This is one for the good days, You are my centre when I spin away

It’s hardly been a week since I’ve been back home in good old New Zealand, sleeping (mostly) in my own bed. That is, if and when I sleep at all…

These photos are from last week’s beach excursion with Lottie, complete with Malteser chocolates and gold fish snacks which I hauled back from the states for her. I’ve been thinking for a long time now that I really need a bikini that isn’t mostly black. Everything I own and wear is mostly black. This one is Volcom. But finding one that fits is such a fucking nightmare. We tried to go to the beach a couple of days later, but the weather turned to shit a bit, so it’s now going to happen in two sleeps’ time.

Since being back, I’ve been to two 21st birthday parties, partied even more on separate occasions, played four hockey games, met and re-met people I didn’t expect to really talk to, and re-kindled some old friendships. This week so far I have a bass lesson tomorrow, beach plans, a 20th birthday party/dinner/drinks, more hockey games, and then rounding the weekend off at a gig.

I’ve been working on my callouses again, because, you know, they’re important to bass players and we obsess over them and show each other our callouses. No, really, we do. It sounds kind of disgusting but I guess – especially to the boys – it’s like a crown of glory. Mine’s bigger, thicker than yours. Maybe I should’ve used another noun as the object of comparison. You know. Point is, I’m glad I can feel mine returning. Running through just purely scales up and down the fretboard for a good 30-40 minutes this afternoon, I could feel my left and right hand both feeling rusty at first, and then becoming more well-oiled with fluency and precision. Where was all this determination and drive when I needed it most during the year?

People I confide in and am close to have seen and felt a change in me and I like that. I can feel that I have a new bounce in my step, so to speak. And not the bounce that my “Dr Martens with Bouncing Soles” have given me either. Today I labeled Day 1 on “becoming the person i want to be” – and already it’s been far easier said than done. Sure, I did practise today, but not enough. Later, I cooked myself an early dinner with plans to digest it then hit up the gym to get back the muscle I need, in order to support and vanquish the pains of old injuries. What happened though? For some obscure reason, I fell asleep whilst reading. The next thing I knew it was 8.30pm and the gym closes at 9pm…

Now I shall try my best to not get distracted by some other artifact on the internet, or by music I want to explore and head to bed. Yeah, right.

Tales of San Francisco echo through the air

I’ve been having SUCH a good time in California that I’ve hardly found the time and energy to even download my photos onto the computer, let alone post them anywhere. I’ve been in Los Angeles since last weekend, but I’m really missing San Francisco, so here’s a handful of random photos that I took.

I’ll hopefully, eventually get around to blogging all the details, but for now I’m just going to make a list of my San Francisco highlights:

$2 Tuesdays at The Ambassador – includes shots!
– meeting and hanging out with a bunch of awesome people from all sorts of different places
– SF Museum of Modern Art
– ferry cruise around the bay which entailed going under the Golden Gate Bridge and going around Alcatraz
CABLE CARS!!! And acting all blase on it, trying to not piss the locals off like all the other tourists, haha
– walking miles and miles instead of using my transport pass so I can see the streets and details
– staying up all night hanging out with the night shift people at the hostel
– nobody thinking I’m anywhere near underage here
– the Exploratorium being next to the Palace of Fine Arts (last photo)
– the intense customer service at Victoria’s Secret
– finding out that the hipster bars are universally the same, apparently
– and that people try to make clubs like on MTV + skanks are the same on this side of the Pacific also
– meeting someone I wish I never met because it got my hopes up about someone breaking my “golden standard”
TOUCHING A SHARK and stingray (ref to photo)

and so many other things that my tired brain cannot think of right now. But it’s a city that I will definitely revisit as soon as I can. I just loved so many things about it.

Back to current reality though, I moved out of a hostel in Hollywood today and am now crashing at Malibu. Watch this space.

Until Saturday, I had never tried Fanta

And, until Friday, I had never tried a peanut butter sandwich. Them jazz students are stealing my food-ginity!

Asides from Geoff’s 21st on Saturday night, this weekend has been one of the worst in my life. I can’t explain why right now, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to. On Sunday I succumbed to some major retail therapy after a long morning of errands on no sleep. The fruits of my labour: a kick-ass pair of Ksubi boots. I’m fairly proud to say that I didn’t pay full price, nor the sale price on them. Managed to talk them dooowwwwn, and the salesboy turned out to be the new drummer of a band I’ve shot several times before. How small the world is, in New Zealand.

All I can say is, in life, looks are deceiving. Extremely so. If you hadn’t just read that I just had one of the worst, worst, worst weekends ever, and had merely saw the photos below – you would never have guessed. I guess we all like to keep a smile on the outside and pretend we are okay – in the hopes that if we do that for long enough, we really will be. This is certainly the most tumultuous time I’ve been through in… ever.

And the cat just killed another bird. More backyard digging for me to do, I see.

Happy Birthday, loverrrr. (#3)

Your eyes say the things you won’t

A couple of weeks ago I got hired to shoot a band that a couple of my mates from jazz school play in; ironically (although, kind of characteristic of me, I guess), my favourite shots aren’t the “picture-perfect” ones, and are instead the more experimental shots I took towards the end of the set. Some people might say that these are merely flukes, chance shots I got by fiddling with slow shutter speed or smaller apertures for bigger depth of field thus forcing longer exposure times – partly true – but I must say that these aren’t merely the result of “chance” and play. I’m not sure where my interest in trying out different effects spawned from, but I remember the first gig that I really tried this on was the Animal Collective show at the Powerstation at the end of last year, but I hadn’t really given it conscious thought much since then. If anything, I think the influence is mostly based on the idea of trying to capture a double-exposure-like effect on the digital medium, without the use of photoshop.

I’ve actually got a roll of film floating around in my room somewhere that I’d done some double exposure on, but I haven’t been bothered to get it processed yet. For one, the only place in town where I can get that type of film processed at isn’t anywhere near my daily commutes; not to mention it’s not cheap.

Anyway, here are the shots – I haven’t done much editing besides making them black and white. Just cos y’know, I’m not a big fan of this particular purpley-pink light they used on stage that night:

I should really get off the internet and work on my assessments now, but I’m way too good at procrastination. I have at least one assessment/test/assignment every week until October 29th. I can’t wait for that day – it will mean hell on earth is over, I am alive and that I will have completed 1/3 of my bachelor’s degree. Yes please.

Randomly though, whilst lyric-scribbling the other night, the line “Your eyes say the things you won’t” (title of this post) reminded me of Radiohead’s line from There There: “just because you feel it doesn’t mean it’s there”. Sometimes all the speculation and self-torture in the world means nothing without the validation from a particular, spectacular person. Sometimes I’d prefer all the airy-fairy things to end, and things to be black and white, but isn’t this part of the package of “Joys & Pains of Youth”? And just admit it, it’s not quite as lip-bitingly exciting and dramatic if things were spelled out to the letter. But all hail the mighty mighty, they are still right through and through when they say “we are accidents/waiting waiting to happen”.

Left awake to the clocks, I think I’ve found you out

I’m not going to lie, I’ve got a couple of drafts half composed but never got around to finishing. As usual, my 2-week break has been fleeting, and in merely a couple days’ time I will be thrown back into the business end of the semester – and I am FREAKING OUT. And once again, I’ve been sidetracked since opening up this new draft and have completely forgotten what I was going to write about.

Okay, here’s something – my friend Takuma and I had a huuuge talk about everything and anything a while ago before he moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane. One of the things that we discussed (and I can’t remember where he had read or seen something about this) was the fact that, us people spend too much time thinking about life, about the past, present and future, rather than doing anything. So technically, based on this logic, me sitting here and typing away about this, is a waste of time, because I’m being far too introspective* and wasting time that could be better spent actually living rather than thinking about living. I see the merits of this view, but I can’t help but do it anyway. Can we really appreciate our lives if we never stop and pause to think how far we’ve come? But isn’t it a little self-destructive (yes, I’m taking the pessimistic route, I could have said hopeful, exciting instead) to then have to face the huge fear of the unknown future that stands before us? Or to contemplate how much work, effort, time and sweats we must invest before we reach our next intended goal/destination? Then again, based on the previous argument, should we maybe stop thinking about where we are going, altogether? And just be on our way?

But hold on, if we just lived on and on without ever thinking where we want our lives to lead us, does this mean we will live a more spontaneous, free-spirited and content life without stressing of “intended destinations” (because we all know things never go to plan, and roads crisscross more than we’d like)? Then again, where will the contentment and feeling of satisfaction, of achievement come from if we hadn’t aimed for anything in the first place? Is the plan to have no plan?

When people ask me what I am going to do for the rest of my life, or career – and trust me, as a music major they ask me quite often – I really am not quite sure what to say. Even to the closest of people, I don’t know how to explain to them that half the plan is to have no plan, just a general direction.

I was going to delve into this more but ended up going to bed after writing the above paragraph, since it was around 5am by then. A lot of things are ever-increasingly confusing me and bugging me, I wish it was all a bit more clear-cut. They say business and pleasure shouldn’t mix – well that’s not going to work for me.

Finally looked through some of the photos I took in Sydney back in June/July – I really love these two. The first is one of Liv in the corridor of the hotel; the latter is of Liv and Mum on a bridge over the motorway at night. I’m surprised I managed to do it at long last, but that photo is EXACTLY how I wanted it to look – with the original shot in the middle and the rest stretching out – kind of relating to what I mentioned in my last post, this is like, two moments in one moment.