Plumbing the Deeps of an Eye

... tread softly ... because you tread on my dreams ...



Sunday, December 28, 2003


  ... the final curtain ...

This weblog will no longer be updated.

I would welcome you as a visitor to my new address

Plumbing the Deeps

This will change again in the near future as I desperately try to learn enough to implement a comprehensive site for myself which will include a weblog.

Do please join me. I welcome your company ... and your participation. 


Saturday, December 27, 2003


  ... living life backwards ...

Couple of months ago I watched a programme about the making of a record way back in the 70s by a chap called Lou Reed.

Last week I mouched through the devastated bomb-site formerly known as Bondi Junction and, as is my want, wandered into a second-hand cd and book store. This one is not as good as my all time fav which is Gertrude'n'Alice which is down the beach end of Hall Street (where I had a great mango smoothie on Chrissie Eve and bought two volumes of poetry) but is on a par with T's over on Avoca Street in Randwick for range and price. At all three I can find quirky poetry volumes ... heeheehee ... piginpoo ... piginpoo ...

So up in BJ ... what did I find ... whoosh ... a copy of said cd by Lou Reed. I had always thought he was just some screwed acid-head with no redeeming features whatsoever ... wrong, Jools ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong.

This is such a cool cd.

Transformer by Lou Reed 1972 ... go get you some ...
 


  ... enjoyable actually ...

Yesterday we went to see Love Actually at the Randwick Ritz. I love this cinema; it is so art deco. And a ticket only costs $7 which is half the current Hoyts price.

Now, this is against character, but ... I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the way it was topped-and-tailed to reference everyman. I liked the cavalcade of actors. Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman are two particular favourites. Hugh Grant I usually abhor ... but found him quite normal in this role. Keira Knightley I do not know but is just so gorgeous. I loved the device of the old rocker played by Bill Nighy. What a slime-bag ... but so good at it. The soundtrack was delightful for this child of the 60s.

David had a post about this film a while back but on rereading it I am not sure that he had seen the film. Jon also had an opinion after seeing the film. I agree with the similarity to the work of Robert Altman. However, some of his other comments are a bit like the cultural cringe we Australians wallow in on occasion. My feeling is that the Grant/McCutcheon relationship is not so much pygmalion but more opening us up to the possibility of a love that is so implausible. I agree that someone of the calibre of Rickman was wasted ... oh but those over the glasses looks ...

Tony tried to say that it was a plot-less movie. What a load of rubbish! What was the role of Rowan Atkinson other than to move the plot along? And the fact that it was all located within one community (possibly a graphic design shop) emphasises the concept that Curtis started with ... that although all we ever seem to hear about is hatred and death ... love in all its many forms is everywhere ... we take it for granted ... and maybe shouldn't.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

I get my DVD player today and Claire is lending me her copy of LOTR2 ... then I will be ready for LOTR3 later this coming week. Both Alastair and my younger brother, Ross, saw LOTR3 on its opening day, yesterday. Ross and his family are devotees of Tolkien. Shall be good to hear their opinion in detail tomorrow when we all pic-a-nic together.
 


  ... ruthlessness ...

This is not a character trait that comes easily to me ... well ... not in my opinion.

However, this is me for the next ten days. Yes. Gird the loins and go for it, Jools.

I am sick of living in a tip ... not a pigsty ... it is a tip but just a clean one. But it is piled higher and deeper with the most unimaginable detritus. Enough already! Out dreaded spot! I have this horrid habit ... "one never knows when that will come in handy" ... well ... I do know ... NEVER ...

If I haven't worn it for the last four seasons ... out!
If it hasn't grown and flourished in the last four seasons ... out!
If it is still sitting in an unsorted box since 1998 ... out!
If I like it but it is still not hanging on the wall ... out!
And that entire bloody cupboard full of plastic containers ... out ... out ... out!
 


Friday, December 26, 2003


  ... Season's Greetings ...

May I extend a warm Christmas greeting to all who drop by here over the next few days.

It is early Boxing Day here in Australia as I write this. Today will be in the low 30s and the clouds are brewing already. I have not checked the forecast yet but my guess is for late afternoon thunderstorms.

Over the last 48 hours I have seen just so many young folk suffering from sun-burn. I hope the celebrations were worth it for them ... I know the suffering they have in store over the next couple of days.

Boxing Day in Australia is the traditional holiday-exodus. For Sydney-siders it is for the Central Coast (Gosford Avoca) and North Coast (Nelson Bay, Hawkes Nest, Seal Rocks, Byron Bay) and the South Coast (Kiama, Bateman's Bay, Merimbula). The summer holidays usually extend until the end of January when we have a long weekend for Australia Day. Schools (in NSW) return on Wednesday 28th January.

To you and yours, all the best over the next few days and I hope you are looking forward to 2004.
 


Wednesday, December 24, 2003


  ... four football fields ...

I struggle with this. Yes, it could be envy. Yes, if I were wealthy I could well have an entirely different perspective. However ...

QM2 is 23 storeys high ... a boat ... 23 storeys high ...

I watched on SBS News this evening as QM2 sailed from St Nazaire to Southampton in preparation for its maiden voyage from Southampton to Florida. No more of this shilly-shallying with NYC ... just go straight to where all the wealthy retirees reside ... the ones with a penchant for excess ... oops ... sorry sorry ... my prejudice is showing.

I guess I put the QM2 in the same basket as the NASA space programme and Ronnie's "Star Wars" programme ... such an excessive waste of valuable resources when so many people in the world do not have sanitation; do not have education; do not have a roof over their head; do not have refuge from harm. However, at the same time, I acknowledge that some things of value were achieved: people were employed; intellectual thought was advanced; incidental progress was made in the use of chemicals and so on.

I struggle with flagrant shows of excessive consumption. I struggle with the inherent inequities meted out to mankind. I struggle with people being rewarded for something they were just born with/to and with not understanding that that is a benchmark from which they must etch their own grand design.

I guess it is similar to the educational construct of league-tables and value-added. Surely, if you are given a gift (from God or whoever ... name your deity of choice here) then you should be judged on what you achieve with this gift; not just on the possession of the gift.

I wonder how many people on the maiden voyage of the QM2 can honestly say that their wealth is a product of their born-gift and their application of same.

I struggle on two counts ... people are not born equal. The world is a finite place with limited resources. It is imperative that these resources are directed toward where they will go the greatest good for the greatest number.

*/soapbox*

 


Tuesday, December 23, 2003


  ... budgie bites cat ...

Okay ... hear me out here ...

I took delivery of two budgies last Tuesday. One of my cats, Sylvie (the ginger one), has developed a feasting of fleas ever since ... but, I begrudgingly agree, the link is tenuous; birds host lice, cats host fleas.

On Sunday Sylvie took to hiding under one of the Murrayas in the garden ... and her eye started to close over. Yesterday, again, more skulking in the shrubbery ... and this from a decidedly lap-cat. The cranium above the eye developed a fur-free reddish lump.

Silly me ... thinks this is all linked and caused by masticating midgies ... but Kirsten got on the case. Mother! Get thee to the vettery!!

Two separate problems. Flea-fix medication suitably administered to the back of the neck. To both cats.

The eye has a potentially very serious injury. I has been pierced. However, the iris is still in place and not permanently splattered across the back of the cornea. A large pool of blood is sitting at the back of the iris. It should dissipate with time. So ... anaesthetic ... anti-biotics ...

Could it have been a stick? Another cat?

Or ... ... ... ?


 


  ... as if ...

One block back from the beach they have torn down a series of back-packer hostels. They are building apartments which are three storeys high but as yet are a hole in the ground surrounded by wire mesh. The proposed apartment block is called "151 East" which I gather is its coordinate, 151 degrees 18 minutes. The address they give is Bondi East - never heard of the place before. Funnily enough it is less east than North Bondi!! Even the top floor will be pushing to be higher than the existing buildings on Campbell Parade (which is the first street back from the beach) so it is not as if they will even have a view of the beach.




On the wall of this construction site is a sign which trumpets "One bedroom apartments for sale off the plan. From $590.000".

... from ... FROM ...

 


Sunday, December 21, 2003


  ... promises to keep ...

What did "we" promise to Gaddafi?

Every time an international break through is made ... the quid-pro-quo is disclosed months or years later. Just what have Blair and Bush promised Gaddafi to entice him to make this offer?

I no longer trust Blair ... which saddens me no end. I admired him tremendously at one stage. I have never had anything but suspicion for Bush.

And ... if talks with Gaddafi's representatives have been going on since March ... who else are they "talking" with. What else are they promising in return? Remember ... the USA supported both sides in Afghanistan ... both sides. They armed and manipulated BOTH sides. The USA supported Saddam in the war against Iran. They have supported BOTH sides in Iraq.

The USA is the most cynical and manipulative nation on earth.

"... what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

... W. B. Yeats ...
 


  ... if I do as he did ... I am no better than he was ...

Both main federal political parties have stated that they favour trying Saddam in Iraq and that they favour the death penalty for him. I hold my head in my hands in unbelieveable saddness ...

Not because they had said this; not because they hold these views. I have come to expect this now.

What saddens me beyond belief is that if Howard and Latham are prepared to say this ... then they obviously believe that the Australian people also think like this. Australian politicians are poll-driven and cynical. They have no personal stance ... their eye is always towards the main chance ... and the next election. How sad. How unbelieveably unthinkable ... I hold great saddness within me for our capacity to care ... about freedom ... about justice ... about ethics.

Let me state ... for the record.

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Everyone has the right to a fair trial.
Everyone has rights under the Geneva convention.
I do not believe in capital punishment.

If we deny basic rights to Saddam ... then we are no better than he was.

 


  ... comptemplating one's navel ...

Yesterday was the day I would have flown to the UK ... if I had not decided against in mid-way through September. I was quite down all day ... not depressed as such ... more suppressed. I do not in the least regret the decision not to go ... the more time progresses the more I value the reasons that existed to help me think that way.

Just a wistfulness ...  


Friday, December 19, 2003


  ... what else ...

On Monday there was a big meeting at UNSW for the Jewish community to vent their spleen about the proposed "affiliation" of Mt Sinai (which is an Orthodox school) and Emanuel (which is a liberal progressive school). Boy ... was spleen vented ... fire and brimstone splattered the walls ... Jews sure know how to do internecine ... the meeting commenced at 8pm and the final rock was thrown at about 11:15pm ...

My assessment is that the "merger" will not go ahead ... it would be nice ... the bums on seats flowing through to our cash ... however, the way it stands at the moment is that Mt Sinai parents are voting with their feet ... the Orthodox are moving to Moriah (just down the hill from us in Queens Park and the mother of all Sydney Jewish schools ... they gobble all opposition ... they are mammoth) ... and the claytons-Jews are heading our way ... our Opportunity classes are now over-subscribed and we have waiting lists for three years of Year 7s (2004, 2005 and 2006). So, even though we are deemed the aggressor ... we don't at this stage appear to be the loser.

Pleases me this does ... I think on balance I don't want the merger to go ahead. I think we are heading in the right direction the way we are. The HSC results came out yesterday and today. This is the final High School exam in NSW. In 2001 we had phenomenal results because we had a good year (we are non-selective on any criteria whatsoever). In 2002 we had a poor result because the year overall was weak. This year we have results equivalent to 2001 ... but with a weaker cohort ... it was all done on the improved quality of teacher that we have recruited. Our strong faculties are still English, History and Visual Arts. We do need to strengthen Maths and Science. Our results for PDHPE this year are in the right direction ... and will be better in 2004 because of the mad Pom we recruited last January. Our History results are outstanding (100% of students in the top band, 6) and all due to the wonderful Jo whom we helped to get a business visa last January ... gorgeous lass ... if anyone should be gay ... she should ... mmm MMM ...

So ... without being smug ... I think we are getting there ourselves ... and in the presentation we came across just so well... the phone calls and emails just flooded in ... as did the calls of enquiry to Caroline ... we have a gorgeous campus ... we have an improving staff ... we have a strong academic policy in place ... what we really need now is community confidence ...  


  ... additions to my household ...

So ... to date ... I have two cats ... Sylvie (orange) and Sapphie (tabby).
Then ... I added ... fifteen gold fish (now down to 14 thanks to Sylvie!).

This week ... I became the loving owner of two budgies ... one male, one female ... hee hee hee ... they had some stupid names from a tv show ... but have now been renamed ... wait for it ... drum-roll ... da dah ... Nelson and Mandela ... yeah, yeah, I know ... smidge twee ...

Kirsten reckons I have my own food chain ... so I am now training Sylvie to ignore the happy little blighters ... Over my two weeks of vacation (if praise the Lord they ever start) I think I will make this ... this will be aided by the fact that the little blighters squawk the room down and flutter madly all around the cage if Sylvie as much as breathes air in their direction ... scares the shit out of her ... and out of poor Sapphie ... she was out of there never to return after the first dose.

Caroline wants me to take them back to school and keep them in my office ... she had a budgie (Caruso) when she was a kid ... Chris has gone all clucky and wants a pair of love-birds ... Rachel told me about the time when she was flatting and they let the budgie out to fly around the room whilst they cleaned the cage ... but forgot to turn off the fan ...  


  ... end of term ...

The students finished on Thursday 11th. The academic staff finished on Wednesday 17th. The administrative staff finished on Friday 19th ... except for those of us who have to go back again on Monday to get the work finished ... sigh ...
 


Sunday, December 14, 2003


  ... angels ... angels ... and more melodic angels ...

If I hear the family name Williams uttered in conjunction with the diminutive "Robbie" before this time next year, the utterer will have her angelic neck lovingly, yet well-and-truly, wrung.

As Pedi chants ... go Robbee ... (joint elliptical arm movement) ... go Robbee ... (joint elliptical arm movement) ... go Robbee ... (more of the same accompanied by smirk) ... gooooo ... 


Friday, December 12, 2003


  ... on shooting one's self in the proverbial ...

I received my university results yestereve. I was awarded a credit for the final essay and 8 for participation which gave me 75 for the entire unit which is a distinction by the skin of my teeth. Hence, my overall rating for my masters is 74.5 ... shit and derision ... so close to a Distinction average ... and yet so far.

I have to pay a few outstanding library fines before I can access the results pages to get more details. This will involve returing the outstanding library books which have been rattling around the boot of my car for the last month. Drats. 


Thursday, December 11, 2003


  ... support ...

I joined the union on Tuesday. I fear that all this restructuring is going to get nasty before too long. There is a union meeting on Friday.

Tomorrow I am contacting the agency that got this this job to indicate that I am looking around for replacement. The restructured positions here hold little interest for me. I am not interested in holding out for the redundancy payment. I would prefer a wee more peace and quiet ... and respect.

Saw a nice job at the Conservatorium ... but for shit money. I want peace ... but I also must be able to meet my bills.

Drats ... can do without all this.