Thursday, August 31, 2006


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

on love : limerence : thanking dorothy tennov & j


Limerence is an involuntary cognitive and emotional state characterized primarily by intrusive thinking, longing for reciprocation, and sensitivity to external events that signify uncertainty on the one hand, and hope of reciprocation on the other. It can be experienced as intense joy or as extreme despair, depending on the perceived behavior of the "limerent object," the person whose returned feeling is desired.

It is important to note that limerence is not love in the sense of concern for the other’s well-being, nor is it mere sexual attraction.

Limerence begins as a barely perceptible feeling of increased interest in a particular person, known as the limerent object, but one which, if nurtured by appropriate conditions, can grow to enormous intensity. In most cases it also declines, eventually to zero or to a low level. Under the best of conditions the waning of limerence through mutuality is accompanied by the growth of the emotional response more suitably described as love.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Limerence is that "falling in love" feeling. The "head over heels" rush. That period when you find everything about a person fascinating, appealing, and attractive and totally must-must-havvy. The lovely and utterly intense ache of longing for reciprocity. That's limerence. And ricebag should know.

I take huuuge comfort from the Wiki defintion above because I can confirm that this cognitive state IS involuntary and it IS instrusive and it DOES escalate. And then, when unreturned, for ricebag, it does decline to zero, and when returned ... well, that's between ricebag and her returnees.

The truth remains that ricebag to this day is fully capable of having limerent episodes ... not frequently, in fact, quite rarely, but when they do come, they can be OVERWHELMING ... to the point where every single literal waking and breathing moment circulates around the central precept that there is ONE other person on the planet at that moment in whom all possible future happiness lies.

The rush of someone new is appealing. That's human. I know it's not incredible healthy, but I do love the excruciating highs and excruciating lows of living the mental-emotional roller-coaster space in which anything is possible - it's all in the future, the pleasure of exploring someone new. However, the nature of limerance can be almost total conjecture and in that it is torture ... one innocent word or one meaningful glance can be replayed for days and reinterpreted a hundred thousand times.

Ricebag had a limerent episode last year which notched up to an utterly excruuuciating period of about a month ... and which (thanking God) has now has totally gone.

Yesterday : Ricebag mulling over her current singledom and being 'just' ok with it ... just some more blah in the daily bran of life. Also remembering how somehow limerence and having a crush can totally realign a persons stars and everything, everything ordinary, fades away.

Having been, myself, the one to suffer hugely painful limerent episodes, I am happy to say I too have been the "limerent object"in times past - and knowing that, kind of evens things out.

So as I dawdled through my yahoo email yesterday, trashing ancient mail like I was eradicating pestilence, I came across a series of emails from a lovely lovely boy, J, whom I met in London circa 2003 ... and he must have been seriously in crush over ricebag.

Below is an excerpt from a memorable email J sent me. Although we never "hooked up" J's persistence might have paid off if I wasn't already well-past-limerence and well-into-girlf stage with the lovely MagazineBoy from Munich.


I can't explain why I can't resist you, but holy fuck, I must have you. Alot. Like over and over and then a few more times, please.

Honestly, I have tried to think about you in a purely platonic way, but to no avail. I try to think about you in professional situations, like if you had to give a presentation at work. Still want you. I think about you in boring, daily, situations, like you waiting on line at the bank. Would love to have you there too. How about if you were sick, all stuffy or just grouchy? As long as you were mine, I'd take care of you, hold onto you, and never let go.

Basically, my lust for you is now at near epic proportions. When we talk or email, I may seem fine, but I'm not. When I do see you, I will try to act like a civilized human being. I think that is what you want, but it is hard to say because I can't think straight when you talk to me because all I want to do is ravage you. All I hear is "Wha, wha, wha, wha, wha". You look great when you are saying whatever it is though. Totally hot.

If you do not want to go on a very intense sexual exploration with me every time I see you, then please remember the following:

  1. Do not make direct eye contact with me.
  2. Do not smile.
  3. Do not glance in my direction,then look down at the ground, even when you think I am not looking. Trust me, I've got my eyes on you.
  4. Do not laugh at my jokes.
  5. Do not be helpful or thoughtful.
  6. Do not lick or bite your lips.
  7. Do not walk quickly past me or stand close to me so that I can smell you.
  8. Do not look "rumpled sexy" or "put together hot".
  9. Do not eat or drink anything. I think about oral then.
  10. Do not make any sounds that could be construed as sexual in any way. This means no sighing, gasping, moaning, whispering, "mmmmmm..."ing or "hmmmm..."ing. Actually, talking at all is bad because the sound of your voice gets me off.
  11. Do not ever, EVER touch me. Not even with a fingertip.

I guess that about wraps it up. I'm glad were friends. Can we fuck now?


If you've ever wanted someone really really badly and couldn't ever think of anything else - you'll identify with J. I do. Actually - J - on a second reading, you sound more in "lust" than in limerence. Either way, your note still makes me smile. At the very least it reminds me that even ricebag can make others a little crazy - and that can be very good to know.

So big platonic kiss to you J - you know who you are.

Friday, August 18, 2006

calling me mad : butterflies and motorcycle barriers

Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things - air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.

Cesare Pavese


Those of you who know ricebag are not at all strangers to that low grumble that starts in the base of her belly and scrapes its way up the hollow of her chest cavity ... grumbling and growling, the tiger within the tiger. It's a breathing bitching beast - this utter yearning (an aside: so strange to understand the inherent phyiscality of a word like "yearn"), heart hurting, physical auto-desire, an unyielding ache ... an innate sense that it's a part of being without which there is no reason, no desire - it's the drive, the need to MOVE ... to be moving .... to be moving over seas and across continents, up mountains and along roads and crossing jungles and tenting forests, driving across deserts and along the mix, crushing hearts and splitting ideas and meeting minds and loving some, meeting moments and missing days. What an utter luxury is thing thing called "travel".

And the yearning returns. Only this time it's different. Before, ricebag lived with the potent imperative that if she wasn't 'moving', that she would die. And so she kept moving.

That imperative is no longer there. And knowing that is scary as all hell.

The desire is no longer the ABSOLUTE imperative it once was because now there sits the rudimentary acceptance of a (lets face it some would say more sane - I would say more homogenous) notion that "I will not die if I do not experience x or y or z" ... That imperative was bound up in several tenets, all echoing a central truth of me - that my life would not have been of worth or well-lived or even lived, without being in some way extra ordinary. And accepting that a life could be ordinary and without ... that acceptance did not come easy. I've had to dig myself out of some serious mental and phsyical gutters before I could even begin to sit at the same table as some of the honest acknowledgments of my meagre accomplishments, let alone even start to say that those ticks meant something valuable.

It has taken some pain and real loss-of-self and a coming-to-love and some stripping-of-the-ego, to come to almost-believe that the value of this life might really be worth MORE THAN the unfulfilled desires and failed hopes of it. This distinction alone has blurred EVERYTHING for ricebag. Somehow it was easier to hold in triumph the "All Or Nothing" attitude, a great fuck-you to the future.

But now ricebag oscillates in this in-between Half-Life existence ... and lemme tell you that residing here is a whole lot scarier mantra to preach than the idea of dying for love. Because I always said, and I always believed, that half-living, that living for your bread and spam maam and working the dog-hours and the jacuzzi bars and the jetski weekends didn't seem like a trade-off when there was such incredible TRUTH of EXPERIENCE to be had ... when the planet is so AWESOME and WONDERFUL (and not in the well-flogged diasporic sense but in the sense of something truly divine) ... when the world, THE WORLD, was there to swallow us up and hold us in its bowels where the acid of experience would strip away our flesh and fear and fat and fake and maybe even our faith. And what would be left would just be the lovely bones and something selfishly puritanical. In that existence "poverty" meant being poor-of-experience and being literally poor was just a metaphor for living on the other side of the matrix. Because it had to be worse to remain inside the ambient leather-bound scraping cocoons we burrow into and build in metropolises and greyscapes made of stone and blood where the metronome tells you your heart is ticking and the drugs say the boar of your worst dreams doesn't exist and your pinned-lover says neither does the boy in Baghdad who told you that faith made men and love women made.

Oh what to do, what to BE. To be what islandbabies are expected to be when they've had golden girl educations and the love and patience of a lifetime. When is the point where the hook curves and your pull away lessens and the return to form is a notch on the evolutionary ladder of adulthood.

Well, whatever whatever. Wanna know what ricebag is dreaming of? Can you know?


Africa beckons. A dream in mind for the last 3 years ... Ricebag wants to get on a motorbike and travel across Africa - Start on the West coast and travel south to South Africa and then up the East coast to Egypt ... and time-willing, back over land I've crossed before through the Middle East and Central Asia and onwards Paki/India ho.

Oh no say you - not ricebag on another travel ranting phase. Ye of little faith. Have you not yet learnt that when ricebag dreams of faraway, she's already halfway there.

It's early days but I am getting into the research mode and right now am seriously perving on motorbikes and so far am oscillating between the following:

  • Honda Dominator 650
  • BMW F650GS
  • Yamaha TTR250

We see. We see. We see.

For the skeptics, just remember when I told you about Tibet 3 long years before I did it - and I DID!! I did it. All of it. Solo. Across that motherfucking alternate universe.

enga show

Hola peeps.

As some of you may or may not know, Ricebag is the product of two fiercely proud Engans ... and as such my entire family is from Enga Province - literally the last frontier, the end of the Highlands Highway.

I could wax lyrical about this mythical middle-earth place high in the blue mountains of my blood, but I'll save you that and instead bombard you with some photos from the Enga Show. These pictures a few years old but last weekend Wabag, the capital of Enga, held the 2006 Enga Show and apparently it was the biggest ever ever ever.


enga show 1

enga show 2

enga show 3

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


As ricebag is technically going to be living alone, MyMama has brought down one of my 19 year old cousins from her village, Raiakam, laid deep in a wide flat green Tsak valley, far into the blue mountains of Enga. Her name is Maliya which means "pretty girl" in our language.

Yes, nobody can conceive of ricebag living solo in these days and times. me, myself, I feel fine. I think I'd be a little scared at night in this house alone, but my cousins live on my street - they're only a curdling scream away. So, then everyone was telling me to get a 'boy' ie one of my male relatives to live with me. But Trust Me I said - I know exactly what these 'boys' are like - they roam around all day and come home and eat and sleep. I new if I got a 'girl', one of my girl relatives, that a girl would stay home, would Be at home, would Help at home and mor eimportantly, would be a Companion. And MyMama felt that way too.

Pretty Girl is 19 19 19 19 ...... and very very pretty. I know just BEING 19 makes you pretty, but she is physically pretty and pretty inside too - spiritually eccentric methinks. The girl talks and sings to herself, laughs when noone else is in the room and I think she is living a lotta time in some PrettyGirl universe. PrettyGirl doesn't much motor at ricebag-speed and it's more half-time to my rat-a-tat-tat ... but it works.

Unforutnately though, PrettyGirl is making ricebag laaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy. She helps keep everything spotless, helps with my laundry, does the dishes and is clearing up the rowdy garden. I shop and cook and that's about the extent of my daily domestic chores.

So yeah. I like having her around. Because she's not loud but she's quiet-smart and she laughs and she's kind and she's patient. She's a bit of an innocent and that's endearing. Also, coming to Port Moresby was the first time ever on a plane for her and my world is bringing into hers a whole slew of 'firsts'.

PrettyGirl is going back to school next year but I have her until then and for that I am PrettyGrateful.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

life is all about ass

"Life is all about ass.

You're either covering it, laughing it off, kicking it, kissing it, busting it, trying to get a piece of it, or behaving like one."

I apologise for that. If I sound bored - it's because I am feeling bored and even worse - I feel borrrrrrr-ing. That could be very very dangerous for someone who professes that the only thing that saves them from themselves is the idea that they are better than their worst fear - of which, mine is being - boring.

So since I last wrote-proper I have been busy and yet boring; I have been working and it's been boring; I have been partying and it's been same-old same-old; I've been waking, reading, swimming, talking, laughing, loving, listening ... and it's been a bit .... well, boring. Is my life boring? Quite possibly. Even my dreams have been boring.

Up until the early hours of Monday morning that is. I woke up around4am and prayed for one of those mid-sleep dreams where you're full-dreaming and yet feel half-awake because you're very conscious of being in dream-land and to a degree are able to control and create the situations in said dream. So I prayed hard for someone gorgeous and then - whump! Outta nowhere someone from my past, whom I've never dreamt about before, appears. And it was a strangde dream without a beginning, missing a meaningful middle and with a rudely interrupted end.

So who was this dream-man? I will call him Tumas for you. Tumas is real. And he is Czech. And for only the second time since we parted on a sunken sparkling Sri Lankan beach, he contacted me ... on the same morning that I dreamt of him ... and now Tumas ... are you coming my islandbaby way??

Friday, August 04, 2006

just a baby

some sunday afternoon early 2006 : konedobu, port moresby : on the low bed I took in OurHero's house : an Indian bedspread covered with the pictorial debris of a life spent flitting through the days and moments of other lives across 2 continents (AKA sorting through travel photogrpahs)


Some of you know who I am. Just a baby, an island baby. Can you see me now?

So so welly welly solly for being naughty lazy little shit over last 3 weeks or so. After babySister left, I just lost my urge to share. Also, have been pretty damn busy bee. Mostly partying or socialising or lunching or eating or making plans to do all the above. Yeah yeah.

So in quickie summary of an islandbaby's so-so life since the last time ........

  • In tradition of Bill & Ted, my Most Excellent news is that Miss Pink Ukelele bought a raffle ticket from me and won first prize - a return trip for 2 to Cairns from Port Moresby .... and you know, can you even know the Best Part ... PinkUkelele is taking ... ME!!!!! Yeah baby!! We have now deemed PinkUkelele with the honour of the Order of the Most Excellent Gal About Town!! Not sure when we're coming down Cairns-the-one-stop-Mall way ... but will let you know. Before then though, PinkUkelele and I have a trip planned to the Goroka Show. Things are looking up for sure!
  • Babysister came and went and MyMama is still in town ... the old lady is the bomb but for the last few weeks she has beens ending me to work with packed lunches AND migraines - the Lord knows I love her to death, however, she is putting a serious strain on my sanity with her maddening ways (will divulge at some later date).
  • The lovely Ms Bomana came to town and I had to steal my time from her massive fan-base in POM and we got to play a little. Wish she didn't have to go back to Sydney though - we NEED people like you in this town lady!!
  • A friend made through other Sydney friends came to PNG for the Operation Open Heart - where surgeons and nurses from Australia came and conducted over 200 heart operations in 10 days. Amos - don't know why you were nervous to get in the car with me!! Now you can go back and let all those Sydney rats know you had the pleasure of being the first to be my passenger out of a lotta lovers down there whom I owe time in the map-reading seat.
  • On the physical side Islandbaby has been sliding down the slippery slope - and I think I hit my nadir on Sunday ... just stopped swimming and volleying and stopped walking and just started eating those choc monties (ricebag's absolute fave) and milk and making this milk-balloon tummy and ever-widening beerage thighs. Bit over it red-rover ... so have started the steep climb back to the top, or at least soemwhere higher up than this point in sloppy/slabby physique.
  • Now that the cable TV is hooked up, have been watching WAY too much tv and having flailing dreams about NOT being what I need to be when I grow up ... which is a working and paid writer ..... aaaaaaaaaargh. So yessah - going through the age-old ricebag crisis of KNOWING what I am doing professionally is not what I am meant to be entirely when I grow up.
  • Thanks to more glutty tv-time, there has been less book-time ... which has been absolutely awful. So, realising my reading has slowed to a dull lull, I have instigated a policy of no tv after 8pm in my house. There were some minor murmurs but its working and I am reading Ian McEwan and the hunger is returning for an islandbaby to ink to the mouth and produce something someone else might know to be true too.

So I woke up 2 days ago feeling like I, somehow in my sleep, have shifted from this month-long utter care-less attitude and am now feeling more like the me that knows better and does something about it. So it was back in the pool and back to the books and less crap attitude at work and more organisation about actually getting off the bum and writing the words I mean to write.

So I guess we'll see if these good intentions are true to form. I sure hope so. I need hope. I Need Hope to fill me up and scupper all the doubt. And the more I say it the more I understand what I am really seeking to confirm is hope that comes from - FAITH. And the spring of faith, I know, is Jesus.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Sorry for being an absent beeeatch. So so much fluff and not enough love for my lovers who check in on my blog.

So just to fill up an entry and until I can get off my lazy ass to write something meaningful and real:

Some Facts to Ponder

A cockroach will live nine days without its head, before it starves to death.
A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.
A snail can sleep for three years.
All Polar bears are left-handed.
American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first-class.
An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
Babies are born without knee caps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.
Butterflies taste with their feet.
China has more English speakers than the United States.
Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
Elephants are the only animals that can't jump.
Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.
February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.
I am. is the shortest complete sentence in the English language
If Barbie were life-size, her measurements would be 39-23-33. She would stand seven feet, two inches tall and have a neck twice the length of a normal human's neck.
If the population of China walked past you in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.