Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
So the dude turned up. A lot of people turned up actually, and they all scrubbed up rather pleasantly. A crowd of well-tended bodies draped in eastern suburbs threads. Faces made up, perfume on, hair styled. It made a change from sweat and gym shorts. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. My yoga studio is in a cool part of Sydney, a stomping ground of the fashionable, rich and creatively inclined. No wonder everyone kitted out well. And as for the boy? Well… he’s hot. And he said hello. He swang into the kitchen to grab a beer about two seconds after me, as I was sorting myself my first grapetiser of the evening, and gave me a very friendly hello (was I imagining it, or was that a look of happy surprise I saw flicker across his eyes? I was probably imagining it.). Naturally I returned his hi, and then scuttled out as coolly as I could. It was a fleeting encounter. And the only word he said to me all night. So should I be discouraged? Well let’s see. He did stand quite close by on a number of occasions (including one prolonged moment in very close proximity (a small room packed with people) where I was given privileged views of his quite breathtaking loosely-white-t-shirted chest, and the opportunity to appreciate his perfect boy form and height. Man, now I sound like a pervert.), and I’m pretty sure I saw him looking at me a few times across the room. But if he didn’t come and talk to me, he’s not interested right? It’s so hard to know. Maybe he’s just shy like I am. Or maybe I’m living in la la land and I’m so not his type. Or maybe he’s in love with one of the teachers (they’re all pretty smokin’) and came to the party to hang with them. None of it matters. All is fine. What will be will be, etcetera, etcetera. I had a really good time at the party, made some new yoga girlfriends (one who also has a music recording project) had fun on the dance floor, and got to check out the hot boy from time to time. What’s not to love? And you never know, maybe I’ll get another hello next time I see him in class.
I have just returned home from a mammoth Christmas shopping effort. I come from a relatively big brood and they take some shopping for. But it’s all done, the sun is shining and now I can concentrate on what I’m going to wear… to the yoga party. In my “meeting boys” entry (Day 41) you may recall I was in somewhat of a quandary as to whether or not I should go. Well I’ve decided it must be done. I need to meet new people right now because of my current friends being tied up, and where the spunky boy is concerned, the one way I’m definitely not going to meet him is by staying home. Speaking of friends being tied up, none of the people I had pencilled in to come to this do with me can now make it. Christ on a bike. It’s like what I was saying yesterday. I don’t think any of my mates genuinely abandoned me on this one. Things just came up (that, and they’re afraid of yoga types). But much like the way squillions of years ago no-one could stop the tectonic plates from shifting and pulling big bits of land apart, right now I can’t seem to control the forces that are pulling me away from a lot of the people I know. I’m going in a certain direction regardless of whether anyone else is coming with. And so I will rock the party on my own. But this should be okay. I’m getting more used to striking up conversations with strangers without the social loosening agent of alcohol, and everyone attending has something in common – a freaky love of the hot room. There’s something to talk about already. What’s more, if any crowd’s going to be inclusive and welcoming, it’s a yoga crowd (I think?!). So fuck it. I have a cool frock and a radical new shade of nail polish. Let’s get this party started.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
It appears I have hit a patch of trouble. My fellow music project participant is pissed off with me, and I am pissed off with him. The unvoiced tension has already delayed progress by a good two weeks. Now the anger is in the open, it might derail the whole thing. My music projects have been plagued with people problems for the last year, and I'm starting to wonder if I should go it alone. Maybe I'm a monster to work with. Maybe we all just need a break. Does making music really have to be this hard? It doesn't help matters that my other band member is also my best mate (or maybe I’ve fucked that now too). A stiff drink wouldn't go astray around about now.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I went to the movies early this evening on my own. I did this 1. because just about every friend I have either has kids or a mortgage, both of which apparently prohibit them from doing anything at any time, and 2. because I love the movies and I’m damned if I’m going to wait for the DVD just because everyone else is housebound. (Of course, it could be that all of my friends have simultaneously decided I’m shit company, but let’s not think about that right now.) Anyway, Nigel-ing it to a movie is a bad enough look as it is. What got me though, was the number of actual nannas attending the screening. Everyone was old. Could it be that through my decision to not drink, I have jolted myself into a parallel universe not suited to my age? Are the activities of the alcohol-free, also the activities of the ancient? Well, not necessarily. You could argue that staying in all the time, like most of my friends have been lately, is a pretty nanna-ish pastime. They all drink. But it’s also true that since not drinking, I haven’t been going out as much as I used to. The emphasis has more been on getting up early and using the day. I also suspect that the odd partying invitation has not been extended because people think I don’t “party” anymore. Well I don’t “party” but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to go to the things. Me oh my, let’s all pack a sad. (I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me.) Oh whatever. On with the show. Maybe I’ll go find me a new gang down at the rest home.
I just watched The Hangover on FBO. It was much like a real one: shit. It never ceases to amaze me how much completely bad art gets through Hollywood. It shouldn’t amaze me. I work in advertising. What we do doesn’t even make it into the category of art, but is very often bad. It’s the fate of many a creative project funded by some form of big business. The enormous amounts of money, while you’d think they’d help to improve a project, actually get in the way of anything good being made. The people paying the money automatically want some (usually creative) input into the project (which is almost unfailingly disastrous). The people receiving the money are so desperate not to lose it, they’ll do pretty much anything to please the cash suppliers, even if it means raping their own art and turning it into some kind of limping and terminally ill Frankenstein. It’s shuddersome. (“What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” WB Yeats, The Second Coming. That, by the way, is some seriously good art; one of my favourite poems of all time.) Anyway. It still surprises me that with all the quite amazingly talented writers, producers, directors etc swarming around LA, movies so sloppy in form, scripting, dramatic and comedic timing so often get made (not to mention significantly hyped). They are towering shitheaps of shoddiness, with gaping holes of done-too-fast or too-many-writers strewn all through them. But enough of that. Bad art be gone! And on to the present, in which I am currently (a little bug-eyed due to the hour). I’m feeling really good though, because I had a good day of feeling a new kind of strong in my non-drinking zone. We had our end of year work lunch, which wasn’t as rowdy as other years (probably due in large part to my own lack of rowdiness) but was very pleasant. I had a properly good time hanging with my work mates right through until the early evening, and felt no need for the aid of the dreaded drop. Which brings me to the other present, the one I received from Secret Santa. It was a five-bottle set of mini flavoured Absolut vodkas (I love those little bottles) accompanied by a pocket-sized bible containing a passage on the heavenly virtues of not drinking. I liked it. And the bible provided hours of entertainment at the table (you ever read it? It’s some crazy shit.). Oh gee, I can actually, like right now, hear my flatmate’s girlfriend puking in our toilet (the result of an unfortunate collision with some Friday night drinks). Oops, and now she’s smashed something. Maybe time she went to bed. Maybe time I did too. I can always give her my bible to read if she needs it tomorrow morning.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Today in the yoga change rooms, I learnt something new (I seem to be doing a lot of that lately). While applying moisturiser after class, I struck up a conversation with two girls about, low and behold, not drinking. One girl was looking for ways to cut down, and the other seemed to have a pretty good handle on moderation. The moderation girl also knew quite a lot about livers. Basically, the upshot of what she was saying was that when your liver has had enough of being hammered, it stops being able to clean your blood (makes sense). This means that toxins (from our environment and the things we consume) start being allowed to go to other parts of your body. And because your body doesn’t like toxins it does the only other thing it can to neutralise them: it makes fat. At least I think that’s what she said. Anyway, the result of an unhealthy liver apparently, is weight gain, a sluggish system, and a mind more prone to things like depression. As I’m not drinking anyway, I thought this might be a good time to cleanse my liver too. Why the frick not? I’m borrowing my little brother’s liver cleanse book today. Will restricting my diet as well, be one step of self control too far? Could be. Whatever. Give it a whirl.
I have another party under my belt, this time an all day, barbequey affair involving pretty constant consumption of French champagne, imported beers and nice New Zealand wines by the other guests. I drank tonic waters, raspberry and sodas, mineral waters and a cup of coffee when I felt my energy waning as the evening set in. Except for getting sick of fizzy drinks, it really wasn’t too bad. Because the people there weren’t on a mission to get slaughtered, there was plenty of interesting conversation and some really interesting people delivering it (a diamond merchant, a family court barrister, and a high powered television exec to name a few). They were charismatic people and I learnt some cool stuff off them. The really cool thing though is that I can remember what they told me today. Awesome. The food too was exceptionally good (I am so all about food right now. Oink!). It was a quality do. The quality of the alcohol, I must admit, did give me the odd pang. I freakin love good French champagne, and seeing it burbling frothily from bottle to flute did make me want to pour some down my throat. I even made the mistake of taking a whiff of my sister’s glass. Don’t do this. The nose is a powerful persuader of the tongue and taste buds. If you’re trying to abstain, getting your schnoz involved just makes things more difficult. So I stuck to my non-alcs, and earned the praise and amazement of everyone around me. While it’s quite nice to have your purity and strength of resolve acknowledged and applauded (the people there really were very supportive), it also marks you out again as an outsider; a kind of circus freak that people marvel at. It’s hard to relax and get amongst it when you and everyone else are constantly monitoring how you’re going. But again, it’s all okay. These are early days and I’m just beginning to find my alcohol-free social feet. Give me a few months and with any luck I’ll be pirouetting from person to person, so light and bubbly that no-one will detect I haven’t been quaffing buckets of the stuff. Here’s hoping anyway. For now I begin with baby steps.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Impatience is apparently not a virtue. Knowing this however, does nothing to stop my frustration at things that move slowly. Slow walkers infuriate me (sigh, anger is such an ugly emotion), exercise regimes that don’t show quick results bum me out, and it’s best not to be at the table with me if it’s been 50 minutes and the food hasn’t arrived yet. I’m not big on queues either, just by the way. But it’s not these things that are currently on my mind. What bothers me on and off lately, is the speed at which my music project is progressing. Really I shouldn’t be worried. Over the last 28 days we have been making pretty steady progress. And with any project there will be delays. But there have been recent tensions in band-land that I fear may delay things further (why are bands so fraught with human conflict?). And I am very much aware that with Christmas only three weeks away, the year is very nearly over. Before we know it, it will be the end of 2010’s first quarter, and any meagre budgets record companies may have had to throw at tiny acts like ours will already be allocated. But trying to persuade others of the need for speed can often have the opposite effect. The more you impress the need for urgency, the more they drag their feet. I suppose it’s a kind of rebellion. Really though, if I’m honest, I think my current NOW urge is simply a personal mania, with no reasonable basis in reality. In reality we probably couldn’t be progressing much quicker. So how to satisfy the unreasonable demands of my inner taskmaster? Why get a haircut of course! Chop, chop, fresh head, something new. We’re making progress.
Monday, November 30, 2009
A lot of my friends lately have had kids, bought houses, gotten married or gotten pregnant. By choice or by accident they have taken the path of commitment and responsibility; the next step into adulthood. I have done none of these things and am really nowhere near any of them yet. It hasn’t been a conscious choice of avoidance. It’s just that my life hasn’t turned out that way so far. I’m traditionally a bit on the spendy side when it comes to money, hence no house deposit, and I’ve only really attracted commitment-phobic boys lately, hence no hub or bub. I also have a mildly violent independence urge that is probably responsible for the sum of where I find myself right now. And I want to be a rock star. Nappies and mortgages don’t compute well with that. Slap a vow of sobriety on top and you have a seriously individual individual. Of course I have never minded standing out. Being the third kid down in a pack of four (and the second daughter) showing off has been part of my make up since my year dot. I like being the centre of attention, and I have always done things to set myself apart. But I’ve usually had a gang of other alternative types to roll with. Now I find my gang disbanded, preoccupied with the pressures of parenthood and paying the bills. And that might mean turning to a younger set still in party mode, only I don’t drink now so that’s a bit weird too. What’s a sober, single, independently-minded and rock ‘n’ roll-ishly inclined gal to do? You see, the problem is in the incongruousness of my choices. It would be one thing to be the single rock ‘n’ roller. But the rock ‘n’ roll teetotaller? It’s a problem I’ve had for a while. I’ve always been the party animal that also loves reading and bookshops; the fashion and cosmetics junkie who digs on Scrabble; the bass player in the band who goes to bed at 10.30pm to get up for yoga the next morning. Maybe it’s not that weird. Maybe everyone is balancing their own mix of mismatching tastes. Whatever the case, if you choose an unconventional road, you can’t really complain when the crew doesn’t come too. You simply have to rock the path you’re rolling down, even if you’re in a band of one.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Today I encountered some challenges. First I went running with my brothers. I haven’t been running for months, doing yoga instead, and I’m pleased to say my fitness is in good shape. We did run up a very steep hill though, and that was challenging for my poor little quadriceps, which while now very good at holding the warrior pose, felt jellylike halfway up. I didn’t stop though and the run was good. Hanging with my bros was good too. This challenge I can handle. Second, I went to a picnic. This picnic started literally as a walk in the park. How tough could it possibly be? For the Sydney branch of my family and friends, picnics are notoriously boozy affairs. They tend to end when the wine runs out. And they’re fun. Weirdly enough, this one wasn’t the drink-a-thon it might have been. And no-one was really giving me any shit about not joining in. But it was the hardest drink resistance effort I have experienced so far. It wasn’t hard in the sense that I felt like I might give in. I knew I wasn’t going to drink. But I felt like a lone wolf. As I sat there sipping the lemonade I didn’t really want, I questioned why I was doing this at all. Would taking a harebrained stand like this make any difference to anything? Or was I just wasting a year of opportunities for fun times and replacing them with nun times? And then my friend told me she’d been facebooked by a boy whom we both know and I am seriously trying to forget. That coupled with the zituation that is currently baffling my face (thanks detoxing process, you suck) made me decidedly shaky in my resolve. I felt like sinking some whiskeys and punching said boy in the face (charming I know). But you see, that would have been my reaction before (except for the punching. I don't actually punch people very often even though I sometimes feel like it). And I’m bored with my recent history. I want to go somewhere better. I don’t know if not drinking is the way to get there, but the only way I’ll find out is by following through. Buy the ticket, take the ride (why do I keep referencing quotes from the famously drug-fucked (Hunter S Thompson in this case)? I think it’s my brain having a little joke.). So I’m still happy I’m not drinking. And I’m happy I won’t have a hangover tomorrow. And I’m not caving in for anyone. Because when the challengers come a-challenging, there’s only one thing to do. Hang tough muthaflipper, hang tough.
Speaking of which, check this out.
It’s not yet officially summer, but today is an eager forerunner; one of those days that can’t be arsed with officialdom and has decided to get this show on the road anyway. Sydney in summer, if you’re cool with warm temperatures, is a kind of paradise. The beaches are breathtaking and plentiful. Many Sydney-siders live literally steps from the sand or, like me, about a ten minute bus ride away from a dip in the crystal crashing waves. Parks fill the city and are breezy hives of healthy activity: jogging, strolling, Frisbee throwing and horse riding. Like I said, a bit like heaven (or my idea of it anyway). Over the last year or so too, due to some well-timed local law changes, a spray of neat little drinking establishments have popped up in various cool spots in the eastern suburbs. Chilled hangouts with good tunes, great cocktails, nice styling and far fewer tables than the foul drinking barns that have usually dominated Sydney’s bar scene. Coolness. For whatever retarded reason though (laziness mainly), I have sampled woefully few of these cool little joints. In a perhaps ironically timed move, considering my current stance on the main offering of drinking holes, I have decided to change this, starting tonight. Or last night actually. Last night I visited a pleasant little hidey-hole called Sticky. It’s been around for ages so it’s embarrassing I’ve only discovered it now, but it was cool. It was dark and comfy with an artist’s attic feel to the décor, and the nice boys at the bar concocted me a series of mocktails so tasty that I really didn’t feel like the poor puritan cousin to my Campari quaffing pals. And my sparkling mineral water was free. Nice one. Love youz all. So tonight, as the evening will be a balmy one, I thought I’d try another. This evening my watering hole of choice will be The Pond (sounds delicious!), a somewhat Swedishly styled, leafy indoor outdoor place, rumoured to be sponsored by a beer which I can’t remember (not that I would have been drinking it anyway). It seems the perfect city complement to my day at the beach. (Although if I’m going to look presentable, I’d better do something about these ocean-induced hair flicks.)
P.S. Does anyone else think the word “mocktail” is laughably outdated and crap? No wonder nobody wants to drink them. I currently have a small team (of two, including me) working on an alternative that doesn’t make it sound like you’re drinking a flamingo called Don Johnson. Any suggestions, hit me up!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Today I got told I was boring for not drinking. Now let me think about that. To me boring is the same thing as yesterday. It’s learning something you already know. It’s doing what everyone else does because it’s safe, and doing it over and over again. So to me, drinking is boring, not the other way around. Because everyone is fucking drinking. Mainly, as far as I can tell (and from my own repeated experience), to take the edge off and blot out the stressful day that was/the hated job/the coming week/the situation that doesn’t have an answer. Or to manufacture the joie de vivre, confidence and witty spontaneity that makes people interesting; “the life of the party”. I’ve got nothing against taking the edge off. We all need to relax. And if you’re one of the many pleasant people who can happily enjoy a glass without getting stupid then I applaud your social grace. But can I also suggest: if you’re not funny and interesting in the first place, alcohol is not going to make you so. Of course, it might make you more entertaining. When my flatmate came in obliterated on Friday night there was definitely a good five minutes when his swaying and slurry singing was genuinely worth being around to see. And people bumping into things is always comical. But the fact remains, if I’m boring sober, once I’m done hilariously jumbling my sentences and falling over, I’m boring drunk. And if I’ve got problems or a dumb job or something that’s doing my head in, getting shit-faced isn’t going to make any of it go away. It’s just going to result in the boring-est thing of all: another hangover, and the same pile of life-crap that was sitting there yesterday. So in answer to my accuser: sir, I beg to differ. Today I wrote a new chorus to a song, I began the lyrics to the verses, I discussed concepts for music videos with my fellow band member, and made plans to record some vocals tomorrow. I watched rugby with my brothers, saw all my nieces and nephews, played with a kitten, cooked dinner and had time to go for an evening stroll. I was not bored for a moment. And as I have done things today to move my music project forward, I will not wake up tomorrow feeling like my life hasn’t moved an inch. One other thing, so far since not drinking, my dreams have been off the hook. Even my sleep is more entertaining without booze! Go figure.
It’s Saturday. I am officially sick of talking and thinking about not drinking alcohol. I’ve told a few people about the whole 365 days thing and I’ve had some mixed reactions. My sister was awesome. She just said yeah cool with an air of excitement at what I might achieve in the time. I guess she’s seen my obsessive, personal ultimatumus [sic] behaviour in action long enough to know it’s better just to nod and let me get on with it. I love her for that. My best friend Ben had a different reaction. He said “how stupid”. This I found weird in one way because he’s in the freakin band with me. Surely my being solely and obsessively focused on turning us into rock stars would be good for him? Or maybe not. To be fair, he too has known me a long time. He’s seen how I swing wildly from one extreme to another, full of enthusiasm and conviction for my various crazes only to swing on to another one in a month’s time. He’s also experienced my manic insistence that urgency is of the essence during phases like these. As he’s more of a step-by-step kind of guy, it’s probably pretty annoying. So I forgive him for not jumping for joy and holding me up as some kind of awesome saint. He just thinks I’m being unrealistic by setting such a big goal. But sometimes to do anything really cool, you do have to set big unrealistic goals. Otherwise you’ll never bust through the status quo (and I do not like my status quo right now).
Anyway, there have been different reactions. Good ones, oppositional ones, cute ones (like the girls at work who said I HAD to come to their party because it would be good for my blog! Thank you Bethany and Sarah.), supportive ones (thank you Alicia). But I’ve realised the easiest way to do this is to shut up about it. No more shouting about “a whole year!”. If people ask, I’m just not drinking for a week or two, or that particular day. And meanwhile, I will get on with the job of achieving my goals. Because the goal in itself is not to just stay off the grog. The goal is to do some radical things. Radical rock star-ish things to be precise.
So today there are three simple things I need to achieve (not all rock’n’roll admittedly):
1. Feed my sister’s cat.
2. Do yoga (a hot body is important for rock stardom. And a balanced mind.)
3. Work on video concepts for our song “Hellz Bellz”.
Simple. Alcohol doesn’t come into it, and that’s all there is to say about it.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Genius or craziness? Don't know yet. I'll be working it out one day at a time.