Friday, October 31, 2008

The Piss of The Ghost Cat Story

Every time I come to my home town I stay at my mother's house. For Christmas holidays, weddings, important birthdays, etc... I come down and sleep in my old room. No, no trophies, no model planes flying from the ceiling, etc... (I never won anything and was never a competitive sports-person or a glue-sniffing artisan anyway.)

Back in the days when Mum had several feline pets, one of the tomcats, a red-tinged ex-stray with prominent goolies that I called Gingernuts, used to get rather distressed because I (another male) had invaded *his* house.

On my first day in the house he inevitably would sneak into to my bedroom and spray his evil-smelling piss somewhere obscure yet olfactorially prominent in order to mark the scene as his. Acrid ammonia would suffuse the room and whup me in the head when I tried to enter. We'd spend ages finding the wet-spot and trying the douse its pungency with soapy water and eau-de-toilette. Only then could I get into the room to sleep.

Now that Gingernuts is no more and has been pleasantly decomposing amongst the begonia roots of Mum's garden for the last year or so, I was happy to assume that my sleeping quarters would not be disturbed by repeat performances of this bastard feline's pheremonical ritual.

But somehow, on day one, after good old mum had made the bed and vacuumed the carpet in anticipation of her No1 Son's arrival, I found that the ghost of Gingernuts had managed to break the surly bonds of netherdom and squirted a spiritual spray of ammonia into my fucking bedroom again! Somebody please explain. The room reeked of his oh-so familiar rank aroma. But he was dead! How could he be still pissing his territory from two feet under the back garden?

Three nights in a row I suffered from this amazing metaphysical manifestation. Eventually I gave in to the demands of his post-mortem evanescent pissing and moved into the other, spare bedroom.

Someone please explain. I have no idea.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Question Your Child Might Ask

If you build a building and construct a construction, do you edify an edifice?


Yes, No1 son, you can face a facade. And a firing squad.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Ask Not About Sydney Tollways, They Toll For Thee

If I hear anyone in Singapore complain about ERP again I'll clock them upside their head, as they're living in bloody luxury!

This "system" in Sydney seems like a hodgepodge of separate companies running separate section of the tollways. I don't pretend to understand it.

All I know is the rental car girl said something, I nodded and I drove to town. I ended up near my hotel, found a carpark and went to sleep... Next morning I had to wake up at 4am (Singapore time), same thing for three days running, and I am on dopey-dopey medications and so I forgot that I had to do something about driving on a route that, when I lived in Sydney 10 years ago, was free. Even though technically it didn't exist back then.

It seems, now I look back to Sunday, that I had driven on two separate stretches of tollable motorway coming in; the Eastern Distributor and the Cross City Tunnel. Two separate companies, two ways to be tolled...

From the website:
"If you plan to travel on more than one fully electronic motorway, you may need to arrange a pass for each one."

Note the odd word there? PLAN. I had no PLAN. I just wanted to go to Sydney and sleep, I didn't PLAN it, I just got in the rental and drove...

That was Sunday, today is Friday. I realised yesterday as drove over the Coathanger that I had overlooked this. There were signs about eTags and E-Passes for some of the motorways as I drove along and so the memory of a responsibility overlooked filtered in slowly.

As I had stayed at a friend's place up in Waroongah last night, I couldn't do anything about it yesterday but now, back in my hotel, I just looked up the How To Pay number on the Internet ($69 per week) and called the "toll-free" number. The girl there gave me TWO numbers, one "toll-free" and one presumably tollable. On the first of the numbers, the "toll-free" one, another pleasant lady told me that my toll was not on her system yet. My car's registration was not registered as an infringing vehicle. Her system was for unpaid tolls which had tolled up an infringement 'notice'. As my alleged infringement was only 5 days old it wouldn't have been registered yet, that would take 10 days. I was in a rental car, I told her, and I'll be in Singapore by then (actually come to think of it, I'll be in Geelong).

Oh, she said, you were supposed to buy an eTag/Pass within 48 hours of using the system. (Ah, so that's what the girl at the rental counter had said! I'm just not registering anything I'm told these days.)

So I can't pay now? (I was in that hazy no-person's-land of not being able to pay the bill over the phone (in 48 hrs) and waiting for the notice (after 10 days). What sort of a system is this?)

Do I need to call the other motorway company, the one that runs the Cross City Tunnel? I asked.

No, I don't need to call the non-toll number, they work on the same (insert laugh-track here) "System."

That's OK, she told me, the toll will be tagged to the rental car company and she was sure they'd tell me all about it.

Friendly for tourists, I said.

Yes, she laughed, no, it isn't.

And the sextant tolled the bell.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Brass Monkey Speaking In High-Pitched Voice

By the way, it was bloody cold in Sydney today. 11 degrees. Snowing in the mountains, wind, rain... You'd swear you were in Melbourne.

Which is where I will be come Saturday.


Never Leave A Restaurant Without Trying To Pick Up The Waitress

E@L was out for dinner with the incredibly delectable VirginPornStar tonight in Darling Harbour. Damned woman brought her boyfriend AND a chaperone along, severely restricting E@L's chances of taking her up on many of her teasingly double-entendre'd txt and Facebook messages... Which, though she would swear otherwise, were obviously meant, like Miss Havisham's taunting profferings of Estella to young Pip (aka Phillip!), [spoilers ahead] to merely set him up for a broken heart...

So E@L was forced to consider the serving staff for accompaniment in any post-prandial entertainment.

The metrosexual softly-spoken waiter had an eye for J, the rather flamboyant (gay but doesn't know it - but hey, don't tell him, it would DESTROY him) and highly intellectual economist (oxymoron?) chaperone on our table - I mean have you ever seen a Uni student wearing cuff-links SERIOUSLY - and E@L's generous tip later on hardly swerved the waiter's attention. OK, cross that of the list - even if E@L were gay, he'd get no satisfaction there.

One of the female serving staff had earlier attracted E@L's notice, but naturally, sigh, he managed to blow his chances with her in spectacular fashion. How? Read on.

The red wine was flowing, the conversation drifting from computer controlled derivatives short-shelling to (f/m) blow-jobs and scrotal encirclement, when E@L's medication afflicted bladder started sending Urgent signals of distension. He excused himself and moved to the back of the place, in the general direction of where he assumed the loos would be sited. As he passed by the area where the lady waiters hung out to chat between ignoring customers, he saw that the one he fancied was very conveniently right in front of him. So he smiled (she no doubt saw it as a lecherous old man's leer) and said:

"Which is the way to the Ladies?"

She started to point and then hesitated...

"OMG - I mean the Gents!" said E@L and he grasped her arm in a gesture of moral support, pretending to collapse with embarrassment.

"I know what you meant," she laughed, and pointed the way.

OK she thinks I'm idiot, slinking away, E@L thinks.

Another chance for hot steamy sex (with another person in the room) shot to pieces...

But was there a chance, really? You, and the below signed, will never know...


Monday, October 20, 2008

Lost In Kogarah

Yet again E@L ignores the crumbling financial world and the slide into despair of millions of desperate but worthy-of-our-taxes-and-sympathy millionaires to focus on his-own-good-self.

Here in Sydney, being a millionaire won't help you get much of a harbour view, but it could get you a car with GPS.

E@L skimped on this key/luxury feature when he booked his rental and therefore spent the a good 90 minutes this morning looking for the St George Hospital. Easy to find - big building in Kogarah a suburb in the south of Sydney, you can't miss it, right? Well maybe YOU can't miss it but for E@L such a feat comes easily. E@L lived for 2 years in Sydney - Parramatta actually, way out West - and knows this Syndey place like, like... my god, is that the back of his hand?

Firstly he was looking for the sign pointing to Highway 1 as he tootles South, or was that West, from the city at 7am. He was supposed to be there at 8am. Going against the main traffic flow meant it was easy driving and he planted his foot. By 7:20 all the signs were highlighting the pleasures of Parramatta's key social events. Do'h! Western suburbs! He'd channeled his past and missed the turn-off to the Princes Highway (Hwy 1) (must be coming up SOON) and was 15km out of touch. He dropped a U-ey and found himself in a massive jam in city-bound traffic. Do'h!

Eventually he got to City Rd - that's right you tourist, City Rd takes you to the Princes Highway eventually - and took a right. Just stay on this road, you can't miss it. On the right somewhere... Again the traffic is easy and the road unfamiliar and the signage sparse (everyone else knows where they are going here) and before you know it E@L is crossing the bridge at Sylvania... Hey there wasn't meant to be a bridge on his brief scouring of the map. Way too South.

Again a U-turn and again city-bound traffic. Do'h! He tries to txt a message to his contact but it doesn't go. Finally he get's through on the speaker phone to apologize - five to ten minutes he promises.

Eventually, 25 minutes later, E@L get's there: at 8:45. Luckily there is only one-student for him this morning. She understands, jet-lag, unfamiliarity with the roads, no GPS, stupidity.

No, no, it's the drugs.

Tomorrow the training is for 26 nurses and it starts at 7:30am.

What time do you think he should set off?


Friday, October 17, 2008

Ups And Downs

The Bad Feet are still here. The neurologist has offered me a different SNRI this time, a different drug to Effexor, called Cymbalta. I just popped one. It also has a warning against Serotonin Syndrome if you are on Tramadol (an opioid pain reliever), which I am. A 1% chance of getting hit with that again. Let's see what happens over the week-end, hopefully not a repeat of last time's waking nightmare...


Do others find the lift at the Gleneagles Medical Centre as shitful as I do?

There are six lifts in a semi-circular foyer in the clinic entrance at, strangely enough, Level 2.

There is always a crowd there, gathering in the vast tracts of time between when lifts going UP arrive, as the lifts are never going in the right direction. I am on the verge of being late. I had long ago decided, coming here frequently both for myself and work, that it is best to get into a lift that is going DOWN to the carpark levels rather than to wait the interminable wait for one going UP. That is because lifts from the carpark levels will be full when they arrive at Level 2 on the way UP. That is not necessarily because lots of people got in at the carpark levels, but because other people got in at Level 2 when it was going DOWN, because they couldn't be fucked waiting for one going UP, and because they *knew* that when it arrived it would be full because other people like themselves who had gotten in the lift at Level 2 when it was going DOWN as well in order to ensure a spot in the lift when the left stops at Level 2 on the way UP again. Exhale.

When a full lift on the way UP stops at Level 2 because someone has pressed the UP button, all the other lifts that were DOWN in the carpark level, and they are almost empty unless someone from Level 2 has already gotten in when it was going DOWN, they keep bypassing Level 2 on their way UP because there is already a lift stopped there marked as going UP.

Then it takes ages for the doors on the lift that has stopped at Level 2 on the way UP to close. Just when they are about to completely close so that the full lift can go UP and away and allow another lift going UP to stop, some bright spark presses the UP button again... and so the alarms Pings loudly and the doors reopen on the full lift and all the other lifts continue going UP and bypass Level 2 again. The people in the full lift that have been standing there for 5 minutes (they've probably gone DOWN in order to go UP too) stare daggers at the fuck-wit who just pressed the UP button. When the doors starts to close again, usually there is yet another fresh fuck-wit just rushing in from the taxi drop-off, late for an appointment, who presses the UP button again. Ping! Open! Sighs of anger and frustration arise from both the lift passengers and from those in the milling crowd who are still waiting to get on a lift going UP for their appointment - which they are now late for as well. Here we have a lift trapped, not between floors, but on Level 2 because of the stupidity of these people and the incredibly bad computer system which fails to prioritize Level 2 as an ALWAYS stop level for all lifts...

A lift comes, going DOWN, announcing itself with a loud Ping! A few people get out and I get in. No-one is left in it to go DOWN, so I wonder why is it marked as going DOWN? There are no other lower levels highlighted. Fucking stupid computer system, like I say. A few others join me, realizing they too must go DOWN before they can go UP. I press Level 5 and the door closes. Ping! It opens again, with the UP button now lit. Other stupid people get in and start pressing all sorts of numbers and I am forced the the rear of the lift. When the full lift reaches Level 5, I have a crisis of confidence. Shit, no, my Doctor is on Level 7. I stay there minding my business, and people in the lift look around for who was the fuckwit who pressed Level 5 and didn't get out. I look down at my watch, suddenly concerned about time; shit, am I that late? My second hand has come unstuck, I notice. It flops around as I move my wristwatch. Fuck. Level 7 Pings. As many people had gotten out on Level 6, the lift is not so crowded. I wander out and look for the directory of Doctors on the wall. Mine is not there. Shit. It WAS Level 5.

The lift has gone; it was going UP anyway. I press the DOWN button. Pings are resounding everywhere. The semicircular arrangement of lifts resonates the Ping from all levels and all lifts with very little attenuation. They Ping really loudly no matter which Level they are Pinging from. I am forever turning around when a Ping goes off behind me, but there is no lift there, just the sound ringing from some other level where a lift has arrived.

I see the lights of a lift going DOWN come on long before I hear any Ping. Then, Ping! I join the people in the lift going DOWN and press Level 5. I am thinking how stupid I am to think the Doctor was on Level 7. Am I on drugs? There is a Ping and the door opens. I wander out and look for the directory of Doctors on the wall. Mine is not there. Shit. WTF?

I go back to the lift foyer and press DOWN. I wait for a lift to take me to Level 2. Ping. Ping. Ping. I am really late now. Finally I get to Level 2 and check the complete directory of all floors. My Doctor IS on Level 5. WTF? I SHOULD be on drugs, it might help...

Again, I am on Level 2 with the UP lift problems... [Reread those paragraphs.]

I get to Level 5 eventually. Ping. I see my Doctor's name on the directory, which is laid out differently to the one I had looked at when I thought was Level 5 a few minutes ago. I must have got out on *Level 6* last time! I had heard the Ping and had gotten out when the lift stopped, without checking the level. Shit!

I rush as fast as... well I hobble up to the Doctors office at my max speed. I know he has 15 minute slots, and I am now 12 minutes after my time.

"Take a seat," says the receptionist. The waiting-room is empty. "The Doctor is running late."


Chrome Crashes Vista on Parallels Desktop

BTW - two weeks ago, I attempted to access a blog page of mine with Google Chrome running on my Parallels Desktop implementation of Vista on OpenSpaces screen 4 and, whoopsies, I was already logged on to that page on Firefox which was running at the same time on the MacOS-X over there on OpenSpaces screen 1.

It so totally crashed Vista... I just get a completely blank screen now whenever I try to run Parallels Desktop. I'll have to reinstall the whole original disk image and reinstall all the programs... What a pain. Man that is SUCH a fucking nuisance - I had just spent a day setting up my personal finance accounts with MS-Money2008.

Personal finance software on the Mac SUCKS major big-time.

Seriously, I am thinking of selling this iMac and getting a better monitor for the old IBM-PC which is just sitting there still. Unfortunately, the version of MS-Money I "bought" for that umpteen years ago in Shenzen cannot be upgraded to Money2008, or even Money2002. It is about the only version that cannot - an International Version with USD NOT set as home currency. Of course that would be the blighted version that *I* own... Sigh...

And also of course, had I bought the REAL versions I could call the HELP desk.

OK really, I am going to bed now. Really I am.


23 Hrs Without Alcohol!

My God, I've nearly made it the full day! What a freaking achievement! I am sipping a fruit lassi at the moment! Cool, refreshing, fattening.

These last two weeks, during which I have barely had time time to scratch my arse let alone attach latex things to it, have been socially incomparable. Incomparable with Paris Hilton's anyway. Working flat-chat every day, (OK a little bit quiet in Hong Kong) doing a lot of training and stuff, and we've been out socialising every night! Even nearly made it to the infamous Zouk on one occassion - with Iz at a party at Velvet Underground which is the door on the right Zouk on the left. Cool party, free beer, vampyre teeth, etc..., but I neeed to buy socks to disguise my down-market sandals from the sensitive eyes of the paying customers. I mean, my God, how pathetic.

Yep, pissing on most every spare moment of late. Like last night: a quiz at the Old Brown Shoe. Guess who got 9/10 right of the Food & Beverages questions? You bet - old fat guts E@L! (Missed question: "baked twice" = biscuit, or biscotti - who woulda known?) It took four Kilkennys to facilitate that feat [shit, no, five - I spilled half of one!], plus a Little Creatures or two at the end. Every other topic we tanked on - films, current affairs (2/10!), random shite...

But the grog and partying, man. I'm feeling it. Feeling old. Feet still playing up, which doesn't help. Need sleep. Left my camera at one of the hospitals today. Just left it on the work-bench; one of the sonographers found it and called me about an hour later. So pooped, I fell asleep in the car on the way home mid conversation. Shackered. Really, I gotta stop this.

I know! Why don't I go to Australia for a fortnight - they don't drink alcohol down there!

Firstly though - an early night tonight. Afternoon off - gym, laps of the pool - for the first exercises in two weeks as well. Then to PanPac for martinis to provide the alcohol needed to burn off that unheralded exercise...


p.s. in other news the world economy has exploded into tiny pieces, some of which may be carcinogenic - please breathe through the gaps in your income until further notice.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Batteries Not Included

E@L thought he was pretty much unshockable, but when he was presenting some illegal contraband (illegal in Singapore that is, and for a friend) at the HK Airport Mannings Pharmacy (same as Guardians), he noticed the prominent plastic case of an object labeled Durex Play Ultra. Don’t get ahead of the story and Google this yet, OK? The rounded edges and overall shape of the package threw E@L somewhat, as it didn't look to be an efficient way to package condoms, which is what he assumed was inside due to the prominent Durex label. E@L had once met the Durex marketing lady for China, as an aside. Interesting job. He picked it up briefly but was not wearing his glasses so couldn’t quite make out what was going on, but then the serving wench asked for some money, so he placed it back.

E@L paid for the chewing gum (also made of a derivative [not a popular word of late] of latex) and walked away, but as he went down the escalator to the Singapore Airlines Lounge, doubt and curiosity got the better of him. WAS it condoms in that package? He took an up-escalator back up and went to check out exactly what exactly was for sale here.

He put on his glasses. OMG! It was a latex thingie for the man's penis with a small battery powered stippled stimulator for the lady's whatsit ! The YouTube video above shows the plain version.

This one looks more elaborate, with a larger surface area for the bud tickler and sort of an emergency escape hatch at the back for the penis. The young Chinese lady behind the counter who had served him earlier noticed that he was back to look at the Durex item. She knew what it was of course. She giggled and sort of winked as he raised his eyebrows and expressed his amazement that such an object should be for sale and on display in a chemist shop. And placed at a the payment counter, AND at what would be eye-level for children. (I only thought this last bit, just now as I type this.)

Amused and shocked, E@L went back to the down escalators, muttering about the sad state of society these days, and thinking about what he could do with this discovery. It was like the "pleasure cream" which cures AIDS if you rub it on long enough he found in a hotel in China once. Obviously he could write this blog entry about it, maybe find a picture of it on the web, make a few jokes…

Then he thought, why not buy one? It was only $HK92 - what's that $S22? He could, like, try it out… With someone...

As E@L's mojo has been on 10 month sabbatical since his unsuccessful foot operation in January, maybe this device could be sufficiently amusing and arousing to kick-start the old desire engines, and get him out prowling for victims, er, companions. At least it would be a conversation starter. Or finisher. Or bring on a healthy bout of face slapping… At least he'd have the lady's attention!

Again E@L turned back towards the up-escalator and went into the Mannings once more. Of course there now were about 12 people crowding the check-out counter, making their purchases at that exact moment… He hung back, waiting for the crowd to thin. He felt like a 16 year old boy again, going to the chemist to buy a brown-paper-wrapped package of condoms… Hang on, he WAS at the chemist, and he WAS buying something made by Durex! But of course, E@L ain't 16 no more.

Eventually the people left but as E@L approached, that young Chinese lady attendant ducked under the counter to get something, and instead, out of nowhere, came this spray-toothed, black-mole faced crone to serve him. Shit, he would look like a, like a, sexual pervert to someone who hadn't shared the joke with him earlier, to this ugly old bat. He was torn between the desire to run away and the need to purchase a medium-firm rubber circlet to maintain the tumescence of an otherwise wilting erection, that had a battery powered vibrating additional piece of rubber positioned to strike at the clitoris (in the middle of everything) of any participating vulva, but only, obviously, at those times when the enringed penis was also completely envaginated, to the hilt as it were.

He was frozen in mid decision when the young lady popped and smiled at him.

"I'm going to buy one," he said to her as he handed the device to the old duck. The young lady rolled her eyes and made a strange/smiling face of humour and complicity. "To show my friends," he added. "For a joke..." The old woman had no idea what was going on here.

What WAS going on here? A bald fat old man was buying a sex-aid in public is what was fucking going on.

The next question is, when is it going on?


Friday, October 10, 2008

It's De Regulation, Mon!

I have this vision of a cartoon of my own.

Wall Street speculators and bank board-members are climbing on back of a large exploding fireworks type sky-rocket (labelled "Derivatives") that is packed with investors' money, while former Fed Res chairman Alan Greenspan is advising to them to remove their parachutes (labelled prominently "Regulation"), saying, "You'll fly much higher without these..."

In need of a cartoonist... 

(Thoughts about an article I read in the IHT over breakfast. Online at NYT)


p.s. not really a great concept - it's the money we want to rescue, not the speculators or board-members. 

Steinbeck Updated

How funny is this?  

For those who miss the "joke" in the child's txt message, here's the reference from the movie - I don't have the book here to quote exactly the original words:

Tom Joad: Well, maybe it's like Casy says. A fellow ain't got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody, then... 
Ma Joad: Then what, Tom? 
Tom Joad: Then it don't matter. I'll be all around in the dark - I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build - I'll be there, too.  

A quote in the IHT this morning resonates well with this cartoon.  In regards to how the $700bn bailout is reminsicent of the late 90's crisis and bailout of Japan's banks, a finance professor in Japan said: 

"The final chapter of the crisis may be when Americans finally learn to live within their means."

Steinbeck may be rolling in his grave, but I hope he is not holding his breath.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Power Shortage

Shit, I forgot to bloody bring my laptop power cable with me to Hong Kong, now I'll have buy a new one tomorrow in the Wancahi computer centre...


Monday, October 06, 2008

Mr Grumpy Takes The Train

Mr Grumpy had to get into the office on time this morning. That would mean peak time for calling a taxi here in Disneyland WTDP. Hard one to get taxi, lah!

Calling a taxi early would also mean several extra charges on top of the actual per/100m fare. In non-peak times, since the price changes last year, Mr Grumpy's typical taxi fare to work is $12. Before the price "rationalization", it was about $8. With the $3.50 booking fee and a$2 surcharge for this, and 30% surcharge for that (Mr Grumpy has long since ceased trying to figure out the reasons behind all these surcharges) a peak-time taxi ride from Newton to Harbourfont Centre could be as much as $16.

However, taking the train would cost $1.10, plus a short bus trip at 90c. Decisions, meh!

One downside of the bus/train combo is that he has to walk some distance. Mr Grumpy has sore feet. Mr Grumpy has had sore feet for a while and even an expensive and complications ridden operation didn't make Mr Grumpy's sore feet go away. It made them sore in a different way.

This is not the reason that Mr Grumpy is grumpy, but it doesn't fucking help either.

Mr Grumpy hates walking because of his sore feet. But as Mr Grumpy has been spending shitloads of non-insurance-refundable money on a series charlatans and shysters who prod and probe, squeeze and squash his limbs in farcical attempts to relieve his pain (therapy based on whatever mystical hogwash they were trained to believe causes all illnesses), he is financially inclined to humour them in that maybe he IS getting better after all. He must be, otherwise why would he continue to spend all that money? It only stands to reason.

Every now and then Mr Grumpy tries a positive attitude on for size.

As Mr Grumpy took the 47 types of pills and herbal anti-oxidants concoctions that are supposed to be doing something to relieve his pain and cure the root of the problem and purge his system of "toxins" and make his hair grow (it is only working on nostrils and ears so far), he looked at himself in the mirror. He turned on the nose-hair plucker and made the decision to take the freaking train this morning. He can walk that distance without exacerbating the pain, he really can! Yeah, right.

Now, now, let's not be cynical! We're with you, Mr Grumpy!

Bus, OK - it's not raining. Train, crowded beyond all shite. About 8 people alight through the door in front of him at Little India Station but this seems to make no difference to the density of the crowd inside. It's like everyone else expanded just a little to absorb the gaps. Parkinson's Rule of Commuter Trains.

Mr Grumpy ignores the seething demons of hell that inhabited this carriage trying to prevent his entry through their sheer numbers and just walks on at his usual steady pace, briefcase on its shoulder strap, with the resulting momentum of a heavy man, as if nobody was in front of him. Remarkably the expansion effect has its antithesis in an absorption effect and he melds into the crowd with imperceptible ease and almost immediately finds himself by the central pylon where three curved hand-holds linked the floor and ceiling. There are about four layers of people between him and the doors, but he is wedged now and can no longer move. By the time the doors are closed and the train starts to move, he is fixed in position, as if the super-saturation of commuters has set into a unbreakable crystalline formation. He has a grip on the pylon's hand hold. People around try to tumble down due to their inertial resistance but they are held up in position by the crystal matrix effect of bodies around them.

Everyone on the train has headphones on. Mr Grumpy himself is listening to the rock band Audioslave:

I've been walking the sideroads

I stare straight into the sun

I don't know why people are dying

Long before their time has come...

As the train approaches the main Orchard Rd interchange at Dhoby Ghaut where 75% of these people would get off, Mr Grumpy feels a tap on his arm. He opens his eyes. Who is disturbing this quality time with himself, and WHY?

A man on the other side the central pylon indicates to Mr Grumpy with a nod of his head and a raising of his eyebrows that he would be alighting at the next stop.

"Well, hoowee!" thinks Mr Grumpy.

This unreasonably tedious request makes Mr Grumpy quite grumpy indeed. OF COURSE the man is getting off at Dhoby Ghaut. EVERYONE (well 75% of everyone) is getting off at Dhoby Ghaut. Mr Grumpy, not being a sheep-like follower, is planning to NOT get off at Dhoby Ghaut and indeed to find a vacant seat for his continued ride down to Harbourfront Centre once those 75% have departed the carriage. But there is nothing he can do about it NOW. He is wedged and crystallized in place. If he couldn't move at all to maximize his own chances of obtaining a seat, how could he do anything about someone else's issues? The man who had indicated that he wanted to get off could get fucked. What could Mr Grumpy possibly do? How could he do anything? He couldn't get out of the way; there were people all around him. He couldn't try to slide around and exchange places with the man as the central pylon was between them. What the fuck did the man want him to do? What the fuck did he expect?

Mr Grumpy wondered later if the man expected to be told to fuck off. Probably not. But that's what happened. Mr Grumpy thought later also that he showed remarkable restraint in not punching the guy several times in his great fat ugly face as well, but that would have difficult due to the confinement of his arms by the crowd.

Stupid person. Mr Grumpy shows an exasperated face to the man, mouths the words, and turns away to pointedly ignore him.

The train shudders to a stop and people not holding on nearly fall, but again they can't break the matrix. As Mr Grumpy had predicted, about 75% of everyone gets off at Dhoby Ghaut, including the stupid (now offended, his entire day ruined) man, without Mr Grumpy having to move an inch. As they slide around him and continue to file out the door, he feels the pressure ease, feels himself expanding to fill a certain proportion of the gaps now available. Then Mr Grumpy is easily able to out-maneuver an elderly, blind cripple to the last of the newly available free seats. He closes his eyes and sits back, listening to his music:

I walk the streets of Japan till I get lost

Cause it doesn't remind me of anything

With a graveyard tan carrying a cross

Cause it doesn't remind me of anything

I like studying faces in a parking lot

Cause it doesn't remind me of anything

I like driving backwards in the fog

Cause it doesn't remind me of anything


The things that I've loved, the things that I've lost

The things I've held sacred, that I've dropped

I won't lie no more you can bet

I don't want to learn what I'll need to forget

These words make Mr Grumpy feel a little bit better, make him feel a weight has been dropped. He does not know what the weight is, doesn't even know what the fuck the words mean. Maybe it's the music...

While Mr Grumpy walks up from the train through the platform and along the corridor to the escalator that leads to Harbourfront Centre his feet continue to give pain. This is no big deal, they ALWAYS give him pain. He is constantly aware of his feet. It's enough to turn a Mr Nice Guy into another Mr Grumpy.

But then his toes start to fire off brief electrical spasms. The big toes especially rage into a numbness that burns, like instant frost-bite. Each step he takes past the HFC shops cracks this ice and spurs fire into the depth of the bones. Ow. Ow. Mr Grumpy hates walking.

Mr Grumpy should have called a taxi and then everyone would have been better off, especially the Lee Kwan Yew family (aka The Singapore Government) who own the taxi service, and certainly those innocent bystanders in the commuting world who would feel less offended and depressed, and maybe a little less grumpy too.


Next story in this series: Mr Grumpy goes to the Newton Circus hawker stall for a cheap, quiet, fresh-air, mind-his-own-business dinner. Oh what fun!






for using it as a text editor...

trying to get the line spacing

for each paragraph

but I'm not having much luck

thus far

as you can see.


p.s. Yes I have a wealth of serious(ly amusing) things to post about - man, busy weekend or what! Had to buy socks to get into Velvet Underground with Izzy, but the beer was free - WTF? I'm really busy for the next few weeks doing a pile of training work - AND, good news, will be in Hong Kong later this week for a few days. A trip to good old Oztralia coming up as well.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Best Policy

From The True Chronicles of Bruce.


Nong had small teeth, short teeth. Memorably short. Very little distance from the biting edge to the gums. What had she worn them down chewing on, Bruce wondered?

Still, he admitted to himself, she was very pretty. With sparkling dark eyes, long wavy hair worn loose, smooth dark skin and soft high cheekbones above a captivating set of dimples*, she carried her still excellently proportioned Thai body with an erotically charged casual ease. But she was not so young anymore. On closer inspection, her muscle tone was more mellowed than the other girls, her tummy a few centimetres too loose now after several pregnancies. She no longer had the saleable hard-body of her youth. She admitted to being 32. She admitted to having only couple of long-term boyfriends from overseas. But she was not available to the customers like Bruce on a daily basis any more: she was now the mama-san of this small beer-bar at the far north end of Pattaya beach.

In this capacity she stood in for Louis, the French manager of the bar, who only came in for one or two beers around 10pm to check on the nights meagre takings. Nong sorted the girls out, made sure they were healthy and ready to work, made sure they were fed, encouraged, prettified; she checked their lists of fines and credits for Louis to later tabulate against what they still owed him for rent and for personal cash loans; she made sure they called out "Hello, welcome!" to all the potential customers passing on the way from the Dusit Resort to the nearby stand to grab a tuk-tuk or taxi along Beach Rd to Walking Street...

The beer-bar Nong was running was one of a pair in the open space at the bottom floor of a Japanese club (Susie). The provenance of this old place was uncertain as was the choice of the three elaborate Roman style columns** which bore the weight across the front of the building. They could not have been selected by owners of the Japanese club, surely not. One hoped that they pre-dated the refitting of the place as bars and were in keeping with its original use. Maybe a small hotel was once here? A bank?

Each beer-bar had its drinking area at the opposite end of the space to the other. They were run as separate businesses, managed by different people and the girls had a fierce but not quite serious rivalry. The bars were mirror images of each other, architecturally reflected at the central pillar and the door at the back of the bars which led to Club Susie. Around that door of dark-glass were lighted signs in green, red and pink curly Japanese script***, presumably inviting entry and promising all sorts of Nipponese thrills in the discreet "karaoke" rooms upstairs. Several shelves of ambiguously Japanese trinkets, like Hello Kitty dolls, flanked the door. Buddhist prayer flags and winds chimes danced in the slight on-shore breeze of evening out by the front of the bar, under red and green striped eaves. Both of the drinking bars were decorated with large yellow and black diamond tiles. There were chrome-framed mirrors behind the glass shelves which held bottles of Galliano, Midori , Vermouth, Cointreau, Cognac, Johnny Walker (Red and Black) whiskey, and of course Tequila, the bar-hostess's standard short drink. Several show-bottles of twisted glass sported colored fluid that tempted no-one, not the most desperare hard-case. The mirrors reflected harshly back into the customer area all the bright fluorescent tubes and the red colored snake-lights, as well as the mirrors of the equally garish opposite bar. It was not a visually quiet place.

Business? It was quiet in that sense. Bruce was the lone, early customer. He sat and watched the sunset from his red vinyl stool, trying to drink slowly to avoid a sour Thai stomach which would be the eventual result if he continued his preferred Pattaya diet of Chang beer and chili noodles for too many days at a stretch. He turned and hunched his heavy frame forward stretching the blue Hawaiian shirt Ooh had chosen for him in the market yesterday, and leant over the bar to see what the girls were doing. Noi was writing in her diary, practising English. Ooh had been trying out some new makeup style to go with her denim shirt, one which pinched her small breasts into something approaching a cleavage, but had paused to send a txt message. It failed to go. She had no credit on her phone-card. She complained to Bruce: "I owe seben towsend baht, my phone calls!" Bruce shrugged. He was giving her 500Baht for each day she spent with him already. What more could he do? He would buy her a present on the last day. Or maybe a present for her baby in Bangkok.

Mama-san Nong had been seated on a white plastic chairs at one of the marble dining tables, writing something silently for a while. She pushed back the chair and moved gracefully to behind the bar and placed herself in front of Bruce. She wore a conservative black halter top which left some inches of her slightly flabby belly exposed above her grey pants. She smiled a well practiced genuine smile at him. Those short teeth. "Kha Bruce, can you hep me with write letter my terak in London."

Bruce smiled back and put his beer holder down.

"Of course. What have you written so far?" he asked.

She seemed a little embarrassed at the short letter that had taken her so much time to compose on the table. "My dahling, my terak. I miss you. I love you." She looked up and said, "That is all I heb so far. You must hep me, hokay." She handed the letter across to him.

Bruce dropped his chin to his chest in order to hide his amazement and amusement as he read. After a silent spasm shook his shoulders he looked up, took a deep breath, cocked his head and said, in a mock-serious tone, "And DO you love him?"

Nong's falsely genuine smile disappeared and what seemed to be a real expression came into her face. She pursed her mouth slightly like she was trying to hold back a laugh. Her brilliant eyes flashed at Bruce, sending waves of understanding and communion into his, and her cute dimples rapidly deepened. She was eternally beautiful at this moment, even though her teeth were nearly worn away, even though her tummy was not so taught, even though she was mightily old at 32. She looked at him without guile or pretence. When she spoke to him, he was certain she was being honest. He had never heard a Thai girl speak so truthfully.

"I love his money," she said.


* Bruce was a sucker for dimples.

** I'm picking them as Composite Order.

*** Hiragana script is the curly one.


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Text Editors Which Don't Fuck Up Blogger Posts

Anyone know any Text Editors which don't fuck up when you cut and paste to Blogger?

Sorry about these initial inconsistencies as I cope with the stress of migration to this bland piece of crap (that works).

OK Sav, where's the Recent Comments block?


Aussie Pioneering Spirit

Creepy was rather pissed off at the atheletic young lad who recently walked through the security sensors to kill, main or feed to a large crocodile $50,000 worth of native lizards, goannas and turtles in a town called Alice Springs...

I have to take umbrage this - for some reason Creepy has turned into a master Aussie baiter!



What a truly pioneering Aussie spirit this young Australian boy evinces. Excellent work, Holmes! Let's rid this damned country of all these strange animals, either by eating them (the original aboriginals munched through most of the mega-fauna in their first 40,000 years in Australia - roast giant wombat tucker! You bewdy!) or by following that great tradition that united the humble swagman and elitist farmer alike in Australia's noble past (that included getting rid of most the original aboriginals):

If it moves, shoot it. If it doesn't, chop it down.

Of course, even such valiant attempts to remake this great southern land in the image of our caring and ever loving motherland,
Old Blighty herself as bringing a few harmless rabbits and the like are deemed vandalous and illegal by the bloody Greenies.

Those commo, poofto, lesbo, wacko hippy, tree-hugging Greenies! Wish we could shoot them too! But crikey, you can't kill anything to make a living these days!

Still, we have a great country under our feet. A huge country with vast tracts of ... iron-ore, copper, bauxite, uranium. FYI, this knowledge is often brought to us by naked geologists, those who work part-time at the topless bars in Kalgoorlie and hence need an all-over tan (I kid you not - the ex-husband of one of my previous girlfriends [not the public-bench girl] can vouch for this!)...

So of late, with China booming and calling out for raw-materials lead to metamorphisize into the alchemical gold of manufacturing profits, using coolie labor of course, Australia has a new mantra. Australia, that enormous empty island, that open-cut mine with a sea-view:

If it can be turned into toxic products in China, dig it up and sell it!

A sun-burnt country, a land of sweeping plain-faced red-necked wives on the patio looking out over the cane-fields at the bio-fuel crops...

What's a few ancient lizards, I ask? Been on the planet long e-bloody-nuff I reckon, couldn't be smart enough to evolve into something else, fuck, em! Good onya lad, you're a bloody legend in my book! Give the boy a gun next, I say; set him on the bloody Asian and Muslim immigrants in the big smoke, in bloody poofter central, Sydney!

That'll sort the sheep from the New Zealanders!


(Sigh. Wonder how many people will think I'm serious about this?)

Shagging in Public

Here's a meme that should score some hits...


It was confession time this morning. A friend of mine who is no longer famous admitted to having shagged by the Singapore River late last night, near the multi-colored bridge not far from Gallery Hotel. I pressed her for details (natch! I'm always thinking of you guys!) Not just oral; full sex. With a friend, she modified, not some random guy. She seemed to think herself quite the outrageous tart...

"I once had a shag on a public bench in a park, surrounded by squawking swans," I casually countered, placing a coffee sachet in the new (2nd hand) Philips Senseo. I was in my late 30s at the time, hardly the over-hormonized youth, but still capable of outrageous acts...*

Her chin dropped. "Oh my god, really?"

E@L you wild action-adventure hero! I didn't mention that it was nighttime and I was petrified and drunk at the time and that the swans were more likely ducks or geese (I couldn't tell in the dark) that had been trying to sleep until our shenanigans disturbed them.

I had to drag the two of us into a park in order to gain some privacy, as afforded by the nocturnal conditions, for my partner (the sexual aggressor in the situation) seemed intent that it would be neither here nor there if we should do it outside the nightclub on the footpath, in the lights of the traffic streaming down Main St. Maybe she thought the pulsing lights meant we were still on a disco-floor, one of her other preferences for deeply intimate contact.

I decided that 'there', at the side of a billabong, in a nearby park, under some coolibah trees possibly, rather than 'here' on the street would be the safest bet for not getting arrested for public indecency and interfering with protected wildlife. I found a bench just out of the street-light, and a few ducks, geese and/or swans scampered away from us. In the fevered breathing and fretful searching among disheveled clothing (it is freaking cold in country Australia at night, this was not a nekkid thing) we managed somehow expose the appropriate regions of engorged flesh sufficiently to unite them briefly for some awkward but cathartic grunting...

Another safe bet would be to find a condom, but in the struggle to achieve our physical unification, one of the aggrieved bloody swans took it! (Not really, but wouldn't it be funny if...?)


I press the blue light on the coffee machine and a shot of espresso moistens the bottom of my cup. I seem to recall that the bench-top conflagration didn't last quite as long as it took me to prepare this nice coffee.

I seem to recall also that the lady in question sort of came to her senses
(omni animale sunt embarrassed post public coitus) at this point, and horrified at what had happened (again) started off at an exceedingly brisk pace in search of her hotel, in which direction she knew not, with E@L following up the rear shouting directions and apologies for allowing himself to be raped by her (again)...


I retire to my room, feeling a mixture of smugness and shame, and commence this blog.


So where, gentil reader, have you "done it?"


* (I'm not counting the semi-public performances of horrific indecency perpetrated by Bruce and the myriad others who write under the E@L pseudonym that have occurred behind the velvet drapes of certain clubs in Wanchai (HK), not to mention Manila, Phuket, Hanoi, Kiaoshung, Beijing, etc...)

Friday, October 03, 2008

You Have NOT Been Misinformed

Yep that was my REALLY OLD blog over there.

New posts however will be right here on Blogger. Who the fuck am I kidding, that I can program or something?

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