Thursday, July 13, 2006

a microwave and a rake: where my life is at

Wow … well, the last 6 weeks have been a time of FIRSTS … ricebag passed her first driving test; ricebag had her first fender denter; ricebag drove while-under-the-influence for the first time (although drinking and driving occasions (plural) not related to any fender denters) and a few times after that ( don't blame me - I'd make my boyf drive if I had one!!); ricebag is now paying for her first car rego; ricebag survived her first road-rage incident - not hers but some other FREAK with steam coming out his ass!! What these car-firsts mean is that ricebag can go where she please and do at her ease and no man no woman no mother or brother needs her to beg/advise/request/ask … its all in her own power. This is all basic fundamental to you guys out there in the real world, but some of us skipped a few grades and I am just catching up on the basics right now.

Also, also, the fairly biggest indication of a certain "shift" into grown-up-hood, is that ricebag moved into her own own own house; ricebag unpacked (almost) ALL her worldly possessions …. things scattered from London, from Afghanistan and India, from Blacktown and Neutral Bay, from Suva and Brussels … all those tiny fragments are finding home under one roof as we've taken my things out of STORAGE … so strange and strangely benign, the sensation - I though it would mean all the bits of me might come together at the same time ... instead each box is just another era, another phase boxed away for some future, some distant rendezvous in memory lane - none of it is me now, just parts of the past of me. And there is music that made me cry when I thought I was whole and music that made me whole when I thought I was in pieces. The photographs, the PHOTOGRAPHS!! The clothes, the bags and shoes and scarves and the bags and shoes, the softer than soft 200count cotton sheets and the bags and shoes. The point is … I've been living out of boxes and bags for so long, I wore that itinerancy like some kind of badge of honour or survival - even though I was, every strip of me, was exhausted, weary from movement and weary from limbo. And now, for the first time since I was 3 months old … I am UNPACKED.

I also feel a little UNPICKED … like some of the stitching that held all the "maybe's" and the "might be's" has come apart and a whole lot of gold dust didn’t fall out and mote off to land in some other sweet palm … what I mean is, living in "suspension", living like I was in transit, made me feel like my "real" life was going to be happening soon and somewhere else - it kept me hopeful and feeling ok about my seemingly average self and average existence. Is that unreal? Or even unrealistic? I don’t know. The reality is I have been moving, I was always moving "somewhere else" and I've been living in a lot of different "somewhere elses". (And I plan to move again "somewhere else" and probably soon.) And through it all I was yearning for a final destination - or at the least, a place, one place (not necessarily the place) where everything of mine could sit in the same space, where my Rajasthani rugs and Afghan belts and Fijian tapa and all those things in-between, where they could learn to sit together and belong. Does that sound so materialistic? I didn’t think I necessarily identified myself by my things … I guess its more the symbolism - that all my scattered bits and all my boxed-away bits and all my new bits and my inherited bits … that they could all come together, meant that maybe I was getting my shit together. Meant that maybe my shit was coming together. Pretty far out, man.

So I am living in my house and driving my car and you know what that’s all meant - the end of disposable income! I was SO rich before - even though I was poor - all my money was MINE!! Now my money belongs to the tax-man, the electricity-monster, the water-cow, the car-beast, the kitchen needs to be gutted and redone, my bedroom needs a new ceiling fan, half our external security lights need new bulbs, the solar-heating doesn’t work, the oven is a gas-leaking disaster, the fridge needs to be held shut with a bar stool, the freezer isn’t cold enough to make ice cream hard … see what I mean!! It takes money, man.

But strangely I like being a little cash-strapped. I'm being RESPONSIBLE - really responsible for, like, the first time ever - I've ALWAYS taken care of myself financially, but I've never been responsible for property and people. And now I am. Now my little cousin PrettyGal has come down to POM from the village to be my companion - i.e. my family don’t like the idea of ricebag living alone, so we have a nice niece to play little sister. PrettyGal has a name in my language which literally translates to "pretty girl" - which is just as well because she is pretty goddam pretty!! She is pretty and a pretty hard-worker too. Helping me get settled into the house and clearing the overgrown garden and helping me get on top of my growing-up binge, is keeping her busy.

So yeah.

Now I have to go and buy a microwave and a rake. This is where my life is at.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

another day another fwd

Just got this in my IN box:

Subject: FW: Police Intelligence

Information to hand:

Vehicle suspected of making an attempt to hold up TST supermarket - White Mitsubishi Magna - 4 occupants with Factory firearms. No Number plate issued.

Vehicles in town that Police are looking for: 1. Red Mitsubishi Ute tinted glass LAS 202 - occupants carrying .22 rifle and .38 special with silencer 2.

White Nissan Sunny tinted glass LAI 424 - David Moses and wantoks with factory firearms.

Yes - just some fyi.

Sunday, July 09, 2006



so you want to know what blogs ricebag is perving on, scanning, lately when she's not swamped in the work-way (& sometimes when she is - shhhhhhhh) ....

yeah yeah, after I've read the Sydney Morning Herald and scanned over the New York Times and answered inane emails from my same-ish friends ... my new internet-love is the burgoening number of blogs dedicated to capturing what people, regular every-day people, with a sense of their own STYLE, what they are WEARING on the street, on the bar stool, on the shoulder of the-one-that-they-like-the-best.

This is MY way of making the world so much a smaller place. I can identify myself in so many of these anonymous faces and the clothes they're wearing and it's not about the cut or the cult, it's about the common element people on and making and reading these websites feel - that innate sense fo STYLE a person has ... no can teach baby must be born that way. And the fakers or the don't-knows - well, you can spot them. Just can. It's the know factor

But the best bit for me is this perve on a moment, one monent, in a person's full-on tumultous life, this nanosecond, this image, taken out of the context of their whole entire day, and not knowing their where or their wherefore. Imagining the door-opening, cupboard-shutting lives of these tea-drinkers, knowing they're normal too and worried too and handling it too.

I guess it just makes me feel like I don't need to be over there, to be herein myself. so yeah - maybe it is strange then, that the one way I can keep my head on is through this meagre reassurance. I sure as hell imagine my true-ricebag life going on in Tokyoyo or NYC or KL ... but it's not, right now, this minute, this year, ricebag is here ... HERE ... and this here ain't so far far away from another here I'm deciding, because I am the important element ... I take me wherever I am, where here is.

Anyhew, enuf existential-sounding crap. I am listing some of the sites below - note that all pics came off the respective sites. xx.

STYLE PATROL : on the streets of new york


First, off ANYONE who knows ricebag, knows I am going-to-GOT-TO live in a one-room apartment in Manhatten before I die - just GOTTA!! It's my only wet-dream, my ultimate nod to the one place where I believe anything can happen ... including me being a writer, a pid write, a writer of small obscure reflections ... where I can sit in my one-man and type with my forefingers as the roaches scuttle behind the blinds. But more than that, so I can be one more anon anon anon on the pavements of the city where squakers hawk and dreams make golddust. Romatic poverty in highest form ... the pursuit of art.

But alas ... while I idle away my finest years in my air-con tower in a pacific ples, I scan images of my NYC streets through this increasingly popular, photo-laden fashion blog which Scott Schuman, 38, started when he quit the fashion industry to be a stay-at-home dad. Awwwwwwwww.

The Sartorialist combines Schuman’s street photography of fashionable every-day New Yorkers with his detailed style commentary. Schuman details mostly men's clothing but also shows us women who are tailored. The thing I really like is that he likes old people - esp old men - their care for their appearance and the small details - and equally, he's on top of what teens are wearing and does it in that so-Sofia Coppola way where everyone young is an un-self-censored image of forever.

And I like the way he likes older women and old men - you don't have to be Mischa to be perfect. You just have to know.

STYLE PATROL : don't be scared in helsinki


Not so sure about the remnants of 90's goth influence, but with some of the best names on the planet, Hel just might be ok in Helsinki. Some of the people have even more .... errr ... unique ... names than fashion sense - check out Mizuki, Vesa, Taru, Helmi, Ansku, Vilunki, Ville, Merja, Kanerva, Aino and so on and so forth - or the double-vowel brigade ... Saara, Reeta, Iines etc

Ricebag is liking it. Helsinki putting itself away in a sqaure of her future places mind. But then ricebag used to kiss a Finnish and he used to kiss her ... so maybe Finlanda not so far away.

STYLE PATROL : taking it to paris


Young French dude with tres floppy hair who must have the most amazing social life - gets to all these amazing parties and chic clubs/bars and takes digital snaps of people's faces and also, sometimes, their clothes. Love his work. Its just the anonymity of everything. The intense sense of "notice" and the "real" youthful element on this site.

STYLE PATROL : tokyo epiphany


This is probably my favourite site. Knowing me, you'd know I always wanted to be Japanese when I grew up. Knowing that BabySister lives at the centre of the uber-cool universe, gets me riled. Tokyoyoyoyo ... cente of everything, where zen and yen collide and its always going to be streets ahead, so what better way than to know, but to perve on the streets of the city's city - Tokyo-ma.

Friday, July 07, 2006

STYLE PATROL : break me into manila


I am telling you, if this blog, is anything to go by, there are some seriously cute Manilan boys out thea. Definitely could break me out some of that. Very nice to see Phillipinos doing the cool yet tropical Asain cotton-on thing - savvy.

STYLE PATROL : making it in moscow

Theres MOSCOW STREET FASHION and LOOK AT ME ... both show a modern, eclectic moscow ... the people I mean, not the moscow.

STYLE PATROL : london same-same


You HAVE to check out this website - its the coolest and as ricebag has lived in London, we know they invented the modern ethic of the Y gen - looking homeless yet doing it with lots and lots of money.

London, home of the "everyman" look, the equalizer, the unifier ... everybody same-same but not always so different.

STYLE PATROL: still in berlin


Urban, cosmopolitan, multi-cultural Berlin.

STYLE PATROL : who knew in warsaw


Warsaw street fashion. Polish people, remarkable and ordinary. Who knew?

Monday, July 03, 2006

esther is to me as holden was : a mad girl's love song

Sylvia Plath ... what can I say, except for thankyou.

I cannot tell you why it took so long for me to get around to reading your only novel. It spun me out. Turning every page was like a raising away a thin veil on the fist in my brain, just one layer less on the thousands that I need to shed. So Esther is my Holden.

Before I read 'The Bell Jar', I was a little wary. It's considered classic, especially now for teens, and I didn't want to be part of the tribe and overrate something less than. Not so tho. Sylvia Plath is a genius poet, but she's also a genius storyteller. What a privilege to read this novel which is so deeply human. That Plath committed suicide shortly after 'The Bell Jar' was published adds to the bittersweet sense of loss and the longing for it by some ... as Plath herself wrote in her journal:

"To annihilate the world by annihilation of one's self is the deluded height of desperate egoism. The simple way out of all the little brick dead ends we scratch our nails against.... I want to kill myself, to escape from responsibility, to crawl back abjectly into the womb."

This extraordinary work (echoing Plath's own experiences as a rising writer/editor in the early 1950s) chronicles the nervous breakdown of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, successful, but slowly going under ... but Esther's journey is not morbid or dreary - Plath gives to us a beautiful, tender, haunting piece of art, making it one of the true classics of all time.

The poem "Mad Girl's Love Song", a beautiful villanelle, appears at the end of the novel and here are the last 2 verses:

I fancied you'd return the way you said, But I grow old and I forget your name. (I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead; At least when spring comes they roar back again. I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead. (I think I made you up inside my head.)

Iraq's War Porn

Americans turn away

We believe the war would end if the media showed more images of the human horrors in Iraq, yet we turn away when they're placed in front of us. Not anymore.

Iraq's War Porn


This is a thumbnail sketch of the lies Bush told to get us into war with Iraq. 9/11 provided the catalyst.I thought you might be interested in the THE LIE OF THE CENTURY. You can view it at,


Me ... Missing? No, I bin hia but bin bizzeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

WOW. What a crazy crazy last 4 weeks - massive massive amount of work and then my focus at every other minute has been my BabySister. We have been playing and it's been so incredibly awesome for me to spend real time with someone who can make me cry and cheer in the same minute - my effervescent sister, the one and only baby of our whole wide and wonderful family. Alas, on Saturday BabySister got on a jetplane back to Tokyoyo so my heart is sad but also really glad coz we got 5 weeks together and it was a long time coming but worth the wait - its been hard being apart for so long, but for some reason, it just seems like the one person I love more than life, my sister, and I, seem destined to live and breathe and fall in love with strangers and make our own stories in somebody else's country in some other continent.

Last night I got locked out of my house and had to round up some of The Boys to break back into my house ... and and and I have loads to tell but will stuff up some of the gaps by cc'ing you in on an email I sent to my friend this morning. More will follow - I promise (mostly becasue its VERY slow day at work so I have the time to do the right thing).

lovely angle

unfort missing gov's b'day tomorrow in orang. boo hoo. am very busy being massively intelligent and important professional in this very small town in this very big country (yeah right) - but really, would love to come, unfort tho haven't been working long enough (in my first proper grown-up job ever) to (a) have enuf money & (b) have enuf money to come wisit all my ravo loves in sydney. all you be-aaatches say you'll come come come an islandbaby's way but i won't be holding my breath just yet. had some vague plans to walk the kokoda track with some galpals from college at end july but things have faded on that front - altho one of them is still coming up (massive yay) - and another sydney friend, L- arrives this w/end for 2 weeks.

have been having loads of fun in pom lately tho - picked up a new circle of friends and dumped the old boy so it's ok is ok is ok. my best best news thos is .... I HAVE MY LICENCE!! yessah - am on my Ps and ... P is for "PROUD"!! so am pretty confident driver and feeling good about being in the pilots seat - but have now developed some bad habits tho - including impatience!! i was never an impatient passenger, but other drivers on the road do tend to sh*t me - esp in this country where most other drivers have NEVER had any kind of formal driving lesson and wouldn't know a road rule from their cake hole. aaaaaaaaaaargh ... the dangerous and insane bane of it all. so yeah, you need to be a defensive driver all time all time.

so other than that, am doing ok. work is a steep-assed learning curve but i am keen to get flogged and pull up my socks and earn my stripes and maybe epaulette my cv.

so am wasting time on a monday morning writing to you becoz still get that awful mondayitis (will it never leave??) and also just bit bored and sad now my beautiful, unique, kind and strong baby sister has left us to return to tokyo to live and work - she was home for hols and it was terrific to have a partner-in-crime again.

well, i missed my sister so bad i promptly decided to go out and get drunk and, having not done that in ages, can report that i am still well capable of doing a number on myself. had massive fun night on sat with my mates ... but sadly sadly made the time-eternal boo-boo of kissing one of them - lovely but not really for me - so, of course, now he thinks we're maybe, like, going out, like. have to, like, pop his bubble today. noooooooo noooooo. my bad.

so you see, we may be getting older but not necessarily wiser.

double aaaaaaaaaaargh ...

so, enuf fluff from me already. sending loads of love to you and pls give gutter biggest massive hug from me.

as ever ricebag