Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Bedroom Project

If you're in Melbourne, don't miss The Bedroom Project by The Rabble, on this week at Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts in St Kilda.  It'll feast your imagination.  It's The Rabble. 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bedroom Project

A Performance installation by THE RABBLE

29 October - 7 November 2010

Dan Spielman, Kate Davis, Emma Valente, Dana Miltins, Mary Helen Sassman

The Bedroom Project is a haunting performance installation enshrining the secrets, fantasies and histories of two women.
The galleries become shrines to the sadness and exhilaration of awakening and the darkness and wonderment of loss.

Performances:

6pm Friday 29 October and Friday 5 November
2pm Saturday 30 October and Sunday 31 October
2pm Saturday 6 November and Sunday 7 November
Free admission - audiences limited, bookings essential
For enquiries phone 9534 0099 or email admin@lindenarts.org
Gallery opening hours will be restricted during this exhibition to
3-6pm Fridays and 1-5pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Artwork du Jour 60

Trying to Wake Up

Friday, October 29, 2010

Peas on Bikes

It must be funny to be a swelling Pea inside someone else's Pod.  You have no say, you just have to lie in there, perhaps kick a bit, drink some fluid, grow.  Maybe punch on a bladder, tug on some cord... 

I wonder if it's boring. 

I wish I could remember what is was like.  In some way I feel I have some sense of it.  I remember not wanting to come out, but that is probably just because of the forcep story.  It must be nice to be warm, and not have to face up to the responsibilities of the Outside.  In there it all seems so simple.

I wonder what she can feel.  

Last night the Pod went on a bender - did she feel that?  Perched at the bar with the boys, drinking her first beer, knocking back shots, downing a huge burger.  Smoking ciggies.  The bartender was cute and thoughtful, and helped her be part of it, bringing her a tiny glass of watery ale, then filling her shot glass with surreptitious Sprite, so the Pod could clink and squeal with the dudes like she would back in the day.  And the Pod got Drunk, drunk on joy, on life, on being a Pod in Berlin with Boys, on the loud heavy metal music and the oily fare, on the funny stories, on the rising drunkenness around her.

And then like a ten-year-old she mounted the little peewee kids bike and rode with the Boys through Mauer Park, past all the windows in the sport centre which gave her a belly laugh as she caught her reflection.  She looked bizarre on that bike with its tiny wheels; like Elliot riding through the sky with ET stuffed under his jumper.  A basketball on a BMX.  And the cobblestones jiggled the Pea in the Park, so The Love helped them up on to the dirt track and she hobbled along there instead.  And the Pod belly laughed again at the thought of herself.  And the Pea did somersaults and jumped on her bladder.

They chained up the steeds on a trash-can pole outside Doctor Pong and went inside the smoky bar to down shots that looked like they had little bloody embryos drowning in them and this time the Pod just had orange juice.  They call 'Round the World' 'China' in Berlin and they lined up at the Ping Pong Table to play China like they were lining up for rations and shuffled around the tiny table to the techno music with the other excited fools and tried to win but the Korean guy was too good every time.  And the Pod sat down with her orange juice and knew she had to leave soon because of the cigarettes and a young man sat down next to her and said,

"Hallo.  Where are you from?"

And she said,

"Hallo.  Australia."

He had a cap on backwards and a scar on his cheek.  He was smoking a heavy Marlboro.  So was the Pea.

"Can I ask you something?" he said.

"Yes," said The Pod.

"Are you pregnant?' he asked.

"Yes," said the Pod and smiled.  "You could tell?"

"I wasn't exactly sure," he said.  "I thought so.  I think it's very sexy."

And The Pod thought - wow - is it?  And she remembered how when her and The Love had run out of money she had said to him with woe, "And I can't even prostitute myself now!"  That had always been the fallback.  And The Love had said, "Well, I don't see why not.  It's not as though you can get knocked up."  She would have thought that, biologically speaking, a pregnant woman would be a no-go zone.  Evidently not.  She felt a tiny kick.

"We should go," she said to The Love, who was standing right next to her, having been eliminated again by the Korean.

"Bye friend," said The Pod and when they remounted the bikes she told The Love how she thought maybe the Dude was trying to pick her up and The Love said he was sure of it.

She wondered what the Pea thought. 

Artwork du Jour 58

On Her Side

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nightmare on Schliemannstrasse

Last night The Love went to Dr Pong and I came home and it was deathly quiet in the Wu-Tang pad so I tried to creep myself out like I usually do when I’m home alone at night, but I couldn’t. Halloween’s coming up and I thought about the movie and I thought about Michael Myers and I looked at the windows and tried to imagine Michael out there, clambering across the panes with his hands and mask.

And I couldn’t.

And I realised why.

Because Europe isn’t Horror.   It’s simply not.  Well European cities anyway.   Have you ever heard of a Parisian horror film?  Of a mass murderer lurking on the rooftops of Berlin?  Nightmare on Schliemannstrasse.   It just sounds cute.  Of course there’s Jack the Ripper.   And I guess there’s vampires – Let the Right One In and that.  But that was beautiful and didn’t give me nightmares.   I don’t know Dario Argento, but I know he’s scary.  There’s Transylvania…

But I mean horror; the ones that make you leave the lights on for two weeks, waiting for the tapping.  The ones that make you look for the figure in the hallway with the long hair when you get up in the night.  The ones that even now make you jump onto your bed so that the man under there can’t grab at your ankles.  The really awful ones that even make you scared in daylight that the bad man’s going to get you.  Don't fall asleep!  Three, four, better lock your door… 

It’s cities.  Cities aren’t scary.  Especially big ones like Berlin.  Everyone lives in apartments.  So people can’t come and look in your window.  They can’t get in your shower really, or hide in your cupboard.  You feel safe in a city.  Because there are so many people around you.   And you’re high up.  Unless you’re on the rez-de-chaussée in Paris and those apartments cost less. Because of horror.   But I still don’t think I could creep myself out on a rez-de-chaussée.  Because it would be Paris and the city never really gets dark and besides, the concierge would be just across from you.  Unless of course, she’s been hacked to pieces.

Here in the Wu-Dojo we’re four flights up so I’m not scared at all.  You’d have to be a lizard-man to climb up here.  And even if you did, it still wouldn’t be Horror.   If Michael climbed up here I would just kick him down again.

No, the key to good horror is houses.  It’s got to be houses.  Houses in suburbia.   In America, preferably.  Maybe a good country house.  Outback Australia can work.  You need space.  You need to be able to see the face from a distance and then have lots of doors to run and try to lock.  Windows are crucial.  When I saw Michael at Universal Studios he ruined it by bursting into the house.  When he was outside running his hands along the windows or darting through the clothesline it was far more terrifying.  Seeing him close up broke the spell for me.  If he ever got that close you’d be dead anyway, so it wouldn’t matter.

I hear they celebrate Halloween here in Berlin and I’m quite excited.  I’ve always wanted to do it properly - we were never allowed to do it at home, being told ‘It’s a silly American tradition.”  There was fear of paedophiles.  Dratted paedophiles.  I want to play dress-ups and get lollies and egg stuff.  I’m going to do it.  I’ve already decided my costume: Knocked-up Prostitute.

But maybe just in my own apartment. Four flights up.

Artwork du Jour 57

City

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Being in Love with Yourself

Last night was one of those terrible nights where you’re worried you’ve offended someone and you’ve got that bad feeling in your bones like you’re a really, really bad person.  I have that so much at the moment, especially writing the blog.  The thought of upsetting anyone terrifies me.  It aches.

Also, we watched the comedy ‘Get him to the Greek’ which was truly depressing.

I dreamt it took me hours and hours to wash my hair and it wasn’t my house so the people whose house it was were getting annoyed.  I was wasting water.  But the conditioner just wouldn’t rinse completely out and my hair was an enormous birds nest.

It was an infuriating dream and when I woke I felt like I’d been hit by a truck.  Especially as it was 7am and there was a drill grinding into the wall behind our heads.  Dratted construction site.  Dratted world.

I lay there with the drill in my brain wanting to scream out to the men on the other side of the thick brick wall but somehow the Love kept sleeping so all I could do was reach my arm back to the wall and extend my middle finger really hard.  The drilling actually stopped.  Power of The Bird.  So I tried to go back to sleep, but the icky feeling was still strong.  I tried to think Happy Thoughts.  I thought of Hair and I thought of The Hairdresser and of a time I saw her recently, where I learned a good lesson.  She looked radiant.  I said:

“You look radiant. Have you met someone?”

And she said,

“Yep. I’m having a torrid affair.”

And I said,

“Wow, I could really tell. You’re bursting out of yourself.”

“I know,” she said. “I feel amazing.”

It had been a while since she’d seen anyone and last time I’d seen her she was pale and gaunt.  Now she was shining – her eyes were bright, skin luminescent, wild black hair shiny, tattoos buffed.  Her limbs seemed looser, the clothes hung off her body joyfully, like they were having the ride of their life.  I could understand – it must have felt great to be close to her.

“Who is he?” I asked, rubbing my hands together.

“It’s me,” she said, with stonefaced conviction.  “I’m in love with myself.”

“You?” I asked, trying to act like that was normal, and cool.

“Yep,” she confirmed.  “Me.”

I gulped.  She was dead serious.

The Hairdresser had always been a very strong woman and an ultra-cool cat.  I was madly in love with her and completely intimidated by her.  She was wise.  She knew Everything.  I looked up to her.  She was an icon around town.  She always knew exactly what she wanted and could see through all sorts of bullshit.  Most times I came in for a haircut I left with renewed clarity on my life.

“Are you a good lover?” I asked.

“Yep,” she said. “I’m amazing.  I buy myself flowers.  Last night I took myself out to the most beautiful dinner.  I’m having long baths with myself, making long love to myself.  I am amazing in bed.  I am rubbing oils all over my body.  I am taking myself away for weekends and buying myself gifts.  I am having love-ins with myself.  I am making myself breakfast in bed and having champagne with myself and eating delicious things with myself.  Taking myself to the movies.  I’m totally hot for myself.”

“That is the most amazing thing I have ever heard,” I said, making a note to write it all down when I got home.  There was not a hint of arrogance or new-age-iness or insecurity about it.  This was her absolute truth and she was living it.  I was mesmerised.  Imagine how powerful that might feel, I wondered to myself.  To have an affair with yourself.  I couldn’t imagine liking myself enough to even stop feeling guilty about treating myself to this hair cut.

When I got home I tried to write in my diary:

I LOVE MYSELF

And you know what, I couldn’t do it.  The letters were all scratchy and ill-formed.  It was amazing.  All I needed to do was write it and I couldn’t.  I pushed myself.

I AM IN LOVE WITH MYSELF.

I slammed the book shut and hid it.  It wasn’t true at all, and I felt insecure for having written the words down.  Fake.  A feeling of terror that someone would find the words and laugh at me ripped through my veins.

A week later I dared open the diary again and looked at the writing.  It didn’t feel quite so bad.  I traced over the letters in heavy ink.  And I did it again and again every few days and by the end of the week I actually felt quite a surge of strength.  Maybe I could be in love with myself after all.

It was a powerful feeling, writing the words.  It sounds like something from a self-help book, but I swear, it helped.  It entered a funny place in me, I can’t quite describe it.

I still try to write it down occasionally, but it’s still hard.  It’s important, though don’t you think, to at least conceive of the possibility of being in love with yourself?  Especially on icky evenings like last night when you’re convinced you’re the worst person on earth and you just wish you could crawl into someone else’s skin and live in there forever.  Or at least until the night is over.

Artwork du Jour 55

Night Boat

Monday, October 25, 2010

Little Morning Whimpers


In the dream dad died and mum was alive and I went to The Frenchman’s house which was our old house in Eastleigh Drive and he was all soft; the old, nice him, and we hugged very gently for a long time and were friends again.  It was a nice feeling.  But I was devastated about dad.  Even though he was still there.  He was driving the family van and he was all happy and the sun was shining and I looked at him and said:
“Do you even realise you’re dead?” 
And he said “No!” and smiled at me.  He looked radiant.  It was a family vacation.  He and mum shared a knowing grin together and everyone thought I was an idiot for bringing it up. 
Then we were back at Eastleigh Drive and The Frenchman was in one of the bedrooms going through the cupboards, sorting out clothes.  He was smiling and happy too, and wearing a red cashmere v-neck.  Bunny Sister was getting married in the house and I was running around trying to find the right place for the ceremony to occur.  We finally settled on an area in front of the fireplace, which we never had at Eastleigh Drive, it was in fact the living room from a bungalow at the Chateau Marmont.  Bunny Sister was happy.  So I went behind the bar and started to mix drinks though I kept bursting into sobs at the knowledge dad was dead.  It tore through my body, it burned, the pain.  I couldn’t stop thinking – but I’ll never hear his laugh again!  I’m going to miss his sense of humour so much!  And then, there he was at the bar, asking for a soft drink. 
“Dad!” I scolded.  And he smiled at me and took the drink went to join the party. 
I was losing my mind.  People were annoyed at me and embarrassed about my outbursts. 
“Pull yourself together,” they kept saying, “For goodness sakes.  Stop showing off.” 
But I wasn’t showing off, I was gutted. 
But the hug from The Frenchman lingered, it was a warm feeling.  His mum was there too, and she liked me.  

Gregory Crewdson 'Untitled'

Artwork du Jour 54

Sunday's Dream

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Soft Landing

An old man sits on stage. He is a picture of solitude. Not happy, not sad, just silent, alone. His face is old, tired, not ugly, not beautiful, just a face, the face of an old man.

Another old man come on and hands the first man a guitar.  They have the same face.

The first old man begins to play the guitar and five more old men enter the scene, all with different bodies but the same face.

The men slowly begin to dance and to play instruments.  They spin, fall, struggle, fly, leap, die, fight, try. They play. They are clever old men, and they are all the one man. Maybe a grandfather. Maybe a sick man. Maybe a retiree. Maybe a man that’s still working. Maybe a brickie’s labourer. Maybe a hospital orderly. Maybe an accountant.

He is quite a nice old man; I don’t think he’s mean. Though he can do very nasty things. I suppose we all can.

Come and see the show if you’re in Berlin. It’s something.
battleROYAL presents its premiere dance production at Dock 11 – Berlin from the 4th to the 7th November 2010 at 8.30pm.

Having recently returned from two fabulous new teaterkoncert creations in Copenhagen, battleROYAL has now been busy devising an exceptional new dance work with the stirring music of Australian band Bombazine Black.

Soft Landing presents moments of ungraspable pasts and foggy memories, producing an experience of the impotence and redundancy of age. Via human marionette systems and a haunting live sound track, the performance attempts to create a rare empathy for a redundant, elderly character.
A fascinating soulful piece that perfectly combines emotions with acrobatic performances and clownesque drafts.” 
Mia Frick, Volksblatt Liechtenstein.

battleROYAL is a diverse performing arts company working worldwide on event shows, theatre productions and site-specific projects. The company takes pride in delivering exceptional work of beauty and power accompanied by unique twists that separate it from the pack.
Concept, Choreography: Brendan Shelper (Choreography in collaboration with the dancers) - Assistant Choreographer: Susana Beiro - Dancers: Florian Bücking, Jonathan Buckels, Janine Joyner, Susana Beiro - Musicians: Matt Davis, Jayne Tuttle, Malte Weberruss - Music: Bombazine Black - Light: Alesandra Beiro - Costumes: Sophie vom Scheidt - Video: Timm Ringewaldt   

www.battleroyalprojects.com                       

www.bombazineblack.com


Supported by:
The Kulturstiftung Liechtenstein, The Karl Mayer Stiftung, Dr. Peter Goop, Vaduz, Stiftung Fürstl. Kommerzienrat Guido Feger and Dock 11.

Dock 11, Kastanienallee 79 - 10435 Berlin
Tickets: 030 – 4481222 / 
dock11@dock11-berlin.de

Artwork du Jour 53

The Crash

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dreams of Scum and Tractors

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Last night I dreamt I was at my dad’s cousin’s house.  A World Cup game was on and Australia was playing and everyone was positive they were going to win and I couldn’t understand their optimism.  The dishwasher stank and I wanted a knife and fork and every time I took a set out they were covered in food scum.  It was disgusting.  I was the only one who could smell it.  Nobody cared about the filth so it was up to me to clean it out.  I couldn’t stand it.  I tried to ignore it but the stench followed me everywhere.  I can still smell it now.
I had a fight with The Love.  I was on an important phone call and he turned up the music deliberately really loud.  I screamed at him,
“YOU’RE AN IDIOT!!!”
The Love wouldn’t dream of ever doing anything to annoy me like that, even if it would be funny.  And I have never, ever raised my voice to him.  When I told him about the dream just now he said quietly,
“I’m so sorry I turned the music up.”
The dream went on.
It was a public holiday and I drove a tractor (on the streets) and the fricking tractor broke down, of course.  I rang a man from a business card and he answered, though it was three minutes after five and the World Cup was on.  He said to bring it down.  A friend had a big truck and kindly towed me down the highway in the tractor.  It was clunky and scraped along the tar.   And when we got there the man couldn’t fix it.  He said he could get it fixed the following morning.  That was good news but I was worried because the next day was Show Day and if it couldn’t be fixed by one o’clock as he said, then we would be in trouble.  I though of The Love and how he likes the schedule to be clear on Show Day and then I was proud about getting concerned about something taking longer than it should – that was evolved, I thought to myself, and organised. 
So I went to mum’s.  Bunny Sister was there.  We sat out on the grass.  The grass was really green and cool, and it was a lovely evening.  We could hear the game blaring from the telly inside.  There was a big old burnt-out car skeleton on the back lawn, down near where the monkey-bars used to be.  I was thinking about Sarah, as her baby is due. 
Bunny Sister was on the phone.

Kristian Burford. 'Kathryn'
 

Artwork du Jour 51

After Last Night

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Shit and Mothballs


Today at rehearsal I nearly fell down a very steep staircase and landed in a pile of very sharp objects.  It was a big fright.  My life flashed before my eyes and I couldn’t stop picturing what my body would have looked like if it had happened.  I still can’t.  It would not have been pretty.  All the grisly alternatives keep flashing past my eyes.  My mind loves to do that: torment and titillate - push me to the edge.  It’s deeply morbid.
Maybe it’s because of the accident.  (Read The Night I Nearly got my Head Chopped off by an Elevator.)
Maybe it’s just the way it’s always been.
Growing up, our household was always pretty open about death.  Mum saw her first dead body during nursing training at 19.  That, she told us, was the day she first tried a cigarette.  We all knew about it.  We all saw Gran that day without her teeth in, stretched out still on the made white bed.  Mum bought cakes afterwards and let us drink whisky.  

We all knew about death.  We all had images.

Baby Brother Bunny in particular.  He was always the one to find the dead.  He was a serious little boy with a cherub face who would chant this poem in his little jimjams with the aeroplanes on them:
    Whenever you see a hearse go by
    Remember one day you’ve got to die
    Ooh ah ooh ah how happy we shall be 

The first was Wuzzle the Guinea Pig.

BBB accidentally left Wuzzle’s cage open one day only to watch in silent horror as Meggs the Cat swept upon the furry ball and sunk his fangs straight into Wuzzle’s tender neck.  Mum was watering the garden.  BBB turned to her, a questioning look on his angel face.  Mum hissed and the cat ran off, leaving Wuzzle a limp-but-still-breathing pile of red and white and caramel.  Mum did what only a good country girl knew how, went inside, got a plastic bag, put Wuzzle in it, tied the bag to the car exhaust, got in with Baby Brother and started the engine. 
"How come we're not moving mum?" he asked.
She put her hand on his little shoulder.  
And he Knew. 

    They wrap you in a big white sheet 
    And drop your bones down ten feet deep
    Ooh ah ooh ah how happy we shall be

We had a funeral for Wuzzle in the backyard near the scene of the crime as Meggs prowled menacingly around the tomb.  Baby Brother said a few profound words:
“Goodbye Wuzzle. Love from Us.”  And we all stifled giggles and threw flower petals on the lump in the dirt and BBB solemnly stuck a cross made of ice-cream sticks in it.  Poor Baby Bunny. 

A few years later the solemn nod was back.  This time it was Meggsy.  He had been hit by a car and managed to haul his broken body to the squat fern in the front garden to go to the Big Sleep.   

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    The worms play ping pong on your snout
    Ooh ah ooh ah how happy we shall be.

It was the day of my 21st birthday and I was a Bimbo, so I was painting my nails bright pink or something when Baby Brother Bunny entered the bedroom and stood looking at me for a long time until I finally looked up.
There it was again.  The Nod of the wise old sage.
“Oh no,” I said.  “Who?”
“Meggsy,” he said. 
“Oh no,” I choked.
“He is passed,” continued BBB.
“Oh no!” I squealed, tears flowing.  Meggsy was ten, too young, too young.  He was our big fat ginger knee blanket.  “Did you find him?” I continued.
“Yep,” he sighed, like a 40-something bricklayer.
“What was it like?” I asked.
“Ants crawling in and out of his head, maggots crawling in and out of his eyes.”
“Oh,” I said.  Poor Baby Brother.  He’d seen too much.
“Stank,” he continued in his monotone.
“Ew,” I said.  “Like what?”
“Like death,” he said.
“Oh really?”  I said.  “What does death smell like Baby Brother?”
“Shit and mothballs.”
I paused.  “Shit and mothballs?” I asked.
“Shit,” he confirmed with absolute certainty.  “And mothballs.”
And off he padded down the hallway.

    Ooh ah ooh ah how happy we shall be.

Artwork du Jour 50

Almost Touching

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Structure and Melancholy


I’ve been thinking about Nelle Harper Lee and how she wrote the perfect book.  How she constructed something wonderful, not dirty, not silly, not vulgar or awkward, and how it sold twenty-five gazillion copies and will always keep selling and be read. 
How satisfying that must feel.  So satisfying that she never wrote another one.  Why would you?  How do you follow perfection?
Poor creators of Madmen: after three superb seasons the fourth has lapsed ever so slightly into exposition and sentimentality.  It’s still breathtaking viewing - you could watch Don’s collars and Joan’s hips til the cows come home, but I have a feeling they didn’t expect the show to run so long.  When I think of The Wire and it’s perfect construction from Season 1 to 5, always knowing where it was going, and then finishing with a majestic bang, I think of Nelle.  She, like the Wire creators, knew the beginning and end of her story.  So she began it, built it and ended it. 
I admire that so much.  I wish I could construct.  But what I’ve always done best is spew.  Endless, swelling tides of it.   
I wonder about NHL.  Would she have written a hit TV series if she was starting now?  Would she have written a blog?  Would hers be silly and exposing and say the word Penis too many times?  Would she giggle like the Village Idiot every time she wrote it?
Or would she be spending her time carefully crafting a masterly, refined work?
What should I be doing?
I know exactly what, secretly - I should be finishing my book.  But that requires construction and focus.  The blog is much more fun.  I can’t even bring myself to read the manuscript at the moment, it makes me what to thunderchuck.  Did Nelle Harper Lee suffer such crippling self-doubt?  Did she feel like every time she could just about touch her novel she’d reach out to it and it would disappear into dust? 
There it sits on the chair, smirking at me through the jaws of the Bulldog Clip.  There it waits, anxious, awkward, silly, unsure, vulgar. 
Oh how I loathe that Clip.  I dream of binding.  Of a good, hard spine.  I dream of the day I will crunch that Bulldog Clip under my boots, murder it, make my heel bleed. 
Help me Harper. 


Artwork du Jour 48

Working from Home

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Perils of Comprehension


The hot bar chick at the Intersoup gave us free lighters and I’m looking at mine right now and it reads:

Doppelt so gut wie sex!

And I’m trying to translate it.  Maybe it means:

My doppelganger’s so cute I had sex with her!

Or

The dope was so good I had six!

Or

Don’t confuse gut with sex!  (see Fat Naked Smoking Man from Paris)

I don’t know. 

But I must say, not understanding can be quite fun.

Learning a new language is like being a kid again.  You start off mute, completely dependent on others, until you can say some basic words, one two, three, four, no, yes, please, with a weird accent that makes people giggle and think you’re cute.  Then you master those words.  Then you can say more complex things: Please may I have ketchup?  Then you move on to phrases.  Colloquial expressions. 

And that’s where the trouble starts.

Phrases are dangerous when you’re learning.  In France I really made some terrible blunders.  You just can’t say DEGEULASSE at a dinner party for example.  That’s the dangerous thing about phrases - you feel them before you understand them.  You hear them said in context and then, some way down the track you repeat them.  Usually, if you’re like me, before they’re ripe. 

Example:

Je me suis bourré la guele hier soir.

This means, I got smashed off my head last night, ie, drunk.  What it literally means is I stuffed my face.  But in Rabbit’s teenage-level French, what she heard, and consequently repeated around town, to plentiful curious looks was:

Je me suis fait bourré la guele hier soir.

Which means, I had my face stuffed last night.  Last night, phew! – I really had my face stuffed.  You can perhaps imagine what this conjures up in French.  It wasn’t cool. 

In this situation when I was growing up, Mum would give me a stern look and beckon with her finger,

“Come on Rabbit, upstairs, time for a little chat.”

And she would sit me on her bed and say,

“Now Rabbit, when two adults love each other…”

And I would want to cover my ears and scream and run. 

The two instances I remember most clearly of this were Poojabber and Crack a Fat.

I don’t know where Poojabber came from, perhaps it started with Punjab from Annie and evolved, but Bunny Sister and I picked it up somehow and would loudly call each other it in supermarkets, in the street, loudly, anywhere.

Hey Poojabber!

Shut up Poojabber.

Until Mum heard us and gave us the nod and the finger.  Up the stairs we went, red-faced and panicked.

“Now girls, you see, when two men love each other…”

AAHHHHH!!!

Crack a Fat happened at the Tennis Club.  I was always trying to get in with the cool kids, the grade 6-ers, the ones with the Big Rackets.  I heard one big kid called Sarah use the expression Crack a Fat in a sentence (which in Aussie lingo means to get a hard-on) and I rapidly assimilated into my Bunny head to mean something like ‘to Crack the Shits’ (in Aussie lingo, to get upset) and repeated it later that night to Mum:

“Well, I’d better go and do my homework.  Mrs Moore will Crack a Fat if I don’t.”

And the nod and the finger and the shudders and the lamp being lit beside the bed:

“You see Rabbit, a penis…”

AHHHHHH!!!!!!

It’s tough learning language, learning to communicate properly.  But if you can just manage to hold your bunny tongue until you completely understand something, rather than always wanting to be in with the Cool Kids, it’s probably better.  More boring perhaps.  But safer. 

Artwork du Jour 47

My Fur

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Chocolate Room

I woke up this morning thinking about The Chocolate Room.  My teeth were gnashing with the urge to bite one of those big rubbery gummy bears.  You know that feeling?

If you could enter any scene in any film, what would it be?

For me it's always been The Chocolate Room.  Even though looking now at the actual thing it's hilariously lame, the fantasy will never die.  That chocolate river.  That edible teacup.  And Gene... the source of a thousand eerie dreams.   

The thing about the Chocolate Room was you could really get your face inside all that stuff.  It was bigger than you.  You could stuff your head inside a watermelon, lick the dot off a mushroom, drown in a river of chocolate, suck the leaves off the trees, eat a teacup.  It was overwhelming, suffocating.  The lollies dwarfed you and, well, for anyone with a sweet tooth like your faithful Rabbit, that is just a dream come true.   

I still envy Augustus.  Man, what a way to go.

Enter the Chocolate Room


Artwork du Jour 46

And?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wu-Tang and White Coffee


Well the first week in Berlin is now over and what a week it’s been.  Moving in to our new temporary home and very own Buddhist temple and shrine to Wu-Tang, experiments with sleeping arrangements, knotty fur, sunshine and bicycles, rain and buses, fare evasion, coffee tasting, ‘pan-asian’ dinners and hand-squeezed orange juice every morning for just 1 euro. 

Schweet.

I can now say:

Caffe schvatz – black coffee
Caffe mit milsch – coffee with milk
Caffe veiss – white coffee (to be alternated with the above to demonstrate fluency)
Bitter – please (not to be said when thanking the ice-cream man)
Dankerschen – thank you
Ein, svy, dry, fear, foomf, sex – one, two, three, four, five, sex
Mein kopf – my head
Sheisser – shit
Sheisser schnitzel – shit schnitzel
Weiner – vienna
Nein, NEIN! – no, NO!
Ja? - Yeah?
Schliemanstrasse – our street
Svunsig svunsig svunsig– twenty twenty twenty (current favourite)

So we’re pretty much set.

It’s a rather wonderful time here, going off to work each day on a fascinating theatre piece, living in a street with cobblestones and trees, living in a place that values the art of hand-squeezed orange juice, living in a place that values art, living in a street with the smell of schnitzels, living in a street with the sound of kids who are having real fun.  Apparently the tiny area we’re living in is the most fertile part of Europe.  It’s pram central.  Kids everywhere, knuckle-bitingly cute in winter snugglies.  Bars and cafés dedicated purely to kids and their parents with cool play equipment and ice-cream bars.  Madness.  Oh there’s another word I know:

Kindergarten – kindergarten

The Wu-Tang pad is pretty cool, though I haven’t made friends with the kitchen or the bathroom yet.  That takes time when you’re Anal.  The kitchen especially makes my toes scrunch.  It’s making our trip rather expensive.  The Love is digging just fine on the toaster, and I’ve discovered I can eat the toast from it if he brings it to me, as long as I don’t think about it too much.  If I don’t look I can pretend it came from our one back home.  Then it tastes fine.

I’ve been getting funny dreams in the Wu-Tang pad, or the Dojo, as The Love calls it.  Last night I had a three-year old Chinese daughter I’d never met, she was being looked after by mum and all my aunties and I finally went and met her and she didn’t look at all like me but I had to have her but The Love was doubtful we’d be able to take her with us on our travels.  We were carnies and about to head off on a world tour. 

I was torn.  I woke in sweat.

And then there was another one last night where The Love was hidden behind one of the doors in the huge Récollets building in Paris, and I couldn’t find which one he was in.  The rest of the place was partying.  I was desperate to find him and escape. 

The dreams are those wild ones you have when you’re drifting in and out of sleep all night, never really resting.  You’re conflicted, running, desperate.  I haven’t slept a full night since we arrived here.  It’s The Lady.  She’s pushing on my bones like an Orc in Mordor, making space for herself, she’s squashed in there.  The frame of me is not wide enough for her strong limbs so she’s starfishing them, forcing me out, like I used to do in the chambre de bonne when I’d get claustrophobic from the crampy walls which I could touch with all four extremities. 

I can totally understand where she’s coming from, but it hurts quite a bit and is making me walk like a penguin. 

It’s strange to be a construction site.  Fatigueschum. 

So tomorrow is rest day, sleepinschtag, and The Love and I will go to the markets if it stops raining.  Otherwise we’ll just lie around the Dojo and punch on the punching bag and get zen wit it, yo.