Wednesday, January 17, 2018

My favourite begonia has been relentlessly attacked by caterpillars, lately. I have had to keep going over and over and over it to pluck off all the little green monsters to stop their destruction. Damn things. They just seem to keep coming and keep coming. I've got to wonder where they come from on an indoor plants, I'm sure there is a perfectly logical explanation, for which I have no time, as I have to put all of my energy into the fight against them.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Spectacular Weather

The weather has been spectacular these last few days, more perfect weather I don't believe you would get anywhere. The sparkling sunshine was dazzling me all morning.

I've been listening to Amy Winehouse, a more perfect singer is hard to find, such a talent. I heard Tony Bennett say she was comparable to Ella Fitzgerald, or Dinah Washington. Her voice was mesmerising me all morning

At lunch time, I suddenly (not quite like a bolt of lightning, or a slap to the face, but it came to me at that point, rather than earlier in the day, rather than in the morning, when it wouldn't have been so pressing, when it would have been more convenient) thought I should get some washing done and get it outside in the perfect weather so it will dry and be done and finished with before dusk.

I thought of my mother and how she used to say such things on the weekend. "I've got to get the washing out early, so it dries and I can take it in before tea time."

I'd run and hide, well, not so much leave the premises as suddenly (there is that word again?) become busy so I didn't have to hang the wet clothes from the wicker laundry basket onto the rotary clothesline. I could not imagine anything more boring. I’d head to my room and close the door, maybe, I’d have a Matchbox Car emergency. Go for a bike ride. Run in next door to Mrs Smith for a visit, hang out with her in her antique kitchen, with its broken lino floors, and its funny mantel piece over the stove. Something. Abandon ship. I hated hanging out the washing, it used to make me so cross when my mother asked me. I don't really know why now? I guess, I was just being a kid. It was nearly as bad as the gritted-teeth agony of washing up the dishes, although a kitchen remodel, early in the peace, and the instillation of a shiny gold coloured dishwasher that matched the new kitchen cupboards took that particular torture out of the equation.

Monday, January 15, 2018

I'm Vacuuming the Pond

I'm vacuuming the pond. Yes, you read it right. That is not a sentence I thought I'd ever write. Sam bought a pond vacuum, one of the many mystery packages that arrive here daily from his online shopping habit. And now I'm hoovering up the fish shit. Headphones on, Frank Ocean, somehow he seemed appropriate, playing in my ears. The day is warm, there is a slight breeze. It's not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

The vacuum works on water pressure, you attach the hose to the nozzle and the flow of water sucks to crap into the crap catcher. As the big, fat gold fish seem to love fresh water, they follow the nozzle about, it's kind of cool. I feel like the pied piper of fish.

The afternoon sparkled, it really did. A couple of times when I went inside to get something, as I returned – if I said it took my breath away I'd be over stating it – I noticed how bright and sparkling the sunshine was shining down into my back yard, dancing across every leaf surface, like thousands of simmering, tiny mirrors.

The vacuum is slow, though. I feel like a council worker – as I stand there slowly pushing the vacuum nozzle backwards and forwards – sweeping with his broom swish, swish. Back of my hand across my forehead. Adjusting the handkerchief with is four corners tied in knots stretched across my head. Hands and chin resting on the tip of my broom handle. Slowly, slowly catchee the monkey/fish shit.

Then when I think I must have filled up the pooh catcher, I pull it from the water, and it stretches down like a giant scrotum, errrRRRRrrrrr, and I feel the flush of success, that is until all the water seeps from the ball sack and after all that time I have stood there with my back aching slowly from standing in one spot, I have sucked up and (small) clenched fist worth of shit from the pond floor. And what I feel is a little disappointment and lot a discouragement, as there is so much muck to clean up, and so little time, if that is how long it is going to take, and I chastise myself for the years of neglect that I have put in.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Rainy Saturday

We headed into the city for Indian food for lunch, it’s kind of a Saturday tradition. Ha ha, tradition, I say. How long do you have to be doing something for it to become a tradition? Our Saturday routine. Married couple. “On Saturday, me and the missus like going into town for some of that Indian food.”

Call me old fashioned, but I don’t like sharing my lunch with sparrows, one of the problems at Melbourne Central with its open walkways. Some of them have black faces, and some of them have pale faces, and some of them have brown stripes. The little monsters are all around, hopping from rafters to tables to peck at the dishes, a swish of the hand and they are gone, but they are soon back. I guess they are just trying to eke out an existence like the rest of us. “Get away,” I say. I flap out my hand. Swish, swish. They jump and fly up to the roof again, only to drop back down once my hands are busy again. “Get away.” I swish my hand once more. The whole thing repeats. My lunch is accompanied by the constant flapping of little wings. Oh, I know, I shouldn’t be so precious, there are people in the world who don’t have access to fresh water.

Then we went to Myer to buy iTunes card which were on sale at a 20% discount, which Sam bought with a Myer gift card which he bought when they were on sale at a 10% discount. So, we’ll be getting all our music 30% cheaper for the foreseeable future. Sam likes a good deal. He is never embarrassed to ask for a discount for paying cash, or if the seller can do better than the marked price, and more often than not he gets a better price.

When we came out of Myer it was raining. We dashed up Little Bourke Street dodging the raindrops as best we could, but then again, everybody else were trying to dodge the rain drops as well, jockeying for the position closest to the shop fronts. It is funny the attitude those closest to the shop fronts display, the strongest show pluck not giving way to anyone. I’m walking here! I’m walking here! And they are those remain the driest. I try it for a while, but it takes attitude, it takes being fearless, it takes bravado, which suck my energy. Sam hates walking in the rain, I don’t mind it so much, so I end up giving way. It eventually somehow seems rude not to.

We came home and watched the entire 2nd series of Stranger Things. What else do you do on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Friday, January 12, 2018

I’m Not an Atheist

I’m not an atheist, although I won’t be offended if you call me one. I will accept it, but here is why I might not like the label.

I got thinking about it with all the religious opposition to gay marriage. And when I see the tall Somalian Jesus man sprouting on fervently in the dog park, seemingly always to a young Somalin boy who was too young to defend himself against such talk. And I think about it when I see the buttoned up middle aged conservatives staking out the corner near the commission flats, in my mind, picking on the vulnerable and the less educated.

Just because I don’t believe in your super natural stories about a supreme being, it doesn’t mean I have to be labelled, which buys into the religious paradigm just by its very nature. Giving me a label is just justifying your religious beliefs, in a sense, which I think are absurd.

It’s called not buying into it, I guess. You know, when you debate somebody, it is legitimising the other person’s argument by you simply mounting a defence.

I believe in reality, the here and now. I believe in human beings. I believe in the real world.

There are five thousand supposed God’s, that is how ridiculous the god story is. Why is your god the real god? Who says? As Joseph Campbell so famously said, (I’m paraphrasing) “There are many gods, just pick one, they all do the same thing.”

If I am really honest, to put it bluntly, I find religious belief delusional. I look at people sprouting on about Jesus loves you, and God is the supreme being, live your life according to a 2000 year old book, and I just hear blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….

It’s just thoughts, as I said. Sorting thoughts. I don’t want to buy into the religious narrative, as I find that narrative ridiculous. So don’t try and drag me in by giving me a label that best fits your beliefs.

The usual disclaimer applies. I’m not trying to tell you what to believe in, believe in whatever you like, the great sky fairy, jesussmesus, the great gobbling turkey, you know, whatever makes you happy, whatever flats Noah's boat. I am just telling you what I believe.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

She Must Be 100 years Old

6.30am. I woke to the sounds of Buddy barfing up a chicken bone on the floorboards, lovely. Beige slime and small white bones. Then I lay in bed watching him eat it again, like a car crash I couldn’t look away. Good morning world, I thought. Then I thought, at least I don’t have to mop it up. Then, of course, Bear wouldn’t come downstairs with me for a wee, as she was nervous having to walk passed Buddy while he was eating, he was licking the floorboards by this stage. Buddy is laid back and gentle, but he is food aggressive with other dogs. I’m trying to whisper her name, so as not to wake Sam, but to no avail. I catch my whisper getting more and more angry, which makes me laugh, ridiculous, so I decide to give up on trying to take her outside.

The pond fountain seemed to be even noisier this morning, so I switched it off. There. Done. Quiet. We have to get that timer, so the fountain doesn’t run all night, and it isn’t disturbing the peace of the morning. Although at the moment the filter has a lot of work to do, mopping up our years of neglect. Maybe buying the timer is a job for today?

It was a lovely, cool, gentle morning.

I lit a cigarette and immediately wondered when I was going to quit. It makes me feel like shit to boot, so go figure.

7.30am. I heard Sam in the shower, so I went to our room to get Bear for a wee. Buddy was standing in the middle of our bed. I wondered if he’d finished throwing up. Oh, that wouldn’t be nice, to say the least, dog sick in the doona, imagine if we didn’t discover it until we were getting into bed tonight. I winced at the idea. I called Bear, but Buddy came down instead. Roll of the eyes, dogs. Bear followed though and headed outside for a wee. Then Buddy went to the back door and once outside threw up again. I wondered if I needed to go and check our bed again?

We took Buddy and Bear to the dog park, it is a lovely way to start the day. The sunshine was gorgeous like warmed honey. Not too many people in the dog park this morning. Just us essentially. I wondered if it was like the beginning of the week at the gym. Monday is always guilt day, guilty from not attending over the weekend, so there are lots of people. Then it starts to drop off. Today it had dropped off to just to us. The old Asian lady was there, of course, with her decrepit Chihuahuas. One of her dogs has white eyes, which kind of creeps me out, as it looks like the devil. It barks aggressively if it senses any dog coming near it. Her other dog is a nasty piece of work, running at any dog that comes near it with its fangs out. She always looks like she’d blow over in a strong wind, as she teeters along with the two leads in each hand. She must be 100. Still she is always there walking her dogs. She seems quite lovely, oblivious to her bad tempered dogs, chatting away to us, saying hello, or whatever, except it is all in her native language, so I don’t understand a word she says. She has pleading eyes, as if she is willing me to understand her. It makes me feel sad, if it makes me feel anything at all.

9.30am. I’m sitting outside smoking in the sunshine. I love this time of day, as the whole day is in front of me. I’m cross with myself for still not having quit my holiday smoking. It infuriates Sam.

Then it was time to feed the kids. Oh, I would never use that expression in real life, but it amuses me to use it here. I don’t know why, as I would never say it. Buddy sits patiently. Bear keeps her eyes on me with more nervous energy. She is such a food scrounger, annoyingly so really, but in all other aspects she is a nice dog.

10am. What to do today? It is time I caught up my blog, so I must get busy writing. Time to catch up to present day, time to revise my blog entries rewriting many of them. My writing style is very much a rewriting style. All of my writing is very much improved with a rewrite.

We ate Japanese for lunch. I had a bento Box with stewed chicken, Sam had his usual fried chicken.

I tried to write in the afternoon. Oh, winding up the cogs in my head, and finding a comfortable place to write, is always difficult. Not getting endlessly distracted is even harder.

Sam bought home another one of his colleague’s plants to be repotted. I think this is the third plant he has bought home. I seem to be the go to guy when it comes to maintaining the plants in his office. I don’t mind, in fact, I kind of like it. It is sad to see a neglected plant, and it is easy for me to make them happy again.

We cleaned the pond some more. I got in there with my hands and dragged the debris out. Later, I saw a piece on the news about a flesh eating bacteria and how a guy had lost an arm and a lot of his torso in fighting it, and I remembered the cut on my finger after which I was in the kitchen pilling on the Betadine to my cut finger.

I made calamari and lemon risotto for dinner.

We watched Strange Things on Netflix. Sam kept telling me it was stupid. I kept telling him he needed to suspend his disbelief. I told him it was, after all, about friendship and truth. He remained unconvinced. He likes action movies/series.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Gotta Luv a Pair Of Pale Grey Track Pants

7.30am. We took Buddy and Bear to the dog park.

Cute blond guy was there with his two dogs, throwing the ball for which they eagerly wait between each throw. He’s got a big smile and floppy blond hair and a round, handsome face. He’s lovely really, such a boy, always with a smile and a laugh, always has a friendly, toothy greeting, fit and into exercising with his dogs. This morning he had on pale grey track pants. Sam and I walked around the reserve, as I did I was looking at cute blond guy with his pale grey track pants. I wondered if it was just me and I was just about to say something to Sam when he said, “Has he got a hard-on throwing the ball to his dogs?”

I don’t know if he left the house without his girlfriend seeing what he was wearing, if he’d had a big night and he’d woken up less than aware, I don’t know, but he’d clearly forgotten to put jocks on this morning. He seemed to be oblivious to the display he was putting on. He walked over grinning (as if he was aware) when he was done with the park and was heading home, it flopping around, like a baby's arm, with each step he took towards me, but he is a smiley kind of guy and that was how he normally greets us. It was hard to keep my eyes on his face.

“Hi guys, how are you?”

All the better for seeing you my friend. “Yeah, good,” I said. “How are you?” (I resisted the urge to say, How’s it hanging?)

“Great. It’s a lovely day. The dogs are exercised. I’m heading home for breakfast.” And off he went, dogs following along behind.

I looked at Sam, he looked at me, eyebrows raised. “Well,” he said.

“Good morning to you too,” I said.

My chores for the day were to cleaned up the front yard and to go and get a new scooper net for the pond so I could spend the day cleaning the pond. I swept the front yard in the morning, intending to throw all of the garden debris straight into the bin, but something really stunk in the rubbish bin, like there was something dead in there, and I ended up dry wretched all the way to the door after I flipped the lid open, eyes watering, heaving involuntarily. I can’t tolerate that smell of death, it just gets to me, that and the smell of mould. I stood on the front veranda waiting for the heaving to stop, wiping my eyes dry. I kicked the bin lid closed.

So, that’s not going to work. I had to open and close the bin really quickly between each panful of debris. Not so bad, it slowed me down, but soon the front yard was all cleaned up.

Sam came home at lunch time and cleaned the pond filter as it had clearly started to block up. It was full of shit when he pulled it apart. We are really asking the new filter to do too much cleaning a filthy pond, but we’ll see how it goes. The alternative is to empty the pond and replace the water something neither of us really wants to do.

We ate stir fried chicken and rice and veggie leftovers for lunch.

Jill has had all her boxes delivered to my place, as she thought that would be easier. I now have a hallway full of them. She messaged me to ask if she could have her car delivered here too. It is being trucked down from Queensland. I kind of thought, ‘really?’ initially. What the hell does one do with an extra car in the inner suburbs? Then I felt mean. Then I thought, she is in an apartment block in St Kilda Road. So, I thought that I could find a car park, surely. So, I said yes. Ah, I’ll squeeze it in somewhere, the mind boggles, that’s what friends do, after all.

Sam came home from work and cleaned the pond filter yet again and then we did a bigger clean up of the pond. He pulled out a lot of the spider plant hanging down into the water, and bucketed out lots of shit, which I tipped all over the garden as best I could.
It is going to take us some time to clean it, it is that dirty, without emptying it completely and replacing the water. Still, at least the fish are no longer continually gasping for air.

We ate frittata for dinner, and very nice it was too.

I headed down Smith Street in the afternoon and shopped for the new pool scoop, surprisingly, the $2 shops only had cheap and flimsy scoops. Still at $2.50 who cares if we break it.

I watched (two friend’s names) wedding live on Facebook. Good for them. At least now, we can all stop hearing about it, even if the posts about it on Facebook seem to be never ending. However, we must be nearing the end of it now. I did post a “congratulations”, just because it is the right thing to do… not really because I meant it. It was more congratulations that we are all collectively getting to the end of it, more so than anything else. Oh, I did mean it, as much as I would say it to anyone. After all, I didn’t write, congratulations, you attention seeking whores. I mean that in a nice(ish) way, (it is really just my perverse sense of humour) nothing wrong with being a whore, (I was really good at it once. I remember counting up 20 guys in a month, one January, probably because I was on holidays. Big smile) and the attention seeking speaks for itself, which, I am sure, is needed to change society in the way you want it changed. (Do you accept that?)

I don’t have anything against gay marriage, despite what it may seem from what I have written in the past. If you want to get married, of course, you should get married, there is no reason in the world why you shouldn’t. I just wonder if it is all a part of our new conservative world, where monogamy is best and you save yourself for Mr Right, where sex is bad, and anything resembling sexual innuendo, and the like, should be avoided. You can’t say, or do, anything which may offend another person. The new conservative sensibility closes our world down and makes it smaller, it doesn’t expand our thinking. It makes all our possibilities less.

Would I get married? No. I don’t see the point of it. It’s a cliché, and a failed institution, in my opinion. Having said that, I guess if Sam was really keen I’d possibly consider it.

Let’s look at it in the hard reality of day, if there had always been gay marriage, and I was marrying Sam today, it would be my third marriage, and what does that say?

We started to watched the end of the first series of American Horror Story, then we started to watch the second series, but it proved to be just a little too freaky, it was a bit like horror overload. I’m more of your chick flick kind of guy, oh, not really, but if I had to describe my tastes in shorthand that is how I would describe them. I like real stories about real people, well written and well acted. So, we changed back to Grace and Frankie, with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, (Don’t have any more facelifts, Jane, you have had too much work done already) until I fell asleep on the couch and Sam said it was bed time.