Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Random thoughts

It's flippin' freezing.

The new Cadbury Desserts Tiramisu thing is pretty average.

Raspberry jelly is a lot darker in colour than I remember it being. But it's still nice. Especially with thick vanilla custard.

My ex-teeth stitches are really annoying. They're long and keep jabbing me in the gum. It'd be tempting to trim them but I don't want to scissor my gum instead.

Can you take penicillin after you forgot to take it for almost a day? I'm not sure... I got distracted today and forgot to take my antibiotics.

The house is a mess.

Ironically, the house is a mess because I've been cleaning it up. Trying to get rid of a whole load of things to minimise the clutter. Especially in the spare room (which currently looks like a bomb hit it).

There's more art stuff than I thought there was.

I love my euro pillow.

The Bill obs photography seems really improbable. Like clear photos from a fair distance on a mobile from which the suspect is completely identifiable? Hmm. And not the most care being taken with photos with other cameras...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Never trust anyone who says, "This is just oxygen!"


The wisdom teeth removal went pretty well and was apparently very straight-forward. Apart from one wisdom tooth having three roots. The surgeon told me afterward that it was "unusual." Nice.

I ended up having a general anaesthetic, which was a little bit of a change of plans from the sedation that was supposed to happen. The anaethetist was a somewhat surly old chap who seemed to think I was scared. I sat there thinking, "No. Not at all compared to how terrified I was for the removal of that tooth in the chair. This is a walk in the park. Not a park with Todd McKenny."

Recovery has been annoying. I want to eat normal food. Not jelly or custard or any of those boring sweet squishy things. Argh. So when it comes to eating normal things, it has to be done in a zen sort of fashion.

Other than that, there's painkiller things.

Which are relaxing. Although all the sleeping is a bit boring, too. But the weather suits it with the rain and coldness. And it's getting colder by the minute so I think it might be time to go find somewhere to hibernate.

I've got photos post-surgery, though. Let me just go find them...

^ Okay, it's not one of the bloody ones. Just me looking somewhat swollen and feeling like I've been punched up by Barry Hall.

On another note, it's somewhat odd to have people unexpectedly drop 'round to visit while you're in your jarmies and looking like Witchiepoo with bad hair. But kind of fun, too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Losing of Wisdom

The extraction occurs tomorrow.

I know the one wisdom tooth I had out a few weeks ago didn't hurt all that much to have removed. However, part of me is worried that the remaining three will be painful. Or the oral surgeon won't be like my dentist and will cause pain, to be more accurate.

Although my dentist jokes about enjoying my fear (I think he's joking at least), he's incredibly gentle and a seriously brilliant dentist well worthy of his months-long waiting list.

I'm sure the oral surgeon will be fine.

Also, there will be the wearing of a hospital gown involved. Do not like. There's that thing with the back and that's just not a good look unless I'm really wanting to show off the 17-stitch scar on my back. In which case, admire the scar, people! It took effort to get that! EFFORT. And quite possibly stupidity.

But that's another blog entry or something.

So yes, I hope the wisdom teeth removal will go well. I'm vaguely scared, but then I shall be sedated tomorrow for the procedure. And that will prevent me from trying to talk with my mouth full of dentist equipment (not that kind, saucy devils) and ask for my camera with which to take photographs.

Which reminds me. This time I must remember to ask for the teeth. I want them. I shall add them to the collection of removed stitches and perhaps frighten people with them (oh, how I wish I could find the two plaster casts I had for my left and right wrists as well!). And recount stories of copious amounts of blood.



Sunday, April 20, 2008

^ Lindt bunny.

Okay, so it's been about a month since Easter and I hadn't gotten around to eating it yet, but this is what was lurking beneath the wrapper. A little odd, maybe chocolate leprosy.

I shall never leave a Lindt bunny until after Easter again.



Saturday, April 19, 2008

You don't need maths in life. You only need a calculator.

I've been suffering a severe case of blogger's block lately.

Been dog-sitting, which has actually been kind of fun. Although the cat hates the dog and tries to attack her whenever he sees her. Which is awkward. And the dog just gets a look on her face like, "I just want to be friiiiiiiiiiends!" while Azrael snarls at her...

But it's been fun having a dog around again in some ways. For a start, she's pretty ballsy and wants to take on any other dog she sees. Even if they're ten times her size (which is most dogs). And she drives the neighbour's irritating, evil dog absolutely mental.

Which endears her to me so very much.

If she stands in the corner of the bedroom window behind the curtain, she can see the evil dog and the evil dog can see her out on the balcony. Dog-sitting doggy stands there looking innocent while the evil dog goes off its head and barks wildly until the neighbours throw open the door to scream at it to shut the hell up.

I reward the dog with Schmackos.

Other than the dog-sitting, some random things of late, including public transport amusement/randomness that I noted down and shall now recount...

Small ginger child: "F*************************CK!"
Mother: "Yes! A truck!"
(while there are no other vehicles on the road at the time)


Singlet girl: "I had two bottles of Jaeger that night and then the next morning at work someone asked for a beer and I'd been chucking up since 5am. The smell made me have to go out the back and chuck. Anyway, I'm looking at getting into teaching."
Friend: "Oh! You should go to Deakin!"


Random girl in one of thost terrible K-mart sweater-material trenchcoats: "Let's go buy some pants!"

Monday, April 14, 2008

^ The painting with a little more light shed on it.
Officemate while looking at an Overheard website: Eww! Eww! *laughs*
Me: What? What??
Officemate: No... No!
Me: C'mon, share!
Officemate: Yeah, okay. You like the nasty ones!
Me: *nearly falls off chair laughing* Gee, thanks!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


^ Spent two hours burning things in the yard today.

It wasn't too bad, except there's still a mountain of things to burn off in the back yard. And I wished I had marshmellows. Shall have to get some for next weekend.

Watching the repeat of Sunday Arts on ABC2 and it's really very good. Sometimes it's quite inspiring, although it makes me realise how much more intensively I need to work with art to progress and develop. "I can't work from my head, I have to see things" was one thing Rick Amor said about his art and it's comforting.

But with some art things (such as the film stuff), I kind of wondered whether some of the curators and so on believed what they were saying. It often sounds like such twaddle. But it also makes me wonder whether I should film myself setting a couch on fire, throwing custard at it, then jumping up and down on the couch remains and explaining it as "representing our life and times."

^ Random photos from today - my gumboots and a bit of ash from burning off that kind of looks skull-ish.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

^ Old paintings. Thinking of giving away the robot one to a friend, because I've realised I've started to do too many paintings of late, considering how small my house is.

And yet...

^ ... this is today's new painting. Rather large. And I'm not totally sure about it yet. It might still get transformed into something else. The size and colour are a little more dominant for the area than I thought they'd be.

In other thoughts, European pillows = comfortable goodness!

There were duck down ones for sale, which were like the ones Tobi and Andrea had. But somehow when I stood there in the store, squishing the pillow with my fingertip, I had the thought, "No, can't have this. I can almost hear the desperate quacks of a hundred ducks as the feathers crush together... Ugh!"

And that was when I knew it had been a long, long day and I needed more sleep. Bought a polyester-filled Euro pillow instead.

^ The look on Azrael's face about there being a dog in the house. You can tell how completely ecstatic he is about the whole situation while he hides under the table, making growling noises.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

^ Stencils in the dark (on the bins)...

They kind of work, although the drip thing on the top one didn't work out as I'd hoped - I was hoping it would streak a lot more around the teeth area but it didn't. Ah well. Can always scrub them off if I get bored with them.

Will have to take pix when it's actually light.

^ Trial-run on cardboard from canvas packaging.


^ For the bins. One for each so they can be "unique."

The stencils can be found here, here and here and are all from the Skull-A-Day blog.

And next time I do it, I'm using a sharper stanley knife/boxcutter. The one I used was rather blunt and the lines aren't as clear as they could have been. Hopefully that won't have too much of an impact on the overall look when it's sprayed on.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

^ (Relatively-)New stockings. They're surprisingly comfortable... And people either like them or appear to be confused by them.

In other thoughts, I bought spraypaint today. The guys at the local hardware store were actually helpful. This isn't usual, as most of the time they're too busy pretending you don't exist. Or that they have no idea what you're talking about. Like some kind of unfunny version of Hardware (or unfunnier).

But maybe because it was spraypaint and they were wanting to make sure I wasn't going to go mad and spray the entire town in a variety of colours and wibbly, wobbly lines with a lot of drift and drips. Thank goodness I made a stencil for the spraypainting of the numbers, even though it looks like total pants. Still thinking of finding that skull stencil and spraying that onto the bins. Maybe over the top of the crummy-looking numbers...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Year 9 Art


These are some of the assignments from my Year 9 art class. Some are so very Year 9-y, and some of them aren't too bad really for a 14/15-year-old. I found my old art book in the spare room in the art boxes. It appears to be the only one I kept, although there's some Year 10 material lurking around the place. Possibly in a plastic bag with all my watercolours.

It's nice they have a home with all the dustbunnies.

^ Chalk pastel, pencil and oil pastel sketches (in that order). Discovered them in an old sketch book. Should do more experimenting with chalk pastels, seeing as I now have fixative.

Still waiting to hear back from the insurance company.

But I did hear from my power company this morning, who somehow have my mobile number and were checking if my power had been reconnected. They seem to be labouring under the misconception that the power was cut off by last week's insane weather...

So we got that all sorted out.

Or at least I think we did. We'll see.

Something tells me it would have all been so much easier if the branch that fell on the house had just snapped the cable instead of doing all the damage it did. GAH. This all just makes me feel like going on holidays far, far away.

But that's not an option and I shall have to call the insurance company tomorrow and annoy them some more about when things will be fixed (possibly).

Also, I really hate energy-efficient light globes. I put a new one in the kitchen last night that's meant to be equivalent to the light shed by a 75 watt globe. I had a 60 watt globe in prior to that which illuminated the kitchen to such a degree that you almost needed sunglasses (it got put in because I didn't have any energy-efficient globes when the previous one needed replacing).

The energy-efficient globe is so dim it's like being blind and trying to read braille with oven mitts on. Which is rather pathetic and not all that energy-efficient when you have to turn on the other lights in the room to ensure there's enough light for you to make dinner by without slicing your fingers off. Equivalent to 75 watts' worth of light... Sure *coughs*

Should just go back to the ol' energy-guzzling 60 watt globe. But that makes me feel somewhat guilty for not doing something about trying to conserve energy and all of that sort of thing.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


I rather love Alain de Botton.

Although it was somewhat awkward in Essays on Love when he was describing the making of teh secks and I was thinking of his balding head. Still, that was an incredibly good book and such a novel way in which to explore "love." And really, he is rather sexy (and speaks French).

But away from that, an episode of his The Perfect Home series is on tonight on ABC2 and he's looking at "beauty."

This stems from his book The Architecture of Happiness (seriously, buy it now), which has the premise of that where we are has a heavy influence over who we can be. De Botton says, "...caring about the look of things has a hard time sounding like a sensible, adult thing to be concerned with." But it is important, and not just to aesthetes.

I watched something about brutalist architecture the other week, which was quite interesting. They were awfully blunt and harsh, but strangely attractive when well done. That said, I wouldn't want to have to look at them for too long.

But this is all about beauty and not brutalism. Although there may be some who find beauty in brutalism as an architectural thing. And beauty can be "as simple as the colours, furniture or quality of a window frame," which emphasises the importance of design and style. That said, variety can hold its own beauty and sometimes ugly buildings can hold it, even if it's only in their decay.

A beautiful building isn't just agreeable in itself, but has the potential to elevate the soul, apparently. Although this ties more to the school of thought that "beauty is goodness made into matter." There is such a myth about beauty representing goodness, as though there's a moral equation that connects the two. If something is beautiful, it must therefore be good. How disappointing Einstein didn't come up with an equation for that... But as long as the building doesn't collapse and squish the people in it, then perhaps it's not too bad.

Anyway, that's a bit of a tangent there and the interesting thing I found was the exploration of religion and architecture. According to many thinkers over the years, buildings are repositories for feelings and ideas. I think it was Gaudi who said churches were caves, but caves in which God lives. Thousands of dollars/pounds/etc and hours of artisan's work have been poured into making church buildings look fantastic and provide spaces in which people can feel reverent or connected to something bigger than themselves.

St Ignatius said that what is before our eyes can impress us deeply. Perhaps it can even influence us in what we believe or how we approach life. The emergence of Protestantism saw a move away from this, with the emphasis being placed on the relationship you have with Jesus, rather than the state of the soul being aided by the building you worship in. Although I belong to a Protestant faith, I love the more "Catholic" aesthetic when it comes to church buildings. There was a good series about the history of Christianity in England on Sunday mornings a month or two ago that looked briefly at this sort of thing - the avoidance of icons, stripping back beauty so people wouldn't be "distracted."

I loved the churches we visited in Germany and England last year. The sense of peace in them was so comforting and they were genuinely beautiful. Even better when someone was practicing the organ at Winchester Cathedral.

But away from the religious aspect, I think I prefer what de Botton describes as the "Protestant" aesthetic when it comes to houses. To a degree. There's only so far that function over attractiveness can go before it becomes Soviet. Buildings are about much more than keeping the elements out - they're places we connect with so many experiences in life, whether or not we realise that the buildings are housing some of the events about which we feel happy or sad or comforted.

I found de Botton's comments about "coyness" over beauty in architecture interesting. The mass-produced stuff makes me think of those insta-suburbs to the west of Melbourne or are occasionally found lurking in groups of buildings in existing suburbs where there was once a free plot of land. Mostly they look like cardboard boxed with as much soul and warmth as soggy toast. Not that repetition as a norm is something new - it's been done for centuries on end, whether they were copying classics, such as the architects doing work in Bath a couple hundred years ago, to mud huts in Africa.

But perhaps it's that I don't like the way of life they suggest. The "values" suggested by such constructions are not ones I hold or something like that. "If you don't find it beautiful, you're saying you can't imagine being happy there," as de Botton said it.

What would a building be like if it were a person? Apparently our reasons for liking buildings tend to be the same as the ones for liking a person. So what do I think about my home? People often comment about how they'd love to live in a place like mine, how it's an "artist's retreat" or somehow makes them think of how much I would enjoy it. My house is currently a work in progress, and not just because of the damage done by the storm and neighbour's tree.

I'm working on repainting, when I get time and the motivation. My boss and his wife used to own the house and they commented the other night when they dropped their dog off for me to dog-sit for a couple weeks that the way in which I've painted it has made it look much bigger and lighter. It was interesting to hear that from them, as it came from people with an intimate connection to the building, rather than some people who may have seen it once or twice.

But is it beautiful? Well, I like it in it's own chaotic little way.

"It makes you feel good just being here" says the guy in the ad following the show. Hmm... And that's all that counts in the end, I suppose.
This morning, the new bin arrived! Hurrah!

Really, it's rather impressive, considering that the local council had said it would take three to five working days. And yet, here it is. I could have danced a merry little jig.

After I'd come back inside from collecting the new bin, I was standing at the kitchen sink starting to do the washing up. While gazing out of the window, I espied the weekend neighbours working out in their garden. Thankfully *not* throwing stuff into my yard.

While the man was bending over to pull up some weeds, their rather large dog decided it would be an appropriate moment to attempt to mount the weekend neighbour. Weekend neighbour tried to push the dog off, over-ballanced and fell into the garden.

My immediate response was a hearty "BWAH-HA!"

Which would probably make Baby Jesus cry, but it was just so ridiculously amusing that I just couldn't help but laugh.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Kookaburra and Insurance

*Warning: This post contains mild coarse language.

^ A remarkably not-shy kookaburra on the back railing this morning.

I noticed him perched there after wandering around the back yard a bit to inspect damage from Wednesday's gale-force insane winds. Of course there are branches down... And the house was damaged on Wednesday. Thanks to the weekend neighbour's trees. And the entire thing has been one enormous circus from beginning to end with insurance and calls and so on.


Lately life has been like some sort of diabolical combination of Days of Our Lives and A Country Practice. Minus the demon possession and wombats.

But let's start at the beginning.

I got back from work on Wednesday evening to find the bin missing. How irritating. Even more irritating is that I hadn't gotten around to spray-painting the house number on the bin. So the neighbour whose bin was actually missing had pinched mine to replace theirs. And I can't really go 'round and say, "Listen you thieving bastards, GIVE ME MY BIN BACK," when there's no number, etc.

Like they couldn't have taken the five minutes to call the local council to say, "Hi, bin's been nicked, please send replacement." No. They couldn't. They had to be thieving bastards. I hope they get hemorrhoids.

So I get further down the driveway and discover the house has been damaged by a great big dead branch falling from the neighbour's gum tree onto the power line, power box thing and roof, damaging it all. The power line's been yanked out of the house a bit, but thankfully it didn't cut the power off. Somehow. But the facure board has been completely shattered, which left the power stuff all dangling precariously (try explaining that to insurance when you don't know the names for most of the things involved... The words "thingy" and "stuff" really aren't all that explanatory. I had to get graphic with details and create an accurate picture based entirely on words describing what the things involved were).

Add to that an enormous leafy branch down on the driveway and about a tonne of leaf litter and so on down everywhere and I wanted to scream. A lot. Including some swearing.

Went inside and started on the process of insurance. And repairs. And all of that sort of thing. My God. I hate hold music. It's so awful, sort of like the music they have on 'planes that I assume is meant to make you feel more positive about the whole flight experience. And the worst thing is every time the "Thank-you for waiting!" voice cuts in, you get disproportionately excited that you may actually be about to speak to a real, live person who's actually looking forward to helping you.

Oh my!

The worst was going from Frank Sinatra to Michael Buble to Guy Sebastian, who was warbling about angels bringing him here. Or something. I would only welcome that if the angels were also bringing some things with which to fix the house.

Finally got to speak to a real, live person and they organised for someone to come do some basic fixing to make the thing safe, which would be followed by an assessor coming to check things out, and then some actual repairs sometime after that. The "make safe" stuff was organised for Wednesday night and the guys arrived to do that around 11.45pm. They'd been out all day and their sat nav had directed them the long, long way to my place.

Thursday was spent coughing up a lung and enough phlegm to make a lifesize phlegm accordian. I so love having the 'flu... Oh, and there was more chasing around with the insurance stuff, which hadn't been started with processing and so on. Finally got something organised late in the evening, and more stuff started happening Friday.

Although the "happening" mostly involved tradespeople coming around looking at the thing saying, "Ooh, they've done a great job with the makesafe. Nice." Although it was really a relief when the power company guys came to run a proper check on it, which showed that although it's been damaged, there's no risk of it killing us all. Unless another branch or something damages it.

So now I'm waiting for repairs to be orgainsed...

The one nice thing from this has been that the hippie neighbours from across the road wandered over this morning and offered to chainsaw up the big branches for me. How lovely of them! I'm going to let them have the wood if they want it.

But the bad thing?

Ohh, the bad thing of today.

Yeah. Those weekend neighbours whose trees damaged my house. Yeah. I was standing in the kitchen this afternoon doing the washing up when they arrived. The wife got out of the car and threw all of the things on their driveway INTO MY YARD. Were it not for the fact that the windows are the wind-out ones, I would have thrown it open and yelled, "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING YOU HUSSY!? HAVE YOU NO SHAME!?!?!"

And obviously they don't, because later this afternoon they were throwing MORE stuff into my yard.

I hope they get explosive hemorrhoids.

I'm sure I'll think more pleasantly about the weekend neighbours in a few days. I mean, really, it just means more firewood for me for winter in the end. But still. How utterly, totally, completely rude of the debris-donating bastards.

However, in happier thoughts, the kookaburra was awesome. He was so inquisitive and beautiful and I could have just reached out and patted him.


Raindrops on... things...