Thursday, May 10

Moved!

It's been fun, but I decided to up and move the whole thing to Wordpress.

Check it out - the NEW Pajama Empress.

So, all three of you, update your links and comment at my new digs!

Piazza New York Catcher

Elope with me Miss Private and we'll sail around the world
I will be your Ferdinand and you my wayward girl
How many nights of talking in hotel rooms can you take?
How many nights of limping round on pagan holidays?
Oh, elope with me in private and we'll set something ablaze
A trail for the devil to erase

- Belle and Sebastian, Piazza New York Catcher from Dear Catastrophe Waitress

I'm making biscuits! It's tremendously exciting; they are little butter biscuits infused with white tea, pear and a touch of vanilla. They are in the oven right now, though probably not cooking evenly because I am constantly opening the door to check on them. Hopefully I can sample one and give a report before the end of the post.

My Dad is going out on a date. I suppose it's more promising than drinking by oneself and listening to excess Pink Floyd. He's going out for coffee with "someone", which is a dead giveaway - when he first told us that his then-girlfriend was spending the summer with him, he told us that a gender neutral "colleague" was staying with him for a while. Maybe not so mature, but at least I can read him now.
But I must admit apprehension to all these new developments. In the space of a year we gained a step-mother then lost her again, after dealing with the breakup of our parents, the affair, the divorce, yada yada. It is a lot to bear, not sure how easy it will be to just deal with more tumult.

Ok, I tasted the cookies. They came out of the oven about five minutes ago, so they're still very hot. I bit into it: it was light, crumbly and buttery, like shortbread or a yo-yo biscuit. The flavours of pear and white tea had infused into the dough fabulously, giving it a delicate floral bitterness and the pear gave a little tangy kick - ah! I'm so proud! I could never cook, and now I have managed to make three great things in as many days.

Apart from all that, my efforts at essay writing have been absolutely thwarted by creative aspirations. The projects in my head at the moment are:
  • Some landscapes, acrylic on canvas, for the upstairs of my house - probably about seven of them in two different styles. We're going for a Colonial-meets-jungle tree house theme in the apartment, so they'll be in shades of beige, olive, chocolate, gunmetal, et cetera. Half the paintings will be for the living room; these will be moody 'scapes of grasslands, playing on the horizon line and distribution of light. The other half of the paintings will be cream and chocolate detailed line paintings of dead trees, focusing mainly on complexity of line. Cheerful, huh?
  • I've always had a rather candy coloured bedroom, and I doubt that is going to change anytime soon. So, candy coloured artwork; probably about 3 or 4. Coloured pencil, watercolour, acrylic and fabric/paper collaged parts. They'll be abstract, detailed, lines and dots and shading - my Mum used to draw randomly when she was on the phone, filling up the backs of envelopes and the tops of electricity bills with beautiful little patterns, so they are my inspiration. In shades of tangerine, wasabi, raspberry sorbet, 'yummy' blue, violets in the rain, straw yellow, jade... et cetera.
  • Last night a story came to me. Something about a young man without much sense of direction trying to find an elderly brothel owner who answers only to Madame Du Barry because of a link she may or may not have to his vegetable father. Set in France, in 1896. No, there will be no consumptive tarts-with-hearts alla Moulin Rouge, La traviata or La Dame Aux Camilles. Mmm, this idea really needs to be workshopped. All I have right now is the characters, not so much plot.
  • I need to do the illustrations for Scala and Soldad. The graphics are half-done, but the pictures for the actual story are being a bit more difficult than I thought they would be!
  • In my sketch book there are some little drawings I did a year ago; a little monkey in overalls called Troy, a bunny in a pinafore called Lillian, a dinosaur with a vest called Bert.. there are some more too. I was thinking about actually making them, as little soft toys. May is the worst month in the world to be unemployed (so many birthdays, Mother's day, my two and a half year anniversary..) so maybe soft toys are the answer!
I have all these ideas that I am ready to pursue with gusto, but which one? And there is the small issue of an overdue essay on Wittgenstein that I promised Lucien I'd finish before Saturday.. woe.

Oh! Have you ever had a 'friendship crush'? Or did I just coin the term? Well, I'll explain it.
A crush works in the way that you are intrigued, fascinated, interested, attracted to someone in the hope that you can have some sort of a romantic relationship with them. I suppose a friendship crush is where you meet/see someone and feel the same sorts of things; fascination, intrigue, admiration, attraction. But instead of being romantic feelings, they are platonic - instead of the person being the object of your affection, they are the object of your admiration - instead of wanting to love them and be loved, you want to be their friend and earn their respect.

I have a couple of friendship crushes at the moment. It's such an odd concept to try to describe to someone, and I am always scared that they will think I am a stalker.

Sexuality Sucks, Part I

Something is plaguing me!

...

In terms of physical appearance, there is a huge difference in me depending on whether I try or not. Most days I don't - I will go to the supermarket or traipse off to university wearing no makeup, hair scraped into a half-hearted ponytail, old high school rugby jumper that would be big enough for three of me. It is hideously unattractive, but I can't be bothered with anything more the majority of the time.
When I do try, I will actually brush my hair, maybe put lip gloss and mascara on, put together an outfit rather than just wearing clothes. The differences seem inconsequential, after all, when I 'dress up' I'm certainly not Oscar-ready. But the feeling of being slightly more attractive seems to fuel up other aspects of me: I stand up taller, I smile more, I feel more confident, feminine and capable.

Now confusion sets in: we have established that I am capable of looking bad and slightly alright depending on how hard I try. I am also one of those poor girls who manage to get preyed upon by seedy old (and young) men constantly. But there is no easily ascertainable correlation between whether this happens when I'm 'hot' or 'not'.

When I was about 15, I had to come to Melbourne for an appointment, catching public transport and everything. I ended up getting hideously lost on Collins Street (so clueless..) and wandering up and down, looking visibly distressed. Enter self-styled 'savior' - a suave but overly flashy Italian man in an expensive suit and even more expensive car. He looked so.. rich, except for touches of crassness - fluffy dice, unruly eyebrows, too shiny and gold watch. He pulled his car up to the side of the road, calling out, "Hey darling." I kept walking. "Hey, sweetheart, I won't bite."
I kept walking straight ahead, but still didn't know where to go. Eventually I turned back to him and walked over to his open window. "Hi, I'm not from around here, and I'm so lost.. can you please help me?"
"Sure, get in and I'll take you wherever you need to go."
"No thank you, I just need to know how to get to Flinders Street station."
"Please baby, you're beautiful, I just want to get to know you. We can go to the beach, I'll take you shopping, you're so gorgeous, don't run away." At this point he reached up and stroked my cheek. Tears just started falling - fear and confusion was coursing through me, and I didn't know how to escape.
"No, I can't. I just need to know how to get to Flinders Street station."
"Turn right at the traffic lights." He pulled out from the curb and u-turned, but I noticed him driving very slowly and watching me from the other side of the road. Each time I looked up, he would nod or smile at me. So I ran away through alleys and side streets, eventually getting myself even more lost. For the record, I was 3 hours late to the appointment.
On this particular day I had come to Melbourne straight after working my old job at the theatre school - I was wearing grubby black overly stretched dance clothes, falling off my shoulders like garbage bags, I was pale and gaunt, looking like a frightened mouse. Attractive? I should think not.

Fast forward to last Christmas, my Myer days. I adored that job (and want it back!), and it showed in the way I presented myself. I wore stilettos despite the fact that I could barely walk at the end of the day, I would wear black dresses to work that bordered on corporate-sexy, always perfect makeup, always shiny perfect hair. I tried really hard.
But nobody really noticed. Even walking home from work late at night, despite looking hot, nobody approached me.

Which leads me to think: could confidence be a scary thing? It seems often that the times when I am picked on the most are when I appear most vulnerable.
Analogy: imagine two equally gorgeous women in a club, scouting for a man to buy them a drink. One is obviously a prostitute, the other is obviously a lawyer. Comment call - how do you think that men would treat these respective women?

Part Two will discuss.. other stuff.

Elle is taking black and white photos of Lucien and I for a media project on the weekend. She even said she'd edit out the pimple on my jaw! Ha, but they should be hot. If she lets me, I will post them.

Little Poems

My Dad is sitting outside on the balcony in the dark, drinking cheap wine and listening to Pink Floyd on a discman really loudly. It's slightly worrying. He was doing the same thing inside earlier, and this has pretty much been the blueprint for how he spends his nights for the last week or so.
It has recently come out (officially) that he and his wife of almost a year had split up, sometime right after Christmas. I met with Scarlett, my ex-step-sister, at a tram stop by the river. She seemed nonplussed by the whole thing, even revealing that her Mom took "like fifty pills" the day after Christmas.
I worry for him.

After dinner, my brain started itching. Words started battering the inside of my skull like fireworks; they needed to go somewhere. So I wrote two poems. Here they are.

The Sea Indoors

I thrash
Mackerel in a net
Balloon on the moon
My body is tethered and rubber banded into place
Motion is fixed in a slow, furious struggle against the line that separates us

I arch
Practicing a type of pain
I am not myself
As much as I am a mere part of everyone else
Slow winds shake through the concrete wasteland
Rippling unfortunate white trousers nearby and tickling my throat
Bared for the slaughter, if you dare

I decay
Gasping desperation
Hot tulips blister behind eyelids
An agile audience only an arm-span away
But there is an ocean between us as I sink amongst the sirens
Adopt me as your sister and I will be home

I surge
Snapping back
The lofty bedlam floats above
Livid blue babies mock and speak in mature vindictiveness
Snap at my heels but you will not have me, I cry fruitlessly
For my voice will bend and dissolve, and be only for me


Traipsing Off the Cliff

Leave me in my shell a bit longer? I am only
half-baked, and chill will swoop like an eagle
should I venture from safety into your jungles.
Come and rain your love down on me
so I might benefit from the vitamins. Rouse me,
my bones lay just beneath the surface, my love
the only red thing left from my collection.
That bicycle, that hair ribbon, that insouciant mouth
could be a liability or a pleasure, if you would stop
and rouse my bones. Sometimes you whisper
my dreams back at me, so much more real than
when I entrusted them to you. Let’s make them seven
of the seventh-seven like me, red like me, then
perhaps they can live in me, my love-dream.

Hand me pane e burro any day over this, grey
patterings, frightening me away from rest.
Why such flowings now? Months and days of
drought striking without consideration; now milk
and honey twenty-four-seven. Hopes and minds
reveal their fecundity without mercy. I know it’s
disappointing, my love. Your little one is no Atlas;
her shoulders shrink and snap like glass filigree.
If only this, if only that. She doesn’t try hard enough.
Peel her and maybe a diamond? No, I’m full of coal
and all the bitterness of generations, pent up in blood and
pretension. Why so close and unyielding, yet you are so far?
When you sleep, I swoon over your eyelashes. I could pass
a whole winter alone, but not this single week without you.

Wednesday, May 9

Reconnecting with the Kitchen God

Last night I was seized by a unshakable desire to cook something; I wasn't actually hungry, I just needed to do something. So I made Clotilde's gorgeous Soupe de Courgette au S├ęsame, which was beautiful - I ran into an unforeseen obstacle when I had to find tahini at the supermarket though, they only had really huge expensive jars, and black sesame seeds? Fuhgettaboutit. I also threw together some scones, with caramelised onions, lots of parsley and some delicious crumbly red cheddar.
All in all, a successful expedition into the kitchen. I took photos, but it seems food photography is not really my forte.. they are too bad to post.

Monday, May 7

Sunspotted

I have freckles. Fawkes noticed them the other day, very light and small, peppered across my collarbone. I have a couple of obvious ones on my face, but they probably fall into the category of beauty spots. My little-little sister Katy has blonder hair than any of us, and freckles all over her face - she hates them passionately and bemoans their presence like they are some kind of social liability. I think they are cute, and I'm proud to have some now.

Dad has caught on to my current state of mind, I think. He woke me up early this morning for bike riding (wrecked!), took me to the European Cafe for crumpets and grapefruit juice, then took me to a two hour yoga class (wrecked again!), and made spaghetti for dinner. The exercise was welcome; often the only reason I don't like going running is because it means I have to be by myself, alone with my head for an hour or more. There are lots of distractions at home, but running along the river in the cold means that I am submitting myself to whatever mental brutality my mind cares to dish out that particular day.

It's May, which means audition time. On the cards right now is an audition for an agency, a 1896 French absurdist play called King Turd the Great (I kid you not), Romeo and Juliet, an independent film called Boneyard, and soon The Wizard of Oz and The Mikado. Probably more coming up, but some haven't been formally announced yet. The plan is to audition for all of them, then pick and choose amongst whatever parts I manage to get, which is slightly unfair to companies but fabulous for me. More news soon, hopefully, when it all starts happening.

Blah, ok, I'm not going to be verbose or interesting tonight. I am physically tired in a satisfied way, which is so much better than the sickly out-of-it feelings of the last couple of weeks, and there is chocolate honey nougat icecream in the freezer just begging to be eaten. 'Till next time.

Saturday, May 5

New Project

Yes, this will still be my personal journal, but I am starting a new project.

The Frilliant Adventures of Scala and Soldad

It's a children's story series that will be updated regularly via the web, featuring character I first drew in high school: Scala the Scorpion and Soldad the Snail. As the title indicates, they have all kinds of 'frilliant' adventures which will occur in an episodic format with illustrations. I have already written a couple of stories for it, but the illustrations are still in the works.

Will be launched soon, with spiffy new graphics, cute stories and fun illustrations!

Antoinette and Other Things

Less than two weeks until Marie Antoinette comes out at Blockbuster. It's embarrassing how excited I am.
The film had mixed reactions when it came out, as did Antonia Fraser's take on the Austrian Queen of France when she wrote her biography. The people who disliked the film attacked the lack of narrative and dialogue, the unusual and sudden ending point, the endless scenes of frivolity, and the modern soundtrack. Usually I would try to be diplomatic and at least consider their collective point of view, but it just seems so petty for them to criticize Fraser's opinion on Antoinette and indirectly Sofia Coppola's film making abilities just because they don't agree with what is being said.

Last year I wrote an essay on Antoinette, taking a rather sympathetic view - the main conflict of the essay was about the reality of her character versus public opinion. It was a great essay, but I definitely took a softer view on her than did most historians. I suppose I know a little bit of what it feels like to be young, naive and impressionable, and thrust into unforgiving circumstances far away from the people who have previously been your everything.

Someone who wishes not to be named and I made a sparkler bomb tonight. It was his idea, completely - we ventured to the supermarket and bought half a million packets of sparklers before taking them home and grinding the powder off them. It felt so dangerous; making a bomb in my kitchen. We filled an empty V can up with this explosive powder and set a sparkler in the can with melted wax to act as a fuse. It was brilliant! Hopefully a youtube link will be coming along soon - yes, he filmed it. I was less concerned with cinematography and more with flying shrapnel.

Adventures of the last couple of days have made me realize how much I need a pet. I met a boxer pup called Jasper in the storms of Thursday and hugged him until he was happy again, then tonight was brightened by meeting darling puppy Lucy and her adorable little padded coat in the Vietnamese district. My beautiful little cloud leopard still hasn't come back, and despite one brief sighting, she has been completely absent from my apartment block. She may actually have an owner rather than being a stray as I previously thought.
I want a puppy or a kitten though. To lavish affection upon, to keep me company when everybody has gone out, to sleep on the end of my bed, to take care of and feel responsible for, to make me actually get up in the morning, to love me whether I am grouchy or ugly or fat or sad or whatever. As soon as my Dad finds a new place, I am scouting the trading post for any free to a good home kittens; a puppy might be a bit too much work for me right now.

I have to share something I found today. When I turned 18, Lucien gave me (among other things) a little illustrated dictionary that he made for me, capturing the little inside jokes and strange phrases we used constantly. He also did a little definition of me:
My girl. Elusive and can be difficult to spot, especially during the school year. Tread lightly and be careful not to disturb her fragile constitution. However, when she smiles and laughs there is no greater joy in the world. Catch her if you can and never let her go!
On the opposite page is a little stick figure drawing of a girl, in a skirt with a big smile on her face. Written above is this - "Rosie (may not be to scale)". Written below the picture is this - "(but might be...)" which is funny because I am small. Finding this and reading it today injected some well needed warm fuzzies into my day.. it will sound gushy and stupid, but I often forget how lucky I am to be loved by such a brilliantly wonderful guy.

Random snippers: the lead singer of Maroon 5 scares me; his voice is so high and nasal, and his facial expression never changes.
I'm in love with Kevin Rudd, even more than I loved Bill Clinton back in the day.
Bamboo shoots are clearly the best food ever. I used to eat them straight out of the jar when I was little; we might see a return to that.
I realized I can actually wear my new pale pink dress somewhere, in a few weeks to Beauty and the Beast, so I should really make a sash for it.
Now that I have a Plan A and a Plan B, Plan C is to be some sort of aid worker helping out in Africa or rural Asian communities.
Florists should grow and sell dandelions, not the plain little yellow flowers but the big fluffy heads full of parachuted seeds, because they are very beautiful. I have a tiny swatch of creamy coffee coloured fabric that I saved from the rubbish because it had dandelions on it.
I have taken to watching SBS in the middle of the night when they do the worldwide weather, because I love the classical music they play - right now it is an album called "Finlandia: The Mystery and Magic of Sibelius", so beautiful, especially this violin solo that is playing right now. I want the cd.
I feel so damn bad-ass for being a sparkler bomb terrorist tonight. Ha, I mentioned 'terrorist' and 'bomb' in my post - just watch the appropriate Australian authorities pounce. Apparently they monitor all text messages now.

Enough. Due to an unfortunate incident involving my foot and the dry-cleaning bag on my bedroom floor, and then my head and the concrete wall, I have had a bad headache in a certain spot for the last 24 hours. It's bedtime.

Friday, April 27

Reinvention

Something bad happened yesterday, seemingly a minor setback. My former-soon-to-be employer got rid of me, I'm not even sure why, after fucking two months of stringing me along and pushing back my start date.
I am feeling like a fool for believing that something would work out so easily for me, and absolutely humiliated that I could just be dropped for seemingly no reason.

The fact that I have to find a job all over again is merely annoying, along with the fact that I will be poor for another month. But the thing that makes me want to scream and kick things is that I seriously believed that my luck was changing and that things wouldn't be such a fight for once. Ever since I moved to Melbourne by myself, I have worked a string of horrible jobs with bosses who were verbally abusive, didn't pay me, made me work until 2am on a school night, et cetera. Myer was one saving grace, but sadly cut short due to changes in management. Actually being financially independent has been one of the biggest, stressiest things in my life for the last year and a half. I thought I was turning a corner. Alas, no.

Enough on that, one good thing about adversity is that it inspires one to work harder. And as Fawkes suggested, I could use this as impetus to reinvent myself.

This is the list of things I wrote last night:

I want to clean my room and make it a nice space where I can breathe and sleep and study and be happy.

I want to do my schoolwork well and efficiently so that it does not consume my time.

I want to find a job that I can work three or four days a week, something that is challenging and fun with a good culture, something that relates to things I want to do in the future.

I want to start contributing to Farrago, Broad Lit and some other publications.

I want to be thin, beautiful, with striking eyes, pale skin, red lips and masses of dark hair, the kind of beauty that can strike a man down in the street.

I want to dress like a goddess, a muse, an artist, a geisha, a feminist, a mermaid, a debutante or a dominatrix depending on my mood and not let myself be too scared.

I want to have time to paint and sculpt again and be recognized as a saleable artist.

I want to draw and bring out a range of greeting cards and stationary featuring my illustrations.

I want to model for a life drawing class and for photographers, and feel genuinely comfortable and proud of my naked body.

I want to be able to play Bruch's violin concertos, dance en pointe, get my Chinese and French language skills up to 'fluent' and buy a piano for my apartment.

I want to buy a kitten and take care of her.

I want to get a column on The Age online, get work experience with Frankie magazine, become a contributor to Salon.com and be recognised as a decent writer.

I want to be proud of myself and confident in my brilliance, and next time I face a bitch like Jane Angel telling me my worth, I will tell her in the most eloquent language I can exactly what I think of her and cut her to size.

Done. Unfortunately I can't do these things today.. my brain is not quite allowing me to be positive or action-oriented right now. It's a day for laying in bed, frowning, aching for action but not having the drive. My body feels like it is in the grip of a bad virus, there is no energy to go around and everything aches.

I need a day or two, then it will begin.

Thursday, April 26

Gutted

When I worked at the ice cream shop on the little island on the Yarra, I arrived early one morning to find three young boys catching fish. They cast shabby rods like pros, calmly waiting before hauling in pitiful little flat silver fish.

The fish would flip around on the concrete for a minute before the boy would step on the fish and yank the hook out, ready for another go. The fish was then left on the cold pavement, glaring up at the ceiling and bleeding everywhere, giving an occasional shudder or convulsion. The boys caught one each then called it a day, leaving with their still-breathing fish wrapped up in a newspaper. The blood pooled and spattered and smeared over the ground, so my boss washed it away with a hose.

Right now, I am those fish.

Wednesday, April 25

Possums

The little possums came to visit tonight, in a rather alarming fashion. I had not fed them for a couple of days and they were obviously hungry. As soon as I opened the balcony door they came scampering up to me, sniffing my shoes and clawing at my ankles.

It's a mother and her baby, except the baby is getting bigger all the time. When I first moved in, she was still but a fist-sized mousy thing living solely in her mother's pouch. Gradually she started crawling out and surveying things, but nowadays her sole mode of transportation is by clinging to her mother's back. Her mother is smaller than a very small cat or a large rabbit, and the baby is about half her size.

I gave them four slices of bread, six multigrain crispbreads, a mandarin, a beurre bosc pear and two weetbix spread thickly with peanut butter. They devoured everything. They had more to eat today than I did... I've been fussy today.

My soon-to-be employer has cancelled my first two shifts that were meant to be happening this Friday and Saturday.. apparently they are running behind schedule. They are racing to open the store for May 10th; it's not going to happen. It is angering in some ways. They hired everybody almost two months ago, and in this time our starting date has been pushed forward about five times - finding other real employment during this time has not really been an option.
Now, I have rent, an electricity bill and a phone bill due by Friday. I had actually put money aside for it all, for once, and now it is still not enough. And I am still fuming over the fricking $120 prescription that ruined all my planning.

My mind is turning to creative ways of making money that involve my (lack of) talents. Nothing comes. Something:
- modelling for life drawing classes
- getting a busking license and dusting off my vocal cords
- writing a story and magically getting published by Thursday night
- getting some nice paper and painting something on it...
-...?
Or there is always losing a million pounds, dyeing myself orange and becoming an exotic dancer. I actually read the recruitment section on the website of a men's club. It sounds so easy; they do not mention once what would be expected of you except to "be yourself!" and raves about all their services and benefits for their girls. Alas, I do not have the confidence nor the body/height to do that.
I would also probably have an anxiety that one day somebody I knew would come walking through the door. Likely a seedy uncle, but the real fear would be that it would be my father. So, that brilliant idea is dead.

Concluding remarks: Rhubarb is gross tasting, affection is lacking in my week, I can't believe that Channel Ten pulled Letterman for Big Brother: Up Late, and my cloud leopard is nowhere to be found. She mustn't love me as much as I love her.