Saturday, November 25, 2006


I've been thinking more n more about memory. It's something I've had an interest in for quite a while, but lately I've been pondering how it actually works and how this can be different for each of us. It fascinates me how people can experience the same event, yet their accounts can be very different. For instance, four people attend a lunch. One will remember what everyone ate, one will remember what everyone was wearing, one will remember the conversation in minute detail and one will question whether they were even there. Personally, I pride myself on my longterm memory and though I can't claim to remember being born (like one of my friends does, ahem...) I can remember a lot of things that happened from a very early age (including such things as being in the pram with my younger sister)

I once started writing a list and surprised myself with the number of things I came up with. I've still got that list somewhere (er, not sure where), but in some cases I don't really recall the event, I just know that it happened. I can remember the names of all of my school teachers (though it's easier for me to remember the earliest ones from Primary school) plus most of the kids I went to school with. I'm also good with phone numbers (though not as good as I used to be) and I can tell you the names and all sorts of trivial details about long forgotten Australian film and TV actors

As for my short-term memory, that went kaput around the same time I started smoking pot (I remember this because it was a long time ago). I'm no longer much of a pot smoker, but I still have trouble remembering what the hell I did yesterday. And this is the other thing that fascinates me. See, I believe every single experience is stored in our memory banks - somewhere - we just need something to trigger off the recollection. It's happened to me with a smell, a word, a song, a photo... I'll suddenly remember something I haven't thought about for years n years and it's as vivid as yesterday (yes, I remember telling you I have no short-term thingo)

Something that piqued my interest in memory was a doco I saw on telly the other night called Unknown White Male. This doco traces the experience of 30-something Doug Bruce, an Englishman in New York who was on the train to Coney Island one day in 2003 when he realised he didn't know who he was or where he was going. With no identification and only a telephone number written on a scrap of paper he pieced together enough details to prevent himself being incarcerated in the loony bin. There are proven medical cases of amnesia, where people eventually get their memory back, but Doug Bruce claims to have never regained anything from before that episode on the train. Having amnesia gave the charismatic Bruce an opportunity to start his life afresh - an interesting concept. The doco looked at how he, his friends and his family coped with having to start their relationships from scratch. There were lots of other curious ideas to deal with too. For instance Bruce remembered how to speak English and French, but he didn't remember learning either language. We saw him experience different types of food for the "first" time and in one scene we witnessed him dive into the ocean without knowing if he could swim (he could)

The doco gave me lots to think about, but after doing some further research it seems the whole thing could be an elaborate hoax. It wouldn't be the first time. About 10 years ago New Zealand born director, Peter Jackson, made a "mockumentary", which sucked me (and countless others) in. But I really don't know. I felt like writing to Bruce and perpetrating my own hoax. In my letter I'd tell him he's actually gay, that we were lovers once upon a time and he takes it up the arse - he just couldn't remember...

Above: Amnesiac Doug Bruce, misty water coloured memories of the way we were

The day after I saw the doco I was discussing memory with a friend. I told him there are three types of memory. He said, "Yeah, longterm, short term and..." (long pause). I replied, "And CRAFT - Can't Remember A Fucking Thing"

Friday, November 24, 2006


My Gran would've been 90 years old today if she was still alive. She was my Mum's Mum and out of all my grandparents she was the one I knew least. The last time I saw her was in 1969 (the year I left England with my immediate family for Australia) and because I was so young I don't have any strong recollections of spending time with her. In 1977 she and her second husband (she divorced her first husband, my Grandad, before I was born) booked a trip to come and visit us, but sadly she died of cancer a few months beforehand. She actually died the same day as Elvis, August 16th 1977, so that's always been there as some kind of kooky reminder

As I've grown older I've had a stronger sense of sorrow that I came so close to knowing her, but never really did. Not in the flesh anyway. I'm sure we would've spoken on the phone now and then (in the daze when you had to deal with echoes and delays) and I know we wrote to one another because I still have birthday cards and at least one letter she sent me, which I treasure. In the letter she tells me that when she was a girl she had pictures of movie stars plastered all over her walls and even on the ceiling. This small bit of information gives me a great insight and a real sense of kinship or something. I've always had pictures plastered over my walls and I've got this love of actors, which none of my siblings share. I can sometimes imagine my Gran and I talking about our favourite movies and actors even though I'm not sure we'd have similar tastes. Thankfully, adding to this image of my Gran, there's a few photos and some Super 8 films that my Dad took all those years ago. I've also asked family members to tell me what they can. My Gran had one younger sister, my Great Aunt, who's now 85 and lives in England and she's been a great source of information. One time I was staying with her and she gave me a photo of my Gran taken at a very young age. It was the first time I'd seen her as a child. The date on the back of the photo (I forget the year) was August 16

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

farewell robert altman

Well the film world lost one of its masters on Monday and audiences are in mourning. Maverick director Robert Altman has died aged 81. I came to know Altman's work relatively late in life and although I've enjoyed much of his more recent films, the picture that really mesmerised me was Nashville (1975). I saw it for the first time about 5 years ago at the Chauvel Cinema in Paddington. The last time I saw it was back in April when Cliff was visiting from Melbourne. We sat and watched it together on DVD and loved every minute of it. It's an inspired piece of filmmaking, which I recommend to anyone who hasn't seen it. Add it to your list now.

A year or two ago I bought The Nashville Chronicles: The Making of Robert Altman's Masterpiece by Jan Stuart, which gives a wonderful insight into Altman's work methods plus all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of the cast and crew. As well as being a great read it's the ultimate companion to the film. A little while ago I was also lucky enough to find a copy of the screenplay, so if anyone wants to come over and play, there are plenty of roles to go round...

What I love about Altman's films is the combination of ensemble casts, intertwining plots and the heady journey this talented director takes me on when he puts it all together. I was so excited to go to the cinema a few weeks back to see his latest (and sadly last) offering - A Prairie Home Companion. And despite my high expectations I wasn't disappointed. There are so many other films too: MASH (which I haven't seen); Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean; Short Cuts; The Player; Gosford Park; The Long Goodbye to name just a few. Robert Altman can certainly leave this planet knowing he made an impact, a valuable contribution. What an inspiration, what a loss

Saturday, November 18, 2006

make a wish

I'm in a good mood today, without much to say, so I'll just post this pic and you can make a wish if you like...

Friday, November 17, 2006

crustacean frustration

Last Friday night when I was still deciding whether to venture out or not I got a call from Cliff, a friend in Melbourne, saying he'd be in Sydney the following night (for one night only). This made things easy for me. I stayed in on Friday night and had a night on the tiles with Cliff on Saturday. We hadn't seen each other since his last trip to Sydney in April, which is when I introduced him to Palms (my favourite dance club cum pick up joint on Oxford Street). So Palms is where we headed once again. It's always good for a dance if you're into trashy '80s music and homo-disco tunes (think Dolly, Madonna, Kylie etc) and the crowd is attitude free (at one point, late in the night, I stumbled to the bar treading on two people's feet - oops, sorry - and not a nasty word was said - not to my face anyway).

That first time I took Cliff to Palms ended up being a very trashy night (it's also the night I met Jon), but this time we both had commitments the following day (Cliff had to work, I was participating in a photo shoot). It's a pity I was on the horn. When Palms shut at 3am Cliff got into a taxi and went to his hotel and I went home... er via a gay sex-on-premises "club". It was a bit of a waste of time and money ($17 if you're interested and no gratification, despite a fumbled attempt). By the time I got home and into my bed it was 5am. I haven't done this sort of thing for a long time (guess I didn't need to when I was bonking Jon).

So, anyway, a couple of daze later I'm cleaning out a shelf in my cupboard - the sort of 'medical supplies' section: bandaids, sun cream, condoms etc - when I find a package containing crab cream (yes, lotion for dealing with pesky pubic lice. Actually I found two packages of the stuff, but one had already expired so I threw it out). Thank goodness I haven't had to deal with crabs for a while, I thought, as I put the unexpired batch back in its paper bag and shoved it to the back of the shelf. See, apart from putting something out of its misery (which is still an awful dilemma for me) I really don't like killing anything whether it's an ant, a spider, a cockroach or whatever. No, I'm not a Buddhist and I'll admit mozzies give me the shits, but I'll only swat 'em if they land on me and start sucking my blood. Self-defence. And that's why, when I started feeling a bit itchy yesterday I had to do something about it. First thing this morning I fished around in the back of the cupboard for that hidden package and proceeded to follow the directions on the box. How frustrating, especially as I said earlier I wasn't even sexually sated for my trouble. Anyway, I can't sit around here complaining all day, I've got to go and put a ruddy load of washing in the machine...

(Hands up everyone who now needs to scratch)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

name game usa

Speaking of names, I found this name game thingo just before... There is one person with my (real) name in America, which is kind of weird. But apparently there isn't one single person called Nash, which is even weirder
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

mystery solved

About 3 or 4 weeks ago I met a lovely woman (over the phone) who works in the same field as me. We had a friendly chat and said we would send some information to each other. She sent hers the next day. I, being the procrastinator, have only just sent mine to her. As I was searching for her email address it occurred to me - her name is...Margaret!


Sometimes, for no apparent reason, I'll become aware of a name. I'll see it over n over again for whatever period of time. These past few daze it's been Margaret. Now I don't know anyone named Margaret, at least no-one I'm in contact with, so I wonder what it means. At one point I thought it must be all doom gloom and whatever name I was seeing meant that person was surely going to die (heck, aren't we all). More and more I try not to give it a meaning, just let the meaning (if there is one) reveal itself. So instead of thinking, for instance, Margaret Whitlam is about to expire, I just put the name in the back of my mind and wait n see if anything significant turns up. Who knows, now that I've revealed this lil quirk o' mine there might be absolutely nothing about Margaret to report at a later date, but if there is I'll let you know...

Friday, November 10, 2006

ol' silver

It's hard to define what I look for in a man (although a friend once remarked I'd screw "anything with a pulse"). I don't really have a specific "type". I'm attracted to lots of different men with lots of different looks and lots of different attributes. The range of men I've known "in the biblical sense" (or even just lusted after) would confirm this. There is, however, one physical attribute I can readily pinpoint. So, because it's just started raining here in Sydney and I'm having second thoughts about venturing out tonight I'm going to introduce you to a group of men I call "Ol' silver" (a term of endearment coined by another friend). See, it's all about hair colour. Men who are prematurely grey spin my wheels. Someone else once asked if I had a Daddy complex, but it's not that. Sure, I do like older men, but "Ol' silver" actually refers to young-ish men with grey hair. They're not quite as scarce as redheads nor quite as common - er prevalent - as blonds and I often seem to notice them on the telly - newsreaders/reporters in particular. For those of you in Melbourne where I grew up, think of ABC newsreader Ian Henderson (what a shame he doesn't do a national broadcast). Craig Foster (former Soccer player, now commentator) from SBS is another example and Channel 9 has Walkley Award winning reporter Damian Ryan (below)

In the States they have their own version, the delectable Anderson Cooper (I'm not even sure how I discovered him). Recently seen on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, Anderson Cooper is a perfect example of Ol' silver. And he comes with breeding and a brain. The son of heiress Gloria Vanderbilt and writer Wyatt Cooper, Anderson is a CNN news anchor who, as a baby, was photographed by one of my favourite photographers, Diane Arbus. As if that isn't enough, Anderson just happens to be single and lives in NYC with his dog. Hmmm. Now that the rain has eased, perhaps I'll head to New York...

Left: Cooper by Arbus circa 1967
Below: Nudging 40 and sexy as all get out!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

well i think it's funny

honky tonk for jesus

i want my dolly

I've just been cursing n swearing at my compoota and getting pretty vocal over nothing (very unlike me. Really!). I thought I was the only one in the house until one of my housemates wandered through, "Hi Nash, how're you?" and I just know he's heard me ranting...

But I'm okay now because I'm listening to Dolly and calm has been restored. Ahhh

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

each beast

I found a book on eBay recently, East Beach, by Ron Ely. Yes, since leaving the jungle, TV's Tarzan has become a writer. I've added the book to the pile and maybe I'll get around to reading it one of these daze. In the meantime, here's a pic I love of Ron with his co-star, Cheetah.

Wish I had a chimp to call my own *sigh*

bedside manner

Thirty years ago today The Young Doctors debuted on Australian TV. Back then our family still had a black & white telly and I clearly remember seeing an episode in colour for the first time (at my next-door neighbours' house). I was surprised to discover the nurses' uniforms weren't white at all, but a lovely shade of lilac. No doubt this fuelled my frustration with my parents for taking so long to buy a colour TV! This popular medical soapie screened for half an hour, Monday to Friday at 6 o'clock (at least in Melbourne where I grew up) and ran for 6 1/2 years. It was lucky to last that long. Early on in the piece it was axed and not meant to continue after the initial 13 week run, but a last minute reprieve saw it go on (and on) until 1983. With a total of 1396 episodes in the can The Young Doctors went on to break the record held by Number 96 (1218). These daze of course some of our soapies run for 20+ years...

The thing about the The Young Doctors was its reliance on romance rather than serious medical storylines, which probably explains why its cast was loaded with good looking actors and models (some, not surprisingly, with questionable acting ability). I certainly had secret crushes on a few of the doctors...

Like any soap, the cast included some talented veteran performers (Gwen Plumb, Alfred Sandor) alongside the fledgling stars n starlets. Many went on to successful careers in other soapies (Judy McBurney, Paula Duncan, Lynda Stoner, Peta Toppano, John Walton, Cornelia Frances, Rebecca Gilling, Alan Dale, Peter Bensley et al) whilst others have disappeared (sadly about half a dozen have died). Oh, and one young doctor ended up in my bed, but that's another story...

Monday, November 06, 2006

it's getting hot in here

On Saturday morning I made my way to Martin Place in the city to join with others in the Walk Against Warming. I had no idea what to expect - maybe there'd only be 10 people who give a damn about the future of our planet. The rain didn't help raise my expectations. So when I got to the designated meeting point and saw how many people had actually turned out I was heartened. And the crowd got bigger before the walk got underway. Here in Sydney the crowd estimates ranged from 12,000 to 20,000. What I didn't realise is that this was a global event with people all over the world joining in to say to knuckleheaded politicians ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. It's TIME to do something about climate change NOW before it really is too late...

It's embarrassing for me to be known as a citizen of a country whose gormless twit of a prime miniature refuses to sign the Kyoto Protocol. It's empowering for me as an individual to know that I walked with other individuals and sent a strong and clear message to those dimwits in power

We ended up at the Botanic Gardens. You can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background

medium rare

My recent post (which mysteriously disappeared) was about John Edward, the medium from Crossing Over who I saw yesterday at the Hordern Pavilion. I went with an open mind and came away feeling far more impressed by the man in person than watching him on telly or reading one of his books. What a moving experience it was as he reconnected young mothers with their deceased children and put husbands (who'd been unable to express their feelings on earth) in touch with their wives. He reunited many others too. His accuracy was amazing, time after time - little obscure pieces of information - and he spoke with compassion, humour and grace. I've had a belief in the afterlife since I was about 11 years old (young?). What I got yesterday was an affirmation that I'm on the right track with the way I try to live my life as well as further insight into the ways of the Universe. I feel uplifted...

Sunday, November 05, 2006


F*#k this stoopid blog. For some reason my last post has disappeared even though I know people have seen it...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

you gotta hand it to bernie

So... Jon arrived at my place around 6pm and half an hour later we wandered over to the Hordern Pavilion where we got something to eat and joined the queue (which wasn't very long by this stage despite tickets being general admission). I expected to see a line of young girls, but it was a mixed bag of punters of all shapes n sizes. The doors opened at 7 and I think we got the best seats in the house. Now I'm not good with measurements, but I'd estimate we were 20 metres from the stage (I worked it out based on the pool where I used to swim). We could've stood right in front of the stage, but I like to sit n listen to music these daze. Once upon a time I'd get stoned before a concert, but I realise that's probably why I don't remember too much about the performers I've seen in the past. Instead I settled for 2 cans of beer (compliments of Jon) over 3 and a 1/2 hours and it was all so civilised. We both had a great night.

Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Sime Nugent opened the show - just him and his guitar. I don't know much about him at all, but enjoyed his music and laid back repartee. He told us he'd been playing for 14 years. The audience warmed to him and he was obviously having a good time. There was an air of political savvy about him and I decided he's just the kind of person this country needs to write a decent, modern day protest song and unite us in our fight against the prime miniature and his prosaic 1950s ideals (ruddy dimwit). Next on the bill was Augie March. No doubt about it, they were impressive and I hope to hear more from them. I dunno how to describe their style, but their range of musical instruments included a piano accordion and the lead singer's voice was reminiscent of Jeff Buckley. By now the venue was filling up (estimated crowd 3,500, but there's no need to quote me on it).

And then there was Bernard Fanning. This guy must be feeling pretty blessed at the moment. He took time off from the band Powderfinger to create his own music - stepped out of his comfort zone - and he's been incredibly successful. Apart from multiple awards, chart success and sell-out concerts he's gained me as a fan, lucky thing. I'd like to write a song with him one day. I'm thinking next Saturday afternoon might be a good time to make a start...

Yes, gorgeous Bern. He was having a great time, cracking jokes, camping it up and serenading the crowd with that beautiful voice of his. He sang songs from his ARIA award-winning album of the year, Tea & Sympathy, as well as others that hadn't been recorded. He tickled the audience with a frolicsome rendition of the Benny Hill theme and moved us with Watch Over Me. This was the first of a three song encore, which he came back on-stage to perform after a grand dose of foot stomping, hooting n hollering. He then closed the show with a Led Zeppelin tune, the lights came on and it was all over. At least Jon now knows who Bernard Fanning is, he'd just better keep his hands off my potential new boyfriend (I'm warnin' you)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

bf 4 me

Last night I went to the Bernard Fanning concert at the Hordern Pavilion, here in Sydney. After a few failed attempts at finding a suitable guest to accompany me I ended up asking Jon, whose initial response was "Who's Bernard Fanning?". I didn't think it was fair to tell Jon (my most recent ex) that Bern is the man I desire, so I left it up to him to use "the Google" (apparently this is the latest Bush-ism). In the meantime I wondered if there was possibly anyone else I could've asked...

Bernard had a triumphant night on Sunday when he received some well deserved awards at the ARIAs (Australian Recording Industry Association). And you should've seen him. He looked just a lil bit nerdy with his glasses... and every now n then men in glasses turn me on.

I'll write more about the concert tomorrow
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