Tuesday, August 30, 2005
From Ampersand Duck, via Laura. Who would play me in a movie of my life (in the unlikely event that one were ever made, cause lets face it unless things get a bit more exciting from now on it's not going to be terribly interesting at all).
Well, I would like Lucy Lawless.
I'm not quite as tall, okay not anywhere near as tall, but I do have dark hair and blue eyes so that's close enough for me.
Okay, I really really would like Lucy Lawless, as Xena Warrior Princess to play me.
I am tagging Meg, Coz, Speedy and Pink and Sparkly Princess.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Sprinting through the candy store, cutting down all who dare stand in the way using gilded boxing gloves, cometh Cozalcoatl! And she gives an ominous scream:
"You in some shit now, muhfuh! I lay waste to the landscape like a sentient bulldozer!!!"
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
99% pun free.
When I was born the resemblance to my father, Sir Winston Churchill was uncanny.
As you can see from my salute, I was born ready.
I started training as a fighter pilot immediately.
Due to my foresight I was one of the first sent to France.
I was resolved to do my bit for Old Blighty. However, as the photo shows, the consternation I experienced on the subdued train journey from Calais was clear:
Would England survive?
Would I survive?
Would I ever grow hair?
Yes, I would.
Here I am on leave in late 1941 after I received my KA and the bar for my DFC from King George himself.
KingGeorgeV: Well done!
h: Thank you, your majesty.
The war dragged on for several more years and we experienced all sorts of shortages.
In this case: barbers.
It was good to be alive.
But, after six years the strains of war were beginning to show themselves.
Come 1945 and Peace!
And Europe began to rebuild itself, but for me there was a different path.
Some hitherto dormant agent of crapness stirred within me.
Worse, I couldn't let the war go. I fully expected the Russians to storm across the border at any minute and, on my own initiative, developed a bullet repelling hairstyle in anticipation.
Farming came easily to me.
But I still felt like an outsider; as many other returned soldiers did.
And I lived on the fringe of society.
I went bush for many years for which there is no photographic evidence and returned a new man. I realised that in order to leave the war behind I would have to leave my hair behind, but I was unsure of how the world would react to the 'new me' and I went to great lengths to hide the truth.
But then, one sunny afternoon somewhere, I befriended the man who was to become my spiritual adviser.
Donations can be made to the Ex-servicesman's Follicularly Disabled Benevolent Fund via your local RSL.
Can we?? ....pleeze...
Blog In Space allows organizations and individuals to transmit their blog feeds into deep space. Blog In Space allows users to add their feed to our system which periodically pulls feeds down into bundled transmission packages ...
Bloggers who use this site are urged to keep their blogs devoid of any overt language, comments or content designed to offend, taunt or provoke alien life forms in any way. Aliens may find your lifestyle, grammar or the picture of your girlfriend offensive, we just don't know. Blog In Space does not warrant that any content transmitted into space will not be objectionable to alien life forms and will not be responsible for alien abductions, close encounters or intergalactic war.
As sample EP rant from LP
As for the declining birthrate, it amazes me that none of the explanations for this seems to take serious note of the fact that men are required at some point in the breeding process.
What if it’s men who are refusing to have children? Ever since the institution of the Family Court, children have become a means to enslave men and destroy their lives in order to enrich wommen.
Younger men who have seen their fathers and friends destroyed by the system are hardly likely to rush into fatherhood. What if a woman wanted babies, and nobody came?
Want more EP? You can find him here.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
As censorship goes, I think democratically elected warning labels is pretty mild, and I don't think this blog was ever really intended for the world at large so much as a way to continue crapping on with our friends when they're too far away and we're supposed to be at work, so we wont really care if they stop advertising us. Its still kinda obnoxious. Offensive even. So I've flagged our blog as offensive, because it contains and example of censorship, which I find offensive. I encourage you to flag it too.
But - and here's the important bit - how do we tell if we're winning? Are we merely mildly annoying, or are we world-class obnoxious? I want a scorecard! So go on over to http://help.blogger.com/?page=wishlist and tell the kind people at blogger that we want a way to tell how many people have flagged our blog as offensive. Vote early; vote often!
Monday, August 22, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
There're no bars on this window and through it I see
everything. The sky's as blue as yesterday and the
colour of the leaves on the trees is just starting to
. There's no chain on this door. "Another glass of
wine, my friend, before you go?" I'm left
standing here, back where it all began.
Locked in some prison cell.
The streets are full of people, all my time is full of coffee conversation wine and cigarettes,
another plate of sushi.
It's a perfect day for living and my life is filling up...
It can't get more alone than this, in my suburban cage
The streets are full of people all my mind is full of armoured conversation, tiny oubliette,
another phase of beauty.
It's a day for perfect living, all my time is taken up...
It can't get more alone than this, in my suburban cage
Necessarily there's a verse or bridge or both missing, but i'm too intoxicated now to even try at it. it took me long enough to work out how to spell oubliette... Anyway, flamethrowers ready?
Thursday, August 18, 2005
You and I have riffed about cleansing the stupid from the face of the planet by way of a Flaming Sword (of Righteousness). I believe you also wanted to be Benevolent Dictator of the world too. I will be the Beneviolent Dictator and we can take turns with the sword.
From some random website: "Manjushree is known as the God of Divine Wisdom, and is considered the founder of Nepalese civilization and the creator of the Katmandu Valley. Devotees believe that he confers wisdom, memory and intelligence."
Obviously I am his most recent incarnation and you all owe me some rice.
Or Kate is and you can send her rice because she has better hair.
"Manjushree is a Bodhisattva (one who has forsaken Nirvana in order to help others achieve enlightenment), and according to legend, his intuition told him he could find the blue flame symbolizing Adibuddha in the big lake in Nepal. As he tried to make his way there to offer worship, his path was blocked by a vast ocean of water. Using the sword of wisdom and light, he cut away from the southern wall of hills, thus draining away the water and creating the Kathmandu Valley."
There you go - The Flaming Sword of Wisdom and Light!
Also useful for drastic garden make-overs.
Death to the frigging water features!
And you'd all better be grateful that I gave up Nirvana to guide, nurture and teach you, you worthless mortals (although truth be told the Seattle Sound has run it's course).
Anyway, I'm currently searching for nuggets of nirvana in Progressive Trance music and today found these lyrics:
"Do you believe in a god that satisfies
Do you believe in a god that opens eyes
Do you believe in a god that tells you lies
Or do you believe in me?
Do you believe in a god that brings you down
Do you believe in a god that wears a crown
Do you believe in a god that makes you bow
Or do you believe in me?"
And The Cat Empire in 'Two Shoes' sing:
"Around my neck is superstition hanging from a chain
Because I've got my gods, but in the end I made my own way."
So, I've been thinking about deities again and whether they should be worshipped or not.
I cannot be a friend to a god who orders me how to behave. I cannot love a god I don't respect. I dislike the idea of heaven because that offers deification as the point/reward of life; whereas the point of life is to be the best human you can, and the rewards spring from that. Also I prefer the idea that this life is the one that matters, and that what we do with it is what matters. Obviously I'm not Christian. My gods look me in the eye and we speak face to face. They are there as examples and agents of inspiration. Gods are expressed through people and the way to be closer to the divine is to be closer to people through which s/he shines.
We do make our own way, and it shouldn't matter if the gods don't actually exist. To me, that is empowering.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
in the past couple of years there's been some serious pop/gay culture referencing goin' down with Opera Australia. anyone who saw Orpheus in the Underworld with the gimpy slave outfits, Deco-hotel-styled Mount Olympus and various Rocky-Horror rejects in the chorus (amongst other things), or perhaps The Love for Three Oranges with Leandro, the Siegfried & Roy inspired magician, and amazing Dada/acid-induced sets and costumes, will dig where I'm at.
Don Giovanni was a little more sedate, but truly lovely nonetheless. a one-room neutral set with large windows and corinthian columns, done in creams, beiges and gold. costumes in more neutrals, ranging into russets, browns, salmon pink, with gorgeous plums and scarlets for the lead characters. very nicely researched costumes too, with some fab boy's frock coats, although committing the heinous crime of aprons tied on underneath the bodice. yes, that old chestnut. great singing, young cast, lots of heaving bosoms... what more do you want?
well, there's the title role of Don Giovanni, played by Teddy Tahu Rhodes (apparently this is a reprise of his 2003 role, but I unfortunately missed out first time round).
this is the standard Teddy mug shot -
he's really tall, has an amazing smile and he sings bass. but it gets better. this is how he looks in Don Giovanni -
it's Jamie's Evil and Debauched Twin Brother!! perhaps with a touch of the Anti-Ob thrown in, because of the fabulous frock coat and sleek ponytail. the grin got wider and wider and insanely devilish. some of the time he swanned around sans frock coat, showing off the black peasant shirt and what looked like a studded sword-belt. it may sound a little bit Sad Goth but in reality, it rocked. hard. at the end, when he's being tortured and pulled down into hell for his wicked ways (sorry to spoil the plot) the shirt is all torn and I suspect it was all carefully choreographed to show off his heaving, I'm-so-tortured washboard stomach. it's terribly, terribly shallow but I don't really blame them - I mean, hell, how often does an opera company get a six-pack to flaunt?
however, I've got to say that as far as opera-company-hero moments are concerned, his entrance in the first few minutes was pretty much the ultimate. Don Giovanni, having been caught out seducing an unsuspecting Respectable Young Lady, Donna Anna, launches himself out of her window - wearing nothing but a black mask, black knee-high boots and black leather hot-pants.
how loud can you say "Thank you, Opera Australia!"
Monday, August 15, 2005
Which is actually fair enough, as far as it goes, but it entirely fails to take into account the inconsequential annoyance factor. Even if god cannot stop people doing truly horrible things to each other because they need to choose to stop of their own free will, any omnipotent being would still be confronted with day-to-day experiences like this (differing from my own only in the happy ending...):
Enter god, chillin in his lair, with that abstracted look and humming the same 6 bars over and over indicating that he has a song stuck in his head (hey, not even omnipotence is a match for a catchy tune.)
God: Thats it! Its Stairway to Heaven! MUST listen to the whole song and get it out of my head!
God lunges to bookshelf, whips out Led Zeppelin IV (its on the top shelf) opens it and grabs the cd, jabbing the eject button on the stereo with the other hand. There is, of course, already a cd in the player. He picks it up, eyeing the boxes next to the stereo... Oh no! The disk has no label on it! Which box does it go in? He sighs, puts the cd back in the player and fumbles a series of boxes open one-handedly (Zeppelin IV still reverently protected in the other) looking for the right one, but unfortunately they're /all/ empty... his eyes track to the side at the pile of scratched case-less cds sitting on the shelf because they too have no writing on the disk...
...his eyes narrow, and shift to either side. Is it important to the free will of mankind that they be able to frustrate themselves - probably not even on purpose - with cds with no label? A wicked smile creeps across the supreme being's face, and there is a small "pop" coinciding with the cds acquiring labels, and a marketing exec landing in the fire in the hearth. God kicks off his ugg boots and warms his toes to the building strains of Black Dog...
Now, we have had a few different pictures framed in the last few months and he has always insisted on having the same frame on them all, so we have a sort of theme going. So didn't need to pick a frame I just went with what we'd used before. Husbang even cleaned up the garage and didn't notice jigsaw was missing. So, thought I, he'll get a big surprise when he sees it. And he did. Then he looked at me and said 'I wish you'd consulted me before you did this'. Thanks darling, no wow I didn't even notice it was gone, or thanks for the surprise, just 'why didn't you consult me?'
Well, lets try because every other frickin frame in the place had to be the same, so what's so different about this one? 'But I wanted a mat around it'. The jigsaw is about 1500m x 900mm ain't no mat gonna fit that, besides you stuck it onto a board that was only just thin enough to fit the frame on, so couldn't have fit a mat on if we wanted to. 'But I wanted a different frame (all this is going on in the shop, in front of the framing lady)'. That's when I got nasty and told her that he didn't like the frame. He then had to backpedal and explain that she had as usual done fantastic work, it just wasn't what he had envisaged for that jigsaw. He later admitted that he'd imagined it with a f_ckoff big gold frame - like nothing else in our house. How's that for a theme? Anyway, the framing lady called in her husband as reinforcements and he said the frame looked fine. He even said it was the one he would have chosen. Maybe he was even telling the truth.
So we take the jigsaw home and hang it on the wall, and husbang slowly starts coming around to admitting that it's not so bad. Still bleating about the frame though. Only some of our pictures were going to be in that type of frame he says. So, I say that's why you were trying to find similar frames to put all our photos in? At this point he admits defeat.
Moral of the story: don't mess with me when I try to do something nice for you, or I will destroy you. I did warn him that this would become a blog post, so he only has himself to blame.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
It seemd like a good idea. Virtuous even. With the hitherto unknown luxury of time on my side (granted to me, however reluctantly, by the absence of my time-waster-in-chief boyf) I decided to get my fat arse into shape by going to the gym, a habit that has been truely sidelined by convivial living in a happily pseudo-connubial home.
Since I am based at a University, and university campuses always have a gym, the choice was obvious. I'm only here for another 3.5 months, so a couple of monthly memberships would do it just fine, I thought. It went something like this:
They don't do memberships, certainly not monthly memberships.
There is however something called a sports card that is like a membership, kinda. Pay £3 per month for the card, and pay for what you use at a discounted rate, pay £25 for the card and get unlimited free use off-peak, pay £31 and get unlimited free use. £31 = $74 a month. Bloody hell.
And it's a minimum 3 months. $222.
Right. Okay. Fine. Grand scheme of things, I can afford it, and it will saving me wasting 10 times that at the pub. Need gym to prepare for winter of stodgy English food.
Ah, don't take cash. Have to pay first installment by credit card. (Which would be fine if some bitch hadn't stolen my wallet two weeks ago, the day before i flew to england.) Don't have credit card yet. It will come soon...
Ah, subsequent intallments must be by direct debit. Don't have UK bank account. What do you mean you don't take cash!!! Don't make it easy, do you? Right...
I leave, utterly frustrated, with a fistful of brocheurs that are uninformative and unhelpful. Phone flatmate. Start with the good news "I got all those tickets, no problem. No, no hurry with paying me back. Hey listen, could you do me a favour?" Flatmate agrees to link membership to her credit card and her bank account. Love flatmate.
That night, filling out form with said flatmate. £31 a month, plus a £5 start up fee. $74 a month and they want to charge an extra $12 for the privillege of having a swipe card! Urgh - fine, right, grand scheme of things, okay ...
Go in the following day to the gym, forms in hand.
Forms being processed. They charge pro rata, so it being 10th of month will only charge £27.42 for August. Membership therefore runs out on 31st October, full month before I leave. Raises possible necessity of having to buy extra full month at end to avoid month of winter podge development. Hm, damn, but hurrah am finally member of gym with swipe card.
"Have you done your induction yet?"
????? Induction is apparently the showing around of equipment etc required by OH&S type regulations. Can't use gym until induction complete. Understandable...
Ten sodding pounds to do the induction this evening, at 8 o'clock?!?!?!? Or only six sodding pounds if you do it doing the day, but the next available slot isn't til Friday.
Right! Having paid $12 for the right to join, am paying $2.45 a day for a gym membership that I can't use for two days until I have paid another $14.50 for them to fulfill their safety requirements!
I would have gone to the pub to drown my sorrows in beer and peanuts and toasted cheese sandwiches, but i couldn't afford it.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Then of course comes the disallusion, or the apathy. It's too hard, not exciting enough, and pretty much everything else is more enticing. You feel sad for what you've lost, but you shrug and say 'oh well' ignoring that empty feeling as you head off to take on the next challenge life throws at you.
And life isn't bad. Life is even good. But slowly you realise that the kernel that you buried deep deep inside you didn't die.. and now it's slowly putting out tendrils towards the light.
The second time you fall in love with your true love it's different. It's slower, sweeter, earthier - honey on home-baked brown bread. You are making a concious and informed decision acknowledging the good and the bad of it all... you finally start to see the whole picture. Your love is part of your life, not the entire meaning of it. You have discovered that your life would not be the same or as complete without it, and you have chosen to welcome your love back into your life.
And you start to experience what magick really is.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Last night the Delightful Mother™ and I went along to the Opera House to see Branford Marsalis play with the Sydney Symphony.
I was lucky enough to be brought up with a divine mix of classical & jazz. My mum is the classic buff – and lots of piano pieces, operas and sometimes too much Gilbert & Sullivan (I didn’t realise that until much later of course). She took me to the first opera performed at the Sydney Opera House – The Magic Flute, when I was five. My dad was the jazz buff. During the late 40’s & the 50’s, he went to see every Big Band that toured the UK. When he arrived in Australia, it was with a collection of the sharpest suits and Brothel Creepers that suburban Sydney had seen.
So. Back to Marsalis. We were lucky enough to have seen his brother, Wynton, play at the Opera House about a decade ago with his own jazz band. Branford, however, is currently interested in bridging the gap between jazz and classical. I wondered if some of the audience there tonight knew that?
The first piece, with Marsalis on soprano sax, was Copland’s Clarinet Concerto. It was originally written for Benny Goodman on clarinet, but the sop sax was a pretty choice. A lovely, jaunty piece, with a few dischords thrown in for interest. A bit of light jazz - but not muzak - using just the string section, piano and harp.
Second up, Marsalis took a break for Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks. I guess I should listen to the Rite of Spring again sometime because this was very cute. I could see a couple of insane bumblebees barrelling along doing a bumblebee version of wubbsing… then thinking ‘ooh, time for a nap’… waking up and having an argument about whose turn it was to wash the dishes… and then getting back to the pollen-gathering. Funky. All with a stripped-down racing-version 15-piece plus Conductor.
Next up was Glazunov’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone. To tell you the truth, this one didn’t stick much in my head. The Delightful Mother™ thought it was a bit jumpy. I didn’t think it was the right kind of jumpy. You could hear the jazz influence, but nothing too spectacular.
After interval they performed Debussy’s Rhapsody for Alto Saxophone, with almost full orchestra (light on brass & woodwind). A really lovely thing, this was – billowy, romantic (in that graceful way), fullsome, with Persian/Moorish phrases running through it. Apparently Debussy wrote this in spite of himself, as he detested the look of the ungainly saxophone, but was commissioned by a wealthy American lady who had taken up the sax to improve her asthma! This is one of the earliest pieces written for the sax, and it went down a treat with the audience. Both the Delightful Mother™ and I could hear a big influence on MGM musicals in decades to come (not an insult).
To end, Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kije –Suite, Op 60. I would have to say that most of this was definitely ForBattle! music – it started off with what sounded like a small-town military band trying to march through a village as noisily as possible. Lots of Tarantarahs, and BOOMS on the bass drum. The rest of the village is all oom-pah, Fiddler-on-the-Roof, yearning, beautiful melodies… until the military band came back right through the middle of it. And towards the end, a lovely section called Troika which some of you would know. It sounds just like a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh through the snow with bridles and sleigh-bells jingling. Pretty!
Cheers, applause, Conductor bows, Marsalis bows, Concert Master bows… etc… etc… I confess to be disappointed they didn’t end on a Marsalis solo piece, as he had been tucked into the orchestra for Lieutenant Kije. Come on Sydney Symphony, don’t you know you’re meant to finish with the headlining act?
Then he comes back on for an encore. Yes! Marsalis and the pianist play a sweet, slow thing. It’s like a jazz lullaby. Behind us are a family with two (well-behaved) boys, and one of them is asleep. That makes me smile. Jazz is full of happy, comforting, secure memories & feelings for me and I can fall asleep to it at the drop of a hat for those reasons. Yes, even in the Opera House (a while ago now, and it was fabulous music too). The music is so lovely, it makes my heart sigh.
More applause etc etc… we got an encore, and so everyone is well pleased.
Except Marsalis then comes back and beckons one of the young bass players out to the front. What? They proceed to jam On the Sunny Side of the Street. How cool, and like a gent, Marsalis gives the bass a chance to solo (very good). It brings the house down.
Thunderous applause, etc etc… so Marsalis gets another of the bass players out and together they start jamming something which I think starts off as Beale St Blues (could be wrong). The Conductor slips in behind the grand piano and takes them by surprise (ooh err). For his solo he slides some of Debussy’s Rhapsody in, and they turn off Beale St to heaven knows where… and I swear to god, I thought the rest of the orchestra was going to light up cigarellos and start clicking their fingers, daddyo.
It was so GOOD!
Then we had to go home.
All good things must come to an end… and this was A Good Thing.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
A week and a half after leaving the house in Sydney that my boy and I have made home, I have re-discovered the benfits of single-living in a female share house.
a) Not totally alone but have plenty of free space.
b) Can watch the tackiest movies without fear of ridicule.
c) If I feel like nothing more than a boiled carrot for dinner, I can have one.
So far so good. But Norwich isn't all riverside wilderness, overly enthusiastic cottage gardens and roundabouts. This morning's revelations included the misfortunes of combining a hangover from a 1am pass out with a 5am sunrise.
Summer in England is great. The head of the research group I have barnacled onto had a BBQ at his house last night. We started at 5:30, and ate and drank and played stupid games in the backyard until we ran out of light. It was pitchblack before we finally gave up on the soccer. And that was well gone 10pm. Then we could really settle into the fireside drinking. Six hours of steady wine drinking needs careful management, however, and four hours of sleep isn't it. Especially when the blinds don't block out anything other than the neighbours' eyes. Especially when said blinds are pink. And the wall paper is pink. And the bedding is pink. And the ceiling, while white, has this strange light cast that seems to be on the rosey side of the scale...
The sheer unpleasantness of the colour pink was a revelation that came pretty damn rapidly after the first. Can't wait for winter.
Well, screw those guys! They don't know shit.
It was a great romp - go and see it.
The first half is scifi then the secondhalf is mostly action.
If you are more interested in stuff blowing up then there is lots of that. Also possibly the best car chase I have seen.
Great cast: Ewan McGregor, Sean Bean ('rrehh!') , the black french guy who was in Gladiator and Scarlett Johannson.
I hadn't seen Scarlett in a movie before, but let me just say that Pygmalion did an astoundingly wonderful job.
Pyg.: Come on Gods!
Zeus: Yeah, look we know you're pretty good b....WHOA! [Zap!]
[Galatea reaches down; Pygmalion reaches up; Jean Leon Gerome says 'Fantastic! Hold it!]
Oh, and when she challengingly cocks her eyebrow at Ewan.... and then the thing with the lips...
Pretty much this movie is a geek's best dream ever.
1) Work out The System.
2) Become a rebel.
3) Play with kickarse weaponry.
4) Drive some cool vehicles.
5) Lose your virginity.
(Possibly in that order)
In other news: Tonight I'm being an Uruk-hai on drugs with no pants.
They seek him almost everywhere.
Is he on the roof? Under the floor?
That damned elusive Fyodor.
You'll never guess who I had two pre-dinner pints of guiness; chinese seafood dinner with a bottle of very nice Mornington Peninsular Pinot Noir; and post dinner whiskeys until quarter to one last night with...
And to answer Mindy's question: not, it wasn't an anticlimax to meet him in the flesh.
A thoroughly likable, engaging, erudite, funny guy.
Oh and generous. He gave me a book, whilst all I gave him was a Serenity fridge magnet.
And he was fully expecting us to have devised a plan where I'd meet him and have you guys secretly posted throughout the pub. Us? Moi? Us? As if.
I, of course, cannot tell you anything as I'm not about to spoil his fun.
I am soooo the coolest kid in school.
Friday, August 05, 2005
Got my camera back today. It died at the end of the Mexico trip. I bought it duty free at Sydney Airport before i went turtle poking.
You have any idea how hard it is to get a ferret to pose? Cthulhu was squirmy too.
This is Guinness aka boofhead. He is getting old and has lumpy cancer neck but is till boingy and happy.
Coz posting again....
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Dumb, fucking accident. I don't even have god to blame, bastard.
Alot of folk found out yesterday afternoon, me, who left work a bit early and not having TV, was completely blindsided this morning.
Makes crying in movies seem all abit lame now.
(Ok this is not anti ob but Coz posting this....bloody profile screwed)
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Will this drive to identify Fyodor result in a feeling of anticlimax? Are we really prepared for reality? Do we really want to know? Isn't the game of guessing from the little tidbits granted periodically to us better than knowing? What will we do when Fyodor is no longer the man of mystery?
What if upon meeting us he finds us all crap and no longer wants anything to do with us?
What if his parents have put him on a curfew (because he's actually a supersmart 14 year old?)
Do we dare burst the URST?
A preliminary report by Harry Simpson (B.Sc. Incomp.) Cryptozoologist, Furniture Removalist and "Mr Snappy Dresser", June 2005.
[Transcript of his speech given at the inaugural Syndey Convention of the Unconventional, August 2005.]
Thank you, Bernard, for your kind words.
It has been a great pleasure getting to know you, and especially your wife.
Thank you all for being here.
Before you all I can announce that to the ranks of mysterious human-like creatures such as the Yeti, Sasquatch, Bigfoot and Amanda Vanstone, we can add a new and exciting member: the Fyodor - or simply 'Fyodor' as he is known to the locals.
The recently discovered, and far from completely explored, country of Ozblogistan has continually proven itself to be a treasure-trove of wonders. In the mere decade since it's discovery, Ozblogistan has constantly delighted sociologists, historians, economists and the general public as new finds come to light.
There are many who are still ignorant of the existence of Ozblogistan. And of those who do know of it few think it is a real place at all; and even fewer have chosen to immerse themselves in it's splendour to find those half-glimpsed phantasms for themselves.
It is no wonder that Ozblogistan and it's denizens are so misunderstood because the place willingly straddles the boundaries of what we have conventionally thought of as hard-and-fast reality and the most sublime of fantasy. The ease at which the real and the unreal slip past, and even absorb and supplant, each other means that Ozblogistan produces surprises of the highest complexity and the emergent possibilities are enticingly endless.
One of the most fascinating artefacts that has newly come to light is that most elusive of creatures: the Fyodor; and that is the topic of tonight's speech.
Tentatively termed Homo sapiens dostoyevskii, the Fyodor appears to be a highly intelligent and engaging individual. (I use the term 'individual' advisedly, since we only have evidence for one creature so far.) The paradox of Fyodor is his extreme shyness which, as with all the crypto-species, makes the study of him very hard indeed. Luckily he has left my team of researchers and I a number of clues as to what sort of animal he is.
Strangely enough it is possible that the Fyodor is known from antiquity. There is an intriguing description from Herodotus who makes passing mention of a strange tribe who's dominant males have silver tongues. We know that Herodotus described gorillas as a tribe of men, whose dominant males have silver backs, so it is entirely possible that the Fyodor was known to ancient Africans. However, as many scholars have pointed out, Herodotus' description of the hippopotamus was patently wrong showing that he never actually saw these animals, so we should treat this reference with caution.
A far more tantilising Egyptian heiroglyph from the tomb of a well travelled scholar does show a humanlike being in a characteristic oratory pose with the inscription '...and [not translated] delivers a witty repost unto the [tentatively translated as 'tosspots'].' It has been suggested by several luminaries of Egyptology that the kartouche relating to the figure reads Phe-akh-doh.
But that is all the evidence we have until what appeared at the start of this year. The wealth of information that has arrived in the last few months has been a staggering boon to the field of Cryptozoology.
It is without doubt that Ozblogistan is Fyodor's natural habitat; with the most likely site for his real-world anchor being in Sydney's Inner West. Since this discovery my team of researchers has been able to glean much information.
Firstly, he identifies himself as male, and has often shown a romantic or sexual attraction to various human females. From this we deduce that, like the Yeti, he is closely related to humans and may attempt copulation with human females.
We have asked for volunteers in a desperate attempt to flush him out into the open, but so far these efforts have yielded no confirmed sightings as not even the preliminary stages have been successful.
We have also tried to bribe him with beer, which has had some anecdotal success with Sasquatches, but this has similarly failed.
Secondly, he is a MASSIVE NERD. His frequent references to the Simpsons, Joss Wedon creations, Star Wars, Star Trek and Role Playing Games (amongst others) prove without doubt that he is a nerd of the highest order (which is, +10, for those who don't know). His social skills in the virtual world are highly developed this procludes him being some sort of Geek or Dweeb.
Thirdly, he is well read, educated and cultured.
Various paleontologists claim that a Neanderthal could be dressed in a suit and put on a bus in peak hour and no-one would be any the wiser as to it's true identity, we have concluded that Fyodor does _exactly_ this!
We think that he has mingled, not just within our culture, but in the cultures of other countries - perhaps even spending a significant part his childhood in Europe. We do not think he has chameleon like abilities, but just enough nouce to stay 'below the radar' and pass for a 'normal' human being most of the time (this is a common attribute of geeks and dweebs who can successfully pass for the more nerdy side of humanity until engaged in conversation in a real-life social setting, at which point their extreme boringness and/or gross undesirability is revealed in all of it's horrid glory). This charade of Fyodor's is sufficently plausible to have allowed him a secondary and tertiary level education; to eat at resturants; to travel and to even gain employment.
Fourthly: From the combination of his nerd-dom, time spent on the internet separately to that and the additional time he must spend reading books we can make the accurate prediction about his colouring: white. Or,more accurately, pasty white.
Fifthy: We estimate him to be approximately 35 years old. We place a lower limit at 32 and an upper limit of 40 years old.
Based on these main points my team has made an over-arching blueprint of what the Fyodor is most likely to look like and, more importantly, how he would behave. We strongly suggest that it will be his behaviour that gives him away to a suitably attuned person.
Accordingly we have started searching the real world for the Fyodor and... we think we have a sighting!
This photo, while lacking in important detail, was taken in an inner west pub at lunch time on a Sunday. My team and I were disguised as bloggers from Ozblogistan and had selected this spot as a likely place for a sighting. We had no specific intelligence that he might be there, just the intuition born of years of fieldwork.
What we think is the Fyodor is seated on the left. He was dining with an attractive woman and both were dressed in a way that suggests they were trying to impress each other. The meal was unpretentious but classy. A bottle of wine had been ordered and was totally consumed. The conversation was peppered with literary refernces and even a few quips were made in languages other than English.
This, we believe, is characteristic behaviour of the Fyodor, and we are extremely excited to have brought this to you this evening.
We will shortly be embarking on a trapping program, the results of which I will present to you in a few weeks time.
Thank you once again.
Further research published at Cut Price Commentariat, Flop Eared Mule, CrazyBrave, and the latest report in from Dr Hisselbottom via LP
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
We saw Serenity last night and you didn't, so nyah!
Which might carry a bit more weight if like 75% of the people liable to be reading this weren't there last night, but the rest of you missed out. Our viewing of the film probably demonstrates some sort of innate cleverness or moral superiority (thats the feeling I got from the rest of the crowd) or at the very least that we're bigger geeks than you, and at least one of us works near George St. Which reminds me; I occasionally like surrounding myself with geeks because a) they get my jokes, and b) they make me feel less like a total dweeb in comparison, but I can't stand the experience because a) I get their jokes, and b) they talk endlessly about their collections of star wars memorabilia like the guy sitting in front of us (oh and c they can't sing, but insist on trying... with the theme songs from science fiction tv shows. Urgh.)
The movie itself was excellent but I worry it might be a bit lost on people who haven't seen Firefly; so go watch the series (again!) No spoilers excpet to say that Joss hasn't changed much.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Sage vs Charlie - Sage 1, Charlie 0
Alex vs Charlie - draw
Sage vs Charlie
Sage is a bit older and a bit taller and a bit heavier than Charlie and was on his home turf so he did have the advantage, but he played fair and deserved the win. Charlie was cranky (as noted by Ms Duck) and not in the mood to share Sage's toys. There was also a tussle over whether the back door should be closed or open, which Sage won, all the while asking why couldn't he open the door in his own house. Good point, but somewhat lost on Charlie. They did both however enjoy the backyard and chooks and a quick visit to Ms Duck's to admire her cats, while D and I admired the kitchen and bookshelves. Hopefully next time Charlie will be in a better mood when he meets Sage, as I suspect they may get along pretty well. And let's face it, tough if they don't because I had a great time talking to Zoe and Ms Duck and look forward to more touching of elbows.
Alex vs Charlie
Alex few days younger than Charlie, but still outweighs him and is a bit taller. However, I'm calling this one a draw because after some initial upset they actually played next to each other and shared toys. It was a lovely moment. I suspect they may have started to remember each other as they have spent a fair amount of time together previously. We then enjoyed a walk down to Tina's still being built house and looked in the windows because the builders had actually locked up this time.
I had a lovely time touching elbows with Zoe, Ducky and Tina. Also touched elbows with harry, Coz, Speedy, Meg, Rob, the Other Andrew and numerous others.