Wednesday, January 28, 2004

People I have lived with in Brisbane town*.

Anne liked keeping kittens locked inside the house in sweltering conditions. We weren't allowed to open the windows in case they got out. She moaned in a very theatrical way during sex. She liked associating with Satanists.

Leif (aka Skelator)went out with Anne. He liked wearing ribbons off his jeans and poncing round. He stole all our rent money to spend on prostitutes. Now living in Melbourne - apparently still with Anne.

Tom was a gymnast. He was pretty normal except for his habit of playing his best friend and girlfriend off against each other for his own (perhaps) sick pleasure. Oh and for looking like a little monkey. Had to move back in with his parents to pay the lawyers bills.

Catherine was in love with Tom and heartbroken when he moved out. She took years to get over it before meeting her current alcoholic ex(?) junkie man who ruined everything he touched.

Peter was Toms best friend. He was in love with Catherine and Tom. He only had one set of clothes and enjoyed nothing better than removing all his body hair. He only owned two cd's which he played 24 hours a day.

Jim was a schizophrenic who would change something in the house everyday be it a new lounge or fifty new plants. His dog and cat both disappeared in the first two weeks I lived there. He was committed shortly after. Would run off with the TV while you were watching it.

Mary was an American exchange student. She had never been overseas before and was from the Midwest. She moved out shortly after taking acid during Miss Teen USA. During this period was notable in becoming the only person I have lived with in QLD to wish there were more cockroaches. Now back in the States.

Ben never seemed to be around. It turns out he was friends with Catherine and Peter in that round about way everyone in Brisbane knows each other. Somehow dislikeable despite never doing anything. Spent his time in a dope induced stupor.

Jenny was Jim's sister. She moved in after he was committed. She somehow seemed like an old hippy despite being only about 18. Went out with Ben.

The guys "in the band". Were moving in as I moved out. What you would expect from a heavy metal band. Feral.

Jenny came back from North Qld after going bush. Moved out shortly after. Brought back five English guys who slept in the hallways so you had to walk over their hard-ons every morning.

Greg sorta went out with Jenny. Fancied himself an artist so never cleaned or helped round the house. Played really bad guitar.

Andrea ran up 400 bucks worth of calls in 2 weeks. Made comments about people's sexuality and constantly had geeky foreign exchange students over who would exclaim over how much they loved strong Australian girls. Was a Christian which says it all really.

Kelly looked like the Wella woman and had the most beautiful hair until she broke her boyfriends heart, shaved her head and became a lesbian after a week at surf camp. She ran away to a women's acrobatic circus soon after.

Fern is one of the best people on earth. When I first moved in with her we embarked on a slab a day/eighth a day diet. It was very successful. Now graduated from uni! A doctor! Married with two kids in Brissy. Changed everyone who lived with her's life - and in a good way. Could have been the love of my life but wasn't.

Melody used to wear a tail (which looked surprisingly natural) and had no common sense. I kicked her out after she sold spliff to a schizophrenic homeless woman who had tried to strangle me the week before. She couldn't work out why I was upset.

Todd was the filthiest looking boy I've ever seen despite taking two hour plus showers everyday. We could not help but treat him with suspicion. His parents were loaded and gave the impression he was slumming. Moved into a Tepee in Northern NSW when he left.

Hettie brought about fifty people with her when she moved in. Thought that by pulling the supports out of the side of the house to enable them all to climb in the window that we wouldn't notice. Ultimately the 20 toothbrushes in the (one) bathroom gave the game away.

Kim despite living with ten others ruled the house with a fist of iron. Managed to get us all to be quiet during her uni exams. Had some funny ideas about the war but is still a top chick. Makes some mean sushi. Living the corporate dream in Melbourne.

Tara was a hippy and one of the best looking and sweetest girls you would ever meet. Taught me to enjoy the little things in life. Lived up north for three months solely on mangos, coconuts and bush tucker. Fantastic fire sticker. Once observed that Tantric workshops were "a great way to get to know people". Now lives in a commune up north.

Paul aka the little French boy dubbed for his amazingly long eyelashes and dark colouring. When out with Tara for a while. Constructive previous life as cyclist at Australian Institute of Sport. Last heard of squatting and busking in Brisbane.

Daria who could do anything. She could cook, fix things, sew, you name it she could do it. One of my best friends. My favourite times were spent dancing on the table in my room after messy nights out. Put me and my now ex up when we got to London (to his discomfort in a separatist lesbian house). Now liking boys again.

Mick moved in after breaking up with his fiancé. We hung out almost constantly, getting up to mischief and running amuck. Moved down south briefly however current whereabouts are unknown. The first boy I knew who changed from being a carpenter to a hairdresser. Was this the first metrosexual?

Sideshow Bob had big feet and red dreadlocks. He only ever wore black or dark brown and was a computer geek as well as being into experimental electronic music. Went out with Kim for a while. Had few social skills. I found out only recently that he had been/was scared of me. I wish I'd known.

Sue was the responsible member of the house. A den mother if you will. At one time totally addicted to buying new sneakers. Only ate white bread. Under pressure to have a more diverse diet I once found her eating frozen veg from the packet.

Conrad was more boyfriend than flatmate - only moved in cause he was living there anyway. Was a "boy in a bubble". Father was an ex SAS Vietnam vet. Mother died young of cancer. Had a lot of "issues" but still a top bloke. Last heard of moving back to Brisbane from Alice Springs.

Nicole helped break my heart. May still be going out with Conrad. Other than that a nice enough girl if a bit fey. Liked plants. Had a look about her that suggested her parents hadn't loved her enough.

Kerry had a very mysterious job which involved all of us thinking she was on the game (unlike later flatmates who really were). Turns out the vaginal wash that had us all intrigued was really just to stay "fresh". Has now emigrated to London apparently for good.

Gina and I were really good mates for ages until I wouldn't fit her up one night. Couldn't understand how I was otherwise occupied by the first boy I had brought home in nearly a year and as a result proceeded to have a three hour fight (with her psychotic (now ex) boyfriend) outside my room. Strangely he wasn't scared off by this.

Sally went to the shop one day and never came back. It turned out that she was a smack addict and she had gone on the run. Saw her at the drive through bottle shop in West End a week later (in her Dads stolen car). Was the only person I have lived with to be declared missing.

Paul and Tim were gay junkie rent boys (naturally this only became apparent after they moved in). We were often awoken by Paul's jealous rages about Tim's activities down the "wall" and by our own smashing furniture. They stole all my flatmates Christmas money after I kicked them out.

Samantha was on the game. Her driver stole my TV. She had a built in radar for the worst men I have ever seen. She fell in love with a 7"5 drug dealing biker fresh out of jail at her strip club. Her relationship with her father was concerning to say the least.

Nancy started stripping too after getting a job with Samantha. She took the most speed I've ever seen which we all loved as the house would be spotless. However it tended to turn her into a mindless zombie. She meet a copper while on the job and gave it all up for love.

Cara was lovely. A bit strange in her own way and terrible taste in guys but then she never really got on with my boyfriend so I'm not one to talk. Things went a bit strange between us after my cat died. Bickering over the rent finally broke the camels back.

Paul was a curly haired angelic looking boy who I must admit I spent hardly any time with as he practically lived at his girlfriends place until he did pack up and finally move there.

Greg worked at Telstra and helped out with his fortunate phone discounts. Spent a lot of time disrobed in his room chatting to other boys on the web. Was a real sweetie.

Adam was another ex boyfriend who was more partner than flattie and the last person I lived with in Brissie. He followed me round the world for a time. Now living back in Brisbane. A heart of gold even if pathologically jealous and insecure.

*Names have been changed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

tech update

You may have noticed that our comments disappeared recently - this is because blogspeak is no more. However, haloscan has taken over all blogspeak accounts so as you can see, the comments are back - I was even able to save the old ones. Nice.

Oh, and we now have an atom RSS feed:

Monday, January 19, 2004

public service announcement

for anyone who ever has to pick up or drop off passengers at QUT Garden's Point... you may have gathered, between the profanity of a certain post on my blog, that i am not entirely happy with the traffic and parking situation at QUT. particularly as it led to a $60 fine for stopping safely to drop my girlfriend off, when a truck blocked the only setdown zone.

i have since been informed (by QUT parking people) that if the setdown zone is full, you can pull around to the security gatehouse and ask them to let you in to drop off your passenger(s).

i am yet to test the theory; but damnit, i'm not going to stop in that nice safe closed-off sliplane if it means a fine. i'll take up the security guard's time, since that's the way it's gotta be. hurrah for the Brisbane City Council's parking nazis...

why am i telling you such earth-shattering stuff? well it's just to share the love. nah, i just don't want anyone else to have to shell out for some parking guy to fill their quota on easy marks.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Extreme Theorems

Well it's definitely a rarity these days to see anything of value on the telly, especially at obscene hours of the morning as one sits, eating cheese and writing a blog entry.

However, last night I witnessed a man figure skating to Lou Bega's 'Mambo Number Five' with an inflatable doll strapped to the front of his body, so I guess that exceptions to the rule are possible. Actually, it was a pretty impressive performance...not only did the guy dip the little lady (who was quite smashingly clad in a nice Moulin Rouge! type number) and successfully pull off many triple axels, but he also took the time to show his love for her by holding tightly onto her flimsy rubber hands as they flayed about lifelessly during the performance. I particularly liked the close ups of her face, as she was no doubt perpetually shocked that the audience enjoyed the routine - why else would her mouth be gaping open like that?

So you may be asking yourself, "Who the hell is this?" and "Why the hell is she eating cheese in the middle of the night?" Hell, you might even be keen to ask me what a figure skating partnership featuring a man and his sex doll has to do with Brisbane.

Before I get into that I will introduce myself, because no one wants to hear about such sordid topics from a complete stranger - unless you're eager to pick up the phone and call Lavalife or which case, I'll hold fort here until you get back from 'clicking' with other singles and/or friends, acquaintances, chums, mums, dads, brothers, sisters and local members of parliament.

But before you go, I'd like to say "Hello, my name is Anni. I am a Virgo, who likes long walks on the beach and I happen to stress excessively about everything. Do you like extreme sports?" When I cite 'extreme sports' and you think that I am referring to racing shopping trolleys down the hill outside my residence, then yes, the proper authorities have been contacted and I have littered those ball bearings about like promised.

I also like to write in a blog, because it is possibly the second worst form of poisoning the youth of today can expose themselves to (the first would have to be a job at Supre...I can imagine an Orwellian congregation at midday, like 1984's "hate sessions", except they'd be no physical acts of aggression or passion because the pre-teens can't even stand properly in their spike-heeled plugger thongs). And I am confident that there is nowhere better to promote such careless behaviour than Brisbane (especially the Southside).

Ah yes...I remember Brisbane with fond memories as a child. Before I moved up here in the mid-90s, I used to come up to visit every year at Christmas from my hometown of Maitland, NSW (right smack bang in the heart of Hunter Valley wine country). As a country kid, I too was taken in by the promise of the city's excitement. I wanted to live there, to meet interesting people and to have adventures. Little did I know that Brisbane transport is of the highest quality by third world standards, and that I would spend the inauguration of my adult years marooned at various bus stops, or sitting on trains with people who like to practice their pole-dancing manoeuvres (male and female) during peak hour. Yes, the people are certainly interesting here and that's why I love it.

Much can be said (and has been said) about Brisbane's contribution to Australia's creative output as a whole. Many would liken our Brisvegas as Australia's "figure skating sex doll" in relation to our creative capital contribution. We have exceptionally talented people in our fair city, who sometimes penetrate the Perspex ceiling and make in big nationwide, hell, sometimes even world-wide. Yet, despite our determination and obvious ability, we are often put second, or third, or last in the creative food chain. We are strapped to the sweaty, pulsating limbs of 'the machine' ( = collective term for those with the cool, hard wads of cash, i.e. the majority of funding bodies, etc), which controls who makes it, and who remains in their shanty houses writing for the Street Press or 'doing favours' for people who know a good thing when they see it.

But what it all comes down to is that fact that when the rest of nation is watching, the machine is bound to keep up appearances by gracefully placing a hand on our backs and offering an empty smile to its audience. It may provide the resources for one, two or three creative individuals (except for that dickhead who smears himself in honey for 'art') once in a blue moon, but what about the others?

Then again, people who say such things about Brisbane are probably exasperated activists...who fortunately offer free BBQs at the majority of student protests, so I have nothing against them :-)

Personally, I think that Brisbane is chock-a-block with enough of the 'right stuff' to accurately label it as a creative city. And with the obvious presence of its 'two degrees of separation' rule, who is to say that it isn't possible to annihilate the inflatable doll theory via an outburst of creative independence (resulting in a surge of conquests) amongst each and every Cell.

Yes there is strength in our masses...and luckily we are all carrying rubber repair kits.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

site update

In response to a request by heretic I've set the author field in the byline to show author nicknames instead of our full names. Hopefully you haven't picked an embarrassing nickname thinking nobody would ever see it...ah, apparently not.

I've also added geographic coordinates to the template so that the blog will show up on sites that list by location - like local feeds - when we have an rss feed set up, that is. Any tech-minded people out there who know of a way to generate a decent rss feed from a blogger-powered weblog, let me know. Most of the scraping services do a very ordinary job of it.

For those of you interested in adding the geographic metadata to your own blogs, all you have to do is post the code below into the head section of your main page:
 <meta name="ICBM" content="-27.460000,153.020000">
Note: these coordinates are for Brisbane city. If you want to be more precise than that, geo url has resources for pinpointing your longitude and latitude.

Friday, January 02, 2004

the two degrees of brisvegas

Nobody seems to have mentioned this classic brisvegas observation, so here goes...

You have probably heard of the movie/concept Six Degrees of Separation; whereby nobody on the planet is more than six 'hops' away from you.... ie. someone you know will know someone else, who knows someone ..... who knows you.

In Brisbane, you get two degrees of separation - your friends know your friends. If you meet someone new and go to a party at their place, you're quite likely to know someone already. This phenomenon still catches me out sometimes - for instance, hello Nick! I admit, I am one of the people responsible for repeatedly dragging Nick to loud, hot, smoky subculture dives to consume beer and complain about the useless air conditioning.

I do extend the two degrees theory, however. As much as it does hold true, there seem to be entire groups of people in Brisbane with absolutely no connections between them. My theory is this: there are an unknown number of large Cells of people, who all know each other via nodal individuals like my (and Nick's) mate Kevin [nodal individual = person who connect large numbers of otherwise unrelated individuals]. These cells may overlap slightly but generally they have very little interaction. However, should two nodal individuals get together; suddenly entire Cells open up to each other.

And so the cycle of social life begins anew in Brisvegas.

New Year, New Members

Happy new year everyone!

Now that our heads have (hopefully) cleared, I wanted to welcome two new bloggers: Nick and Anni. Since we now have enough members to make this a real group weblog, I want to open the future format and content of the blog up for discussion. I know we are all busy with our 'real' blogs, so one idea I had was that we could just pay attention to any posts on our primary blogs that seemed to be particularly suited to brisvegasbloggers, and repost them here. I'd like to see it become a window into work and play in the city from a range of perspectives - I don't think we need to worry about making it profound. For example, Brendan could post about his nocturnal adventures in the Valley (G rated of course), and I notice that Pedro has been driving a taxi - I'm sure there's some very interesting potential stories there.

But I'd love to know what you guys (members and visitors) would like to see us do with the space - please post your suggestions as comments to this post so everyone can see them.