You’ve been here before

The last 3 months have easily been the most professionally challenging of my life. The fact that it’s coinciding with me (and the boy) purchasing my first house, is making for somewhat interesting times. Somehow, though, it’s okay. So far. There was a hairy moment at around 11 this morning when Sam had to slowly take the client file from my hands and repeatedly tell me to calm down, but otherwise sanity remains intact.

Sort of.

Mount Eerie helps. My cat helps. The constant support of the boy is, well, everything else. And the thought of that little house lying maybe 50kms away, waiting for us to live in it. That kinda pulls me through every single day.

Dear Glenn,

So I’ve heard your new song maybe 5 or 6 times now. I’d really love to say that I love it. I’d really love to say I like it, even. But I can’t. Which makes me sad.

Here’s the thing – there are two reasons why I LOVE Augie March. First – few people in the world write an old-fashioned ballad the way that you do. When I listen to There Is No Such Place or Bottle Baby I swoon. It’s music for swooning. Second – your uproarious songs – you know, the ones where the whole band is playing and you shout at the top of your lungs – have some of my favourite OMFG moments in music. Australian music at least. Songs like Song In The Key Of Chance and One Crowded Hour build and build until you think your head might explode.

Oh oh oh and there’s a third. Third, the lyrics. You write god damn amazing lyrics Glenn.

And there-in lies the issue. The song starts at a medium pace, and finishes at a medium pace. The articulation of the lyrics is a little weird dude. Actually, no, not weird – a little mediocre. Like, I could hear this on commercial radio and not blink. And holy hell, it scars me on the inside to say that. Also, with all that weird synth stuff happening all around the song, I cannot even make out the lyrics. I tried very, very hard tonight, driving home from work, to hear what you were singing. And I’m not sure if it was just my toast-brain from my fucked up day, but I was really truly struggling.

So yeah. Not so much love. I will though, like any good CFG, buy your new album next month. I am also going to your show at the Metro. Because I haven’t given up on you yet. You wrote every single song on Strange Bird and for that I will love you forever.

See you soon.


Smile a while, forget the bile

If I should die, let this be my epitaph: his only proof for the existence of God was music.

Kurt Vonnegut

Things keeping Karen sane week ending 30/08/2008 –

• The boy. Because he always knows what to say.
• Slaughterhouse-Five.
• The Mountain Goats touring.
• Pictures of my house. Our house.
• Discussions about shelves in said house. Yes – discussions about shelves, and packing, and washing machines and moving, are joy to me right now.
• Certain rumours about certain wolf-related bands.
• My kitty. He’s patient and brave and he knows he’s still the best kitty in the world. Even with the imposters.

So, I’ve been reading Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s been a really long time since I’ve been so taken with a book. For a story centering around death and war, it’s had a seriously uplifting effect on my state of mind. So it goes.

First, it makes we want to write. And write really well. And right now I have no time for any of that writing nonsense. 12 hour days are slowly (actually, probably quite quickly) atrophying my brain.

But yes. I want to write.

Second, I’ve been doing that thing that I always do when I stumble upon something I love – I obsess about it. Not one to do things by halves, I’ve read the Wikipedia entry and looked at all the fan sites I could and read every obituary there was when he died on April 11, 2007. One day after my 30th birthday. Pretty much around the time that the wind got behind me and blew me into a million and one amazing directions.

And he was honestly the most amazing person. And clearly one of the most sensible people to have ever lived on this fucked up planet. And I’m a little sad that I didn’t understand the genius while the man was still alive.

Today was a day that felt like defeat. Through most of it I felt a hammer coming down on my head, regular as a metronome, to ensure I stayed nice and bogged down in metaphorical crap. I was alternately angry and close to tears.

But if you look hard enough there’s golden light. Or if you’re lucky enough, someone reminds you.

35 days.

38 days

• I must remember to not forget to remember to live IN it. Enjoy it. Don’t sweat it. Shit in your life only happens the once, usually, and you should embrace it. It’ll all happen regardless of how many times you go over it in your head, and how many lists you make.

• John Darnielle’s undying love for Missy Higgins, and in particular her new album, is an utter mystery to me. No accounting for it I guess.

• How many cats is too many? Three. That’s how many. I reckon two would be okay. I know one is a good number. But three? It’s kittypalooza over here.

Well, go on, assume

So I was writing a post about being patient. And about the enormity of Things. And then the boy sent me these lyrics and I’ve spent the last 15 minutes swooning and wondering how on earth beauty like this can exist in the world –

Pull down the shades, lets kill the morning
Lets kill the morning, let it die
Will your eyes flash out a warning
But they’ll be another morning after afternoon and tonight
Fuck long hours sick with singing
Sick with singing the same songs
In the bars, they’ll soon be drinking
Lets cash my check and drink along

Old times, hello, hey, I’ve missed you
Old life, hey now, let me in
Because you win on every issue
Now, can I kiss you?
Don’t you care how long it’s been?
It has been so many years, I lived my yearning
But in every bed, it led me through
They only bloom on what was burning
And it grew, the fire grew
And now with nothing to consume
It’s turned on me in my glass room
Where I’ll burn, you think I’m finished
Think I’m not winning
Well, go on, assume

So, take me, I’m yours, morning starship
Sparkling stars line your lights as they lift off the loneliest street corner this clown has yet leaned against
I’ll let all these fine faces fold into me
The warmth from the space lights illumines the sea as the laughingest mouths wetly open, but we set them sighing
We’ll take them flying
And we’ll take this man left almost passed out
Cause we’re pretty sure he needs a hand
He says he can’t stand
And when we pick him up
He asks us where this ship will land
But he knows we know it isn’t coming down
He knows we know we’ll fly so far
Til finally stars hold him in all around
Til he forgets the ground
Til he forgets the crawling way
Real people sometimes are

God damn it Will Sheff. You own a very large piece of my heart.

Our house

We bought a house this weekend. Me and the boy. The boy and I. Holy holy holy cow.

And it’s wonderful. The house, obviously, but everything. I am joy from beginning to end and nervous energy all the way through. It’s the first time I’ve ever looked forward to packing. I don’t know where to start because it’s all huge and it’s all exciting and holy cow.

Look out Newtown. The west is moving east to the inner west.

So much has been waiting for this weekend. Around every 3rd sentence has ended or began with ‘if we get the house’ in the last 5 or so weeks. The whole auction process is incredibly nerve-wracking, but lucky for this girl there’s another member of the team who is much more equipped for said auction situations. I can get a little anxious.

No, really? 😛

I’ve been so impatient. Now I have a date though. October long weekend. The weekend it all stops being hypothetical and becomes actual, tangible fact.

And I honest to god can’t hardly wait.

I’ll pull the curtains and blinds to let the light in

I was standing on the surface of a perforated sphere
When the water filled every hole
And thousands upon thousands made an ocean
Making islands where no island should go

An ocean in a teacup. That’s pretty much the way I feel about this post. How do you fit a million little somethings into one tiny vessel?

I’m not sure why I stopped writing. The enormity of just, I don’t know, everything had me weighted down and shuffling. I had to offload some stuff and, well, some stuff you just can’t unload. But a blog you can. Pretty easily, actually. And it’s strange, because I’ve thought about what this place means to me more in the last 4 weeks then I have in probably all the time it existed.

So anyway, I’m sitting here wondering where the hell I should start, given that the last post I wrote was about the Pope. So I figure, start at the now and touch on the then and grab for the to-be. Grabbing, and embracing, is much better then grappling. Which is generally my state of affairs.

The Is No Plan Here.

I went and saw Death Cab at the Enmore on Monday night. The show followed a weekend of wedding shenanigans in Cairns and to be really honest given the way my body is screaming at me right now it’s probably the last thing I should have done. But like any good gig will do, it energized me more then anything else. That split second as the lights go down, right before the band come out on stage… man, they should learn to bottle that shizzat because it’s good for what ails ya. In the mental sense I mean.

I think I got a little spoiled given the amazing bands that toured at the start of the year. I got to a point where it was all ‘just another gig’ I think. And that’s just silly. Because for as long as I can remember, live music to me = everything. There are other things now to me that = everything, but live music is all wound up and in an out of that.

The one where she sees the holy vessel

To be filed under things I never thought I’d hear myself say –

‘So I was driving through Windsor this afternoon, along Macquarie Street, when the Pope drove past.’

I was very vocal on Friday afternoon about being SO GLAD I was in the city all weekend so as to avoid the whole PopearrivinginRichmond thing. I was a little smug about it even. And then this afternoon I drove headlong into a procession of he and his homies making their way from the RAAF base to his secluded relaxation ranch or what not. The first tip-off was the police helicopters circling overhead – at least 4 of them. The second was the people and video cameras lined up a normally boring stretch of Windsor road – something told me they weren’t that excited about seeing ME drive past. And then suddenly police were everywhere, and one was behind me on a motorbike waving his hands around frantically, motioning me to pull off the road. How rude.

Actually, for a few seconds it was kind of exciting. A ‘wow look at all those police cars!’ kind of exciting. And I know, to the people lined up on the road waiting to glimpse the guy in the funny hat, it was at a super-dooper level of exciting.

I just can’t wait until they get their praying over and done with and I get my city back.

So, the last few weeks I’ve learned some stuff –

1. I like tribute shows. I went to the Bruce Springsteen tribute show at the Vanguard not so long ago and it was fun fun fun. It was the first one I’d been to (minus the INXS cover band we once stumbled in on at R G McGees in Richmond – that doesn’t count) and I’ll tell you what I loved about it – unironic appreciation. Everyone was LOVING IT, and no one was embarrassed about it. Also, where else would you experience Born In The USA performed by a bluegrass band in 3/4 time?

Wait – it unironic a word?

2. It’s true what they say on all those real estate shows – it’s all about location, location, location. If anyone is reading this and lives in Erskineville in a 2 bedroom house, now is a REALLY good time to sell. Okay?

3. Bunnings is less intimidating when you have someone with you.

4. Project Runway Australia was a really bad idea. I think Australian spin-offs of American shows are generally a bad idea, but this one is particularly bad.

5. There’s nothing my cat won’t do for chicken.

Have a good week everyone.