Friday, May 6, 2011


Happy Mother's Day, mum.

To Spell or to Poop; That is The Question!

I know I haven't written much lately (or, at all this year). But see, the thing it is really very difficult to type under water. The keys often fill with water and I have to leave my laptop on the beach for a few days to dry out. Also, my broadband runs quite slow in the EAC. I only recently found a quiet (dry) cove where I can think and write and no one will gawp at my tail or stick their fingers in my gills.

I finished my honors at the end of last year. I would have written about the experience except that I couldn't actually bring myself to think about it. It went off with very few hitches, with two exceptions. The first was the 18 year old hippie Israeli back packer who my house-mate moved into our living room two weeks before my project was due. She kept leaning over my shoulder as I was trying to edit suggesting that I mellow out until my house-mate asked her to pack up her (inexplicably creepy) Diego puppet and mellow out some place else.

The second hitch was entirely due to the fact that I do not (as my gracious and clever supervisor is always encouraging me to) organise myself particularly well and was still putting final touches on my project about an hour before it was due for submission.

After meeting my supervisor at 7.30 in the morning for a quick read and slight edit, I decided to make a detour past the library on my way to getting it printed (which I decided to do at Paddington office works because of the scary lines at the campus printers) and just do one last check. I shoved my USB stick into the computer (in a library that was still being renovated and it seemed that the giant beetle-like drill was tunneling directly into my sleep-deprived brain and not into the wall beside me) and everything seemed to be in order.

I walked the 45 minutes from campus to Office Works and got my project printed. I went to pay.

"Sorry, it says it's declined."

"Oh holy whales of tartarus!"

"What?" said the greasy haired printer lad.

"Declined, but by the power of gray skull I haven’t worked non-stop for eight months to be foiled now!"

"Do you have another card, Miss?"

"No it’s right here."


"It's not missing, it's right here." I waved my debit card and it came dangerously close to being right under his nose.

"No I mean I was calling you miss."

"Oh I see."

"Maybe another one might work?"

"It's my only one. I just forgot to transfer funds."

"Would you like to use another card?"

"No, dear fellow, I would like nothing more but that option has been stolen from me by the cruel, twisted finger of the fates. Did you know all three hags share one eye."


"Yep, one eye."

"I don't know what you just said. Maybe you would like to transfer some funds?"

"Eureka boy! Now you’ve got your thinking hat on."

So I transferred funds, paid for my copies and stood outside with the four booklets clasped in my hot (because it was Queensland in summer) hands. I almost cried. Here it all was, the sea-worthy, barnacled copies of my precious project. How many whales had I dreamt about, how many legs had I lost and coffins I floated out of?

If my mother is a fish, then that project was the mother effing net.

I handed it in and waited, and waited, and applied for my PHD and applied for an APA scholarship, and waited. My first class honors came in and I realised I still wasn’t sure if it was honours or honors. My PHD was accepted and my wonderful supervisor signed on for another three years of my gumpf and I got my APA, and there was much joy in the land and the people rejoiced (well, my parents rejoiced).

Then I got my feedback.

Spelling errors all over the place and, you got it, an intro that just didn’t seem to fit. Then I realised it. I have TWO disorders. Not only do I have the dreaded Ishmael syndrome but I also have (drum roll please) a phobia of spelling as a result of poor early education and the hands on approach my father took with my education.

Let me explain.

My father is a strange man, a stoic piece of work with a shot gun, service in Nam and a copy of the BBC mini series of Pride and Prejudice. In other words, he is a swirling mass of contradictions and this is why I love him.

However, as a child he would force me to read out loud from the dictionary, on the toilet. He rationalised that otherwise it was a waste of valuable learning time.

Here is a picture of Spelling on the toilet... isn't it scary?

Yes, gentle readers. I had to read out loud on the can. I recall the day fondly when I had to read the word ‘manure’. Oh wait, that wasn’t fondness, it was general abhorrence. And yet, my ol pappy could not be moved.

He would stand outside the toilet window watering the plants and occasionally shouting "Louder!"

To which I would respond with something like, "no not 'louder'. I’m only up to G!"

In any case I became quickly disgusted with spelling and coupled it with the evacuation of ones bowels. Perhaps this is why I like 'Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates' so much. And it's not just this, my housemate Sophia (who loves to inform me of her toilet habits and the glorious regularity of her intestines) thinks that it may be some latent emotional problem resulting from my early childhood (she is doing her masters in social work and recently learnt something about how happy pooping is a specific stage in our baby development). Usually this is when she will retrieve a photo of her at about age 4, on the toilet looking absolutely stocked to be alive and using her bowels."See, see how happy I am!" she will say. Sophia also loves to give me a hard time about this theory and will often ask me to spell something on the toilet.

This is how it will go,

Leviathan walks into the bathroom and closes the door.

Sophia - Hey darlin?


Leviathan - Yes?

Sophia - How do you spell 'latency period'?"

Longer pause.

Leviathan - sigh.

So, I'm just gonna blame dad either way. Early childhood toilet issues or not, if I stick to this dictionary/toilet story I kill two birds with one stone. Birdy spelling and birdy pooping get whacked off the branch by the swinging bludgeon of my dad's generally confused parenting "skills".

Ahem, too much? I am often told I over share. Oh well. Onwards to the PHD. I hope my lower intestine survives the experience.

PS. On a weird side note, I just looked up what a fear of spelling is called on urban dictionary and got an add for this T.Shirt ...

Thus proving that the world conspires against me. So stuff it, I'm goin fishing instead.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Because My Parents Sometimes Wonder Why I am The Way I am...

Sent to me today by my mother...

ok I have to share this one with you.
I went to Franklins supermarket this morning to buy a few things and while I was paying at the checkout, I dropped my bank card. The gentleman behind me threw himself down on his knees and started scrabbling around my ankles trying to find the card. I couldn't resist so I clasped my hands together and said 'Oh yes I will I will,' well he jumped up so quickly in a panic that he hit his head on the display stand and sent magazines slithering everywhere. Well I thought it was funny.
love Rainy

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Procrastination... It's a Word, Right?

A painting I'm working on...

to avoid writing.

As I Lay Dying

"Jewel and I come up from the field, following the path in single file." William Faulkner

Monday, October 18, 2010


So anyway PHD application is in, Honours project is in (all in a three days), I am in... an insane asylum

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hemingway and a Fish

Clearly, no words are necessary. Other then perhaps to say that I think Hemingway may be my real dad. Or possibly this guy,

Sorry dad, but mum does spend a lot of time at the beach...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

16 Days to Go...

I wish my project made me feel like this...

instead of like this...

or this...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Drinking Moby, Reading Moby...

So, I sat down today to take a much needed break from writing my exegesis (the word garrote comes to mind) with a bottle of ice tea and a copy of The Passage. I open my tea and take a sip. Nice tea, fruity but a bit spicy. Intrigued, I do what all humans do when they have tasted something they like... I turn the bottle over. What do I find? The bottle I was happily sipping away at was owned by Moby. (Not the actual bottle obviously- like, it wasn't stolen from the gym with Property of Moby written on it) That's right, Moby. Apparently he owns a Vegan tea store in New York called Teany Teas and my friendly neighborhood coffee shop sells his teas by the bottle.

So, why am I annoyed, gentle readers? Well, cause Moby (real name Richard Melville Hall) is the great, great, great (or something) grandson of my old pal Herman. Hence the nickname...

Gimme a break, universe. Seriously. Why does my heart feel so bad... indeed.

Good tea though.