The waiting song

6:30AM. The phone rings. I stumble out to the lounge room, rebounding off the furniture, and pick up the phone.

‘Hi! It’s Tara.’
‘Oh my God! Hi!.’
‘Um, there’s been a mix up. I’m still in Vancouver.’


The story involving miso soup and food poisoning seems credible. Still, the phone call to Mum this morning was less than fun, and I haven’t been able to get hold of Dad yet. I’m really glad none of them made the effort to come up and meet her at the airport.

And now I feel a bit like I’m suffering a slow leak deflation. ETA at this stage is Wednesday.

I’m not holding my breath.

Soul Meets Body

I’m a war, of head versus heart,
And it’s always this way.
My head is weak, my heart always speaks,
Before I know what it will say.

And you can’t find nothing at all,
If there was nothing there all along.

My name is Karen and I’m a Death Cab for Cutie fan.

Combined with this I actually played Takk by Sigur Ros tonight. A combination of having watched Garden State, 2 glasses of wine and the lamp light made it right. There’s nothing more beautiful than pure sound and music for its own sake. To someone who doesn’t get it, it’s hard to understand, but to listen to music as pure as this makes me clean on the inside. I let go of all the shit in my head for the entire time the album plays – my mind becomes a canvas for the sound in my ears. And when it’s done I feel all at once energised and spent.

It has been a good day for music because I also loaded a lot of new shit on my iPod and got rid of some stuff that has been on there for a while. It’s really hard, because going through the list I’m always going ‘damn it! I can’t get rid of Out of Range because what if I’m feeling misunderstood and must hear Face Up and Sing? And I can’t get rid of the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack because if I need to hear Talk Show Host nothing else will do’. And I’m a bit of a crazy person in that I can’t erase most of an album and leave one song – it’s the whole album or nothing. I feel like things get messy otherwise. Sacrificed today, among other things, was some John Butler Trio, Ben Harper, Alice in Chains and the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack. And THAT nearly didn’t get axed because of Little Green Bag.

I KNEW I should have got the 40gig. Oh well.

A felt a little motivation creep back today. I’ve been a bit worried about the apathy I’ve been feeling for my job – I got my ass kicked a bit yesterday for efficiency and it was probably warranted. I tend to get distracted easily at the best of times, and when I’m not really interested in what I’m doing it takes nothing at all. I also think I’m more worried about this exam than I’m even letting on to myself. It’s a big investment, time wise and financially (for the company), so I’m feeling the weight of it a little.

I’m also ruminating over things that need saying. Things that should be said, but I’m not sure I have the courage to say them. I’ve already opened the door, to theoretically the next step should be easy. It’s not always easy though to say stuff like –

I’m begging you, please. PLEASE see how worthwhile you are, and how much you mean to me. Please understand that the people you choose to surround yourself with are taking your strength and giving you nothing in return. You give and give and you’re left empty and hollow on the inside. I need you to see this, because I can’t prop you up any more. Your voice on the phone and sadness I can physically feel emanating from you makes me feel wretched inside. And we’ve fallen into this pattern of you crying me trying to pick up the pieces. I can’t do it anymore, my hands are full. I am tired of putting out fires and wrapping conversations and situations in cottonwool before I hand them to you. Deal with the pointy edges on your own, because I won’t do it for you anymore. You are stronger than this. You don’t need my help. Please see that.

Also, co-dependant relationships with ex’s are not healthy. Take it from me.

I went to Penrith today and stared at seahorses again for about half an hour. Well, until Angela came over and said ‘no, really, are you done yet? That salamander over there is freaking me out’. They are truly the most fascinating things to watch. So delicate and beautiful. Perhaps I’m so attracted to the damn things because delicate and beautiful is a ways removed from what I feel I am the majority of the time.

I’m so drawn to beauty, both aesthetically and musically, but on some level it can be almost too much for me to take all at once. Like, being intimidated by this Sigur Ros album to the point where I was almost too scared to play it. Also, I could never actually own a seahorse, because the idea of being responsible for the death of one slays me. Some people are almost too beautiful to look at, and you feel like no matter how hard you stare you can’t take it all in. Some paintings are like that – like Self Portrait in the Studio by Brett Whiteley or Pan by Sidney Long – when I look at both those paintings a feeling wells up in me and ends up in my throat. The beauty of it knocks me out and it’s almost too much for me to handle.

I ought to try for sleep. Tomorrow will be full of around-the-house stuff that needs doing before the craziness of the next couple of months begins.

And on Monday Tara comes home.

I DO work at work, honest

50chickens: hey man, i was wondering
50chickens: if there was a fight between freddo frog and caramello koala who would win
feel free to listen, feel free to stare: the caramelo koala for sure
feel free to listen, feel free to stare: he’s bad ass
50chickens: whatever
50chickens: freddo frog would kick his ass
feel free to listen, feel free to stare: froglover
50chickens: haven’t you seen the freddo frog chocolates man
feel free to listen, feel free to stare: man, koalas have claws
feel free to listen, feel free to stare: game OVER
50chickens: freddo frog’s are carrying cricket bats now
feel free to listen, feel free to stare: that might be a valid point
feel free to listen, feel free to stare: still, I’d pitch an angry koala with claws against a frog with a cricket bat any day


Pretty much ever since I moved into this flat I’ve had the Salvador Dali print ‘Metamorphosis of Narcissus’ on the wall. When I first saw the painting and was told the story behind it I became fascinated with it. I said something to Peter about it when I was 18, and then when I came up to see him at Uni once there it was on his wall – he saw it at a market and bought it for me. When all that ended I put it away for a while, but out it came again when I broke up with Alan for the last time. It’s just a print in a simple black frame, but it means a lot to me.

Added to this was the time I saw the painting itself in London. I had decided the day I saw it to go to the National Portrait Gallery, but at the last second something made me catch a different bus across the Thames and I went to the Tate Modern instead. It was a truly bizarre experience (as I’m sure anyone else who has been to the Tate Modern can attest to). This great big airy building, warehouse in feel and appearance and kind of emotionless. For the first 2 hours I regretted the change of decision I made, because there was nothing there that I particularly wanted to see, and some modern art (particularly installation art and art involving severed limbs, which there seemed to be a lot of) leaves me cold. I’d pretty much decided to get out of there and stick to the original plan, but I got lost on my way out of the building.

Astounding, I know.

I wandered back through hall after all of modern art, until I came into a room that had a Dali on the wall. It wasn’t Persistence of Memory, but it did have a melting clock. I’ve loved the work of Dali for a long time so I stopped long enough to pay attention. Then, as I always do before I leave a room in a gallery, I did a slow 360. I take two shuffling steps around and BAM there it was on the wall. My heart jumped into my throat and I completely lost my breath. It was so small compared to what I was expecting – I had built it up to such importance in my head that I had a hard time coming to terms with its relatively unimportant size. But the colours were astounding, and the technique was intimidating, and its beauty held me breathless for about 40 minutes. Twice I went to leave but turned around to take one last look – I was having trouble leaving it there, knowing it would be a long time (if ever) that I got to see it again. It’s funny what life brings you.

Dali said ‘You have to systematically create confusion; it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life.’

I think I’m beginning to understand what that means.

There’s nothing there, it’s like eating air

New obsession. It’s called One Crowded Hour and it’s by Augie March. I have been listening to it all day, and because I don’t have it at home I have had Triple J on since I got here, hoping like hell they would play it. And they did and for 4 minutes and 2 seconds it was bliss. The song soars and the lyrics are a revelation. And I was so stoked when I found out the band was Australian – I’ve no idea why, but it makes the discovery even more sweet. There’s something a little bit Modest Mouse about this song and a little bit Janis Joplin Me And My Bobby McGee. If that’s even possible.

It’s almost a relief to give Wilco a rest, because I was getting worried that I’d never want to listen to anything else again.

My toes are painfully cold and it’s kinda nice. It has been hot for so long it’s a relief to feel something different. Toe tingling numbness. Because of it I remember it’s nearly March and soon the weather will get cooler. It’s a reminder time is passing and the pain of the cold makes me feel alive. Perhaps that why I haven’t put socks on yet.

School is in session

I think toll booth operators may well be the most underappreciated people on earth. Sure, they take our money, and most people resent paying a toll, but I don’t think I’ve ever come across a snarky one. They ALWAYS smile and say hello, and 9 times out of 10 they tell you to have a great day/night and they genuinely sound like they mean it. I mean, they don’t have to do that. Really, if they wanted to, they could just say nothing and hand over the change, because drivers would likely not notice they’d remained speechless. But I notice when they say something, and it adds a bit of positivity to my day. This might sound retarded, but now there will soon be E-tags everywhere I will miss the toll booth people. And I wonder about what they will do for a job.

It’s been a big few days and I am absolutely wrecked. Today was a lot of fun. What I love about going to see a live cricket match is the crowd is usually just as entertaining as the game. Particularly as we gave South Africa an absolute spanking. For a game like this last one you need beer snakes and beach balls and nipple dancing and blow up dolls to make things interesting.

In other (rather tragic) news, Condeleza died while I was away. I had decided that whoever lived the longest out of Hilary (the white fish) and Condeleza (the black fish) would represent a prophetic result of the 2008 US election. Things are looking up for the democrats. I always hate it when fish die, and Condy had barely any staying power. Osama, Hilary and The Reefer Shark of Justice all seem to be coping remarkably well with their loss though.

The first 3 days of this MAPKE preparation course have actually made me feel a little better about the exam. I’m way ahead of a lot of the others, only because I’ve been dealing with this stuff in practice on a day to day basis for a few years now, and they are coming fresh into it. Still, I have a lot of work to do when it comes to familiarising myself with the materials and finding things quickly. 130 questions in three hours leave little room for contemplation and casual reading.

And if one more person tells me ‘no one EVER passes it on their first go’ I will pop them in the nose. Why go into something pre-emptively thinking you’re going to fail? I couldn’t think of a more fruitless exercise.

To bed now. To put John Darnielle in my ears and sleep off the excesses of the last 5 days. I have a good feeling about this week.

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly

Hmm… it’s really, really hot.

Sticky, itchy, lethargic hot. Although, the itchy might be from the dust accumulating in every corner of the house rather than the heat. The good news is tonight I found the bedroom floor carpet and I will actually have clean clothes for the next week. Whee!

I’ve spent the last 20 minutes watching a spider kill a very small dragonfly. It was like a train wreck – I couldn’t look away. It was a little disturbing watching something so beautiful being cornered, stalked and then attacked, but on the other hand it was pretty amazing. That spider sits there all day in his corner – probably for days at a time with nothing to eat. And then all of a sudden on a Wednesday evening he’s presented with a meal. And it was mind boggling to watch it go about its business – the dragonfly getting caught up – struggling slightly, but not urgently. The spider noticing the trapped insect and slowly, slowly making its way to the corner of the web, one careful step at a time. The dragonfly noticing the spider and panicking – the urgent struggling begins. Then, the spider launches itself at the insect and starts pounding it with its front legs – BAM BAM BAM – trapping it in the web until every limb is restrained. I had to walk away when it started eating.

I started packing just now for the next 4 days. Because I had it in my head that I was going to Hellen’s I was packing more or less enough for 24 hours. Good thing I came to my senses because the next few days would have been interesting with one change of clothes. A 4 day hiatus from the net is a little disturbing – not checking my email, particularly my work email, will be a little tough (even though I know Cara is checking it). I decided to leave the laptop home. It’s not gonna hurt to be disconnected from the world somewhat for a few days. Right? Right.

Shit I just remembered my goldfish. I will have to figure that out tomorrow. I am a terribly irresponsible pet owner.

The next few days will be migration regs, concentration and exam panic. OH what fun!