Tuesday, 3 January 2006

What I Did On My Holidays

It feels like a very long time since I've been near the Internet: since last posting on Christmas Eve I've only checked my email two or three times and looked at my bloglines subscriptions exactly once. This came about from a combination of reasons, chief among them the irreparable brokenness of my own computer and profound, hysterical envy of the half-dozen people whose blogs I read who have been enjoying themselves at this year's MLA convention in Washington DC. That, and the fact that part of the Xmas booty littered around the house was a set of DVDs containing three whole seasons of Black Books. My inner monologue now speaks with Dylan Moran's accent. And I threw out all the terrifying old weird crumbling foodstuff in the pantry and scrubbed the shelves till it hurts your eyes to look at them. I've been reading Manning Clark's History of Australia as well: the disgusted Bernard Black inner voice has come in handy on almost every page. I'm up to the Eureka Stockade. Bet you I don't make it past Federation.

I'm trying to remember the name of the character in Catch-22 who is determined to test the theory that if life is reduced to grinding boredom, it not only feels longer, it is longer.

Rejoice that I have decided to spare you lengthy descriptions of our festivities, except to point out that it is completely unacceptable for New Year's Eve to happen on a day when the thermometer climbs to 43 degrees celsius (110 fahrenheit) and it feels like the house is a pizza oven being attacked with a monstrous blowtorch. It took me two full days of pain to get over that, because I am weak. The blinding scorching heat cost me money, too: in a moment of lightheaded stupidity I made a bet with Dorian, as we left home in the early evening of the last day of 2005, that a louvred photocopier sorting attachment-thing which has been adorning the nature strip in our street for at least the last two weeks would have been carted away or possibly smashed by drunken merry revellers before we got home, of course it's still there and will be until the Last Trump, so I had to pay up.

I think Brownie must be a telepath, because she said Basil hated his black leather collar with its stupid chunky fluoro green ID tag, and he promptly lost it the next morning. That's OK. All the hipster cats will be wearing bottle green elastic collars with blingin' gold nametags in 2006.

Do all cats look like Muppets photographed from this angle, or just the ones with unkempt neck fur?

Thanks to the very great benevolence of our credit union, I got a new thing too.

Mwah hah hah hah haaaaaah!

It was on special!

Wonder how long it's going to stay all shiny & white! Probably not very long!

In the interests of giving equal time to both suckerish shopping euphoria and anti-corporation earnestness, here is a picture of the installation Barbara Kruger is currently showing at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Go see this if you find yourself wasting energy on desiring possessions you do not need.


Pavlov's Cat said...

Happy Hot New Year, Laura. Global warming is, of course, just left-wing propaganda.

If you decide (or are driven) to stop being a purist about the Manning Clark, you could always try Michael Cathcart's condensed one-volume version/adaptation.

jo(e) said...

Hey, I just got the very same laptop -- for work, of course. It's nice to read blogs sitting in the living room in front of the fire ....

Happy New Year!

Phantom Scribbler said...

Good grief. We feel like we're melting and bemoan global warming when it's 35 degrees in midsummer. You are made of sterner stuff.

Anonymous said...


PaoYi said...

hey - we got the black books boxed set here for xmas too! hahahah WHAT FUN *rubs her hands together in glee*

Lucy Tartan said...

Running out of puff already on the Manning Clark. Very likely I will finish it up via the abridgement - pretty sure I have a copy of it somewhere around here.

Clark has some stylistic tics which I'd enjoy the book more without.

The first season of Black Books was sublimely hysterical. Two and three, not so much. Dylan Moran wrote the last two and my faint impression is that Bernard is meant to be more like some kind of tortured genius there, in the first series he was just unrestrained Id - much better.

The first series was written by Graham Lineham who also wrote Father Ted: both owe a massive debt to Fawlty Towers, which for some cruel reason costs more than $80 for both series on DVD.

Tony.T said...

The guy in Catch-22 who believes boredom is the key to a long life is Dunbar.

Anonymous said...

"Maj. Major M. Major and his father both reinforce the novel's theme that bureaucracy is absurd."

I love it when I read something deep.

Now I am off on a quest to read the Wikipedia entry on all the Catch 22 characters for similar insights into the human condition.

- barista

jacqueline said...

Oooo, shiny laptop. Or rather, understated matte laptop. Yes I know others are discussing books, or something. Maybe they didn't see the laptop?

Brownie said...

brought ya a pressie I found at normblog, link to a book2film bit


re Lord Baz - he is smarter than 'lost it' - just wants you to think 'lost'.

Mel said...

I saw a most excellent iced-out cat collar in a Smith St cheap shop: it was pink with diamante studs and a bonus bell! Bling! Bling! Maybe a bit too camp for Baz, though.

genevieve said...

Ah, Laura, you too have seen the link from Black Books to Fawlty Towers. In our house all three series are regarded equally - I did not realise the Fr Ted writer was involved, actually. Thought it was all Dylan. I have seen Fran on Lenny Henry a coupla times recently. And the family have twice neglected to catch Bill Bailey live at the Melb. Comedy Festival, however we did see a cracking episode of the Glass House with himself and Ross Noble. Very silly stuff.

Armaniac said...

Cats are so much smarter than humans, I admit it.

="it is completely unacceptable for New Year's Eve to happen on a day when the thermometer climbs to 43 degrees celsius"=

Try being at a wedding.

Where dad's DVD message refers to your past interest in the bride. While your wife's sitting next to you.

Hot? Mate, anything next to my skin was incinerated.

Ampersand Duck said...

Very hard to do work in high temperatures and the knowledge that the boxed set of Black Books is sitting only metres away next to the DVD player. Snap! My reward for finishing my To Do list is watching with the commentary on.

(hmsox -- the piles of black socks waiting in the drawer for winter)

dk.au said...

I'd highly recommend a keyboard protector. good investment because it protects from spills (eg. the cup of tea that destroyed my friend's new G3), feels nicer to type on, makes typing quieter and looks cool.