Tuesday, December 31, 2002

A friend recently sent this link which documents Andreas Petzoldt's personal flying suit project. My friend says he understands the techie stuff that alas flies over my head, but the inherent passion of the project fascinates. What fuels the obsession? Is it the childhood space memory of super heroes like Commando Cody, as Jeffrey Shaffer noted He went airborne using a rocket-powered backpack, and flew horizontally with his hands extended like Superman. I wanted it all - the flight suit, the goofy helmet, everything
The childhood ...space ...memory of super heroes
Boynton remembers John Robinson flying round Lost in Space in his version, but was never tempted to DIY, or even build the Robot Had she been a trekkie, she could probably just about handle the origami...
My friend also sent this Arthur C Clarke brainy quote... Perhaps it's the power of memory, the thermodynamic force, that advances the magic.

Monday, December 30, 2002

Just getting over boxing boxing day - and now it's New Year's eve eve. This is heralded by the appearance of discarded baby pine trees on suburban nature strips, optimistically placed next to the "green bin". Christmas decorations are already on the turn, but Davezilla posted an important collection.
The horrible weather is about to break with that distinct "risk of a thunderstorm" feeling. This augurs well for New year's eve. As usual Boynton is belatedly planning, and took heart from this headline in The Age "Not too late for fun on the Cheap" At the other end of the spectrum, there's the Yarrawonga Bachelor and Spinster Ball at the Weygoods Truck Depot, in Yarrawonga.
Maybe a fresh northerly journey is just the ticket.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Fresh gusty northerly wind...Last night was so hot we broke out the boule before a long barbecue that lasted way past midnight until we realised the weather just wasn't going to break. The inaugural petanque went well, despite the Jack Russell immediately seizing the Jack and running with it under the shed, returning later alone. Boynton had to soberly forage in the dust and detect the missing element, then fish it out before play could resume...When it was a.m. and still warm outside our party all fell off their chairs onto the green and watched the cloud formations. Boynton soon realised that cloud games could be a bit like a Rorschach test, so largely kept her images to herself...(as Hamlet said to Polonius)
Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?
By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed.
Methinks it is like a weasel.
It is backed like a weasel.
Or like a whale?
Very like a whale.

This morning in the hot gusty northerly, Nora said that she heard a scampering across the lawn. Wild pigs? asked Boynton. After the barbecue fat?
"No it was the plastic garden furniture, scuttling round the garden...
Next time we can play petanque by tossing the plastic chairs in teams suggested Boynton, before Nora reported that as she spoke on the phone, the umbrella was also upset by the strong gusty northerly and was flying off...
This afternoon in the horrible thick white heat Boynton escaped into a cinema to watch some overrated Magic Realism... Still hot.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

everyone has gone to the beach.
Boynton recently bought Boswell's London Journal at the op shop.
"He advised me to keep a journal of my life, fair and undisguised. He said it would be a very good exercise, and would yield me infinite satisfaction when the ideas were faded from my rememberance...I told Mr Johnson that I put down all sorts of little incidents in it. "Sir," said he,"there is nothing too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great knowledge of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible" 16 July 1763
Famous Diarists as proto-bloggers has been explored (by blog - where else) - but Interconnected points to a new project that puts Pepys on line as blog.

Another light Summer link is this Guardian quiz. (via Plep)
This is the level of Trivia Boynton would like to see happening at the local tournament... There's a darker tale of pub trivia at bluejoh

Friday, December 27, 2002

Through the gap...bit under the weather today. It's that Boxing-Boxing Day feeling. Boynton has long believed that Boxing Day runs well into three days. Longer than the average Australia-England Test match. Such a beautiful day in Melbourne, she's half tempted to stroll down the road to catch the cricket gratis, through the gap. According to the Age , yesterday
By early afternoon, about 50 people had gathered on the footbridge between the MCG and Melbourne Park to watch the game through a gap in the ground where a stand once stood, complete with binoculars and transistor radios.
"It's the best seat in the house," said Darren Bond, of East St Kilda. "You can see absolutely clearly, and you get the video replay and the scoreboard as well."

This is not the first time cricketers and patrons will experience a large gap in the stadium's structure More gap info for patrons here

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

All the small pine trees next to the trailors and gas cylinders for hire had gone, but waiting in the car by the bowsers at the caltex on Christmas night, Boynton spotted santa. Behind the counter. Jolly. Smiling to himself between transactions. At ten pm after a long day, this generous-girthed geniality made weary punters smile and do a double take. Maybe he was like this bloke whose life turned around when he let his beard grow out white and wavy. In fact, after he started looking like Santa Claus, John said, his whole personality began to change. He became friendlier, more outgoing. Life became full of small, amusing incidents...Or maybe it was just the nearness of the coke machine

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Like trotting out last year's xmas decorations, here is some perennial advice from 2001 about a natural treatment for Christmas depression. Of course, Organs.
Before Boynton moves into serious antidote mode, she should remember:
"Listeners experienced significant reductions in tension, depression, anger and fatigue," Professor Marley says. "However, we didn't find any significant changes in listeners' levels of vigour, or confusion."
Looks like pretty good therapy to me.

Monday, December 23, 2002

Decorating for Christmas 1950's style (via PopCulture Junk Mail via Quiddity) Also featuring on David Claudon's site is the excellent Decorating 40's style, "a visual source-book of ideas...". Quiddity links to 1950's childrens' records, one in the Christmas genre, and one general -some records of which Boynton recognised from the storehouses of memory or imagination.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Boynton went to the Boulevard Christmas lights last night – this is a (grand) street in Ivanhoe that was the original themed street in what has now become a rather overheated market. Even Boynton’s own flat street has houses with hose lights and the odd reindeer. But the big old Ivanhoe houses on the hill are better suited to the sport. The road is generous in its contours and dimensions and socio-eco profile, and can handle the throng of the thousand strong pilgrimage even if the nature-strips are worn bare by soles and strollers. On the low side you get the city skyline framed by lemon-scented gums, on the high side you get the sweeping vistas of grand old decorated Deco houses. Last night was a perfect warm evening, with a big yellow moon that looked exactly like the classic art nouveau sheet-music variety.
To best view the lights, you should really borrow a child. Boynton volunteered, and her inner child gasped and whooped and jumped up and down excitedly, and stood awe-struck at some mystery in the electricity invisible to adults. Not as good as one little girl who went into joyous overdrive at the sight of a plastic elf. Children were adorned with pink and green “glow lights’ that were being hocked by scouts on corners, the most desirable being the round collars, that glowed on in the back seat of dark wagons driving slowly past. One hapless toddler put in a request. His mother snapped. “We can’t always get what we want…If I were you I’d be very worried because Santa can hear everything you’re saying, and he’d be disgusted. And he’d be going into his workshop and taking all the toys out of your sack and putting them into some other child’s sack!…”.
There was the usual mixed iconography of Jesus and Santa, desert and snow. One house had the trinity of Santas, next door had the snowman under a palm tree. There were asbseiling santas, creepy miniature-doll santas, a nativity group in a gazebo moving at tai-chi speed, and a Joseph who looked like more like Josephine, in his mock Tudor style frock. On the low side of the street, Boynton was interested in the shadow play of hapless owners caught inside their homes, moving around like un-lit figures in the annual Christmas fish bowl.
No link found to Ivanhoe, but here is a South Australian page. And a thread from a US forum indicates some of the pressures involved.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

How to be cool. Get out of the inner-city... Boynton's street has emptied, shifted to the coast I guess, leaving us non-holiday resort decampers walking down hot asphalt echo chambers of the idle-factory "neighbourhood" ( actually the big factory at the back has just been sold off - presumably for warehouse apartments). Both neighbours have gone, so Boynton can break out and warble soulful ballads into the wee hours. Meanwhile Nora found cool relief inside a church this morning, rehearsing with trumpet for the annual carol service. "Yes I'm the rhythm section in The Virgin Mary again" she reports, a tad wearily.
Which links quite nicely to this Sir Cliff game (via b3ta)

Friday, December 20, 2002

A 1959 pamphlet on how to decorate a " tree made mostly of non-tarnishing long-lasting aluminium foil" Proper decoration will make your aluminium tree more beautiful (via Anil's daily links)

"I just love what (the aluminum tree) represents, the hope and naiveté of the era," (says one collector). "It was the beginning of the atomic age..."

"The reality of my daily life is that I'm juggling lots of balls in the air" says a defensive Santa (via Plep)

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Some Karaoke out-takes . A new machine that not only adjusts the pitch and tempo to suit the punter's voice, but will also "grade" the performance.The grading karaoke machine currently available only compares singers' performance against standardised tunes of the selected songs. But this new machine would recognise the singer's use of vibrato, tremolos and other techniques for grading singers."
And yesterday's Odd Spot reported that China's gridlocked drivers will be able to sing their blues away next year after the country's only privately owned car maker rolls out a car equipped with a karaoke machine.
The fact that kitsch kulture has become status quo is also a reason that karaoke is gaining younger, hipper, and even famous followers, but karaoke existed before the current retro wave and will certainly outlive the fickle fancies of ironic young people
Discussing Karaoke last night with a younger, hipper writer, Boynton let it slip that she too has secretly indulged in this vice.
And where else but a karaoke bar will you hear someone utter, "I'd like to do a Bread song someday, but I don't think I'm emotionally ready."
That strolling guitarist at a certain Kobe snack bar has a lot to answer for. Here is another fan who confesses: I sometimes get distracted by trying to make the words of the song last exactly as long as they take to change color on the video screen, and that means I'm not giving full voice..
More (serious 'scene') singing tips "Mastering fast songs" here.
and the more basic:"Enhancing Audience Appeal" Avoid sitting down while you sing, unless it really matches the song. But this is the tip that best resonates with Boynton:
If there’s a monitor in front of you, don’t hide behind it. Stand far back behind it (where you can still read it), or to the side

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

On the theme of random dog poetry, the Magnetic poetry on-line game - see "Dog Lover"
Of course, within the random scattering of the apples as described below, there may be deeper meaning. Some recent projects along these lines employ sheep...cows...and an earlier local grazing dairy herd. Also recommended is random sheep poetry
Balmy evenings. In the backyard over at Peel street , the Summer twilight pet-anque or elderly labrador crazy bowls pennant is about to begin again. The green shall be a rectangle, providing a level surface not injurious to bowls
On the edge of the green are two old apple trees, the windfall fruit of which shall be the bowls. Play begins as Douglas forages beneath the trees until he finds a bowl that he fancies. He then excitedly runs back to the mat, but will shortly spit out the invariably under-ripe specimen, thus delivering it to the green. It is now live. Abby (who is even more senile than Doug) will then slowly wander haphazardly across, swoop on the bowl, walk with it for a few metres before she in turn discards it. Tart. Doug then returns to trees, to find a second bowl and the process is repeated, until the green is filled with a free-form pattern of apples that are moved from time time during the evening. Bronte (Jack Russell) has neither the greed nor the neccessary degree of dementia to play, but she may inspect the bowls from time to time but not move them. She prefers skinks.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

It's a worry The internet is bad for your hypochondriasis (via Rebecca Blood). As a mild sufferer of "transient hypochondriacal concerns", Boynton is always mindful that medical students (and doubtless, doctors) are not immune to the condition. Boynton read with interest "the phenomenon of hypochondriasis in trainee doctors may receive more attention from tutors and student doctors than the same phenomenon in, say, a history student." As a recovering history student, she often suffered from too close an identification with her subject matter here as well (After reading accounts of early life in the bush she agreed it was certainly No Place for a Nervous Lady.) Oh well, to determine whether we really have the condition or not (to prove it - as the transient hyperchondriac would no doubt say) there's an on line self-diagnosis quiz here.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Black Dog - a temporary return to the first person
Today Douglas is 13 and six months. He was born on a cold Bloomsday. He should have been called Leopold. I saw him when he was 3 days old, bald, one of those strange squeaking little forms that blindly bleat for the teat, and paddle in the muddle of the litter. Time is catching up. I find myself staring at his beautiful thick black otter tail, that will still wag at the slightest cue, as other faculties decline, so finely tuned, will still wag at the barest hint of a smile. And on days like this, wags on in pure hope, as the only trick left, to cheer me up, a benevolent nag, when all seems lost. And of course his faith pays off, and I return to the land of the living, because you simply can't refuse a Labrador or his consolation.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Update Monday monday Can't trust that day Blogger won't let me post...Please stand by...

But I do...I have two dogs (via The Presurfer) And they are both closing in on Boynton now as she writes, waiting for things to get activated.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

digital trauma meets digital art bluejoh's post about crushed fingers pointed Boynton (somehow) to a page on Gamekeeper's thumb and from there to a wonderful rendition of White Christmas by The Three Tendons (via The Mr Handman site)
Other manualism (the art of manualism involves producing music by squeezing one's hands together) goodies there include personal favourites such as Green Acres... The Girl from Ipenama ...Danny Boy ... and The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Friday, December 13, 2002

Xmany days... A picture of Boynton's family Christmas from yesteryear ...
- from a yule-cool site Old Christmas Lights (via The Presurfer). This benign looking ad induces a mild electrical anxiety with memories of bad circuitry. Perhaps it's the ominously ambiguous last cartoon: sockets practically unbreakable...even when accidentally stepped on....
Part of the culture of Melbourne's Christmas is a visit to the Myer's Christmas windows . (Although Boynton lives 2 k away we may only get to glimpse them on-line - instead of in the line) This is a brief corporate chronicle that begins with Santa at the Olympics in 1956. I wonder if it was still Sputnik that spawned the "Santa in Space" window of 1962 . This is a darker space themed Santa take...And finally here is a smoking doctor - off to deliver a Christmas baby (by camel?). Is that only snow on his coat - or have some of the side-effects started to show up?

Thursday, December 12, 2002

A good read on writing at this Public Address. There's a faulty link to an article that's worth perusing on the decline of reading , featuring confessions of non-readers like Eric a young publishing exec. who ... regrets he hasn't read the Bible, because it would help him with the crosswords he devours (via wood's lot)

A poignant animation featuring a chair (via b3ta)

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Blind eyes. Last week Rebecca Blood linked
(we blinked) to An Animals Place outlining the issues and linking to humane (US) farming sites
The more I learn about them, the more strongly I feel that the factory farming practices widely practiced today are unconscionable- in fact I would go so far as to call them immoral.
The issue is vexed, the stories gruesome. Is humane farming an oxymoron? But going down the “lesser of two evils” path there are indeed options for (local) carnivores that would certainly appear more moral than the factory farm- Free range. Most organic farms include animal welfare/stewardship in their general principles, and consumer demand is slowly growing - Coles calling it a trend not a fad. Here are some sample local (Victorian) suppliers – Chicken and chooks, pigs and Pork, beef and clothing. If this is indeed a transition stage in a slow cultural shift, then Temple Grandin’s work on minimising stress at the slaughterhouse is part of the evolution.
But when you read the bare facts, sometimes glimpsed within the official codes of practice, or stories from the front, the vegetarian/vegan option seems more pressing.
How do I know that it is wrong to be cruel? No one has set the rules. I just know that it's wrong - that's all. Hell is the absence of god. As I looked out across that huge industrial landscape of the factory farm I knew that I was entering Hell. (Coral Hull)
Boynton once stayed in a house where cattle grazed within metres of the lounge-room. Time to observe the herd behaviour close-up, to look into their eyes, to look away as they were loaded into the truck…. This is a poetic tale about one herd that survived

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Melbourne did its thing in that missing hour - sudden change in weather. Luckily we all caught the tail end of the sun. The present fickleness is confusing Doug's coat - he was full on into the summer shedding when the weekend cold snap forced a bit of a re-think. A symbolic portrait of the dreaded process can be seen here with a labrador substitute. (via a before and after museum at sharpeworld)

To change tone completely, but with a slight thematic connection, here's an article on unseasonable changes in London - a sense of pre-war dread. (via Interconnected)
Our team has finally tasted victory. As a consequence this is where Boynton has been for most of the day. She has nontheless been attending to her duties and ignoring canines. Time to face the sunlight.

Monday, December 09, 2002

If Castlemaine is the new Fitzroy (we thought Fitzroy was the new Fitzroy), Boynton's now looking for the new (old) Cassel-maine. She knows a few remote unpretentious uncool spots that might qualify but will keep them under her hat
The "path of totality", the moment the glow of the completely covered sun radiates from behind the moon While Boynton missed the eclipse last Wednesday, today we see an Australian photo in The Guardian via a South African blog. Shirley there's a metaphor there...

Sunday, December 08, 2002

They were either named for her or noted that they were not. With her shirley connections, Boynton might try and crash the luncheon.
Since the Googie post, and via a bit of Art Brut, we've been remembering the roadside culture of childhood. There is a wealth of US sites, but Boynton has been trying to find the local without much success. Even though in the Australian post-war sprawl the signage may have gone global, and the American pages offer a familiarity, it is the host of associations that attach themselves to the landscape that are missing. (Oddly though sometimes it's the non-corporate, one-off localised sign that triggers memory)The recent decision to remove the old silos from Punt road is disturbing, even though the famous Nylex sign will remain, de-contextualised. We look forward to the digital archiving of our roadside remnants and the stories they yield.This page has a folksy history of one Melbourne motel, while Mimmo Cozzolino's site promotes the book version of his "commercial archeology".

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Boynton spent the morning surfing but will hold back on the links until they set. She recently found a wonderful blog Fragments - from Floyd "Country life written in words and images from Floyd County, Virginia". A bonus is the presence of a black labrador, Buster. From the archives here is a beautifully written tale featuring another great great lab.

Friday, December 06, 2002

problem blogging... mcb keeps the essential question going which she often explores graphically with the questioning ant (why blog) and links to this post. Indeed, the curse of blogtime is something that Boynton is learning to deal with. If one goes down this track: " a committed infovore, I need to eat roughly six times my weight in information every day or my brain starts to starve and atrophy"...the monster of blogtime starts to consume not only book time but other recreational pursuits.
(Of course sites like boing boing raise the bar enough to motivate infovores anon.) Procrastinations observes the time gap involved in all this global reading . Meanwhile we might wonder who has time to follow all the links on the hundreds of sites in an ever-expanding blogrolling... blogosphere . One has to be increasingly discerning or perhaps totally random to cope.
More verse...The Presurfer posted a great poetry site. Boynton had a ramble around the links and found this site . Among many good things there are a couple of wonderful flash poems The Braille of Rain and Jellyfish Child. When it's done this well, poetry and the web seem made for each other: a screenful of substance that preserves (enhances?) the one-on-one relationship of reader and text. This is often lacking in formal readings according to this New York Times article (via aldaily) which claims that the poet's own rendering can interfere with what you hear in your head, that infinitely nuanced thing Wallace Stevens called ''the poem of the mind,'' audible only in ''the delicatest ear of the mind.'' .
and lo, a whole antholgy of random poem generator machinery is embedded into a poem at bluejoh

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Writerly... Some how to articles of the practical/earnest variety(via Microcontent) for journos but applicable to other forms. On loneliness, narrative thinking, and good tips (carry 2 notebooks).
Boynton has often baulked at the "how to's" but she endorses this
and for a good automated poem go here and click on the "o" in "work". (of course everything else there is worth looking at too)

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Boynton got $lugged bad for data overkill during November which may cause a slight rethink. Rethinking the linking anyway – and the costs of sourcing. Just when she stumbled upon an inspiring example of a kind of found hypertext. (There was an earlier example of this imaginative form at bluejoh)

When we saw this (via The Presurfer) Boynton thought of a scene in the novel Hide and Seek by Dennis Potter:
Aged seven, he had examined the bottle of Camp Coffee on the kitchen table, mentally trying to hold a label against a label, his small white face trying too hard to understand etermity…
Words almost out of control, the boy was delving down into the scarcely discernible third and indecipherable fourth layer before his mother picked up the remaining cup and saucer and clanked them together in the washing-up bowl...

The scene builds until “Trapped in halls of mirror, tunnels of word he started to scream. His screaming continued until she hit him in panic" And we remembered the famous Droste effect

‘It goes on and on,’ Daniel raised his voice trying to call her back.’It goes on and on for ever and ever and ever’
“It’s only a bloody picture!’

More on Droste and Escher here

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

When Mnemonics fail... Boynton received an email from one of the trivia conquering theatrebods who claimed his only contribution had been
"to recite the school chemistry mnemonic "Hey Hello Little Bertie Brown Counting Nuts On Friday" in an attempt at determining the tenth element of the Periodic Table. Needless to say the mnemonic was deficient by one. My position as science consultant was ruined!"

While we don't believe this for a second, Boynton has been there, stumbling over fragments of Lear-like couplets, racing to recall these displaced sub-sub literary scraps. Perhaps the trouble was that our "mnemonic enhancers become too complex or unwieldy - maybe after using three or four enhancers together you find that the system breaks down"... A google trawl revealed a few good general sites, the student specialist (ribald) type, an intriguing nautical page and famous mnemonists. This medical emergency page is rather scary: especially the one for Osmolar Gaps "Me Die" - or suicide risk factors "Sad persons". The need for medical mnemonics seems to be particularly pressing, but now you can download them into a (sweaty) Palm pilot. Which is another take on the whole memory machine. When we put "anti-mnemonics" into Google (as you do) we got this interesting tangent, with Coleridge's obeservations on the distractions of periodicals, and the implications of the digital data overload out there

Monday, December 02, 2002

Don't go there Avril Boynton has to fess up to absent friend (is that ex friend) that she weakened and watched the last 2 minutes of 24 (thanks to Max). So definitely don't go here (the best plot summary of this strange show)...or here (a related interview with 'Bride')...Boynton shares a few concerns aired in forums about the anti-woman-ness of it all now, but how seriously can you take a show that lapses into temporary amnesia etc anyway?... And Avril - the big "last 2 minutes" party is still going to happen. We have the tape.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

" if you have animals, a carpeted room is basically a Petri dish" says Dave Trowbridge talking about how to cope with the great divide of home beautiful and shedding perpetual (or with moulting labs anyway). Boynton has worn black for 13 years now to disguise Doug's coat floating about clothes and cars and couches. Luckily it's the Melbourne thing. And at least he's black and not a "yellow" fellow. White hair is a nightmare...
Anyway Boynton has always subscribed to that recently endorsed theory that too much hygeine can stuff you up, and that a dog's affectionate slobber is a tonic.
On matters canine Textism had a nice post, only one of Boynton's charges is guilty of this behaviour, (and it's not the noble lab but the shameless Jack Russell)

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Election day in Victoria. Hope the candidates have been put through their paces, done the hard yards and are ready for the verdict. And then of course there's the aftermath
(Images from a fabulous catalogue of burlesque stunts and paraphenalia for freemasons. via boing boing)

Friday, November 29, 2002

whoops we forgot it was buy nothing day. (via mcb) Does buying a couple of books and a jacket from the op shop count? I hope being ( a constant) part of the "recycling" loop is jamming enough? Anyway- it's dollar day. Nothing can keep Boynton away...
More retro delight. Hostesses at Expo 67(via Portage)
2 links for 2 friends
Nora this one's got your name written on it (via Lindsay Marshall)

A friend whose name shall be Max
Likes his facts
I hope whenever he’s next logged on
He’ll see I’ve thrown in a bit about Ogden
(We were recently talking round the time-line of that popular poet
Only we didn’t know it)

Thursday, November 28, 2002

When worlds collide... Boynton was anonymously enjoying a quaff and another game of trivia when she noticed an adjacent table-full of writerly theatrebods (who won by one!) Methinks it was the fizz and not the old dramaturg talking when she proclaimed:"blogs are the future"... but anyway guys, here's the chess article that I mentioned. (via aldaily)
Some time ago Boynton spent hours (in surftime) trying to track down an image of a retro supermarket, with a rocket, of the kind she grew up with in outer suburban Melbourne. Now she's not only got the whole site devoted to supermarket history (via Pop Culture Junk mail), but belatedly discovered the terminology for the architecture and ethos. Until today we thought Googie was an actress with an Australian husband. Now we see it's the post-war style that Boynton has always had a thing for. When she was a child it was the old Sunseeker motel sign on Phillip Island that seemed to be the epitome of exotic holiday. She heard BarryHumphries on 774 on Tuesday saying that to remember landmarks past is not to mourn, but simply (and importantly) to "note". Applied nostalgia. Boynton wishes she lived in LA so she could visit this B&B, drink cocktails, listen to Sergio and play Stockmarket! Memo to colleagues: see my old business idea for a "retro caravan park" was not so dumb afterall! Boynton used to share this dream over dinner with actors who talked up worm-farms, and was always greeted with a glazed, bemused silence.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Boynton was walking with her four year old nephew around the Botanic gardens this morning. Last time he wanted every sign read out in full, with the Latin, and no fobbed off paraphrasing. This time he wanted to monitor the vistor map, and our relative place on it. This was easier to fake. The signs told us we were heading for the Separation Tree. Try explaining that colonial concept to a 4 year old. "It's a special tree" Boynton suggested limply, as we reached the sign. "It says congratulations!" he announced. As she laughed, Boynton wondered how many couples have been married in the vicinity of this old gum.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

No actually not an ex of Boynton's, just the Xmas bloke. (Ho ho ho. via Plep) A nice blast of christmas past and it's not even December yet. Boynton noticed the bon-bons blossoming in Safeway around Cup Day! While that's of course customary, the Salvos had their tree up in the local op shop a day or so earlier. You kind of think they'd know their dates. We sang Silent night very quietly last Tuesday at niece's school, the teacher apologising for premature carolling. The stretching of the consumer fest seems to create an un-season. Here's a sort of virtual Chris Chringle going (bah humbug) In this spirit, Boynton has already chosen suitable gifts for her personal wish-list cart.
On blogs. (a fully-closed media ecosystem. An "engine of addiction". John Hiler) Good report on recent Yale conference on blogging. More threads at Public Opinion.. And Deckchairs on The Titanic points to an article on finding blogs.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Update: How's this for nice little Hardy twist. Bomb out of pub "puzzle 'n guzzle" and miss the last five minutes of 24...tape ran out...we're staying tuned...marooned...
Tough call. Whether to stay in and watch final 24 in real time, or contest pub trivia in beer time? If the latter prevails, Boynton's team should be studying the periodic table. A whole cafeteria/nest/antique showroom (of tables) is on offer here. (via The Presurfer) Among Boynton's faves - poetry and haiku versions
Yesterday whilst searching for Thomas Hardy stumbled upon this site. Que? Why does the animated gif of a campfire seem not quite conducive to some casual literary chat? Would a Wessex style background with some rustic furnishings help? Boynton was going to compose an appropriate Hardyesque post, all unhappy fate and undelivered messages, when she happened upon a genuine posting of this type.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Douglas didn't want to get up today. Just couldn't see the point. Didn't remember breakfast until he could see it. We've both got to work on our respective mind-sets. He's got to do more word games and puzzles, and Boynton's got to attend to her fatalism. Came across an article on Hardy's brand of fate by chance. The journal is Brick edited by Michael Ondaatje and Linda Spalding. Also here was a good article on digital poetry. Boynton had been reading one of her favourite Ondaatje poems last night, found it was on the web (but one should of course buy the book. )

Saturday, November 23, 2002

"Mollee! This afternoon is ze big Pedalo Race for visitors, so this morning you must 'ave lots of practice!" Boynton has spent a languorous afternoon with the cricket on revisiting such literary Girls Crystal gems, as Molly's Thrilling Pedalo Race "As Told to Doris Graham " - (or is that really G Cecil Gravely?)
Boynton was drawn to the story by an illustration of Molly in deep shock, facing a man in a beret:
"I regret, ma'amoiselle, but your name is not on my list," the steward told me. Something had happened to my entry form for the vital Pedalo Race!" Anyone who knows her will testify that this is Boynton's own life experience. Something is always happening to my entry form as well. Oh well, off now in search of more languorous surroundings to dream of a perfect evening and study Chapter 3: "My plan to Bowl out the trickster" .

Friday, November 22, 2002

This is a bit like the benign cat chasing the mouse, but creepier (via b3ta)
it's beginning to feel a lot like cricket. Is it that the contest has suddenly kicked in, or that Adelaide looks so good, or that in this perfect Melbourne weather the sound of muted commentary trickling though the house no longer feels premature? Watching the doco on the Chappell era the other night, there was that blast from the past of old pre-packer broadcasting. It wasn't just nostalgia that had Boynton jumping up and down and cheering as Lillee came into bowl. It was the sense that we were merely spectating, that the game itself was bigger than the presence of TV cameras. That it was secondary to being there, and you could see it in the intensity of people at the ground. Even the old "missing" every second over routine was ok by Boynton - it didn't corrupt the game's essential rhythm - the literal ebb and flow of different ends (and on the old ABC - the interval of overs). Of course the old B&W coloured lense of nostalgia may have been at work, as Boynton caught certain Proustian triggers of lounge-rooms past; in the silhouette of Ian Redpath, the toweling hatted kids waiting to run onto the ground, even the unmediated calling of Norman May.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

footnote.The little dog must weigh a fair ton?

At first I thought I was back in the 50's water, but soon realised things were much, much darker. (via Prandial Post)
Rivals of the Schoolgirl Annual Collection

Gosh Hetty! Boynton's collapsed!
It's alright Nora. She's just recovering from discovering this page

Still getting over it. Boynton's Own collection is quite impressive, but nothing will match the memory of growing up with an aunt's 1959 edition as a child, nor her first (op-shop) addition (1958) . These covers promise it all: picnics, paddle-boats, and tea-rooms, and Boynton is always hoping that life will one day match those colours.

(nb 1955 is what you hope for, paddle-boat and waving man. 1954 is what you get: 2 dogs, the larger one becoming boss of the see-saw.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Pet the kitty and make it purr says the link on Pop Culture Junk Mail. Purring - is it?... Bronte (Jack russell) believes it - she jumped out of basket underneath table to investigate.
Spiders and tangled webs. Boynton's post re mcb and huntsmen started a thing about blog v email. Did we err - or where's the line - is there one? It seems fairly common out there within clustering communities to use the private space of a blog as a usenet style notice-board, and one of the "reasons to blog" for Boynton was certainly to streamline the emailing links to friends deal. This issue sent Boynton off googling. Among the general articles on blog-soup, Meg Hourihan What we're doing when we blog observes:
Emails are often rapidly incorporated back into the site's content, creating a nearly real-time communication channel between the blog's primary author (its creator) and its secondary authors (the readers who email and comment)...
Moments of shared experience can be powerful connectors. They happen in the offline world when two strangers on the subway chuckle at the same funny billboard, and make eye contact as they do so. In the online world, they happen when I'm thinking about buying an iBook and I read on your blog that you've just bought one, at the same time.

Sometimes reading blogs on blogs turns up too many of the jaded, sneery, content-police - or the pithy historical put-down, that can dent the confidence somewhat. To post a poor analogy, sometimes it's like climbing a tree- best not to look down. Maybe I'd glimpse my readership
Anyway, Boynton prefers the positive spin Meg puts on this sense of shared experience and connection.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

A bit of precipitation about. Boynton was a special person at her niece's school today. She was taken on a tour by four mad nine year olds. "It's spitting" she told them as the other guests, all grandparents, inspected the premises beneath navy umbrellas. She was a generation short. But quickly lapsed into nine year old mode, with the restless toed, high-spirited fidgetty girl-gang speak, broken up with the odd outburst of skipping.

Found a digital poetry blog last night. Followed a link and found this wonderful project, an interview with American perfomance poet Kim Rosenfield. Both form and content are inspiring. Boynton relates to the "choreography of language" approach to text, and this makes her want to jump straight back into it.

Memo to team-mates. Had we only studied this, we might have won this. (via Lindsay Marshall)

Monday, November 18, 2002

Boynton posted an image of "Boynton" aka Erin O'Brien Moore earlier. She may disappear in time. Not sure if the strange 30's dame, looking rather sad n surly, will 'take over".

More things poetic, but of the aural kind. A BBC Radio 4 program "The Heard" sounds pretty good.( via As above)
Boynton has been reading a bit of blogging on blogging lately. One of the better reads. (via Anil's links)
Over the years Boynton has built up a not insubstantial collection of phobias. Good to see mcb shares the Huntsman one. Boynton has swapped creepy stories with friends for years, but has also made slow progress in spider-management. At least, like one fellow sufferer, she has never leapt from a moving vehicle to flee the thing. Yet.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Finding things by chance is the essential lure. I can't remember the exact pathway to Clues but working backwards, it was from here.

Friday, November 15, 2002

Meant to post the falling teds last week. (via everywhere). Many more gems there.
"There is an irony in mobile status games. The highest status comes from not having a mobile at all - or rather having one, probably several, and having someone else carry and answer them for you. Privilege is all about anachronisms"
from a Guardian special report . (found here via mcb)
Guess Boynton has to take heart from this accidental honour gained from having not yet subscribed. While she occasionally suffers txt envy, the environmental cost of this dialect, the bleak, bald, sad shorthand. Drab shrinktalk seems too heavy. (More here)

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Boynton was recently given a gift book a little book, or a tiny-coffee-table book, which is in keeping with the general scale of Boynton's house, containing words and paintings on women. So here's a little Katharine Hepburn.
...as one goes through life one learns that if you don't paddle your own canoe, you don't move.
"a chilling tale of yet another terrorist nightmare" Kerry O'Brien's interview with Prof Alex Bobik (survivor of the Moscow theatre siege) on the 7.30 report last night was one of those compelling TV moments, with the mix of detatched detail and personal response, the inherent power of a grim survivor story.

While Boynton and dogs were crossing the Yarra yesterday we met a long crocodile line of schoolkids. One boy held a large cyprus branch. His teacher limply yelled:
"Put-the-tree-back-in-the-park-please!" several times before the kid dropped it over the bridge. Boynton would have added: "Put-the-tree-back-in-the tree-please!". We've often noticed boys bashing up trees in parks. Que?
Heavy link of the day. Just your average Summer reading list , Boynton would have thought.
Light link. See yourself in Lego. (via bluejoh)
Boynton went out last night and left keys in front door and windows open. Everything seems ok. This does not mean there was no unforced entry happening. The burglars may well have come in and had a good look round.Then moved on.
So the English call them pound shops. So much better than our "$2 shops"...More associations. The impounded goods therein will soon be transferred to a domestic rubbish depot (my lounge-room). Etc. This is a footnote to Mark's post with a nice net metaphor. When Boynton studied this area, the memex legacy was still going strong, and this is a variation: blogging as collective memory.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Went back to Waypath and found a good site. The scary thing is that Boynton had only just read an article that features here, and was intending to link shortly. Makes you wonder if the customised spider has extra-sensory powers.
The article is An Animal's place by Michael Pollan (via Aldaily)

The disappearance of animals from our lives has opened a space in which there's no reality check, either on the sentiment or the brutality
Mcb (aka Grumpy girl) and Mark are currently conversing on women and technology. Boynton is a recovering techno-phobe, and notes that every hard disk melt-down is one degree less frightening. She wishes she could add to the dialogue, but for now will just point to an excellent image gallery.
Perhaps Boynton has broken the blogging rules but the following post was held over for technical reasons. Blogger didn't seem to like something, so by a process of elimination we sorted it and trust there will be no yellow triangular excited error message today.

Boynton just checked out the Waypath project (via Anil's links) - weblog linking (or a variation of ego-surfing?). Using a custom spider, they analyse recent entries "and present you with its best guess as to what's related to your original input" The spider presented Boynton with some rather strange flies. After several hours of researching, Boynton found a couple of good links, if not good "matches"
The Jean-paul Satre Cookbook (via Redwood Dragon) and all about the 404 (via The Prandial Post).
This is Boynton's preferred 404

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Local pennant epistomology last night. Boynton regrets she can't share her images here. She will however endeavour to share her symbols. This is an early portrait of Boynton's team. We set out confident. All our bases are cover. Alas as the night progresses, some gaps in our spermology emerge, but we usually finish in a respectable position.
nb. Had to update team photo for technical reasons, and Boynton regrets that Ross, our team chap, is just out of shot here

Monday, November 11, 2002

Hours of fun Boynton just found a wonderful retro site Ephemera now (via Pop Cult Mag via Lindsay Marshall) . David Hall is a lifelong collector and scanner extraordinaire of "vintage ads", and confesses that when as a kid he found "a 1956 issue of Life magazine at my grandmother's house. It was like the Rosetta Stone–it had the answer to something, but I wasn't sure what the question was. I was mesmerized by it–the smell of the pages, the tailfins on the cars, the people in the funny clothes. Then when I was around 12 years old I came across some old National Geographics from the 1950s. The articles ("Colorado by Car and Campfire") didn't do much for me, but the ads were fantastic." He read them for hours. So did Boynton.

An example. Beware an Olson armed with cup and saucer.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

As Boynton watched the latest local incarnation of the TV election debate show the other night, she couldn't help reflect on the lost art of oratory. At one curious stage it was more quiz show than TV debate, with the moderater/quizmaster firing off a series of fastmoney questions to each contestant, the panel of journos suddenly resembling the legendary Tattslotto referees. Wonder what conventions from other TV genres will be appropriated as the format devolves?
24ever was so good we searched for more. Any love story that features K9 is ok by Boynton

Saturday, November 09, 2002

and Green ... Boynton read with interest the profile of former priest Paul Collins by Nikki Barrowclough in today's Good Weekend.
"I pray in the bush now," he says, "I don't pray much in church any more. And it's a wordless prayer. What does one have to say in the face of a towering mountain ash"
Error Bad Color Just the concept of an Orange Test Match seems odd to Boynton. Orange would seem to clash with the classic cricket palette of turf and men in white.

Orange is represented in the aura of people recovering from illness. Orange signifies the worst is past and healing is occurring. It will usually give way to greens

Hope so or Boynton will have to look to Lawn Bowls in the future for her preferred aesthetics.
Such serendipity fuels the addiction. Shortly after posting thoughts on 24 within the same day found this definitive take. (the link to "24ever" is also reccomended)

Friday, November 08, 2002

Some movies that Boynton has starred in. ( via as above)
On a lighter note: Do we need a God?
A good review of a book on varieties of religion (via Aldaily) Some things seemed particularly pertinent to Boynton as she read online alone in the early hours.
The consumer revolution” and “postwar affluence” brought “a new concentration on private space... An expressivist “culture of authenticity” in a subjectivist-individualist key displaced a shared social ethos. ... The result, according to Taylor, is “a host of urban monads hover[ing] on the boundary between solipsism and communication,” living in “a strange zone between loneliness and communication.”
Strange zones for strange times.
Boynton caught up with 24 a few days late (we play pub metaphysics at the local mechanics institute Monday night). (8 .00 pm – 9.00 pm) was a bit of a dud ep. How many times does Kimberley have to get thwarted in car? Hasn’t she worked it out yet: talk to Mom, drive, bloody idiot. Boynton left the room as the action moved into star-wars territory. The lasers and obstacles could have been happening down a corridor in any galaxy or console. We'll see it out though, just to see if there's some big all night party happening as the puzzles fit together,the herrings are sorted, the split screens converge. There has to be some sort of pay off for all those non-sleeping californians? Maybe 10 screens capturing all characters reflecting "wow whadda day"

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Blogs and dogs Early one morning recently Boynton did a bit of surfing on blogs, the art of... Not so much info overload as info overlord. One can feel very small amid all the instructionals, lists, manifestos, collapsible links, jaded wisdom, sarcastic pearlers, portals of old boys and hip chicks. So Boynton's just going to talk about her dog. Not even hers, but Nora's. While Douglas is ageing relatively gracefully, poor old Abby is not. On any evening, you can hear her falling about the hallways, thudding her way about. And every half hour she has what is (apparently) a "mini-stroke" - 10 seconds of facial twitching. She always bounces back from her assorted indignities - (often literally). She's becoming like the character in Hitchcock's Young and Innocent "the fellow who blinks". In fact Boynton has started humming the dance tune, "No one can like the drummer man" whenever Abby gets twitchy. (a sample here, tune #14)
Abby's theme.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Is it still the Carnival atmosphere, the balmy weather or what? Is the bubbly flowing freely through the streets and major arterials? Boynton was out walking earlier tonight in a distant suburb notorious for its safety. Only her quick action prevented a collision with a group of older women merrily reclaiming the night (or is that the dancefloor). Dressed like a smart casual team, they were doing The Hokey Cokey/pokey in synch with hand gestures at power walking speed. They were all concentrating. Boynton jumped into the gutter with her groceries and took a deep breath.
How could I be so dumb? A portuguese speaking friend has corrected me on Joao. He says it's j-wah/ zj-wow.
One out of the box day today. Just returned from one of Boynton's top recreational activities: an op-shop crawl with father and sister. We have our old faves and we did them all. Boynton's father scoring some books, and her sister among other oddments- a teapot and a 60's jigsaw of aerial Melbourne - which made Boynton momentarily turn a deep shade of sibling-rivalry green .
"You haven't bought anything!" remarked Boynton's father towards the end of the journey. She explained that she seemed to be stuck in a loop of merely checking out a certain mid century glass punch-bowl in a certain shop that has been in the window for months now. It even sports the same "Special" sign Every time she sees it she wavers, but its constancy is reassuring. "Of course if I bought it" said Boynton "It would mean I would have to have a party!". (Of course she's got the music, the furnishings, the menu planners, the clothing, even the midcentury conversational dialect on ice. But without a punchbowl, the party just wouldn't swing.)

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

So Boynton did her dough again , backing Distinctly Secret for a win, and Pentastic for a place. The elderly labradors headed out into the garden far away from the barracking crowd, as Boynton sought consolation in food and fizz. Half missed the gumboot cam shots of stiletto's squelching through mud to the members' carparks while Sydney blow-ins underneath umbrellas bitterly lament Melbourne's inferior weather, but in the sunshine can at least look forward to the late afternoon panorama of fashions sozzled in the field. Sitting alone in the corner, Nora quietly cleaned up on the quinella.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Cup eve Ever since as a small child, she wept when her tip for the Cup was scratched shortly before the race, Boynton has loved the Melbourne Cup. It's a sacred day. While she has growing concern about the animal rights issues in the racing industry, she'll defer (for now) to the public mood of genuine festa. In recent years there's been enough real rain on the parade. Apparently "SP" info - that's of the secret, psychic variety runs through Boynton's family. ( As it would in a historically strict Methodist clan). Her grandmother was known to have received such whispers, but alas didn't bet. I bet her big family all cleaned up in 1921 with Sister Olive- if any indulged in a flutter that year. My own sister dreamed that a grey would win in 1971, another sister with Think Big (allegedly). I wish it was 1903, then I could back Lord Cardigan. Sounds like Boynton's Mr Right. Haven't had my psychic flash yet, but Pentastic sounds like a good writer's tip?

Sunday, November 03, 2002

How ... Boynton fell for either the smooth charm of the samba or the hypnotic power of the virtual turntable of last night's link. As a child she was just as much transfixed by the physicality of the Radiogram, as with the Record Club sounds it produced.In any case, by the 25th time round last night, she recalled a marvellous link to Joao Gilberto first encountered a year or so ago. Laura Pelner McCarthy's zealous and serious enthusiasm is catchy. (There's also an insight into Laura which Boynton can relate to here in this very quiet suburb on a long weekend.)
Although I teach my college classes with great enjoyment and enthusiasm, I love best those fragile days on which I have spoken aloud to no one.
But back to Joao. Boynton once consulted a friend who speaks 87 languages "How do you pronounce Joao?"..."How"... he said. Boynton took that to be his answer.
The portrait Laura builds through essays and links is fascinating .
And here is an Italian producer's image of João Gilberto in Rome: "The other day, on leaving a restaurant, he stayed a long time conversing with a cat in the street. And the most surprising thing is that the cat was hypnotized by his language. To my astonishment, one would be justified in saying the cat could hear the same way he hears."

Boynton wants to rush out and secure the whole whispering catalogue

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Saturday night in. Or is that a movie Boynton once made with Bing called Saturday night Inn?. Nothing for it but to pour a G&T, listen to Jobin/Getz/Gilberto, (via Anil) , and read this (via Rebecca Blood)

If all that Latin starts to pale, cynics may like to switch tempo
Boynton is indulging Bronte here. Guaranteed to turn any Jack Russell into a karaoke fiend in five seconds.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Them's Wagon Words Boynton is house-sitting and space-drunk as Claire Bloom might say. Half way through the latest Neighbourhood watch bulletin this piece of contemporary prose by Toby Hogan from yesterday's paper caught her eye, a layered text dense with imagery.
"While wagon sales are not a large part of total Commodore volume, Holden believes the wagon plays an important part in the Commodore product mix," says a Holden spokesman"
Is it naval drama, urban despair, or classic western, she wonders
Grumpy girl in her new habitat has posted an impressive list of Reasons to blog.
Boynton ticked numbers 1, 4 and 14. The habit thing is interesting. Boynton's never been known for her strict writerly discipline, but – this curious posting imperative keeps her on her toes. While colleagues praised the famous “artist’s way” stuff – Boynton always thought it sounded too much like "boot camp" or at least too dawn-centric. We don't do mornings. ... comments [57]

There's another good list (of annoying words # 844.7) here

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Boynton will soon be away from her computer. She'll be parked in front of someone' else's notebook somewhere without her unlimited hours. So the linkage may suffer. Here are a couple of the diversionary kind to keep her going. Big 50's fad makes a comeback? Virtual virtual painting and Internet Simulator
Last word on Lelord? Hetty just checked in to see how lelorded Boynton was. Yes she did read it again, and some of it stands up ok (as it were) as a common sense sort of horizontal folk dancing manual from the 50's, albeit with the "Lover knows best" tone. Or is that "Lelord Nose Best" - given the weird olfactory prejudices of the guy. Too much sniffing of Glen20 I'd say, made Lelord only able to desire ladies who would work hard to resemble a plastic doll. We think the book should have been called "Lady - be gloved!" And so endeth Lelord. Boynton has consigned him back to the anonymous stacks of her crazy lounge library.
Boynton has a good friend who wishes to remain cheese-less. Hope it doesn't mean he misses out on the poetry (more bad odes here )

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Taking up the strand, Mark asks whether the clue to finding an authentic voice lies in developing an enhanced "version" of self or super voice. "Also, is there something about writing for the web, that makes us develop a character?... Is it something about the feeling of those eyes upon us in our private place..." the direct relationship with the text, and the direct response? Does this blur the public/private?
Perhaps as they say all writers carry about an imaginary audience in their head, or is it the imaginary ideal audience ...member... Posting to the web formalises that creative pact, even though the idea of the electronic audience is comparatively nebulous. Well, without the customary web-counter anyway. It is odd that the mere illusion of an audience may be enough to kick start and then sustain a dormant persona. Perhaps it's all to do with the wonders of electricity - it can spawn monsters. The instantaneous certainty of posting, or of publishing words is definitely refreshing and liberating to Boynton who in another medium has be known to wait around for 5 years before her text is realised That produces a distance from the text of amnesiac proportion!

LELORD Kordell update. Hetty has returned the infamous tome to Boynton with strict instructions to dispose of it thoughtfully. With book held in out-stretched hands, Boyton skimmed through the blurry words hoping to find a quote. This'll do: ..."a visit to any cocktail lounge, tavern or social gathering will disclose pregnant women, chiefly the younger ones, with highball glass in one hand and burning cigarette in the other"...We think maybe Lelord was wearing his highball glasses in the tavern at the time. There are lots of self-proclaimed "inexplicable facts" laced throughout the book. Shaken not stirred.

More observations on the whole can o' worms that is Voice from grumpygirl.
This started off a train of thought (that Boynton caught) on writing selves, pseudonyms and neutrality. Trouble is, today Boynton took a ricketty old branch line that diverted to places like accent, synthesised computer voices and that old chestnut the Australian language. And so to the nostalgic concept of regionalisms. Boynton knows her autotrays from her traymobiles and is dismayed to think of certain indigenous stands of language gradually fading away. I wonder if we are heading towards a kind of robotic global neutrality? Interesting that in the synthesised voice study the volunteers had trouble differentiating the happy voice from the neutral voice.Oh well, at least it appears that the Australian accent (if it actually still exists ) comes down to general, broad, or cultivated . This is ok: Boynton has always considered herself to be a cultivated broad in general.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Walking by thrift store, Boynton found a small yellow "B". She often sees the debris of the discarded: odd jigsaw pieces, decapitated Barbies, page 110 of Jane Eyre etc. But this jumped out at her so she kept it. Maybe she'll make up a found alphabet someday. Bronte (jack russell) found herself an " O " - being a pink golf-ball. We added it to the 75 already collected.
Alas Boynton only lasted an hour into film, but was impressed by early 60's black and white ... Bath. The film opens with a sweeping view of New year's eve festivities and then cuts to smaller party of medicos tuxed and twisting. "The moment of truth: I married a square" observes Claire Bloom's character, to which he replies: "Even squares have their moments" Could be Boynton's own motto. Before the plague proper of the film hits, in that "phoney war" stage of one or two smallpox cases coming in, there's a nice kind of old hospital feel, with leisurely conversations between colleagues, the sound of heels along empty corridors and the imposing life forms of decontamination units. Telephones, typewriters and buzzers punctuate the silence like a hospital birdsong. Another good line from Claire Bloom: "My back aches and I'm fume drunk from surgical spirit" Boynton concurs with Rhabyn Epstein: there is much cigarette-acting here. Not sure if smoking either causes or disguises the pervasive coy angst of film, but they are certainly conversational props in the best golden years tradition. Boynton will have to hire film to see if the authorities locate the unidentified coffee bar in time.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Going to be a long night for Boynton as she settles in to watch "80,000 suspects" from 1963 (or is that "800 cigarettes" as Rhabyn Epstein observes here). Hope it is as odd as Boynton remembers.
In deference to the log objective, here are two contrasting links. Robert Brustein was in town recently. Alas Boynton could not make it.
Besieged by every ideological camp, increasingly deprived of the funds with which to underwrite professional pursuits, it is a wonder that the serious artist has continued to survive at all in such a hostile climate.
Even the most serious artist needs a laugh. Bad baby names

Sunday, October 27, 2002

The tree linked to last night was a Catalpa, or Indian Broad Bean tree. There are a couple within these regional Gardens where Boynton walks. She has often rested on the wooden bench underneath and gazed up into the magnificent exotic canopy. When Boynton’s parents moved there 20 years ago, the gardens had not yet been befriended. There was the cultivated end and the wild weedy section wooded with giants and bad play equipment and random botanic specimens. Now there’s an aesthetic consistency to the acreage, a heritage hegemony that kind of sits well I guess with the restored Victorian aura of the area. The dreaded Friends no doubt have been responsible for much that is botanically and ecologically sound, but it often seems that such friendship always brings a bit of baggage. Fences and regulations. Visions and fashions. Sometimes such a friend is merely one more imperialist wanting to pee on their lately adopted tree. Or maybe it's just when Friendship has to be so declared, Boynton is wary.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

Stir crazed Boynton finally got out of the city today, a short hop up to the central goldfields region which is just coming into that magical green spell of bright warm days and balmy evenings. She enjoyed a cup of tea and a pun or two with parents and whipped her two canines down to the park for a brief constitutional. Everything just about to unfurl.
Boynton's mother tells her that as a child her grandmother tried to ply her with those very same Pink Pills for Pale people - but evidently she was not so pale and just said no. A funny familial link back to quackery and another century.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Nora, as an 11 year old, was very impressive to her fellow school friends, by having several songs, jingles, and even entire albums down word perfect. Boynton remembers being impressed by Nora rattling off all the lyrics to Gilbert O'Sullivan's song, and to fess up the sweet ditty seemed to carry a profundity to this oft melancholic schoolgirl. Nora knew (and sang) the whole of Superstar and gained particular esteem for express delivering the lyrics to the Kentucky Fried jingle of the time. Boynton could almost match her, but there were usually several notable gaps and mountain tops (coodabeens' word for mis-remembered lyrics) there!
SOME UPDATES Hetty reports back that while she finds Lelord "horrible!" It is sort of relentless in a reasonable tone and after a while you get sucked in. I have tucked it way under the cupboard The selection linked to was perhaps not indicative of the depths of his dumbness eg the chapter title: "Pregnancy can be normal", and Boynton hopes to include a little Lelord every now and then once Hetty summons the courage to fish book back out from hidng place.

Dollar day at the Thrift. Boynton was told by her friend that today a queue had formed outside the shop before opening. "Have people just worked it out, do you think?" she asked. We both shrugged. Boynton swears though that the last five times she has been happily meditating amongst the bric-a-brac and books, the song "Alone Again Naturally" has played throughout the store. She tries not to take it personally. Or to listen. Some think it's a work of art "it will always be valid in the hearts and collective subconscious of people". Such regular exposure to the song is making individual subconcious validity dangerously possible.

On matters invalid Boynton could report on the cough. But she has noticed that blogging ailments is rather dull. She should just shut up and try these.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Boynton just stumbled upon these links to the celebrated processed luncheon meat which is lately haunting her. See Comments for advice on the correct wine to serve with same.
Boynton was talking to a man who is a fan of the martian manual - in the kind of Vive la difference way. (And hey - bien sur, monsieur!) This friend claims that men don't use subtext. Having literally traded on subtext for years, Boynton finds this possiblity temporarily disturbing. "If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ'" What was he really saying there she wonders.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

About to step out with the canines, Boynton was greeted by the sight of hail. A walk around the golf-course was not to be - there are enough round white missiles to dodge as it is. She's waiting for golf-balls to be the size of hailstones.
Boynton still troubled by croaky vocals. She consulted her favourite medical text The Illustrated Home Doctor. 1935. This is a wonderful way to self-diagnose given that each condition has several alternatives, a "codex" version of hypertext for the hyperchondrical. Now it's looking like she might have Clergyman's Throat A dry cough and a tendency to hawking (See Larynx: Pharanyx) No doubt members of the clergy were heartened by the prescription: A visit to a spa possessing laxative waters is often beneficial. Boynton might try to locate such a spa within scootering distance of Melbourne.
Boynton was recently cornered into politely borrowing the infamous MMWV book from a friend. Tis that mad Martian metaphorical take on the gender divide that made a lot of money and adorned the bed-side tables of countless country B&B's. Boynton dutifully read it and then dreamed of going on a picnic where all planets could (or is that would) play kick-to-kick with the puffed-up paperback. Explaining her reservations to "Hetty" (owner of MMWV) tonight, an earlier incarnation of this gender-construct-instructional species leapt out the bookshelf of another friend, Nora. This book is Lady Be Loved by Lelord Kordel, 1953. It used to reside harmlessly enough amongst the cultural miscellanae section of Boynton's bookshelf, until Nora swiped it and took it home. Boynton's fears were realised when Nora's satirical chuckling gave way to an increasingly ashen-faced demeanour, and Boynton could see a residue of the book's essential silliness was somehow managing to cloud Nora's better judgment. Boynton was planning to do a daily decontstruction here (hard copy at last), but now Hetty has stolen it, and all Boynton can say is: Lady, watch your step ! However, Boynton has tonight found that Lelord already has a web presence - and came across this wonderful site that will keep her going for weeks!

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Checking in with a fellow drinking companion, find she is also a croaky old tenor today. Or indeed husky. Maybe it's just kennel cough.
Boynton woke up with her voice an octave lower due to an excess of passive smoking or second hand smoke last night at the local. Smoke is one of those recycled things that doesn't aquire thrift cachet.
On Channel 9 news last night re the shootings at Monash, a dstressed student lamented that after this and Bali, nowhere seems safe. In these dark days guess we all just have to follow the vice-chancellor's lead "There's a general assumption that things were operating as normal".

Monday, October 21, 2002

Boynton just finished sesh playing with beloved ageing black labrador Douglas. His spontaneous puppy moments are rare these days. Boynton has to grab them while she can. Boynton would love to put in a snooty disclaimer of the type: as much as I'd like to, I can't talk about my dog. Afterall it wasn't his decision for me to have a blog Truth is Doug endorses all of Boynton's cannibalising of his soul for artistic ventures. On matters canine, this is a wonderful book Boynton bought a while back. It was a time when all the dog detractors out there were getting to her - and flicking through these pages quickly restored sanity. A book of affirmations.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Boynton succumbed and watched that 50's (or as one apparently says now mid century) cultural text Three coins in the fountain. According to this link "unrepentant romantics" are bound to feel dreamy... Boynton should check her status here. When she last saw this film she may have had to relate to the young naifs - now it's more the jaded older Miss Frances figure. And Boynton really only got dreamy when Frances was going to cut loose with the six double scotches and a plunge in the said fountain. Oh well. The closing refrain"make it mine, make it mine, make it mine" is a bit peculiar too. Sounds like a mid-century heavenly choir of bachelors and spinsters. One favourite quote. Anita reassures her man: "You gut your wish" - that's how it sounded anyway. Sometimes, like fishes, that's what happens to them.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Interesting article about the trend to thrift. Good to see that Prudence is back on the map. She's never been off it in this neck of the woods. Boynton lost the habit of haute habit years ago. Hazard of living close to a thrift "emporium". Anything over a dollar now seems totally decadent. (via the null device)

Friday, October 18, 2002

There are about 4 "dead" phones crouching ominously in a high corner of the wardrobe. 2 beautiful black rotary dial phones that lasted a few months each, a grey model - and a very chic grey bakelite number. Perhaps a bit too glam for Boynton? Perhaps she should regard it as a "hope chest" (or as we prefer "glory box") article - ready to be activated when her own life takes a glamorous turn. Interesting that the Australian term displays more optimism. None of the acerbic, dry, battler slang evident here. Unless of course the irony is so greatly embedded it has eluded Boynton.
Bought a "new" telephone today from my shop to use the term favoured by Boynton's father and siblings for any thrifty outlet from Salvos to Hard rubbish (tip). In this case the local op-shop. I had asked my friend there if they still get telephones in (electricals having been removed due to litigation worries). She said: yes, we do, they come in all the time but you have to be...lucky. (Not generally one of Boynton's strengths) However today there they were, 3 ugly phones of the transitional period between rotary dial and slim-line. The square type with buttons. Boynton remembers when they first appeared and were considered so state of the art. Depressing square buttons seemed altogether so much more efficient and american . In matters of technology we were always being told we we "20 years behind America" and would watch The Patty Duke Show like some sort of world fair to see what appliances we could expect to be using in due course. Anyway - hope the phone works - as Boynton only receives about 10 calls a year, it's perhaps a symbolic gesture.
Another day of high wind. I read once wind is "feely" - you would certainly be feeling something if you got hit with a piece of roofing iron I just saw running explosively along my neighbour's house. Upon venturing outside I see two bits of their roof now standing on either side of the fence like 50's neighbours. One of the pieces landed in a spot favoured by Bronte the Jack Russell terrier. She seems peturbed by the sudden appearance of an alien shape. The whole rogue piece of corrugated iron scenario does not bear thinking about - shades of Mary Leunig.
Just testing new settings - an old girl shouldn' give away too much y'know. In case you're wondering - Boynton is a minor character in a Shirley Temple film Our Little Girl. She has a vigorous crush on Shirley/Molly's Dad (Joel Mcrea) but in his distracted indifference (and despite her pleas to the contrary) he only ever calls her by her last name. Exasperated, she finally pleads " I do wish you wouldn't call me Boynton. I really have a name y'know. It's xxxxx" He refuses and pushes on with the surname - made slighlty more unflattering given Joel Mcrea's flat drawl. It begins to take on a kind of bouncy percussive quality that he emits/expels at irregular intervals.
It can symbolise the depths of indignity the spinster with a crush sometimes has to endure.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

A beautiful blue sky day in Melbourne today where Boynton lives in her small cottage with two canines. Quiet out there today - a friend whose business is unusually slow believes that this is an effect of the Bali bombing. People are retreating in shock, inside, and not feeling the same characteristic urge to get their electricals repaired promptly. I've noticed the empty eastern boulevards the last three evenings - akin to the blockbuster TV effect. The empty streets on grand final day. The strange domestic shockwaves of terrorism - a collective stunned retreat