I wish, I wish I were a catfish

After a flat day or two I just got to acknowledging the reality of this readjustment phase. Once it gets to that, things slowly start to get better. When I was back over there I couldn’t wait to get back here, now that I’m here .. I kind of wish I was back over there … or maybe not. The night is better – I don’t feel like I’m wasting my frikkin’ life at night. I was talking to a friend who suffers from depression – who said that the transition phase from day to night was something that would often cause anxiety. It’s the other way around for me – if I’m having a nowhere day — it gets to night I think phew, thank fuck that’s over.
At least there’s plenty of tri-horned children here, and the temperatures actually aren’t that bad – like topping 6 or 7 celcius. But it’s still puts the metabolism in a slower cycle.

I jig on your gravy

In celebration of the total annihilation of grudnuk.com, here’s a catalogue
of the CDs I bought while back here on hols.

1. Ed Kuepper – Honey Steel’s Gold. If there’s one thing that SK lacks, it’s decent Australian rock and hearing the ten minute version of King of Vice almost brings a tear to the eye. This was the one pick out of a whole lot of stuff I am not a millionaire for. There should be something that says that you can redeem yr old cassettes for new CDs because when you’re a kid, spending your money on music costs all that much more. Yeah, so it didn’t take *me* to get to the age of thirty before discovering The Church — I was listening to them in year 9. And the Beasts, Cruel Sea and Tex Perkins are also missed on a semi-regular basis.

I wanted to turn dreams into reality and get a Dirty Three album too, but couldn’t find anything below thirty bucks.

2. Hot Chocolate – THe Essential Collection — 2 discs, 11 bucks, every 1’s a winner!

3. Pink Floyd – Relics and Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Also cheap and pretty good. Careful with that axs, Eugene.
The rest were all second hand ->

4. Soma – Soma Rasa ep. – Dave Thrussell and the other guy during the mid-90s.

5. Snog – Beyond the Valley of the Proles. Featuring the stirring artwork of Chris Woods (I have to leave all the CD covers and even the actual CDs behind due to weight restrictions; it’s all ripped to pod. From the early 2000s, this has the rather catchy tune, ‘Businessman’ but I don’t know that they’ve been heard from much since.

6. DJ Food & DK – Solid Steel Vol.1 – This is a really neat set that includes a little bit of a bradbury short story, marionettes inc., but I’ve run out of motivation to write anything more here. I feel a bit nauseous.

7. Pavement – Brighten the Corners — because it never fails to make me feel better and reminds me that life ain’t that serious.
In addition I’d like to say I’ve been doing this blogging thing since 1995 and: you don’t hear me complaining, bricolage, it’s all much of a muchness, right mate whatever ya reckon, I don’t have to pretend to like it, bloody hell.


Well I’m here at the old changi,the chang, the chang-bo wo-wo… waiting for the connector out the hell of here. Am a bit tired and feeling a bit skanky from being in the same clothes for too long, but the seat I got from Melb to here was freakin’ excellent. It helped tha the plane wasn’t full — there was lots of empty seats around me, plus legroom like crazy. I think my person at the phone check ins did me an extra special effort. I fell in love with the flight attendant, but the after deplaning I fell out again, and now due to sleep deprivation I can’t even remember what she looked like.

There are definite advantages to leaving late at night — it was a super smooth run out to the airport, and we lucked out by parking right in front of the ‘Tigerz Air’ check in desk.’  

Big thanks to the chang-wola airport and its people for letting me use the free-internet and for not mistaking my promite for drugs and stringing me up for it. 

your mind: not your own

So anyway I was hanging around the Carlton Borders travel section last fri nite trying to pick up lonely international students but not having much luck. I had a book in my hand that I was going to buy, Facing Love Addiction because my counsellors (I have 5) told me to get it. Apparently I am addicted to love -> I would like to think not so much in a poor dead Robert Palmer way, but in a Kim Gordon Ciccone Youth CD-booth with the Vietnam war footage background way.

I’m learning all the time, sitting here with my seatguru floor plans for whatever plane it is I’m getting on late monday night. I had a list of the preferred seats I wanted, but on the bigger jet (first leg) they have those seats ‘blocked out’ — and apparently I have to request a certain seat to cope with a certain physical condition at the time of booking the flight at the travel agent.

As mentioned before, my physical condition is ‘addicted to love’, so naturally I want to sit near the flight attendants. I got the seat I wanted for the 2nd leg because it’s a smaller plane. I just told them I sometimes get leg cramps, but I reckon the telephone operator could dig where I was coming from.

I guess it’s a combination of the uniforms, the authority, the exclusivity, the professional smiles, the constantly being given food and beverages plus the lingering possibility of dying horribly that dials me to a heightened state of readiness and partiality to the women of this one particular occupation. I haven’t told my counsellors about it yet though. Maybe I will get lucky, or at the very least – not burn to death, and near the middle – not spill hot coffee on myself.

ride my bike into the ocean

I was powering, swooping and circling around the waterfront on my pushbike this morning. Digging the glittering water of the bay and trying not to get back-sweat on some loaves of bread in the backpack. The water sparkles like that no matter the season and I was reminded of a situation I was involved in there, four southern winters ago.

Those were my lumpin days and although very little was asked of me, I was saddled with the organising of an event, of any description. So the name came first, the ‘Ride My Bike Into The Ocean’ Festival. What it entailed came after. We invited people to bring their pushbikes along and ride them off the edge of a short, barrierless pier between the larger Smorgies pier and the carnival carousel.

It was a six or eight foot drop to the water then, after some prodding with a long pole, we guessed at 15ft of water when the tide was right. I expected there would be zero interest in the event and would’ve been quite comfortable with that, but as testament to the robustness of this county’s social welfare system, several dozen people showed up to ride that chilly Thursday lunchtime. These were the young people for whom–when that opening came up at Pizza Lovers, the photo-processing shop, K-Mart tyre and auto, the basement Red Rooster–said, “Fuck You”. The online comic drawers, the stencilers of public property.

There was the practicality of retrieving the bikes to be dealt with. For the first few that went over we would have a rope tied to the seat axle. That was fine but in the interests of keeping the festival flowing snappily, it was planned that the first three would use rope, the next three a different method and then back to rope.

As an aside, once the organisation of the thing gained momentum, two forces of opinion emerged on the issue of competition/prizes. 1) No prizes, just participate. 2) Points awarded for “style”. The problem, I felt, with the second option was that style was too fuzzy and any prizes would go to the judges’ friends.

The second method of affixment was arrived at when someone found a bunch of surfboard safety cords balled up at the bottom of an op-shop basket. The cords were connected from the bike to the rider’s ankle.

The first few intrepid-to-the-absurd riders of bikes into the ocean went swimmingly. The crowd of spectators, the cameras, the media, the volunteer ambulance service, the odd tourist and the ever-free arts community all caught the beauty of that moment in air when the bike comes away from underneath the rider, and both hit the water in their own space. Once fished out, gasping, shivering but invigorated, the folks would raise their arms triumphantly or do a little dance or something.

Things started to go wrong when the fourth participant hit the water. It was the saftey cords. Together with the bike, they anchored the attached guy to the bottom of the bay. For 20 seconds we could see or hear nothing of him. He’d just hit the water with the bike same as the others but a second later he disappeared and that was that. It’s one of those moments I won’t forget.

First the crowd was silent, then murmurs of concern or dismay gained volume until a couple of people jumped in, lamely trying to do something. Just at that moment the no longer glassesed, but still goateed and shoulder-length haired slacker crashed back to the water’s surface, having freed himself of the velcro strap. He was spluttering and what-not–you know how it is. The St John’s crew grabbed him and bundled him off to the back of the ambo.
But you know, when I think back to it all, it’s the next bit that’s still bewildering. I had a cheapo Reject Shop pair of those glowy traffic-directing light sabres and I was in charge of sending the participants off, one by one. While all of this hullaballoo had gone on at the edge of the pier, the line up of participants was some way off (to get a run up for momentum) and they were pretty much oblivious of what was going on.

Like I said, I don’t know what I was thinking, but I waved the next person off and exactly the same thing happened except this time it was some freckly girl.

The police wanted to charge me for wreckless endangerment of life or some bullshit, but because the participants had rode in of their own free will, they let me off.


I could of course let this become a journal of my inner thoughts. The desperate angsty search for meaning of an early thirty-somethings white male in a world dominated by white males… a post-modern refugee who now finds he does not belong to? in? this country nor that…

I ride the same order of street names but can find nothing that is familiar. “What the heck is scrapbooking!?”

“I went into a cafe, they brought a menu, I got up and approached the counter. I ordered a glass of milk. It’s not on the menu.

After I had sat down and drank the milk I returned to the counter and told them I had no way of paying for it — just for something to do.”

In the supermarket I see they now have goats milk. That is, the milk of a goat, or multiple goats. I don’t know exactly where the apostrophe should go there. It’s three times as expensive as cow milk but who knows when the next time I’ll get to try it is? There was something on the side of the carton about it not being as harsh as cow milk or, ‘taking the edge off’.

Eventhough the last two things here mention milk they are in no way related.

I should also say that I am reading a book. I was afraid I was almost done with books. I’ve been looking around for weeks for one but book but could not find it. I was ready to give up on the whole lot of them. I still didn’t find it, but settled on Iain m. banks’ consider phlebius which is a science fiction book. Sometimes I like it like that. I’ve read about eight pages and it’s great. I’m mentioning this now because I could give up on it at any moment and then not care to write about it.

I read it last night, in bed. I got a cuppa tea and the book and went to bed then read for half an hour then fell dead-asleep, even after the tea. I had to keep reading the same sentences over again to make sure I was understanding what was going on. I read the noun words at least three times each to make sure that, in my mind, I was pronouncing them properly–because you know–if you get off to a bad start with that sort of thing it sticks and goes permanent. Like mistaking Idiran “eye-dih-rn” for “eye-rid-ee-an”. I was sitting here in the sunroom at several times this afternoon, doing nothing, thinking about the book, and the picture on its cover of a spaceship. And wondering, ‘should I read now? is that okay?’.


I’m staying at obi’s place here in 커레오 and popped down to the local fish n chip shop this evening. Eventhough he was serving someone else he called out to me, “Ow are you sir?” and I could tell that without knowing him, I knew this man. The small talk with customers. The stocky build and bushy grey/black eyebrows. “Chicken salt or normal salt?” His wife silently co-piloted the regulation-sized deep fryer.

For some time I sat in the row of chairs by the magazines and wondered if I had not infact seen this pair in some other fish n chip shop at some previous point in time, now long buried in the folds of memory.

Perhaps they had grown weary of the yupcalcified patronage in an area like chilwell or mani heights/g.west. They had sold up and moved to the new frontier and come in search of new (old) challenges. They found a broken shop, one that family after family failed at. The kind of shop that some would say was cursed. But they’d taken it off someone’s hands, applied the spit, polish, the system and just a little magic. It slowly grew back. Customers  began making repeat visits without realising it.

“Still raining out there?”

“Yeah just a little.”

chickens: regular

I’m on a mini-holiday with my mother and sister in spa country, Daylesford. Like the Barrossa, this is another place I don’t think I’ve ever been to in the middle of summer and for whatever reason seems to be more suited to winter. Nice to be here nonetheless. Not too crowded– nothing seems too crowded anymore.

I’ve been so far away from the internet lately. Even now I’m just batting this in from a usb key after being tapped in while sitting in a woodsy shack. It’s the type of time when the whole thing (thing meaning blog) could change direction without me really knowing it.
I don’t really know what to say.

I am enjoying:
the unabashed sunshine,
the wind,
bright blue skies,
cycling (I think I already mentioned this, but it’s thing no. 1)
the kooky and obvious working class (esp. corio village)
having vigourous conversations with salespeople
a wide selection of dvds (it sounds minor, I know, and it is. But I saw Eraserhead the other night for the first time in 15 years and plan to watch Revenge of the Nerds later this week.
bargain bin cds — like a double compilation album of Hot Chocolate for $11
particular supermarket products like deodorant(!), pre-ground Italian style coffee, superwhite toothpaste,
walking across the plains again

I miss:
being gawked at (I am invisible here, I knew I would be. It’s not that bad, but I’d prefer the alternative)
and following on – my 900+ fans
some foods, like tuna-kimbap
cheap and convenient public transport
cheap and convenient most things. Fruit is better here. Milk is cheaper. It’s wall to wall Farmer’s Union iced coffee in South Australia
the challenge and newness of stuff back in korea. I’ve been there for eleven months but have barely scratched the surface of figuring it out. I realise now that I am enjoying learning another language. Conversely convexly I know I’m not going to miss stupid tv when I go back.
And last and most of all I miss my special friend, miss jj


Y’know I was down at ray’s tent city the other day and saw this Hyundai Getz (RACV Australia’s best small car!) which they’d decided was only good enough to be turned into an aquarium. Yes, look closer, that’s a fish in there. I’m sure those nazis in Ulsan would be tickled pink by all this.


“O God, Thou art everywhere all the time, in the dew of the morning, in the frost of the evening, in the field and the town, in the preacher and the sinner, in the sparrow and the big buzzard. Thou canst see everything, right down deep in our hearts; Thou canst see us when the sun is gone; Thou canst see us when there aren’t any stars, in the gravy blackness, in the deep, deep, deep, deep pit; Thou canst see and spy and watch us all the time, in the little black corners, in the big cowboys’ praries, under the blankets when we’re snoring fast, in the terrible shadows; pitch black, pitch black; Thou canst see everything we do, in the night and day, in the day and the night, everything, everything; Thou canst see all the time. O God, mun, you’re like a bloody cat.”

– Dylan Thomas, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog