Sunday, March 30, 2008

almost there

three more bursts of radiotherapy and i'm through phase two of this semi-arduous process. hard to know where the time's gone really. people continually ask me how i fill in my days and i'm constantly at a loss as exactly how to answer them. certainly i'm not bored, but i still haven't made it through the backlog of books and tv shows that i had intended/presumed to by this point in the process. the internet accounts for a lot, surely. google reader is next best thing to a live-in partner given the amount of time i devote to it. i'm also spending a huge amount of time immersed in music of all descriptions, which is rather lovely. another tick next to the internet. then there's the obligatory facebook communiques. internet again. blogs. internet. news. internet. idle wanderings. internet.

and sometimes, i leave the house.


1. will it blend?: at some point in early 2007 a man by the name of tom dickson had an ingenious idea as to how best market his range of high-powered, ultra-resistant food blenders. he'd use them to blend a range of normal household products, including rakes, ipods, bic lighters and glow sticks, and then release them as a series of videos on the internet. the rest is viral marketing history.

anyone else keen to do a buy-in to get one of these babies? this has theme party written all over it...

2. movies in typography: a great blog post compiling together the best examples of movie scenes told only through animated typography. some of them are brilliantly inventive.

3. the 8 least impressive guiness world records: i can remember the magic of the guiness book of world records dying tragically for me when i realised that the ability to toss a cow pat farther than any other human who had decided to toss a cow pat was perhaps not worthy of official recognition. this list brings together a lovely assortment of those moments.

4. the battle for wikipedia's soul: now anyone who has broached the topic of the internet with me in the last year or so will probably know that i rank wikipedia as among humanity's greatest achievements (notwithstanding this somewhat depressing list of the most needlessly detailed wikipedia entries). with it's ethic of free collaboration, free access and non-profitability, nothing seems to symbolise the potential of the internet to invert/radically shift the power structures of the pre-digital age than the further development of wikipedia. however, the economist here picks out the emerging tension between the inclusionists, those who think wikipedia should include everything that it's contributors choose to contribute, and the deletionists, those who think varying amounts of quality control are needed to prevent the encyclopedia from collapsing into triviality/irrelevance, and how these increasingly bitter editorial feuds are starting to impact upon the collaborative base upon which wikipedia was founded. the missing wikipedians page provides a compelling glimpse of the users and their reasons for leaving. given the recent emergence of google's 'knol' project, with its focus upon individual merit and proclaimed authorship, it's an interesting time for the wikipedia project.

5. the top 25 tv put-downs: a magazine called 'radio times' decided that it was within its remit to do a poll on the best put-downs from the past 40 years of television. my personal favourite, patsy from absolutely fabulous: "one more facelift on this one and she'll have a beard". oh zing. zing.

6. and finally, this. stare at the centre of the picture for thirty seconds and then look away while blinking rapidly. coooooooooool.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

cancer: an exercise in stasis

man, things were exciting at the get go. there were diagnoses, treatment plans, scans, life upheaval and emotional superfluity. now it's all just variants on low-impact routine. radiotherapy is monday to friday, but for 10 minutes apiece. as lizzi said 'it's just like a 9-5 job. but 9-910'. with that said, they very rarely get me in and out in the allotted ten minutes, and i have had multiple opportunities to further avail myself of the daytime television force-fed to the waiting patients at the sir charles gardiner cancer centre. so, what have i learnt?

1. ready, steady cook is as good evidence as any as to why we might still be considered minnows on the global entertainment stage.

2. dr. phil is even more odious than previously assumed. at one point he based a show around the dr. phil house, in which he collected together a racist, a black, female social elitist, a guy who hates society and a misogynist in a house while he force-fed them his own brand of social normalcy. and it wasn't the earnest attempts at group personal development that really grated, but rather dr. phil's earnest brand of self-congratulatory, auto-erotic ego massage. and then at one point someone in the waiting room asked if they could turn it up. and they did. and i withered a bit inside.

i also hold out severe worries for the calibre of human stashed in his studio audience. watching an excerpt from the christmas special, in which they 'shocked' the audience by rewarding them with medium-quality giftwares (0.5 carat diamond earrings! a credit card with $200 loaded on it! because that's really going to take the pressure off!) i couldn't help but notice the tears streaking the faces of a number of audience members. to paraphrase lydia millet from her novel 'oh pure and radiant heart', it seems that the idea of secular america doesn't so much refer to a diversification of beliefs as it does a diversification of demagogues. everybody's still looking for their messiah. and maybe dr. phil could be it. what jesus would have looked like if he could have held on for another couple of decades.

3. oprah can get a laugh out of the line 'you know how you always pack too much?'. maybe i'm trying too hard...

but radiotherapy is pretty low impact, and to this point in time i've only been left with eerily geometric radiation burns on my front and back (which are really just low-end sunburns, but 'radiation burns' has that little extra kick, you know?), a slight morning scratch in my throat and some moderate lethargy. i am becoming a nap ninja. last week they kept on rostering me on at 8/9 am, so i'd sleep for 5-6 hours, get up, go for treatment, come home and sleep for another 2-3, get up, do what i do during the day, and then go down again around 5. it's like looking into the lifestyle i'll be living when i'm 80. although hopefully without the tumour.

in other news, my hair is coming back. like jesus himself (that's an easter joke). at this point in time it seems darker than before, and my facial hair is considerably thicker and darker too. other body hair is returning as well. which makes it look kinda like i'm going through puberty all over again. exciting times.

and finally, i'm back in melbourne from the 6th to the 19th of april. make space in your social calendars.


1. the procrastination flowchart: a fair explanation of why this blog gets updated so irregularly.

2. the best medical pictures from 2007: i'm kinda disappointed i didn't make it in. this is a picture of red blood cells leaking from a ruptured blood vessel. coooooooool.

3. the playmobil security checkpoint: getting kids scared early. playmobil cavity search cubicle sold separately.

4. presumably the dollar palace has gotten rid of wal-marts ever so onerous 'pants' policy

5. what ronald mcdonald used to look like. as someone said, the subtitle to this ad could quite easily be 'how to lure a child into your car in 60 seconds'. or possibly just 'gone in 60 seconds'.

6. let's paint and exercise tv. against a backdrop of hypercolour camera effects, a rumpled, unfit man in a paint spattered suit runs on a treadmill while painting badly, taking abusive calls and pursuing other side interests - in this episode, making blended drinks. all at the same time. so awesome. so overstimulating.

from a list of the 7 most insane moments on cable access television (which is worth browsing in its entirety - if you dare, no. 1, the 'merrill howard kalin show', can be found here)

7. a news anchor and roving reporter crack the shits at each other. fabulous television.

and i'm done. enjoy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


and that's me being consumed by the immensity of the stage at his majesty's, photo courtesy of a friend seated well back in the gods. this photo was taken at almost the exact moment that i managed to accidentally turn off my microphone at the very beginning of the set. which was not the best way to soothe my already jangling nerves. as a result my opening gambit kinda fell flat, and i then spent half the set trying to win over the sections of the crowd who were convinced that i was just an aberrant character comic trying to make jokes about cancer because he had no hair. i won them over by the end, but the damage had been done. weird, and a tad disappointing, but still, it was one hell of an experience. especially for my 9th set of stand-up...


1. judge a book by its cover: a librarian in america keeps a catalogue of the worst covers she encounters in her day to day work. i gotta say, i do enjoy this hawaiian pidgin bible:

EDIT: oh my good lord. the pidgin bible has a web page. with extracts. go here now!

But da angel guy say, “No scared. I come fo tell you guys Good Stuff From God dat goin make you guys an all da peopo stay good inside. Dis day inside King David's town, one boy wen born dat goin take you guys outa da bad kine stuff you stay doing. He da Christ Guy, da Spesho Guy God Wen Send. He da Boss." (Luke Tell Bout Jesus 2:10-11)

2. 41 awesome science fair experiments: photographs of some sterling science projects being staged by america's best and brightest. as my mate dave said, i so want to hang out with this guy:

3. LOLTapirs: this is exactly what you think it is.

4. OM NOM NOM NOM: this, on the other hand, is not.

5. song charts: a flickr photo pool where people upload semi-scientific graphs of the logic behind popular songs. this is kinda what my thesis was about. only not really.

and to keep in the mood of the day, here's a video that no amount of explaining could possibly explain:

now go waste your days! back soon

p.s. a casual reminder that i'm also a regular contributor to electrorash, a melbourne based electro/indie/awesome music blog, so head over and see what else is keeping me occupied at the moment