Monday, September 25, 2006

they smoke differently done down there, don't they?

I did my half-yearly visit to melburnia this weekend. Some random thoughts:

Melbourne Taxi Drivers are rude

..and not in the good way. I had one driver pull up in front of me after i hailed him, and then proceed to tell me he was on another job. One night I walked for twenty minutes and was POINTEDLY ignored by at least ten drivers before one deigned to stop for me. there was the one on the drive home late saturday night who insisted on telling me i needed to be religious, then the one who pretended i didn't exist the whole way to the airport and farted and gossiped in egyptian on his mobile the whole way there. (honestly - at least use a handsfree kit!)

Ukrainians are generally still conservative

It was a very Ukrainian Melbourne trip for me. Hilariously, this meant I got to see the best and worst of Ukrainian-Australian culture at play. It included the usual gossip circling around the usual group of suspects (anyone who didn't fit in - which basically means everyone else but those at the table), and the daft avoidance of anything vaguely interesting. Then there were the cool moments - having cocktails at 4am in the morning while talking about shit, swapping ipods with H to discuss our fave music of the mo. then there was the strange tale of R. (i'll get to that one in a minute).

i may be a klutz, but i'm stylish in the way i do it.

so, the reason i went down south was for my friends L and D's engagement party on saturday night. I got there, wearing a very stylish, albeit tweedy, outfit. My fave sandy/camel leather pointy Milus (still don't know what that style is called), some thick grey pants (it is melbourne, people - even on a 'warm' night in spring you need 'em), gorgeous white marcs shirt and warm cream ben sherman jumper. so what do i drink? that's right, children: red wine.

so what's the thing i do at midnight that would befit such behaviour? yes, i slipped. on the stairs to be precise. ten seconds after i realised carrying a glass of red whilst holding my heavy black jacket in the other hand may not be the right idea. anyways, long story: wine goes all over the cream newly-carpeted staircase below me and not a drop of red on my clothing. now, that's talent.

The strange tale of R

i actually arrived on the friday night. got picked up by one of my fabulous hosts (hi D!) and we headed back to his place, the one he shares with his equally fabulous other half. We spent the first hour and a half gossiping before the constant text messages and phone calls got in the way. so i headed out and caught up with my cousins before meeting up with my dear dear friend E at Bar Open.

E was there with her cousin to watch N's band. N is someone I grew up with, but never really got to know. I always thought she was a stuck up bitch - turns out I may have been projecting. Just a little bit.

Anyway, she has a fabulous set of lungs and the set (what one song i heard of it) is really cool. go on - check out their website.

So N and I have this 10 minute catch up, gossiping about crap and then she turns to me and asks if i know R. Sure, I say, he's my second cousin, haven't seen him in years. Well, he's one of my best friends, she says. What's he up to, i ask. Runs his own restaurant. Mental note to self: ask mum and grandma about him when we ladies who lunch the next day.

Ladies who luncheon turns into a ukrainian feast the next day: overboiled vegetable, overoiled salads and soggy cabbage rolls. I eat as much as my stomach can take, but the two breakfasts I just had are fighting me. Anyway, I ask about R - ma tells me he has a cafe-restaurant in Ascot Vale, supposed to be nice, she hasn't been there but my bro and sis have. Grandma pipes up - she's been there (R's her great-nephew, grandson of her older bro). She went there with her sister - the boy done recognised her and everything. Walked up to them as they were walking past and told them they looked familiar - how does he know them? They had coffee there, he's a nice boy but pity about his parents etc etc. Typical ukrainian grandmother gossip.

A moment's pause here. When I walk in to lunch, grandma tells me off for being so wasted away. I point out I've put on five kilos since she last saw me. When grandma describes R, she describes him as nice and thin - he used to be chubby. Apparently, he's thinner than me, but I'm the wan one. Bless ukrainian grandmothers.

Bro and sis walk in. Say they met him, too. He walked up to sis and asked her how she knew him. Takes a few minutes to establish the connection - only when he mentions his sister that she clicks (the two sisters used to hang out all the time). It's at this point I realise I need to visit the cafe.

Half an hour later, I'm catching up with H. We decide to check out the boy - she's been there, reckons she's met one of the owners. Quite young, sweet; he's even visited her bank once or twice back in the day when she was rocking the teller desk.

We walk in and he walks up to both of us. I recognise him immediately - that photographic memory comes in handy - and he's cuter than I remember. He asks us how he knows us both. (I wonder if you can pick up his schtick). H explains how they met.

'And you? How do I know you?'

'I'm your cousin.'

Works a treat. 'Oh, Bads33d! I thought you lived in Sydney.'

Anyway, long story short: after about half an hour of H and I catching up (as we do), he sits down with us and gossips. My first impression - friend of d'orothea - only solidifies as the convo continues. At some point, I stop the flow of conversation: cigarette time.

I've already established he's a fan of architecture during the conversation. This is the third restaurant he's set up, etc etc. Over a couple of cigarettes, we gossip. He's perennially single, been doing the same thing for years and bored with it, wants to do something creative and expressive. Sound familiar? Wait, it gets funnier - he goes after the same types of boys as me and wants to move to Spain in the future.

Meanwhile, poor H is on the phone with two of my cousins. 'Oh cool, another spunky gay ukrainian. Wonder if he's my cousin, too?' (Thank fuck she loves her birthday present, honestly).

So after all this time, I found my gay twin. And he's related to me. And, of course, the coffee was well free. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Oh, I'll take your tagging challenge, all right

For the first time in forever, it's a quiet day at work. (Public holiday in the US - which means the rest of the week is bound to be a nightmare). So I'm using the time productively - reading other people's blogs, including QP. Noticing he's taken up Richard Watts' tagging challenge, I figured I'd try it out:

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences along with these instructions.

5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

The fun thing is that for once my cool, intellectual book is actually the nearest book (it's even closer than the partner agreement folder, which is a) the only book on my work desk and b) would require me to find the 123rd partner agreement... anyway too much effort). So without further ado, from FĂ©lix Guattari's Chaosophy:

The whole system of projections derives from machines, and not the reverse. Should the desiring-machine be defined then by by a kind of introjection, by a a certain perverse use of the machine? Let us take the example of the telephone exchange: by dialing an unassigned number, connected to an automatic answering device ("the number you dialed is not in service...") one can hear the overlay of an ensemble of teeming voices, calling and answering each other, criss-crossing, fading out, passing over and under each other, criss-crossing, fading out, passing over and under each other, inside the automatic voice, very short messages, utterances obeying rapid and monotonous codes. There is the Tiger; it is rumored there is even an Oedipus in the network; boys calling girls, boys calling boys.

(OK, so I'm not technically sure whether I quoted four or five sentences, but whatever). I'm just glad I was at my work machine and not the home one - would probably be quoting DNA magazine or something...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

i just wanna fuckin dance

I once read somewhere that a hermit who was watching his hourglass without praying, heard noises that split his eardrums. He suddenly heard the catastrophe of time, in the hour-glass. The tick tock of our watches is so mechanically jerky that we no longer have ears subtle enough to hear the passage of time.

Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (p167)

Anyway...I'm trashed. Or trashy. Or something like that.

I'm overrun with time this afternoon, partly because I can't focus on anything long enough to get my shit together. So I've decided to intersperse what is a particularly boring story with random commentary just to give you an idea just how scatty my brain is today.

Whatever happened to getting my shit together?

I stupidly started seeing this guy a few weeks ago.

The fam were visiting, which meant a simultaneously boring and emotionally stunted dinner which - due to the present company of my catholic priest godfather, who decided that after 40 years of living in this country that he can't (and won't) speak english - included such scintillating topics as the priestly ethics course that the Ukrainian Catholic Bishop of Oceania has put into place and that my godfather is now running with a catholic priest from Adelaide.

Hindsight being that lovely kick up the arse that it is, no, I didn't make the obvious joke about altar boys and Father Paddy's (in this case, Father Dimitri's) hair parting actions. (That's what us devout atheists call Taking It for Jesus).

So, of course, when we left the restaurant at 10.00 that night (no pre-dinner cocktails and ONE bottle of red and ONE bottle of white between four adults, AND I was the only person who actually ate all three courses...must have been Lent or something. aren't Catholics supposed to be alcoholic what with all the children and the guilt and everythign?), I was desperate for some human interaction that didn't involve my mother and I pretending to listen to each other's inane chatter.

A few phone calls later, I headed over to J's place in Chippo, only to end up coming back to Oxford St 15 minutes later. Typical.

After two minutes at the Burderking, we grabbed the boys and headed over to Palms.

See! isn't that funny? I just merged the Burdekin and the Burger King into one word, even though they're diagonally across the road from each other. Whaddaya mean, you don't get it? Oh, it's not that funny, is it? Well, I'll just HAVE to continue this story then, won't I?!

J and I seem to spend too much time at Las Palmas. For those who have not had the pleasure, Palms is what you would get if you interbred an RSL, a gay club and a greek tavern then dumped it into a basement space and added (for good measure) a DJ who doesn't mix the music so much as wait for the track to finish before putting the next one on. So of course, it's all handbaggy and trashy. Just the place to go to every once in a while after a house party or something.

Just not every weekend.

Hmm... I've managed to avoid its insidious charms this weekend. Probably a good move.

So, when we arrive, there's this cute guy who bounces up to our friend J2. I accidentally tripped J2 up at some point in the evening when my legs and arms went out to catch him, except my arms didn't move. Must have been the alcohol and residual anger towards my father and godfather. Anyway, bygones.

The cute friend was giving me the eye. You know, the gay version, not the evil one. Except he was there with some guy. Then he started chatting me up and dumped the guy (in front of me, no less) to spend the night with me. I remember being bemused about it at the time, but should have known better than to go home with him. But I did - what goes on at Palms stays at Palms.

Except for that time I slept with that guy that went to school with J, and it turns out he works in the same building as me. Reason #128,954,759 to leave my job, anyone?

Wake up in the morning with a head like ‘what ya done?’
This used to be the life but I don’t need another one.
Good luck cuttin’ nothin’, carrying on, you wear them gowns.
So how come I feel so lonely when you’re up getting down?

So I play along when I hear that favourite song
I’m gonna be the one who gets it right.
You better know when you’re swingin’ round the room
Look’s like magic’s solely yours tonight

Anyway, so we slept together. BIG surprise there.

And I stupidly went out with him again. And slept with him again.

Then I left it at that. I wasn't particularly interested, and he seemed a little, well, flighty.

Funny that.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I went to this Madonna thing at Slide at some point in during this whole shemozzle, where they were supposed to play 48 Madoona songs in a row, but ended up playing three at a time, then three other songs, then three more madoona songs all night long.

I bumped into the spunky Croatian doc from a while back. He ended up walking part of the way home with my housemate and myself.

Hmm.. he's still cute and friendly. I think I could really do with a serve of McDreamy.

Anyway, we did end up on a second date, where we ended up at the Colombian with W, a few PR PR people and a sleazy journo who ended up pashing one of the PR PR girls in a really ugly way.

(Can you tell I'm preparing myself for my future career in PR?)

The strange thing was that it turned out he did have a brain, and a creative one at that. Either that, or he was very good at very elaborate lies, because by the end of the night he had charmed me. Then, when we woke up the next morning and he said he wanted to spend more time with me (and not just see me once a fortnight), I was genuinely happy. That was last weekend.

Busy crazy week meant that I didn't speak to him again til Wednesday, when he rang up and invited me to a party on Friday with him. He didn't have the details, but he would call me on Friday morning with them.

I love Fridays. There's something about leaving the office at 7pm and knowing that I have two days to myself that I really really love.

Yes, I did mean 7pm, people. I know I work stupid hours.

But I don’t feel like dancin’
When the old Joanna plays
My heart could take a chance
But my two feet can’t find a way
You think that I could muster up a little soft, shoop devil sway
But I don’t feel like dancin’
No sir, no dancin’ today.

So Friday came round, and I texted him at 9am, when I remembered I had no idea what was going on. I was run off my feet with the fifteen or so things that are happening around the traps so I wasn't exactly checking my mobile waiting for him to ring. Still, no phone call.

At 6.30 I left a message on his phone as I was walking home to let D1 drop off our new (well, not so new, but still) big screen TV. By 7.30, no phone call - the dirty bastard.

So I called W, and went and joined him at the Opera Bar for a friend's birthday drinks, followed by drinks at the Colombian with J and J2 and some random complicated love triangled people (too confusing a situation to understand, just don't ask), and then Kooky.

I haven't been to Kooky for almost five years. It really sucked on Friday, though. I left after the band finished. (The band sucked bad eggs).

I'm breakin' it down
I'm not the same
I know you're feelin' me 'cuz you like it like this

So now, all I want to do is get out and dance. I can't be fucked being pissed off with him, I can't be bothered beating myself up over the fact that blind freddy could see that conclusion coming from outer space, I don't care to slap him across the face next time I see him (as much as he TOTALLY deserves it). I just want to enjoy myself, really.

So I'm just gonna go to the Kylie thing at Slide tonight with some friends and enjoy myself. Even though I enjoyed myself last night a bit too much, what with the vino and the pot and the half-tab (and a fucking strong one at that) of ecstasy at my neighbour's house-cooling/birthday party last night. But that's another story.

Ok, rant over.