Monday, July 21, 2014

Park raving mad

Hey! Hop in, let's get this show on the road. I have something terrific to tell you; are you ready? ok, here goes; the other day, while driving my car Rudolph, I did a really good parallel park.

I do a lot of parallel parking, and because Rudolph's a big car I had to get good at it or I'd never find a spot in the city, but this parallel park was parkticularly good, I wish you could've seen it. 

Actually, you can see it, look, I took a picture.
I did the park on the right side of the road, (a.k.a. the wrong side of the road), which feels backwards but means it was very cultured and European. What's more I pulled it off in one simple motion, perfectly leaving my car the perfect distance from the curb and also the perfect distance from the two luxury cars that were now perfectly spaced in front and behind me. It was perfect. 

Now before you tell me to quit going on about a boring park, hear me out, as I think it's justified if only because this is an artist blog and that park was certainly a work of art.

Actually come to think of it maybe what I like about doing a good park is I can pat myself on the back over it and have a happy feeling of pride that I don't really ever let myself experience with my art. It's a pure celebration, a bit like a Matisse painting.

Maybe one day for an exhibition I'll have a piece that just consists of me parking my car really well in front of the gallery. It'll be a performance and I'll do it at some point during the opening. It'll be the best thing I've ever done. Ha, but anyway this is an excellent example as to why I've listed "parallel parking" amongst my skills on my LinkedIn page, right there next to Video Editing and Taxidermy.
On a side note, I have LinkedIn, do you have LinkedIn? Should I delete LinkedIn? I thought having a LinkedIn would make me feel professional but it kind of makes me feel a tiny bit like a kid playing dress ups and pretending to a grown up. Having said that though if you are on LinkedIn though please "connect with me" so I don't feel quite as much like LinkedIn's weakest link.

Another skill I should add to my LinkedIn profile is "Changing flat tyres", here's a photo taken the day after my great parallel park where in the rain I rescued my pal Cherie's car.

There's no real reason to show you this accept that it makes me look like a wheely great guy.
Well actually maybe it doesn't, I did change the tyre but it turned out there was more wrong with the wheel than just that, so we called RACV and they were the wheel heroes. 

I was a little heroic too though, when I noticed everyone was hungry I rescued the group's blood sugar levels by going to the chemist and getting us all Vegie Chips. So maybe there's room in the story for more than one hero.
On a side note, have you ever had Vegie Chips? I hadn't. They're amazing. They're a bit like prawn crackers, except even better, and I didn't think that was possible.

Anyway at 6am the next morning I was heroically driving a friend to the airport when unheroically I was in a car accident. Nobody was hurt, and it wasn't me at fault, and everyone's insured, and my friend made the plane. So everything was fine. But my car was towed and I ended up freezing cold in a car impound somewhere near the airport, sitting by myself in a tea room at a table of mechanics.

As I flipped through a newspaper I landed on a page with an article about Rolf Harris. I really wanted to read it but out of shyness I kept on flipping because I didn't want the mechanics to think I was looking at the big photo of some pretty women that was also on the page.
I then realised how silly it was for me to be worried the mechanics would think I'm looking at a photo of women (that I'm not even looking at) when the people I'm worried would think that are the kind of people who decorate their kitchen with images of girls in bikinis.
(Ha, it's not what it looks like Mr. Mechanic, I wasn't looking at the beautiful women, I was looking at the alleged pedophile I swear. You gotta believe me!)
Despite their questionable calendars and framed posters the mechanics were great guys, and they said it'd take 3 to 5 days before they knew whether or not Rudolph was written off. In the meantime the insurance company gave me a rental car. A silver sedan Toyota Corolla. I didn't think to take a photo but here's an image I found of it on Google.
I didn't feel comfortable in the rental, I was too scared to even drink coffee in it in case I spilled any, let alone eat a sandwich. Plus it felt like Rudolph was in a coma and I should be respectful and not out in other cars.

Poor Rudolph, he's my brother, and he's been a beloved member of this blog since the early days, here's a photo of when he appeared in a post back in March, 2012, when I documented the first time I drove the him to Sydney, (click here for the link to that).
But so yeah, despite 3 to 5 days of successfully convincing myself that they'd fix Rudolph and everything would be ok eventually I was told the very sad news that he had gone to automobiley heaven, and that I needed to use the last week of my rental car to find a new car.

Trying to find a new car sucks, especially when you have to do it in a hurry. I had my Dad helping me though so I'm very fortunate for that. Even still I spent so much dead time looking on the internet and driving for hours to stand with strangers in their driveways and ask questions about their run down cars. It's really disheartening. Plus all I wanted to do was be in the studio, or see friends or go swimming, but instead I spent my whole life in peak hour traffic somewhere in Essendon, driving from one car I wasn't keen on to another and thinking "well I need a car, I'm gonna have to settle on something".

And then a hero came along, with the strength to carry on, and amazingly, I found something really special! No car will ever replace Rudolph. Of course not. Don't be crazy. But I tell you what, if I weren't so sentimental about Rudolph I'd tell you that this new car is even better. It's a little bit like how I thought nothing could improve on prawn crackers but then I tried Vegie chips. Or that episode of The Simpsons where Bart replaces Santas Little Helper with Laddie.

Anyway, let me introduce you to my new car, I think his name is Blitzen, either that or Donna. I'd name it Dasher but that sounds like a car that would run a red light and cleaned up. Either way though that's me sitting on the hood, looking like I'm straight out of the hood, with my cap backwards like Fred Durst and making the F symbol, (F for Fred, and F for Ford).
One of the perks of Blitzen is he has a real antenna, no more coat hanger for me. (Although now I have no idea where I'm supposed to store my jacket while I'm driving).

Another perk is Blitzen came with these stickers.

That's me playing golf, obviously. That's so me. And I already have chooks and a dog. Sure I could take off the other stickers, but I think the smarter thing to do is just hang out in front of the sticker at the petrol until destiny brings me a woman with a golf club and a young girl who lifts weights.
A keen observer to that last photo will have noticed that as well as a new car I also have a new coffee size. It was super, in every sense of the word.
Among the infinite reasons that it's sad to lose Rudolph, one is that I'd just gotten it a new CD player. I bought it myself on last years boxing day sales. In fact that CD player, as well a pair of Collingwood socks, were the only two things I got last year for Christmas.Fortunately I still have the socks.

Speaking of CD's, the CD player in this car came free with a burnt copy of Mumford & Sons second album Babel. So if anyone wants to play frisbee... Ha, no just joking, I'm sure I'll get around to listening to it sons time soon in the next mumf or so.
But ok, enough about cars, it's way past my bed time so I need to wrap this up, before I do though I wanted to quickly mention that this week and last week I've been running ceramic and painting workshops at the VCA high school. I'll talk about it more another time but yeah, I'm so grateful to have been asked to do it, they're a really great bunch of people and I'm really loving working with them.

The main thing this means though is move over drivers license, because I've got a new ID to get me into the clubs. 
As an experiment I tried to use the ID to get into the Irish bar at Knox last night and sadly they would not accept it.
Oh and hey the last thing I'll say tonight is that I'm going to be in Perth for a few days next week, (the hometown of Rolf Harris, someone who has certainly been revoked of his working with children license), and so if you're in Perth around then send me an email and let's get a coffee. We can get it anywhere you like, it doesn't even have to be from 7-11!

But ok, thanks heaps for reading, be safe on them roads, see you soon, and to nicely bookend this blogpost my pal Cherie got another flat tyre last night, fortunately this time it was just the tyre, and I got to be a hero after all. No RACV or Vegie Chips were required.
When you have a car accident, or any kind of accident, it can be enough to drive you crazy, but if I've learnt one thing from all this it's that sometimes the only way to deal with things is to parallel park your cap on backwards and take some advice from your main man Fred Durst, and just keep rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin' what? keep rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin' yeah. 
In loving memory of Rudolph. 2000-2014.


  1. Howdy... so I knew about the airport crash (describing it like that seems inappropriate this week) but I didn’t know it was Rudolph. He had a name. I know understand how much worse it really was. Sad to hear Rudolph is gone; but hopefully he was a donor and in the future you may recognise that coat hanger on another model.
    I studied your parking with scepticism. I think you are reaching to describe it as art. Art or science.... I think science. Parking; perfect parking is physics (or some other type of science I do not understand). These new Japanese (and European) cars can do it all by themselves. But like Frank said, I guess there is something nice about being able to say “I did it my way”.
    I have LinkedIn... I say forget it. It serves no practical purpose and causes connection envy. Nothing good has ever come to me from that site, except perhaps the odd message from people who are LinkedIn contacts and not other contacts. But that connection market is already crowded. You do not need LinkedIn.
    I smiled, a lot, when you couldn’t look at the women in the newspaper. Wait, you were looking at Rolf. I forgot. How is it that you can stare at people in a train for ages but can’t have a page open on an alluring picture? I guess you must have your artist uniform on in train which authorises all sorts of privileges.
    Blitzen is big. Why do you need such a big car? Fingers crossed that Blitzen isn’t blitzed in the same way Rudolph was.
    Is Blitzen going to Perth? Why Perth. That is such a long way.
    Work is boring this week for me. Actually work isn’t boring; there isn’t so much of it. So I’m in two minds about commenting on your blog now. Hopefully there is more work later in the week otherwise I will have to Google “blogs” and comment on some other blog.

    1. Hi Paul, you now officially hold the Heavyweight Title for this blogs longest comment. This title is very prestigious and sought after which makes me all the more honoured to award it to a person who begins their correspondence with "Howdy". I feel a bit like I'm talking to Woody from Toy Story, which gives me a real Buzz.
      First off, ha, yeah I agree, "airport crash" is definitely not the way to describe it. That's a little bit like how on September 11 a couple of years ago I had a jar of paint that I'd mixed up and was really happy with in my backpack, and then while I was skateboarding to uni the lid came off and my bag and my paint were ruined. I was pretty devastated, and so that was a tragedy that happened on September 11, but I wouldn't dare call it a September 11 tragedy. I'm not even sure if I can even technically call it a tragedy, given it was my own dumb mistake.
      Rudolph's soul will live on, but I'm pretty sure his body will be scrapped and squashed into hundreds of other scrapped cars, and then pressed into sheets and then sold to China. Google tells me that's how it works. And you're absolutely right, the same way that we are all made up of star dust, cans of Sprite and cheap souvineers may now be made of Rudolph.
      I had a good laugh at your skepticism in me calling my parking an art, but in your defence you haven't seen me park.
      I need a big car like Blitzen to overcompensate the smaller areas in my life. Ha, no, really I need a big car so I can make big art. Also so if I see things in hard rubbish I can pick them up.
      Blitz didn't come to Perth, he went to the airport and then I told him I'd take it from there. I did drive him to Port Fairy and back though, so we spent about 9 hours of quality time together there.
      Thanks so much for the comment, (I especially liked how you referred to Fred Durst as Frank), hope work gets more exciting for you, but not too much more exciting as I really hope to hear back from you again sometime soon.

  2. OK.... so I did the same thing as last time. After typing the comment I clicked PREVIEW. Do not ever ever ever click PREVIEW. It causes everything you typed to be lost in some computer, somewhere. But because I took advice, I saved my comment and was able to paste it back and go right to publish. THANKS