Friday, 10 December 2004

tis december

well here we are at the end of another year. i don't quite know how that happened...

i have just come back from a week-long conference for work in canberra. it was a wonderful conference on ministry and evangelism, with around 900 university students from all around the country, and the end of a long preparation period for us in the office. a lot of my projects were tied to the conference so it was very satisfying to have them all finished and to get lots of positive feedback on what i'd been doing.

the thing i love most about conferences like that is the music - the singing was wonderful. the band was fantastic (and it meant i got to hear libby christmas again, who is fast becoming one of my favourite chick drummers), the singing led by mark peterson and julie morrow - julie has such a gift for that, she really connects with the audience and has a smile that just makes you smile back. when we lead the music at church on sundays, sometimes it's a challenge to actually get the congregation looking like they have a pulse at all, so to stand in llewellyn hall (at ANU) and belt out songs with 900 other people also belting them out just makes your heart soar.

having worked the whole week, though, i am just a wee bit tired. back in the humid heat of sydney...ew. feeling like it's about time to get festive but haven't really got the energy. also no money this year! just checked my bank balance and it makes me feel a little queasy, but i've decided to bake extra special dark chocolate brandy fruit cakes for people instead of buying presents. last year i tried to do that but the cakes didn't work as well as i'd like so i ended up eating most of them...oops...

Wednesday, 24 November 2004

stop press

Library releases classified JFK doodles

aside from being an amusing headline, go look at the picture they have up on that link (you may need to be registered) and then read this last para:

"When you see the sailboats, you realise, 'wow, he really did love sailing'," she said.

"(You) wouldn't doodle something like that unless it was something that was obviously on your mind when you were sitting in that meeting."


but then, this is a woman (his secretary) who obsessively archived every bit of paper the man ever scribbled on, so, you know, she has special insight. obviously.

Wednesday, 17 November 2004


okay, so this is weird enough. but thisis just...wrong!!!! on so many levels!!!!

the english in the interview is also kinda funny.

but 'girlfriend's lap pillow'?! i don't understand what happened. has the world always been like this? have i just been in denial for far too long?

Monday, 15 November 2004

poets of the modern age

what do you think this person's first language is, and what do you think he's really trying to say?

This product is a full natural herbaceous lozenge incorporating a salmagundi of weeds known for promoting sexual desire with performance. By using this pills you should see an increase in intimate craving, an amelioration in your volume and performance, also as increased energy and joy during intimate activity.

and for those who don't know, a salmagundi is:
sal·ma·gun·di n. pl. sal·ma·gun·dis

1. A salad of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, and onions, often arranged in rows on lettuce and served with vinegar and oil.
2. A mixture or assortment; a potpourri.

so now you know.

Thursday, 11 November 2004

more spam excitement

i was just going to delete this when it arrived today, but the syntax is so charming i had to share it:

Our latest sight displays that 46 percent of girls are unsatisfied
with their sexual associate. Of course most of these women would never impart their mates that they are ill-fated.

sounds like some black widow action to me...

Tuesday, 9 November 2004


i just came to appreciate, once again, what a brilliant song into temptation is, and how beautifully neil finn weaves images with words. i can't decide which bit of the song i like the best, although the first four lines are a pretty persuasive hook, as far as i'm concerned:

You opened up your door
I couldn't believe my luck
You in your new blue dress
Taking away my breath

although maybe it's all about the context of the song...

one of my favourite crowded house songs is she goes on from the album woodface - perfect harmonies, another one of those lovely neil finn images, turning on a point of wistfulness and joy mixed together. but then there's songs like private universe and when you come and...

it's wonderful to rediscover these things sometimes.

Wednesday, 3 November 2004

what a thrill!

jeremy just sent me this email he received today:

Our modern view displays that it requires an average of only 2.6 drinks to make a hang-over. But my pills assistances you avoid hangovers and come alive sensitive immense from head to stomach and all over else.

why has it taken so long for this miracle to come to light?!

Tuesday, 2 November 2004


let's see. what have i been feeding my head?

last night watched a random episode of six feet under, which is a great show in small doses (when i rented the first season on DVD i ended up feeling ever so slightly out of focus after watching it and decided one episode at a time was probably a better move). i agree with things i've read that say the opening titles sequence is excellent - it is almost perfect. but that leaves me worrying that i don't get out enough if i am starting to appreciate the merits of a credit sequence.

most recently saw shaun of the dead with heath. very funny, if you like zombies and english comedies like the office.

have been getting in a lot of slothing time lately. the usual buffy nights with mark and jen have been quite frequent lately, and we've watched almost a whole season over a couple of nights (just seen the end of faith, which is a shame because i like eliza dushku).

my mum stayed at my house last week and we watched girl with a pearl earring and lost in translation, a bit of an inadvertent scarlett johansson fest. the first was...pleasant, but lacked something, i thought (as did the book, for that matter). absolutely beautiful film to look at, very evocative of vermeer, and colin firth was also extremely...good to look at. but lost in translation was infinitely better, obviously a very different film, but very well put together and great performances by johansson and bill murray.

the sunday afternoon movie fests continue, but i've seen most of them before - in the last few weeks we've watched chocolat, moulin rouge, once upon a time in mexico, nicholas nickelby, and the recruit, amongst others.

last sunday we watched kill bill vol 1 & 2 (first time for me). watching them together was a good ploy i think, they are brilliant films if you can stomach the violence and some of the ickier concepts (the bit in the hospital when the bride first wakes up and finds out what the intern has been doing to her...oh man...). tarantino's manipulation of time and genre appeal to me. uma thurman, sonny chiba and lucy liu are great. david carradine is too, in a creepy kind of way, but i never saw kung fu so i don't have much of a reference point for him. i was surprised how good daryl hannah was actually, but then the enduring image i have of her is as a mermaid in splash so i guess she didn't have to do much to improve on that.

you won't be surprised to learn i just read pratchett's night watch again. one of his best discworld books, i'd say.

am about to start on gaiman's american gods, but not sure if i'm in the mood for it. maybe i should give margaret atwood's the blind assassin another go. it bugs me, that i couldn't get into this book, as she had been my favourite author for years and years. i still think she's amazing (oryx and crake left indelible impressions), but maybe my capacity for complex prose has diminished over the years for some reason. i should try to rectify this, i feel.

haven't done much lately. pulled out a bunch of half finished stories - wanting to know what happens next when you get to the end of one of your own stories is a good sign, i think, so hopefully i can start working on some of them again. lost interest in the cyborg story, but there is a good whack of it sitting there on my hard drive so maybe i'll go back to it one day, along with undragon stories (my MA work).

and that's me at the beginning of november.

Sunday, 31 October 2004

the whingey apathetic post

i realise this blog isn't very interesting. it's akin to watching paint dry, sometimes, really. i read other people's blogs and they talk about all sorts of fascinating things (like neil gaiman for instance, but then again there is only one neil gaiman and it's probably just as well, really). or they are consistently quirky and funny, or they rant in amusing ways about pop culture.

it's not that i'm not ranty. people who know me know that i rant on a regular basis. for some reason though i find that once i get to the point of writing any of it down it's either too long and involved to go into or i just can't be bothered.

this begs the question, why did i write this post at all? is it just to get my silly sushi picture off the top of the page? quite possibly.

Tuesday, 26 October 2004

all you can eat

sushi champion
Originally uploaded by the procrastinatrix.
we recently had a sushi making day at catherine's. i made that stuff on the plate there! there was lots of wasabi and soy and it was fun, but i don't think i've ever eaten that much sushi in one sitting. who thought of this? it's such a weird concept in some ways, but there's a certain level of skill involved - aside from making sure you roll the thing properly and all the rice doesn't fall out - but making it look balanced and appealing. seeing all the ingredients chopped and laid out on dishes, then putting things together and seeing the difference colour and texture makes to underestimated art form really.

Thursday, 21 October 2004


you know what's fun to discover at 3.00am in the middle of a storm? that all your windows leak.

Wednesday, 20 October 2004

a more accurate representation

graduation hair
Originally uploaded by the procrastinatrix.
and just in case you thought i looked too smug or posed in that last photo, here's what i really looked like for most of that windy day. actually, it's what i really look like most of the time...

master of all i survey...well, kind of.

i don't know why i didn't mention it, but i graduated last week.


it was a sort of fun, surreal kind of day, and i was the only MA (Research) in English so i felt extra special. that's me, looking unnaturally coordinated, with my proud mother, being photographed on usa's camera phone because we all forgot to bring a camera (when i say coordinated, i don't mean organised).

it's a big relief now that it's official, and i have nothing else to hand in, no corrections to make, no little bit of protocol hanging over my head - i'm free!

until the next time.

Sunday, 17 October 2004

weather and suchlike

after a week of impressively hot days, it has now cooled down again and is raining rather steadily, which i like. the windows in front of my desk are kind of like a bay-window-type dealie, facing out over the corner of my street and a streetlight. everything looks monochrome in the streetlight's white glow, and the rain makes it even more atmospheric. the only colour comes from the occasional car's taillights.

this is perfect weather. i love it. i love being inside and looking out at times like this. it's raining enough that there are sizeable puddles, and it seems like it will continue all night. i love lying in bed and listening to the rain, and waking up to cool grey mornings.

of course, only in moderation. if it continued too long it would be depressing, but in terms of relief after a week of swelter, it's pretty unbeatable.

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

stating the bleeding obvious

it's hot. damn hot, real hot.

actually, in the twenty minute walk between my cool house and my air conditioned work, i have quite enjoyed the blazing sun and the absolute swelter of it all. reminds me of singapore and malaysia, but in a good way. i haven't quite gotten it together enough to go to the beach yet, but it will probably happen sometime before next year. probably.

one thing i find disturbing in the hot weather is guys in vans driving around with their shirts off. don't know why it bothers me. in fact, it makes me sound slightly prudish to say it. but there you go, there's my useless bit of sharing and observation for the day.

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

desk addict

okay so i've been doing nothing but data entry at work for the past two days, entering in rego forms for our national conference. hours of mind numbing processing. and i get home and i...sit in front of the computer. what's that about?

i went out for dinner with mum tonight for her birthday to the restaurant where my brother works. ate far too much delicious french food...goats cheese souffle...mmm...the most deliciously tender steak i have eaten in quite some time...mmmm

i really should go to bed, but i just had to share my gluttony with you. thank you for participating. goodnight.

Thursday, 7 October 2004

weird technology and pigeons

Originally uploaded by becjee.
i'm testing this thing to see if it will blog my pictures. i don't know why i have this compulsive desire to test new gadgety or softwarey things...i wish i actually understood how some of this stuff works. then i could conquer the world.

Wednesday, 6 October 2004

shock! movies cause brain meltdown!

after a week-and-a-bit of very little sleep and lots of energy expending, i am finally starting to feel vaguely human again. we had our second holiday kids club last week, at st stephen's this time, and it was lots of fun even if there were only around 12 kids a day. still, each one was lovely and it's here that i think quality over quantity counts. and we sang lots. and made snowdomes. it was fun.

the day before the kids club started there was a sleepover at church that i only intended to go to for about an hour...and stayed for rather longer than that. it was a weird night of half-baked brownies, chupa chups and movies i had seen too many times:

half each of the bourne identity and monsters, inc
gone in 60 seconds
dead poets society

then during the week i had mims and john staying at my place (and amelia one night too), so there was lots of eating of Bad Food and more movie watching (and i was not responsible for many of these movie choices, mind you (particularly the first two)):

a walk to remember

i think part of legally blonde but i may actually have gone to bed
the first half hour of anastasia
10 things i hate about you
scary movie 3

and the first 10 minutes of the matrix for amelia's sake, but she fell asleep so i turned it off

then the morning after the kids club i flew down to melbourne with mum and we went to echuca and barham for her work. by the time we got there i was totally spaced out and had to stay in the motel while she schmoozed and of course, what was on tv? bring it on of course! so in the last week i've had my full dose of trashy movies, nicely rounded off.

i feel like i need to go and read proust or something. i think terry pratchett will just have to do... heh.

Thursday, 23 September 2004

security guard update

there - some young hooligan types just hooned around the corner and sprayed water at the crocodile of after-care children waiting to cross the road. the security guard sprang to attention, scribbled down the car's number plate and headed off up the hill with purpose.

i wonder if his presence has anything to do with being the last week for year 12 students...maybe these Catholic schoolgirls aren't to be trusted! shock! horror!!

the fascinating view out my window

there's a security guard, who stands on the corner of my street outside the Catholic girls' high school. i've only just noticed him this week, but he is there from around 8am to 4pm, just standing there. something he strolls a little way up the street, sometimes he puts sunglasses on - oh, he just went away for a moment and came back with a jacket on - but mostly he just stands there looking slightly embarrassed and as though he's waiting for a date that hasn't shown up. i wonder what's happened that has required his employment. and i also wonder how he can stand up for that long without getting tired.

and then, sometimes, i wonder whether i've been sitting at this desk too long.

Wednesday, 22 September 2004


this is scary...i have been informed by a couple of people that they actually read this thing. now i feel the pressure to write something! (which is actually a good pressure to be under)

i've been sick most of this week. waa. i'm trying to keep it at bay so i am well for the second kids club we're running next week at st stephen's. how could i lose my voice and deprive those children of my wonderful singing? t'would be a tragedy indeed. :)

so i've been working at home, doing some layout and design for a conference book. i could seriously get used to this working at home lark, although i do get distracted quite easily. for example, i just had to take down the curtain in my study because it was bothering me - it was the one already here when i moved in and of course, having work to do, i decided it needed a wash. oh my goodness. as soon as water hit the thing it let off the most revolting stench, something like fish sauce and prawn paste, and the water went a strange brown colour. so dealing with the disgustingness of that distracted me for a while. but despite this, today i have actually worked almost as many hours as i normally do in the office, which shows it is possible.

the other thing about being sick is i find i read a lot more than i usually do. i've been re-reading neil gaiman's neverwhere, which i have to say is fast becoming one of my favourite books. again. if you haven't read it i heartily recommend it.

Thursday, 16 September 2004

tis a mystery

don't know why my site is still up...ozemail seems to have forgotten to delete it. either that, or it just permanently drifts around in cyberspace. i can't get in to change links or anything, but it's there for interest's sake, until i build a new site with new stuff it in.

of course, that means i will have to actually write some new material. now my graduation is coming up (on october 15) it feels like it's time to admit i've had a long enough 'break', shake off the inactivity and get going. having a study helps :)

i still haven't worked out what i think about writing methods. whether it's better to try and force productivity, doing exercises like piano scales to break a block, or whether it's better to wait until inspiration strikes and then write until that vein is exhausted. at the moment, neither is happening so in some ways i feel like it would be better to try and write than not - often from a dodgy beginning i can find fragments that are worth developing and turn into publishable stories. but for each one of those there are a dozen half pages and aborted attempts at being clever languishing on my hard drive.

i don't think there's much virtue in trying to be too clever with writing. it's better to write honestly and so that you actually enjoy the process and the result, than trying to be the most brilliant novelist under 30, or trying to find the most original plot twist, or trying to write Worthy Literature.

the thing about that i find interesting is that certain writers seem to get a tad bitter when others find acclaim or success for writing work that is perhaps less high-brow than others, as if their efforts are somehow less valuable because the product is popular. the comments AS Byatt had concerning JK Rowling last year for example. i agree that Rowling's work doesn't stretch the mind as much as other writing in that genre, but as fay weldon says at the end of that article "She is absolutely right that it is not what the poets hoped for," Weldon said. "But this is not poetry, it is readable, saleable, everyday, useful prose."

i suppose if all you read is fairly formulaic children's fiction, then you're not really going to be experiencing everything an amazing novel has to offer. but i think there is a place for 'comfort' reading - there have been times when it's all i can manage, when i need something familiar and easy to digest to make me feel better. the harry potter books are definitely mashed potato books, but i don't think there is anything wrong with that.

and byatt does recommend "the great Terry Pratchett, whose wit is metaphysical, who creates an energetic and lively secondary world, who has a multifarious genius for strong parody as opposed to derivative manipulation of past motifs, who deals with death with startling originality. Who writes amazing sentences." so she can't be all bad.

Wednesday, 15 September 2004

the ghosts of theatres past

went to see picasso at the lapin agile tonight. it was great - very funny, excellent performances, nice staging...highly recommended.

i went on my own, though, which was probably not the smart move given my mood lately. i hate walking into a room and not knowing anyone; even worse is knowing a couple of people but not very well. after the initial 'oh, hi' is dispensed with, there isn't anything else to say and you all end up trying to pretend you didn't notice one another. you can't even stand around and pretend you're someone with an interesting backstory, because they know you and they know that there isn't really anything interesting going on, you just couldn't find anyone to go to the theatre with.

mum's comment was "now you know how i felt all those years i had to go by myself to see you in plays". yes, i do. and i'm sorry!

still, it happened again, despite feeling like a total nigel - i sat there wondering why i wasn't doing any theatre. why haven't i written any scripts for years? why haven't i worked on a show? why has that whole part of my life disappeared? because i loved working on shows, even with all the pretentiousness and personality clashes and late nights and exhaustion. maybe partly because of those things. i loved that feeling of three o'clock in the morning, having worked for the last 36 hours straight, dirty and tired, trying to put the finishing touches on a set, suddenly getting a sugar rush and running around like a maniac. okay, so i don't strictly need theatre to do that, but...well, it legitimises it somewhat.


Wednesday, 8 September 2004

yeah yeah

Just as an aside... - the scary thing is how convincing most of these are.

also, seeing as the election draws closer, it's time to revisit this blog. again, scarily convincing.

Sunday, 5 September 2004

new home

well i guess you've found me. had to move the blog because i signed up with unwired and am losing my ozemail account. haven't worked out where i will park the rest of my site yet, but not too fussed as i haven't updated it in so long i don't think anyone will miss it.

also changed the name. vastly different as you can see, but it's kind of in light of the fact that i no longer have a laundry. well, there is a laundry in the building but it's kind of silence of the lambs scary and i don't want to go in there. so it has come to a laundrette or mum's or danielle's. feels weird carrying my clothes down the hill to dani's place, but nice to be able to hang them out on the good old hills hoist. i'm such a cliche at heart. :)

more soon.

Tuesday, 24 August 2004


so i'm in. it's great. i've even cooked a meal in my new cast iron casserole dish (a most excellent housewarming present) so i'm really at home. it's funny how some places feel instantly comfortable and familiar. this is one of those places.

but now i am too tired to concentrate. i'm at work, doing photocopying, which is pretty much all i can focus on at the moment.

think it's almost time to go home and VEG!

Wednesday, 18 August 2004

movin' on

so it's happening...moving into my own place. all a mix of excitement and nervousness and anxiety and tiredness. i would feel a lot better about it if the electricity was on - nobody can find the fuse box. but once that's happened and my stuff's in, it's going to be excellent.

one great thing is the bedroom is huge, unlike my current shoebox, and even better, i have a spare room - a spare room i can use as a study! (that is, until my money runs out and i have to get a flatmate, but hopefully that won't be right away) it's an art deco building, so a bit utilitarian in the common spaces, but the flat is big and has curved edges and high ceilings and whatnot.

i'm starting to discover the idiosyncrasies of it already, and i haven't even moved in yet. things like the ancient bathroom and kitchen (which weren't a surprise, but probably haven't been touched since the 1920s). like the 'resurfaced' bath, which has actually only been painted. like the interesting light fitting stuck together with masking tape. like the bedroom door not having a handle. like the place having been painted (so it's nice and clean), but the painters painting everything - light switches, power points, the front door security chain...the bathroom window has been painted permanently open, so i have to work at loosening it and be glad in the meantime that the neighbouring block of flats doesn't look into my bathroom.

but it's my place and every time i go into it with more stuff i feel like it will be a cosy and inviting home to come back to every day. some places i looked at seemed alright, but when i thought about how it would feel to come home to every night none of them felt right. although the emotional response is not always clever (and you forget to check certain things, like whether the bathroom window shuts), it's important to feel at home.

you'll have to come visit.

Tuesday, 27 July 2004


stumbled across this. the man absolutely staggers me.

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you may talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and corruption such as you now meet if at all only in a nightmare.

All day long we are in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in light of these overwhelming possibilities it is with awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal, Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations, these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit -- immortal horrors or ever lasting splendours.

CS Lewis, 'The Weight of Glory'

Wednesday, 21 July 2004

all shall fear me

i get to be prime minister. bwa ha ha.

(but if i use my full name, i get to be an astrologer, so i think i'll ditch the middle name)

Sunday, 11 July 2004


they've been busy over at Angry Alien Productions. now there are 30-second bunny theatres of the exorcist, the shining, titanic and alien.

things i liked: 'redrum' in a bunny voice, and the bunny ears on the alien. :)

will write about stuff i've been doing soon, but am too tired to post anything more coherent than bunny stuff now.

Monday, 28 June 2004

such gorgeousness

check this guy out. there's wallpapers and icons on the goodies page, but his artwork and animations are fantastic.

ah, whimsy.

Wednesday, 23 June 2004

haven't had some silliness for a while

this is just too funny - LOTR pastiches. there are too many for me to care about and some that are not that great, but my favourites include:

losing my one ring
sauron and saruman
frodo jones' diary
a few good hobbits

sad, sad, sad. :)

general erg-iness

been sick now for almost a week. it's getting old. today i have developed earache in addition to all the other unpleasant flu-like symptoms. these are the times when i just want to curl up in a corner somewhere and sleep for three weeks. i bought a sleeping bag on the weekend - the temptation just to get into it and never come out is very strong.

but i have so much to do in the next few weeks! work, as usual. in a week and a bit i'm going to the mary andrews college conference for the saturday, and am going to be one of the readers at the fireside reading thingy in the evening - i did it last year and it was most fun. i got to eat heaps of chocolate and read a big slab of CS Lewis' the magician's nephew and did voices and everything and it was lots of fun.

then the kids club - KASM - that i'm helping to run at church is the week after that (gulp) and although we're steadily progressing towards being organised, every now and again i feel a small tremor of panic. i'm good at this kind of thing but i've never been the person in charge...a little scary.

then that saturday is our winter dinner at church - winterfest. we've got nicky chiswell coming to play, which should be cool except she hasn't been in touch for a while, so i hope she hasn't forgotten. and i am supposed to be in charge of that too, but i think i feel some more extreme delegating coming on.

if only i could get over this sickness!

Wednesday, 9 June 2004


it's been an oddly pleasant day at work, quiet and tinkering with computers. i don't mind that when there isn't a pressing deadline - there's a lot less swearing this way. :) but after tinkering with the PC and loading XP onto it, i am quite glad to come back to the warm cuddliness of my mac and the fluid loveliness of OSX. although XP looks pretty, it just...isn't underneath. these are technical terms, you understand. it is important to rate operating systems on cuddly, lovely and pretty scales, down to infinitesimal degrees.

so i need to get out more. what else is new?

Friday, 4 June 2004


i suppose i really should mention that i got my marks back from my examiners. very happy with them. no huge criticisms and any that were made were entirely valid, so it's a good outcome really! no corrections!!!

now i have to get it bound in hardcover and there will be a book in the unsw library with my name on the spine. that's one of the best bits, i reckon.

Tuesday, 25 May 2004

Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing

Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing

okay, this is very very funny but in a good-lord-i-can't-believe-so-many-people-are-so-stupid kind of way.

i was laughing a lot and doing fine until i got to the woman who named her child 'Catatonia Calliope', knowing full well what it means. then i had to go and lie down.

Tuesday, 18 May 2004

Salam Pax

Salam Pax: Enough Rope, episode 42, transcript

just finished reading/watching an exhausting hour-long forum with Salam Pax at the enough rope website - the questions were rolling in too fast to keep track of. the interview last night was great - he seems like an amazing, if completely ordinary, guy; in fact his ordinariness probably is what makes him so compelling, the fact that he survived both the actual war as well as commenting on what was happening in baghdad, and he was just a guy in his family of thirty, all waiting to see what happened.

juxtapose that with the preceding interview with john travolta, who was also extremely compelling in a super-charismatic way, but for totally different excellent show and an interesting collision of topics.

(salam also has a great turn of phrase and a lovely smile. it would be interesting to read his book (the blog all in one go) and maybe hear him speak at the sydney writers festival, but that would require me getting my act together and that's extremely unlikely to happen)

Monday, 17 May 2004

sad act

have spent the last half an hour trying to write alternate lyrics to 'your song' and 'summer lovin'' (promos for an upcoming dinner-event thing). it's very sad. and difficult! i've decided the best option is just to go for the crass and corny, as there's no way you can be clever and witty in a situation like this. well, there's no way i can, anyway. people expect the corn. and i shall give it to them. (besides, john, my co-conspirator, is writing words to 'i'm gonna be' by the proclaimers - already high up on the corn stakes there, so he can't fail!)

and i was going to be a prize winning novelist by the time i was thirty.

(i was?)

Thursday, 13 May 2004


I am officially happy now.  I have a new gadget.  It was worth it.  Ahhh.


i feel like calvin, waiting for his propeller beanie. wish i could find that strip online to show you, i'll have a hunt just sums up the agony of waiting for my ipod to arrive.

i know, i know, waa, get over it, etc. but having made the ridiculously unnecessary financial leap and actually buying the damn thing, it would be nice to hold it in my hand and feel that, perhaps, i was justified in buying it. because, of course, it's going to fulfil my every desire, give me complete contentment and mean that i never lust after another piece of electronic gadgetry again.

sheesh. i'm so gullible.

Tuesday, 11 May 2004

crawling days

What do you do with those days that just seem to drag on interminably?  My back seems to have decided to be uncooperative and no matter how much stretching, walking, changing position I do, I just can’t get comfortable.  I’ve got various bitsy things to do here at work but nothing particularly inspiring or challenging.  Some days are just like this.

The only thing I feel like doing is sleeping.  Back to that again.  I slept very well last night in my new pyjamas, snuggled under the covers – it was the perfect (cool) temperature and not noisy.  Most satisfactory.  I’d like to be back there now, reading my new Tamora Pierce, thanks to Bethany (so you see, I chose not to venture into grown up books...).  Now I have to get acquainted with a new heroine, Daine, who I’m sure will be as cool as Alanna.

I’ve got to get cracking with my own story – got about 16000 words, and it’s just one of those stories I add a few thousand words to every so often.  I read back over it the other day, not having read it for about a year, and feel like it might actually have some merit to it.  Now that I’m not so obsessed with it going somewhere, and can just enjoy getting to know my characters, it feels good to write it.

It’s like going back to the gym or something, learning to write again.  Not having done anything but thesis for six or seven months it’s really hard to get back into it and write something I’m happy with.  I think I just have to do small writing exercises (to further the gym analogy) until my brain remembers what inspiration is like.

Monday, 10 May 2004

listing lists

So chuffed with this new blog I think I'll post 3 times in one day. Also, work is dreary-dull.

Haven't done lists for a while! I guess I had been too busy with scary academia that I didn't have much of a life outside of it. So. What have I been doing?

Have recently read the song of the lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce. Bethany had been at me for years to read these books, and now that I have I know why. They are simply written, but compelling, in a pre-JK Rowling kind of way. The lead character, Alanna, is totally legendary, a fiesty, intelligent, aggressive, principled, attractive, emotional, talented and tenacious woman; so basically, a complex and well-rounded character (unlike, say, some of Rowling's).

Now do not know what to start reading. Might continue with Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn books, or read something grown up. Haven't decided yet. Pulp is good. Got Bethany onto Terry Pratchett, starting with Equal Rites...had an interesting experience driving back from Bowral with her family the other day, with her reading the narration and me doing all the voices. Couldn't have been worse than driving down to Bowral and singing along to the Bee Gees greatest hits...could it?

Saw van helsing with bek on Friday. O what a supremely silly movie! it was very enjoyable, had lots of delicious things to look at, but what a clanger of a script! Still, Kate Beckinsale has proven that she looks good in lycra, leather, vinyl and corsets (in this movie and underworld) and that she can fall through debris down three storeys and still have all her hair in place, with maybe only the faintest smudge of dirt on her nose. Hugh Jackman has proven that even though you lose all your skin and clothing when you turn into a wolfman, when you revert back to your human form you will still be wearing a loin cloth.

love actually again...despite its unapologetic frothiness, I love this movie.

this is spinal tap- I had never actually seen this until a couple of weeks ago. If you listen to the commentary, I think it's almost funnier than the original film.

Been listening to the 3 CDs that I got with my CD voucher from heath for my birthday, almost non-stop: life for rent by dido, sunrise over sea by the john butler trio, and if I left the zoo by jars of clay. John loaned me another jars of clay CD last night, so I might yet get out of this cycle...and into another one.

Also, my ipod should be arriving soon...tee hee...

the birthday exorcism

i had a repeat performance of my birthday yesterday. it was a joint bec-imogen birthday and mother's day, with people from church at the tonks' house - it was supposed to be a picnic in their large backyard but of course if i ever mention the words picnic, barbecue and birthday in the one sentence, it's guaranteed to rain. it did, intermittently, all afternoon, but we still had lots of fun. now i don't have any lingering feelings of petulant disgruntlement (my prerogative to make up words, you know) about the non-event that was april 21 this year, and it was just very cheering to spend the day with lovely people who are all there because they like you (as opposed to the parties when people are all there because they don't like you, but that's just sad...). birthdays usually don't bother me one way or the other, but this year's was such a doozy in terms of nothingness (if that's not a complete contradiction), that it's good to have finally exorcised it.

and today it seems as though winter has arrived! well, almost. it's grey and drizzly and cold and i like it. got my new scarf on :)

ooh, shiny!

since blogger has given itself an overhaul and it all looks lovely and lets you do cooler things with your blogs, i thought it was about time to give this l'il ole blog an update. of course, it's a template, but i thought it was purdy.

unfortunately (or is it...?) all the old comments have been lost! so if you had anything particularly witty to say you'll have to repost it.

but howzabout we start with a clean slate, eh?

Friday, 30 April 2004


we're going to a taping of ENOUGH ROPE with Andrew Denton next monday. they send you a questionnaire to fill out before the taping, and their researcher just called and asked if i could be interviewed in the audience segment because of one of my answers. to 'the day i will never forget...' i answered the day my mother's partner died of cancer - being there the moment he died was amazing.

and it was! but now i have to work out how to talk about it coherently to andrew denton in front of tv cameras. :)

Monday, 19 April 2004

the bog of eternal indecision

i think i'm at one of those points again. i get here every so often, where i feel like something is about to happen but i don't know what it is. something that will take me off in a new direction.

i worry, sometimes, that i won't have the courage to make tricky or risky decisions when i need to. like, should i go overseas, should i quit my job, should i take the plunge and write full time without a safety net, should i, should i, should i...? then i usually end up bogged down in indecision, not doing anything.

i shouldn't worry, i know. i'm one of those people who believes that everything happens for a reason, and in its own time (for everything there is a season (turn, turn, turn)) - that is an attitude that infuriates some people. i don't believe in fate, or destiny. believing that God has a purpose for me is different, to my way of thinking. i know some of you would see those things as being one and the same, but i think they're different.

i think time moves too slowly for me. i forget that when you look back, the events of your life compress into quite a small space. but when you are playing them out in real time, it seems to take forever to get from point to point. the day to day living seems to drag on interminably, and its only later you can see that big changes were occurring - just in glacial movements, rather than hummingbird movements.

Friday, 16 April 2004

my true calling

hey check it out:

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

i always knew i was something. see if you can join me in the pantheon of grammatical godliness. it's cold up here.

Monday, 12 April 2004

yeah - what she said!

This got me excited (excited, because I'm always amazed and encouraged when I unexpectedly discover someone I respect and admire is a Christian, and is bold about it. It seems particularly unlikely in Teresa Nielsen Hayden's case, that she would be so forthright about her faith, being a sci fi editor and someone whose blog is read by lots of people, many of them steadfastly anti-religion - but it makes it even cooler somehow!).

And I most heartily concur with her beliefs, by the way.

I had a great Easter, I don't know about you. Everything just worked this year - some years I get too distracted by what I have to do (I play music at my church) and don't focus on the reason why I am participating and celebrating Easter. But this year all the talks/sermons at church were brilliant, the music rocked (except for the hymn, but that wasn't supposed to), I spent time with people I love, and, something I find exciting, I read passages in my Bible that I've read hundreds of times before and they struck me in new ways. I find it difficult sometimes to read my Bible with more thought than I do the back page of the newspaper - and there's hardly any point doing it if it's just a chore. Over the last week, however, I've been reading in the four gospels about the last hours of Jesus' life (the events covered in The Passion for those unfamiliar with the books), and been gripped by the visceral reality of the narratives, and the massive implications of what is actually happening.

If you don't believe what I believe, then I suppose it might just seem like an interesting story, or a powerful myth. But if you do believe...isn't it incredible?

Wednesday, 31 March 2004

stop press! or...browser...

this time it's official.

i have handed in my thesis! i have been a completely free woman for the last hour and twenty minutes. it feels much the same, only a lot wearier.

but it's in! it's bound! it's behind a counter at UNSW! i have a receipt! i don't have to think about asian australian identity any more! wooooooooooooo hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

now i am going to have indian food and pig out on chocolates. :)

Tuesday, 2 March 2004

pint sized

had a gleeful evening last night of ani difranco at the enmore - not my favourite venue, but definitely my favourite live performer. she was solo, with many guitar changes, but i was amazed - again - at how someone so small can fill such a big stage so effortlessly. i wish i hadn't been so tired, but i spent most of the gig with a stoned-like smile on my face and enjoyed it immensely.

it was all good stuff, but the better than good stuff:
    as is from little plastic castles - for some reason i had a very strong reaction to this. tired and emotional, that's what i was.

    origami from educated guess - i still haven't heard the whole of this album, but this song is very cool, and she roared and growled through it.

    dilate from dilate - arrg. can't explain seeing this song done live, it's just extremely powerful.

    evolve from evolve - very cute and gruff

    and she finished with both hands from her first ever album, ani difranco and at the end she said gleefully "what would you do if you didn't clap at the end of this song? wouldn't that be creepy? do you have that much restraint? hey - no, no, let's do it, come on, come can clap when i'm gone..." and the song finished and there was this kind of dull roar which eventually exploded as she bolted offstage. it was very cute, but also underlined how every person there was in the palm of her hand.

Sunday, 29 February 2004

a small thing of note

i would just like to say i have finished my thesis.

since handing it in on friday to my supervisor for the final check before getting it soft-bound for the markers, i have eaten a lot of ice cream, drunk some champagne, watched several episodes of seachange, wandered around the city, had high tea at the QVB, indulged in a little retail therapy, gone to bed early because i couldn't keep my eyes open anymore, had lunch with friends and cleaned up the piles of crap that had been building up in corners of my room for the last couple of months but which i hadn't tidied up because it could be construed as procrastination (that's my excuse, anyway). and i haven't felt guilty because i should be reading or writing, and the tiredness i feel has been well earned.

i am off to the old fitzroy tonight to see the play metropolitan operas, which heath, richard and neil phipps are in, and matt gaskin directed. it seems like just about everyone i know will be going, which is kind of nice, but i wish i had more energy! still, beer, laksa and a show will be a good way to cap off the weekend.

and then - to asia! singapore on wednesday, KL on sunday, back to sydney the following weekend. it will be good to be elsewhere and this time i hope i am going into it without any false hopes (last time i thought it was going to be a good bonding experience but it...wasn't). singapore will be fun, as i will be splurging on a verrry nice hotel with catherine and imi, and our friend sony will also be there so we'll be able to go out and drink singapore slings till we collapse, if need be. well, maybe only sony and i can do that; i don't think a baby would do too well and catherine probably needs to be mostly sober. ;) nah, i reckon lots of good eating will be the order of the day.

how lucky am i?! :)

Monday, 16 February 2004

the birthday thief and windows into other worlds

i keep forgetting birthdays. not my own, although i've started referring to myself as being 28, which is odd because there's another two months until i am that officially, and i had real trouble remembering that i'm 27 all year. could be a senior moment, or could just be that i prefer even numbers.

i keep forgetting friends' birthdays on a more and more frequent basis and it annoys me because if your friends don't remember your birthday then what's the point? you may as well stop ageing at 25 and just say you're having a really long year.

so if i have forgotten your birthday recently, which is most likely as i haven't remembered anyone's, then i am deeply apologetic.

i wanted to drive today. i got in my car to drive home and i just wanted to keep going, turn left down the princes highway and see where i ended up. instead i behaved myself, turned right into king street and went home.

i have a jeffrey smart print on my wall, called the dome. it was painted in 1977 and shows a typically smart-esque stormy sky, the dome of a building, a green tree, a golden field and, in the foreground, a red and white striped post. describing it as a collection of objects makes it sound ridiculous, but there is something in the quality of the image that strikes me. makes me think of silence and sadness and solitude and peace. it's like a window into another world, above my desk, and some days i think i would like to be sitting in that golden field.

Saturday, 14 February 2004

the weekend of torturous postulating

i'm theoretically locked away, finishing my thesis.

so far i have entered in all the corrections and highlighted areas my supervisor thinks needs some work. and some of those i found on my own too! (it is very embarrassing to find all these typos and syntactially bizarre sentences my supervisor had marked out, especially when i realise that they were mostly due to sloppy cut-and-pastes...he must have been wondering where the hell i learned to write)

then i went and read the paper and had some lunch. then i decided my back was still hurting and so i should lie down for a while. then i checked my email. again.

now this blogging is the last resort. i have exhausted all the other superficial procrastinatory avenues and any further time wastage would actually involve some effort. so now i have to work out what i'm trying to say and finish this stupid thesis.

it was quite exciting to realise that the thesis thus far actually does have a point. it is so easy to forget the point and wander aimlessly round and round in circles, especially in a longer piece. much of the despair i've been feeling is due to feeling like i've lost my way and i'm stumbling down the wrong path.

i hate the disconnected criticism of a supervisor or marker. when you actually have a conversation with them about the work you realise that many of their markings weren't as harsh as they came across on paper and i usually then remember how harsh i can be when editing work for other people. but the deflating effect of scribblings and underlines and offhand remarks in the margin can be difficult to avoid. from what i can gather, my supervisor doesn't appreciate certain elements of my style - obviously subtle attempts at humour don't work, anything remotely creative in style doesn't work...i take the point that critical academic writing follows a certain pattern, but i've always been drawn to the type of writing that is a bit more informal, a bit more conversational. that's not to say i like only lightweight, popular-styled theory, but it makes it much easier to digest and i have little patience with wanky, needlessly elaborate and artless slabs of text. but maybe the lighter style is actually harder than it would seem, as every time i have tried to write in that kind of style in an essay or non-creative piece there are usually many more editorial marks about being vague or sloppy or charming notes like 'what?' 'who?' 'meaning?' scribbled throughout.

the funniest is when those things are marked next to a direct quote from a published text. what am i supposed to do then? just rewrite it? maybe i should send the notes on to the books' publishers.

Thursday, 12 February 2004

o what fun to be had

Stumbled across the Historic Tale Construction Kit. there are no words to describe it.

for some examples of what people with far too much time can produce (sometimes to hilarious effect) go to

Monday, 9 February 2004

hot hot hot

it is.

had the meeting with my supervisor today. it went okay, i suppose. i got some praise, and a lot of 'this is sloppy writing' type comments. it's hard to gauge how my supervisor really thinks sometimes; he has a way of talking that makes you feel like he's slightly irritated and just waiting for you to catch on. or like he's seen it all before. and then he'll say something very positive or flattering and usually i have to convince myself i actually heard him right.

i was going to work on the essay tonight, but it's just too hot to do anything much.

i'm reading northern lights by philip pullman at the moment and enjoying it immensely. i think i'm going to have to go out and buy the trilogy. you can tell i should be writing, because my reading matter regresses to light fiction, fantasy and/or material pitched at an early adolescent audience (or all three together). during other periods of uni work i am usually ensconced in a terry pratchett book, or re-reading harry potter for the zillionth time. i usually enjoy those books a lot at times like this - they're familiar, they're easy, and it means my downtime doesn't involve simply staring at a television screen. i usually can't concentrate on anything more complex when i'm writing.

i just finished oryx and crake before i started working again, and it was enough to inspire me to embark upon this new story that could be really funky and that makes bek ramble on excitedly when she talks about it (she should be my agent, i swear nobody promotes me as well as that girl). only problem is i have the uni work to do before i can do any other writing, and i'm just dying to get started on it properly. i'll just have to be content with sketches for the moment and hope i don't lose the thread before i have time to get stuck into it.

i did rearrange my room. i haven't cleaned out my cupboards yet. good to know that some procrastinatory habits die hard.

Thursday, 5 February 2004

errant academia 3: a resolution

so he emailed me back pretty quickly after this morning's email. turns out he was in a car accident and has been incapacitated for a while, as well as trying to finish his book by the end of feb.

well. i'm meeting with him on monday.

errant academia part 2

okay, so it turns out that my supervisor has been "back from leave for several weeks", according to my co-supervisor. and it sounds like she's quite concerned now...i wonder why he hasn't got back to me? sounds like we work in quite the same way - avoiding people until the last minute. unfortunately that doesn't really make for a good outcome!

i'm torn between feeling guilty and feeling annoyed. i know that for my part i should have been more active in seeking his help, giving him updates, and keeping in contact instead of sticking my head in the sand and hoping the thesis would write itself. but by the same token, he should have been keeping tabs on me and harrassing me when he hadn't heard from me for a while, even if he is super-busy as one of two creative writing lecturers on staff at the school.

this is why i don't want to be an academic, i'd be hopeless at it.

so i suppose there's nothing for it but to plow ahead and get the work done. at least my co-supervisor said she would read it and give me some feedback, so i'm not entirely adrift.

is there anyone out there who actually had a trouble-free experience with a supervisor? where writing a thesis was an enjoyable, intellectually stimulating experience and where meetings with supervisors were exciting exchanges of ideas with a little criticism and encouragement thrown in, but not mountains of defeat? maybe it's the nature of the beast, i don't know.

got to find me an artists' colony and go there for a long time.

Wednesday, 4 February 2004

errant academia

trying to get back into my thesis feels like that bit in donnie darko when he's poking the freaky rabbit guy in the eye with a knife (that might not have actually happened, that movie coalesced into one long bizarre moment for me) - kind of like i'm divorced from reality and trying to work out what's going on and making a mess of it in the meantime.

[of course, now i'm sitting here listening to tripod song-in-an-hour-challenges from the triple j breakfast show site and it's put me in a rather strange mood.]

i've emailed my supervisor and gotten no response, so now i've emailed my co-supervisor and hope i haven't crossed some weird, invisible line and offended anyone. 28 feb is not very far away...i keep avoiding the work and thinking i have plenty of time, but it's creeping up quite quickly. i will be immensely relieved when it's all over.

then i can get on with my cyborg story! :P

Monday, 2 February 2004

the amazing maurice

well, it's not maurice. it's aoise, which doesn't rhyme with maurice at all.

aoise has a website! it's very exciting and has the tendency to make me feel small and insignificant in the scheme of the universe (and also makes me think i should finally get around to getting myself a domain name, but that's another matter entirely...) she's just so busy! and an inspiration to someone who wants to be a working writer. if you hunt around you can find a photo of me as 'justine' in black saturday (not v. attractive, with scraped back hair) and me as 'ophelia' in ophelia's hamlet and along the watchtower (much more fetching, complete with tousled hair and a bit of a smoulder) and you will learn all sorts of wonderful things about how talented ms stratford is (as well as the fact that i used to act, once).

i long to see her. i wish i was rich. or had a lear jet. although having the second kind of presupposes the first.

Thursday, 29 January 2004

sore back today. anticipating lying in bed for most of the day, reading margaret atwood, possibly watching interview with the vampire and drinking cups of tea.

sounds good.

i am also going to singapore in march! yay! me and my lovely friend catherine and my lovely goddaughter imogen. then i will meet my dad and brother there and the three of us will go to kuala lumpur while catherine and imi head off to the uk for a couple of months.

it's kind of exciting, having a goddaughter. i'm not sure what my responsibilities really involve, but if it includes traipsing around singapore and generally having fun, then i'm all for it.

Wednesday, 14 January 2004

okay then. my thesis. you really want to know?

it is in two parts, a 15000 word creative piece and a 15000 word critical piece.

The critical is looking at the state of writing by young Asian Australian women who were born or who grew up in Australia and asking why there seems to be a need to write migration/diaspora/Amy Tan-type narratives. i'm trying to work out why these women don't write about what it's like for their own generations, living in australia as Asian Australians, why they have to tell the stories of their grandmothers and travelling back to the 'homeland'. and why, given all this migration over many years, is there not more writing about people with 'mixed parentage' (i still haven't worked out a non-cringeworthy way of saying that), ie half Asian, half Australian (as opposed to Australian-born Asian). i look at three novels in particular, which have started to move away from this problematic kind of narrative, but which are still steeped in it nonetheless. and i come up with no answers of course.

The creative is not meant to be an answer to the critical, but is meant to sit alongside it as a companion piece (keeps it company on cold nights, etc). it is in two halves, the first about a half-Chinese half-Australian guy and his life in Sydney, how he is perceived by his peers, problems he has with his father, problems he has with being half-Chinese (feeling it isn't an issue for him but other people make it an issue). The second half is about a half-Chinese half-Australian woman (best friends with the guy in the first half) and sets up an Amy Tan style story that is then thwarted (ha! take that!), and moves off into her dealing with her career, being sent to Singapore to write an article for her magazine because she is the resident Asian on staff, working out how she feels about that... or not.

it doesn't sound very compelling when i put it down like this, but it's all about ambivalence anyway so perhaps i can afford to be a little...ambivalent.

does that help?

Monday, 12 January 2004

i may have an ending for my story. i wandered back into it yesterday and had great satisfaction in cutting about 1000 words from the ending. just - chop! it was very liberating and i felt better about it straight away. it was one of those wussy, too-neat, hollywood-esque endings that had no depth, no room for interpretation and in fact probably contradicted my whole argument.

so now we're leaving it with no resolution. no satisfaction. millions of readers thwarted. ;)

Friday, 9 January 2004

okay now i feel intimidated.

academics all around me! i had a month off my thesis to, well, do nothing, and now as i'm trying to leap back into the fray i'm finding it harder than ever. brett is getting stuck into phd mode and getting all excited about all sorts of things and i...wish i was that excited about it. i think i came to this degree from the wrong angle, from wanting to write fiction rather than having a burning desire to foist my intellectual prowess on the world. so to speak.

next time (and despite what i say, i'm pretty sure there will be a next time) i'm not going to embark on one of these mammoth projects without being passionate about it. it's just too hard to muster the energy or enthusiasm to finish the thesis. but i do have to say, after all this time, i'm getting to the point where i can talk about it and actually argue a point and make people think that it's, well, interesting.

sounds like a pretty basic thing, but it's a bit of a breakthrough, quite frankly.