Monday, September 28, 2009

failure and fitzgerald (part one)

from here

Mr Fitzgerald, I wish you and your buddies (a Mr H. Stearns and a Ms Media Studies) to relinquish me from your grasp. I'm dying to tell everyone about the shockingly terrible yet oh so wonderfully bad book I read called "The Scotsman" (complete with accents!) but every time I think I've finished writing about your love of scotch and failure, you point out something I've missed.


"At any rate, let us love for a while, for a year or so, you and me. That's a form of divine drunkenness that we can all try. There are only diamonds in the whole world, diamonds and perhaps the shabby gift of disillusion." (A Diamond as Big As The Ritz)

How can you not love a sentence like that?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

don't look too closely

(photo from smh, by Chris Button)

We woke to Armageddon, which was much more red than we'd anticipated. I pulled the covers back over my head before deciding that if the world was ending, I wanted to annoy my parents one more time, so I headed downstairs and hijacked the kettle before them. The sky was reminiscent of the red hair I used to have, and the wind was a Baskerville hound. It was terribly dramatic for six am. So I went back to bed, and dreamed that Tom Baker and David Tennant were having a light saber battle in the dust. If this is how I go, dreaming of Dr Who, then it's probably not all that bad. I thought. Eventually I decided that even if it was the end of the world, I should probably go to my classes and make a real go at a final last stand. By the time I left the house, the sky had gone from neon orange to a sherbet colour. The wind was ferocious, but me being me, I lifted my head and said "PAH! This is nothing, for I have been to Iceland, and ye gods, wind that can knock you over when you're carrying a 15kg pack is real wind! This is sissy wind!" Before narrowly avoiding being sent to my death via car-splat. I must remember to put my glasses on before I leave the house. The walk to the station was like being in a spaghetti western - my hand kept straying to where my gun holster should have been, except I had chosen not to wear it that day. It clashed with my polka dot skirt.

By the time I was in town, every second person I saw was wearing a face mask. I myself was busy coughing to get the dust out of my mouth, unsuccessfully. It was eerie. And then of course, human nature ruined it when I heard a man demanding to know when his office would be cleared of the dust. The wind whipped around my shoelaces, and I read some G.G.Marquez for my American History Class.

By one o'clock, the sky was clearing. Alan told me about some of his neighbours, who've locked themselves in the church, praying for Judgement Day. Someone had organised a protest to do with Climate Action and Change. The wind was still roaring, tangling my hair in impossible knots. We talked about witches and Freud in gender studies, the image of scared old men cutting the breasts off women sending chills down my spine. I gave up dealing with the library and bought the textbook I've been trying to use for my Fitzgerald essay. By the time I left uni, the sky was dark, my lips were chapped, my eyes dry, all of me dusty.

I felt much better. I think it's because finally something happened that wasn't my fault, or my doing. Or maybe it was the threat of the end of the world that made me get over myself a bit. Maybe it was the brilliant article on women and tattoo aesthetic that I'm reading, or the fact that there are only four more media tutorials that I have to suffer through. Whatever. The point is, we woke up to Armageddon, but we go to sleep with one more day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

things haven't been very good lately.

do you ever feel like there's no one on your side? that all the nods and half grimaces people offer you are just courtesy while they're waiting for you to stop talking? that people are just waiting for you to trip up, circling like vultures? yeah.

i don't think you could ever accuse me of being grateful.

Friday, September 11, 2009

wait, is that a ninja hook?

I'm not entirely sure that I know any adults, or that any of the people I know are truly capable of being considered adults. I'm including myself in this sweeping statement, by the way. And by adult, I mean I can't ever imagine not laughing at inappropriate jokes or Freudian slips. Paying bills before the final notice. Writing essays a decent time before the due date. Not eating chocolate for dinner, or beer for breakfast. Not wearing shoes that I know will make me cry the next day, but are beautiful nonetheless. Not having pointless crushes on people I'll never meet. Being resigned instead of outraged. These are all things that I equate with the maturity that I don't have at present. And don't really want to have. I take myself too seriously, far too seriously. You might have noticed. But in the past three weeks, life went a bit odd and I ran out of effort. Sod being an adult.

One of the odd things was that I received an HD for an essay that I wrote the day after it was due. I was very embarrassed about this, as it encourages bad habits and also makes me really confused - the essay was rambling, had no point and insulted the French. But my professor liked it, and I'm not really in a position to argue with him. This lead to me considering French history for next semester, as it seems I've picked up a History sequence by accident. And that means I should probably make an attempt at the French language at some point. I'm still an English major, it just means that eventually I'll be proficient (hopefully) in English & French Literature. Knowing me, it'll be obscure medieval literature written by goatherds, and I'll have to learn Olde Englishe.

I was pondering all this, along with my usual pondering about why academics get such little respect when suddenly I was on holidays. Which really didn't make that great a change to my life as I've had an essay on Revolutions & Women hanging over my head all week. It's nearly done, I swear. Keeping with the trend, most of it is me accidentally insulting the French, I think. I like the French, honest. They believe their own hype, which is something I wish I could learn how to do. Anyway, my head was going at a million miles an hour, and then Emma rang.

This was a Big Deal, because Emma had just arrived back from Edinburgh. Where she'd been for a year. Without me. I last saw her in September, when I had arrived back from Iceland at midday, caught an overnight bus that stopped in Birmingham for 5 hours for no reason and dumped me in Edinburgh very early in the morning. Where Emma was. It was awesome and windy and if we'd had more time, we could have taken over the city. I love Edinburgh, its my kind of city. So I'd left Emma there (reluctantly) and set about annoying the beejezus out of poor Lizzle for a year.

And then Emma came back, and we had to celebrate. We did this by taking over the back room at Badde Manors - we being Emma, Lizzle, Beard, Libby, myself, and some wine. There was much laughing and shouting and more laughing and I remember thinking at some point that these guys are family, that part of growing up is making a new family for yourself. And that possibly, this is one of the few good things about growing up. It's being able to have people there who will tell you when you've got falafel stuck between your teeth (although they're laughing hysterically). It's not telling someone that they've managed to throw ice cream into their wine glass. It's drinking rose shiraz out of tumblers and not feeling pretentious. It's trying new things (like vegetarian food for Beard) and knowing that if you don't like it, the people you're with will be ok with that, even though they'll tease you good naturedly about it forever. It's wandering up and down George Street eating gelato and shouting about politics. It's seeing a hole in the station wall and wondering "wait, is that a ninja hook" and going on a flight of fancy. It's standing on a traffic island while everyone in the restaurant has to listen to you shouting your own reworked version of the classic "I'm on a Boat". It's finding the people who don't mind that you're you, and that you have a tendency to refer to your disagreements as "states of cold war". It's realising that you don't have to be out on a Saturday night, you just need a Doctor Who DVD and a bag of clinkers and each other to have a good time.

So in the midst of all the noise on the drive home, with Brandon Flowers singing in the back ground and Libby realising that she had driven past my house, I felt that perhaps growing up is overrated, that adult maturity is a concept I'll always be chasing, and I decided I didn't really care. I'm just relieved that there are a bunch of nutters with me, telling me to stop thinking and open the next bottle.

Libby, wondering why Beard is taking so long, Me in the midst of laughing, Emma being suave and Lizzle clinging to the pole for balance. We're on a traffic island.

and with that somewhat soppy post, i hope i've captured the promise spring is bringing. we're all feeling full of potent potential, and if i ever get this wretched essay about Revolutions and Women finished, you might see some of my sewing potential documented on here.

um, is the new header ok?