Saturday, September 29, 2007

Missing you.

This post is dedicated to all those people in our lives we miss.
For all the reasons in the world, it's so true; our lives are much more drab and empty when they're gone.

I'm wondering if the whole act of missing someone isn't a sign that we're not entirely unworthy of existence as a species. With all the bad news fed to us these days, we should take every good thing we can get to brighten our days.

I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged.
Their feathers are just too bright and when they fly away,
the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still,
the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone.
I guess I just miss my friend.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Banana hamock horror

Meanwhile over a Green Street Girls blog, the unsavory subject of speedo's are being discussed....

I can tell you that unless one was a lifesaver, or competitive swimmer, the wearing of speedo's are actually a cultural faux pas in New Zealand. Board shorts are currently the swim wear de jour, and one can only hope the trend continues for ever!

However it appears that board shorts and boxers are not as fashionable in other parts of the world. It is a concern.

Case in point "The Todd" :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Music lessons

My love of music has always been with me. Mum tells a story of me grabbing a portable record player in the early 70's; the sound of the Monkees racing up and down the halls of the house on a Sunday morning. A regular early wake up call in those days - I was about four I think.

Hey, hey, we're the Monkees
And people say we monkey around.

But we're too busy singing

To put anybody down

When we were in the Cook Islands in the mid 70's my Dad brought a 3 in 1 Stereo system - a tape/record player/radio combo, and amongst the few records he had, I discovered the Beatles.

Bright are the stars that shine,
Dark is the sky,
I know this love of mine,

Will never die,
And I love her.

When we moved back to New Zealand around 1976, music was much more accessible. My folks paid for piano lessons - I still remember the winters at 7am in the morning, cycling to see Sister Mary Zita through the frosty streets; a Nun who tried to foster a love of classical music, a serious task given the student was more interested in Kiss or Meatloaf.
When she fell ill with cancer, Sister Mary Patrick took over. I suppose she found me to be a tougher prospect; we just never clicked - to her music was a completely different beast. I left after another year, disillusioned with the piano, and the possibility of never playing a musical instrument. Nuns can do that to you.

My saving grace was a good musical ear. In the seventh form I picked up the old school bass guitar and ended up playing in the school jazz band - always learning the songs by rote. When Jonathon Wood (a fellow student) showed me the relationship between a piano keyboard and a bass fretboard, a light went off in this "scientists" brain. To this day that light is still there, burning just as bright, my savior on a cloudy day.

Years long gone, memories of my parents new upgraded 3 in 1 stereo system are fresh in my mind. Learning songs with my headphones on and my guitar plugged in I later used all my pocket money to buy an amplifier - only to find it amplified all the mistakes as well. So many wasted years, so many blisters yet to come. But all great fun.

Today, as I glance away from my iMac screen, I see a not only a bass guitar, but also an acoustic 6 string, and to keep them both company, a mint Black USA Fender Strat. Twenty four years of music; I still can't walk into a room with a guitar, without picking it up.
Music is a serious addiction; the thought that I'd be here today without music in my life, is foreign to me.

And so it is
Just like you said it should be

We'll both forget the breeze

Most of the time

Some things remain the same tho. That same old amplifier sits in the corner of room, a little worn and scuffed but still amplifying those damn mistakes. But music, like life, is a work in progress I guess.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Methinks something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Upon reflection, using Ani DiFranco to sing this song is actually an inspired choice :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I have to admire talent when I see it, even if my more cynical self may think it a little "cute".
These two have more talent in their little finger, than Britney has... full stop.

Today I've been holed up in bed sick with a cold. In the late afternoon I watched some Scrubs episodes, and came across this song. It seems a better fit, and to be honest this post needed some balance, on a day when good news has been rather scarce.

Don't worry. It just that I got my car repair bill, and the house and car insurance arrived in the mail today. And to think that April is the cruelest month.

Finally, another Scrubs related clip, about the last great mystery.

The good news is my cold is so much better.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Politics of Business.

It's funny as we get older, how much politics plays a part in our lives.
I remember when I first joined my latest job five years ago - there were always others who tried to get a line on what I thought about "so and so". I always tried to duck those questions, mainly because I really like to make an informed decision, and sometimes because the first impression isn't always the correct one.

Fast forward two years - I snap and refer to a colleague as being in more dire need of a blow job than any white man in history, and in doing so, borrow a classic line from Good Morning Vietnam.

Fast forward another eighteen months, I see this same person as mostly reasonable, albeit fatally flawed in area of inter-personal relationships, and ethics. :)

Skipping on to today, I find we have reached an accord of sorts; we can work together. Even now I wonder if I haven't compromised myself in some way - it's a matter of degree perhaps, or an extra hot shower on the bad days.

And in my own personal dealings with others, I always try and go with the old adage "Judge people by how they treat someone who can do nothing for them".

I was reminded of this last week. I was working with a man who I admire greatly. When I was two years into my current career stint, I decided he was the sort of boss I really wanted to work for. When I mentioned my interest in working in his team he announced, in confidence, that he was leaving work, to take up a less intensive role, allowing more time with his family. I was crushed.

These days our paths still cross with mutual projects every now and again, and although some people no longer treat him as the high flying manager he once was, he's happier for that knowledge. I think it's because most of us treat him exactly the same way: he has a pretty good idea where he stands.

I envy that knowledge. I often wonder how those around my daily work life would treat me, if I wasn't so useful to them. Some day's I'm not sure I ever want to know.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Is it really that bad?

They once said “when the bellhops start buying shares: get out of the market”
How bad must it be then, for Van Halen to get on the political bandwagon?

Still, this video makes some valid points, even if it's casting a fairly wide net.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Real Cheesemakers

Big hair
Power chords
Baby I cant fight this feeling anymore.
I've changed my mind - you can keep the 80's in the 80's. :)

Cheese Sandwich Post

I've always been incredibly stubborn; When I make my mind up it's hard to change. The problem isn't so much the not changing my mind part - It's how I come to the decision.

Take the Legends meeting yesterday. All the nominees were invited to a drinks and nibbles thing, and for some reason, I decided I wasn't going to go. Fortunately I worked until 5am on the day of the award "party" so turning up at work that day wasn't required - not that would have made a difference; It was just fortuitous that I didn't have to justify my decision to my workmates.

It isn't like this isn't an isolated incident either; at six years old I decided I didn't want to go to Martin Bridger's birthday party, and I didn't - even after being told about all the cake and lollies. What kind of kid would give up all that for an afternoon of play alone in his backyard ?

I was talking to Mum this evening, and when I asked her if I've always been stubborn, she mentioned the Martin Bridger thing without prompting, so for some reason it's stuck in both our minds for well over thirty years. Supposedly my Dad was the same about all the pomp and circumstance stuff, so perhaps at some level it's genetic. It would be nice to have a good excuse for being contrary. I get incredibly angry when I'm manipulated into something I don't want to do - even if it's for no good reason on my part.

Sorry Ren, I didn't make the final twenty.
That in itself is a source or relief to me, as I didn't really want to go on the trip; Any reason why? No idea at all.

NFG would probably say it was my Aries nature - I'd like to think she was right, it would be great to have something to blame all this "crazy" on. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Anika Moa

I'm searching for something here. I cant put it down on paper. The words; out of reach, out of focus.
I'm surfing for music, something to help put whatever is "out there" down on paper. So far - not so good.

I feel the need to listen to Anchor Me, and Youthful. Perhaps it's a kiwi vibe I need today?

I think it's time I dragged a stick through the sand....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Manic Street Preachers

There's something about this song I like - Although I'm pretty sure it's not Nina Persson's singing. It may be an accent thing but her voice doesn't seem to be entirely suited to it. Not strong enough? I'm just not sure. Judge for yourself. The Manic's rock.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Big Sleep


I think it's fair to say that things have been stressful of late. There's been a lot going on.
All that aside, I must admit I smiled when IG rang the other night (out of the blue) to check up on me. [Although I'm sure Shars had some part to play in it]

But let's be clear here - I'm absolutely fine.

One of the problems with being more honest on this blog, is that too many people who drop by know me; and that is entirely my fault. When I started writing this blog, it was a method of keeping in touch with friends and family. As time rolled on I wanted more from this space, and in some ways I've achieved this; but still, every now and again, I have to remember to pull back from the abyss, and moderate my comments, lest the phone calls start!

Post starts here:

When I didn't do so well in my second year at Otago University back in 1985 I pretty much slept for 24 hours - I remember this, as I remember too many things from my life past. My brain is thus full of rubbish - memories stored solidly, refusing to budge.
What I learnt from that second year, was that I really didn't have a future at University. Although that memory still comes back to haunt me on a semi annual basis, I realise now that things pretty much sorted themselves out for the best; at least with respect to my career.

So - my career aside, the lesson I'm trying to learn right now, is that you cannot change the past. You'd think that this would be a simple lesson to learn - but I think my desire for something to be different just keeps getting in the way of the way things are.
Why get do I get so angry at something I can't obviously change?
I guess it's because I was there once, and should have done much more, when in actuality I did so much less.
And if you have any idea exactly what I'm talking about - then you shouldn't be reading this post - it's private :)

I have to find a way though this, and undoubtedly I will. But it's going to take a lot more time, and even after last weekends effort, a hell of a lot more sleep.
I will beat this, mainly because the only other option is a lifetime of regret - and I wont buy in to that mess, even for a supreme lack of effort fifteen years ago. :)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Kasey Chambers

This video could be viewed in many differing ways. Possibly a whine-fest about not being noticed, or a not so subtle comment on how much importance we place on how we are perceived by others. I wonder if we aren't all a little lost in the world.

I like it because it's simple, and lacks pretension - like a lot of Kasey's music.

I remember seeing Kasey play "Hollywood" on Rove Live, and was blown away.

This is not Hollywood
There is no camera in my room
This is not Hollywood
Flowers grow before they bloom
Well you can hide away when you walk in dusky light of night
But this is not Hollywood
This is my life

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Five years in Auckland

I'll be five on Sunday.

I often wonder if I can be bothered with where I am right now in the greater scheme of things; Given the day to day monotony of life in general, I often find myself asking - is that all there is?

Sure - we could take up a multitude of hobbies and good causes to accompany all the other things we do to keep us busy, but still - if we stood back and looked at our lives through a different set of eyes, what would be the difference between any two lives lived? Would you like to judge which life was "better" on the grander scale?

Who's to say that a life in front of a TV set, is any better in the bigger picture, than someone, who say, climbed Everest. Obviously sitting in front of TV is a lot safer :) - but that's hardly my point. I'm just not just talking about personal achievement here - it's bigger than that. After all, on the count of who's winning in this life, who really keeps score - except perhaps you, or someone competing with you?

With all our self important running around, should we really think about our futures, or live blissfully in the now?

The people I know who are most happy, never seem to think of the future - but did you ever notice how society feeds us a constant diet of conformity, coupled with a controlled mix of fiscal responsibility and consumer must haves. It's just that I'm starting to think I don't want to buy into it anymore.

I think this cycle just feeds the misery, and most days you can see it on our faces. Time to smile a bit more, and think a lot less :)

Best laid plans

I saw this in the local paper today, and it made me smile.
I wanted a permanent copy - so I've taken the whole article from here.

Here’s an excellent example of pwnage: when the white supremacist group VNN Vanguard Nazi/KKK tried to host a hate rally in Knoxville, Tennessee, they were foiled by … clowns!

Unfortunately for [VNN] the 100th ARA (Anti Racist Action) clown block came and handed them their asses by making them appear like the asses they were.

Alex Linder the founder of VNN and the lead organizer of the rally kicked off events by rushing the clowns in a fit of rage, and was promptly arrested by 4 Knoxville police officers who dropped him to the ground when he resisted and dragged him off past the red shiny shoes of the clowns.

“White Power!” the Nazi’s shouted, “White Flour?” the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt “White Flour”.

“White Power!” the Nazi’s angrily shouted once more, “White flowers?” the clowns cheers and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.

“White Power!” the Nazi’s tried once again in a doomed and somewhat funny attempt to clarify their message, “ohhhhhh!” the clowns yelled “Tight Shower!” and held a solar shower in the air and all tried to crowd under to get clean as per the Klan’s directions.

At this point several of the Nazi’s and Klan members began clutching their hearts as if they were about to have a heart attack. Their beady eyes bulged, and the veins in their tiny narrow foreheads beat in rage. One last time they screamed “White Power!”

The clown women thought they finally understood what the Klan was trying to say. “Ohhhhh…” the women clowns said. “Now we understand…”, “WIFE POWER!” they lifted the letters up in the air, grabbed the nearest male clowns and lifted them in their arms and ran about merrily chanting “WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER!”

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Old but good

Sums up where I've been, musically wise, this last week.
This may be old - but it seems fresh to me; probably because I don't listen to much mainstream radio these days.

Fuel - Bad Day.

Doctor Sucks Ass!

For some unholy reason Dr Hook's Greatest Hits has just been re-released here.
But wait - there's more - From the band who's lyrics gives us classic lines as....

And when your body's had enough of me And I'm layin flat out on the floor When you think I've loved you all I can I'm gonna love you a little bit more


If I seem to come on too strong I hope that you will understand I say these things 'cause I'd like to know if you're as lonely as I am and if you'd mine - spending the night together.


Night falls on the city, baby feels the beat Slick and sexy angel of the street The queen of all the night birds watch her when she walks She don't say nothing but, baby makes her blue jeans talk

I'd imagine if Aliens were approaching the earth from a Galaxy... far... far away, listening to 50's and then 60's radio stations as they got closer, when Dr Hooks' "Spending the Night Together" finally assaulted their ears in the 70's I'd imagine they'd stop, only to turn their craft around, and head home.

Perhaps Dr Hook was devised for exactly that purpose, and if that failed there was always Disco I guess.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I am Legend - well kinda

Never mention shagging the Goat!

So - it turns out someone at work has nominated me as a legend. Basically this means that from a list of nominees, a committee of managers shortlist 20 worthy souls, who then leave for a distant exotic location (with partners), to enjoy 5 star hospitality for a week - all expenses paid. If picked - I'll probably be the only single one there.

Whether or not I make the short list, it's nice to be recognized by your peers. However I must remain vigilant, as the scary sickle that whittles down all the tall-ish poppies is ever present waiting in the wings. 'tis a kiwi thing, sadly.

The problem with awards; although often nice to receive, they pretty much infer everyone else is decidedly unledgend-like. Although I'm sure most offices have employees who do the bare minimum, most people I know work damn hard for their daily bread. It seems that award outcomes often read like a popularity contest, and because of that it's fair to say I'm conflicted by the whole business of them. I'm thinking how (un)comfortable a "fit" this nomination is with me.

But all that said - I've often wondered what it's like to be in the inner circle of the firm I work for. If I make the shortlist I may discover such gems as the combination to the Marketing Department's washroom, or the "secret squirrel" handshake - the final step in moving from the basement to the ground floor.

One wonders if the sky is really as blue as it is in my dreams.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Ultimate Bourne Ultimatum?

Ben Affleck Hoping Jason Bourne Has Sidekick In Next Movie

The Onion

Ben Affleck Hoping Jason Bourne Has Sidekick In Next Movie

LOS ANGELES—Affleck envisioned the sidekick as being taller and slightly beefier the Bourne, and who would always look out for his best friend.

John Cusack Fan Club

The best scene from the best movie about music I've ever seen.
I wish i had written this, or at least had said it to someone by now.