Friday, July 21, 2017

Like I Was A Lamington Having Just Been Rolled In Coconut.


I've had a bout of dry lips just lately. When I wake up in the morning I can feel the ridge of dead skin cells around both my lips. So, I have taken to having a tin of Blistex, actually, I think it is called Calmex, whatever, next to my bed. First thing, as soon as I wake up, I grab the tub and I wipe the cream on my lips. I can feel the dead skin particles coming away on my finger with each wipe around, top and bottom. This morning, I padded down stairs with Buddy, Milo was standing on the arm of the couch waiting for us and I picked him up and pushed my face into his fur and kissed him. I ended up with a layer of cat fur stuck to my face, like I was a lamington having just been rolled in coconut.


I’m in the cafĂ© around the corner eating French Brioche toast with berries and mascarpone cream and drinking coffee, which is quite nice, despite the fact I can now create a hotspot on my mobile phone and use the internet at home, any excess charges I may incur with that Telstra is going to refund, which is nice.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Telstra is Rubbish!

We are switching to Telstra cable internet. (Because the NBN is not scheduled for our area any time soon, thanks Canberra) Big communications company, you'd think it would be easy? Ah no! Telstra has stuffed up every part of the change over right from when they first started the procedure. Every part of the monthly cost and billing they have got wrong, requiring constant phone calls to them to clarify the situation. And now? Well, the cable was to be installed the morning of 24th July, and the phone was to be transferred no later than 7pm on 24th July. Easy. Except, Telstra despite written conformation to the contrary, transferred the phone yesterday, which meant our old internet connection was cut off, five days before our new internet connection is connected. And no, there is nothing they can do about us now not having internet for 5 days. Sorry.

I'm now sitting in the cafe around the corner. I can't spend $30 on breakfast every day for the next five days, that is just ridiculous.

It was lovely in the cafe, until a woman came and sat behind, who proceeded to call everyone she knew. Even with my headphones on I can still hear her.

Oh yes, I forgot to add, when they transferred the phone, it didn't even work. So when I tried to call to complain, I couldn't.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cable Internet

I was doing my favourite thing, making digital collections of my favourite singers on iTunes, Cyndi Lauper, Bee Gees, Kate Ceberano, Simply Red…

when [my current internet provider] sent me an email saying that my Internet cancellation was being processed. I called [my current internet provider] to find out what the hell they were talking about? Telstra, in yet another stuff up concerning the cable internet installation, [we’re getting cable internet installed, as it is much faster, and enables us to watch high def movies on our new hi def TV] had requested the cancellation as they had transferred the phone over today, instead of on 24th July when the cable was to be installed, leaving us without internet for 5 days.

Phone calls to Telstra ensued… lots of on-hold music…

…and two hours later, we filed a complaint with Telstra’s cable instillation department. Laughably, we were told that the complaints department would get in touch within five days.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The World Didn't End

Winter Meeting arrived. Yay. Just June Bride to come. And maybe that is it for the time being, enough Bette Davis DVDs, my collection has grown sufficiently for the time being. I have bought 10 movies recently. I think that may now be more DVDs than I had videos in the original collection. All those old BASF tapes, all with the same silver label, all with the name written in the same way.

I painted the second coat on the gate. It is looking good. How many coats do you think I need to do.

I got changed and went to the supermarket and bought beef for tonight’s curry. I also bought more mandarins, naturally. I noticed, at some point, that my left thumb is quite orange from my current mandarin addiction. The mandarins have all gone up in price in the supermarket, there are none currently on special. I also noticed that Navel Oranges were quite a bit cheaper, and I decided to put my “score” through as navel oranges.

There was a part of me that thought – not out loud, and coherently, but there was sense of it – if you do the right thing good things will happen to you in return. I caught myself thinking this as I looked at the mandarins. It is, of course, drummed into us throughout our life because that is the glue that helps keep society together. There is a natural order to life and that doing the “right thing” is the oil that makes this natural order happen. It is what religion is based on, it is what the notion of karma is also based on, and it is, of course, all nonsense. Life is random, and the nature of our lives is random. There is no yin and yang, it is all just a construct to keep society civilised.

And it is all crap. So, I put the $3.50 per kilo mandarins through as $1.50 navel oranges and the world didn’t end.

I vacuumed the house, well the bottom floor, as we didn’t get cleaning done yesterday. Too much shopping. I think that is the first time that cleaning hasn’t been completed on a Sunday. Yes, the first time ever that Sam has allowed cleaning day not to proceed on the correct day, being Sunday.  I did it today because it makes him happy, nice aren’t I?


I watched the end of Dead Ringer. I like Dead Ringer. There are some human touches to it. Bette plays more of a normal character in it, how I imagined she may have been in real life. Oh sure, she is a murdering double crosser who sells out her only true love for money, but, she is not playing some simpering, half-witted, mental defective, grotesquery, so typical of the 1960s, if you know what I mean.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Shopping

We were up at 9am.

It was freezing this morning. Brrrrr!

Sam made eggs, avocado and smoked salmon at 10am. Lovely. I was toast monitor, of course.

11.11am. We headed to Bunnings, Victoria Street and Ikea to shop. Yes, shopping was to be done, new things were to be purchased, namely sheets and doona covers to match the new bed. I was being made to spend money, we’re on a roll now, after all. Ha ha. No, really, I hate shopping, mixing with the general public, ah! Really, it is shocking!

We looked at sheets and doona covers in (name of bed linen shop) at Victoria Gardens. The sheets sets were around one hundred dollars... for a fitted sheet? Flat sheets included, but who gives a shit about flat sheets now a days, I ask you? The doona covers were separate and more expensive than $100.

We looked in Adairs. The sheets-sets and doona covers were expensive too, one hundred and something dollars also.

We went to Kmart and bought a doona cover for $55 and king size bed sheet for $40. As long as they are all cotton, who cares where they come from.

We went back to (name of bed linen shop) and bought a quilted doona cover for $150. Fuck it! In cream too, but the shop assistant said they are easy to wash, and hard wearing, after we told her we had a bulldog. Sold.

We went to Ikea and bought the draws on wheels to slide under the new bed, to put the sheets and shit in. We also bought a draw not on wheels, for Buddy to (not) sleep in. We found a fitted sheet for $25. We should have bought four. We had to pick up the products downstairs. It took us quite a while to work out where to pick up the two different products, as it turned out, from two different areas.

OMG! So many people in Ikea buying shit. The concept of rampant consumption destroying the world doesn’t seem to gel with people yet. Okay, so I was there too, but I bought a few things it has taken me twelve months to get around to buying.

We went to Victoria Street and found a car park in Albert Street. We ate soup for lunch. We did grocery shopping. I bought madarins, naturally

We went to Bunnings and bought a shelf for the garden storage. We found a perfectly sized shelf, for only $9 what’s more.

I was walking up one of the isles looking for paint brushes and out of the corner of my eye, I thought the woman walking in front of me had chosen a large, porcelain dog, which she has in her trolley, that was until the dog moved. He was a gorgeous honey coloured French Bulldog. I told her what I thought I’d seen and we both laughed as I patted her dog. He was lovely.


We came home and installed the new shelf in the garden storage. I finally got all of the tools out of the hall cupboard and out of the house.

We painted the other side of the gate. We bought a second, smaller, brush, so Sam painted the smaller, curly bits and I painted the bigger bits.

We took Buddy to the park.

We ate rice paper rolls for dinner.

It was cold and windy all day.

Sam went to bed first, nan always goes to bed early, taking Buddy with him.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Going to the Paint Shop

I was up at 9am. That’s late for me. But no guilt, I can tell you. I was going to stay in bed for the morning, but I didn’t.

I watched Marked Woman. (When is too much Bette Davis too much?) It’s great. It just doesn’t seem like it is 80 years old. And Bette looks gorgeous in it, oh, right up until her face is mutilated by the mob.

I started to watch, Where Love Has Gone, but turned it off pretty quickly after it started, saying to myself, I can’t do this. I can’t watch a marathon of Bette Davis movies. Even I feel as though that is too much.

I ate sardines on toast for lunch, as Sam is having another work lunch. Shut up! I like sardines on toast, in fact, if Sam didn’t come home every day for lunch, sardines on toast would make up a good part of my staple lunch.

I decided to do something in the afternoon, something, anything, I started late, to be sure, not ready until 2pm. The day just ticks away.

I try not to use my car anymore, if I don’t have to. Partly for the good of the planet, partly, as a health thing for myself, and partly as a nod to the generations who came before us. The people who lived in the inner suburbs 100 years ago, they walked places because they had no alternative, but also because they weren’t as lazy as we are. Or as fat, no doubt. They would think nothing of walking to Clifton Hill and then walking to the city, because it really isn’t that far to walk.

Health and history, that is why I walk, or try to walk.

I’m decided to go the paint shop, in Clifton Hill, to find paint for the front gate. Then, once I got that done, I’d walk to the city, and reward myself with some Bette Davis DVDs. Dangerous, Payment On Demand, and Dead Ringer, as I know it is cheap at $12.

I’ll have music to listen to, any music I want, so why wouldn’t I enjoy a good walk. The sun came out on that thought, which I took as a good sign.

I put Santana on.

I started to walk down [name of my street] Street, but as I got only 100 metres, let’s say, from home, a girl came out of her house with her bike. She leant it against the front fence as she put on her bike helmet, as I walked passed, then she rode off. My pace slowed, I really should ride my bike, I thought. It would be much quicker and just as good exercise. I walked a little further. No, really, I should ride my bike, I thought again. I went home and got my bike from the new garden storage unit, for the first time, thinking to myself, with a smile, it is exactly this kind of occasion that I bought the new garden storage unit, getting the bikes out of the dining room for the first time in years. I smiled to myself. Don’t you love it when plans work out so well.

I changed my recycled shopping bag, stuffed in my back pocket, for a back pack. I headed off on my bike, still listening to Santana. (I’m still very pleased with my updated greatest hits package)

I found the paint I needed, at the paint shop in Queens Parade, dark grey with a metal fleck through it, but they only had it in 4 litre tins, at $89 per tin. And I had to transport it home on my bike. Oh well, good thing I changed to the back pack. The nice man behind the counter put the tin into plastic bags and then I slid it into my back pack. It was heavy carrying it home like that and it was digging into my back by the time I got home, but it also worked fine.

I walked into town to the DVD shop. I bought Dangerous, Payment On Demand and Dead Ringer. The guy behind the counter commented, “I can see a common theme here,” he said. “And you have films from the 30’s, I think 1952 and 1964.” He and I said 1964 in unison.

I came home and put Dangerous on. It wouldn’t play. Grrrrrr, I thought. I put on Dead Ringer instead. It was still playing when Sam got home, perhaps an hour later.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

How Much Is Too Much Bette Davis

I was a wake at 5.30am. I had a piss then I lay in bed listening to Sam and Buddy snore. Buddy laying in “super dog” pose between us.

I lay there for a while, but once I am a wake, I am a wake. Sad Face. I got up pretty soon. It was still dark.

At 6.15am, I light a fire. It probably wasn’t necessary, but a fire is always nice, I think. Always nice. Hang the expense of the wood. Fuck it.

I prepared a second coffee and ate muesli with apricots. Halves. Gotta love an apricot half. Oats and fruit is divine.

6.20am. Leonard left the house. He is always the first to leave in the mornings.

7.30am. I was suddenly feeling tired, so I crawled back into bed with Sam and Buddy. Sam chatted immediately, it was nearly time for him to get up for work. I lay there with one eye, and one ear open.

Buddy lay his head on my chest and we both slept until 9.45am


I watched the end of Beyond the Forrest. A masterpiece they now say, where once it was considered her worst film, hopelessly miss cast, nobody had a good word to say about it. I love anything with Bette Davis in it, well, nearly anything, now is that because she is a great actress, or is that because I am gay?

I ate pies for lunch. Sam was having lunch at work for a change, I think it was somebody’s birthday.

The brick layer demolished the front wall and then disappeared. Tradies? Of course, Sam is not pleased about it, “Get it fixed. Where the hell is he?” I kind of like the wall in its demolished state, though, like a ruin, what with its non-linear outline and the low hanging hibiscus bush, every time I leave the house it feels like I am leaving my cave. Sam just rolls his eyes when I say such things.

I headed to Sam’s office to collect his parcel collection card. He tried to collect it in Brunswick Street, as advised on the card, however, the parcel/letter was at the Gore Street depot. (Grrr!)

I listened to Joe Cocker on my head phones. Ah Joe. What a voice. What a find in the second hand shop. How many of his CDs did I discover, was it 5? Five Joe Cocker CDs for $5 surely is a good buy in anyone’s language.

I am repainting the front gate before the brick layer comes back to hang it. (Which may mean I have weeks to get it done) I walked to Bunnings to get paint for the gate. I’d scraped some paint off the gate to match, but unfortunately, they couldn’t match it. I have to go to more of a specialty paint shop in Inspiration in Clifton Hill, or one of the Paintspot shops.

I headed to the Gore Street parcel depot to collect Sam’s letter.

Sam text me to ask if I’d just got home, as the front door sensor told him somebody was home. I told him it was probably Leonard. Sam has installed sensors on our front door, our back door and our roller door, which all report activity to his iPhone.

I went to Coles to get juice.

I hurried home, none the less. Funny, the thought of a burglary gets some pace in my step. I met Leonard at the letterbox. Literally, we just about walked into each other. He was heading out again. There is always someone home at our place, mostly me, which must be a protection from being robbed. And a dog, Buddy is straight up to the roller door and barking if he hears voices. Still, I’m thinking Sam enjoys installing all these things as much as they may act as a deterrent.

A Phone Call from a Stranger arrived. It’s really a Gary Merrill movie, more than a Bette Davis film, but it is an interesting film of its time.

It was cold and threatening to rain, sprinkling just a bit intermittently, so getting in doors was a good thing.

The fire was just a few red coals, when I got home, but as I say, if you can see red coals, no matter how small, the fire can be revived. And I revived it, with sticks collect in the back yard. Call me the fire whisperer.

I watched Phone Call from a Stranger, for the afternoon. Sam wasn’t coming home for dinner, he was having dinner with his work colleagues, so I could be a slob on the couch all I wanted, watch whatever DVDs I liked, eat junk food for dinner, not turn any lights on when it got dark, that sort of thing. You know, just generally sloth about.

Pity I didn’t have any pot.

But Leonard came into the kitchen, not long after I put Phone Call from A Stranger on, and cooked, which is unusual for him, the whole time I watched the film. He was preparing some feast, I guessed Daniel was coming over.

I watched Millionaire Hot Seat, once the film was over, a moment to reflect on what I had just seen, during which Leonard left the house. Maybe he was cooking for another night? Maybe? I was just deciding what to eat myself and gearing up to leaving the house to get it.

6pm. I went and got fish & chips for dinner, miss the news, the best time to go, I thought, just a tale of woe, the world pyscho drama and all that.

When I got back Daniel and Leonard were home. Daniel asked me if I wanted to have some of Leonard’s food.

“Leonard’s too shy?”

“But I have already bought fish & chips,” I said.

“I thought you might say that,” said cute Daniel. “And Sam?”

“He’s not coming home for dinner.”

Leonard sighed. “The one time I thought I could cook for you guys.”

I shrugged and smiled, in a ‘Oh Well’ kind of way.

Buddy was very excited, he leapt around all over the place, lots of people to snuggle with and slobber on and get pats from.

The night drifted. Sam came home late.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I Had A Dream

I got up sometime after 5am and had a piss. As it has been cold this week, Buddy has been sleeping in our room, he is supposed to sleep in his own bed at the foot of our bed but that seems to be a lost cause, now there is a surprise. He had leapt up onto the bed sometime in the night and had taken up the key position between Sam and I and, quite frankly, he was hogging the doona, and I kind of only drifted back to sleep a bit, not fully. I guess it was fair to say I dozed.

I’d had a dream and I was kind of processing that too, running it through my head trying to make sense of it.

I, we, (whoever that was) had to go up a river to find a meeting place. We were leaving from a large river junction, where 2 rivers met. We had to wade through the water to get to the meeting place, certainly at the last bit, if not for most of it.

“But it is easy,” they said. “And not far, in the actual water, just several hundred metres, at the most.”

I was the last to head up the river, I’m not sure why. I was unsure of the direction, or where I had to go, which was making me nervous. I remember feeling nervous.

As I dithered, or as I was about to leave, I tried to text people I knew for conformation of the directions, but nobody was answering me. So I hesitated. Then I met Jane, (my step-daughter) who said she’s been at the meeting place, but now she was on her way back.

“Yes, everybody is there,” she said. “Don’t worry about the last bit, when you will have to wade through water, as it is not very long.”

Then I meat Leah (Borg) (my now estranged, in real life, ex-girlfriend) who was telling me it was easy.

“Not a problem, my gym work certainly paid off,” she said. “Do you have a regular exercise regime?” I didn’t answer her question. She was doing, what seemed like, stretches. “I didn’t find it a problem.” Self satisfied smile. “But then I am quite fit.” I walked off mumbling, “Shut the fuck up and get the fuck out of my life.”

The river was wide, the undergrowth thick, with huge towering cliffs for banks. Instead of walking up the river bank, I walked along the ridge up onto the top of the cliffs and along, not really sure where I was going, but I was heading in the right direction. I suddenly stumbled into a gay guys flat. (someone I knew in the past, on the gay scene, who was weird, but I can’t quite place him now) In my embarrassment of accidently barging in on him, in my attempt to find an exit, I stumbled into his cement sheet lined bathroom. He followed, of course. I sweet-talked him, and he very quickly realised what I was saying was the truth, that I wasn’t a threat, and it was all just an accident, me being there at all.

“Sorry, sorry,” I said. “I’m lost and I have accidently stumbled in here.”

“But I have trade arriving right now,” he said. “What am I going to tell him?”

“Tell him I am your brother.”

“Yes,” he said. “I’ll tell him you are my brother.”

Falling into character quickly, as the hook-up came through the front door, and we came out of the bathroom, we linked arms. “Okay mate, good to see you,” I said.

“Yes, good to see you too bro,” he said.

He greeted the trade, and I exited through the front door.

Then I was stumbling down an embankment and into a lagoon. The bank swept around in a horse shoe shape, there were willow trees hanging down into the water. I walked around the bank, there were groups of men, but I knew Sam had left, I had missed him.

Then I saw Mark and Luke sitting with a large group of men whom I didn’t know. I walked up and joined them. “Hey,” I said. I sat with them.

I sat next to Luke. Mark sat at the other end of the group of men. One of the men had just rolled a joint. The roller puffed on the joint and then passed it over my head to Luke, who puffed on the joint. I knew Luke would pass the joint away from me, because that is what he has always done. It was a large group of men and I knew it would never make it around to me again. But when he had finished, he passed it back over my head to the man who’d rolled it. So, I still had the same problem, it would be passed away from me and had no hope of coming all the way around to me. I thought bugger it.

“Can I have a puff on that?” I asked.

I could sense a feeling of disapproval in the air at my request, as though I had gone out of turn, and despite the man who rolled it not wanting to hand it back to me, he did. As I took hold of the joint, it fell apart in my hands.

I woke up.

I got up around 6am.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017