Sunday, October 14, 2012

Something To Be Glad About

The first thing I read on the dear internet this morning was an article about an abortion clinic in Invercargill that has been forced to open and operate in secrecy because of the largely conservative/misogynistic population. Until now, doctors in the area had been refusing to perform terminations, so on top of the emotional stress of an unwanted/unfeasible pregnancy, women have had to travel to Dunedin or Christchurch. I had planned to come here and launch into a tirade about the hypocrisy and the patriarchy and some general What The Fuck. But you know what? It's Sunday. I'm resting. And I don't want to give you sour stomach. That shit can wait until Monday.

So instead, I'm going to share with you some things I've been enjoying (which doesn't strictly mean they are happy, as you'll see). I hope you enjoy them too.

1. Sad YouTube. This tumblr (which I found through Rookie; you have to follow the kids to know where the fire is!) is a beautiful and often heart-wrenching selection of YouTube comments, lamenting or simply acknowledging a time, place, person, or feeling associated with a song. The creator suggests you click on the link to the song, which will open in a new window, and then read the comment, which I support, although it can be a bit too much. While undoubtably sad, the comments are a reminder of how temporary life is, and how that connects us and gives us reason to live the best way we can. (Having said that, I mostly just focussed on the sad aspect of that, and loss, and I enjoyed that just as much; more, possibly.)

2. Diwali. Yesterday evening I left the house(!!!) for half an hour to visit the Diwali festivities in Aotea Square. We arrived at dusk, to a performance that blew me away with its exotic, mystic and unattainable beauty, before the rain began to fall and the crowd dispersed like water in a hot pan, reconvening under trees, and shop canopies, and information stands. I loved it. I loved the music, and the dancing, and being surrounded by people connected so strongly with India, knowing their culture is so old and yet modern at the same time. I've been mistaken as Indian since I was a kid, and strangely, I felt as if I fit at the festival, which is funny because my enchantment felt so naive that it should have made me feel even more of an outsider. I bought some Dahi Puri which didn't look anything like the Dahi Puri I have had before and then we navigated our way home down squalid Queen Street, and although our Diwali was brief, it was one of those times where I felt completely at one with my situation. The square will be set up until tonight with performances throughout the day and the food-stalls open until 9pm; if you're anywhere around, you won't regret the effort.

3. My son Oscar, and my nephew Oli. Oli has ben staying with Oscar for about a month, and apart from the usual settling period (including a bit of the green-eyed monster over a certain much-loved aunt), they have been as two noisy and somewhat smelly peas in a pod (which they once were). Oli's welcome bark complements Oscar's welcome wail very nicely, and it's quite nice getting home with hair all over my jeans and wondering whose is whose.

4. Jessa Johansson. Without always meaning to (a fortnight ago's homage to Downton Abbey was totally accidental; I haven't even watched it!), I seem to wear what I see. During Mad Men, I always find myself wearing lipstick more frequently, taking more time with my hair, and wearing more pencil skirts. The week of Boardwalk Empire, all of my fine pleated skirts and loose knits came out, and so did my black boots for the first time in months. But since Girls, I have found myself wearing all of my favourite things in my wardrobe that I hardly ever wear because I feel like I'm dressing up - which is precisely why I bought them - and I haven't felt more comfortable or myself than in those things... and it's because of watching Jessa. I loved everything she wore in Girls, and have a lot of similar things but I hardly ever wear them because I live in Auckland and not New York, and in Auckland people shoot you if you look like you deliberately put on what you're wearing. No more. I wore a fur coat in Waikouaiti, and the amused looks didn't kill me. People probably just thought I was crazy, and that I can handle. It's not entirely untrue. Taking inspiration from Joan and Betty and Margaret is fun, but the time has come to Own My Look.

5. Something the other day reminded me of the scene in Eagle Vs Shark when Damon is about to go home and does the cockhole bit to Lily. I couldn't find it on YouTube, but I did find this one, over which Vincent and I have been giggling since last night. Have a good Sunday. Bitch.

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