Sunday, December 24, 2006
This Christmas I'm feeling more Christmas-ey than ever even though I have to admit I am at my most cynical. But an afternoon watching Elf with friends and (sort of) helping them prepare for their Christmas (plus a jog/walk that drove home my horrendously unfit state) filled me up and made me realise that if I don't start paying attention I'll miss it (whatever 'it' is). I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present... and seeing as I wasn't asking, it was the best.
(This post was proudly sponsored by the word 'Christmas'. Tell me exactly how many times it was used and I WILL send you a prize in the New Year. Bonus prize for who can tell me which two movie soundtracks you can find the song on.)
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Elbow are a great British band with a huge lush sound that I love. The singer has a big warm strong voice. I heard "Leaders of the Free World" a couple of times on the radio and, without listening to the words, thought it was some kind of political statement (the chorus I heard well enough; "the leaders of the free world are just little boys throwing stones and it's easy to ignore until their knocking on the door of your homes" and then there is the line; "passing the gun from father to feckless son") but when I got the CD home I kept playing it over and over. Once I got myself comfortable with the lyrics unfolded in front of me I realised why I liked it so much. There is still a political nature to it, but the first few lines were exactly how I was feeling at the time.
A friend just told me a story about helping her Grandmother move into her parents house. Her Grandmother had been living independently for over 20 years but this year her health has deteriorated to the point where she can no longer live alone. When my friend and her husband arrived at her Grandmothers house to help pack and move they found her moving packed boxes into the hallway. She had already packed up her things. By herself. All but one thing which she gave to my friend. Here's what her Grandmother told her:
"The neighbours gave it to me. They are lovely people and I'm grateful, but really! What is a ninety-four year old woman going to do with a set of tea cups and saucers? I'd much prefer a Mars Bar."
Is it wrong that I feel that way and I'm only twenty-eight?
Last weekend while wandering West End in the dusky late afternoon I spotted someone playing an accordion in the local Laundromat. I really wanted to ask him if I could take his photograph but, being the complete coward I am, I just walked straight home. In the wee hours of the next morning I woke up to the softest most beautiful little accordion sounds drifting down my street. They were obviously playing as quietly as they could because of the time of day it was. I didn't even hop up to peer out of my window because I was in that sleepy inbetween dream and wake state of being and could barely believe what I was hearing. I wish I could have seen them walking down the street playing. I bet it was the same guy.
On Friday morning I found myself driving most of the way to work behind a big covered ute. In the back of the ute was a sandy coloured greyhound that kept wandering from side to side and sticking its head out of the windows. Then I noticed that every time he stuck his head out of a window he would lick his chops and giants globs of doggy drool would fly kamaze into my windshield. I could not stop laughing.
When I make a movie, that will definitely make up part of a driving scene.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Finally we sisters caught up. A Sunday photo stroll around Bardon and Paddington (with my new camera which is pictured being held so childlike by my sissypants above). A number of vintage clothing and antique shops where you automatically wished you had money to throw around (then you remember you just threw money at a digital SLR camera, then you hear your Dad shouting "YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, DINGY!") and a lithe body to put those fetching clothes upon. A delicious iced mocha at the Java Lounge. Plus an early evening changing my flat tyre. Which the above photograph was taken just after.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I had such a super weekend. It feels like Tuesday today. Yet the week has been long. So I'm writing about my weekend just when another is about to start. Oh well.
On Saturday night I fell in love (with The Globe Theatre and) all over again with Mr Darren Hanlon and his considerable wit and charm. Not only does he have considerable wit and charm he is also a genius wordsmith and the writer of a growing catalogue of melodic gems. Don't ask me to pick a favourite. I really can't. I also really believe that, as much as I would go to see Dazza if he was singing a cappella on a street corner, part of the appeal of seeing him play live is in seeing and hearing Bree play those drums. The girl can ROCK. It's not just me with a crush on Bree, let's admit it.
On Sunday night I spent an evening with an old friend. A friend that I miss as soon as I see her. She was here for the weekend for a course and had Sunday night free. We wandered the City and talked about music and work and fear and life and feeling insane and not knowing and jumped in my car to head for the Palace Centro where I'd just found out that all tickets were $7 during October and just made it for a screening of Little Miss Sunshine. Perfect. Next time I have popcorn I'm trying that tongue thing. Then we shared these insanely good vegetable fritters and a roasted vegetable salad and peppermint tea for dinner at this kind of fancy place across from the cinema. Then we found a wall covered in stencil art and took stacks of photos. Then she mentioned that she's been looking everywhere for a CD and wondered if I knew of it. That she'd heard some of it in a bookshop and had asked who the artist was. "It's was someone called M. Ward,"she said, "the title is something about 'Vincent'?" "THE TRANSFIGURATION OF VINCENT!" I exclaimed. "I knew you'd know it!" she laughed. I couldn't let her search unsuccessfully any longer for such a great album. So I took her to see my house and to give her the CD. Which means I now have a visitor Polaroid of her holding the CD. I loved the whole evening. The best part was it didn't feel strange at all for her to be in Brisbane. It felt ordinary. The kind of ordinary that is beautiful.
In the middle of watching the final episode my phone rang. It was AC Nielsen. I was asked a number of questions about how serious I think the effects of Global Warming are and how I rate the response of the Government to it. It felt kind of liberating saying the words "extremely serious" and "disapprove" as if my opinion in a poll would sway the Government in some way to ACT.
Then they started asking me about what types of beverages I drink...
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
No, no, no.
Rufus Wainwright has a sister, Martha... and she is as cool as he is! While I was on holidays in downtown Adelaide I allowed pocket money for the finding of two things I'd not yet found in Brisbane record stores; The Gossip's "Standing in the Way of Control" and "All I Want" a documentary film about Rufus Wainwright, my favourite of favourite singers. His album "Poses" is a huge favourite, from beginning to end. I could sing it in its entirety (very badly) for you. Check out the siblings singing together. It's kinda pretty and sorta sweet and if you think about the fact that, something Martha explains in the documentary, when they were kids they used to go to bed and try to out-sing each other until one of them fell asleep - well, it's like they are just doing that but in front of a camera. I love how he plays guitar with his index finger and I'd really like her jacket. I'm totally smitten.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
What possessed me last Sunday - after only finding out the Thursday before that she would be in town - that it was necessary for me to go to Sydney and see Lily Tomlin is beyond me. Well, actually it's not. I love her, and to quote Emma Thompson's character in "Love Actually" when she says that about Joni Mitchell; true love lasts a lifetime.
My Dad introduced me to Lily Tomlin through a videotape he had of the "25th Anniversary of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In". I've talked about it before. It really was one of my favourite things. I mean, really.
Then Carly and I discovered the movie "The Incredible Shrinking Woman". It was one among quite a few movies we watched over and over again like "Freaky Friday", "Bedknobs and Broomsticks", "The Phantom Tollbooth" and "To Be Or Not To Be". These were all movies that equally entertained me and freaked me out. You'd never think to be scared of falling into an insinkerator but because of "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" I was. I had nightmares for YEARS.
Then, of course, there is "9 to 5". I never understood it when I was younger. I just loved it when Lily Tomlin turned into Snow White and all those cute little cartoon animals were following her around, especially the rabbit knitting. BOY do I get it now. It's in the Top Ten of Erin's Favourite Movies of All Time.
Now - how cool is this - she works for the President of the United States of America; Jed Bartlet... on one of the best shows EVER; "West Wing". (I've just finished Season 4 and I'm all heartbroken with Toby and Congresswoman Wyatt and the house and the babies... oh, Toby.)
I digress. It was an impulsive decision based on years and years of admiration and laughter. Plus I've never been to Sydney before (although my parents SWEAR they took us across the harbour to Taronga Zoo when we were little). So. I spent two nights and a day in Sydney last week.
Here are some highlights (or just a long list of thoughts and frivolous rememberings - my brain retains highly trivial moments):
- Wondering whether the plane was planning to land ON the houses as it descended into Sydney.
- Booking into the hotel next to a lady wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses who was adamant "no one is to know I'm here... can you make sure I don't get any calls? If anyone rings up and asks if I'm here you tell them nothing." At which point she looked over at me and said; "Goddamn stalking ex-husband... HAHAHA!" (Seriously, did you know they can do that? They set you up as a 'silent check-in' and the computer does something special that I didn't overhear. I sooo wanted to ask for one too. I wanted to be mysterious and wear a baseball cap.)
- Getting into bed and cursing the member of the hotel staff who made it so shoddily before remembering I had messed it up by jumping on it just a little while before (because that's what you do on hotel beds).
- Realising that the public transport was a cinch to work out and planning my ride to coincide with peak hour workers, most of them staring into space like zombies so as not to engage each other, some dozing off in their seats, some grumpy. I was obnoxiously smiley because: a) I just am sometimes, b) I wasn't going to work and c) I'd just discovered:
- SYDNEY HAS DOUBLE DECKER TRAINS!! How awesome.
- Feeling a rush of excitement on exiting the train station at Circular Quay and catching a glimpse of the Harbour Bridge. Then turning a corner a seeing the Opera House. Who knew? I'm a tourist!
- Overhearing someone introduce themselves: "Hi! I'm Fiona - the new Eve." Void of context I found it very amusing.
- Getting stuck in the rain as I walked down Macquarie Street and taking refuge in the entrance of a building with a sweet old lady.
SHE: "It's been doing this at the same time every day this week."
ME: "We could use some in Brisbane."
SHE: "Oh, I'm going to visit my son in Brisbane tomorrow!"
ME: "Cool! I'm only here for today."
SHE: "Oh, really? Why?"
ME: "To see Lily Tomlin tonight."
SHE: "Oh, she's great! I saw her on Denton." (She said "oh" a lot in my memory.)
We talked about the rain some more until it slowed to a drizzle and then went our separate ways.
- Gertrude & Alice's Cafe Bookstore in Bondi. Thank you Sarah, I loved it. Books. Coffee. Spinach, pea and sage risotto (so much of it that I took it back in a doggy bag and therefore didn't get to EAT at Betty's Soup Kitchen). Pictures of and quotes by Anais Nin, Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas on the walls. MORE books. A better Bent Books. Yes, I know. Comparisons are odious.
- A busker singing "Scarborough Fair" in the tunnel of Martin Place Station. There was something haunting and beautiful about it. I really thought I hated that song.
- Checking a bus timetable at a bus stop in Bondi and a cleaner poking his head around the glass and saying:
HE: "Have you stopped to help me?"
ME: "What do you need help with?"
PAUSE WITH MUTUAL BLANK STARES.
HE: "I was kidding, most people just give me the forks!"
ME: "OH! Okay..." chuckled and gave him the forks and went back to the timetable as he gave me the forks and ducked back behind the bus stop. I started walking away and he poked his head back around; "You just proved that there are still some nice people out there." Awww... I'm nice.
- Descending in the slow, slow hotel elevator with a slightly dishevelled, grey haired lady elegantly dressed in a black dress, black purse in hand with a long red scarf around her neck:
ME: "This elevator is quite slow don't you think?" (I know! I'm SO good at conversation!)
SHE: "The lift IIIIS quuuite slow. Slow is good sometimes though."
ME: NOD. GRIN. LOOK AT CEILING. WE EXIT THE LIFT.
SHE: "Have a wonderful evening."
ME: "oh, thanks. You too!"
Halfway to the Mascot train station I realise I've forgotten my watch and turn back. As I approach the lift to go back to my room so does the same lady replete with glass of white wine. We enter the lift.
SHE: "Two jobs done quickly I see."
ME: "Ha, ha, actually I forgot my watch. They wouldn't let you take a bottle to your room?"
SHE: (turns to face me) "Well... I didn't WANT a bottle. They don't HAVE half bottles and (with a shrug of her shoulders) it appears goooone are the days of the mini bar." (I swear if her hands weren't occupied - one by a purse and the other by a glass of wine - her arms would have been grandly gesturing during that sentence.)
ME: GRIN. NOD. "Ahhh, mm hmm." WE EXIT THE LIFT.
SHE: "Eeeevening once again."
- The man on the train with massive reflective aviator sunglasses and jeans and leather jacket with slicked black hair. He sat down next to me and took a book from his pocket. It was a book of poetry. He sat reading for a while and then stood up and put the book back in his pocket and turned to the corner near the door. He started pulling at his jeans and then I realised, he was rolling them up at the waist and giving himself quite the wedgie. No doubt because he felt it would enhance his package. It certainly appeared he was seasoned at it. As the train pulled into a station he turned and faced me - I had to look away quickly so he didn't know I was staring incredulous at his newly arranged buttocks - and asked "lady, does this train stop at Redfern?" still adjusting himself. "Uh, I have no idea, sorry." "Oh, right-o" he said and hopped off the train.
- The State Theatre. How fancy is it?! It's like some kind of, well, really old ornately decorated theatre. A little overwhelming. Pretty gorgeous but at the same time a teensy bit grotesque. Maybe the word is gawdy. I was still in awe of it though. I'm a simple girl.
- The ladies who sat next to me in the theatre.
LADY NO 1: "Hi there! I'll apologise upfront if I cough too much during the performance, I'm just getting over a cold and my throat's all scratchy!"
LADY NO 2: "Me too, but we came armed!" This is where they both produced a pack of Throaties each like they were in a parody of a Mentos commercial.
ME: "Hehe, well, hopefully you'll be more laughing than coughing!"
LADY NO 1 & 2: "HAHAHAHAHAHA!"
LADY NO 2: "Oh, no doubt!"
The funny thing? They barely raised a titter during the whole performance by LILY TOMLIN but I made them laugh out loud with a lame joke!?!
- Lily Tomlin. She had just that day bottle fed a baby wombat and decided we should develop a mini wombat for domestic purposes so she could have one as a pet. She wondered whether the free trade agreement with America would mean she could trade George W. Bush for a bale of wool. The unfortunate outcome being we get George W. Bush. The punchline? Well, we kind of already have one just like him. She did some CLASSIC Lily material that I NEVER imagined I would EVER see her perform in person. Characters like Ernestine the telephone operator and little Edith Ann. She did one of my favourite Edith Ann lines; "Oh, I am not bossy... my ideas is just better!" and two others I love "I worry about being a success in a mediocre world" and "why is it when you talk to God you're praying but when God talks to you you're schizophrenic?" Her vitality was infectious. The fact that she came back on stage and did about 20 minutes of Q & A was way beyond cool.
I'm holding back the effusion.
(The choice of song as title to this post? It's just a stunner of a song. If you don't like Stevie, well, there is a possibility you don't like anything, but if you don't like Stevie I'll try not to judge you for it. And besides, love really is in need of love today.)
Sunday, April 30, 2006
I've turned my bedroom into my lounge room and vice versa... (well, der! I couldn't very well turn my kitchen into my lounge room or bedroom... oooh, or could I?)
My poor neighbours... I hope they like the Pixies, the Smiths, Death Cab For Cutie and Wilco... LOUD...
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
This song is killing me lately. Something so great about Bright Eyes songs...
A house of cards
A supple heart
Is not a place to dwell
Now you have your cake
Come on just do it,
Come on just do it
Put it in your mouth
There is only now
Tomorrow has to wait
But know there’s no backing out
This is gonna be reality
You can never dream it down
I have no way
The two apart
Well I made amends
In the general sense
But the devil’s in the details
And I know the cause
And I want to stop
But I can’t do it,
I just can’t do it
There was love I meant
There were accidents
So tell me which is which
‘Cus I just can’t work it out
But for memory and clarity
We had better write it down
I have no way
Of knowing the truth
With time it dissolves
I put the past into the ground
I saw the future as a cloud
If there's still time to turn around
I'm going to
Its just one day I fell asleep
And all day all night I dreamed
I am the first one I deceive
If I can make myself believe
The rest is easy…
Thursday, April 20, 2006
This is a huge favourite of all my favourite Bright Eyes songs which has been playing in my head for a few days now for it articulates a myriad of the things I've been feeling and thinking. My favourite line from the song became relevant again last night...
"It's just once something dies you can't make it live..."
Rest in peace little chew chew.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Most of the time I visit this place for a thought vomit. To open up my brain and go 'blergh... okay, that felt good". I always tend to make positive or utterly irrelevant, silly statements, as hard as that is for me because my brain errs on the side of bleak and melancholy, sometimes even self indulgently maudlin. This time it feels like it's going to be hard to put a positive spin on. Feel free to tell me to step back and get some perspective but with a brain like mine its all I ever do. To stop myself from being selfish and feeling sorry for myself or feeling anything but good things towards other human beings. I step back, I take into account all the things that are going on in my life and theirs and can understand anything because I know we are all human. We make mistakes and we are not perfect. I make mistakes. I am not perfect. Right now my brain feels like a flooded street where you can't see the road signs. So, stop reading now or go call me a waaaaahmbulance. Because I've decided to let it out.
At the beginning of this year I let my guard down and explored a part of myself that I had always neglected. I met someone and I let them in. Freely. Unguardedly. It wasn't hard. Everything about them, talking to them, being near them, made me feel comfortable and happy and the feelings that I developed for them developed almost imperceptibly. The feelings were so natural and so involuntary. They still are.
Today, I can't stop wondering what has happened. I stayed late at work because I didn't want to think about it. I got home and poured myself a glass of wine, dyed my hair and danced ridiculously to Bloc Party in an effort to blank it out. That's what I do. I bottle up. Pfft! Who needs to know my problems? So I step back. Get some perspective. I see it so clearly from their perspective. Because I'm so endlessly curious as to all sides to the story. Which means I can understand why I don't get to hang out anymore. It also means I don't understand why at all.
So. This. This is what has made me the most incredulous:
I'm 'too good'.
For the past week or so, I've been hearing that a bit. From my gorgeous friends who gave to me their time and attention and sat and listened to me try and work out what was happening. What was going on. Because the feelings and situation is so new to me that I coudn't contain it myself. I had no control. I spilled over and they were there. I love them for it.
Then last night; being told I was too good sounded so completely unattractive. So completely boring.
Because it was the reason.
I'm a fallible and awkward and ridiculous human being. I might somehow fit the description of a good person if you squint at me. It has nothing to do with wanting to do the right thing or keeping up appearances. I tried that years ago and I suck at fitting in. It has more to do with being shy. Being socially inept. Being scared. I always have been of anything new and anything that feels out of control. Of feeling just. like. this.
If my being shy comes across as arrogance, my social ineptitude as me being a snob or my being scared as me being judgemental; maybe stick to that. Because right now I'd almost prefer that to being told I'm too good again. Because fitting the description of being good has served as a detriment to the continuation of something (I thought was) real and just starting between two people. And that sucks.
*The situation has been REALLY oversimplified here. This is all just my frustration. It's all up in the air and I am holding on to a very little thin twisty twine-like thread of hope. I'll only let it go when I'm told to. Because I happen to think it's worth it. I just wish I could do something if some sort of support is required. How funny, in hindsight, was it for me to choose "I Know It's Over" for the last post...
Monday, March 27, 2006
Again, a song introduced to me by a friend. Louise was telling me her favourite band is The Smiths and she was talking about this song and how she loves how crushingly Morrissey sings the line "oh, mother I can feel the soil falling over my head" towards the end of the song. So, naturally, I went out and bought the best of the Smiths (some of you may be surprised at the fact that I'm a music geek and I know nothing of The Smiths other than "How Soon Is Now?" - and that's only because I've seen "The Wedding Singer"). What an AWESOME song. Man, they were a great band, huh? As much as the lyrics are melodramatic and dour (my favourite kind), they made GREAT songs that sound so fabulous. I really love the bass guitar especially (incidentally, The Smiths bass player toured with Badly Drawn Boy - a fact that was pointed out to me at the time when I saw him play a few years back and now I'm wishing I was more excited about it!) There was a guy at school who had the Morrissey quiff and wore a threadbare and fading Morrissey T-shirt ALL the time. I loved that. At the same time I also enjoyed poking fun at the words to Morrissey's song "The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get". It was that line saying "I will be in the bar, with my head on the bar", not only the line but the way he sang it. Cracked my adolescent brain up. Kind of still does.
I had a fantastic week last week, I'll tell you about it in a minute, though this week is turning out to be slightly less fantastic. So, for obvious reasons, I choose to focus my attention on last week and also take this opportunity to apologise to my gorgeous sister:
Carly, I am sorry I haven't been blogging. I'm a bad girl. I'm going to make more of an effort to write ridiculous and inane things here regularly, just so you know I am not going insane... which I know you sometimes think I am. Perhaps sometimes justifiably so.
Anyway, so, last week. It was great.
Tuesday. I got a postcard shaped like a London post box. Yes, all the way from London. I also had dinner with Julie at Seagrass and had that rare though now and then occuring meal that includes meat:
Man. Seagrass make the best rocket and parmesan salad. Ever. Actually, come to think of it... I've only ever tasted theirs. Oh, and the aioli! I always thought it was a snobby name for tartare sauce. Woah, no way. Totally different and WAY more delicious. Thanks for spotting me the rest of the money for dinner Julie, I owe you... hmmm, lets say breakfast at Tongue and Groove.
Thursday. Well, all week was a work conference. That's tiring enough. Thursday night we all had dinner at the bosses house. I love dinner at the bosses house. Only because the bosses wife cooks. She makes the most amazing salads and side dishes and ooh la la! I love it. I wish I had taken photos of what she'd made. A rocket, wholegrain mustard and beetroot salad. An eggy, croutony, parmesan cheesy salad (hmm, sounds not unlike a Caesar salad). Plus a yummo pasta salad with asparagus and tomato and kind of peppery lovely saucy thingy. She always says that if I like her salads, I should come to her place when they have a barbecue with everyone from the canal. She said some other ladies make the most insane salads but they are really good... and reeeally competitive. When she told me that it made me think of the party they throw for Edward in "Edward Scissorhands".
Friday. I should have seen the cold coming. As soon as I walked in the door I thought to myself, I'll just have a lie down on the divan. HALF AN HOUR later I wake up and scoot my butt over to South Bank to see Loz and anyone who might still be there. Loz ist rad. We nearly had to send out a search party for Corrina after she was gone a looooong time looking for the toilet, but she had found "Speed of Purple" playing in the midst of the markets so we all wandered down to watch. I'm really starting to love "Speed of Purple". I started feeling like a lurgy had hit me so I said goodbye and walked home and woke up with the nasties. Blergh.
This week is really not so bad considering its only Monday. What a drama queen.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
I was introduced to this song by my dear friend, Andie. It was written by one of her favourite songwriters, Hoagy Carmichael - who also wrote the gorgeous "Georgia on My Mind". I'd never heard it before and she had just introduced me to the amazing Nina Simone. She asked me if I'd heard it and when I said no, she leaned in and started speak-singing it to me with a cheeky grin on her face. When I found it a few years back on a big old cheap Nina Simone compilation I remembered Andie's grin and finally got to hear it in its completeness. Such a sad yet funny song.
So, I promised someone that I would write here almost every day this year. It is now the last day of January and I haven't written a thing (okay, now I have). It's not that nothing has been happening. It's just that so much has been happening and time has been spent elsewhere. Today I decided I should write. Something.
Today happens to be a decade to the date that I left Adelaide with the heaviest heart imaginable. Now, though, my heart couldn't be lighter. Well, I'm sure it could, but I'm now more of an optimistic pragmatist, if that's possible. I was such a downer back then. My poor parents. That awful, surly 17 year old in the back of the Magna with her Walkman blaring Sonic Youth's "Sentimental, Jet Set, Trash and No Star" the WHOLE way from Adelaide to Darwin. Complete with the view that they had RUINED HER LIFE. I look back on the whole period as a comedy really. There is no other way.
I'm not the kind of person to believe that a New Year can herald the beginning of an era. There has to be a springboard, surely. Some kind of change, which dominos on to more change. I just don't know. What I do know is this last month, starting from the first day of January, has been entirely new to me. I think it's been building up for some time. There are things I've been letting go of. Things I've been coming to terms with. In really small insignificant everyday things. And in saying that it seems it is that very fact, that it has all been to do with small insignificant everyday things, that the rewards of it have surfaced over the last month. Those gentle changes, realisations, acceptances grew into, well, a far more relaxed and receptive Erin. There is so much that I have experienced in the last month that has challenged me in ways I'm not used to. Much is related to my immediate family members. Others are more personal. Things that I'm quite certain I would not have been equipped to deal with six months ago in the way I have now. I couldn't have asked for a better January.