52 weeks

Today, 12 months ago, Nan passed away. It was at around 10:30PM. I remember this because when the call came through I was having dinner with Cynthia in Chatswood and I remember seeing the time on the phone when it rang and knowing it could only really be one thing. I remember taking the call, telling Cynthia what happened, and then reassuring her because she seemed more upset than I did. I said goodbye to her, wished her luck on her journey into the German unknown, and walked to my car. I opened the door, sat in the drivers seat and then closed it behind me. I remember thinking how I was sure the temperature outside had got warmer rather than cooler, and I could smell rain on the air. I remember putting my hands on the steering wheel without starting my car and just sitting there, willing the tears to come. But there was nothing. Nothing save an overall numbness and a faint, distant feeling of relief.

I called Mum again and sat in the car listening to her cry. I had no words for her because really there was nothing I could say to stop it. Nor should she. I remember driving home that night and before I even hit the M2 turning off Damien Rice and putting on talk back radio, because I needed to feel like there were people out in the world functioning as normal.

Tonight is a night for remembering how strong she was. For remembering the trips we used to take to Faulconbridge to see Ivy when I was a kid, and our last trip to Woy Woy and Newcastle. It was to be her last trip away from Wagga and I know that she knew it at the time – each place we went she would sit quietly – taking in the places of her childhood and early adult life, remembering friends and feelings and experiences and silently saying goodbye. She used to come up to Sydney on her own and stay in hotels she’d never seen before. She used to spend all day riding public transport – from a bus, to a train, to a bus, to a ferry. She told me more than once it was the best way to see the city and meet people. She was the first experience I had of Newtown – seeing where she lived, where she grew up, and where she was first married. She once came up without telling anyone where she was going or where she was staying, and we spent a frantic two days trying to track her down. She finally called me from a hotel in Kent Street and told me she was in town and asked if I’d like to have lunch. I got off the phone, fell down on the couch and laughed until I cried. When I told her off for worrying us like that she called me daft and told me she always carried her umbrella with her and she could handle herself. I never doubted it.

She lived more heartache and pain and sorrow than anyone else I’ve known. But she lived, and as much as she was the first to admit she had made mistakes she had no regrets. And the woman had JOY.

She gave me so much, and the one on one time I spent with her in my early 20’s played no small part in the woman I am today. I had the enviable position of growing closer to her at a time in her life when many people were drifting away – I am forever grateful for that. There is a lot of her in me – when I’m challenged I feel her strength rise up in me. If I’m pissed off it’s her anger people are dealing with. I also see so much of her in my mother it’s sometimes scary.

There’s no way I can articulate how much I miss her, so I’m not going to try. 12 months ago tonight the tears wouldn’t come, but now they won’t stop. And I guess that’s some sort of progress.

Who’s in?

Let’s go on a road trip. Let’s take the 3 apples and half loaf of stale bread and honey covered cashew nuts I have here and let’s just go. I don’t really care where, actually, just so long as I haven’t been there before. I believe anywhere can be beautiful if you haven’t seen it before. Let’s leave while it’s dark, so I can put my feet on the dashboard, wind the window down to let the almost summer air in, and listen to Elliott Smith. We can take it in turns with the CD player if you like, so long as you don’t play crap. Let’s not book accommodation and stop at the dodgiest motel we can find, and then laugh till we cry at the decor and the plumbing. Let’s have no schedule and no internet and no plans to be home in time for work tomorrow. Let’s decide, even, that we never have to come home, so long as what we find out there is more whole and glorious and fulfilling than anything else we have. Let’s not take photographs or write in journals or document it in any way – we’ll experience each moment for what it is, and then let it pass over us when it’s done.

It all sounds so easy. There is all at once such a long way and such a short distance between life and living.

Wiped and wired

I teeter between tired
And really, really tired
I’m wiped and I’m wired but I guess it’s just as well
‘Cause I built my own empire
Out of car tyres and chicken wire
I’m queen of my own compost heap
But I’m getting used to the smell

The only things keeping me from beating my head repeatedly against the wall tonight are organic dark chocolate and Ani DiFranco.

What a shitty, shitty day.

Too sweet for rock and roll

Holy Ikea. THAT, my friends, was a unique shopping experience. A veritable maze of wooden cubes and strange futons and ingenious space saving ideas. They feed you in one end, and then push you through a sort of zigzag, so you can’t leave the place until you’ve seen every possible little thing they have to sell you. Then, you head to a massive warehouse thing with a trolley the size of a forklift, and you wander up and down the enormous isles until you come across your correct number and bay. Then, you load up, and you check out. It’s all remarkably easy.

So today I started with this –

And I ended up with this –

An actual table and an actual chair. The chair needs some paint, but that’ll come later. It’s amazing how much more motivated I am to work at home when I have desk space for paper and a lamp.

Days like today it would have been handy to have a boy around. At least, one that enjoys building flat pack furniture. I’m pretty pleased with myself though – it didn’t take very long, and there as only 2 screws I really had to wrestle with. I’m also not convinced everything is completely straight, but without a spirit level no one is gonna be able to tell, right?

I had all intentions of going to bed now, but I turn the TV on and ALMOST FAMOUS is on. It’s one of my all time favourite movies about music, along with High Fidelity. Actually, it’s a wonder, given my love for this movie, that I’ve never paid more attention to Led Zeppelin.

Lester Bangs: Aw, man. You made friends with them. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong.
William Miller: Well, it was fun.
Lester Bangs: They make you feel cool. And hey. I met you. You are not cool.
William Miller: I know. Even when I thought I was, I knew I wasn’t.
Lester Bangs: That’s because we’re uncool. And while women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is about that very same problem. Good-looking people don’t have any spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we’re smarter.
William Miller: I can really see that now.
Lester Bangs: Yeah, great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love… and let’s face it, you got a big head start.
William Miller: I’m glad you were home.
Lester Bangs: I’m always home. I’m uncool.
William Miller: Me too!
Lester Bangs: The only true currency in this bankrupt world if what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.
William Miller: I feel better.
Lester Bangs: My advice to you. I know you think those guys are your friends. You wanna be a true friend to them? Be honest, and unmerciful.

I should go to bed.


So – I have two options here.

1) To go to bed. I could head to bed right now and get maybe as much as 10 hours sleep. Not that my body ever really sleeps that long in a row, but you know. Sleep would be good.

2) Stay up and watch Rage. If I stay up until around 2:15AM I can watch the film clip for Lovely Shoulders by The Panda Band. That would be cool.

I have gotten into the terrible habit of going to bed with my laptop on the weekends. Actually, that sounds pretty bad doesn’t it? What I mean is taking it to bed and watching maybe two episodes of The Office before I fall asleep. It’s just way too convenient. I don’t really want to be one of those people who watch TV in bed though. No no no.

Here is a to do list for the weekend –

  • Washing. Always on the weekend there’s washing. There’s just no other time to get that shizzat done.

  • Put together as much as I can of Stew’s PR application. It’s kinda ironic that one of the most difficult PR applications I’m likely to do is the one I’m not going to get paid for. Oh well.

  • Go to Ikea. Yes, I’m really going to go to Ikea.

  • Finish the drawing of Tank.

  • Oh, yes, go to Hell’s place tomorrow night to piece together, fold and stuff wedding invitations. I think we should possibly do the writing and the stuffing before we do the drinking. It all might end badly otherwise.

  • OH and watch the CRICKET! How good is it that the god damn cricket is back on? And not just that, but the ASHES? And not just that, but we’re kicking their ASS?? Sitting on the computer all day tomorrow filling in visa paperwork is going to suck much less just because I can watch the cricket while I do it.

OK Go are nowhere near as good without the treadmills.

Whoops I think the ABC just broke. Test patterns and ABC logos are all well and good people, but it’s going to mess up the precise awesomeness of your Friday night lineup.

That’s it, I’m going to bed.


Brad Zellar; who the hell are you. Google knows nothing about you, except that you write a blog and you live in Minneapolis. You write in a way that grabs me from the inside and makes me hold my breath. When I’m reading your blog entries I find that I subconsciously force myself to slow down – knowing that, if I keep reading, eventually I will run out of your words. Your entry today made me exhale involuntarily, so thank YOU.

I wish man had never gone to the moon.

This world has tenderized me. I am a vulnerable adult. We all are. We are up to our ears in fairy dust and horse shit and monkeyshine and moonbeams.

So let me tell you what I’m looking for. Let me tell you what I want: I want to be stunned. I want experiences that leave me howling with pleasure and wonder at the abracadabrant possibilities of this world. I want to feel my heart swelling in my throat until I’m choking with happiness and gratitude, until I’m reduced to hoarse, hysterical stuttering and laughter.

I want magic. I want to see things that make me doubt my eyes. I want to hear voices. I want the life that is left to me to be pure astonishment, to return me to the epistemological ground zero of the confused and awe-struck child.

I want animals to speak, and I want them to tell the truth.

I want an mp3 of the laughter of everyone I have ever loved.

I want to come home late one night to find my parents slow dancing in my living room to a Jo Stafford record.

I want that hawk that’s been watching me for almost a year to lay its cards on the table.

I want to get my knees dirty, to claw at the earth with my fingers, to feel the sun on my teeth.

I want to give it away, all of it.

I want it all to be a dream, a good one. I want to recognize that that’s exactly what it is.

I want what I really want, what I’ve always wanted, and I want it bad. I want it more than I’ve ever wanted it.

I want to give thanks.

I want to say thank you.

Tables and chairs

I think if I had been living or sharing space with someone tonight, there would have been a fair amount of eye rolling and laughing. Spatial perception is not my strongest point – you oughta see me reverse park. Still, tonight I decided I’m going to try and utilize some of my space a little better. I’ve got to clean and throw some shit out, sure, but there’s a lot more I could do here to use the space I have. Starting with the stupid little alcove thing I have between the lounge/kitchen and the bedroom – what the hell is that?

So in my DYI wisdom (HAH) I decided I was going to measure up this space so I could get some shelves to slide in there. Good idea in theory, right? Thereafter came a fairly hilarious 40 minutes of me with a tape measure pretending that I knew what I was doing.

The problem with something like this is once you start, other stuff just starts welling up inside of you before you know it. Like, for instance, I need to figure out what to do with my laptop at home. The table and chair I have is hopeless, and it’s not really helping the problems I have with my neck. So, I made my way to the Ikea website. Holy crap could a girl get herself in trouble there.

I’m not the sort of girl who shops at homemaker centres. Actually, I’m not really the sort of girl (excluding CDs, obviously) who shops. But this weekend I think I’m making a foray out into the world of flat packs and allen keys. Of metal casters and portable storage modules. Of fake veneer finishes and self-assembly.

God help us all.

Feels like summer

I was talking online last night about the poetry of Leonard Cohen. When I went to bed I intended to read for maybe 10 minutes before sleeping. An hour later I go oh CRAP look at the time – it’s easy to get caught up. I’m sure, if you were some sort of literary expert you could pick it all apart, but I don’t care. I relate to it in ways I don’t really understand.

And he makes a good change from reading Plath 😉

Each of my days at work right now end up spiraling into me running from office to office, making call after call, or rushing to email someone before some sort of deadline. It’s all a bit nuts. It would just be nice to have a to do list that I can actually work with – something that isn’t constantly changing or that I have to ignore because of all the other seemingly urgent stuff that keeps popping up. The fucked up thing is that in a week I will (hopefully) have things teetering just on the edge of control – just in time for the boss to get back and A bomb the whole thing. Goddamn.

Also – night number 4 of crazy sunsets –

I really hope the power stays on over the next few days – being flanked by fire in most directions (albeit at a fair distance) there’s a good chance at some point we’ll loose it. Then I’ll be back to taking photos of candles, showering at work and staring at the walls. Oh what fun!

There’s been a distinct lack of sleep in these parts. I’ve been going to bed late, but even when I get there, there is just no amount of sleepiness.

Bed now though – I’m gunning for 8 hours tonight.

A gift

You tell me that silence
is nearer to peace than poems
but if for my gift
I brought you silence
(for I know silence)
you would say
This is not silence
this is another poem
and you would hand it back to me

– Leonard Cohen??