#1 – 22 September 2014
I remember a time when I was not conscious of the beating of my heart: that time is always two weeks after a fainting spell until the moment immediately before another.
#2 – 23 September 2014
I remember hiring two men, rugged, to mow the front and back lawn of my new home. They were aware of things about which I knew nothing – plants, weeds, gardening. I felt that their skills were useful, true and practical, and that my own have little use outside my head or an office. And who will mourn a person whose primary skill is typing?
#3 – 24 September 2014
I remember weeks where I would go to sleep wondering if I would wake up, or if I would die, and I hated my heart and its unpredictability, and my own inability to help, or fix, what was wrong. And then months and months would go by and I would not remember any of the above until, of course, immediately before another faint.
#4 – 25 September 2014
I remember the first aeropress coffee I ever made – this morning! – and how the excitement of the new encouraged me to love it even though, in truth, I made it poorly and it tasted merely ordinary.
#5 – 26 September 2014
I remember watching my wife walk down the hallway of our new home wearing a dress she had bought online from a company called Asos, which specialised in low prices and little else. Standing slightly back fro me in order to allow the dim light of the hallway to show her to her advantage, she stepped one foot forward, bit her lower lip, and asked me what I thought.
#6 – 27 September 2014
I remember arriving at a rental home built 30 minutes from anything else, near a granite gorge, and thinking that this would be nice – no computer, no internet, no phone. And then I found the wi-fi password.
#7 – 28 September 2014
I remember seeing men and women, sunburned and lean from work, and knowing that they did more with their hands than I ever would. And yet, the wines they make inspire the art I love.
#8 – 29 September 2014
I remember being full of desire and the sense of possibility, and then I would sit and the hours would speed up and trickle by as I slayed demons, conquered cities, and explored mazes. Useless.
#9 – 30 September 2014
I remember bringing our puppy home, the long, hot car ride and his tentative attempts to make friends with us. When we arrived home he was overwhelmed and shy – just for a little bit.
#10 – 1 October 2014
I remember waking up with the puppy and understanding, just a little, how life changes when you live to the schedule of another.
#11 – 2 October 2014
I remember the decision to delete all of my games, having a shower to reinforce the thoughts, and then not doing so. Or, if I do, to reinstall the next day. This is every two weeks.
#12 – 3 October 2014
I remember waking up with a swollen lymph node, a horrible illness, and wondering whether this, and not my heart, was what would get me.
#13 – 4 October 2014
I remember being so proud of little Captain, and wanting to show him off to the world. And then I understood parents and their babies, and parents and their pets, and I felt bad for not properly empathising.
#14 – 5 October 2014
I remember when I knew I truly loved my wife. I used to, while showering, ask myself, “Do I love her?”, and then answer, “Yes, of course”. Over and over in my mind. When I truly loved her the questions stopped and never needed to be asked again, and I don’t even remember when that was, exactly.
#15 – 6 October 2014
I remember chicken-flavoured things, and how non-chicken flavoured they tasted.
#16 – 7 October 2014
I remember loving Roth, Updike, Bellow. Now, only Bellow.
#17 – 8 October 2014
I remember the excitement of fast food, the anticipation of delicious grease, fat, salt. And the first mouthful is wonderful. And the second is okay. And the third is horrible. And I know it, and I know it, and I know it. And yet I still do it. This kind of thinking applies to everything bad that I do.
#18 – 9 October 2014
I remember waking up today and, for the first time in a week, feeling that the lump in my neck was smaller and that perhaps it really was just an infection and not something horrible. My head knew this, of course, but my heart – well, my heart worries, and I have so much I want to do, and I have done hardly any of it.
#19 – 10 October 2014
I remember having an ultrasound to check a lump in my neck, and seeing into the lump through the screen, and seeing that it was nothing at all, just an infection. And my feeling? A hollowness. Not pleased. Certainly not disappointed. But not pleased. Hollow.
#20 – 11 October 2014
I remember the ease of a first draft, when the pen glides across the page, and the horror of the second, when the words and sentences seem solid and impossible to change, and the reflection of it all seems jagged and terrible.
#21 – 12 October 2014
I remember the “click” of music that reinforced the tasks I wished to achieve. Olafur Arnalds is embedded in my mind now as the artist who helps me write these “I Remembers”, and also the Fragments.
#22 – 13 October 2014
I remember finishing the antibiotics and then, the next day, wanting to throw up in the morning. Just as a cleanser.
#23 – 14 October 2014
I remember dreams, sleeping through vivid plains of memory, unsure during the day what was real and what was not.
#24 – 15 October 2014
I remember the night before, listening to old songs, not sad songs, and drinking, and it was fine. Time moves forward, I suppose, and I am not sad about that, either. Why was I, then, in my twenties?
#25 – 16 October 2014
I remember receiving a letter from my doctor stating matters were not urgent but contained important implications regarding my health, and then knowing I was destined to sleep poorly that night.
#26 – 17 October 2014
I remember watching the doctor rip up the letter, and not caring about what it said. The cold terminology of bureaucracy. And the night was sleepless.
#27 – 18 October 2014
I remember calimochos, excitement, anticipation, the expansion of possibility space, the stupor, the tiredness, the dullness.
#28 – 19 October 2014
I remember reuniting with an old friend and finding things very awkward for, oh, the first five minutes, but then it was fine. I worry for nothing about old relationships.
#29 – 20 October 2014
I remember a dead tree just outside my balcony bursting suddenly into life – our first Spring in the new house – a Jacaranda!
#30 – 21 October 2014
I remember drinking red wine and soft drink and waking up dried out the next morning. No good for writing, no good for reading.
#31 – 22 October 2014
I remember Stephanie (2).
#32 – 23 October 2014
I remember pulling weeds from an ill-kept garden bed, shaking the uprooted plant and watching the dry earth shower down. It calms me. Why? A childhood folly? I remember doing that a lot when I was young.
#33 – 24 October 2014
I remember Olafur Arnalds, and how his music became the music of what I remember.
#34 – 25 October 2014
I remember pain, back pain, and starting to seriously consider my posture.
#35 – 26 October 2014
I remember seeing Captain in the water, excited but frightened.
#36 – 27 October 2014
I remember looking at my last “Dr Rasputin” section and realising with horror that almost one week had passed without any work on it. This is how books are lost before they are written.
#37 – 28 October 2014
I remember downloads, games, distracting toys to assist with achieving goals. Never worked.
#38 – 29 October 2014
I remember cotton mouths, dry faces, wrung out heads, queasy stomachs. So many mornings.
#39 – 30 October 2014
I remember sleeping the sleep of the clear-headed and deeply appreciating it.
#40 – 31 October 2014
I remember sleeping poorly, sore neck, sore back, and thinking: age? No, wine.
#41 – 1 November 2014
I remember Captain in the morning, happy to see me but not as happy as normal, and how much that affected me. I had become accustomed to the delirious over-excitement of the puppy, and he was growing older.
#42 – 2 November 2014
I remember salsa verde – green sauce – and how wonderful it is to make, and smell, and eat.
#43 – 3 November 2014
I remember Videotape and Last Flowers to the Hospital, two songs which made me very sad – and I hadn’t been made to feel sadness from music in a very long time.
#44 – 4 November 2014
I remember waking in the middle of the night and my bones were tired, my skin was tired, my joints and eyelids were tired.
#45 – 5 November 2014
I remember hearing about my father’s friend Des, and his cancers, and I thought that perhaps Dad’s suffering had been too great over the years.
#46 – 6 November 2014
I remember sleeping poorly due to work expectations, dreaming of work, becoming confused as to whether the dreams were real or not.
#47 – 7 November 2014
I remember walking around the office, staring at people I knew were about to lose their job, and being unable to tell them.
#48 – 8 November 2014
I remember early walks, a proud dog, thinking how nice it is that my life has come to this, and how that makes me older, and that’s fine.
#49 – 9 November 2014
I remember talking with a young girl, 20 or 21, and being frustrated with the vagueness of her ambition, which amounted to waiting to become successful in an esoteric field with very little effort. And I remember myself at that age.
#50 – 10 November 2014
I remember deleting all of my games and then, two days later, reinstalling and buying more.
#51 – 11 November 2014
I remember reading Proust, Borges, Kafka, while listening to Do Make Say Think and A Silver Mount Zion, and from there I recalled my early twenties without any real effort.
#52 – 12 November 2014
I remember the feeling in the office as people were made redundant, and the tension that we could all feel. I wasn’t to blame, I didn’t make any decisions, but I still felt responsible because I knew.
#53 – 13 November 2014
I remember when Des called, and referred to himself as “Uncle Des”, and in truth I hardly knew him, but what a jolly soul he proved later to be.
#54 – 14 November 2014
I remember hard work culminating in a job well done, and feeling satisfaction with that. An odd feeling for me to have at work. Normally I have that feeling elsewhere.
#55 – 15 November 2014
I remember the joy of three days stretched ahead without work.
#56 – 16 November 2014
I remember the police at the G20. The barricades. The helicopters. The cavalcades through the busway. The obstructed streets. I didn’t like it.
#57 – 17 November 2014
I remember regretting the waste of the three day weekend. Too hot.
#58 – 18 November 2014
I remember how easy it is, to just get up and write.
#59 – 19 November 2014
I remember seeing an old man run past the house each morning, his arms flailing, undisciplined, yet he had the discipline to do it every day.
#60 – 20 November 2014
I remember the red busses of the Free Loop in Brisbane, and how their loops took you to the garden, the casino, the shops, and how, five years earlier, they were more frequent.
#61 – 21 November 2014
I remember storm season, black clouds sprung from nowhere, hail. So long ago (I was a child when they last occurred with any regularity), and here they are again.
#62 – 22 November 2014
I remember the cheerful, pleased tone of the washing machine as it completed a cycle. For whatever reason, my machine plays a vibrant tune that last perhaps 35 – 45 seconds.
#63 – 23 November 2014
I remember seeing an old man each morning. He runs. Poorly, but he does it.
#64 – 24 November 2014
I remember Captain being afraid of boxes, containers, and rolls of aluminium foil, to the point where he would leave the house, sit outside and watch, alert, as the containers did – nothing.
#65 – 25 November 2014
I remember caring about interest rates.
#66 – 26 November 2014
I remember Rolf Harris and Bill Cosby and wondering, why? What was the point of it all?
#67 – 27 November 2014
I remember Luis, and how he loved his son, and how angry he would become with him. And now when I look at my calendar I realise it was close to two and a half years ago that we spoke at all.
#68 – 28 November 2014
I remember hail, big as my fist, in piles in gardens, by walls and poles, and leading into doorways. And tiny Captain’s reaction when we arrived home and he had been alone, and wet, and without shelter.
#69 – 29 November 2014
I remember white jackets and yellow flowers.
#70 – 30 November 2014
I remember waking up in the morning and blinking away the bleariness when checking my phone. It slowly came into view.
#71 – 1 December 2014
I remember thunderous Brisbane storms, and hail, and ice. Piles of hail, broken car windows, missing roofs.
#72 – 2 December 2014
I remember watching people leave work while it was raining. Some people were angry, others visibly inconvenienced. A few wait, and smoke, and watch the rain. One or two people take the time to splash in the water, and jump.
#73 – 3 December 2014
I remember becoming accustomed to wearing a watch again, and catching myself glancing at my arm irrespective of whether it was there or not.
#74 – 4 December 2014
I remember Crossy Road.
#75 – 5 December 2014
I remember shivering when reading Kadare.
#76 – 6 December 2014
I remember that time in my life when “I love reading Roth” or “I admire Roth’s work” shifted from Philip to Joseph. Irreversible? I suspect so.
#77 – 7 December 2014
I remember wearing, from 15 – 17, these horrific, bright splashes of parachute pants. Leery doesn’t begin to describe it. And after that, six months of all black. And then normal, I suppose.
#78 – 8 December 2014
I remember the day Captain decided that where we wanted him to sleep was not where he wanted to spend the night. Autonomy.
#79 – 9 December 2014
I remember becoming accustomed to the switched place of the headphone jack on the iPhone 5.
#80 – 10 December 2014
I remember sitting on an enormous tire – taller than I was – when I was about sixteen, drinking cider from a bottle, and thinking that all of this made me an adult.
#81 – 11 December 2014
I remember a month where every morning we would wake up to two wineglasses on the table. That was this month. And last month.
#82 – 12 December 2014
I remember Graham’s last day.
#83 – 13 December 2014
I remember seeing my sister’s cat after six months and treating him like a dog. I was disappointed to find that he didn’t respond or act like one. And yet, I remembered that he did.
#84 – 14 December 2014
I remember a girl with avocados tattooed on the backs of her legs. One leg, an avocado without the stone, and the other, with. They were life-sized, and when asked why she had them, she said she liked avocados.
#85 – 15 December 2014
I remember truffle oil, and the wild fluctuations of my opinion about its taste.
#86 – 16 December 2014
I remember when night-time writing was a possibility. It seems now that it isn’t. And I like that.
#87 – 17 December 2014
I remember Carlos Fuentes.
#88 – 18 December 2014
I remember those small, dark green weeds that closed up their leaves when they were touched. But I don’t remember what they are called, and I don’t think I have seen any since I was a child.
#89 – 19 December 2014
I remember Hrabal and Kundera, and my months-long obsession with Czech literature. And I remember Havel.
#90 – 20 December 2014
I remember neck pains and seriously considering massagers, chiro, death, etc.
#91 – 21 December 2014
I remember receiving Christmas cards from lovely people and failing, again, to do my own for others. Why? I knew they were coming.
#92 – 22 December 2014
I remember Captain’s folded back ears.
#93 – 23 December 2014
I remember the soul-grinding sense of dissatisfaction at certain hobbies (games! the internet!), and yet turning to them, day after day after day.
#94 – 24 December 2014
I remember Peace be with you, and Fiona’s reaction to taking Communion.
#95 – 25 December 2014
I remember waking up in an unfamiliar bed, with a pillow that isn’t mine. I hate that. For some reason I need my certain, very specific pillow.
#96 – 26 December 2014
I remember my father’s friend, Ralph, who has become eccentric and excessively politicised during his unemployed isolation.
#97 – 27 December 2014
I remember playing Bohnanza and Hanabi with Anna’s friends, Jill and Devin.
#98 – 28 December 2014
I remember a young man, Thomas, an electrician, who told me quite seriously that he had bought an apartment by the ocean because his newborn daughter’s star sign and horoscope were such that her rough edges would be smoothed out by being near to water.
#99 – 29 December 2014
I remember we call electricians sparkies, carpenters chippies, and bricklayers brickies.
#100 – 30 December 2014
I remember another plane disappearing, and the realisation that technology is not a panacea for all things related to tracking, information, security. We can still get lost. What a relief.
#101 – 31 December 2014
I remember 2014 – my marriage. My job. Buying a house. Getting Captain. Becoming financially secure. Not reading enough. Writing a lot, but not enough. Never enough.
#102 – 1 January 2015
I remember resolutions. To write more. To read more. Less games. Less drinking. Less internet. Eating at the table.
#103 – 2 January 2015
I remember José Saramago.
#104 – 3 January 2015
I remember the couple who live next door. The woman, constantly washing dishes. And then man? Well, every few hours a car pulls up, he walks down to see them, leans in to the front window, a minute passes, he stands up, he walks back to the house, the car drives away.
#105 – 4 January 2015
I remember passing an Indian man who was working a leaf blower in a carpark. He seemed cheerful enough, and was singing along to whatever was on his headphones. It was very hot, and the car park would have made it worse. But he sang loud and clear and, I thought, joyously. I wanted – why? – to tell him that the carpark looked very clean and that he was doing a good job, but I didn’t.
#106 – 5 January 2015
I remember the return of fever, aches, tiredness, nausea, vomiting. The way I would exhale with a loud burst of air and, very often, say, oh, God, without really realising.
#107 – 6 January 2015
I remember going to the doctor and being reassured that nothing was wrong. And then, on the way home, three missed calls – a mistake, on second thoughts, you should really go and have another test, just to be sure.
#108 – 7 January 2015
I remember having an extremely good night’s sleep, and upon awakening remembering the dreams I had had: of babies, of tortoises, of monkeys climbing on vines.
#109 – 8 January 2015
I remember when 12 people were shot dead in Paris, ostensibly for publishing religiously offensive cartoons. I also remember the Facebook feeds where people expressed solidarity with – what? They knew nothing of this magazine yesterday.
#110 – 9 January 2015
I remember that Boko Haram killed 2,000 people in Nigeria.
#111 – 10 January 2015
I remember Joseph Roth, Erich Maria Remarque, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Peter Handke.
#112 – 11 January 2015
I remember the letters sent between Mann and Hesse. Polite, gracious, elegant, effusive at times, restrained at others. Comrades in writing, and the success of one seemed to little affect their friendship other than to inspire praise and encouragement.
#113 – 12 January 2015
I remember holding still while the local anaesthetic went in, and then feeling – somewhat – the other needles. Too many of them, more than expected. But the results, I am assured, are, or will be, good. And all through this, in my mind, a song about churches and praying runs through my head, and I am not a religious man.
#114 – 13 January 2015
I remember the third glass.
#115 – 14 January 2015
I remember good news about me. And terrible news about my father’s friend.
#116 – 15 January 2015
I remember Houellebecq. I also remember that for a while a few years ago, it was thought that he was missing. It seemed fitting, somehow, for the kind of writer that he is. He wasn’t missing.
#117 – 16 January 2015
I remember hearing about my father, crying, holding my sister, and saying to her that he couldn’t understand why everyone he loved had to die.
#118 – 17 January 2015
I remember talking with Des and “Bob” (his newly installed catheter bag), and learning about his life. I don’t know why he chose me, but perhaps he needed to pick someone who he thought might remember, so that when he died he wasn’t yet entirely gone.
#119 – 18 January 2015
I remember Captain barking and then racing up the driveway, ready to be chased. But nobody did. And so he would come down and do it all again.
#120 – 19 January 2015
I remember the heat was of 18-19 January, clothes sticky, skin sticky, too hot to wear a watch, too hot to wear a wedding ring.
#121 – 20 January 2015
I remember the bookfest, an opportunity to buy potentially hundreds of second hand books. And I would always finish the day by buying at least one trashy book from my youth.
#122 – 21 January 2015
I remember my wife needing to strain stock into a bowl. Pot ready, strainer ready, she poured it all right down the sink. Kept the aromatics, though. And we laughed.
#123 – 22 January 2015
I remember attending a meeting where I was asked about budgets and costs. They said it would be $20-30,000, and I said that was fine. Responsibility.
#124 – 23 January 2015
I remember avoiding going to work until very late, I don’t know why, and then receiving a call – my wife, in a car accident, in hospital, she needs me immediately. Not badly hurt, but she needs me. How did I know?
#125 – 24 January 2015
I remember the taxi driver, a Pakistani recently arrived in Australia, handing me the change for the taxi, looking me in the eye and telling me that he hoped my wife would be okay. A touching experience.
#126 – 25 January 2015
I remember non-alcoholic beer. It’s not too bad! It’s never the money that is an issue, just the next morning. A solution?
#127 – 26 January 2015
I remember ‘straya, a bogan term that has been co-opted by the culture at large and embraced as an icon of what it means to be a “true Australian”.
#128 – 27 January 2015
I remember Hero Rotations.
#129 – 28 January 2015
I remember making a curry, eating and the curry, and then thinking that it tasted not like curry at all, but stew.
#130 – 29 January 2015
I remember waking up to Captain’s barking in the middle of the night, and seeing him foaming at the mouth. Toad poisoning.
#131 – 30 January 2015
I remember Splendour in the Grass, 2004, or 2005, or 2006, not sure, when I saw the Fergusons, a tiny Western Australia band with a great sing-along chorus to their only single (as far as I know). They played, hardly anyone cared, hardly anyone was there, and for the final chorus all of the band members put down their instruments and walked up to the microphone. No bass, no drums, no guitar, just a group of very young, very nervous men singing their chorus. Glorious. (and for reference: the song)
#132 – 31 January 2015
I remember voting at the State election. One of the Greens supporters joked about needing to cut down all the trees. I still voted for them.
#133 – 1 February 2015
I remember doing nothing – nothing! – all day but reading. I ate, I read, and no more. It was glorious.
#134 – 2 February 2015
I remember Solzhenitsyn and Levi. I enjoy their works but virtually never feel inspired to read them.
#135 – 3 February 2015
I remember getting back into fantasy reading for a while, but as always I become frustrated with all of the plot, and those silly names.
#136 – 4 February 2015
I remember having a $1 coffee from 7-11 every morning. Every morning.
#137 – 5 February 2015
I remember the first time I read Gravity’s Rainbow. The skies were grey and it was cold, and I listened to A Silver Mount Zion. It was late Autumn. I’d never read anything like it. I was twenty-three.
#138 – 6 February 2015
I remember ice cream trucks. As a child they seemed to come around all of the time, and now I never hear them. Have they diminished in numbers or is my perception of time clearer?
#139 – 7 February 2015
I remember days when I would go to work without agency, without responsibility, without the ability to make decisions. And they were nice days. But not, it’s true, as nice as now.
#140 – 8 February 2015
I remember the enormous pile of books I had to read during 2012-13. Well over a thousand, and so many I didn’t ever want to pick up. Donating 600 of them cleared my mind and released that weight. As of today’s date the book count is higher than it was, then, but I believe now that I own better unread books. We’ll see.
#141 – 9 February 2015
I remember how much joy I received from cutting grass using hand clippers. It’s an immense task to cut an entire lawn like that, but satisfying.
#142 – 10 February 2015
I remember being caught up in an enormous street protest against unemployment and the government’s inactivity in Madrid, in 2012.
#143 – 11 February 2015
I remember learning about what would happen to Navin.
#144 – 12 February 2015
I remember Enrique Vila-Matas and Montano’s Malady. To go back to that after reading fantasy genre fiction was a revelation.
#145 – 13 February 2015
I remember the day we packed up the entire office. Unbelievable to think that it could occur at all.
#146 – 14 February 2015
I remember Taro’s Ramen, in the city. And how I would always order too much.
#147 – 15 February 2015
I remember tomato juice. Why do I forget the things that I love so much?
#148 – 16 February 2015
I remember Hispabooks, and ordering everything they had published up to today. A joy for them, I am sure, but what a boon for me!
#149 – 17 February 2015
I remember all of the time I have wasted doing useless things. I read about Oliver Sacks, who has terminal cancer. He writes that no longer will he watch the new or worry about world events, because with the limited time he has left he wants to focus on productive work. I, too, have limited time – but it is too abstracted as I am not actually sick or unwell. And so I waste time.
#150 – 18 February 2015
I remember brandy, milk, honey, allspice. Thanks, Eloise.
#151 – 19 February 2015
I remember killing a stick insect and then feeling bad about it for days.
#152 – 20 February 2015
I remember flying home from Spain in 2012. I flew Madrid – Helsinki – Singapore – Brisbane. The Singapore to Brisbane flight was the best I had ever been on. I am not a patriotic person, but I was so happy when the plane was flying over Australia because I was relieved that, if I were to die in a crash, it would be on Australian soil.
#153 – 21 February 2015
I remember that what I miss most about Anna when she is going are her sleepy responses to my inane questions at night.
#154 – 22 February 2015
I remember holding a toy in my hand, reading to throw. Captain, tense, watching me as I finally threw the toy, and then he would chase after it. He loved it. He taught himself.
#155 – 23 February 2015
I remember watching prison documentaries for hours. Cooking, gangs, drugs, daily life, honour codes. Fascinating. Why? I suppose because it’s so foreign. I suppose because it indicates what happens when you fall off the precipice.
#156 – 24 February 2015
I remember how much I love waking up early. I remember how much I love staying up late. Both charge my mind and invigorate my sense of what is possible. But it is the middle bit that I cannot stand.
#157 – 25 February 2015
I remember tonkotsu ramen at Taro’s in the Brisbane CBD, on Adelaide Street, underneath the Boeing building.
#158 – 26 February 2015
I remember Bach’s cello suites. The first time I heard Air on the G string, I almost couldn’t believe my ears. I fell asleep that night with headphones in my ears, the song on repeat, tapping along with my fingers underneath my pillow.
#159 – 27 February 2015
I remember the way Captain liked to roll on his back and rub his face against the carpet in order to properly arrange the hair on his face.
#160 – 28 February 2015
I remember playing a game as a child where we would place our foreheads on the carpet and zoom forward as fast as we could, relishing the burning feeling against our skin. Of course, we burned ourselves.
#161 – 1 March 2015
I remember finishing a page of writing and tearing the perforated end of the sheet off. I like to keep the edge of the perforated sheet in little scrunched up balls on my bookshelves until they accumulate into a large pile, and then I throw them away.
#162 – 2 March 2015
I remember my Russian friend, Veronika, who I met and knew for a month in Madrid, in 2012. Drunk, her English was quite good because her tongue was loosened and her naturally introverted personality gave way to genial exuberance. She confessed one night that she knew the words, “small” and “little” but had never, before meeting us, known the word “tiny”, and that it was her new favourite word in English.
#163 – 3 March 2015
I remember Last Flower to the Hospital and Videotape, two songs (and the only two songs) which entered into my permanent rotation of meaningful music in 2015.
#164 – 4 March 2015
I remember a birthday in my twenties – my 24th, I think – where I made my long-suffering family listen to songs by A Silver Mount Zion, specifically Hang On to Each Other. My brothers appreciated it, but nobody else.
#165 – 5 March 2015
I remember receiving all of the books that Hispabooks had ever published. I felt an intense vanity for having supported a small publisher of which I am not proud – but I was proud for having bought the books.
#166 – 6 March 2015
I remember the pouchy bosoms, soft and flabby breasts and stomach of my father and his friend as they sat around the outside table having lunch. That will never be me, I say to myself. Of course it will, because it’s only age. But it hasn’t yet, which is nice.
#167 – 7 March 2015
I remember my father telling me, with great emphasis, sincerity and enthusiasm, that he had, even though he disliked needles and hated doctors, taken the time to get all of the shots necessary, and that he was now ready for our babies. But, whenever they come, he said. No rush.
#168 – 8 March 2015
I remember getting back into shares and investments, but this time index funds. No more catastrophic losses or euphoric wins. And if so, who cares.
#169 – 9 March 2015
I remember Dota Today and Dota on Demand.
#170 – 10 March 2015
I remember emailing my dear friend Bogdan Suceavă, with whom I had lost touch with since about 2013. And it was entirely my fault. And when he responded, I dragged my feet. I don’t know why.
#171 – 11 March 2015
I remember the opening sentence to Anthony Burgess‘ Earthly Powers.
#172 – 12 March 2015
I remember VTS, VEU, VHY, VGS.
#173 – 13 March 2015
I remember falling asleep to Staralfur. Every night in my early twenties.
#174 – 14 March 2015
I remember whichever Hottest 100 had “No One Knows” either winning or near the top. I was lying on the tiles on my back, and a girl, whose father had taught me science at high school, had her hands down my pants. She asked me if we were serious, and I said yes, and she didn’t believe me. I didn’t believe me, either.
#175 – 15 March 2015
I remember waving to Stuart on the way home from work. And the day he told us he was riddle with cancer, and could hardly stand and walk – yet he did.
#176 – 16 March 2015
I remember ice cream, mint and sherry, and serving that to guests in a wine glass.
#177 – 17 March 2015
I remember the restaurant, Ortiga, which was on Brunswick street. Once, with a group of friends. Twice with Anna. Once with Gerard. The gem lettuce was the best item on the menu, that or the whole lamb shoulder. When it was served, it was the first time I had seen meat slide directly, cleanly, off the meat with a single stroke of a spoon down the bone.
#178 – 18 March 2015
I remember Daft Souls and Matt Lees.
#179 – 19 March 2015
I remember wrestling with the idea of buying a PlayStation 4 and Bloodborne. But why?
#180 – 20 March 2015
I remember trying science fiction again (specifically the work of Peter F. Hamilton). Didn’t work. Not for me. I suppose I’ll try again in 5 or 10 years.
#181 – 21 March 2015
I remember the first I properly understood the concept and usage behind the Spanish language infinitivo.
#182 – 22 March 2015
I remember a rooftop bar in Alcalá de Henares, and talking with my friend Leah about her husband. There was a dull orange light from the street lamps and the curtained windows along the buildings, the night was quiet, and on the opposite wall across from where we were standing there was an enormous sign, attempting to sell apartments.
#183 – 23 March 2015
I remember the satisfaction of finishing a page of writing, tearing the page away from the exercise books, and then carefully removing the remaining perforated strip. After that, I roll up the strip into a little ball and place it on my bookshelf. The completed page goes on to whatever pile on my desk is most appropriate.
#184 – 24 March 2015
I remember Iron On’s The Safety. And Best or Less. I remember years ago when, drunk, I sang, poorly, to the male lead singer and told him that those two songs were formative songs for me. He smiled. We were the same age.
#185 – 25 March 2015
I remember, in no order, Faria, Phillip, Chris, Mike, Nadia, Eve, CAL, Belinda, Angela, Sue, David, Kim, Alex, Celia, Mark, Laura, Edwina, Rhonda, Ira, Laurie, Kim M, Blake, Heidi, Panashe, Brittney, Joshua, Katy.
#186 – 26 March 2015
I remember being astounded at the tiny paragraph sections with which William T. Vollmann used to break up his enormous novels. I’d never seen anything like it, and The Royal Family was my first proper experience of this. I had a similar experience/revelation with Enrique Vila-Matas several years later.
#187 – 27 March 2015
I remember the day that I felt that if Anna were to die, then I would die, too. Perhaps not my body, but it certainly feels as though my heart would die. How do other people go on after something like that? I suppose because they have to, and because they must, and because there isn’t really any choice attached to it.
#188 – 28 March 2015
I remember becoming obsessed with dividends and yield.
#189 – 29 March 2015
I remember that I have forgotten so many things. So many songs whose melody or lyrics I can faintly, and not properly, recall. So many books. They are all gone, or their echoes are only enough to tease and not help me remember them.
#190 – 30 March 2015
I remember Anna and I eating oysters at Cha Cha Char. And then we left, abruptly, to return to the hotel in order for her to vomit. We had to cancel our steaks, and then we ordered room service.
#191 – 31 March 2015
I remember turning 33. I would make (bad) jokes and say that I compared poorly to Jesus, and that I needed to get my act together. It was a joke, but – I do need to do more.
#192 – 1 April 2015
I remember waking up in hotel rooms: the large windows, looking out over an open sky. The hum of the air conditioning and the slightly stale smell of recycled air. The little packets of toiletries and kitchen conveniences.
#193 – 2 April 2015
I remember the first time I read Saramago. García Márquez. Saul Bellow. John Updike. Robbe-Grillet. All dead now. They weren’t when I read them for the first time. I used to feel envious of people who were alive when, say, Mann or Joyce or Hemingway were alive. And yet, there I was, and of course it didn’t mean a thing.
#194 – 3 April 2015
I remember stealing a small amount of money from my mother’s purse, perhaps as much as fifty cents, but no more. I bought as many little heart-shaped candies as I could afford, and I went to the nearby park and slid them down a slippery dip to a girl who had snatched up my heart. I was so bursting with feeling that I told my mother all about it, and couldn’t understand then why I got in trouble. I suspect I was no younger than four and no older than seven.
#195 – 4 April 2015
I remember the endless admonishments to myself to “get on top” of my reading and writing. I spent more time making reading/writing plans than executing them.
#196 – 5 April 2015
I remember the way Des would say “Blummy” as a catch-all curse word. This from a man who sold drugs and used whatever means necessary to get his money back. But he wouldn’t swear.
#197 – 6 April 2015
I remember the first time I heard Air on G String. Later that night I fell asleep tapping along to it with my fingers underneath my pillows.
#198 – 7 April 2015
I remember the first few days of wearing a wedding ring. I would stop by mirrors and look at my hand.
#199 – 8 April 2015
I remember three teachers from high school: Mr Carson, who had a long ponytail, loved metal, and preferred to consider himself a cool friend over an authority figure; Ms Brooke, who was probably younger than I realised at the time (she married and became pregnant during my high school years, so perhaps 23 – 27?), and whose top I couldn’t help but look down whenever she bent forward; and Mr Duck, who taught chemistry and would become so angry with his students that he would face the blackboard and bang his head against it, railing against our laziness and inability to understand.
#200 – 9 April 2015
I remember when I was old enough to wash my own hair for the first time. My father told me that he had taken that same bottle of shampoo and put a daub of it in his eye to see if it stung. It didn’t, he said, so you can’t be safe using it. I thought for years that his actions were noble and good-hearted, and admired his willingness to put himself in danger of harm for my sake.
#201 – 10 April 2015
I remember the way Captain stretches: First he arches like a cat, and then he extends his body by balancing on the tips of his back legs and pointing his chin up to the roof. He does this every hour or so.
#202 – 11 April 2015
I remember buying a number of Industrie shirts and feeling rather sophisticated and well-dressed. And then a week later I discovered Oxford and their clothing range, and a short while after that I threw away all of the Industrie shirts, and only wear Oxford.
#203 – 12 April 2015
I remember the familiar pattern of browsing new book stores that I kept up between 2012 and 2014 as a method for determining whether the book store was good or not. I would check to see if they had le Clézio, Céline, Goytisolo, Vila-Matas. I never found a shop with three, let alone all four. I still look these days, but I don’t mind so much if my criteria isn’t met.
#204 – 13 April 2015
I remember walking a girl home one night. I was very young. Very nervous. She liked me, I could tell, but I wasn’t sure if I liked her. In her room, she kept sitting in such a way that I could have leaned in and kissed her at any time. I didn’t. I could have. It doesn’t matter now, but I remember that nervous boy, and I’m sorry that she liked him because I just wasn’t ready.
#205 – 14 April 2015
I remember riding my bike to primary school one day and wondering why scientists had never experimented with the plants that grew underneath a road bridge near my home. Perhaps, I reasoned, there could be a cure for cancer nestling within the leaves and seeds. I couldn’t understand why children weren’t more often asked for their thoughts in this matter, and felt very smug on the ride to school.
#206 – 15 April 2015
I remember listening to an old podcast where one of the men speaking died a few months later. It wasn’t sad to hear him talk about a future he wouldn’t experience, but it was eerie because of what I knew (and what he could not know), and at times his comments on the future seemed prophetic. Which makes no sense, but that’s how it felt.
#207 – 16 April 2015
I remember being disappointed in others for not doing what they said they would do, while expecting everyone to understand and sympathise with my own excuses, and congratulate me on the scale of my ambition rather than success.
#208 – 17 April 2015
I remember the joy in Anna’s father’s eyes as he read his birthday card and came to the slow realisation that his daughter Fiona was pregnant, and that he would soon be a grandfather. Better still, all of the others around the room came to the realisation earlier than he did, and the anticipation as the happiness spread across his face was magnificent.
#209 – 18 April 2015
I remember Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Temperamentally I believe I am a Fitzgerald, but I am more drawn to Hemingway’s writing. I could never live my life the way Hemingway portrayed himself, but – sometimes – it seems remarkably attractive.
#210 – 19 April 2015
I remember the day I began to love the books of Enrique Vila-Matas a little less. The catalyst was nothing at all, other than perhaps familiarity.
#211 – 20 April 2015
I remember giving my mother Richard Powers‘ novel, Gain, to read when we learned she had terminal cancer. I thought I was doing the right thing. I really wasn’t.
#212 – 21 April 2015
I remember reading Aura by Carlos Fuentes. It was the first book I had read in second person.
#213 – 22 April 2015
I remember buying a wheel of Camembert cheese as a reward to myself for leaving the house and going food shopping. And then I would eat it on the way home.
#214 – 23 April 2015
I remember the time a very unwell homeless man knocked on my door, wanting money, food, and the opportunity to show me his theories about the moon and the stars. A little while later he had a fit outside on the road and hit his head on the gutter. I started to take a crotched blanket that my grandmother had made out to him, but my brother intervened and we used an old towel instead.
#215 – 24 April 2015
I remember the fonts used for Gravity’s Rainbow, Ulysses, The Sound and the Fury, and The Magic Mountain. Now, those books, and those fonts, reminds me of a true and good period of my literary life, and when I see those fonts in a new book, I am instantly positively disposed toward it.
#216 – 25 April 2015
I remember when I thought I had found my literary homeland – plays. I was reading Miller, Stoppard, Brecht, Ionesco, Friel, Pinter. It was 2009. My mother had died recently, and I suppose I thought I could exorcise my feelings through drama.
#217 – 26 April 2015
I remember reading Arcadia by Tom Stoppard for the first time. And then Travesties. My goodness – a revelation, but after a while I realised that his kind of writing, and plays in general, would never be for me. And I was happy.
#218 – 27 April 2015
I remember those writers whose work I read when I do not wish to be inspired, or excited, or demolished but when I simply need to read the finest and best literature. They offer me a cool glass of water – refreshing, rejuvenating, calming. Wonderful, but they don’t make my heart beat. Coetzee. Auster. Mahfouz. France. Nabokov. Roth (Joseph).
#219 – 28 April 2015
I remember telling a lady at work how I collected silver coins in a great plastic container and didn’t know what to do with them. Her eyes welled up and she said that Peter had done that, too, and now that he wad dead she used the coins for train fares.
#220 – 29 April 2015
I remember hating Christopher Unborn when I first read it. Turned me off Fuentes for years. Recently, reading Myself With Others brought me back.
#221 – 30 April 2015
I remember discussing The Savage Detectives with my brothers while drinking scotch and coke in cans. We stood out on the balcony. Across the road were the bright lights of a local football field. This was in Zillmere.
#222 – 1 May 2015
I remember Merivale Street, Turbot Street, Market Street, Zillmere Road, Roche Ave, Thondley Street, Greenway Street, Landscape Street.
#223 – 2 May 2015
I remember suffering through FBT.
#224 – 3 May 2015
I remember everyone making an arch with their arms and then Anna and I ran underneath them on the way to our wedding car and the hotel.
#225 – 4 May 2015
I remember seeing a dead possum by a power pole on the way to work. And then, two days later, another one, this one a bit bigger. Neither seemed to have died from violence, and both were curled as though in sleep. Over the months, they slowly decomposed and softened into patches of stained fur.
#226 – 5 May 2015
I remember a young many with clear blue eyes and short blonde hair who stopped to pick up a book I had dropped. He was so handsome I think I actually blushed.
#227 – 6 May 2015
I remember ten years ago when I met Anna. I approached my friend at a bar and asked him how he was going, and she answered instead. Simple as that, and now we’re married.
#228 – 7 May 2015
I remember a night a few weeks before I met Anna (~2005). My friend and I saw two girls and, brash, arrogant and hopeless as we were, we decided that these two were the girls we would try to talk with and, with luck, take home. He picked one girl, I the other. Nothing happened – they may have left soon after. The girl I picked was named Claire, though I didn’t know it then. He picked Anna.
#229 – 8 May 2015
I remember those times when I would remember something and, being away from this notepad, those memories would be lost.
#230 – 9 May 2015
I remember swimming at the top of an enormous weir near Maryborough and standing, barefoot and wet, at the concrete lip of the weir watching as the water plunged into the lake below.
#231 – 10 May 2015
I remember a scout event where there was an enormous table filled with stamps. I suppose they were for trading, but it wasn’t clear. I stole hundreds, then told my scout friends that I had traded up from one unique, rare stamp.
#232 – 11 May 2015
I remember buying Kafka’s Stories – a collection of the works published during his lifetime – and reading them at the Queen Street Hungry Jack’s. The introduction was written by a Jorge Luis Borges, about whom I had no idea.
#233 – 12 May 2015
I remember the ‘a-and’ and ‘sez’ of Gravity’s Rainbow, and how it showed me another way.
#234 – 13 May 2015
I remember BNE and Wilston Symmetry.
#235 – 14 May 2015
I remember reading Kundera one winter. Perhaps four or five books spaced closely together. It seemed as though I was immersed in his world view, his way of thinking and seeing human interaction and philosophy. And everywhere there was laughter and irony.
#236 – 15 May 2015
I remember saying to Captain, “Not for you, little boy,” when he had something he wasn’t supposed to have. And then that slowly morphed into me calling him Little Boy as often as Captain.
#237 – 16 May 2015
I remember spending hours each night as a young teenager hunched over my Magic cards, enthralled with the worlds shown and the ideas represented.
#238 – 17 May 2015
I remember playing Might and Magic VI with my friend, Slade, in high school, and thinking about how beautiful the world was. We would stay up until 4, 5, 6 am in the morning playing the game, and now the music is embedded into my brain, and sometimes when I walk around similar landscapes, the music wafts by.
#239 – 18 May 2015
I remember the brief, but intense, obsessions I had for Tavares and Knausgaard, both in 2014, and I am unsure now, in May 2015, if I have read either at all this year, and I wonder if my affection for them has permanently, or only temporarily, faded.
#240 – 19 May 2015
I remember discussing DragonLance and the Wheel of Time with my friend, David, until very, very late at night. We would lie there in our beds, the lights out, and theorise about strange fantasy worlds.
#241 – 20 May 2015
I remember BNE. It was the first major piece of writing I ever wrote. I read it recently – it was written by another me. Exhilarating to see the influences I had then that I do not at all have now.
#242 – 21 May 2015
I remember a girl who couldn’t touch milk, and if she swallowed it, she would feel burning on the inside as the milk slid down her throat. Her laugh was like the squeak of a dog’s chew toy – sharp, piercing, coming in spurts.
#243 – 22 May 2015
I remember roasting chicken wings covered in soy until they became black and sticky.
#244 – 23 May 2015
I remember praising Captain for urinating in the right place, for defecating in the right place, for sleeping where he should. Baby training? Oh, yes.
#245 – 24 May 2015
I remember when I saw 2666 in a remainder store. I hadn’t read it yet, but I was aware of the praise heaped upon it in the English-language newspapers, journals and review websites. I bought it with some trepidation, however, as I wasn’t sure if the length was too much for Bolaño. I read it (or started it) on the bus home to my father’s house, where I was living at the time.
#246 – 25 May 2015
I remember organising and running bingo and card gambling sessions with my father at the Maryborough community hall when I was a teenager.
#247 – 26 May 2015
I remember Jo and Bill talking, with tears in their eyes, about how much they hoped their son, Harry, would find his own version of happiness, but worried that he might not.
#248 – 27 May 2015
I remember little Captain resting his head and body between my legs while I was standing, for protection and comfort. He does it now, still, sometimes, when he wants, I think, to feel looked after.
#249 – 28 May 2015
I remember the feeling I get when I write these, and I have in the front of my mind the knowledge that one day they will be read. And I self-censor. I shouldn’t, but sometimes I do.
#250 – 29 May 2015
I remember buying CGM and thinking that purchase would win me a house one day. An expensive lesson.
#251 – 30 May 2015
I remember writing BNE, which seemed to happen rapidly and without temptation to game or visit random websites. From 10 until 2, every day, without fail, until it was done.
#252 – 31 May 2015
I remember calimochos and the streets of Alcalá de Henares and Madrid, and the zero kilometre, and the cafe fans spraying mist above the heads of the patrons.
#253 – 1 June 2015
I remember deciding, in 2009, that writing plays was the right path for me.
#254 – 2 June 2015
I remember TI5 – Nope, I was wrong, I remembered TI4.
#255 – 3 June 2015
I remember when I began to fall out of love with Vila-Matas and literature-sick writing.
#256 – 4 June 2015
I remember the first time I made chicken stock completely from scratch. Changed the way I perceived cooking.
#257 – 5 June 2015
I remember the impulse I had to jump over the lounge when I was reading The Savage Detectives for the first time. I was too excited to stay still, and the build-up of excitement needed, I thought, to be released physically. So I jumped.
#258 – 6 June 2015
I remember giving up on Knausgaard. At least until all six books have been released.
#259 – 7 June 2015
I remember Dendi, Mushi, Arteezy, iceiceice, XBOCT, Fly.
#260 – 8 June 2015
I remember talking on a payphone on Turbot Street to my brother about an amazing new fantasy series I had been planning and was working on. He didn’t know it, and I would hardly admit it to him or to myself, but it was A Song of Ice and Fire slightly dressed up, with names and plot details altered just enough to make me feel like I was being original. And of course I never wrote a word beyond vague, sketched out notes.
#261 – 9 June 2015
I remember the desolation of walking through a fully cleared area of Dark Souls II.
#262 – 10 June 2015
I remember being thirteen or fourteen and hating my younger brother, Joshua, for the sole reason that he was wearing a watch. I thought his decision to wear a watch was an unconscionable imposition of adulthood on to our childhood days.
#263 – 11 June 2015
I remember Stephanie reaching over to put some rubbish in the bin, and then my brother swooping in to take it from her and do it for her.
#264 – 12 June 2015
I remember the day I got an iPhone 4. I was pleased with it, sure, but for the first time in my life I experienced the jealousy and envy of others who saw me with it.
#265 – 13 June 2015
I remember reading William T Vollmann’s Europe Central while listening to Dmitri Shostakovich.
#266 – 14 June 2015
I remember listening to Karl Hass on 4MBS.
#267 – 15 June 2015
I remember thinking that first person writing was the best method for expressing creatively what I needed to say. And then, later, thinking that it was third person omniscient which was for me. I suppose now I consider a blend to be the most appropriate – but how long will that last?
#268 – 16 June 2015
I remember the first time I saw a – (a dash) represent the beginning of dialogue in a novel. Revelatory. Not for what it was, but because it showed me that a writer could do anything, as long as it worked and they were a genius. It was Ulysses, I think, or perhaps The Recognitions. I read both around the same time, which sounds like madness now (but I was young)
#269 – 17 June 2015
I remember being in hospital when I was very young. I had tonsil issues, and they either had been, or were about to be, removed. A nurse, young, I suppose, though at the time she seemed very old, loaned me her gameboy in an effort to cheer me up.
#270 – 18 June 2015
I remember being in hospital with heart problems. An old aboriginal man shared my room for a time. To each of the nurses, when they visited, he called himself an “old black man” in a booming voice, and he would laugh. Every time. And often he would talk to himself and speak about himself in the third person in this way.
#271 – 19 June 2015
I remember working at McDonald’s as a teenager. On Valentine’s Day the store enforced bookings and came close to refusing walk-ins, and each couple sat at a table with candles, their meals served on plates, and a menu provided to them.
#272 – 20 June 2015
I remember playing Euro Truck Simulator and driving cargo from Paris to Berlin. It was 3am. Time passed, the sun began to appear, the highway signs gradually shifted to German after being in French for so long, and I wanted to be in Europe.
#273 – 21 June 2015
I remember the first time I saw an Apple Watch in the wild. About a week ago, on a Telstra representative I was having a meeting with. And then I saw him again – no watch. He said he was over it. Seemed about right.
#274 – 22 June 2015
I remember reading Stoppard‘s Arcadia for the first time. Revelatory – why is he so neglected?
#275 – 23 June 2015
I remember my grandfather telling me the story of when he had to help shift a man who had died on the train he was responsible for. They covered him up, bound him with a rug, and transported him past unaware passengers.
#276 – 24 June 2015
I remember Crossy Road, Clicker Heroes, Adventure Capitalist, Cookie Clicker. Horrific distillations of the worst aspect of games, and yet, for me, to me, extremely appealing.
#277 – 25 June 2015
I remember watching a video on YouTube of someone who had synchronised their house’s Christmas lights to the Skrillex song, Bangarang.
#278 – 26 June 2015
I remember Christmas Day 2013, arguing politics with Harry, whose head voted right and heart voted left, and all the while his sexuality hung there, unspoken, but known by all.
#279 – 27 June 2015
I remember the day Saul Bellow died. I was stunned, and at the same time I refused to think about it. I kept clicking on the Wikipedia Deaths page to see his name there, and each time I received a little jab of sadness.
#280 – 28 June 2015
I remember collecting a card game as a child – Ancestral Tales? – maybe – and there was a character in it called Juroot. My mother laughed when I told her about this character (which was a powerful, honourable birdlike lord), and said, “Juroot the bitch next door!”. I didn’t get it.
#281 – 29 June 2015
I remember Noel and Grant, two bullies in Year 8, and how they liked to insert paper clips into power outlets and burn lines up their arms.
#282 – 30 June 2015
I remember walking home one night from the train station at Zillmere. I was 26 or 27. A group of young men stopped me, the angriest demanding to know where his girlfriend was. I didn’t know, and I told them that, and his friends agreed, but then he punched me, threw me up against a fence, and smacked me in the head with his forearm. His friends pulled him away. I didn’t do anything, I said. He didn’t do anything, it’s not him, they said.
#283 – 1 July 2015
I remember my 30th in Maleny at a hotel called Clouds. We listened to Talk Talk’s I Believe in You on repeat while drinking port.
#284 – 2 July 2015
I remember Hermann Hesse and The Glass Bead Game. I read it twice before attempting the concluding three stories at the end of the book, which were supposedly written by Joseph Knecht. I read the opening, and then the three stories, on a plane from Brisbane to Melbourne.
#285 – 3 July 2015
I remember the day I decided I would read two pages of From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun. Two pages, every day, from now until forever, with the book constantly on repeat. I did it for a long time, but not forever. Every now and again I pick up the project, and I love it.
#286 – 4 July 2015
I remember the day my credit card balance hit zero after first using it. It took about eight years since the day I received it. Disappointing – and I vowed never to let it happen again. So far, so good!
#287 – 5 July 2015
I remember El Scorcho, The Fergusons, Electric Soft Parade, and The Ballad of the Skeletons.
#288 – 6 July 2015
I remember being an angry young man, and feeling overwhelmingly justified in all of the highly opinionated positions I held. I admire now the patience of those around me at the time.
#289 – 7 July 2015
I remember the first time I made cold-press coffee using my French press. Now I hardly drink anything else.
#290 – 8 July 2015
I remember thinking that I would never take the notepad I use to write these little memories with me on a plane, because if the plane crashed, losing both my life and the notepad at the same time would be too much.
#291 – 9 July 2015
I remember the first time I beat the Capra Demon. Hands shaking, leaning forward – it was hard to believe, and for a moment I didn’t.
#292 – 10 July 2015
I remember when I first started reading Milan Kundera and early Roth (2004?), and how strongly I identified with the perspectives and thoughts of the narrators from their books.
#293 – 11 July 2015
I remember watching my parents watch television through an open doorway when I was supposed to be asleep. The (first) Iraq War was beginning. I couldn’t sleep that night due to worry that the world would end that my father, and perhaps myself, would be called to war.
#294 – 12 July 2015
I remember the driver on the red Free Loop bus singing George Michael songs.
#295 – 13 July 2015
I remember the day Steve Jobs died, and how I thought the main page on the Apple website would keep a visible tribute to him for many years. They didn’t.
#296 – 14 July 2015
I remember listening to Zaireeka by The Flaming Lips from four different CD players. This was about the same time as my discovery of Neutral Milk Hotel and The Silver Jews.
#297 – 15 July 2015
I remember the days when I first started earning a reasonable salary, and how I thought that everyone could hear the way money sloshed around in big cities, and I liked that some of it was falling into my pockets.
#298 – 16 July 2015
I remember going to Ortiga and eating beef tendon, and talking at length with my weary partner about Spain, and Spanish, and the way it interacted (or didn’t) with English, and the curious juxtapositions that become possible with multiple languages.
#299 – 17 July 2015
I remember creating elaborate schemes for writing – in one example, I determined I would write for 10 minutes the first day, then 12 minutes the next, then fourteen, with the intention that this slow increment would allow me to ease into significant stretches of writing. All the plans revolved around dealing with the fact that I was avoiding writing without actually stating any such thing.
#300 – 18 July 2015
I remember the day my Year 5 teacher told us all that Australia had been invaded by an unspecified country and that as part of the invasion, all of the rules and laws were changing. He relayed gradually more ridiculous examples of these changes until we started laughing, relieved, that it was just a joke. But to what end?
#301 – 19 July 2015
I remember night-time on a cold concrete balcony at our rental apartment in Windsor, and talking with Trent about Spanish verbs.
#302 – 20 July 2015
I remember Slade’s mother’s macaroni and cheese, with sliced tomato on top, sprinkled with that fake orange parmesan cheese.
#303 – 21 July 2015
I remember being in a car, young, fourteen maybe, and my friend had his arm raised to point at something he was telling me about. Through the arm-hole of his shirt I could see that he had hair on his underarm. I looked – I had none myself, and didn’t know it was a possibility. He caught me, I made an excuse that I was looking out the window, and not at him, and then the topic changed.
#304 – 22 July 2015
I remember Captain’s little green handkerchief.
#305 – 23 July 2015
I remember playing Agricola at Joshua’s house for his birthday. We were all there, and Debbie, who we hated hated, had been friendly to us, and nice, and it was clear that the room was beginning to thaw towards her. And then, with tears in her eyes, she told us that she was sick.
#306 – 24 July 2015
I remember telling people stories about drinking a shot glass of snake blood in Vietnam when I went there in 2007. There are places where this can be done, but I never did it. So why lie?
#307 – 25 July 2015
I remember the first time I threw away over a hundred books because I knew I would never read them and their presence in my home was increasingly depressing me. It was liberating. Should I do it again? If a book hasn’t been read after I have owned it for five years or more, will I ever?
#308 – 26 July 2015
I remember discovering that I preferred watching people play games, or listening to people talking about games, instead of actually playing them myself.
#309 – 27 July 2015
I remember the uplifting, life-affirming feeling I experience each time I read Albert Camus’ The Plague.
#310 – 28 July 2015
I remember the books of my life – The Savage Detectives, The Plague, Montano’s Malady, Austerlitz, Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me, 2666, Herzog, Earthly Powers, Ficciones, Life A User’s Manual.
#311 – 29 July 2015
I remember the dead books, the books I once loved but no longer care for: American Pastoral, the Rabbit books, Humboldt’s Gift, The Corrections, Love in the Time of Cholera, and of course, then, the very dead writers: Jordan, Martin, Weis, Hickman, Hobb, Gemmell.
#312 – 30 July 2015
I remember reading about Marías’ technique of writing a single page a day, no more and no less, rewriting and revising until he was happy, and then, when he was done, leaving it as it was for the rest of the work – no changes. I considered whether that technique was for me, and tried it. It wasn’t, but it was nice to try.
#313 – 31 July 2015
I remember the cold Autumn when I first read Calvino. Invisible Cities, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, and Our Ancestors. If I look back at my records, they tell me – 2004.
#314 – 1 August 2015
I remember the night Anna and I met. She held my hand, touched my index and middle finger, and told me to keep them trimmed. I learned why a little later.
#315 – 2 August 2015
I remember folding clothes and, I think, nappies, with my mother. I was very young – six? She told me I was showing her that I was a responsible older brother. Later, she gave me a new toy as a reward. I hated it. It was a serpent man-creature that stuck out it’s tongue and eye-tentacles when you lifted a lever in its back. Nonetheless, I carried it with me because I was proud that my actions had received praise.
#316 – 3 August 2015
I remember going into the freezer area of McDonald’s with one of the front counter girls who worked there. She liked to go into the freezer with me and hug for warmth. I, stupid, you, inexperienced, thought nothing of it. But I liked it.
#317 – 4 August 2015
I remember sliding a small fries packet snug into the plastic fry scoop, then shaking it, and filling the packet with freshly made fires from the deep fryer. It was a soothing set of actions, and shaking the salt across a freshly made scoop always felt great.
#318 – 5 August 2015
I remember reading Vollmann and thinking that I had found a new kind of American writer, one I could remain connected to after the others faded away. And then I forgot about him, and I don’t really know why.
#319 – 6 August 2015
I remember thinking in terms of VTS, VHY, VEU, and asset allocation. Obsessive, endless consideration. In the end, it was too exhausting.
#320 – 7 August 2015
I remember when Nadia and I had a coffee, downstairs from where we work, and she started talking, and then crying, and she said that she didn’t want me to do everything while her father was sick.
#321 – 8 August 2015
I remember interviewing Bogdan Suceavă, and thinking to myself that perhaps I could make it in the world of literature and literary criticism. But I am, I fear, too emotive, too lazy, insufficiently hungry, and it was not to be.
#322 – 9 August 2015
I remember The Gymnast, High Above the Ground.
#323 – 10 August 2015
I remember Knausgård, in Book 2 of My Struggle, when he wrote about cutting his face.
#324 – 11 August 2015
I remember standing behind two girls in a small yoghurt shop in Madrid. They weren’t talking to one another but instead just rolled their r’s in quick succession, like the rat-tat-tat of a drum.
#325 – 12 August 2015
I remember a pair of satin boxer shorts with Homer Simpson’s face on them. I received them as a present for my birthday, I think 14 or 15. A decade later I still had them, the elastic was gone and they would fall down to my ankles after taking only a few steps. I have them still (a decade later again), but I don’t wear them. I don’t want to throw them out.
#326 – 13 August 2015
I remember when I realised that, irrespective of what I thought or wanted, my YouTube viewing history is a strong part of who I am culturally. And that’s that. I have to accept it, and so I do.
#327 – 14 August 2015
I remember seeing Peter Garrett on the television when I was twelve years old and thinking that he was my father.
#328 – 15 August 2015
I remember that heart-bursting sensation where I feel in love with the entire world, and I am enormously pleased to be alive and wondrous at the thought of the limitless possibility of other people’s art. Very often I experience this when reading Perec or Bolaño, or when thinking about all of the unread books I have in my study.
#329 – 16 August 2015
I remember those days when I become convinced that everything must change – my job, my hobbies, my habits, my vices. And, generally, nothing changes.
#330 – 17 August 2015
I remember the first time I deleted my Facebook account. And the second. The third account seems to be going strong, but…
#331 – 18 August 2015
I remember creating five or six fake people to be friends with me on Facebook just so I could have more – everything – in Farmville.
#332 – 19 August 2015
I remember Alice Childress and Best Imitation of Myself, two songs which, for me, represent the time when I was on the internet during my teenage years, and specifically 14 – 16. Or, perhaps the feeling I had of my possibility space opening up as I became an autonomous individual.
#333 – 20 August 2015
I remember Geocities and the Grey Tower.
#334 – 21 August 2015
I remember realising that I no longer sought out new music, that I was content with what I had and that any additions would be small, like unexpected in its avenue of approach, and not actively searched for. And over time, my preference for lyrics has faded and now I prefer instrumental music in almost all instances.
#335 – 22 August 2015
I remember writing the lyrics to Sigur Ros songs on napkins at the Hotel Orient while drinking 2-4-1 drinks during Happy Hour Thursday. This was done in the hope that either one of the three female bartenders, or a random girl in the crowd, would see me writing, perceive me as sensitive, and come over and talk to me.
#336 – 23 August 2015
I remember when the band, The Boat People, came to the apartment on Talbot Street where my brother and I lived. They played several of their songs in acoustic format.
#337 – 24 August 2015
I remember spending hours on Reddit forums reading reassuring messages from pilots who spent some of their free time trying to convince fearful flyers that they would be okay. And far too often, I would watch videos of planes taking off from the cockpit view, and my stomach would plummet.
#338 – 25 August 2015
I remember drip coffee, French Press coffee, aeropress coffee, Nespresso coffee, instant coffee and cafe-made espresso. My heart returns always to cold press coffee, made strong at home: 1 tablespoon of ground coffee, one tablespoon of sugar, and enough cold water for two cups. Leave it for 8+ hours.
#339 – 26 August 2015
I remember when I was 24 or 25 and I decided to read War and Peace for the first time, over an entire weekend. I woke up at 7am on Saturday and did nothing but read until late evening on Sunday. I think the schedule I had planned helped. I drank a cup of sweetened tea every 50 pages, no exceptions, until it was done.
#340 – 27 August 2015
I remember taking a week of annual leave to read Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.
#341 – 28 August 2015
I remember collecting petrified wood as a child.
#342 – 29 August 2015
I remember owning and reading an enormous book containing all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories when I was, oh, 10 – 14 years old. The book had Bible-thin pages, and each page had two columns of text, which I had never seen before.
#343 – 30 August 2015
I remember when I permanently stopped reading Slashdot. I don’t know the exact date, but the year, yes – early 2015. (Interesting aside from May 2016 – still true!)
#344 – 31 August 2015
I remember Final Fantasy Record Keeper and Kittens Game.
#345 – 1 September 2015
I remember subscribing to many literary blogs, then ignoring them entirely. Then many book publisher blogs, and again, ignoring them. Then writing, finance, investing, gaming, music – and ignoring them all. My bookmarks are a dead graveyard of unvisited links.
#346 – 2 September 2015
I remember planning all of the restaurants I wanted to visit while in New York City. And yet, no planning at all for Mexico City or Oaxaca.
#347 – 3 September 2015
I remember creating term deposits with ING that were based on the monthly interest I had received. I had quite a few, all of a dollar or less (I had little money and less sense), and love extrapolating the slowly increasing amounts into infinity. And then ING changed the minimum deposit amount to $5,000 or $10,000, neither of which I was anywhere near possessing.
#348 – 4 September 2015
I remember learning to pronounce the soft d sound in the Spanish. The key word for me was de in ‘de nada’. From there, once I was comfortable, I was able to transfer that soft d to other words.
#349 – 5 September 2015
I remember first reading Perec. I was enamoured with the concepts espoused by the Oulipo school, but after reading several of his works, I only really loved Life A User’s Manual and An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris. The rest I understood and admired for their technical brilliance and formal creativity, but my heart couldn’t beat for them.
#350 – 6 September 2015
I remember coming to the realisation that I needed to love, and not just admire, a book in order to keep myself truly engaged with literature. And from this the idea of Permanent Writers began to form.
#351 – 7 September 2015
I remember when uno, dos, tres, became as natural as one, two, three. The other numbers never quite got there, and the natural counting feeling disappeared entirely around seven, came back at ten, then fell away again at sixteen.
#352 – 8 September 2015
I remember the way my brother would wrap up his dreamcast in tea towels to protect it.
#353 – 9 September 2015
I remember 2009/10 when I became particularly obsessed with reading, and then attempting to write, plays.
#354 – 10 September 2015
I remember texting my brother to tell him that I had discovered my true calling (writing plays), and that I was feeling melancholy that my mother was not alive to know it. I was wrong – writing plays isn’t really for me – but I suppose I was really just sad I couldn’t share part of my life with her.
#355 – 11 September 2015
I remember Pinter’s silences.
#356 – 12 September 2015
I remember the movies I loved from my early teenage years – Toy Soldiers, Die Hard, Billy Madison, Gremlins II, Highlander I and II, Fortress.
#357 – 13 September 2015
I remember my brother’s endless quest to try to discover all ten Iris treasures in Lufia. Each holiday period (whether at school or absent from work), he would begin from scratch, power through to the Ancient Cave, then spend hours and hours searching and searching.
#356 – 12 September 2015
I remember being 14 and 15, staying at my friend Slade’s house, and being convinced that his family possessed x-ray vision and could (and were) watching me shower. I would always wash with my genitals pointing away from the house and out toward the street, to ensure that my privacy was maintained. I suppose, now, that I blame puberty?
#356 – 12 September 2015
I remember reading Blindness for the first time. Even more than Gravity’s Rainbow, Saramago’s novel showed me that literature could be and do anything at all.
#357 – 13 September 2015
I remember my brother’s endless quest to try to discover all ten Iris treasures in Lufia. Each holiday period (whether at school or absent from work), he would begin from scratch, power through to the Ancient Cave, then spend hours and hours searching and searching.
#358 – 14 September 2015
I remember being 14 and 15, staying at my friend Slade’s house, and being convinced that his family possessed x-ray vision and could (and were) watching me shower. I would always wash with my genitals pointing away from the house and out toward the street, to ensure that my privacy was maintained. I suppose, now, that I blame puberty?
#359 – 15 September 2015
I remember reading Blindness for the first time. Even more than Gravity’s Rainbow, Saramago’s novel showed me that literature could be and do anything at all.
#360 – 16 September 2015
I remember buying Umberto Eco’s Prague Cemetery in order to give his work another chance (Foucault’s Pendulum and his non-fiction is incredible, but the rest is not to my taste). And, alas, it was not for me.
#361 – 17 September 2015
I remember looking back and discovering that I had messed up the dates in my “I Remember” sequence, which necessitated renumbering, oh, 150 entries.
#362 – 18 September 2015
I remember the first time we made twice-cooked, crispy skin Korean Fried Chicken. Never with the sweet sauce. It took a while to find a good match, but even we settled on a Japanese cabbage salad.
#363 – 19 September 2015
I remember noticing I had a watch tan. For some reason I was inordinately proud of myself.
#364 – 20 September 2015
I remember discovering I had messed up not just the dates of these memories, but also the numbering! Which highlights that my attention to detail abilities are very low.
#365 – 21 September 2015
I remember when I began this journey of memory. I would say that on the whole, my life has been enriched by attempting to recall the trivial, the small, the minor, the insignificant. In a way, these memories are more the sum total of my life than wedding dates, birthday, job promotions, and other major life events.
#366 – 22 September 2015
I remember switching permanently from white sugar in tea and coffee, to raw. That was 2013 at least, and the next step, which I still have not achieved, is to eliminate sugar entirely.
#367 – 23 September 2015
I remember discussing Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude with my Spanish language professor Hugo, who said that he had read the book years ago and had to keep a dictionary nearby due to the complexity of the vocabulary.
#368 – 24 September 2015
I remember Lorerunner / Archengeia.
#369 – 25 September 2015
I remember Captain lying underneath my desk chair as I wrote and read. He liked to (and likes to) lie there with his head on one of the chair’s feet, sighing and passing gas. And I feel awkward and don’t want to move the chair in case I crush his paw.
#370 – 26 September 2015
I remember my brother getting engaged and his worries concerning how to have the best wedding given his circumstances. All fairly ordinary anxieties, but nonetheless it was touching. And his circumstances were, of course, just fine – but we always feel watched and judged on our wedding day, as though it somehow reflects not just on our present situations but also the future.
#371 – 27 September 2015
I remember when I permanently shifted the clothes I wore from a variety of brands to Oxford. Roughly December – January 2013/14, following several days of wandering, disappointed, in and out of shops which never seemed to quite fit my height, my shape, my style. Unfortunately, the shoes Oxford sells have never reached the same quality as their clothing, and I will not wear them.
#372 – 28 September 2015
I remember telling newly married male friends and colleagues that the oddest part of marriage for me was becoming accustomed to the wedding ring on my finger. Whenever I would say this I, without deliberately intending to, twisted the ring on my fingers, and each time it called to mind the first strange days when the ring felt heavy and distinct on my hand.
#373 – 29 September 2015
I remember flying to New Zealand on my honeymoon. Twenty minutes after take-off I withdrew my pen from my inner jacket pocket and removed the lid to begin filling out the immigration form – and then it exploded all over my hands. I had inky blue fingers for days.
#374 – 30 September 2015
I remember Anna flying into rages where she would become a whirl of anger without focus or direction, stomping and cursing as she prepared her face, her hair, her clothes.
#375 – 1 October 2015
I remember making up poor excuses to avoid visiting my grandparents for their birthdays and wedding anniversaries. I am fully aware that in years to come I will regret this, and still I do nothing.
#376 – 2 October 2015
I remember my grandfather introducing me to ‘premium’ cask wine.
#377 – 3 October 2015
I remember the sleek black covers of the Methuen drama series.
#378 – 4 October 2015
I remember one lunch time in high school when a friend told me that he had ‘burned’ a CD of Microsoft Word. I didn’t know what he meant, and asked him why he would burn a CD that would have cost him a lot of money. And then I played it cool while he laughed and laughed.
#379 – 5 October 2015
I remember using ICQ when I was sixteen to search for girls aged 14 – 17 in Maryborough and Hervey Bay who I could talk with. I would send a message saying hello, and list some of my interests and passions, and then I would wait in anticipation for the sharp ‘uh oh’ from ICQ to say that a message had arrived. Ah, a lonely teenager!
#380 – 6 October 2015
I remember supporting Words Without Borders to publish Eduardo Halfon’s The Polish Boxer via Kickstarter.
#381 – 7 October 2015
I remember trawling through kickstarter to find small literary projects to back. The ones I found were not to my taste, but I also saw little wooden dice, cubes of metal, and other strange, specialised items. And they were all funded.
#382 – 8 October 2015
I remember playing a translated, emulated version of Final Fantasy V (this was in my teenage years). I listened to Ben Folds Five and stayed up night after night attempting to defeat all of optional bosses.
#383 – 9 October 2015
I remember Civilisation 2 and Master of Orion 2 in Grade 10 or 11. The weekend I first owned Civ 2 I played straight from Friday evening until Sunday lunch time, without sleep, obsessed over railroads, nuclear wastes, technology and the space race.
#384 – 10 October 2015
I remember the triangle-shaped home we lived in at Red Rock when I was between four and six (I am vague on these years – it could be less, unlikely to be more). It was the only place I have ever lived in which required the use of an out-house.
#385 – 11 October 2015
I remember Watch out for Fireballs! and Bonfire Side Chat.
#386 – 12 October 2015
I remember early 2014 when I decided it was a reasonable idea to buy a house on a Thursday and get married on the Saturday.
#387- 13 October 2015
I remember using an upside-down kiddie pool to cover and kill weeds in the backyard of our new home.
#388 – 14 October 2015
I remember listening to podcasts and trimming, clearing and throwing away weeds in the backyard during the Winter of 2015.
#389 – 15 October 2015
I remember Vivi, Zidane, Garnet, Steiner, Freya, Quina, Eiko and Amarant.
#390 – 16 October 2015
I remember struggling to understand the complexities of Kenzaburo Ōe when I was younger. He was, I believe, my first exposure to any kind of Japanese culture outside of video games. Ōe’s problems, solutions and concerns – not to mention his thoughts, feelings and sympathies – were quite different to mine, and the book, The Silent Cry, almost beat me. Years later, the exoticism remains, but the complexities have softened, and now I understand.
#391 – 17 October 2015
I remember visiting my friends, the triplets, to play their PlayStation. I was utterly unfamiliar with the console, and they had a game they were very enthused about: Final Fantasy VII. They were up to the point where Sephiroth was murdering people in Shinra’s headquarters.
#392 – 18 October 2015
I remember obsessively playing Final Fantasies VII, VIII and IX while listening to Crowded House. This in the first house I lived in away from my parents, when I was 17.
#393 – 19 October 2015
I remember Alex’s 50th where he was surprise tackled by luchadore-masked men, and had the wit and wherewithal to respond appropriately to them by wrestling and roaring.
#394 – 20 October 2015
I remember Vinnie, Jeff, Austin, and the Giant Beastcast in general, and how excited it made me for our upcoming New York City trip.
#395 – 21 October 2015
I remember that thrill when I would catch an ad for World of Warcraft out of the corner of my eye and decide with unwavering passion to lose myself in the game once more – generally for a month or two. But I haven’t done that in years now.
#396 – 22 October 2015
I remember the short, muscled, tattooed, middle-aged man who helped shift my mother from bed to wheelchair when she was in palliative care. He knew exactly how to talk to us, but more importantly, that there was value and respect in talking directly to her.
#397 – 23 October 2015
I remember using a fountain pen to write and being proud of how literary the smudges of ink on my hands and fingers seemed.
#398 – 24 October 2015
I remember casting my mind around for memories that wouldn’t come, and searching about my study for books and items to inspire me to remember.
#399 – 25 October 2015
I remember Justin Fieber and Dividend Mantra.
#400 – 26 October 2015
I remember Georges Perec and his inspiring work Je me souviens, and to a lesser extent, Gilbert Adair, who also showed me the way.
#401 – 27 October 2015
I remember the discomfort of too-high (or too cold, really) air conditioning in confined spaces – airplanes, trains, cars.
#402 – 28 October 2015
I remember knowing that Captain was happy with us from his eyes, his mouth, his paws. But how much of my human impressions am I adding on to him? How anthropomorphised have I made him?
#403 – 29 October 2015
I remember the unbroken lines of capital A’s in Sebald’s Austerlitz, and the manner in which they just spilled on to the page.
#404 – 30 October 2015
I remember when Rolf Harris was considered an Australian icon and a hero.
#405 – 31 October 2015
I remember wondering if these memories would ever stop, but it appears that even if I repeat myself, they won’t stop coming.
#406 – 1 November 2015
I remember donating $100 to support Dwarf Fortress and receiving an ASCII drawing as my thank you.
#407 – 2 November 2015
I remember the rise, and rise, and rise of bacon as an internet discussion point and early obsession. I think, by now, that it has faded.
#408 – 3 November 2015
I remember having a bet with a friend to see if he could hold a mouthful of bacon fat and rind (both uncooked) in his mouth for 10 minutes. He could and did, and then, after raising his arms in success, promptly vomited.
#409 – 4 November 2015
I remember when Kevin Rudd won the 2007 election. My sister’s friend burst into tears and refused to come out of the bathroom upon hearing the news.
#410 – 5 November 2015
I remember Peter Garrett’s dancing.
#411 – 6 November 2015
I remember The Wrens, The Dismemberment Plan, Esmerine, The Unicorns, My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Ros, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Explosions in the Sky, Tortoise, Do Make Say Think.
#412 – 7 November 2015
I remember playing the Burning Crusade and listening to Brother Sport and My Girls on repeat.
#413 – 8 November 2015
I remember the first time I ever heart Beirut, and how deeply I feel in love with the last three songs on their first album, Gulag Orkestar.
#414 – 9 November 2015
I remember watching a YouTube video compilation of Beirut songs while my brother cried on the lounge after his girlfriend’s funeral.
#415 – 10 November 2015
I remember – No, I don’t. Not today. And that’s the problem. So much of what I try to recall here is only the surface of, well, me. And if I cannot reflect on much beyond the surface, then of course nobody can. And then who am I?
#416 – 11 November 2015
I remember one year when I was inside a Woolworths store and the minute of silence began for remembrance. Everyone went silent, stopped. A child made some humming noise, but otherwise – nothing. And then shopping began again.
#417 – 12 November 2015
I remember eating supermarket fried chicken, drinking beer, and then, a little while later, going to a cheap bar with my friend in search of women for whom he could, in his words, approach and ‘sniff the puss’.
#418 – 13 November 2015
I remember the wonder and bafflement of the English-language press when Philip Roth published a novel with a main character who had no name. It baffled them, and showed the general provincial nature of (most of) the English-language popular coverage of literature.
#419 – 14 November 2015
I remember buying a shoe-shaped rawhide chew toy for Captain which was, in retrospect, a poor decision given that it told him it was okay to eat shoe-shaped things. Which is demonstrably false.
#420 – 15 November 2015
I remember the day I realised I liked to count my money in the morning, and again in the evening. I am, according to John Merriman, now hopelessly bourgeoisie.
#421 – 16 November 2015
I remember a (young adult?) novel with a main character named Hood who fought off an invading force of aliens using nail or needle guns, as laser weapons didn’t work. But I do not remember the name of the book.
#422 – 17 November 2015
I remember the thrill of maturity I felt when I browsed the adult shelves of the local library, while my friends and classmates stayed with the books for children.
#423 – 18 November 2015
I remember when I learned of, and for a short time became enamoured with, the works of Theodore Zeldin.
#424 – 19 November 2015
I remember my brother loving the bands Everclear and The Presidents of the United States of America. And we laughed at him, for no real reason.
#425 – 20 November 2015
I remember that my mother loved Pearl Jam’s song, Black. I preferred Alive and Rearview Mirror and Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town and Nothingman and Better Man. And yet I listen to precisely zero of those songs these days, basically never again since she died. Which, to be fair, I hadn’t exactly put together until I wrote this.
#426 – 21 November 2015
I remember Twitch and Alex doing hip hop.
#427 – 22 November 2015
I remember one Christmas Day in Maryborough, very hot and still. My mother and father underneath the house where it was cool, eating chilled prawns and cold ham and then, when Van Morrison’s song Have I Told You Lately that I Love You came on the radio, they danced slowly away from the table and clasped one another until it ended. At fourteen I found it unbearably uncomfortable.
#428 – 23 November 2015
I remember Touched by Vast, and Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind.
#429 – 24 November 2015
I remember watching Rage in the morning and being amazed that my parents knew the words to a song called “Here’s Johnny“.
#430 – 25 November 2015
I remember going to a bar in the Brisbane CBD area each weekend when I was in my very early twenties. I went to listen to a cover band which specialised in bands such as Bush, Oasis, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine. I suspect I had something of a man crush on the lead singer, because I don’t know why I would otherwise go every Saturday night. I don’t remember the bar, or the cover band’s name any more, but I don’t think the bar exists any longer.
#431 – 26 November 2015
I remember Lisa Loeb.
#432 – 27 November 2015
I remember Ornstein and Smough, and then the Old Dragonrider.
#433 – 28 November 2015
I remember reading Perec’s A Void, and then The Exeter Text. I couldn’t finish A Void (side note – I don’t remember not finishing A Void, but there you go – I remembered it in November!)
#434 – 29 November 2015
I remember reading through The Infatuations’ East Village section of restaurants, and making notes about where to eat.
#435 – 30 November 2015
I remember wandering around Hawthorne with Nadia while discussing restructures and walking her dogs.
#436 – 1 December 2015
I remember writing from 9pm to midnight and, pleased with myself, I tried to fall asleep by turning over my writing problems in my mind with my eyes closed. It didn’t work – I was too frenzied with after-creativity and couldn’t disengage from my body or brain.
#437 – 2 December 2015
I remember posing for wedding photographs at St Lucia, at the University there. People walked by and smiled, or waved, and the photographer, Mitch, became increasingly frustrated at the difficulties he was having as the light faded and night fell.
#438 – 3 December 2015
I remember being in the awkward position of being asked by well-meaning staff at bars, shops and restaurants what I would be doing for Christmas, and not wanting to answer with the truth – going to New York – because of the tedious conversation that would entail, but still having trouble coming up with a lie.
#439 – 4 December 2015
I remember first reading William Gaddis’ The Recognitions in my early twenties. So much of it has faded, but the overall impression remains of yawning, weariness and forgery.
#440 – 5 December 2015
I remember deciding that I wanted to write prose that people would fall into obsession with, either idealistically or romantically, and not intellectually.
#441 – 6 December 2015
I remember watching: Cold Feet, The Sopranos, The Wire, Oz, Treme, Misfits, The In-Betweeners, Boardwalk Empire, Broad City, Girls. And basically nothing else, ever again.
#442 – 7 December 2015
I remember when Captain first came to us. I had, as I still do, many piles of books on the floor of my study. I had bought the complete works of Proust in six volumes, and in a translation different to the one I had previously read. The next day I returned home and little Captain had chewed the cover from Within a Budding Grove clean away from the spine. I did not discipline him. I did not get mad. I also did not shift my books. I got down on one knee and spoke to him. Somehow this little puppy must have been sufficiently aware of my feelings on this matter because he has never, in a year and a half since, touched any one of my books. But oh, he chews my wife’s shoes.
#443 – 8 December 2015
I remember walking to work with cheap black shoes whose soles were falling off. I walked in such a way that the only slightly obviously flapped against the footpath.
#444 – 9 December 2015
I remember the years when I had an untreated ingrown toenail, and how I learned to stand in such a way that my right foot was always protected from the errant missteps of incautious walkers.
#445 – 10 December 2015
I remember my mother, smoking cigarettes in the morning in her heavy blue dressing gown, coughing as she made coffee.
#446 – 11 December 2015
I remember my mother, unable to listen to a joke at the expense of one of her children, even if the child themselves was an adult, and capable of defending from attack, and laughing.
#447 – 12 December 2015
I remember my mother, who was not alive to know that I had learned to cook, had a good job, learned Spanish, went overseas, bought a house, got married.
#448 – 13 December 2015
I remember a family of four in front of us at the international airport terminal in Brisbane. Their shirts – Disney. Their luggage – Disney. The two children, excited. The plane ride coming up for them and for me was, oh, 13 hours.
#449 – 14 December 2015
I remember our first meal in America, in Los Angeles, at the airport at Gate 5. I had bad ramen and Anna had an Asian fusion burger which she liked very much. In our general confusion and tiredness we tipped about 30%.
#450 – 15 December 2015
I remember the flight from Los Angeles to New York. It’s about the same distance as Brisbane to Perth, but here in Australia there is nothing in between. There, cities glow at night for the entire journey.
#451 – 16 December 2015
I remember a young man (not me) gripping tightly to his companion dog as the plane to New York took off. I remember a young man (me) wishing he had one of his own for the trip.
#452 – 17 December 2015
I remember wearily arriving into New York and being welcomed by the concierge at the Kimpton Eventi hotel. We made our way up to our room. We put our bags down, opened the curtains, and there was the Empire State Building. We had been travelling for thirty hours, and fell instantly asleep as taxi honked their horns and the city lights spilled into the room.
#453 – 18 December 2015
I remember the Queen Vic, and its companion, the Boiler Room.
#454 – 19 December 2015
I remember writing little essays about my time in New York. I scribbled on a yellow Caliber Memo Book that I bought from a CVS pharmacy.
#455 – 20 December 2015
I remember our first proper night in New York, walking purposelessly down 7th Avenue just after dusk had fallen. A little Italian restaurant – I don’t remember its name – where we ate pasta and charcuterie at the bar, and after a while Anna was refused service due to her drunkenness, which admittedly by Australian standards wasn’t very high at all.
#456 – 21 December 2015
I remember Ippudo and Momofuku Noodle Bar.
#457 – 22 December 2015
I remember the crisp air when walking on Houston Street towards the Whole Foods, to collect the free newspapers and the New York Times from a bodega. And all around us, street works, which for some reason I had not expected at all.
#458 – 23 December 2015
I remember Anna getting “white girl drunk” at the Queen Vic. The bartender had come to like us because we tipped well, and his free pouring gin and vodka drinks pushed her over the edge rather more quickly than she expected.
#459 – 24 December 2015
I remember the 9/11 memorials, and for the first time properly understanding just how much those attacks had struck at the heart of the city.
#460 – 25 December 2015
I remember talking with the bartender at Spring in Nolita about the insane opening hours of her dive bar. In Australia, nowhere would be open on Christmas Day. Spring was open 8am – 4am, and had closed at 4am the night before.
#461 – 26 December 2015
I remember an art installation in New York where the walls were crumbling and the paint was peeling, where the floor was cracked and disintegrated underfoot, where pennies were glued to the floor and parts of the walls. And, every now and again, a frame, encircling some small part of the destruction of the room.
#462 – 27 December 2015
I remember when my (musical, aesthetic) heart thought it resonated best with The Decemberists. And then with Beirut. And, a long time ago, and on a lower key concurrently with the rest, Sigur Ros and A Silver Mount Zion. And now? I don’t know.
#463 – 28 December 2015
I remember video-taping Anna as she climbed the steps of the New York Supreme Court Building. And while she pretended to write down the facts of the case and looked pensively across the city, I made the noises of the Law and Order theme song.
#464 – 29 December 2015
I remember Billy Liar, The Tain, The Gymnast, High Above the Ground, the Crane Wife, and how those songs all became, by virtue of playing them repeatedly, inextricably entwined with my memory of playing Final Fantasy VI.
#465 – 30 December 2015
I remember Eloise’s elbows, and calling her Boneless following a gmail mishap.
#466 – 31 December 2015
I remember the Zócalo of Mexico City, the enormous Coke sponsored Christmas tree, and the artificial tobogganing.
#467 – 1 January 2016
I remember how Anna and I accidentally made the band Disclosure’s song When a Fire Starts to Burn our New York City song.
#468 – 2 January 2016
I remember Café el Popular in Mexico City on Calle Cinco de Mayo.
#469 – 3 January 2016
I remember the deep yellow chicken carcasses stacked in metal cages in an open air food market in Mexico City. Our chicken at home is white, flabby, limp.
#470 – 4 January 2016
I remember the deserted streets of el centro historico in Mexico City on New year’s Eve, and how Anna and I were made to do with a loaf of bread, some eggs, and a cheap bottle of wine from a convenience store. Happy New Year.
#471 – 5 January 2016
I remember two rude Australian women at a museum store in Mexico City. They were watching a young mother as she spoke to her rowdy son in French. And then she spoke to the museum staff in perfect Spanish. All the while, the two women were criticising her in loud, crass English, perfectly audible to this woman, and to us. Did they not think she might be able to understand them? Were they so oblivious to the possibility simply because they themselves possessed only one language?
#472 – 6 January 2016
I remember talking with an engaged woman at a party. We were listening to the Cranberries song Linger, and she was trying to use the fact that I like the song as an excuse for me to betray my wife. Me, calculatingly oblivious, rebuffed her advances.
#473 – 7 January 2016
remember the very small children of Oaxaca – four-nine years old – who circled the main streets of the old quarter, selling trinkets, wooden toys, cloth charms, and other useless things. Endlessly walking around and around to bother tourists while we drank and ate.
#474 – 8 January 2016
I remember getting food poisoning in Oaxaca. From what, we never quite knew – perhaps the green chicken mole? At any rate, Anna was sick for two days while I sat at the cramped little circular ‘marble’ table of the hotel room, playing the kittens game.
#475 – 9 January 2016
I remember an old lady, armless and legless, just a torso, really, begging on the side of the road in Oaxaca.
#476 – 10 January 2016
I remember purchasing a daily newspaper in each of the major cities that made up our trip – New York, Mexico City, Oaxaca.
#477 – 11 January 2016
I remember the concierge of the Royal at the Playa Del Carmen taking us via a very long route to get to our rooms. Endless hallways and rooms. And of course his intent was to overwhelm us with the size and opulence of the place.
#478 – 12 January 2016
I remember the folded towel animals which appeared on our beds each time we returned to our hotel room.
#479 – 13 January 2016
I remember eating tacos al pastor in Mexico City.
#480 – 14 January 2016
I remember the deserted streets of el centro historico in Mexico City on New year’s Eve (this is a remembered memory – I Remember – #470. So there you go.)
#481 – 15 January 2016
I remember creating a fake Facebook account, ‘Kodie Brelleher’, and also, after some time, creating her death date. Each year I post to her wall, lamenting her death (she drowned in a bathtub of tapioca).
#482 – 16 January 2016
I remember deciding that Gaddis, DeLillo, Saramago, Kundera and Calvino were the touchstone writers of my life. Turns out they weren’t, but I still have fond memories for them, even if I rarely read them. On balance, I think that, of the five, Saramago remains important to me. Calvino a little, DeLillo a little. Kunder – no. Not any more. And Gaddis? It’s been too long, so I’m not sure.
#483 – 17 January 2016
I remember becoming obsessed with Dark Souls’ Let’s Plays. Specifically, NorthernLion‘s and PewDiePie‘s.
#484 – 18 January 2016
I remember falling down into the Reddit well – Relationships, Ask Reddit, Personal Finance, Financial Independence. As of date of publication, that’s still true (unfortunately).
#485 – 19 January 2016
I remember fluctuating (vacillating) on whether or not writing Fragments was a good idea and a productive use of my time.
#486 – 20 January 2016
I remember being mildly lost in Mexico City. We wandered the streets vaguely near to where we were staying, and after a while stumbled into an open-air meat and poultry market. The chickens and turkeys were all butter yellow in the manner of organic food back home and were thrown into large metal cages the size of a large bookshelf. (Of note: see also I Remember #469)
#487 – 21 January 2016
I remember returning to work after our six-week holiday, and it felt as though nothing had changed. Surprise!
#488 – 22 January 2016
I remember my sisters’ birthday. Which is worth noting because of the number of years when I did not.
#489 – 23 January 2016
I remember when I used to own and write with a fountain pen. I would use ink designed for left-handed people, ink that would smudge less, or so I was told. And then I bought a different kind of ink which smudged too much, and after a short time I stopped writing with it. And now I am unsure where it is.
#490 – 24 January 2016
I remember The Sims and ‘reticulating splines‘. Incidentally I remembered this as ‘articulating splines’ until I Googled to check.
#491 – 25 January 2016
I remember looking around at my bookshelves, willing my mind to try and remember anecdotes and stories to write down for these remembrances.
#492 – 26 January 2016
I remember the tedious, worn feeling of having returned from a holiday and finding that everything at home was the same. How bothersome to feel like such a cliché.
#493 – 27 January 2016
I remember nodding and smiling as the mesero from our favourite taverna in Spain talked to me in very fast, very enthusiastic Spanish about my shirt, which had the beginning of Don Quixote printed on it in Spanish. I nodded and smiled.
#494 – 28 January 2016
I remember learning how to pronounce the Spanish letter ‘ñ’ and having to come to grips with the new mouth-feel of Roberto Bolaño, not Bolano.
#495 – 29 January 2016
I remember the first time I saw Anor Londo.
#496 – 30 January 2016
I remember Captain doing a double-take when I called him, he looked at me, started to look away, and then noticed the chicken neck I had in my hand. A very human reaction from a tiny dog.
#497 – 31 January 2016
I remember shovelling another load of empty red and white wine bottles into the recycling bin on a Thursday morning. There never seems to be many as they are slowly drunk, but the weekly accumulation can be horrifying.
#498 – 1 February 2016
I remember putting calendar appointments in my iPhone of people’s death dates because I knew I couldn’t trust myself to remember them on my own. And, sadly, and tellingly as to the kind of person I suppose that I am, this includes the date of my mother’s death, which I often forget.
#499 – 2 February 2016
I remember reading and enjoying the relationship confession/question sections of awful women’s magazine when I visited doctor’s offices or friend’s houses when I was young.
#500 – 3 February 2016
I remember reading Beckett’s trilogy when I was quite young, and hardly understanding it or why it was considered important. Now that I am older and better read, I think it would appeal, but my early twenties memory of it being extremely difficult to read has, so far, dissuaded me.