Thursday, May 20, 2010

VD, or not VD...

Fabulous VD prevention posters from the 3Os and 40s (USA) can be found here.

TransMen and Fags

Nice article interviewing Amos Mac, founder of Original Plumbing magazine. Clicky here for a gander.

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Busy busy busy...

Just realised it has been almost a month since my last update -- has been rather hectic! hmm... will try and post some bits and pieces over the next wee while.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wolves and Sheep

Whilst on the energy tangent, I have been contemplating how best to keep negative outside energy at bay without fighting fire with fire and thereby creating negative energy myself.

If someone is threatening to me or my family, on a physical level, then the obvious thing is to come back HARD at them. Someone takes a swing at you or your tribe, you knock them down and ask questions later -- there isn't any time to talk about.

But what if the threat is psychological, or psychic? My instinct is still the same -- you threaten the well-being of me or my crew and I will send you out cold and discuss it when you come around (in a psych* sense of course).

Fortunately, these threats are not as common as they might be, as I am relatively good at keeping the obvious baddies away from the start. But sometimes the odd wolf sneaks through in sheep's clothing, and I find myself suddenly cornered and having to summon all of my wit and my energy to push it away NOW. And its bloody exhausting, but what else to do? Where possible, that is, when the threat is not so big or so immediate, I will delay action and contemplate my moves and seek the past of least damage. Of course I will. But... I don't like having to play hard, and avoid it all I can, but when push comes to shove and extreme action must be taken, what's a Monster to do?


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Energy, Levels

Have been doing much work on my body of late, trying to get myself out of this sinusitis slump. Lots of this work has been to do with shifting energy about, from yoga to acupuncture to Thai massage. Energy blockages, stagnation, circulation...

Tried to get back to what was happening in my life when this all began, many many moons ago. I was happy enough, in some ways, but feeling very stuck and trapped in others. This was my life before study, before kink, before queer. I knew I wanted to be somewhere else, someone else, do something more and something else. I just didn't know how, or really believe that it was possible.

And I was, and had been for a long time, very conscious of being TOO MUCH, and having TOO MUCH enthusiasm, curiosity, intellect, creativity, and ENERGY. I usually had partners and friends who moved much slower than I do, and constantly felt the need to pull the brakes HARD so that I didn't lose everyone. Even now I walk more quickly than most people I know, and change concepts and tangents at what is apparently quite dazzling speed.

But for the most part, I have slowed myself down a lot. I feel sluggish, and at half-speed a fair chunk of the time. Some of this is age of course, heaven knows I'm not 25 years old anymore, but a lot of it is the toll of 20-ish years of trying to keep a lid on ME. Its all bottled up, and its eating me alive. It has to go SOMEWHERE, and turned inwards it has just turned destructive.

(I remember, too, that years ago I read one of those advice columns in some magazine(it just may have been in LOTL, of all places *shhh*) where a woman had written in concerning her reluctance to get exercise, eat well, and get fit. The columnist asked her what she was afraid of, suggesting that maybe she was scared of realising her potential. For some reason this hit me hard. Did I do that?)

And so I wonder how much of this physical ickiness is brought about my patterns of thinking, and the devices I have developed to get through the world. Sure, I am a hell of a lot more 'actualised' than I was when this whole health saga began, I'm out and about and all arty and queer and pervy and whatnot, but I still find myself trying to make myself smaller, and less -- less eccentric, less kooky, less scatty, less volatile, less dynamic, less of a handful, less ENERGETIC -- for fear that I will send people running if they are actually confronted with ALL of me. And I'm pretty sure it is doing me damage, but completely unsure of where to begin to change... Work backwards, perhaps, start with the physical and end up with everything else. So more yoga, more meditation, more acupuncture, more MOVEMENT. My energy needs to find its own level.

Scavenger Articles

Here's a couple of bits and bobs of mine that have been published online by The Scavenger lately:

Mattilda Sycamore Bernstein interview

and Furballs or Plucked Privates?

And there is TONNES of other amazing stuff in The Scavenger too!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Doo doo doo Da da da

Stole this from Maggot, and LOVE IT!

"It is not advisable, nor was it ever, to lead a Dada life. It is and it was always foolish and self-destructive to lead a Dada life because a Dada life will include by definition pranks, buffoonery, masking, deranged senses, intoxication, sabotage, taboo breaking, playing childish and/or dangerous games, waking up dead gods, and not taking education seriously."

- Andrei Codrescu


Tuesday, April 06, 2010


A very camp older man came into work the other day. Professional type. Made some comment on the workmen downstairs in the room he was supposed to be a having a meeting in (or some such). Mock horror at their blue singlets, followed by quick retort from me re rough trade. Knowing laughs, and he was gone.

Another woman in the office commented on how different he was since he stopped pretending to be straight, and got rid of the acrylic jumpers.

And I got to pondering my own coming outs, some of them anyway, and how the very process of coming out had made me change the way I interacted with the world. Made me bolder, more assertive, more able to explore and challenge and put my foot down when people/society made crappy demands of me. Most of this is obvious, I know, but none of you reading this knew me BEFORE. When I was really shy and awkward and buttoned up, when I didn't sit in cafes on my own or ever get my tits out or travel by myself...

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Farewell, Old Salt

Found out the other day that an old workmate had died. He was a crusty old salt of a bloke, a Scottish sailor who worked in the printing service and sneaked a ciggie at every opportunity. Cancer got him in the end, as well it would. I hadn't seen him for quite a while, and guess I didn't know him that well anyway, but I liked him a lot...

Somebody told me that since he was made redundant he had bought a boat with his brother, planning to sail around the world. Then he got sick, and that was that.

So I got to remembering the time I almost had my head blown off, and all the things I wouldn't have done if that bullet HAD hit me. The every day near misses too, the bus that COULD have knocked you down, the cliff you could have slipped off, the deadly snake that might have bitten your bits when you wandered into the bush to pee.

And I vowed yet again never to put off the joyous things in life.

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Friday, April 02, 2010


Working Title: Stalled
Editors: K. Bridgeman and A. Lee Crayton
Contact: [at] gmail [dot] com
Submission Deadline: December 31, 2010

The range of gender non-conforming folks is broad. We are men, women, genderqueers, two-spirits, trans women/transwomen, trans men/transmen, intersex, bois, grrrls, butchs, faeries, FtMs, MtFs, tomboys, drag queens, transvestites, transexuals, queers, none or maybe all of the above?* In a society that preaches gender as rigid, fighting for gender self-determination can be challenging. For some the process is finite, traveling from point A to point B, while others wade continuously through the mire or transcend altogether. But despite the trajectory of our own personal journey, we all experience the polarizing demands of the binary.

One way these demands are evident is in sex-segregated spaces: changing stalls, detention centers, restrooms, group homes, homeless shelters, locker rooms, and security checkpoints.* These places can be hard to avoid, and interaction with them demands we make a choice about how we will present ourselves. With this anthology, we want to explore the sometimes difficult, layered, isolating, heart breaking, frightening, awkward, frustrating, challenging, funny, and/or queer experiences people are faced with in these settings. Stalled is a space for us to share our stories...


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Monday, March 29, 2010


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Moving house. Much clutter. Time to cull.

Market stall -- four boxes less of clutter. Selling some books to mates -- maybe one less box of clutter. Throwing out CRAP -- couple of boxes (?) less of clutter. Still so much... argh! What IS it all? And why do I own it?

Getting less sentimental over time, thank heavens. But still, so many memories/ideas/identities tied to much of this stuff. Arrrgh!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Academic Wooze

Changed my hours at uni today to part time so that I can work on my health. It will give me another semester to get it done, and alleviate some of the pressure of having to work when I am really ill. It needed to be done, really. Taking care of Zoo is important.

Will still be working on it as full-time as I am able though, but I now have the 'luxury' of knowing that when the pain gets too foul I can lie down/head to acupuncture/get a massage/drug myself up etc and deal with it properly. Just knowing I can do that has taken a load off already...

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Smoke and Mirrors

It will be two months next Wednesday since I gave up smoking. It hasn’t been easy, but then it hasn’t been as hard as I expected either. Just different.
It has mostly been a process of relearning how to exist in social situations without a cigarette in hand. Relearning? Actually, in most cases, learning – I was smoking long before I ever started clubbing or swanning around art festivals or lurking in bars and its the only way I know to be in these places. And so with each type of event or place of smoking, I have to readjust my mindset before I go. I find myself almost subconsciously imagining walking into the convenience store, finding the smokers’ lounge, lighting up, making small-talk with all the other stinky tar-babies. Not because I am hanging for a cigarette, usually, more because it is just habit, of course, its what my brain now associates with going out on the town, with drinking beer, with particular friends.

Every time I revisit these circumstances for the first time sans cigarette, I have to recognise what is happening and prepare myself for it. Yes, you will spend all of your time downstairs at Phoenix, only emerging if you really need fresh air or an ATM or chewing gum. No, you will not be able to escape the boredom of Wednesday night at the Sly by popping out to smoke at 15 minute intervals. Yes, there are certain people you will have to specifically seek out if you want to speak to them, instead of waiting to catch them up outside whilst you are both puffing away. Yes, you will have to find something else to do with your hands when someone cute is flirting with you. No, you don’t have a light.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Catholic Fry-Up

If you needed any further proof that Stephen Fry is GOD, have a looksy at his work in this debate about the Catholic Church.


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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Heather Cassils

Thinking I should post some of my fave links here, where everyone can find them and not just on facecrack.

Here's my latest wet-spot for the day, of an arty variety at least:

Heather Cassils, Visual Artist.

Goddamn. She is a body builder. And a stunt person. And does intense performances based on Greek myth, amongst other things. Oh my...

Every time I consider a more sensible 'career' I look at stuff like this and remember this is where my heart is at!

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Sweet Pea

Heading to work one morning last week. Small child sitting next to me on the super-crowded bus, maybe two or three (who knows? it could sit up and talk). Its mother sits opposite, its dad on the seat across the aisle. The two young and funky parents are explaining all about the bus and what is going on. This was my favourite exchange:

Child: Dad, you hair stinks!
Dad: Does it smell bad, like dirty?
Child: No, its smells pretty like perfume.
Dad: That is the lady sitting next to you.

Blush. I'm a lady, and pretty-smelling one at that!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Transsexual Empire Strikes Back

And here is what we got up to for the Mardi Gras parade -- The Transsexual Empire Strikes Back float.

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Whipping Girl in The Scavenger

Yeah, I have been slack, will try and get back to this soon. But for now, have an interview I did with Julia Serano . Mwah!

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Zoo Thousand and Ten

So, its the end of the noughties and into the... umm.. tweens? Much has been posted about making the next decade better that the last, but for me, the last was pretty grand on the whole (not in chronological order):

* Met the Monster. Several times, before we finally got ourselves sorted into the MonsterUnit.
* Came out. Repeatedly. As queer, kinky, etc etc.
* Reconfigured my gender. Bye bye 'girl/woman', hello 'monster'. Works for me.
* Got my arse to Uni, got my BA (Hons) and am currently a proto-Dr. Still have days of feeling like a pretendy academic, and paranoia from the fact that I was a high-school drop out. Silly, I know.
* Started performing. Still scary. Still do it. Still not sure why, but I need to.
* Embraced my creative side again. Participated in tons of photo shoots, films, wrote for magazines etc.
* Began to read fiction again.
* Learned to dance in public without a) freaking out that I was unco or b) need to be really drunk to avoid a).
* Got a lot of ink and metal. Shaved my head a lot. Didn't shave anything else much.
* Travelled a lot, mostly on my own. Lived in Sweden, visited NZ a few times, wandered around Europe and San Fran and NYC. Lived in Perth for a bit too, which is kind of like another country.
* Lived in zillions of sharehouses. Mostly with amazing, if mad, people.
* Had many relationships of various durations and configurations. Most of them lovely at some point, lots of them quite hideous in parts. Learned a lot from all of it-- I hope.
* Was quite a trashy tart when not having relationships. Or sometimes whilst having them.
* Became part of a fabulous community of performers, artists, writers, perverts, bears, divas and other gorgeous, generous, and joyous eccentrics.
* Stopped taking many chemicals, or thinking that I had to.
* Learned to appreciate my body in entirely different ways.
* Saw stupid amounts of fantastic art around the world, and lots of great theatre.

And ever so much more. Looking forward to the next decade of consolidating and building on all of this. Bottoms up!

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Paging Dr Zoo

Guess its time I post a PhD update for those of you not on Facecrack:

Full draft by the end of the month.
Intention to Submit handed in very early in the new year.
Spend three months proofing etc.
Submit around the end of March.

Wait for it to come back as passed with emendations! Or (preferably) no emendations, but definitely PASSED.
Fix up any emendations, and graduate sometime later in the year.

Play more with Monster.
Get me some part-time/casual work around Uni. Data entry and coding as I have been doing, copy centre, maybe some research assistant gigs. Something I don't have to take home with me, preferably no more than 3 or 4 days a week, and with reasonable monetary reward.
Hang out in lots of art galleries.
Generally be more hands-on. Learn to drive. Learn to sew. Make stuff with glass. Etc.
Save some $$$ to travel and get a decent camera and stuff.
Volunteer. Not sure where. Maybe something with youth? Or adult literacy.
Get to some outdoor festivals/doofs etc. Wander about the countryside for a bit with the Monster, seeing where we end up.
Write some journal articles.
Write more creative stuff.
Do some photo shoots.
Sleep a lot.
Party a lot.
Feel kind of chuffed with myself.

Much to do, but getting there. Somehow I think it will all work out just fine.


A Man After Midnight

This may seem odd given the number of 'woman' events I have been at recently (not woman-only, but woman-focused and mostly woman-attended), or maybe not? Anyway...

Think I am going through a boy-phase again. Not as in chasing them, but wanting to be around piles of sweaty hairy men, sniffing pits and drinking beer. I LOVE Mandy and Feisty (VERY MUCH) but last night just couldn't face heading to Dirty after the Wicked Women retrospective. I was too knackered to last long there anyway, but somehow the idea of being around that many hot dancing leather dykes sealed the decision to head home-- even though normally this is one of the major things pulling me there! Odd, but not that uncommon for me at some points I guess. Its just such a different energy when there is a bigger proportion of girls, a different way of interacting and even dancing and somehow I just feel more at 'home' with the bears/boys a lot of the time. Sure, the odd one does a double-take and has a minor head readjust but for the most part they get me, I get them, and its all much simpler.



Food For Thought

The more I write, the more I eat. I get incredibly hungry when working on the PhD, with different cravings on different days. Sweet, savoury, slimy, sticky... my body/brain demands cheese, toast with jam, chocolate soy milk, baklava, tea, sultanas, almonds, cereal (at any time of day or night), rice cakes, fruit, fizzy drinks, fried rice, pancakes, juice, eggs-- sometimes many of these within a few hours. Its bizarre.

(Its either the writing or some sort of wormy condition. Daresay it ain't itchy where the sun don't shine, but maybe should get the Monster out with the torch just in case?)


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Long Time No Post

Umm... kinda busy with PhD-ing, travelling about, PhD-ing, playing with Monster and... ummm... will try and write more soon!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Growing Old Disgracefully

Worked out one of the things that unsettles me most in Perth yesterday-- people seem to accept that growing UP is somehow compulsary. Was asking some mates whether they were participating in the Pride Parade, and the general consensus was that this was something one did when one was young and then you retired gracefully to watch it from the sidelines. Fair enough if these mates were 70 years old, but a bit odd to me when most of them hadn't even hit 30. Hmm. It happens in other ways too, people past their mid-20s here don't play dress-ups nearly as much as my crusty old mates back home, and, well... they are all just so sensible and ADULT with careers and cars and mortgages and baby plans and whatnot. I'm beginning to feel like some sort of juvenile deliquent...

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Soggy Serviettes

Went out for a lovely walk on Beucott St with the Monster this morning, and stopped to grab a coffee and a spot of something tasty. When our lemon slice appeared, it was presented on a small plate, as expected, but between plate and slice was A PAPER SERVIETTE (NAPKIN).

This practice has always bewildered me. Why would you serve food, and often food designed to be eaten with a knife and fork, on top of a piece of PAPER when it alraedy on a nice ceramic plate? The paper goes soggy from the cream/sauce/grease whatever leeching out of the food, the soggy paper then gets all stuck onto your food... its just SILLY-- a waste of trees and a messy inconvenience (which then requires extra serviettes to clean up).

Does anyone know the WHY of this practice? Is it some sort of hygeine measure in case the plate isn't quite clean? Is it some sort of doily substitute, purely there for visual presentation? And if so, what time of person would be impressed by a plain paper napkin folded in half and stuck underneath their cheesecake? Perhaps its a display of wealth, as in, we're doing so well we can afford to provide a layer of soggy paper with every meal and dessert? Perhaps there is some perfectly simple reason for this which has eluded me and I am being an idiot. If so, please let me know via the comments box. Ta!

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Mama Bear

sometimes i am astounded at the Mama Bear within me: growling and paused ready to tear the throat out of anyone and anything who threatens my kin... maybe it is because the older i get the more that i am sure of my own instincts, my own beliefs and my own ability to take on all comers?


On Sluts, and Ethics

Rules of the sandpit: Don't steal other people's toys or playlunch. Don't dump your mates for the new kid with the shiny Tonka truck. Say please and thankyou. Don't pee in your own patch. Be loyal to your mates.

Sure, certain 'non-conventional' relationship structures can require some extra thinking time to do well, but really, the basics are that simple.

And so it surprises me that some people seem to spend so much time sitting around bollocking on about complicated ethical and moral structures, trying to outdo each other on theoretical points of non-monog/poly/kinky/queer relationships, and continue to ignore the fact that if you just PLAY NICE and TREAT OTHERS HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED then much pain and nonsense would be avoided.

Bah! Thank heavens for the Monster is all I can say!

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Notes on The Art of Self Defence

* Apologies to anyone who may have been offended by that last post. Uncle Zoo is just very tired, and burnt out by the scene/community, and needs more tea and space and less folk to fix and manage.

* Please do not fret-- I am okay really. Monster is greater than ever (awww), Midsomer Murders is on tonight, the cat is purring, I'm about to have yummo vegan dinner with Monster and a mate, my thesis-writing has made grand leaps in the last week and I have a VERY hot new inkjob to perv at. Life is, overall, very very good. I just need to keep myself safe for a while, and that means devoting energy to things that bring me joy and hope and make me laugh and remind me that the world is a grand place. At this point of writing and thinking I just don't have the brainspace or time to deal with much else.


The Art of Self-Defence

The city is a dangerous place.

Went away with the Monster and some mates for the weekend, a getaway gift that was too good to refuse. Gorgeous big farmhouse, alpacas, vegie patches, wombats, rabbits, a huge bath, comfy lounges, grand beds, fireplace and PEACE AND QUIET. It was a perfect place to write, to read, to just BE and think and... I didn't want to leave, just get broadband set up and my books and papers sent there and stay for the next six months.

Back to the ghetto now. And I am panicked already-- its too noisy, too crazy, too many people wanting something from me, too much stimulation, too many people clogging up the footpaths, too many trains going past my window. I feel totally drained by this place and this community sometimes, and despite my very conscious efforts before I left here not to surround myself with mad (in a bad, messy, manipulative, destructive,not-playing-well-with-others way) folks, it seems that yet again I am collecting broken things and wondering why I am stressed every time my phone makes a text beep at me, why I jump every time the land line rings or Monster tells me she has spoken to one of our friends. Its almost always something very dramatic, and predominately negative, or so it seems, and I am frigging exhausted by it, by them, by the social worker energy I feel I am expected to maintain all of the time.

Yes, I am more than aware that I am in many ways a broken thing too. I freak and I panic and get into quite mad cycles of thinking and rant and rave. Pot, kettle, black.

All the same, this is not a healthy place for me to be in. Compassionate burnout, an attack of selfishness, whatever you call, I can't do much more of this at the moment.

So will be pulling back on more social things than I had intended-- going to far less events, having many less coffee dates with the energy vampires, staying off chat from time to time, going offline entirely for days, hibernating, doing what I need to do (writing, creating, sleeping, reading, cuddling).

Damn, I hope it works.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Speaking in Tongues

'Our tongues, their tongues, tongueness. Tongue twisting, tongue lashing, tongue tying; on the tip of the tongue. Tongue wagging, tongue-and-groove, tongue-in-cheek, tongues of land; speaking in tongues. Sharp tongues, shoe tongues, harness tongues, bell tongues. Gift of tongues. Bite one's tongue, find one's tongue, hold one's tongue, lose one's tongue. Give tongue.'

-- Kathy Neustadt, 'The Folkloristics of Licking'


Wednesday, September 16, 2009


20 years I spent a semester in an adolescent psych facility (basically because I wouldn't go to school, and was pretty adament and stroppy about it). It was a strange time, sad but not entirely so, and it taught me a lot in ways that weren't in the program (smoking and cutting, for a start, but also more positive things). There were magnolia trees and an old boat shed and huge gardens and much magic in the making somehow-- the buildings were formerly a convalescent hospital. I wrote poetry there, I think, worked on my moontan, and read The Bell Jar. I met my first boyfriend there. He used to wear eyeliner, listen to Nick Cave and steal his mother's brain meds.

Last night we went to visit a young friend who is in the mental health facility right next door to the one I was in. Different institution as such, but was still a little odd to be driving down that road again. It has been a long time, and I wonder where that girl ever got to...

'I used to sometimes try to catch her, but never even caught her name'

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Where's Monster?

'Where is Monster?'

Obviously, if I am out and about on my own, or with somebody who is not Monster, then the world has gone mad and its time to call the authorities.

'Where is Monster?' is a reasonable question if I am out clubbing solo, at a party without my monstrous companion, or am going it alone some place we would usually inhabit together.

'Where is Monster?', in a tone suggesting mild curiosity as to what the Monster is up to, cool. I like that you like the Monster, and that you care about her whereabouts and welfare. She probably likes you too.

But 'WHERE IS MONSTER?' in that sort of bewildered, demanding, interrogating manner, said when I should have the audacity to wander along King St on my way home from gallivanting on my lonesome, say from work or being inked or doing some shopping or having coffee with a mate, well...

Monster could be at home working, she could be at her art class, she could be helping a friend with some handywork, she could be doing anything really! And, while its nice that you care, please note that we are INDIVIDUAL monsters, not some sort of monsterunit that cannot move about the ghetto without our other half.



Sunday, August 30, 2009

Loosing My Religion

And my patience with the ongoing lose/loose confusion which seems to have affected almost everyone who is allowed to put finger to keyboard these days.


If you repeatedly misplace, cannot find, do not know the whereabouts of your car keys/underwear/mind then you do not write:

'Damn, I am always LOOSING my _____'

Unless you are to deliberately set these items free, as in:

'I cut my _____ LOOSE from the shackles of being possessed by a troll with an irresistable urge to use two Os where one O will do.'

Otherwise, you LOSE things. You are forever LOSING your ____. And if you are forever losing your underwear, you might just be loose but that is another matter...


Friday, August 28, 2009

Going Underground

'By dreaming and idleness and then by intense self-discipline does the artist live...'

--Winterson, Art Objects

And so to my thesis, my current and largest art project.

I have dreamed it, I have played with, I have slept on it, I have imagined it, I have read about it and talked about it and pondered it and now... The time has come to WRITE it. Properly. No holds barred.

Intense Self Discipline now. The winter has come and almost gone again, and the writing is starting to take shape. Maybe 40-50 000 words or so (out of 85-100 000) written up, more in draft form. Time to strap myself into the hard work of edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite, add, subtract, repeat. To this end, a note to my crew:

Please do not ask me to do any more shows until I have submitted the beast. If I get the urge to strut my stuff I'll contact you. At the moment I need to reserve most if not all of my creative juices for writing.

Please don't be offended if I don't make it out to a lot of events, or don't stay hugely long when I do. I still need the odd spot of trashiness and debauchery, but I also need plenty of shuteye and large chunks of time when I don't leave the house at all (except maybe for a wake-up walk or to fetch beer).

Visitors are often welcome though, so if you are in the hood and fancy a cuppa in our backyard then feel free to text. Just don't be offended if I say no, or postpone, or start getting twitchy when you're there and boot you out after an hour.

Creative fits are not predictable at all for me. My whims are erratic, and I my hours rather eccentric, and so I don't quite know what I will do next really. I will endeavour to behave responsibly, and not comitting to very much is the best way to avoid disappointing folk.

Still, deadline is February or thereabouts. Six months of Intense Self Discipline, lower levels of social activity, more chocolate, less beer and increased levels of incoherence adn delirium and it should be done.

Love you all! Wish me luck.

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I Wanna Be Adorned

This is part of my latest inkjob, which starts getting coloured next Wednesday. Best mate of mine asked if the background was going to be coloured too, or whether you would be able to see my flesh behind the image. It had never occurred to me to colour the background, and the idea of it really irked me for reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on.

Then I realised that it was because I like the option to be unclothed sometimes. I am heavily adorned-- scars, tatts, piercings-- but to me they are jewellery more than clothing. An adornment rather than a covering.

My overall vision, how I imagine I would like my body to look, indeed, how it already looks I suppose, is like an old building (a temple and all *rolls eyes*). Bits of it damaged, cracked or missing altogether, worn smooth by the elements, dust collecting in the corners and crevices, random graffitti in places, the odd sparkle of stained glass and gilt...

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The old grey mare ain't what she used to be...

(Ain't a 'she' no more, for a start)

Lately it has become increasingly apparent that the Zoo is getting on a bit. I can't drink ten beers in an evening and then make it to work in the morning. In fact, I would be lucky to even drink the ten beers. I can't really party three nights in a row, period. Sometimes I stuggle to do three or four different activities in a day (work, write, coffee date, art, play, whatever). The idea of afterparties exhausts me, and my perfect recovery is being in bed by dawn with a crumpet and a cup of tea. I don't do any chemicals anymore really-- never could really handle them but now they just floor me. Often I don't take as much pain as I did in days past, can't cop fifty needles or an hour-long beating with nearly the same ease as when I was first a painslut.

Sometimes, shock horror, even warmup (and in dire moments, foreplay) seem necesssary.

Much of this, I know, is to do directly with the thesis beast. It sucks a lot of energy, even when I am not working on it directly. If I write for more than four or five hours a day I pretty much don't want to do anything else afterwards. And the closer I get to the end, the more intense it becomes and the less energy I have for other things: making shows, socialising, dancing etc. The next six months is going to be HARD.

Much of this is also to do with my chronic sinus pain (8 or nine years now I reckon). This had been tenporiarily relieved by magical chinese herbs, but my therapist has left and I need to source another who can do the same thing for me cos nothing anyone else has given me has worked. Sneezing and wheezing for the first two hours of most days, and often an hour or more at the end, is quite debilitating. It makes one tired, and nauseasted, and eventually very flat and sad. Not to mention the pain, the day in day out pressure in one's face and gums and eyes and head. (Am trying to get details of an amazing chinese med dude in Marrickville pronto so I can get this all sorted. Its just foul, and has a massive impact on my everyday life.)

And some of it is just to do with getting old. Physically old, but also not WANTING to do so much anymore. Or wanting to do different, often quieter, things. Quality ovedrriding quantity. Increasing discernment, and increasing realisation that its only worth surrounding yourself with roses if you take time to smell them.

And I am comfortable with most of the shifts that are taking place in my head and even my body, I feel wiser and more happy with my place in the world and with myself generally and its all good. Mostly. Sometimes though, just sometimes, I see a young'un up on the rack with that thirst and that hunger for pain and sensation and everything and for a moment I miss it...

It's not gone entirely, of course. In fact I don't think that it has gone at all. I still want to learn things and experience as much as I can and travel and meet new people and throw myself into challenging situations and expand my boundaries and question everything but somehow the energy has shifted.

I'm not who or how I used to be, but most probably that is the point.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Academia Again

Something I have long suspected:

'Academics, who are sometimes critics, and often reviewers, are notorious fence-sitters, afraid of ridicule, afraid of risk, the risk and ridicule that the true writer faces every time she publishes. Unlike writers, academics draw a salary and this will be taken away from them if they back a wild horse. They do not back wild horses; they record the virtues of nags long past their prime.'

-- Winterson, Art Objects (191)

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Chintz dipped in mud...

'I do not think of art as Consolation. I think of it as Creation. I think of it as an energetic space that begets energetic space. Works of art do not reproduce themselves, they re-create themselves and have at the same time sufficient permanent power to create room for us, the dispossessed. In other words, art makes it possible to live in energetic space.
When I talk about creating emotion around the forbidden, I do not mean disgust around the well known. Forget the lowlife, tourist, squeaky clean middle-class bad boys who call their sex-depravity in blunt prose, fine writing. Forget the copycat girls who do not know then end of a dildo from a vacuum rod. They are only chintz dipped in mud and we are after real material. What is forbidden is scarier, sexier, unnightmared by the white-collar cataloguers of crap.'

--Winterson, Art Objects (114)


Monday, August 24, 2009

Odd Jobs

Somehow started thinking of all the things I had done for money in the past 20 or so years, and came up with this (probably partial) list:

Bakery assistant. Bank teller. Bum model for a girly magazine. Manager of a second-hand record store. IT geek at the Uni computer labs. Transcribing dialogue for a voice-recognition software company. Selling ugly, dodgy 'art'works of the Harbour at Circular Quay according to a pre-written script that involved the word 'pointellism' one to many times. Customer service at a home loans company. Market research cold calling (the pork surveys were always a favourite). Face to face market research interviewing. Coding surveys. Binding books at the Uni publishing service. Selling books at the Uni copy centre. Credit card call centre. Performance art.

Actually, most of it was performance art.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Art, And Lies

The other week Necortitties and I gave a lecture on queer art at the National Art School (for a predominately non-queer audience). It was a JOY to research and write up and discuss, and made me realise that maybe, just maybe, I can enjoy teaching somehow. And made me wonder (again) if perhaps I have been barking up the wrong tree, looking in the wrong places, in respects to my own academic work-- its the ART stuff that really grabs me, that makes me wet, that hardens me nipples and gets me wanting to read theory and to create beautiful objects. Writing as an artform, practice-led research, the materiality of words, art and alchemy, art and life, the texture of text...

But I digress. What I wanted to discuss here was some of the comments we got after the paper. We had given examples of some of our own performance pieces, mostly blood work, and naturally people were curious and so question time largely focussed on our process, the meaning of the pieces, the effect that making this work had on us and such. We answered as honestly as we could, and people seemed quite blown away at our frankness. I was surprised that they were surprised.

And this got me thinking about how being openly and brazenly queer contributed to my own answers. About how commonplace it has become for me to be fielding questions about how I live my life, my relationships, my kinks and such, about how the support of my community has given my the space and the strength in which to act upon and articulate my desires. About how I wasn't ashamed of anything I get up to, or who I get up to it with, and about how damned lucky I am to be where I am in the world. Blessed.

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Monster Dedication

Sometimes you make me feel like I'm living at the edge of the world,
'Its just the way I smile,' you said...

-- The Cure, 'Plainsong'

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Home Alone

Unless you count the loudly purring pussy, which of course one should.

The Monster is in Perth this week, whilst I try to write and work here in Sydney. There is LOTS to be done-- an art chapter draft due in a day or two, a proper seminar paper to be given next week... fortnightly deadlines until completion/submission of the beast... at a loss with some of it, quietly confident about other bits-- just not sure which is winning at the moment!

And a show to be reworked for Hellfire next month (the Queers will be invading-- be there!), another to be created for Wham Glam Thankyou M'aam the following week at the Rattler, an Inqui outfit to devise (boots mended and attended, and general questions of tiny dress? chaps skirt? leather hotpants? what to do with the tits? what to pack? leather jockstrap or frilly knickers?), and so much other stuff to be getting on with.

Much be gotten on with and much joy to be had, but damn I miss that Monster already. Sigh. Absence makes the parts grow fonder and all...


Monday, July 20, 2009

*Call for Submissions* Double Edge: The Intersection of Transgender and BDSM

This call is from Raven Kaldera- contact info below...

Call For Submissions:

Double Edge: The Intersection of Transgender and BDSM

I’m looking to interview transgendered perverts of all sorts for this book, over email if we can’t meet face to face. I’m looking for people who openly identify as transgendered in the BDSM communities they move in, and how that identity affects their partners and their activities. I’m looking for people who shapeshifted their bodies and transitioned their identities, and how that changed their BDSM relationships and fetishes. I’m looking for people who publicly hold third gender space in BDSM contexts, and how they interface with the demographic. I’m looking for transpeople in power exchange relationships who are willing to talk about how their perception of gender affects their perception of dominance and submission. I’m looking for FTMs and MTFs, fat and thin, old and young, all sorts. Those who end up with featured interviews will need to submit a photo of yourself, and yes, your face needs to be in it. Those who don’t submit photos will be quoted throughout the work, but not get featured interviews.

I'm looking for articulate people who are willing to write or speak thoughtfully about things, not just give me one-line answers.

I’m also open to hearing from partners of transfolk who contribute to this book.

I’m also looking for photos of transfolk doing kinky things, faces or no. The photos don’t have to be professional quality, they just have to show us as the sexy and passionate and creative people we are.

If you’re willing to contribute to this book, please email me at and put “Double Edge” in the caption and I'll send you the email questionnaire.


-Raven Kaldera

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Monday, July 06, 2009

BrisVegas as Blank Slate

its a pretty city to be true, and a touch warmer than we have it in Sodom, but the glorious Metropolis of Brisvegas continuously reminded of other places:

a particular hill near West End reminded me of a particular hill in Lund

parts of New Farm felt like San Francisco

the skyneedle harked back to Berlin

the river made me think of Perth

the botanical gardens seemed like Sydney, or maybe Melbourne, and one gateway made me think of Central Park

and there were numerous sightings of Auckland and London

it was like wandering through a dream, all mixed up, snippets of here and there and everywhere...



In Brisvegas last week for a Mother and History conference. Go out foraging for food the first night, hear chanting, look around: Pro-Abortion march going by. Not totally incongruous of course, and I don't think the two were related, but still made us smile.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Anniversary Baby

In just a few days, it will be a WHOLE YEAR since the Monster and I shacked up. Two cities, house renovation, thesis angst and still going strong.