1. Watch Black Sheep, a horror movie about killer sheep from New Zealand. Tagline "The Violence of the Lambs".
2. Watch the DVD I have bought of my football team's
most recent win, while sitting nude in a bathtub of red, green, purple and white... jewels and things and laughing as I trickle them over my head. Maybe pausing occasionally to read aloud from the article published in the newspaper where one of their quislings
trash-talked us and told us to expect a brutal physical assault,
and then watching the DVD again, which shows how right he was - except for the whole "who assaults, who is the assaultee" thing.
3. Go back to the gym. I dropped an apple the other day and rather than falling to the ground, it slowly revolved around me.
4. Watch some of those Shakespeare Retold things I've got.
5. Go to Thailand and Vietnam. I don't care if I have to paddle there on an inflatable rubber seahorse, I'm going. As an aside - from what I read, the Vietnamese have defeated (at various times) the Chinese, the French and the Americans. That means three out of the five members of the security council. Plus great martial arts, brilliant food, and a few thousand years of history each. And other great stuff.
6. Go down to Innsmouth and lie in the water until I am as pale and wrinkly as one of those brain-people from a fifties sf magazine cover. Hopefully don't get shot by Terran space-captains as I emerge.
7. Plan next year's trip to maybe the US and Europe and everywhere.
8. Feed the goats - pictures to appear on Sarah's blog soon. Sarah has bought them special goat food - it is labelled "High Performance". Which is good, because up till now they have been really underperforming. All they do is gambol and frisk and eat. I expect big changes.
9. Eat squid on the beach.
10. See friends I love.
11. Re-read the early Superman stories, the ones where he was a lefty who tried to rehabilitate juvenile offenders and tore down slums so that decent housing could be built.
12. Hit the punching bag again.
13. Write. I have three novels and twenty short stories somewhere up in my head to finish and get down on paper.
14. Sit and talk to my father. Reread Night
15. Publish some stuff. I don't care if it's in a cookbook or a superhero comic. Something.
16. Give most of my books to the prisons. I have well over three thousand books in my house, most unread. If I read a book every week I will have to live to some bizarre age in order to read them all. What I am going to do instead is get rid of most of them and buy and read some new ones. Suggestions welcome.
17. Go back to the town I grew up in, the Goldfields, Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie, Boulder. I have this idea of travelling by a combination of bus and hired car to where I was born, on the Greenstone belt, the oldest rock in the world. When you stretch your hand up the sky is dense and hard and clear, and you can feel the earth as porous as a lung beneath your feet. Old mining towns and deserted farms, standing on the old earth, all honeycombed with empty mineshafts and dry wells.
See, if I went there now, the air would be too hot to breathe and the light too bright to see with. I've been inside, been pale too long. I'd have to travel slowly, to adjust.
Seriously, I don't know about this study thing. From one point of view I can't really lose. If I attempt the exam and fail - as I well might - it will be easier next time, and I have learnt stuff. If I attempt it and pass, no complaints there. Either way...
The thing is, I don't know that anyone is really expecting me to pass - there has been no real training programme at Florey this year, and I have been doing this pretty much alone, with no-one to bounce ideas off, practice vivas with, etc. That sounds like whining, but it isn't anyone's fault, just a statistical fluke - there are nine other registrars and all of them are studying the other half of the exam. Plus, I am studying while working in another relatively brain-draining field, plus there's the events of December and the fact it took me a few months to get over that.
Plus I know all of this "it's okay if I fail" stuff could be seen as saying something about my own lack of emotional investment in the training programme, or my own self-image, etc. but really, I'm just so sick of study I want the entire thing to be over, one way or another.
I got another job offer the other day. They come from all parts of Australia - this one was from Alice Springs. It had the usual shots of rugged gorges and beautiful rivers, but also a few shots of venomous snakes and gigantic crocodilians, interspersed with spectacular xrays. The text deviates somewhat from the standard "Come to the Alice" tourist guide, too - it dwells enticingly on the high incidence of stabbings and spear-wounds, and the chance to encounter rare and difficult-to-find diseases such as leprosy, Norwegian scabies and donovanosis.
Anyway. Not yet. I had a brief drunken discussion with my eldest son the other day and the topic of Intelligent Design came up, and I pointed out that not only are some of the most important tissues in the body the worst at healing (how come your hair grows back but your heart doesn't?) but also that there was an appaling lack of forethought around the whole reproductive area. Pain normally serves to tell you that something is wrong - how does that explain period pain, or childbirth pain? And why haven't I got little ribs around my testicles?
Then I reiterated my belief that the absence of a trunk was a major design flaw. Nothing elephantine, just something slim and nimble that you could use to feed yourself, brush your teeth or hair, that kind of thing.
Shortly after that he left.
Thanks for listening,