Resting on her bones

Tonight started with plans to clean the bathroom and get some washing done but quickly descended into dancing like an idiot to Skin Is, My by Andrew Bird for at least 40 minutes on repeat. My talent for procrastination knows no bounds.

Word of mouth is a funny thing. Occasionally it occurs to me that I don’t actually have to do be doing this job, or something else like it, for my whole working life. I have this whole other thing that I can do and I can actually make money from. Today someone offered me money to draw their horse – I said no, that I was too busy, so they came back with the offer of more money. This was both surprising to me and really nice at the same time. Someone wants me to draw their horse that badly? Turns out they’d seen something else that I’d done on the wall of a friends place and thought ‘that’s exactly what I want’. I’m gonna need to find the photo of that one now to make sure I don’t run into expectation issues.

This is where I always get into this stupid tug of war in my head – if I fall into the place of mass producing a certain image or style because someone likes it, is it still art? I mean, I’m technically proficient at putting a pencil on a page, but that doesn’t mean I have even as much of an artistic vision as the guy at the table next to me in a caf?? who might be arranging the breadcrumbs on his plate into patterns only he understands.

I should really, really not over think these things.

So now I have one horse and two dogs that are pre December 25. And it’s nearly the end of October. And I’ve been spending most of the night pretending I’m dancing with Andrew Bird.

Oh well.


Dear Toshiba,

I love my new laptop. Like, love more than a person probably should love an inanimate object. Still, there’s one tiny thing that bugs the begeezers outta me…

The USB ports are at the BACK of the machine.

It might seem like a small thing. And actually, it is. However, when you’re using a flash drive a lot, and you have a mild (read: massive) case of the uncoordinations, finding the USB port at the back of the machine without knocking everything off the table is very, very hard.

Maybe it’s just me. Still, my crappy old Compaq has this one little point over my new laptop. Sayin’.



God damn instant communication

Is it rude to write someone an email in point form? Probably. I do it more than I probably should. But honestly, when you’ve been writing about migration law for hours, when you’re starting to see double and when the email really needs to hit on some stuff that’s less than fun to deal with, nothing seems less inviting. So, an email in point form saying very little at all should tie him over until tomorrow. Or, give him more cause to spam me with awkward innuendo.

I’m just gonna go to bed and deal with this tomorrow.

And for anyone who cares

Being in the job I am, you can’t help but pay attention to racing. We deal with the trainers and stablehands and riders every day of the week, we visit the yards and studs, and I’d like to think we’re an integral part of industry.

Anyway there are 2 races every year I’ll put money on (if I’m in the country) – the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup. Caulfield Cup I bomb every single year, but Melbourne Cup I think I’ve missed picking the winner one year in 6. A fairly reliable industry source told me Pop Rock was going to win the Caulfield Cup today. My money, though, is on Growl. And it has more than a little bit to do with how awesome a name that is for a horse.

If I were you I’d pay my advice no attention though.

You remind me of home

At some point over the last few months I think I became a local. Every time I head to the local shopping centre at Wilberforce I end up chatting to a few random people who either know me or the company I work for. I’m on a first name basis with the guy who owns the supermarket, the guy who owns the newsagent, and the guy who owns the North Wilberforce Ampol. At the Thai restaurant in Windsor I have a ‘usual’. It feels like every time I’m in Windsor I bump into someone I know. I’m on a first name basis with the woman who owns the CD store and she’ll always hold things like samples aside for me if she thinks I’d be interested.

Most telling though is the fact that, even though I’m a person who as a rule avoids mirrors, I will actually check before I leave the house to make sure my shirt is on the right way and I don’t have something stuck in my hair. The chance of bumping into someone I know far outweighs the chance of not.

It’s kinda nice.

What would you say?

I wake up every morning to ABC radio. This can be both great (good morning Mr Spencer!) and also a little annoying. Sometimes being woken up by the news, particularly at the moment, is not such a good thing. It can kinda taint the rest of your day.

You could spend your whole day reading and listening to various news pieces about Iraq. It’s the same thing every single day – escalated numbers of fatalities amongst US troops, growing discourse regarding the war, every person with eyes and ears questioning the war, its progress, and the reason we’re all there in the first place.

See, the logic to disagreeing with the whole premise of the war in Iraq is flawless in my mind. The reason we went turned out to be fabricated. It has nothing to do with terrorism, really. Innocent people are dying on both sides. Civil war is tearing the country apart from the inside. Terrorism, rather than decreasing worldwide, is at unprecedented levels.

I can understand why people can justify Afghanistan. It’s not where MY head lies, but even if I don’t agree with it I can follow it. They bombed us. They’re in Afghanistan. We’ll go bomb Afghanistan. It’s primitive, but somewhere in there is a Neanderthal logic.

Iraq though? You gotta be all kinds of crazy (or deluded) to find logic there. Even though most of the globe is too apathetic or scared to show it violently, the media and/or the government are not really fooling anyone. They’d like to think so though.

Every now and again I read the Rude Pundit. Sometimes when I’m bored, but usually when Alan sends me through the link. Political blogs can get a bit much at times, but this guy writes so well and is at the same time pretty damn funny. Anyway, the reason I got onto alla this is his post from October 17. It’s the first time I’ve read something that broke that lack of logic into unarguable language. Into an argument that every MF on either side of the fucked up Iraq fence can’t ignore. Anyway, here it is –

A Quick and Easy Test to Determine Where You Stand on the Iraq War:

Let’s say we line up, oh, hell, a couple hundred thousand American soldiers, fine men and women in combat uniform, officers, non-coms, grunts, and we put them on TV. Then George W. Bush walks in with a loaded glock. Now let’s say that the President puts the gun to the temple of the first soldier and says, “If I shoot this Army private dead, there’s a chance America will be victorious and democracy will bring peace to Iraq. Do you want me to do it?” There’s no guarantees, though – just the chance. What would you say?

For the sake of argument here, let’s say that you answer, “Yes, it’s worth a soldier for the chance for peace in Iraq.” So George W. Bush shoots the soldier in the temple and turns to his advisors, who check reports and, no, still no peace.

Then the President says, “If I cut off one limb or the genitals of the next ten soldiers, there’s a chance America will be victorious and democracy will bring peace to Iraq. Do you want me to do it?” What would you say?

For the sake of argument here, let’s say that you answer, “Yes, it’s worth ten wounded soldiers for the chance at peace in Iraq.” So George W. Bush cuts off arms, legs, testicles, and turns to his advisors, who check reports and, no, still no peace.

Then the President says, “If I beat the next ten soldiers in the head with a hammer so that their brains are damaged, there’s a chance America will be victorious and democracy will bring peace to Iraq. Do you want me to do it?” What would you say?

For the sake of argument here, let’s say that you answer, “Yes, it’s worth ten brain-damaged soldiers for the chance at peace in Iraq.” So George W. Bush uses a hammer to crack the skulls of the next ten soldiers and turns to his advisors, who check reports and, no, still no peace.

Then the President starts the cycle all over again. He places the gun to the temple of the next soldier.

How many soldiers would you let George W. Bush shoot dead? One? 3000? More? How many would you let him injure? 10? 20,000? More?

If you think the test is biased, unfair, and overly emotional, then you haven’t been paying attention. For, really, and come on, is the current U.S. policy in Iraq any more wishful than a lottery of death and mutilation.

Feel free to play with friends. For big fun, substitute Iraqis and multiply by a couple hundred.

On the other hand…

Let’s hear it for –

  • Weather Systems by Andrew Bird. Who knew it was possible for me to love another album as much as I love The Mysterious Production of Eggs? I’m all for moderation but sometimes it seems, moderation itself can be kind of extreme. Sigh!

  • Red vegetable curry.

  • New laptops with pretty shiny coverthings and fingerprint security technology. I feel like James Bond.

  • Broadband coming in 10 to 14 days. Hurry with the modem courier man, because there is a new episode of The Office on YouTube and I might pop if I don’t see it soon.

  • Finding the super macro setting on my camera. More on that later I’m sure.

  • Did I mention broadband in 10 to 14 days?

  • The ‘Artists At Work’ series on the ABC. There’s something I just love about watching artists and how they go about creating their stuff. I could watch and listen to that for hours.

Yell fire

I guess massive changes, and indeed some form of revolution, can’t come without enormous upheaval. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m hurting right now. The terrible thing is I’m hurting the tiniest amount in comparison to someone else caught up in this mess.

It sucks and there is no easy way to deal with this and no way to fix it.

When speaking to Hellen about all this she made the comment that I really can’t help anyone else until I’ve looked after myself. At the time, when she said that, I thought ‘yeah, well, it’s all well and good but there is nothing I can do here. This is not mine to deal with and it’s just fucked up and nothing is going to make this right.’ I think, though, I’m beginning to realise what she meant. Right now I’m very raw about it – I feel devastated and every time I speak about it I get all teary and upset. I think, probably, it’s smart not to stir things up too much until I have worked through what I’m feeling about it and come to some sort of resolution in my head about it. Once I’ve done that I will be strong enough to help other people do the same thing. And in this situation that’s all I can do – history cannot be re-written.

I can be so na??ve when it comes to trusting people and giving them the benefit of the doubt. Three times this week (and it’s only fucking TUESDAY) I have taken someone’s word at face value, only to find out later that the situation was very different to how it had been presented to me. Whether they were holding or changing the truth to A) protect themselves or B) protect me makes zero difference to me. I have no patience for that. It makes me feel stupid for trusting people and I don’t enjoy feeling stupid.

Also, I don’t want to be that other person – the person who second guesses everything they hear or they’re told. The person who’s scared to open themselves to people or believe what they have to say just in case they’re being dishonest. The person who is always suspicious of everyone’s motivation and constantly watching their back. It’s a miserable way to live.

Anyway, as some point shit just has to carry on. Really, even though the load at work is bordering on dangerous, it’s nice to be distracted from all the other fuckedupness for 10 hours or more a day. And is it just me or was today the longest day ever? Okay, I did get to work at 7:30AM, and I did finish quite late, but still. It felt like today went for at least 36 hours.

What IS nice, though, is the weather. It’s close and cold and overcast, with intermittent drizzle. It matches my state of mind perfectly and makes me glad to be inside with the heater and Andrew Bird on. What is it about horrible weather that makes me feel safe?

It’s funny the things your peace of mind comes back to.