Tag Archives: possibly boring

Not So Sparkly

2 Jun

Someone once described me as “sparkly” – I’m not feeling it so much right now. Instead, I’m feeling like my neck has been inflated with a bicycle pump, my sinuses have been injected with cement, my throat has participated in a razor blade swallowing experiment, my whole body has run a marathon instead of sleeping and my hands and feet have enormous weights attached to them. Nathan decided sleeping on the couch was a better bet than trying to sleep next to me, hacking and coughing all night.

Actually, I wouldn’t mind being stuck in bed all day if I had records, crayons and chipmunks saying ‘hello’.

There was an ad on TV last night that made me a bit sad – the tagline was “You are what you do”. It’s completely true, and a bit harrowing for someone who is currently doing nothing, therefore is nothing. So even though my body is screaming out for me to go back to bed, I’m going to do something. Or at least plan what I’m going to do. Baby steps though.

Today/tomorrow:

  • Clean up the ‘sick-person-mess’ that magically appears when I’m sick. Empty panadol boxes, empty drink bottles, dirty teacups, piles of blankets and pillows.
  • Make spaghetti. Eat real food.
  • Wash my hair, put on some makeup and clothes. Not pajamas.

This weekend:

  • We are hopefully going to look at a gorgeous little dog called Rupert on Saturday!
  • I’m hoping we can fit in some time to plant some flowers in the garden for spring. I love peonies, and apparently they are not too hard to grow.
  • I’m also hoping that I can set up my room too – it will be so nice to be able to paint, sew and make things again.

Super Kawaii Mama is writing a fantastic series of posts on how to be glamourous for every occassion, even when it’s freezing or you are cleaning the house. Very inspiring right now – I’m not sparkly right now, but I’m going to put on some blush and hopefully it will get the ball rolling.

xx B

New Best Friend

21 May

Not really. But a new favourite show, which is kind of rare for me – I don’t really do television shows. I make special exceptions for Ladette to Lady and certain things with Matt Berry or Ricky Gervais though. And now this – Sons of Anarchy is grand – as I have been couch-bound in Deathville (read: I have a cold that won’t go away), Nath and I have spend almost every night in this week watching it. I love it. The main guy (see above) is pretty swanky considering I don’t usually go for boys whose hair is lighter than mine.

I previously summed up Avatar as ‘Pocahontas in space’; so I guess my two-noun-plus-a-conjunction impression of Sons of Anarchy is ‘Hamlet with motorcycles’. But it’s a bit more than that. There is a constant soundtrack of raw rocking bluesy music, and I love that it isn’t overacted – the number one reason I avoid most television.

Favourite moment so far: seeing Katey Sagal’s character smack a girl in the face with a skateboard. BEST.

However, mind to task! I have absolutely no idea what to wear to an upcoming engagement party. No mention of dress code on the invitation, and I am feeling poor, unfashionable and frumpy – worst combination. This is the mental process right now: buying a new dress is out of the question, yet my current mood means that everything I own will look disgusting on me, but if I were to get something new, I wouldn’t find anything because everything in the stores would look like junk on me anyway. Lose-lose-lose situation at this point.

If I manage to not go in a potato sack with a paper bag over my head, I’ll post photos.

xx Bunny

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

Love-hate Labels

5 Apr

Nath has plenty to say about hipsters. Most of it is does not really make use of his otherwise extensive vocabulary,  nor is it really suitable for general audiences. Which is strange, considering how ridiculously pretentious I can appear. This post spurred some more thought on the subject – I am sick in bed, Nath is painting his little guys, so I am left with nothing better to do than ruminate for an audience!

After describing the music and literature that drives him, David says this: “I fully accept and admit my pretentiousness, because if I don’t, my bookshelf will pretty much scream it at you if you ever visit my house.”

I suppose I have to disagree, in a rather long and boring post.

At university, I am doing literary studies, philosophy and art history. I am a huge geek for classic literature, especially poetry (am currently working on a verse novella in sonnet form, don’t laugh). I’ve studied philosophy since I was 9. I can speak Chinese, am learning Norwegian and have plans for French and Spanish.
Some of my favourite music: My Dying Bride, Zulya and the Children of the Underground, Björk, Satyricon, Belle and Sebastian, Pink Floyd, Tori Amos, Shostakovich, Blonde Redhead, Julia Fisher’s take on the Four Seasons, Lama Gyurme and Jean-Philippe Rykiel.
Some of my favourite books: Orlando by Virginia Woolf, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, Ariel by Sylvia Plath, All My Pretty Ones by Anne Sexton, Philosophical Fragments by Søren Kierkegaard.
Some of my favourite films: Howl’s Moving Castle, Eat Drink Man Woman, The City of Lost Children, Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!, Amadeus, Marie Antoinette, Dancer in the Dark, My Life Without Me, A Clockwork Orange.

Pretentious, much? Apparently so. But does this change if I don’t give a damn? Add Spice World and Showgirls to my favourite films, Spice Girls and Lady Gaga to my music, Harry Potter and various Marilyn Monroe biographies to the books – does the picture change a bit?

To me, being pretentious happens when someone is intent on cultivating a particular image of being cultured/grim/fantastic/sparkly/intelligent/whatever to fit a particular label like hipster or goth or artistic, without actually being cultured/grim/fantastic/sparkly/intelligent/whatever. Intrinsic to trying to creating the illusion of being ‘fill-the-blank’ is another layer of illusion; the idea that you aren’t trying at all to fit into that particular cultural subtype, you just somehow fell into it (which obviously isn’t true at all).

I have given up subscribing to labels, or caring what people think about my interests. It just seems so counter-productive, and people that label themselves as something only end up losing credibility – if you say “I’m a hipster”, I automatically think, “Mmmm, okay, so what you are really saying is that you are suppressing everything ‘unpopular’ or unusual about you and projecting yourself through the socially-categorized lens of ‘hipster’ instead”. The whole notion of pretentiousness reminds me of this scene from another one of my favourite movies:

Nobody wants the same thing all the time. Nobody could honestly say that they liked every single characteristic of a social label and nothing else beyond. That’s like deciding your favourite 100 songs are the Triple J Hottest 100, and that you hate everything else.

Ultimately, invented personality is pretentious. Honest individuality is not. To the uninformed outsider, I probably appear very pretentious; I’ll wear that because I don’t really care. However, I think it’s revealing that Nath won’t lump me into the ‘hipster’ category with all the people he mercilessly pays out – ironically, it is ‘real’ people with honest interests that are often the ones that pretentious people are so eager to emulate.

Rambling. Flu. My brain feels like mashed potato. Bedtime.

A loldog as a prize for anybody who stayed until the end (looks just like baby Posie):

xx Bunny Florentine