Monday, September 27, 2010

Things I Hate

An irregularly scheduled list brought to you by Grumblebum Crankypants (compounded by blogger refusing to upload my pictures for no apparent reason)

Things I Hate About Public Transport

  1. Other passengers
  2. Passengers who put their bags on the seat beside them and refuse to let others sit there. Note to these people: Your bag does not buy a ticket and is not entitled to a seat all to itself, and I don't care what you say, I WILL stand there and argue with you until the cows come home
  3. Passengers who sit in an aisle seat with an empty seat next to them and refuse to let me pass to sit there, or who get really annoyed at doing so. I get sitting on an aisle, I prefer it myself, but I would never prevent someone else from using the empty seat
  4. Canceled trains
  5. Several trains canceled in a row
  6. Late trains
  7. Would-be humourous announcements regarding 4, 5 or 6. Okay, points for attempting to make light of the situation, but most of us are in no mood, NO MOOD, I say!
  8. Boarding passengers who attempt to push past disembarking passengers. Wait two seconds, it won't kill you, nor will you miss the train
  9. And disembarking passengers who attempt to push past other disembarking passengers closer to the door. Also wait two seconds, you won't get stuck on the train
  10. The stranger who prodded and pushed me to walk up the scary escalators at Parliament Station, even though I was standing to the left to allow others to pass. Next time I may elbow you in the face...oops!
  11. Other passengers who wear bucketloads of fragrance or aftershave - go easy on the perfumes! Some days my eyes stream and nose itches for hours from the olfactory overload
  12. Tickets that refuse to work at the gates, despite being properly validated
  13. Crappy customer service from staff who have no clue how to answer perfectly reasonable questions, and Don't Care
  14. Falling asleep on the train and missing my stop, then having to wait an eon at the next stop for a train coming back the other way. While this might not be Public Transport's fault, I still want to blame them
Hmm, that's quite a list. I'm still grumpy and cranky, but in a couple of days I may actually miss public transport because my current casual employment is coming to an end and I will no longer be forced to partake in the joys of peak hour. But probably not...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pineapple eating time!

You might remember the saga of the pineapple, five years in a pot and finally it produced a flower followed by a fruit. It's taken most of 2010 to mature to eating point, but it finally got there this month. That's a lovely view of my compost bins and the fuschia-that-thinks-it's-a-Triffid in the background.

It was probably a little past it's prime because we weren't sure when it was ready to eat. Most of it had turned yellow. I think we waited a little bit too long because the insects had discovered it; there were a few bad spots where the little boogers had penetrated the skin. But we still got a few slices of yummy ripe pineapple off it, and I'll plant the new top and the pup it produced. So who knows, in five years time there may be TWO pineapples!

The fruit ended up about the size of both my fists put together, so a reasonable size. Considering Melbourne is considered too cold for pineapple plants to survive much less flower and produce an edible fruit, I count this as a botanical success :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mish mash

Drawing 946

Drawing 947
Drawing 948

Drawing 949

  Drawing 950


A page from my art journal. Yep, that about sums it up.

(Pre-loved book from the op shop - 50 cents. Watercolour paints, slathered on in a rage - I was trying to recreate bruise. Purple Indian ink pen (looks black here, but it's truly a dark purple) lettering. Sentiment  wholly my own.)

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Drawing 941

 Drawing 942

Drawing 943

  Drawing 944

 Drawing 945

Where do phobias begin? In the murky swamp of our lizard hind brains? My lizard hind brain is cooking up a phobia about the stairs in the building where I'm working, on the 18th floor. I've never been fond of heights, but it's not so much an actual fear of heights or falling. More a fear of the landing and then the being dead. Though when faced with a sheer drop into a canyon or off a bridge, I do experience a dark and all but irresistible desire to simply step off the edge. What's with that? But I digress. 

No problems going down the stairs to the next floor. My difficulty arises (hah!) whilst going up. The risers aren't solid, there's a gap underneath that lets daylight through (and isn't visible while descending), and a little voice in my head starts to whisper about the eighteen floor chasm peeking through that gap. I grip the handrail like grim death (though why I think that would help in the event of a sudden stair failure beats me) and my legs turn to lead. Looking straight ahead doesn't help, because there's a large expanse of floor to ceiling glass on the landing at the head of the stairwell that looks like open air to my terror addled hind brain. It interprets that as going from frying pan to fire, and it wants no part of any such shenanigans. To avoid the stairs, I began to take the lift the single floor I'm usually traveling but no, my lizard ancestor doesn't like that either.

I've started to eye the crack between the lift floor and the building floor with equal horror. Where will it end?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Drawing 936

Drawing 937

  Drawing 938

Drawing 939

  Drawing 940

So here I am again, playing catchup. Work pressures, health pressures, lack of time pressures, blah, blah, blah! Who wants to hear it? I'll just go on coming back, trying to catch up with myself...
There are some random thoughts about my drawing-a-day process in my head just dying to be poured into a post:
  1. Why do I keep drawing-a-day going, even on days when there's no time/energy/inspiration? Because a day without it doesn't seem right, there's something missing (duh!), I do want to keep drawing daily even when there are pressures conspiring against it, it's good for my drawing ability/discipline, it keeps me watching and interested in shape/form/texture...
  2. Limiting my material and colour choices was a good idea. It promotes inventiveness and, sometimes, procrastination: if I don't have to choose which colours or which paper, I just get on with it instead of being overwhelmed by choice. 
  3. Drawing is like an ouroboros: it feeds on itself. Drawing engenders more ideas, more luscious shapes and shading and textures, more drawing, more painting, more sculpture. More writing. More of everything.
  4. There are (generally) so many ideas in my head that it makes the poor thing ache. Pouring them out upon a page, even in serial form, provides relief.
  5. Drawing is pure pleasure. The lovely swoop of a curve, the shine of metallic pens, the sexy silken feel of flowing ink, the friction of graphite against paper. Even the little dusty leavings of the eraser being blown off a page. Just made of Happy.
  6. My current materials: a Mills & Boon paperback novel from the 70s/80s provides the paper; a 2B pencil; an eraser; black fineliners, a dozen in a box from Office Works; a red Sharpie; two shades of grey, Zig fine and chisel pigment ink pens, one Steel Gray, one platinum; occasionally a ruler and a compass.
  7. Ideas. Hmm, more complicated. Sometimes I'll have a shape in my head, from a book/tv/newspaper/film etc. Sometimes I just begin and see where it takes me. Sometimes I wake with an image in my mind, not always from a dream, though that happens, too. Going to an exhibition or watching a tv program on other artists will create ideas. Thumbing through my "visual diaries" inspires ideas; I used to keep a "proper" visual diary, now it's a box into which I throw newspaper cuttings, bits and pieces of stuff, the little sketchbooks I keep with me at all times which are more writing of ideas in words and thumbnails than sketching, anything which is grist for the art mill.
  8. Often I work in series, getting a particular shape or line stuck in my head for days or weeks. Usually it unsticks itself spontaneously, sometimes I get so sick of it I boot it in the arse to get rid of it, sometimes I'm forced to find another addiction to replace the problematic one. Is that the lesser of two evils, or simply evil upon evil?