Tuesday, February 17, 2009

when the pink sun drops, the eyelids fold

With twelve days to go until university starts, there is much rushing around and wringing of the wrists, debating as to whether or not World History will be interesting, what colour notebook should be used. And then in the midst of the storm, i realise that there's a big problem. my eyesight. Which started going crook somewhere in Birmingham (possibly in retaliation to the eyesore that Birmingham is) and has gotten steadily worse, leading me to say to some poor person in Berlin "my eyesight, she is not so good."

So I trotted to the optometrist and had an argument about whether today was Monday or Tuesday. I lost when I realised it was Tuesday, and felt like demanding to know who took my Monday. Then the invasive process of determining what was wrong with my eyes (they don't work right) began. And lasted about two hours because the doctor kept getting distracted by someone ringing about his washing machine. And also because I nearly broke one of the machines with my thick head.

Insurprisingly, it turns out I'm short sighted. But the fact that when I read books (which i do an awful lot because its easier than people) the words go all fuzzy means that I should probably be wearing glasses all the time. So then I had to try on a billion pairs of glasses. I looked balefully at a pair of Dame Edna ones (curse their $500 price tag) before settling on a pair of tortoise shell/leopard print geek wayfarer rip offs. In other words, I'm being like everyone else and buying glasses that everyone else has. Difference is, according to the optometrist, is that "you're the first one to actually suit them, Miss Barton!" he then went on to ask me if I was a BA student.

Yes, I'm a BA student. It's probably written all the way through my DNA. I'm enrolled, even. I'm taking English Lit Genres, Metaphysics and Epistemology, and International Relations. History or Media Studies might be added to the mix. I'm planning on American Studies for next semester.I don't know how to be any more studenty without moving to Glebe and renouncing all non lentil foodstuffs.

I'm not sure where i was going with this tangent. I'm slightly annoyed that I'm going to end up like my father, who's been in glasses since he was 20. look how he turned out - he's in Tanzania! but mostly I'm just killing time before Lizzle and i go to see MILK at the movies. although my viewing of it is going to be slightly fuzzy, I'm looking forward to it.

ALSO. Joan Didion's words are amazing and Union Of Knives are doing things with music that certain people could only have wet dreams about.

ALSO ALSO. i had a strange dream last night in which Roddy Woomble from Idlewild made me tea and scones. that was fairly awesome until he turned into a giant boot and chased me around Sherwood Forest.

ALSO ALSO ALSO. Lizzle had a dream that an ex-acquaintance of ours had Dinosaur Herpes. if there's anyone out there who knows what this is, or how to inflict it on someone, please please let us know :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

up beyonce // yet more things that annoy me.

I've just received a text message from Evan. Usually messages from Evan lead to arguing about sport, heavy drinking and/or bucket bongs. Occasionally anger is involved, mostly at my end. Today is one of those occasions.

The message reads "To all you gorgeous women, happy valentines day! keep well! xox"

And I was doing so well at ignoring Valentines. I was listening to The Smiths and feeling mildly put out that it was raining and the only music to listen to in February when it's raining in Sydney is The Smiths (or Idlewild's Warnings/Promises, and I've overplayed that album this week). I was reading Hunter S Thompson and contemplating buying a firearm. In other words, it was a normal Saturday morning. And then Evan ruined it all.

There's no way to express my disgust about Valentines Day without coming across as a bitter bitter person. So it's a jolly good thing that I am a bitter bitter person and don't mind being called on it. Valentines Day sucks, because it's reinforcement of the facts that my seventeen year old brother is a sexpot with the laydezz, and the only boy who vaguely remembers that I might need some reassurance that I am a glorious lovable person is Evan. And it's highly unlikely that he was thinking specifically or even vaguely of me....unless he had to go through his phone and pick out the single ladies (we'll get to the beyonce song in a minute) in order to message us. In which case, I guess I should be glad I'm not the only one. That could have been awkward. Unless he didn't want me to feel awkward and I am the only single girl he knows.......no. That's far to conniving for someone who likes rugby union.

Valentines disgusts me because it gets me coming and going. I'm single. Poor me. So therefore I should be pitied today. But if I complain about the commercial nature of today, then I'm a grumpy lesbian who should go and live in Newtown and wear black. But if I say nothing, and go speed dating or some other martyr Valentines related activity, maybe William Beckett will be lying on my bed tonight. Knowing my luck however, it'll be Ryan Ross, and he'll be trying to strangle me with something paisley.

So in order to stop me deviating from Valentines Day angst to "Why I Am Scared of Panic At The Disco" Angst (which seems to crop up every time I blog, I'm so sorry), let's talk about Beyonce. And the "Single Ladies" song. If you haven't heard the song, seen the video, watch it here. This song is another thing that makes me cranky. On first listen, it's a fairly upbeat "we have broken up and I have bought new shoes so nyah" type of song. On closer listen, there's something slightly sinister there that only a cynical bitter bitter valentines day hater like myself could possibly pick up on. This song is scary. Beyonce is singing "if you like it then you should have put a ring on it."If we dilute it to its most basic meaning, what is she saying "Without ownership, I ain't a lady in a leotard."

I don't own a leotard, so it's possible that this song poses no threat to me. Still, I'm nothing if not paranoid. "Single Ladies" isn't a reinforcement of the joys of being single (which are many and prurient) it's about how if one is single, one shouldn't enjoy it. One should grab a man/woman/go kart asap so that everyone else (your ex, your boss etc) can see that you are living life to its fullest.


I'm not making much sense, but considering on Tuesday I decided that Hunter S. Thompson is my new role model (bring on the peyote) I don't see why I should. Except to tell you that it's all lies, and that the biggest lie has the biggest Booty, and her name is Beyonce, a happily married woman, telling Single women, and also single men (from the first date, its a countdown to engagement) that they aren't anything without someone else. I get that having someone else by your side can make you stronger, but I object to being considered a lesser person because I am single.

Ugh. I've come off as a crazy today.

Go ahead and do whatever the fuck you want. Put a ring on it. Put a fucking Christmas tree on it for all I care. Your life, not mine.

Just don't send me any messages about Valentines Day. I'm too busy listening to The Smiths and filling the stereotype of paranoid cynical bitter bitter single person doomed to a life with cats.


ugh. that came out all wrong because i got rabid.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

the motorcade will have to go around me this time

do people ever ruin songs for you? maybe on purpose, maybe not. but maybe sometimes someone does something that means that every time you hear something you used to love, you get thrust back into something you were trying to run from. and it fills you with a dull rage, because it's like being robbed. so maybe you start to keep your cards close to your chest, because you're older now, you can't be so obviously selfish and petty about such a thing as music. but you make a definite effort to stay away from that piece of music for as long as possible, trying to forget about how maybe it glued you back together, one night in Angel Place after a long hard day at work, trying to forget about how maybe someone ripped it off you one hot day in some European country that you hated. you try not to talk about music anymore, in case people disagree with you that Editors give the best sonic hugs, that Idlewild are among the most intelligent poets in music, that The National will always be able to brighten the dull moments, that BRMC will always lash out at the darkness. you try not to say these things, because you know that they're considered wrong, but you don't quite know why. you try to like Joy Division and The Smiths, just like everyone else, but you had a drunken night with Mr Morrissey where he showed you all the jokes in his songs while Ian Curtis poured the whisky, so maybe you don't understand those bands the way you should.

and then it happens that you're lying on the floor, listening to music because trying to call your university and speak to areal person isn't working, and you realise that those memories aren't really you, aren't really the memories of someone you know. and you press the mental delete button, and for the first time in ages, listen to a song you used to own. and you realise that it wasn't ever about ownership. it was about feeling like maybe you'd found somewhere you fitted. and then it occurs to you that maybe you fit somewhere other than an album sleeve.

and then you fall asleep to the song on repeat.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

and it starts

one thing i neglected to think about when i was busying angsting my way around europe last year was university. i chose to do this on purpose. now however, i find myself re-enrolled at dear old UNSW. i'm not overly thrilled. and i've run into a few hurdles.

1. i've been given an academic referral for the year 2008. possibly because i was in europe at the time and thus didn't appear in any classes. so i have to trudge to unsw and meet with an academic advisor so they can sign off on my classes and keep me on a short leash in order to up my GPA.
2. i need to remember which lecturers i hated and avoid them. all i can really remember is that Dr Walker was annoying and Dr Olbus was awesome. maybe my notes are around here somewhere.
3. i don't really wanna go.
4. every member of my family over 40 is repeating themselves when it comes to advice. i can practically sing along to the lecture my grandmother gives me.

i have a funny feeling that i'll be spending a lot less time in the pub than i did in 2007. i really just want to get this over with and go back to Berlin.

maybe i'll do german studies - if JFK could speak it, so can i.


edit: the academic advisors i'm supposed to see don't exist!!!! or maybe they've just moved on to bigger and better things than unsw. wouldn't be hard.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

conducting verse in a moment of silence

I'm hiding. There's been an invasion. I may not survive. There's a seriously scary number of highwaisted short shorts and giggling. Oh, the giggling. It's high pitched.

With The Faint pounding in my room in an (unsuccessful) attempt to drown out the sounds of my sister's birthday party, I get to thinking about birthday parties, age and the way things just ain't like they were five years ago, when I turned 15. And also about how truly awesome The Faint are.

Mostly everyone I went to school with is turning 21. There's been a few parties (one particularly memorable one where i ended up at the wrong party and had a lot more fun with people i didn't even know) and there's going to be a few more. Most of them are at seedy bars with seedy bar tabs and shit hip hop music, people who haven't seen each other for months, and are only there because of the wonders of Facebook (I'm still resisting and will continue to do so. stupid facebook) and then there's the speeches, which all follow a specific formula - "I have known so and so for (insert number) years. We have had our ups and downs, including the time we (insert hilarious drunken anecdote) and ended up in (mildura/memphis/jail). I can honestly say my life is richer for having (insert name) in it. Here's to many more years." There's drunken applause and cake that nobody eats. An obligatory tequila shot is downed by the birthday person, and usually by me. (Libby's 21st was the best. Beer, jumping castles and no speeches. Ace)

And then there's the themed parties. These are Fun. My friend Kat is having a childrens dress up themed party in a week or two. I'm going as a cowgirl, because that means I don't have to buy anything (yes, I own a plaid shirt, a denim skirt and boots that will pass as a chic cowgirls. I also own the coolest cowboy earrings based on Mr B-Flow of The Killers killer blue suit) The reason themed parties are good, apart from the dress up factor, is that they give you something to talk to people about; "Oh, you're a Jedi? How's that working out for you? Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realise you were actually a Sith Lord, fancy that! Do you get your robes at the same place as the Jedis? Oh, you do. Well. I'm getting more punch, you continue the empire building!"

(Although, I once went to an L-themed party for my friend Laura. Nearly everyone was a lapdancer, except for me as Librarian and some guy as Luke Skywalker. Which lead to the mose embarrassing drunken pash ever. Ergh. Han Solo's probably a better kisser. Invite him instead of Luke.)

But I don't really get the point of 21st blow out parties in Australia. we're allowed to do pretty much everything by the time we're 18. I mean, I guess I get the whole "YAY I made it to 21" thing, but it jsut seems kinda. I don't know. Not tacky, but. Well, I guess it's part of the whole Americanisation of Australia thing that I don't like - coca cola, bad spelling, emo music and 21st parties.

The other thing is that I recently had someone (mw) say to me "Yeah, and you'll be 21". Like this was either a bad thing, or some sort of crime. And I guess ageing is a sort of crime. You only have to look at Madonna's botoxed armpits to know that. I'm rather pleased that I'm getting older, because it means I'm getting further and further from my rather embarrassing teenage years. So I suppose I do have something to celebrate when I turn 21, if only to shove it in that particular person's face. Not that she's invited to my party, which will be a decadent evening at The Shakespeare in June, if you care to come along. Bring your own cucumber for the Pimms.


I've switched to Idlewild's really really early shouty punky stuff. I can still hear my sister squawking. I wasn't part of a gaggle of girls when I was 15. I was part of a sulk of sissies.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

yoga is just another word for death

something has gone terribly wrong. i appear to be in the midst of some sort of metamorphic phase. no longer do i skulk around, pale and blobby like a revenge blancmange. now, like some sort of healthy blancmange (is there such a thing?) i rise early, and potter along to this curious thing called a gymnasium! i do a circuit! i drive through the pain! i put up with perkiness! i hobble home and have a half an hour swim!

clearly, something is very very wrong.

actually, i'm not that healthy. i still consider a toasted vegemite and cheese sandwhich the pinnacle of australian breakfast foods, and i still toss back the white wine on a regular basis. and i still do things that a normal person would perhaps not do.

like bikram yoga.

bikram yoga sounds like a fantastic idea on paper - its yoga in a very very hot room, so you sweat and get flexible. brilliant! so off Lizzle and i tottered, to Crown Street. i was sunburnt, in a sort of jackson pollock styled way - splashes of red and blisters across my shoulders. it was about nintey billion degrees.

the first sign that perhaps this wasn't what i thought it'd be was when we had to take off our shoes and leave them on the steps. perhaps it's because of that sex and the city episode where Carrie has her manolos stolen, or perhaps it's because i really really dislike that whole patronising western orientalism thing (Edward Said explains it better), but i began to feel nervous.

the next thing that was wrong was all the people in the underpants, with smug grins belying their flexibility. this threw me off so much that i stumbled over a cat. i won't go into the women's changing room, suffice to say i hate changing rooms with a passion.

the third thing that made me slightly suspicious was the smell of the bikram room. it smelled like old sneakers. there is no way this can be good for you. we took up our places on the floor, and waited for the lesson to begin.

it took about fifteen mintues before i had decided that this was a dumb idea for dumb self righteous granola eating freaks (....had i had granola for breakfast that day? oh dear) the man in front of me had a placid expression on his face as he rained sweat. the boy behind me was wearing the tiniest pair of hot pants a man has ever donned and i really should have been focusing more on whatever pose i was supposed to be doing, but i didn't. and then i got dizzy, and then i had to leave to be sick.

the instructor made me come back. she announced we had another half an hour to go. we twisted and stretched our way through a whole bunch of poses that i think were created purely to amuse onlookers. we did some weird breathing thing that is probably more harmful that she made out (i think the word de-tox is code for dangerous) and i struggled to remember who was the bastard who suggest this to me in the first place. my mind searched and search and then i realised.

rosemary. my old boss. queen of eccentric women over fifty. ugh. i would have to hunt her down and turn her carcass into a wall hanging. or at least put her in this room with me adn see if she could really do it, or if she'd been lying. the thermometer read 45 degrees. i was going to drown in my own sweat, and possibly the man in front of me's.

then it was over. we made a hasty retreat after talking to a couple of other people, who said things like "this is my third lesson - it doesn't get any better!" cheerfully. i was filled with a dull sort of rage - why do people think that putting themselves in pain is a good idea? how does it make you a better healthier person? nggh.

Lizzle wants to go back, in a few months after we've done some 'sane' yoga thats not in a hot room. i'm not so sure. to me, bikram yoga seems like the sort of thing one does just so one can say they've done it. like heroin, except without the constipation.

anyway, in order to recover from the bikram yoga and new age music (gross) we went and saw Revolutionary Road. which was fantastic and beautifully put together in everyway. i bet Kate and Leo wouldn't do bikram yoga. they probably go hiking.

so. in conclusion, the new years resolution to get fit is slowly but surely happening. the new years resolution to try and do less things that will make me angry, as well as trying to do less things that could be bad for me, well. i'm working on that. maybe by next year.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

student, or foodstuff?

madeleine: i just feel that i'm not quite...good enough. not as a human, but as a..
father: as a blancmange?
madeleine: well. i was going to say equity, but blancmange makes sense. oh my god. i'm the blancmange that's been dropped and spat on before being served to the nastiest person in the restaurant!
father: you're a revenge blancmange!!
madeleine: and what are you?
father: a suspect christmas pudding that's been in the corner for a while!!!

and that's the story of how maddie got over herself (FINALLY!) and went back to unsw. except she can't get her old password to work, so she has to ring them and explain tomorrow morning.


everyone keeps making comments that make me feel like i should be considering last year a mistake. it wasn't. it was just a hilarious outtake to the reality that i'm supposed to be living in. you can't tell me that skinny dipping in a geothermal pool in iceland was a mistake. nor was drinking with emma in edinburgh or dancing like a nutter at we are scientists, or living on soup for three weeks. that's not a mistake. that's an experience. or something.