one degree of separation

one of my most favourite things in all the world is having friends from the other side of the world, from my previous lives, from years gone by, come to visit me in my current life. one of the reasons i love this so much is of course i love to see old friends.  but a second reason is to do with how it breaks down the compartmentalisations of my life and reminds me we’re all one big happy globe. see, i tend to put divides between my work life, my personal life, my life i had in canada, my life here in sydney etc, etc.  friends and things go into one of these little lives i have created for myself and generally they are kept separate.  but sometimes, as in when a visitor visits, the lives collide with one another and it’s sort of a little bit magic.  like if parallel universes existed and someone from another universe popped over to see yours and you’re like ‘hey! you’re from that other universe, how cool is it to see you here in mine!  let me show you around!’

look, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but hello, have you met me?

anyway, my second favourite thing is if a friend from another life (or universe) sends over one of their friends for us me to meet and hang out.  how cool is that?  meeting a complete stranger who is not really a stranger because they are only one degree of separation away from someone you absolutely adore. meeting them serves to make you feel closer to your long lost loved one, and make a new friend and it’s all a good story you can tell at parties.

i met one of these new friends last night.  he came from canada with a recommendation from a very, very good, very old, friend of mine.  so we met in newtown and we went for drinks.  and it was oh so fun to look at him and think about my old friend in my old life and wow here we are in sydney having a lovely chat about it all. and then you realise that you could easily be friends with this new person, but of course you would, because if they’re friends with your friend, and you’re friends with your friend then you’ll probably get along just fine.  and so we did.

fun.  old friends, new friends, a different hemisphere and one degree of separation between us all.

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good weekends

sometimes you have really good weekends.  like, not just a good day on the weekend, but the whole thing, from friday afternoon to sunday evening.  good.  all good.  i just had one.  walking through my sunlit neighbourhood taking photos of all the great graffitti murals around here on the way to catch up with old friends for beers at old hang-outs.  watching clever friends launch their clever album at a local venue with everyone you know in attendance.  impromptu after-party at a friends house, the sort where at some point the house is all of sudden packed and you look at your friend and go ‘who ARE these people?’ and then laugh.  It was a weekend that saw a saturday rehearsal spent singing and dancing in preparation for a getaway festival next week.  it saw me venture to the north shore (!) where it took no less than THREE trips over the harbour bridge before i actually didn’t miss my exit. made up for by an evening spent over there with some wine and a view of the ocean.  sunday was about sunshine, going to the pool with my boy and basking in summer glory.  good weekend, i say.  good weekend.

roommates

i realised the other day that i have been living with roommates for over 15 years.

FIFTEEN YEARS.

i did a quick calculation of how many roommates i have lived with over the years, and it came to approximately 38.

shit peeps, no wonder i am a bitch sometimes.  i’m tired.  living with other people, regardless of how good, bad, clean, tidy, loud, quiet, funny or stupid they are is often hard.  below is something i wrote a while back that seems appropriate to remember when i’m thinking of my 15 years of roomies….

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I have a new roommate and she is female. She is lovely and we get along and I like to pour us tea and have chats. This new living situation is still, however, going to be interesting, as I rarely live with other females, therefore I am used to being the only female in the house, which loosely translates as being used to being……………..the boss.

The male roommates I’ve had over the years would protest this remark. I don’t come off as being particularly bossy or alpha or demanding or leader-like but this just means that I am particularly sneaky about being the boss of the house. The house looks the way I want it to look. It is tidy and orderly because that’s how I like it. The things on the walls or on the benches or displayed or not displayed are because that is that way I want them to be. The things I allow to be left in the living room or in the bathroom or the things I silently remove and put back into the boys’ rooms are all very small, passive aggressive ways of asserting reign over my space. Males do not see this as evidence of you being the boss. They do not equate having control over what hangs on the walls with having control over the domain. So males will generally always let the female do what they like to the house, oblivious to the fact that females know that if the house looks more like you, then it is more yours.

But now there is more than one female in the house. And she wants to make her space look like her too. And I was in the kitchen today quietly seething as I put back my salt and pepper shaker that she had hidden away in the cupboard, trying to understand how on earth I came to be such an uptight asshole as to give a shit about such a small thing. I was trying very hard to listen to my inner calm saying very annoying things like ‘Chill out, brooke. Let it go’, or ‘Think of the bigger picture, this stuff doesn’t matter‘ or most patronisingly of all ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ (I often find that my inner calm is sometimes a smug little bitch). Anyway, it worked for a little while (even though I continued to rearrange what she had already rearranged) and I did start to at least pretend that I didn’t care about these very tiny displays of loss of control. After all, these are just little things, right?

But then I thought, wait!We’ve all been stooged. What about all that crap about how god is in the small things? About how it’s the little things that count. About how big things come in small packages? According to some ideologies, most of which espout the way to enlightenment, the only way we’ll ever find peace, happinness or a cure for that coke addiction is to learn to appreciate the small gifts in life. The ones that don’t cost anything, the little day to day things that may seem mundane, but that actually house god. And I realised that was why the little things bothered me so much. Because I got my little bits of joy out of my little clean house with my little pictures on the wall and my salt and pepper shakers on the bench. And when my little things got threatened, I got a little teensy bit uptight with just the littlest urge to fist fight my new roommate for rights to the cutlery drawer. And I thought, ‘Yeah! I’m right! I’m allowed to care about what I care about! Small things are where it’s at!’

And then I put all of her stuff back where she wanted it, kicked myself in the arse and said ‘Get the fuck over yourself’.

 

indian summer

i have singlehandedly decided that we are having an indian summer this year.  yes,  it’s still technically summer so it’s technically a bit premature to be saying it, but since when did i get caught up on technicalities anyway? so i decided this because it’s been such a terrible summer this year, what with la nina raining up a storm for the better part of the last three months.  and now, with less than 6 days to go before the season ends, we are finally starting to have those gorgeous australian summer days where the air is warm and dense with frangipanis and jasmine and the sky is so intensely blue it makes everything clash with it.  in a good way.  matchy-matchy is not cool anyway.

anyway, here is what my walk on the glebe foreshore looks like on a day like today, in an indian summer…


10 years ago today

i had a greencard wedding.  these are the types of things some people do in their twenties.  anyway,  it was the 22nd of the second 2002 and i was 22 years old.  the groom was an old friend of mine and we took our vows in front of the fake fireplace in the marriage commissioner’s living room.  i wore a cream faux fur vest, pencil skirt and what were then called f***k me boots.  it was very classy.  our witnesses were my platinum haired, leopard-print skirted girlfriend and an old friend of the groom’s who sported not only multiple piercings and a range of tattoos but also the most awesome handlebar sideburns you’ve ever seen.  the wedding photo of the four of us is quite spectacular. like those ‘awkward family photos’ blogs.  after the ceremony we went to the bar i worked at for our ‘reception’ where my boss asked me what our wedding song was.  ‘we don’t have a wedding song, it’s a fake wedding’, i replied.  ‘you have to have a wedding song’, she said.  she disappeared off to the juke box and minutes later the bar started rocking out to our new wedding song,  ‘what’s love got to do with it’.

and that’s how you have a fake wedding.

coffee snob

i am a coffee snob.  i came to this dim realisation today while making my morning cup of instant coffee.

wait. instant coffee?

stay with me.  see, we recently took a trip to uganda and although parts of africa are responsible for some of the world’s best coffee beans, you cannot actually get a decent cup of coffee there (the reasons for this are a whole other story).  so we drank the cheapo instant stuff.  and suprisingly, for a couple of coffee snobs, we got used to it REALLY quickly.  but then what happened over there was that the notion of going home and paying 4 bucks for a coffee every day, $105 a month, started to seem ludicrous.  and then as more time went on, the idea of paying 4 bucks for a coffee everyday, $105 a month, started to seem like some sort of giant culture scam.

obviously coffee culture  has become some sort of brand.  the word coffee should be in hyphens.  ‘coffee’.  maybe with an explanation point. ‘coffee!’

‘coffee!’  as lifestyle choice.  ‘coffee!’  as status symbol.  ‘coffee!’ as self identification tool.  flat white, cappuccino, latte, tall, skim, no foam, moccachino or whatever friggin order you’re supposed to say it in.  i’ve been buying the illusion of  ‘coffee!’

the other thing i realised was that about 55% of the time i was buying 4 buck coffee, the coffee was shit anyway.  and let’s face it.  paying for shit coffee is the most ludicrous notion of all.   if a person continues to buy 4 buck coffee, when more than half the time it is shit, wouldn’t einstein classify that as…..insanity?

so i decided it was all a bit stupid.

when we came back to sydney i continued to drink instant coffee.  and while making it today i realised what a snob i used to be.  and so that’s where i found myself  this morning.  the end.

 

………….i still drink 4 buck coffee on weekends.  i mean what am i, the dalai llama?

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