Archive | April, 2010

Kitchen Disaster #2

29 Apr

I’m pretty hungry. Pasta seemed like an easy, quick, painless cure. Upon looking in the fridge, I figured I would make spaghetti with a cheesy tomato and spinach sauce.

That would have been really nice, but I guess I have to settle for a bowl of spaghetti floating in cheese, tomato and spinach soup.. that actually manages to taste like stale sweat.

xx B

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Found!

28 Apr

Apologies for the video dump. I have had this song stuck in my head for days, but could not remember what it was called or any of the lyrics. But I found it and am pretty pleased with myself:

Sigh. I love the completely melodramatic strings, totally meaningless lyrics and the fact this guy looks like he’s about 18 yet manages to have an edge to his otherwise sweet voice. It also makes me wish that huge perms were still acceptable… oh, to have Kate Bush hair.

I found it via Midomi – a voice recognition song search, which I adore so much. It also helped me find 你快樂所以我快樂 (You’re Happy, So I’m Happy) by Faye Wong, which I had spent literally 10+ years looking for. This song was on a mixtape that one of my Dad’s colleagues made for us when we were living in Taiwan in 1997 or 1998. It’s in Chinese so I had only vague recollections of certain phrases, no idea what it was called and only a guess that it was by either Faye Wong, A-Mei or Julia Peng. When I found it, I played it non-stop for days and called everybody in my family to tell them I found it..

xx Bunny

Theatricality

27 Apr

I am thinking about dyeing my hair a shade more usually associated with cupcakes, crayons and My Little Pony. If I hate it, I can always dye it back – it’s only hair, right? Jaz posted a little while ago about her total love for harajuku style, and I am sick of admiring my alternative fashion icons from the sidelines. Details (and photos) when I gather the courage to actually go through with it!

And for something completely different, here are some quotes from Nathanator on Friday night –

My feet feel all.. magic.

I imagine this is like an indie movie, at the end, when they just curl up in bed and hug and stuff… yeah.

So, yes. Seeing as I am totally wrapped up in the unpacking/resettling process and seem to have had a mini-flu-relapse, I have nothing of interest to report. Sorry. So I present you with a list of nothing in particular:

  • This is one of the most hysterical things I’ve come across in a while – My Immortal, a Mary Sue infested ‘goffik’ Harry Potter fanfic trainwreck from hell, featuring the one and only Miss Ebony (also spelled Enoby) Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way. Still not totally sure whether or not it is just one giant troll, which I guess is to its credit.
  • Tonight I cooked dinner: lamb kofta, vegetable tagine, cous cous and mint yoghurt. Tomorrow: honey chili glazed chicken with ginger stirfried carrot and bok choy. Me: culinary master, occasionally.
  • This is the week I get back my pencils, pastels, paints, easel, brushes, pens, paper, canvases, felt, sewing machine, buttons and other paraphernalia. I am so excited.. also, it’d be nice to finally be able to draw/paint some things for this blog.
  • I am dying to go to Mamasita. Anybody want to be my date? Email me!
  • The Odds of Dying – a comprehensive analysis based on information from the US Census Bureau. Assuming that the numbers would be quite similar for someone living in Australia, it worries me that I have a 1 in 211 (or thereabouts) chance of being murdered. But oh well – at least ‘death by tram’ is much less probable – 1 in 3,556,975.. yay!
  • And finally.. can anybody enlighten me as to why on earth Justin Bieber (or whatever his name is) is appealing, in any way? I am very, very, very confused.

So posting may be patchy, boring and sporadic for the next week or so. But after that expect art, photos, adventures and even maybe a giveaway (also known as ‘Bunny knits compulsively and has decided to be charitable’). Stay tuned, chipmunks.

xx Bunnykins

Audrey and Serendipitous Party Shenanigans

25 Apr

Audrey had her party on Friday night, despite being worried about it for some time. So many people! Surprisingly, despite the huge number of people running down the street singing at 4am and the thumping ‘doof’ music (once the ravers ousted dj-ing control from the hippies), they didn’t get shut down by the police. It was fun.

Audrey rocked her little French maid look, complete with fairy wings and exposed bra (right: picture of her, climbing out a window). She also drew hearts on her thigh in black and white eyeliner – I put a white star on my cheek.

I don’t think any pictures of me have emerged yet, but I had two costume changes! My final outfit was a black dress with a full skirt, rose pink cardigan, black tights and black 8-inch PVC pole dancing shoes! The party was notoriously full of ridiculously tall people and I am ridiculously short – I think my shoes were of great benefit to the health of their spines, not having to bend down constantly to talk to me.

One of the ridiculously tall people was Ilian, my new friend! It was quite exciting; he and I met randomly and talked all night once before, about 6 or 7 weeks ago. He is very lovely, strange, Swedish and has fantastic taste in music, but he was off to Thailand, and I just assumed I’d never see him again. And there he was at this party! It was fortuitous, as neither of us really knew too many people there and neither my Nathan nor his girlfriend were able to come – without re-meeting each other, we would both have been alone and awkward, but luckily we got to be horribly anti-social together instead and hang out on a couch all night talking. It was nice; I’m not a great party person, as I seem to be better with people in a one-on-one situation. Plus neither of us were drunk and we don’t do anything else, so we were sort of in a different frame of mind to a lot of the other people at the party – I was definitely glad to have a partner in crime for the night! Highlight of the entire night was watching him try to get home from the party – imagine a 2 metre tall, rail-thin goth with white blonde hair, wearing a cowboy hat and way-too-tight jeans, trying to ride a pushbike in the dark. I laughed and laughed and laughed.. and even thinking about it now, I still laugh!

Audrey’s housemates are a really cool blend of ravers and hippies, which definitely made for an interesting crowd. A few of them decided face paint was the way to go (see left). The music alternated from Audrey’s fantastic hippie-soul set (including Jackson 5 and Florence and the Machine) to all sorts of creepy electronic triphop and psytrance later on. A bit past 3am, I was getting a headache and being hit on by a series of increasingly obnoxious guys, so I sauntered home.

And now, I’m really home: Nath picked me and all my junk up from Northcote on Saturday night, and now I’m back. It’s such a comfort to finally feel ‘home’ again – to walk around the house in my underwear, that feeling of being totally clean you can only get from your own shower, getting to water my plants (from all appearances, they have really really missed me). Even waking up to a psychotic puppy jumping all over my face is a very happy thing. However, I will miss living in that street and being so close to Audrey’s house as to facilitate midnight trips to the park to talk about random junk.

Oh well. It’s good to be home. And parties, people and fun are only a train/car ride away.

xx Bunny

Catastrophe Magnet

23 Apr

What a trash
To annihilate each decade

–  from ‘Lady Lazarus’ by Sylvia Plath

At midnight, in the park near Croxton station, while it was raining and huge bats were gliding above our heads and screeching in the trees, Audrey and I hung out and talked for hours the way silly teenage girls do – mixing up everything into a sort of mutual confessional with a hope for some sort of validation or understanding. Boys, travels, school, friendships, regrets, love, hate, family, skeletons in the proverbial closet, people who untag themselves from photos on facebook out of spite, how not being racist in conversation can make you appear even more racially preoccupied than someone who is overtly racist, grandmas, mean teachers, people with no personality, and the fact that in Buenos Aires, you can have ice cream delivered.

It was nice. I think we both needed it tonight.

But after everything, I was left with a question that totally destroyed any attempt at sleep. The concept of ‘sorting things out’… what if there are some people who never get things sorted out? As much as they long for a calm, comfortable, contented feeling of “everything is okay”, will some people just never get it?

A lot of not so great things have happened recently. A lot of them are still happening. However, things were looking up. Dad called from London and said he and Linda would be back in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon. Which means that Nath can come get me and all my stuff, and I can move back home. Which means things even basic sources of happiness like being able to sleep at night (Stuart and his quasi-girlfriend are practically nocturnal and have no understanding of ‘inside voices’ or the idea of not yelling at each other right outside someone’s bedroom door at 4am), eat properly (rather than living on iced tea, Le Snaks and nutella) and actually have a desk to study on. Getting to see my boyfriend and my puppy are perks too, definitely!

So, in that regard, two big things that have made me a bit miserable are finally being alleviated. I’m not quite sure then why the universe has decided to get me back for daring to feel optimistic about things.

  1. Nathan has been enlisted to stage manage an amateur musical, which is a relatively huge commitment. Which means that all this finally-actually-getting-to-see-each-other time I had been looking forward to is suddenly pushed forward a few weeks. He’s already a major grouch at the best of times (unless he’s on holidays), but the sudden extra lack of Nath-time and sleep is likely to make him pretty unpleasant for the hour or so I might get to see him on any given day. Minor annoyance/frustration/disappointment in the scheme of things, but it just stings a bit after being apart for long to realize that what we have looked forward to is still weeks away.
  2. But this one is the worst, and it’s not even happening to me. Something is majorly wrong with my Mum’s back. I have no idea what it is; neither does she yet, but it’s bad. The plan (my plan, rather) so far involves me going to her house, looking after her and my little brother and sister (who are actually not so little, but neither can cook, therefore are nutritionally helpless) so she can stop with the martyrdom, accept help and admit that she needs to rest and heal.

Once again it is proved – I am the catastrophe magnet. It’s probably not particularly rational to hold a hope that things will get ‘sorted’ or everything will one day feel alright; maybe my tolerance for disaster will just rise. Maybe. Right now, I just hope that all goes to plan for Dad and Linda and they arrive home on Saturday. I hope that production week runs smoothly enough so that Nathan gets out theatre at a halfway decent time. And I really, really hope that my Mum will be okay..

xx Bunny

PS: I spotted a pair of rainbow lorikeets eating fruit from a tree down the street today – lovely, unexpected and an incredibly welcome sight amongst all the doom and gloom going on.

PPS: Yes, it is 7am. Yes, I did stay up all night fretting and feeling miserable and powerless. Blergh. But I promise, next post, I will snap out of this malaise. Even though there are frustratingly time-consuming commitments and horribly painful back injuries, there are also rainbow lorikeets and fairy bread in the world..

Die Volcano Die!

22 Apr

So I am stuck at my Dad’s house; babysitting his dog, cat and step-son (who is older than me yet incapable of operating a washing machine without breaking it). My Dad and his partner were meant to be home on Monday, but are stranded in the UK. And he’s not very good at answering emails. Gah.

Though I have to admit, “sorry, I’m stuck in Europe because of a giant ash cloud from a volcano” is a pretty good excuse. I wish we had active volcanoes in Australia. When I lived in Taipei, we lived on the uncool side of Yangmingshan, which is a dormant volcano – dormant meaning that it hasn’t erupted in a very, very long time and is unlikely to erupt again soon, but it might. The ‘might’ part was a bit scary; towards the end of our time living there, the road near our house started cracking and lifting in places. There was a huge sulfur smell, and warm water with yellow sediment started spewing out of these little ‘vents’ on the side of the road. Creepy, considering that the volcano wasn’t ‘extinct’ and we lived right on it.

I really, really want to go back and live in Taipei one day. When I was little, the community radio station ICRT in Taiwan was one of my major obsessions. It was such a unique thing – being the only English radio station for music (as opposed to, say, BBC radio or something boring), they had to cater to literally all tastes. So apart from the dedicated jazz or world music shows, we got this mash-up of Asian pop music, trans-Atlantic pop/rock, a few oldies and the rest of the time was dedicated to the absolute dorkiest of dorky music. Think Celine Dion, Air Supply, Bryan Adams, etc. I loved it so much; I even interviewed my favourite DJ for the school newspaper. There really isn’t anything similar here and it has sort of been a bit of a dream to one day go back to Taipei and work at ICRT. And eat dumplings all day, dress like a Harajuku princess, pay ridiculous prices for breakfast cereal but get expensive fabric for practically nothing, and go out for karaoke every single night.

xx Bunny Florentine

Do These Things. Now.

20 Apr

Certain people (specifically Megan, Nathanator and Sarah) have inspired me today. I have been feeling so grey lately, and still am to an extent, but at least I am getting excited about a time (very soon) when I can live my life as I want and decorate it as I like, and be my manic pixie dream girl self again. So here is my list for myself, but I can share! I command anybody out there reading this to get fired up, slap on a smile, cultivate a sense of perpetual wonderment and curiosity, and DO THESE THINGS. Or at least think about it:

[image via..]

Wear pretty dresses, even to the supermarket. Knit a pair of mittens. Ride a bike and let go of the handlebars. Put your music in autobiographical order. Pat a cat. Bake a cake. Draw a comic featuring you and your best friends as superheroes with tragically hilarious flaws (i.e. can become invisible, except for their face). Ask your grandparents about ‘the old days’. Cut up your old clothes and make them into something new and fabulous.

[image via..]

Twirl. Twirl really fast while looking up at the sky, then try to run in a straight line. Do this on soft grass, for when you inevitably fall over, giggling like a maniac. Do housework to 90’s pop music, adding in spontaneous dance moves. Go out for cocktails in very high heels and pretend you’re on Sex and the City. Forget about audience, structure, tone and all that junk; just write a story. Paint.

[image via..]

Watch TV. It won’t kill you unless you let it. Quit your job. Start a new one. Go running until your ribs ache but your mind sparkles with clarity and openness. Catch a train until you are so far out of the city that you will see bunnies in the fields if you are quiet enough. Come back into the city and wander through nameless alleyways; meet the musicians that play on street corners under moonlight. Don’t keep promising to yourself to keep a visual diary – actually do it. Buy pretty shoes, then clean out your entire wardrobe until it is pretty enough to properly ‘welcome’ the new shoes.

[image via..]

Lay on a lawn with somebody you adore and smile as much as you want. Ask questions. Eat the cake that you baked a couple of paragraphs ago. Watch Jurassic Park – you know you want to. Stop thinking of underwear as something that is allowed to be plain and boring. Stay in bed on a cold dreary afternoon. Stay up all night if there are better things to do than sleep. Stop listening to stupid people. Paint every fingernail a different colour. Buy a last-minute air ticket and take your camera.

If there are no stars in the sky, make your own.

xx Bunny

My, I’m full of warm fuzzies this morning..

20 Apr

image via weheartit

Got one.

xx B

The Light of Italy

19 Apr

We have looked at dozens of paintings in my art history class, but a few have stayed with me without having to revise and quiz myself on them. In the first few weeks, we were looking at the transition from medieval art to Renaissance art, with reference to the characteristics of Byzantine art – so basically, we were looking at the point when artists began trying to capture reality.

These two paintings are actually part of a diptych, which is double-sided, so there are four distinct scenes that are separate but have an obvious relationship. The man is Federico da Montefeltro (1422-1482), Duke of Urbino. As well as being a condottieri, or mercenary (sort of almost like a warlord), he known as ‘the light of Italy’ and made major contributions to the humanist movement through his rule, as well as his patronage and encouragement of artistic and scholarly enlightenment. The woman is Battista Sforza, Federico’s wife, who died before him and from all accounts was very much loved by her husband. These are the back panels:

In my class, there were many interpretations; including one of the paintings being a sort of ‘love tribute’ from the Duke to his wife. In the different panels, there are lots of opposite symbols that could be representative of earth and heaven – the Duke is almost tanned and wearing bright red, a colour of vitality, whereas Battista appears ethereal and alabaster in comparison, wearing pearls to demonstrate not only her wealth but an allusion to the attire usually signifying the ‘regina coeli’ (Queen of Heaven), a status usually saved for the Virgin Mary in art. On the back panels, the Duke and his wife are shown in separate carriages being drawn by white horses and unicorns; he is accompanied by the personifications of Glory, Justice, Wisdom, Valour and Moderation; Battista is chaperoned by Faith, Hope, Charity and Chastity.

I suppose the irony is how easily the symbols could reinvent the meaning of the painting, especially after Battista’s death. There is a dichotomy of earth and heaven, which can suddenly represent life and death. The carriages are shown approaching each other, borne by angels and cupids, yet they are still distant; he is approaching light in his gleaming armour, yet she is headed for the sunset clutching her prayer book. It is strange that the painting doesn’t commemorate any sort of occasion that would warrant a portrait – it’s not a marriage, for example. Nor are the couple shown standing together. The distance between them in the painting, and the opposites that define them, are fairly tragic and bittersweet – especially when you consider the fact that the Duke never remarried, and after Battista’s death he pretty much retired from life in general to just sit in his palace. At least with the portrait, it was hinged down the middle; when closed, their faces would look the same way and they would be side by side.

Seeing the painting, I just imagine the Duke sitting alone in his palace waiting for death; the only thing that could reunite him with the woman he loved.

…I can’t believe I am this much of a geek that I am actually getting all sad and romantic over a painting.

Kitchen Failures + Five Years Later

18 Apr

I attempted to make macaroons today. FAIL. They were bland and completely stuck to the baking paper – also, I put the last tray into the oven and forgot about it until 45 minutes later, by which time they were rechristened ‘cinder biscuits’. I did learn that we seriously need a new oven though – it turned itself off 4 times during cooking. Fun and games.

Spending the weekend here triggered a sort of mental revisiting of the mindset I was in October/November last year; the time and scene of my quarter-life crisis of sorts. It was fairly dramatic that time – I read a hell of a lot of feminist articles, I swung between “let’s get married and have fifty kids.. like, yesterday, because it’s my only hope for fulfillment as a woman!” and being militantly childfree and anti-weddings, I freaked out about what my ‘career’ was going to be, and I lamented the fact that being small and possessing a voice more aptly described as a squeak.. I will probably never be taken seriously.

I think I am considering things more calmly now – yes, I am 22 years old, but that is no reason to panic. Instead of trying to plan my life’s aims down to the tiniest detail, I’m restructuring – it’s not a timeline set in stone, it’s more like a list titled “things that would definitely make my life nice and full and rich and all that, and I hope they happen, and yes I will try my hardest for them, but my whole life is not over if they don’t happen”. There is not much guidance for anybody who wants to create, carve out and define their own life; there seems to be only convention and those who deliberately thwart convention. For anybody who wants to examine convention, reject what is junk, keep what is useful and make their life completely their own.. well, they are on their own.

Back in Year 9, we had to pick our VCE subjects on the basis of what we needed to study at university to qualify us for the career we wanted. I was 15 – I had a plum-coloured vinyl trench coat, a demeanor that bounced between giggly and surly with no warning, and my life’s ambition was to marry David Bowie. How exactly did they expect that I was qualified to decide my entire life? I remember forensic pathologists were very in vogue that year due to some stupid television show, yet none of those girls are studying anything even vaguely related now – they are doing degrees in communications, international studies, and mathematics, even. I said at the time that I wanted either to be an actor or a graphic designer/illustrator – yet I am studying art history, literature and philosophy.

It seems so presumptuous to plan what your life will be like; it rests on this huge assumption that it is all within your control. But it really, really isn’t.

In five years time, I would love to be happy. I hope I have finished my BA and have moved onto higher academic things. I hope I have published some writing; I don’t care if it is an entire novel, or even just a few poems in an anthology. I hope that the various creative projects I am currently working on eventually come to fruition. I hope that I manage to balance my time well enough to do some acting again. I hope Nath and I are ten times more awesome, I hope that we have found the perfect puppy to be friends with Posie. I hope I get this house to make the transition to ‘home’.

I guess I just hope that if, through the wonders of time travel, I magically bumped into 70 year old me in the street, she would say, “Don’t worry, everything turned out okay.”

xx B