Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the long tail

For the past two nights, I have slept on the sofa. This is not because the mess in my room has finally rebelled and set up its own single party state (down with vaccumming!) but because we have a new family member who is very little, and very needy, and very easily chilled. Because it's my fault we have this new family member, I have to look after her.

Her name is Lottie. She's a German Short Haired Pointer, and she's totally wonderful. Her colouring is mostly Liver, but her legs, chest are whiteflecked and her tail is half white. We're all in love with her. Besotted might also be a good word to use.

My mum, mum's mum and I went to pick her up on Sunday, from Maitland (I found her for sale in the NSW Trading Post, which is also the same way we found Spike). We had a choice between her and her sister, but there was something about Lottie - she's got a narrow face that seems full of quiet intelligence and mischief (I could be projecting). The car trip home was slightly unnerving for her, having to sit next to me as I tried out various names "Juno" (sounded too much like no), "Beans" (seems more like a spaniels name, for some reason) "Bones" (a boy dalmations name, for sure) "Sally", "Peggy" etc. I think she threw up just to get me to shut up. By the time we found somewhere to stop on the highway, she'd eaten it all and gone to sleep. So I went to sleep too, until Pymble. By Concord, she'd thrown up again (For non NSW residents - about an hour and a half after the first vomit came the second)

The smells at our place were instantly interesting, although the prospect of a nap on my lap even more so.

Eventually she met everyone else, and responded positively. We came up with Lottie over dinner, as it has a sort of Germanic sound, and she's a sort of Germanic dog.
At night time though, she's a hound worthy of the Baskervilles. It's probably not much fun being left in the laundry with no one to play with! Mum was getting up at 5am to check on her (and the pool, her other baby, at least until Lottie fell in the pool and was pitiful) So Wednesday night at one am, my parents coerced me into sleeping on the lounge room sofa, which is far more comfy than my bed, so that I could get up to check on her. We gave her a hot water bottle, and that seems to be a success. Last night she came inside (because I am too softhearted) and slept all night without going to the toilet inside!
She's very very bouncy and playful, and has already mastered the concept of fetch. She has a stuffed giraffe that is the best thing ever, after food. When she eats, her big floppy ears fall in the bowl. It's likely that she'll never grow into her ears. I think she's going to end up being about 30kg, and at the moment she's 5kg, so she's a sixth of the way there! Her paws are huge and she hasn't worked out how to use them.
Lottie seems to think that both my parents are nutters, so I guess she's already a true Barton.
I'm trying to take as many photos as possible of her, but she chewed my camera cord this morning.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


My brother, sister and I started our exams this week - hers to get her in training for her School Certificate, mine to finally catapult me out of first year university, his to catapult him into first year. It is incredibly bizarre to watch this little boy, who I remember visiting in the hospital when he was a few days old, talk about chemistry and Spartacus and Maestro - he writes beautifully, and wrote a story about a man and his books that I'm trying to convince him to let me "publish" on here. The NSW Higher School Certificate is, in some ways deeply problematic in that it tends to try to be too modern, and leaves gaps within one's education (which is presumably having an effect on the quality of university level english courses, but then everything is having an effect on that) It's been difficult for him this year, what with the emphasis on ranking and the exhaustion that the final two years of school bring. Still, Jeremy has plodded through it with his usual puppyish charm and humour, and I am deeply proud of him, and feel that I should say something like "he's matured into a deeply sensitive sweet intelligent young man" except about fifteen minutes ago he rang past me, stark naked and giggling. He does that alot. He also dances as badly as me, and encourages me to dance often.

I'm also quite proud of my other sibling, Claudia. About this time last year she decided she wanted to go on her school's Classics tour, to Itlay and Greece. Instead of demanding that our parents pay for the entire thing, she got herself a job at MacDonalds and paid for a large portion of the trip. She went for three weeks this October, and I gave her all my leftover spare change from when I was in Europe. I'm proud of her for being so independent and determined, as well as far more interested in her education that she is in boys - she's resisted private school culture (in a more positive way than I did.) Claudia is by far the most intelligent of the three of us, and certainly the most ambitious. So I was surprised to hear that she had returned from Europe without conquering it and declaring herself Supreme Dictator for life. I should point out that upon hearing that it took Hitler 7 hours to invade and conquer Belgium, Claudia remarked "that's a bit inefficient." Unlike Hitler though, Claudia has a sense of humor. Most days. Well. For a part of most days. Around dinner time.

And as for me? I HAVE SURVIVED THIS SEMESTER. There is one more exam left, but that's November 11, so I have a few weeks to revise. My American History exam may have ended in me accusing the question of being stupid, but really. You can't talk about The Americas as a single entity - there are too many social, economical, cultural, geographical and political differences for any of it to be homogeneous. Hah. I totally learned something. I thought my killer final sentence of "what about CANADA!?!" was a winner. And then in Gender History today I had a small meltdown because none of the essay questions had any real focus, so I decided to accuse the Medieval Christian Church of using Binary Thinking to inform their Gender Constructs, because they're all dead and can't subject me to their bizarre maternally fixed exectuations anymore. Seeing as that was all about 500 years ago. There were probably too many capitals in my essay, but its DONE.

Ugh, I'm exhausted.


Culture News: Mum and I went to see Bright Star which is a movie about John Keats' and his lover Franny Braun. I had to pretend to be an English teacher for some reason, the movie was abit too long and there was little or no soundtrack which was unnerving. I didn't really like it that much as I was tired and grumpy, and also I'm a cynic, but I thought Ben Whishlaw was perfect as Keats. The cinematography was divine, and I wanted the cat, Topper.

I'm reading The Pornographer of Vienna, which is a fictionalised account of one of my favourite artists, Egon Schiele. It's kinda tough going, but beautifully imagined. Chaucer was great, but the Olde Englishe got to me after a while. Next up is a book with a very long name about a Russian Gambler. I'm determined to read over 100 books by March 1 2010. (which is when uni goes back)

Also, I have a job for Christmas! I'll be working with Emma at Virgin Records. I'm excited, and can't wait to get started - I'm already fantasizing about what I'll spend my first pay on.

Oh, and that super super exciting news I mentioned might be happening?
It's definitley happening....on Sunday.
I can barely keep my mouth shut, but I promised I would.
It's going to be brilliant.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


There are four days of term left, although there's a considerable gap between day three and day four. Stupid media exam. I am so glad that I never have to take another Media subject - it made me miserable, and we had a very horrid incident with a group member who too busy pretending to be a member of MGMT to bother to do any sodding work. I'm proud of myself and Justine (the other group member) for standing up to him and telling our tutor about the unfair circumstances. It wasn't "dobbing" or "tattle telling". It was us standing up and defending our work, and also, unfortunately, having to defend our gender against a silly little misogynist.

Just because he fits in girls jeans, doesn't mean he respects women.

In nicer news, I have decided to do something proactive-ish about the culling of upper level english classes, and started writing my very long reading list for the summer, starting with Chaucer and ending...well, I have no idea where. Any suggestions are welcome.

books that were in a pile until i knocked them over and spent a day reading them all back in summer 07

I might have something super super exciting to debut next week.

While you're waiting for that, go see "Whip It". I love Drew Barrymore so much.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Mother: Who was I reading about in the newspaper?
Father: Is this twenty questions?

sometimes, living at home isn't that bad.


Me: Erm....
VideoStoreGirl: OH! TWILIGHT! This is such an awesome movie!
Me: Oh, really?
VideoStoreGirl: Uh huh- The story is so romantic, and the acting is awesome, and the direction and (I tuned out until I realised she was looking at me expectantly)
Me: Yeah, I hear its up there with Fellini.
VideoStoreGirl: Who?
Me: Nevermind. Can I have the dvd, I have a Twilight party to go to.
VideoStoreGirl: That's such a cool idea! I'm going to do that for the next movie - which is out November 17th, by the way.
Me: ................thanks.

I don't know whats worse - that the conversation wasn't the weirdest or most awkward conversation I had last week, or that she didn't know who Fellini was and she worked in a video store.

Can we still call them video stores when then now primarily stock DVDs?

Oh, and for the record? Twilight made me insanely angry. Angry in the pants.
And drunk in the liver.

Friday, October 9, 2009


I'd like to apologize for being so selfish. I am not a valid member of society – I contribute nothing to your precious sodding economy and I am very sorry about this. Clearly, I am not anything worthwhile.

I am a piss poor arts student with an interest in LITERATURE – remember the written word???? Before it got viciously hijacked by your liberal vales and blessed economy????

And as such, I know nothing, and will never know anything that will further humanity, and that negates my right to want change within my society.

Don't tell me I'm being over dramatic. Don't pat me on the head, and don't patronise me. I have had enough. I am sick of the way I am treated, I am sick of justifying myself and I am sick of being told I'm over reacting. This is MY LIFE, I think I'm allowed to be upset about it.

All I wanted was to study WORDS, stories, legends, to unearth meaning in them and to maybe, one day, share that with people. I wanted debate and discussion. God help me, I WANT TO THINK.

Why does no one want to do this anymore? We spend our money on trends, we worry about how we look more than we worry about what we think. Newspapers are becoming tabloids, and I know more about the KARDASHIANS, of all fucking families, than I do about the Literary Canon.

I suspect this is all a giant conspiracy to dumb us down so that we don't notice that our civil rights are being impinged upon. And if you're wondering what this has to do with Literature, then I'll remind you that words formed our world and our understanding of it. You probably know more about Shakespeare than you think, and he definitely has a more positive influence on society than The Hills. Yet the number of times I've heard people dismiss Shakespeare, Chaucer, Keats, Byron, Rimbaud is beyond counting. “It's too hard and it's outdated.” you say.

TOO HARD?!?!?!!?!?

Psscht. It's only hard because you are LAZY. It's only hard because Literature doesn't have a right or wrong answer – it requires you to form an opinion and make your own mind up.

God forbid, in the world we live in, that we should think for ourselves. Why bother, when we have gossip magazines to tell us what to think.


I'm going to move into a library and never come out again.


And another thing. My university has cut out half the English and History courses for next year – and you don't do “English” or “History”. You do “Arts”. I am so upset about this (I cried twice about it), because I have been looking forward to doing upper level Literature for YEARS and now they've scrapped it. I'll be doing all this general stuff, and I'm sure it'll be thrilling, really, because the staff at UNSW are FANTASTIC, but I wanted to learn about more than that, I was told that I'd be able to specialise, that there'd be more innovation. Except apparently that doesn't get students in lecture theatres. Its so fucking depressing, that there are three media courses on economics, countless business courses and just FOUR English subjects next semester. Sod the John Howard years – I don't give a shit about how wonderful his economy was (and look, was it really that grand if we've just had a recession?), devaluing education was the dumbest and most destructive thing he ever did.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


(photo taken in Berlin, by me)

I have been back in Sydney for a year.
My hair's a different colour.
My book shelf is near collapse.
It's as windy here as it was in Reykjavik.
I'm still unemployed.
And I still don't know if I believe in posterity.

(street art in downtown Reykjavik, taken by me)

But I felt I ought to mark the date anyway.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

quiet please

So sometime next week, things might return to our brand of normal.

(from here)

There are 67 unread emails in my inbox. That aren't spam. I've lost count of the spam.
My fringe has stopped being a fringe.
Yann Tiersen makes music for when I'm too tired for words.
Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan is kind of wonderful.
My new circle skirt makes me feel like making cupcakes.
And there are three weeks of term left.