Capitulation

Wednesday, February 28. 2007
Three things. First, as you might have read, my employment mess is a mess. So looks like I give in and go off to the supermarket. This leads into point two.

Tomorrow night, +44 and Unwritten Law will rock the foundations of Festival Hall. We have had tickets since they went on sale. This day has been a long time coming. Given the timing of my towel throw, I will be throwing all sense of sensibility to the wind, getting fucked up and throwing myself all over the place. If I get hurt, fuck it. If I get into a fight, fuck it. Just fuck it.

What the hell was point three? I don’t fucking remember.

Backed Up

Wednesday, February 28. 2007
An Open Letter About Where Things Are At

Every day I consider, at least once, sitting down and writing a letter to at least one of my acquaintances about what I am doing and where I’m thinking about going. This might be because I’ve had a recent e-mail from one of them, or I want to get it all sorted in my own head, and having it down on paper is a good way for me to nail it all down. Either way, it rarely pans out – for one reason or another, mostly because I know that telling someone else won’t really help me find the magic answer I seem to be looking for. I might get some advice, I might get a dose of reality and a massive bring-down, or I might get inspired to do something I am not in a position to be doing. So here it is – a letter to everone and no-one, and mostly to me alone.

Life is so many things. It’s a once around ride where the rules are nothing but what you make of them. Some parts are unavoidable, like the need to fund excursions, making money at least a partial necessity. I get that, finally, and cede to the requirement. But everything else – the where, what and why – shit man, it’s anything I want it to be. I have big ideas and now the confidence to make them happen. But in the right times? And spaces? Well, that’s the tricky part. I have places I want to be and people I want to be with. The biggest problem of mine is that these people and places, in a testament to how I’ve lived my life so far, are spread fairly well across the world. No kidding. There’s places I want to return to, and so many more to go and visit. There’s people I love and they just don’t happen to be in the same place, so getting to be with some means a whole lot more I have to miss out on. There is no right or wrong in this, but my mind likes to make me think there could be, that one way is better. Yeah, shit, I know.


Lost DVD, you aren't really lost
Some grungy netkids will have you,
Safe as a backup,
maybe an image file
Can I make an image file of my heart?
Then browse it and remove the bits i don't like?

Lost DVD, you were no longer needed
Awesome as you were, the world spins without you
Upgrade, update, update, upgrade
I will update my brain, I will flash the firmware
And thus better integrate with my soul
Soul soul soul, I convinced a med student she had a soul
Then I selpt with her, ruining our friendship for eternity

Sleeping with fat girls is like riding a trike, fun till your friends see
you
i miss her, I gave her a soul...

Grungy netkid, become soldier, fight for the empire
Don't worry what others think, you fight for your own reasons
Fight for your own cause, but I don't think the army will like that very
much
You got to fight for their men
You got to listen to some guy tell you why...
When you already know why, but I don't like it when people have different
why's to me

Me, me, me... i need to defrag and frag and then maybe i get home.




The very reason for getting out of bed every day has long since gone away. I no longer eat too much, but you just have to go to the toilet. Why can’t I roll over, feel awesome, jump up and think of something to do? Not even anything meaningful, or useful, just something, anything… Better than sitting on the couch staring at the wall. I eat money every day, I go nowhere and just eat it all.

I am also pitiless as the sun and committed to doing anything necessary to
ensure the supremacy of an army or state. You see in me a terrifying powerful
synthesis of Rama, Zhuangzi, Zeno, Machiavelli, and Nieztsche.


There is meaning in this, even if I can’t even remotely empathize with the sentiment. I have pity, I have nothing but pity, I am fallen. I am gone. Who was that boy standing on those mountains? Who walked from edge to edge of all those ancient cities? Where did he go and who is going to save him now… His ghost needs a literal mission, instructions to get him by, but there are none forthcoming, none on their way to even talk to him. Ke Xiusi wrote that. I’ll be presenting more later.

"Things are not progressing too fast at the
moment. More office space has been sourced but its not a great deal
bigger than their current office space unfortunately. They are due to
move over the next few weeks. Sorry I cant be more specific, however,
you are definitely on our list of available candidates. "


That’s where it’s at. Now I go back into the swamp, just as long as dealing with people isn’t on the list of things to do today. Maybe the good times will come, but I doubt it.
Not anytime soon.
I am blessed with friends of the highest calibre, but they don’t live here. Why do I live here? Someone fucking remind me, someone whisper in my ear what it was I must have been thinking. I could be so many places, I could… I could. I coud be here. Ben, good friend Ben, those Istanbul nights may be so far away from us both now, but permit me to share what you shared with me. I’m not up to this level yet, it just ain’t my look.


TEGUCIGALPA

One Honduran nun
dressed all in glowing white robes
she steps daintily into the post office

like a heavenly swan swims,
wearing a white beaded cross.
Suddenly I love her,

watching her warm gentle hands
mailing old letters
her delicate handwriting

tattoed like sailor's chests
on tattered envelopes
addressed to old childhood friends,

or generals, or God,
her dying mother in a hut.
She has no children

no lovemaker's arms –
for she bears the burdens of
many hungry worlds

in her simple straw basket
and so, cannot also
carry the love of a man.


My head is about to crash, dear friends, so forgive me… The couch is calling my name.

Over and Out

Monday, February 19. 2007
The man lost his train of thought. He wasn’t sure if he was the writer or the subject anymore, continuing on even though he couldn’t know if he was in control, or being controlled. Something felt like it was grabbing the back of his head. There wasn’t much to do, about that or about anything else in the world. There was no good reason to even leave the house. There wasn’t anything to write about either, but he recalled sitting at the keyboard.

There would be no clean sleep. Clean sleep is what happens when the brain stops moving for a second and the mind shuts down. His mind felt dirty, his head full of something grey. At his wit’s end, he decided to write.

Brutal honesty was an affliction. People don’t like to see their lives through the unblemished vision of the truly honest. It’s too hard to know that there isn’t much going on and life can’t help you now. Brutally honest, smiling was impossible that afternoon.

This is bullshit. You’ll never get anywhere like that. What are you trying to prove here? It’s not even original, it’s like the essence of every depressed bit of poetry filtered through a cloth of insomnia. Get out of here.

As I reported a few days ago, some things of interest actually happened to me outside of the pedestrian trials of showering myself daily. Right now, I am on a three day fast. It’s not 100%, because I think eating in the morning might be wiser than wisdom can tell, but it’s all making me a little shaky in the mind. There will be no primo-gold produced these next few days. Unless you get lucky, and I have to write a thrilling account of my trip to hospital. Let us all hope that doesn’t happen.

I might get lucid or something, so hold out for that.

Day One

Monday, February 19. 2007
The last thing I had to eat was at eleven am this morning. I woke up earlier (the alarm was programmed somewhat optimistically for seven through seven thirty, but I may have stayed in some form of sleep for a few more hours) but didn’t get about to the eating part until then. It was a bowl of cereal.

Keeping busy is not something I can do a lot of at the moment but keeping focussed was of paramount importance. Or so I thought. Having nothing to do all day brings something like this into clear focus, it was all I could do to think about it. Not eating was actually easier than I thought, but this was only day one. It’s been about twelve hours since I began. The goal is three days. I’m going to eat breakfast in the mornings to keep things ticking over and get out and about for a walk whenever. If it gets hairy tomorrow night, I might eat lightly. I had that in mind for today, but I’ve pushed through it.

I drank a lot of water and a lot of green tea. A lot of tea. I walked up to the post box on Heidelberg road to post a letter and my little bro asked me to go to mini golf. I was clear headed, even thinking about eating didn’t put me off. Or make me want to eat. There’s food everywhere, there’s the temptation to eat everywhere. The advertising, the placements. But it didn’t faze me, I managed to push through it and focus. It feels oddly good. I feel consumed by my challenge. I am aware that it might not be so good for my health, but now is the time. I will see what happens and stop if it all goes awry. If I had other things to do as well, it might not be so simple. Strangely, focussing on it makes it easier if that’s all I have to focus on. But my concentration is clearly affected here, I can’t seem to write without stopping for too long.

It wasn’t even a problem when other people were eating or cooking. There’s something to be proud of. I know I can do this, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, so strength will get me there. I don’t want to think too hard about my motives right now, not beyond the primary concern.

Self destruction is self improvement.

Put it into action and find out for myself.

Another exit

Sunday, February 18. 2007
Happy New Year. As of today, it's the Year of the Swine. Chinese New Year means a week off - naturally, unpaid at my school. I'm heading down south on the bike again. This time the goal is a little less clear. Last year, Charles and I had a simple plan - to ride a circuit around the island of Taiwan. We got through it, with a few minor disasters on the way. I put Dinna and the 'xiong on the train yesterday.

As soon as Charles is ready, we'll be leaving today. Paul Cox, one of the co-owners of Bobwundaye is coming with us but I'm really not sure what he's got planned. We're aiming for Taichung/Zhanghua by the end of today, so I'll see Dinna and the dog. After that, Charles and I are hoping to make Kending on Monday. Charles is playing with Public Radio at the mysterious Mystery Land Festival on Tuesday. Personally I think getting to Kending from Taichung will be pretty testing on our bikes. After that, who knows? We had planned to go to Hualian and we still might, though I might just ride through and go over the cross island highway. Depends on Paul, I guess.

Korea was... interesting. It wasn't the best holiday I've had, but then it probably isn't the worst. I'll be doing a full writeup when I get back, which is my code for saying I'll never get round to it and grovel later.

This time, I'm planning to take lots of photos and video. I promise.

See you in a week. After I finish writing this, the computer is going off. Gasp.

Reportin'

Saturday, February 17. 2007
I have events of note to chronicle, things that happened. We sometimes do that around here. I know, crazy, right?

Good old KC has a job. It hasn’t started yet but that’s not his fault. The details are chewy, and the end result of all that fibre is I could get a call and be working on Monday or it could be a whole lot longer after that. We’ll see. The job entails translating documents for a law firm. Should be good, interesting and challenging. I get to use my skills and hopefully meet people. The last month or so will be nothing but a bad dream.

I sent a message to a dude and a girl on Thursday night while I was drunk. And not just drunk, but well smashed. On a Thursday night, because good people, that’s the kind of debauchery my life has embraced. Good for me, good for you, good for all involved. Sweet as. The message was about me hoping said recipient realised that they had caused a fucked nightmare situation and I would kill them. Me! Plain old calm me. Even off my face I rarely turn to anger and violence. I was upset when I should have been happy. But as it goes, hindsight will see me through. The occasion was my sister’s boyfriend’s birthday. One of the clubs in the city does an alternative slash punk night on Thursdays, it is always fun and the same people show up almost all the time. I’ve been a few times since coming back, since my little brother is a regular. There’s also a similar thing on Saturdays, and the same crowd shows up there too. So I’m getting to know the faces and scene and I can only think this is a good thing.

The message was to my sister’s boyfriend, who had chosen to wait until three am and we were all pissed to break up with her. Yep, what a low move. It’s almost on par with the kind of thing I might do myself. I felt anger to him at the time and a massive dose of empathy to my sister. I might have cried more than she did. That’s just because the DJ chose to play ‘Cailin’ by Unwritten Law at just the wrong time. It’s all this and more. So later, in my angry state, I went through the numbers in my phone and sent the angry message to the two recently dialled unknown numbers. One I figured was the guy, because my sister had taken the phone to call someone earlier. The other I had no idea and was too drunk to look into it further. So I just sent it to both numbers, and moved on with things.

My little brother and I have been getting along like awesome lately. He always sends me a shout when he’s going out and I tag along. I try not to do any cramping of style, and it works, mostly because I am adaptable and just scrape in to the upper level of the average age of people in attendance. His girlfriend is also really cool and we have developed quite a rapport, so I count that as another positive. Mind you, I thought my sister’s guy was OK too, and well, I am now obliged to kill the mangy fuck should our paths cross anytime soon. Oh well, such is the commitment required of the drunken message.

So little bro’s girl, who we call Em, took her friend along too. I had met Em’s friends a few weeks back and their scene is not at alternative night, so taking Misty along wasn’t working out. I know the boredom and self consciousness that comes with that kind of situation, but I had my own plans. And I was in a good spot, what with nearly being employed and actually knowing the faces around. Things were good. There was especially this one girl, I’d seen her almost every time around the scene, but never had the chance to talk. Usually because I was drinking, or too drunk, or occasionally attached to some girl with too many bits of metal in her mouth. I’ve been doing alright in that respect, but now am keenly aware of how a reputation can take hold. Take little bro for example. He’s been in the scene a while now, and in his more formative years was by his own admission, something of a slut. And he can get away with it too, since he is the poster boy for the scene. He knows everyone, which is both good and bad for me. He’s not much good as a wingman but I’m not any good as a fisherman either. His reputation earned him the honour of having the Say Anything song ‘I Don’t Know What I Want’ to be known as His Song. Because he never used to know.

Anyway, this girl. Long hair, usually with a hair band, glasses, cute as hell. Too cute to talk to, especially when in my situation. I saw her around almost every night we went out and I had been thinking about her. Got stuck in my head, you might say. I’m not good with situations like that because historically it never works out for me. I’m bad with crushes, and I never found the personality pill to deal with this problem. But I happened to be at the bar and standing next to her. So I straight up told her I thought she was too cute to talk to and I would like to talk sometime. I was that eloquent, friends, you should have seen me. She didn’t give me the ‘right… ok, whatever’ look and get away from drunk weirdo. She sounded surprised and happy. Wonders will never cease. I did chat later, with the caveat that I was not in any position to be talking. She understood, and told me she was leaving to the US in winter. So now I got the low-down, we see what happens when I get the balls to actually call. I just decided now that her screen name here will be Angel.

So the night rolls on. The trashing happens, things go downhill. Little bro is being unhelpful as ever, not supportive at all. I am pissed off about that too. There’s seven of us in a big taxi heading home. Misty is going to crash at our place and is claiming that my bed is where she will sleep. She seems uncaring as to whether I will be there or not. This I can accept. She’s a nice girl, I had her wrongly pegged as rough and typically untamed teenage type. I was wrong about that, don’t worry. She did indeed make it a sleepover in my bed and the record shows there was no inseminations. Nothing wrong or below board. She’s sweet, actually. I came here to write about her a little – but the rest of the night got in the way. That seems to be the top and bottom of it. The rest of that night really got in the way. I don’t know what I want. I turned into my little bro here for a second. Without the Emo hair and the tight t-shirts. Well, I have t-shirts, but on me it really is a tight fir. Anyway.

So to Misty. I don’t know what you think of me, or if you have it to give me a chance, but it’s best if you don’t read this. I don’t know what I want, but tonight I can’t stop thinking about you. And that’s something, something that breaks the numbness I been living in. You really are sweet, so stay that way. That’s all I got to say right now, because investing too much is my biggest crime and I like the insurance that comes to protect me when I set up for a fall.

Ah hell, good night people. Keep your head straight.

Listen up!

Wednesday, February 14. 2007
Things come and go. The way we interact, communicate, the way we live our lives changes so very quickly and the very act of talking about it, especially if you are a non-expert source trying to write about technology so that late-thirty businessmen might relate (or even your conservative yet low class audience) is so incredibly naff, it is all I can do not to do it. Really. At least the ‘next big thing’ headlines attached to dribble about iPods has gone. Yet bullshit persists, and there must be some esoteric way for me to relate it to you.

I was listening the Penny Arcade podcast this evening. I would listen to their shit religiously if they were consistent or even vaguely prolific about making their recordings. They do have all the episodes up for our attention, but there ain’t many to go around. For public record, the productions I profess devotion to are the daily antics of comedians Merrick and Rosso, the delights of Violet Blue, the quasi-science slash lies to children output of Dr. Karl, Jay and the Doctor and the winsome Sunday Night Safran. The last three come courtesy of Triple J, who have many other reputable podcasts for your perusal. But the Arcade is a staple of my internet time and we would all be lesser beings for their work. They were talking about the Zune, the Microsoft engineered portable music player.

I couldn’t give a crap, since I am well served by my obsolete iPod (it’s a rare model, bitches) but their point got me thinking, about a few things, but of a conversation started a long many years ago now. The place of digital music, downloading, and FM radio. How we get our input, our choices, how we digest music. The Zune has WiFi, presumably to sync with a PC, or even to directly connect to the wider web, and the dream is that you could surf a digital music site, buy your tunes and download them directly to your device, then go on listening. This cuts out the need for the middle man, that poor computer sitting on your desk or lap. That, as a concept, isn’t that far fetched and easily imagined my most people these days. I mean, of my demographic. It’s fucking cool, if you like paying to download stuff. Get a device, make sure it’s got a massive screen, buy your gear on the go and be listening right now. It’s the sleazy easy generation, you best believe.

This got me on the idea that if that sort of deal, unimaginable a few years ago on that night in a suburban train station with the J, has become almost passé, how lazy we are. Or even just what great changes have come along these few years.

The conversation was something like this.
Me: I think downloading mp3s is the new FM radio.
J: How’s that?
Me: I don’t listen to radio anymore. I can get popular new tracks from any fucking p2p service, illegally, without retard disc jockeys, adds, or songs I don’t want to listen to. It the new delivery method. I have greater control.
J: I have to jump on a train and derail this conversation.
But you get the point. The J had an opinion, but I forget what he was on about. The point was, in terms of getting new music and hearing what’s out there, all my life it had been the job of FM radio to do it. I rely on them, their choices, to get it to me. I listened through the good and bad, and when my paltry salary allowed, go and purchase a CD. I was right, because since unfettered internet access and the growing availability of files (starting with Napster, and on from there to the current orgy that is bittorrent) my radio listening has decreased to almost nothing. My beloved radio, gone. No longer do I get their fresh output, good or bad – but as supply and demand dictates, it’s because I have something better that fulfils my purpose. I have a supply that meets my demand.

Extending from this, I will now compare what it took to first find out what music I wanted and how I got it, with what I have now, and line it up with the Zune talk above.

Hear something cool on radio. Listen and hopefully get the back-announce, remember the artist. Alternatively, read about it in a print magazine such as Rolling Stone. Work at supermarket, mow the lawn, wash the car, scrape together the thirty dollars needed (ten if the CD single was acceptable) and find a way to get body to music store. Accepted methods include ambulating on foot, from home or from school once lessons finished, haranguing parents into driving (this always came with additional baggage about wasting hard earned money) or in extreme cases, flying. Then you go into shop, scour the racks, pick out your desired recording from the hundreds on offer, fighting desire to get something else that you heard or looks cool, and purchase from guy behind counter using hard-earned. Go home and listen to plastic disc in boom-box. Feel happy.

Fast forward to today. It’s a matter of everything is available on one of a myriad of torrent sites. Some sites I frequent have more music than I could listen to in several lifetimes, if I was to listen continuously from the time I had ears to the time I died. Anything, everything. Hw to filter it and get what turns you on? There’s a million fucking places that have opinions about music, some better than others, there’s services that take account of what you listen to and what others listen to and then they tell you what the others listening to your music listen to, thus giving you ideas about what you might enjoy. One torrent site has a top ten page, and if it’s popular usually that means it’s worth checking out further. The download is free, because pirates are cool. You can get practically anything for free. Then I run it through a tagging program to get rid of any bullshit people like to add, get the album art, load onto iPod and go. The most part of all this is automated. All I have to do is research and choose, then listen.

I don’t get a physical CD. This still hurts a part of me, the one who likes to collect shit like that, and has boxes full of jewel cases. But since I didn’t pay for it, I can get over it. If I was paying, then I would be peeved. But hey, we all sort ourselves out.

So that’s the process. My, how far we have come. Here’s to the future, implanted data storage in our heads that we download pirated music to via wireless connections. That plays in your head. Cool. No more earphones. This is how to kill the iPod. Microsoft, take note.

Not Ready

Wednesday, February 7. 2007
That’s it. I don’t know how I get into these ruts, but I am a champion. Since I got back, I’ve been a couch surfer of the highest degree. No day has been fruitfully used accomplishing anything other than watching entire cricket matches, no serious amount of thought has been given to anything but video games.

Time to change. I ain’t ready to be a fat loser, I ain’t ready to be that family member who does a life-long leach impersonation.

This is because I unequivocally hate leaches. Hate, hate, hate.

I almost didn’t go to Indonesia because my friend there told me she once found a big, fat leach in her bathroom. True story.

So for the record, mine and the greater internet at large, here it is. I’m going to stop eating garbage, not that I was in a particularly bad way, and stop eating meat. For at least a month. See where that goes. This limits my choices, I am very much aware of this, but it has to be seen as a good thing.

As for making it off the couch, well, there’s easy and hard when it comes to that little problem.

Exit

Saturday, February 3. 2007
I'm leaving today, for Korea. The dog went to the boarding kennel last night. Hope he's ok. We're going skiing and I'm excited enough about that, although we haven't actually organised equipment rental or lift passes or even transport to the slopes.

We'll be in Seoul were I'll be fending off attacks from patriotic Korean men who think Dinna is Korean and I'm just another white guy stealing there women.

In the meantime, don't leave a comment. Our commenting script has been disabled by our hosting company as the spam being generated was causing server performance issues. I haven't reenabled it as I'm not sure it won't start again yet.