where do you stand in the world?
A massive entry to cover the marriage equality rally, the film
festival (MIFF), self-guided chocolate and coffee degustation, as
well as some vegetarian dining options.
I did make it to the marriage equality rally - this is the first time
I have attended a live political gathering. I only stayed about an
hour and the reason was that I had a lot of trouble relaxing in the
crowd with the omnipresent cameras, including videorecording devices,
and television station cameras. However, this is a cause I have
supported for a long time, and I think it was an important step to
offer in-person support. Australia is a bit slow at present when it
comes to this issue, but it is inevitable that it will catch
yes, i support marriage equality
When walking up Swanston to the State Library, there were many
different people representing different political issues (everything
from 'god loves muslims' to socialist and feminist issues and more).
If you are in the mood to talk, or to join something, it could be
very helpful. I thought it was good to know for future reference, but
I also did eventually feel kind of bombarded by too much at once.
A woman came up to me at some point to discuss feminist issues in
Africa, and I just nodded and smiled, and I'm sure I seemed like
quite an idiot - but by that point, I was having a lot of trouble
coping with the crowd situation. But it's not like I have trouble
describing myself as a feminist, and many of these issues are things
I write about on my own. What would it actually take for me to be
able to speak in the moment, or find a way in to conversation?
And when it comes to marriage equality.. I've been a supporter of/
member of HRC in the US for many years (but other than making
donations, signing online petitions and occasionally writing
something on my site, I haven't really been a fully participating
member). I can definitely see how the lack of legal and social
equality has effects. In a crowded demonstration, how do I talk to
people? No one there knows me or my history or beliefs, and so they
have to start somewhere, and it is up to me to figure out how to
express my personal status.. but.. I find it awkward or difficult. I
don't want it to be like I'm trying to get a biscuit, but at the same
time, how do I express where I stand? I didn't have a good enough
plan when I showed up. I didn't spend enough time thinking about
it. I think unfortunately I do have to prepare, because I know how
conversations are likely to go when I factor in my own social
Yes, I was part of the support, because I was physically present,
part of the numbers that were photographed, recorded, or at least
People who attend these rallies are usually passionate, but many are
patient, understanding that sometimes it takes people a while to
become more aware of issues, and wanting to let them know that they
have awareness that people have the potential to learn and change..
but they need you to give them something to work with. So next time,
I think I need to spend some time preparing for conversation
lots of t-shirts and signs to read..
Another t-shirt I remember said 'I didn't vote for Abbott'. Some
people really have the hang of these rallies.. Maybe if you go more
regularly, you start to figure out how to begin conversations, and
how to help the process out with a talking piece like a sign or
One problem is that if you wear an Anonymous mask (or in my case,
maybe I would wear a Pussy Riot balaclava) you might be assumed to be
doing something illegal, or to not fully believe in a certain cause,
if you won't show your 'real' identity. This sort of sucks for camera-
phobes who might want to support causes, because cameras tend to be
everywhere at these things, and a mask (or costume) is one way to
what's the hold up?
I did take photos myself.. but it seemed like those I photographed
were more comfortable with cameras than me. I can definitely
understand that if you support an issue, you might be ok with photos,
and any kind of publicity from television, to blog posts, anything
that will raise awareness.
I'm usually conscious of not wanting to inflict photo-taking on
people who might not want it.. but during this trip I have been
quite a tourist. I know there are people who are annoyed by those
who must take photos of their food, (food porn), and document every
part of their trip and blog about it, and I guess I'm now one of
these annoying people, but the thing is, my situation is at least a
little unusual in that I haven't left the house in 7 years. What
does such a person do and see, how do they process it when they go
out at last? And how much anxiety and neurosis is present in that
person's communication about what they're experiencing? Maybe I just
seem like a regular tourist, and I blend in.
can we really blame this only on tony abbott?
To me, it seemed fairly obvious what he stood for in many areas
before he was voted in. If people voted for him, what does it say
about the education system?
As I compile this entry, I am again drinking. Having a good night..
and not eating 'too much'. It feels like I have the hang of things
tonight. At the same time, it does seem like I'm accepting that
writing about things after, compiling entries, is helpful to me, and
part of what it is authentic for me to do. I am trying to share my
experiences, in the only way I know how.
taking a stand
I did notice that people at the rally were a lot more polite,
friendly and tolerant of being bumped or inconvenienced than most
I didn't have anything all that appropriate to wear, and in a way I
felt kind of like when I was 17 and hadn't realized I was wearing an
I Heart NY t-shirt for a Canada Day celebration. I wore this black,
silver and white top (with geometrical patterns), a black boa, short
black asymmetrical skirt.. but.. I did manage to pick up a colourful
sign, which I carried around. Also, when I left the demonstration,
and walked down the street, I kept holding the sign, and I think I
was a lot more visible after I left the actual rally. At the rally,
everyone is full of love, but when you leave the zone and walk down
the street, it's lot more easy to see sour expressions or lack of
My lips and nails were quite red.
more people did arrive, and across the way it did seem there
were more people checking it out
The problem I had with the rally relates to my usual social
ineptness and inability to speak in the moment. Maybe I should have
gone drunk. But, yes, I do see that part of getting better at it is
that you have to go often, you have to accept that sometimes change
only happens very slowly, over years, and you pay attention to how
you can communicate more effectively when you attend. And possibly
this relates to signs, symbols or t-shirts that allow for
non-verbal communication, and partly it would relate to looking for
those who maybe remind you of yourself at early rallies, or getting a
feel for who might be most open to conversation with whoever. Many
people do come with groups of friends, but I think you are also
likely to find people who are at least in theory open to conversation
with anyone, worldwide.
It would have been great if during my Progressive Degustation walking
tour I had managed to photograph the various (exquisite!) vegetarian
non-dessert items I tried, but unfortunately, early on my camera
didn't capture things well, and I made the decision to just try to
enjoy the degustation without trying to document. However.. I am a
huge fan of degustation, and I highly recommend this sort of thing to
those who might be curious about it.
Self-guided chocolate and coffee degustation, hitting some of the
major places to get chocolate..
at gânache i had the hazelnut fan slice with a skinny
I'm finding I'm really liking lattes.. I don't get the cough factor
from the dusting of cocoa that accompanies a cappuccino. And I'm not
sure, but although a flat white isn't bad, it maybe lacks something
The hazelnut fan slice: wow!
belgian spoil tasting platter at koko black
Obviously I have been overdosing on chocolate lately.. but isn't this
better than bingeing on supermarket chocolate in my room?
What we have here (left to right) is chocolate ice cream, something
I'm not sure what it was (it had marshmallow and jam inside, I
think), the Koko Black signature Alchemy cake, two chocolates, and
chocolate mousse. What I liked best: the Alchemy cake and the
chocolate ice cream.
The upstairs room at Koko Black (in the Royal Arcade) has the best
ambiance of these three. (Gânache, Koko Black and the Lindt
In Sydney, a Lindt café was the scene of a hostage situation/
terrorist attack. It does seem to make sense.. I suppose these spots
are very touristy/popular. No, I didn't go here because I thought I'd
be lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer to be the first
tourist to die.. redeem my life, etc.. if another attack occurred. I
am a fan of chocolate and coffee, and I thought I would try to
compare some of the major hotspots.
A little bird was hopping around inside, and went onto the table,
chairs, tweeting a little before flying off, when it seemed like no
one was currently offering anything to it.
waffles with chocolate and an espresso at the lindt café
The espresso here was a little bitter, but the waffles were quite
tasty, and I wanted to try something a little different from what I'd
tried at Koko Black and Gânache.
I didn't really devise a fair test. I just tried different things at
each place. But, Koko Black had a tasting platter that made more
sense than the ones offered at the Lindt Café and I can't
remember what Gânache offered when it came to tasting platters.
And at the Lindt café I chose waffles partly because they were
on special ($10 instead of $17.)
This entry is about catching up what's happened since my last entry,
and will go all over the place..
how much chocolate and coffee have i actually consumed?
How much alcohol? And how much weight have I gained?
In 2 weeks, realistically, it's unlikely I gained 10 lbs, especially
considering how much walking I've done. I do think it's realistic
that I could have gained at least 5, but that if I went back to more
structured eating for a couple of weeks it would be easier to tell
what the situation is, once the bloated feeling and the general
blahness and feelings of self-disgust subside.
But there is that feeling, that out of control feeling, and past
experience has been that while at first it takes a while to gain back
10 lbs and it's maybe not that big a deal, it actually is a big deal
because I can't stop it at 10, and by the time I'm out of control I'm
not enjoying things any more, it all just feels like a run-on binge
without suitable breaks. So, maybe I've had my 'moments' and that's
what I get, and that will be what I have to remember over time. My
mind will process it all in its own way, and there may be moments of
colour, and glimpses of feelings, impressions, ambiance associated
with this trip. How positive and colourful it will feel later is
something I don't know for sure yet.
During my trip, I have for some reason found it easier to photograph
desserts than savoury meals, but I have had some very delicious
I had walked by Maccaroni many times, and thought it always smelled
very good.. but when I first tried to get in it was really busy. I
came back early one day, and while my meal was very rich and filling
(spinach canneloni with bechamel and marinara), it was extremely
delicious. I also got some garlic bread that was very tasty. I didn't
think I could take photos that would do it justice.
spinach arancini with parmesan
On Friday night on Lygon St, I had some arancini that was very tasty
and looked really cute. After I saw the movie Amy at the Nova (with
quite a quantity of wine..), I had some coconut gelato out on the
When I ordered the arancini, I asked for a wine recommendation. The
waiter suggested a pinot grigio which I found very nice, but somehow
the second glass tasted a bit different.. strangely sweet.. and when
I paid my bill I did comment, and the waiter said I had been given a
riesling, but it was a Brown Brothers thing, and I'm wondering if it
actually was a dessert wine, like a moscato, and not a riesling. I
was given a 10% discount on my bill for the mistake.
guzman y gomez: mini veg/black bean burrito, 2 veg quesadillas and
I am going to see if I can make it tomorrow to see The Forbidden Room
at the AMCI theatres.. [Sunday, the last day of the film festival.]
because it sounds surrealist, and might be a good thing to see in a
big theatre. If I don't make it, though, I think I have done well.
[Made it. Completely awe-inspiring.]
I do think I am really absorbing the energy here, the vibes just in
going out into the streets. At the same time, I know I'm not in
control, and that my self-esteem has dropped. I don't think I can
focus on making decisions or trying to get a place to stay. I can
barely hold on to awareness or perception when I talk to anyone. I
know I'm anxious.
I think it's part of the Melbourne thing that they want to keep some
addresses more private, and it is likely that if I don't find some
places, it's because I wouldn't be cool enough for them.. Also, when
an address is listed, I think it's helpful not just to have the
street number, but to mention the biggest intersection nearby - and
almost no businesses seem to do this - but again, I think it's a
Melbourne thing to make you work for it to find a cool place. While
walking, yes, you can see street numbers at the corner, but if you
are in a room without internet (because I don't have wifi) and you
want to plan where you're walking, it can be helpful to know the
OK, yes, I see the problem.. I am a kind of dinosaur. I don't have a
proper phone, I don't have wifi, I'm one of those women of a certain
age who don't know how to change the wallpaper on their
the lustre bar, right across the street from where i'm staying
On Friday night, I went to the Lustre bar which is right across from
where I'm staying - for the $5 Happy Hour bubbles. I thought it was a
very drinkable sparkling (called Jacqueline, something like that,
which reminded me of a Franz Ferdinand song, which I like the lyrics
to..). I then noticed a sign which said $10 for a shot of tequila
with a sangrita chaser (the latter was described as spicy), and so I
decided to have that with some quesedillas (I can't remember how to
spell this at the moment, and the spellchecker doesn't offer any
suggestions).. [quesadillas] but the bartender there said just hold
on a moment for the free nibbles.. and he prepared me a little
personal plate with three dips and some bread - there was hummus and
I didn't recognize the other two, but it was all great. The sangrita
was really spicy and made my nose run, and I ended up getting another
sparkling to wash it all down. At first I thought it might be a gay
bar, because when I first walked up I saw what I thought were a lot
of male couples, and also the look of the place reminded me of maybe
something sort of vintage. But it was exactly the sort of thing that
I look for.. I just found it a bit overwhelming when there. Most
people were in groups of friends, and had tables. I just stood
awkwardly at the bar. At the rally, it was similar.. people were in
groups of friends. At Lustre, a friendly guy talked to me for a bit
and said I'd made a good choice (tequila shot and sangrita), and
tried to engage me in conversation while he waited for a bunch of
drinks he was picking up for his table, but I was pretty much a
smiling vacant deadbeat. Something similar occurred at the rally when
a woman tried to engage me in a conversation about women's rights in
the forum from outside
I am totally in love with The Forum, and extremely glad I went to see
a movie there.
The film I saw there was Chronic. Tim Roth features as a carer who
works with people at the end of their lives. He's compassionate and
caring, and doesn't make the people feel like they are disgusting or
a burden. Would he himself, and others like him, receive a similar
level of care at the end of their lives, or would life throw them
some kind of unexpected or unfair curve ball? And is it better to
have compassionate care, or to die suddenly, without dragging things
out? Which is more dignified and compassionate ultimately? Which is
more meaningful to an individual?
street view near the forum
If I had clued in earlier, I probably would have got some kind of
festival pass.. but because I only got organized in the last few days
of the festival, I was only able to see a couple of movies. I would
have also seen more popular movies like The Lobster, Queen of Earth
and Mistress America, as well as many others including Wonderful
World End and How To Dance in Ohio.. and probably a lot more.
more of the nearby area
When I left The Forum on Saturday night, it was still early, and so I
went for a bit of a walk. I walked up Swanston and had it in my mind
that I was in the mood for Mexican food and a margarita.. I stopped
in at a place I had seen Friday night - Guzman Y Gomez. I tried a
mini veggie burrito (my first ever) and two veggie quesadillas with a
margarita. I felt very full after, and could only eat half the mini-
burrito (I wrapped up the rest and took it with me). (The photo is up
a little higher in this entry.)
I seemed to have found my feet, and was not feeling the need to
b/p. I was very nicely, enjoyably drunk.
the forum vs regular theatres: if you have the choice..
While I sipped my wine and waited for my movie, I was kind of singing
along to the Nick Cave songs they had playing. At one point, I think
maybe an older gentleman might have been checking me out, but that he
lost interest when I committed the cardinal sin of checking out my
phone.. basically, I wasn't checking for messages, and I barely know
how to operate the thing, and to boot it's an old-fashioned flip
phone, but I was looking at it to see the time, so I'd know how long
before my movie started. The Mandala bar was quite nice, I was
already pretty drunk, and I wasn't sure about my sense of
hmmm.. kinda looks like a church..
I had a lot of wine before watching Chronic at The Forum on Saturday
night (and a glass while waiting for the movie to start that was
filled well above the line shown on the glass). The Forum is my
favourite theatre of all time. I fell in love with it immediately.
Even when it comes to Mandala.. you walk in, and they have these
seating areas that look like pews.. the church of theatre/film.. I
could imagine that speed dating here could actually be fun, and that
I wouldn't have to lie about my situation. [They occasionally host
events like speed dating nights.]
There are many different types of tables, but I really liked the
pews.. You can bring wine into a movie with you, (at the Nova cinema
on Lygon St, too). It seems like they are unemployed- and addict-
If we compare this experience with seeing a film at the AMCI
buildings across the way..
There's really no comparison. I don't think I'd ever want to go to
the AMCI cinemas again.
federation square and flinders station
The whole setup at the AMCI cinemas is unpleasant. It's hard to
figure out where to actually go, they aren't very forthcoming when it
comes to how to find out how to buy a ticket, and when you line up to
go in, the queue ends up going down several flights of stairs and out
When I got up on Sunday, it was like I was trying to plan one really
extreme binge. I thought I'd go out and have coffee and dessert, and
maybe bring a few things back to the apartment, go out and watch the
movie as a final task/goal to complete, and then just let go. And
stay in for the last few days, unless I am able to contact a
psychologist. But.. I no longer have control. I binged on the food I
had left here, and vomited, thinking this might pave the way for a
'better' drinking night, such that I'm not combining drinking with
binge eating, but going back to my preferred way of doing
I wanted to try to get into the spirit of the movie.. I wanted to
wear something surreal, or a little less 'normal'.. and there are
the two dresses with black lace overlays.. the red, and the other
ones, more coffee hued satin. And I could instead of wearing a
beanie, wear my usual hat, and even fix a flower to it. But I tried
things on, and while they didn't look terrible, I realize I'm
starting to feel gross, like I'm oozing out of everything, bursting,
and there is another problem, which was sort of scaring me..
I think it was too late for the library so I couldn't search, but I
am having this scary thing with swollen feet/ankles. I think it
started a couple of days ago. I need to find out if this just
sometimes happens to 'women of a certain age' if they're excessive,
drinking a lot, walking a lot, etc, or if it's more 'serious'.
Pregnant women get swollen feet and ankles, don't they? I mean,
without it being a serious health concern. And I do remember that in
2008, there was a time when one of my legs was swollen when I was
travelling. I thought it was related to a knee injury, but what if
that was something similar? could it be DVT? Am I drinking enough
water? What can I do about it? Should I rest? Is elevation good or
bad in this case? So, while I would be ok with actually dying, if
it's something that will just add fear and horror, without death, it
As much as I love The Forum, I really don't like AMCI. That said, I
think I chose the right movie for me for the last day of MIFF: The
Forbidden Room. There were parts that much of the audience laughed
at, and I didn't really laugh, or even found some things awkward, but
I think when it comes to the guy talking about baths, I think what he
was saying is that bathing, in the unconscious, and even in life, is
a messier process than people think about.
lentil and vegetable soup at the amci café
Before The Forbidden Room started, I stopped in to the
café/bar. I am finding that if I order a soup of the day, it
seems to work well for me. Soup usually seems to sit well in my
stomach, I don't feel too full, it's a satisfying meal, and I like it
with a glass of wine. The bread with the soup above was described as
having 'parmesan butter' or something like that. It was tasty, but I
probably only ate about half the bread provided. It does seem that
sourdough or turkish bread are commonly offered with soup at present.
I'd be fine with some kind of whole wheat option.
I thought I'd have more wine, but I didn't like the setup there. You
have to get into a line to place an order, and it didn't seem you
could get more wine once you were already seated without going
through this process. I think the soup might have been a good meal to
restore balance to my system after vomiting earlier.
Anyway.. reading between the lines or inflicting the whole rorschach
kind of thing, and just approaching it in a kind of surreal fashion
that doesn't let people know the extent to which I analyze movies
when on my own and can write down my thoughts immediately after
watching a movie.. the movie was pretty much about what my journey to
Melbourne was about. The women in the movie were the type I wanted to
be, but I turned out to be a meatloaf, and even when I tried really
hard and put in a valiant effort, on the day I saw this movie, I
wasn't able to dress to get into the spirit - because my 'bones',
my foundation are not like these women's foundations. It's always a
'not quite' kind of thing. I miss. And that is the story of how I
came to wish to die. I am stuck on the island of misfit toys, not the
island of the tragically pretty simmering volcanos just waiting to
I did wear red lipstick. And even without consciously following some
of what was happening, at times it felt emotional, and sexual. More
sexual than anything I've seen in some time, because it is about the
unconscious factors that shape our aims and desires, or the need to
resolve not being loved. It's about stirring together the primal,
the mundane, the hidden and the forbidden. It gets messy, but even in
making an attempt to express the confusion, it's like taking a bath,
and is necessary to some of us, at least once in a while.
Bones sometimes need to be broken and reset..
A theme was about 'women's bones' or skeletons.. stripped.. (sort of
synchronistic, considering some of my recent diary entries) but it's
not about something 'insubstantial', (or about lacking 'soul') it's
about their foundations, who they are, and that even if they have
forgotten who they are, there are always ways for these women to find
their place, because it is 'in their bones'. We need beauty in the
world. The kind represented here is a type, the type I am drawn to
and would have wished to emulate or project.
When I had chosen the movie, I wasn't aware of who would make
appearances. When it came to many of the women in the movie, it was
like unexpectedly seeing old friends.
It might seem like I am putting myself down, but I think I understand
who I am now, and I also see that I have tried, in my way, to be
free. And although maybe I haven't yet expressed it all well enough,
I think it's possible that I have transcended the meatloaf genre, and
created my own..
yet another chocolate-caffeine fix
Even when bingeing, I am trying to make an effort to choose things I
like, and to arrange them for my eyes.
My night will be about compiling one last massive entry, or breaking
it into more than one. I have about 16 units of alcohol, and only
small snacks (I can make mini margherita pizzas, I have some cashews,
and a few limited edition Lindt cappuccino flavoured balls. There are
also apples (a big bowl in the livingroom, they came with the
apartment. I have eaten a few so far.) I feel sort of relieved, and
am hoping I will enjoy the night. Sunday Night Safran is on in a
while, and I will just try to get an entry together. I think overall
I have done well on my trip, and this time I have done much more than
I did in 2008. It does take time to get to know oneself, but I have
also had to fight to feel more 'entitled'.
Most people keep waiting for unusual characters to force themselves
into their lives or issue invitations of some kind. I know this, and
I know that many people, if someone takes an interest in them, will
get into the spirit - and in fact they are just waiting for their
lives to become like a movie. So, if I played my role well, I would
not have to be stunningly beautiful.. and I would still add something
to someone's life. At the same time, I haven't waited to receive
invitations. I have made decisions myself not to wait.
In the line to get into the movie today, I was actually caught off
guard that somehow I just managed to be standing in the line next to
the person I found most physically attractive I have seen on the
whole trip. He seemed a bit shy or awkward, and I wasn't sure if he
was trying to let me go in front of him, or talk to me, but I thought
he was there before me, and also, I didn't have much confidence,
because I had vomited that morning, I realized that from the alcohol,
food, vomiting of the previous night(s) I might reek, and to top it
off, I wasn't really dressed like a similar type as him. He looked
more 'alternative' and I looked probably trendy or 'trying too hard'.
(I'm too white bread for artists, and too complicated for
neurotypicals, the 'normal', the logical and the sensible.) But it
had occurred to me that after the movie, I could ask him if I could
buy him a drink, and I was thinking he looks like he might want to
try absinthe..And, prepared like a Girl Scout, I had the card for the
bar with the address on it. But I didn't have enough
I am hoping that through the process of writing about all of this I
will figure out what to do from here in the overall sense. Go back?
Try to stay?
It is a pattern, yes, but I have tried really hard. It does occur to
me that in many ways I am still like a kid who does what she can, but
still really needs parental guidance to help connect me better to
life and opportunities. My parents themselves probably didn't really
know how to live, and couldn't pass it on. They lived from one fix to
I was actually a bit surprised that I was able to 'fix my face'
yesterday. I needed to wear red lipstick, but I don't think I looked
all that bad without sunglasses. I tried the AMCI bathroom, and sort
of liked it. Still, I wore sunglasses to get there, and again after I
left, even though it was dark. I'm not feeling confident, and it
could be that what's happening is that I know in person I look like
I'm a certain age, despite photos which are a bit more
I called GK, he googled and said swollen feet and ankles, if you've
been standing or walking a lot, are not usually cause for concern.
And I would say that I have definitely been walking a lot. Either
high on caffeine and sugar, or drunk, I can easily find hours have
I can try to elevate my feet. An issue might be that much more salt
than I'm used to might have been inflicted on me (when I buy things
like cashews, I eat them unsalted). I could also try to eat things
like bananas.. (I actually bought some yesterday, as well as Up & Go
and oatmeal and cinnamon.) Drink a bit more water.
It's funny.. it just seems like there are so many things to do here
and places to try out that as I go along, more and more occurs to me,
and even when I think I should stay in for a few days, my natural
inclination is just to head out again.
But after this trip, what is there really to do?
Third week of a seven year binge. It's looking more like that now.
But at least we'll always have Melbourne..
I do notice that I am experiencing a compulsion to eat more than I
need. I had been free of this feeling for a very long time, and now
I'm wondering if I can be free of it again. I'm uprooted here, and
don't have access to some of what helps me to manage or utilize a
certain structure. Part of it is that I need access to my collection
of movies and tv, or to the SBS on demand website, but it could also
be that it helps to have regular dinners with GK, and a schedule
which includes various things, including visits with possums each
night. But although that system worked in preventing the binge
eating, I was not really coping well in the overall sense with my
At present, I kind of want to hide. I don't feel strong, and I don't
feel in control. I have too much anxiety to really be able to look
Do I now feel I must try to get down to 98 lbs again? Is that the new
standard? The thing is, though, that getting down to 98 lbs or less
is not enough now. I know what the naked reality is.. and I think I
probably look very old. In all the bathrooms I've seen myself in, the
lighting is harsh, and my skin looks terrible in
that light. Like I mean really terrible. In addition to that, my skin
is loose in places, and I keep thinking of a Sex and the City episode
where Samantha is dating a guy in his 70s, and she asks Carrie what
her age ceiling is.. and Carrie is still in her low-to-mid 30s, and
says '50?' anyway.. Sam is disgusted when she sees Ed's rear end and
how loose the skin looks, and I can only vaguely remember it, but I'm
thinking I probably look older than 70.. and it seems abnormal, or
like 'my face is finished, my body's gone'. anyone who might
momentarily be attracted to me is not going to like the naked
reality. And how do you even discuss it? It seems the only choice is
to shut up about it, keep the lights out, and hope for the best, but
I don't really think I'd relax in that kind of situation, so it's
probably not realistic I will have sex again.
It probably would be good to try the Naltrexone now. I am not sure I
am up for much, and from now I might just concentrate on trying to
get back to Brisbane where I can withdraw into my room. However, I do
have awareness of GK's upcoming 50th birthday celebration, and I will
try not to totally withdraw yet, because I don't want to screw up his
birthday. Well, I actually want it to be a good birthday. [Note: I
left the Naltrexone in Brisbane.]
I feel hideous, but it's different now. I know that even when I look
my best I'm irrelevant. I have no context, no way of connecting to
other people's lives. I can't bridge the gaps - I do not have enough
energy to do so, or enough that's authentic to share. When people
try to bridge the gaps toward me, they aren't usually aware of what
they're in for, and I make it awkward.
Everybody is waiting for something or someone. I know that, and know
that if I make the first move, I can be something interesting in
someone's life. But, I kinda wanted to be the someone that someone
noticed instead of it being the other way around, again. And when I
notice people and approach them, it does seem to be that the
relationship is very often based on how well I feed their ego. It is
not about what is unusual about me, or my individuality, it is about
how special I make them feel, or it's about them wanting me to
concentrate on the parts of my personality that are more acceptable
or reasonable in their eyes. It's not equal enough.
Having a bit of trouble organizing this entry today, but now mainly
it might be about fixing the writing. I am annoying myself.. I keep
going on about how I look, and the usual topics, and it does seem
that I'm inhaling a ton of coffee and chocolate, and wine.. but if
I'm going to binge, I might as well take the time to select what I
want. I've had a lot of really amazing things. The photos will help
me to remember.
I have managed to do a lot on my trip. I have tasted many things, I
have pushed myself to do some things I haven't before, I've been
excessively but enjoyably drunk. I'm not just checking things off a
list - it seems that each day I can think of things I really want to
do, even when I think I should stay in for a bit to get myself back
in check, I still find it not that difficult to just get out the
door. In fact, it seems more difficult to actually force myself to
But it does beg the question: how much of this relates to getting
down to 98 lbs before my trip, such that I had more leeway in
gaining? And, I stopped drinking for 8 months. I am now right back
into it. Without stopping, it seems unlikely I would have been able
to face the world, but without alcohol, this trip would not have been
But what is the difference between me before and after? In either
case, aren't I past the possibility of certain types of encounters or
notice? Do I believe in the 'entitlement of the thin'? What I mean
is, if I am more comfortable in large part because I am thin enough
that people assume I am one of those people who do things in
moderation, sensibly, 'take care of myself', such that their
reactions to me are favourable or something, and this makes me feel
less nervous? But if that is the case, it would be a kind of comfort
based on false impressions. I am excessive, and maybe it's hard to
identify clearly, but maybe part of what has to be done is to
identify how all of this affects me, such that I can more consciously
take a stand.
I do look like I'm 'trying too hard', and I wonder how other people
achieve that effortless look of street cool fashion.. what I mean is,
is it really effortless, or is there just an illusion in relation to
it.. such that people always have awareness of not wanting to look
like they're trying too hard? I'm not trying to be in fashion. I
still have a kind of attachment to a certain kind of retro look
(wanting to add my own thing to it), and I've never really pulled it
off, but maybe at times when I've been lucky I've managed something
that works for me as an individual.
I do notice tonight that I want to binge. And I wonder how to feel
(17th) My feet/ankles are a bit less swollen today. Maybe taking a
break from walking isn't so bad, but I already feel like I want to go
out again. I don't think my entry will be ready before library
closing tonight, so I will wait until tomorrow.
It does make sense that my body might still want to compensate for
months of 'starvation' (purposely reducing calories to change my
body), but it seems possible that the urge to binge has other
contributing factors. There might be something about how the excess
messes with my system, such that whenever there's a big sugar
comedown, the craving increases, there could be a kind of memory in
my body of what happens when I'm out of control, and a kind of panic
that it can't be prevented. But there might also be a kind of
overwhelming fear and desperation that represents what I have no idea
how to solve on my own. I do everything I can to try to move in the
right direction, but I am hampered by some parts of my patterns that
I just do not have enough energy to address because so much energy
goes into addressing so many aspects of the overall problem.
I am not comfortable in the world, and I don't know how to find
comfort. Interaction with people depletes rather than replenishes
me.. or I don't know how to find some of the types of interaction I
need. I think the urge to binge in part represents the missing
aspects of social interaction and energy exchange. The chemical
interactions or effects of drugs and food might be the closest
approximation for what is missing. When I get out there, at a certain
point I just don't have the strength to keep going. I need time to
'recover', but in that time, I might have not made the needed
decisions to find a place to stay, and I don't know who to ask for
help. I feel the need to hide, and no one is aware of what's
happening with me, and there is no one to urge me to do this or that,
or to offer suggestions.
While I am here I will mention some things that have not been great
on the trip. I think it's good to leave feedback, but at times I have
had to prioritize what I am up to putting my energy into.
I really liked The Blackman hotel, but in the bathroom, they had a
sign which said if you are concerned about the environment, hang any
towels you are willing to reuse. Every day I hung my towels, and
every day they were replaced. It seems like maybe there's a
disconnect somewhere between staff and management, but this sort of
thing has occurred at other hotels I visited (years ago). Also, about
halfway through my one-week stay, I said it was fine to go without
any servicing of the room for the rest of my stay. I spoke to someone
on the phone about this. I wanted to check if just this say-so was
enough, but I think I would have had to keep the Do Not Disturb sign
on when I went out. It looks like the moment I went out, someone came
in to service the room.
Also, I left two towels on the floor (small ones), and hung the rest,
to see what would happen. All towels were again replaced. I don't
think housekeeping should be punished if there is some problem with
management and communication, but I did want to be environmentally
friendly during my stay, and I don't need new towels every single day
during a one-week stay. I also don't want to shortchange housekeeping
if they count on gratuities left by guests, but if I can go without
having my room serviced, I don't want to feel obligated to leave a
certain percentage. I would count on the hotel itself to pay its
employees a fair wage. I do realize that although in Australia it's
not generally expected that people pay gratuities, in some hotels,
like The Blackman, and restaurants, I think it is sort of something
that is silently accepted as the norm, possibly because of
international guests who just normally leave them.
Also at The Blackman, aside from the unflattering lighting, another
issue was lack of counterspace in the bathroom. When I bring in
clothes, there's nowhere to put them, and I don't like putting
clothes on the back of the toilet seat lid. The sink is huge (the
drain was slow-moving, making it difficult to keep the sink clean-
looking), and there's not much space for putting things down. Also,
the toiletry samples (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel) were in these
really hard, inflexible plastic bottles that were extremely difficult
to squeeze stuff out of. I found them so annoying I just gave up on
It is occurring to me that the lighting in both places is better
designed for little or no makeup - and that maybe when I have less on
I look a little better, but this principle does not apply to how the
lighting looks on my body skintone.
In the apartment, the bathroom seems designed for extremely tall
people. This is another thing I am not sure if I'm stupid about: to
use the shower, I can't seem to figure out how to do it such that the
shower curtain doesn't cling to me and make my shower unpleasant.
That's how I got water all over the bathroom floor the first day - by
aiming the shower spray differently, and untucking the curtain from
inside the tub - but that was the only way I could get the curtain to
stop clinging to me. Other than that, the drains are kind of slow
moving and as I write this, there's a bit of a problem in the kitchen
sink I am trying to figure out how to fix on my own. I like to keep
things tidy, and I don't like to leave things messier than when I
showed up. It's also that if I had my own apartment, it would be at a
certain tidiness level, and it is easier to imagine I am in my own
apartment if I can keep it in that condition.
I think maybe it would be good to have written instructions for how
to use various appliances and items (intercoms, door locks) in any
accommodation. It might seem that many things are self-explanatory,
at least if you don't have morons staying, but there are differences
from country to country in how certain things work, and even from
brand to brand within one country. I do better with written than
verbal explanations. Yes, a person who is not socially awkward could
just ring up and ask how to do something or other, but I think even
'normal' people don't want to have to pester their hosts every 5
minutes regarding relatively simple things - and that to do so does
kind of detract from the peace and enjoyment of a trip.
As far as hangovers and general malaise.. basically I'm coping with
alcohol as well as I normally would. I get up, get showered, have
something to eat, and I'm pretty much fine and ready to go.
Apparently swollen feet and ankles can occur if you are walking a lot
or on your feet a lot. Hmmm, but is it more likely to happen to women
of a certain age or pregnant women, or those who are 'overweight'?
So what does it mean, that I'm old? And I can't do what I used to?
I feel somewhat fit, and the walking for hours each day has not felt
like exercise, but maybe combining that with all the excesses and
this is what I get. I could also be having considerably more salt
than I normally do. But this situation really freaked me out. Should
I rest for a couple of days? I think the swelling had gone down a
little today, but as the day went on, it seemed to get worse again,
and I haven't been sitting with feet elevated. It does feel like
applying pressure/massaging helps, as does flexing and moving the
feet around. I would actually not mind sitting and watching a movie
with my feet up.
Ok, so I got all that out. But overall, I have been lucky enough to
stay in two inspiring places, and I would describe this trip as my
I've had lyrics from Moulin Rouge in my head: my makeup may be
flaking, but my smile stays on.. the show must go on..
->exile on meme st: a diary