31 May, 2006

pictures of infinity

I have never had the kind of mind necessary to appreciate the mathematics behind them, but I have always been fascinated by fractals.

Supposedly, the phenomenally complex geometry behind their composition is capable of explaining all the intricate shapes that Nature creates. Looking at the gorgeous pictures from this exquisite site, I think I believe it.
Trying to contemplate the theory behind fractals makes my brain feel that it's expanding like an over-inflated balloon. Looking at them makes me feel like I'm peering between the cracks of the world into the stuff that lies beneath, and holds it all together.

Blatte's Backgrounds was recently featured on the always-worth-a-gander Neat-O-Rama. Blatte is a Canadian guy who creates fractal-based computer desktop images. How he does it, I'm not going to even pretend to understand. All I know is, they are mind-boggling and breath-taking. And they are free to download for use on your personal computer.

I have never been a religious person as such, but if there is a Power of some kind behind the forms and actions of the Universe, I believe this is the closest we mere mortals can get to a visual representation of that Power, and its potential. These images make me feel simultaneously like a tiny part of a giant world, and a singularly spectacular example of its creation. Am I seeing the tiniest matter magnified infinitely more than the most powerful microscope? Or is this what the Universe looks like as a whole, when viewed from a vast distance? If fractal theory holds true, then the answer is: both. The minute evolves from the massive. The expansive can be seen within the infinitesimal. Even the tiniest point within the whole is sublimely beautiful, if only you look carefully enough.


30 May, 2006

soul-crushing paradox of life #373

The further into Winter we get, the colder the mornings become.

The colder the mornings become, the harder it is for MindlessMunkey to get out of bed.

The colder the mornings become, the longer it takes MindlessMunkey's car to warm up.

The longer it takes MindlessMunkey's car to warm up...
the earlier MindlessMunkey has to get out of bed.


Why is the world so cruel?


25 May, 2006

who let the assholes out?

Two nights in a row, in the last week, I was a victim of bullying.

Not schoolyard bullying. Not gay-hate bullying. Not even "you're an arrogant fuck" bullying (which often may be quite justified). No, lovers and dreamers, this was traffic bullying. Yes: Traffic Bullying.

Picture the scene. I am driving home, city-bound along the brilliantly designed and perfectly maintained (har har!) Monash Freeway. It is dark. It is raining. Most of the traffic is doing around 80-90kms/hour, which is quite annoying. I must admit, I am a little bit of a lead-foot. Well, maybe not lead: perhaps some kind of a semi-heavy alloy. Anyhoo... I have my cruise-control coasting at about 105 which is yes, a bit too fast - but not insane.

Suddenly, I am blinded by a bright explosion of light, reflected in my rear-view mirror. Another car is hurtling towards me from behind, flashing its high-beams. Clearly I am not going fast enough for his tastes. But there is a steady stream of much-slower traffic beside me, and I am not prepared to speed (even more than I already am) to please some tiny-cocked bogan in a hotted-up ute. He proceeds to tailgate me - literally so close behind me I cannot see his front bumper in the mirror.

Now I'm not one of those vindictive bastards who will deliberately slow down just to piss someone off further. But I also will not do something that makes me feel unsafe, merely because someone else is trying to intimidate me. So I simply continue. The cruise-control keeps my speed constant, and I continue to pass the slower cars in the other lanes. Mr Dickwad behind me now begins swerving back and forth within the lane - still flashing his high-beams all the while - as if hoping to magically find a way to sneak around me. What does he want me to do? Swerve into the stream of traffic in the other lane, just to get out of his way? Pull off the freeway altogether into the emergency lane? Speed up to Ludicrous-Speed - and probably lose control in the rain and end up a corpse? Not gonna happen. I'll admit I was quite scared by his behaviour. But that wasn't going to make me change mine. As I may have mentioned above, I can be an arrogant fuck with the best of them.

I was bullied quite horribly at my first High-School. Sadly, my twelve-year-old self let it get to me, and my self-esteem took a long time to recover. What I had yet to realise then, is now very clear to me in my elderly wisdom: people who bully - in any form - only do so because they have no sense of self-worth themselves. If you need to make someone else feel like shit in order to survive, you clearly don't have a very high opinion of yourself.

At any rate, finally the traffic thinned in the lane to our left, and Speedy Gonfuckwit darted around me and zoomed away. Soon came my exit... turns out it was also his. I follow him up the off-ramp, and end up waiting at the traffic lights, right behind him. So this is the grand reward for his incredibly dangerous, childish actions: being stopped exactly one car-length ahead of where he would have been if he hadn't all-but committed vehicular sodomy on my person.

Imagine my exasperation when, almost exactly 24 hours later, I had a sense of déjà-vu. Again, it was dark. Again it was raining. Again I was zooming every-so-slightly too fast down the Monash. Again, it began with the flash of high-beams in the rear-vision mirror. Again I stood my ground and drove exactly as I normally would (only even more carefully than usual, since this assclown was endangering me so recklessly). The exact same thing proceeded to happen, only this time it wasn't a ute, but a four-wheel-drive which finally zipped around me and disappeared into the night.

Why? For the love of God, why?! What have you achieved? Does it really make you feel more masculine or powerful to act like a six-year-old? Do you honestly think anyone is impressed by your pathetic attempts to intimidate others?

Don't get me wrong. I'm the first to shake my fist and fill my car with swear-words when a Volvo-driver is going 40 in an 80 zone. I also once wound down the window and shouted "CUNT!" at a cyclist who was holding up traffic on a narrow road (although that was more for the effect of making Snaz laugh in horror). But there is absolutely no need to dangerously bully your fellow drivers.

So, to all the hoon-wankers out there: Drop the ego and try some self-esteem instead. Your over-inflated Death Drive is not impressive, and neither is your willingness to endanger others. Attempting to make someone feel small does not make you look big. It makes you look even smaller. Go back to the Asshole Farm, and shut the gate. Thankyou.

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23 May, 2006

important simian news

There have been two exciting stories in the world of primates this week.

First up, an article published in Nature on research into monkey communication patterns. Researchers from Scotland's University of St Andrews (including one
Klaus Zuberbuehler which is truly a linguistic marvel in itself) have spent several months looking into the various sounds used by the delightfully named Putty-Nosed Monkeys of West Africa. We have always known that primates - along with many other animals - use specific sounds for specific purposes. But this research has shown for the first time that monkeys are in fact capable of combining different sounds using simple syntax, to create a new meaning.

From news.com.au:
The findings suggest that the rudiments of syntax, a basic component of human language, may be more widespread among primates than is generally thought, and could ultimately shed light on the evolution of this most distinctly human of traits...
Dr Zuberbuhler added: "To our knowledge, this is the first good evidence of a syntax-like natural communication system in a non-human species."
Of course, the syntax we're talking about is still very simple: merely combinations of "Hack!" and "Pyow!" sounds. But hey, it's a start. It's more than I can often manage first thing in the morning...
I need twenty copies of this, and that spreadsheet on my desk by midday.
Hack! Hack hack hack HACK!
Let's stay in bed together till the early afternoon.


Meanwhile, on the topic of monkey-snuggling, researchers from the Broad Institute at M.I.T. Cambridge have released a paper (also in Nature) suggesting that early humans continued interbreeding with chimps long after they had begun separating as species. This
man-monkey fucking, they claim, went on for about four million years. Recent developments in the Human and Chimpanzee Genome Projects provided these scientists with 800 times the data of previous simlar studies. Comparison between the two species' DNA revealed that there was no "clean break" in the evolutionary paths. Rather, the two creatures had continued swapping genes for millions of years.

Again, from news.com.au:
The most detailed analysis conducted of human and chimpanzee DNA reveals that after an initial separation from a common ancestor, between five and six million years ago, the species continued interbreeding. The implication is that speciation - the separation from a common ancestor - wasn't the simple process scientists previously believed. Instead, it happened over millions of years during which "episodes" of hybridisation took place before the final separation into two distinct species...
"It's a totally cool and extremely clever analysis," said Harvard biological anthropologist Daniel Lieberman, who was not involved in the research. "My problem is imagining what it would be like to have a bipedal hominid and a chimpanzee viewing each other as appropriate mates, not to put it too crudely," he said.
Oh, go on Daniel Lieberman - be crude, we don't mind. What you're trying to say is that the thought of a dashing young early-man gazing at an alluring lady ape in a bar and thinking "she's a bit of alright," turns your stomach. You don't like the mental image of some buxoum cro-magnon beauty grinding pink bits with a creature you've seen flinging fæces at the zoo. And who can blame you?

But frankly I think we're being oversensitive. And I also suspect we're overestimating the standards of modern humans. Have you ever been to an urban bar on a Saturday night? Have you waded through the sea of hormones and observed the obscene, thinly-veiled desperation as all the pretty young thangs hunt like predators for someone - anyone - to bump uglies with? Have you been there at 3am just before closing, when time is running out and the more desriable specimens have all been taken? In these circumstances, viewed through beer-googles, it seems almost anyone - or anything - can be regarded as fair game for stumbling into a cab with. It's all about finding a warm body to fall asleep beside - and sneak away from trying not to puke with shame, as soon as the first rays of morning tint the sky.

I would like to release a bunch of chimps into the clubs of the city one Saturday night. My guess is they wouldn't all be going home alone, and the speciation process might just encounter a long-overdue revival.


22 May, 2006


Regular readers will notice I have taken a leaf out of Cher's book and had some serious cosmetic work done.
New banner, new layout, new background... you name it, it's all happening! Yes, lovers and dreamers, my humble little blog has undergone the HTML equivalent of three facelifts, full-body liposculpture, silicone norg implants and enough Botox to down a small horse.

I hope you like the end results - if it looks shit, it's probably because you're still using Internet Explorer. Get with it people! IE is rotten! Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera... take your pick. They all leave IE for dead.

(Also, Bill Gates is a bed-wetter. And he eats Satan's sperm for breakfast. You know it's true.)


19 May, 2006

thought for the day

Make your own inspirational posters here.


18 May, 2006

intoxicating, in any language...

In much the same way as a Japanese cat says "nyaa nyaa" and a French dog says "ouah ouah", people all around the world have a myriad different ways of saying "Let's get boozy!"

Here in Australia, as in most other sensible English-speaking places, we go for a humble, hearty "CHEERS!".

The Irish prefer to get back to their celtic roots with a nice bit of "Sláinte!", as they're knocking back a pint of deadly black sludge.

"À votre santé," say the French. How wimpy and pretentious does that sound?! À votre santé, my arse.

The Italians and Spanish are a bit more chirpy, crying "Cin cin!" with gay abandon.

I've always been fond of "L'Chaim!" which I learned while appearin
g in Fiddler On The Roof, although apparently the toast spoken by the Russians in that play - "Na zdorovje" - is completely mythical. How crushing!

The Germans are predictably brutal and to the point: "Prost!". Meanwhile most Scandinavians stick with some derivation of the timeless favourite: "Skål!" ...from which - one assumes - we derive the command "Skull!" which means, approximately, "Chug that entire beverage as fast as you possibly can, even if it means projectile vomiting tortellini carbonara all over your lady-friend's cleavage!"

However - as my beloved Snazzles and I wandered the world together many years ago - we found all of these somehow lacking. There was just an oomph we needed when clashing glasses (or jugs, or buckets) of grog, that was lacking from all these phrases. So we invented our own:


Say it with me. Schlägen
! Doesn't it just scream "I want to drink till I puke in a Slovakian gutter and pass out in a louse-infested hostel room"? However, as we trundled through Europe, we noticed our boistrous new term received strange glances and raised eye-brows. It didn't seem our new drinking catch-phrase was as contagiously fun as we had hoped. It just wasn't catching on.

Undeterred, Snaz and I still say "Schlägen
!" to this day. However, long after we returned home, it occurred to me to investigate this word of our invention. Inspired by the Google Image Quiz, here are just a few of the frankly disturbing pictures that turn up when you type schlägen into the world's favourite (and only slightly evil) search engine...

Hmmm. I'm beginning to understand why we got strange looks. How could this innocently-invented expression of youthful exuberance and intoxication conjure such an awkwardly abject array of images?

It turns out, schlägen
is the German word (plural, I think) for strike, hit or impact. Yeowch. So it turns out every time we guzzled an ale, we've been crying out the equivalent of "Punches!" or "Whacks!" or perhaps "Hit me baby, one more time!" No wonder nice ladies in Dusseldorf ushered their aryan angel children away from us, and that nice black-leather-clad man in Berlin smiled and waggled his riding-crop so saucily.

(Oh and pee.ess: Did you know that if you clink glasses with someone without maintaining eye-contact, you get seven years' bad sex? It's a scientifically proven fact. You've been warned.)

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16 May, 2006

a list of grievances

I have had a lovely few days, where most things have been perfect... So it is far easier to remark on the things that have irked me. They are:

You know who you are. Yes you... With the pink hair... Who was a rude bitch to The Mistress and claimed my reservation didn't exist... Who argumentatively blamed your co-worker when you failed to bring our entrée... Who was generally snippy all night... Little Did You Know one of the people you were serving was the girlfriend of your manager! You have no idea who you're dealing with, bitch! Mwahahaha!
Lucky for you, your boss is such a delightful man , and he assures us you are usually better, and have pulled your finger out after a stern talking-to. I shall give you another chance before I call in my people to do bad things to your brake-lines.

2 - PEOPLE WHO TALK DURING CONCERTS (and sing in the quiet bits)
Riddle me this... Why would you pay good money to see a great band, only to stand there talking loudly throughout their entire performance? Even if you're not getting into it, the people on stage are pouring out their fucking souls for your listening pleasure, so the least you can do is shut your bloody mouth. Also, NEWSFLASH: there are other people in the world besides you and your drunken wanker friends. If you want to have a rowdy night out, go to a pub, not a concert. The rest of us, believe it or not, are trying to listen.
The only thing more annoying than the bunch of pretentious fucks who chatted and caroused through Augie March's entire set, was the way their blonde-poppet token-girl friend shouted with glee "Ohh it's MY song!" when Bottle Baby started (interesting, considering it seems to be a song about a love so soul-destroying that it drives the guy to alcoholism) and proceeded to LOUDLY sing the entire song out of tune and with the wrong lyrics, right in my ear. It's NOT your song, you cunt. It's Glenn Richards' song. Why don't you let HIM sing it? Now it's important to note that Bottle Baby is performed as a solo acoustic number - very quiet and soulful. It was completely ruined for me, thanks to this dumb skank. I'm all for a rowdy singalong in the rock-out numbers, but when it's a subdued, highly emotional and VERY QUIET song, you MAY NOT sing along at the top of your filthy fucking lungs, you cunt. Thankyou.

There are a certain group of siblings on a certain side of my family who show consistent disrespect and barely-veiled contempt for our 91-year-old Grandma Miller. Whoops I just told you which side of the family they're on. OH WELL...
My cousins have never forgiven Grandma Miller for giving shitty presents. And it's true. She has been known to very-obviously recycle presents and spend as litttle as possible. She is tight with money, it's a fact. It used to piss me off too... WHEN I WAS SIX.
Most people, when they become adults, realise that their elder relatives are not just there to ply them with presents at the relevant special occasions. Grandma Miller grew up in the depression. She has an ingrained mind-set of spending the bare minimum on everything - a mindset which remains to this day, even if it may no longer be necessary. This will never change, and guess what? Money/presents do not equal love. She has never shown anything but love for us grandkids, and always jumped at the chance of spending time with us. If only all her grandchildren showed the same enthusiasm, instead of openly treating it like a tiresome chore to be around her.
She is 91. Odds are, she won't be around too much longer, and then it'll be too late for them to love or appreciate her. They probably won't even care. But frankly I am ashamed of them when it comes to how they treat her.

Come back to me/us soon!


My belated birthday dinner with Canoe, The Mistress and Lili was lovely, although subdued due to us being Old and Tired.
Japanese food and Augie March was brilliant, especially in the company of The Mistress and Mr Pumpkin.
Sunday was a nice opportunity to spend time with family, although a bit sad for those of us who are Motherless.
Pizza and The NeverEnding Story with the gang - and RITA! Need I say more? Okay, I will: Jelly's jazz-ballet improvisation to Limahl's classic theme song. Gold.


you heard it here first

(Make your own news HERE. Discovered at The Afe Blog.)


12 May, 2006

dream diary

MindlessMunkey is known to be a rather slothful creature. This past week or so though, after being ill, I have been even sleepier than usual. Last night when I got home from work I was quite exhausted, so I went for a late-afternoon nap. I woke up at 5.30am. That means I passed out for about 12 hours. My subconscious took advantage of this unusually lengthy sleep to have some quite bizarre adventures...


I have travelled to Perth, with the intention of marrying a 15-year-old girl. I think I met her on the internet. Clearly this is not a love-match. I can't remember the exact reason why it's essential we get married. When we meet, I am disappointed by her immaturity, and wonder whether this can work, even as a marriage of convenience. I am having trouble with a map. I have a huge map, the size of a double-bed, and but her house seems to be just outside its borders.


With Snaz, Canoe and Shorty, I am staying in a large and beautiful hotel/mansion. There are a myriad different classy bars and cafés set up in different rooms of the building, and there are people everywhere. I receive a text from Mr Ryan. He wants to meet for a drink and talk. I avoid him. My friends and I are in a particularly crowded and lavish art-deco bar, when Mr Ryan comes in. He has long, oily hair (a la Dylan on Neighbours). It is gross and I laugh. I know immediately that Ryan is going to fall in love with Shorty and get his heart broken.

There is some kind of school-formal/prom type event happening this evening, in the garden of the hotel. I have to go and change into my suit. The changing area is big and crowded. Each person is allocated a "changeroom" which is literally the size of a large school-locker. There is no way I can get changed in there. So I just start getting changed in the corridor.


In an Alice-In-Wonderland-esque sudden change of surroundings, I am now getting changed in my old bedroom at patermunkey's house. I am putting on a costume for some kind of show or play. The costume has two layers: underneath is a shiny black tux with a red tie, and a retro lurid green and blue suit is over the top. The outer layer is designed to be pulled off suddenly for a showy on-stage costume change. I go out into the loungeroom and demonstrate the trick to matermunkey and Grandmas Ashton & Miller who are sitting there. They are impressed.

Now, suddenly, we are getting ready for Grandma Miller's funeral. My parents are having a huge fight. My mother screams that she doesn't give a shit about any of us, and never wants to see us again. She leaves. Patermunkey and I are in shock, but we have to get ready for the funeral. We are late. We desperately hurry to get ElectroBoy and Ms Cait into suitable funeral clothes. It seems to take forever - and we are growing later and later for the funeral - before we finally have the two kids dressed in cobbled-together formal attire.

Uncle P is driving us to the funeral. He drives very fast, because we are so late. We pull into a parking complex and Uncle P pays the man in the booth. After paying though, he doesn't park the car. He pushes a button on the dashboard and we all hurry out as the car shrinks like a deflating rubber boat. Soon it is the size of a Matchbox car, and Uncle P slips it into his breast-pocket. I wonder why he paid for parking.

The funeral seems to be held in the Food Court of a large shopping centre. My family are all sitting around chatting, including Grandma Miller - a little odd considering it's meant to be her funeral. Matermunkey is socialising with her side of the family, and does not even acknowledge her husband or kids when we arrive.


I am in a classroom, about to sit an exam for which I am fiendishly unprepared. It is a text-study exam on the latest Harry Potter book, which I haven't even read. The teacher hands around the exam-sheets for reading time. I read the exam several times and I don't understand anything - it is like a different language. Something about truth serum and Dumbledor and Voldemort's curse. There doesn't even seem to be a question. I look up and realise that I am not doing an exam about Harry Potter's world, I am doing an exam in Harry Potter's world. The teacher is Ms McGonagall (played by Maggie Smith) and the kids (including Mr Byron, who is at the desk next to me) are all in Hogwarts uniforms. I'm not 100% sure, but I think I may actually be Mr Potter himself.

But I am still none the wiser on how to complete this exam, as Maggie signals that reading time is finished and it's time to begin. With that sick hopeless feeling in my belly, I surreptitiously watch what the other kids are doing. They each have a small glass goblet of stuff that looks a bit like thick smooth peanut butter, and a smaller glass dish of a sticky liquid resembling dark caramel or golden syrup. Using two little wooden utensils, they are carefully adding tiny amounts of the syrup to the thicker stuff in the goblet, and swriling it through in what seem to be very specific patterns. Byron in paritcular seems to know exactly what he's doing.

So I copy. I play with the syruppy stuff and the peanut-buttery stuff and mix them together and make pretty patterns in my goblet, having no idea why or what it means, let alone how it relates to the life-threatening issues of Good and Evil as described on the exam-sheet. Finally the test is finished. McGonagall now, with a clever twinkle in her eye, announces that because what we have just performed is some kind of Truth spell (which somehow relates to the whole Voldemort issue), we can in fact mark ourselves honestly. We all cover our concoction-filled glass goblets, and she goes round the room asking each of us how we went in the exam. The other kids are compelled by their own magic to answer truthfully. Most did okay, Byron did very well. When it's my turn, I realise that because I have completely failed to create any magic, I can still lie. "I could have done a bit better if I'd studied more, but I did okay." She believes me, and moves on to the next kid. But wait - maybe that is the truth. Maybe I fluked it, and I did magic myself into telling the truth - maybe I did do okay. I am confused. Music plays and credits roll.


Byron and I have just watched the latest Harry Potter movie, and he asks me what I think. "It was interesting, but seems a bit odd," I admit. "There's supposed to be this whole battle between Good and Evil going on, but the whole movie was just that one scene, in real time, about an exam in a classroom.

"But all that stuff in the classroom was about the battle between Good and Evil," he says. He is obviously disappointed that I failed to appreciate the movie. "Don't you get it?!"

I don't get it, and I feel bad.


10 May, 2006

for the person who has everything

Like most people, you probably have a troublesome friend, cousin or cult-comrade who is simply a nightmare to by gifts for. I know I do!

These people are usually either
spoilt turds who have already been handed their every desire on a silver platter spit-polished by below-minimum-wage Malaysian pygmy servants, or are sociopathic loners who always insist they don't want presents and then spend hours bitterly cutting the eyes out of their family photographs after find their stocking empty on Christmas morning. I know I do!

Well lovers and dreamers, as usual, the
intermanet has the solution. Behold: Parasite Pals!

Hostess Holly and her delightful entourage of life-sucking corporeal-vermin have a whole range of gift ideas including fashion, accessories and stationery. What little girl doesn't want to skip to school clutching a lunchbox emblazoned with Tickles The Tapeworm (whose hobbies include "growing longer")? Other characters include Blinky The Eyelash Mite (who enjoys collecting sunglasses), and Zzeezz The BedBug who describes himself as "laid back and open-minded".

Further exploration of online gift ideas by
Mr Byron uncovered this wonderful site. Move over Amazon.com. Whether they're eccentric, ironic or just plain deranged, this gift-store has something for your loved-one. Par exemple...

This tin of 15 realistic bacon-stip band-aids! With a free toy in every box!

Wind-up sushi! Because why the fuck not?!

Fight for what's right with these Punching Nun puppets!

Do away with pesky excess ear-wax with this Swedish Ear Syringe! Why is it Swedish? I have no idea! I'm afraid to ask!

So what are you waiting for? Don't be a parasite! (even though Holly's are incredibly cute.) Give something back to the world. Give a gift that says "I love you". Or, if you're too emotionally crippled for that, at the very least you can give a gift that says, "I think you just might be enough of a fruit-loop to enjoy a 17-inch latex Vulture".


08 May, 2006

we like birthdays more and more!

Lovers and dreamers, it has happened yet again... Curiously, a year to the day since the last time... MindlessMunkey has had a birthday. As Mr Byron keeps so cruelly pointing out, I am now half-way to 52.

Let's have a brief run-down of what I have scored, so far...

TYRES! from PaterMunkey... for my beloved vehicular friend Oli who will no long
er skid around wet roads like a toddler in socks on polished floor-boards.

THESE CDs! ostensibly from ElectroBoy but really also from
PaterMunkey. Not really a surprise considering he rang me from JB-HiFi and said "What do you want?"... but lovely nonetheless. He is good to me.

THIS BOOK! from Ms Snazzles. I love it!

A TICKET TO THIS SHOW! from Canoe and Jelly. It was hilarious!

A TICKET TO SEE THIS BAND! from The Mistress. I am greatly looking forward to it (it's next Saturday).


A BOTTLE OF THIS! from my Cousins J & M. Viva la vino!

THIS BEAUTIFUL CAKE! from Byron and Sami. Please note the beautiful flowers, and various parasites (tape-worms, heart-worms, etc) with which it has been carefully decorated.


A WHOLE PACKAGE OF GOODIES IN THE MAIL FROM MR BYRON! including this excellent CD, this adorable book, an incredibly cute keyring (with my name on it - smudged out in the above pic for the purposes of internet paranoia, etc), and a mini origami turtle kit which will cetainly prove a challenge for my stubby, clumsy fingers. It was all topped off with a short letter that damn-near made me cry. Curse that boy for being so wonderful. *smitten kitten ...err, munkey*


THIS GRAPHIC-NOVEL! from Lady Lilikens. It is bizarre and marvellous and I want this Mr Bryan Lee O'Malley to hurry up and finish the goshdarn series today, please, so I can read it, thankyou.


If there are gifts I have forgotten, I AM SORRY. Please remind me, and tell me how fucking rude I am. My brain is not functioning properly at the moment because through a twist of fate so callous and heinous it can barely be believed (hyperbole? moi?) I AM SICK.

Yes, sick on my birthday. Rude! Fortunately I have managed to keep my suffering to a minimum with the aid of a few friends:

In general, I have been feeling much warmth and fuzziness lately. I am increasingly aware of just how lucky I am to be surrounded by the people in my life. What did I do to deserve the love of so many exquisite human beings?! And, of course, I don't just mean the people who gave me the goodies listed above, but everyone who has formed part of the rich tapestry (I studied writing at the VCA. Can you tell?) of my 26 years on this earth. To any of you who read this, I love you very very dearly, and I hope to share my life with you for many years to come.

Everybody now: "Aaaaawwwwwwwww!"


03 May, 2006

four days. and every moment counts.

Munkey rushes home from work after being held up doing computer nonsense. I make myself as pretty as possible, walk up the street and bundle myself into a tram. It is now that it hits me. Up to this point, the adrenalin rush of making sure I get there in time has sustained me. Now there is nothing but to wait, and think and...

I am fucking shitscared. My knees don't work. I want to be sick and I want to run back home. I am about to finally meet in-the-flesh a person who has already changed my view of the world. More than anything, I want this to go well. More than anything I am terrified that he will be disappointed. That all the affection and growing feelings we've shared from a distance will be rendered awkward and written off as yet another case of stupidly letting feelings get involved in an online encounter.

But there he is. Mr Byron. Leaning casually against a pillar at the front of the Town Hall. Beautiful as his photos suggested and impeccably dressed. He is playing with his phone - sending me a message, in fact. He doesn't look up until I am very close. We see each other... and there it is. Everything that has gone before is right. And everything that is to come will be even better.

We go to the Gin Palace and we talk. Drink. Smile. Later, we cram onto a tram with a bazillion football fans and finally get back to my flat. As soon as we are out of the public eye, we fall into each other's arms and do not let go. We wake up the next morning still entwined, and this could not feel more perfect. I must leave for a family event, bu
t I end up late, because we cannot tear ourselves apart.

I arrive at the 1st birthday of Mr Jett. One year has gone so quickly! Mr Jett, and his cousin Mr Max who will turn 1 in a fortnight, are gorgeous bundles of joy. The proud father Cousin Mark - ever the capable family showman - makes a short and lovely speech, making mention of Grandma Ashton and his gratitude that she had the chance to meet her great-grandsons before she died. We sing. There is cake. Ms Cait beams with joy and pride as she holds Mr Jett on her knee for the Opening Of The Presents. I love my family so much.

I meet The Gang at The Supper Club. Our dear beloved Snazzles is flying away from us. Off to Los Angeles to be with her lovely man. I have been with Byron less than 24 hours. He only lives in Sydney. And only for a month or so. Suddenly I realise with a sense of enormity that I am incapable of even imagining how it feels to be in love with someone on the other side of the world, with no fixed date of return. My poor Snazzles who deserves everything... But it is not an occasion for sadness. We must cherish every drop of time we have together. We laugh and drink and talk. Later, Byron arrives and meets my friends. Again, it is right. He fits.

Later, on the street, I wrap my arms around Snaz and I know I will miss her like crazy. But I also hope more than anything that this trip goes well for her. We part and my friends leave to go home. Byron and I wander through the city, and find ourselves walking slowly, arm in arm by the River. A creepy man comes out of a public toilet looking shifty and I drop Byron's arm. I hate that I do this. I hate that I can't feel safe because I happen to wish to walk arm in arm with a person of my own gender. But it doesn't spoil the lights in the water or the cool crisp air or the stream of words that effortlessly flow between myself and this remarkable man. We walk all the way home.

Sunday morning. We stay in bed very late. We watch DVDs. We listen to music. We hold each other so close we are like one living being. I don't want this to end. And it won't... but it will be ajourned for a little while. This is okay. People endure far worse difficulties to be together. The important thing - like the farewell with Snazzles, like my Grandma's entire life - is to love every moment spent with the people you adore. Byron and I are lucky. So very fucking lucky. I love him. It has been such a short time, but I love him and already I can't keep the feeling inside me.

On Monday morning we wake up in each other's arms for the third day in a row. From the embrace of this astonishing happiness, I must face a very
different reality. I have a funeral to go to. He watches me as I iron my shirt. I drive him to the tram stop and he must drag himself from the car. I watch him grow more and more distant in the rear view mirror.

The funeral is quiet. A woman who lives virtually her entire life for her family, doesn't accumulate many friends, I suppose. But somehow I don't think my Grandma would have minded the small turnout. These were the people she spent all her days loving. It wouldn't mean much to her whether vague acquaintances and associated strangers put in an appearance. ElectroBoy is a mess. His bottom lip juts out above his chin and his forehead is creased. His eyes are red and streaming tears. His emotions don't work like ours. There is nothing that can be said that would even make much sense, let alone help. I fill my pockets with tissues to give to him, and I hold him. He doesn't like to be touched much, but he doesn't move away from me.

I am fine through the whole service. I have sat in this same room three times now. Heard similar words spoken by the same nice grey-haired celebrant, about three completely different people who I loved. That's okay. The funeral is a formality, I now realise. No half-hour event in a hall can do justice to a person. It is silly to expect it to. But it is good for people to be a part of. It helps. The eulogies finish and the music plays. They lift the casket and carry it outside. It is raining quietly. Perfect Hollywood funeral weather. The casket slides into the hearse, and patermunkey and Aunty S follow it out into the rain. I lose my shit. I lean against a wall and sob.

We go back to Aunty S's house and get drunk. At this point in time, Snazzles is on a plane to Los Angeles. Byron is on a bus to Sydney. Grandma Ashton's body is a small pile of ashes in a crematorium office somewhere. Where she herself really is, I have no idea.

Late on Tuesday afternoon, I finally get back to my apartment. I haven't heard from Snazzles. She might be upset somewhere. Or laughing somewhere. Scrunched up against the base of my bed is the shirt Byron was wearing when he came home with me on Saturday night. I pick it up and - without even thinking - do the most tacky soppy-movie thing possible: I put it to my face and inhale its smell. My legs give way and I fall onto my bed.


the a to z of mm

Another meme... this one stolen from Pavlov's Cat and based around the alphabet. Enough ado! Here we go...

ccent: Australian (note: Australian, not Estrayn). Vague English tendencies due to paternal heritage, good education and teenage pretension. I also have a slightly softened "R" sound, but it's not bad; I don't sound like Elmer Fudd or anything. It just makes me go "grrrr" whenever I hear my voice recorded.

Booze: I will drink most things, although favourites recently are white wines (particularly the semillon / sauv blanc varieties) and a good old Gin & Tonic. But for various reasons I've been drinking a lot less recently than I used to.

Chore I hate: WASHING DISHES. I fucking hate it.

Dog or cat: I'll have to go with dog. I find myself feeling more affection for cats than I used to, but in general I still prefer the company of dogs.

Essential electronics: A computer, a tv/dvd player, something that plays music.

Favourite cologne(s): I don't wear galons, but my favourite is Michael for Men - by some guy named Michael Kors - although it's more of a wintery/night-time scent. For summery/day-time, Calvin Klein Truth is quite nice.

Gold or silver: Silver or white gold. Yellow gold just looks gaudy on me.

Hometown: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Specifically a suburb called Endeavour Hills.

Insomnia: Rarely, luckily. If I have trouble sleeping it's usually because I've been keeping odd hours and my body clock is out of whack.

Job title: Oh I kind of make it up anew whenever I'm asked. It's something like "Administration Supervisor" or "Office Manager".

Kids: Not at this point in time.

Living arrangements: Alone in a single-bedroom apartment in Richmond.

Most admirable trait: I'm not really the best person to answer this. I guess I'll go vague (and tacky) and say my warm heart.

Number of sexual partners: As always, we confront the gay-sex grey-area. I don't feel like going into the nitty-gritty of counting with whom I've had sucky sex, and with whom I've had fucky sex. Instead, I shall do a politician's trick and answer a completely different question to the one that was asked... In chronological order, these are the people I have kissed: Michael, Tim, Adam, Roy, Daniel, Ryan (1), Ryan (2), Raymond, Darren, Stephen, Byron. (That's eleven. A good number - no need to add to that list, I think.)

Overnight hospital stays: None (as a patient). I have spent a hell of a lot of time in hospitals as a visitor though.

Phobias: I don't know what the proper name is, but I have a phobia of being physically restrained. Just thinking of being in handcuffs or tied up sets me squirming uncomfortably. Even being in a plaster cast would be fucking hard to deal with. And don't even mention the words "buried alive".

Quote: Byron has introduced me to the compelling wisdom of Rainer Maria Rilke. This morning I am feeling quite moved by this remarkable excerpt from The Book Of Hours:
Extinguish my sight, and I can still see you;
plug up my ears, and I can still hear;
even without feet I can walk toward you,
and without mouth I can still implore.
Break off my arms, and I will hold you
with my heart as if it were a hand;
strangle my heart, and my brain will still throb;
and should you set fire to my brain,
I still can carry you with my blood.

Religion: Difficult to describe. Not exactly a true-blue Athiest, but not really an Agnostic either. I have serious issues with organised religion, and I don't have "faith" as such. But I also don't believe things are totally random. I guess - as appalling as the analogy is - I believe in something vaguely similar to the "The Force" as described by Obi Wan in the original Star Wars movie. Hand me my lightsabre.

Siblings: One of each. Both younger.

Time I wake up: On work days it's somewhere between 5.45am and 6.20am. When it's 5.45 I can take my time. When it's 6.20 I have to run around like a psychopath.

Unusual talent or skill: I wish I could think of something funny and/or saucy. But I guess one thing I can do that most people can't/don't, is wrangle words and tunes into obscure/poetic songs that mean deep things to me and seem to touch most people on at least some level. That's something I'm pretty proud of.

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Cauliflower is filth. FILTH I tellsya.

Worst habit: I would have to say it's my lack of self-belief and self-motivation... which leads to wildly effective procrastination (such as completing long blog-memes when I could be doing something more productive/meaningful).

X-rays: Never had an X-Ray. I had an ultra-sound once on my ankle... They told me my ankle was fine, which forces me to wonder why it makes a grinding sound when I rotate it, and why I sprain it walking on flat ground about once every six months.

Yummy foods I make: To be honest I ain't much of a cook; I need someone to teach me. The one thing I make that is TO DIE FOR is a self-saucing chocolate fudge pudding. It's my Nanna's recipe and it's divine.

Zodiac sign: Taurus... with Aquarius moon and Cancer ascendant.

There ye have it, lovers and dreamers. As usual, steal this if you want it.

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