March 15, 2007

Return to (hyper)reality

This could be an especially fortunate time for you, Flip. The energies at play bring a balmy, warm atmosphere, where things seem to come together with ease. You will enjoy any social gatherings thoroughly today. A celebration could take place; new plans could be made, and, at the very least, you should have some fascinating conversations with friends. Congratulations!

I'm back! It's been an unfortunately long absence, primarily due to the fact that once again I had to move house and was consequently offline for a while. It pains me that I'm not allowed to visit the Flipside at work due to Concrete's adult content (it can't be myfault because unless you count fantasising about naked Brazilians, there is woefully little lascivious adventure on this blog). I won't bore anyone with my tales of what have been - tune into the cheat sheet on "Noodling" for that.

I was just picking through my old photographs and thinking I should take the camera out more. I had a rare moment of nostalgia last week and sifted through my glory box for a peek into the annals of history - there was the drug fuelled trip to Ibiza, there was the Amsterdam monument (a giant penis sculpture), there was the general mayhem of years gone by. I can't get over how young and fresh faced I was in some of the pics - and how uniform they all were. I cock my head the same way every time, it seems, and my top lip curls in tandem with the ever-deepening crinkles around my eyes.

It's the ones where I'm in love that I find the most fascinating - those snapshots of moments, long-gone, where the camera manages to catch that inner sparkle, happy confidence, guileless joy. That's not to say those moments don't happen outside love - these days I find the same joy in waking up in crispy clean sheets after a long sleep, the darkening skies of my beloved Broome sunsets - but I find myself wondering at that distant youth.

My camera has become a tool for work and I forget to whip it out for those moments ... looking at those old photos made me remember how important it was to record my life. Inside the box of old film photos, I was upset to discover patches of discoloration and decay creeping in strange bloches over the pictures of my past. Those days are already sepia coloured, faded at the edges, with recollections dropping away day by day. Picking up those pictures takes me swiftly back towards a younger me, a more hopeful me, a me that glitters on the edge of my consciousness behind a smokescreen of faded memories. It's a person I wish I could get to know better, before I work out when to say goodbye.

January 24, 2007


A sudden and exciting love affair might not last all that long but WOW, it could just knock your socks off. Enjoy what the Universe has on offer and be up front with each other so that no one is hurt in the process. Taking a gamble on love seems to be the way it might go now.

Ain't that the truth! Strike one for future-gazing and chalk one up for meaningless sex.

January 21, 2007

Tuning in, dropping out

Things should be going your way in general, Flip, and you may feel as if quite a bit is getting done without you having to lift a finger. At the same time, however, you may have this nagging voice in the back of your mind that is telling you to watch your flanks. Make sure you have all of your bases covered. While you may be tempted to simply go with the things that are most comfortable and familiar, this is actually a good time for you to consider other perspectives.

It's funny how things work. I have spent a lot of time writing about this self-imposed solitutude, feeling quite content to stay home and contemplate my navel instead of going out like a heat-seeking missile on the hunt for men. Really, the last year has been a bit of a dead loss on the male front - a couple of short-lived relationships and some drunken snogs but not much else to speak of, really.

Continue reading "Tuning in, dropping out" »

January 15, 2007

Maintain the rage

As the week begins, your thoughts enter on your long-range plans. You could be a little stubborn. Passion with your lover could take place, along with tumultuous disagreements. But your ticket to a far-off, romantic destination may arrive later this week, courtesy of your partner. If you're not seeing anyone, Thursday's New Moon may bring you a sexy new lover, one you may have an age difference with. If it's someone at work, the usual caution applies. Professionally, a profit-sharing plan at work may look good midweek. This weekend, you might acquire a new pet or decide to go back to school.

I saw something on television tonight that made me really angry. On the 7.30 Report, some intrepid types went to Tamworth to find out just why the Shire councillors have decided that they don't have enough room for a handful of refugee families. The people they spoke to leaned up against their large trucks or tools or sat back like fat cats as they blustered on about how they had a lack of infrastructure, were worried about how "those people" would fit in, being so different an' all, and then the clincher: "we have to think about, do we really want our children to grow up in a society like that, all multicultural?"

Yes, you stupid fuckwit, you do.

In the next breath, these same people were talking about their excitement at the impending Tamworth music festival - an event that would see 50,000 people descend on their town for a week or so. Sweet irony.

And cheers to Amanda Vanstone for her usual chops in defending a middle Australia that smacks of ignorance and fear of the other. Asked directly whether the actions of the decision-makers could be racism, she bluffed her way through a number of sizeable discourses that did not - not once - answer the bloody question. Meanwhile, these proudly defiant Sudanese refugees were digging in their heels and asserting their right to stay in a town where half the people profess not to want them. I wanted to stand up and applaud.

I mean seriously - when did the phrase "there but for the grace of god go I" drop out of our vernacular, our consciousness? God help us in years to come if we need the same kind of assistance from "foreign" types. Our karmic imprint is looking pretty damn shabby right now.

In other news - what lover? My horoscope for the day seems a little too hopeful.

Gym - punch and kick the bejesus out of thin air. Imagine it's my colleagues.
Eat - skippy stiryfry, mexican bean salad, glass white wine, one banana, yoghurt with raspberries and apple puree, bowl of Lowan rolled outs with soy milk. A peach. Two phat coffees for that buzzzzzzzz.

January 14, 2007

(Fruit) salad days

Your tendency is to go headlong into a new project. Not everyone, however, is caught up in your enthusiasm. Be careful not to steamroller over those you care about most, Flip. Your partner, especially, might be feeling a bit miffed and left out at the moment. Do what you can to soothe his ruffled feathers. It might be time to set aside your project in favor of a romantic interlude.

Had brunch with a darling new friend today. J and I have only met a few times but sitting with him for a couple of hours is like sinking into a warm, comfortable chair and plucking conversation topics out of the thin air. So far we have discussed Buddhism, meditation, corruption, travel, uncertainty, work, ambitions, quirks in relationships, exercise, food, markets, garage sales, books, books, books, destination nowhere and more. All tectonic platonic of course, which is wonderful and makes it so easy to chat freely without any kind of awkwardness. He's a ex of a friend's friend, so there's that loose connection too.

I met him at exactly the right time in my life - a few years older and considerably wiser, quieter and more thoughtful (and self-deprecating to lessen the inevitable boredom factor that results from that kind of character) he's done a lot of the travelling and thinking that I am currently embarking on. It helps to have a kind of sounding board for ideas in this situation. I leave our meetings - we pick sloooowly over fruit and juices in the buzzing heat of the morning in cafes around town - feeling inspired and free and just like life is one big fat POSSIBILITY waiting to be explored!

After that, finishing off my story for Spice Magazine was a breeze. I left the office just before the heavens cracked open with yet another deluge and left my pink scooter shiny in the grey evening light. Then a friend cooked me dinner and we played cards and Articulate and all in all it is time to go to sleep with a big silly grin on my face.

Oh: Gym again (!!) and delicious fruit with soy coffee and fruit juice for breakfast. Two slices of museli bread for lunch. Handful of rice crackers, two glasses of white wine and lamb casserole for dinner. Yum.

January 13, 2007

Reality check

Some bizarre dreams or visions could come to you today, Flip. Don't put too much stock in them. If you think about it, you might find that these images are part scenes from your past, part information you've received lately, and part your own fears for the future. If you view them this way, you should be able to see what these visions are really telling you. They are NOT prophesies for the future.

Damn, there goes my trip to Africa with my friend from high school.

The only other thing of note? Yoga, Yoga, Yoga. Beautiful lunch with friends post yoga - must learn how to stuff those capsicums. Big huge nap from 5pm until 7pm. Sleeping the sleep of the peaceful.

January 12, 2007

Cracks in the system

As much as you enjoy being out and about with people, tonight will be a good evening for rest and relaxation, Flip. If you can, try taking the afternoon off: curl up in your favorite chair with a good book, take a slow walk through a garden or putter about in the kitchen cooking up something fabulous. You need some time to refuel your soul, Flip. You will be able to tackle your projects tomorrow, relaxed and rejuvenated.

So I got around to reading that essay of Chloe Hooper's: The Tall Man. I have been watching the Palm Island case with some interest and suddenly put the pieces together - that was the Walkley award winning essay that landed on my desk several months ago, but which I never read. Well, last night I fell into Hooper's island of repute and was entranced from the word go. Now it all makes sense. I knew there was something bad going on with the application of justice on the island but was shamefully unaware of the details. Now I know.

At 11.20am on November 19, 2004, 36-year-old Cameron (Mulrunji) Doomadgee, died in the police watch-house on Palm Island. An hour earlier he had been alive, singing out loud as we wandered down the street. A police officer took offence to what he saw as a slight. He beat Doomadgee so badly that he died. The cone of silence closed. According to Hooper, a witness account described Doomadgee rolling around on the floor in pain before he died, whimpering "Help me", but the same witness was so intoxicated that all he could do was pat Doomadgee feebly on the head as he slowly passed into the next world. His liver was hewn in two by the attacks. He had broken ribs and a ruptured spleen.

The policeman walked free. The policeman walked free!

According to the ABC, the former New South Wales chief justice Sir Laurence Street is on the island this week to review the Queensland DPP's decision not to charge the policeman. Will justice be served?

I can only dream of one day writing as well as Chloe Hooper. That Walkley was sorely deserved.

January 11, 2007

Where to, gumshoe?

Travel to distant lands is a distinct possibility, Flip. While you are ready for a change, don't jump at the first opportunity that comes along. Likely what you are being offered is a long-term commitment, if not a lifelong one. Think twice before you say "yes." Though if you do, you are unlikely to regret your decision.

India, here I come!
I mean Africa.
I mean Melbourne.
I mean Perth.
I mean London.


January 5, 2007

I love my friends!

Your mind is likely to be in an extremely expansive mode at this time, Flip, and many things should be working for you as a result. Those tasks that require your flexible nature and ability to juggle many things at once should be a breeze. Unfortunately, however, they may not be helping out too well when it comes to issues of love and romance. For some reason you may not have the communication you desire with a close partner - you find it easier to communicate with strangers you meet in the bookstore!

A wonderful pair of days, with stilted moments. Of course as Friday drew to a close, the desire to sink my fangs into a bottle of wine grew too strong to resist. I pandered to my ego - come on Flip, you went to the gym FIVE times this week already - and caved in. Six days in is rather pathetic, even by my standards. But the imbibing was coupled with a delightful evening in the company of friends, with no more entertainment than the hum and rattle of our meandering conversation. I love those kind of nights - when the chatter is only punctuated by the occasional shriek of laughter or hushed tones as someone launches into a "I shouldn't really say anything, but ..." kind of story. The night only ended because my head was starting to drift towards the table - tiredness, not drunken abandon - and not because we had run out of things to say.

While we all swam around in the greenish pool, I outlined the plot for my impending Mills and Boon novel to general applause. L insisted that I use the sentence "he guided his purple-headed missile into the Savannah Way" and I promised I would try. Actually, I was a little envious that I didn't come up with that one myself - I think I have been a bit fixated on delicate, opening flowers and probing members. Still, I found renewed enthusiasm for the idea - it might not be a noble use of talent, but at least I have a chance of getting a novella published that way. When I look at the sorts of books that are making it on the critics' lists these days I get a little intimidated; they are usually sprawling, trans-continental tales that offer pithy critiques of feminism, the socio-economic state of the Bahgwan people of inner Mongolia, with a possible Marxist reading from the interaction of the Bengali street kid and multi-lingual heroine living in post-war Berlin ... or something like that. I can barely locate worthy countries on the world map, let alone come up with entertaining and meaningful tales about the people who live there!

Note to self: When pre-empting a poor outcome from an action, do not follow through. Salient examples: splashing corrosive fluid into a swimming pool at arm's length; touching a hot pot handle to see if it is hot.

Channelling Bridget:

2 slices plain fruit toast
1 flat white
Weird lunch concoction of Indian boil-in-the-bag spinach and pea concoction, Ian "Thorpedo" Thorpe tuna steak and half a cup of couscous.
1 bread roll dipped in olive oil and homemade dukkah
1 vegie sausage (inspired! Immediately hooked) and a delicious salad of baked sweet potato, red onion and herbs, green salad and a scoop of pasta salad
Handful of Ritz crackers
4 glasses of wine and one raspberry UDL (BAD! BAD! BAD!)
No cigarettes despite drunken state (hooray)

January 4, 2007

I hate modern technology

Catch a cab, organise a lift or, better still, walk! You really need to attend a function, and there's no telling what the repercussions will be if you don't front. It's also imperative you catch up with that backlog of work too (those extra dollars, remember?) and, as a bonus, love may just occur by the light of the computer.

I am starting to be left behind in this digital bloody revolution. Don't even get me started on MySpace. My friend looked sadly at me the other day and said "you should delete your site - it's a bit crap". And although I was smarting, I had to agree. It's just that I can't be bothered beautifying things, don't really know how and have little time to devote to learning. But having said that, I still want a glamorous site. It's just not fair. I feel triumphant when I manage to load a picture on, but then I visit someone else's site and collapse with envy at the virtual paradise they have managed to create.

But it really makes me laugh, how we've created these replica worlds on screen. It's akin to wearing a smugly cook pair of limited edition sneakers versus sensible brown sandals. A flashy site makes it owner seem that much cooler, when in reality it's just all a bunch of pixels (she says bitterly). I don't even know how to get those nifty little menus down the right hand side!! Sigh, sigh, double sigh.

Continue reading "I hate modern technology" »

July 18, 2006

Of dead mice and dreams


You can see the big picture clearly, and you better appreciate how your personal activities, interests, and goals fit into the needs of society as a whole. Consequently, you see ways that you can expand your career goals and avail yourself of opportunities and resources that you have been neglecting or overlooking.

I feel quite terrible. In the process of trying to rescue a baby field mouse from the champing jaws of my heartless cats (the hundredth in a matter of weeks, it feels like) I managed to instead accidentally drop the washing basket, loaded with clothes, on its head. Now it is quite, quite dead and I have significantly added to the quota of creatures I have maimed, killed or inadvertently sent to their death since arriving on these shores 64 days ago. Staring at my cats with malevolent eyes only draws insolent stares and the recommencement of licking of nether regions with one ear cocked. I really am at a loss.

I am quite surprised to find myself typing away again but suspect that this rampant insomnia has something to do with it. I have also just quaffed half a bottled of red with N across the road and been involved in a long rambling conversation that started with Owen Wilson and ended with speculation about the true origins of the universe, so for quiescence sake I have to empty some thoughts onto the page.

I was telling N tonight that I have a friend who will be going into space in less than two years and it's true. In a matter of months W will be shooting into the cosmos on a relatively untested Virgin Galactic flight, among 100 other lucky punters around the world with a cool US$200,000 to spare and a dream stuck in their throat. Whenever I think about it I feel sick and excited for him, because for us mere mortals it is still such an unfathomable dream to eject ourselves from our planetary sphere and more to the point it seems so very risky. Of course dollars would dictate who gets to go: god forbid, he might find himself staring death in the face along with Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and that guy who invented Microsoft computers. Yes, that guy. Still, I would give my right arm for the chance to stare down at the curvature of the earth from above, if not just to prove that the pictures do not lie.

One day it could be cheap as chips. One day, one day, one day. For now, I am just happy for W - a gorgeous man who spent countless hours as a child staring up into the skies and dreaming of what lay in space. Hell, the man even edits COSMOS these days. Could anyone be more deserving of a trip to the (hitherto) last frontier?

June 28, 2006

And then there was darkness

You are unstoppable today, Flip. It seems there is nothing that you can't do. Your confidence is high, as is your energy level. There is no question but that you are ready to take the world by storm. Is the world, however, ready for you? Think carefully as you formulate plans for your new project. Whatever you do will succeed, but you just want to be sure that you are doing what you really want to do, rather than what others expect of you.

I think I had something close to a spiritual moment tonight. I was puffing along a dark stretch of road with nought but the milky way arching high over my head and a faint white line pointing the way home. I could sense rather than hear the soft shushing of Cable Beach to my right and the scurrying rustle of creatures in the bushes to my left, while the soft laments of Air and Portishead filled my ears. No lights, no sense of distance, no cares. I raised my arms to the heavens as I pushed the air from my lungs and got dizzy under a vast Northern sky.

May 20, 2006

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto ...

Well, you've all been clamouring for first impressions, no doubt shivering miserably behind your console as you type. With my stories from the Duyfken fresh in your mind, you're probably wondering how I'm coping in my first few days on the last frontier, in the far North of our beautiful State. The answer in short is that I'm alive and I'm not yet brimming with regrets - and as my mouth has been clamped shut for most of it while I let the new experiences soak in, I already have some stories to tell!

Settle in, and I'll fill you in as best I can.

While two men practiced in the art of big-noting themselves and pummelling others fight for supremacy in the bar downstairs, I have put fingers to keyboard to capture the silence of my surroundings for the first time. But for the incessant ramblings of the Japanese tourists outside my window, it is quiet at last.


Arriving feels like a dream. We fly over the beach, its colours and scope like the brochures had promised. I put down my trashy magazine to watch as we coast onto the runway, the vague thought playing in the back of my mind that I have done something phenomenal at last, at last. My heart stops in my throat as we land.

Xavier picks me up from the airport in his dusty Landrover, filled with the minutiae of country life - tools, fishing equipment, a battered esky - which he shoves to the side to accommodate my luggage.

We drive for miles and I stare. From the pristine sands of Cable Beach to the mangroves alive with skittering crabs, it feels like another planet. Gantheame Point, on the very tip of the peninsula, is otherworldly; the glossy beach against red, red dirt and striated rocks in stacked formations stunning and the sky so blue and cloudless it stings the eyes. I am so dazed I barely notice the first tentative nibblings of the sandflies.

After a whirlwind tour and truncated history it is clear that this is a land of contradictions ... of pure white coastline stained with a grim past. The lazy drift of paradise laced with the unease of disgruntled locals. The light and the dark, the luxurious and the poor.

I arrive at the hostel, which I quickly realise is a den of iniquity. Xavier helps me with my luggage and as the door to my room swings open we are both briefly lost for words. A rickety metal bed occupies most of the space, framed by mouldering walls dotted with smashed, bloodied mosquitoes. The ceiling boasts a wobbly, dusty ceiling fan.

"It looks like a prison cell, eh!" he says, and dumps my bag in the corner as I smile weakly.

I lie in the hammock with a book among the palm trees and make small talk with travellers, thinking Well, this isn't so bad. But I feel like an impostor among all these brown, blasé types wearing little more than bikinis and smiles and speaking in obscure languages. I am not in the mood to talk about where I'm going or where I've been, or to eat two-minute noodles straight from the pot, so I slink off to read in the corner. Everything about these people feels sexy and free and I feel suddenly shy.

Later, I submerge myself in the tropical pool, repeating I live here, I live here to myself like a mantra as I cut slowly through the water.

That night I locate Coles, buy groceries and return triumphant at my small victory.


I wake early to meet some of my new colleagues for breakfast. The office manager picks me up with her pleasantly innocuous husband their chirpy banter lulls me as we drive. By 7.30 we are sitting at a café at the port of Broome, eating over-priced omelettes and talking in that polite way of new acquaintances. Jenny is kind-hearted, bird-like, eager to please - and I wonder what she will be like to work with. I am fascinated as she tries four different ways to get Bob to order an orange juice with his breakfast, but he is quietly mutinous and drinks only water. She finally gives up and orders one herself. Trish-from-the-office has also turned up, a quiet type who is slow to respond to questions and impenetrable behind dark glasses. I think to myself that she seems like a hard nut to crack.

I am given the company car for the afternoon and am suddenly free. I take to the roads and get happily lost, eventually finding my way to Kanangae Estate where I buy freshly made mango chutney, suck down my first, delicious mango smoothie and eat my lunch among frangipanis and mosquitoes. That afternoon, I lie on Cable Beach for the first time for an hour, slow roasting under the bright glare of the sun. Suddenly aware of being solo, I awkwardly ask a woman in the change rooms to rub sunscreen on my back, tense with the notion of being touched by a complete stranger. But she is brisk, and I am soon lolling about with the tourists again, frying slowly and safely in the half-shade.

By this stage, my thoughts are beginning to scatter. Dulled by the heat, I can't string together a lucid idea and so I give up trying and succumb instead to the drift, reading Tim Winton's The Turning, which is so appropriate as to almost be a joke.

That evening, the hostel heats up with whiffs of weed, blaring music, endless drinks and a string of dodgy bogan visitors, hissing platitutdes at the girls along the lines of oi, c'mere ... nah? ...fuck off then you fucken bitch, all with the implicit support of the doggish owner who nods his bald shiny head and flexes his considerable bare-chested muscles as he plays game after game of pool with hapless Dutch travellers. Sick of hiding in my room, I head for the relative safety of the Mangrove Hotel to witness the famous stairway to the moon.

As night descends and the mozzies come out in full force, a stream of bats emerges from the mangroves and flies screeching overhead. It seems like hundreds, thousands, and it sends a shiver down my spine. I have managed to seat myself with a couple more travelling bogans who are intent on sucking down improbably pink creamy cocktails and chatting me up, but instead I talk to the nerdy scientist from Sydney on my other side about bird sanctuaries and bats. The sky darkens to black and then, to the haunting sounds of the didge, a bright golden moon slowly starts to climb over the horizon. As it rises, it casts light across the mudflats and there it is - a stairway to the moon. We all fall silent as if we'd never seen the moon before - but this time it's affecting and somehow deeply moving and ancient.

Afterwards, I finish my drink and escape before the bogans can ruin the magic of the moment.

And so begins my life as a REAL JOURNALIST on a country paper in the arse end of nowhere wrapped beautifully in paradise paper and tied up with string. So far, I love the job. Launching myself into stories on the first day is exciting and my brain complies by delivering great stories to the perfect length with the right tone and pitch and witty headlines ... you get the idea. On the first day I write a couple of boring business stories and a fun piece based on the adventures of a crazy man travelling around Australia on a one man mission to stop the privatisation of Telstra.

The next day brings a feature piece on the redevelopment of the Broome Visitor Centre, a story about prevention of child abuse and a few pictures ... and today I research the sandalwood industry in Kununurra, the arrival of a new fishing charter boat, the petrol sniffing issue in communities out east. So I love the work, the variety, the deadlines. I should have been brave enough to do this years ago, because I feel like I've come home.

My colleagues, for the most part, are wonderful and from another plane of existence altogether. We have already been to the pub a few times for editorial meetings and I have enjoyed every minute I've spent with them so far. Trish has warmed to me and is generous in her attempts to make me feel welcomed. In the interests of making friends I have accepted every invitation they have offered, so the next few weeks will see me betting a bob or two on the hermit crab races, checking out the sundowner at the local, going to the launch of JJJ, watching the Da Vinci Code (gasp - never thought I'd be lining Dan Brown's pockets!), playing ultimate Frisbee and trying to catch a giant fish on any number of little tin dinghies. We have already discussed the idea of a regular craft day. Trish's mum made her a handbag out of some canvas and embroidered corn plasters (yes,the kind you stick on warty foot-growings) so there's lots for me to learn.

It doesn't feel like home yet and I'm not sure it ever will. The food is appalling and grossly overpriced, the shops close at 3pm and some services simply do not exist. And I still don't have anywhere to live. Earplugs and my can of RID are my new best friends - in fact, my only friends.

But if I can just get used to being eaten alive by sandflies, the constant stench of bug spray and the poverty of being a journalist in this town, I think I'll survive for a while.

To sleep, to sleep, with the grim ministrations of the post-fight hyped bogans taking place below me and the sounds of bad pop music in my ears.

Love Flip x x

May 11, 2006

Death of a blog

You may experience a drop in your energy levels today and a sense that you'd rather be on your own squirreled away just reading or thinking. If you can swing it, that's exactly what you should do too! Try not to become discouraged by your lack of motivation, it is, after all, just a passing phase, remember that.

I'm discovering a terrible thing about this blogging world - it breeds addiction. Minutes can turn into hours can turn into entire afternoons trawling the web, reading snippety snippets from people's lives and discovering obsessions ranging from stuffed toys that look like baked goods to the mundane lives of people living in midwest nowhere with a penchant for cooking with organic ingredients. 'Less reading, more writing' I have often thought to myself, as I traverse the sprawling hills of this guilty pleasure and watch my precious time tick away.

But today I unashamedly mourn the death of one particular blog, Conversations About Famous People, which managed to roll my own penchant for celebrity whoredom and acid-laced cynicism into one delicious site. Checking in regularly would mean being treated to a witty alternative take on that glossy Hollyweird world of botox, brain freeze and bimbo-ism, the latest updates on Brangelina and TomKat coming replete with pictures and snidey remarks. What will life be like without this time-waster of a phenomenon? God forbid that people should start to take celebrities seriously.

February 27, 2006

Coming back down to earth

Oops! Back to reality, there goes your gravity! You are unbalanced and indecisive, as probably most people will be this afternoon. So don't count on getting any straight answers or decisions! Getting in the groove could be quite difficult too, so relax and don't expect big things or run yourself ragged trying to get them (the answers etc that is). A slow and peaceful night is favoured.

The New Moon in Pisces on Monday happens in your career zone and is the perfect time to think about how you can make changes to your current status. If you are about to sign a contract, then get it done earlier in the week rather than later. This is because Mercury, the planet of commerce, is going to turn retrograde on Thursday which is associated with delays, obstacles and changes. If you can't make any headway before this date, then you do need to be prepared for decisions to be altered. Get Ready!

Now you get your chance to put your inner message into words and articulate the real you that may not always show as clearly as you would like. You don't have to bare your breast for all to see, but the opportunity is here and it just might slip out without thinking, so make it a message of choice, not chance.

February 6, 2006

Monday's child is fair of face

You are on top of the world today, Flip. Enjoy the view! You are unstoppable, and friends and family alike revel in your good mood. You are generous both materially and spiritually, and by day's end people may be lined up to partake in the bounty. Try to curb your enthusiasm a bit and use some discretion. It would be better to give more to a worthy few rather than to give less to many. You know what we mean.

You know, I'm not sure I DO know what you mean. I swear these horoscopes are getting chummier with me by the day. I almost feel as though that last line was delivered with a wink and a leer, circa prime time Benny Hill. In any case, I am indeed in a good mood, albeit tired again, but at least I am clean and have gathered some new skills. Tonight I massaged my ailing grey matter with my first TAFE class in designing web pages using Dreamweaver and cascading style sheets and other exciting things I probably should have mastered years ago. The class was the usual mix you find at such venues - a blend of earnest mature student (me), teenage loafers (the three boys at the back of the class), the requisite weirdo (who didn't know what an underscore was - the luddite!) and the rest. Of course, our teacher is suitably loaded with enthusiasm and appalling jokes and - interestingly - is in possession of only three fingers on one hand. He seems like a cool dude actually, and I'm looking forward to making his acquaintance over the next few months.

I reckon I will make another new friend too. Sat next to this louche girl called Lucia who has the flashy eyes and casual manner of Europeans. She's a photographer, so we hit it off in the way that happens when you discover someone with a creative career. It's always good to have buddies in these kind of pursuits.

I'm still horrified at the quality of last night's post, which sounds a lot like paint drying would if it happened to make a noise. I think my brain was still too befuddled with the weekend's excesses to really be creative or inspiring, but i felt a strong desire to get a few words down anyway. This week looms large with activities and I feel poised at the edge, so needed to feel grounded. I had my first serious dip at work today all year - last year it was almost a daily occurence. When the moment hits, all I want to do is down tools and sit peacefully with my hands resting on the keyboard, staring out of the window. The feeling is of course worse if it happens to be early in the day. Luckily today in came in the late afternoon, when I did indeed scarper off early.

But it's not all bad. My day started today with a fascinating meeting with one of the Premier's Research Fellows, who is a nanotechnologist. In the simplest terms - or the bit that I'm most impressed with at least - he can study atoms - even take pictures of them! - as they nestle in their neat little rows - and even manipulate them. I have seen them. The economies of scale we're dealing here are enormous - think of your fingernail next to our planet, and that's something close, he says. So this morning we took him to the Planetarium - which is the mind-boggling macro to his micro. Our new program has the entire universe as we know it mapped out in 3D, and you can spin from galxaxy to galaxy at giddy speeds. It is inadvisable to eat blueberry muffins before viewing, as we subsequently discovered.

Anyway, the point is that sometimes my job has exposed me to the most brilliant people who are doing fairly inconceivable things on a daily basis. And we get along so well! I am unashamedly amazed at their abilities, and for the most part scientists are the humblest people you'll ever meet. Here, my enthusiasm knows no bounds. May I meet many more in this lifetime.

January 19, 2006

Looking skyward

a soul in tension that's learning to fly
condition grounded but determined to try
can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
tongue-tied & twisted just an earthbound misfit, I

-- Pink Floyd, "Learning to Fly"

November 28, 2005

Two delicious and wrenching poems


I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful --
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

-- Sylvia Plath (1961)

i like my body when it is with your

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric furr, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh....And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

from & (1925)

November 8, 2005

A brief about briefs

Thank god I was wearing decent knickers - that's all I'm saying.

No, that's a lie - I'm going to say more. I was talking to Nat the other week about what this blog should be for and briefly (there it is again!) I considered making it into the sort of bookwormish blog I could proudly show to other people as testament to my fine talents as a writer. But recently, all I have been fucking thinking about is work, work, work, prospects, prospects, prospects and I am not remotely interested in talking about that old shite right now.

What I do want to talk about again is sex and alcohol, which have once again lured me into trouble of the most titillating kind and left me feeling fired up and excited and ready to burst!

But maybe later. Once again, all I will say is thank god I was wearing fabulous knickers.

A brief about briefs

Thank god I was wearing decent knickers - that's all I'm saying.

No, that's a lie - I'm going to say more. I was talking to Nat the other week about what this blog should be for and briefly (there it is again!) I considered making it into the sort of bookwormish blog I could proudly show to other people as testament to my fine talents as a writer. But recently, all I have been fucking thinking about is work, work, work, prospects, prospects, prospects and I am not remotely interested in talking about that old shite right now.

What I do want to talk about again is sex and alcohol, which have once again lured me into trouble of the most titillating kind and left me feeling fired up and excited and ready to burst!

But maybe later. Once again, all I will say is thank god I was wearing fabulous knickers.

September 20, 2005

I like ...

I think it is time I actually laid down on paper the things that bring me great happiness in life. What makes me feel good? I spend so often thinking about what makes me feel bad, but I am again twigging to the fact that this kind of cognition is the mental equivalent of a Big Mac - a drug of the masses, based on a sham, good at the time but entirely bad for you. Without further ado: My loves and likes and desires, in no particular order, are:

My friends
Playing Scrabble
The first sip of champagne
Reading Helen Garner
Fresh herbs
Kissing ... slooooow and deep
Baths by candlelight
Spring afternoons in the park
The massage chair at the chiropractor
Troubling, slice of life films
Morning walks with Nat
Movies with Mark
Finishing a story
Poached eggs and the Sunday papers bathed in weak sunlight
Perfectly made up eyes (all the better for batting my lashes)
Heartfelt cuddles
Feeling loved

That will do for now.

Chick peas please me quick

Somewhere along the line, I decided my saviour was chick peas. Nutritious and delicious whether crunchy or pasty, they are just so damn delicious.

The problem is that chick peas are merely a euphemism for the good health that plagues me in its absence.

August 5, 2005

Burning alive

I feel like I have come late to this CD burning revolution - natch, I believe the technology has entirely passed me by. So over the past week, as I have fed shiny CD after shiny CD into my hungry laptop, I have had somewhat of a revelation! She who scratches CDs almost without fail now has a method of protecting all the fine tunes.

Addendum: Also discovered the "joys" of music downloading. After assurances from my housemate that it was safe, two albums later my computer was in possssion of a nasty trojan that switched off my virus protection and tried to eat through my files. Damn that illegal thrill of saving a few dollars - it's a sticky path to walk indeed.

July 31, 2005

Melbourne dreaming

So I'm sitting here in a tiny floral enclave that reminds me of Paris - the colours are so intense it hurts my eyes to look at them against the grey glare of sky. Today I feel freer than I have done in distant memory. My heart is pumping and fluttering unfettered, shivers of excitement ticking my knees, appetite dropping away to nothing.

Being here feels like being in love.

The grey sky doesn't bother me in the least - I feel drawn to it, seduced by the cold. I never feel as alive as when my cheeks have reddened and my face takes on the whitish pallor of winter. Wet knees aside, there is comfort in this place.

How do I feel now? Calm, excited, exuberant, hopeful, fearful. Maybe I knew instinctively that coming here was going to be a catalyst as only travel is. I need to unlock my possibilities and start to live the life I really want - not just be a spectator to my own performance in a crappy play.

In unknown possibilities, there is, as it happens, true beauty.

July 29, 2005

Crimes of Writing - Procastination leading to Envy

And there I was all set to spill dazzling and fabulous words all over the page, breathless and tumbling in my adoration, but everyone else has used all my cliches already. The love letter to his mother, the crazed, jumbled world of someone else's interior, the edgy editing and eerie soundtrack that draws you in ... it blew me away in no uncertain terms, knocked me sideways. But there again, i waited for the "right time" as the colours bled out of my brain and the celluloid dream started to fade. Then I read Helen Garner's version and she got it, got it in one. And so did the other guy, and another. While I read the scorn-heaping or worse - bored! - reviews with fascination, my own words packed up and left.

Just go and see it. Let Jonathon Caouette spin his weird and wonderful tales around you and stick daggers in your heart. Long live the dysfunctional family, and long may there be stories to weave about it.

The film, of course, is Tarnation.

Too good not to share

Hello bella,

After a short absence due to dizzying heights of illness and sexual excitement (now there’s a way to start an email) I am back to regale you with more tales and demand some in return. When I left you I was hovering on the brink of Melbourne, peering over the edge of a new precipice as a single woman and getting the rush of excitement and fear that goes with it. Now, but a week or so later, I am a person anew, full of vigour despite my malaise and confusion. Somehow, suddenly, I have climbed out of whatever hole I was perched in and have started feeling the sunshine again.

Continue reading "Too good not to share" »

July 4, 2005

Jandek on Corwood

So I am supposed to be at work today but instead decided not to get out of bed - not exactly calling in sick but just noting the fact that i hadn't slept and simply could not rouse any enthusiasm for climbing into the big bad world. Subsequently waking at 11am, the relief I felt at a day of no resonsibility, no talking, was palpable.

On Saturday night, i saw two films at the Revelation Film Festival. The first, Jandek on Corwood, was an amusing and somewhat chilling documentary about one of the world's most prolific but unknown recording artists. Jandek, the international man of mystery, has over a career of many years released more than 25 albums featuring poorly tuned guitar riffs, howls and grunts for the benefit of his somewhat piddling collection of 100 or so fans. Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder - that much seems certain.

At the time the film was made, he had been interviewed only once by phone and once (maybe) in person. All we knew about Jandek was that he lived somewhere in Texas, may or may not have friends and recording partners, may or may not have bumped off the equally mysterious Nancy, may or may not be a raving lunatic or a genius - who knows?

Whatever was going through his mind, Jandek's apparent isolation made a chilling impact on his music. While I could not support the claim that he had a rare talent his delivery was genuinely eerie at times. Primal wails, strange yelps, deadpan accapella and the off-key twanging of the guitar sent intermittent shivers up and down my spine. At times the music seemed like the ramblings of a schizoid personality, a discordant trip into the inner workings of a very disturbed and lonely individual. But this, of course, was just conjecture - Jandek could well have been a hobbyist, a socialite, a perfectly happy person with strange taste in music.

What was interesting about the film were the conclusions drawn by the fans, music journalists and avant-garde types who fervently believed in the man's talents (despite an obvious lack) and created their own theories about who he was and what he was trying to achieve. In this world when celebrities are picked over like chicken carcasses and their proclivities, desires and motivations are laid bare, it is fascinating to think that one man could have retained such a mysterious air for so long. And equally fascinating was the determination of the fans to avoid delving too deeply into his whereabouts. Perhaps knowing how fragile and meaningless their interpretations were, and all too aware of the disappointments offered by cold hard reality, they chose to let the fantasy win out.

Perhaps they were wise to do so. Googling yesterday, i discovered that Jandek had in the past two years performed live a number of times. He had shown his face! He had come out from hiding! Perhaps weary about the endless speculation, or suprised out of isolation by the growing realsiation about his cult status, or perhaps enjoying the moment he had been planning all his life, Jandek had unveiled himself to the world.

I cannot tell you how disappointing that was.