Saturday, October 29, 2005

God, I seriously need to sleep but I'm not remotely sleepy. I'm sitting in the middle of an atmosphere of contained dynamism waiting to have its constraints removed.

I just wish George wouldn't send stupid text messages to my phone. Even if I could, I wouldn't take out a $6,000 loan to buy a car. A far more cost effective solution is only a mouseclick away - eBay.

One of the kids is trying to beat his own sleeplessness record. He wants to go 64 hours without sleep and I'm not happy about it. Primarily, it's physically very dangerous - he could hurt himself doing that. Secondarily, one of the rationalizations he's put forth for why this feat should be achievable is "mind over body". Willpower in other words.

He seems to have forgotten that the mind doesn't exist independently of the body - damage one and you damage the other. (Don't argue the finer points of this statement, you will more than likely lose.)

On the other hand, who am I to stand in his way if that's what he wants to do? It just bugs me more than a little bit that I can't be there in case my fears are realised.

I quite often have 30 hour days. I get going on the internet and Windows Media Player and I just don't stop until I can't see the screen properly any more. But 64 hours is seriously pushing the bounds of neurochemical imbalance. What if, after 58 hours without sleep, he walks out in front of a car?

Oh well. I've made my opinion known, it's now up to his friends and family to take care of him if he's determined to go ahead with this attempt.

Not for me though. It's 3am and I'm going to bed.

Niters all.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Knowing certain things is a curse.

The potential evil of poetry is one of those things.

I'll just explain for the uninitiated why poetry is potentially evil.

Poetry has rhythm and it therefore bypasses the conscious mind and goes straight to the subconscious. That's the reason you get songs stuck in your head all day. You have no control over that unless you know how to get a rein on your subconscious.

Poetry also has its message composed of intelligible words which don't go straight to your subconscious, they lurk right up there in the thinking part of your brain and they stay there thanks to the hooks supplanted into your subconscious. Thus the unrealistic messages of poetry can be used to subvert the thinking mind.

If that rhythm were not so successful, do you really think ad agencies would use jingles to promote their clients' products? Hell, those fuckers even sing the damn phone numbers because they know you'll remember them better if they're sung than if they're just read out. It's an deniable truth that rhythm can be used to subvert thought.

Now why is this a curse to me?

Firstly, because there's something I want someone to understand. At any time, it can be a particular individual or nobody at all - just a general message for anyone who wants to read it. I can trust that whoever reads what I write will understand what it is I'm trying to say, but whether or not the message gets through is another matter.

What better way to get the message across than by wrapping it in poetry.

To me, though, that's tantamount to dishonesty and it's manipulation of the first order and I will not participate in that sort of activity. I'm perfectly capable of writing a poem sufficient unto my needs to get the message across, but it's also a betrayal of the trust that has been placed in me.

Other means I could use to transmit the sentiment without the betrayal of trust is by using the means of music without lyrics. Unreliable and not always clearly understood since people listen to certain types of music according to the moods they are in and the wrong music at the wrong time will - to coin a phrase - fall on deaf ears.

The other means I have at my disposal is to write a narrative and I was exhorted to do just that earlier tonight. "Write a bestseller" I was told. Easier said than done, but moreso because the marketplace seeks out certain stories at particular times. I can write anything that's attractive to a few people at any given time but only as a diversion, not as an offering for posterity. It's a bit of a coward's way out, but under the circumstances, it's probably the best option available to me right now. Of course it also means the immediacy will be lost.

I'm not conceited enough to think that's going to be any great catastrophe, but it still leaves me without the option of adequately saying what I want to say right now.

I would pen more poetry. Only if I didn't know what I know. I can't get my head around the ends justifying the means. Where people are concerned, the ends never justify the means. Time to quit PhilochatX methinks too. Not to sound melodramatic, but evil has taken hold of that place and I can't stay there any more. Why are people so slow to recognise pure evil when they see it? Knowing what they know, how can they tolerate it being in their midst? It makes me despair of humanity when I see ignorant people putting up with that vile woman, knowing what she does and what she's like and letting her continue doing it... Just staggering. No more for me. I'm fed up having my blissful existence elsewhere stained by the memory of that filthy bitch.

Why has it been so long since I've blogged?

Simple, I've been busy elsewhere - doing what I like best.

Gripe if you must, they come to my inbox so I see them pretty well instantly.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Dear Diary,

Today I watched the cricket. Australia is playing the rest of the world in a 6 day game in Sydney, but the game won't go that long. The rest of the world is getting its arse kicked by the Australians. It's at times like this I really love cricket.
It's only gone two days so far and I suspect it will be all over before the close of play on the 4th day with Australia winning by about 200 runs.

I was going to have lunch today, but I forgot. I forgot to eat yesterday too until it was time to go to bed, then I remembered I was hungry. I had sort of about half a dinner tonight because I was experiencing a hypoglycemic crisis and fell over on my way to the kitchen to put the kettle on. If I remember to eat, I don't pass out every time I stand up.

I also got industrious and washed the dishes so whipping up something to eat was one way to relieve that depressing phenomenon known as an empty sink. If there are no dishes in the sink waiting to be washed, it makes me remember I've forgotten to eat. If there are dishes in the sink waiting to be washed, I can ignore them and make coffee instead.

I need to write a dragon story for Lea. Not because she wants me to but because I need to write it. It will be a challenge to make it acceptable to her rather exceptional son who likes piano music. Anything too childish will be an insult to his intelligence - of that I'm only too well aware. Anything not fantastic enough will bore him. I dislike Harry Potter. No, I mean I really dislike Harry Potter. I dislike everything about them except Robbie Coltraine's portrayal of Hagrid. I also disagree with the Vatican's appraisal of the books. Anything that gets kids reading can't be all bad - especially if they're not reading that stinking tome called the bible. (Bugger giving its titular capitals too.)

All that means I'm not remotely interested in writing a Harry Potter style dragon story for Lea's son. The trouble is, I'm agonising over a plot and character names. Thinking up names for the characters is the worst part of story writing. Just ask George Lucas's daughter who named just about everything in the Star Wars books. What kind of poxy names are Tatooine and Naboo. Not to mention Jar Jar Binks. Faaaark off.

I'm more and more engrossed in the blogs of those Canadians. They are fast becoming the centre of my internet activities. I know groups like theirs are out there, I just haven't taken the time to look for them. The other really great thing about them is they're not about to rock up on my doorstep unexpectedly - which is something I hate. I like my front door because I can close it and thereby close the rest of the world out of my mind and I need it to be that way.

Slowly but surely, they've been getting me on messenger too. That's fun. Every couple of days I get the message that so-and-so would like to send me a message, would I like to accept it. Of course I would. These are brilliant people and I don't seem to be able to get enough of them. I feel like a rock band's groupie, only cleaner.

I get an absurdly good feeling everytime one of them sends me an email too. I'm getting 8 or 9 a day now. If it weren't for the fact I'm getting more messages back than what I'm sending, I'd feel slightly creepy. And if it weren't for the fact they're adding me to their lists - not the other way round - I'd feel slightly creepy and foolish. As it stands now though, I couldn't be more ecstatic about the whole thing unless I took mind distorting drugs. They all know I think of them fondly, but I doubt they've given any thought to just how much I value them, which happens to be fairly immensely.

My playlist has me caught between heaven and ummm... heaven. I can't make up my mind whether to keep replaying individual songs or just let the 5 and a half hours of it just play itself through. Sometimes I listen to 5 or 6 songs then start from the beginning again because I love all of the tracks so much I sometimes feel like I can't wait another 5 hours to hear particular tracks again. When I decide to share anything from it, it's because there's a song with which I can't live for very long and I feel everyone else should suffer the same sweet agony I suffer. I only know I'm no longer a teenager because I don't listen to the same few songs sitting with my feet higher than my head and with a bag of chips sitting on my chest.

And I don't play online games with anyone either.

That's all you're getting tonight. I need to answer more email from the Canadians.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

There was something I was going to do today, but because of circumstances that's not going to be very probable now.

Maybe later.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Isn't it weird how the oddest things make their insidious little connections in our minds. I'm listening to 60s music and I'm reminded of the most insignificant little incident at a nightclub many moons ago...

I was there with half a dozen friends and it was "alternative night" as it was every Wednesday night. That means if you didn't see the participants getting dressed up, you wouldn't know who they were when they'd finished.

There was Patrick - our fearless peer group leader, his sister, Colleen - with whom I was insanely in love, David - Patrick's boyfriend, Darren - the token outsider we let in because we were too cool not to, Patricia - one of our friends and other David - Patricia's boyfriend.

Now Darren just had the name we liked to pick on. Remember Bewitched? Darrin? What did Endora call him? That's right. Dustbin.

Now, on this particular night, Darren and I were sitting around on some bit of improvised furniture when a photographer from Beat Magazine chanced upon us, just as Patrick happened to coming up from the other way. He saw the photographer taking a photo of Darren and I looking sublime in our costumes then come up and ask our names - at which point Patrick lobbed up, pointed at us and said "This is Dusty and this is Polly."

Naturally, and because we were already very drunk, we laughed our arses off. I never bothered to check the mag to see if our pics made it. Given the reputation our group had among the club scene, I'd be surprised if it didn't make it to the mag. For 8 months of 1986 - 87, we never once paid to get into a nightclub and we never once lined up with the little people. I had so many free passes I could have wallpapered the house with them.

So what prompted this memory?

Listening to this old music on my machine, it struck me that "Son of a Preacher Man" is not one of the songs on the machine. Who sung that song? Dusty Springfield.

Instant memory.

And now someone I hold in the highest esteem has just sent me a music file.

What a hoot. The song is Cartoon Hero by Aqua.

LMAO.. just get it and listen to it. It speaks to me, very loudly too just quietly.
Camp as a row of tents but funny as hell.

"What we do is what you just can't do."

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I have a friend who is a bit older than I, but for whom I still have a fair bit of respect and I like him because he tells good stories. He also sends me regular emails full of lots of good things like videos of stuff exploding or small furry creatures being mown down by locomotives. You know, just the sort of stuff I find appealing.

Since he’s a fair bit older than I am, I had the idea of telling him about something that has been brewing in my head for about the last oooh 20 minutes but what I wanted was a good story that has a start, middle and a conclusion.

Because my life has been that many years shorter than Don’s, I have lots of starts, quite a few middles – but am lamentably short of conclusions. To put it another way, I haven’t managed get myself into enough situations, the resolution of which would provide a good basis for a plot of some length. All mine are either over inside 5 minutes or (and more likely) I’m still up to my eyeballs looking for the best way to get out of trouble.

I’ve been developing another case of writer’s block over the last two weeks too. I could see it coming, felt it encroaching and getting in the way of all things I consider important and worthwhile. It dawned on me yesterday what was causing the precipitation or perhaps the ascension of a massive head swallowing turd. A Volkswagon sized buffalo killer of a piece of shit enveloping its victim, ie: me, blinding, deafening and suffocating the life out of me and rendering any creativity I might erstwhile have enjoyed completely quashed.

I decided upon a course of action not 5 minutes ago to remove myself from the source of this inexorable drainage upon my sensibilities, but on visiting the hallowed halls of doom (one of the msn groups of which I am a member) I discovered this black hole for intellect was gone and so was all her stuff. I was, not to put too fine a point on it, fucking ecstatic.

It was a good culmination to a pretty substantially lacklustre weekend.

Someone else for whom I have developed a fair bit of affection and empathy left a couple of messages here and thereabouts and I wanted to respond to them but didn’t have the words. (Writer’s block, remember.) Then it suddenly dawned on me. Don’t reply, lead by example. So I did. The upshot of it was that a message was left for me by way of a response to this and I was not a little moved by it. Adherents to my blog know of what it is I am talking though my repeated references to it must be driving a few of the more curious among them insane because I’ve kept its location pretty much to myself.

Now that I have my brain back, I was struck with the idea to which I made reference above (for those who weren’t paying attention, it’s the bit about having lots of starts and middles but not enough conclusions) and I was thinking of emailing my friend, Don to help me come up with a few good examples of scrapes into which he has stumbled and how he got out of them. Don is well traveled and knows just enough about a lot of things, not enough to be a bore about any of them, and that’s more than I can say for many people of his vintage and experience.

On the other hand, he couldn’t write a one word instruction manual and when I’m free from braindead love vultures clogging up the bandwidth, I can. Moreover, when people around me invest so much of themselves in my presence and what I might be inclined to say to them, my natural bent for not wishing to disappoint tends to work fairly efficiently in everyone’s favour, especially mine.

So I’ve given birth to a premise for a story, I haven’t named it yet and it’s second in line to the throne of what I’m intending to make available to the broader public. I’d like to share that premise with you but I’m acutely aware of similarities this idea of mine has to ideas others have been diligent enough to make known to the entire western world, therefore mine needs to get a bit development happening before it’s allowed to be shown off.

Which reminds me, Locke, you did it to me again. You told me about what it was safe for me to write and I gave it careful consideration, couldn’t conjure anything satisfactory enough, thought about other things and even wrote about them – then a week later – so did you. When you finish with my head, it might be nice if you could tell me when you give it back.

This time, I’m cogitating something purely fictional – for a change, and it involves narcolepsy. That has got to be a subject nobody else is even remotely considering, so I’m thinking I’m going to be safe as houses writing it. If any of you reading this knows of any other work of fiction – besides Rat Race – that includes narcolepsy, I don’t want to know.

It includes quite a lot of other things as well, but here’s the dilemma: If I enunciate now what those things are, I run the risk of getting in the way of what I consider to be something of far greater importance than me being a showoff. It’s happened twice now and it has been just a private little thing and all is well and good and right with the world.

Anyway, back to narcolepsy. Although it can be seen all over the world in lecture theatres, church sermons and parliamentary venues, it’s generally not regarded as a problem until it starts happening in places where it could conceivably result in the death of the narcoleptic or someone else for that matter. Anything short of tragedy is comedy anyway so I’m perfectly happy making a definite statement such as that.

What I propose is putting my poor old narcoleptic character into situations no narcoleptic should ever have to face. Naturally, there needs to be more to the story than that and I don’t mean curing the narcoleptic. How could there be a sequel if I did that? Oh no no, I’m not that charitable.

It’s just that I am acutely aware of my oversupply of beginnings and middles and the scarcity of resolutions since I don’t have that sort of experience upon which to draw – but I’m getting there.

In fact, being as close as I am to pretty much every conclusion in which I've ever been involved, it's probably difficult for me to see them properly - sort of like getting up close to a wire fence so you look through the gaps in the wire, rather than look at the wire itself.

Maybe looking at things from a different perspective might enable me to see what it is I'm presently missing. Meh. It's something upon which I shall have to work a little harder and a little later. I am at present pre-occupied with other matters.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Amongst other things, I've let The Pad gather dust.

I've had thoughts about doing this or that with it, but I look at the Dreamweaver icon on my desktop and almost lose the will to live. Almost.

I'm going for the upscalage of the profession, just for those who wanted to know which way the coin came down. I'm switching from the telephone jiggery pokery crap thing to the face to face, I can do more for you from here, it's a bit more of a reality thing option. That's the intention anyway. The 30% pay increase is neither here nor there. And what's more, I like the idea of being able to do more for fewer people than doing nothing worthwhile for a hundred people a day.

I did a worrysome thing yesterday.

I put a message up in one of the msn comms about someone from the other side. I did it because I'm at a loss what to do for this poor kid. The responses were all more positive than I expected, but there was one cloud - and it came in the form of a complimentary remark.

I have to say, you have a very tireless spirit when it comes to young people.

But I don't. That's the problem. I prefer it when they let me come to them, I don't enjoy it very much when they come to me. I must have my space. I'm aware they have their moments when they want their space as well and where I like to believe I have a certain skill it's in picking when and when not to add my two cents worth to what they're doing.

There are exceptions, of course. When I'm on messenger and AIM I'm more than happy to talk to those who've added me to their lists, which is only 4 of them so it's no burden at all.

I'll tell you what did make my day yesterday though...

My unbelievably overwhelmingly favourite song of the moment is Alex Lloyd's "Amazing". (Yes the song behind the Ford ad - you philistines.)

I can listen to it 20 times in a row and love it more each time. Anyway, one of the kids allowed me to email it to him. Just that simple gift I was able to give. It might not seem much to anyone else, but consider this:

What is it about that one bit of music you can't resist every time you hear it? It evokes something in you so intrinsically enjoyable and makes you feel good for hours after you've heard it and it's something you'd just love to share with everyone you care about even remotely - well Chris gave me the honour of allowing me the opportunity to share that with him. That's why such a tiny gesture on his part gets blown out of all proportion on mine.

There are, of course, circumstances which contribute to that factor none of which I'm going to share here, suffice to say if everyone reading this arcs up their Kazaa or WinMX or whatever you all have and downloads the song, chances are it won't make the slightest bit of difference to me one way or the other. It's the fact I asked and was given permission to send it.

In other news, I went to the office in tracky daks and a tatty old windcheater last Thursday and I remarked to the boss who was in shirt and tie that it was "dress down Friday tomorrow." He just looked at me and laughed. As well he should have. He knows full well what I think of ties. They're the biggest sucky wank bit of bullshit ever invented. They serve absolutely no purpose unless you wish to hang yourself in the toilets on your tea break. I'm going to get this promotion tomorrow - I'm sure of that - and after a suitable honeymoon period, I'm going to ditch the tie in favour of something appropriate. Note I said not "more" appropriate because a tie is not in the least little bit appropriate - to anything. It's just a wank.

And finally, thanks to those who offered their thoughts here over the last week or so. I'll just take this opportunity to point out that there really isn't a need to express sympathy for me when I blog about Christopher. Yes I love him, yes I miss him but it was 5 years ago he died and I'm not losing sleep over it any more. I blog it because every now and then, I allow myself to relax a bit and get maudlin about him and it's nice to remember what I was thinking when I was thinking about him. That's all it is, really.

And finally finally - I wrote another edition of The Swamp last night but Topica apparently wouldn't publish the bloody thing. I'll try again tonight and if you all get it 3 times then the problem is at my end of the I.S.H. and your collective end appears to be just fine.

Now it's time to go away and do something productive.

Time to compose this entry: 72 mins.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Today I remembered my little brother.

It's his birthday tomorrow week. If he were still alive, he would be 25. I still love him and miss him.

My brother Christopher Robert who had so little, who was so much and who lived so briefly. My beautiful little brother Christopher who gave so much, who touched so many and when the last days came was almost all alone. Hundreds knew him, 6 of us were left at the end.

My awesome little brother who taught me so much as he also learned from me, gave me strength as he took strength from me and loved me as unconditionally as I loved him. Fate never blessed anyone as it did me with Christopher, my wonderful, awesome, beautiful little brother.

I love you so much, bro.