Just recently, someone decided it would be a good idea to put stickers on all the mailboxes in my apartment building, saying "No Advertising Material." There are about fifty apartments in the building. I don't know who would do such a thing – maybe an environmentalist who is concerned about all the paper being wasted on junk mail. I already had a similar sticker on my own mailbox.
I think it's a very good idea. Most of the people who receive junk mail don't really want it, they just can't be bothered putting a sticker on. But now that every mailbox has a sticker, everyone has the choice of whether to take it off or not, and no one does. Well, maybe one person did, out of fifty. It's been a week.
I don't know about you, but I hate advertising. I go out of my way to avoid it. Of course, sometimes it's unavoidable. But I have this rule – that I won't let advertising affect my buying-habits in any way. I think the government should ban all advertising.
I mean look at the tobacco industry – they're not allowed to advertise, but they're doing okay.
I live near a big intersection, and a couple of weeks ago someone installed a new traffic-light there. It looks out of place with all the other traffic lights because it's lower down on the pole, and it's at a strange angle. I guess there must be some special traffic reason why they put it there.
It's surprising, though, 'cause intersections are designed to a complex set of rules, and the rules are pretty much standard for every intersection you come across. So you wouldn't expect them to add a little irregularity like this at the last minute.
But that was not half as surprising as what I saw when I went down to the beach last Tuesday: the entire St Kilda football team.
They were taking part in this TV show or movie filming, where they had to run around on the sand waving their hands and yelling at this guy who was about to throw a frisbee. They were running around this woman who was standing still, and she wanted to catch the frisbee too. I don't know what it was for – it looked like something that would happen in a dream-sequence. I stood on the pier and watched it. I'm not usually interested in anything that football players do, but I'm always interested in film-making.
The beach is the place I often go to in the summer, because there's always a good chance of seeing something beautiful like sparkly sunlight on the water, and people smiling as they go about their leisure activities and have fun. I've gone in swimming once this year, and paddling a few times. Even walking up the pier is worth the journey – the rocks at the end are a good place to sit and think. Some of the sunsets I've seen there have been amazing.
The weather's been hot lately but it's mostly humid. I like to go to the beach when it's sunny, because the sun makes the whole scene brighter and happier. Lately the weather's been following Murphy's Law – as soon as I go down to the beach, the sky clouds over. Actually the weather is perfect today, but I can't go out because I have to stay in here and type this. The fact that I'm typing about the weather indicates just how uneventful the week has been.
One interesting thing happened on the tram on Wednesday, on the way to the karaoke – I was sitting adjacent to this girl who was listening to a personal stereo with earphones, and at one point she asked, "Can you hear what I'm listening to?"
I shook my head.
She held out one of the earphones to me and I put my ear to it.
After a few seconds I recognized it as that band I like, "The Grand Silent System", and I said so.
The girl said, "I recognized you from the front row", meaning she'd seen me at a gig, or more likely several gigs, of the Grand Silent System. She must be a fan too. That was nice. I would never have remembered her, because I don't tend to look at the faces of the people around me when I'm listening to a live band. Or when I'm on a tram. Or any time.
A pair of lollies, TGSS brand
I don't usually look at people's faces when I'm talking to them, because I can't concentrate on spoken words while I'm concentrating on where my eyes are going. And usually I don't look at people when they're talking to me, because if I look at them I can't listen to them at the same time. I'm disabled that way. But it's not even really a problem.
If you're reading this and you don't know me in real life then you probably don't know what my voice sounds like. Click here to download a voice sample (86k).
Flash animation – move your mouse across the blue rectangles.
If there's one show on TV which gets really bad treatment from the TV station (Channel 7), it's Futurama. It's an animated comedy set in the year 3000. It looks like "The Simpsons", it has the same kind of humour as "The Simpsons", it's as good as "The Simpsons", but it doesn't get the credit it deserves. Lately it's been on at irregular times, maybe once every three weeks at eleven-thirty or something, like a fill-in show when the schedule allows. This drives me crazy – a show this clever and funny should be on in prime time, as often as possible.
This Wednesday I went to the karaoke and sang the Mark Morrison song, "Return of the Mack." I did okay, although maybe I wasn't holding the mic close enough towards the beginning. This is not a very challenging song – I didn't get to really strain myself and outlet my emotions like I have in previous weeks.
Reading: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997) – I read this book in two days, this week, which is very quick for me. I can see why this book was so successful – it's engrossing, and exciting, and entertaining, for both children and adults. It's about this young boy who discovers he's a wizard and goes to a secret wizard-school – yeah, you know the plot, if you've seen the movie, which I haven't. For any boy who gets bullied at school, and who wants to get away from his family, this book is a wish fulfillment fantasy. If I had read this book at the age of ten, I would have become quite obsessed with it. I especially liked the unexpected twist near the end. But what happened to Quirrell? Did he die? Anyway I'll be sure to read the sequel, as soon as I get the chance to borrow it from my parents.
Music: Lemon Jelly are an electronic duo. Their first album is a collection of three EPs – I think it might have a title but it's not written anywhere on the artwork which has no words at all on the front or back. Anyway they write cute music with mellow beats, often very happy and gentle with a few spoken word samples that fit just right. I wish I could make samples and beats that sound so nice together, with the pretty synth noises and effects. Their music is pleasant, and very modern in its approach. Lemon Jelly could be a role-model for me.