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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Inspiration, Creativity, Motivation, Life.


How do you get it back, I wonder?

Life is hard. No matter your dreams and direction, life is a thing that happens to you. It takes you places and does things to you, and you survive it. You roll with the punches and you get hit; and sometimes you dodge and bounce back and sometimes it’s too much, and you just ball up and wait it out.

After years of just coping, dealing with ‘real things in the real world’, the unavoidable slog of existence; trying to come back to who you are is difficult.

Where is my endless inspiration, my motivation to enjoy creativity? I have the wherewithal now that I had abandoned for years, too busy with work, with responsibility, with illness that actually impaired my thinking. I’m coming back, slowly, and relearning who I am. Learning my new boundaries. Trying to bring back the me who used to push them; the me who challenged myself, who persevered, who did not give up at first failure.

But I sit and stare and nothing comes to me. I put pen to paper and then stop. Fingers poised above the keyboard, unspoken prayers to every deity caught on my breath. Other people’s stories, other people’s art, swirling nebulous in my brain, getting in the way. But I just don’t seem to have it in me. Anything of my own. And so, I go searching for inspiration, and sometimes there are moments – brief moments of aha! – but then it’s snatched from me. Or I let it fall away; I’m not entirely sure.

I feel sure it’s there, in my brain, locked away, if only I could access it. My creativity. My enthusiasm for life. It’s been left to stagnate for so long, buried in a bog. Fossil fiction, stalled somewhere in my naive early twenties, so far behind, and so far away from who I am now. There’s a quiet sort of desperation gnawing at the base of my skull, pricking behind my eyes, welling hot and heavy in my heart. I know I need to write my pain like I used to; write it down, write through it, come out the other side and reclaim my ability to be whimsical or serious in my art. I’m not quite there and it’s killing me.

It’s just out of reach.

When will I be me, again? I was always making myself, but I had to stop to protect myself and those I loved, for years. I was barely done with the foundations when the ground moved beneath my feet and starting over now feels like such a huge undertaking. I look around me and see skyscrapers and it overwhelms me, barely a shack on a small, barren lot.

Deep within myself, here on this empty plot, I’m nurturing the smallest of seedlings, shading them, saying kind words, and praying for rain.

 

[This has been posted without editing.]


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Falling


Growing up, I always knew
Falling was a possibility.

I always knew it could be hard
and that getting back up might be tough.

And I had already tripped, a few times.
I thought I knew.

But did you know?
You can

f
a
l
l

for years

and

years.

 

And years.

 

And you may hit the ground running.
You may right yourself swiftly.
You may start climbing up the very instant
you hit
Rock Bottom.

 

Once you have finished falling.

 

But did you know?

You can fall
Forever.


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A Tentative Return from the Dark Depths of Reality


I’m gonna maybe hesitantly dip my toe into the pool of blogging again.

Hello all. It’s been about three years since I last blogged. In my extended absence, a lot has happened in my life, and stuff has actually happened on my blog, it would appear. I have gained followers, some of whom I think are legitimate human beings, which is kind of astounding, given all the quality content I’ve been failing to post for literal years. But hey, whatever, hi to you all, sorry but I’m gonna be pretty dull here. This is more of an ‘I’m alive’ blog post than any humorous anecdote.

In the last three years, my actively and obviously dying mother has responded well to her first three years of antibiotic treatment. I’m not sure how much I divulged over various posts in years gone by, but at the point of my last blog post, she was pretty sick. I was doing everything bar driving (which I still can’t do but hope to try again at the end of the year). We left Caboolture and ended up in Beerwah, a small suburban-rural area famous for being where Australia Zoo is. And for pineapples, I think, which are in fashion at the moment.

Who would’ve thought a fruit could be ‘in fashion’? Human beings are strange creatures.

We have recently moved again, back onto the coast properly. Anyway, Mum now looks and sounds normal most of the time. We don’t tend to go out when she’s having obvious cognitive issues, although there are some times you just can’t avoid it, doctor’s appointments and such. From a mostly wheelchair and house-bound individual, she now only uses the walking stick for dizziness and balance issues, and because occasionally her knees can go out from under her. We no longer need to hire a scooter for shopping outings, and we no longer have to plan them so stringently and so far apart.

I’m entering my third year of treatment. It’s rough going, but I’m still nowhere near as ill as Mum ever got, or I would never have been able to care for her at all. I can deal with the pain you get, I’m mostly just flipping exhausted, although I plod along  and get things done. I’m currently unemployed, although I wasn’t for about two years between this post and the last. When health rules your life, moving house means leaving your job, but that’s okay, because I don’t think I can handle working in a supermarket any more anyway.

Jobs are scarce up here, it being such a huge population growth area. It’ll be interesting to see how I go job hunting when I get back into it. Gonna give it a rest for a while, because I have that option, and just focus on getting better, keeping house, ‘keeping mum’ on the things that bog me down. Same old, same old.

My crippling anxiety is almost completely gone, thanks to the antibiotics. That’s because it was caused by long-term bacterial infections, a few of them which target the nervous system specifically. Mum’s ended up with relapsing and remitting MS from them, among other things. I get weird little twitches and itches and tingles with mine. Makes me wonder how many people are out there suffering neurological issues that are a result of infections that cannot be treated using psychiatric medicine.

It’s slow going, but we’re getting there. Things are getting better, and they are so markedly improved from when I last posted. It’s quite something to see someone you love slowly and then suddenly decline in an obvious death march, and then to watch them gradually but also comparatively swiftly and miraculously regain their health. It’s all been sort of surreal, and it’s been my reality for a long time. I’m surprisingly alright, too, considering everything that’s happened in my life thus far. We’re born with good strong immune systems and good strong minds, in this family. We’re very resilient.

I turn 28 tomorrow. It’s a good day for a birthday, because the whole world celebrates by supplying me with cut-price novelty chocolates in the shape of hearts and roses and such. I’m of mixed emotions, although I’m  largely not fussed when it comes to my birthday. Milestones are interesting in that, when you count them as things to reach, passing them by is a wonderful achievement; when you’re looking at them as points to stop and look back at where you’ve been, sometimes you can feel despairing upon reaching one.

I’m not despairing. Sometimes I get a little down at how stagnant I’ve been, or how stagnant I appear to have been – despite the fact that I’ve been working hard and struggling against various life-problems this whole time. I know, logically, that you can only be where you are, and make the best decisions in given circumstances. I know that if somebody told me they’d had the exact same situation, I would be very understanding and forgiving. But I’m not someone else, I’m me, and so I have to talk myself around the obvious look at how much you haven’t achieved, at your age; look, your time is running out! Time is always running out. That’s what it does. That’s what it’ll always do, until we stop thinking of it like this finite thing we’re losing, and start thinking of it as the experience of life.

It’s only 28. I’m practically an infant. I have time. I am doing my best.

This is what I say to myself when I get negative. But normally, I’m cheerful, if tired. Over the years, I’ve had my eyes open to so many of the hardships that other people are struggling through. There are so many people all around us, coping with extraordinary things, thinking they are drowning in it, but in fact doing quite magnificently well, given the circumstances.

Life is just a collection of moments and milestones and landmines. We’re all just stumbling along. Some of us do a lot of groundwork and planning, and those people don’t always yield the results they’re after, while some people amble along and fall into happy circumstances with seemingly no effort at all. You can’t use anybody else’s apparent success as a standard to hold yourself to. There’s too much at stake. You’re at stake. It’s a lot easier to enjoy moments in life when all your energy isn’t going into making sure you’re having the right moments in the right order according to everyone else.

No humorous anecdote today. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Be the best person that you can be in the circumstances you’re in. Sit still for a moment and just be.

 

 


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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.


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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.