Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Home by the Sea - Goodbye 2008



Images of sorrow, pictures of delight
Things that go to make up a life
Endless days of summer longer nights of gloom
Waiting for the morning light
Scenes of unimportance, photos in a frame
Things that go to make up a life

Blast to Taieri Mouth

The incoming salt air sneaks past my open collar, cooling my chest before bleeding outward, down my arms and out.
The roar from the engine rises in pitch as I change down and pass a dawdling Sunday driver. He's running late: it's Tuesday already.
Shifting up, I lean into the approaching left-hander; up and over the rise to meet the coast. As I roll into the sweeping right, I watch the breakers fall on the shore, and the toi toi's flash by in a blur. The sun shines on, and the air smells of kelp, as the throttle rolls on to 100.

OK - It used to be a bigger number; a much bigger number, truth be told, but these days I'm feeling a lot less bullet proof, and a hell of a lot more respectful of the law.

And right now I'm feeling very very old.

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year thoughts

Sometimes lyrics are all you need; especially when the music doesn't quite make the grade.


Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all of your so-called problems,
Better put 'em in quotations

Say what you need to say

Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you'd be better off instead,
If you could only . . .

Say what you need to say

Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You'd better know that in the end
Its better to say too much
Then never say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open

Say what you need to say

Um... about the photo on this post. Just a tip for 2009. If you don't do anything else - rent or buy Spaced. You wont regret it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

In a lifetime

A visit to Deadlyjelly's house is always an education. Upon entering there is the compulsary kissing of the house "blarney stone", before venturing upstairs to the dulcet tones of one of the many possible Enya songs on offer, until you finally come across the house shrine to Bono.

While this can be a shock to the uninitiated, you can often miss it when you're so away from home. So with all this in mind I dedicate this Youtube clip to Hunkahubby and Niamh - so far away from the comforts of home, especially as witnessed by the body language in this photo.




Grab the kleenex. I wont tell a soul !

Friday, December 26, 2008

Affirmations


I'm in Dunedin.

I say this as information, but also partly as an affirmation; all this because it doesn't feel like I'm actually here yet.

Hitting the ground running after arriving late, I find myself missing something. Today, in the madness of Boxing Day sales I was less than enthused with the wall to wall people. It occurred to me that perhaps I had become a stranger to this city; this life, and that I could no longer be taken from one existence, and dropped into another.

That and the fact I saw NO ONE I knew.

I know this too will pass, but right now I crave some normalcy. My friends have also changed - I am beginning to suspect they have been swapped like in some Z grade Sunday afternoon movie plot - Invaders of the Body Snatchers or some such ilk.

For example: Matt has a totally new hair style - and I'm pretty sure there was no "product" in there AT ALL .... and IG... Well IG is going camping for goodness sake. Camping - with tents and shit - if that isn't enough to keep you up at night......Cats my Dogs!

Coupled with all this madness is the impending realization that another year has passed, and I will soon have no choice but subconsciously grade myself on my 2008 experience.

I have to say plan B is looking a much more satisfactory option; I just need to find the proper balance of vodka and red wine - tricky, since I failed so dismally last new years eve. Turns out this old dog can learn some new tricks;

1) You CAN have too much of a good thing actually.

and

2) The resulting bad can last for days.....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bloody Forrest Gump

Jenny died on a Saturday morning....


Christmas (love it or hate it), is a time when we often find us measuring ourselves to times past. Destiny weighed and poured; is your glass half empty, half full, or spilling from the brim ?

If you cant change the past, and the future is unwritten; the only thing you can live is the here and now: just make sure it's the here and now you want.

Don't tie yourself to any resolutions for a tomorrow that never comes. Make the smallest of changes today; right here, right now.

Or don't ....

The point is, it's your life to make, or to break. Just don't look back in anger when it didn't have to be that way. I don't wanna say I told you so next year, OK ? :)

Don't worry - I wont - trust me :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No one is to blame - really!

Back in the 80's I made Fonmeister laugh when I suggested this could be the song of my life.



All these years later I have to admit, the joke is wearing a little thin. :)

  • Lyrics (will pop up in another window)
  • Thursday, December 18, 2008

    I was there first !

    In the early 80's I spied a double cassette of Bruce Springsteen's "The River" at a friends house. I always wanted to listen to Springsteen ever since I saw the cover of "Darkness on the Edge of Town", but I was still in school earning $2 an hour part time in the weekends. It's a sad state of affairs when a $9 LP became too much a stretch of faith for a 16 year old.


    I regret the fact I couldn't muster more faith on an album cover when Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell was in such demand. In retrospect Springsteen would have been a far more astute choice.

    A few years later I had my own copy of The River. I brought Nebraska on a whim, before cementing my musical relationship with Bruce in 1986 when I purchased "Born to Run". Sure - I died a little when "Born in the USA" came out - the cat was out of the bag, and Springsteen had finally hit the mainstream.

    I hated "Glory Days", loved "My Hometown" and begrudgingly accepted that "Dancing in the Dark" was probably Bruce's best attempt at a commercial pop release, even if I hated the fact they thought he needed to prove something by writing it.

    For me, Springsteen as always been the brooding poet; the political musician with a dream and undying love for his country. His voice, so distinctive; a new generations Woody Guthrie.


    I was trying to find my way home

    But all I heard was a drone

    Bouncing off a satellite

    Crushing the last lone American night

    This is Radio Nowhere

    Is there anybody alive out there

    This is Radio Nowhere

    Is there anybody alive out there


    As he gets older he just gets better - and although some fan's admiration may fade as his backside begins to sag, those of us that remain will be in good company. :)

    [Just kidding Ms Jelly]




    Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge
    Shelter line stretchin' round the corner
    Welcome to the new world order
    Families sleepin' in their cars in the Southwest
    No home no job no peace no rest

    The highway is alive tonight
    But nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes
    I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
    Searchin' for the ghost of Tom Joad

    Language



    My Hands Are Tied
    Oh I Could Be A Victim
    When My Tongue Won't Move
    You Have Tied With Your Heartstrings
    When I Needed You Most
    I Couldn't Find The Language
    When I Needed You More
    I Couldn't Say A Word


    Dave Dobbyn may be an acquired taste, but the guy's a genius in my book.

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    Group

    "So", he said."I cant really talk about it".
    "Why not", she asked.
    "Well, It's really awkward", he replied.

    "Maybe I'll write about instead", he mused.

    And, he did.


    When I embarked on what would be my first attempt at serious alcohol consumption since New Years Eve 2008, I could never guess at the horror that awaited me at the end of the evening. Truth be told, it would be far happier affair; hands wrapped around a porcelain bowl, asking to die.

    Oblivious to all and sundry, I had my bottle of Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay (thanks NFG) for company. I didn't see the other couples wax and wane - the dynamics of power shift from side to side. I didn't hear the terse tones rise above the sizzle of the sausages on the BBQ.

    My bottle had a screw top, and all was well with the world.

    At the end of the night, my second bottle running desperately low, we retreated like the sun before us, to the lounge to continue what we started.

    Before I had realised it, a solid core of friends remained.

    If I tried my hardest, I still couldn't remember how it happened: but the deal was this. Everyone in the group had to take their part in turn and say something positive about one of those who remained. When the group had done its round, the next person got to hear.

    But my wine bottle had a screw top, and all was well with the world.

    Then the kind words came; a group of friends who had known each other since primary school. All the energy of those words stored, the tears that followed flowed in a flood, sweeping aside barriers like matchsticks. From an outsider looking on, it seemed all at once I was a peeping tom. I didn't belong here, I was only six years old.

    It was about then I forgot about my damn screw top, and realised that I too was expected to contribute to this emotional maelstrom; and worst yet, receive.

    You have to understand what it means to be a New Zealand male.
    You have to understand how difficult that would be for me.
    There are ways, and there are ways.
    But walking away from this truth would speak more about the person I would be,
    rather than the person I could choose to be if I stayed.

    "So", he said."I cant really talk about it".

    And now you know why.

    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    Honesty

    Into the Christmas Spirit so to speak . Translation - I'm pissed - actually, everyone's hammered.
    An evening with alcohol is not always a safe choice, but honest - never the less, when it comes to the ones we love.

    Saturday, December 13, 2008

    Change of Pace

    Back to the 80's for 3:41.
    It wasn't all Duran Duran and shoulder pads :)



    Forget our fate
    The pedlar sings
    Set up to sell my soul
    I've lived a life for wealth to bring

    And yet I'll gaze
    The colour of spring
    Immerse in that one moment
    Left in love with everything

    Soar the bridges
    That I burnt before
    One song among us all

    The Vanilla Vegetable


    During the long summers of my childhood, lunches consisted of a seemly never ending Christmas ham, boiled new potatoes and lettuce salad. God I miss iceberg lettuce.

    Back in the day, a kiwi salad consisted of broken up iceberg lettuce, with sliced hard boiled egg and tomato on top. The mayo was a kiwi mixture of Highlander condensed milk and vinegar.

    Running into the house, covered in dirt and grass stains, you would pick and choose from the table before running out the door again; lunch, a brief intermission from a grand summer adventure.

    But today we have matured as a nation; we have mescaline, and what a pathetic excuse for a salad it is.

    It was like the salad "project brief" was to go out to the garden and find anything green that wouldn't kill you. The second, more immediate preference, seemed to be to find as many leafy items of different size and shape as possible - the more artistic the arrangement the better it seemed. It was a shame taste wasn't a part of the dynamic - the bitter aftertaste in my mouth speaking volumes today.

    Upon walking away from my completed BLT at lunch this afternoon I noticed most people seemed to have followed suit; those "lovely" mounds of shapely leaves relegated to a mere garnish; something parsley had done well enough all those years ago, but with much less effort and wastage.

    Grrr

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Rubberneckers


    It's like you know you shouldn't look; but you can't help yourself.

    After my famous run in with a psychic in Sydney many years ago, it seemed to me that actually knowing shit about your future was an excellent way of making sure it didn't happen- if you catch my drift.

    So when my mum recently visited the latest psychic d'jour I made a distinct point of making sure she didn't tell me anything about my personal life.

    [Note: Of course I didnt care about stuff that was going to happen to others. But it kinda bothers me that so far a lot about what she said about others has since come true.]

    To my chagrin, Mum still sends the odd comment my way every now and again - comments I try immediately to forget; with little success it appears...

    "He loves his job, even if it's a bit stressful at times", she said.

    Hah - recently I've been asking myself if I do in fact still love my job.

    Last night, after waking from a nightmare involving a complex set of computer machine language instructions, (to perform a complex work function THAT WAS A COMPLETE LOAD OF SHITE), I'm starting to see the stressful side of the coin.

    It was then, in my fragile state of mind, I pictured myself in a me-oriented variation of a John Kirwan advert for mental heath. Satisfied I was in fact only mildly derranged, or at worst dead tired, I turned over, looking foward to what remained of the night.

    This shit I could do without.

    So, were the pearls of widom from Mum's soothsayer coming back to haunt my subconcious; along with my current workload, creating in turn some version of the truth?

    Or was it just good old fashioned stress ?

    Ironically I'm unsure if tapping in to the "psychic hotline" makes a difference or not..
    But with not knowing, at least I'm not in control of my life again -

    And thats the really important thing - right?

    Saturday, December 06, 2008

    I miss my second


    Life is a margarita.
    Presented in crystal for some,
    plastic for others.
    Contents a clash of flavors and memories;
    around it all the constant possibility of a little salt circling, should you foolishly think the flavour has faded .

    Still;
    counting the pluses and the minuses,
    through the myriad of possibilities -
    regardless,
    an experience to cherish;
    gone far too soon.

    Never to be taken alone.
    With a second, an entirely new perspective emerges.
    If life is a margarita; make it so.

    Tuesday, December 02, 2008

    Angel Dream - Tom Petty

    Hope this inspires you on your way today..



    Musical posts will abate soon :)

    Letters are mostly all there - just need to arrange them from their nonsensical musings.

    Where is my mind?

    Office politics played no small part in my day.
    Dipping my toe in the big boys pool, idly checking the temperature, I was invited in to play.

    I should have stayed in the kitchen. It would have been much safer with all those knives about.



    With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
    Try this trick and spin it, yeah
    Your head will collapse
    If there's nothing in it
    And you'll ask yourself....


    Sunday, November 30, 2008

    Observations from the Edge #1

    Happy smiles shouldn't be about clean, straight, white teeth.

    ...but they are.....


    .. that and bra's - obviously !

    [disclaimer]

    This post came from the many advertising images hanging in our shops this Christmas.

    Everywhere you look, there seem to be beautiful people with nice white teeth, looking extremely happy with their purchases. I wonder if in real life, if the owners of the type of bra above would burst into smile and joy upon putting it on - if so, I should point out that in my local shopping mall there is a huge poster of a girl in a bra looking positively orgasmic - can I suggest that one instead?

    These images could be the reason so many of my (girl) friends confide in me that their husbands like to try of their bra's.

    Never tried it myself tho....

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    Life in New Zealand


    Ducks crossing Palmerston road cause accident

    4:40PM Wednesday Nov 26, 2008


    A mallard duck that led her ducklings into the path of an oncoming car is thought to have been the cause of a two-car smash in Palmerston North.

    The ducks crossed Centennial Drive about 9.15am yesterday, causing a car to swerve into an oncoming Honda Odyssey van, the Manawatu Standard reported.

    The impact rolled the van and sent it spinning sideways down the road, with the male driver escaping out of the driver's side window.

    Both drivers were unhurt. The duck is also believed to have been unscathed.
    - NZPA

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    Mountains to climb



    Can we climb this mountain
    I don't know
    Higher now than ever before
    I know we can make it if we take it slow
    Let's take it easy
    Easy now, watch it go

    Sunday, November 23, 2008

    Acceptance be damned

    As I walked into our local mall today, I came across a mum walking out, with her young daughter in tow. The little girl was howling mercilessly as her mum walked calmly to their car.

    I suspect by the time we leave school, we've almost been conditioned to accept how unfair the world is.

    Every time I see a crying child who hasn't got their way I'm reminded that although we're not the center of our universe, we bloody well should be.

    Damn right - it's so unfair!


    Saturday, November 22, 2008

    Running to standing still


    You know wall, every now and again, a title in your DVD collection will come back to haunt you.

    Last night I was struggling with a choice of DVD - it was Friday night and the thought of something loud, abrasive, or confrontational didn't sit well with me, after a week that I'd rather be rid of.
    After staring at my collection for over five minutes I realized in my current state of mind it was entirely possible that my once cherished romantic comedy section would never see the light of day again. That, and I was seriously lacking a genre somewhere in that mass of 500 DVD's. I'll have to get DeadlyJelly to have a look and check.

    So, with a complete lack of enthusiasm and the whimsy dial turned right up to eleven, I chose Shirley Valentine.

    When I watched this film well over ten years ago, I realized a wake up call in the films message, and even though the finger might have been pointed at another demographic entirely, that message was still relevant. All these years later I'm not sure the message really took hold.
    I must be the most stubborn person I know. Where other people seem able to change mid-stream; I don't: I point blank refuse to.

    That's not to say my life situation hasn't changed with my six years in Auckland. In many respects I am a different person - but I haven't changed direction at all - I've just for fulled a little more of my potential. Hopefully there's a little more blood left in that stone.

    Running to standing still is a concept that bothers me - regardless of how many hours we work, how much hair and sleep we lose - how fast we run, how far do we actually move? I cant help but think that regardless of my achievements, I'm effectively running like a mad idiot in the same spot, and have been for some time.


    Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
    I dont know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
    I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
    Looking into their eyes I see them running too [1]


    The weird thing is, I could have sworn there was momentum all around me, and any minute now I'd get swept up in it and dragged away with the masses. Problem is, I'd probably cut off my nose to spite my face if I thought too much about it.

    Damn you Shirley Valentine!


    [1] Running on Empty - Jackson Browne

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    The Killers

    Some days you just need to listen to a song that immediately makes you smile, AND learn to play the drums.

    Yes - even air drums :)




    And when there's nowhere else to run
    Is there room for one more son
    These changes ain't changing me
    The gold-hearted boy I used to be


    Sunday, November 16, 2008

    Pirate Metaphors Ahoy

    A better match than "Orlando" IMHO

    I cant really be arsed, would have been a more honest answer to the question asked.

    Thankfully age and experience has afforded me many a stoic face, stored away for occasions when friends ask if they can set me up.

    How can I say that I'm interested, when I don't know the person concerned? Then, moments later, they admit that they don't even know her either....

    "She's a friend of my cousins - she doesn't have any baggage", claimed my friend.
    "I think she's thirty six or something - no kids".

    On the inside I'm not even running for the hills; I cant be arsed you see.

    Though all my years here I've realised a few things about what I want, and more importantly what I don't want. There's nothing in my strike out list that rules out baggage, kids, or age; my list is much, much more specific. Those other things don't matter.

    I know what I want.

    While I'm not that open to meeting people with a view to a long term relationship, I am into meeting new people. This faux "arranged marriage" only benefits those looking on - perhaps feeling they are doing their bit to save you from a life of solitude.

    I have something to tell you; single it's not as bad as it's cracked up to be.

    So what do I want ? All I ask is a ship and a star to steer her by. Who's to know where, or how long this journey will take. I know this feels right for me now - hand on the tiller with the occasional sharp coral reef lurking just below the surface.

    Did I mention the bloodthirsty sharks?

    Friday, November 14, 2008

    I broke the back of love for you


    Twisted like a pretzel I am.

    Stress manifests as an ache in my jaw that seems to last for about 5 days.

    The chemist looks at me with suspicion as I ask for codeine laced ibuprofen - well not in so many words, but you get the idea; I need the strong stuff.

    As the ache subsides, people become more tolerable, but the drugs only take the edge off.

    I'd give anything to worry a bit more while I was awake; clenching teeth in my sleep - I hate being a hypocrite to my subconscious; even if it's only once a year or so.

    If not for this - what would life throw at me for a little serenity?

    I feel tomorrow will see me in a better place :)

    Thursday, November 13, 2008

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Understated moments

    There aren't enough simple songs, or simple emotions, in my humble opinion.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Power of Advertising

    Yeah - you're the man dude!

    Where:
    In a local department store the other day, watching the kids (and grown up kids) play Guitar Hero on the XBox 360.

    Thinking: How cool it would be to play the game and be a guitar hero.

    Thinking: About absolutely sucking at the game.

    Realization #1: I can actually play a REAL bloody guitar.

    Realization #2: I must be watching way too much TV !

    Monday, November 10, 2008

    July 16 1969

    We measure progress by so many rulers, that it's no wonder we so often come up short.

    Four days after this launch the first humans set foot upon another planet.

    Today, right now, we couldn't do it if we tried. This "archaic" technology got us there - but the knowledge has been lost.


    Watch the launch in slow motion....





    7.823 Million pounds of thrust and a lift capacity of 118,000 kg to 1374 kilometers; and I was alive to see it, in a world called 1969.

    And to think they thought we'd be on Mars by the late 1980's.

    Saturday, November 08, 2008

    Vanquishing Demons



    I will probably never be able to fully explain why I need to make some old things new again.

    Perhaps it's because true beauty never grows old; at least when things (and perhaps even people) are seen, not as they are, but what they can be.



    Everything I learned was wrong.

    If I was to cast my mind back less than three years ago, placing myself at a table with IG and Matt, the conversation would always invariably turn to cars. (Yeah, I know, thats where most guy conversations go to eventually - but in the case of IG and Matt the subject was almost afforded pornography status.)

    Normally I can hold my own in most conversations, including car conversations; but compared to these two, my car knowledge is infantile.

    "You know I really love the [insert car here]" said Matt.

    "Yeah, thats a great car, and a really good buy right now. You really need the [insert specific model here] with the [insert lengthy specification] engine produced from [insert obscure data here]", IG would retort.

    "Yes", Matt would say, in an almost James Bond way, raising his eyebrow and bourbon in appreciation.

    I swear, it was like watching that TV program Mastermind, with a specialist subject in Car-ography - a wonder to behold, at least in a train spotter kind of way.

    I was warned...

    Thought their verbal jousting I came to learn that every car I ever liked (or brought) was really a pile of shit. Even my current car; a SW20 3SGTE Toyota MR2 with a 2 liter turbocharged engine was a poor choice; especially when IG went to great pains to inform me that CAR magazine led their front cover review of my Toyota with the subtext "How Toyota ruined the MR2".

    Classic Beauty of the Karmann Ghia

    Matt always wanted a Karmann Ghia, and Ian's latest car is a cool old Mercedes. I once wanted a 2.8 Injected Capri. So went those summer days all those years ago; they laughed at my uninformed lack lustre choices, and all was right with the world.

    At least until this week.

    I admit I've been worried about Matt since he started talking about family cars. I understand owning a family car is important - I understand you have to be practical about these sort of things - you really cant judge a person because of his "situation" [read: kids].

    The chatter didn't stop though... it's as if the cars he once dreamed no longer have no meaning.
    Just the other week Matt told me he was looking for an 1600 cc car for the family; his car would probably be a 1000 cc variety. There was no warning - I was waiting for a punch line that was never delivered.

    He was SERIOUS.

    I have to tell you I was concerned. I immediately rang IG and he confirmed my fears; I didn't know what to say - I still don't. It was then that IG admitted to me that he was looking to buy a Holden Commodore.
    There's an interesting livery behind today's Commodore

    It is finally the beginning of the end. There's no point of getting up tomorrow.

    Case in point? I wouldn't buy a Commodore - because even I know how uncool that would be.

    Artist impression of IG's new outfit.

    Thursday, November 06, 2008

    Sap alert - # 4 - You have been warned

    There is no reason for this, except to say I hate special limited versions of albums that contain extra tracks that cant be downloaded off iTunes - and can't now be brought.

    It turned out I actually have Pete Yorn's "Music for the Morning After" - but as you've probably guessed, not this particular song which is (sometimes) Track 15.


    Wednesday, November 05, 2008

    Time out for clarity


    Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
    Enwrought with golden and silver light,
    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
    Of night and light and the half light,
    I would spread the cloths under your feet:
    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

    W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)

    Sunday, November 02, 2008

    Saturday, November 01, 2008

    Ca

    Don't worry. There are no rules. Sure there will always be someone better, but rest assured also someone much, much worse.
    The important first thing, is to make a difference for yourself.

    I've blogged before about people who give up because they think they don't have enough talent. My soul lifts a little when I see someone sing horrifically at karaoke; not because he or she sang poorly, but because regardless, they got up and sang - their joy in the song is the important thing to behold.

    Sure - it's hard to find your stride, but like a baby's first steps turn into a wobbly run, so too should we expect a rocky road to our success. And how, after all this, do we measure our progress? Simple: from where we started.

    California - You have a great insight, and even better taste in the blogs you visit. :)
    I hope you start writing online soon, and send me a link.


    Friday, October 31, 2008

    Unwedible


    I'd like to think the delay between posts lately is more a case of quality over quantity, however the truth is a little closer to me having nothing important to say.

    I wonder if I'm becoming a little [read a lot] boring, and perhaps instead, a little too eccentric. My works "do" is tomorrow, and I'm not attending. I really hate playing the "networking" game - frankly along with all the other bullshit reasons for not going, I live in fear of boring my workmates to death. I don't know about you but I'd imagine someone is infinitely more interesting, before finding out in fact they're not.

    There is a definite sliding scale to boredom. My mum would probably argue that my Dad is the litmus test; thankfully thus far I am not surgically attached to the couch watching golf on Sky TV day after day being cursed at.

    I count my mercies where I can. :)

    All this aside, I often hear that my male friends are also boring. Their wives tell me these sorts of things all the time; true, often when I'm out and about doing stuff with them.

    According to the girls - "he" (never the boys name - always "he") never takes them anywhere, buys them anything, or says anything interesting any longer . I always wanted to ask if they ever did (take/buy/say) - and if "he" hadn't changed so much as their expectations of him.

    Then - just as I'm starting to think I might be higher on the sliding scale than I first thought, I realize the horrible truth: I actually belong to another subset of humanity all together. Singledom.

    So, I have no kids to tie me down, I have no mortgage to hold me back, and I have no partner to disappoint - yet here I sit, at home in front of my iMac, postulating the meaning of boredom on a Friday, while it turns out it was here with me all along.

    Boredom and Irony; laughing with me - right?

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    Doctor Horrible

    So love this. I cant get the song "My Freeze Ray" at 3:45 out of my head.

    Disclaimer - I am not Doctor Horrible (although the similarities are scarily close).



    Sing along with me ?

    Laundry day
    See you there
    Under things
    Tumbling

    Wanna say
    Love your hair
    Here I go
    Mumbling

    With my freeze ray I will stop the world
    With my freeze ray I will
    find the time to find the words to

    Tell you how
    How you make
    Make me feel
    What’s the phrase?
    Like a fool
    Kinda sick
    Special needs
    Anyways

    With my freeze ray I will stop the pain
    It’s not a death ray or an ice beam
    That’s all Johnny Snow
    I just think you need time to know
    That I’m the guy to make it real
    The feelings you don’t dare to feel
    I’ll bend the world to our will
    And we’ll make time stand still
    That’s the plan
    Rule the world
    You and me
    Any day
    Love your hair

    Saturday, October 25, 2008

    Good Love

    And so the John Mayer Lovefest continues :)

    Mixed Dates


    I don't often talk about dates in this forum. Those who know me well could attest to my over zealous privacy when it comes to others in my life. I'm *very* old fashioned when it comes to this sort of thing - I don't even talk to my closest friends about my love life - in my mind there are only two people who should know - if you know what I mean.

    Last night however didn't really count, because it wasn't that kind of date.

    I picked her up at seven, previously explaining the plan was to go to my place, and grab a couple of takeout pizza's, watching some DVD's at home.
    I should have known when she stepped into the car: she was dressed "to the nines", even wearing high healed shoes.

    On the way to my place she asked what we were having for dinner - I explained we would go home, call up a pizza and relax on the couch to watch a DVD or two with a nice bottle of wine. "I don't like those sort of pizza's", she said, perturbed. I asked her what sort of pizza she liked, she responded "Authentic Pizza, From a real Italian Pizza place".

    Right there and then I wanted to turn the car around, and take her home. Instead I mentally counted to ten. We went to a proper Italian restaurant, before heading home to watch a movie.

    In the end, the evening went OK, even though it's fair to say alarm bells went off all night. Complaints over the wine glasses at the restaurant, coupled with issues with the manager over a mistake in the wine order didn't make for a relaxing evening. Fawning over my Television, asking if it was the latest model was the last straw.

    She may be a stunning girl, but she can be stunning for someone else. The girl I love will have an inner light that touches everyone she passes - she'll be stunning in more ways than one - she wont give a care for the size of my television set, and will love the wine, and not the glass in comes in.

    Part of knowing what you want, is knowing what you don't, I'm thinking.

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    You had me at Hewn


    Hewn is a lovely word; a word that conjures up images of hard work and beautiful outcomes. Not much is hewn these days. In a world of disposable items and standards you really have to search hard for your inspiration.
    Part of what makes me me is a desire to bring things back from the edge of disrepair. I'm not alone here; many people restore furniture, cars, and motorcycles in an attempt to bring something old (and possibly unloved) back from the brink.
    Within this ethos there often lies a belief that everything new isn't as good as what came before it. But this is not always the case.
    Just last week I discovered that the most recent Apple Macbook's were hewn out of a solid block of aluminum. The reason for Apple doing this, (apart from the obvious sexiness),was the resulting increased tensile strength. Tensile strength aside; it's still a bloody sexy idea!
    I am so in love with the idea of making something from a solid block of metal - a modern day corporate sculpture for those who appreciate the exercise.
    Thank God there are still companies out there building quality non disposable products. One day thirty years from now - I wonder if some geeky twenty year old will dust off an old 2009 Macbook pro he found in his Dads garage and marvel at how they did things way back when people actually took pride in what they built.

    And that's today we're taking about here people :)

    Meanwhile, back in the more immediate future, my Raleigh Chopper build is reaching it's final stages. In a wild fit of recklessness I have thrown logic to the four winds and have replaced all the old imperial nuts and bolts with new stainless steel metric equivalents. One wonders if one will be struck down for such heresy; perhaps my saving grace being the extensive re-chroming work undertaken in the last week. I cant be certain, but I suspect that the bill for this rebuild, if spent wisely, would have purchased a pretty nice motorcycle from the late 80's.
    I take a certain solace in the fact that that said motorcycle restoring would have probably cost me as much as a pretty neat 1966 American Ford "Pony" notch-back in original condition - and thus the cycle would have perpetuated ad nausium, culminating in night terrors with me waking up screaming "What the fuck am I doing! ". {1}

    The one remaining question yet to be answered is what the hell I'm going to do with the bike when it's finished; given I'm not actually going to ride it .....kidding...... I hope.

    I wish my laptop was hewn.
    It isn't ....
    But it is the next best thing, in it's aluminum skin.
    And that, my friends,
    Is the story of this lads life. :)


    {1} I'm only saying this because I've been there before - and it's only now I realize all these years later - I haven't really learned a fucking thing.

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    The Kill

    Apologies for the ongoing musical motif - It's been a bit of a long grind lately with some long hours at work. It's frustrating when the words only seem to come when I'm tucked up warm in bed, and not when I'm in front of my iMac.

    I have an idea for a post I'm working on, but it's not really taking shape. Perhaps after tonight I can make some headway on it.

    I have been listening to the following song of late. I only mention this because 1000km away the other day I found IG listening to it too - which is odd given its low airplay, and the fact I don't listen to commercial radio at all.

    I'd like to say I was this bitter, but truth be told, although I can identify with the tone, right now this isn't exactly me. Enjoy...



    I tried to be someone else
    But nothing seemed to change
    I know now, this is who I really am inside.
    Finally found myself
    Fighting for a chance.
    I know now, this is who I really am.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Things that matter

    Because it's always important to remember the small stuff, as well as the important days.

    Thursday, October 09, 2008

    Wednesday, October 08, 2008

    Repetition

    Yeah - some might know I've posted this song before.



    But it's almost like I don't listen most days.
    Maybe if I hear it enough times? :)

    The Youth of Today


    This photo [1] speaks volumes.

    This guy may accept a new toy every day; even a regular diaper change, not to mention our unequivocal love and attention.

    But don't let that sly smile fool you. This guy, and his crew have a plan.

    And it's not gunna be pretty come the revolution.

    Forewarned is forearmed guys :)

    [1] Photo from Mum

    Tuesday, October 07, 2008

    Man in the Mirror

    After George Michael - I really didn't have a choice did I?





    The changes that will make the most difference to our world

    Will never be made by the few doing more
    But by many, each playing a small part.


    Monday, October 06, 2008

    Off the hook.

    After a hectic couple of months at work, a super secret long weekend away in Dunedin seemed like a good idea. A few hours after stepping off the plane I found myself driving down the Green Island Motorway, thinking how clean the windows on my Dad's car were. Upon reflection I believe it's just that the air down here that makes things seem a little sharper. You cant beat Dunedin in spring.

    My trip was well timed. IG had recently banned his wife from reading my blog - because, he later admitted, my posts had been rather depressing of late. We agreed to disagree, especially around my whole "end of the world" posts a few weeks ago. I explained my concept of grabbing pizzas while waiting to get through the pearly gates - as there would be a bit of a crowd. He didn't buy it. His fix the walk, fix the man philosophy hard at work.

    Like Di, IG must have thought that living and dropping off one by one would be preferable to dying at the same instant in time. Our family cat of 18 years is slowly dying. He was a fierce great loving beast of a cat, but when I come back at Christmas he wont be here. What's great about that? I wouldn't miss him so much if I wasn't here to miss him at all. That must make sense in some twisted way - right?

    I suppose IG was just relieved that I was not visiting Dunedin to return everything I had borrowed from him over the years. [1]

    [1] In his mind, this step being one of the first on the road to "ending it all"

    Trips to Dunedin can have serious undertones it seems.
    This is much removed from my shallow Auckland existence :)

    When I moved to Auckland, I was introduced to a much younger social circle, and thus was thrust into many events I had already experienced previously in Dunedin. In Auckland there were still 21st's and weddings to be had, whilst in Dunedin many of my friends had already followed the path to domestic bliss: in short they were all old. :)
    Conversely my trips back to Dunedin involve more grown up - adult situations. My friends kids are getting older (as are we all). The problems faced here seem somehow much more more serious than those I remember ten or fifteen years ago, with more far reaching consequences to boot. I find it odd to discover in the intervening six years I have become more cut and dried (perhaps more dried), and less flexible in more ways than one.
    I'm not sure I don't mind it either - there's some comfort in being certain about stuff: even if you're completely wrong!

    I think my biggest epiphany of all the weekend, is that the answers to all these issues don't lie in one particular life. There are no absolute truths - it's a matter of finding your own truth in your own space and time. And if your truths are different to mine - so be it. [2]

    [2] Except if the "different" physic doing my Mum's "reading" on Thursday pops up the same "name" where I'm concerned once again; in which case, all bets are off.

    So dont worry IG, you may receive all those DVDs after all.

    Oh - and for those of you I've depressed, this should keep the tone of the post a little more balanced.....

    Thursday, October 02, 2008

    Why we may be worthy


    I saw this story linked to on Dooce.

    If you ever wondered what we are here on the planet to do, this would have to be an excellent start. Stuff like this restores my faith in humanity.

    I hope you have a lovely day.

    Read this.

    Wednesday, October 01, 2008

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Chanelling Keith


    It was rumored back in the day, Keith Richards awoke from a dream, jotted down a few progressions, then drifted back into an alcohol fueled slumber. In the cold light of day that collection of jotted notes came to be "Satisfaction" - or so the story goes.

    Last night a similar thing happened to me. From a restless sleep I reached over, pulled my Sudoku puzzle book off the bedside cabinet and scrawled in barely intelligent script "Seeing change as a fad".

    This morning the words struggled to make themselves heard; it was only after my "cop out" music post I remembered there was something I wanted to write about. I went down to my room, opened my book an stared at the words, daring them to make sense.

    I think, truth be told, i was looking for something a little more prosaic, or creative. We all play the cards we're dealt I'm guessing. :)

    I hear and see all the news; people changing for the better. Losing weight - gaining faith. Building houses for those in need - Driver, move that bus. It's all a crock of shit really. Chuck Palahniuk said it best when he wrote "self improvement was masturbation"

    In my dream I was talking to a Christian workmate.
    I asked him why he worked with prisoners in rehab (true story) and why he went into prison to try and change peoples lives.
    He responded "My faith in God". [1]
    I asked him, if he didn't have faith in his God, then would he do this work.
    He responded "No", incredulously.[1]
    I asked him if a man worthy of God's love wouldn't be compelled to help others without his faith. That simply put, the things we do to make each others lives more bearable, should come from ourselves - not our faith.

    At the time I thought I was making a good point, but with the benefit of hindsight I could probably just do with a little more sleep. That and less cheese.

    [1] This was a dream - he never actually said this....

    Sap Alert... must be about 3

    I love this song - but all the videos for the song on YouTube were horrid sappy mess.

    This is the least horrid - but still, not by much. Eli Stone is an interesting watch, if you're so inclined.



    A year ago I swear this might have actually meant something; but now, not so much.

    Saturday, September 27, 2008

    False Advertising


    I hate subversion.

    Today I bit into a sausage roll. I expected meat and pastry.
    What I got was something else entirely.
    Amongst the meaty goodness lay hidden peas and carrots.

    I suspect there are evil forces at work here. Vegetarian terrorists, placing broccoli bombs. I lose my faith in pastry chefs.

    I don't mind vegetarians - you know where you stand with them. You understand their motivations, their way of life; you enter into their sphere of influence embracing their culture like a good Christian.

    But not within the scope of the sausage roll. It smacks of cheapness, of subterfuge. At least in the case of vegetable infected luncheon sausage (or Belgian/Baloney as it is known elsewhere) there is no choice but to see it's true colours: the bastardised version bleeds carrots and peas for all and sundry.

    I dread buying store-brought bacon and egg pie; you want to trust, but the edges only tell part of the story. It's only when you take the first bit - delve into the relationship, you discover the truth. I tell you - it's not pretty, and ultimately soul destroying.

    Take my luncheon, pies, and sausage rolls.
    I want to believe; I want to believe so much.
    The problem is, like life, you don't really know what you're getting into, until you take a big bite of it. I've been let down too many times, I'm lacking in faith I guess. It would be nice to be wrong: I live for it actually.

    I'm up for the next bite being a pleasant one - who's with me on that?

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    Just what I needed to see on a Wednesday

    I'm still hoping that the Large Hadron Collider will provide a more expedient end.



    But you know how science can let you down...

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    One sentence

    I've been hanging out at One Sentence lately.
    I've even been tempted to grade others entries for possible inclusion.
    When I saw the following entry I copied it - lest it didn't make the final cut, and was forever lost.

    Simply Sarah


    I've hidden from my pen for 3 years now, always staring at the blank pages of my book, or of my heart, wondering how can I bring myself to scratch the surface of something I don't even understand.


    Stirring stuff indeed.

    Saturday, September 20, 2008

    Atonement


    Being ill affords one an interesting perspective.
    Upon the restless lounge couch, the dreamer's dreams are a potential minefield of lost clues; clues that could point to the root cause of the malaise in a roundabout way.
    Well maybe not, but still, an interesting prospect in the making.

    Early in the evening, reflecting with a cup of strong tea, sweetened with one teaspoon too much sugar, the world seems much warmer and inviting, especially when one has seen too much of bed lately.

    I sat in the sun this afternoon; spring is most certainly on the way here. So to is the promise of life; rebirth and recreation of things that lie dormant too long over the winter.

    There is little time to be ill when such wonders are taking place - one hopes tomorrow will be a day that can be enjoyed more in harmony, than in discord.

    [This post was written with the sountrack to Atonement playing in the background - which could account for much of the style of this entry - but not necessarily all]

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Left field



    And I am nothing of a builder
    But here I dreamt I was an architect
    And A built this balusstrade
    To keep you home, to keep you safe
    From the outside world

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Lyrics will not offend

    Some days I don't want to hear voices.
    I don't want words getting in the way.
    I just want to sit on my couch, close my eyes, and just listen: my interpretation, my emotion.
    Some days, I wish the music would never finish.
    But of course, it always does. :)

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Musical Cheers

    I was six years old last Wednesday.
    Six years, when I'd planned to be away from Dunedin for two (maybe three) at the most.
    It's funny how and when that fact can hit you. I noticed just the other day that I no longer carry a map book in my car. I don't feel the same chest tightness in traffic, no longer panicking over which street to turn right at next: I just get where I'm going on autopilot these days. Auckland doesn't even smell different any more. I must have changed somehow, my olfactory now totally out of whack.

    I lock my car at the petrol station when I go in to pay, no longer thinking how weird that is; especially when you consider at home in Dunedin some people still leave their keys in the ignition.

    But all these things aside, I think the scariest thing is that I no longer notice the differences between my two lives. I shuffle between the them like a social chameleon, perhaps no longer belonging fully in either world.

    Under the 'guise of my Auckland life, I visited Scrabble Queen and Tumor Boy tonight. We no longer play scrabble during my visits: three children under five have put an end to that.
    Visits to these good friends now consist of a mad cacophony of childrens voices; a rabid mixture of joy, anguish, anger, pain, and frustration. Take your pick; the tune changes tempo on some strung out conductors mystical whim.
    I did however find a moment of earth shattering peace holding 5 month old Dario while his Mum ran his bath; but even with those moments of calm, I don't know how his parents both do it 24/7. Anyone who survives this "child rearing" thing with all their faculties intact has my sincere admiration. How do you guys do it?

    When I look at my life I see an easier option taken, but not necessarily through choice I hasten to add. Being single seems to give one time to appreciate different things. It gives you time to breathe; and when opportunities come knocking, there's nothing to tie you down or hold you back. I tell you - It's a bitch :)

    Given the decisions to make again, I'm not too sure I'd be happy to settle for all this freedom of choice. Then again, so little about our destinations are predetermined. So many endings made as much from action as inaction. The music starts; perhaps grabbing a partner (not quite knowing where this merry little dance may lead), you dance on regardless. Loving the tune is what it's all about I guess.

    That, and noticing if it changes.

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    Shut up and Sing


    Again with the fucking passion. I hate that about myself.
    After a meeting today I beat myself up on the way back to my car.
    Why do I care so much?
    Do I have a life?

    In the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon", there was a scene that took place over a whole day. In the scene scientists and engineers argue vehemently over a planned landing site for Apollo 15.
    At the end of a long day the group are no closer to a decision. When the chairman realizes the only astronaut present hasn't spoken all day, he asks for his opinion.

    "So what's it going to be Dave; Marius Hills or Hadley Rille"?

    [In the scene, astronaut Dave Scott chose the Hadley Rille site at the foot of the Apennine mountains.]

    Among the technical benefits he stated...

    "The Apinines have something else: Grandeur. And I believe there's something to be said for exploring beautiful places; it's good for the spirit.

    I just wish I could contain my passion; say less ,and yet still get my points across. I struggle with the time I have left to make a difference - as if it's running out somehow.

    Which of course it is - obviously.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2008

    Thanks for all the Fish


    Nice knowing you guys.
    Scientists below Geneva, are about to recreate the Big Bang, and you just never know....
    There's some comfort in knowing we might all go down together.
    For some strange reason that makes its totally OK with me.
    We were joking about this the other day. Imagine if this experiment was actually a defining moment in our technological evolution - an experiment that smarter civilisations elsewhere in the universe correctly ignored as folly.
    But like I said - "Better to go out with a bang - eh" :)

    Shame about missing the end of Season 4 BSG tho....

    Sunday, September 07, 2008

    Time to forget

    Don't play if you want something quiet at the end of your weekend.
    It's a lovely sounding song - even if lyrically it isn't exactly kosher.



    I know I've been mistaken
    But just give me a break and see the changes that I've made
    I've got some imperfections
    But how can you collect them all and throw them in my face

    Saturday, September 06, 2008

    Consequences

    I've been thinking about Elliot recently
    Or perhaps, more correctly, about the events surrounding that time.
    Elliot stuck his head into a gas oven when he was twenty, or maybe twenty-one.
    Of course it was all over a girl; a girl who dropped him.
    All because he was never enough; or so he thought.

    I went to his funeral; we all did.
    Tags, Tim, and many of those who worked with him at the ODT.
    They played Genesis; I still cant listen to "In it too Deep", or "Throwing it all away" without being teleported back to that time and space.
    There was an open casket; baptism by fire, my first funeral without family. People touched him; said "Goodbye Mate"; stuff like that. I didn't know what to say really; mumbled goodbye. Wasn't sure what to feel.

    Thinking about it now I realize what an arsehole he was.
    I wonder, what possessed me back then to think that giving it all away over a girl was romantic in some way?
    I now put those feelings down to being twenty; being twenty lasted a while with me. Truth is, part of me will always be twenty.

    Debbie was there too; outside the funeral home. I went to school with her; she was one of the cool kids: we never really talked.
    I was looking at my feet; we all were - this was all our first funeral - we didn't know what to say.
    I looked up at Debbie - she was a mess. Two friends were holding her up.
    Our eyes met and locked. She was 8 meters away, but it might as well have been 8 miles. I didn't know what to say.
    She howled, as if I had accused her of all this. She turned from me, sagged on her friends shoulders as they led her away. I always feel I let her down; she was left to pick up the pieces, while I just went back to work.

    If I wasn't twenty I would have done something. I would have walked up to her; bridged the chasm of cliques, and hugged her, told here it wasn't her fault: if I wasn't twenty.

    Elliot may have taken his life; but he had no right to take hers as well.
    But like I said - he was an arsehole. You have to think of the consequences.

    I have; ever since.

    Friday, September 05, 2008

    5 Star Haiku



    Ramsay stunned slience
    Top Chef, Rachel Ray routed
    Shaw cooks up a Storm

    Thursday, September 04, 2008

    One sentence

    I've just added a link to a site called "One Sentence".

    God - I'm so in love with the idea of all the possible combinations and permutations of words making just one sentence...

    like ;

    Eva
    My boyfriend thinks it's cool that I check women out with him, but what he doesn't know is that I am more gay than he can imagine.

    or

    Jennifer
    My childhood and my dog share a grave in my backyard.

    Brilliant

    Wednesday, September 03, 2008

    Damien Rice - Cannonball

    The new office makes my eyes dry. The air conditioner rumbles somewhere in the background, but when I put on my noise canceling headphones, there's a deafening silence. It's almost a sin to press play on my iPod....

    Speaking of music, lately I've been loving Damien Rice's "O" album - it's like it's mixed for headphones; it's the most unnerving experience having someone in your head like that, but ultimately rewarding at the same time.

    Tuesday, September 02, 2008

    0101010101101101


    0100100100100000011101110111001001101111011101000110010100100000
    0110000100100000011011100110111101110100011001010010000001110100
    0110111100100000011101000110111100100000011101000110100001100101
    0010000001110111011011110111001001101100011001000010000001101001
    0110111000100000011000100110100101101110011000010111001001111001
    0010000001110011011000010111100101101001011011100110011100100000
    0100100100100000011101000110100001101111011101010110011101101000
    0111010000100000010010010010000001101100011011110111011001100101
    0110010000100000011010000110010101110010001011100010000001010011
    0110100001100101011000000110010000100000011011100110010101110110
    0110010101110010001000000110011101100101011101000010000001101001
    0111010000101110

    And that's all I'm going to say about that.

    Monday, September 01, 2008

    The Ted'ness of it all


    There's a newness in the air.
    Newness; is there such a word?
    New manager.
    New office, new job, new title.
    New desk repels the ever potential terrorist threat with its strategic placement.
    (the others simply wont know what hit them).
    New locker - Number 1; suspiciously expectant of them - i giggle a little when no one listens.
    New team, new workmates.
    New walk to work; I leave the car and walk the last 15.
    Minutes not miles - silly.
    All this newness, yet still the same old me.
    I hope they win.
    I feel like losing this battle, maybe even the war.
    Guerrilla in their midst.

    Sunday, August 31, 2008

    Horseless clothing


    I remember, many years ago, when a friend and I were looking at a movie poster of Sarah Jessica Parker.
    SJP, to this day, has an uncanny ability to look different in almost every shot. In this particular photograph (you have to trust me) she looked amazing in side a profile, dressed in an over-sized wo0llen jumper with torn blue jeans. My friend then made a comment that shocked me to the core - he said "She's hot - pity about the ripped jeans tho eh".

    Shocking, because to me, the torn jeans made the shot; made it real in some way.

    Although I can scrub up well when the occasion demands, those who know me, know I care little for expensive taste in clothes. I've never been comfortable with collars; I'm a jeans, sneakers, and t-shirt kinda guy. I'm wondering, after all these years, if I've been hiding something.

    This all came about after I read yesterday that Tim Gunn (who's taste in clothes I actually admire) recently released a tirade against a number of celebrities, saying they hide behind their choices in clothes. Jennifer Aniston in particular, being exposed as "desperate" by Gunn. *1

    What a sad state of affairs - we are now not only judged by our looks, pay packet, and occupation. We have our clothes to be judged by as well. This actually explains a lot :)
    An awful lot....

    I will never be mistaken for something I'm not.
    I may never be seen as someone with style.

    Just shoot me - I love the natural beauty that comes from not being judged. To been seen complete. To me, sexy is a girl in a white t-shirt, demin jeans and sneakers, laughing and smiling over a cup of coffee. It's not too late ; if you run now, you wont catch my disease.

    Run Forest Run. Before it's too late.....


    *1 TEAM JOLIE!!!

    Friday, August 29, 2008

    Absence



    If I don't say this now I will surely break
    As I'm leaving the one I want to take
    Forgive the urgency but hurry up and wait
    My heart has started to separate


    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    Reinventing the Wheel

    John Mayer may not be Stevie Ray Vaughn, but he's bringing blues to an entirely new audience.
    This clip shows Mayer playing "Empty Arms" with Stevie's old band "Double Trouble". Although John lacks the intensity of Stevie's style, the guy has an amazing talent.



    When I watch stuff like this I wonder why I ever pick up the guitar at all - then I remember the sheer creative joy playing an instrument can bring, happily accepting what talent I can muster.