Thursday, November 29, 2007

I’m embarking on an undertaking. A project, if you will. I’m going to list my 100 favourite books. The books I love the most and read over and over again. The books I hated finishing and the books that were pure fluff, but made me feel good. I’ll do it in instalments and break it up a bit, so it’s not just one big chunk, but for your edification, here’s the first, oh, let’s say 13.

And before anyone starts, Dan Brown will NOT be on this list. I tried a good three or four times to read The Da Vinci Code and Devils and Angels, and they were shit. I don’t care how good the plot is, or how much it will change my perception of the Catholic Church. It was badly written. Very, very badly written. I got twenty pages in and hated the main character and his suits.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen. It’s good. It’s terribly, terribly good. It’s so good that it changes the way I speak while I read it. For a start, if I wasn’t reading it now, I doubt I would have used the word edification. Or said terribly.

2. Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a genius (Apart from that spirituality stuff, but anyway). Not only did he come up with the cases and solve them, there was character stuff in there that was great but managed to not detract from the foreground.

3. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens. Who didn’t want Pip to get the fortune and the girl? Who didn’t want to shake him by the shoulders when he got older and needed a good kicking?

4. Tess of the D’urbervilles – Thomas Hardy. When we first read this book in school in an English Lit class, I had to explain to the rest of my classmates what the rape scene meant – they didn’t understand the language. I did, and detested it. Then I came back to it a few years later and all of a sudden it was beautiful. I even named my cat Tess.

5. Sense & Sensibility – Jane Austen. She just created a world that you wanted to live in. I wish things were still that simple, and yet so complex. I would love to live in a world where for the most part, the outcomes were assured, or at least predictable.

6. April Fools Day – Bryce Courtney – If you can read this book and not cry, you qualify as a sociopath in my book.

7. Lunch with the Generals – Derek Hansen – Not a book with a twist, a book with worlds created within worlds. Genius.

8. 1984 – George Orwell – A scary, scary book. A razor sharp, machete of a book. I hate reading it for the same reason I love it – it’s scares the living bejesus out of me.

9. Zig Zag Street – Nick Earls – Nick Earls is a marvellously funny guy. You know those moments that you cringe and think “Oh shit. That never happens to anyone else. I’m a freak”? They’re all in here. Nude Dancing, knocking people unconscious with shoes. Reading this is therapy with a bookmark.

10. Love and Other Near Death Experiences – Mil Millington – Apart from the fact that Mil has red hair and a delightful website, he’s also an astonishingly refreshing writer. The way he writes is the way most people wish they could speak.

11. The First Casualty – Ben Elton – Ben Elton is very good at provoking thought. This book made me laugh, cry and made my head ache with the thinking.

12. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K Rowling – A rare case of the book well outshining the hype. If you haven’t read them, do it now.

13. The Vampire Lestat – Anne Rice. Anne Rice didn’t just create a series of books. She created a world. You can smell the Queens Wreath. You can hear the water lapping on the shore, and you are suddenly convinced that the things you have always dreaded are real.

Feel free to comment, rail, or just say “Meh” in the comments.
  • Things I love:

    · The smell of rain. The sound of rain on the roof when I’m undercover. Actually, I don’t mind the rain, apart from what it does to my hair.
    · Flowers. Freesias, Roses, Daffodils – I love the smell, the feel of silken petals. I grew my own Daffodils for the first time this year, and they made me smile on my way out of the door every morning.
    Thunderstorms. Lightning. Watching the elements make a mockery of us.
    ·Music. Of late I’ve been organising to attend/attending a lot of gigs and getting a fair bit of new music. In the last few months I’ve discovered Feist, Rufus Wainwright, Interpol, Faker and Editors. New music is great
    · Old music is greater. I ordered a CD I’d lost a while ago – Lighthouse Family, Postcards from Heaven, and it’s bliss. Like slipping into a warm blanket with a book you’ve read a thousand times and a big steaming mug of hot chocolate.

    Things I want:

    · A car. Preferably a Mazda 3, or if you’re feeling really generous, an Astin Martin DB9. But a 1994-1996 Toyota Corolla would do me nicely.
    ·A license to drive said car. And an end to the fear that I’m about to kill myself and anyone else within a kilometre.
    · A holiday. A proper holiday. It feels like years since the last holiday but it was only two months ago I was in Perth.
    · To have remembered when Bon Jovi tickets went on sale. I missed out AGAIN.

    Things I have that I never thought I would:

    ·Clear Lungs. I can’t believe how congested my lungs were, and how easily I ignored it. I honestly didn’t realise how bad they were. I ran on Sunday, and I was tired, sure, but I wasn’t out of breath. Unbelievable.
    ·A pretty good relationship with my mother. Which is a HUGE improvement from being angry/upset/hurt/murderous when thinking about her or seeing her. I’ve just learnt that she is how she is, and nothing I say is going to change that. All I can do is try and focus on the positive aspects of our relationship and make the most of that.
    · B. To say that before I met him I was not expecting to find myself as happy with him as I am now, well, that’s an understatement. I didn’t expect to find him at all. I didn’t expect to find myself missing him when he went away for the weekend. I didn’t expect anything. And that’s sometimes when the best things happen – when you least expect them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I’ve received an e-mail with a few questions, which I thought I might as well answer here to save anyone else asking them.

No, I don’t still talk to my ex. No, there was no nastiness about why we are not speaking, we just aren’t. I can’t speak for him, nor would I attempt to, but the reason I don’t attempt contact with him is simply because I don’t feel the need to. I’ve moved on, I’m sure he has as well, and I’m leaving it at that.

Yes, I do believe you can be friends with an ex. I do believe in platonic friendship between men and women, and I think it’s possible even with people who have had a relationship at some stage. My best mate A is a man, and there’s more chance of me sleeping with a 3000-year-old mummy than with him. As long as you are both on the same page, I don’t see why it would be an issue. Not everyone believes this, though, and it’s up to the individual.

No, I don’t feel any bitterness towards The Boy. He’s not a bad person. He did things I didn’t like sometimes, but so does everybody. He made a decision he thought was right for him at the time, and though I didn’t like how he did it, I wouldn’t have liked it no matter how he did it, so it’s all academic, really. I don’t hold grudges; I don’t hold anything for him, actually. He’s a part of my life I can’t and don’t want to erase – if I did, I’d lose every happy memory I had with him – and there were many, and I would not be the person I am now. But that’s about it, really. I don’t feel anything – bitterness, regret, anger, love, hate. The past is the past. I can’t change it now, nor would I want to. I would love to tell you everyone gets to that stage, but I know people who have split up with exes and cursed their name until the day they die. I’m just not one of those people. I hope he’s happy and he took a lot away from our time together.

The other question I was asked was how what I feel about B compares to what I felt for The Boy. Well, it doesn’t, because they are very, very different people. I met them in completely different circumstances in different times in my life. I think it would do a disservice to all involved (and even those not!) to make any kind of comparison on how I feel. But yes, they are very different – looks, personality, likes and dislikes – there’s no question they’re different. But that doesn’t mean anything in terms of how I feel. It’s different – of course it’s different! And that’s a good thing. If every relationship were exactly like the one before, why would you ever bother starting another one?

And lastly, No. Emphatically No. I am not afraid to trust again. Something I realised a long time ago was that trusting someone is as much about trusting your own judgement of people, as it is about how much those people deserve your trust. And I’ve always said that I won’t let things that have happened in the past effect how I judge other people. THEY didn’t hurt me, so why would I hold them accountable for it?

Bah! That’s my last word on the subject. I don’t want this to be about post-morteming to death something that doesn’t exist anymore. I am happy, I have so much to be thankful for, and dwelling on the past isn’t adding to that. So, if you please, no more questions, because I won’t be answering them!

Oh, and feel free to actually put things in the comments section rather than e-mailing me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Slightly Hectic

Things are going to be busy this week, but I’m going to try and update anyway.

Last night B cooked me dinner (ha) actually, we ended up cooking it together, because he wanted me to chop the onions, and then I kind of went on a herb hunting spree and it actually turned out to be pretty great. Also, we looked more into the holiday thing, and it looks like it might be a goer. It was nice to spend some time together, because B was away at the weekend, and, well, I missed him. I’m not even sure I actually said that to him. He told me he missed me, I know that, but I don’t think I said that I missed him. Will have to rectify that tonight or tomorrow.

Tonight is my one free night this week. B and I are going to my mothers tomorrow, so he can meet her and she can fill him full of food. Which should suit both of them, because he is a pig and she is a chef. Thursday is my work Christmas party, which is at a Thai restaurant, so that should be good. Friday I know I have something on but I can’t remember what. Saturday I have a driving lesson in the morning (More on that later) and Saturday night I’m going to see Tim Freedman at Manchester Lane. Hurrah!

On to the later bit. I am learning to drive again. As in, this is my fourth attempt at learning to drive. Generally I get to a month or two in and lose interest/give up/stop caring and leave it for another, ooh, three years or so.

This time is different. I’m determined to have both my license and a car within six months at the absolute outside. I’m 25 years old, for the love of God! I should have taken this step years ago. And it’s different as well because I am much, much more confident behind the wheel. My low-speed manoeuvres last week were great, which made up for the lesson before (six days into the non-smoking) when I nearly hit a car. It was the lack of concentration, I’m sure. I couldn’t concentrate on anything at the time, never mind learning things. That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.

Also, I am going to make a concerted effort to save money. I need to have money behind me. To that end I have written out a budget and this time I am bloody well sticking to it. There’s no excuse at my age for not being able to save money. None at all. I will stop buying shoes instead of saving money. I will stop buying CD’s instead of saving money. I will stop buying doonas, and tents (more on that tomorrow, if I have time) and things I don’t need, instead of building some kind of security for my life.

If I can quit smoking, I can do anything. I just need to set my mind to it. I used to be good at that, once upon a time. And I will be again.

Monday, November 26, 2007

An Historic Moment

As of 9.30pm last night, I've been "off the fags", as my brother puts it, for an entire month.

I have no idea how. I have the will power of an alcoholic at a brewery. I had thought about quitting for a long time, but I hadn't really made any serious attempt before. No patches, no gum, no nicotine replacement at all.

Just sheer bloody mindedness and a determination not to go through the first few days again.

And, most importantly of all, no casualties. And I have been informed by impartial judges that I was NOT cranky.

Even I don't believe it, but it's true.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Please, if there is a god, please

Do the right thing, Australia.

Vote him out, please.

I don't like the alternative all that much, but I just can't put up with another three years of this.

Plus, you know, Costello as PM? If we have to have a Costello, can't it be the one with the conscience?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

All systems go!

Meep meep!

Speed update! Have met B's parents, and everything went really well. B's Mother apparently described me as "A lovely girl" and his Dad seemed pretty cool too.

Also, we're planning a holiday to Tasmania in March/May.

And, HE SUGGESTED SHOPPING. I repeat, a man, that's right, the one with the trousers, suggested shopping.

I don't want to jinx this, but things are going really, really well.

Plus, you know, shopping. Cool.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Somebody told me.....

......That the killers rock live.

And they were right. They were just amazing. The energy, the music. That jittery little dance. The pig! The corn!

No time now, but more detailed post when time allows.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Highly Recommended

Saw Death at a Funeral last night. I can honestly say that I haven't enjoyed a movie so much in a very, very long time. Matthew McFadyen was excellent, and the plot was just so stupid it was fantastic.

Four and an eighth stars.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Long weekend - Shenanigan free

So what am I up to on the long weekend I hear you not ask? Well, Friday I endevoured to head out to Eastland to buy a particular dress in a particular shop, but was unable to get there as a giant bat ate the train/ collision at springvale road, so I trudged back home.

I have the house to myself this weekend, which has been good. Nice and quiet. But it is hard to stay smoke free when you are in a house by yourself, and a little voice in your head keeps saying "No one will ever know, Keri. You could go and get some cigarettes now, smoke yourself stupid and then start again when people get back"

Then I remember what the first four days of quitting were like, and I have no urge to ever go through that again. Ever. I really don't want to go through four days of constantly thinking about something I can't have and wanting to hurt inanimate objects. So I'm keeping myself busy, and just remember all the good things about not having a habit that will kill me. Like not dying. That's pretty much top of the list, you know?

Anyway. Last night B and I went and saw Gala Flamenca at Hamer Hall, and it was amazing. I had all these pre-conceived notions about what Flamenco dancing was, and it was nothing like that at all. It was all solo and group work - no couples - and it was very beat-centric. And completely stunning. The way everything - limbs, dresses, jackets, shirts - are props and part of the dance was just amazing. And apparently an awful lot of it is improvised, which is just astounding.

Tonight B and I are going to a Saw marathon, which should be interesting. Four straight movies of cringe-worthy gore. Yeah! And Tuesday I'm - wait for it - meeting his sister. Considering the trouble I've had with sisters and mothers (Aka, Bitches from Hell, tm) I'm hoping it goes well, but if it doesn't, I'm not going to get myself worked up about it. It's just not worth it.

Anyway, off to have a bath now. Hopefully this time I can get through it without dropping my phone into it. I know, what the hell did I have my phone in the bath for anyway? I don't really know either.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Something old, something new, something borrowed, nothing blue

Jeepers. I can't believe how long it's been since I updated this thing.

No excuses this time. Things have happened and I've just put some things on the backburner. I'll try, I swear I'll try this time.

Okay, so what's new? Erm, The Boy and I are no more. And permanently, this time. Definitely permanently. I'll try and make this bit quick. We'd been living together for about 5 months, and I lost my job. And I'd had a bad run with jobs - made redundant, not made permanent in another, and the latest I was told my services were no longer required because the Branch Manager I was going to be Credit Analyst for didn't start. That was on a Wednesday. On the Thursday, The Boy walks in, and says he can't be in a relationship with someone who can't hold down a job, and who always thinks they're right. And I had two days to find somewhere to live and get my stuff out. So, thanks for that. See ya later.

So off I goes to my parents house, and they've been amazing. They couldn't have been better to me. That was five months ago, and in the meantime I've lost 12 kilos, gotten a great new job, closer to home, quit smoking (120 hours and counting!) Been on holiday with my best mates, and met someone else. I've been seeing him for about two weeks, and all's going well so far.

His name I won't disclose, in the grand tradition of not putting peoples names on the Internet, but let's call him B, since his name starts with that.

He's sweet, he's kind, he's funny, we get on like a house on fire (Three hour phone conversations, texting like crazy, 10 hour dates) and the most random things happen on our dates.

Our first date we went Bowling and discovered that I can bowl just as well (hideously, incidentally) with either hand. Which he found hilarious. Then we played pool for five hours, and we discovered that I'm not as bad as I thought I would be after a three year hiatus, and that B's a natural. Then we went for dinner, and during the course of it it became clear that I was getting rapidly ill. So he dropped me home early - seven hours after our date had commenced. Our next date I met him at his work in the city, and we went for dinner at one of my favourite restaurants - Blue Train - and one course took us three hours to finish because we were talking at a hundred miles an hour. We walked around Southbank for hours, sitting on a bench for a while and listening to the beat of the drums coming from up the river. At one stage, I went into the toilet and came out to find him sitting on top of a 15 foot rock like some kind of gnome. On our third date we played pool again, went for dinner at a Thai restaurant where the service made him angry and made me laugh, drove down to St. Kilda for coffee and a fifteen minute firework display started up about five metres from where we were sitting.

Neither of us had any idea why, because there didn't seem to be anything going on to warrant it, but it was pretty damn amazing to see. Then we walked along the pier, and sat and looked at the Cityscape for a while, and then went on a bay cruise. None of it was planned, but things just tend to work out that way.

It's just been great to get to know someone from scratch and discover all the things about someone in good time.

And without further ado, I'm shutting up, because I'll bloody well jinx it, and who knows what'll happen with it? It's all so new.

I'm trying to think of other news? Oh yes. The election. I'm sick of it. John Howard throws money at us. Surprise, surprise. Rudd looks smug. Shock, Horror. Bring on the 24th so I can stop bloody hearing about it. I've gone full circle back to apathetic about politics again.

Sheesh. Nothing for months and then I can't shut up.

Night folks!