Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shrinking Women

For the last year or so, I've been receiving weekly emails from Upworthy - a website dedicated to sharing important stuff and helping it go viral. Some of the things they share with me I glance at, some I don't even bother with, but occasionally something they've posted grabs me by the throat (metaphorically speaking), shoves me against the wall and says "listen to this - this is you".

This is one of those posts.

The video below is of Lily Meyers, a student in the US who was a contestant in a slam poetry competition. Her story has so many parallels to my own that it's almost frightening.  Except the mother drinking wine bit. The Mater hasn't touched a drop of alcohol since she was in her early 20s.  But that's telling in itself, I guess.

Anyway. I wish I'd been as clued in and articulate at Lily's age. My life might've turned out slightly differently.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Odds Are...?


Let's start with the positives.  

I'm already up seven (this makes eight) blog posts on last year's pathetic effort. That's good.  That's encouraging.

However, you may remember my post of 30 December 2012, in which I stated:

Will also set a goal for 52 blog posts in 2013.  That's one a week.  Surely that's manageable. 

And the subsequent posts, in February and July, in which I lamented (and berated myself for) my seeming inability to work towards achieving this goal. 

We're now mid-way through October. Just two and a half months to go in 2013, with almost 20 blog posts to go.

Can I do it?  Of course I can.

Will I do it?

That remains to be seen.

Let's hope so.  Being off the facebook has certainly freed up some time for me (although I am presently spending a great portion of that time giving my living room a makeover).

Place your bets now, ladies and gents. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Pronunciation: /ˌdɪskəmˈbɒbjʊleɪt/
[with object] humorous, chiefly North American
  • disconcert or confuse (someone)

I'm feeling just a little discombobulated at present. Mainly in the area of relationships ("Heh. That's nothing new", I hear you smirk). 

Let's just jump right in with some examples, shall we?

I said hello to a colleague tonight as we were all exiting the auditorium after seeing a show. She was talking to someone, but had made eye contact with me, so I said hello and asked her how she enjoyed the production... I didn't mean to interrupt her conversation, but she'd made the initial eye contact, so I was only being polite. Her response was quite cold and dismissive. I'm sure she didn't mean to be, but that's how it felt. I apologised for interrupting, but there was no response - she just continued her conversation and walked off.


The friend I went to see the show with (who I used to spend a great deal of time with) has been quite distant of late, especially when we're around his work colleagues. We attended an industry function together last week and when his colleagues turned up, I felt like I was in the way and he wanted me gone. I felt like that again tonight, like he couldn't wait to get rid of me.


Another friend, who I met up with last week, spent most of our couple of hours together complaining about the clinginess of one of her fellow playgroup mums. When we parted, I suggested we make arrangements in the next few weeks to catch up again, but she dismissed me with a wave of the hand and "whenever - we'll talk", which left me feeling like I was an intrusion in her life and she couldn't be bothered with me.


I conducted a little social experiment a couple of weeks back. I was in Sydney and having a catch up with a group of old friends and I decided I would only talk about myself if I was asked a direct question. I wouldn't offer any information unless I was asked and even then, I would only stick to answering the question. Instead, I would spend my part of the conversation asking questions of them, to find out more about what had been happening in their lives and just wait and see if they asked any questions of me. 

Apart from the beginning of the afternoon, when the friend who'd organised the get-together turned up first, enabling us to have a brief chat before everyone else arrived; not a single question was asked of me the entire time, other than "do you want another drink?". No one else asked me how I was, how I was enjoying living in Melbourne, what I'd been up to, how work was... nothing. They talked endlessly about their lives, their kids, their careers... there were no lulls in conversation, it was just all about them.  I found it massively discombobulating and has led me to believe that either: (a) I must talk about myself too much when I've been out with them previously, so they're sick of me; or (b) I must not be worth bothering to enquire after.

Since I've been off Facebook  I've barely heard from some of my (so-called) friends.  The ones who keep in actual touch are (sadly) few and far between and not really who I expected to. This is quite sobering, in that I do feel a little as though all the people I thought were good friends, couldn't actually give a flying monkeys about me.

Really discombobulating.

God that all sounds so depressing.  Someone smack me around the head and tell me to snap out of it. Please. 

Look, I guess it is a little depressing and I think I'm entitled to feel discombobulated and hurt and slighted. That's ok. As long as I don't dwell on it.  Because really, the people who have kept in touch are clearly the ones I need to appreciate more and focus my energies on.  

And I need to remember: reason, season, lifetime.

The reason and seasons are plentiful, but the lifetimes are rare and need nurturing. That's what I need to focus on.

On that note... bedtime.


Rioting Teens

It's Melbourne Festival time again, but this year I haven't been quite as enthused as I have been in previous years. Which is kind of dumb, seeing as one of my closest mates here in Melbourne is the head of ticketing, so I have access to a range of freebies!  There are really only a handful of shows I want to see, which is a first for me in an arts festival.

However, tonight I DID see one of the shows I was really excited about - Teenage Riot, by the amazing Belgian theatre company, Ontroerend Goed.  I've known these guys for a while - I saw the first work in this trilogy (Once And For All We're Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up And Listen) at Edinburgh Festival in 2008 and was blown away. These teenagers were loud, opinionated, brave, daring, unapologetic, savvy, scary and a million other adjectives I would NEVER have used on myself at that age. Then, about six months later, while working at Sydney Festival before moving down to Melbourne, I got a chance to work with them on one of their adult works - Smile Off Your Face, where they sat 'audience' members in wheelchairs, bound their hands together, blindfolded them and wheeled them through a full sensory experience. It was one of the most gob-smackingly incredible experiences of my life. To this day, I don't think I've seen/experienced anything (in an artistic/theatrical sense) which could top it.

Anyway.  Tonight was Teenage Riot. The sequel to OAFAWGTYWWASSUAL (yeah, I could cut and paste, but why do that when it's fun to type a seemingly random combination of letters?!).  Next week is the final part of the trilogy, All That Is Wrong, which looks just as incredible.

So what is it about these shows that's so amazing? I don't think I can condense it down to a simple answer. There is nothing even remotely simple, or even explainable, about this company's work. They push boundaries, they step across lines, they throw things (metaphorically and sometimes literally) in your face.  They challenge you. They make you think. They make you question.  Especially these kids.  They really made me question my place in the world and the world I will one day leave behind, but they do it in a way that is not overly accusatory or preachy.  It's a very fine line they tread, but they do it so well and so powerfully.

"I look at you and I don't see an example. I see a warning."

Somewhere along the line, I've become the adult that these teenagers talk about. I don't feel like it. I'm sure a lot of times I don't act like it. But I am. And that's a pretty sobering (and scary) thought.

If you're in Melbourne over the next three nights, I highly recommend you try and see this show. It's not expensive ($49 for a full price ticket) and will not only make you think, but genuinely entertain you.  

Oh and if you do see it, let me know. We can discuss the worm, the tornado and the twizzler. Holy crap, but I was impressed by the twizzler.  Find me a guy who's willing do that for me and I'll be forever in your debt.

Friday, October 04, 2013

One Meaningless Life...

Don't worry, the content isn't as dire as the title suggests.  It's just that's the line that stuck with me.

"It's an incredibly exciting thing, this one, meaningless life of yours. Good luck."

I do so love Tim Minchin. He speaks sense.

(And he's a genuinely nice bloke. I can attest to that - I've met him on a few occasions.)

Watch. Enjoy.