saving ink and paper

Saturday, April 27, 2013

found cat


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hospitality

Tonight at work (I work at a semi-bogan pub just outside of the city) there was almost noone booked into the restaurant except for this one big table. It was supposed to be twelve people but only nine showed up and the woman who'd organised it was late and kept calling us telling us she was still on her way but she had been held back because of trying to get her 'boot' over her broken foot.

She told us to give everyone cocktails and she had this crazy posh british accent. We tried to offer people cocktails but they didn't really seem like cocktail kind of people. Some people asked for something 'lemony' and so we gave them margaritas and then they asked for lemonade and tried to mix it with them so that they'd be sweeter and then asked if they could have something else. I gave them a Midori Splice and they loved that.

They had organised a set menu from the food on the menu that's actually good which noone usually ever orders because all anyone ever wants is just chicken parmiganas and fish and chips and I was confused because a few of them turned up early (and ordered cappuccinos and scraped off all of their chocolate because they were 'allergic' to the chocolate even though then they should have just ordered a flat white) and they seemed, apart from being kind of strange, definitely way more like bogans than rich people. They had organised to have two bottles of wine between the twelve of them and the booking was under 'Bridge' so I made the wilful assumption that they were part of some 'Bridge (the card game) Club'. It turned out bridge was just her last name and it had nothing to do with any kind of club. My name is Mary and there was one girl there who was disabled and her name was Mary too and it was really confusing because they kept saying my name all the time followed by really bizarre/patronising statements which i kept almost responding to.

One of the ladies who'd turned up early (who'd ordered cappuccinos) walked past the kitchen the chef had laughed and said 'did you see that?' and i was like 'what?!' and he was like 'What was she wearing' and I was like 'A mu-mu' (she was relatively large and it kind of was a mu-mu)  and he said 'Her dress looked like the cirque de solei tent!'. It was true. Anyway she didn't strike me as the type who would be wanting to eat anything from our menu apart from the normy pub food.. the kind of person who would be like 'That was the best salt and pepper squid i've ever had in my life' like every time she ate salt and pepper squid.

Then some other people from the booking turned up but they walked straight past the tent lady and went outside and chain smoked. There were a number of groups of three who all turned up separately, including an indian couple, two massive british women wearing mu-mu kind of things (they reminded me of the two fat ladies from that cooking show and one had a fan that she kept pulling out of her hand bag and every time she would say 'did you know that this fan is worth $25000 dollars?!), two older british men one of whom they kept referring to as 'the doctor', a couple of blonde middle aged normy looking ladies, one of whom seemed really upset when i told her i didn't think we had any tooth picks, and an italian looking woman, and the disabled woman with my name.

Anyway it was a really bizarre group of people who didn't even seem to know eachother at all, but some of them seemed to know eachother. It definitely wasn't a birthday. I had in mind to go and ask them 'what the big occasion was!' but never quite found the right moment to do so.

They stuck around for a long time and conscequently I was stuck alone in the restaurant with nothing to do but ponder why on earth they were there for a long time and I really came up with nothing by the end of it. It was very clear that everything had been organised by this one british woman, who seemed to somehow know everyone, but they were just telling stories and chatting like old friends - except they didn't know eachother.. and noone goes to a birthday dinner and doesn't mention whose birthday it is, so it wasn't business or birthday and I couldn't really think of any other reason why you'd take 12 people who didn't really know eachother out to dinner.

At the end of the night she tried to pay with AMEX and it turned out that our machines didn't take amex even though we had little amex books to give the bills out with and she got a bit flustered about that because she didn't seem to have any other cards and then other people started offering to pay and that made her even more flustered and then she offered to write a cheque and we said that would be fine. While she was writing the cheque she asked for the date and then made some comment about it. She gave me $40 worth of change and told me I could keep $20 for a tip and to give her a $20 note back. Then she said thank you for making it a nice night for her. She asked me to check and make sure she'd written the details on her cheque right. She said 'When i asked for the date I couldn't believe I'd asked and then when I was writing the numbers I couldn't even listen to what anyone was saying or concentrate on anything anymore so please make sure that I've written it all right. I used to be a really wonderful business woman. But you know, I'm really glad that tonight has been a nice night for me, thank you for your help. You know, this night three years ago my husband went out walking the dog and he was just almost right back outside our house when he was killed. This was the night Jim and the dog died. There was a 17 yrold with marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol in his system and flew forty meters in the air and his shoes fell off because he did his shoes up loose because he was in the navy and that boy killed my husband and my dog and noone even stopped and called an ambulance or did anything or got any help. And you know, we found him on facebook and he had his 18th birthday party a few weeks later and he didn't even care. And he lost his license and got six months of good behaviour but he was just a kid. But he never cared. He wasn't affected by it at all. And I lost Jim and the dog. So thank you for making it a nice night tonight."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

lost pets


  



Lost pets[1]

  


[1] And other misplaced/found objects


Note:

The thing that I really like about Berlin is that people here still have enough faith in humanity to put up lost pet signs.

Almost everyone in Australia, where I grew up, had given up on that idea by the end of the 90’s and now if you see a lost pet sign at home you know it’s just a parent wanting to give their young child peace of mind and something to do and that the parents know almost definitely that nothing will come of it.

Here, however, in small country town Berlin, I get the impression, after seeing so many lost pet signs, that they aren’t intended just as a token but more as a promise.
There’s something about lost pet signs that evokes some sort of displaced sadness in me every time I see one. It’s sad that the pet is lost but that isn’t why these signs are so sad.

There’s something tragic about just how capable we are of falling in love with animals and there’s something sad about the naivety of the whole idea of a lost pet sign: that whatever hopeful person put up the lost pet sign still had enough faith in other people’s good intentions and/or willingness to go out of their way for a stranger.

They make me sad because I’m fairly sure that 90% of these people are never going see their pet again. It’s probably already dead. The person whose car hit it probably just left it there.  In this modern day and age when you lose things you don’t get them back and when you find things you keep them for your self or you leave them behind. Things that belong to strangers and strangers’ problems are not your responsibility. These signs are a counterargument to this contemporary thesis. That is what makes them beautiful, and that is what makes them sad that the hope that they represent is more often not completely unrealistic in terms of the society we actually live in.
























Tuesday, October 30, 2012

come here when you sleepwalk







come here when you sleep walk
















home, pool party















birthday















aldinga, second favourite















street piano














beautiful sheets














 disco sun, spree
















grey beach, spain















may day















nippys duck picnic















new light, new room, new home















rooftop
















gumtree














christina 















melt, machines















devil's mountain














monster
















görlitzer















haircut
















grey sun
















barcelona













karnival man














young







i miss you


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Means to an End





Plans and to do lists are just a means to an end, or something we create to give us the feeling that such a thing actually exists. The truth is that it doesn’t or that if it does, we will never know it.


Stability doesn’t exist. Happiness doesn’t exist. Sadness doesn’t exist. Emotions are just illusions and desires on a straight line.

People who look happy on the internet aren’t. They are the same as you. The only people who actually qualify as ‘happy’ are the people who are content with their own complete oblivion.

We set goals we make lists and we have to keep making new lists but nothing ever gets done. We can make two million lists. We probably will in time. 

And we will keep ticking things off and writing new things down and never ever get anything done because we’re just pretending like there’s things to do. We want to be as busy as possible and do as little as possible at the same time. We want to pursue our dreams but we don’t want to crush them in the process. 

We don’t want to prove the truth that if anyone ever did have a simple and innocent dream and it was in reality naïve and impossible and entirely under-calculated. That these childhood dreams we didn’t even realise we had, these things we expected to happen in our lives were part of a world that never actually existed. They were part of a home and a family that never existed either. Part of simplified, idealised concepts, like lists, that we use to try and make sense of our lives, to mould it into something we can feel ok about.

We all know that at the end of the day none of it really exists. Nobody ever really loves anybody else. Nobody even knows what love is. Nobody even loves themselves so how could they care about anyone else. Love is just appreciating that someone once cared about you. It doesn’t mean anything and their care and your care are either inconsequential or detrimental to one another.

We have such high expectations of other people. We expect them to care about us. We expect that if we put a certain amount of time, of effort, of care, into other people that they should owe us something similar in return. This is not true. This does not mean that they won’t or that they shouldn’t, or that we should spend our lives expecting to be cheated and mistreated, but that we should do things with an absolute zero expectation, neither negative nor positive. As independent beings who can be happy when one other being has tried to make a similar connection, and that that is all it is.

Nobody deserves anything that they get at all. Nobody should expect to get anything either. Everything is chance and karma. They are the same thing too. 



Saturday, October 6, 2012

If I was a bike

Analogy

Thursday, October 4, 2012

if berlin were a person

if berlin were a person it would be a boy who didn't like me.

I have been in this city for a little over a year now and have never experienced the sense of a city having a personality as strongly as I have here.. or perhaps it is more that other cities have personalities too but they have more boring ones. I think that the people living in the city not only create part of the city's personality (any city), but also take on a part of it, mutual creation. 

It's kind of terrifying to think that your location can have such great power over your life, and over who you are as a person. I think we like to think of ourselves as being highly independent of our locations, this idea of I am myself because I am myself and if I move I am still myself. However, when you consider how influenced our lives are by our culture, not only in terms of how we act but also in terms of the way in which we think - i.e. language, and the limitations attached to that - culture being more of a means of thinking which simultaneously enables us to view the world around us and disables us from ever being able to see it objectively, it becomes apparent that our location, regardless of how connected or disconnected we feel in relation to it, has more influence on our personhood and self creation than we like to give it credit for. I think we like to think of our consciousness as a representation of our immunity to involuntary change but it just isn't the case.

In a way I feel very disconnected from part of the culture in this city. I feel like there is a beat that I've missed that I'll never be able to find, like I'll always be clapping out of time, or even if I could find the right time I'd be clapping at 2 beats per minute while everyone else was clapping at 4. The parts of the city that I do feel connected to, or that I do feel like I properly understand are the parts of myself, I'm not sure whether they were already there and I just realised them or if they have developed through my being here, but these parts of me that do fit in here don't fit into my old culture. I kind of feel like maybe they never did and that is somehow how or why I ended up here but now I feel torn between two equally unsolvable problems.

I have realised that the people I love and my love for this city are identical in their characteristics. I love them because of their impossibility. I have committed my life to pursuing the impossible, with limited success. I got here, I learnt the language, I have a house. I will never really be here, or belong here. I can't quite understand why. Maybe when I figure it out I will be able to change it, or be able to leave. If I ever really did figure it out I probably wouldn't be interested in it any more. It wouldn't seem as beautiful or mysterious or intelligent. The city and the men in the city and the men in my life will never really make sense to me, or me to them. I love the mystery but it is destroying me. They are both are cold and hard and bitter and loveless and I have made it my mission to somehow infiltrate that and become a part of that and force it to accept me, but in doing this, if i ever achieve my mission goal I will immediately loose what it was that defined the original appeal.

Berlin is a special city. I've always unconsciously looked at it in purely a positive light, as a city of youth and creativity, as an art city where people go to develop things. To be honest, until very recently I'd never looked or questioned any further than a superficial observation of 'there's something about berlin that I really love' - I've said that sentence to so many people at so many times and always clarified the sentence with it being something in the air and in the minds of the people that I loved or understood in some way that I couldn't put my finger on. I was satisfied with the vagueness of this until last weekend I was speaking with a girl about Berlin who made the observation that Berlin was a city for 'lost souls'. this statement both somehow conflicted with and fitted perfectly to my previous explanation of what it was I loved about it here. It had been staring me in the face so blankly and boldly for so long, my own face in the mirror and the faces of all the people who have been drawn here like moths to flames, and I couldn't see it because I only recognised myself. What makes sense about this city is that everyone here is lost and is searching, in some sort of semi-hopeless way. I think the people here have come to terms with the flaws and the hopelessness of humanity more than a lot of other countries and other cities and through this there is something simple and human and desperate and honest about this city. I had previously misinterpreted this as mystery and strength but actually what I think it really is is honesty and saddness. But these are perhaps the two most beautiful things that exist in the world.

The city and the people who have come here are hard and cold and loveless. Everyone here is isolated and wants to be that way. Everybody thinks that they are connected because they interact but they all remain so incredibly separate from one another despite all their interactions. They want to love themselves but they hate themselves and they want to hurt themselves through experiencing every experience available to them and this is the city of possibilities. No one here can love themselves and no one here can love anyone else either. They don't want to because they're all to terrified because no one is staying in this place anyway. This is a city of temporality. If you stay here too long you won't die old.  Everyone here has lost, or left the ideal, the childhood fantasy of home. Home doesn't exist in berlin. Home here is at best a place where you keep your things. It doesn't have a soul here. No one was born here and no one wants to stay here because you can never really have a home here and if you can't have a proper home you can never really relax or settle down or feel calm or safe or be in love. It's probably good for productivity but it's draining. People seem to care about other people in a way here more than they do in more advanced-western-focused cultures, but at the same time they go to such great lengths to isolate themselves from things.

The result is a bunch of people who don't act like what they want because they want a million different things at once. the result is a bunch of people who spend time together for the sake of it and who make plans so that they feel like they have a future even though they hate the idea of committing to anything or obligating themselves to do anything in the next five minutes. Berlin is the city where everybody is free but bound. We have all the time in the world and no money to do anything with. It's the city where people complain about having no money instead of complaining about work. It's the city where kindness is empty. It's the city where lost souls find each other and are never really sure whether they'd prefer just to be alone.

Friday, September 7, 2012

dialectic

I have this blog. I don't like telling people that I write. I dislike even more telling people that I'm a writer, or even that I want to be. Because I'm not. I'm not really sure where the legitimate point is that you can tell someone that you 'are' something and not be a total jerk or wanker about it, especially with things like being a 'writer' or an 'artist' which are really vague concepts. I don't think I could feel justified in saying that I was really a writer unless I was living off it and even then I think I'd still feel like I was lying and being a bit wanky about it. 

I mean, I really enjoy writing and I've said this many times in the past few months (where I am currently in a foreign city - or I am a foreigner in my current city - and am finishing the degree I have been doing for the past 4 years and am lacking a concrete answer to the question of what it is exactly that I 'do' or am doing here) "If I were to have a skill, then it would probably be writing" - It is the only thing that I can really pick out that I am generally capable of being good (not amazing but better than average, maybe) at, and to my own luck it is also something that I enjoy. The logical connection between these two facts would be that I should "be" a "writer". But it's not that simple.

First year out of highschool my university preferences were 1. Journalism and 2. Bachelor of Arts. Bachelor of Arts was what I really wanted to do anyway, but I hated the idea of telling people that that was what I was doing at uni, and also of having to explain what it was to people- that it's not art per se etc. - (and rightfully so as I thereafter found out), so I opted for journalism as my number one in the unlikely even that my half-arsed efforts of yr12 resulted in a TER good enough to get into the course. To my surprise and simultaneous disappointment/pleasure I scraped into journalism by .01% of my TER score. After six months - actually after about 2 days - of participating in this course I knew it wasn't what I wanted to do, however I still find it very difficult to see any other professional option for writing. 

On the first day of Journalism class they told us,

"Journalism isn't about being a good writer, it's about getting good contacts and stories. Noone cares about what you say, or the way that you say it."

This was true and also good advice but not what I really wanted to be hearing at the time. I also took a creative writing class as the elective element of my journalism degree. This was the biggest load of bullshit I have ever legitimately encountered. It was a total sham. I wrote utter shit, knew I was doing it and the teacher soaked it up. He wanted shit. We made a play as a literary text or something and I acted as Bindi Irwin and it was this style of wank where it seems like it means something big and deep, so deep and meaningful that if you can't understand it it must just be because you're an idiot, but actually it doesn't mean anything. It did not mean anything. It was just nonsense we made up five minutes before class but we got such a good mark. And then I think I got less good marks for the things that I made as part of this course that were honest writing and not in this wanky bullshit style that they were looking for. I really hate that about writing. 

and I don't know what I hated more, this course or journalism and these two things present themselves as being really the only two options for professional writing but I hate both of them, yet there is no part of actual writing, the writing that I choose to do, that I do not enjoy.

A few months ago I started an internship at a magazine here in Berlin and was merely reminded of the fact that journalism is: 
a. not something I enjoy and 
b. not something that I am good at. 
It's bizarre because it's writing, but I am really genuinely quite terrible at this style of simplistic writing and I find it incredibly difficult, frustrating and time consuming. But theoretically it's what I want to do? I don't know, I just had the same feeling, and realisation, as I'd had when I started the journalism degree and that was that I hate this it's vapid and I can't do it and I don't want to anyway.

So then, the natural conclusion must be that the writing I enjoy (and am good at (?)) must be 'creative writing'. Berlin is a great city for creative writing. It is cheap and consequently a place that people come to to write. I did a little bit of searching and came up with a few literary journals produced in the city along with a store supporting independent publishing. I went into this store and talked to the people there. They were pretty friendly but also somehow really 'cool' (rather than being total dorks which is how I imagine most good writers to actually be) and I had that feeling of that I was some how less intelligent, less legitimately a writer and less cool because I didn't really know many of the things that they were talking about. Basically I went there and asked how one goes about submitting to a journal or writing something and having it independly published or connecting oneself with other writers in the city.. not really crazy or bizarre questions but these questions were relatively unanswered and I was instead given a large pile of "art" journals, which I bought, took home, and read... and they gave me the similar feeling that the boy in the store had given me when I'd asked me about the books. I felt like I was stupid for not understanding what the point of these publications was. I felt like they were cool and aesthetically pleasing and from an overview seemed like really interesting concepts, like there must be something meaningful or interesting inside, but after glossing through all these publications and cool ideas and collaborations I came out with a feeling that I had found very few items of real substance, but also feeling that I must be the less intellectual one for not having found them. Maybe I am, I don't know, maybe I just need to know more about art or read more or take more drugs or be more open minded. But actually I've read a lot and the university essays I read make a lot more linear sense and have more impacting points behind them (unsurprisingly) than any of the things I took home from that store. Aren't we seeking to move people or to communicate something by our writing? I felt like these pieces of writing were just things whirling around and looking beautiful, that one could maybe make a meaning out of if they intended to do so, but didn't have to. They weren't open or honest or vulnerable or true.

I think that is the key of what frustrated me about these pieces, the lack of simplicity and honesty and the resultant vulnerablity that comes with that. The humanity of it - That is what is interesting about writing and about other people's writing and about reading, seeing into the human mind, feeling how other people feel, experiencing something that can really only be experienced by re-reading something that has been re-told by writing on paper, it's so different than explaining something aloud. The experience described and re-read is experienced more internally than something that's merely said aloud and heard by a passive listener. Reading is somehow more active. But then why does everything have to be this vague bullshit that can 'mean whatever you want it to mean' - why can't people just write something honest and true about their lives, or admit that they don't have any idea, and just tell a story. 

If someone can tell me where to find this kind of writing, this simple writing, this honest writing that makes you feel connected to the author, and to the rest of the world rather than feeling separated and inferior to and from it, please let me know. I have found it a few times, in the books I have loved, sometimes in blogs, in zines (which have a misleading and unnecessary connection with being used to make heavy political statements or the like but the beautiful thing about zines is that they can be whatever you make them and I think that the wonderfully great zines are the ones where people tell these simple stories about things that have actually happened). I think the great skill of writing is being able to make something mundane sound interesting, or real, making things sound real whether they are or they aren't, making them believable and understandable and imaginable. 

This is the kind of writing I wish to produce and the kind of writing I also wish to seek out. I find it endlessly frustrating that the current writing, at least what I have discovered in this city at this point in my searches, maybe I've been looking in the wrong places, is so far from simplicity and honesty and humanness and so obsessed with being something other than what it is, coming out from people who are so obsessed with being someone other than themselves I think. I hate that about art. People get so carried away with it as an identity that they hide themselves behind this crazy persona that's totally forged and believe somehow that they've created a better personality but I believe that there is something really really beautiful about people in their most simple, open, honest self, even with all their flaws because they all come from a history or a reason and I'm so tired of this focus on distorting everything, it's not making anything any more interesting or any more beautiful.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Red flags (it's a fine line)

These qualities indicate that you should be careful because this person is probably a scrub. or a bad person or someone you're not going to get along with very well. When not existing in great quantities they can however be overlooked and also overruled by positive things like getting jokes or being good looking. There is a very fine line between red flags and deal breakers and they are all relative to the context of the situation and whether or not the guy has a dog.

using too many emoticons and or abbreviations (emoji is somewhat excluded from this though)

not having a top sheet

talking badly about other girls (they will inevitably speak the same way about you)

bad skin (if it's bad on the face it's probably bad other places too...)

balding (that shit's not going to get any better)

using the word 'boobies' at any point

not liking animals

not liking cats (liking cats too much can also be problematic)

liking everything/everyone i.e. being unrealistically positive and thus making me feel like a horrible negative person which actually i don't think i am - i'm just realistic

bad shoes

bad jeans

not having a phone

talking about doing things that they never actually do (actually this should probably be a deal breaker) - you know those people who are always 'going overseas in six months' always

people who make you feel shit for not knowing as much about some random shit thing they happen to know heaps about

people whose ex(es) looks like you

people who look like your ex(es)

shoplifting

not understanding sarcasm

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

deal breakers cont.

other deal breakers also include:

not liking seinfeld

liking the simpsons better than seinfeld

not buying ones own underwear/socks (this also is connected with not doing own washing but if you're getting to that point in your decisions you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel with that guy because he's probably already broken about 50 deals)

being a vegan (vegetarian is also not good but can be wavered depending on how militant the person is about it)

wearing novelty tshirts

not liking children (as much as i say i don't like children, men who don't like children are usually not the best)

asking to split the bill on the first date (it's ok to agree to it but you should always offer to pay first, at least on the first date when you're trying to convince the other person that you're a decent person)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Stella


Mary has 103 variant forms: 
Mair, Maire, Mal, Malia, Mallie, Mame, Mamie, Manette, Manon,Manya, Mara, Marabel, Marabelle, Mare, Maree, Marella, Marelle, Maren, Maretta, Marette, Maria, Mariam, Marian, Mariana, Mariann, Marianna, Marianne, Marice, Maridel, Marie, Mariel,Mariela, Mariella, Marielle, Marietta, Mariette, Marilee, Marilin, Marilla, Marilyn, Marin, Marion,Mariquilla, Mariquita, Mariska, Marita, Maritsa, Maritza, Marja, Marjan, Marje, Marla, Marlo,Marya, Maryann, Maryanne, Marybel, Marybell, Marybeth, Maryjo, Marylee, Marylin, Marylou,Marylu, Marysa, Maryse, Marysia, Masha, Maura, Maure, Maureen, Maurene, Maurine, Maurise,Maurita, Maurizia, Mavra, May, Mayme, Maymie, Mayra, Mayria, Meridel, Meriel, Mimi, Minette,Minnie, Minny, Miriam, Mitzi, Moira, Moire, Moll, Mollie, Molly, Morag, Moya, Muire, Murial,Muriel, Murielle, Poll and Polly.

Five Seven Five



Reading Naked Lunch
At an open air party
Don’t be a cliché

 
Moved to Berlin and
Dyed my hair carnation pink
I am a cliché


Every boy I like
Who is the most beautiful
Definitely gay



Buy a club mate
Only wear vintage clothing
Never learn German


I love club mate
I only wear vintage clothes
I don’t speak German


I need a boyfriend
With a motor bike and dog
Friend is ok too



Even if you’re cool
Yellow and black together
Look like a street sign


All of the people
Find dogs indoors normal
I don’t understand


If you love glitter
You have probably taken
Some MDMA



I will judge you by
How much information is
On your facebook page


Really want a cat
But they live too long, would be
Irresponsible


Life changing advice:
Always the second cheapest
Available option

  
Boys who have Tumblrs
Are usually a little
Bit maladjusted


If you are ugly
And you want to look better
You should grow a beard


Parents worked out Skype
Because they’re really stingy
Still can’t use email
 

 

Deal breakers include
Abbreviations in texts
Bad skin and bad shoes


Beer is the best drink
Not because it tastes so good
But because it’s cheap


If you have a dog
I will overlook at least
One whole deal breaker



Sorry for being
Negative, actually I’m
Just being honest


Best way to get over
Still not having a girlfriend
Is getting a bike

 
Most happy people
Are in my own opinion
Unintelligent



I like the canal
The swans are kind of scary
But I still feed them


It makes me happy
When people look like their pets
Especially dogs


Bike riding is good
Most of the time except for
Uphill, then I walk