I'm cold right now and I've been cold for a long time. Maybe I should turn on my little fan-heater and bring it over here to warm me up, but it's not that bad and I don't want to leave off typing once I start. Anyway there's something not right about having a heater on continuously – it's like, every moment that it's on, it's adding to my electricity bill. These days I often turn it on just as I'm getting into bed, and point it at myself for a few minutes before I get under the covers, because the bed is always too cold at first and it takes ages to warm up. But I never have it on high.
My friend Boris has been driving me crazy. He's releasing a CD single soon – the date for the launch has been set for a couple of weeks away and he hasn't finalized the cover-artwork yet. He experiments with artistic ideas in Photoshop, and then he emails the resulting images to me and asks for my opinions. Then he comes over to my place and tells me to do stuff to the artwork that he doesn't know how to do because he doesn't know enough about Photoshop. And while I'm trying to do what he says, I sometimes produce unintentional effects along the way, and Boris looks at the effects and decides he wants to go in a whole new direction.
Thus, the whole project is plagued with indecisiveness. He wants my opinions about which versions to use, but he pays very little heed to my advice. I feel obliged to help him because I'm a member of his rock band, and when it comes to digital image manipulation, he'd be lost without me. But he changes his mind over and over again, and he tells me on the phone that he wants little changes made to the artwork and he wants them emailed to him as soon as possible. And then he says the printer is going to need the images in tif format instead of jpg format so I have to convert them all. This sort of thing makes me realise why I don't become a professional graphic designer – because dealing with clients would drive me crazy. And Boris isn't even paying me.
I don't think Boris reads this web-site. I have hinted that he should read it, earlier in the year when I gave him a piece of paper with the address written on it. And then I asked him "Did you check out my web-site?" He replied "Yeah, that's pretty cool." And that was all. So I don't think he really went into it deeply. Otherwise he would have at least asked me why I'm calling him "Boris" in these pages, instead of his real name. In any case, I don't really care if he reads it or not.
It's the last day of July and that means tonight was my last chance to attend an exhibition, in accordance with my "July Plan" to see as many art exhibition openings as possible. So I went to a local one, by an artist named Basil Kouvelis, but it was a little disappointing. There were hardly any people. The artwork was a collection of abstract oil paintings, but I didn't really get the point of them – it was like he was just splashing the paint colours all over the canvas without any care, as if he'd received a call from someone saying, "I'll give you a thousand dollars if you can produce twenty paintings in five minutes." But the worst thing was, there was no free alcahol, at least none that I could discern. So I didn't stay for more than a few minutes.
Walking home from this exhibition, I saw a pay-phone. I had tried to call my friend Mishka twice earlier in the day, but she wasn't answering her mobile phone. I don't know much about mobile-phones, but I've heard some of them display the name of the caller when the phone rings. "So maybe," I thought, "she saw that it was me calling and she decided not to answer it. Thus following her pattern of avoidance. But if I call from a pay-phone, she won't know who it is so she'll have to answer it."
So I called her. It's been a long time since I spoke to Mishka and for a while I thought she was avoiding me because all my efforts to get in touch with her by email had failed. But tonight when I spoke to her, she seemed as friendly as ever. She said she hadn't checked her email in a while, and she added that she would check it immediately to read my message and reply to it. And she said we should "catch up."
So I didn't need to worry – Mishka's pattern of avoidance was all in my imagination. It seems so obvious to me now, that some people don't check their email for more than a week, 'cause email is not that important. I used to be the same way. So Mishka is still my friend.
I walked home and ate half a lolly. Then I went out to a nightclub called "Revolver Upstairs" – it was one of those nights when they were playing all manner of hip-hop music. I paid ten dollars to get in. I probably could have gotten in for free because the door-girl asked me "Did you pay earlier? You did, didn't you?" but I said no. And then she asked me if I was a student – I probably could've got a discount if I'd said that I was. There were a lot of students in the audience tonight – in the gig-guide it was labeled as Monash University Greenweek Night, whatever that means.
The first band were an eight-piece funk band called Wezev and they were amazing – I especially liked the way they looked so young and inexperienced but their sound was really refined, and half the musicians were cute females. I wanted to dance to the funky live hip-hop, but the rest of the audience was just sitting down on the chairs so I didn't want to be the only one. But I suspect I'll try to get along to another Wezev gig in the future if I can.
Flash animation – click on the word to get the revolver stamp on your wrist
Later on, Curse Ov Dialect played, but they weren't really a band, they were a bunch of wild rapping guys and a DJ. At first it seemed like the crowd weren't really into them, there was no dancing and maybe some people were thinking "These men are fools – what's with all the wild antics and the silly costumes?" But then, they did this thing where they pretended to be bigots insulting eachother in an amusing satirical way, and that really went over well, with the audience laughing at the funny bits. And after that, everything they did sounded a bit better.
Music Vs Physics were the headline act, and the crowd got up and danced to the hip hop music at last. They became progressively wilder as the night continued, and I began to have a lot of fun. You know what I really like about a gig like this? It's those moments when you're dancing and you realise that a space has opened up just behind you, or beside you, so you suddenly realise you've got extra room to move. And when everyone puts their hands up in the air and waves them, that's cool too. In the last song they had a bunch of guest rappers so the song went on for a long time, and it had an awkward kind of end 'cause someone handed the mic to this guy in the audience who might have been intending to be a guest rapper spontaneously, but in the end he just stood there and did nothing. But the audience didn't mind, because the record-scratching guy was doing that thing that sounds good. I wish I could be a guest rapper.
I didn't have any drinks tonight, but this was the most fun I've had at a gig for at least several months. After the band was finished, the fun didn't end there – I went into the back-room where the DJ was playing dance music, and I joined the people who were dancing beside the turntables. Sometimes I stopped dancing a bit to analyse what the DJ was doing, with the tempo-synchronisation and the thing with the EQ knobs, and I tried to predict when she would take one record off while the other continued to spin. It sounded so good, I could hardly tear myself away from the scene. I wish I could be a DJ. But you can't be everything.
Oh, and now Boris is coming over to change more things with the cover artwork – and he still hasn't made a decision so he wants me to burn several versions of the CD cover artwork onto a CD-R, even though he's just hours away from taking the files to the printer.
I worked on my painting this week, concentrating on the girl's face and getting all the pool-balls to be the same size. It's hard to do perfect circles with a paintbrush, especially so low down on the painting-surface when the bottom of it is resting on the floor – I feel like I want to spin the whole thing around so I can get the paintbrush at the right angle.
There's a show called Alias which is about this girl whose job is to steal information from evil people, and sometimes when she's doing it, people attack her and she does some fighting, sometimes with a bit of fancy gymnastics thrown in. It gets exciting when she's mingling with the evil people pretending to be on their side, and the audience is thinking, "Oh no! She's going to get into trouble!" but she's always very smart and manages to wriggle her way out of any difficult situation. I always watch this show, because if I miss one episode I'll lose track of the complicated plot.
This Wednesday I went to the karaoke and I was sitting alone as usual when this lady came up to me, her name was Carly or Kylie, and she said I could hang out with her friends if I wanted, 'cause they were sitting nearby. She was nice. But I didn't do anything. Later on I sang a song called "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel. I was a big fan of Billy Joel in years gone by so I know all his songs, but Uptown Girl is the only one that's on the karaoke list. Later still, I sang a song called "Army" by Ben Folds Five, and that was more fun – I sang it just perfect and I had that ecstatic feeling like I was king of the stage.
Historical photo of the week:
Stephen Clark, 19 years old.
Music: Veruca Salt is a rock band with two female singers. I just recently listened to their early album "American Thighs", and they sound sometimes really powerful, sometimes sweet, always with well-written songs. I can just imagine being part of a cult following of this band if I had paid attention to them in their early days when they weren't famous. Of course I can't be a fan of them now that they're all expensive and one of their singers has split, but at least I can obtain all of their music that I can get my hands on for free.
I've started reading a book called "Survivor" by Chuck Palahniuk. It's very good – I'm already up to page 207, of 289 pages, but that's not very much when you consider that the pages are numbered backwards. The story is about this guy who likes to clean things, and he likes to encourage people to commit suicide, and bit by bit we find out that he was a member of this religious cult of people who committed suicide, and his family all killed themselves because they were members too, but he survived because the government authorities prevented him from killing himself so he's in a weird state of mind and we sense that he's going to try to do something drastic. I'm interested.