29 June, 2006

stop the bandwagon, i want to get on!

So there has been lots of talk around recently about this concept of the Guilt Free Three. The idea, I believe, originated over at Nadstown, and spread from there like wildfire. It's a concept which has nestled comfortably into the lexicon of my nearest and dearest.

For those who don't know, the Guilt Free Three is the list of three people who you are allowed to make the Naughty Hot Sex with, even when you're in a relationship. It is imperative that these are three people you are never likely to meet, and even less likely to have the opportunity of touching-rude-bits with. For example, you may not have your secretary, personal trainer, or your wife's sister on your list. They must be completely unattainable... and thus your partner may not resent you harbouring naughty thoughts about them... and on the million-to-one-chance that you do meet them and they do seduce you, you may seduce them right back, and your partner may not complain because they are On Your List, Dammit.

After careful consideration, Munkey's Guilt Free Three, looks something like this:

Y'all can keep your Gael Garcia Bernal.

Yes I know most of you think he's lame. I don't care.

Now in new "Legal" flavour!

The genius that is Ms Fluffy then developed the Guilt Ridden Three category. This is to take into account those celebrity crushes that are Wrong with a capital W... the ones who you would feel guilty about, even though they were on the list...

Munkey's Guilt Ridden Three:

For those of you who don't know, he plays 'Lip in Shameless. mmm... Manchester accents.

The President's son from the ill-fated Commander In Chief. mmm... Whitebread...

About whom I have ranted previously. mmm... French and swarthy...

DISCLAIMER: Of course, I w0uld never really cheat on a partner with anyone, no matter how stunningly sexy that person was... unless - oh, I don't know - perhaps my partner was constantly rude and irrational about baked desserts. (Well, no, not even then... but I reserve the right to threaten cheekily.)

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27 June, 2006

"there is this thing that's like fucking except you don't fuck"

I am a person who gets excited about music. Very excited. Every now and then, I happen upon some new band or artist that stops me in my tracks. As their music envelopes me, I feel my blood-pressure rise, my heart-rate increase. I feel hot, and yet there are shivers playing up and down my spine. Sometimes, the pleasure caused by the music is so intense, my vision momentarily fades to white and I lose all track of space and time. Maybe I'm just a pretentious music-geek. Or maybe I'm an unhealthy music freak. One way or the other, this is the closest I get to... you know... without... you know...

One of the most memorable times I experienced this feeling was listening to these people, playing this record. Their ethereal sounds, like something from beyond the realms of this world, were indescribably exciting, and comletely different to anything I'd ever heard before.

It doesn't happen often - until recently, I hadn't really had a musicgasm since this man, and this record. Sitting in the dark of my room, with this epic, bipolar masterpiece washing over me was like a journey of discovery. He does things with the pop/rock-song form that I never imagined were possible. This feeling is exciting to me. It makes me feel that, despite what the Popular Charts would have you believe, there are still inventive, inspiring and wonderful places that popular music can go.

At present, I am abandonning all m
usical dignity and offering up my aural loins for plunder, to these people:

Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione are The Dresden Dolls.

I was in Sydney. It was dark and quite chilly. I was in the back-seat of a car, hurtling through the bush-like outer suburbs. The windows were down. Ms Sami put on a CD. It was The Dresden Dolls' second album,"Yes, Virginia...". The first track was Sex Changes. I was initially taken back by the frankness of the line "We'll have to chop your cock off!", but then, as this voice - tantalisingly appealing and
dangerously threatening - belted out "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow," I was inescapably engrossed. Then Sami skipped ahead and played My Alcoholic Friends (gets stuck in your head for days, but doesn't irritate you. Est possible?) and Delilah (how many songs run for 8 minutes and leave you wanting more?). It is fair to say I have not been the same since.

After hearing me describe the music I write as "kinda theatrical... ummm... piano-based... umm... folk/rock/jazz stuff... i guess?", many people had suggested I seek out The Dresden Dolls. I even once spent a good 15 minutes in Borders holding one of their albums in each hand, and ended up leaving with neither because I couldn't decide which one to get. Now that I've heard them, I realise it wouldn't have mattered which I bought. I've also realised it was quite redundant of people to recommend them on the basis of my own stuff... I wish I was comaparable to Viglione's energy, to Palmer's songwriting skill, to the band's sheer inventiveness and vibrance.

Their sound is made up only of a piano and a drumkit (with very occasional guitar thrown in) but these few instruments make a hell of a lot of noise. The Dresden Dolls are theatrical, dramatic, passionate, sometimes very understated, sometimes incredibly over the top. Palmer's vocals can be anything from a cheeky whisper, to a playful nursery-rhyme taunt, to a blood-curdling scream. The melodies sound like they've been ripped from Weimar-era cabaret. The lyrics are very much the product of a post-modern world. The music is haunting and funny and breathtaking... and above all exciting, in every sense of the world.

Many critics have tried and failed to adequately describe their sound. I suspect I am not doing any better. So I shall stop. Go. Seek. Find. Listen. Love. Worship.
Life is no cabaret
We don't care what you say
We're inviting you anyway
You motherfuckers you'll sing someday...

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21 June, 2006

bad news, no news, good news...

There is much cause for depression and confusion in today's news.

For example, John Howard is about to finalise his iron-fisted stranglehold on the senate. A sad day for Australian Democracy. Remember how often Howard has lied to us? Remember how
occasionally, such as in the ChildrenOverboard™ case, we found out about it (eventually) due to a senate inquiry? Forget it. Never gonna happen again.

In other, more trivial, news - I'd like you to look carefully at this picture. Take note of the two smallish people flanking Ni
cole Kidman. Remember them? The real question is: Do their parents? Tom Cruise is constantly jumping on couches talking about how happy he is to have finally become a father. (errm - Connor? Isabella? Ring any bells, Tom?) Nicole Kidman is celebrating a paparazzi-dodging birthday, and preparing to marry the most-tedious-man-alive. But where the hell are their kids?! Have they been forgotten altogether?

Meanwhile, the Herald-Sun's describing of a television and a sandwich-toaster as a "lavish life" made me chortle, and I was bemused by coalition MPs yet again screaming and shaking their fists about Big Brother - Adults Only... because apparently it's Channel Ten's fault if parents allow their young children to be up watching smut late at night.

However, there is one story today that is genuinely warming my heart against the chilly Winter. It concerns Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is the contraversial new leader of the US Episcopal Church. And she's not just contraversial because she's the first woman to ever hold the

From news.com.au:
Interviewed on CNN, Bishop Jefferts Schori was asked if it was a sin to be homosexual.
"I don't believe so. I believe that God creates us with different gifts. Each one of us comes into this world with a different collection of things that challenge us and things that give us joy and allow us to bless the world around us," she said.
"Some people come into this world with affections ordered toward other people of the same gender and some people come into this world with affections directed at people of the other gender."
Asked how she reconciled her position on homosexuality with specific passages in the Bible declaring sexual relations between men an abomination, Bishop Jefferts Schori said the Bible was written in a very different historical context by people asking different questions.
"The Bible has a great deal to teach us about how to live as human beings. The Bible does not have so much to teach us about what sorts of food to eat, what sorts of clothes to wear -- there are rules in the Bible about those that we don't observe today," she said.
"The Bible tells us about how to treat other human beings, and that's certainly the great message of Jesus - to include the unincluded."
Wait... did I read thiscorrectly? A Christian who actually focusses on the message of Jesus? Imagine! What an outlandish notion! This is true Christianity, but sadly a viewpoint rarely expressed by the figureheads of Western Faith. If only there were less blood-thirsty power-mongers willing to pervert the lessons of Christ to their own selfish agenda. If only more high-profile Christians shared Bishop Jefferts Schori's philosophy, or her bravely compassionate public expression... the world might be a much nicer place in which to dwell.

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Ladies are always complaining that they can't pee standing up. Believe me, my vagina-equipped friends, it's not that exciting. Sure, it can be handy if you're desperate and there's nothing around but trees. But it can also be an etiquette minefield, particularly when it comes to the distasteful topic of urinals (or uriiine-als as I recently, disturbingly, heard it pronounced).

I am a cubicle boy, not a urinal boy. There's sometheing about a row of men flopping out their tools and pissing on a steel wall that's just distasteful to me - not to mention the smell, or those weird-ass yellow gelatinous things. And let's not even get into splash-back issues.

Anyhoo... I was at a bar yesterday, and visited the "euphemism". From inside my cubicle I heard one guy, then another, enter and take their places at the urinal. The following conversation ensued...

2nd-Urinal-Guy: How you goin'?

1st-Urinal-Guy: Ahh not bad. Just standing here, holding my penis.

2nd-U-G: Ahh cool.

1st-U-G: Haven't started urinating yet though.

2nd-U-G: Yeh it can be a bit tough when someone's talking to you.

1st-U-G: Ahh - here we go!

2nd-U-G: You're right now - you've broken the seal.


1st-U-G: It's funny isn't it, when it's such a small toilet - when there's only two spots at the urinal.

2nd-U-G: Yeh. Like usually there's an etiquette to it. The first guy always goes to the spot furthest from the door. And the next guy goes as far away from him as possible.

1st-U-G: Uh-huh - and then the third guy has to take the awkward spot in the middle.

2nd-U-G: Yeh. But when there's only two spots, it's awkward for everyone.

1st-U-G: Uh-huh.

Munkey's thoughts: It's only awkward if you choose to have an in-depth conversation about it! Whatever happened to Eyes To The Front, No Talking? When did it become acceptable to have a conversation about holding your dick and whether you have started urinating yet?!

Let this be definitive proof, dear readers: urinals - and the people who use them - are creepy.

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14 June, 2006


Lovers and dreamers, forgive my absence. I have been in Sydney with the man I love for the past five days. Can you blame me if blogging was not at the forefront of my priorities? No, I didn't think so. At any rate, I had the most wonderful time away. Shall I tell you about it? Okay... I will begin at the beginning, go on until I reach the end, and then stop.


Geelong Freeway is as flat as a pancake, as straight as an arrow, and as featureless as Marcia Cross's forehead after twelve rounds with a botox needle. This must be officially the most soporific roadway on the planet. In other news from Melbourne's astoundingly uninteresting West, Avalon "Airport" is A FUCKING SHED. Do not be fooled. JetStar is not an airline. You roll up to A FUCKING SHED, they barely look at your ticket, you wait around, you are crammed onto the vehicle wherever you fit. It is not an airline: it is a flying-bus company. And did I mention it operates out of A FUCKING SHED?

I landed in Sydney. The JetStar terminal at Sydney Airport is a rabbit warren. I got lost. Security guards with knowing smirks directed me through what looked like the cleaner's cupboard in Guantanemo Bay, before I finally found myself at the baggage-collection. Mr Byron and I eventually tracked each other down and made our way to his place of abode. It is a beautiful area - almost rural in feel, with clean air and abounding in trees, where large houses cling to hillsides among the eucalypts.

It had been over a month since we saw each other in person. Needless to say it was a wonderful feeling to fall asleep beside each other again. After our long-awaited reunion, Byron headed off to work in the early morning, leaving me to sleep in and laze about at his place. Later, I successfully negotiated Sydney's absurdly complex public transport system and met him after work. We walked and walked for almost three hours. We wandered through seemingly-endless interconected underground shopping-malls until Munkey got disturbed by travelling so far without seeing the sky. We peered through some glass windows and saw Chris Bath looking VERY TIRED while preparing to present the news. We saw lots of tall glossy-looking buildings in the Financial District. We walked all around a pretty white pointy building (pictured) and a lovely big curvy bridge (also pictured).

We saw theatres with posters of Lisa McCune with "Urine" written on top of her head. We saw town halls and apartments and motorways and monorails (which I do not trust one bit - they look way too precarious to me). After our in-depth walking-tour of Sydney (during which I realised my feet were wailing in pain because my boots are shit, before I physically ripped the soles out of them from the inside, which - believe it or not - was an improvement) we met a bunch of Byron's friends for dinner. The earliest of his friends - Mr Dion (pictured) - was about half an hour late. The latest - including Ms AMW (also pictured) - arrived a good hour after that. This is somewhat remarkable to me. I am used to punctual/neurotic/OCD people.

Oxford Street is strange. It is nice, I suppose that the gay community has a place whe
re they feel comfortable. But there is something ghetto-like about it. This ultra-gay-friendly strip seems to exist at the expense of queers being accepted anywhere else. For amusement value, we all wandered into a sex shop named "Tool Shed". I am not sure what was most disturbing: the blueberry-scented latex vaginas? the improbably vast array of different dildos (surely there is no need for that many different kinds)? the pile of flyers for Dusty - The Musical casually strewn amongst the hardcore publications?

More wandering the city on foot on Saturday. We visited the Museum of Contemporary Art although we got there only about 45 minutes before closing, so didn't have time to check out the Sam Taylor-Wood exhibition... a shame because I quite like the idea of Hayden Christensen weeping tragically. Most of the art there - predictably - was reminiscent of the wanky pseudo-meaningful tripe that adorned the foyers at my Uni, but there were some interesting pieces. Later we went to see a Sydney Film Festival session at the beautiful State Theatre. The film was Little Miss Sunshine - a fantastic comedy with just the right balance of absurdity, pathos and darkness. I was especially pleasantly surprised by Steve Carell (who I thought was dogshit-on-a-stick in the Amercian version of The Office) in a wonderfully subdued performance as a suicidally depressed Proust-scholar.

We met up with the Spectacular Ms Sami on Sunday to have lunch, visit the creepy mannequins at David Jones, peruse JB-HiFi, and generally amble about Sydney's Northern Suburbs. That night we attended an X-Men movie marathon. This event began at 11.40pm and concluded at 6am, but I managed to stay awake through all three. Go me! I was rather impressed by the first two. However the third is a bit shit. Apologies for getting all SPOILERy, but I must put this out there... The woman you love has turned into some kind of angry hyper-mutant who just might destroy the world with her awesome power and fury. You are in possesion of a small boy who renders all powers useless when he is in the proximity of a mutant. You say some cheesy lines and KILL the woman you love. WHY?!?! Bring that kid over here and HANDCUFF the little shit to her!!! FOREVER, if necessary! God, Wolverine! Did you undergo a fucking lobotomy somewhere between film 2 and film 3?!

Due to their all-night movie shenanigans, the Turtle and the Munkey slept late on their final day together, but eventually managed to drag themselves from the boudoir, and traipse into the city again. This time we explored the shiny touristy prettiness of Darling Harbour, and the kitschy grubby liveliness of Chinatown. After being thouroughly perturbed by the Asian supermarket - where green soy milk and terrifying snackfood (see photo) abound - we wandered into Coles on a whim with the intention of buying something for dessert. We left about an hour later, during which I think I had lost five kilos just from laughing. Byron plus a Supermarket equals Much Hilarity. We got home, ate waffles (our eventual dessert-of-choice) and then were sent to an early bed by a sudden black-out.

Byron left early for work again on Tuesday. I made my way to the airport, and back to the Shed. Oli, my car, was waiting for me in the carpark. He still needed a wash. I drove home and the hour back along that Freeway was still amazingly dull. My apartment was messy, just as I had left it. Home still looked, smelled and sounded like home. Everything was the same as when I left. Everything except me. I re-entered my ordinary life on a glorious high. Then, slowly, I descended back to reality. I was back, by myself, in my quiet flat. I had to go back to my utterly uninspiring job tomorrow. I would be going to sleep alone, in a big cold bed.

I am glad to be home. I missed the people I love. I missed the zany left-of-centre bundle of contradictions that is my city. But at the same time, I don't want to be home. Now I miss Byron more than I thought was possible. It's totally pathetic, but I feel fucking empty and completely alone. I should stop whinging. I am unbelievably lucky. But I just want one more little piece of good fortune. I want us to be together - really together. I don't want every period of joy and love to be followed swiftly by an intense feeling of solitude and longing. Having found joy and love, I want to be able to wrap myself in it all the time, whenever I want. Is that so much to ask?


thought for the day

Make your own inspirational posters here.


06 June, 2006

longing in abstract, loving in 5/4 time

The exquisite Ms Snazzles is an absolute magnet for brilliant, procrastinatory internet delights. The latest is Mr Picassohead - an ingenious site where you can, indeed, create your own Picasso masterpiece. As Snaz points out, this is truly a blasphemous notion, but lots of fun nonetheless. So go ahead and let out your inner eccentric genius. Here is my effort:

I call it: Self-Portrait with an Absent Turtle
Incidentally, I will be jetting off North to visit the aforementioned Turtle in just a couple of days. It would be safe to say that MindlessMunkey is rather excited. I think we've both been going a bit insane.


In other news The Mistress and I went to see a fantastic gig by Mr Pumpkin - aka James Vivian - and his band at Revolver last week. I quite like Revolver - it must be one of the only bars South of the River that's not overflowing with pseudo-sophisticated suburban kids dressed in Supré and trying their very best to be seen somewhere swanky. As for the performance itself, it was great. Lively and fun with a high standard of inventive song-writing. I was particularly impressed - and green with envy - at how relaxed and comfortable Mr Pumpkin seemed in front of his audience. I begin to squirm and sweat at the very thought of singing or playing in front of a group of people.

BUT... this is something I hope to overcome, at least to some extent. On that note (pun not intended, but I guess I'll let it go) I wrote a brand new song this week! Hurrah! It started a couple of weekends ago, at patermunkey's house. I was messing with the piano, and within a few miutes had come up with a chord progression I quite liked, and scribbled it down. Later, I messed around with it on my little keyboard, decided it should be in 5/4 time (yes, another installment in MindlessMunkey's Adventures in Wacky Time-Signatures), and created a shitty little MIDI demo of it, with simple lyrics. It's called Refugee Song and it's about love and death (WHAT A FUCKING SURPRISE! AREN'T THEY ALWAYS?!) ...and, yes of course, it's about Byron. I sent him the shitty-quality demo, and I think he liked it. I hope so. I am pondering the idea of putting the demo up here for TheGreatUnwashed™ to judge/adore/rip-to-shreds... but for now, here are the lyrics... Enjoy!


Thirteen sails.
Thirteen tears to mend.
Thirteen letters to send.

I’ll be the coin

In your pocket to spend,

Your dry clothes waiting by the river side,

Your garden to tend.

I’m a refugee,

Drifting on your sea.

It’s all the same sky

Over you and me.

One last dawn.

One last star to shine.

One last fear left behind.

Here at your feet

I rent myself bare.

Frailty glist’ning, weakness ruby red.

But “Gently,” you said,

“You’re a refugee.

I have heard your plea.

There’s a green Earth

Under you and me.”

Countless wounds.

Countless dead at my feet.

Countless deaths still to cheat.

You’ll be my tomb

When my journey’s complete.

Upon my knees, but further yet to fall.

One last brave retreat.

I’m a refugee,

Castaway but free.

Only Earth and Sky

Border you and me.

© 2006, mindlessmunkey music

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