We’re off to kill Saxon, and everyone’s happy!

Prairie. Thanks Helen πŸ™‚

Well it’s been a long while hasn’t it? This is down to a number of factors…

  1. Rebecca staying for a few days and dragging me out on healthy walks and things rather than letting me sit at the computer and lay down more layers of cholesterol πŸ™‚
  2. My working day and night on the aforementioned (I think I mentioned it?) role playing campaign set in a post-nuclear version of the south-west of the state.
  3. I’ve had a killer of a cold for the last week.

But I’m writing now. More or less.

A consequence of not writing a decent entry for so long is that I’ve got a lot to write about. So lets get into it.

THE QUIZ NIGHT: Yes, Fabian’s Dart/Bowls club quiz night rolled around again two weeks ago. This is the same quiz night that I’ve attended for the last two years, and I’ve complained bitterly about each time due both to the absolutely inane questions, and the absolutely inane markers (who think the Statue of Liberty is on Ellis Island, and consistently forget to carry numbers while adding up). Well, this year things were much improved, because…

A) The questions were actually decent this time, with no mention of either elephants or Hercules (they did ask about the Greek Goddess of Victory, but it was a valid question about shoe manufacturers πŸ™‚

B) We won! Yey!!

Yes! We finally got our due and left the opposition limping and weeping in our wake! Ha! About time!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! πŸ™‚

Excuse me while I recover from my temporary megalomania….. OK, thanks, I’m fine now.

So we won, which was great. But the prizes, well, they were a bit weird truth be told. They’d obviously gone around to local businesses and asked them for… well anything they were going to throw out I suspect. I ended up with…

  • A large plastic box that I’m currently using as a recycling bin.
  • Three cans of Solo. Fabian gave me his three so I actually ended up with six.
  • A throwing ball thing, you know like a football with wings that you throw to people. I gave it to Fabian for his son Jayden in exchange for the Solo.
  • A jar of Salsa.
  • An economy bag of sour cream and chive chips.
  • A box of water crackers.
  • Two stubby holders. One from Dulux Paints, the other from Carlton Breweries.
  • A sparkly party whistle thing.
  • A set of lacy padded coat hangers.
  • The most ridiculous terra-cotta thing ever made.

I include here a picture of the most ridiculous terra-cotta thing ever made, just so everyone can appreciate just how ridiculous it is.

So, what’s it for you ask? It’s for hanging off the side of a pot plant. What does it do? Just hang there, apparently. I completely fail to understand the purpose of this πŸ™‚

The strange thing about all this was that a girl at the next table was absolutely desperate to get her hands on my coat hangers. As I wouldn’t be able to sleep with such monstrously feminine things in the house *g* we came to a quite equitable agreement where I handed them over in exchange for a floppy hat, two more cans of Solo and a proposal document for building a Formula One race track just outside the city (like I said, the prizes were weird πŸ™‚

So yeah, that was the quiz night.

REBECCA’S VISIT: As I said, Rebecca was down for a few days. We actually managed to pack an awful lot into them.

On the Friday afternoon we went for a walk along the cycle path down by the river. Our basic aim was to mock the various tiny houses that are being built down there, particularly the ones where the owners seem to think they’re living in a Tuscan villa, rather than a cramped little shoebox. Our secondary aim was to get Rebecca some fresh air after her hellish stinking hot hour long bus trip from Fremantle, for much of which she was stuck sandwiched between her huge backpack and a man so obese that he could have happily taken up two seats on his own. Which probably isn’t really his fault, but still, you wouldn’t want to sit any closer to him than necessary would you?

On getting back from that we proceeded to walk into Mount Lawley where we had dinner at the Red Orchid, the same place we did last time Rebecca and Dom were in town. This time we sat inside, and were served by a very sour young woman who we decided was either a vegetarian who was disgusted at us for ordering meat, or an art student who was disgusted at having to lower herself to actual work. Or maybe both. In any case I took the plunge and had the crocodile. It was surprisingly like slightly chewy chicken. Once we finished up there we walked up to the Astor and had ice-cream at the Gelare place before walking home.

On the Saturday we went into town to look for MP3 players. At the first place we tried, the Myer Megamart, the sales assistant told us that we wouldn’t have much luck finding any solid state units in Perth, because there wasn’t much demand for them. We refused to believe him and went looking elsewhere.

We should have believed him. After four or five hours tramping around the entire CBD we managed to track down two solid state MP3 players. Two. And neither of them were very good ones. Is it just me, or does this seem really really stupid? Surely Rebecca and I aren’t the only people in Western Australia after the things? Sheeze!

Anyway we had lunch at Croissant Express (I can highly recommend their BLTs by the way) and went on to do some less technology oriented shopping at the David Jones foodhall, which is apparently shutting down because it’s unprofitable. Which sucks, because it’s possibly the best place in the universe to go for a browse. I mean the food they have down there! It’s nuts! And they’ve got a live piano player entertaining the shoppers too (not actually in the foodhall mind you, on the next level up – it just impressed me that’s all πŸ™‚ Rebecca practically went into retail/cooking ecstasy -living in Kalgoorlie doesn’t give you much in the way of creative cuisine options apart from roo-meat and feral goat. She limited herself to some feta cheese and insanely expensive (but insanely good) chocolate though. And some cards. And a pen. And maybe some stuff I’m forgetting πŸ™‚

Anyway once we’d finished there we headed back to the Megamart, since they had hardback copies of The Order of the Phoenix for $22.00, the cheapest price we’d found. For the last few weeks all over the city there’d been big signs warning everyone to pre-order their copies or miss out, but we couldn’t walk ten feet without tripping over big piles of the things. On the news that night they had footage of people lining up outside stores for hours and practically beating shop staff to the ground in order to get a copy, and then said everywhere was sold out within minutes, but I don’t know where they got that idea from. From what Rebecca and I could see every store in town had massively over-ordered and couldn’t shift the damn things πŸ™‚

Anyway, back at the Megamart I purchased a CD stand since my old one is overflowing. The funky orange one I had my eyes on turned out to be $250, so I decided to be slightly less funky and get a $50 one instead. Then we caught the train back.

OK, I should point out at this point that Rebecca has a plan. A plan for me. This involves my getting a place of my own, a driver’s license, a car and a girlfriend, preferably all before I turn 30. To this end she insisted that we look through the property listings in the newspapers at Croissant Express (getting a look of sheer evil from a bearded street person – who was reading one of them and seemed to regard the other as his personal property despite the fact he wasn’t reading it at the time – in the process). It turned out that there was a unit for sale in the local area in my price range and it was being offered by the Real Estate company just across the road from the Gables. So it was a pretty foregone conclusion that we were going to stop in there on the way back. The Agent was very enthusiastic and gave us a list of other properties in the area which we decided to check out either that afternoon or on Sunday. So then we came home.

That afternoon Rebecca went off to see her friend Tammy and get the latest updates on her spawn of Satan boyfriend who I seem to recall is named Tim but should actually be called Beelzebub the Opportunistic Bastard Exploiter of Emotionally Vulnerable Women May a Large Truck End His Days Soon. I busied myself assembling the CD rack and sorting out my CDs. Here (for purposes of general edification) I include a photo of how the nicely ordered collection currently looks…

Snazzy no?

Anyway once Rebecca got back we had a stir fry and watched Momento, which she’d given to my on DVD for my birthday and much to my shame and embarrassment I hadn’t got around to watching yet. I really should have, not only is it a totally kick-arse film but it also features Carrie Anne Moss and Jorja Fox (Jorja Fox, you know, Sarah from CSI? πŸ™‚

Anyhoo, on Sunday morning we went out for a walk to look at the properties. The first one turned out to be down near the river amongst all the ones we’d had so much fun mocking on Friday. Happily though it didn’t look particularly mock-worthy. It actually looked very nice, based on what we could see through the insanely tight security. The next two were in the same block, and while I had some idea of where to go, we ended up getting slightly lost. In a burst of serendipity though we emerged from the back streets not only on the correct road, but standing right outside the very building we were looking for. Sweet.

The final block we were looking for was across the railway line, so we stopped in at a supermarket to get drinks before continuing. The block turned out to be pretty run down and insecure though, so we decided not to bother about getting an inspection – despite the fact it was very convenient to the local fetish-clothing/bondage-equipment store πŸ˜‰

It was starting to rain at this point, so rather than walk back we decided to catch the train. Unfortunately we just missed one and it being Sunday the next one wasn’t due for another half hour. So we sat around on the freezing, wet platform which seemed to have been designed specifically to provide absolutely no shelter against wind and rain whatsoever -possibly to discourage loitering. But we ended up back home relatively dry.

The rest of the day was spent just hanging around until it was time to call a taxi to the airport. There was a bit of confusion over this, since the taxi that turned up was from a different company to the one Rebecca had called, so we assumed it was for someone else, and the driver eventually drove off in disgust. So she had to call another one and deal with the dispatcher who seemed rather irate that we were too foolish to figure out that a Yellow Cabs taxi would obviously be working for Swan Taxis. It worked out in the end though, although we did make the disturbing discovery that Swan Taxis can tell your physical location just from your phone number via some arcane phone-tracing matrix-like technology – obviously not the people to make prank calls to πŸ™‚

So, Rebecca went off to the airport, and since she’s been emailing me from her work, presumably got back to Kalgoorlie in one piece *g*. All in all it was a very enjoyable three days, even if I do have to go and buy a flat now πŸ˜‰

VIDEO CLIPS: I think I said I was going to talk about some video clips. This is because a few weeks back I happened to catch some of Rage, and amongst all the dismal repetitive R&B and auto-lobotomising pop there were actually a few really entertaining clips. So, I thought I’d bore everyone by carrying on about them.

First of all is Gay Bar by Electric 6, the same people who (in collaboration with Jack White from the White Stripes) brought us the truly deranged Danger! High Voltage a while back. As it turns out their new song (and associated clip) is even more deranged that this previous effort.

It opens on a cartoon of the White House. As the music gets going we zoom in to a window, where a silhouette of a figure in a stovepipe hat can be seen. We then cut to live action where, sure enough, one of the band members (I presume, it could just be an actor, I don’t know) is sitting behind a desk dressed as Abraham Lincoln.

“Girl!” he announces seriously “I wanna take you to a gay bar! I wanna take you to a gay bar! I wanna take you to a gay bar!” He stands up to reveal that although he’s wearing proper 19th century garb on his upper body, his legs are bare except for a pair of spangly boxer shorts. “Gay bar!” He points right where an identical Lincoln in boxer shorts appears, “Gay bar!” he points left and another Lincoln appears.

We cut to a fairly staid looking 19th century room/hall. In the centre are the three Lincolns dressed in shorts and singlets with towels around their necks (but still in stovepipe hats), pumping away on exercise bikes. “Let’s start a war!” suggests the central Lincoln “Start a nuclear war! At the gay bar!” he gestures right and several Lincolns on various bits of exercise equipment appear. “Gay bar!” he gestures left and more work-out Lincolns materialise, “Gay bar!” even more Lincolns appear, lifting weights and working on rowing machines.

The clip continues in a similar vein with ever increasing numbers of Abraham Lincolns engaging in a variety of highly cliched homoerotic activities such as pole dancing, weight lifting and climbing ladders in skimpy tool belts, all while wearing stovepipe hats. It’s one of the stupidest things I’ve seen on TV in ages, and therefore (naturally) I think it’s fantastic. πŸ™‚

Although for some reason they beep out the words “war” and “nuclear war” with whip cracks. Hmmm, weird.

The second clip that caught my notice was for the Herds’ 77%, which for those not in the know is a scathing hip-hop/rap song attacking the Howard Government’s policies on indigenous affairs and refugees. The clip involves a cardboard cut-out John Howard having a number of “adventures”, including waking up one morning as an Aborigine and being beaten by the police, and finding himself suddenly turned into an Afganistani refugee and being abandoned in a detention centre. The only slightly disappointing thing about the clip is that it’s not true πŸ™‚

In a similar vein No-FX’s Franco Un-American is another politically motivated video clip done with cutouts. It has some great images, the one that particularly sticks in my head is a map of Iraq dripping with blood which drains into a petrol can and fuels up a number of giant American SUVs. The appearance of Michael Moore and a map of Australia are just bonuses πŸ™‚

Finally I wanted to mention the very surreal and creepy clip for Radiohead’s… well to be honest I don’t know what song it is, one of the new ones off Hail to the Thief I presume. In any case it features a man staggering through a very dark and creepy moonlit forest stumbling over a number of strange little tableaus involving woodland animals. Such as a tiny house built into a tree root which contains two mice wearing fezzes and quilted dressing gowns sitting by the fireplace in rocking chairs and smoking cigars, or a banquet attended by rabbits and hedgehogs, or a cat wedding. All of the animals are stop motion animations like the old Wind in the Willows TV series – in fact I’d swear the entire clip was inspired by the series, it could almost be the Wild Wood the guy’s stumbling through.

Eventually he comes over a bright, white, glowing coat hanging in a tree. He puts this on, then notices some shoes sitting in a fork of the same tree, which he proceeds to don as well. The crows sitting in the tree then attack him, and he goes racing through the forest, pursued by them. His flight is in vain however, as he’s suddenly transformed into a tree. It’s all very weird and creepy and doesn’t make any sense, but wow, it looks good πŸ™‚

So yeah. Those are the clips.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: Is The Laws Have Changed by these guys the catchiest song ever? Or is it just me? πŸ™‚

OK, going to go now. I’ve got to go inspect some of these properties. Rebecca wants me to post images of them here so people can vote on which I should buy. Don’t know if I’m game to whip out a digital camera and start photographing people’s homes though. Or leave such a major life decision up to the kind of weirdoes who wander around the net for that matter πŸ˜€

No offense ;-D

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