Friday, June 27, 2008

Photo Gallery: UNSW lower campus

Hiya! Here are some random photos of the Lower Campus @ the University of New South Wales, Kensington, Sydney Australia. The shots were taken during my lunch break, around 3pm, from drama school across the road on Anzac Parade. I decided on Wednesday I'd take my camera in the next day and shoot some afternoon cameos. The weather this week has been so sunny and yet delicately winter-soft in the afternoon. Needless to say I love lunch breaks on lovely days but hey, the rest of it, with district views, ain't too bad either! Enjoy!!
Uni bar fence, trees, a stage and alfresco drinking! The walkway above leads onto Anzac Parade. Drama school is across the road from there. Notice the trees overhangin the walkway have shed all their leaves.

'Birds of Paradise' shrubs are profuse at this campus.
That crane, reminds me of a puppy calling to attention... something hard and mechanical can actually appear innocent in a photo.

The oval, much play and frolic. Notice the Qantas (?) jet!

Above, nice metal art by the new law building that is to the side of the main walkway.

Nice, isn't it. I love the way the sun glistens through the trees.

The upper campus is nowhere near as pretty!!

I've been at this campus, either as a student (I did both my degrees there) or employee, since I was 18 pretty much, save for about 3 years. Much has changed since 1988. (In '88 we had a cafe with sofas of orange vinyl, sadly in '89 it got renovated, 'modern'ised...I miss the orange!)

Bye for now! (That's me in the photo there, a true Aussie magpie!!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

dream (22)

i bought a couple of albums on the weekend
and they were serious purchases too
one is Paul Weller's new album
22 dreams
and the other..
Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue
a remastered remixed repackaged rebookleted
re theworks double CD pack
for the new millennia
with bonus tracks added for extra tantalisemint
and a cd-rom pdf-file hidden somewhere in the swirly silver grooves
the bonus cd included in the pacific ocean blue toolkit
is of the unfinished Bambu album
...unfinished of course because Dennis was exhorting himself
on gigantean amounts of coke & booze
may he rest in peace
his was a gifted soul
a beach boy surfer and kick-arse rock'n'roll drummer
and arguably as gifted a composer as big brother bri

interestingly enough
as i listen to these albums
slowly carving rivers through my musical grey matter
they're actually quite alike in performance and style
Weller's album, 2008
Dennis Wilson's, 1977
it's very organic music
full of soul and flavour
gutsy immediate performances
inspired with a sense of life and nowness
the excitement news is...
Paul Weller is touring Australia in August
his first visit since the shire council
( sister's endearing name for TSC...!)
toured australia in 1985
...the Jam never made it here of course
in 1977 in a hotel in Leeds
an aggressive young weller glassed the manager of the australian rugby team
after the manager accidentally spilled weller's beers
only to cop a glass in the face from a wired mr Weller as retribution
weller ran for it
though bassist bruce foxton copped a ribbing in the kick
from a pack of aussie rugby players
not my idea of funn
and the jam never were to cross that equator
yet in 1985
Paul Weller landed here with the cleaner sounds of the style council
complete with brass bands and eighties leather caps
i was 15 at the time the style council toured osstraylia
and my interest in weller and the council was seeding fast
about to explode into an obsession for the Jam
if Weller's trip was a put a few months back
i would have been at the concert
calling out for 'going underground' or 'town called malice'
like the rest of them louts
some 23 years on
(....where does the time fly!!?....)
weller won't recognise the place
i hope he has and his band have a good time here
gigging and seeing many sights and places
sealines and gumtrees and desert
and on the 19th August
at the enmore theatre
i'll be there
to see and hear Weller & band crank it

as for dennis he passed on
at the age of 39
drowning in cold california waters
in december of 1983
i'm a big fan of Dennis Wilson
he's my favourite Beach Boy
...well...he and Brian are i suppose
followed by Carl
followed by Al
then ...a long way down, here comes mr mikey Love
bruce johnson somewhere between al & mike
dennis was the opposite of mike
mike is clean republican right-wing immensely-egotistical domineering
dennis was primal impulsive inspired musical wild nature-loving emotional
there is a lot to say about the beach boys of my favourite bands...
and soon i will pen an article about dennis wilson
to give to my mate Gav who runs a monthly newsletter
called the Songsmith
he publishes most of what i grazenly offer him
after he berates me for my copious lack of grammatical judgement
and expertise
sorry i say
i've forgotten the rules
but i'm learning the runes
in anticipation of ruins
that's the important thing...

merry christmas
it's June 25
this is what Christmas should feel like
where i am December 25 is usually a long hot day
now the days are short and the house is freezing
no central heating in syd
i'm seriously in hibernation mode
i don't want to do anything
went to the studio last night
did a bit of work with acoustic guitar
frustrated because i couldn't get the sound right
and besides
i was non-plussed and not-interested
to be anywhere other than Home
as the thermometer hits 1 July
i'm sure some motivation will begin to swell in me
until then
this brown bear signs cave closed!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

day of distant sun

today i awoke
to the shortest day of the year
it's the day when the earth
in it's yearly spin around the sun
has its axis tilted so that the sun is facing the earth
at its furthermost northern point
...henry miller's tropic of cancer...
it's a promising day however
hopefully in many respects
today is the first day of uncompromising sunshine
we've had in three weeks
since 31 may actually...
i almost couldn't believe it
yet i felt relieved and happy
it's the perfect winter's day for sydney
sunny & bright with a cold crisp winds
and a thankful lack of swampy humidity
i would have loved to have gotten out of bed earlier
but i overslept my alarm by about 35 minutes
i was out like the log
even the wailing of this plastic rectangle with led lights couldn't arouse me

i was twice awoken during sleep
at around 3am i heard loud voices from the street
youngish intoxicated bellicose voices
yelling monosyllables repetitiously
my window was open
yet my ears were plugged
(as is my habit)
and yet their loud voices penetrated the foam in my ears
and so
blissed out as i was on good sleep
i just let it pass...
and so thirty minutes on
i'm awoken again by the sounds of a car
revving and speeding around the quiet suburban streets
this seemed to go on for half-an-hour or more
there i was
my body was sensating with that pleasing and warm pins&needles feeling
my body was still in sleep mode
while my head was waking to these ghastly noises outside
there in my little house
in the small bedroom
and with my little head protruding through the blankets and quilt
i was wondering...
why on earth do i have to share this planet with these idiots?
here they are
reptillian brains in seemingly human bodies
driven to burn their rubber signatures on suburban tarmac
demonstrating an appaling disregard
for the citizens woken from their sleep
for the earthly creatures of the night who cower under such awful, violent noise
and to the planet for their degenerate inconsideration and lack of respect
for needlessly creating carbon dinosaurprints
with every rev and hoon
they engage their primitive mindsets on
perhaps i'm too intolerant
for i never understood this passion for fast driving
but doing this at 4am in the morning is unacceptable
and furthermore
these idiots don't seem to comprehend the full impact of what they're doing
to the neighbourhood
to the earth
to the environment
to the precious resource they so wantonly waste
with gleeful savagery
yet...i was still too blissed out to care too much
just that...i overslept my alarm
and didn't do all the things i wanted to this morn
...oh well!

winter solstice is the start of new things
new potentials
new ideas
new motivations
i'm being very quiet at the moment
not doing much playing
and i don't feel like socialising with my muso friends either
i ordered four books by author anais nin from the uni bookshop
where i receive a 15% discount from the rrp
i also borrowed the bob dylan chronicles
that had been donated to my wee library
so my reading pile
is going to be topplin'
i'll be taking a couple of weeks off soon from wok
to tend to my housemind cat a bit more
to travel around the bushy outskirts of syd
to play and write
and to read anais nin
i love her pillowly, soft, sensual and fragrant writing is good
at the day of distant sun

and tomorrow
hopefully a sun-day
it is Sunday...
i am going for a frolic around sydney harbour in the morn
with someone new
how excitement!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

weather desolation

i've not been in my finest mood these past few weeks
principally it's for the weather
we haven't had much sunshine at all
i don't mind those dark days that teem with rain
at least they're honest in their uncompromising pissingdown-ness
we seem to have had a June of squally windy cloudy foggy rubbish
the fogs been clouding my perception
i feel hemmed in
the grey humidity is hammering away at my bentdown head
wherever i go
winter solstice occurs over the next couple of days
while the populous northern hemisphere gears into party time
i'm in sacred neede of sonne
in a lonely southern land

at my luxurious library
where i profusely toil
i get asked "you must be glad to be here on a day like this !"
well the truth is...
i'd much much rather be at wok when the weather is sunny and delicious
i get the sun streaming in through the glass windows
shimmering through the glimmering trees lined via the across-the-road university
and on the other side
districtal southeast sydnia
and i feel good, playful as a puppy
i enjoy my trade
but when the weather is crap
i'm the bear in winter
and i don't wanna move from my house

it hasn't been particularly cold even
except for the last weekend
sunday took the prize poodle
biting harsh wind sideways rain
the perfect day to dive into the unconscious realm
and throw away the quay
instead my nephew and i
my nephew almost my age
...he's really a good friend
and a fine jazz guitarist
asked me along to the vegan festival
at one of them keys
around sydney harbour
we are both veered toward the life of everlasting broccoli stalk chomping
and he told me steve kilbey was playing
i thought, ok, we'll tailor our stay for his performance

the festival itself was good
yet it was tempered by a wet cloth of repression
the repression of a god-awful day outside those windows
i got some good stuff out of it
a big kakadu juice guy was sort of signing me up to distribute this wonderjuice
though i'll say no if he calls me
i'm into wonderjuice
particularly wonderjuice made of exotic berries our western lives no nothing about
there was good literature flying around
and fine catering from newtown's green gourmet
love them sweet'n'sour soykranski !
ginger not-beef ! (that was yum;)
I listened to one speaker before kilbey who was very illuminating
and me and Chaz sat down to watch Steve when it was his turn to stride the podium

before i left home i recalled an email i sent to the blogger
some 6 weeks beforehand
telling him the blog of the day reminds me of a booke
you may like to read...
the blog of that day was something heady and spiritual
like re-in-carnation or something
i don't expect a reply of course
but i received one two weeks ago
just a short'n'sweet thanks with a wry note added for sweet measure
So! methinks...
i'll chuck the book in the bag
and in the off-chance we cross paths
and if i can be bottled enough
i'll give 'im the book!

sk was terrific
a wonderful speaker
charismatic presence
funny as all get out
and a visionary singer-songwriter
when the gig finished
and chaz and i, inspired as we were
vowed to collect and throw out our sirena's tunatins from his 3rd level balcony for goode
though chaz says 'i'll be off'
so i says 'i'll be out in a sec' as i was talking to a mate Chris Carrapetta who'd i'd just run into there
Chris does great Neil Young impersonations
his songs are everybit as good as...
but i was distracted because sk was packing his guitar and looking a touch forlorn
i thought this was the perfect moment to introduce myself and pass him the book our emails had suggestively pingponged
but i decided i'm speaking to chris now so forget it
anyway after a couple of minutes
i go to follow Chaz out of the venue
i blink and Steve Kilbey is in front of me
flanked by the big Kakadu juice guy
and someone else, i later gathered from
right, i'll jus give him the book then
i pass it over
ignoring the guys flanking him that are keen to do some business with the killa
leading to monetary exchange nodoubt
Kilbey and I shake hands warmly
but because i'm thinking of Chaz waiting outside
though more imperatively, these two guys pillaring the space beside us
i don't say much
and indicate that i have to go
...that's a shame because on first meeting i like Steve very much
curiously though he reminds me very much of my bro & sis
they are much older than me
my sister is a Sep54 baby
she's still an outrageously funny and outspoken & uncompromising boho who doesn't mince words
and my bro and killa share a resonant booming voice and strong theatrical presence
hey it's all about being in the same tribe isn't it
none of us are exactly in the um.. pAckerman, mDevine, Malcolm turnbull, jwhoward tribe are we...

next day mondayne

the weather still shit and depressing
killa writes in his blog that perusing through material in a cab
...someone handed me a bible...
he lost his 600 dollar glasses
oh fuck! i thought
a bible of course a poetic license for anything
i jus hope he didn't leave his glasses in a taxi on my account
fuck !
and the following days blog
i sensed he may have been addressing his scribe to me personally
saying i want someone to know i don't know what i'm doing
well that's the point isn't it
who does?
we do our best
i wrote that into a response comment
that i cushioned with an anais nin quote
Steve Kilbey is a great man for many reasons, I believe
but he's only a human being
like most of us are
(others being robots or reptilians)
we're all dylan's mr tambourine man's boyz & girlz
dancing beneath diamond skies with all hands waving free
if i give him a book
there's no symbolism or expectation
there's no explanation (ahh, karaoke daze!!) required
enjoy it if you do
and if not
i organise booksales every year!

Nevertheless I would like to catch up with Kilbey again
primarily to buy some prints of his artwork
perhaps even an original
on the virtualworld's grapevine there was a wink thrown to do with a possible Sydney exhibition
of killa's artwork
I look forward to buying some coloured kanvas
of australian psychedelic vision
...that'll certainly keep the sunshine in my life!

Weather predicts sunshine for coming weekend
Yay!! - yelps my inner puppy!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

VeganExpo 2008

Today my nephew and I attended the ‘Cool the Planet :bite by bite’ third annual VeganExpo held by the Hickson Street wharves just to the western side of downtown Sydney. Charlie asked me to come along and as we’re both into the vege life and the encompassing issues I gladly went along; Steve Kilbey was on the bill so we tailored our time to hear and see his talk & live performance. Luckily the event was held indoors at ‘Arrivals Hall’ as it was a sodden, windy, cold & generally miserable day out there!

The event was heavily attended and the stalls ranged from those peddling vegetarian magazines and wares, to herbal teas, animal cruelty & deforestation information, animal testing & preservative-free soaps, and various naturopathic/herbal remedies in the form of Goji & Kakadu juice. I took an immediate interest in the Kakadu juice as it was new to me and I’m always looking out for new superfoods, with the added plus that the juice is made of mostly Australian wildberries; I take an interest Australian wildflowers and their tinctures so I was immediately drawn to examining the juice and its ingredients and properties. The girl serving I’d known from a health-food store in Bondi Junction where I go for my gymnema, though the guy I think talked me into becoming a distributor! *gulp* What do I say when he calls me..? Website worth checking out

The catering at the event seemed to come from Green Gourmet who have their restaurant in King Street Newtown - the buffet offered was precisely the same food offered at the Newtown store. This of course included tasty and succulent ginger not-beef & sweet and sour not-pork! There were little not-sausages and tofu cakes, plus spinach stalks & mixed veges. Lovely food at reasonable prices.

One speaker discussed how the meat industries cover up the names of their products as separate to the animal’s name, eg, beef instead of cattle, pork instead of pig etc. He said that an attempt was made to change the name of ‘lamb’ and how the marketers of meat products are very clever in this way. Infections during lactating are not only painful for the cows concerned but minute yet substantial amounts of pus & blood make it into the consumable milk-stream. That was enough to make me reconsider my daily work-a-day ‘skim latte’… and I think it has actually; Long Blacks for me are now the go I reckon.

Steve Kilbey came onto the stage with his Guild 12string and delighted us with passionate takes of Providence, Wolfe, I’m almost with you aka I’m almost Vegan!!, & Under the soylatte milky way! In between each number Steve spoke ardently and with great humour about vegetarianism, veganism, and the impact these have had on this life, health, and the world around us.

Of specific interest is that Kilbey came to be a staunch vegetarian at the age of 17, back in 1971! Australia in the early-70’s and vegetarianism are not synonymous; as Steve said he ate mainly chips, and there was only one brand of tinned vegetarian hotdogs available that his mum stored the cupboard with! I realise that was a brave decision for the time and Steve said as much; I looked back over the time I was about 19 or 20 in 1989 & 1990 when I was dipping my toes into the vegetarian world, and by then ‘vege-dogs’ and packeted textured vegetable protein were becoming readily available, so it was obviously a lot easier to find readily-packaged vegetarian foods 20 years on from the early 70’s. And certainly, as Steve remarked, ‘vege-burgers’ on bistro menus.

Steve relayed his long-standing belief that meat will be banned in his lifetime, and used smoking as an analogy, ie, that legally allowed places for cigarettes to be smoked have diminished since about 20 years ago. I don’t think meat eating will be ‘banned’ though; more likely rising price of commodities and food inflation will price it out of most peoples pockets, and worryingly, perhaps a lot of other foods including grains and rice (it’s happening now). The illuminati will never give up their meat. gWbush won’t be handing in his ranch, his barbeques, his four-wheel drives, in any foreseeable hurry, it’ll have to be nuked out of him.

But the cost of ‘mass-producing meat’ (ie, mass slaughter of animals to feed us) to the planet’s health – as discussed by Steve Kilbey and other speakers – is alarming. Cattle use up vast amounts of topsoil in their grazing and emit methane in large amounts. What did Steve Kilbey say in a blog once?? …why are we chopping down the Amazon?…for big macs?? Yet I liked Steve’s answer – says Steve, “people come up to me and ask how do I give up meat? well, my answer is do your best”. Do your best. That’s good, and with that, be aware, not just with diet but in all areas of your life. When we shop at the supermarket much of our consumables are stored in plastic; the bags we are given if we don’t take our own are plastic. This eventually finds landfill or the sea, what are we to do?? Our petrol-economy emits vast amounts of Co2 into the atmosphere every year. I read and or saw a couple of quotes on those current affair docos – one to do with gasoline & oil, the other to do with food, “most people have no idea of where the food they’re eating comes from, how it’s derived and how it’s packaged and processed”. Really it’s about raising one’s awareness of their own footprint on the planet and being grateful for what is offered to us so readily and easily, here in the west, and to utilise and use it all with care and grace, to tread as lightly and considerately as possible. And yet, I threw out my empty plastic lunch-plate in the large green wheelie bin outside, 3/4 full of plastic plates & forks!

For myself I’m almost a vegetarian, but not quite. I buy tins of tuna though I never cook with chicken or red meat. I take dairy such as yoghurt, and I use milk for tea & coffee. In my journey it’s all about being aware more and more. Every time I get in my car and I realise what a miracle it is to drive from one destination to another in quick time …something that was dreamed about in past generations, and is actually happening now, but for how long who knows.

Sometimes the body will tell you what it likes to have ingested. If you’re sensitive enough you realise that fresh vegetables and fruit, plus raw grains, and plenty of fresh water, is what it’s silently and sweetly asking for.

It was a very worthwhile afternoon, and thanks again go to Steve Kilbey for his passion and candidness in sharing with us his songs and anecdotal experiences.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

the genie in the barrel

since I posted my last b-L-og
torque nutso chip !
that which I'd ranted about in that last section of the blog
with somewhat furious fervour
lingered with me
and caused me a 10 degree lift of anxiety

you see I’ve realised
that the worldly people of the goodly earth
have blithely ventured to assume
that ripping up this black sludge aka CRUDE oil
with pure wanton abandon
is merely a rightful act
of no consequence
sure, the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming
societies around oil wells in Nigeria and Venezuela suffer unspeakable ills
the repressive kings of Saudi
are funded extravagantly by a criminal US autocracy
to keep the taps flowing freely
but hey, we’ll offset the carbon with cred-its
and when oil’s too expensive to dig
we’ll just find something else to take its place
i don’t think it’s going to be that simple

yet that’s not what worries me so much
even though we’re dealing with an issue that is jii-normous here
you see, most people on the planet
bogged down by the human psyche of time and past
can’t really see that the material world
we see hear and name for ourselves
is really as thin as a cigarette paper
there is the psychic world beneath that
and as you penetrate that you find the pure world of pure spirit
the supernal Life that always Is
problem is then, everything is symbol
I’ve said Oil is a miracle of modern civilisation
this black odious viscous sludge…
…well, you could say it’s dead fossils and plants
but look at it
what’s the symbolism here?
what is the energy factor?
Oil is Energy
Energy that has been fortified and compressed over millions of years
that in itself contains millions of years of formative earth matter
the power the terror the sheer WILDNESS
condensed into what we see
as viscous, vaporous, black goo
it is the Sun inversed
the Sun
light in weight
a star of the sky
viscous and heavy
a barrel of which
contains 400000 years of sunshine’s power
in ripping this stuff up with no care
what are we doing psychically, or spiritually
we are invoking a genie
a magic genie
what else, in the material world, is as magical?
oil has built up all we have today
oil has been the primary slave of the 20th century
and the consequences??
we are digging up the past of the earth
all the terror wildness and brutality of a planet evolving and swirling its steamy orb

over millions of years into the present and near-present Age
is now circling the earth as a psychic entity
and because this was acheived primarily in the spirit of avarice and greed
it is not a happy genie
accelerated climate change is happening
the earth’s climate is catching fever
with alternating sweats and cold flushes
cymbals please??
oil price skyrockets
oil price has taken to having a temperature too
fever hits us as we hit the half-way mark
in our quest to slake out black sunshine forever

from Earth's sacred grounds
and in this very uncertain backdrop
that as of now, our westernised world has begun to perceive
and enter into
the genie I feel is going to accelerate its comedown

it’s going to claim those responsible for disturbing its incomprehensible power
that means – us
humanity as a whole will have to pay a penalty

just as we know the earth is paying a penalty
moaning and groaning and melting and thundering
over the next few years this is likely to become more apparent

we know this, life's been speeding up hasn't it?
if only in love and rightness
we utilised this precious and magnificent earthly gift
bestowed on us by the unimaginable power of ages
with servitude respect and gratitude and great care
but we didn’t
so we’re going to have to pay
it’s very simple really
I’m not making this up
it’s just pure logic
when you see it – within and without –
you realise that’s it’s just the law of Life
and worldly people who are professioned in matters of climate and energy and resources and commodities
are all pensively worried
right this moment
read their articles
not pretty what’s a comin’ down on us

but there is something greater than sun and oil
there is I in the body
this coming timeperiod is a fantastic opportunity for us
to see life as it is
we are here to jump to higher gradient
things will happen on the street that will annoy us
piss us off
next time your (mine) ego takes a questioning or bruising
let it go
let it go
let it go
as I right this I realise
my karma will get more responsibility thrown at it
but things will appear tighter as we move through
the northern summer going into fall
the southern spring moving into hot christ mass
but I love you
and I want you to be loved and well
whoever you may be
because I love you

i need to fill my car with petrol
as it’s runnin’ on empty
in the news they warned us that petrol prices will jump by thursday friday blah
i cannot seriously take concern
for everytime i stick that bowser in the hole of my car and squeeze the gauge
i jussthink what a damn almighty luxury this is
a damned luxury

my next blogs
I hope
I will delve into what really moves me within
and peace
god bless

Monday, June 9, 2008

torque nutso chip

babybib banter
pasted on the daily tabloids
a total fucking waste of our money
money that is required from us
utterly mandatory
to service banks
and high corporations
and their upward levels of interest
why not just do away with it all??
in the papers
for all of last week
were frontpage squabbles about the price of petrol
one 366daysaweek party
sez petrol will always bee cheepa under us
(winston o’boogie churchill accent req.)
the laboured party - now in poWer
shift their uncomfortable sweaty blue collars about some schematic nonsensical bulbous entity called ‘fuelwatch’
the white colla toffs
Want to cut fuel excise
going against their old toadmaster
john winston verynot o’boogie h-ward
and slimeballs like piers Ackerman
I’ve noticed at unsw lunchbreaks
chomping salad in the café
and rummaging through any paper I can get my bunfight mitts on
tells us in the daily telegraph cucumber…
oh cutting excise is a good idea
as I pump my tarago fullof refined foSSil fueL
it would turn out to be a good five dollars cheaper
oh fuck u piers you opportunist prat
if the laboured party did precisely that right now
you'd be telling your pasty constituates of blueribbons
‘oh how irresponsible they are
tuttut mr rudd you really have no idea
of how to be a good manager
of the economy
or of your cabinet
or office
tut tut mr rudd’
and of course the truly deadly diatribes come from smarter angles ie anti-angels
such as the devine ms miranda
an exemplary model of the class of ‘98
telling her readership all about these WOMD
and that the war in Iraq
would ‘stamp out the cockroaches’
she actually wrote that…
not in the privacy of her own bluenavy journals
but in the smh it got printed

the price of a barrel of oil jumped up this weekend by $11US dollars
we’re shooting up to $150US for a barrel of the crude oil
a number of smaller factors involved here…
the us dolla, shrinkin’ fast
inventory data, not lookin’ so fruitful
Israel talks dirty with her neighbours threatening table options
…biG table options
Yet the primary reason for the skyward trend in oil prices
is that crude oil as a commodity is in high demand
supply looks a little shaky
a miracle of modern civilisation
it has created the modern ultra-convenience high-tech civilisation
one barrel of crude oil
is equivalent to 400,000 years of sunshine
or 25,000 hours of human labour
it took me a while to get my noggin’ around all of this
until I realised…
my car
can drive from here to Canberra in 3 hours on one tank
of petrol ie refined crude oil
I can’t imagine pushin’ my car to Canberra in 3 hours
well…it looks like the era of cheap oil has ended
meaning that up to about the 1960’s
you could basically poke a stickinthesand in a Saudi desert
or texas
and go flying off on a jetspurt of black gold
before you could blink each eye
those same fields are now ageing
new players on the global economy are hungry/thirsty for this black sludge
and it costs a lot more money to extract the remaining amounts out
…we may maintain output as it is for a few more years
but it won’t be rising with demand
that is why the price of cRude is rising

we just gotta live with it
what’s about to happen will be monumentous
see what happens in the leadup to the US presidential election
scheduled for nov08
I’ve no idea
but times are gonna move faster than what they have been

it’s almost as if the swirling ghosts of eons of savage, primal life force
represented by the dead matter of fossils and plants
buried under the surface of the earth for millions of years
is coming back to claim its source
just as we who drink desperately from this vast ancient cup
are ripping it apart like there is no tomorrow
…there is no tomorrow??…
we’ll just have to see

not wait

Sunday, June 8, 2008

boy about town

on a sunny-not sunday
i decide to venture to the university pool
that's incidentally settled across the road from my place of wok
at drama school
where i peddle playscripts
for a singleman's salary
i wasn't in the mood for going
knowing that it can be tedious taking all those showers and undressing etc
and the thought of doing my requisite number of laps
40 x 25 metres = 1k
weighs on me as i soberly maze my way through the wet dressing rooms
it's the reward that keeps me interested
..a good 15 or 20 min in the sauna afterward
i haven't been swimming for a while
i plan to go more often particularly in the winter months
where the tepid, highly-chlorinated blue waters of the indoor pool
followed by sauna heatwetness
contrasts delightfully with the coldness outside
i did well
i did my thousand metres
i find i have to keep my concentration going to remember the laps as i'm doing them
i think about driving to Katoomba in the blue mountains west of Sydney
Katoomba is a thousand metres above sea level
so as i do my laps i think of the drive from Penrith in Sydney's outer west
i start my first lap...Penrith, zip m above see level
3 laps, 150 metres, Lapstone
350 metres, Blaxland
500 metres, Springwood, and so forth
and funnily enough it takes as much time to swim these laps as it is to do the drive
i hope to visit soon...

the sauna was terrific
i go in there to dye
to melt
and to breathe in that pungent wet heat
i don't leave when my mind tells me i should be leaving
i only vacate the sauna when my legs stand up and start walking of their own volition
i stayed in there too long today really...
but the beauty is
as i'm walking out of the building and onto the street pavement
toward my humble hyundai
i feel reborn
like i've spent 3 months on holiday
and to top it off
i drive down to Noodle King in Maroubra
and order meself a tofu/vege laksa
as i come to the end of the feast
and i'm drinking up the broth
the fire-breathing ceremonies commence
my mouth and throat numbs with chilli
and my nose becomes embarrasingly runny
yet i lap it up
bow my thank yous
and dart out the dark street
feeling like i've been on yet another holiday
an xtra few minutes in the supermarquette
purchasing rations
floats by cloudlessly
that's how this boy has spent a pleasing sunday afternoon
out of the rain
and into the wet

But it was this morning that I did something truly special
i walked a friend's dog who'd gone away for the weekend
Holly, the golden retriever
now about 3 years old
I looked after Holly for 6 weeks last year
when its owners were overseas
what was an excitable and lively teenager then
has grown into a fine lass of a dog
radiant and beautiful
she could be a show dog
i fed her
watered her drinky bowl
and walked her up and around the streets of Clovelly
as we were winding down Clovelly road
and i could see the ocean ahead of me
i looked down at Holly
wishing I
- and everyone else in the world -
could be this magnificence
be this innocence
I felt great love for Holly at that moment
I wanted to hug her and be her innocence
I did hug her inside my friend's gate
where I left her on her own
waiting alone right now
for mommy and daddy and the kids to come home

Innocence is leaving us
i feel malice and tension on the streets
i'm not fully immune to that
sometimes i feel testy and hurried and impatient
when I'm doin' the shopping centas
i don't like it
so the moment these vapours arise from my stomach
i feel it
calm it
and move on
but...i do sense it around me as waves of vital force
it's a tense city really, sydney
this weekend we had one particular shocking incident
there was a verbal altercation between a female driver, aged 37 from Pymble
and a group of young adults standing outside a party house
a packet of crisps was thrown at the car allegedly
this woman from Pymble, full of liquor and rage
moved her car forward
and suddenly reversed her car into the group
killing a man of 21
hardly more than a boy, really
we can't say what possessed this woman to do this
the immediate, subconscious thought of mine was "you're from Pymble"
"why would you want to do that?"
Pymble resides in Sydney's leafy upper north shore
it's very upperclass and establishment
it's no grimebucket that's for sure
but anger menace malice and all those negativities no-no bounds
it's just that, it gets veneered over more effectively in places like Pymble
the 21-year old boy who got killed was E. Westlake
his father is Nigel
Nigel is a major Australian composer
and a principal Australian clarinettest who was once member of our premier small ensemble
"the Australia ensemble"
I used to see them in 1990/1 at the uni giving concerts
oftentimes I'd usher
not that i was fully into that stuff
it was just par for my course
but it was a good experience
1990/1 feels like yesterday to me
and E. Westlake would have been only 3 or 4 years old in 90/91
in that quick amount of time since then
he made it to 21
and his life ended in one horrible incident
just like that
as if the time he had
was really no time at all

let's make the most of it
let's love each other
let's love our lives
and most of all
let's love our own selves
our own beings
our own purity

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

...a interlude...a reflection...

Here am I
and how did it come to this
sitting in front of a bulky computer screen
on a wet & windy June night
composing a 'blog'
six months ago a 'blog' was something actually i'd heard about
but hadn't up till then paid any real attention to the concept of it all
Christmas 2007
warm and wallow and wispy
Boxing Day 07
my computer would not turn on for me
i was a touch dismayed
but decided to visit internet kiosks and cafes
for my email daily fixes
during those summer hazy daisys
postxmas preneuyeare
given that the computer man wouldn't be available
until 2nd of Jan
at these kiosks you pay the automachine
and you're alloted a time to surf the net to your heart's content
i put in too much coinage in that kiosk at the soupercenta
so thought i'd do some underwater googling
i really enjoyed the Church supporting Divinyls a few weeks back, i figured
so i google Steve Kilbey
what's this, a blog? *click*
..i'm stunned, it looks like an online diary
it is an online diary...
and what this stuff underneath
so this is a "blog" methought
ok, so i spend that bit of summer
rummaging through SK's 'blog'
marvelling at it all
delighted to be reading all this immediate, fresh scribe
from an man of admiration to me and many good people
i tentatively post my own comments as an anon
a bit like dipping your pinkie in a vat of boiling water
sort of wondering if somehow you're gonna get burnt
it was ok
i add a profile in bloglog, something silly and pithy
and then in march 08 added a profile in blogger
and started my own blog
of which this moment is playing its part
i wanted to get back into 'writing'
but not officially or steadfastly
just something casual yet expressive and freeing
blogging is it
thanks again sk, for the circumstantial linkage, and the inspiration

When you become a blogger you enter yet another dimension
there is 'reality', earth, nature, the purity within us all
followed by the reel world
where as human individuals we project our wordly identities
onto the objects and people we have humanely contact with
and with that our emotions
our thoughts
our desires
our dealings
our loves
and our not-loves
blogging, and the all the rest of the myspaces & facebooks
squares us firmly in the virtual reality world
where we communicate and share with people we've (usually) never even met
we have great conversations and raps with people from all corners of the globe
sharing songs faces and blogs of opinion verse and conviviality
it's quite nice really
Steve Kilbey's blog obviously attracts fans the world over
however over time you discover his blog is a partially separate entity to his music for those who love his blog stay on
just as those who aren't necessarily fans of his music latch onto his blog (my sister for eg)
for his brilliant and wildly hi-fidelity boho poesy scribe

the problem with blogging is that you really have no way of telling
if a person you may feel you like or dislike
on the blog
you'd actually like or dislike in the reel world
no matter how much intuition one claims in discerning any blogger's intentions
a blog comment is merely a spore
an energy thought of that infinitesimal moment of the eager commenter's mindspace
translated into fast keypad typing
and captured forever in the world of internet
bounded by information snaking through cables
at the speed of light
the earth over and over anon
and appearing as mild electromagnetic radiation
illuminated on flashy flatscreens
that have replaced the older bulkier variety (except mine!)
crushed hopelessly in desolate landfills the planet over

I enjoy the people i've met so far on the blog
I enjoy particularly what people have to say and what they like to express
I care about people
I love people
very much
that's not always apparent though
i tend to be a bit furtive, a stand-backer, an observer
rather than an in-the-face how-you-goin' shake-my-hand-till-it-breaks type
but in observing i love
people in their place and time
doing their best to love and serve
whatever it is
they love and serve

Blogging can be a useful self-discovery tool
sometimes i wonder how my presence conveys itself
being a semi-regular commenter
on Steve Kilbey's blog 'The Time Being'
i tend to find myself thinking about all these people
from all over the planet
who contribute regularly to killa's blog
such is a vice of virtual reality
most people are genuinely nice and sincere
other(s?) are more reactive than Chernobyl
you have endearing armchair pontificators
who give bemusing discourses on Steve Kilbey, Hindu gods, animal rights, veganism & Jeff Beck,
pretty much in that order...
though all of us have one thing in common
we champion Steve, we love his work and what he's given us, and we want to see the best for him and his family
I've wondered how my presence as a commentator is seen by others
i sense i'm a tad mercurial and wayward
not too easy to pin down
because i can be snaggy and sensitive and really get off on Steven's spiritual spires
yet can i draw from my walking-class 'roots' and be yer typical brash Australian
i'm really a very simple sweet upbeat and friendly person, in essence
though i do have lots of angles to my character
in short, we are all people
living on the same globe
doing the best we can for each other
Kilbey's blog is a microcosm of a community of true spirit, and spirits
albeit in the virtual world

and in wonderful reality
last night i found a fantastic free parking spot
close to my destination at Manly beach
when i took to the car some 3 hours later
it was covered - i mean covered! - in bat-shit
i could barely open the door handles
i understood why at a premium time that parking space was left free
so today i will take my car to cop a clean at a drive-in washarooni
and half of what i earned last night
a cool 60 dolla
will go in for a car wash
u gotta larf!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Song: Sea in June

I've posted a new recording of a song of mine called 'Sea in June' on MySpace; it will play first as you enter the website . 'Sea in June' has been recently re-recorded (its third incarnation!) featuring my dear friend Brigette on lead vocal. The song was recorded and engineered by Stewart Havill at his Sound Dog Recording Studios at Lane Cove in Sydney.

I haven't written a 'proper' song in a long while - mainly because I've moved and evolved onto other things both musically and creatively; songwriting doesn't interest me anymore though that can always change. This song, 'Sea in June', is my personal favourite of the songs I've written and the one piece I'm genuinely proud of. I like the other songs too though ‘Sea in June’ holds special credence for me. It's a gentle piece that pretty much sums up everything I ever want or need to say in two verses and chorus.
Here are the lyrics to 'Sea in June' © Ross B 2006, that was written in September 1996...

Bondi in June the wind is cold
and wrapped around my lilting fingers
and the tide has come to rise
it comes to claim its source again this evening

staring out to sea
sweeps its power back to me
it's the mirror of my dreams
this is all I want to be

When dreams are lost they rise and fall
and fade along with those who dream them
as the winners catch their breath
they watch the tide that comes along to claim them

staring out to sea
old art deco balcony
it's the window of my dreams
this is all I want to be
this is all I want to be

'Sea in June' was written under pressured circumstances because I needed to come up with a song to go onto a duo project. As the pressure was on I had the hint of what I wanted....this song is musically (and lyrically) influenced by what I was listening to at the time, and that is primarily Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left and in particular the finale off that album 'Saturday Sun', and, Adiemus Songs of Sanctuary. Songs of Sanctuary is akin to a modern "world music" adaptation of a tradional European requiem mass. The singing utilises no words as such, moreso phrases that fit in with the emotion and the sound. It sounds like Pacific Island music melded into a more traditional format and is replete with wonderful melodies and harmonic movements.

This version of 'Sea in June' features the second chorus doubled over to enhance the effect. It commences with finger-picked acoustic guitar and Brigette's vocal. The second verse has the add-on of piano to provide a 'washy' bed of sound behind the acoustic guitar. And in the last verse I've added a pipe-organ (or an approximation was the best Stewy and I could find in the time we had) featuring a descant to Brigette's vocal. After mastering I was concerned that I didn't spend enough time producing and mixing the organ, concerned that it sounds a bit clamorous there in the mix. But as it is, I'm very pleased with the effect. I wanted a "white spiritual sound" akin to the Brian Wilson's Smile-session declarations. This is very much a white-spiritual sound - a prayer to life and God.

'Sea in June' was written very quickly. There's something melancolically romantic about being in the Southern Hemisphere during winter, we suffer it alone in a way. In winter the beaches here on the eastern seaborn darken quickly and there is almost a whiff of an antarctic feel encroaching on our antipodean seaboard expanse during those few weeks encircling the solstice, 22 June. Bondi, Sydney, is where the song is set; I have vivid memories of Bondi, partly because I've lived near there on and off for much of my life (and still do) and it's where I used to go a lot as a child to play with my cousins. My wonderful sister Elida, told me that one of the things she likes about 'Sea in June' is that it reminds her of the time our family was living in Bondi Beach - I was two and she was 16; she remembers that wintertime during her final year of school in 1972, carrying me around the beach in those cool sunset afternoons. Bondi is an incredibly alluring place - hence it remains the focal point of the song though the message is universal to any sea or shore line.

Musically the song meanders through many chord changes and modulations settling into the more temperate "crowdie" (of the 'house' variety) chorus. It sounds like an eastern seaboard song in the wintertime, in mood and flavour.

Lyrically....let's break it down...

Bondi in June the wind is cold
and wrapped around my lilting fingers
and the tide has come to rise
it comes to claim its source again this evening

what is the tide, and what is the "source"?? The tide of course is the continual tide of circumstances arising to claim those who've created the tide in the first place, as one reaps one sows, all that come from the earth go back into it, hence the neverending moving of the tide atop the sea that rests eternal.

staring out to sea
sweeps its power back to me
it's the mirror of my dreams
this is all I want to be

I want to be this eternality, this rest, this vastness, this peace, the sea mirrors this 'dream' of what I wish to be.

When dreams are lost they rise and fall
and fade along with those who dream them

what a sad couplet! The dreams we hold will fade along with the generations that dreamt them, all lie awash in that vast sea of time and past.

as the winners catch their breath
they watch the tide that comes along to claim them

curiously, in a cartoon-caricature way, I had Nick Drake and John Lennon in mind's eye over these lines. Lennon and Drake didn't know each other, but I had this vision of looking over Bondi Beach from the north side and imagining Nick Drake passing away in 1974. John Lennon may have breathed a sigh of relief and glee that it wasn't him, but as soon as the clock struck his number at the time of 8 December 1980, the tide had claimed him too, as it will all people, when their eras have passed.

I add a bit of backing vocal in that "claim" line too ;)

staring out to sea
old art deco balcony
it's the window of my dreams
this is all I want to be
this is all I want to be

and there I am, observing from my balcony overlooking Bondi Beach knowing well-too that I am an organic participant in this timeless and universal flow we are all involved and share in.

Elida my sister compared the song to a zen koan, that's very nice, though that's also related to the music as it twists and turns and modulates around with the lyrics.

I read in an interview recently of Steve Kilbey's that the song 'June' from the Church's 2003 album Forget Yourself is about the wintertime in the southern hemisphere...I was a bit miffed!! I thought..hey, that was my idea!! :)

'Sea in June' was written at a time of great change in my life - in hindsight vast opportunities opened within and without and at crucial points I stamped on them, causing me years of regret and sorrow. Live and learn of course. This was September 1996 and I will post a blog related to that soon.

I believe that every human being on the planet should lift up their palm and declare - this is special to me. It may be a stone, a poem, jewellry, a song, a photo, a piece of the earth, or any such thing that is directly from the heart and a place of love. 'Sea in June' is my such opus; this is my one creation I genuinely love with pure heart and soul. I will blog other songs often as matter of rote but none shall compare to this, they will merely be songs. This is from the depths of my soul. I am privileged to share it with you.

God bless, Ross


enjoying a bevvy Awakening to the ‘good’ in our lives and to the fulfilling sense of gratitude which follows often comes to us via ...