Monday, August 27, 2012

The weekend and the assignments.

So I've been looking at a lot of blogs today. It's an unfortunate side effect of researching opinion-based things. You find one blog, decide that the voice is lots of fun, and then it's a slippery slope into distraction and all the similar things.

The studious part of me was not one for continuing. "Come on," she coaxed. "Close the blogs. Close Failbook. Close Liam's Tumblr. Get something done for once."
The more prevalent part of my head, the one that seems to enjoy dancing to extremely bad music when I'm trying to concentrate in a lecture, replied with a very sharp, "No! Shan't!" and now here we are.
Typing a blog.
When there are quite a few essays/speeches/things to prepare for.
Oh well; when the words want out, they want out, and there's nothing much you can do to stop it.

I've got to do an assignment on some form of media policy. Turns out that Googling 'media policy Australia' returns the results of the ABC's social media policy, closely followed by government policies for the same thing. Upon seeing this in our tute a few weeks ago, I nearly died of disappointment. I'd done a 2500 word essay on the ABC's social media policy last semester, and had conveniently forgotten everything/my laptop had died and had lost everything on its hard drive. Our tutor asked us to get into groups to discuss which area of the media we'd like to focus on. I chose print media. I like me some books.
When our tutor came over, I mentioned that I enjoy the occasional (by which I mean frequent) book, and he said, "Oh, cool! So you're thinking about parallel import restrictions and the like?"
I was not. I was thinking about... well, dancing to really bad music and going home to take a nap. "Yeah, something like that."
"That'll be really good to write about. It's a pretty recent debate."
Thanks to my tutor being a lovely, kind fellow, I have now got a decent topic. I had to outline my arguments today in a speech (the most casual speech I've ever had to do) and hand over a bibliography with at least 5 references, annotated.
I handed over 5 pages. Hooray for research and references being done before the assignment's due.
There's also the global media assignment/speech (researching theme parks and products ahoy), and the research one (why they're asking first years to deconstruct someone else's research is beyond me), and the communication one where we're talking about QPAC.
Tonight and tomorrow will be productive *shakes fist*.

Over the weekend we had a party. That was fun.
I started the night off as Zorro, and ended it as all the things. I'd kidnapped my fedora from a friend, some Batman gear from two other friends, and then somehow came across a nerf gun (with no knowledge of how to load the thing). I also had a samurai sword and a quiver. It was a good night, a good housewarming, and we did lots of happy things.
Also, our bathtub is still full of drinks because we have nowhere else to put them.

I got proposed to over the weekend, too. That was a flipping amusing. I have a friend who asked me for my number a few months ago. I was feeling particularly stubborn when he asked (because of reasons), so I said no, he had to work hard for it. I was probably also in my let's see how this social experiment turns out mood, which really crops up all too often for my liking.
The day after the party, he informs a few of us that he had a plan.
The few of us who were there scoffed. Mere moments earlier, he'd actually had my number, due to my failing at life and losing my phone, and thus needing to call it. The other plans he'd mentioned had also come from us, so we decided that the plans weren't going to be too successful.
We went out to Rosalie later that day, and had gelato. Gelato at Rosalie is always nice, and also resulted in us coming across the following sign:
Rosalie's in the flood zone. This building would have been underwater
when the 2011 floods hit.
Anyway, after that we were wandering back to the car. He'd been threatening to unleash his grand plan since we'd been shopping elsewhere earlier that morning, so I figured that he wouldn't actually go through with it.
Outside a park, next to the car, where I tried to slink into it before he could do anything (you know, just in case), he actually got down onto one knee, phone in hand, and asked me for my number.
Another friend of ours, having twigged earlier what he was going to do, screamed, "OH MY GOSH THAT'S SO CUTE" just before he did it, which made a group of people close by stare at us the whole time. I was laughing my head off. It was a solid plan, and definitely counted as working hard for my number.
So I thought, until I realised he'd spelt my name wrong.
"YOU SPELT MY NAME WRONG!" I was laughing at the same time; it was a pretty easy mistake to make, considering how weird my name is at the best of times. I've had it spelt Paveq. Paveq. "You don't get my number now!"
He groaned and changed it, trying to get me to give it to him again. When Trina suggested that he yell out to the people who were staring at us, "SHE SAID YES!" I decided that if he did, he'd get the number.
So as we drove away, he bellowed at them, and I gave the number.
Brilliant afternoon.

It's now pretty quiet in our house. Friday we had 5 people; Saturday jumped to 11 people staying (part of the 30-odd people there for our party), and suddenly Sunday night, Trina and I were quietly at home on our laptops like any other night. I miss the people. They're all from down home, and my gosh I wish they lived up here. 2.5hrs isn't that far, but being smack in the middle of all the people I love is something I quite enjoy.
There's your command, people I love, move to Brisbane (then follow me to Melbourne. And then London. Just follow me, okay?).

I saw my parents on Saturday, too, and I saw a picture of my Binca lying in the boot of the car, dead. Ugh, I hate that word. I don't like associating it with things I love. She looked like she was sleeping, but there was something in her face - you could see that Inca, whatever it was that made her, her, was gone. I think the wall of photos is a better reminder of who she was, as my crazy bird of a puppy.

That's about all for today. Back to the assignments (and back to waiting for people to reply to things; my impatience really is not the best trait).

Friday, August 24, 2012


When I was 7, we got a puppy.
I remember finding out about her. It was late afternoon, and as was custom in my family (not custom in anyone else’s family, I used to grumble), my brother and I had been down for naps. I’d crept out of my bed – sometimes my mother used to decide that we had to sleep for longer, possibly depending on her level of patience with us – and curled myself around the wall, peering at Mum on the phone.
She had a piece of paper, gently torn from the newspaper, in her hand. I can’t remember what she said, probably discounting it as something that wouldn’t impact me. She was smiling. She hung up the phone and saw me.
“Did you have a nice nap?”
I didn’t say anything at first. I stared at her, tired. “Can I have some juice?”

The next day, we were bundled into the car. Chris and I were not happy. He preferred to spend his days in front of the computer. I preferred to avoid Lismore at all costs.
We turned just before Lismore, and instead went to a breeder’s place in Goonellabah, up and down lots of winding roads along steeply formed hills. And that is where we got Puppy. She was, without a doubt, the most beautiful puppy I had seen. There were so many other puppies around, but this one was mine.
“What will you call her?” the breeder asked us.
We all shrugged. “We’ll figure something out.”

On the way home, I begged to hold Puppy. “She’s too little to be in the boot, Mama,” I protested. “Please?”
Mum, possibly swayed by how pretty Puppy was, agreed. I clambered over the back seat and grabbed her.
Puppy was a bit confused. This was her first time in a car, and having some crazy seven-year-old grab her round the waist and squeeze wouldn’t have helped matters any. Puppy promptly threw up on me.
“Oh, Tashi,” Mum groaned. “Mauricio, get her a towel!”
I still loved Puppy.

We took Puppy home.
“We’ve really got to name that dog.”
We couldn’t figure out a name.
“Tash, you can go feed her.”
I put her in the old garage, the one that Mum had painted ‘terracotta’ and ‘slate’ in one of her artistic moods. The stuff looked much like what she’d vomited on me, and gingerly I opened the lid and plopped it in front of her on a plate. “There you go, Puppy,” I said. “Go and eat.”
Puppy ate, and I wandered over to the bookshelves, looking for something to pass the time. I looked over my shoulder to check on Puppy. No Puppy.
Where on earth was she?
A lick on my leg solved that question.
Puppy was sitting at my feet, waiting for me to go back to her plate so she could eat.

As puppies are, this puppy was a bit of a menace. She chewed through Dad’s roses, thorns and all. She dug holes. She ate socks, shoes, anything she could find. She loved soccer balls, so she would always steal them when Dad was trying to play with Chris. You’ve not seen anything funnier until you’ve seen a puppy, gangly paws and all, playing soccer.
“We’ve really got to name her,” Dad said, again. We called her puppy; Dad varied between that and mierda.
The Internet was Dad’s new toy at the time, and so he went to Google to hunt out a name. He returned, valiant, with Inca. I don’t know the reasoning for naming an innocent Golden Retriever puppy after a civilisation butchered by the Spaniards, but they went for it. Dad promptly went outside to test the new name, where Inca was sitting eating a stick.
“Inca!” he yelled. She lifted her head, looked around, and continued chewing on her stick.
Dad wasn’t one to give up, though. “Inca!”
She peered at Dad, as though saying to him, I don’t know who this Inca is, but do you need me? She must have figured not. She returned to the stick.
Dad went over and put his hand on her. “Inca.”
Inca blinked, confused. I’m not Inca. I’m Puppy. Or Mierda. What’s going on?
“Good Inca.”

Inca wasn’t impressed when we got Tuscany, a little round ball of fluff that, for the podgy belly she had, couldn’t move much faster than a waddle. Chris, similarly unimpressed with Tuscany’s lack of athleticism and possibly noting the similarities between the new puppy and I (lack of athleticism, podgy belly, preference to lie down in a corner and ignore everyone), he decided that Inca would be his puppy, and Tuscany would be mine.
Inca didn’t care whose puppy it was. She knew it was a puppy and that we all were wooed by her cuteness and her waddle. And so Inca devoted her waking hours to tormenting Tuscany. One of the earliest photos we have of Tuscany (and possibly of Inca, too) is where Tuscany is clambering up onto a chair, trying valiantly to escape Inca, yet seeming to forget that where the chair looks massive and cliff-like from her perspective, Inca could just pluck her off thanks to her gangly legs giving her new height.
Inca seemed to thrive on Tuscany’s stupidity. Tuscany has always been a glutton, and one day decided that Inca’s bone should be hers.
Inca did growl and give fair warning, so no one should have been surprised when she bit her on the eye.

Inca had a penchant for rocks, and would grab them no matter where you put them. On a chair? On the table? In the back corner of the garden? Always, the dog would find them.
I tested this out one day, and dropped the rock in her water bucket. She dove in with gusto, grabbed the rock, and blinked at me, water dripping from her face.
We started this as a routine (one I’d get scolded for, plenty).

She would always run away, leaving the geographically-challenged Tuscany in her wake. She loved her adventures. One time, some kind person found her and called my mobile (it seemed everyone in Wollongbar knew that if a white Retriever came running around their place, it was 99.99% of the time, our dog). I went over, leash in hand, to pick her up.
She beamed at me, big eyes peering out from under wet, muddy fur.
“Where on earth have you been?!” I shouted.
I scolded her the whole way home, hosed her off and stomped inside. There were messages on the answering machine.
“Your dog’s been in my pool,” said the first.
“We just saw your dog on the highway,” was the next.
“Your dog’s just been in the highway construction site, I think,” was another.
We decided it best to repair the fence.

I’ve written about her before, and honestly – at 1000 words already, I could go on. There are so many crazy memories about this dog.
I got to see her on Sunday. She was happy. I picked her up, her old body, and sat her on my lap where we just relaxed for such a long time. She was moulting. My mother was shouting at me that I’d be covered in fur (and I love being covered in fur, it makes me feel so close to them). I kissed my puppy, remembering how she used to have fur all over her tail and her back, but now that she’s old she’s not growing it as fast.

I didn’t think much of it, really – I didn’t do the maths, that she’s 13.

On Thursday, I was at uni. 6pm, and I didn’t want to be there anyway.
My parents called. I texted back, I’m at uni. Can I call at 7?
Dad replied, As soon as you can.
I replied, Is it bad?
I’ll tell you when you call.
I want to know now.
He didn’t reply.
My brother came on Facebook; I’ve copied and pasted the conversation.
Did Mum call you?
No. She tried but I'm at uni. What on earth is going on? They won't tell me over text.
Because you’ll be sad.
And I fled my tute. I called Dad. There was screaming, in the middle of campus. There was crying. I made my Dad cry because of my reaction. He told me to call him back when I got home.

Thursday was just… horrid.
Yesterday I was bawling my eyes out too much to see, too much to go anywhere, and I stormed off to the shops to get some pictures printed of her to put up.
And there is still a part of me that’s convinced she’s around. But she’s not.
13 years, of being Chris’s baby, of being such a gorgeous dog.

I wrote on Twitter when I first moved up here this year. If the dogs die while I’m up here, I’ll be really mad. And I am, I honestly am. Not with God – he gave me so many opportunities to see her before she died, and I’m so thankful for that. But I’m mad at myself. I wish I’d been there. And now, stupidly, I’m making plea bargains for Tuscany. Asking him to keep her alive and let her die while I’m there.

So that’s that.
Inca Indian Summer, according to the breeder.
06.05.1999 – 23.08.2012.

To lighten this up, let's have some crazy photos of a crazy dog.

She's death staring me. She hates cameras.

In my room, because it was freezing last year 
and the poor puppies were shivering. 
I lost sympathy the minute they tried to climb onto 
my bed for snuggles.

Love her big eyes. Gah, they're gorgeous.

Beach trip. 

Even more beach trip. She loved the beach.

Her best 'please let me in' face.

More beach.

We had a toddler over at our place and sat him on the floor
to look at the dogs.
Inca was not very impressed. She's pretty confused.

Sulking because camera and no pats.

Their bed, which is actually my couch.

This is the most recent. Couple of weekends ago or so.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I am so completely terrible at keeping this thing up.
Let's just say uni got in the way again. I mean, by now we all know that's a complete lie, but let's just go with it.

I'm back down home this weekend (hooray!) for a friend's engagement party. Shenanigans were had, by way of car rally around the Lismore/Ballina region (which is, in all honesty, the most beautiful area I've ever experienced ever; Lennox was particularly beautiful). After all the cake had been cut and the prizes awarded, Daniela and I scurried over to her mother's car to go home. Both of us are without our licence, me pitifully so. Daniela's only 16 and has already started driving.
Me? I've had the thing since I was sixteen. One hour in my log book.
Daniela's family listens to pretty awesome music, and 99% would have to be Spanish. They definitely have stronger ties to that side of the world than we do in my family. I don't know how they find their music, either, because this isn't music that my dad and uncle would have listened to when they were over in Chile. That was the time of, apparently, Madonna and Silvio Rodriguez (and Silvo is pretty darn awesome).
On the way home, we listened to a song called Amarte Bien, by a charming fellow known as Carlos Baute. The version we listened to was this remix version including Juan Magan, and my gosh do I already love it to pieces.
Now it's your turn. Go forth and love this to pieces.

Just an aside, I'm extremely sorry that it took so long to get to the point, and that I started telling stories only to not finish them. Shoddy work, but I am tired and such. That car rally was effort. I promise I'll be an excellent writer soon.