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The ALEX VAN STARREX Website
IN MY LIFE
Here is an overview of my current lifestyle - including details of family, friends and activities. This information used to be on my Personal News page, but with so much "breaking" news to hand, it tended to be neglected. I still intend to update the information here as the need arises, but will not bother "date-stamping" the changes as I used to.
2002 has been an awkward year. I've had some
- more missed promotional opportunities, and work dissatisfaction generally;
- devastating news of the death (a few years prior) of a dearly loved girl and members of her family; and
- the continuing feeling that "time is slipping away", while my life remains unfulfilled with the new friends, family and children that I expect.
Balanced against this, my musical side-career has made several strides - but it's no real consolation.
They painted the building(s) here at home in early 2002 - maybe I should re-do the pictures. Other than that, nothing really changes much - actually, not much can when you live by yourself. In July 2002, I bought a new car - details and a picture are on the Modes of Transport page.
More entertaining is always being planned (or at least intended) - but I haven't felt much like celebrating recently. However, everybody who comes here loves the place (especially the view) - and with the constant prospect of live music, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
So people are always welcome to drop in - if they let me know beforehand.I need more visitors - invited, of course. I tend to let place get run down and messy unless I know visitors are expected, so bear this in mind.
In late 1999, I went into private practice as a solicitor - but returned to the Public Service shortly afterwards. I'm quite unsettled, work-wise - I can go back to the legal profession or pursue other jobs in the Attorney General's Department. I'm currently pursuing the latter course, and have had some interviews already - but find myself overqualified and under-graded (not to mention under-valued) for any jobs that I apply for. I've also done more time as Chamber Magistrate, giving free legal advice and assistance to people.
In December 2001, we (the Sutherland Court staf and guests) had a Christmas cruise on Port Hacking, and everyone had a good time - mainly since we work so damned had to keep the office going. I worked at Waverley Local Court in March/April 2002 - and again for a short time later - this was, generally, a welcome change of pace and scenery. Plans for the 2002 Christmas party are well underway.
For those that are interested in my immediate family - I tend to visit them once a week, and keep in email contact with Rudi.
- Mum's progress from her stroke of April '99 has been excellent, but is now in the "slow and steady" phase. Dad is OK, but somewhat inactive due to a weak heart.
- Johan has had some casual jobs recently - with the State Rail Authority and Grace Bros. We haven't played or recorded any new music together for a long time, but frequently listen to some of our old stuff.
- Over in Japan, Rudi & Mao had a baby girl - Tara, born on 3 April 2000. All three came here for the 2000/2001 Christmas/New Year period. Tara seems a delightful, happy and bright little girl. Another baby girl, Mia, was born on 29 November, 2001. The family visited Sydney February/March 2002 and may eventually come back to settle here (it's their choice, though).
- While overseas in September/October 2000, I stayed with my aunt and uncle in America. Both live, travel and work around New York city, so the September 2001 terrorist attack has caused at least some turmoil in their lives. However, I have yet to re-establish close contact with them.
For the future, I'm thinking of travelling to see my relatives in Sri Lanka - whom I haven't met, or even corresponded with - but nothing is in place for this yet. A genealogy website in Sri Lanka has requested details of my family history for their inclusion - I'll put together what I can for them.
A page is on-site - My Friends - devoted to friends of years past. It seemed to be needed, especially since I recently confirmed the death of my once dearly-beloved Cherie. Discretion prevents me from mentioning who I currently socialise with - either in person or on-line.
But socialising isn't all fun and games. Most people I know lead lives of "quiet desperation", so visiting them isn't really a joy. I find it all too easy to let my social obligations slide. However, anyone wanting to meet me as a result of liking this site should let me know. Have guitar will travel, if need be.
As for romantic encounters (depends on the definition, really), I've nothing to disclose here. Apart from my usual activities, things have been quiet on www.friend.com.au - so if anyone out there feels compatible then get in touch.
I've had some good social outings recently: seeing the "100 Views of Mt. Fuji"exhibition at the NSW Art Gallery, some parties and goings on in Double Bay, seeing Ian Moss (ex-Cold Chisel guitarist) at the Taren Point Hotel, a party at the Cruising Yacht Club, seeing Alan Holdsworth (with Chad Wackerman) at The Basement; and a Blues Night at the Rose Hotel, Tempe. On 12 February, I went to The Basement to see an assortment of top local jazz musicians under the titled of "Voodoo Jazz Collective" play the 1969-1972 music of Miles Davis.
I still get around to my old haunts, but not nearly as frequently - the Marble Bar (Hilton Hotel, Sydney) on Friday or Saturday nights (when good bands are on), the Basement (ditto), the local Greater Union cinemas on Tuesday "cheap movie"nights (if something is worth seeing), and Westfield Miranda most Thursday nights and Saturday mornings.
When heading into town (Sydney city) for occasional day- or evening-time shopping, I always check-out Red Eye Records (King St), and will occasionally pop into the Adyar Bookshop and Venue Music (both near Town Hall).
I spent around 3 weeks in the USA in September/October, 2000 - details of this trip can be found on the My Travels page. But I have no definite plans to travel anywhere else soon.
FILMS, TELEVISION AND RADIO
Movie-wise, check the Movies and DVD page for films (with one-word reviews) that I've seen over the last few years, plus DVDs that I currently own - no details on the rentals, as yet. I'd like to see more 'art-house' type films, but the local cinemas are only 5-10 minutes walk away - so they get first preference, despite the high "Hollywood trash" factor.
I don't watch much television and don't watch anything regularly - even the shows that I like. At the moment, I occasionally tune into the news, some music shows and occasional films and specials. I only listen to the radio in the car or at work.
BOOKS, MAGAZINES AND WRITING
I spend a lot of time at the local library - it's got lots of books, magazines and newspapers to read.
I spend less time nowadays at newsagents, still checking out (if not necessarily buying) the current magazines. For those people who are interested, I regularly check out New Scientist, Scientific American, Mojo, Q, Downbeat, Guitar Player, Guitar World, Australian Guitar, Keyboard, Future Music, PC Format, PC PowerPlay, Time, Colors, DVD magazines, Esquire, New Yorker, Autocar, Wheels and whatever else takes my fancy.
Check my personal library page, to see much of the bibliography for my forthcoming book. I've started working on it again - but for how long?
COMPUTING AND THE INTERNET
My computer, after crashing in early 2002, has been fixed and upgraded (to 192 MB of RAM) - I've also got a new speaker/sub-woofer system for it. I have several projects to work on, but simply don't have the time for them all.
For details of my various musical online activities - including other/new web-sites - see the Personal News page. As for this site, I reached 10,000 hits on/by 19 January, 2002 - the site is now due for a major revision and facelift. Whether I get around to it is another thing. There's a search engine for the site - at the bottom of the Master Page Index.
Generally, I've been set on a fairly repetitive routine when going on-line - FTP'ing the latest site changes, roaming through incoming mail (i.e. sorting out the junk and spams from the worthwhile stuff), checking out my usual newsgroups (mostly music, film, TV and computer related) and the sites that I frequently visit.
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© Alex Van Starrex