Monday, April 30, 2007

My Long Weekend.

Having worked all last weekend I arranged to disconnect from reality, and have a four day weekend to catch up on some sleep; It's been great.
Sleeping, for me you see, has always been a type of release. When most stressed I simply curl up in bed and sleep the day away.
This weekend however, a vicious combination of cheese and Biggest Loser reruns on TV have resulted in my dreams taking on an up sized bias. In these dreams I am, how do you say, larger than life; and not in a good way. Now, instead of waking rested and recharged, I wake feeling like crap.
I believe the blame sits primarily with my sporty type friends. These slender types with their ironman, rugby, cricket, hockey lifestyles must have been subconsciously getting to me. I really must remember to ply them with chocolate bars next time I visit.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

End of the Innocence

When IG broke his leg trying to prove he could kill himself on a motorcycle (he couldn't) - I remember Richard Dagg making up some music for him to listen to whilst in hospital. Amongst the various titles of the day was "Mandolin Rain" by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. Bruce's piano style is distinctive to say the least. This particular song featured Bruce, and at the time spoke volumes to me. Now it only services to remind me why some people shouldn't ride motorcycles. It's still a cool song tho, and worthy of a mention...
Also - more user friendly posts coming soon - as soon as the Merlot wears off. Happy Birthday Sweetp! :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Finding your way

Some relationships are complex, some less so.

It's interesting in a way; When those that surround your life embark on new journeys.
Relationships, Marriages, Families, Divorces - a perpetual cycle.
Well- hopefully not divorces.
Sometimes there's room for others outside this cycle of life, although more often than not people couple off and disappear into their newly discovered bliss. Children often come, and for a while friends can still be around, but reality often settles in with a second child; sometimes it's just too hard to dip your toe into the water of your old life - at least until the kids grow up.
Many people I see on findsomeone - complain about the same thing. They come home to New Zealand after an extended OE, only to find all their friends all coupled up with mortgages and families - no more late night parties, even a movie at night can be a stretch - especially if the kids are young, and sitters are hard to come by.
For those left outside, it's a long wait for the kids to grow up. In the meantime one can always jump on another "bus" with younger crowd yet to discover a significant other.
When you see it happening again; you know it's more or less over. The question often asked of ones self is "Do you have to get on the bus yourself, or if you don't - do you get left behind ?"
I believe the important thing is not to settle for something less than you know you want. To everyone who says "you're too fussy" - I ask "Did you take second best?". The response is always no - and I have to believe them.
We all have our chances in life -whether we take them or not, is another question. I used to think you shouldn't push an issue - on refection though - how much pushing could be construed as making your own luck?
Life is a tapestry of sorts; We have no way of seeing the completed article when we start. Some of us stumble along the way, and the design may change mid-stream; but it's our lives, and at the end a wonder to behold, regardless of the path travelled.
And it's not over yet.

Counting Crowes

I'm showing my age here, but this remains a favourite song of times past, and an average temperature check of the day thus far. Mostly the song fits tis all - my walls aren't crumbling yet :)

Step out the front door like a ghost into the fog
Where no one notices the contrast of white on white
And in between the moon and you the angels get a better view
Of the crumbling difference between wrong and right
I walk in the air between the rain through myself and back again
Where? I don't know....

....She walks along the edge of where the ocean meets the land
Just like shes walking on a wire in the circus...

...She knows shes more than just a little misunderstood
She has trouble acting normal when shes nervous...

...She says its only in my head
She says shhh I know its only in my head
But the girl on car in the parking lot says
man you should try to take a shot
Cant you see my walls are crumbling?...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Looking again

I was having lunch today with Painter Girl and Sweetp, and this song from MelC was playing in a background.

My previous experience with faux street beggars in Melbourne aside, I freely admit that there are people who need a helping hand in this world. Although this video is out of sych slightly watch it right through to the end; it may challenge your preconceptions - then again it may not.

Lest we forget

Anzac Day

On every 25th of April, New Zealand and Australia stop to pay their respects to the Eleven and a half thousand New Zealand and Australian ANZAC's that died during the attempts to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915. Over the years this memorial has come to encompass veterans from both First and Second World Wars, and later veterans from Korea, and Vietnam.

I believe the best thing that came out of the fatally flawed Gallipoli campaign, can be readily seen at every remembrance since. People from all walks of life and cultures gather together to give thanks for the freedoms we so often take for granted. For many of us, who have never known war first hand, it is a solemn reminder of what we owe to those who have come before us, and the legacy we must strive to leave for those yet to come.

This day, is swiftly and silently becoming our New Zealand Day.

"They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the evening
we will remember them."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hi - I'm Troy McClure

With over 300 DVDs in my collection, you'd think that there would be a few I haven't seen. What has worried me lately is the increasing number of DVDs I've yet to watch. You would think that with a myriad of choices to make I'd pick a movie I hadn't seen before: You would be wrong.
Lately I seem to be choosing less controversial choices from my collection; movies I've seen many times before. A comfortable fireside companion DVD is the choice de jour. This is a concern primarily because I used to be a different type of movie watcher.

It's important that you know... Hi - I'm Mark J.
You may remember me watching such scenes as the head in the vice scene in Casino, and the Reservoir Dogs ear cutting scene.

Gritty was my modus operandi. Well - perhaps mildly gritty.

Lately the following titles from my collection have been lurking;

The Departed
Blue Velvet
Knife in the Water
and embarrassingly; to a lesser extent
The Constant Gardener.

Sooner or later we all must take the plunge into the unknown.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Five thousand

Who would have thought it.

It's so nice to see some many people dropping in to say hello.

So whether you are a first timer, or a regular visitor - I thank you for taking time to drop by.

Oh - and Sands - lets see if you can summon enough courage to add a comment before the counter hits 10,000. Yeah - I know - I won't hold my breath :)

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. I have wasted the whole of my Saturday working in the bowels of Auckland International Airport fixing what must be the most horrendous fault in my technical life.

Unfortunately there is always tomorrow.... I pity the fool who made this mess for me to clean up - there will be retribution - oh yes there will.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Adult Alternative Me

Question: Am I truly old if all I listen to is adult alternative music?
Or just weird?

OK. So I admit to listening to a lot of dross in the past (and maybe tomorrow). My CD collection definitely has some skeletons, but Radiohead isn't one of them. I do however, have a disproportionate number of Pat Benatar albums....

I love this song - I'm not sure why, because I've very possibly never been in this situation..

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My Fake Plastic Love.
But I can't help the feeling
I could blow through the ceiling
If I just turn and run

Well unless you substitute love for life that is... hmmm
Full lyrics here. I hope you like the song - for, at exactly this moment, I am one with it. Tomorrow however, may be completely another story. At that, my friends, is the story of my life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Birthday

How I normally feel about my birthday

I am a lucky person.
I have friends; a lot of them.
How do I know this?
One day out of the year my phone chirps like a cricket on acid - and continues to spit out text and voice messages of birthday well wishes all day long.
I'm not big on big things - I'm big on little things. The constant calls and emails containing variants of the "you're old" theme is a nice reminder that I'm not alone in the world. Thank you all.
The physical distance that separates us is the price we pay for where we are. While the gifts I received this year were all lovely, i have to say that the one thing I'm certain to remember this year was when my friend "Painter-girl" put her arm around my waist, and we swayed from side to side for a moment as we waited to leave Rachel's house.
Because there's nothing as big as the little things.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Perfect Age

Story One: Today
Visiting Waikato Hospital today on a work related matter, I find myself working in the "sleep lab". Asking the nurse how you get to spend a night in the sleep ward, the possible sleep apnea sufferer looks at the nurse awaiting a simple answer: no such luck. "You get a referral from your GP luv - says she, "You look like a bit of a snorer luv, it's that short neck of yours - a right giveaway that"...."Did ya know there's research that says the low frequency snoring can move aortic plaque to your brain and cause you to stroke out?"

Story Two: Mum re - my grandmothers nursing home.
"God - Mark .....David (a dementia patient) was there the other day; his trousers around his ankles, his pull ups fallen down enough that you could see his butt crack. I was worried he was going to take a dump in the corner of the visitors room!"

Dilemma - Just how long do I want to live?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Why didnt I ?

Ten things I wish I knew when I was twenty-one;

Buy a house and save 10% of you salary.
When good fortune comes your way - take it and cherish it.
Love needs to be acknowledged and nurtured.
Don't stay in the same job too long. You'll get more money and kudos if you keep jumping
Travel early - don't wait too long.
Trust in your abilities, if a new job doesn't give you butterflies in your stomach then it's not enough of a stretch for you.
Make your own luck. Any other sort of luck is random at best.
Being a good person won't make things happen for you - Karma only happens to bad people.
Don't be a drunk - be a connoisseur.
Don't put it off for tomorrow - those opportunities may never come again.

Danny Boy

I'd put this up againt sad kermit's version of "hurt" anyday!

Friday, April 13, 2007


This song from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness always makes me smile. And I'm not being ironic - honest!

Have a lovely weekend folks !

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A cigar is just a cigar

I was talking to IG (who doesn't call me no more) today, and he mentioned of late that my blog seems somewhat melancholic. What IG fails to realise is that although my writing may sometime seem melancholic, its perhaps better classified as nostalgic in nature. Melancholically nostalgic at a stretch!

Like most people my age, I guess I'm a little more concerned about what's goes on around me; I think now, more than ever, I'm starting to look at the world, and in some way, my place in it.

Mythos: Everything was better then than it is now. Reality: I guess not having Sunday trading would be great - that is until I want to go shopping :)

Anyway. On to the Nostalgia!

When I was a child I spent hours looking at the face of my first watch - I can actually remember the name on it - a Nivada - and it was red with a leather strap. I remember it because it was the first present that I ever got that was a grown up gift. Not a toy truck or a kids bike - it was a proper working watch - and it was soooo cool. It was nice - shiny, and so grown up.

From that point life has been, among other things, a journey of wants and desires. Things I wanted but never got, things that I got through hard work, and some things that fell in my lap. I think, after some reflection - yes - I am a perfectionist - and that although I may not have a lot of "stuff", I have nice stuff; often because I've worked hard to make it that way. And I won't apologise for that.

But all that said, I'm trying hard to compromise. I think it's fair to say I am usually the happiest person in the room, but there is more to me than than a smile or a witty comment. Di keeps telling me to embrace the parts of me that my job and surroundings have forced into the forgotten recesses of my mind. My photography, writing, music.

It's an exorcism of sorts, but I'll get there if IG and my other friends care enough to give me a kick in the arse when I get too serious.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Demotivation rules

I usually take sarcasm with a pinch of sugar, but its close cousin sardonic wit, I appreciate a little more. By looking at things in a negative light we are somehow given the opportunity to look at ourselves less critically - and simply go with the flow of self depreciation. Some of the biggest life lessons I've learnt have really hurt - but I'd freely admit that in the long run, they're lessons I appreciate.

Despair have been around a while; you may have already seen the list of de-motivational posters and coffee mugs. You can even create your own posters with a tool on their site.

This is my most recent favourite;

When the winds of change blow hard enough
the most trivial of things
can become
deadly projectiles.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Make it so

Fact or Fiction?

Friendships are complicated beasts. Some are low maintenance, others fall by the side as we move forward. Some are nested in a shared history or time, others are a spur of the moment affairs that carry on.

I've been thinking about my friends lately - this is the first Easter in a while that I haven't been home, and I've been thinking about how things have been going for them, and where I fit now I've been away from Dunedin for nearly five years.

The thing about the success of any any friendships; are that they remain unchanged together, or alternatively changed together. Capisce?
Example: If a low maintenance friendship changes to a high maintenance friendship - unless you want to up-size to a high maintenance friendship as well, then odds on the friendship will fail.
Sometimes friendships will change together with shared experiences, and others will fall into disrepair as people diverge on their own paths. The good news is that sometimes life will throw you a curve, and some old friends can be come new again.

The trick is to find the ones you really care about and try to make them work, even if it's just a little maintenance every now and again; because even a good friendship needs a tweak every once and awhile. Of course this only works if the other party feels the same way about you as well.

Just because you want it - doesn't always make it so.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Mac and Me

Hi Guys

I've been thinking about upgrading my PC lately. It's been about three years since my last upgrade, and I'm wondering if my next PC shouldn't be a Mac....
It's just that I'm not a real gamer now; basically blowing the heads of the undead doesn't do it for me anymore. I find I'm spending much more of my time online, reading and talking to others.
Now I hear that Macs can now run XP within MAC OS X, which is a neat trick - so if I ever felt the need to play Quake or any other FPS, I could do it without any hassles.

So - what I need to know.... are Mac's as good as they say? No virus scanners or spyware hunters robbing me of PC horsepower... it sounds to good to be true...

No OS crashes???? C'Mon - I'm not as green as I am cabbage looking..... :)

Email me if you're too shy to post.



Friday, April 06, 2007

A new creed

Some new commandments to follow. And everyone - remember if each one of us can abstain from killing someone else this year - I'd appreciate it.

Thou shalt not steal if there is direct victim.
Thou shalt not worship pop idols or follow lost prophets.
Thou shalt not take the names of Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Johnny Hartman, Desmond Decker, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or Syd Barret in vain.
Thou shalt not think that any male over the age of 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a peadophile… Some people are just nice.
Thou shalt not read NME.
Thall shalt not stop liking a band just because they’ve become popular.
Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry.
Thou shalt not judge a book by it’s cover.
Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover.
Thall shalt not buy Coca-Cola products. Thou shalt not buy Nestle products.
Thou shalt not go into the woods with your boyfriend’s best friend, take drugs and cheat on him.
Thou shalt not fall in love so easily.
Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls’ pants. Use it to get into their heads.
Thou shalt not watch Hollyoakes.
Thou shalt not attend an open mic and leave as soon as you're done just because you’ve finished your shitty little poem or song you self-righteous prick.
Thou shalt not return to the same club or bar week in, week out just ’cause you once saw a girl there that you fancied but you’re never gonna fucking talk to.

Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were.

The Beatles - Were just a band.
Led Zepplin - Just a band.
The Beach Boys - Just a band.
The Sex Pistols - Just a band.
The Clash - Just a band.
Crass - Just a band.
Minor Threat - Just a band.
The Cure - Just a band.
The Smiths - Just a band.
Nirvana - Just a band.
The Pixies - Just a band.
Oasis - Just a band.
Radiohead - Just a band.
Bloc Party - Just a band.
The Arctic Monkeys - Just a band.
The next big thing - JUST A BAND.

Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-English speaking countries as to those that occur in English speaking countries.
Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches and bling were never part of the four elements and never will be.

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not pimp my ride.
Thou shalt not scream if you wanna go faster.
Thou shalt not move to the sound of the wickedness.
Thou shalt not make some noise for Detroit.
When I say “Hey” thou shalt not say “Ho”.
When I say “Hip” thou shalt not say “Hop”.
When I say "he say, she say, we say, make some noise" - kill me.
Thou shalt not quote me happy.
Thou shalt not shake it like a polaroid picture.
Thou shalt not wish your girlfriend was a freak like me.
Thou shalt spell the word “Pheonix” P-H-E-O-N-I-X not P-H-O-E-N-I-X, regardless of what the Oxford English Dictionary tells you.
Thou shalt not express your shock at the fact that Sharon got off with Bradley at the club last night by saying “Is it”.
Thou shalt think for yourselves.

And thou shalt always kill.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

So this is science fiction?

"Later, in his quarters, Bill sits at his desk, Aurora at his right hand... He affixes the goddess to her prow: this family, every piece just right. No mothers without sons, no fathers losing daughters. Moving forward, toward the Lie of Earth that even he now believes, thanks in large part to his fallen child. He looks at the ship, moving forward with dawn upon her prow, a light breeze and the soft and rosy light, into the future. The dawn she put into his hands, when he feared she was going crazy, with the loveliest light in the back of her eyes, with her tiny hand in his, passing a goddess to him, smiling bashfully, full of love and light, even as the darkness was closing in. The moment in which they promised each other, with Laura standing witness, that everything was going to be okay: she put this dawn in his hand, and then took herself out of it. She handed him the future, a future which no longer includes Starbuck, no longer includes his favorite among all his children. A future he fights for, in large part, for her. Earth: a gift, to replace all the things New Caprica took from Kara and Saul."

Jacob, Television Without Pity.

Now - if I can only convince Jay to watch the pilot. :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Within each of us; lies a child.

I've always loved kids - they are a fascinating insight to ourselves in so many ways. One of the things I've always found interesting is when they develop an awareness of self. By that I mean; when a young child looks at their own photo, and is asked "Who is that?", they almost always reply with their own name - like "That's Georgia", instead of "That's me". Cute me thinks !
As they grow up, children develop a sense of self, and eventually start referring to themselves in that manner.

More recently I've noticed another milestone. My workmate has a young son. Like most boys he's inclined to run around like a madman oblivious to his surroundings - that is - until those surroundings catch up with him. In the past falls have result in cries of pain, and rest assured, the tears are not far behind. Unabashed the little guy turned on the fountains, only to quickly recover, and continue where he left off a few minutes earlier.

That was the story a year ago anyway. When the same lad twisted his ankle on Sunday, he looked at me, and shuffled past quickly to his dads car. Once locked inside you could hear the howls, and you knew there were tears as well.

But mostly you knew was only a short time before they too would be gone, and tears would soon be few and far between.

Some right of passage - eh.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The kid in me.

You can only make something so new. This i realise today, whilst continuing what has become an ongoing saga to rebuild my 1970's Raleigh Chopper. This epiphany came to me today, just as I received the first lot of re-chromed items from the electroplaters. I thought that restoring a car was expensive - but that's just peanuts compared to the projected cost of this bike project.

My brother Scot has the frame in Dunedin - it's currently being re welded and media blasted.
When that's finished it will be etch primed and sent back to Auckland for painting.
Craig has offered to paint it in a new type of high lustre red paint, and I paid someone in the UK $80 for the transfers. Then comes the coat of clear lacquer over the top. Perhaps two layers - I'm not sure yet; and that's just the frame.

Then comes all the ancillary "bits" that I've chromed and restored. The rims have yet to be re-spoked in stainless steel, and the seat has to be re-trimmed. The cranks have to be straightened and the pedals have to be replaced. New tires and brakes are an obvious addition; the list goes on.

Is this project just a pathetic attempt to hold on to one of the major things I wanted at seven years old, or god forbid, something even worse?

More, as revelations come to hand. It might get nasty - oh yes it may...