Tuesday, February 27, 2007


It's official. The Oscars suck. Last night was interminable and ... boring. I hadn't watched them since Gwynnie in her merangue blubbed all over the planet her slightly over-rehearsed blah-blech speech 8 years ago. And now I know why I waited so long.

Also, can I say I ALWAYS thought Helen Mirren was hot! Hey - you got to watch Prime Suspect to get it. That lady has class I tell you. Though not so sure about her salute to The Queen last night, I do think she beats a lot of those LA wannabes hands down.

So, I always love a perve on the red carpet ... and hey Dawso - when is my turn? You promised me 6 years ago that you would take me first over everyone else down the Oscars red carpet. Still working on that dress my love. Just promise me you won't be tempted by that pale blue safari suit you just can't give up. I have every faith we'll make it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

lax past action

sosie so so.

not much to report in the life of. except i found out today that my life is going to change sooner than i expected.

other than that, life has been good and interesting although not really spectacular. the best thing is that my cousin LAX is in town again and 2 w/ends in a row of partying together is wearing me out.

love love love my little brother. love you LAX!! you make me feel like a strong big sister and i am hoping you know i will do anything for you, i will throw down for you man. my message to you is never forget to keep your integrity above all else. and remember pride is a dangerous thing.

and the thing i am most grateful for is that one of my cousins from my other side was trying to split up LAX and i and she has failed failed failed. you hurt me deeply LAX, with what i saw as a betrayal and i felt confused and let down, mate. you made me doubt your loyalty. but our healthy and long conversation 10 days ago reminds me that blood is thicker than anything and i will always be grateful for that chance for us to clear the air.

but what i am learning is that i am black & white. what i see is what i see is what i see. and i will walk away if someone runs foul and can't clean up the shit they leave behind, let alone acknowledge it. but you are grey and even your grey is blurred and you try to compartmentalize your relationships. i guess you find cohesion and maintenance in that, whereas i can only see hypocrisy. i might hold onto emotional rubbish long past the rotting stage but sure enough i will throw it out when confrontation fails. you won't see me saving face when keeping face means losing decency. shelving your honour makes you corruptible.

but because i love you as much as i do, and because you are your own man, i am doing my best to understand and accept your choices. as long as you remember that love & loyalty should never ever be expected but always demonstrated. you're young so you think words mean something. gotta say LAX, but they really don't. past action is the best predicter of future action - not words.

you and babysister are my twin pains-in-the-asses and it would take a lot to extricate you! plus you make me proud. in the very best way. in the way that says loving hurts and and coming out the other side takes humility and patience. so never doubt that i will show up when you need me. that's my job.

and i want to thank you. for trusting me. and letting me in. and not growing out of your need to ask my opinion on matters of love and losing. and knowing me sometimes better than i do - mostly because your memory is very good but also because you've been around forever, the witness to ricebag's journey. it's been a privilege LAX and here's to the next hundred years.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Just saying so yesterday I had dinner out and with friends and would have been so ricebag to strike up my skinny fags upon completion of meal and downment of gin. But there were no cigarettes/cigarillos/tobacco or rolling papers to be seen.

First day of Lent and I had my first test. And I passed. Very nice to go home without nicotine hands and ciggy-breath.

Although I did miss that satisfactory first puff and deep inhale and slow exhale, not much else I miss ... but it was a pain in the ass to be constantly thinking about it. That's for sure. The only good thing about constantly thinking about it, was thinking about WHY I am not smoking - Lent. This abstinence thing makes a body mindful. Amen to that.

The good thing is my smoking has been waxing and waning over the past 8 years and has travelled in degrees from periods of fagging pretty much whenever I felt like it (rare and short periods) to only social occasions (most of the time) to hardly ever (long periods) to never (short periods).

In truth, ricebag is a social smoker, and that has made me a highly conditioned creature so all I need is a drink in one hand and, as I don't generally drink when I am alone, a social environment and puff goes the ricebag. So it's psychological conditioning and that has GOT to be easier to break than nicotine. It's just a little difficult coz ricebag is very social.

But I do thank God that I am not addicted to nicotine in the way I have seen some of my friends ... the shakes and the headaches and the very real and sheer physical impossibility of 'giving up'. And I really want to not be either a social smoker for life or one that becomes a real-live need nicotine on-a-regular-basis-smoker.

So maybe will revert back to a "hardly ever" smoker. Just occasionally. At the end of an excellent meal. With a great glass of wine. And after sex. Just a little luxury. Once in a while.

So will keep on keeping on with the abstinence on that one.

Peace out.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

my car roars

Battleaxe the old grinder is my lovely pooh-brown ole faithful who has done 15 years and is about due for some long service leave. And we love her. We love Battleaxe even though we don't always respect her body. And she's got the scars to prove it. Sorry for that baby.

But today we got one step closer to repaying the love and am re-installing air-conditioning. After Muzz borrowed and broke it. Sorry for that baby.

And reinstalling air-con is not cheap. Not even for an old battleaxe. And Battleaxe needs other things like a new rear indicator and a new pilot mirror and to get the hella mirror rescrewed and a bigger battery and more importantly, new tyres altogether, including the spare. She needs some (minor!) panel beating and a new fender and a whole new coat of paint. Sorry for those baby.

So Battleaxe doesn't look a million dollars, she has the heart of a lion and suits me just fine. Ain't noone gonna steal my baby (touch wood!!) - she's a bit of a Cinderella you see, only everone thinks she's the ugly sister. And she loves me back. I can tell. Because she doesn't let me down. Only when I forget to turn off my lights and things like that. Sorry for that baby.

So maybe we're not going to go for the new coat of paint and maybe we're not going to beat out all the dents. But we will run with the best oil and battery water and we will clean you inside and out and will give you some aircon so you can spend the rest of your twilight days in relative comfort. How about that baby?

The thing I love best about Battleaxe is that she ROARS. She's got soul. And she leaves laggers behind to eat her dust. She doesn't much care about appearances. It's what is underneath the hood that counts. And that's why she's ricebag's.

giving it up

Almost every year at this time, I decide to sacrifice some part of my daily routine in observance of Lent. I am not Catholic and it isn’t strictly religious for me. It is, however, about getting my appetites under control and focusing on the Christian in me. Every year I discover activities that have become so ingrained in my daily behavior I don’t even think about them before I do them. It is only with careful introspection that I realize how firm their grip has become. Then, I rebel.

Lent - it's supposed to be good for the body AND the soul. It's supposed to simplify your life for a while, free you from self-obsession, giving you time and money to re-focus. It's not supposed to feed your vanity, but to give you the space to rediscover the true value of life, framed by a fresh vision of God. What part of your consumer lifestyle will you give up, for a while, to get your life into a new gear?

I found this document to be a useful guide.

What is ricebag practicing for lent?

  • abstinence from cigarettes; and
  • abstinence from meat; and to
  • practice prayer

I think that about does it for moi.

Love you lovers.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

today today today

And I didn't expect to feel this way on day when the thunder is crowding out the sun and words are making my eyes hurt.

Today today today. Today I bought a washing machine. Today I ate half my lunch alone. Today I procrastinated. Today I woke up early birdie. Today I wore a skirt with teardrops on it. Today I am having sausages and eggs for dinner. Today I had a chocolate biscuit and a green apple for breakfast. Today I am going to be sitting by myself with a beer and the dying sun and the deep rain on my verandah where the fairy lights are still up.

Today I was paid the biggest compliment of my professional career.


Monday, February 19, 2007

more wahroonga than wapenamanda

last friday someone at work told me ricebag was "more wahroonga than wapenamanda"

all that know ricebag know all the places she is from and I pray that you know there isn't one way in hell that I am or that I'd ever want to be more wahroonga than anywhere else, least of wapenamanda, the wide flushing valley of my mother's father and all in his purview which he called his

Friday, February 16, 2007

roller coaster

All I know as of right now inside this minute is that something has shifted in my entire sphere of reference and it feels like a growing-up thing although it's too dark to tell right now.

My world is getting smaller, I can hear the hinges creaking ... although I'm not scared coz ricebag knows it's old bones and not old ghosts.

Wow. This week has been such a roller coaster. Where to begin? It's been sleepless and emotionally draining and interesting and sad and strange.

  • Very sad news for my little cousin Israel whose mummy died on Monday after suffering a long illness. Sorry baby. So sorry. Ricebag spent the week in and out of the cry-haus and am also feeling sad for MyMama who can't be here to cry and to tell her cousin Leo that she knows what widow means and life isn't fair but you hold on because that's your job when you're the only parent left.
  • Had a deep long look at London on Tuesday (shall say no more there).
  • Had dinner last night with my star Finah and have to say there isn't a girl my age that I respect more. We been through a lot doll and I can't wait to go through the next 50 years with you. Thankyou for getting me ... and loving me anyway.
  • I made a HUUUUUUUUUUGE decision today that might affect the rest of my life. And truth be known, I don't feel so good right now - I feel a little sick actually but really hope I dont regret that decision.
  • On Tuesday I realized it was the the 1 year anniversay since I started this job - which is also the 1st year I have ever worked ANYWHERE permanently.
  • And I lost 2 kilograms. Must be from sleeplessness and stress.

Although, there was a highlight of the week - Valentines Day of course ... Managed a random evening out with NoNo and Pinky U at none other than Red Hot Chilli Peppers Night Club here in Industrial Gordons for Girly Girly night AKA PNG's very own 'Miss Universe Competition' ... and if you didn't know (as I didn't), the term "girly girly" refers to he-She's or men-who-probably-like-men who like to dress as women so then, in PC terms we should refer to them as She's. And miss C-lander invited us out to watch her friend Chukachukamomo perform. Alas Chuky was absent but that certainly didn't dampen the efforts of the other 8 She's who paraded and flounced and perted and pouted etc etc Lovely to know that even in our own little way Port Moresby's community of She-she's has a venue to shine and compete and shake their thang! The clientelle was varied and the variation ran from slimy-o yuck-yuck ancient white dude grabbing baby-o 14-yr old brown-breasts to some pretty classy off duty air host darlings to none other than a highly placed public servant who probably knew better than to be mucking it up in a dive with a bunch of misfits such as ourselves. But the decor was a bonus - can't say I've seen a golden dancing pole anywhere else in PNG, combined with tinsel, strobe lighting, pool tables and the lack of ANY windows or fresh air. Best thing was the total randomivity of it all. Loving random.

So ... what is the sum of all these things? Proof that life goes on and on and you have to experience the relationships You Claim and choose the life You Have and know that ultimately there will come a time when you look back and know why you made that big decision that you made back when you made it even though you didn't know at that time exactly why you were making it.

At least I have my little cherry cigars to keep me going. Thankyou BabySister. See how your love leaves traces behind. (Although, I will admit, smoking those is making me want to quit ... although I enjoy smoking them whilst I am smoking them, I think I feel sick soon afterwards. And for me, it's the regular post-smoking sensation of smoking regular cigarettes, but in steep acceleration. I feel the end of my puffing career is near. And me no sad at all. Looking forwardly. Got to get through your baby choc fags first though.)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

baby got ink

I got a tat, a tat, a tat, a rattatatat, a tattoo toot.

Yes. Very scary. It's only my first and I say that with a capital "F".

Miss Pinky U and I bounded into the blue room at the back of a hair salon in downtown Boroko and sat down with the laid-back tatto artist AKA Willy - Mullet Willy with the short front and sides and the blonde dreads at his back. Willy from Solomons who has tapa cloth for decoration in his little inking kingdom and cuts a smooth relaxed persona and who tattoed himself when he was 12. And we flipped through 4 or 5 plastic sheafed folders of tat designs for half and hour and Pinky U picked one and I made one up and it took just as long to get ourselves permanently marked. For like ever and ever.

And to me it is strange to think that a major reason many people will never get a tattoo is because they're permanent. It's strange to me because all the other perduring marks on my body were not made by intention, they are scars, the physical memory of things that happened To my physical person as a result of events that were sometimes excursive, often painful, most often accidental and out of my control - and so then, why would I not prefer to have a body marking that had its providence, birth and reason from within me than without. After all, the primary characteristic all my scars share other than their permanency and lack of design is that they were involuntary:

  • the massive scar tissue acrss my right calf from a car accident 19 years ago : sogeri mountain road 1988
  • the scar above my right eye when the boy I did dawn-dashes with in first year uni accidentally dropped me on my head after twirling me around one sunny sunday afternoon : tennis lawn 1996
  • the circular circle of scar tissue on my right arm when the school nurse broke a needle giving me a shot in primary school : sick bay 1988
  • the scar on my left sole from when a spike went through my foot : bedroom 1981
  • the black mole on my neck where babysister threw a bunch of keys at me and gauged me : dining room 1985
  • the scar across my left index finger when I was spinning the spokes on my bike and I almost severed my digit : garage 1986
  • the scar on my pelvis from a tissue biopsy : doctor's surgery 1999 & london hospital repeat 2003
  • the anonymous scar from a long ago surgical procedure leaving a set of stitches to the right of my belly button : baby-time 1979
  • the silky dark brown splodge above my right ankle from a tropical sore : christmas 2005
  • and 5 marks across my lower back that mysteriously turned up one day ... the same day my uncle Mak was shot 5 times in his back : awaking 1997

    and so on and so forth ... just some of the visible traces of arbitrary events long gone which have left me with an enduring reminder.

And yesterday for the first time I marked myself. I mean, I got Willy to mark me. Permanently. Voluntarily. With Design. Out of a conscious decision rather than the result of some adventitious unintended chance of nature or unpreventable design of fate. And that felt good. So I am my own canvas. And the event of getting tattood can still be random, unpremeditated and spontaneous but it's the decision of the scaree and the design imprinted which makes my newest body scarring mine.

Miss Bomana - please forgive - I know we had a date to do this together and never did - but don't worry, when I come down to Sydney in oh-so-soon we will have a chance to rectify and I am getting another - a large and looong tat done blade to blade across the span of my upper back baby. Uh Oh!! Please come with. And JCD maybe you'd be up for a threesome?

It IS ever so slightly addictive.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

for ollie & max

hey lady. you with me? let's take a leap in the dark. and then another. india or bust.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

port moresby & kit

a lot of times i feel things, react to things, cry, become angry about things i see out in the world. its overwhelming sometimes to know where to put my energy. so many times its just easier to do nothing. even giving money feels somehow not enough. like an afterthought.

lately i feel like a new fire is burning in me, one that is going to pull me up out of the depths of inaction with regard to these things. i have made a decision to push my energy in some new directions, i smile writing that, because it is still not clear exactly what form those directions will take. but i feel resolved and powerful.

i know this now.

i'm getting there. i really am. every year that goes by i feel i know less and less about most things, but understand more and more about myself. in many ways i feel like i am being prepared for some bigger work, as though i'm going to be tested on a much bigger scale in the future and these are just the preliminaries. at some point i am going to be stepping out on some bigger limbs and jumping off.

i feel for the first time that i am on the path to doing something bigger than me. i am going to be giving more of myself to the cause.


without apology.

with conviction.

as is.

and for those looking for the subtle intimation - the novel "The Sheltering Sky" by Paul Bowles is one of the most original, visionary works of the last century and it is the story of three worldly young travelers Port Moresby, his wife, Kit, and their friend, Tunner - adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II - the evocation of the emotional dislocation induced by a foreign setting.

naturally ricebag sees all kinds of parallels.

Monday, February 05, 2007

skin on the side

For the past week it has been raining like it's never gonna rain again, every night, in the witching hours - between 1am and 4 am and always at 3am. Heavy heavy heartfelt re-lent-less buckets. So POM is coming up green and the roads are slick and streets are rain-swept. And I feel a little rain-washed too.

Last week was pretty busy busy at work and in the social life of moi.

But not the love life of me. For the past few months Ricebag has been kissing a boy from another country whenever he was in this country. And it wasn't a secret, just my nice private affair. He was here in January and there was some more kissing. But yesterday is where the kissing ends. Bye bye birdie. I must have liked him coz I told him very early on where my favourite part of the human body is. And just so you can get your mind out of the gutter - it's the smooth place on the side of a person's chest, on the side of their body, parallel to the nipple, the skin which the upper arm rests against when a person's arm is by their side, the skin which covers the curve of the ribcage. I just love that - I love putting my hand there. I'm not obsessed by it - I just like that safe place and when I like someone, I want to hold them there. And not in a sexual way (necessarily). In an intimate way. And he liked it too. I could tell.

So with the rain coming and the kissing ending, I think this week I am going to just put my head down and bum up and get on with all the schtuff on my plate - no mean feat.

And I wanted to say thankyou to you boy - you know who you are. I know you are smart and you will Go Places. But there will be no more of ricebag holding you on the skin on your side. You think I am someone I am not. And that's probably my fault. I am not the girl for you and you are not the boy for me.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

the magic faraway tree

Oh me gadsters. TODAY TODAY TODAY something so amazing happened!!

20 ... that's right ... TWENTY years ago back in the Red Hill of Kamberra ricebag and babysister were best best playmates of k-dig and m-dig. We did EVERYTHING together. Spent every weekend together at each others houses, held the mandatory cabbage patch doll tea parties, swapped May Gibbs books, made lemonade on roadside stalls for tiny African babies in distant African places, knitted through long cross-legged afternoons on the floor of our little classroom of our little school on La Perouse, spent hot summers at Kamikaze Slides; bought sweets at our corner shop; cycled around the burbs, spent long arvos under the hot air balloon tent, swapped scratch n sniff stickers and more more more. It was only one year. Just a gift of one year. But we found each other. And made friends like only kids can, and and and ... after years of half-hearted random searching, I finally found them!! After not seeing them for 20 years!!

Today k-dig e-mailed me and I am so grateful I can't even begin to say. Having had such a disparate childhood as mine, ricebag has few friends from before high school. Anyone earlier scattered to the 4 corners ... and finding the two miss digs has been a very very sweet find. And best of all is that I get to see k-dig again soon when I make it back to Oz and I am looking so very forward - I can't even begin to say.