Sunday, November 28, 2010

Right in front of us

Today, I am 23 years old. Imagine that. I've polled my friends and apparently it is still too early for a mid-life crisis, so I'll put that off for another couple of years. All in all, it's been a fabulous weekend. I feel very loved and grateful for everyone in my life - general good vibes for all!

Things kicked off on Friday night with Em. Dinner in Newtown followed by dessert at what has officially become my favourite cafe, and then on to the Factory for Cute is what we aim for. We wasted as much time as we could hoping to miss the opening bands, but this didn't quite work out and we still had to sit through two of them. Not that opening bands are terrible things to be avoided just...well, we're jaded, what can we say. We were both very taken aback by the age of the audience - on average they appeared to be about fourteen - and spent much time reminiscing about days when we were still that naive/excitable/embarrassing. Maybe not doing as much reminiscing as lamenting. Cute had undergone complete line-up changes in the five years since we'd first gotten into them, so we actually had no idea what the current band looked like and that in itself led to some amusement. It is fair to say neither of us had very high expectations, and it is also fair to say we were both very pleasantly surprised. It really was a wonderfully fun show, comprising of mostly first album songs we had been dying to hear. Shaant was channeling Tyson Ritter in his performance and he was completely manic captivating. I still cannot believe how blue his eyes are. Jaw on floor. I have no idea who the rest of the band are, but they are all very good and the bass player is all sorts of adorable. As bass players inevitably seem to be. So yes, it may have been five years late, but it was a fun gig and well worth the wait.

[from here]

I gathered the willing on Saturday morning for a road trip up the coast. Arguing with the GPS aside - "it's the scenic route!" - we arrived at a sunny, tranquil, very windy Palm Beach just in time for lunch. What followed was a lazy afternoon of sitting about, laughing (a lot), playing cards and taking far, far, faaaar too many photos. Memorable quotes include:

"I don't know what I use, I just walk in and some gay guy tells me to try this make-up and I say ok."
"I'm full." (Randomly interjected by Em as Roze and I were mid friendly disagreement)
"We have achieved our goals!"
"I'm so wise."
"It's a heli that copters!"

Hmm. These were all much funnier at the time. Anyway, following the blissful madness, we packed up and headed back to mine where we consumed yet more junk food (namely pringles and chocolate) and watched Beauty & the Beast. As you do.

It was so much fun. I'm glad that after years of wanting to do so, we finally managed to get to Palm Beach.

As for my actual birthday, it has been very mellow and spent in the company of the parentals. We had a lovely brunch, and then mum and I spent much of the day shopping. I'm not one to make a big fuss over my birthday, and honestly, when I have these gorgeous laid-back weekends, I don't see why I should. It's much more me, isn't it?

Once again, big thanks to everyone for all the kind messages. Now time for some more writing!

Music: Existentialism on prom night - Straylight Run
Mood: Happy

Done with what we've lost

When the sun came up,
We were sleeping in.
Sunk inside our blankets,
Sprawled across the bed.
And we...were dreaming.

There are moments when,
When I know it ends.
The world revolves around us,
And we're keeping it,
Keep it all going,
This delicate balance,
Vulnerable, all knowing.

Sing like you think no one's listening,
You would kill for this,
Just a little bit, just a little bit,
You would. 

Sing me something soft,
Sad and delicate.
Or loud and out of key,
Sing me anything.

Music: Existentialism on prom night - Straylight Run
Mood: Pensive

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A still verdictless life

I am really epically frustrated with myself today. With my job, my attitude, my lack of preservation, my inability to do anything properly. And then I get mad at myself for being frustrated. Oh, how I amuse myself.

So what, so I've got a smile on
It's hiding the quiet superstitions in my head
Don't believe me, don't believe me
When I say I've got it down

Everybody is just a stranger but
that's the danger in going my own way
I guess it's the price I have to pay
still 'Everything happens for a reason'
is no reason not to ask myself

If you’re living it right

Music: Why Georgia - John Mayer
Mood: Frustrated

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Standing in the back

Today was mainly soundtracked by the following songs...

Zombie Tuesday out.

Music: A Praise Chorus - Jimmy Eat World
Mood: Creative

Monday, November 22, 2010

Statues at the gate

I am having serious productivity issues. In the sense that I'm not doing much at work. Don't know why, it's not a lack of things to do, I just...can't be bothered, I suppose. Sigh. Which is why I'm sitting here on a Monday night trying to write profiles, since it's just not happening while I'm actually within work hours. Oh self, you are so frustrating sometimes.

On that note, I think I'm going to let nano go quietly into the night. I'm never going to make it without pulling some serious big numbers, and I've got tons of other stuff to write. I don't like giving up, but the last month has been pretty crazy and other stuff's been happening...look, I'm trying not to feel too horrible about it.

In other news, I have just been informed that we are going to New Zealand. Woo! My not-so-subtle suggestions have paid off. As much as going on holiday with the 'rents can be a bit of an ordeal, with much swearing that it's the last time without fail at least once, I was angling for this trip because I wanted to go before I headed to the UK and with saving for that, I can't afford a self-funded trip. Luckily, the parentals have wanted to go for a while and it all works out quite nicely now. It's a bit sentimental too I suppose, last serious quality time before I abandon them. But yay! New Zealand! I am going to Lord of the Rings fangirl all over the place. Including doing this. The aim is to fly into Christchurch, head to Queenstown and then make the journey up to Auckland. Well, that's the tentative plan at the moment. Bit ambitious for two weeks if you ask me, but we'll see. So yes, that'll be end of April. Come here travel, let me hug you.

Oh Calvin, I love you

Hours pass, and she still counts the minutes that I am not there
I swear I didn't mean for it to feel like this
Like every inch of me is bruised

Music: Bruised - Jack's Mannequin
Mood: Working

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Go get your rope

It's aliiiiiiive!

Barely but just. Uni is done for the semester. Dead and defeated. Essays went in two days after I intended, but they went in. Won't get penalised for it, so who cares. I'm not entirely convinced of their quality, but then again I never am. I had a whole slew of others I was going to write for submissions and stuff, been to knackered to get round to them.

Tired is my default state these days. Last two weeks I've barely slept more than five hours a night. Not entirely unworkable, but it starts to show after a while. I've been wholly unproductive at work, a problem since there is just so much to do.

Guess I've been preoccupied.

Saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with L on Friday - my heart, my heart, and other cries of woe. This is it, you know, my childhood is officially ending. I still don't know how anyone who hasn't read the books has any idea what's going on though. Yesterday, I caught up with a uni friend to see Red. It was quite enjoyable, but I was just pleased to find Karl Urban starring in it. Wearing a suit no less. He completely won me over at Supanova last year, such a nice guy.

Spent the evening at R's in excellent company, playing poker for genres and devouring too many m&ms. I won the first round so I didn't feel too guilty eating my 'chips'. Unsurprisingly, it rapidly descended into chaos, and by midnight we were nursing snap related injuries. I'm bleeding! Look at my hand! Your nail stabbed me! It's your ring!  So we've learnt that we can get quite viscous when it comes to snap, and really we are still 12 on the inside. Cards everywhere!

Admittedly, I don't think I was the best of company. Bit tired, bit out of it, bit grumpy. I was running late for everything, which didn't really help matters much. And I had three venti quadruple shot lattes and no food till 8pm, so maybe not surprising that I was weird and twitchy.

I had big plans of catching up on all that missed sleep today but my brain had other ideas. I haven't slept that badly in weeks. Will try to put a dent in my nano total today as I realised I essentially have 10 days to write 48 000 words. Suspect it's a bit of a lost cause. Wait and see I suppose.

Even if I lay my head down at night
After a day I got perfectly right
You won't know

Music: You won't know - Brand New
Mood: Blah

Cut and run

'How would you like to get the hell out of here? Here's my idea. I know this guy down in Greenwich Village that we can borrow his cab for a couple of weeks, He used to go to the same school I did and he still owes me ten bucks. What we could do is, tomorrow morning we could drive up to Massachusetts and Vermont, and all around there, see. It's beautiful as hell up there. It really is.' I was getting excited as hell, the more I thought about it, and I sort of reached over and took old Sally's goddam hand. What a goddam fool I was. 'No kidding,' I said, 'I have about a hundred and eighy bucks in the bank. I can take it out when it opens in the morning, and then I could go down and get this guy's car. No kidding. We'll stay in these cabin camps and stuff like that till the dough runs out. Then, when the dough runs out, I could get a job somewhere and we could live somewhere with a brook and all and, later on, we could get married or something. I could chop all our own wood in the wintertime and all. Honest to God, we could have a terrific time! Wuddaya say? C'mon! Wuddaya say? Will you do it with me? Please!'
'You can't just do something like that,' old Sally said. She sounded sore as hell.
'Why not? Why the hell not?'

Oh Holden, how often I ask myself that question. Surely everyone wants to run away sometimes, just drop everything and go. Even if just for a little while. No apologies, no regrets.

Music: Creaking trees
Mood: Restless

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tell me what you find

Sun sleepy and tired out. Lovely weekend catching up with friends, categorically not doing uni work. Technically it's all due tomorrow, obviously not done. Such is life. Don't feel like fighting things today.

Mary, this station is playing every sad song.
I remember like we were alive.
I heard and sung them all from inside of these walls.
In a prison cell, where we spent those nights.
And they burnt up the diner where I always used to find her.
Licking young boys blood from her claws.
And I learned about the blues from this kitten I knew.
Her hair was raven and her heart was like a tomb.
My heart's like a wound.

I saw tail lights last night in a dream about my first wife.
Everybody leaves and I'd expect as much from you.
I saw tail lights last night in a dream about my old life.
Everybody leaves, so why, why wouldn't you?

Mary, I worried and stalled every night of my life.
Better safe than making the party.
And I never had a good time, I sat about my bedside, with papers and poetry about Estella.
With great expectations, we had the greatest expectations.

I've said this before on twitter, but TGA make me nostalgic for...something, something undefinable. Bygone eras and moments that can never be reclaimed.

I think if I could live in any fictional place, I'd choose Lothlorien.

Music: Great Expectations - The Gaslight Anthem
Mood: Sleepy

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stay awhile and then you'll see

This is what a dog midway through a thunderstorm related meltdown looks like. Suffice it to say it makes typing quite a challenge. I need my arms! Is this a valid excuse for not handing in an assignment?

Music: Unwell - Matchbox 20
Mood: Writing. Trying to. Still.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chasing the light

Come July, we'll ride the Ferris Wheel, go round and round and round.
And if you never let me go, well I will never let you down.

But you know the summer always brought it, that wild and reckless breeze.
And in the backseats, we're just trying to find some room for our knees.

Photo from here

Music: The backseat - The Gaslight Anthem
Mood: Exhausted

Held up to the light

For You..

It’s 8.45 on a Monday night and you’re standing on a beach watching the sky tear itself apart. The air is heavy with a sense of foreboding, the wind is picking up, and you know you should really, really be getting home. But there’s a flash, and another, and…you can’t bring yourself to walk away.

The clouds are immovable mountains around the bay, spreading out thick and far, alive with light. It’s not quite there yet, not quite escaping, but it speaks of a fury you cannot quite understand.

You’re standing there, alone, in the night, in the rain that’s falling steadily harder, and you’re thinking about your life the way you always do when you’re overcome by your own insignificance. Not a hopeless insignificance, but an awe-struck one. One where the vastness of life, the universe, and everything in between, is so breathtakingly obvious and insurmountable that it ceases to matter, and everything collapses and narrows to the now. Your life, your dreams, your fears, your thoughts. Dramatically encapsulated in a single moment of experiencing something so much bigger than you are.

And you wish, you wish…well.

Your drive home takes you straight into the storm. Lightning flashes quick and close, seconds of blue-white clarity in hours of night. It’s frenzied, it’s intense, and for some inexplicable reason it entirely enthrals you. As if it holds the answers to all the questions you have ever asked, or ever will. As if it knows all your secrets. As if it approves.

Later, you risk turning it into a metaphor for life. How much it can change in the space of twelve hours, from a perfectly content sunny morning to this. How it can be both destructive and beautiful, both enlightening and bewildering. How it’s what you make of it that counts.

And you realise that it was just a case of the right time and the right place. Would you have stopped any other time? Would you have cared?

As sleep steals across you, you realise that it doesn’t matter. You did, and you do. You make your decisions and you stick by them. If nothing else, at least you can say you live life on your own terms.

Music: Tonight, tonight - Smashing Pumpkins
Mood: Still stressed - but getting there, that's a plus.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sink my teeth in deep

Two chapters done, no essays, two chapters to go. My eyes hurt, the sun is out, and I've got this song inexplicably stuck in my head.

Tonight I’ll have a look
And try to find my face again
Buried beneath this house
My spirit screams and dies again
Out back a monster wears a cloak of Persian leather
Behind the TV screen
I've fallen to my knees

I said you got me where you want me again
And I can’t turn away
I'm hanging by thread and I'm feelin’ like a fool
I'm stuck here in-between
The shadows of my yesterday
I want to get away
I need to get away

Now you know
Yeah you got my back against the wall
Oh god
I ain't got no other place to hide
Chained down
Like a sittin’ duck just waitin’ for the fall
You know
Yeah you got my back against the wall

Bit random, but the southern drawl fits the day quite nicely. I've certainly had worse songs stuck in my head.


Music: Back against the wall - Cage The Elephant
Mood: writewritewritewrite-breathe-writewritewritewrite

Friday, November 5, 2010

Heart on a hook thrown out to the sea

I re-discovered Fast Times at Barrington High on Thursday. It's been two years since its release, somehow I hadn't realised it had been that long. Time is a funny thing, the way it is such a set, regulated, inevitable thing and yet entirely malleable in the human thought process. I wrote a critical essay last semester based on this premise.

Oreo is doing the most ridiculous thing - she just crawls across the bed when she's halfway through stretching out and it looks hilarious. She knows I'm laughing at her and I am earning a reproachful look *shakes head*

So yeah, the album. I really think of it as a summer album, and hence I feel this falling in love with it again is a bit premature. It's been cold and wet all week, not appropriate for the album's tone at all. Where is summer? I'm tired of spring's mediocrity. The result of this clash is that a vacillate between listening to Fast Times, and listening to The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me - because it is raining, and Brand New are my quintessential rainy day band, and because that album speaks to a part of me that I don't think I can fully express or understand. It is still my most listened to album according to

Top 5 Fast Times songs:

♪ About a Girl - predictable choice perhaps, being the main single. But it's catchy, and sing-a-long and encapsulates the tone of the album so perfectly.

I'm not in love, this is not my heart, I'm not going to waste these words about a girl. I'm not in love, this is not your song, I'm not going to waste these words about a girl.

♪ His Girl Friday - it's the same deal as the previous one really. It sums up why I feel this album is entirely successful in what it tries to be, a throwback to those 80s teen films like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. It's the romanticised hollywood high school experience, tapping into a joyful quality of our shared consciousness without falling into nostalgia.

Call on a Monday, come on a Tuesday, they'll never know. Pop off a cork for a Wednesday, stay with me Thursday, but she'll always be his girl, his girl Friday.

♪ The Test - slow it down, it's time for angst. There's a visceral quality to the album, I can see it, I can feel it. Here, there's that sense of walking the streets alone at night and giving in to over-thinking. Its resignation that plays out across a scene characterised by routine, a scene that is oppressive in all that it holds.

If this is a test, I'm losing my shit, would it kill you to care as much as I did? If this is a test, I'm wasting my breath. You're a stranger I know well, and not at all.

♪ Coppertone - arguably my favourite track, I love the flow of the lyrics, the repetitious imagery. There's a hopefulness to it...but hopeful is not the right word. It's anticipatory almost, submissive yet determined, and to me it seems to suggest a contentment with the changeable nature of everything and the risks that requires.

But this charade is never going to last, so pick the poison and pour yourself a glass, I still feel the same, no one's to blame.

♪ One more weekend - This one is such a giant hopeful sing-a-long chorus type song that it's almost sickening in its overtness. BUT it is the last song on the album and bookends the whole thing so perfectly that it's sort of hard not to get into it - Fast Times does feel like it spans across the last year of high school, and even though my high school experience was absolutely nothing like this, thanks to movies and tv it's still instinctively recognisable. Maybe it isn't musical genius, but it is so effective in the scene it conjures, that first taste of freedom in your life, that all I want to do is turn it up and drive around with the windows down and the sun at my back to nowhere in particular.

You'll go off, you'll forget, you'll grow out of hanging from the edges, breaking off the past. You'll know when to move on, you'll know when to take all the right chances, never looking back.

Top 5 The Devil and God songs:

♪ Jesus Christ - I've been staring at this for longer than I should have, trying to figure out what I can say about this song. The ones I did before came quickly, and without much thought, but this...I don't know. I've been listening to this album for four years, you'd think I'd have a better grip on its appeal. But sometimes I think music touches upon things that are hard to articulate, and because it does, I find it hard to articulate how it appeals to me. I have a weird affinity with Jesse Lacey. So perhaps it's a wasteful exercise trying to pinpoint why I love the songs on this album, and it will just have to suffice that I do. Also, I will be quoting favourite lines for this, instead of just the chorus.

Well Jesus Christ, I'm not scared of dying, I'm a little bit scared of what comes after. Do I get the gold chariot, do I float through the ceiling? Do I divide or fall apart? Cause my bright is too slight to hold back all my dark. This ship went down in sight of land, and at the gates does Thomas ask to see my hands?

♪ Sowing Season - The second verse of this song is taken from the Rudyard Kipling poem If. That poem was printed in the back of our high school diary in SA. Random facts.

Do you miss the blend, of colour she left in your black and white field, and do you feel condemned just for being there? I am not your friend, I am just a man who knows how to feel. I am not your friend, I'm not your lover, I'm not your family.

♪ The archers bows have broken - With this song, it's the chorus. It's just always worked for me. And I love the intensity the song carries throughout, it's constant and exhausting, as it should be.

What did you learn tonight? Shouting so loud, you barely joyous, broken thing, you're a voice that never sings, it's what I say. You are freezing over hell, you are bringing on the end you do so well, you can only blame yourself, it's what I say.

♪ Handcuffs - This song is credited entirely to Vin Accardi (both music and lyrics), it's the only lyrics on the album not written by Jesse. It's so twisted, and sad, and...yeah.

I'd drive my car off of a bridge, if I knew that you weren't inside. With the pedal to the floor who could ask for more, a fantastic way to kill some time.

♪ Millstone

I used to pray that God was listening, I used to make my parents proud. I was the glue that kept my friends together, now they don't talk and we don't go out. I used to know the name of every person I'd kissed, now I've made my bed and I can't fall asleep in it.

These are all subject to change though, and change they do, quite regularly. I love doing top 5 lists, makes me feel like I'm in High Fidelity. Never mind that I'm procrastinating.

Speaking of, unsurprisingly my schedule did not work out so well. I got so hung up agonising over stuff that I only managed to finish chapter 2 last night. I'm not entirely convinced of its quality, but I can't waste anymore time on it. So that leaves me with two chapters and an essay each day of the weekend. Nano has completely fallen by the wayside in the process and come next week I'll be 15,000 words behind. It'll be hard going but I should be able to catch up. I'll try anyway.

The week has been long and trying. I've been busy, I've been tired, I've been angsting. Now I've reached the zen state that seems to eventuate as the aftermath of those things colliding.

Oh, I got a speeding fine in the mail from last Thursday. I was driving Martha so it came in on dad's name - he nearly had a heart attack and then realised I was to blame. He was positively gleeful telling me about it. I'm quite pissed about it, not because I got caught but because it's almost as much as my previous fine, and the offence was actually worse last time. How is that fair? There should be some sort of scaling system! Not just some standard fee for all traffic offences. Woe. I think I got another one this week - shall see if it eventuates. I'm contemplating moving to Germany where I won't be penalised for driving a decent speed on a highway.

Expect only to hear from me again when chapter 3, 4 and my postmodernism essay is complete. If you hear about some girl found wandering the streets babbling incoherently, please contact the authorities and see that I am returned home.

Music: One more weekend - The Academy Is...
Mood: Working, or preparing to

Monday, November 1, 2010

Of heads and being in over them

Right, my life is currently woefully unorganised and considering how much I have going on, this needs to be remedied. Time to go into intense I-know-you-hate-it-but-just-do-it mode.

Schedule! Let’s go!

Until 5pm – Work (no lunch break, too busy, Melbourne Cup eating up valuable time)
6pm – Home, if I’m lucky.
7pm – Take Oreo for a walk. I need some fresh air.
8pm – Redraft chapter 2 for Theory & Writing
10pm – 2000 words for nano

5am – 1000 words for nano (yes 5, yes I realise this is probably futile)
7am – Leave for work
8.30am – Work? Although a lot of time is dedicated to personal emails. If the editors didn’t love me so much, I’d be fired.
12.30pm – Writing, either nano or redrafting chapter 3.
1.30pm – Work (this week this involves chasing 7 outstanding profiles, writing a feature article and a double page waste of time thing the ad reps booked late. Deadline is Friday. Life is fun.)
4.45pm – Leave for uni
6pm – Theory & Writing, just class workshops this week
10pm – Home, dinner, redraft chapter 3.

5am – 1000 words for nano (yes, I hate myself)
7am to 4.45pm – see Wednesday. Variety, I don’t know the word.
6pm – Writing Seminar, presentations and more workshopping (note to self: will need red bull)
10pm – Home, dinner, redraft chapter 4

5am – 1000 words for nano (I may beg for death, don’t give in to me)
7am to 5pm – see Wednesday, Thursday, variety yadda yadda
6.30pm – Home, maybe. Always late on a Friday.
7pm – Write up postmodern essay, however long that takes

Dedicated to adaptations presentation/essay. If I manage to finish it at a decent time, I’ll make sure the postmodern one is well rounded and then work on chapter 5.

Have to finish up chapter 4 and 5 as they’re due Monday. Then, if I am still coherent, work on nano.

I will need lots and lots of chocolate, junk food, and iced red tea to get through this. Also if I’ve made any social engagements with anyone…uh yeah, sorry about that. You can come over and do some of my writing if you like?

Now I must stop wasting time and write the 6 profiles I actually have info for. Cue superhero cape swoosh!

Music: Helicopter - Bloc Party
Mood: Maybe getting a little stressed. Just a little.