Na-na-na-na-na-na, Bathman

bathroom designerGood grief…I was just flicking through the channels and stumbled across the Golden Oldies on channel 62. They were playing that old, campy ‘Bathman and Bobbin’ series from the 1960s, and I seriously couldn’t believe that anyone used to watch this.

Nowadays, Bathman is a serious, brooding figure who sneaks into people’s houses to give them bathroom remodels, but never stays to be thanked and always left a calling card inside the bath. Usually it was a rubber duckie. A dark, edgy rubber duckie, to remind people that even though their new bathroom is wonderful, life will always be sheer pain.

But the sixties version? Hoo boy, none of that. He still does bathroom remodelling, but people actually CALL him with a silly bath signal in the sky. Some villain would invade a public bathroom, carve graffiti into the walls, mess up the sinks and steal the toilet roll covers, and the stereotypical Scottish chief would call Bathman on the signal. Bathman and Bobbin (that’s his sidekick that dresses up like a rubber duck) would dash to the scene in a car that’s clearly just a regular car, painted white with a few taps sticking out of random places, and they’d get caught by the evil villain. They’d escape the trap, do the bathroom renovations in the nick of time, and the day would be saved.

I guess I just don’t like it because it portrays Bathman as just another campy superhero. He’s not supposed to be a normal do-gooder in ill-fitting spandex. He’s the night…he’s the one who strikes from the shadows with premium bathroom designer grace and poise, before going back to his Bathcave (basically, a really big and nice bathroom) to mourn the fact that he’s not rich because his parents are way too healthy to die and give him an inheritance, and they refuse to let him have any more pocket money than non-rich kids.

-Lem

Auto Electrical, Coming Soon to Vinyl

auto mechanic BentleighI had quite the productive weekend, organising all of my music into albums. This had the added bonus of letting me know which anthologies are ready to release to the public, and which perhaps need a bit more time, and a few more pieces. There’s a really important music festival coming up, and I’m planning to borrow Davina’s car so that I can sell my albums out the back of it. But for that, I need albums!

The automotive one is totally ready to go. I spent days and days and even DAYS assembling my set of symphonic poems on the subject of automotive…things. Automotive repairs, and the replacement of tires. The album is going to be named after the best place and activity: ‘Auto Electrical, Bentleigh – The Beautiful Voice of a Mechanic.’

Ah yes…gorgeous. For you see, there’s a unique sound to auto electrical that I don’t think I would’ve realised if I hadn’t been crouched behind the mechanic’s workshop for two weeks, recording everything and going home to meditate on what I’d heard. The gentle whirr of the drill, and the crackle of the…electrical things. Honestly, I couldn’t see most of what was going on and I don’t own a car, so it was all a bit of a mystery to me. And yet, that was what made it all the sweeter. That was what produced such masterpieces as ‘NYEEERRRR, the whirring sounds of the heart’ and ‘The Ballad of the Lonely Corolla Who Just Wanted to Perform, NYING NYING, VREEEE’.

I like to think that the album as a whole tells a beautiful story, a story of many vehicles and their strivings to become whole again by visiting an car auto mechanic near Bentleigh. The songs they sing shall acho throughout time, provided people actually buy my album, which…well, they obviously will. I’m basically the only person doing what I’m doing. I’m a pioneer!

-Deirdre

No One Expects the Engine Failure!

type repair BrunswickYou never see the engine failure coming. It’s just like the Spanish Inquisition, but even more personal because it’s happening now, to me, and the Spanish Inquisition didn’t happen to me specifically.

I guess I should’ve maybe kicked the tyres every now and then so see if they were going down, which may have helped to avert the unfortunate tree crash incident. Also, who plants a tree by the side of the road? That’s just asking for trouble, in my humble opinion.

Guess I need to take better care of the next one, and that means doing the requisite work to keep the car together. Topping up the oil, kicking the tires with somewhat more frequency, and maybe I could check out a place that does the best tyre repair Brunswick residents can count on. Is tire repair a thing? It must be a thing, because I find myself in need of it. Oh, and I guess a general mechanic wouldn’t go awry. Never used one before, because I kept telling myself that mechanics were for people who had REAL problem cars. You know, like the problems you have when you wrap your car around a tree. Turns out that there’s a middle ground between ‘car working fine’ and ‘car totally written off’, and mechanics occupy that sweet spot. Ah, if only I’d known.

To be fair, neither of my parents drive, so I was never taught. My dad was in the automotive industry, but most of what he did was winding back the odometer on used cars and panel beating the dents out, so they looked newer than they were. Then he’d sell them, never having sat in them but telling people that he’d been driving it for years.

I guess you could say that was a bit dishonest. I mean, when I actually find a guy for my transmission service in the Brunswick area I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they’re out to do their jobs. Most mechanics are, so I’ve heard. That’s why they learn stuff about cars, unlike me.

Joz

My Soul is Truly Tinted

commercial glass tintingThis world is, like…so cruel and stuff. Mum and Dad just said I can’t go to this new nightclub opening up around the corner, Hellscape, and my life is literally over. FINALLY a good club opens up near me, and I can’t even go, because life just hates me. I literally cannot even, even if I tried to even. But that’s just life, or whatever. It’s cruel, just like me, and my soul, and stuff.

Had a pretty awesome dream last night though. I was meditating on an awesome track from my favourite band, Spiky Angel Musk. It was called ‘Tinted Soul’, about a guy who has a tinted soul, just like me. Anyway, I dreamt that I lived in a huge skyscraper, and ALL the windows had a coating of professional commercial tinting. I know that sounds like language used by the Man, but I know because I asked my secretary (I had a secretary) about where all the tinted windows came from, and she said that I ordered them to be professionally tinted myself. Then I realised that I was the CEO, and this was my company, and I was a TOTAL stooge. Like, I wasn’t even working for the Man: I WAS the Man, and everyone was working for me. Then I woke up, and I was all like…whoa. It was very profound.

Now I have to figure out what that means. Like, a whole building made out of tinted glass is like my dream home, which is pretty convenient because it was my home, in my dreams. But yeah, having those tinted windows everywhere would be awesome, because it’s like…a representation of my soul. Tinted and dark, but full of intrigue and stuff. But then, was my dream saying that my inner soul is actually really square, and that’s the true nature. Or maybe it’s more like…okay, so you’ve got Melbourne’s commercial glass tinting people, and they make things darker, and I was living in a building with LOADS of tinting, soooo…I need to make my life darker. Maybe I smile too much. Is there a darker hair dye than ‘Raven Midnight’? I gotta know.

-Harvey

Get a Dog, Teach Some Responsibility

emergency vet MoorabinSurprise, surprise. We get a dog, I tell the kids they gotta look after it, and who ends up doin’ the actual work?

Yep. The professional services we pay to look after it. I knew this would happen, ya know. Sure, Cassius gets a walk from a professional dog walker every single day, and gets a doggie massage every Tuesday and Saturday, and we got an automatic feeder that prepares his food and monitors whether he should have more or less dependin’ on his weight, but the kids could stand to lift the slightest finger.

And just yesterday our call-in vet said he was on holiday in the Maldives, so I gotta bundle Cassius into the car MYSELF and find a really good pet surgery in the Bayside area so he can have one of his checkups. And then he just turns out to be healthy anyway, because there’s NOTHIN’ wrong with this dog. He can run forever.

And I don’t wanna make it seem like I’m complainin’ about Cassius. That dog loves every single one of us like we’re even closer than family, and I guess he’s pretty well-trained after the hubby called in a favour from a professional dog trainer and had him come to the house for a two-week crash course in everythin’ from coming when we call his name to puttin’ his paws together when we say grace at dinner. I’m just sayin’, the kids should be the ones takin’ him to the vet every now and then. They can sit in the waitin’ room holding Cassius’ lead and giving it a tug when he sees another dog and wants to play. And maybe ONE day a week they can take him for a walk.

I guess they do play with him a LOT, which tires him out. Even Baz, who’s a different kid when he’s with the dog. Still, next time Cassius eats somethin’ he shouldn’t and we need to find an emergency vet in Moorabbin because our call-in vet is off in the Seychelles, I’m getting the kids up with the dog and taking them to the pet surgery, rain or shine. They gotta learn that a pet comes with responsibility!

-Shamique

A New Driveway…for the Wife

driveway rocks CranbourneWhat’s that scientific thing called when you do something yourself and it means more to you? The IKEA effect, that’s the one. Now, I’m hoping the IKEA effect is transferable, because I’ve got two days until the wife returns from her conference and *hopefully* she’s going to be welcomed back by a beautifully landscaped front garden, along with the driveway of her dreams. Assuming that she’s been dreaming of a nice driveway. Hopefully the fact that we’re joined in holy matrimony will mean that the IKEA effect will be transferred to her, and she’ll appreciate it just as much as if it were done by her own hand. Or even more, since she had nothing to do with it, and dodging work is pretty much Lira’s style.

That was snarky. Still, I have no experience laying driveways and I went and did it anyway. Had to go to Cranbourne for crushed rock, and then to Berwick to get the very specific type of pebbles I needed to make rings around the various trees we have in the front garden. Did you know that there were pebble varieties? Apparently, that is a real thing. I could’ve just gotten regular old pebbles from down the road, but that’s just what love does to you. It compels you to drive long distances so that you can get the right sort of pebbles. The great poets could’ve written entire sonnets about the hunt for pebbles and how it represents true love or something. Currently, it just represents my frustration as a realise that there’s a reason most people pay landscapers to do this kind of thing, instead of doing it themselves. If anyone wants to recommend me some really good quality building supplies in Berwick, I’d be ever so grateful. I’m going there for aggregate anyway, and the old ute is struggling with all these labours of love. It’s not the only one.

-Travis

Law is No Entertaining Matter

Melbourne property lawyersI will admit: watching the start of the latest episode of Jack of All Trades gave me a certain tightness in my throat at first. I’d already seen the ‘next time!’ segment at the end of the last episode, they promised something law-related, and that just didn’t sit well with me. Law is complex, and it’s not like you can stick an amateur in a real courtroom situation and call it good television. Too much is at stake, even with professionals at hand.

So I was pretty relieved when Lady Salt said that the task she set WASN’T that. The entire thing was a mock presentation, with the candidates taking on the role of a commercial law firm. So at least in Melbourne, commercial law firms are not being besmirched. They even had a bit of a segment where the actual law firms were shown doing their thing and being professionals, mostly to show the total contrast as these TV doofs completely mess everything up with their lack of expertise.

To be fair, the task they were given was pretty tough, even for someone with a thorough understanding of property law. A lot of paperwork, a lot of intentional errors, and some really complex documents for the sub-team to sort through. A single error in real life and you can cause some serious legal ramifications.

Of course, as dry as this all sounds, they made it entertaining for the show. The mock clients were a mixed bunch; one team were dealing with a bunch of sneaky money-grubbers, and the others had a hair-trigger temper. Basically everyone was acting, but I think those might have been real tears when Allison mixed up her building permits and got yelled at for six minutes straight.

But hey, that’s the high-pressure world of being a property lawyer. Melbourne is a hip, fast-paced city, and you have to know your stuff. I’m just glad these people aren’t dealing with property in real life.

-Drey

What Glaziers Would Work in Space?

residential glazierSo it looks like the new ‘Space Conflicts’ movie is going to be fine. You know, fine like all the others, that is. ‘The Push Wakes Up’ just tried to be too out there and original, so I’m guessing ‘The Penultimate Rabbi’ is going to stick closer to the original formula, making it less bland and boring.

I don’t know. Personally, I think the last good one they made was the Space Conflicts Holiday Special, the one with the rave reviews and the heartwarming song at the end about Strife Day. In fact, it was so famous that Space Conflicts fans to this day still greet each other with cheerful cries of “Happy Strife Day!” It’s a timeless classic.

Yeah, so anyway, windows. Specifically, residential glazing. You may wonder how that’s relevant to Space Conflicts, and I’ll tell you, because obviously windows are really important in space. Unlike real spaceships, ships in sci-fi are just covered in windows, everywhere, so that people can look out into the blackness of space I guess. Why do they need so many windows? And more importantly, what kind of glazier makes windows that are applicable for shops involved in space battles? You’d think the window quantity would be kept to a minimum, and you’d be terribly wrong, because there are just windows all over those things. ALL over them.

So when humanity starts travelling to the stars we’d better have some darn good glaziers, because space is…space. It’s a very hostile environment. Can’t just take a piece of glass you use for glass balustrading and stick it wherever you please, no sir. That glass has to be custom-made, extremely thick, weirdly resistant to all kinds of temperatures and probably some kind of contingency needs to be available when it breaks. Shatter proof glass I think? 

It does make sci-fi ships look pretty, I guess it’s fine in my books.

-Kirk

All Conferences, All the Time

conference venues VictoriaIs there a word for when you’re addicted to conferences? I guess not, since there’s not really a word for addictions to EVERYTHING. I mean, there are no words for people addicted to milk, or cupcakes.

But I really am addicted to attending conferences. I go to at least one a month, sometimes more if I can swing it. I love meeting new people, but also, I love not having to see those new people afterwards. It’s the perfect balance of personal and impersonal. I reject all friend requests on Visage-Tome. It’s my personal policy not to get attached to any other conference attendees.

As a result, I have a comprehensive map of all the conference venues in Victoria, and even across the rest of Australia. My expertise in the matter is so good, I could probably start charging as a consultant. I can tell you which places have drafts, which ones come with great catering (Lorne), the ones that have comfy seats in their lecture halls and those that are close to amenities for those late-night sugar cravings we tend to get while on those things.

Of course, I’m a veteran now. I always bring a secret supply of sugar; generally keeps me going. Oh, and the beds/ The beds are VERY important in a conference venue, I can tell you that. As good as I’ve gotten at sleeping in different places, sometimes my skills are put to the absolute test with the terrible, stone-consistency mattresses they make us sleep on. Fortunately, those ones are in the minority. I actually find that the function venues in Victoria are quite a bit better than those you find elsewhere. I’m about to head out to a conference in Brisbane that LOOKS lovely. I’ll have to update my rankings once I get back. Except I’m going straight to that one in Perth, and then one an hour away from here…and it’s still not enough.

-Graham

There’s Life in Those Antennas Still

TV antenna repair MelbourneThey need to keep millennials from writing opinion pieces, because most of it is tripe. Just because people are young doesn’t instantly make them wise sages, but this generation in particular seems to think that they know better than everyone.

‘The End of Politics: Why A Hereditary Monarchy is the Best Thing for Australia.’ They actually published it, and people wrote in the week after to praise the writer’s profound insight. What insight?

And this week it’s even worse. ‘Say Goodbye to the TV Generation: Why Melbourne’s TV Antennas Are Soon Going to be Viewed in Museums’. It was written by that Victoria Pierce, too. Can’t even stand the look of her face. Of course, she’s arguing that streaming has basically killed normal television, and that we’re now living in a glorious neo-era of digital, on-demand television. And of course, she seemed to think that since this was a new thing, that automatically made it wonderful and amazing.

Give me a break! The age of TV antennas and regular TV is far from over, even if there are more options now. With streaming, when are you going to have the big event? What’s going to happen when people want something to do on a Friday night and they want it to be more than just a private bit of screening? Television brings us together in a way that streaming simply cannot. Some people LIKE looking up things in a TV guide and being there for the big premier. In fact, if everyone was there for the big premier, then spoilers wouldn’t be an issue.

I should write into the newspaper and stick up for antennas in Melbourne. Or better, I’ll write an opposing piece. People LOVE newspaper drama. It’s like internet drama, except it’s in print and you can’t delete it. So it’s better in every way. Not to mention that it can be framed and hung on the wall, not that I’d do that or anything. 

-Ophelia

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