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.


Amanda Atkins said...

Yay, can't wait for Sunday! Your family sounds amazing. Congratulations on all your success. I had no idea there was a fictional book on Egon Schiele! I have to read it! I thought of some books you might like which I will suggest to you now (you may have read some already):

1)Holy Skirts by Rene Steinke (a fictional story of the real Baroness Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven, a Dada artist who had humble but erotic beginnings in Germany, moved to France with her first AND second husband, then to New York City where she met her third and final husband, then fell in love with Duchamp, all the while making her own outfits, getting poetry published, and modeling for the dada artists).

2) My Darling From the Lions by Alice Denham (It took Denham ten years to get this published, mostly because she was a woman. She was the only woman to ever pose in playboy with a short story by her appearing in the same issue. This novel is based on the downfall of her first marriage in the early 50s: though in real life she was a writer, she changed the character to be an artist and her husband to be a musician.)

3)Sleeping With Bad Boys by Alice Denham (this is her autobiography and it is AMAZINGGG! It is about literary new york in the 50s and early 60s, how she got her writing published, and all the men she slept with along the way - mostly famous.)

4)Henry and June by Anais Nin (my favorite book of all time, so iconic.)

5)A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett (a short story written in the late 1800s. It's so beautiful and personal and really captures what it's like to be 9 years old.)

6)St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell (BEST SHORT STORY COLLECTION. EVER.)

7)The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Bradbury (tells two stories first-hand: Paloma, a 12 year old planning to commit suicide, and Renee, the poor yet secretly ingenious concierge who lives in Paloma's expensive paris apartment building. Bradbury is now writing more novels, each one telling the story of a different person who lives in the building! I'm so excited.)

8) The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (a very quick read. Interesting because it is almost biblical in its feel and the time period it came from. It makes it seem kind of magical, like a strange message sent to us and printed in a book).

Sorry to bombard you! But I think these are all books that you would really enjoy. :)

lizzle said...

It's Sunday,

Jeremy said...

I never did the naked thing...ok maybe i was naked under that towel but that doesn't count at all
sure you can "publish" it.