Friday, December 31, 2004


I went and saw I Love Huckabees yesterday with my friend Nell (you know, the one who looks like Snow White) and it totally freaked me out. Basically the premise is that this guy hires a pair of existentialist detectives to investigate his life. He has coincidentally seen a Sudanese refugee three times and wants to uncover "the big picture". Without trying to diss the film - hijinks ensue. Actually, I loved it - it was funny and meaningful and kinda depressing all at once.

In the spirit of coincidence, today I've been reading a book by Julia Glass called Three Junes. It is a lovely read and I've been quite enjoying it (now I sound like a 60 year old dowager with 10 cats - nevermind). I'm halfway through the book when I one of the characters describes the trifle he eats as tasting like floral soap. Now, for ever more, I shall always think (despisingly) of trifle as being like floral soap.

Another odd coincidence. The other night we were playing trivial pursuit and one of my questions was "What rockstar gave the Pope a pair of black wraparound sunglasses?" I had no idea but the following day I was reading an article about U2 in the new Vanity Fair (the one with Johnny Depp on the cover) and it says that famously Bono once gave the Pope a pair of black wraparound sunglasses. Does that strike you as odd? Incidentally, I was reading Vanity Fair before we played trivial pursuit but I'd skipped over the U2 article intending to read it later.

Anyway, from now on I intend to pay close attention to these so called coincidences.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Morbid Laziest Girl

Here I sit, Christmas is gone and New Years is on the way and anxiety is elbowing its way to the front. So many people seem to hate Christmas with a passion while I remain strangely ambivalent. It's New Years that gets me. It's true. I hate New Years Eve. There, I've said it. But why you ask? It's fun, you say, there is always a party to go, friends to see after the madness that is Christmas ...

No. No. No. Any other night of the year I can go out and have a great time, and find my way home by morning in one piece (more or less). What is it about New Years Eve that casts a pall over the holiday season?? I really don't know. It's like the one night of the year that just sucks the joy right out of me. I become a big negative vacuum killjoy. I don't want to wish people I don't know a Happy New Year. I don't want to kiss people I don't know as the clock strikes 12. Everyone always seems to have more fun than me. It doesn't matter what we do ... we've had parties at home with friends, gone to parties with people we don't know, stayed at friends and had a quiet one, gone to a charity ball frocked up to the nines. And every single year I have hated it.

New Years always seems to make me feel alone - even when I spend the evening with friends that I adore. I just feel out of time with everyone. Like I can feel my mortality creeping up behind me - if I turn around quickly enough, I'll catch a glimpse of the darkness.

Has that just taken the shine of your day? Sorry.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

It's all good here

Hey, I forgot to mention that we finally found a car to buy. AND I have triumphed over evil insurance company! I rang them today and they have decided to refund my excess as they have decided that the accident was not my fault. So the moral of this story is bitch and moan until you get your own way. No, hang on, that's not it - maybe good will always triumph over evil? Or don't let big companies try to bully you - stand up for what you believe in. Now I'm beginning to sound like a very average advice column.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Christmas Bandwagon

I have sadly realised that everyone seems completely obsessed with Christmas. I have read numerous lists detailing everything possible. I haven't really noticed Christmas creeping up on us this year. But yesterday was a big 36 degrees (that's celcius - yeah, hot, I know) outside so I finally feel like Christmas is almost upon us and it's time for me to jump on the Christmas bandwagon. That said, I'm not going to bitch and moan about Christmas Carols, commercialisation, perverted santas or tacky christmas ornaments, I'm going to talk about Christmas food.

Because it is usually incredibly hot on Christmas Day here, my family don't go in for big, cooked Christmas Dinners. We tend to have a bbq, seafood and salad type lunch while lounging around in the air conditioning. This year we will be spending the day at my parents-in-law's house with visiting relatives from overseas. All in all, this is a fine plan. Except that my mother-in-law is dessert mad. We never (and I mean never) get the same dessert twice as she likes to try new things. This makes dessert a somewhat hit and miss affair.

I've never thought that I was fussy about food, but it seems that I am. Out of all the desserts in all the world, the big one that I despise has to be TRIFLE. If you are not familiar with trifle, it is a scary combination of cake, sherry, jelly, cream, fruit and custard all layed into a big bowl. Even just describing it makes me think YICK. On there own, these things are nice, even two of them together is acceptable. Putting all of these things in one big bowl is just wrong. It is all squishy and the textures are all different and it is just awful. I realise that some people really like trifle, but clearly they are mad.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Still no joy with InsurancefromHell Pty Ltd.

I'm still arguing with the Insurance Company From Hell. Can you believe that I sent them a fax on Monday, 6 December and they still haven't called me to discuss it? I called them on Thursday to make sure they received it and was told that they are very busy and they haven't had a chance to even look at my fax. Is the attitude of all insurance companies? Reminds me of a Terry Pratchett book where someone describes insurance as basically being a bet - the owner of the house bets the insurance company that the house will burn down. Of course, Terry Pratchett is far more witty and has a superior turn of phrase to me.

Mind you, it is all pretty academic as we can't even find a damn car to buy.

Bone Mountain by Eliot Pattison

I've just finished reading a book called Bone Mountain by Eliot Pattison which is the third book in his series of four (so far). His first book was called The Skull Mantra and his second book was called Water Touching Stone. His books are about a Han Chinese investigator called Shan, who has fallen from grace in Beijing and is living in Tibet. In the first book, Shan is in a prison camp run by the Chinese from which he is eventually unofficially released. In the next two books he is wandering about the mountains with his friend, a Tibetan Monk. The books are technically mysteries but are much more - he writes about the brutalities of the Chinese in Tibet and the way of life of the Tibetans. I really enjoy his work even though the plots are indecipherable. I also find that his books take me ages to read - I mean hours and hours. This coming from the girl who will usually zip through a book in around 2-3 hours. I would estimate that it takes me about three to four times as long to read an Eliot Pattison book compared to most other books that I read. So people, if you are looking for something a little different - I can highly recommend this series. Try to start with The Skull Mantra if you can.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Hello, hello

Finally the Insurance Company From Hell Pty Ltd have advised that they have decided that they will be wrting my car off. This means that I get the "market-value" $$$ to spend on a replacement car. Honestly - have they any idea what market-value actually is??? I think not. Bastards. Needless to say, I will soon be on the hunt for a new insurance company.

I've finally got my holidays for over the Christmas period approved by the boss - yep, three lovely weeks. Now I'm fretting that I won't have enough to read over the holidays because I won't be able to just go downstairs and help myself to whatever looks good. I've put through a whole bunch of requests this morning - now I just have to wait for these twenty or so books to be returned so that I can borrow them!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

What have I been doing?

Uni results were released on Saturday and I got a five for both of my subjects. Not fantastic marks, but ok. But this means that I've only got three subjects (that's three English Lit ones) to do next year and I can graduate!

I'm still feeling a little bit out of it actually. I had a car accident last week on my way to work and my car is all but written off. I'm mostly ok - I just have a bit of a sore neck - nothing really serious - but I have had a few days off work. I'm still a bit head achey and a little bit disconnected.

Mostly what I've been doing is lying in bed and reading. I've just finished the new Jonathan Kellerman book, Twisted. I was very enjoyable and didn't require much in the way of brain strain. I also read Peter Goldsworthy's Maestro which was fantastic. He really captured the feeling of Darwin - especially in the first part of the book. I did lose a bit of interest towards the end when the protagonist grows up, I felt that it would have been better to be truncated a little sooner. But it was very enjoyable. I've also read a book by Alice Hoffman - which I can't remember the name of but which was very entertaining.