Monday, March 23, 2009

blue ribbon morning

The best way to start a Monday, and thus the week, is by having fresh coffee, kookaburras on your veranda, that gentle autumnal sun and reading an article on the kinkiness of Leonard Cohen.

I'm working on a long long piece about The American Dream In Australia (with capitals) and another slightly shorter piece about The Death Of Social Interaction Due To Internet Dating (also with capitals) for my friend's 'zine. I'll probably post both on here sometime this week.

In between worrying about my Philosophy assignment (David Lewis over thought everything), laughing about my English essay (seriously, this is the 6th time i'll have written an essay on Death Be Not Proud) hating History (ugh ugh ugh) and loving International Relations (makes me feel like James Bond gone intelligent), things are awesomely busy.

I've also been asked about the whole "wearing skirts thing" so I'm trying to work out a way to profile some of my wardrobe without seeming narscisstic. Perhaps I'll give them all names and send them on little missions.

And I'm working on letters and postcards, which are lifelines. Postcards can make someones day, and if you haven't sent one for a while, or been sent one, what's stopping you?

(if there's no one to send you postcards, let me know and I'll fix that immediatley)

Thursday, March 19, 2009


one minute i'm safely ensconced in the denseness of Henry Kissinger and thinking that maybe taking more international relations subjects will quell my tendency to behave as if i'm in a really good james bond film, or a really bad episode of spooks. the next thing i know, i'm dancing crazy like to Mates of State and joining twitter. perhaps its a reaction to having to read over a hundred pages on how Pax Europa went down the drain, or perhaps it's just more attention seeking. whatever. it's there, i'll get bored of it in a week. so will you.

it's also sort of an experiement to see if i can save some money - i spend too much time clogging people's inbox with inane texts during the day. because god forbid i actually talk to anyone at unsw.

also, the dry cleaner thinks i'm a loony. i may have accidentally thrown Kissinger at him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

clutch at the threads

you might have noticed that the piece i wrote on sunday about visiting a friend of mine in jail has disappeared. this is not because i'm ashamed of what i wrote, or that i'm worried about influencing her case. i've removed the post simply because i am not comfortable with exposing myself the way i did. i haven't written anything that raw and hurting for nearly two years, and to suddenly find myself doing so again made me a bit awkward. the internet is a great tool for self expression, but it's also a place where you can be relatively anonymous, which is comforting. it's like going into a forest and letting off fireworks - people in the next town can see them, but they don't know who let them off.

and i'm not saying that what i put on this blog are things that i usually want to deny. but it's definitely a hyperbolic version of my life, done so on purpose to make myself more interesting. what i wrote on sunday wasn't. it was straight out of my tired little head, bypassed the filter. it's probably one of the best things i've ever written, if the reactions i got where anything to go by.

maybe the removal says that i'm not comfortable with being honest, or with self exposure. whatever. all i know is that i promised myself that i would be easier on myself, and exposing myself to people i know, people i don't know, with the words the way i did on sunday wasn't an easy thing.

but the Beckett quote at the end, that still stands

"Dear incomprehension, it’s thanks to you I’ll be myself, in the end."

Friday, March 13, 2009

what an anticlimax

yay. Friday. I still have a cold, and I'm exhausted, much like everyone else. Still, I have survived the first week of university. I was going to give you a playbyplay account, but you don't really want to hear about how I nearly reignited my War with a certain professor of english over Nancy Mitford, so I wrote some lists on my bus ride today. :)

Things About University That Are Awesome
1. Vegan Muffins - even though I have an overwhelming desire to be rude to vegans, I'll still eat their muffins. Which are roughly the size of my head and three dollars. And truly great.
2. UNSW is a hide out for celebrities! Sort of! Kurt Cobain is in my history class and eats weight watchers fruit bars cos his mum makes him! Sean Biggerstaff is in my English class and hysterically flamboyant! And me!
3. My International Relations Lecturer has an ACCENT. I think he's Italian, but he sounds Russian at times, which is a funny thing for someone lecturing extensively on the peacemaking processes of the 20th Century.
4. My Philosophy lecturer appears to genuinely believe in Drop Bears, and plays blues music while we're waiting for the lecture to start. His name is Michaelis Michael
5. The Socratic Society is back on!!!! This means beer and talking and debating and reading things I don't understand! And singing the Philosophers Song!
6. Overhearing this:
Male 1: "I think it's cos I'm a geek."
Male 2: "Nah, it's cos you're a virgin."
Male 1: "The two aren't exactly mutually exclusive"
7. Intellectual Stimulation. Um. I think.
8. Being the top geek in my English class
9. Listening to Preak Faeans and Clues (my two new music finds of win) as I wait for stuff. Totally hardcore intellectual indie snobbery.

Things About University That Are Not So Awesome
1. early mornings, which apparently have something to do with reality. I'm an Arts student, reality doesn't come into it.
2. Bus Queues, where the business students are mean and rude.
3. Bus Trips, where the business students are mean and rude and seem to think their textbooks deserve a seat more than I do.
4. My History tutor has no sense of humor
5. My Philosophy tutor has no sense of humor
6. My IR tutor has no sense of humor and thinks he's a motivational speaker
7. My English tutor has a sense of humor but likes John Donne and Aldous Huxley
8. My English class is in the Electrical Engineering Building
9. My Student ID Card photo looks like I'm trying to run away from the photographer.

Oh, and another thing that sucks? I keep running into people I went to school with. Most of them are in their final year. "I remember you being fairly good at procrastinating" said one. Hah.

It's Friday night, and I want some gin.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

paeleaolithic part i

So. You're all waiting for my obligatory grumpy "ugh university wah wah" post. you can keep waiting, it'll turn up on Friday night. (Because I have no life and no money and therefore no Fridaynights, just a sort of dark Fridayafternoon.)

But in the meantime, I'd like to inform people that
1. I am desperately hungry, but my mother is a food ninja with a masters in guilt tripping.
2. So am I, it turns out. Which makes sneaking food impossible. No one is as good at making themselves feel guilty as I am.
3. I have a cold and my head is full of cotton wool being beaten by a brick.

But the worst thing is that, at the moment, my gymnasium has taken to playing Ashlee Simpson. over and over. It's only a short matter of time before I'm doing sumo squats to the sounds of fall out boy. When that happens, I promise I'll get someone to video tape my destructive rampage and interpretive dance to express my rage. Why oh why did I decide that this would be the year that I finally sorted things out? And why oh why did my health decide that yes, ok, right, let's help you do that by developing some sort of bizarre syndrome that is really only manageable if you're fit and healthy?


Oh, and I have a mountain of History reading to do for tomorrow morning. Paleaolithic History, hardcore.


edit: ohmygosh, i've turned into whiny Faye! SEE

now im wondering if Lizzle's boyfriend "The Beard" secretly likes Dinosaur Jnr.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

toys are for twenty year olds

It's dark and raining. I was going to post this very long article/opinion thing on internet dating, the loss of touch, being nice to people and how much peril society is in, but my computer has gone apeshit and decided that the internet isn't an option. So I'm using my brand new toy - which is an Eee PC - the teacup poodle of computers. Tis smaller than a laptop but bigger than a blackberry. I feel rather Mi5esque, when I can get it to work. The rest of the time I just feel incompetent. I thought my father was buying it for himself, but it turns out its a 'yes, we're pleased you're going back to uni, but we'd like it if you did some work' present. I'm supposed to use it for lectures, library sessions, running a betting pool etc.

But I can almost guarantee that all I'll use this for is blogging from obscure locations. Like atop a mountain somewhere. Because why enjoy a moment when you can blog about it????

University tomorrow. The horrors of having a student card photo taken. Having to remember how to find my way around and avoid various people. The joys of philosophy and history. Goody.


Lizzle, Charlotte and I went to a Tattoo convention this morning. People with more than 3 tattoos are mean bastards, unless they're from New York or Berlin. I can say this because I have 3 tattoos and am a relatively nice person. (sort of) But seriously - having a flaming skull tattooed to your neck may make you 'hardcore' but that doesn't mean you have to be mean to me. I could have a flaming skull tattooed somewhere really painful, and you don't know what kind of bitchkrieg I could release on yo' ass.

Not that I do have a flaming skull. But still. Bitchkrieg. Be Warned.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

madness in great ones must not unwatched go

By the time June Twenty Seven rolls around and exams for this semester end , and I pass out incoherent intoxicated and indecent on my bedroom floor, I will have completed my SEVENTH study of Shakespeare's Hamlet, and my NINTH study of the works of John Donne.

Never before have my academic commitment issues been so apparent.

If I get anything lower than a credit for English this semester, you all must beat me up and leave me by the wayside with a copy of the collected works of John Donne stuffed down my throat, and Hamlet stuffed somewhere else.

Although, maybe this time I'll be able to put forth my theories about Donne and Hamlet and be taken seriously. Last time I tried to suggest that Hamlet is all about food, my tutor's face went a funny incandescent sort of aubergine. Which was rather awesome.

What prompted all this was the arrival of my textbooks. The Metaphysics & Epistemology ones are massive and daunting clocking in at over 500pages each, whereas "History: The Human Web" is a piddly 300. And my International Relations book appears to be mostly Churchill and Stalin porn, which brings back fond memories of the year 12 history classroom, where I seceded from MLC and started my own Single Party State, known as "The Ultimate Party State Of Maddie." Anyway. Looking through the English Handout, I realised that I knew most of the poetry, that I could in fact quote most of it from memory and shout about how most of it was pompous rubbish. This occupied me for about five minutes before I grew bored, went and stood in a bucket and caused some havoc. No, seriously. Major havoc that then lead to a minor rebellion where we nearly threw my mother down the stairs. I don't know. It's a bit blurry and I blame the muffins I had for desert. It's all over now, and I'm now being distracted by the fact that I get to study Endgame (for the first time, how odd) by Samuel Beckett. This is my favourite Beckett play, and I'm trying to work out if it's a bit pathetic to have a favourite Beckett play. Still, I suppose I have a favourite William Beckett song, so a play by Samuel Beckett must be slightly less pathetic. Or something. Good grief Madeleine, how can you have verbal diarrhoea when you're typing???

Le sigh. Apparently my return to the hallowed halls of university means that I'm maturing. Like some sort of dubious cheese, I suppose.


My younger bother, Germ, is playing a techno version of the Star Wars theme. Which makes me want to go and steal a Millennium Falcon from somewhere and cause mischief. I'll settle for listening to The Robot Ate Me , who are rather lovely and make me want to drink the apricot tea that's been languishing in my pantry for quite sometime. Whilst wearing my lovely new dress from Arielle St Lawrence's line Fancy Clothing, which is available here. I'm currently coveting the Happiness Jumper, hint hint. And I'm still struggling with Nancy Mitford, who is lovely but one does tire so of silly women who are apt to faint at Gare Du Nord. They ought to have found the lovely little patisserie around the corner and had a madeleine or two. With hot chocolate. That cures all, don't you think?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

oh, balls

I'm not sure how it happened, but in between updating this blog's url (it's no longer - the '-' has gone, so it's now which i'm anticipating will cause very small annoyances for people who aren't me) to deciding that I should put away my laundry, I've somehow managed to get a Girl's Aloud song stuck in my head.

I don't know, ok? It just sort of happened? One minute I was trying to think of a (witty) way to tell Chris Stokes that the opening of his stand up sounds like one of the Charlie Brown grown ups, the next this was in my head?

Sod it, it must be bed time.

barbarism begins at home

I do believe that I may have made a small mention of the event that is my return to UNSW. I didn't want to make a big thing out of it or anything, because you know, thousands of people do this university thing. Hence the university becoming such a meat machine. And thus losing its (admittedly somewhat tenuous) grasp on common sense.

I had an inkling, a feeling in my water (one day we'll have to talk about what that phrase means.) But it all came to a head a few days ago, when I found myself at a party, dressed as a cowgirl. Talking to Postman Pat, his Black and White Cat, and Wilma Flintstone.

I was depressingly sober, and thinking that it couldn't really get any worse. I was surrounded by people I'd never met before, all of whom appeared to be studying Law and dressed as fairies. Except for Postman Pat, who's studying Resource Economics, his Black and White Cat who's a Biology and Sanskrit student, and Wilma, who's in Social Care. Apparently Wilma goes to UNSW. Everyone else appeared to go to UTS. I was drinking guava juice. And dressed as a cowgirl, did I mention that?

Postman Pat was trying to explain to me exactly what Resource Economics is, but struggling. I was about to suggest he stick to delivering the mail on time when Wilma asked if I was returning to UNSW. I replied in the affirmative and let off a firework, just for fun. She ignored the firework and asked me if I knew about O Week and Week O. "The calender been attacked by a dyslexic again, huh?" I asked, remembering the Great Debacle of 2007 when something similar happened.

"No." said Wilma. "No, O Week is Orientation Week, when the university has lots of parties and sumo wrestling. Week O is Week Zero, which they've initiated because the University Admin wanted thirteen teaching weeks, but the academic staff wanted fourteen. So they compromised on Weeks Zero to Thirteen."

There was a stunned silence, broken only by the happy machinations of the Black and White Cat as she frolicked in a bowl of sushi.

"So we still have fourteen weeks of teaching, but we're starting from zero?" I quavered.

"Yep. Something to do with numbers being relative and the positive fact that students are starting from zero." Wilma stood, and winced, rubbing her leg.

"What's up with your leg?" asked Postman Pat. Wilma explained that whilst tearing around UNSW Campus, she had cut her leg on a door frame. She'd had it stitched up by a 2nd year Medical student though, so she thought she'd be ok, and was going to have some more punch.

Postman Pat and I stared at each other for a bit, an ominous feeling spreading through my body. I tried letting off another firework, but it did nothing to assuage the doom. Postman Pat told me it could be worse. "They could be using the word 'facilitate' at you."

I nodded, cursed my sobriety, and tied a firework to Fairy Real-Estate Law's wings. Later that night, the Black and White Cat drove me to my grandmothers. I fell asleep to the sounds of Patsy Cline, forgot about the doomness of UNSW's 0-13 policy and waited for March 2, when classes were due to start.

Until Thursday. Thursday is a day of notoriety in my family. My mother is famously Arthur Dent-ian about Thursdays (she can never get the hang of them) and poor Lizzle often can't wrap her head around them. It was the same for me this Thursday when I logged on to my UNSW Email (soon to be changing to Z Mail. Which is apparently exactly the same thing, but with Z's) There was my course handout for Metaphysics and Epistemology, which I think has something to do with John Donne and Bullshit (which means it's going to be exactly like most of my previous education) I perused the handout, noting that UNSW was saving paper and the planet by asking me to print my own handout. And then I noticed the lecture dates. There was no mention of the infamous Week Zero. There was Week 1, which apparently started March 9. Hrmm.

A quick shufti around the UNSW website revealed nothing except more faffing about ZMail. Finally I found the Week O program. Turns out there are no actual classes in Week O. Instead, one can attend lectures on how to write a paragraph, how to win at an interview, and how to fill out your parking permission slip for UNSW.

I realise I'm making mountains out of molehills, but I'm irate for several reasons.
1.) Irate is more or less my default state.
2.) I'm bored. I'm very bored. No one will employ me as I'm over 18 and have to be paid decently, and I'm bored and ready to be doing something again, even if that something is being annoyed by the UNSW English Department again.
3.) Why do people have to over complicate things so much? Like, really, why? As if O Week and Week O wasn't confusing enough! Why can't we just start classes and if you want to learn how to write a paragraph, you ASK someone. UNSW has a perfectly good student help desk. Or they did, back in 2007. Maybe Voluntary Student Unionism has obliterated that.
4.) Why is everything online but hidden from the prying eyes of people who need to know about it?

Ugh. So. Really. What I could have taken five words to say is that "UNSW Classes start March 9." Which means that I have seven more days of doing very little, except reading Herny Kissinger for my International Relations course, because if I'm going to do this university thing for the third time, I'm damn well going to do it well.



Apparently Wilma's stitches came undone the day after the party.


In addition to Kissinger, I'm reading Nancy Mitford's "Pursuit of Love" which is rather twee. I'm listening to lots of Sons & Daughters because they're rather awesome. And I'm eagerly awaiting my latest etsy purchase, a lovely spotted green dress that I can't wait to wear.

Oh, and I've got my glasses. Stuff is slightly less fuzzy.