Cue dummy spit. This damn laptop has wheezed its last wheeze. I know the poor thing is old, and I get that I have it loaded up with 128397231 files worth of crap and the battery doesn’t really work any more and it really should be let go to the laptop home in the sky. I reckon, though, I can milk some more life out of this baby yet.

It’s format time.

Things are startin’ to get strange

Another day in the office –

  • ‘Karen, you speak Portuguese, right?’ (to which Ariel, who is in my office at the time, mutters ‘Karen, you know how to perform brain surgery, right?’)

  • ‘Anne and I are off to Windsor to shop for a new accountant’

  • ‘There has to be some chocolate here somewhere’ (and then a minute later) –

  • ‘Do you think it would be bad to eat this drinking chocolate from the jar with a spoon?’ (to which I say HELL no, dowhatchagottado)


Also –

Good things about winter: mandarins, Bonds bed socks, flannelette pyjamas, pushing sock enclosed toes between the bars of an oil heater, hot water bottles, the smell of damp dark and fires burning and pink skies at dusk.

I need to keep reminding myself of this stuff, because 3 mornings straight now I’ve had to bust out the garden hose to get the encrusted ice off my windscreen. And I think I must have bad circulation – if I stop still for more than 5 minutes at a time I loose all feeling in my fingers and toes.

Things are getting weird at work. Not in a bad way, just in a, I don’t know, weird way. I don’t think it means anything bad – the nervous feeling I had about the state of business has gone, because I know for a fact we’re okay. A big shift is coming, I know that much.

One cool thing though – Carlos, who I met and interviewed in Ecuador, is in Australia. He made it, he’s with his employer, and he’s doing great. We have another Ecuadorian coming out in the next 4 weeks and applications pending for more. My time in Ecuador is paying off in more ways than one.

The record of an event

All the radios agree with all the TVs,
and the magazines agree with all the radios,
and I keep hearing that SAME DAMN SONG everywhere I go!
Maybe I should put a bucket over my head?
And a marshmallow in each ear,
and stumble around for
another dumb, numb week,
for another hum drum hit song to appear.

Fuel – Ani DiFranco

You know, I’ve heard the same Nelly Furtado song everywhere I’ve gone this week. I saw it on Video Hits at Hellen’s place on the weekend and since then I can’t get away from it. It’s in shopping centres and doctors surgeries and on adverts and in service stations. And it always seems to be on whenever I walk into the front office because those girls just love their commercial radio.

And they think MY taste in music is questionable.

Music reviews are annoying. Here’s the thing though – I can’t not read them. (Note for the grammar police: I know that’s negation. Bite me). I have been reading album reviews all week for three impending releases I’m particularly excited about –

August 8 – Ani DiFranco ‘Reprieve’
August 22 – The Mountain Goats ‘Get Lonely’
August 28 – Love Outside Andromeda ‘Longing Was a Safe Place to Hide’

Here at Crazyfangirl headquarters we can’t help ourselves. It’s kinda like a train wreck. Even with all this review reading, for some bizarre reason (lost even to myself at times) I try not to hear any tracks from an album before the scheduled release date. At least, before I get the album in my very own hands to hold and look at and touch and absorb. I feel like it somehow dilutes the whole experience. (I guess this is the same reason I try not to listen to an album at work the first time, or even in the car – it has to be at home, with my full attention, either on the stereo or through headphones, to pick up all the nuances).

I broke that rule first thing this morning when I read a review on Pitchfork for the track ‘Woke Up New’ by the Mountain Goats – a track from the new album. There was the review, giving the track 4 stars, rating it as John Darnielle at his heartbreaking best. And there was the mp3, pleading for download. So I did. And it is every bit as good as they said it was.

Its comments like this, though, that make me want to slap someone –

She’s learnt a lot from her embarrassingly dated trip-hop experiments from To The Teeth and she pushed into a more avant-garde/musique concrete direction with tape manipulations and distorted nature samples.

Learnt a lot? Whatever. Avant-garde/musique? Puhlease. It’s not that the comment is negative – contrary to popular belief I am capable of being somewhat balanced about even musicians I obsess about. It’s just that it’s so, I don’t know, wanky. Still, I’m excited to listen to the album myself and push my own pretentious, misguided views onto the mysterious world of the internets.

In other news, Adam Spencer is back. I am so happy about this I don’t even know where to begin. When my alarm went off and I hit snooze on Monday morning and I heard his voice, as I always do, thanking the newsreader and launching into the weather, I broke into an involuntary grin. I’m an idiot. It’s also cool that I read this -he has increased 702 ratings by 2% since he took over the timeslot.

I am not the only one who recognises the genius. It’s nice to know.


Do you give yourself to me utterly,
Body and no-body, flesh and no-flesh,
Not as a fugitive, blindly or bitterly,
But as a child might, with no other wish?
Yes, utterly.

Then shall I bear you down my estuary,
Carry you and ferry you to burial mysteriously,
Take you and receive you,
Consume you, engulf you,
In the huge cave, my belly, lave you
With huger waves continually.

And you shall cling and clamber there
And slumber there, in that dumb chamber,
Beat with my blood’s beat, hear my heart move
Blindly in bones that ride above you,
Delve in my flesh, dissolved and bedded,
Through viewless valves embodied so?

Till daylight, the expulsion and awakening,
The riving and driving forth,
Life with remorseless forceps beckoning?
Pangs and betrayal of harsh birth.

– Kenneth Slessor

This is one of the poems I found in the suitcase. It’s so beautiful that every time I read it it feels like the wind is physically knocked out of me.

I’m off to bed to give myself utterly. Hopefully.

Teach me to be mysterious and crawl closer to selflesness

It’s so cold here I can’t feel my nose. I’ve already showered, but I might have to again before I got to bed to get blood flowing through my extremities. There is going to be a mean frost in the morning, I know it.

There is relief in the air tonight, because although tomorrow is pretty much going to suck due to the sheer amount I have to get done, the boss is not there Monday through Wednesday. Then, Thursday and Friday she will be tied up with end of financial year stuff, which more or less means a whole week of reprieve. I am going to get so much done, and hopefully by Friday I will be in a much better place. I need to get on top of everything I have to do, because I’m supposed to be taking two weeks leave at the end of July. I want to be able to leave feeling like the wheels aren’t going to fall off when I’m gone. It would also be nice to not work 70 hours a week in the weeks leading up to my leave just so I can get away without worrying while I’m gone.

My weekend was very full, but it was so much fun. I actually worked a lot on Saturday but I had to – Monday will now be difficult instead of impossible. In the afternoon I kicked on to Hell’s place where we talked and watched bad telly and walked dogs until it was time to meet Suz at the Cooper’s Arms. There’s a real joy in spending easy time with people – where the conversation just comes, and there’s no amount of awkward, and no feeling like you should reign in comment or emotion for fear of reprisal. Or for fear of being seen as a dork, because last night due to the sheer level of excitement I had about this gig I was fairly high on the dork scale. I haven’t really figured out yet how I’m going to write this post without sounding like a crazyfangirl.

We got there pretty early (around 8 ) and went up to have a look at the venue. SMALL is really the only way to describe it. I read somewhere capacity was 300, but I wasn’t really prepared for how tiny it was. It was kinda nice though – really intimate, not a bad vibe, and the drinks weren’t completely over priced.

Bright Yellow was the first band. This is the third band I’ve seen in maybe 6 months that is all chicks minus the drummer, all of them dressed in very little, and the music with a bit of a dark edge. They reminded me a little of Bridezilla (who opened for Dappled Cities Fly and Gerling) – I think, though, I preferred Bridezilla because they had more variety in A) their songs and B) their instruments. Any band with a violinist and a saxophonist is okay with me.

At the end of their set we went downstairs to the public bar where it was a little quieter and we could talk. We headed up again about half way through The Inches set – they were really good. They are an out and out rock band, and really tight, and the lead singer had a lot of charisma (and was a bit of a spunk). They called this tour their ‘road kill means we eat’ tour. I’d pay to see them again.

We were pretty close to the front of the stage (maybe 2 people back). Because the venue was so small there was no backstage to speak of, so the band members were sort of in amongst the crowd. Also, they did all their own setup and sound check – I was caught a little off guard, because Hell said ‘can you see her?’ (meaning Sianna Lee) and I turned around and holy crap there she was. Bending down a metre away from me fixing a pedal. Just being there and seeing her and waiting for the music to start I got all giddy with anticipation and felt like jumping up and down and screaming. I managed to refrain from that, though, and kept it to quiet squealing and clapping my hands like a retard and grinning like a fool.

The gig started a little weirdly – Sianna came out and straight up started playing Umabel acoustically, sans band. The crowd was taken a little by surprise and the gig actually didn’t feel like it had really started. When the rest of the band came out, though, the crowd was definitely ready. They kicked into Juno, which I love love love. My loneliness one thousand times forgiven. Sigh. I can’t remember the exact order of the set list, but they played Your Baby, My Blood and Boxcutter Baby after that I think, then Bound by Hurt Dissolved and something else new (Sparrow I think it was called?). THEN they played Something White and Sigmund which kicked SO much ass live, I can hardly explain it. The order gets a bit blurry from here, but they played Raido, Measuring Tape and Gonna Try and Be a Girl (at this point the crowd, particularly the group of girls to my right, got a little crazy with the dancing and the singing). They encored with Tongue Like a Tether – man, is that one beast of a song.

The banter between the band members was cool too and I liked that they all (minus maybe the bass player, who was quiet as bass players for some reason usually are) chatted quite a lot throughout the whole thing, to the crowd and each other.

Sianna Lee – you are truly astounding. I bow down to the greatness of your song writing ability and vocal prowess. You have a presence on stage that I would say is hard to beat. You music moves me more than words can say – thanks for being more than I hoped.

I can’t wait till they come back. I will be at every gig with proverbial bells on.

At the end of the gig we met Hell downstairs (who’d vacated at one point because the place was so crowded and she was having trouble with the air) and she’d seen some guy go down for the count, having a really bad reaction to something he’d taken. We managed to grab a cab right outside the venue (some nights you just get lucky) and we headed over to the Imperial. We hung around the public bar, talking and putting money into the jukebox, and we managed to pick up a woman who lived in Maraylya of all places who kept insisting we buy her a drink. She was friendly though. We pretty much wound up at that stage though (the black Sambuca shots maybe didn’t help) and went back to Hell’s place. And that was that.

Next time we’re all getting together to watch Flashdance. I hope Suz and Hell were as serious about that as I am, because as far as I’m concerned it’s game on.

I had a lot of plans for this afternoon, but in the end I’ve spent time fucking around online, listening to music (including some new stuff I got today) and little else. Oh, I did bring the washing in. And put a load of washing on. And watch about 40 minutes of 60 Minutes. So I guess that means I did more than nothing. I’ve done a lot of thinking this weekend, and for once it’s actually left my mind feeling clear rather than tied up in knots. Perspective comes from strange places, but when it comes you’ve got to recognise it for what it is and grab it with both hands. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

Bring on the week. After last weeks shock and awe, I thought I’d have some trepidation about this one. It’s just the opposite though – I figure I will go headlong in and tackle everything one at a time.

It’s all you can do really.


Easily the funniest thing I came across tonight – a letter from Brett when he was in Young (around late 1997 I think, it’s not dated) –

From the mind of Brett
Currently seeking asylum in China
With his liver and kidneys

Dearest Karen,

Moo, baa, baa, whinee, eeaw eeaw eeaw, bark bark bark, miow, oink oink, swim swim swim (fishies), roar, growl, bite bite (ouchie).

I have been taken by Botswanan terrorists and I am bald. Please send food in small unmarked bills (hello Bill!).

How am I. Good I hope. You are well and have just got rid of a cold but ewe are feeling well. I am not a well man, and I damn well resent having to go down the well each day!

I am writing this letter due to me being able to for many years now. I onli haff two emprove mi speling. Maybe, also; my! punctuation?; But any way who how many what HOW are you. I died of Ebola, but it happens this time every year.

I have some questions.

1. Can I have a monkey?
ii. Why won’t you marry me?
C) Why do baboons have purple bottoms?
IV) Is it wrong to bake a casserole containing all the letters from Scrabble?
5. Why is Santa so jolly?
vi) All of the above.

Now let me tell you what happened on the last Wednesday night. Me, Bubba, Kerry (rad student) and a donkey went back to my place and Bubba produced cream.

At this point a lot of the page is cut out, but there are little pieces you can still read like ‘a plank of wood’, ”not there’ said the donkey’, ‘fell down exhausted’ and also ‘but Kerry pulled out a’???

???with a butter knife and stopped. And that’s a true story.

I have a horsie, his name is Major. He goes ‘buck, buck, get off you lard bucket’. (Very strange picture at this point of I’m guessing is a moose, with the caption ‘This is a picshure of a moose. He goes ‘moose”.)

Are Italian vampires afraid of garlic? Karen I would like to thank you for the dinner mints, but they get stuck in my ear. Why do kettles always get the best seats at the bar? I have a horsie, his name is Major. I have a moose. His name is moose.

Beware of evil spirits!!! Rum is one such spirit and can cause illness. I have a moose. His name is Major.

EXCUSE ME! Can I have some service! Nobodies ordered MILK before!!! Shut up you damned gold fish. I must write quickly because I have a hoose. His name his hojer.

More to follow (attack the fort at dawn).

Luv Venkattapattie Bob Major Brett.

There’s also, in the margins, various computer jokes (RUN DOS RUN) and some suspect German?! ‘Halt halt Maria, eist ein der Liederhosen’ schprecken Hienrich. ‘Nein’ schprecken Maria, ‘eist ein der Wiener Schnitzel’. ‘Ha ha ha’ schprecken Maria and Hienrich.

There was also a letter there from him welcoming me to join the Chicken Liberation Organisation (CLO). He’s a special boy. No way would I have got through uni without him.


Or: Stuff from the Magical Mystery Suitcase that I had forgotten all about.

Old journals – I’ve always kept a journal, but it is truly bizarre to read your own 17 year old thoughts. Example from 2/07/94 –

Thursday night was pretty good, but boring! We went to McDonalds and sat around for what felt like hours! We then got in the cars and dragged the main about 10 million times. Then we went to FX Zone where we watched a brilliant display of arguing from Kylie and Jody, then Kylie took off and we lost her, so I got into Peter’s car with Carla and David and we went to Kylie’s house to wait for them. Here they were all waiting in the park for us and said someone had called the police about us and they would be here any minute. So we waited and they came. Said they had a report of drag racing of all things! We told them this couldn’t be so they left and sat on the corner in their car for 15 minutes, then came round the block again.

Man oh man – exciting times in Wagga when you’re 17. No wonder the youth pregnancy rate down there is so high. Turns out I had trouble using full stops back then too.

There was also a very full journal from around the time Skye did her whole ‘I hate you so the world will hate you too’ thing. It made me a little sad to read that back. I was so confused, and so upset about it all, and all I wanted to do when I was reading it was reach back and give myself advice. Really; the world isn’t ending. You will get through this. Hang on another 3 months and you will become friends with some seriously awesome people.

And WOW was I hung up on Angus. Most every journal entry for a period of about 2 years, even up to 12 months after we had broken up, mentioned him in some way.

My workbook from Sunday school – I went for about 3 months before I did my first Communion. I have no idea why I still have this. I would have thought this was the sort of thing mothers kept. It’s weird, though, to see my handwriting and my thoughts at that age (I guess about 7 or 8 ). Like, I had to write down my favourite sounds, and I only had room for 3, and one of them was ‘the sound of the lawn mower’. Also, I was beginning to figure stuff out – stuff about how the world works and how to make my way. I had to write a list of ‘what my family does together’ – I put eat dinner, go to the park, and go to mass. Never once in my whole life have I gone to mass with my family – we were definitely not a family of church goers. Yet I wrote it, which I thought was interesting.

A letter from Adam that was a whole exercise book long – it’s funny how things manifest themselves. The problems we went through seemed like such trauma at the time, and yet reading all that stuff back it seems almost funny. I was obviously a fairly big drama queen, and poor Adam was all in a spin. It makes me wish we were still in touch.

And a lot of other random stuff. It’s funny, I know who I am right now, and I thought I had evolved somehow to be here. Like, my tastes have changed, and I’m more mature, and I appreciate things like poetry and art a lot more. This is just not true. I guess the stuff in this suitcase would go from mostly about 1992 through until around 1997 – later years of high school and most years of uni. There are so many scrap pieces of paper with little notes written on them, pages of books and notebooks with pieces of poetry, and articles about things that interested me at the time – like a 1994 article from Time magazine about the Archibald Price. It’s a bit of a reminder to me of the ways I HAVEN’T changed. And in a way that’s kinda comforting.


It’s official – this week has sucked for every person I know. And not just a little bit – like, on the scale of 1 to 10, this week has rated about a minus 40. I have no idea why that is, but perhaps it has something to do with the winter solstice.

Wow, looking back on this week I’ve been a little verbose. I think it’s because I spend all day at work holding my tongue. Also, when you live by yourself you have no one to whinge too. That’s probably lucky 😉

My brain hasn’t slowed down any, but I really could not be assed writing tonight.

Note to self – music to pick up:

Imogen Heap
John Vanderslice
Built to Spill

I gotta write this shit down because seemingly whenever I enter a CD store it vacates my brain and I end up with another Mountain Goats album or something completely unrelated.

Also, I’m not sure how I feel about Augie March being on the Footy Show. I think, if it’s okay with everyone, I’m just going to forget I ever heard about it.

You and your memory

Opening this suitcase was like opening Pandora’s box. Old letters, pages and pages of intimate emails from a relationship that feels like it existed millions of years ago, old English exams and essays where I achieved particularly good marks, school reports and awards. Old school photos – they were hard to look at. I’d only written earlier about how long my hair was, but I had genuinely forgotten just how long. And thin! Sometimes I forget that my body has the ability to be that way. It’s reassuring right now.

The school reports were interesting. Some of the comments like ‘an intelligent girl, but she needs to apply herself’ or ‘Karen would achieve better results if she would spend more time on revision’ or ‘Karen has a particularly independent spirit’ ring true, even though they feel like they were written about someone else. There were a lot of school awards there but they were for art, art and art, with the odd English award thrown in. I’d forgotten how well I’d done in English.

Long story short – I’ve found what I need. Although now I feel all melancholy, and the urge to go through the rest of that stuff is very hard to resist. I can’t quite decide if it would be healthy to go through it all, or just not worth it. The more I look at it all the more I’m remembering about what’s there. Perhaps it would be okay – it’s all a reminder of the person I was before I lost myself. And that can’t be a bad thing.