Tuesday, 26 April 2005

very merry unbirthdays

it's been a brilliant birthday week. i had 5 days off and it was like a holiday. i got to go to the mountains for an afternoon, and it was cool and clear and i watched the sun set at echo point. i got to read a whole novel from cover to cover. i ate far too much delightful food, often involving chocolate and/or sprinkles. i drank lots of sparkling wine and some delicious baileys. i was given many lovely presents - photographic evidence accompanies this post. material stuff aside, i was reminded how much my family and friends love me, and that's a wonderful thing.

it's also been great catching up with various people i haven't seen for ages, and finding out that how many people i can fit in my living room all at once. jen said it was a handy thing to know - "i'm not sure why, but i'm sure that it is something like knowing your blood type, or the kind animal you would be if you could be any animal, or the exact location of your liver..." i don't know the answer to any of those questions - but i do know i can fit 18 people in my living room!

[actually, now grasping that tangent firmly, i have no idea what kind of animal i would be. the first thing that springs to mind is 'horse' but i don't know why - i wasn't even really a horsey kind of girl, and am too old for the saddle club (thank goodness). i like birds but they're kind of twits as a rule (well the ones i like, anyway) and i don't think i'd last long as one.]

mum wants to know how i'm going to top this birthday next year, for my 30th. i have a while to plan it...

Wednesday, 20 April 2005

washed and shiny and deceptively youthful

it's raining. i am SO glad it's raining.

so. almost 29. in 25 hours and 7 minutes. one thing i thought was kind of funny was being introduced to mel, the chef at tabou last night, and her exclaiming that she thought nic was my older brother and i didn't look a day over 23. still not sure that i believe her, but amusing all the same. (i am such a bad judge of age, i hate it when people ask me to guess how old they are because i'll invariably offend them.)

we'll just say mid-to-late-20s and leave it at that. :)

Tuesday, 19 April 2005

mon frere

just had a lovely dinner at tabou with my brother. it was a strange night though. he got quite inebriated, as is his wont, and was spouting all sorts of stuff about our parents' divorce, our parents' current situations, my singleness, my past boyfriends, and the fact that i'm a 'good girl' (because that's a bad thing apparently), his string of 'girlfriends', etc. we argued a bit, but much of the night i had to just sit back and listen to his crude jokes and explicit language and hear about the nastiness of his life - but all framed in a way as if i should be envious of his lifestyle, with the implication that me trying to live a godly life is all a bit of a joke, because he knows what i'm really like, deep down inside.

the thing is, no he doesn't. and even he would probably be shocked to know how sinful i am. but we all are, aren't we? and the only person who can redeem us is Jesus and i for one am unbelievably grateful. that there is so much more to life than the hollow depravity so many of us take as normal, and that this redemption is freely available to everyone. it doesn't mean that life is perfect and trouble-free, and it sure doesn't mean that you suddenly stop sinning, but it is a great relief to know that i have been saved from this mess and that i am loved as much as it is possible to be loved.

nic and i parted on the surry hills street with a big hug and mutual 'i love you's (not youse), but it's left me feeling a little rattled and very sad. it's so hard to break into his perceived coolness and self-assuredness on one level, and yet he is so broken and in need of a relationship with Christ that i can't even begin to work out how to approach that. i always want to reflect Christ's love to him and to be a good example to him, but i find it quite hard sometimes to resist the pull of his worldliness. it suddenly becomes much easier to swear and put people down and to fall back into 'old' ways of behaving when i'm with him and i hate it!

but i do love him. my little brother.

Monday, 18 April 2005

don't patronise me

GUH. Just had the most irritating conversation with a woman who was calling from what sounded like the other side of the universe who officiously announced she wanted to speak to the business manager (first warning bell), then wouldn't say what it was about (second warning bell) and then when i wouldn't put her through until she told me what it was about she said very rudely "I've already told you, it's about a business proposal, so just put me through to him, okay?" (incessant clamouring of bells and a rising red rage) I CAN'T STAND PEOPLE WHO TREAT ME LIKE AN IDIOT JUST BECAUSE I ANSWERED THE PHONE. even if i was the receptionist (which i'm not, we don't have one) doesn't give her the right to speak to me like that, particularly when she's just spruiking for business that we don't need and trying to imply that she has a close business relationship with my boss when i know full well that she's just a time waster.

had great delight in hearing howard tell her to get lost. (well he was much more polite than that, but very firm)

Sunday, 17 April 2005

the birthday week

it's my birthday on thursday and because last year i forgot to tell anyone and so consequently everyone forgot to mark it (nobody to blame but myself, but i still felt a little miffed), this year i'm having a dinner on my actual birthday, an afternoon tea thingy on saturday and a movie night (with baileys...yum) after church on sunday night.

but seeing as i've already gotten two birthday presents and today i had cake i feel i can safely say i've started a ridiculous week-and-a-bit-long celebration and i'm probably the only person who has ever spent that long celebrating turning 29, which isn't a particularly noteworthy birthday as far as i can see.

my mum bought me an italk attachment for my ipod which means i can go and bother people and record their musings for posterity and publication. so if you see me approaching with a small white object and a strange look on my face, you're probably on the record. (mum wanted to buy me a 'proper' birthday present like shoes or indulgent clothing but the italk was 'necessary' for an interview i was doing and it seemed more practical. that is, until my two most-worn pairs of shoes suddenly got holes in the soles and now i have nothing but high heels and sandals to wear and considering i usually get around in sneakers or boots, i probably should have opted for the shoe present...(but i'm such a gadget head i couldn't help it))

and i came home tonight to find the new ben folds album 'songs for silverman' (deluxe edition no less!) hanging on my front door handle... thanks heath!!! it's brilliant.

and today i did the bronte-bondi coastal walk with johanna w and we went to the gelato bar on campbell parade and had strong coffee and dobos torte (one of my favourite cakes, at a restaurant that mum and i used to go to all the time), so everything feels all celebratory and kind of exciting, like birthdays used to.

(before i became an old woman and started going to bed early because i actually wanted to, before i started complaining about my back, before i turned on the tv on a saturday morning and had never heard any of the songs in the top 10...

grampa simpson: "i used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' was...now what's 'it' seems strange and scary to me...it'll happen to you!"
homer: "no way man, i'm gonna keep rocking forever... forever... forever... for..ever...that's it! i've gotta get out of this rut and back into the groove!")

Monday, 4 April 2005

wet jeans and bookworms

took me forever to wake up today - something i absolutely love is lying in bed on a rainy morning, with the option to go back to sleep if so desired. but, despite my body whingeing about it, i forced myself to get up and get dressed. i did my bible reading as i ate my toast and kept gazing out the window at the rain - so was distracted both from galatians and getting to work at a decent time - but eventually i got my act together and left the house. i don't mind walking through the rain, in fact i quite like being out in the elements. but after about twenty minutes i was starting to get over it...about the time when my socks started to feel wet. so i sat at work with wet jeans cuffs and bare feet, hoping my sneakers would soon dry out. i'm just glad i don't work in a place where i have to wear a suit, high heels and stockings.

i've been mulling over the following for a few days...it's from karen and requires much thought and consideration (sounds like karen's regretting ever releasing it into the wild ... i love this sort of thing and can't help perpetuating it). it's taken me a while to formulate the answers, but here goes (i'll probably change my mind later).

1. If you could be any character from a book, who would you be and why?
this took me a while to answer; i just can't decide. but really i think for the moment i'm settling on eloise in eloise at christmastime by kay thompson. she is 6 years old, is wild, ratty, endearing, energetic, sings loudly, is completely precocious and has a pug dog named weenie and a pet turtle named skipperdee. these may not seem like desirable attributes, but when i wish i could indulge my 'inner child', i think she looks a lot like eloise.

(i have a 1958 first edition of this book that was given to my mother when she was a child. apparently, according to the eloise website
A first edition of Eloise at Christmastime can go for as much as $500.00.
probably not this one, given its well-loved state and besides which, i would never part with it.)

2. Which book do you wish you had written and why?
neverwhere by neil gaiman. because...i love the characters, i love the settings, i love the slight twisting of the familiar, i love the dialogue, i love the black humour, i love the grandness of scale and the intimacy of richard's and door's stories. i think you could say that i quite like this book.

3. What book(s) have you wanted to change the ending of?
i tried to think of an example but generally i don't want to change the endings of books...i just have to put them down respectfully (or throw them across the room) and agree that we will go our separate ways. this is possibly also linked to the fact that i find it really hard, almost impossible, to throw a book away, even if i hated it.

4. What is most important to you in a book and why?
* Story/Plot?
* Character?
* Language?
* Ideas?
* Other?

i have to come back to 4. i haven't decided yet.

5. In your opinion, who is the writer who is best at:
  • story/plot?
    phillip pullman in the his dark materials trilogy

  • character?

  • ruth park's and tim winton's characters can be pretty amazing - they somehow get into your brain without much effort yet they are very hard to get rid of
  • language?

  • margaret atwood in her fiction, helen garner in her non-fiction - both appear to use language very simply but as any writer will know it's hard work to make it look that simple.
  • ideas?
    at the moment i'm enjoying jasper fforde's ideas, just because he seems to be galloping along on the edge of the ridiculous but manages to create a world that is real enough and delightful in its implausibility.

6. Which book(s) have you most wanted to burn/obliterate the memory of off the face of the planet?
love and vertigo by hsu ming teo (and not just because i wrote about it in my thesis)
billy by pamela stephenson (SO self indulgent)
how to be good by nick hornby, which shocked me because i loved high fidelity and about a boy
dead air by iain banks, which also surprised me because i loved the business, whit and espedair street

7. Describe your favourite place to read (plus essential accompaniments, etc. tea).
late at night in bed in winter, curled up in piles of blankets, with stacks of pillows, a pot of peppermint tea and possibly some chocolate biscuits. simple and predictable tastes, really.

8. Which books are your “comfort” books? (ie. the ones you keep coming back to to read over and over again because you enjoy them so much each time)?
nothing at all noble here. but in the interests of honesty...
bridget jones's diary (1 and 2) by helen fielding (because sometimes i need to know that other people are as hopeless as i feel)
anything by terry pratchett but especially thief of time (because susan sto helit rocks)
the harry potter books (because they're easy and satisfying)
and if i'm feeling really sooky, the adventures of milly molly mandy by joyce lancaster brisley (because she is just the loveliest child (not at all like eloise) and her family is so sweet and brisley's little illustrations are marvellous) :)

there are 3 more questions but that's enough for now (also i can't settle on answers to them yet and this post has been sitting in draft stage for too long...). more questions and answers soon.