It turns out I don’t “need” the internet as much as first thought. Of course, it’s certainly something to stem boredom, or in most cases to stem the tide of work that I should be doing. Lately I’ve been substituting internet addiction with GTA3 addiction (or supplementing, or both), which is fitting in just fine since I’ve also been substituting Coca Cola with NoDoz, and clean crockery and cutlery with empty pizza boxes and sharp sticks.
Last night, hepped up on NoDoz and ice-cream, Garth and I achieved the impossible — we cleaned the dishes. Considering we had run out of every kind of dish in the house, and were using such ridiculous substitutes as a sugar bowl instead of a bowl of any normal description, the cleaning was a step in the right direction. It’s also led us to the creation of new rules —
- if there’s a dish in the sink that is perhaps suited to your current dish-needing situation, rinse and use it rather than dirty a new one
- Always cover dishes that go into the microwave
- Do not let Richie eat anything while he is in the house. Not only does he devour things that do not belong to him and that were strictly off-limits (case in point: Lee’s apple strudel), he also never finishes anything, leaving a bite or two in the dish because of some strange neuroses of his
I also washed my clothes, which I had run out of. I was roaming the streets of Joondalup in a wet towel most days, and frequently went to work wrapped in my doona. If I had an important engagement I’d put on my good shoes and just go naked. It seemed like the best option, really. Now that everything is washed, I’ve decided to stick with the naked thing... mostly because it has been raining and raining and raining since the day I put the washing on the clothesline, so “dryness” isn’t really something I have in large amounts. NB: The preceeding paragraph is a damn lie. While I did wash my clothes, no excessive nudity was indulged.
I’ve revised the list, making additions and subtractions, perhaps even explaining certain choices. It’s still entirely impossible to define an order, though. I assure you that it cannot be done. If I were required to build a Top 10 punk songs, or Top 10 songs featuring the lyrical stylings of Joe Pesci then it’d be an easier job, but trying to order your 10 favourite songs of all time, from “worst” greatest song to “greatest” greatest song is a ridiculous and unachievable feat. So here’s the digs, ordered alphabetically
- the Beatsteaks: We have to figure it out tonight
Love songs normally shit me because they’re so cheesy and nobody seems to be able to write anything new concerning love. This song is somewhat different, the lyrics are a little abstract and the vocals are fantastic. I’ve always had a thing for unique vocals, and the layering that they’ve done here makes me wet every time. It’s also barely two minutes long, even though it’s not a typically fast punk song. I dig it, obviously.
- Garbage: Parade
Garbage are one of my favourite bands of all time. They pre-date all other musical trends in my life, and are enormously inventive. I suppose it helps to have two extremely qualified, multitalented producers in the band, but I think Shirley has always been the drawcard for me. I dig redheads, and I dig Scots. Parade is quite possibly the best (and thankfully unreleased) track from beautifulgarbage. I don’t know whether it’s the punk ethic kicking in, or whether it’s just that I don’t like to share — but songs are more or less ruined for me when they hit the Top 30 on the radio. The thought of people I hate (read: most people) listening to music I love isn’t a particularly pleasant one. I think Pete sums that one up best.
- Jewel: Amen
Though I’m deeply irreligious, religion is always a topic I relish. Whether it’s a discussion over beer and pizza, or in a song such as this, I like talking about religion. Jewel is also fantastic (read: she's a poet and a songwriter and also plays her guitar very well, making her a cut above any other pop singer I care to name) and I needed to include something. Amen just happens to be my favourite track from Pieces of You
- Massive Attack: Dissolved Girl
The progression of sounds in this song is too great to be ignored, and Massive Attack is always to be admired for their production values. I still don’t know why I only really like the songs with the chick singing in them... maybe I just don’t like the sound of the guy. Who knows.
- NOFX: Love Story
Again with the unconventional love songs, and again with the very fast punk rockin’. There are too many “favourite” NOFX songs to mention and some of them are even “better” than this one, but none of them give me the strange tingly sensation such as this.
- No Use for a Name: On the outside
OK, I’m noticing a pattern here. Love songs with deep and profound feeling, written in a way that is unexpected and completely out of place when compared to “normal”, radio-ready love songs. I don’t know, maybe I’m just a big softie.
- Propaghandi: Purina Hall of Fame
This is where the real rockin’ comes out. This song is both brilliant and beautiful, and (in true Propaghandi style) choc-full of political and social diatribe.
- Sarah McLachlan: Possession
Again with the love songs, although not punk. I first heard this song on Due South, which was a damn good show. That’s all I care to say on the topic
- Tool: Triad
It may be an instrumental track, but I really think that’s what gives Triad the edge. All the energy, all the creativity, all the art is focussed squarely on the music. No sacrifice of musical integrity just to make the lyrics fit, or just because “we needed another chorus”, just great, great music.
- VAST: Touched
There are few things in this world I respect more than someone doing everything themselves and doing it right. I also really like chants, which is why I like Enigma so much, and I like hard-rockelectro stuff, the fusion of styles. Oh yeah, kind of a love song.
Pizza is the staple food of the new millennium, I’ll tell you that. We bought ten of the things when they went on special last week and it’s been happy muching since then. Sure, I’ll throw in the occasional tuna casserole to spice up my dietary intake of whatever, but all in all it’s pizza 3 meals a day.
If you’ve been lamenting my absence lately (Fiona in particular), I must say that it’s due to the ridiculous schedule I’ve been running lately. Somewhere between TAFE at 9AM-5PM (though sometimes interchangeable with CLEANING) and WORK 6PM-12AM, I haven’t been out much. GTA3’s popularity has finally waned, since the missions have started getting lame. Not harder, per se, but much much longer. And when a mission is longer, if you fail you just have to do it again. At least in GTA and GTA2 if you failed a mission that was it, no second chances. So it’s no longer occupying 5-6 hours of my time each night after work. That’s a good thing.
I jumped on the bandwagon and wrote a quiz at QuizYourFriends.com, and here it is. Now I must away to my parents place for cleaning followed by Woolworthing. Away!
It disgusts me that in my absence, my parents house is about ten times cleaner than in my presence.
That is all.
Today, my new computer looks like a new computer. See, when I bought it I didn’t have a lot of money to throw around. I still don’t, but today I splurged and bought a new monitor and keyboard. So yeah, a spiffy new monitor - now operating at 1280x1024, and a spiffy new natural keyboard. mmm... natural. I’ve always hankered for a natural keyboard, ever since they were released. They just look so damn natural. Unfortunately, my über-dodgy typing habits mean that my speed and accuracy have just taken the biggest dive ever. All those times I was using my left hand to reach over and hit Y are causing barrels of trouble, and I’m back in remedial typing again, fingers on home keys, learning what should go where.
It’s my final week here in the pit o’ Boris ’n Garth, and I’ve got to say I’ve enjoyed myself immensely. I probably would’ve enjoyed myself a hell of a lot more if I wasn’t working so much, but soon enough I’ll be dropping down to an unprecedented 15 hours a week. I haven’t worked so little since I was 16, and for some reason I’m not earning much more now than I was then. Disturbingly, my third year as a Woolworths employee is coming up fast. I got my job on my 16th birthday (among other jobs I received that night) and it’s now approaching on the 3-year anniversary of that event. That is to say that it’s my birthday this Saturday, and it bugs me no end. 19. Nine-fucking-teen. That’s it for my teens, my precious, precious teens. I’ll never see those again once I hit 20, and the prospect of a birthday party is pretty dim right now since my parents’ house looks like a museum of home-open tidiness.
Ah parents, where would we be without them. I finally caught up with Laura and her beautiful little bundle of baby-flavoured goodness, Jenna. I’ve always been fond of babies. Not children, though - the sooner they start talking the sooner they start talking back, and I’ve always been strongly opposed to beings of inferior intelligence being given the ability to speak... parrots for example, but I suppose children have a world ahead of them where they might just exceed my expectations. Or they might shoot their classmates and bomb the school gym. Either way, I guess.
It always amused me that my college, in its magnanimy, would buy brand new G4’s — dual processors, DVD-R, the whole shebang — and not install MacOS X. I’ve been aching to try X since it came out, but nobody I know (least of all me) has it. But finally: there, in the corner of room A050, sits a solitary Mac alive with Aqua. Needless to say, I had a good long fiddle (not that kind of fiddle, you filthy bastard) and I must say I’m in love. God damn I wish I had a spare $11000. I’d love a G4, a PowerBook, hell I’d take an iBook if I could, and I swear I’d treat it right, exercise it every day! But nay, I am but a poor student. Just to add to my computer woes, I’ve discovered in the last few hours that my new “natural” keyboard (which I was raving so frantically about) isn’t really that fantastic. I mean, if I were a typist or a monkey attempting the greatest work of fiction in the history of mankind, sure, it’d be great, but I’m not.
I don’t type heavily for nine hours a day, I frequently need to type one-handed (not just for that, you filthy bastard), and the whole thing just seemed too damn big. So yeah, I know, I’m a tool. The dude at PLE tells me I might get partial store credit on the return, assuming that it passes his rigorous inspections. But hell, the box is open - that’s a 10% fee right there, and if it’s evident that I’ve used the thing I get no love. Shite. The ATO dropped me my tax return in a record 5 days, for which I’m extremely grateful considering 2 of those days were a weekend, and this sudden influx of spending cash makes me feel less guilty about buying those new peripherals... even if I don’t get refundage on the keyboard. Bankwest approved a $3000 limit increase on my credit card, which freaks me out like nobody’s business, given that I am (as I said) a poor student. Then again, it’s nice to know that if I’m in a bind I have $3000 at my disposal. I just hope to hell I don’t spend it on beer or something.
My birthday edges ever closer, like a ravenous hound. So far I think my only suggestion on presents has been a lot of cans of auto paint... and I haven’t even picked a colour yet, which could prove fatal. Hell, I don’t even want this birthday, why do I have to make out some kind of list of things I’d like to celebrate said day? I’ll be moving back home the day before, working for 11 hours on the day itself, and I have no chance of throwing a party considering my parents’ current “between houses” status. Between houses. It’s like being between jobs, only less embarassing.
Hoypoy had the gall to ask if there was “anything more” to my site. Well, true. There is nothing, despite my initial plans and my ever growing suggestions list, but my weblog and fiona’s weblog. Let’s explore a couple of the plans I have, but will not implement any time soon due to a lack of time and energy
- Reviews - I have an opinion on everything, and nobody is safe from my arrogance.
- Arts - I was considering finishing my screenplay, which would be cool, but I suppose I could also post poetry, photography, music, graphic art, et cetera
- Matt’s Haiku Movie Reviews - Matt “the slasher” Muir works in a video store. He likes crazy movies and dislikes good movies (read: his favourite movie is Electric Boogaloo and his most hated movie is Lord of the Rings). He reviews movies in haiku form.
- Cooking with Deb - Instant mashed potato is the staple of the poor college kid living away from home. There’s more you can do with it than just use it as a fucking side dish
Given that Garth’s roommates arrive home today, I’ve moved back with my parents (who might not be selling the house after all, crazy bastards). It’s nice to be back in a sea of queen sized beddery, though it’s making my back hurt like a motherfucker... so I think some “sleeping technique enhancement” may be in order.
Oh yeah, how could I forget, it was my birthday yesterday. worst. birthday. ever, as predicted. No presents, only money. Fiona collapsed with severe abdominal pain and nausea, so I spent much of the night in the emergency ward. Work was, well.. work. We had a blackout, which is panic stations when you work in the FRIDGE which has NO AUXILLIARY POWER for some reason, and that about sums it up. The lunch I’m having today (for friends, which means you aren’t invited) will probably flop, since I only thought of actually celebrating my birthday at the last minute, so invitations (SMS, of course) were very last minute.
At least I have DSL back.
Lunch lifted the suckiness level of my birthday. Or rather, dropped it. It raised the suckiness from it, thereby lowering the suckiness level.
Clarko: yes girl?
Fiona: yes really.
Fiona: oh indeed.
Fiona: what are you doing?
Clarko: i might have a beer. remember how i planned to drink a beer before bed every night, but never bought any beer?
Fiona: yes. have a heineken.
Clarko: can do
As I sit here nursing a Haagen, I ponder musical fame. What brings fame to relatively talentless slags like Weezer, Holly Valance and Eminem? Why do many quality bands (and yea, artists) go unnoticed? Even some of my own favoured bands, like NOFX, are essentially musical hacks. What makes them popular?
The answer, my friends, is gimmick
Not all gimmicks are as easy to spot as Slipknot’s. Holly Valance’s gimmick is “I used to be on Neighbours and everyone in England loves that show so I moved to England, sucked some cock and now I have a very popular, extremely over-produced hunk of tripe with my own breathy vocals on top because I don’t have a strong enough voice to sing.” It always amused me that a band as shitty as KISS could achieve such fame by painting their god-damned faces. I mean fuck. They looked like women with that shit on. Gene Simmons attempted some kind of satanist look, bringing a little attitude to the mostly-stale musical subculture that is bassists, but he generally just looked like an ass.
I’m convinced that Eminem is a really nice guy under the media story. He probably has a teacher’s certificate and taught 3rd grade at his local primary school before breaking into the music biz. I’ll bet he has a painting on his fridge from one of his students. It says “I love you Mr Mathers” and has a picture of him next to a building that says “I love school.” You wanna know how he broke into the music biz as a misogynistic, homophobic white trash homey? Gimmick. Anyone can do it. Come up with a gimmick you can live with, writing music you can also live with, and bust up your local scene. Some people will love it, some people will hate it, and you’ll get plenty of attention both ways. There is no such thing as bad publicity.
Anyone that has ever heard your music and thought that you were OK will react strongly to being told that you suck. Telling a person that their favourite band (or even one they are only casually interested in) sucks is a direct insult to them because it insults their taste. It’s the new discrimination: you can’t discriminate against people based on things out of their control; like sex, race, religion or sexuality; so taste-based discrimination has hit new highs. You like Ron Howard? He’s a fucking dweeb who should’ve disappeared when Happy Days did. You like techno? Go jive your phat jams somewhere else, synth boy. Like I said, there is no such thing as bad publicity, since people get offended when you dis their taste. Publicly-expressed negative opinions of you and your work cause massive backlash in your favour. Genius.
Of course, finding your niche is the hardest part. You need to find a genre you can write good music within, whilst pushing the boundaries just a little so that everyone knows you’re innovative. You need to like that genre, so you won’t get bored playing it on your world tour. And finally, you need a gimmick. Sexiness, trashiness, weirdness, angst, rebellion, they’re all so common but they all work so well. Again, stick with a gimmick you feel comfortable doing for years. If you value your kidneys, you might not feel comfortable getting hammered every second night so you can be the larrikin on stage. If you value your public image, being a xenophobe won’t help with the news crews... and Reverend Fred Nile will probably rally to stop you touring in Australia.
Sure, I have a genre and a gimmick picked out, but I wouldn’t tell you... you’d probably steal it. You’d probably have a tough time guessing it just by looking at my Top 10, but go knock yourself out if that’s your thing.
So why, you ask, does a powerful gimmick bring fame to a mediocre band? And why does a powerful gimmick bring superfame to a good band? Identity. Adolescent teens are looking for an identity, and you’re it. I hate to admit it, but the same happened to me in my teens. When you’re growing up you’re looking for a sense of self, something that defines you as an individual — as something other than your parents’ child. Most often, music fills the void. Angry? Try rap, or even Rap-Metal. Angsty? Try punk. Horny and pilling off your tits? Electronica. Sad and stoned to boot? Any English band. You get my drift? Good.
It’s 2AM, I’m hopped up on NoDoz, and I’m about to attempt a really, really shitty assignment. Who but Shakil could assign such a shitty, shitty assignment? And for Instructional Design for fuck’s sake, the shittiest subject I’ve had all year! Admittedly, it’s only 2500 words or so, which is pissant compared to what we did (and will be doing next year) at university, but god damn. It’s also really, really cold, which only makes work more difficult. I thought it was spring! I thought I was looking forward to a pleasant 24 degrees! Why do you smite me, Gamblor? Why?
The Hoypoy, the man who craves more might get more than he bargained for. Since one of my favoured subjects this semester is Animation2D, in which we are required to create a cartoon character, I figure I might as well integrate word and picture and start a web comic. Everyone likes web comics, especially when they’re reactionary and cynical, so why the hell not. I figure I should start a cam portal too, since more and more people I know are acquiring digital cameras. It's not like it requires effort or anything.
It turns out that Bob the Angry Flower is actually a pretty decent comic. I’m surprised I never paid it any attention before now, seeing as how Adam Thrasher (of Space Moose fame) spoofed it in Bob the Turgid Phallus. Adorable.
All of a sudden, auto paint has become an all-consuming sickness.
“Hi, do you have any more Toyota Royal Blue paint? NO?! Why not? What do you mean you only carry one can of it at a time? What is this, wartime?”
I feel like an old person. Wait, older person, since we’ve been told “they’re not old, just older” by the government, “they’re useful for all kinds of things! Like knitting, and smelling funny, and taking up chairspace!”
I have a feeling I’ll pay for those comments later. My good friends at the karma council will see to that. After all, the reason I feel like an old person is because my knee is playing up... or should I call it my trick knee. Sometimes, when standing up from a semi-recumbent position (read: sitting), my knee screams out in pain as if the very joints were working against eachother to void my attempts to stand. It’s happened before, the first time during sex, which really harshed on my mellow (read: hurt like hell). But that was years ago, and recurrences have been few and far between until the last couple of days.
My latest PC peripheral purchase? Today I wasted a paycheck on a graphics tablet. This WACOM, actually. I decided on a Wacom because they come with such damn good references. But be damned if I got a mouse or a copy of Photoshop LE with it, damn TANG for their bastardry. Anyhow, I’m yet to do anything workable on it, since I figure I should master some kind of technique before applying it. For some reason, art feels more wholesome when created on a computer... which may or may not expose my supreme nerdiness. Oh well, web comicry here I come.
pay no attention to what the girl says, the only true indicator of a summer in it’s infancy is the ability to wear shorts. Sure, I’ve had said ability for a couple of days now, but I haven’t exercised that ability (nay, privelege) because I’d rather wait a couple of days and make sure summer is really here to stay. Today, I wear shorts. It’s a warm, dry day and I couldn’t be happier.
Wait, I could be happier, because I haven’t finished my Instructional Design assignment that was kinda due wednesday and is definitely due today. But I’ll substitute the satisfaction of a job well done with copious amounts of alcohol. Tonight is, after all, the Ecoms Masquerade Ball and tomorrow I’m playing hookey from work to attend a kegger. Genius.
The ball was fantastic, and that’s all I can really say on the matter. This was my second year at Ecoms, and I must say that this year topped last year despite the fact that we missed the pre-drinks.
Security was extra tight this year with a whole heap of blacklights and fluorescent powders and so on to stop “good time piracy” dead in its tracks. I understand that Good Time Piracy is as serious as video game or musical piracy these days, which is something to be concerned about. All those Good Time Pirates probably have a better time than us regular paying schlubs because they have the “I’m getting away with it” thrill to boot. Damn pirates.
My mask won some kind of prize, which is interesting. I suppose I was one of few people who put effort into their masks (seeing as how mostly everyone just bought a mask from a toy store or something), but I dunno... I look kinda like Domo Kun. That’s a good thing, though. The rest of the night was a flurry of suit and skin, breasts and dancing. A good time was had by all, and I won’t hear otherwise.
What’s that? Keggers are the bizomb? And you discovered today that not only are mass-produced PC’s (see: Dell, Compaq, et al) ridiculously simple to upgrade, but there’s also a fair amount of money to be made in the practice of upgrading peoples’ computers for them? Good work Chris, you’re a genius
That’s the kind of thing that my brain tells me when I go to sleep at night. He also tells me that I’m super-intelligent, very strong, good-looking and great in bed. OK I admit that he’s lying about the “good looking” and the “very strong” part, but that’s because he’s trying to bribe me, trying to get beer or caffeine, or some other drug that makes him happy. Stupid brain.
I don’t get to see a lot of TV these days, but since I spent much of this evening at Fiona’s place it seemed like the perfect time for killing brain cells. We watched the Edwardian House of Something or Other and Drop Dead Gorgeous. Not to mention John Grisham’s The Rainmaker, but the thing that struck me most was some kind of show that kept attracting Fiona’s channel-surfing trigger-happy index finger whenever a commercial break interrupted our scheduled viewing. It was about celibacy. Those that know me best know that I was celibate for about a year, from late 2000 to late 2001. Not by choice of course, this celibacy was because I’m a loser, but the show we watched tonight was talking about voluntary celibacy.. something to do with happiness, something to do with religion, it was all very sketchy.
Dozens of emotionally retarded adults were onscreen talking about how great their celibacy was, and how fantastic the institute of marriage would be for them, because they would be waiting for someone who respected their genitals and because “my husband will be the best sex partner I’ve ever had.” No fucking shit. You’ve never been laid and you think your future husband will be the best lay you’ve ever had? Whoa.. did you figure that out all on your own?
I was starting to get the impression that these women (there were one or two men, but the dozens of untouched women generally caught my eye more frequently) might be a little disappointed when they finally did get their man in the sack, seeing as how the imagination is a much greater partner than they could ever hope for, when a psychologist/sex therapist/voodoo cock doctor popped up on screen with a plain, thoroughly amusing truth: Most virgins marry other virgins, so although their new partner really is the best lay they’ve ever had, they’re both as sexually inept as eachother and haven’t the slightest notion of how to please eachother, leading to disappointment all round
It’s so deliciously depressing that I couldn’t help but laugh my ass off. Then I told Fiona that I was taking a vow of celibacy — and she cried. Then I told her that we would enjoy our sex much more when we get married — and she cried even more. Then I told her I was lying — and she said she knew.
I’ve spent the last couple of hours working on the comic strip. Y’know, redeveloping characters (it now appears that my Anim2D character won’t appear at all), deciding on a layout, blah blah blah. I could probably have the first strip done by tonight, but I think I’ll get a couple of strips out of the way, giving me a little room to breathe before the next comic is due. It became apparent a few minutes ago that nobody in this world is capable of cooking a McCain’s pizza to perfection. There’s such a fine line between doughy and burnt that I fear I’ll need to spend more time staring at the oven than I will enjoying the pizza.
Maybe frying the pizza would be a better option.. I don’t see how, but I’m sure additional oil would benefit a pizza greatly
Work is starting to become a real pain in the ass. Same with college, really. I’m just now starting to really doubt whether I should go back to uni next year. I know it seems like the good option — actually it is the good option, but I just don’t know whether I’ll be able to follow through with it. Something I’ve discovered about myself recently is that if I’m not doing something I absolutely love I tire of it quickly. If it challenges me in ways I don’t want to be challenged, I’ll just try to ignore it.
Case in point — the assignment that was due last week at college. I still haven’t started it. Why? I don’t like the assignment, I don’t like the class that the assignment is for and I don’t like the teacher that takes the class. It was the same in high school, the difference was that I breezed through high school without trying because of my baffling intellect. Regardless, something needs to be done. I can’t have work, school, a girlfriend, a hobby and a business all at the same time. Maybe I should hurry up and get Levelseven up and running properly and then make that my work, thus eliminating Woolworths from the equation. I would rather that than quit school so I can work at Woolworths and try to develop a business on the side.
I give up.
I know I’m just recycling Jason’s garbage when I say this, but check this optical illusion out. That is beyond ridiculous. Again, just like Kottke and Andy, I opened it in photoshop just to check it out and make sure it was real. Damn fucking straight. I think I’m gonna go lie down now.
Oh yeah, the comic and a new layout here at decaffeinated arrives on monday. Look out. The weblogs are going to take a back seat, and so will text on the whole. The front page layout is extremely minimalistic, employing some very cool CSS I’ been toying with, meaning changes all over the place. Stay tuned.