Get your rock off

29 11 2009

The sun rises. The sun sets. It does it every day.

The sun rises. Things are set in motion. Breakfasts eaten. Commutes bird-flipped and snarled through. Knees skinned in playgrounds. Milk bought at corner stores or removed from front doorsteps. Gardens weeded. Lawns shorn. Houses made and deals built. Relationships cooked, cakes ended. Beers inhaled. The sun sets.

It does it every day.

Every damn day. Pulling us from lid open to lid closed, like a human Goldberg contraption of knock-on reaction and forward momentum and don’t forget to take out the rubbish.

The sun rises. The sun sets. It does it every day.

But sometimes you have to pay money to be reminded to even look at it.

Of course it’s free. The sunrise. The sunset. But when you’re standing in a car park with a glass of bubbly and store-bought salsa hanging off the lip of a corn chip, you don’t mind that you’re paying for it. Because you’re too caught up ogling a bloody big rock as it flashes its sandstone thigh and reflects the gaze of that huge ball of fire.

Why am I in a car park? Why am I looking at a bloody big rock? Why am I rambling about the sun?

Because I’m a bad Australian. Read the rest of this entry »

Anything can be anything

20 04 2007

The brain is such a wonderful pudgy, squidgy, gooily amazing thing. Pinkish grey and full of volts and zaps and doodads firing in every direction. Everything about it rips open its shirt and screams from the rooftops, “Potential!”

Not mine.

I don’t know how to say this, but I think the shelf life on my brain may have expired. It’s traveled well past being ‘on the turn.’ It’s already transmogrified into that bag of green soupy liquid that was once a lettuce and now resides at the back of the refrigerator, only to be found by an unsuspecting hand looking for the margarine.

Hey, I’ll give it its due. It still does ok on all the basics. My legs can still get me across the street before a cab hits me. My arms can still push tourists out of the way in Time’s Square, no worries. I blink when my eyes get dry. I don’t put my hand on stove hotplates, even when dared. So, it’s doing ok.

But when it comes to stirring up a hearty stew in the old ideas cauldron…well, let’s just say that Old Mother Hubbard has been to my cupboard and the song remains exactly the damn same. I’m not entirely sure when it happened, but I can pinpoint the exact moment when I finally noticed it. Read the rest of this entry »

Torn between two Noodles

29 01 2006

I am split. I am hewn.

I am both solid and hollow. Light and dark. Coated and bare. All at once.

I am a blob of oil paint, roosting on a painter’s palette. I am being broken down by turpentine. Added to. Transformed into a color to be used as an accent shade, or perhaps for mysterious shadows in some grand masterpiece, or even minor work.

If I am blue, am I now grey?

Put on your hard hat. I’m about to hit the panic button.

I’m scared. My accent is slowly packing its alphabet into a haversack and plotting a course back to the mainland. And it’s leaving without me! And I never suspected a thing. I didn’t get advance warning. Not a blackmail note from cutout letters. Not even a text message on my phone. I had to take a trip back to Australia to learn the ugly truth.

I am losing it. I am losing my accent. I am losing myself.

Read the rest of this entry »

Little creatures

15 04 2005

Some people, returning to their NY apartments after a 14-day slog and slouch along a dusty road a’travelin’, will be greeted by slobbering dogs (or families); snooty, yet mewling cats; or the endlessly ‘ahh-ing’ maws of goldfish trying to place the face.

What greets me? Can’t you guess? Remember, the Noodle life mosaic has many cracked tiles. It’s not going to be anything…pleasant.

It goes down like this. I get off my flight from Sydney at JFK and immediately shuffle down low in the back of a cab. We crawl and heave through peak-hour traffic. Bridges and tunnels. Trucks and buses. Horns, stereos, ‘hey buddies’, and middle-finger salutes.

All is fine, thus far.

As we sneak back into Manhattan, I exchange ‘long flight’ stories with my Pakistani cab driver, and we chorus the complaints of cattle-class travelers the world over. I hear my knees sigh and relax into non-economy class positions.

Thus far, all is fine.

Upon exiting the cab, I haul my two bags up the five flights to my apartment. Huffin’ and a’heavin’. Why did I buy so many packets of Tim Tams? Boy, if they weigh this much outside my body…. My hips begin to calculate the impending damage. Finally, my aching arms pull the last suitcase to the top of my landing and I pause.

All is fine. Thus far.

Flinging the front door open, my instinct squeals like a little girl, “Don’t look down!”

I look down. Read the rest of this entry »

Australia: Six letters of love

13 04 2004

Dear Oz,

Long has it been since I saw your chiseled face and ochre teeth. Is it 2 years? 3 years even? So, here I am. At 30,000 feet. Coming back. Back to you, Australia.

The drawls of the Qantas flight attendants wield and soar about the cabin until they slam into my ears like sledgehammers. It’s not an altogether unpleasant sensation. These accents shocking, yet soothing. Foreign, yet familiar. Ah, that’s it. They’re normal. I grin and my cheeks bobble with love.

The flight attendants converge in a huddle behind me, talking cricket and football to the ‘I’m-traveling-alone-at-11-years-old’ child. I grin like an idiot as they give him hell—quite rightly—about being a Collingwood supporter. Oh, the voices of my people. Strong, casual, confident. Happy.

Are their accents really that strong, or is it just so long since I’ve heard a bunch of Aussies together? Does Qantas hire them for their ocker-ness? When I talk at work, surrounded by Americans, do I sound like that?

I stretch out and wriggle my toes in my complimentary in-flight socks. Still grinning. I’m coming home to visit you, my darling, Oz. It’s all I’ve talked about for the last two weeks, and now, after winging my way across the USA to Los Angeles, I’ve finally boarded my flight. Six hours down. Fourteen to go.

The flight is pretty empty. I have three seats to myself. When lunch comes around, my first thought is to ask about beer. They have VB. Flashes of university rush into my memory cinema and flood the screen. Ah, Victoria Bitter. Not my favorite, but I ask for one for old time’s sake. I sip and roll it around my palate.

Yep, that’s how I remember it.

I still don’t like it that much, but there’s something about drinking it that makes me happy in this moment. I take a photo, polish the little blighter off, and then ask for another. After two, I switch to red wine. Then stop. Must be sensible. I don’t want you to see me legless, Oz. I don’t want you to think less of me.

I can’t sleep either. This isn’t gonna be good for the jetlag.

With much love,

Noodle Read the rest of this entry »

The cult of self help

7 08 2002

If you’re the kind of kid who believes you can tell a lot about a person’s frame of mind by simply looking at the books they’re reading, then cop a load of this. I just spent my lunch hour reading a literary masterpiece to rival The Grapes of Wrath titled, I could do anything if only I knew what it was.

I picked it up in the bargain alley of the Kinokuniya bookshop for the princely sum of five smackers. When I sat down at Starbucks to flip through it, I realised the reason for the dramatic price cut from $25 to $5 was because the first 30 pages are actually from a different book called The Schools We Need And Why We Don’t Have Them. But no matter.

I mean, who cares if my first step on the road to finding out what I’m supposed to be doing starts with 30 pages concerning the state of the education system in America, then switches rather dramatically to a half-written sentence stating, “…parents who thought lawyers were certain to be safe and prosperous?” Cryptic, no?

This is my first self-help book.

Read the rest of this entry »

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