Last Sunday I went to the St Kilda Botanical Gardens, for the big "Global Garden Party" which I'd heard about – I'd seen chalk writing on the pavements around St Kilda advertising it for weeks in advance. I heard there was an anti-war protest rally the same afternoon, in the city, but I decided not to go to that 'cause the "Global Garden Party" sounded a bit more fun. I think there was a similar thing last year but I missed it because I didn't know.
St Kilda Botanical Gardens is a pleasant place to go at any time, because the grounds are well kept and there are flowers and palm trees and a pond with a fountain. But today it was especially good because of all the people. There were stalls and tents set up. I went and sat in front of the main stage, and by and by the Cook Island Polynesian Dancers came out. They played traditional ethnic music on wooden percussion intruments and did the dances of their native indiginous cultures. It was cool. No, maybe it wasn't. But the youngsters liked it.
One of the Cook Island Polynesian Dancers
I wandered over to another part of the garden where a gospel choir was singing. The sky was cloudy and there were already a few raindrops in the air. The choir sang a rain-song, something like "Oh Lord, let it rain, let the rain come down" or something, and suddenly the rain did come down – I mean it came down really heavily. And there was thunder too. So everyone ran for shelter, and the lucky ones who had umbrellas (like me) put them up.
There's not much to shelter under in the Botanical Gardens. I mean there's trees, but they don't provide much shelter when the rain really gets going. Some people got drenched. I noticed some folks sheltering under a big Wilderness Society banner – they held it above them with their hands. I knew that the water would leak into my bag and damage my camera if I exposed it to too much water, so I just stood there, and stood there, keeping as still as possible so that no drops could find their way around the umbrella to me.
I don't like getting wet, but most people don't mind it so much. It wasn't very cold. So the rain didn't really dampen the festival atmosphere. I saw this one guy, he was a strange guy, he went for a swim in the pond. And when he wasn't swimming, he was dancing. This guy is always dancing – I've seen him a number of times in years gone by, dancing alone outside shops, dancing at festivals to music that no one else is dancing to, always lost in his own little hyperactive world. People who see him would think, "That guy's crazy." But you know, he seems happier than us, so maybe he's just on a higher level of sanity that we can't even understand.
The man crawls out of the pond
There was no shelter in front of the main stage, but people stood there anyway with their umbrellas and their raincoats because the act on stage was Paul Kelly. He's very famous – he has a long career with several hit songs, and his fans would gladly suffer the inclement weather for the chance to see him. There was even an encore.
But my favourite musical act of today would have to be the last one, the percussion band called Tumba Rumba. The rain had stopped completely by the time they came out. They had zillions of drums and they really got the party moving. Everyone was dancing near the stage, regardless of how wet the ground was. And some of them were extremely wild. There were a lot of people with woollen hats and with dreadlocks. I spent half the time dancing and half the time taking pictures – it was a blast. I ran into someone I knew, too – my drawing-teacher from my art-course in 1996. He said hi. I left just before the end of the last song, because I wanted the music to fade away gradually instead of just stop.
My old drawing teacher, 7 years ago
(he looks the same now)
The next day, I went to see this movie called Tape. It's an American movie about this guy, who meets another guy in a motel-room, and they talk for a while, and then this lady comes along, and they talk with her, and they sort out some of the complex feelings they have about their interpersonal relationships. This is a different sort of movie from what I usually see – there's only three actors, and only one set, and it's one long scene. You know how in movies, they sometimes have one scene set in the night-time and then it jumps ahead to the next day? Well there was nothing like that in this movie – it was all in "real time". It doesn't sound very exciting, you know, just three people talking, but it is. See, one guy is this doofus, this loser drug-dealer who tricks his friend into confessing to a rape ten years ago, and he secretly records the confession on tape. Then they confront the lady with this, and she was same same lady who was supposedly raped but she says it wasn't rape, it was just normal love-making. And it's funny sometimes, they way they talk. At the end, the audience just cracked up laughing 'cause the drug-dealer guy flushed his drugs down the toilet 'cause he thought the police were coming, and then he found out that the police weren't really coming so he had flushed them for nothing so he was really sad, but in a funny way. This movie was cool.
I spent most of the next day working on my painting, it's coming along well (see the latest image below). You know, when I finish this painting I'll have to make an animated slide-show of the progressive images. I had to paint over some bits of the sky – I hope I can get them the same shade of blue again, 'cause I don't have the same sort of blue paint as I had at the beginning.
Last night, on the way home from the karaoke, I was walking up Brunswick Street (in a good mood, 'cause it had been a good night out), when I passed a bunch of drunken youths, there must have been at least ten of them, and they yelled at me, "Jack! Jack from Neighbours! Are you?" Apparently they thought I look like some famous actor on a soap-opera TV show. I was much amused. They followed me and kept asking me if I was Jack from Neighbours, but I said no, and I added "I don't know who you're talking about. I don't watch that show."
Jack from Neighbours on the left, me on the right
What do you think?
Flash animation – see what happens when you click on the notes.
Have your speakers turned on, otherwise you won't get the audio effects.
I bought this CD called "Lateralus" by Tool. I listened to it and it's kind of scary. I think it's exploring the darker side of someone's mind. What I like about it is the way it has a lot of different weird time-signatures. Sometimes the guitars are very heavy but it's not mindless noise like so much heavy-metal – it's well thought-out and complicated. And I love the cover artwork – it has this black plastic sleeve with all the information on it, and the booklet inside is all transparent plastic with pictures of humans with no skin, like scientific diagrams. And the outside information is like a diagram too, but it's like a schematic of an electronic circuit board – someone's put a bit of thought into that.
Historical photo of the week:
Stephen Clark, five years old
This Wednesday I went to the karaoke and I sang a slow song first, "Everybody Hurts" by REM, and I sang it pretty well except on the really high notes which sounded wrong. Towards the end I sort of curled up on the stage and then lay down, still singing with the microphone pointed down towards me, and then I got up again for the big ending. Later in the evening I did a faster song, "You Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer, it's a "rap" song. I have the lyrics for this song printed out at home and I sometimes practise it. I did it well and the crowd danced. At one point where it goes "break it down!" I said it two bars too early and that was a mistake but not too bad. My friend Cat was there, or "Kitty" as she sometimes calls herself, and she asked me for my web-site address so I wrote it down on a piece of paper that I had with me and she was so glad, she hugged me and then I went outside. Cat is cool – I think she might look at my web-site and see how I'm still an artist and everything.
Cat, Wednesday night
It took me a while, but I've finally finished the book "Gravitor" by Hugh Darrington (1971). It's a science-fiction book about this crisis in 2037 where the world is in danger of having its gravity increased by about 500%, thus killing everyone, because the authorities have been messing about with a gravity machine. And there's this guy, John Donnel, who saves the world with his quick thinking and clever ideas. At the end, we find out the the whole incident was orchestrated by a super-intelligent being in space who was accidentally created by the authorities, and this being is called "Gravitor" and he can control people's minds even though he's so far away. And I'm thinking Yeah, right. I wouldn't recommend this book. You know how when a book's really good, you just want to keep reading it and it's hard to tear yourself away? Well it wasn't like that with "Gravitor" – I kinda had to force myself.
Dontcha hate it – when it's Easter – and all the TV stations start showing repeats instead of first-run shows, just for a couple of weeks? I hate that. Why do they do it? 'Cause they're stupid.