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yak’s tips for safer, happier festivities

Well, it’s Christmas next week so here’s some things to remember:
– To prevent a Christmas tree fire, select a fresh tree.
– When encountering a reindeer, do not raise your arms over your head.
– If you cannot extricate the person from the chimney, call the fire department for assistance.
– To catch a fish without a rod, make a net out of a forked sapling and a t-shirt.

YS @ 3:57 pm, November 30, 2004

The candle that burns twice as bright…

Of late, seeing someone follow the web-search string of my real name to this website is enough to have me breaking a too-cold sweat. Him n’ me have diverged to a point where it’s hard to say what would happen if they were met, or put together by someone else.

It was all okay though because I got an email in the following minutes from one of my firstname/lastname peers, residing in Sydney, asking what the website was. (It always strikes me as amazing when i see these visitors show up to and index page one or two levels down, ie. breaks.org/something/something/index.html — and they don’t think to backspace in the address bar to check the root page.)
I said, and mentioned to him that I’d just collated Google info on us replicants a month back. I asked which one he was. He said he wasn’t on google, but that he’d met another of us who was actually working for the same company as him.
I think it’d be fun to get us all together someday.
I erased all instances of Realname so it doesn’t happen again.

YS @ 9:54 am, November 26, 2004

funk seoul bruvva

Once at the Apollo Bay music festival I saw Australian comedian, Dave Hughes, do his stand up bit about unemployment and being on the dole and how he put Coles and Safeway on his form every week. I could really dig it — it was total funny and I laughed lots. But I did notice one middling to late middle-aged woman get up with a look of disgust and leave. Not everyone digs slackerdom and some people think it shameful.

If you are one of those people, well I got a fucking job now so are you happy damn it? I’m going to south korea to teach the blighters how to speak the English. I’m going at about mid-january. This isn’t another one of those things I’m making up. I know you probably think I’ll be making the whole thing up — like some major project into psuedo-fiction. I realise my general behaviour doesn’t lend itself to credibility. There’s some people out there who don’t even believe I’m the original yak sox — they think that someone came in, conked him on the head, took over, shut down spouting and started up sunny breaks in it’s place. That’s the general feeling in Seattle and they won’t relink to me again because of it.

It’s like the land of opportunity for slackers. I won’t be sending money back home to the family so that they might join me one day, although I’ll probably moan a lot and might take up the clarinet. This whole thing’s been in the pipeline for ages but I haven’t mentioned it because usually as soon as I do that, it doesn’t happen. Sure it’s a really well-beaten path but even travelling to Melbourne freaks me out. Unfortunately my reaction to anything new/unknown is that I get disturbed and confused – like at the travel agent on Monday. I walk in there sweaty from walking too fast at 2:30 in the arvo, not having had lunch yet and having spent the morning with a bunch of noisy unpredictable mentals and I’ve never been to a travel agent before. I thought he was going to try and rip me off, and the guy having a yankee accent didn’t help. I said loudly, Don’t treat me like some chump because I’m not—I’m not a chump.
It took ages. I didn’t realise global air-travel was so complicated. The guy turned out to be alright and got me a good deal. Either that or I’m a chump.

There’s not much else I can say because it hasn’t happened yet. I’m really going to try and go with the flow. I have this problem where I get uptight when I see large examples of the offings of ‘high-stage capitalism’. I’m just going to have to try and get over it and not thiink that the world is going to end next week because someone built a half-kilometre long swimming pool.

YS @ 10:40 pm, November 24, 2004

johnny howard’s surf team

You must tell us if any of these things below happened in the period Wednesday 10 November 2004 to Tuesday 23 November 2004.

Accomodation and Rent
· You bought the farm.
· You started living on a houseboat in downtown LA just like your heroes Steven Segal, Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell.

Income
· You got rolled.
· You know how to keep your mouth shut and Uncle Pauly will look after you because of it.
· You won second prize in a beauty contest.
· A gold watch.

Relationships
· You fell in love with the new fruitshop girl/boy.
· “It’s all about the ‘he said’ ‘she said’ bullshit. I think you better quit lettin’ shit slip.”
· Someone at work touched you on the shoulder and you’re deadset sure it’s gonna blossom into something big.

Children
· You found something in the vegetable patch and it sure as heck doesn’t look like any of the pictures in the recipe book.

Prison
· You are in there.

Studies
· You’re standing on a 9th floor ledge of the Monash Science building hoping the sense of shame doesn’t last too long for your parents back in Hong Kong.
· You figured out how to use Python to receive 3 Austudy payments a week.
· You dreamt you were in the exam hall wearing only a belt and 2 six-shooters.

Approved activity
· You pulled weeds all day from an embankment along a river that smells like a sewer — for roughly $4 an hour.

Overseas and residency
· The lure of Borneo’s rat-spider-monkeys finally got to you.
· Apparently it’s safe as houses back in Afghanistan now that the smack boom’s kicking in so you’re heading back.

Did any of these things happen to you?

No
Yes If Yes, give details
__________________________________
__________________________________
___________________________________
.

Jens Voight rides a bicycle

George Roper of the 1976 British comedy tv show, George & Mildred, can be considered the modern forefather of today’s slacker subset. In the first episode we find out that George has been on unemployment benefits for the last seven years and would like to stay that way despite Mildred’s aspirations for middle-classness. “I’m working-class and bloody proud of it!”, he says to Tristram, the neighbours’ little boy, while sitting on the step and rolling a cigarette.
Mr. Roper, we salute thee.

YS @ 10:28 pm, November 23, 2004

IN YOR OPINION ABOUT SHIRT, JEANS, SHORT HOW YOU WILL WASH AND/OR IRON THEM?

It just occurred to me that one of the reasons I’m quiet is that I dislike saying the same thing more than once. There’s huge spaces in my head that fill up with check-boxes of who I’ve told what to, because I can’t stand the thought of mentioning the same thing, telling the same anecdote to one person twice. Slightly different, but also I find it a bit of a drag retelling the same bit of news to lots of different people. Generally they reply in like fashion and their pattern of follow-up questions are similar. Occasionally there’s the odd new question. I put effort in to tell it all in a different way, even if only for myself — so mine own ears do not get sicky of hear it.

Perhaps this all is why I sometimes find myself balancing off against a ‘broadcaster’ – someone who will do the telling, retelling, press releases, phone work. The only downside is that they often have the “quirks” of 1.Telling you their stories multiple times, 2. forgetting your name even when you’re their best friend (“hey you whatsyaname, come here and hold this for a sec”) and 3. will even start telling your stories to you with them having replaced your role in it.
Sorry for the italics, it’s late.

YS @ 12:45 am,

Something pt.nothing

The Scorpio detective agency company car is a black Leyland P76 with the likeness of a scorpion roughly stenciled in red onto the front-door panels. Digby and Dexter Poindexter are in it. Digby is driving and Dex is talking:
DP:—I mean to say, the Swiss Army? They haven’t been in a war since … never! And what are they going to do if they did get in one? Pull out their knives and uncork your bottle for you? Open your can of baked, beans?

{Beat}

DP: I mean, for Pete’s sake a nail file?
[Digby doesn’t appear to be interested in what Poindexter is saying. He looks bored.]
Dig: Uh most tin-cans have a ring-pull now.

{Beat}

DP: So do you know what this contact looks like?
Dig: No. He’s going to approach us.
DP: Well… I just hope he’s got the information we need.
Dig: I just hope this thing’s catered.
[Cut To-
A large, dimly-lit, pattern-carpeted hall. Paintings and sculpture are spaced out along the walls and spot-lit in glowy golds from distant sources. The gathering of about forty people including Digby and Poindexter is ushered into one area and encouraged to sit on the floor. A man wearing overalls stands before them and starts talking with a slight French accent.

Artiste: Nothing
is forever
let us drift our minds to believing nothing
drift your mind into believing nothing
start repeating in your head, and mind — nothing
now, just be happy and want it to continue
you are nothing
but please don’t be disappointed — sometimes nothing doesn’t even work for me
say in your mind — nothing
people are strange
holding within them, nothing
only now, we are on the threshold of opening another mind and discovering nothing
everything is nothing to you when you truly believe—
Dexter Poindexter: [quietly] Which nothing is he talking about?
Digby: [Also quietly] Nuth-thing
DP: Nuh-thing?
Dig: No. NO – thing
DP: So when he says ‘nothing lasts forever’ he actually means something. Something like, er enegizer batteries?
Dig: No man, just nothing
DP: Like the anti-batteries – or anti-whatever he’s talking about …?
Dig: Batteries is something. Bubonic plague is something. Even dental floss is something. This [Digby motions forward at the performance] is nothing.
DP: I thought this was an art gallery.

[Cut To]
The pundits and critics chatter, mill about in clumpy groups and circulate loosely around past the art. Digby stands by a table with an array of food laid out on it. He has a paper plate in hand and is eating from it in a methodical fashion while visually scanning the crowd. Poindexter stands nearby reading a catalogue.
Digby spots another table with a single plate of biscuits on it. He moves to it, picks one up, mutters ‘anzacs’ to himself and chomps on it. He eats a few more, unaware that the plate is spot-lit in the same way the pieces around the walls are.

From one of the clumps of art-goers a woman notices Digby and screams. Moments later her friends figure out why. A man points at Poindexter and Digby and yells, “Get ‘em, Eric!”
A white bunny rabbit hops daintily toward them. Dig and DP momentarily forget that they are about to be harranged by an angry art-mob and instead are grinning dumbly, transfixed by the rabbit.
It reaches Poindexter and starts nipping at his ankle. DP chuckles at first and then says, “ow, he’s biting me”. DP backs up a step or two against the wall, the rabbit hops playfully around his feet and keeps biting him. DP starts yelling, “Ow! ow! ow!”, although doesn’t make any attempt at what would seem to be an easy get away. Digby watches and laughs a bit, still holding his paper plate and eating anzac biscuits.

When people start to move in on them, Digby grabs DP, saying, “Let’s go”.

[Cut To – Scorpio Headquarters. ]
Vulcan Conray: What!? You’re saying you didn’t make the contact?
[Digby shrugs. DP is sitting on a chair, gingerly pulling down his sock to examine the bites. Conray catches a glimpse of the injury, squints and moves in closer. The bite marks forms letters and numbers.]
Conray: Hello what’s this? 22, J9. Sounds like a Melways [street directory] reference.
DP: So Eric the bunny rabbit was the contact!?
[Digby shrugs]

YS @ 7:38 pm, November 21, 2004

a pitch and a swing and a miss

Lately these one-trick ponies have been croppping up and I’m feeling a bit incensed about it all. These people somehow get themselves into position of making good money via creative pursuits but get away with reusing the same idea over.
I was just listeing to the soundtrack to Powaqqatsi by Philip Glass and I was about to say “it sounds suspiciously similar to 1000 aeroplanes on the roof” (another ‘composition’ of his but there’s no suspicion about it, it’s out and out reuse.
Same with the writer, Will Self. I read Grey Area, a collection of short stories by him — and it’s got characters, plots, ideas, even places which were then later re-set in a novel.

And here I am, literally tearing my hair out, hitting myself in the arm, whimpering and gnashing my teeth while asleep, eating vast quantities of lollies, wearing paper hats with esoteric symbols scrawled on them, in attempts to come up with new ideas.
It’s not like I haven’t been trying, that I’ve given up on it all or something.

There was the pitch to Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems. I proposed that McNealy leave Sun and star in a sitcom about him and his bogany, space-cadet, adult son.

notice the resemblance?

In the show, McNealy would balance being a single father to his hair-brained, guitar-wailin’-on, “Awesome!” son, Gavin — along with running one of the world’s major IT corporations — along with having plenty of zainy adventures in Silicon Valley … all with hilarious consequences. It’d be called, “My Two Suns” or some other play on sun/son.
Their next-door neighbour would be Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison, who would often get caught up in plots. Larry is always wanting to fly his MIG jet up the coast and bomb Microsoft. Larry is nutty.
Also there’d be an episode where they’d get transported back to 1985 and Christopher Walken tries to sink Silicon Valley — with hilarious consequences.

In the real world, of course, scott mcnealy wouldn’t be able to keep his job and still act in the series, and because of this I was getting huge support for the show from other people in the IT world who wanted Mcnealy out of the way—mainly other people at Sun. Everything was green-lighted except McNealy didn’t want in.

I had a revolutionary idea I sent to several high-ranking ad agencies that would’ve changed the the children’s breakfast-cereal ad market as we know it. It’d be kids writing ads (well, not kids but me – same difference) and presenting the shill themselves on the ads that are aimed at the kids not the parents or let’s face it; mum (or “mom”). Conventional ads in this category are virtually interchangeable with ‘Dine’ catfood ads. They run along the script of: Problem -> kid won’t eat cereal. Solution -> convince kid cereal is tasty but not neccesarily nutritious. Like scientists and lab-rats.
Basically all I wanted to do was reinfranchise the kids, but sometimes the most obvious things are overlooked.

I was trynna pitch a Japanese Count Dracula Movie idea to Chairman Kaga. It still might happen.

And like many of us I’ve considered relocating to one of the state’s regional centres, Ballarat or Bendigo and throwing myself into the TankWar. Even people in Melbourne, let alone further afield, wouldn’t know it but there’s a fierce competition going on in rural Victoria for the average person’s (man’s) above or below ground water-tank dollar. There’s several brands in the race but the only one I can remember is ‘bushman tanks’.
If you were to get up on the roof and turn your arial toward one of those two towns and watch their refeed of the main TV stations – the ad breaks are nothing but tank commercials. (Which actually is a refreshing change from some mysogynist, nubian gobbo spruiking mobile-telephony all fucking night.)
I’m sure I could write a tank ad that’d blow your mind.

Ps. I don’t know how that damn smiley got there. It’s not even the right keystrokes there to make one.

YS @ 4:37 pm, November 18, 2004

nurse!

You know what my idea of a good performance piece would be? An orchestra or 400 people with hands cupped to armpit. I don’t know what they’d play, I haven’t worked that bit out yet.

Curtsey of the liberry I had a listen to Sonic Youth’s ‘Sonic Nurse’ album this week. There’s a couple of tracks on there that have some interesting guitar sounds; stones and I love you golden blue. I think if I made a graph and had years on the x-axis and something moire abstract, like ‘styleness’, on the y-axis, then made a dot point for each of Sonic Youth’s albums before 2004. It would be reasonable to estimate according to the curve exactly how an album made in 2004 by them would sound. Another word for this is Predictable.
Most people re sonic youth would say this isn’t such a bad thing, but I kind of got tired of what they were doing after Washing Machine.
Also there’s a new guy in the band. I don’t know who he is. Some new guy. Don’t know who he is, where he came from or what he’s doing there. Some new guy. Jim O’Rourke; never heard of him before. He wasn’t there before. In the group photo in the sleeve Ranaldo and Moore and standing near him, probably because he feels a bit insecure and confused — because he’s the new guy. Playing bass guitar for ‘em. That’s what Kim does/did. I suppose that’s what happens when you get to some point where the record companies can predict and bank on your band making a certain amount of profit from each album; you can hire some new guy to do the boring stuff like play bass guitar.
Bit of a shame because Kim Gordon was one of my hero bass guitar players as a teen/early 20s bass guy. I used to know this metal guy and once he asked me who my favourite bass players were. Before I could answer he did for me and said, ‘it’s Lemme right’ but no – I never dug that Motorhead thing at all. Lemme was/is a lead singer type. Kim Gordon and Kim Deal were my fave bass players. And now neither of them are playing bass. Is it really that reprehensible a life?

YS @ 10:29 am, November 16, 2004

Aw heck, Dick, I don’t give a rip about that. I’ve got a family of hamsters to look after.

Forget yr tv Idols. Infact, kill yr idols. Drive an expressway through thr skull.
And check out the pop stylin’s of The Bell Sisters, circa 1950s. I partucularly recommend d/loading and listening to their first smash hit, ‘Bermuda’ — it’s at a really unusual pitch. All those songs are only a half a Megabyte each – because the songs are only a couple of mins long, as you’d expect with pop, but also are at only a low k/b per sec. rate, but still listenable.

It’s amazing how far music journalism hasn’t come.
YS @ 7:59 pm, November 13, 2004

acumulated notes

There was this French movie with either Jean Reno or Gerard Depp-ar-dew in it, I can’t remember which. It was probably the ‘inspiration’ for the Highlander movies. Because Jean or Gerard was a medeval knight who’d been transported the the present day, along with a retainer; that is, a little man with coconut shells who’d run along behind.
Every now and then my mind returns to this one scene where they’re in a bathroom, looking at a toilet, kneeling over it trying to figure out what it’s for. Jean/Gerard puts a hand in, scoops up some water and drinks it.
And I wonder to myself what were the details to that… was it cleaned extra, extra extra thoroughly before the scene? Perhaps they installed a completely new toilet that’d never been used before drunk from..? Even if it’d been cleaned 20 times with the most abrasive chemicals known to humanity I think there’d still be some residue of shit in there. Is that part of the hazards of being an actor, even a succussful hollyweird-style one?

I still haven’t found any interesting links. The internet just got boring or something. I’m not holding out on you, if I had some, I’d say.

I’m reading the Richard F. Burton annotated and translated version of Tales form the Arabian Nights, selected from ‘The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night’. I’ve been reading it for 4 years off and on — it’s huge and extremely convoluted. Nice book – hardback and the typeface is very fancy. My scanner’s busted at the moment or I’d offer up some.

This bit is from the editor’s forward, “Burton’s qualifications as a translator of the Nights were formidable, not only because of his extensive knowledge of Arabic (he was also fluent in Persian and Hindustani, not to mention several lesser Eastern languages and dialects) but because of his extrodinary personality. In 1853 he successfully made a pilgrimage disguised as as Afghanistan Muslim to Cairo, Suez, and Medina then on to the sacred city of Mecca, where he measured and sketched the mosque and holy Muslim shrine, the Ka’bah.
His account of the journey is not only a classic of English travel literature but also a brilliant commentary of Muslim life and manners. No enterprise could have born more powerful testimony to his knowledge of Eastern customs and beliefs than the expidition he later made to the forbidden East African city of Harer (1854-55) as he became the first European to enter this Muslim citadel without being executed.”

Sometimes it gets a bit bogged down reading, and you have to stick in active mode rather than passive reading because of the footnotes leading off in different directions – but most of the time they’re interesting.
Poignant to read place names like ‘Bassorah’ and Mosul as the backdrop to stories given the reasons why they’d be recognised today.
More info here.

YS @ 9:43 pm, November 11, 2004

Total Knee

This ph. no. I’ve got is like a vortex for wrong numbered calls. I return to all kinds of garbled messages. “Penny this is Peter calling from Doikin, your school placement starts tomorrow.” “Penny please call me as soon as you get this message. It’s Peter.” “Is Mr.Lewellyn there?” “Vuh vuhvuh vu vuhvu va vuhvuh n’ vuhvuh, vuvuh?”
“Hello this is Mary from St.John of God ringing for Peter. I was given the message that you handle the deliveries from the Werribee clinic? We’d like to place an order for six knees please. Could you get back to me on ________?”

All random, but as Burroughs said, How random is random?

The first job I got after getting out of high school was with a small business concern here in Geelong. It was called Total Knee and is one of many jobs regrettable enough to leave off today’s resume.
Owned and run by Jimmy G——, a short, gruff man and in some ways little more than an Italian stereotype. There were some memorable things, like, he’d say he was a beatboxer “and a damn good one too!” but really all he’d do was put his hand over his mouth, cough a bit and clear his throat.
There was also his ‘motorchair the world’ rant, which all of us eventually learned not to argue against or even interrupt once underway. This was back when those motorised chair-things were still relatively rare and expensive. Total Knee was taking them on as a new area of sales but the lion’s share of business came from high-tensile aluminium knee joints, and crutches.
Jimmy would rave on about how one day everyone would be riding in motorised chairs. Ramps everywhere, extending into the sky. Battery recharge stations. The way he saw it, every1’s a winner. The chair manufacturers, the insurance people, ramp builders, people because they didn’t have to walk anymore, and most of all—Total Knee Pty. Ltd.

When things got slow sometimes on a Thursday me n’ a few of the lads would strut down through town wiv a spanner or a bike chain tucked up the sleeve and drum up a bit of business, literally. Thursday being when all the old people come out.
Hey I never said I was no Saint.
(By the by, this is what happens when you put a kid in prep when he’s only 4 and a half, rather than letting him wait for the next year — just because his birthday falls right on mid-year)

At some point I got jack of the knee replacement game and went on to other things. I still see some of the fellas in the mall now and then. They’ll be walking one direction and I’ll be going the other. I nod hello but don’t stop. Some of them don’t recognise me at all anymore.

1. yang
2. the idle mind
3. action
4. guilt
5. pain
6. time
7. max. span of memory tissue
8. pendulum
9. the hidden
10. circular nature
11. yin

First Wednesday of the month is when the Historical Society meets. They always have some guest-speaking old biddy going on and on about some pointless and obscure topic but I like it because they’re all so polite and I always hear something that’s a bit of a cack; the other month one of em says, ‘Now here’s some music to get you in the mood“ except he pronounced it ‘mewd’. Plus I’m by far the youngest there and I like it that way.

The other Wednesday I was sitting in there, 2nd row from the front, same as usual and they’d just turned back on the lights after a series of wacky little films from the mid-1960s doing things like boasting the burgeoning industrial sector of the town (all but gone now) and explaining the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works, ”Them’s those blokes who dig ditches inthey?“
And I sat there for a moment letting some wave of unrequested endorphins flow, probably set off by the large meal I was digesting. I stared into the sun-worn spammy complexion of the mostly bald head sitting in the front row, and the way the thin white-grey hair on it was encouraged to run in ordered, clumpy lines via the use of Brill Cream or some such.

Eventually I got up and started helping put away the chairs. I stood there for a moment in the middle of the theatrette. Then this old boy, squinting slightly comes up to me and says, ”I say do you remember me?“. Me hearing that phrase has always meant it’s time to get the fuck out of Dodge. I started reversing toward the door, hands out and fingers up in a gesture of ‘Hey not me, man’, but a small group of cronies had gathered behind me, one of them putting a foot out and tripping me.

The next thing I know they’re laying into me from all sides. Tan patent-leather Hush Puppies, gleaming darkly varnished hard-wood walking sticks, glass bead-embroided handbags. I balled up but it didn’t help much. There’s several bits I don’t remember, although through an ear filled with blood I did hear the old boy’s muffled voice (presumably to the ambulance guy) ”Took a bit of a tumble down the stairs I’m afraid”. Even in a near-blackout state I thought it interesting that they’d beat me to an inch of my life then see fit to call an ambulance.
I’m sure the injuries look nothing like a fall down stairs but who’s gonna get sus on old people? I suppose I had it coming…

Anyway, I’m in hospital, mending. They have laptops here that you can rent. I didn’t know that.

YS @ 11:09 pm, November 9, 2004
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