The Looong Weekend – Part 1

Well, it’s been a while hasn’t it?

I was planning to make an entry on Saturday as promised, but after working myself into the ground all week to get various major-pain-in-the-posterior sites finished before the Christmas break I felt like taking it easy. I also felt like taking it easy on Sunday, so I just played Civ III all day. But now it’s Monday, and I’m sufficiently recovered from the working year to actually write something – even if I did spend the entire morning playing Civ III. Again.

So, I was going to write about my insanely eventful weekend the other week. Or at least insanely eventful for me – let’s face it the most exciting events a standard weekend serves up for my good self are some lengthy sleep-ins and maybe watching the episodes of Scrubs I taped earlier in the week. But last weekend – oy. Talk about your semi-action packed 48 hours!

It all began on Friday with an opening down at the Moores building in Fremantle. My brother, Andrew, was taking part, and since openings at this time of year are fairly thinly attended I figured I’d better show my face to shore up the numbers. To this end I went in to work in the morning done up in my all black Overweight-Johnny Cash/Coffee-Shop-Waiter outfit planning to head down on the train when I knocked off.

Unfortunately I’d figured without my new pants (that’s ‘trousers’ for you Brits – stop sniggering! 🙂

After the whole wrongly labeled black trousers incident of a few months ago I’d once again headed over to Morley and bought some more black trousers, this time making sure that they were the correct size. Naturally I didn’t try them on in the store – which in hindsight was once again a major mistake.

Now call me naive if you like, but is it unreasonable to expect that a pair of trousers of size X would fit a person who habitually wears jeans of size X? Well, apparently so because when I donned said new trousers on Friday morning they were… let us say rather snug around the waist. I thought they’d be OK, and went off to work, but a few hours later was in agony. I eventually had to throw in the towel and leave work at 3:30 because there was no way I’d be able to stand around looking at art – or even stand at all – if I spent a minute longer in the damn things.

So, I went home, had a shower and changed into my other pair of black trousers which may be a bit short in the leg but at least allow sensation below the waist. Then I immediately set off again in order to get down to Freo for 6:00.

Now, as anyone who regularly reads this poor excuse for a blog knows, the Moores Building is currently managed by Lyndah*It should be noted that she seems to be spelling it ‘Linda’ these days – which is fair enough, what with it being her name and all – I’ll stick with ‘Lyndah’ though for consistancy’s sake – which of course raises a whole load of potentially hideously embarrassing issues for me whenever I head down to the place. I was of course worried about this, but had a vague, comforting impression that she might be out of the country. As it turned out I was completely and utterly wrong.

Actually things went pretty well all things considered. We even exchanged a few words when Andrew dragged me over to the bar – specifically she said ‘hi’ and asked if I wanted a drink (she was serving them at the time), and I quite effectively killed any further conversation by replying that I’d just had one*Quite a talent that one, there must be a way I can exploit it somehow!. But hey, it could have been a heck of a lot worse 🙂

Oh, and she looked great – naturally, although maybe the shoes were a bit much ;-D

Anyway, the exhibition was pretty good. It had a Christmas theme which resulted in some quite amusing pieces including a room full of those cheap home made paper bells (you know, you make them out of old magazines) and Andrew’s contribution – a 250 metre long paper chain draped back and forth over the roof beams of the main ground floor gallery. There was also a quite entertaining piece in one of the upstairs rooms exploring the idea of the Christmas things that get thrown away, like wrapping paper and styrofoam packaging (by ‘entertaining’ I mean that it’s got flashing lights that make the shape of a Christmas tree, you can’t tell me that’s not entertainment! ;-).

There was also a piece (under the paper chain in the main gallery) that consisted of empty wine glasses on a funky looking table. As the evening wore on people mistook this for actual empty wine glasses on a funky looking table and added their empty plastic cups to it (depending on the attitude of the artist I suppose this was either a triumph or a disaster 🙂

So, I wandered around appreciating the art and doing my best to avoid running in to Lyndah (quite easy actually as she was extremely busy and stressed out over the whole event) until it was time for the official opening. This was handled by the Mayor of Fremantle, who gave a very good (and short) speech, and another man who is apparently a somebody in the local arts community. He gave a speech that might have been good – if he hadn’t read it off a sheet of paper in a monotone – and might have been short – it just seemed like an eternity of monotonous torture. In any case with the opening taken care of everyone dug into the two gigantic Subway subs provided (one vegetarian, one turkey and both pretty good for fast food) and got on with some serious drinking/art appreciation.

Not being one for drinking and having pre-appreciated the art I decided to find somewhere to rest my feet and sit down. I was originally thinking of the courtyard out the back, but the door was unfortunately closed, so I ended up sitting out on the street – heading back in occasionally for some Subway or orange juice, it now being safe to approach the bar (Lyndah having left the serving to subordinates).

Normally I would have walked back to the railway station at this point and gone home. However Andrew and Travis had talked me into going down to Thornlie with them and some of their friends to see the Christmas lights. Under the impression that Thornlie was somewhere in the vicinity of Yokine (and therefore fairly close to home) I agreed to this, which meant hanging around waiting for Emma to arrive. Unfortunately she wasn’t going to arrive until 8:30 or so, so there was about two hours worth of hanging around to be done.

In the end everyone (ie: myself, Andrew, Travis, a girl who might have been named Anna who was driving me mad by persistently looking like someone*I eventually figured out that she bore a distinct resemblance to Christa Miller, and a bunch of assorted artists and artists’ associates) ended up sitting outside on the pavement blocking pedestrian traffic – which was surprisingly entertaining really. The conversation meandered about until Emma finally arrived, bringing along (of course) her dog Mack who was in a particularly surly mood, possibly from the tinsel strung around his neck. Once she’d had a look around the exhibition we (that is myself, Andrew, Travis, the girl who might have been named Anna, Emma, another girl who’s name might have started with a J but then again might not have and Mack) piled into various cars (well 2 actually) and set off for Thornlie.

As it turned out Thornlie is nowhere near Yokine and in fact lies deep in the serial-killer territory of the southern suburbs. To avoid being ambushed and eaten we agreed to follow Emma in convoy, since she knew the way. Or at least she claimed to know the way, which is not exactly the same thing.

To get from Henry Street in Fremantle to Consulate Court in Thornlie – a distance of about 22 kilometres as the crow flies – took us the better part of an hour. Emma’s erratic sense of direction led us on a merry jaunt through the southern suburbs, including a detailed scenic tour of the undeveloped housing plots to the south east of the Canning Vale Industrial Estate. In the end Travis got so frustrated that he pulled over, dug out his street directory and plotted his own course, leaving Emma and the girl who’s name may or may not have started with J to turn around and follow us if they felt so inclined. They did, and we arrived at Consulate Court within five minutes.

Consulate Court is a small cul-de-sac where every Christmas for… well the last decade at least, the inhabitants have gone all out to turn their houses into hideously glaring palaces of Christmas themed kitsch. As their street gluttonously soaks up enough electricity to run a strip mall they sit and watch as wide eyed children, bewildered old age pensioners bussed in by their retirement villages and stoned teenagers fascinated by shiny things wander up and down their gardens, with expressions not unlike rabbits caught in the headlights of a fleet of prime movers. This is of course symptomatic of the general low sanity level of the southern suburbs, where the ability to play the banjo is highly looked upon and anyone speaking out against the flat-earth theory is setting themselves up for a good ol’ fashioned hangin’.

No, but seriously – the entire street (apart from a few scrooge-like abstainers) dress their houses up in the most ridiculous arrays of Christmas lights, each household vying to outdo their neighbours in quantity, quality, detail and just sheer wattage. The entire street ends up looking like an electrified version of the set for D.W.Griffith’s Intolerance, and people come from miles around to gaze in awe at the spectacle. Ordinary suburban houses are transformed into north-pole workshops, arctic wonderlands and illuminated nativity scenes – often all three at once which must make for some interesting conversations for parents of small children on the way home (“Daddy, did the three wise men really ride polar bears?” “Uh….. yes”).

We arrived just after 10:30pm, and there were still cars and tour buses pulling up. It looked like it was getting towards the end of the night’s show though, in fact one house turned out it’s lights just as we walked up to it (they were probably preparing to turn on the sprinklers if didn’t move along). It was all mightily impressive – not for nothing do Western Power award a year’s free electricity to the best display, the inhabitants of Consulate Court probably have to hock their jewelry in the new year just to meet the bills. I took some photos but none of them really capture the orgiastic splendor of it all, so I won’t worry about posting them.

So, with the lights seen we set off back to Fremantle where the girl who may have been named Anna had left her car. We attempted to follow Emma again, but she got lost in the maze of side-streets and cul-de-sacs within two minutes so Travis took over. Even with a five minute snacks/toilet stop at a service station we got back to Freo in under half an hour.

After that Andrew and Travis gave me a lift home. I got in at 11:45 and had a quick shower before falling into bed. Talk about your long days!

I was intending to write about my Saturday and Sunday next, but composing this epic has left me totally written out (and it’s almost time for M*A*S*H), so I’ll leave that for another day (most likely tomorrow). What I will do is post my hideously late Christmas list for the benefit of anyone who’s been completely bewildered as to what to buy me but hasn’t yet given in to the pressure and purchased socks. It will also serve as an early birthday list – remember, the post Christmas sales are only a few days away!

CDs

  • Mass Romantic – The New Pornographers
  • Moog Cookbook – The Moog Cookbook
  • Pixies at the BBC Live – The Pixies
  • Pixies (The Purple Tape) – The Pixies
  • Death to the Pixies (Double Album) – The Pixies
  • The Beatles 1 – The Beatles
  • E1VIS 30 #1 Hits – Elvis Presley
  • The Two Towers Soundtrack
  • Holidayland – They Might be Giants
  • They Might be Giants – They Might Be Giants
  • Miscellaneous T – They Might Be Giants
  • Then: The Early Years – They Might Be Giants
  • The Best of the Early Years – They Might Be Giants

DVDs

  • Back to the Future Trilogy Boxed Set
  • Indiana Jones – The Complete Collection
  • Any of the Stargate SG1 DVDs except volumes 2, 9, 14 and 15
  • Mallrats
  • Chasing Amy
  • Men in Black

BOOKS

  • Anno Dracula – Kim Newman
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson
  • Mother Tongue – Bill Bryson
  • The Postman – David Brin
  • Dude, Where’s my Country? – Michael Moore

BORING HOUSEHOLD STUFF

  • A new vegetable steamer

Intransigent DNA Influenced Cute Woman of the Week: I’m still doing this am I? Um… Well frankly I’ve been so busy working on websites and things that I haven’t had time to notice any cute girls either on TV or in real life over the last week. So there 😉

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