Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kiki is Lloyd

Balls, I cut Kiki's hair. 

Now she looks like this:


 

Australia?

Today is Australia Day.

I'm not really sure what that means.

To be honest it all makes me a little squirmy. I mean, a lot of innocent people were slaughtered, non? Patriotism in general makes me feel a little strange I must say, people flying flags out their cars, wearing t-shirts with their country on it. It's wrong and I don't really know why. Why does it feel so, I don't know - conservative? Militant. Thoughts of France's Front Nationale, scary Americans with flags in their windows, drunk Australians going crazy with zinc all over their faces, stubbies flying in a moshpit. 

Something aggressive about it all.

I don't like it. I never really did.

I'm staying in the back yard today with my sister and two babies. 

We'll have a People Day.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Tragedy of Being Excellent

It's very very hot outside and it's night and when I was four Jenny W who was a friend of my mum's let me play in her walk in robe and inside the robe was a black dress with a print of a bird on it with an elasticised boob part and Jenny W said I could keep the dress and I somehow kept it for years and years and today I wore it. I'm wearing it now in front of the tennis. It's extremely 70s. And I'm watching Djokovic smear Lleyton Hewitt all over the tennis court like he's a tiny ant. Djokovic just looks so centred, a bit like the stillness of a cat with a sad little mouse. And the cat just wishes the mouse could give him some competition. Poor, bored old cat. For entertainment he sometimes lets the mouse run away a little bit before dragging him back again and again, just winning, winning... winning. Poor Djokovic, just too good. Like me with Boggle. I'm quite good at some games, but at Boggle I'm untouchable. It's led to extreme feelings of boredom - a bit like old Djokovic, out there, just too excellent. Cool Djokovic just out there on the court, in a league of his own, fluid, beautiful, at ease, while little Lleyts fumbles around, scrabbling to survive. It's humiliating. Barbaric. I feel like this when I tear someone to smithareens in Boggle - Mr Rabbit, my nan, anyone - make them cry. I try to reel them in towards me but I'm just too far ahead. I don't know why - the letters just agree with my brain, it's breathtaking - I can just see hundreds of combinations of words before me as the sand in the little egg timer stutters its way out. 

It's lonely being really excellent at something. I really feel Djokovic's pain.

Ooh Lleyts just got a set.

Djokovic let him run away a bit, the tease.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ginger

I’m done, badness out - stitches, yes and some curious air pockets sewn up in there. Ginger. Little. Getting empathy. Trying to lie down but it’s when you do that that ideas come to move. Music influences your writing doesn’t it – hard to be sweet and verbose with Black Market Baby on in the background. Hard not to become, I dunno, drawly. Matter-of-fact. Might take a Panadol. Might eat some salmon, stoke up the barbie. The sun is shining. It’s 6:45pm. Kiki went to sleep after making some truly bizarre faces. It’s silent. Thinking about Paris. About what I want the next part of my life to look like. I’ve never thought very far ahead. Never further than tomorrow or a few weeks. But now I’m trying to find pictures. They are coming. Had some brilliant post-op revelations – aside from all the overwhelming love – thought – hey I’ll rewrite my novel as a choose your own adventure – the idea felt so brilliant I just couldn’t believe it – couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before – spent ten hours lying in the hospital bed plotting it out in my mind. Was excellent fun. Drugs affect me deeply I’ve realised, it takes a while for them to get out of my system and they hit me hard. I was too wobbly to go home like normal – couldn’t stand up. The drugs, I said, they hit me hard. Tried hard not to vomit in dad’s BMW – the ride just too smooth.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bingo the Clown-o, Devils, Drugs, Cysty

Today I go in and have Cysty removed - yuk. I just thank heavens that I was born in this era when they can just stick a little straw in you and suck it out and all the while you're sleeping and dreaming weird morphine dreams of clowns. Imagine if you were born in the day like the Devils Drugs and Doctors exhibition that dad took me to when I was four. I'll never forget the Devils Drugs and Doctors exhibition. The sound of screaming as the man sawed the woman's leg off. I must have stood in front of that display for hours and watched it over and over. There was a funny smell, probably the chemicals they used to make the blood or maybe the smell of the plastic of the actual life-size dolls. I could hear the motor running inside that sawing man, but he still felt real. I wonder what they would have done to Cysty then. Sliced me open no doubt. Though they probably never even removed Cystys, they'd just grow and grow and suddenly you'd die and they'd call it consumption. Anyway, I'm glad. Tomorrow I'll be Cysty free. And tonight I'll probably be dreaming of Bingo the Clown-o.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Beauty of Being Consumed

I wonder if anything could confirm as clearly that you are an animal than taking your baby into bed with you in the morning and curling around her as she drinks you. The beauty is overwhelming and you wonder - was this what my entire complicated being was programmed for? And then you try to stop thinking and just surrender to the sublimeness of complete and utter flesh.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What Dad Likes


“I like gherkins. I like sandwich pickles.”
Sometimes I love him so much I could almost die.

I'm a Fucking Idiot

I'm really on a lucky streak.

Yesterday it was Mr Abdulla Zongo who told me I'd won fifty million dollars. Today it's the event manager Mr Michael Lannon who wants me to contact him to collect my 500 000 GBP which has randomly been awarded to me via email address sweep. 

Look, I know it's not true. I know this because I remember years ago going to work at the Keg after receiving an email like the one from Mr Lannon and secretly wondering - could it be true - and just letting it burn there for the day as I made crappy margaritas made from a terrible pre-made mix. I wondered - wow - have I been chosen? And I let myself believe it. It was a good feeling. Then I quietly asked the other barman in his tight black pants and cheap white shirt, "Hey I got this email today saying I'd won a lot of money. I got selected at random." And the guy laughed and said he thought he'd heard of something like that. And I immediately felt like an idiot. But for quite a few hours there I really did believe it could be true.

I do see a pattern - see Ann Mathias. I just really like to believe. It can lead to some embarrassing moments and even worse it can lead to me doing a really stupid thing like the other night I gave all my personal details to a site posing as paypal including all my top security questions and personal details, card numbers, etc - basically every little detail about my life. So now somebody out there could be taking on my persona, preparing to commit crimes for which I shall be imprisoned for. 

That one was bad. Mr Rabbit was mad. 

And I just felt like a fucking idiot. 


Friday, January 13, 2012

Good Hate

Last night Mr Rabbit and Kiki and I were pulled up at some lights in Geelong. The sun was going down and we were urgently approaching the Indian restaurant after a day in the big town getting our backs cracked and laughing as the chiropractor swivelled Kiki’s tiny torso around making her legs fly out like a little full skirt. That was so funny. I still laugh when I think of it. Her face so serious.
Anyway we were pulled up at the lights and it was twilight and there was the big Ferris wheel there and two people meandered across the crossing in front of us. I knew Mr Rabbit was going to say something, but I wasn’t sure what.
“God,” he said, “Look at them.”
It was that sort of private conversation people have in cars.
“I know,” I said, “They look uncomfortable.”
To the common bystander these were innocent people. Normal people. But there was something about them, the way they slunk across the road. They were probably in their early twenties, a boy and a girl. The girl was wearing jeans and thongs and some sort of nondescript top. Her arms were folded across her chest. Her hair was pulled back in a rough pony tail. She was fine. Just sort of, nothing. And the guy, he was that typical Australian build, like he was once in a rowing team, not quite a neck, neat hair, cargo shorts, sandals and a striped polo shirt with the collar pulled up. It was strange that collar, cotton, you know, like a tennis shirt, but pulled up. It didn’t really stay up, it didn’t at all want to be stood up like that. But the boy had chosen to pull it up. Maybe he thought it looked cool.
His hands were deep inside his long pockets.
And they were just innocently walking across the road. Slinking really. His shoulders were up a bit. Hers were diagonal. They really did look distantly cool and very very unsure about it. You really would never ever look twice at them. But for some reason we did.
“I’m sure they’re very nice people,” said Mr Rabbit, sure this conversation would never escape the safety of the car, “But I hate them.”
The word hate was hit with such venom it made me laugh. My laugh was a sort of offended, mildly titillated laugh. He had said it with such honesty, such integrity. It made me shift a bit in my seat.
“What?” he asked. “I do, I hate them.”
“I know,” I said, “That’s what’s making me laugh.”
“I just hate them,” he said.
“It’s quite a strong word hate,” I said, “Especially when they’re just walking across the street.”
“I know but I just do,” he said.
We continued on and I felt quite good that he had said it and not me. Who could hate anyone they’d never met? We ate the Indian and Kiki crawled around the carpet and then got niggly so Mr Rabbit took her outside while I hoovered the rest of the lamb saag and paid the bill. When I got outside he was beaming.
“Guess who I just met out here?” he asked.
“Kylie Minogue?” I asked.
“No,” he said.
“Dad?”
“No, the people I hate! When I came out they were looking at the menu in the window. And I said, “It’s good. If you like Indian, it’s really good.” And you know what – they said NOTHING – and looked at me like I was weird! For even speaking to them. And I said YOU’RE WELCOME like Stephen Colbert would and the fuckwit guy says ‘Oh… cheers’ and slinks off! I was right! I hate them!”
So Mr Rabbit was right to hate. I will never judge him again for judging so well and harshly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ann Mathias, the Sweet, Disabled, Middle-aged Man

There is a lovely disabled lady who lives in England that owns an amazing 2 bedroom apartment in the rue de Bretagne and is renting it out ridiculously cheap. I met her on Craigslist when I put up a post saying that a young professional couple is looking for an apartment to rent – right bank preferred, 2 bedroom ideal. One email jumped out amongst the others because it was such a good deal. An incredible apartment that just sits there right above the busy bustling street – the good end. It’s where she used to live but when she became to old and disabled to get up the stairs she moved back to England to be close to her family.
Too old and disable I mean. She says that in her email. She is disable.  

Her name is Ann Mathias.

Like many Paris home-owners she is concerned with who she rents the place out to – preferring to keep it empty because of the tenant-favouring French rental laws. So we have to convince Ann that we’re worthy – which I do by sending her lots of emails and even a photo of us at our wedding. We’re nice people. We won’t trash her apartment.

After months of communication, emails, getting to know each other, she asks if she can speak with me over the phone – just to connect. This is nice. It’s human. So I call. She can’t come to the phone but I speak with her husband – a lovely man who again explains their situation and fears about renting the place out to strangers. I put on my best voice. I am gentle and kind. I tell him all about myself and about Mr Rabbit and about our work and history. He still sounds a bit sceptical but I think I’ve won him over. He asks us to just send a 800 euro bond via moneygram, just to secure the place. This is very reasonable. My gosh – what place like that, in such a beautiful Paris street, would go for 800 euros a month?

It’s so good. Too good to be true.

But the day I go to Moneygram the exchange rate seems so exorbitant that I can’t bring myself to pay. I am unversed in such matters. I tell Mr Rabbit. 

“Yeah,” he sighs, “That’s probably about right. The exchange rates are always crazy in dodgy places like Moneygram.”

“Oh,” I say and go back the next day to pay.

But the girl behind the counter is a bitch. It makes me feel uncomfortable and instead I pick a fight with her. I leave again without paying the money.

That night I tell Mr Rabbit he will need to go down to the Moneygram place and pay the money in the morning. 

“You know,” he says. “People who ask you to pay money via Moneygram are usually scammers.”

I think about Ann Mathias in her wheelchair. So lovely. Her charming broken English. “I am disable.” Poor Ann Mathias. Lovely Ann Mathias who thinks we are a lovely looking couple. Sweet Ann Mathias in one of those mechanical chairs that hums her up and down from the bathroom in her suburban English home. Maternal Ann Mathias with her lovely gaggle of grandchildren leaning on her knees as she reads them Bye Baby Bunting. Poor rich Ann Mathias with her apartment just sitting there in the Rue de Bretagne.

“Yeah it sure feels all scammy in that awful Moneygram joint,” I concur. “But this is Ann. She’s so lovely. Plus we’ve spoken with her husband. It’s real.”

So the next day I sit in the car with Mr Rabbit as he runs in to the Moneygram office and pays the 800 euros. He sits back down in the car with the receipt number we now just have to give to Ann Mathias so she collect the cash at the other end. 

As we drive Mr Rabbit is silent.

“What is it?” I ask.

“You know,” he says. “This has all the hallmarks of a good scam.”

“No!” I declare – “No way!” and proceed to list the evidence. 

- Ann Mathias’ kind, human, disabled responses.

- Talking to her husband.

- The photos of the beautiful apartment.

- The google-mapping of their address in England – a charming middle class house that exists.

We arrive at our office. I notice a slightly niggling sick feeling in my belly. I sit down and type into google:

ANN MATHIAS

My eyeballs are immediately blinded by the screen:

SCAM ***** SCAM ** ATTENTION FRAUD ALERT **** BEWARE FRAUD BEWARE ***

Ann Mathias, the naughty Englishman fortunately never got our money. But the weirdest thing is that I still kind of miss Ann. She really became a good friend.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Intense Greed

On that note, I am wondering, if the block of Lindt Intense Mint was there, and then the entire block was eaten in front of an episode of Modern Family by a lonely bunny rabbit, was it ever there to begin with?

My feeling is that if a few squares were left in the foil and put back in the larder, then it existed.  

Perhaps the hair was never there

It's unnerving finding a hair that is not yours in your vermicelli.
But I put this to you - if you're really enjoying the vermicelli and you're at home and it's quiet and nobody is around, and you simply take the hair out of the vermicelli and flick it away, then perhaps the hair was never there.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Name is Michael Caine

This series-cum-film is one of the most beautiful, complex, funny, heartbreaking things I've ever seen. If you haven't seen it I'd recommend the series as it's got bits they didn't put in the film. Thanks Mr Rabbit. Can't wait to watch it again and again and again and again and again and again.

 



Friday, January 6, 2012

Brian Eno and More Thoughts on Art and Shit

Here are some shit photos of the not-so-shit pieces of artwork on the wall of the friend's house in which we are living currently:



















To satisfy your curiosity, Cakes. I'm not sure if you can see what I mean. But they really are just not Shit. I wonder if you can see what I mean. Probably because of my Shit Art portraying them, you may not see what I am talking about. Though maybe my photography here is not Shit Art, because as lacking in technical skill as it is, the desire to be truthful is there.

Anyway, that's all I'll say for now about it.

Here are some things Brian Eno said in an old interview in The Wire about art that I love.

The sound of mice and typewriters.... I don't think that it's a lack of passion that disturbs me.... I never felt strongly pro-passion anyway. It's more the sense that the person making the music was not actually fully engaged - fully there - that big parts of their being were never invited to the party... What I want to hear is music that exists for some other reason than that the artist wanted to make a bit more CD earfood. Even the suspicion that someone might have felt something at some point in the process would do...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shit Art and being Sure

I'm just thinking there really is a fine line between good and shit art isn't there? I'm thinking this because in the house that we're staying in there are two pictures on the wall in frames and they are sort of geometric art - sort of - minimal, contemporary things - and they're sort of the kind of art I normally don't like very much but for some reason these are very good. And it's really hard to name the reason why. They are just a random black line on a white background. One is a curve, one is a straight line. There is no reason for it, but they're lovely. Art like this can sometimes seem so empty. But these are not. I wonder if it's because the person who did them was being truthful. And they were a smart person - funny, irreverent, with a sense of humour perhaps. Maybe all work we truly like is because we identify with the person behind the piece - ie - the artist really does shine through, even in a line on a white background. In that line you can feel all their insecurities and strengths, their personality. Is that an obvious thing to say? Most of the time you can feel the person behind the art was a wanker and didn't truly believe in what they were doing or trying to make something pretty or something they thought people would like. You can feel their unsureness. And you're unsure if the piece is art or not or whether it's cool - you think it perhaps might be - people say so - so you buy it in the auction and then spend a lot of time showing it off though at night when you turn the lights out you curl up in bed and hold yourself, feeling all empty because you don't really know why the art is good. If you were honest it makes you feel nothing.
The lines on the wall near the kitchen don't make me feel particularly anything. I just like them. There is something trapped in them that's more than what you see. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolutions of the Rabbit

1. Write every day
2. Eat every day
3. Feed Kiki every day
4. Make sure Mr Rabbit eats too - I can easily forget, while focusing on 1,2,3
5. Keep dreamin'
6. Don't dream too much
7. Find some concrete things
8. Eat less concrete things
9. Get fit
10. Get inspired
11. Have company but don't waste time like Woody Guthrie said
12. Keep rancho clean (like Woody)
13. Don't give self too much of a hard time trying to be good at things
14. Don't get too caught up in head 
15. Keep doing
16. Love hard
17. Get sexy
18. Find a wonderful place to live and love it and set it up with all sorts of things in it that stay there at least for a while
19. Have a guest room 
20. Have guests regularly in the guest room
21. Don't eat too much toast - it's not a meal
22. Taste the chocolate 
23. Write down dreams in the Astier de Villatte diary don't just admire its prettiness on the shelf
24. Have parties again
25. Take photos
26. Be in the world again
27. Ride bikes a lot

Woody Guthrie's 1942 rulins

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hot nights and George Whitman

It's so hot tonight I can see my veins and I keep thinking there's an insect inside my dress but it's just beads of sweat popping and running down the small of my back.

Hot. It must still be thirty two degrees and it's 9.30pm.
We saw a rat crawl along the fence outside though I swore it was a possum. For a rat it was very cute - clean, and well fed.

It's 2012 now. I was thinking about some things that have happened in 2011, things I've liked, I might post a few.

Something I didn't like is that George Whitman died. Paris will be so much emptier. Even when you didn't see George in the bookshop you knew he was always there, upstairs, around - present. I've never known of anyone who has lived their life so consistently in the one place - working, doing, continuing, ageing. Without compromising his vision of things which was so positive - so naive - so believing in people - ideas that could so easily be manipulated by the nasty old greedy world - hey strangers, come and stay in my bookshop if you like, just promise to read a book a day. And yet he keeps doing it. And people come. And I'm sure there are lots of stories, lots of disappointments, lots of challenges. But they keep doing it. The bookshop burns down. They rebuild it. The joint continues to be a ridiculous fire hazard. They keep holding readings there in corners and outside and upstairs in the sloping room with books heaving from the walls. Music concerts. Discussions. And George, always there somewhere, maybe asleep, maybe reading. Like a ghost - an alive ghost - what an alive ghost - with nearly a hundred years of Paris stories - this view. And now George a real ghost. I didn't know him that well. But I will miss him so much - that feeling - will I see George today? There is something I can't get over about the line of his life - I don't know all that much about it - I'm sure there must have been so many highs and lows - but from the outside just the fact he continued that bookshop, and living in that bookshop for so many decades right up to the age of 98 just makes me think - wow - some lovely things can stay the same. Some people just want to continue doing the thing they love, even when the world wants to consume it and fatten it up and serve it to Hollywood on a big oozy platter.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/books/george-whitman-paris-bookseller-and-cultural-beacon-is-dead-at-98.html