Thursday, September 29, 2005
As promised here's the next installment of the written story thing's- wrote it at the beginning of the yr- I'm not sure if I like the writing style (if that makes sense), like the ending seems a little corny (I prob shouldn't tell u that b4 u read it!), but the teacher seemed to like it so I'm happy!
As it says it's kind of based on experience (not for sympathy or anything tho) - it's funny how when you try to write a fictional story it often seems to turn into a memory recount :P Or maybe it's just me! Anyhoo, it's a bit longer than the lasting one, but here it is for your reading pleasure... >>>
All children experience or witness social isolation in some form during their growing up years, whether it be on the sending or receiving end. In younger years this may come in the form of not sharing a toy with that annoying girl in your class, or perhaps not being included in a game of hopscotch in the yard. As you get older, schoolyard “bitchiness” and conflict can become subtler but by no means less harmful. The purpose of this story is to attempt to portray these sorts of behaviours and conflicts, and their impacts, partly drawing from personal experience.
Beginning of Year 8…
It was the time of year when long-ago fallen leaves lay crunched and dry in the gutter, and the sun seemed to breathe heavy heat into every last inch of air, making you want to just lie down and enjoy the beauty of doing nothing. It seemed out of place for students and teachers to start streaming back into the school to work. Julie’s long blonde hair was neatly tied up, regulation ankle-covering white socks peeking out from her polished shoes; she tried not to look awkward in her new uniform as the older, seasoned students eyed her at the back entrance to the school. Subconsciously she yet again readjusted the trainer bra her mother got her the weekend before. Her recent summer holiday seemed distant all of a sudden, as nerves and anticipation engulfed her.’ I can’t believe I’m starting high-school today,’ she thought.
“There before us lies our future,” the young girl said dramatically, her short raven-dark hair falling all over her flushed face as she flopped to the ground on the school oval.
“Just think Ash… In just a few short weeks we’ll actually be coming here as high-school students, not just to roller-blade. It’s freaking me out just a tad.” replied Julie.
“Yeah but we’ll be right- we’ll stick together ol’ buddy ol’ pal” Ashley said giggling.
OK, meeting at 8:15 at the Observatory on the back oval. Julie went over the details from her brief and strangely stiff conversation with her best friend the previous night in her head. She walked over the freshly cut grass and saw Ashley on the side of the observatory. “Ash! Hey, there you are! I was worried you had already…” she called out, but as she got closer she saw several other ‘popular’ girls from their old primary school, deep in animated discussion with her.
“Oh, hey Julie. Alright we can go now guys, I said we’d save a seat for Alex at the assembly as well.” Ash said flippantly.
“Alex? I didn’t know you were friends with her, when did that happen?” Julie asked remembering their once archrival from their younger years. But Ashley was already walking off with the other girls.
At the assembly Julie sat with her knees to her chin to try and fit on the end of the row. As the teachers up the front of the hall explained what they would be doing on their first day, she surveyed all the new faces and bodies around her, expressive with nervous energy. Every so often she’d hear Ash make a little comment or joke to Alex and they’d both laugh to themselves, unsuccessfully attempting to be quiet. Each giggle brought a pang of jealousy to Julie, but she tried to brush it off.
“So are you nervous about school?” Alex asked as they all walked along after the assembly.
“Yeah, kinda! How about you?” Julie replied, enthusiastic to try and make a good impression and fit in with Ashley’s new friends.
“Yeah, same here!” Alex responded politely, and they both smiled stiffly in the following awkward silence.
“I like your necklace” Julie offered to Alex, looking at the casual but obviously expensive looking shells around her neck.
“Oh thanks” she responded. “Yours is, uh… interesting too” she half smirked.
Julie suddenly regretted wearing her new necklace she got for $2 at a Kleins sale.
“Too bad we got different home groups Jules” Ashley said perkily. “I can’t believe we’re in the same one though Alex! How cool is that going to be? It’ll be so much fun” she continued, lacing her arm into Alex’s as they strode ahead. Feeling a little frozen, Julie looked at her map and tried to work out how to get to her new home group.
“Oh hey Mrs P. How are you? I was just wondering if Ash is home yet? Thanks.” Nervously jiggling her leg under her desk, Julie tried to make sense of what had happened during the week as she waited for the person she thought she knew so well to come to the phone. There was a muffled clicking sound as the phone was picked up on the other end.
“Hey Ash… So how’d you like the first week?”
“Yeah pretty good thanks. How about you?”
“Yeah, not too bad, only got lost once!” Julie tried to bring some of the warm familiarity she was used to back into the conversation, but winced at the pregnant pause, which was happening increasingly often, that followed.
“So…how cool are Alex and the others? I’m so glad we’re hanging out with them now.”
“Yeah they seem alright. Hey, where were you at lunch the other day? I couldn’t find you.”
“Oh yeah, sorry about that. I forgot to tell you we decided to meet at the canteen instead.”
“Oh, right… I found Brianna in the end so I hung out with her.”
“Brianna?! Why’d you want to hang out with her? Did you see she actually wore a fluoro pink scrunchie the other day? I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!”
“That’s kind of mean Ash, she’s actually pretty nice. I thought you guys were friends last year anyway?
“Oh don’t be so self-righteous Jules, you so thought the same thing.”
“Well at least she wants to hang out with me, unlike someone else I know!”
“Geez Julie, what’s with you? It’s not my fault I’ve made some new friends, you should try it some time!”
“Excuse me? Where the hell did all this come from Ash? You totally ditched me this week!”
“So I spent some time with them in the holidays when you were away, what did you expect me to do? I was bored! It’s called being popular, but I guess you wouldn’t understand that.”
“So it’s my fault for going away for a couple of weeks? Oh I’m so sorry Ash, I should’ve realised that true friendship means entertaining you 24/7. For some reason I thought you wouldn’t make five-hundred new best friends while I was away!”
“OK, look, Alex and the others are good fun to hang out with, alright? I’m sorry if you don’t like them, but you don’t have to be such a bitch about it.”
“Me being the bitch?! You totally left me hanging at school this week Ash. I don’t know what to feel. What happened to all the ‘best buddies forever’ stuff?”
“Oh come on, you can be part of the group!”
“Yeah, well if you hadn’t noticed, I don’t exactly fit in Ash.”
“You could at least try.”
“You know I’ve tried. You hardly made an effort to help me fit in with your new best friends. If you’re going to ditch our friendship that easily, I don’t know if I want to try.”
“Well if that’s the way you want it to be then fine.”
Julie slammed down the phone, and flung herself onto her bed feeling numb. ‘What did I do wrong?’ she asked herself. ‘This is Ash we’re talking about. How could our friendship be over just like that? We’ve been best friends since we were in nappies! I’m sure it’ll work out…’ She picked up her big old teddy bear Frank, and childishly wrapped her arms around him, giving him a big squeeze. All of a sudden she feeling overwhelmed, as if the tree branch she’d been sitting on had suddenly given way leaving her dangling from the branch above with one only hand. She buried her face in Frank's fur and burst into tears.
A year later…
It was the time of year when the dry leaves once again lay crushed in the gutter, baking in the heavy heat of the sun. Julie sat perched lazily on the wall at the bus stop. Her hair messily chucked up into a bun with pieces strategically falling out, and socks now much shorter and more colourful than they were supposed to be, she heaved herself up as the bus came into view. Scanning the faces in the windows, she spotted her friend and greeted her with a cheery smile and wave.
“Hey Bri!” she said, swinging herself into the bus seat after she had stepped on and registered her ticket.
“Hey hon! We’re meeting Jane and Ali at one at the Malls Balls.”
“Cool” Julie said, then froze when she saw Ash step onto the bus with Alex. How strange to see someone who was once so familiar, but now so detached from her world.
She caught her eye and smiled in recognition, and her gaze was for a moment held. But then Ashley kept chatting to Alex and walked straight past. Julie was lost in her thoughts of the loss of her once close friendship, but Bri interrupted them.
“So I hear they have a sale on at Kleins.”
“Let’s go” smiled Julie.
Monday, September 26, 2005
This first one is quote possibly my favourite english assignment from this year- we had to do an oral and recreate a vivid memory (so you guys are getting the short stick, u don't get the theme music and bubbles, lol) which was so much fun... I love letting my inner drama queen out every so often (bcoz I'm totally non-dramatic most of the time... ;), and hearing everyone else's was hilarious!
Let’s set the scene. It Christmas 1992, and I’m understandably psyched. I mean, come on; the presents, the pudding, the fact that Santa is actually going to be in my bedroom!
So when I wake up on Christmas morning, I immediately try to practically get into my stocking to find out what’s in it. I start pulling stuff out. Awesome, I got some stick-on earrings, a sleeping beauty book…the list goes on and I get to the bottom of my stocking. There lies the obligatory Christmas orange that we get every year- strange, but hey, oranges are cool and you can’t argue with Santa, so I go with it- and possibly one of the most entertaining and transfixing playthings of all time: a little bottle of detergent and a bubble blower. The picture on the side of the bottle shows kids happily blowing bubble the size of their head, and I think, hey, that’s going to be me soon.
So the rest of the morning comes and goes, and my Aunty Caroline arrives. Now this combined with the inexplicable quadrupling effect Christmas seems to have on a young child’s energy, almost sends me hysterical with delirious Christmas induced glee. Soon enough I find myself playing outside with my two older brothers and Aunt, cranking out the bubbles like there’s no tomorrow. Then a though occurs to my brilliant 4 year old mind. If you can make bubbles using these round plastic thingamajigs, who’s to say you couldn’t make them yourself, if you drank a bit of the bubble liquid? It could work, the little film thing would form across your throat, and all you’d have to do was breathe for bubbles to come out. I mean, you’d only need to drink a little bit… I bet no-one’s thought of that before, and I’ll become world famous for such an ingenious yet practical idea.
So I wait for my Aunty to do her bubble dance to the other side of the garden with my brothers, and I try and sneakily pick up the bottle and take a sip. Bleugh! It’s tastes disgusting! How come eating bubbles never tasted this bad?! But such is the price a genius like myself must pay. OK, time to see if my plan worked. Not working, I’ll try again. Still no success. But it made so much sense, why aren’t I a wonder-bubble-breathing kid by now? So I think, maybe I should read the label (never mind the fact I couldn’t actually read- small detail). All I can make out is a little warning sign, but that’s enough to make my once energy filled body suddenly feels weak as I believe it starts the slow process of death by detergent. Oh my goodness. It’s poison. I’m going to die. I’m actually going to die. My tragically short life is now flashing before my eyes. And on Christmas day of all days! I’m not even going to get Christmas pudding. I should probably inform Mum that her youngest child has only got hours, if that, to live. I inform her of the tragic news, but strangely- it must’ve been denial- she tells me I’ll be fine, and that I should lie down if I feel a bit sick. A bit sick? A bit sick?! I’m dying here! Little does she know, I think. Little does she know.
I sadly drag my ailing body to my bed, planning out my funeral. Colourful, yet sombre, I think would be appropriate. I wait patiently on my bed, pondering in my young mind the issues of life and death, for what seems like hours, listening to the merry chatter of my family outside, enjoying the Christmas lunch. They won’t be merry for much longer, I think, waiting for darkness to cloud my vision.
But strangely, it doesn’t. I look at the clock. It’s been 5 minutes, and I’m still alive. I look at my hand. Not green, as I expected. I wiggle my toes. They’re in working order. I tentatively sit up, then stand up. Nice, I thought. I must be stronger than I thought to survive poisoning by detergent. I’m kind of half-disappointed though, that a once rapidly unfolding drama, starring me, was no longer taking place. But hey, at least I can have some Christmas pudding!
As you can see, I survived that near death experience unscathed. Well, relatively unscathed.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Woo, it's finally done(ish)!!! I say 'ish' bcoz you can never REALLY finish a piece of art, there are always bits you want to re-do or touch up or whatever, but for the most part it's finished for now! I've just about completely lost an objective pov on it, so any comments/criticisms my dear blog readers (be honest... but kind :P)?
Thursday, September 15, 2005
ANYway, the title for the, i think, third post is NOT a lie, I would in fact most appreciate it if ppl sponsored me, as would the starving children :oP. I'm now doing the furniture famine (yah, Sez!!) on the wkend (youth's doing the 40hrfamine) BUT in order to get Katherine W at school to sponsor me $40 I'm also going without cutlery and wearing thongs for the 40hrs also. And no, I'm not counting the car as furniture, you get the point anyway!! SO that should be interesting- no chairs, beds, tables, desks, cutlery OR proper shoes... I think I can safely say I'm doing my bit :oP But all of that will go to waste if we don't get the $ for the kids! But seriously, it is a practical thing we can do to help- like it's become a bit of a cliche to say 'what about the starving kids in Africa?' or something, but there are starving kids and here's our chance to help a bit!
Anyway, I think this is a bit of a ramble- Dad, Mum and Jon are all resting whilst Grandma man's the fort, so I think I might have an afternoon snooze...
emma carnell = a fanciful character in everyone's lives who writes rude and hurtful things about her so called "friends" who in fact she has to pay in order for them to say that they are her friends.
so there you go, 3 truths in the world and the rest is LIES!!!!!!
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
We've had an influx of meals and cards and stuff, and the Dewick's had Jon today, which is so lovely- everyone's been so concerned and helpful. Me and Mum were saying we can really see God's hand in all of this in terms of support, and how (yes it's been said many times, but it's so true!) it could've been a lot worse... Awful situations really can bring out the best in people.
Would elaborate more, but I'm in a quasi-productive mood (think it's the coffee) so i'm going to try and get this english critical essay done...
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Some of you've prob seen on the youth site, but at Mobile Maintenance Ministry this morning (which is a church thing where a group of volunteers go round to ppl's houses and do odd jobs, gardening etc) Dad was up a ladder cutting down branches from a dead tree with a chainsaw, and a branch slipped down on him or something (he can't remember too much, and he was being careful, it was a total accident) and slipped and fell 3-4m backwards onto the driveway below. He was unconscious and bleeding pretty badly from the back of his head and having trouble breathing so we turned him over and (thanks to all the other ppl there esp Richard Banger!! I was madly trying to think of the first aid training we did in yr 10 child studies, but all i could remember was the recovery position!) applied pressure and stuff and rang the ambulence which was around the corner and, yeah, i rode in the ambulence with him (first ambo ride, which under different conditions coulda seemed pretty cool!) to the RAH... Basically after the testing and stuff he's got a small fracture to his skull (God's version of a built in helmet) and bleeding under the skin, but the skull itself didn't dislodge or move or anything like that, and providing the bleeding doesn't spread he should be home tomorrow, fingers crossed. In a LOT of pain at first, but got better thru the day... Been there most of the day with D&P at first, then Mum, in a bit of a daze now. All pretty scary, being there when it happened...
Thanks everyone who messaged, rang, or were thinking about us, v much appreciated :) Makes me realise what a support network I/we at church esp, everyone knew within like a few hrs! Love you all :) xo
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
I've been thinking recently about this whole blog thing. Kinda like Phili's post on motives a while ago I guess. I've noticed how the style and content of blog's can change as time goes on and more people read it. It can go from, for example, being 'here i am, the real issues of the real me' to being more for entertainment. Not that there's anything wrong really with blogs being for entertainment, that in itself can say something about the person. In a way it's a kind of false intimacy you get when you read about very personal things on someone's blog because it's not given in a relationship context with trust and empathy and immediate reactions, and the person might not even know you've read it (even though they've written it for the purpose of people reading it). But then it can be freeing as well, just to have somewhere to vent, and keep ppl up to date on ur general beingness (like Lib's friends in America).
There are so many reasons why people blog or read blogs... Do we blog because everyone else is doing it, like tamagotchi's? Do we do it to express ourselves? Is it simply another form of procrastination? Is it secretly part of a plan by a mystical and somewhat putrid blogmonster to take over the world, blog by blog? I guess another reason for Christian's can be to talk about their faith as well, where you hope some random or not so random people might read about it and be challenged or encouraged or even angered. In an ideal world it can even give your faith more legitimacy if it's paired with real everyday or not so everyday stuggles, experiences, or ordinary funness (i.e. Christians aren't freaks [well...not always ;)]). That can sound a bit scheming though I guess, as if talking about faith or your beliefs is a strategic thing, and it shouldn't be like that... or should it? If we know the truth and want to share it, i guess it's hard not to think about how you go about sharing it in an effective way. Either way, I know I want, and I hope it is, my blog to be genuine.
Maybe I'm overanalysing, but blogging and all sorts of net communication have become, to be honest, a pretty big part of our lives so it's hard not to think about reasons for it. I wonder if the children of the future will study blogs or msn in their history books, like how we have the original brick-style mobile's in museums now, lol...
Monday, September 05, 2005
Same goes for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- better than the original one many times over, a great nite out for the whole family :P Seriously, I loved it, money well spent- so full of one liners, and Johnny Depp's great in the role. It struck me how the (semi-main, as well as Charlie) main character was thought of as so wonderful, when he's really as flawed and eccentric as the rest of us... don't know if that really describes what I mean. I guess there was a fascinating depth to the character (as much as you can have in a kids movie), contrasted with Charlie (who was a LOT more believable, sincere and likeable than that blonde kid in the first film)... Charlie was kind of the adult in the relationship (and I don't mean that to sound Michael Jacksonish, which many people have been saying about how Johnny (that's right, first name basis) did Willy Wonka) There's my profound insight :P...And so full of one liners, anyone who'd going to see it take a pad and pen to record them! lol...
Done too much writing this past wk and a half (btw Psych exam today- only 2 hrs long rather than 3, actually finished before the end which was pleasantly unusual for me!) so here are some cartoon things I found (courtesy of Emma C -> see link for her brand spankin' new blog) which were pretty funny (I'd better say that they're from http://www.biggercheese.com/index.php?comic=521 (and others)as long as you know many of the other one's are dodge, I'm not endorsing them!!) Hmm go to show my warped sense of humour ;)
<-- Brief explanation, there's some 80's movie (can't remember the name) with that robot... and surprise, he says 'Number 5 is alive!!'
And to finish off, a verse that I was looking at last nite, partly from this daily Bible reading thing I do called Daily Bread:
'O Lord, you have searched me and you know me... you perceive my thoughts from afar...Before a word on my tongue You know it completely...Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I go from your presence?... I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made... All the days orgained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be... Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any way offensive in me, and lead me in the way everlasting'. Psalm 139 (bits of it)
Thursday, September 01, 2005
- Mon nite went to the 'Near death experiences' JAAL thing at church w/ Dave. It's hard to say really what it was like bcoz some of it's hard to put into words, but it was really good. Jan Dear (who used to be a grief counsellor) talked about her experiences in a hospice, and was saying how the thing that people most often regret at the end of their lives, or need to resolve, is to do with their relationships, not missed money opportunities and stuff. Frank Grauso also talked about a couple of near death experiences he had which was pretty full on, and Kerryn Cameron spoke about her 'berry' anyeurism she had a couple of years ago- she didn't know whether she was going to live or die, and felt this amazing peace about committing that to God, and just felt His presence really strongly.
- Tonite went to the life drawing classes Lisa was talking about in her blog, and it was really good! I've been wanting to do them for ages- you just draw, and it's not as much about the end product but the process. It was great to be in a room (it doesn't really seem like a class bcoz there's no teacher) with all these older artists who have stacks of experience under their belt, and who work in such a huge variety of different styles. There was no pressure, and like Lisa was saying, all the tips they give are so helpful and you just want to do more! I've been focussing a lot on portraiture so it felt great to break out of that and just express myself, no need to be super fiddly, just go with instinct! And for all those ppl wondering, it's really not awkward (can take u a second to get used to it when u first walk into the room!) - everyone's so comfortable with the nude thing- it's not embarassing, it's just art (lol that sounds so affected and arty, but it's true!)
In keeping with Em, I gots ta bounce y'all ;)