Sunday, January 30, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
It's weird, in hindsight, that I read these two books simultaneously. In 'Loneliness as a Way of Life', the main theme surrounds how we can exist as a single entity and how loneliness is not necessarily a bad thing.
p26: "Loneliness is deeply entangled in all paths of life because it reveals in sharp profile some of the most important limits of who we are and how we are with each other. It may be said that loneliness is fundamental to the very constitution of ourselves."
'A General Theory of Love' on the other hand says that we are physiologically dependent on one another for happiness. They describe love as a "simultaneous mutual regulation". Couples who take care of each other with concurrent reciprocity are more likely to feel whole, centered and alive.
Don't know how the book about love made me feel more depressed than the book about loneliness. Jesus.
A General Theory of Love was a better read overall, and as it is a very psychology heavy book, as well biology-based, it kind of validated everything I've learned in the past 2 years. Also learned a lot of cool stuff about brains. Thought the triune brain hypothesis was pretty cool. Tried to sum it up below.
The triune brain consists of the reptilian, limbic and neocortical parts of the brain. It has a lot to do with evolution, as each part of the brain evolved at different points in time, with the neocortex forming and growing larger in mammals over time.
The reptilian brain is all about automatic processes like breathing, swallowing and heart rate. We need this part of the brain to function physically, but not emotionally. If we only had a reptilian brain, we would function, but basically be "brain-dead". For example, if you shot yourself in the head and damaged the neocortex, you wouldn't necessarily die, you may just be unable to experience emotion or rationalize. However, if you shot yourself in the reptilian brain you would die instantly (not a suicide tip).
Next to evolve is the limbic brain, or the "emotional" brain. This brings the ability to love and experience emotion, along with the ability to play and recognise social order. We share this part of the brain with other mammals. The limbic brain consists of the amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus and thalamus. You know, all the good stuff.
The neocortical brain is the folded squishy outer layer of the brain which only evolved in mammals roughly 30 million years ago. We have the largest neocortex of any living thing. The neocortex gives us the ability to think abstractly, problem solve, be aware of ourselves and our surroundings, write, speak and reason. Basically, it's awesome. In the book they described it as 'a warehouse of secrets', which I quite liked the sound of.
Loneliness as a Way of Life is divided into four sections: being, loving, grieving and writing. I really liked the first chapter, and in this he explores what it means to be alone in every sense. I didn't really dig 'loving' at all, he mostly just refers to other works such as King Lear, Moby Dick and Death of a Salesman. It seemed really impersonal and dull. In 'grieving', he talks about his own personal experience of loneliness via grief by talking about his wife dying of cancer. I really loved 'writing', it is about how writing as a "process of discovery" can create an awareness of ourselves, and thus help us to work our way through our despair (or, loneliness).
So that's that. I'm looking forward to reading some sweet fiction now.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
all i want to do is ride my bike around green bay
so i do
and when i leave my cousin asks if i am wearing a helmet
and i say nah
(secret death wish)
and he says oh yeah it might make your hair weird
that's not the reason
but i guess it would
i ride and think about how nice the wind is
i say hello to an old man standing by his mail box
he says hello back
i can feel my hands blistering
but i don't stop
when i ride my bike i don't have to wait for anyone or anything
i just ride and that's all
the social contract
my sister says i have a "writer's personality"
she says this to me via a txt message
i think "yeah okay"
but i'm also wondering why she would txt me that
and if she is congratulating me for my introversion
or passive aggressively attacking my character
i hold my phone limp in my hand
and stare up into the sun
sort of squinting in a contemplative manner
until my phone drops from my hand
and lands on the concrete
if i was alone i would have left it there
but i was with people
and had to comply to the societal norms and be like
'oh no whoops i dropped my phone'
because if i was alone i would be silent
and it would be no big deal
and it would be chill as
instead people look at me
and i have to smile and talk
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
felt truly awed (word which here means 'very very impressed in a musical and visual sense') by victoria legrand
wanted at once to be at home practicing piano to become like her but also for the concert to never end so I could just watch her for the rest of my life
kept replaying on loop earlier in the day when I wobbled on my bicycle and felt like an idiot for it, had the brief thought that I am constantly embarrassed, considered that this might explain a lot about me, but ultimately realised this was an overstatement
2 songs in said to my friend 'everything is perfect' then realised I meant it, felt like the sudden buoyancy I felt earlier in the evening and because I bought a tshirt I was rewarded in some sort of karmic sense by the excellence of their performance
(obviously) felt really alert and self aware but quite complete and calm and comfortable about this at the same time, was unable to stop myself dancing in what might be referred to as an indie fashion
thought about (your) tongue as a specifically interesting part (of you); I have done this before, go away tongue thoughts [as beach house play 'I'll take care of you']
wonder what lyric I will choose as the title of this post, wonder if we will get more blog hits because of talking about a specific band, wonder why my friend zoe doesn't like them that much
figure that old fans might be upset because they played lots of new music, but rationalised this by the fact that the new album is rad
at one point considered that life might not really get much better than this or, that this was probably the fullest my heart had ever felt without a trace of doubt or anxiety, juxtaposed this with an earlier thought about humans attending concerts is a generally weird experience, laughed at us all a little bit, though largely continued to feel feelings of wellbeing (attributed to first sentiments)
raining outside, slight fear that the man sitting next to a drum on the tram might be a weirdie
fell up the escalators at the train station with a big grin. in toilets become retrospectively concerned about pimples that seemed to have established themselves on my face, specifically, painfully, lip-based
listened to atlas sound and animal collective loudly on the train to continue excellent mood
noted rain upon exiting train, entered 'hood mode' in dramatic ipod soundtrack fashion, affirmed my street was void of people and danced home to this
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The Gourmet is written by Muriel Barbery. I received this book as a gift for my 21st birthday. It is about a very famous food critic who is dying. He is trying to remember the best flavour he ever ate, then he thinks he will be able to die in peace. Most of the chapters are reflections about the different things he has eaten throughout his life, but every second chapter is from the perspective of someone in his life. It is revealed through these chapters that he is a terrible bastard and nobody really likes him at all.
the book is written with very descriptive language. at times I found it too dense to enjoy, which is another reason I think it took me so long to read. I read another book by Muriel Barbery last year called The Elegance of the Hedgehog and this was a book I enjoyed. It was more philosophical and contemplative, although similarly crafted. I found that I 'connected with it' more. I was amused to learn that she used the same apartment building setting in both books.
at the end of the book there are questions for discussion which I thought was interesting and unusual. One of the questions is "how significant is the theme of self deception in this story"? I have been trying to work out how that theme fits into the story because frankly that didn't seem to be a prevalent theme at all. Then I thought maybe that I did not read the book properly and wondered if the fact that it took me over a month to read a ~100 page book meant I forgot some of the details about self deception.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
if you could weigh our grief
on a scale
people would gather round
'wow that is heavy'
we stand with your body
and i am afraid to touch you
my great uncle says a prayer
we sing a waiata* for you
it's a mournful, low vibration of sound
i don't know any of the words
it stops suddenly
we go downstairs
my cousin plays Toto on his phone for some reason
we talk about records
i call my sister 7 times and she doesn't pick up
i sprint down the driveway with my little cousin
we are playing superman, he says
we kiss and hug and cry
*waiata is song in maori
THIS is a maori folk group that my nana was in
on the cover is a picture of my great great grandmother
i find the music quite eerie
i'll miss her
in the morning i am on my laptop and i don't even realise that outside exists yet
today at work a cat sneezed directly into my face
i am in a forest and i forget everything else
a kebab shop in the middle of a mall is probably not the best place for introspection
my feet are in a stream and i feel happy
okay, sweet, i want a mcflurry
i am looking up how to make sangria
i play my bass and then get bored and write a short story about dinosaurs
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I remembered her boyfriend's name
I thought "her boobs look low,
is that what saggy boobs look are?"
because I have never known
it is bin day tomorrow
I've noticed instead of singing, I hum
my legs are whiter than my sister's
I've noticed my reading habits are declining
I don't know the words to any songs
In front of Roma tomatoes at the supermarket
I thought "you weren't looking so good on Sunday"
I noticed I said it out loud
I told myself off for being weird
I told myself to remember to write about it
Monday, January 17, 2011
- i keep accidentally making eye contact with passers-by
- now i am doing it on purpose
- there is a 14 year old boy wearing a pink ralph lauren polo
- SALE!!! at World
- dude wearing jeans and jandals, not cool bro
- girl who thinks wearing a karen walker dress makes her a better person
- lots of tiny dogs
- i start to feel nervous and bite my nails a little
- stare at a guy eating a kebab for a while
- guy smoking also has a mullet, weird
- guy with 'guitar hero is rocking my life' tee
- i don't want to be afraid of the world around me
- waiting until i awkwardly see someone i know
- probably go to unity bookstore after this and browse for 20 minutes and not buy anything
- ginger dude wearing a backwards cap
- business woman wearing tasteful footwear
- business men with 'quirky' ties
- see guy i recognise but don't actually know, i like his moustache
- lots of people holding coffee like their life depends on it
- i want to sit here and barely exist forever
- i want to always be this silent
- it's raining now and people are like 'oh fuck' and so am i
i ended up buying 'some anatomies of melancholy' by robert burton from unity. i am a little ray of sunshine.
feel like it would be cool if from now on if the weekly topics were implicit. like how i wrote something about loneliness/solitude and then susie did too without us even talking about it.
going back to that topic, i read THIS and it was really great and quite true.
"there is some baseline human emotion that expresses itself when people are alone, a deafening preverbal roaring at the core of us"
let's all be wild with loneliness
Saturday, January 15, 2011
i wish poems didn't have to have titles
in bed i think about walking to the main road and jumping out in front of a car
i think it again the next morning when i am eating toast
i know that i would never actually do this
but i think about it anyway
i think about it when it seems like
there is nothing else to do
no amount of anything can stop me
poetry is whatever anyone else says it is
don't question me
i did a correspondence course in poetry writing
4 years ago
i know what i'm talking about
Kanye West: On a serious note I'm truly happy for @AvrilLavigne and @BritneySpears... No hate in 2011!
Poncho Peligroso: As the health director of ladies home journal i know a thing or two about cholesterol.
The Mountain Goats: Fourth consecutive album where I've forgotten to wear my monocle when called in to approve artwork. #sad #moncoleforgetfulnessawarenessweek
Poncho Peligroso: does anyone want several gallons of my used tissues (both semen and mucus) @ me if you're interested so i can block you immediately
Eddie Pepitone: currently listening to: 1) the popping of my zits. 2) the despair of men and women around the world. 3) Manilow Live!
Steve Agee: if you're super into astrology then yesterday was like your 9/11
Aurist: so my favourite pokemon from gen v is called Reuniclus...
Steve Roggenbuck: limp bizkit!
Marcus Brigstocke: The film 'The Never Ending Story' lasts 87 minutes. #disappointingfilms
Die! Die! Die!: john key at the national ouch.
Aurist: Missy Elliott is the greatest lyricist of our generation
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I like cafes where they are not afraid to play sad music.
I like cafes where they have brown sugar.
When I say 'wish you were here' I might mean 'wish you were having this experience instead of me but not together because then it would be different'.
Sometimes I think I'm psychic
then I remember I don't believe in that shit.
Sometimes I think I'm a very good person
then I remember a time I felt very embarrassed.
Last weekend a boy who went to my high school died in a car crash,
the newspaper called him a 23 year old man.
I did not mind the locusts
it means there's always noise and movement
when you move towards them
they fly away in a flurry
I think of Laura Ignalls Wilder.
Lately I have been wondering if other people think I'm fat.
Today I rode home in the rain
my brakes were not very strong -
I bought quiche for dinner -
the neighbours whistled.
We keep the front and back doors open.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
fills the room
i walk upstairs
and my mum is crying
i hug her for a very long time
she is crying
the kind of crying where you make sound
because it hurts so much
i go back downstairs
and i watch the simpsons
oh sideshow bob
what are you up to this time
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Beach House - 10 Mile Stereo
Arthur Russell - I Couldn't Say It To Your Face
The Almighty Defenders - I'm Coming Home
Blonde Redhead - 23
Scout Niblett - So Much Love To Do
Also I really like Flying Lotus, makes me feel like a chilled as gangsta.
Our stall @ 2009 Zine fest
I found this just then and I really like it. Can't remember Sam ever smiling in a photo.
Monday, January 10, 2011
picking at dry skin on left foot.
think 'i should be vegan' correction 'we' (stacey & i) 'should be vegans, maybe then our blog will get read more'
should be writing job application, am vaguely concerned this opportunity will slip by
should i start it now
should i start it now
should i start it now
should i start it now
we will need glockenspiels for our band
i wonder if riding to rehearsals will make me thinner
Sunday, January 9, 2011
we here at people are just people quite like a bit o' John D.
if you don't know what i'm talking about, John Darnielle is (essentially) The Mountain Goats, who are my favourite band.
he really likes metal and it's funny
best in between song banter of anyone i've ever seen
he seems so geniune that you just want to be his friend
i like that he is so open with his personal life, especially the abuse he experienced as a child. i really admire writers that are not afraid to be open in this manner.
in wikipedia it says he is known for his prolific output and literary lyrics, pretty much nailed it with that one
susie once went up and talked to him at an owen pallett (?) show
he used to be a psychiatric nurse
best song writer in the biz
he's a vegetarian (that's not important, it's just a fact)
today i went to real groovy to buy some MG vinyl AND THEY HAD NONE, i was like say whaaaaat
he wrote a novella about black sabbath
look how cute he and his wife are
probably my favourite tweeter, e.g.
"Done hearing self sing & play '97-'03 songs for day. Now into kitchen to ad-lib songs about risotto and roasted vegetables. #goingtokitchen"
Everything happens for a reason. A single, monolithic, terrifying, dark, secret reason.
Perhaps you may wonder, JD, what's for dinner on 12/31. Only my favorite-named dish of them all: JUNGLE CURRY
Used to resent people who overstressed my geekiness but let's face the facts here: I spent over an hour today thinking about ellipsis"
Friday, January 7, 2011
i've been reading this book called loneliness as a way of life by thomas dumm
i've also spent the week almost completely by myself
i really feel like this book is accompanying my week
i like my own company
i've been lying on the floor listening to records
i've been making zines
i've been reading
i've been driving to beautiful places with my dog in tow
i feel good
however sometimes that feeling creeps in
thomas dumm says that loneliness is a loss, a disappearance, a death. to be lonely is to lose yourself, by experiencing a loss of enjoyment in being alone. it is a loss of capacity to experience. it is a loss of the world you live in and thus a loss of people in that world. solitude is when you can feel content in being by yourself.
when we are alone we construct "rich inner lives" which creates a fortress from the inherent unreliability of other human beings. being alone is an important part of the human experience as it allows us to know ourselves. some people are afraid to ever be alone. but being alone is what it is to be human; we are constantly alone but surrounded. thomas dumm says that "it is in conformity that we become ghostly, uncertain of ourselves because we are unable to think about how we are alone... we lose ourselves in ourselves."
i like this book
i am sunburnt as a mutha
i never know whether it's okay to use semi colons
out loud i just said "ooh dragonball z is on"
this week I have started riding my bicycle to work, feel strangely proud of myself
this afternoon I will play scrabble (irl)
Stacey's macbook charger has died and I had to send her another one
when I ride I say very rude words to myself
four things from elsewhere:
steve roggenbuck writes about buddhism and veganism
a poem by matthew savoca
song about bicycles by be your own pet
video of josh groban singing kanye west tweets
four events coming up:
inaugural 'jam' session with my friend zoe (sat)
visit from my little sister (nxt wk)
Beach House gig (end o Jan)
CALH (nxt month)
four places to submit writing:
voiceworks (print, deadline jan 16)
going down swinging (print + online + cd, deadline feb 28)
new wave vomit (online, always open for submissions, as far as I can tell)
oh comely magazine (print, open to pitches/submissions)
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
sometimes i forget that people exist and then i remember and i'm like oh
i feel like a sneaky teenager
on my way to work thinking that no one will ever love me again
no, i don't want to watch princess diaries 2 but thanks for asking
i just txt susie saying 'let's grow old together in a non-lesbian way'
secretly resent people who say that they 'love life'
i am watching a show where jamie oliver is making bread
reading all of this stuff about the triune brain hypothesis and thinking 'science rules'
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Purchased in Glastonbury, UK. One of those books that make you think 'oh god, fuck' about life but also make you feel okay about it
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
a reread, one night in February
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
pretty excellent book loaned to me by my boss/dear friend. pretty French and has an annoyingly precocious protagonist but really nice. actually overall a bit precocious
Indecision by Benjamin Kunkel
Pretty sure I reread this to see if I liked it as much now as I did when I originally read it. I did.
Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido
loaned and then given to me by a former colleague/dear friend. coming of age-y, wordy, girly.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
another reread. same quotes stuck out to me second time round: "I felt like an arrow that could shoot out all the way"
Our Father Who Wasn't There by David Carlin
David Carlin is a lecturer at my university and I read this book for an assignment in class. It is about how his father committed suicide when he was a few months old. I felt akin to him in some ways and found it difficult to write an emotionally removed review, got a poor mark.
The Spare Room by Helen Garner
Helen Garner is a famous Australian author. This book is mostly autobiographical, though she 'controversially' labelled it fiction. It is about a friend of hers with incurable cancer who came to visit her, seeking treatment that would save her. It didn't. Also read for university.
Sleep it off Lady by Jean Rhys
A collection of short stories, loosely autobiographical (if you know anything about Jean Rhys), certainly wonderful.
The Collected Works of TS Spivet by Reif Larsen
This sounds like a science book and it is meant to. TS Spivet is a 13 year old cartographer. There are little maps, diagrams and drawings on each of the pages in this book. He makes maps of everything and wins a prize to give a speech at the Guggenheim. He does not tell his parents that he is going. It is a road trip book. The ending was more farcical than the plot I have already told you.
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
I began loving this book. I wrote down these quotes
"her life was an urgent, desperate struggle to justify her life. she felt like she were brimming, always producing and hoarding more love inside her" p79
"nothing felt like any more than what it actually was. everything was just a thing, mired completely in its thingness" p80
The end was not as wonderful, though I don't remember it now. I feel like it just ended.
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
I have discovered that I like to read books about the Vietnam war. This book was really good and taught me more about the war than the other media I have ingested about it. I liked it a lot and it was quick and easy to read. Americans say Graham like gram and it weirds me out.
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
This book was intoxicating. Stacey loaned it to me a while back but I didn't want to read it because I saw the film a few years ago and worried that would ruin it. The book was very good anyway. People teased me because on the front of the book it says 'selected for Oprah's book club'.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
My friend Shu Shu told me to read this because it is her favourite book of all time and she collects different versions of it obsessively. I thought it quite interesting and was proud of myself for reading something about dystopia because I still have not read 1984.
Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys
I love Jean Rhys a lot, cannot explain how glad I am that she wrote this.
Eat When You Feel Sad by Zachary German
After I read this, I remember feeling feelings like the protagonist was feeling
How a Moth Becomes a Boat by Josephine Rowe
Josephine Rowe is a writer/poet who lives in Melbourne. This book is a collection of her short stories. Most of them are lovely, some of them I could tell they were meant to move me though and that upset me. I liked one about a fox the most.
I also read lots of poetry for Voiceworks and in other places like New Wave Vomit, some Tao Lin poetry and watched other videos of poetry online.
Most of the books that I want to read over the summer are ones that I was given/have to finish reading from last year, I guess I would like to read them all by March but I spend too much time thinking about what I could blog but here they are
Ideas by Peter Watson *
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
In the Aeroplane Over The Sea by Kim Cooper
The Shadow of Sirius by WS Merwin
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart *
The Gourmet by Muriel Barbery *
Literary Miscellaney by some guy
The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morris
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf *
The 13 and 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
The ones marked with * I have already begun (this is not interesting to anyone but me huh)
Monday, January 3, 2011
- write every day
- do not fall in love
- play a lot of bass
- move out in february (with my friend hannah into what we lovingly refer to as 'the shack' which is literally just a shack by the beach, you should come visit, we will have sweet bonfires and vegetarian bbqs)
- study english (i'm a psych drop out)
- get more writing/poems published
- get a car, hate it because it costs too much, then sell it and get a bike (this is a specific and realistic goal which predicts my future behaviour based on how well i know myself)
- be more social (i'm so awkward)
- read more
- internet less
- fall in love (incongruence)
- find dream guy (cross between woody allen and john cusack's character in say anything = perfect mixture of romantic and neurotic)
- save money to go to melbourne again in the summer
- also other stuff
Sunday, January 2, 2011
as the highs get higher, so do the lows get much, much lower
reading may save me
I spend a lot of money on being a Melbournian
the sky is so clear and dark it makes me feel unsafe like if I had giant arms I could reach out and dip my hand into space as if I was in a boat on a river and maybe drown
[I read 'the unbearable lightness of being' and feel completely at ease with it all]
just wrote a poem about seeing people on a street and playing a game called "who had sex last night"
at least my idiocy is consistent
yesterday at the tram stop I saw an oldish lady with an ipod, listening to it, tapping her foot, waiting for the tram
I keep crying because I am so happy
what does byzantine mean?
I remember thinking that "everything" would be better once it was April
I need a dwelling, I want to be a feminist, I need to find work placement and also a job, I wanted to do well at uni and have good ideas for assignments in class, I want to have friends, I want to be beautiful and look nice, I want my teachers to think I'm good at media, I wish I knew whether I could write
I guess ants go so fast because they know life is short
I sniffle and open my eyes wide so the air gets to parts of my eyeballs that have never been exposed before
[I read 'everything is illuminated' and feel like it changes my life a little, then the end is a let down]
[I read 'pussy willow' and am convinced it is my new favourite book]
"everything that anyone would ever look for is usually where they find it"
I want to listen to country music and sing loudly in fields
I can't really stand longevity so I surprised myself when I watched Amelie the whole way through. Of course it is the most enchanting thing of all time and (you me, & everyone) I hope I'm like she is
I am not sure what I was doing last weekend, I was a mess, made everything else into a mess
I ought to let disinterest take over, that may make me seem more appealing
I want my stuff. I love stuff. Makes me feel all humany
words I will use more: cajole, perjorative
I had some odd paranoid fear that maybe the world would end instead of turn int0 2010. I guess that's why everyone gets so drunk at New Year. I want to live somewhere where they don't make a big deal about it. Is there somewhere where they don't celebrate the days going by?
let good things be good
eventually I will just die and cease living and all that will be left of me will be trivial, annoying ponderings like this
last night I was reading Tao Lin until my eyes were sore
sometimes I feel cool because I know lyrics to Kanye West songs then other times I don't
I spend a lot of my life using d words. the cycle of words: deluded --> detached
I've noticed I let sentimentality rule my life
get lonely is one of my favourite cds of all time
oh boy, being alive is so odd
I resolve to be on facebook less
right now things seem fairly fine
this is what happens when you get up too early: you run out of things to do far too early on in the day. my grievances are so vast
[read 'good morning, midnight' by Jean Rhys and feel a trip to Paris is in order]
lately I'm wondering whether anybody is happy
I saw a two year old Samoan child smoking on television and it broke my heart
listening to Ryan Adams on a rainy day will truly end in tears
must dither less
I wonder if people say "don't tell Susie"
the sun is so nice it's melting away my contemplation
I wonder if there is much more to love than being obsessed with a nice and good looking person
[read 'how a moth becomes a boat', find it 25% awesome]
maybe if I go work on my tan things will seem better
I'm worried about what my future self will think
Fraser said "are we going to grow old together" and I said "I hope so" and Jordan said "I imagine so"
going on expensive walks
crying on christmas eve, I feel dumb
I wonder if it would be weird to write to my old english teacher