My friend Shaun, who is the bass-player in the band that I'm in, said that he was having a party at Halloween. He said it would be nice if the band could set up their instruments in his house and play music to the party guests. So we made plans to meet at his house around half-past seven to begin setting up. It was a rainy night. I don't have a car so I had to go there by tram, and carry my keyboard as well.
But that was a bit of a problem on this particular day because all the trams were full of people. Apparently there was some sort of big sporting event happening at the Melbourne Cricket Ground which is halfway down the tram route I wanted to travel on, and thousands of sports fans were going there by tram. I could tell the ones who were there for the sports event because they were wearing the team-colours. So I waited at the tram-stop in the city as tram after tram went by, absolutely packed with people – they had no room for a man like me with lots of heavy luggage.
I didn't have a map, but I seemed to recall that there was another tram-route which went to approximately the same destination by a different way. So I caught a different tram. It's a good thing that Shaun lives near the junction of two tram-routes, otherwise I don't know what I would have done. As it was I had to walk almost one kilometre with my heavy keyboard, and that wasn't very pleasant. But once I arrived at the house, I had a nice rest.
Shaun's living-room was decorated with black plastic all over the walls. There were also coloured lights and things like bats and fake cobwebs to make it look spooky. I needn't have worried about being late, because none of the other band-members were there when I arrived. The party hadn't started. But they already had a DJ playing dance music really loud. I sat about on the couch until my friend Boris arrived with my keyboard stand, and then we all set up the instruments. It was a bit more complicated than a regular gig because we had to organise the public-address system as well. But on the other hand, it was only a small room so we didn't have to worry about putting microphones next to the drums and stuff.
By the time we were ready to play, there was a medium-size audience of party guests in the living-room. It was very dark so I had a bit of trouble reading my chord-charts – I would've made a lot of mistakes, but then again I'd practiced this music so often that I was more or less guided by instinct. We played eleven songs. There was no dancing, but the party guests clapped nicely. And after the set was done, we packed the instruments away.
The party continued and people were drinking all manner of things. I had some wine. I'm not really a "party person" – in fact, the last time I went to a party at someone's house was more than seven years ago. That's because, I don't get invited to parties very often. And you know, the funny thing is, this year I was actually invited to two parties on the same night (Halloween parties) and I had to not go to one of them because I didn't want to let the guys in the band down. But anyway, when I go to a party I usually enjoy it, despite my un-social tendencies.
The DJ was playing hard techno-dance music all night, except when the band was playing. It was a sharp contrast, considering it's a rock band. I don't mind a bit of electronic music, but it tended to get on my nerves a little towards the beginning of the night when hardly anyone was in the room, and I wished the DJ would break it up by playing a little jazz or blues or adult-oriented-alternative music. But towards the end of the night, after I'd had a few drinks and the crowd was on a happy vibe, I could appreciate the electronic music better. And meanwhile, people were coming up to me and saying that the band had been good.
I wandered to different rooms and observed the people and sunk into a drunken, happy state of mind. I would've liked to have stayed in that house and in that mood for several more hours, but my friend Boris said he had to leave. I had to go with him because, there was no other way to get home except getting a lift with him. Anyway I guess it was for the best because I think I'd reached a peak with my intoxication and if I stayed any longer if would be all downhill. Boris dropped me off at my house with all my equipment.
Flash animation – move your mouse over the spherical objects
Two days later, I went to my friend Cat's place. She said there would be an interesting auction in her area on that day, it was an auction for a rich beautiful house which she liked. So we went there to see the auction. But it turned out that it the wrong day – the auction was next week. "Oh no," said Cat.
So we just sat there outside the rich beautiful house for a while, and Cat's friend Ian was there – he asked us some questions from a difficult crossword puzzle in the paper (so as to keep our minds occupied) but we didn't know many of the answers. So it looked like there was nothing to do except go home.
But you know, the nicest things can happen unexpectedly. A guy came along who was in charge of the rich beautiful house and he knew all about it. He asked us if we'd like to come inside and have a look. So we went inside, and it turned out to be even better on the inside than the exterior would lead you to expect. It looked old, but obviously a lot of work and money had gone into its maintenance. The man led us around to all of the rooms, explaining things to Cat along the way, like the house's history and what had been done to it. What a house. We were all very impressed by it, especially Cat who was dreaming of how nice it would be to live in such a place. But perhaps the inspection also made her sad that she could never afford to buy it.
After that, we went back to Cat's little house and watched a movie on DVD. It was called "X Men 2" or maybe just X2. It's about this super team of super heroes, and they go to this secret school for people with genetic mutations. But then the government finds out about the secret school and they invade it, thinking that the mutants could be dangerous. Some of them escape and join forces with this other mutant villain who is trying to destroy all humans, and the mutant leader is taken prisoner by this evil guy who tries to use him to kill all the mutants. And at the end, a dam collapses and all the water comes out and drowns this lady who sacrifices her life to save all her superhero friends. And then it all turns out all right in the end.
There was this one guy who had the power to teleport all over the place, and he used this power to try and assassinate the president, but I didn't really understand why he did it, because he turned out to be a good guy in the end. This was a good movie because it was exciting and action-packed, with lots of special effects where people were fighting eachother with super-powers. And it had a good message about how we shouldn't be mean to people just because they're different. And then, after the movie was over, we spent a few more hours watching the special features on the DVD, showing the story behind the movie and how they did the stunts and effects. They even answered my question about the teleporting guy, explaining why he attempted to kill the president and how he was brainwashed and programmed to do it.
(not my photo)
When we could take no more movie-making magic, we turned off the TV and wondered what to do next. It was after nine o'clock. I thought maybe I should go home. I wanted to have some dinner, because I had been eating chips and stuff throughout the movie and I knew they would give me a stomach ache unless I balanced it out with some proper food. "But on the other hand," I thought, "I don't want Cat and Ian to think that I just want to get away from them."
"But on the other hand – I don't want them to feel obliged to keep me entertained." Cat and Ian were discussing the possiblility of going up the street to make the evening more interesting, but Cat was talking like she'd rather stay at home and chill out.
"Listen to them talking," I thought. "They're so witty and entertaining – just listening to them is enough to make me want to stay. But the longer I stay, the more likely they are to embark on another activity which would extend the evening and irritate Cat – not to mention my stomach. Maybe I should just wait for a jumping-off point in the conversation." So I did.
I left Cat's house and went to the station. There I came across a group of teenage boys. I ignored them for a while and then one of them said to me "Hey, see that guy over there? You should beat him up" and I said "No" and he goes "Why not?" and I go "I don't want to" and he goes "But it's fun beating people up" and I go "No" and he goes "Whereabouts do you work?" and I go "I don't work" and he goes "You a dole-bludger?" and I nodded my head. And he goes "That's the way. Do you smoke pot?" and I go "No" and he goes "Well what are you doing?" and I said "I'm waiting for a train" and he goes "What?" and I go "I'm waiting" and he goes "Okay."
This week I worked on my painting but not much. There's a girl in the painting and I'm trying to get her face right – at the moment I think she's got too much darkness in her cheek and not enough soft transition between colours on the neck. I also worked on the fine details of the lunar-module, but I didn't need to be so careful there, 'cause, y'know, no-one's going to notice if I get that slightly wrong.
Tonight I went out to see that movie called Matrix Revolutions. It's about this guy who has something wrong with his eyes, and then there's this other guy who's sixteen and he pretends to be eighteen so that he can get into the army, and there's this lady who flies her plane above the clouds for a few seconds and then a metal bar sticks through her. Also, there was this lady who was sitting in another guy's seat, and he asked her why she was sitting there, and she said it was because her seat was taken by somebody else.
Last Wednesday I watched this show called The Secrets of Psychics Revealed. They had these pretend psychics who fooled an audience into thinking that they had occult powers like telepathy, clairvoyance, and the rest. It was all a bunch of conjuring tricks and they showed us how it was done. Those psychics can be pretty deceptive. And those phony fortune-tellers who have people pay them money to give advice, most of which is a prepared script – what a scam. It's a good thing programmes like this exist, otherwise we'd be thinking "Oh my goodness – these people really do have supernatural powers." We should all be sceptical, 'cause there's so many con-artists out there.
At the moment I'm writing some lyrics to a song about a local band called Mint. It's a bit weird writing a song about a band, especially one that broke up last year, but I want to express my feelings about how I liked them so much. Mint played your basic pop-rock music with female vocals, and they did it very well – their songs were catchy, and intelligent too. So when people hear this song that I'm writing, they won't know what Mint is, but hopefully they'll appreciate my clarity of expression.