Monthly Archives: August 2005


It’s just over a month since I started blogging in this space.

Results to date: I’m learning to love the WordPress blog engine, it’ll be even lovelier when I can carve up my own template however. There’s been a few learning curves I’ve driven off in an attempt to bring meaningful content (not here, but about my other love, aquaculture).

I’m already in love with the Edublog implementation. Well done that James.

I’ve blogged every day and my somewhat nervous random scribblings (in a digital sense) have started to take a better form. I’ve added some of my drawings and a style of writing is emerging.

Like a pinch on the neck from Mr Spock. I’m listening at the moment to Beastie Boys ‘Intergalactic’, and Mike Oldfield with Jon Anderson ‘Shine’, and soon it will be some other inspired (i.e. I like it) selection from my diverse collection of mp3s. Life is too short to only listen to one kind of music. So my collection contains throat singing, sounds from nature and classics from about the 1600s until today.

The point to this? My blog is likely to become every more diverse in content. I don’t make any apologies – if you are reading this and you are not me you can always click off to somewhere else in the long tail. Meanwhile, this blog and me continue to be about – and for – me.

All for me, me for all…Duke Ellington, Mood Indigo. It’s getting better all the time.


012 – moviesseivom

I love carefully made movies which entwine back on themselves. When you get through to the end you realise you’ve been taken along for a secret ride and now you know and you really need to watch the movie again so you can figure out all the layers in the story. Time Bandits. Love Actually. Usual Suspects. Amelie. Speaking of Amelie, as it happens, yes, I AM somebody’s little weasel.

Labyrinth did it slightly differently, more like Time Bandits with fragments of the scenery being shown in the background before reappearing as a prop, and back again.

‘Lost’, the tv series, did quite a good job in the flashback sequences in the airport, in the hours before the fateful flight. It was possible to see other characters just walking past in the background etc.

So, the interesting question is: who just walked behind you? Is that face at the bus stop familiar? Should you get in the lift with that person (it leads to the departure lounge)… oh, it’s ok, just Gavin de Becker.


011 – be kind to your web footed friends…

Mallard duck, early springI’ve always been interested in poetry, but struggled with the more cloying European traditional styles. Courtesy of the internet I find that as usual, someone has been there before me and now I can find some space to call my own under the wing of haibun. According to Ray Rasmussen, haibun “is poetic prose coupled with haiku poetry about both everyday and extraordinary experiences of the people who write haibun”.

The well-known haiku writer, Basho, wrote haibun journals about his travels, exploring both the countryside and poetic style. Today writers (haijin) still invoke Basho’s style, while mapping the psychological geography of their everyday experiences in urban and rural environments.

Late winter, early spring. Walking through the Botanical Gardens, in the sun. It always seems slightly strange to me because what other kind of gardens would they be? Sculpture Gardens, I suppose. Zoological Gardens. Kindergartens. Octopus’s Gardens (in the shade).

After what seems like a forever winter, no-one wants to be in the shade. We all want our place in the sun, with something substantial under our feet, a place to stand.

We work very hard, our heads in books and monitors and keyboards and cyberspace. We feel guilty about taking time off to simply go for a walk, to spend time with each other. After our forever winter, we have no tan at all. Faintly white.

The sea darkens;
the voices of the wild ducks
are faintly white.

that’s what friends are for

Earlier this month, we had a friend staying with us for a few days.

I really enjoyed and appreciated the conversations we were been able to have. Our friend left us quite soon, which was good in the respect that we’ll all be able to gather new information in our respective absences that we’ll be able to share when we get back together again.

I don’t think you can spend forever with your friends. You need some space so you both can grow without one crowding out the other.

Don’t live in the shade, share the sun.


010 – you look like an alien to me

I asked my mother once what I did as a little kid. I was concerned about trying to find my voice and the real me and the rest of all that angst.

She said I was always drawing.

And I still like to draw. I’d like to be gifted at drawing, but I’m not. I’m a meat and potatoes kind of artist, not a famous gourmet chef kind of artist – I can usually create a picture of a face or body or scene or something – that looks exactly like someone. Or something or somewhere. Just sadly the likeness ends there. If I were to make a drawing of you it’d really look like someone.

Just not you.

Perhaps the CIA could hire me to make drawings of people abducted by aliens.

Perhaps that’s what I draw – the real person – the real, inner you – what you’d look like if you hadn’t been abducted by aliens.


survival tips for meetings

Another meetin’, another room
A damned building, all in gloom;
I got my pencil,
I got some paper,
Making whoopee.

My inside sings, “Gimme a break”
Another sketch I’m about to make
I’ve lost my reason
‘Cause it’s the season
For making whoopee.

Another year, or maybe less
What’s this I hear? Or can’t you guess?
I sketched a cyborg,
And he’s a drinkin’
Not making whoopee.

I sit there drawing, with all my might
Don’t take no notice, or even write
I say I’m busy
The cyborg says,
“Yeah, making whoopee!”

009 – chardonnay

My wife recently bought a bottle of chardonnay which we consumed most of during dinner. I usually don’t like chardonnay, but this was mostly drinkable. The worst wine I’ve ever spat is the Lombardi Wines (near Napier, New Zealand) chardonnay.

Redolent of compost with high, middle and base notes of rotting grapefruit. Exquisite. The boss of a company I used to work for used to buy this bottled effluvia by the case.

I always enjoyed watching the young sales dood grimace, as he attempted to be all grown up, drinking this vile fluid and telling me how if I had developed sophisticated taste buds I would enjoy it. Perhaps when I grow up I’ll enjoy drinking this nectar.

Of course, by then I’ll also have a suit from the Emperor’s New Clothes Boutique…


008 – summer inside

My ears ‘ring’ all the time. It’s like having cicadas inside, 24/7. I suspect this is an undesirable thing – and probably a byproduct of shotguns in my youth. But cicadas are summer creatures, and so this can only mean one thing: it’s always summer inside, and although I’ve never blown up a tube and gone down the river, I think I want to.

Update: A few days later – An accidental discovery since the above posting suggests ibuprofen use may also contribute to the chirpiness of the cicadas. Modern living.


bonzai babies

As blogged previously, I don’t watch much TV. The other night I saw the show ‘Two and a half men’. It’s a comedy from the USA. Like so many other things. I was stuck by the charming, fresh faced young actor playing – I assuming – the half man.

That is, until he opened his mouth. I was then struck by the adult words and phrases being used. ‘Adult’ in this context means ‘grown up’, ‘mature’, and ’sophisticated’. Not x-rated.

It occured to me this was such an example of the objectification of youth we find demonstrated and displayed on tv so regularly. The script writers craft adult talk, and the young actor replays the words with skill and verve – but it is not a child speaking. It is the words of an adult.

I think this leads to us to the mistaken notion that children can make adult level decisions – it can be very convenient for children to make adult decisions and be all grown up. I know that the pony express was ‘manned’ by very young teens, but I also know that you shouldn’t send a boy on a man’s errand.

I wonder if this is where someone like Michael Jackson finds traction – looks like a boy – is sohisticated and sounds like a man. It’s easy to make a fetish from this kind of construct. If it sounds like an adult, it must be an adult, and therefore it’s ok.

It’s not ok.

I’ve never understood what the appeal of bonsai is – of what the mind set that produced bound feet, bubble-eye goldfish, pug dogs, or any of the other gross abnormalities produced for the delight of adults. I include in this beauty pagents for little kids.

But I’m wondering now if that’s what we’re being fed on tv – bonsai-porn – where we want full strength, miniaturised, fantasy entities constructed for our own pleasure. They never grow up, they’re cute; but they act and talk like adults. This is not supporting some sort of Peter Pan illusion, this is objectification for pleasure and profit. It’s not funny. It’s not ok.