Monday, June 30, 2008

Exercise. Holy shit.

The state of the body is a reflection of the state of the mind.

Repeat after me:

The body is ugly and it must be punished.

Repeat it again.
And again.
Turn it into a litany.

Step out the door and go.

The state of the body is a reflection of the state of the mind.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ramblings on my lack of education.

Despite my thought processes resembling a stew that has been left on the stove and forgotten for at least three days

(crusty, sloppy under the tacky skin on the surface, bits of fat floating around like islands)

I seem to be embarking on a quest for learning, for order of some description.

Today I’m going to a course that will allow me to walk on a construction site. It’s under the guise of searching for better paid work, but I think there’s something deeper than that. Suddenly I want all the cards I can get. This course will get me a green one. Next I want a blue one. Then who knows… Maybe I will have a wallet containing the rainbow in useless qualifications.

I’m really tempted to broach the disaster that I made of University many moons ago and go back to it. But what the fuck for?

Ideally I would sit in a composition class, term after term. Give me ideas, give me insight, make me compose folio after folio of work and hand it in to a deadline. I can do that. The problem is that I can’t afford it. I would love to devote the next three years to sitting in a classroom arguing with a composition lecturer about why a piece shits me to tears and has no musical value at all (yes, I’ve done it before) but how in hell could I afford to live, to smoke the multitude of cigarettes and drink the buckets of coffee I require whenever I start to write a serious piece of music?

And then what do I get out of it?

The ability to compose and join every other never-will-be and publish my stuff on the net? Maybe sell something to be played by a high school student for their compulsory Modern Australian Composition unit?

What about the abandoned computing degree? The reasons I had at the time for giving it all up were that I had no intention of sitting behind a computer for the rest of my life anyway. Yeah right. I was depressed, feeling squashed by the faculty politics, and suffering financially. More than that, I just wasn’t able to hold up to the pressure of learning three programming languages at once in my second year. What did I do? Give it up so that failing was my choice, rather than that of the University.

Funnily, in times of mental disturbance I turn back to those programming days. The mental order, the focus for problem solving that it requires, the immersion in a solution. Maybe I need to remind myself that I can think in that way, retrain myself to do it even. Just as I take comfort in knowing that all the books in my library are categorised and in alphabetical order, I take comfort in the ability to solve a problem in a step-by-step process.

Again, what the fuck for?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Still here.

Thanks all for your advice, wishes and thoughts.

Currently my brain is a whirlwind with little to no ability to form a coherent set of sentences that might resemble a post, but I'll push to give it a go.

It might get a little bit arthouse weird for a while, grab some popcorn and sit on down.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

PhotoHunt: Emotion(s)

Smile like you mean it and one day you'll realise that you do.

I dispense this advice to the people I care about, knowing that it's worked for me before. It worked for me during a hellish breakup - I was working in customer service and faked my smile and conversation with the regulars until occasionally I would realise that I wasn't faking it, that my laughter for once was real. These people had no idea about the times that I had talked and joked with them about the products and the industry and then had to high-tail it to the bathroom out the back so that I could silently scream it all away. They had no idea about the infections and the constant vomiting. They saw me running out of the shop to the warehouse to get their order and thought I was enthusiastic - where really I couldn't go at walking pace because I would have too much time to think, and to think meant to allow the possibility of falling apart again. Eventually the sad bits fell away, and my smiles did have meaning.

I've lost sight of that.

You're not happy here. It comes across as an accusation to my spiralling mind. It's true - I'm not happy here. But that isn't the full extent of it. I'm not happy here, there, or anywhere. A well-timed how are you will bring it all falling out of me - screaming, thrashing, hurting like a caged feral animal. I want to hide, I want to die, I want to escape the constant feeling of failure that I carry with me.

I thought I was stronger. That I could move away from the mistakes I was involved in at my last home and build a new life from scratch. I thought that this process would build me as a person, but instead I'm broken. I feel like a failure in my social life, my music life and through my inability to be a strong foundation of support, a failure in my love life.

Being gay comes into it. I have trouble dealing with gay people who throw their sex life about in conversation. I don't think it's necessary, in fact it's trying to build a divide in a way. I don't like being introduced as a "dyke" even though I identify as one. I am Vic, and what I do in bed is my own business. But then there is conversation on the way to work. In choosing to not disclose my sex life, my partnered life, I am automatically segregated from the conversation anyway. The guys I work with can make comments about what "the missus" packed them for lunch, and I can't really participate. It's a losing situation. Through that need to hide to avoid conflict with those around me and also conflict with my own ideals, I have started to lose my own identity. I used to be proud of myself. I used to be proud of the way I dressed. I wasn't hiding my femininity, or even trying to be "one of the blokes". I was trying to be Vic, who likes suits and collared shirts, and dress pants. Vic, who lusts after cufflinks not because of what they represent but because they are goddamned sexy.

The fact that I've stopped talking to my parents should be a relief. It kind of was. The last contact I had, Christmas just past, was heated and completely awful. To me it was a culmination of twenty-seven years of bullshit, threats, bad tempers, apathy and lies. Too many years of sweeping feelings under the carpet and finally I walked away. I'm angry at them. I'm angry for the traits that I've learned from them that I hate. I'm angry for the lack of positive emotional support they ever gave me. I want them to suffer my absence as punishment for that in a way, but mainly... Mainly I want all of that to disappear so that I don't have to acknowledge it. It should be liberating. But it isn't going away. Their brilliant teaching of self-blame and internalisation is still biting me, especially now.

Even playing guitar is slipping away. I get frustrated and violent at my own inability and segregate myself from my instruments due to a possibility of hurting them irreparably if I lose my temper. This causes another spiral in itself. Days, weeks, months without playing will affect my ability more. In a way I am too scared to touch my instruments because they remind me of my own failures. I know this will get worse but I have no idea how to stop it. This kind of withdrawal in case I damage something is not restricted to my instruments. It's people, places, everything. I'm scared of opening the fridge in case I lose my temper at something and I hit it, denting it. I'm scared of driving in case of the temptation to put my foot flat to the floor and wrap myself and the car around a pole. I'm scared to live and I'm scared to die.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Timing out

I am learning a new skill. It is a skill that has been passed down and refined through generations of transport workers, shop assistants and labourers since the dawn of The Hourly Rate of Pay.

I am learning to appear to be working whilst achieving absolutely nothing. I am cultivating a zen-like state that allows my body to assume a work-like posture while my mind can roam the passages of thought at random.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Get 'em up against the wall

People who refuse to treat others with respect and decency.
Those who manipulate for the pure joy of it.
Cane Toads.
Bagpipe players in any amount other than singular form, and only then when the player is situated on a hill, far away.
Men who bond at work craning around a mobile phone to watch porn.
The man who asked if I would rather be a hairdresser.
The wanker that came up with powdered coffee.

Line up. If you don't fit into one of the above categories it doesn't really matter. Line up anyway. In a shameless quote from Pink Floyd:

If I had my way I'd have all of you shot.

That will be all.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

PhotoHunt: Bad Hair

So this isn't actually bad hair, it's about five minutes before it. You know that kind of wind that guarantees that if your hair is any longer an inch you're going wind up with more knots than a fishing line caught in a propeller?

I love the expression in this shot because it isn't entirely clear. It leads the imagination on, letting you wonder exactly what she's thinking. Kind of like Mona Lisa but without the sex - you'll never really know what those eyes are saying, but you can come up with quite a few ideas.

Or at least, that's what this picture does for me.

I'd love opinions on this one, please! What exactly does her expression say to you?

Project Blue #7

Friday, June 6, 2008

Project Blue #6

Being wrapped in cotton wool obscures your vision.

Today I am off to a Working at Heights course. The guys tell me that the point of excitement for the day will be that I get to jump off the back of a truck. Safely, with a harness.

I am scared. Not of jumping off the truck - that in fact will be pretty fun. I'm scared that all this safety training is going to embed itself in my already overcautious brain and stop me from seeing and doing things that involve risk. That the rewards of risk-taking behaviors will be taken away from me. That I will become a person who remains on the path at all times, hands on the hand rails so that I can maintain my three points of contact.

I don't want to see what everybody else sees. I don't want to be the same person as the hundreds of tourists before me, with the same picture and same perspective. I don't want to be under the monument, looking up at it. I want to be on it. When I walk around a statue, I'm not really looking at it from different angles in wonder. I'm surveying it for possible hand-holds.

Please, please, please do not let all this training take away my sense of adventure. Please do not let it take away my trust in my own ability to climb, to look down, to jump, to see.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Project Blue #5

I am one of those rare people that love being stuck as the red lights of a level crossing start flashing and the barriers come down. I am not the person at the head of the queue impatiently tapping my fingers on the steering wheel and cursing the person who slowed me down just enough to get me stuck. I am bouncing in my driver's seat and grinning. TRAIN!!

I am not the disinterested person reading the newspaper on the platform, ignoring the rush of wind as these amazing machines come flying past. I am the one whose excited anticipation craning toward the tunnel just to check if I can see the oncoming lights yet.

I am the person who at twenty-seven is still trying to count how many carriages there are on every coal train I see.

Project Blue #4

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"NOW can we buy pink?"

I've been a shit, really I have.

For a week I have been sending messages of demand to my sister Kat, the first time mother with a stomach the size of a planet, a problem with high blood pressure and a baby that refuses to come out and see the world.

The due date (last week): Vic in a truck on the way back from the mines, sweaty, filthy, grease everywhere including in my eyebrows, nursing a mobile phone in hope and anticipation of a message to announce the arrival of LittleTyke. Ahem. Where is my neice or nephew?

I was impatient. For a week I have been snapping an indignant NO at innocent bystanders who ask whether I am an Auntie yet. For a week my frustration and anticipation has rubbed off onto anybody within range, including friends hundreds of kilometres away. For a week Kate has been trying to calm me by fixing her eyes on mine and announcing at random intervals that the baby will come when it is ready. Lovely words, really. But I'm from generation NOW.

Yesterday evening.
I rang Mike and he said to me I have a little neice for you curled on chest.

And then I heard her cry. A little person. A real, breathing, little person. I don't know what I expected.

I cried. In the way that I cried as a bridesmaid to my only sister, watching her walk down the aisle on her wedding day. I cried in complete and overwhelming happiness. For her, for them both, now for their growing family. I felt as if my heart was glowing through my body like the sun through the gaps in a cloud. They must feel as though they're going to explode as parents, because all this feeling happened to me through a five-minute phone conversation.

To Mike and Kat, you will be a beautiful family. Never doubt it, through tears and tantrums and teeth and teenage times - you are a fmaily now.

To LittleTyke, I vowed to be the best Auntie I can possibly be, to learn and provide and teach. To be a solid foundation in your life. Within five minutes of learning of your existence my solid anti-pink stance had crumbled and I wished for you to have ribbons and dresses and pastel fluffiness forever. All you ned to do is learn to smile at me and you will get anything you want.

To all of you, I love you. xoxox

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Project Blue #3

A place that keeps drawing my attention at the harbour is the floating dock. I could sit about for hours like a little kid and marvel at the cranes moving about on the thing.

In particular with this shot I like the little bonus perspective point - the worker having a rest just inside the doorway.

Lessons for the unborn

Dear LittleTyke,

A week ago you were supposed to arrive in the world, thus giving me the hereditary honour of being ordained Auntie Vic.

It is with great dismay that already I have to teach one of the most important concepts in life. Punctuality. Despite the saying, it is not at all fashoinable to be late. Being early also represents an unanticpated hassle for your host and should be avoided.

In future please remember to arrive on time. The honour of becoming a doting relative for the first time will only occur once for me, and frankly it's frustrating as all hell to be kept waiting.

That will be all.

your Auntie Vic

Monday, June 2, 2008

Project Blue #2

Mailbox Monday

There's a proliferation of these ugly little cherub things around here. All they do is stand around and hold up the mailboxes. They don't appear to be any good for anything else other than that. They're fat, lazy little examples of bad taste.

Somebody has taken the project of eradication of these offensive little critters into their own hands. Three cheers!

Project Blue #1

I've decided to join in on Anna's Project Blue. Yes, it's another photo theme to follow along with, but what the hey.

Blue is an interesting one. I start to think about it and there's the obvious... Sky. Can we all pipe up and sing boring in perfect three part harmony please? Yet sky is the thing I mange to fuck up photographically time after time. Just occasionally it works out - a fluke.