Saturday, June 26, 2010

"I'm sure to drift away...unless you bring me down...throw me a tether, throw me a tether..."

No matter how short a trip away from home might be, I like to take long walks and say goodbye to the neighborhood.
The light this time of year is always moody, and striking.
The moon is bright in the sky throughout the day, and lends itself to brilliant patches of illumination throughout the evening.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"You're living for nothing now, I hope you're keeping some kind of record..."

I am making a compact disc, filled with various Leonard Cohen songs for my neighbor. He is playing here in Tasmania on his tour and there has been a lot of talk, I overhear the talk in stores while I run errands. People who I don't think would normally have his name cross their lips talk about his coming. I find this behavior to be part of the cadent of island living. I have come to understand that this type of reaction could be part of why the people here find me so odd. So much of what has been normal in my life, here seems exotic or worse a fabrication. So I tuck this new realization into the schema that I am building to protect me.
I am searching myself, steeling myself, trying to bring up a bravado that will carry me through this next weekend, and on through the winter in the face of meanness, and willful misunderstanding.

I am thinking about food, about the recipe book I envisioned Zok and I creating. A sort of record of Mara and of the food of his childhood. Of course Zok did not particularly like the Macedonian diet. Yet having no record, no history of my own, I didn't want to see them lost to forgetting.

The last time I was at Mara's house-I had to go through some of the cupboards, full well knowing that most of clutter is hidden in the room next to the garage apartment. She was clever like that.
When I lived in the garage, I would be woken by her shuffling step and the overpowering smell of cooking peppers. To understand the prevalence of peppers (pepetka) in the Macedonian diet, think of how many uses the tomato has, or how often onion is added to a recipe.
As I looked at the reused bottles, and the vast amounts of preserved foods, I had a moment of clarity. The jars and bottles are not filled with secrets. While I would want to use vintage glass jars, Mara used whatever was at hand.
Where I would check out all the books from the library I could find, she just did.
I have a couple of goals this year with Mara in mind, to preserve enough food for next winter and to learn how to knit 'pantofki'. To just do, and not let my fear of failure stop my experience. Just as I need not to let people, so little connected with me, shape my thinking.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"...held together with footsteps she outgrew...but now she sits alone...everyone's long gone...

*images borrowed from

Sometimes when I feel too full of envy, too full of believing that another place is better just because I haven't yet been there, I walk out to a place I can see from my window. I walk to the furthest bit of rock I can scrabble along to get as far into the ocean as I am able without a commitment.
Then I turn back, facing towards my home and where I sat staring at where I am now-so I can ask myself "Do you feel any different?".
Lately my envy stems from imagining myself on a small Scottish island, where after I've had a pint of real ale, room temperature, I saunter out to see a film, in the back of a semitrailer.
'The Film Programme' (Did I learn anything from my first Trimester of that Masters program?-well I was told that all titles of publications should be put into italics.)-If you listen to my idle chatter, you will not be surprised that this is a podcast from BBC4. I listen every week, they interview and review not just new movies, but ask directors and others for their pick of movies on dvd. They also talk about films that have been saved or recovered to be newly released. I quite often find a film I've overlooked this way.
I find quite a lot of new films dull, especially since this latest recession which seems to have brought on a glut of studio organized sequels, (or worse a third movie in a series that is not an actual trilogy), or re-make of a film that did not need to be updated with music tracks by the current winner of some reality show.
More importantly this show is dedicated not just to the craft of film making but to cinema. Lately they have been researching how people in lesser populated areas get to see films. This information has changed my feeling about digital cinema. Digital - that word part 'wow soon we'll have the transporter from Star Trek' part music went digital, much got lost, loss of warmth, tones and sounds. Also there is a sort of flattening of talent, one can have less talent now and get away with making movies and music. However, digital allows a project like 'The Screen Machine' to exist, and for other small, local cinemas to be able to get first run movies and make money. Money is key to doing other cooler projects.

I love a back lash, and this type of project-is about people gathering together, when many traditional places are being lost to modern technology.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"Mortimer Revealed"

*images borrowed from the Internet

As I sit to write this, a few thoughts surface. One is that I am a visitor here on the island. Five years is nothing to me. I can not remember which holidays are coming, and I still get lost, which when one is driving roads that are basically all loops, is quite remarkable. But there you have it, I often have to turn around because I have been looped the wrong direction.

Another thought is about puppets. Puppets for some reason do not freak me out like dolls. Perhaps this is because I don't have that horrible sound in my head of small racing feet, chasing, knife in small, inanimate hand when I think of puppets, that I do with dolls.
However I don't favor them especially.
Yet somehow I have gone to my third play comprised of puppets, since moving here.
I went to see the Peking Puppets a few years ago, and then the other year I went to see a puppet show that was ala Pee Wee Herman, because one of the Roller Derby skaters was involved.
This time I went with Riff Raff Saff to see 'The Grimstones'.
The play was beautifully presented, just two people and of course the puppets.
There were lovely, miniature sets, that were encased by suitcases, and opened like a traveling doll house I feel I remember from childhood.
One of the creators is deaf, and she signed the story as her partner spoke for those who can't read sign language. The signing was beautiful, expressive in a way that was interesting and not angry. I realized that when I think of expressive hand use, I think of angry gestures.
The play was filled with quiet, and silence yet even the youngest in the audience were captivated.
One of the creators has a blog, and she is working towards being self-sustainable.
She writes about The Grimstones but mostly about her efforts towards eating locally, and living consciously.
She seems very interesting, and not at all like she has the puppets to dinner each night.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Today is Bouting Day

We are leaving really early by Derby standards, 10 a.m. to lay the track, because the doors are at 2 p.m. and we have to drive to Ballarat.
The Ballarat League is hosting the bout today.
Ballarat is about 1.5 hours from Riff Raff Saff's house, and this is where I have been laying my head at night.

I got these helmet stickers from Harry S'Potter who is a Referree extraordinaire.   They were meant to make me nice and flashy in America, but they will do nicely today.
B.R.D.L and G.R.D.L both scrimmage a couple hours a week, as well as having two other weekly practices.
This add to my concerns about my own skating, because I don't have as much access to practice sessions, especially sessions that are geared towards working as a team.
Tasmania is just really entering the phase of team work.
Four blockers working alone is never a good look.
I can always fall back on 'sacrificing myself' which means, since I am little, and the teams know I am not around a lot, I will get targeted (think weak gazelle) by big hitters-and as long as I am taking that hit at the right time...

But one worry at a time, I need to eat before we leave.
I will just keep repeating in my head the things I forget to do:
Get lower (hope for a high block penalty call), dodge, counter block.

I feel more comfortable at the back of the pack, as I need a run up to be effective while hitting, then when I get passed, I can chase the jammer, this feels good to me, but this isn't really the position for someone who can't hit well- which I am still working on.

Of course I am excited to be included, and I may not be rostered on a lot, and finally everything I learn adds to what I can do to help at home.
Of course if I break a bone, I could have a nice rest...