No blog today

Friday 30 January 2009


This is a going to be a quick missive just to say that I won’t be posting anything up so there won’t be an entry today, so there’s no need to read on any further ‘cos I’m not going to be saying anything – well, of course I will be saying something, what I mean is I won’t be saying anything special or original – though, if you think about it, and to steal quite blatantly from an old Fry and Laurie sketch, it’s pretty easy to at least say something original, so for instance if I type …

Considering it was Tuesday, Samuel, the ship’s captain’s butler, preferred to remain onshore to a meal of oysters and ham than go skindiving with Baron Paul Gautsch von Frankenthurn.

… I can be pretty save in saying that no one has ever typed that before, but – and this is the but – even though it’s indeed original, it’s just not anything special – do you see my point?

So, on that matter, we might as well leave this there as it’s sure not going to get anymore interesting – especially as I now have to go get ready ‘cos I’m meeting someone in a bit over half an hour – hang on, the phone’s ringing.

Ah, well that was him saying he’s running late so it seems I can stay here a bit longer as I’m no more in that great a need to go bathe and make myself nice, you know: trim the beard, ablute, squirt on the Old Spice – hey, do you want to know something wierd? There actually is no verb to ablute. The word only exists in its noun form ablution, but I would have surely thought then, just by a simple arithmetic deduction, that you must surely have the verb to ablute (“Arithmetic?” you say? I’m using it in the sense of “ablution (n) = ablute (v) + tion (n forming suffix)” even though I know it’s probably not the right word. In that case I call my next witness Humpty Dumpty who so famously said:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

… hang on, I think I’m getting a little bit off track, where was I?) but from all my research (I’d say about 2 minutes’ worth), it doesn’t seem to exist. According to my trusty Apple Dictionary the word “ablution” originates from late Middle English from the Latin ablutio(n-), from abluere, from ab- “away” + luere “wash.” I quote:

The original use was as a term in chemistry and alchemy meaning “purification by using liquids”, hence “purification of the body by washing” (mid 16th cent).

Isn’t that interesting?

Hang on, did I just say something interesting? This blog (which is not a blog just me saying that I’m not going to today be writing a blog) was not supposed to be about anything special, and the word “special” has a pretty synonymous link to the word “interesting” – well, it does in my book anyway! Well, all I can say is I’m sorry to all those people who stopped reading way back when I said to stop reading ‘cos it looks like they missed something interesting after all. So, if any of those people who did stop reading are still reading, sorry that I told you to stop reading and please read on.

Oh dear, I seem to have written a blog entry after all. Perhaps I should go back and change my introduction and say that I will be posting something up and so it will be worth reading on? But that’s the trouble with blogs, you see, even if I did it’s already there on the ‘net, live to the world. Some fleeting statement that was said with no meaning of thought or malice becomes grouted in 1’s and 0’s for ever and ever for all the world – and future ones – to see. Perhaps I should read this back and give it a quick edit before hitting the “Publish” button, check for anything scandalous, or perjurious, or simply mean? Nope, too late, the button is clicked and my concern is gone. I’m already too busy trying to remember what my upcoming date looks like, which reminds me – I better go get ready considering now I’m running terribly late.

There might be a lesson here, if only I would stop looking up the names of deceased Austrian Prime Ministers and perhaps pay attention …

Meet Bill

Sunday 25 January 2009

Ok, what to write? Well, I could write about how this week my body clock has been in such a bad condition that I haven’t been able to get to sleep until at least 1.30am every night – that is except Thursday, where I had so much sleep deprivation damage that I slept-walked locking myself out of the building (luckily I was dressed), but this could have also been brought on by me going out for a few after work in an attempt to force on tiredness. Anyway, there’s a 24 hour locksmith phone right by the neighbourhood convenience store and the nice young man was here in about 10 minutes. Note to self: leave a spare set of keys at a friend’s.

Not sure why I’m having such trouble sleeping, but one of the things that is keeping me busy at nights is this little fellow – Bill. You’ll be hearing a lot more of Bill over the next couple of months, but I thought this was a nice chance for you to come familiar with him. 

So I hope you enjoy…



(Incidentally, you may notice that Bill takes you to my very own website – I finally did it, yay! It’s early stages, but give me time.)

Peppermint Magnum

Tuesday 20 January 2009

After work and heading to a friend’s birthday drinks, and the urge for the first ice cream of Summer hits me. It’s been such a long time between ice creams and with the warm dusty wind and the slight rumble in the tummy a cold ice cream would really hit the spot. Inside the convenience store – what shall I have? Hmmm… Splice? No. Paddle Pop? Too kid-friendly. Ah! A Peppermint Magnum! Yes, that’s the one, I could really go a Peppermint Magnum.

At the counter a foreign woman is arguing with the equally foreign shop person about the price of postcards. I join the line and wait (mostly) patiently, and eventually watch the woman storm out, not sure if she purchased the cards or not. The lass in front buys some cigarettes; now it’s my turn. The shop man looks sideways at the ice cream and taps into the cash register 3 – 5 – 0. $3.50? Outrageous! This is highway robbery; the man obviously made up the price on a whim! $3.50, I don’t think so! Hurrumph! I say and, in the style of the foreign woman, likewise, storm out the door, sans Magnum.

Who do those people think we general public are, I huff as I continue down the street, refusing ever to shop in a corner store again. But there was a problem – I was bit. I had the taste. I needed that Peppermint Magnum. Buried under my irritation lurked the memory of the crisp crack of the dark chocolate outer coating and that sweet smell of its jade creamy interior. Vow or no vow, I knew I had to succumb to the temptation.

A block later, the next convenience store and, with face covered so not to be recognised, I rushed to the freezer and grabbed the first Peppermint Magnum. At the counter the young man takes the ice cream and, Joy of Joys, scans the treat. Ah, I contentedly reflect, you can always trust the scanner for the correct price … … … $3.80.

I paid the man and went on my way. 


Thursday 15 January 2009

I did something remarkable tonight, something that I have never done before, something that would have my friends holding me down under a bright light and demanding to know where the real Clyde is. Perhaps I was inspired by the New Year, or maybe it’s because I stood on a set of talking scales and they laughed? It’s something I’ve resisted, something that public transport has done me well enough for all these years. That’s right: I went jogging.

For someone who has no sense of personal dignity when it comes to dance floors or pub bars, I am completely self-conscious whenever I attempt any form of exercise. I think it’s because I so obviously don’t look the part. Everyone else is glammed up in sexy shorts and tight t-shirts, and there’s me rugged up as if it’s wash day. And my shoes aren’t right – they’re so white they glow. I know that they tell you to make sure you wear bright colours while jogging at night, but somehow I don’t think they were referring to footwear. If anyone knows of an organisation that scuffs up running shoes for a nominal sum, please could you pass on the number?

At least jogging is free. It makes a nice change from the gym membership I got a year or so back (I went seven times). Those gym owners, they’re not smiling from the endorphins pumping through their system; they’re smiling ‘cos of idiots like me who gleefully pass over huge wads of cash for no reason what so ever. If I’m going to throw away my money then I’d rather buy an AbFlex.

I reality, this jogging caper, all I did really was my usual walk a little bit faster with the occasional burst of running in between lampposts… sort of like a dodgem car, but no where near as aerodynamic. Also, about a quarter in, I had to sit down on a handy park bench as I thought my heart was going to leap out of my head. My glasses had even fogged. I had another little jog when I reached the harbour’s edge and then pushed myself ever so slightly – one more lamp post, you can do it, the end of the path is only a few more lamp posts, nearly there – and, amazingly, I made the distance. I celebrated with another little rest and admired the views (Note to self: must bring wine next time).

I walked the way back. The whole trip took me a little over an hour, and, actually, I must admit that I do sort of feel pretty good. And I’ve sweated – my t-shirt is drenched through. Inspecting the stains on the t-shirt I feel I’ve achieved something. I’d get the thing framed if it wasn’t for the pong.

But here’s the strange thing: I’ve already planned the next outing. As I was heading back, next time, I mused, I will go fully around the park and jog the last half; I’m sure there’s suitably located park benches. Then I could walk the little bit back up the stairs and hill to home. I could even get an hour in tomorrow night before the pub. In no time at all I’ll loose that extra bit of tummy, be a stone lighter, and have taken the smug gleam off my running shoes.

But I suppose it’ll all depend what’s on telly.

Clyde pitches a joke

Saturday 10 January 2009

Ok, there’s this pub, right, but it’s one of those “local” pubs where only “locals” go, it’s got that particular look. There’s some guys sitting over at a table and a couple of resident barflies at the bar sipping their beers, and the barman behind the counter doing whatever it is barmen do. You got it? But then the door flies open and in the door way is this huge black frame silhouetted in the light from the street and everyone turns to face the door, but then the door closes and we see it’s actually a weedy young feller with one of those huge backpacks. 

So the feller heads to the bar, plomps his pack at his feet and takes up a seat next to the barflies. He smiles at them but they just stare back, so he looks waiting for the barman.

You with me so far?

So the barman comes over and says, “What can I get you?”; and the feller says, “A beer.”; and the barman says, “What kind of beer?”; and the feller says, “What kind of beer you got?”

“Well,” says the barman, “We got lots of different beers, but people ’round here drink Carradine.”

“Then I’ll have a Carradine, please,” says the feller. So the barman pours him a Carradine.

The feller takes his beer, raises the glass, turns to the ‘flies next to him, and says, “Cheers!”; and the ‘flies are still just staring at him, they haven’t moved a muscle; so the feller turns back front-wards and takes a big gulp of his beer.

“Ah!” he says with a big satisfied expression.

But then, and this is the important bit, the feller starts to look uncomfortable, right; and his faces turns, like, a bright red; and then he starts to tremble on his seat; and, and smoke starts to come out of from under his collar and his shirt sleeves; and everyone else is just watching him all casual-like, as if nothing weird’s happening; but all the time the feller is shaking more and more; and there’s this noise of steam escaping; and all this smoke. And then the guy suddenly spontaneously combusts in this huge ball of flames; and the beer coasters catch on fire; and the liquid in the bottles behind the bar bubbles; and everyone’s not doing anything, you see; and then the flames stop and the bar is all singed and the roof blackened and the seat melted; and as the smoke clears all that’s left is this pile of smoking ashes and a pair of shoes.

After a moment the barfly closest to the ashes takes a long slow pull of his beer, then turns and gives a small kick to the ashes.

“You’re not from ’round here, then?” says the ‘fly.

What I did on my holidays – Melbourne, Canberra then home

Friday 9 January 2009

I know, it’s late, but I’ve either been unable to get to a computer, busy doing more exciting things to warrant wanting to get to a computer, on a bus where there was no computer, or asleep. So please accept the lateness of this entry and enjoy the exciting conclusion to my hols.

On New Year’s Eve, after the fireworks so I probably should say on New Year’s Day, there was a horrid moment as I was walking to the Laird when I heard a worraworraworraworraworra* sound emanate from my tummy. Uh oh, I thought. They say the way you spend New Year’s Eve is the way you spend the rest of the year. There was a moment where I thought I was to spend 2009 squatting in dark alleyways wiping my arse with a handkerchief. Luckily (not only for me but the owners of driveways of dark alleyways throughout Collingwood) I found a petrol station with a public loo where I was able to relieve the burden. On telling Vincent the next day of this little adventure he nodded sagely. “Too much cheese,” he said.

The rest of my time in Melbourne I sort of alternated between staying in and going out, so one day I’d go to an exhibition and wander the streets for a while then go out that night with Vincent and Ben, and the next was recovering back at the flat watching film after film. One day Vincent and I watched five films in one sitting, all great films too. A couple of times I planned to go see a new film only to get to the cinema and change my mind. Actually, just the wandering about bit was some of the nicest times I had. 

On my last night in Melbourne there was to be an underwear party at the Laird, so I caught the train out to Collingwood and signed up for that. I’ve been to one of these Laird events before, I think the third or fourth one, and the word had obviously gotten out about how much fun these things can be – it was packed. Basically, unlike the Underbear parties (note the subtle difference of spelling), these first Monday of the month nights consist of a normal night at the pub but with a dark corner, for doing… dark deeds.** So bascially – get the image in your head – except for this dark space everyone is standing around in their underwear drinking beer. Admittedly, it’s all just a little bit silly and a number of times I had to go out into the courtyard smoking area to regain some perspective. 

Actually, I’m finding all this nudity and underwear stuff I’ve been going to lately all a bit silly***. I think what makes it so silly is how damn seriously every else seems to take it.

One of these trips outside was bizarre. I’d been chatting to this Perthian, now living in Los Angeles, who enjoys urinating on people and had escaped outside while getting another beer. Outside everyone but one was also in their underwear (the courtyard is shared with the front bar) so the outside area, with people smoking and admiring the resident possum, was probably even more silly than that indoors. The one still dressed was sitting over by himself. I thought him quite a handsome fellow and I think he must have thought likewise of me as he seemed to be always staring my way. But I finish my beer and go back inside. 

That’s not the bizarre trip outside, by the way, this one is:

Later I again go outside and the dressed fellow has moved away from the front door and into the garden area, so I figure I’ll go over and talk to him. I was planning on some sort of scintillating opening line such as “What’s a fully dressed man like you doing at a underwear party like this?” (gold, pure gold) but I got as far as “Hello” when he said, “You’re Clyde, aren’t you?” “Umm, yes,” I said. “You’re a friend of Ben’s,” the fellow said, and then I knew who he was. Turns out on Friday night, when Vincent, Ben and I where out, there was this couple (the dressed fellow John and his partner Mark) who took a fancy to Ben and me, thinking we were a couple. They saw us together again later that night at the Sircuit Bar, which has an upstairs area for… well, doing whatever you like really. Anyway, at Sircuit, they approached Ben hoping to arrange a foursome but I had already left for elsewhere (I thought the whole upstairs thing was extremely silly and was drunk enough to comment so aloud) so Ben and his two new friends went off together. That night Ben told them about me, then later Ben told me about them. And it seems every night I went out John and Mark just so happened to also be there watching from the sideline (it’s all a bit stalky when you think about it). So there is me talking to John, who had wanted to talk to me from my first night out in Melbourne.

So that was a fun night. John and Mark are also from Perth and have invited me over for a holiday. I’ve quite a small number of friends in Perth now… if it wasn’t so damn far away.

So that was Melbourne.

On the trip back to Sydney I stopped a day in Canberra to see the Degas exhibition. It was very much worth the extra time and bus induced sleep deprivation. Of the five major and three minor exhibitions I saw over the 14 days, this was by far the most satisfying. Degas’ work is so stunning and he really knew how to make women look beautiful. I was so pleased with my time there, and I similarly enjoyed wandering around the rest of the gallery, even though I was beginning to feel very tired. I was in the NGA for over five hours and was absolutely knackered by the time I got back to the bus station that the moment I sat on the bus I feel asleep.

I was back in my little home by 10pm, happy to find that while the window had smashed further no water had gotten in. I’ve also a note to call the police and when I did I was told the officer wouldn’t be in till Monday and to call back then. Outstanding service. Thursday, the glass man came and replaced the glass, though the did say that the windows are so rotten that he would be amazed if they last till July. Great, I thought. He did the best he could and filled all the gaps with silicon to help strengthen frames, but I get the impression that they are now more silicon than timber. Still, he did an excellent job and I’ve emailed Strata to let them know.

I suppose that’s it, then. A couple of quiet days pottering around and back to work Monday.


* Which, incidentally, is the same noise that Winne-the-Pooh hears outside his door one night. It turned out to be Tigger.

** Which, incidentally, is the same thing that Mia says to Harry at the office Christmas party in Love Actually.

*** Which, incidentally, looks like being my expression for 2009.

2009 New Year’s Resolutions

Thursday 1 January 2009
This year I resolve to:
  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially fruits (giggedy).
  2. Learn to spell halitoses halytoesis hallatosies oh fuck it.
    (You see Ross, this joke works really well on paper, but terribly when spoken.) 
  3. Finally admit that a qxbiwz is not a small shrew-like creature native to the Andes, even on a triple-word square.
  4. Eat more legumes: coffee beans, cacao beans, vanilla beans, you name it.
  5. Practice my sneering at least twice a we- no, every day. Practice makes perfect!
  6. Stop putting kittens in plastic bags – IT’S WRONG! Plastic bags are bad for the environment. Stick them in buckets of cement instead.
  7. Do some exercise, but don’t overdo it as that’s where you always go wrong and give up. Start with small steps. Try holding your beer glass in your left hand instead. 
  8. L!im!t exclamat!ion marks to e!ght per m!ss!ve!!
  9. For Gods’ sake, for the love of even the most basic concept of hygiene, do the fucking dishes. No matter what the environmentalists say you are not supposed to have goats in your kitchen!
  10. And finally, believe that even at this late stage there is someone out there for you, be them barman or pizza delivery boy. True love may only be a schooner or pie crust away.

There they are, my Top Ten. Now, what are yours?