Saturday, October 15, 2005

Emptying out my brain on a Saturday morning

'Flying Lessons', a photogravure by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison (USA)

So it's just gone 10.44am on Saturday morning, and I'm sitting in front of the computer on the new ergonomic desk chair that I bought myself this week. My back will thank me for it, although my chiropractor will probably be sad cos it means she'll see less of me, which in my book is officially A GOOD THING (tm).

Right now I should be working: specifically, I should be reading though, then scoring on their artistic merit, a big folder of Arts Victoria grant applications that's sitting on my kitchen table. Instead I've been successfully procrastinating for the last hour by adding a couple of recent articles to my blog, then scanning through blogs by friends to see what they've been up to, then clicking on their links to discover new blogs (such as Surlyboy's blog: A Falling Out With The In Crowd. Love the name, liked the cynical humour of his posts).

Having done all that, and still not quite ready to finally do some actual work, I thought I'd write a proper, personal post here, instead of just cut'n'pasting in something impersonal that I wrote earlier in the week...

***

As an aside, if you're wondering why I'm supposed to be reading grant applications for Arts Victoria, it's because I'm part of a peer-based advisory panel who advise the staff of that particular state government department on who to award grants to.

It's always flattering to be asked to sit on these sorts of panels. It's a compliment, a sort of arts-industry accolade: "That man over there - yes, the one lounging casually by the aspidistra, a glass of champagne in hand - has refined taste and highly atuned critical senses. He's a mover-and-shaker in the arts community. He knows enough about obscure cultural stuff that we should ask his opinion about who to give money to. Get him on a peer assement panel, quick!"

It's also valuable from a professional point of view because A) I get to read how other people write their grant applications and take notes on how to make mine better, and B) It helps further my awareness of what's happening in the cultural sector.

God, I really must be an arts administrator at heart if I'm getting this excited by a huge folder of paperwork!

***

Things that have happened this week:

  • I forgot to send my niece Cate a card for her 13th birthday. I'm a bad, bad uncle.
  • I applied for a new job, as the cash payout from my last job (accrued leave that I never got around to taking) that's been fuelling my current languid lifestyle is fast running out. Said potential job is as the Program Manager at 3RRR. If I get it I'd be responsible for coordinating the station's on-air profile, liasing with 70-odd announcers, arranging special events and outside broadcasts, etc. It would be rewarding, hugely adventurous, and insanely demanding. I'm not actually sure if I really want the job, and if it's offered to me I can guarantee a panic attack and serious self-doubts about whether I could actually do it, but I certainly thought it couldn't hurt to apply...an atttude I may yet live to regret, I'm sure!
  • I went to the awards night and end-of-festival-party for the Melbourne Fringe Festival last Saturday night and had a truly excellent evening in a room filled with artists, performers, and Melbourne's fringe tribe. I got to know a couple of the festival staff a little better, especially Damien, the General Manager; had some good conversations with people, not just small talk; and got home at about 10am Sunday morning feeling more than a little the worse for wear...
  • Last night (Friday 14th Oct) I saw my first show at the Melbourne International Arts Festival and was rather underwhelmed by the experience. The production I was was Fagaala, staged by Compagnie Jant-Bi (a Senegalese modern dance company), an exploration of 1994's genocidal Rwandan conflict between the Hutus and the Tutsis. While I could appreciate the production intellectually, it failed to move me emotionally, which is always the yardstick by which I judge any artform as a success. Some great images, very strong performances, and an amazing score, but still...
  • I also had an angst attack on the tram home last night about the fact that I've become such a loner in the last couple of years. I have lots of friends, but I don't really see them all that often. Is this a side-effect of living by myself? Instead of ringing friends and saying 'Let's go see a movie or hang out at the pub for a couple of hours' do I head out on my own because it's easier, less hassle? Or am I really becoming a recluse? More importantly, what the hell am I going to do about it?

Okay, I've been writing this post for almost an hour now, so I really should go and do some work. Those grants have got to be scored by Tuesday at the latest, and I'm supposed to be going to see a movie with my mate Mike this afternoon. Enough angst. Enough procrastination. Although maybe I'll do the dishes first...

5 comments:

Gemnastics said...

Ah, that old chestnut. For the same reason I am quietly terrified about the idea of living alone for the first time, which I plan to do soon, because I like to do things by myself. For me it comes down to what you neatly summarised as 'easier.' I don't like to wait for people, I don't like to be at the mercy of the whims of others. I like to know where I'm headed and what I'm doing and step straight out the door.

It's easier in a sharehouse. Instant and accidental company, friends by proxy. Sigh. The sacrifices we make for a social life. Um, guys, whose turn is it to wash up?...

I loved this personal post.

richardwatts said...

Glad you liked it. There will be more. Sometimes. Interspersed with journalism. And like, you know, stuff. I like stuff.

NDM said...

I occasionally dream of living alone - but that's probably because I share a four bedroom house with my two kids, my ex-wife, her partner, three cats and a chinchilla and fond as I am of all of them, they can be a bit much at times. And my book collection takes up a LOT of space...

;-)

Nick Middleton

Anonymous said...

Cheers for the props.

Perhaps if you get the RRR job you could swing some of that love my way?

richardwatts said...

You're welcome Greg. And I'm happy to swing my love anywhere it's needed. ;-)

Seriously tho, if I get the job, one of the first things I'll do is run new training schemes for wanna-be broadcasters, so I'll let you know. Or were you tinking more along the lines of free BDO tickets? *grins*