Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I know I should be more concerned about a lot more important things in the world, but while reading about the Academy Awards I noticed the following photo;

Reese 2007 Oscars

I've blogged on Reese Witherspoon before, so I wont bore you with any more on the subject. Suffice to say, that after looking at the picture from last year - I just want to give the girl a big hug. The eyes just give it away - she looks so damn sad.

Reese 2006 Oscars - a "little" less miserable

I really hope the 2007 photo is a case of bad timing, and I know we cant be happy all the time. It's just that I hate seeing people like this - Isn't it strange how the littlest things can pull at your heart, yet bring out the best instincts in you?

If only we could develop a similar empathy for some random person struggling for survival in the third world...well, that would be truly amazing.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The more things change...

Back in the mid nineties Benetton released a series of billboards that raised some serious issues; the universal theme being that, fundamentally we are all the same.

The image above was particularly controversial, but for the life of me I wonder if the controversy doesn't actually say more about those complaining, than the message itself.

These two billboards were also doing the rounds at the time - I saw the cross one for the first time yesterday, and sadly I cant help but think that it's just as relevant today, as it was ten years ago. We seem to learn nothing as time goes on.

Where am I going with this?


The Maori Party is calling for limits on immigration from Western countries, accusing the Government of trying to stop the ``browning of New Zealand''. Party founder and co-leader Tariana Turia said the party would begin formulating policies to tackle the issue. It was most concerned about traditional source countries like Australia, Canada and Great Britain...... ``We are still waiting for a government to address the skill deficiencies of the '80s that they claimed were there. We (Maori) have a relatively high birth rate. The prediction is that by the year 2050 we are going to see a considerable browning-up of New Zealand with Maori, Pacific and Asians and maybe this is the way the Government combats it.''

Someone once said "You are what you love, not what loves you."
I wonder; If that's true is the reverse true also?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Be kind

Britney J Spears

I want to say something, but the words seem to be off marinating some future post. So it appears that all I am left with is the desire to write something.

As the pain in my jaw ebb's I have become aware that for some people the pain of this life goes on. I'm sure, unless you've been living in a cave for the last week, you would see what Britney Spears has been going through of late. Dooce has written a lovely post, and frankly it's a breath of fresh air to see some support, rather than jumping on the bandwagon of ridicule - only to jump off when things take a tragic turn; Cue Anna Nicole Smith.

As Harold took a bite of Barvarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be ok. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves, in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank god for Barvarian Sugar Cookies. And fortunately when there aren't any cookies we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind or loving gesture, or a subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort.........and we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies and subtleties which we assume only accessorize our days are in fact here for a much larger, and nobler cause: they are here to save our lives.

Rent this film.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Music on a Friday

I'd like to say - that people, people can change anything they want to.
And that means everything in the world.

Show me any country, and there'll be people in it.
Its time to take the humanity back into the centre of the ring, and follow that for a time.
Ya know, think on that; without people you're nothing.

Joe Strummer

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Sorry about the lack of posts this week. I've been working nights which pretty much means that during the day I'm just too damn tired to feel creative. And if I'm not creative - I'm just not anything - If you understand where I'm coming from.

I did, however, contemplate writing about my loathing of all knives and forks, plastic - especially in the context of the mall food court, which is possibly just the modern mans food trough; but ya know - nope.

Part of the problem is I'm in pain. Not the "I'm leaving you" variety - or even the "Did I poke you in the eye with my plastic fork" type pain either. The pain I'm currently experiencing is the grinding metal on metal ache that wont stop; even with expensive over the counter drugs.

You see - years ago I used to worry about things, and all was good with the world - well apart from the excessive worrying i guess.

Then one day I concluded that worrying was a stupid thing and decided to stop. I say stupidly because my body apparently has different ideas on what is best for me. It appears that subconsciously, my body has taken over, and must worry for me. All this without my consent I hasten to add.

The other morning, after a particular nasty, stressful night at work I awoke to find my jaw had decided to clamp itself shut during my sleeping hours: sometimes I think it would be just easier to worry again.

So - for the last two days the right side of my face has ached incessantly, and all this coupled with broken sleep and high temperature/humidity - makes for a Mark with a very short fuse.

I know that everything should be good in around three days, but until then I'm tired, cranky and not myself at all.

Catch you on the flip side.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Deep Deep Undercover

Today i had to do something incredibly uncomfortable. Stripped of my work ID, I ventured into "enemy" territory to trade up some 025 telecom mobiles.

We use these mobiles when we are working in areas with no Vodafone coverage, and because telecom are turning off their 025 network, and are migrating all their 025 customers to their newer 027 network, we too must upgrade.

I tell you; I felt like a traitor, a spy if you will. In amongst the other members of the public I had to endure countless questions spouting around me like "Is your network better than Vodafone", and alike.... it was hideous!

The worst part of the exercise was paying with my Vodafone credit card - something the sales guy didn't even notice. I walked out of the telecom shop with my large telecom bag - and I couldn't help but feel I needed a nice hot bath to get clean again.

I really, really have to let this go sometime soon!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Zen and the Art of Painting

I've been starting work earlier these days; the trip to the office at 7:30 am is a bitch so I've been getting up at 6am so I can start at 7. The upside of all this, is that i can be home before 5pm, and therefore have more time to myself in the afternoons. The downside is that by the weekends I'm usually tired as hell.

On Saturday morning I slept in, which was a pain, because I had arranged to catch up with "Fireman Sam" to take some photos of her while she was working.

I really enjoy spending time with "Sam", mainly because I actually relax when I'm with her. She has a great depth of character, which makes taking a good photo all that more of a challenge: a challenge I'll admit I'm not up to right now.
Sam is a hell of a lot of fun, and has that neat trick of still being a kid at heart, but having that old soul wisdom to back it all up.
It's been a blessing to have someone like that in my life - the constant threats of a good "slapping" aside, Sam manages to put me in a state of mind to smell the roses every now and again. Her friendship reminds me that one doesn't have to be rich to be wealthy.

Needless to say the photo shoot went out the window as we chatted about life in general, but I managed one half decent shot before we headed out to Frolic for lunch. An excellent way to spend a Saturday morning I think.

Thanks luv :)

Nothing borrowed or blue

For Di :)

Something Old

Something New

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Brooke Fraser

I saw Brooke Fraser, when she debuted for John Mayer a few years ago.

She was amazing live - her band was super tight. I brought her album and loved her songs - but when I later found out she was a Christian, her music just seemed to die for me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against Christians at all - her music just turned out to be something I couldn't relate to. When I thought she was singing about her love for someone else; I identified. Her love for her God was just a bigger ask for me.

She's still an amazing artist tho - play the video. Hopefully you can get past the whole God thing.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The fine art of saying nothing

I was thinking about an old quote the other day. Better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it.
There are a lot of reasons to shut up: least of all to listen.

I also remember someone saying their are two types of people; those who listen, and those who wait for their turn to speak. It's easier to wait to speak I guess - but of late I've been making an effort to listen.

Last year a close friend was trying to tell me something, and following the rules above I was trying to listen, but at the same time another factor was playing out. This friend of mine is not one to talk about these things - and I know that. When the conversation started, I became acutely aware of the speakers discomfort, and at that moment I just wanted it to stop. I wanted the whole moment to disappear and for the earth to swallow me whole. So as the listener, I interrupted and allowed the conversation to end in a tidy manner.
I was relieved, and the situation quickly passed into memory.
The problem is - I couldn't let it go - the memory of that moment still haunts me; and now I know why. I didn't end the conversation just for my friend - I ended it for myself as well.

If I could go back - I'd just shut up and say nothing. Regardless of my own discomfort, these words, once spoken, could not be unsaid.
Now I'll always wonder what I missed out on hearing.

I think it may have been important.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Feb 14 2007

Is it weird that I still have the card that came to my work with those flowers, years ago?
Is it strange the recollection of many different romantic moments are so strong, that the memories themselves are as vivid as the day they were born?
Should I have said yes to moving forward, instead of being comfortable in a moment?
So many paths to take, so many decisions, all leading to this moment in time. Buggery Bollocks!

Anyway, I heard somewhere the only second chance we get is to make the same mistake twice. The film State and Main, if memory serves...

Fonmeister put down her latte, and leaned toward me, as if to impart some important piece of knowledge. "Mark", she said, "If you're gonna go swimming - you're gonna have to get wet". I immediately grabbed a "placid face" from my expression storage area, while thinking of a witty reply - it never came. [Note to self : This one's a smart one. Beware!]
Later that morning, while shopping for DVD's, she recommended Proof to me. On the blurb was the quote "The biggest risk in life is not taking one".
Even DVD's are fucking with me now. :)

Anyhow - I remembered this clip, and I'm beginning to think that Overkill could be my song. Well at least to this point in my life.
Perhaps 14 Feb 2008 will find me in a different space - I look forward to finding out.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Movies and me

This is not me

I've just watched "Stranger than Fiction".

Emma Thompson was amazing as always, and although it got a lot of favourable reviews, I was a bit upset with the ending.
Like The Devils Advocate - I cant help but wonder if cutting the last 2 minutes wouldn't have made a much more satisfying movie, albeit a lot less Hollywood.
Fonmeister would say that it appealed to my sense of melancholy - and to that I would have to fix her with my best wry smile, and dismiss it out of hand.

More about Fonmeister when I'm feeling a little more creative - right now I don't think I could do her justice. :)

And that would not be fair - oh no it wouldn't....

Saturday, February 10, 2007

So how smart are you?

Just follow the instructions - there are no trick questions.

Just because you have to try many many times to complete this simple puzzle does not mean you are thick. Honest!!!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

For Di

Will try and knock a more recent photo out by next Friday. Until then here's a not so old one.

Evana with her "cud cud"

Why Me?

While waiting in line at the express checkout at Foodtown.

Saw: Lady with Greenpeace T-Shirt, wearing pedal-pushers.
Said lady walks up to the counter with recyclable shopping bag, reaches in and brings out organic vegetables and organic milk. Pays with cash.

So wanted to : Throw a whale at her.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

My Recipe Wednesday

Last Saturday I got invited to a pot luck dinner. Because I was a boy, and bound to fuck up, I was given a desert to bring.
I do make a crazy delicious mars bar cheesecake, but of late I've wanted to be known for more than my cheesecake, so I decided to take something a bit different. This steamed pudding went down a treat.

Mum used to make this steam pudding before the advent of the microwave. Back then the dough was placed in a aluminium bowl with a baking paper top held on with string, itself sitting in a simmering pot of water. This recipe got lost for years - but fell out of my Edmonds cook book the other day.

These days it takes 4 minutes in a Microwave. Progress that can finally be measured!


1 Cup Flour
125 grams Sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
50 grams of Butter
1 Egg
1/2 cup of milk


Cream butter and sugar, add egg and beat well.
Add sifted flour and baking powder alternatively with milk.
Mix in sultanas (you choose how many - within reason)

Pour batter into a moderate sized "stick resistant" microwave proof bowl.

Cook on Max power for 4 minutes . Turn out onto a plate while warm.

Oh - you can add a little vanilla essence earlier on in the process, if you're feeling brave.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Excited - moi?

When was the last time you really got excited about something?
I mean really really excited.
When I was eight years old I got very excited about a Raleigh Chopper, but these days, like a drug addict looking for a better fix, its fair to say a a Chopper simply doesn't cut the mustard.

Flat screen ? Nah
New car ? Nah
Games Console, Travel ? Give me a break! It's just not happening.

OK - Maybe if I had a few million in the bank? But ever since that damn gypsy grabbed me in Kings Cross in the 80's.. I know that's not going to happen any time soon. Trust me, regarding money; I'm certain I have a major life lesson to learn before I come into anything significantly financial in nature. Until then I'm happy with what I've got.

If the measure of success in life was excitement I'm not sure I'm making any headway. In fact - I might be going backward.
How to get excited - it cant be that hard a question to answer.

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Time Out

Yes: I know, Exile in Guyville was awesome.
Yes: I know that a lot of people think she's sold out recently. (not me)

But: There's something about girls and power chords, and a songs with a nice hooks.
Plus regarding my last post I have to practice what I preach!

And: I like this song - for all the above reasons (plus it's got swear words, and innuendo).
Liz is still Liz after all.

Liz Phair - Extraordinary (indeed)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

My Conformity

And the musical theme flows on.....

For some reason I've been listening to a lot of music lately. My CD collection has well and truely been dusted off. Once again the sounds of 80's music assaults my neighbourhood on a daily basis. I may be dead by the time you read this post.

Oh well.....with that in mind...

I'm pretty sure one of the the best things we can learn from or younger years is the damage conformity can bring.
I remember High School; we all listened to the same music, drank the same beer, and wore the same clothes.
Everyone was looking for the new fashion to follow - living in mortal fear they would come to school worshiping some fad that died the day before.
I cant remember any souls that braved an alternative lifestyle at that early age; I suspect that conformity may have killed them all.

More recently I remember watching Bowling for Columbine, and listening to Matt Stone's comments on High School;

"They (the teachers) scare you into conforming in school by saying - if you're a loser now, you're gonna be a loser forever . So..... Eric and Dylan ( the killers) .... They called them fags - so you know if I'm a fag now I'm a fag forever . And you wish someone could have grabbed them and gone "Dude - High School's not the end's amazing how fast you lose touch with all those people" ... (but) they just beat it into your head, as early as sixth grade... don't fuck up , because if you do, you're gonna die poor and lonely - and you don't wanna do that........and of course it's completely opposite.. all the dorks at High School go on to do great things and all the really cool guys are, like, living back at home in Littleton as insurance agents ....

Maybe we should embrace everything that makes us unique from each other; temper conformity with an eclectic taste in music, the arts, or whatever is around at the time. It's all about balance i guess.

So - embrace your love of Country music and Speed Metal equally, and perhaps more importantly, everything in between; because punk, goth or any other sub culture is just a another type of conformity as well.

Celebrate your inner dork, so next time you're singing a Back Street Boy's song in the shower - recognise it for what it is, a song you love, and enjoy the moment - instead of dying of shame - wondering if anyone has heard you.

With that in mind - here's a clip of the rock band Live with Country music star Shelby Lynne. A brilliant song, and a good mix of talents. They were probably all geeks in High School!

Friday, February 02, 2007

My Elton Tribute

There's something to be said about regrets.
Looking back over your life, and not liking what you see can be a great motivation for making some changes.
What changes one should make however, aren't always so obvious.
I also wonder if the choices some people make to achieve their goals, are worth it in the long run.
The famous, the A type achievers - I wonder if at the end their regrets aren't larger, simply because their lives are so restricted, and their options limited.
I mean - How "normal" can you be if you're Justin Timberlake or Paris Hilton?
Don't you find it odd that millions "worship" these people when today's Jason Timberlake will possibly be tomorrow's Michael Jackson?
Am I the only one that thinks this a little sick?

Elton John released a video a few years back - that seems to point out some of the concerns mentioned above. It's ironic that Justin Timberlake plays the younger incarnation of Elton. Life imitating Art I guess.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My Emo.

For IG -

Who, while searching for new music to listen to, came across the music of a younger generation, and succumbed to Emo.

We will miss him.

My Dear.

I will have you know;

I am ruthless
Totally untrustworthy
I will leave the oven on
And forget to lock the front door
I will forget our anniversary
I will stay out with the guys
I will make you house smell like "boy's"

Just so you know...

When ladies call me "Dear" - they are not psychic
They are sorely mistaken Goddammit!!!