Pounding

July 17th, 2006

When I woke up this morning I couldn’t decide if the ill was from me actually getting sick, or a delayed (or long-staying) hangover. I felt very, very ordinary.


Until about 10AM everyone figured out it was best to give me a wide berth. The brave ones said ‘wow, you look like crap!’ which made me feel better. I couldn’t really tell everyone I was feeling so shitty, in light of the whole possiblybeingahangover thing, but at midday I decided to take the bull by the horns so to speak and go pick up something to help my head. I don’t really like pain killers or cold and flu tablets or any of that shizzat, but my throat was screaming. So I drank some kind of lemony thing laced with paracetamol and also drank some Berocca, and after about 40 minutes I felt miraculously better. I feel a bit dazed and confused tonight, but that’s situation normal really.


Someone said to me on the phone on Friday last week ‘don’t take this the wrong way, but I think you might be stuck in a rut’. I arced up at that pretty much right away, and that reaction surprised even me. I’ve been thinking about it since, and trying to figure out what about that comment really annoyed me.


I think it’s that from the outside I guess it DOES look like that. I’m living in the same place, doing the same job (at least, it would look that way for someone outside the company) etc. Looking at me at a superficial level, not much has changed.


But so much has happened in my head in the last 1 to 2 years, it’s hard to even know where to begin. I didn’t realise how much self analysis I was capable of until recently, and how fucked up I was in a lot of ways. The person who said that meant well, and they’ve never been anything but supportive. And hey, they might be right. I might be kidding myself. It’s just that it’s frustrating to realise they don’t understand how much has happened to me over the last couple of years, and how much I have changed. There are people who know this, and people who understand it, and I guess that should be enough.


I need to always be prepared to take that sort of comment. I tend to be pretty straight up with people, at least, I hope I am, so I really need to be accepting of that in return.


So now I’m faced with the question – rut or routine? Is the routine I’ve found for the first time in my life indicative of finally finding balance, or falling in a rut? I need to put some thought into that.

Shooting stars and satellites

July 16th, 2006

I’m kind of annoyed. I’ve become a bit addicted to the US version of ‘The Office’. They’ve been playing the first and second seasons on Channel 10 late on Sunday nights for a couple of months now. I’ve found out that because of some F1 Grand Prix somewhere in Europe it’s not on tonight. It’s odd for an American show, in that the humour is at times very, very subtle. That’s probably because it’s actually based on something originally British. It’s so clever, and I have a bit of a crush on Jim.


That thing that always happens when I’m tired and run down has happened. I have mouth ulcers on mouth ulcers and I’ve got the start of a cough. Stupid lungs. I have no one to blame but myself though, so I should shut up.


Last night was fun fun fun. I was a little anxious about it, to be honest, because I know Death Cab is not the sort of band H & T would normally go to see. That, and Elephant Mojo were playing at Bar Broadway, so I know Hell was a little cut about missing that. I was hoping like hell she was going to enjoy the Death Cab gig as much as I was.


I got to them about 6PM (after deciding to take a different route, to avoid fucked up traffic, and subsequently got lost and unlost 3 times in total). We had a couple of drinks and watched the Simpsons, and then headed out to dinner. Awesomely good Thai food. Then we caught a cab to Rebel Rebel, where the queue was spiralling out of the venue into the Darling Harbour precinct. We went into the bar next door for a bit, because there was no hurry to get in, and the DJ there mixing songs over other songs, like Bjork’s Army Of Me over Queen’s We Will Rock You, which (and this may be the alcohol talking) actually kinda worked.


We went back to Rebel Rebel and queued to get in. I’d never been to that venue before, and it’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be. Two levels, a decent sized floor and a pretty big stage. At least as big as the one at the Enmore. We went to the upstairs bar and they were playing some great music – it’s cool to be in a night club all of two minutes when the DJ starts playing Pounding by Doves. H & T must have got sick to death of me shouting OMG I LOVE THIS SONG every time a new song began.


When Death Cab came on, the cheers were deafening. Ben was as scruffy as I was expecting, with a little less paunch than I was expecting, and his lisp was no where near as pronounced.


You know how you love a song from a band, but it’s hidden on an album at around track 8 or track 9, and you’ve never heard it played anywhere other then where you have put it on, and you’re pretty sure because of how sparse and, I don’t know, unassuming it is that it’s often overlooked and would never be played live? Well, the song Passenger Seat from Transatlanticism is like that for me, and last night they OPENNED with it. And I nearly passed out. And it was perfect, because when the first three notes echoed out from the piano and I realised what it was, every hair on my body stood up and I starting grinning like an idiot. That morphed into Different Names for the Same Thing, and again, same reaction.


Considering how late I came to their music, I knew a lot of the set. They played a lot of givens, like Soul Meets Body (swoon), The Sound of Settling and This Year. They played What Sarah Said, which was a surprised, because it’s a very emotive song and sometimes those don’t get a run live. Easily for me the best part of the night was when Ben came out on his own, with just his guitar, first song of the encore, and did I Will Follow You Into the Dark. The whole crowd was singing along, to every single word, verses and all. It was a beautiful thing.


Anyway, it was awesome. More than that. It was everything I hoped and probably more. H & T said they really enjoyed it and I don’t think they were humouring me ;)


Thanks Ben Gibbard for turning my frown upside-down.


Pretty much the second the encore finished we jumped in a cab and headed to Bar Broadway, where we managed to catch about 2 thirds of the Elephant Mojo gig. I was really happy about this, because I know it meant a lot to Hell, and it also meant she got to catch up with the band. There were 4 bands playing that night – EM as well as Fade, Bordello and Green Light. The place was near empty though – it was weird. Particularly considering it was the single launch for Green Light (who was apparently headlining). There was an awkward moment when the lead singer yelled out ‘first one to get to the stage gets a free copy of our new single!’ and the crowd, all surrounding the outer walls and none on the dance floor, just stood there and looked at him. I felt a little bad for them.


Once Hell had caught up with everyone we left and headed back to Hotel del Probert. We had consumed so much alcohol up until this point – ‘Hell mix’ vodka pre-dinner, wine at dinner, and then vodka and orange pretty steadily at both gigs. Then because we’re all NUTS when we got home we decided it would be fun to drink some more. Some weird Malibu and coconut thing. We played a lot of music, and did a lot of talking. It was great.


Today we were all very delicate. The shakes stopped, though, around 2PM, so that’s all good.


This week is going to be interesting. In light of 2 weeks leave, and the boss coming back after I go away, I have got to get everything 100% right before I go. I have about a billion things to fit in this week, in addition to drinks on Wednesday night, a birthday dinner on Thursday night, the Eels gig on Friday, and then the AFL on Saturday. Then, probably, coma on Sunday.


I’d better go to bed.

Blargh!

July 16th, 2006

One great, great night = one massive, massive headache.

It was worth it.

TGIF

July 15th, 2006

Thank fuck that week is over.


I need to be careful though. Today I realised how often people fall into the ‘man today has been CRAPPY’ pattern, when really a day might be no different when it comes to people asking you for things etc. My job is to service people, and manage people, and deal with problems when they occur. My day does not become crappy because it’s full of that stuff.


Still, this week sucked. I feel drained and a little snarky. I’m counting on Death Cab tomorrow night to snap me out of it.


Hear that Ben Gibbard? I’m counting on you.

I have a house inspection at like 8AM in the morning. I swear to god, we must have a house inspection here every 6 weeks or something. Maybe he’s worried about the illegal crop I have hidden in the roof cavity.


Oh, and by the way? Karen – 1. White spot – 0.

Open up my eager eyes

July 14th, 2006

Work is kicking my ASS this week. Usually, at one point during the week, I can sit back and go AH, the next hour or so I can slow down the break-neck pace and take a breath. I haven’t felt that at all this week.


Tomorrow I lose a few staff too, which is going to mean fun and games. I also need to kick some ass in various places and I hate doing that. I have felt like a bit of an ogre this week.


I’d really, really like to try and not work Saturday. That would be good.


I heard the new single by The Killers today on Triple J. It was okay, and lyrically it actually seemed pretty good, but it didn’t knock me out. Like, at all. Hot Fuss was actually one of my favourite albums to listen to when I first got it, even though the second half was a LOT lighter than the first. Those first five tracks are honestly, in a row, some of the best songs released that year I reckon. Mr Brightside still ranks as one of my favourite songs ever (and easily makes my Top 5 songs to belt out in the car while it’s dark and no one’s watching). Still, after track 5 it goes fairly rapidly downhill, even though it’s not terrible to listen to.


I want to pick up Imago by The Butterfly Effect on the weekend, and probably On Avery Island by Neutral Milk Hotel (if I can find it). I should probably wait, though, until I figure the house thing out.


I’m never good at waiting.

Here we are again

July 12th, 2006

This is one of those nights where I need to crank up the old ‘things you need to remind yourself constantly’ machine, so I don’t drive myself nuts.




  • If it’s meant to be, it’ll be.

  • If it’s not meant to be, you will know it.

  • Worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet is a waste of time and energy.

  • The reason you work your ass off is so you can afford to live somewhere you’re happy with.


I’m a bit of an idiot in that I will inherently believe something, yet I spend a lot of my mental energy trying to logically talk myself out of it. Fate is a concept I’ve always fought with in my head, but really, in my heart, I feel there is a certain energy around things that happen in your life. Not really a predestined path, but more an energy force that manipulates things or allows things to ‘be’.


I am no where near close to figuring it all out, but I know enough now to let things be. At least, to try and let things be.


Do I want to move? Even if this is right, and even if this becomes an option, I will be sad to leave here. I’ll expand on all this some other time though, because right now I’m going to salt my fish tank and go to bed.

Today…

July 12th, 2006

…I was just bored by everything. I just wanted to shout PLEASE – someone entertain me. Say something I’m not expecting, do something that would knock me out, because right now I just cannot stand it.

The good news is I got over myself eventually. And tomorrow I will be ready for it all again. HUZZAH!

A sound of thunder

July 10th, 2006

People who say there is no purpose for life without religion are, in my opinion, looking at things from a very odd point of view. As stupid as it sounds, I’m more and more realising it’s all about the butterfly effect.


And this time I don’t mean the band.


We don’t need somewhere to go at the end of it all to give purpose to our existence. Every tiny, seemingly inconsequential thing can have enormous impact in the grand scheme of things. Whether you like it or not, your actions, your physical motions, and even just your conception and birth effects people and places in irreversible ways.


For some reason today I had an epiphany about this. It’s not about what happens when we’re done here – it’s about what happens right now. This second. One flippant comment to someone today can still effect a person years down the track. I know there are tiny things that happened to me in the past that still effect the way I react to things now – even as small as a game of duck duck goose at school that got out of hand. Or a few off-hand words strung together – ‘but she was special’, or ‘you don’t need to change who you are’. It all reverberates in outward circles, causing other outward circles, until they all hit the end of the earth or some other point beyond anything my mind can even comprehend.


When I leave the earth I will have changed it in unique ways, because of my actions and the actions of the people I’ve consciously or subconsciously affected. The weight of that hit me today, and the responsibility seemed heavy for some reason.


Still, I think it’s hopeful. It gives me the feeling that I guess other people get from subscribing to organised religion – a purpose for being. I’m not sure why some people need a deity to feel it, but to each their own I guess.


And on that rather serious note I’m going to bed.

Looking up, occasionally

July 10th, 2006

It’s been a good day, and for no particular reason. I woke up late but not too late (owing to a phone call from work that pissed me off at the time, but in hindsight was probably a good thing). I was pretty industrious, too. I have groceries, I finished cleaning the house, I bought 2 new goldfish, and I roasted a chicken. I’d never really roasted a chicken before – not a whole chicken in a pan with my own stuffing etc. In the end I just stuffed it with garlic cloves, onions and some rosemary.

And for the record, it was GOOD.

I’ve cooked a lot this weekend. And because of that I have cold chicken, roasted vegetables and a vegetarian pasta in the fridge. I won’t have to cook for the next 3 days I reckon.

I spent a bit of time on the phone tonight, but that was good too. I usually avoid the phone at home but I had a few things to tie up and I hadn’t spoken to Hell all week. I also had a call out of the blue from someone I haven’t heard from in a long time – that was cool.

What happens when you let Hellen name your new fish? You end up with 2 of your fish being named Mr Bubbles and Bok Choy. Mr Bubbles might be the best name for a goldfish EVA.

This has been one of a few weekends in a row where I’ve had at least 1 day free. It’s been nice to have the downtime – to have that time to get shit done so you feel ready for the week. Next weekend I have the Death Cab gig (!@^&!(@^!!!) on Saturday night and then a farewell thing for Lee on Sunday, but other than that I’m pretty wide open. Also, there’s a good chance I’ll get away with not working Saturday.

So really, it’s blue skies ahead :) Particularly considering the two weeks leave I have coming up at the end of the month. The road trip I’d planned can’t really happen now, because a week of my leave is book ended by things in Sydney I can’t really avoid. Hopefully, though, I can spend a little time on the road. When I’m staying with Nathan in Wangaratta I’m sure I can find something to look at.


I wonder how long it takes to drive from Wangaratta to Melbourne. If it’s doable in a day I could go to the National Gallery down there. It’s a great time to go, because they’re concurrently running Picasso and Rembrandt exhibitions right now. Also, it’s been a lot of years since I’ve been so I can’t remember any of their permanent collection. That makes me exited about what I might find.

Hmm…

July 9th, 2006

I spent roughly 3 hours cleaning today and there’s still a funky smell somewhere. It’s a rotting fruit smell, so I’m not completely terrified, but I can’t find the source of it anywhere. And I’ve really, truly looked.



Dear Jason Molina,


This week I bought Magnolia Electric Co. for $5 in a throw out bin. As far as I’m concerned it’s a travesty it was even there, but there’s no accounting for Penrith taste, and besides, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?


Playing this CD made me drag out my copy of ‘Didn’t It Rain’, which I’ve had for a while but never really gave a chance. I’m so glad I did – tonight the sounds washed over me and made me feel glad to be here (even though at times your sound walks the fine line between folk, rock and country. I’m learning to accept the little piece of me that actually likes that shizzat).


Although I think you (and all your various musical projects) are awesome, I read something tonight that was a little worrying. Apparently you’re going to be releasing something like 3 albums in 3 months, and as many as 6 albums over the coming 12 months, when factoring in various band projects. Is all that really necessary? I mean, I’m all for putting your art out there, but aren’t you the least bit concerned about it all just blending into one big messy Jason Molina noise? I have been thinking about this (probably too much, considering how relatively unimportant it is), and how is a fan supposed to properly take each album on its own, and listen and absorb it in its own context? Maybe I’m just one of those people who needs more than one listen to know how I feel about an album. Maybe that makes me the crazy one.


Anyway, sayin’ is all. Even having said that, I’ll be paying close attention to your releases this year and I hope you get some radio play on Triple J at least. In the meantime, if it’s okay with you, Magnolia Electric Co. and Didn’t It Rain will be my 10 PM to 12 midnight soundtracks for probably the next 2 weeks.


Makeminemorerockandfolkthancountryplease,

Karen.

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