I’m running late. I’m perpetually late, but I’d like to think that it’s part of my charm.
I need to stop going to JB Hifi. Really really. Today MIA – Arular, REM – Out of Time, The Mountain Goats – Tallahassee, and Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here came home with me. Two of them were discounted, so they only really count as one, right? Aha, whatever.
I had MIA on in the car on the way home. It made me smile from one side of my face to the other and chair dance all the way. I think I will have it on all the way to Newtown – it’s going to be great music to get me in the mood for tonight.
I’m getting to the point where I’ll have to alphabetise or something. Or at least keep the same bands and artist together. Right now there’s no method to the madness and it’s getting increasingly difficult to find anything. I’m not quite at Ben’s point yet, where I need a whole CUPBOARD, but I do need something to put them all in. We’ll see.
I need to shower and start getting ready for tonight, but motivation has disappeared. I think it’s the heat – it’s fucking HOT here. I’m sure the club tonight will be nice and warm too.
Will I feel any different at 12:01 tonight? We’ll see. I know this for certain – I am literally throwing myself into the next 12 months. To hell with caution and sense.
New Year approaches. I’ve been steadfastly avoiding the ‘what this year has meant to me and what I want to achieve next year’ post, but it’s building up in me and I think it’ll find an exit. Oh well, I can’t fight against the clich?? all my life 😉
I have been looking forward to NYE for a couple of months now. I try to avoid building expectations in my head about things like this, but all I know about the night is that there will be great music, great friends, and a lot of alcohol. Something would have to go direly wrong to mess with the goodness coming from that. And I have a lot to celebrate and let go of this year – it feels like a real signpost, and I, for one, intend to party like its 1999.
I actually ventured into a shopping centre tonight. Sometimes you have to face your demons, particularly if you’re in dire need of a few things.
People these days seem to be uncomfortable being on their own, or looking like they’re on their own. Most people tonight were with someone else or a group of other people, which is expected I guess. The people who were on their own, though, 9 times out of 10 had a mobile in their hand – either texting or talking to someone. I sat down at a caf?? and a woman sat down in front of me. The second she sat down she pulled her mobile out. First she called her mother, then she called someone who I’m assuming was her husband, then she called someone else (maybe a friend). In between these calls there was about 20 to 30 seconds of her looking around and fidgeting. And it was all just inane conversation, about some TV show, the skin condition on the poor dog and ‘I thought perhaps on the weekend we could go see such and such’.
Even though I’m pretty happy in my own company I catch myself doing it. Waiting a couple of weeks ago at the Townie for Hellen and Tony, I pulled my phone out and started texting people. Even while I’m driving I’ll phone people – mostly to get something out of the way or just touch base with someone, but using the mobile nonetheless. I’m not quite sure what happened to downtime, but somewhere along the line it’s like we developed an allergy to it.
It’s a bit scary how much stimulation we need now to feel ‘entertained’. People, and kids too, usually have a TV, about 3 different types of gaming console, a computer, a stereo, an MP3 player and a mobile. And they usually have about 3 of them going at once. And I noticed this year at the MTV music awards they had 4 stages going AT ONCE, they had trapeze artists, fireworks, special effects and people in the crowd. It was absolutely nuts and just looking at it made my head hurt. But they think they need to do this shit to entertain people.
What ever happened to subtlety? To one person with a guitar on one stage, completely holding the audience in the palm of their hand and moving people to tears? Or to just sitting and being still, and enjoy just being. I know I don’t do enough of that, but I’m learning to make time for it. I’m sure there are many people in the world who have forgotten that they have the ability to do that. I mean, even to relax people think they need to spend money on a massage, or a trip to Noosa, or a CD of whale sounds or some sort of weird lavender smelling thing that they spray in their face (?). All you need really is a little space, in your head and around you, and the knowledge that you don’t need anything else.
3 friends, some Cowra scrub and a lot of alcomahol seem to work too.
There’s something kinda sad about the way that things turned out to be.
Desensitised to everything –
what became of subtlety?
Oh. My. Head.
I think one of the best kinds of happiness is when you feel it because you
see it in the people you love. Happiness and gratitude that they’ve been
where they have, and landed where they are, and found each other. A lot of
the happiness I feel tonight comes from that.
Each day that I was in Wagga I felt I was losing a little more of myself.
The last 2 days I have gained that back, and then some. Amazing friends,
conversation that matters, donkeys, an infinite black sky with a million
stars and 21 year old scotch. The thing that surprises me more and more
about friendship is how remarkable the subtleties are – it’s what you don’t
say, as much as what you do say, that matters.
I really can achieve anything. We all can.
One of my all time favourite quotes is from Brett Whiteley –
‘Everyone reaches a point in their life where they must either change or
I first came across that quote in 1994, during Art while I was doing my HSC.
The gravity of it hit me at the time, and I’ve mentally held on to it since
then, perhaps as much because of his (at the time) relatively recent death
as well as how applicable it may or may not have been to my own life. It
has only been the last 12 months though that the true power of those words
have become apparent. It’s funny what ultimately shapes the way you think
and your eventual approach to things.
Today I drove from Cowra to Clarendon. I think I knew somewhere in my mind
Carcoar was around that way, but for some reason it didn’t register when I
knew I would be driving home that direction. As I was driving along I got
this weird sense of deja vu about the landscape. Then, I saw a sign for
Carcoar and it all made sense – Brett Whiteley spent a lot of time in
Carcoar and around Bathurst in I think the early 70’s. Some of his
paintings from that time have for a long time been favourites of mine.
There is just something nice about stumbling across something unexpected
like that – I took time out to look around, to pay attention to the towns
and the landscape and to try and see it through his eyes. It’s probably a
strange thing to say, but I sort of felt privileged to be able to do it, and
lucky that I didn’t miss that opportunity.
Actually, the whole drive was great. Big windmills (of justice) from the
wind farm that again, I think I knew was out that way, but failed to
remember. How can people think they’re ugly? I think they’re amazing.
Also, just driving along in my filthy car with great music and/or the cricket on was the
perfect thing to do this morning.
Reality hit me square in the face this afternoon when I get to the office to
have a client waiting for me in reception (2 hours early?!?). Also, there
was a power cut around 10AM, and after the power came back on they sat
without internet access for 3 HOURS until I got there because they couldn’t
figure out for themselves that perhaps they should CHECK THE MODEM WAS
TURNED ON. Do I really need to write procedure for everything?
So tonight my body is wrecked, but my mind is clear as a bell. Sleep. Sleep is good.
I really hate funerals.
I guess that’s a pretty universal thing. So much palpable sadness in one place can sort of fuck with your head. I’ve been in a strange head place all day – well, since I went to Joyce’s funeral this morning.
The thing about death is it forces you to face your own mortality. You ask yourself morbid hypothetical questions about your own funeral, and you begin to question how you’re living your own life. I suppose that none of this is an overtly bad thing, it just makes you weary.
And there’s nothing that breaks my heart more than seeing a guy trying for the stiff upper lip and failing miserably. I just wanted to hug him and hug him and find some way to ease the pain he was feeling. It was horrible – he was SO angry. It was just emanating from him, and because of that all of the members of his family were giving him a wide berth. In the end on one side of the room there was Adam in front, Michelle beside him and Mum and I behind. And then just rows and rows of empty seats. Thing is, by running from him when he’s like this, they’re all making him worse.
So tomorrow morning I will head back over there and see how he’s holding up. I know, from experience, he will at least be feeling some relief that the worst is over. I just hope he lets go of some of the anger he is feeling toward his family because life’s too short to waste boiling over on the inside.
Christmas this year has an air of calm about it. Every year down here it’s a circus – too many people to see, too many presents to buy/unwrap/take home and too much food. There’s an apathy this year though that has sort of permeated the whole thing. There are no concrete plans for the 25th, and no one seems in a hurry to make any. And normally that would bother me, but it seems to suit me fine right now. I will take it as it comes, and I’m sure everything will fall into place.
Being on holiday means I’m getting some sleep. My inability to fall asleep until around 3 is negated somewhat by being able to sleep in until 10. Getting some (even broken) sleep has I think made all the difference to my state of mind this week.
When it comes to finding photos of my Nan, I love that it’s tough to find one of her when she’s NOT holding a beer.
It’s how I will forever remember her.
Wagga just gets smaller and smaller. Every time I cross the Murrumbidgee there seems to be less and less here that I understand. I’m sure a lot of it is to do with time and distance, but it’s mostly to do with how much I’ve changed since I moved.
It is very, very difficult for me to have a conversation with anyone here that extends beyond the weather. And that would be fine, if they didn’t want to speak to me about politics and religion. But they do, endlessly, and it’s absolutely impossible here to hold a differing point of view. It’s almost like a game they play – they don’t actually really want to discuss it, in the way I like to discuss things (i.e. to listen to the other person’s point of view and maybe broaden my own). They just rehash the same shit over and over again. Them: Geez, the price of petrol has gone through the roof. Those bloody politicians there in Canberra just keep taxing things more and more, and since the GST came it’s even worse! Me: Well, there is tax on petrol, but some of it’s used for roads and really it’s the global market that sets fuel prices, not the Australian government. Them (after looking at me like I’ve grown a second head): They’re all the same those politicians; they just want your money for their retirement packages.
And so we go, round and round, about petrol and taxes and immigrants and racism and the price of a loaf of bread. It’s so much easier for them to just keep up this one way pseudo dialogue, then to actually look up and out and see what the problem really is. And sometimes it feels like I’m BEATING MY HEAD AGAINST A FUCKING WALL@%!^@! But I’m learning to let it go 😛
And I’m sure the physical sickness I felt today when I heard Hayley use the term ‘boat jumper’ will pass eventually.
Last night was a lot of fun. Different to what I’d normally do for fun, which made it better I think in a way because it was so unexpected. It was the kind of fun that involves eating take away and watching trashy TV and walking around paddocks in pyjamas and flip flops in the dark looking for horses. And falling down holes and laughing so much my stomach hurt. I’m glad I had a chance to see Angela before Christmas – it’s more and more likely she’s moving to Brisbane soon so I’m going to try and catch up with her as much as I can before she goes. Even though I don’t see her a lot, I will miss her all the same. You can never have too many friends nearby.
I need to find some friends in the same postcode I think. The only close friend I have in the Hawkesbury right now is Selina, and things there are more complicated than they should be. All my closest friends are in the city, or in Campbelltown, or in Canberra, Brisbane or Melbourne. Means a lot of time on the phone and in the car 😉
Tomorrow is another funeral. Adam’s Nan passed away on Tuesday. I saw him today and he’s not coping so well, which I get. He has changed a lot since school, and he is a lot more in control of his anger now, but I saw flashes of him from back then today when he was fighting with his Dad. I guess situations like this will do that to you.
Sleep! Sleep would be good.
I’m actually looking forward to the drive to Wagga. 6 hours of uninterupted music. Also, I’m glad I’m stopping at Angela’s place tomorrow night. It will be good to see her before Christmas and it breaks up the trip somewhat.
I’m not very good at taking time off. I think I’m supposed to be relaxing, but if I stop and ‘relax’ I get bored. I think I have ADD or something.
A JB Hifi opened up in Penrith some time recently. I’m assuming it’s while I was away, because I went to Penrith today and there it was, right where it wasn’t before.
I like JB Hifi, in that they always seem to have what I’m after. They stock ridiculous amounts of stuff, and they seem to have more alternative stuff than anything else. The staff are all about 15, and some of their labelling is a bit suspect (THE Doves? c’mon) but I can usually find what I want. I picked up Modest Mouse today for $10, as well as a copy of Jagged Little Pill.
I owned a copy of Jagged Little Pill in 1995 when it was first released, and it was the first CD I became obsessed with from a female singer/songwriter. So really, it started off a whole new era of music for me. I must have played this CD back to back for about 4 or 5 months, to the point where I just became completely sick of it. And then of course it caught on commercially, so the songs were everywhere, and I just had to put it away. At some point in around 1997 I lent it to Hayley, so it was invariably never seen again.
I hadn’t really thought much else about it, because some of the songs from the CD are still thrashed on commercial radio and my music taste has shifted a lot and is a lot broader now. Then I saw it there today in the $10 bin and thought, what the heck.
I’m so glad I bought it. I put it on in the car on the way home and I was transported back to 2nd year uni, in the car with Brett and Angela, driving out to Rivcol. Them moaning at me for playing it AGAIN – Brett wanting to put Smash by Offspring in the tape player (because of course we didn’t have a CD player in the crappy car we had and we had to transfer everything to tape) and Angela wanting to listen to Pearl Jam because she was SO IN LOVE with Eddie Vedder. Me shut up in my room, with it on full tilt while Mum is screaming at me from the lounge room to turn it down and don’t you have some study to do or something?
And lyrically, really, this album is genius. You Oughta Know must be one of the best fuck off songs ever written. I don’t really care that nothing else she’s done since has come close to being as good – this album is raw and well written and musically brilliant. And for some reason, even though I was transported back to being 19 and at uni, the lyrics on this album (particularly the first track) ring so true to my life right now. So today there was a feeling of full circle – it’s nice to know that even though some of the last 10 years I was lost in a wilderness where I wasn’t listening to myself and didn’t know who I was, that I found my way back to a time when I did. Or at least, thought I did. Now I know better 🙂
And all I need now is intellectual intercourse
A soul to dig the hole much deeper
And I have no concept of time other than it is dying
If only I could kill the killer
What I wouldn’t give to find a soul mate
someone else to catch this drift
And what I wouldn’t give to meet a kindred
I love the photography of Glenn Hunt. And since I met him in 2004 he seems to be getting better and better.
…between the rain, through myself and back again.
A day of isolation and introspection is good every now and again, but I probably shouldn’t do it often. I really, really shouldn’t think things over as much as I do – it only ends badly. Tomorrow, though, I have a day of shitty errands to do and I should probably clean the house before I get resident vermin. That will keep my mind away from itself.
I just love Bill Lawry. When he retires from commentating the cricket will be so much less interesting to watch.
The weekend was a little crazy. Good crazy though, in that there was nothing (apart from going into work Saturday and Sunday night for a few hours) that I didn’t really enjoy. Went straight from work more or less to Hell’s place and Lee and Cat were already there – it was nice to see them again. It’s nice to spend time with different people, particularly people who share the same music taste as you and who are just as happy as you are to sit and drink listening to said music (what is it about Hell and Tony’s yard that makes me desperate to hear Aenima?). And I also found out Lee went to CSU at exactly the same time I did, and knew a couple of the girls I worked with at Scribbles, so that was kinda freaky.
The John Butler Trio gig was Saturday night. It was a great, much better than I was actually expecting. I dig his music, Sunrise Over Sea particularly, but it’s not music I go completely nuts over. Honestly though, I have NEVER seen anyone play guitar like that. The sounds he was getting out of an acoustic guitar were phenomenal. The track Ocean, I need to try and find a bootleg of that. I’m not sure how you can get that much emotion and feeling from a guitar. It makes me want to pick mine up again – I haven’t played since before I went to South America.
Highlights for the night were Pickapart (worth the price of admission alone) and Peaches and Cream – he completely unplugged for that one, just him and a guitar and a mic. The whole crowd became really quiet, and then started singing along. At the chorus, every person within the hall (about 4000 of us) was singing along and it sounded glorious. Also, I have never been to a gig where there was so much good feeling from the audience (well, perhaps with the exception of Ani DiFranco, State Theatre, 2004). The call for encore was emphatic – just a resounding clamouring for them to come back on stage, and I think it would have gone on forever had he not come out. They did Zebra for encore, which was WAY expected, but it was still cool. I’m really glad I went.
I am so psyched though about The White Stripes in January – actually, a little beside myself would be more accurate. And U2 in March (and April). There is a lot to look forward too 🙂
Sunday we had breakfast (mmm, frappe) and then watched the cricket into the afternoon. I need to be sure I never take shit like that for granted – time with friends, who are such EASY company, who expect nothing from me other than myself, is a gift indeed.
Okay, there was just an ad on TV for James Blunt’s new album, citing his ‘unique’ sound. I reckon, if someone pinched me hard enough in just the right place, I could sound as unique as he does.
Also, I want to be able to write as well as John Darnielle. To be able to move people the way he has moved me today – well, I would love to be able to do that.