29 December 2007
I’m sitting at my kitchen table, enjoying the green formica on the most perfect of Saturday evenings, the sun only just starting to sink on a cloudless sky. Doing my usual end-of-year thang… thinking bout the twelve months that have passed + what the next twelve might bring. Surveying the mountain of thoughts, feelings, symbols that spring up with this simple change from one day to another. I’m not attempting to explain the personal significance that the new year holds for me – I had a go at that last year – more just noting that it’s upon me again.
I’m not feeling the energy I’d hoped to at this point in my brief summer break. In truth, I was hoping for some big bright beam to shine down + make everything new again. The hand of the universe, the choir of angels, all laaaaaaaaa + light. Surprise surprise, it hasn’t happened. Instead I’m feeling mildly exhausted, as I suspect many do at this point in the so-called season of good cheer. And a little blue tonight, although I admit that three rotations of Radiohead’s newy, In Rainbows, isn’t helping. Hey I’m a true believer in the occasional wallow, + man this album is made for it… sublime + sexy + sad. Add a glass of wine + I’m away.
My chrimbo was a pretty good one + it feels wrong to complain. Home-life continued to shine, friends reached out with greetings + affection, material benefits were bestowed through some lovely thoughtful presents, family time was spent. But none of it has given me the lift I wanted. Probably because that lift can only come from inside. (Der Clairey, do you have to relearn this lesson every time?! Apparently so.) I’m low on self-love right now. That’s the crux of it + that’s what the lift is going to take. At this point I have no means of tapping into it but I’m still hopeful… not only of it arriving, all beam-like, but in fact of it already being there + simply being buried under some shitty 2007 debris.
Without descending into a self-help-esque diatribe, I do know what the lift needs to look like. It needs a kick-in-the-arse jumpstart which at this point will probably involve my…
--getting more sunburnt than I already am
--watching a couple of trashy movies + crying, a lot, perhaps even stretching to sobbing + exhausting a large pile of tissues. I watched Sixteen Candles + The Notebook last night… seriously, that’s what it’s gonna take
--finding someone to give me a good hug
--getting drunk again
--dancing all night or at the very least until my feet hurt
--cutting myself some slack + not expecting perfection
--making a positive return to work in spite of hating the place right now
--faking a decent attitude until it builds its own momentum
--working my small piece of grit, aka The Plan (stay tuned), until it’s transformed into some kinda pearl
These are simple starting points + more will come. The main jist is a therapeutic wallow with a strict 24 hour expiry date, followed by the banishing of all negativity. 2008 is my frickin year. It’s the year of shovelling myself out of the shite + getting well + truly unstuck. It’s the year when I rediscover my guns + remind myself that they’re big + they’re fully loaded.
PS: No credit given to my limited creative prowess re: the title of this post please – love you M. Ward, you’re sheer genius.
PPS: This is my one-hundredth post... wowsers... fancy that!
21 November 2007
I learn something new most days. It’s the nature of life in general, but also of life under the same roof as Expert Ethan. Every conversation involves imparting the wonders of a scientific or mechanical process; exploring something gross with boyish curiosity; or sharing yet another of his amazing colloquialisms. The latter seem to be inexhaustible. Supply of fresh ideas tapers off from time to time + he falls back on the standards… I could eat the arse out of a low-flying duck, hard as a honeymooner’s proverbial et al. But just when I think they’re running dry as a dead dingo’s donger, a new one finds its way to the fore. Last night it was something along the lines of “That heap of crap won’t make 90 without revving its ring out”. Ah… Ethan… life would be so dry + colourless without you.
Something new was thrown at me from an unexpected direction this morning. I walked into the tearoom + caught a group of colleagues mid-conversation… “she was wearing a short skirt +, honest to goodness, you could see her breakfast!” There was an audible gasp from the assembled crowd. Someone may even have cried out “No?!”
I had to naively refer the expression to Jen, Resident Super-Librarian, + yes, breakfast signifies the obvious. Neither the Oxford English Dictionary nor the Urban Dictionary can confirm this particular permutation but I’m going with it. More personality than downstairs, less offensive than anything you’ll find in Roger’s Profanosaurus. Good stuff.
30 October 2007
Wanting to write again but not knowing how to begin without succumbing to maudlin depressiveness + self-indulgence. I’m going to wheel out the Drama Queen one more time. It’s been the policy so far + I see no real need to change that. I am – on the whole – feeling maudlin + depressed + self-indulgent.
The last few months have been crap. Revoltingly, mundanely shit. I’ve continued to battle multiple nemeses – depression, disempowerment, feeling stuck. STUCK is the serious one I think. I despise feeling as though I have limited choices or that it’s not within my power to make things better. Largely because my rational mind knows that I have myriad choices + expansive power, even as my emotive mind works desperately to undermine that.
The underlying causes of STUCK are unworthy of detailed exploration. Ongoing difficulties in letting go of the past; friends hurting other friends; people I love experiencing suffering which is outside of my control; things turning utterly shit at work; dissonance brought about by living in a town that I love + loathe at the same time; not enough space or energy for creativity. Boring boring boring. Boredom. That’s a bloody big factor in itself. Once STUCK sets in it’s a long, slow, boring death, and I’ve already spent too much of my young(ish) life dead. Dead to joy, dead to experience, dead to love, dead to myself. I refuse to play dead any longer.
A few weeks ago I had one of those wonderful expansive dreams that takes me away from myself + into new possibilities. It wasn’t big on detail, + I can’t remember much now anyway, but the crux was that I packed up + left, abandoned my reality for a solo trip around Australia. I woke feeling unbelievably liberated + free. That, to me, is a clear case of the subconscious wanting to be heard, expressing a strong desire to come UNSTUCK. And I’ve been daydreaming about it ever since.
05 October 2007
Music has gotta be a portent of good. I love it when I’m walking to work and the shuffle spits up something fabulous. This morning it was Daft Punk (always!), A Tribe Called Quest and OutKast. They shifted me straight out of morose tendencies and into a new place entirely. Everything felt suddenly energised and light. I went into one of my fun daydreams about being a super-athlete and traversing the path to work parkour-style, complete with flips and jumps and cartwheels. I’ll never do it but I love dreaming about it.
I felt good. The sun was shining. The tunes were fine. And I reminded myself that I must always shake it like a polaroid picture.
03 October 2007
I ordered a new book from my favourite poet + it arrived today. I was reading at lunchtime + suddenly thought that it would be lovely to have someone to read aloud to. Queue loneliness. There's no one occupying the read-aloud-to spot in my life. Sigh.
Maybe I'll give the girls an impromptu reading round at Toni's tonight. You gotta create your own romance, after all. If you don't so few other people will.
It is Born
Here I came to the very edge
where nothing at all needs saying,
everything is absorbed through weather + the sea,
+ the moon swam back,
its rays all silvered,
+ time + again the darkness would be broken
by the crash of a wave,
+ every day on the balcony of the sea,
wings open, fire is born,
+ everything is blue again like morning.
25 September 2007
The travelling woman
Come the dawn, after a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that loving sometimes means leaving, and company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts, and presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to learn to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of a woman not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today, because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain – for plans and futures have a way of falling in mid flight.
And after a while you learn that even sunshine burns, if you get too much.
So plant your own garden, and decorate your own soul – instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure, and you really are strong, and you really do have worth.
And you learn, and you learn. With each goodbye you learn.
I'm going to say goodbye to the blog for a little while, or at least until writing feels right again. There's a little too much sad + serious stuff going on between my ears + I need to treat that differently, give it more breathing space. I may post some images + other stuff in the meantime. I may post nothing. Who knows... I may be back in five minutes time. Right now I'm travelling, + sometimes you just gotta go with that til the next destination reveals itself.
09 September 2007
The other benefit of a shared approach is that we learn from each other. Ethan mentioned that he was keen to get a crock pot + I recoiled. My strongest association with crock pots is the stuff that got served up in stale vol-au-vent cases at family functions. Sloppy grey muck, passing itself off as chicken + mushroom, after having had the bejesus cooked out of it. No flavour, no texture, no fun. It’s important to allow yourself to reverse positions though, + I’m doing just that. Over the last week we’ve soaked up soupy goodness from the pot-o-love. Chicken + vegie + pea + ham. This morning I’m making use of the said-same slow-cooking equipment to stew up a big pot of beans. Smells of tomato, thyme, pepper + garlic are seeping into the house + making me feel glad to be alive. Cooking is serious therapy for my soul + I need to remember that.
Tonight we’ll sit around the table + review our weekends, laugh a lot, listen to good music. I might serve the beans with warm tortillas + salad. Hopefully Sal will drop round from next door – it’s her crock pot + she deserves a share. Tomorrow night Carolyn + Jen will be here + we’ll do it all again. And it will feel like home + family, just like good friendships do.
06 September 2007
I understand the “snap out of it” sentiment of people who’ve never experienced depression, because I will that on myself. Just snap the fuck out of it! But my genuine motivation to snap to has been usurped by a generalised urge to crawl under the bed until the world goes away. I could talk to someone but I can’t be bothered. I could pick myself up + go for a walk but I can’t be bothered. I could write about it but I can’t be bothered. I can’t even be bothered with the fun stuff, + where’s the fun in that?
In this situation I have to push myself back towards what I know. Tackle the small malaise with the small things that have already proven themselves. Good food, good exercise, good sleep (as far as the insomnia allows) + good company. If I focus on how beautiful those things really are, + discipline myself to discard the unnecessary extras for a while, then this too will pass. If I get sucked down by the fatigue + irritability + lack of joy then I’ll be entering a mighty big hole that takes a mighty big effort to dig myself out of. Like Jose says, don’t let the darkness eat you up.
21 August 2007
After a period of complete + utter boy-drought + relative singleness-acceptance, the issue seems to be back on the radar like a burning beacon of malcontent. Sometimes it happily fades to the background + then sometimes all conversations revolve around it + it starts to feel like my defining feature. And please know that I recognise the unifying element of “all conversations” as me. Everyone knows how capable I am of banging on about it. Oh look, here I go again.
Everywhere I go, the ugly side of singleness is leering in my face, invading my personal space with overgrown nostril hair + sock-breath. There are so many bad bits + sometimes they hit en masse…
- Being asked why there’s no man on the scene + what my “plan of attack” is. Like I am some rampant man-chewer.
- More articles in the paper about plummeting fertility rates + the need to get on and have babies while you still can.
- Babies everywhere.
- Cute dads everywhere. With babies.
- Friends. Having babies. At a rate of knots.
- Dry-spell desperation.
- Reaching a point where I seriously consider responding to last-year’s-shag-buddy’s emails.
- Ogling at the little baby students on campus, like some kind of pervy old trench-coat wearer.
- Knowing that to them I am the equivalent of some kind of pervy old trench-coat wearer in my attractiveness.
- Being struck down by a monster coldsore + mega-eczema at the same time + feeling even less attractive than some kind of pervy old trench-coat wearer.
- Seeing photos of he-who-shall-not-be-named on farcebook, new girlfriend in tow.
- Finding reassurance in the fact that a bunch of workmen checked me out during this morning’s tea break. (Unobserved by me but duly noted by Carolyn and Jen.)
16 August 2007
2. I forgot my washing + left it in the machine for 24 hours. When I went back to the scene of the crime the washing was gone. It was dried + folded + put away.
3. I wrote myself a cammomile tea reminder + stuck it on the fridge. When I got home there was a big box of the golden stuff sitting right there on the counter.
4. She is a champion.
08 August 2007
Everything’s so dramatic when you’re 11, + then even more so into your teens. What’s the peak age for drama? It’s gotta be teens I guess, but drama is pretty acceptable into your twenties. Everything is bright + shiny + new. Pain is sharper; love is more acute; passion is all consuming; life is largely undiscovered + confusing in so many ways. There are a thousand unanswered questions to contend with + a thousand pathways to consider traipsing down (+ then maybe back up, + then down again).
31 is not an age for drama. 31 is an age for acceptance + maturity. You’re supposed to have it sorted, in a rational sensible adult kinda way. There’s no expectation that you’ll freeze a friend out cos they pashed your boy, or die if you don’t have the right pair of jeans to wear on the weekend. There’s a distinct lack of drama. There’s little sense of adventure. And oh how boring that can be.
A boring song, currently on high rotation on the J’s, spells out this said same boring topic in a boring but catchy way: And now that she’s older, as the embers of romance fade to mortgages + leccy bills… nobody told her that she'd ever reach the stage where her husband bored her or she lied about her age. (Ahhh... pop wisdom.)
I don’t mean to sound old + jaded... too late, I know... but I am aware of the routineness that can creep into life during an off week. Those days when work is a drag + the thought of plugging away at it foreverafter sends me into mild conniptions. Those days when I could drop dead from the mind-numbing boredom of it all. Boredom + routine I reject you! I say OUT! I don't want to be bored or to see less + less value in things as time goes by. I don't want to surrender my naivety + openness. And I don't want to see it as my lot to do so just cos I'm not young anymore.
I say YES to the newness + mystery that permeated things when I was a kid. I say YES to a genuine passion for my own life that’s not slowly sucked away by the grind of work + chores + day-to-day. I say YES to die-hard romanticism + drama.
But don't worry... I won't dump you for lookin at me funny, or not wearing the right shoes, or not letting me be your farcespace friend.
05 August 2007
So this weekend has been a very low key one involving consistent napping. The refreshing aspect is that I’ve been surrounded by Ethan + Holley goodness. Frequent cups of tea + pieces of vegemite toast, runs to the shop, taking my washing off the line, cooking chicken soup, changing my car battery. (Okay so that last one is above + beyond flatmate duty of care, but how lucky am I to live with a practical + generous bloke!?) It has been a relief not to endure another bout of illness in the isolation cell, drifting into morbid daydreams about who will discover my rotting corpse + how long it will take them. Probably a relief for everyone who usually puts up with it too!
Holley has been staying all week. It was supposed to be a flying visit before her next prac placement in Dubbo but she had an eleventh hour cancellation. So guess what? We have a temporary dream flatmate scenario on our hands. Yep, it’s official, I’m living with two of my favourite peops for the next six weeks. Ethan + I will continue looking for the right permanent person while Hol acts as the best kind of back up. Go the dream team! It’s been great to share a home with two people who I love, respect + get on with! On the flipside, ‘owning’ a dishwasher has not been the dream experience I’d anticipated. You were right (again) Weeze, it hasn’t revolutionised my life. It has left little bits of food all over everything, which isn’t quite what I’d been hoping for. But hey, no squabbles about who does bad washing up as the machine does it for us.
I had an entertaining girls-own-adventure on Thursday night. I’d sworn off the uni’s Winter Garden Party after last year’s, which involved far too much public vomiting + urinating for an old lady like me. But the promise of good company + a boogie to Blue King Brown was too much to resist. The sad news is that we managed to miss BKB… don’t even ask… we’re still living the mishap down. The glad news is that we had a blast anyway. Pulled out some seriously crazy moves to Midnight Juggernauts, unleashed our inner dance divas + acted like serious teenagers. I’m astounded at how little it takes for me to revert to a hormonal 15 year old. Okay, so actually we all know that this is the more constant dimension of my personality, I’ll stop pretending otherwise.
I was determined to enjoy Hol + Sal’s company + leave all thoughts of boys behind, with additional acceptance of the fact that I would probably be the oldest person there. I was dressed accordingly: daggy jeans + t-shirt, hair pulled back, no jewellery, not even lip gloss. But as is so often the case with such extensive disclaimers, it turned out that I was on fire. Two requests for phone numbers within the space of an hour! Maybe I’ve still got it! Yes, they were both misguided drunk 20 year olds, but I'll take what I can get in the flattery stakes. By the end of the night all three of us had picked out boys we liked + as the ugly lights came up Sal sent us on a mission to pursue the leads. “Right, meet you at the bottom of the steps - with boys - in ten! Go!” It was insane. But heaps of fun.
It makes me laugh to contrast this to Tuesday night when the crafty ladies were over. At least as much fun to hang out with Shady, Smokey + Tones, getting creative + philosophising about life, love + relationships. It’s always a major highlight of my month. We got into an interesting d+m about honesty + genuineness. This included one of my wise old lady rants about the importance (for me) of being true to myself but also recognising that I can be a slightly different version of myself in different situations. Hmmm… the 31 year old versus the 15 year old! Doing battle? Or perhaps simply agreeing to share in all the fun to be had!
31 July 2007
30 July 2007
1) angry about the state of the world + fierce in my belief that women’s lib needs to take place all over again. This happens with the really trashy articles about winning your man’s heart via some variety of consumerism/super-waxing/vaginoplasty. And yes, I am talking about the Herald here folks, not Cleo.
2) pathetic, when I read the above articles, buy into their BS + expend energy on getting angry about them. It’s as productive + educational as watching Today Tonight.
3) sad, when I read about speculative contemporary plagues such as extreme man-drought, commitment-phobia, single households or 30-something barrenness.
Obviously this reading habit is something that I need to jettison. But I have managed to unearth one gem amongst the mind-wasting manure of the genre… the London Review of Books + their online personals. I discovered this via la Heraldo a couple of months back.
Where other sites encourage contributors to "keep it positive" and "be polite", the LRB runs ads like: "Shy, ugly man, fond of extended periods of self-pity, middle aged, flatulent and overweight, seeks the impossible."
Or: "If dreams were eagles, I would fly, but they ain't, and that's the reason why. Spend New Year's Eve singing into your hairbrush with me, bitter publishing marketing exec. (F, 33), too drunk at the office party to keep all my slobber behind my teeth."
Launched a decade ago, the LRB personals were intended to provide a way for the journal's cultured and literate readers to get together; a kind of "84 Charing Cross Road endeavour," writes David Rose in They Call Me Naughty Lola, a compilation of the best LRB personals, "with readers providing their own versions of Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft finding love among the bookshelves". The first ad they received was from a man "on the look-out for a contortionist who plays the trumpet".
The column quickly achieved cult status, a kind of broken carousel where the poisonously droll and flamboyantly dysfunctional paraded their neuroses, skin conditions and overweening desire for self-destructive sex. Uninhibited by anything as trite as positive thinking, advertisers are free to tell it like it is, with oddly charming results: "I'd like to dedicate this advert to my mother (difficult cow, 65) who is responsible for me still being single at 36. Man. 36. Single. Held at home by years of subtle emotional abuse and at least 19 fake heart attacks."
I love it. I would seriously attempt to set up the Gong equivalent if I thought there were more than a dozen people here who could read, let alone go nuts with a little sardonic literary wit.
21 July 2007
The move is over, with a mountain of unpacking + renesting still to come; the old place is scrubbed up + left behind; I've survived dramas at work; + created a big new piece within the tightest ever timeframe. The new work was due the Monday after the move + I was exhausted to the point of incoherancy by then. How good to get through it though! It's the first instance I can remember of almost seamless creativity... from a loose image in my head to a realised piece with no angst at all. It just flowed out + was there in front of me. It's really only in the last year or so that I've made work that I like + feel satisfied with, + what a bloody great relief to finally reach that point!
The opening on Thursday night was an enormous affirmation, sorely needed after the insanity of the last couple of weeks! I was surrounded by friends, especially my amazing work crew who turned up in rent-a-crowd style droves. My work had a prime position + looked amazing up on the wall + properly lit (as opposed to stretched over a tiny loungeroom floor as had been the case up until then). I was overwhelmed by the response from people + the quality of the show in its entirity. It was an incredibly positive thing.
I've got a mountain more that I want to say, but am going to stick with sharing the new work for now. I need a little mental + physical recovery time before I can get back to my regular rambling on. But stay tuned + stay in touch! Love youse fellas.
01 July 2007
Overall there was a lingering failure flavour to much of the week + it was a struggle to remain bubbly + buoyant. By Friday night one of my tension headaches had hit + I was forced to miss duel engagements for Nancy's 75th + Ben's 22nd birthdays, instead lying on the couch, supping aspirin + feeling sorry for meself.
Of course there's always a bright side to look to. I've been accepted into a local group show, with enormous thanks to my mate Gin, + now have a very definite (+ close) deadline for creating some new work. I finished Smokey's birthday scarf + was stoked with the results. Plain knitting in peacock blue + smokey brown (appropriately), which I embellished with appliqued felt circles + some of my favourite button treasures. She's promised modelling photos from her adventure into WA + SA this month, so stay tuned for images of striking scarf on beautiful lady against red earth. There was a girl's dinner on Tuesday night which I loved, in spite of the fact that we all seemed somewhat overtaken by the midwinter blues + sniffles.
But the Really Big News is that Ethan + I have finally found a place after a month + a half of looking. Woo hoo! Yippee yi ya! The finer details are currently enmeshed in the blur that is house-hunting. Everyone knows that feeling, I'm sure. Is there a bath? I can't rightly remember. Do you enter straight into the living room or is there a hallway? Not sure. Where in heaven's name am I going to fit all my stuff, alongside two other people + their stuff? Bloody good question. But that will all work itself out I'm sure. The flat is in a great location - a block + a half from North Beach - in a pretty complex. There's a balcony for my cacti collection + a dishwasher... oh my coveted object of extreme luxury. I've already had an email from a cool-sounding chick who's interested in joining our gang. So the omens are good.
I need to focus on the good omens + not the anxiety that comes to me with change. I have two weeks to pack up my little flat + say my goodbyes. It's been my sanctuary for nearly two years now. My first, + potentially only, solo pad. Also a space that I shared with gorgeous Dennise for several months, + a veritable parade of friends, lovers + crafty ladies. I've enjoyed so much of living here + I think other people have enjoyed it too. There certainly seems to be a regular + consistent refrain that it's a warm, comfortable place to hang out, + it will be hard to leave that behind. But I look forward to the new chapter that's ahead of me + the companionship that will bring. Change can be my friend, if I let him!
26 June 2007
(Don't know why there's any need to announce this to the world. Perhaps as a form of self-motivation. It's too early to be self-aggrandisement, but be assured that I will brag if I get back to a full routine. Nag me if you see me. Or just choose to ignore me.)
24 June 2007
Today’s been pretty shithouse for a Sunday. Spent the morning preparing for a job interview, which requires an oral dissertation on how I would “manage key leadership functions” inherent to the internal promotion. WTF?
After that I braved the Figgers Westfield maxi-mall in search of winter clothes. After a major intervention by Weeze I've finally acknowledged that I can’t survive the colder months clad only in an assortment of t-shirts + three-quarter cardigans. On a hot tip from Holley I headed for K-mart with my wardrobe wishes held high, like a flag of hope fluttering in a gentle breeze of consumer confidence. Well that flag was in blood-splattered tatters within minutes my friends.
It would seem that Holley visits a K-mart in an alternate dimension, where the sun shines, the neat racks are brimful of quality pure wool knits + the delightful staff are more than happy to help you find fashion gems in your size. I don't know where the bloody hell that shop is, cos mine is packed to the rafters with screaming children, screaming bogans + synthetic tracksuits in the full range of sizes 8 + 28 (note that I did not say 8 to 28, oh no no-no-no nooooo...).
I had a tension headache before I'd even pushed my way past the rainbow of ugg boot + Barbie bedhead displays at the front of the store. By the time I'd located the only two non-nylon items in the shop I was about ready to commit atrocities. I did try to push on, I swear. I braved the fruit + veg shop + was halfway through the supermarket gate when I realised that I just couldn't face it. My abrupt reverse pissed several people off but I figure it was only fair that I got some annoying behaviour in there somewhere.
I decided to cheer myself up + go crazy over a cinnamon donut but the donut shop was closed, so in a moment of desperation I did it... something so horrible that I can barely speak its name out loud. I stopped in at Gloria Jean's. I'm not going to pretend that I've never been in there before, but my only previous crime against coffee was probably four years ago now, + it was a case of extreme workplace duress.
I was doing some project work at UTS with a bunch of girls who were lovely (+ I do mean that) but about as different to me as gazelles on the savannah. When a GJ's opened up the street they were in raptures. There were endless office discussions about the beauty of decaf-mocha-frappe-crappe-chinos + the subtle deliciousness of the pot-pourri-pine-o-cleen coffee blends on offer at the store. Every day was a new opportunity to gush over GJ's + there was a limit to the effectiveness of my excuse that I would rather stick my own head in a blender + hit "frappe" than partake in that revolting excuse for coffee. So I got dragged along from time to time. Come to think of it, I may even have been given some sickly-sweet-faux-vanilla-infused gift-pack upon my departure.
So this was the first visit since then. I asked for a portuguese tart to take away + they handed me a giant paper bag. It wasn't til I got home + opened it that I realised that the bag contained 1 x very small tart, 1 x enormous heavy duty plastic plate, 1 x heavy duty plastic fork + 4 x serviettes. I mean, for goodness sakes! Who has ever eaten a portuguese tart with a fork? Or needed four serviettes to clean up after themselves? This is my number one problem with places like GJ's. If you choose to eat that kind of rubbish food, fine. (Although of course there are ethical + environmental ramifications to that choice as well.) But at least consider the intense amount of waste that seems to be unavoidable with any purchase. Many of those places don't even have reusable crockery + cutlery for use inside the store. And it drives me bananas. (In case you couldn't tell.)
Phew! I feel better now!
Actually several things are contributing to me feeling better already... Jason's on his way over for a cuppa + a chat. I'm going to cook up a big lentil bolognese + stew some rhubarb tonight, which will see me fully recovered from shoping-mall-madness. Mmmm... winter goodness.
The fact that my travels had a supersonic soundtrack also helped me to keep smiling. Ethan fitted the new car stereo yesterday, in a burst of manly activity that had my head awhir. There was all sorts of confusing electronic activity going on - wires everywhere, sound checks, isolating the different speakers, sockets + soldering. I did my bit by hovering around, saying "u-huh, sounds good to me" + shining a torch for a bit. And then it was done. So impressive. I picked out my crappiest, most scratched-up burnt cds + blasted them around town with nary so much as one skip.
And something helped me to seriously love my lot this morning. I called Adam - a nice fella that Sarah's been trying to set me up with - to take a raincheck on our coffee date. At about 10am he'd already spent several hours at work. He's an industrial abseiler + his mission for the morning had been abseilling into a "waste shunt" beneath the Town Hall food court in Sydney. This is - from what I can make out - a giant vat that every food outlet drains its waste into. I have no idea what he was doing down there (or why he agreed to go down there, in fact) but all I could think of was that scene from Kenny where our hero is lowered into a septic tank. Adam hadn't seen the movie but he knew exactly what I was talking about + could even quote the relevant line... there's a smell in there that will outlast religion.
I do love a bit of perspective for helping me pull my head out of my own bum!
23 June 2007
Another superb show at the Heritage. The company of good mates. A star-studded space to gaze upon + daydream within. (Sarah Blasko, Holly Throsby + Lindsay 'The Doctor' McDougall were all fellow audience-members.) A spot on the floor about two metres from the stage. A sublimely beautiful performance by Daz + his band. An autographed CD + a chat with two of the musos.
I finally whisked up the courage to speak to Bree Van Reyk, who I have the most tentative of childhood connections to. We both played in the Canberra Youth Orchestra's Symphonic Band as kiddies + one of us has gone on to musical greatness. Bree is an incredibly talented freelance percussionist who works with the likes of Daz + Holly, while (from what I can work out) making her own music in big + varied ways. It was exciting that she remembered me ("bass clarinet yeh?") + was willing to put up with my gibbering for a few minutes.
And while Daz was speaking straight to my heart (as he always does), pianist + trumpeteer Cory Gray was speaking straight to my pants. Sal + I were the first peops he spoke to after getting off stage + he asked me my name!!! [Insert teenage girl squeal here.] I would have gone the way of fluttery eyelids + "can I buy you a drink" if I'd had one more beer under my belt + wasn't dealing with The Monster Cold. But maybe that's a lucky thing. Good lord I need to get laid.
More than anything I was thankful for the optimism + happiness that the gig brought back to me. It was an 'orrible week, all things told, + so a gift to end it on such a high note. Darren's gorgeous lyrics + poetic storytelling never fail to give me a sense of hope + humour. They remind me that life is a journey for each + every one of us, with lots of stories to tell + even more to be told. I'm looking forward to letting go of the 'what ifs' + embracing the stories to come. (Sorry to get soppy on ya guys, but sometimes it's just the way it has to be.)
hold on my love
if only for that cloud who burst its skin + cried out loud
and sent us running with the crowd, the concert ruined
the cute smiles of young boys beckon, if only for nine seconds
i know you're lonely
so if only for the 'if only'
hold on my love
try try to rest those peepers
you're jealous of easy sleepers
try not to think too hard you might break something
From 'Hold On' by Darren Hanlon.
21 June 2007
Today's poem was doomed to fall on the dark side... although the overall optimism of its tone should be noted! I've had the most banal dingy birthday-comedown cold all week. It's driving me mad with its not-quite-sick-enough-to-be-bedridden mediocrity. I'm fed up with being snotty + shirty + sore. I'm fed up with me. I'm fed up with you. I'm going to go sup steaming miso + feel sorry for meself in front of a crappy movie.
19 June 2007
I caught a bit of Dr Karl on the radio when I was home on sick leave recently. One fella posed a great question along the lines of “It was my 30th birthday on the weekend: How did that happen?”
The mystery is only heightened at 31, my friend, let me tell you that.
The bad stuff...
--worst skin ever. I am now officially a zitface in a way that I never was as a kid. Lucky my ma is shouting me a facial for my birthday. I need it.
--weird hairs continue to do their thang in places they shouldn't. I weakened + plucked two from my lip this morning. There is no turning back.
--hangover resistance is at an all time low. Possibly a message from my very sensible body that I am old enough to know better. If only I was willing to heed.
The good stuff...
There's so much that I'm stumped on where to start. I don't want to rattle off on another of my boring lists but it doesn't feel like there are many other options. In fact it could take several lists to even begin addressing the goodness. But I'll try to take pity on my very small readership by limiting it to brief highlights.
--the blessing that is my friends. How bloody lucky am I?
-->A whole weekend with Weeze. Love you gorgeous.
-->A flying visit from Adi + Angelo. Ang do you realise that it's close to four years since we saw each other last?! And Adi, do you realise what a strong, creative inspiration you are to me on lots of levels?! It was so much fun to hang out with you both.
-->A fabulous night out at the Heritage for The Black Seeds, with everyone making a massive effort, but particularly Bec + Joel - thanks so much guys.
-->My work mob, who continue to be unfailingly genuine in their warmth + kindness. Amanda's cherry semolina cake was divine.
-->Toni + Vlad, who are sweethearts. I loved the nipple cakes Tone. They were delicious. Don't you let anyone knock your choice of icing design. (And if they do knock it suggest that they might like to pass the pinkly-iced morsel in my direction.)
-->A delicious dinner with Carolyn, Jen, Carol + Kristy, with a bag of coconut ice thrown in for good measure.
-->A brilliant birthday op-shopping excursion with Bez + a pair of lovely red leather pumas thrown in. (No Weeze, I did not say red leather pants. I know I'm too old to embrace skin-tight leather.)
-->A lovely night out with Ethan + Jason on the actual day. Getting taken out to dinner by two spunky blokes is quite a treat for the single birthday girl. It made me laugh to rock up to a restaurant in couplesville, order three bowls of spag bowl, + carry on with our usual crazy talk. I'm so happy to have stumbled across you both. And then stumbling across the last couple of songs from Cut Off Your Hands at the Oxford... what a befitting birthday treat! (Jason, I love the fact that you bought the t-shirt + then asked "What does Cut Off Your Hands mean?" Please see comment below re: my stepmother the madwoman + adapt as appropriate!)
-->Hanging out with Mat + Sarah for an entire day + night in celebration of Sarah's birthday. Heaps of fun. Even though my head hurt on Saturday (+ Sunday come to think of it). Thanks for introducing me to Singin' In The Rain, Sarah. You rock.
--the mixed blessing that is my family. A decent chat with me old man. Dinner in Chinatown + a lovely talk with my mum. A call from Slim + Jaci. And, definitely not least, the fact that Rina made the entire mob sing happy birthday to someone else's answerphone. We would be lost without you, you madwoman.
--my surprise birthday pressie, which just blew my mind. A gang of mates pitched in + bought me a new car stereo. I was so so impressed. Everyone was so impressed by Ethan, who made the whole thing happen. (You're a gem!) It was so generous + thoughtful. I still haven't recovered.
--my beautiful handmade birthday pressies, including Emma's aromatic coasters + Holley's stupendous sock creature, who I love to bits + have named Monteith (Monty for short) in honour of a shared passion.
I'm sure I've missed stuff. But to summarise...
it was a brilliant birthday + I love youse all
17 June 2007
(This was supposed to be posted on Thursday at least. A birthday poem. Thwarted by the tyranny of dial-up again. Maaaaaannnnnn... I can't wait for new abode, flatmate company + an ensuing broadband revolution. Someone will have to explain bluetooth to me next.)
01 June 2007
CLAIRE: Yummo - thanks mate. There are also some peanut brittle fingers available at The Desk Of Claire. Although Anthony has already pointed out that I need to be careful when offering someone a finger!
SMOKEY: I have some *delicious* Eclipse mints at my desk. Feel free to swing by and eat some if you are concerned about your bad breath. hehehe
ANTHONY: my cubicle is an existentialist wasteland of wistful fancies resolute on endlessly taunting me into a drooling, slavering discombobulation. I got nada, gimme sweeties
29 May 2007
ME: Are you calling me old?
MR T: no but I'm sweeping 'us' under its general umbrella
Thanks sweet, but I do think I could give her a good run for her money... if I had even a mild interest in body building + was willing to eat a few more egg-whites or whatever it is those strange people subject themselves to.
It's oddly reassuring to know that somewhere in the world this extreme-ness is looked upon as a positive. Pretty much anything is attractive in someone's eyes. Always worth remembering.
27 May 2007
--two heeler pups, bursting at the seams with energy (lord, I want a dog)
--an extreme miasma of maltesers, little yappers, ever-multiplying (lord, I do not want a dog like that)
--a pelly being swooped by over-zealous seagulls… + really not giving a shit. Why would you?
--old people exercising: how completely routine + real it is for them to pull on the stripey speedos, grab a faded 70s towel, jump on a clunky old bike + head down to the ocean pool; how they’ve probably been doing the same thing every day for 50 years; the smiles on their well-worn faces; + how beautifully this contrasts with the slicked-down, pulled-back, super-tight, logo-packed aerobicism of the young exercise troupe
--an ancient couple pulling the littlest dinghy I’ve ever seen down to the water
--contrasting again with all the super-serious kayakers, who I love seeing as tiny, shiny spots far out to sea
--three massive steel tankers on the horizon
--the steelworks: I don’t know why but I do have a fondness for that hive of industry
--the view of huge construction cranes from the big lighthouse; dotted through the city; its highest points; dwarfing the row of Norfolk pines
I don’t want to be talking about Serious Stuff… like Depression + Exercise… but sometimes it has to be affirmed that a walk at the beach is medicine for the soul.
This weekend has been a tricky proposition for me, noting two things that can cause conflict:
a) desperately needing some solitary time, and
b) being a bit down.
These factors can combine to create a scary hermitisation affect… disastrous for me + painful for anyone who unwittingly breaks the Cone of Hermit. But I’ve done well over the last 24 hours. I’ve braved the hairdresser's; walked at the beach; nearly finished three new winter skirts; listened to Sharon Jones + the Dap Kings' live set on Triple J; watched a few episodes of the sexist, reductive + very funny English sit com Coupling; caught up on some phonecalls. All in all it’s enough to keep Little Miss Depression in check.
And now, back to a bit of skirt. (Or several bits of skirts.)
25 May 2007
I went to a beauty parlour, which is interesting in its own right. A new world for me, + one that I entered for the first time this year when I made the decision to wax my eyebrows + tint my eyelashes. Another vain attempt at embracing femininity + keeping up with my more-worldly girlfriends.
The experience isn’t nearly as traumatic as I'd expected. I could even go so far as to say that it's mildly relaxing, reclining on a vinyl-covered bed + being tended to by a busy, buzzy little professional. My ‘therapist’ is called Chloe + she’s sweet in the way that brainless 20-year-olds can be. She works hard at talking to me + makes sympathetic noises in response to comments that she can’t possibly relate to. She would like to work where I work because of the "peace + quiet", not understanding that there is none. She thinks it would be great to go to the places I go + see the bands I see, even though she hasn’t heard of any of them. She’s been in her current job for a "really long time" (18 months) + can’t see herself sticking with it forever. She bright + breezy + well-meaning, + she agrees to "keep my look natural" before she strips my eyebrows to within an inch of their life.
But racism reared its ugly head amid last night's harmless chit chat. We were talking about options for going out in Wollongong + a nite-spot that Chloe's boyfriend "won't let her go to". Fair enough I guess. I'm not one for letting a bloke tell me what I can or can't do, but at the same time there are some seedy spots around town + a little concern for welfare is something to be valued. However it turns out that she's not allowed to go "cos it's full of druggies + blacks". I lost the power of rational thought at this last comment + had my jaw on the floor for the next 15 minutes.
It's a situation I loathe - someone slips in a fleeting racist remark, thinking it's completely acceptable, + then moves straight to their next inane point of conversation. I have never known how to handle it + always end up disappointed in myself + my inability to stand up for my values in a direct way. I said nothing last night + slunk away from the salon feeling ashamed + conflicted (Should I go back there? What do I do next?) . Ethan + I workshopped possible options for handling that situation over dinner + I have promised myself that I'll give one a go next time rather than staying silent.
The whole thing left me rattled though + this dissonance was only reinforced by today's news. Under the patronising title of Blacks, be patient: Abbott the Herald explored our government's complete + ongoing ineptitude when it comes to the welfare of Aboriginal people, particularly in the area of health. The snapshot statistics at the bottom of this article are disturbing, to say the least. It's shameful to live in a wealthy, 'civilised' country where our indigenous people have a life expectancy that is 17 years below that of the general population.
In the same day's news is the sale of an Emily Kame Kngwarreye painting for more than a million dollars. This is a major achievement for Aboriginal art + about bloody time. Kngwarreye's work is a sublimely beautiful national treasure +, as the article points out, this is the highest price ever paid for an indigenous artwork and a piece made by a woman artist - black or white. But where will this money go? Nowhere near Kngwarreye's family or community, instead lining the pockets of some already-wealthy art-dealer. One lucky recipient of an amount that's about a 30th of the annual budget allocated to indigenous health over the next four years.
Tomorrow is Sorry Day. I would like to add my voice + apologise to the Aboriginal people of this country for the injustices that they have suffered, + continue to suffer, under white occupation. I will try harder to confront racism where I find it + be braver in standing up for what I believe in.
You can find out more here + join the Close the Gap campaign by simply signing a petition.
23 May 2007
I’ve spent a good lump of my life trying to hide this fact beneath long skirts + trousers. But thankfully I’m reaching a place of increased self-acceptance + – importantly – realism. At the age of nearly-31 I realise that there are things about myself that will never change, + my basic body shape is one of them. Not saying I couldn’t afford some toning + tightening… but the fundamentals are not going to change + it’s important to consider that fact with self-love + self-acceptance.
Sometimes I go beyond love + acceptance to a place of outright flaunting it. I mean fuck it! Sometimes I just want to put it out there. There are so many gorgeous bigger women + the skinny stereotypes get so boring.
Today I’m channeling this through white knee-hi socks. I love white knee-hi socks but almost always avoid them because of their calf-emphasising-qualities. But today they were the only thing I could get excited about wearing. You gotta go with it when the inspiration hits. Even though I’m guessing that I look like a Japanese schoolgirl on steroids.
22 May 2007
I stumbled across a lovely passage on the Next Wave Festival site yesterday:
CLOSER TOGETHER… The rhetoric of global culture tells us that we are being brought closer and closer together. By media, communication technologies, the free market and other snappy buzzwords which signify somewhat less transparent systems. But how close are we, and how much do we really know about each other? …closeness and its conflicted nature: as a catalyst for connectedness, community and exchange, but also of claustrophobia, confrontation and invasion. The collapse of the private sphere into the public and the increasing tendency to live out our personal lives in very impersonal arenas. The demise of public space, as a concept and a reality...where is the space for vulnerability, intimacy, privacy and exchange in an increasingly globalised world? What is the potential for genuine, unexpected connections, and what might they look like?
It rang lots of bells for me… as someone who probably craves connectedness above all else. And also as someone who plays at creating a space online for vulnerability, intimacy, privacy + exchange, while being well aware of the inherent tensions of the public journal. The private made public. Its inimical intimacy.
People seem to respond well to the intimacy. (The few people who drop in + choose my door from the available array in this vast public sphere!) They applaud me for sharing miniscule candid details + hurts. Maybe that’s what it comes down to... am I being candid because I’m talking about the hurts? The bits that suck + make me cry, as well as the bits that bring joy. I’m still only revealing the bits that I want to. It’s still a selective truth + may never reflect any version of a whole picture. I rarely tell you about my asshole-moments, or fat-days, or nose-picking, although I think you get enough boring-bastard-moments. There is no question that I’m a self-centred little navel-gazer. Maybe a tad too earnest too. And enough with the hyphenating already!
See… now I’m even boring myself.
17 May 2007
08 May 2007
+ when you find relief in sleep
well you may wish to never wake again
i drink in bars
+ try my best
but these mannequins are too well dressed
+ i don't think that i can fake another year
without feeling something
cos i've been numb for too long
i need a hit of something sweet (i don't know)
when you feel nothing
the nights hold no meaning
except you've gotta wake up sometime
+ i don't think that i wanna wake up on my own no more
i've tried just about everything that's come my way
+ i hold no fear left in my heart apart from mediocrity
one day i might find a muse
+ in her i hope to lose every song i've ever written
or am yet to write about feeling nothing
so we drink in bars
+ try our best
but these mannequins are too well dressed
+ i don't think that i can fake another year without it
('Mannequins' by Josh Pyke)
Feeling a teensy bit sorry for meself after my first meeting with He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named in a long, long time. Still so much regret + sadness tied up there. When will this bugger of a thing ever really be over? What do you do with the pieces of a broken heart? A fraught couple of days in fact, made worse by insomnia, bad hair + attempting to focus through 14 hours of software training. It's lucky that Josh understands, I tell ya.
And thank the heavens for old friends, good company + homemade nachos. Thank you Ms Nicole Barakat! (First ever full-name-inclusion on these pages - just so it comes up on your Google alert mate.) Last night was fun. News, tea drinking, a foolish wee spliff. We flipped through Nico's photos + that blew my mind. Other people's photos alway do. There's something quite spooky about an alternate record of experiences + times I've shared in. My doppelganger exists in the pages of someone else's album.
Was tops to see Nat + Scott on Sunday too. Several of my faves rolled into one evening: those two; a walk at the beach; fish + chips; + home via Newtown for hokey-pokey gelato. It doesn't get much better. Amazing to recognise that as the last outing for the three of us pre-baby. Nat is fit to explode + I am so excited but... in the spirit of all that is honest + open... a little sad too. The end of an era.
It's okay to be sad sometimes.
04 May 2007
03 May 2007
2. We were both feeling a bit blah at lunch today. We couldn't think of anything to say. So we didn't. And that was okay.
It was all downhill from there. The gym is killing me + I’m only into New Leaf Week Two. I have never heard so much bad music in such a short space of time. Led Zep’s beautiful Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You with dance beat + irritating whistle effect? I don’t bloody think so. An entire swag of Radiohead songs slaughtered by some free-dance-jazz-interpretation-concept-album drongos? Please no. But it’s all true. Don’t get me wrong, I am a dance music lover, not a hater. I don’t despise “doof doof”. In fact I refuse to even utter the term “doof doof”. I bought the Claude VonStroke album a couple of weeks ago + that is jam-packed with whistling. But there have to be some boundaries, some limits, some sense of sanctity. I say this knowing full well that there are none. That nothing is sacred in pop culture + that this is the way it’s always been. The classics of one generation slaughtered shamelessly by the next.
I went to my mate Terri’s 40th birthday party on Saturday. For the first time I found myself a member of the Boring Adult Brigade (BAB) at a gathering that was very much segregated into plus-40 adults + under-20 kids. It was scary. The BAB started dancing + the kids circled around like laughing hyenas with phone + video cameras. We were clearly an hysterical embarrassment. And I was in the middle of it, pulling out what I thought were my grooviest moves. I was ‘them’, not ‘us’. Let me just say again… it was scary.
It provided great mind-cud on the long… hungover… bad bad bad… drive home from Orangeville. (One of my favourite things: solo car trip, good music, something meaningful to mull over.) Ben Folds sang out serendipitously. There’s always someone cooler than you. And there always will be. My peak of cool has well + truly passed. It’s time to love the daggy mediocrity, let go + move on to the more important stuff.
02 May 2007
2. She says things like... i love the word entrepreneurial. it's the tre and pre that do it. not too keen on the people who embody it, though.
3. She is happy to express her strong dislike of small children who are covered in food.
01 May 2007
1. A kind of horse
2. In the morris-dance, and on the stage (in burlesques, pantomimes, etc.), a figure of a horse, made of wickerwork, or other light material, furnished with a deep housing, and fastened about the waist of one of the performers, who executed various antics in imitation of the movements of a skittish or spirited horse; also, the name of this performer in a morris-dance. Hence, to play (the) hobby-horse A hobby-horse dance. Obs.
3. A person who plays ridiculous antics; a frivolous or foolish fellow, jester, buffoon. b. A lustful person; a loose woman, prostitute.
4. A stick with a horse's head which children bestride as a toy horse. b. A wooden horse fixed on a ‘merry-go-round’ at a fair. c. A rocking-horse for the nursery.
6. A favourite pursuit or pastime.
7. As hobby-horse dance; hobby-horse man, hobbyhorseman, (a) a man who sells hobby-horses; (b) a man who rode a ‘hobby-horse’ or dandy-horse; (c) a man who ‘rides a hobby’.
30 April 2007
27 April 2007
Highlights from a quiet Friday…
--fabulous love life advice from Anthony. He’s a sage, with previous notable sage-ness being “find a good geek”. Our most recent exchange was set off by Jaci’s fabulous picture…
…which then led to happy pants (as MC Hammer must)… which then led to a spectacularly happy pair of monster pants…
+ then… well… somehow ended up at love life, as all of my conversations still seem to.
A: It's good to give up on dating. I've never dated because the true way to secure a partner is to really really enjoy your single life, plan cool individual things to do, start lots of hobbies, go out every night, smoke cones, drink and revel in the fact you can do whatever you want with abandon... only then will your beloved come along.
Me: Oh yeh, I know. My cone smoking days are well over, but I work pretty hard on the rest. Thanks for the words of wisdom... you smug partnered bastard.
A: I forgot the most important step - you have to not want a partner ever and must want to remain single forever in order to enjoy such things that will never come about. Don't count your cone smoking days as over before they're hatched… you might need it as fall back one day hehe.
--discussion with Bez about stoopid smoothie names + how much of an ass I feel when asking for a banarama or chocko rocko. I suggested going with simple numbers until Bez pointed out that a number two smoothie might not inspire the masses.
But still… My favourite beverage from the campus smoothie operator is called gym junkie. Well how freakin incongruous is that? No way am I waltzing up and saying that out loud. I’m just waiting for someone to say “Hey! You! Lardy pants! Whaddaya need one of those for?” In this case, number two might be more fitting, cos it’s packed with spirulina and is always welcomed back in the office by cries of “Omigod! That’s green!” As if I was completely unaware.
--the general animal email theme that got going. We had giant fake mastiffs, old kinkajous, Paris, and sheep in poodle clothing. So so much fun.
--being asked for a cuddle by Brave Smokey cos she was down. You should do that more often mate. It's a win-win situation + we all like those.
--the fact that Carol got her job, official-like, after acting in it the bomb for so many months. It's hard to pick a person who is more genuinely sweet or more deserving of good things.
--watching Secretary again with Jason. Such a beautiful, sensual, thought-provoking film. And Maggie Gyllenhaal... hot hot hot.
--laughing so hard at several of the above. Laughing til my sides hurt. It's hard to get better than that.
Okey dokes... off to do some cool individual things. See ya!