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Invasive Species

Seizing Australia

Invasive Species

The Mighty Firbank (and Myself)
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Yuri Hospodar

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August 18th, 2012

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Mayakovsky
Free Pussy Riot

Putin is a pig. The Russian Orthodox Church is a cabal of bloodthirsty barbarian witch doctors. Russia, who once led the world in all the arts, has been stomped and squished whilst being systematically looted by a ruling mafiosa of mediocre apparatchiks as brutally somnolent as anything during the great grey sleep of the Brezhnev Era. May the ghosts of 1905, 1917, and 1989 rise soon.

Photo courtesy Overpass Light Brigade.
http://overpasslightbrigade.org/

September 30th, 2011

When I travel, I like to hold myself prisoner in a way by taking only one (1) book, two at very most; usually ones I've been unable to get through or require no distractions (i.e. the other five books I have by my bed table), so I'll be forced to read it/them on the plane and/or by the seaside (or wherever I wind up). I need to take a break from Sam Beckett, so the swarm of by/about-Beckett-books has to stay behind. So I'm thinking it's a chance to dive into Joyce. Question is, Ulysses or Finnegan's Wake?

I've been doing Ulysses the last few days and it's fine, but I fear his rampant Catholicism and repressed-therefore-obsessive sexuality might drag a bit. Finnegan's Wake on the other hand, I lurrrrv the long bits of it I've read but fear the very thing that makes it ultracool - its Milligan/Lennon-inspiring dense punnerywordplay - might also require me to take longer-than-usual breaks to digest and concentration I might not be able to muster whilst communing with the Coral Sea as I'll be doing.

So maybe I'll take the Wake and, as backup, Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, another long work by a fave poet that I haven't yet read all the way through, and I ought to since (a) I'm getting oooold so the 'I'll get to it some day' putting-of-off aint workin no more, and (b) if I do return to uni as planned, I plan to concentrate on my beloved Brit Romantics, so it would be good to get it into my soft and squishy brane.

Thing is, both books are big thickies. Whilst I hope to encounter a few big thickies on our tropical poofter resort jaunt, I was not exactly envisioning books when invoking this concept. This pair will clog up much carry-on bag space. On the other hand, internyet reception is sparse in the far north, so we're leaving laptops behind ... more room is available.

Byron and Joyce it shall be. GAWD THAT DECISION WAS EXHAUSTING. Now to pack. Oh my Zeus, which shirts to ta-
BLAMMO
head explodes

September 16th, 2011

Just Call Me Lady Dinky Di

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Duck of Oz
Huzzah!!1! Home from a half-day of unexpected office time, and collected the mail to find this waiting:

13th September 2011

Dear Mr Hospodar

On behalf of the Government and people of Australia, I am delighted to advise that your application for Australian citizenship has been approved.
[&c &c] ...


Now I get shheduled for a date to take the Aussie Citizenship Pledge - hopefully very soon (they claim ceremonies take place 'within 6 months of approval', and my local council has them every 2 months, next one in late November, so let's hope Leichhardt Council gets on the ball and signs me up for that one. Then I haz an Australianness! - and good riddance, plutocracy/theocracy-that-was-once-the-United-States.

The bureaucrats of my new country've been surprisingly quick & the process amazingly painless so far; gawd/dess/es/Elvis willing it keeps going that way. I want to have a heap big cizzenship party sooooooon, and in warm weather!

September 7th, 2011

Spring slowly seeps into Sydney! The last few days have been warm and sunny - though we're due for some cooler swingdown this weekend, dammit - and last night was warm enough to keep the windows open for quite a bit. Best of all, that most summery of sweet night air was curling gently around, pulling me out and into the yard to stand in its swirl unchilled and serene, and then clumping down in a quiet heap on the grass to look at the moon through the hissing branches of our two big eucalypts. That was when I saw ... it.

Or them. Or ... whatever. As I watched the branches coil and wave, I noticed the moonlight as it bounced off the small leaves of the huge rivergum. Perhaps it was just the right angle of the light, the moon obscured just right by the web of branches; perhaps the arrival of better heat and Spring has the trees ahhhing to life and pumping out oil into their leaves, making them a bit more sheenyshiny, but in my years (now) of looking up star-and-moongazing into the Aussie night from my dacha yard, I never saw what I saw last night.

The moonlight was speckling off the leaves, blipping in and out of my vision like nothing more than the fields full of lightning bugs that shimmered in my childhood summer yard (before they vanished utterly due to encroaching development, the evergrowing nearby garbage dump heaping up the horizon like a new volcano that peeks smokily above sea level, and who-knows-what effect from the nuclear power plant flashing and steaming on the other side of the horizon from the dump). Lightning bugs, fireflies, fairy lights from Christmas maybe, high up in the branches glittering silently, cascading through the branches. Night insects timidly surfaced nearby, chirping tentative is-it-really-Spring songs. The earlybird mosquitos saw me in my awe and left me alone.

In the still night (so quiet especially knowing the main street of Balmain was buzzing unheard just a short walk away!) it was like getting morse code in silent light from Mother Night - Hecatean semaphore - little pinpricks from Artemis nudging my brain back to life, reminding me how I'd peer through the willow leaves in my old peeA yard at the same moon, different stars to be sure, but the night sky full of the same spirits nonetheless - promising to soak them with poems and devote myself to describing them and these sensations so much more real and peaceful than anything else matched only maybe now when I dip into the Coral Sea (the same soft feeling of communication with Something SkySeaEarthyBigAndLoving). Here I am, decades later, getting a reconnect & cosmic callback on the other side of the earth from the patient night spirits who've waited waited waited for me to wake up again.

And up in these new trees, willow-inheritors, new frames for old visions, danced a bamillion little bits of night goddess, ghosting me into a tingly half-asleep, half jangly-freshawake feeling. Advance guard for some real creativity? Ethereal engagement? Intellectual coherence & foreward motion?

Bring on summer, I say. I'll be sprawled in the night grass, eyes a-eucalypt'd, awaiting further messages and glittery shimmerdoses of Nyx-fumed nightmorphines.

September 4th, 2011

Death Attempts To Dead Me

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Begemot
No, really!! ! I thought it was a migraine as I huddled in pain 10 hours yesterday but after a groggy codeinonight of don't-you-dare-toss-and-turn-lest-risk-pukology and waking up at 4am with a weird amnesiac burst of not knowing who/what/where but remembering my cats and recalling some sort of headache memoreeee-yuh I awoke much better around 7am and after some nice morning woohoohoo with my husband I dawned upon myself with realisation that the obvious truth of the matter entire that it was Death DEATH! personificated Death wot snarled unto me aroundtime 3pm yestSaturday but DEATH! can't handle daylight well (all that dwellingth-in-darkness-hsssss sort of stuff) and so his bonygrip aim was myopic as he squinted in firm Australian sunlight and swingetht his scythe causing it to lodge unfatally in my right temple with ouch shooting across my browline before DEATH! in grumblembarrassment ("may yon Four Horsemen not be watching, they can be such taunters") then spent the rest of the day/night with spectral heel stomped against my right eye socket for leverage as he complaynt and hisst and clutching the ademantine pole of his swathcutting scythe attempted to dislodge the badly-aimed blade from mine skull.

Still, codeine and temazapam helped me chill whilst he embarked upon his morbid endeavour. AND DEATH ART HERE NO MORE DEATH THOU HAST HIE'D
&c

August 26th, 2011

Boy, Are My Cheeks Red

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*sigh*
As I spiral into a dismal olde age creaky and grumbly enough to finally match my curmudgeonly personality, I've been battling a mad winter's spree of dry skin. All my old skin creams seemed to be having no effect. Worried a bit, I went to the doctor, who checked and biopsied and shrugged at the tests results: "Nothing shows. It's just an unidentified skin irritation. Keep using whatever cream you have."

Having been so well-advised by wise medical counsel, I figured perhaps it being winter, and not getting much sun as I am a cold-hating hermit, I might be short of some vitamins or minerals or glayvin. So I upped my Vitamin A intake, and tried to eat more leafy green veggies. Still with the spots. Added Vitamin D supplements. Still, not much change. Finally I thought a-ha!, let's just go to a tanning salon and zot myself full of sunlight-like radiation. And so I did.

Now, I am a pale Slavic sort. My days in rural central California aside, I have never been the bronzed god sort (or, as they say about elderly sorts my age, sun-weathered). Usually I can be spotted kilometres away on a sunny day by the bright light-blue glow of my illuminated undead-sheened skin gleaming in the sunlight. And as far as nude sunbathing goes, it has been a very rare occurence in my life, limited to a few days in far north Queensland on an isolated beach.

But when the bored, dismissive Margaret Cho lookalike running the Balmain tanning salon into which I trudged yesterday afternoon finally appeared from the depths of the shoppe, took my money, muttered a few instructions about the electronic crypt into which I was about to splay myself, and vanished, I shut the door, stripped down to barenekkidness, and sealed myself into the glowing gizmo, trusting this machine knew what it was doing and the manager had set it properly.

My last time in a tanning booth was when I tried to get a decent base before heading to Cancun, so as not to fry my as-mentioned-pallor into lobsteritude once I hit the white clean Mexican sands. This was 1988ish, and I had to claustrophobe my way through like a 20 minute session. This time around, how neat! I lay down, zzzzipZAP and about 10 minutes later it was done. As the great Eccles would say, "foin; foin foin foin ...". I didn't notice much colour, but my main purpose was to zap these dryish perhaps-sun-deprived spots into oblivion, so big deal.

... and then ... a few hours later ... I noticed gee, my bum sort of ... stings. A quick rearview in the bathroom mirror showed yes, quite a reddening, as if some malign leatherdaddy had gotten a bit overzealous in the application of his big scarybutch leather paddle. Ah well. A minor irritation (and one with which, after a particularly unsavoury party in Washington DC last century, I ... well, let's say I'd become acquainted).

... and then ... this morning ... oh dear; quite red in that spot, with some sunburniness up my sides and lower back. Oddly (and thank god/dess/es/Elvis) somehow my fronterly danglybits are unscathed (unseared?) - as well as chest & torso (perhaps sheltered by my awesomely manly pelt of chest hair), and my face and head are fine. So it's just my tanning-inexperienced bum that is currently in flames of argh, and undergoing steady ministrations of aloe vera goop.

I am more bemused than fussing, though. And if this dose of magic booogabooga pseudosunlight somehow helps along the leprous patches of ultra-ick to fade & disappear, it is a bunshaped cross I shall gladly bear. If a few more zaps are required, then hopefully this will count as "getting a base". And if I've wasted time in a technocrypt pretending I'm soaking in the sun to no avail, then screw Margaret Cho, I'm back to my kindly medical clinic and a different doc to say "doc, what gives?", albeit as a bronzed macho god.

I SHALL BE LIKE APOLLO! But for now, more like ... Spanky.

August 12th, 2011

Reno, New South Wales

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Frankenstein's Monster
Poor nverzeanu should have been warned that, when thinking of dream homes, I tend to think of Pee-Wee's playhouse and Richie Rich's mansion filtered through remote central Californian hodgepodge anything-goesness.

We've been (slowwwwly) plotting a great big reno to our dacha in Balmain, Centre of the Universe, and have some supercool plans, including a neat-o upstairs sunroom that, due to the steep slope in the backyard, can have a short set of steps leading down into said yard. WAIT. Is it too late to make the steps a Japanese zen garden moon bridge sort of thingy?

... which is the level of discourse/input I have tended to inject into brainstorming sessions. So I was impressed by Nick's tolerance last night as I experienced interior-design Rapture when I realised the very high ceiling in the back open area of the house would be perfect for hanging a narwhal skeleton from the ceiling with lamps dangling inside it.

"But," Nick said, thinking to defeat me, "lights inside the narwhal bones would cast a lot of shadows."

"Fantastic! Think of the cool patterns on the walls!" I said as my fantasy took on a whole new beautiful dimension.

Alas, the conversation shifted away rapidly to ridiculous things like kitchen devices, power source locations, &c. Our architect and my husband obviously have no visionary sense. Who wouldn't want to live inside a James Whale movie set, I ask you? Which reminds me .... hmmmm, the crumbling backyard windmill ... must suggest the crumbling backyard windmill ...

August 5th, 2011

As a massive and unrepentant Beatles fan, there is very little I wouldn't do to get hold of & watch new footage, interviews, insights into that greatest height of the Heroic Age Of Rock And Roll. Many are the cheapo dvds that litter the shelves of the dacha, viewed once and then forgotten, bought in the hopes that this five-second clip will reveal something mindshatteringly new (or at least trivially cool & memorable).

Watching Love Is All You Need, a Lennon doco & collection of interviews with all sorts of folks & all sorts of footage & soundbites (including some very interesting & lengthy chats with Cynthia Lennon), however, I discovered my limit. I will not, can not, watch a millisecond of Doomed Attention Whore Camille Paglia.

I have never found any value in anything Paglia's ever said, no matter how many times I tried back when she was the Hip And With-It Go-To Academician For Allegedly-Pithy Quotes from the 80s on for a while. I eventually gave up, figuring she was an elaborate hoax ("no, really, Yuri - keep stepping in dog shit, sooner or later you'll squish down and find a diamond in a pile of it somewhere").

And then when, after the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, she belched forth her bid to grab some of the spotlight by writing an essay called "Asking For It" (and yes, it was exactly what the title hints at), I decided the only quote I ever want to hear from her is "I have developed the most slow and painful sort of disease known to humankind and will soon be rendered silent except for a few long months of clawing at the air & screaming in thermonuclear agony as my body rots from within to eventually mirror my soul."

So when, in the midst of an otherwise enjoyable Lennonfest, Piglia pops up clawing for cameratime with her usual socially-perceptive daringness, being so irreverent and edgy as to say "Yoko ruined everything" (gasp! shock! oh, Camiiiille!), I hit fast forward. When her hideous punch-me-please visage showed up again, with a snarl of galactic hate I got to the remote and managed to skim past her before a single word dribbled out of her pinched little famehungry mouth.

Perhaps tense vigilance for the resurfacing of this mindless camera-seeking annelid wearied me; I was too tired to finish the doco. There is still some time awaiting me before the dvd player. Should Ms Please Die Now defile my screen yet again, I will be waiting with the remote. And my iTunes full of Yoko to play afterward, which will play triumphantly again when the world's most fraudulent academic short of anyone teaching at Bob Jones University dies.

August 3rd, 2011

Bathroom Yumor

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George Gordon Lord Byron
Throneside browse-through reading: Poisoned Pens: Literary Invective from Amis to Zola,ed. Gary Dexter. Some good bile, wily trashings, and generally creative bitchiness dealt upon all and literary sundry by all and literary sundry.

The only two I've read quotes from so far who aren't imaginative and are mostly just petty snipers seem to be Kingsley & Martin Amis ... I mean honestly, Mark Twain picks on everyone (including a few I quite like) and I still love him. These two ... yuckobluckodoodooheads*.

Curmudgeonry is a careful art. The level of shallow schoolyard invective the Amises stoop to in the letters and columns and convos quoted makes me wonder if I should bother ever reading anything they've written. They've never made it high on my too-long to-read list, and if this is the best they can do (and what writer isn't at their best when spitting out contempt?) I don't know if they're worth it.

*Caveat: Martin's provocation of Salman Rushdie, via a cruel impression of Beckett's prose, into challenging him 'step outside', wasn't bad.

July 22nd, 2011

DEARMOTHER ISISTARTETHENAYOKO THIS ENDLESS SQUALLSPITSPLATTERRAIN.

I dishevel toward a blank misfired soggy knoll presiding in an open limo dreaming of umbrellas, pillbox protection failing as I soak and historywilt.

Oh decadeseem of evil wet coerced within one week, days stapled everfurther into.

Honestly, mood is beast wrapped in wet blanket sogging one (me) into indoor hermitry refusing outdoor anything. Stay! Here! In! Stay!

La Niña! Meteorological skank! I exorcist you if I only could, self-bitching my complaintbox toward what middlemanagement would dart toward upperspheric effectiveness.

This skittling scattershot, spit of rainsquall. You have no idea.

All Joseph Conrad's mad-driven whitefella tropic my antipodean emigre impatience; I wait for time when sunny heat drives others mad and

I laugh at them a movie extra's pre-castingcall's benevolence, expectant exile, awaited atmopherics.

Bring the scalding sun! I have performances on textured airstrips,
slingshot mad expatcile launch
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