Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Dammit, why is it that these people of great talent are dying on us but the morons keep trundling on? There ain't no justice...
(thanks to Michelle for the news and the links)
Saturday, March 27, 2004
I would post something now but I'm still suffering from one of the worst hangovers of recent years, hence the title to this post. I can't believe how much I drank last night, and I still have absolutely no idea when I went to bed. Probably around 4:30am I estimate from others' recollections.
Had to come home from work too - my 3rd to last day too! Oops. I won't go into the details of the regurgitations, suffice to say they were copious, frequent and excruciating. Still feeling less than human so I'm off back to bed. Got to work in the morning, aarrgghh...
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
I've go to get on and pack up some more of the 1000-odd books I have and stress more about getting rid of the rest of my crap. But here're a few links and notes I'd made over the last wee while, sorry that I haven't recalled what lead me to them, props to those who pointed me that way.
The random chicken generator. I don't know why I like this but I do. I don't even have that much of an affinity with chooks, more of a duck person really. I mean I even ate my uni behavioural experiment chicken (Chicken McNugget he was prophetically called. Does this make me a bad person? I did keep him for a couple of years before chowing down, he was just getting to big and loud. Yes I guess I'm evil...)
The Antique Vibrator Museum. Oh. My. God. I mean, what's with the "Type K"? It looks like a kitchen implement!
From the Surrealist Complement Generator. Your eyelids reflect and refract the turgid limnations of an eel trapped in the flickering paralyisis of Chaplin's cinematography. Oh! I'm going all giddy! :-)
Fuck the RIAA.
We all smoked way too much. If you took all the shit we smoked in just one year and rolled it into one big joint, it would be so much larger than the biggest joint you've ever seen that you'd need to smoke two really big joints just to deal with the concept of its incredible bigness.
- A random quote that comes from I know not where but was found written in one of my old note books, of which I have far too many. If anyone has any idea who said that I'd love to know. Maybe it was me, I've no idea...
And my favorite bumper sticker:
TV is to news what bumper stickers are to philosophy.
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Well I've been working for 14 days straight now and I've got 7 more before my next day off, all of which is pretty sucky. On top of heavy duty insomnia there's nothing quite like day-in day-out mindless grind with no relief to crush your spirit and break your will to live...
But on the plus side - I've now got only 10 days till I finish! Yeeeehaaaaaaa!!!
And 4 weeks from tomorrow I leave for the big smoke that is Sydney, to seek my fortune, find true love and avoid another goddamn Christchurch winter. Also yay!
Bugger. I had more I wanted to say but my mind's sedate (thanks Shihad). Back to bed now. Nighty night
I've got a bit (galumphingly large, really) of toothache at the moment. Got punched in the mouth at karate the other day (thanks Eddie!) and my front tooth is not in a good way. It's the same tooth that I had knocked around by Ra a few years ago (drunken playfight outside the dux, don't ask) and that time it took about 10 months to settle down enough that I was able to eat an apple without cutting it up first... So I'm probably looking at a similar length of time again, dammit. Ah well, my own fault - hadn't sparred for a couple of months and I was definately leading with my face. Lesson learnt.
But in any case it's been giving me a little pain. I'm a funny one when it comes to drugs: I don't really like to take painkillers much, I figure that my body is producing the pain as a reaction to something therefore to take the pain away interfers with the body's ability to deal with whatever (ok, probably doesn't make sense but there's reasons for that that I'll come to). Mostly the pain that I've encountered has been from physical injuries at karate (or drunken foolishness) so the pain is a good thing - stops me from doing that thing again (whatever it was) or teaches me to avoid letting someone else hurt me. Pain has a purpose (just to clarify: this theory applies to myself, not anyone else - when teaching karate I don't tend to inflict pain to teach a lesson unless all other avenues have been exhausted)
On top of the tooth-ache I'm house- and cat-sittling for my folks for a couple of days and their two Abyssinian kittens, while lovely and absolutely gorgeous, are a handful and very active - going wild every 30 mins or so. The little buggers woke me up last night when I'd finally managed to haul in some zzzzs. I wasn't impressed. And one of them made a break for freedom in the morning, and nothing I did would persuade her to come in, I was 30 min late for work but still hadn't re-captured the little sod. Had to come home twice during the day before catching the slippery wee devil...
So this evening I'd had enough. I was around at Mark & Kirsty's for dinner and in a grumpy mood, so rather than be a sulk I had a couple of panadol which did the trick for a while. Had a fun evening. Just got home a wee while ago and was feeling the painkillers wear off so though I'd have some more to help with the sleep process (ha! fat chance, but hope springs eternal...). Unfortunately I didn't look properly at the packet prior to ingesting the pills and have since found that I downed a couple of extra strength panadine. I'm now beginning to feel the codeine come on, my fingers are getting all funny feling and I'm nicely light-headed. Getting a bit weird now, better go lie down.
I think I'll be sleeping well tonight! I just hope I wake up for work in the morning...
Thursday, March 18, 2004
Came home 20 mins ago and parked up in the carpark out back, as I was coming inside I glanced up at the back window of my flat (Stephen the Whinging Pom's room) and saw a head moving past the window in the dark. Thought "oh no, Stephen's home, am I going to have to argue with him about the shopping bill?" and was pleasantly surprised to find his door closed and therefore assumed he'd gone to bed. So I log on to check my mail and 5 mins later Stephen comes home... He's been out in Lyttleton all evening and I know he couldn't have snuck in (since he's about as lightfooted as a concrete elephant), there's no-one else in or awake, the house has been silent since I got here.
Now it takes a lot to creep me out (apart from spiders of course, they give me the heebs...) but I found that genuinely unsettling.
(thanks to Peter M for the link and confirming the news)
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Haiti. The second part of a historical essay from Gary Brecher, very much worth the read.
Families and how to deal with them? I've got to say that Candelario was seriously out gunned by Manuel's .45, but he must have been a crack shot. I always thought dueling should be legal, just so that if I was ever challenged and they said "Choose your weapon!" I could reply "Feather dusters! At 10 paces!".
I want sooo many of these. I'm a t-shirt fiend and I'm sure I can find appropriate venues for such beauties as Michael Jackson Did Not Molest Those Children - He Made Love To Them, By The Time You Read This You've Already Read It, and This Is My Clone. I love to offend, annoy and confuse...
(thanks to Tam I Am)
Bush and Kerry side-by-side. Well, their blogs at least.
This from the late and extremely lamented Douglas Adams. More on making the perfect cup of tea and why it is vitally important to the world.
Sexual averages. Everything you never wanted to know about genitalia but have been forced to find out...
Evil Sheep from Mung. The David Blaine Assassination Game is also a lot of fun, heh heh...
And the best for last: The Exorcist in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies. Fantastic.
Lancing the gas-filled boil of a sick octopus. Something I'd never even thought possible. So our octi (this was Max III for those keeping track, the only one so far to be sent back to the ocean) was an older (perhaps 1 to 1&1/2 yrs old) and scabby individual, he'd lost parts of several legs (octopuses can pack a lot of living into a short life) and when he came in had, amongst other things, a sore on his mantle.
This sore developed into a canker about the size of my clenched fist (and I have big hands) which was filled with gas of some sort (I don't want to know...). To release the pressure we used a very large bore hypodermic needle and punctured the growth, allowing most of the gas to escape.
Doesn't sound particularly impressive now that I write it down but the scene was one worthy of a Lynch or a Cronenberg movie: in the depths of the basement, with dim and flickering neon lighting, leaning over a big black bin, with a dim flashlight in one hand, a spike in the other, face close to the surface searching for a large angry marine predator, then reaching deep into the water stabbing him in an already painful place with a whopping great needle...
I'm lucky to be alive quite frankly.
Sunday, March 14, 2004
So we danced and grooved to the reggae, she has the most infectious smile I've come across for a long time. After the gig she & her mates (a couple of lovely beardy hippies from overseas and an NZ girl) came back the flat where there was a wee after-party going, skanking down to Katchafire. We hung out for a while then they pushed off into town to play more and I headed to bed. So much for having an early night, but I had more fun than I expected to. Good things can happen even when you don't think it's possible.
The Dubwize reggae show on rdu is a source of joy and frustration for me. On the one hand they play some excellent music and have a wide collection of reggae music of all types (slightly too heavy on the ragga/dance-hall/jungle for my tastes but that's a personal miff).
On the other hand they are the worst djs I've come across for a while - not monotone and boring, I'll give them that, but they come out with the same fucking dj cliches every goddamn week! "Big ups to the Christchurch massive" gee thanks guys, "give thanks and praise to the most high Jah Rastafari" umm, well, no thanks - but knock yourself out, "respect to the one love [insert name of dub artist here]" I'm sure he's chuffed, "respect to the emperor Haile Selassie" hmmm, ok we'll not get into a historical discussion here..., "Jah love, I and I in all" you have a nice day too, "one love, some irie music coming your way" so zip it and play some you stoned fool. And much more in that vein until you're shouting "shut the fuck up!" at the radio.
Then they talk over the music - which for guys who are supposed to consider this music a spiritual and devotional thing seems a little odd. And bloody annoying when you're grooving to some phat dub beats and some rasta pillock comes on spouting faux-Jamaican lines. Sigh.
I have no complaints about the show last night though, they delivered the goods. And respect to them all, even Papa Levi (a man who has knee-length dreads hasn't just jumped onto the rasta boat & skinned up like so many dreadheads), they are very good at what they do and put on a good show. My fave mc from their contingent, Iya far'I, was in great form last night, as was Raggadon whose vocal stylings are under-used IMHO. Messenjah as always on the decks provided a solid core of bassy dub beats mixing in some Jamaican dancehall when the MCs took a break.
The vibe was as pleasant as you'd expect from a reggae gig (have you ever been to one that wasn't?) and the ganja smoke wafted freely through the crowd in true hippy style.
Well done chaps, good show.
Saturday, March 13, 2004
I just can't deal with crowds much these days, can't be bothered with shouted drunken conversations, and dancing when you're not feeling the vibe is a sham. Gah.
Oh bollocks. I'm feeling guilty for ditching them all, especially Mel since it's her birthday. I'd actually like to hang with my flatmates, just don't have the energy and I can't seem to force it... Getting shitfaced would probably help but I've got to work tomorrow (and every day for the next 2 1/2 weeks, argh) and being hungover at an aquarium is never a fun time.
Bugger. I'd better go over and see them all. Later gaters.
Thursday, March 11, 2004
I want a guinea pig. It's nearly my birthday [its not for about 8 months actually] - I could teach it 2 do stunts on a little bike
I may have mentioned before that she works as a pre-school teacher:
The snot-rockets r gr8: Caitlin has just cut off her hair starting at the fringe & working backwards. She now has a styley mullet
Must have been a bad day, later was this:
Fucking kids. Emma has painted her head, Caitlin is bald, Natalie just sneezed on my & we r out of coffee. Hey do shark turds float or sink? [They sort of disperse and sink, or get eaten by other fish. It's kinda gross...]
A few days later:
Hav just been out minding granny. I taught her some jujitsu blocks & got her to copy my kiai [the loud yelly bit] - she was pretty good. She also flushed her teeth down the toilet. Oops.
I'm not making this up and I've a dreadful feeling that neither does she. Some people have far more interesting lives than you'd imagine...
I got to the gig about half-way through Dubwize's set and they were as usual laying down some great ragga, the crowd were way into it (as they always seem to be, Chch audiences being somewhat starved of good reggae) and the vibe was excellent.
It was a great cross-section of Chch subculture there, with a number of the usual faces that you'd expect for such a quality overseas artist. Including myself I guess, I've been here for long enough, know so many people, and am coming to terms with how visible I am... Ran into a few people that I hadn't seen for a while including an old flattie I hadn't seen for 12 years and some of the old rdu djs that I still get on with. But I'd gone by myself and was intent on just being there to see the man and not to chat (wasn't in a particularly convivial mood anyway... general misanthropy).
Which was a good thing since the 'gig' wasn't one you could talk through. About 10min after Dubwize wrapped up he came up onto the stage and just stood in front of the mic and his presence was enough to quiet the whole room (barring one annoying prick who just had to heckle. Idiot.)
I'd never seen LKJ before (although I'm quite familiar with his music & poetry) so I had no idea what he would be like. He has a commanding presence, demanding attention and respect, and an image (glasses, suit and hat) that hasn't changed much in 30 years. And it was interesting to find how stern and stony he is: how much his work is rooted in injustice and anger. Well, I guess not too suprising really considering the poems.
He did a cross-section of his work from the 70s through to the mid 90s, covering a number of my favorites (he did "Street 66" for the first time this tour which was fantastic especially since it's my all time fave), and gave some background and explanation before each poem. It was just great to see a pub full of people so quiet and focused on one man reciting poetry. I'm sure a bunch of the younger dub-heads (the smelly dread brigade) probably had no idea what it was going to be like and were possibly a little confused by the whole thing. Heh. Still the large contingent of baldies and grey-hairs (myself in both camps) seem to really dig it.
I don't want to make it sound like his stuff is entirely without humour, it's not, just that much of it is dealing with oppression, racism and death and does so with gravity. But there were lighter ones: "Mi Revalueshanary Fren" is hilarious and had a good response from the crowd. He finished on a lighter note with "If I Were a Top-Notch Poet", a response to critics dismissive of "so-called dub poetry".
IMHO he is a top-notch poet. If you get a chance and have any interest in reggae, go see him. Fabbo.
Note: Due to half drunken typing on monday I've only just retrieved this so apologies for the lateness. I'll let the thoughts expressed that night stand without editing because I stand by those opinions (just I'd be more coherent if I were to re-write, hey ho...)
Sunday, March 07, 2004
George Orwell on tea-brewing. Who'd have thought there was such an art to it? Or that anyone would care so much? The English, how the hell did they manage to colonise nearly the entire world? (from Linkmachinego)
I know every blogger and their blogdogs has mentioned this but I also am ecstatic to find the entire History Today series online. If you've not seen Newman and Baddiel here's a sample of dialogue:
RN: See that Michael Bolton?
DB: Oh dear. I am aware of his work.
RN: That's your haircut, that is.
(from Green Fairy)
Raleigh relaunch the Chopper! Yay! (via Weapons of Mass Distraction)
An early history of Haiti (up until independence from France). Part two coming soon. (from Ken MacLeod)
Another sign of the end of the world (I'm sure frogs are in Revelations somewhere...). Blinky aint got nothing on this guy! (these guys?)
But apparently the Doomsday Clock isn't getting any closer to midnight, or at least hasn't since 2002. Not getting any better though... (thanks to Ober Dicta)
Finally, a bit of perspective in the Interwebthingy. Old I know but always relevant.
Endure with me for a bit.
'Normal' function will resume forthwith (possibly to most people's disappointment).
Thursday, March 04, 2004
We have a few niggling problems though...
We appear to have the worlds shyest octopus. Max IV is just not playing ball. Or in fact playing with anything, not even the tasty, crunchy crabs we put in there for him to snack on. Bring back Max II. Even Max III was better, despite the rather hacked-up look of having lost several arms. He does have one 'endearing' habit though - that of sticking his siphon out of the tank and jetting water over everything in the night. Wanker.
Our fish-catcher. A perennial problem, it has to be said - with a survival rate of around 20% from his 'tender ministrations' we'd be better off getting stock from a fish & chip shop... Though he's bringing in some stuff tonight, so if they're up to scratch I'll let him off this once. Just no more fucking marblefish, ok?
Christ, I don't want to think about this anymore, I'm supposed to be trying to relax so that I might experience this strange state they call "sleep"... Needless to say, I'm a little dubious about its existence.
Hey J, since u r just doin kata 2moro nite y don't u come 2 jujitsu? I mean y dance when u can kill?
Followed today by:
I am off 2 jujits. If u want to ditch girliekai u can come along. We'll save u a haematoma.
And a bit later:
Coming 2 jujitsu? Just passed Pat McGregor [coaches the NZ karate team, general hardass and P's old karate teacher] in street in lyttleton... luckily he didn't c me due 2 art of light & shadows. Phew!
Unfortunately, I am just too damn tired to do anything at the moment. I should have been at karate tonight since it was the first training of the new term but I didn't finish at work till far too late and at my current energy and fitness levels am more of a liability than an asset...
I've got to do some exercise though, and I need to be training for when I get over to Sydney. I may have mentioned before that our sensei lives in Sydney now and he's going to Florida in July for Natsu Keiko (summer camp) where he'll be testing for 4th degree (whup-yer-ass-and-you-won't-even-see-it grade). So he's in peak condition. I on the other hand am dough-boy.
I'm going to die.
Apparently this site has come to the attention of the karate boys, or at least Darel (hi Dazza! How are Helen's knockers doing?), to whom it is a great source of amusement. Yuck it up fag boys.
This one grabbed me about 15 years ago and hasn't let up. I own perhaps a third of the series (just drawn to a close at the 300th issue) and just love it to bits. Which is why Sim's controversial and outspoken opinions on religion, sex & women (that last in particular) have confused and saddened me somewhat.
It's hard to know what to think about a work in progress (I'm about 12 years behind on my reading so it's still in progress for me) when the author whom you'd held in such esteem develops ideas and ideals that you find repellent. Cerebus is an extension of himself (as all creative work reflects its creator to some extent) and the concepts that he wrestles with are so obviously one that trouble him down to his core that it's impossible not to get swept up in the philosophising. But it's the conclusions that creep in that are most worrying to me... I just to vehemently disagree with his misogynistic viewpoint that I find it difficult to continue reading, and yet the story & characters are such that I can't stop.
Blah. I shouldn't pre-judge since I've not read the whole thing. I've just read interviews with him over the last few years and articles which have really put me off the man. Right, I'm going to get the next collection tomorrow so I may write more on this. Or not.
But anyway - if you get a chance to read some of his stuff, give it a go. Very funny, great drawings and a half comic half book form that is most interesting. These aren't comics that you can read in 5 minutes flat, some issues have practically no visual action. Check it out.
Anyway, to happier things - listening to the radio tonight I discover that Linton Kwezi Johnson is coming to Christchurch! On Monday! Words cannot describe my excitement! Along with the incomparable Lee "Scratch" Perry and Bob "God" Marley he is my favorite reggae artist. Although his work is sofar removed from what they do that it would seem to be a totally different category. I list them together for the reason that the three of them were the most influential on my musical tastes, at least of that genre (and listening to reggae, especially dub, is the closest thing I've had to a religious experience. Well, except for sex of course. And some of those drugs were pretty fucken amazing... But I digress, as is my wont).
Get hold of his early albums, especially Bass Culture (my fave), Dread Beat an' Blood, and Forces of Victory. Fucking incredible. If you've never heard of him (shame!), he's not a reggae artist as most people would consider, he's a poet that performs to reggae. A very political Jamaican/British poet, a former Black Panther, still very involved in the political/racial fight in Britain and globally.
So this show on Monday (for which I am going to get my ticket first thing tomorrow) is going to be poetry mainly, he has brought a dj with him and Dubwize are his supporting act, but in the main I'd say it's going to be less of a gig and more of a reading. But don't let that scare you off, his voice and manner are so arresting I don't doubt we'll not miss a backing band. I've never seen him before (this is his first visit to NZ, he hates to fly long-distance due to health problems) and I'd be rambling for hours to describe how much I'm looking forward to this! Yay!
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
At first it wasn't too much to cope with: one or two 4 hour sleeps in a week? No sweat. But it's been steadily on the rise, or perhaps I should say the sleeping has been on the decline. I tend to think of the insomnia as the real thing and the sleep as something that comes around occasionally. Anyway, this last month has lead me to the realisation that it's baaack. The last week has been a succession of 4 or 5am 'nights' and its getting all too much for me...
Insomnia doesn't get you by the throat, it goes for the eyes. Mine are beginning to get that junkie/conspiracy theorist appearance, baggage for round the world travel and a red tinge that a zombie would be proud of. The brain suffers too, I find myself unable to figure out things that are second nature to me - which is embarrassing at work when Dave has to show me how to set the plumbing/pumps for the marine tank even though I've been doing it for three years.
I'm beyond knowing what to do about this. I can't sleep even when I drink unless I drink myself into a near stupor, and that's not a viable option long term. I'd just be an alcoholic insomniac. I've tried smoking ganja but that's not a goer either, my mind refuses to switch off and then I get even more brain fuzz the next day from the stone-over. I'm not willing to go back to sleeping pills because of the same thing, the effects last too long.
Anybody have any ideas? Little help here...
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
I'm all for truth in advertising.
"Tampons: Stick em up your nadge"
"Anusol: For when your arse is giving you hell"
I think I ruptured something laughing. And my cat is giving me the evils...
And in some "oh my fucking lord!" news...
Oral sex linked to mouth cancer
Though thankfully the article isn't as terrifying as the headline suggests, no need to swear off the cunny then... And no-one better use "it gives you cancer" as an excuse!
You're Love in the Time of Cholera!
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Like Odysseus in a work of Homer, you demonstrate undying loyalty by
sleeping with as many people as you possibly can. But in your heart you never give
consent! This creates a strange quandary of what love really means to you. On the
one hand, you've loved the same person your whole life, but on the other, your actions
barely speak to this fact. Whatever you do, stick to bottled water. The other stuff
could get you killed.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
No snickering from the cheap seats.