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...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day114 - Bubble of Rin

While I was in NZ Bubble and I began reading Rowan of Rin together. This book came highly recommended and rightly so - it has been generated much excitement, imagination and interest.

Bubble has not been in the habit of being read to, so the first night took a bit of adjustment and getting over the fact that there are no illustrations aside from the map at the front. She kept telling me "but, it's senior fiction dad", as if she was intimidated by the notion. The fact is, the book is the perfect level for her: easy enough for her to read herself, with the occasional new word, phrasing or idea to stimulate her own love of language. The second night was easier, the characters and quest were starting to take shape, and by the third evening she was excited by the prospect of story time and disappointed the night we ran out of time to read, due to such a full-on day.

She became especially invested after requesting that I replace all references to Rowan with her name. As easy as it sounds to read a book of this level, having to replace every second pronoun while maintaining flow is a lesson in concentration.

We didn't manage to finish reading "Bubble of Rin" while I was visiting so we've been continuing over the phone. I gave her a set of fairy lights that were hanging up in my room when she visited me in June, so she has a little ritual now: prep for bed, turn on the fairy lights, then off with the main light and a jump into bed. She mentioned last night how she would usually be scared to lay there in the twilight glow but doing so while listening to me she feels safe. I love that she volunteers this sort of information.

I tried phoning in bedtime stories a couple of years ago, starting with The Great Glass Elevator but the attention span just wasn't there. Maybe it just needed the personal touch to kick things off.


Instant like of a fun song:

The DNC - Jungle Flames


Monday, August 30, 2010

Day113 - Lay Me Down

My first weekday back after a full-on week in NZ, hoping to ease back into work. No such luck. I'm wiped. Head filled. No time to unwind. Need to relax.

Photos are from outside the client's office that I spent the following 4 days. The lights along the boardwalk cycled through the rainbow and glowed pure amazing in the twilight. Seeing this every night for a week at least provided a good bookend to long days.

In the daylight is visible the outline of the buildings that once stood against the now-store. And the nearby pub tucked away - indicative of the back streets of Surry Hills - music emanating from inside and random sparkles on the wall, of which I couldn't locate the source, but they were bright and glowing, so get a big thumbs up in my book.


It looks like the Internet Police have blocked my favourite Eagles song on youtube, but here is a pretty good live rendition of another fave:

Eagles - Take It Easy

You just can't go wrong with a moustache like that.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day112 - Satisfaction

Today was my first day back on the Wii after nine, including the week I was away. After a week of being slack I'd gained a couple of Kg's so not too bad considering the lack of sleep and inaccessibility of my regular diet. It was also my first gym session since arriving back in Oz, and wow did it feel fantastic.

While in NZ I'd caught up with a good friend and we hit the gym together. He's slightly taller than me, and at xmas we were pretty much matched in weight: me at 98Kg, him at 99Kg.

My goal has been strength maintenance while cutting, his has been strength increases and bulking. At our current respective 82Kg and 134Kg, the difference is amazing. He's having a great time powerlifting but I have serious reservations about the sustainability of that kind of activity. I'm slightly below our shared ideal BMI and feel fantastic. I can't imagine ever being heavier again, but I will only workout as much as I am prepared to maintain for life, which is two split workouts 1-2 times per week, with yoga almost daily.

His posture was so much better a year ago, now it's back to a similar poor form from when he was obese, and he's also developed a cyst on his lower back that needs surgical removal. That would be a major alarm bell for me.

At least this time he's carry more muscle than fat. He's almost 10 years younger than me, so there's a bit more abuse his body can take. I just hope he doesn't do any long-term damage. Still, I can only mention the change I've noticed, and it's up to him to heed or shun. Friends must follow their own paths.


Days of the New - Solitude

You are
You are
You are You
Get used to it


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day111 - Loss of Muse

111 is binary for 7, one of my favourite numbers.

I'd been putting off this post for a while. It's not something I enjoy thinking about but I'm sure it's healthy to do so rather than to ignore or bury it.

By far and away 2010 has been the best year of my life:
-I'm in the best physical shape that I've ever been in, thanks in large part to the wonder of yoga and finally learning exactly what my temple demands of me;
-I've long considered myself a competent songwriter but even so, this year I've written some of my best work ever, with my bandmates volunteering comments to this effect and noting my associated invigorated spirit, vitality, and joy in life. Surely, a major change has taken place within me;
-I found and explored a connection with one who would become my Muse, and which blew my entire being apart and reformed it into a new, more beautiful and enlightened shape, never to be the same again, and so very glad of this fact. I am and will be eternally grateful to her for inspiring me to such heights.
-I've long been a relaxed person, abhorring personal drama, avoiding needless stress, but this year I've taken an even greater step towards what I feel is a higher state of enlightened of mind. I figure by the time I reach 80 I'll be a kindly village elder. Maybe sooner but I'm not halfway yet.

Along with such ecstatic highs, one of the toughest things I've had to deal with, has been the loss of said Muse. The reasons are chronicled elsewhere in this blog but suffice it to say, Fate sometimes plays cruel jokes on it's subjects. Amongst this, and to this day, there is always the thought of each others' smiles. This can only fill each with joy, and it's this joy that must be held onto, as a sweet-tasting reminder of when the expression of such was not forbidden.

I was fortunate enough to be able to play some of the songs I'd written for my Muse, directly in front of her, in an evening that had some magical moments and I will remember forever. I will remember her tears as I sung of pure love, of inspired joy, and of how life-changing this person has been to me. Even now, this warms my soul.

There is also much frustration: that the fires of creativity are poised, ready, but held back on both sides. But things must take their course and nothing is without reason and stimulus for growth.

I know there are others out there - those that share the Spark of Recognition - but such a rare being it is that when you meet one, you want to hold on to each other forever, for who knows if any of the other Kindreds will ever make an appearance in your life, and to see such an opportunity and not pursue it is almost a crime against the cosmos.

I love having known the feeling of Complete Right - knowing the path, the way everything should be, according to instinct and thought. This is in no way a superiority, it is purely a knowing.

The band is currently working through our back catalogue, dividing tracks into those that are appropriate for playing live and those that instead require a soft couch, pillows and a decent stereo. I will be proud to include any of these songs in either collection, even if I'm no longer able to share them with the subject.

But the inspiration and creativity wasn't limited to music - I'd written stories - we had written stories, poetry, created words, jokes and silliness, our own lexicon of glorious ridiculousness, shared some of our deepest secrets, shared such intense smiles just upon looking at each other, devoured each others' voices, letting them consume and enjoying the wonder in the world that we see through such unique, yet similar eyes. Binary stars.

I still dream. I still daydream. I still ponder. Torture myself by thinking about the unrealized potential that two nuclear furnaces could transform and generate into such amazing creations. If only the floodgates were opened, I have a hundred plans, a hundred desires for sharing creativity, merging and channeling it into shared output. I know it would be exponentially greater than the sum of its parts.

It makes me simultaneously smile, laugh and stream tears to think of what I can see so clearly. Not an imagining. Not over-exuberance borne of emotion. Not a dream. Like the visible iceberg, the majority of this I dare not spill onto the screen. I am not to breathe a word unless given the signal. To be experienced it must be accepted. But for now, and quite possibly forever, I'll take a deep breath and continue to hold my tongue.

I wonder if the inspirational fire will fade. It has been months and it still has not, even though connection have been stretched. I guess this is true of any true muse - forever inspiring. When I make such friendships I make them for life, but this is more.

There is consolation in the beauty created during this period. I have reserves from then to draw on if I choose to and am never without other sources, but none thus far have ever glowed so intensely, with just the right spectrum colours that my eyes respond to.

Rehearsal was canceled today due in part to one of our members having an operation on his finger, so I slept a good portion of the day away, catching up, and still unable to shake the feeling I picked up in NZ that things aren't right, aren't the way they should be. But they are this way through choice, and while perhaps not the same choices I would make, I accept this is how things are wanted to be.

All above being said... I would wish this sort of experience upon anyone, and would relive it in a heartbeat.

For this is living.


Days Of The New - Days In Our Life

I said that I want to
It's not what you say it's all in what you do
Nothing has the values of life, I said it changes
changes - unlike any other way
changes yeah
These are the days in our lives - yeah
It's time for changes
These are the years left behind - yeah
It's time for a change

I said that I want to
Dead as I want, it's not for me to choose
I said that I want to but my mind changes

Don't stare at the old view
Tell me what you can do
Get with the times
Time for changes

So tell me this is true
Should I believe in you
Tell me what you're saying
Tell me what you said


Friday, August 27, 2010

Day110 - friday, departure

We spent Bubble's birthday yesterday at Rainbow's End theme park in Auckland. This day means an extra lot to her as it's the one day a year since her mum and I separated that she gets to do something special with just the three of us.

Her mum and I get on well - in part for Bubble, in part because we were good friends once upon a time - she even puts me up in Bubble's room when I come to visit, so there's no bad blood between us. On the way back from the theme park while Bubble was crashed out in the back, I chatted to her about how I really want more kids in the next few years. She reminded me of how we had planned to have a second child around now. Even though she's been with her current partner for 3 or 4 years - and they have a child together - this hit her hard. I visibly saw her take an invisible punch to the heart. I can guess why, but I was surprised nonetheless.

But such is life, and while not the picture-perfect ideal, things really have worked out for the best for all concerned. Distance is the hardest part, but daily phone calls and internet chats, along with hops across the Tasman every few months make it easier.

My father reminds me to count myself lucky it's not WWI and I'm not stuck halfway around the globe engaged in war for months on end.

Pictured: under a tree while playing mini golf yesterday. I love these pics, even though Bubble had just remembered that I was going home today. The grey skies matched the temporary sad mood, but we had a chat about it and everyone soon cheered up. How could you not under such a beautiful tree =)


Kiwi music week, instalment #7:
Dave Dobbyn - You Oughta Be In Love


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day109 - thursday, bday

Eight years ago today I became a father for the first time, to a girl named Bubble.


Kiwi music week, instalment #6:
Herbs - Sensitive To A Smile


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day108 - wednesday, eviland

I took Bubble out of school today so we could spend some quality time together. We had dinner at Grandma's where she spends many a weekend, often including our Sunday morning marathon phone chats. I was one of the chosen few who have been shown the secret hideaway, known as "Eviland" (pictured). Even friend's kids seem to enjoy showing me this sort of thing. Maybe they can see the adventurer in me =)


Kiwi music week, instalment #5:
Scribe - Not Many

Hearing this again makes me feel like resuming the hiphop project I've been working on (and off) for the past few years. Little does anyone know that D.R.X. was originally my hiphop alter-ego.

I just giggled while typing that.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day107 - tuesday, pakiri

My father and I took a trip up to Pakiri today - an hour or so north of Auckland. He is still my go-to guy, mentor, and part-time guru. Along with my grandfather, we're all very similar and always have fruitful conversations, each of us relish exploring thoughts and discussions on a deeper level.

This was a business trip for both of us, but it was welcomed as an excuse to spend time together. I love these sort of excuses.

While there we were invited up to a private lookout. I love the green. I love the ocean. I love the light. We had it all that day, part of the same vista (above).

Oh, and on the way back we saw a real-life treant!


Kiwi music week, instalment #4:
Darcy Clay - Jesus I Was Evil

Another musician gone too early. He was an interesting guy.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Day106 - monday, zombies

Plants Vs. Zombies is pure fun. So much so, that it required a picture drawn in tribute.

"Dad with butter on head"

"Me as sunflower"

I think I got the raw end of that deal.

The video that plays upon completion of the game should explain everything... or possibly confuse things even further.


Kiwi music week, instalment #3:
None. I can't get the Plants Vs. Zombies song out of my head.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day105 - sunday, bday party

What a full on day. Eighth birthday party, a few days early - Spongebob cake (I love Spongebob), extended family, telescope, microscope, balloons, toys, books. Such a delight to see be there. We may live in separate countries but I ensure that I never miss a birthday.

A second major event occurred today: we read "Where Do I Come From?". It felt a little like we stole some of her innocence, but rather her be armed with knowledge than not, especially in this day, and we felt she was at the right age to learn. It was just me and her reading and it was going well until we got to the sexual intercourse part at which point there was a cry for mummy. My first thought was "oh no, has someone done something to her?!", but we later realised it was because of the warnings mum had given her regarding people touching specific parts of the body. I don't fear much in life, but this is one thing that tops the list. She is to be protected.

So the three of us had a lengthy discussion and read through the rest of the book. We could tell later that she had absorbed it, as she was asking followup questions. This open dialogue is very important to me, with her and in all relationships.

Pictured: playing with the chemistry set. We looked at bugs, saliva, lint, hair. Then busted out the telescope and viewed the moon.


Kiwi music week, instalment #2:

The Feelers - Venus


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day104 - saturday, arrival

I'd barely slept the night before, the plane was old - no in-flight entertainment (yay for my trusty laptop), an hour into the flight my butt started to complain about the less-than-comfy seating, but of course it was all worth it. I touched down to my girl glimpsing me, forgetting everything else around her & running into my arms.

Pictured: our sleepover setup in her room, she gave me her bed =) The pink cushion filled with beans was a gift I'd bought her when her mother & her lived in Sydney with me. She's kept it ever since returning to Auckland, now with many stitches from burst seems (I like to think from the frequency and intensity of hugging), it serves as a nice connection to her dad.


Figured I'd share some of my favourite Kiwi music while I'm here.

The Naked And Famous - Young Blood


Day103 - Newfound Strings

Today (now yesterday) was turbulent. A mixture of anxiety about flying tomorrow, excitement at the prospect of spending a week with my daughter, and a 3rd factor that has been nagging at me lately.

I'm never anxious about the flight itself - in fact I quite enjoy flying on newer aircraft - but instead of missing it. I tell myself I should remain calm & relaxed like I typically am, safe in the knowledge that I have never actually missed a flight, but it remains one more challenge to be overcome. The day the anxiety leaves is the day I start missing flights, I jest.

I had such a lovely time during Bubble's visit in June - I expected it to go well, but it surpassed expectations. We connected on a new level, as her awareness has expanded and enlightenment increased. As such I've been looking forward to resuming that connection, making the most of it while it's available to me.

The 3rd factor is a feeling that things aren't right, aren't as they're supposed to be. It plays with me, sometimes hurting, other times leaving me wistful. I try all the distractions I can, but this remains. Sometimes I just can't shake it at all. I guess it's a sign of something much deeper than I'd experienced before, and that can never be negative. Always see the positive.

I didn't want to go home tonight. The distraction in play was weekly drinks at the marble bar in the office. As usual, the hoards disappeared within a few hours, leaving a small circle to chat. I like this part of the night, it's like a campfire setting, instead with cushions, sofas and air conditioning. There are enough people on our floor to make it a unique experience most Fridays, and hopefully make new friends, or get to know old friends just that much better. This was no exception - the panel consisted of:
-a master theologian & graphic designer
-a self-help novelist & entrepreneur
-a tri-athlete & PR consultant
-a promotions & advertising graphic designer
-myself, musician & IT consultant

The night ended in the ad designer taking me into one of the back offices wherein were secreted away a pair of guitars. We played for each other until it was realised that we were no longer doing the songs any justice & called it a night.

I love the fact that there are guitars on the floor.

After heading home, I barely slept. I took the yearning & let it burst forth in beautiful words. Because at it's essence, it is a beautiful thing. Pure love. Pure knowing. Recognition.

How rare a thing this is.


Pure amazing:

Def Leppard - Hysteria


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day102 - Opportune and 22 Degrees

Today hit 22°C in the city - not bad for an early Spring day. I'm at my most comfortable with fewer layers of clothing on. I could easily live in just shorts. ...or less probably - I love skinny dipping. My first time was in a river near my spiritual homeland, Whangamata, NZ, with a friend I'd known since kindergarten. He and I had already been through a lot together, so the company felt natural and we were completely at ease. I knew before then that I had no shame, and that day was a reaffirmation. Everything glowed with a gentle Sun's light. Bushwalkers on the ridge above didn't worry us. I can still taste the air from that day.

Another was during a date, the two of us picnicked amongst the trees in a reserved area of bush. At dusk we wandered along the track through lush vegetation to a small lake with waterfall - an area known as the Cascades. The moon was out. We were alone. We made love on a boulder overlooking the water. As the moon went down, time grew late, we stumbled back through the bush in near-darkness, with only glow worms imitating stars to the side of us as we walked hand in hand.

If there's one lesson I've learnt well in life it is to not pass up opportunities when they present.

The unknown quantity is in how long they will be available to you.

Strike while the iron is hot, or the will is molten.


Def Leppard - Animal

"I cry wolf, giving mouth to mouth
Like a moving heartbeat, in the witching hour
I'm running with the wind, a shadow in the dust
And like the driving rain
Yeah, like the restless rust
I never sleep"


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day101 - Coffee and Clothing

"The best coffee in Castle Hill" read the sign. Unfamiliar with this area of greater Sydney I had nothing to compare it to, but the shop caught my attention: serving as both a women's clothing store & coffee shop. The barista informed me that since putting out the sign, her business had tripled. It worked on me.

The mocha was good, but the cup it was served in (pictured) added a special glow to the afternoon, reminding me oddly of golden eyes.

I found the place last week on my way back from a day spent with a client further Northwest. I enjoy visiting clients so far out - I typically take a bus, as I so enjoy the relaxing time to read, listen, contemplate.

I had an interesting trip out, chronicling most of it on my phone in an email before the Blackberry suddenly burped and it was gone.

There was the part about the series of retirement communities that the bus went through, each bringing additional olfactory bouquets as the seniors boarded. I wondered if they realised just how much they filled the air with such lovely scents, or whether their smell had changed to the point where they were using more perfume than they otherwise would have. Either way, I enjoyed.

Then there was the client: a rotund ball of a man, obviously killing himself slowly with excessive food consumption, but add to that cigarettes, I'm guessing zero exercise, the stress of running a branch office with 80 employees, and empty king-size full-sugar energy drink cans strewn about the place, I felt happy that I was not treating my own body with such disrespect. He made me want to get on the floor and do crunches. It was kind of sad.

I felt very much in touch with the universe that day, and at the same time disjointed, juxtaposed with myself.

Some days brimming with energy, brimming with pure love. The frequency of these days is increasing. Some days there are the lucky recipients who catch a glimpse, sometimes more. I'm experiencing life on a different level than I did a year ago. I've learnt that there truly are others who see beyond, can see me. When I look at someone, I really do look into them. Looking for that spark. I've had a taste of this and I want more.

As rare as I know it is.


Hysteria is one of the greatest albums ever made. Production-wise a 10/10. The songwriting is amazing - almost a concept album, the lyrics speak of love, sexuality, and the mindsets behind each. I'm not a fan of many of their other albums, in fact I only really like a few songs out of their entire non-Hysteria catalogue, but I come back to this album every few years and blows my mind every time. I saw these guys live a year or 2 back - it was one of the best live shows I've seen in terms of energy & professionalism - comparable to Pink & Justin Timberlake.

Def Leppard - Love Bites

"When you make love, do you look in the mirror?
Who do you think of, does he look like me?
Do you tell lies and say that it's forever?
Do you think twice, or just touch and see?

When you're alone, do you let go?
Are you wild and willing or is it just for show?"


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


One hundred days (one hundred days)
I connected to you in one hundred ways
One hundred days (one hundred days)
Every day, a sweet malaise
Spent in some respectful, amazed and silent praise

Flashes of you in a hundred faces
To be with you in a hundred places
With you I am seen and known like no other, how the converse is true
You listen, understand, behold me, for who I am, to you

One hundred shades, your eyes, when shields long held are raised
One hundred the exponent, glimpsed through bursts of golden rays

Living still, in Alternative Dimensions
The Who, to which no others privy
In dreams we're free
To be you, me, We
Knowing, matching, rarity
Forged in serendipity

It's all I need to know

One hundred words made up for you, possessed by Shakespeare's tongue
One hundred ways to teach each other, to be shown how it's done
One hundred layers peeled away, and seen exposed, the core
One hundred directions, one hundred ways, breathe the Air forevermore

I could find the seed of inspiration, each from a hundred gifted souls
But from the core of just a single you, one hundred seeds are sown

And I've always known

The bond remains, since first connected
Differential desire and destiny
There can be no doubt when herein lies both
It is to this degree that nowhere else,
has either one felt free

The Bubble Universe which personal space enveloped,
Unspoken conversations, enraptured in each other
Fields merged in perfection, and with clarity of sight,
It is this perfection, such calm intention, that I see in Us

One hundred days (one hundred days)
One hundred dreams of you, but one always
One hundred days (one hundred days)
You gave yourself to me in one hundred ways

Skirting on the periphery
Compelled to be complete
The fire still burns within
Tangled and entwined
Reciprocating muse
In conversations endless
Yet to be spoken, or said in silence
And never become full

We will always feel the pull

The magic that was learnt, the star wished upon
Perennial inspiration, for a song that's never done

You are the one


Day99 - Côté à Côté

99 evokes imagery: bedfellows, side by side, deep reds, coffee and chocolate softness covering dual heartbeats, twins in frequency, dualists in mind, warmth of wavelengths, an invisible but most tangible twin helix, the feeling that everything is as it's meant to be right in that moment.


I feel lucky to have heard this tonight:

Rocket Queen

4:04 is beautiful. When the guitar solo kicks in at 5:13 I'm temporarily displaced, out of phase, enraptured.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day98 - The Return

The dreams have started again.

For all of 2010 and some months prior I'd been dreaming daily, without fail. Vivid, intense, illuminating dreams. Every single night was an adventure. Most nights I would awaken and make notes.

But there was a period recently when they stopped.

I think part of me just wanted to stop thinking, shut down and drive away whatever needed processing, leave it for another day.

I'm glad they're back. Though opaque and largely left to the Aether, I can feel the intensity returning, opening myself up again to exploration.

As enjoyable as this one is, dreams are the preferred reality.


I was looking for this song and came across a version with an interesting video, including some beautiful thoughts and images:

The Black Crowes - Seeing Things


Day97 - Live

It's been a quiet year for concerts. I have a vague memory of seeing an amazing set by Jane's Addiction earlier in the year, and Rob Thomas at Hope Estate Winery was an awesome day out: sun, storm, wine, music.

I've never been into pub bands, preferring large concerts and festivals. I've seen hundreds of live shows, and with a few exceptions, most of my favourite bands. Much of it has to do with learning what goes into a show, much the same as how I listen to a wide selection of music, to garner an appreciation as well as add to the encyclopaedia that resides in my skull. This is important for originality. There's nothing more deflating as a musician to write a melody, only to discover it's been done before. My band mates love me for pointing out when they've re-written someone else's work =)

3 shows on the horizon:
- Slash on Monday - while I owe a lot guitar-wise to Slash, I'm not a fan of weekday shows. It's a real effort unless you're a professional musician or playboy trust-fund kid.
- Muse in December - I very much relate to Muse from a songwriting & instrumentation point of view. Looking forward to seeing the live dynamic.
- Eagles in December - haven't bought tickets yet... I'm holding out for better show dates, hoping that they play a winery. That would be magic.


Muse - Undisclosed Desires


Friday, August 13, 2010

Day96 - 3-6

I'm fortunate in that the office I'm based in puts on a three-fridge food & drink evening every Friday. Every once in a while these evenings migrate past the mild and into the wild. Consequently, I already have fodder for at least a song or two.

Tonight's spread was above-par. I prefer wine but was drowning multiple skewers of rather dry chicken in some headache-inducing low-carb beer: the price paid for the Final Trimming of the Fat (tm) I guess.

I'm still at work with the option to go out but rather enjoying being at my computer, chilled, writing, listening to new music and faint sounds of the die-hards from the bar. Oh yeah... this office has a full saloon-style marble bar, giant screens on every wall, dart board, pinball machine, sofas & cushions everywhere. It really is a pleasurable environment.

The floor is made up of mostly PR firms, mine is the only IT consultancy. We share a building with Carla Zampatti; 68 and recently single. Every few Fridays we invite friends up to mingle, keep the mix fresh.

I realized today I hadn't been on a proper holiday this year. Last year was Vegas, the year before Switzerland. I typically spend 3-4 weeks every year in NZ with my daughter, but that doesn't quite count as holiday time - it's all about her and I'm usually quite exhausted afterwards, pretending I have as much energy as a 7yo. Nonetheless I'm looking forward to my upcoming week with her as she turns 8... the home stretch to teenhood. Some parents may be dreading this stage but I remain serene - I know we'll maintain our wonderful relationship. I'm proud to say she's a very lovely soul; a kindred spirit.


Tomorrow I'm up the coast. We're celebrating completion of recording with a relaxed rehearsal and run through of the 20+ songs we've written between us for this particular project. This is my favourite part of making music with others: playing, listening, creating. Another month or so and we'll be gigging. Should be fun.

While I've had my moments of excess, 3 to 6 drinks is optimal for me. I think I'm on around 5, so it's time to head home.


Because Bob Dylan's on my mind and I've been listening to a bit lately - only last weekend did I watch Don't Look Back:

Bob Dylan - Lay Lady Lay

I was asked once at one of these Friday night soirées who I would invite to a dinner of notables - my reply was Bob Dylan, for the sole reason of asking him what he thinks of one of my songs; my lyrical pride & joy "Never Forever". I'm sure that'll constitute a post at some point.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day95 - Addressing Numbers

Geek much?

Most people have heard of IP addresses (the numbers behind the dotcoms): every computer connected to the internet requires one. Did you know that the supply is soon to run out? It's my business to care about such things. (There's a song & a pretty picture further below for those who may become numbed by it all...)

These addresses are limited to 4 binary octets (or 32-bit), giving a total of some 4.3 billion addresses (many reserved or otherwise unusable). As a consequence, the usable addresses will be exhausted most likely by the end of 2010.

At least, this is the case with the current standard (IPv4). As this becomes deprecated it will be replaced by IPv6 - the numbers involved with which are staggering. The new (actually now decade-old) standard will be 128-bit. A single sub-net in the new architecture is 2^64 addresses, which equates to the square of the size of the entire Internet (well, the IPv4 incarnation).

Wiki tells me that this is the same number of IP addresses per person as the number of atoms in a metric ton of carbon. And we all know wiki never lies.


Days of the New - Dirty Road


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day94 - What Dreams May Come

...and Inception. ***no spoilers***

I've always loved this movie. The lengths soul mates will take to retain a bond never fails to blow me away.

Inception was similar in feel, having practised lucid dreaming and dream incubation and been successful in my efforts, I appreciated the concept. Oddly, my companion found it difficult to follow. I wonder if anyone else had the same problem.

It's always nice watching someone's face the first time they enter a Gold Class cinema. I'm still surprised when I find out friends haven't been.

If you haven't seen either, do so.

Good dreams tonight. Greater distraction. I want to go 5 levels deep.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day93 - Grateful

Today was extremely tough - one of the most difficult in memory. I'm fortunate to know some of the very special souls that I do.

Indicative of today that the musical footnote will outstrip the update.

This is wherein I retreat to.


The Black Crowes have long been a favourite of mine. I'm surprised at how little there is out there on Chris Robinson's solo work. I found a site with all the lyrics and a few live videos though, fortunately he's an amazing live singer & the songs don't suffer too much. The album "This Magnificent Distance" is a gem that I revisit now & then.

Chris Robinson & the New Earth Mud - Girl on the Mountain

The entire song's lyrics are right up my alley, but the melody that goes with the chorus is spellbinding:

"There's a girl on the mountain
Waiting there for me
There's a girl on the mountain
Where there's a song, on the breeze"


Monday, August 9, 2010

Day92 - Final Five

As anticipated, the final 5Kg has been the hardest to lose. I've come within 2Kg of the goal, but just a fluctuation if not sustained. It took all the determination I could muster today, so the Final Push began.

On the positive, for the past 6 weeks I've stabilised on an average of 2-3Kg below the ideal BMI, while either maintaining or besting personal records for resistance training. The latter I mostly attribute to increased core training (the plank is my friend), the former I put down to the age old basic formula that continues to thwart weight loss at every calorific turn:

energy intake > energy required

But of course, less simplistically it's the silent mental quotient that is the key to the above. Lane Cove village has 4 Thai restaurants within walking distance of my house and a few others that deliver. Damn you chicken pad Thai. Very proteiny but so, so carby.

The above said, I've also been hitting the gym more frequently, hence more high-carb days but today I was born anew: I have the fire of determination in my belly. This is a necessity, I thrive on it, arousing every sense, exuding the energy that it spawns.

I am accustomed to reaching goals, and I want this.


Absolutely one of my favourite songs ever. The sound, production, vocals, lyrics - a package deal, greater than the sum of its parts:

Lenny Kravitz - Again

The idea of falling in love with a stranger for an instant as you pass in the street. This just strokes my brain.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day91 - Tell Me If This Isn't Inspiring

I'm compelled to share this link:

A positive and beautiful few minutes.


At peace with oneself.

Like here:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day90 - Black Beauty

Her back was dimpled and dented from belt-buckles, curvaceous lines scarred in hard-to-reach places, neck marked with scratches - a sure sign that she'd been well used. I fell in love immediately: gorgeous ebony body, white trim, gold top and paua inlay along mahogany neck.

Second-hand and slightly beatup, this 1981 Les Paul Custom would become one of the few material possessions that I attach deep sentiment to.

It took me 12 months of $150 payments from my - count 'em - four paper route income. After 3 months of lay-by I was allowed to return home with the goods & pay the rest off. 13 years old and smiling, I never looked back.

Les Pauls have a sound all their own, but when combined with gritty amps, especially the ubiquitous Marshall stack, you get the likes of this pair of of Les Paul/Marshall aficionados:

Lenny Kravitz (feat. Slash) - ALways On The Run

The first 13 seconds are a perfect example of what I love in dirty guitars.

Slash is by far one of my favourite players and also one of the laziest. I've seen him live in various incarnations and get to catch him again in Sydney on the 16th. I anticipate sloppy/drunken playing but such oh-so-beautiful melodies, that any transgressions are quickly forgiven.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day89 - Techmology

I was on the road for several hours yesterday, writing all the while, inspired, the words flowing. Then my phone decided to eat half of the items stored on it.

I lost all the writing I'd done and the majority of my mailbox had been emptied including received text messages, some of which I would have liked to have kept =/

So instead, here's The Ramones singing about Spider-Man.


(a blogthis entry)

I knew this picture would come in handy one day...

Me trying to convince my few remaining smoker friends to quit. I take great pleasure in pointing out how handy the missing tooth is - exactly the right size for another cigarette!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day88 - Yeargh!

I was feeling a bit piratey today so I loaded up Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl. A friend reminded me the other day that I'd only seen the first one. Curious how I managed to miss the other two, but they're on the watchlist now.

A bath was poured, laptop positioned and speakers setup on the sinktop. I settled in, promptly reminding myself how terrible I am with watching films, rarely able to sit through an entire feature unless with company. I managed about half of it, which is a pretty good effort for a 143min movie on a weeknight. I push myself during every waking moment - sleep when I'm dead and the like - so if at a late cinema showing I tend to fall asleep soon after the lights go out, like a six foot five blankety-caged canary.

Consequentially, cinema outings are rare but pleasantly also have that air of excitement about them that I enjoyed as a kid. Also, since I don't go that often I typically watch in gold class. I'm all about the elbow room. Being waited on doesn't hurt either. Now if only I could get someone to pump my gas.


Fleetwood Mac - You Make Loving Fun

One of the better Christine McVie songs. Love the clavinet.

"I never did believe in miracles
But I've a feeling it's time to try
I never did believe in the ways of magic
But I'm beginning to wonder why"


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Tublist

I love discussing bucketlists. Some physically write them out but I would guess that most have them stored away in a corner of their consciousness, reminded of said when the opportunities present & trigger the desire of memory. I wonder how many actually complete every item on their lists. I can't entertain the idea of being without goals, personally. In fact, I add them like a maniac.

During one such discussion it was decided that at the rate I add items to my own list I would need at the very least a bathtub to contain them all, and thus was born the tublist.

The beauty of the tublist is in that I don't care that I may never achieve everything on it - to attempt an unfinishable/unachievable goal is something that tickles my spirit on all corners.

I liken it to that of humankind's eternal quest to unlock the secrets of the universe: a goal that we will probably never realize, yet we persevere just the same, with this knowledge in hand.


I've been fixated on this song (again) lately:

Fleetwood Mac - Dreams

I could go on & on about this track. It has my absolute favourite bass sound of any song; warm, comforting, driving. Vocals are amazing. Lyrics Pure Awesome.

I've loved it since I was a child. It truly does transport me through time, into the recesses of memory, or maybe through the tangle of other nearby dimensions.


Day87 - Surplace

Very much a treading water day: long & mostly uninspiring - the theme of the last few weeks. I actually like my dayjob, really enjoy it, but it is not particularly creative so I'll eschew it for something that inspired me yesterday.

I studied French somewhat vaguely for 2 years in high school, but the timing was off - there was no way it could match my lust for guitar at the time. In fact maths & science both fell by the wayside; they required some degree of effort. English never seemed to suffer.

Complimented on my French accent yesterday by a lovely French architect that I lunch with occasionally, I was reminded of a similar compliment paid by another lovely French woman during my stay in Switzerland a couple of years back, and how much I wanted - and still very much want - to learn the language; how I want to converse in French, trade whispers of sweet somethings with a lover, compose lyrics in beautiful flowing verse, immerse myself in travel amongst those with the native tongue, to think & dream through different eyes.

This just received a major bump up the priority list.


Not the song I've been listening to incessantly lately, but yet another amazing cut from Rumours:

Fleetwood Mac - The Chain


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day86 - Gatsby

Bathtime and the closing chapters of The Great Gatsby. Such a pleasure in language, I feel very much at home, comfortable, honored to be reading such beauty.

"No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart."

"Stupid with liquor."

"If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about...like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees."

"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And one fine morning. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day85 - Flow

I sat on the bar stool in my room, held warmly to my guitar and let the song pour out of me. It came to me in a single movement; from beginning to end. I named it "Flow" - no coincidence in that the song's lyrics echoed its creation. It's rare to have a complete song just come like this and when it does it's as if the universe has aligned for that moment, being channelled through the conduit of body and mind.

This is one of my fondest songwriting experiences.

I'd been enjoying a spring affair with a holidaying Swede, when after a day of relaxation & beauty spent walking through gardens in the sun, discussing the wonders of life, I came away brimming with inspiration. All it took was the somnambulistic action of picking up the guitar & singing along to whatever came out.

The song encapsulates that day for me, that moment of inspiration, that beauty - but more than that - it has taken on a life of its own, pulling in memories of other inspirational days, like a black hole turned inside-out; prismatic; cornucopian in colour.

Consequentially, yesterday I wrote additional lyrics to a section of the song that after recording felt like it had space for something extra. I was hesitant at first whether to include the new sentiments as they weren't part of the original outpouring, and are in fact about another person, time, place, but they feel right.

I'm nothing if not guided by instinct.


Days of the New - Dancing with the Wind

"where the fire burns and the water drowns"


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day84 - The Musical Brain

I absorbed an amazing documentary today "The Musical Brain", focused on cognitive neuroscientist Daniel Levitin and his study of how music affects the brain. The study involved scanning "master musician" Sting's brain while listening to various types of music and composing.

The interview with Wyclef Jean contained an enlightening way of looking at the adoration of musicians, citing as an example; the light and intensity in one's eyes as an instrument is played, that the viewer may - consciously or otherwise - desire to elicit that emotion, considering the notion "what if I were that instrument?". I love this idea. I can see it from both sides.

This was apparently on oz commercial tv last week, but not owning a box I had to search for it online. Most of the video I watch is via word of mouth, which is a great filtering mechanism. The only downside I've found is not understanding references to commercials... a very small price to pay. On the plus side, when I happen to chance upon an ad playing on a friend's tv, I find them mostly entertaining.

I've also got my hands on Levitin's book This Is Your Brain On Music - next on the reading list.


Had this song bouncing around in my head for a few days.

The Pixies - Holiday Song

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