Le Bucket Liste

So I read about The 100 List recently. Sounds like a bucket list kind of thing but it’s a little different. It’s not a list of things you hope to do before you die. It’s a list of 100 things you will do while you’re alive.

Same Same but Different?

So this is a keynote speech from the guy who decided to do this, Seb Terry.

I’m working on my list right now, with some help from the interwebs.

  1. Abseil Down a Waterfall
  2. Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner
  3. Attend a Music Festival
  4. Attend a Unique Small-Town Festival
  5. Attend a Vipashna Retreat
  6. Be a Bridesmaid
  7. Be a Game Show Contestant
  8. Be a Member of a TV Studio Audience
  9. Be a Self-Made Millionaire
  10. Be on a Radio Show
  11. Be on a TV Show
  12. Be the the New York Times Bestsellers List
  13. Bid at an Auction
  14. Bird Nest Soup
  15. Blow Glass
  16. Bone Marrow
  17. Cactus
  18. Catch, Cook & Eat a Fish
  19. Century Egg
  20. Climb an Indoor Rock Wall
  21. Complete a big embroidery to hang on the wall
  22. Create an embroidered wall hanging
  23. Dance at a Rave
  24. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) | Mexico
  25. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) | Mexico
  26. Do a Belly Dance
  27. Do a Charity Walk
  28. Do the Hollywood Walk of Fame | California
  29. Do the Hula
  30. Donate Books
  31. Donate Clothing
  32. Drink Absinthe
  33. Drink Juice from a Fresh Coconut
  34. EAT
  35. Eat a Meal Cooked by a Celebrity Chef
  36. Eat a Raw Diet for a Day
  37. Eat an Insect
  38. Eat at a Food Truck
  39. Eat at a Michelin 3-star Restaurant
  40. Eat Fondu
  41. Eat Fondue
  42. Eat in a Pitch Black Restaurant
  43. Enter Something in a Food Competition
  44. Escargot
  45. Explore a Rain Forest
  46. Explore the Acropolis | Greece
  47. Explore the Ancient Ruins of Petra | Jordan
  48. Explore the Galapagos Islands | Ecuador
  49. Explore the Van Gogh Museum | Netherlands
  50. Extract Honey from a Bee Hive
  51. FESTIVALS & EVENTS
  52. FESTIVALS & EVENTS
  53. Float in the Dead Sea | Jordan/Israel
  54. Flowers
  55. Fly First Class on Emirates
  56. Fly in a Helicopter
  57. Fly on a Trapeze
  58. Foster animals
  59. French Quarter | New Orleans
  60. Get a Caricature Drawing by a Street Artist
  61. Get a College Degree
  62. Get a Fish Pedicure
  63. Get a great book publishing deal
  64. Get a Henna Tattoo | India
  65. Get a Tattoo
  66. Get a Tattoo
  67. Get Acupuncture
  68. Get Hypnotized
  69. Get my PADI license and go diving
  70. Give a Ted Talk
  71. Go caving
  72. Go on a Cruise
  73. Go on a Cruise
  74. Go to a Drive-In Movie
  75. Go to a Health Spa
  76. Go to a Tattoo Festival
  77. Go to the Movies by Myself
  78. Go whitewater rafting
  79. Grand Central Station | New York
  80. Have 15 Minutes of Fame
  81. Have a Facial
  82. Have a Housecleaner
  83. Have my brows threaded
  84. Helicopter into the Grand Canyon | Arizona
  85. Hike the Inca Trail | Peru
  86. Hike Through the Crooked Forest | Poland
  87. Host a dinner party with strangers
  88. Hug a panda
  89. Hunt for Wild Mushrooms
  90. Jelly Fish
  91. Join a Flash Mob
  92. Kimchi
  93. Kite Surf
  94. Learn about gypsy healing
  95. Learn French
  96. Learn Roller Derby
  97. Learn Spanish
  98. Learn the Alphabet in Sign Language
  99. Learn the German Wheel
  100. Learn the Hula | Hawaii
  101. Learn to play guitar to a level of satisfaction
  102. Learn to play piano to a level of satisfaction
  103. Learn to surf
  104. Learn to Tango with Jeff
  105. Learn ukulele
  106. Leave My Mark in Graffiti
  107. Lose weight and keep it off once and for all
  108. Make a Wish in the Trevi Fountain | Italy
  109. Make Mosaic Art
  110. Make pottery/ceramics
  111. Make Soap
  112. Marvel at Plitvice Lakes | Croatia
  113. Meet Dr Phil
  114. Octopus
  115. Own a Successful Business
  116. Own an Original Piece of Artwork
  117. Own Investment Real Estate
  118. Own Julia DeVille Jewellery
  119. Participate in a Japanese Tea Ceremony
  120. Pigeon
  121. Play a Pinball Machine
  122. Play a Song on a Harmonica
  123. Play Bingo at a Bingo Hall
  124. Publish all the books I write
  125. Raw Oysters
  126. Read 15 books a year
  127. Record a Song
  128. Relax in a Natural Hot Spring
  129. Renovate our home and finally just enjoy it
  130. Ride a Camel
  131. Ride a Segway
  132. Ride in a Gondola
  133. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
  134. Ride in a Tuk Tuk
  135. Ride on a Cable Car
  136. Ride on a Scary Roller Coaster
  137. Ride on a Subway
  138. Sashimi
  139. Sea Urchin
  140. See a Broadway Play
  141. See a Cirque du Soleil Show
  142. See a Coral Reef
  143. See a Las Vegas Show
  144. See a TED Talk Live
  145. See Cappadocia’s Fairy Chimneys | Turkey
  146. See Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia | Spain
  147. See Patti Smith perform Horses
  148. See the Dalai Lama
  149. See the Eiffel Tower Glitter at Night | France
  150. See the Hanging Temple in Mount Hengshan | China
  151. See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre | France
  152. See the Northern Lights | Alaska
  153. See the Pamukkale Hot Springs | Turkey
  154. See the Pyramids of Giza | Egypt
  155. Sell everything (ok, 80%) of my belongings
  156. Shoot a gun
  157. Sing a Karaoke Duet
  158. Sing Karaoke in Berlin
  159. Sleep in a Treehouse
  160. Sleep in a Yurt
  161. Sleep in an Overnight Train
  162. Smoke a Hookah
  163. Snorkel
  164. Snorkel/dive the Underwater Museum | Mexico
  165. Stand in Front of the Taj Mahal | India
  166. Stand Under a Waterfall
  167. Start a Blog
  168. Start a Blog
  169. Start a Charity/Foundation
  170. Stay Awake for 24 Hours
  171. Stay in an Underwater Hotel
  172. Step Foot in all 7 Continents
  173. Sushi
  174. Swim in Jellyfish Lake | Palau
  175. Swim with Pink Dolphins | Amazon
  176. Take the Walk of Faith, Tianmen Mountain | China
  177. Take a Self-portrait photo of myself on the 1st of the month for as long as I desire.
  178. Tap Dance
  179. Times Square | New York
  180. Touch a Pyramid
  181. Touch a Tarantula
  182. Tour a Mayan Ruin
  183. Travel to India, Nepal and Tibet
  184. Try Bikram Yoga
  185. Try Cupping Therapy
  186. Visit a Temple
  187. Visit the White House | Washington DC
  188. Visit the Winchester House in California
  189. Volunteer at an archeological dig
  190. Walk a Suspension Bridge
  191. Walk on Hot Coals
  192. Walk on Stilts
  193. Walk the Great Wall of China | China
  194. Walk the Las Vegas Strip | Nevada
  195. Wear Colored Contacts
  196. Write 20 books
  197. Write a Children’s Book
  198. Write a cookbook
  199. Write a Love Note with Lipstick on the Bathroom Mirror
  200. Write a Song
  201. Write my Name in Wet Cement

 

Sometimes you want to disappear into your made up world

Sometimes you want to disappear into your made up worlds. You want to have all of their lack of give-a-shits.

You want to much more than this thing you have now.

You feel owed.

Why are you still fat?

Why aren’t you successful?

Why do you hate it when someone looks over your shoulder to see what I’m doing?

What is your truth?

You’re incapable of creating when you’re here and now.

What happens when you’re fixed? Do you become irrelevant?

Do you die?

 

Elusive as fuck

One day looks like the other day
Looks the same as tomorrow

Eat shit bullshit repeat

Joy is pretend
Found between the sofa cushions with a bunch of stale unsalted peanuts and one sugared almond
Joy’s the sugared almond
Costs a bunch and rots your teeth
Joy’s elusive, not an unsalted peanut which is everywhere

Like a sugared almond, Joy is for special occasions
And they’re distant as a memory

Repetition is a pack of unsalted peanuts
Always on sale
The olds buy them in bulk packets with bland labels
Everyone can afford repetition
‘s’just that I don’t want it
Beige
Samey
Repetitive
Day as today as yesterday as tomorrow.

Jealousy and Disappointment

Today I cried and made a choice.

Today I chose the wrong way but I know I chose it.

There’s nothing like walking into your bedroom to find your lover staring at the wall, defeated.
Because I made a choice.
He didn’t like.

At least I’m not a lamp made of skin.
I heard this. I don’t own it. I’m not Jewish.

But I’m told I lived in a kind of concentration camp.
I feel nervous at this because I’m not sure anyone is allowed to own the idea of the concentration camp unless they are Jewish.

But it resembled one – albeit with food and school and the rest of it.

My therapist describes my concentration camp as a solitary life, where a child cooks for herself from the age of six, where she has no friends, no family, not until after 5. Where bullies were the norm. Where she sat at the front of the bus, the low seat next to the driver. Where she was the last kid off the one hour bus ride home.

My therapist tells me that my concentration camp looks lonely. Where the adults are unpredictable, even in anger. Anger involves oranges flung at mum. Unpredictable anger where a car is driven towards a pole. Unpredictable anger who didn’t come home until late at night. Mum was sad an lonely and thought she was responsible for killing her mother, but didn’t worry about how she was killing me.

I don’t know who I am. Stories flood my brain and I don’t know what’s real and what’s a lie. My dreams feel more real than my memories, at times.

I made a choice tonight and I’ll live with it.

I grabbed a bottle and chose to drink it.

Should I feel bad that I feel great for the first time in months?

How did I make my therapist cry?
What does it mean?
I feel like everything I tell him is a lie.

No.

What is it?

I’m told no at every turn.
And it makes me 15 again, want to say “fuck you, even if I agree, I’m saying yes”.

No to painting the bathroom blue.
No to more cats.
No to more dogs.

No to making.

Making decisions is hard!

This morning (a Sunday) I made the decision to stay in bed and read, fart around on Facebook, write a pros and cons list, watch my dogs sleep, play with the cat until she tries to kill me… you get the drift.

Because, seriously, making decisions is hard!

life

 

Fucking Mercury Retrograde!

So I don’t usually believe in astrology.

I know that certain signs conform to certain traits, but I certainly don’t read my daily astrology because, who cares?

But I DO believe in TWO major astrological phenomena:
1. The Saturn Return.
2. Mercury Retrograde.

Why? Well I reckon it’s because these are the two stages of life that actually manage to FUCK UP YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. And seeing that Mercury is my ruling planet, I’m easily influenced whether I know it or not.

What’s happened to make me want to say this shit?

  1. I was alone 3 weeks ago and started to cry. I’m on anti-depressants and have NOT cried in years. So it freaked me out and I decided I wanted to die so I drank a tonne-load and took a tonne-load of random pills. Luckily, I sent fucked up messages to my friends and they passed them onto Jeff. One of my bestest friends and, well, she’s like a daughter, came over and let herself in the house with her keys and sat with me with her new girlfriend until Jeff came home.
  2. A week ago, I was feeling so amazing that I decided to drink and take an extra dose of my antidepressants so I could feel more amazing for longer. (You know like when you take E and then chase it with another after another looking for the initial high?) Instead, I became psychotic. I screamed like a banshee, bit and hit my husband, screamed for the neighbours because I was convinced he was trying to kill me (he was not), he called 000 and the ambulance came and took me to hospital. I was a version of me I haven’t been since I was 17-19. It wasn’t even scary to me. It was just a real feeling. I simply stopped caring what happened to me. I begged for my beautiful Holly to be there and she came without a thought. Jeff tells me that I flipped off the (very nice) nurses when I discovered they could not keep me in hospital because I was there voluntarily.
  3. I went to a drug and alcohol centre to be interviewed for options. I am desperate now.

Those are the three crazy events. Also, though,

4. I also heard back from a local writing mentorship group I’d applied for that I have been shortlisted for their mentoring group and went to an interview yesterday.

See? Mercury Retrograde! Anything is possible.

The first day back at work after the hospital visit was hard. I didn’t know how to behave like a normal person after what happened. How do you just act normal after that?

I also didn’t know how to thank and apologise to the people who were there for me. I still don’t know.

I’ve learned a few big things.

  1. I used to love making things. After the first nervous breakdown three weeks ago, I sewed and crocheted like a crazy person in a crazy ward. I’ve missed this shit.
  2. I’ve decided to live/eat/be locally. There is an amazing community in Melbourne’s West, many of whom I’ve met through our shop and various businesses in the neighbourhood.
  3. I want to make a chicken coop and I want chickens and home made eggs cos they’re rad.
  4. We’re eating at home more, thanks to Hello Fresh. Seriously, we haven’t thrown away food since we started our food box/recipe deliveries. Get on it.
  5. I’ve been to my psychiatrist 3 or 4 times in the last couple of weeks and given the cost (no private health insurance so that’s around $140 out of pocket every visit), I wonder how people who have little income can manage their mental health.
  6. I need to drink less. Drinking is my current habit of choice. I’ve had many that I won’t bore myself with. Reminders are so yesterday.
  7. Facebook is great for communicating with actual friends and for asking questions of groups you’re into. Everything else is bad news for me, so I’ve removed the visible widget from my phone.
  8. A friend’s sister killed herself a few weeks ago and talking to her made me realise how hard suicide is on the people who remain. Suicide isn’t selfish. It feels like the only option, sometimes, but your friends and family will never recover, and that’s really sad.

I’m retelling all of this not for some narcissitic reason but because we look normal on the outside. But there’s always something happening inside.

Thanks for supporting me.

xoxojo

See this pic for this post with the woman and the birds? That’s how I want to feel!

Happiness01

 

One time, I burned a book

This one time, when I was twelve, I burned a book. Not a book with cover – no back nor front – but a book, anyway. The book contained 112 pages of angst the size of a high school basketball court. I don’t regret it. Not now. It was probably a pile of shit the size of a high school football field.

But anyway.

Years later, I sold 523 books at a garage sale to make room for 522 piles of shit in my 4-car garage. Not a single one of those 522 items could fill the void made by those books. In the meantime, I have turfed 519 of those piles of shit from my garage, and the three remaining don’t fill as much as a match box.

A poem that inspired a book

This, poem, written by Rimbaud when he was 16, inspired by Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, will inspire my next novel. Not so much the poem itself, but the poet, and his life. I came across him via Patti Smith.

Rimbaud stopped writing by the time he was 21, and I need to know why.

Le_Bateau_ivre
As I was floating down unconcerned Rivers
I no longer felt myself steered by the haulers:
Gaudy Redskins had taken them for targets
Nailing them naked to coloured stakes.

I cared nothing for all my crews,
Carrying Flemish wheat or English cottons.
When, along with my haulers those uproars were done with
The Rivers let me sail downstream where I pleased.

Into the ferocious tide-rips
Last winter, more absorbed than the minds of children,
I ran! And the unmoored Peninsulas
Never endured more triumphant clamourings

The storm made bliss of my sea-borne awakenings.
Lighter than a cork, I danced on the waves
Which men call eternal rollers of victims,
For ten nights, without once missing the foolish eye of the harbor lights!

Sweeter than the flesh of sour apples to children,
The green water penetrated my pinewood hull
And washed me clean of the bluish wine-stains and the splashes of vomit,
Carrying away both rudder and anchor.

And from that time on I bathed in the Poem
Of the Sea, star-infused and churned into milk,
Devouring the green azures; where, entranced in pallid flotsam,
A dreaming drowned man sometimes goes down;

Where, suddenly dyeing the bluenesses, deliriums
And slow rhythms under the gleams of the daylight,
Stronger than alcohol, vaster than music
Ferment the bitter rednesses of love!

I have come to know the skies splitting with lightnings, and the waterspouts
And the breakers and currents; I know the evening,
And Dawn rising up like a flock of doves,
And sometimes I have seen what men have imagined they saw!

I have seen the low-hanging sun speckled with mystic horrors.
Lighting up long violet coagulations,
Like the performers in very-antique dramas
Waves rolling back into the distances their shiverings of venetian blinds!

I have dreamed of the green night of the dazzled snows
The kiss rising slowly to the eyes of the seas,
The circulation of undreamed-of saps,
And the yellow-blue awakenings of singing phosphorus!

I have followed, for whole months on end, the swells
Battering the reefs like hysterical herds of cows,
Never dreaming that the luminous feet of the Marys
Could force back the muzzles of snorting Oceans!

I have struck, do you realize, incredible Floridas
Where mingle with flowers the eyes of panthers
In human skins! Rainbows stretched like bridles
Under the seas’ horizon, to glaucous herds!

I have seen the enormous swamps seething, traps
Where a whole leviathan rots in the reeds!
Downfalls of waters in the midst of the calm
And distances cataracting down into abysses!

Glaciers, suns of silver, waves of pearl, skies of red-hot coals!
Hideous wrecks at the bottom of brown gulfs
Where the giant snakes devoured by vermin
Fall from the twisted trees with black odours!

I should have liked to show to children those dolphins
Of the blue wave, those golden, those singing fishes.
– Foam of flowers rocked my driftings
And at times ineffable winds would lend me wings.

Sometimes, a martyr weary of poles and zones,
The sea whose sobs sweetened my rollings
Lifted its shadow-flowers with their yellow sucking disks toward me
And I hung there like a kneeling woman…

Almost an island, tossing on my beaches the brawls
And droppings of pale-eyed, clamouring birds,
And I was scudding along when across my frayed cordage
Drowned men sank backwards into sleep!

But now I, a boat lost under the hair of coves,
Hurled by the hurricane into the birdless ether,
I, whose wreck, dead-drunk and sodden with water,
neither Monitor nor Hanse ships would have fished up;

Free, smoking, risen from violet fogs,
I who bored through the wall of the reddening sky
Which bears a sweetmeat good poets find delicious,
Lichens of sunlight [mixed] with azure snot,

Who ran, speckled with lunula of electricity,
A crazy plank, with black sea-horses for escort,
When Julys were crushing with cudgel blows
Skies of ultramarine into burning funnels;

I who trembled, to feel at fifty leagues’ distance
The groans of Behemoth’s rutting, and of the dense Maelstroms
Eternal spinner of blue immobilities
I long for Europe with it’s aged old parapets!

I have seen archipelagos of stars! and islands
Whose delirious skies are open to sailor:
– Do you sleep, are you exiled in those bottomless nights,
Million golden birds, O Life Force of the future? –

But, truly, I have wept too much! The Dawns are heartbreaking.
Every moon is atrocious and every sun bitter:
Sharp love has swollen me up with heady langours.
O let my keel split! O let me sink to the bottom!

If there is one water in Europe I want, it is the
Black cold pool where into the scented twilight
A child squatting full of sadness, launches
A boat as fragile as a butterfly in May.

I can no more, bathed in your langours, O waves,
Sail in the wake of the carriers of cottons,
Nor undergo the pride of the flags and pennants,
Nor pull past the horrible eyes of the hulks.

 

 

 

The thing about thinking too much

As a creative person, as pretty much everyone is, whether realised or not, you tend to overthink everything, and when you’re not creating, you feel like you’re wasting time.

At the moment, work is so hardcore – that’s what you get when you run your own business – that I actually WANT to concentrate on it for a while. But the other side of me, the creative one, wonders if I’m not just wasting time? Or maybe I’m procrastonating.

Arg, somebody give me the answer!

In the meantime, I’m watching the Patti Smith doco from 2008, Dream of Life. Fuck, I love this woman. I hope you do, too.

PS. Just last week I went to a tribute show of Patti’s Horses, featuring Australian musos I love to bits: Adalita, Jen Cloher, and Courtney Barnett. Check out the photos.

http://amnplify.com.au/cpt_photos/patti-smiths-horses-featuring-adalita-gareth-liddiard-courtney-barnett-jen-cloher-melbourne-town-hall-181015/

It’s a Giveaway!

It’s giveaway time over at Goodreads. Enter to win a copy of Floating Upstream – a real, flick-the-pages-with-your-fingers copy that you can dog ear, cry onto, underline and the rest of it.

For your chance to win one of three copies, head over to Goodreads. PLUS All winners will also receive a usb stick filled with music that inspired the book. Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Floating Upstream by Jo Vraca

Floating Upstream

by Jo Vraca

Giveaway ends October 05, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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