Saturday, May 31, 2008
This all wouldn't matter so much, if I didnt find myself asking the same questions year after year.
Like, in this video clip, I always seem to ask myself, is this who I want to be?....
In a world where we choose our direction - are our decisions always the right ones for us?
By the way check out the person who created this - she's an amazing artist :)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
If you have seen it, and wish to relive it again in 5 minutes click on the Youtube link below. For those of you who would prefer to watch the movie - spoiler free, avoid - please. You'll thank me for it later.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
So, in no particular order - here are five (of many) films I know I shouldn't admit to liking;
Not sure if it's Jennifer Garner in red leather, or the fact she's a kick arse assassin - OR she almost gets killed during a lesbian kiss. Perhaps it's all of the above. A guilty pleasure that doesn't bore with repeated viewings - honest!!
2) The Core
Oscar winner Hillary Swank (a heroines name if ever there was one) travels to the center of the earth in a ship made of a material that actually gets stronger with increasing pressure - in an almost futile attempt to restart the rotation of the earths molten core. Plus they get saved by whales dude!
"All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the corps! A day in the Marine Core is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade! I LOVE the Core!" - oops wrong movie :)
I kiddies film for sure - but I get that lump in my throat every time Lightning McQueen stops himself just short of winning - just to go back and push "The King" across the finish line, and by doing so giving up the piston cup for a more noble prize - sportsmanship.
4) Natural Born Killers
This film polarizes people - I love what Oliver Stone is trying to say here. Sure it glorifies violence, but if you delve a little deeper it's a damning examination of the medias "If it bleeds it leads" mentally. Hate this film, and I believe you're missing a very important warning on where we are heading as a society. Plus they really regretted killing that Indian guy while they were high.
5) The Cutting Edge.
D.B Sweeney stars as a washed up ice hockey star who takes up figure skating with an impossible partner (Moira Kelly) in a bid to win an Olympic gold medal. Chosen here not only because of it's high cheese factor, but because the two actors in question met on this film and remain good friends to this day; proving once and for all what a sap I am.
Don't know where - don't know why, but it's missing.
Will add to this tomorrow, in the hope that a new episode of Battlestar Galactica, to be delivered on Friday, raises ones spirits somewhat.
Lost are the words that propel me though the waters of seasonal affective disorder, delivering me onto the shores of disinterest, from the seas of complacency. Perhaps, just perhaps there is a resort and a bar tab. Tis a lot to ask for, but for today I am demanding it seems.
As Picard said "make it so"
Sunday, May 25, 2008
We ask them to travel to foreign shores, to kill for the greater good, only to deny them recognition and later hide information that impacts not only on them but their families.
Later - we apologize, but it is enough, and can we ensure it never happens again?
Full story here;
At the Manurewa RSA, five not-so-old-soldiers gather around a table to explain why they are calling a truce. There is not a celebratory beer in sight.
Like 3500 other Vietnam veterans, they came home in the late 60s and early 70s to begin the war at home. They returned to a country which didn't want to know about Vietnam.
They were not welcomed back - unlike earlier conflicts, there were few parades before flag-waving crowds. Instead they were spat at, abused and punched by protesters who knew little of what they'd been through.
"We were ordered to march down Queen St and the public told us we were a bunch of arseholes," says Ken McKee Wright, a career soldier who spent six months in Vietnam in 1967.
They were left to fend for themselves by a system which didn't recognise post-traumatic stress. They were shunned by many RSAs because the Government had not declared war.
Then they started dying....
.....When Garry O'Neill went home to Christchurch he would walk home from Burnham base in battle dress with his ribbons on. One evening he was walking with a female friend whose brother had been wounded in combat when a woman came up and spat on him.
"I just recoiled but Devon took it to heart and dropped her."
Most soldiers resorted to changing into civilian clothes off base to avoid confrontation.
Early last year, O'Neill lost a daughter to breast cancer.
He remains dismayed at the narrow range of conditions, in veterans and their children, recognised as due to the chemicals absorbed in Vietnam.
Yet, he says: "Some positive things have been done. It's going in the right direction."
What hurts Zac Harris most is the denials. In the 1980s, veterans' children were being born with deformities including spina bifida and their parents were spending thousands on health care. Other veterans were dying young.
"At that time they were denying we were in the spray zone.
"The evidence was in Defence headquarters all along.
"I remember Helen Clark on TV saying I don't know what these Vietnam vets are groaning about - they all volunteered.
"I nearly smashed my TV."
[Disclaimer - the person I am thinking about, doesn't visit here.]
Why is it, we're all so quick to take sides when it comes to people? Why do we take so little time to make our minds up about people when we meet them for the first time?
OK - when we first meet people we can't help but form an opinion - I imagine that it's some kind of fight or flight complex - maybe from some junk DNA that still works, and by doing so, we make a stand on whether we trust them or not.
The issue I have with all this is that this whole thing has evolved (or devolved) to a point where people dislike each other because of perceived misunderstandings; I don't like them because they did that, or said this. I just wish people looked beyond the superficial, and into the other persons heart. Are they a good person? Do they mean well?
Socially, we're not all at the same place. Some people lack the niceties of polite society - sometimes they... hell, all of us .... can get it wrong. All I'm saying is, a closer look may be in order, before sending another lovely person to Coventry.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Later, after the booze and drugs, the talent remains. It's a shame there's such a thin line between the two.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Because one doesn't get a second chance at the first impression, my first choice of DVD had to be perfect. The question is ... was Shooter the perfect DVD one could present Writer Girl and the Dubai Kid with?
In fairness I was in a difficult position. It was far too early in the "relationship" to take the more challenging titles. David Cronenburg's "Crash", and James Spader's "Secretary" could wait another day for an unveiling, if indeed at all. I wonder what a film about car crash eroticism and S&M would say about me as a person? Far too much at this early stage one muses. The romantic comedies were just as bad, and for exactly the same reasons they stayed at home as well.
Can you go wrong with action movies? I thought to myself, as I headed out to their house. To deny the brilliance of Shooter or Serenity could be in itself a huge faux pas - what if, in a brilliant move, I was actually taking the piss. Could you really rip either to shreds, when in actuality, you'd make yourself look silly in the process; after all Top Gun was actually a succinct exploration of the gay subculture in America in the 80's right? Exactly.
I arrived to find Writer girl making guacamole on the breakfast counter. Making guacamole ! Holy cow - I thought that that stuff came in plastic containers from the supermarket. Suitable impressed, I didn't have the heart to tell her I didn't like avocado, but shit, she'll never know - It will be our little secret - right? And as for their sound system - all previous memories of watching movies with subtitles at Brew King's place (so we didn't wake the kids), were well and truly erased in a blast that blew my man breasts out my back.
So what was it going to be ? Serenity or Shooter? Would either choice be the correct move - and in doing so would they finally see the subtle nuances behind my choices. Hold on a minute - were there actually any? SHIT!!!!
I needn't have worried, I really enjoyed the night. Writer girl and the Dubai kid laughed at all the right places, telling me that (a distinct lack of swearing from Writer girl aside) they were indeed kindred spirits. Now all I have to do is work out if they were laughing with me, or at me.
With me - right?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
If there are two things I loathe, it's arrogance and a distinct lack of fair play.
On an interesting aside, I discovered I do not harbor any latent telekinesis; fortunate indeed for the arrogant prick in one of my Monday meetings ,whose head would have surely exploded half way through his ill informed and spiteful "dribbling on". Especially when he had no right to comment so negatively on something and someone he knew nothing about.
My disgust at this persons inane drivel, may have seeped out into the gaia-field, as other people present at the meeting came up to me afterward, commenting favorably on my restraint.
Restraint is well and good - but my sense of fair play dictates some kind of retribution.
If there is one thing I know about being a Kiwi; it's mostly about lopping the heads off arrogant tall poppies. Well - most of the time it's just tall poppies in general - but in this case I'm happy to get specific.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
There's no degree of talent to consider, just a measure of enjoyment.
I love music. From an early age I played the piano, but it never stuck. At high school I picked up the bass guitar and never looked back. In the early 80's I took up the guitar; initially I thought I was better than I was, perhaps now I've swung the other way; feelings of regression in the air. Regardless; music is a daily staple.
But as a younger man, music was an obsession. Now in some ways I've leveled out from that death spiral, although some days I'm forced to wonder if I'm on a slippery slope again.... I recently picked up the bass again - in one room of my house I have both bass and acoustic guitars . They always seem watch me when I walk past; calling me, imploring me to come and play.
Recently I spirited my Roland Synthesizer from Dunedin, and I am about to embark on a journey with a piano again. It's going to be a fiendishly difficult journey. I'll never be a Tori Amos, but I will be a me - and that's the most important thing to accept. Being the best you can be, doesn't invite a comparison, and I'm in no hurry to make one.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
When you find yourself lying in your hotel bed after a week of little to no sleep it's a blessing when you find the bed to your liking. Stranger still, the moment when you discover the pillow is the right size and consistency.
Dread follows when you slip under the cool, clean sheets, turn on to your side, and you start to slip into slumber. Dread because you realise, you could be slipping into a haiku moment. A minute later you realize that you've found the perfect position in a perfect bed with a perfect pillow. Too late - you're in the moment; a perfect sleep beacons. But why dread it?
The sad thing is, in that moment of blissful happiness, you know there will almost certainly be an external force applied to ruin it all. And there it was - a dripping tap in the bathroom.
I lay there, blissfully happy; warm and content, knowing that getting up to stop the damn faucet from its infernal drip would ruin it all. I waited as long as I could before dragging myself away from nirvana - knowing full well that tap had eventually done it's job, and ruined my moment in time. Afterward I went back to bed, slept like the dead - well at least until 4am when I leapt out of bed with a wicked cramp in my left calf. Shit - it hurt; dragged kicking from a deep sleep...
Ain't that just like life 'though?
You have those moments of perfection, and although they're often fleeting, afterward there's almost always some pain to deal with. The secret is to recognize those moments of perfection for what they are. Cherish them. Like friends and lovers you may meet along the way to the here and now; haiku moments of perfection; comfort with pain - all this has happened before, and it will happen again. Life's a circle from the outside, when you take the time to look back in.
Monday, May 12, 2008
from all the little things you were too busy to do yesterday,
but did anyway.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
Wouldn't it be boring if everything always went your way?
You want something? - it's yours. Just like that. Unconditionally.
Really - who would want that ? Is that really a life worth living?
Through our ups and downs we learn an important lesson. Not much good in this life comes easily, and the sweetest moments often taste all the more sweeter when you've known some sour.
It's the same here. My thoughts, and experiences, and resulting words wouldn't be nearly as interesting if all my life was a series of Pollyanna moments strung together with candy floss gossamer threads of joy. I make no apologies for what ends up here - the roller coaster goes up and down, but in the long run it's a ride well worth taking.*
*[Ten points to those who pick the not so subtle references to Parenthood, and Vanilla Sky in this post. Writers steal for a living - don't you ever forget it. ]
Saturday, May 10, 2008
While I'm old enough to admit they we may be compatible with more than one person in this world, I'm looking to be with my soulmate, and therin lieth the problem. I wont go there unless theres a faint chance she likes dark chocolate and red wine, along with the intangible stuff of attraction; something that mere words cannot convey.
...and this week (drum roll), she must thinks this ever so slightly humorous.
My sister in law didn't like it - so I guess it passes the litmus test :)
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Today I took a slogan from Jacie’s blog. Simply printed on a sheet of A4 paper, it sits pride of place on my divider at work. “Sometimes you drink the milk, sometimes the milk drinks you.” I fully expect it will keep people at a safe distance – as well they should.
My mum said a while back that I had the patience of Job. Those words have been marinating in my subconscious ever since. The more I think about it, the more I think it’s about context.
I was waiting to be served for lunch. The lady customer front of me seemed totally engrossed in conversation with the serving girl behind the counter. Chatting away, she was (hopefully) oblivious to the people waiting. Just when you thought she would stop and move on, she’d delve into her large handbag, pull out her fluffy round purse and arrange to buy something additional for her lunch; all this while my blood sugar dipped and boiled at the same time.
I, on the other hand pride myself on getting my lunch order down pat – A cheery hello, order, pay, thank you. I know what I want before I get to the counter, and I’m aware of my fellow shoppers waiting for their turn to order.
After I ordered, I went to sit down to wait for my lunch, only to find the aforementioned lady was arranging the chairs in the coffee shop. “Don’t mind me”, she said. “I’m only moving the chairs around”. Perhaps this was supposed to be some kind of grand revelation designed in some way, to make me feel better: it didn’t. She was seriously ‘fucking with my Chi’. I said nothing – there was no point, she was apparently some kind of professional chair arranger, and I obviously had no understanding of her part to play in this world – to complain would obviously point to a problem with my ignorance of the situation.
I’m pretty big on etiquette. I was always brought up to say please and thank you. Just the other day I apologised to a checkout operator when my phone rang whilst paying my bill. I’ll always answer the call if it's urgent, but I always ask the caller to ring me back. You should say sorry, because face it, talking to someone on a phone when you have a real person in from of you is just plain rude.
Finally, take last week.
Last Friday I arranged to go out for lunch with a someone. Just as the menus were delivered his phone rang. What followed was a 10 minute conversation that’s seemed to me, more like 5 years. Every time the conversation seemed to end, it would continue. Twice the waiter moved past our table, and seeing we were not ready, moved on to others. I can’t explain to you the extreme frustration I experienced while he was on the phone, yet I realised I was applying my own values to his situation. He was obviously an ignorant prick, and that just couldn’t be helped. Context had its part to play yet again.
When I see a young child play with a family pet I’m reminded how the animals always seem to cut the child slack, especially when they are toddlers – like the cat understands the kid doesn’t know the rules yet. Later, when the kid gets older the scratches start; the cat teaches the kid about boundaries. Just a pity we don’t allow Taser's in this country. The patience of Job be damned – I’d love to set some boundaries myself.
[Disclaimer: This post was written during a period of low blood sugar]
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Erotic asphyxiation aside, the man was an amazing performer from the very start. Better to be remembered for our time in the world than our exit from it.
This song, from a much later INXS, would make a perfect wedding song. It would be my choice anyway.
What you know is true
Don't have to tell you
I love your precious heart
Friday, May 02, 2008
We’re a funny lot, we humans.
Soon, some of us will be tuning in to the Olympics "machine" to watch stronger, faster, fitter people jump through hoops like performing seals. Personally I think the whole games thing is a freak show.
Imagine what sort of a personality it takes to get to the top of your game. Then imagine how hard it must be then, for that over-driven freakazoid not to take performance enhancing drugs. My heart goes out to those honest guys who stay legit and don’t feel the need take that extra little step to drug fuelled excellence; they wont win, trust me.
Now, years later with the benefit of better drug testing, we can go back and retest old test samples, only to find that some people had access to better drugs that masked detection at the time. They never seem to take the medals off them after they've been found out – perhaps because that's not in the spirit of “The Games”. [Note: Interestingly they do take them off you if it's political.]
I think it’s time to admit to the hypocrisy, give up the testing, and allow the athletes to just “go for it”.
Perhaps the more genetically unstable of us could grow another couple of legs to win the 100meters, but perhaps, more realistically, an orgy on Human Growth Hormones and EPO would do the trick quite nicely thank you. One ponders on what other drug marvels have already been developed, yet haven’t been implemented because of a fear of detection. I wonder, in years to come, if we could all live with the news reports that in this year’s Olympics only 2 people died of myocardial infarction in the 100m track finals; a small price to pay for progress perhaps.
With the ever decreasing opportunities for records to be broken as the years go on, I’m sure the games committee will see the benefits in the viewer numbers going up if life and death were thrown into the mix. "86" the fancy swimwear, embrace the greatness you know you can be; grow a set of gills. In a final stroke of brilliance, we could just get the drug manufacturers to sponsor the athletes - imagine the endorsements - they should be on the gravy train for (albeit a short) life.
So, short of reducing the size of a metre, or taking the timing up to another decimal point on the stopwatch, the Olympics are on the slippery road to mediocrity. It’s time to man up, and admit it. The drug cheats are ruining it for those who maintain the Olympic ideal, so we might as well embrace the drug technology. Until they do I won’t be tuning in – the hypocrisy of drugs aside, I could always site China’s horrific human rights record – but perhaps that isn't in the spirit of the games either….