Tuesday, September 7, 2010

an essay on essays and other things

I can't even think where to begin this post. I am so stuck in the world of essay writing it's as though I've temporarly forgotten how to write creatively.
I highly doubt this to be true, though. It is probably due to the fact that my fingers are freezing cold, and somewhat numb, and cannot keep up with my brain at all. Let alone the fact that my heat pack is not doing its job, or the fact that my cat is trying to eat not only my assignment but also my library books. Yes, the charms of domestic life are not always charitable to the creative writer. Add in bills and a mean landlord, and you've got a recipe for tedium and writer's block.
Interestingly, I was intending on writing this post about my lack of enthusiasm for essay writing. Funny how my limp attempts at answering my dull asignment question drove me straight to my new outlet for creative writing, even when the content of such was going to be essays!
All that needs to be said about essays, really, is that I find them boring, and a waste of time. I would much rather write a creative expose on the interpretations of Nick Cave: the enigma, than write a case study about how he has impacted Australian publishing culture. No offense to the lovers of essay writing, as I know you are out there...somewhere, possibly hiding in a hole? This is just one grumpy, cold, annoyed-at-cat, girl's opinion.

So my post would have only been a paragraph long if I had not let my mind wander while my poor, studious little fingers struggled their way around the keyboard. Let's know think about the keyboard itself.
My dad bought me a laptop when I moved out of home and went to university for the first time. Such a sweet and useful gift, I am forever grateful to him for it. However, almost three years later, the keyboard is not in such a lovely state as once it was. The space button chooses not to make a space every four or five times I hit it. Some letters are a little bit like my fingers, grumpy and slow, and take too long to react. In general, the keys are quite sticky (underneath) which makes touch typing a little awkward.
I should have bought a new computer about a year ago. I have been wanting one since then anyway. But the realities that come with moving out of home have prevented me from realising my dream of a wonderful keyboard. Something I never knew about myself, and was subsequently slapped in the face by as soon as I left home, is that I am not excellent at handling my money. I've noticed that I prefer to spend money on nice food, or other similar enjoyments, than save it for a new computer, or something similar (ie. new, unbroken-down car).
I like to enjoy my life right now in the present, which I don't see anything wrong with. I like nice things, I like buying people presents. Until my car breaks down. And my keyboard goes all grumbly on me. Now is when I see the importance of saving, and not splurging every penny that comes my way.
And now I see the perfect opportunity for me to save up big time. After the semester finishes, I am packing my bags and, with kitten in tow, heading up to Bendigo-town to reside with my lovely mother. Work a lot, save a lot, and write a lot. This is my plan. So you should expect to hear a whole lot more from me after Nov 5, and a whole lot of interesting stories from the Goldfields.
Until then, I am stuck with the chilly pettiness of my apartment, and my essay that I do not want to write!

Monday, September 6, 2010

tale of the zucchini imposter

As the title suggests, this is a story about a zucchini.
A zucchini that upon seeing, I proclaimed in delight (in my mind), 'I want roast zucchini!'

Such a delightful idea sent me flying through the supermarket, picking up other similarly fated vegetables - potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, etc. Things I would ordinarily buy to make soup or stirfry with. Not today! Today was the day of the ROAST, the roasting of all things vegetable.

I'm guessing that for most people, the idea of cooking a roast is "no biggie", as they would say in those suburbs which I will not name for sake of keeping my head attached to my body. It is a different story for me.

In the two and half years I have lived away from home, I believe I have cooked one roast. The vegetables of said roast were potato and pumpkin. That is all. Nothing extravagant like zucchini! Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem with the roasting process itself. I do, suprisingly, possess enough culinary skills to put vegetables in the oven. Hurrah!

The real problem, the real saga of the zucchini came much before its entry into the oven. After slicing my potato and carrots, and even capsicum, I turned my attention to my beautiful zucchini. I placed said zucchini onto the chopping board and I raised the knife. And I stopped. A look of suprise and confusion passed across my face (I suppose that happened, I unfortunately do not have a mirror in my kitchen for occasions such as this).

Have I ever cut a zucchini in my life? Probably not. If I have, I hold no recollection of it.How does one go about the slicing of this mean green courgette? Surely, it is simple? It is cylindrical, like a carrot, and I know how to cut those. It is larger than a carrot though, like a potato, and presumably cooks quicker than both of these. It is softer than above mentioned vegetables, similar to the delectable capsicum. Using all my skills in slicing sundry other vegetables, I managed to cut and oil my zucchini.

Now, it is in the oven, sizzling it's little heart out. I have come up with a theory from this experience though, one which should have me awarded with some sort of sciency award. A zucchini, otherwise known as a courgette, is not actually its own vegetable. Instead, it is an imposter, pretending to be other vegetables in order to confuse and subdue its enemies. Lucky I have an iron will!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

lost in the Cave man's land

This Sunday I delved into a dark and delirious world. I spent the entire day deep inside the place where genius creativity happens. And all inside a book.

My "contemporary publishing in Australia" assignment gave me several options for a case study. I could have chosen Penguin, or May Gibbs. I could have gone tame. Instead I chose the dark prince, Nick Cave.
Of course, my love of his music was the reason for my choice. I never once considered the difficulty in researching how he has impacted Australia's literary and publishing world, or the fact that everybody likes to review his music rather than his two novels. He was a musician first, so I guess I can forgive on this occassion.

I have a great passion for music, and my passion for books only claims first place in my heart because of my ability to craft a narrative. While not entirely musically talentless, it is not as natural an expression for me as writing is. Even writing poetry does not come as a naturally as the epic tales that seem to spill onto my pages. In regards to music, I am neither a lyrical fanatic, nor a noise enthusiast. It is generally the combination of both that cause a stir in my heart, with a few exceptions.

Nick Cave is, of course, one of those exceptions. I must admit, though I listen to a lot of his music, I have only ever vaguely heard his lyrics. I have never contemplated his words, or the meaning behind them, as I have with other musicians. I am constantly drawn in by his smooth voice that is for my ears the same pleasure as eating Belgian chocolate is for my mouth.

An ex-boyfriend of mine once made me sit and listen to every single word of "Stagger Lee". Not wanting to give too much away, it is essentially the tale of a murderer and his actions. The song contains swear words and violent sexual connotations, and is probably not for the weak hearted. What is most curious is that upon understanding the story of the song, I dismissed it as a one-off. I knew that the Cave I listened to wasn't like this. What I listened to was all beautiful, sweet, and sometimes dark (musically, not necessarily lyrically).

How very wrong I was. How very wrong indeed. This Sunday I dived head first into the biography of a man deeply interested in all things taboo. And while I am still only in the beginning of my now impassioned research into the Black Crow King, I am suffused with creative intent. I want to live like him, in East Berlin (minus the heroin), in my own invented world. This is the haven I seek in my writing, and with the music I listen to. Now I seek to create a world. Does anybody have an attic they would be willing to let me use?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

the boot dilemma

The what-shoes-to-wear-today decision was particularly hard this morning. Not meaning to sound petty, but I spent at least 10 minutes agonizing over what to do. (This amount of time is unusually long for me.)
You see, today I went to the Melbourne Writer's Festival. Also today, it rained. Again, despite the fact that spring is officially here.
I have been contemplating wearing my gumboots for some time now. They are so pretty, and stir exciting memories in me. Memories of mud and music, of laughter and love. The pure exaltation of attending my first ever music festival is the strongest feeling these foot protectors evoke.
Today seemed the perfect today wear said wonder boots.
Except for my trip to the MWF. I would have been quite content to wear my spotted marvels to the festival, but...what if somebody saw me??
Not just anybody, of course, but a somebody? A famous writer, or publisher, or bookstore owner, or...who knows? Someone who, in the future, may be an important connection of mine. Someone who, in my mind at least, was bound to be completely unforgiving of my gaudily decorated beauties.
So I gave in. The idea was too much to bear at 9:30 in the morning (having had no coffee, obviously). I wore my Doc Martens.
My scuffed, old, dirty red Docs.
Perhaps I should've had a coffee first?