Friday, February 27, 2015

My first gig by Sinatra Frank

 So I had my first gig as you may have guessed by the heading. It was last Friday. Oh but I have to go back a bit further. Like to when I started music. So, it's now three and a half years earlier and I'm weeping because my fiancé has left me and I've crashed my new car into a tree and been kicked out of ad school. So I pick up a guitar which has been left by the fiancé because this is how thick I was about music back then, I bought him a right handed guitar. He's left handed. So he'd left it and gone. So I think, 'well I'm unbearably miserable I might as well learn a song on this guitar'...
I had a yearning for 'Something's gotten hold of my heart' by Gene Pitney. 
I should mention I'm also left handed but I thought, well, at least it was there. 
So I learned the song. Got bored playing it over and over, learned something else, from memory 'Isis' by Bob Dylan (great song). Then I wrote a song. And that was it. I was off. But I couldn't sing in front of anyone, I would record songs and play them to people instead. The people in question got annoyed for ages until they realised I literally couldn't do it. No sound would come out. It's this weird thing from childhood. Don't know, just couldn't. So as therapy I went busking on Queen St. Discovered: reasonably able to sing in front of total strangers. Utterly depraved. Flip forward a couple of years, still writing songs, still can't sing in front of anyone I know. No, not true. A couple of people. Two to be precise. It's okay but sickening in the stomach. And not in a pleasant butterfly-ey way more in a fainting spells way. Fast forward to New Years 2015. Sitting under the lifeguard tower in the dark and rain on Bethells Beach with the dogs, singing Cat Stevens as loud as I could into the wind, I resolved this year would be the "year of the gig". I thought maybe by October or so I would be mentally prepared... Yadda yadda yadda, the universe is tricky, blah blah etc. etc., my friend Heath (from Royal Falcon) asks me if I might like to open for their band and others on Feb 20. 
I can't say no after making my little resolution because that would have been so unbelievably lame and pathetic so I do what any musician is arguably meant to be doing anyway if they aren't a selfish wanker and I say 'yes of course I (Sinatra Frank,) will play your gig' 
Once I say yes of course I am absolutely pooping in terror and the next thing that happens is I'm practicing with Heath and Steve (aka: The Jim Novak Experience), aka: the ex fiancé who left me those years ago with a right handed guitar and a reason for living; we're playing three songs of mine, a Royal Falcon cover (Black Barco) and a Jason Molina song (Nightshift Lullaby). I figure that is a good mix of songs for a thirty minute set. Unbelievably I start to enjoy playing music with others instead of tucked up in my armchair at 3am with a guitar and an iPhone. It's totally different, a far less pervy occupation. Singing is almost wholesome, hearing my strange sketchy dreams from the small hours transform into g-rated daytime reality. It's cool. I'm happy about it all. 
My lovely friend who is a sound tech finds out I am doing a gig through sorcery and cancels another gig so he can do our one. 
It is all very magical. We practice and practice for three weeks. The night arrives. 
Steve and I take Clonazepams to ensure we have a successful evening and don't die of terror. My makeup looks good. I dye my hair blue. It looks good. I have my rosin and a new bow. I am supposed to soundcheck around eight but I want to get there a bit earlier to lurk. Heath txts me to say everything is a bit held up and not to rush. That is all. I miss this txt. At the bar, I am expecting to see Len my friend, a handful of musicians and a couple of stray bartenders sitting on their haunches. We arrive to about fifty people who are having some kind of send off for a work mate. They are dining at tables and drinking wine and looking very civilised, and, settled. Not like people who might be leaving the bar any time soon. These are very straight looking people with the correct hair and shirts to attend nine to five jobs ages ranging from 20s - 60+. I go into the bathroom to have some panic attacks but the clonazepams tell me it's fine, that it's just like rehearsal only fifty times noisier and not to see them as people, more like a backdrop and Len is going to make us sound great anyway. I walk out with renewed confidence. 

Soundcheck does in fact go to plan or thereabouts. Though fifteen minutes before the gig is due to start. There is some major feedback from Steve's little nylon guitar which he is playing as a bass, this scares certain patrons and the saw playing fascinates some slightly. Good enough. 

One tequila and lemon drink and three cigarettes later and me and the clonazepams are feeling fine for this gig.  

No sooner are we introduced by Jonty, the gracious manager of The Thirsty Dog on K'rd ("Always a performance") then Sinatra Frank's "gig" falls over. Spectacularly. I'd like to add I only invited a couple of friends to this gig, two to be precise, one a best childhood friend and one a musician. I thought two was probably too many but thought it mean not to "promote" for the other bands' sake.

So there are my friends, ready and filming as we begin to play Gravity. A song of mine of which I am rather fond. 
You can listen to it here

And my mic doesn't work, at all. So my lips are moving but there's no singing. At all. Like one of those dreams where you go to urgently call someone and your phone turns to wet tissue paper. Or you get given a fast horse which becomes a shopping trolley with a broken wheel. Everyone has those right? So I'm staring at Len and he obviously thinks I'm singing too quietly out of shyness and gives me the 'raise it up yo' signal from the back of the room. So I'm gesturing, no, it's the mic, which looks quite comical and mime-y, and one of the punters calls out, 'hey, you're singing your heart out and we can't hear you', and I'm like, hey it's cool, I can't hear me either. All the while Steve and Heath are just playing bass and drums over and over waiting for me to start singing. Len recognises there is a problem and comes to help out but some extra beautiful feedback happens and Len can't stop it because he's at the stage now and not his desk of tricks. This, I'm sure, clears a couple of people from the bar and the loudest ones into one corner of the room to huddle, albeit still quacking away. 
And I'm smiling cos the clonazepams told me to, like it's all just some deranged part of the show, channelling my inner Judy Garland. 
Okay I say. We're going to play a cover of a Royal Falcon song now. Sorry for all of that nonsense. And we play it, I think we get through it. It's terrible, the sound is not right. Someone from the audience, another musician, comes and adjusts Steve's mic. More lovely feedback. Len shuts it down. 'Misogyny', I say to the audience, who are looking quite shifty now. 
This is a song that is quite fun for the other band members but quite hard for me. It's bass, drums and vocals. No gat. So I'm on vocals and vocals depend on bass. 
Steve and Heath start bass and drums. 
Except there's no bass. Someone is talking to Len, gesticulating madly, pointing our way. 
Don't worry, the clonazepams tell me, Len will turn the bass on in a second. 

So I'm waiting, the guy is still talking to Len, Len is looking at me like a spider caught in a web. No bass. I find out later, turns out one of the PA's has gone as well, so not really sure what anyone can actually hear other than the drums. That was what the guy has been gesticulating about, so Len is trying to fix two problems at once while someone is talking at him. 
I'm smiling away. It's really great. The clonazepams and I are all about experiencing. Having the experience. Really being there in it. It's great. Finally, bass. I start singing, the mic is cutting in and out. It sounds shit. Steve looks at me, I look at Steve, Steve looks at Heath, Heath looks at me, I look at Heath, Heath stops drumming. 
We're done. I say to the audience. I'm no longer sure whether they can hear me or not. I'm not even sure if I'm talking by this stage. I smile at everyone as drop our instruments and slink off, or float, not sure. 
Our gig is finished. 

They fixed all the sound equipment after our "performance" and everyone else, Bonsai Birds, Bernie Griffen & the Thin Men and Royal Falcon all play great sets. 
My musician friend solemnly tells me there is no way any sound tech could amplify TWO nylon stringed instruments to a level to cover noisy bar patrons without getting feedback.
My other dear friend has filmed almost the whole thing. 
My sound tech friend tells me he is having one of the worst gigs ever and 'this always happens when it's someone I actually care about'. 
That is information I wish I had been given prior. 
The clonazepams give me a small pep talk about 'at least having done it now, played a gig in front of people, some of whom I knew, feel proud, not your fault, etc' and I don't become hysterical at all. 
It's a good night. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A list of places the United States has bombed since WWII

I made a song. You can look at it. The video is not mine. But it looks good I think.
Go here.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What is happening Syria?

Why has this happened in Syria. I cannot understand.
I read news reports and I am told Syria is fighting itself. 
What they say is that Syria's Prime Minister has seemingly done things to harm his people and to provoke a war on his country. This doesn't make any sense to me. Who would kill off their own people's children. And who would want to have a war with the US? 

So if that is not the point then what is it? It makes no sense.

Some people say to me, "Oh, Assad is just insane." 

But that is too simple an excuse. 

We hear about all these bad men, Hussein, Il Jung, Gaddafi, now Assad as bad guy du jour, and I think, how is it possible so many Hitlers have gotten into power? Can it really be that black and white? Why would the leader of a country deliberately harm his own people, inviting outside intervention and his own possible downfall? It makes no sense.

Currently 7,000 Syrian children have died in this fight against no one. That's 14, 000 parents, 28, 000 Grandparents, countless cousins, uncles aunts, siblings, all suffering the loss. It isn't making anything better. 

And whoever did this must be smart enough to know that doing things like killing children hardens people to your cause. They must also know it makes people want to harm you in return. Surely no one thinking strategically would be this stupid. Surely someone who is elected president with 80% of the people behind them is not that stupid. Because that implies that 80% of  Syrians are stupid, which they aren't. 
So what is really going on here? 

Some people say this is the US. This of course, isn't the first time we have heard this whispered in times of war. Not too loudly of course, people are afraid of the United States.
It has been reported that two days before the attack Syria allowed chemical experts from the US to come in to the country. 
For what? 

Am I missing something else because I do not know the history? 
Is there something to be gained by both sides if there is war in Syria? 

Maybe I am naïve, maybe I should not even be asking questions such as these. But I need to understand it. And right now it makes no sense. Everyone says different things... 
I have not heard the same opinion twice about this. 

Another friend tells me it's about getting into Iran. 
So once again oil greed looms large. It seems most of our world's problems are about this one finite commodity. 

Aren't we smart enough by now to create a new fuel? Why can't we put the money spent on war into researching alternative options? 

Probably there is some economical reason I am not knowledgeable enough to understand regarding why we need to be in a war economy constantly. 

It would be short sighted to cry out saying one country is to blame for this mess. It's like one great terrifying chess game. And I guess the strategy behind all of this makes sense to some. I am just not one of them. Poisoning people's children just doesn't make sense to me any which way I look at it. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

nobody tells you.

i did a series of silly little pen and inks and this is my favourite.

i don't draw as much as i used to when i was younger because my hand is afraid when i pick up the pen.

it's alright.
i have more pressing things to do.

like play guitar and watch the sea.
or smoke.
or bite my nails.

or think about writing/vacuuming/beer/feeding the dogs/having to go to court on mon/sex/love/writing/how much i bite my nails/the bees living in my bedroom wall and whether they are going to tumble in on my head/why i haven't vacuumed/beer/love/sex/writing/how much i bite my nails.

as you can see, i'm far too busy to draw silly pictures.

guy fawkes tomorrow. the big burn extravaganza.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

little ff's.

this was frances farmer.
i was reminded of her this evening by wikipedia because of her omittance from something else, which got me so rankled i edited an article for the first time ever.
gave me a funny feeling, like what if someone reads my words? haha.
i don't ever feel that way about this...

and then in my meanderings through the googleverse i discovered this essay, which i had never seen.
she wrote this when she was sixteen or seventeen. it won an award and caused a ruckus. it makes everything that happened later make much more sense. to me anyway.
you can take from it what you will.

(look at this site for a bit more...)

i couldn't write anywhere near as well at the age of seventeen...
the things i wrote were poems about chickens and stupid postcards from a faerie called rosemary to a rotten boyfriend i was missing...

"God Dies."

No one ever came to me and said, "You're a fool. There isn't such a thing as God. Somebody's been stuffing you." It wasn't a murder. I think God just died of old age. And when I realized that he wasn't any more, it didn't shock me. It seemed natural and right.
Maybe it was because I was never properly impressed with a religion. I went to Sunday school and liked the stories about Christ and the Christmas star. They were beautiful. They made you warm and happy to think about. But I didn't believe them. The Sunday School teacher talked too much in the way our grade school teacher used to when she told us about George Washington. Pleasant, pretty stories, but not true.
Religion was too vague. God was different. He was something real, something I could feel. But there were only certain times when I could feel it. I used to lie between cool, clean sheets at night after I'd had a bath, after I had washed my hair and scrubbed my knuckles and finger nails and teeth. Then I could lie quite still in the dark with my face to the window with the trees in it, and talk to God. "I am clean, now. I've never been as clean. I'll never be cleaner." And somehow, it was God. I wasn't sure that it was … just something cool and dark and clean.
That wasn't religion, though. There was too much of the physical about it. I couldn't get that same feeling during the day, with my hands in dirty dish water and the hard sun showing up the dirtiness on the roof-tops. And after a time, even at night, the feeling of God didn't last. I began to wonder what the minister meant when he said, "God, the father, sees even the smallest sparrow fall. He watches over all his children." That jumbled it all up for me. But I was sure of one thing. If God were a father, with children, that cleanliness I had been feeling wasn't God. So at night, when I went to bed, I would think, "I am clean. I am sleepy." And then I went to sleep. It didn't keep me from enjoying the cleanness any less. I just knew that God wasn't there. He was a man on a throne in Heaven, so he was easy to forget.
Sometimes I found he was useful to remember; especially when I lost things that were important. After slamming through the house, panicky and breathless from searching, I could stop in the middle of a room and shut my eyes. "Please God, let me find my red hat with the blue trimmings." It usually worked. God became a super-father that couldn't spank me. But if I wanted a thing badly enough, he arranged it.
That satisfied me until I began to figure that if God loved all his children equally, why did he bother about my red hat and let other people lose their fathers and mothers for always? I began to see that he didn't have much to do about hats, people dying or anything. They happened whether he wanted them to or not, and he stayed in heaven and pretended not to notice. I wondered a little why God was such a useless thing. It seemed a waste of time to have him. After that he became less and less, until he was…nothingness.
I felt rather proud to think that I had found the truth myself, without help from any one. It puzzled me that other people hadn't found out, too. God was gone. We were younger. We had reached past him. Why couldn’t they see it? It still puzzles me.

Frances Farmer, 1931.

frances farmer, with the little ff's and no god to lie with in clean sheets, dies at fifty seven.
esophageal cancer.
it was a little bigger than a hat
but i wonder if she asked.

a couple of cousins.

two favourite photos from the year past.
my cousins beatrice and the lovely maya in summer in the domain.
these photos scare me.
sorry i haven't written for so long.

old letter from old times.

A love letter of sorts, of the sort that is not really a love letter at all, all in aid
of a series of scenes that played out
over a thousand years ago now..
between you, and me.

You may not remember them.
In a sentence, we marked a point on a map of the province and went there. Cliché, I know, so maybe just that one word explains the whole stupid thing better than I will anyway.. A great beautiful stupid cliché.
 Maybe it was your red American car. And the Neutral Milk Hotel tape.  And the blue bunny you bought me for two measly quarters at that yard sale, walking through the green wet ditch to get to it, in clinging mid-morning mist. I remember you so clearly in that instant and in my mind you won’t have changed at all even though it’s been a thousand years since then.
So cocky in your cap, your wired stomach so taut through your favourite threadbare shirt. So pleased you were to be the first ones there (you loved yard sales more than poker), and so pleased with this blue rabbit that I named Keats because you love his poetry, that later after my dad had died, I carried around Europe, and helped by posting the postcards this blue Keats sent you, detailing his adventures with Rosemary the faerie, while you were all the while at home, courting that beguiling elfin-faced girl with the braces.
(You might not remember the postcards from a stupid blue rabbit named after a sappy poet-hero of yours.)
Next. Back on our mystery tour: a roadside shop with oddities bits of glass smurfs Christmas decorations and a violin all suspended from the dwarf-height ceiling. And a giant stone chimney outside the front door where you could make a great echo if you bellowed.  And in anticipation of arriving at this town so called Atlas, two bottles of wine warming below your back seat.
And then there was the town of murals. On every square drab surface this town had painted their history. Ladies in cinch waisted gowns and fashionable ruffles, little hats perched. Parasols. Men with moustaches, horse and cart. We drove around that town for maybe an hour.
I liked the grave brick mansions with their spiny wrought iron gates, houses set so high on their tiny plots to see out to the great lake. The one I’ve forgotten the name of now but knew until the decades crumbled around me.
I’ve been reading Henry Miller while listening to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club but I know it doesn’t help. Doesn’t soothe me. So I smoke to forget... but I remember anyway, and it just gets me more anxious.
And after the town of murals, we found that tiny lake, that had no sign and no sign of anyone else around, and that was that for the wine..
You had the white and I had the rose, and we lost our clothing I seem to remember, in the water, even though by then we hadn’t even kissed. That lake already felt heady against my shivering skin even before you accidentally brushed your arm against mine, but I don’t think you felt me shake.
And Atlas, oh grand destination! Well we forgot that place before we’d even passed the Atlas
sign.  What a non-event. But I don’t think that was really what it was about.
I don’t remember where we first kissed, although I have this funny feeling; between a recollection and a dream, it might have been almost all the way in to your bed when we got home that night. I might be wrong, it all happened a long time away from now, you must remember..
And there was most definitely a cemetery. I just can’t say definitively if it was on this same trip.  I think it might have been another time altogether. We hardly knew each other this time. But as soon as your car pulled up my heart started ricocheting around inside my chest like a sparrow trapped in a chimney pipe. It’s a sick analogy I know, but one that best d escribes this particular feeling, let me tell you..
We shared a joint, and had an apple each. We walked around with our cameras but didn’t take any pictures. Sorry I didn’t. You photographed me.
I talked a lot but felt everything I was saying had it’s own balloon that would drift off with the meaning before the words even reached you. If anyone had been watching they would have laughed at such a ridiculous scene. Me with all my meanings floating off into ether.  Me trying desperately not to float off after them and telling myself to stop. Smiling. So. Much.  And you, delicate and hilarious and earnest and strong all at once, eating an apple. I didn’t even think it was possible. You said something to me but I was up the hill and I didn’t hear, but I think I did hear..
Nothing of note happened in the hours we were there but everything seemed to happen in the gap between those particular seconds. I almost reached out and took your hand that time, but I stopped myself. Everything I had built up for myself was falling over anyway, but I still didn’t reach out and take it. I just stood still and looked at the rising moon. And that was all.
You most likely won’t remember it.
And there is nothing left of that particular scene other than a blurry photo of a boy in silhouette with the sun laid out across the ground behind him; graves in foreground.  Probably best forgotten anyhow..
So that was all I needed to say in this love letter of sorts, of the sort that isn’t really a love letter at all, only a remembering of a series of scenes that played out over a thousand years ago now. Oh, that’s all except I never explained to you at the time why I like to go to cemeteries so much.
I like to go to them because I am still alive and I can, so every time it is a celebration.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Artlessness of Slaughter.

There was no moon for weeks it seemed, and then a few days ago it was back. Setting into the ocean, getting brighter and later each night passed. It’s hard to predict these things…
The moon has nothing much to do with this post.
This post about baking bread and killing animals.

Steve is unparalleled at baking bread from scratch, in the oven, and has been swearing up and down that it’s the simplest thing ever to be done in life, actually what he really said was that baking bread is basically the most selfish form of lovemaking and that when people compliment you on the finished product (as they invariably do, when you make homemade bread which doesn't have the consistency of rock) that they might as well be congratulating you on having a great wank.
True story.
So, as he was in India last week, and because of a yearning for home made hot seedy bread, I had to roll up my sleeves and give it a bash, so to speak. And I have to say, now having done it, I realise making dough is indeed a very sexy activity. As the yeast comes to life, it gets warm like flesh and the consistency of flesh and is really the colour of (very pale) flesh. Run Adrian Brody through the googler and you’ll see the hue I mean.

Yeast is incredible. It’s an organism which can be dormant for ages, until you feed it, et voila! it comes to life. So then you end up having to pummel it and fold it with your hands until it starts to form this strong warm shape, like a shoulder, so you’re massaging it, and it’s warm and flesh coloured and lovely but you know that what's going to eventually happen is you’re going to kill all these organisms slowly by putting them in a hot oven, but still, you develop this kind of caring and reverence for them. A little bit sexy with the massaging, or not sexy? 
         ...Maybe I’m weird…

I was thinking about how mind boggling it is that someone discovered this aeons ago, obviously accidentally, and slowly, slowly refined this process into an art form, and how beautiful it is (even with all the slaughter of unsuspecting hapless yeast), and how much we now take it for granted and can access a hundred different versions or more of this art daily if we wanted to,  and how incredible humans actually are.

We are AMAZING. Look at all the incredible things we’ve created.
Penicillin, rocket ships into space, aeroplanes.. We can get giddy and euphoric on potions and elixirs we have perfected. We can see people on the other side of the world talking to us in pretty much real time. We are amazing. We have cured so many diseases, we can make people with no legs walk. Did you even know, you can put a sperm and an egg in a test tube, let them hang out for a bit, stick the resulting foetus in a person and pretty much, fingers crossed, ten months later out pops a baby. Incredible stuff huh? That’s us humans.

But we do some really ugly artless things as well.

I visited a friend the other day. Their house smelled like roast lamb. No reference was made to this, I left before I could be offered dinner.

At home watching the brightening moon sink into the ocean and thinking about that smell of roasting lamb, like a thousand volt bolt to the back of the head I got the feeling an animal must have, gazing around a stock yard with eyes that will be, by evensong, blind and lifeless, and having the awareness they and all their companions, milling anxiously, are to be killed, that there is no other way out.
Hearing them.

I haven’t made up my mind about small fish and chicken as I don’t know enough about killing methods and how much suffering goes into the lead up but I know for a fact that pigs are too smart to be used for meat. They’re smarter and kinder than dogs, and dogs are amazingly smart and kind. Cows are too smart to be used for meat. Horses and donkeys are too smart to be used for meat. Deer and goats and sheep are too smart to be used for meat. Cats and dogs, please. Octopus and squid and tuna are much too smart to be killed for us to eat.

We are causing too much suffering for a pleasant taste in our mouth. We are thoughtless and greedy. We don’t need these animals lives to be ended for ours to continue. Our existence is not dependant on others’ flesh by any means.

Nobody wants to read things like this because it isn’t cheerful and it reminds them of things that the cheerful sterility of a lovely little package at the supermarket,
or a little brown bag at McDonalds, or Burger King, or KFC,
makes us easily and comfortably forget.

As humans and thus in charge of it all, we create so much that is beautiful and honourable. We are incredible beings with a tremendous and surprising capacity for kindness and empathy. This lets us down. This is not art. This is not celebrating life, and the gloriousness of,
this is ugly and artless.

We all need to try and live without our actions causing harm.

Buying meat products, especially the non-free range variety, actively encourages the perpetuation of, the production of, meat products.
Pretty simple really.

Before sitting down to our bacon and eggs, we really should get on youtube and watch how a battery pig lives and dies.

Go on. You’re not chicken. You’re pretty brave normally, and also, I dare you.
If you're going to choose to do something, at least let it be an informed choice.

Let's all try to live without causing suffering to others, shall we? For a week even. And make art and bake bread. I bet we’d be happier for it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

where i sit to write. or not, as the case may be.

i am lucky to have such a lovely room in which to write. my mind lets me down. sometimes i just sit and watch the cats sleep and wait for the sun to come, and drink endless coffees and smoke. if i was being totally honest, sometimes i just sit and wonder if it's yet an appropriate time of the day to drink beer. yesterday i looked a photograph of me in my first year of school and thought about how a person can go from that, to this, and how gradually it happens, and how hard it is to go back to being a person who could be happy without cigarettes, and coffee, and beer; someone who could wake up in the morning and brush their teeth, and shower, and be glad to begin another day. i obviously wanted this life because i chose it for myself. i light my tibetan incense for happiness and no anxiety, and bite my nails off and watch the clock. i sat outside for a few moments and watched the birds flying, buffeted by the wind...
it was hailing and sunny. strange times.

today is always hard. i tell myself tomorrow things will be easier.
i eat a cold chicken sausage, some slices of apple and a one-a-day multi-vitamin pill. this is lunch.
it is two minutes past two pm. it is now an acceptable time of the day to have a beer, but i will finish my coffee first.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


                                                                        In the cemetery.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The holiday is slightly over. Hello again.

Christmas holidays are over. In a way. And life since Christmas has been extraordinary, which I will talk about when it is not all still so close to me. In the meantime here are two poems. One by me, one by William (cat two, if going chronologically). I don't know how he managed to get his title centered AND in capitals... for instance, FG could mean, For Greycat (the other cat),
but to me the poem seems more a plea for Steve and I to feed him, what with all the mmmm mmmmm's and how he's put ste as the first word and then just lots of k's... Steve is new. He lives here now. Also, the ending of William's poem is quite advanced, with the sign off. Is he trying to say By Me? My belief is, yes, he is. But maybe I am reading too much into this...
My poem is less exciting than William's mainly because I have written a poem before and I am not five, and a cat. I haven't for twelve years however, so maybe it is a bit momentous...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

..And so this is Christmas...

Today i learned a very valuable lesson regarding tyres. i learned that revolting old back tyres do not necessarily follow beautiful sexy new front tyres out of corners, after it has just rained, if you are accelerating hard and still turning at the same time, apparently..
i think. i wasn't really analyzing it as well as i should have been perhaps, at the time.. ha.

today especially, i am so grateful to be able to be able to dance through Waikumete..
and that there was no one coming the other way when i was learning about tyres...
now i'm listening to the owls and 'Antony and the Johnsons  - I Am a Bird Now', a great album for this minute in time.

my friend with the ankle bracelet who is trapped for now and has nothing but time to think, says he sounds like Nina Simone (which is strange for a boy...)..
i agree.

and so already,
this Christmas looks like it's shaping up to be another stunner..

take it easy y'all. it's never just you who suffers when silliness occurs..

Thursday, December 3, 2009

live today like it's your last.

happy today.
who knows about tomorrow.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

oh, so lovely! my new fernery.

since the bath tub doesn't actually function as a bath tub should, ie; enable a person to have hot relaxing baths, thought i might as well "prettify" the bathroom, and enhance my positive feng shui at the same time, by filling it with ferns from the bush.
fingers crossed they survive...
i'm not exactly miss green thumbs.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

where is the real you?

you lie so easily it makes me cringe.
two people in one mind.
it's killing me.
i have to be almost done with you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

i am

i don't like that
i am
a human being.
i don't know
what there is
to do
about it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

in love.

i hope i never get over this feeling of awe i have over being in paris.
there are so few things in life that bring me this much joy.
every time i have come i have been acutely aware that i am,
In. Paris.
i feel like a kid on christmas morn..

when i am rich i will have an apartment here.
i will come every summer,
i will fall in love and bring my children here and every time it will feel like christmas morn..
even in the middle of summer.
maybe we will stay til the leaves turn red and brown and orange
and fall from the trees.
maybe we will stay for christmas.

Friday, October 16, 2009

but one is faded,

such is life

these two photos caused me to be distracted enough to leave my overnight things in my grampa's car. which was a terrible thing, but not in the way you'd think.

in sunlight.

i love this one. on the empty bus.

Oh Margaret.

my dear beautiful gramma, Margaret
who thought she was never pretty and actually winced when she saw this shot.
she's with her sister Helen (centre), and my great gramma grumpypants Martha, who just died recently at one hundred and four.
when they were young, gramma was very skinny and gangly legged, which wasn't in fashion, and had glassses, whereas Helen was a bit curvier and didn't.
everyone always raved about how pretty Helen was...
but not gramma.
it makes me so sad.
gramma was always at the top of her class in high school. she says her school principal yelled at her in front of everyone when she said she wasn't going to university.
she couldn't go to uni because her dad wanted her to get a job and give the family (him, Helen, grumpypants) TEN DOLLARS a week.  they needed it.
her dad worked in the bleach factory for not enough pay and before that he'd been a miner. he proceeded to die too young and leave my gramma with only Helen and grumpypants for company. it's all a little bit Cinderella.
i think this is even gramma's wedding day (her first marriage, not to grampa, story for another day),
and she is standing off to one side and Helen is in the middle.
and gramma made her own dress while Helen's was bought for her by her parents.
such deliberate neglect.
gramma made herself a violin when she was a teenager that her music teacher played and said had a lovely sound. it got burnt up in a house fire which started with faulty wiring in the corner where the violin sat.
i always wished i could have heard it sing.

Victor Douglas Harwood (my grampa)

My dear grandfather.
I love you so much...

While i've been in Canada i've been learning more about grampa's life before he met my gramma, and also random scientific facts..
For instance, did you know, most plants are made up of three things, cellulose, hemi-cellulose, and lignin?
Grampa has a phD in science, but when he talks to me he tells me baby facts and says things very slowly, emphasizing the syllables in words he thinks i might not know.
i'm twenty-eight now. i love him to bits. he is a crotchety old stickler at times, but as kind as god.
i speak slowly to him because his ears do not hear so well since his heart attack a few years back.
i love the face he's making in the shot above.
he walks much more slowly now then i remember and he is more hunched.
he has had every terrible thing imaginable happen to his physical body in the five years since i last saw him.
but his mind is fine.
he remembers paying eleven hundred dollars for an Austin car in 1952 because his friend had one, and he had let him drive it...
lol. boys.
apparently his income at that point was about thirty five hundred a year but living expenses were low.
at that particular time in his life he was working for a company where his job was to analyse how much DDT residue was left on fruit when it reached the consumer.
hardly any, he says.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

tiny joy

My gramma's 8mm camera. It was purchased in 1963 on a cruise when they had only four of the seven children. gramma says she had a very basic one before this.
the cruise cost $500 for four kids (leanne, my mum, john and billy) and my grandparents.
the Zeiss cost $100.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

happiness is a warm bun.

'we'll entertain them with little bunny shadows on the wall..' Hawkeye Pierce - M*A*S*H

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Extraordinary times.

First there was Walter.
Then Yesterday when i was driving the long tree lined path out of here there was a different Woodpigeon (Kereru) having a conversation with a young rabbit. they were only feet away from one another. i didn't mean to interrupt but engines are loud and wild animals timid. Today my Paka gave me a tiny baby rabbit. Break my heart. First he accidentally cut the baby's stomach. he couldn't help it. baby rabbits are very soft and he has big teeth. i saw him carry it and he was trying to be gentle. i could see him trying. i'm leaving in twelve days. what is there to do?
it's all because i drew this horrible picture.
i won't draw things like this anymore.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


today is an extraordinary day.

it's very difficult to photograph a bird when he's sitting on your arm..

Monday, August 17, 2009


tonight i'm writing my short story about pigs so here is something from almost
a long time ago now..

silly times...
the magazines i photographed were remix and one i can't remember, which is a shame.
i used to love polaroids but it wasn't really my medium.
i ate that tamarillo right after the shoot when i didn't need him anymore...
he was the shiniest one.