Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Give me coffee now!

Caffeine addiction really sucks. Just because I hadn't had a coffee in 24 hours I wake up this morning with what feels like the world's worst hangover. Only I didn't have a drop to drink last night, so I have all the pain with no rockin' good time to make it all worthwhile :(

Now I've had 2 asprin, and am half-way through my second cup of espresso and slowly I can almost think again. But my writing skills are really still not so good, so sorry if any of this is totally incomprehensible.

Somehow, even given all the bad things that caffeine can do, I really have no desire to give it up. I like the taste, and 'going for a coffee' just isn't the same if I drink hot chocolate. I already take soy milk in my coffee, and would feel like a right tosser ordering a 'soy de-caf latte'! Every barista in Melbourne would hate me. I know these reasons aren't exactly compelling, but right now I have no desire at all to give it up (probably because I can feel that caffeine goodness sweeping through my nervous system as I write this...). I don't do anything else that is bad, so I'm allowed to have one vice, right?

Monday, April 24, 2006

My fingers are so, like, totally frozen?

Ohhh, Melbourne is a bit chilly this morning. The heater in my car busted back at the beginning of March on a hot late summer's day when it was about 40 degrees, so it didn't worry me then. Unfortunately it will require major financial outlay to repair, which is taking me a little time to accumulate on my I-work-4-days-a-week-in-a-government-funded-higher-education-performing-arts-college wage. Oh, and the fact that I bought a new harpsichord doesn't help matters either.

Anyway, so it's cold, and during the 45 minutes it took me to drive to the afore-mentioned government-funded-higher-education-performing-arts-college I slowly got colder and colder. I've been sitting at my computer now for nearly 15 minutes (yes, I will start doing some real work soon, right after I've bought my morning soy latte) and and my fingers are still not working properly.

As you probably guessed by now, this isn't really going anywhere.

But what did amuse me during the fingers-thawing-out stage was the latest offering from Click Opera about the all-encompassing 'like'. As in, you know, like, that like word? Let me tell you, this is certainly not just an American phenomenon. Every tram, train or department store here in Melbourne town is full of teenagers (and not-so-teen-agers) who are totally, like, going, like, whatever?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Blackwater Lightship

This morning, when I should have been practicing, I instead stole a couple of hours to finish reading Colm Toibin's novel The Blackwater Lightship. This book was lent to me by my wonderful landlady, Anne, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it over the last few days. It is a story primarily about a family, and the strange and fractured ties that both hold them together and keep them apart. I could identify with the protagonist, Helen, and with the way she felt she was an observer rather than a participant:
No one in Hugh's family watched things as Helen did. She looked out for a neice or nephew or cousin or aunt or brother or sister who watched everything, who took everything in as though it were not happening to them. But there was no one like that except Helen herself at this funeral; they were all involved in being themselves, and this surprised her and impressed her.
It is a simple book, but it reminded me (why do I always think it should be "remound"?) about those small (and at the same time so big) things that are really what is important in life.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Michael Nobbs podcast

Michael Nobbs has just published his first podcast. I really like his drawings, and it is fascinating to hear his thoughts about drawing and why he started in the first place. Listen here.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Another quote

I must be on a roll...

I found this one from Mary Oliver over at Kat's Paws today:
I keep a notebook with me all the time - and I scribble.... You begin to get your felt reaction in a phrase, perhaps. But, you know, I've said before that the angel doesn't sit on your shoulder unless the pencil's in your hand. ... And in truth that [is only] given after years of desiring it, being open to it, and walking toward it.
I think "the pencil's in your hand" could easily be replaced by "you're at your instrument" for musicians :)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Classical music as event?

I've been enjoying a couple of lovely (and very chilly) days in the country. I hope you all had a good Easter break as well :)

To fill in the time until I have something original to write, I will point you in the direction of this post by Greg Sandow, who has some interesting things to say about music performance as an event...
Finally, from Sanja Petrovic came something quiet and lovely. Sanja, a pianist, said she’d been involved in a performance of Chopin nocturnes. Several pianists were involved. (Sanja, I hope I’m remembering this exactly right!) The concert began at 11 PM. The space was darkened. Candles were lit. Can you imagine a more beautiful—or more suitable—setting for the nocturnes? No need for program notes. No need to explain who Chopin was, or what a nocturne is, or what kind of unexpected modulations might occur in measure 32. No need, God help us, for any education (the very notion of which, I think, is killing classical music, but more on that in another post). The setting of the concert clarified anything that anyone would need to know. I wish I’d been there.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Bubble Baths!

I don't have a bath at my current place. Most of the time I don't mind not having a bath - I'm generally a shower type person - but sometimes it would be nice to run a hot bath with mountains of fluffy bubbles.

Back in 2003, the last time I lived in a place with a bath, I used to like eating ice-cream in the bath. It is a fantastic sensation - warm on the outside, but coldness slipping down the throat. Ice-cold vodka works well too!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sometimes I wish...

...that weekends were longer
...that I could time travel
...that I knew what people really thought of me
...that my food magically cooked itself
...that humans would eventually figure out how not to kill each other

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bog People

I had forgotten how much they freak me out. I read Jessica's post over at looktouch just now, where she mentions some poems about bog people. I couldn't even click on the link. There is something about these preserved bodies that I cannot bear to look at.

I tried google to find a page about bog people, so I could link for you guys, but I don't even want to open any of the pages. I am scared to see pictures of these poor people preserved like leather.

My first encounter with the bog people was when I was maybe 12 years old. I think I saw part of a documentary about them at my grandparents' place. My mother had a book about them, and showed it to me, by way of further research. At first I was fascinated, and I read the little paperback book from cover to cover. Slowly, however, the horror grew, and before long I couldn't look at the pictures any more. They were black and white, in this little book, grainy pictures of unnaturally preserved human sacrifices from centuries ago. My young skin was soft and pink, and these people's skin was hard and dark - skin which should have decomposed long ago.

They were squashed from the weight of the bog above them. I remember the Tollund Man's face looking askew, flattened, unnatural. It was all leathery, hard, dark. Their stomachs still held the remains of their last meals, and the hanging noose circled their necks. Why were they killed? One girl's hair lay in a halo around her head. Who was she? What colour was her hair before she lay in the bog for centuries?

They had strange names, derived from the places they were found - Tollund Man, Elling Woman. They should be dead, left to rot, their bones to slowly melt into the earth. Instead, they are frozen in limbo, denied rest, their bodies remain. Now they lie in a museum for all to see.

These strange bodies from centuries ago - these are the one thing that strikes terror in me. I cannot look at them. I don't know exactly why.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Decisions, decisions

I need to be more decisive... I think.

I want to make quick, snap decisions about things... mostly.

It would be good to make decisions faster, to know where I was headed, to be one of those people who are sure about things... but sometimes it's good to ponder for a while, to weigh up both sides of the argument, not to jump to conclusions...

Oh, now I don't know whether I want to be more decisive or not!