Notes for a song

Judging a book by its cover

I love playing guessing games. Guessing games at airports are the most fun. So many infinite possibilities.

Some of my favourites are guess which airline those attendants work for? This game is great, just don’t get racist about it.
This game is easy to win if you have a bit of time before your flight and can snoop around the airport to see which plane they’re getting on.

A similar game is guess where people are travelling to.

Guess what’s inside that weirdly shaped luggage.
Guess what those business class passengers do for a living.
Guess why those guys are travelling to New York.

The only way you can win at these guessing games is to actually go and talk to the people and find out which can be a bit intimidating if you’re shy. Like me.
The other way to win is if fate throws you into the seat next to/in front of/behind them. Or if you’re next to them at the luggage carousel.

Another game is guess how much longer there is to go with the flight. You can win at this game by checking the flight’s progress on your TV screen. Bear in mind you only really win if there’s less than 2 hours left.


Lack of focus

No wonder I can never finish things.

I’m packing up my room today and I have unearthed some treasures.

There’s the beginning of a novel which starts out as a kind of magic realist vampire story and a few pages later is more like pulpy romance.

There are no less than 8 half-full notebooks which shift from poetry to shopping lists to journal entries to short film scripts.

There’s the nude lipstick, the neon orange lipstick, the cherry red lipstick, the purple, the bright pink.

There’s the baseball cap, the sequined hat, the schoolgirl beret.

There’s the start of a Master’s since abandoned… no wonder, I was trying to combine thrift markets, hip hop and internet performance into one cohesive argument.

This a diagram of asanas to be performed each night to aid insomnia. Another diagram of asanas to be performed in the morning to increase energy. I’m not sure which is which.

I am unfocused by nature, preferring to spend a little time on a wide variety of activities. my old school reports I found suggest the same.
I like so many different things, and am passionate about more than a few.

I’m packing to Gang Starr and The Fugees – that hasn’t changed.

Sucked into a hole

“I’m not always there when you call
but I’m always online
I’d give you my all
but I’m wasting my time”

I had a bit of a youtube party this weekend, it involved a lot of Ashanti, Mariah, Kelly, Ciara and all the other babes who sing the hooks on hip hop tracks.
What else did I do over the long weekend?
(Aside from raise my cup of tea in celebratory salute to the Queen)
(I didn’t actually do that, apart from her natty ability to match her umbrella to her outfit, the Queen is not a big part of my life).
I managed to get sucked into the deep dark hole that is Game of Thrones and the deep dark holes that are Khal Drogo’s eyes. I know he’s a bit gruff and monosyllabic, but you can’t tell me you haven’t imagined jumping on the back of his war horse and whispering, “Take me back to your tent, Sun and Stars, and I’ll dress those battle wounds for you”.
There’s other reasons to watch GOT of course, like female sword-fighters, dragons, white walkers (vampire thingees that scare the daylights out of me), Tyrion and medieval fashions for men (men in skirts, men with half up half down ponies, MC Hammer pants made of hessian, Fur collars)
I’ve only just finished season 1 – so please, spare me the spoilers.

Tram footsie

Oh the great game of tram footsie, played by many a gentleman and rogue alike. Sitting opposite a MOTOS* on those cramped tram seats, with that casual way you slouch, your legs stretched out in the hope that you might sleep at a right angle, you glance up at the MOTOS across as you suddenly realize your feet are touching!

There are several possible explanations for this:

a) It’s a complete accident – MOTOS across was a little overenthusiastic in his foot-tapping or position-rearranging, misjudged the distance between and is now embarrassed by the contact. Evidenced by a sharp pulling away of feet, inability to meet your stare, potential faked “this is my stop” exit.

b) It’s intentional – MOTOS across is into you. MOTOS also happens to be a major babe. Evidenced by an eyebrow lift, an unnecessarily long lingering of the feet, potential cool movie move like a phone number on the back of a tram ticket.  (This has not happened to me yet, but I’m sure it could happen to someone, somewhere.)

c) MOTOS is an alcoholic – foot rub neither accidental nor intentional. Foot rub is repeated, and becomes more and more blatant as you remain frozen trying to think of a solution. Evidenced by a smell of alcohol, bloodshot eyes fixed on you, a slurred proposition. Potential sexual harassment. Probably best to change seats.

*Tram footsie can of course occur between MOTSS as well. Tram footsie does not discriminate.

The holiest outfit in the world

Isn’t it funny how sounds and smells can evoke memories so strong they seem real? Well I guess objects can do it to.

This is a sad/happy tale of a little black silk singlet I bought in 2006. Now, my choppy and changey attitude to fashion means that clothing items stay in my wardrobe no longer than a couple of years and then get sold/swapped/ebay’d/trademe’d/donated or just plain chucked. But for some reason this little black silk singlet has stayed with me. Actually, I do know why. It’s a very nice shape. It sits under anything. It’s soft, it’s comforting. It’s been with me through major landmark events, it’s survived several transoceanic flights, it’s served as key undergarment to many a sheer blouse. I always thought this little cami and I would be friends forever.

I remember the first time I washed it, I poured tepid water into a bucket and added a tiny drop of washing liquid. I was so careful as I handled the silk, I patted the fabric gently, avoided wringing it, then I lay it on a towel to dry. Over the years I have become lazier, tossing the cami in with other handwashables in a big soupy mess of fabrics, hanging it over wire racks, balling it up in the bottom of the laundry basket and more recently I’ve taken to letting it slip into the machine (on delicate cycle! But still!) Today I reached for old faithful cami and as I lifted it over my head I noticed the holes that had been forming these last lazy years had widened, the stitches at the seam coming apart entirely. To put it simply, old cami is one foot in the grave.

I wore it anyway.

I remembered wearing it on stage at a poetry reading in Wellington. I remembered briefly considering donating it to an op shop in Glasgow. I remembered wearing it out to a club inside a wine barrel on the LES.

On my way out of the house, I noticed three large holes in my wool cardigan as well.

The best email I ever got…

I opened up my inbox today to find this little delight:

hi dear
how much per hr

I don’t know anything about the sender but there’s a definite poetry in the brevity and absence of punctuation.

I have yet to formulate a worthy response.

Coffee stain

It’s pouring with rain and I really should just stay indoors but I’m getting cabin fever and I’m not really motivated to tidy my room so I decide to head out, grab a coffee from Cibi, take the tram somewhere. I have a lot of bags. I also have my hot takeaway coffee cup (sorry, environment). I also have my ipod (of course).

I’m sitting opposite a gorgeous Asian girl who looks unimpressed with the weather, the tram, my many bags. There’s also a skater guy who looks bored. They both have ipods. One of the skater dude’s fav songs comes on his ipod and he gets a bit animated. He starts to tap his foot. One of my fav songs comes on my ipod and I start to tap mine. He starts to drum his fingers against his bag. I tap a fingernail against my coffee cup. He starts to bob his head. I start to bob mine. Are we in some kind of competition? Girl opposite looks amused. Everyone else on the tram continues to ignore us. Skater dude starts mouthing the words to the song. I do it too. He bangs out a rhythm on his lap. I start to use my coffee cup as a bongo. The tram lurches. The last of my coffee spills out of the cup and flows all over my backpack and jeans.

Skater dude looks disgusted. Girl opposite flashes me the warmest smile you’ve ever seen and hands me a tissue. I beam back and mouth the words, “Thank you”.

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours…?”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

How to survive fashion week

I won this competition to go to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week last week (you may have noticed my entry on this blog). Big thank you to Vogue and Ausmode for organizing the comp! Having never been to a fashion week, or day, or hour, before, this was all very exciting. A glimpse at the world that goes on outside the thrift stores I usually get my fashion fix from. A world where you can wear 10cm high heels everywhere and no one will think you’re overdressed. A world where a man in towering stilettos and a bright red feather fascinator is a revered figure.

It being my first, and probably last, fashion week I wanted to soak it all in. I learnt a lot. I thought I’d share some of my new knowledge with you, in case you ever have the chance to experience this amazing cultural tradition first hand.

1. Always bring a pair of flats in your handbag. Or just wear your sneakers to the show. True fashionistas suffer through the pain of platforms all day, but luckily for us mortals sneakers are perfectly acceptable fashion week footwear. As long as they have big plastic flowers on them or something.

2. Wear wack stuff. I mean, if you can’t afford some amazing designer trenchcoat with a straw collar, just wear heaps of wack stuff. No one cares if everything you wear comes from op shops as long as you look like a rainbow threw cowboy and soldier costumes all over you.

3. Strong legs do strut down many of the runways. Not everyone is super skinny. Don’t feel bad about shoving down a burger or some sushi just before a show. I’m sure you still look amazing. And if you sneak around the backstage, you’ll see all the models doing it too.

4. If you are a designer and you don’t want your models taking off their too-big heels and spraying cotton wool over the runway, put them in Docs like LF Markey.

5. By the end of the week, most people stop going to the show and you’ll probs maybs get bumped up to the front row.

Reader Request #1

I hate taking the 96 on Sunday evenings. After 7.30, the trams run a lot less frequently. Not to mention the stop nearest my house is the worst tram stop in Melbourne, no seat, no protection from the elements, traffic speeding by on both sides. And for some reason I always get there late. Partly because Tram Tracker lies. Partly because I am convinced I can walk the two long blocks from Smith to Nicholson in less than 8 minutes. I can’t. But also that Tram Tracker thing.

This particular evening in question I felt I was making good time, despite Tram Tracker’s lies. It felt like it had been about 7 minutes plus I had only listened to two tracks on my ipod. I sped up as I felt the rumble of tram on track in the distance. I rounded the corner into Nicholson and saw the tram pulling up to the stop. I was still quite a few steps away so I picked up my pace. Luckily, two young gents had spotted me through the back of the tram and one placed himself against the door of the tram, preventing the driver from pulling out.

I started to run as the boys motioned for me to hurry. What fine young fellows holding the door for me! I finally reached the tram and headed for the back door where they were. Just as I neared, the rascal holding the door blew me a kiss and stepped out of the way as the doors shut with me on the wrong side of them. Leaving me to spend the next 22 minutes at the least user-friendly tram stop in Melbourne.

How not to behave at an art opening

My friend had an art opening last week. She had been working so hard for it and totally deserved to relax and enjoy her opening in her lovely polka dot dress. She did not deserve to be picking up her artwork after I kicked it over. Ooops.

Before you jump to conclusions let me explain. I had on clunky platform shoes. I was feeling distinctly uncool and awkward around all the well-dressed gallery goers. And I didn’t realise how close I was standing to one of the works (engaged in some thrilling conversation about a crappy work week no doubt) until I kicked it over and everyone inhaled sharply and glared at me.

The artist handled the situation with aplomb, she casually left her conversation, strode over, picked up the piece, righted it and returned to her conversation as though nothing was out of the ordinary. That’s how you should behave at an opening.

As for me, I’d say some flat footwear and some fancy footwork are required before any more forays into the art world.