At lunchtime I feel the inclination to visit the stationery store. For pens. And plastic folders. I love stationery stores. So crisp and ordered and soothing. I choose my pen (and plastic folders-- such an emmense variety!) and wait at the counter.
The owner is deep in conversation with a supplier. He is explaining about all the different types of marker pens.
"These ones are permanent" he says, and emphasises permament.
"Permanent?" says the supplier, obligingly.
"Yes. It's what the kids use to, aah, decorate the walls."
There is nothing judgemental about the way he says this. It's almost admiring.
"They mix it with this stuff to make it even more permanent."
"This." The store owner reaches up for a bottle and then looks furtively at me. Should I be offended? Do I look like a young grafitti artist? Have I accidentally worn a baseball cap today? His voice becomes lower.
"It's an acetate. They mix it up with the pen ink and then it actually etches into the wall making it almost impossible to remove."
Again, he sounds astonished at the ingenuity of the young.
I look down at the pen I am buying. It is the thinnest pen you can buy. Point 01. My favourite.
Now, sitting at my desk, I wish I'd asked for a bottle of that acetate stuff. I wish I'd looked at them both and explained that while most grafitti artists choose to work big I was a different type. One who preferred small, almost indestinguishable grafitti. Like the Persian miniaturist of grafitti artists. But, I should have also explained, just because I worked small didn't mean that I wanted my words to be any less permanent.
So hand over the acetate.
Back on Smith St I pass for the second time today the guy who wears the kilt, the fire boots and the black t-shirt that says "Freak."
A couple of weather-beaten guys pass him, too, and yell out "What's under your kilt?" over and over.
As they pass me one says to the other
"Ah, you've got to laugh, don't you?" and takes a swig.
Ants, Brains, Cities Weird that Jill has linked to Steven Johnson (it's a good quote, too, especially as I'm back in proposal mode. Draft one done, astoundingly enough. Draft two on the way). I've just been thinking how I need to have another crack at reading Emergence (particularly because he mentions ants in the title.) Last time it was due back before I finished it.
But since the Frontier Librarians are safely back in Melbourne, my book borrowing wonderland has returned.
Ticketstubs Stories connected with old tickets. Hmmm. I like the idea (but perhaps this is because I always have a ridiculous amount of ticket stubs in my wallet). And I like the site's group contribution aspect.
Excessive I think I may have already exceeded my allotted storage space on blogspot, which is a bit of a concern as I've only been using it for a couple of months.(I think this because I couldn't get anything to publish yesterday until I removed some images this morning.)
I may have to move the glean images elsewhere. And go back to putting the questioning ant series on the RMIT server.
Against the odds, the pigeon couple who set up a home in our kitchen last month have actually started using the nesting box Thieu made them. When I say "nesting box" I mean, of course, the Lindeman's wine box that we tied with my kite string to the kitchen window. My only concern now is that the stupid creatures are trying to hatch the old eggs, which would definitely not have survived the weeks of coldness before their parents realised where they were.
At least it's stopped them from sitting on the bathroom window cill and cooing in that alarming, echoey manner.
I'm probably the only person who hasn't heard about this internet art project (it seems fairly well established). Man (John Freyer) decides to sell everything he owns on ebay and then, where it's possible, go and visit the thing with it's new owner. I saw the book version in Metropolis yesterday.
Found a book yesterday:Marginalia by H.J Jackson. It appeals to me because the concept of writing in the borders of a book reminds me of the commenting system of weblogs. The difference is, of course, that the weblog author is encouraging this process. I did a bit of Googling about the book and it's had some mixed reviews, with some people feeling that it's a little dry and disorganised, but I think I'll read it anyway. Maybe one for the Frontier Librarians to track down.