Saturday, June 28, 2008


I loved this xkcd comic, but having learned of its source, I love it moar.

Several times this clip has been watched, and will be watched again, and I think I'm going to seek out an mp3. SBS used the line "the world is an amazing place" for years, and may still do. Lack of TV exposure in recent months amplifies my ignorance in this field. It's a great line, and very true, but it's delivered by the SBS voice over guy, and he's...well, he's the SBS voice over guy. He has a Deep Serious Meaningful Voice. Whereas this ad revels in dorky glee, and "the world is just awesome" is a sentence that does the same.

True glee is very, very dorky.

From BoingBoing, images of London and the rising sea levels.

Which is almost exactly what I was aiming for with this 7wishes post, except I don't believe London will have crocodiles. I don't know how my new abode would cope with a rising sea, I suspect the sea wouldn't reach it particularly fast. I'm not on the ground floor anyway. Don't need to worry about flooding, just crocodiles. The flyscreen comes off and the window is wind out. I could cast lines out the bedroom and catch lunch, just like these women.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"'s weird and pissed off, whatever it is."

This sassy woman can do this-

-with her tongue.

And I can't.

And this vexes me. I mean, I can see how it's done but I can't make my tongue do that. I don't think I have enough tongue. If any of you can do this, post pictures, so that I may feed my overbearing sense of failure and inadequecy.

Food Of The Gods, When They Can’t Get Anything Better (Which Is Never, Because Really, You’re Not Much Of A God If You Can’t Get Betterer Food)

Buy the smallest brown onion you can find. No, smaller. There’ll be a smaller one in there somewhere.

Take it home and chop it finely. Finer. Lean away from the rising tear gas, whup, too late. Now you’re crying, and it’s too late to realise that maybe you shouldn’t have cut the onion first.

Throw half the onion out. I understand that onions must be included in some recipes for the sake of taste, but I’m not that keen on onion. Put the remaining onion in a big bowl. Cry some more.

Start chopping mushrooms. In my opinion, there’s no such thing as too much mushroom, but some other random heathen scumbags beg to differ. Chop as much as you like. I love peeling mushrooms, and the knife slides through them like nothing else, which is one of the reasons anything I cook with mushrooms has too much mushroom. Cover the onion with the mushroom. Maybe you’ll stop crying soon?

Chop some broccoli. This doesn’t add anything to the taste or texture, I’m just not comfortable cooking several meals worth of food that doesn’t contain some green. Don’t put the stems in, they never soften up. Just trim the bibbly bits. These will get everywhere, all over the bench and the floor. At least you’re not crying now.

Tear half a cooked chook to pieces. Little shreds. With your fingers. Knives are for pussies. Try not to eat too much of the chicken, as by this point you’ll realise that you’re fucking STARVING and you haven’t even turned the stove on yet.

Turn stove on. Drop oil in pan. Drop crushed garlic in pan. Drop risotto rice in pan. Some more. Is that enough? Can’t tell. Some more. Maybe? Dunno. Some more. Some more. Oh, that’ll do. Mix it around in the oil.

Add white wine. This is an exciting new step. While the recipe has always called for white wine, I’ve never been able to find those little satchets of wine for cooking before. I have no idea how much to put in. I put the lot in. This is a bad move. Don’t do this. There is such a thing as too much white wine. Put, I don’t know, less in. You cooking people know better than me.

Add chicken stock. Stir. Listen to stove make strange groaning sound. Stir. Make cup of tea. Stir. Nibble things. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Drink tea. Stir. Restart album. Stir. Drink tea. Stir. Add pepper. Nibble more things. Stir. And more stock. Stir. Stare at the wall. Stir. Remember to turn fan on. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Fiddle with heat. Stir. Scatch head. Stir. Nibble things. Stir. Drink remainder of tepid tea. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Stare at wall. Stir. Rinse mug. Stir. Boil kettle again. Stir. Make another cup of tea. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Get slightly impatient and dump chicken/broccoli/mushrooms/onion in pan. Stir enegetically. Add more stock. Stir. Change spoon arms. Stir. Go get chair and sit in front of stove. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Drink tea. Stir. Stare at wall. Stir. Compose longwinded posts in your head. Stir. Add more stock. Stir. Taste. Realise rice isn’t nearly cooked. Add all remaining stock. Stir. Turn heat up. Stir. Turn heat down. Stir. Add water. Stir. Quietly starve to death. Stir. Watch clock not go faster. Stir. Add water. Stir. Stir furiously. Stir anti-clockwise. Stir in swirly patterns. Stir in secret letters. Stir.

Go to toilet.

Add shaved parmesan. Stir. Add more. Stir. Add more. Stir. Add more, hell, when is it going to actually look like it’s made a difference? Add more. Stir. Taste. Can’t taste parmesan. Dump remainder of bag in pan. Stir. Taste. Still can’t taste parmesan. Stir. This batch tastes bland. Stir. Ponder why. Stir. Theorise that a cooked chook from the chook shop on the corner does not containing the delicious seasoning of a Safeway cooked chook, which is what is normally used. Stir. Decided this to be true. Stir. Vote to only use Safeway cooked chooks from here on. Stir. Ponder the obstacle of there being no Safeway nearby whatsoever. Stir. Realise two and a half hours have passed and you’re feeling faint from hunger.

At this point, you’ll have to decided for yourself when it’s done, according to how thick you like your risotto. Either way, if you like it thick or runny, by now it should look fucking disgusting. It should look like the bottom of an old garbage can. It should look like serious vomit. Your arm should hurt like a bitch. You arm should hurt so bad you can’t even lift a fork, you can’t even feed yourself and have no choice but to just not eat this disgusting looking meal you’ve just created. So you slap it in Tupperware containers where it looks even grosser, and walk away.

At about 10.39pm, you’ll remember that you haven’t actually put the containers in the freezer, and you’ll have to get out of your nice snugly warm bed and do so or who knows what it will look like in the morning.

This has been Cooking With Sir Tessa.


What Would Ninja Do?

Ninja really did vanish.

I went to take some more Tour de Tessadomicile photos, and I could not find Ninja. Where was Ninja? Not where I had left him. Ninja vanished. Being as Ninja is about 5 cm tall, Ninja was unlikely to be found. Rotten Ninja. Flash some crappy carpet and they get all "oooh, I feel faint I think I need to go home." I rummaged through my toy box, but there was nothing else that seemed suitable, or at least had an obvious character voice.

This made me very sad.

Until this morning, when I opened my underwear drawer, and found Ninja.

So, for those of you who have ever asked yourselves What Would Ninja Do? The answer is: dive into a pit of undies. That's the only reason anyone becomes a ninja. OBVIOUSLY.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bigger, Better, Badder Than Dr Who

Me Mam finished knitting a scarf I started some years ago.

Tis obnoxiously huge and warm and smothering and I haven't taken it off since she handed it to me. Winter is suddenly less of an ordeal. I think I could take on every winter in the history of all winters in this scarf.

Am moved, but not unpacked. Today is for cleaning the old apartment. In my scarf.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

And That's That

There's a sort of jet lag that comes with nightshift, which sees me awake at 4am. As a result, I finished packing before lunch time, and now I'm just tooling around killing time, because there's nothing for me to do at home except play with my belly button. It's all books in boxes.

I feel I should do something significant to mark my last night in this place. My first home all to myself, first sign that I'm a big kid now. It's a quirky apartment, like living in an Escher painting with strange angles and bits that stick out in unexpected places and my post-industrial view and the pigeons that tap the window in the small hours of the night. It has character. But, for various reasons, I never made it into a home. It was only ever a place to live.

I'll miss living in the city. With the market behaving the way it is, I doubt it's a lifestyle I'll be able to afford ever again. The things you see when you're walking in the quiet hours of the morning or the fat hours of the night can't be beat. I love love love walking to work, and that's what I regret losing most. If anyone has the opportunity to live within walking distance of your job, DO EEET.

I'll miss free wifi too. INTERNET WILL HAPPEN but who knows how long set up takes.

I look forward to living among trees again, big fat sassy trees dropping crap everywhere. I look forward to fish 'n chips on a Friday night, which is only a suburban phenomenon. I look forward to a kitchen with a door, which will not make every single item I own smell like whatever it is I'm eating.

I look forward to my new place, and the home I will make of it.

And I ain't sacrificing anything to Our Lady of Cardboard Boxes this time. She's already taken a fair chunk of my peace of mind, greedy old hag. Chew on that and rot.

Friday, June 20, 2008


There is mold in my microwave.

First, what the fuck?

I am NOT that grotty, I have never been that grotty, I clean that damn thing because I don't want it looking like the microwave at work. I sprayed it. With stuff that kills things that grow. THERE SHOULD BE NOTHING ALIVE IN THERE.

Second, what the fuck?

It's a MICROWAVE. It's my own personal nuclear reactor it's a bloody damn MICROWAVE. It kills things. It makes dead things deader. THERE SHOULD BE NOTHING ALIVE IN THERE.

Which means it might be undead.

Or mutant.

Do you think I get superhero powers if I lick it?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I dreamed I was kidnapped by guerilla horticulturalists and forced to tend to plants, day and night, and learn nusery fu. They were very strict, but I learned a lot, and woke with a greater understanding of my ignorance when it comes to plants. There was one fruit, a cross between a tomato, a chilli and a strawberry, that I grew very fond of, and spent most of my energy attempting to steal/eat.

My brother, on discovering that I said "guerilla horticulturalists" and not "gorilla horticulturalists", was very disappointed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Giant Isopodes Nom Doritos


You do not need to see the happening, which I shall not give capital letters to. I did not need to see it either, but I did see it, and all that suicide was not what I really wanted right after nightshift.

and the world spins madly on

It was my birthday a couple of weeks back. It marked 27 years of accumulated history and a few more layers added to my memory strata.

I’m told that one of the greatest things to be gained with age is growing more comfortable with yourself as a whole. It’s a nice thought, definitely something to look forward to, and yet-

And yet, I don’t think I want to be comfortable with what I am. Like people who become comfortable in obese bodies and in abusive relationships. I’m a bad fit, in this skin, in this skull, in this life. May I never grow comfortable with that, may I stay itchy and restless and never settle and never accept that this is all I am. That would be defeat. Some wars aren’t meant to be won, but not winning is not the same as being defeated.

Being 26 was unpleasant. It was rather like suffocating in scrotum. Sweating hairy rank scrotum that came in great filthy sticky folds. Gross and embarrassing and relentless. Being 26 was quite possibly worse than being 16, although I don’t think the two can be compared, being different people in different times and different places.

I can’t complain (but I sure do), the hardest years are the ones in which we learn the most, in which we are tested and grow, one way or another. It is better to grow than stagnate, but it has been a very steep learning curve, and a non-stop one at that, and I think I’m burning out. Students at exam time go a little crazy, so overwhelmed by everything they have to process. Some down time would be nice, a chance to process everything churning around in my head and recharge all batteries, but I don’t think such time will be granted me any time soon.

Maybe I’ve already burnt out. Maybe I’m just tired. Or desperate. Or crazy. It’s hard to tell. From here, they all look the same. Rejections are necessary for writers, to help build a thick skin, like childhood sicknesses are necessary to build an immune system. Life might work like that for some people. I think I’m a castle, and every rock thrown at my walls just makes the cracks deeper and wider, until I’m so battered that it no longer takes a boulder to knock me down, some small rock will do, then not even rocks, just the passing breeze. Now I take damage from things that don’t even happen. I create my own damage, but it hardly shows up against everything else.

It’s funny, though, that in spite of how far I’ve come, hurtling another year through time, there are some lessons that I must keep on learning.

I wanted a hug. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted something so intensely before. The lack of having a source of hugs on tap made itself felt in my body, it was physical and a little scary. There’s some kink in my wiring and I assume that anything I want is something I should learn to live without (and even harder to fight, the possibility that in seeking the thing I want I will fail and be denied, which is a fear taller than I am), but I didn’t say no to a hug when it was there.

It wasn’t really the hug I wanted. I was looking for a safe place, and hugs are not safe places. There is no place more vulnerable, which is obvious, but rarely realised. Until you find you’ve gone and left yourself vulnerable to someone who doesn’t care. There are no safe places left in the world. I know this, but I have difficulty accepting it. I guess it’s just animal instinct to seek shelter, and Tessaism to do it wrong.

Learning this doesn’t stop me from being stupid. I had the chance to be weak and naked and vulnerable in front of someone who did care, and I couldn’t. I couldn’t say a word. I wanted to break down and didn't know how, and because of that I broke something important, something that mattered.

And that is the lesson I learn, and have to keep on learning. That I’m not the person I want to be, not even close. I can’t and haven’t ever been able to say the things that matter out loud. Maybe one day I will, because I don’t want to grow comfortable like this, but not today.

Until that day, I will do what I have always done, and write.

Goddamn this bloody fucking blog.

I have to take this space back, again, because I’m dumb and keep forgetting what it’s for. Like medication, I shy away from it. The idea of needing something in order to function as a normal person doesn’t taste good, but I just have to swallow that and deal with it. If hanging myself out to dry works, then it works. If When it comes back to bite me in the arse, I'll deal with that too. I know that just because I promise to come back doesn’t mean that anyone will wait for me, but for those of you who have, thank you. There’s no greater compliment you can give a person than your own time, and by merely reading this you give me more time than I deserve, truly.

I’m going to stretch your patience a little further, I’m afraid. There is a lot of junk I need to write out of my system. I’ve been looking for something in my head, in the streets, on the internet, and I haven’t come close to finding it. I think what I’m looking for can’t be found. I think I’m looking for the ground. Somewhere along the way I lost track of it, and now I’m just tumbling about in the sky, in orbit maybe, forever burning up in the atmosphere, forever falling, but never finding the ground. They say from up there you don’t feel yourself fall, you don't know up from down. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m desperate. Maybe I’m tired. It’s hard to tell. From here, they all look the same.

Maybe that’s because they are.

It’s a bit late to be asking for birthday presents, and a bit presumptuous too, but if you care to indulge me, then please, I’d like you to go and give someone a hug. Most people aren’t carrying around all my finely tuned neuroses, and everyone needs a hug. Go hug someone you know needs a hug, you suspect might want a hug, or even someone who doesn’t need a hug at all, but the receiving of one would just be a giant ripe sweet cherry on top of a glorious day. Hug them past the point where they lean in give you a pat and turn away, hug them till you have their attention and you’ve made them uncomfortable, hug them till they stop asking why you’re giving them this hug, and hug them till they’ve accepted this hug, and let themselves be engulfed in it, simple as that.

Here’s to you, and the safe places you make.

And if you get done for indecent assault, well, that's what you get for listening to strange people on the internet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

/end nightshift

Explorasaurus goes strange places and finds new dreams.

Friday, June 13, 2008

- to save the world, one light globe at a time.

The state government decided to continue on down the path that Earth Hour had started, a move which surprised everyone. The restrictions on night time energy use were introduced in stages, in regards as what lights had to be turned off where and when, for how long, and with gradually increasing penalties which were actually enforced, again to everyone’s surprise.

But a dark city is a dangerous city, and so other means to bring light to Melbourne were sought.

On this night I walk to work as on any other night, sloppily dressed among all those decked out club goers. Maybe I’ve walked Collins Street too often now, as there hasn’t been anything interesting to gawk at for a while. The appearance of some sort of work crew outside the Rialto slows my steps. They’re not construction, and they’re not window cleaners, and they’re not messing with the pavement. They appear to be sloshing about barrels full of sweet-smelling water.

It’s for the lichen, they answer, engineered to thrive in sugar water. We wash the buildings with this, and then spray the spores on while it’s still wet, so they stick. It doesn’t take long then, only a couple of days, for the lichen to grow and gain enough mass to produce light.

Bioluminescence? Someone on a committee somewhere is a nerd. Word up.

They let me peek in the back of a truck, at the trays of lichen already grown and glowing in a rainbow of clashing colours. These are for the streetlights, they point out the fittings, we’ll be able to custom grow shop signs and the like, but they’ll have to wait till we have all the buildings painted.

Wow, I say. Wow. Can I help?

They’re short of people willing to work night shift, and within a week I’m learning how to abseil, and I’m knocking on the windows of my old office at three in the morning before washing the windows with sugar water.

My old co-workers think I’m mad, climbing over skyscrapers in the middle of the night. What, they ask, are you doing? Really?

Saving the world.

It’s a never-ending job. Some lichen grows better on one type of surface than others, the body corporate of any office tower always has issues (usually regarding the colour) and the lichen itself is small and alive and not always co-operative. It does what it does, and grows and spores and grows and spores, and outbreaks of invading colour appear everywhere. It needs to be coaxed, fed and herded to the rims of windows to keep it from blocking the sun. It’s like horse whispering, we tell each other, feet to the glass and a fifteen storey drop below, only lichen muttering.

We are the lichen mutterers, saving the world, one light globe at a time.

You can tell us where ever we go. We drop glittering clouds of dust with our every move. The path I tread from the elevator to my door glows intensely even under the corridor lights. My bed is almost too bright to sleep in, and a new mattress every four months becomes a perk of the job. We all have to have our sheets washed at an industrial drycleaners. It’s hard to bring people home for nookie when your bed looks nuclear.

At sunset, I sit on the edge of a building roof, and watch the lights go out, block by city block, and listen to the unfolding of an empty space in the city soundscape as Melbourne’s power drops away, and as the sky darkens I watch the lichen wake up and my city glows a thousand different colours, and I’m in love.

It will be a problem, we tell each other, hosing down the State Library with sugar water, should anyone want to bomb Melbourne. Not that turning the lights off would work as it did in the second world war, what with GPS and all. Melbourne stands out like Emerald City, brighter than before. Amateur astronomers hate us.

The long term side effects of prolonged lichen exposure manifest in us, the lichen mutterers, first. Too many inhaled spores in our lungs, despite all the protective gear we wear. It gets hard to speak, so I don’t. It gets hard to breathe, and when my lungs are biopsied, they can’t see anything because the glow blinds the camera.

What were you trying to do? Mum sits by my hospital bed. She’s upset at me.

Save the world.

She shakes her head.

I got the black lung, pops, I joke, and cough, and when I cough the air sparkles like magic.