Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Small Churches

It is with small churches
you must always reside.

Because from their tipped rooves
you will observe the delicate
feeling of trees, their leaves
alive with a white heat.

Because you will taste the hopeful sight
of laughter needing more laughter.

Because you will realise
that this body is for truth
for folding between the lines.

Some will ask:

with small churches,
must you always reside?

You will answer: Yes.
With small churches.

brain in a frilly jacket

Recently I've had to buy a stack of "work" clothes so that I pass as a real grown-up in the day light hours. It has been the most torturous process.

As soon as shop assistants smell my indecision, they hover around incessantly, throwing item after item into the change room forcing me to try on every possible combination of the tulip skirt (marked down and 'totally your style') + 10 different (but ultimately the same) tops.

Of course I have to politely try it all on and give some kind of nice feedback, ranging from "I love it!"  to.. "ummmmm yeah......." while actually thinking, "Wow I couldn't look more like a deformed Christmas decoration if I tried".

One particularly attentive shop assistant last week threw a frilly jacket at me saying "all the lawyers and doctors that come into the store buy this"... and then when I said I felt kind of strange in it, she was like "But you see everyone will think, oh man she looks like such a princess, and then you'll open your mouth and they'll be like "OMG she has a brain!".

Ahhhh yes. I had forgotten that was the ultimate goal.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Bat Man

Being a journalist has its moments, like giving a voice to the voiceless, and opportunities to witness historic events and meet fascinating people.

But one of the things I enjoy almost daily is learning about subjects you never would otherwise.

Today, it was bats. Specifically, the threatened grey-headed flying fox, which you've probably seen/heard/smelt in Sydney's Botanic Gardens.

The Garden Trust has permission to blast them with loud industrial noise so they fly away to who knows where and stop killing heritage trees. As of today those plans have been postponed.

Today's fun was interviwing a man who dedicates his time to bat advocacy. That's right - he speaks up for bats.

Fascinatingly, the poor little fellas have been having a rough time of it, and can't find enough food. So they're underweight and not big enough to be tagged as part of the relocation program, hence the delay.

For a good five minutes I was captivated.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lichen and strangeness

photo: graustark

Shy, in the willing gardens
black words wander and
bearing all they stop
with their stinging bards

(the white water)
the usual overwhelming
bliss glares and ripens

there is lichen in my hands
under night’s naked skies

I wrote this by reading a German poem and writing down what I felt the words were saying, based purely on how they sounded.  So if it makes no sense, that is why. But I kind of like the weirdness. In his Little Red Writing BookMark Tredinnick has a little treatise on strangeness. He writes:

"There's something strange about the best writing. No one, you think at first, ever spoke like this. But soon, in what is odd, you recognise the sound of authenticity."

I like strange writing that flows from instinct, that isn't over thought. I wish I could do it more often.

Monday, June 14, 2010

What happens when the tsunami's gone

photo by Ashlee

Ashlee's written a beautiful post over here on her last day in Banda Aceh. Worth a read.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A growing reputation...

I just got called cheeky by Bob Carr.

What is it with me and former Labor power men?

Friday, June 11, 2010


I just used some fandangle random number generator here to draw the photo giveaway.... and Ben is the lucky winner!

So the teacups photo is all yours.

But because the other photos were still going begging, I decided to use the random number generator to give them away as well, based on your preferences. So, for photo number one the random pick was Josh, for photo 2, the pick was Soph R, for Photo 3, Bonnie. So yay lots of winners. I'll get in touch with you all to give you your photos.

Lucy and Kim you are winners in other ways.... like winning in life, in general...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

$81 and it's goodbye old friend

Last week, Dad sent me an email out of the blue with a link to a piano listed on ebay for 99 cents.

I casually clicked, only to realise he was selling my childhood piano (sob).

It sold for $81 - that's $19 shy of what we paid for it back in 1994 when we bought it from the local primary school.

She might have been three semitones flat and permanently dusty, but she had character. My only consolation is she's been shipped off to be played and loved by another family in Bankstown.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Man Bread and the ails of consumerism

I accidentally bought Man-Bread this week. I didn't know it existed, until I read the packaging mid- vegemite spread.

I knew Woman-Bread existed, because I normally buy it. I like Burgen Soy-Lin, which is marketed as being good for a woman's well being. But this week, it was out of stock. So I picked up the next closest bag, because it had the words "barley and grain" on the front. But I obviously didn't read the fine print (actually I think I read the fine print and not the large print - somewhat of a theme in my life, really).

The grey and black packaging should've really clued me in. But I don't really buy bread based on the colour of the plastic.

Anyway, apart from posing the obvious question: "What has society come to that even our bread is now gender specific?", I just thought I should let you know that the bread was really average. The barley made it taste kind of sweet, and there were weird gritty bits all through it (and not good seedy gritty bits). Disappointing. Men, you need to buy the Woman-bread - it's heaps better!

The other silly thing is that the things they list as defining Man or Woman bread are actually things that are good for all people... like protein, Iron and Omega 3. In fact, Omega 3 is in both breads! So it's a complete farce.

But I'll keep buying my Soy-Lin.

And one other thing. I was at the hairdresser this week, and she told me that I should stop my shower after shampooing my hair, to dry my hair, and then condition. Because otherwise my hair will be too wet to absorb the conditioner. It was real nice of her to offer this advice. But I decided that life is too short (and winter too cold) to stop my shower half way to dry my hair, only to wet it again.

So in conclusion: man (and woman) cannot live on bread or conditioner alone. And man (and woman) should look beyond bread and conditioner for meaning in life. Both will only disappoint.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Go on... you know you want to

Don't forget the photo giveaway ends on Thursday at 10pm... so now's the time to enter.

Besides, I'm loving hearing about all your endearing "quirks"... :)

Tom and Jo // Big Scary

The Australian band, Big Scary are doing some cool stuff.

They're in the middle of a little project based on the seasons. Each season they're going to release an EP with three tracks, which will eventually be brought together to become the Four Seasons Compilation to be released next year.

The awesome thing is they're offering a free download each season. You can download Autumn here.

I'm a bit slow on the uptake, so only just saw their Autumn video clip - but it's so good. Such a lovely video and a great song. I love this kind of soaring pop, it's impossible to dislike. If you like the video above, Falling Away is beautiful too.

Come later this year, they're supporting Midlake.

Monday, June 7, 2010

yelena bryksenkova

I love this Russian-born American's sketchbooks (perhaps even more than her art). Yelena Bryksenkova is her name. You can check out her stuff here. Via Design Sponge

Friday, June 4, 2010

go back outside, you're bringing water into the house

All this rain is bringing back memories of being seven years old and walking to and from school in the rain (resplendent in green polyester raincoat).

My brother and I would stick our leather school shoe-clad feet into the gutter to create a "dam wall" for the water to gush over, and then have leaf races, where you each put a leaf into the water and see whose gets to the nearest dead end first. The fun part was running alongside the gutter after your leaf, trying to keep up without tripping. And the inevitable "that's not fairs!" when something got in the way of your leaf which had been winning.

Squelching home with sodden socks was one of most treasured moments of childhood defiance. Mum would hit the roof. We would just smile.

I miss being a kid.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The great photo giveaway.

I was feeling the love after picking up my new Harrys Desk bag today... and thought, you know what, I should give away something on my blog.

As luck would have it, four mounted photographs have been sitting here idly in my room since last year's craft fair.

They're all pretty different, so hopefully there's something for everyone. If you win, you get to choose which of the four prints you'd like. And I'll probably work out some way of getting rid of the other three as well. But right now my brain can't figure out how to make sure they all go to people who want them, without just allocating them to people... and thus destroying the thrill of chance.

So... to enter, comment here telling me which one you'd like. But also to make it interesting, you have to tell me two strange facts about yourself.

Go forth and enter! I'll randomly draw the winner next Thursday, June 10 at 10pm. So you have a week to enter. Don't be shy - perfect time to de-lurk.

Here are the four photos (in real life they'll be mounted on A4 black board).

ONE. - I know it's a bit creepy, but it looks great against the black background. Taken at Carriageworks.


TWO  -taken on Nick's goat farm at Lithgow


THREE - taken at Terara, just outside of Nowra.


FOUR - no real story here. Just pretty cups.


Life in a Straight-jacket

This is probably the most obvious thing I've ever written, but I need to get it off my chest: academic writing is such a pain.

It's so ironic that the medium we use to think about creative texts is so hampered by convention, that the creative presentation of thoughts about those texts becomes near impossible.

It also bugs me that because academic writing has to be so formal, it fails to mirror the organic patterns of thought. All that referencing makes a mockery of real life. I mean in real life, we're constantly referencing people, ideas, songs, moments, images without caring to stop and denote them all.

I understand the copyright/intellectual property issues, and the need to create a universal language of sorts in order to be internationally consistent. But referencing and the so-called "objective" academic writing style is so overbearing, and fails to acknowledge that all thought is a conversation that flows quite randomly at times.

Having flirted with the idea of pursuing an academic career, I'm quickly realising that I really dislike how removed from reality the academic world is, and how it tends to ham-string human expression no matter how post-modern the pedagogy (and that's coming from someone who went to UTS, where we were sometimes encouraged to write ficto-critical-make it up stuff).

Having said all that, I think the world of ideas is really important, because it all trickles down eventually. But far out, it's frustrating living in that head space for too long. You just want to talk to people, throw some ideas around, be real about what we do know, and most of all, what we don't know. Well at least, that's how I feel mid-essay right now.

Oh and don't get me started on the restrictions of news writing....

** I love that I wrote this entire post without referencing anyone, like Foucault, or Bourdieu. hah take that redundant french theorists (hmmm).