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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Here be monsters

The hunting in a pack strategy didn't work so B1 and B2 hid away while B3 came back disguised as a family man. A combination of implausible charm and gossamer thin affability bedazzled us for a while but ultimately character will tell - B3 may come back as a charity case next or might have got the message.

The last family member living at 72 believed in treating people with patience, tolerance and respect. The property will sell to someone with those values. Or with way better acting skills than B3. I don't mind being patronised - I find it amusing - but every hunter knows that target selection is 90% of the game, weapon choice 9% and luck the rest. If I end up on someone's trophy wall they will have more patience, be better at strategising, and be more driven and more determined than me - rat cunning rather than reptile brain reacting.

It won't be some Sub-primate greed-is-good conman reviving the 1980s. Those days are gone now.

MLK said"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Arrested development

Three big-bellied monsters were spotted trespassing on the vacant land that is part of this property. Their illegally parked black four-wheel drives squatted outside as they waddled about making calls and taking photos. Is "developer" the only one-word oxymoron?

How can anyone human look at a 114 year old family home and see an empty section?

How can anyone human look at a 200,000,000 year old geological feature and see it as so much rubble to be carted away?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Glebe Street Fair 16th November

The fair was packed - like the Sunday markets but more - of everything - six gozelme stands - tonnes of imported hippy clothes - gym membership stalls - chuggers - buskers etc

But what lies beneath? In this snap is the new road surface in the foreground - the old road surface to the right and in the top left the temporary surface put in pace when the Street Fair loomed. It had always been scheduled to take place after the first (or was it second?) completion date for the roadworks and some rapid action was needed to make the road safe for the fair.

Two weeks ago the ends of old tram rails could be seen poking out just to the left of the end of the old road surface about a foot or so below the current top level. The next section of track will have to be excavated and cut up and removed along with the wooden sleepers or ties.
The humanity, the humanity - shopping and bopping - too much life for me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Walking and snapping

The drain is just for rain - and litter and building waste
150 year Old Skool
Wai Sing over the Busy Bee Cafe
2037 The Glebe Boys & The Glebe Girls - watching you watching them - surveillance may operate in this area.

Street Fair

It's street fair day - with Glebe Road [the original name for what is now usually known as Glebe Point Road] closed to traffic from Broadway to Pyrmont Bridge Road.

Music, food, politics, and shopping. The road resurfacing has been put on hold and should resume on Monday. The tram tracks still in place when preparation for the Fair began were sticking into space adjacent to 106 or 133 Glebe Road. They're buried for a second time but will come to view once the roadworks begin again.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Everyone's got one

There are some interesting bits of graffiti in Glebe.

I've always liked Harry Callaghan's response to someone who was insisting that he hear their opinion: "Opinions are like assholes - everyone's got one".

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Truth in advertising

I saw this little rogue trader set up in Bridge Road one day

Friday, November 7, 2008

For Merc

I have two amazing daughters - they are a constant source of delight and surprise. Oftentimes they believe they can do anything, be anyone, that the world is theirs.

They draw, they paint, they write. I re-discovered this drawing one daughter gave me a year ago to remind me what it is to be us. And perhaps what it is to be human and to see and be seen by another.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Glebe scenes

Car windows are at risk in Glebe. The piles of glass left behind are sometimes known as Glebe crystal.

Other remnants appearing recently are the tram tracks. As Glebe Road is being resurface wooden ties or sleepers and tracks are being dug up, broken up and carted away.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Mighty COD

Friday on my mind

No easy beat this - I went out, at night, by myself, plenty of baggage but no bags, none of the support equipment necessary as an accompanying parent. The presence of children demands that each journey out of the house involves the logistics of an assault on Everest.

But this Friday all my emergency gear fitted more easily into my jeans than I did. And I was venturing into a different suburb. The Lansdowne is not too far from my part of Glebe in the vague area referred to as Broadway. Most people these days have a shopping complex and in the reworked Grace Brothers Glebe has Broadway. Like a carelessly parked BMW Broadway is slowly being Glebe-ified. The new top floor which opened looking like a Westfield Anywhere has slowly and steadily been Glebed. The toilets, always a concern when travelling with young and old, were sparkly and high tech. Now the remnants of tags can be seen in the grout, the sensors to turn on the taps don't work and everything has that not cleaned often enough well enough feeling that characterises the rest of Glebe.

The Lansdowne is an institution, Sydney slang for more than 15 years old, and on Friday nights has three bands "going off". When I escaped from rehab work I worked in a library in North Sydney as an untouchable, a shelver. Shelving was like a sheltered workshop, you had to know someone to get a job and know which order the letters of the alphabet came in and, more importantly, where numbers came. The entry level pay rate was also higher than community work, at least at the point I'd reached after three years of tertiary studies and seven years experience. One of the other shelvers was a musician - in a band called The Tennants best remembered for their teen ballad 'You shit me to tears'.

Now Greg is "something in television" and one of his bands is COD who played on Friday. COD are like a party mix tape with the musical highlights of the last 35 years of pop music. The drummer aside the musicians are all a bit overweight, balding and troubled by the various ailments that occur with greater frequency over 35. But they play like precocious teenagers. They strut, they shimmy, they snarl, they growl catering to the dags and the dads. And for some reason as the years drop away women, some of whom should be doing their schoolwork and others who should be checking their grandchildren are doing theirs - that age range - are attracted to them. Particularly to the frontman, Greg the ex-shelver.

Men react like men - some of them (or us) want to be in the band or in the band members - some of them can't figure out the appeal or wish it wasn't there or at least hadn't ensnared their girlfriend. But eventually the sheer exhilaration of the show takes over. They're having fun, these fools and inviting us to join them. And they play very well - no Zeppelin riff or Prince wankery too hard - the drummer and bass player often locked in as tightly as Sly and Robbie and the twin guitars of the Thorsby brothers doing that brother thing - "I love you mate but I'm a better player than you". It's like karaoke with talent.

All evening groups of altered youngsters would arrive and stare in bemusement at what may have looked like a rally of gay bikers on acid - at least one in each posse got it and would stay and calibrate their inner rythm to the dirty sounds coming from the stage. The alpha males in each pack would sense the threat emanating from these aging showmen and guide their females to safety, some of the younger pack members would veer towards rebellion and choose fun over face and the sensually orientated would lean towards the stage. The alpha males would then have to choose - these are my people, I am their leader, so I must follow where they go - but how to do this and acknowledge another big fish in this small pond? Sydney is too everything for there to be only one gay in each village. So leave your alpha bits behind and take and give what you will to the night - it is but young even if we are not.

I worked in an ear tag factory in Palmerston North one year - I met a Maori from Te Kuiti who was famous for not being able to play the guitar. At his girlfiend's landlady's home there was a framed poster on the wall "I'm not always as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I always was!"

Go the mighty COD - you guys rock! (see: Australian Idol)