Monday, May 12, 2008


Saturday was one of those days that make the rest of life worthwhile. It was a day of neat things happening, one after the other, in a cascade of good fortune that stands in stark contrast to the frustration, thwarted plans and stymied activity which characterise the rest of my life.

The day began, as my Saturdays often do, with breakfast at Food For Me. Perhaps it was the rain, or the fact that it was the day before Mother’s Day, but the normally packed café was half empty. I got a big table (large enough to properly spread out my newspaper), my coffee came quicker than normal, and they gave me an extra slice of fruit toast. Sometimes it doesn't take much to make me feel good.

Once I’d finished breakfast I drove into the city, found a parking spot, and walked up through Northbridge to visit the vintage clothing stores. I didn’t find anything I liked, but on my way back to the city I stopped at an antique store, saw this, and realized that my life could not go on without it.

You may ask, “Blandwagon, do you really need a larger-than-life-sized polished aluminum hare that converts into an ice bucket?” And I would reply, as any right thinking person would, “What a dumb-ass question.”

The saleswoman was kind enough to give me a 10% discount, and then just to be even nicer she decided to throw in the other thing I’d seen that I liked.

Everybody needs a Disapproving Bishop, even if he appears to be simply a leftover piece from an expensive but incomplete chess set. He will come in handy as decoration for any part of the house in which I am likely to be in need of stern moral guidance, such as next to the TV, or on top of the fridge, or beside the cement mixer full of warm tofu (don’t ask).

Chuffed with my purchases, I walked over to 78 Records to check out some music I’d heard on the radio. I found an EP by local group The Autumn Isles, and as I was taking it up to the register I decided to browse through the DVD sale bins. And can you say “treasure trove”?

Three of Roger Corman’s 1970s Women in Prison movies! Only ten dollars each! They were all made at the same time, starred the same people, had the same plot and used much of the same sets and dialogue, so frankly I don’t know what, if any, differences exist between them. But I’m looking forward to finding out!

There was also this Corman classic from 1959 for only five bucks.

It’s a classic of beatnixploitation. Trust me on this.

I took all of my goodies back to my car and listened to my new CD as I drove home. The Autumn Isles remind me a lot of The Shins, but there are shades of a lot of other things in there, from T Rex to The Blackeyed Susans. They’re simple, cheerful little tunes that make you want to get up and bounce around the living room. I liked it so much I decided to wander over to another alternative music store later in the afternoon to see if they had the band’s other album.

The other music store did indeed have their other album, so I bought that, along with a further CD that was prominently marked as being a product of The Bees. Since they’re one of my favourite bands I was very excited… for about four seconds, until I realized that it was a compilation of other people’s material chosen by The Bees. But then once I read through the track listing I got excited all over again. It’s a collection of the songs and styles that have influenced their music, and I figured that any friend of The Bees is a friend of mine. Accordingly, there’s a lot of very cool soul and funk from the 60s and 70s, with a splash of the blues, hip hop and gospel. It’s worth the rather outrageous cover price just for Little Ann’s sassy ‘Going Down A One Way Street (The Wrong Way)’ and Clarence Reid’s stomping classic ‘Nobody But You Babe’.

As an added bonus, as I was walking into the store I bumped into some old friends whom I hadn't seen in months, so after we'd made out purchases we adjourned to the nearby Exomod cafe for a restorative coffee and catching up.

So when you add it all up, Saturday gave me a big silver bunny, a sour-faced clergyman, four Roger Corman DVDs and a lot of great music, plus some time to spend in groovy cafes both in the pleasure of my own company and in the pleasure of friends'. If life gets any better than that, nobody's told me about it.


Anonymous Matthew Jarvis said...

I've always known there was something missing in my life. There's been a gnawing, yawning, aching void.
Now at last I know what I've been missing!

A big silver bunny! :-)

10:20 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

I believe Blaise Pascal once said something to similar effect.

2:38 PM  
Blogger TimT said...

Run for your life man! It's a cyberbunny!

10:24 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

So does a cyberbunny go about revealing all of the easter eggs on people's DVDs?

Ha ha!

Oops, the nerd-o-meter in my office just blew up.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Dale Slamma said...

I am scared of the hare. The Hare gave me a scare. I don't usually rhyme.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous TroyG said...

Inasmuch as "classic" usually represents a positive quality, "classic Corman" is a touch oxymoronic. Of course, "positive" is what we connote from "classic", which word actually denotes "a standard, archetype or epitome of any art at any specific time." That's my feeling - I don't have a dictionary with me but I'm pretty sure I got it right: my nerd-o-meter - the deluxe version with horn-rimmed moulding and plaid cover - has evaporated.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Troy, I was using "classic" in its archetypal sense, the same way as it is used in phrases like "a classic murder-suicide" or "displaying all the classic signs of syphillis".

Also GAAAAAAAH! Dale Slamma is a Wendigo!

3:19 PM  
Blogger Dale Slamma said...

That explains everything.

3:44 PM  

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