distinctly not sunshine & lollipops atm

zine: Chips III: A Tale of Lust (creator not specified) $3 AUD from Sticky Institute

drink: Sunshine & Rainbows Tahitian Lime (3.8%, 375mL can) by Boatrocker Brewing Co. (Braeside, VIC)

music: The Prepared Piano by Hauschka (it’ll become obvious why I chose this…)

This might be the first time I’ve posted since the new year, which is BAD. I’ve deliberately set myself the goal of only doing these once a fortnight, but I got a lot of work over the 2018-9 festive season, and moved house, and seem to constantly be plagued by panic attacks…it’s been happening for the last month or so. When driving, when practising piano, when waking up, when showering. There doesn’t seem to be much behind why. I got desperate enough that not only have I been on my psych’s waiting list for a month (earliest appointment was early March), I actually called my parents to ask for their advice (which didn’t really help, sigh).

But focus on today, the now. It was the first time in a while where I cooked (had a panic attack while doing it), read heaps (forced my brain to comprehend words), tried to work on a bunch of overdue reviews (that hasn’t been happening thanks to the awful stuff in the media at the moment in which we learn that Catholicism is indeed evil, no surprise there). And yes, I’ve cheated for this and am reviewing a super-short zine.

Chips III: A Tale of Lust is most definitely not safe for work, but it is hilarious (coincidentally, at work this week, I set a writing exercise where we wrote about birds arguing over a chip in the park! It sounds like something they’d do!). Two bird-men sit on a couch and eat chips and lust after pictures of women or something (token ‘straight people are weird’ comment: here). I think if I were a bird, I’d be most likely lusting after chips? They’re pretty bloody delicious.

If you’re reading this on Patreon, then you should be viewing a photo of my beer notes in a Field Notes notebook, with a handmade beer reviewing stamp (decorated with a Pilot Frixion beer stein one!) right about now.

So…the beer, it is like drinking fizzy, wonderfully flavoured water. I picked this one to drink tonight purely on its cheer-up can graphics. The lime is really lovely; it really does smell like the kind of lime note you’d expect in a bespoke or niche fragrance – super-floral for lime or citrus, rather than zesty or tart as the can notes say.

The piano belongs to the old housemate whose room I took, and I’ve been practising on it while waiting for tea to brew or for the kettle to boil! It’s kind of hilarious when you’re playing beautiful Bach chord progressions on a horrendously out-of-tune piano, but beggars…choosers etc.

spoiler: there’s nothing about cellos

There were loads of things I intended to do today, but I got caught in reediting/reformatting a work-in-progress Dantean circle of hell. Hardly surprising…often (personal experience with poems over prose) a supposedly ‘final draft/version’ of something will still nag, and I’ll stupidly believe that I can fix it.

With poems, you have to make a decision at some stage to actually stop. Maybe it’s like social drinking? You know how much is going to hurt you the morning after, but that doesn’t always mean you stop…

zine: Play My Cello issue 1 by Astrid (2011)

drink: Tangerine Dream Altocumulus dry hopped tangerine Berliner weisse (4.4% ABV, 355mL can) by Sailors Grave Brewing (Orbost, VIC)

music: Insen by alva noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto

As a result of fretting over another hardcore edit, it’s a tad difficult to wind down. I tried watching The Mighty Boosh but its ridiculous racist/transphobic jokes and appropriation bug me so much, and it makes me feel like a killjoy. Yeah yeah, I know it’s a cult classic and all, and it’s different today, but for fuck’s sake, they do blackface. I started watching London Spy which so far, is fucking fantastic and tantalisingly slow but also makes me wish someone could do a Merthur fanfic crossover/rewrite (yeah, sorry, I’m sad and have no life).

Anyway, the zine. The creator has the most beautiful, uniform capital letter handwriting ever. I mean it! How on earth did they get it to be like that?! There’s a few photos and collages, but the zine is mainly made up of vignettes about life or life-like imaginings with photos. There’s also a double-page chart with comprehensive cider reviews! It just comes out of nowhere, yea!

It’s probably no secret by now (especially if you’ve ever read my Froth reviews) that I loooooove Sailors Grave beer. They do so much weird, wonderful shit. I’ve this one before. The can notes say it’s dry hopped with Amarillo and Cascade hops, and has tangerines and cumquats. It’s also given me a delightful buzz (yes, seriously, just from the one can?!)

As I try to wind down, I put on a gorgeous minimal techno album I’ve been listening to a little this week as noted above. I’ve used it as one of my ‘sleep’ albums…it’s perfect late-night lone listening. My only complaint is that it’s too short…I kind of want it to be a 3-hour set and lull me to sleep. I love glitchy music, and am so ready to blissfully crash now thanks to the beer, so maybe it’s okay.

late night tea and reflective reading

zine: Smut  ‘Day Dreamer’ issue 4

drink: Afternoon Australian Grey (Ceylon, bergamot, and Aus. lemon myrtle) by Madame Flavour

Wow, today was a very good day. I’m currently working on a commission, and today, I was adamant that I had to get the damn thing done so that I could print it out on paper (don’t judge me!), and finally call it finished. It’s been a work-in-progress for quite some time, and one I’ve agonised over in several drafts. It morphed a lot in those drafts.

Tonight, I deliberately picked up a super-short zine for the daily read, as a result of my brain being mush thanks to editing, Trying to read this zine after watching Thor: The Dark World (is it odd that I find superhero films boring? not counting Black Panther because that was fucking rad, you know it) to wind down still meant a shift back into poet-as-reader mode! And no music – just comforting late-night outdoor ambient noise. Is it weird to hear trains so near but find their sound reassuring?

Tea, time for tea.* It’s also been a while since I did a non-alcoholic post, and today has Melbourne in glorious cool change mode. This Australian take on Earl Grey I’m drinking is so damn fragrant. I’ve had it in my pantry for a while and the scent it leaves lingering is heavenly, and distinctive (the lemon myrtle).

Online hunting has revealed that Smut is a microfiction and poetry zine from Melbourne, and the ‘Day Dreamer’ issue is the latest one. Each contribution is numbered and has a reproduction of what look like vintage photos (of very white people…). My favourite ones were the very amusing one about a dog burning shared memories and recollections with a human onto CDs, and a poem about a sinister dream, blood, and reproduction (which, if you read yesterday’s entry, you’ll know has been on my mind very recently!)

The zine ends with a single word on its last page – ‘dream’ – another topic that’s been preoccupying me lately. I’ve been rewatching The Fall and one of the main characters, Stella Gibson, keeps a dream journal. I used to do something similar when I was on medication that on certain doses, gave me the most vivid, violent or downright ridiculous dreams (though sometimes it’s not the meds, it’s past trauma stuff). It’s funny because as a kid, I never had nightmares (probably because I found it so hard to sleep!). I’ve had a lot as a grown-up.

Venlafaxine in particular on high doses is notorious for night terrors, nightmares (that wake up everyone else in your abode but you), and sleep paralysis. Quetiapine just makes me you dopey as fuck, so the dreams tend to be good-weird and rambling. Zolpidem can give you even weirder dreams: it never gives me nice ones, they’re always regret-laden ones that make me feel sad and lonely upon waking. This is why it’s good to have a cat. My old cat Wolfie, was a fantastic grump and nightmare vanguard, and my cat now Fance is a huggy cat who’ll let me snuggle her like a soft toy (under quilt and all! if she’s not sleeping on my hair!) who’ll sneak out from under my arm when I’m just about to fall asleep again.

Sorry, not a fun note to finish on, despite feeling a really good kind of tired. The Bengal kitty I’m looking after likes me again (she’s been napping as I’ve been working my arse off today), and I’ve got another cup of tea to attend to that may have been left to brew for a wonderful-but-socially-unacceptable time…g’night.

*Nope, tea doesn’t keep me awake. I also find it comforting to have hot drinks before bed. Coffee is the drink that mess up my ability to sleep, upset my tummy, make me shake lots. It clashes a fair bit with my day med unless I’ve eaten shitloads. Boooo.