Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

In love. Working on a book.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


I'm supposed to be holding down a day job. And writing a book. And tidying my office. And doing the dishes. And pulling out the stereo from my old Mazda, because the stereo is worth more than the car. So is the battery, actually; I'll whip that out too. And then get it towed away.

It's in going condition, the Mazda, but agile guys with substance abuse issues who live a couple of blocks away climbed up about five metres of brick wall to slip in my livingroom window one night. They stole - among other things - the ignition keys. But when they found the car the keys belong to, they pointed and laughed and stole my girlfriend's car instead. Can't blame them for that; junkies have their pride. But they threw my keys away. Inconvenient! It's not worth getting new keys because I'd have to register the car first to get new ownership papers (the papers went too), before the Mazda people will post me a replacement key. So I'll use the proceeds from selling the stereo and the battery, and the spare tyre, come to think of it, to pay for the cost of towing the thing away. And I'm supposed to be writing an article that I plan to try to sell to Fortean Times. Wish me luck. And feeding the cat. It's not my cat. A friend's cat I'm looking after. He's a perfectly nice Chinese feline, hidden under about four inches of fur (estimated depth from fur-tips to actual cat-skin). But I promise no cat pix, ever.

So clearly what I need is a displacement activity. This blog is mostly going to be about arts, philosophy, history, and my wishy-washy politics.

Actually the last time I got burgled it was kind of odd, because they went through my CD collection, and ignored lots of stuff that was current then (early 1990s), like Lemonheads, if anyone remembers them, Nirvana, Chillies and so on, and instead stole Bruckner 4, the Richard Strauss oboe concerto played by John de Lancie, the Cherubini Requiem, and stuff like that. I was starting to develop some sort of grudging respect, but later realised that the classical CDs just happened to be nearest the window they'd come in from (they'd opened that one with a brick), and they were too vague, let's say, to check any labels before they scooped my stuff into a pillowcase and went off with it. It took me years to replace the de Lancie performance of the oboe concerto.

It's strongly recommended. John de Lancie was the oboist with the Chicago symphony, but he was in the US army in 1945, and he met the elderly Richard Strauss in Salzburg. They became friends, of a sort, and de Lancie persuaded Strauss to write an oboe concerto. Which Strauss did. So this is a recording of the oboe concerto performed by the man who commissioned it. It was made in the early 1990s. It's a good story but it's not just the story: the de Lancie rec ording is really, really good. As well as the Strauss there's some French pieces: Ibert, Satie and such.

De Lancie's son, by the way, is the John de Lancie who plays the character Q in Star Trek, which may have been Gene Roddenberry's worst idea. I mean Q, that is; not Star Trek, which is cool, except for Q, Marina Sirtis' acting, the whole Voyager series, the "funny nosed alien" thing, and lots of other stuff. It was just cool, ok? (Speaking of lunging from high to low culture in one famaly, there's also Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes, who was the brother of the conducter Otto Klemperer.)

Anyway, I was going to indicate the areas that I was likely to blog about, but then I thought I'd just post, and let the first few entries mark out the territory that I'm likely to cover. A dog sort of thing.




Blogger Rose Nunez said...

Hey, Laon, this is great! I'm commenting even before I'm reading, but I can tell just by skimming that this is going to be a fascinating blog. Congrats, and welcome to an entirely new form of obsession.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Laon, best of luck! Here's to hoping that you conclude, as many of us have, that the blog format is an enjoyable way to give voice to a wide range of offhand thoughts, mini-essays, debates, and so forth.

4:32 PM  

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