A Blog of Miss Communication.

Another blog about the frankly alarmingly poorly-run life of a person you've never met. I also have a tumblr.


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The hunt for a new house is on, as we have to be out in less than a month. This is both a huge relief, and a massive burden. Moving twice in six months when one of you is often in pain and unable to function properly both physically and cognitively is difficult, and being so removed from people who might help is also difficult. And then there’s me, with my sudden crippling anxiety which sees me building myself up to a phone call one day while being confident the next.

BUT

That does not mean we cannot do it.

I have packed a few boxes of DVDs and left out the ones Mum watches the most. She hates it, but often the only thing she can do is sit and when her brain isn’t working or she’s too exhausted to function, she watches movies to cope.  As Mum sifts through these DVDs looking  for something to watch, six months’ time (and two complete sorting-outs and re-storings notwithstanding) has resulted in the DVDs unsurprisingly and infuriatingly encroaching on my computer space.

I have my computer in the spare bedroom, with the empty boxes for our electrics, and haphazard piles of  DVDs are spreading across the floor towards my desk.

The other night Mum came in and recruited me in her search for the perfect movie for her mood.

“I need one I haven’t seen for ages.”

“So, a movie we don’t own?”

“Just help me out.”

Basically the conversation then deteriorated into me suggesting a title and Mum telling me she’s watched it recently. Then she said she wanted something she hadn’t seen in the last six months, and I pointed out to her that our lease was for six months and it wasn’t up yet and she’s basically watched every movie we own in that time.

“I know you’ve watched them,” I said, letting my irritation show in my voice but tempering it with amusement because she’s my Mum, and I understand; and if I step outside the situation a bit I have to admit it’s kind of funny to watch my own exasperation. “I know you’ve watched them, because they’re out of the cupboard and all over the floor!”

I have always been very organised with my DVDs. I have always been very careful with them, and I treat my property well. This situation actually hurts me and I’m only coping because it’s my mother.

Mum chose to ignore my statement and continued bemoaning the dearth of good movies. The cat came in and I had wrangled him into a purring heap of fluff in my lap to soothe my irritation. Mum reached for a DVD in one of the many teetering piles beside me. She pulled it from the middle of the pile. Unsurprisingly, the pile collapsed and sent DVDs shooting out across the floor in front of me. The cat flinched at the noise.

Mum looked over at the cat.

“Oh, sorry.”

“…did you just apologise to the cat?”

“Yeah, the noise startled him.”

“So you were apologising to the cat.” It really wasn’t a question.

“What?”

“Nothing.” I was for a moment contemplating my twitching eye, but the absurdity of sitting there, coping with the DVD mess and having my mother apologise to the cat for the noise of what she is doing to my DVDs flicked a switch in my brain and I just started laughing. I couldn’t stop laughing, and Mum kept getting annoyed thinking I was laughing at her (I was a bit) and I had to keep reassuring her that it was nothing (not true).

There’s a moment inside you when a situation reaches breaking point, and there are two strings that can be cut: the anger string, and the hysteria string, and it was the hysteria one that snapped first.

Anyway, I ended up falling backwards to laugh, which meant I dragged the cat out of the comfort of my lap and up to my chest. He was not amused, and in scrabbling to get footing on me so he could leap away he stuck his claw up my nostril, which hurt but only made me laugh harder.

I am looking for houses and organising inspections and cleaning and packing and in general coping with my life and the bizarre things that happen in it. I’m certain I’m in for a world of escalating stress this coming month, but I am lucky because I am not at the mercy of the things that happen in my life; I’m at the mercy of my reactions to the things that happen in my life, and I’m almost always finding something to laugh at. It would concern me if I could find time to be more concerned than amused.


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Living in Dodge


In mid-December last year, I moved house. My little brother moved to the city to go to uni, and my mother and I moved to a town half-way there, called Caboolture, known affectionately and derogatively as ‘Cabo’. It is essentially one of many bogan hotspots in Australia. But there are two main kinds of bogans: people who know they are bogan, but they are essentially just people who are laid back but decent; and trashy bogans, who are the devious, scummy, chip-on-the-shoulder lot that often cause you to shake your head at humanity.

You don’t get off the train at Caboolture station after five unless you have someone meeting you on the platform. And that someone has a very loud ‘fuck off’ persona. My sister once got off at that station after five. My built-like-a-brick-shithouse, tattooed, cigarette smoking, punk-looking behemoth of a sister, and she was robbed of her cigarettes and her money by a group of teenage boys. They let her keep her wallet and her ipod though, so that was something.

Turns out the unemployment rate here is high enough that even having guaranteed employment with a company, (in my case, Evil Supermarket X), is not enough to have actual shifts available to you. So while I technically have a job, I’ve been effectively unemployed for about three months, ever since I stopped catching the train to do shifts back on the Sunshine Coast.

We have two months to go before our lease is up and we can get the hell out of dodge. Because this neighbourhood sucks.

We have a corner block. On one side, we have a family ruled by a matriarch whose name I do not know, as it is the only name we haven’t had interrupt our dreams at one am, since she doesn’t tend to yell at herself. Mostly our banshee neighbour keeps her screeching for the evening, and so only when we’re settling down to eat dinner, through the witching hour and then on to about two AM do we have to listen to her scream at her husband for washing the laundry incorrectly, putting lunch boxes on the wrong end of the kitchen bench, not being home when she wanted to go shopping, telling their children to stop yelling, showering for too long and being generally weird when he’s apparently so normal at work. She also yells at the girls for yelling, and they yell back. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m going to write a whole post for this woman.

Anyway, her bellowing often sends the dog into an anxiety attack, and the dog has to come inside. Also, you should see the look our cat gets on his face when he hears that woman yell. Here’s a photo of a wildcat with a facial expression that pretty closely resembles it:

murr

murr

On the other side, we have a guy who is possibly unemployed, hates the noise of anything, actually, and is unhappy that his sister-in-law and her brand new baby are staying over. He often yells, but his wife won’t have it and she screams back at him. Then the newborn baby starts crying, and I’m not entirely sure but I think they both take turns then at screaming at the sister, screaming at the infant, screaming at each other, and screaming at any of the other under school-age children for, I assume, existing. The two-year-old is apparently a ‘fucking little cunt’, on a frequent basis.

Anyway, all this yelling often sends our dog into an anxiety attack and she has to come inside.

Mostly they keep their yelling to working hours and up to eight, but when they do leave the house for the day, they have a little dog they leave inside and it just cries for hours while they’re gone. This sometimes makes our dog whimper and we bring her inside.

Across the street, we have an older guy who says he’s employed but I have yet to see that proven. I’m not actively seeking evidence. I am, as per usual, actively avoiding all contact with any people who just happen to live in the same street as I do. It’s just that more often than not, he’s sitting in his driveway with a beer, staring across the road and into our yard. For hours on end. Of course, he does go for a walk around the neighbourhood with his dog and his beer in the evenings, and he does hold quietly aggressive ‘conversations’ with his wife through the front window. I say ‘quietly aggressive’, but his voice carries, so it’s not really the volume of speech I’m referring to. And he tends to his garden, which has an aggressive neatness to it that is only made more obvious by the general disarray of the surrounding front lawns.

Essentially, for most of the activities going on in this neighbourhood, aggression is a recurring theme.

People do burnouts up the streets at any hour. They start their hotted-up cars and just leave them idling, so that the whole neighbourhood can hear how sweet their ride is. I think ‘sweetness-of-ride’ is directly proportional to ‘ability of car to register on Richter scale’. Then there’s the occasional backfiring that totally isn’t actually gunshots in the distance, right? Right. No gunshots. Probably illegal fireworks. Obviously, this sends the dog into an anxiety attack and she has to come inside.

Often in the evenings, groups of rowdy children / teens will amble loudly down the road, banging things and shouting. This sends the dog into an anxiety attack and she has to come inside.

There is also a lot going wrong in my life at the moment, and as such I find myself feeling either trapped, anxious, depressed or overwhelmed on an almost daily basis. There is no peace here, and I find it really difficult to get enough head-space to be motivated enough to even doodle in my sketch-pad, let alone focus to the point that I can work on serious art. I’ve never been so unproductive in my life.

So I’m blogging about it, because what else can you do?

This neighbourhood looks distinctly different from any place I have lived since I was old enough to remember things like what a neighbourhood looks like. And as such, I have reason to believe there is a direct correlation between the number of cars parked in front yards and the quality of the people who own them. It seems to me that the more cars in the front yard, the lower the quality of the human beings in the house. Or maybe it’s the quality of the relationships that affects the way people conduct themselves. In any case, this whole neighbourhood is basically a carpark with houses in the way.  When the recycling bins are emptied fortnightly, mostly it’s a morning of listening to a cacophony glass bottles and cans cascading into a large metal truck full of glass bottles and cans. People do mow their lawns here, though. I think the mowing of the lawn might be linked to what a person thinks of their place in the world. The people here are incredibly family oriented, even if they appear to spend most of their time treating the people they love like shit.

Evenings are full of the sounds of children yelling, laughing and crying (aggressively, joyously and unhappily all); parents yelling and laughing; dogs howling and barking; cars screeching around corners, screeching to a stop and the occasional unmistakable sound of them coming into contact with each other. Of course, regularly, sirens. Lots of people like to relax on a Friday afternoon by turning their  stereos to the highest setting and blasting Psy, Rihanna, Chris Brown, and club-style beats. Sometimes I can sit back and listen to the sounds of toddlers singing along to Sean John Combs about making love right now now now. It makes the song almost bearable and makes me question my moral philosophy.

When you drive off the highway and into this town, you’ll drive past a sign that reads: Welcome to Caboolture – where lifestyle really counts.

I think they’re onto something with that one.


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Horror Movies that scare the absolute ever-loving shit outta me


But not always the whole movie. Just certain bits that tap into primal fears. And openly attack my desire to enjoy life.

(Yeah, I’m going to just make my blog randomly about everything now, since my life has become decidedly un-amusing and difficult to blog humorously about. This will make sense if you ever used to frequent my blog. So, to two people at least. (Hi guys!))

Not all of these movies are, strictly speaking, horror. In fact, I make a point of avoiding horror movies because I hate them. But my friends, who love nothing more than torturing me, have in the past been known to bribe, con or simply force me through the power of group vote, to watch horror flicks. The things I go through for my friends.

Fuck you guys.

This will be a psuedo-list.

The Others – that bit where Nicole Kidman pushes the door and the door fucking pushes back and sends her flying across the room and christ I’m getting goosebumps thinking about the goosebumps I got when I watched that.

And that bit where her little girl is playing in the middle of the room and she turns around and she’s an old woman. My mother recently hung her white shift dress on a hanger on a ceiling fan so it could dry indoors, and every time I caught sight of it I did a double-take of soul-crushing fear. I nearly got whiplash.

The Descent – My friends made me watch this one night, in the dark, and then I guess to apologise for it they secretly put a shitload of chilli sauce on my pizza while I wasn’t looking and then sprinkled cheese on top so I wouldn’t notice. It was awesome.

The entire movie had me feeling claustrophobic and shivering and then they don’t even get out in the end. Come on. What the hell is that about? If I suffer through over an hour of torture I expect there to be some reward.

Don’t even get me started on Quarantine, where the trailer actually shows you the last minutes of the film. Which I managed to catch from between my fingers.

Alien vs Predator – My friends dragged me to this and it was hugely un-terrifying and pretty much mind-numbingly dull. Turns out I have absolutely no interest in two fictional creatures trying to kill each other. I’ve been more invested in tv sports, which I can watch for maybe five minutes unless they’re pretty (like gymnastics). Possibly because athletic people in little shorts are a damn site more interesting to watch than whatever the hell the alien and predator thing were. (Seriously, I can’t remember. I think the alien had a massive head.)

I Am Legend -  I went to see this willingly, having been conned into believing it was something else by the trailer. I hated it. I spent the entire movie on-edge because the suspense was incredibly effective on me. The dog died and I hated it even more, and then it ended anti-climatically and was just basically a very long wait in depressing surrounds.

Final Destination -  This isn’t just horror but gore, which I cannot handle well either. Myself and a friend spent the entire time watching only the non-deathy parts, while trying to block out the deathy parts with comedy commentary and mock scene-cuts. I think we came up with this after realising that just closing our eyes agains ‘the man with the hooks’ wasn’t going to be enough to stave off late-night panic-attacks forever after.

I also recently watched the remake of Fright Night, which scared me in a couple of parts, but which was hilarious and wouldn’t scare me on a re-watch and will definitely be re-watched. In fact, I would watch it just for the sassy one-liners.

SupernaturalI’m a fan, and having made it through the first season it’s only the occasional creepy child or violent ghost that terrifies me. That, and the likelihood that Dean’s heart is going to break just a little more in every episode.

Constantine - Not a horror movie. It’s one of my favourite movies ever. Be that as it may,  I first saw it in the cinema as part of a movie marathon, and there’s a scene where they smell sulphur on an empty street, and you know damn well that daemons are going to pop out at any moment, and yet even when they did I practically screamed. Except I don’t tend to scream so what I actually did was leave fingerprint bruises on my friend’s arm, and frankly she deserved it for all the actual horror movies she’s dragged me to.

For someone who gives me a hard time for being a wuss, she should really be remembering that moment in Garden State where they showed a nature documentary, and she actually screamed when the alligator launched itself at the baby deer. It’s possible the other fifteen-or-so people in the cinema laughed at her with me, but that barely counts as revenge.

What it does count as is one of the only appropriate moments in one’s life when one can refer to a woman as a ‘screaming lesbian’ and I missed my chance. I’ll have to throw a spider at her one day to amend that.

I’m sure I’ve watched a few more horror movies in my time, but I can’t think of them so I’ve most likely blocked them out, terrible memories that they are. Or, would be, if I had them.

Okay.

The end.

extreme air time


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Wednesday at the Plaza


OR ‘That’s not flying; that’s falling with comedic shock-value’

Got some cartoon for you. Just a quick one. As I haven’t yet found the theme I want, and am totally ignorant of css, you’re gonna have to click them so they’ll open in a new tab to see them proper size. They’re not huge, but they’ll look dodgy at this width.

Hahaha, oh dear, I forgot to draw the floor. That might have helped with perspective, just a bit. So for reference, the little burst lines are me making contact with the ground. ^^'

I worked on that final panel for ages. I know I got the left foot at the wrong angle, but I really couldn’t find any points of reference, save for my imagination, so I think I did alright.

I shall eventually be purchasing india ink, and practicing washes etc so hopefully when it comes to large areas I won’t have the streak lines of pens to contend with. 

Also, if anybody knows a good book or website that deals with mimicking textures in ink (i.e. denim, bark, leather, suede etc), please do post them in the comments. I am trying very hard to better my skills!

And finally, please note that the above is a dramatic recreation of a real event. As such, it is entirely possible that I did not get quite as much air time as I drew. But it sure felt like I did.


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Twilight has made Hollywood worse. Damn it.


Well hidey-ho.

Gosh, it’s been a long time since I did a real post. You know, with actual words and stuff. It’s a bit shameful, really. How can I exist for months and months and have nothing to say?!

Well anyway.

Last week I went and saw Red Riding Hood. It’s that new one, with that Amanda Seyfried. I don’t know what it is about Amanda Seyfried. Something about her definitely ticks me off. But not enough to turn me off the movies she’s in. Just enough that I’m aware of who she is for the entire film, despite her character. But that really has no relevance in this story.

The only role I ever really loved Amanda Seyfried in.

 

A friend of mine from school, who moved away to North Queensland, recently came down to the Sunny Coast with his girlfriend for her 21st birthday celebrations. For the first time in a long time, he was actually here long enough that I wasn’t working for his entire stay, and we were able to catch up. So we decided to go to the movies. Him, his girlfriend, myself, and his girlfriend’s dad, brother and bestie. We ended up going to the local cinema, which is tiny and good for non-blockbuster movies and for cheaper ticket prices. And more intimate screening rooms. Like, five rows of 12 seats intimate.

I’d seen a trailer for the movie at some point, and it seemed pretty interesting. I must admit, I did not notice the blow-wave in the trailer. It would have put the seed of doubt in my mind. It seemed like a more grown-up, horror-type take on the story, and I was all in for that, given that I’m a Tim Burton fan. (Yeah, yeah, just like everyone else, I know. If he and Michael Bay were to make a movie together, I’m sure there’d be a lot of deep, psychological, dramatically dark explosions. And people would be singing while shit was blowing up.)

BUT after we’d bought the tickets we walked past a large cut-out stand for the movie, and at the top, in bold, white letters, it proclaimed ‘From the director of  Twilight’. Up to that point, I’d had certain expectations. To be precise, they were at least  T H I S   M U C H   B I G G E R than my expectations after reading that. I wondered if that was as proclamation to draw people in, or ward them off.

“WARNING: Twilight-esque movie. Eye gouges not provided in cinema.”

I took it as a warning, and because of that, went into the cinema expecting to be pissed off and bored the entire film. Possibly due to my new-found fear, I actually quite liked the film. I may even watch it once more. Maybe. If I’m bored and there’s nothing else on TV. But it’s not high on my list of things to do. However, thanks to that warning *cough* promotional material, I knew things instantly that I may have only thought were probable otherwise.

Like for example. {SPOILER ALERT} I knew that she was gonna end up with the mysterious, angsty guy with the blow-wave. In fact, the blow wave was enough to tell me that. I also knew that there would be a lot of close-up, ‘intimate’ moments with pseudo-sex. {/SPOILER} Anyway, with all the music and the red herrings left right and centre, I actually did not expect the ending. It is designed to draw you in and make everybody questionable. Which is why I feel like an idiot for being surprised at the end. Because as a rule these shows always follow the same three patterns:

  • They show you in the beginning who the bad guy is, and then they pepper it with false trails and slow evidence, and end with something to which you respond “I knew it!”
  • They make everyone seem the same, but there’s someone you always get a dodgy feeling from. They pause longer on their faces, they show mundane things happening specifically around them that they never show in a movie otherwise, because it is a clue, and they get theme music. Subtle theme music, which hardly ever matches the scene. It creates a purposeful discord with what’s going on on-screen. Even in the crime shows.
  • And thirdly, they do what they did in this movie. Cast a shadow on everyone. EVERYONE. And then it always ends up the person upon whom no shadow was ever cast.

‘Oh, who could it be, it could be any of them. Ooh, that one’s really shady, but so’s that one? Where was she last night. Everyone’s so damn doubtful, I don’t know what to think. Oh, hey, it was that one guy that kept disappearing into the background that nobody noticed, and everybody took for granted wasn’t a suspect. Gee.’

I attributed my lack of whodunit skills to tiredness and the big screen. You get overwhelmed and drawn in when you watch things on the big screen. That’s why I like it so much.

All-in-all it wasn’t a bad movie, but like the Twilight films there were a lot of angsty teen love moments, which is great if you’re an angsty teen but if you’re sensible and past the age like me, it just detracts.

Tomorrow, I’m going to see Sucker Punch. Now that, I have high expectations for. I can’t wait! It’s definitely the kind of movie I want to see on the big screen. The only thing I wish is that my local cinema would play more anime movies, and just foreign movies, when they come out. If I want to see them, I have to go to Brisbane, and I don’t really know my way around there, and I have to factor in public transport and whether the showing times fit around work. Hopefully somewhere other than Nambour we’ll get a cinema that shows mainstream movies from all over the world as well, on a regular basis.

That is all. I’m sure I’ll be back sooner rather than later. I’m feeling human again, after all!

Oh, also, I am now the proud owner of Summer Wars, and I will most probably rant on about it some time soon, as it looks freaking awesome. Later!


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Introducing ‘Handbasket’ (Also, architects.)


Whoo! It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything. How lame of me.

Anyhow, I plan on doing more frequent posting again, life is slowly getting simpler and I’m feeling motivated again. For now, I’m just going to post a comic strip, but I plan to do more in this litle ‘series’ about life’s little truths. That includes stupid truths, hilarious truths, and truths that piss me off.

Also, I’ll be including retail-specific stuff, because a good deal of the world’s population has no doubt worked in retail, and will understand exactly where I’m coming from.

Anyway, without further ado, I give you ARCHITECTS.

Click the image to go fullsize. Hotlinking totally permitted but I would appreciate recognition i.e. a link to my page :)

(A Handbasket production. I have officially dropped the ‘the’ from that name but can’t be bothered editing it out of my scan. Is it is I had to scan the same pic three times just to get all the parts in and then use MS Paint to stick it all together. Using the trackpad on my laptop. *eyetwitch*)


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Stick Person


Okay, so I have been trying for a ridiculous amount of time to upload this. Load page. Reload. Reload. Australian internet is about as efficient as Internet Explorer. Yeah.

Anyway, as promised, a week later , a new strip. I unintentionally made the chiccie a little more realistic. I didn’t try to, it’s just my style seeping in. I do like realistic styles, it’s just I don’t want to draw like that until I’m talented enough to do so without making it really obvious how bad I am! So I’m going to cartoonify the next one. It might be difficult, if this is my default. But I shall prevail!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, and I hope after all this that this actually does upload today and I don’t spend all day tomorrow trying to do the same thing.

 

 

I did not intend to give him a mullet. I apologise for that. I suspect that's why he's really crying.

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