Tuesday, 31 December 2013


Resolutions for the New Year
(being very basic but with a lot riding on them and a good deal flowing underneath)
1) Work hard.
(don't give up on projects or neglect to start them. don't let anxiety - that black, dead star lodged over your heart - stop you from doing what you need to do. remember that your survival depends on your work ethic. you create your own stresses and hold yourself back. don't look down on doing it for the money)
2) Be kind to yourself.
(make appointments. keep them. follow up and follow through. a confirmation of nothing wrong is better than not being sure. pain has a source. it's wise to have contingencies. the anxiety isn't clinical or pathological, but the depression might be)

This will be a good year. That is my resolution.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Girl Anachronism: A Brief History of My 21st Birthday

This post is long overdue, but finally the right mood hit. I was meant to write about seeing Amanda Palmer in September, then about turning 21 barely two weeks afterwards. After the Palmer show I missed the perfect time frame to write everything, when it was still all fresh, and I couldn't bring myself to write it without that euphoric clarity. Then I decided to combine the concert post with my birthday post, but when I got back there was an essay to write, and then another, and so things were neglected. But now, here, at almost 3am and over two months later, I've found the perfect state to finally write this blog.

I will start, chronologically, with the concert.

It was Amanda Palmer's rescheduled tour with the Grand Theft Orchestra. My friend G and I booked out tickets in I think September last year, when Amanda was due to play at the beginning of this year. Then illness hit her life, and the tour was postponed. It slipped almost entirely from my mind. Somehow I lacked the enthusiasm I'd had when I first saw Amanda Palmer, in 2011, at the tail end of my very first week of college.

Before I had developed what I can only call a obsession with Amanda Palmer, I had intended to study psychology. I made the decision at the age of twelve or thirteen, with the knowledge in my mind that, while an area I remain deeply fascinated by, it was merely to be a source of income until my writing career took off. I maintained this conviction until a few months after I had finished high school. I was taking a gap year in isolation, living on the country property in New South Wales that my family had moved to after fifteen years in Brisbane. We were fifteen minutes from the nearest - tiny - town, up a dirt track, with no visible neighbours. I could not drive, and knew no one. I took one subject a semester at the local university to pass the time, and when I was not studying, I watched television. I read Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman's blogs religiously, and immersed myself in their work. I taught myself to write comic book scripts from the sample given in the back of a Sandman comic, and lost a concerning amount of weight in days spent hunched over a notebook, forgetting meals and surviving mostly on plunger coffee and tea. Through the influence of my Holy Duo I realised that I didn't want to spend years studying and then practicing in a field while waiting for success. When I got to university, I chose creative writing as my major. I found a renewed conviction - a seemingly rare thing for a student my age in the first year of their degree.

Mum purchased me two tickets to the Amanda Palmer concert taking place in my first week in a new city, very far from home. The second was to make friends with, she said. The girl I went with has been my housemate since February this year. Things worked out.

Facing the prospect of seeing Amanda again (I saw her in two small performances at my university, in first and second year, but a full-scale concert was quite another thing), I saw my lack of enthusiasm as a signifier of a new importance to my relationship with my idol. Her music was changing, the Theater is Evil record a poppy departure from the puck cabaret music I fell in love with. I was changing too, had changed, sometimes with Amanda's influence, but largely without it. I'd fully come to terms with my bisexuality, something I repressed for years. I got my first boyfriend (and have managed to keep him). I had new friends, and stronger friends, and had let go of a lot of old ones. I had new powers, new knowledge. My understanding of myself and my self-confidence had improved immeasurably. I'd been through the worst year of my life, followed by the worst month.

I decided that this concert would be my farewell to Amanda Palmer. I felt I was able to let go of what she had been to me, and move on. Not forget, or cut myself off from, but to acknowledge a milestone of personal growth.

And then I got to the concert, and all that heavy, mournful bullshit disappeared.

I went with my friend G, her boyfriend J and friend R, and my boyfriend K. I'd convinced K to come along because I wanted him to be a part of something that was important to me. Music is easier to share with him than comic books or art, and Amanda Palmer is more important than most things in my life. G is an incredibly close friend, and her love for the Holy Duo quickly overtook mine (I manage to not be too possessive). J had been at the concert in 2011, before we ever met. Now I think I can probably call him a good friend. Life has symmetry.

The support acts were everything I could want. Amanda Palmer made several costume changes, appearing on stage between acts. Then Meow Meow introduced the Grand Theft Orchestra and they launched from their instrumental opener into Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Nirvana was a big band for K as a teenager, and everything was perfect.

I cried several times, because I'm a leaky faucet these days. I tried very hard not to cry when I took a flower from the beautiful human statue who performed outside the venue. I cried during The Bed Song, and during the cover song they performed during which all the lights were turned off and the audience held hands, chanting "I love you so much". I cry now remembering that moment for its sheer beauty and the way we were all connected. I hope it is a moment that I shall never forget.

 I yelled along to the lyrics of almost every song. I jumped and danced and tried not to hit anyone with my flailing elbows.They performed "Common People" by Pulp and I could barely contain myself. It was an incredible concert, made perfect by the fact that I was there with people I love, who are infinitely important to me. Amanda Palmer remains part of my life, and I shall not let her go.

I cannot recall if it was one or two weeks later, but not long after the concert was my 21st birthday party. It was at my parents' place in New South Wales, a trip which takes approximately ten hours from Melbourne through a combination of bus and train. I have been assured the flight to Taiwan is faster and, no doubt, more comfortable.

I have a tradition of panicking about birthdays. I have a tendency to fear change which can lead to me having an increased amount of responsibility. There are certain pressures I do not cope well with. Milestone birthdays especially do not tend to sit well with me. This time, however, I was even excited.

Family members I have not seen in a very long time traveled long distances. A good many of my Melbourne friends made the long, long trip with me, staying for a week in the guest house (a spruced-up shed) to attend my party. One friend, who I had grown up with in Brisbane and was at least a little like a younger sister to me, traveled the longest to be there. At the fullest point there were I believe twelve of us sleeping on scattered mattresses across the floor of the shed, with thirty-odd guests on the property in total.

I got too drunk at my party, compensating for the stress of spending a week of endless interaction with a large group of people, including relatives with whom I was unable to completely relax. There was a lamb on the spit and a sky full of stars. My brother's band played for several hours, tacking on near the end of their set a rushed cover of a Neutral Milk Hotel song, the words for which they couldn't remember and couldn't read in the darkness. My cousin performed a rendition of 'What Does the Fox Say?' titled 'What Does Bonny Ross Say?', the lyrics to which she and my other cousins hurriedly cobbled together in the living room. My father gave a speech and, much later in the evening, performed 'The Jabberwocky', something he used to do for us frequently as children. K tried to dance with me while we were both quite drunk and we end up falling flat on our arses on the gravel. I had an oyster cooked over open flames, and it was not as repulsive as the last one I'd had before that. I gave a drunken speech and somehow managed not to cry. I danced with my friends My parents danced together, spinning slowly in the dark.

Most importantly of all, I spent the week overwhelmed with love. I still find it difficult to comprehend that I have so many friends who care about me enough to travel that distance and stay that long, just for me. I'm not sure I deserve it. J's birthday is the day before mine, and he spent it there (I made sure he was compensated with pancakes). Most of my friends are at least a little shy, and they all managed a week-long procession of my various family members, as well as the tribulations that come with having a thirteen year old boy (a cousin) around a group of - well, technically speaking, adults. While I know exactly the ones that will roll their eyes at my use of the term, I do feel enormously blessed. I truly don't know how I've managed it, and I wish I were able to show them how much I love them all, and how much I appreciate them.

Many important things occurred this year. Each year, the important things get greater. Moments get bigger, emotions get deeper. That is what it means to get older - the moments that are important have greater resonance, like ever-expanding ripples. Every year, while there are new stresses, there are also new aspects of beauty, new people who become important, new things to do and explore. And I try to be grateful, and remind myself what it all means.

Me at seventeen:

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Some of My Earliest Musical Memories

  1. The house I grew up in was an old Queenslander. The underside housed Dad's shed, full of his tools and the work benches he built himself. The laundry was concreted behind timber slats, and the dark green paint curled and chipped. Redback spiders built their webs in the gaps between the slats, and an unseen insect made cone-shaped holes in the sandy soil. Glass pyramids refracted light in Mum's studio; one red, one dark blue. There was a box of old records and, somewhere in the memory, a record player projecting 'Here Comes the Sun' by the Beatles.
  2. Dad brought home 'Mule Variations' by Tom Waits. We sat around together and listened gleefully to 'What's He Building In There?'. It was characteristic of much of my later fields of interest. When a performance of my poetry I gave a few years ago was compared to Tom Waits, I strove to find someone who would appreciate the significance of the comparison, but was found wanting. Controversially, I still prefer the album to 'Blue Valentine'.
  3. Dad would unwind in the evenings with 'No More Shall We Part' by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, 'Grace' by Jeff Buckley or 'Sweet Nothing' by Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses. These albums bring up complex emotions for me, both because they are of themselves emotionally complex and because of the strange feeling of nostalgia and longing they bring. I listen to these albums with by boyfriend, forming new associations while hoping not to lose the old. 'Sweet Nothing' is that rare thing: a perfect album.
  4. There were, of course, children's tapes, 'Teddy Bears' Picnic' on cassette and 'Surfing With the Seagulls' forever on the stereo. When Mum was out of the house we'd listen to 'Mr. Boombastic' by Shaggy, an album that is, in retrospect, perhaps not the most suitable for children, but my brother and didn't understand what any of it meant. The first album I ever owned was Aqua's 'Bubble Party Mix', given to me at my fifth birthday party. While very particular in my taste growing up I was certainly not very original, but I still have what my parents gave me, and I like to have a soundtrack for the important moments.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Practical Magic

I watched The Craft for the first time last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I want to blow all my money on crystals and candles and books on the magical properties of plants, which is probably unwise as I have at least two bills to pay in the next couple of weeks.

I went through a bit of a 'pagan phase' in school as part of my whole goth/ emo thing. I'm now very much an atheist, but I still really like paganism/ wicca. I like the aesthetic and I like the sense of being connected to everything. I never progressed beyond a superficial interest in the practice, but as I've gotten older I've developed a greater sense of connection with the universe. While I'm not religious, I do think of my self as a spiritual person. 

There is no inherent meaning to the world; we just exist in it, as a part of it, and surrendering to that and accepting it as my truth has been incredibly freeing for me. It means I can focus on what is important to me, and not feel overwhelmed by the future and how significant I will be to the world, because the answer is that it doesn't matter. 

Self-absorbed and selfish are not the same thing.

When I get down, as I have been lately, is when I think that feeling of connectedness becomes lost somehow and the balance goes out of things. It is comforting to think of the concepts of karma and of the universe keeping itself in check, and sometimes when bad things happen I tell myself it all balances out, but the last couple of weeks have made it difficult to maintain that optimism. 

I've been wanting to blog more but it's been hard to think of anything to write about that isn't just how depressed I've been feeling. I think I'm on the up now, but I have to drag myself through a few more feet of hormones before I can be back to my usual, optimistic self. 

I have several job applications to do this week. Hopefully something will come of them and I can support myself a little better. I also need to make more time for art, while also getting my assessment for uni done. 

Mum told me I have too much time on my hands yesterday because I took the time to vote below the line. I'm pretty sure I don't have enough. Or I don't make enough? I would probably benefit from intensely scheduling my whole week, and not just having my uni timetable, but then social things and other stuff come up and I don't know when to start a schedule.

I turn 21 in a few weeks. I haven't decided what that means.

The world shall maintain balance. Something positive will come soon. Tony Abbott will badly stub his toe in public. It will all be ok.

Last picture from my instagram: http://instagram.com/grandmastattoo/

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Sunhead Bowed

In a melancholic pre-menstrual mood and craving closeness to stave off thoughts about someone who doesn't belong to me. In the position where I could fall in love if I let myself but that isn't allowed and I've got one one those already. It's so hard to be specific when they know you on all your corners of the internet but they'll only let you operate in the universe in one way so that's the end of that.

Falling is love is terrifying and I don't recommend it.

I would like to spend a great deal of time learning to make collages and analysing David Lynch films.

Everything is feeling too much for me. I hate the way the hormones make me feel, pulling a blanket of pressure down to press upon my chest and making slipping into death seem like an easy solution. I know it's only a cyclical reaction to the ministrations of my womb but I still fear the day when I am without tethers to the world and there is nothing holding me back. But will I still want to slip down with nothing to latch onto? I barely notice the melancholy when I am otherwise distracted and happy and there is no niggling trouble to be supernova-ed in the back of my mind. 

I should be sleeping but I still haven't put together a handout for my presentation on Blue Velvet at 11am. Norman Rockwell meets Hieronymous Bosch, but I can't help but feel like Andy Warhol's electric chairs are a more fitting image of pre-fab completeness. 

The beauty in the world is today covered by the rotting underneath. It's deep pink lines across the wrists of a girl who is beautiful from the inside out and it's finding stalkers in romance. It's all still beautiful but it eats away at me tonight like sunlight glinting off maggot-flesh.

I'll be back together again in the morning but tonight there is a layer of damp lace between my skin and the underneath and in the darkness it grows mould.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Young Hearts Run Free: Melbourne Rookie Meet Up

A quick snap with Tavi

We few who missed out on tickets to Rookie Day

Getting everyone in on the spirit

My haul from Retrostar Vintage, Polyester Records and the Sticky Institute

Hoe can I express the event that was my Saturday?

Through word of mouth and links and my gift-bag-giving, Tavi found out about our Rookie meet-up. At a little after ten, as a group of Rookies stood together under the clocks at Flinders Street Station wondering aloud whether or not she would actually show, Tavi suddenly emerged from the crowd at the crosswalk and came smiling towards us. She was tiny and utterly human and coming right towards us. Composure was maintained as we made space for her in our circle as we had for each other, but I, for one, was inwardly jumping up and down and making inhuman noises. 

As other Rookies joined us there were beautiful moments of the sudden realisation of Tavi's presence and the hurried reinstatement of a casual expression. 

We all went shopping with Tavi Gevinson.

The most gratifying part of the day was being able to in some way facilitate a beautiful group of people meeting Tavi and being able to chill with her in a non-official-event capacity. It was a wonderful joy to see her conversing with my fellow Rookies and have them be able to achieve goals of having her compliment their craft or to take her portrait. And for those who couldn't join us for that portion of the day, it was still wonderful to be able to hand out gift bags and talk about Rookie and Tavi and meet wonderful new people. It was magically, serenely surreal to walk up Swanston Street with the group and see Tavi having a conversation with one of my new friends. I cannot express just how happy the whole thing made me feel.

At Polyester I tried something my boyfriend does and bought a bunch of cheap CDs I'd never heard of. They are 'Mycorrhizae Realm' by Fursaxa, 'Young' by Summer Camp and 'Where the Messengers Meet' by Mt St Helens Vietnam Band. I haven't had the chance to listen to them all yet, but 'Where the Messengers Meet' is beautiful and atmospheric and I recommend it (although the band's name borders on the ridiculous). We also visited Lady Petrova and Alice Euphemia.

I met so many wonderful people on Friday and Saturday, and I really hope we stay in touch. I've spent the whole weekend not buzzed or on a high but bathed in a soft, warm glow which comes from within and makes the world seem beautiful. I got to fangirl and shop and talk about things I don't usually get to talk about. I got to go on a picnic. I got to wear flower crowns and hang out with people who are ten times more amazing than I am and on average at least two years younger and I got to meet one of my heroes. 

We had a mini show-and-tell at the picnic and I brought Just Kids by Patti Smith. I reminded everyone that we don't need to be Tavi at Tavi's age; some people are amazing, beautiful human beings but don't receive recognition until they are a good deal older than we are now. I feel it's important to remind myself of that sometimes.

To all the people who were kind enough to join me, thank you. You are all beautiful.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Tavi's World: People Care, Things Matter, There Are Good Days

I got back from seeing Tavi Gevinson at the Athenaeum Theater. Her talk was basically a complete affirmation of the philosophy I have developed and my attitude towards the world. 

She spoke about the value and importance of being a fangirl. It was wonderful because I've gotten to the point where even though there's still a lot of frustrating, depressing, infuriating stuff in the world, I still love it and I love people and I get really bouncy and excited about small, seemingly trivial things. Like, I still freak out when a band I haven't listened to for years release new music (TWO NEW AFI SINGLES OHMIGOSH) and I get really excited about pugs and flowers and shiny things and I spend lots of money on glitter and food because they make me happy. And sometimes people tease me about that or give me a hard time, but it doesn't really matter because it won't make me love those things any less or make me less in love with the world.

Tavi signed my copy of The Virgin Suicides, which she'd been talking about in her speech so that was cool. It's a book I only read recently and one I sort-of wish I'd discovered earlier when I had more time for reading so I could devour it all in one sitting. I fell in love with the language and feel of the book in a way I haven't for a while, which was really wonderful. She told me it was brilliant when I handed it to her. 

She's probably the best famous person I have met, from the combination of sincerity, enthusiasm, and also being someone I really idolise. It was also much easier talking to her than to some of the other people I've been lucky enough to meet. She's younger than me by a couple of years (she's the same age as my brother, which is terrifying, in a way) and still figuring herself out, but is still hugely successful, which is enormously validating to me. 

Meeting Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer was incredible, and they were all really fantastic experiences, but also quite intimidating. They have experience gained from years of practice and a solid understanding of the world, which is great once you're there but can also be nerve-wracking for people still figuring things out and haven't aligned their experiences with their beliefs and may yet grow to disagree with the people they now idolise (and by 'they' I of course mean 'I'). With Tavi I can both be in awe of her and feel like we are actually peers and might actually have something to say to each other which will be interesting and not just annoying and/ or one-sided, which is sort-of my fear with some of the older people I idolise. 

I am actually terrified of the concept of going to dinner or something with one of my heroes because I'm pretty sure I would either blather on like a idiot about incredibly banal things, or just make a series of mildly alarming choking noises while covering myself in soup. With Tavi, I feel like we could have a conversation. It may just be wishful thinking, but hey, so is most of my thinking, and that doesn't mean it's inherently impossible.

She told us about her new mantra, taken from a Rookie commenter, which is kind of a summary of how I view the world and the sort of thing I remind myself of when things get bad: people care, things matter, there are good days.

I think it's really important for everyone to remember that and to make it their mantra.

People care.

Things matter.

There are good days.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

I would just like to establish...

... that I bought my Birkenstocks in January or February, because I am a fashion visionary. That is all.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Things Occurring in My Life

Next weekend, I'm organising a meet-up for Melbourne Rookie fans. If you are one of the zero people who reads my blog, and want to come along, the facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/563765947016391/?fref=ts

Uni has started back again. Today is the end of week three. Week three! Time goes too fast. My subjects are really interesting. I get to read obscene novels and be a pretentious wanker, which is all I want from life, really.

I have an etsy shop! http://www.etsy.com/au/shop/GrandmasTattoo It is very productive I swear. (mostly I just need to be able to take photos in decent lighting, which is apparently difficult). 

Was I going anywhere with this post? I don't know. I think mostly I am putting off housework.

I have to do my application for Masters sometime in the next week. That's in addition to my Dad and my brother visiting this weekend, plus organising the meet-up, plus making flower crowns and gift bags, plus going to a Fannibal meet-up, plus going to Tavi Gevinson's keynote, plus writing articles for Gay Geek, plus uni work, plus maybe actually completing a job application, minus all of the browsing tumblr and procrastinating which is what I will probably actually be doing. My greatest achievement last week was doing four loads of washing on one day - including things which probably haven't been clean since April. Hopefully this week I can do better.

In other news, my face looks awesome today. My hair magically reached a nice-ish length a couple of days ago and I'm just feeling really happy and optimistic about everything, despite how much I have to do. Yay positivity!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Nostalgia: Love Will Tear Us Apart

My housemate and I went to the Harry Wragg warehouse sale today. We were shown into the backroom where a pretty girl sat in a shin-high pile of old vintage clothes. We stuck to the fringes at first but suddenly I noticed I had progressed to the middle of the pile, crawling through satin shirts and patterns that never should have been born. Everything in the room was $3.50 and it was like being in a tale of op-shopping from one of the magazines I read, the ones where people who by now have had their turn at their 20's spurting nostalgia for the good old days of Lifeline ties for 50 cents and dead designers in bargain bins.

Imagine if the secondhand clothes we bought came with small brown envelopes with facts about their previous owners and one or two poorly developed photos of them wearing what you've bought. You wouldn't be allowed to open the envelope until you had brought the garment home and were alone in your room. It would be like opening up a secret. The Bargain Hunter's Reward.

Between the Edward Scissorhands negligees and paisley scarves were things which reminded me of my grandmother, who dressed like her art in globulous patterns of rich purples and greens.

The sun was out this morning, before the clouds scrabbled it back in again, eating up the blue to grow fat in its bilious grey cheeks. The wind is cutting through everything and spreading up the coast to where my family can sit in front of the fire. It smelled like sparklers in the street this evening.

I've been reading The Virgin Suicides and it affects me in a way not much else does. I don't get the melancholy with it I was expecting - though that could be due to post-period lack of emotional turmoil - and instead certain passages fill me with an intense momentary despair. The book must be a death sentence for anyone with depression because it is almost killing me, but it is so, so beautiful and one of those books I want to give to everyone I meet. Some bits make my skin crawl because he is a man writing about teenage girls, but not as many parts as I had thought.
I wonder what would have happened if I had read it as a teenager, if it would have altered the way I was back then. Now, it just makes me happy to read, to put down and pick up again. I want to re-read it at a time when I can devour it all in one sitting. It makes me want to write like poetry, and I make myself cat-like content with pale imitation because some things are meant to be perfect on their own.

The photo above was taken last year, when I was cutting my own hair. Things are so much better now, but I still miss that haircut. It was the closest I've come to looking like Karen O. I have too many style icons, too many heroes.

I'm seeing Tavi Gevinson in August, and Amanda Palmer the month after that. I am always inspired to do more, to do better. I feel in a good place now, like I'm always moving forward and getting closer to the life I want, so I can look back and say not just that I've changed, but that I am where I wanted to be. It's nice to look at myself and see a person I wanted to be, even if only for a little while, and not that long ago.

Friday, 12 July 2013

On Self-Indulgence and Becoming

I found an incense stick today in the record sleeve of a Fleetwood Mac album given to me by a close friend's boyfriend because he was clearing out his things and I couldn't take the desk with the map of the world. Bits of shrapnel from other peoples' exes worming their way into my life.
It makes me think of Stevie Nicks' dreamcatcher and the fact that Tavi Gevinson is coming to Melbourne. She's high on the list of reasons I wish I could rewrite my childhood into an amalgamation of '90s tv shows. I find things too late, when they're no longer educational guides for living my life and now just relics of a decade I wasn't cool enough for. I was the Lindsay Weir or the Angela Chase, straight-living kid from a good home hanging out with the freaks but I was still listening to Delta Goodrem instead of the Smashing Pumpkins, then trying to be emo when I want to go back and rewrite myself into Enid Colweslaw's 1977 original punk look.
I found all the good things too late because I didn't know where to look and we had dial-up for too many years. I grew up sheltered in a sweaty Queensland suburb and the best bits of the city were off-limits until I already knew I liked them, instead of wandering in and finding something new, a fresh paradise built from bootleg Twin Peaks videos and brown and orange floral mod dresses.
I blame Brisbane for my late blooming into cultural awareness. The city and its people kept things from me, and I let them. I was too  busy cultivating a well-adjusted morbidity to seek out the things which now curl up in my soul. I tried to hard and now I can laugh too loud at things I would probably have sniffed at then. Sometimes I think about what I would do at fourteen if I found out that the twenty-year-old me occasionally enjoys hip hop. Self-immolation comes to mind as a reasonable solution.
I feel I have grown so much since then, and yet I have always known myself. Some changes happen naturally the way faces shift with age and others have perhaps been more conscious but always I feel I have been moving away from false, from trying to be a different idea of 'cool' and into the truth of myself.
I still enjoy Die Hard and David Hasseflhoff's 'Hooked on a Feeling' more than is probably healthy so I feel reassured that the pretentiousness I know is in myself is well-balanced with an un-ironic love for truly terrible things. I've written before in defense of my love for the awful but I still wish I could look back on my teen years and that I, too, was sassy and cool and full of spunk as a spry young thing. The best characters for young girls and women exist in those films and I feel myself floundering now, looking for a guide and role model over the age of seventeen who is a projection of someone I would be comfortable becoming, and not someone I would have to bury parts of myself to be. I have been seeking such a woman in order to create a costume but the best female characters for the over-twenty set are rarely feminine. I write this now in a man's shirt and jeans that are washed intermittently after three-months' dirt but I still don't want to be anything but a woman.
I still wish more of my wardrobe was mod dresses and pleated skirts but I always end up with more T-shirts bearing pictures of David Bowie Jesus or pizza slices melting with cheese. I still try to construct truth upon truth from a seat of comfort - and comfort is underrated, for feeling like I am completely wearing my own skin is my greatest day-to-day accomplishment.
I wore foundation recently to costume myself and the flawless, painted look was eery. I did not know myself in that false skin. Girls who make their face up each day must feel as though they are deconstructing themselves when they spread on that first smooth coat, erasing each pore's point of difference. More likely they no longer notice, or perhaps never did. To overcome the insecurities of youth I had to become entirely certain that this is my face, and I must love it as it is and so to erase it and begin again is something to run from.
The incense is slowly burning through on the table. I imagine the scent is sandalwood, but I am making assumptions, and do not know for sure.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

July Goals

- Creative project a day
- Etsy store set up
- min. 2000 words on novel
- min. 3 things submitted for publication
- min. 5 job applications completed
- Enquire about N. Melb. craft markets
- Decide study plans for next year
- Regular posts for blog and gaygeek

Friday, 7 June 2013

Let's Talk About 'Skinny Privilege'

So I saw some post on tumblr the other day talking about how things like heterophobia and misandry and so forth don't really exist, which, fine, yes, but on that list was 'prejudice against skinny people' or something similar. And that upsets me.
First up: I am in no way denying the existence of fat-shaming and society-wide prejudices against larger men and women. I'm also not denying that 'skinny privilege' exists - I frequently shop in stores which don't seem to stock anything above a size 12 (US size 8). But being skinny isn't some magic club where everyone is nice to you and prejudice doesn't exist.
I am 20 years old, approx. 5'10" and around 60kg/ 132 pounds (haven't weighed myself in a while, but I've been 60kg for a couple of years). I have to be really vigilant about eating enough, because if I don't I can very easily become underweight. I've been incredibly skinny my whole life. This is not a dietary issue, or an eating disorder, or a fitness addiction. This is Marfan's Syndrome, a genetic disorder of the connective tissue. But most people don't know that. Most people know that I am thin.
Most people assume that I diet, that I exercise, and that I have an unhealthy body image. Many people assume I have an eating disorder. How do I know people assume this? Because they ask me. Frequently, and without pretext.
One kid in high school, whose name I never knew, would frequently come up to me and ask me if I was anorexic. He even, at one point, asked me this while we were in the line to buy lunch. The irony of this seemed lost on him.
My bullies would call me 'Bony'. My friends would call me 'Skeletor'.
No matter how many times I try and politely tell people to kindly not make jokes about my weight, they still do so. When I object, they say 'it's just because we're jealous!' Am I to take that as a compliment? Should I thank you for telling me, with a smile, that my friends resent me for something over which I have no control?
I have built up what I believe to be a defensive mechanism, which is a constant obsession with food - not in a calorie counting way, but in a  'we should get cake, all the time. I want donuts. why don't we have bacon? LOOK I LOVE FOOD'-personality trope kind of way. Unfortunately this does not seem to have stopped people from putting their hands demonstratively around my forearm and telling me I ought to eat more - no matter how many times I insist I eat plenty, no matter how much I refuse to welcome their maternal concern.
Should I be welcoming that concern? Should I shake it off as my friends just trying to look out for me?
I think my friends should trust me when I say that I take care of myself and that my weight is not an issue and, frankly, none of their business.
I've been called a 'skinny bitch' many, many times, both by friends and bullies. This happens often when I am consuming large amounts of food. Sometimes it has come from the same people who encourage me to eat more. What am I to take from that? That I should eat more, but only in private, to hide, ashamed, so others won't resent me for apparently flaunting my dubious gift of having extreme difficulty putting on weight? Efforts to lose weight are frequently applauded, encouraged by every women's magazine across the country. My efforts to prove that I am trying to do what I am told, to eat a lot, are met with the words 'skinny bitch'. Forgive me if I do not take being openly shamed as complimentary. I don't intend to make anyone 'jealous', but nor do I need to hear about that jealousy. Why would anyone think I did?
After years of hating my body, of analysing it for its desirability to men and finding it lacking in appealing curves, of believing it too sharp and knobbly and jutting, I somehow managed to develop what I believe is a very positive body image. Still, I have internalised a great many messages about my body type which I have only recently begun to acknowledge.

  • My response to 'fatshion' blogs and supremely self-confident women like Beth Ditto is admiration. My response to thinspiration blogs is fear - fear for the people who follow those blogs and aspire to my body image (I have a couple of thinspiration blogs following my tumblr. When I discovered the first I felt an overwhelming wave of nausea. I felt afraid and I wanted to cry. A large part of this was driven by the fear that an impressionable young girl or women may see my body as inspiration, which, due to my genetic condition, is literally aspiring to an unhealthy, abnormal body. I don't want that  for anyone.).
  • I assume any woman who spends a great deal of time in the gym to lose weight (even if it is also to gain strength and muscle - unless this is the primary aim) has low self-esteem. 
  • I assume most beautiful, thin women are hiding their insecurity.
  • I am still mildly surprised when I am found sexually desirable, because my positive body image means that I find myself incredibly attractive but cannot yet move past the concept that the majority of society desires 'curvy' women, and thus not me.

I assume these things because they are what I have been told, what 'society' has taught me to believe about thin bodies - and especially thin women. Until recently, I did not really register that campaigns for 'real' women in the media tend to exclude me. I was in denial about the fact that when I was looking at images of incredibly thin women in magazines, I was reading them as 'impossibly' thin, as unhealthy, victims of a culture which forces women to starve themselves for beauty. Somehow I could forget how people may think that when they look at me.  But now, when I read those taglines, I indignantly ask, 'Am I not real?'
Men are not exempt from assumptions based on weight. Think of who is typically cast as the 'nerd' in films and television - there is the overweight nerd, the 'runt', and the gangly one. Thin men are seen as weak, weedy, less potent and aggressive than they 'should' be.
Writing this has made me depressed. It makes me sad because of the way our bodies are policed. It makes me sad because of the way different body types are pitted against each other. It makes me sad because no matter how I try, people can't - or refuse - to understand, and I can never seem to articulate myself fully enough to make them. And it makes me sad because I still can't help but feel like I'm being petty, ungrateful, because I've been told so many times that I'm so lucky to have the body I do - even though this genetic disorder has the potential to kill me - and I've seen the way overweight people are shamed for their bodies and I know I'll never have to experience that.
Just please, don't try and tell me that I don't know what it's like to experience negativity because of my shape. Don't tell me thin people are always portrayed positively. Don't tell me about 'skinny privilege' if that's all you're going to say.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Punk Fashion, the Met Gala and the Perfect Dress

So the Metropolitan Museum of Art has an exhibition called PUNK: From Chaos and Couture and the Gala was your average red carpet celebrity pile-up (there's a slide show here with a bunch of snaps from the event). The red carpet displayed a pretty typical range of hits and misses - though with slightly more OTT eye makeup than usual. There are a few goes at the theme, some more obvious than others, but only one person I feel really got it absolutely perfect: Carey Mulligan.

[Image from perezhilton.com]

So why is this dress basically the most perfect thing ever? Because of the dress Liz Hurley wore to the premier of Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994. The infamous Versace number epitomises punk's influence on fashion. It even has its own Wikipedia page.

[Image from partnoveau.com]

Mulligan's Balenciaga dress subtly references this number while also being extremely elegant and sophisticated. A little black dress captures with one safety pin the entire history of punk's influence on fashion. When I came across the picture of Mulligan while flicking through the slideshow I was so, so excited - yes, perfect, yes, she totally gets it, this is amazing. And while that probably says more about my sad interests than anything else, it's still probably the best fashion moment I've seen in a long time.

It's just a pity it seems to have gone over the heads of so many.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Dork in Disguise: In Defense of Crap

Confession: unless you are referring to a Batman character or a Harry Potter book, I am probably only pretending to have any idea what you're talking about. I'm good at sounding like I know what I'm talking about by picking up scraps from the conversations of hipsters around me and vague references in articles I read on the internet, but my knowledge has no depth. I'm a superficial sponge for fragments of culture, and while I talk big, I'm still more likely to be sitting in my room  watching Pretty in Pink for the gadjillionth time than going to that French movie in that art-house cinema. Yes, I do genuinely take an interest in that stuff, but it's not fun

A woman in my poetry class today was talking about actress Jennifer Coolidge and her role in Legally Blonde (it was relevant to the class, I swear). The woman was trying to remember another film where she plays a stepmother, and I immediately, and extremely sheepishly, asked "is it Cinderella Story?". Yes, obviously. I made my awkward 'Iamsuchadork' face and people laughed, with one woman at my table declaring me 'busted'.

I would like to be able to defend this knowledge, to mention the fact that I watched the film with my late grandmother and has particular memories tied to that, or make up a story about it being for a 'class', but that would be denying the fact that I just like really crap stuff. I like bad movies. I like donuts and pizza and McDonald's hamburgers. I collect plastic dinosaur toys. I own a 'Best of Duran Duran' CD. And not just like: I love this stuff. I mean, I really cannot tell you how excited I was when I discovered Die Hard 5 was going to be a thing.

I embrace high culture and the arts. I read sophisticated literature and go to art galleries and listen to legitimately good bands. But that stuff, even though I'd never give it up, just doesn't make me happy in the same way as Starship's 'We Built This City (On Rock'n'Roll)'. Daniel Clowes makes amazing art but Kate Beaton's Fat Pony is my happy place. 'Good' art and high culture make me think, and that is so important, but sometimes being able to not think is important too.

I'm sure I can pass quite well for an elitist Melbourne hipster, and I'm pretty sure that's what plenty of people take me for, but scratch the surface and you'll discover I am actually a super massive dweeb. I don't spend my time alone reading Foucalt (who the hell reads Foucalt for pleasure, though), I spend it running around the kitchen pretending to be a velociraptor (fun fact: my computer just suggested 'appreciatory' as the correct spelling for velociraptor. really, computer?). I have long ago embraced my status as a huge dork, even though I still pretend I'm super cool when I meet new people (I mean, I am super cool, but, like, not that kind of super cool).

So here's to loving stuff which is awesome but also totally shit. Here's to instant coffee and buying a cake from Coles for an afternoon snack. Here's to synthesisers, all the time, in all the songs. Here's to every film Bruce Willis has ever made. Here's to ridiculous webcomics about butts. Here's to the first album I ever bought myself being by Hilary Duff. Here's to Supernatural marathons and still reading terrible teen novels at twenty years of age. Here's to awful. Here's to, secretly, beneath the surface, being a massive, massive dork.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Supanova Article

I wrote an article for my uni's student magazine which I have just realised is already up on the internets:

What's a Supanova?

I think they cut a chunk of what was there, because it looks much shorter, but I'm not sure. Anyway, doesn't really bother me. The important thing is my face is on the internet. Obviously.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

No Rest for the People Who Don't Rest

It's been a weird, busy week. I've had essays and (uni-related) blogging and social things and things I'll hopefully get paid for if I can actually get them finished (I'm putting brooches for sale in Quirky and Co. on Victoria St. in North Melbourne). My sleeping pattern has been awful and I think that's contributed to feeling depressed and grandly, existentially tired on Friday. I just didn't want to go anywhere or do anything (why do 9am classes exist? why is that a thing?) but I dragged myself to uni nonetheless. I actually ended up perking up quite a bit during my gender studies class, which is probably weird but I just really enjoy the subject. Then I went down again and up again when I went to and performed at a poetry-and-other-stuff reading. I read a story called 'The Letter Tree', which I've been picking away at for a couple of years now, which was happily well received, and a poem in three parts called 'Eponym'. And I swear my writing is usually better than that sentence, gosh. Then it was down again for a little bit because apparently a household of three women is not enough to ensure toilet paper is bought when there is zero toilet paper in the house, I mean really, then up again because I went out for the night with one of my housemates (who I shall call 'H' for 'housemate,' because I'm not sure if she'd be ok with me mentioning her in my blog) and two of her friends ('F1' and 'F2', for 'friend one' and 'friend two'. Or they can be racecars. I don't know. Why am I still talking).
So! Bar reviews, or something.
First up we went to Naked For Satan on Brunswick St in Fitzroy. There was a queue to get in, and it was the only place we got carded. This is probably the first time in a bit over two years that I actually look like the picture on my ID - about a month after I got it I went from boob-length brown hair to a severe, purple, flapper-style bob, and confused doormen across the country (or, like, two in Carlton). But anyway, the bar: it's got a cool, vaguely steampunk kinda aesthetic, courtesy of the old vodka still which takes up a good portion of floorspace in front of the bar. The place has a pretty interesting history which is not at all pervy or weird (no, really) (http://www.nakedforsatan.com.au/the-naked-story/ warning: it's a pretty download-heavy website. lots of moving things) and I really love the fact that they've based their aesthetic around it. Every table menu have a different b&w picture of some muscly dude's butt, which is important because of reasons.
The bar offers lots of tasty infused vodkas and an easily exploitable small-fancy-food-on-toothpicks system; the idea is you take your food, eat it, keep the toothpicks and take them up to the counter, where you then pay $2 p/toothpick. I can't help but think they lose a lot of money from lost/ hidden toothpicks. Still, it's an excellent price for sizable fancy nibbles. Drinks generally aren't too badly priced, either (comparatively): around $10 for an infused vodka with whatever, and about $15 for a 'tasting plate' of three infused vodkas, pretty standard prices for reg'lah type drinks - although espresso-infused vodka shots are $10, for some reason.
It's a sitting-around-and-talking-loudly type place for sure, no dancing, but that was fine for our purposes at that point. It's been packed every time I've been past and it was packed this time, so it was a miracle we managed to find a table, but the crowd seems to come in waves. Like a rich hipster ocean. Anyway, it was a great place to start the night.
We went from there to some fancy hotdog place which I cannot remember the name of because I decided I wanted fries and my will is sacrosanct. The fries were not great, which I'm blaming on the fact that it was like, 11:30 or something and hardly anyone was around. I do, however, blame them for the insufficient amount of cheese of my cheese fries. I like a ratio of 50:50, please and thank you. Anyway, the ladies who worked there were both pretty cute, so it was ok.
From there we H, F1 and I decided to head to the city to find dance-dance, but F2 had to head home, which is a shame because she was pretty cool. Everyone was cool. They are cool people. Yeah.
We were headed to Cherry Bar at the suggestion of F1, which was an excellent idea because ohmigosh so cool. First up though we went very briefly into Strange Wolf, a basement bar on Collins St (entry via Strachan Lane). We didn't stick around because it was crazy smoky for some reason and F1 was having 'situational asthma', but I very much intend to go back because it was filled with attractive people of an alternative crowd type bent, who I like to pretend are my brethren.
So anyway, Cherry Bar. It is, appropriately, located in AC/DC Lane. We arrived just after the band had finished playing and all the groovy kiddies were hanging outside having a smoko. The tattooed and pierced door dude nodded us in and one of the first people I spotted when we were inside was a guy with a big, blue mohawk, scalp tattoos and an army surplus jacket. F1 and I did some mild clutching each others shoulders and jumping on the spot because obviously that is what we had to do. Walking into Cherry Bar was like walking into a scene from the 90s movies and tv shows I love so much. I mean, Mystic Spiral could have played there.
H and I sampled the house special drink thing, which is Jagermeister with ginger beer. Confession: I have never had Jagermeister before. I am not even sure how to spell it. Anyway, it was tasty, and all the bar staff are cute/ mega rad. There was a tribute to Chrissy Amphlett scrawled on a blackboard above the bottles of spirits, which made me smile in a sad sort of way.
The thing that I liked best about this place was THE MUSIC. Because IT WAS SO GOOD, YOU GUYS. Bluesy rock and massive old hits and later on a lot of Divinyls. It's the kind of stuff I love, and sooooo much more fun to dance to than the stuff they play at the other places I've been to. Basically I love this place forever and I shall go there all of the times.
Anyway, apparently I'm not much good at bar reviews, but whatever. It was a great night out and exactly what I needed.
Now I have to go stare vaguely at brooches and try and muster up the energy to package them. Work, work, work.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Mack the Knife: The Good, The Bad, The Weird

So I've spent the past several hours writing an essay and listening the the excellent Rookie mag playlists, and it's made we want to be able to make mixtapes and so forth (the playlists, not the essay - that is about the relationship between race and gender, and is full of stuff about scientific racism and sexism and not music). That has led to me sitting here with about a bajillion different versions of the Kurt Weill/ Bertolt Brecht song "Mack the Knife" open in a bajillion different tabs - and I'm only scraping the surface, here. 
I was first introduced to the song two years ago, when I was involved in a cabaret/ variety night at my college. A charming Malaysian man did a classic jazzy version of the song just before I was due on stage to do an original beat poem (I get these ideas in my head sometimes, and they are almost always bad). I then did a subject at uni on the history of cabaret (the subject was called Cabaret!, exclamation mark included) and we did an entire lecture on the song. Since then, it's popped up in a bunch of different places and it's always astounded me just how many versions there are. And that is why I have decided to compile this (by no means comprehensive) list of different covers. Bear in mind I'm sorting things totally based on my own biases, so, yeah.
If you don't know the song, here's the basic wikipedia description: ""Mack the Knife" or "The Ballad of Mack the Knife", originally "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer", is a song composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their music drama Die Dreigroschenoper, or, as it is known in EnglishThe Threepenny Opera. It premiered in Berlin in 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. The song has become a popular standard."
The song is interesting in that basically every version has a slightly different interpretation of the lyrics. Sometimes the lyrics included/ removed can make a big difference to the tone of the song, and sometimes it's the way it's played. Anyway, let's kick things off with THE GOOD:

Nick Cave
I have a lot of love for Nick Cave, and I was super excited when our lecturer played this version. It's regular ol' Cave Creepy, and I recommend it if only for Cave's weird dancing around. Plus his hands look really big. For some reason that makes it better.

Marianne Faithful

This is a great version. It's super creepy, and has a lot of the more literal lyrics - a lot of versions focus on sharks and scarlet pillows and so forth.

Ute Lemper

Ute Lemper is pretty famous for this sort of thing. I also think she's kinda weird - she has some odd facial expressions and the 'r'-rolling sounds strange. Still, I'm including it because it's in the original German. And, y'know, she is a pretty talented lady.

Ella Fitzgerald
Before you watch this version, go here and watch Louis Armstrong's performance of the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgYgl4OodeY
Now, I don't want to spoil the surprise of Fitzgerald's total awesomeness, but if it's the only way to convince you to watch it: she forgets the lyrics halfway through and starts pretending to be Louis Armstrong, and it's amazing. Maybe not the greatest version of the song, but still basically the greatest thing ever.


Michael Buble
I don't mind that Buble song where he's with the girl in the supermarket (I started typing 'in the girl with the supermarket', which means I am tired and should go to bed) who doesn't exist or whatever, but I really wish he'd stop covering cool songs. He sucks out their soul and leaves them dead and empty and it is awful. I get that he does elevator music as a thing, and that's fine, but then people think that he wrote "Moondance" and they don't get the amazingness of the original and I just have a lot of feelings about this, ok. See also:

Why is this even a thing.

The Psychedelic Furs
So I love The Psychedelic Furs, but this cover is just kind of lame. It sounds nothing like the original tune, plus it sounds a lot like one of their other songs, and I get confused when it comes on my iTunes. Go listen to their song "Book of Days". Or "Pretty in Pink". I don't even know why they did this.


The Young Gods

So this is an industrial version of the song, in German. I don't know if it's really a song which works in this genre - the tune is deceptively upbeat. I dunno, I don't really listen to industrial, so I don't have much to compare it to.

The Muppet Show
This is actually super awesome. I won't say too much about it, just watch.

So, yeah, there is a tiny, tiny fraction of the vast number of versions of "Mack the Knife". Honourable mentions to The Doors and Sting for their excellent versions, and of course Kurt Weill's wife Lotte Lenya (track down her version where she's singing with Louis Armstrong and he keeps interrupting her to tell her how to properly sing the song her own husband wrote).
And now I shall actually go to bed!
That is a lie. I am probably going to browse tumblr and eat Pringles.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A Brief 'Nova Post, With Photos

Myself with Gail Simone, who was very nice and told me I seemed 'fun'.

Post-pancake stack!

 I was working the Liedekijn booth with some friends, which was an enormous amount of fun. I went un-costumed on Sunday and spent the vast majority of the day in the booth, bar the 45 minutes I waited to meet Dave Gibbons (who was incredibly nice and by far the best famous-person-meeting-experience I think I've had) (not pictured: his signature and the little sketch he did of Rorschach in my copy of Watchmen) (so cool). I also did some little $5 sketch commissions, which went down pretty well - I made a few bucks, and got to draw some fun things/ people. Shout-outs to the three super adorable Honey-senpai's and the Crowley and Aziraphale for being super cool, plus beard guy for his enormous patience with my flailing.

Something I did to kill time - this is my most favouritest thing I have drawn, ever, and shall definitely end up being a print.

I definitely want to work a booth again some time, this time with my own prints, plus doing the sketches again. Hopefully I'll be set up to take commissions online soon, too!
I'll post a longer blog maybe tomorrow evening with more photos, and there'll be an article about it on gaygeek.com.au within the next couple of days as well. Yay words!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Preview Images of Supanova Cosplay

So here's a costume concept illustration and a couple of rather terrifying makeup test images for my Joker cosplay which I'm doing for Melbourne Supanova tomorrow. I'll also be helping out at the Liedekijn table, so come past and buy a copy of the book and check out the prettiness! (not just of my face)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Hungry (a Poem)

So this is kind of meant to be a spoken word piece, but just pretend you are sitting in a cramped bookshop hearing me angrily reading while my hands quiver from nerves.


Milky, mocha
Coffee grinds and licorice
Chocolate syrup, chocolate flesh -
Why do we turn people into morning tea?
Exotic, erotic
A closed fist a white palm
Food porn
Monster blow-jobs on bad film
A bagel
A baguette
Strips of skin flayed and laid
Out like smoked salmon
Climbing under
A moist shape,
A chest,
A cake
Food/ porn
Saccharine sex
Ejaculating eclair
Just bite me

Monday, 8 April 2013

Twenty and Jaded, Or I Just Feel Like Doctor Who is Broken and Can Never Be Fixed

Somewhere along the way something terrible happened to Doctor Who*. I pinpoint its beginnings as being that awful pirate episode. Aside from a few quality episodes, the general quality of writing just hasn't been up to scratch since. I swear if there's one more 'I wear a _ now, _s are cool' joke I will flip a table - so much of the humour lies in being self-referential, and while I still laugh, it's also pretty lazy. I do like Clara, I find her intrigue suitably intriguing, and I got the warm fuzzies in the second episode of the new stuff seeing the Doctor get all excited showing his new companion around, but it felt a lot like the first episode where he took Amy to Space Future - very formulaic. I am feeling all jaded, which I hope is just hormones and the lack of cake near my face, but I really hope the show picks up again. Mostly I just want Neil Gaiman to write the whole show, but then I also want him to keep writing other stuff.

Speaking of which, I'm getting pretty keen for The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

When was the last historical figure episode of Doctor Who? We need another really good one of those.

Even the first episode of season 3 of Game of Thrones felt kind of lackluster. I think I need to eat half my weight in cake and read my new Raymond Chandler novel and try to fight back my hormones.

No, wait, twice my weight in cake. Otherwise there is not a lot of cake.

*Apologies for the really rambling Who post to the four people who occasionally look at this blog - one of whom is Mum. I just needed to write something while I wait for the new Game of Thrones. I'd write about clothes but I can't be bothered getting up to get my camera. WHY IS EVERYTHING SO HARD

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Measuring Success By the Things Which Hurt My Ego the Least



  1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
  2. The attainment of popularity or profit.

So I have this friend who I've known since we were both tiny, and suddenly when we got to high school she started hanging out with popular kids and then somehow became super hot and she wasn't one of the smart kids any more but she was gorgeous and went to parties and I'm pretty sure could be defined as objectively cool. I think we all have a friend like that, don't we?
Every now and again I see some new photo of hers and I wonder how she got all the luck. Then a little part of me, the petty, childish part, reminds myself that I did much better than her in school, I know what and doing and where I want to go, I'm not liable to self-destruct. It's the same part of myself which dealt with The Perfect Girl at my high school by focusing on her abnormally high forehead.
It happened again today, and I started wondering about Success, how I measure it, whether or not I'm really hypocritical about measuring it in other people. I think I feel like I'm successful when what I'm doing is making me happy, but then I remember the fact that a Creative Writing Major and some illustration skillz don't tend to lead to financial success. So am I measuring it through metaphysical means or real-world, quantitative ones? And how should I be measuring it?
I think - I do - subconsciously assume other people can't really be happy with their lives if they, say, don't go to uni and spend their whole lives in retail. Why? Is it because that's what the movies have told me? I'm going to say yes, because that means not having to acknowledge the fact that, despite my best intentions, I am a total snob.
It seems Google define is in an appeasing mood, because the above definitions fit both of the ones I was trying to reconcile in my head. If my purpose is to be happy and do what I love, then I'm currently pretty successful. If my friend's goal was popularity and profit, then she's got that.
I just hope the two don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Blog's Not Dead, She's Just Gone to Bed (slash been really busy)

Moving house is probably one of the stressful experiences in existence - especially when one of your future housemates is interstate and the other one is in Germany, with the requisite time difference. After the initial stress of just finding a place and getting in all the paperwork and bond and so forth there was the week it took just to get electricity connected, plus the two incredibly bad flus I had, one after the other (if you saw a very fetching young lady throw up in Melbourne Central just a couple of months ago, it was probably me). And then there was the fact that the internet only got connected a week ago. Plus uni's started back. My beau came and stayed with me for three weeks after a desperate facebook message asking him to couple for a couple of days (PMT plus huge amounts of stress plus my housemate having moved out the day before, taking all the furniture with her). He helped me move, nursed me through my flus, and basically bought all of the food. He's pretty cool.

Still, I'm no Debbie Downer; the new place is awesome and the new suburb is now probably my fave suburb in Melbourne: I totally want to live here forever. I am within walking distance to books and cake, and it is amazing - especially the cake part.

I'm doing illustration for my uni's student magazine now, which is fun. I also co-wrote (and illustrated) this article on the Big Day Out for the mag: http://union.unimelb.edu.au/farrago/farrago-articles/bdo-bogans-balls-and-all

BDO was pretty rad. It was my first ever festival, so it was certainly an experience. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs killed it, and I had a life-changing experience seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers - not because of the music, but because of Dancing On Her Own Girl (on the end of the article illustration).
She was near me in the crowd, totally in her own world while I did my awkward bop thing. She noticed me staring at her and grinning, and we chatted briefly. She was amazing, like a real-life Luna Lovegood. She said something to me, as we danced, and for the first time it really meant something: "The secret is to dance like nobody's watching". From that point the awkward bop turned into flailing limbs and headbanging and an absolutely amazing time. I lost DOHOG in the crowd, but it didn't matter; we didn't need each other. We were just dancing.

So much has happened since I last blogged and I can't remember half of what I wanted to stick in here, but now that the internet is up and running I can keep this all reg'lar-like. Just a couple more points:

My brother has a band called Frost in Space and they are actually really good. I'm doing the art for their first EP, which will be out I think next year, or maybe late this year. https://www.facebook.com/frostinspace.music?ref=ts&fref=ts

I highly recommend going dancing with circus performers - specifically contact jugglers. Being with people who are dancing to 50 Cent while contact juggling is an amazing experience.

I dyed my hair green and it is good. Next time I might write about the bizarre experience that resulted from it, but now I cannot be bothered because I want food.

I am off to food. And tea.