I’ve gone from the unenviable position of being substantially overworked and significantly underpaid to… well, just chronically underemployed now. Which, nominally, should give me more time to talk to all of you.
As ever, though, the tasks grow to fill the time. I have been maintaining my presence over at Liberation Industries, so if you were enjoying my roleplaying output then I recommend you rock on over there for your fix. In the last seven days, I have driven about two and a half thousand kilometers, which takes a lot out of you. If this isn’t sounding familiar, it is. I also crashed my car a little, but fear not. My typing fingers are fine.
There’s also a couple of projects that I’m not allowed to talk about in the blogosphere. If they come about, I’ll tell you all about them. If not, I’ll probably do it anyway, but with much more spite.
After a messy period, I am once again corresponding with the illustrator for Marla Stone. I’ll keep you posted on that too.
Otherwise, what I am stuck with is the grimy reality of my own rent-punk existence. Through the weird haze of sleep deprivation and trying to get the equations to add up with numbers that are much too low, I get the occasional sense that I would much less talk to Maslow and more punch his lights out and steal his pyramid. After all, its hard to get creative when you’re down at this level.
Anyway, I hope I can turn things around. If so, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me.
If not, Maslow better hope he didn’t skimp on his pyramid locks.
Also, I am listening to Florence and the Machine’s Queen of Peace right now. Literally. I strongly advise you do the same. This song is fantastic.
I’m drinking wine now, and I feel a little better, so I may just have been hungover. There was a free beer related event I attended last night. I can’t help thinking these things may be connected, but I won’t make a judgement.
In other news, I’ve finally gotten my sense of smell back. As someone without much in the way of a sense of taste (this might cause you to ask after the veracity of my previously published recipes, but I use an independent panel of judges) the return was like the reopening of a forgotten world.
I wandered Smith St, my senses assaulted by the new layers of information. I knew the sewers beneath the northern stretch were acting up. I knew dogs were crapping on the pavement before I rounded the corner. People lit up with new layers like a colour filter, glows of beer or perfume or sickness.
So that’s a thing. One sickness in and another out I suppose… but as of next week I’m into actual full time work. Which I’m sure will be great for my health.
But this was a morning where my tendency to pick up odds and ends of cheap jewelry from between cobblestones or to arrive at an event advertising free wine and arrange for there to be free wine no longer just wasn’t going to cut it.
There was nothing for breakfast.
Well, not nothing. Nothing easy. I can’t remember the last time we bought cereal, and the English Muffin supply has run its natural course. Again. I suggest pancakes, but Ghorb isn’t really sold given the soporific effect Canadian food seems to have on these kinds of mornings. Rainy Melbourne mornings. Queenie emerges, and the prospect is discussed.
I suggest some kind of tofu spread, and they look at me like I’m crazy. This latter is not an uncommon occurrence.
Then I suggest that I can’t think of anything beyond pancakes, and after a brief brainstorm a sort of tofu tomato toast is proposed.
Here’s how it went down.
I hacked the silken tofu out of its industrial sized tub, and hoiked it into the pan. Yes I’ve been buying it by the kilogram now. The lady at the Chinese Grocery around the corner has been very obliging.
Fry with soy sauce and pepper for flavour. Throw in a finely chopped onion and garlic, cook for a little bit.
Add a can of diced tomatoes, or your own chopped fresh tomatoes if your feeling very fancy and far more motivated than I was at this point. Add Sriracha chili sauce, because you can’t go wrong with Sriracha and given it looked like we were all coming down with colds deploying some demolitions on our sinuses seems like a good plan.
Basil and oregano, because I always put some of those in with tomatoes. Feels weird not to.
Next, dig small holes in this mixture, and throw in some eggs. Let them fry a little, before stirring them through the mixture. For any of my vegan imaginary readers, I’d probably use chunky chopped mushrooms. Because hell yeah chunky chopped mushrooms, that’s a fusking brilliant idea. You can also probably sub the cheese that’s upcoming for delicious salty bean paste (see the Refried Bean Secret for reference).
Ah right, yeah. Cheese. Toast some bread, spread the mix on, and put a slice of cheese on top. Put it in the oven or grill to melt the cheese. Sprinkle with oregano and black pepper. Because you’re worth it.
So that was my brilliant idea. Feel free to leave any of your delicious scrounged meals in the comments, my dear imaginary readers.
Maybe. It’s hard to tell, but either way its going to need someone better at this stuff than I am to fix it.
Given this is both the day my blog is due and the first day of Melbourne’s Govhack weekend, this has naturally proven a bit of a problem. So to add to my weaknesses in statistical management (which given I’m at a Government Free Data jam is a bit of a worry) all my usual tech has now spontaneously failed.
So I’m cobbling together a film making suite with a phone, an ipad and zero budget. This has rather delayed my blogging, but I imagine I’ll tell y’all how it goes.
And I feel if you come away from a circus feeling like that then they’ve done their jobs.
I hadn’t seen Circus Oz before, but I would recommend their current Melbourne show. Cast in the shadow of ruins out of Ozymandius, or its nearest circus equivalent, my partner and I had our collective socks knocked off by these stellar performers.
Personal highpoints included a German Wheel routine in which a man resembling a Scottish Wolverine defied gravity for heavy metal infused minutes on end, and a static trapeze routine there’s around narcolepsy, which is exactly as tense as it sounds. In another brilliant touch, the performers cycled between the band and the centre stage effortlessly, showing off a fantastic breadth of talent.
If anything felt a little laboured, it was the beginning of a consumerism themed sub plot, but these naturally suffer for inertia. It built nicely between other acts to a manic, creepy, bar coded, spruiker fueled explosion of theatrical chaos.
So imaginary Melbournites! If you have a night free, I heartily recommend. You’ll be smashing situps and flying about on any geometric shapes you can lay your grabby mits on. Hm, there might be some merit in that… I wonder if I can market that as an exercise scheme…
I mean, there’s the obvious stuff. The lack of convenience, the obnoxious McMansions, the neighbours who won’t even say hello to each other when their out walking their dogs. More recently I’ve come to associate them with exhaustion, hunger, and vengeful ankle pain.
You see, my dear imaginary readers, yours truly has taken to selling light bulbs door to door to make ends meet.
Well, that’s not strictly true. I’ve been trying to give them away for free, complete with a qualified electrician to install them, which makes sense in the context of the State of Victoria’s emissions reduction scheme. This has been harder than it sounds.
That’s mostly because we’re clearly not the first to have this idea. It becomes difficult to give something away when the recipient already has said thing in abundance. The very selling point of these bulbs is their extremely long life, so with replacement not an option the market dwindles rather rapidly.
So that’s another way in which I feel that the suburbs have sleighted me.
Despite all this, though, returning to the city center still makes me smile. From the Hyatt hotel glowering down on us like a golden parody of a Communist Parliament, to the riverfront dredging up memories of London stowed half a world away, to the church towers nestled beneath the immense glass megaliths surrounding them, like tiny remora between the teeth of a shark. At night the towers ascend into mist like something out of Disney’s Gargoyles, and the city blooms with a sky climbing garden of electric flowers.
I have also been making forays into getting back into radio theatre, for which I will need more material. You’ll know the outcome as soon as I do. I’m not holding out on you guys, just its not something I’m working on alone like the blog.
So that’s more or less where I’m at currently. Having had some decent interviews, I hopefully won’t be pounding the pavement too much longer out in the suburban sprawl. But I’ll keep you posted on that.
And you should have your usual fix come Saturday. Hoping the week’s been nice to y’all.
Alright, this is something I’ve really enjoyed about Melbourne. A lot of the graffiti is really high quality.
I sort of made a habit of photographing street art during my long sojourn in Canberra, and followed Abyss‘ harlequin tinted, occultish murals wherever I could find them. I think part of the appeal for me has always been the temporary, transient nature of the art itself. Being illegal most of the time, its only a matter of waiting until its either torn down or usurped by something else.
I don’t think the lens captures what the eye sees, but I’ve made a go of it. Without further ado…
A lot of folks have taken to decorating council breaker boxes.
But, as ever, the wall remains the favoured medium of operation.
Got some audacious stuff in there. It should probably go without saying that this isn’t my art, and I don’t actually know who did it. Just thought I’d share it with y’all before it disappears.
Kind of reminds me of a story in Prague, an example of street artists kind of winning out over local council. It may be apocryphal, but hey, most good stories are. There’s a statue – right outside the James Dean American Diner for those who want to find it – probably ten feet tall, a kneeling cubist fertility goddess, all chrome finish. Story I heard says it appeared overnight, and when the council found it they realised they couldn’t afford a rig big enough to move it. So they declared it city property, gave it a plaque, and as far as I know she’s still there.
Interesting thing is that it keeps happening. There’s more than one Kafka themed statue in the city erected without planning permission, which was kept on account of frankly impeccable craftsmanship. Probably a better approach than paying millions for public art of questionable quality, but hey, local councils here tend towards the bureaucratic and stupid, so I’m not surprised. Doesn’t really dull the disappointment, but that’s just the way some of this goes.
Hope y’all like the pictures, dear imaginary readers.
Given your loyal following, I figured I should fill you in on how things are going in my little corner of the world, and perhaps give some explanation for recent behavioural trends.
You’ll probably have noticed I’ve mostly been smashing out a lot of roleplay related stuff and most recently a little zeitgeist article; basically, stuff that I can write easily without having to leave my chair. You’ll also notice a fairly substantial decline in my recent foodie posts. The reason for that is that I’ve largely been eating lentils and jack all else, which I figure doesn’t make great reading.
Now, these are just symptoms in honesty.
The reason for the shut in lifestyle is that, with my partner and I having just moved to Melbourne and lacking jobs, we are poor and things like tram travel and interesting ingredients are expensive. So you get the musings I can make without leaving the house.
But! Fear not. That looks set to change fairly soon, and I shall keep you updated on our various adventures when we have a workable budget to go places and do things again.
Why? Because I’ve been reading the Necronomicon. Coincidence? No longer my call. Ask Yog Sothoth.
Anyway… Here’s another photo to whet your appetites
This place is so damn neo-Gothic. I look up at night and see the city from Gargoyles.
Anyway, on to the second part of the post that I promised you in the title, with the attention grabbing sub-heading of…
Thanks for the intro, LSP.
Anyway, having worked out what was missing in my chilli, but being unable to locate the canned refried beans my pal in the UK uses in my new environs, I had to make my own.
1 – Get red kidney beans. Canned are good, but if you get dried you’ll probably have to soak them.
2- Fry the beans. Then mash them to a beany paste.
The instructions are on the can, if we’re being totally fuskin honest with ourselves.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with my recipe for tasty vegetarian bean chilli.
The Recipe Aforementioned
Refry your beans!
Annihilate one onion and one capsicum into pieces, tiny parodies of their original form!
Put them in the pan of frying with the once-beans!
Add tomatoes similarly destroyed! Leave no portion upon portion!
Add red lentils for bulk as you desire, but remember that once the lentils have arrived, they cannot be escaped…
Pour hence water, boiling in fury!
Add the mystic powder! (Now, I know its kind of cheating to use the store bought stuff, but fusked if i can nut out what’s in it… the closest approximation I can manage so far is a combo of cumin, paprika, pepper, lime juice and Cajun style roux…)
Stir with an instrument hewn from the flesh of a tree!
Serve upon an altar of rice or crunchy corn chips! With cheese…
And, there you have it. A feed fit for Azathoth himself. Well, I guess that puts it in league with everything else in the material universe, but hey. Its good vego chilli.
I begin to fear that I’ve been shut in too long.
Once again, photos have been used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike Non-Commercial agreement, so as I’ve said many times I ain’t making money out of this blog, and you can butcher it and use it however you like as long as the relevant folks are credited, you stay unpaid and LSP ain’t altered.
And Azathoth won’t make you any money either. Though props to the first person to send me some Lovecraftian Romantic Comedy fan fiction. I will send possibly interesting comments in exchange.
I probably should have warned you all before this happened, but I moved to Melbourne about a week ago today, and thusly lacking an internet connection my capacity to send my charming diatribes to you was reduced to naught. So, for I think the second time in the history of the Next Best Plan, I will say this.
Now, to mark my triumphant return to internet land, here’s a spooky black and white photo of Elizabeth Street! I’ve got some more Changelings of the Outer West coming up, as well as the return of the Young Thief to Scenes from the City, so thanks for sticking around!