Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I love this song. Not only because it was an association I made when I took this photo, but because its energy and the feeling it gives me has never wavered in the years I've been listening to it. It reminds me of going to school. Of the rumpus room in our backyard at Hargrave Street. Of friends. Of pets. Of feeling unencumbered.

In the last fourteen days there has been a few things occur, both by choice and by happenstance that I feel are inextricably linked... or I just like to play connect the dots... and things happening by happenstance can't be inextricably linked I suppose...

Firstly, while browsing the local video store, I decided to hire the first season of
Six Feet Under. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but I was feeling like something different. It was a good choice for something different. It made me think about death in completely new ways. About my family in completely new ways.

Secondly, I went grocery shopping and as I wandered the aisles, I found myself passing the same woman in each aisle, weighed down by her basket, phone stuck to her ear in her whole world. In one aisle she stopped just as we passed each other and exclaimed into her phone; "Well, you could be hit by a bus on your way home so just tell me what you want me to make for dinner!" I found that sentence fascinatingly absurd, yet in keeping with where my thought patterns were after watching Six Feet Under.

Thirdly, a conversation I had with a man who came into work. I'm usually not the small talk type but he was waiting and seemed to like talking. How we got onto the subject I'm not sure but he told me about a particularly terrible point in his life where he took a phone call at ten o'clock in the morning. It was his wife, telling him she'd just had a car accident. As soon as he hung up from that phone call, his phone rang again. It was his Mother, his Father had just passed away. As soon as he hung up from that phone call, his phone rang again. It was his employer, telling him there was something urgent he needed to attend to at work. He told me it was such a ground shifting moment and completely changed his perspective on what was important in his life.

Fourthly, on Saturday night I didn't want to go out, I didn't want to see anyone. This is not unusual for me, let's face it. It 's just it was important to me to go to the dinner though. In the car on the way there I started thinking about what I would do if anything happened to my family, particularly Carly, and Mum and Dad. My heart started pounding. I started to cry. It was surreal. I don't cry very much. At all. I started praying for them, in my way. Sending thoughts out to them I guess.

Lastly, Carly had an
accident on Sunday morning. She was driving to work and a little old lady did a u-turn in front of her as she drove down Boundary Street. Carly is fine, bruised but fine. So is the lady. Thank God. It scared me so badly when she told me.

I'm not sure what my point was. I guess these things have just been on my mind.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

damage/yo la tengo

I've always daydreamed about making a film where the entire soundtrack is the Yo La Tengo album 'I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One'. Some of the songs on the album have always caused my imagination to spontaneously conjure up scenes for my film. 'Damage' in particular. I think it is a sad scene. I see a foggy beach, I feel heartbreak... wait a second, my film sounds cheesy. Anyway, 'I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One' is up there as one of my favourite records ever. I say that about all my favourite records, right?

I love Yo La Tengo. When I listen to them I actually believe I wouldn't mind if they were the only band in the world. I was the happiest I'd been in a while when I got to see them play at The Tivoli in 2003. I was so glad that Decoder Ring supported them. It was a perfect pairing. I was pretty gleeful that night. Full of glee. Yo La Tengo made their sublime noise, were funny and as an encore, asked the audience to shout out requests and obliged readily. Ira made me think of Thurston Moore the way he played his guitar. Georgia was so deadpan, playing her drums and singing (how do they do that? I mean really?). James a bespectacled gentle giant bass player with a fuzz of curly hair. I would have happily stayed at The Tivoli forever that night (on the proviso that Yo La Tengo continued to play of course).

I really don't feel justified complaining about this. I thought if I get it out, it may stay out. I was asked to do a role play at work today. A business consultant has been 'engaged' to help the company and its employees fully realise its/their potential. The role play was specifically in an area where I am lacking : nagging. Perhaps there is a better word for it in the business vernacular, but that is how I would label it.

On completion of the role play I saw the look on Mr. Consultant's face and screwed up my nose in anticipation. I was thinking my tone was too stern, too demanding. Mr. Consultant told me that, in fact, I was too nice. I have been told this before a few weeks ago and it bothered me. I was also told I care too much and that it's not necessary for me to give 100% all the time and worry about things that aren't getting done. 90% is good enough. Let someone else worry.

Too nice? Care too much? 90%? Exactly what kind of universe have I traversed into?

I'm also not sure I like the word 'nice' anymore now either. It's just so... nice.

Other than that one of my most favourite photographers ever, Stefano Giovannini, has just recently added two new journal entries which always include these great little quicktime slideshows of shots he's taken that sometimes relate to the words in his journal. I love his shots of people, because they are people he meets along the way. His approach is so wonderful and his simple way of expressing himself is just great. I love it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

i feel like a child/devendra banhart

I keep hearing this song whenever I am near a radio and it is the kind of song I admire on a variety of levels:

1. Mr. Banhart is quite an eccentric in the best way possible. I feel very affectionate towards him and his music and method of expression.

2. The lyrics sound like a child wrote them because of their simplicity and sweetness.

I can't think of anymore 'levels' so I'll give you this link to one of the portrait photographers whose work I admire immeasurably and who is also very passionate and politically opinionated and who did something so human and, just, so real to express his feelings and other fellow human beings feelings about the New Orleans situation. Read his words. Watch the images by clicking through them or click on 'view as slideshow'.

I wish I could think in those terms and be that way, doing things that are so simple and yet so meaningful and... just... real.

I'm feeling a bit Meryl-Streep-in-The-Hours right now. My life is soooo trivial. Yet it is up to me to make it less so.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

hitting the ground/pj harvey

I heard this song on the way to work on Monday morning and, because of the reminder that it existed, I have been playing it a little too repetitively every chance I get since. I love the combination of Gordon Gano's awesome and jaunty guitar work (how does he play like that?) and PJ's bursting, urgent singing. I especially love the part where the little guitar break comes in and PJ starts whooping. Such a fun song to sing along too...

I received a DVD from my parents this week of a 1983 home video from when we lived in Doha, Qatar. The idea was that I would take it on as a project, edit it into something fun to watch, which is very exciting to me. It turns out it is in the wrong format for me to save it to my computer and manipulate it. Luckily, as I watched it, I learnt to make screen captures.

There are great little snippets of Carly and I crammed inbetween the 3rd International Dubai Rally, a really interesting interview with a Muslim woman and some live Arabic music. One snippet is of us jumping on big squares of bubble wrap in the living room (such simple entertainment that still entertains to this day). Carly is happily jumping up and down quietly apart from the popping of her bubble wrap. I, however, am squealing, jumping, twirling, writhing. Mum has to tell me to be quiet a number of times because of my ridiculous shrieking and squealing. All in what appears to be delirious overexcitement.

There is a great tour of the flat we lived in by Dad, complete with Mum getting caught by the camera numerous times. Each time she is caught, she slinks into the next available doorway in shy reticence with a cheeky grin. Dad's commentary is mundane almost. Endearingly Dad-like: "there's the bathroom... here's the door to the air conditioner unit... that's Erin's hanging thingys..." I love it.

I watched myself be curiously uncooperative and moody. I ignore requests to show the folks at home my bedroom or to wave and say hello. I'm only interested in showing off a picture I'd created with my 'printer' for our cousin, Michelle, or giggling and running away.

Carly is the picture of a calm and intelligent child. She gently talks us through the pictures and artists on the cover and back page of her school yearbook and flips through the pages for the camera. She carefully walks us through a poster she's made of all the colours of the textas she owns. She tells the camera of the different types of Toblerone that you can't get in Australia.

Watching it brought back some extremely vivid memories and humbled me of how extremely fortunate we were in experiencing what we did when we lived over there. The variety of nationalities of the students at the schools we attended was commonplace to us. The travel around the world, which I assumed all children experienced until I learnt that most of my classmates when I returned to Adelaide had not ventured outside the state of South Australia, was such an amazing privilege.

Friday, September 02, 2005

laughing at you/the detroit cobras

I want to be in a band that plays songs like The Detroit Cobras. SOOO badly. Listening to them makes me incredibly happy. I know that they are ultimately a covers band but, well, I've never heard the songs they cover before. Particularly fantastic would be playing those punchy little guitar riffs and shouting those backing 'ooh's, sha la la's, cha cha cha's, ahhh's and hey's' into the microphone at the same time as the rest of the band. Definitely Dinnyhayser's style. We always maintained we were a band of backing singers.

Di organised for a bunch of us to give blood on Thursday night. It has been years (six in fact, which is remiss of me and I felt ashamed when I worked that out) since I have donated. The little travelling Red Cross caravan was a hive of activity. Such amazing organisation, in a slightly flustered style, and we were all in and out in what felt like no time. My favourite thing was the nurses. Like buzzy busy bees. I don't think I've ever been called "dahlin'" so much in all my life. I also don't think I stopped smiling the whole time.

I joined Di, Brad, Sarah and Ben for trivia afterwards. They are veterans apparently... at losing. They come last every time. I think they were hoping I might be of some assistance. As Brad put it in his blog which made me giggle like a fool:

"We may have come last at Trivia at the Red Brick Hotel last night by the slimmest margin in our team's history. I think we got about 47, with the second last team getting 55. Our brilliant performance was due in no small part to the presence of Erin 'T-Bone' Gebert whose brilliance, especially in the music department was unsurpassed."

The new nickname: T-Bone. Do you know what? It's growing on me, I dig it. And with a nickname like T-Bone I think I am justified in using the expression 'I dig it'.

So, the story behind T-Bone? Trivia was a new experience for me. I had little idea of what was actually going on and could barely interpret the questions via the muffled microphone work of the beloved 'Bomber'. At one point I'm sure he said "moofarloorangadungeee." Or something. In other words, I didn't understand, though that was a source of amusement in itself. After one of the rounds he said something which caused my friends to start telling me to "Go downstairs! You get to spin the wheel, you get to spin!!!" So, after some protesting on my behalf (not unlike a child that doesn't want to go home "NO!, I don't want to!"), I start walking downstairs as they got up and walked to a part of the balcony where they could see the action. I was thinking that there would be a few more people from other teams doing the spinning too but no, just me. So amidst tables of fellow trivia buffs, 'Bomber' is talking gibberish in the microphone, people are milling around, I'm kind of loitering wondering what is happening and looking up at the grinning faces of my friends.

Bomber: (gesturing for me to come closer) "Spin the wheel, give it a goood spin!"
T-Bone: (looking from Bomber to the balcony) "Okay..."

So I spin the wheel, admittedly not a very goood spin and I stare at what it says on the tab it stopped at and have no idea what the prize is.

Bomber: "Aww, c'mon! What kind of spin was that? A GOOOD spin, spin again!"
T-Bone: (silent, glances at balcony, grabs the wheel and spins with enough gusto to think the wheel was going to topple over and crush her in a crazy pub trivia accident)

I think this time something came up saying "FIVE POINTS OR FIVE TICKETS".

I kept staring at it thinking to myself "...WHAT?!" I looked up at the balcony again and they are gesturing for me to spin again, so I look at 'Bomber', he's writing something on a piece of paper, so I look back up at them and they are still telling me to spin again when a lady at the table in front of the wheel shouts at me; "TAKE THE TICKETS LUV, TAKE THE TICKETS!!" and I turn back to Bomber and say "they want me to spin again..." so he gives me the nod, I spin again and it comes up "T-BONE." Di says she shouted out "BUT SHE'S VEGETARIAN!" I think 'Bomber' may have heard because he started writing out the prize and says, "Aww, I think they're all vegetarians!" I just laughed, said thanks for the prize and walked back upstairs to sit down. Surreal. Brad then decided, I guess to commemorate the occasion in which the team came last with my assistance, that it might be appropriate to call me T-Bone from now on.

Oh, and luckily Bomber said we didn't have to have T-Bone.

He said we could have anything we like.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

a labor more restful/dirty projectors

Penny, Angie, Lois and Robin August 2005

"...and the only mystery is in what you couldn't decide or remember clearly"

Dave Longstreth IS a genius. Dirty Projectors is his band. His songs. His words. His sweetly melancholy vocalisings. I say it too often but it is so true, I am a filthy music junkie and I can't quit my habit. I discovered Dirty Projectors via it won’t f#$*ing kill you'. If someone recommends something so highly I can't help but check it out for myself (plus if you check out the link the photograph on the left under the work of art of the guitarist lit only by projector light is the kind of photograph that I aspire to).

A friend of my boss came into work on Tuesday. He went upstairs and left his son, about seven or eight, downstairs with we ladies. His son had a box, and that box was chirping.

So, of course, for the duration of the visit I did no work. I also didn't care that I did no work. I sat with the son next to the box and talked about the chicks with him. They'd just bought them at the Pet Superstore down the road. He had named them already. They were all named after the mothers in their family; Penny, Lois, Angie and Robin. We watched them quietly together and giggled at them all clamboring over each other. He was a little red-headed boy with the kind of freckles that little red-headed boys have. He explained to me animatedly that he went to pick one of the chicks up when they were in the car and it started pecking at a prominent freckle on his thumb knuckle. He lowered his hand into the box to show me. Sure enough the chick started to peck at it. We decided it thought it was food. He told me they were going to take them home and then go and get materials to build a chicken coop. Though for the first little while they plan to keep them in the laundry so they are warm. I told him that if they were mine I'd probably want them to sleep in my room. He said that would be cool except for their pooh. We kept watching them and petting them and laughing at their interactions with each other. Those chicks were so adorable. He let me take photos.

I'll never get to see them again.

He'll get to grow up with them.

I love that.