Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sickie: a live blogging extravaganza

I have a pain in the stomach, not of the gastroenteritis variety (so no need to wear gloves and a face mask while reading this, unless you really want to), more a cross between a stitch and the aftermath of a gut-targeting sucker punch. Is it stress? An alien fetus? Whatever: I have called in sick - not, I might add, an act that I take lightly - and have decided to liveblog my sickie experience. This post will either be updated throughout the day or deleted if I find something better to do. What fun!

10:07 Do people really understand/care what is happening on Lost? I lost (hey!) interest after the first series, but then the kind of drama I like is the kind that features, you know, drama as opposed to an endlessly drawn-out succession of hints, allusions, and reveals.

10:50 The latest Meanjin, Sophie Cunningham's first as editor, features not only &D but also Laura Carroll! Oh, and Beth Driscoll had an interesting piece on literary awards in the Oz a couple of a weeks ago. Then there's Allison Croggon's manifold activities, Kerryn Goldsworthy's ubiquitous intellect and insight, Ben. Harper's world tour... It's getting so you can hardly step out your front door without being confronted by the talents of one or another Sarsaparillian.

11:34 When Ten "relaunched" Neighbours last year it made a lot of noise about the show returning to traditional, family-oriented soap storylines, in contrast to the Dallas-in-Nunawading excesses of recent years. Obviously that quickly became boring (who'd have guessed?) and the absurd storylines are once again being piled on. In recent weeks we've seen: a young, adopted male character engaged in an affair with his allegedly hot aunt; the young, adopted male character's father being informed by his father (played none other than Tom from Home and Away!) that he too was adopted; the apparently adopted father of the adopted young male character confessing to, and being charged with, a murder that his adopted daughter in fact committed in self-defence because her date for the Year 12 formal tried to "force her" (a standard Neighbours euphemism); Dean Geyer joining the cast; Simone Buchanan joining the cast! (Could Nudge be next?); Paul (Stefan Dennis) turning evil again, despite having a brain tumour removed sometime last year which caused him to revert to his non-evil days circa 1987; Paul somehow managing, despite his manifest ogreishness, to carry on an affair with an attractive blonde half his age then being blackmailed over it by two separate parties, one of whom was demanding the idiotically precise figure of $12 400; an especially winsome and annoying teen having an all-out affair with her gormless English teacher, the latter ending up in the big house; Toadie returning from an overseas jaunt and announcing that he's planning on adopting an orphan, a la Brangalina; the adopted father of the adopted aunt-lover and date-murderer moonlighting as a school janitor in order to pay his mortgage, despite being a veterinarian (this is probably the most unlikely story of all given how much vets charge); plus many other stories I have either forgotten or missed.

11:39 Just realised that at 10:07 I indicated a somewhat elitist preference for good television drama over sensationalist trash, then not two hours later rattled off a list of recent Neighbours storylines with apparent delight at their populist inanity. I blame my blatant hypocrisy on the alien fetus that is even now brushing its five sets of teeth in anticipation of its gory birth.

13:08 Bored with this now. Almost wish I'd gone to work.

14:51 Back from the library where I saw the new Meanjin (Not For Loan, of course). David Nichols is in it too. I must buy a copy soon - there are people I sort of know in it!

14:55 Want a book about big penises? March into Angus & Robertson and order The Big Penis Book (nsfw).

15:13 I'd rather drink a glass of Alexander Downer's armpit juice than a Starbucks coffee, but I do think the (minor) fuss over Sonic Youth releasing a greatest hits comp through the chain is a a load. The band has been recording for freakin' Geffen/Universal for eighteen years so you'd have to conclude that either a) SY "sold out" a long time ago so the 'bucks connection is nothing to get het up about; or b) that a canny band like SY can operate within the corporate music world while retaining their integrity (witness, say, their last five albums, plus their SYR stuff, plus Thurston's and Lee's jams with Nels Cline, plus Free Kitten, plus...) in which case... the 'bucks connection is nothing to get het up about.

15:35 Is smoking sexy? I don't mean the smell, or the associated health problems, I just mean is smoking sometimes aesthetically pleasing? I think it is, although I hesitate to say so because we all know (rolls eyes) what the cigarette is meant to represent, and when you combine that with tobacco's well-known adverse physiological effects (although Joe Jackson reckons that's all a con) saying you find smoking attractive in any sense marks one as a sadist as well as a fetishist, a dreamer of death-phalli. I should say that I don't find smoking arousing, merely that a woman smoking can, on occasion, be pleasing to the eye.


15:52 "Anybody’s music is made up of a lot of things that are not musical. Music is an attitude, a group of symbols of a way of life, whether you’re conscious of it or not… And of course, it naturally reflects the social and economic and educational attitudes of the players. And that’s why the fools don’t think I play jazz." - Cecil Taylor, quoted in Valerie Wilmer's As Serious As Your Life

16:03 The recent Sam Newman brouhaha sent me back to a short story I wrote about six years ago in which a Newman-esque character is undone by his on- and off-air misogyny and serial womanising. It's not an especially good story - too didactic, for one thing - but it has some ok bits. I like this scene:
Spike Taylor arched his back, grunted twice, and ejaculated into Marty Kane’s wife.
“Oh,” she said, “it’s over.”
“Yeah.” Spike grimaced and rubbed at his hips, causing great tremors to ripple through the varicose flesh of his upper thighs. “These fucking hips,” he said. Holly Kane sighed. She knew all about Spike’s fucking hips. The whole country knew about Spike’s fucking hips.
Soon after retiring from professional football, Spike had revealed in a newspaper interview that, sexually speaking, he could barely keep up with himself. The exact quote: “It’s my hips, they can’t keep up with my c***.” It was well known that Spike’s hips had been injured early in his playing career, but it wasn’t until he linked them to his sex life that they achieved minor celebrity status of their own.
Spike walked naked to the bathroom, and, leaving the door ajar, urinated noisily. When he’d finished, he sauntered back in, sat at the foot of the bed, and placed a paternal hand on his mistress’s foot.
“Christ,” he said, “I’m pissing like a cherub in a fountain. You feel like something to eat?”
Holly declined, sighed once more, rolled over to face the window. Spike threw on a dressing gown and headed downstairs to grab a snack.
Boris wandered in from the backyard, a great sagging rottweiler that Spike fed on whatever looked least appetizing at the back of the fridge. The dog was scrawny and wasted, its coat patchy and stinking. Spike barely gave Boris a thought, outside of the occasional episode of summary punishment when he came in late, drunk, and found it asleep on the good furniture. Boris, in return, loved Spike with all his dumb heart.
Gosh, I think the dog is meant as a metaphor for Spike's friends and public. Or perhaps that reading is completely unintentional, I can't remember.

19:46 Well this has been unexpectedly diverting and productive. I'm off to search for a reasonably priced copy of Irma Vep, a film I remember enjoying as a callow nineteen-or-so-year-old and that I suspect I would enjoy even more as a callow twenty-nine-year-old.


Anonymous said...

That sounds a little like what it felt like when I had a kidney stone (I tended to describe it to people as being like a cross between a stitch and being kicked in the nuts), although if it *is* a kidney stone, you'll pretty quickly be in so much pain that you'll be calling an ambulance. It's nothing that will kill you, but it's hugely unpleasant, so I hope I'm wrong.

Not trying to panic you or anything, but just saying that if it stays bad or gets worse, consider getting yourself to a doctor.

Tim said...

If that happens you can read about it here, live!

David said...

I gave up watching Neighbours a couple of months ago because it was so dull (this is the only way to cope, every so often). I now wish I had been watching, but at the same time, I am pretty sure that if I had, I wouldn't be glad I had.

TimT said...

Hey, this can be like a version of that 'kids in the car' game:

Are you dead yet? Are you dead yet? Are you dead yet? Are you dead yet? Are you... (etc)

lucy tartan said...

David is in that issue of Meanjin, too. I already noted this at Ms Duck's. Yes, I am going around the internet making sure he gets what's coming to him. Thanks.

I hope you're feeling a bit better at least.

I wonder if we should call some kind of sarsaparillans meeting while Ben's here.