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February 28, 2006


Despite recent comments to the contrary, my brother is 28 this year, because i'm turning 32. i know this because i was born in 1974 and it's 2006 this year.
Go arithmatic, go.

"btw" was posted by dogpossum on February 28, 2006 6:26 PM in the category people i know

not sure i want to go rollarskating, but you know.

I've just suddenly been caught by a strange [insert smartypants theory word here like 'existential' or 'postmodern' or whatever here] moment:

How does the touch pad on my laptop work? No, I mean really, how does it work? How does it know that I'm touching it?*

Meanwhile, back in the concrete, undertheorised, Pragmatic Feminist world:
today I had chuckguts. It started at 6.30am (which is more considerate than starting at, say 10pm and continuing on for 12 or so hours, a la Taswegia (do NOT eat at a restaurant called 'Blue Skies' in Hobart. It will make you vomit until you bust eyeball blood vessels)). It meant that I couldn't go to my first yoga private today, which I was quite looking forward to. It meant that today I couldn't eat the chochy we made last night (that's chocolate brownies to you - last night The Squeeze brought me a mug of milk and the hot chocolate powder in a moment of confusion. I guess it's kind of the same as a chocolate brownie and a glass of milk. There was also some comment about our old couch, but I forgot what exactly). I guess I could have eaten it, but I kind of like to keep my saturated fats/gross sugars in my body for more than, say... 3 minutes.

But I'm pretty much ok now, thanks. Not sure I want to go rollarskating, but you know.

*I want to make a joke about playing "I'm not touching you", but I can't. I can, however, make a mental note to make Clever and Witty Joke Entry about Dave's Riki massage joke some day soon. It makes us both laugh and laugh. Which is perhaps more an indication of how much time we've spent at home over the past couple of months, but I like to think it's because we're witty and also carefree and lighthearted.

"not sure i want to go rollarskating, but you know." was posted by dogpossum on February 28, 2006 6:09 PM in the category domesticity

February 24, 2006

i experiment with style

As my girth steadily decreases, it occurs to me that increasing my weekly exercise would make it possible for me to eat more.
I can think of nothing more perfect.

At the moment I do dancey practice at home twice a week for an hour. Step-step-triple-step, step-triple-step and very little else - so dull it's almost frightening. The dullness has not deterred Crinks from declaring - regularly - that she'd like to join me. I'd like to think that it's my scintillating personality that attracts her, but I'm actually sure that it's more a combination of extreme dance nerdery and a lack of daytime occupation. I say no to her pleas because I'm not sure I want anyone else to see me jiggling up and down like a fool, determined to keep my hips parallel and ankles strong. It's not even something I can share with The Squeeze.

Beyond that, I also go to yoga twice a week for an hour and a half, onesies and bubs. I love it dearly, have a smarting crush on my teacher (it's an alignment thing), and have discovered that my Ankles Are Weak. I dread the thought of being thought weak ankled, or having anyone notice my less-than-stable ankles, so I am working on them. Both my Down Dog and my 20s Charleston basic have improved imeasurably since making the ankle discovery.

I also social dance three times a fortnight, from 8.30 til 11.00 and 9.30 - 11.30 or thereabouts. I ride to dancing on Thursday nights (half an hour each way) and ride my bike everywhere. The new bike is truly Built for Speed. And I am increasingly looking as if I too were designed in a wind tunnel. So to speak.

On other fronts (no, that wasn't a clever way of moving on to further discussion of my physique), I DJed for the first time to a Melbourne audience. It seems I've completely reneged on my previous decision to abstain from DJing, and have suddenly decided I like it Very Much. The $25 for a 1.5 hour slot has in no way influenced my thinking, nor has the contribution it will make to my private yoga class next week.

And I am sure that my new interest in entertaining the swing dancing masses has absolutely not a thing to do with my new found love of the stage. New found in that the stifling stage fright of my teens has been replaced by a definite interest in standing in front of a large group of people and doing exactly as I like, sure that it is all about Me for anywhere between 5 and 95 minutes.
If I do seem in danger of becoming a crazed megolamaniac, limelight-grabbing glory hound, be sure to step in, will you?

To round off this week, it seems the Ps have discovered the previous post about their house and the included accusations of mental instability. I have not denied it. In response to my father's comment that "all our friends have said they like it" I could only respond: "all your friends are polite."
I'm sure he's now sure that I am the most conservative member of the family.
This does not mean that I am ashamed of my parents. It's far too late for that - I would never have survived adolescence if I was that delicate.

On the topic of familial decoration, my brother has acquired his first ink.
While he is 29 this year (4 years younger) I don't doubt that my father is still imagining he's 14 and somewhat in shock. I'm sure my mother, however, is secretly terribly excited and has already broadcast full details to all of Hobart, Brisvegas and now Melbourne. My father did concede that though he wasn't comfortable with the thought of the pain involved, he did think that it was a very nice piece of art. I will post photos as soon as they come to hand.

I, however, remain undecorated, and offer only this post as my contribution to the family's Experiments with Style.

"i experiment with style" was posted by dogpossum on February 24, 2006 9:12 PM in the category domesticity

February 19, 2006

hormones + tiredness = ideal butt for a joke

Returning home from dinner tonight, The Squeeze remarked that an indication of interest in the toilet on his part was sufficient to motivate me to a rush for the Facilities.
"That's because I'm Pavlov's Bladder."
Crinks, with a confused frown: "Is that like the ballerina?"

"hormones + tiredness = ideal butt for a joke" was posted by dogpossum on February 19, 2006 8:24 PM in the category people i know

February 18, 2006

planet pupulon

In the spirit of all things cute, I give you this comic.

"planet pupulon" was posted by dogpossum on February 18, 2006 10:15 PM in the category clicky

February 16, 2006

blue house

My parents have gone insane. Why did they think smurf-blue was a good idea? Well, at least it lends itself to creative gardening... You know how there are 'feature colours' in the pre-packaged colour packs at the paint shop? My parents tend to choose all of the feature colours - they don't waste their time with dull filler colours.

And yes, that's actually the front of their house. Mostly because the back is where the action is, with a wall of windows looking out onto these views:

mood #1: daylight over Mt Wellington and whatsit bridge

mood #2 pensive afternoon

mood #3: sunset. Yes, that's the real, genuine, actual colours of that evening. I have a million more, but you'd expire from boredom.

"blue house" was posted by dogpossum on February 16, 2006 1:58 PM in the category people i know

February 14, 2006

Kansas City soundtrack vol1

Kansas City: A Robert Altman Film - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack .
the first one because i have the second one

"Kansas City soundtrack vol1" was posted by dogpossum on February 14, 2006 7:43 PM in the category objects of desire

big joe turner's Boss Of The Blues

Big Joe Turner's Boss of the Blues

"big joe turner's Boss Of The Blues" was posted by dogpossum on February 14, 2006 2:56 PM in the category objects of desire

nuts about screwy music

I'm pretty keen on getting one of the three albums by The Charleston Chasers there on the stomp off records site.

Charleston - YEAH!

"nuts about screwy music" was posted by dogpossum on February 14, 2006 2:11 PM in the category objects of desire

February 6, 2006

the littler things

When at times the world seems just a little too irritating for words (like the times when the dress you've laboured over all day turns out just plain CRAP and you realise you're STUPID for using the WRONG type of fabric, or when the International Slapper Quota is exceded), it's nice to remember the little things.

Or the things that should be little but are actually strangely, Aardmanesquely giant...

"the littler things" was posted by dogpossum on February 6, 2006 10:08 AM in the category mood swings

February 2, 2006

brown. browner. brownest

Having my scholarship extension approved has resulted in an immediate downing of tools. Don't tell the Supes. No, I'm not telling off chauvinists in the shopping centre, though I did almost get into a fight with a guy in a big red car who nearly killed the cyclist in front on me on Sydney Rd last weekend.
Though I've exchanged keyboard for sewing machine.

I scampered out to Brotherhood* earlier this week to find a new couch to replace horrible old Brownie. Last time I was at Brotherhood I picked up Reddy (formerly a Brownie, as all good rental/sharehouse couches are) for about $20. Prior to that I picked up a nice three piece (also a Brownie), covered the cushions and all for $90 including nice fabric. This week they had nothing under $100 and I was a bit shocked. Goddamn teenage hipsters moving in the 'Wick and pushing up prices. Go back to Brunswick Street.

Yesterday, prompted by a late night drive-by on Sydney Rd near Bismi, I drop in to the Salvos and find us a new couch. $65 seems a bit much, but heck. It's a score. Only parts of it are brown. It is (was), for the most part, mushroom pink and a lovely velour (and a 3 seater). I then scooted down to Fabric Central further south on Sydney Rd and bought 8m of nice fabric which looked burgendy with goldy stripes. Got it home and The Squeeze decided it was a ghastly shade of brown. He is colour blind, so I ignored him. This morning, checking out the three cushions I covered last night (I am a couch cushion covering DEMON), I decided he might be right. Oh well. I'm hoping a couple of red and gold cushions (made from fabric from the sari fabric shop) will make it look like a hippy couch rather than a brown sharehouse couch. There are some bits upholstered in pink, but I'm considering covering them (either with a cover or getting jiggy with a staple gun). Either way, the pink matches the fabric so it's ok.

But the new couch is very nice. It's actually quite well made, and is comfortable. It feels soft, but has structure. The Squeeze declared that he liked the way his feet didn't touch the ground when he sat in it. A definite improvement on Brownie, where your knees were at chin height owing to the fucked up base.** I'm fairly sure he also liked the feel of the pink velour against his bare skin, but didn't mention it, seeing as how I'd probably be a bit short, considering the whole covering-cushions project.

I go back to the fabric shop to get the rest of the fabric today (which, by the way, was a great upholstery fabric for only $10 a metre - 140cm wide).

Right now the potato lady is driving past in her truck. She calls out "Potatoes, potatoes. Fresh and new". They come in from the farm and drive around Brunswick selling potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, grapes, melon, etc. All of the locals who'd troop out to haggle (this is the 'Wick - this is what we do. There's not much else for us stay-home-types*** to do otherwise) thought it was a bit pricey.

It was only a month or so ago I discovered they sold organic stuff. And today was the first time I'd heard them advertise that fact. Their sales have improved, but people still try to haggle.

*the charity shop on Brunswick Rd - Brotherhood of St Laurence
**Brownie now lives in the shed. Soon I will have to buy a couple of Bob Marley 'fabric posters', a couple of bottles of Orchy juice and take a bucket out there. Then, when I've lured in a few of those goddamn teenagers, I can start culling.
***mostly Greek widows, Italian poppas and phd students who're kind of cabin feverish and delight in long, complicated discussions with strangers. And haggling.

fyi: there is a Brunswick Street (in Fitzroy/Nth Fitzroy), a Brunswick Road (running perpendicular to Sydney Road, and pretty much the point at which Carlton Nth turns into Brunswick) and the suburb Brunswick (and Brunswick East, Brunswick North, Brunswick East). They're all in the same general part of Melbourne, just not in the same suburb. Think that's tricky? I catch a bus on Victoria St that runs east til it hits Victoria St which runs Nth/Sth. That's where I get off. It then crosses another Victoria St further Nth. None of these are the Victoria Pde or Victoria St which runs East/West across the top of the CBD from Nth Melbourne to Collingwood.

"brown. browner. brownest" was posted by dogpossum on February 2, 2006 9:24 AM in the category domesticity

What do people know about that Diary of a Geisha? Book or film.

I've avoided the book because it looked like soft porn.
The film previews look like CRAP: sort of a Woman's Day story about hookers in the Mysterious Orient.

Has anyone actually read the book?

"" was posted by dogpossum on February 2, 2006 9:16 AM in the category books

February 1, 2006



Cranky out-of-towner in the breakfast queue: "Is it crowded in here, or does this town have a lot of fat fucking people in it?"
Charlie Utter: "either that or some lethal combination of the two"

ianmcshane.jpgAl Swearengen
We are watching season 1 of Deadwood on DVD from the video shop at the moment, and I'm really enjoying it. Well, I don't know if enjoy is the proper word - it's dark, it's super-violent, every second word is cocksucker (or cunt), there's a lot of mud, a lot of drugs, a lot of whoring and no healthy personalities.
It does, however, have one of the most excellent scripts I've seen on telly for a while - I'm finding the late 19th century lingo pleeeasing, when I'm not dodging cusses. Excepting hoopleheads - we're liking the cuss hooplehead round here.

Deadwood is an American telly show set in the mythic Deadwood city from western lore. I have fond memories of Deadwood and sang every song from Calamity Jane I could remember* when we first starting watching the show. One episode later and I realised how innapropriate it was to sing about the joys of Deadwood city, as sung by an abstinant Calamity Jane.

The Squeeze isn't really enjoying Deadwood - it's dark and violent and depressing, though I've noticed that it lightened up after the first two episodes (the pilot?). There's still lots of nasty violence (seems you're likely to end up fed to pigs if you're not careful - particularly if you're the nasty bit of work Kristen Bell played one episode**), the women seem to be either dopefiends, whores, gimps, frighteningly ingnorant widows, con artists or some combination thereof.

ebfarnum.jpgE.B. Farnum
But I like it. I like the dialogue and I like the complicated relationships between the characters. I'm interested in the way the town 'has no law' and yet still has an equilibrium maintained by the 'upstanding' members of the community - the Gem's owner Al Swearengen, Cy Tulliver, the Hardware Boys (Bullock and Star), the unspeakably vile E.B. Farnum, etc etc etc. I'm interested in the development of Deadwood as a township, and of the USA as a federation of states.

doccochran.jpgDoc Cochran
I like the Doc Cochran's complexity - he's the most sympathetic and sensitive of the characters in Deadwood, though his sensitivity seems strange and excessive in this harsh landscape. He's not as attractive (this is him - he's the crazy science dood from Alien Resurrection) as Bullock, and while Bullock can be extremely, irrationally violent (NB the episode with the Indian dood, and the opening scene of season 1), he seems more appealing because he's better looking and cleaner than the Doc. Which is, of course, nuts, because the Doc is (as I've just said) the 'better' person.

sethbullock.jpgSeth Bullock
Bullock's attraction to the Widow Garret is the best demonstration of Bullock's dissatisfying nature - he's attracted to this selfish, self-obsessed woman who chooses to stay in Deadwood to pursue her gold mine's bounty, rather than taking the Metz child and Trixie to New York. Trixie is a whore from the Gem, Swearengen's 'woman', and with a nasty history of laudenum addiction. Her incipient relationship with the eminently sympathetic Sol Star is quashed by her comment "I don't want what I can't have", indicating the permience of class even in the 'lawless' Deadwood.

almagarret.jpg the Widow Alma Garret
The issue of class is dealt with in an interesting way by the program when Garret tries to send Trixie to New York by herself. Trixie cannot face a new life in a strange city by herself (as the Doc has to point out to ignorant Garret), but is keen to accompany Garrett to New York as a servant. Escaping Deadwood means escaping violence and regular beatings (ample of evidence of which is shown in the first episode and later, when Swearengen brutally knocks her down and stands on her neck to teach her a lesson for shooting a client who'd beat her nastily).
sophiametz.jpgSophie Metz
When the Widow Garret chooses to stay in Deadwood to manage her claim, rather than choosing a proxy, she commits the child Sophie Metz to a life Deadwood (she is the only other child we ever see onscreen beyond the Chinese quarter), and Trixie is forced to leave Garret's employ as a nanny and return to the Gem, Swearengen and whoreing.

solstar.jpgSol Star
Trixie's return to the Gem is made all the more blatant by her costume change - from 'respectable' women's clothing (the costume she wears when Sol first meets her) of dress, corset, petticoats, coat, shawls, etc etc, to 'whore' costume of undergarments. Trixie's character also changes as she returns to the Gem - she no longer smiles, she smokes more, she will not allow Sol to see her at work "like this", though his interest seems to overlook this issue. She also returns to Swearengen's bed, and we see her naked more than once. As Garrett's servant and companion, Trixie is never naked and her confidence and knowledge of things like laudenum addiction give her strength.
Trixie and Garret share an uneasy relationship - Trixie has a better rapport with the traumatised Metz girl, while Garret seems cold and unable to relate to people - bound by her tight, black silk dresses and high collars, impeded by her utter ignorance of the reality of people's lives in Deadwood, or outside her own priveleged class, despite her continual presence at her window looking out on the street - and that's another interesting thing.
The importance of looking and surveillance in Deadwood - characters are always observing each other, and we are invited into this voyeurism by sharing their line-of-sight and through scenes such as Farnum's 'free touch' from one of the whores at the Gem - she masturbates him in the main room and the spectacle is remarked upon by the observing Swearengen (and others).

Sex and whoring in Deadwood are not romanticised. There is a matter-of-factness about sex and the sex industry in Deadwood, and we often see women's naked or revealed bodies, from full-frontal nudity to exposed breasts. The women who work in the Gem are also ''revealed' and 'exposed' in the Doc's regular trips to care for their health (which includes vaginal examinations). While they are apparently 'comfortable' with their state of undress in the Saloon and on the street, there is a marked contrast made between the clothed bodies of Garret and the Madame Joanie at the 'better' quality Bella Union Saloon, and the revealed bodies of the Gem's whores.
There is also a distinction made between the 'gimp' Jewel and the other women she works with at the Gem - Jewel is not a whore but a 'char woman' (to use my nan's phrase for a cleaning woman) and is also physically crippled, hence her positioning as an 'undesirable body'.

Gem whores
I'm not sure how I feel about all these images of women. I'm inclined to the feeling that it's a complex representation of gender, where we don't see the madonna/whore binary where the madonna (Garret for the most part) is pure and virginal - she is not sympathetic and the whore (every other woman but Jewel) is evil.
cytolliver.jpgCy Tolliver
The female sex workers in Deadwood vary in character from the 'hooker with the heart of gold' Trixie, to the lesbian Joanie in a difficult and maschistic relationship with Cy which echoes Trixie's with Swearengen, but is perhaps more disturbing for its patina of 'civility'. The least sympathetic 'whore' character was the Veronica Mars character who dropped in briefly then was murdered - horrifically - by Cy for stealing. This female character, while there were suggestions of vulenerability, was bloodthirsty.

As I said, I'm not sure how I feel about these characters - I've watched about 11 episodes and there are lots of characters with a range of story lines. There's a lot of violence, a lot of unpleasant stuff (people shitting themselves, vomiting, pissing in public, having nasty sex, getting very ill, everpresent mud, disease, etc) which distracts me from much of the major character development.

If you get a chance to see it, and can handle the nastiness, tell me what you think.

*and that's quite a few, as I was in the musical at school and loved the songs.
** the veronica mars site says she had a recurring role on Deadwood, but unless they get her back in via flashbacks, a la Buffy or Angel, then there's very little chance that we'll be seeing any more of that character beyond the tattered remnants of her dress half-buried in the pig pen's mud down at Mr Wu's place.

"swearengen" was posted by dogpossum on February 1, 2006 10:26 AM in the category television