Friday, August 29, 2008

Cynical Signage

I couldn't help grinning when he said he could read everything about a person with only their date of birth as an aid. I told him my date of birth and he nodded and launched into his explanation of me.
"You are very independent."
I nodded, "Kay"
"You are stubborn, you dig your heels in when you are told what to do, but if you are explained something you will go along with it at first before doing it your own way."
I could feel the heat rush to my cheeks as the other bar maids at my side stood listening while they worked.
"You bottle up emotion. You don't let yourself feel. Then eventually it just explodes."
I thought about this year, about the breakdown and winced, beginning to feel like I was naked to him.
"But you are also very optimistic and have a very positive outlook on life. The world would be a better place if there were more people like you in it."
I think that that is true; and it is true because I'm unrealistic, and even when I am being negative (which you would've seen some shinning examples of on here) I'm only doing it as a way of venting anger and frustration or to get attention from the people around me- yeh, I admit it- I can be an attention whore.
"At school you enjoyed analytical subjects that questioned life and the world. You have a fascination for how things began, with history, with foundations."
I continued to watch him as he talked, stunned, not daring to admit to anything.
"And at the moment you are deciding something."
My mouth tightened.
"For the past month or so you have been seriously considering something and your mind isn't quite made up yet."

After he had walked away Jess shook her head.
"Geeze he's lost a lot of weight"
"He used to come down to the movies in Chaddie every week for years when I worked there and do all our readings."
"Was he ever right?"
She shrugged, "I'm a cynic. It always seems like very general stuff that he says. Was he on the ball with you?"
I gave a small nodd, "Yeah. Pretty much."

I only wish he could've told me what I should do. I'm still hanging out for some sort of sign and had he given me the slightest one I would've taken it and run with it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Gary the No-Nonsense Unicorn

If you live in marvellous freakin' Melbourne you would've no doubt seen the 'Let your imagination guide you' advertisements on tv at some stage.
But for those who haven't I'll run you through it.

A visitor to the city is met at the station by a 12 foot giant who looks like he's just stepped out of the Phar Lap film (well a giant version of it anyway), and from there they proceed to explore the city. Visiting numerous spots where they meet two other people who also appear to have visible imaginations as 'guides'. One girl has a fairy, which is yeah, passable as fitting into the fantasy, imagination category, along with the giant from the Phar Lap film. But the other person that the man and his giant run into has, wait for it, a giant fish.
Okay, I get the fairy, I get the giant. But a fish? A fucking fish? What sort of a person has a fish as their guide, their inner imagination? Probably the same sort of person that has a blog dedicated to scrap booking and photos of their cats- which you'll see many pongee specimens of just by randomly scrolling through blogger.

I can just the imagine the creators of this ad sitting around the board room (all of them no doubt with their own blogs about scrap booking and their stupid snarly cats).
Heads grin and nod in unison when the giant is suggested.
Same goes for the fairy.
Then the smiles fade, the heads stop moving and the faces grow blank again as the noise from the street below can be heard again. They all look at each other empty of ideas.
Someone suggests a dog. "That's not imaginative" one pigheaded suit snarls.
How about a cat? More sneers.
A horse? Same response.
Blank faces look at each other in silence.
A small noise yanks one young buck's head upright towards the direction of the fish tank where a small gold fish has blown a bubble in defiance of not being fed yet.
A gasp, a suggestion and the heads are a-nodding and grinning again as 'fish' makes the list.

And another thing! Isn't it funny how of all the people shown romping through the city, only three of them had imaginations as guides? What the hell is that meant to insinuate? Only a tiny, minuscule majority have imaginations? That the rest of us are brain-dead bores who consume, fart then go to sleep to rest up for another day in conventional society that is giant, fairy and even fish free? I want answers!

If I had been in that board room I would've suggested one beast of a guide and one beast alone that wouldn't have sprouted from some inane object in the room (no offence to any fish reading this. Rusted Gumption- the fishes' friend), but from my very own imagination where a happy little guide lurks and comes out to play often.
I call him Gary the No-Nonsense Unicorn. (Gary the No-Nonsense Unicorn in his natural habitat before he was evicted for indecent exposure. How does a Unicorn naturally naked indecently expose himself you ask? You'll have to ask Gary)

Why is he No-Nonsense? Well it's his middle name for a start, and you'll have to ask his mama, Cheryl the Obnoxious Unicorn regarding that.
Gary the No-Nonsense Unicorn comes out to play often and doesn't just bound in to guide me, but lead me completely astray; he is solely to blame for everything bad I have ever done. Bad Gary, bad!
And he doesn't just meet up with me when we have made prior arrangements, as the people meeting up with their imagination guides quite clearly have, he comes the fuck over whenever the fuck he wants, leaving a path of destruction and overall unicorn poo in his wake.

But having said that, Gary the No-Nonsense Unicorn is more than just a horse with a rock-hard dildo on his head, he's my inner spontaneity and a ball of fun if you catch him just before he gets stoned/drunk. Despite my hating him when he rears his fat, obnoxious head at incredibly inappropriate times (i.e- at a funeral, telling me to do "Stax On" the coffin).
But everyone needs an inner imagination beast, otherwise you're just some zombie going through the motions of life and not really getting kicks out of the simple pleasures with dreams and ambitions; regardless of how mental your inner imagination beast may be (and no, a fish doesn't count).

But, back to the ad. If not Gary the No-Nonsense Unicorn, then why not Boris the Croc?
I'll assume you have all seen the brilliant four-wheel-drive ads with Boris the croc with attitude, "Fetch Boris", you know the ones.

Imagine if he was set loose as some person's guide in the city.
"No Boris! The Asian tourists aren't food! Yes I know it's an all you can eat Chinese restaurant."
What is with advertisers today?
A fucking fish for christ's sake.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I called in sick to work today. I didn't have it till 12pm, but I'm crook with not just a hangover, but this acid volcano inside of me that has been erupting as if on frickin cue every few seconds for the past few days.
Last night every gulp of grog-a-log was searing pain through my chest and throat, so I kept at it till the pain was numbed to a gentle roar (Rusted Gumption- the oxymoron's friend). At 3am this morning in the pub toilets, while most girls were drunk and crying about guys giving them grief, I was nearly hurling from the frickin acid volcano in my chest in between thinking about the big media SAC I had the next day (today).

Mum said, with what seemed like with a touch of glee that it was probably a stomach ulcer. Frick.
A Frickin stomach ulcer!
So I'm off to the doctor's today (where I can now tell you the name and date of every magazine on their coffee table) to once again run my doc through my ailments for more drugs! Yay! Drugs!

But right now, my head hurts and I'm farked so reckon I better sleep. I've had something like 9 hours sleep in two days. Oh yeh, and there's the little matter of studying for the big SAC I've got later.

This has been a carnt of a year. blahh.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Trashbag I am. What of it?

Apparently I'm a rebel. I wasn't aware of that.
I do a lot of crazy shit, yes. I drink to excess, yes. I have no respect for authority. I can be pretty rude, obnoxious and a downright bitch when the mood/ fellow bitch strikes me (sometimes literally) so. But 'rebel'?
I don't say this to be boastful. I don't think I'm a boastful person. My small-country town mentality has always taught me not to talk shit with the possibility of the shit being extracted and pelted back at you always being present.

That term 'rebel' has always had a pretty pathetic stigma attached to it for me.
'Rebels' were the kids back in secondary school (according to them anyway) that talked loudly, threw paper at the ceiling fan when the teacher's backs were turned and decided who was 'cool' and who wasn't. It goes without saying I was never a 'cool' kid. I hated all their guts because I saw them as a lame form of authority that were going to try and break me like the rest of the fucked up system and I hated everything about them. Though back then, pretty sure I hated everything and everyone.

But I was a quiet objector, I went about my dark days with a drooped head, staring at the scuffed toes of shoes, thinking about how much life sucked.

After the cattle station, after the year of drifting that followed from suburban cake shop to Agriculture course to horse training property in Northern Victoria, I was 17 and working like a dog with every second weekend off.
In those two days I was granted every fortnight to do as I pleased, I did just that and embraced the fucking fantastic thing of grog that made all my problems, pain and regret go away. My first weekend off from that job I went out to a country fundraising dance in the Victorian High Country. I drove to the dance in "Little Shit", my crappy little manual corolla car at the time that had a habit of unexpectedly rolling backwards when it was in a particular foul mood at me (which seemed to be all the time).

I borrowed another girl's clothes and didn't give a shit that a large percentage of my bra was showing to the whole township of Strathbogie (a handful of elderly people and their dogs aka 'daughters') as I used my fake ID to buy UDL (what was I thinking? Weak as fucking piss), dodging an accusation or two that the photo didn't look like me.

A guy ten years older than us from Perth wandered over to start buying us Passion Pop (the devil) and that's when the fun really started. In a far from glamorous state we were introduced to the actor Tom Long (Sea Change, Two Hands, The Dish, etc) and started betting which girl could have him pin her against the outside of the brick hall by the end of the night with only the horses in the paddock as witnesses, completely disregarding his wife that stood beside him.
When he asked Sarah and I what we did we replied, "Work at the pre-training horse farm."
"We don't ride though, we save that for weekends" I spluttered, thankfully inaudibly.

Three bottles of Pashion Pop later and we decided to head back to Sarah's up in the bogies. It wasn't till I was behind the wheel of Little Shit and weaving my way up a steep narrow mountain road in the pitch dark that I realised how completely wasted I was. To this day, I don't know how I didn't die. I was 17 years old driving on a New South Wales licence that I'd only had for a couple of months. But this still isn't even one of the worst things I've done.

After a few more bottles of Passion Pop I staggered to my makeshift bed and passed out cold and thank god I was lying on my stomach because I woke up spewing my guts out. Sarah, a girl I'd known for less than a week helped me mop myself up, smiling to hide her horrified and disgusted expression (and she worked with me picking up horse shit).

That was the first in a long long line of messy weekends to come that have lasted to this day- until I started working in the nightclub all Friday and Saturday nights to start combating my grog-spending, saving brain cells for year 12 study and piecing back together some sort of a semi-savable-reputation that wouldn't even have been put on life support if I still lived in a country town.

I'd like to think, that while I'm still not 'back on the rails' yet (though, I'm not really sure if I was even born 'on the rails'), now I can do the whole sloshed rebel trashbag with enough class to charm and disarm and enough savvy learned the hard way to control my self-destructiveness.
Luckily my friends aren't the judgemental sort and my family wouldn't notice if I died my hair black, got a tattoo saying "Saturn" smashed across my forehead and joined a blood-drinking cult, so I think I'm safe to keep up the trashbag lifestyle for now with one eye still firmly on the future and my goals.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Choose the dog

My dog is the only member of my family that I actually like and the only one I come close to resembling.
This morning eating breakfast, quietly minding my own business my wanker brother stormed into the kitchen in one of his many many many many dirty moods. I had triple J playing on the radio, and at the the time, I admit the song on was pretty shit. "You listen to this because people tell you to?" This from the guy who has practically grown up in the shadow of his friends and can't buy a chocolate bar without getting their approval of it. But I luckily came to terms with this fact and the fact that he's a wanker a long time ago so my response didn't intellectually extend beyond "Piss off dickhead".
But he wouldn't relent. He was on his way to work, in which he stands around a pool all day and tries to tell me that it's harder work than rousing in a shed. Dickhead. So maybe that's why he was so shirty, though his moods don't usually need a reason, a point or are predictable when they'll crash down and snow you in in utter bullshit.
"Why the fuck do you listen to this shit?"
I got sucked in. I know I don't have to answer to him. I normally don't. He's a dickhead, and arguing with with a dickhead is like sharing a needle with someone that's HIV positive- the shit inside them once released is contagious. And while I can think independently and remain steadfast when having their shit pelted at me, I still don't want to even risk contracting one drip of their lame little intellectually stunted wave lengths.
So shrugging, not looking up from my fruit bowl I said, "No ads".
The song ended and the morning DJs started talking, they must of mentioned something about some product (I couldn't hear it over the loud squirting of his verbal diarrhoea) and he almost shouted triumphantly, "There! An ad!!"

If the stereotypes of this society are true then I should kick him in the groin and see if he screams, I bet he won't though, the most I'll do is push out a bit of hot air from his arse which needs to be done anyway. Though I'm still prepared to test the experiment..... just to be sure. Fucking idiot.

My dog is so awesome.

Friday, August 8, 2008

So-Long to a Shearer

I don't understand how this could happen. I can't comprehend it. How? How? How?
He was only middle-aged. He was only in his forties. He was healthy. He was fit. He didn't drink. He didn't smoke. He was strong, incredibly strong.
How could this happen?

"I've got some bad news" Dad said on the phone yesterday morning. I thought I would choke on my own breath as I held it, waiting for the next words.
"You know how Grant had looked crook last time we saw him?"
No. No. No. No!
"Pauline just rang me."
"He's passed away."
I don't remember what I said. I dropped to my knees on the kitchen floor as I heard something about 'heart valve' and 'fucked'.
I started to weep. "How could this happen?"
He had seven kids below the age of 16 years old. His youngest was born last year. With another two girls back in New Zealand.
Dad said something about Pauline coping, being financially sound. Having just sold their fat lambs, having their farm debt paid off. "She's coping" He said. "She's coping"
"He worked himself to death." He said. "He was never going to make it past 50"

Grant the work horse. That's what we always called him. The best shearer in Western Victoria, possibly all of Victoria. Shearing 220 a day on average, 250 on a good day; solo; without a word of complaint.
In Southern Queensland I'd peer over at each of the shearer's counters at the end of the day. None would read above 200. Even the fittest, the youngest, the strongest of them didn't make Grant's numbers.
"What do you reckon of Queensland shearers?" I was asked over smoko with a smirk one day. I shrugged. "You oughta come down to Victoria one day and see how it's really done."

Since 1988, before I was even born he was out shearing at our place. I don't remember when I first met him. Probably a tot, maybe even a baby. Wandering into the shed amongst the burr of the handpiece, the pong of the lanolin and the clatter of hooves upon metal grid to see the big shearer with sweat pouring from his brow weaving his handpiece over the wool, shedding it as easily as peeling a banana.
When Dad finally let me in the shed to start rousing I'd never tire of watching Grant work. Into the pen, flip a sheep, pull him out, position between legs, yank cord and the handpiece would buzz into life, start on foot, shear belly, legs, butt, head, neck, work down back, first side, second side, finish on tail, push through legs and down the chute, yank handpiece off, wipe sweat off on towel and back into the pen for the next one. It was like the perfect steps of a dance. Never changing, always the same. He'd rarely nick them either. They'd be white as snow, rarely a slick of red would intrude on such perfection in his work.

Sometimes when he couldn't come out he'd send a replacement. Some leering pisspot who'd cut the sheep half way to their grave, whack the handpiece over their jaw every time they kicked and could never, ever reach Grant's numbers. 170, 180 or 190 a day.
As their battered, dirty vehicles would disappear in a cloud of dust up the drive way, Dad would spit into the dust and grumble, "Gonna tell Grant to not send me out anymore of these fuckin' ferals. Full of shit."
He wasn't a gossiper or a pryer either unlike most, but he'd look up occasionally when Dad would be giving me a hard time. I'd rouse, pen-up, do the bellies then skip smoko to go drench and brand the sheep in the yards, all with Dad breathing down my neck, hollering out insults; taking out on me the lice in the sheep, the fly-blown, the failed crops, the lambs coming too early, the rain that drenched the sheep a day before shearing, the rain that didn't come, the broken-down machinery, the flat tyre, the plummet in wool prices, the sheep getting in and ruining the hay, you name it.
One day, while I slogged it out in the heat and the flies, trying to drench old ewes that knew the routine and knew how to jump at just the right angle to knock your teeth out, with Dad as usual screaming from the doorway of the wool shed while I lost concentration and got trampled by a ewe and scratched my arm on the corrugated iron sheet lining the race, Grant said something.
It wasn't much, it wasn't forceful, it was in his usual soft but seemingly indifferent way- "She's a good girl".
Dad didn't say anything else for the rest of the day.
Maybe a year later when I was 16 years old and working on the cattle station in North-West New South Wales, not coping with the abuse, falling apart, Mum told me over the phone what Grant had said, what Dad had told her but not me.
My jaw dropped, "He said that?". Words could not express how much those four little words meant, the strength they gave me to carry on, knowing that the toughest, strongest man I had ever known thought I, despite all the cruel, hurtful things Dad pelted at me in front of him, was a good worker, a good girl.
They empowered me to hold my head high, to let the cowboys' and manager's harassment and cruelty slide off my back, not affect me as much as it should, knowing that back home, a true man, a true worker, a truly good person thought highly of me, in his own way of course. If he could recognise my worth then so could I.

And now he's gone. Never again will I walk into the shed early in the morning still munching on piece of toast to see him squatting on his haunches, in his usual, quiet but dignified way setting up his equipment for the day.
Never again will I be able to giggle at my dog's expression and cautious snarl at his snoring as he naps upon the board at smoko time.
Never again will I be able to watch such true shearing talent and expertise, all from such an incredibly quiet, un-boastful, commanding and proud bloke.

The last time I saw him, only a month or two back, for the first time I had ever known him, he couldn't shear. He said something about gastro, something about eating a Kiwi-dog at his son's footy match the day before that didn't agree with him. He was pale and hunched, but as he sat out quietly on the wool shed step he peered off into the distance and as usual gave little away on his worn face as he softly spoke, "That a lama out there?"
I started laughing, "It's an alpaca. Dad's latest hair-brain scheme and complete waste of money."
He just nodded and continued to stare into the distance.

Last night, or rather early this morning working in the nightclub, a sad song caught me off-guard, rendered me vulnerable from the Dirty Bar-Maid front and I disappeared out the back to the silent toilets, to a cubicle where I sat down on the toilet seat and wept. Wept for my lost mate.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Week (b)end


Worked all day. Found myself not working that night for the first time in many weeks so went home to drink red wine and not do school work and scream at the TV for playing the sequel to Bridget Jone's Diary. Was thinking about how much Hugh Grant reminded me of my annoying, wanker uncle when the annoying wanker uncle rang.
"What are you doing with yourself?"
Me: "Mm.. not much. Working, studying."
"What are ya going to do next year?"
"Mm.. dunno yet. Might go travelling."
"Go to Europe. It's all happening in Europe. C and D are over there."
Me: "Yeah. Nah. Rather go around Australia first."
"No, don't do that. It's going off in Europe! Go to Europe."
Annoying wanker.

At 3am I was awoken by a familiar scuffling, munching noise. I cursed, I knew that sound all too well. I switched on the light and surveyed my pig sty of a room till I found the source. A little brown mouse sat on my desk nibbling on a week old sandwich wrapped in foil. I gasped before attempting to grab it as it jumped at me and I couldn't help yelping with fright.
It disappeared under the mountain of shit on the floor and I went back to bed, laughing myself to sleep.


Worked all day in my favourite part of the Hotel- the sports bar- where super sexy bartender works who I had seen little of in the past few weeks and was going crazy about. Felt my knees crippling beneath me every time he called me 'Larnzy', poked me, pulled my hair, put his hand on my back or spoke to me in a voice that felt like it was dripping with sugar. Had to tune him out just so I could concentrate, just so I could hear the patrons' orders when he'd be at my side poking my hip. Had to refrain from ogling his butt when I walked past with racks of glasses just so I wouldn't drop them.
Then- bang. Heard it.
Bar maid number 2: "Your girlfriend is a lesbian!"
My head whips up from the till, "What?"
She grins, giving him a sideways glance as his head is bent over the till. "She's not!" He mumbles out of whack with his usual charm.
I have to clench my jaw shut and advert my gaze, hide my intense interest.
She smiles at me, "The girl he's seeing is a lesbian"
My jaw drops. "What?"
Hot Bartender: "She's bi!" He protests, "Can't tell you anything!"
This banter went on for a while, while I stood there, laughing as well, pouring beers, working the till, taking money and talking to the drunks. Hiding it, hiding it, hiding it.
Then Kaz sidled up to my side and slipped a wad of notes into my pocket, "What the.....!" I began as she hushed me, "It's from Charlie." I stared, bewildered.
I countered the notes- $400. I gasped, "Oh My Gawd!!"
Kaz: "He gave us all the same". I continued to stare at her, not noticing the customers anymore.
Hot Bar Tender laughed and walked behind me to start rubbing my shoulders, while I tried not to pass out.
Eventually I regained my Dirty Bar-Maid composure and was back at it, guiltily enjoying it when the old drunks called me beautiful in front of Hot Bar Tender. Wanting to start dancing around.
Did you hear that? Did you hear that? Validation! Yay!
But instead kept mopping up the beer and working the taps with complete Dirty Bar-Maid respectability, until HBT would touch me again or ask whether I needed his help. bahhhh!

Later that night, drunk in a bar, sitting on a guy's lap I text Fungy: 'I'm in love! But he has a gf! But she's bi-sexual! So maybe I can fix my lil dilemma!!! Make the dyke chick fall for you so she leaves him and I can strike while he's vulnerable and lonely!'

Then later, drunker, I text The Canza: 'Drunk message. Just made out with 2 guys- one is a mate. Going to party at his house now. Hmm.. might try to be not a complete trashy now. Want HBT's babies. Need him like a big mac. Speaking of which- at maccaz now. Tehehehehehe xx'


I'll leave out the next five hours after that, still rather ashamed. But in the morning I woke to a message on my phone saying my brother had been hit by a car and two large bruise like hickeys on my neck. Cursing over the hickeys, I quickly checked my brother wasn't dead before applying make-up to the hickeys before I was due in to work at midday.
The make-up didn't conceal the hickeys or the hungover expression on my face.
Around 2pm I dropped a whole stack of plates and cursed the explosion of noise they released as they shattered onto the tiled floor amidst chips, meat, veggies and salad.
I found my composure and walked out of the kitchen to the whole bistro laughing at me.

And that was my weekend in a nutshell.