#501 – 4 February 2016
I remember wondering if I could (should?) try to record YouTube videos similar to NorthernLion or PewDiePie. But of course I couldn’t. Not even close.
#502 – 5 February 2016
I remember a time when I thought French literature was the greatest in the world (Proust, Flaubert, Zola, Sartre, Robbe-Grillet, Perec). A time when I thought it was German (Bernhard, Mann, Musil, Grass, Sebald). A time when I thought Spanish (Bolaño, Borges, Vila-Matas, Marías, Vargas Llosa). British (Eliot, Dickens, Burgess, Orwell, Stoppard, Bernard Shaw, Pinter). American (Roth, Bellow, Updike, Gaddis, DeLillo, Pynchon, Vollmann). And now? I don’t know. I don’t know.
#503 – 6 February 2016
I remember receiving two movie vouchers from a former boss to acknowledge that my performance at work was improving and that I was ‘on track’. I was rather proud of myself, even though the catalyst for this reward was previous poor performance, and I didn’t and don’t like to watch movies.
#504 – 7 February 2016
I remember being interviewed by a television crew at the Lifeline Bookfest, likely because I had a shopping trolley full of books I was preparing to buy. The reporter asked me about the bookfest and I went on about the greatness of literature and the sanctity of human creativity. I was not on the news that night, though perhaps that could also be attributed to my less than tv-calibre looks.
#505 – 8 February 2016
I remember discovering churning and wondering how I could make it benefit me (spoiler: in Australia, I basically can’t).
#506 – 9 February 2016
I remember eating half a sandwich at Katz Deli at 9 in the morning, and then we went home to sleep because I needed to fall into an immediate food coma.
#507 – 10 February 2016
I remember finding a green-covered and red-covered copy of Georges Perec’s Life A User’s Manual and matching it up with my blue-covered copy. All the same publisher – Collins Harvill. I could Google the reasoning behind the different covers, but I would prefer to come to my own conclusions, which I will do, one day, by reading the three editions side by side.
#508 – 11 February 2016
I remember a work meeting where I threw in a reference to Flaubert, and then a little later Kafka’s diaries. Oh, the pretension! But I wasn’t trying to be pretentious. I do, however, assume that I can be insufferable.
#509 – 12 February 2016
I remember having a phase in 2015 when I liked to use the words ‘conurbation’ and commensurate’ in ordinary conversation.
#510 – 13 February 2016
I remember deciding, three years ago, to propose to my (then) girlfriend. In my absent-mindedness, or my lack of commercial awareness, that the day I had chosen was the day after Valentine’s Day.
#511 – 14 February 2016
I remember Anna’s father standing on a ladder, his head disappeared into our asbestos roof as he gauged the dimensions of the ceiling and the trusses. And when he emerged, sweat pouring down, even though it was cold.
#512 – 15 February 2016
I remember the music from Firelink Shrine.
#513 – 16 February 2016
I remember the excitement and fondness I felt for letters with diacritics. The more the better. Oh, Spanish! Oh, French! Oh, Polish! Oh, Vietnamese! It quickened my heart.
#514 – 17 February 2016
I remember Stephanie’s funeral and Neutral Milk Hotel’s song, “I love how you love me“, which quite rightly played to the heartbreak of many, including me.
#515 – 18 February 2016
I remember (one of the times) when the iPhone changed its icons and colouring during an update, and how much I hated it at first. The old man in me has a field day during these times – and of course I am rapidly approaching being that old man in truth as well as outlook.
#516 – 19 February 2016
I remember Umberto Eco. Foucault’s Pendulum was, briefly, a text I would consider seminal. It didn’t stick, but I still greatly admire it. In a way, it showed me that European literature was deeply engrossed (obsessed?) with history. For someone who had, at the time, read only American writers (and genre writers at that), this was revolutionary to my understanding of literature.
#517 – 20 February 2016
I remember the first time I had the entirely predictable and utterly ordinary experience of the traveller using non-native money, and how spending it felt only remotely real, and difficult to align with my understanding of spending.
#518 – 21 February 2016
I remember Ornstein and Smough. And The Rotten. And the Blood-Starved Beast.
#519 – 22 February 2016
I remember finding a map of the Moscow rail system in a second-hand book. The map was written entirely in Russian. If I remember correctly, it was Don DeLillo’s Libra (Sidenote – has there been another major novelist named ‘Don’?)
#520 – 23 February 2016
I remember Matthewmatosis’ critique videos. And watching his six hour video of Dark Souls (7 September 2016 addition – which I have watched twice now).
#521 – 24 February 2016
I remember the Salvation Army dancers outside (a) Macy’s in New York City.
#522 – 25 February 2016
I remember being briefly obsessed with Zola’s twenty-book Les Rougon-Macquart cycle.
#523 – 26 February 2016
I remember reading Proudhon while drinking wine. I would become excited by his arguments and wish that I, too, had anarchist tendencies. But instead I was merely tipsy.
#524 – 27 February 2016
I remember doing an analysis of 50 Fragments I had written over the course of several months. Most contained no dialogue, I had refrained often from naming characters or places explicitly, and I used first person narrative a lot. So, that’s me as a writer.
#525 – 28 February 2016
I remember reading from an encyclopedia concerning the Italian Renaissance. I loved it – I knew so little about that time period, and it was sufficiently exhaustive that I felt an entire world opening up to me. It was the closest I came, I think, to truly allowing myself to fall into academia. I teetered on the edge but stayed firm.
#526 – 29 February 2016
I remember seeing endless tedious articles concerning the 29th of February, particularly focused around the supposed ability of women to propose on that day (and that day alone).
#527 – 1 March 2016
I remember learning about the male gaze.
#528 – 2 March 2016
I remember when my watch stopped and I decided against repairing it (1 November 2016 update – I have it in for repair, only 8 months later!)
#529 – 3 March 2016
I remember a year – 2003 or 2004 – when I was obsessed with Kafka and Borges and I would write little storylets designed to mimic their best qualities. Ape their best qualities. Copy their ideas. And ah, it was exhilarating, if derivative.
#530 – 4 March 2016
I remember using Ubuntu Linux and encrypting my hard drives with TrueCrypt. And, for a short time, I played around with Tor.
#531 – 5 March 2016
I remember when Windows 10 decided to update and install itself on my laptop overnight. The operating system itself was fine, but the intrusion – not so much.
#532 – 6 March 2016
I remember Homestar Runner, lil’ brudder, and buying Anna figurines for her (19th? 20th?) birthday.
#533 – 7 March 2016
I remember buying Final Fantasy VII and VIII pendants and trinkets from eBay, and feeling very pleased with myself because I had the ability to do so. It seemed, at the time, when I was, oh, twenty, that I was participating in adult activities.
#534 – 8 March 2016
I remember the building across the road and several buildings down which has been, over the last decade, a hair dresser, a clothes store, a bar, a rap-themed bar with a constant police presence, and a strip club.
#535 – 9 March 2016
I remember fluctuating between 4-7am writing and 9-12 (midnight) writing. The morning satisfies my sense of discipline and achieving first thing, while the night invigorates my sense of romance and is, of course, the path of least resistance as it is easier to stay up late than it is to wake up early. In short – my heart wants nights, my brain wants mornings. Which do you think wins?
#536 – 10 March 2016
I remember Hemwick Lane and unseen eyeballs.
#537 – 11 March 2016
I remember teasing Ashley virtually every weekday about her tendency to wear almost entirely black clothing, day in, day out.
#538 – 12 March 2016
#539 – 13 March 2016
I remember eating freshly smoked-at-our-table oysters at Desnuda in the East Village.
#540 – 14 March 2016
I remember finally earning above minimum wage, and in the following weeks I walked around the Brisbane CBD thinking that there was endless money sloshing about, and some of it was now in my pocket.
#541 – 15 March 2016
I remember listening to Beirut’s EP Realpeople: Holland and drinking scotch and coke while I looked after my little sister immediately after my mother had died, when my father vanished to another country for a month to clear his head.
#542 – 16 March 2016
I remember receiving postcards from Bogdan Suceava and, shamefully, never replying to them.
#543 – 17 March 2016
I remember Nadia’s father.
#544 – 18 March 2016
I remember the ridiculous office upgrade my office building put in place. Functional elevators were replaced with ‘smart’ elevators which used hard to press buttons and difficult to understand concepts which confused everyone (update in November – buttons are still hard to push, visitors remain confused).
#545 – 19 March 2016
I remember loving packet mix chicken tinga in Australia, and somewhat disliking the real version in Mexico. Out of everything I ate there and eat here, chicken tinga was the only dish that didn’t appeal in the original.
#546 – 20 March 2016
I remember listening to the Acid House Kings with Anna at Thondley Street while drinking cheap wine.
#547 – 21 March 2016
I remember reading Javier Marías for the first time and being underwhelmed. I believe I read Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me and A Heart so White. And then, second time around, his books worked their way into my mind, and since then I have known – future Nobel Laureate.
#548 – 22 March 2016
I remember Roberto Bolaño. I don’t know, at times it worries me how much of an influence his writing has had on mine. From a purely emotional standpoint, his work offers, to me, a permanent, enduring, and unknowable touchstone from which to learn and grow. And yet, I wonder, by putting his work so high, what am I missing out on? Which author am I failing to connect with who could be, for whatever reason, more piercing and true to the heart of me as a writer? Or, is placing a writer in such high regard at all a wise method by which to consider literature and its impact? My head says no, but my heart – oh!
#549 – 23 March 2016
I remember confusing Jorge Amado and Jorge Semprun, and buying a number of works by Amado in anticipation of reading more along the lines of The Long Voyage. Imagine my surprise!
#550 – 24 March 2016
I remember Perdido Street Station and a young woman’s crushed mandibles.
#551 – 25 March 2016
#552 – 26 March 2016
I remember Netflix and the short-lived ritual of watching the programme, Chef’s Table, while eating dinner with my wife.
#553 – 27 March 2016
I remember deciding that handwriting was for serious writing (such as these recollections of memory), and my computer would be used for commercial writing, if it existed and if I could stomach it.
#554 – 28 March 2016
I remember – no checking, now – The Barrens, Stormwind, Ironforge, Durotar, Azshara, Eastern Plaguelands, Western Plaguelands, Icecrown Peaks, Mount Hyjal, Townlong Steppes, Zangamarsh. And I can visualise others, but their names – gone.
#555 – 29 March 2016
I remember wanting to buy every work published by the Dalkey Archive Press. I didn’t, but I still think I should.
#556 – 30 March 2016
#557 – 31 March 2016
I remember recording me singing Yo La Tengo songs with iPhone to see if I could carry a note. I remain uncertain. My favourite song to do that with was Season of the Shark.
#558 – 1 April 2016
I remember starting the Journal of Failure and knowing immediately that its name was both prescient and true, as much as I may not have wished it to be so.
#559 – 2 April 2016
I remember the pathetic April Fool’s Day jokes of big internet companies. My how I dislike that day.
#560 – 3 April 2016
I remember first hearing the word ‘conurbation’ and wanting to use it in ordinary conversation.
#561 – 4 April 2016
I remember Shams Dean, who owned three McDonald’s stores – two in Maryborough, and one in Hervey Bay.
#562 – 5 April 2016
I remember the term ‘sausage fest’, though I was never quite sure what the female equivalent might be. Taco party?
#563 – 6 April 2016
I remember calling Brittney, ‘B Buckley’, Chris, ‘C Penny’, Ashley, ‘A Lynch’. Not funny, not creative, not interesting. And yet I did it all the time.
#564 – 7 April 2016
I remember Garion. I also thought I remembered his special wizard name as “Rogarion’, but it turns out to be ‘Belgarion’ instead. Of all the fantasy series I read as a teenager, returning to this one as an adult resulted in the most disappointment.
#565 – 8 April 2016
I remember moving my mouse back and forth in a flattened ‘U’ shape as I collected gold coins spilling out of enemies in Clicker Heroes.
#566 – 9 April 2016
I remember starting Virginie Despentes’ Apocalypse Baby as my first book for 2016. All these days later and I am stuck on page 100. And yet I liked the book? Perhaps because it reminds me of the sun-drenched, airy apartment in Mexico City where we were staying in January, and how I am not there any longer. (December update – still not finished!)
#567 – 10 April 2016
I remember Laurie Moloney.
#568 – 11 April 2016
I remember Nadia’s phone call about Laurie. I had missed the first call, and then she sent me a text to call her immediately. I knew. I didn’t know, but I knew. And then there were endless phone calls to friends and work colleagues.
#569 – 12 April 2016
I remember Alex’s heartfelt speech about Laurie as we all assembled in the staffroom. As he spoke his voice broke and he started to cry, and then everyone was crying, and there was a strong sense of togetherness.
#570 – 13 April 2016
I remember, in abstract, the year 2007, a year where I read 212 books. Will a year like that ever occur again? The last two years have seen me stagnating in the seventies.
#571 – 14 April 2016
I remember my arrogant, arrogant early twenties. Oh, I was insufferable.
#572 – 15 April 2016
I remember trying out fantasy again by reading Robin Hobb and David Gemmell. Mostly it was the nostalgia that affected me, if I am honest. It was nice to go back to being 15, for a little while.
#573 – 16 April 2016
I remember pressing the colour-coded buttons on the cash register at McDonald’s to input orders. For some reason I often think of that aspect of the job quite fondly. That, and lacing together cardboard circles used to hold the burgers together (which I don’t think is done any longer).
#574 – 17 April 2016
I remember idly day-dreaming about coming up with some kind of appealing creative outlet which could one day be turned into a Patreon.
#575 – 18 April 2016
I remember my friend David’s mother showing me the book she wanted to buy him for his 12th or 13th birthday (I was 14 or 15). The book – The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. She asked my opinion and I was not enthusiastic. A few months later I became obsessed with the series, which at the time had about, I think, seven books in the series. And Dave was on hand to discuss it.
#576 – 19 April 2016
I remember calling my brother Trent on a payphone in Spring Hill to tell him all about a book series I had started. I hadn’t written a word, and the plot was a cheap knock-off of George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, which at the time was beloved by serious fantasy readers, and nobody else.
#577 – 20 April 2016
I remember one (hungover) New Year’s Day when I went to the nearest Woolworths in a shirt, shorts, and no shoes, and I bought a roast chicken to devour with my hands as utensils and the bag it came in as a plate.
#578 – 21 April 2016
I remember Rand Al’Thor, Mat Cauthon, and Perrin Aybara. I did not run these names through Google – are they correct? I’m not sure…
#579 – 22 April 2016
I remember climbing into a storm drain with a friend. We were quite young, and clearly neither of us understood the risks of what we were doing. Worse, we liked to take with us matches, lighters, and paper and wood to set on fire in order for us to better see.
#580 – 23 April 2016
I remember the enormous (10 – 15 metres tall) statue of Ned Kelly in Tinana.
#581 – 24 April 2016
I remember cracking open Macadamia nuts with bricks and stones in our driveway in Maryborough when we were children. Imagine my surprise to discover, as an adult in Brisbane, that they were incredibly expensive.
#582 – 25 April 2016
I remember trying, three times so far, to read Seiobo There Below, and failing each time because I didn’t feel sufficiently equipped to process the aesthetic vision of Krasznahorkai’s work.
#583 – 26 April 2016
I remember wondering if writers who wrote at night were sad, and those who wrote in the morning were happy.
#584 – 27 April 2016
I remember the first time I began seeing young women with tattoos on the back of their upper thigh – perhaps 2013? 2014? They don’t seem as common now. Seem to have shifted to the side of the thigh.
#585 – 28 April 2016
I remember throwing away all of the Murakami books I owned, and then slowly buying them back a few years later. I can’t really explain either decision well.
#586 – 29 April 2016
I remember when my friend Ryan became a Buddhist, and how thin he looked. And, later, when my brother Trent became a vegan, and how he, too, lost a lot of weight quite quickly.
#587 – 30 April 2016
I remember collecting, and apportioning, horseshoes in Might and Magic VI and VII to the various characters I had created.
#588 – 1 May 2016
I remember Rinaldo Cantabile and Valentine Gersbach.
#589 – 2 May 2016
I remember being seven or eight years old, on the first day of tennis lessons. I am left-handed, and was complimented for this – told it would make me a strong opponent. Pleased, I hit the tennis ball as hard as I could and watched it sail far, far over the boundaries of the court. I thought I had it in me to be a tennis star.
#590 – 3 May 2016
I remember a literary project I began in, oh, 2006-07. Four books each from Bellow, Roth, Updike, read on repeat, one after the other. Updike: The four Rabbit novels. Roth: American Pastoral, The Human Stain, Sabbath’s Theatre, The Dying Animal. Bellow: Herzog, Seize the Day, Humboldt’s Gift, Henderson the Rain King.
#591 – 4 May 2016
I remember thick, dark, strong Vietnamese coffee in Hanoi, drunk with condensed milk pooled in the bottom before the coffee drips down.
#592 – 5 May 2016
I remember clicking candy, frogs, and fractions, and killing Polaburrs with excessive HP.
#593 – 6 May 2016
I remember farming blood vials.
#594 – 7 May 2016
I remember walking to Folio Books near the Stamford Plaza, then to Dymocks in the Queen Street Mall, then to Angus & Robertson on Adelaide Street. Usually every lunch time.
#595 – 8 May 2016
I remember walking to Gormans with Eloise.
#596 – 9 May 2016
I remember the Brisbane Lifeline Bookfest, and the host of it, a portly man who elongated his vowels unnecessarily over the speakers. He would walk around in a safari suit, his belly bulging over khaki pants.
#597 – 10 May 2016
I remember Herzog’s horror at the cruelty of men and women. And Citrine’s strong beating heart for Humboldt. And Bellow’s strings of commaless adjectives.
#598 – 11 May 2016
I remember binge watching Gordon Ramsay cooking shows – Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, etc.
#599 – 12 May 2016
I remember signing up to various Frequent Flyer programs across the world, with stars in my eyes about how much I might fly and the kind of status I would gain. I have since learned that focus, and not breadth of membership, is the key.
#600 – 13 May 2016
I remember reading about David Bowie’s death in a coffee shop in Mexico in La Playa del Carmen. It was a specialised newspaper devoted to sharing stories of America to (reasonably) well-off Americans who were holidaying at one of the many resorts scattered along the coast.
#601 – 14 May 2016
I remember the somewhat appealing, somewhat quease-inducing crunch of Captain biting into a dried pig snout.
#602 – 15 May 2016
I remember when Borders closed down in the Brisbane CBD and their clearance sale prices – selling everything including the fixtures – were still more expensive than the same items from the Book Depository (and an update – as of 2017, the building is now a Top Shop).
#603 – 16 May 2016
I remember listening to Joanne, who at 28 was relieved to have finally paid off her credit card and wished to celebrate. And I thought to myself that I, then 20, would never be so foolish. And of course at 28 I had a credit card debt which gave me grief.
#604 – 17 May 2016
I remember when my father gave me two albums and a small box filled with all of the photos he had of me as a child. That was in January 2016, and I still haven’t looked at them (January 2017 update – looked through one album with my wife. I remain unsure what to do with the remainder).
#605 – 18 May 2016
I remember when Michael Henry Heim died and how in awe I was of his talents in translation.
#606 – 19 May 2016
I remember how Laurie would call Nadia, ‘Nads’.
#607 – 20 May 2016
I remember Captain pulling on his lead while we were walking along King’s Beach at Caloundra. I slipped, I fell, my body banged against some rocks and I started to fit and faint. As I lost consciousness I remember thinking, resignedly but also matter-of-factly, ‘I don’t want to go to hospital again…’. But I did, and the doctor there made sure I was fine before commenting rather casually on the ‘wax factory’ I had operating inside my ear.
#608 – 21 May 2016
I remember screwing up FBT returns for the 2015-16 FBT-year. Two years in a row!
#609 – 22 May 2016
I remember being quite enamoured with Pynchon’s “sez” and David Foster Wallace’s “And but so”.
#610 – 23 May 2016
I remember the first time I noticed a few strands of dark hair on my left shoulder. I was perhaps 32? And now still at 34, the right shoulder remains hairless (and I am a relatively hair-free man).
#611 – 24 May 2016
I remember fiddling about with Habitica as a method for encouraging good behaviour and minimising poor habits. It never quite stuck, though.
#612 – 25 May 2016
I remember discovering the YouTube user, Sargon of Akkad, via a couple of videos debunking his views. I clicked, I watched, I struggled to understand the self-righteous pomposity and arrogance. Oh, I suppose I understood the arrogance, just not his reasoning, logic, stance, position, world-view, or beliefs.
#613 – 26 May 2016
I remember Black Lives Matter, or specifically when it seemed to be everywhere in early 2016.
#614 – 27 May 2016
I remember when our next door neighbour when I was growing up (I think her name was Pat Blanche?) was at our house visiting my mother when her water broke. She stood up, went outside, and ran and jumped over the chest-high wooden fence separating our yards. At nine months pregnant.
#615 – 28 May 2016
I remember eating mulberries in Howard when I was in early primary school (7? 8?). My sister and I would eat them by the handful, ripping from the tree from wherever we could reach, staining our lips and teeth, and wiping our hands on our clothes, ruining them.
#616 – 29 May 2016
I remember waking up very early when I was 9 or 10 and creeping into the chicken coop in our backyard to collect the warm brown eggs from underneath the quietly cooing chickens as they sleepily shifted over my hands.
#617 – 30 May 2016
I remember Sensini and the protagonist from Bolaño’s short story, the first in the collection, Last Evenings on Earth. It shattered me when I first read it, and even now the story gives me shivers.
#618 – 31 May 2016
I remember entering the French embassy (or part of it) in New York City in order to visit the bookstore, Albertine. In true Anna fashion, my wife went around the side past the entrance, not realising there was a metal detector and two armed guards keeping watch. It all ended quite politely, and no harm was done. A little while later I bought Virginie Despentes’ novel, Apocalypse Baby, and Tom Roberge wasn’t there for me to thank him for his podcast.
#619 – 1 June 2016
I remember tapping away on my Google Chromebook late on afternoon in Mexico City on Calle Simon de Bolívar, while outside the organilleros cranked their harmonipan’s, balancing the weighty instrument as they held out their caps, ignored by all.
#620 – 2 June 2016
I remember my high school friend, Michael, who told me how he liked to go to the Maryborough rose gardens at night, lie down on the grass, look up at the stars, and think about his unrequited love, Jennifer. I am less confident on this next part, but I think he liked to listen to I Believe, by Blessid Union of Souls, which, to do that back then, would have required a walkman of some kind.
#621 – 3 June 2016
I remember going to the State Library of Queensland when I was perhaps 20 or 21 and, while enjoying the air conditioning, I read Bohumil Hrabal’s Too Loud a Solitude and Cees Nooteboom’s The Following Story, both of which had been plucked at random from the shelves. How fortunate I was to stumble on them both.
#622 – 4 June 2016
I remember my housemate and friend, Mark Deere, singing Fly Me to the Moon to his then-girlfriend (and now wife) at her 21st birthday party. He sang poorly (though in tune) and with heart, and had a tendency to go down on one knee and point to the ceiling while singing.
#623 – 5 June 2016
I remember listening to Crowded House while a girl I went to high school with, Michelle, and I, drove through the quiet streets of Maryborough at one, two a.m. Of course she liked me, and I was oblivious.
#624 – 6 June 2016
#625 – 7 June 2016
I remember making fun of my brother for packing up and wrapped his video game consoles in tea towels after he finished using them.
#626 – 8 June 2016
I remember noticing my mother online very late at night. Her chemo was giving her problems and she couldn’t sleep. So, she would play Farm Frenzy and hunt down salt and pepper shakers on eBay. And, sometimes, I would ignore the green light indicating she was online, even though she loved to chat online with me when I said hello.
#627 – 9 June 2016
I remember playing Hearthstone when it first came out. I think I spent, oh, twenty or so dollars on it opening packs. And a bit of research tells me – closer to $60!
#628 – 10 June 2016
I remember sucking up yabbies with my grandfather at Red Rock, where we may have lived, then, or perhaps were just visiting. That I don’t remember. Later, while ordering fish and chips for lunch, I put some of my own money into a Double Dragon arcade machine. The food came but I wasn’t done playing. I wouldn’t go with my grandfather. He smacked my bottom and away we went.
#629 – 11 June 2016
I remember reading a magnificent quote spoken by Legrandin in Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way. Should I ever publish a novel (or specifically, the one I am currently working on), then I would like to use it as an epigraph.
#630 – 12 June 2016
I remember Captain crouched at the closed bedroom door, his nose pressed as far under it as possible, crying because my wife remained asleep and he wanted to see her, and I was no fun on a Saturday morning with my books and pen scratchings.
#631 – 13 June 2016
I remember a corduroy jacket I used to wear, so big I drowned in it, to use a cliche that certainly applied, and the stack of postcards I kept in the inner jacket pocket, to give to girls to write their numbers on for me.
#632 – 14 June 2016
I remember setting up credit card and BPAY transfers for debt, bills, and investments, and feeling inordinately proud of the elaborate spreadsheet I had made to track all of these. And each Saturday morning, bleary-eyed, before my wife woke up, I liked to increment each of the amounts to further my future.
#633 – 15 June 2016
I remember smashing an old couch with my brother as a way for him to deal with his grief. I think it was about a week afterwards, when he still lived at their apartment.
#634 – 16 June 2016
I remember Ashley, who told me repeatedly that she did not dance, drunkenly singing along to Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys songs and, surprise, nailing the choreography. Only when drunk, she says.
#635 – 17 June 2016
I remember my siblings wearing plastic pants over their nappies, which we called pilchers. Nobody I know now calls them that, so where did the word come from? Is it regional, or specific to my family? I don’t want to Google it – I prefer not to know.
#636 – 18 June 2016
I remember my father, Ralph and I going to my father’s neighbour’s house to feed the cat while they (the neighbours) were away. And then Ralph and my dad showed me the neighbour’s motorcycle, which was, according to them, a vehicle of some beauty, majesty and power. They spoke at me in great detail about the motorcycle, highlighting little details and expressing their joy. Until that day I had not known at all that my father had any interest in motorcycling.
#637 – 19 June 2016
I remember my father outlining his diet after mum died. From memory: 3-5 cans of coke each day, a bacon and egg roll for lunch, black coffee for breakfast, and some form of steamed vegetables and meat for dinner. He wasn’t proud, he wasn’t ashamed, he just wanted to state how he was eating – and there it was.
#638 – 20 June 2016
I remember buying and playing Dark Souls 3. Never quite as obsessively as Dark Souls 2 – that one really got its hooks into me. I remember waking up early: 5am, 4am, and wandering through Dragon Aerie.
#639 – 21 June 2016
I remember watching Rage on Saturday mornings, and particularly a period which included a song about little pigs (a film clip with claymation pigs and a wolf), and a techno-ish song with someone yelling “Here’s Johnny!” (bad computer graphics and, I later learned, the quote was Jack Nicholson from The Shining). Meanwhile, my father made plates of devon on toast for all of us kids.
#640 – 22 June 2016
I remember the Directors clapping when I submitted my first full budget.
#641 – 23 June 2016
#642 – 24 June 2016
I remember my favourite restaurant in La Playa del Carmen being a Japanese restaurant which specialised in sashimi. So, not Mexican, then.
#643 – 25 June 2016
I remember reading Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy at South Bank, in the afternoon, when I was very young and very new to literature and philosophy and Plato and Thomas Aquinas and Nietzsche. I believe I wanted to both enjoy the sun and avoid my housemates. Youth.
#644 – 26 June 2016
I remember a dirty old house on Webster/Grange Road, near the Days Road turn. There was always an old red car out the front, no plates, and crammed into the garage and by the side of the house were hundreds of small household items – chairs, plates, tables, boxes.
#645 – 27 June 2016
I remember watching hours of Double Chen/Strictly Dumpling on YouTube when I started cooking Chinese dishes. I suppose in preparation for trip to China which, so far, hasn’t eventuated.
#646 – 28 June 2016
I remember when we moved into our new home (May 2014) and discovered we had a half-sized dishwasher. I had never seen one before, or knew they existed.
#647 – 29 June 2016
I remember going on a chairlift in Queenstown on my honeymoon. This was the peak of my fear of flying: I had a slight panic attack on the way up the mountain as the chair rose and I watched the ground fall away.
#648 – 30 June 2016
I remember strongly identifying with Juan García Madero and Arturo Belano, and Ulises Lima.
#649 – 1 July 2016
I remember creating and using Whatsapp and its groups feature to reconnect and strengthen bonds with the different sides of my family.
#650 – 2 July 2016
I remember the They Might be Giant’s song, Particle Man.
#651 – 3 July 2016
I remember becoming briefly obsessed with Gordon Ramsay’s television shows – Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, Masterchef USA, etc.
#652 – 4 July 2016
I remember Captain being scared of thunderstorms – happened about when he turned two – and his method for seeking comfort was to jump up on to my chair and wriggle his way on to my lap. (April 2017 update to this – turns out he is afraid of the wind and rattling windows, not thunderstorms.)
#653 – 5 July 2016
I remember going to Oxford to buy more pants, and discovering after I had purchased three pairs that their smallest size had increased just enough to where they were too big to me, and had the wrong cut for my body.
#654 – 6 July 2016
I remember when Oxford shifted their pants to no longer catering to tiny men like myself, and the search for another brand to take its place. After a while, I came to appreciate Ted Baker clothing, however I have never quite warmed to their shirts.
#655 – 7 July 2016
I remember looking back through my books spreadsheet and discovering that it had been more than a year since I had read and completed The Savage Detectives. And this a book I had sworn to myself would almost always be on the ‘currently reading’ pile that makes up my life.
#656 – 8 July 2016
I remember reading – Buzzfeed, Distractify, The Lad Bible – while in the bathroom. Whiling away time.
#657 – 9 July 2016
I remember that when I was a young teenager, the only cooking responsibility I had at home was to stir the gravy. And sometimes peel carrots (for whatever reason I enjoyed eating the peels). I had, then, zero interest in food or how to prepare it.
#658 – 10 July 2016
I remember grinding up Szechuan peppercorns to make a peppered salt during my great Chinese cooking phase of mid-2016.
#659 – 11 July 2016
I remember becoming interested in late-night American shows a couple of years after Leno and Letterman left the air. They had always seemed like shows for my father (any father).
#660 – 12 July 2016
I remember exchanging emails with my friend Dave where we would lament our desire to play games instead of reading or writing while still, well, playing constantly.
#661 – 13 July 2016
I remember shooting arrows at the dragon on the bridge until I got the Drake Sword, and then never using it.
#662 – 14 July 2016
I remember watching ice skaters at Bryant Park just before Christmas Day (2015).
#663 – 15 July 2016
I remember watching late afternoon ABC television when I was 14 or 15. Between shows they would play a popular song as a way to round up time to the nearest half-hour. One afternoon, I watched a young man walk out, sit on a chair, and start to sing. It might have been black and white, but I’m not sure. I was transfixed – the song was Oasis’ Wonderwall.
#664 – 16 July 2016
I remember the first Christmas after my mother had died. Dad bought us all waterguns. I guess so that we would run around and play. I suppose he wanted to remember us as children and to hear some laughter. But we didn’t play with them.
#665 – 17 July 2016
I remember hoping – why? – that the Rio Olympics would be a huge disaster. Not because I was concerned about Brazil handling the event, but for whatever reason I hate the Olympics and have since pretty much as early back as I can remember (is there any value in unpacking this? I never watch sports.)
#666 – 18 July 2016
I remember the Overwatch beta. Oh, dear, no, not for me.
#667 – 19 July 2016
I remember learning, at Spirit House, a method for efficiently removing the head and shell from a prawn. But I have forgotten it now.
#668 – 20 July 2016
I remember first growing spring onions in our planter box and being absurdly happy with my ability to do so. For whatever reason I’ve never been able to grow anything else, and I’ve tried.
#669 – 21 July 2016
I remember playing a game with my nephew, Fred, where we would touch index fingers, his aim shaky due to his age, and how he would laugh and laugh.
#670 – 22 July 2016
I remember the $2 entry fee into the Ascot markets, and how every time it seemed a Courier Mail weekend edition was generously provided.
#671 – 23 July 2016
I remember deciding to ditch the idea of a weekend in Adelaide for Anna’s 30th, and instead fly all the way to Japan. The reason – Ramen! And because I was afraid of the flight to Adelaide…
#672 – 24 July 2016
I remember discussing, at length, with David Hamil at Laurie’s funeral about my fondness for Rasputin as a literary device, and my desire to utilise his life one day in the service of literature.
#673 – 25 July 2016
I remember reading Robert K Massie’s Nicholas and Alexandra, and from it spun out Bob Massie and all of the rest.
#674 – 26 July 2016
I remember following bands on Myspace. The clearest memory – Paperface. But there was a local Brisbane band, too, but I cannot remember their name now. They disbanded, as of the date of this memory, easily more than nine years ago. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to find their songs again.
#675 – 27 July 2016
I remember watching all of The Wire and then watching it all again with my girlfriend (now wife) while pretending to be ignorant of it all. I still haven’t told her.
#676 – 28 July 2016
I remember reading about Knut Hamsun as he rode trains across America, wearing newspapers underneath his clothes in order to stay warm.
#677 – 29 July 2016
I remember wandering through Chinatown in Melbourne in, I think, early 2009. My girlfriend (now wife) and I ordered duck, and perhaps also some dumplings. I did not realise the duck would be served cold, or that the fat would be white and soft, and feel clotted in my mouth. Seven years later, would I like the dish now?
#678 – 30 July 2016
I remember binge reading articles by and about John Bogle.
#679 – 31 July 2016
I remember The Dismemberment Plan song, The Jitters, and how much it reminds me of playing Planescape: Torment.
#680 – 1 August 2016
I remember “Updated my Journal”
#681 – 2 August 2016
I remember when Ted Kennedy died.
#682 – 3 August 2016
I remember getting a tick while camping in Gympie when I was, oh, twelve? Thirteen?
#683 – 4 August 2016
I remember eating green mole with chapulines and stringy cheese in Oaxaca.
#684 – 5 August 2016
I remember starting Whatsapp groups, first with Anna’s siblings and partners, and then again with her parents, and then a new round of groups for my family and partners.
#685 – 6 August 2016
I remember developing a habit of air-drying after a shower, often taken to excess (ie multiple hours).
#686 – 7 August 2016
I remember returning to Clicker Heroes and discovering, with some joy but also trepidation because I knew the addiction would come back, that transcendence had been added to the ascendence mechanic.
#687 – 8 August 2016
I remember clockspider and limecat.
#688 – 9 August 2016
I remember the message board of Gamefaqs called Life, the Universe, and Everything, and how it was restricted suddenly to those who had ever accessed it, and otherwise walled off as an (early, not particularly malignant) cesspit of the internet.
#689 – 10 August 2016
I remember bicycling by the golf course in Maryborough when I was a teenager. Out of nowhere, a magpie flew into the side of my face, almost dislodging me from the bike. It fell to the ground, I turned back and saw it shake itself and then slowly fly away.
#690 – 11 August 2016
I remember buying baguettes for my 21st birthday and then sword fighting with them with my brothers.
#691 – 12 August 2016
I remember a brief period in Autumn 2015 when it seemed that every girl in Brisbane was wearing leggings with space patterns.
#692 – 13 August 2016
I remember footnotes, “and but so”, tennis, PGOAT.
#693 – 14 August 2016
I remember a sudden strange smell, which I could only identify as being hit in the face. I hadn’t been, and that doesn’t seem to have a smell at all, but it came on suddenly, and persisted for a day or two.
#694 – 15 August 2016
I remember Laura’s emails, which never had subject lines, ever, infuriatingly so.
#695 – 16 August 2016
I remember Chris endlessly discussing Tasmania and spruiking its, to him, finest qualities. And then also his slow shift away from psychology and toward graphic design, icon creation, and clean crisp vector graphics of vintage cars.
#696 – 17 August 2016
I remember creating vaguely literary passwords for commonly used accounts at my workplace – passwords like Sebald8621, Kafka 371, etc. And hoping that when I told someone the password they would recognise the author, and smile.
#697 – 18 August 2016
I remember receiving an email, perhaps a year after I had stopped regularly reviewing novels and short stories on my website. The email was clearly from a throwaway email address and, for whatever reason (perhaps a legitimate reason!) then writer absolutely hated everything I wrote and, it seemed, me.
#698 – 19 August 2016
I remember Taro’s Ramen closing down on Adelaide Street, and the small, pop-up style temporary location they set up closer to the main CBD area. (2017 update – it’s still there!)
#699 – 20 August 2016
I remember when Norman Mailer died, and how he now seems to have vanished from contemporary commentary on literature. Updike, too.
#700 – 21 August 2016
I remember reading Madame Bovary for the first time. I was in my early twenties. At the end, after she had died, I thought to myself – is that it? I couldn’t see what I was missing. A year or so later I read it again, and from almost the first page, I knew: Ah, this was what I was missing.
#701 – 22 August 2016
I remember briefly – very briefly – considering buying a VR headset following an eight hour video from GiantBomb.
#702 – 23 August 2016
I remember staying out very late on a Friday or Saturday with the intention of remaining out and about long enough to take advantage of Fat Boy’s $4 breakfast of eggs, sausage, toasted bread, tomato. No changes.
#703 – 24 August 2016
I remember a woman at Rics who had ‘trash bag’ embroidered on the back of her top.
#704 – 25 August 2016
I remember reading Yukio Mishima and struggling to separate the art from the artist. I admired his work while remaining saddened by the way his life had turned out. These days, I don’t care a whit for what the artist did, I only care for their art.
#705 – 26 August 2016
I remember wanting to write a fragment each day – a writing trick intended on copying the style of a writer I was currently reading in an effort to loosen the writing muscles. And yet, here we are now, and there are often weeks and months between sessions.
#706 – 27 August 2016
I remember buying a watching and becoming accustomed, in my thirties, to the heaviness of it on my arm. And I remember destroying so many watches as a child, including a watch which I believe was rather fancy. It had a radio, and a headphone jack. I ruined it on the day I received it by taking it into the ocean.
#707 – 28 August 2016
I remember boiling chicken and pumpkin for Captain to soothe his upset stomach. He would very methodically eat around the pumpkin as best he could, until he became impatient with his dinner and just ate the whole thing.
#708 – 29 August 2016
I remember eating a lot of ramen – particularly from Taros, but also instant ramen bought from a Korean grocer on Adelaide Street – in anticipation of visiting Japan. Which, in retrospect, made little sense.
#709 – 30 August 2016
I remember The Decemberists’ song, The Tain, and the lyric, “But hush now darling, don’t you cry.”
#710 – 31 August 2016
I remember one birthday – 24 or 25 – and Anna had finally, finally, been allowed to stay the night by her parents. We went to see The Lucksmiths, I bought a shirt, and on the way home we were mugged. I remained calm and negotiated the loss of $20 to keep my wallet, and when we arrived home, Anna became upset that I didn’t fight them off.
#711 – 1 September 2016
I remember Anna saying to me, “I’ll see you when the wind blows”, and then disappearing on me for a few weeks.
#712 – 2 September 2016
I remember listening to podcasts advertising Casper mattresses and Sherrie’s Berries.
#713 – 3 September 2016
I remember Carmella and Tony.
#714 – 4 September 2016
I remember a brief phase – oh, two months – when I drank a lot of frangelico and ice.
#715 – 5 September 2016
I remember Knausgaard’s drunken father.
#716 – 6 September 2016
I remember my father casually mentioning to me that he fed his dog, Dekar, bowls of cream.
#717 – 7 September 2016
I remember the dialogue boxes in Lufia II, which had little indicators near each character which helped identify who was talking. A small touch, but one I’d never seen before in a video game.
#718 – 8 September 2016
I remember walking to the Green Bean salad store (long gone) at Post Office Square to tell my brother that John Updike had died.
#719 – 9 September 2016
I remember the brief, short, somewhat pathetic but nonetheless earnest ‘occupy Wall Street’ protests held on the grassy area of Post Office Square, Brisbane, Australia. Nothing – sadly – changed.
#720 – 10 September 2016
I remember listening to an all-girl Catholic choir outside my office window, far down below behind where the main Cathedral area was, in a small grassy, concreted area with benches, trees, cool breeze, singing.
#721 – 11 September 2016
I remember an outer-suburb market in Sydney I visited in 2010, where I saw an enormous selection of fish, varieties I had never seen before, and at a nearby store I bought two books by Robbe-Grillet. Next to the bookstore was an even smaller storefront selling rugs and carpets with fraying edges and marked and dirty undersides.
#722 – 12 September 2016
I remember marveling at my lack of anxiety as the Japan trip approached and my time to board an aeroplane came closer. The difference between that and any flight in the previous few years was beyond striking.
#723 – 13 September 2016
I remember a debate competition in high school where, woefully under-prepared, I floundered toward an ending to my speech and started rambling about how life ‘was not worth living’ if the issue (and I do not exactly remember the issue other than it wasn’t of particularly high stakes) wasn’t resolved to my team’s position. Unsurprisingly, after the talk a few adults in the room approached me and asked me if I was okay.
#724 – 14 September 2016
I remember the T’lann Imass and the Tiste Andii and other such nonsense words from Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series. At times, exciting because I wanted plot and magic and swords and power, and at other times juvenile, pathetic, sad, because I instead wanted nuance, sophistication, tact, culture. The glorious and the ridiculous, packaged into thousand+ page novels.
#725 – 15 September 2016
I remember my friend David, a fellow writer, who would write long emails to me which were full of reasoning and justifications for why he was moving from Toowoomba to Brisbane, from Brisbane to Toowomba, and back, and forth, and back. Usually twice a year he would do this.
#726 – 16 September 2016
I remember interviewing a young man who, when asked what food he liked to make for himself or eat, froze and was so nervous he could only come out with, ‘potatoes’. He was Irish, so I suppose this makes sense.
#727 – 17 September 2016
I remember the close to unbearable stuffiness of New York apartments and restaurants while visiting in winter 2015. It was hard to sleep, hard to breathe; it felt like the radiator was taking away all the cool fresh air.
#728 – 18 September 2016
I remember the shooting-nose and -brain pain of eating wasabi for the first time when I was quite young, and also, many years later, watching Anna’s grandfather, who was over eighty at the time, eat a spoonful of wasabi while we were at a Japanese restaurant. Lovely, he murmured, his eyes clear and bright.
#729 – 19 September 2016
I remember the large plant, flower and butterfly art installation at Singapore airport (late 2015).
#730 – 20 September 2016
I remember the ‘street’ of food stalls at the Singapore airport and how, even though it was so clearly artificial, it excited me about the upcoming possibilities – Asian street food!
#731 – 21 September 2016
I remember buying The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and then starting a Let’s Read under a pseudonym who I believed may be a good fantasy-literature foil for me. I am sure it’s still all out there on the internet somewhere.
#732 – 22 September 2016
I remember when I was first learning to cook, and a time specifically when I offered to make some food for my father. I stuff chicken breasts with camembert cheese and some other things (I forget now, but I think spinach leaves and herbs), and over-baked them, and served them with beans. They came out terribly because I forgot to sear and forgot to rest the meat, but everyone assured me the food was good. It wasn’t.
#733 – 23 September 2016
I remember arriving in Tokyo around 6am on a Sunday morning. We caught a taxi to Shinjuku. The hotel would take our bags, but they wouldn’t let us check in to our rooms before 2pm. No room for budging. Exhausted, we wandered around the city as it slowly woke up. It was humid and at times it rained. I saw the headquarter of the company Square, and thought about taking a photograph, but I figured we would end up back there some time over the following days. We didn’t.
#734 – 24 September 2016
I remember drinking miso soup from a dark red earthenware cup in a restaurant at the top of a department store. At the bottom of the cup were tiny little clam-like creatures, each smaller than my fingernail, still captured in their shells.
#735 – 25 September 2016
I remember first entering Shinjuku train station, a day or two after we had arrived in Tokyo. Inside the entrance was a handful of restaurants and a large department store. Anna and I agreed that we would have to remember this area for later when we were hungry or wanted to go shopping. Little did we know that the station stretched on, and on, and on, and that we had seen only the slightest smallest tiniest amount of what was on offer.
#736 – 26 September 2016
I remember drunkenly stumbling into two young Japanese men near Shinjuku station at about 2 or 3am one morning after a long night of eating and drinking. These two men told men, in poor English (better than my Japanese!) that they were 24 and asked me my age. I lied and said I was 24 as well. To say they were astounded and delighted at this coincidence would be an understatement – many photographs were taken, and everyone was happy.
#737 – 27 September 2016
I remember repeatedly eating bowls of tonkotsu ramen in Tokyo and Kyoto and then, immediately afterwards, needing to nap. The richness, the heaviness, the fat, the volume – I was done!
#738 – 28 September 2016
I remember the anime store in Akihabara, Tokyo, which was, on the ground floor, very pleasant, if obsessed with Neon Genesis, One Piece, Naruto, etc. And then the seven levels above which were filled with all sorts of pornographic material, endless, endless, endless.
#739 – 29 September 2016
I remember when I was quite young, perhaps ten, and I had climbed about halfway up a tree in the backyard at home. I swung down from the branch, dangled, then let myself fall. When I landed I rolled, and I remember thinking that I was as ready and prepared as the action heroes whose movies I loved, or the protagonists of the extremely cheesy fantasy novels I enjoyed.
#740 – 30 September 2016
I remember Anna searching up and down Harajuku, Tokyo, to find somewhere that would paint little Mario Bros pictures on her fingernails, as a kind of temporary souvenir of the trip.
#741 – 1 October 2016
I remember Anna’s joy at being in Kitchen Town, wandering through stores and examining all of the fake food on display. Bursting with happiness.
#742 – 2 October 2016
I remember the coloured LED lights on the huge out door stairs at Kyoto Train Station
#743 – 3 October 2016
I remember the triangles of sushi sold at 7-11 stores in Japan. The cans of coffee with their slight metallic sweetness. The cans of beer and the bottles of wine and liquor, all so much cheaper than anything in Australia. The thick volumes of cheaply printed manga. And the little key chains and trinkets related to Dragon Quest, Mario, Zelda.
#744 – 4 October 2016
I remember Hachikō at Shibuya Station, standing next to him in the pouring rain, looking up, with an umbrella in hand. And the paw prints scattered around the station and the stairs leading up out of the underground area and into the plaza.
#745 – 5 October 2016
I remember stumbling into a tiny bar in Kyoto where three young Japanese men played jazz for an hour while we drank beer and whiskey. There were about five of us in total watching them play, including the owner. It was one of the more accidentally intimate and touching experiences of our Japanese 2016 trip.
#746 – 6 October 2016
I remember receiving an email about my friend Sarah, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The email was from a friend I didn’t know, and it outlined the plan of communication, which was to send irregular emails with updates on her health and progress. Sarah did not herself which to be overly bombarded with emails or meet-ups – she didn’t have much time, and her tiny daughter needed her more than any of us. My first, less than admirable, reaction was to lament that now I was of an age where people my own age were becoming sick and dying of illnesses, and not just accidents.
#747 – 7 October 2016
I remember all of the little dog statues in Fushimi Inari, Kyoto.
#748 – 8 October 2016
I remember my wife reversing down our driveway and accidentally turning the car just enough that the back left wheel went up and over on to the brick retaining wall. And just like that it was stuck – for hours, until RACQ rescued it (though not before the puzzled RACQ driver gently implied that it may not be salvageable without ruining the car).
#749 – 9 October 2016
I remember watching young Russian men run across the beach and jump into the ocean near Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. A woman, unknown to me, older, murmured to my girlfriend and I that it was nice to see these boys enjoying themselves, and that Soviet Russia had not been kind to them. This was 2007.
#750 – 10 October 2016
I remember hosting a party in my early twenties. My brother and I thought it would be hilarious to serve durian fruit to our guests. An hour before they arrived we sliced the fruit and prepared it. Half an hour before people arrived we threw it into the trash, mildly gagging.
#751 – 11 October 2016
I remember reading about different countries in the CIA World Factbook. I was quite young (not yet 20), and hadn’t really heard of many of the countries. For whatever reason I particularly enjoyed reading about the economies of each country.
#752 – 12 October 2016
I remember my brother keeping a notebook inside which he recorded printing errors and misspellings in published books with a view, so he said, of one day sending his findings to various publishers in order for them to improve the editing quality of their work.
#753 – 13 October 2016
I remember the adenoid rampaging through London, from the early part of Gravity’s Rainbow, before it truly becomes strange.
#754 – 14 October 2016
I remember the weight of my wedding ring the first day of two of wearing it, and particularly how I twisted it on my finger while in the shower on Sunday, 13 April 2014, the day after my wedding, slowly becoming used to the weight of it, and all the while dreading the flight the next day.
#755 – 15 October 2016
I remember writing a review of Richard Powers‘ novel, The Echo Maker, for a reviewing competition for, I think, The Australian. It never went anywhere. I sent a draft around to various people I knew for critique and feedback. The overwhelming response was minor variations on – it’s good! Which of course helped me improve it immensely.
#756 – 16 October 2016
I remember periodically falling into the abyss of playing Realm Grinder.
#757 – 17 October 2016
I remember marvelling at the use of apostrophes in fantasy novels. Some examples – Tel’aran’rhiod -Prince K’azz D’Avore -T’amber – D’donori -Pth’thya-l’ya.
#758 – 18 October 2016
I remember Dave’s girlfriend Bei Bei, and the email he sent to me, when he was in China visiting her, sharing his musings as he wandered the busy streets of, I believe, Shanghai.
#759 – 19 October 2016
I remember an afternoon with my father, who had offered to fix and replace our rusted out mailbox at the bottom of the front yard. He couldn’t get the final screw out of the brick retaining wall into which the mailbox had been fastened, and so he twisted and tore at the mailbox until the rusted screw snapped. A thin stream of bright red blood appeared and ran from a cut on his sun-stained forearm, which he ignored, against my protest.
#760 – 20 October 2016
I remember beginning a long, detailed, drawn out series of emails with two separate individuals, both of which now span hundreds of emails and multiple years. Eloise – about life, romance, my hopes and fears for my life and my love, and the problems of memory and my inability to properly articulate my life goals. Dave – literature, of course, endlessly circling around the same topics, always grappling with why we weren’t better writers, why we weren’t writing more, why we weren’t reading more.
#761 – 21 October 2016
I remember a particularly lonely period in my life when I was playing World of Warcraft quite a bit. I typed ‘Hi’ in to the Guild chat window. It was during the Classic phase of the games (so, this would put it around 2006), and my character was wandering around the Burning Steppes. I decided that the first person to respond to me would receive all of my in-game gold, and I hoped also might become my friend. Whoever it was who responded, I dutifully mailed the gold to them, and – nothing. They said ‘thank you’, but that was as far as it went. Very soon afterwards I deleted my characters and account (for the first, but not the last, time).
#762 – 22 October 2016
I remember a computer store where I bought my first computer, in Maryborough, with money I had earned working at McDonald’s. It was tucked away at the back of a run-down shopping complex, surrounded by charity stores and tax accountants with shuttered windows. The owner was, I could tell even then, somewhat incompetent, and he had with him in the store a truly enormous dog.
#763 – 23 October 2016
I remember watching the Death Note anime with Anna. This was in the thick of an anime binge, where we watched Neon Genesis Evangelion and Berserk. Got a bit stuck at Excel Saga.
#764 – 24 October 2016
I remember collecting Love Hina manga. Clearly I narrowly avoided becoming an Otaku.
#765 – 25 October 2016
I remember the first time I ate a steak at Cha Cha Char, and then after that I finally understood why people loved to eat steak so much. Before that – uninterested.
#766 – 26 October 2016
I remember listening to the Notwist song, Consequence, on endless repeat when I was in my early twenties.
#767 – 27 October 2016
I remember nothing, sometimes. Days when I try to drag out little bits of my life without really being able to recall with any kind of clarity. And my mind circles around the same memories, and everything else seems to be gone.
#768 – 28 October 2016
I remember reading the first four Harry Potter books in Maryborough, with my younger brother, when we both still lived with our parents and were, I think, in high school. I was a book ahead, and we would both lie in the dark green lounge chairs set in the back of the living room, our legs dangling over the arm rests as we read and discussed the books.
#769 – 29 October 2016
I remember our first foolish night in Tokyo, when we sat down in an obvious tourist trap in Shibuya and drank over-priced wine. All around us at the different tables – Australians, British people, Irish couples. And Japanese men and women walked by, and none came in.
#770 – 30 October 2016
I remember Matthewmatosis, Noah Antwiler, SeeKayEm99, Noah Caldwell-Gervais, LHudson, SolePorpoise, ProJared, Mark Wiens, Lorerunner, Noclip, Mikey Chen, hbomberguy.
#771 – 31 October 2016
I remember clearing out Laurie’s office after he had passed away, and being so agitated by the thought of the upcoming task that, in the morning I forgot my access card and couldn’t get into the office. I had to go all the way back home again, and then return to the city, all for a job I wished terribly was not mine to do. I found – resumes from when he was in his twenties, stacks of notepads and pens from hotels, boarding passes going back decades, trinkets and souvenirs from holidays, business cards stretching across 40 years, both his own and that of his colleagues and contacts. And on it went, and on.
#772 – 1 November 2016
I remember ordering – by happy accident – seared chicken breast skewers from a tiny restaurant buried away at the back of the Nishiki markets in Kyoto. There, I ate real wasabi for the first time, grated directly on to my food immediately before eating. And there, I ate what was, in effect, raw chicken, with the outside deeply seared, like a medium rare steak. Incredible.
#773 – 2 November 2016
I remember a rash of financing when we first moved into the home we bought – a computer, a lounge, a coffee table, and also a balance transfer on my credit card to get all the different monies together and in order. And the relief, much later, when it was all gone.
#774 – 3 November 2016
I remember a time when I deeply loved – and deeply felt – the music of The Smiths, particularly Please, please, please let me get what I want.
#775 – 4 November 2016
I remember telling Gerard, my future brother-in-law, that I was going to ask his sister to marry me. It was late December in 2013, we were sitting on a balcony at King’s Beach, drinking beer and playing Dominion.
#776 – 5 November 2016
#777 – 6 November 2016
I remember Anna’s brief owl phase where she bought or was given all sorts of owl-related trinkets. And then suddenly, an explosion of them in stores all across Australia – were they always about, or had I only just noticed them because of my wife’s new fondness?
#778 – 7 November 2016
I remember a childhood jingle, which went: “John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt, that’s my name too!”. No idea where it came from, or how I know it, but it rattles around in my brain box at times, often inopportunely.
#779 – 8 November 2016
I remember listening to Arcade Fire’s first album, Funeral, and vowing to myself that I would listen to it every day as I thought, at the time, that it was a perfect work of music.
#780 – 9 November 2016
I remember Anna’s excitement and happiness when we visited Kitchen Town in Taito, Tokyo. I saw, briefly, the delight she would have shown her family as a child at a Christmas. Lit up and glowing with sheer joy.
#781 – 10 November 2016
I remember John Merriman’s Yale University lecture series, European Civilisation 1648 – 1945. His passion was exceptional and inspiring, and I fondly recall also Jay Winters’ guest lecture on World War I.
#782 – 11 November 2016
I remember the colourful, lit-up stairs at the train station in Kyoto, which twisted and turned in patterns up and down the staircases in the huge outdoor area above the trains. And also the train museum, and the skybridge, and the rows and rows of tiny restaurants.
#783 – 12 November 2016
I remember Realm Grinder.
#784 – 13 November 2016
I remember a bus ride when I was in Grade 8, on the way, I think, to an Eisteddfod – a competition? A final? – and on the way from Maryborough to Brisbane an older boy, in Grade 10, said to me: so long, and thanks for all the fish. And I pretended as though I knew what he was talking about. At the time: no idea.
#785 – 14 November 2016
I remember Roger Martin, whose mother liked to play the piano (which seemed unbearably elegant to me as a young teenager), who invited me to his birthday where we ate at Pizza Hut’s all-you-can-eat buffet and played a Sonic Olympics game back at his home, and who made fun of the way I liked, at the time, to brush back my hair with my hand.
#786 – 15 November 2016
I remember Mr Carson, who told my parents I showed promise in Maths C (lies!), who liked to stroke his long red ponytail when he was stressed, who swore under his breath at us when we were lazy, who liked to call us Mr. Funch, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Martin.
#787 – 16 November 2016
I remember a wedding at the top of Mt. Tamborine, where the bride and groom dedicated their love to the compass points and to different herbs, and who vowed to share ‘the cosmic journey of life’ together.
#788 – 17 November 2016
I remember my wife writing up meal plans for the week on a little blackboard we hung up near the refrigerator. We almost never bought food for a Friday (we shop on Saturdays), but each week Anna would write something for that night, usually ‘fish tacos’.
#789 – 18 November 2016
I remember trying, and failing, and trying again to connect with The Witcher 3. For whatever reason it never stuck, but I wanted it to. Why? Because it seemed mature for a video game? Perhaps it was – and is – but I still couldn’t properly connect. I liked it, and admired what it both attempted to achieve and did, in fact, achieve, but it wasn’t for me.
#790 – 19 November 2016
I remember making gnocchi with Anna at a small cooking school tucked away down a side alley in Wilston village.
#791 – 20 November 2016
I remember promising myself that I would read Peter Handke’s A Sorrow Beyond Dreams each anniversary of mother’s death.
#792 – 21 November 2016
#793 – 22 November 2016
I remember taking photos of the books in my bookshelves, and the stacks of unread books in the small room I grandly refer to as my library, snapping photos of a glass of champagne as I waited for the 2016 Nobel to be announced. And then – Bob Dylan.
#794 – 23 November 2016
I remember recording a video for my friend, Eloise, of the jacarandas in bloom across my street and the suburb, to help her recall what Queensland could be like in the spring.
#795 – 24 November 2016
I remember nephew Fred’s little toy, Puggie, which he had with him from his very earliest days.
#796 – 25 November 2016
I remember eating raw horse sashimi in a hotel bar in Kyoto.
#797 – 26 November 2016
I remember a steaming hot day in Kyoto. We had decided to visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, to see the endless orange arches and visit some temples. And they were endless, or so it seemed as we walked and walked and walked. We gave up about halfway up the trail, but I am happy that we made it high enough to see the small shrines dotted along the way, which were guarded by little stone dogs, some wearing red cloth bandanas.
#798 – 27 November 2016
I remember the wild and weird stories written by Vargas on various (and seemingly random) Reddit sub-forums.
#799 – 28 November 2016
#800 – 29 November 2016
I remember little Captain’s nightmares. He would wake us up wit his high-pitched whimpers, and sometimes he would kick his legs or move them as though he was running. A few pats and he would snuggle up to one of us and go back to a deep soundless sleep, and for a second – a puppy again in his vulnerability.
#801 – 30 November 2016
I remember Elle, in my office, crying about an incident at home, telling me she didn’t cry at all. And Angela, telling me she was a cry-baby while in my office, reaching for tissues. In both instance, tears.
#802 – 1 December 2016
I remember reading for the very first time an annual report written by Warren Buffett. It was in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Berkshire Hathaway, and it was amazing to me that a company could be worth so much and yet here was I, an Australian, who know virtually zero of the brands directly owned.
#803 – 2 December 2016
I remember being bizarrely pleased to have discovered Sebald and Bolaño after they had both died, and how I would like, one day, to be a discovered dead writer for someone else. But not yet.
#804 – 3 December 2016
I remember stumbling into a tiny jazz bar on the third floor of a building in Kyoto, near the Kamo River. There were maybe seven of us in total, and as I write this I think to myself, has this been remembered already? (Answer – Yes. No. 745)
#805 – 4 December 2016
I remember writing about Soraya and her nameless lover. And then, a year later, chopping and editing it into something new. And now? Unsure, unsure (And to answer this on 12 March 2018 – I have been submitting it to various publications, so far unsuccessfully).
#806 – 5 December 2016
I remember reading a collection of Kafka’s works, I believe a compilation of all of the writing that the had published before dying. The introduction, which I enjoyed when I read as an, oh, eighteen or nineteen year old, was written by Jorge Luis Borges. Who? A year or two after that I discovered and read Ficciones, and then much, much more of Borges. It would have been only in my late twenties that I returned to that same Kafka collection and read the introduction, only to finally make the connection and see Borges’ name. Amazing.
#807 – 6 December 2016
I remember Brexit and, unbelievably, Donald Trump’s election victory. Though after the former the latter did seem more likely. Before that – impossible.
#808 – 7 December 2016
I remember watching the blood slowly drain out of Guto’s face as the day wore on and the Brexit results came in. He was sweating, pale, incredulous, sad.
#809 – 8 December 2016
I remember drinking red wine and watching hbomberguy‘s YouTube videos on Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
#810 – 9 December 2016
I remember learning who Benjamin Wittes was and is, and falling into the rabbit-hole (still ongoing) of US national security writing and podcasts.
#811 – 10 December 2016
I remember the ridiculous outrage of hateful young men during the whole SJW ‘debate’.
#812 – 11 December 2016
I remember Final Fantasy Record Keeper (which I still play), and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius (which I do not). And a brief time spent with SRPG gacha games, which I tried to like but actually somewhat hated.
#813 – 12 December 2016
I remember the strange feeling of waking up in the middle of the night, partway through having sex with wife. And always my first initial vague, fuzzy, and yet alarmed thought, is one of panic – why have I ruined my relationship with Anna? How did I get here, and how terrible it is that it’s too late to turn time back and return to being someone who has not betrayed his wife. But of course I haven’t, it’s her, it’s fine, and after a while we’re both awake and know what is happening.
#814 – 13 December 2016
I remember buying a Nintendo 3DS, specifically to play the latest Pokemon game. And then, months later, I gave it to my father, along with Dr. Mario, a game he had loved for decades by that point, and which he was most fond of playing while on the toilet, in all its black and white glory.
#815 – 14 December 2016
I remember hearing, not every school holiday break when my wife had a few weeks off, but every second or third break, from the bedroom the groans and moans and thunks and yelps from Plants vs Zombies, which periodically became Anna’s obsession.
#816 – 15 December 2016
I remember being drunk, sipping from a plastic cup filled with cheap red wine purchased from a 7-11, listening to Justin Bieber’s song, Sorry, while playing FFRK in a hotel room in the Kyoto Tower Hotel Annex located about three blocks from the main train station of Kyoto, Japan. Anna, sensible, had gone to bed early.
#817 – 16 December 2016
I remember the first time I ate horse – as sashimi, in a hotel restaurant in Kyoto, I think at the Hotel New Hankyu, though we had wandered in search of food after a disappointing okonomiyaki and I am not quite sure.
#818 – 17 December 2016
I remember Al Pacino’s softly spoken, “Kay, Kay”, near the end of the first Godfather movie.
#819 – 18 December 2016
I remember Fred’s first birthday, and Fiona’s grateful speech to her husband as she discussed how loved she felt, and appreciative she was, that she had been able to spend the first year of Fred’s life caring for him, away from the troubles of paid employment.
#820 – 19 December 2016
I remember as a child/teenager showing my mother loose threads on my clothes, and then wincing every time her cigarette approached and she would burn away the threads with the glowing red tip.
#821 – 20 December 2016
I remember sipping from my father’s beer when I was very young. Extremely young, in fact – it may be one of my earliest memories. What kept it in my mind was its clandestine nature, as I was, initially, unnoticed in my thievery, and feeling rather good about managing to achieve something that was not allowed. And I remember needing two hands to hold the stubby, which puts me at around 3, I think.
#822 – 21 December 2016
I remember finishing shifts at McDonald’s and then, at home, tying the clip-on tie around my head. I would argue politics with my parents (I was a reactionary right-wing teenager for some reason, probably because they definitely weren’t).
#823 – 22 December 2016
I remember when Worlds Quests were introduced to World of Warcraft in the Legion expansion. I knew immediately that they could and likely would trigger my addictive self.
#824 – 23 December 2016
I remember reading Anthony Kerrigan’s introduction to Borges’ Ficciones, and how it quickened in me as much – or near to as much – excitement toward literature and the possibilities of reading as the stories themselves.
#825 – 24 December 2016
I remember dramatically misreading Gao Xingjian’s Soul Mountain when I was in my early twenties. (Addendum – well overdue for a reread).
#826 – 25 December 2016
I remember going to Christmas Eve Mass with my wife’s family – a task that was done entirely to keep the peace with my Catholic father-in-law, who appreciated the gesture more, perhaps, than he should – and being astonished to hear the priest preach tolerance and understanding of people in homosexual relationships. He didn’t go quite so far as to say that homosexuality was ok, but certainly expressed the need for his congregation to accept differences in others and to love them for who they were.
#827 – 26 December 2016
I remember the ridiculous end of year commotion from various websites lamenting the sheer number of celebrity dead in 2016.
#828 – 27 December 2016
I remember using the term ‘Brazilian’ when I was a teenager to indicate an enormous, yet undefined quantity. Example – one day I will be rich and have a Brazillian dollars. I haven’t used it in decades, yet years later I have heard it from others, and oh, I cringe.
#829 – 28 December 2016
I remember my brothers and sisters using little plastic yellow knives and forks when they were first learning to use cutlery instead of fingers. The utensils had grooves in them to indicate there the index finger should go.
#830 – 29 December 2016
I remember Ben Folds Five’s album, self-titled, and how much a part of my fifteen-sixteen years it was. Now, to listen to it, is to experience a spear to the heart of lost time.
#831 – 30 December 2016
I remember the Geocities website, the Grey Tower, and briefly, for reasons I no longer recall, how I masqueraded as a woman (Well, a teenage girl, as I was a teenage boy) for my character. And oh, the attention I received from other males! Eye opening.
#832 – 31 December 2016
I remember when I played two now-dead (I think?) online games – Archmage and Utopia.
#833 – 1 January 2017
I remember identifying very strongly with Robin Hobb’s character FitzChivalry, and wanting, for some reason, to experience a similar level of suffering in order to, my teenage self thought, ‘best know myself and understand the world’.
#834 – 2 January 2017
I remember when misery thrilled me much more.
#835 – 3 January 2017
I remember the furniture store at Cotton Tree which proudly displayed their ‘for slae’ sign in tall bold coloured letters on the glass frontage of the shop.
#836 – 4 January 2017
I remember playing Lost Cities with the groomsmen on my wedding day.
#837 – 5 January 2017
#838 – 6 January 2017
I remember using TPG’s ADSL2+ service, and how each time it rained, the service would either stop working entirely, or become very spotty in terms of connection and speed. And once a TPG technician blamed these issues on a bee infestation further upstream.
#839 – 7 January 2017
I remember an early Splendour in the Grass festival – 2009? – when The Fergusons were playing. It was 11am on Saturday. Nobody was there yet, not really. They played their one popular song – Everything’s Gone Bad – and, near the end, during the final chorus, all of them, the drummer, the guitarist, the bass player and of course the singer, all stood at the front of the stage and belted out the last few lines together, singing poorly but together. It was glorious, and virtually no-one was there to see it but me.
#840 – 8 January 2017
I remember the endless, ongoing references to and discussions of Harambe, who for a long time I knew nothing at all about.
#841 – 9 January 2017
I remember thinking that devoting myself to indie games like ‘Depths of Peril‘ and ‘Tales of Maj’Eyal‘ indicated a stronger, more pure gaming spirit than anything else. And perhaps that’s true, but oh how tiresome advocates for niche interests can be.
#842 – 10 January 2017
I remember the sickening rise, and the seriousness with which they were treated, of the anti-SJW and their putrid viewpoints.
#843 – 11 January 2017
I remember being pleased – why? – to learn that Georges Perec had died in Queensland. Somehow I believe(d) it added some kind of literary legitimacy to my home state. (And an update to that – I was wrong! He spent the last portion of his life in Queensland, before returning to France to spend his final days. So even there, Queensland failed.)
#844 – 12 January 2017
I remember drinking with port with Anna for my 30th, in a cabin near Maleny. We played Talk Talk’s I Believe in You on repeat, such that it still, five years later, reminds me of that weekend.
#845 – 13 January 2017
I remember telling my mother that at my funeral I wanted played God Bless Our Dead Marines by Thee Silver Mount Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band. And then at her funeral we played songs I suspect she didn’t really want, so who knows how it’ll play out.
#846 – 14 January 2017
I remember staying up all weekend as a teenager – all weekend, from Friday night after school through to Sunday – playing SNES RPGs with my friend, Slade. We would collapse with exhaustion somewhere between 4am Sunday morning and Sunday lunch time, but only for a few hours, and then push on and on and on. Our games – Secret of Mana, Breath of Fire 2, Shadowrun, Might and Magic 2, Illusion of Time.
#847 – 15 January 2017
I remember a Magic: The Gathering group I was a part of when I was a young teenager. The main fellow – we played always in his home in Tinana – had a Sega Master System, and on it was Might and Magic 2. Me, being an idiotic teenage expert in all things, promptly (accidentally) deleted one of the characters he had spent hours and hours improving.
#848 – 16 January 2017
#849 – 17 January 2017
I remember Arcomage.
#850 – 18 January 2017
I remember the strange clotted sour taste in my mouth after waking up from an extended gaming session with my friend, Slade. We’d stay up so late, and so long, that our bodies would rebel against us, and we’d finish a weekend of RPG gaming with sore throats, bleary eyes, deadened brains, sallow skin.
#851 – 19 January 2017
I remember fighting the ‘maygar’ in a castle near Whitehaven.
#852 – 20 January 2017
I remember visiting La Playa del Carmen and there, sitting contentedly in one of the large group spas, was a young man with a sack of beers he had brought with him from America. He did not, he told us, trust Mexican alcohol.
#853 – 21 January 2017
I remember drinking enormous quantities of instant coffee in order to stay up all weekend playing Might and Magic VI, which was the first computer RPG (as distinct from JRPG) to really grab me and consume my life.
#854 – 22 January 2017
I remember Sean Spicer lying about inauguration crowd sizes.
#855 – 23 January 2017
I remember running under a line of raised, joined hands as my wife and I finished the day and left the wedding. I think it is so far the only wedding where that has happened, and I appreciate the old fashioned nature of it. More fun than it probably should be.
#856 – 24 January 2017
I remember the lumpy, creaky, uneven floor of the Archives bookstore in the Brisbane CBD, near the police station and a 24-hour pancake place. And the prices of the second-hand books – exorbitant! I have seen identical, new copies of books on sale elsewhere for cheap. I saw Montaigne’s complete essays in a battered Penguin Classic for $39.95, and the same copy, brand new, at a bookstore a block away for $40.
#857 – 25 January 2017
I remember very little at times, and I sit here and I wrack my brains and pick through my mind in an attempt to remember more and deeper. The usual memories surface – Bowen Hills, my job, the early years of reading, some video game nonsense, a splash of childhood, meeting Anna. But there are so many gaps.