I Seem To Have Forgotten My Blog

Oh blog, how I’ve neglected you.

Who knew it would only take one embarrassing moment for me to come rushing back into your supportive arms?

Oh, how you hold me and make me believe I’m just charmingly harebrained, instead of a spastic fool.

Well, yes, this afternoon I was quite the fool. I rushed home from work in record time, speaker phoned my mum about feeding the animals whilst I threw on my Gi, sprayed the shit out of myself with body spray to hide the smell of a day’s worth of cafe food, pinned a few bobby pins in my frizzed out hair, raced out the door and sped off to Karate, keeping mostly to the speed limit, and still getting there with five minutes to spare. Legendary. But what’s that? The class isn’t on. And I don’t think it was ever on. I went on the whim of something I heard which I most certainly should have clarified.

And there lies the lesson.

Great. I learned that I should work on my communication skills.

But that doesn’t make me feel any better. That just makes me feel stupid. So, I try to reconcile my absolutely useless 30 min round trip to town by saying hey, let’s just imagine you were on a time trial, and guess what? You nailed it. Sweeeeet. But, yeah, still kind of not worth it. Hey, you know what, you can blog about this. Breaking the blog drought after so long? Bringing me back into the embrace of my long time love? Do I feel better now? Marginally. But it’s better than reminding myself how socially awkward I am.

And it made me think about something else that’s been bothering me: people asking how my week was. Because I only have two modes when replying to that question.

Monosyllable/very short answer mode; e.g.. Great, good, yeah not bad, alright, pretty good.

Or info dump mode; e.g. let me tell you about every single thing that happened to me in the time between now and the last time I saw you!

I’m not so fond of cherry picker mode. Where I have to collate and sort all the events of my week into preference and importance, and stand there for a good two minutes saying ‘ummmmm’ while I do so. It is because I must draw on so much brain power for this mode, that makes it so undesirable and awkward. I mean if I’m talking to someone, let’s say someone I like, I don’t want to just offer up monosyllable/very short answer mode, because that’s boring and a little thoughtless. Yet I don’t want to go into info dump mode and freak them out. So I usually opt for cherry picker mode, which is the worst, because I end up saying ‘I don’t remember’, as it is just too hard to pick ONE THING. Of course this is all assuming that when asking the question ‘how was your week?’ that the asker actually wants to know. They may just want you to say ‘good, how was yours, what did you get up to?’ Because that’s a better question. ‘What did you get up to?’ implies that they want to know what you did, rather than how it was, which just confuses the shit out of me. So much so that I actually replied with ‘I don’t like being asked how my week was, because I can never remember.’

And also I can’t stand this question when it’s asked on, say, a Tuesday. There has only been one day in my week! I can tell you how my Monday was? But then you should have asked ‘how was yesterday?’ Because I am just that damn anal. You see, this is why I end up talking to my cat.

(Mentioning cat in blog posts: 100% accuracy rate)

 

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The Loneliest Person in the World

The loneliest person in the world isn’t sitting on top a mountain somewhere in complete isolation. The loneliest person is surrounded by people who don’t understand them.

I’m not the most complex individual, but sometimes I feel like life is a movie and I’m merely an observer. I haven’t yet found where I belong. One day the mothership is going to descend from the sky, beam me up inside and reveal what I somehow always knew to be true. You’re beyond mortal flesh, beyond skin colour, beyond earthly desires, the daily workings of your social construct, the cultures of the human race. 

You are free. A sentient energy unbridled by any construct, any illusion or lie. 

Seeing as that has yet to happen, I shall continue to play my part. The part of the lower middle class female, caucasian, university student. A tax file number, a street address, a mobile phone number, a birth certificate, a passport, a driver’s license, a registered vehicle. I have friends and family, pets, people who love me, but nothing is more affecting than an individual’s crusade. No-one can get inside this mind. 

The loneliest person on this planet is surrounded by those who do not understand them. 

It’s not a simple solution. A person in your life is not the answer to all the crises of living in this state of mind. It would only be a very, very good distraction. It’s even possible to be distracted for the rest of this life. But is it the solution I seek?

“I’ll do it tomorrow.” Is my perpetual answer. 

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How to Feign Looking Like A Writing Genius

I’m taking time out from my NaNo novel trail blazing to bring you this special account of my outing into the ‘real world’, where strange and magical things happen in the hallowed aisles of the supermarket.

Oh, I felt so compelled to share my experiences I wandered around the shopping centre writing notes as I went, accumulating funny looks along the way. Yes, texting while walking is perfectly acceptable, writing in a notebook, oh ho ho ho. I’m here to shock and amaze people, this is my purpose on this planet.

Any who, my first notation. A young person buying alcohol is much less conspicuous if  purchasing Healthy Start cereal and 100% pure organic coconut water along with her alcoholic purchase. Much less likely to get carded than the tall, blond, young person buying only a bottle of vodka in front of her. Much more likely to be told ‘Oh, yes, I’ve had that cider last night, it was really nice!’, like she is just another fellow middle aged lady, who spends nights alone with her cat, watching Dancing with the Stars and sampling new, fancy flavours of imported cider. So am I old, or have a I just discovered a new fool proof way for underage people to buy alcohol?

Second notation. Closing times in cafes should be clearer. Because they lie, they are straight out liars, people. 9am – 3pm in not accurate. It should be more like 9am – 1:30 we are perfectly happy to serve you, 1:30pm – 2pm we are still happy to serve you, but with every minute encroaching upon kitchen close time we become more and more begrudging towards you. 2pm kitchen closes! Do they mention that on the opening hours? Nah. 2pm-3pm, we want to seem like we have flexible opening hours, but really we’re trying to cram in closing down within this hour so we don’t have to pay our staff overtime, and they can get home before 5pm on a Saturday so they can get ready for whatever social event they had planned, technically you can stay, but we will just casually begin to clean around you, gradually making you feel more and more uncomfortable until you down your tea, ruining your previous tea-induced relaxation, now making you feel all stomach swishingly, overflowing with tea. So why don’t they just do this – 9am – 1:30pm (please feel free and welcome to order your lunch) 1:30pm – 2pm (please only order beverages, but finish them before 2:30pm) 2:30pm – 3pm (get the fuck out).

Third notation. Lines at supermarket cash registers leave me flustered, and brain dead. Which is the shortest one? Self service or normal or express lane? Where the fuck is the express lane?

‘There’s no-one at the express lane,’ some lady attendant says, seemingly annoyed that people are lining up at self service, like it is personally ruining her whole life.

‘I thought this was the express lane,’ I reply, like a bubble headed loon.

‘No, it’s down the end.’

Wellity, wellity, wellity. Maybe no-one’s there because it’s in some obscure, hidden place behind tens of thousands of other unused express cash registers. The rather creepy ghosts of ruthless Supermarket job cut backs, in favour of machines who always get upset if I use my own bags. ‘Unexpected item in bagging area’. I’ll give you an unexpected item, my fist in your face!

Anyways, ‘Thanks,’ replies the ever polite and genial me.

Oo, the register attendant is kind of cute. Did that Lady tell everyone the express lane was empty? These people just seemed to swarm in like flies onto fresh dog shit. But I’m here now. I’ll feel silly if I line up for the third time. Hey, this register guy has really awesome glasses, they look expensive, they make him look like a hipster. Wow, he actually asked me how my day was going. I now bet he has instantly regretted it. I’m babbling I can tell. I make some remark about how everyone was sent here at the same time. I try and give him some change with my fifty so I can get notes back. Oh no. Too much pressure. I can’t add. Why can’t I add? For the love of god why do you escape me now simple maths?! Why?! The humanity! Escape! Just take your odd change and escape.

‘Well that didn’t work,’ I casually remark.

‘Yeah, I was wondering why you gave this to me…’

Walking away, wow do I feel stupid. Hmm, I think, I’ll just write about it in my blog to make myself feel better that I’m such a spaz. You see I do this deliberately for writing material.

Last notation. I should walk around the shopping centre writing shit down more often. I look like a crazy, genius writer person, whose ideas are too fabulous and awesome to be forgotten to the winds of time and a poor short term memory. They must be written down immediately! Also, shopping centre toilet cubicles are strangely inspiring.

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Round Two

Have you ever posted on a forum that appears to be buzzing with back and forth conversation, only for that forum to die suddenly and become paranoid that it was because of you?

No?

Is it just me? Am I that self centered?

It’s even more heartbreaking when the forum you were posting to was ‘one sentence synopsis of your novel’ for NaNoWriMo. Everyone was blasting all over the place with their snappy one sentences, receiving positive feedback. And then I posted. And then the crickets began to chirp.

Okay. It’s probably not me. The thread was long dead by the time I got there.

I’m just antsy that I’m going to be spending a whole month writing something that’s complete and utter crap, and not realising it until I’m half way through and thinking ‘wow, this is complete and utter crap’.

But, I can’t begin the process this way. I’ve chosen a storyline, fleshed out the characters and built the world probably as well as Athens prepared for the olympics. I’m sticking to it goddamn it. It’s going to be the best novel I’ve ever written.

Actually it’s going to be the first novel I’ve ever written. To a stage of completion that can warrant it being called a novel.

I can’t believe November has come around again so quickly.

I’m having flashbacks to last year’s NaNo and the novel writing pain. My brain hurts already. I can feel Miss Crankypants coming on. Yet, still, I’m pretty damn excited.

Maybe I’m a masochist.

All I know is that this year is going to be better somehow. I think it’s because I now have a cat. You’re not a legitimate writer until you have a cat.

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Too Young To Be Bitter

My cat is fixated on something outside the window, but there is nothing there. It must be the ghost of my last university session – because I killed it. ‘Muthaaa Fuckaaa!’  – as the incorrigible Hank Moody would say.

Bring on the holidays! Yes, more opportunity to feel guilty about not accomplishing anything.

Well that’s not entirely true. I am slowly climbing the Karate ranks. I was given Arnis canes the other day to train with. And as I swung them around in my living room, I couldn’t help but make lightsaber noises in my head. I can tell I’m going to go far. I wonder if those new Star Wars movies are looking for extras? That was, after all, a long forgotten childhood dream of mine – to be a Jedi. My makeshift dressing-gown Jedi robe and blue cellophane wrapped curtain rod would testify to that.

Anyhow, I moved onto bigger and better dreams. To be a writer. Quite frankly, I think I’d have a better chance of becoming a Jedi. At least I’m realistic. Bitter, cynical, yes, but realistic.

Like that person in my class, who professed that writing should probably just be a hobby of hers, instead of a career path. I, somewhat guilty, agreed with her. I mean you’re not going to get very far if you’re already tearing down your own writing and telling everyone that it’s shit. That’s not part of the ‘Belief, Focus, Follow Through’ mantra I’ve adopted as my own. Sure I say stuff like: I’d have a better chance making a career of stopping the evil Sith from taking over the galaxy than writing, but that’s just acknowledging that it’s tough out there. And another thing, I’m not going to present a piece of writing to be scrutinized that I think is shit, then pout over the fact that it’s getting constructively criticised, making excuses of why it is the way it is.

“Oh, you meant to write in cliches? Pretty sure that only works if you’re making some sort of clever, satirical comment on the practice, and not just being a lazy writer.”

I’m guilty too! My last creative piece was heavily slashed of cliches and melodramatic writing, so I feel I’m qualified to recognise the error of such things.

I was once too filled with bright eyed and rather ridiculous notions of teenage romance, before I read Twilight and my gag reflex developed. Now I have a full blown cringe factor, especially for male leads who are ‘sensitive and very feeling’ and who bake cupcakes and wear flowers in their hair???

‘Does he also sparkle in the sun?’ I asked. Apparently not. But seriously, this is what young ladies fantasize about?

‘Oh, I get it, what you want in a guy, is a woman…’

That’s cool. There may be someone out there for you like that, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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Seven Dwarves Personality Syndrome: Today I’m Grumpy

I’m running, out of breath, leaping over hurdles. I’ve tripped over the last one, smacked my face into the ground and now have to drag my increasingly swollen ankle across the finish line. 

This is my metaphor for the last two weeks of uni. 

But maybe I’m just grumpy. I wasn’t very helpful in short story workshopping today. I didn’t even attempt the constructive criticism sandwich, or whatever the hell it’s called. 

Praise

Critique

Praise

The blandest sandwich ever. Here’s my sandwich.

Crunchy sourdough toast

Avocado, Smoked Salmon, Capers, Cream Cheese, Spanish Onion

Crunchy sourdough toast

That’s a sandwich. Don’t talk about sandwiches unless you are taking my order or making me a sandwich. 

Anyways, in my tired and hungry state I just wanted to say ‘I didn’t like it’ and not have to explain why. Or, which I did say, ‘don’t listen to me, if the marker likes it then don’t change it.’ Really, my opinion means shit all. As my teacher, kind of, in a round about way, with probably no intention, let me know. 

Here’s a conclusion: You can’t please everyone. Especially die hard fans of a genre that will meticulous pick apart any whiff of a plot hole, and me.  

You can never please me when I’m tired and hungry. 

Now where’s my sandwich?

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It’s Moments Like These You’ll Need Something A Bit Stronger Than Minties

Small moments, out of all moments, stick in my mind like tiny white strands of cat hair stick to clean black work pants.

They can be a passing thought or feeling or some tiny, seemingly unimportant incident that reminds me I’m human in the most endearingly flawed kind of ways.

Like that small window of relief you feel after finally submitting an assignment. You’re so joyous and triumphant that you got the little fucker out of the way, you’re completely oblivious to the crippling anxiety that is about to follow once you realise there is still a result, marks and comments to come. When I’m in the throws of my next assignment, I’ll remember that minuscule moment of complete relaxation, to remind myself of what I’m aiming for.

Other moments remembered don’t really serve me any purpose, however they do give me some form of amusement.

I had trouble buttoning my pants the other day – pants I’d only owned for the past couple of months. I thought that I must up my Karate training. Yes, more cardio, I resolve. But you probably won’t commit to that, comes the little voice in my head. And no, watching Dragonball doesn’t count as training, even if you are taking mental notes of Goku’s fighting technique. Hmm, we were quite snippy that day.

I locked myself out of my car on another day. I was lucky no one was around to witness me hopping in through the boot of my car and ever so gracefully crawling over my back seat to retrieve my car keys (kind of like the time I wedged myself in the bathroom window trying to get back inside the house I was sharing, after my housemate unknowingly locked me out in a state of sleep deprived anal retentiveness).  Anyways, knowing me and my scatter brain, keeping my boot open is my insurance policy … just don’t tell anyone.

My car and I do seem to be at odds lately. My stereo is busted again and I’m uncomfortable with the silence. I tried singing to myself to compensate. I sang almost the entirety of Tenacious D’s first album, finding it quite awesome that I’ve still retained that knowledge from say six or seven years ago. But there’s only so much of my own singing I can take, so I’ll probably just have to stop being such a tight ass and get a new stereo.

Speaking of new purchases, I was at the snow last week. Wait the segue will eventually make sense.  I noticed in the promotional posters around the ski resort that all the girls have beach blond hair, stylish and form fitting ski gear and actually look good in a beanie and ski goggles (no-one looks good in a beanie and ski goggles). None of them resembled a cream puff with a big melon head. And suddenly I felt inadequate in my immense lemon coloured jacket and bulging, bright green helmet – who made those brilliant purchases anyways?

Oh that’s right – me. But you can’t expect too much from someone who makes their own music when their stereo brakes for the hundredth time, can you? I felt more comfortable skiing in my Charmander onesie. It did make me look awesome, I must admit. One of the lifties was all like ‘use flamethrower’ and I was all like ‘I haven’t gotten to that level yet!’. My skiing skills are probably more comparable with Scratch, Tackle and Smokescreen – somewhat effective, but in the grand scheme of moves, pretty useless.

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Survival Guide 101

I am failing as a caretaker.

And when I say caretaker, I mean gatherer and collector of wood and kindling for the fireplace – as a nice toasty fire is the most caring thing you can provide to a cold and dreary house.

Kindling is easy. Large bits of wood – fine. I don’t have to put much effort into sourcing those. Medium sized branches, however, are giving me the shits. They won’t succumb to my knee brake of steel, or my foot stamp of death. I have an axe to grind with medium sized branches.

No, literally, I have an axe to grind.

I found it in the shed.

It’s blunt as anything.

As I was hacking away at one gnarly piece of wood I thought to myself, ‘this axe is too blunt.’ And then continued to think, ‘dear Liza, dear Liza’.

‘Then sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry…’

With what? Yadda, yadda, yadda.

‘With a stone’.

Teach me to take advice from some daft childhood song. Who fixes a bucket with straw anyways? How does that work?

It doesn’t and neither does a stone in sharpening an axe, unless, I’m guessing, you invest a couple of hours.

I wasn’t about to do that. Ten minutes into using the axe and the skin was peeling off my hand.

What a sook. Well, that was the extent of my efforts.

It was probably for the best. Too long with an axe in my hand and I was having strange thoughts like ‘If I could hardly make a dent in the wood, then this would be fairly useless hacking through bone…’

I don’t know why, but I have a strange compulsion to make mental notes of things that would be useful in survival situations. Not ordinary ‘lost in the woods’ situations, more like the world is ending, zombie apocalypse kind of situations. Because if that axe isn’t sharp enough to crack some crazy ass zombie skull, then it best not weigh me down.

I also find myself canvassing my university car park, trying to decide the best get away vehicle for said apocalypse. Like, do I go for something fuel efficient, small and quiet, to limit dangerous stops for petrol, squeeze past road blocks and not draw attention to myself? Or do I go for an off road vehicle that could get me out of more sticky situations, one with a massive bull bar for plowing down those pesky zombies? Or do I just go for that expensive Mercedes Benz, because, hey, the world is ending, and if I’m going to die it might as well be in executive comfort and living out the dream, you know?

There’s also the question of where you would drive to. Do I go inland, where there’s a lesser population, or I do make a move for the sea, where I might be able to find a boat and some remote, self sufficient island in the Pacific? Or, you know, maybe Nimbin, because organically fed zombies on a pot high might be mellower?

Think about it.

Are you prepared for the end?

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I Have Been Put to Shame

The bloody woman had eight blogs. Count em. Eight! If she was an octopus her blogs would be like her arms. If she was a mother, she’d have octuplets. Eight screaming babies all vying for a suckle of mummy’s creative teat. But Mummy needs her rest children. Can’t you amuse yourself for five minutes? Can’t I even take a leak in private!

And she wrote everyday, sometimes twice. I sat there in my Writing for Performance class marveling at her, wondering how somebody could possibly have that much to say…

Then I heard her talk.

And then I understood.

The woman was a machine.

An eight tentacled abomination, enrapturing the blogosphere with her many differently themed creations.

I wondered about her competency. She was deathly allergic to bananas, yet for two years worked at The Big Banana. Bad logic? Or delicious irony? Like when someone fashionable wears a really ugly sweater…

Anyways. People. What can I say? I’m intrigued by them. Now to wait patiently for the mothership to beam me back onboard so that I may report my findings.

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I Wrote This With My Eyes Closed

Sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for inspiration to strike, I suddenly notice that for a non-religious household, there sure are a lot of representations of Buddha around the place.

When I was younger, in a previous house, Mum put a statue of Buddha outside the door, hoping it would repel Johos.

Somehow, I don’t think a little clay monument would deter them from helping us look for Jesus, but no matter. I searched behind my couch, where most lost things gravitate to, but alas, no avail.

Anyways, I digress. It was my first day back at Uni today. I had a midday short story class straight off the bat, my holiday hangover ever apparent as 12 still felt too early to function and my attentions immediately wandered from the teacher to all the new and shiny people. Particularly some Byron Bay alumni, with a floppy, maroon beanie and dead straight, sun bleached hair, compelling me to note down that I don’t like it when guys have prettier hair than I do.

The guy sitting next to him had red rimmed eyes, and I unabashedly assumed he was stoned. When the teacher asked him to define ‘short story’ on behalf of his group, he replied ‘Well, we all agree that they are short.’

Smart ass.

Anyways, he turned out to be some deep thinking, intellectual genius.

Here’s another one. ‘Short story is like a door, opened just a little.’

‘What does that mean to you?’

‘That life is like a door.’

Oh, god.

‘Why do we study short fiction?’

Thinks I, ‘Because it’s impossible to write and mark novel length fiction?’

BOOM.

Smart ass.

Unfortunately I didn’t turn out to be some deep thinking, intellectual genius.

Don’t get me wrong, I like short fiction, so in respect for the genre, let’s keep this post as short as possible.

 

 

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