Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Mrs Snaith's bakelite radio. 

All right, I've done the best piano intro, the most beautiful song of all time, my top ten of the nineties, yadda yadda yadda, you could say I'm obsessed with music. And you'd be right.

It could be something to do with one of my earliest memories, lying in a bed at age 2 or 3 or 4 or whatever age it is that people have their first memories from. I don't know.

So I'm lying there in the bed thinking three-year-old thoughts, and I hear through the open window some music coming from next door. An old lady lived there - Mrs Snaith - and she used to have her old electric AM radio playing classical music all day, just nice and soft. And those soft piano notes floated out of her window and sighed into mine.

On some sunny afternoon, many years ago, in the peace and quiet of a suburban street in Melbourne, Australia. I guess I was meant to taking a nap.

Thanks, Mrs Snaith.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Five-year-old birthday party. 

If you've ever hosted a party for five-year-olds, you'll understand. (Another picture here.)

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Friday, November 26, 2004

Feral wind. 

Yesterday it was hot, close to the old century, or 36 degrees in kilometres, but calm. A perfect early summer day.

Today it turned ugly. There's a wind that doesn't know what it wants. It's savage but it's undecided. It buffets this way and comes back the other way and when you turn around to get out of its way it picks up a bunch of dust and pitches it into your teeth.

This is the kind of wind that, in late summer, turns forests to ash.

Today it's just practising.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What I'm currently listening to. 

Yeah, I know it's meant to go in the sidebar but I'm using it as my post.

Early summer's a great time to listen to this all over again.

It's not all beaches and girls (damn) - check out track 15 on disc five: a lullaby with the most beautiful harmonies you've ever heard.

Oh my darlin' don't you cry
Guardian angels up above
Take care of the one I love

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Friday, November 19, 2004

Archive - your life in the sidebar. 

There it is, sitting over there in the sidebar, all grouped into neat little months or weeks.

Open up a few of your archives and see how much work is there.

Now imagine having written all that stuff long-hand or on a manual typewriter. And then having had to revise it or throw it out and start afresh.

Makes me admire old-time authors. Imagine having your manuscripts go up in a fire or lost in the post without a copy. Frightening thought.

Does anyone print out their blog, in case it disappears one day? I haven't. (Not that it's worth keeping.)

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Best piano intro of all time. 

OK, I guess I sound like a broken record, posting about obscure music again.


But the songwith the best piano intro ever (last track) commences with the lyrics "I feel like ... I died ... and went to heaven."

Somehow that has always meant something to me.

Don't know why.

Maybe tomorrow I'll start posting about kangaroos again.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The most beautiful song of all time. 

I loved this as a fifteen-year-old and I still love it now. I used to come home from school, switch on my radio and listen to Carly Simon singing this song and think - there is no sexier song in the world.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Monday, November 15, 2004

Happy Blogday to me. But most importantly, to you. 

Everyone is celebrating blog-birthdays and this blog is no exception! Tomorrow marks a year since Joe Bloggs first started making inane observations (complete with spelling errors!).

And what a year it has been. As my sub-headline says, stuff happens, then you fall asleep. Well, a lot of 'stuff' has happened, and then a lot of naps have been taken.

What kind of blog?

I never expected Joe Bloggs to last even this long. What happened was that when blogging became really popular, like way back in, oh, 2003 - I started thinking about what kind of blog I would write. I didn't think I could do like a 'straight' diary, because it would be too boring (for me as well as any potential readers):

'Tuesday: got up late, went to work on the train which was full; did some work, got on the internet, did some blogging until lunchtime; had lunch (cheese rolls - yum), walked around the shops, wondered why so many people were wasting their money on so much crap; went back to work, felt sleepy as I always do at this time of day, got back on the internet to find something interesting so I wouldn't fall asleep, did some more work; left work before any of the other losers who are still in the neanderthal trying-to-impress-the-boss stage of existence, went for a run around Princes Park, went home, had a shower, cooked dinner (pasta with tuna, peas and cheese - yum), went to bed. Dreamt about living in a castle.'

See? Write it once and it's kind of OK.

But what do you say on Wednesday?

Concept required.

So I needed a theme or a concept. And I thought, I sometimes think of odd things to say.

The 'sometimes' part of that thought meant I didn't have to post every day, only when a thought came to me; and the 'odd things' part meant it might have some small chance - hopefully better than that of a snowflake in hell - of being vaguely interesting.

So I started my Joe Bloggs blog, very slowly at first. I think a month went by between some of the first posts.

My other blogs.

But I also thought of other things to blog about, so I started some other blogs. One was The Lost Blogs' Home, which was a fascinating and extremely enjoyable blog for me to write - because it was all about other people's blogs. Eventually it became too time-consuming trawling through all those wonderful blogs by people all over the world), so I closed the Lost Blogs' Home.

Another blog I started was What I Cooked Last Night, in which I posted about - surprise, surprise - what I cooked last night. Alongside that, I wrote a companion blog about what I did when I wasn't cooking, and that blog is A Hundred Million Miles. Both of these blogs continue and are cross-referenced in their respective sidebars. I didn't cross-reference these blogs to Joe Bloggs, because there was no real connection.

Commenters kept blog going.

But the real reason I have persisted with Joe Bloggs is that I have enjoyed receiving comments - relatively few compared to some bloggers, but then I am not fooling myself about the level of general appeal a dozy, lazy blogger making casual observations and inane comments about life can hope to command.

My loyal little band of commenters includes the Poet Princess Tif, the incredible Vadergrrl, the unique and wonderful Boo, the amazing Monkey, Prestbury from the UK to whom I am always giving advice, artist and DJ Mel, Patrick the writer extraordinaire and lately, my lovely mid-western correspondent Kristine. Apologies if I have missed any.

After all, it might be just a blog, but when I come home at night and open up my comments, to see that some folks have visited is the nicest thing in the world!

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Saturday, November 13, 2004


So I was out walking with a friend of mine who was telling me about her trek in Nepal.

She told me, only half jokingly, that she was hoping for an epiphany as she trekked through the mountains to tell her what she should do with her life. (Thirty-something, lawyer, partnerless, childless. Beautiful woman, but she just hasn't gotten around to having a life yet. It's a common story.)

Hmmm. You don't need to go to Nepal to have an epiphany, in fact you probably won't get one even if you do, as demonstrated by my friend's ephiphany-free trek.

I had my epiphany closer to home, just this weekend in fact, in the back seat of my car.

I was vacuuming dog hair; and after forty-five minutes vacuuming, when I had eliminated probably 3,545,000 dog hairs, leaving a further probably 657,500 still there (jobs like this are totally not worth doing unless you do them properly, so you have to keep going until you have removed EVERY LAST doghair, because even if ONE is left, the car still looks unclean and that one dog hair stands out like a pimple on your chin).

So as I was vacuuming up the final 657,500 dog hairs, I thought to myself NOBODY wants to do this job because it is VILE. And then I thought, if nobody wants to do it, they would pay a lot of money to have someone do it for them.


Joe Bloggs will vacuum your car of dog hairs. $150 a time. Large SUVs extra.

Terms and conditions: You have to be in Australia.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Thursday, November 11, 2004

'Security check, camera B' 

I hear that every time I go to the supermarket.

But why do I feel guilty when I hear it? I've never stolen anything in my life.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Fun stuff to do with kids. 

As one of a large family, I used to have fun keeping my younger sister and brothers amused.

One of the rooms in our house had a built-in wardrobe that had like a false end in it in which I hid - even if you pushed all the clothes aside you could not see me hidden inside - and I would knock on the wall at the back of the wardrobe, which would sound like it was coming from another room. They would think I was in the other room, run into it; I would knock again, they would think I was in the wardrobe and run back in again and check it out, then they would get really confused and go look in another room. Then I would quietly slip out and just appear somewhere like the kitchen, standing stock-still and silent and they would turn around, see me and scream in fright. 'Where WERE you????'

I told them there was a secret room in the house and they believed it for years.

Earlier, when each of them were about one year old (which meant I was seven, nine and twelve in turn) I did this (I wonder if anyone else did goofy stuff like this, or am I the only clown?): I would lie on the floor next to them, face up, and spread a handkerchief (clean) right over my face. Then I would suddenly blow very hard and the handkerchief would shoot up into the air then float down again like a parachute. I have never heard babies laugh harder! I don't know why, maybe it was just a comical sight for them.

Then, years later, I did it for my own children - same result, they never failed to be highly amused. It's funny when babies laugh before they can even talk, it's like they're learning emotion first - as if the heart is learning to talk before the brain does.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I remember. 

Seeing a stingray through the glass-bottom roundboat at Rye beach during the 1962 summer carnival at which my sister entered the sandcastle competition and won a prize with her mermaid sandcastle.

The assassination of President Kennedy.

My first taste of red wine, at my cousin's wedding reception on a hot November day in 1973.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Monday, November 08, 2004

'What's a weblog?' 

I went to a committee meeting. (I didn't volunteer to be on the committee, someone 'volunteered' me.)

The committee had been approached by a company offering to set up a dedicated webpage offering member interactivity and a range of other features.

For $20,000 over ten years.

Hold the phone!

I suggested that a web presence should be based on potential usage and that members - people who went to just one particular school - would not immediately start madly emailing each other just because this proposed site had that potentiality. A little like schoolfriends.com and similar sites. People have their own methods of contacting each that pre-exist. The service seemed over-designed and too expensive.

I suggested that other forms of a web presence for far less money were available; and that, for no money at all, the committee could set up a weblog which would probably suffice. All it really needs to do is convey news of meetings and annual events and gather basic information like numbers attending, etc.

No-one on the committee had heard of weblogs. They were like, 'What's a weblog? Is that like a logjam - information overload on the web?'

At least they knew what the internet was.

I think.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Sometimes, annoying things happen. 

I open up a webpage. I click on something. Another page opens.

Then I click backspace or click on the back icon to go back to the first page.

It doesn't go back. I try again. It just stays on the second page.

I click several times in staccato, my finger jabbing the backspace button until I think I might break it.


So I click on the close button thinking the second page has opened in another window.

And it shuts down the whole freakin' internet.


It sure used to be easier reading a book. You turned the pages with your hand, and back with your hand if you forgot something. And with books, there's a beginning, a middle, and an end. Not with the internet. It's the 'infinity' of ... reading material, I guess.

How am I going to read the whole internet? There's no table of contents and no alphabetical index, just a 'google'.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Who's more important, the artist or producer/collaborator? 

This is Bob Dylan's album, but Daniel Lanois could claim it as his own. (Check out Most of the Time, a lost-love song that is chilling in its intensity - thanks to Daniel Lanois' arrangement.)

Randy Newman released this brilliant set in 1988, but it was Mark Knopfler's guitar that wrought its only hit single, It's Money That Matters.

Then there's Silverchair's 2002 set Diorama, a masterpiece which bears the unmistakable stamp of Van Dyke Parks. These guys are still in their early twenties, their first album Frogstomp was produced when they were like fifteen. Check out After All These Years. That song is so amazing I can't believe a human being wrote it.

There must be song angels up in the sky sending down music.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?