Monday, December 24, 2007

Spot The Killy III

In which Killy finds my teeny tiny laptop bag and plonks his bulky cat body into it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

ornithoptera alexandrae

the thyroid is a butterfly
-shaped gland at the base
of the neck

mine is a Queen
Alexandria’s Birdwing
with a wingspan
the length of a ruler

three months or years ago
the trouble started life
as a tiny larva
safe within the poison
of the host plant it grew
and swelled and took the poison
into itself

upon hatching
its first act was to eat
its own shell

its second
to start on me

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Spot the Killy II

Hello. I have been ill ill ill, and bored. Today I started making myself a cardboard puppet theatre so I could do a show for the cat. Unfortunately cutting through the thick cardboard with a pair of blunt scissors only set off my rsi and didn't make much of an impact on the box. I really need to get a craft knife, but I am broke too. Killy wasn't too interested in the puppet I made of him, either. Booo.

Anyway, the point of that story is that I was so bored that sketched the Killy. This is from a photo, the living Killy would never stay still long enough for an amateur artist like me to sketch. I've never drawn a cat before, only people, so I'm quite pleased with how this turned out. It's recognisably Killy, even though I made the eye too small and the stripe next to the eye too long to compensate. The scan isn't great either and the original looks much better, but the wonderful Ellie McKitchen Wench adjusted the scan to look sort of normal, which it didn't before. Thanks matey!

By the way, you can click the above picture to see it bigger, though the lines are very harsh when you do.

I'll probably try a sketch of the boyfriendcreature's cat next. After I finish my puppet theatre.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Spot the Killy

I'm in a bit of a snit with life, so I haven't really been updating this blog because it's supposed to be about my life. But here's some more cat for your dollar.

Spot the Killy:

Monday, August 27, 2007

More cat for Aunty Kant

I have inertia and facebook has been draining my life essence, so this isn't a proper post, really, but Aunty Kant asked for more cat, and so she will get it.

For those of you that don't know, this is my cat, Killy. He is my Killox. My Killbot. My Killb't McSillb't McDrillb't. My Centicat. My special furry man.

And here he is with another special man, who is a little furry, especially around the face, but is not as furry as many other men, and certainly not as furry as a cat.

And here Killy is trying to get away from the special man because the special man is rather scary-looking. Which is why I have put him on the internet.

And here are videos:

Proper update when I've had more sleep.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I think I have a special cat radar. When I'm out walking and there's a cat about, I get a tingly sort of feeling in a certain part of my spine, which sets me on the look-out for feline activity. Because of this, I've met a lot of cats. Here's one of them.

This is Puss. Puss lives on my route home from the train station, or at least I think he does. I'm not actually sure that he really lives at the house where I often find him, just like I'm not sure that he's a he at all. I am sure of Puss's name, though, as I met a human that knew it, but that's about all I know of his Cat Stats. I do know, however, that Puss is crazy affectionate; he is a veritable sooky mclovecat*. (And he has a bell shaped like Nemo round his neck, which you can just barely see in the photo.)

In March, almost every time I passed that way, Puss used to bound out to greet me, rub himself around my legs, snoof** everything in sight (including the mud? very strange), and then follow me a little way down the street. After March I didn't see him for months and months, but he turned up yesterday!

I was on the other side of the street when my cat senses started tingling, and I saw a feline silhouette in the distance. I saw it dart through the fence as I approached, and because of this behaviour I thought it was a cat I'd never met before. But as I got closer, it started to take the familiar shape of Puss, though he was stalking through the yard and behaving in a most un-Puss-like manner. So I said "Puss!" in surprise, and he looked at me for a moment, then loped up to me, and proceeded to snoof me and my bag like there was no tomorrow:

* Sooky Mclovecat (noun): A big old softie cat that's feeling complain-y and whingey, and is needy and affectionate because of it.

**Snoof (verb, trans. intrans.): to kiss like a cat, i.e. to affectionately headbutt or rub the side of your mouth against someone or something.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Famous Quotes

Me: How will you get to your interview?
Bf: Super-powers. Up, up and away! Actually, by train.
Me: Your super-power is the metropolitan train system?

Me: Wow, when people are extinct there will be so much stuff everywhere, or maybe not actually, building bits and stuff might be recycled.
Bf: Yep! And it'll all be dirty!
Me: And crumbling! And full of the animals.
Bf: Because there won't be any housekeepers!
Me: ??
Bf: And the animals will be like: "Blah blah, I'm a human!, look at my tie, I'm so important, I'm eating your cousin for dinner!"


From: Boyfriend
To: Gauri
Date: Aug 12, 2007 10:52PM
Subject: pig's on my butt!

Eureka Skydeck

For our 18th month-iversary, the boyfriend-creature and I went up Eureka Tower, to the Skydeck on the 88th floor. It was $16.50 for me to get up there, which I thought was a bit steep, but it was so incredible that I'd do it all over again. I'm even considering going up there by myself, and just hanging out and doing the Work.

The lift is a scary, scary beast. It goes from the ground floor to the floor 88 in 33 seconds, and of course bucks and vibrates and carries on all the way up, and your ears pop the entire time, but at least it only lasts for half a minute. But even if you're scared of lifts, or you're claustrophobic it's worth it, because when you get up there -- wow.

The view is absolutely unbelievable. I'd had no idea that it would be possible to see the bay; you can even see Werribee! The cars, trucks and trains look like toys, seagulls look like tiny white flies; even the giant ferris wheel looks silly and small. There are a whole lot of rooftop gardens along Southbank that we didn't even realise were there. You can see the entire Botannical Gardens, Royal Park, the Bolte Bridge and the pick-up sticks and giant french fry along whatever freeway that is. We even thought we could see a runway in the distance. Crown Tower (which you're technically not allowed to go up unless you're staying in the hotel) used to be the place the bf-creature and I would go when we wanted to be really high up, but it turns out that the view from there is nothing at all; you can see the top of Crown Tower from the Skydeck.

Seeing your city look really small gives you perspective, and kind of makes you realise how tiny your life is. That, and the fact that trams and trucks are really, really dirty on top.

Here are some photos, but they're not amazing as boyfriend-creature's battery was running out and he didn't want to spend too much time getting the perfect photo, just in case the battery died before he managed to get a photo at all. As usual, click on the images to see the full-size versions.

We also thought it would be packed, but it was actually relatively empty until we left (when the Friday night noisy drunk children arrived).

I hope none of these people are in a witness protection program.

We stayed for the sunset, too, and the view was beautiful at night, but by then boyfriend-creature's battery had died, so all we got were these:

I think I preferred it during the day; I'm not the biggest fan of night.

The only Skydeck experience we didn't have was what they call 'The Edge', which is a glass box that projects 3m out from the Tower with you in it. This is supposed to give you an amazing view, but it costs $12 extra and didn't seem worth it as we were getting enough awe action from the 360 degree view inside the tower.

Boyfriend-creature now wants to buy an apartment in Eureka Tower, preferably above the 70th floor. The ones on the higher floors go for around $1.75 million each.

I just think it's incredible that you can get an (extremely) inner-city apartment with ocean views.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Useful Thought #2

God never gives you more than you can handle

This concept is often interpreted as: God, personified, determines what situations you can only just handle, and then gives them to you every now and again when you need testing, perhaps, or for your own good, or for some other unfathomable reason of His own. This gives many people comfort, and I'm glad of that, but thinking of it this way doesn't make sense for me. I have my own take on it, which I may or may not have poached or co-opted from Byron Katie. It is as follows:

First, I substitute God for life or reality, i.e. what is: this moment, now. This is because I don't know whether or not God exists, but I can know that the present moment exists, or exists as much as something can exist. So, I interpret it as life, or the present moment, never gives you more than you can handle. How do I know that? Because you handle every moment -- if you weren't handling it, you would be dead. As I see it (and this is almost definitely poached from BK), there are two choices in every moment -- handle it, or die. But this isn't a choice you have to make consciously: you either handle it, or you die; therefore if you're not dead, you must be handling it. Even if you feel more rotten than you thought possible, and you think you are handling it badly and no-one could handle this situation worse than you are now, you are still handling it. And so I believe that 'God never gives you more than you can handle' is the literal truth. And even if you stop handling whatever it is and you die, all it means is you're now handling death, not life.

This is a wonderful thought to have in my head, but I will say that I often lose sight of it, especially when I'm in an anxiety attack, like I was this evening. But the Work gets me back onto it, always.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Work

A blog about me can't go any further without mentioning The Work. I'm trying to figure out the best way of explaining the Work, because it seems to mean different things for different people, so I think I'll go with the simplest.

The Work is a way of questioning your thoughts, ideas and concepts, particularly the ones that cause you stress. It allows you to examine whether these thoughts are actually true for you. You do this by writing down the thought, and then applying four questions to it:

Is that true?
How do I react when I believe that thought?
Who would I be without that thought?
Turn it around.

This is the only self-help technique that has ever worked for me, because it's the only one that doesn't tell me what's true, but lets me figure out what's true for me. It's my therapy and my constant companion, and in the short 6 months I've been doing it, it has transformed me. This may not be apparent on the outside, but as they say, it's the inside that counts.

Byron Katie is the lady who came up with The Work, and to give you an idea of it, here's a video of her facilitating it:

If you're interested in finding out more about the Work, search "Byron Katie" on YouTube, check out the website for The Work, and look at Byron Katie's blog. She has three books out, and they are well worth reading, but you don't need them to get started if you want to give it a go yourself. And if you do decide to give it a go, I guarantee you won't regret it.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Useful Thought #1

I am currently sitting up in bed with the cat (who is in a dream and twitching violently) mulling things over, as I usually do, and I was just going over some of the main ideas that are integral to my happiness at the moment, and I thought I would make a kind of series of them here, though I'm not really sure how many there are -- there may only end up being two, but that still constitutes a series, doesn't it? Yes. Quite. Note that 'Yes.' and 'Quite.' are two very short sentences to make up for that ridiculously long one I began with. I hope the paragraph feels more balanced. I certainly do.

Thought #1: The only person who can hurt me, is me.

This is one of the best ideas ever. It's by no means a new idea and I definitely didn't come up with it, but it feels like my own because by applying it in my life I've given it a distinctly 'me' flavour; at least that's how I see it in my head. I guess what I'm saying is it's no longer a familiar abstract idea, it's very much a reality for me much of the time (though not always).

This is how the thought works for me: Whenever someone does something I don't like, and I feel that they need to do something different in order for me to feel good again, remembering this thought gives me back my power. When I find myself blaming someone else for hurting me, I need them to make it right. But when I realise that it's my reaction to their action that hurts me, I realise I don't need them to do anything at all. It's a wonderful feeling to realise that you don't need anyone else to make you feel better -- you are it.

I owe a lot of my sanity to this thought (though there isn't much of it), and it's been largely responsible for my fantastic relationship with the boyfriend-creature and the reason why we've never had a real fight in a very intense year and a half (it is our year-and-a-half month-iversary tomorrow). It's also served me wonderfully in relationships with friends, housemates and other humans (and animals, too). I do have trouble applying it where there are years of unexplored confusion and resentment involved, and that's something I'm working on. But in the meantime, this thought serves me very well.

When I have trouble believing it, I remember that not all people react to the same situation or action in the same way. If a certain situation or action had its own power to hurt, everyone would react in the same (or very similar) ways. As it happens, the same situation definitely doesn't elicit the same reaction in everyone -- in fact your own reaction to a situation at two different points could be entirely different, so it can't be the situation or action that's doing the hurting. For example, your partner may be sitting and reading a book. At one time you might think "Why isn't he paying attention to me? He doesn't love me." At another you might think "I love that he feels so at ease with me that he can just be in a room with me, doing his own thing." It can't be the person or their action that's hurting you. I love that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Reading is Fun!

My birthday was a little while ago, on July 21 to be exact, which, as many of you know, was also Harry Potter D-Day. To celebrate the latter, the stranglies (my core group of friends) and I had a reading party at Potaty's house. I wanted to blog about this shortly after it happened, but had no suitable medium, so I am belatedly gushing about it now.

A strangly reading party is like a cross between primary school Silent Reading and a Roman feast. There was so much food; in fact we didn't even get round to reading until about 1pm, mostly because of food (and the lining up outside borders for an hour, which we felt pretty stupid about since we'd got sucked in to the pre-ordering hype -- if we hadn't we would have been in and out of Kmart in a heartbeat).

Uggy found a recipe for pumpkin pasties which turned out totally cute and tasty:

Potaty, at my request, made a cake with Harry Potter stenciled onto it in icing sugar:

She says it didn't turn out as well as she wanted, but I think it looked pretty awesome.

The Wench made hand pies, which are basically pasties about the size of your hand, with delicious vegie and sausage fillings. She also made puff pastry cups with a lime filling, which has a proper name but I've forgotten what it is. It may be on her blog, Kitchen Wench, or it may not be. Either way you're in for a treat if you follow that link.

My contribution was to get all kinds of edibles that don't require cooking and assemble them on a platter. I like low-maintenance food.

This is the spread we ended up with, minus the hand pies, which were still in the oven when I took this (click image for a large version):

And then, while we were eating, Potaty made balloon representations of most of the main characters, plus the confirmed and possible Horcruxes. The Horcruxes had tickboxes on them to indicate whether they'd been destroyed or not, and we were going to tick them off as we went along, but we all read at different speeds so we decided against.

We wrapped ourselves in blankies to do the actual reading, and it was fun and happy, but eventually I found the others too distracting so went home to read in bed.

I love strangly reading parties. We're going to have to find another series to obsess about, now.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Episode One: In which I meet a hot American who I will never see again

Gasp! A hot American, leaving tomorrow, who I'll never see again? Whatever shall I do with her? Why, take her to Pushka and proceed to stuff my face with portugese tart, of course. I'm so romantic.

Romantic and an amazing conversationalist, by GoSailor's expression in this picture. Or maybe she was thinking about her apple juice, which she was less than pleased with. In fact, when it arrived, she poked at it for a moment with her straw, before exclaiming, "They'd never give you apple juice like this back home. It's like they just got an apple, and blended it!" Oh, Americans.

We spent most of our time together wandering the streets of Melbourne, and it was interesting to approach the city from a tourist's perspective -- what would I want to know about Melbourne if I was just visiting? But she'd already been here for a month, so had done most of the things that came immediately to mind. The advantage of her having been here for a while was she had loose ends she wanted to tie up, like going back to a Japanese video store to buy a dvd she'd spotted earlier, and to Bliss for Women to buy some airport smut.

To find the Japanese dvd, we wandered up Chinatown, and found this amazing restaurant, which totally needs to have my babies (click on the image to view a large version of it):

My favourites are 'Mao Please!' and 'Unveil Chairman Mao's Secret Recipes'. I wasn't aware he had any recipes, unless they're recipes for revolution?

Other favourite Chinatown encounters include a t-shirt which I wish I'd taken a photo of, found in one of those cluttered and fabulous Asian clothing boutiques. It had two little, black cartoon monsters on it, one saying, 'LOOK AT THINS', and the other replying 'YKJSFHIF SKFJI'. Amazing.

Because GoSailor is an artist, I thought she might enjoy the graffiti in Hosier Lane, so we went on a bit of a trek there. I love Hosier Lane because people spray paint there in broad daylight, taking their sweet time to create street art masterpieces. I wish my photos could do them justice:

My most favourite part of Hosier Lane is the creepy putty faces pressed in around the metal bars of mysterious purpose:

They're like a cross between Greek tragedy masks and that greyish substance you find in abundance on train seats.

The strange thing about meeting someone for the first and last time in Melbourne is that you don't really understand that you'll never see them again. Melbourne is so small, and the chances of running into someone again, even if you only met them briefly and a long time ago, are quite high. So, I find, every time I meet someone new I mentally make space for them, and the future possibility of them, but in this case the space-making was completely pointless.

Oh well. At least there is space in my brain, eh.