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[12 May 2006|12:05am]
A year and a day between updates. It's almost poetic.

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So here we are again... one last time [12 May 2006|12:04am]
[ mood | tired ]

Tattslotto: Life can be a dream sha boom

Tattslotto, the weekly ritual that embitters people around Australia. You know the type if you have ever worked at a newsagent, or partake in the many guises of organised gambling staggered throughout the week. The phrase ‘bright-eyed and bushy tailed’ comes to mind as they approach the counter, staring up at you with hopeful eyes, the circumference of a saucer, stumbling through their words, trying to pretend they know what they’re doing. They grope into their purse, wallet or pocket to present their offering as if they had just walked on water. You take their money impassively, they seem crestfallen you cannot share their enthusiasm. They leave the shop, mentally spending their newly acquired millions of dollars. For those fifteen to forty seconds, you are the most important person in their world. It’s a lot of responsibility being the person who can make all of their dreams and fantasies come true.
Most customers are polite, but some are too friendly. Over Christmas, a perpetually cheerful septuagenarian grabbed my arse, and mock kissed my cheek, then wished me a flirtatious happy Christmas. If she was half a century younger, I wouldn’t be emotionally scarred, but now I make it a point to be behind the counter whenever she comes in. Luckily, she would break a hip if she pole vaulted the counter to get another grope. She is the type who would look down your cleavage, pretending to rummage through her wallet when you look up, if gender roles were reversed.
You can tell the seasoned veterans from the newbie’s. When one person wins the jackpot, they cynically shake their head and mutter ‘fuckers,’ and you echo their words, commiserating with them; ‘fuckers…’
Then there are the honest customers. The brutally honest ones who say too much when you ask how they are. Mrs. Weigela told me how her daughter has, just yesterday, been diagnosed with an inoperable lymphatic cancer, and how her grandson died in a surfing accident a few weeks ago. She asked my age, and when I answered, wondered aloud what he would have been like at twenty. They say it comes in threes, and you hope for their sake number three isn’t as bad as numbers one and two. I can’t help but think of the line from Fight Cub when these customers come in; ‘strangers with this kind of honesty make me go a big rubbery one.’ We avoid each other now, Mrs. Weigela and I. We both understand an unarticulated rule of interpersonal communication has been transgressed.
There is, of course, the inevitable urge to pretend a customer has won millions of dollars. It could probably get you fired, if not clobbered, but sometimes when you’re really really bored, you wonder what if? What if I told this struggling mother of twelve, that she has just won sixteen gajillion million dollars? Would she feel better? At least for a few moments? Or would she start to worry about how the money would change her kids, make her friends and family so jealous they would not be able to stand her presence. Would she worry her kids will grow up snobbish, spoilt and ostracised from family and former friends, due to colossal wealth and disfiguring snooty up-turned noses. Or would she just thump me over the head with a stale baguette which, unfortunately for me, has the pliancy of a lead pipe. Lying on the floor in a pool of blood and bread crumbs, I wonder, would people be happier having real or imagined wealth?
‘Can I interest you in trying a syndicate?’ The words that fill every seasoned Tattslotto customer with dread. Now, I get enough of explaining what a syndicate is, suffice it to say, it’s about as useful in winning the lottery as cross eyes in a staring contest. A story did the rounds about a man who won first division in a Twenty-Two million dollar Superdraw with a syndicate. He only got five-hundred bucks. The big people at Tattslotto don’t want me to tell you, but it’s true.
‘How to extricate myself from this… politely;’ the customer wonders, but if you’re any good at selling people things they don’t want, things they don’t need, you know that to give a customer time to think, will kill the deal.
• Rule no. 1: Never let customers think for themselves.
Just keep talking until they agree. If they happen to be a wily bastard, or bastard-ess, you will need the standard issue silver tongue (available by order from Tattslotto HQ). One size fits all.
• Rule no. 2: Always anticipate what a customer will say, and have a quip, preferably devilishly witty, to counter their every argument.
Trying to sell a syndicate is very similar to being in a 1930s Hollywood duel. Think of yourself as Errol Flynn, the dashing rogue, clashing swords with the archetypal dark-haired, scowling villain. Parry and thrust, counter their thrust, move back and forward, through the myriad staircases, and court rooms of the castle or other such lair of the wicked, and finally sink the Syndicate Sword into their flesh. Maybe I’m just having fantasies about sword-fighting customers… but really, anything to break the monotony.
• Rule no. 3: Never mention a deal-breaker until you have their money. A deal-breaker can be anything from having to come back to this shop to collect any winnings to it only being a regular prize pool that night.
Deal-breakers are only to be added on as a polite addendum. Pretend you forgot, and oh, just that moment you recalled; what a silly person you are.
Sometimes you wish a customer would just tell you to fuck off and die when you ask them if they want to buy a syndicate, just to save the exasperatingly fake tête-à-tête. It helps to think of it as a shotgun effect, for every thirty people you hassle, one naïve soul agrees.
Tattslotto Lines can be dangerous places for the uninitiated customer. One dismal Thursday night in September, a tussle broke out between two immense men which distinctly resembled the running of the bulls. The crowd parted, like the proverbial red sea, to let the behemoths duke it out. Just for some excitement, you catch yourself hoping these two men will beat the living hell out of each other. With bated breath you wait, and you’re not the only one. Other customers look on in barely suppressed glee. You can’t help but hope those ten thousand years of civilisation hasn’t destroyed the ferocious animal instinct and your entertainment. A collective ‘Awwwh!’ is exhaled by the crowd as unfortunately, the two rotund gladiators manage to avoid physical blows, except for the odd jowl rippling shove.
The inevitable catch phrase of the service industry pops out of your mouth, like a piece of embarrassing, half-eaten food, trailing your shame in its crumby wake. ‘Would you like a bag?’ ‘Would you like anything else?’ You utter them fifty thousand times a day often twice, or thrice to the same customer, while they look on in an uneasy confused apprehension, wondering what other verbal diarrhoea is going to come streaming from your mouth. OhmygoddidIjustsaythatagain? I am suuuucccch a fuckwit. When you get home, you catch yourself asking your cat if he would like anything else after his Whiskas. Almost that time, thinks the cat. If only he’d ask, so I could have a bowl of milk.
My greatest fear is instead of asking, ‘Do you have a Tatts card?’ I ask, ‘Do you have a tits card?’ Time would stop at that moment. People in the street would stare at you, their jaw dangling by its sinews. The particularly well endowed woman would probably hit you. The overweight man definitely would. I hope that day never comes, but I’ve been close.
Those once enthusiastic people have become bitter with their constant losing. The dad who still spends a hundred dollars a week on Tattslotto, and never wins more than twenty dollars, and obviously can’t afford it. The stuttering woman whose boyfriend you want an asteroid to hit because she always comes in with black-eye concealing sunglasses. The Chinese house renovator perpetually covered in beige paint, who looks so desperate for cash he’d sell a kidney on the black market. Is that why he always has one less child with him… One of the manifold pensioners who flock in every pension cheque day and cringe when you tell them the damage. Of course there are the customers you pray don’t win and when they do they say, “Oh it’s better than a kick in the face/shin/arse;” but you want to help them make absolutely sure.
After selling Tattslotto for almost a year, you start to wonder if you’re any better than a drug dealer. Psychologically, what can be more addicting than Tattslotto? Once it has its claws into you, you can’t help but buy a ticket every week. What if this week is my week? What if this week my numbers come up? Sorry to be a downer, but you have more chance of winning Tattslotto than getting struck by lightning, twice, mid-way to the ocean in your spiralling out of control alien spaceship. I’ve shared sober moments with people who’ve been playing the same numbers since Saturday Tattslotto started thirty years ago, and never won more than third division. If they hadn’t spent so much money in the pursuit of riches, they probably would have found it already. Tattslotto is proof there exists an indefatigable trend toward optimism in humanity, which stands against all reason.
Come to think of it, I have an allegory for you. Scary-eyes Rod Banfai, a regular customer named for his most obvious feature buys a syndicate every week. The week he decided to stop forever, the syndicate won second division in a Superdraw. Every person in the syndicate was five thousand dollars richer that night. Except Scary-eyes. You don’t want to be like Scary-eyes Rod, do you?

(8 | Comments/Complaints)

The busy bee has no time for sorrow... [11 Apr 2005|08:14pm]
[ mood | busy ]

In trying to keep this going (and I realise I haven't posted anything for something like 5 or 6 months) this is a story I did for writing. It's not exactly polished or finished but I'll get around to it eventually. I've rediscovered my love of writing soooo yeah, hopefully I won't suck at it as I usually do. Such tripe. Its based on that whole typhoid/AIDS Mary urban myth thing. I couldn't think of a true myth I wanted to base my story upon and felt like doing something more original. So yeah. I dunno how it's going to translate into a script though. Birgitta made alot of good points about that though. She said "I found it to be nausiatng but in the very best way of wanting to keep reading something secret that you can't quite swallow (this is an absolute compliment to your creativity)." That was one part I found most amusing lol. I'll try and take nausiating in the good way that it's meant.

I suppose you could say this all started when I was twenty. I was a fool, I had lost myself in the arms of a man and when he left, who I thought I was left with him. I felt powerless as I read the note he had left on the fridge. He simply said we weren’t right. Until then, I thought I made all the right decisions in life. I stayed away from drugs, rarely drank, and believed the physical expression of love should only be shared when one is in love. I was crushed when he left, and despised my choices. My sporadic drinking gradually became it’s more frequent cousin, alcoholism, as I sunk into the numbing, murky depths of depression with all hands on board, like a ship capsized by an Atlantic swirl.

I drifted steadily lower in my mind and in my actions until one dim night. After six scotches, three beers and four shots of tequila, the suggestion of the man next to me seemed like a fantastic idea. There was no reason to slur my typical “I’m sorry, I’m not interested,” and sweetly smile as I stumbled away. In my mind, I had already been rejected by the only person who mattered. So I consented as he helped me into a taxi and the gaudy world around us spun like a carnival ride.

When I awoke the next morning I found myself in my bed, alone, except for the dull throb carving my head like a Christmas dinner. For a few dazzling moments I wondered how I got there, gazing around the familiar room as a newborn baby gazes at it’s mother, and then the realisation hit me with all the self loathing one feels after a horrible drunken mistake. I rolled to the edge of the bed and placed my two trembling feet on the beige carpet. I stared in nervous panic as I contemplated what my life had become. Looking at my clothes thrown carelessly around my room I prayed for the oblivion I didn’t find in the bottle for the thousandth time since he left.

I stumbled into the bathroom, and stared at the mirror in mute horror. I’ll never forget what it said, what was written there is seared into my brain in my most brilliant red lipstick. ‘Good morning beautiful. Because of our lovely tryst last night you now have HIV. I did not do this to you, I did this to life. Because I cannot create life, I will create death. Consider this your initiation.’

I took my face in my hands and silently sobbed. I wanted to tear my eyes out. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. When my room-mate came home and discovered me, weeping on the bathroom floor, she held me, cooed and asked what was wrong. When I got the self control to point my shaking finger to the mirror opposite, she thrust herself away from me with a distancing lie about scheduling an appointment to see if it was not all a sick joke.

As the weeks passed, I found that she was not the only one who began to avoid me. After their initial shock and consoling actions, friends and family stopped visiting. I found it more difficult to reach them by phone. My room-mate moved out one morning while I was still asleep, leaving an apologetic letter declaring she couldn’t stand my constant crying late at night. One finds the people that truly care in times of personal tragedy. When they saw the empty husk of the person I once was, with continuously swollen cheeks, red eyes, faltering words and a nervous tremble that persisted for hours, the people who loved me could not bear to be in my presence. I saw this as a rejection. I felt less rejected when he first told me he was leaving me. Even he visited me in my seclusion and couldn’t force himself to stay for fifteen minutes.

I found myself falling into a pattern of mute bewilderment after the results came back positive. I did not know what to do with myself, so I did nothing. Two years passed as I wallowed in my apartment. My family paid my living expenses and the bills of my medical tests while I lost the job I had loved, and failed University for lack of attendance.

I had dearly departed from life. Until one day, I became angry as I drained the third bottle of scotch that week. At the time I did not know at what, but I was immediately consumed by fury as I threw the bottle at the wall and it shattered in a supernova of glass and amber liquid. I breathed heavily, animalistically, as I tore threw my apartment, over turning tables and chairs, kicking piles of clothes and striking my possessions remorselessly. When I put my fist through the face of him in a delicate picture frame enshrined next to my bed, the pain and blood cooled my rage. As I bandaged my hand and surveyed the damage, I wondered what had possessed me. I concluded, days later, I was not angry with him, or with the man who did this to me, but at life. I was jealous of life. I was jealous of the future everyone except me had. I wanted to assign blame. I wanted to destroy my life. I wanted to destroy the silent horror of life.

Ironic isn’t it? I became the man I hated most. I began to do exactly what he did, leaving his cruel spiel behind with my scent and my memory. I had to tell this to you. I always tell this to men I intend to sleep with. Some say no, some drunkenly laugh at me and call me a lying bitch. The men who are searching for oblivion, like me, are the ones who say yes.

(3 | Comments/Complaints)

[13 Oct 2004|10:46pm]
[ mood | bouncy ]

I am in such a bouncy mood and I dunno why lol. I'm actually rather tired. It might be cause I had 2 dinners, hmm. Anyway! Writing today was actually rather fun. I'm totally with Kate on the awesomeicity of the discovery of a glossary in the grammar book. Rock on glossary. Glossarys (or is it ies?) rock my world baby, yeah. I just have this strange inability to remember what any of the terms mean, even down to verbs and adverbs and nouns and junk like that. Thats pretty pathetic considering I'm a writing student and all. I can usually just feel when a sentence is right or wrong though. Oh well. I just need to study more for it. I should study less for stuff I know and seem to have a passion for and more for stuff I don't. Yeah, I'll admit it, grammar just doesn't float my boat, darn grammar. I just read Kates update thingamabob and I'm in total agreement bout missing Jenny! Damn it. I hate leaving teachers and stuff. Kate said she doesn't teach second year either so waaaaah. But she also said they have get togethers for writing people so that shall be good I guess. Oh well. I'm just dreading getting a tutor that isn't the nice understanding type. I never really get along with tutors who aren't so it's great to have ones like Jenny and Ali. I think I'm going to try my hand at song writing. I dunno, I just feel like it. I'm looking forward to the holidays actually because I'll have so much lovely time to read and write stories and write whatever. I'm excited bout it all. I have so much on I probably won't even bother to get a real job and just do crazy random things that come up, and they always do. Oh well, I'd better be off to bed.

(4 | Comments/Complaints)

The longest kiss ever with 2 blocked noses [06 Oct 2004|08:11pm]
[ mood | exhausted ]

Writing was alright today. We didn't have to do the dreaded grammar and instead went for a wander to buy Verandah. Jenny also got us to do this exercise so I'm going to stick it in here because it amused me at the time.

The longest kiss ever, in which both participants had blocked noses, occurred in Amsterdamn, The Netherlands, on april fools day 1996. Robert and Laura were two australians that had started drinking at the Munich Oktoberfest and never looked back. They started to get red after 30 seconds. At a minute Laura was blue and Robert was verging on crimson. At a minute and a half, their eyes began to bulge. At 2 minutes Laura was blue all over and Robert was turning purple. At 2 and a half minutes Robert and Laura looked rather dazed and confused. At 3 minutes the burly German, Klaus, let go of their heads and Robert and Laura hit the floor.

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This is my Dracula thing, make of it what you will [06 Oct 2004|08:07pm]
The Dracula story is often interpreted as using sexual metaphors. Write a comparative study of Bram Stoker’s novel in which you analyse the sexual implications.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a novel of manifold sexual implications. Stoker uses the median of Count Dracula to catalyse resistance in the moral characters, who promulgate his ideology, regarding the ‘New Woman,’ sexual liberalness and morally decadent behaviour. Fellatio, cunnilingus, masturbation, incest, homosexuality and rape are sexual devices employed by Stoker to disgust the reader, and in turn Dracula comments upon them through subversive language and characterisation. The fact that Dracula is not human- a vampire- and therefore dead, connotes his behaviours are malign and therefore, repulsive to humans. Stoker uses Dracula as a literary device to comment upon sexual behaviour. “Dracula’s threat is his polymorphousness, both literally, in the shapes he assumes, and symbolically in terms of the distinctions he upsets.” Dracula is engineered by Stoker to upset traditional sexual ideals, by being constructed as the antithesis to what sexuality was supposed to be in the Victorian era.
Masturbation is implied through insinuation, during the novel in many guises. One of the first things mentioned about the Count is that “there were hairs in the centre of his palm.” This is one of the earliest superstitions regarding masturbation. “On the bed beside the window lay Jonathon Harker, his face flushed, and breathing heavily, as though in a stupor.” Stoker’s choice of language implies Jonathon could be either masturbating or fantasising, or both, during the scene in which Dracula is forcibly taking Mina. Moreover, as Gelder states, “The ‘thin open wound’ on Dracula’s chest suggests a cut or slit similar to the vaginal orifice- a means of bringing Mina into contact with her own sexual cycle.” This gives credence to the argument that Stoker is using Dracula as a symbol to signify the act of masturbation for both sexes during this scene.
In the gothic genre, blood is synonymous with semen. As a drinker and propagator of blood, Count Dracula can therefore be seen as a purveyor of semen. It is also stated Dracula came to London to ‘spread his seed;’ which is a euphemism for semen. Also, Mina states, in her account of Dracula’s visit, “I must either suffocate or swallow some of the- Oh, my god, my god, what have I done.” This act can be read as fellatio; in turn the allusion is that the blood is semen. As Gelder states, “At the point of swallowing, Mina is unable to say the word ‘blood’- or rather, she allows the fluid at this moment to be appropriately unrepresented, making the space for it’s reading as semen.” The battle to save Lucy from the ‘vampiric seed’ of Dracula, further links blood to semen. The fluid of Dracula has a “shifting and amorous shape [that] is threatening because it has no singular or stable nature or identity. Meanings, identities, and proper family boundaries are utterly transgressed in the movements of vampiric desire and energy.” In opposition to this foreign, transgressive seed contaminating that which belongs to them, the ‘Crew of Light’ attempts to ‘save’ Lucy with regular transfusions of their moral, healthy and Western blood. This juxtaposition- using Lucy as the vessel- of Western, pure and mortal blood, to that of foreign, vampiric, maleficent blood, connotes the semen, and therefore the foreign ‘seed,’ is corrupting the West. Fear of the Eastern seed which defiled pure Britain was an immense fear in the era. Arthur’s observation that “with his blood inside Lucy’s body- she was truly his bride,” demonstrates the transfusions are in fact sexual. Lucy is being used as an ark to mix the bodily fluids of Arthur, Quincy, Van Helsing and Dr. Seward; which likens the blood to semen, as well as homosexuality. Through their transfusions of blood/semen, the ‘Crew of Light’ have collectively claimed and consummated a marriage with Lucy. Van Helsing makes this clear when he states, “Then this sweet maid is a polydandrist… [and] even I, who am faithful to this now no-wife, am bigamist.”
It can also be argued that incestuous desire is commented upon in Dracula. In the scene involving the three vampire women, a Freudian reading places the golden-haired and sapphire-eyed vampire woman as Jonathon’s mother. Jonathon feels he recognises her; “I seemed somehow to know her face… but I could not recollect at the moment how or where.” This recognition of the seductive and sexually aggressive vampire, though she still remains in a sexually submissive position, connotes that Jonathon desires his mother; the Oedipal complex. The lines, “some longing and at the same time a deadly fear,” and “I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire” imply Jonathon knows it’s morally wrong to feel such desire, but he wants it regardless. Jonathon is usurping the father figure (Dracula) to consummate an incestuous relationship with the mother, (the blonde, blue-eyed vampire woman). Jonathon states that, “the Counts warning came into my mind but I took a pleasure in disobeying it.” This sentence firstly playfully places Jonathon as the giddy son, about to do his father wrong by taking that which belongs to him, and secondly places Dracula in an authoritive, patriarchal position which gives credibility to the Oedipal paradigm. This reading is given further credence by the Count resembling a father figure, who, upon discovering this incestuous relationship becomes the figure of morality, and stops it.
As there are two main vampires in this scene, both the mother and father roles are filled. “The vampire may return as the father, evoking fear, or as the mother in which case desire is evoked.” However, as Gelder states, “both emotional attitudes may be projected simultaneously onto the vampire who then represents father and mother together.” Essentially, Jonathon is about to commit a homosexual act, however incestuously undertoned, with Dracula; who has previously been placed in a dominant, patriarchal and therefore male role. Surreptitiously, through the medium of the vampire woman, Jonathon and Dracula are acting out homosexual fantasies, through the sharing of blood, which in the gothic genre represents semen. Dracula’s admonition that “This man belongs to me!” and his gentle declaration, “Yes, I too can love,” said in a “soft whisper” while gazing at Jonathon “attentively,” connotes homosexual desire. Furthermore, Dracula is placed as masculine, by the aggressive first statement, and as feminine through the affectionate second statement; both of which further connote homosexuality. In this context, Jonathon’s casual, almost comically relieved, statement that “the habit of entering accurately must help to soothe me,” serves to reassert traditional beliefs in the immorality of homosexuality and, as it preempts the homosexual scene by several pages, warns the reader of the coming risqué scene. Gelder states that “Dracula is the catalyst which awakens women’s desire.” However, in this instance Dracula is awakening men’s desire. This places Dracula in the role of sexual liberator for repressed homoerotic tendencies, and Jonathon as the sexually liberated male.
The three vampire women are the most sexually blatant in Dracula, as they attempt to seduce, which is sexual, as well as feast upon Jonathon, which is animalistic. By linking sex and animalistic behavior through, “there was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal,” Stoker is alienating female liberal sex and placing those who partake in it firmly as ‘the other.’ He is also inadvertently commenting upon a male fear of female sexuality. As Botting states, “the female vampires in Dracula display the effects of desire and horror attendant on the dangerous doubleness of sexuality.” The most obvious evidence is the fact that the women who enjoy sex are, or become, vampires; they are dead. Lucy becomes a vampire due to her lust, and is “presented as a ‘Thing’ just before the band of men symbolically subject her to phallic law by driving a stake through her heart and decapitating her,” in a scene which can be polysemically read as heterosexual sex, the male interpretation of the female orgasm or the gang-rape and murder of a woman. This distinction between dead women who have sex for pleasure, and live women who have sex to procreate, is intended to create a deliberate and fundamental disgust in the reader for sexually liberated women, through synonymy with death and decay. This is symbolically shown by Lucy taking life from children, rather than giving it to them. The three vampire women are destroyed by Van Helsing (an old man) for their vampirism, and Lucy is ‘saved’ by Arthur (an aristocrat); thus traditionalism morally punishes sexually liberal females.
In one of the condensed sexual scenes in the novel, Mina is implicated in immoral sexual acts. Jonathon is said to be “in a stupor such as we know a vampire can produce,” but as Weissman notes, Van Helsing “does not say which vampire produced this stupor;” as Mina is in the process of becoming a vampire. A conclusion is that Jonathon and Mina have just had sex, and after exhausting Jonathon to the point of an unconscious stupor, Mina is still not satisfied. When the Count enters and aggressively takes her, Mina was at first “bewildered, and [then] strangely enough… did not want to hinder him.” This implies Mina desired the sexual advances of Dracula. It can also be argued that Dracula takes on a fatherly role in this scene, which is the explanation to Mina’s acquiesce. He chastises her throughout in a slightly patronising manner, and wishes to punish her for transgressions against him; “But as yet you are to be punished for what you have done.” This likens the scene, and the Dracula/Mina interrelationship to the Elektra complex; the female version of the Oedipus complex. As Modleski states, “The young girls ‘Oedipal wish’ [is] to have the father completely to herself.” Mina is shocked by Dracula, then recognises him as a father figure, and in turn desires his attention, accepting it through sexual advances. Further evidence of the sexual implications in this scene, is the fellatio/cunnilingus dichotomy. “The attitude of the two had a terrible resemblance to a child forcing a kitten’s nose into a saucer of milk.” The act of Mina extracting blood, related to semen, through an orifice in Dracula’s chest, connotes fellatio; due to the fluid, and cunnilingus; due to the shape of the orifice. The obvious differences between these separate sexual acts, but the collapsing of both into one, merge the sexes into the embodiment of feminine and masculine- the hermaphroditical Dracula; and uses him as a metaphor to comment upon both sexual acts. Stoker’s intentions can be seen in the different interpretations of the scene. That Dracula “gripped her by the back of the neck, forcing her face down,” connotes a traditionally aggressive, masculine definition of sex. In opposition to this, the Count “tenderly and lovingly stroked the ruffled hair,” which implies a traditionally gentle, feminine perception of sex.
Enjoying a sex-like act with Count Dracula, Mina has become less pure, shown by her wearing a white dress which connotes virginity. The fact that “Her white night dress was smeared with blood,” is evidence she has lost her virginity, or purity, in the sex act. Losing her purity in the eyes of God, Mina has become unclean. As a symbol of this, Mina was accidentally disfigured by Van Helsing with a piece of the sacred wafer. The mark upon her forehead links her to Dracula, through the scar Jonathon gave him when he struck him in Dracula’s tomb with a shovel. Evidence of a further connotation of the mark, is found in Mina’s exclamation of, “Unclean! Unclean! Even the Almighty shuns my polluted Flesh! I must bear this mark of shame upon my forehead until the Judgment Day!” Dracula and Mina have been marked by shame upon their foreheads, an image which alludes to the biblical mark of Cain. “And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.” The mark places Dracula and Mina as Cain through a sexual act removed from marriage and therefore removed from God; shown by Dracula’s statement that Mina is “Now to me flesh of my flesh; blood of my blood; kin of my kin.” Therefore, the position of a resurrected Abel is taken by Jonathon, who in an intrinsically biblical set of events, kills Dracula, his brother in the eyes of God, who as Cain killed him; “but, on that instant came the sweep and flash of Jonathon’s great knife. I shrieked as I saw it shear through the throat.” The mark of Cain places the bearer as a “fugitive and vagabond of the earth,” which relates to much of what is said of Dracula, but furthermore “whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken upon him sevenfold.” It is put forward that Jonathon has the right to kill Dracula due to evil enacted upon his wife (which can be shown as his property in the Victorian sense of marriage); through Dracula’s forced sexual encounter and her subsequent metaphorical de-flowering. Through the medium of sexually transgressive behaviour, the ultimate authority is given to Jonathon by Stoker; the authority of God-sanctioned revenge for a biblical evil. This retribution is sanctioned by the utter immorality of sexually explicit acts. Therefore, the connotation that lends the most credence to the Abel/Cain paradigm being used as a median to emphasise punishment for sexual immorality, is Jonathon’s retribution of evil done upon him,-both in present day times and in biblical pre-history- when he slays Count Dracula.
Count Dracula is the embodiment of what was deemed to be depraved sexual behaviour in Victorian times. Dracula is implicated in homosexuality, masturbation, both female and male oral sex, incest and rape. However, he does not take on a life of his own as a character because he is constantly being used as the median to discuss sexual immorality. “In the face of the voluptuous and violent sexuality loosed by the decadently licentious vampire, a vigorous sense of patriarchal, bourgeois, and family values is restored.” The novel is a forum to discuss sexual acts, shown to be immoral by the utter carnal lasciviousness of the vampire, the Undead –a median for depravity, and provide an ultimate, God-sanctioned verdict to suppress them, by the moral living.

(10 | Comments/Complaints)

[04 Oct 2004|07:58pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

So yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, in goes the story. I handed it in today and felt a fair amount of dread at the moment. I don't think it was actually too bad... but Sandy didn't really like it and I think it made Jeni laugh. But then again the people in my writing tute seemed to like it from the feedback and Jenny said it was good when I sent it to her and Kate liked it alot. Hum. Even mum said it was ok and I could "make my living as a writer." I pointed out fiction writers don't make money anymore. It's all 'true stories' like the Da Vinci code. Man I need to just write a big fat blob of fiction and call it truth and see the money roll in. So yeah anyway I may just post the finished version of the story or something, or I may not. I sort of wanna post my lit essay cause I wuvvies it to pieces and I'm rather proud of it. Call me arrogant but I am.

(7 | Comments/Complaints)

Hmmm [02 Oct 2004|09:24pm]
[ mood | working ]

Everyone help me decide a title to my story. And Jeni don't laugh at them please :) It's either "The Apotheosis of Apocalypse," or The Antithesis of Apocalypse." Both sound pretty lame I know but I can't think of anything and I need to choose a title or I lose marks. So votes!

(5 | Comments/Complaints)

My story thingy [28 Sep 2004|11:03pm]
[ mood | sleepy ]

So this is that story thing for writing. I'm not too pleased with it now that I've read through it but oh well, what can ya do. I'm gonna e-mail it to Jenny and see what she says bout improving it though and I'm gonna see bout that myself. Anyone whose interested, feel free to have a read and waste 8 or so minutes.

‘Ok son, tell us how it all happened out there,’ I said.
The boy gulped down another mouthful of cold, bland tea and I looked down into the pock marked moon-scape of a face; his frightened blue eyes gazing back. ‘Well sir, it-it’s all still really hazy.’
I groaned and walked around the chair the boy was sitting on, circling him as if he were the sole survivor of a doomed ship and I was a ravenous shark. I made eye contact with him and closed further in upon him, his round face taking up the small interview room, his blue eyes becoming ice-cold. My manner deliberately changed and I patted the boy’s shoulder reassuringly. ‘I know Maurice, but try and remember.’
He looked down at the top of the table and paused. Letting out a deep breath, he stammered, ‘Well, I- I was in my room doin’ nothin,’ nothin’ is all. Just listening to some records and it got late so I think I fell asleep and-.’
‘Now Maurice,’ I began, ‘we found six grams of psilocybin on you in the woods so we know you were doing something out there.’
He panicked and stuttered, ‘It was just a couple mushrooms Sergeant Willis, you won’t tell my mother will you, sir?’
‘We will if you don’t cooperate!’ snarled Bellows. Maurice couldn’t bring himself to look up as he felt the intense brown eyes of Bellows’ boring into him.
‘That’s enough Constable Bellows, this is my interview,’ I calmly said. Turning back to him I reasserted, ‘we won’t. We just want to know what happened out there in the woods.’ Smiling at Maurice, ‘go on son.’
‘Ok sir, well. I was listening to my records like I said and I heard this, well… this bustle going on in the hedgerow.’ He stopped and anxiously looked about.
‘Go on son,’ I interceded.
‘Well sir, I don’t think you understand how peculiar this was. The, the words of the song said it and then the music happened.’
I looked at Bellows incongruously who rolled his eyes, and then at Maurice. Befuddled, I said, ‘What do you mean the music happened?’
‘Exactly that sir.’ He paused, ‘I looked out the window and the hedgerow was moving. Now at this I thought I was trippin,’ but blinking and rubbing my eyes didn’t make it stop.’ He gulped, ‘Then I heard it.’
The boy stopped but the earnest way he said it made me wonder. ‘Heard what?’
‘A- a voice, a laugh. It was eerie sir. So I got up and I walked downstairs and opened the door. I peeked around the corner, and the hedgerow rustled again,’ said Maurice, excitedly acting it out.
‘Calm down Maurice and tell us slowly what happened.’ I cooed.
Maurice began, gradually becoming more frantic ‘Well sir, before I could look at the hedgerow again, I saw this- this woman dressed in white across the road. Her back was turned and she, well she floated westwards into the woods down near the crossing at Dorset way.’
‘Did you say floated?’ scoffed Bellows.
‘I saw it with my own eyes sir, her dress didn’t move at all.’
I could hear Bellows restraining laughter behind me as he said, ‘Look son, there’s two paths you can take in the long run, and there’s still time to change the road your on. Tell us what really happened. You’re in a lot of trouble Mr. Gresham.’
‘Bellows,’ I got up, and moved towards him. Lowering my voice I said, ‘Sitting down that hall is a body and we can’t explain why it’s here. There is no apparent cause of death, no way to identify it, no clues and this boy is our only explanation. I know it seems far fetched but I’m inclined to think that this boy believes what he’s saying.’
‘But sir, he’s just some delinquent who had a bad trip and murdered someone.’
‘Maybe he is, but there’s something more to this.’ I whispered. I sat back down opposite Maurice and stared intently at him. His furrowed brow and befuddled look greeted me in return.
‘Sir, it really happened like that! I’m not making this up.’ Maurice implored ardently.
‘I believe you son; go on telling us what happened after you saw the woman in white.’
‘Well, I- I uh, blinked and hid behind the door. But when I looked again she was gone. She- she was gone, but there was this shining white light through the trees so I followed it across the road.’ Pausing, Maurice looked at his shaking hands and cupped them to his face. Resting his elbows upon the table, with his face still in his hands, he began again, ‘when I got to the edge of the woods, I- I heard laughter all around me. The forest was echoing with laughter.’ His hands reached out towards me nearly as beseechingly as his eyes did, as he said, ‘it was just like the music again, sir.’
At this not even Bellows laughed. ‘You mean the song said it and it happened again?’ I stammered.
‘Yes, yes sir. It felt strange when I stepped into the woods. It felt almost… wrong somehow. I felt instantly cold and my breath was shallow and sharp. However much air I got, it wasn’t enough sir.’
‘What happened to the light?’ invited Bellows.
‘Well sir, it- it wasn’t light exactly. It kept moving off into the woods. I followed it for what felt like hours until it stopped by a queer little brook. I got closer to the light and it wasn’t light at all. It was the woman, she-she was glowing. She was standing very still, but she was glowing. It was then the strangest thing happened… everything seemed to stop. There were no sounds except my breathing, no sounds at all.’ He looked up at me, emphasising his words. ‘And then I felt like I recognised her somehow,’ he exclaimed as he threw his hands into the air. His brow wrinkled and he whispered, ‘I felt like I knew her.’ He paused. ‘Then a songbird broke the silence and the woman looked up at the tree it was in for a long time. The- then,’ Maurice gulped, ‘she turned around and looked right at me. She didn’t have any eyes sir! They were just white! But I felt like she was looking right into me none the same.’ Maurice was hysterical as he said, ‘It was then she held up her hands, and tilted her head to the side, and- and reminded me of how Jesus looks on the cross. Then, she-she just fell.’

The door opened, snapping the tension in two like an overtaxed beam. Constable Piper strode in. ‘Sergeant Willis, may I please speak to you?’ Perceiving Bellows’ and then Willis’, stunned expressions, he said matter-of-factly, ‘what’s wrong? You all look like you’ve seen a ghost.’ He chuckled, but stopped self consciously short as his expectations were not met by their return gesture. ‘I-I… sir, can I speak to you outside please?’
Willis raised himself with considerable effort from his seat, not for a moment removing his gaze from Maurice. ‘Keep the boy talking,’ he whispered to Bellows in passing. As he opened the door, a thought struck him like a thunderclap. ‘What was the song you were listening to son?’
It took several moments for the question to register in Maurice’s shell-shocked mind. Maurice looked up at him, ‘It-it was Stairway to Heaven, sir.’
The colour drained from the face of Willis as he stared at the boy. Bellows looked equally stunned. ‘Wha-what did you say?’
‘It… the song was Stairway to Heaven.’
He stared at Maurice for what seemed like an eternity and then, clearing his throat to break the spell of silence he stepped out of the interview room. ‘You had better have a good reason for dragging me out of there Piper.’
‘Oh I do sir. I-well, umm, you’re not going to believe this sir.’ Piper avoided Willis’ gaze and stared into the floor, fidgeting with a paper clip in his hands.
‘Well? Spit it out man!’
‘It’s about the body sir. You’re not going to believe this.’
The anxious reverie of Piper instantly connected in Willis’ mind. He broke into a run, past the bewildered Piper, down the hall towards the cold, sterile morgue. For Willis, the run towards the morgue felt like a marathon towards the truth.
‘It’s disappeared sir!’ Piper called after him. ‘It was there one moment, when I got up to get a cup of tea and came back, it was gone.’
Willis threw open the doors to the morgue and looked around wildly. He felt faint, and gripping the nearest table he blinked back spots. He looked to the hard metal slab where the body of Mrs. Gertrude Gresham, Maurice’s mother, had once lain in the rigidity of death and now an empty white sheet greeted him. His rasping breath became icy, as he looked up and into the ceiling, images of a golden stairway and then a leering ivory skull flashed into his horrified mind. All around him he could hear the laughing of a gleeful madman celebrating victory. ‘Gone… gone. It can’t be gone…’ A thin crimson stream trickled from his right ear as he crumpled to the floor, his mind bursting like a dam engorged by the monsoonal flood-rains.

(6 | Comments/Complaints)

Cyrano de Bergerac [27 Sep 2004|09:02pm]
[ mood | hungry ]

When Cyrano de Bergerac was first presented as a play at the Porte Saint-Martin Theater, Paris, the audience applauded for a full hour after the curtain fell. The 1990 film continues this immensely popular legacy powerfully, as I found myself wanting to call "encore, encore!" I just didn't know it in French. Winner of a plethora of awards, from a Golden Globe for best foreign film, 10 French Cesars, and an Oscar for best costumes, Cyrano de Bergerac is a romping tale of the wit, courage and bravado of France's most famous literary character. The lead part is played superbly by Gerard Depardieu in the role that won him best actor at the 1990 Cannes film festival. The film tells a tale of the long-nosed poet, duellist and swordsman who was afraid of nothing except telling his beautiful cousin Roxanne his true feelings for her. One of the more memorable episodes in this epic is Cyrano's duel with a hundred men, taken on behalf of a drunkard poet. Or perhaps if you're a romantic at heart, the famous balcony scene in which Cyrano guides Christian through the rigours of eloquent love, shot in an inspirational light rainstorm. The countless nose jokes, as well as Cyrano's scathing wit, will provide amusement for those who can read fast enough to catch the subtitles. The sumptuous costumes, sets and storyline will tailor for those of us who love an epic drama. Personally, my favourite moments occur in the closing moments of Cyrano's final words, and his professing to not love Roxanne as ardently and passionately as he surely does, though I will not ruin the film for those who have not seen it. Cyrano de Bergerac is a film that comprises many different aspect, such as romance, swash-buckling drama and empathy inducing unrequited love, and brings them together in the most expensive and successful French film ever made.

(3 | Comments/Complaints)

Remember, whatever, it seems like forever ago [23 Sep 2004|10:17pm]
[ mood | exhausted ]

Yesterday pro. writing was good! We had the very last workshopping for the whole year so I'm pleased at it being finally over and not hanging over my head. Kate did hers and I really liked it. It was cool, lame I know, but it really was! It also had this really cool twist etc. I won't go into it too much cause it's not my story but hey, twas good. We also got to watch a half hour video in history which got me thinking about the film The Quiet American. Thats a an utterly brilliant movie. The acting is great, esp from ex-George of the Jungle/Encino man Brendan Fraser. I need to see that again. I really like the way it the script and dialogue moulds in with the whole feel that the camera work creates, as well as the history and the landscape. It's really good. It's a shame it was kind of blacklisted for the portrayal of the Vietnam War but oh well. So yeah, today I wrote some of my story thing. I'm up to about 1000+ words and I got a little stuck. I usually don't like to push my writing unless it's with a pen or I get a little off topic and it begins to get crap. I suppose thats my version of writers block because I don't think I've ever actually gotten it. I need to start writing my stories with pens again. I just got out all I wanted to say in one big flurry and I left it, and came back and edditted it if it was worth it, and it frequently wasn't. Oh well, I'm tired and Kates coming round tomorrow so it's time for bed. Oh hey, I watched Fight Club today! Another great movie. Now thats an awesome story with an awesome twist and an awesome just about everything. I get to see it again tomorrow too. Yaaaaay!

(27 | Comments/Complaints)

The rage and love, the story of my life, the Jesus of Suburbia is a lie [21 Sep 2004|10:06pm]
[ mood | impressed ]

I started Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen a lil while ago and it reminded me of her awesome dialogue and how perfectly it's crafted. Her writing really amazes me in that it explains so much just within the dialogue and it still doesn't seem fake. I wish I could do that. Or if I can, then I wish I could do it better. You never realise that you're taking in information from dialogue which is one of the greatest things about it. I'm a lover of dialogue I guess so Austen is my hero *swoons* We did P & P last year so I'm gonna stick in some of my favourite quotes from it to show what I was rambling about.
“Will you tell me how long you have loved him?”-Jane
“It has been coming on so gradually that I hardly know when it began. But I believe it must date from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.”-Elizabeth

“We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing.” -Elizabeth

“He simpers, and smirks, and makes love to us all. I am prodigiously proud of him. I defy even Sir William Lucas himself to produce a more valuable son in law.”-Mr. Bennet

“She was humbled, she was grieved; she repented, though she hardly knew of what. She became jealous of his esteem, when she could no longer hope to be benefited by it. She wanted to hear of him, when there seemed the least chance of gaining intelligence. She was convinced that she could have been happy with him when it was no longer likely they should meet.” –Elizabeth

“We neither of us perform to strangers.” -Mr. Darcy

“And I have had the pleasure of your acquaintance long enough to know that you find great enjoyment in occasionally professing opinions which are not your own.” -Mr Darcy

I suppose thats enough but they just amuse me so I had to put in a few. My favourite would have to be the first one. Or maybe the one Mr. Bennet said, those two are just great.

(20 | Comments/Complaints)

I... [20 Sep 2004|09:50pm]
[ mood | tired ]

Over the winter
They sleep.
The icy ground,
Beckons their innocence.
Beauty chained,
Trapped and restrained.
But in the spring,
Lo and behold;
They rise up,
And show beauty untold.
For a brief instant;
A flash of time,
They are more radiant
Than ever was thought.
Happiness creating,
Beauty unabating,
It only gets better,
For this young flower.
As it gets colder,
And things get tough.
The first frost,
Caresses gently.
They die out,
As much does in life;
Thus, beauty all gone,
Those left only mourn.
So come too late,
And you’ll miss it too.
But come too early…
And it could be too soon,
Long before it had begun.
Until next time,
A swift return is hoped.
Come back, dear bloom,
And bring with you tidings,
Of happier times.

(6 | Comments/Complaints)

[18 Sep 2004|12:41pm]
[ mood | bored ]

So yeaaaaaaaah, work shopping went well on Wednesday. It went better than I thought it would which is good. Kate said a couple nice things afterwards. One I remember; "you're deffinately a dialogue writer." I took that as a compliment because thats my favourite thing to read and write and I love language and conversation. I haven't gone through all the comments people made on it because I've been rather busy what with work and going out and the like. I probably will sometime next week or something. I'm rather stuck with my comm piece too but thats okie, it'll come together. This is only editting anyway. Hmm, what else. I'm really stuck with what to do with my story as well. I'm not entirely sure how to continue it from where I left off in the workshop 2 pages thing. I'm actually rather thankful it was there cause I was having a great deal of trouble continuing. Did I spell that right? Who knows. Oh yeah, I hate grammar. And I hate that damn grammar book we have to work from. It's just so tiresome. I don't see how it's expected of us to be any good at it when I never really did it in school. Well, we did nouns and verbs and crap like 1st or 2nd grade but thats really the extent of it. Thats the extent of my knowledge as well. Don't ask me to name anything or be technical, but I can sort of feel it, like when it's right or not. I dunno how, I just can tell if it's right and thats the correct word by feeling. Sometimes I don't know the meaning of the word but I know it feels right so I still use it. My wrist is sore from this flurry of typing so I guess it's time to go before I give me some rsi and wreck my chances of actually writing that story.

(20 | Comments/Complaints)

The Fly [15 Sep 2004|09:18pm]
Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink and sing
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength and breath;
And the want
of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.

(21 | Comments/Complaints)

[15 Sep 2004|09:01pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

I talked with Jeni today about Plath cause I mentioned we were doing the Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes in Lit now. It got me thinking about poetry and my fav poet of all time, William Blake. If I can ever write half as well, even a tenth as well as him then I shall be very happy. It's amazing how he gets the lyrical-ness (I know thats not a word) into every poem and stanza and keeps it flowing with such vivid and thought provoking images. I'm not too fond of Plath because shes just so simply morbid but Blake has this stunning vision of beauty which just gets me every time. My two fav ones are Tyger, Tyger and The Fly. I'll post The Fly soon when I type it all up. I may even post one of my own to show how crap they are lol. We'll see. I just love them, they're amazing. I'm yet to read anyone who can best Blake and I'd welcome anyone pointing me in the direction of someone as good or better, however unlikely that is in my mind. Hmm, I may even copy parts of essays I've written on Blake just to express what I'm thinking. I wrote a good one on The Fly once, or maybe it was really quite crap. Maybe it was A Poison Tree, I love that one too. It just flows to perfectly in every way, every word has been painstakingly chosen and rechosen to fit utterly perfectly. Okie, I'll stop rambling now.

Tyger, Tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze thy fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And why thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors grasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger, Tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

(42 | Comments/Complaints)

The Emo Cam Whore has left the building, w00t w00t [11 Sep 2004|09:39pm]
[ mood | full ]

I wrote this ages ago and I know it sucks but oh well. Tomorrow I'm going to start that story thingamabob. I don't really know what to write exactly but thats why I have 4 or so weeks? till it's due. This is just for the stupid work shopping on Wednesday. Waha, so what to say about writing... hum. Writing is tough! Okie I'm done for the week. Cheerio old chaps.

My little pain reliever.
Long and thin, sharp.
Who would understand,
Why you bring me such relief?
Why you help me so.
No one would.
That’s the answer,
Plain and true.
I wish they could…
They should, they should.
Never can.
My regrets flow over,
To attempt an explanation?
Or leave it to experience.
Your feeling in my hand,
Calms me.
Soothes my soul.
When I touch you to the whiteness,
And feel you leave your mark,
I realise what you were made for.
What I was made for.
To relieve the pain etched,
In my very being.
You remove,
The pain life leaves.
I thank you,
My one true friend.
From the bottom of my heart,
And the paper you caress.


http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3?date=2004-09-06&res=l <--- remind me of that next time I mope about missing school.

(Comments/Complaints)

[09 Sep 2004|08:47pm]
Character
You're a Dialogue/Character Writer!


What kind of writer are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

(6 | Comments/Complaints)

[09 Sep 2004|08:41pm]
[ mood | amused ]

The use of three separate computers representing three aspects of a man, his leadership, citizenry, and humanity and the fact these computers started the war with the Arachnids, was developed from ‘The anatomy of human destructiveness.’ In this book, Erich Fromm theorises that “man was under the sway of an impulse to destroy either himself or others… aggression was not essentially a reaction to stimuli but a constantly flowing impulse rooted in the constitution of the human organism.” Thus, the Big Brother computers represent a man and humanity; and their deliberate creation of the bugs represents an outlet for basic human aggression.

Thats my fav part from my Lit thingy. See I read it for the essay Kate! I'm not into bdsssssssmmmmmmm.

(20 | Comments/Complaints)

If I fall back down... [09 Sep 2004|07:22pm]
[ mood | groggy ]

I came up with another idea for my story I need to write for assignment 2. I picked up this snail yesterday and threw it into the bushes on the way to the station. It got me thinking... wat if the snail thought my hand was the hand of god or something. Then when I threw him in there he went around telling all his friends about the hand of god and what not. Theeeen he became a snail prophet. I dunno bout it anymore, I can't decide. Hum. I think if I don't write the snail one for my essay thingy I wanna write it anyway but then again I feel that for just about every idea I come up with and 95% never get written. I need to write more. I came up with this idea bout Persephone sitting on her throne sometime ago, it was to be part of a poem or something but I never got around to writing it. I should. I think I'll try sometime soon. Note to self: write that bloody poem. My eyes hurt from too much reading recently, ow. I think I'm gonna get some more sleep tonight too, time to go to bed early. I'm work shopping next week too. I'm hoping to write my story on Sunday/Monday and then e-mail it to Jenny asap. I think tomorrow will be dedicated to writing that pesky comm essay which will suck I'm sure but it must be done. I wish I had more time! I miss reading and writing and just being. I miss it alot. All I seem to do nowadays is work. Oh well, time to get going and see what I can do about work. Damn you work.

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