Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ace people I love -Un

This is hero worship in no particular order so any friends that come across this and wonder where they are - do not fret. Your turn is coming.

Number one on the list happens to be none other than Mr Andy Doherty. I love Andy for so many reasons I don't know where to start. I guess, as Sister Maria once sang, at the beginning as it's a very good place to start.

I met Andy at possible one of the worst places I've ever had the misfortune to be employed by, the National Bank. We were in the same team in the call centre, copping 7 hours of abuse a day. One Thursday night, at an after works drink event, we finally got to talking and realized we had a lot in common such as our love of Jarvis Cocker, Pulp, footy and Viz magazine. After sinking several troughs of the amber ale, a friendship was thus born. That was in 1999 and from that moment on, many a good time has been had. If the walls at our favourite bar, Rue Bebelons in Little Lonsdale St could talk, it would recite a few stories. Along with all the other the other places we use to frequent like The Golden Age (sometimes also known as 'the wig and pen) when we worked together where we would nick down for a couple of pots with our 'salmonella and chips' - Andy's very spot on description of the food. They have since improved the menu but back then, I usually just ordered the chips as they were the safest bet.

There are wonderful memories of when we went to our first Meredith Music Festival together and Andy drank enough VB to kill a donkey. We lost him and then found him hours later in our tent, soaking wet because in his drunken stumbles had fallen into a horse trough. We dubbed him 'trough boy' until I found out this is a term for a gay fetish where one man lies in the urinal and other men pee on him. For those reasons we felt it best not to continue with this particular nickname. Then there was the time we went to Apollo Bay between Christmas and New Year for a few days worth of camping and of course, much beer consumption. Due to Andy having the flu, I was actually able to drink him under the table. We spent one afternoon lying on the beach reading old issues of Viz and laughing till we peed our cozzies. I'll never forget the story of the greedy vaccuum cleaner salesman who gave it all up to buy a farm and grow minges... and Biffa Bacon still rules.

Unfortunatly, we don't get to have these wonderful times very often as he now lives in Proserpine in FNQ, persuing his career as a paramedic. He hates the town but loves the work which I gues is the important thing. I keep wishing he could be here doing the same work and not just spending the days injecting junkies with Narcaine to keep the worthless sods alive to fuck someone else over. I miss you Andy and my life is forever changed knowing you are on the planet.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

My Life Without Me

My Life Without Me is the the most amazing film I have seen in years. I have not been so moved by a film in a very long time. As a long time admirer of Pedro Almodovar and realizing this gift of a film was produced by his company, El Deseo, I of course had to see this. The story is about Ann who is 23, married and has two daughters. They live in a trailer in her mother's backyard. One morning whilst washing the dishes, Ann doubles over and passes out with pain. After many tests, it is confirmed she has an incurable disease and is told she has less than 3 months to live. Ann makes a decision to accept her fate and not tell anyone she is going to die. She goes to diner and makes a list entitled "Things to do before I die" which consists of the following:
  1. Tell my daughters I love them several times a day
  2. Find Don a new wife that the girls will like
  3. Record birthday messages for the girls for every year until they're 18.
  4. Go to Whale Beach together and have a big picnic
  5. Smoke and drink as much as I want
  6. Say what I'm thinking
  7. Make love to other men to see what it's like
  8. Make someone fall in love with me
  9. Go and see dad in jail
  10. Get some false nails (and do something with my hair)

After she makes this list, Ann discovers a life beyond the one she had been skating the surface of all her life. She has passion and strength she did not know existed within herself.

When this film ended, I sobbed uncontrollably. The first time I saw it, it wouldn't leave me. I felt that I had been marked by an incredible lover who had left me. I haven't seen a film in so long that has made me feel this emotional. The only other films I can think of that still do that to me are Like Water For Chocolate (Como agua para chocolate),Betty Blue (37 degrees le matin) and Talk To Her (Hable Con Ella).

I'm so happy that Isabel Coixet had the vision to make this film. It was adapted from a book called 'Pretending The Bed Is A Raft' by Nanci Kincaid. In the book, Ann tells her family about her illness. Isabel thought it would have more impact if she didn't tell anyone and I totally agree. One thing you love about the character of Ann is that you never feel sorry for her because she never lets you. It got me thinking if I were given the same situation, could I do the same thing? It would be nice to think you could be that selfless.

I love....

  • Moments alone just being myself
  • Films that make me feel emotional
  • Cafe lattes in the morning
  • Hot baths
  • My jarmies and my bed
  • Sharing beautiful food with people
  • A glass or five of divine "vino tinto"
  • Winning trivia
  • John Coltrane
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Thelonius Sphere Monk
  • Dancing with abandon
  • Walking through Fitzroy Gardens in the mornings during summer and seeing the childen in total bliss in the Fairy Park
  • People who have died for truth
  • Osvaldo Pugliese's tango "Recuerdo"
  • A spirited milonga with a fun person
  • My brother Michael's amazing calm,view of life and unique personality
  • My sister Vivian's strength and endurance
  • Oliver Joseph Dwyer
  • Ella Patricia Barker
  • Grace Barker
  • My friends whom are my chosen family
  • My family despite our differences
  • Sarah Jane Chalke Lowe- who despite everything has truly been my soul mate
  • The word 'Esperanza' which means 'hope' in Spanish
  • Tango - yesterday,today and forever

Friday, October 21, 2005

Los Hermanos Macana.

Gracias hermanos Macana. La manera que usted baila es un obsequio. ¡Gracias para hacer el tango australiano festival maravilloso!

Tango y Madness

At the begining of 2002, I walked into Sidewalk Tango's studio to have my first ever tango lesson. At around the same time, I had a mental breakdown and started on a course of anti depressants and psychiatry. Thus began a strange and difficult year. I remember catching up with my dear friend, Andy Doherty on the phone mid that year and when I had brought him up to speed, I finished by saying that "so far my life was only tango and madness."
Sometimes I think the 2 go hand in hand. My life now-nearly four years on- is so consumed by tango. I no longer take medication and ditched Dr Brendan long ago when I bored of talking about my mother. I now consume forward and backward ochos, voleos,ganchos and occassionally, volcados. A 3 minute spin in close embrace with a stranger is bliss (unless he has bad breath and/or BO- see blog 'If you're going to tango'). I've turned my obsession to shoes and the words 'Comme Il Fait' make me drool and hyperventilate... I look forward to March where a few of us are going to Buenos Aires, which is Mecca for tango obsessives. I dream of dancing every day, cafe con leches at Cafe Tortoni, buying a suitcase full of shoes and piropas in the street from los chicos as I walk by.
Sanity is a matter of opinion. I express my thoughts and I am deemed 'crazy'- George W Bush and Co invade countries and commit mass murder and this is deemed 'necessary'. I have decided to embrace myself and dance for the rest of my life. This is what I have control of.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Accident Waiting To Happen

Hi, Welcome to our new facist state. We have employed a top company from the US and have paid them millions of your hard earned dollars to come up with a new name for our country. It was no contest. We will shortly be known as Xenophobia. Our flag will be blood red and show an insignia of a Muslim being shot by a redneck cop in the back of the head whilst he is praying to Mecca. Aren't you glad we are protecting your freedom by interogating anyone who is a threat to our national security? What are those Muslim women hiding under those black clothes anyway? We have long suspected they are carrying Uzi's and soon we will confirm this. We know you join us will your support, you, our fellow Xenophobes, to stamp out terrorism which threatens the very fibre of this country every minute of the day. Remember, genocide, ethnic cleansing and other terms such as these are just other ways of expressing one thing- freedom. Smile, ASIO is watching. Yours, Big Brother

Thursday, October 06, 2005


I've been listening to a lot of jazz lately. It's not that I've just discovered it or anything like that - I just can't get enough of it at the moment. My nearest and dearest bought me the Ken Burns Jazz documentary for my birthday and I watch it nearly every day. I know it makes me sound like a 5 year old with a Wiggles addiction but I can't explain it. I think I have discovered a substitute for sex - it's Wynton Marsalis' voice. Ooh mama, he makes me moist. I keep watching the part of the documentary where he discusses Thelonius Monk (hence the title of this particular blog)and plays a bit of 'Epistropy' on his horn. The little 'mmm's'between the gaps in the bridge give me the horn.. his voice is like smooth velvet cream. He's not the most visually sexy man to look at,(see picture) but that voice and the way he plays his music is worth much more. His brother, Branford, is a jazz saxophonist and he is good to look at. His voice isn't as sexual as Wynton's but he can play sax like sex. I also love what Wynton says about Miles Davis'style of playing the trumpet, how it appeals to the vunerable and solitary person inside of us all, but at the same time he swings and when that happens, it's a cocktail that is irresistible. I just thought of something I would really love - a recording Wynton Marsalis reading Anais Nin's 'Delta of Venus' - can you dig it? I am totally loving John Coltrane. What a beautiful genius that man was. I was nearly a year old when he made 'A Love Supreme' and I was nearly 4 when he died of cancer at the age of 40. Kind of makes you think of the term 'the good die young. He only recorded for 12 years and this is some of the most inspiring and amazing music I've ever heard. Coltrane's playing is as if he bore his soul for all to see. Listen to his tune 'Naima' and feel the emotion and passion in ever note and sound. I can hardly listen to it without getting tears in my eyes. There's a poster of 'Trane on my wall and I like to think he's watching over me whilst I sleep - his beautiful music the soundtrack to all my dreams......