Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday night already

Weekends always go so quickly, even when I'm on holidays. On break they still go quick because you're so busy and everyone's free - a good kind of busy. But I've found that weekdays have been going just as fast lately, for the opposite reason. I've been doing nothing creative, constructive or memorable with my time, so the days all blur into one and before you know it your much awaited Uni break has become 6 weeks of nothingness punctuated by 2 fulfilling days out of every 7.
Even though it's gone fast I'm glad that I'm over doing nothing and keen to get back to Uni.
I also do not lament my decision to stay jobless because I'd rather be poor than anxious.

I go to seek a Great Perhaps

This weekend I finished reading Looking for Alaska, my 3rd John Green novel in as many weeks and definitely my favourite. The novel is about a 16 year old boy named Miles (ironically nicknamed Pudge due to his lankiness) who is sick of the simple, safe life he leads and is obsessed with famous last words. After reading the poet Francois Rabelais' dying declaration 'I go to seek a Great Perhaps' Miles decides that he doesn't want to wait until he dies to start seeking his Great Perhaps, so he does something completely out of his comfort zone and enrols in an out-of-state boarding school - away from everyone and everything he knew before. It's at Culver Creek that Pudge makes the best friends he has ever known and falls in love with a girl named Alaska Young.

(*spoiler alert*)

About halfway through the book's tone completely changes as Alaska tragically dies in a drunk-driving car crash. The second half of the novel deals with Pudge's guilt, his love and his struggle to continue his way through the labyrinth without her.

There is a lot of brilliant writing and a lot of famous last words in this book. Here are some of my favourite quotes:

"...I jogged afterhim, trailing in his wake. I wanted to be one of those people who have streaks to maintain, who scorch the ground with their intensity. But for now, at least I knew such people, and they needed me, just like comets need tails "

"You've got a lifetime to mull over the Buddhist understanding of interconnectedness." He spoke every sentence as if he'd written it down, memorised it and was now reciting it. "But while you were looking out the window, you missed the chance to explore the equally interesting Buddhist belief in being present for every facet of your daily life, of being truly present. Be present in this class. And then, when it's over, be present out there," he said nodding toward the lake and beyond.

“How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” (Simon Bolivar)

"Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia"

"You spend your whole lif stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining the future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. "

"For she had embodied the Great Perhaps - she had proved to me that it was worth it to leave behind my minor life for grander maybes."

"Everything that comes together falls apart"

"When you stopped wishing things wouldn't fall apart, you'd stop suffering when they did."

"It always shocked me when I realised that I wasn't the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things."

"...we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth."

"I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small self-sufficient world in a back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied by the last words of the already-dead, so I came here looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends and a more-than-minor life."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's been decided

I will never cut my hair again, I'm going to let it grow to epic proportions, or at least down to my knees. My best friend already calls me a hippie and I hate hairdressers anyway, they always manage to mess something up and overcharge you by an extreme margin.

It has also been decided (by me) that I will start a perzine called 'The Second Side' as homage to the brilliant novel that is the Perks of Being a Wallflower; the cover will have a polaroid picture of a cassette tape, i can see it perfectly in my head. Now I just have to think of something to put inside the zine. Gahhhh.

It has also been decided that I desperately need an Olivetti 32 typewriter in baby blue and a Polaroid 600 Camera. I've therefore been scouring Etsy for the past 3 days and am sure to spend all of my tax money before I even get near Melbourne.

It has been decided, too, that I will get one of these for my best friend's 20th birthday and it will be the most epic gift in the history of our friendship:

... or I could get a PedEgg and she'd probably be just as happy!
End post.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I feel infinite

One of the saddest poems I've ever read from one of the most inspiring books I've ever read:

Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Chops"
because that was the name of his dog
And that's what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door
and read it to his aunts
That was the year that Father Tracy
took all the kids to the zoo
And he let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a
valentine signed with a row of X's
and he had to ask his father what the X's meant
And his father always tucked him in bed at night
And was always there to do it

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Autumn"
because that was the name of the season
And that's what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of its new paint
And the kids told him
that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
That was the year his sister got glasses
with thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed
when he asked her to go see Santa Claus
And the kids told him why
his mother and father kissed a lot
And his father never tucked him in bed at night
And his father got mad
when he cried for him to do it.

Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Innocence: A Question"
because that was the question about his girl
And that's what it was all about
And his professor gave him an A
and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
That was the year that Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end
of the Apostle's Creed went
And he caught his sister making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kissed
or even talked
And the girl around the corner
wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her
but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
And at three A.M. he tucked himself into bed
his father snoring soundly

That's why on the back of a brown paper bag
he tried another poem
And he called it "Absolutely Nothing"
Because that's what it was really all about
And he gave himself an A
and a slash on each damned wrist
And he hung it on the bathroom door
because this time he didn't think
he could reach the kitchen.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Erythromycin + empty stomach = nausea

So I've been feeling really sick today, probably due to the little combination I mentioned in the title. My tooth is somewhat less disgusting today but hurts a lot more than it has been, pretty sure it's unsalvageable (is that a word?) and the dentist will have to pull it. It's throbbing at the moment like some sort of massive poisonous sting or splinter that needs to be removed from my head. Now. Despite the whole tooth episode I had a pretty good weekend, got to see some friends I haven't caught up with in ages, watched Dig twice, watched all of Degrassi season 2 & read 'An Abundance of Katherines' by John Green (not the one from the humiliating bookstore story, that was 'Paper Towns.')

The book was good, not awesome, but 'Looking for Alaska' the main one by Green that I wanted to read wasn't in anywhere, so hopefully I'm saving the best for last. An Abundance of Katherines did have some really awesome themes though. The main character Colin is a washed-up child prodigy who has just graduated, has a penchant for anagramming and only dates girls named Katherine. He kinda feels like his life is a waste because he's 17 and not a genius yet; he's so wrapped up in trying to create something that will be remembered that he kinda forgets just to live. So when Katherine #19 breaks up with him, his best friend Hassan takes him on a road trip and they end up in this little run-down country town where they work for a while & make friends with the locals. In the end Colin has a 'Eureka' moment which isn't a theorem that will win him a Nobel prize, but is the fact that the future is infinite and unknowable and beautiful, and no amount of fame or genius can be remembered forever.
he also fall in love with a girl who is not named Katherine.

Here's some quotes from the novel that really stood out to me:

'He missed that, too, and it hadn't even happened. He missed his imagined future. You can love someone so much, he thought. But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.'

'I was thinking about your mattering business. I feel like, like, how you matter is defined by the things that matter to you. You matter as much as the things that matter to you do. And I got so backwards, trying to make myself matter to him. All this time there were real things to care about: real, good people who care about me, and this place. It's so easy to get stuck. You just get caught in being something, being special or cool or whatever, to the point where you don't even know why you need it; you just think you do.'

'I don't think you can ever fill the empty space with the thing you lost...I don't think your missing pieces ever fit inside you again once they go missing.'

'Colin's skin was alive with with the feeling of connection to everyone in that car and everyone not in it. And he was feeling not-unique in the very best possible way.'

Friday, July 3, 2009


I'm having a shitty day, here's what happened:
I've had this huge lump on my gum for about a week and my tooth's been bleeding when I brush it so my mum booked me in for a dentist appointment, because it was short notice I couldn't get in with my regular delightful dentist Dr. Bob, so I had to see this huge Russian dude instead, nickname: Frankenstein. Turns out I have a massive hole in said tooth and the root is infected which is why my gum is sore, then they figure out that the tooth is one of my 3 leftover baby teeth (that for some reason never grew adult replacements) and it should've finished it's job about 10 years ago hence the fact that it is disintegrating and already has a massive filling. (note: none of this is due to my oral health, I pride myself on impeccable dental hygiene.) Long story short, they either pull the tooth and I end up looking like Stephanie Kaye from Degrassi

or i get a super expensive/painful root canal. But for now something had to be done. Frankenstein decided to drill a hole into the tooth, inject some antibiotics & then give me a filling until next week when we "discuss the further options." Easy, I think, I've had like a million fillings before but it wasn't until they were injecting me with the FIRST needle that I realised all my other fillings were at my children's dentist Dr. Verco where they gave you lovely happy gas through a clown-nose-shaped machine. Gahhh. So they injected me with two numbing needles because I would still feel it when he put in the medicine, which was all good and well until I couldn't feel the whole left side of my face, I literally looked like Peter Griffin when he has a stroke, and I dribbled down the front of my shirt trying to drink a bottle of water in the Colonnades food-court.

I could live through all of this until I went into Angus and Robertson to find the John Green book I've been after. That would at least be one good thing, I figured. So when I couldn't find it in the fiction section and the lady asked me if I needed help I said 'yes please, do you have any books by John Green?' It was about then that she pointed to the teenage shelf and gave me a look that said: 'wow this partially paralyzed chick is trying to find a kids book - definitely a retard!'

And that was the icing on the cake of my day.
...but I did find the book!
End of rant.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

May Day

Note: there's not really a theme to this update I just thought I'd open a new post and start typing about the last week.
So all my creative energy lately has been going into the second issue of my zine 'Stay Gold', ( I know, the title is a blatant Outsiders reference but I was crazy obsessed with that book at the time) I'll probably upload some pics once I've finished the layouts. So far I've finished 3 band interviews and my intro page but I'm not sure what to put on the cover... I'm also stumped for rants, because this blog has been my outlet for anything column-ish I would usually write, maybe I'll recycle some older posts? Apart from that I'm waiting on an interview I'm getting back from the band tonight (or i guess tomorrow morning is 'tonight' in Europe?) and have one other layout to do for a reprint. I'm not doing any reviews because they're just silly and no one wants to know my opinion on music anyway, I'll have lists of stuff to check out instead. And then I'll be done! I'm gonna make this zine free again too 'cause I can scab photocopying & stamps from my mums work hehe.

Aside from working on the zine I've been sitting around the house in my pyjamas posting random twitter updates, watching Degrassi and playing Sims 3 (made an epic Grim Reaper family...god I'm bored!) I've also been living socially through my best friend, getting her to tell me funny crap that happens at work and visit me every morning to watch repeats of Dr. Phil. I'm literally turning into a crazy cat lady without the cat part.
I've also been trying to find a novel that is as inspiring as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and written with the same type of audience in mind. So far I've been unsuccessful but I'm making a library trip tomorrow and hopefully will find this book by John Green that I've wanted to read for a while.

On that note I'll wrap things up with a quote from my favourite writer (I collect quotes that inspire me incase you haven't noticed! I also have a habit of giving posts the names of books when there are no references in the post at all to that particular literary work. My bad.)

"... boredom, disgust, the monotony of time, the turbidity of events, sank into a vague background before which glittering cobwebs formed. Things became reconciled to themselves, things lay quietly on their shelves; the troubles of the day arranged themselves in trim formation and at his curt wish of dismissal, marched off and disappeared. And with the departure of worry came brilliant permeating symbolism."