Wednesday, November 28, 2007

... cool

i got home from celebrating my birthday with friends from sticky - we went to taco bill's on russell st - and i found these waiting for me, cooked by my very thoughtful housemate!

how nice is that?

big shoutout of thanks to all my friends and family, without whom i can confidently say that i wouldn't be here today. God bless all of you in every way!

Monday, November 26, 2007

... quite by accident

i found this link to a blog about "a day in the life of a female marine". i find the u.s. marine corps to be quite interesting, not least because of my affinity for matthew reilly novels but also because they seem to be invested with such... a gravity and mythology that the military in australia (notwithstanding the s.a.s) doesn't really seem to have.

i can't say i really thought much of the movie g.i. jane but it also gave (one would assume, not knowing any better) something of an insight into the navy s.e.a.l.s... i've happened on this blog before and not read much of it but maybe i might take a bit of a longer look at it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

... thoughts on blogging

it's easy to go m.i.a. when you're blogging - life happens, things distract you, and the actual act of blogging (agonising over oxford commas aside) really does take up time. normally it's like time you spend with a friend - you don't always notice the time passing until for a little while you don't hang out with them and you realise trying to make time again to see them can be difficult. (i'm not sure that makes sense but it's early and i'm still eating my coco pops...)

i was thinking about this after reading a friend's blog, who confessed that life had intruded on blogging. to blog only quality or to blog sub-par thoughts? that was the question.

i don't know what i blog. sometimes i'm filling in space but sometimes (most of the time) it's stuff i can't keep inside me. i need to tell someone and in the absence of people being around to tell (or not wanting to burden my housemate with all my random thoughts), i blog.

why do you blog? why do you read blogs?

Friday, November 16, 2007

... is it ok...?

one of my favourite cds from years past (about a dozen or so) was by artist max sharam, called a million year girl. it had a few hits and was nominated for a bucketload of arias. i just liked the songs and the more i listened to it the more the songs got into my head. no surprises there, of course - if you spend time filling your head with something or other, some part of that something is bound to lodge in there.

thing is, the music didn't lodge like a sesame seed or a piece of spinach or that coppery-cellulosey bit in the popcorn that gets between your teeth and gums that you spend hours worrying out with toothpicks and tongue. it kind of dissolved into my brain, rising unbidden like an athena when i least expect it. there are a few albums and songs that do that for me... not heaps, not really, but there are a few.

i remember seeing advertising for max sharam's one-woman show in sydney last year or the year before and doing a bit of googlesearch found some reviews and articles about them. she played the melbourne international comedy festival, many gigs around australia, a ten-year-reunion gig for the album in '04, and the gig i saw her perform at at wollongong uni in 1995 (i think). (i caught a very late train home to my place in penshurst and was terrified i was going to be beaten up by a bunch of drunk guys who got on the train at thirroul and got off at sutherland...

a million year girl is a nostalgic touchstone for me. i don't listen to the album very often now but when i do, i feel pulled bodily into the past, into the feelings and emotions attached to the years i was living when i was listening to the album. merril bainbridge's album the garden, fiona apple's tidal, the doug anthony all-stars' icon and henry rollins' the boxed life all form a part of that internal soundtrack from then, glued together by canasta, Bible study, youth group, poetry and loneliness.

i suppose it's not a good thing to go back to the thing that causes you pain - but we're all human beings here, i guess, and hurting ourselves seems to be part of the package, whether we like it or not - but i believe that's a big part of what makes nostalgia bittersweet: that it's not just bitter...
and what im trying to say isn't really new...
it's just the things that happen to me
when im reminded of you
like when i hear your name
or see a place that you've been
or see a picture of your grin
or pass a house that you've been in
one time or another
it sets off something in me
i just can't explain
i don't often go looking for it - usually something will set it off and there i'll be, standing in 2007 but reliving ten years earlier, or twenty (if it's the pet shop boys), or twenty-five (if it's the smell of wattle)...

Monday, November 05, 2007

... freedom! forever!

remember, remember the fifth of november
the gunpowder treason and plot
i know of no reason why the gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot

it's been many, many years since cracker night, or bonfire night, the end of so many stacks of old fence pailings and tree branches in the middle of winter, the last vestiges of empire day... many years since i had a hole burned in the back of my dressing gown as a child by some other child's sparkler... i knew of guy fawkes through old agatha christie novels, through the rhyme, but nothing of the man himself, not really. v for vendetta - awesome graphic novel that it is, great film as far as it went - sparks some ideas but doesn't really say that much about guy fawkes himself.

tomorrow is the melbourne cup public holiday here in sunny melbourne; i believe i'll use some of the day to do a little internet research on guy fawkes and see if i can't glean a few more special seeds from his story that might yield a harvest in my own.

v says in the movie, "people shouldn't be afraid of their governments - governments should be afraid of their people". i understand the intended meaning, i think, but i think that so much of the failings of governments around the world come down to that: governments fear those they govern... no - scratch that - governments fear those they rule. all around the world so many of those in government are the greedy and the afraid... and how long does it take for the idealistic to compromise their beliefs until one day they fall into one category or the other?

it is an interesting idea to consider coming up to the next federal election. the last fit-like spasms of the parties trying to win over the electorate before the end of the month is painful to watch. perhaps we should draft people to serve as members of parliament - like jury duty - instead of electing them.