Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

mice & men

My plan (as far as these things go with me, i.e. not far) for September was to attempt a post a day. Nothing big, just a few lines and a pic maybe. Which all got fairly spectacularly derailed by the earthquake back home.

The resulting time in Christchurch really should have provided me with plenty of blog-fodder but I found myself far too exhausted and busy to write much. Since I've been back it's taken the better part of a week to recover from the aftershocks, sleeplessness and general agitation so writing has been pretty non-existent. Plus I'm missing being in New Zealand so much at the moment - despite the circumstances it was wonderful seeing so many friends and catching up.

Again I'm wondering what I'm doing in Sydney and how long I'll be here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

still

Back in Australia now. In geologically torpid Sydney. Christchurch saw me off with a lovely rolling magnitude 4.0.

So the earth hasn't moved for me here. My heart races when a heavy truck goes past though - fortunately my apartment doesn't suffer from that very often. It's going to take a little while to completely shake that reaction - there's something deeply unsettling about the ground on which you stand shaking so often.

Right now I'm off to my bed to sleep long and deep.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

outta hair like, well.. me

I've had enough. I'm off back to el Syd tomorrow and Sydney's firm geological footing has never looked so attractive.

The earthquakes are getting much more sporadic but they're still pulse elevating. We just had a little one about 15 minutes ago - it's not on Geonet yet but I reckon it was only a 3.8 tops. I think I'm getting pretty good at gauging the strength of tremors - to within a couple of decimal points.

Anyway, I hope the big aftershock doesn't happen tonight 'cause it's freezing and bucketing down out there. I'm more concerned about being cold than of being crushed to death. What can I say, I more about personal comfort than safety.

I'll be following the clean up and recovery from Australia and will be back again in a few months to see how things are progressing. I have to say I'm not so hopeful for some of Christchurch's lovely old buildings. The whole architectural tone of the city is going to be changed long-term. I just hope someone with an eye for aesthetics gets a say...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

shattered

Shovelling silt, carting bricks and carrying furniture has killed me. I'm exhausted and beginning to come down with a cold. I have to get back to Sydney and recuperate. Eight hours a day of data cleansing has never looked so attractive.

Of course the late night drinking last night hasn't helped matters either. On I think my fourteenth trudge up eight flights of stairs carrying a table my legs started to shake - partly from the exertion, partly from hungoveredness.. It's been awesome seeing people and hanging out, even amidst the devastation, but my liver and sleep patterns will thank me for leaving.

Right, I'm off back to bed.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

clean up

Spent the day shovelling silt out of peoples homes and gardens. Am too knackered to write coherently. Sleep now.
This is my shovel. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My shovel is my best friend. It is my life.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

rude awakening

Today started with a serious jolt - at 7:50am there was a 5.2 magnitude quake with a bunch of smaller mates. Centered pretty much on my folks' house too. I'm beginning to feel a little persecuted. Though the rest of today has been much calmer.

Tomorrow I start early with the volunteer clean up crew. It's going to be a long day of shovelling silt I think. Wheee.

I think I mentioned yesterday but the Christchurch Quake Map is a brilliant, if rather unsettling (ha!), site. Check it out.

Right, must sleep now and focus on not dying in the night.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

tired, so very tired..

I don't have many words - I've been using them all on Facebook and in text messages. Apologies if I've missed keeping in touch with anyone but it's been a bit of a busy few days. The quakes seem to have quietened down now and I choose to believe this is because it's all over rather than (as some geologists are saying) there's a bigger aftershock to come. Fucking doom merchants.

I've gone from flippant to excited to nervous to shit scared to edgy to numb. Adrenaline and coffee can only carry you for so long - the nerves fray and catatonia sets in. Especially after a few beers. I'll put up the email I sent last night at some stage, it encapsulates Monday pretty well - even though it was written just before the wee swarm of 4 to 5+ strength shakes around midnight. It wasn't a restful night.

Anyway, here are some photos from the days after the quake. Credits to Eroica and Greg.

a few cones should solve that..
a good fixer-upper
al fresco dining
we're going to need a big broom
hand of god..?
wall, meet car - now be friends
I can see your crack
illiterate teens
just a minor pothole
no morning papers today
plenty of free bricks
the front fell off
PS: Like many people - when I can I've been glued to GeoNet - it's been an awesome resource and a great way to focus on something other than being frightened.

PPS: This Christchurch quake map is the best way to explain the number and intensity of the quakes over the past few days - makes me incredibly glad I wasn't here on Saturday. All it needs is a percussive soundtrack.

Monday, September 06, 2010

update

I'm in Christchurch - it's still shaking. I'm over it. Australia has it's problems but at least the ground doesn't try to kill you.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

like living on a jelly*

Bugger this - I'm off to Christchurch. Hope there's some of it left when I get there.

Here's Eroica's blog about the quake - I'm torn between being so sorry I'm not there (yet) and so glad I wasn't there when it hit. Plus a photographic round-up of the wreckage from a site appropriately (and unrelatedly) named crashbang. Love the obligatory drunken yobs cavorting in the ruins shot halfway down.

Here's my fave though - by Eroica:
Clock stopped at 4:38am...


* my dad's description of what it's like with all the aftershocks. He seems to be at most faintly amused by the whole thing - my parents are annoyingly unflappable..

Saturday, September 04, 2010

all shook up

Sucks to be away from home when all the exciting stuff is happening..

Still I'm very glad not to be still working at the aquarium, that'll be one hell of a clean up in there. It's also encouraging that the earthquake preparedness of buildings in NZ has been pretty effective - although if it had been 4:30 in the afternoon rather than the morning I'm sure the casualties would have been much worse.

This 7.1 quake is bigger than we've had in my lifetime. I'm kinda glad I wasn't subjected to it but I wish I was there for the people I love. Wish I was there to take some photos too..

Friday, September 03, 2010

link lasso

A few things that have been amusing, interesting or horrifying me lately (you can figure out for yourself which label is appropriate..):
  • Bugger iPhones - I want one of these! Well, only if they actually work.
  • Pictures of men of unflappable coolness: #10 and #4 are the best I reckon.
  • Smiling tubes of fat. Awwww.
  • Pulitzer prize winning but still difficult to read.
  • I knew it!
  • I know I've plugged it before but Digger is ramping up to a climactic ending. Start here - it's funny, touching and beautiful.
Finally, it's pretty crowded out there. I hope they don't visit any time soon..

Thursday, September 02, 2010

from little things..

Something I like: urban decay. Especially when plants sprout out of cracks in walls and paving, which is quite a common thing in Sydney: ferns would take over this city given half a chance. Most days I come to work more than half hoping that there's been a miraculous explosion of plant growth overnight and the place has been swallowed by jungle.

Perhaps one day...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

sproinnggg

Today is the first day of the rest of the sweating season. Spring has arrived with the implied threat of summer heat to come, and swiftly. In the meantime it's beautiful in Sydney at this time of year with the trees tarting themselves up like the wanton insect-whores they are.

Well hello Sphingidae...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

it's an allegory, apparently..

I may have alluded in the past to the giggling man-crush I have on Paul Verhoeven (no, not the director) and Luke Ryan (Tramdalf was one of their earlier escapades) but their 'see no evil, hear no evil' review of The Human Centipede had me squealing with glee*.

And retching. Violently. Especially after reading the synopsis on Wikipedia..

Read the review here. It's a brilliant piece and it'll save you watching the film. Although if you have any desire to watch it after seeing the time-lapse footage of their reactions you're a sick sick puppy..

Actually, if you're at all squeamish you shouldn't even read the review. Best to ignore that the movie even exists. I hope never to see - or hear - it.

On the other hand - Scott Pilgrim vs The World is awesome. I lesbians it.



* in a manly way, of course..

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

prolific

This is just so cool I think everyone should be watching it:


To be honest I rate P. K. Dick slightly higher than Bradbury but that's very much a personal taste thing.

Happy birthday Ray!

Monday, August 23, 2010

issues

Here's my considered commentary on the recent Australian Federal Election:

(with a photobombing assist from Eroica).

Normalesque transmission to resume shortly - once work calms to shorter than 9 hour days and the epic email exchange with my ex concludes..

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

orse like a horse*

My Girl Friday is staying with me at the moment so I'm taking the rest of the week off to hang out, drink coffee/wine/beer, talk shit, people-watch and buy books with her. It's already wonderful.


* This is an in-joke. By which I mean not a very good joke. You're not expected to get it and if you do you probably won't laugh anyway. That's not what in jokes are about. Look, just ignore it ok? And forget we had this conversation. Jeez.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

animated

I've had a pretty busy life over the last week what with social outings, boozing and the Sydney Graphic Festival on the weekend. That was where I saw/heard Neil Gaiman read his story The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains with music/sounds provided by FourPlay String Quartet and paintings by Eddie Campbell. It was fantastic.

Neil Gaiman got a rock star greeting from the adoring fans - among whom I definitely place myself although I've always had difficulty with hero-worship, I'm just instinctively mistrustful of anyone who inspires adulation. He was good though, very good - as he should be since he wrote the story and does these things a lot. With the haunting sounds provided by FourPlay and the lovely illustrations by Eddie Campell shown on a big screen it was a darkly magical reading.

The Q and A between Gaiman & Campbell afterwards was a humorous affair - it seemed more like two old friends slinging witty insults at each other than anything, and appeared to be pretty much off the cuff. It was quite lovely to watch.

Sunday saw me back at the Opera House for a screening of Akira with a live score provided by Regurgitator. Which was particularly awesome. And loud, rib-rattlingly loud, especially in some of the full-on action scenes. I hadn't seen the movie for twelve or fifteen years and was taken by how modern it is - and how influential it's been in the twenty-odd years since it was made.

I think the friend I went with got more out of it than I did since he was able to focus on the movie, the subtitles and the band. I tried for a few minutes but gave up - partly because I can't multi-task but mostly because I was just totally absorbed into the movie. It's still pretty brutal by today's standards. Of course there are hundreds of imitators that are even more graphically bloody, but the almost off-handed way a lot of the violence is dealt with in the movie adds to the shock value. Plus the condensed nature of the adaptation from the comic books makes for a curiously more subtle story - less time for explanation equals more of the 'show, don't tell' principle.

If you haven't ever seen it I recommend you do. Preferably on a big screen with a good sound system.

Monday, August 09, 2010

subconscious

I must be over-thinking things again: I had a dream incorporating not one but three ex-girlfriends the other night. No, it wasn't a wet dream. Or a nightmare, oddly enough.

It was probably sparked by the email exchange I've had with my ex last week where we raked over some of the coals of our relationship and (in a very civilized manner) gave our somewhat differing opinions on the demise. It was interesting and a little illuminating, although I'm not sure that I got quite as much from her as she did from me. Admittedly she has yet to respond to my last email so that might change. Also there are few people who can ramble as much as me in text when I put my mind to it. Or my insomnia to it in this case..

It's nice, in a weird way, to be able to talk about it rationally and openly with her. Although it's probably something we could only do through email otherwise, as she admitted, she'd just end up crying. There are certainly some things that needed to be explained on either side, and nothing really bad has cropped up. It's just, as should be expected, sad.

Blah. Need to think more about that stuff before I splurge here. Will come back to this at a later date. Possibly.

Monday, August 02, 2010

ggg*

Currently obsessed with Dan Savage's sex and relationship advice podcast - the Savage Lovecast. I advise everyone with an interest in sex to listen - you will be informed, amused, surprised and probably repulsed by at least something in there. I loved the latest 20ish 'casts so much I've downloaded the entire 200-odd and am listening to them from the start - back in 2006.

Seriously though - go listen to some of them, even if you don't learn anything (and, oh my god, the things I've learned about dolphin fucking..) you will be highly entertained. I've just about doubled over on the street laughing so it's best not to listen when you're on public transport. He's also very often right, or at least offers good advice. Obviously though: not for those who can't handle sex-talk or plentiful profanity.

It's made me realise that despite my kinks there are people out there (LOTS of people) who are so much more freaky than me. Makes me want to up my game..


* ggg

Saturday, July 31, 2010

location location location

My old house has been put on the market.

My ex and I lived there for five years. They were very good years on the whole - although the mosquitoes were pretty unwelcome and the slugs a little too voracious. And of course the last few months were less than fun. But it's a place I remember very fondly and had a long happy time at - and wish I'd managed to take more of the plants from.

We raised Griffin from kitten hood there: on a diet of rats, lizards and minah birds. It was where we first got Rufus (originally named 'Whiskey' when we got him from the RSPCA). Where we got broken into twice. Where I spent countless hours pottering in the garden. Where we had dinner parties and legendary garden parties (one in particular is horribly memorable due to all the regurgitation endured afterwards..). Where we had many friends and family come stay when they passed through town (sorry about all the animal fur on everything..).

There are a lot of memories that I'd though I left behind when I moved out eight months ago (Wow. Was it really only that long? Feels like so much longer..). They resurfaced and got relived painfully on the day of the clean-up when my ex left for Canberra. Now this discovery brings them out again - it was surprisingly sad to see the house and my garden in the real estate photos. Especially since they'd cut down one of my avocados. Bastards..

It's nice to have it mentioned in the real estate blurb as a "peaceful garden" though - I worked hard on making it so. And enjoyed many peaceful hours in my hammock.

But it's just another ending. Bittersweet as all endings are, but much less painful than the earlier ones. We move on, life goes on - and gets better in many ways. Change is good and this one has been very good for me. The one I'm not looking forward to is when I no longer get to hang out with Rufus - which will probably happen when my ex gets married and he becomes their family dog.

But for the moment he's sleeping at my feet, twitching and snorting as he chases squirrels in his dreams*. It's so lovely having him here. Tomorrow I take him to the park to sniff dog asses and pee on trees. Good times!


* He's never seen a squirrel but if he ever did he'd certainly chase it. He's basically Dug.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

gadabout

I've been getting out & about a great deal over the recent weeks, it's great to have an active social life and be discovering more of Sydney and what it has to offer the adventurous urbanite.

Last week I went to see Bill Bailey, who must be one of the world's top comedians these days. Despite his claims to being still a 'fringe' performer. He'd at least be one of the smartest, weirdest and most talented comedians about: not many people could make a slide-show on Renaissance painters' depictions of Doubting Thomas a side-splittingly hilarious* part of their show.

The other night I saw the inestimable Stephen Fry on stage doing, first, an improvised monologue on subjects that had been tweeted to him earlier in the day, followed by a q&a session with Jennifer Byrne. He was, as expected, witty, erudite and very entertaining - holding forth on, amongst other things, the three writers that so influenced him as a child (P G Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, and - of course - Oscar Wilde).

Tonight was Tim Rogers doing his cabaret show Saligia down at the Opera House. I had no idea what to expect only really knowing him through You Am I and never being a big fan of them anyway. It was in fact quite wonderful and funny and touching. He had a great band to back him, all great performers in their own right and coming together to make some great music. And he wore an awesome red velvet suit. Win.

I've also been eating out a great deal, so much so that it occurred to me that last night was the first night for a couple of weeks I had actually cooked at my place. Which was good since the mushrooms were beginning to develop sentience.. Spending time discovering new (at least to me) restaurants has been a bit of an eye opener though. Not that I'm about to become a (blah, hate the word..) 'foodie' but spending time with people who not only appreciate good food but do so in a professional capacity has opened my eyes more than a little. I still occasionally eat cold beans out of a can though..

Finding new bars is much more my thing, and I've been doing a bit of that too. Everything from hip, schmick cocktail lounges to funky, laid-back bars to seedy, disreputable pubs. And some other places I really don't remember too much about. The only thing I can say with authority is that hangovers bear no relation to the cost of the drinks - they're always consistent..


* Although, it has to be said, he made me look at Caravaggio's painting in a new light - and use the phrase 'Christ porn' in a sentence..

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

patterns

I've been pondering something (so unlike me..). I was talking with my ex a couple of weekends ago and, while it was lovely and we're getting on really well (probably helps that we only see each other every couple of months..), I found myself falling into the same ways of communicating. Or not communicating, to tell the truth.

We talk well together and we always have, that hasn't changed. But one of the reasons I felt I needed to get out of the relationship was because I just didn't feel that she was particularly interested in me. She certainly wanted to know what I had to say and what I know but wasn't so concerned about what's going on inside my head. Our discussions and topics always seem to revolve around her and her questions/problems. I don't mean to imply that she's self-centred (well, she's an only child so there's a small element of that - but she's a very generous, giving person) she's just more concerned with her own stuff. Naturally so: I think we're all like that to an extent and we should be, there's no-one more important in our lives than ourselves.

I was more concerned with how much I went along with it, both in the recent conversations and, thinking back, through the later years of our living together. I'm much more comfortable letting other people talk about their stuff and simply adding comments/opinions or advice to the subject of their choice - it's partly the problem-solver in me. And I don't tend to steer things around to me, or even offer much up – which is the low self-worth coming out. In our relationship I seldom talked about myself - and she rarely asked. If there is any criticism that I can level at her it's that: she never seemed to want to hear about my stuff and was too easily distracted if we ever did get into it.

So the last time we met we talked for a couple of hours about a bunch of stuff, mostly around her friendships, current relationship and impending marriage - stuff that's obviously on her mind and that I found interesting. It's understandable that she'd be a bit reticent about asking about my personal life but it simply didn't seem to occur to her to find out. This hasn't exactly upset me - that relationship is very much over and the rebuilding into a friendship will take a long time - but it was the way I reverted to type that worried me. My instinctual self-deprecation and concealing behaviours came back far too easily.

I think I'm getting better at it - meeting people and getting to know them through dating and just being more social has made me realise that I'm not actually boring and what I have to say about my life does engage other people. I'm learning to have the confidence to talk about things without being overly self-effacing and steering the conversation quickly back to talking about the other person's interests. It also helps that I've been talking with people who share many of the same interests.

I guess this is always the way with personal growth - being able to identify the times when you slide back into old habits and to try to figure out ways to prevent that in the future. I think I'm getting a handle on it and generally I'm happier with myself these days than I have been for a long time. It's kinda nice to feel good.

Monday, July 26, 2010

hullo internet

Sorry we've not been talking much lately, I know been remiss in my attention to you. I've been so busy with work and social life recently - and while I know that's no excuse for neglect I hope you'll understand if I'm a little run ragged lately.

I'll find time for the two of us soon, promise.

In the meantime here's a pretty song just for you (or this version if you prefer).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

boundaries

I'm not sleeping well; nothing unusual there. But it's not just being unable to get to sleep like normal: I'm also waking in the night and being unable to get back to sleep. Well, if I'm honest it's partly unable but also because I'm unwilling to sleep. I still resent sleep from taking me away from the things I'd rather be doing.

Consciousness is far more interesting to me than dreaming - I generally remember what I do when awake (depending on the number of alcoholic relaxants taken..) but very seldom remember my dreams. Therefore I have this weird underlying feeling that sleep is wasted time. I know it's not - but that's an intellectual thing and the feeling that I'm missing out on life by sleeping through it is a gut feeling.

I love the night. I love the oddness and freedom that comes with being awake when 90% of the city is unconscious. It feeds my anti-social (or, rather, quirky-social: I don't hate being around people - just most people) nature and my need for solitude. There's also more magic and mystery in the night than in the dull light of day - especially when you live in a big dirty city. Darkness cloaks a multitude of metropolitan sins - and makes some of those sins much more interesting..

That said: the guy who stands against the wall of my building is far more freaky at night than during the day. Not that I've ever seen him do anything. He just stands. Wearing a big jacket with lined hood, baggy warm trousers, and bare feet. He never begs, doesn't have a sign or anything, doesn't have bags. He just stands.

Even for a street dweller he's odd.

But back to my main point: I've identified my problem (in truth have known it for a while) and I think I'm probably ready to deal with it, i.e. make myself into a functioning diurnal member of society. Now comes the hard bit - actually making myself do it. Self control is needed - and I have very little of this.

So for starters I'm banning myself from taking my laptop to bed - it's too easy to get suckered into teh interwebs and the weirdness therein (I spent more than an hour on 4chan last night ffs..). I'm going to try for a more structured sleep time, i.e. something before 1am - preferably around 10-11pm. Which may be a hard ask - but if I'm at least in bed at that time sleep might come sooner.

I'm also switching to going to the gym in the morning for at least one session a week. That's going to be a killer but it'll at least shift the strenuous exercise to a better time of day. The evening training takes a while to come down from.

So. We'll see what happens - I don't think it'll be smooth sailing in the least and possibly I'll fail completely. But I'm obviously fine with that: it's my current lifestyle. It'd be nice not to be entirely dog tired for at least a couple of days during the week.

Friday, July 16, 2010

landmark

This is my six-hundredth post. An arbitrary round number perhaps but still a milestone of a kind.

That's about ninety-two blog posts per year, or the blinding pace of one and three-quarters per week. I can't be arsed working out the word count but it's probably something staggeringly banal. Suffice to say I won't be achieving any records with my output. Despite how tediously long-winded I tend to be.

Interestingly my stat count is about to hit thirty thousand visitors too. Roughly the same number a twenty second clip of a kitten on YouTube gets in half an hour. Fame appears to be eluding me. Thankfully.

But anyway: six and a half years, six hundred posts.

Not sure what I have to say about reaching this point. Thanks to people like it was an Academy Award?

Well, I'd never have started without Eroica - this is all your fault. I'd almost certainly have dropped out early-on if it weren't for Michelle so much of the blame goes to you love. Thanks too to Jen: you've been hugely supportive - and a delightful house guest. Vanessa - next time we meet let's make it for longer than just a cup of tea. And not in Bristol. Ysengin, Sal, Babs, Helena - each of you has played your part in the continuation of this debacle, you'll be up against the wall when the revolution comes too.

There are plenty of others including, but not limited to, everyone who's ever been in my ever-changing blogroll. All those whose blogs I chanced upon and was intrigued by or commented on. And everyone who has ever commented, anonymously or not - any and all comments are an unexpected joy. It pains me that I've lost the wonderful comments from the previous five years (curse you for changing your system Haloscan..). Even the guy who just kept calling me 'gaywad'. Ahh, such cutting repartee..

Plus the fallen: D, Pornyboy, Avatar, Sarah, Frank, Tam, Kittylifter, Pisser, Surtr, Late Bland, etc etc. Too many have disappeared without a trace but certainly aren't forgotten. If it wasn't for the blogging community, disparate and fragmented as it may be, I'd never have been interested in this odd form of exhibitionism. Especially given my generally rather private - almost secretive - personality.

I thought I'd be anonymous and I guess I still largely am - but mostly because no-one is really interested in whiny, self-indulgent personal blogs (except other whiny, self-indulgent bloggers of course..). But the anonymity is less important to me these days - enough real-life friends & acquaintances know about this thing that it's a moot point anyway. Besides: I continue to be discovered by people from meatspace, which is an uncomfortable learning experience for everyone..

I don't re-read my own blog much but I don't appear to have learned a damned thing. About blogging, about myself, about life. Ok, so that's not entirely true - I have learnt but I seem to be unable to actually put my knowledge into practice and stop making the same fucking mistakes. Or different mistakes in the same way. Or the same mistakes in creative and original ways. My very nature conspires against my own, well, nature..

But I digress. My life appears to be one large digressive ramble away from.. whatever point it was that was supposed to be made. I forget.

ANYWAY.

I'm still here. Still keeping going. Still interested in where this will lead me. Still very interested in who I might meet.

Thank you for reading. I love you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

smell of a man

And like that, it's done..

I refer of course to the whole Old Spice thing:

Here's a round up/collection of some of the vids if you missed them.

Usually I don't get into viral marketing things but this one has been done so well in such an original funny sexy/creepy way that I just have to applaud. Perfect combination of great delivery, great writing and creative visuals.

Still won't be wearing the scent but.

Silver fish hand catch!

Monday, July 12, 2010

devouring

Apparently I'm not eating enough. Despite the 5-6 meals I have a day. Or so my trainer keeps telling me - I'm beginning to wonder if she's a feeder..

But she obviously has a point - I'm not gaining any weight even though I work out (argh, I hate that term..) regularly and with a plan geared towards muscle gain. I'd thought I was eating plenty and was telling her how often and how much it was - then she pretty much flatly said I need to eat twice that amount for my build and level of exercise.

Which is a drag. I sometimes eat just to feed the machine anyway and I'm not really a 'foodie' (another term I dislike..) but turning food into a chore really sucks any enjoyment out of what should be a sensuous experience. Although I'm eating out enough these days that I'm getting my fill of good dining - hanging out with people who really know food and put thought and consideration into their dining experience is a bit of an eye-opener.

I love breakfast - my favourite meal of the day - and I've come to enjoy cooking myself dinner (although it's not what I'd ever call masterful or adventurous) but I'm obviously not eating enough between those meals. Gah, I hate that I'll probably have to go to the lengths of buying protein powder or something similar to supplement my daily intake..

Or just eat more pies.

Anyway, all that griping done - now I've got to go grocery shopping. Why are supermarkets so uniformly awful?! There's a huge whinge for another day..

Friday, July 09, 2010

obey

So I saw Exit Through The Gift Shop. Twice. And I want to buy the DVD when it comes out.

Yes, I'm a Banksy tragic - but this goes beyond that. It's simply an excellent movie that explores the issues of reality and validity and originality in art. And does it in a side-splittingly funny way that both intrigues and confounds. I came out of it the first time saying "I don't think I believe anything I just saw!" but the second time around I think I get the 'truth' in it. Or at least the point that it's making.

Both times I appreciated that it wasn't necessary to know whether it's a documentary or a mockumentary (or, as a brilliant friend coined, a 'prankumentary'), it works as a film without that certainty. And I think is a much more long-lasting film in the way it has been made - a more straightforward exploration of street art and graffiti artists would have only limited appeal to the general public. While I'm sure this won't be hugely popular with the urban art unaware (not as much as it should be..) I think it'll become one of those cult films screened many times over the years.

It's possibly just my love of irony and ambiguity that made it resonate so much with me - your mileage may vary. But I really can't recommend it enough. Even if you have no interest in street art, trust me - this is one excellent and funny film.

Whether Thierry Guetta exists as a real person or a construct he is hilarious to watch, and the last word should go to Banksy:

There's no one like Thierry, even though his art looks like everyone else's.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

five seven five

I have a fascination with haiku and brief forms of poetry or word-sculpture. Not that I claim to be any good at them but I do create them regularly, mostly as something to do during those times of the day that are pretty useless for anything. Getting coffee at a cafe, waiting for public transport, standing in a crowded bus, etc. Those parts of our regular city lives that are portioned up too small for most meaningful activities.

Other than reading the paper I suppose now that most people have iPhones, iPods & other handheld digital media devices they're able to surf the net or zone out to music or otherwise escape from reality for a short time. Others seem to be able to read books but my transit time is about 10-12 minutes tops which doesn't allow me long enough to concentrate on a book. Yes, my mental faculties are that degraded..

I could read short stories or listen to podcasts more (I've just downloaded a bunch and will be doing that tomorrow - This American Life ftw) but I like to observe what's going on around me and try to create something in words around that. I just don't tend to write these down often. I've gotten out of the notebook habit lately and am embarrassed sometimes when I pull out a battered-looking moleskine full of pristine blank pages. I feel like a fraud.

But I've been emailing with a friend and mentioned about making up poetry and was surprised at the encouraging response. I'd always thought I was just fooling around and that no-one really took haiku seriously (most people don't even know what they are!). Besides which I don't even really like much poetry - a couple of sonnets, a bit of Auden, some Coleridge, Walter de la Mare's The Listeners, ee cummings*, that's about it. Ok, dirty limericks too but everyone needs a vice.

On the other hand the best birthday present anyone has ever made me was Eroica's collection of our recent haiku exchanges which still brings a huge smile to my face whenever I read it. Not sure where I'm going with this.. It's late, I'm rambling. As usual. I guess I might actually start using my dormant twitter feed to actually publish some of these poetry snippets..

If I manage to get the courage.

Well, it's marginally less scary than thinking about showing off my fiction...


* I've seriously been thinking about getting a tattoo of ee cummings' l) a. I'm just not sure I'm cool enough for it... 

Sunday, July 04, 2010

social media schmedia

I split up with Facebook a while ago but I've been thinking about getting back together with the fickle wench. Although, quite frankly, I'm not really sure I need her in my life.

It's been more than a month since I've been on there and I haven't honestly missed it that much. There are certainly people I'd like to keep in touch with more but I'm not sure that 'liking' someone's posts or leaving random one-line comments is the same as meaningful communication.

Of course I haven't been actually doing anything more meaningful (i.e. writing/talking/emailing) - but the intention is there.. As always.

I also wonder whether anyone has noticed I'm not posting/commenting any more? Probably not: the scatter-shot and mass-broadcast nature of the medium means that if you've got 100+ friends updating and posting regularly it's hard to see when one of them stops. My email volume certainly hasn't picked up.

Blogging has become more appealing lately: I don't know if I've actually got more to say or I just seem to have a need to be more long-winded about it*. I'm also liking twitter - but more from a consumer standpoint, I don't use it much to talk to people.

Facebook just seems kinda.. prescriptive. Standardised for commonality. Which is fine but I feel like it lacks nuance, and I'm all about the subtleties of communication. Or at least like to think I am.

ANYway. All that said I'll probably be back on the facespace soon. Like junk food it's easy and quick and comforting and as long as you don't overdo it your legs won't drop off from gangrene**.


* Rhetorical.
** yes, I know, that analogy lost some traction at the end..

Friday, July 02, 2010

electric doom

The electronic uprising is nearly upon us: yesterday I walked past a guy taking his robot for a walk.

That's all. I have nothing more. Isn't that enough?

Yes, it was pre-coffee but I wasn't hallucinating.

Ok, I'm reasonably sure it was real.

It's Friday afternoon, I went to the pub for lunch and I'm shutting up now.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

crimson tide

I've recently begun dangling my toes into the dating pool. OK, well, to be honest it feels like I've done a flailing cannonball* - but that's only by my own anti-social standards. But anyway, meeting people using methods both old (i.e. dubious recommendations from friends) and new (i.e. dubious online dating services) has proven to be kinda fun.

Despite my reservations and my natural inclination to just hide away in my own world so far I've met four lovely women. All of whom are intelligent, articulate, attractive and (at least as far as I can tell) sane. And they appear to like me too - or if they don't are at least polite about it.

The disturbing aspect to this (quite apart from being entirely out of my comfort zone) is that the universe seems to be throwing redheads at me. Two of the four are bloodnuts - and I'm meeting another tonight. It's as if, having recently been with one flamehaired female, I'm now ginger-bait. Not that I'm complaining mind, they've all been delightful - and, interestingly, all happen to be writers/journalists. Not that there's probably any causative connection there - although I'm not sure if anyone has studied it..

Anyway, I've no expectations about where any of this is going. Hell, I've no idea how to progress from meeting someone to developing intimacy under these circumstances. I'm probably coming across as pretty reserved, distant and aloof (which would be accurate on the whole - except to the 60-odd people I call friends) but none of them have actively run away from me yet.

Hopefully I'll get better at it, but at the very least I've met cool people and had some fascinating conversations. No shags yet tho, dammit**.


* I've managed to keep my trunks on though. So far.
** Jokes. Mostly.

Monday, June 28, 2010

shame

Here's a horror of a confession. One that will cause my indie cred - never exactly at a triple A rating anyway - to continue to slide towards Greek economy levels of bankruptcy.

Though it's against all better judgement and against my will I'm beginning to like Muse..

And appear to be obsessed with their song Supermassive Black Hole - despite the cheesy naffness of the lyrics, the derivative rock-by-numbers of the riffs, the whiny falsetto and the general douchery of the band. I'm mortified.

This, on top of my penchant for OK Go and the fact I have more tracks by The Killers than The Pixies on my iPod, makes me worry that my musical tastes are blanding into middle age.

How long before I begin thinking U2 are relevant? Or start listening to Nickelback?

If I do I will have to kill myself - although if it ever gets to that stage it can be safely assumed that I'm already as near to brain dead as makes no difference. Somebody just pull the plug.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

meme torture

For some stupid reason I thought I'd update my woefully dated '100 Things' list. Without really remembering how painful, mortifying and protracted that process was in the first place. Idiot.

But I'm 42 things into it already, after only a week, which is a rate far in excess of the first one's 14 month time period. Although I'm aware that I've not completed it yet so it may well go for much longer. Don't count chickens etc. Aside: that aphorism misses the fact that chickens are a bugger to count after they've hatched too. Compared to eggs - which tend not to run around a lot. Just sayin'.

It's easy to list a bunch of things about yourself really (grew from a fertilized ovum, was moved by the movie Gloomy Sunday, is not clinically mad, likes reading, has own elbows, etc) but actually saying things that are meaningful is a little more complex. There are things that have happened in my life that most people see as hugely important (graduation, marriage, court appearances, etc) but which have little or no significance to me.

On the other hand there are the banal and largely mundane experiences that I find have lingered with me for years longer than they ought to have. Things that didn't seem important at the time and probably wouldn't interest anyone else but stick in my memory. Meeting Lisa for the first time on the inter-school biology trip to Kaikoura. Sitting with Mark in the botanic gardens one fine autumn afternoon, mildly tripping on acid and just soaking in the day. Seeing Head Like A Hole play the ballroom at Orientation in 1992. The lift I got from the crazy Frenchmen when hitchhiking down the North Island one summer. Reading my first blog (Leto from Petone - sadly not blogging anymore).

And then there are the events that fit the 'important event' category and I knew it at the time. Usually involving people: Rupert, David & I doing that road trip around the South Island. Winning my first karate tournament. Meeting Sas for the first time. My thirtieth birthday party. The first time I kissed Mary. Skydiving. The first time I hand-fed a shark. The first time a shark fed on my hand...

Not sure what I'm trying to say here actually. I seem to have rambled away from my starting point quite a bit. Maybe I'm just struggling to find significance in my life that I feel comfortable sharing with others, and struggling to find significant the things that I do share...

Possibly I should stop wasting this blather on a blog post and go apply it to the 100 things.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

deaf dumb & blind dating

Well, I think it went well..

She was lovely - and did her best to try and put me at ease. Not an easy task: I managed to blither and witter pointlessly for quite a while anyway. True to form.

She's also devastatingly intelligent, formidably well read and very attractive. And wants to see me again. So she's probably not entirely right in the head (which of course makes her all the more appealing to me. I do like the cracked ones - or at least warped a little..).

On the other hand I've had a couple of friends warn me not to get involved with anyone else too quickly. To take some time off and step away from the emotional stuff for a while. And they've got a point. I need to do some positive introspection and sort out some of this mental crap.

On the other other hand (yes, buying gloves can be a pain) she's very interesting and I think getting to know someone from zero will take me a while anyway. It takes time for me to get comfortable talking with someone let alone anything more.

Hmmm...

Friday, June 18, 2010

huh?

Oddness reigns in my life - I have a blind date tomorrow.

How the hell did that happen?

I don't think I've ever been on an actual date* ever in my life let alone a blind one.

Will report on success or (more likely) hilarious failure as news comes to hand...


* I really don't know what the definition of a 'date' is though. Possibly I've been on many but was unaware at the time. Which may explain why I'm single.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

reality check

So.. self indulgence over. I think. For now.

I mean seriously, I've got to stop letting my heart run away with me. I am not going to keep doing this to myself - and it is me doing it. Let's be honest: it's not the heart-breakers' fault, I'm the one expecting too much. I'm not going to stop putting myself out there but I'm going to try to keep a more level head in future.

Try not to crash when things go sour, as they so often do. From reading Vanessa's post on the same kinda thing a while ago I've realised I invest too much in other people's connection to me. In relationships. And it devastates me when they end. I don't have a robust enough sense of self - perpetual low self-esteem and constant self-lacerating is very unhealthy (kids - just say no).

Now there's something to work on. I'll keep you posted.

In addition - emotional pain and anguish are pretty much inevitable in life (if you have a soul) but that's all the more reason not to dwell on it when it hapens. I'm beginning to figure out ways of steering my thoughts down more positive or at least distracting paths, tho I need to really work on this since it's my biggest hurdle when it comes to sleeping. Switching my brain off is a near impossible task, but I'm learning to lead it in comfortable circles till it just curls up into a snoozing ball.

Yes, I imagine my mind is a dog. Possibly a golden retriever.

So, in essence: thanks for your patience, I think I'm ok now. Tho watch out for the inevitable (if hopefully brief) relapse.

Friday, June 11, 2010

ongoing

Sorry in advance for the shite that this blog is going to contain over the next little while. I've discovered that writing my crises down actually helps - and I'm much better these days at using a computer than a paper notebook. So: welcome to my pit of despair. The exits are clearly labelled, don't be too polite to use 'em.

Expressing my feelings in a public forum still causes me extreme discomfort - I'm essentially a deeply private person. But I need to try and accept my own personality. I'm incredibly harsh on myself when looking back at the way I've lived and loved. Can never accept that I actually have a right to feel the way I do. I'm horribly embarrassed whenever I inevitably later dissect my words and actions.

I feel hollow. Coming to work today was an effort and I'm not sure that it's paid off - I've not done much more than go through my email for the last week. Don't actually feel like I'll achieve anything today. But I work for the government so probably no-one will notice.

Coming back to Sydney has been awful. For the very first time in the last year or more of life shit I wondered what I'm doing here. There's nothing I love here. Well, at least at the moment I can't see any joy in the place. I know, I know - it'll get better in time, but I seriously am thinking about getting the hell out of Dodge. I just don't know where I would go that would be better - joy is where you find it but misery you carry with you.

I just don't know how to put this baggage of unhappiness down. I fear it's become such a part of my life that I'll never get rid of it.


PS  I'm playing with the layout of this thing a bit. Bear with me, it'll probably change look a lot over the next little while. Not the content of course - that'll stay consistent..

Thursday, June 10, 2010

family

I love my family, but...

There's always a caveat to that sentence isn't there?

In my case it's that I love them but I wish they were more like a 'real' family. I wish they were supportive and loving and close and caring. Unfortunately they're distant and diffident and unemotional and logical. My brother less so, thankfully, else I'd probably not come back here more than once a year - if that.

My parents are incapable of showing love and support at times when I need it. Open emotions make them uncomfortable - their repressed Englishness means they just can't deal with it. I honestly can't remember the last time my mother hugged me properly or without awkwardness. My dad only hugs me when he picks me up or drops me off at the airport and it's always a big quick 'manly' hug.

Which is lovely and all, really. It's not what I need but I know they're not going to change. I wish things were different but have to be realistic that in their seventies the ability to alter their personalities so fundamentally has pretty much gone. So I try to find the family I crave elsewhere - with friends. Which blows since I'm not very good at making friends, and appear to be excellent at losing them.

Anyway.

I just wanted to share this gem from my mother. When I arrived here I told her that the relationship I'd been in had ended and obviously I am looking a bit sad and haggard. So she proceeds to pretty much tell me to take a teaspoon of cement and harden the fuck up - except that, in her inimitable way, she does it by quoting a 17th century poem at me. Then tells me to go talk to my big brother.

Hell, even as beaten-down as I am that made me laugh. Family: can't live with 'em; still illegal to hold pillows over their faces till they stop wriggling...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

synopsis

So my recent and ongoing emotional crisis is relationship based. As usual. When is there ever anything else to bring me to froth so melodramatically online? I'm nothing if not consistent. Consistently adolescent.

Yes, another love affair has ended, and ended badly.

It's not so much the hurt and loss - that's hard, always painful, but it passes. Rejection sucks but we've all been there on both sides of the coin and you just try to suck it up and deal with it as best you can. As rationally as your irrational emotions will allow.

It's the sense of humiliation that I can't cope with. The realisation that I was disposable.

Our relationship was supposed to be secret because she couldn't be sure how her boss would react to the liaison (probably badly, to be fair - the boss is a psychopath..). Eventually I think this meant that it was much less 'real' in her mind than in mine. Which was pointedly driven home to me when, a few weeks after we split up, she starts dating someone else in the office. Pretty much openly.

Fortunately she's now left for another job so I don't have to be around them as a couple any more - although I still have to work with him (how that's going to go I have no idea). But she's friends with many of the people who work here still and a part of the drinking circle - and since I just can't be around them at the pub I'm guessing I'll be saving money on booze for a while.

I don't begrudge her a new relationship with someone she feels better suited to - it hurts like hell but there's no arguing with that really. I told her what I thought and my feelings and basically they weren't good enough - though she did me the kindness of saying she wasn't sure if she was choosing the right guy. But she chose him anyway.

(Aside: that's the second time that pretty much the exact same situation has occurred. I'm trying not to make too much of that..)

I know she never meant to hurt me - she said that and I know her well enough that it's the truth. But the sad fact is that she just didn't care enough to try not to hurt me as collateral. I wouldn't want her to have another secretive relationship like ours but the timing and the way they went about it was brutal. Now everyone knows about their relationship and is all "that's wonderful!" and "I knew it would happen" while the last six months of us being together evaporates like smoke. No-one knew - so it never happened.

The sympathetic/pitying looks from the few people who did know don't help either. Not that they have or probably will say anything to me - unfortunately, when the chips are down, people just like her more. And fair enough - so did I.

Again a relationship ends with my heart in tatters and my group of friends severely reduced. Christ, another year of this and I'll have alienated everyone I've ever met in Sydney.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

...

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Fuck what a horrible thought.

First days aren't ever good - I don't remember much about my very first but I imagine there was a fair amount of upset all round. I'm trying to focus on this day as the first and that things can only get beter from here. And that they will. Not feeling it, but trying to convince myself.

I managed to drag myself to work today - against my better judgement - my so-called 'work ethic' was niggling at me. I'd left a bunch of stuff unfinished that needed to be completed. And my time sheet had to be filled out. Reasons that, now I'm here, seem to be less than convincing.

I'm keeping it together (just). Stopped myself from bolting at about 11am. Had to vomit about half an hour ago, which didn't help but at least now the stomach knots have nothing to twist upon.

So glad this is the last day I'll have to deal with this situation at work - off to NZ tomorrow and when I get back things will have changed. Which is sad but for the better I think.

Hopefully I'll be better too.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

under a cloud

Update: I am broken.

And sick of it.

Sick of a lot of stuff in my life and tired of whining about it - although I only ever seem to do that internally. I'm sick of listening to myself.

It's a pretty poor state of affairs when you live alone and you can't stand being around yourself. It's so tiresome.

I'm still here. And will be back to this sometime, I'm sure. As soon as I overcome my lacerating misery and self-loathing.

Could be a while.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

*chortle*

Loving the esoteric brouhaha about the latest xkcd comic:

The alleged wikipedia article is a redirect and the discussion over whether to keep or delete is an hilarious bitch fight over memes, language, jokes, validity, humour, notability, solipsism, etc. Plus the inevitable vote to redirect to a previous internet meme.

I love it when word nerds, joke stackers and self-important wikieditors get into a stoush. It's like a slap fight between 4chan and a university English department.

It's yet to reach a Godwin state but I hold out hope...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

questions

Saw a guy on the bus with the same hairstyle (if not quite the same sartorial flair) as Howard Wolowitz. Did I miss something? When did that become fashionable?

It'd be interesting if the popularity of The Big Bang Theory leads to more sub-cultural copying of the characters. Will lactose intolerance become cool? Selective mutism the new fad? Obssesive compulsive behaviours a must-have attribute?

I like the idea and support the general nerdifying of the population. If I can't be normal I'll just push everyone else to be more weird.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the horror

I've been shaped!

Haven't had the internet at home now for 4 days. I'm beginning to get the shakes...

On the up side I am getting a lot of reading done. And have been to a couple of movies. Plus watching more tv. Which, come to think of it, probably isn't a positive.

I thought I'd miss facebook but, after a few irritated hours, I find I don't feel cut off at all. The truly annoying thing is lack of access to wikipedia - I have to rely on my brain to remember things! Oh the humanity!

My internet will not regain it's former speed (i.e. faster than the arthritic glacier it currently resembles) until the weekend and my access to work computers is severely curtailed due to training courses. The current unusual state of mute untalkativeness will be replaced by the regular level of surly reticence shortly. Yes, I know it's difficult to tell the difference.

If you email me and I don't respond it's probably because I just don't like you. As usual.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

notes

So my notebooks are a complete mess at the moment. Well, it's a permanent state of affairs actually - they reflect the orderliness of my mind (i.e. none). Here are a few notes that I've written recently. I think. There are no dates and I actually have no recollection of writing some of them at all so they may be last week or last year. Or figments of my imagination.

  • Full-on police riot wagon cruising slowly down King St on a Tuesday morning - complete with cow-catcher, meshed windows and armoured turret. Wish I had time to follow it and see if there's an interesting riot happening. Or perhaps start one - they might just be bored & cruisin'.
  • Quote at 10:26PM "It's at this time of night that bunting comes into it's own" - Eroica Ritchie (attr.). I have no idea where we were or what we were discussing. I really wish I could remember that conversation...
  • My bus driver just forgot number bus he was in - was just about to take a wrong turn that would have had disastrous consequences to the route and timetable till a passenger yelled out to him. Then went up and gave him directions - was still there when I got off at my stop.
  • Woke up with Queen's 'Fat Bottom Girls' running through my head. Was humming it for a while before I realised that it's all about paedophilia.
  • A guy just ran under a semi-trailer at the lights near work! It wasn't moving fast but jesus! Would have taken a really big spatula to get him off the tarmac if he'd misjudged it.
  • "Have we had this conversation? Damn, my mind is such a sieve I don't know if I'm having deja vu or a senior moment".
  • We should fall in love. Madly, badly and tragically. If our hearts are broken it's ok - that's what Tom Waits albums are for.
That's all for now. Hopefully I've not used these ones before - I really ought to put a tick next to stuff I've blogged. But that's, y'know, organised and stuff. Not gonna happen.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

scattered

I took yesterday off due to niggling back ache, modest shoulder pain, serious sleeplessness and extreme disillusionment.

It was a good choice: I slept in a little - maybe an hour, which is pretty good for me; had a leisurely breakfast; wandered in search of coffee and newspaper; then, having acquired those two essential props, I lay in the park in the sun and did the crossword. While listening to Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency read by the author.

Magical morning.

I'd planned on going to see Kick Ass at the cinema down the road but it was such a beautiful day I couldn't justify being out of the sun for that long. Instead I took a long walk through Newtown in search of interesting graffiti and weird people. Two things that my suburb has in spades. I took many photos of graffiti but none of people - I'm not confident enough to be able to bowl up to someone and say "you look fascinating - can I take a picture to put on the internet?". Probably for the best since most of them are the people who'd say "fuck off!", "sure, that'll be $50" or "what's the internet?".

I'm struggling with my professional life at the moment. Struggling to call it 'professional' for a start. I've been looking for something else to interest me but currently with very little success. And less enthusiasm. I'm tending to choose to enjoy my life and time away from work rather than use it to update my CV, investigate job leads, look at training possibilities, network (argh) with possible contacts, etc etc ad nauseum. I admire those who are driven to do this kind of thing but honestly when it comes to a choice between writing my CV or lying in the sun with a book I think you know where my heart is. And most of the rest of my organs.

But anyway - back at work today and, as you can tell, really flat out doing stuff I love. Actually I guess I am: I'm spending most of my time surfing teh interwebs. Would post some of the links here but I'm really trying to resist turning this into a link blog. Although I will plug Michelle's Take Your Blog To Work Day, an idea I may shamelessly rip-off at some stage. If my work ever becomes interesting.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

layabout

Today has been a near perfect day both for weather, activity and mood. Only near perfect because I had to go grocery shopping - the only chore I couldn't simply put off till whenever.

I did nothing much today and loved every second of it.

Not much more to add really, just wanted to share my contentment. Or rub it in your face. Whatever.

Hope, wherever you are, that your Sunday is equally sublime. Well, maybe not quite as good. I want to have the best after all.

Mwah.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

full stop

Jen left yesterday and my home feels a little empty, to be honest. It's not a large apartment but she was an excellent house guest (especially the jambalaya she cooked on the last night: so good!). Although she did use all my tissues in an effort to staunch the unceasing flow of mucus from her sinuses. But that's probably better than leaking everywhere..

It's been a while since last update - been a bit busy and too unfocused to blog frankly. Not that my blogging normally exhibits crystal clarity. But it's been a pretty fun and interesting last few weeks what with having my couch (sadly, the shorter version) finally delivered, going to see loud bands in sticky-floored pubs, more farewells (i.e. drinking) for coworkers on the project (which seems to be doing an impression of a collapsing souffle), a clean-up on the old house, and a surfing adventure down to 'nulla. That last was fun and tiring and chafing - my knees had very dodgy looking carpet burns from the board...

The final clean and exit from the house in Forest Lodge was far more emotional than I was expecting.

It wasn't quite so bad on the day Sas & I did the scrubbing, vacuuming and mopping - although saying goodbye to Rufus again, for probably the last time, was seriously awful. But for me it was going around a day later to pick up the last of the plants I could have at my new place that nearly cracked me. Leaving the garden that I'd pottered in for 5 years, plants that I'd grown from seed (the avocados are 5m tall trees now! and the bananas are producing fruit!), landscaping I'd done, composting I'd obsessed over, vege garden I'd completely failed to prevent being eaten by snails - it was traumatic.

It's a period of my life that's very much over now, and for good reasons. But parts of it were excellent: I just hope that in the future I can find as much happiness and contentment as I did in that house. Though to tell the truth I'd prefer even more.

Friday, March 26, 2010

sunny

So..

What's been happening?

How you been?

I'm good, yeah - real good. Surprisingly so you might say. Full of joie de vivre and other French aphorisms.

New Zealand was delightful: beautifully sunny, warm days; crisp evenings; cool nights. Perfect weather for this Anglo boy - my genes are tailored to appreciate warm and cold.

Karate camp was small but perfectly formed. Well, actually it was a bit of a mess really but in some ways that's been better than boring - discussion and planning has been stimulated. Some reasonably important goals have been set. More on that later when I've talked to my Sensei - he being the final arbiter of all things Yoshukai.

Catching up with friends and family in Chch was great. I saw Greg again for the first time in a while which was great. Hung with my bro and had good conversations with him - started to feel like I'm connecting with the nieces too which was lovely.

Of course I spent much time with my main girl who's been having a tough time of late but is still so much fun to be around even when she's flat. She also said, after much discussion of our individual turbulent social- and love-lives, probably one of the nicest things anyone's said to me "I feel so lucky to have you as a constant in my life". There really is no replacement for good friends. I have some of the best.

I've been in such a ridiculously positive mood the last week or so. I can't even really pinpoint the reasons, and I'm a bit afraid to analyse too much in case it goes away.

Jen's visit has been lovely - she's away having adventures in Western Australia and Queensland currently but back next week (not sure I can think of anything to do with her in Sydney that rivals what she's been up to out there!).

Karate is going really well, I'm actually enjoying the gym for once, signed up for a 4km run (a RUN!*) in about 6 weeks (again - A RUN!!), and work is.. well, still irritating.. but I've started looking around at alternatives so that's positive. I get my new** new couch delivered tomorrow - oh frabjous day!

The worst thing to have happened lately was visiting the ex and saying goodbye to the animals. She relocates to Canberra tomorrow and I'll likely never see Griffin again, maybe will see Rufus on occasion. That was pretty gutting. I knew when I left her that it was the right decision but I never really understood how hard it was going to be to leave the animals.

But still, even that's not dragging me down right now. Life is good and positive and shiny, plans are being made and coming to fruition, world domination is within my grasp and.. umm, ignore that.. I've said too much.. *nonchalant whistle*

If I could only get the washing up done my life would be perfect. But some things are really not meant to be..



* I don't run. Not even for the bus. I am one of nature's natural sitters.
** Not sure I blogged about that, it was rather traumatic at the time - my awesome wonderful comfy EXPENSIVE couch got delivered but wouldn't fit through the door. There were tears. And tantrums. So had to get a smaller one. C'est la vie.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

test pattern

Apologies internetfriends - the last 10 days or so have been pretty hectic what with Jen's arrival in Aus, my flying to New Zealand, karate training camp in Hanmer, much socialising in Christchurch, etc. I'm currently in NZ but flying back to Sydney tomorrow to relax from my 'holiday'.

Normal(esque) service will return shortly.

To pass the time - here's someone not using Chatroulette for the purposes it was intended (i.e. showing strangers your genitals), it's rather special:

Monday, March 15, 2010

meeting & greeting

So Jen arrived in Sydney yesterday for the start of her holiday and we met for the first time - after she'd spent 14 hours on a plane and hadn't slept for far too long. So she was hallucinating freely. I'd been out for an engagement party the night before (involving a place with a life-sized horse lamp, which of course was the focus of many drunken wannabe equestrians..) and was also seriously sleep deprived. Despite which we managed to hold relatively coherent conversations.

Got to say that, while I knew what she looked like from Facebook photos, I'd not really considered what she'd sound like. After 6 or 7 years of communicating entirely by the written word it was a shock to find she's got a Canadian accent! Yeah, I know - duh. But really, until you know a person you tend to read their words in your own voice. Or James Earl Jones's voice. Maybe that's just me?

Anyway, other than the freakish accent, she's lovely. And brought me gifts of t-shirts (she knows what I like), trinkets (shiny things!), maple syrup (I'm seeing waffles in my near future) and maple cookies. The main ingredient of that last item I swear is crack - those things are hellishly addictive! I was sitting reading an article about obesity (irony much?) online and couldn't stop myself from scarfing down a bunch of the fuckers..

Yeah, thanks so much Jen - get me hooked on a product only available twelve and a half thousand kms away.

God, I think I'm jonesing already..

Friday, March 12, 2010

fortitude

Took the day off yesterday because I was 'sick'. It's a great Aussie tradition on a sunny day. Although I didn't go to the beach, which is also traditional (at least in Sydney - less so in Alice Springs). I did spend some time walking through Newtown seeing the sights and observing the freaks & weirdos. And the so-called 'normal' people who, in many cases and some ways, are far weirder than the tattooed, pierced and dyed brigade.

People-watching is my favourite sport.

Anyway: I've been feeling a bit flat lately and I think I managed to come through it yesterday afternoon/evening. Not entirely sure that there has been any great epiphany or insight but I feel much... not necessarily better - but braver. More resolute. I know the things I have to do to bring about some positive change - in my professional life at least. I've known for a while, to tell the truth, I just now have, I think, the balls to do it.

Sorry to be cryptic: I'll let you know when I finalise my thought processes - I'm not jinxing it.

Now it's just a matter of finding the time! I'm not rushing it - I've got a pretty busy life at the moment, which I'm loving. Once that tapers off, as these things eventually do (i.e. when the money runs out), I'll get onto it. But hedonism is the soup du jour and I'm carpe-ing that diem right now (to mangle clich├ęs from a couple of languages..).

Although, to tell the truth, tonight I'm going to go shopping for some kitchen equipment (Jen is threatening to cook for me at some stage and she arrives on Sunday) and then probably getting an early night. Especially since I get my couch delivered tomorrow. Wheee! Here's hoping it'll fit in the lift...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

fascination

What is it that makes you intrigued with someone?

I don't just mean people that you're attracted to, although those are some of the best ones: those that tick all the boxes including the ones between the ears and between the legs. A potent combination! But that's not entirely what I'm after - yes hopefully that person will come along, and I have hope that she will, but until then I'm searching for intellectual stimulus.

There are plenty of people that I enjoy being around: those that make me laugh, are fun to be with, or simply pleasant company. These are my friends, some are very good friends - some are lovers. All important people to me - their generous friendships have carried me through recent tough emotional times. But they don't often engage me on a cerebral level or, at least, I sometimes feel like I'm an intellectual pez dispenser whose role it is to proffer ideas, concepts and arguments. Is it selfish of me to want to be energised in return?

I really don't think I'm as smart as some friends think I am: I just think I have more of a love for playing around with ideas and discussing concepts than most people. Talk of the latest TV programs or celebrities or rubbish local news bores me silly - or baffles me since I often have no idea who the people involved are. Water-cooler conversations around me generally involve a bit of explanation and back-story before I get the gist of what they're on about.

I like to be passionate about something. Anything even. I'm a very opinionated prick and can hold forth on most subjects given a sufficiently sturdy soap-box on which to stand. Not that I claim absolute knowledge about everything, but I can usually string together a reasonable argument on most topics I care about (depending my level of inebriation). But, crazy as it sounds, I'm sick of hearing my own voice - I want to be inspired by someone else. Or at least irritated and perplexed. Either way: someone saying something to grab my attention.

I need people that make me want to hear more of what they say, make me want to know more about them, lead me to think and contemplate issues/events/whatever in different ways. Lead me to discuss and argue with them - in a respectful if robust way. I love talking with someone with whom I can have a frank disagreement and actually figure out where the differences are rather than, upon finding dissent, retreating to the mealy-mouthed "oh, yes - of course you're entitled to your opinion". A statement that implies "and you're a fucking idiot for having that opinion" but doesn't have the balls to say it.

I guess I'm looking for people to bounce ideas off, people who will tell me without sugar-coating when I'm wrong. I'm very good at being wrong - I've had a lot of practice. I guess ultimately I'm looking for motivation and exhilaration. Possibly even someone I can emulate - a role-model even. I've never had one of those - it might be a nice thing.

So.. does anyone know of a good cult I can join? Has to be one that is based on questioning and arguing about everything tho - and run by open-minded, astute and opinionated sods. Funky robes and Kool-aid are a plus but not essential.

Apologies for the rambling nature of this - I've been drinking wine and arguing all evening. It's been lovely.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

more AFP

Still buzzing about this gig:

Monday, March 08, 2010

adventures

It's been a busy few days: escaped up to the Blue Mountains for a weekend of abseiling, soaking in the spa, eating fine foods and drinking copiously (which appears to be a bit of a theme these days). Was so worn out from the excesses of Friday night and the adventures of Saturday that I slept for 10 hours straight that night. Which didn't actually seem to make me feel more rested. I think my body is so used to getting by with minimal sleep that it goes into a bit of shock when it gets more than 6 hours. Either that or it's saying "gimme more of that, motherfucker".

Sunday night was an experience of a far different character: Amanda Fucking Palmer at the Sydney Opera House. Which was fucking amazing. Currently don't really have the words for it - will post more of a review when I have my brain back.

If you don't know of her but have any interest in a musician who could be the bastard offspring of Tori Amos and Nick Cave raised on a diet of cabaret, Nina Hagen and red wine then you must check her out. Either in her solo capacity or as part of The Dresden Dolls. And go see her perform live. You won't regret it.

Friday, March 05, 2010

filler

Pointless website of the day:

DUN DUN DUN DUN etc...

It's friday and I'm bored at work but I get to escape this city for a few days as of this afternoon. Yay! Even though it looks like it'll probably rain for the weekend. Boo. Which will be fine coz then I'll just lie around reading books and watching dvds. Yay! And drinking booze. Yay! In conclusion: Yay!

I have nothing witty to add.

Here's some more silliness for you:

Ahh, cephalopods - you octopi my mind (sorry - I couldn't resist..).

twart

Two and a quarter hours till the gigatweet - are you excited?

I have a (rarely used) twitter account in case anyone was interested.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

wednesday links

Because sharing is caring. Except for those things you did that time. No-one needs to know that. Please stop telling that story...
A fascinating look at depression and it's role in our lives, creativity and evolution.
(hat tip to Sas for the link)

Why working at work is so difficult. Also a great site for pithy, pertinent, contentious commentary.

This is genius. And hilarious. And the comments go on for pages. Eerily familiar...

Amanda Fucking Palmer on yeast-based toast spreads.

And finally, I don't really read Goats as much as I should but I love this one. I hope one day to be as frustrating in the face of certain annihilation: