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...

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
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

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