Sunday, November 25, 2007

election day

Yesterday was the second federal election I've ever voted in, which was pretty exciting. At the polling booth the woman who handed me my ballot asked me if this was my first election. When I said no she looked surprised and told me I looked like a baby. *sigh* I get that all the time. I voted below the line, hopefully legibly, cos I like my preferences. Although there are alot of parties which I have no idea where to preference.
Last night it was on to an election party in Balmain, with coverage from two different tv stations, radio and internet. There were sheets of paper to write up predictions and results as they came out, as well as a collection of various election posters (and food and rink, of course). There was a clear majority of Labor supporters, so the mood was particularly joyful, and much cheering could be heard. Especially at all the results for Bennelong, although last I heard there was no final result. But Maxine McKew was looking pretty chirpy. So, now we have a Labor government, which is pretty exciting. After all, it's been a long time since we had a change. Let's hope they do well!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

waking up and walking


Today I had arranged to meet someone from work at Coogee at 8:30 for a day at the beach. Sadly I went to bed rather late last night (surprising, I know) so dragging myself out of bed this morning was particularly difficult. Looking out the window revealed a sky full of clouds but devoid of rain so I set off, catching a bus through peak hour traffic, and arrived (more or less) on time, only to discover that my friend had decided not to come since the weather was bad. Not a problem, I set out to go back home. I had two options: take a bus home, which would take around 10 mins, and go back to sleep or walk home. I chose the latter. It took I guess around an hour and a half, and the walk was somewhere between 2 and 5 kilometres (I found the signposts very confusing) but it was very nice to walk home along the cliffs. I took millions of photos (just for fun) along the way. It was hard not to, because around every new corner was a new scene that was arresting or just plain beautiful that I felt I should take a photo of. The long walk was relaxing at the same time as being hard work. And half way along one of my thongs broke so I did the rest barefoot. Other adventures included stepping on a bluebottle (the stingless bit) and climbing on a climbing frame (one of those big nets). I've wanted to do more of that walk for a while, so I enjoyed my morning quite a bit. But now it's only 11:30 and I'm not sure what to do with the rest of my day. There are many things I should get done, so I'm sure something will present itself.

In other news, I've run out of book. Any suggestions for something new to read? I have a few marriage books, but I would like a novel for my relaxing time as well. I love novels with an immoderate passion. Yes.
Oh, and my results came out on Tuesday and I got first class honours. Yay! What a relief. I celebrated with many a glass of champagne.

Friday, November 09, 2007

intolerable

If there is one writers trick that I hate, it is the incomplete ending. No, that is not the right word, ambiguous endings are fine, endings that do not end or wrap things up I can tolerate, even though they make my heart bleed. At least they can have a sense of rightness and make up a good book. I am talking about the endings that call into question the rest of the story, that play with subjectivity. Those of you who have read 'Life of Pi' will know what I mean. It's a low down dirty trick and I don't appreciate it. And come on, we're reading fiction, it is subjective, but more than that it is untrue. Have the decency to decide what ending you are going to write, for goodness sake. The 'this is a fictionalised account of fictional events' line is a little ludicrous. The worst excesses of post-modernism, and too clever for its own good. I love alot of post-modern fiction, don't get me wrong, but not if it plays this trick on me. No. I like narrative, but I will put up with alot of subversion of narrative conventions. Different viewpoints, fractured time, telling a story backwards, everything. These can be enjoyable to the novel reader. But I do not appreciate being told that I've been lied to at the end of a book. It's unbearable. People who do this should be shot. No mercy.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

remember, remember, the fifth of november

I finished my last exam ever on Monday! What a feeling... I finished it early but stayed to the end, just to get the "pens down" (or rather, "finish your sentence") moment for the last time. 'Twas an odd experience. Not all that exciting somehow, like it was hard to convince myself that THIS was the end. Partly I guess because it already felt like I was finished, after the thesis, and the essays, and everything. So many small endings. Now I am officially on holidays, although it doesn't really feel like it, since I've been working every day and trying to actually get wedding stuff done.
But Monday was good. After the exam I headed to Manning bar with Sam, where we ate chips, I drank coke and we did the crossword. All in good uni tradition. Ok, I had one beer. But only one. Drinking beer then heading off to look at reception venues with a bag still loaded down with uni stuff is fun. Makes you reflect on life, y'know? The afternoon was pretty hectic, although it did involve some awesome burritos, and Andrew and I went to an Old English Reading Group end of exams party around 2 hours late. It was great though. An interesting bunch of people, ex- and current Old and Middle English professors (or teachers of various sorts) as well as students and hangers on. Somehow Andrew managed to get into a conversion which ended with everyone telling us that he and the groomsmen should wear top hats at the wedding, or that he should wear a purple suit, or something... There was a token American telling everyone how great the new Bruce Springsteen album is. The people were friendly and just a little bit eccentric, in short it was how I always imagined parties should be, and I feel a better person for having gone. Oh, and there were sparklers, in honour of Guy Fawkes day. I (kind of) locked myself in the bathroom, but it turned out alright, as a friendly passer-by helped me get out. And that was the end of that day, and the start of the holidays proper, or, the Rest of My Life, or, The Real World. I prefer the first option.