Wow

August 29th, 2007

15 hour days are awesome. Still being at the office at 10:30 in the PM is awesome.

I think maybe I should go home. And go to bed. Or something.

WHERE ARE YOU FRIDAY. God damn. This has been the longest week EVER.

Blargh

August 28th, 2007

There’s a few reasons I’m a bit blargh tonight. Firstly, the only marshmallows I have left are the banana flavoured ones. The raspberry ones always go first, then the vanilla ones, and then the apricot ones. Secondly, I’ve spent the last 3 hours working from home on web page stuff and WHOA is that boring. Testing hyperlinks ain’t my idea of fun. Thirdly, Tuesday is really the worst day of the week. It’s far enough away from the weekend that you don’t really remember having one, and no where near far enough into the week for you to feel like the weekend is remotely close.

And it’s not even 10 and I’m thinking about going to bed. I’ve gone soft! ;)

Yes is my favourite answer

August 27th, 2007

1. How the hell did it take me so long to find Okkervil River? I feel like I’ve wasted so much time. I’ve gone from owning no Okkervil River albums to owning 5 in 3 months. And I am a very, very big fan of the new one. I still think my favourite song is Red though. Or maybe Another Radio Song. Maybe.

2. I was discussing this over email with Ben today – I feel like I am consistently about 3 steps behind the rest of the world. Sometimes it’s a blessing, but often it means I’m having revelations about something everyone else has already gotten over. Oh well. You can’t rush these things clearly.

3. For some reason my mind is only really working in point form this evening.

4. Who knew finding a birthday cake in the shape of Cookie Monster could be such an arduous exercise.

5. If you’re annoyed at something, or it’s becoming increasingly the bane of your whole freaking existence, removing said annoyance and placing it in, say, Ukraine, does not mean it will decrease in annoyingness. Damn email and phone technology to HELL.

6. If I think too much about how much work I have to get done before Friday afternoon this week I get a little short of breath. So between 8:30am and 6:00pm, if it’s all the same to you, I’m just not thinking about it.

7. Yes. The horse flu situation is bad. Yes. It’ll likely effect our business if they can’t resume racing. I feel like I have said this perhaps 1289738912 times in the last 48 hours.

8. It’s like that feeling you get when you knock over a cup of coffee and you have papers and files everywhere and you know that no matter how fast you go with the cleaning and the mopping and the moving of papers and picking up glasses, every MF piece of paper on that table will get coffee on it and there’s naught you can do.

9. It was honestly the most glorious autumn say in Sydney town today. Blue blue blue as far as the eye could see. Way too nice to be inside.

10. 5pm Friday. It’s a beacon of light on the horizon of a potentially dark week.

Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes

August 25th, 2007

You know you’ve spent too much of your life on the Hume Highway when you pull into the truck stop at Marulan to increase your caffeine levels, you walk through the door of the restaurant, and you immediately get annoyed because someone is sitting at YOUR table. Ya-huh.

It occurred to me tonight that for a long time – 3 years at least – I have had music wherever I go. I’m not the sort of girl who goes bats over gadgets – if I own something (like my car or my camera or my laptop) and it works for me and it’s serviceable, then I’m happy. I don’t feel the need to upgrade every 5 minutes.

Still, I love my iPod. Like, more than one person should probably love an inanimate object. I got one pretty early in the piece too – I had my first one for a good few years. It revolutionized my music listening – to have that much music on hand was so amazingly good. It also meant not carting around the disc man and CD case everywhere. And then there was the FM transmitter for my car – I was only thinking tonight about how much I use this now. Tonight, driving home from Canberra, I couldn’t for the life of me settle on something to listen to. I was spoilt for choice. And it’s what I’m used to now – I’d feel so completely lost if I couldn’t put music in my ears on command at any given time of any day.

There’s probably some commentary I could put here about modern conveniences and what they’re doing for our ability to entertain ourselves etc. etc. but I’ve spent nearly 7 hours in a car staring at a highway today and I just can’t be bothered.

I had fun today. Talking to Tara about her plans was enlightening in a way – I sorta thought I’d be there for some amount of moral support, but it turns out I was able to give her a decent amount of advice. The small amount of life experience I’ve gleaned in the 7 years of age difference between us means I actually have some wisdom to impart. Who’da thunk it? Seeing her get excited about the future and at the opportunities in front of her was such a good thing – for so long I’ve been worried she couldn’t see it all. She’s seeing it now, and even if she’s scared, at least she’s looking.

I caught some sun today too – it was the most beautiful winter/spring day, and I think I got a bit burnt. It’s the curse of the red head – I could practically feel myself burning today, but the sun was so worth it. What’s a few more freckles?? ;)

And tomorrow the boy gets home. I almost can’t believe that – it seemed like minutes ago he’d just left. The first week went blindingly slow, but the rest of it has just rushed by. I get an excited little EEEEEEE on the inside when I think about next weekend.

Breathe baby

August 22nd, 2007

• I have the most adorable cat in the world. Just so you know. And he has the pinkest, softest paws there ever was.
• There isn’t enough use of the word ‘bodacious’.
• Week long viruses involving prolonged bouts of nausea and not being able to eat can BITE ME. My head explodes and my body aches.
• It’s a quick way to lose around 5 kgs though. Not that I’m recommending it.
• Kids, don’t try this at home.
• I’ve been looking through photos from Ecuador tonight. I think what I’m feeling right now is some sort of whimsy.
• British antiques experts are hilarious.
• And very knowledgeable.
• I mean, who honestly describes a cabinet as ‘delicious’?
• There isn’t enough use of the word ‘smashing’ in the context of awesome.
• In the updating of the little gig whatsit on the left over there, I realised just how many mistakes there were. Oh well – last time I did it I must have been A) drunk or B) super tired. I can be fairly convinced I caught everything, given that I checked my Filofax.
• I swear to god, my whole life is in that Filofax. If I lost it I’d be a bit stuck.
• When I look over my next couple of months I suck a deep breath in – I figure I’ll be able to let it out again on October 27.
• Bring on October 27.
• I’m trying to convince everyone I know to drive to Canberra with me on Saturday. Generally I love a good road trip on my own, but for some reason this time I want company.
• I think it’s because I’m going to Canberra.
• If I can’t find anyone who’ll come, the company of Matt Berringer will do.
• I’m going to go to bed now, and hopefully sleep. Sleep would be nice.

Song 7 – The truth that proves it’s beautiful to lie

August 21st, 2007

Reservations – Wilco

Wow, this one took some doing. I have been working at this little post for some months now, and I have no idea why it became as difficult as it did. As I say down there, this is a deceptive song. You think you know what it’s all about, and then you start pulling it apart a little and looking more closely, and you begin to second guess everything. Bless Jeff Tweedy and his ability to mess with my head. I’m still not sure I’ve managed to articulate exactly what I think this song is to me, but what the hell. I’ve given it a red hot go.

In a conversation with someone, at least, the kind of conversation that matters, it’s as much about what you don’t say as what you do. It’s the pauses between the words, the way he/she cocks their head at you, looks down at their feet, pulls slightly away or leans in. The air and the space and the nuances around the words are in some ways more important than the words themselves. I really think, too, that people who are intuitive about others, and who read people well, don’t necessarily listen harder – they just pay closer attention to the unsaid. The space.

If there was any song in the world to illustrate what I’m trying to get at here, Reservations by Wilco would be it.

Songs, in this way I think, can be like conversation. So many musicians feel like they have to fill the space – intro melody here, cow bell there, guitar solo here – layer upon layer of sound until all the breathing space is gone. And don’t get me wrong – this can work. I’m all for the massive wall of noise thing. Pause, though, can be just as effective as the noise.

The sound of the song is so desolate. The piano, almost processional at times, along with the haunting metallic sound that weaves its way in and out of the whole song, brings to mind that quiet and lonely place where you’re all by yourself and there is that deep, dark sadness that you just can’t shake. I also love the lull in the middle, where you almost hear the song taper off, and then it gently moves into this delicately sad and beautiful landscape of sounds. One of my favourite things is to lay in the dark with this song in my ears and just empty my brain. It’s one of the few songs that helps me to do that – my brain is at times alarmingly full.

Jeff Tweedy is without a doubt one of my favourite song writers. His lyrics are simple, but the themes in his songs are deceptively complicated. The punchline of this song is a good example of this –

I’ve got reservations about so many things… but not about you.

Simple, right? Simply beautiful. But in the context of the song as a whole it turns into something else. The narrator has a lot of angst. He’s at a place where he’s in this relationship and he has, or is about to, fuck things up royally. He’s trying to find a way to communicate to this person that regardless of what he feels about them or their relationship, his own experience shows this will only end badly. He knows he’s going to hurt her – either now, by ending things, or eventually, by being an asshole. And he knows it’s not about her and he’s trying to TELL her it’s not about her and he feels helpless to stop it.

Actually, helpless is a lot of what I feel about the song. A beautiful helplessness, if that makes any sense at all.

And at the end the song just falls away. The sound of it, and the architecture of it, is just achingly beautiful. It finishes how it starts – quietly, a little resigned, and full of melancholy. It’s the perfect end to this particular album really.

It’s hard to work yourself out of patterns you’ve spent so many years steadfastly and stubbornly developing. Once you become talented at self-sabotage it’s very difficult to deny that little masochist inside of you that will capitalise on any given opportunity. I recently managed to pretty effectively convince myself I’d worked through most every battle scar and unhealthy behavior there was. I had it all sewn up. That is, of course, until there was a tiny little bit of unraveling (completely fabricated in my own head), and do you think I could stop pulling at that thread? Within a week I’d fallen right back into everything I’d convinced myself I’d left behind. I guess the thing is to at least recognise it, when you’re doing it, more quickly each time. And then slap yourself silly, or have a good friend slap you silly, until you stop. I’m getting better at that.

Anyway, I am a crazyfangirl for beautifully acoustic Sunken Treasure Wilco, pop I’m the Man Who Loves You Wilco, alt-country Black Eye Wilco and rocking guitar gods Spiders (Kidsmoke) Wilco. I honestly think, though, that this song is like the culmination of Wilco and Jeff Tweedy at their musical genius best – savouring the sound and reveling in the space.

Soundly

August 15th, 2007

My sleeping patterns = officially fucked.

I have no idea why, either. It’s not like angst of any kind has ramped up a notch in the last week or so. Not more than normal at least. I kinda feel under control at work, which is a minor miracle, considering my workload. So it’s not that. I’ve stopped the caffeine after 6pm, and that’s not working. You know it’s bad when I pull out the big guns – chamomile tea and Sigur Ros.

Every night I get to bed past midnight, and my eyes stay wiiiiiide open until at least 3am. I make the decision at that point to get up and watch reruns of Friends and/or Bargin Hunt, stay in bed listening to Tony Delroy, or just lay there in the dark willing myself to sleep. At around 3 I then fall into a half sleep for a couple of hours, which is peppered with gnarly dreams about Beck and sailing yachts and what have you (?!?!?) and then at around 6am I fall into a deep, deep sleep. Just in time to wake up at 7am to the alarm.

So yeah. My head. She’s all fucked up. I’m hoping that at some point before the weekend I hit a state of total exhaustion, and get at least one night of solid sleep. That drive to Wagga on Friday night after work might be fun otherwise.

Can you see that young star up ahead?

August 12th, 2007

You know what I miss? I miss feeling close to the sky.

I knew when I moved I’d really, truly miss the view. In Wilberforce I could see for miles and miles. I could sit for hours watching planes take off and land from Richmond airbase, hot air balloons float over the Hawkesbury, farmers mowing turf farms all the way to Windsor, the neighbour feed his cows, and most everything happening on the mountain ridge directly to my right, stretching all the way to Richmond and Grose Vale.

It was also the most amazing place for watching storms roll in from the south west – I could see it build and build, and then I could smell it in the air, and then the trees would give way to the wind, and then I could see the rain sweeping over the farming land below me until BAM it was coming in through my front door. Literally – even with the door closed I’d sometimes have to push a towel underneath it to stop the force of the weather coming in. We were fairly exposed up there on the side of that hill.

Driving home from work in the evenings, parking and then getting out of the car, I always felt so close to the sky. There was nothing in front of me but open space, nothing on the horizon but mountains, and nothing above me but air and clouds and atmosphere. I always felt so close to the elements, and I always felt like I had my finger directly on the pulse of the weather and the earth around me. Every night I could watch satellites fly over me, and once around every 3 to 4 weeks I’d see a falling star. It was so dark up there with the lights off; the stars were just phenomenal. Shards of light piercing through utter blackness. Added to this were the frogs I was constantly removing from my house, the blue tongue lizard living in the laundry, and the massive amounts of birds in the trees.

It was only tonight that it hit me how much I don’t have that now. I really love living where I do – I settled in very quickly, and the move felt right. Still, tonight when I was wandering around the front yard, clearing out my mailbox, rolling up my hose, putting out my bin and generally just noodling around, it struck me how long it had been since I felt close to the sky. Or even looked up at it really. I have a streetlight directly out front which eliminates any star viewing, and now I spend most weekends in the city. It feels a little like something is missing.

Added to this is the increasing pull of the city. I’m saying nothin’ about moving right now, but for the last few years most everything in my life has been pointing to a move in that general direction. I was talking to Hell about it this weekend, like I have spoken to her about it a lot over the last few years. The only thing stopping alla that is my job. And well, we’ll see about that. I mean, I drove in for a gig on Wednesday night, I drove in for a gig and other shenanigans on Friday night and drove back on Saturday, and tonight I was going to drive in for drinks and an acoustic set in Newtown, but I just couldn’t face the drive again. And that kinda sucks, because good company and decent music would have been nice tonight.

If I do end up living in the city, there will be no stars. They will be there, just not for my eyes to see. And I’m not sure how I feel about that. I guess I will get that from other places, and it’s always there to find when I want it. This coming weekend I’m heading to Wagga, and there are plenty of stars there. Particularly if I head up to Willans Hill. Also, I will be spending around 5 hours on the Hume Highway on Friday night, and I always feel close to the sky there. Even rocketing along the highway at 120 kph. Disturbingly close – if I get out of the car, on the side of the road, and it’s completely dark, the enormity of it all feels kinda heavy as it falls around me.

I’ve always liked that though. Feeling small.

Anyway, it’s something I got to thinking about tonight. This weekend there was a lot of discussion about moving and change – from everyone. It happens I guess. Part of me wishes I could fast forward 5 years to see where it all ends up. I know for my own sake though it’s better to take the journey, as much as my stupid brain is always in a rush to the end.

Aha whoa tangentitus. I was talking about stars, right?

Anyway, I should finish up this email for work and then go to bed. This week, unless I’m gravely mistaken, is gonna suck.

Ticking away the moments

August 12th, 2007

I always get messed up with time differences. Even without the boy being in Canadia, it’s actually a big part of my job – a lot of my clients are OS, and also our business partners, and people don’t tend to react well when you miscalculate and get them up at 3 in the AM.

Like, I know that we are 14 hours ahead of Montreal. This morning I spent 15 minutes trying to figure out – if it’s 10 in the PM in Montreal, what time is it here? Forget about it. I think I’m missing that part of my brain. The part that stops me being an idiot when it comes to numbers and time differences. Still, with the aid of the interwebs, I figured that shit out. And now I have a little thing I do in my head – you look at the time (like, 10PM here now), you take away 2 hours, and then flip (i.e. if it’s evening here, then it’s morning there). 8AM in Montreal.

Viola. Idiot proof.

Also –

August 12th, 2007

I saw The Shins play the Enmore last night. I’d write about it, except somehow it got to be the morning rather than the evening and my eyes are struggling with the openess. So perhaps that will wait till tomorrow. I will post this though – it’s The Shins, and The Ruby Suns, having an amazingly good time on stage at the Enmore during the last song of the set (which I think was So Says I – I should really write these things down). I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many tambourines and maracas in one place before.

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