Awry, Amiss, Amok


I would like to take this opportunity to raise my middle finger at the Northern Hemisphere and all who sail in her - I hope you enjoyed your summer, because it is our turn now. Tonight was officially the first clear night that was pleasant enough to have dinner outside.

Which I did. On the waterfront. With some babe.

And last Friday when I got up at 5.30 it was already getting light and there was a dawn chorus. I didn't even know we had them in Wellington.

It's good to remember that this time last year I was only 3 weeks away from my first tan.


In the slippery world that is my ethical savannah, it is totally okay to download mp3's of songs that have only been released as B-sides and LP's. So Broken by Bjork is on my Top 100 Anything Ever list.

You can have a tiny taste of it here (300kB .mp3)


If I ever made something like this I would die happy. via


I started another song. This one is special because it is composed almost entirely of legit chords. You can download it from the awesome hi-tech website of my band: 3½ Stars. Pay attention: my voice does something cool at 1:05. I think I was channeling Kurt for a second there.


Choice lyrics:

Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the wardrums (go back to sleep)

You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

Maybe you'll be president, but know right from wrong

You want me? I'll be waiting. With a gun and a pack of sandwiches. And nothing

What time is this / to trade the handshake for the fist?

Since I met you / This small town hasn't got room / For my big feelings

I see your picture, I smell your skin on / The empty pillow next to mine

Two undernourished egos four rotating hips

Since we broke up / I'm using lipstick again / I'll suck my tongue / In remembrance of you

What's so funny about peace, love and understanding?


If I had a dollar for every time I walked down Cuba St with a queen-sized bed on my head, I would have one dollar.

Last night Peter and I had to shift his big bed from his old house by the Renouf Tennis Center to his new house on Left Bank. Being car-less smelly hippies, our only option was to carry the thing. After a few attempts, we found the going easiest with the bed upside-down on our heads. We had only got about 200 metres when some nice dudes called Troy and Wayne offered us a hand/head.

So we walked with one head at each corner, hands in pockets down the length of Cuba Street and up to Pete's new house. I don't know what was funnier - the people who said funny things ('You boys looking to get lucky tonight?'), or the people who made absolutely no acknowledgement of us.

Then I went home and had half a bottle of whiskey, as promised. You missed out.


Harbour, Straight Stealth Boat Cover Blown!

Today Matt and I saw the stealth boat for the first time. There has been a secret boat in the harbour since antiquity and it threatens the existence of all we love and hold dear! Be on the alert!


Hey! Internet-person! Come to my house on Friday night and we can imbibe! Woo!


Some bold proclamations, a blooming unordered list:

  • Consistency of ideology, and logic for that matter, are inventions of limited worth.

  • My truth is not your truth.

  • Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better.

  • Oil will run out one day, all of a sudden. Hint.

  • I like to get high sometimes.

  • Tax isn't real money so I don't care if it goes up or down 10%.

  • I will go down in history.

  • Everyone is gay.


My favorite lyrics come when I exaggerate an emotional state. One time I asked a girl out and she blew me a raspberry. Actually, she was very kind, but for the sake of writing a good song, I pretended to be very angry. I like it.

You don't owe me anything;
You don't owe...
 anyone a thing.

But you think that I owe you
 a shoulder to cry on;
You seem to think that I will be
 someone for you to rely on;
There's one thing we better straighten out
 before we can carry on:

I don't owe you anything;
I don't owe...
 anyone a thing.

So you have no right
 to talk to me that way;
You can't excpect me to always know
 the right thing to say;
You shouldn't count on me
 to make your every day.

Coz when you said, "No"...
 to me.
You said no for the first time, and the last time, and for all time.

So everytime you're sitting
 with your head in your hands;
And everytime you're wishing
 for someone who understands;
And everytime you're feeling
 so terribly lonely,

I hope you think of me...
 with regret.
I hope you think of me
 sitting up here alone and smiling.

I'm alone and smiling.


I like short girls and chubby girls and girls that play bass. Tough girls and girlie girls and girls that wear lace. Famous girls and obssesive girls and girls with bare feet. Foreign girls and clever girls, and girls in the street. Sad girls and happy girls and girls on their OE's. Hoodie-girls and glasses-girls and girls that don't like me.

Sometimes Asian boys that look like girls, too.


One of the single most exciting days of my university career: I dropped a paper. Goodbye, stress, leisure-guilt, and friendlessness! Hello high achievement, contentment, and... (what's the word for the feeling you get when you realise you could drop a paper and finish it remotely next year during full employment thereby reducing workload and eventually getting paid to complete the assignment? The Germans would have a word for it.) This is also a signal that it is time to start looking for a job. I mean, a career. Eek.

Also, I lost gracefully to Mr. DMcC in the honourable game of air hockey, 6-7 7-6 6-7; then we went to Kung Fu Hustle. I liked the bit when he destroyed a three storey building with one hand.

Edit: and Oh My Gosh did I mention the satchel I bought? Put it this way, Winona would fight Scarlett for it. Manbag to the max!


I went on a Thrift Store Crusade with David and Jono and Richface today (yes, the ones you've heard so much about). Well wicked. I bought a fantastic satchel and we had McDonald's. If you search for 'McDonalds fanclub' you'll turn up nothing substantial. Maybe I should remedy that. I love McDonald's. It is delicious and reasonably priced and it makes me happy everytime we go there.



I recorded some very low-grade, short, sore-throat, cheap mic., first-take, --insert generic disclaimers of your choice--, demos.

Also, my missus is a gorgeous hottie.


...there's the cutest little debate going on...


The following is a Work in Progress. Comment is more than welcome. Choice!

Matt got me reading Small is Beautiful by E. F Schumacher and it is reminding me that everyone has almost everything almost completely wrong.

Find ten people you don't know and ask them, "How was your day today?". One of them will say, "Fantastic! There aren't words to express...!". Two or three will be holding back the tears as they tell you that to one degree or another, their life is craps. The other six or seven will say something along the lines of, "Oh, just average..." with one of those straight-faced emoticon faces; or "Same shit - different day." with some zen c'est la vie stiff upper lip going on; or "The usual. Life doesn't really start 'til the weekend, does it mate?" the glint of alcohol and sports and birds in their eye.

The first person, Mr. Fantastic, is probably a student, on holiday, or self-employed. The next two or three are usually just broke. But what bothers me is the huge majority of people that answer "How was your day?" with "Oh... just average." Those are the people that do those jobs with names I don't understand in buildings I don't recognize.

I realised today I don't have a clue what most people do all day. I go to classes and do research and write reports during the day, and play guitar and watch TV and play with the baby and draw fonts at night. I like it; I'm learning about things I'm interested in - when I get bored of learning, I do other things I like. But most of the people I pass in the street, what do they do all day?

Sit in cubicles. Go to meetings. File invoices. Write technical documentation. Process loan applications. Inventory the office consumables.

I don't know what any of that crap means! I can't relate to anyone who works as a secretary, in a bank or a call centre, or anyone who spends the majority of the day on the phone, for that matter. Office jobs - I have no clue.

According to Schumacher, Aldous Huxley said the point of technology is to provide ordinary people with the means of achieving independence from their bosses. Matt got himself a sweet laptop and now he spends his days cruising town, making people websites. He doesn't have a boss, so if he doesn't feel like making websites one day, he can spend it selling lemonade at the park instead.

There's no denying work has got to suck to some degree. That's why they pay you to go there. But the idea of taking 40 hours, painting them all grey, stacking them neatly in a box, and rubber-stamping them, "Work Time: caution - do not engage brain, creativity, or emotion!" and then putting them out with the recycling early every Wednesday morning is ludicrous to me.

Maybe I am missing something. Maybe I don't see the bigger picture like other people do. Perhaps technical support documentation resource analysts appreciate their role as a crucial cog in a beautiful machine, a tiny spring in an ornate pocket watch that will be running three hundred years from now. Could be that's where the average cubicle worker gets their daily motivation from. Could be.

But I don't buy it - and I'm not buying into it.

From what I can see, the majority of the economy is organised in this way; in the worst case, "...dividing up every complete process of production into minute parts, so that the final product can be produced at great speed without anyone having had to contribute more than a totally insignificant and, in many cases, unskilled movement of his limbs." (From Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, apparently.)

Now these guys (Smith and Huxley and Schumacher) are from various ages of the old school; as I understand it they used to kick it somewhere between the 1920's and the 70's. So I assume that when they were talking about division of labour and all that jazz, they had manufacturing in mind. These days (due to me and my ilk) we have robits to do most of that crap - I don't know anyone who works in a button factory, for instance. All those people that used to drill the holes to make your buttons are now working as bank tellers - or worse, one step further into the bank that doesn't even let you have contact with the customers. Consequently, the work output of the average individual office worker (just like the average factory worker from back in the day) is insignificant. I've never worked in an office, so I don't know, but I presume there is someone with the job of explicitly ensuring every worker is given just enough responsibility and just enough significance to pacify their ambition.

You see the modern ideal of work is to get rid of it! 'Advance in work procedure' is interchangeable with 'reduction of workload'. This is evident in the programme of advances from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution to the current Computer Age. Imagine the response of an Anglo-Saxon turnip-farming serf to the phrase "forty-hour work week".

The incidental consequence of this process of progress, of this reduction in work-load, appears to be a reduction of work-worth. To quote Schumacher again, this process makes work "...meaningless, boring, stultifying, or nerve-racking...", and indicates "...a greater concern with goods than with people."

Schumacher's solution (which he identifies as being a Buddhist point of view) is to take "...the function of work to be threefold: to give a man a chance to utilise and develop his faculties; to enable him to overcome his egocentredness by joining with other people in a common task; and to bring forth the goods and services needed for a becoming existence." This is an acknowledgement of " of the basic truths of human existence, namely that work and leisure are complementary parts of the same living process and cannot be separated without destroying the joy of work and the bliss of leisure."

And it's not just office-work that is the devil. I'm a student living away from home, so there are a few months every year that I don't spend at university, and neither the government nor my parents want to support me, so I have to do real work now and then. I work for my cousin's joinery installation company - we install kitchens. Some of the jobs we do are very much like the Buddhist ideal, but some are upsettingly similar to the button factory.

Lately we have been installing tiny kitchens in tiny apartments in the city centre. At the end of the last holidays, before returning to uni, I had to train up my replacement. I managed to compress the entire sum of my knowledge of this job into a 4-page work procedure document. Remove panels from packing crate. Affix componentry. Assemble cabinets. Repeat 160 times. 160 soulless kitchens for 160 soulless apartments for 160 faceless clients. I spent most of the time wishing I was stoned - at least then I'd be enjoying the mindless fog. I might as well have been working in a button factory. After two weeks I had absolutely had my fill. But not all our jobs are like that.

Last year we did a job in the pristine Greta Valley, installing a hundred-thousand dollar kitchen into a multi-million dollar mansion. Every curve, every bow, every warp of the 100-year-old house had to be matched perfectly by minute curves of our cabinetry. Minute curves that we shape with innovation and skill and attention to detail and finesse. It would have taken my boss at least two years to train me to be his replacement. It is difficult to teach the things that make this job worthwhile. How to warp and shave and shape cheaply-built, modular, square joinery into a home without right angles, without compromising structural or aesthetic integrity. How to work with clients that are real people with very specific expectations yet very loose ways of expressing them. How to make an accurate evaluation of the value of your labour. How to identify the most effective process to complete a non-repetitive task. These are the skills of a craftsman. Jobs like these allow my boss to utilise and develop his faculties; to join with other people in a common task; and to bring forth the goods and services needed for a becoming existence. And of course you don't need to be a millionaire to appreciate craftsmanship; nor should you have to be a millionaire to afford it.

Evidently, my experience has validated what Schumacher says. Furthermore, he resonates repeatedly with my (soon-to-be-composed) list, Things That Almost Everyone Has Almost Completely Wrong. But the question remains: when I finish this degree in twelve or sixteen of whichever frighteningly small number of weeks it is, what am I going to do with myself?


After numerous iterations, I'm back. Choice! An imperfect vehicle for a perfect journey! Please note the juxtapostion of the sterility written on that stylish man's face with the gaudy paisley in the background. I like to think of him saying Haaaay Ray! like R. P. Steenhof might do before drinking to excess.

Also, this is Times New Roman. I've always been too intimidated to use it. But here we are, together at last. Finally, please note, this page looks a teency bit shit in IE. This is on purpose. Firefox keeps it real. Oh, and, that font at the top of the page is Azteak from the Fountain.

So Real!