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August 14, 2010

more new orleans?

Posted by dogpossum on August 14, 2010 2:42 AM | Comments (0)

You have to check out the map in this blog post.

"more new orleans?" was posted in the category clicky

July 21, 2010

sinister blues

Posted by dogpossum on July 21, 2010 9:38 PM | Comments (0)

I just want to keep a copy of this comment from faceplant, because I think it's interesting.

I've been thinking about and playing some music that I think of as 'sinister blues'. I call it that mostly because I remember seeing the Belle and Sebastian CD If you're feeling sinister on the coffee table when I was talking about it with someone. I like the way B&S, with their kind of sulky, hip aesthetic use the term 'sinister', and I like the way their use contrasts with the sort of show these 'sinister blues' people do (which is excessive, flamboyant, over the top and everything being hip is not).

Basically, when I think 'sinister blues', I'm thinking about bands who use acoustic instrumentation, often borrowed from jazz, blues or folk traditions (gypsy, yiddish, tango, etc), sing songs that are often quite bloody or hypersexualised, dress up in quite flamboyant, carnivale type gear, and do live shows that are really dramatic and fun. Some of them take themselves really seriously, some (most) have a bit of a sense of humour about it. They really do feel a bit Carnival, in that they are about excess, and often sing or perform stories which are deliberately 'shocking' or 'forbidden' or otherwise nasty. It's the excess - of emotion, costume, performing style, etc - which makes them super fun. They tend to dovetail with the goth/rockabilly scene in Sydney, where there's already a high-costume aesthetic. And some pretty heinous gender fail (do not let me get on my burlesque rant again). But as I point out, there's room for queering this shit up. Just like in True Blood, which takes all that excessive drama and sinister performance and twists it just a little (I wrote about that a little bit here).

So, Keith asked:

Keith Shapiro:
Meant to take notes on what we were talking about a month ago re: "despicable" blues or something like that, but didn't write it down and twitter lost it all. Can you remind me about the bands you were talking so I can investigate for this month's podcast? :)

Keith produces Confessin' the Blues, which is an interesting podcast discussing music for blues dancing.

I wrote this response:

Hmmm... I think it was 'Sinister blues' akshully (just a name to sum up these bands' kind of dark, broody style).

Tim Jones had some good names as well.

Ones I can think of:

Tiger Lillies


The Tiger Lillies, 'world's foremost death oompah band' (; video: Probably more in the cabaret/gothic glam camp, but still...

[edit: I have written about them here before]

CW Stoneking


CW Stoneking, who you know ( ; video: reminds me of the Tiger Lillies). Definitely danceable songs on his cds, and has links with Melbourne's hot jazz scene and bands/musicians who play regularly for lindy hoppers.

Tom Waits. Nuff said.

I'm kinda thinking some Nick Cave should be in this list...

Mojo Juju and the Snake Oil Merchants


Mojo Juju and the Snake oil merchants' 'dusty gin-house cavalcade' ( finally, a woman! And fairly queer...
[edit: associated with Hoodoo Emporium]

Brothers Grim

[edit: Gunther's great pic from BBS this year]

Brothers Grim: 'sex voodoo delta blues-a-billy' (; Gunther's great pics: Did a really GREAT set at Blues Before Sunrise this year - great performers.

Snow Droppers

Brothers Grim remind me of some bands which are popular in Sydney (where there's a greater cross-over with rock n roll and rockabilly), including the Snow Droppers ( who aren't necessarily 'blues dancing' bands, but are in that sort of newer or retro-type rockabilly/jump blues/rhythm n blues (whatevs) vein.

I like the term 'sinister blues' because it implies the nasty, morbid, goth edge. It's also super-serious, which makes me giggle. Reminds me of True Blood, in the BEST possible way. In fact, there's probably good stuff on the TB soundtrack, and I've found good stuff on the Deadwood and Carnivàle soundtracks as well.

I'm not entirely comfortable with all these bands because some of them (esp at the rockabilly end of the spectrum) tend to be GENDER FAIL. But then, all that work they do is intended to 'shock' (including via dodgy gender politics, violent or bloody themes, etc), which is kinda immature, but also part of their shtick. And it can be kinda fun, what with the dressing up and all, especially when it gets _so_ serious it becomes ridiculous.

I can't think of any female groups who do this stuff (beyond Mojo Juju) And I'd _really_ like to see some queer artists getting in there and screwing with the heteronormativity and rampant blokeism (something for the I think...)

...but then, I don't really know this music very well.

If I'm DJing these guys, I often add in some super old school stuff with dark or darkly funny lyrics (eg Rosetta Howard singing about how she'll 'cut him if he stands still, shoot him if he runs'; Irma Thomas doing 'Soul of a Man'; Bessie Jones singing 'O Death' on the Alan Lomax recordings) - stuff that says bayou, voodoo, etc.

"sinister blues" was posted in the category clicky and djing and lindy hop and other dances and music and television and true blood

June 25, 2010

nice things

Posted by dogpossum on June 25, 2010 9:07 PM | Comments (0)

Lint has nice things:

Because the depression was in colour:

"nice things" was posted in the category clicky

May 18, 2010

do museums love us back?

Posted by dogpossum on May 18, 2010 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

Pinky articulates my latest... persistent problem with my course.

Can has critical reflection?

"do museums love us back?" was posted in the category clicky and curating and collecting and learning

May 11, 2010

archives sites

Posted by dogpossum on May 11, 2010 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

Archives next
Collections Australia Network

"archives sites" was posted in the category clicky and curating and collecting

April 15, 2010

kids and kultcha

Posted by dogpossum on April 15, 2010 4:32 PM | Comments (1)

I'm trying to keep track of interesting links.

First, ProgDinns have another great post up. This one's about kids and food and kids as critics.

This post led me to the Mammalian diving reflex site. That's where I read about the kids reviewing stuff at the festival, giving adults hair cuts and going to restaurants. I also read the stuff about the experts on aging.

Then I read the article about the kids doing the reviews and it was great.

Then I read the eat the street mowbray heights blog and then I read the eat the street toronto blog.

And finally I read the Childrens' Choice Awards blog.

All of these things are just great.

"kids and kultcha" was posted in the category clicky and fewd and gastropod

April 5, 2010

online collection

Posted by dogpossum on April 5, 2010 8:04 PM | Comments (0)

My interest (for obvious reasons) is caught by online or digital collections curated by... well, by all sorts of people. I'm especially interested by public institutions like libraries, national galleries, etc using online galleries as a way of reaching the wider public. I'm also interested in the opposite - collections which work better in the face to face (I'm thinking of the national archives and their collections in remote indigenous communities...fuck, regional centres. God forbid they actually get action out to _really_ remote communities. Who aren't white.).

This is another one I've just found:, which is the national gallery's prints and printmaking... collection? I guess you'd call it that.

"online collection" was posted in the category academia and clicky and curating and collecting

April 1, 2010

palatable female super hero design

Posted by dogpossum on April 1, 2010 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

Dean Trippe

Project Rooftop (redesigning superheroes)

Annie Wu

"palatable female super hero design" was posted in the category clicky

February 24, 2010


Posted by dogpossum on February 24, 2010 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

Napping is nice.

"nap" was posted in the category clicky

December 9, 2009


Posted by dogpossum on December 9, 2009 11:37 AM | Comments (0)


The image I used in my 8 songs from 1935 that I LOVE 8track was from Shorpy, home of wonderful Olden Dayes images.

"btw" was posted in the category clicky

October 12, 2009

can't do this from a car

Posted by dogpossum on October 12, 2009 5:40 PM | Comments (1)


"can't do this from a car" was posted in the category clicky

extraordinary accessory

Posted by dogpossum on October 12, 2009 5:38 PM | Comments (0)

from here via here.

"extraordinary accessory" was posted in the category clicky

extraordinary theme

Posted by dogpossum on October 12, 2009 5:34 PM | Comments (0)

In the 1920s, if people had a party, they had an extraordinary theme. You know, the Sitwells would have a 'paradox party' where you had to come as a new paradox. But now invitations come covered in banners like a bad website. People can't be bothered to throw a party without getting it sponsored by vodka manufacturers or ghastly luxury goods companies .... It's so squalid and dispiriting.
Stephen Fry

from here

"extraordinary theme" was posted in the category clicky

September 10, 2009

instead of twitter

Posted by dogpossum on September 10, 2009 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

It's as though my life were in cartoon:
(c/o New Yorker)

"instead of twitter" was posted in the category clicky

August 21, 2009


Posted by dogpossum on August 21, 2009 5:59 PM | Comments (0)

I'm always last to the bar.

"man" was posted in the category clicky

July 24, 2009

i'm probably not listening. speak louder

Posted by dogpossum on July 24, 2009 7:51 PM

Today I did not answer your email or respond to your private message.
I didn't RT your tweet and I didn't follow your track-back.

"i'm probably not listening. speak louder" was posted in the category clicky

June 10, 2009

abandoned amusement parks in asia

Posted by dogpossum on June 10, 2009 12:33 AM | Comments (0)


Abandoned amusement parks in Asia.

An interesting unconsumption.

And a nice cartoon from the New Yorker.


"abandoned amusement parks in asia" was posted in the category clicky

June 9, 2009

bazlotto shmazlotto

Posted by dogpossum on June 9, 2009 6:32 PM | Comments (1)

Now this is just getting ridiculous.


Laura's looking for a house sitter in Melbourne during July. If that's you, and I know you and know you're not a scumbag, let's see if we can get you hooked up.

"bazlotto shmazlotto" was posted in the category clicky

June 6, 2009

hostage hosting? we haz it!

Posted by dogpossum on June 6, 2009 6:51 PM | Comments (0)

There are simple, spiteful pleasures...


"hostage hosting? we haz it!" was posted in the category clicky

oh count! me sorry! me love apples!

Posted by dogpossum on June 6, 2009 1:18 PM | Comments (0)

"oh count! me sorry! me love apples!" was posted in the category clicky

June 5, 2009


Posted by dogpossum on June 5, 2009 1:46 PM | Comments (1)

Representation of women FAIL.


"wtf?" was posted in the category clicky

May 28, 2009


Posted by dogpossum on May 28, 2009 12:23 AM | Comments (3)


I win!

"bazlotto!" was posted in the category clicky

May 25, 2009

carol ralph

Posted by dogpossum on May 25, 2009 3:36 PM | Comments (1)


As soon as I posted that last post, I thought of Carol Ralph, an Australian singer (who totally PWNS - I thoroughly recommend her CD). I don't know Carol's background, and I feel uncomfortable writing about it. But she doesn't read 'black' or 'white'. I think I need to read a whole lot more about issues of ethnicity in Australia. I know I need to read more about whiteness-as-ethnicity.

That's a photo by my friend Scott, who's photography has improved so dramatically since November I was just stunned as I flipped through his pics looking for this one just now. In fact, his photos are just gorgeous - I like the way his photos of friends and of people he knows reveal the way he feels about them. They're very affectionate and often quite lovely photos.
Here's another of two lovely Melbourne leads:


It's funny, but I feel very strange writing about ethnicity in relation to this photo. These are my friends, and people I do not want to reduce to example of multiculturalism in swing dance. I want to tell you what it's like to dance with them, about how one of them makes films, and how the other is a lovey and one of my favourite stunt buddies. Ethnicity is important and part of who they and I are, but I don't think I have the language tools to talk about it in a way that does what I want. This, of course, was the difficult part of my dissertation. How to write about my own community, my own friends, myself, in a way that's respectful and yet also thoughtful and cognisant of these sorts of issues.

So I think I'll just end this post with another huzzah for Scott's photos (and the fact that he can make me feel all fuzzy inside looking at this lovely photo of my friends), and the recommendation that if you ever get the chance, you must dance with these boys. Or at least buy them a beer.

"carol ralph" was posted in the category clicky and lindy hop and other dances and music

March 9, 2009

an awesome jazz doco from 1961

Posted by dogpossum on March 9, 2009 9:57 PM | Comments (3) six parts, on youtube (can't find number 2, sorry).











"an awesome jazz doco from 1961" was posted in the category clicky and lindy hop and other dances and music

March 7, 2009

building the millenium falcon

Posted by dogpossum on March 7, 2009 9:10 AM | Comments (0)

Dust For Eyes put me onto this awesomeness:

Building the LEGO Millennium Falcon from Gizmodo on Vimeo.

(from gizmodo)

"building the millenium falcon" was posted in the category clicky

February 27, 2009

interesting news at faceplant

Posted by dogpossum on February 27, 2009 9:31 AM | Comments (0)

Governing the Facebook Service in an Open and Transparent Way by Mark Zuckerberg Today at 6:20am

Last week, we returned to our previous Terms of Use as we worked on a new set of governing documents that would more clearly explain the relationship between Facebook and its users. Since then, I've been excited to see how much people care about Facebook and how willing they are to contribute to the process of governing the site.

Our main goal at Facebook is to help make the world more open and transparent. We believe that if we want to lead the world in this direction, then we must set an example by running our service in this way.

We sat down to work on documents that could be the foundation of this and we came to an interesting realization—that the conventional business practices around a Terms of Use document are just too restrictive to achieve these goals. We decided we needed to do things differently and so we're going to develop new policies that will govern our system from the ground up in an open and transparent way.

Beginning today, we are giving you a greater opportunity to voice your opinion over how Facebook is governed. We're starting this off by publishing two new documents for your review and comment. The first is the Facebook Principles, which defines your rights and will serve as the guiding framework behind any policy we'll consider—or the reason we won't consider others. The second document is the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which will replace the existing Terms of Use. With both documents, we tried hard to simplify the language so you have a clear understanding of how Facebook will be run. We've created separate groups for each document so you can read them and provide comments and feedback. You can find the Facebook Principles here and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities here. Before these new proposals go into effect, you'll also have the ability to vote for or against proposed changes.

I believe these steps are unprecedented in promoting understanding and enabling participation on the web. I hope you will take a look at these documents, read them carefully, and share your thoughts.

Facebook is still in the business of introducing new and therefore potentially disruptive technologies. This can mean that our users periodically experience adjustments to new products as they become familiar with them, and before becoming enthusiastic supporters. The launch of News Feed and the recent interface redesign are excellent examples that illustrate why we need to continue to make independent decisions about products in order to push technology forward. While these products must be consistent with the Principles and in compliance with the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, they will not be subject to the notice and comment or voting requirement.

We're honored that so many millions of people around the world have decided to bring Facebook into their lives to share information and experiences with friends and loved ones. We understand that gives us an important responsibility to our users.

History tells us that systems are most fairly governed when there is an open and transparent dialogue between the people who make decisions and those who are affected by them. We believe history will one day show that this principle holds true for companies as well, and we're looking to moving in this direction with you.

I'm sceptical. Or he's just naive. Either way, I'm not sure I'm buying all that.

"interesting news at faceplant" was posted in the category clicky

February 26, 2009

today i:

Posted by dogpossum on February 26, 2009 6:06 PM | Comments (0)

Got up earlier than usual so as to begin preparing for my (fuckful) early teaching starts in a couple of weeks. Not too early (only 8.30), but I find it very difficult to change my sleeping pattern, and it's a long road from 9.30am to 6.30am when you're going at half hour intervals. I'm considering just moving all at once, but I don't like the way I'm going to feel that one day of craptitude. I also find my body just ignores that sort of massive all-at-once change. I am a creature of habit. This will, of course, make late night DJing tricky. The early start is a Monday, with a day of lectures and tutes, then a day of tutes on Tuesdays. So Saturday late night DJing will be a bit of a pain. Last semester I found the traffic noise on our busy road very difficult to deal with and had to resort to ear plugs. I hope - and don't think - that'll happen again as I've adjusted to the noise.

Rode my bike to Petersham for lunch (why Petersham? Well, two words: Sweet Bellam the 'cake boutique'). Had bunny and a nice broad bean salad at a Portugese joint. Watched a bunch of middle aged blokes from the train station eating whole chickens and chips. Then realised that they were actually only young men, just carrying the bodies of middle aged, beer-belly-wearing, overweight, unfit men. It was a bit scary. I'd seen the same lot having lunch there the day before. Bunny and salad was kind of a special meal for me (it was quite nice, actually, though I hurt my tooth on a bunny bone), but to eat chicken and chips every single day? I was just thankful they had to walk up the hill to the restaurant. Though they probably drove. I wanted to yell out "Don't! Don't eat that again! Have a salad! Have a sandwich!" but I figured it wasn't such a good idea. I did plan on a cake, but decided to push on to my next destination first.

Printed out a road map from our place to Newtown. Petersham, I discovered yesterday, is only 10 minutes (if that) from our place. Which is such a tiny distance. On the map, that's only about a third of the way to Newtown. But the main roads to Newtown are scary: narrow, busy, fast-moving traffic on a single lane, poorly surfaced road. All bad news for a baby bike rider like me. Then I noticed this:

View Larger Map

Street view showed me this:

View Larger Map

Which is pretty exciting. You can't look at them using street view, but Sydney has a whole system of these sorts of alleys. They're not cobble stones like Melbourne's, though - they're sealed. Now, alleys are notoriously dangerous ways of getting around by bike. Things come out of blind corners, cars drive down them at speed, weird blokes grab you off your bike (that's my nightmare).

So I was kind of careful. But I chose to ride along this one anyway, all the way to Newtown. I'm really glad that I did. I saw lots and lots of good scrumping opportunities. Lemons, Grapes (ripe! accessible!), longans (you know I have no clue what to do with them), plums... all sorts of neat stuff. I also came across a few doozers and their mini digger. I couldn't get past on-bike, so I had to carry my bike over the ripped up concrete, and then up and over the edge of the digger. The doozer bloke (young, mediterranean, well-trained) offered to carry my bike. I smiled and said "no thank you" and hefted it over. I'm glad I'm not one of those steel-is-real nuts. I'm also glad I didn't bring a big bottle of water this time. But dang, I felt tough. It was all very interesting. And riding there from Petersham was ridiculously easy and quick.

Dropped in on a friend's shop to say hi, then went up the road to the bike shop.

Bought stuff at the bike shop. I bought a new helmet (because mine was old and skanky and really kind of crapped up through mistreatment), new lights (because we've lost our lights and I needed new ones for getting home from yoga) and new grips for my handlebars. It cost me far too much money.

I also looked at cleats/click shoes (I am mad keen on these ones, but not too hopeful). I'm not sure of their names, though I did ask the bike guy. Wikipedia tells me cleats are just specialist sports shoes with spikes. So who knows what you call the cycling ones. Basically, they're special shoes that have a little locky thing on the sole that clicks into a locky thing in your pedal. Why bother with that rubbish? It makes pedaling more efficient - you make better use of your muscles and your foot moves around less on the pedal, stopping you wasting energy with wiggling. So to get this set up happening, you need special pedals and special shoes. The shoes are quite stiff and can be super-daggy or fairly ok. I think I only want them because The Squeeze has them. New click-wearers tend to stack it a few times at first until they learn how to work the quick release.
I'm not sure whether these things will make me cooler/a better cyclist/a consumption stooge. But for a girl who's been browsing far too many (make sure you check out the little movie on that one) bike sites, it's actually pretty impressive that I haven't suddenly decided to dump my perfectly serviceable Apollo road bike for something ridiculously expensive and terribly sexy. ..
.. it is sexy, though.

Anyway, after a little wander through the bike shop and a quiet (private) mock of the fashionista bloke buying his first fixy (enjoy that no-gears, no-break thing, dood - especially with your perfectly white dunlop volleys, immaculately shaved and tanned legs and perfectly perfect designer shorts), I left Newtown.

And went to Petersham for a cake. The flourless chocolate cake at Sweet Bellam is fabulous. Their coffee is ordinary, but it's a very nice place to have a sit and a read and a cake. Petersham was rocking with groups of senoras on the lookout for spunky older gentlemen and "coffee! coffee!" so I had to be very careful making my way down to the other back-roads path home.
There is a system of back-road designated bike routes which I don't really understand. The one I used a lot is the 'L5', though I'm also into the 'L10'. I thought they were prepaid only bus route numbers. But there're also pretty well-signed bike routes. Roads are usually shitfully bumpy and crap, but they're quieter, wider, safer roads. Don't seem to join up properly, but that could be because I'm not following them properly. Anyways, they're worth the look.

Looked at lots of bike pron. I've just waded through a heap of sites, including:
- this RTA bike route map collection which I can't seem to understand.
-the city of Sydney's new Cycle Way, which ties into the Jan Gehl assessment of Sydney (as discussed here on City Of Sound. I don't really understand the new cycle way yet because I don't know the city roads or areas well enough to understand the practicalities and issues involved.
- a lecture on the Powerhouse's bike collection via their their weekly lecture series
- bike bus project website, where I felt a little bit frustrated. I'm not interested in getting into the freakin' hardcore yahr! masculinity of the real-steele/fixy scene (mostly because I'm packing a uterus, and they're not really appropriate in that scene - apparently you're harder hardcore if you risk your gonads wearing them on the outside while you cycle), but I'm not really into these semi-lame government/council initiatives, either. I'm just not sure where I stand, really. With my friends or The Squeeze or on my own, probably.
- and, finally wished I'd seen this rider spoke thing earlier.

Had a little think about my 'goals', as a badass cycling feministah. I'm very attracted to the steel is real/fixy thing. If only because it is so tattooed, no-cleats, RAHR! badassin' hadcore. And male-dominated. I like to think of myself as all those things (sans tatts, though), and I do like to push myself into male-dominated scenes. I also like it as an alternative to the happy-clappy, hand-holding hippy cycling world. Or to the shave-your-legs, wear-lycra, ride-down-highways-really-quickly crowd. But I don't think I could really be bothered.

I want equipment that's tough and hard-wearing, so I don't have to replace it.
I'm not really interested in brands, but I'm not like those fixy-fashionistas who peel all the stickers off their bikes to be cool in a sort of faux-op-shop Revival sort of way.
I want to get maximum efficiency from my body by using the right equipment, but I don't want to buy stuff 'just because'. My old bike is perfectly adequate. My flouro yellow rain jacket is daggy but safe (and kind of stinky atm). My new helmet isn't skatin' rad, but it is safe and good quality. Do I need clicks? Do I need lycra pants? In the latter case, I definitely need some sort of new shorts situation - I've lost so much weight none of the shorts in our house fit me any more.
All of this is, of course, some sort of desperate attempt to distract myself from not dancing. It's classic transferral. I need to resolve my feelings about not being able to dance. Or I could just throw myself into another activity obsessively. I'm sure as shit not doing any sewing these days. But gardening... that's another story (remind me to blog our seedies' progress).

So it's been kind of a big day. I'm so glad I'm back on my bike, and back exploring Sydney. Next I'm going to find some way to explore the beaches. Possibly a train/bike combo.
Yes, please.

"today i:" was posted in the category bikes and clicky and fewd and gastropod and sydney

what a lovely pic

Posted by dogpossum on February 26, 2009 8:47 AM | Comments (0)

I just had to share this lovely photo of two of my friends. I would have blogged it straight from flickr, but couldn't. You can see it here, but make sure you check out the rest of this photographer's amazing pics.
This is a good bud of mine who's living in New York, though she's been living in London for a few years now (four?). The guy is another friend, an American who was living in Melbourne but now lives in the Netherlands. I love this pic because of the shapes and pose (they weren't actually posing - just dancing), but also because I love the expression on D's face. She's having so much fun. We miss her a lot, but we're also proud she's off being jetsetting Woman of Business. This photo also makes me a little bit sad, because it's all the things I love about dancing - having fun, being creative, figuring things out, making beautiful shapes, experimenting with weight commitment and leading and following. I also like the way G hasn't dragged D over too far - he's actually extended his arms. And that's something a lot of guys can't seem to manage (often because they carry far too much tension in their shoulders and just _can't_ extend that far). I also like it that they're wearing normal clothes, not vintage gear - this is everyday dancing for everyday people.
So I like this photo a lot. Nice framing, nice light - just the perfect moment capturing two lovely people doing something they both love very much. Sigh.

"what a lovely pic" was posted in the category clicky and lindy hop and other dances

February 25, 2009


Posted by dogpossum on February 25, 2009 4:49 PM | Comments (0)

New Matilda give good style sheet. Can't wait to get in and have a gander at the code.
I know it suits my general aesthetic (ie white with pale grey borders), but there's a reason newspaper pages are white. I really like a site where the design is invisible, or so very ordinary you have trouble figuring out how it works.

"golly" was posted in the category clicky

level of awesome: 10

Posted by dogpossum on February 25, 2009 3:36 PM | Comments (0)

more Loutit awesomeness:

Metal Heart from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

"level of awesome: 10" was posted in the category clicky

city of sound

Posted by dogpossum on February 25, 2009 3:33 PM | Comments (0)

I think it's the post-ride endorphines. They've jolted me out of my unemployed, understimulated lassitude.
Found city of sound and suddenly my cultural studies interests have merged with my (shy) interests in design and architecture and urban planning.

"city of sound" was posted in the category clicky

the way i feel about sydney: busy, all water and sun and people

Posted by dogpossum on February 25, 2009 3:26 PM | Comments (0)

I've been living in Sydney for six months, and I still feel like a tourist. It's that sense of excitement and exploration that you get living or visiting somewhere new. It's wanting to go out and just _look_ at the things around you. To take photos. To see interesting things and then tell people the story of your day.
I lived in Melbourne for eight years, and in Brisbane for about fifteen before that (and lots of other places in the years before). Living in Melbourne I never felt the urge to live near the sea, or even to visit it. The Victorian coast line never really woke the inner-swimmer in me. The person who used to live in Fiji and learnt to swim almost by osmosis. Living here, in Sydney, I think I'd like to live in one of those posh beach-side suburbs. I like the sound of Bronte. Sydney is a city all-about-the-ocean. Keith Loutit's little clips are the way I feel about Sydney: busy, all water and sun and people.

Bathtub II from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

"the way i feel about sydney: busy, all water and sun and people" was posted in the category clicky

February 23, 2009


Posted by dogpossum on February 23, 2009 11:20 AM | Comments (0)


To make your band's album cover, do the following:

1 - To get the name of your band, go to Wikipedia and hit “random”
or click
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - To get your album title, go to Quotations Page and select "random quotations"
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your album.

3 - For your album cover photo, go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5 - Post it along with these instructions and tap the friends you want to join in.

I choose not to tap.

"meme-on" was posted in the category clicky

February 22, 2009

libraries gettin' flicky wid it

Posted by dogpossum on February 22, 2009 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

Man and young boy boxing

Originally uploaded by State Library of Queensland, Australia

I've been fascinated by the recent sprouting of 'official' archives and libraries on flickr. The latest (and most interesting) is the State Library of Qld. These photos are wonderful for their ordinariness. And their... unordinariness. So Queesland. And it's only since I left the state that I can really appreciate how unusual Queensland is.
A number of libraries and galleries have recently leapt into flickr. This fascinates me. I've also heard of some wonderful archive/google map hacks: historical google maps, as illustrated by the (Australian) National Archives. This is where my research interests sprout: I am utterly enthralled by the way people take 'found technology' and hack it to suit their needs and interests. de Certeau would be delighted.

"libraries gettin' flicky wid it" was posted in the category clicky

February 1, 2009


Posted by dogpossum on February 1, 2009 9:25 PM | Comments (0)

Gotgastro is perhaps the greatest googlemaps hack I've come across so far. The Squeeze has been gleefully cross-referencing this with the Good Food Guide. It's almost disturbing to see that all the dumpling joints in Ashfield have violated the health code. Having just dealt with a horrible stomach virus (and it was virus, rather than food poisoning), this site suddenly seems far more important than it did before.

Browsing the List of Shame, it seems that it's best not to eat:
- chinese food from a chinese restaurant
- at Subway, Red Rooster, KFC or Hungry Jacks (though McDonalds is apparently ok)
- Sushi
- at the Top Choice BBQ Restaurant in Burwood
- anywhere that sells meat.

But it's probably ok to eat at vegetarian joints (so long as they're not Indian or Chinese). I was sorry to see the F&V shop I get deliveries from on that list. Thank god I only buy F&V there.
Man, we need to grow all our own food. NOW.

Where are you eating tonight?

"gotgastro?" was posted in the category clicky

January 26, 2009

pav's cat rocks awesome words yes

Posted by dogpossum on January 26, 2009 9:17 PM

There is something visceral about that harmony moment in choral music, the moment when the music spreads out sideways, like the opening of a fan.
(more here).

"pav's cat rocks awesome words yes" was posted in the category clicky

December 31, 2008

oh no

Posted by dogpossum on December 31, 2008 11:53 AM

Faceplant and twitter are killing my blog. Or, more accurately, my blogging skills. I haven't written a longer and thought-out entry in ages. I was never one for hardcore planning and editing (I just write straight into MT here, then do a bit of cursary editing once it's published), but the one-line update has killed of what little stamina I had. But I do update regularly.
I do quite like the short, one-line update. I like experimenting with content and style. I like using lines from songs I'm listening to (most of which are oooold and fairly dirty), and I've just started adding sections from books I'm reading (for review). Yesterday, while adding a few bits from a book I'm reading about censorship, I was suddenly struck by the potential of one-line updates. If you have a group of friends, either on faceplant or twitter, you have a group of 'listeners'. If you write something provocative, you'll get responses (and the interesting bit is seeing which things turn out to be provocative - it's difficult to plan these things, I think). The really nice bit is, of course, the replies. What short answers does a one-line comment from you, on your 'profile' (showing up in their feeds on their pages) stimulate in your group of 'friends'? And then, what answers do their answers stimulate?
I'm a little frustrated by the short answer option, sometimes - I want to read a longer, thought-out comment in response to an update. But then, I think the shorter answers keep us reading. It's more of a conversation and less of a series of lectures or conference papers.
This all made me think: couldn't you use this feature to encourage learning? I mean, I don't think it's going to work if you announce a teaching mission, or even if you demand your students use faceplant or twitter or whatever (I prefer faceplant for the way it threads responses - though twitter might have the option, I'm not sure). But it could work if you were sneaky. And if your group of friends has 'naturally' formed around a shared interest or even just a shared relationship.

I've also been interested in the way a 'high status' poster/personality/friend, who has a larger group of friends stimulates discussion. If they post just one comment (on a photo, an update, a note), the hits for that comment (and that page) leap. This isn't anything new - this sort of thing is played out in more familiar public spheres, when a TV star (celebrity) comments, when an MP visits, when a famous scientist opines. But I'm interested in the way these statuses play out on a smaller scale, within peer groups.
A 'high profile' personality might simply be an agreeable sort - someone you like to talk with in person, someone whose comments entertain you. In the dancing world, the 'high profile' person is almost always a 'famous' dancer. But on faceplant, the highest 'high profile' personality always has a large group of friends (a large audience), offers something to these friends (interesting comments, funny jokes, and so on) and posts regularly. They have a high profile. There are, of course, gender correlations (at least within the online world of swing dancers).

I have a friend whose comments (on both faceplant and twitter) are not only very clever and funny, but also kind and socially gentle. She doesn't score points with cheap jibes. But she is assertive and 'present' as a speaker as well as a listener. In my mind, I'm equating lurking with listening. On facebook - as with discussion boards and blogs - the number of listeners always far outweighs the speakers. Which of course lets us think about the way speakers gain social status but listeners do not, and yet listeners are essential for the success of any speech or comment.

At any rate, though these things are boiling away in the back of my brain, I'm not writing long posts any more. Nor am I writing any academic posts. I found that I was at my most prolific academically when I was also writing masses online, whether on my blog or on discussion boards. I was also reading a whole lot. These days I'd say my feelings about writing and reading aren't so good. In fact, I'm not happy. I'm very unhappy with my inability to get full time work. I guess it's your typical overachieving academic crisis: so many years depending on educational institutions for a sense of self worth, and then suddenly I'm outside that system and there's no more affirmation. It doesn't help that I can't do any serious exercise (but I'm off to yoga next week, so things will improve there I hope). No lovely endorphines. None of that interpersonal interaction you get dancing. There's nothing quite as wonderful as partner dancing - two people working together, communicating without talking to make something lovely and creative - and there's no partner dancing like lindy hop. Jazz, sweet jazz - you make me happy.
But I'm struck by the way my satisfaction and inspiration in writing and reading is so necessarily social. Can't I just enjoy my own company? I think it's more that while I am very good company and terribly interesting ( :D ), I actually really enjoy listening to other people's ideas. And there's nothing so stimulating and exciting as having your brain stretched by someone else's great ideas. I mean, you'd never have come across that thought without their inspiration - how wonderful is that?

All of this post was inspired by Lisa Gunder's excellent post about teaching over on Memes of Production. I was struck by her comments about the relationship between casualised communication and students' _not_ doing the [opposite to casualised] sort of learning we expect from them. I also liked her comment (and do read through the article to the comments):

Most young people do, in my experience, care about issues and have opinions on politics. Sometimes you get glimpses of this in class, but inside or outside of class this frequently seems to be the bit of their lives that they keep private even if the rest of it is lived out online or on mobiles.

I think this is a fascinating point, that students (in a world where they broadcast all sorts of things about themselves online and via their mobiles) keep their politics and feelings about issues private. I think I agree with this. And I think I'd also add that these students don't often seem to have confidence in their ideas - they're reluctant to explain how they feel about something in class because they're afraid they'll look stupid or say the wrong thing. I wonder if this is because there's such great pressure to pass their subjects and get their degree. They don't seem to have the time or space to sort of mosey along, taking intellectual risks and generally playing with ideas. When I enrolled in my BA in 1993 I had no idea where I wanted to go with my study. I just chose subjects (from the absolute wealth on offer at UQ in those days) that interested me. And I really enjoyed tutorials and writing assignments - I liked talking and writing and sharing ideas. I was also very, very lucky to have tutors who were - for the most part - interested in my ideas. And they weren't massively overworked. And they were - quite often - staff members, not sessional teachers or postgraduates.
It makes me sad to think of my students not feeling brave enough or having enough time or even the interest to explore ideas. I think perhaps that this reluctance is encouraged by the way we structure assessment. I once taught a subject that had fabulous cumulative assessment. The first assignment was a literature review for a project. The second required them to plan out the project (but not actually complete it - which most of them found frustrating!). I had also taken great pains to develop tutorials (which ran for two hours, not the ridiculous one we had last semester) as places for discussing these projects. It was so wonderful to see them introducing their projects in the earlier part of the class (where we'd all just chat about the media we'd been getting into in the last week - and which we all enjoyed) and then commenting on each other's projects and offering suggestions. As their knowledge about research techniques and theory improved, so did the depth of their discussion. It was wonderful. Perhaps the best bit was seeing their confidence in their own knowledge increase, and their sense of 'ownership' of their project deepen. These guys really felt that their work was interesting, their ideas were important, and that they were doing something no one else could, simply because of who they were. I also made it clear that it was ok (if not preferable) to work on stuff that interested them - to choose topics or media that they were really interested in (I have written about this teaching stuff here).

So I guess I'm going to sum all this up by saying that I really enjoyed Lisa's post - it's as lovely and nice as she is in person. I am also definite that I need intellectual stimulation, and that self-stimulation isn't enough. I will endeavour to write and read more and to try to be more creative with the way I use faceplant and twitter updates (did you see I had my twitter feed up the top of that left column now?) and will have a bigger think about teaching tools.

Also, happy new year, homies. :D

"oh no" was posted in the category academia and clicky and teaching


Posted by dogpossum on December 31, 2008 11:41 AM | Comments (0)

Suddenly I'm very very excited

"europeana" was posted in the category clicky

December 19, 2008

theme no.3

Posted by dogpossum on December 19, 2008 2:47 PM | Comments (0)

(of 1 and 2)


The emusic logo thing.

"theme no.3" was posted in the category clicky

December 18, 2008

theme continues

Posted by dogpossum on December 18, 2008 3:10 PM | Comments (0)

Be thankful I'm not linking to the cervix pics. Not mine, someone else's.

Well, maybe next time.

"theme continues" was posted in the category clicky

December 14, 2008

look, no hands

Posted by dogpossum on December 14, 2008 6:28 PM | Comments (1)

I'm copying Alice's work and having a bash at some photoshop tutorials. You MUST go and look at Alice's work - it's freakin' sweet. Mine is a little dodgier:


If you can't see all the image, best to click through to the permalink.

It's not really finished. Basically, it took me hours to get to the point where I had the figure on the textured background. I'm not all that happy with that part - there's not enough texture on the figure (mostly because I gave up on the layering). The text is shitty, but that's because I gave up before I got to the bit in the tutorial about adding layers of 'paper'.

I'm really enjoying it, but I have to follow the instructions _exactly_ because I don't know very much about photoshop at all. I'm just a baby with layers, buggered if I know anything about masks or any of the fancy shit. So, really, I don't actually know anything, I've just been copying. But I'm going to have another go to see if I can actually _learn_ as I go.

I quite like the colours (this whole image is probably the result of too much Deadwood this week), but I _really_ like the colours on Alice's latest effort.

My eyes are kind of square, too.

Ok, here are my sources (and most of them I just found via Alice or the original tutorial):

The basic picture of the woman is from facebook, and it's a picture of Michelle from Sugar Blue Burlesque.
Then I added a hare's head from stock.xchng.
The background paper was also from stock.xchng.
The sunray thing was from
There's a bit of nice wallpaper in there (as in the stuff you put on walls) fromlovelamp.
There're some brushes (now, there's something I'd never used before) from brusheezy.
I think the font is from dafont.

I'm going to have a bash at some more of these photoshop tutorials. I wish I was a bit more visually creative, or that I had something specific to design for. I just couldn't think of anything to write on this one (it's pretty dumb, I know).

I'm also a bit concerned about putting animal heads on women's bodies. Especially on burlesque bodies. There's something weird there. And I'm not entirely comfortable with burlesque as it is - my politics suggest that there's really nothing all that ok about stripping and women dancing erotically for (predominantly) male audiences. I mean, just 'cause it's old timey stripping, don't mean it _isn't_ stripping and _doesn't_ carry all the accompanying problems that stripping carries generally.
... part of me is also thinking about the Dietrich film 'Blonde Venus' and all that feminist film stuff about female bodies as 'pieces' cut up by the male gaze. I also worry about animal headed women not being able to 'return' the male gaze.
But there you go. I dare say my using that picture of a woman I know without permission is also problematic.

I have a couple of ideas for animal headed men, but I think I'm kind of over them. We'll see, though. I think I'd like to go for a more modern look as well - I'm a bit over that dirty look. But it is useful to know how to do it, now.

But what _I'd_ really like to know how to do, is add those 'pieces of paper' with the text on them. I also discovered that I'd forgotten how to do shaped text (as in following a free form line). Sigh.

...and, my foot is still bung. It's about three weeks, now, and I'm only up to 10 minute walks. They make my foot hurt and hurt, though. But yesterday I rode my bike and it didn't hurt my foot. Ace. I still have a bit of a cold from MLX, but I'm absolutely dying of cabin fever and lack of exercise. I MUST do some sort of exercise before I go nuts. I also plan to get into yoga again after christmas. My house-bound-ness has made me very dull, I'm afraid, so nothing more from me. There's more Deadwood to watch. :)

"look, no hands" was posted in the category clicky and crafty bastard and people i know and webbing and yoga

December 9, 2008


Posted by dogpossum on December 9, 2008 7:30 PM | Comments (0)

There is awe and majesty left in the world (as found by a number of people and duly poached by me).

[edit: now I think this is an elaborate joke. Evidence? It's just too _good_. The text on the site is too well written and hits too many notes (ie covers all the cheez bases); these doods usually can't write. The site is a bit fancy - it costs a lot and has some badass teknical stuff happening. He's just _too_ much. I think it's a scam by somebody of a reasonable famousness. But we'll see.]

"sigh" was posted in the category clicky


Posted by dogpossum on December 9, 2008 7:01 PM | Comments (0)

via the duck.

"awesome" was posted in the category clicky

December 3, 2008

2 dollars isn't such a high price

Posted by dogpossum on December 3, 2008 5:39 PM | Comments (0)

"2 dollars isn't such a high price" was posted in the category clicky

November 4, 2008

domestic djs

Posted by dogpossum on November 4, 2008 6:40 PM

DJ lounge rooms via Germany.

"domestic djs" was posted in the category clicky and djing

October 20, 2008

in honour of aquaria

Posted by dogpossum on October 20, 2008 10:59 AM

This contemporary aquariums article reminded me of my trip to the Melbourne aquarium (click that image to the left there to see huge jelly blubbage). We went to the Sydney one recently, and I think I prefer the Melbourne aquarium; the Sydney aquarium's information posters and stuff around the actual fish was quite crap. The Museum kicked both their arses for fully awesome awesomeness.

"in honour of aquaria" was posted in the category clicky

September 24, 2008

plastic bag great!

Posted by dogpossum on September 24, 2008 7:58 PM

"plastic bag great!" was posted in the category clicky

remember to breathe

Posted by dogpossum on September 24, 2008 7:44 PM

I found this nice thing and it reminded me of ducky.

"remember to breathe" was posted in the category clicky

August 25, 2008

everybody else is doing it...

Posted by dogpossum on August 25, 2008 12:28 AM


But this doesn't really look at all like me. I have short, spikey hair. I have little eyes. I have big hairy caterpillar eyebrows. I have a skinny nose and it goes down a long way. But my head is not wide like that. And I have a long chin. But I do like stripes.

btw, I've been sick since I last posted - that's why I was feeling a bit crap that last post.

[edit: can you see it now?]

"everybody else is doing it..." was posted in the category clicky

August 16, 2008

oh goodness

Posted by dogpossum on August 16, 2008 2:57 PM


Crinks has just alerted to me the wonder of Cake Wrecks. It will make you happy.

"oh goodness" was posted in the category clicky

August 15, 2008

omg ponies

Posted by dogpossum on August 15, 2008 8:21 PM

Suddenly I'm interested in the Olympics. Fuck the swimming, give me badass sisters kickin' it with their pony mates. YEAH!

(read about Anky here).

"omg ponies" was posted in the category clicky

August 14, 2008

do i need to go on?

Posted by dogpossum on August 14, 2008 3:56 PM

There are many disturbing things about this Prada ad, but the one that really makes me squirm is the female figure's body shape and posture. Weirdly pre-pubescent almost-breasts, super long legs... she walks like a catwalk model even without the silly shoes. And that type of walk (helllooooo pelvis) is actually a bit tricky to master.
Do I need to go on? I mean, surely I'm not the only one who has trouble with the gender stuff here.

"do i need to go on?" was posted in the category clicky

August 6, 2008

no google doesn't go here

Posted by dogpossum on August 6, 2008 7:21 PM | Comments (0)

Best blogging of google-freaking-out-Australians-street view.

NB The Squeeze and I rushed straight to look at the Taj Mahal (no, not the blues musician) last night and were Disappointed. We settled for pretending the cyclist in front of our old house was me.

"no google doesn't go here" was posted in the category clicky

July 11, 2008


Posted by dogpossum on July 11, 2008 6:28 PM

I'm going to miss the huge windows of this room when we move. I will miss checking in on the zillions of cats in the 'wick.

Meanwhile, on to more important things (meme! from here):

1. Where is your cell phone? dunno
2. Your significant other? cbd
3. Your hair? short!
4. Your mother? hobart?
5. Your father? hobart?
6. Your favourite thing? books
7. Your dream last night? sweaty
8. Your favourite drink? tea
9. Your dream/goal? employment
10. The room you're in? bedroom
11. Your hobby? sewing
12. Your fear? structurelessness
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? employed
14. What you're not? skinny
15. Muffins? sure
16. One of your wish list items? cds
17. Where you grew up? many
18. The last thing you did? packed
19. What are you wearing? bad
20. Favourite gadget? sewingmachine
21. Your pets? nonexistant
22. Your computer? sweeeet
23. Your mood? snotty
24. Missing someone? nope
25. Your car? nonexistant
26. Something you're not wearing? makeup
27. Favourite store? musicwithoutboarders
28. Like someone? yep
29. Your favourite colour? bright
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? today

"ephemera" was posted in the category clicky

April 9, 2008

jook joint pics

Posted by dogpossum on April 9, 2008 1:35 PM

There're more of these wonderful images here.

"jook joint pics" was posted in the category clicky and lindy hop and other dances and music

March 17, 2008


Posted by dogpossum on March 17, 2008 11:53 AM | Comments (1)

The internet just got awesome: google sky.

"wwo" was posted in the category clicky

February 12, 2008


Posted by dogpossum on February 12, 2008 3:00 PM

How wonderful are cheezbergers?


"omg" was posted in the category clicky

February 3, 2008

look at this interesting thing

Posted by dogpossum on February 3, 2008 2:55 PM

Some artists in York (UK) hooked some lights up to York Minster cathedral which responded to sound. As people (and passing vehicles) made noises, lights were projected onto the facade of the cathedral, moving up the contours of the building.

This clip is kind of annoying to listen to, but it makes for fascinating viewing.

"look at this interesting thing" was posted in the category clicky

January 18, 2008

lindy + sisters + SF = want!

Posted by dogpossum on January 18, 2008 12:44 PM

(From flickr, uploaded by The Library of Congress)

Carefully trained women inspectors check and inspect cargo transport innerwings before they are assembled on the fuselage, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif.
Photographer: Palmer, Alfred T., 1942 Oct.

How freakin' awesome.

"lindy + sisters + SF = want!" was posted in the category clicky

January 12, 2008

go indy go

Posted by dogpossum on January 12, 2008 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

A new Indiana Jones film is on the way. Check out this picture of one of the baddies. Go Cate, go.

"go indy go" was posted in the category clicky


Posted by dogpossum on January 12, 2008 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

Following some neat teaching ideas, I came across the Dymaxion map of the earth. Supercool.

...and I recommend following all the links from the world simulation entries - there are films on YouTube and everything. That looks like FUN teaching!

"supercool" was posted in the category clicky and teaching

December 17, 2007


Posted by dogpossum on December 17, 2007 5:36 PM

There are many nice things. This is one of them. Yet again, I kick myself for failing to attend.

"o " was posted in the category clicky

December 12, 2007


Posted by dogpossum on December 12, 2007 5:25 PM



"bazlotto!" was posted in the category clicky

August 31, 2007

Farmers lock up premier

Posted by dogpossum on August 31, 2007 7:35 PM

An angry mob of farmers locked Victorian Premier John Brumby in a machinery yard for more than an hour this afternoon to protest the government's planned north-south water pipeline.
Am I the only one who thinks this is an awesome news story? I especially liked the headline.

"Farmers lock up premier" was posted in the category clicky

August 29, 2007

rock on scribbler

Posted by dogpossum on August 29, 2007 4:39 PM


The Scribbler has taken the challenge (also ranted on here), for which he rocks.

"rock on scribbler" was posted in the category clicky

August 22, 2007

the legend of D4E

Posted by dogpossum on August 22, 2007 2:12 PM

Whenever I see D4E (which is a few times a year at a lindy exchange - in Sydney, in Perth, in Melbourne) we plug our earbuds into each other's mobile music devices and play each other music.
This is where I learn about music that isn't jazz and wasn't released in 1992 on Shock Records.
I only play music - he makes it.

the legend of D4E Hip Hop Mixtape

(I'm not sure if he rocks, though)

"the legend of D4E" was posted in the category clicky and djing and music and people i know

Some guys really don't rock that hard.

Posted by dogpossum on August 22, 2007 1:53 PM

(but don't read the comments.)

"Some guys really don't rock that hard." was posted in the category clicky and music

August 17, 2007

we can has feminzm now k thx

Posted by dogpossum on August 17, 2007 1:14 PM


stealing other people's ideas when I should be finding photos of Britney Spears for work.

"we can has feminzm now k thx" was posted in the category clicky

August 15, 2007

argh! another cult!

Posted by dogpossum on August 15, 2007 4:30 PM

Facebook has eaten my life. I'm trying to write lectures but. can't. stop. checking. wall.


"argh! another cult!" was posted in the category clicky

August 14, 2007

facebook = virus!

Posted by dogpossum on August 14, 2007 7:27 PM

Listening to this discussion about Facebook, I was struck by the guy's description of face to face and telephone communication 'inefficient'.

The entire presentation emphasises 'efficency' in communicative and networking practices. An interesting project for someone who's interested in how men and women and different people communicate in person and online?

"facebook = virus!" was posted in the category clicky

July 27, 2007

"unbelievable teaching tool!"

Posted by dogpossum on July 27, 2007 9:17 PM

I've been spending a fair bit of time on YouTube lately - can you say

"Unbelievable teaching tool!"

Why, yes I can.

But while there's a whole host of fantastic things on there, from 1980s Solo ads (go solo man, go) and weird Japanese ads for McDonalds, some of the very weirdest things start off extremely normal.

""unbelievable teaching tool!"" was posted in the category clicky

July 10, 2007

in the spirit of lolcats...

Posted by dogpossum on July 10, 2007 4:42 PM

...I choose to decloak now.

And because this shit is funnier when you tell the joke over and over and over again...

"in the spirit of lolcats..." was posted in the category clicky

May 21, 2007

there's some freakin' great stuff on the internet

Posted by dogpossum on May 21, 2007 1:51 PM

Right here (via here).

"there's some freakin' great stuff on the internet" was posted in the category clicky

May 8, 2007

i know there are only about 3 of you who have never seen this

Posted by dogpossum on May 8, 2007 8:15 PM


But I feel it is my duty to open this particular world for you.

"i know there are only about 3 of you who have never seen this" was posted in the category clicky

May 2, 2007


Posted by dogpossum on May 2, 2007 2:20 PM

Stewpic.jpg Galaxy's little brother (I never get tired of writing that - I'm sure it drives him nuts, but I feel like I get to associate with Galaxy's Big Sister pride in Stew because I've known her so long) has been making nice things again. I particularly like that photo of the nannas with the the athletes. It reminds me of a comment a dance friend made about images of black men being intimidating. At the time I was kind of floored by the inadvertent racism at work, but now I'm also really interested in the idea of pictures of people being intimidating. And by the way particular people are set up to be intimidated. And of course, the ways race and gender are at work in all this.

...I'm always really tickled by the way certain types of men find me really intimidating. I think of myself as a little baby - I spend half my time worrying that I'm not clever enough or good enough or whatever. I like to wear a lot of pink and I like necklaces made of bright wooden or plastic beads. And when I come across another young man who finds me really frightening... I have to say, I like it. I like the power. I like being able to think 'HA! Take that, patriarchy!' And of course, I take shameless advantage of it.

"strong-arm" was posted in the category clicky

March 29, 2007

i guess you get what I mean, right?

Posted by dogpossum on March 29, 2007 12:40 PM

Jean put me onto something neat here. It's a talk by Ken Robinson about learning and teaching and you can watch the clip here. I can hear some of you sighing and clicking on, but I recommend dropping in to have a look and a listen - it'll make you giggle. And there's some talk about bodies and dance.

It's interesting, because I've written and thought quite a bit about embodied and disembodied knowledge, and how different cultures privilege one or the other. Robinson talks about academics and how their bodies are really just vehicles for carrying their brains around. It's true - I've always loved dancing (mostly la discotheque!), but before I got hardcore about dancing I always thought of my body as something for transporting my brain. I sufferred from serious migraine headaches - I spent a couple of days in bed each fortnight when I was finishing my MA. Can you imagine that? It seems completely crazy to me now, but then I just dealt with it (well, in a getting-depressed-and-wanting-to-blow-myself-up way).
Now I realise that the problem was that I was spending an awful lot of time sitting on my clack, squirrelling my stress away in my muscles. Now I know that if I don't get up out of my chair and shake my arse every day, my muscles start to tense up and get cranky. And I get a headache. But I also know that getting up out of my chair and jiggling about to music I love for an hour is WONDERFUL! Going to the gym - dull. Jogging - duller. But dancing? That shit is GREAT!

Writing about dance for my work happened kind of by accident - I was coming out of a shitty first run at a PhD, I was hating it, I was miserable, but I loved dancing. And I thought, 'What would be my dream situation? What would be most perfect?' And getting another scholarship to write about dancing and score some funding to go to Herrang was that dream project. And you know what? They gave me the scholarship and they sent me to Herrang, and I wrote a big fat thesis and lots of articles about dancing.
Can you imagine anything more nuts? It just seems too great to be true - getting the chance to do combine dance with the loveliness of thinking and writing and reading and talking all day. I still feel insanely lucky - and I'm sure someone's going to bust me some day and ask for the money and degree back.

The thing I like to think and write about, though (after I've written about saucy 1920s song lyrics), is the way dance works as system of meaning and a medium for the exchange of ideas - the way dance is discourse. That shit rocks. I mean, in cultural studies you're so centered on the idea of language and words - most of the theory floating around in this discipline has at its heart the idea that words are the most important, most wonderful way of communicating ideas. I dig that - I'm all over the idea that words are great. But I've found, working with the various theories trucking about, that this doesn't allow much room for other ways of communicating or representing the world. Sure, there might be vast tracts of writing about other disocourses, but they're still vast tracts of words. I can make a joke with my body that simply doesn't translate into words. You just can't make the joke work. But one sight gag is worth a thousand words.
And then, the thing that really gets me pumping, is thinking and writing about the way dancers have gotten a hold of the internet and other hi-tech action and appropriated it for ther own, decidely embodied purposes. The last paper I submitted to a journal had a comment from a reviewer where they wrote:

The author needs to explain this meaning for the dance studies outsider and not use it for other purposes like a some sort of repetitive mantra or abstract motif to try and unify the article, or 'sound academic' . For example, couldn't 'embodied use-value' (p.6) just be 'inherent usefulness'?

And after I got over huffing and puffing and being angry, I thought about the way I've used the expression 'embodied use-value'. I'd spent a large chunk of my thesis exploring the idea of particular technologies having 'embodied use-value'. For me, this meant asking how a particular bit of tech was valued for its place in embodied practice. In other words, dancers value particular types of technology because they can be used in an embodied context. They're not very interested in books of vast theoretical discussions of dance. But they've gone crazy for youtube. Because you can do things with it, with your body. You can watch a clip, stand up and dance along.

I wanted to distinguish between 'usefulness' and embodied usefulness. Sure, the internet is neat for keeping people in contact, but for dancers it's even more useful as a means by which they can access dance footage, download music and organise a dance class. The Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra Live in Swing City CD is a wonderful thing in itself, but when you pop it in the CD player and stand up, it suddenly becomes an incredibly useful and wonderful thing. And the difference is that it acquires a material, physical, immediate, embodied value and meaning. Here is the medium by which I can access the work of musicians in another country, years ago. Here is the means by which I am inspired to move my body. Here is the thread that joins me to my dance partner and to the dancers around me and to the people people in the room who aren't on the dance floor, but are still listening and watching and moving.

When I read Gunther Schuller's book The Swing Era, I certainly find use for his ideas. I read about Ellington and think about his life and read the musical score on the page. But Schuller's book suddenly has far more meaning and value for me when I play the song he's writing about, and get up to physically test the different percussive rhythms and soaring trumpet solos he's describing. That's embodied use-value. It's not just the academic value of an idea or a line of prose. It's not even the things that I might do with his words with my body in the future. It's the things that I do do, and am doing, right now, when I'm shaking my arse.

I think that's one of the things that I find so appealing about dance - each dance is transient. Sure, you can record it and watch it again later. But the real meaning of the dance lies in that moment when your body is in motion, when you're touching your partner and the communicative process simply outstrips the resources of words. You can't write about it later and hope to catch the true meaning, or to articulate the way it really felt. But you can certainly get up and move, and feel the meaning.
I think that's the other important part of dance - it's not just about watching, but about doing. It's necessarily participatory discourse. That's why I'm interested in vernacular dance rather than performance or concert dance - I'm interested in the way vernacular dance doesn't let you just sit there and suck it in. You have to do it, to make it, to participate with your body. So your body cannot possibly just be a container to carry your brain around in. It actually is the medium and the message and the meaning all at once.

Ok, that's a long way away from the original clip, but I guess you get what I mean, right?

"i guess you get what I mean, right?" was posted in the category clicky and lindy hop and other dances and music

March 1, 2007

i think i'm in love

Posted by dogpossum on March 1, 2007 11:19 AM

Noun? Adjective? Who can say.

Rock on Language Lab.

c/o baristah!.

"i think i'm in love" was posted in the category clicky

February 12, 2007

web 2.0

Posted by dogpossum on February 12, 2007 11:35 AM

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us via Purse Lip Square Jaw via Digital Ethnography @ Kansas University

"web 2.0" was posted in the category clicky

As dangerous as a midnight coffee

Posted by dogpossum on February 12, 2007 10:28 AM

Glen's started a meme over here, and it's one that actually caught my eye.

I meme when I'm trying to be cool, but I think this one is actually quite me.

I am starting up a meme. It is called the “As dangerous as a midnight coffee” meme.

Blurb: Five songs for going nuts when IT HAS TO BE DONE. This isn’t the Nike Just Do It song list of inspiration. It is a savage beast that attacks your weaknesses, and gives you the perspective of sickness, thus forcing you to be stronger. The songs have to currently be on a portable music playing device that you listen to at midnight brewing a coffee and getting ready to attack IT (or comparable scenario).

I do own an ipod (well, The Squeeze owns an ipod, and I see it as my Sistahly duty to appropriate it and use it for previewing old skewl jass for DJing on the bus... well I did, when I was catching the bus. I also used to use it for 'read-a-long' sessions with Gunther Schuller (I've just been humming and ahing over his books on abebooks, btw: I need them. I do. I really do)), but I think this meme really lends itself to the 'hypothetical set list'.

Midnight Coffee - hm. I'm thinking of late night after parties, when the crowd are warmed up from the first gig, but you've just changed venues, so you have to get them really cooking again.

So, to rework the meme-theme, here are five songs that (I'd hope) would work together to GET IT DONE. In other words, five songs that would hopefully drive a crowd of dancers into a frenzy.
Now, five songs really isn't very much for crowd frenzying, so let's assume I've spent about five songs getting them warmed up.

...actually, I'm going to do two lists. One will be a chronological list of five songs, in the order I'd play to get the crowd nuts. The other list will be five seriously hardcore-kick your muthafucking arse hardcore YAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! dancing songs that I would never play all in a row. Not if I wanted to have the floor even partly full.

1. 'Blues In Hoss' Flat' Count Basie 142bpm 195? Big Band Renaissance Disc 1 3:13
Because Basie is the only way to kick a bunch of dancers into a frenzy... well, not really, but it's a nice place to start.
I'm imagining I'm working with the Melbourne crowd at CBD rather than at MLX or another big exchange. Because exchanges are a different kettle of fish.
This song rocks because it's hi-fi, it's late Basie, it has some pretty major brass and people know it and love it. It's also a very manageable 142bpm - a nice warm-up tempo.


...look, this isn't going to work. Five songs isn't long enough for me to guarantee mass insanity. I ain't that good, and I need to see the floor to judge my choices.

Instead, I'm just going to go list five arse kicker songs. The sorts of songs that make me crazy. That I've made dancers crazy with (with which I've made... whatever). And they'll probably be my current favourites.

1. 'Back Room Romp' Duke Ellington and his Orchestra 155 2000 Ken Burns Jazz: Duke Ellington 2:49
Man, I can't believe I only have one version of this song! It's the best. This is a great warm-up track.

... wait, I'm doing it again! I just can't list five big songs without working up to them!

Ok, now I'm just going to do hardcore, arse kicky songs that I might play at an afterparty. Maybe not all in a row, because the dancers would die. But definitely within one set. Between about 2 and 3 perhaps - when people have all arrived, had a slurpy or their second (or third) Red Bull and something to eat and have the energy to burn. Let's also say that the room is pretty warm (but not hot - just not chilly), and it's pretty crowded. But not so crowded you can't really swing out like a fool.

I'll try again.

1. 'Jumpin' At The Woodside' Count Basie 237bpm 1938 Ken Burns Jazz Series: Count Basie
The 1930s versions are best. This is one kick your arse song. You can tell Basie got his start with a bit of stride piano with that stomping intro. The tempo is hot (but doable), there are lots of nice layers building up the energy.

Actually, I'm into this now. Now I'm just going to list hardcore songs that I love that would kick your arse if you danced to them all in a row.

2. 'Lafayette' Benny Moten's Kansas City Orchestra with Count Basie 285bpm 1932 Kansas City Powerhouse 2:48

My comments for this one read "difficult but good fast dancing; ok quality". It comes in shouting and then pounds away at 285bpm. I've never danced to it, I'm not sure you could, but it's a cracking song. I like the stompy base. Basie of course began with Moten's band - this is hot Kansas city action (those Kansas doods were wilder and rougher).

3. 'Hotter Than Hell' Fletcher Henderson 275bpm 1934 Tidal Wave 2:58

This is one frickin' fast song. But it really rocks. Henderson is the king of hot, arse-kicking music for lindy hopping.

...I'm getting really excited listening to this stuff. It's going to be impossible to settle down and work after this.

4.'Blues In The Groove' Jimmie Lunceford and his Orchestra 205bpm 1939 Lunceford Special 1939-40 2:35

Not everyone's pick of the Lunceford action (I know I was torn between this and 'Lunceford Special' or 'Blue Blazes'), but this one, while it doesn't have that pounding, driving structure is one of those songs that you can't help but dance to - it makes you jump up and jiggle around. So it's a 'get it done song' because it'll get you dancing, despite yourself. And that's a DJ's job - getting people dancing despite themselves.

5. 'Rigamarole' Willie Bryant And His Orchestra 240bpm Willie Bryant 1935-1936 2:35

This one doesn't actually sound all that fast, but it really builds you up and makes you crazy. It says DANCE MUTHAHFUCKAH! So people generally do. Mostly like crazy fools. It has shouting in it as well, which always helps. I often play the Mora's Modern Rhythmists version for dancers because the quality is better, but the MMR version doesn't have the same punch as Bryant's.

That's it, then.
There are about a million other songs I could have listed - we're all about hard fast, getting-you-moving music here in the swinguverse - but these are five of my favourites.
I know some people'd be suprised to see no 'Ride Red Ride' in there, or 'Man from Mars' (or Chick Webb at all) or 'Sugar Foot Stomp' in some incarnation. I'm also a bit sorry not to have any really hot Ellington action there something like 'Jubilee Stomp', a 1928 Ellington track that clocks in at 265bpm (I have it on The Duke Ellington Centennial Edition: Complete RCA Victor Recordings (disc 01)) would have been a sensible addition. But I could have gone on forever. I could have done a top 5 Basie arse kicking songs. Or a top 5 old skewl. And I didn't even touch the dixie or 'charleston' music.

Anyone got 5 other good, arse kicking, 'get it done', 'dangerous as midnight coffee' music?

"As dangerous as a midnight coffee" was posted in the category clicky and djing and lindy hop and other dances and music

February 6, 2007

textual analysis = dangerous

Posted by dogpossum on February 6, 2007 11:29 AM

This is exactly the reason I didn't name names in my thesis, and am reluctant to publish some parts of it.
I just know I'll get a serve for pointing out the obvious.

I might write more on this later when I'm not so busy.

"textual analysis = dangerous" was posted in the category academia and clicky

February 5, 2007


Posted by dogpossum on February 5, 2007 12:32 PM

This article on Bruce Osborn rocks (c/o Mz Tartan).

"clicko" was posted in the category clicky

go read them - they're good

Posted by dogpossum on February 5, 2007 12:11 PM

I'm just about to get jiggy with another paper draft, but I just wanted to draw your attention to Galaxy's series of great telly posts. Go read them - they're good.

"go read them - they're good" was posted in the category clicky

February 1, 2007


Posted by dogpossum on February 1, 2007 5:36 PM

I'm allergic to tea tree (and all melaleucas), but I love lavender. But it's not for boys.

"ladies'" was posted in the category clicky


Posted by dogpossum on February 1, 2007 2:02 PM

I've been looking at some interesting acka blogs lately - sort of the American (I assume) version of people I'm already reading.

  • Digital Audio Insider, an interesting chat about digital music. I need to read more of this dood's blog. Especially when he gets talking about itunes (because swing DJs have a rather love-hate relationship with itunes - there's some freaking amazing, obscure shit on there, but the quality simply isn't good enough for DJing).
  • Fandrogyny, a blog with a post about Heroes at the top, and of course, we're all over Heroes at our house at the moment.
  • terra nova, a kind of all-round internetty/acka-ish group blog which has a really interesting article about three ackas choosing to synchronise their posts about second life:
    The posts are intended to be the beginning of a coordinated conversation. According to Henry, "After corresponding with Shirky and with my colleague Beth Coleman, it was decided that we would offer some new statements about this controversy across our three blogs today and respond to each other's posts in about a week's time. We also agreed that we would post links to the other posts through our sites which would help readers navigate between the various positions." (from that entry)
    That's some interesting stuff - I've been thinking about the way early career ackas (or eckas, I guess) use blogs to network. And it's only a matter of time til more grown up ackas start using the lovely discursive potential of the internet. I don't doubt, though, that finding the time to do this stuff will be something only fairly well positioned ackas will be able to do.
  • apophenia, more lovely fan talk

"clicky" was posted in the category clicky

January 31, 2007

i know everything about strayan kulcha

Posted by dogpossum on January 31, 2007 4:10 PM

Australia Day Meme c/o pavcat and others.

This will help you understand why it is that I am a media studies person not a literature person. And perhaps it can be explained by the fact that I read almost nothing but science fiction.


1) Which Australian poem are you most confident you could recite from memory?

There was movement at the station
for the word had got around
that the colt from old Regret had got away.

That's it, homies. That's all I know of any Aussie poem.... no, wait, I know one more:

Jesus Christ,
Burnin' round town on his Yamaha,
Chucked a skid,
Scared a kid,
Burned his arse on the petrol lid.

My favourite bit is the part where he scares a kid. I couldn't swear that this was penned by an Orstraylian.

2) Which of the Seven Little Australians are you?

What are you implying?

I don't know any of the Seven Little Australians. I have never read a story with them in it. Nor watched a telly show featuring them.

3) Which is your favourite Patrick White novel?

Couldn't name even one. Not even one. I'm sorry.

4) Which is the best Patrick White novel?

Can I call a friend?

5) Which Australian fictional/dramatic/poetic character do you fancy most?

I think that would have to be the man from Snowy River, for obvious reasons. Unless I could be ... no. Actually, I don't want to be anyone from Monkey Grip.

6) And which do you identify with most?

Oh, you were asking me which I thought was hawtest in that last question? Riiight. Sorry, same answer.

7) If you had to read five Australian poems to a heterogeneous unknown audience, which five would you choose?

Five that were written down. But I think I'd start with this one because it actually reads aloud quite well. I would perhaps accompany it with some interpretive dance.

8) Which five Australian books would you take to a desert island?

48 Shades of Brown by Nick Earles.
fuck, I can't think of any Australian books I've read that weren't written by Nick Earles or Helen Garner. I know I've read some, I'm just not sure which one's I'd like to take to an island. Nice ones? Maybe ones I haven't read? How's about that Patrick White - what's good by him?

9) If you were a guest at Don’s Party, would you be
(a) naked in the pool
(b) upstairs having sex
(c) outside having sex
(d) sulking with a headache
(e) huddled round the TV
(f) crying
(g) more than one of the above (please specify)
(h) other (please specify)

Waaiiiit... this wasn't just a film, was it?
I'm not sure.
Last (state) election I was herding a few hundred endorphine-charged, sweat-bathed dancers through two rooms of late night fun. I think crying would have been my preferred option at that point.

10) Tim Winton or Christos Tsiolkas?

Because I once had a discussion with Galaxy about Tsiolkas and decided I didn't like his sexual preferences much (I got the idea he was into underaged young men. But then I didn't mind Loaded (was that the name of the film?). The only Tim Winton I've read is Cloud Street. It was ok, but it was a bit depressing.

11) Banjo Paterson or Henry Lawson?

Banjo, because there's never enough banjo. Banjo-banjo-banjo.*

12) Henry Lawson or Barbara Baynton?

Lawson because I don't know Babbs.

13) What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen at a writers’ festival?

I saw someone's undies once. I can't remember who's.

*This is a reference to New Orleans jazz.

"i know everything about strayan kulcha" was posted in the category clicky

no, THIS is the greatest thing on the internet

Posted by dogpossum on January 31, 2007 4:09 PM

c/o balcony.

"no, THIS is the greatest thing on the internet" was posted in the category clicky

January 26, 2007

flipper fest

Posted by dogpossum on January 26, 2007 2:26 PM

flippers.gifHaving seen ducky's post, I'm now having second thoughts about the thongs I bought The Squeeze the other week (this photo doesn't quite do justice to the extreme green of the things). I picked them up at a supermarket for a couple of bucks as a joke - an extension of the cricketing hat I bought him for christmas (he doesn't play cricket, never has, doesn't really watch it, but like the thought of watching it. Or falling asleep on the couch in front of it).

I spent half of this very beautiful Invasion Day asleep - 12 hours of slumbery goodness. I have no idea why I slept so late (til 12!), but I do know I was tired out dancing last night, was very tired riding home and then fell into bed and asleep straight away with only a token grizzle.

I think it's the insane solo jazz binge kicking me.

"flipper fest" was posted in the category clicky

January 21, 2007

inquiring minds...

Posted by dogpossum on January 21, 2007 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

Zoe's popped - go here to check him out!

And just yesterday we were at the pub with a friend who's really ready to pop.

Inquiring minds need to know: did you eat the placenta, Zoe?

"inquiring minds..." was posted in the category clicky

January 18, 2007

the thought of dancing in the third person

Posted by dogpossum on January 18, 2007 5:06 PM | Comments (0)

If you drop in over here, you'll see that things are sounding a lot like a whole lot of swing dancers with too little to occupy their immediate attention.

I have only two things to add:

1. I wrote my thesis in the first person and began each chapter with an anecdote, not to mention peppering the whole thing with talk about me. This is partly because I was actually spending a bit of time talking about how to do research as scholar-fan (to use Matt Hills' term)/member of the community you're researching. But mostly it was because I am a hopeless narcissist. It simply became ridiculous to write about this stuff without the first person - imagine all this in not-first-person (apologies - this is from a not-final-draft):

My earliest experience with swing dance was framed by university culture. As the social convenor for my postgraduate association in 1999, I was asked to organise a group expedition to a local venue that featured a live jazz band and swing dance classes. I fell instantly in love. Moving to Melbourne in 2001 for postgraduate study, I found the local swing dance community offered a natural complement to the work and culture of academic life, and quickly became a ‘serious dancer’. Five years later, I am well familiar with ‘the zone’ and all its attractions, have devoted countless hours and dollars to its pursuit, and become firmly entangled in both the local and international swing dance community. This doctoral thesis signals not only the completion of years of academic study in cultural studies and media studies, but also my critical engagement with a community and hobby which has played such a large part in my life.

During my time in the swing dancing community, my interest has frequently been arrested by:
1) the encouragement and embodiment of traditional gender roles and social relations in the dance;
2) the ways in which these embodied dance practices and representations of identity are managed by communications media and technology; and
3) by the discursive activities of institutions and organisations within the community.
I am continually surprised by the way traditional gender roles are enforced in contemporary swing dance culture, despite the more liberal examples offered by the African American history of swing dances. I am also struck by the capitalist nature of contemporary swing dance culture articulated by dance schools and institutions, again, despite the social history of African American vernacular dance. These issues have led me to a more comprehensive research project where I asked how embodied dance practice in this community have been mediated by technology and institutions, and what are the effects of this mediation?

Much of what I have observed in terms of media practice in contemporary swing dance culture echoes the literature dealing with media fandom in cultural studies. In this small community of interest, members adopt active and creative approaches to texts and discourse, routinely poaching ideas and structures from official discourses and media texts to create new creative works. Fan studies offers me a means by which to approach my research, not only in terms of theoretical frameworks, but also in terms of considering my role as a researcher who is also a member of the community I am studying. Despite my interest in media use within this community, swing dancers are, above all else, dancers, engaged in embodied discourse and cultural practice, always with an eye to social engagement with other dancers.

A large part of the introduction, from which this bit was taken, is devoted to my figuring out how to talk about and write about a community of which I am a part. I did try writing in the not-first-person. It was mostly ok until I started trying to talk about what it felt like to actually dance. Then it just got dumb.

In fact, one of the major arguments in my work is that the divide between performer and audience in concert dance is a marker of middle class Anglo ideological stuff.

Here's some stuff from the paper I'm trying to write writing.

African American vernacular dance of the swing era, with its emphasis on improvisation and the creative contribution of individual dancers, rather than the prioritisation of choreographed performances and of choreographers as orchestrating artists, presents a public discourse that demands individual contributions. Social standing is assured by the ability to produce improvised or innovative new steps or variations on familiar steps, making public contributions to public discourse, representing the self in community discourse. A popular phrase in contemporary swing dance culture, shouted to encourage dancers in competitions or in jams or battles on the social dance floor, epitomises this notion: “Bring it!” And what is being brought to this discourse is an authentic or convincing self. Make it real or dance real feelings (whether these are anger or joy or derision or ironic humour), or stay off the floor.
...and then...
Ward makes this distinction: “there is a categorical divide between dancers and the audience in performance dance …that does not exist between dancers and spectators in social dance, where those roles are interchangeable” (18). I read this dynamic relationship between the roles of ‘spectator’ and ‘dancer’ in social or vernacular dance as a clear example of the ways in which readers participate in the making of meaning in textual interpretation. Thomas DeFrantz describes the call-and-response between performers and audiences in African American music and dance in "Believe the Hype", arguing that this structure is carried on into other media forms, and he takes music video and film as his key examples.

In the case of dance, the text is a dance, or a dancer’s body, or just ‘dancing’, and the reader makes meaning through reading this text not only as a spectator, but also through their knowledge as dancers. This ability to make meaning even from unfamiliar choreography is facilitated by the cultural knowledge of movement that we all learn as social beings within a community. We know that this is dance, we recognise it as such in this moment, because we have danced, we have seen dance before. We have occupied and are occupying the roles of spectator and performer and are culturally familiar with this as dance.

I can promise you only that more quotes from my thesis will be forthcoming. No one will ever read the bloody thing if I don't, and fuck, we endorse strutting in our house.
I will also, no doubt, continue to quote from papers until I get them under control. I am working at home, alone, and don't see another acka type person more than once or twice a semester. This is the online equivalent of talking to yourself.

But, wait, my second thing:

2) If the first person is using 'I' and the third person is saying things like "dogpossum disapproves of most things" and "today dogpossum will take her tea at her desk, though she will consider wearing pants so as to avoid unfortunate scorchings", what's the second person? Is it (to make oh, perhaps another quote from a little thing I've just finished)...

In the zone, you respond without thinking, your senses taken up by the music, by your partner and by your own emotional responses in a state or way of being that can only be described as – thinking with the body.


I think this is the sort of question that &Duck could answer.

.... look, I'm still giggling at the thought of dancing in the third person. One of the indelible rules of partner dancing is that you have to stop thinking to make it work. And one of the most excellent bits of my research has been the way thinking academically about dancing on the dance floor is the one sure way of having a really crap dance.

oo, oo, I'd really like to write a bit about choreography and the 'third person' in that process. There's some really fabulous stuff written on the choreographic process and its ideological function/context. I'm a big fan of the idea of improvisation as choreography, which suggests that you make shit up as you go along, so the new steps you create are necessarily function-first. This is of course in direct contradiction with the sort of tortured-artist-in-an-ivory-studio idea that gets trundled along in ballet and concert dance (and much of dance studies - you should see how excited they get about the idea of geneologies of dance - where they trace the influence a particular teacher had on a line of dancers/students).

[edit: oops. forgot some references:
DeFrantz, Thomas. “Believe the Hype!: Hype Williams and Afro-Futurist Filmmaking.” Unpublished paper. Spectacle, Rhythm and Eschatology: A Symposium. University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 24th July 2003.

Ward, Andrew. "Dancing around Meaning (and the Meaning around Dance)." Dance in the City. Ed. Helen Thomas. London: Macmillan, 1997. 3-20. ]

[another edit: I also like the way it's assumed that blogging is about telling the truth. Whether you're writing with emotional honesty or with careful logic and supporting linkage. Surely I'm not the only one who's digging the implied gendered assumptions about writing here?]

"the thought of dancing in the third person" was posted in the category academia and clicky and lindy hop and other dances

happy coincidence

Posted by dogpossum on January 18, 2007 1:34 PM | Comments (6)

normal_7iplodpassemuraille.jpgI'm doing a bit of research on youtube for this paper I'm doing (and discovering in the process that deciding to 'stop reading', while a fabulous tool for getting the thesis done, has left me... oh, at least a few years behind the published world of academia), and have come across this neat article on M/C by Paula Geyh. Do go read it - it's only a little thing, and does the nicest job of combining talk about bodies, urban space and D&G I've seen yet.
I am a massive big nerd for anything to do with bodies and dance/gymnastics/beautiful, rhythmic movement, and this stuff on parkour (which I've also heard referred to as urban junglism) is absolutely right up my alley.

To quote directly from wikipedia:

Parkour (IPA: [paʁ.'kuʁ], often abbreviated PK) is a physical discipline of French origin in which the participant — called a traceur (/tʁa.'sœʁ/) — attempts to pass in obstacles in the fastest and most direct manner possible. The obstacles can be anything in the environment, so parkour is often practiced in urban areas because of many suitable public structures, such as buildings, rails, and walls.
And to continue with a quote from Geyh's article,
Defined by originator David Belle as “an art to help you pass any obstacle”, the practice of “parkour” or “free running” constitutes both a mode of movement and a new way of interacting with the urban environment. Parkour was created by Belle (partly in collaboration with his childhood friend Sébastien Foucan) in France in the late 1980s. As seen in the following short video “Rush Hour”, a trailer for BBC One featuring Belle, parkour practitioners (known as “traceurs”), leap, spring, and vault from objects in the urban milieu that are intended to limit movement (walls, curbs, railings, fences) or that unintentionally hamper passage (lampposts, street signs, benches) through the space.

So when we watch footage of that parkour stuff, we're watching a combination of practical (yet wonderfully imaginative and creative) urban locomotion. But the bit that catches my interest is the repeatedly quoted line from Sebastien Foucan,

"And really the whole town was there for us; there for free running. You just have to look, you just have to think, like children." This, as he describes, is "the vision of Parkour." (Wikipedia article)

I like that idea - thinking like a child. This is play. But it also involes a creative and unconscious approach to physical activity. One of the things I've noticed about swing dancers - they're particularly keen to try new things, particularly sports, physical activities, games, tricks and 'stunts'. I think it's because they've discovered that you have to just try things (as Sugar Sullivan would shout at us in class - "If you don't try to dance it, you will never dance it!"), throw yourself into activities, even if you're likely to look foolish or fall over. When you know the limits of your body, you can trust yourself to do things which appear physically difficult. And when you're used to experimenting physically, you stop worrying about looking foolish or being embarassed.

As an example, I am frequently (if not always) the only woman leading in aerials classes. I hear comments about how leads (or bases) should be physically strong, and there's certainly a degree of posturing by some male dancers in regards to being a base. But the truth of the matter is, if you have good technique and do moves correctly, you don't need to be ridiculously strong at all. I'm no stronger than the average woman, and certainly not as strong as most men my size, but I know that I can lift my partner up onto my shoulder and flip her over. Because I know how to use my body effectively, and work with her body. You are in greater danger of hurting yourself or your partner if you enter these activities with some grandiose idea of your own strength, or, conversely, with the idea that you're going to get hurt. In learning aerials, the conventional 'female = weak/vulnerable', 'male = strong and protective' is rubbish. Self reliance, good communication, solid technique and using spotters are key parts of safe aerials

But back to the parkour people...

There's lots of talk about military obstacle courses and so on in discussions of parkour, and escaping and leaping and reaching (the latter two I quite like, as ideas), but I'm really struck by the emphasis on creative responses to obstacles, yet with a practical eye. Ostentatious flips are debated - are they un-pakour because they're aesthetic (an unnecessary) embelishments?

But the part of this that I'm really interested in, is Geyhr's references to flow:

One might even say that the urban space is re-embodied — its rigid strata effectively “liquified.” In Jump London, the traceur Jerome Ben Aoues speaks of a Zen-like “harmony between you and the obstacle,” an idealization of what is sometimes described as a state of “flow,” a seemingly effortless immersion in an activity with a concomitant loss of self-consciousness. It suggests a different way of knowing the city, a knowledge of experience as opposed to abstract knowledge: parkour is, Jaclyn Law argues, “about curiosity and seeing possibilities — looking at a lamppost or bus shelter as an extension of the sidewalk”
Flow is something that's come up in swing dance discussions. I've mentioned it very briefly in my own work, but without using that term.

Dancers often talk about being 'in the zone'. As with that notion of flow, the zone is the place where you stop consciously directing your body, but respond to the music, to the weight changes and posture and movements of your partner on an almost instinctive level. I think it's important to point out that this point of flow or zone is only achievable if your body and reactions are at a particular level of ability. To make this work, you must have a degree of body awareness, a stability of core, clear lines of alignment in joints and muscles and bones, some level of fitness and a willingness to 'give in' or 'surrender' what I call 'high brain stuff'. You have to stop planning and to just give in and move.

Needless to say, this is one of the most wonderful parts of dancing, and the point to which most dancers reach toward. It's often the motivation for travelling internationally or interstate to attend exchanges, where the sleep deprivation and intense socialising helps bring that point of flow closer. It's something that newer dancers don't feel, but suddenly, at about a couple of years, suddenly do feel, and get seriously addicted.

The thing that catches my attention in the discussion of parkour is that this flow is about the relationship between body and environment. With dancers, it is about body and body and floor.

So go read that nice article, if only to check out the neat clip.

Geyh, Paula. "Urban Free Flow: A Poetics of Parkour." M/C Journal. 9.3 (2006). 18 Jan. 2007 .

Photo from this site, a photo by a parkour dood, uploaded to

"happy coincidence" was posted in the category academia and clicky and lindy hop and other dances

January 17, 2007

youtube = great

Posted by dogpossum on January 17, 2007 7:16 PM | Comments (0)

Hey, homies, has anyone seen Birds of Prey? The telly series from 2002? It looks like exactly my cup of tea. I suspect it's supercrap, but if I can watch Aquaman, the Smalls spin-off, I can certainly handle a little Batkid action.

I gots a look at the promo thing here (and here with the alternative, hawt Sherylin Fenn action) but haven't managed to figure out which clip comes next.

Youtube = great.

...but dang this media convergence thing. Is it still telly if it was never screened on telly, but you watched it on youtube? Does the form determine 'tellyness', or is it the mode of reception?

"youtube = great" was posted in the category clicky and television

someone else said it betterer

Posted by dogpossum on January 17, 2007 2:01 PM

Stephanie pointed me in the direction of this nice blog. There, Meredith has said far more succinctly what I was trying to say in my last post:

I had promised myself for a year or so that when I finished my PhD I'd start a blog. Marrickvillia was a reward to myself, away from the academic grind - a place to write lightheartedly. It also turned into an escape...

"someone else said it betterer" was posted in the category clicky

probably too long and definitely unfocussed

Posted by dogpossum on January 17, 2007 10:50 AM

There's been a bit of a scuffle going on around the Golden Bloggies lately (you can read an installment on LP, and I have to confess, I have mixed feelings. I tried to read up on the awards on the official sites, but lost interest fairly quickly (mostly because I couldn't find the rules or the list of entrants or understand what was going on). I heard about these things first from Mz Tartan, then nick cetacean, then from some other people on some other blogs (I can't remember where or when - it was over christmas and I was busy).

I've had a look at a few of the winning posts (there were a bunch short listed, and they're being reposted over the next bit of time), when they've been linked to by other people, but mostly I've not bothered.

I think it's because I'm not really sure there's much point in a bunch of awards for blogs.

Frankly, the thought scares the living shit out of me - I really can't stand the thought of there being people out there reading this mass of dance-nerdery and recipes (the swing dancer alternative to photos of cats, unicorns and purple cursive font action) and assessing it seriously. I read and write for a job, and for me, a blog - this blog - is a chance to just write and write and write and write and not edit (I just write into the box on movable type here - that's why I have so many typos. Sometimes I go back to fix a post with masses of horrible mistakes, or to fiddle with layout). I can just write down a bunch of crap, add in a picture (if I can be bothered), click post and then walk away.

Writing here is a chance for me to write crap that has no real point, isn't developing another point, and doesn't necessarily make any sense. I like just floating ideas without citing sources or supporting arguments. I prefer posting here on my blog to participating on discussion boards, because here I have complete control and can just delete the comments made by people I really can't fucking stand who give me shit on other online spaces. I love that delete button.

I like writing here because it's a chance for me to keep my writing hand in when I get all blocked on my work writing. There's nothing so debilitating or distressing to someone who's job is all about writing, or for whom their entire working self is all about writing than to suddenly find they can't string a sentence together. During those moments when I've gone back through a day's worth of work and thought "Holy shit, I frickin' suck. What the FUCK am I doing?", being able to just open a tab of Movable Type, blurt out a bunch of ramble and then move on is WONDERFUL. And it's because I know this writing is just for fun, I don't get all blocked, and I don't worry about whether or not this post is good enough for publishing, and I don't try to write about things other people will find interesting and I don't try to impress people. I write as if no one was reading. Ahaahaha. That's a lie.

Sigh. Sometimes I do, anyway. Mostly I treat this as a chance to work through an idea I've had. That's where all that dance stuff comes from - I have to articulate these ideas, and goddess knows I don't see another postgrad/person-formerly-known-as-postgrad from one semester to another, so I need to do this this way. It's a really useful process for me - creative, constructive, low-stress.

I could, I suppose, just write all this in a file and leave it on my desktop. Or I could keep a proper journal. But when I'm writing here on the internet, I feel like I'm writing as if there could, one day, be someone reading this. Not many someones - maybe just two, if I'm lucky. One of those will be The Squeeze, out of duty. And the other will be another googler looking for pictures of Dennis the Menace. So I have to try, at some level, to explain my idea. Or to write as if I was writing an explanation.

I think I've contradicted myself here quite a bit. Ah, fuck it.

But here are a couple of things I wanted to write about, in regards to this whole Golden Blogs thing (you know, I'm actually having real trouble writing today. It's fucking hot, I'm sitting here riddled with hormones and trying not to think about the paper I'm trying to edit).

Mark on LP, using skepticlawyer's comment, pointed out that Tim Blair doesn't like 'I' in blog entries.

I can't fathom that. Nor can I go on to read the comments in that Tim Blair post - play nice, kiddies.
That sort of action is the reason I don't like to read conservative blogs. Blogging is meant to be fun (and blogging = writing blogs, reading blogs, posting on blogs, receiving posts on one's own blog), and I really don't need to read that rubbish. Head in the sand? Up my own arse more like - I prefer my own company to hanging out with meanies.
I don't really understand how these doods can on one hand revile the use of 'I' and personal anecdotes on a blog, and yet also hoe in with incredibly aggressive personal attacks (mostly in comments it seems - I guess comments are the 'less formal' bit of blogging, huh?). It seems a bit contradictory to me.

I wonder if, perhaps, this insistence on no-I-word and less-on the 'personal' stuff is a manifestation of the idea that we should keep personal stuff out of the public sphere?* That the private should be private, and the public... I was going to make a joke about public assets and Telstra but can't. It's too hot.
This whole issue strikes me as odd, as blogging seems one of the most personal spaces or modes of address or whatever (look, it's frickin' hot, ok?) on the internet. If we remember the roots of blogging, we're talking home pages. Home pages.

The Squeeze is reading Where Wizards Stay Up Late: the Origins of the Internet, which contains this little gem:

Rumours had persisted for years that the ARPANET had been built to protect national security in the face of a nuclear attach. It was a myth that had gone unchallenged long enough to become widely accepted as fact. Taylor had been the young director of the office withn the Defense Department's ADvanced Research Projects Agency overseeing computer research, and he was the one who had started the ARPANET. The project had embodied the most peaceful intentions - to link computers at scientific laboratories across the country so that researchers might share computer resources. Taylor knew the ARPANET and its progeny, the Internet, had nothing to do with supporting or surviving war - never did...
Lately, the mainstream press had picked up the grim myth of a nuclear survival scenario and had presented it as an established truth.
I'm not sure how reliable this book is (though it seems better than most of the bios of the internet and computing getting about), but this point really caught my interest. I'd only ever heard the story where the internet had been invented as a way of localising US military computer resources and information, so as to avoid complete obliteration if one, centralised site was hit by cold war missiles. This alternative story really warmed my spirit ( :D ). It's so much nicer to think of the internet as doing what we bloggers do with it - share stories of our everyday. So my everyday doesn't include much talk about electronic switches and mainframes and hardware (so to speak), but it does have a whole bunch of fairly specific knowledge and practice which I can't really share with every person in my life. It's pretty specific stuff, and the internet gets me in contact with other people who share that particular discourse. And what could be nicer than finding a bunch of like-minded people with whom to share this stuff?

So the internet's very purpose was to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and individual people's social networking. Basically, the internet was designed for nerds to talk crap. Right on!

With that in mind, as Jeff Beck points out in a gentle observation about the Golden Blogs,

A few of the posts are worth reading but most are tedious, self-indulgent bullshit from self-important lefty academics. If this is the best the blogosphere has to offer, it's fucked.

And that's entirely the sort of sex I like. Really, we don't use the word 'blog' for nothing: long and boring. It's nice that people have high hopes for the internet (I, too, like to think that somewhere out there someone is tapping out a ream of Great Art or Important Contribution), but I think it's ever so much more interesting to think of all the ordinary things people are doing with the internet out there in their bedrooms and studies and workplaces and classrooms and loungerooms. And it seems a bit silly to me to pretend that the internet has no domestic or private or everyday elements, when it is being made on people's laps on couches all over the world (or desks or kitchen tables or wherever). Though, it could be fun to imagine, just for a minute, that I'm wearing a suit and glasses, my brow furrowed with concentration and Serious Thoughts, rather than sitting here in front of the fan in my bedroom doing a little nuddy typing and considering running to the fridge for snack before I cruise Youtube for more hawt lindy prn.

So I guess I do have one problem with the Golden Blogs. When I read, for example, ducky's entry in Online Opinion, I was struck by the way reading this post out of context stripped so much of the meaning out of it for me. When I first read that post on duck's blog, I'd been wondering where she'd been for a while. I'd been reading her blog for a while, sucking up the bits of her life she put online. For me, ducky's story meant more as a chapter in her ongoing blog/life than as an isolated moment re-contextualised in an awards series. When I first read it, I teared up and suddenly wanted to do something for ducky, even though I don't know her, have never seen her, and would probably have felt really strange talking about this with her in person then. The first sentence,

Some of you may be wondering why I haven't been writing more about progress on my letterpress project and my arts grant.
which Tim Blair picks out as his special favourite in a list of 'dreaded I's' means so much more when you have been keeping in touch with ducky over the past year or so. We'd read about her grant and been pleased and excited for her (yet also understanding the new challenges of the project). We understood that she was a big printing nerd and thought letterpress(es?) were the best things since sliced bread. For us, to not hear about a bit of ink-and-tickle was an indication that something was amiss. Or that, perhaps, there were other more important things going on in her life.
I think that Tim Blair has missed the point with this derision - he hasn't understood that ducky was pointing out that her everday life had been interrupted, that the sorts of things that consumed her everyday had recently been pushed aside. That suddenly printing wasn't at the fore of her mind, and her priorities had shifted.
It worries me that Tim Blair might be so profoundly lacking in empathy that he could read duck's entry and not see it as an important bit of writing about something very important to duck, and through their assocation with her through her writing, to duck's readers and online friends.

But then, thinking about it, I wonder if this sort of response was encouraged by the out-of-context-ness of duck's post on Online Opinion. I remember being moved by the everyday language of the entry when I first read it. I was far more affected by her 'normal' tone than I would have been by wailing and gnashing of teeth. When she wrote

Lying on a bed crying just feels like I'm indulging myself too much. I know, go figure. It's not like I don't indulge myself in other ways.
On the one hand I thought, 'you silly - of course it's not being too indulgent', but on the other, I thought 'I know what she means'.
I had this feeling that she was somehow kind of suspended in that space where you move between uncontrollable crying, where you just don't have that conscious control of your mind and body - it's like the emotion and the sheer physical experience of that emotion have opened up a clearway to the rest of the world. You wouldn't normally shed a tear in public, but you suddenly find yourself with snot and tears all over your face. You'd normally try to keep it together for the sake of your family who are also worried. So lying on a bed crying does feel like indulgence.

Because I had been reading her blog for a while, I was most moved by her bravery and trying to keep it together, but then I was really touched by this bit:

Actually, I'm telling this tale at this point in time because tomorrow morning at 10.00am I'm going under the knife to get Wellsley Giblet (see, we'd nicknamed it already!) scraped out.* And I'm scared. I want lots of blog-reading good vibes to steady that surgeon's hand and keep me safe. Last time a stupid doctor perforated me three times, and I bled for two months. This is a different hospital, a more experienced doctor, but the same soft mutant fibroid-filled womb. It should only be a day-visit, and I should feel better in a day or two. If all goes well.

Wish me luck.

. It's the way duck moved from bravery and clever writing and a touch of humour to suddenly admitting - I'm afraid. I'm afraid of being hurt, of things out of my control. And I just want you wish me good luck.
And I don't know about the rest of the people reading duck's blog, but I was wishing her all the good luck, hoping someone would hold her hand and tell her it was all going to be ok. Reading the comments on her original blog entry, you can see that I wasn't the only one. But when you read the entry out of context, you don't see all that rallying-round. All the people holding hands for duck and thinking of her. Not in the sort of in-your-face way we would have in person, but in the more manageable way the internet does it.
And when you're reading that post on the Online Opinion site, you don't see the 'textbreak's duck inserted through her original post, which I read as big breaths, or clear pauses, or literally, breaks in the text. And the fact that duck is a printer, who is all about the mechanics of words on papers, a text break, in her font, lent weight to the pause. Then, of course, when you're just reading that one post on OO, and you haven't been reading duck's blog, you're not reminded of the follow-up post, and this line, that stuck in my memory:
To his absolute credit, there is no pressure from BB's side. He and Bumblebee have been seriously scared on both these occasions (more so last time) and they keep insisting that it's totally my choice whether I want to go through it again.

This bit sticks with me because it so nicely sums up the complexities of wanting children, not wanting children, having a child whom you love and adore, a partner who loves and adores you, and perhaps most importantly, a child who loves and adores you as well. I think I was most moved by the BBs' worry. I don't know where they stand on duck's resolving all those issues of body and work and motherhood. But they've definitely got duck's back.

That whole follow up post, with the discussion of having children, when to have them, how to have them, the physical experiences of pregnancy and all of that - all of that is what goes in to deciding when and whether to have a child. Abortion and contraception and children and bodily health are all things that pop up a lot in the blogs, and in the month following duck's post there's been a few posts about motherhood by women who read duck's blog.

That sort of trickle-on effect of a really good blog post can't be indicated or measured in blog awards thingy which cannot map the temporal (as well as 'spatial') relationships between individual blog posts, posts on a single blog, posts cross-posted between blogs, between blogs, between blog authors, and so on and so on.

All of that talk about ampersand duck's post has suddenly made me feel uncomfortable - I don't know if I like taking apart 'someone' and their feelings like that, and I guess that's the kernel of my argument: this is emotional and personal, domestic and private writing. Blogging isn't always, but when it's part of your everyday, when you engage with it by commenting and writing your own posts as well as reading (not to mention the emailing and snail mailing and face to face catch ups), it's not just words on the internet. So why should it always be calm and cool and detached? Why shouldn't I be in the words as well?
I'm not saying that everything we write or read on the internet should be emotionally loaded. Sometimes it's nice to read or write a bit of cleverly cool and detached academic writing or a bit of well-crafted mass media. But social networks are complicated. We don't ever leave our own persons behind when we write or read. We are always there, there is always a body in the net (to quote Katie Argyle and Rob Shields**). So why pretend that there's not?

*I can't be bothered revisiting Nancy Fraser and the feminist stuff on the public sphere, so just imagine I did, ok?

**Argyle, Katie, and Rob Shields. "Is There a Body in the Net?" Cultures of Internet. Ed. Rob Shields. London: Sage, 1996. 58 - 69.
Tim Blair didn't think there were enough links in the winning OO blog entries. Does citation like this count? What is the importance of linking? Is it citing sources? Or would he like to see more text on cats? If he was a lindy hopper, I just know he'd like to see more of this hawt shit.

"probably too long and definitely unfocussed" was posted in the category clicky

January 2, 2007

tappa tappa = the sound of someone blogging at speed

Posted by dogpossum on January 2, 2007 12:20 PM

eniac4small.gifThe Squeeze sent me something interesting in an email - links to these fab photos on this page of historic computer images. I don't know anything about these photos as I haven't taken the time to research, but I thought they'd appeal to the Sisters who dig the tappa-tappa keyboard action.

The bit of text that goes with that photo reads:

Two women wiring the right side of the ENIAC with a new program, in the "pre- von Neumann" days. "U.S. Army Photo" from the archives of the ARL Technical Library. Standing: Ester Gerston Crouching: Gloria Ruth Gorden

Here's another neat photo:

That's the one The Squeeze sent first, but I'm not sure I like it as much as the other - feels like these ladies are there just to look pretty... or are they? Judging by the dress, these look like ladies from the 40s or 50s. If we'd been talking mid WWII, then these ladies could have been actively involved in creating these first computer bits. Heck, I am just plain old guessing... I think I need more information. I think we need The Squeeze (who has a fetish for computer history) to tell us more.
...and its caption

"U.S. Army Photo", number 163-12-62. Left: Patsy Simmers, holding ENIAC board Next: Mrs. Gail Taylor, holding EDVAC board Next: Mrs. Milly Beck, holding ORDVAC board Right: Mrs. Norma Stec, holding BRLESC-I board

pdp11,70.jpgBut I suspect that Mz Tartan, who has just bought a house, would perhaps prefer these images.

U.S. Army Photo, courtesy of Michael John Muuss PDP-11/70, Vector General display of XM-1 tank Left: Michael John Muuss, operating Vector General Right: Earl Weaver, inspecting printout of XM-1 design



Photo of BRL's Cray XMP48 courtesy of Michael John Muuss Right: Phil Dykstra

"tappa tappa = the sound of someone blogging at speed" was posted in the category clicky

underwater mapping

Posted by dogpossum on January 2, 2007 12:11 PM

Barista has written a really interesting post here on the history of research into techtonic plates (or more specfically, on Marie Tharp and her work on the subject). This post makes for a really good read, but the line that caught my imagination was the last (bolding is mine):

Despite the fact that the plate tectonics debate spanned fifty years, several languages and many countries, I suspect the battles fought in that house full of maps in South Nyack were some of the fiercest and most personal.

Ironically, they were all wrong. Nowadays, we believe the planet is expanding.

I wish I could string together a few coherent thoughts (I am scarily scatty at the moment - all these half-bits of posts... I promise I'll get it together soon. Ish.), but I can't. But I like the thought - expanding v contracting planet.

"underwater mapping" was posted in the category clicky

December 28, 2006

not the sharpest knife in the drawer

Posted by dogpossum on December 28, 2006 6:15 PM

Originally uploaded by carlosluis.
I'm always the last to latch onto cool things - you can guarantee something's no longer cool if I've suddenly discovered it.

I don't know if anyone else is as interested in flickr as I am (well, except for Jean of course), but if you're a flickr person (and I've noticed that a great deal of the people who's blogs I read are), then you might be interested in the flickr blog. My timing is perfect, of course - flickr went down, just as I discover all sorts of interesting groups and photos and things to look at. This photo is one of them.
There's another neat one here.

"not the sharpest knife in the drawer" was posted in the category clicky

December 25, 2006

im in ur frij eatng ur stufz

Posted by dogpossum on December 25, 2006 7:39 PM

stuff on ur cat

"im in ur frij eatng ur stufz" was posted in the category clicky

December 24, 2006

christmas meme

Posted by dogpossum on December 24, 2006 11:19 PM

via pav's cat.

I am really enjoying having endless time to just sit online and talk and write crap. The last six months of insane teaching and busyness have made me realise what a luxery doing a phd is - you get to sit about and write and read and write and rewrite and edit as much as you like. I miss it all ready.

The nicest thing about this holiday with the ps is that we're all superbusy people (The Squeeze does crazy late night systems admin support stuff, the mother ... mothers and stuff, the father is a busy suepracademic) and we're all really enjoying doing nothing. The father's family are big on sitting about and talking and enjoying each other's company. There's been some shouting, but not as much as usual, and not me. Surpisingly. I have a history of Big Shouting, but as I pointed out to The Squeeze, we don't shout at each other (though I do shout, generally, and sometimes in his direction. But not angrily), so it was actually strange to find my parents shouting at each other strange. But it wasn't angry shouting - just kind of loud emoting.

Because it's that time of year (and pav says it's ok to be in the Spirit), here's the most useful advise I've had all year:
The Squeeze said (when I was busy being worried about some nasty and insensitive comments from acquaintances):
think less about people you don't like, and more about people you do like.
Or (the hardcore version)
think less about the people you hate (just give them a punch in the bum and fuck off) and more about the people you love.

It was the best advice ever.

But on to the meme.

1) Do you have a tree, and if so what is hanging on it?
Some nice white lights, some red/gold/green baubles. It's a fake tree, but it looks nice.

2) What's the most successful bit of Christmas cooking you've done so far?
Mince tarts!

3) And the least successful?
Fried rice with herbs. Boring boring boring. Too dry. Dumb. Waste of nice prawns and pink ling (that's a fish).

4) Which bit of your Christmas shopping are you happiest with?
The p's present: it's one of those amazing toilet seats that's clear plastic but with wonderfully tacky sea shells and things inside it. They will LOVE IT. Especially the father.

5) Have you opened any of your presents yet? What was it / were they?

6) Do you have any bad Christmas associations that will have to be tackled?
Well, family stuff with my sister in law. But that's largely sorted. Because she's in Brisvegas and I'm in Hobart.

7) What's your favourite carol? Why?
The Holly and the Ivy (I think it's called that), because it's really nice to sing. But the other day I discovered that the tune of Deck the Halls works really nicely with all sorts of lyrics, especialy when you're riding your bike.

8) Which part of your Christmas plans is most likely to go awry?
Turkey. It can suck if it's over cooked.

We are also flying back to Melbourne Boxing Day for dinner with The Squeeze's mothers and grandfather. That could be a bit tiring.

9) What's your most favourite thing about Christmas?
I like the hardcore food (cooking, more like).
I like coming down to Tasmania.
I like the way The Squeeze is really relaxed and fun.

10) What's your least favourite thing about it?
Spending so much money on crap (though we have become less present-centered since the year the mother was really ill. We had only a couple of days after she came out of hospital to get presents, and because we were all kind of preoccupied, we didn't fuss about presents or food too majory - we were more mellow and just spent time enjoying each other's company and plain old counting our blessings.
It feels like we now spend less time fretting about crap like whether we got people good enough presents or will have a 'proper' christmas (something that always seems on the mother's (English) mind).
Now we just do nice things. And I like that. We've also learnt to really enjoy grownup christmases without I guess this is mostly a story about the good things about christmas.

11) What Christmassy thing have you seen or heard in the street or on the teeve or in the blogosphere that has

(a) touched your heart
Ummm a version of 'from little things big things grow' being sung by Paul Kelly. Not quite Archie Roach, pav, but still, it's a wonderful song.

(b) hit a nerve

or (c) made you want to barf?
I felt a little nausious afte eating too much last night.

12) Who do you wish you had contacted to say Happy Christmas but haven't so far?
Most everyone. I have been super slack this past six months, generally. I owe my friends some communication.

"christmas meme" was posted in the category clicky

Skater Docklands

Posted by dogpossum on December 24, 2006 10:10 PM

Skater Docklands Originally uploaded by 3IRIs.
I had to blog this: Galaxy's little brother is blowing my brain with these photos.

"Skater Docklands" was posted in the category clicky


Posted by dogpossum on December 24, 2006 9:56 PM

im on yr lap
druling on yr pants

i fail l33t speak. txt on ur cat

"droolz" was posted in the category clicky

saturday night fever

Posted by dogpossum on December 24, 2006 12:25 AM

What do hip young kids do when they're visiting their ps for christmas?

A night on the town? Host fabulous parties?

I don't think so

"saturday night fever" was posted in the category clicky

December 23, 2006

feminists in serious dancing clobber

Posted by dogpossum on December 23, 2006 3:10 PM

girl3.jpgThe Carnival of Feminists is on. I've been (very kindly) linked - way down there at the bottom in the unclassifiables - so welcome all of you who've wandered over here via Sandy.

In case you're wondering, I'm not sure who those ladies are there on the left - I found this pic on this site via googs. But I like the thought of feminists in spangles, serious makeup and hardcore dancing clobber.

"feminists in serious dancing clobber" was posted in the category clicky

November 19, 2006

why not. i've got things to do

Posted by dogpossum on November 19, 2006 9:48 AM

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 in the category clicky

November 18, 2006

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

Posted by dogpossum on November 18, 2006 8:27 PM

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 in the category clicky

November 16, 2006

how could i leave this job undone?

Posted by dogpossum on November 16, 2006 5:59 PM

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 in the category clicky

November 15, 2006

Laura would like this

Posted by dogpossum on November 15, 2006 4:58 PM

Because she loves Dan Brown.

Drowning Dan Brown I

Originally uploaded by Vanessa Berry.

"Laura would like this" was posted in the category clicky

this is some weird shit

Posted by dogpossum on November 15, 2006 9:57 AM

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 in the category clicky

October 25, 2006

the post where i wonder if i've gone too full-disclosure

Posted by dogpossum on October 25, 2006 6:01 PM

I've been reading this blog by someone I knew at Unimelb, and this here by someone I don't know.

I'm kind of caught thinking 'how wonderful' in response to their grasp of the written word, and also 'how terrible' when I really pay attention to the things they're writing about.

I've also had my attention caught by Galaxy's post on Sarsaparilla about Alan McKee's book, where the most interesting thing about this books seems not to be McKee (or anyone else's) actual content inside the book, but the ideas that it's prompted in Galaxy's brain. When she writes about her delight in the cook and the chef, and declares it is beautiful, I know what she means. I like the thought of finding a cooking program beautiful, or more importantly, of making that declarative statement usually reserved for sunsets and grand gestures for the happy working relationship between a middle aged country woman-cum-marketing queen and a slight, big city type chef queer young man. I know what she means. I think it's the same way I feel when I'm sitting on the bus listening to Willie Bryant rollicking through Chimes at the Meeting. I know it's a manufactured dot of pop culture, something mass produced for masses of people - masses of years ago, no less. I know it's not perfect, and that I should be wary of the class stuff and the gender stuff and the race stuff and so on. But just for that moment, it is beautiful, because it matches the way I feel just then, and the way I like music to make me feel. And I stop thinking about it for a minute, and just enjoy the things I can do with this nice bit of music. Just as Galaxy points out, it's not technically great, but it suits my needs, as a creative person, and as a fan and as a consumer and as a producer. It is beautiful.

When I read those first two blogs I mentioned above, I think of my friend B and her partner P, who I only knew a little bit before they moved back to the states. Not only are B's blog and those other blogs alike in topic and the loveliness-to-read-ness, they're also alike in the way they make extraordinary events ordinary. Life threatening illness becomes a part of the everyday experiences of someone I 'know'. Maybe that's simply a function of blogging - bringing you closer to people through the ordinary details of people's lives.
Or maybe, as Pavlov's cat suggests, it's not only

a brush with mortality and a few days of submergence in the weird underworld of hospitals, doctors and industrial-strength drugs that brings out the very best in bloggers
but that
blogging is a particularly good mode for such experience; bloggers can write it and readers can read it almost in real time, recording and following the trajectory of the experience as it happens, and very likely even in an interactive way -- so that the act of blogging itself is therapeutic, and the responses from concerned and attentive readers maybe even more so.

But to return to my story about B and P. We met through dance, at the very first lindy exchange, and then only saw each other once a year (if we were lucky). And most of our time was spent rushing out words between dances, or over late night food. But you know, you come to know people through dancing as well - I remember how B feels in your arms when you're leading her through a swingout. I remember the temperature of her hand and how she was taller than me, and how that was just the right height for me to lead (and still is).
And I remember the texture of P's lovely velvet suit jacket under my left hand on his shoulder. The suit that boiled him alive, but which he refused to take off, for vanity's sake (and vanity well spent, I say: it was such a lovely suit). I remember the expressions on P's face and dancing to the theme song from Austen Powers with him and thinking 'this is the very perfectest song to dance to with this partner, right now'. And when I read B's posts on her blog, I remember the nice note she left us after they stayed in our house once, and the way she would talk sensibly about being ill and having to travel in to Melbourne from the northern territory for treatment. And I have so many of those little bits of memory about people that have nothing to do with what they say or think, and everything to do with the way we communicated for a few minutes with our bodies. Dancers talk about it in terms of 'connection', and that's really the best word for it. It sounds a little hippy if you haven't felt it, but how else can you explain suddenly moving with a complete stranger who doesn't even speak your language in complete harmony? Or the way you'll look up at your partner and laugh, not because you've said or done anything particularly funny, but because you've both suddenly started to really be together.

And when I read those blog entries about being ill, or dealing with surgery - living with illness, I should say, where you are most definitely more than just 'ill', you are someone who's life is still going on, who's still doing interesting things and having intersting thoughts and stopping to say 'it is beautiful' - I have that same echo-of-senses that I remember from dancing. When Stephanie writes about untangling herself from the demands of her everyday life or of illness as text, I think 'yes, I know that feeling. I can smell it, right now. It's like the feel of P's coat, or knowing how tall B is with my eyes closed, even though I was only holding her hand, and she's thousands of miles away'.

All the things that I can remember about my mother being ill are bad. There are no nice memories and nothing happy to remember. So when I read Stephanie's stories about being ill, I also think about the way Galaxy writingit is beautiful reminded me that there is beauty in the minutiae of everyday things, and that these things - the smell of ya pears or knowing exactly how tall someone is, and how much they weigh, just from holding their hand - are the sorts of details that go into making up our memories of people or of days or of things that are beautiful. So while Stephanie's stories make my nose run and my eyes fill up, I can also say, despite the difficult thoughts that go with them, it is beautiful.

"the post where i wonder if i've gone too full-disclosure" was posted in the category clicky

October 11, 2006

no, it's not stealing. it's copyright terrorism.

Posted by dogpossum on October 11, 2006 11:11 AM

I have plenty to blog about, mostly involving surprise dental surgery on Monday, giving a lecture the next day with tongue and lips still unrecovered from aneasthetic, figuring out a way to ride to the university that takes me only 45 minutes! when the bus takes me an hour and a half, having an infected ear with a (gross) pussy ear drum, discovering this and getting excited because it starts a couple of days after this, procrastinating with a 'mini program' for MLX6, getting the proper podcasting gear online for MLX6 podcasting (fat lotta radio will follow - when I made de page), adding two DJing sets to this already busy week and... well, other stuff.

But rather than write about all that boring rubbish, I will just steal some content from a blog I quite like:

5. Nora went to the doctor yesterday and she is finally THIRTY POUNDS. The big three oh! And it only took 44 months to get there! Better lay off the Fig Newtons, you tub of lard, or soon you'll be waving bye-bye to the fifth percentile! I am joking, of course, but it does feel like a milestone. Nora explained away her recent weight gain by saying, "It makes sense, because I have been pretending to be a superhero for a while now." You all can ditch your 'roids and powders, because apparently the way to build mass is to wear a cape and run around the house striking poses and screaming CAPTAIN AMERICA! or INCREDIBLE HULK! I have tried to suggest that superheroes do more than scream out their own names (but do they really? Isn't the entire superhero gestalt an ego-driven enterprise?), that they fight evil and such, but the concepts are too nebulous for Nora to grasp. Sometimes we play a game where she sits on the couch and I get ready to sit down, with elaborate yawning and "gosh, I'm beat" antics, and then I lean back on top of her and she yells OH NO! CAPTAIN AMERICA IS BEING SQUISHED! And then she struggles out from underneath with accompanying grunts of effort and triumphant shouts at the end. Maybe you missed the issue where Captain America is squashed on the couch by the buttocks of a five-foot-tall Midwestern editor and mother, but I hear it is a valuable collectors' item, particularly in Japan where they probably have a fetish for that very thing. Check eBay.

This is the sort of thing that we approve of in our house - the amassing of mass and the declaration of superhero handles. We feel that asserting one's professional identity in verbal form is important. While we were content with things like 'The Ham approaches!' and 'The Cheese abides!', I feel that we will now take it up a notch.
To full caps at the very least.

"no, it's not stealing. it's copyright terrorism." was posted in the category clicky

September 29, 2006


Posted by dogpossum on September 29, 2006 4:08 PM

Get more genuin Scandinavian Design in you. Like IKEA, only with weirder grammar.

I think I love the fabric too much.

...there's a reason lindy hoppers are obsessed with all things Svensk.

"klockor" was posted in the category clicky

August 18, 2006

remember to breathe

Posted by dogpossum on August 18, 2006 8:08 PM

Because it is Friday night and I'm huddled under a pathetically thin home made quilt in the lounge room (where I would usually lounge, but am currently huddled over the warmth of my lappy) wishing I knew how to light the pilot light on the heater (yes, I know, I know, learned helplessness = crap) and waiting for The Squeeze to come home and cook me dinner (look, alright, I do realise what this implies about me) prior to my going dancing for the first time in ages, I'm taking time to write crappy blog posts.

I'm also listening to a new Duke Ellington CD (oh, alright, it's this one: ). I adore small group action (see my previous post on Benny Goodman's small groups), and this is no exception. I am pleased.

I've also had my imagination caught by ducky's Remember To Breath meme (over here).
It seems like the sort of exercise I'm into. So here are some things that make me happy:

1. making extremely lame dad jokes to a class full of teenagers, who then groan. I'd like to think it has something to do with my reclaiming the power of pun from the patriarchy, but it has more to do with simple humour and protuding funny bones. I have only one thing to say: "it's not a tutor!".

2. doing silly made up dances in the hallway for my own entertainment. These are not, in any way, cool or technically sophisticated works of art. They are silly dances which make me puff and feel lovely.

3. laughing like an idiot on the bus listening to the Media Report - it's not cool, it's nerdy, and it makes me feel ace.

4. re-reading Robin McKinley books. Also, re-reading a wind in cairo by Judith Tarr. It has horses and deserts in it, so I love it. Unfortunately, I have read it so many times I know each word by heart. But that's not the point, is it?

5. chick flicks, especially ones with cheerleaders in them. I have no excuse - I just LOVE that shit.

6. doing things like this in the park:

and then having things like this happen:

(that's my Squeeze there - isn't he fine?)

7. having breakfast at a cafe with That Squeeze, reading the paper while he does the crossword, having the nice waitress bring us our drinks without us ordering (we are Regulars), and then not having to remember to specify scrambled eggs.

8. riding somewhere with The Squeeze, telling each other stupid stories like this one, laughing a lot and feeling the endorphines and adrenaline pumping through me as we ride down a hill.

9. riding anywhere at speed, when I'm feeling pumped. There is nothing, nothing finer.

10. going to yoga on Wednesday mornings with the older kids. I love that shit. I love the way they make me laugh, I love doing the yoga thing and feeling my body really work. I love talking after class, I love the teasing, I love riding up to Sugar Dough for lunch afterwards. I love all of that very much.

-- I have to add more, because there are lots of wonderful things that I have to mention.--

11. listening to albums like this one (especially songs like 'Rigamarole', 'Viper's Moan' and 'Chimes at the meeting'), or stuff by bands like the McKinney's Cotton Pickers - bands that are really fiery but serious fun as well - sassy stuff, where the musicians yell out with excitement - can't contain themselves when the music really COOKS - mid-song. It just makes me feel great inside - all jiggly and excited.

12. watching clips of amazing dancers from the 30s and 40s - that rocks. I look at stuff like this:

and I just get so excited - that is some SERIOUSLY great stuff.

...oh, I could go on and on and on. But The Squeeze is home and we have to go swap stories of our day.

What are the little things that make you feel good?

"remember to breathe" was posted in the category clicky

August 1, 2006

i want a big shouting man and an analogue mouse

Posted by dogpossum on August 1, 2006 12:11 AM


I just can't get enough of this man's shouting voice.

We're listening to that album I mentioned here. It's far too late for such exciting music, but we like to live dangerously.

I should go to bed. The Squeeze is watching some old skool computer nerd peep action: The Mother of all Demos (you can read about it here on wikipedia).
The Squeeze likes to read about old computer stuff. The other day he went to see a talk about the first computer mouse:

"The first computer mouse and other terrific tales of technology!"
The Stork Hotel Café, 504 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
Who says the history of computing is boring? Experience the droll delights of Information Age nostalgia in a raucously profound evening of low-tech storytelling with your host School of Business Information Technology academic John Lenarcic in conversation with Museum Victoria curator David Demant.
He had a lovely time. I went to see Super Dood Returns and had a lovely time.

When I make up the bed in the back room, I usually find at least two books about olden days computers (today I found the phone that I lost yesterday), the remote for the imac, and some sort of cord for the computer. And usually a belt and a pair of pajama pants. He must own at least a million books about computer history. I've read a few of them - ones about macs, or ebay or Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or other stuff. It's mostly dull, and written by semi-literate journalists, but The Squeeze is a big fat sponge for computer knowledge (and hardware - he's a bit borg I think. All technology is belong to him, and will be assimilated. Resistance is futile).

But this demo on google movies is pretty impressive - this dood Douglas Englebart invented a mouse in 1968, and demonstrates it in this film. That's some awesome shit - we didn't start using them til the 90s. And this guy is there, in a black and white film, with his massive quiff and black horn-rimmed glasses, demonstrating some scarily advanced technology.

The Squeeze is about to pass out with delight. When he stumbled onto the film moments ago, he declared: "I didn't think this existed!"
That and the Big Joe Turner shouting action - this little freckler is going to expire from delight.

I, however, am going to pass out from exhaustion.

"i want a big shouting man and an analogue mouse" was posted in the category clicky and music

July 31, 2006

now he'll do that pathetic sighing thing whenever the letter 'f' is uttered, or we see someone in a beret

Posted by dogpossum on July 31, 2006 9:00 PM

Ampersand duck has made me sound really interesting over here. I think I'd like to make friends with those people. Then eat all their food and run off into the night, cackling... well, maybe waddle off into the afternoon.

Look over here at stack. Stacks of slacks. No, stacks of books, really (funny how you meet more booknerds on the internet than in bookshops, huh? Guess it's a wordy* thing).

And you must, in the spirit of all things cute (and in honour of The Squeeze, who loves this shit), go look here to see more of this sort of action:
(stolen from here)

...I shouldn't have let him know about that. Now he'll do that pathetic sighing thing whenever the letter 'f' is uttered, or we see someone in a beret.

*worder? wordsmith? wordnerd? werd!

"now he'll do that pathetic sighing thing whenever the letter 'f' is uttered, or we see someone in a beret" was posted in the category clicky

July 13, 2006

THIS is cute

Posted by dogpossum on July 13, 2006 12:50 AM

adopt your own virtual pet!

"THIS is cute" was posted in the category clicky

July 10, 2006

bizarre children's books over at daddyzine

Posted by dogpossum on July 10, 2006 1:56 PM

Such indeed is the premise of a well-known episode in Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day, originally published in 1968. Another book from Scarry relies of course on the conceit that a family of pigs would drive a Volkswagon to the beach. Which makes no sense, given the very real likelihood on such a trip of encountering sociopathic dingos on the fast track to suspended driver's licenses. Perhaps it would be better to stay home, my porcine friends! But then of course there's the old saying that there are only two types of stories -- a family of swine leaves home or a strange swine comes to town -- and while the small-scale domestic travails of the Pig family may have suited a fancy-pants domestic novelist, such swine would have granted Mr. Scarry but little scope for his considerable talents.


such tales are of course by no means anomalous, our shelves being as they are overpopulated by a mob of talking, dancing, singing, or otherwise incongruously-occupied folk from up and down the phylogenetic ladder


"bizarre children's books over at daddyzine" was posted in the category clicky

July 5, 2006

more BB talk

Posted by dogpossum on July 5, 2006 11:08 AM

Since my first post there have been some responses to the BB thing on other blogs:

Moment to Moment

Pavlov's Cat (and here)

A Wild Young Underwhimsy

Reasons you will hate me


I'm not the only one who read this episode as a bit of sexual harassment designed not so much as an 'authentic' sexual advance towards Camilla by two men, but rather as an act designed more to engage in a little man-man posturing through humiliating a woman (AWYUW and MtM echo that point).

And some more online commentary rolls in:
Mark @ Larvatus Prodeo

tubagooba (and here) who, interestingly, writes

I haven’t been exposed to these attitudes much in my day-to-day life, which might say more about my day-to-day life than it does about either BB or Australian society in general
I don't know tubagooba, but I was surprised to read this: have I overgeneralised my own experiences?.

Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony

armagnac'd (who makes some unsettling comments about breast-enhancement surgery and feminism which I'm not sure are all that helpful, considering...)

what the cat dragged in

There's a comment by Lumby on crikey, but I can't be arsed with that (I think you have to pay..?)

Over at The Road to Surfdom there are panopticon references.

Hoyden about town contributes.

Andrew Bartlett comments on the Bartlett diaries... though I haven't yet had a chance to read it.

There's some pretty serious artillery up there, so I'm not going to step up and get involved.

Having waded through all that, though, (esp the scuffling on LP), you may want to rest your eyes over here, or perhaps just start with this little sproinger:

"more BB talk" was posted in the category clicky and television

July 4, 2006

well, if they were both brisvegans it'd be fer-sher

Posted by dogpossum on July 4, 2006 7:33 PM

I wonder if Elsewhere and B know each other? What with both being people from Alice Springs?

"well, if they were both brisvegans it'd be fer-sher" was posted in the category clicky

June 26, 2006

look at this

Posted by dogpossum on June 26, 2006 2:52 PM

Cartoon doods without their guts on. here.

"look at this" was posted in the category clicky

June 20, 2006

that big fat bottomless pit of uncritical critical theory (wherein Buffy, ibooks and a horde of cyberdykes take on The Man)

Posted by dogpossum on June 20, 2006 5:10 PM

I think this series of entries is really me logging in my reading process, as I go through an article in a journal. Tedious stuff if you're looking for a coherent, sensible argument. Interesting stuff if you're into active readership... dang. Did I give away the punch line?*

If you've already read my last entry (who am I kidding?), you might be interested in reading this - it's the McKee text I quoted. Interestingly, McKee notes that

I'm trying to encourage people to break out of their normal habits, to think about the culture they consume. I'm thinking that maybe we shouldn't just do the same thing, every day week in, week out.
....a global campaign encouraging people to boycott books for one week and to challenge you to explore new ways of passing time.

You could try talking to friends, or dancing to some music. You could even watch some television!'

Do you like the way McKee lists some of my most favourite things there? And how, for me, these are the cultural practices in the forefront of my mind? Will I dance? Will I stay home and watch telly? Will I talk with friends while watching telly? Will I read? Oh, dilemma, dilemma.

I still feel, even though I love telly and understand all those arguments about high/low culture, loving mass culture for its own goodness, that perhaps encouraging people to 'turn off their telly' for a week is not a bad thing. And not just because it saves power.**

Look, I'm getting off-track now, and I still haven't read that article, but really, why am I so bothered by McKee's comments? Surely it's not just because it seems to have toppled into that big fat bottomless pit of uncritical critical theory which seems to dogg me at every conference***?

Geez. I wonder if all this confusion and brow-furrowing on my part is really just a result of watching too much Buffy and Angel, where there seems to be an eternal tension between 'old knowledge' and 'new knowledge', namely in the persons of Willow (read: Witch/feminist/lesbian/macslut****/hawt young thing with irritating approach to slang English) and Giles/Wesley (read: Watchers' council/patriarchy/booknerds)?***** Probably.

and CRAP, where is the INTERNET in all this book v telly crap? I mean, geez, hasn't anyone read that thing about media convergence yet?****** Or is that as totally uncool as globalisation/global media now?*******

*this was meant to be a joke where I linked to a post by a local Aussie acblog, but I can't find the link now. Sorry. It was funny and clever. Was.

**this is where I link to what I'm thinking of as the 'sequel' to the save water campaign in Melbourne. I'm kind of interested in the ramifications of this power campaign. I like the whole 'you have the power' plug (so to speak) - it makes me laugh to think of how this switching off unnecessary power soures is kind of functioning as an incitement to quit consuming... vig gov goes socialist? I wonder how origin feels about all this?

*** Hell if I'll name names - these doods seem to be so online I'll totally get busted. But you know who I'm talking about. Don't you? They tend to be a bit slow to engage in any satisfying way with issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc, beyond glib book titles and throw away lines. And they love that new media.
Though, frankly, who doesn't love that new media?

****Go on, tell me you didn't find Willow's steady progression to the world of macdom just a little bit signficant to her appeal as thinking-woman's-hero/hawt-young-dyke/Wicced-kewl young thing? Go on, admit it - you just love to see a slightly-undernourished-young-academic-sexually-ambigious-mildly-androgenous-gingah sporting those sexy safety-corner apple products. you bet your i-life you do! know that we've been sitting here on the couch the past few months quietly noting her progression from ugly, clunky pc desktops in Ms Calender's class to her clunky oldskool macbook, and now are waiting (somewhat breathlessly) for her ibook to appear. But be assured - I will blog it as soon as it appears.

*****off-the-top-of-my-head reference: Blind Date in Angel season one, where Cordy scoffs at Wesley's slooow old school bookteck, while kicking his arse in the research stakes with her computer, and yet also spending 1 hour and 40 minutes on the phone to Willow who has also been decrypting files all day (ref for the Buffy parallel eps where that goes down - the Yoko Factor and Primeval). Though, really, if I was Cordy at that moment, and considering Willow's recent Outing at that point in season 4 of Buff, there's plenty to talk about - at least 1 hour and 40 minutes' worth.

******Wait til you read my thesis. It's right there in Chapter 5:DJing as the convergence of media forms and practices in embodied dance discourse

*******Chapters 2 through 6.

Post Script

You might be interested in this issue of the CSAA newsletter, three articles down, where Greg Noble writes about "A cultural studies anti-canon?" Speaking as someone who did an MA on newspapers (how uncool! how ...analogue of me!), this caught my attention...

NB the whole mac thing - you know that I'm making a joke about how mac has so totally scored with its marketing towards my demographic with the whole white/safety corners/block colour thing, right? Right?

"that big fat bottomless pit of uncritical critical theory (wherein Buffy, ibooks and a horde of cyberdykes take on The Man)" was posted in the category academia and books and clicky and lindy hop and other dances and television

go there, read that

Posted by dogpossum on June 20, 2006 2:53 PM

I think I want to post about this again. Check out this comment (which I linked to in my last post) from Dorothy (btw, hi Dorothy, and nice to meet you(r blog)!):

“I played a supporting, subordinate role in this race, and I had a great time doing it. Isn’t it fun to make sacrifices for other riders? It’s not really me that matters, after all, it’s the team. Winning isn't everything.” It’s not often a woman gets to sit around and listen to a group of men talk this way.

And they're talking about bike riding competitions. I have a friend who's seriously into bike competitions, and I must admit, I'm put off by the competitiveness of it all. Especially since it's endurance stuff they're into. The thought of all that aggressively competitive testosterone - I'm tougher! No, I'm tougher! Dang, boys - try labour for 12 hours and see who's got endurance!*

I don't know if we're talking teams there, or how that might work in that context, but the thought of team cycling events facinates me. It also emphasises the way these sorts of races are about tactics rather than just 'go! GO!' I was struck by this during the recent Commonwealth Games when watching that-team-cycling-event-where-they-work-in-teams-on-the-steep-round-track, where the use of team-tactics is so much clearer. There's lots of stalking** and so on there.

So go read that post. It's interesting.

*I speak as someone who does actually posess a baby-space, rather than as one who has actually made babies (or pushed one out). This is perhaps too obvious a feminist/woman joke to make about endurance, but really. Could you blame me?

**Don't you love the expression stalking horse? I'll talk about that somewhere else, though.

"go there, read that" was posted in the category clicky

June 5, 2006

useful music and DJing resources

Posted by dogpossum on June 5, 2006 9:27 PM

Music References
A music resource site with one of the most comprehensive (but by no means complete) guides to jazz and other music.
Red Hot Jazz Archive
Red Hot Jazz
Guides to jazz music.
Brian's list
A local DJ's list of great songs for dancers.

Radio Shows
Yehoodi radio show
The Yehoodi Radio shows are perhaps the most swing dancer-relevant radio programs available, produced by swing dancers for swing dancers. The focus is primarily on lindy hop, but not exclusively. The guest DJs are from all over the world and often post their set lists on SwingDJs or are otherwise regular posters on that board. The shows cover every type of swing dancing music, and the schedule is as follows:

* Stormy Mondays
Contemporary swing and jazz from artists, like Oscar Peterson, Barbara Morrison, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ernestine Anderson, and more!

* Toe Tapping Tuesdays
Swing with the big boys of big band and classic jazz, including Count Basie, Duke Elllington, Harry James and Buddy Johnson. Add a few contemporary artists, like George Gee, Bill Elliott and Dave Berger, and you're in big band heaven!

* Jumpin' Wednesdays
"It Rocks! It Rolls! It Swings! It Jumps! It puts you in the groove!" - The Treniers said it best. We've got a brand new format for hump-day. Tune into Yehoodi Radio on Wednesdays for the finest in jump blues, boogie woogie and early rhythm & blues. Catch the Kansas City flavah!

* Guest DJ Thursdays
Entire broadcasts of favorite tracks hand-picked by the local swing DJs you know and love. It's like having your own personal DJ-ed event right on your desktop!

* Producer's Picks:
Radio show producer, Jesse Miner, brings you a cool mix of his favorite tunes.

* Mixed Up Weekends
A weekend blend of everything.

Hey Mr Jesse!
Hey Mr Jesse is a talk show devoted to swing dancing music hosted by popular (and stunningly knowledgeable) American DJ Jesse Miner and Spuds (Manu Smith). The show discusses all types of swing dancing music, features interviews with big-name musicians and bands and an ‘8-count’ list of 8 top dancing songs. Show notes for each of the monthly shows are also available. Jesse and Manu are enthusiastic about audience-responses and welcome emails from listeners

Discussion Boards
An American-based (but internationally focussed) discussion board for swing dance DJs. Covers a wide range of musical styles (from old school scratchies, through groove, hi-fi and so on…) and is effectively moderated to keep threads on track. Posters are friendly and helpful, and the board encourages members to use their real names. An excellent resource for DJing technique, but also for swing dance music.

A discussion board related to blues dancing and music. Perhaps not as comprehensive as SwingDJs for music, but one of the few boards which is exclusively devoted to blues music and dancing. The posters are friendly and good contacts for plugging into blues dancing culture.

Swing Talk Threads
There are many useful and interesting discussions here on Swing Talk about DJing for swing dancers and about swing music. The best place to start is in the Big Beat a Rockin’ forum. Here are some that seem to have the most useful and on-track discussions:

Cheap CDs
Swing Talk thread listing the cheapest sources for CDs (for swing dance music).

DJ Bubs
Swing Talk thread where new (and experienced) DJs can ask questions about DJing – music, technique, theory, networking, etc

Online Requests box
Swing Talk thread where dancers can request songs they’d like to hear on the dance floor.

Swing Talk thread discussing blues music.

Previewing Music Online
Useful sites not only for buying music, but also for listening to clips from albums.

Buying music online
JB online
Cheap Australian online ordering.
Jazz by mail
Barnes and Nobles
Gemm Records

Record Labels
Stomp off Records
JSP Records
Proper Records

"useful music and DJing resources" was posted in the category clicky and djing and music

June 2, 2006

nutella bad? no!

Posted by dogpossum on June 2, 2006 11:21 PM

I've just stumbled across choice, the mag produced by the consumer affairs association. I'm not sure how I feel about it, beyond the fact that it's perfectly suited to generating low level anxiety about rather inconsequential things.*

Perhaps the most upsetting thing I read in this mag was that nutella has so much trans fat it'd be banned in Denmark.
This distresses me because nutella is the one sweety we buy at the supermarket and keep in the house. All other lovely sweeties are bought spontaneously and randomly.

And what is trans fat? Bad. And it's in manufactured foods. Here, read:

Trans fat is found mainly in deep-fried fast foods and processed foods made with margarine or shortening. It’s created by a process called hydrogenation that’s used by food manufacturers to improve the stability of vegetable oils and to convert liquid oils into the solid fats needed to get the right consistency in foods such as cakes and pastries. Trans fat is also created naturally by micro-organisms in the rumen (or forestomach) of cows and sheep — so beef, lamb and dairy foods also contain small amounts of trans fat, depending on the overall fat content.Trans fat is bad for your heart. Weight for weight, it’s probably worse for you than the saturated fat that we all know to avoid. Trans fat increases the level of bad LDL cholesterol in much the same way as saturated fat. And worse, it seems to also lower the concentration of good HDL cholesterol that’s protective against heart disease.
(from this page)

I guess the bottom line is, eat organic fruit and veggies, if you're going to eat cakes and biscuits, make your own (using butter or olive oil) and don't eat shitful takeaway food. Not really big news, is it?

*no, don't be silly. of course i'm not implying that the consumer affairs people are carp. i's just being picky.

"nutella bad? no!" was posted in the category clicky and fewd

May 31, 2006

go 20s charleston, go!

Posted by dogpossum on May 31, 2006 5:11 PM

"go 20s charleston, go!" was posted in the category clicky and digging and lindy hop and other dances

what a tool

Posted by dogpossum on May 31, 2006 2:26 PM

I should open my eyes and understand that the iPod is a chain-smoking long-hair that craves exactly three (3) things: chicks, cigarettes and METAL, in reverse order. The iPod hangs out in the smoking section and takes your girlfriend to the Maiden concert. You big fucking pussy.
(the patriarch)

"what a tool" was posted in the category clicky and digging

April 16, 2006

ooooolde tyme musik

Posted by dogpossum on April 16, 2006 5:56 PM

In the ongoing world of extreme online music's the content of a bunch of old edison cylinders.
It's worth having a listen to.

"ooooolde tyme musik" was posted in the category clicky and music

March 25, 2006

probably worse than buttons

Posted by dogpossum on March 25, 2006 2:06 PM

Am I the only one who has trouble with the idea of

"probably worse than buttons" was posted in the category clicky

February 18, 2006

planet pupulon

Posted by dogpossum on February 18, 2006 10:15 PM

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

"planet pupulon" was posted in the category clicky

January 27, 2006

i've stumbled into a cute-spiral and can't get out

Posted by dogpossum on January 27, 2006 10:20 AM

I can only attribute it to incipient thesis-completion-madness, but I'm finding these sorts of sites irresistable. No, wait, don't go look at that site - rush to this site to see a cute kid singing a cute song.

"Some parts of the internet should be nice, for the nice people."

I've stumbled into a cute-spiral and can't get out.

"i've stumbled into a cute-spiral and can't get out" was posted in the category clicky

January 26, 2006

i just can't get enough of this

Posted by dogpossum on January 26, 2006 6:06 PM

i love those little paws! look at the fur on the bottom of them! look at this little thing!

"i just can't get enough of this" was posted in the category clicky

too much cute

Posted by dogpossum on January 26, 2006 11:52 AM

couldn't you just die?

"too much cute" was posted in the category clicky

January 25, 2006


Posted by dogpossum on January 25, 2006 7:14 PM

Recent news:

Last weekend it was 42 during the day on Saturday and Sunday. 24 hours later it was 12 degrees. That's some crazy, mixed up shit. Ah, Melbourne - every temperature you care to name. In a week.
We nearly expired of the heat over the weekend, and resolutely spent the time indoors. As per usual, I spent the time constructively fiddling with websites.

No, not this one. The new site for MLX6. No, don't bother looking - it's not up yet.
It is, however, a spectacularly clever application of Movable Type. Hoorah for powerful, simple ways of publishing. Free and powerful - what could be better. I'm particulary proud of the way I've used categories to order my pages, and the seperate 'entry body', 'extended entry' and 'title' fields to organise the data on the page. I am quite the cleverest person I know right now.
Its use of categories means there are only 2 templates to fiddle with. Hoorah - less work!
Its use of Movable type means that updating content on the site will be as easy as accessing the MT editing page, typing in the boxes and hitting 'save'. Yay! It also means that anyone can update content, so if I suddenly go MIA, someone else can take over - double yay!

We have yet to decide on things like themes for MLX6 (any ideas?), and we haven't even decided who's doing what exactly. We have, however, started thinking about an organised approach to PR, and to making contact with our contacts. After last year we have conclusive proof that we are an arse-kicking event management team, that running MLX can be low stress and actually fun, and that this year's MLX will be fantabulous. My major concerns are, of course, visuals and layouts - a neat logo, a catchy theme, etc etc. The rest of the crew can worry about inconsequentials like bands and DJs and dance floors (though if you can think of any good ones...).

On other fronts, The Squeeze and Crinks have been sending each other photos of insanely cute rodents like this little thing and the ones in the flickr bunny pool (linkage, crinkle?). This is the latest in a torrent of images from places like RMB is one of those stupid voting sites where you rate a picture - could be of a poo, a penis, a face, kittens, puppies, whatever. The bunny site is the best, in part because bunnies are so unusual (to me, anyway), because I'm not allergic to bunnies, and because bunnies have really big ears.
I have a strict bunny-rating criteria: less than 5 for crap quality photos. Less than 3 if there's a child or person in the photo. Bunnies with 'up' ears are likier to score well than ones with 'down' ears, though there are exceptions. Dress your bunny up in demeaning human costumes and you score less than 3. Include baby bunny photos and you can add 2 points automatically.
I can happily burn hours (ok, minutes) on RMB: good, clean family fun.

So far as our education flicker fest goes, we had a recent run of rubbish: I found a J-Lo film I hadn't seen, we saw the Peter Sellers biopic and completely wasted our time with the Ray Charles biopic: it was fucking awful. Tedious! Dull! Dumb! Poorly acted! Unnecessarily wanky editing and camera tricks. Everyone knows that a decent biopic just tells it like it is: if they're not interesting enough people to make a good story, don't try to dress it up with fancy camera stuff. From Ray, you'd think the man was dull as dog shit - surely he wasn't? Oh well.

But tonight it's Chinatown. More gangstery/noir goodness.

"bunnytown" was posted in the category clicky

December 14, 2005

interesting site...

Posted by dogpossum on December 14, 2005 6:38 PM

Combining cartography and creative writing, Concrete Dialogues is a unique project that marks the beginning of a quite different map of Perth. Online and on paper, some of Perth's best young writers will take you on a journey into parts of the city you've never known, and show you some of the memories that shape a place in the eyes of the people that call it home.
...etc etc etc. It's more fun just to read it, though -

"interesting site..." was posted in the category clicky

May 11, 2004

i don't know why

Posted by dogpossum on May 11, 2004 1:02 AM

i don't know why i don't just pop her site over there on the side so all (3) of you can go look at her site yourselves. i just can't stop reading that horrid wench's blog. it's just so painful. and while there was Secret Glee in the misfortune of others in my prior readings, now it's just plain scary. i just don't understand this chick.

god, i wish she didn't post so often. then i'd not be tempted to read. urk.

"i don't know why" was posted in the category clicky

April 23, 2004

oh, art

Posted by dogpossum on April 23, 2004 5:53 PM


two things, really.
first, they've got this interesting exhibition on at the tate modern in london - that picture is taken inside the turbine hall, where "The Weather Project", by olafur eliasson has proved extra popular with londoners.
basically, they set up that huge space to look like a room with the sun in it. seems brits went nuts over it - just get crazy for the big warm looking ness of it...

the other thing - one of the guys working in the gallery kept a diary in the Guardian, where he talks about the exhibition.
it's interesting stuff.

i've cut-and-pasted the entries into this entry so it doesn't get lost. but make sure you go to the site - i'm sure i've contravened copyright doing this. it's best to go to the site, really - nicer to read.

i loved the the tate mod. it's facinating. i love old factories that have been made into public spaces - the power house in bris (look here for a truly horrible website that almost gives you an idea of the thing. goddamn hack IT designer people. or here for a photo by john linkins from the site) is another fave. i was utterly stunned by the tate mod in london - it's so BIG.

and it sounds like this 'weather' exhibition is making interesting use of all that space. and of the brits' weirdo weather obsession... which can be understood. they don't see the sun in england, in winter. well, they do a bit, but it's pale and far away. and not really sunny.

Secret diary of an art gallery attendant

They came in Santa outfits, with picnics - even a canoe. On the eve of its removal, Adrian Hardwicke recalls how people reacted to The Weather Project

Thursday March 18, 2004
The Guardian

Unearthly: Olafur Eliasson's Weather Project at Tate Modern. Photo: Dan Chung

October 9 2003

One week left until the opening of the next installation in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. Olafur Eliasson's Weather Project seems to be going well, although it's not without its hiccups: suspending a mirrored ceiling more than 100ft above the floor is proving tricky. I've been involved in blacking out the Turbine Hall's huge windows. We did various trials; in one, tape and vinyl were applied directly to the glass. Next morning, I arrived at the gallery - and found the tape was already peeling off. A bit of a panic ensued before the decision was made to use vinyl and paint. It's amazing how if even the tiniest bit of window is missed, it has a profound effect inside the Turbine Hall. I feel like an air-raid warden in the Blitz looking for chinks of light.

October 13

Eliasson wants his project to remain absolutely secret, and so fencing has been installed to prevent anybody seeing into the area. Of course, this just encourages the intrepid visitor to try to find a way in, to see what's going on. I even saw someone getting a lift on another person's shoulders and holding up their camera. The fencing that has been used is fairly basic and I can't quite believe that I have allowed the place to be turned into such a building site. First-time visitors must be bewildered by what is going on.

October 16

Yesterday's opening party was very successful, if bizarre. A few hundred people, enveloped in a theatrical haze, stood sipping cocktails, eating canapes and staring at a giant artificial sun and at themselves in the mirrored ceiling. The light was drained from their features, making it hard to recognise them. A strange experience.

October 20

The commission has attracted a massive amount of media interest, and, as a result, thousands of people are flocking to Tate Modern. The most extraordinary things are happening, things I'm sure no one, least of all the artist, ever envisaged. Visitors are making their way to the end of the Turbine Hall and lying on the floor, using their bodies to make shapes and form words - some predictably obscene - which they can then see in the mirror above them. They are even spelling out website addresses. It has resulted in the most extraordinary social interaction taking place between complete strangers.

October 24

I can't quite believe the droves and droves of people that are coming into the Turbine Hall. It is very unusual for this level of interest to be sustained beyond the initial publicity drive. The work is having all sorts of effects on people - not least a disgruntled member of staff, who decided to write to the newspapers saying that the theatrical haze included a hallucinogenic drug and that we were poisoning everyone. This sort of thing is mildly irritating, to say the least. In fact, the haze is made of just sugar and water, but inevitably there will be people who believe the allegations and Dennis Ahern, the Tate's safety and security manager, has had to go into overdrive to counter that.

November 20

President Bush is due to arrive in the UK for a whirlwind visit. I got a call to go down to the Turbine Hall as we had a number of anti-Bush protesters in. There were about 30 or 40 people, accompanied by a couple of photographers, who wanted to spell out "GO HOME BUSH". At first I thought they were going to manage only "GO HO BU", which wouldn't have been quite as powerful. But eventually enough people joined in. Wild applause broke out for a few minutes and then the protesters went on to their next venue.

November 28

Just when you think you've seen everything . . . A couple are intimately engaged beyond what I would normally expect in a public space. There are passionate moments, and then there are passionate moments. I point them out to my colleague Adrian Jackson and we decide we have got to do something. We flip a coin. He loses and I have great fun watching him tap the gentleman on the shoulder and asking them to break it up. They get up and go off, rather sheepish behind their brazen smiles.

December 15

I arrive at work to be told by a colleague that he has had to cope with a delegation of 50 people dressed as Santa Claus, all descending into the Turbine Hall, ringing bells and making merry. I am convinced he is exaggerating - until I see a photograph on the local community website.

The great thing about this installation is the way in which it seems to make everybody happy. It cuts across all boundaries; young and old alike lie on the floor and gaze at their reflections in the ceiling mirror. At busy times - particularly at the weekend - it is fun to see people try to spot themselves. It seems that families have cottoned on to the fact that it makes a fabulous children's playground. Kids tear around the room having fun - and no doubt get home completely exhausted.

What's also amazing is how much litter people leave. Cleaners are forever having to sweep up discarded cans, sweet wrappers and leaflets. A visitor called me over today to show me that someone had kindly left us an apple. Was this supposed to have some meaning?

January 5 2004

The number of people who got digital cameras for Christmas must be astronomical; flashes are going off every second as people contort themselves into weird and wonderful positions to get the best possible photo. If the person being photographed stands in the right place with their arms aloft, it looks as if they are holding up the sun. That's my favourite shot.

January 12

On Friday night I was surprised to see a couple picnicking. They weren't just having a sandwich but had brought in all the essential ingredients - including a rug, a large picnic hamper, champagne and what looked like a wonderful home-baked pie. I was very tempted to ask if I could join them.

January 20

The strangest moment yet - a visitor brought in his blow-up canoe and sat there surrounded by strangers pretending to paddle towards the sun. He seemed quite an ordinary man, middle-aged and reasonably well dressed. He packed up and moved on after 15 minutes.

February 14

I was convinced people would get together and form a heart for Valentine's Day, but it wasn't to be. How disappointing.

February 23

Over two million visitors have been to Tate Modern since October 22 - the installation has resulted in the busiest November, December, January and February since the gallery opened. The sun acts as an amazing draw: people sit facing it as though it were emanating warmth on these cold winter days. The Saturday and Sunday of half-term week saw over 25,000 people visit on each day. The Turbine Hall looked like Brighton beach on a bank holiday. I'm certain we could have sold everybody ice-creams and sunblock, despite the freezing temperatures.

March 5

I'm called down to the Turbine Hall at about 7.30pm to witness a dance group who have decided to hold their class at Tate Modern. What I see is 20 people indulging in what seems to me a very strange performance. A member of staff tells me that this activity apparently originated in America and is a mixture of spirituality, exercise and dance. They are certainly enjoying themselves - and entertaining the other visitors. All their activity is improvised and they start as a group before splitting into pairs. The great thing is that they remain silent and don't spoil the experience for anybody else, so I let them carry on.

March 7

Victor Ferreiro, one of the gallery assistants, calls on the radio and asks me to meet a visitor who wants to play his didgeridoo in the gallery. I pop down to explain that although he may be very good, the noise is likely to interfere with everybody else's enjoyment so I have to refuse his request.

March 12

The installation is drawing to a close and we've decided to mark the event by keeping the Turbine Hall open until 1am on the final weekend. An opportunity to see the midnight sun. It should be a fascinating end to what has been an extraordinary work of art. In many ways I will be sad to see it go, although there is a sense in which it will be nice to have daylight flooding back into the space. I miss the wonderful way shadows fall through the lancet windows on to the Turbine Hall floor.

Each of the artists in the Unilever Series has had their own particular approach. I wonder what Bruce Nauman is planning for his October installation? Apparently he is going to use sound in some way.

· Adrian Hardwicke is the front of house manager at Tate Modern. The Weather Project is at Tate Modern, London SE1, until Sunday; on Friday and Saturday it closes at 1am. Details: 020-7887 8000.

"oh, art" was posted in the category clicky

March 18, 2004

a haraway moment

Posted by dogpossum on March 18, 2004 10:53 AM

today i suddenly thought (while i was reading this blog), how do we know what someone's gender is when we read their blog? i've sort of been thinking, off to the side of my brain there, where i don't notice it, 'wonder if this person's a girl or a boy' when i read a new blog.

and then i thought, 'oh, i must be easy to pick'. what with that big picture of myself up there at the top. you'd be surprised how many of my readers (my readers - fahahfhfha)have said 'hey, where did you get a picture that looks like yourself from?' or 'hey, that picture really looks like you!'. maybe i'm a more convincing artist than i'd thought?

does gender change the way i read a blog? i'm noticing that most of the ones that i'm getting from this site and sticking in my favourites (- blogs and friends' sites - blogs to read) are by blokes over 35 with at-home jobs.

i was looking for some 'feminist' blogs, or at least blogs by women who weren't writing cutesy stories about their goddamn motherfukking cats (sorry, but really - CATS?! what the goddamn fukk?!! how can i be expected to bear this bullshit...?). i'm liking reading the identity blogs, but i'm not afro-american, so i'm looking for some other sorts of resonances... oh, i should add that most of my most-read blogs are by gay men, or hetero men with kids.

"a haraway moment" was posted in the category clicky


About dogpossum

i live in melbourne sydney, australia, like jazz music and dance, swear too much, sew, drink a lot of tea and adore puns. ask me about my phd.