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Just a teaser set of photos from today’s Cars & Coffee event in Melbourne.

It was a great turnout. I’ve never seen a more diverse selection of cars together in Australia. Makes for a much better atmosphere than the dedicated JDM, stance, muscle meets. No hooning, no cops (none needed).

Good day was good. Many more photos to come.

Coffee #49: Nick Clarke (friends on Facebook since July 2010, 44 mutual friends)

Today I caught up with one of Melbourne’s true talents, the very funny and insightful Nick Clarke. As usual, I asked Nick where he’d like to meet for coffee and was invited to have a “service station iced coffee degustation” in Fitzroy. With both of us being fans of kitsch, Nick also bought a pair of "servo sunnies" and was extremely generous and insisted on buying me a present of a Pepsi Max “servo hat” that I expressed interest in.

Nick and I met sometime in 2010 through Beat TV, a web-based music show that Nick hosted at the time (Beat TV was affiliated with the same Beat magazine that Jaymz (coffee #45) was editor of). Shortly after, Nick went on to develop and co-create the excellent web-based TV show Poncho, writing, producing and starring in episodes that focused on original, absurd narratives intertwined with band interviews that would usually act as an add-on to the story, with Nick or his co-host Dan interviewing bands while in character about topics relating to the episode’s narrative. Which is hilarious and great because bands wouldn’t usually understand the context of the interviewer’s character and seemingly bizarre questions being asked. 

I’ve always genuinely admired Nick’s work from afar; every so often sending him a message of enthusiastic congratulations when he would make a video that I’d particularly enjoy. He’s a natural entertainer and super charismatic, writing and producing a huge back catalogue of A+ video pieces over the years, with a lot of his work perfectly capturing a certain period in Melbourne music. 

I remember watching the first episode of Poncho that was made after Nick’s co-host Dan left the show. At the time I was going through a similar “creative break-up” with my band and something about the episode’s sentiment and message really spoke to me. Similarly, I’ve always admired Nick’s dedication and obsessiveness to his craft and his mind for ideas, from locking himself in a room with 'Barbra Streisand' by Duck Sauce playing on repeat for 48 hours to walking 75 km (46 miles) all the way from Melbourne to Geelong all for art, or entertainment’s sake.

These days, Nick works as a producer at a production company and additionally produces his own creative work through three web-based TV shows on his Youtube channel Banalarama. The surreal talk show ‘Red Or White,’ live music show ‘ABABCd' and parody travel show 'Vacant Vacations,’ all of which Nick hosts / I’ve been obsessively watching all night. Nick has a great talent for writing surrealist, absurdist humour and character acting. He’s highly observant, has an attention to detail and a keen eye for successfully achieving his specific aesthetic as well as an ability to portray parody and satire astutely. He’s also found that rare, sweet spot that balances earnest while being self-effacing.

Today was the first time that Nick and I had ever hung out one-on-one, although he’s one of those people that thanks to social media and mutual friends, I weirdly feel as though I know him pretty intimately. We hung out all afternoon and it was great getting to know more about the “real” Nick versus the online “character” of Nick. While often appearing quite extroverted in his work, it was interesting discussing and witnessing the introverted side of Nick.

We spoke about Nick’s relationship with writing, studying journalism and in particular, his experience writing an article for the Age about a horrible incident that saw Nick gang-bashed in 2009 and his experiences dealing with the bureaucracy surrounding hospitals, the police and courts in the aftermath, which he described as being almost more psychologically damaging and negatively influencing his world outlook more than the actual bashing incident. You can read Nick’s article here: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/what-price-justice-20130209-2e538.html  

Where sometimes people with personalities as big as Nick’s can be overwhelming in social situations, speaking with Nick is extremely easy. He was both engaged and engaging; when you’re speaking with Nick you know he’s present and in the conversation. Whether it’s his background in journalism, his general charm or a likely combination of the two, I almost instantly felt comfortable enough to speak with Nick about deeply personal topics and his creative energy, ability to express himself and screwed-on head was genuinely inspiring.

In order of our preference, Nick and I both shared a ‘Barista Bros’ double espresso iced coffee, ‘Ice Break’ double espresso iced coffee and ‘Dare’ double espresso iced coffee. Thanks for an excellent afternoon and see you for karaoke soon!

Five On It: Zoe Dzunko

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Zoe Dzunko and I have never actually met IRL but we have several mutual friends and a mutual admiration of each others’ work, so it’s only a matter of time before we get the chance to straight up gush in person. I first came across her writing when my friend andrewrhysyoung, who Zoe knows from Melbourne back in the day, sent me a couple poems that appeared in Two Serious Ladies. Literally from the first few lines, “When I feel lonely I search myself/ and find little to amend this guilt/ for being the one to smell hash browns/ when the whole world is smelling cement" —[bold, mine obv] I was like OH. OKAY. THIS IS. THAT. TALENT TALENT TALENT. OKAY. OH BOY. Then by end of the second poem, "I am/ sorry that I wanted to be oak and not/ gold veined marble; we are limited/ only by our imagination and I/ never once thought ‘diamond.’" i was like OKAY. WELL NOW. I. I JUST. OKAY. WELL SHIT. WHOOOOO BOY. I immediately went to work on a new poetry mixtape so I could have a reason to blast it. Zoe is the author of All of the Men I Have Never Loved (Dancing Girl Press), Bruise Factory (NAP) and Wet Areas (Maverick Duck Press). She is the Poetry & Short Prose Editor of The Lifted Brow, an Assistant Editor for Coconut Magazine and, with Sarah Jean Grimm, founded Powder Keg, an online poetry quarterly. Her work has recently appeared in Guernica, H_NGM_N, Bodega, The Fanzine, Two Serious Ladies et al. She’s online at: zoedzunko.tumblr.com

1. What’s the last song you listened do?

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2. What did you want to be when you were ten?

  • Famous / a horse / blonde / a journalist.

3. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

  • Don’t take it personal.

4. What’s the last thing you were obsessed with?

  • Normally, I find myself obsessed with ideas rather than objects, but my more concrete preoccupations this week are: is there really a perfect red lipstick, salacious-looking photographs of flowers, nootropic stacks, this horchata/coffee drink combo I’ve been living on, a reoccurring dream where I’m digging turquoise from the ground, sparkling water.

5. Give me some poems or poets you’ve been taken with, recently—

  • I’m reading Bernadette Mayer’s “Midwinter Day,” and liking it a lot; always taken with James Tate, and re-read “Fuck the Astronauts,” this week, which felt pretty good. Also revisiting Muriel Rukeyser atm and “The Speed of Darkness,” is serious business. Otherwise, I really liked these Kelly Schirmann poems in Glitter Mob, this Ben Fama poem, this one by Dorothea Lasky, and a Mark Cugini poem that I recently published in the digital edition of The Lifted Brow, which really got under my skin.

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Sunday

Chloe Ting, Casual

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Sheinside Sweater | MINKPINK Shorts | Nasty Gal Backpack | Missguided Boots | H&M Necklace

Happy Sunday! Here’s what I wore today, my lazy casual outfit. I had a quite relaxing weekend for once. I watched some TV, Brooklyn 99. I love that show, Andy Samberg is the best! I am halfway through season 1 so I am looking for more funny TV shows when I finished this one. Let me know if you have any suggestion! :) 

More photos with the link below!

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