Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What Sanchez does behind my back

Zok is in Melbourne today, and while I do not in any way envy the 40 degree Celcius (104 Farenheit) heat he is dealing with, I am seriously envious of the fact that a Platypus gnawed on his hand! (Zok stated that the bill was rubbery and the teeth, were tiny and sharp, but not painful).
I thought perhaps I sounded a bit dismal about Sydney so I am also posting a photo of myself on the ferry to show I was not really so miserable.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A picture that has been taken a thousand times before

This is the view flying into the Hobart airport, I love that really, it is pretty even at our airport and there is a flock of parrots that are always hanging out in the parking lot.

I suppose that a luxury of travelling often, is the appreciation and perspective a trip can give one about home. I do get attached easily. Now, I even think fondly of Bellingham, although at the time I was there, I felt very, very lonely and isolated. I am so happy to be home! Where the only sounds are birds and the occassional boat. I fell asleep with my window open listening to the surf. Today is sunny but not hot.
Actually come to think of it, today is Australia Day, the Australian 'Fourth of July'. January 26th commemorates the landing at Sydney Cove in 1788.
Thus making the posting of Sydney's skyline apropos.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bats by Day

I went to Sydney. I have only been one time before, I think in early 2000.
I still can't give an opinion on Sydney, mostly because the humidity was very high, and the temperatures were over 100 degrees. My brain and body resist this type of situation by sort of turning off. I tried to get out of the hotel as much as possible, however, the hotel was quite nice, with a fancy gym, indoor pool, and free cocktails on the roof from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Onto the BATS!!! Flying Foxes, fruit bats, huge with lovely blonde heads.
Flying, squabbling (as one would in that horrible heat), and fanning themselves with there wings (of course).
The bats were in the botanical garden which I walked through to get to an art gallery; specifically the 'New South Wales Art Gallery'.
But more on the gallery later, must admire bats...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Garden Update

Although we haven't had much summer weather, I can tell that we are in the summer season because not a lot is happening in the garden. The plants seem a bit dull, most are out of flower. However my yellow buddleia is HUGE this year. The fruit is ripening much slower than last year but both the apricots and the nectarines are finally getting some color.

Fossil Cove

I have passed the road that leads to the entrance of this walk, many, many times. I have thought of walking down the street to explore but then continued on, dismissing the road as probably having nothing of interest. I will have to take this discovery as a perfect example of my being too timid these days. Thankfully, my lovely neighbor Hazel called me up to look for this cove as she heard about it from another neighbor.
The timing is perfect, so soon after my disappointment that the Tinderbox Hills trail has been shortened due to privatization. Also my neighborhood walk has had new signage put up over the winter which has attracted quite a few new people. A few too many for my anti-social moments.
Also, I now have one more option for my next set of visitors (better known around here as 'MONTE & ROBERTO!').
I only had my iphone so these photos don't really do the tidal pools or fossils justice in representation.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Every Day is Silent and Grey

Today I wanted to go feed the ducks and look for the Platypus. When I got in the car and turned on the radio, 'Xanadu' was playing-this made me want to drive around a bit and listen to the radio, 'Xanadu' was followed by 'Borderline', I was not disappointed. Platypus Pond isn't very far away, but the reserve in which the pond resides is quite big, so I thought I would drive to the other side of the reserve, thus having a longer drive and longer walk.
I got lost.
Quite a talent considering I live on a island and was driving on a road that is basically a huge loop. I did eventually find an entrance to the reserve, but not one I was familiar with, so after walking for an hour in one direction I turned around, giving up on the ducks. My sense of direction is terrible, I don't really even have an internal sense of left and right, I have to think about it. There is Mt. Wellington which is viewable from many places, this is my marker as the Space Needle or the Hollywood Sign was before it. There is also a light house nearby that helps orientate me. For the most part, I am sorry to say all dirt roads look alike to me.
I did come across an marked Aboriginal site, according to the sign, the Mouheneene tribe gathered in this bay to cook the days catch. Although the people who first came to Australia did as well as any other conquerors, I will say that I admire the Australians use of language when writing up such signs. The language tends towards words such as 'brutal', 'slaughter', 'invasion'. They don't pretty up the past here.
I like the neighborhood I was in, the reserve is bordered by houses, but houses that have large yards with horse runs, miniature ponies, lamas, and of course the occasional trampoline. There are lots of tree houses, no sidewalks, and no streetlights. I was pretty happy to see our more crowded suburb. Though I still wonder what the feeling would be, to sit with my morning coffee and not be able to see the edge of my yard.
Is it just me or is that caterpillar trying to be a bit too fancy with its furry antennae? It is going to grow into a Painted Acacia Moth or a Painted Apple Moth according to my (aforementioned) 'Wings' book by Elizabeth Daley.
The Moths here are much fancier than the butterflies. I am trying to desensitize myself into accepting these sorts of insects, as there are others, I can barely think about.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Forest would be great if it wasn't for all the trees.

About an hours drive from the house is the Tahune Forest, with its Forest Air Walk-37 metres above the forest floor. What I like best about the drive though is that we pass my favorite cherry stand. They are the best cherries I have ever eaten. Zok and house guests have all left me behind, and there are enough cherries still to give me a nice stomach ache.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yeah...That's right...I live here

and yet still I was vaguely disappointed...where are the Sharks I ask? Where are the mermaids?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Does "Cute" really cover it?

Monte turned me on to this blog which is the best thing I have read since first reading that blog about conversations over heard in the streets in NYC.
Am I being verbose? Anyway here is the link;
Okay, maybe it is not a link and it is cut and paste, but hey I've had like 4 people over, and there is a lot of rum now missing...
So in the vein of 'fuck you penguin' and cute animals in general- here is Beware the Sniffer Dog, not only cute but efficient in his job to protect our small island from SMUGGLERS.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

...from a sea too intensely blue to be looked at, and a sky of purple, set with one great flaming jewel

This building is across from the library and secretly I wish that this was the library.

Here is my local.

My borrowed copy of 'Little Dorrit' and the kiosk I used to check the book out.

I had to do a report once on Mesopotamia and all I remember about that report was that I read they had one of the first libraries. I think that reading that sentence was the first time I ever thought about being without a library.
I love libraries. Libraries have been my haven when I am tired, or poor. I search them out in the cities I visit, because many are so beautiful.
In Australia, books are shelved in alphabetical order by the last name of the author, and divided into areas, such as 'Large Print' or 'Juvenile Fiction'. The loss of the dui-decimal system was a bit of a culture shock for me. The blow was almost as harsh as the advent of hand stamping the books to scanning a bar code. Now of course I am completely happy to check myself out via a kiosk, I have caved to the kiosk just as I caved to self-serve gas pumps, and bottled water. I worked (temped) across the street from a really grand library in Melbourne. Of course not all libraries are grand, many are just charming such as the one I frequented while staying at Zok's Moms' home.
Zok's mother lives walking distance from a tiny but amazingly diverse library in Thomastown. I even found a book on how to learn Macedonian there, the neighborhood with all its many immigrants, are reflected on the shelves and that is just plain righteous. Nearby is a beautiful looking but not nearly as well stocked library of Millpark. I feel sadness whenever I have to leave a library behind. There was a library on Melrose Ave, east of Highland (in Los Angeles) that I still miss. The libraries on campus, where I went to University in Bellingham are worthy of an older European city. I can picture myself in each of my favorite reading nooks. I can still remember the stacks of books towering over me when I was about ten years old living in Indiana. I remember that library because I couldn't get there often enough to feed my reading appetite so I would sit and agonize over which books to pick. I often thought of sneaking out an extra book or two, but I am no rule breaker.
As you might guess the selection here on the island is a bit lacking. This fact is compensated by the point that the catalog is all online and a person can order a book delivered from anywhere in the state and those books come delivered to your local library.
There are no book drops after hours but a book can be returned to any branch. Sure, many of the audio books only come on tape but a girl can't have everything. Also my library isn't cosy, I never want to hang out there, the most I can do is peruse a shelf or two if I am killing time. Usually I just grab my delivered book from the hold shelf and take the book somewhere better.
I love that my selection this week came with an inscription from 1936. This book is exactly the type I hunt for in Oxfam shops in the U.K. Tiny, tiny print and detailed illustrations is exactly how I like my Victorian novels to be presented. Although I sometime picture myself having to read these same books by use of magnifying glass in my later years.

Monday, January 5, 2009

...Left to her own devices...

The sun is starting to set earlier as January moves on, still the darkness isn't thick until 10 p.m. and the sun is blazing brightly through my bedroom window by 6 a.m. I could say I've grown accustom to the light of Summer and perhaps I have, but still there are effects. Even though my life is free form, much more than ever before, I find myself trying to hold to a work day. My mind wanders to old places at certain hours whether I consciously try to do otherwise. I still think of each day as increments of hours that need to be made worthwhile by being arranged into a plan. When I woke today the temperature was warmer at 9 a.m. then it had been in days and days. When the rain came in and my gardening plans turned into listening to records while lying on the floor, still the day remained warm. By 5 p.m. the sun was out and warm became hot so I went to the beach with my dinner.
However, all that cloud cover made the sea cold, and turned the clear water a slate gray color that makes me think of jelly fish. I do love to look at a jelly fish from a dock, but I don't want to rub up against one. This is the same sort of fear that stops me from night swimming. I did not stay in the water long. Definitely not as long as a woman I see there often (who is much older than I am, and yet has much sleeker legs). No, I surely spent much longer on the beach than in the water. Eating my sandy-sandwich and drinking my beer while lazily listening to a audio book, still I was home and showered by 7:30 p.m.
I think I'll miss something if I start watching a movie while the sun is up, yet I've no problem doing just that if I have someone around to watch the movie with. Watching movies in the daylight feels a bit like drinking alone. Often I find that I am going to bed at 2 a.m. because I start watching movies so late. By contrast, in Winter when the darkness is securely surrounding me by 5 p.m., I find myself watching all the movies I want and still going to bed at 11 p.m. I find myself wondering at how my day becomes dictated by weather and light.
I did not find the album that I wanted to listen to-some piece of childhood classic rock that only sounds real if listened to in its vinyl incarnation. I can not help but feel the nagging thoughts about the Australian governments plans to limit certain internet access via some pressuring of the ISP servers, as limitations stem from big businesses being unable to control what they perceive as loss of revenue. Revenue from peer sharing, peer sharing which could be called free advertising, or built in marketing. How many times have I bought the same piece of music? Replacing lost copies, melted vinyl, scratched CDs, buying 45s, then the record, then the cassette and later CDs. Purchasing yet another cleverly re-packaged movie or music? Not to mention the countless movies, t.v shows and music releases NOT released here in Australia. Daily I try to access some website only to find that I am blocked due to my ISP address showing I am not in the U.S.
Is the indignation that wells up inside me an American fabrication that I should be able to read, watch, or buy anything that I want? Have I not been a hardworking, correctly consuming person throughout my life? Perhaps I am not that shallow, and the root of my feelings lie in not being able to choose.
I am better off swimming with the jelly fish then worrying about missing the webisodes of Chuck. Still, I feel like the girl no longer invited to the party.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Eve; Day, Night, and the Day After

For the first time since we've moved to Tasmania, Zok had a show near Hobart. Everyone arrived from the mainland in the afternoon.
Zok came over to the house with more people than have ever been in our house at one time. He was funny to watch, buzzing around, and cooking up a meal at the first hint of hunger in the crowd. I did not see much of the festival as I went to the site after dark. The band was great as always. I of course, had to make note of the composting toilets, which really are much better than those plastic stalls that are normally put on site for festival shows. Most people slept out on the festival site, European style. We stayed at a hotel in town.
I think staying at a hotel in the city where one lives is funny. We were at an apartment styled hotel which I believe is built as an addition to the main building which used to be a Wool factory. I assume that the Wool Factory was inspiration for naming the hotel bar; Baaa Bar.
New Years Day, we had breakfast in the old Jam factory. The Jam factory also houses a hotel, but the inner area is now an atrium with two places to eat and some shops. It as nice to be out, but nicer to be home again.