waitingman: (Default)
So the trigger-happy cops in Minneapolis shot dead an Australian ex-pat today. Whatever comes out in the investigation/blame-fest won't bring her back. Tragic

On the radio this afternoon, I heard a newsreader say "Friends of the woman said she loved life"

Honestly? Really? I mean... who doesn't?!?! Even if you're not having a great time right now, it's still better than the alternative, surely...

Obversely, I'm also a great believer in euthanasia & the right to die. Maybe it's just that I'm not a fan of stock phrases, clichés & lazy journalism
waitingman: (Still Waiting)
So goodbye also to Debbie Reynolds, after suffering a stroke during a planning meeting for her daughter's funeral...

On a related note, from the Huffington Post - some food for thought
waitingman: (Broken English)
Please... I'm begging you PLEASE

If you're ever in my company, kindly avoid the following expressions, as a punch in the mouth often offends...*

"Cray-cray" What on Earth?? It's not even an abbreviation. Just say 'crazy' before you drive me completely & utterly there

"Tay-Tay" when referring to Taylor Swift. For crying out loud, she's not a 5 year-old (unlike some of her fans), so please can we address the woman by her proper name??!!

However, for some reason, I have no problem with her being referred to as 'T-Swizzle'... though given my next gripe, I possibly should, for cultural reasons...

"Dropped" - as in "Tay-Tay's new video dropped at the Billboard Awards last night & it was cray-cray" I don't even know where to start, but let's try 'debuted', 'screened', 'played', 'was released/shown/broadcast'. 'Dropped' in this context, comes from hip-hop & it's just embarrassing when music journalists use it to appear relevant & street-credible



* - But I'm sure any right-minded Magistrate would let me off with a warning...
waitingman: (Still Waiting)
And you're too old at 33, apparently

Or, at least according to this article, that's the age at which you stop listening to new music - & presumably start yelling at those darned kids to turn that infernal racket down!!

It's been 15 years since I was 33. Now, let's see if I can name some 'new' music I've listened to, & indeed bought proper CDs of with real money, in those intervening years...

Mumford & Sons, Kate Miller-Heidke, Megan Washington, Calexico, Decoder Ring, True Live, Richard Thompson (I know, but I was late to the party!!), Jake Shimabukuro, Brad Paisley, EmmyLou Harris (late to that party too!!), BifTek, John Mayer, Karma County, Lorde, Nitin Sawhney, How To Destroy Angels, Barry Adamson, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Black Sabbath (very nearly too late to that party!!!), Melody Gardot, Crimson Jazz Trio, Trey Gunn, Glenn Gould (definitely too late for him...), Jess Chalker, Emilie Simon, Kimbra & Franz Liszt & YoYo Ma for the Classically-minded

And yes, there are probably more, but I don't really feel like scouring the music collection for further proof - I figure the point is disproved enough... at least in my case

Take that, you pigeon-holing bastards!!!
waitingman: (Still Waiting)
Sorry for the radio silence over the last few months... I've fallen out of love with talking about myself & my life in general


However, I'll never get tired of talking about things like this... the relics of a bygone era who continue to poison the education & opinions of the modern world

For the-god-of-your-choice's sake... or for no god's sake at all if you prefer, I wish some people would either grow up or shut up. No other options are available

That goes for you too:~ Fred Nile, Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, John Laws, the entire 'Family First' political party, Clive Palmer, the entire US Republican party, Rupert Murdoch, Cardinal George Pell... you can take over from here, I'm sure
waitingman: (Mr Squiggle)
Our tech-savvy friend came over again tonight... just for dinner & Game of Thrones this time ~ wouldn't want him to think we only appreciate him for his cyber-talents

And in fact we don't. He's a wonderful guy & great fun to be around... if only he'd learn that while it's all very well to be able to go from 0 ~ 100 there are a lot of interesting numbers between those two that it's nice to slow down & savour. Be Here... Now

In the desperate search for other news ~ I think I'm falling out of love with a favourite author after about a dozen books. Her formula was once charming, then comfortably familiar, but lately boring. I think this latest one will be my last & a 2nd-Hand book store or stall will be my collection's next stop

Everybody has one good book in them ~ as the saying goes. Over twelve is pushing it. Or scraping it... whichever way you prefer your barrel metaphor
waitingman: (Wrong!)
Watched some British TV, a couple of American movies, had Vietnamese for dinner & we lost the 20/20 cricket match to Sri Lanka

Now that's multiculturalism...

But this isn't

And may I present Exhibit B:~



By all means get a tattoo. By all means get lots of them... But the Southern Cross??!! You might as well get "Dumbf@ck Racist Dickhead" branded across your (most likely) large forehead. It's not patriotic... well, maybe it once was... but now it's just a way for beer-swilling bogans to recognise each other, so they can form a pack, drink more VB & pick a fight with anyone who looks more intelligent than them ~ which is just about everyone

Except maybe this guy...
waitingman: (Magritte Guitar)
Aahh the New Musical Express ~ doing what they do best...

Skewering Sacred Cows... in this case, Led Zeppelin

Two favourite quotes, one from the writer, one from a commenter 1. "Yes, Jimmy Page can play the guitar. The question is: Can he stop?"
2. "This is exactly what I think, I'm glad someone else had the minerals to admit it first."


Bonus points for use of the word 'minerals'... Made me laugh...
waitingman: (Default)
So, you're Brian Eno & you have a new album of minimalist, ambient music to promote. But ambient music is supposed to be accompanied by other activities... like a sit-down chat with a modern & supposedly 'radical' economist. Therefore, instead of a review, or an interview here's When Brian Eno met Ha-Joon Chang

Food for thought...

Ha-Joon Chang: These days, economics has become such an all-encompassing way of thinking that everything is supposed to justify its existence by how much money it makes. Are you making enough money as a university? Are you making enough money as a classical orchestra? I think it's a fundamentally wrong approach to life. Because economics might be the foundation, if you like … but if you try to create a world in which everything is driven by money and the market, the world will be a much poorer place.

Imagine if all those kings and dukes hadn't commissioned those crazy cathedrals, paintings and music … we'd still be living in sticks and mud. Because none of those things made any economic sense. Human beings' capacity to "waste time" is a miracle – but that's exactly what art is for

Brian Eno: It's to do with the act of quantification. It's part of the money thing: something that you can put a figure to immediately assumes a sort of authority, even if it doesn't deserve it.

What is the value of a park? You can't quantify it. We keep them because we've inherited them. But I'm sure there'll be a rightwing movement in the future that says, "Parks? What are they for? People just wander about in them – and there's dog shit all over the place. What's the point of that? A great big piece of real estate in the middle of London that could be generating income – we can quantify that." Quantification is a big temptation for society because it looks like control.
waitingman: (Looking at you)
A couple of days ago, we had a few drinks at the Opera Bar, celebrating a friend's birthday. Leaving there at about 9pm & walking back to Circular Quay, I looked over at one of Sydney's 'icons' ~ the Harbour Bridge... & realised how small it is, compared to bridges we'd seen in America, on both sides of the continent. Even the Brooklyn Bridge is longer... not to mention the Golden Gate

Driving across our Bridge yesterday, I looked over at our CBD & its familiar skyscrapers... & realised how small it is, compared to Manhattan & even the downtown areas of San Francisco & Chicago. Having now walked around all of them, I'll never complain about the distance from Circular Quay to the Town Hall ever again

I'm not running Sydney down ~ it's just that travel has broadened the mind & shrunk the city. Never having left this country until last year, I'd thought other cities of the world would be pretty much the same as mine &, in a lot of respects, they are. They're just a whole lot bigger than I'd ever considered

To illustrate my point:~

The Night Gate

The Icons

Sunset Over Manhattan

Vivid Cove

Oh Boy...

Sep. 5th, 2012 10:22 pm
waitingman: (Wrong!)
The head of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) Jim Wallace says smoking is healthier than the lifestyle that would be promoted by same-sex marriage

So if you're a gay smoker... you're f@%&ed both ways, apparently... especially if you're a gay pot smoker!!
waitingman: (I'm All Ears)
My unofficial Guru... or 'Life Coach' as modern parlance would have it, had this to say in his most recent diary entry:~

"When life is hard, even a question of life and death, it’s possible to have a conversation. Until then, managing BS and social platitudes falls under the heading of good manners and being polite. When necessity visits, there’s no room and no energy for anything other than what is real."

A lot to think about in those words. On the one hand, it's an admirably efficient way of moving through the day & its agenda, suffering no fools & committing energy & intent to the completion of work. And it certainly does, or would, gain you a reputation as an able & reliable person. On the other hand, politeness & good manners are often the best grease for the wheels of industry. Every day there is a certain amount of ritual humdrum one goes through that serves no real purpose other than to reassure others that all's well in the microcosm you share with them ~ health, weather, trivia & gossip are dissected daily to develop camaraderie, which, ideally, leads to a pleasant atmosphere for work

Too much either way leads to disharmony or oppression. I've worked for people who have no time for politeness (or possibly no appreciation or skill for it) & actively discourage any kind of socialising amongst workers while at work. All too quickly this becomes an 'Us vs Them' scenario which creates tension, which affects productivity, which defeats the purpose. I've also worked with people who treated any question, even work-related, as reason enough to 'down tools' & spin off into pleasant but aimless conversation & twenty minutes later you still don't have an answer to your initial enquiry & neither of you have done anything productive for a combined total of forty minutes

Balance is key. I like to think I have it, but given my work history, over the last few years especially, either I don't, or there are far more unbalanced people out there than is practicable for me ~ both employers & employees. It seems that I inevitably brush up against one or the other the wrong way, either by being polite & accommodating to a perceived fault, or by insisting that work needs to take priority over dissection of the weekend football match at this moment

In the light of a conversation I had in the last twelve hours, I know I'm not alone in the frustration of achieving balance in a tilting world. How about you?
waitingman: (Wrong!)
You know... I just knew Alan Jones was due to stuff both his patent leather loafers in his rancid mouth... he's been a bit quiet for the last fortnight

Here's the latest bollocks from Australia's premier dickhead

Now... we just need Kyle Sandilands to chime in with his abusive, sexist shit, Ray Hadley to bang on about Boat People & Andrew Bolt to claim it's all a Leftist conspiracy & everything will be back to 'Normal'...
waitingman: (Wrong!)
In which established stereotypes are reinforced. Or ~ if we are all individuals... I'm not

The other day, the Loved One & I were driving somewhere, can't remember where, we go to a lot of places all over town... but anyway, we turned off the main road into our desired side street & there, immediately & way too close to the intersection for legality or our comfort, was a white delivery van in the middle of a 3-point turn & a poorly executed one at that. The Loved One was dismayed to see that the driver was not only Asian, but was also wearing glasses & iPod earphones. I'm not sure if there was a Buddhist icon hanging from the rear-view mirror, but I wouldn't have been surprised. The Loved One, who is of the Asian persuasion herself, was the first to complain that this guy couldn't have been more of a cliché if he'd tried & was doing the rest of them no favours

A little later, at the supermarket, we were stockpiling comestibles & essentials at the checkout when the next customer began doing the same. First thing we both noticed was the 6 boxes of mini Drumstick ice creams. Then the 3 packets of sliced ham. I looked at the customer & was dismayed to see yet another slave to pre-conditioning. Thinning hair slicked down, pasty, never-seen-the-sun face, oversized track-suit with the pants tucked into white socks & the unmistakable aroma of somebody who's unsure of where both the bathroom & the laundry are. So when the next items out of his trolley were four packets of corn chips, I wasn't surprised. The only thing I had to decide was whether he was just your regular social exile playing Mental Solitaire with a deck of 47 cards... or if he had someone chained up in his basement as well

Incidentally ~ why are 99% of track suits, 'sport' socks & running shoes sold to people who couldn't or wouldn't run for a bus, let alone a 400m relay? Or are there far more Shot-putters out there than I'd realised ~ in which case, why didn't we win Gold in London?

I've also lost count of the number of times we've been out to dinner somewhere &, as I look around the restaurant there are so many women who have dressed 'up' for the occasion... only to be accompanied by some shambling 3-toed Sloth for whom a favourite t-shirt, tracksuit pants & thongs or Crocs constitutes evening wear. Oh... & a 'Hoodie' if it's Winter

Gentlemen ~ I know we can't all be Michael Schumacher behind the wheel, Howard Hughes if we choose to stay indoors, or, god forbid, Karl Lagerfeld when we're out on the town...

But we owe it to ourselves to try at least!
waitingman: (I'm All Ears)
Australia... a dry land full of thirsty people.

In these days of constant debate, research, denial & recacitrance, this article/opinion piece caught my eye today &, despite the inevitable reader comments which all-too-quickly degenerate into the usual slanging match, I found it interesting food for thought, as I'd never considered Australia's problems this way... probably because I'm a city kid...
waitingman: (Magritte Guitar)
A progress report & a bit of a catch-up.

After limping around on my sofa-damaged foot for a week now, I'm relieved to report that there doesn't seem to be any structural damage among the myriad bones, sinews & tendons which hold me upright most of the time. The bruising took a day or so to come up, but when it did, the colours were spectacular ~ all purples, reds, black'n'blues & I swear there was some green in there. A matching smaller set bloomed on my left foot too, which obviously didn't want to feel left out of the story. My foot (feet!) only really hurts now when I've been wearing my work boots & standing/walking/lifting/carrying for much of the day, making me appreciative of the cliché of the man coming home from work & taking his boots off... it's the best part of the day!!

We saw Kings of Leon last night, out at the old Toxic Dumping Ground at Homebush. I've never really had much of an opinion about them... don't dislike them, but don't really find them that great either. I was surprised how many of their songs I knew though... & even more surprised to enjoy one I'd never heard:~



Caleb the frontman/lead singer has all the stage presence of a dead fish, a 'Pass' Certificate in Arena Crowd Banter ("Hi Sydney... It's good to be back in Sydney... Y'all having fun?...Sing along Sydney!!") & the band aren't the most energetic & mobile bunch, despite the lead guitarist channeling Jimi Hendrix at one point & playing guitar with his tongue, but my award for best musician on stage went to the bass player for some really inventive basslines & a sound that cut through the typical arena concert bottom-end murk.

Rewinding a few weeks, I went to see Robben Ford's latest venture ~ Renegade Creation at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville with my latent Musical Foil.



Interesting to see Robben stretch out from his normal jazz/blues turf, but I'm not entirely sold on the overall result. A little too much gratuitous soloing from all players & too little of it was really interesting to put up with the other ten minutes of solo that wasn't. Thank god the bass player only took one solo though... it was one of those 'As-many-notes-as-I-can-play-in-the-high-register-because-I-really-want-to-be-a-guitarist' polytonal things that isn't so much a solo as an interruption. I really wanted this band to be something other than the usual thing that happens when you put a bunch of Session Players in a rehearsal room together & occasionally it was, but mostly... it wasn't. Six out of Ten.

A Domestic Duties day today ~ feed the Time-Share cat...

Time-Share Cat II

... laundry, vacuuming, re-organising the spare room & other general stuff. All to be done as barefoot as possible.
waitingman: (Wrong!)
Okay. Look... I know this might be controversial for some of my Friends List, but really:~

Honestly... Do we really care about chasing after Michael Jackson's doctor, examining the minutiae of his private life & hauling it all before both the State Court &, more insidiously, the Court of Public Opinion??

Is this a legitimate case, or just more of the modern-time relentless search for somebody to blame for anything & everything??

Quite frankly ~ the guy was a fruitcake with no sense of reality. If you want to blame anyone, blame his parents. Or Berry Gordy.... or anyone else who was too sycophantic to give the poor sod a reality check. Seems to me the doctor was one of the last in line of too many people who couldn't or wouldn't say no to someone who had a twisted & artificially inflated sense of his own worth.

Who'll cop the blame when Charlie Sheen dies?? Like Michael, or Amy Winehouse, it's the next logical step in a career trajectory that's moving inexorably downwards.
waitingman: (Magritte Guitar)
While I'm sorting through about four hundred photos from the New Zealand expedition, here's something to keep you all occupied for about twenty-five minutes or so...

How Musical Are You? ~ a survey by a London University...

My scores:~

Subjective importance of music
On this measure you scored 86.666666666667 percent
(The importance you personally place on music.)

Musical perception and production
On this measure you scored 89.285714285714 percent
(Your technical abilities in perceiving and making music.)

Musical training
On this measure you scored 84.126984126984 percent
(The extent of any formal musical training you may have had.)

Emotional engagement
On this measure you scored 82.142857142857 percent
(The extent to which you understand and/or respond to emotion in music.)

Bodily engagement
On this measure you scored 87.755102040816 percent
(Your bodily responses to music, such as humming or tapping along)

Musical creativity
On this measure you scored 84.126984126984 percent
(How much you generate or initiate spontaneous or planned music.)

Openness and event-seeking
On this measure you scored 92.857142857143 percent
(How open you are to new music and musical events.)

Beat matching
On this measure you scored 100 percent
(Your accuracy in the beat-matching task.)

Melodic memory
On this measure you scored 78.571428571429 percent
(Your accuracy in the melodic memory task.)

In defence of my Melodic Memory... it's surprisingly difficult to pick apart simple one-note melodies on a piano. Make sure you do this section somewhere with no background noise ~ especially music... I didn't!!
waitingman: (Magritte Guitar)
What's your favorite Queen song, and why?

Okay, I'll bite, despite privately swearing to myself that I'd never resort to using a 'Writer's Block' topic for my posts.

But it's Queen, so that makes it alright really.

Although the reason for the topic is that it's Freddie's birthday today ~ or yesterday, for those of us in the Antipodes ~ both my favourite Queen songs were written by their guitarist Brian May (PhD). Now... do I really have to choose??



'Tie Your Mother Down'

For two reasons... the killer guitar riff that sounds simple, but isn't... & the line about taking your little brother swimming with a brick.




'39'

I remember playing the LP record of 'A Night At The Opera' on my parents record player back in the mid-Seventies & this was always my favourite song... apart from Bohemian Rhapsody of course... & I'm In Love With My Car too... oh & Seaside Rendezvous &... well, actually, I liked pretty much the whole album, though The Prophet's Song was quite hard going for an eight-year-old. But 39 has endured...

In other news... we'll be flying to New Zealand in eight days time...
waitingman: (Default)
... Erm... armpits!!! Everybody has one... or two, in this case.

Anyway, my Father was over the other night & happened to see this photo of mine, which I'm currently using as my desktop background:~

Head In The Clouds

And he was curious enough to ask what it was. I told him it started life as a picture of a sunset, taken on the balcony, but then I'd done some work in P'Shop & begun to 'see' a head in the clouds, so worked to emphasise it.

His sniffy reply... "Well... I'd stick to taking pictures of sunsets if I were you."

Perhaps a little background is useful here. )

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