Friday, November 4, 2011

2011 Silliness

Silliness in 2011

It's been a year since my last post, and I've spent the year being very silly.

For instance I received this deodorant for Christmas in 2010, and have been using it ever since. Ever so gradually my amazement grew at how long it was lasting! Almost a year now!

I realised 3 days ago there was a plastic cover you have to take off first. Sorry for being smelly everyone.

It was also silly of me to watch 'Q&A' on the loo by propping up my iPad on a pile of dirty washing. And silly that when I later checked the clothes wash to make sure there were no whites in there, I neglected to make sure there were no Apple devices.

There's a fine line between silly and neglectful when you invest in a toaster specialising in crumpets and then fail to invest in the corresponding consumable.

It is non-ambiguously silly, after 35 years of experience, to optimistically attempt...

Silliness is a good description of trying to take a toy gun on a plane. THAT was a fiasco.

Still, 2011 so far has not been pure silliness. The architects of this handy office urn got it JUST RIGHT when they emerged from a 4 hour brainstorm session, trying to find the perfect title for the product that captured, on the one hand, the machine's abilities, without in any way undermining a parallel message concerning the low running costs involved:

Overall the highlight of these silly months has been one morning when I didn't just feel like I was one with the bed, but became one with the bed. Lovely, sweet, sleep.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Recursive Inside-Out Garment Nemesis!

To me, life is far too complicated and challenging to spend much time figuring out clothing.
I love abstractions and philosophy. Clothing is at the bottom of my priority list.

This blog post is my confession:

#1 Pyjamas.

I walked into Kmart, and bought the first pyjamas I saw. When I arrived home Rachel couldn't believe her eyes, rolled her eyes, and has been giving me grief ever since.
This is why:
Happy monkeys! Yay!
What's wrong with fluorescent orange PJs with happy monkeys and bananas? I'm 34 years old, I don't need to worry about fashion when asleep, do I?

I only noticed a few moments ago when I took this photograph, that the arm sleeve is badly ripped. I don't notice these things.


#2 Shoes + Artliners
Some would say you can't go wrong with shoes. Rachel helped me buy a normal, non-monkeys-and-bananas black pair to wear at work. The problem came after many months when they became scruffy and the black faded to gray/white.
Yes I have heard of polishing, and I've even succeeded in the past. It just seems like too much effort for mere clothing.
So, genius that I am, I grabbed a permanent black marker and coloured the white bits in instead.
They haven't looked quite normal since. This is their current state - you can see the fading ink:

I'll have to polish them I suppose.

#3 The wrong trousers.

Every now and then I have a moment where I gain new insight into my clothing-impoverishing brain.
I snuck out the back this morning in my undies to fetch my jeans from the line. There they were:

I went back inside and put them on. They wouldn't go on. I didn't understand. Had they shrunk? I kept trying to pull them on.

I said "Rachel, I think I have the wrong jeans."
Indeed, here are my real jeans:

Here are Rachel's jeans in comparison to my jeans.

It just took me more time than it ought to to figure it out, that's all.

#4 My nemesis:
the jumper that is SUPPOSED to look inside out.
Rachel bought this for me in one of her occasional attempts to reform me. It was a mistake from the start.
The rule I have in my head is this: "I know the jumper is on properly when it looks inside out. That's what this jumper is. It's an inside-out-jumper."
This is what it looks like, by the way:

It looks inside-out right? How cool, you're saying!
But the problem is, if I turn it the other way around it looks EVEN COOLER, to my eyes, AND you can see the tag that way, which is what you're supposed to be able to see when your jumper is on inside-out, right? See where I am heading? So this way around, to me it looks inside out, and nice and smart:

(See the tag on the lower-left...? See...? It's inside-out, right? i.e. the right way to wear it?)
Add to this the fact that the jumper is relatively symmetrical on the back-to-front axis as well, and you have my nemesis. I wear it correctly about 25% of the time. The other 75% of the time, if I'm lucky, Rachel notices and says:
"Steve! You've got the inside-out jumper on inside-out!"
Obviously, I reply: "But that's they you SAID I should wear it!"
Nothing good ever comes from this conversation, as you might imagine. In the end I do what she recommends.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Adventures of Steve Collis in 2010

Bits and pieces from 2010 so far.


Let me start with advertising. I must note I grew up with dad yelling "mental midgets!" at the television screen. I am now equally narky with the media. There must be a gene for it. I can't bear turning the tellie on at all nowadays.

Anyway, exhibit A
Long overdue! My cokes have been slipping out of my hands for years! Finally, some decent tread!

Exhibit B

The Simpsons keep doing that joke. So art is imitating art, I suppose. Argh, also, while we're at it, why capitalise 'New'?

Exhibit C

This is what I found at Centrepoint Tower in Sydney. Seems you can't go up the tower without also investing in a newspaper. It is hardly free, if they add it to your ticket price, is it?


In other news, while on school camp with Year 10, we ended up camping on Cockatoo Island on Sydney Harbour. By sheer luck there was a huge art exhibition on the island at the time. The exhibition is called "Biennale" and this is its 17th year.

Exhibit a: crap art

Just some metal balls strewn across a deserted room.

I don't really mean it is crap art - I'm insulting myself for not being to access it. I guess if I could be bothered posting it here then it must mean something to me.

Exhibit b: great art

There were 9 or 10 screens in an otherwise dark warehouse. The screens often showed different footage, or were dark, or all showed the same footage... all deliberate and making up one overall film. I loved every second of it. It was by Isaac Julien and called Ten Thousand Waves.


Real Life

In other news, I got in a car on Saturday and drove to Bourke. Bourke is a small country town on the edge of the proper Australian 'outback' where the roads become unsealed and the land becomes scrub, tending to desert.

It's a very long drive - over 800 km from Sydney, or about 10 hours drive.

It was worth it. After arriving at Bourke, I promptly drove another 30 km down a perfectly straight unsealed road heading west:

Then, I parked the car and headed off into the scrub with my guitar. Pure bliss.

The sun set, the shadows lengthened.

On the drive back to Bourke, at dusk, I shared the dusty road with various families of kangaroos, and one silly bunny rabbit. No photos, unfortunately.

There is an artificial above ground reservoir not too far from Bourke, just where the road goes from sealed to unsealed. You may be surprised to hear I am not a professional photographer, and that these shots are from my crummy mobile phone.


Maybe you had to be there. It was gorgeous. I shared the view with a fox.

I drove home in one go, arriving home at 9pm, smelly and sick of cars. Then I booted up the computer and played Test Drive Unlimited. Simulcra and simulation!

That's enough for now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to Play the Trolololololo Song

Ok first here is my unplugged acoustic version of the trolololololo song:

The original is here:

A version with words (although he doesn't use words, he just sings 'lolololo' because the song was censored):

My challenge to you is to record your own version of the Trololololo song. Respond to my video above with your own version of it on guitar, piano, or whatever instrument, or even just a part of it.

Submit your version as a response to my version at the top of this page.

In this quick tutorial video, below, I show you how to play it on guitar:

The chords are:
Opening riff: Dm7 C Dm7 C Dm7 C Dm7 C
Then: C Dm7 Em Dm7 C Dm7 Em Dm7 (Or to keep things simple, just play 'C')
Then: Am Em C
Then: G C

And then it repeats, moved up a semitone, over and over, returning back to G -> C for the last couple of lines of the song.

And here are the words all together: (see also:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

UK Snow - Some Peculiar Sights

Twitter has been buzzing about it, politicians have been denying it, the Americans have been invading it, the Larger Hadron Collider has been accelerating balls of it towards other balls of it, Rolf Harris has been singing about it, journalists can't shut up about it and magicians can't make it disappear. What is it?

UK SNOW! UK SNOW! UK SNOW! Heaps of the stuff, more than for 20 years.

Some strange sights
Dog sled:

Hardcore professional cyclist

(in the middle of nowhere, riding very slowly and looking very puffed.)

A forlon and depressed swimming pool. (Ever feel like this?)

Can you read the signs in the snow...?

...that's right, a boy bird was walking towards a girl bird's house to declare his love, and then chickened out and turned back home!


Rachel and I walked to Thornbury Castle and were inspired by these snowmen:
We both started making big snow balls.

The snow man we each made tells you A LOT about our personalities.

Here is my one:


Both together:

In other news, Rachel had a sip of water from a bottle of only slightly smaller than herself.

In other news, we walked across the Severn bridge with my uncle and saw a gorgeous sunset.

In other news, I would like to announce, here at, a new invention! You fancy a boiled egg or two for breakfast, do you? But you don't have an egg cup, ay? Not a problem! Put two bits of toast on top of each other and dig two egg cups into them with a spoon. As you eat the eggs, eat your way through the toast! See below: ingenious!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Top #6 Observations about Germany

1. They sometimes have very, very small cars!

2. The German word for mobile phone is "handy". Cute...

3. They have a breakfast cereal called "shove it"!

4. Bremen is unbelievably beautiful, and I am a beautiful photographer:

City at night:

Countryside outside Bremen this morning:

Bremen train station:

Bremen traffic is amazingly quiet (press play and see what happens!):

A quaint little village we visited yesterday:

Does something strike you as a little odd about all these photos and the video?


GUESS WHAT!?? I've been pulling your leg, they're actually from this place: the biggest minature world in the, well, world! It's in Hamburg! (Leave a comment or tweet me if I tricked you with the photos!)

5. The incredible German industrial capacity (largest exporters in the world) is pretty obvious in Hamburg:

I must say, Hamburg is the most awful, ugly city I have ever visited. There's an excuse - the original city was wiped from the face of the earth in WW2 by Britain.

6. Did I mention gl├╝hwein (yummy hot drink) and the Christmas markets?I am somewhat of a connoisseur, having seen the markets in Hamburg, Bremen and Celle. They're all the same; they must be franchises or something. I love them - I've been to one every single day, and love just watching the crowds!

Tonight we catch a midnight bus and arrive at 8am in Paris. Ciao for now!