29 November 2000
Thingie Visits

November 2000 was a big month for thingie visits. Madam Melpomene visited our shores, Mute made his first trip to Melbourne and I disappeared (very) briefly to Brisbane to play with the lovely Sally.

After many false starts, Mute finally made it south of the border Thursday night and navigated his way successfully (via phone calls and post it notes) "…in a Silvertop, to her door." The poor boy sat rather bewilderedly in the lounge at chez Tree while I unloaded the cares of the day then dragged him (kicking and screaming, not) to the pub. In the delightful beer garden at The Flying Duck, pints were sunk, stories exchanged and mosquitoes were well fed. Satiated, we went home, where I managed to feed him without poisoning him. A good start to the weekend, I felt.

Mute had come to Melbourne to help support a friend's band, Fourplay. If you ever get the chance to see these guys, go do it, they are fabulous. We trooped into the city the following evening to check them out. The promoter had double booked them with another performer, so we had to wait for him to do an endless series of encores before the band got to play, but watching Ed Kuepper is no great hardship, so we didn't mind too much. Fourplay were great, doing Metallica like they have never been done before, then turning around and doing a perfect Nina Simone cover. Great fun.

The next morning was spent rather quietly while I sorted out my post-Fourplay head and showed Mute the delights of my city. The poor boy nearly sent himself broke in the comic shops and record shops around my area. Of course, I was no help at all, pulling out odd things and saying, "Oooooh, doesn't this look interesting..." only to have Mute begin gasping at how hard it is to find...

I did find a second-hand copy of 'Ghastly Beyond Belief' that I was going to buy and offer to the thingie who could offer me the coolest thing in exchange. Mute made such puppy-dog eyes at me that I handed it over to him to add to the pile of neat things he had found.

That evening we got to meet Madame Mel for the first time and catch up with Reg, again in the salubrious confines of The Flying Duck beer garden. We initiated her in the joys of the pint and had a bit of a gossip before Mute and I scurried off to catch a session of 'Rear Window' at the local art-house theatre, The Astor. It is always a pleasure to introduce someone to an Astor choc-top. Proper ice cream (none of this soft-serve nonsense) dipped thickly in real chocolate in a cone with a pecan on top. Comes in dark chocolate and berry ice cream, milk chocolate and vanilla and white chocolate and banana.

Sunday was a much quieter affair. Many, many episodes of Buffy complete with Mute and his 'Buffy thrash' every time the theme played (something that had to be seen to be believed). Lunch was tres elegant and at some point in the afternoon, Mute tried to dictate the annotations for Neil's Green Lantern story, but I ran out of patience and paper by the third page of notes. By that time, it was time to head down the The Esplanade Hotel (the greatest pub in the known universe) to catch up with Mel and Reg and see Fourplay again.

We had dinner with the band while everything was set up, then wandered down Acland St for ice cream and watched the sun set over the bay, attempting to spot penguins and water rats. we also spotted the clock tower from a Go-Betweens film clip. it seemed to be a very musical weekend, what with matching lyrics to places ("See Mute? High on a hill, looking over a bridge, see the MCG! And way up on high, the clock on the silo says 11 degrees!"). All Aussie bands of course, TISM, Paul Kelly, Go-Betweens, but amusing nonetheless.

We found Reg and Mel in the smoky confines of the Gershwin Room and watched Fourplay do their stuff. much enjoyment was had, many cds were purchased, many beers drunk. Fortunately not a late night this time around, I had work the next day.

Mute and Peter (from Fourplay) toured the city and shopped on Monday and on Tuesday, Mute headed back to the post-Olympic city. That gave me time to pack my bags ready to fly up to Brisbane for work on Wednesday, with a brief stop over in Sydney to interview clients on the way (roughly equivalent to flying from New Orleans to Washington DC, with a stop in Charleston).

Unfortunately, my trip to Brisbane was only brief, so after a day of boring client interviews, i struggled into the mall with my luggage to meet Sally. I told her to look for the girl all in black wearing a key to hell around her neck. I should have just told her to look out for the twit with the suitcase... She found me easily enough and took me to the nearest pint-serving establishment. Sally knows me well.

I was only able to stay for two pints, but that was enough to have a good long chat, introduce ourselves properly and decide that the other was completely delightful. And you have not been hugged until you have been hugged by Sally. The girl gives great hug. Then it was back to the airport and a long late flight home, sleep and preparation for Queen of the Damned. A hell of a week!

ladymisstree • 09:08 PM


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