13 Dec 2006, Comments Off on Stuff I didn’t have time to blog in November

Stuff I didn’t have time to blog in November

Author: Helen

November whooshed through like a freight train, and now I’m strapped precariously to the howling juggernaut of December. One thing’s for sure, I’m happy I said yes to playing those four November sessions with Tess McKenna. The best singer-songwriter in the world, in space. One of the things we’re told we have to learn at this parenting and working life stage is how to say no – and I’m getting better at it, honest. But there are some things you should really say yes to, as well, because if you don’t you could be impoverished. If I hadn’t played with Tess the house might be cleaner and the Christmas cards done, but a certain something which buoys me through the December madness would be missing.

Tess’s stuff is more like psychedelia than nu country now. The songs are big and wide and (mostly) slow and funky and filled with space and light and harmonies that could break your heart.

The courtyard of the Brunswick Green is shady and comfortable, like your own back yard ought to be. There is a boxed-in verandah like your gran’s. The clientele span every demographic from crusty dreads and goths to grandmas and grandpas and young parents with toddlers who run around and play on the soft strip of grass by the fence. There are two massive lemon trees. The Bloody Marys and chips with aioli are wicked. And the guys who run the place are lovely.

Playing a low-down and syncopated back beat is more fun than possibly anything else you can do sitting down.

Playing a big 6/8 is like flying.


The Agdars were quiet, friendly, straight-backed and careful with speech. Their kids didn’t come, they were off doing their own thing, so I didn’t get to meet Shahin. I nearly got his name right – it’s pronounced Shaheen with a long e.

I wanted to say something like “I apologise for our Government and all that has been done to you” but the moment never came, and it probably would just have been naff and embarrassing.


When Donald Rumsfeld got the push, I was reading Thoreau’s Walden and meaning to post about it, and I came across a quotation attributed to Confucius which seemed very familiar, somehow:

The message is that there are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns, that is to say there are things we now know we don’t know. But there also unknown unknowns, there are things we do not know we don’t know.

If you know, to recognize that you know,
If you don’t know, to realize that you don’t know:
That is knowledge.

Perhaps that’s what Rummy was trying to say in his inarticulate fashion.


Ironically, I found a link to this article by Michael Kimmel via Crikey, directly beneath another link to the Gardasil story. Because apparently, even though Tony Abbott thinks girls’ lives are worth less than $450, and conservatives in the US and developing countries seem to think sexually active women deserve to get cervical cancer, we’re supposed to be in the middle of a war against boys?

Reading the article, something smells familiar… oh yes. This little shit.

Fortunately, Michael Kimmel is refusing to play the us-against-them , and does a fabulous hatchet job on the MRAs who think that the problems boys have are all Teh Feminists fault.

Read the whole thing.


In the leadup to the election, there was a lot of ink and hot air expended on how wonderful the Victorian Labor government was in their response to climate change and water issues, but they were still impervious to any requests to stop logging the forests around the Thomson river catchment area. The other side didn’t inspire confidence, as the Liberals only think of forests as “Timber” (you know, a “resource”) and their election “pledge” was to protect not the forests, but the timber industry’s access to them. Since my expectations of them were nil, I wasn’t too disappointed.


The Larvyprod thread, “We’d better get back in the fridge“, looked at the Sheikh Hilaly / Michael Leunig / blame-the-victim ethos from all angles. The general consensus is that this idea is still pervading most levels of Western society, never mind the Muslims for now. Some of us decided a spell in the fridge, with cold stubbies close to hand, was an attractive proposition as the weather heats up.


Boychild’s music concert: Images that will stay with me for ever. Not just Boychild, cool and competent behind his keyboard in a stand-up, ravin’, cast of thousands, all-black-hat wearinfg rendition of “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” from The Blues Brothers.

I will never forget the drum teacher’s big black kit on stage, apparently playing itself, because the little Prep drummer was too little to be seen over the rack toms. Occasionally we would see a stick gamely wave over the top.


Definition of a nanosecond: the time between when Howard appoints his Prime Ministerial “taskforce” and when he decides that Nuclear is the Answer to all our Problems. (Of course he hadn’t already made his mind up! Of course Ziggy Switkowski was a totally appropriate choice of advising nuclear physicist! Of course he weighed up all the alternatives! Of course I’m my grandmother!)


That’ll have to do for now.

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