Thursday, February 16, 2006


Federal parliament has managed to do something blindingly obviously correct. Which is nice.

Monday, February 13, 2006

We really must catch up sometime...

No excuses, but I have been in deep Gilmore Girls Season 5 (fantastic!) ingesting mode. Last month I was in deep L Word Season 2 (brilliant! amazing!) ingesting mode and still managed to blog a bit, hence the ‘no excuses’. But I have a few hours now while the first episodes of GG Season 6 are downloading, so I might as well blog something before heading back into it.

When last we ‘spoke’ it was the middle of the day on Wednesday 1 February. So let us begin approximately there.

The Night Of Wednesday 1 February (or, The Night Of Elanor’s Do-Over Triumph)

We need some backstory for this little tale. See, about a year ago, I was on the St Kilda Beach tram heading to a gig on Fitzroy St, which may or may not have been the Scissor Sisters. I think it was. Anyway, I was standing against the door of the tram because there weren’t seats, but the tram was by no means full. And this innocuous-looking thirty-something business-suited guy got on and took up a position in front of me. He used his right hand to grasp one of the straps hanging from the roof, and, with his left hand, was holding against his thigh a black document wallet. Seems like a pointless story so far, right? WELL. He was standing much closer to me than was necessary, and, as we rattled along, I began to notice that, ‘due to the sway and jolt of the tram’, this whole setup meant that the knuckles of his left hand were quite frequently brushing against my vaginal area. Which made me uncomfortable. So I kept recoiling further and further into the corner I was in, but somehow, those darn blameless sways and jolts kept forcing his hand into that vicinity again and again, and even forced it to remain there. And I was feeling more and more humiliated and having an argument in my head, like, “FUCK. What an asshole. Or is he really an asshole? This doesn’t feel like an hilarious mix up, a completely unintentional and innocent situation, but what if it is? Am I being paranoid? What should I do? Oh, I feel so YUCK and angry and shamed and flushed and AT A LOSS. But what is the matter with me? I know this is a fucked up situation, don’t I? I mean, I’m really quite sure of that now. And I’m an empowered female, right? I should be able to handle this, instead of getting increasingly distressed and unable to make eye contact with anybody, including him.” I felt completely unable to say anything, and felt even more stupid for it. And then I realised what a weak failure I was, because the fear of a simple “Excuse me, please move away, you’re making me feel uncomfortable” being met with “Calm down you ugly paranoid bitch. AS IF I would ever sexually harass YOU”, was keeping me in my enraged and upset silence. So, me and my vaginal area continued to be the undisputed losers in this battle of wills. GOD DAMNIT. When I finally got off the tram, I felt ashamed and violated and angry, and it took all I had not to break down crying and run down the street to the safety of the Prince. But the fucker was following me, which in my weak and cowardly mind meant I had to affect a show of nonchalance and walk without any apparent concerns or troubles in the world. I am a mixed up kid, obviously.

So, that was the backstory. And that incident bugged me a lot. I mean, when that harassment stuff used to happen to me as a kid, I could at least acknowledge that, hey, I WAS A KID. I didn’t know so much stuff. I wasn’t as strong as I am now. And obviously, if those incidents of childhood were to be repeated now, boy, would I show those fuckers what’s what. But no. Even when I was 23, and a freakin lefty-pinko-feminist radio presenter to boot, I was still caught unawares and immobilised, just as if I were still eight years old, or thereabouts. It pained me. It felt so wrong, so unfair, so fucked up. With the added bonus that I felt bad about myself as well as detesting the bastard. But let’s move on to the DO-OVER TRIUMPH part of this story, shall we.

So, on the night of Wednesday February 1, 2006, I was on the St Kilda Beach tram going to see M.I.A at the Prince. Once again, I was standing against a door as there were no seats, but the tram was by no means full. And wouldn’t you know it, but that same innocuous-looking thirty-something business-suited guy got on. And he took up a position in front of me, his right hand hanging onto a strap from the roof, and surprise surprise, with his left hand he was clasping against his thigh that goddamn black document wallet. I say ‘surprise surprise’ only in an ironic way, because that was the beauty of this thing. It wasn’t a surprise. Every action merely confirmed all suspicions and left no cause for doubt or anxiety. And I rejoiced as the words DO OVER rang in my head. Because, for serious, how many times in your life do you actually get the opportunity to revisit a past humiliation and come out the WINNER? I don’t think it’s ever happened to me, at least. So, the sway and jolt of the tram began, and he was of course too close, and he was doing his thing again, but I wasn’t some debutante in this game anymore. There were no feelings of uncertainty or humiliation or powerlessless this time around. It was the same situation, I guess, but it felt so different. I had knowledge here, I had power. So I kept my face impassive, and took every opportunity ‘with the jolt of the tram’ to jab him in his side with my clenched fist. It took a few goes before he began to realise, ‘Hey, I’ve had a funny idea. Isn’t it just as simple and comfortable to hold my document wallet up against my chest, and to give this young lady some room? Dear me, it’s quite fine.’ Yes, this is what he said to himself, while sneaking furtive glances at cool calm and collected moi, before deciding to get off the tram at ‘his stop’. I know this probably seems like a tiny thing to you, but I was beaming and wanted to do a little dance and shout VICTORY IS MINE! Because, it was. Mine. I mean, I can make no claims to having made the situation any better for any of the other girls he harasses in this fashion, and quite regularly I would presume. But I stood up for myself. I defended myself. And I felt like a queen when I got off that tram to go and see M.I.A.

M.I.A was, of course, amazing. And better than at Big Day Out, of course. The support was crap though. Some boy hip-hoppers called Suburban Intellect, who, while I appreciated that there is something charming about giving shout-outs to Endeavour Hills, really weren’t what you would call exciting, or the best fit for M.I.A. She made people very happy, had great dance moves, great songs, and yes, great slow-mo running. You really can’t fault the woman [although when I spoke to Catherine on Saturday night she had a more thoughtful, ambivalent take on it].

Thursday February 2

Went to see Sleater-Kinney at the Corner. I was deeply deeply tired, but it was good. I found that I didn’t love The Grates so much as I thought, but, whatever. Sleater-Kinney put on a good gig, and I was too tired to really think more than that. I believe I enjoyed them more at Big Day Out, go figure.

Friday February 3 / Saturday February 4

A blur of work and then other work, and probably some Gilmore Girls watching. Also, this might have been when I watched Welcome To The Dollhouse and agreed, with everyone else who saw it back when that was a timely thing to do, that it is SUPER. Also watched Harold and Maude. That kid is damn hilarious! What a good thing that film is. Also watched Breakfast At Tiffany’s, but found it to be arse. And watched The OC season premiere and found it to be silly and way below what it should be. Disappointing.

Sunday February 5

Went to dinner at Guy and Camille’s house. Broke the news to Camille that Breakfast At Tiffany’s sucked, which is not her opinion of it at all. Ate some dahl and cous cous and yoghurt and french vanilla slice. Dropped The OC at Simon’s girlfriend’s place and didn’t want to pre-judge anything for him. He has since messaged that it was amazing. Simon, I disagree. But let’s explore that.

Monday February 6

This might have been the day when I bought a best of Nancy Sinatra, and the guy at JB HiFi asked if I lived in Abbotsford, and I said no, and he said, “Oh, I thought you were the girl who lives above me.” See how I tell you everything. Got home from work and watched Desperate Housewives. I really don’t love this show like I’m supposed to.

Tuesday February 7

Did the Breakfast Show, worked, got home and looked over Guy’s AMAZING conference paper, which would be delivered on Thursday. I believe I watched Prison Break and didn’t love it. I really need to find some TV that is actually on the TV to be into (apart from Wonder Falls).

Wednesday February 8

Uneventful. Just working, Gilmore Girls-ing, L Word Season 3-ing, and so forth. Oh yeah, and I think we got a new VCR on this day, and I tuned it disregarding the instructions. I am that much of a technical whiz. Dad of course required that it be christened with Sleepless In Seattle. He has three movies that he loves to watch a lot, and they are; Sleepless, Housesitter, and Accidental Hero. I personally don’t understand what he sees in Accidental Hero. But he has been going through a significant family trauma of late, so we allow him his entertainments. I quite enjoy them too, as they’re quite rare little treats. He usually busies himself by reading many many books at the kitchen table, ignoring the audio visual side of culture except to express disapproval. But when things get morose, as they have in recent months, we get to revisit his favourites - thus Sleepless, or, and this is what I particularly enjoy, his records. I don’t want you to think that I’m enjoying my father’s pain, just that I’m enjoying the Melanie Safka, Jeannie Lewis, Sondheim, Manhatten Transfer, and Sammy Davis Jr that most usually accompany his pain. I’m pretty over the Peter Sellers at this point, though.

Thursday February 9

Hurrah, the RU486 vote went as it should have in the Senate. After work, went to Brunswick St to meet up for Camille’s birthday dinner, realised I was an hour early so went to their place to wait it out. Then dinner and pleasantness and great food and a split down the middle of the table.

Friday February 10

After work, went shopping and bought a lot of black things, which I haven’t done for a while. I’ve been on a ‘colour’ stretch, which may have been noticeable to no-one else but me. But I found good black pieces on this day, and they won’t be denied. Also, got a free watch with my Priceline purchases, so now I have a watch. I have been looking for a watch for a while, but was never able to settle on one I liked. Priceline has made it so easy, as, because the watch is free, I have no apologies to make for it. Liberating. I also bought a big fishnet covered pearl necklace, just in case Laurie was right, and Erin’s party on Saturday was ghetto-themed. It wasn’t, but I would wear the necklace anyway.

Later, went to see Deerhoof at the Northcote Social Club. I walked in for the last two songs of the support, My Disco. Very fucking good. Deerhoof were super extra fucking good. They didn’t play the song Dave wanted, but they played both the ones I was after, and more, of course. Truly, this band are the real deal in good things, and I found myself very attracted to that bassist/singer guy in the grey jumper. Just saying. They look like decent, honourable people with impeccable opinions and confidence in what they are doing, in a good way. Also, thank you so much Dave for mentioning Low’s Things We Lost In The Fire in passing. Fucking lovely.

Saturday February 11

Finished the last episodes of Gilmore Girls Season 6. Discovered that the show has been taken off the TV. Also discovered that I’m quite disconnected from the outrage I should be feeling at such an event. Stupid broadband - as necessary as running water though it may be – has removed me from the depressive rages of The People, who simply ask that good shows be put on TV and carried through to their conclusions. And I’m sorry Green Guide letter writers, but advising everyone to ‘get the DVD’ is not the solution. Making the TV networks program in a sane fashion is the solution. Stop dismissing The People’s concerns, you stinkingly smug TV-from-the-internet-on-demand folk. You make me ashamed to be one of you. Another thing that makes me ashamed is the ad on Channel 9 with the slow, ‘moving’ music with accompanying slow ‘significant’ talking, in an ad about how Monday night is Australian night on Channel 9 because Bert’s Family Feud, Temptation: The New Sale Of The Century, and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire are on. INSANE. These are GAME SHOWS. They do not get syrupy treatment. That is MADNESS.

Went to Erin’s birthday party, and it was like being back in the day. People were talking about the blog, like what used to happen circa 2004. It was pretty damn old school. Anyways, great music, great people, great cat.

Sunday February 12

Spent the day watching DVDs. We have been on that free trial with Bigpond Movies, where they send us DVDs in the mail. It is a great thing, and it makes me feel quite thrilled to be doing something (other than downloading) that I read about and presented on for my uni studies, BUT IN A REAL WORLD SETTING. Anyway, on this day I watched Withnail & I, Five Easy Pieces, and Tarnation. During this marathon I began to notice that all my random snatches at culture have had a habit of synching up in recent weeks. For example, the brother in Welcome To The Dollhouse whose face was so familiar but it took me a while to place him. He’s the dude who gets shot through the cheeks in Ride With The Devil (the video of which recently arrived from Or, finding the vocal woman Jack Nicholson has sex with at one point in Five Easy Pieces very familiar, only to realise that she's Sally Struthers, as in, from the Gilmore Girls (most recently). Or, the EG article I read mid-marathon, in which Clem Bastow wrote about that scene in Sleepless in Seattle where Tom Hanks and Victor Garber pretend to blubber about The Dirty Dozen. Except that in her article she wrote that they were blubbering about something called 'Three Easy Pieces', and, as I had JUST finished watching Five Easy Pieces, I was in a position (aside from the fact that I know Sleepless by heart and had had a refresher earlier in the week, c/- Dad’s pain) to know that she was wrong upon wrong in her throwaway pop-cultural reference. And such an occurrence I find weird. You know, like, out of randomness, suddenly knowing things just at the very moment when it’s useful to know them. Like sure, pop culture is laced with pop culture and if you have enough ‘cultural capital’ you can join the dots, but it’s so vast you see, so it’s weird when things synch up, even down to minutes. Anyway, the synching thing I want to focus on from this day is that Tarnation is positively dripping with Low, a band that, as I said, I only discovered existed on Friday night and of course downloaded immediately. So, when I sat down to watch Tarnation, I had just been all in my brother’s face about how Low is so great, you gotta listen to Low, and then the movie starts, and I’m like “It’s Low it’s Low it’s Low.” There was some Magnetic Fields in there too. And I decided, hey, if you’re going to make a feature-length music video clip of your dysfunctional family (which is still very moving and I would recommend you watch, by the way), you’ve got to have good taste in music. Which the guy definitely had, is my point.

Finished the day by speaking to my sister in Darwin. The thing we do each week is I reel off what I’ve seen and listened to etc, and she goes through the motions of being jealous. However, this time around, she’d already seen Jarhead, which I won’t be seeing until Tuesday night. Basically her review is that it has some disturbing scenes which freak you out even more about just who is allowed to get trained to use guns and, in the context of defence and such, given a pass to kill people. Also, I asked her if Sarsgaard is all wise and honourable and hot and decent in it, and she said he was. Anyway, as I was rattling through my bits, another weird synching moment happened, which was quite fortuitous actually. We discovered that we are both reading Philip Roth for the first time. I am reading Portnoy’s Complaint, and she is reading The Plot Against America. I tell her that I am enjoying how blog-like the exclamatory hysterics of Portnoy’s Complaint are, which of course means that the writing style I’m currently hitched to is so passé as to have been utilised by Roth in the late 1960s [stand back, people, I am not comparing myself to Roth. That dude is cool.]. Anyway, we moved on to a discussion of her book and, long story short, in the course of this discussion I managed to save my sister from potential humiliation. And this was a nice end to the weekend. I won’t go into it here because I really couldn’t bear anyone thinking ill of my big sister. That would suck completely. The point is, I SAVED HER, and it gave me a nice feeling, much like when I used to carry her over seaweed, or have her hang on to me for dear life on the Parliament station escalator.

Watched the finale of Carnivale, which I was enjoying up until the terrible stuff at the end. NO! I didn't want that to happen! That is the OPPOSITE of what I wanted to happen! Then I watched that thing on Compass about women's experiences of abortion/adoption/unwed mother-ness in the 60s. It was a very good program. But boy I couldn't sleep for a while. I had that standard phantom reaction I get to such things where the walls of my uterus feel like they are bruised or something and I feel quite unwell.

Monday 13 February

Oh my god. Now we can add “YOUR VP SHOT A 78-YEAR-OLD MAN” to the things about America that sound (and are) really bad when you break it down.

Anyway, must to bed, as I have radio in the morning. As it will be Valentine’s Day, I’m planning on playing some love-but-not-love songs, but at the moment I’m in a pickle as to precisely which Magnetic Fields song to play. I’m leaning towards I Don’t Believe You, but I Thought You Were My Boyfriend and The Saddest Story Ever Told both have their charms too…

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Went to see Franz Ferdinand last night.

They seem to be at the top of their game and all, but I guess I'm no longer totally jazzed about them. Also, twas hilariously contemptible that the lame-o couple in front of me actually decided to make out after that Eleanor Friedberger-inspired love song. I mean, dudes, yes, it is a love song I suppose, but it is very specifically not about you. Weirdness. Makes me think of those people who make out to REM's The One I Love. Anyways, Cut Copy supported and were, of course, great.

Moving on, a mini-identity crisis has just come upon me. See, I was picking up the mail this morning in my temporary professional capacity, and got a message from Laurie saying how she can't believe it, but The OC is actually a good show. And I was like, yeah... hey, what? Bit random, no? And then I just checked the blog and read Simon's comment on Monday's post:

In other, more important news: did anyone tape the OC, I repeat, did ANYONE tape the OC???!!!

To which I now reply:



Thus the identity crisis. I mean, I DIDN'T KNOW... ME! And I can't even remember the last time I read the Green Guide back-to-front, or even at all. This is truly shocking.

However, all I can say is, thank goodness for LimeWire.

LimeWire, Simon. LimeWire.