Monday, December 31, 2007
The evening was young, yet they were old - thus the balance of the universe was maintained, at least for one more day.
There would be stories - oh yes there would be stories; yet to be told obviously, but stories never the less.
Stay tuned - while those of you in the northern hemisphere huddle around your mass lunches - we will carry the flag of New Years "Eve-ship" until you are ready to take over. Be ready - it's coming, and it's not going to be pretty folks :)
Best wishes to all for 2008!
P.S. God it's hot out!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I'm not sure how to start this one.
Mum called me this morning at 7am and told me what I already knew before I picked up the phone; my last remaining grandparent passed away last night.
We all knew that it was going to happen; with a trip to the nursing home early yesterday morning came a realization, and a mere twelve hours later she is no longer with us. I can't help but think it was a pretty good move on her part.
All this may sound callous, but if you read a much earlier post here you'd realise that she hasnt been herself for the longest time. I hope she's much happier now, especially with the knowledge that her declining health is no longer a concern to her surviving children. Perhaps the perpetual fog that clouded her mind of late has now also lifted, and she is herself once again - telling her old stories over and over to anyone who would care to listen. One suspects that all hell would break loose if anyone dared to correct or interrupt her during the best bits - she could be awfully determined at times :)
Saturday, December 29, 2007
I wish I was there with you girl. :)
Seems like I'll never know,
That feeling of being together when I go.
Suddenly bereft of anything important to do, I find myself a little on the fragile side this week. Even today, while IG trundles off to the Gym full of vigor, I find myself wanting to curl up on the couch for a little sleep when no one's watching.
I might otherwise attribute this malaise to too much food or/and wine, but I can assure you that this is not the case either. Rather than follow the previous Christmas dogma of too much food and wine, I have have decided to be "good" over the break; I even have a packet of rice crackers lurking somewhere should the need arise to prove my point.
Upon reflection my lethargy is most probably related to a lack of (bad) stimuli; and the resultant nap-wanting, a poor substitute for a sugar packed, fat laden, old fashioned chocolate bar. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately I must report a distinct lack of junk food within arms reach. Life is so unfair!
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
In a world where it seems more and more that one size must fit all, I wonder why there are so many self help books. Surely if one or two worked then there would be no need for others. At the same time I cant help but think that the whole self help industry is surely a corrupt one; secretly wanting a sicker society for a bigger market share.
Every time I see another self help Guru like Doctor Phil, or Jerry Springer on the TV, I treat them as I would any other evangelical minister preaching; I change the damn channel.
I find the whole requirement for these shows to be morally repugnant - like Captain James T Kirk, I believe that we are all a product of our life experiences; both good and bad. Why people insist on polishing all the rough edges off themselves makes little sense to me.
Not that I don't take mental illness seriously. Dooce wrote a lovely essay on mental illness just the other day. It's a serious business, and one not to be trivialized with by buying a self help book - I often wonder if people try to self medicate with these, instead of seeking out the real deal. It's time like this that I realize how much admiration I have for people who put their hands up and ask for help - they are the strong ones.
Then again, all this angst was gone after one Belgian biscuit, so what do I know :)
Monday, December 24, 2007
The horror of the pickles aside, I would like to take this moment to wish all that lurk and post here a very Merry Christmas.
Take care out there, but remember; I need you all back here on the 27th, or the kid (above) doesn't get a present. Do not test me people - his needy manner will not sway me :)
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Hot on the heels of my ham-less toasted sandwich post, I now have to put my hand up and admit I am a difficult bastard.
Why? Because it turns out I can even hate it when I get something I don't ask for. No one is more surprised than I!
Christmas shopping has been a little better than expected this year. Two new Mega-malls at Albany and Sylvia Park have opened up, so by taking a trip to a less hip, established mall, crowds are actually not too over the top. I managed to get a park on the first attempt. I must admit to getting out of my car and walking around it twice looking for towing signs or handicapped zones - but there were none. Un-fricking believable!
After the last minute Christmas shopping was done and dusted, I decided to drop in for a bite at the local Robert Harris Coffee shop, but as expected it was full to the brim with espresso drinking caffeine heads. My disappointment held in check, I decided to down-size to the mall's Burger King: big mistake.
Crying babies and mindless children running amok, the joint was almost moderately clean, so I decided to brave the elements and order a Double BBQ Bacon Cheese burger - just to tide me over until dinner. I wasn't shocked when my burger was luke warm - you more or less expect that, but when I took my second bite I felt a profound disturbance in the force.
In the universe I live in, finding a pickle in a Double BBQ bacon cheese burger, is akin to finding 7 McNuggets in a 6 pack - it just doesn't happen.
I guess the combo of screaming children, too many people, a luke warm burger, and a damn pickle was too much for me to stomach.
I put the burger down, lifted the top, not willing to admit the truth; yet there they were. Not one, but two pickles that had no right being anywhere under that luke warm bun.
Concerned that the world was teetering on the outcome of my actions I quietly put the burger top down again. No one had noticed. No one had seen the horror. Burger King were down two pickles and they didn't know it yet.
I had now convinced myself that the best course of action was to deny knowledge of the existence of the missing pickles. I folded the offending burger back into its hellish paper wrap and put it back on the tray.
As I grabbed my coke and slowly made for the door, I realized that we must never talk of this again. These two pickles swim with the fishes.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Courage is a lie,
will tempt you
If you fear it
Courage has a scent
and a sweat.
Under your skin,
when the wind blows
Courage is cold.
Courage is a sword
that cant be unsheathed
without tasting blood.
and is never sated.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Is there a point to all this?
I wonder if this has happened before, and will happen again. Wikipedia has a page on something called Eternal Return which ties a few interesting ideas together.
Some days I wonder if our time here is simply one of growth. If we repeat our lives over and over do so in order to grow, evolve in some way? Do we end up learning and relearning the same lessons, before finally understanding and moving on. To where? - I have no idea.
There are so many ways to be more spiritual in nature, so many roads to get to the same point; one no more correct than another. For some the journey is easy, for others, less so. I think some may like the ride too much to bother getting off and moving on at all. More power to them.
No matter where you are on the journey to self discovery, an important step might be self acceptance. And that may involve more than a few rides on the ferris wheel of life.
This is all a sudden thought - out of nowhere really. Maybe a conversation with a like minded person has opened my eyes to a different view of the world. Not really the world I was living in, but it just goes to show - you cant always judge a book by it's cover.
Much like this clip I suspect...
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I'm sorry that we lost touch
(I'm pissed that we had to)
I'm really glad we're close again
(I couldnt have it any other way)
And it's great that you get me
(even if I don't)
But did you ever notice the world's a lot less interesting
When we're not across a table talking like there's no tomorrow?
Especially when my tomorrows may truly be numbered.
If you ever see this photo. :)
The light that burns half as long, burns twice as bright.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
A nice Christmas story, found in full here.
When Sammy Gitau, a child of one of Nairobi's most notorious slums, discovered a Manchester University prospectus languishing on a rubbish tip, he kept it as a talisman and reminder of what his life could be.
Like thousands of other children living in the squalid conditions of the Kenyan capital's longest-standing slum community, there seemed little means of escape.
But yesterday Gitau, 35, who spent almost a decade gazing in hope at the precious prospectus, became the university's most remarkable graduate.Maybe, if we want something bad enough - sometimes the impossible is possible after all.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
God - Christmas is really getting to me this year.
So much so that I broke with tradition and got out of bed before 9am on Saturday morning; all to beat the Christmas rush. By ten thirty I'd had enough, retreating far from the zombie shoppers, back to my fortress of solitude. It was a close thing - the innocuous Christmas music in the background almost trapped me with its sweet dulcet sounds. The tinsel, almost hypnotizing me - leading me by the hand to the next sale: almost, but not quite.
To think this is what Christmas has become to so many here. It's sad that in this country Christmas is rapidly becoming a time for Santa, instead of a celebration of the birth of Jesus.
The funny thing is, I shouldn't really care. As an agnostic I sit on the fence here. The thing is, I am increasingly disheartened by the shift from religious holiday to retail commercialism; because this isn't what Christmas should be about.
The whole gift giving thing bothers me as well. Expressing your love for a friend or loved one should be a daily occurrence, small actions over time; a hug here, a kind word there - you know, the small stuff that adds up to something over a whole year.
I don't see my friends every day; some I see only once a year, others - too far removed, but regardless they are all seldom far from my thoughts.
The money changes may not be in the temples yet people, but if you're starting to think like me, you cant help but notice the malls seem to have a lot of worshipers this time of year.
Sandra pointed out this is not a bad thing - but it is a step away from where i was here.
I think primarily, this has been caused by a self imposed lack of life experiences of late. I've been contemplating a next step for some time now, but have been enjoying the calm before the storm entirely too much.
Time to move ahead - at least one step. I suspect next weekend will show me the way.
The Feelers - Stand up.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Ten minutes, hours, days, or years later - who can possibly tell.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Bob Dylan - Most of the time.
I'm halfway content,
Most of the time
I know exactly where I went,
I don't cheat on myself, I don't run and hide,
Hide from the feelings, that are buried inside,
I don't compromised and I don't pretend,
I don't even care if I ever see her again
Most of the time.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
More often than not, however, I lose the battle.
The falling leaves drift by my window
The falling leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sunburned hands I used to hold
Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all, my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall
Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all, my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall
I miss you most of all, my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall
Monday, December 10, 2007
Warning : This is a long post, but worthwhile in my humble opinion.
I read this article, or one much like it, many years ago. Although it is perhaps culturally insensitive to buy your wife with cows in this day and age, this love story made me smile. If only we could show the world how much we loved our partners by showering their parents with cows. I'd very likely bankrupt myself for the woman I loved.
Condensed from Woman's Day Patricia McGerr. Reproduced in full from here
When I sailed to Kiniwata, an island in the Pacific, I took along a notebook. After I got back it was filled with descriptions of flora and fauna, native customs and costume. But the only note that still interests me is the one that says: "Johnny Lingo gave eight cows to Sarita’s father." And I don’t need to have it in writing. I’m reminded of it every time I see a woman belittling her husband or a wife withering under her husband’s scorn. I want to say to them, "You should know why Johnny Lingo paid eight cows for his wife."
Johnny Lingo wasn’t exactly his name. But that’s what Shenkin, the manager of the guest house on Kiniwata, called him. Shenkin was from Chicago and had a habit of Americanizing the names of the islanders. But Johnny was mentioned by many people in many connections. If I wanted to spend a few days on the neighboring island of Nurabandi, Johnny Lingo would put me up. If I wanted to fish he could show me where the biting was best. If it was pearls I sought, he would bring the best buys. The people of Kiniwata all spoke highly of Johnny Lingo. Yet when they spoke they smiled, and the smiles were slightly mocking.
"Get Johnny Lingo to help you find what you want and let him do the bargaining," advised Shenkin. "Johnny knows how to make a deal."
"Johnny Lingo! A boy seated nearby hooted the name and rocked with laughter.
"What goes on?" I demanded. "everybody tells me to get in touch with Johnny Lingo and then breaks up. Let me in on the joke."
"Oh, the people like to laugh," Shenkin said, shruggingly. "Johnny's the brightest, the strongest young man in the islands, And for his age, the richest."
"But if he’s all you say, what is there to laugh about?"
"Only one thing. Five months ago, at fall festival, Johnny came to Kiniwata and found himself a wife. He paid her father eight cows!
I knew enough about island customs to be impressed. Two or three cows would buy a fair-to-middling wife, four or five a highly satisfactory one. "Good Lord!" I said, "Eight cows! She must have beauty that takes your breath away." "She’s not ugly," he conceded, and smiled a little. "But the kindest could only call Sarita plain. Sam Karoo, her father, was afraid she’d be left on his hands."
"But then he got eight cows for her? Isn’t that extraordinary?"
"Never been paid before."
"Yet you call Johnny’s wife plain?"
"I said it would be kindness to call her plain. She was skinny. She walked with her shoulders hunched and her head ducked. She was scared of her own shadow."
"Well," I said, "I guess there’s just no accounting for love."
"True enough," agreed the man. "And that’s why the villagers grin when they talk about Johnny. They get special satisfaction from the fact that the sharpest trader in the islands was bested by dull old Sam Karoo."
"No one knows and everyone wonders. All the cousins were urging Sam to ask for three cows and hold out for two until he was sure Johnny’d pay only one. Then Johnny came to Sam Karoo and said, ‘Father of Sarita, I offer eight cows for your daughter.’"
"Eight cows," I murmured. "I’d like to meet this Johnny Lingo."
"And I wanted fish. I wanted pearls. So the next afternoon I beached my boat at Nurabandi. And I noticed as I asked directions to Johnny’s house that his name brought no sly smile to the lips of his fellow Nurabandians. And when I met the slim, serious young man, when he welcomed me with grace to his home, I was glad that from his own people he had respect unmingled with mockery. We sat in his house and talked. Then he asked, "You come here from Kiniwata?"
"They speak of me on that island?"
"They say there’s nothing I might want they you can’t help me get."
He smiled gently. "My wife is from Kiniwata."
"Yes, I know."
"They speak of her?"
"What do they say?"
"Why, just..." The question caught me off balance. "They told me you were married at festival time."
"Nothing more?" The curve of his eyebrows told me he knew there had to be more.
They also say the marriage settlement was eight cows." I paused.
"They wonder why."
"They ask that?" His eyes lightened with pleasure. "Everyone in Kiniwata knows about the eight cows?"
"And in Nurabandi everyone knows it too." His chest expanded with satisfaction. "Always and forever, when they speak of marriage settlements, it will be remembered that Johnny Lingo paid eight cows for Sarita."
So that’s the answer, I thought: vanity.
And then I saw her. I watched her enter the room to place flowers on the table. She stood still a moment to smile at the young man beside me. Then she went swiftly out again. She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. The lift of her shoulders, the tilt of her chin the sparkle of her eyes all spelled a pride to which no one could deny her the right. I turned back to Johnny Lingo and found him looking at me. "You admire her?" he murmured. "She...she’s glorious. But she’s not Sarita from Kiniwata," I said.
"There’s only one Sarita. Perhaps she does not look the way they say she looked in Kiniwata." "She doesn’t. I heard she was homely. They all make fun of you because you let yourself be cheated by Sam Karoo."
"You think eight cows were too many?" A smile slid over his lips. "No. But how can she be so different?"
"Do you ever think," he asked, "what it must mean to a woman to know that her husband has settled on the lowest price for which she can be bought? And then later, when the women talk, they boast of what their husbands paid for them. One says four cows, another maybe six. How does she feel, the woman who was sold for one or two?" This could not happen to my Sarita."
"Then you did this just to make your wife happy?"
"I wanted Sarita to be happy, yes. But I wanted more than that. You say she is different This is true. Many things can change a woman. Things that happen inside, things that happen outside. But the thing that matters most is what she thinks about herself. In Kiniwata, Sarita believed she was worth nothing. Now she knows she is worth more than any other woman in the islands." "Then you wanted -"
"I wanted to marry Sarita. I loved her and no other woman."
"But —" I was close to understanding.
"But," he finished softly, "I wanted an eight-cow wife."
Saturday, December 08, 2007
"Why do you always do that?", she asked. (sighing a little under her breath afterwards)
And you know?
She was right....
So it turns out that it wasn't always a case of life always putting me in these situations after all!
Seven words from a close friend, and finally it's a little clearer. That's what having kids must do for you - the uncanny ability to cut through the bullshit to the heart of the matter. :)
That I would continue to put myself in the same situation beggars belief, and although in fairness the situations haven't always started identically - the end has been suspiciously similar.
The scary thing is that it is entirely possible that the outcome will always be the same, and that Green Street Girl's sister might have hit the nail on the head; all whilst sitting ever so calmly in a lounge chair, one warm Friday evening in Anderson's Bay.
Not the most obvious place for an epiphany, but the girl was always smart beyond her years.
But to my credit - I've always known that fact :)
The verdict is in - and the grass is greener on the other side of the fence - or perhaps, just at first glance.
Today I find myself in front of my brothers computer in very hot and sunny Dunedin. Last Wednesday I flew home on the quiet to catch up with IG, who just happened to be 40 yesterday, surprising my parents in the process.
As usual with a trip home I find myself spread a bit thin - wishing I had more time before my flight back to Auckland on Sunday. But all that said, since Wednesday I have had a serious job offer, registered my Capri, taken photo's of the Knopp ladies at play, eaten a shed-load of BBQ meals, and enjoyed myself far too much.
Even with this all going on I managed to write a post down on a piece of paper last night. The thing is - I've lost it - and it's really started to bug me. It said exactly what I wanted it to say, and now the words I write just aren't enough. I just hope I can find that damn bit of folded A4 paper before I go home!
So - until then - I'm having to retrace my steps. Grrrrr
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I never know where this stuff comes from - but when it does I'm glad I'm near a computer.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Unfortunately, finding that ever elusive off switch somewhere on your kids body is just another pipe dream.
I have a dream people - a dream of a life without complications, mortgage payments, or responsibilities. Imagine all the people - we could join our friends, and run away together with copious bottles of wine and great conversation, with nothing but time to burn - what a wonderful world that would be. Ask not what you can do with your dreams, but what they can do for you.
Hangovers and plagiarism optional, obviously. My dream - my rules - ok? :)
Falling in and out of bars
Trying to get some explanation here
For the way some people are
How did it ever come so far?
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
but if you think you know me
The things I say
mean as much
as the things I don't
You cant see inside me
read my mind - make me something else.
I exist - regardless
I seem - as I project to others
unknown even to myself
The things we hold back
make us complete - give us balance, you see
If you take the time
that even though I'm different
In reality - I'm just like you.
Friday, November 30, 2007
To this day I remember learning some Loverboy songs on my first guitar - knowing in my heart the band was so cool.
I wonder, even now, if I have any idea what cool is?
If you have to ask, the answer is probably no.
The first album I brought was a Beach Boys LP, and today that stacks up pretty well in the credibility stakes - but, if you asked me at the time I would have lied and mentioned something like Pat Benatar, The Cars or Kiss.
At fifteen if someone had played me some Stones, Led Zep, Rainbow, Springsteen or Sabbath, I know I would have hated it. For the same reason today, I try not to mock the latest boy band effort on mainstream radio or tv, even though I can hear my inner child trying his hardest.
When it comes down to it, I guess the secret of musical chi is listening to a lot of different genre's - and being honest about your love of music - even if it is the Backstreet Boys.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
For those who missed TV One's Close Up on Tuesday night, here is a brief account of the item, arguably the second most important event that happened in New Zealand in the previous 48 hours, from John Christiansen of Mt Albert: "Nicky Watson lost her chihuahua. Well, after numerous clips of Nicky nearly falling out of various dresses followed by clips of Nicky wandering around day and night with torch in hand calling out for her little lost pet, the interviewer finally sat down for a little heart-to-heart with Ms Watson. Recounting her tale of woe Nicky, voice strained with overuse and emotion, says, 'I must have called his name a million times', to which the interviewer kindly responds, trying to empathise: 'You're hoarse.' 'No', replies Nicky sadly, 'my dog'."
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Musically I love the complexity of this tune - it goes in directions you'd least expect, and takes you along for a glorious ride. Is lovely to think that people can still identify with a tune written over 40 years ago; perhaps because true love never goes out of style.
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I'll make you so sure about it
God only knows what Id be without you
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The caller went on to mention that she had saved $300 for the trampoline, but would have to arrange a hire purchase agreement to raise the deficit in order to afford the computer.
I thought about her quandary; more specifically around the financial burden a computer would add once the interest on the loan was repaid. Still - through these thoughts, something was bothering me.
The caller hung up eventually, and the advertisements started to play - the first, ironically, for a firm that loaned money. The sales pitch was that if you borrowed money, your kids Christmas would be a lot more enjoyable. The muted response of the disappointed child giving way to the excited scream for the gift they really wanted played in the background; I started to feel more than a little angry.
When a parents love is measured by their ability to provide their children with "worthy" gifts, I wonder what lesson it teaches us. Not one I care to learn anyway.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
1) So I could be here...
This video always make me smile. The crowds, the music. Amazing that this is the era of the new romantic genre. I brought Born to Run in the late 80's - and I still love the album. Bruce is the best.
The screen door slams, Mary's dress sways
Like a vision she dances across the porch. As the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that's me and I want you only
Don't turn me home again, I just can't face myself alone again
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Imagine - If your dad had an horrific accident whilst testing a forerunner to the space shuttle, and your mum had a horrific accident whilst parachuting, and both had to be reconstructed with bionics afterward - wouldn't you look twice before crossing the street? I know I would.
With all this pre-teen angst burning in the recesses of my mind - I tuned into the new "re-imagined" Bionic Woman on TV. Good news - the New Bionic Woman has exorcised all those demons of old. The bad plots, bad bad BAD writing and one (count em - ONE) dimensional characters, have taken away my pain of unrequited love for Jamie and Steve. I thank you New Bionic Woman.
There is however, an unexpected problem - It appears in all this confusion that I can no longer stop watching the new show. No-one is more horrified than I. Dog my Cats indeed!
But why why why???
Is it because I'm waiting for the scripts to get better ? (unlikely)
Perhaps I'm waiting the plot to arrive in an upcoming episode?
(Who can tell - so far no sign)
The thought that I might have a thing for the new (note: new spelling) Jaime Sommers, is keeping me up at night. The idea that this latest hussy could replace the lovely Lindsay Wagner is abhorrent to my 70's sensibilities.
It's a complicated plot type thing people - you just wouldn't understand. :)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I've been losing on the sleep front recently. Being a night owl doesn't help when your alarm wakes you at 0600. I have to admit the mornings have been pretty rough of late.
But, you know, I've come to realise - if I could just bottle and sell the sleep I get between hitting the snooze button every morning, I'd be a very, very rich man.
I live for those four - five minute spaces of nirvana between presses. 6:20am comes all too soon.
I so need a clock that allows you to snooze forever!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
"Make your own luck" she said.
I had no idea what she meant, but the have words stuck with me for over 15 years.
"You'll never run with the gangsters, but you're not a lucky person - you must make your own luck. Remember you saw me in the year of the Horse."
And then she was gone, leaving a memory - a moment I cant forget.
These are the memories that stay with you, along with all the others you'd rather forget. The missed opportunities, viewed with 20:20 hindsight are the worst - times when different decisions could have shaped a different life - if one was so inclined.
What will be - will be, was the way I looked at life. I didn't realise that through this all, I was waiting for luck to make me.
It's funny that some people would think I plan too much, when in the harsh light of day, I know I never planned at all. Drifting, I took what was offered - maybe more, and for the longest time that was fine. Yes, I know what's done is done. Yes - I know you cant go back and do it over again. But that's the problem isn't it. Knowing all this doesnt make it any better.
I guess the saving grace for us all is the knowledge that part of coping in this life, involves a certain acceptance of who we are - not what we could have been.
Perhaps you find yourself asking;
How do I measure up?
Am I a good person?
Are my motives pure?
The questions we ask differs for each of us. Some people, true to their form, never ask these questions of themselves: we are all so different.
All those words of comfort are fine and dandy, but all the acceptance in the world is cold comfort, when we know the past is set in stone. Perhaps this is the only real truth we have.
But, when life affords you look at what could have been, it's harder to accept a different outcome - realising it was your own fault for not making your own luck a little more often.
The gypsy was right - I just didn't quite understand until now.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
At the end of a nasty cold - i shrugged off my need for sleep, and ventured out into the sun in search of a toasted sandwich.
Our local mall surely has the worst cafe's in Auckland. I often find myself traveling far from home in search of good food coupled with a good atmosphere - it's a futile task. Such a places belong in television sit-coms, where the couch in the middle is always available for your friends: never the twain shall meet.
When I ordered my cheese/ham/onion toasted sandwich, I was full of high hopes. These hopes were dashed as the tragedy unfolded in front of my very eyes: the ham was missing.
Things however, had improved since the last time I had ordered here; once after ordering a burger from the cafe blackboard menu, the cafe presented me with a double eggs benedict.
So - who should I be today? Should I eat my ham-less sandwich in the hope that there was a lesson to be learn't here - by taking less would life offer me something more, somewhere else? Should I instead send back the toasted sandwich for a ham insertion procedure - full knowing the risks of sending food back to ANY kitchen.
As the miliseconds passed, I realised that I simply pick the fights I want to win, and although I should always take people to task for their inactions - I'd rather they take themselves instead; another battle I can never win, no matter how much I wish I could.
And to think this post started out about food.
Friday, November 16, 2007
The numinous mysteries that once seemed so distant and unreal, threatening clarity in the presence of a truth entertained - not in youth - but only in its passage.
I feel these words, (as if their meaning were weight being lifted from me) knowing that you will read them and share my burden, as I have come to trust no other.
That you should know my heart, look into it, finding there the memory and experience that belong to you (that are you) is a comfort to me now as I feel the tethers loose and the prospects darken for the continuance of a journey that began not so long ago, and which began again with a faith shaken - strengthened by your convictions.
If not for which, I might never have been so strong now, as I cross to face you and look at you - incomplete, hoping that you will forgive me for not making the rest of the journey with you.
Chris Carter - Memento Mori
Thursday, November 15, 2007
On prime time news they devote nearly two minutes on how to wash hands, at the same time telling me that 58 percent of men don't after going to the bathroom. What they fail to mention is that the highest concentration of fecal matter is on the taps in that very same bathroom. So do you - or don't you?
They are planning to ban private fireworks sales - no doubt in an attempt to protect us from ourselves - preferring that we pay to see professional displays - when if fact, more people were injured at professional shows this year.
I read somewhere that Intelligent Design, is raising its head again, and somewhere else that it would take twenty years to get a man on the moon again (if we got them there in the first place). Maybe we shouldn't aim so high? Can you feel it happening around you? the averageness of it all...
For all our gains here on Earth - Of late I feel we are devolving as a species. Perhaps it's because there's not enough lead in our diet? Perhaps because we create a society where stupid people aren't allowed to kill themselves by seeing how many fireworks they can light in their mouths?
We are encouraged to be average. In a society where average is king (and wrong is someone else's fault and failure is fine), expectations seem lowered year by year. There exists a tribe who's whole dogma is to create a "one size fits all" society, where no one has to worry about anything anymore. Wrapped in cotton wool - protected from self-harm, there is no life - and little way forward.
In this society it seems the television show Californication shouldn't be allowed to exist. What a load of bollocks. They have to ban something this week I guess.
There should be MORE shows where Nuns (in dream segments) offer blow jobs - where people dare to show their inadequacies, and their desire to evolve, improve if you will.
And to those who strive to show the rest of us the way to live, using their bland and boring lives lives as an example; I have to say - a big Fuck You - while I still can. Because you can bet, if we don't all stand up for what we believe in , they'll have us all burning witches before too long - just wait and see. Puritans have a fine track record, when there are so many infidels for the furnace.
In the land of the lotus eaters, time plays tricks on you.
One day you're dreaming, the next your dream has become your reality.
It was the best of times, if only someone had told me.
Mistakes were made, hearts were broken, harsh lessons learned
My family goes on without me - while I drown in a sea of pointless pussy
I don't know how I got here, but here I am -
Rotting away in the warm California sun.
There are things I need to figure out - for her sake at least.
The clock is ticking - the gap is widening -
She wont always love me - no matter what.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Not exactly a boy band. Facial hair everywhere - no half arsed 5 o'clock shadows.
Session muso's that can actually play instruments, and god forbid, write their own music.
Download this on iTunes or wherever - turn up the volume to 11 (it's just one louder), and dream of a time when sweaty overweight hairy men had a chance in this world - if only they could find the right gold medalion.
Gotta love those power chords :) Steve Lukather was my first guitar hero.
I'm not an Elvis fan, I'm a Beatles fan - so my dalliance with the Stones is tenuous at best.
Never one to sing "Sympathy with the Devil", I prefer Tori Amos's version of Angie. Am I speaking loud enough ?
The original was great - the added choir, overproduced rubbish IMHO.
But today this is a good temperature check of where I am.
And with any luck - still waiting for what I need.
Sorry about the vid, I wanted a nice version - but like the man said - You cant always get what you want....
Friday, November 09, 2007
What if life was like a skydive gone wrong - how would we react to the moment?
Hurtling through life, aware of an all too certain outcome, would we live each moment as it comes, consoling ourself with a"So far - so good" attitude to our altitude?
Should we perhaps plan to enjoy each moment of the fall - feeling the wind rushing past our ears - planning a swoop or turn in mid-air just for the thrill, making more of the experience?
I suspect a significant number of us would simply be paralyzed with fear, hoping that by doing nothing, it would be out of our hands - perhaps even praying that the fall would last forever.
I'd like to plan a little. I guess I'm driven that way, but by what - I cannot (or will not) say.
NFG mentioned on Wednesday that perhaps I plan too much, that I should live more in the now - I'm paraphrasing her parachuting; she was way, way more eloquent. And uncomfortably close to making a decent point I hasten to add.
I have absolutely no idea about so many things. I am however a highly functioning idiot - not quite a savant unfortunately. If you knew me, you would perhaps make the mistake of thinking I was normal - here you get the crazy thoughts that plague me before I drift off to sleep - the idioting musings that promote giggles when in like minded company. It may seem at times that I am anything but balanced, BUT dammit I know I'm not alone in this state of being!
Just the other day, on a flight back from Christchurch, I overheard a guy in his mid forties talking to his mate in the seat next to him.
"You know I think my life stopped at 26 - no matter how the years have past; I never felt any older or wiser."
His mate nodded in agreement - sullenly reaching for his bag in the overhead locker, as he suddenly realised he too was stuck, waiting to evolve....
Quote from here:
No purpose or place.
We have no Great War. No Great Depression.
Our Great War's a spiritual war... Our Great Depression is our lives.
We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires,
movie gods, and rock stars.
But we won't.
And we're slowly learning that fact.
And we're very, very pissed off.
I sometimes wish I could be someone different; an indifferent skydiver, who would have planned, and placed a huge mass of down pillows to cushion the fall before he hopped on the plane - not to stop the inevitable; just to make the ending worth waiting for.
There i go planning again - damn - I hate it when she's right :)
Monday, November 05, 2007
Never apologise - it's a sign of weakness, says Gibbs.
Later, much later, we learn this is not necessarily a golden rule, and that friends are afforded an exception of sorts; but generally, the rule still stands.
I was brought up by a generation who taught children were to be seen and not heard, so what do I really know? The rules these days are written in quicksand, changing with the tide of whimsy. After hearing these pearls of wisdom from a TV character who is a mentor to many, I sometimes wonder; do we loose more than we gain when we say sorry?
Where people appreciate honesty over accuracy the answer is easy, but when the world has evolved/devolved - the question remains the same - but has the answer changed?
I may not know, but I WANT to know.
I guess that every now and again, when curly questions raise their ugly little heads, it would be nice to have someone you respect, listen to your concerns and discuss the finer points of corporate ethics. But perhaps in the interim I'll stick to what I know.
While on the topic of mentors - I'd like to learn how to write; really write. I wonder if it is a skill that we are born with, or perhaps something that could be nurtured from a blank slate? Some would surely profess, I write therefore I am a writer; but I change the oil in my car - and that doesn't make me a mechanic.
When I look here, and I'm constantly amazed - I wonder if someone out there can make lemonade out of my lemons. If writing (well) is a gift, a talent you are born to, perhaps those who prefer to apologise need not apply to mentor this mess :)
A brutal answer will suffice, albeit with little ice cream on top please.
Friday, November 02, 2007
The email was one of those "send them on" types - but I have to admit, I never do.
A couple of years back however, I decided that I was going to tell the few people capable of hearing the words, exactly what they meant to me. It was important to me, but at the same time, once said, I really didn't feel the need to repeat it again - well, maybe not in so many words.
Perhaps it's my Aries nature, but for better or worse I always say what I feel, usually when I'm feeling it. For the rest of my time on the planet I'm more likely to give you shit, or take the piss - perhaps pausing to be ever so slightly more honest after a bottle of wine; increasing more so after two.
So the lesson here, is not to get me drunk unless you want the truth -
And NFG? Simply said girl, I love you to bits.
And for that, a single drink - I don't need.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Anyway, pleased with my "off the cuff" revelation (and not blurting out Americas Next Top Model instinctively), I was surprised that the instructor responded with "Oh - those shows are both so cynical". Those who know me would be shocked to learn that I was totally lost for words; devoid of any witty reply.
This whole episode has obviously left me emotionally scarred, as recently I made a list of the TV shows I love to watch when I have time. It turns out that at first glance, most do seem cynical and dark. There is however a constant theme of redemption running through most of the shows - which is probably the reason why I watch them. You have to love flawed characters with good intentions - especially when you don't tolerate them in real life :)
So - My Top 10 Shows (in no apparent order)
Life on Mars
Americas Next Top Model - Tyra Mail!!!
And while I'm still in my cynical space, feel free enjoy this clip that Gyro Stan sent me.
Cats can change - believe me - they just have to want to change :)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
After all my concerns over my work life - out of the blue I got a call from someone I trust, and got an interesting look at a possible outcome to my current work concerns. I cant say too much at the moment, as a lot of stuff is being juggled - any you just don't want to upset those balls while they're flying through the air.
On the home front I'm still working nights; which pretty much stuffs up all of my days. My folks are arriving on Friday, so I can only hope my body clock gets back on track sooner, rather than later, although I wouldn't bet on that.
In the meantime Karsten sent me a photo of his family and their 2CV, which I slammed in a roundabout way a few posts back. Karsten - you rock, and your car - well I'd have to say it's so damn ugly it's cute. :)
Friday, October 26, 2007
I love when people surprise. I live for those moments when people go against type; when that knock on the door comes from someone you don't expect, or that someone who manages to totally reinvent your perception of them in an instant of time.
I like it even more - because it's rare.
People hardly ever surprise me these days, but even the smallest of revelations can make my day. And I realize I've been missing that lately.
I saw something the other day that pretty much sums up this whole writing thing for me. Especially when you realize that this blog is only a small part of who I am, and you don't always see the parts that balance me.
We are here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. - Natalie Goldberg
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I'm not sure - maybe this is just a end of the year thing, but in the past I always seemed to have more targets set, my progress measured by them being ticked of my list.
I think the issue was brought home to me last night, after a discussion with Dufus.
I have been tasked with something called "Network Health Checks". This job involves finding ways of measuring the "health" of our network and driving processes to improve the customer experience. In short; I find stuff that's wrong and try and get the groups concerned to do something about it. Already I have come across some areas where things could easily be improved but it's not my job to do the work that could make those benefits, and those other groups- well, lets say they believe they have bigger fish to fry.
The second thing I became aware of, is that during my search for solutions to this, and many other problems found, I have shifted my focus from my "business as usual"(day to day) work - and as a result I have found myself on the back foot in my own work space - not a good realization to have but I'm in good company - our group is in free-fall at the moment.
So, for the first time in five years, I'm questioning where I am right now, work-wise. As I moved here primarily for my work - it's scary that this may now be a motivation for me to move on. To where though, is less certain.
By a complete fluke I was watching this speech on You tube the other day;
These are the sort of speeches that make you wonder if you should be somewhere else, not settling for something less, at the best of times. But it my current frame of mind, lets just say the feeling is more urgent.
I'm not saying I'm definitely leaving yet, but in all honesty the need to stay must come from more than monthly paycheck. I have great friends here - but as time goes on, and they all move on with their lives I feel increasingly, less a part of the whole life experience, and more like a sideshow that refuses to end. That may be a sign in itself.
Then again - after a good nights sleep, everything could be a whole lot better.
I'll let you know when all this madness ends.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Whether, or how you choose you use it - is obviously another story.
Real musicians can perform live, with no lip syncing. This is real talent - not something less manufactured for mass consumption.
Through your weakest moments to leave them behind you
Returning nightmares only shadows
We'll cast some light and you'll be alright
4. Lancer Evolution and Impreza WRX
A hard-won reputations earned on the gravel roads of the WRC has been all but obliterated by the hordes of Japanese import WRXs and Evo's that flooded into the country and were bought by dickheads who instantly lower them and slap on drainpipe-sized exhausts that make them sound like a donkey farting through a trumpet. Based on bland, base-model econoboxes that only your grandmother would drive, the irony is that the sort of people who buy these cars wouldn't be seen dead in granny's car, unless, of course, it was festooned with ridiculous, tacked-on wings and scoops.
The Governator is to blame. Mr. Schwarzenneger was the first "civilian" to buy a road-going Hummer, inspiring the idiotic idea that the world really needed a huge, lumbering waste of resources with less room inside than a vehicle half its size. Eventually someone realised the H1 was actually a piece of crap, and a "smaller" model was released, the H2, which was nothing more than a cynical marketing exercise on wheels. Usually on 22-inch chrome wheels, which only added to its spectacular pointlessness. Now with the advent of the cheaper, smaller but still bigger than a house, H3 even more wannabe gansta-rappers can afford to flaunt their lack of taste and intelligence in the most spectacular fashion imaginable.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
It was written by Philip Matthews from New Zealand Listener Magazine.
If they complain - I'll take it down immediately.
Its just an interesting article - if not somewhat controversial.
Article starts here;
The Interview: John Shelby Spong
This week, John Shelby Spong arrives in New Zealand to promote his new book, Jesus for the Non-Religious, and to give talks on "progressive Christianity". Why does the retired Episcopalian bishop and "moral activist" continue to attract so much controversy - even death threats?
By Philip Matthews
Ahead of New Zealand you toured Australia, where Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen banned you from every church in his diocese.
He does that everytime I come. It's actually wonderful publicity. The people that I want to reach are the people that he repels. The Sydney Anglicans are unusual - they're almost biblical fundamentalists to a fault. It's one of my favourite cities in the world,
and the church is almost irrelevant. You're promoting "religionless Christianity", but don't some people need the miracles, the supernatural element? And
can you blame them? No, but religion can't be based on what people need. If
Christianity is not based on truth, then I don't think it's got much of a future.
You've got the Roman Church claiming that they have the infallible Pope
and you've got the Protestant churches claiming that they have an inerrant
Bible. Both of them are looking for security systems, and I think Christianity
calls us to venture into the unknown. Far from giving me security, it gives me
courage to embrace the insecurity of life and not fall apart.
In the new book, you say that "the Christianity that is now emerging in America and the Third World is some- thing with which I do not choose to be identified". How does your version differ?
It differs in almost every way. I don't believe that anybody can tell another
person who God is. I don't think a horse can tell you what it means to be human.
I don't think a human being can tell you what it means to be God. The kind of
religion that I see emerging is hysterical.
In the US, if you're in the right-wing religion, you support George W Bush
and I find him the worst President I've ever lived under. You're in favour of the
war in Iraq, which I regard as totally immoral, a disaster. I have a daughter
who has done three tours in that war. She's a Marine. That's existential for me.
That's not abstract.
Hasn't every US President since Jimmy Carter been closely identified with
He was a born-again Christian, but he was also a person who didn't use
his religion to hurt other people. He was a magnificent human being. He was a
Southerner who was in favour of full equality for people of colour, full equality for women.
His religion is one I'm very comfortable with.
Where does Hillary Clinton fit?
If you know her personally, you know that she comes out of the Methodist social gospel
part of her religious background. She's deeply committed. It's not something
she wears on her shoulder and it's not something she will run on the basis of,
but you scratch her and she's a John Wesley-type Christian.
I think that the religious mentality has severely gone down in American politics.
Bush tried to rev up the religious vote by keeping Terri Schiavo alive after she was
brain-dead. There was great disgustabout that and people said, "If that's
what religion means, I don't want any part of it."
When you visited Christchurch in 2003, 29 local Anglican vicars signed a protest statement against you.
That doesn't concern me at all. I was welcomed by the Dean of the Cathedral and the bishop
- the bishop happens to be a close friend of mine. There are going to be people
who object to anybody. When George Bush comes to Australia, there are going
to be wild protests. I might even join 'em!
I've had 16 death threats in my life and none of them have come from an
atheist or a Buddhist. They've come from Bible-quoting true believers.
Religion is sometimes a very negative force in people's lives. It covers up a
lot of hostility.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
I want to find a better version of Rosanna, because as much as I like that damn song, the thought of it is actually better than the song itself: So overproduced and muddy....
To make it worse I've now heard that there is an SACD version of the Album Toto IV. Why would I just get my hopes up? I know that the only place to listen to Rosanna was in the 80's on a crappy 3 in 1 Stereo, full knowing that when I just saved the $700 for that cheap CD player - it would sound that much better.
Or course it didn't: I just didn't know that yet.
Yesterday I walked outside, after a sudden downpour.
The sun had broken through minutes before,
the evaporating water on the concrete was rising around my feet.
The sun shone warmly on my face.
On the air, I smelt the first scent of hay,
As a warmth cascaded through me like an electric current
I found a spring in my step,
as I walked to the mailbox.
It was a lovely break from Rosanna. :)
See what I mean?
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I did a presentation to management at nine this morning, after four hours sleep - I went home today at midday and slept until 4pm; I have no idea what day it is, or if I should even be hungry. Tonight it's more of the same - I'll start at 11pm and will probably finish around 6am on Thursday (I think).
It's time like this that you realise how you protect yourself with the routine of your life, and how fragile that inner peace can be when that routine is gone; especially when the littlest road blocks come your way. I know this will be all over by November, but I am now beginning to see that I am becoming increasing inflexible to these changes in my life, and I really need to fight that; if you can't bend, you break.
Though all this madness I do however, have flashes of clarity - I guess the lucid moments are an attempt to make sense out of this supposed chaos. I look forward to some sort of normal service resuming shortly; as probably, will you.
Found this song a while back. I found it as background music to this clip.
It's a simple song to play, and on days like these the simple songs are the best.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Before any of you who know me faint, or yell "finally" to the heavens - I should point out I'm talking about this;
Yes - I've always been a PC geek. I've built, and repaired more IBM compatible PC's, than I care to remember - but I've given that all away: I've finally moved to Apple - the 24" iMac to be precise.
I finally came to this conclusion because this week I was selected to write a review on a piece of software for the iMac called Parallels. Parallels is a program that allows you to run Windows XP or Vista inside a "Window" on an Apple Mac. The program runs Windows apps like a dream, but I must admit when XP finally booted on my Mac I felt that I had sold out - and somehow, in the process, let my new computer down.
Five years ago when IG mentioned buying a Mac I laughed at him - perhaps he had more vision than me. All I know now is that I couldn't see myself going back to a IBM Compatible box computer, and I don't think I'm alone in that.
Seriously folks - If you're sick of virus scanners, after-market firewalls, spyware, and daily security updates take a look at Apple next time you upgrade. If you're anything like me you wont regret the move - or the possibility of falling in love again.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I'm not sure I like the mall experience.
Full of people who walk too slow, and stop suddenly - inviting an accident.
There's a distinct lack of privacy, and at the same time, a false sense of space.
When I was walking through our local mall today, I was frustrated by all those holding me back. It wasn't that I had somewhere to go as such. They were just moving at a different pace I guess.
It's funny how a trip to the mall can become a metaphor for ones life - if you look a little too closely. I think I liked it a little better when my focus was slightly off.
Friday, October 12, 2007
In order to cope with the tedium, and danger of running on the streets after dark, I brought a treadmill and have wired up my laptop to watch bite size movies while I run; at least until my fitness improves enough to keep up with all the other runners in the neighborhood. This may take some time. I am a pathetic running man.
This week I've been running through Scrubs episodes (so to speak). Next week perhaps Frasier - I don't know yet, I'll see where the muse takes me.
Anyway; one of the things I like about Scrubs is the music. As I warmed down tonight I caught this song at the end of an episode. Although it may be a bit of a downer - subject wise, It really is a lovely little song, and worthy of a listen.