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November 30, 2006


I had a phenomenally bad time* with campus graphics at LaTrobe while getting the temporary binding on my thesis. So bad that I refuse to take my $$ there for my permanent binding.

How is the deal at UniMelb (I can't believe I'm asking that)?
Or at RMIT in the city?

I'm going by location, so...

*they misquoted me by $90 (!!) for the job, they 'lost' my thesis for a while after it was printed, they tried to send me across campus (quite a walk) to talk to the people over there when they screwed up. I said "I don't think so - you will be sending this to me here. I am getting angry now." They tried to charge me for a photocopy of their (screwed up) invoice. etc etc etc.
So I will not be going back there.

"incidentally..." was posted by dogpossum on November 30, 2006 5:10 PM in the category thesis

pathetic sicky bub posting

Ask me what I've done this week.
I've been lying in bed all day everyday since Monday. Sleeping, or drowning in goob. I am weak, pathetic.
But I've had the internet to keep me company. That and a few good books.

I have to get it together for the Canberra trip (if I have the Bad Ears, I'm not flying. No way).
But I've just discovered a good friend is doing a paper on dance in my session at the CSAA conf, and I'm keen to hear that and talk nerdy dance with her.
Plus the papers for the cultural transmission in dance seminar arrived, and I'm interested. I've heard they're also doing a workshop day. I'm pretending that will involve dancing of some sort (which is exciting, considering there are papers on capoeira, indian dance, contemporary dance...). But I bet it doesn't. Unless I'm still pretty crook, then it will definitely involve actually dancing.

Oh dilemma, dilemma.

I've also ditched tonight's set at CBD (thankfully) - I'm finding walking to the clothesline pretty difficult still. Man I HATE this stupid cold.

...and that's enough of that rubbish. I'm off to read something on paper.

"pathetic sicky bub posting" was posted by dogpossum on November 30, 2006 4:49 PM in the category domesticity

November 29, 2006

about as brunswick as you can get


"about as brunswick as you can get" was posted by dogpossum on November 29, 2006 8:02 PM in the category brunswick

blue goob

Aretha-Franklin-Preparing.jpgI closed the MLX6 weekend with a 'blues' set in the cafe. We had about 30 people in the room, the mood was mellow and people weren't quite ready to go home. Our last DJ had left, and if we wanted music, either Keith or I would have to play it. So I decided to play a 'blues' set that I really wanted to hear.
I favour 'dirty nanna' blues - heavy on the innuendo and also heavy on the puns and humour. Saucy, but light hearted. I also chose to keep the energy in the room higher, and didn't want it to descend into the super-slow, super-sexy blues stuff that can lead to a really saucy room and a really low-energy vibe.
I noticed that the crowd responded to the higher-energy stuff.

alberta.hunter.jpgThere were also quite a few non-blues dancers in the room who really wanted to talk and hang out rather than dance seriously, so I leant on the vocals and funner songs rather than deeply emotive stuff.
I also started out with a bit of Aretha so as to segue from the previous DJs' unswing emphasis. He and I actually traded songs for the first 4 or 6 songs - so imagine you can hear a few other tracks in there, after JB and before Aretha.

In retrospect, maybe I should have held off on the incredibly dirty lyrics (not explicit - just 100% double entendre). Especially with the Cow Cow Davenport, Alberta Hunter, Dinah Washington (Long John Blues) and Blu Lou Barker. But it wasn't an official set, and I wasn't getting paid. So I figured, I could do as I liked. Almost. I did make an effort to keep people dancing and keep the energy positive.

But here's the set list (title artist bpm year album):

Son Of A Preacher Man - Aretha Franklin - 77 Greatest Hits (Disc 1)
Please Please Please - James Brown - 74 - 1991 - Sex Machine
Amtrak Blues - Alberta Hunter - 95 - 1978 - Amtrak Blues
Back Water Blues - Dinah Washington with Belford Hendricks' Orchestra - 71 - 1957 - Ultimate Dinah Washington
Reckless Blues - Velma Middleton with Louis Armstrong and the All Stars - 88 - The Complete Decca Studio Recordings of Louis Armstrong and the All Stars (disc 06)
I Ain No Iceman - Cow Cow Davenport - 89 - History of the Blues (disc 2)
Long John Blues - Dinah Washington - 97 - 1948 - Dinah Washington:the Queen Sings - Disc 2 - Stairway to the Stars
I Feel Like Layin In Another Woman's Husband's Arms - Blu Lu Barker - 89 - 1946 - Don't You Feel My Leg: Apollo's Lady Blues Singers
Jail House Blues - Ella Fitzgerald - 63 - 1963 - These Are The Blues
Willow Weep For Me - Louis Armstrong - 90 - 1957 - Ella And Louis Again [MFSL]
Rocks In My Bed - Ella Fitzgerald - 68 - 1956 - Ella Fitzgerald Day Dream: Best Of The Duke Ellington Songbook
Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You - Billie Holiday - 64 - 2005 - The Complete Verve Studio Master Takes (disc 6)
Hamp's Salty Blues - Lionel Hampton and His Quartet - 86 - 1946 - Lionel Hampton Story 3: Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop
Slow Down Baby - Walter Brown with Jay McShann’s Kay-Cee Stompers - 73 - 1949 - Big Ben - Disc 4 - Stardust
West Side Baby - Dinah Washington - 89 - 22 Original Classics
My Handy Man Ain't Handy No More - Alberta Hunter - 76 - 1978 - Amtrak Blues
Resolution Blues - Cootie Williams and His Orchestra with Dinah Washington - 68 - 1947 - Dinah Washington:the Queen Sings - Disc 2 - Stairway to the Stars
Chittlin' Switch Blues - Slim and Slam - 103 - The Groove Juice Special (columbia)

"blue goob" was posted by dogpossum on November 29, 2006 6:54 PM in the category djing

a few preliminary mlx thoughts - djing

I've had a very busy week - from Wednesday last week til yesterday... well, let's count today as well.
Firstly, we had three lovely houseguests arrive on Wednesday evening, an arrival we celebrated with a fairly extensive barbeque dinner.
Thursday, the MLX began, with a volunteer meeting at 7.30pm, continuing with a free dance at our local venue CBD and rounding up with a gig at the Spiegeltent DJed by myself and Trev. From there the weekend continued at a frenetic pace (suddenly, I can't seem to spell that word). Our last guest departed this morning at 5am, and I've spent the last couple of days lying in bed trying to be well. I have caught that horrible cold again and am pretty well crook. It's a combination of overworking the last semester and then pushing myself to the point of destruction over the weekend.

I do have a bunch of photos to post, but they're on The Squeeze's computer in the other room and I can't really be bothered sorting the network to get access to them.

I had planned to devote this post (and the following few posts) to random accounts of specific events over the weekend, but I'm so tired I've forgotten what I was going to write about.

But let's start here, with a few comments on DJing (please note: these are just rough ideas and not well thought out. Nor are they representative of the mlx coordinating team - they are just some ideas that I have had).
headphones.jpg Right now I'm sitting here with my new headphones on, a birthday present courtesy of The Squeeze - they're Sennheiser eh250's for the DJ nerds amongst you. Apparently quite expensive, and certainly very excellent quality. Perfect for people who're losing their upper range of hearing - which, apparently, we swing DJs are doing. In spades. This is something which upsets me quite a lot, as I used to have phenomenal hearing. Now I don't. One of the perils of DJing I guess.

So I'm sitting here in bed, drowning in mucous, fighting off dizziness and tiredness (it seems silly to go back to sleep after only being awake for 5 hours) so as to record some of the weekend's events.
I'm also trying to get back up to date with my music, seeing as how I've committed myself (foolishly) to DJing a set at CBD on Thursday night, and have my last gig at the Speegs this weekend.

We'd booked a number (10, actually) of the country's best DJs for MLX, and it was fascinating to see how DJs interact at exchanges. I knew that dancers thoroughly enjoyed getting together at exchanges to 'exchange' dance styles through actually dancing. But watching DJs pair up at the DJ booth and exchange incredibly nerdy DJing conversations was a joy.

DJs from different cities took great delight in arriving at the DJ booth well before their set to hang out with their DJ buddy who was playing the previous set, and many of the DJs (especially those in our cafe, a venue which became home to the silliest of no-rules dancing and DJing... no-rules in that DJs could do whatever they liked, so long as they didn't dance during their set, and saved the floor if they emptied it) took the opportunity to 'battle' or take turns playing songs and working cooperatively on sets, rather than adhering to the more conventional one and a half hour set turn taking.

As a cultural studies person, my imagination was immediately caught by this cooperative approach to cultural production. As a lindy hopper and cultural studies person, I was doubly attracted to this idea of partnership in creative practice. Very much in keeping with the tradition of African American vernacular jazz dance, where dancers improvise within a shared structure. Much as jazz musicians improvise within a shared, orchestrated musical structure in blues and swinging jazz.

One of my regrets from the weekend is that we couldn't set up a webcam and do a bit of live streaming lindy action - it would have been interesting to capture the event and send it to other dancers to see their response. But there's always next year.

I think it's also worth noting how the weekend exemplified the variety of local DJing practices and cultures there are even within a national DJing and dancing culture. I am giving a paper on this very issue (ie the way the 'Australian' swing dance community is more a network of local communities and cultures than a homogenous national whole) in Canberra next week, and I couldn't help but note how exchanges make these sorts of ideas so very clear.

We can talk at one level of the various local musical tropes - the way each local scene has a particular dominant musical and DJing culture or style. Perth (to draw a long bow), is known for its attention to historical musical accuracy. There is a greater emphasis on music from the 30s and 40s, and on a particular tempo and style of swinging jazz. Of course, the fact that we selected DJs who play within this genre went some way to constructing what amounts to a cultural myth of Perth DJing - there are certainly dancers and DJs within that community whose interests are beyond the limits of this specific genre. It is also worth pointing out that the DJs who played the MLX might also have felt that they must restrict their musical choices to this style - so as to best adhere to our expectations as organisers, and to best 'represent' their community.

And this point of course emphasises the role exchanges play in presenting a particular notion of 'local' identity and culture. A notion which is of course representative of the dominant ideology or discourse of that community (and event-organising body) rather than of the more complex and diverse whole.
I wonder if the same comments can be made of Melbourne DJs?
We offered a range of DJs over the weekend, choosing DJs who specialised in a particular area so as to best suit the room or event they were playing. We did choose two local Melbourne DJs who favoured a very 'Perth' musical style. Though one of these demonstrates a more diverse musical taste when DJing locally. I regret not hearing her set on the Thursday nigh, to see how she chose to play the room. Two others were representative of a very different musical style - heavy on the groove, r'n'b and late testament big band. And also representative of the musical tastes of most Melbourne lindy hoppers.

In contrast, of course, the cafe gained a reputation as an 'alternative' room not only through our scheduling of DJs (on the Friday night we held the now-notorious 'BSides' event there - where DJs were encouraged to play outside the swinging jazz genre), but also through a general, cooperative consensus about how that space was to be used. This room was decorated so as to present a more 'friendly' and social space, as opposed to the main room, which was very much focussed on hard-core dancing: a more effective air conditioning system, a large, clear floor, no decorations beyond the room's basic 'ballroom' fixtures, and a clear musical emphasis on 'lindy hop'. I don't doubt that the very layout and decorations of the rooms encouraged particular musical choices from the DJs, which were, of course, a response to the mood and physical interaction of the dancers themselves.

It was interesting to see two Perth DJs generally known for their adherence to historical recreationism (both in terms of dancing and music) produce two very excellent - and quite unconvention (by their usual standards) sets in the cafe. One of whom at least took great delight in playing 'outside the square'.
This response (which of course demonstrated the flexibility of the DJs we hired) offered an example of how DJs do respond to the room they're playing, and realise the brief they're given by the event coordinators. And it was a pleasure to see the DJs taking our brief and do such creative work with it. To take delight in doing something a little 'naughty'.

Our whole 'Hot Sides' approach, where we offered a second room specialising in something a little outside the mainstream of lindy hopping music seemed generally very successful over the weekend. We asked Trev to play a Gangbusters set on our very first night - a room devoted to very fast tempos. A room which consequently proved to be as high-energy an event as I've ever seen at a lindy hop exchange. And very popular with the dancers. My only regret is that I had to leave the venue early to set up for the Spiegeltent and missed the rest of this set.
We had the BSides night on Friday, of course, which was massively successful, a point paid testament to by the locker-room stench of the room when we tidied up after it at 6.30am.
On Saturday we held the Sugar Bowl blues night - slow, saucy, sexy music for very close dancing. I'm not sure it was quite as successful as the previous night, but it was definitely a popular room and was always filled.
And on Sunday we offered a less intensely alternative bracket, but I noticed that the pattern set by the previous nights encouraged the DJs in that room to play more 'alternative' music, catering to the less rigorously historical recreationist crowd.

And of course, one of the nicest parts of this two-room approach was not only seeing two rooms of dancers with quite different tastes kept happy, but seeing those dancers whose tastes are less codified lurching between the two rooms to sample both styles.

As The Squeeze succinctly put it "if the song sucked in one room, I went to the other".

I will think more about this and post again. Hopefully when I'm not so seriously high on cold and flu tablets and my own body temperature.

I judge a DJ 'successful' or 'good' when they:
- keep the floor full all the time
- can recover after clearing the floor
- work the energy of the room, using highs and lows, rather than one single 'mood' (ie varying the musical 'mood' from high energy and crazy to more mellow and moderate energy)
- respond to the crowd's mood - if the dancers are looking to party like fools, they bring the partyfool music

I also expect a degree of professionalism from DJs at something like MLX (which had hundreds of dancers in attendance, and was really serving as a representation of Melbourne lindy culture), including:
- not dancing during their sets (something which proved controversial, and which I'll return to later when it's not so close an issue)
- arriving 15 minutes before their set was to begin, in order to touch base with the previous DJ
- beginning their set on-time
- having a basic understanding of the equipment they're using - ie being able to adjust the levels and volumes in a way that makes for a more pleasurable dancing experience

These are not only my expectations, but also those of the MJDA who was running the event - we agreed on these terms before hiring our DJs.
And of course, we pay our DJs well (with better rates than other Australian events), and offer decent working conditions.
We also ask our DJs to send us a complete set list after the event so that we can forward this to APRA and pay our dues to that organisation. An interesting allusion to our stance on intellectual and creative copyright legislation.

"a few preliminary mlx thoughts - djing" was posted by dogpossum on November 29, 2006 5:53 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances

November 28, 2006


Meme it up, baby.
(ta duck)

1.Open your music library.
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the 'next' button.
6. Don't lie.

Opening credits: Ain't it the truth? - Count Basie and his orchestra
Waking up: Let's call the whole thing off - Billie Holiday
First day of High School: Harlem River Quiver (take 1) - Duke Ellington
Falling in love: All of me - Jay McShann Trio
Fight song: Geneva Blues aka Evil Woman - Jimmy Witherspoon
Breaking up: Dr Livingstone I presume? - Artie Shaw
Prom: Honky Tonk blues (no.1) - Jelly Roll Morton
Life: Jumpin' at the Woodside - Count Basie
Mental breakdown: Let's fall in love - Lester young
Driving: Rockin' Chair - Louis Armstrong and his orchestra
Flashback: Embraceable you - billy holiday
Getting back together: chicago rhythm - cairo club orchestra
Wedding: Ready Eddy - Barney Bigard and His Orchestra
Birth of child: you rascal you - louis prima (who's lyrics begin "i'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal you")
Final battle: salty pappa blues - Dinah Washington with Lionel Hampton Septet
End credits: sweet safronia - slim and slam

i don't really know what this meme means or does.

"?" was posted by dogpossum on November 28, 2006 2:10 PM in the category music


On Friday night the lovely vocalist for our first band of the weekend greeted me with "Sam, did you hear Anita O'Day died?!" and I replied that I hadn't heard, what with my recent level of busyness. We agreed that it would be appropriate for her to sing a bit of Anita that night in memorial.

Reading through Barista today I discovered that Robert Altman has also passed away, and I wonder who'll be next.

"next?" was posted by dogpossum on November 28, 2006 1:42 PM in the category people i know

November 27, 2006


Hey homies.
I did take a lot of prep shots of the barbeque, but that was a hundred years ago, and we've been very very busy since. I went to bed at 4am Friday morning, then got up at 2.30 Friday afternoon, then to bed at 7.30am Saturday morning, then up at 2.30 Saturday afternoon, then to bed at 7.30am Sunday, then up at 3.30, then... ok, so I got up at 4.30 this afternoon.

The MLX was fucking awesomely successful. We had hundreds and hundreds of dancers and DJs and everything. I will post full details in due course. Once I've slept more. Or perhaps in a couple of hours when the insomnia kicks in.

But to tide you over, I've added this photo of me DJing at the Spiegeltent (c/o Thai - thanks dood). This was taken early on in the night before the jugggling show (!) and before they took down the mini-stage. Later the floor was full of idiot lindy hoppers and drunken fools til 3am. The venue management gushed and gushed - the manager was dancing like a fool, and one of the staff came to all the MLX events over the weekend (I don't doubt the presence of all the hawt Perth girls helped).

It was a fabulous venue and I'm there again this Saturday if you're around town and want to catch up.

BTW the BBQ food was awesome.

"btw" was posted by dogpossum on November 27, 2006 8:19 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances

November 22, 2006

this weekend's program

Ok, so here's the program for this MLX6 weekend:
Thursday 8.30-midnight: Apollo Jump and Gangbusters, 3 dJs, 2 floors, CBD nightclub. Free.
Thursday 11.30-3am: Jumpin' at the Spiegeltent. 2 DJs, the Amazing Spiegeltent. $5.
Friday 6.30-8.30. Welcome Drinks, Holliava Bar, Richmond.
Friday 8:30-midnight: King Porter Stomp with George Washingmachine (Sydney), Julie O'Hara and her quintet, Forever Dance, Richmond. $24.
Friday midnight-6am: Jumpin at the Woodside and BSides, aprox 6 DJs, 2 rooms (hard core lindy/BSides 'unswing'), Forever Dance. $10.
Saturday 2.00-4.00pm. Marquis of Lorne Hotel, Fitzroy. Lunch.
Saturday 4:00-7:00pm. Beer-and-Band. Virus at the Laundry in Fitzroy. Free.
Saturday 3-5pm. Afternoon tea dance. DJ. Spiegeltent. $10.
Saturday 8.30-midnight. Strutters' Ball. JW Swing Orchestra, Coppin Hall Prahran.$28.
Saturday midnight - 6am. Jumpin at the Woodside and The Sugar Bowl (lindy/blues). 6+ DJs, 2 rooms. Forever Dance. $10.
Sunday 2:00-5:30pm. MLX6 picnic. Fitzroy Gardens.
Sunday 1:00-3:00. B# Big Band at Copacobana, Collingwood. $10.
Sunday 7:00-10:00pm. Flying Home Dance with Mike McQuaid's Red Hot Rhythmakers. Forever Dance. $20.
Sunday 10:00-late. Jumpin' at the Woodside. Hundreds of DJs. 2 rooms, Forever Dance. $10.

If you've bought a pass, it'll all cost you only $60.

Now, my program for the weekend is as above, just add in:
Friday 2:00-7:00pm. Set up at Forever Dance.
Thursday 7.30pm. Volunteer meeting.
And then add in the fact that I'm DJing at the Spiegeltent that first Thursday, and I'm running the late nights (with wonderful Keith). I'm also expecting to be there to help Wendy on Thursday night, and at every event over the weekend I'll be hanging around for the other organisers when they need me (we've divided up all the events between us).
We have about 100-odd people flying in from interstate and overseas, and millions of local coming.
I am coordinating our 10 wonderful DJs and 25 fabulous volunteers.
I will have 3 houseguests (Perth, San Diego and Tasmania, Representing) and 1 Squeeze to play with. It will be a massive weekend (it always is), but now that I've finished my marking (as of yesterday!), my extreme anxiety has disappeared, and I feel like it's Christmas eve.
The temperature has dropped to the very pleasant mid-20s and my guests are flying in tonight. I'm really looking forward to the weekend!

[NB all these photos are from The Squeeze's collection. They used to be there at his flickr account, but I suspect he's lost his uber priveleges, hence their unsee-able-ness. Btw, I reccommend those Pnlrland pics - they are work safe. Wearing bright orange vests and all.]

"this weekend's program" was posted by dogpossum on November 22, 2006 3:15 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances

quick fewd update

The quails were $10 for 4, so I ditched them (after scaring myself at the green grocer with the bill there - but really, veggies are the important thing). Buying a dozen awesome rolls for $3 made up for it.
Otherwise I picked up some cute mini sausages, chicken wings and chicken thigh.

I'm off to the supermarket now (only the safeway, not the mediterranean supermarket as I really can't be arsed) as I forgot my list before.

Then I'll put meat in to marinate, cook some rice for the salad, and then sit about on my arse for a while.

If we plan to eat at about 8-8.30pm (provided all the planes arrive on time (around 7.30) I will do the potatoes for the salad about 6pm, and get into the fish salad about 7.30.

Who knows, re the meat cooking times. I need Crinks to think of that.

But I have added corn to the bbq list, and bought some medium-sized mushrooms as well.

...I am half tempted to do a delicious brown rice salad. Quick post your favourite brown rice salad ideas!

"quick fewd update" was posted by dogpossum on November 22, 2006 1:12 PM in the category fewd

November 21, 2006

gastropod wednesday

We are organising a barbeque for our houseguests and selves (and a few others) tomorrow night.

Here's the menu:

  • Fish and Herb Salad
  • Orange and Spinach Salad
  • Kumara Salad
  • 'Mexican' Potato Salad

and assorted meats, including these possibles:

  • chicken-on-sticks (thigh meat marinated in coriander, garlic, lemon, etc)
  • chicken wings (in soy, ginger, etc)
  • quail (possibly a la Maggie)
  • Nino and Joe's sausages
  • possibly ribs

As you can see from my lack of decisiveness on the meat front, the salads are the main focus.
Here are the recipes I'll use:

Fish and Herb Salad
300g smoked cod
3 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup cooked and cooled jasmin rice
1/2 cup chopped fresh Vietnamese mint
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
8 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded

1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander root
2cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped lemon grass (white part only)
3 tbsp chopped fresh Thai basil
1 avocado, chopped
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut oil

1. place the cod in a large frying pan and cover with water. Add the lime juice and simmer for 15minutes, or until the fish flakes when tested with a fork. Drain and set aside to cool slightly before breaking into bite-sized pieces.
2. Brown the coconut. The recipe reccommends doing this in the oven, but I dry-fry it. Discard if it burns.
3. Place the fish, coconut, rice, Vietnamese mint, mint, coriander and kaffir lime leaves in a large bowl and mix to combine.
4. To make dressing: place the coriander root, ginger, chilli, lemon grass and basil in a food processor and process until combined. Add the avocado, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and peanut oil and process until creamy. I find that just smooshing it in a bowl is enough. Or you could use a barmix.
5. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

This salad is AMAZING. But it doesn't keep, so eat it all on the day - it's very ordinary cold.
(this recipe is from this useful book).

Kumara Salad
1kg cubed orange sweet potato (kumara)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus 2 tsp
1/2 tsp yellow asafetida poweder
3/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp seeded, finely chopped green chilli
2 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely shredded coconut
2 tbsp roasted peanuts, powdered
1 tbsp sesame seeds, preferably unhulled, dry-roasted and powdered
2 tbsp fresh coriander leavs for garnish.

Boil sweet potato until tender but not overcooked. Remove, drain and keep warm.
2. Pour 2 tsp olive oil in a wok or large pan over moderate heat. When hot, add the yellow asafetida powder, stir briefly, then remove the pan from teh heat. Allow the oil to cool a little, then add the garam masala, cayenne and chilli. Mix well, then add the lime juice, salt and the rest of the olive oil. Fold in the potato and stir gently to coat with the spices. Add the coconut, peanut powder and toasted sesame seed powder and stir gently to combine.
3. Allow the sald to cool and the flavours to mingle, then serve with a garnish of fresh coriander leaves.

I don't bother powdering the peanuts and seeds, I just smash them a lot with the mortar and pestle.
This is a tasty salad that I make when we do Indian feast. It's especially nice as a sweeter accompaniment (ditching the chili) with hot curries.

(This recipe came from this great veggie cookbook which you can pick up all over the place - I got mine in Community Aid Abroad. I don't think they sell it at the ABC/SBS shop any more).

Mexican Orange Salad
6 oranges peeled and all white pith removed, sliced crosswise
2 red onions, sliced
90g/3oz toasted almonds, chopped
2 medium fresh chillis, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh coriander
4tbsp fresh mint leaves
1/4 bunch/125g/4oz English spinach, leaves shredded

Place oranges, onions, almonds, chillies, coriander leaves and mint in a bowl, toss to combine and stand for 30 minutes. Line a serving platter with spinach then pile salad on top.

This salad is really nice and fresh. I find it's a good idea to keep the juice which spills when you slice the oranges. I can't remember if I add a basic vinegrette (sp?), but I doubt it. I usually ditch the chilli if I'm doing the following potato salad as well.

(This recipe is from this book which I picked up somewhere cheaply. It has some really neat recipes in it, including some fairly detailed descriptions of bean dish preparation. It doesn't, though, have a recipe for tortillas and other breads from scratch :( We are fond of Mexican type foods in our house)

Potatoes in Chilli Vinegar
2 kg baby new potatoes, halved
2 red onions, sliced
3 jalapeno chillis, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp capers, drained
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
4 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water

1. Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and put in a serving bowl.
2. To make dressing, place onions, jalapeno and red chillis, garlic, sugar, capers, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, vinegar and water in a bowl and mix to combine. Pour dressing over warm potatoes, toss to combine and stand at room temperature for 2 hours before serving.

This potato salad rocks. We are a bit over creamy spud salads (though I do make a good one with kalamata olives and ham and a mayo/yoghurt dressing), and this one is really nice - really fresh and sassy. I have found, though, that timid guests who don't eat chilli very often find it a bit scary - it's pretty bitey for noobs. It's important to let the warm potatoes sit in the dressing for a while at room temperature - they suck up the flavours.

(same souce as above).

I'll see if we can get some preparation photos as we go along, but it'll depend on whether or not The Squeeze is around and interested. You can see some of the dishes we cooked last year for the Bandidos party here.

"gastropod wednesday" was posted by dogpossum on November 21, 2006 7:00 PM in the category fewd and gastropod

November 20, 2006

Campus 5 = go!

... and moments after I typed that, they arrived.

"Campus 5 = go!" was posted by dogpossum on November 20, 2006 12:11 PM in the category djing

Campus Five

I have been playing the two Campus Five songs I have (Squatty Roo and Hop Skip and Jump) over and over.
I want the CDs to arrive NOW.

"Campus Five" was posted by dogpossum on November 20, 2006 12:00 PM in the category digging

gig mass index

I have as much free space on my* ipod as I do on my laptop.
I have about 30 gig of music on my laptop, but I haven't been able to put all my CDs on there as it, well it just won't fit.
You can fit 18gig on my ipod, I think.

I wish I had a bigger laptop. Or perhaps an external hard drive solution.

But I'm really bad at estimating/figuring out volume (?) so I could be wrong in all these calculations.

DJing at the Spiegeltent on Saturday my laptop got so hot I had to sit with it in my hands at the pub for half an hour afterwards so I could put it back in its little pouch without worrying that it would cook itself.
It reminded me of how difficult it is to do lots of exercise when you're carrying too much weight.

*'my' meaning The Squeeze's.

"gig mass index" was posted by dogpossum on November 20, 2006 11:56 AM in the category djing

November 19, 2006

why not. i've got things to do

Now I'm going to do the other questions, because I'm watching rage (Goddess bless ABC2) and should be doing stupid mlx volunteer door sheets.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
'woah - you look tired, girl'
It's allergy season. I always look tired in allergy season.

4. Favorite planet?
Neptune. No reason.

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
I don't know. I didn't know I had a missed call list. I wouldn't know how to find it.

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
There's more than one?
I HATE it when people call me when I'm riding my bike.

8. Do you “label” yourself?
I'm not sure what that means. But I don't think I do.

12. What does your watch look like?
It's a nice 'ladies'' (ie, it's smaller) diving watch. Black face with slivery bits. It went through the wash the other day so I took it in to get it fixed up. The strap had broken in two places and was being held together with a blue rubber band. I have had it for many years and love it very much. A watch is more convenient than a mobile phone for telling the time when you're riding a bike.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Lying in bed just about to fall deeply asleep.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
I'm not exactly sure, but it was the girl I was meeting yesterday telling me she was walking to the cafe and could I please order her a peppermint tea. I did.

16. What's a word that you say a lot?
Cockwit. It's something I say when I ride my bike and get scared by scary drivers.

18. Last furry thing you touched?
My pink, fluffy slippers - they're kind of like eskimo boots but pink. They stink.

21. Favorite age you have been so far?
I am loving my 30s, so 30, 31 and (as of last week), 32.

22. Your worst enemy?
The Man.

23. What is your current desktop picture?
20s woman at mike.jpg
That's me - DJ Snoopdoggydogpossum.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
"Goodnight - I love you" to The Squeeze before I went to sleep. He's still in bed now.

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
I think the money. Mostly because I think that if I could fly, I'd become a crap walker/dancer/bike rider. Though it depends on how I could fly. If it's a magic thing, then I don't want it (for those reasons). If it's a flying-like-a-bird thing, I don't think I want that either as I'd have to get really light bones and get more aerodynamic.

26. Do you like someone?
Sure. I like lots of people. But I like The Squeeze in a kissing way.

27. The last song you listened to?
Bones by... I think it was the Killers. Or another one of those retro-chic boybands. It was quite dull. I'm not impressed by any of the boybands I've seen today - Wolf Mother, Eskimo Joe, etc etc. They all look about 16, wear too much black and are far too mopey. That shit lit my fire when I was 16. But now I am a Woman and I have other priorities.
.... they're actually showing that Blur concert (or parts thereof) again right now, so I'm busy preferring that Britpop action - lively blokes who're actually old enough to grow facial hair.

28. What time of day were you born?
Midnight. After a very long labour. I have trouble changing my sleep pattern, but can be a late nighter or an early bird. I do my best thinking and writing in the morning when I'm in early bird mode.

29. What's your favorite number?
11. Because I was born on the 11/11/74. I know that's a dumb reason.

30. Where did you live in 1987?
Gladstone Street, Brighton, Brisbane. A rough-as-guts area on the seafront. With my parents and brother.

31. Are you jealous of anyone?
All the people whose blogs I read and make me think 'gee, I wish I could get it together and write interesting posts'. Also, people who are fitter than I am. Also, people who can go travelling. I'd like to go somewhere interesting - thesis is done, time to move.

32. Is anyone jealous of you?
Who knows.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
Dunno. I didn't realise it had happened for a couple of days because I didn't ever watch telly then.
The first time I saw the footage was on one of those massive screens in a lecture theatre. It brought tears to my eyes - I couldn't believe someone would really choose to kill themselves and a plane load of passengers to smash into a building and kill lots of other people.
It was a bit embarassing as I was a tutor in that lecture's subject.

35. Do you consider yourself kind?
Yeah, I can be kind. But I can also be scary. I am a bit stressy and premenstrual at the moment, so I am being horrible to The Squeeze (he has started rebelling, as of yesterday). But I was raised by hippies with really strict Rules about how we were to treat other people. So I feel incredible guilt when I say insulting things about people's weight or how they look, so I don't do it.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
Tattoos suck. I'm still waiting for my perfect skin. So why would I fuck it up with some ink. If I had to get a tattoo I wouldn't be in a position to choose.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?
Italian, a Chinese language or French.

38. Would you move for the person you loved?
Yeah, sure. I like moving.

40. Whats your life motto?
Don't lick knives.
It's just a Rule.

42. Whats your favorite town/city?
I'm pretty easy going on towns - I like big cities. But I also like pretty cities. So I'm very fond of Hobart. ...Actually, I thought Amsterdam was really lovely. Tiny, but interesting. I'm also very fond of Cardiff.

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Job application a few weeks ago.

45. Can you change the oil on a car?
Nope, but I can put air in my bike tires.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
Can't remember who my first love was.

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
Grandparent's parents. They're all English, Irish or Welsh. Not much to tell, really.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
Wore 'vintage' yesterday for Spiegeltent gig (I have to). This week it was 3/4 black trousers (my new ones, side button fly, in a FABULOUS stretch cotton, ), black boots, white collared shirt, black waistcoat, maroon tie, tied in a double windsor and very short, a la 1930s. Oh, and the paper boy's hat I made the other week. Kieran called me Oliver a few times. Young swingers today know nothing about history. I was going to wear my pin striped suit, but my bosom was too enormous to fit in the jacket without stretching the buttons scarily. I was a bit shitty as I really wanted to wear the spats as well.

I got hit on by a dyke chick from the Mornington Peninsula. I reckon she's going to come to MLX so I guess I've sold myself for swing dance. Again. But I was looking pretty hawt. In a sweaty, tired, way. But there was that enormous bosom thing.

50. Have you been burned by love?
I'm not sure. I've been treated like shit by a couple of arsehole (cockwit fucker) blokes. But I've also been treated damn well by love.

"why not. i've got things to do" was posted by dogpossum on November 19, 2006 9:48 AM in the category clicky

November 18, 2006

everyone else is doing it so why shouldn't I?

Everyone else is doing the last 15 questions of the procrastination meme, so I'm going to start with those and see if I can be bothered doing the first questions some other time.

1. What shirt are you wearing?
I am not wearing a shirt. I am wearing only a really threadbare, holey bit of vaguely hawaiin print fabric which my mother gave me. Because we lived in Fiji, my family (ie my bro, me ma and me pa) wear sulus. These are like sarongs, yet Fijian.
So now I am sitting here under a blanket wearing only a sulu. Because I came home from a very hot ride back from DJing at the goldfishbowl... uh, Spiegeltent, had a wash and a lie down.

2. What brand of shoes are you currently wearing?
No brand - I am wearing shoes of human skin. Which I made myself.

3. Bright or Dark Room?
Pretty dark because the sun is going down, but just turned on reading-in-bed light.

4. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
They all rock. Like John Bon Jovi.

5. Where is your nearest 7-11?
The nearest 7-11 is... um... oh, I know. It's on Melville Road, about ... look, I don't know how far away it is as I've only been there once, at about midnight to buy crisps. I was with my two (much younger and hawter) female friends. A cab driver tried to pick them up. Not literally.

6. Who told you he/she loved you last?
The Squeeze. When asked to quantify said Love, he guesstimated 'twelveteen'.

7. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
I took a couple of panadeines a little while ago because I had a nasty DJing-in-a-hot-room/riding-the-crimson-wave/hellooo-stress-and-tension headache. Now I feel much better.
I also had my first coffee in about sixty millions years at Don whatsits on Brunswick Street earlier on because they're supposed to do good coffee there and I was waiting to meet the chick who'll be coordinating the door sales at all our MLX events. It made me shakey and a bit anxious. I will go back to tea. I would have had a tea, but they only had crap T2 which I'm off as they use too many artificial flavours.

8. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
I have a photographer-partner who does all that camera business. I do the dancing and play the music. He records it all for posterity. So he may have some film lying about (in fact, I know he does).

9. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
I don't use them. But I wasted a $2 coin on a bung ticket machine on the tram the other day and was upset. I thought about trying to get it out with a bobby pin but was too shy because it was a crowded tram.

10. Are you touchy feely?
Depends. Dancers kiss a lot, so I kiss them. We are very touchy feely because you can't partner dance without touching or feeling someone. At MLX there will be so much touching and feeling and kissing my skin will vibrate for weeks afterward and I will not be able to understand how people are letting other people know how they feel at the CSAA conference the week after.
I have recently decided I like the lip-kiss. That means kissing hello on the lips. I have a couple of friends who do it and I like the looks on people's faces when they do it. I also like it when I have visiting friends from Europe who do 1, 2, 3 or 4 cheek kisses.

Sometimes I meet people who I do not want to touch at all. I think we should all pay very close attention to those feelings.

11. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
Underarm hair. Sweat. Big eyebrows.

12. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
Big bottle of water at a little newsagent in a foyeur (sp?) on Swanston Street. I knew I'd need a big bottle for dancing and couldn't be bothered carrying my usual bottle in with me from home. The closest toilets to the Speegs are in the Arts Center and they have bullshit arty sinks where you can't fill your bottle.

13. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
My headache has mostly gone, but i have a sore knee from riding my bike with poor core strength.

14. How much cash do you have on you?
$0. See question 1.

15. What's a word that rhymes with “DOOR?”

"everyone else is doing it so why shouldn't I?" was posted by dogpossum on November 18, 2006 8:27 PM in the category clicky

November 16, 2006

fewd for the mind and body

I'd really like to go to this but it's in London and I'm poor.
It's on the 19th-22nd July 2007. I could do some Herrang, go to the conference, go back and do some more Herrang. Or, rather (as I'd much prefer, having had about enough of Herrang after a week), I could do the conf, then go to Herrang. And in the weeks before the conf I could visit friends and family.

I wish I had an income. :(

"fewd for the mind and body" was posted by dogpossum on November 16, 2006 7:46 PM in the category academia

just in case you're wondering...

I take a minute out to dash off a post in between papers. Or numbers-of-papers. I am typing my comments into my lappy here at the dining table, rather than writing them by hand as my handwriting is embarassingly poor. And I have to stop every half hour or so to think of something else for a couple of minutes or I end up just skim reading the essays, thinking 'yeah, I get the point'. And having to go back to re-read, because this isn't like reading journal articles or academic books - you're not reading to 'get the point', you're reading to see if they understand what they're writing about, and to see if they're actually capable of writing about it with any coherency.

I guess one advantage to my using the dining table to mark is that I can't just nick off for a spot of sewing - it's difficult to cut fabric when your cutting table is covered in papers.

"just in case you're wondering..." was posted by dogpossum on November 16, 2006 6:09 PM in the category teaching

perhaps a decoy lamp

We have ant problems at the moment.
The coffee table is COVERED in them. They're busy making trails to the giant bunch of (lovely) waratahs and banksia and protea Crinks gave me for my birthday (one of the birthday highlights I forgot to mention in that last maudlin, birthday sook post). Some of them have made it to the dining table where I'm marking. The ants, that is. Not the flowers. Unfortunately. I have to keep brushing them off the students' papers. Or blow them off my laptop. Every now and then one gets under the keys. I wonder how they're all doing in there.

Bugs freak out The Squeeze (or should that be freak The Squeeze out?). But not me - I'm from Brisbane. There are very few bugs in Melbourne. It's cold. And it's urban. I have almost completely lost my leap-out-of-bed-when-you-feel-something-in-there-with-you reactions. And my super-fast-removal hand flick. When we're sitting on the couch watching Kerrie in the evenings, I just pick up my glass and tuck my feet under me while The Squeeze shrieks and tries to wipe the table clean (again). He is obsessed with Ant Rid (which I don't even think about, ever).

It's difficult to care about a few busy ants when you've slept with giant cockroaches and had to type with the lights off and the computer monitor on a low glow, with perhaps a decoy lamp on in another part of the room because you had no flyscreens.

"perhaps a decoy lamp" was posted by dogpossum on November 16, 2006 6:02 PM in the category domesticity

how could i leave this job undone?

You should go here and read B's giant panda story.
I know how the protagonist feels. But for me, it's standing on the pavement outside the fabric shop, thinking about just getting on my bike and riding and riding and never coming back. Then thinking of my poor students' papers piled up on our dining room table, and how they've all tried so much harder with this assignment, and obviously all studied their guts out for the quiz. How could I leave this job undone?

"how could i leave this job undone?" was posted by dogpossum on November 16, 2006 5:59 PM in the category clicky

November 15, 2006

Laura would like this

Because she loves Dan Brown.

Drowning Dan Brown I

Originally uploaded by Vanessa Berry.

"Laura would like this" was posted by dogpossum on November 15, 2006 4:58 PM in the category clicky

i wish

I had time to blog about procrastinating.
But I'm settling for:
a) very short entries
b) very odd and stream-of-consciousness entries.

I write my entries straight into movabletype and then click 'save'. Sometimes I proof-read.
I wish I had more discipline. But not too much.

Today in this book* I read about hypergraphia and hyperlogia.
I wondered (for a little moment) if I was a hypergraph**, then came to my senses.

But really, imagine that - being a compulsive writer. They're the sorts of people who produce hundreds of novels or pieces of music or ...other written down things. I think you have to be using a pen/pencil and paper rather than a keyboard to qualify, though.

It kind of reminds me of the story about Donald Friend on the 7.30 Report last night. Apparently he was a talented writer and artist. According to Lou Klepac,

Donald was given all these gifts, you know, writer, painter, draughtsman, could do anything, and he didn't squander his talents but he went in each direction a bit.

I'd like to think that's me - tremendous talents, but unrealised because I'm going just a bit in each direction, rather than actually getting my head down and going for it in one field. ahahhaha.
..ah. Uh. Well, that's what I'm going to think, so I don't get all low self esteemy.

But I wonder if part of Friend's problem was that he was a bit hyper...something. Couldn't settle and not do something. Had to be writing. Or painting. Or something.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this - I know nothing about Donald Friend (I didn't even watch the telly when the 7.30 Report was on, I just listened).
But I think my attention's been caught by all this obsessive-compulsive overwork type stuff in the air.
The university was in holiday mode today - the average age of people eating lunch had doubled, and people looked tired. Staff and postgrads were wandering the halls talking about being tired. And also (sneakily, I'm sure), in the midst of a writing-binge euphoria. On the parts of the postgrads at least.

Me, I feel on the edge of being hyper-productive. If I had a thesis to write, I'd be whipping off chapters by the dozen. But I don't. I just have papers to mark (I'm 7 short, which means I'll have to go in again to collect some... or get them mailed to me. Good thing I've been investing all that office-lady-kissingup, huh?). And an exchange to run. But they're very low-brain things. Lots of nittygritty detail, no real creative work or highbrain work. When I say 'lowbrain' I mean that it doesn't involve much serious thinking. Dancing is necessarily lowbrain (well, the way I do it, it is). Thesising is highbrain because it involves seriously complicated thinking over a long period of time. And you combine tasks - reading, writing, thinking. You plan ideas out over a long period of time, and have to keep all that stuff in your head without losing any. Careful, don't jostle - it'll spill.

...and right now, all this stressy overwork stuff is making me feel like I should be being creative. Writing interesting things. Solving difficult sewing problems.
But I'm talking crap on the internet instead. And wishing my latest CDs would arrive.

*you know, I couldn't remember who wrote this or what it was called - I had to go find it and see. It's because I read so many of these sorts of sort-of-SF and seriously-SF books whose names all sound the same. I don't really care about the authors either (unless it's MZB or other doods who I re-read religiously). I don't even buy these books - I borrow them from my ps.
You know, why is it that music nerds are freakishly anal about copying and borrowing music (ie they think it's a bad-naughty-wrong), but book lovers (who've been around for far far longer than recorded-music-lovers) are all over that shit?
I'm rapidly losing interest in the precious 'don't copy!' music argument. I have yet to hear a thorougly convincing case for never copying music.

So I'm taking a leaf (tee hee) out of my book-brain and being ok with borrowing. Though just with books, I'd really rather have my own copy of something really great.


"i wish" was posted by dogpossum on November 15, 2006 3:49 PM in the category dogpossum

this is some weird shit

Not being a big fan of bananas, this guy's arguments fail to convince me to become a creationist.

"this is some weird shit" was posted by dogpossum on November 15, 2006 9:57 AM in the category clicky

November 14, 2006

aeon flux

I was a fan of the original television series.
The strange, angular characters and odd storylines really appealed. Not to mention the female protagonist. I liked the way she was 'sexualised' but not in a conventionally sugary way.

But I also liked the film version.

Watching the extras on the DVD now, there are some interesting things working in terms of body shapes and aesthetics of movement. It's a very white, European aesthetic at work - lots of pointed toes and extended legs and arms.

But you can't help but think about issues of gender and body and sexuality when you're watching an 'action' film, whether we're talking about female or male actors and characters. I was recently seriously annoyed by a comment from a peer about these sorts of female characters - that they were, simply, sexualised eye candy for computer game playing adolescent boys. Because for me, these type of female characters (from Lara Croft to all the Milla Jovovich characters) are exciting and interesting and far more than just eye candy.
I think that my main criticism of that comment is that it suggests that male action characters are somehow not sexualised (because, obviously, the female body is always the object of desire, the male is always the subject). And that a woman being physically active or violent or acrobat is somehow inherently sexual or sensual because she is a woman. And that this somehow mediates the affect of her violence.


Sure, there are some fairly heavily sexualised images in the representation of female action figures.

But then, there are a range of ways of sexualising women and associating them with sexualised symbols.

Whether they're 'feminine'


or 'masculine'

or really 'masculine'.

But I do think, despite these things, that when the protagonist is a woman, and when she is a powerful character, the phrase 'sexualised violence' is too simple. Surely, Charlize is one seriously sexualised body flipping and fighting her way through that film. But the fact that she is a character I feel comfortable imagining myself to be (in a classicly psychoanalitic moment) suggests that there must be some sort of feminist pleasure to be found in these sorts of characters. And that there must be more to them than simply a little hawt body action for teenage boys to scope.
As even my undergrads have well and truly gathered, audiences are active. We make active use of the images on the screen. And so I can make Aeon the type of female character who doesn't make me uncomfortable.

Aeon herself is an interesting characer, as a result of her original placement as an animated character in an MTV text who died quite regularly.

If you've ever seen the original animation, you'd know that Aeon (and her co-characters) aren't entirely comfortable.

They don't fit nicely into archetypal 'objects' and 'subjects'. The program was difficult to watch. The characters were difficult to live with.

I know that there are problems with the film. I know that it didn't bring with it all the subversive and interesting aspects of the animation. But I think that for someone like me, who has seen the animation, the film cannot help but echo the animation - the two are inextricably linked. Intertextual. Cross-polination (to use an image from Aeon Flux the film).

Charlize herself carries interesting echoes of sexuality and the body and speculative fiction.

And Aeon Flux is far less disturbing than silly films like Ultraviolet, though no where near as interesting as Razor Blade Smile.

"aeon flux" was posted by dogpossum on November 14, 2006 10:12 PM in the category fillums

i'll never get to sleep

I'm sitting in front of the telly watching a Blur concert on ABC2. If you don't have ABC2 - get a digital set top box so you can. They have heaps of great concerts. Last time I tuned it was Radiohead (wasn't that a dreary waste of my time).
Tonight it's Blur.

I saw Blur live years ago, and thought they were bloody great live. I know all the songs, but I wouldn't have a clue who the bandmembers are. I do know that when I was at the concert (Festival Hall in Brisvegas btw) the lead singer guy threw himself into the crowd halfway through that woo-hoo song and I thought I was going to burst. They were so young and British and rude.
That concert and the two They Might Be Giants shows I went to were the best live shows I've ever seen.

So I'm sitting here in front of the telly, getting all excited (I'll never sleep tonight) and thinking about how long it's been since I saw a live show that wasn't a jazz band. I miss the rudeness. The adolescent posing. Radiohead were too much for me, though - dang they're boring, miserable sods. We like jumpy rock n roll types here. Not sulky, broody I'm-so-serious tossers.

I wish I could remember that lead singer's name. The Blur guy.

"i'll never get to sleep" was posted by dogpossum on November 14, 2006 9:41 PM in the category music and television

November 13, 2006

i yearn

Today I saw the Basie Mosaic set at Basement Discs for only $150. I could only let myself listen to one CD (including the finest version of Jive at Five recorded in the 50s) before thrusting the headphones away. I. Do. Not. Have. One. Hundred. And. Fifty. Dollars. In fact, I don't have any dollars, nor any way of earning any for the foreseeable future (well, unless you count those massively lucrative DJing gigs - that's me. Earning my way to prosperity $25 at a time).

But it was just so sweet.

I yearn.

"i yearn" was posted by dogpossum on November 13, 2006 7:05 PM in the category objects of desire

but who's counting?

Today I had the final visit to the dentist. There was no anaesthetic, there was no crying (though I did tear up a bit at one point).
There was some filling, some polishing of fillings and some cleaning of teeth. Then there was a whole lot of cleaning out of credit cards...or should that be filling up of credit cards?
It's nice to think that now I have no income I will still have a massive dental debt to keep me company.

Reassuringly, I am officially a 'twelve month person' - meaning that I actually have such great teeth I need only turn up at the dentist office once a year. If only, if only I had gone in to see the dentist earlier and avoided that horrible root canal.

So that is officially that.

On other fronts...

  • the marking continues. Slowly, painfully. It is reassuring to see vast improvements in almost every student's case. One good scare and they suddenly discover they need to actually, well proof read.
  • The MLX is well in hand. The DJs are rostered. The volunteers are rostered (with only 3 of 20-odd needing re-rostering). The website is current. The Ham's Whereabouts Timetable is compiled (hm - in bed at 4.30am Thursday, up at lunchtime Friday. In bed at 8am (if I'm lucky) Saturday morning. And so on until I die. This is a formidable program of events: gold stars to all those who manage to attend each of the 16 (or was it 17?) events. And sees all 5 of the bands and 10 of the DJs. The door sheets for the volunteers need doing, but we have time for that.
  • The conference papers are written. Not well, but ... look, I'm not that amazing. One needn't be perfect (I was informed - it's just meant as a sort of peek into the work I'm doing, not a final draft), the other... well, I will find time to re-edit it and do up a powerpoint with clippage (can't talk about dance without showing the dance).
  • The paper waiting at the publisher/journal thing has had its corrections done. So you might see that soon (well, some day, some time, some century)
  • The birthday is done (32 and counting, thanks very much). Not the best birthday ever (what with the ongoing anxiety and general over-workedness and exhaustion), but at least it's done. Perhaps I'll have another one in a few months where I can really enjoy myself. Thanks, though, to those who turned up to consume unhealthy quantities at the pub - that was nice.
  • Drop-in visit from parents en route to Canberra handled
  • Other parent's drop-in visit enjoyed (huzzahs to the Matriarch for bringing cake)
  • Supervisor present purchased

There are other things that've happened, and other things that need doing* (catch me at the Spiegeltent this weekend between 2 and 4 if you're up for a bit of Olde Timey music and an off-colour joke or two), but right now I'm concentrating on the marking. And trying not to think about the 3 house guests who're arriving next week (and one of whom is currently bedless).

Think of me, will you, and send me calm thoughts - only... um... at least four weeks before I actually get a weekend off. It's been six months since the last one, but who's counting?

*Not the least of which is cleaning our house and actually planning a meal more complex than fresh filled pasta with spinach and salami and fresh tomato and garlic. Sounds good, I know, but try eating it 3 days out of 7 every week. WE are living in squalor: orange peels, dirty socks and used tissues? I wish we could find our orange peels amongst the rubble in our nest. And do NOT ask me about the happy mouse family living in our compost bin.

"but who's counting?" was posted by dogpossum on November 13, 2006 6:51 PM in the category dogpossum

like you could catch my hawt arse

There's a bit of response to the recent scary mysoginy (look, I can't spell it, alright? I've tried twice and now I'm giving up) here and here and elsewhere.

I can't help but think of Helen Garner's First Stone. Didn't we have this argument ages ago?

I really can't be bothered thinking about this - women do not provoke their own rapes by wearing a particular combination of clothing. As someone (somewhere in one of those links) said, rapists are responsible for the rapes they commit. There is no other convincing argument.
I'd like to add that rape is not just about sex, it's also (and far more importantly) about violence. And violence is complicated. Especially when it's rape.

I think about the things that I wear when I'm riding my bike. Sometimes I wear a low-necked dress (because I'm off to dancing or something else hot and sweaty - where I'll attempt to flaunt my oiled breasts* [tee hee] but most probably end up flaunting my pink and sweaty face and (undoubtedly hawt) puffing and panting in pathetic unfitness).

When you lean over the handlebars on a proper road bike, if you're wearing a low-necked blouse, your boobs jump out. Now, I know that the thing at the fore of my mind as I navigate Sydney Road in peak hour is 'where can I score some hawt sex?' or perhaps 'surely that attractive gentleman in the van there would relieve me of this unbearable desire a-burning in my loins?'**
I'm not sure what I'm provoking when I'm riding my bike like this, but I'd like to think I'm provoking people to random acts of exercise - hey that looks like fun! Maybe I can score a hawt chick if I ride a bike!
Yeah right, babe - like you could catch my hawt arse!

* courtesy of balcony
** it's more likely to be saddle-jab a-burning my loins, provoked by an incorrectly adjusted bike seat or perhaps by a lazy core leading to slump-forwardness

"like you could catch my hawt arse" was posted by dogpossum on November 13, 2006 6:35 PM in the category bikes

November 10, 2006

Campus Five and Mosaic sets

Because I'm busy marking (up to 20 a day, mate - I am one speedy mofo), I can only blog really dull things.

Right now I'm pining after this:

for no real reason other than the fact that Trev said he was getting it, and now I want it too. Well, actually, I love Ellington a whole lot, and have a real passion for small group/combo swinging jazz. And we're talking a Mosaic set here - 7 CDs worth of phenomenally good quality remastered hotness. That costs $US119. A little too rich for my blood, unfortunately. Especially since the scholarship ended (months ago) and the teaching paychecks are about to dry up. I do have a wad of cash squirrelled away from my DJing pay, but that $500 for a year's worth of DJing... she ain't going to go too far.

So I just think about that Mosaic set and then think about how I could arrange my life so that Trev lives in my house and lets me pretend that all his music is belong to me.

On other musically related fronts, I didn't let that whole poverty thing stop me from buying myself these 2 Campus 5 albums:

I was convinced by the versions of Squatty Roo and Hop Skip and Jump on Crazy Rhythm (you can listen to them there on the site). I adore those songs (especially the former), and while the Artie Shaw and Ellington versions of these songs (respectively) are far superior, the appeal of a good quality recording of each cannot be ignored (particularly not when the issues I raised here are concerned).

If only I had some logic and didn't impulse-purchase music in times of stress or overwork. I'd figure out that if I just restrained myself from these little splurges I'd have enough dosh to buy those sweet Mosaic sets.
But I don't buy music sensibly. I am an artist - my musical selections are guided by impulse. Creative impulse.

"Campus Five and Mosaic sets" was posted by dogpossum on November 10, 2006 2:33 PM in the category djing and music and objects of desire

November 9, 2006


Feeling a little tired, finding it difficult to concentrate?
Sounds like you have
Marking fatigue

Take one of these and call me in the morning.

Coming in at 275bpm (or thereabouts), this fast finals of the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown comp for 2006 is fricking fast. At one point one couple dances in half-time, then shifts back to full-time (French wunderkind Max and Alice - in black shirt and jeans/black dress), and they look like a film speeded up when they make that shift.
To give you an idea of how fast 275bpm is (if you can't be arsed going and looking and listening), we're talking about 5 steps a second. FIVE STEPS A SECOND. Can you even run that fast, let alone dance that fast?
When Max and his partner dance half time, they're dancing at about 137bpm. 140 is an average tempo in Melbourne atm (though it should be 160 at least).
I guess I don't need to explain why I needed to get back in shape for MLX6, huh?

The first couple in that clip are Frida and Todd Yanacocmamancobi (?). He's about 12 and she's about 16. Well, actually, she's about 22 and he's about 20. He gets better and better and better each time I see him dance. Frida still blows my brain - I have yet to see a young lindy hopper who's better. We have no dancers in Australia who can dance at the standard of these guys.

If you're interested, the winners are Ria and Nick (she's wearing a short, shiny red skirt and he's wearing a red shirt), second place was taken by Frida and Todd and third by Max and Alice.

"FIVE STEPS A SECOND" was posted by dogpossum on November 9, 2006 3:30 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances and teaching

November 6, 2006

The Charleston Chasers

The Charleston Chasers (self-titled).
Not the modern-day recreationist Charleston Chasers, but the early days doods from the 20s/30s.

Only existing as a studio-group (ie recording together but not performing live for audiences), the Charleston Chasers feature a pretty white cast of musicians (and sound it too), including Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Pee Wee Russell, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, Jack Teagarden. Goodman was the focus of my interest in this album.

I haven't really had a chance to listen to the album properly, but I can say, the quality is surprisingly good for such old recordings, the 'sound' is pretty dang white (check out that above link for a discussion of this stuff in one of my earlier posts), but the music is still good stuff. Think 'charleston', a few slow drags/blues numbers, all with a bit of a 'society' edge (no guts, no buckets here).

Considering the cast on this one, I think my appreciation for this album will only grow over listens.

"The Charleston Chasers" was posted by dogpossum on November 6, 2006 11:20 AM in the category digging and djing and lindy hop and other dances and music

Maxine Sullivan's My Memories of You

Maxine Sullivan's 1955 album My Memories of You (remastered, etc) is very like Ella's These are the Blues in its groovy, later-era swinging jazz vibe. I'd pop this one in the same family as Ella and Louis Again (Ella and Louis Armstrong), Billy Holiday's later stuff from Verve (including Songs for Distingue Lovers) and some of the Oscar Peterson/late Louis Armstong All-Stars stuff.
Small combo, sweet production, older artist with a less-excellent voice, but nice phrasing and sophisticated musicianship. You have to love the way these ladies hang on the beat - they just wait out there til the very last minute.
My Memories of You is a really nice album - almost all very danceable/DJable (for a groover crowd, mind you), as I discovered at the Spiegeltent this weekend. I played far too many songs from the album, but it was just so appropriate for the dancers who were there - a version of Massachusetts which went down really well as a birthday song (and I like it because it reminds me of her much earlier version which I really prefer), as did Christopher Columbus which doesn't really hold up to too many replayings, but has a sweet sparcity and velvety sauciness which plays on the memory of Fats Waller's (decidedly dirty) version in a nice way.
Max manages to avoid the dirty lyrics, but their absense (if you know the Fats version) is emphasised rather than coyly ignored (as in the horrible Andrews Sisters versions of things like Hold Tight), so ends up feeling saucy - the delay in her phrasing, while not a patch on Billy Holiday, seems to let you know that she knows this is saucy stuff, but won't go so far as to piss of her record company with dirty lyrics.

This is a nice album. I've listened to it a bunch of times, and I know it'll be a sure-fire winner when DJing for groovers. But after about a half-dozen, or maybe 10 times through, I feel like I've pretty much heard all there is to hear. Unlike Billy Holiday's later stuff, where you feel you can keep going back and finding more interesting things. Max isn't the consumate muisican Billy is. Nor has her voice weathered as well as Ella's in that period. But there's something really appealing about this mature voice with a mature approach to swing.

[NB: I heard Jesse spruiking this one on his radio show and made an immediate impulse purchase. It's a damn good thing I really don't like Earnestine Anderson or I'd have spent my (non-existant) savings on groover crowd-pleasers by now)]

"Maxine Sullivan's My Memories of You" was posted by dogpossum on November 6, 2006 11:03 AM in the category digging and djing and lindy hop and other dances and music

Ella Fitzgerald's These are the Blues

Just a quick entry to blog the lately arrived members of my CD collection.

These Are the Blues by Ella Fitzgerald.

Ella really rocks, and this is a really great album. One of the late-Ella recordings (1963), there's some sweet organ action, some lovely solos, etc etc from the combo supporting her (I don't have the linter notes handy, sorry - story of my laptop-life). It's all blues, and it's all very blues-danceable.
Yet I am not entirely convinced that Ella really knows how to sing anything other than happy. She has an amazing voice, amazing musicianship, but it feels like she has a limited emotional range. Listening to a version of Christopher Columbus on another album last night, I speculated to The Squeeze that Ella could sing the naughty version of that song have it come off sounding entirely innocent.
But this is still a great album - truly great. If you like groovy, smooth blues. And Ella, of course.

"Ella Fitzgerald's These are the Blues" was posted by dogpossum on November 6, 2006 10:55 AM in the category digging and djing and lindy hop and other dances and music