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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in auntpol's LiveJournal:

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Monday, September 12th, 2011
3:58 pm
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
"And I'm away from home, and it's a way of life"

This whole album reminds me of Serpentine, it always will

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
11:00 pm
Day Five - a song that reminds you of someone - "pretending to be interesting is a funny way to go"
Okay so there are a heap of songs that remind me of people. But instead of someone who is a friend being the someone whose song I will post here, I'm going to post a song which reminds me of a person I don't know. Who knows what she is doing now, and I don't really care.

To give you background: I loved doing english tutes. They were a place yo could say something ridiculous and have a bit of a play around it and maybe get to something interesting in the end. I'd been mainly blessed with some pretty great english tutors (including the one who told us he'd fight with the invigilators if we wanted to take in "the communist manifesto" in it's entirety (it wasn't on the booklist, so we weren't TECHNICALLY allowed it in he exam).

But this one English tutor...in a unit I really loved... she just didn't get it. We did great books. Instead of letting us have wonderful free form conversation she made us break into groups which would present dot points. I felt like I was in primary school.

The ICING ON THE CAKE was when I got back my first essay for that unit from her, and I only got a credit (I was a solid HD english student, thank-you-very-much. Well, a solid low HD, high D. Okay that's not so solid. but whatever).

So I read her comments. And she just didn't ... get what I was saying. AT ALL. She had MISSED the CLEAR (and I thought kinda profound, or at the least insightful) point of my ESSAY. I got someone else (from the unit, a good student) to read it and they agreed that she just didn't understand the minute I made an even vaguely complex point. ARGH.

I hope she didn't finish her PhD.

But anyway, this song reminds me of her whenever I hear it. She was also really guarded and never let us in on how she was affected by anything. Which sucked 'cos tutes I liked were all about emotionally vomiting on the text. Well not quite. The tone of this song also reminds me of those points where you are bored in a tute and time seems to slow RIGHT DOWN and you just think "when will this end, never?! PLEASE."

This is a sassy song. It's "You miss the point completely" by Harvey Danger

Sunday, June 26th, 2011
12:43 pm
Day Four - A Song That Makes You Sad - "and he takes and he takes and he takes"
Okay so a lot of songs make me sad. I'm a huge sook, and I like sad music. So I chose four songs which make me sad. Predictably, they are all about loss of a loved one.

==Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens==

This song is a song which can make me burst into tears, if I'm in the right kind of vulnerable mood. It's a truly beautiful song, one which deals a lot with the tension between believing in (a) God and dealing with the fact that someone you love is still going to die. It's a really beautiful song.

==Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On - Dean Martin ==

My dad used to sing this song whenever we made the bed together as kids. My dad had a lovely, mellow voice, not that unlike Dean Martin's.

==The Rainbow Connection - sung by Kermit the Frog==

"Rainbows are visions, but only illusions"
My stepdad was a manly man. He loved football and curry and tractors and fixing stuff. He also loved the Muppets, and this song used to make him cry. It reminds me a lot of him, and how much he loved us kids. Despite being a skeptical, I'm also a sooky hippy, and I hope that we will find the rainbow connection someday.

==Heart of Life - John Mayer==

This is a naff song. I'm gonna be the first to say. But it's a song that my brother got into around the time my stepdad died, and Paige and he were too upset to make a speech at his funeral. So they put together a presentation of photos of him and put it to this song. He would have been so proud of how lovely his funeral was, and this song just takes me back to that moment.
Monday, May 30th, 2011
3:48 pm
Day Three: A song that makes you happy. "pretend like its the weekend now"
I have a collection of albums which are what I call "Sunday Morning albums". They are albums which I love to play on Sunday mornings when the house is clean, there is sunlight streaming through the windows, and I'm relaxing with Corrin. Jack Johnson's "In Between Dreams". My sister first showed me it when she had just come back from an idyllic week on Rottnest with a friend's family. So it reminds me a lot of time with her, and having sing alongs with my family. It's also just such a lovely, sunshiney album in general. Jack Johnson isn't an AMAZING musician or anything, but his music is pretty damn chill.

So I chose "banana pancakes", just because it's such a classic, chilled out, lovey dovey song. It reminds me of the kind of sunday morning happiness which I am enjoying a lot lately.

Thursday, May 26th, 2011
7:57 pm
Day 2 - Your least favourite song
As many other people have commented, it's kind of hard to think of your least favourite song because...it's your least favourite? I was thinking of doing my least favourite song by an artist I otherwise really like. But none came to mind, so here is a song which Paige was obsessed with when we first moved out/in together. I've never understood the appeal of this song, which is saying cos I usually have broad musical tastes. It just grates on my nerves.

So here it is: Icecream, by Muscles

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
7:33 pm
30 day song meme - "an insect too delicate to catch"
So, inspired by patternsofchaos and almightybean imma gonna do this meme! I'm not sure I can keep it to just one song per post but I WILL TRY. Using this page as an index (mainly for myself? haha)

day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

Your Favourite Song
Who has one favourite song? I don't. A huge problem with the way I listen to music is I am much more likely to have a favourite album than a favourite song. My favourite album is "Together Alone" by Crowded House. There are a lot of favourites off that album, but probably the song which is appropriate for this kind of meme is "Fingers of Love". It's where the username I've been using a bit comes from (endlessmurmur - I've just been too cheap to update eljay). My iPod is called "Delicate Insect"

I think the reason which I really like Neil Finn's songwriting is I (very mildly) synasthese (sp?) when I listen to music, and I like the images I "see" when I hear the music. I think it's also because the lyrics are pretty atmospheric and create feeling rather than story.

I don't really know what Fingers of Love is about. Neil is always vague on interpretation of his lyrics (to the point where fans have created the FLIM - Finn Lyrics Interpretation Manual). I kind of like it like that though, I like having fun with the meaning. A few people have tossed around the idea that the "fingers of love" are fingers on a fretboard, being forced to be creative on demand. This correlates well with the cynicism of an earlier album ("Temple of Low Men").

I personally find it very hard to pin a lyrical meaning down for this song, but it has some beautiful lyrics. I think it's a lot about having complete awe for something or someone and feeling it is just too perfect to continue - it's about waiting for a situation to turn bad - "and I'm playing in the shallow water, laughing while the mad dog sleeps". It's one of those bittersweet Finn songs where you feel that there is SOME optimism, it's just surrounded by feelings of being suffocated by your own anxiety. In one of the live recordings I have the bridge lyrics have an extra little section which I feel adds something to the song (added section in italics:

"There is time yet
for you to find me

There is time yet
to fall by the way
from the cradle to the grave
from the palace to the gutter
beneath the dying waves of the sun
like your fingers of love"

I wish I could find a recording of this version - the melody in the added line perfectly captures a feeling of quiet desperation, the feeling of wanting to be saved (as Tim Finn sang in Split Enz:"I need a dragon slayer who can save me from myself"). Neil doesn't want a dragon slayer, but he does want someone to reach out their hands to rescue him from his lonely anxiety.

Where does his lonely anxiety come from? I think the first verse lends a clue "I hear the endless murmur, every blade of grass that shivers in the breeze". I can really relate to this, as sometimes I like to wrap myself in the world and "hear the endless murmur". The moment where you go from being awe-struck at how beautiful each leaf in a tree is, to where you realise that there are many trees, each with perfect leaves, can be overwhelming. There is sometimes too much beauty in the world and it can leave you feeling pretty insignificant. Also the transient nature of the beauty of the universe - "an insect too delicate to catch - is something which can be difficult to deal with.

On the commentary to "farewell to the world" Neil talks about this song, and says he wrote it in Hawaii, stoned, watching the sunset. That's where the lyric "Fingers of love" comes from those kinds of sunsets where the beams of sun come through the clouds. It's pretty close to the imagery I get from this song, which is a very warm reddy pink sunset through a fog, with bright green pools hemmed with dark grey stones. It's one of the more beautiful songs I've seen.

I'm going to include two vids - the first is the official release (cos the music is better quality). Then there is a video with BAD music quality, but of a clip I didn't know existed! I've got all the CH video clips on a dvd and this isn't on it! Weird! Anyway the feel of the video comes close to how I see this song, sorta.

((sorry for writing so much but it is MY FAVOURITE SONG GUYS))



Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
8:26 pm
Things I learnt from honours (which weren't biochemistry related)
Inspired by Dr. Sophie's post on what she wish she had been told when she was doing her PhD, here is a collection of things I wish I had known before I started honours. But I did learn them along the way! It's kind of more relevant to science than anything else, because...that's what I did my honours in.

1. Your experiment won't work.
Every honours student thinks the same thing. They think that they're going to be amazing and on top of it, and because they have a keen sense of duty to science, an understanding of the scientific method, and good skills, that your results will mean something!

No, it won't. I don't care if you're the best student. You have the best lab skills. You'll read all the articles. You'll stay 'til 1am in the lab. You'll do the same thing over and over and over again and stare at the results because they don't make sense, just to find out it's because you made some rookie mistake because you haven't had a good meal and a solid sleep for a month, and sunlight has become a distant and vague recollection. You'll cry when everyone else has left the lab and you're washing up your glassware. You'll trip up the stairs with something it took you a week to prepare. Stuff will work for no reason. Stuff will not work for no reason.

And you might address a third of your aims. If you're lucky.

But that's okay! The thing is, undergrad labs lie to you. They make you think that science is as easy as baking a cake. It isn't. If it was, we'd probably know more about the world around us than we do. Even the most well established protocols don't work sometimes. And you'll learn to troubleshoot. And that's a really important skill in itself!

Oh and the day you give up on something working? That is the day it works.

2. You aren't your science.
It's important to know: you aren't your science. Don't take it personally that things aren't working. Science doesn't have a personal vendetta against you, and often it isn't you being totally terrible that makes it not work. You're doing this because it's NOVEL research. No one else has done it. That's why you're doing it, and there is no reason to believe it WILL work so don't be disappointed when it doesn't.

Practically everyone I did honours with felt like crap about doing honours. They felt like they were the outlier - they were the runt of the litter, the dunce, the one who somehow managed to get in on a fluke and is just wasting space and money and everyone's TIME because they don't DESERVE to be in the program. You WILL feel like that. And it isn't true. For a start, you're paying them. Don't forget this. Secondly, you're the free labour for the lab. You get to do all the tedious crap other people can't be arsed doing. You're doing them a FAVOUR by doing this, so don't feel like you're not worthwhile.

You are worthwhile. You aren't your failed experiments.

3. Your supervisor doesn't think you're stupid.
So, your experiments aren't working. You're running out of time. And no matter how much you read you don't feel like you can ever get on top of your topic.

My natural reaction was to pull the best poker face and hide the fact that I felt like I was drowning. This is not a good idea.

Remember how you aren't your science? Well, your supervisor doesn't think you're dumb because your experiments haven't worked. They are your supervisor BECAUSE they have been through everything you have (alone, as a student), and again with probably a dozen honours and PhD students. They know that science doesn't work at least half of the time. And they won't judge you. They've done dumb things too.

They will get grumpy with you if you don't tell them until the last minute that you need help.

So talk to them. I can't stress this enough. TALK TO THEM. Tell them what you think about what is going on. Tell them what you are worried about. Tell them that you don't know what do to next. Guess what? 50% of the time they don't know either. But they'll come to you in a few hours with a new lead and you'll feel a ton better.

They want to help you. Let them know when you need it. Benefit from their experience, for the love of god.

4. Take breaks.
Honours is going to be horrible. You're going to feel like crap. You'll stop exercising and get fat from the amount of broadway fast food you will eat. Or, you'll not eat because of stress. You will scowl at the undergrads sunbathing on the grass. You'll scowl at undergrads generally. You won't have been to the hairdresser in the longest time. You'll feel guilty for taking a whole decadent hour to eat your lunch.

Stop the guilt cycle. You're just a person. You can't be productive 100% of the time. Sure, you can stay in the lab all hours, or spend all your waking time at your desk. I know, it feels like you don't have time to leave. That you have so much to do, that if you aren't working on your project for 5 minutes you'll feel like that's 5 minutes more you are behind. But your productivity will drop off.

So, go and get your hair cut. Go home early and make a nice dinner. Try to see your (non-honours) friends as much as you can. You don't have to feel guilty for not being in the building 9am-7pm. Make your breaks BREAKS which don't contain ANY thesis or project. It will help delay the inevitable thesis-crazy. You have to remember to look after yourself through all of this, or you will crash. And it will be at the worst time. Keep your mind and body as strong as you can.

5.You aren't your thesis.
Similarly to "you aren't your science", "you aren't your thesis". If you get any work back from your examiners before you submit your thesis (we got our intros back mid year) - read them. Don't feel embarrassed about all the corrections and marks they have made. They want to help you. They don't think that you're stupid for making mistakes. They think you're stupid when you won't take the advice of people who have devoted a heap of time to reading a thesis which is out of their field.

Overall, I think I learnt more about myself during honours than I learnt about oxidative stress and animals and muscles and glucose. I think I have made a whole heap of changes which will make me a much better PhD student than I would have been otherwise.
Thursday, August 19th, 2010
10:59 pm
So does anyone have an American friends with whom I can conspire to get the kindle version of "The Onion Girl" for me for my kindle??

(This is going to require them logging in as me (I'll change my password momentarily), downloading the kindle book to their computer, then emailing it to me. This is because amazon won't let you just make up a US address to change your address and thus buy the book, but it also checks your IP. I need them to use my account so it will be bound to my kindle's serial number or it won't work)

(Alternatively if someone can find a version of The Onion Girl which I can buy as an ebook not through amazon I'll buy it. I don't mind paying money at all, I just want ot read the friggin' book).
Monday, July 5th, 2010
6:27 pm
I would like to believe that there is a god, while sinful angels suffer for love
On Wednesday it's three years since Al passed away. On Sunday it's 40 days since Dad passed away. It's kind of difficult to believe that either of them is gone. One of the PhD students in my lab reminds me a lot of Al, in his mannerisms and the idioms he uses. It's both comforting and distressing, depending on my mood.

After Al died, I had a dream where he was driving us in the car. I said something (inane) like "Al, aren't you dead?" and he said "don't worry about it, it doesn't matter" and the dream went on. It was a really vivid dream: it felt like Al was really there and I was really there.

After Dad died, I had a dream that we went to visit him in his house. I said something like "Dad, you're dead, they found your body in the bathroom". And he said "oh, there must have been some mistake because I am here". Again, it was a dream which seemed more real than other vivid dreams which I have had - it seemed like I was really there with Dad.

After each of these dreams I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted from me, I suppose the anxiety of my fathers' passing.

What is left is the immense emptiness, purposelessness, despair. It's a feeling of a very selfish kind of loss, not worry for their suffering. It's the feeling of too many changes too soon after one another, of wanting to take it easy all the time. The feeling of never being able to go backwards.

Last night, driving home, I realised that I wanted to keep driving to Serpentine. I think I need to do that sometime, maybe in a few weeks. I think I've been forced forwards so much I've forgotten that going back is important too.
Monday, May 31st, 2010
7:55 pm
"Send me the pillow that you dream on"
Stavros Boyatzis
01/04/1937 - 31/05/2010

You tried to be a good dad
I tried to be a good daughter

<3
Thursday, May 13th, 2010
9:30 pm
The accidental rhyme that captured me the first time
So, I'm feeling pretty detached from honours. I am a good science student, at least at the undergrad level. But I think I made way too many mistakes in choosing my project. Firstly it seems to need way too much thought from me. On the upside, that is a good thing - it's important to think about your experimental design. But in a way I wish I had have chosen something which was more defined. I feel like I'm floating in some kind of weird, ill-defined place where I'm going to fuck it all up.

And in a way, I already have. I'm half way through lab work (gulp) and I have literally NOTHING to show for it. Hopefully my methods refinement protocol which I am working on right now will work. But I have to hand in a progress report in a week. And my progress is to realise how lost I am.

Another point is that I have to write an ethics for what I want to do, which apparently won't get approved in time for me to do my experiments.

On the upside, I like my supervisor. He makes me feel smart and optimistic. On the downside I don't want him to read my lit review and find out how shoddy I am at writing scientifically, at narrowing things down to one important point.

I think what it basically comes down to is that I really like the atmosphere of a lab, the betterment of everything by finding one thing out. One little protein or transcription factor or something which helps to hold us together.

But I think in a way the problem is that I want a nice lab environment in the day to day - people to talk to, to interact with. Now the new PhD is it's better, way more talkative. But I think I just like the toys of a molecular biology lab way more - the tubes and racks and everything in its right place. Aseptic technique and being fastidious. At the end of the day it's the little things which make each day good - the neat and clean and lots of little tubes and labels and organising. If I do a science PhD I'll be doing something in mol biol or cell physiol. Analytic biochem is cold: it doesn't have the integrative appeal of physiology or the toys and small scale information harvesting of mol biol.

I think the far bigger problem is that you aren't allowed to save the world in science. You have a little tiny section which you work on. You spend forever looking at everyone else's tiny contributions, seeing the direction in which they point, trying to find the angle of the vector they make and then follow that line hard. How do you know that someone just didn't pick the wrong line to begin with, and we're looping back to the truth we stared out so close to? We don't. Scientists are blind moles who dig the most magnificent tunnels. Each one is perfect and wonderful, but who knows where we're going. People imagine science as one gleaming, metallic brick on which we can place everything else and say "here, here we can start from something solid". Instead, it's a pile of iron filings and we're looking at the patterns trying to find the magnet underneath. I don't know if I have the guts to work so hard for something and know it's never going to save the world. Science is so subjective and requires so much groupthink. It's like being a nun or a monk of a church.

And all this makes me hunger for arts, for cultural studies and philosophy. Probably more for Cultural studies right now, because I found that they gave me a lot more rope with which to hang myself. There, you're expected to save the world, to make a big claim, to cut the guts out of a book using only your mind and nothing else. I crave so much to just slice apart a fabricated reality, to learn something, to become illuminated with the rush that comes from insight. The discipline of close reading. The feeling of something just clicking.

I don't think for all it's grand hype, science induced that much awe. The best it gets is "that's neat!". Or maybe the grass is just always greener, and if I was doing arts the burden of having to save the world in everything I wrote would get to me, the burden of insight. Maybe I'd crave for the worker-bee unity-euphoria.

I wish I wasn't a jack of all trades. I wish I could be capable of being a master of just one, and being satisfied with it.

(/braindump)
Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
8:28 pm
the cat thing
For all of you that don't know, we have adopted a cat. His working name is Mr. Smoocher, we're still to get him a proper name.

He came in to Murdoch Pet Emergency Centre as a stray. A dog had bitten his leg and broken the bone, and the owners of the dog were good enough to bring him in. Corrin fell in love with him, and was willing to pay just over two grand to get the leg fixed, rather than just amputate.

He's a total sweetheart. We got him back from surgery today.

Mr Smoocher!
Mr Smoocher!
Mr Smoocher!

I like how he has a bit of a marking below his nostril that looks like he has a leaky nose. :)
Saturday, March 20th, 2010
3:40 pm
This is the meme which doesn't end...
Fnic gave me: year 12, first year (uni), ticklishness, Nanna house, libraries

Year 12
Fnic, you didn't know me in Year 12. Why do you associate Year 12 with me?
To give everyone a bit of their time-bearings, I was in year 12 in 2004. I remember when I started high school, you could email everyone in the year by emailing "classof2004@stbrigids.wa.edu.au" (I think)

I was pretty different in year 12 to how I am now. I was highly ambitious, very much a goody-two-shoes (always wore my boater and never my jumper without my blazer). I sucked up to all the teachers. I worked *moderately* hard. But mostly I was doing it for sort of the wrong reasons? I worked hard because I wanted the fame of being the best behaved, smartest, nicest year 12.

I'm really glad I'm not like that any more. I'm more realistic, less self-centred. I have realised some things I thought meant a lot don't really mean that much at all. It's better to be a good person than to follow all the rules blindly.

There is a John Mayer (yes, he's a dick but I like his music orright) lyric that reminds me a lot of high school
"I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
just a lie you've got to rise above"

My school used to invite me back to talk there about being a good student. I think they stopped more because I wasn't telling them what they wanted to hear. They want the leavers to think the TEE is the MOST IMPORTANT THING EVAR and I pointed out that it wasn't really, and that being who you want to be is far more important.

First year (uni)
In fist year uni I did all the things I wanted to do but thought, when I was in year 12, that I "shouldn't". I got my nose pierced. I dyed the tips of my hair. I thought about getting tattoos. I swore. I told everyone that I was sexually active. I was a lot closer to who I am now than when I was in high school, but kind of with the same obnoxious overtones.

It was a step in the right direction.

I have fond memories of being "The Freshers" in unisfa (yes, we had our own fresher pile). Of maths with Danica. Of crying after that maths exam because I thought that I had failed (I probably did but got scaled up so that my overall mark was a credit. booyah.)

I remember meeting all these really nice people who were intelligent and different. Endless conversations with people about things I'd never thought of before. Of talking with Dr. Sophie (before she was Dr. Sophie!) on the bus about boyfriends. Of having an indoor picnic at St. Cat's with the St. Cat's girls plus some of the new people we'd met.

Of being annoyed at living with my dad.

Of being someone completely different.

I'm happy that first year happened.

ticklishness
I have issues with planning. I imagine events vividly before they happen. I guess this is why I have my tickle issue: I imagine being tickled before I am tickled, and I imagine it more vividly than what being tickled really feels like, so I am crippled by it.

I'm not actually physically that ticklish, ironically.

Nanna House
Nanna house is where Sam, Paige and I live. We called it Nanna House when Sam and Paige were going through their pie stage. Also because we are nannas. I am the grumpiest Nanna - I'm tne one that wants you to be quiet so she can sleep or do whatever it is she is doing :P Seriously though, I am the knitting/crafting nanna. Paige is the sleeping nanna. Sam is the food nanna.

libraries
I actually don't read all that much, but what I like I like a lot.

The best library I went to a lot was the Mayland's library. Its in an old hall so it's really atmospheric and library like, with it's large ceiling.

The best library I've visited is FAR AND AWAY the Victoria State Library. I am way jealous that Melbourne gets to have that when we have what is basically a big yellow-grey box.
3:17 pm
So, I don't link things often. But, my friend Michael (from Sydney, from America) has started writing a Dr Who Blog . It's pretty good, and I enjoyed the last entry, which I have just linked to. It's about Avatar vs. Dr Who.
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
6:52 pm
Five exercises in avoiding writing lit reviews and proposals
ataxi gave me:
Book Club
Book club was Lois' idea. Shamefully, I don't read that much. I certainly don't read my science fiction. Unlike Liam, I fritter my time away in numerous, fruitless ways.

I like the idea of bookclub though. I like the idea of reading books and discussing them. I am missing English and Philosophy like a huge hole in my daily life right now. What I like most about English is how much fun it is to deconstruct things, or to try to make a Theory of Life out of something you read in a book or saw in a movie. It's flawed but it's fun. Ever since I did high school English Lit I've seemed to have a knack for remembering the important quotation, the key point. Paige thinks I'm really good at this kind of analysis, of finding out What Things Mean. I think it's probably one of the most enjoyable things in my life.

Book club has been fun in that way so far. Though I'm scared of talking too much or saying something lame. It's nice to exercise those Reading and Analysis muscles.

Dempsey
Coincidentally, I just read an interview with Paul Dempsey about his writing process. It really made me happy because how he writes is like I read his songs. He sees collections of images, and puts them into lyrics. And that's what I see when I hear his lyrics. Music is very very image-generating for me.

Something For Kate's Echolalia was the first album I bought with my own money of my own volition. It's still one of my favourite albums. I love the tenseness of his lyrical and musical style, this kind of wry love of the world coupled with a kind of distrust and slight...nausea, I think is the closest word. It's the kind of intelligent paranoia I relate to well.

He's also one of my faaaaaavourite live performers. He just has a natural, engrossed stage presence.


President
When I was in high school I really wanted to be Head Girl. I was deputy head girl instead for two reasons:
1. the Principal thought it would be better for my studies to be Deputy (given I was one of the top students at my high school. Well, I got Dux of my school anyway. Hah, that seems so insignificant now). ((Deputy was waaaay more work as it turns out))
2. If I were head girl, I would have been the fifth non-catholic head girl in a row. In a catholic school.
It really pissed me off a lot, I guess I was kind of like Reese Witherspoon's character in "Election" in some ways. I would have done ANYTHING.

I'd like to think I'm a lot less lame now, and I think in a lot of ways I've grown out of that kind of unhealthy ambition to be the most popular/most leader. Though, as my post a few posts back says, I still had attachments of that sort to being UniSFA pres.

Anyway, I think having BEEN UniSFA pres, I'm quite liking being firmly Mid Guard. I guess it's a different kind of leadership and one which suits me better. I wouldn't make a good politician or serious leader: I'm idealistic and soft-hearted and I don't think that would go so well for me :P

Being President was really fun though. I enjoyed it and I think I made some good contributions to the club.

Drama
What kind of drama? As in lj-Drama or theatre?

I'd like to think I don't create drama drama :P

Theatre is a thing I love doing but don't do much. I don't think I'm a good actress (I'm possibly too me to be someone else) but I like the idea of it. I think I'd be a good director rather than an actress.

I've been in some musical theatre and seriously considered doing "Into the Woods" this year. But I didn't have anything to audition with and I didn't think I'd have time. I would have auditioned for the Baker's Wife, but the girl who got that part will do it really really well so I'm not too sad that I didn't audition. I really like musicals, but more the Sondheim kind than the "Avenue Q" kind. Maybe I'm a snob? I think so :P


Eddings
*ashamed* I made this LJ when I was in Year 10 (or year 11?). We had all read Eddings when we were in year 9 and people dubbed me Aunt Pol as I care a lot about other people. I don't think the character of Polgara is well rounded enough in retrospect to really represent me. I've considered changing my lj name countless times. Maybe I will :P

But anyway. Eddings was good when I read him in year nine but now of course I can see more and more of his "My First Fantasy Book" aspect. He's not a great writer- he's adequate. Given that I like to pick things apart when I read them, it's kind of bad to be associated with something that isn't complex enough to warrant that kind of investigation.

But then again, I don't believe in denouncing one's past, no matter how lame or shame-inducing.
Sunday, March 14th, 2010
7:31 pm
I forgot to say!
Comment with comment and I'll give you 5 words of your own! They will be five words I associate with you.
11:12 am
Words meme
Taleesha gave me: Serpentine, philosophy, beauty, green, music

Serpentine
Serpentine is where I grew up. I remember the first time we drove there, Al took us down the back roads and went over the little hills pretty fast, so our tummies got butterflies. I think that's pretty much how I feel about the whole place - it's pretty magical to me, like the storybook of my childhood.

I think it's really formed who I am as a person: it gave me more freedom than most children had in terms of space, I have a strong connection to "nature", but it also has given me a pretty large sense of anxiety in some regards. In the last few years that I lived there, I had nightmares at least twice a week about people building houses closer and closer to our house. I would get really upset by those nightmares. I also had nightmares where it was the "end of the world" and Serpy was the last safe place left. I suppose with great comfort comes the threat of that comfort being removed against your will, and that is almost a certainty with serpentine. We won't always be able to look out over an unoccupied paddock as we eat breakfast.

I don't think I'll ever feel at home anywhere else. The suburbs just aren't the same - you can't let your eyes stretch out to the furtherest thing they can almost not see. You can't hear people coming to your house for about two minutes before they arrive. You don't get that same darkness that envelops the land like a blanket of security and mystery.

I'm not sure that other people feel the same lack for their childhood home, but I don't feel as whole as I felt when I lived there. Serpentine is my home country.

Philosophy
Philosophy is something which I am missing a lot right now. Science is being a bit dry and without room to stretch that emotional part of oneself which asks "but why". Sure, science can test your academic curiousity, but for me it rarely taps into that emotionally-laden curiousity, that tense longing for reason.

I almost didn't study Philosophy at UWA because I saw the two first year units were taught by a Reverend, and having had enough of religion (having gone to a lame-ish catholic high school) I decided against. After one semester of anthropology, I changed my tune and went back and asked the Reverend if I'd "be okay" not having done the first semester unit. He said that I would. (as an aside, man was I wrong about the Rev! So glad I have had the opportunity to have him as a lecturer <3)

I am not all that good at Philosophy (IMO) but I think it's really, really important. I believe Philosophy comes from the question "What is it that we should do?" and the questions which come from that question. Whilst it sounds like an ethical/moral question, even things like Metaphysics, in my opinion, come from that question: "What is it that we should do" depends on defining what we are, what the world is, and what are the things which are open to us as a course of action. I personally wouldn't study ethics if you paid me (I don't think there is a point because I can't see that there is an answer apart from you buy this ethics/morality, or you don't) but I really like thinking about Metaphysics. What is the real nature of things? I think it's a question which is always relevant and important. I understand why people get frustrated with things like this though, given we've been thinking about Metaphysics since Aristotle coined the term, but haven't got to an answer. It's like an old puzzle sitting on your grandma's coffee table which every child and grandchild has played with, but none have solved. It's pretty understandable to want to hurl it across the room.

There are two things I like about dealing with such a frustrating problem though.
1. It makes you good at making arguments. Because everyone has been doing this FOR A WHILE they know where you will trip and where you will make mistakes, because that's probably where someone else has. It makes you really great at spotting the flaws in someone else's argument about something non-philosphical.
2. Because there is no answer (yet), Philosophy holds its "failures" a lot higher than other disciplines do. Part of this is due to their principle of charity, which states that you should consider an argument on it's own terms, and even if it's wrong you should try to see what is interesting or good about it. I think this is a really important thing to keep in mind in life generally.

Beauty
This is an interesting choice, Taleesha!
I'm pretty interested in beauty, that is true. I think a lot of things are beautiful. Sometimes I just become totally euphoric with love for the entire state of being, and walk into branches face-first so I can feel them brush against me.

I think something which sums up my stance on beauty neatly is an anecdote from when Paige ran a book club book with some of her friends. The book was "Everything is Illuminated" (which is one of my favourites!) and one of her friends disliked it. She said it was distressing and gross because there is rape and death and people getting shot in their pregnant bellies (it is about the holocaust in part). It is a depressing book - it's not really about hope or anything fuzzy. People you love die and people who don't deserve bad things get screwed over. But Paige and I agree that it is a beautiful book - it's tragic, but the tragedy adds to the beauty of the characters. They are marred and broken and it is BECAUSE of that (not in spite of it) that they are beautiful.

I don't know, this word is hard. I think to be beautiful, or to have beauty, is to be as a whole - not to be scrubbed clean of either your flaws or your positive attributes. It's to play in the mud and get dirty and graze your knee and cry and then eat an icy pole as the sun goes down.

Green
Green is not my colour, in my opinion. I am yellow/orange in summer, with friends, as a leader, as a student, when I am inspired (in an outgoing way). I am purple in winter, when I am unhappy, when I am being intimate (not necc. sexually), when I am inspired in a subdued way. But that's just my silly everyone-has-a-colour thing. Corrin is green (a bright green. Like the old snot green pens).

I guess I do like green as a colour (I don't have a favourite colour, which most people find weird). I like trees and I like grass. Green is the colour of something new, it's of promise and life. When the paddock goes bright green a few days after the first serious rain. Harmony once told me about some religious thing where green is the colour of intelligence, so that's pretty cool I guess.

Dark green is Corrin's mum.

Music
so, a good proportion of my profile pics are me with headphones on. I guess this is ...accurate.

Music is really important to me. I have pretty broad tastes in music - I love complex, contemporary choral work. I should really start playing my clarinet again. but mostly these days I listen to a mix of contemporary popular music, ranging from some metal to some pop-pop, folk, country-ish-stuff, ummm...I like good music, not music from any one genre.

One of my aims when I was in second or third year was to be able to analyze song lyrics like you could poetry. But really you'd have to talk about it within some kind of theoretical framework (like Film Theory) for it to make sense. There is something about song lyrics which are more than just poetry, and I want to be able to analyze how they can elicit emotion in me.

There are also important non-word parts of songs: Dave Gilmour's guitar solos are a really good example of this - for me they sound like lyrics, just obscured ones.

The way I see the role of music in my life is that it is about paying attention to a lot of things about the world - to become the listener to all that there is to hear. To become almost monk-like in your appreciation of everything, to be silent and just listen.
"Can you imagine that
An itch to sensitive to scratch,
the light that falls through the cracks,
an insect too delicate to catch.
I hear the endless murmur
every blade of grass that shivers in the breeze.
And the sound that comes to carry me
Across the land
and over the sea"
Friday, March 12th, 2010
9:35 am
On letting go
So, today is the UniSFA AGM and I'm not running for any position on committee. Sure, I'll be IPP, but that's pretty token IMO. Being on exec is arguably the REAL committee.

Making the decision not to run for anything was pretty hard. Whilst Taleesha (and others) made me promise I wouldn't run for stuff due to doing honours, in the end that wasn't my main consideration. Basically I don't hang around the clubroom that much (execpt for screenings at night) and it has become clear to me that I've been pretty out of touch with the main chunk of current student UniSFAns for a little while. The "freshers" (actually the 3rd years) are people I know by name but don't actually KNOW that well. The actual freshers haven't really talked to me, despite my vague attempts at talking to them. I now have to acknowledge that I'm firmly mid-guard, and even if people would vote for me because they like me or think I'm responsible enough to be something on exec I don't think it would be the right thing for me to do to accept that position - it's important that the club is relevant to the needs of the people who are using it and being the lifeblood of day-to-day UniSFA.

Whilst it's incredibly simple to reduce this to reason, I'm stupidly emotionally driven at times. I'm also attention-seeky in some ways and I can need a lot of reassurance and things. I more paranoid and needy than I seem. I like organising things, like being needed to stuff and getting things done for other people gives me an immense sense of satisfaction. I guess this is kind of abhorrent to me in some ways - not that I do it to be praised (not that I GOT praised a lot for things I did for UniSFA anyway). So there are basically two things I'm finding it difficult:
1. Not being a person who keeps the club running, who does things and gets stuff done. I suppose this has become part of my personal identity for me - I am Amber who is on UniSFA committee and goes on FAL runs and will open the clubroom if you message her and stays up til 1am screenprinting for O-day. Letting go of your personal identity is difficult.
2. My paranoia that people think I did a bad job as president last year, people not actively wanting me to be president makes me feel like I have been a bad president last year. Which is stupid and irrational, even I think (see paragraph one) that I shouldn't be president. But it's just the want to be the most liked person in a group, the incredibly high-schoolish feeling of wanting to be the prettiest girl in the room, the smartest person in the class, the most-liked person in your friendship group. But being president isn't a popularity contest, and I know that! Dumb emotions and paranoia.

I think that paragraph one and then the unhealthy thoughts in paragraph two are good enough reasons to let go on their own, anyway. Time to find something new to help define me, but at the moment I do feel like after today I will feel more than a bit lost.

There are of course a lot of good reasons for me to have run as well - I don't do these things entirely for the narcissism associated with them. I'm pretty good at organising things, I (think) I'm pretty good at resolving conflict and sticking to my guns in tough situations. I'm reasonable. But I think all these things are pretty obvious comparatively, so it's silly to go through them.
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
1:14 pm
Screenings!
Hi everyone, hope you're enjoying the new semester.

There will once again be weekly screenings in the clubroom! YAY! We have chosen WEDNESDAY NIGHTS, 7pm as our nights for screenings.

So,
Starting tonight with the (customary?) Babylon 5.

See you there!

-Amber
Friday, February 5th, 2010
11:06 pm
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