Once Bitten...

*** I have resumed re-writing & posting those updates which Google had lost some months back. Once I'm finished with my April "butterflies" project I will unveil my new blog over at Wordpress. *** Much love to all, bobby 2011-09-14

Inspiration, joy, beauty, Oneness, the spark of recognition...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Day235 - Pirates! and the Pin-hole Galaxy

I rose and climbed onto deck, glad to have found my sea legs. After my previous sickly ocean outing in November, I demanded of myself to harden up and not allow illness to get a look in. It appeared to have worked.

That morning and into afternoon, we climbed the island's hills and soaked in the sun - amazing vistas in 360º - an island of native bush and wildlife, rodent-free and well cared-for, far enough away from technology to be far enough away from trouble.

Surprizingly, I found myself preferring the company of teenagers over adults, possibly demonstrating further proof of the a manchild I've always been. Since around age 12 I've felt 18. I wonder if this will continue into The Wrinkly Years.

If taken as indicative of the overall population, one would conclude by the sample present that adults are indeed very boring, and quite happily so - resigned to some level of comfortable bliss in mediocrity. Happy though they are - and happy I for them - it still turns my stomach to think of myself ever being this way, not through the want of a feeling of superiority, but rather a knowledge of a difference in destiny. Some are born to this. Some are born to other.

Hope came in the form of the New Year's Eve Pirate Party, looming over the hills on the other side of the island. Doubly-delicious in that the event benefits the conservation and protection of the local habitat.

We left in the dark with a single torch in 1 of 6 hands, not knowing quite what to expect - the feeling of adventure entering our chests like an abstraction of chemically-fueled Tolkien-cum-Lewis heroes. My heart raced.

As we descended the final hill, we found ourselves at the rear of the stage, a swarm of kidult pirates and comely wenches smiling, laughing, dancing - a packed event. Like commandos in the night, we crossed the dry floodbreak and ninja'd through the flax, dashing all at once towards to throng, while the nearest security guard was busily absorbed in his phone, before quickly injecting ourselves into the crowd.

As the night progressed we interacted with a colourful cast of characters, including humorous conversation, dancing and imbibing of water with bouncy backpackers, one sporting a perfectly appropriate Irish accent and a desire to show me where x marks the spot. How much more piratey can an accent get, but which also begs the question: why are all pirates Irish?

My head was elsewhere this night - possibly light years above myself in the amazing star-spattered and clear sky. I declined the invitation to find buried treasure and was promptly ordered to walk the plank, giggling all the way.

Misadventure ensued as I lost my shipmates, and wandered in the moonless dark with only starlight to guide my way back. Taking bush paths, doubling-back and stumbling in the dark, I met other lost souls and tag along with them, joining their caravan, the yellow crescent moon eventually rising and helping to guide us back.

Having missed the dinghy's return to ship, I could have swam but instead lay there in the late, wee hours, absorbed in the visible galaxy. Even if I were tired, I would've stayed awake, just to soak in another section of sky.

I eventually closed my eyes, on the beach under the stars, born of dust.

-

Placebo - Space Monkey

"
we're sown together
she’s born to mesmerise
beside, astride her
I die inside her
"

-

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day234 - Pre-Pirates! and the Luminescent Swirl

I met the girls and we made our way 4 hours north to the pickup point where we loaded ourselves onto the boat. It was an ex-racing yacht, and the Glory Wall spoke of many adventures past, around my birthplace in the Pacific and neighboring seas.

We sailed leisurely to the island and anchored, ferrying items to the campsite, however it was to be my privilege that day to spend the night on the ocean, being rocked to sleep by those expansive, endless arms.

After a barbeque on the beach, much talking and other tomfoolery, we navigated the moonless night, jumped in the dinghy and headed back, discovering to our amazement that a phosphorescent algae bloom was lighting up the bottom of the vessel as we drove on through the waves, like a neon dreamscape, leaving bubbles of light in our wake.

Tired, but far too awed to sleep, we boarded and cast lines. Still struck in amazement of the luminosity that lay dormant beneath us, until our sinkers dropped in like endlessly-stretched glow-sticks at an undersea rave, brimming with the mating dances of mermaids, inducing their mermen to love.

And then the schools came.

The beauty of several hundred brightly-lit fish in the darkness of the night-time ocean, swarming around and beneath us, in swirls of light usually only seen in the cosmos - and then only at great distance and over a 14 billion year time-lapse of activity, condensed into mere seconds - could not be understated.

Our cameras couldn't capture what our eyes naturally achieved, but in the process of trying, the flash from one snap lit up the sea, stunning then scattering the bright shoals in all directions, like a piscine supernova. The fireworks came early this year, and could only eclipse those to follow.

As I absorbed, I counted myself as one of the Fortunates: to have experienced and to have shared in. We stayed up until we were filled - in fact brimming - then reluctantly set down to sleep, yet as satisfied and inspired as one can ever be.

An absolute highlight of my lifetime, and such a beautiful note to sing, as the end of the year closed in.

-

Placebo - Infra-red

-

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day232 - Junky

I awoke in a fine frame, a smile on my face. Within minutes of rising I noticed an ache across my body, wherever flesh met with bone - my corporeal early warning sign of fatigue and potential flu.

On holiday, with no time for illness, I shrugged it off and hit the beach. While NZ is beautiful, and especially so the Coromandel Peninsula, I feel somewhat spoiled by the amazing beaches of my current adopted home of Oz. Still, I had a chance to lay out and soak rays while exploring a book I am only 50 pages into but have fallen in love with already.

Upon returning from the beach I became weak, slightly dizzy. All I wanted to do was set myself in a perpetual full-body stretch, but never once was I in pain or discomfort - just in need of that stretch and a lie down, with no intention of ever again rising.

My hosts looked after me well, setting me up in my own room, rather than the living room airbed I had used the nights prior, feeding me tablets washed down with cool, sweet ginger ale, and laying damp cloths over my forehead.

I laid there in the afternoon, soaking in the rural air for several hours, over which time I listened to an author-narrated book Junky by William S. Burroughs.

The titular character, born into wealth and a constant flow of security from a trust fund, chose his addiction - in part to experience adversity of which his life had been devoid. I've seen this scenario before - in the non-fiction section that resides just outside my window - and while I understand the thinking behind, I still consider it such a selfish waste of self.

Nevertheless, it was an interesting read. During one of his kick withdrawals he talked about lying in bed, weak, spaced, body in need - in my ill state I felt his words acutely. It was quite possibly the best time for me to have read this particular story - a flu being the closest feeling to addiction withdrawals I hope to ever experience.

While not taken with his simplistic writing style, an occasional poetic gem gleamed through:

"A mild degree of junk sickness always brought me the magic of childhood. It never fails, like a shot", wherein he is transported back to laying on his mother's bed, watching streetlights move across the wall as the traffic passes; train whistles; faint piano drifting down the street; burning leaves. While never knowing - or wanting to know - heroin withdrawal, I know this feeling of revisited magic. I go there sometimes, and break from the beauty that is Now.

Also raised was the concept of relegating a thought or idea to a "mental blind spot" - in the novel the example given is that to here is where a junky will relegate his habit's progress. This is the root of self-denial, but moreso dangerous due to the difficulty of recovering a hidden thought once buried. One must rely on cross-indexing to trawl the archives, but if these indexes are too buried, what hope is there of remembering at all?

I love pondering while in a fever-ish or flu-ish state. Every thought an almost-Koan.

painting: Félicien Rops

-

Placebo - Haemoglobin

-

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day223 - 7th Circuit

Last night I caught up with an old friend who I hadn't seen in 7 years; a lifetime.

It was if those years had never passed.

-

Placebo - Special K

-

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day222 - 2:22

2AM - the perfect time to share one of my favourite paintings.

The image fits the way I think, how I see the world; beauty in a strobed reality, nothing existing in any singular point in time, but spread across points in a suspended blur, for multitiudes to share in.

"The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act." - Marcel Duchamp

-

For me, right now - during this particular snapshot - the song below accompanies the painting so beautifully - a marriage of sound and vision, giving birth to a well of inspiration.

Placebo - Drag

In the wee hours this song would not rest, swirling around in my head as is often the case with music - exciting me to wake, enticing me to create, no matter the time of day.

"
You’re always ahead of the game
I drag behind
You never get caught in the rain
When I’m drenched to the bone every time
You’re the first one to swim across the Seine
I lag behind
You’re always ahead of the game
While I drag behind

You’re always ahead of the pack
I drag behind
You posses every trait that I lack
By coincidence or by design
You’re the monkey I’ve got on my back
That tells me to shine
You’re always ahead of the pack
While I drag behind

You’re always ahead of the rest
When I’m always on time
You got A's on your algebra tests
I failed and they kept me behind
I just gotta get off my chest
That I think you’re divine
You’re always ahead of the rest
While I drag behind
"

-

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day221 - Eat, Pray, Love, Bounce


As with most books, I read Eat, Pray, Love via audio, in this case read by the author, adding a bonus of explicit inflections and tone, where otherwise imagination would have filled in, correctly or not.

While I sometimes enjoy holding a paper book in my hand, there's a tendency while doing this for my eyes to become weary, tired, making me a very unproductive reader, re-reading paragraphs and losing myself in a half-dazed somnolence. So often I prefer audio books, even though they can take longer to get through, if read in uninterrupted sessions. The beauty of audio is it's portable - I read before bed, during morning yoga, while waiting for an appointment, and often while travelling - situations where it's not always possible to focus on a tangible book.

The afternoon that I finished EPL, I blew through The final chapters. I arrived home with only a few left until the end, as I lay on the sofa and closed my eyes, tears came, emotion whelmed, I enjoyed so much.

It's by no means a flawless book, and I wanted to verbally slap the author at a couple of points (all in good humour), but overall it was an excellent - and most importantly - inspiring read.

I loved the idea - while renting a place in Bali and to prosthetically assist with her lack of local flora knowledge - that the author created names for all the flowers in the garden :) This tickled me violet.

Another passage that had impact on me was the epiphanic moment when she realised (to paraphrase) "everything's going to be alright, why did life seem so hard, how could I forget that the universe provides". This comforted me so much, especially in this year - the best of my own life - in which I had become so engrossed and embedded in others (not said with any regret whatsoever, mind) that I'd forgotten a part of my independence and simultaneous Oneness. I needed the reminder.

Some of my favourite brain-ticklers / consciousness-raisers:

"Guilt is your ego's way of tricking you into thinking you've made moral progress."

In short, fuck guilt. A useless emotion when all acts are done with love & pure intention.

"When the karma of a relationship is done only love remains."

A reason why I retain close ties with lovers past - this is the foundation of what once was, no matter the reason for it being no longer an expressionable act. Focus on the beauty, the love that blossomed for a time.

"To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life."

Poignant, especially this year... I've felt unbalanced at times, but knowingly so and enjoying every moment, for each moment of unique experience brings creativity and inspiration - of which I live, strive for.

"It is the oak tree that creates the very acorn from which it's born."

I love the concept. You are yourself because of yourself. Your future self determines the actions of your present self. Cyclical, ordered (admidst chaos) and complete.

...and my favourite:

"Sometimes you count the days, sometimes you weigh them."

But upon finishing, I found 2 things most interesting:
-Other than this blog post, I feel no need for reflection on the book - it's all pretty clear and easily absorbed, which is likely part of it's widespread appeal. I compare this to how I felt after reading my favorite novel The Great Gatsby, and the difference is stark - I had to retire from reading _anything_ for a spell after that particular tome of awesomeness;
-I was also drawn immediately afterwards to read something that was a bit more detailed in language - more poetic, less prosaic - so I came back to my old friend Moby Dick, and enjoyed an immediate deep breath of stimulated relaxation.

I have no plans to ever see the movie.

-

Various types of medications are mentioned in EPL. Without spoiling the story, I'm glad I've managed to get this far, largely med-free. This is a scourge upon the face of a pharmicutically-beleaguered America. Awesome vid, 6A:64:

Placebo - Meds

-

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day220 - Arrr, An Anecdote

One I've told a few times before...

Back when I wore my hair long, I would don a bandana when hitting the gym. On the way back one day, I stopped off at the supermarket in full workout garb. In the checkout queue a young boy looked up at me in amazement - a look on his face half excited, half frightened as he tugged his mother's hand and asked, "Mummy, is that a pirate?".

I winked & smiled at him.

The mother shuffled slightly, evidently embarrased, the kid remained uncertain, and me?

I was just happy to be mistaken for a pirate.

Arrr.

-

A fine example of an amazing tone accompanied by such a beautiful voice that Lucille emits as she is stroked lovingly by her man:

BB King - King of Blues [live - instrumental]

(In the interest of continuing your BB King eductation... you know who you are)

-

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day215 - Shiverspine

Muse and beautiful lights, chills up and down my spine.

Blown away by musicianship, sound quality and lightshow - the best since Justin Timberlake a year or so earlier - I sat in awe, pure enjoyment, tears were shed.

A small shadow passed amongst the joy - a rare occasion to be disappointed in missing the opening act. If only Biffy Clyro had been named on the bill, ticketing site, ticket stub, anywhere... we wouldn't have been so cavalier about arriving closer to Muse's start time and booked a pre-dinner with friends.

C'est la vie.

One of the better shows I've seen. Worth the price of admission.

-

Another band high on my must-see Live Lust List, currently enjoying significant airplay around the house:

Placebo - Song To Say Goodbye

-

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day214 - Wonderland

Mid-morning one spring Sunday I laid in bed, at the perfect temperature, sated from the events of the night before - a whirlwind of concrete adventure, music and free-flowing fun - now comfortable in this foreign environment, having stayed with a friend, laying on my back staring at the clear sky, far enough from home to notice, but not to care any further.

Through the air came soothing waves from a neighbour's sound system, playing an album that carried me with it as I listened to the entirety, and carries me to this day, back to that country, back to that house, back to that bed, back to that moment.

For that hour at least, it seemed as though the humans in the vicinity were in unison, relaxed and calm, as if it were New Year's Day and no one dare stir but those who understand and know - repeated here for me to hold, retell and share - the beauty of that unique of all days.

-

Simply Red - Wonderland

-

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day213 - Stars

I sleep beneath them every night: the stars that line the skirting where wall and ceiling meet. Yet on moonless nights only they shine, like twin constellations; luminous snakes.

The blue-tinged fairy lights re-dispense the Sun's rays - stored earlier - in slow release. By morning the cells will be depleted, ready to renew.

As I lay here in the glow - the light glow of light - I recall beautiful memories, wistful thoughts, and sweet sounds such as these:

Simply Red - Stars

What I would give for a voice half as beautiful.

But...

I have stars.

-

Day212 - Easy

3+ hours of Eagles: flawless performances, amazing vocals (especially for men of their age), timeless songs.

Some of the most expensive concert tickets I've ever bought, but I feel as though I got my money's worth.

Of the hundreds of live shows I've seen, this was on my Top 5 Musical Lust List.

Another box checked, in fine gold ink.

Still buzzing.

Sublime.

-

The live harmonizing on this song was as good as the studio version from 1972, linked for your pleasure:

Eagles - Take It Easy

-

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day211 - Beautiful Placebo

I sat in the sun today, waterside, listening to the wind, forearms on my knees, watching the slightest diamonds of sweat form briefly, dorsally, between my fingers and wrists, glistening like and unlike the ancient east coast sands, before evaporating with the gentle breeze from the ocean.

My hands were sparkling; beautiful.

-

I'd forgotten how much I love this band:

Placebo - Days Before You Came

-

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day200

With our 3-song demo now completed, today is the perfect day to share a track with the beautiful people of Blogland.

Here is "Flow"

-

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

holiday

(a blogthis entry)

The trees were moist, damp, alive... radiant green where the thin layers of wax gave in to penetrating rain, breathing heavily as they took us into their arms.

After 3 days of driving, stopping for breaks of new air and sun, we arrived at the sleepy town of Halls Gap, meeting the visiting November rain for a conclave in the mountainous Grampians.

Dismay might have beckoned but something not entirely aethereal was keeping me from being so.

As we dropped our luggage, the warmth of the plush hotel suite and room-for-2 jacuzzi strongly tempted but we pushed on with an easy consensus, driving, winding, to the top of the mountain.

As we arrived at the lookout area, my companion remained behind, warm in the car, seat back and curled up.

We were alone up here.

The rain kicked up a notch but this was only encouraging. Nothing would deter me.

I walked through the mist, breathing deeply as I went. Upon reaching the very tip of the lookout path, I leaned against the railing, stared straight ahead and down into the grey abyss where an expansive vista would have otherwise occupied - hidden - and absorbed the sight before me, held by the clouds:

-

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day197 - Whimsical Interludes

I'm all about the whimsy lately.

The Lemonheads - Being Around

If I was in the fridge would you open the door?
If I was the grass would you mow your lawn?
If I was your body would you still wear clothes?
If I was a booger would you blow your nose?
Would you keep it? Would you eat it?
I'm just tryin to give myself a reason, for being around.

If I was a front porch swing would you let me hang?
If I was a dance floor would you shake your thing?
If I was a rubber cheque would you let me bounce
Up and down inside your bank account?
Would you trust me not to break you?
I'm just tryin really hard to make you, notice me being around.

If I was a haircut would you wear a hat?
If I was a maid could I clean your flat?
If I was the carpet would you wipe your feet,
In time to save me from mud off the street?
If you like me, if you love me,
would you get down on your knees and scrub me?
I'm a little grubby, from just being around.

-

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day194 - Looking For Inspiration

...and fuel for the flames, I began here and proceded through the posts to see how far I could get before overload. I browsed as far as halfway through October 2009 before I was brimming, satiated.

This image blew my mind (from Glitter Love), then again I'm a sucker for anything that sparkles:

-

Guaranteed Instant Happiness in 3 minutes and 30 seconds, anytime, anywhere:

Diner - Martin Sexton

Just try to refrain from singing along ...I dare you.

-

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day192 - Skinny

Wednesday night at Bondi Beach: music, wine, cheese and skinny-dipping. Simple pleasures.

I like the vibe in Bondi enough to live there. If only my current location wasn't so convenient.

I met friends at the Beach Road Hotel where me and my all-female company quickly became somewhat distracted by the local talent. There was a good spread of ages: 22, 26, 32 - a nice sample pool from the female population. I always enjoy being surrounded exclusively by women, privy to insights not otherwise obtained. Tonight's conversation included relationships, penis sizes, and food - which in my experience may just be the holy trinity of girl talk.

We headed upstairs to listen to what I can only describe as an avant garde muso who unfortunately sounded like a cat dying ...slowly ...and painfully. I love originality, I love creativity, but there's something to be said for audibility - which I know is subject to taste but it takes alot for me to not want to listen to music. Thus we didn't last long before hitting the beach, relaxed in the slightly cool night air, absorbing the vista under a hazy yellow moon.

Approaching the big hours, there were couples on the beach making out. One pair decided to hit the water in their underwear before eschewing all clothing and having sex on the beach. I'm not exactly sure if they were fucking or making love, but it was a beautiful sight to behold. I feel lucky to live in a society where we feel free enough to express ourselves in ways like this without fear of reprisal.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to get naked in the water, we did the ocean's bidding, removed our garb and became one with her.

-

Rihanna - Te Amo

-

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day191 - Million

I jumped on the Wii today for a spot of yoga, only to see just how slack I've been this month. Lack of time is never an excuse: we all have the same 24 hours in each day but lately yoga has been usurped in the priority order by work, play and sleep (mandated by the first two).

I noticed after the first week of skipping yoga and the back extensions and ab exercises that follow, that my lower back began to ache - I haven't had back pain in years, aside from the very occasional injury due to over-zealous resistance training, so this was a timely early warning sign.

My weight had crept up a single Kg to 83, which is barely worth mentioning but that's how it begins. I could feel atrophy setting in, so before it became a problem I made time for the gym after work. I hadn't been at that time of day for a while and am not used to having to share equipment but it was well worth enduring the crowds. Even now - the following day - my calves, hamstrings and glutes are still pulsing from the post-workout cross-training, my upper body wrecked by glorious pec & bicep devastation.

Energised and exhausted, I got home and flopped on the couch, about ready to sleep but it was off to dinner at one of my favourite Thai restaurants with a couple of bottles of Semillon, followed by relaxation in the beautiful garden bar at the back of the local - one of my favourite pubs and only a 2 minute walk away. I had a bottle and a half of wine last night and even had my usual early-morning wakeup due to dehydration, yet I feel like a million bucks.

-

The Lemonheads - It's About Time (Live Video)

-

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day183 - True Blood

The True Blood opening sequence is one of my favourites. Love the song, love the style, love the theme of sin & redemption. It sets the mood so well, as it well should.

Because of associated memories I staved off watching season 3 for a couple of months, feigning lack of interest. When the reviews came in from friends, they were mostly negative. Maybe it was the low expectations, maybe it was just the combined critical states of mind, but I quite enjoyed this season and well enough to look forward to watching the next.

A friend from Tennessee ironically can't stand the southern accents, though I've always found them extremely sexy, right up there with French. From my first phone conversation with a Texan woman, I was somewhat hooked.

Usually I don't think twice about gay love scenes - after all, the tautology applies: love is love - but I did find myself aware of the frequency of gay sex scenes during one episode in particular. I put this down to me being "straight" and not relating viscerally to gay or lesbian sex scenes. I should make the distinction between love scenes and sex scenes, because TB has a combination of both, but this season seemed much more geared towards the lustful end of the spectrum. As such my mind did wander and it affected my investment in and enjoyment of the story somewhat. I wonder if the converse is true for a gay person watching a show laced with male-female sex scenes.

I also wondered if it was just me who had noticed this, so I googled the best/simplest keyword search term I could think of: "gayest program on tv" and sure enough the first hit was an article about the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation dubbing True Blood American TV's "most inclusive program", which gives the show bonus points in my book.

I make some friends laugh, some cringe and I'm sure others secretly blush when the topic comes up and I volunteer that I wish I were gay, or more specifically bi - the logic being: why limit yourself to apples when you can have apples and oranges, but alas it was just not meant to be. I do say this slightly tongue in cheek and with a chuckle, safe in the knowledge that my gay friends would see the humour, especially my good friend who used to visit me for games of chess, armed with amyl nitrite... little did I know at the time what that was used for!

We don't talk as much as we used to; separate countries, no longer work together, no longer gym together, but he provided me with such a unique perspective on life, lust and love, not just because he's gay, but because he's an amazing and bright person. I miss our chats - enough to digress some 90º offtrack...

Other chats that I missed while watching TB were those with the friend I introduced to the show. We too used to be close, nothing was off-limits, we shared our true selves, and to a greater degree than the friend above, understood each other beyond words. I miss that more than I can convey.

The storm is right outside my window to remind me.

-

True Blood - Opening Credits

-

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day180 - South

Since moving to Sydney 5 years ago, I've been planning the next step. As beautiful a city as it is, I never planned to live here forever. Of course, there are several factors which would decide my fate in this respect, and I'm not adverse to living anywhere permanently but there are 3 places I've long considered as potential homes, even if temporary.

SE Qld
South-East Queensland has the climate I love, the relaxed pace that fits my temperament, and is home to some of the most beautiful and inspiring people I've met. It's possibly the front-runner as choice of destination as it's no farther than Sydney from Auckland, home of my Bubble. Unless I move into a career that enables frequent international travel and at least as much flexibility as I have now, she may not let me move too far away. Maybe music will take me there.

Le Midi
The South of France holds pure romanticism, anonymity, mystery, adventure. I would devour the challenge of being immersed in the language and culture. When I first arrived in Australia I felt relatively anonymous, but I would still bump into Kiwis I knew from time to time and of course after 5 years it's a common occurrence to accidentally meet local friends & aquaintances every other day. In Le Midi I imagine this would be taken to the next level and there's something about that which tickles the deepest recesses of my brain's inspiration receptors, if there is such a thing. I recently saw a documentary on the making of the Rolling Stones' 1972 album Exile on Main Street, recorded at Villefranche-sur-Mer in the Côte d'Azur, which only re-ignited my interest in the region. Minus the heroin. The proximity to Italy and southern Switzerland only enhances the pull.

SoCal
Southern California, whereof some of the greatest music has been borne. The climate is there, the people are lovely (like anywhere). I need to traverse more of this region, explore what is the gateway to a very beautiful country. Every year for the last half decade I have intended to apply for the diversity visa (aka green card lottery), if for no other reason than to keep my options open, let fate give me a nudge. I get excited every year as the visa entry submission period approaches. It's only open for 4 weeks, and every year without fail, life gets crazy and I miss the submission period for one reason or another. Same again this year.

The above being said, I really am comfortable anywhere and everywhere. A true child of the Earth, independant of political borders, home is where my feet are and is occasionally found in the arms of another.

-

An awesome cover of a non-Exile Stones track:

Fuel - Heartbreaker

-

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day171 - Quandary

Playing in a band can be an interesting lesson in relationships, exponentially complicated by the number of members involved.

I've played in bands where I've been the primary songwriter, singer, creative & driving force. This offers complete freedom, much more responsibility - which I'm perfectly comfortable with - and very little frustration.

The converse can be true with a collaborative project. Recently I've found myself restricted. I don't like having to "dumb down" my playing, but I encountered a situation where I was essentially asked to do exactly that.

We'd short-listed a song written by another member several months back when working through our repertoire and picking the most suitable live songs. This process involved unanimous agreement on every song selected. If even one of us wasn't enthusiastic about any of the potentials, we would drop them in favour of others - with over 2 dozen tracks to choose from, we're okay with trimming the "fat". Then a few weeks back the songwriter decided that something wasn't quite right with this particular song - this after several weeks of rehearsals.

Something one needs to be conscious and respectful of in a band situation is giving fellow members room to move while playing their parts. In another song which I play bass, he started playing a guitar solo over my already established bass solo. It's insidious, because when you call someone out on this sort of thing they can easily turn it back on you as if you're imagining it - and there is every chance that it's unconscious on their part, so the case is not black & white. If conscious, one can only speculate as to the reason behind this.

As I expected, it turned out that he felt the bassline I'd written for his song was the problem - it was now dominating the track. He then proceeded to play me a demo he'd recorded of said song, with him playing a bass and asked me to play it the same way.

So I'm faced with the decision of either playing a shitty, boring bassline or vetoing the song outright. It's not like I'm stubborn - I tried playing it his way tonight and I was underwhelmed by the result. I would be somewhat embarrassed by playing something so weak.

Chances are I'll go for the veto option. The risk in that is of a backlash going forward with other songs. I guess I'll see how it plays out.

The beauty of collaboration and partnerships is that the resultant creative works can be greater than the sum of the respective invidividuals' creativity. It's something I hold dearly in life, whether in a band or with friends/other artists.

I suppose I should be proud that I wrote a bassline so powerful that it eclipsed the original song. That this is a problem at all makes me giggle somewhat =)

-

I need to relax. This will do the trick:

The Doors - Riders on the Storm

-

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day170 - Fibonacci

Taken by surprise by this, left humbled and inspired.

Dare to chase it, risk an overload of beauty, tease the edge of comprehension and fill the senses to brim:

The Fibonacci in Lateralus

-

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sharing The Love #1

I'm sharing the love for a blog that never ceases to inspire, is filled with amazing images, ideas and creativity seen through multiple facets, sometimes dark, sometimes glittering, but always inherently beautiful:

Rianna's Last Doll Standing

Just as music often brings tears of pure joy to my eyes - that sense of being so filled with emotion that one is most alive at that moment - so does the absorption of collected visual & poetic stimuli that exudes from the screen at LDS.

Draw a deep breath and chase it with a few minutes to take it all in.

A big thankyou to the extra-lovely Toushka at ...from Toushka for linking here =)

Check out Veronica's post at Sleepless Nights to share the love.

Day169 - Catchup

I'm hoping to catch my breath over the next couple of days. The end of an era is approaching at the end of the month and a new dawn with it.

I've got a few real-world mail postings to send out too - I've bought the stamps, so I'm halfway there!

I'd been in the habit of updating the blog daily, but that's slipped by the wayside and I don't see my schedule letting up anytime soon. I love the idea of keeping a daily journal, even if it's half-filled with squirrelly nonsense - so the lack of keeping it up is playing on my slightly-OCD mind. It's bad enough that I've been less frequent with yoga too. If only there were more than 24 hours in the day... but I'm determined to get back on top of things.

It's a blessing and a curse to be so acutely aware of how much time one has left. A lifetime is not enough.

The photo was taken by the talented and keen-eyed biebkriebels, used with kind permission =)

-

3 Doors Down - Running Out Of Days

-

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day166 - Ben Hur

At a client's house this morning helping with their home office setup - a beautiful place right on Sydney harbour, a short walk from one of the ferry terminals which we took back to the city - what a way to commute on such a bright day!

The client offered me free tickets to the live Ben Hur event at Olympic Park stadium, complete with access to the Platinum Members' lounge. I jumped at the chance.

I have a soft spot for Ben Hur, not for the 1959 blockbuster but the 1925 silent film which I was privileged to see (again complementary) around a decade ago with the score played by the Auckland Symphony Orchestra - it was the first time I'd experienced a live orchestra, and I immediately fell in love with the performance format.

Myself and a friend had just been talking about the show, so I was pleased when I was able to offer him and his partner to join me and my date for the evening. We had a great time - anyone who's been to the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur in Las Vegas will have a feel for what it was like: fantastic, communal, grand. Watching gladiators battle in a modern colosseum was surreal.

"All hail people of Romebush!"

-

I've been getting back into the album "Fire" lately. I just love Electric Six - mad basslines, fun lyrics, all about good times...

Electric Six - Dance Commander

"I went to the store
to get more
fire
to start the war"

-

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day164 - PB

I'm coming up to a full year of yoga at the end of the month. I've pretty much decided on the next epoch but am still fine-tuning the details. The next challenge won't be physical, as I feel that I have that area under control.

I had my first front workout (pec/bi) in over a week. Wow do I feel fantastic after it! And as a bonus I achieved a new personal best!

Since dropping 17% of my body weight at the beginning of the year in an effort to achieve my ideal BMI and more-importantly make myself comfortable in my own skin, I suffered around a similar percentage strength loss and have spent the last 9 months focusing on regaining the strength without the mass.

Today's PB officially takes me back to pre-yoga strength levels, but now with significantly increased core strength, ever-increasing flexibility and definition I never thought I would achieve.

Physically, I'm in a good place. Being a key factor in life, it's definitely something to be happy about, and hopefully inspires friends to find their own way to the same place =)

-

One of the cooler songs that uses the ingenious rhyming scheme of "phone", "home" and "alone":

Sugar Ray - Answer The Phone

-

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day163 - Full On

My time has been so incredibly filled lately, it's difficult to squeeze in enough sleep let alone blog... looking forward to the next day I have to myself to talk about my adventures.

In the meantime, this song was on my mind in the shower just now - I had it dedicated to me a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away - not sure why it popped in to say hello, but well worth sharing:

Marc Cohn - True Companion

-

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day161 - Whales

Our driver "Aussie Bob" then took us from Newcastle to Port Stephens where we hopped a boat and headed out to sea. Even better than the whales: we had dolphins swimming next to the boat at one point which brought me much joy - moreso than the main objective of whale-sighting or the solitary seal lazing about on the rocks. Halfway through almost our entire group became seasick. There may be some correlation between that and the wine-tasting the day prior.

After a stop at a beach on the way back, some "laying out" as Bumpy B says, it was home to rest. Filled. Satiated. Inspired. One of the best weekends in months.

-

Savage Garden - The Animal Song

-

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day160 - Newcastle

The tour continued up to Newcastle - my first time visiting this port. The cool weather didn't deter us from exploring the beach, before hitting the pub with the tour group and spending the night in a cute villa cum hostel, with what was memorably the creakiest bed I've ever slept in.

I'm a man of creature comforts, but I do so enjoy staying in well-maintained hostels - even in the more neglected places it's nigh on impossible not to meet fascinating people. During a road trip I could stay in hostels most nights running but I must have a hotel/motel stay sprinkled in there for good measure (and the all-important private showering experience) - less adventurous but I'll trade a bit of adventure for luxury.

My favourite creature this trip was found at 0700 in the main recreation area: a girl who had been out all night, replete with sparkle-laden mini-dress, glow-bangles and makeup that was starting to spread like an old tattoo, sitting next to a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle, still pretty wired. She looked up at me and we connected, her pulling me in silently and without action before asking me to join her, which I did for a few minutes before breakfast. I could feel her aethereally tugging on me as I went to eat, leaving her to it, but her not wanting me to go. I love the ephemeral connections of such fleeting relationships.

The cafe right around the corner served what was possibly the best breakfast I've eaten all year and was only garnished by the lovely owner coming out to check on our enjoyment levels.

I checked on Party Girl once more before leaving with the group - she had made some progress but I feared that the puzzle may be missing pieces. I wished her good luck in putting it all together, on a level that I've never meant before.

-

Daniel Bedingfield - Friday

-

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day159 - Hunter

The before shot. The tour would take us to 4 wineries, each with cellar doors and although I'm still learning (a long an arduous process, to be sure), I have a deeper appreciation of wine as an accompaniment, especially after the cheese tasting portion of the afternoon.

We were part of a small group travelling with a larger group of mostly students from Mac Uni, such as the most excellent Miss B who organised it all for me. While I usually prefer being off the beaten track, I do enjoy being chauffeured, especially when wine is involved and my travelling companions are free to keep pace with the imbibification.

-

Britney Spears - Toxic

-

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day158 - Visitors

I love it when friends visit from out of town, it gives me an excuse to explore beautiful Oz. In fact I save up all my sight-seeing for such occasions - a fine example: it took me 5 years of living in Sydney before I ventured west to the Blue Mountains during a friend's visit from Brisbane. I'm glad I waited, it was one of the most amazing weekends I've ever had, and with the perfect company.

Although my flatmate and I have no guest rooms in our apartment, our friends are always invited to couch surf - we have 3 to choose from, so there's rarely a shortage. If they choose to bunk with me they get the bonuses of fairy lights, incense, fluffy blankets, Indian throws, Persian rugs and acoustic guitar in the wee hours.

My current cohort and visiting adventurer is the fabulous Bumpy B from Tennessee. Today's sightseeing was only that of a bar on George St. where I also met up with a group of clients/ex-colleagues/new friends for a few mid-week drinks. This is very unusual for me, especially on a school night and something I usually only enjoy every blue moon, but with B around I can see myself leading a faux-backpacker lifestyle for the next few weeks.

Upon hearing of her planned solo trip to the Hunter Valley, Newcastle and Port Stephens on a wine, cheese and whale-watching tour, it was my duty to offer services as chaperone - with clearly no pretensions as the vanguard for propriety (but rather the vanguard of cheese).

"You can't go to the Hunter Valley alone."
"Why not?"
"It's far too romantic."

-

La Roux - In for the Kill

-

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day154 - Flames

Today was old flame day.

Coincidence conspired to fill my Sunday mainly of chats with ex-lovers. I like that I keep in touch with those that I do, as there's a unique connection to be had that has an extra level to it not found with those friends who haven't been known in that way. Discussions can instantly be that much deeper, safe in the knowledge of who you're speaking with, and with so much that can be left unsaid.

As a bit of an experiment, a couple of years ago I contacted 2 ex's I hadn't spoken with in ages via Facebook. Both relationships didn't end on the best terms but I figured enough time had passed and each of us had such lovely sides that brought us together in the first place, that it would be worth a shot to see if those friendships would stand, so I sent them each the very same message: "Hey =) It's been a long time."

What I received were 2 very different responses:
-The first replied with: "Wow! I was just talking about you last week!". We hadn't spoken in over 10 years.
-The second replied with a remark proving there was still much bitterness on her part. We hadn't spoken in over 5 years.

I left the 2nd to her comments, but the first I've reignited a friendship with and now catch up with when I'm in NZ. It is such a surreal experience seeing someone for the first time in over a decade. The maturity and growth evident in each, has us both very proud of each other and our accomplishments in the intervening years.

These are the ones who inspire songs.

-

This song takes me back to a warm weekend afternoon circa summer 1993-94. I must have listened to it a dozen times in a row that day, the waves of sound ensaring me, gossamer hooked around my being, pulling me, until I let go of everything.

Pearl Jam - Rearviewmirror

-

Day153 - Salty

I cried real tears today. I was quite surprized - I hadn't borne tears of this sort in a while. Usually they're tears of joy, and come frequently with music, art, pure beauty, but these weren't that kind.

The drops were brief, I let them flow, release, acknowledged the pain, and when I was done, let go and moved on.

I don't begrudge the experience, as the only negative one is that which is never learned from.

With this attitude one can smile beyond, get back to one's self, remember.

-

Tool - Ænima

-

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day152 - Campfire

End of a full week, we had one of the more interesting "campfire" chats at the office bar this week; religion, technology, children, global politics, you name it.

I left at around 2100, my brain buzzing, filled with stimulus.

I lay in bed chatting for a bit, catching up on unreplied-to emails and messages. I had the feeling I'd inadvertently upset a friend, but was reassured that this was not the case. Even after this I had a niggling feeling, but in the interests of giving the benefit of the doubt, I let it go. Unfortunately this morning found out that I had indeed upset, which leaves me in the confused position of not knowing whether I should lean more towards doubt, or not. I'm still not sure exactly what I did but I'm certain it's a misunderstanding.

Sometimes I wish so much that I could show others the view from my eyes. There would be no doubt then.

Communication is the nutrient of all relationships, doubt is the herbicide.

-

Killer song, awesome video:

Tool - The Pot

"Liar, lawyer; mirror show me, what's the difference?
Kangaroo done hung the guilty with the innocent"

-

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day151 - The Secret

From the four corners of the sphere, one universally recognized truth can be found; the mystery of mysteries, the dilema with which mankind has struggled for millenia, since at least the last ice age, and long before the birth of the pantaloon, with no sign of letting up - is the unexplained loss of single socks, leaving behind orphaned odds.

So I came up with a solution.

Not for the faint-hearted, and unfortunately excluding fashionistas of all description, my method works well for a simple boy like me who continues to dress like a 12 year old about to go skateboarding.

The Secret:

I own approximately 40 pairs of black, gold-rimmed socks. These "Gold-Tops" are interchangeable between feet, so whenever one is lost, I might only notice the odd number. The beauty of this practice is that once a second sock goes missing, all balance is restored to the sock drawer. I like to think that this appeals to the OCD in all of us.

Part of the reason I chose Gold-Tops is to never mix them up with that of friends or family - a task most easily accomplished as the brand is unique and sold exclusively in NZ. I also need to occasionally top up my supply when in the land of the long white cloud (aka land of the long black sock), and I am one of the rare personages who actually enjoys receiving socks for xmas - in fact when polled, I will invariably request socks above all other gifts (while I adore aesthetics, I have simple material tastes, needs, wants), though of course they must be Gold-Tops.

I liken this behaviour to the myth that Einstein's wardrobe was full of identical purple suits, supposedly to assist in reducing his thinking time on mundanities, when choosing clothing to wear each day. It's nonsense but I like the story.

So that's my sock secret.

It's a bit odd.

-

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day150 - Thieves

Over the weekend there was a burglary in the office where I'm based. I find it kind of amusing how they stole all of the Apple laptops - including mine - and left everything else. They were tempted however - going as far as booting up a PC before abandoning it. I guess it wasn't shiny enough.

Some folk on the floor felt violated but I'm surprised at how apathetic I was to it all. Maybe because nothing personal was taken. Maybe it was because I never liked that laptop anyway. Maybe because I just don't care enough about replaceable material property - I enjoy aesthetics, I love to touch, feel, utilise material tools, but if I lose something it doesn't pain me as much as it might once have. I can't be too cut up about losing something when there are so many intangibles that outweigh materials.

Still, a thief is no friend of mine and I would be pissed off if my home was burgled, if for no other reason than it's just not polite at all. Like queue jumpers, those bastards.

One of the few physical confrontations I've ever had was with - what I had previously considered - a friend who I caught red-handed pilfering my goodies to sell for drug money. I learnt the meaning of "seeing red" that day. Not my style at all.

When it comes down to it, most things are replaceable, and even those that aren't you never really lose, for everything comes from the same coalesced patch of stardust anyway.

-

Rolling Stones - Time Waits For No One

"
Yes, star crossed in pleasure, the stream flows on by
Yes, as we're sated in leisure, we watch it fly

Time can tear down a building or destroy a woman's face
Hours are like diamonds, don't let them waste

Men, they build towers to their passing yes, to their fame everlasting
Here he comes chopping and reaping, hear him laugh at their cheating

Drink in your summer, gather your corn
The dreams of the night time will have vanished by dawn
"

-

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day149 - Kestrel

I discovered yesterday through a surprise FB message from one of my sisters that I have a cousin I'd never met before, alive and well, living in the Gold Coast! I haven't put all the pieces together yet, but we're going to meet up when she's in Sydney in December. Very exciting =)

-

I spent a couple of hours in my friend's internet-radio-station-chat-room-thing tonight chatting with him and his girlfriend and other randoms. Being "on" for 2 hours, cracking jokes, otherwise entertaining & being generally ridiculous really took it out of me.

Favourite song of the night:

Journey - Don't Stop Believing

And because it's Pure Awesome:

Spongebob with Journey - Don't Stop Believing

-

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day148 - Frasier

It's taken me a couple of years, an episode or 2 here & there, temporary loss of interest, various other distractions, but I've finally made my way through the entire series. I'm going to miss it.

Today I found myself once again learning relationship lessons from Frasier, and again upon realising this, thinking "oh dear", before chuckling to myself.

I remember Michael Stipe of REM commenting on a similar experience about one day listening to a love song on the radio after a relationship breakup and thinking "wow, that's me", then the next song came on and him thinking "wow, that's me", and so on.

***spoiler warning***

During the series' run Frasier went through dozens of relationships before chancing upon The One. Or, as I like to term it, "one of The Ones". That final relationship lasted a fleeting 3 weeks, each fully aware of the end before setting course but they went for it anyway. I'm a romantic at heart, maybe tragically so, but adore this - love with a twist of tragedy, yet triumph through adversity, love wins in the end:

"I've had enough easy goodbyes, I'm kind of glad to have the chance to have another tough one"

He sits alone, while his brother is happily partnered and with a newborn, his father happily partnered, and he opens the apartment door to listen to and smell the rain.

Then right around the corner, a life change and the next women enters.

New horizons.

I don't recall any other TV show that ended its run with a poetry recital.

"
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
"
Ulysses (Tennyson)

-

Awesome little fractal animation I came across today:



-

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day147 - The Third

Another wedding - the 3rd of 3 siblings, this time on the Sunday of a long weekend. I had a fantastic time but wow did it fly by! I was just starting to find my groove when the driver called to leave.

Marriage in the modern age continues to fascinate me. I understand the concept of coupling, but the permanency - or more specifically, the intention of permanency until death - is where I struggle with it.

The ideal of this really is lovely, and the romanticism arouses in me all that is beautiful about life and love, but I have seen far too many friends and family go through such heartbreaking and spirit-eroding trials through a sense of duty or loyalty, in an attempt to make something work that if meant to be, I believe should not take such huge efforts. Some would say this type of relationship by its very nature should require work - maybe I'm applying my own ideals to this ideal: a super-ideal? I don't think it's far-fetched.

It's interestingly humorous to think that in my late teens I was of the mind where I wanted to marry my then girlfriend and high school sweetheart - my "one and only" - primarily through romantic idealism and naivety of youth - but by no means any lack of love - something I've never been short on. In my 20's I was prepared to marry my long-term partner and mother of my child, if only to make her happy, and somewhere in between there was another who wanted me to marry her, to sweep her up and take her away like some knight on a white horse.

Tempted as I was, there were elements fundamental to my core that would not have been fulfilled, and only a matter of time before I would either need to nurture those or have them wither, and me along with it. I have never been unfaithful in a relationship, but I have damn near come close. I understand the mindset and so glad that I do, as I hold no ill judgement towards those that have done so - even those that have done so to me. To the extent that I am happy for one of my ex-lovers in particular that she found that connection which was missing from our bond, even if the way she went about it caused much needless stress along the way - I applaud her for following her heart.

Currently I'm of the mind where I would commit, but not entrap another through making a promise that may become untenable, and not for an "easy out" - in a loving relationship I don't think such a thing exists - but for the freedom of growth. I would hope for growth together, in the same direction - and I know with one who shares a true mutual understanding at the very core, that this would have the greatest chance of succeeding, and with amazing results but I realize that personal growth is exactly that: personal and potentially outside of the subset of coupling. One of my life mantras is: "you never know". This works in both the positive and negative sense, but both equally valid.

I often use the analogy of vines growing up a trellis - a couple can be pulled together, entwined and deeply so, and as with vines, people grow, and sometimes growth in different directions is a natural occurence - to force growth together is not.

I sometimes wonder where I would be now if I'd followed through on any of the potential marriages. Come ten, twenty, thirty years later, being held together by a promise made a lifetime before is surely one of the most difficult potential quandaries to encounter. Of course, I would wish for all to be well, but in so many couples all is not. I'm lucky that in this I need not consider the reactions of judgement of my extended family, as I know they would be supportive of me no matter what, and frankly if they weren't then that would be their problem to deal with, not mine, but I know this is not the case for everyone. Throw children into the mix and the challenge becomes exponential. I should know - I stayed longer than I should have for the sake of providing my daughter with a 2-parent family. My father did the same, but that's a whole other story. I would do things differently a second time around. This makes me a retroactive-hypocrite based on past action, but only with the knowledge of hindsight - I'm glad to have changed, and changed for the wiser.

I know now that I couldn't be with someone who didn't see the world through very similar eyes, someone who did not understand me, not just as a person but the real me beyond that - the no holds barred, unfiltered self. I wasn't as acutely aware of this when I was 18.

I was with the mother of my child for close to 7 years - there were many beautiful times, and those are memories that I reflect upon fondly, but growth took us in different directions - those things that brought us together initially were there to some degree but there was growth in other areas on both sides which was pulling at the bond. I'm proud to say that I hold no ill towards her, or any of my old flames for that matter - that just isn't my style.

To this end marriage seems to serve as a restrictive measure rather than a freeing one, when I believe a coupling should be the latter: freedom in potential, raising exponentially. When asked when would I marry, or why have I not yet, I reply that I haven't found a convincing reason to. Maybe this will change. Maybe I'll meet a reason who fulfils all the criteria that I'm so sure of now. I wish nothing but positivity for those who have found their soulmates. The last thing I ever want to be is closed-minded and who knows in which direction I will grow, after all, you never know.

-

A Perfect Circle - Orestes

"Metaphor for a missing moment
Pull me in to your perfect circle

One womb
One shame
One resolve

Liberate this will
To release us all"

-

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day146 - Stardust To Stardust

There you were with me, alone in the room so dark that we couldn't see the walls. Barely aware of how expansive the surroundings were; the ceiling might have been a thousand lengths high or just a few, but it felt as though there was none at all.

We enjoyed comfort in the emanating warmth, not knowing - or just not thinking about - where it came from. To forego analysis.

Something wasn't right. You weren't smiling, which seemed out of character for you in this setting, but instead somewhat stressed - at an external factor. I didn't inquire as to what. I knew you needed distraction, to release.

Our faces illuminated against the glow of the screen just in front of us, ghostly images in the black.

I watched my hands as they touched the display, scrolling my way to find a couple of movies for you and queued them up - a nerd-humour comedy and a linguistic escapist period piece drama - an odd thing for me to do in lieu of conversation, but it somehow felt appropriate. I'd been saving these for you.

And so we watched in comfortable silence.

Though a minor gesture, it was perfect for that moment.

Without the need for word or action, I knew I was appreciated, as was my understanding - which stretches across galaxies.

(from a 0730 dream)

-

Crosby Stills & Nash - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes - live at Woodstock.

Killer harmonies, fantastic lyrics.

-

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day145 - You've Got (toe)mail

My favourite blogs are ones with only a few followers - I like the personal touch, interactions, small community feel. Toemail is one such site. The concept makes me chuckle all over.

Click here to see my toes.

(^yet another sentence I never anticipated typing)

-

As the weather warms, this is the perfect music to accompany cloud (or toe) watching on bright days:

America - Ventura Highway

-

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day143 - Sweet Moisture

The air has a delicious taste to it tonight - the afterglow of brief hail.

It's been a day of new conversations, singing and smiles.

These are the parts that I choose to recall.

-

Days of the New - Die Born

"Make it worth my while".

-

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day142 - Bass, Solo

In picking the last 2 songs for our initial 6-song live set I surreptitiously helped choose 2 which I play bass on... very cunning. One of which wherein I achieved the unbelievable: a bass solo in lieu of guitar!

It's pretty self-indulgent and only those who truly love the feel of warm bass slapping against their skin might appreciate it, but I don't care too much - it's great fun watching my fingers wander around the fretboard making runs, plus there's a chorus over the top so those easily bored can have a little sing along instead of eyes glazing over. The tracks are The Cure and Aotearoa.

It also splits the set nicely for me, as the rest of the songs I play guitar on. This band is about instrument swapping, so there are no set roles as such, though we each have our core strengths. A longer term goal is to throw a piano into the mix.

For the live set we've ditched one of the songs from the EP, Way of Change and replaced it with one written for and played one of our members' wedding. I'm sure there's a video of it somewhere... here's a pic:

Always Always, damn I love that song. I love how it was written: I challenged one of my co-writers to sit down with me with the intention of creating the song specifically for the occasion, no less than a week out. He was dubious, thinking he couldn't work that way - just force it out - to which I told him to hell with that attitude, of course we can do it. And we did.

It's this resolve that has served me well over the years, and is improving with age - the knowledge that I can do anything I set my mind to, and do at least a competent job at it, if not excel. This is why I see no boundaries in some areas of life - not just music - I know that if I want something then I am capable of making it work. I know it. This makes life so exciting, never boring, never ending. The only challenge is time; putting it to proper use. Everyone has the same 24 hours in the day, and pretty much all of the lovely people that I know get to choose or have already chosen how they spend theirs, whether by intention or debt.

So we ended up writing a very strong, pretty, song, in fact one of our best. I can't wait until we have our EP back from production. Though taste is subjective, I know there's bound to be a few people out there who'll enjoy it, and maybe - just maybe - I'll meet more of those very special ones who have the Spark of Recognition.

It's exciting to savour this part of the journey - on track to start gigging within the next month, just in time for the sun to come out and play.

-

I've loved this song for as long as I can remember.

Bruce Springsteen - I'm on Fire

-

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day141 - Where Is My Mind?

Boy the mind plays some strange tricks sometimes.

It occasionally needs a right old kick in the brain.

Or the less violent alternative: a reminder from an old friend to just chill the fuck out.

So I ask myself...

Where Is My Mind?

-

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day140 - Child's Play

Hammer House Of Mystery And Suspense - Child's Play

This is one of the earliest movies I recall watching.

For some reason I awoke at 0400, sat bolt upright and netsearched it, happily finding the video on youtube within moments.

As a 7 or 8 year old, the mystery kept me bewildered, but the end really blew my mind...

from the horizontal

(a blogthis entry)

I took this picture laying on my back on my balcony. I've spent many hours staring at this patch of sky and its surrounds, often engrossed in an audio book or album, or chatting into the wee hours, but all the while contemplating life, being, and absorbing the ephemeral.

-

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day139 - Calling All Brisbanites

...or Brislanders? It looks like I'm headed up that way in a month or so, looking for recommendations for accommodation near the Riverstage or Southbank. Nothing fancy, as it'll just be me and my backpack for the night.

I'm not all that familiar with Brisbane so am happy to take recommendations on hotels/motels (and any other travel tips) from those that know the city, rather than going with whoever has the best-designed website.

The occasion: a chance to hear the beautiful voice of Brian Wilson live!

A friend's coming up from the Gold Coast for the show, so it should be a blast. Not to forget the rest of the bill that evening: America (Ventura Highway *sigh*), Peter Frampton & Chicago. I'm expecting to see some amazing hands, with very little filler.

The music may pre-date me, but therein lies some of the most amazing moments of captured timelessness one can ever hear.

-

The Wilson brothers have voices which speak to me on that unseen level.

The Beach Boys - God Only Knows

This mix is a gem:

The Beach Boys - God Only Knows (a capella)

I surprised myself this year by singing backing vocals in a similar register to some of the higher "ooh oohs" in the track above, in one of my band's tunes Fine Lines. Playing back the master recordings with only vocals provides much amusement, but it's amazing how a silly-sounding squeak - otherwise completely unnatural for a grown man to utter - can enhance the aural landscape; fill in the empty spaces with such colour and vibrance.

-

Day138 - Long Days, Short Nights

I jumped on MSN the other night for the first time in ages. It was like a mini reunion - friends I hadn't spoken with for a while.

A few nights running now I've been up quite late chatting, enjoying whimsicals, deep & meaningfuls, the cracking of jokes. Although I'm a bit scattered come this morning, I was reminded of how much I've missed it.

The MSN friends list is but a subset of my Facebook list, and even though I use FB chat more, its functionality is subpar plus I like to refer to conversation logs if I'm looking for something in particular. Sometimes it's interesting going back through chat logs, reminiscing.

There was a time when I would be logged in 24/7 via computer or mobile, and if awake - which is often the case around 0200 - happy to chat. 0200 chats are notoriously filled with dreamy, aethereal words & imagery - a nice halfway point between imagination and reality, and fantastic when you have someone to share them with: someone who's on the same wavelength.

Not so much these days - I'm more focused on other distractions, or at least try to be.

Learning the art of denial.

-

Mad Season - I'm Above

"
I'm above
Over you I'm standing
Above
Claiming unconditional love
Above
"

-
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...