's different, but it is. Now, I didn't entirely agree. I still don't, but the idea has merit.

We were both out on a food gathering mission to the local supermarket, driving, when I spotted a girl on the footpath. My immediate thought was she walks like a dyke if ever I saw it... Checking out her face as I went past I confirmed that I knew her and yes indeed she's a dyke. Score one for Gayman.

Last Friday I was taking random roadside pictures of wool bales in another town, dressed in my usual jeans and collect-a-set sports top, when I heard a yell from a car - VIC!! My friend in the car pulled over and let me in on her thought process in idetifying me:

Well that's a dyke if ever I saw one.
That's a dyke with a camera.
I know a dyke with a camera, Vic's a dyke with a camera.
Hang on, that IS Vic.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

As if I needed an excuse to go to the pub.

Note to all prospective organisers of small town Christmas Carol events:

If you feel the need to display a manger with live animals in it, make sure the fence is high enough that the goat cannot escape. Or forget about having a goat in the first place. Even better, forget the manger.

It is summer. Storms do not give warning in the morning that they will be approaching rapidly in the evening. Electricity and water mix extremely well, I've heard. Maybe a marquee of some description next year?

If you are going to bus an entire brass band from a town an hour's drive away and then cancel the second the band arrives, making them turn back the way they came, perhaps it would be good to suggest that the entire band travel together in order to avoid any jealousy issues. The two of us who got there by our own means had a brilliant time at the pub on the way home.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

PhotoHunt: Long

The topic for this week's PhotoHunt is long, which I found incredibly difficult to ind a subject for. I like to do an opposite as well, which was much easier, since I seem to cop a lot of flack about being a short little tyke, or pixie as some like to refer to me.

LONG




My bass guitar - long neck and long strings to go with it.


NOT LONG (Vic)




A warped perspective shot with my tall friend Icepick.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Tradition

Every year I have spent Christmas with my parents in the house they have had for all of my life. Every year except for the last. We still had one, it was just postponed until later in January.

There can be a lot of comfort in the familiar. Every year there are the same ornaments we hung as children on the tree that seemed so huge back then. We each have our favourites, and mine have always been my grandmother's old teardrop glass balls. The silvering is spotting and fading in them now, and after a few unfortunate breakages I think there is only one surviving member of the set.

The tree itself is a classic. My parents have never believed in boxed, plastic Christmas trees. I can hear my mother now, with a tone of finality in her proper voice - "No, we'll have a real tree, thankyou." It's interesting to think about her definition of what a real tree is. They won't buy a farm-grown, brushy, filled out tree. No, that's too expensive where there's an alternative. Instead we help out Dad's golf game by going to the local golf course, selecting a prospectively threatening tree, and chopping it down on the sly. He'll come home after a round and say "Well, there's this one over on the eleventh that I've been keeping an eye on. When do you want the tree?" Problem is, they're scraggly bush-grown trees from a not particularly lush or well-watered course, so you get saggy needles and really thin branches. We have to tie the top to the architrave to keep the whole thing upright.

I helped out with the last few tree-fetching expeditions. Picture this: Vic sawing through the top half of a scraggly bush pine (it was a bit big to fit the whole thing in the loungeroom, but the top was a half-decent shape) until the satisfying crack! brings it crashing down. Crashing down, disturbing a wasp nest. Picture Vic, saw in hand, bounding in a frantic attempt at self-preservation through waist high grass and one extremely well-camouflaged drainage ditch toward the safety of the car. Eventually I had get my courage back enough to venture back to drag it over to the car, strap it on the roofracks and drive it home.

The day itself is usually bastard hot and humid so all you can do all day is sit around, feeling like you shouldn't have had so much fried ham and eggnog for breakfast, and wishing the sweat would stop rolling off your eyebrows into the corner of your eyes.

Every year. Same house, same traditions. I stated earlier that there can be comfort in the familiar. To a certain extent there is, but I feel like an outsider to my family now. I don't feel that I belong there any more, and the tradition has become oppressive. Since the family Christmas was postponed last year I had the opportunity to not go home, and spend the day with my friends instead. I felt free, liberated.

This year I will go home for I hope the last time. I am not a vagrant in my life who has to float back home for family support. I'll build my own Christmas traditions.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Half-Nekkid Thursday



I have a girly side. I just doesn't get out much.

After eighteen months of wearing chest-flattening crop top sports bras and men's shirts with ties, I bought a women's dress shirt. Which needed a bra to pull it off.

Then I bought a second one.

Scarily, I am coveting a sparly silver one as well. (Gayman said no when I showed it to him. I might buy it on the sly.)

I've been apathetic and not happy with myself lately. I go through cycles of apathy and usually at this stage of the cycle I realise what a major part of the problem is. My hair is too long and my eyebrows have not been waxed for a while. I do not feel in control of myself because outwardly I don't appear it.

Action time: I am hitting the salon today for colour, cut and wax.

There you have it. Vic is a girl sometimes. Happy?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Weekend Adventures: Take Two

I talked earlier today about going away beer wenching for some friends in a band on the past weekend. Beer wenching involves me being offical photographer for the band, giving me free roam of whatever function they're at... but mostly I zip about dragging fresh beer back for the guys in the brass section. Not to mention beer for myself in the process. Kind of a one for you, one for me deal.





I've been getting right into taking pictures of musicians. I know music, and I know these people. I've yet to have the opportunity to experiment with musicians that I don't know well - live music is rare in this town. But I will soon, when I leave.



Because the weekend held their last two gigs together, I set about trying to capture as much as I could. I was lying on the floor underneath the snare drum poking my lens up at the drummer for a while, I was hiding behind amps taking perspective shots, hell I was all over the place. I ended up resorting mainly to black and white shots because the colours in the lighting were shifting too quickly. Stupid autoflasher crap. Those things should be banned. Also there was no front lighting - which meant the night was great for silhouettes and profile shots, but not much else.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Weekend Adventures

I travelled away to Inverell with a covers band last weekend, not playing this time, but being a beer wench for my mates in the band as well as a photographer. I love the music they play (who could go past Long Train Running with a couple of brass players thrown into the mix?) and I always have a good time watching and knocking back a few beers with them. They're splitting, so the weekend just past held their last two gigs. Not a chance I would miss out on that, with my newly found love of photographing musicians. Okay... as well as indulging my long-standing love affair with beer.

That takes care of the nights. During the day I got a chance to wander around looking for weird stuff.

At a local carnival:



Oooh looky! It's a cheese grater crossed with a Dalek!

And then we have - from the same carnival - drumroll, please... The World's Strongest Plastic Chair!
(The guy owns the carnival, which explains a lot. Imagine far too many years on a diet of Pluto Pups and soggy hot chips.)



I came across a childcare centre's brilliant way to keep the kids out of the shed, and a really cool use for water towers - they were converted into office space for a business.







Oh, and somewhere along the way, I discovered the lure of religion.

And then, on an interesting quest down a side alley:



And yes, I plan to talk about the nights with the band tomorrow.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Messages:

I often write here about wanting a penis. Well it appears that I don't need one at all, because apparently I am one!!! It said so in the dew on my car windscreen. Aren't I lucky?

Fuck, I don't even feel any different.

The person who decided to write this with their finger on my vehicle's windscreen was told to get off the property a month ago, otherwise I would get the Police involved. Zedmeister, I recognise your writing, and I find it particularly hilarious that you had to wait until I was away for the weekend to have the guts to trespass and essentially commit an act of vandalism.

And let's get to the other part, the bit that has had me laughing all day:

your a dick

Get back in the classroom, bitch.

Your is the possessive pronoun form. This form is used to express that something belongs to "you". For example, Your graffiti is shithouse.
You're is used as the contraction for you are. For example, You're going to be removed from the property if you ever set foot on it again.

Next time that you want to leave a message for me on my car, Zedmeister, I would advise that you use the correct form you are (or the contraction you're) if you want me to pay attention to your message. I've been a little distracted by the idiocy of it all to take it seriously.

Better luck next time.

Monday Melee

Dammit.
It's the Monday Melee.
I have to appear to be intelligent.
Dammit.
I'll have to pretend I haven't spent the entire weekend away, drinking, dancing and generally having a ball.
Dammit.



More about that tomorrow. Hell, possibly the entire week.

1. The Misanthtropic: Name something you absolutely hate.
My neck is a beetroot roasted centre of absolute torture.
The sun was actually out.
I was in it for a long time.
I forgot what that felt like.

2. The Meretricious: Expose something or someone that’s phony, fraudulent or bogus.
Forgive me father, for I have sinned.
I used stock photos from the beggining of the month for Saturday's PhotoHunt post.
I raise my beer in penance.

3. The Malcontent: Name something you’re unhappy with.
Have you ever opened up the cupboard where you've stored the fishing rods and discovered the fishing line has metamorphosed into the rats nest from hell? You know what it means when you discover it? You aren't going fishing this weekend. You give up on the idea with the complete shits.

4. The Meritorious: Give someone credit for something and name it if you can.
My golf buddy from Saturday for putting up with the fact that I hadn't played in over a year and I suck at the game anyway. He patiently watched me take twelve shots to evict myself from a bunker and didn't mind the swearing at all.

5. The Mirror: See something good about yourself and name it.
I don't wear rings unless I have a special meaning for them, and only ever wear one at a time - or none at all, as has been the case mostly.
I like the look of my left ring finger with the ring I bought on it.

6. The Make-Believe: Name something you wish for.
To get past Christmas, where I will be free.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

PhotoHunt Take Two: Red Means Danger

There’s two danger stories I clearly remember from my childhood. Both of them are associated with red, in a way. I came across both on the same day a week ago, and had the opportunity to photograph them.

The first… I was four years old and we were visiting a friend of my parents’ in Sydney. They had a kind of basement area that we got to stay in, so it was dark and dingy and a little scary. On their fridge was a spider identification and warning poster. My sister and I were told very firmly to watch out for the Sydney Funnelweb, and were shown what it looked like on the poster. That’s not what caught my attention. All the spider drawings on the poster were black, except for the last one. It had a slash of red down the abdomen - the Redback spider of tacky Aussie bush song fame. According to the song, it likes toilet seats.

Somehow I associated the fear of being told to avoid the Funnelweb no matter what with the Redback instead. That fascinating and awful red stripe caught my fear and held it.

They still strike fear into me. Any other spider? It can meet a simple death with a flip of the shoe. Not a problem. The Redback? That fear and morbid fascination cause me to stare in horror and freeze.

We had a batch of local pumpkins delivered to the veggie shop I work in a while back. They were infested with Redbacks and I didn’t know about it. I busily gathered a bunch of these pumpkins in my arms and hauled them into the prep room to cut into wedges for the shop display. Only when I raised the knife to punch through the first one did I discover a happy little family of Redbacks gathered around the stem end. Oh shit.

Yes. My workmate at the time discovered that I have a terrifying weakness. The man thought he’d have some fun and get one of these spiders on the end of a knife, pointing it at me. I was backed into a corner and shaking with a mixture of terror and anger, yelling at him to get it away from me.

The second… Red-bellied Black snakes. My family lived on a river, in a somewhat rural setting. There were tall reeds on the riverbank, and plenty of tall grass in the paddock next to the house. Snakes were a given.

The house was a big old one with a wide verandah that went all the way around to near my bedroom. My sister had built a “cubby-house” right outside my bedroom window, which consisted of some sort of frame, and blankets – from what I can remember. One day she was playing out there with her friends when I heard a scream. I was outside, too, and I knew what that scream meant.

Snake!

There was a Red-bellied Black snake in the cubby-house. Right outside my bedroom window.

We all bailed, in a hilarious manoeuvre (hilarious with the benefit of hindsight, of course), to an island of hope. The septic tank.

After that I had trouble with the idea of sleeping, just in case something came into my bed to snuggle up with me. I settled with having the bedding tucked right up to my chin, with all limbs within the covers at all times. A little Vic cocoon. I still worried about my head, but there wasn’t much I could do about that.

Another Red-bellied Black incident I had was on the riverbank itself at the family home. We had goats tethered about the place as part of some inventive laziness scheme of my father’s never to have to mow the lawns again. He was good at inventive laziness. The ideas he had were brilliant in principle, but execution was always a different matter. The goats had to be tethered because there wasn’t proper fencing. They got a star picket hammered into the ground with a rope on it, giving them a radius to eat everything within. So instead of mown lawns, we got crop circles. Of course, in the parental tradition of child labour, we were contracted into making sure that the animals had food and water daily.

I was pretty young. I had - hold back the laughter - pink gumboots on. Not bright happy playful pink, but dusty prissy boring pink, with white soles. I was standing down on the lower part of the riverbank with a bucket in my hand, feeding one of the goats when a snake came out of the reeds. I think it was a combination of good teaching and fear reaction that caused me to freeze on the spot. The good teaching said you know what to do when you see a snake? Don’t move! I can hear my father’s voice saying it to me even now. The fear reaction? I think part of the reason I froze was also a bit of a deer in the headlights situation. I just stared and went into lockdown.

So I stood there, watching with horror and morbid fascination as a Red-bellied Black slithered out of the reeds, and directly over the tips of my little pink gumboots.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

PhotoHunt: Red

I've done the last few PhotoHunt challenges paired with an opposite. Since today's is red I looked up what the opposite of red was, and came across several sources that told me it was either green, blue or the combination of both, cyan. Somewhere I can across a reference that white is considered to be an opposite to red at chinese weddings. Anyway, none of that inspired to go out and take a picture for the opposite pairing so it's not going to happen today.

RED


Friday, November 30, 2007

Wannabe chef requires new space:

Right now I am cooking. I have a green curry on the go and my laptop in the kitchen with me, pumping out my favourite grooves while I keep half an eye on dinner-to-be. There's a beer within reach at all times and I should be in my element.

However, I hate my kitchen. With a passion. In a few weeks it will not be mine any more and somebody else's headache of no space and terrible seventies-print tiling (not to mention the curtains). Somebody else can deal with the fact that it isn't much bigger than a toilet cubicle. Hopefully that somebody else will also live with two other people and know that if you want this kitchen to be clean, you're going to have to wash up three times daily. I can't wait to get another. The problem here is that I will be utterly kitchenless for I have no idea how long. I'll be camping, travelling and staying in other people's houses until I decide to settle down somewhere again.

In the meantime, I can dream.

What does my ideal kitchen contain?

Stainless steel. Plenty of it. Appliances, splashbacks, the rangehood. You name it. That stuff is sexier than an freshly vacuumed onion display. If I could move the prep area from the veggie shop into my new kitchen and kit it out, I would.

Knives. Not just pokey little housewifey knives. I want the big fuckoff knives that feel like you're holding something real and effective to chop with. On a magnetic strip, with a steel hanging next to them because using a freshly sharpened knife is even more exciting than the sight of stainless steel. Or the removal of onion skins.

An island. I want to look up and have a view when I'm in the kitchen, possibly have some friends around that I can chat to while I'm making dinner rather than alienate them in the loungeroom while I disappear and do my stuff. I also think that you appreciate a meal so much more when you're involved in it in some way, whether it is helping, or just watching. That's so much better than just having a plate slapped in front of you.

A kitchen garden. This isn't necessarily in the kitchen, but I'd like to be able to see it from the kitchen, and have easy access to it. In the house before this one, I had a grape vine and a fig tree right outside the window. I watched the fruit mature through seeing it daily as I made my morning coffee, talking to the figs - hell, buddy you're getting bigger. Keep it up - and marvelling in the greenness of it all. My garden will have fresh herbs, garlic and a bunch of vegetables. The corn I grow won't even make it in the door, and neither will half the beans or snow peas - so maybe the outdoor garden can be classed as a kitchen in itself...

I think that's about it. The rest is just icing.

So what do you need for an ideal kitchen?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Half-Nekkid Thursday

McDirtiness


Take one look at the sign and you just know it's going to be all wrong inside.

One: It's red.

Two: It has no nuts. It isn't a bull, it's a steer.

Come humour me. Let's take a tour.

This was once the Club Hotel. It used to be populated by dirty, grumpy old men who spent all day betting on the horses and stared at you when you walked in the door, as if this was their loungeroom and you were invading it. Every table would have scrunched up TAB tickets on it and an ashtray with one butt in it. I remember the lady who ran it then. No wonder these guys felt like they were at home - she was a crotchety old coot just like them. I used to sell her crumbed cutlets once a week when I worked at the butchery. In three years of seeing her regularly I did not once see her smile.

It moved up in the world, breifly, when another publican took over. There was enough space in the back room to squeeze a band in between the pool tables and have about fifteen people on the dancefloor. I played there a few times. Nothing spectacular - in fact the only thing I really recall about it was that the carpark was the home of a family of Potholes From Hell that loomed up in the headlights like bottomless pits.

And then it was closed. No more. It was bought out by somebody who, like every other bastard these days, decided it was a brilliant idea to buy an old pub, rip the guts out and make it into something that is trying to be trendy. Instead of a counter lunch for seven bucks, you get cuisine from a top chef and pay twenty-three dollars for a couple of stalks on a plate.

Gut it they did. The entire pub, bar the front wall, got knocked down. The front wall had to stay because it was heritage listed. Not the entire thing. That cracks me up no end. Only the front wall was heritage listed. The rest of it, after rebuilding, is a travesty of trying to be sauve and modern that ends up in flat concrete walls creating a sound box that is deafening if you get more than five people talking at once.

On entry, you're funneled straight into the line-up at the bar. I've fought my way through it many times. The drink of choice here tends to be Smirnoff Double Black (premixed double shot vodka) or Pulse (energy drink laced with vodka). That says it all. These things go down like lollywater and it gets very messy very quickly. Especially when you dump a busload of barely legal twits from one of the uni colleges into the fray.

There's a jukebox. No DJ. Just a jukebox that goes on autoplay and a dancefloor the size of a shoebox. Everybody crams onto it and attempts to fight for their space. Mostly, I groove on the edge of it, or just give up and groove outside in the smoker's pen. Why do I go here? Sadly, there's only three places in town with late licences. One is usually dead, the other is a little too redneck for my safe comfort levels. So it's this one.

But let's move on with the tour to the final destination.

The toilets.

If you're a bloke you have the profound pleasure of pissing on a red bull (ahem, steer). In a brilliant design concept, they've replaced the normal stainless steel trough with a painted bull (steer) on the wall faced over with perspex. (Yes, I have been in there myself). What happens when it's wet? The water turns it into a mirror.

Now, if you're female... Well. You might be one of those idiots that decides to leave an empty Pulse can in the toilet bowl. Oh gee. That's a good place to put it. You might be one of those drunken young twits being held up by her friend while you vomit because those half dozen Pulse cans you've had in the last hour because some guy who wants to lay you is shoving them down your throat, those drinks have sent you past active and hyperactive and into hypervomitrous. You might be like me and just be hoping to get in and out of there as quickly as you can, trying to keep your pants out of whatever liquid happens to splashed about the place while you're at it.

Or, you might be there because some local lesbian slut is intending to fuck you.

McDirtiness.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dress Shop Hell

I drive past a formal wear shop every day. They change the dresses in their display weekly, so I'm always checking out what's on display. Not for me, mostly. But because I'd like to imagine somebody else in those dresses. I broke the "not for me" ruling a few days ago.

Gayman and I, armed with a camera and a lie, walked into the most unfamiliar territory I have ever been in. There was fluff. There were sequins and shiny things. There were pointy pointy shoes and my mind was screaming to run for shelter. But I had a project.

Hi, I've got a formal dinner dancey thing to go to in January. So what we thought that I'd try on a few different things, and take some photos so we can go home and show the options to my partner.

So do you want a cocktail dress or a gown?

I dunno?

She looks at me in my jeans and t-shirt with bare feet, looks up and down and says:

Well a cocktail dress would probably reach your toes anyway.

It ends up that Gayman runs a few dresses in to me, taking a few sneaky little shots in the changeroom*.

Try this.
And this.



Until I decided that no, I was not cut out for this at all.

*Apologies for the poor quality, but I was not parading in public for a decent shot.

Oh, and the dark blue thing? It's the skirt part of something with a waistcoaty bit. It just reaches up to my neck anyway.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Challenge and Intrigue


"Take a picture of something you find intrigueing and write about why."
I put a challenge on the table, and then I was stuffed. I can't make a challenge without doing it myself - that would be a little unfair.

I found myself asking people I knew for help. Define intrigueing? What would you find intriguing? I googled it, possibly in a vain hope that the age of too much freely available useless information might be able to assist me. Instead I went onto a run of useless linking and wasted an hour of possible photo hunting time. The day was wasting.

There's plenty of things I find interesting or visually appealing enough to capture as a photograph. I find patterns in industry appealing. I find patterns in nature appealing. Look through my backlog of shots and you'll find a shitload of trees. In particular dead trees. And telegraph poles. I've just lately started to realise that unless you're a botanist, trees are cool for a few shots and then you're over it. I need a record of my people, as well as my places. This is what I find intrigueing lately. Faces, detail, personality.



A funny thing happens when you point a camera at a person. They try to hide. Or pose, if they're extroverted. Or be a dickhead, if they are somebody like me who is too lazy to hide. I've lost count of how many shots there are with me giving the finger. I've started trying to find the people, but not always the smiling for the camera people. I want the bored person, the pensive person, the captivated person and the contented person. The flash of a genuine smile. The reality.




These are my friends, people I can drag along on random trips to nowhere because I have a car and they don't. Come on. We're going somewhere. Where? Dunno. People who are happy to hop on into the car and waste an afternoon with no set destination. Who will find something amusing no matter what. These are my people. Real people.

The Monday Melee

And here we have yet another Monday Melee. Where the hell did last week go?

1. The Misanthtropic: Name something you absolutely hate.
There's a few people in this town who I have just snapped with. When I snap it means that's it. Come near me and it is wordless anger. I will speak if spoken to, but I won't say a word otherwise. There's a few reasons for this, the first and foremost being that I have far better things to waste my time on that take precedence over me talking to them. It also betrays my anger. More than likely I won't unleash the torrent of abuse I'd love to direct at these people - I will be nice and therefore betray my actual feelings. I hate the anger.

2. The Meretricious: Expose something or someone that’s phony, fraudulent or bogus.
Just plain bogus is the iTunes random selection. Some days it is brilliant, intuitive. I can throw on the music while I'm cooking and have just the right music, song after song. Here's the bogus bit: some days it is utter crap, and gravitates to the same utter crap. No, I am not in the mood for Steve Reich. Skip. Dammit, there's another. Skip. Ligeti. Skip. John Adams. Not while I'm chopping vegetables. Bogus.

3. The Malcontent: Name something you’re unhappy with.
I want to see more art. I'm sick of the stupid Rhinocerous at the art gallery and the mouldy doughnut bridge gives me the shits. Bring it on. I can't wait to move - I've got my eyes open.

4. The Meritorious: Give someone credit for something and name it if you can.
The Hugnry Espressohead and Gayman for accompanying me on a photography mission that dragged them past snakes, spiders and through muddy paddocks in search of oddities and new perspectives. It was a hell of a trek but they seemed happy to come along.

5. The Mirror: See something good about yourself and name it.
I am anal retentive when it comes to packing boxes. Why is this good? My life will be packed away, categorised and neat and stored within the smallest amount of space possible, ready to be accessed when I next need to access it.

6. The Make-Believe: Name something you wish for.
To be gagged and blindfolded, tied to the bedhead by my wrists....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Photohunt: Hot

It's my third PhotoHunt and I'm already starting to fall behind. I was supposed to do this yesterday, however stuff got in the way and suddenly it was Saturday night - time for drinking with friends.

Hot




This is sugar cane fire. Soon to be outlawed, they've been a feature of the area I grew up in all my life. During the harvest, the farmers burn off the plots of cane the night before harvest in order to get rid of all the rubbishy bits and just leave the cane stalks. They go up in huge flaming, crackling, roaring raw beauty.

NOT Hot




This is from my home, December 21st last year. Four days before Christmas. The problem here is that this is Australia. It is supposed to be summer and stinking hot. This picture is the aftermath of a hailstorm that stripped every tree and decimated the entire east side of my home town. The ice covered the ground for days, and the cold in my house was worse than winter due to the fact that I had no roof in one section.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Give thanks?

"Only a few breeding companies now supply most turkeys reared worldwide - British United Turkeys, Nicholas and Hybrid Turkeys. Reproduction in today’s turkey industry is by artificial insemination (AI). The modern turkey, like the broiler chicken, has been genetically selected to put on weight twice as fast as its counterpart in the wild. Now, male turkeys are too broad-breasted to mate naturally. In the wild, the turkey can fly up to speeds of 50mph, yet the modern male farmed variety cannot fly. Breeding turkeys can weigh as much as an 8-9 year old child."

So, male turkeys can't do the deed any more. The demand for big meat-laden turkeys has caused the ability to reproduce to be bred out of the bird by humans. Their chests are so big that they cannot mount the female. So how do they do it?

2-3 times a week the male turkey, the tom, is milked for his semen. This is done by a human worker who basically masturbates the bird and then sucks the cum into a syringe with a vacuum pump. After that the hens have to be inseminated at the rate of one hen every 12 seconds - making for fast, rough handling. This happens once a week for more than a year. Here's a description from a worker:

"Once you have grabbed her with one hand, you flop her down chest first on the edge of the pit with the tail end sticking up. You put your free hand over the vent and tail and pull the rump feathers upward. At the same time, you pull the hand holding the feet downward, thus 'breaking' the hen so that her rear is straight up and her vent open. The inseminator sticks his thumb right under the vent and pushes, which opens it further until the oviduct is exposed. Into this, he inserts a straw of semen connected to the end of a tube from an air compressor and pulls a trigger, releasing a shot of compressed air that blows the semen solution from the straw and into the hen's oviduct. Then you let go of the hen and she flops away."

We humans are fucked up. Our demand for the product allows us to forget the process and its impact.

The only thanks I will say is No, thanks.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Half-Nekkid Thursday

I will be okay.

Last night I ate Gayman's dinner.
I ate chocolate, too.
Gayman cooked me more dinner.
I munched my way through the last of a bag of corn chips.
I was still hungry.
Not good. Notgoodnotgoodnotgood.

Today I feel sick to the stomach.

My breath catches in my chest before I get it.
Stop. Breathe out, try again.

I look at my hands as I am working and they are pale and shaking.
Dammit.
Not good.


The image that occurs in stress situations lately - the knife in the side of my throat - is becoming more clear, more defined. What was once hazy flashes is gaining solidarity.
At least it is better than the one in the chest you used to have, Vic.

I say goodbye to some of my most favourite students today. I should be excited about moving on... but I am so scared about facing this today that I want to curl up in a mound of bedding and cry myself back to sleep. I want to be held, more than anything.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Exhaustion: It's only Tuesday


Signs that Vic is nearly asleep:

Head on an angle, only to the right. My head never droops to the left when I’m exhausted.

Eyes half closed, but more on the right also.

When I attempt to smile, the right side is more responsive than the rest.

When I stand up, I appear to be more drunk than I was on Saturday night.


Three hours to go in a fourteen hour day. That means six more students and possibly three caffiene hits. If anybody can make sense out of me after that it will be a miracle.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Standing on the edge


Yesterday I stood on the edge of a rock at the beach and looked down past my toes to the waves below me. I looked down, past the still painted toenails that are a sadly fading physical reminder to me of the new world I seem to have landed in, that I have embraced and never want to let go. I looked down past those toes into the waves that swirled and crashed below.

Over the past few weeks I have known happiness, anger, sadness, excitement and uncertainty all contributing to - and also being a product of - my decision to leave the town I have spent the last eleven years in. This is the town I came to boarding school for and never left. Fear has been the most prominent emotion in the mixture inside my mind. I'm scared that once I leave the saftey net of Armidale that I will not be able to make it. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to self-confidence. Don't bother cutting me down, I already did that on my own, thankyou.

Then I spend my entire weekend in bliss. I meet new people who I like, I see new friends who are family and I see love that will only grow. I look down at those waves beneath my toes and I think bring it on! Bring on this world. I want to feel alive again. Go ahead! Crash against the rocks, splash me and wake me up even more to this place.

Bring on the world. I got the girl. She's there, watching me as I challenge the waves, and as I turn to her I'm smiling. I've got my eyes open, I've got nothing to lose and everything to see.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

PhotoHunt: I love __________

This week's PhotoHunt gets personal with something I love and determine to be necessary part of me, as well as my AntiPhotoHunt twist - the opposite.

I LOVE _______



I love water, and lots of it.


I DO NOT LOVE ________




This one need not make sense to anybody but me. Boxes and arses should never mix.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Quote of the Day

Gayman, offering to wheel a menstrual cramping whingeing Vic around the supermarket in a shopping trolley while we grabbed a few things:

Honey, if it buckles and makes a funny noise, hop out because you're a fat cunt.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Half-Nekkid Thursday

Fuck your dress code

A woman came into the fruit shop I work in this morning. She's a regular customer, but I've always viewed her as a bit of a social weirdo. She has difficulty speaking, and always appears taken aback when I ask her how she is.

Today I was wearing something different to the unnoficial uniform of black collared polo shirt. This woman, normally quiet, decided to point out that she liked my blouse. I thanked her, but it started me thinking - why? This is probably an innocent comment from a socially awkward lady, but I have known others in the past who consciously try to nurture me into dressing in a more feminine way. They tell me things like hey you look good like that and you should dress that way more often. I go out in something vaguely feminine and suddenly it's a trait in me that has to be nurtured, like there's a glimmer of hope for my poor poor misguided soul.

Why? Why should I dress that way more often? I don't like to. It is very rare that I will dress in a feminine way and like it. Sometimes I will, for something special - as much as somebody might keep that tuxedo in the back of the cupboard and pull it out every now and then, for something special. I put on jeans and a collared shirt and to me, I look like Vic. I'm comfortable. I am not a being who has strayed of the path and needs to be retrieved. Expressing masculinity is not a bad thing. It is not an error in my ways. It is simply the best way for me to feel comfortable as Vic. It seems that because I possess the bits that define me as female I'm expected to behave within some socially defined set of parameters for that gender.

I am not a rescue case from the "dark side" of masculinity.
I have fought so fucking hard to accept myself and allow myself to express who I am externally. I've fought through all those layers of social expectation that have been woven into my life since birth.
I don't to fight any longer, I just want to be me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Raised eyebrow moments.

I take fruit to work when I teach at the private boys' boarding school. I'm there three days a week, so usually I've got some sort of goodness from my morning vege shop job stashed away in the staffroom fridge. Whatever I see that is appetising while stocking the shelves of a morning, I'll grab to munch on later in the day. Not only that, but I'll offer it around to the other staff. I feel rude to be eating around the other staff and not offering any - just like I feel it is rude to just waltz in and make a coffee without offering any around.

So I waltz into the staffroom in this afternoon, and another female music teacher is sitting in there already. She's well older than me and looks a bit prudish, but looks can be decieving, right? (bear in mind that I look like a teenage boy a lot of the time). I decide I'll break the silence by reaching into the fridge, grabbing my fresh produce of the day and offering her some.

My fresh produce to day... Dates.

Wanna date? is not a good icebreaker.

Retreat!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Monday Melee

Ho hum.
Today the return of the weekly Monday Melee signifies that I am one week closer to blowing out of this arsehole town. Celebration is in order!

1. The Misanthropic: Name something you absolutely hate.
Christmas Carols. The brass band I'm with plays them as part of the Christmas cheer fundraising efforts. Just before Christmas I think it is a fantastic thing - the band actually does a "pub crawl" where we trek around to all the different local pubs and play carols on a Friday night. But that's just before Christmas. The band had to play carols at a fete on the weekend just gone. Yuck. That slots in with all the falseties and commercialism that goes with Christmas and annoys the absolute hell out of me.

2. The Meretricious: Expose something or someone that’s phony, fraudulent or bogus.
Why is it that kids are afraid to admit that they don't understand a concept to me during a lesson? In a`one on one situation they feel the need to fake it and answser me yes when I ask do you get it? and consequently have to fake it week after week until I find the source of the problem? What the hell is happening in the school system that these kids feel they can't speak up and ask for help as it happens?

3. The Malcontent: Name something you’re unhappy with.
The speakers in my car are absolute crap. Since I have a tendency to groove out and sing at the top of my lungs while driving, I need a backing track at such a volume as to support (aka drown out) my vocal style. As soon as I push for a little volume, I get distortion.

4. The Meritorious: Give someone credit and name it if you can.
Honourary housemate IcePick for lifting my solid little form into the air every time he sees me. He seems so happy to see me that it just cause me to grin stupidly back at him.

5. The Mirror: See something good about yourself and name it.
I love to prepare a good meal and present it well, even if it is just for me. When I can be arsed to do it!

6. The Make-Believe: Name something you wish for.
The package of online shopping goodness I ordered to just hurry up and arrive, so that I can stop stressing that the little ADHD shit from next door is stealing the mail again.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Top of the list:

Scout has set a challenge: List some phrases that bring your blog up as the number one on a Google search.

Tough question.

Here's what I came up with:

floordrobe mountain
pink floyd week
the world should just fuck off
a crocodile ate my baby
you are the groover
(Thanks Dive)
What Is Happening In My Roof?

And there endeth the experiment.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

PhotoHunt: Flexible

I'm new to the PhotoHunt thing. It's kind of like Kate's ABC Wednesday challenge that she does brilliantly every week - but in this one there's a new word rather than a letter each week, and you have to photograph that word.

Of course, I like to be different, so my personal challenge is to post not only the PhotoHunt picture, but an Anti-PhotoHunt picture as well.

FLEXIBLE



This is a bag of fruit snakes, stretched out and tied together. Actually there were two bags before I started the project, but a few got lost in the way...

NOT FLEXIBLE*




*Note: This is a brilliant example of "K is for Karma" for all the tall people who find it necessary to make jokes regarding my height. May your heads snap off also.

The Special Ones

So I teach guitar. Mainly to kids. I'm teaching an exhausting amount of kids at the moment simply because there's no other teachers with vacancies in town and I can't say no. I can't bear the idea of sticking them on a waiting list for next year. But finally, I am saying no, by moving away at the end of this year. It's a tough decision, and loyalty to these students is the main reason I find it hard. Somewhere in there I've realised that I have to put my own well-being ahead of their learning progress, and I'm ready to go.

I was planning to write this post with a digression in this paragraph that I'm not actually loyal to all my students. That there are some that I really couldn't care less about. I sat here and listed them mentally, and sure I've got my favourites, but I must be in a far more positive mood today because I've found merits in them all. Even the ones who don't put effort in, I believe I just haven't cracked them yet. There's a way to influence each student positively, even if they don't keep at the instrument, and some kids... well, I just haven't found the way for them yet. It takes longer for me to figure them out, but it doesn't mean that I won't.

My favourites will be the ones I really miss. Mostly these kids are enthusiastic and dedicated. They express their personalties and feel comfortable enough around me to joke and laugh, but still get the work done. Before I leave them all I plan to write a description of each one for myself, so that I can look back and remember how much they've come to mean to me.

Today's post is inspired by a girl I taught yesterday. She is tiny. She's somewhere around the eight years old mark, but tiny for her age also. She sits there with her little red quarter size guitar and blows me away every week. She loves it so much that she comes back having done twice the amount of set work every week, but not in a half-arsed I want to get to the good stuff so I'll rush through this way. She does it all perfectly, with dedication.

Since she's so tiny, she can't touch the floor when she sits on the chair. I've experimented with a smaller chair for her, but basically she's in between chair heights and the higher one is better for her. The little smartie sits there and swings her legs for the entire lesson. What amazes me constantly is that she can swing her legs at a totally different tempo to whatever she is playing and it does not affect her at all. Seriously, she should take up the drums also. Polyrhythms would come naturally to her.

She asked me yesterday for a new "really good" peice to learn for her school talent show:
"I go in it every year - [this is only her third year at school]
- most people go in it for the lollies, but I don't like lollies. I give them away to my friends. I just go in it for the fun."

Oh hell, kiddo. You're one of those special ones that I really, really don't like losing.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

On sleep deprivation

I've been living in an alternate time zone when it comes to sleeping lately. My days have extended themselves into epic length, crossing at least three different phases of reality in their running.

Gayman lives in an alternate time zone. His sleeping patterns, I believe, have some relation to the phases of the moon. He's often still awake when I get up for work in the morning, but then his phase will eventually sync with reality as we know it and he will take a "normal" bedtime. Then he will go through a phase of being awake earlier and earlier than I am.

So the alternate time zone thing seems to be rubbing off on me. I have a major problem with that, though. I have to get up for work every morning. So I gets reset at 6am daily and I never really complete the phase. My nights are getting later and later, and the wear and tear does not cause me to sleep soundly, just exhaustively.

I've been experimenting with measure to counteract the effects of this phenomena and so far I can report the following approaches that do not work.

#1 - Trying a new pillow will leave you with sore shoulders and a screaming neck. Not only for the rest of the following day. This has the potential to last a few days, causing even more stress at work and a somewhat unhealthy addiction to the chalky goodness of those chewable muscle relaxant tablets....

#2 - Getting plastered enough to pass out into an immoveable state causes the next day to be a total wipeout. Gone. Along with the contents of the stomach. Gone. Along with the contents of the half glass that was sitting on the floor before I drunkenly knocked it over. Gone. Along with the packet of cigarettes I should have rationed myself on, but damn near chain-smoked instead.

#3 - Jerking off before sleep might ensure that you are smiling when you nod off, but by no means does it ensure that you will be smiling when you wake up and realise you have to work.

#4 - Taking your laptop to bed and bathing yourself in it's soothing white light will not cure the insomnial side of the alternate time zone affliction. Undoubtedly you will get caught up in some project editing photographs or have three different philosophical conversations with people on various chat programs, or just stare at your blog blankly and think of absolutely nothing to write.

So. Any other suggestions to beat the pattern?

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Monday Melee

It's sunny and warm. The school I work at today has closed their music department for activities. I have the day off, so stuff it. I'm going to knock this Monday Melee out of the way and go take pictures of something pretty.

1. The Misanthropic: Name something you absolutely hate.
Washing. Every time I turn around the floordrobe has turned into a mountain requiring safety equipment to scale.

2. The Meretricious: Expose something or someone that’s phony, fraudulent or bogus.
Ant-Rid. It does not rid the ants. They've invaded the kitchen... and the loungeroom. Lone stragglers can be found winding their way across the carpet. I'm sure they're just lost. But I want them ridded. Gone. And the stuff in the bottle that says it rids... It isn't doing the job.

3. The Malcontent: Name something you’re unhappy with.
Life would be so much easier if I was a bloke.

4. The Meritorious: Give someone credit and name it if you can.
The band I rehearsed with on Sunday for asking me to play with them. I walked into an unfamiliar situation at rehearsal and played well anyway. The gig this coming Saturday will be fun.

5. The Mirror: See something good about yourself and name it.
I can recognise the symptoms of a panic attack and call for help if need be.

6. The Make-Believe: Name something you wish for.
A man-style ring that fits properly.

Something positive for once

My good friend Quel sings with local band Cellardoor. Even though they are the people I had my latest Bass Diva explosion over, I went along to support their EP launch last Friday night. I took a camera so that I could take photos for Quel and spent the entire set experimenting with what I could get from on chairs, down on the floor, even coughing my way through cloudy shots in the fog from the smoke machine. I had an absolute ball with it. Here's my favourites.

Before it all begins:



The lead guitarist:




Stompboxes and leads:




Other parts of the band:








A small but dedicated crowd:





Finishing up:




If you click on the above link to the band's MySpace page, all the black and whites on there at the moment are mine. Check em' out.