Friday, March 26, 2010

now's a bad a time as any

Wednesday night I saw Imogen Heap play at Billboard, and she was extraordinary. Musicians who have mastered instruments to the point of becoming artists are always impressive, but she has branched out to master live mixing and looping, making music from the most unusual of found sounds, and to watch her create a thickly-layered and wildly-varying song on her own before a live audience was awe-inspiring. I have loved her music since first discovering her, and now love her even more. Anyone checking can see I've been spamming her on

(Enjoyment of 'Hide and Seek' somewhat hindered by the girl behind me singing enthusiastically (you win points!) and so appallingly out of tune (YOU LOSE POINTS!) I had to exert will power to restrain myself from turning to shhhh her.)

'Speeding Cars' is one of the greatest songs about depression you will find. I can't listen to it without clenching my whole existence, it teases the tear ducts and closes my throat even as it soothes the heart. She performed it, and a bar full of drunks sang along, and I was glad the place was dark.

Today I attended a Beyond Blue seminar held through work, which looks at raising awareness regarding mental illness and equipping people with strategies to deal with it in the workplace. I've been wanting to attend one of these for a while, just to see exactly what is being taught and what attitudes are being brought to them. This particular one was tailored to sworn members in managerial roles, neither of which I am, but it certainly was interesting.

Loss of identity came up as a contributing factor for depression an anxiety, which I've tangled with far too recently. When discussing depression and anxiety and the circumstances that can trigger them, this is rarely something that pops up, yet now strikes me as perhaps one of the factors with most cause for concern. To lose a sense of who you are casts you adrift without anchor not only in the present, but renders your future vast and unknown, and your past invalid. You lose you, and if you lose you, then what are you fighting for?

Why fight to keep your head above water at all?

It was an exceptionally good session, and I hope it really does make a difference out there. I know, I'm all for pushing others to seek help while refusing to do so myself, and I'm a hypocrite. I'm a self-managing hypocrite.

Despite being really good right now, it was still a confronting day.

They passed a book around that detailed the various remedies for treating depression. The results regarding the effectiveness of chocolate were inconclusive. I ate a bar anyway.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sightings In The Wild

On the train home, sitting in the priority seat by the door, headphones and Imogen Heap on, notebook open, pen vomiting thoughts, I pause a moment, look up and-

ENTER STAGE LEFT: a ginger nut in a grey and red striped top reading the latest issue of Weird Tales.

-total brain freeze.

Do I;
  1. Blurt enthusiasm and approval of his choice in reading matter at him?
  2. Tell him I'm an editorial assistant and I'm incoherent at the sight of seeing a total stranger reading it in public?
Perhaps this doesn't happen so much in the magazine's home land, but here, I'm the only person who seems to have copies of the dear old rag. I just assume that...well, I just assume.

Oh. OH.

Is that;
  1. of the issues I gave away on this here blog?
So then;
  1. Does this total stranger recognise me?
Wait. Wait. Hang on. One local I gave copies to indicated he was going to pass them on to others, being an excellent little literary infector cell.

So then;
  1. This total stranger could know me from this blog.
  2. This total stranger could have no idea of my existence and the source of his reading material.
  3. This total stranger could actually have a subscription to the magazine.
So then;
  1. WTF do I do?
I could practically hear the adrenaline chutes clang as they opened.

If he knows me, then, to be honest, this is a situation I dread most as the consequence of having a blog. People I don't know who know me, or have the impression of knowing me, or certainly know more about me than has been earned in mutual interaction. Initiating a conversation with a stranger is already a massive leap off a cliff for me. Initiating it with someone who is less stranger than stranger;
  1. He might not know me, and then I'd look like a twat.
  2. I could simply not question where his acquired the magazine, and just compliment his tastes.
  3. Is blurting out "I'm an editorial assistant!" kinda, you know, pretentious wankery oh look at me lah-di-dah pat my head and be impressed?
But then what if I did that and he did know me?

Hang on;
  1. In every single photo of myself that I post on this blog I look like a bloody muppet,
  2. I am in respectable office clothes right now and not pulling faces.
  3. Unless my thinking face is funny.
  4. It could be.
  5. Oshi-
Stop. Tessa, you are dehydrated, having a blood sugar crash, and still quite wobbly from this random bout of unwellness. Look at the closed-logic rampage your thoughts are careening around in. You are going to;
  1. Keep your mouth shut. You can't even think coherently, let alone form words. No matter what the actual situation is, you are going to make an arse out of yourself.
  2. Also, you just left a group because you're an introvert in sore need of some alone time. You can't do social right now.
  3. Plus, you're stupid. Remember? You got up this morning. That was a stupid thing to do. Don't bring any more stupid upon yourself. Don't inflict it on other people either.
Head down. Write some more. Keep an eye on the stations passing. Cap pen, close notebook, stand-

EXIT TRAIN DOORS: a ginger nut in a grey and red striped top reading the latest issue of Weird Tales.

-total brain freeze.

The fact that I didn't have far to go was going to be my polite and fast escape if the conversation was a mistake.

The fact that he got off at my stop effectively nutted my Plan B.


The Moral Of The Story:
  1. Hello ginger nut in the red and grey striped top. If you are in fact a reader, dude, you get so many kudos for reading Weird Tales.
  2. Sorry for not saying hi.
  3. And yeah, I really am a neurotic anti-social misanthropic introverted cranky hermit crab.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


If you think the only reason I bought this bar of chocolate was because it had "ORLY" as a brand name, you would be 100% correct.

It was good chocolate too.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Today I did not go to work because I felt rotten. This happens exactly never, as I have an immune system that is never defeated, and because I'm one of those horrible people who just goes to work even when feeling a bit crook.

When the alarm went off this morning, I felt ghastly enough to decide that yes, actually, sleeping for the whole day was in everyone's best interests. So I did.

I haven't eaten for more than 24 hours. Considering my current condition and two seconds spend pondering my recent diet, I figured I probably needed some iron, so meat was the go. To the shops I shambled, and spent a lot of time staring blankly at the shelves and counting the money in my pocket because right now, counting and decision making are beyond me.

Eventually I found some 'spinach and meat cannelloni' on discount. Spinach AND meat! There's some good hearty iron. And I can afford it too, bonus!

Having just consumed a couple, I can state with all certainty that there was no spinach or meat involved, and what I just ate was in fact a couple of tubes of cheese.

I'm going back to bed.

Monday, March 15, 2010

She wants me dead.

Spam imitating life?

So true.

Except for the part about the cat.

(As if I'd need help naming a cat. Pfffft.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

This post is here to freak you out.

The Surinam Toad, video courtesy of Ugly Overload.

The beastie is already bizarre to look at. Practically flat, like a leaf, which means they don't get to croak like other toads. But then when reproducing the eggs get embedded in the female's back, and then sort of sink in or the skin swells over them to protect them, so the eggs are in nice pockets and her back is basically turned into honeycomb and then the little froglettes just...burst...out.

I have the very strong urge to take to my back with steel wool after watching that, yet I can't stop hitting replay.

Blood Falls at Taylors Glacier, Antarctica thanks to Jesse Bullington.

It's a pocket of primordial ooze that has been slowly shuffled along by the glacier for who knows how long, to finally end its journey in the sea.

The glacier is bleeding.

The glacier is bleeding.


"No one is the master of Disk Eyes!", or, VIGILANTELOPE BOOYAH!

Last year the Dashing Deb and I saw Vigilantelope at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. They performed The Tale of the Golden Lease which remains not only the funniest, but the best written show I've ever seen. For weeks afterward we'd have conversations that were nothing but quotes from the show, and still fall into that pit occasionally. We loved it so much, we dragged everyone we knew to see it again when they performed at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

And we loff them. Oh we do.

Alert! The 2010 Comedy Festival is coming up and THEY HAVE A NEW SHOW.


If you're not planning on going to anything at the Comedy Festival, if you've never even heard of the Comedy Festival, GO TO THIS SHOW. If you are planning on going to the Comedy Festival and are doing that crazy thing like we're doing and breaking our credit cards and diaries with all the stuff we're going to, GO TO THIS SHOW. If you don't actually live in Melbourne, GET OFF YOUR ARSE AND GET HERE AND GO. TO. THIS. SHOW.

I'm going on the 26th of March, aaaaaand to be honest, after watching that highlight reel, I think I'm going to go at least a couple more times on top of that. Hollar if you're going!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Bachelor

A co-worker asked me what was for dinner tonight. "Probably peanut butter toast," I said, without really thinking. "That's, um...nutritious." She disapproved of my dinner, I think.

Someone completely unrelated told me I was "such a teenager" upon hearing of my dinner practices.

First of all, I live alone. Cooking for one is not worth the hassle. There's no one else to do the dishes either.
Second, dinner isn't my big meal for the day. Lunch is, it makes more sense. After work I get home and sit here, so eating a proper cooked meal seems like a waste of food-converted-into-energy.
Third, I'm not a teenager.

I'm a bachelor, and I shall bloody well live like one.

And I happen to really like peanut butter toast.

Normally I'd have a cup of tea with my peanut butter toast, but tonight I'm having grog. The official definition of grog is watered down rum. I have no mixers nor the motivation to go out and get any.

The cobbler on Lonsdale Street is quite a straight-faced gruff man, and with his rich and abrupt accent from the heart of Eastern Europe he can come across as just plain grumpy. I suspected first impressions were misleading, and my suspicions were rewarded with him gently insisting that my quiet Friday night at home must have one glass of red wine. At least one.

I don't have any red wine, or any wine at all, as I have no palate for the stuff. The grog is a crude bacheloresque substitute, as I always do what I'm told.

Now I'm going to walk around with no pants on and drink milk from the carton.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010

What Happened Next: I did not climb a volcano.

After a couple of days being messed about by Aerolineas Argentinas, not sleeping and wearing the one set of clothes, I arrived in Santiago, Chile, exactly where I was supposed to be and although I'd missed the whole meet 'n greet trip meeting, I wasn't going to be left behind.

Being in the right country and city can be an immense relief. As a result, I felt I could stop rushrushrushing as I had been, and after fumbling my way through customs and immigration (the officer processing me refused to believe I could not speak Spanish; I disproved him with my utter bewilderment), I made my way to the shuttle bus operators. There were two options offered me, 1) collectivo, being a shuttle bus that dropped everyone off at their hotels and could conceivably take an hour to get me to mine, or 2) private, which was essentially a taxi, but cheaper. What's the rush? I chose the collectivo, and piled into a van with some Americans, Germans, and locals.

By then the sun had set, and the trip was scheduled to leave at six the following morning. I saw nothing of Santiago.

By chance I was the second person dropped off. The lovely driver pointed me towards the hotel, as by this time I was so exhausted I literally could not see the enormous lit up sign, and waved me on my way. I shambled into the lobby in my two day old funk, thinking it was actually a very nice lobby and my funk was not at all appropriate, and attempted to check in.

You see the key word there: attempted.

Reception could find no reservation for me. At all. Ever. By this point I was so immune to massive setbacks that this minor hiccough didn't phase me other than delaying me from being able to really well and truly stop. I asked if there was any room available, and whatever it was, I'd take it, by Zeus's Mighty Nose Hairs, I'd take it.

While he was organising this, I discovered the notice board, where the various tour groups departing from this hotel left their Need To Knows, and found one for my trip, with my name on it no less that said, that said, it said-

It said there'd been a change of plans and the trip was departing not tomorrow morning, but tonight at 10 o'clock, to make a 10 hour drive through the night straight down to Pucón.

What's the time? I asked faintly.

5 to 10, replied a woman loitering in the lobby. Are you with us?

At this point, I just started laughing.

And thus began my tour.

The truck managed, miraculously, to be louder than a plane, and considerably less comfortable, and by now I was so wired and my body clock so completely flummoxed as to what time it was that I still didn't sleep. I spent those 10 hours looking out the window at the Milky Way and wishing I'd had a chance to get any other clothing out of my rucksack before it was thrown in the back, because even in summer Chile is fucking freezing at night, and I was barefoot with only thin trackies, a hoodie and t-shirt on, and quietly dying of frostbite. Got very cozy with a mad irishman who smelt of spilt beer and a lack of shower because it was that or die. (I may be exaggerating there.)

Some of the shapes passing in the night nudged my addled mind, and at one of the service stations we stopped at I asked if I was hallucinating, or if there were in fact eucalyptus trees everywhere.

They're a bit of a pest, I was told. You go gum trees! We passed through bushland, a proper thick gum tree forest just on sunrise, and I could smell them.

When we finally pulled into the camp at Pucón, we bogged the truck. Instantly.

And it was raining. And I was barefoot. And cold. And very, very, very tired. And we set up our tents, in the rain. And then the boss lady said we were all going into town to organise a climb of the volcano Villarrica for tomorrow, and I had to say stop, please, can you just let me put some actual clothes on I'm kinda dying here.

Sitting in the company office and having the volcano climb explained - get up at dawn, climb this bit up to the snowline, put on crampons, climb snow all the way to the peak some 1,400 feet or metres, I really don't remember - the fact that I had not slept in three days punched me in the face, and I sat outside and tried not to vomit.

I really wanted to climb the volcano. I mean, fuck! It's a volcano! But the nausea and dizziness and weakness were signs I knew too well from nightshift. I was just too tired, to the point where I couldn't justify climbing a volcano as crazy, it would only be stupid and dangerous.

So I did not climb the volcano.


Instead, the following day I and a handful of the older people on the truck went to Huerquehue NP. Try saying that three times fast. In fact, try saying it at all.

Here, we were told, was a lovely level hike that was easy and looped through several lakes.

This was of course completely and utterly and totally and so very not true.

It began with a path through the woods by the lake. I cannot tell you which lake in all honesty, there are that many of the things around. Funnily enough, the area is called the Lakes District. It was lovely and dim in the trees.

This path washed us up on the road. Which was a lovely road, and it was a gorgeous day, and there were lovely odd little plants around, and the mountains being all moody and towering above us, and the group came to understand what I meant when I told them not to wait for me as I'd be snap happy.

In particular, I fell in love with these guys.

Are they not just gorgeous? They're everywhere, all over Patagonia on both sides of the Andes. Clingy and furious little buggers. I adore them. I have so many photos of them it's sad. They are Acaena Magallanes, bringing back punk, flora style.

The sun was out, the sky a brilliant blue, but goblins live in the mountains. You can tell, because despite a summer day, the mountains were busy being broody and moody and gloomy and other words with 'oo'.

The road eventually ended and we were back on a path wending its way though sun-speared forest, the sort of thing that when I encounter in a work of fiction I don't really believe in, 'cause such idyllic scenery just doesn't happen.

Here's photographic evidence of my wrongness.

There were even motes caught in the breeze passing through the sunlight, in order to dazzle just so. Fucking ridiculous.

And then, THEN, we came to the trail head.

The yellow hike is the one we were doing. We'd done the walk up from the park gate, and there was still some ways to go before even beginning the loop. And it was going uphill. We'd already ascended more than we'd expected. I just feel a need to point this out, as when I looked at the map I didn't think the ascent was all that much. UH HUH.

Shortly after, we came to the first mirador (view point) of Villarrica.

She something, isn't she? Our comrades were on that snow, somewhere.

From there on the path zigzagged up, and up, and up. There were a great many curious little undergrowth lives for me to point my camera at.

I stopped at the second mirador for lunch. Only, this was my second day out on the ground, and I had no idea what a mirador actually was, and thought the signs indicated the distance to the next mirador, whatever a mirador was. So the below photo is incorrect, I'm at the second mirador at an altitude of over a kilometre.

Shark Puppet neglected to point this out.

It had taken the better part of the day to get that far, and we still hadn't reached the loop. Unfortunately we were on a schedule, due to meet our transport back at the gate to take us back to town, so couldn't take our time, plus one of our number was struggling considerably with the climb.

The whole time I'd been playing leap frog with a Chilean family; husband and wife, son, grandmother and grandfather. The son disappeared quite early, which was alarming. Even more alarming was the grandmother, who was getting along with a tripod walking stick. This was not an easy hike. It was steep, muddy, slippery, uneven, and there were logs and rocks all over the path. She made excellent time though, overtaking me whenever I got caught up in taking photos, but still.

This was not the walk they or we had been offered.

Still, I pushed on up to the third mirador, and the first high altitude lake, Lagos Chico.

Which was also idyllic and lovely and serene. Total shit from a horse, all this tranquility.

It was even lined with water plants. So, you know, if you happened to tumble in you wouldn't crack your head open. Because the world is nice like that. (Which won't stop you from being swept over the edge of the mountain by the massive waterfall plunging onto rocks and more rocks and yet more rocks for at least a kilometre into the lake below, but you can't have everything.)

And then hightailed it back down the mountain to meet our pick up.



At the time, I was with an English couple, and clearly there is no such thing as an angry spider in England because this guy, this English gentleman, proceeded to get a stick and POKE THE TARANTULA. AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! TO GET IT OFF THE PATH. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! And I actually shouted at him not to do that, but no, it wasn't until the TARANTULA. AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!! reared up its legs and had a go at him that he understood YOU DO NOT FUCK WITH THE TARANTULA. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

We let the tarantula have the path. And ran away.

Later, when we were back at camp with a cup of tea, we worked out we'd made the same ascent we would have made had we climbed the volcano. This discovery pissed me off to no end, because I'd made my choice assuming I would not be physically capable of conquering mountains when bloody exhausted, but clearly I was wrong.

That was Christmas Day. When everyone returned, we ate a lot, and drank a lot, my exhaustion did kick in with a total failure to cope with lots of strangers and loud noise, so I drank some more and fixed that, punch is deadly stuff kids, sang Champagne Supernova, kept the whole damn campsite awake, and eventually staggered off to bed where I froze in my sleeping bag because my tent mate found somewhere else to sleep thus failed to contribute body heat to the tent.

The End.

Game - Conrad Williams

buy - author site

(There was a magnificent sleight of hand involving pigs early in the story. Petite Porker still doesn't get it, and needs to get out of the damn photo.)

I was wretchedly directionless and restless yesterday, and the Wise and Sensible Deb Biancotti told me to: Read a book. Let someone else's world right yours. That's what I do.

So, yeah, I went and picked up my last Conrad Williams book.

Sometimes, the mind can be soothed by feeding it love, warmth, hope and delight.

But when that fails, giving it something a hell of a lot more fucked up than it will ever be can do the trick too.

Game is a short sharp novella that, after the punch-you-in-the-face-kick-you-in-the-gut END OF THE DAMN WORLD horror and despair of the last few novels and novellas of his I have read, is a subtle and restrained creature, all the more sinister because of it.

Bas Eachus is exacting a little revenge that is far beyond what the perceived crimes against him call for. His grand scheme (and as far as revenge goes, it is a fine one) sees Rache and Fi, two of his chosen targets, forced to tear around from one place to another hunting out Bas's other targets and doing his wetwork for him to a specific timetable, as if they fail Bas will drain another pint of blood from Liam. Add into this Ness, a woman who suffers from premonitions more than most fictional characters with premonitions suffer, and what you have is a brilliant and grueling little story.

The characters are marvelously drawn; it's desperation that drives this narrative, and while the dictionary definition of desperation is uniform, how it manifests and shapes the individual it is consuming is a varied and nuanced thing. Each of these characters is driven to such lengths by their desperation, resorting to such means and consciously the future consequences, because here and now there is work to be done and only one goal to be achieved, anything else being a distraction - they haul the story along at an incredible pace, to a conclusion that I truly did not see coming and crowed with satisfaction when it came.

It was also excellent to be served a plate of characters with different vital statistics. Just chance has seen the last few of Williams's story consumed to be centred on the same character structure; the family unit of father, mother and son, with the father as point of focus. Great to witness Williams flaunt is ability to nail university students with lousy boyfriends, sappy sad romantic psychics and criminal entrepreneurs who are perhaps past their prime but not quite ready to fully admit that.

The prose didn't linger as lovingly on the gore, now I think on it. There was opportunity to do so, but in this case there were more important things to be done. The horror being evoked in the reader did not stem from the visual image of the deeds done, but the emotional and spiritual destruction that came from doing the deeds themselves. Quite to my tastes.

Verdict: The Source of Awesome. Damn fine, I say, damn fine. I know Williams has a crime book coming out soon, and the way this story unfolded it had more than a little of a crime bouquet about it. If it be anything like this saucy little darling, cannot wait to get my paws on it.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Tender Morsels - Margo Lanagan

buy - author site

(Miss Apricot thinks Mister Bear has inflamed tonsils.)

There was a lot of bruhaha in the reviewsphere about the events contained in the book and whether it was obscene material that should be burned, I say, burned, or not. I didn't read any of this, but I was aware of it. It was at the front of my mind when I started, a sort of mental readiness that what was to come was probably not pleasant (and knowing Margo's style, that's only to be expected).

And still, that first session I had to stop not because I was ready to stop reading - I wasn't, actually - but because I'd reached my horror saturation point and had to go find some rainbows and unicorns to snort.

It was quite a relief when that section passed. I almost understood, then, why the bruhaha, and having read the book do not agree with it. It does deal with some heinous crimes and taboos, but does not exploit them. Margo handles them with an honesty that makes liars of us all, she doesn't shy away from the consequences that follow such events, be they emotional, practical or social, nor does she make any attempt to belittle how lasting the effects can be on a person. The ending is better than the start, which is all that can be hoped for, really.

This is a recasting of Snow White, Rose Red, which is a fairytale I'm not well acquainted with. It spans two worlds, each with their joys and savage flaws, and some three generations of women who fit in neither world, and make their own world between themselves. It's a subtle fantasy, not feeling much need to be loud and brash in its unworldliness. The magic exists to serve the themes of struggle, defeat and the furious unfairness of ordinary people. The magic bends its knee to a story driven by characters.

The prose itself is an incredible magic, Margo having a precision of feeling in the details she chooses and the words she chooses to denote those details that stems from an almost childlike-innocence view of the world, before the rules of language dictate what word applied to what. It's through this delicate, exquisite prose that the atrocities are delivered, and I cannot tell you if that makes them easier or harder to stomach. Regardless, it made the book a wonder of craft.

(I had a moment, in that delightful warm burly section with the visit of First Bear, thinking of Florence, and oh my heart wanted...)

The end left me a touch disgruntled, as for me the story was always Liga's story, she who had endured the most and still endured against the demons her trials had gifted her, and yet, it is the best ending to be wished for. This story has its roots in a fairytale, but it is not a Disney fairytale with a happily ever after, nor it is a traditional fairytale with everyone dying horribly, in fact it's not a fairytale at all.

It's life. You don't get what you deserve. You can only make a life with what you get.

But, despite all the atrocities and scars, or perhaps because of them, this is first and foremost, a love story. This book is so saturated with love, the love of mothers and daughters, of sisters, of the family you make for yourself, it made me hurt it was so sweet.

Verdict: Exquisite. An incredibly powerful book, and so honest about the psychological and emotional scars that shape us long after the wound that made them has healed over. Do not read if you are feeling at all vulnerable.

Additional Blather: I consumed this as an audiobook, and dude, I'm not sure I'll do that again. The iPod just isn't set up to deal with audiobooks nicely. Possibly I have to rummage around for obscure settings some more, but on starting the book I couldn't use my iPod for anything else because otherwise I'd lose my place again, with 1134 tracks to hunt through, never find it again. Audiobooks also take much longer to consume. I'd have probably eaten the book in a couple of days, but this went on for about a month.

That said, it was wonderful to be read to, and the readers, Anne Flosnik and Michael Page, were perfectly suited to the story.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


When you throw hailstones that are the size and shape of angry testicles at the roof of the Domed Reading Room in the State Library, it sounds not like rain, or hail, it sounds like coconuts. Lots of coconuts. Lots of coconuts over many minutes, which is quite deafening in a big cavernous space. And dark. And then the fire alarm went off. And the lights went out. And we GTFO.

Into "this thunderstorm is very dangerous", no less.

Flinders Street is flooded. AGAIN. And the roof at Spencer Street Station, being a lovely and striking design which is not actually designed to cope with weather, let alone extreme weather, broke, and when I went through there were snow drifts on the platforms. Rail signals are down on a heap of lines. Trams are stuck several feet of water. As far as I know, my sweetnesses are still out there, trapped by floods. If there are any white knights who can pilot helicopters reading this, go get rescuing.

I had a really hard time motivating myself to get out of bed this morning. I had an even harder time convincing myself to put pants on and step out the front door. Now I know why. I shall never confuse apathy and premonition again.

ETA: Elizabeth Street flooded in a I GOT PLACES TO GOOOOO sort of way.

Twice the CBD of Melbourne has been hit by flash flooding since I got back from South America. Melbourne, honey, what are you doing?

Between Buenos Aires & Santiago: the Andes

There were, perched on valley walls deep in the heart of the mountain range with no easy access to the world outside, maybe three tiny settlements. Then sun was only just setting, but they were already sunk in the shadow of the walls around them.

Monday, March 01, 2010

It Will Happen To You

The Splendid Justine Larbalestier has posted on why she has not been blogging.

Short answer: RSI.

Long answer: RSI forces you to prioritise your time as once you did not, because time is precious and you've so little to throw around on typing. The typing you do mush count.

I said it here, I put myself up to be snapshotted to preach at a new audience, I'll say it again and again and again.

Take care of your hands.

Justine talks of losing contact with people because she just can not return emails and sit on IM. I may have had a month away from the computer and landed a lovely job that is kind to my hands, but I'm still wary of typing. I'm tardy in replying to any email of significance and I'm not writing the millions of blog posts I'm thinking of because I still must choose every night after work. Facebook and twitter have become my communication channels of choice - they force me to keep it short. It's a means of staying in touch without my jolly bouncy sense of obligation stepping in and having me waffle on with my inane prattle and my typing capabilities for the day whittle down.

It's my choice, so I chose the prize and price. But.

One last thing: I know a fair number of you are in your teens and twenties and spending a vast amount of time at computers. If you’re not already taking care of your body now’s the time to get into good habits. Take frequent breaks, have an ergonomic set up, mouse with both hands, take up yoga/pilates/tai chi/some kind of something that’s all about putting you in touch with the muscles in your body, drink gallons of water, stay as fit as you can, go outdoors etc etc.

You only get one body. Trust me, it will turn on you if you don’t treat it right.

It will happen to you.

It will.