mr. zilla goes to town

Wednesday, November 26, 2003


Ohio is flat. Hours of flat. Zillions of pounds of flat around the waist of the US. Flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! I'm not sure how the rivers find a downhill to flow to. Probably explains the whole great lakes thing...

Michigan: also, flat.

Friday, November 21, 2003

When Penguins Attack

I am filled with a deep and great joy to see that Berkeley Breathed is getting back in the harness, if only weekly.

His whimsically personal and surreal expositions on Reagan era politics captured me completely at a young age. It all made such sense to me, even as a child, that the 1984 Meadow Party (ie Democratic) Presidential Candidate was Bill, a furball-spitting, tongue-twanging, and often dead cat, supported ably by his VP nominee - a bow-tied, tuba-playing, often mystified, occasionally mistaken for Michael Jackson, stubby penguin named Opus.

Oliver Wendell Holmes... Milo... Milo's anxiety closet... Portnoy the hamster... Steve Dallas... Binkley... Rosebud the SDI-deployable orbital Basselope... what a cast. I wonder if they all feel like the Star Trek crew when they returned from nowhere for another series. (Or was it the movie?)

It is certainly going to change buying each Sunday's 12-lb Washington Post from occasional to anticipated.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

That was a surprise

Dang, just this morning I'm posting in the coffee shop and then I get to work to discover Gra is up and blogging. And through one of his posts I find out second hand that Jar is off and running as well...

Sure there are about a billion other blogs but I'll humbly take the credit for this, just to see if it gets any pissy responses in my comments. Welcome aboard chaps! Now lets incestuously reference each other's diatribes (or not) and speculate upon who will be next...


People say there's no real difference between the USA and Australia these days. We watch a lot of the same TV shows, we fight in the same wars. Our middle class white teenagers share the same aspirations to wear saggy-baggy-elephant pants that -- were it not for gbangers or boxers -- would show enough crack to put a plumber to shame. (Damnit kids, in the ghettos they're smoking crack, not showing it off).

I take exception. For example. Here the morning cafe paradigm is self-service. Line up, make your own trip to the counters, quiverngly accept your ration of coffee, fall into a seat, read the newspaper. It's not so easy to manage some days. I just don't feel as nurtured in my environment, I'm nostalgic for the world of Gus's and Tosolinis.

On the other hand, at the other end of the day, there's not a bar or pub in town where you won't receive insistent and compulsory table service. Back home you'll always be somewhere up the back in a three deep scrum for the bar.

What does this say about us? Uncharitably, that seppos can't hold their ale and to stay seated while its brought to them? It's a dangerous practice -- at least with semi-regular trips to the bar you're getting some calibration of how far down the stairs to the keg cellar you've stumbled. Have a couple and a couple more and a couple more as a kind waitress keeps popping by and you can be in for a rude shock when it comes time to leave. But does it also imply that Americans get out of bed with a spring in their step, ready to run the world, and so uncoddled they take their daily dose on their own two feet? Is it aussie cultural cringe that leaves us melted, mewling, just wishing that the banging noises in our head would stop and I could find the happy quiet place of contemplation on an autumn morning over a steaming long black?

Probably not. It could just be that no one, anywhere in the world, is either inclined or capable of working out a 15% tip before 8am. It's much easier just to sack the waitress.

mzgtw, eye to the magifying glass, inches from the pavement, bringing you all the crucial cultural analysis, as usual.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

The seven-month itch

Last week I was doing some shopping after work and was standing in the middle of Connecticut Avenue when a motorcade, errr, motored right by in front of me.

I can't say I'm 100% sure it was his, but I'm not sure who else would travel about Washington in a convoy of 8 police cycles, 3 Metro Police cruisers, half a dozen blacked out Chevy Suburbans a communications van and a couple of armoured limosines.

Right about this time it becomes apparent that I'm standing on one of the air vent grates for the Farragut North metro station which is somewhere underground below me.

In the twilight as the disco sirens roar past, a rush of warm air reaches up and whaps my dangling tie onto my face.

I've been waiting by the phone but the bastard still hasn't called.