Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Heather Small, Mike Pickering, Paul Heard, DJ Shovell...

Morning is not my friend - a meandering muddled mind struggling for meaning midway between sleep and the reality of a new day facing mothers with prams aggressively seeking to mar my shins with marks from the prams tyres as they cut diagonally across my walkway. Morning motivation is limited - with blurry eyes, survival is the only mantra. If only I had a motto - a motto that wasn't what kind of wanker has a motto, and I just nicked that off Tony Martin anyway. I've flirted with the teachings of a guru from time to time and always been mired in my own cynicism. When I had a job that involved selling knifes, the man leading the group was majestic in his belief that he was the man with not just a plan but a map, a map that would lead us to inner fulfilment if we could just get in the door to convince Martha at Mangrove Street to part with some moolah and buy some of our knifes, sharp as machetes they were, cut through anything according to the spiel. He thought he could move mountains just through flicking on the switch on a tape recorded and filling our heads with mood music, but he was mistaken and in the end he must have realised that as he failed to crack the moody countenance of the back row. There's no muesli in the house - I don't think I've had muesli since my paramour told me that I looked a little flabby around the middle and decided that I had to get fit - muscular in fact. Muesli didn't agree with my system, and it became another failed motivational trick, one that went into my mental to do list, a list that's so long it's positively massive. I need ten more minutes to sleep, ten more minutes to continue the beautiful dream I'm having about Martina Hingis. It's nothing like THAT - I save that for Jennifer Adams. It's more a magic realism kind of dream. Magpies burst into flames and to quote Homer Simpson - although I prefer Millhouse - nothing is what it seems. Waking up with a bash of the alarm clocks mad chiming, I mutter something under my breath that may or may not be a curse word. I don't know whether I said it in the real world or the dream world though. Martina doesn't seem to mind though. She's good like that, placid in her moods. When I get up, there's nothing in the fridge. The milk isn't off, but there's not much of it. Maybe I could go to the shops in my bleary eyed state and get more, but I can't be bothered. Maybe, it seems to be my favourite word at the moment. Soft, non committal, gentle enough to mention in the hope that it will cause the conversation to move in a different direction. Melbourne? Maybe. You never know, maybe you can come. Sounds positively soothing, mellow really. For some reason my fridge has more Mars Bars in it that breakfast material. I used to eat a lot of sugary cereals, but there is at least the joys of Mango juice or some kind of mocha coffee treat. My Mug, for what its worth, has no kind of zany motto on it - no you don't have to be crazy to work here but it helps - it just MUG in a sort of communist Maoist font, gritty and somehow perfect for someone Scottish. We don't have time to muck around you now - we've got moaning to do, and god help us if you hinder us from it...

Maybe music will make me feel more motivated. I have a radio in my shower - one of those gifts people who don't know you that well will give you when you move house, and in those moments when you are sitting mired on the mat in your living room and you can't be bothered unpacking your couch you can maybe put it on the mantelpiece so at least it vaguely feels like home - shaped like a tuna fish. When you move the fins to the left it changes radio station but most mornings it just plays static through the speakers, the transmitter in Hobart is up a mountain anyway. I've never climbed a mountain. I said I did, but then I told a girl in a nightclub I ran a marathon once which was such a flimsy mistruth that I almost apologized midway through the story just to make amends with my God. Not that I believe in a supreme deity or any kind of dogmatic master of the universe, so I would have had to apologize for that as well. What actually happened was we climbed three hills in the less than Himalayic mountainous region of, like, Berwick or something in the Scottish borders on a school trip. My mate was supposed to put a flag at the summit, but he mislaid it, so our march on the mountain was less than glorious, and not even a certificate printed in a Mangal font could really soothe the embarrassment. Miley Cyrus is on the radio, through the static and the mess. There's a misapprehension among my friends that I'm a massive Miley maniac, but it's not true - I like, well, love one song and that's because it makes me think about some other piece of music. My invitation to my soiree though had her mug on it, and it's stuck. I have considered fighting my corner by promoting a more independent band with more musical cred and perhaps a myth busting melody that smashed musical genres and conventional thinking, but who am I kidding, I'm too middle aged to change now, and I still prefer a song that has a mid song instrumental dance bit anyway. I forget sometimes that if I have the dishwasher motoring in the background the water in my shower is only of a moderate temperature which just makes me mad when I have to skip down the hallway cursing like a mariner to turn it off. This luckily doesn't happen this morning. The radio is playing all the usual - the DJs are musing on the merits of a particular idea, one laughs and cut the other one off mid stream to throw to a song. It's a messy segue. I wonder why so many people like Pink - she's meant to be some sort of rabble rousing mixed up outsider, but I don't get it. Every break she comes on, mentioning again that her Mother didn't love her or something like that. I turn off the radio - my own Mother does love me, so a connection or meeting of minds is unlikely between me and Pink. I did have a dream we went out once though and then had a big fight in the middle of Burnie. Right outside McDonalds. I should stop thinking about food though - with nothing more meaty to eat than toast, thinking about food just makes me feel malnourished. Of course, on my fridge like some sort of meter of perspective is my sponsor child, embacked on a glossy leaflet which shows some kids in Mali milling around a maize field trying to get through their day. My sponsor child is from Uganda, and every Xmas I have to send her some stickers just to show I'm maybe possibly thinking about her. I'd love to say I use this fridgey magnet type display to remind myself of how lucky I am to live in a Western world where a frozen up or mislaid IPOD is cause for mayhem and upset compared to months of starvation and malaise, but of course it doesn't. The fact I have to get a petrol cap from the mechanics is enough to turn into some sort of whirling dervish, a mardy soul lost in the universe, all perspective lost in the fleeting moments of mild inconvenience...

Real upset comes when you lose a loved one. My cousin dying, that was not easy to get through. He supported a football team called Motherwell, and we drove around for miles and miles trying to find their ground last May just so we could see a brick with his name on it in tribute, a massively overweight security guard left to break the news that they had put the padlocks on the metal gates and we had to move away solemnly. That gave me perspective. For a moment anyway, for at this very moment traffic is annoying me - middle aged mothers driving Mitsubishi Magnas with erratic disdain moving into my lane without indicating with their middle child offspring frantically indicating (oh the irony) the paucity of their mothers driving skills. I throw my hands up in impotent fury, but the moment is past anyway. I'd love to be somewhere else - Milan maybe, swanning around in my Mexico top, the one with the big tongued Aztec on it that I wear all the time but which now has a big hole in it I'm too lazy to mend - but I'm ground in traffic that's come to a complete halt. I wonder sometimes if there's a market for some sort of genuinely priced Fantasy Island, but without the midget or Ricardo Montalban talking in that made up language. Mind you, where to begin - there's so many things I've never managed to get around to. I've never had a muse, someone to inspire me to make something of significant artistic merit. Well, I had a girlfriend who taught me how to make marshmallow squares, a muse of sorts since she thought the trick was not to go mental with the marshmallows and focus on the square. I've never been on a murder mystery weekend - that's my mothers fault, she'd have a real go at me if I traipsed off into the mountains dressed like a millionaire to try and unravel who was knifing the butler before we all retreated to the pantry for mugs of tea and mildly theatrical chit chat. The traffic moves about a metre a minute. A flashing sign by the side of the road tells me there will be delays next week, stretching to most of March, due to road works, as mauve faced council workers argue over the best way to make a road marginally better than it was before. Some days the tension is so palpable you expect some sort of road based mutiny - maybe in more hot blooded regions of Middle America I guess, not in Tasmania, the most we get is the impatient beep of the horn and the occasional moron flashing his lights at you like he's in charge of dance and movement at the local disco. Sometimes I wonder about the faces inside their motor vehicles as the meander down the highway in strict military formation. Do they think like me if only I had been more motivated, if only I had had more manacling parents who shackled me to the books and had the right connections at the Melbourne Club, if they had marched me out of bed every morning just to make sure that I was motivated to do my Maths homework, if only I had made decisions that were more uplifting, then maybe I wouldn't be in this gridlock at this time, I could be driving to see my model girlfriend with my millionaire swagger...and then you realise those people are just as miserable as you, they just get to make pouty faces in more magnificent surrounds. A money report comes on the radio - mentioning many times over and over again that times are tough and every penny needs to be squeezed until it's made its way into your bloodstream. It's immediately interrupted by an over the top media advertorial for David Campbell singing at the DEC - he likes to call his music blue eyed soul, and I have a different word for it, but this website is rated M at worst so I'll move on. It seems a mixed message to me - save your money, but then go and blow it all and go and see David Campbell mangling the classics with his shoddy microphone technique...luckily, Moses parts the red sea of Micras, and there's a gap in the road which I seize with my blue eyed driving. I wish I wasn't so impatient, but there's a muffin in the fridge at work, that I can't possibly miss out on...

I talk to my mate about possibly joining Myspace. I'd do it secretly, so no one could tag me with photos of my ugly mug grinning like a mad man and I could stalk minor television personalities with the minimum of legal risk. My local library hums with the activity of the terminally nerdy - they hunch over their mouse clicking and pointing madly at pixels that whirr and click at the speed of megabytes. Sometimes they'll make sure that their mates are mined to the same in joke grid that they are, nudging and bumping them in violent mating rituals any time a boob appears on a screen for a microsecond. In this milieu of enjoyment, I cut a morose figure almost by default, sitting reading the Mercury at a quiet moment around midday on a table varnished to look like maple. If I can, I like to find the bit in the paper where really minor celebrities gather to, quote, ham it up - that's my favourite ever Murdoch media empire catchphrase, it's a lot better than murdering Labors chances at elections. The middle class intellectuals are most upset by the milling of noise that masses around them, a particularly robust male making withering faces at the nerds, as he struggles to read his tome about cricket and the more Corinthian days of test matches. I would give my left arm for a Choc Pine Big M at this minute. As I struggle with the complexities of a story that seems to go nowhere, an opinion piece in a magazine which tries to muster up a majestic fury on an issue only to lose itself in a series of in jokes and millennium old references, one of the nerds is marched from the library. His crime was to get too excited over the pixellated boobs, and a librarian in thrall in the Millers winter catalogue with the faintest tint of a mullet from the Ailsa collection decided that she had to defend the model on the monitors honour, and made her own little stand. I think she could tell when the mouse clicks became a little too frantic that it was time for a movement away from her own monitor, her movements so swift and deadly it was like a Marxist guerrilla in San Salvador swooping on her liberal enemies. So the nerd was thrown out before adding masturbation to the list of things banned from the library, and the rest of his mates mainly stayed motionless, and pretended to suddenly be massively excited about Twitter. The commotion was too much for my cricketing friend - remembering the good old days of Matthews and Moxon, he got up and stormed out in a huff, a paragraph about the MCG forever undigested by his judgemental mind, his patience well and truly bowled middle and leg. Outside the library, some plump girls who are retaining mallows are discussing motherhood, mostly the positives though some of the moans come through in the moment I pass. I've been thrown off a bus, thrown out of a movie theatre after getting into fisticuffs, but never marched from a library. The mothers club meeting seems to involve using the massive plumpness to block to the footpath, middle managers struggling to step over their meaty thighs on the way back to their own meeting where they'll mete out minimum expectations to the room with a puffed out chest. They'll be oblivious to the fact that the room isn't listening, and couldn't really care less, their minds wandering into mazes of random thought to keep themselves sane. In my case these thoughts will loop back around on themselves and become little sections of ideas that could in a more focused mind become something more - the middle part of an unfinished magnum opus I'll never get around to writing. Alas, I'll get distracted by another idea, and end up staring at the masses of gamblers huddled outside the TOTE, and I'll begin to construct a story about them, an ideal, a description that could accurately mention their main characteristics in the merest possible way, with slight details and a reference to a chocolate you've never...sorry, my focus needs to return to looking vaguely attentive...yes, meetings are fascinating, I really take them seriously...please, please do go on...

Aren't you glad you didn't give me the letter X...

14 comments:

Mad Cat Lady said...

Magnificent.

I molest musician's on myspace. (Though I don't think they have noticed)

the projectivist said...

there seemed to be an awful lot of "M's" in that post.


meandering
muddled mind
meaning midway
mangrove etc etc


was that your M-meme?

Baino said...

OH Miley, you've out done yourself despite the mad malaise. Marvellous musings in a mundane me moment. I am mesmirised! I have to post theme Thursday tomorrow and the topic is 'Library' I haven't been in one since my university days. . . .

Kris said...

I am slightly scared of Pink. She looks like she could fight.

squib said...

Oh man that was magnificent, Miles!!

Even the little table was varnished to look like maple LOL

Baino said...

Are my wittty (alright they're pretty boring) comments being moderated! I've commented on this already but no show! *sulk*

Miles McClagan said...

I'm not on Myspace at all - it scares me too much. Although I would like to be friends with Chanel Cole. Lovely...

Yes, it was my Mmeme, the title being the members of the band M people should be a helpful clue!

I think I've done all together too many posts on libraries. I'm hoping that one of those Thursday topics is bookmobiles...those things in Penguin were so boss. Incidentally, all my comments are moderated, keeps out that Indian bloke who pops up every so often!

In my dream, she was telling me off for something, so yeah, I'm not fond either...

Maple, truly the greatest of all the varnishes. But varnish is all about the smell isn't it!

Mrs Slocombe said...

I dips me lid.Again.Mediocrity is never a motif in this milieu. Those sentences are getting more and more craftsmanlike.......

Kath Lockett said...

Marvellously Moving, Miles!

Miles McClagan said...

I think the only marring moment was I didn't get to discuss my margin obsession from Maths in my old school...at least it didn't prevent mediocrity!

Why, thankyou for mentioning and monitoring and making me mmeme...

sparsely kate said...

You had an invitation with Miley Cyrus on it? Oh my. My daughter is 10 and even she wouldn't do that. HAHA! For joy!

p.s Maybe is a soft, non-committal word I agree. I should use it more often.
"Mum can we have McDonald's for tea?"
"hmm. maybe"
"Mum, can we fly to QLD and go to Dreamworld?"
"hmm. maybe"
"Mum, can we run off and be circus folk?"
"mmm.maybe."

Miles McClagan said...

Well, it was an e-mail that had a picture of the Miley Cyrus on it as a suggested gift...I liked it! And isn't the word maybe just the best? How would I live without it!

Kettle said...

Your Maoist-fonted MUG, Moses parting the red sea of Micras and your blue eyed driving were my favourite bits.

Nicely done, Miles.

Miles McClagan said...

Thanks mate, I appreciate it - if I knew how to work the Internet, I'd put a picture of the mug up, but alas, I am just a benny who can only type!