Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wisdom in a 3 minute soundbite

I've posted some of these words before, but perhaps this clip has some greater truth to it.
Television may not be entirely rubbish after all. I am as shocked as you :)

I still think that to love, and be loved, is the greatest gift life can offer. If you have that, you're a fool to want more - isn't that wealth enough?

It's come to this.

Casey Sheehan - RIP.

AP via Yahoo:

FORT WORTH, Texas—Cindy Sheehan, the soldier’s mother who galvanized an antiwar movement with her monthlong protest outside President Bush’s ranch, said Tuesday she’s done being the public face of the movement.

“I’ve been wondering why I’m killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush,” Sheehan told the Associated Press while driving from her property in Crawford to the airport, where she planned to return to her native California.

“I’m going home for awhile to try and be normal,” she said.

And part of her full blog entry;

Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people. However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children’s children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system..... I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.... Good-bye America are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

It’s up to you now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Endings

A more interesting couple.

Sometimes I find myself looking for different endings to the films I watch.
All too often, in order to fulfill an expectation or a wallet, movie executives dish up what is commonly known as a Hollywood Ending.
Critics hate it, and so do I.
I think most people who saw the Devils Advocate would agree that the last 2 minutes were better left on the cutting floor; that Pirates of the Caribbean would be infinitely more interesting if Johnny Depp and Keira Knightly left that insipid Orlando Bloom character behind them as they carried on their pirating ways hand in hand as the credits roll: But no.
Do you really believe that Meg Ryan would give up her entire "nest egg" to a guy who she met three days earlier in French Kiss? That Tom Hanks and Robin Wright would really be together in Forrest Gump? That Meg Ryan (again) would rush to the Empire State building in the off-chance of meeting Tom Hanks (again) in Sleepless in Seattle? Don't even talk to me about Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

I'm not sure how so many people can buy into this whole romantic notion on the silver screen, but when confronted with similar opportunities in their own lives, often run for the cover of inaction or cynicism?

I wish I knew - pehaps because they believe, deep down inside, that it's a load of bollocks. I truely have no idea.

I guess my eventual point is - Long after leaving the comfort of the movie theatre, if the slightest of those hidden sentiments bled into the real world - I can't help but believe we'd all be better off.

Hope is a good thing people!

Monday, May 28, 2007


Picture by Brad

What can you do to overcome a lifetime of conditioning?
When I was only five years old I was sent, along with many children, to an internment facility. There they kept us from 9am to 3 pm; teaching us how to conform. I believe they called it Primary School.
Later when I left school I found a job, where I spent even longer parts of my day, learning and earning more money, so I could buy more stuff.
Over the years I gained more skills, and was paid more money. Now stuff that I couldn't afford was made available to me. Now I live in a city removed from my family, earning even more money.
I am a product of my training, and I know it's programming that's hard to break free of.

Last week my cuz Brad sent a group email about his recent travels to Indonesia;

Hi Everyone,

Sorry haven't been in contact with any of you for a while as I've been in an Indo limbo. I tried disappearing of the planet for 4 weeks, didn't check my emails, didn't phone anyone and didn't watch friggin TV. I had no idea what was going on in the outside world and truthfully I didn't care.
Well I'm back now and everything is the way it was left; fast paced, expensive and no time to slow down and share a bintang with a sunset.

It has opened my mind yet again to the way we live our lives and the unnecessary pace at which we do it. Sure we are all trying to be better off. But I know for a fact that we still don't smile as often as an Indonesian who has no idea when the money for his next feed will be earned. Instead we're on a mission to drive as fast as we can to the next destination without getting a ticket, then from there its quickly cooked dinner, and hurry up and wait.

I feel we are all stuck in a vicious cycle of money. We work hard, get more money, get accustomed to the new wage, want more, work harder, work faster, work longer, get more money, leaving us less time to live, breath and enjoy…………..

I'm not saying I'm not stuck in the same cycle, but I do think I have a clear view of the way its rotating. I'm not saying I'm going to change and become a hippie; who knows - within time my vision and perception of happiness will slowly become cloudy and the thoughts I'm feeling will only merely be, just a dream.

Next time your running around like a headless chicken, sit down have a break look at the sun, enjoy the breeze, feel the sand between your toes just chill out for a few minutes and smile because the faster you do it the faster your onto the next mission.

Hope to talk to you all soon.


I'm not alone in this discovery. Thanks for your insight Brad.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Country AND Western

Balance comes from a love of everything - and this is especially true of music. The structure and progression of any genre can help another - yes, even country music!

I love all kinds of music, and including, as we often joke, BOTH Country and Western. Recently, among other artists, I've been listening to Alison Krauss and Union Station. In an interview Alison was once asked what it was about sad songs that connected with her.

I love the feeling of that sadness. It's just... it just continues to be so interesting to me. And you know, to sing those songs night after night... I just love it... that sad feeling.
And to think you can sing these same words over and over - and they're from someone else, because I'm not writing them..... but that I can feel that; it's so moving.
When I can feel that I think maybe somebody else is feeling that - I love getting to that place, and feeling that loss - it's familiar for everybody. But there's something magical about this three minute section of time that you're telling somebody else's story.

Mary Chapin Carpenter has also always been a favourite. Here's a sample of her works. Enjoy (if you can)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Photos from the South Island

Dad and Cole

Mum and Cole

My Saturday

Photography is nothing without a decent subject matter, and to be blunt, nothing recently has interested me enough to drag out my camera.

Last night I decided to go something different with my Saturday. Today I grabbed my camera and took a short trip to the local rugby club to photograph some young kids playing Rugby.

These kids are under 10 I believe. It was great watching them run around the field like headless chickens - the coaches telling them what to do - the kids not listening.
The weird thing is - I remember being ten. It's just that I never remembered being so young, having to listen and do what every adult told me, and ... well... being so uncoordinated and awkward.

After the kids game I went to watch Painter Girl play Rugby, and SweetP play Hockey. My camera stayed at my side all day - but I never captured the same joy and love of life as I did at 11am at the Waitakere Rubgy Football Club, when I caught the love of a sister for her brother as they played on the grass between two games of Rugby.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lyle Lovett

If Ford is to Chevrolet
What Dodge is to Chrysler
What Corn Flakes are to Post Toasties
What the clear blue sky is to the deep blue sea
What Hank Williams is to Neil Armstrong
Can you doubt we were made for each other...

Just another song.

Music is playing such a big part in my posts this month. I heard this song tonight and found a video on youtube - the problem is the video doesnt gel for me. It's got something to do with a RPG website where real people take on imaginary characters - or something like that.
Anyway -This was the only way I could let you hear the song - enjoy :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

They kill

Getting over myself for a moment - I've decided to make a comment on the boy racer debate.
Background to this story can be found here, but to distill the story somewhat I will simply say that last weekend a young man died during a street race in Mt Maunganui, when he was hit by a car at over 100 kilometers an hour.

This, and other deaths from street racing have captured the attention of the media here, and there are calls to ban this and ban that all over the airwaves.
While it is a sad fact that young men and woman find increasingly new and exciting ways to kill each other, this is hardly a new problem. Those people making the "ban this" comments, were, twenty years ago, probably doing the same sort of thing as their modern day counterparts; And therein lies the point.
The "adults" of this society are hell bent on saving the lives of the "younger" generation, and by doing so are eroding the same quality and freedom of life that they enjoyed, when they were younger.

The ideas of creating a racetrack, drag-strip, or drift track is a moot point. Part of the desire to street race comes from the fact that it is, in itself, illegal. Having been involved to some degree in track racing I can tell you that such an event will involve scruitineering of cars (that may not pass the test), safety equipment (costly) and rules. God forbid if anyone dies at a track meet - as the organisers will be held responsible and charged to the full extent of the law.

Perhaps the solution to this problem is to stop civilian traffic from venturing into the "race zones" after hours, thus eliminating any chance of an innocent bystander being killed. To the rest of those who chose to take their lives into their own hands; it was nice knowing you. Maybe you'll make it - maybe you wont.

And that way the kids of today can have something they are continuously denied - responsibility.

Melissa Etheridge

I'd imagine falling in love, and being with someone else, would feel pretty much like this.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Pity the fool who writes about me!

Sometimes I reference real people in this blog directly.
IG appears from time to time, and is usually addressed as such.
So if I was to say that IG once uttered the following pick-up line to a beautiful Ski- bunny, whilst extremely drunk in a posh Queenstown Bar;

"Heeeelllllooooo.....(long pause)..... do you ski?"
"Yes" - said ski-bunny replied (in awe that he could still talk, one imagines)
"Uphill?", IG asked inquisitively.... (which of course is an absolutely brilliant next line in my opinion).

then you know that it was indeed IG that said those words.

But when I mention "Pasta in the Pot" - I did not in anyway infer or imply that the poem was about IG.
In fact - I'm surprised that you could think such a thing.
No wonder IG was so outraged, when I talked to him in the weekend.

So IG, to thee I offer this apology.

Dearest IG,

For this slight upon your fine character, I hereby resolve to let you win the first three pool games at the Pool House Cafe, when I am next down in Dunedin pontificating on my Uncleship.
You know how hard this will be for me....
As I am a pool god, and you are mostly not :)

Looking forward to visiting soon - much cruising in the Merc, one suspects!!!


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sorry Miss Chisman

No regrets?

Writing whilst drunk can be a curse. Often upon a second reading, clear of the fog of red wine, memories of writing something with brilliant clarity can on reflection, seem like mindless dross, or worse a self righteous or self pitying mess. aka.... Imagine if Cat was spelt D O G.... whoa....
Catching up with NFG the other day, she happened to mention she has a few of my poems that should be published. Fonmeister has threatened to do the same thing - maybe I should get all my poetry together, under some publishing guise, only to quickly burn the lot when no one was looking. It's fair to say once written, I often forget what I've put down on paper. Most is related to a specific event - like a flatmate who always left pasta in a pot - or another flatmate who kept us awake all night typing on a manual typewriter. I might ask NFG to see what she has been saving - but potentially I could die of embarrassment.
If you were to show me the stuff I wrote years later I would most likely not recognise it - or even the person who wrote it. Anyway - what follows is something small I wrote after a couple of bottles of red some time ago. Much like driving, you really shouldn't drink and write;

When the mood takes you, writing can be a breeze, but where that writing takes you may often be an uncomfortable place.
They say you shouldn't have regrets, either from action or inaction. They also say you should move on - not wallow in past of regrets - just learn, and move on.

I wonder if bad memories of the past are are ghosts you should exorcise, own up to...
By admitting your regrets, you could eventually forgive yourself
Alternatively, perhaps these regrets are something we should accept as making us who we are, and live with it.
Should we forgive ourselves?
Do we have that right?

For today I'll freely admit to fucking up, potentially causing others grief. There are times I would love to go back and undo some things, but what's done is done, and more importantly - if i hadn't made those mistakes I wouldn't be where I am now - physically and emotionally.

So to anyone I've hurt, I'm sorry. My regrets are a daily reminder of the burden I'd like to let go of - I'm just certain how to yet. Perhaps in some way this is a first step.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I want this kiss

So much said without words. I love it.
Maybe this doesn't ever happen in real life : but it should.
People should allow themselves to be more vulnerable with each other.

Polley on my mind

Amazing to photograph I'd imagine

Trolling through my DVD collection the other day, I realised I was torn between watching Dawn of the Dead and Go. Initially I just couldn't work out why i was attracted to both these films at the same time - later I realised that subconsciously I must have been thinking about Sarah Polley, who just happens to appear in both films.

I've always had a thing for female character actors. Obviously my love of all things Mary Stuart Masterson aside - I would like to point out I am not entirely myopic when it comes to female actors. I also like Christina Ricci - so there!

A good bio for Sarah can be found here. I'll steal some more interesting quotes from this source.

Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her sensitive portraits of wounded and conflicted young women in independent films....

She has said that her choice of film roles, eschewing mainstream Hollywood movies for chancier, non-commercial independent fare, was the result of an ethical decision on her part to make films with social importance....

Polley is as renowned for her intelligence as for her remarkable talent. The problem of the intelligent person in the acting field is that the actor, as artist, in not ultimately in control of their medium, and it is artistic control that is the hallmark of the great artist. The controlling intelligence on a movie set is the director, and her attendance at the Canadian Film Centre has given her a new perspective on acting. The actor, she says, should not try to give a complete performance for the camera (that is, control the representation on film) but must remember that the function of the actor is to give the director as much coverage as possible as a film, as well as a performance, is made in the editing room.

Find her at your local DVD rental store - she's a gem.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

NZ Music Month Part 2

Esse Quam Videri?

So who are you really ?

Lately I've begun to think that a lot of people out there, are basically full of shit.
My old school motto was Esse Quam Videri, which loosely translated means "To be, is better than to seem to be"
When I was, say, 17, I thought that this was a great motto - and that what was really inside, who you really were, would shine on through everything else, no matter how shitty things got: Except it didn't.
I think it's fair to say the High School was as superficial as it gets. Or so I thought. In actuality the "real world" is far more so.
After leaving the hallowed halls of High School, I noted that few people were really interested in the inner me, or the inner anyone else for that matter.
The weird thing is the length of time it's taken me to work out something I've obviously known a very long time.

The lesson I've learnt just recently is;

You are not who you are inside - you are what you project.

I guess I've always been interested in what drives people, and their actions. I always thought that my superiors (in work hierarchy only) actually knew what they were doing, and that I could never do their job. More recently I see that those idiotic speeches and management moves weren't so much from a book of sound business plays, but from a genuine misunderstanding of the job they have to do: I was mortified.

So don't worry - No matter how much of a mess you are on the inside, if you project something different - chances are people will accept you for who you want to be, because in a superficial world "What seems to be, seems to be".
Of course you still have to accept who you are - but at least we can keep that a secret - right? RIGHT?

[And because I didn't want to end this post in a negative manner]

And for those of us who want to try a walk on the wild side? We can simply project our inner selves and damn the consequences - knowing that regardless of either decision, people will still accept us. Now isn't that a scarey thought.... :)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Seven days early

Congratulations to Stacey and Scot on the birth of their son Cole.
Mum and baby are doing fine, and surprisingly, so is Dad.
What can I say? I'm finally a real uncle!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Randomness of things

The Author herself

I grabbed a random Xfiles DVD tonight.
These were the first words spoken by Gillian Anderson.

Time passes in moments:
moments, in which rushing past,
define the path of a life;just as surely as they lead towards its end.

How rarely do we stop to examine that path?

To see the reason why things happen?
To consider whether the path we take in life is our own making -
or simply one into which we drift with eyes closed.

But what if we could stop?
Pause to take stock of each precious moment before it passes?

Might we then see the endless forks in the road that have shaped a life?
and seeing those choices,
choose another path?

For this moment alone, I'm open to the possibility that everything happens for a reason.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Need a hug?

A nice little clip from "Baldly Drawn Boy" - Enjoy!

Chris Bell Poetry

Let’s drive

I want you to be driving

and for me to be in the passenger seat

on a clear day

with the sun shining.

Ideally, there will be cicadas and a light breeze blowing

and I will wind my window down.

We will drive until the cities are far behind us

we will be on a long, straight road through pine forests.

We will still be driving as the sun sets

but there will be no pressure to get anywhere,

to be in any other place at any other time.

Now will be now, and we will be in it.

The traffic will be light and we

will move faster than any other vehicle.

This will be a journey of joy on roads

never before travelled but somehow familiar,

there will be no signs, just the passing landscape

of contoured scenery and trees.

Although we will drive on and on

we will never tire.

We will be fresh, sharp-eyed,

enthralled by the world around us.

There will be an air of safety

and calm attentiveness

and a view of the world as though upon a cinema screen.

Our hearts will be filled with expectation;

at the far end of our journey

there might be a hotel room,

a bar and soft lighting,

a firm bed, clean white towels and room service laid on,

but there will be no need for a place to rest—

this driving will feel so good.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Rest home reservations

Not a gray hair in sight

I'm looking for a metaphor people! - I want to segue into a story about an old piece of clothing - a favourite shirt or glove that hasn't been worn for a while.
Something that when tried on after a long time, sorta - you know - fits like a glove. Except, you see, it has to more than that, because I wanted to use it as an introduction to a story - a true story. Something important.

North Finchley Girl (NFG) came into my life a week before my 21st birthday. I know this because I invited her as soon as I met her, and IG got really really super pissed with me. In a very short time we made a lasting connection, and also immediately agreed to be friends until we retired to the same Dunedin rest home, where we would spend our salad days throwing pureed food at each other.
Like many friendships forged in the days before running water and electricity, they were made to last. I stayed with her in London, where she taught me to play 500's - a brilliant story in itself if you ask me.
To this day I still remember first meeting up with her at an underground station - I immediately noticed she'd developed a distinctive plum in her accent, but failed to notice she was getting more and more embarrassed, while I was getting more and more animated (and loud) during our conversation on the tube; it seems one does not talk on the tube - one keeps ones business to oneself :)
Always a lot of fun, once in North Finchley, NFG plied me with drinks, accommodation, and enough sightseeing to give Frommer a headache - and for all that I am eternally grateful. My thoughts of London will always be associated with her.
After London, she came back to Auckland, and we unfortunately went our own way in life, but over the years it's honest to say I've thought of her often - and I wondered what she had done with her special brand of madness. I missed my friend.
When I moved to Auckland, it took over a year to face my inner demons and contact her. The trail went cold - and in all honesty after I failed the first time, I was reluctant to try again. When I saw her name at old friends I contacted her via the site, and we arranged to catch up. This meeting was chronicled somewhere here - I just cant find it...anyway...
I've been meaning to catch up with her again, but to be honest a part of me was reluctant. I quickly beat the crap out of the reluctant bit and we finally caught up for dinner tonight.

This is where the bit about the glove would have fitted brilliantly....

In less than 15 seconds, twenty years were gone, and for me it was as if we were those two kids in that underground again. We reaffirmed our commitment to our salad days before heading off to drink wine, and eat pasta. There wasn't a silent moment - we had twenty years to catch up on after all.
At the end of the night it was obvious that there were going to be many more catch ups, because great friends are born of many things, the least of all an undefinable bond that exists for no understandable reason. They just are.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

You dive too?

After my nasty run in with the Russian, I have become increasingly wary of online dating sites.
Jay posted a comment which has haunted me since;

I'm not sure if the Internet dating thing really works out in the long run,
but I did think that lying was kind of a given.

This upset me, because I had to agree with her - people really do misrepresent themselves.
The question I need to ask is why?
If someone falls for your profile - won't they be slightly disappointed when they find you aren't some kind of superhero - that maybe, yes, at one time, you really did have a gym membership, and yes you would like to learn to dive, if the whole idea of water didn't have to apply.

Obviously, people tend to say the best things about themselves - but how much is intention, and how much is reality?

Of the few women I have loved - none went to the gym. And no woman I know dives. So I'm guessing this isn't so much a dating agency I've signed into, but a club of undersea gym fanatics, who love tall dark, and handsome men, who in turn are cocky (but not too cocky), can hold an intelligent conversation, and have a great sense of humour. Oh also- they must absolutely "get me", and love my cats.

So where are all the girls who hog the sheets, fart in bed? The ones who walk up behind you after a bad day, and put their arms around you - linking hands in front, resting their head on your shoulder? You know - the ones who make your life worthwhile?

Not at any damn undersea gym, one suspects!

Friday, May 04, 2007

New Zealand Music Month

Phlex by Blindspott.

When you want to rest your head
On a shoulder that
You know wont turn on you
We’re all here till the end
With you my friend
There’s no reason to go...

Not one day that you are here
has been promised to you
So make the most of everyday
as if it was your last
And every breath
as if it was the same

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


The ones that got away

You know that the world cant be all bad, when a traffic jam on the way home was caused by motorists stopping their cars to allow ducks the right of way.

"Mum duck" just waited patiently until the cars stopped, then proceeded across the street with around eight ducklings in tow. I was still smiling when I got home - as much for the ducks as for the people who stopped.

It's was almost enough to forget Craig's murderous duck rampage on the way back from the Greymouth Motorcycle Street Race. Almost.....