Some of my friends were having a garage sale last Saturday, so I went over to have a look. They had some things out on the front porch that they wanted to sell. There were some very nice cut-glass animals, and ceramic dolphins, and old copies of "Ralph" magazine. I saw a cassette-cabinet and I thought, "Mmm, I need one of them," so I asked if I could buy it. My friend Cat said, "That will be two dollars. No, one dollar." So I went to get the money, but then she changed her mind and said it was free.
I waited for a while on the front porch but nothing much was happening – it wasn't exactly a busy sale. So I figured I would have a bit of time to watch Cat's DVD of Twin Peaks, the first episode. Twin Peaks was a series that was on TV once, many years ago – I didn't see it. But Cat said it was great, and so did lots of other people. So I watched the pilot. It's a serious drama about a murder investigation in a small town. People who watch this show would be thinking, "I wonder who killed the girl? Everyone seemed so surprised and upset, when they found out about her death." I can't even hazard a guess – no doubt there will be more clues to the mystery in later episodes, if I ever get around to watching them.
Meanwhile, some more friends had arrived. When the Twin Peaks episode was over, I went out on the front porch and saw them. They had this set of special racquets and shuttlecocks, and they were playing badminton on the front lawn. But they weren't really playing a game, they were just mucking around. Also, they had this set of trivia questions on cards from the game Trivial Pursuit, and they were asking questions in a similar informal way.
I knew the answers to some of the trivia questions, but I didn't speak unless no-one else knew the answers, which happened a couple of times. There was one guy, holding a badminton racquet, who seemed to know everything about a whole lot of obscure subjects. Sometimes, the shuttlecocks went onto the roof and no one could get them down because we had no ladder. One thing I found very impressive was that the conversations seemed to be littered with references and quotes from The Simpsons and South Park. When a car went past, Cat said that someone should get naked and stand in the street in order to attract attention to the garage sale.
But it was too cold to do that – it was starting to rain and the badminton players were getting wet. So we went out the back of the house where there was shelter and a barbecue was starting up. At first, they tried to start the barbecue by lighting lots and lots of paper. But that didn't really work. So they tried it some other way and before long they were cooking vegie-burgers and corn on the cob and bits of potato – it was like a good-tasting feast. The rain had eased off so people started playing badminton again.
While they played, they made all sorts of jokes. I was thinking, "Friends enjoy interacting together because they have fun with the playful conversation, making their own entertainment and feeling like they belong. I've never been a part of a social group which comes together without any extra musical or educational aims – I've never even seen such a thing, except in connection with Cat. Maybe if I were humourous and quick-witted, I could join in the funny conversation. I'm not. But at least I can gain a similar sort of happiness from observing it."
One guy got up on the roof to throw down any shuttlecocks which went up there. I got up on the roof of the outside-toilet, for a similar purpose, and I could watch the game from up there and try to catch the shuttlecocks when they zoomed towards me. Cat said, "Be careful!"
The friendly get-together continued until after dark, but I had to leave because I had a gig at the Hifi bar that night. I was playing there with my band, The Boris Pink. I arrived at the back-entrance to the inner-city venue and met with my band colleagues as they carried equipment into the auditorium. It's not the first time we've played at the Hifi bar – we've played there once before. It seemed really important and cool last time. But this time it seemed much less important – no big deal.
We were the middle act of three that night. The band before us were called Six Years Later and they were a nice rock band but hardly anyone was watching them – there were only about six audience people in the room. I was thinking, "It seems a bit pointless. And will it be just as empty when my band plays?" But I needn't have worried – there were more people who arrived later in the night, and the audience number swelled to about thirty-five at its peak, which was while my band were onstage. All the same, it was a very small audience for such a large venue.
People said that The Boris Pink played a fine gig – the mixing was good, the playing was beyond reproach, and they liked the way I faded the bird-noise into the synth-sample during one of the song transitions. Later we got off the stage to make way for the third band, a highly-charged chaotic band named The Left Hand Cuts The Right. They were heavy – the guitar was loud. When the singers weren't yelling incoherently into the microphones, they were jumping around the stage with their instruments like they were on fire or something. It was entertaining to see so much wild energy in front of us, but it's not the sort of music I'd pay for on a CD.
At the end of the night I took my equipment outside, in the alleyway at the back where musicians were driving their cars in to load up. By the time I'd sorted out who was taking which parts of my equipment home and helped them load it into their cars, it was after twelve-thirty. No one was available to drive me straight home, so I decided to catch a tram. I thought I'd be waiting for about half an hour at that time of night, but as soon as I stepped out onto the tram-route on Swanston street, I saw a tram going by. So I ran and ran to catch up with it, and I continued running and running, through the rain, two city blocks until I finally caught it.
Did you know that the most environmentally unfriendly thing you can do is have children? Human beings are like parasites on the earth – some are worse than others but we all have a negative impact on the environment. I was reading an article about that the other day.
A guy came to my place on Sunday, he was a real-estate agent. He came again on Wednesday. He stayed for about forty-five minutes each time while my flat was "open for inspection". Other people walked in, thinking they might consider buying the flat, but there weren't many. The living-room was in a state of perfect tidiness – I had to make it that way so that it would look attractive to potential buyers.
At the end of the second inspection, the estate agent said to me, "There's going to be two more inspections next Saturday and Sunday. I was thinking maybe you could make yourself scarce next time – maybe go for a walk, for forty-five minutes while the flat is open for inspections. You see, there are some things that the potential buyers might ask that they don't want to talk about in front of the tenant."
I was thinking, Hmmmm, I don't like the sound of that, but I just said "Okay."
Flash animation – click on the chair.
I have to seem co-operative with the estate agents, because my future is in their hands. During this time of flat-tidying I even bought a new chair for the computer workstation. It's one of those cool office-chairs with an adjustable back-rest and a seat which goes up and down on a cylinder of gas – not the most expensive sort, but certainly better than any chair I've bought in the past. What a chair.
It's been hard to work on my painting lately because I have to clear away the painting gear when the estate agent is coming around, but this week I worked on it a little and tried to complete the lunar surface on the right-hand side, along with a little American flag which will be in front of a little satellite dish when I'm done.
That show My Family is about this guy who's a father and he doesn't get much respect. It's a comedy from England. It seems like it shouldn't work because it's based on a tired old formula, but there are some jokes in it which really crack me up. Like, when the guy says something pompous and superior and his wife puts him down with a witty comeback, it's funny. And then they have this grown-up son who is really stupid. Last time, they had this plot-line where the guy read a newspaper which reported that he was dead, by accident, and then later on certain events led him to believe that he really was dead, without realising it, just like in that movie The 6th Sense. And the guy said, "I'm just like Bruce Willis!" and his wife was all like, "Ha!"
I went to the karaoke two Wednesdays ago and sang the song "Love Is In The Air" by John Paul Young. It was a good night for it – people danced while I sang. There were a lot of good singers on that night, and the average was pushed up significantly by the guy who sang "I Want You Back" just before eleven-thirty when I left – his performance was so dynamic, and so danceable, that the crowd just went off. I was so jealous of him, the way he got so much applause at the end.
I heard Stella One Eleven released a new album lately. When I heard that, I didn't know whether to buy it or not. See, the thing about Stella One Eleven is, their first album was incredibly good – they play the guitar and sing and it's all females at the front. They had heaps of really well-written songs on their first album, but their second album was not so good – maybe one or two good songs among lots of unmemorable ones. So will their third album be more of the same? I guess I probably won't buy it 'cause lately I've been deliberately trying to restrain myself from buying any CDs.