a little east of reality

Friday, February 02, 2007

things I r-r-r-r-really like

I've been meaning to do this meme [name 10 things you love, starting with a certain letter that was chosen for you] for the longest time, but somehow roofshadow just seemed to hit upon a letter (r) that didn't immediately flood me with ideas. 'P' for example, let's see, punk, pistacchios, Picaso, pale pallour (think vampires), pencils, Potter, poetry, passion, purple and political philosophy. Those took about 2min to compile; I've been thinking about 'r' for a month now. But here goes.

1. rock
I like most kinds of music, but I always come back to rock. At the moment I'm drawn to bands like Nickelback, Powderfinger and Jet. Actually Jet are playing the Big Day Out this Friday in Adelaide (will post on that later). Live rock is the best.

2. romance
Flowers, etc, are nice, but romance for me is all about connection and knowing that the person you love understands you. I am a big fan of the mix tape (even if it's now burned on CD it should still be referred to as a mix tape), the leaving of notes, and the well-crafted romantic surprise. And with Valentine's Day coming, here's a tip for all you boys out there who don't know what the heck you're doing: LISTEN. I know it's difficult, but you will get soooo many romance points for doing this. If it is clear from your Valentine's gift that you heard and remembered something she mentioned or pointed out previously, trust me, this bodes very well for you. Sadly you now have only six days till the 14th. I hope this tip didn't come too late for you.

I am also a big fan of the fanciful, piratey kind of romance. Everyone needs a bit of swashbuckling in their lives.

3. rain
Soft rain, hard pelting rain, rain drumming on the roof...basically every rain cliche in existence. I love going to sleep listening to the rain. Rain can be destructive but right now in our drought-stricken country it's the sound of salvation falling over the land. My favourite rain memory is swimming in the ocean while the rain poured down, surfacing from under the big salty waves, lifting my face to the fresh water that seemed so warm in comparison to the sea, drinking deep.

4. research
I used to work in a job where I just dealt with whatever was in front of me ~ invoice to be produced, phone call to the answered, figures to be compiled. Then I went back to university (lots of research) and became a part-time research assistant to boot. I then taught for three years, but now I work doing research and policy formulation. I really like that kind of work ~ finding information, analysing what you find, recognising connections, working out where the gaps in your information are, consulting people, producing papers or legal instruments, turning the research into the realisation of your policy objectives. I sometimes miss teaching, but I'm okay with the job I have now, too.

5. reality
I read fantasy, I watch fantasy, I've edited fantasy and I occasionally play around with writing fantasy, but I don't live in fantasy. People who do drive me a little nuts. I have some sympathy for people whose realities are so harsh they want to escape from them, but I can't help but think that life would be a better place if we faced more and didn't lie to ourselves.

6. reality tv shows

Yes, I'm kidding.

6. reading
I learned to read so early that I don't remember it at all. I do remember trawling the school library for fiction I hadn't already read and staying up way too late because I couldn't put a book down. I remember my mother finding me distraught and weeping one day and being most disgusted to discover that I was crying over something that happened in the book I was reading. My dad taught me to read. He told stories more often than he read them, but he always bought me books.

7. rhyme
Rhyming poetry, skipping chants, scavenger hunt clues. Rhyme has such a nice sense of containment, closure, not symmetry but some word like it that I can't think of right now. I really enjoy trying to write poetry with set rhyming schemes like Vianelles, Sonnets, that kind of thing. The challenge of writing within strict rules seems to bring out more creativity in me and I'm often surprised by what I write.

8. rythym
At some point I worked out that the reason I preferred to be on the hard rock side of the hard rock/heavy metal divide was because there was so much good drumming and less screaming guitar. I love to dance and I find it really easy to memorise things set to music with a beat. A few years ago in Japan all my years of loving rythym led me to the Wadaiko (traditional Japanese drumming) club where Matsuura-sempai taught me to pound out a rhythm. There's nowhere for me to pursue this kind of drumming in Canberra, but if I ever do make the tentatively-planned move to Sydney or Melbourne, part of my choice of location will be proximity to a Wadaiko club.

9. rest
"I believe the world is sick with exhaustion and dying of restlessness. While it is true that periods of weariness help the spirit to grow, the prolonged, ongoing state of fatigue, to which our world seems to be rapidly adapting, is ultimately soul destroying as well as earth destroying. The ecology of evil flourishes and love cannot take root in this sad situation. Tiredness is one of our strongest, most noble and instructive feelings...

Yet tiredness has become a matter of shame! This is a dangerous development. Tiredness has become the most suppressed feeling in the world. Everywhere we see people overcoming their exhaustion and pushing on with intensity - cultivating the great mass mania which all around is making life so hard and ugly - so cruel and meaningless - so utterly graceless - and being congratulated for overcoming it and pushing it deep down inside themselves as if it were a virtue to do this." (Mr Curly)

10. random acts of kindness
Being kind to your friends is too easy, being kind only to those you think deserve it implies an unattractive layer of judgment, being kind to your enemies is admirable, but random acts of kindness clear away all the guff ~ one human being being kind to another, that's all. Suddenly we're all just people and there's goodness to be shared and we don't need a reason to share it. It's nice.

If you would like a letter please indicate so in a comment. You can either just add your 'ten things' later in the comments or make a post on your own blog and then give out some letters of your own.

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