Friday, December 30, 2011

Socks

My whole life, I've put my socks on a certain way. I simply pulled them on: toes in the opening, the rest follows naturally. If the sock were inside-out, I'd half turn it the right way out, then whack the balled up sock in my hand, like a poi. People have teased me for this. I see that it's not ideal, though it gets the job done.
My whole life, my dad has put his socks on a certain way. Starting with the sock inside-out, he makes a dent in the toes, and pulls it back over his foot, inverting it as it goes. He stands up; his socks are on.
Recently I changed methods. I adopted the Dad Method. Faced with an inside-out sock, I calmly slide it over my foot, and carry on with my day. No more whacking socks to make them comply. I put on my shoes and leave the house.
As I walk, I wonder if I'd ever been taught a certain method. I was always aware of how my father dressed his feet - had he always been like this? Or was there a point at which his method changed, presumably to that of my poppa. At 27, what did this change mean to me? I was acutely aware of it, though it was seemingly triggered by nothing.
At 27, my dad was a recent father of twins. He'd been married a few years. And he'd been working as a carpenter for close to 10. He was unquestionably a Man. How do I compare? With my life, I feel like a man, though definitely not a Man.
I sit down on the grass at the park, and take off my shoes and socks. I leave the socks, inside-out, on top of my shoes, ready for when I walk home.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas


I made a crochet tree for a friend. Hope you have a lovely christmas. I'll be spending it with a few friends, then working at the cinema in the evening

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011

In the last couple of years, I've had reviews of my favourite musical releases. As I didn't work in radio for most of the year, I felt rather disconnected from what was happening musically, so decided to branch out my reviews (also inspired by these guys)

Gigs of the Year
4 - Parking Lot Experiments @ Workers - a great way to cap off my first week in Melbourne
3 - Wintercoats @ The Evelyn - far exceeded my very high expectations
2 - Caribou @ CALH - kinda 'lost my shit'
1 - Beach House @ Laneway - I was covered in shivers the whole time

Albums
5 - Memory Tapes - Player Piano
4 - PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
3 - Cults - Cults
2 - Tennis - Cape Dory
1 - John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves

Songs
Glasser - Ring (Delorean remix)
Summer Camp - I Want You
Neon Indian - Polish Girl
Rhianna - Only Girl
Shocking and Stunning - Salvia Gravity
Atlas Sound - Te Amo

Best Books I read this year
Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven blew my mind. And I loved David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster

Favourite Films of the Year
Midnight in Paris was delightful. Source Code and Tyson were probably my fav dvds

Food items of the Year
Anything from La Panella (vegan bakery!), Log Cabin nachos, Gina's bagels, vegan licorice all sorts from Northcote IGA

Best Kebab
Abbott House of Falafel (aka 'King of Falafel'), Coburg. $5 of incredible

Girlfriend of the Year
Gina - Practically Perfect in Every Way

Suburb of the Year
A tie between the wonderful St Albans, Chch; and Northcote, Vic

Art Gallery Shows of the Year
Stabs @ Backwoods
Nior @ No Vacancy NGV
Eveline Tarunadjaja @ No Vacancy QV

Clothing of the Year
Probably a really nice fitting white polo I got from Tasman Traders. Also, cut-off shorts were the only way to short in '11

Most Aussie Thing
A drunk guy saying 'fair dinkum' regarding my review of Tyson

Event of the Year
Without doubt the earthquake. Changed most parts of my life, and was a very big motivator for the runner up: moving to Melbourne

Overall Trend
Learning that things will happen and people will do things that are totally outside your control, so you've just got deal with it the best you can

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Moments

It feels like the last 24hrs have been quite interesting in a bunch of ways. Yesterday I went to the Northcote Library, and then the Fairfield one to track down a book about infinity by David Foster Wallace. The afternoon was very warm, and I stayed inside, read, and cut pretty shapes in paper. I went for a walk down High St and looked in some fancy boutiques. I saw a girl I work with, and the girl who cut my hair - real community feeling.
In the evening I cycled in to town and explored the old Carlton Brewery. It was pretty cool, and I watched the sunset from the roof. I walked around town for a few hours, up and down laneways, and had some dinner. Town was busy, the air was warm. I walked up a dark, intriguing stairway, only to set off a deafening alarm. -10 Ninja Points. I walked back to my bike calmly and headed home.
At home, Mr Cat caught a baby mouse. My flatmate Tangle grabbed the cat, and I held the mouse. It looked okay, but must've been in shock as it gasped half a dozen times, and then was still. Watching a baby mouse die in your hands is so surreal, and achingly affecting.
Today I rode in to town with the expressed aim of winning a bike from a mobile phone company. They were doing a scavenger hunt. I checked the net at the State Library, read the clue and figured it was only a few blocks away. I jogged over, found the bike (and company reps) down an alley, and won a bike! Neato. I rode up to Fitzroy and met Netta for lunch ($4 pizza!). We talked and walked around, it was really great. Later on, I met Annie for an early dinner (tacos!). It was really nice spending time with some of my favourite people. I rode home, and went to work

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bands

As mentioned previously, I like having stuff on my wrists, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before one of them was tattooed. I'd been wanting some wrist bands since seeing the singer from A Dead Forest Index, and also Hugh Jackman in The Fountain. On Halloween I went to visit Kiri and her fiance Mj, the latter being a tattoo artist. The band widths are related by the mathematic/aesthetic idea of the Golden Ratio, which is believed to be pleasing to the human eye. In a really neat self-confirming way, I didn't have a ruler when drafting the lines, and just went with what looked best. Measuring them later they were spot on.
 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Northcote

I've moved house. I'm now living in Northcote, and it's great. I live with three other vegans, and my work is only a few minutes bike ride away (instead of 30+). It's a really nice suburb, lots of cool places to check out, and riding to town is easy. The people I'm living with are super nice, and it feels like this has been a good move (both logistically and... emotionally, I think). I'd been in a bit of a strange mood for the last few weeks (didn't really feel like I had nice stuff to post about), but things are back to normal. Now it's time to meet some cool Northcote people and make the most of living here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Summer plans

I was walking through town the other day, and it was warm and sunny and beautiful, and I felt like flying through the air. I felt really positive, and like things were fizzing and shaking, trying to leap out of me. Here are some plans for the summer months, some which will definitely happen (*), and others which range from achievable to 'pipe dream'.

1 *Move to a cool new flat in Northcote with three other vegans. Close to work, and a great part of town, yeah!
2 *Go to Melbourne Laneway and Camp A Low Hum
3 *Work over Christmas/New Year at the cinema
4 *Get a tattoo
5 Paste stuff pretty much every night
6 Find work at a cafe, max out my barrista skills
7 Swim more/learn to swim
8 Pash 100-200 babes. One a day would be pretty ideal
9 Explore more abandoned buildings
10 Collaborate with people creatively
11 Learn a few bits of some European languages
12 *Ride my bike heaps

How is your summer looking? If you'd like to be a part of any of these (especially 8 or 10), hit me up

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Conceive

A while back, my friend Kiri called. What I'd not mentioned before, but is relevant to this story, is that we broke up because she realised she was gay. We're still really close, and her and her fiance MJ have a lot of gay friends. She mentioned that a couple she knew were looking for a sperm donor so they could have a baby. They'd described the kind of person they were seeking, and Kiri decided that I could be up for the job. It was a big suggestion, and something I thought about a great deal. I thought about 'fatherhood', and what it would mean in this instance. I thought about having a child that was biologically mine, but that I'd not nurture. I thought a little about morals, and felt that the 'right thing' would be to help and donate. And at the most basic level, I saw this as an opportunity to help by providing a key ingredient, so agreed to meet Bec and Michelle.
And it was great. We were on the same page about everything. I would be an uncle/godfather kind of guy; they'd be very open with the child about where they came from; I'd be the donor, they'd be the parents (on the birth certificate, etc). They're a lovely couple, we were all happy, and agreed to go for it. I made two donations of Baby Magic (he he) for Bec, who was going to carry. I guess we make a good combination, as she's pregnant!
They're hoping for a boy, and are due in June. I knew that I was happy for them, but when I noticed my arms flailing and that I was shouting the news to Fran, I guess it really hit home that I'm a part of something really cool and special. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Urban exploration

As you may have picked up, I really like exploring new places. The urban landscape is rich with possibility, and of course there will always be plenty of buildings that are abandoned or in transition. In the last two days, I checked out two beautiful locations.
The Argus Building is located right in town, and has always fascinated me. Sunday afternoon seemed as good as any to check it out, and it was surprisingly easy to get inside. I was alone, and the beauty of abandoned spaces really hit me - the decay, the graffiti, the pigeons, the past/present/future. I was covered with shivers. I made my way on to the roof, and then up the tower.




Klara had written 'love/hate heights', which is exactly how I felt. Oh boy. I was really glad I made it though, and I'll definitely check it out in the future. Definite romantic date location.












Today's adventure was to the Yorkshire Brewery in Collingwood. Fran and I wandered around here a while back, and I was determined to get to the top. And it was pretty easy. It was another battle of nerves with the height, but it's a massive, sturdy silo, so I felt okay.


Kitten of Doom had posted about this place (she seems to love heights...), and these trips were inspired by her and Klara. It's cool to know other people visit, and leave their mark (be it blog posts of tags) - and I like the fun and challenge of experiencing it yourself.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ships

So, the rather wonderful Naomi and I broke up. She realised she still had feelings for an ex. I joked that it would be good if there were dials with which you could control how much you felt for someone. We both started off not looking for anything too serious, but it became really meaningful, really quickly. Oh, those dials! We'd also said in spite of what happens, we'd be great friends - which is how it's turned out. It got me thinking about friendships, relationships, all those 'ships'.
It feels really amazing that many of the most special people in my life are ex-girlfriends. Girls that I've dated, spent beautiful time with, and loved. I could tell them 'I love you', then and now. Maybe our time together can't help but flow in to our friendship. Perhaps breaking up isn't *that* bad if it leads to such good things. And how does love differ between 'girlfriend' and 'just friends'? I guess it's some kind of continuous spectrum. Before me lies a whole panel of dials, one for each person in my life. They spin of their own accord.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Brain waves

'Listen up, I've got a story to tell', my brain says. I listen, and I hear a familiar story, one my brain tells all the time. It's about my relationships with the people in my life. 'Uh huh... yeah... hmmm....' I think, and I nod along, showing that I'm paying attention. Actively listening. But as I listen, I start to wonder where in my brain this story is coming from. Is it from the Data Centre: backed with truth, and based on knowledge and observation? I can be pretty perceptive about people. Or is it from ol' Irrationalville: a fantastic tale full of wild speculation? It can be hard to tell, cos it's all sounds kind of the same when my brain tells it.
Cogito ergo sum, I chuckle to myself. Yeah, great. Oh boy. Nonstop cogito

Nothing lasts

The MoreArt Public Art Show is on at the moment along the Upfield train line. It seems really cool, and I plan to check it out fully in the next few days. I created my own piece to run in parallel with the show, entitled Nothing Lasts. It was there for a couple of days, before being removed. I was really annoyed with this, as I think my idea was great, and it was working as planned. It's frustrating doing things which make public spaces more interesting, only to have them removed. Perhaps it was deemed no different from other graffiti ('tags'). 'Public art' vs 'street art' vs 'tags'; 'a safe community' vs 'a diverse community'.
While my work was removed, it certainly won't stop me from doing more. If anything, I'll strive to create less ephemeral pieces.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Simon and I interview each other

I had a chat with one of my best buddies, Simon, last week. It's kind of a discussion about our time in Christchurch, the earthquake, subsequent moves to other countries, and how we dealt with all that. The second half is at Simon's blog, link at the bottom.

Simon: Hi David, how are you?
David:  I'm good thanks Simon, sitting in bed in Melbourne. It's just after 8am. How are you?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Preconceive

I'm doing a new series of pastings which are inspired by The Little Price - you can check it out at forever. I only recently read the book, but it was great, and articulated a few things I'd been thinking about. As you may recall, the narrator draws a picture of a boa constrictor, but the adults, lacking imagination, see only a hat. The grown-ups are very strange.
One time on the train, I heard a young girl exclaim, 'look! A graffiti!' I remember seeing two young children jumping with excitement as they watched a rubbish truck pick up bins. Oh what moments to see things for the first time! I know that as you grow, you learn, and everything you encounter shapes your life - it's an important part of development. But what if you could reclaim some of that wonder? Try and see things freshly without all the understanding your life has given you? Pick up a nearby object and study it, stripping away all preconceptions. Let it engage your senses, and imagine encountering it for the first time. You might just learn something.



(Also, I need your help for an upcoming project! If you could recommend a book to a stranger, what would it be? What's something that you've read that has made an impact? Something you'd really like people to experience. Comment below. Thanks)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The train

My local train station is Batman (check out some colouring I did there). It's on the Upfield line, and a trip to the city centre takes about 20 minutes. I really like catching the train, and think I live about the right distance - any more would be tiring, less would seem trivial. I find it all rather romantic. Here are some things I like:
*Coming out of the city loop at North Melbourne at night time. From under the ground, to a yard filled with hundreds of beautiful lights. Really magical
*Passing trains - they seem to come from nowhere with such fury, and then are gone in an instant
*As the train slows, watching fence posts blur, before becoming individually discernible. Also the way the train kicks back slightly when it stops, and the brakes kick in
*People watching and listening is great. People are beautiful and weird
*The Brunswick tram depot at night is a huge cavern of light
*Seeing people running for the train. It's such a desperate, hopeful moment
*General rhythms of the wheels over the tracks

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Familial

I popped over to New Zealand for the first nine days of September. It was really nice being home. I went to Christchurch, Wellington, and Palmerston North, before retracing my steps. My mum had a hip operation, so I hung out with her and we watched the US Tennis Open. My twin sister, Kate, was down from Auckland, and it was out 27th birthday. I asked my dad what it meant to him to be a dad on father's day. I really wished I'd had more than 48hrs in Palmerston.
In Wellington, I stayed with Beth and we had dinner, went to a concert, walked about.
I stayed at my old flat in Christchurch. It was wonderfully familiar. I had a birthday get-together and saw my friends. I cycled around the cordoned off centre city: it was rather saddening. Alice, Eamonn and I set up a new blog of story readings - My Kafka Baggage.
Three of my four flights were delayed, and it really bothered me. I don't enjoy waiting at airports, but I tried to reconcile that with the magic of flight. Myself and hundreds of other people, all much heavier than air, travelling at hundreds of kilometres an hour through the sky.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Short History of First Kisses

The magic of a First Kiss. The buildup, the moment. Here are some of mine, in no particular order

-We'd been friendly for a while, were at a party, and I was drunk for the first time. I stole a kiss at a nearby playground and laughed, then you kissed me and ran back to the party.
-We had a vegan date up town, and I said I had a crush on you. You felt the same, and we were in the Square. A Korean photographer asked if he could take our picture, and motioned us closer together. After he left, we kissed in the sunshine.
-We had a sleep over and talked under the covers for hours, our faces nearly touching. We kissed, and later both agreed that it was weird, but would've been weirder if nothing had happened.
-At my birthday, we watched some boys kiss. You laughed and said it was no big deal, and kissed me, and then I kissed you back quickly. Would win 'Beardiest Kiss'.
-We went on an astronomy date and looked at the stars. Later on the couch in my room, I kissed you.
-I was drunk (super hazy) at a concert, and had a great time dancing with you. At the end of the night, we hugged, then kissed, then your friends took you home.
-After weeks of flirting, we ended up at an after-ball party. Some friends drove a bunch of people home, and you sat on my lap in the back seat. We kissed super discreetly, then you stayed the night at mine.
-We'd been on a few dates, and were sitting beside the Avon River. You asked me what I was thinking about, and I said 'the best way to kiss you'. You said I just should.
-We walked around town for hours, and had talked about everything. We were standing on a bridge, and compared hands, then hugged. You said you liked me (as I you), and we kissed

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Participation

Most days I'm in town, I have a look around different laneways, and try and check out the street art 'hotspots' (Hosier Ln, Centre Pl, Union Ln, etc). There are always people taking photos, and enjoying the art. Fair enough; it's Melbourne, and the city certainly has a well justified reputation. It does frustrate me though. Not the picture taking (people should embrace art), but what I see as lack of participation. It seems like loads of people observe, but don't realise that it is super easy to be a part of street culture. I believe it's a right (almost imperative) that people interact with their environment. It's yours. Engage with it. Do whatever you want.
Tonight I did some pasting, slightly drunk (thanks Riki!). I put up 60 hearts. 60. And it was super easy. And fun. And think of how many people will see them (and hopefully smile a bit. Or engage romantically). One guy said 'you're doing a great job'. Get out there and do something. You'll probably surprise yourself.
(I also found (via the lovely Georgiebird) this picture by Vivian Maier, which made me want to cry. I drew a picture of it - I was happy with how it turned out)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Short Poetry Collection 1

You might find if contrived
to fall in love with your librarian
but to me
it's a daily occurrence

I can feel all the electricity inside
zipping up my body
'til it collects at the back of my neck,
all at the thought of seeing you again

At night the neighbour's security light shines
filtered through the trees and my thin curtains
and ends on my wall, looking like a neuron universe.
I stare in to it 'til my eyes go dark
or the light switches off

Over the fence there is a barking dog.
'Why are you barking?' I ask
'Because the wind blows, and the light shines, and there is so much I don't understand' it says.
But actually, that was just a guess
cos all I heard was
'arf rarf arff'

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mini zine review

Recently I discovered that the Brunswick Library has a zine collection, and I've been borrowing a nice ol' bunch. Here are my thoughts on some of them, * = highlight

A Life in Botany - nice anecdotes about plants and flowers
Plastic Knife #5 - good short poetry * 'The Dam', 'the only way to fix the dam was to blow it up'
Just to Annoy You #7, Signs - classic collab zine, lots of nice ideas * good omen: pic of a smiley face in frozen drink
Push the Envelope - outstanding! All about mail, art, letters: just brilliant. Best zine I've read in ages
Disposable Camera - oh, and then I read this one! Beautiful poetic glimpses of life *unfolding Wish List
blue floral gusset - frank and interesting thoughts on transvestism and gender
Some Fun Questions to Ask Your Sexual Partner - really fun read, based on poorly-worded questions for your boyfriend
Hello Stupid #1.5 - pretty 'teenagey' kind of zine. Enjoyable

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pages

"This page is dead", I say to myself. The wireless has dropped out on my netbook, and I'm left with half-loaded ideas, and pages devoid of pictures.
Resigned, I close the lid, and pick up Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
"This page is dead", I say to myself. The paper I'm touching was once part of a tree. I think about how information is stored, how it changes over time. I read a few pages, but start to wonder if the internet is working again.
I close the book, and go for a walk, touching the trees as I pass.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Webcam Self Portrait, 1 - 3

1 - David waiting for the toaster to pop

2 - David in his new coat

3 - David eating an apple


Surgery

Are you ready for this? you ask, and I say yes, though I never knew about your surgical background. I trust you, your swagger allows me to. I lie supine on the table, and you open me up. You rummage around inside me like you would with your handbag, moving pieces aside, throwing out bits of junk and receipts. Did you wash your hands? I ask, but you pretend not to hear me. Your hands feel cold, and then I feel a pinch as you grab hold of what you were after. This will hurt you say, and it hurts, and you pull and I feel my insides changing. My eyes are blurry, but I look down and see you, your hands covered in gunk, holding the irrational part of me that always threatened to overwhelm anything else that tried to blossom

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Experience

Life in Melbourne is going very well, and I've met some really great people. In particular, I've started dating a friend of Kiri's, Naomi. She's fantastic - we went out a few times, and really clicked. It's been heaps of fun, and it's great just spending time together. I think we're 'on the same page' about a lot of things.
Today we met in town. I'd made her a musical mix, and while I lacked equipment to make it tangible (tape player, CD burner etc), hasn't music surpassed physical formats? Isn't it more about the experience, the sound, and how it affects you? With this in mind, we had a Mix Experience. The previous night I'd pasted 15 stars around the city. Each had a track listing, and the location of the next track. I had the songs on my mp3 player, and she listened to each as they were found (I could hear them in my mind). At the end, I gave her a flash drive with all the songs. A really nice way to share music, the city, and each other.

Naomi, enjoying Grayson Gilmour's Loose Change in Degraves Pl

Dear Christchurch,

Hey, how's it going? I've been meaning to write, and I've had plenty of time to reflect on what you mean to me in the three months since I left. In a word, you're incredible, and have played such a pivotal part in my life.
As I'm sure you remember, I moved down from Palmerston North in 2007, and knew nobody. I lived at a student hall, and it was a while before I met some real Cantabrians, but I did my best to cycle around and check out everything you had to offer. I was in a really good space to try new things (having attended Outward Bound six months prior), and things fell in to place nicely (radio, animal rights activism, uni malarkey). The next year, I worked as a residential assistant, and felt like I really grew as a person. I also started to discover your local music scene, and the many wonderful people that went with that.
Through meeting such people, in 2009, I moved closer to the city, in to the Log Cabin, which I can safely say is the best flat I've ever lived in. A tremendous bunch of truly outstanding people. And from there I met more of your local people. It was a beautiful cycle.
I loved exploring your streets, buildings, parks and outdoors. You are (or were) home to some of the greatest people I've ever met, who I love dearly. It was hard to leave you, and this does no justice to how much you truly mean to me. I know things will be rebuilt and spirits restored, and I'll be back again to spend more amazing time with you.
For now though, just know that you're always on my mind, and always in my heart.

With love and admiration
-David
x

Friday, August 12, 2011

Feel good redux

In a creative whirl the other night, I drew a larger version of the recent feel good picture - something pasteable. I was really happy with how this guy turned out, and it looks like he's giving you a darn sexy 'come hither' look (I was listening to the smooth sounds of Toro y Moi as I drew...). He's available for romantic engagements on the corner of Greeves and Gore, Fitzroy.



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

All

I am a hundred years old, and I look back on my life. I see all the people I've loved, all the girls I've kissed, all the beautiful pieces.
I see how everything unfolded exactly as it was supposed to. And I see how I wrapped up every moment, so that what came after is on top of what came before.
I peel back the layers, until it's just the two of us, staring into the expanse

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Appreciation

On my way to work the other day, there was a really amazing rainbow. It was huge, with really vivid colours, and it lasted for a long time. Later in the evening, I was talking with my workmates, and we'd all seen it, and agreed it was amazing.
A few weeks earlier, I was on the train, along with hundreds of AFL ('footy') fans. The sun was setting, and many of them noticed the amazing sunset.
Rainbows and sunsets are such amazing phenomena, and people may occasionally take them for granted. No matter what happens in your life, remember that you can appreciate rainbows.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Crochet winner!

Thanks for the entries - there were 12 all up (including ones on facebook). Some neat ideas, and I might play around with a few of the suggestions. The winner however, is Lucy, who wanted a bow for her hair (I picked the winner using the totally rad random.org). Well done - it'll be coming your way in the next few weeks.
What else is happening? I saw Miranda July's The Future. It was good, but very sad and different to what I was expecting. I also read the book of Learning to Love You More, which made me both smile and tear up. I watched Source Code, and it was fantastic, interesting and full of heart, plus a great performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. I've been to a bunch of gallery openings, drawn pictures and written letters.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Feeling pasty

This is Gerald, a new pasting down Centre Pl. He feels bad about himself (and looks much sadder than I'd intended). But floating just behind him is all the beautiful little ways in which he touches the world.


I'm happy with how this turned out, and the concept behind it. Even if you don't feel it, you're a unique part of the world. See also the second paragraph of this post.








This picture, and previous work, is on forever - a Tumblr I made (I recant! Tumblr's cool, though I'm aiming for entirely original content)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Feel good

I drew this today. I guess it's a cuter, more subtle way of saying I like you/you turn me on.


For the non-anatomically minded, the middle one is the stomach, where butterflies live. You could change 'feel good' to 'feel funny' - whichever is more accurate for your current infatuation.

Stylistic nods to the game Operation, and also the fantastic Able and Game

Friday, July 22, 2011

Giveaway! Choose Your Own Crochet

I'm really enjoying crochet, and I like making 'things' - objects and stuff, more so than useful items. Check out some of my past projects here.
Now though, lucky reader, it's time for a giveaway. I will crochet you whatever you want. To enter, just leave a comment (or email me (superchai @ gmail . com)) saying what you'd like. Simple! I'll send it anywhere in the world, and will design and make it myself. Be creative (so no hats, sorry) (and maybe include some kind of reference picture if it's obscure...)! Entries will be open until July 31st, and before you know it a Thing of Your Choice could be heading your way

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Inscensed

Work at the cinema has been pretty great. The first week of the final Harry Potter film is over, so things will be toned down from 'maniacal'. I had no work today, so intended to make the most of it. This morning I showered, trimmed my beard, and gave myself a haircut. I find few things as rewarding as cutting your own hair. It just takes a bit of moxie (and scissors). What's the worst that could happen?
I caught the train down to Prahran, to check out a gallery show by Urban Cake Lady, but alas, the gallery was closed! Instead, I walked around, bought the new Cabinet (ooooh, 'Infrastructure'), checked out an incense store (with free samples!), and had a look in a hotel/gallery. And spotted a stencil by Blek le Rat, which was an oh-my-god moment. I then headed to town for lunch with Annie, which was nice, followed by a tram to Brunswick. I met up with Dove, and we went to a cafe. I'd 'known of' Dove in Chch, but hadn't met him until we both dined with Kim in Melbourne. He's very nice, and we went to a cafe. I had (by my count) the fourth coffee of my life. I've never liked it, but feel now could be the time. I like the romance, but wouldn't want the addiction. We walked around the streets a little, and I caught the train home with the commuters, amidst the drizzle.
(Oh, and I added a new page of music I'm enjoying at the moment, with streams where available)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pippy slippers!

The rather fantastic Pip Lincolne posted a pattern for Pippy Slippers a while ago. I spotted them in her shop one time I went in to have a geeky talk about crochet. I really liked them, and figured I would have a go - but make my toes pointy. For added whimsy.


Warm feet! And warm, hairy legs...













The pictures might not show, but the left slipper is rather more pointy than the right. I made that one second, and was a little hung up on it for a while - I didn't use a pattern (just inspiration and instinct), but wanted them to be the same. But I like how they're different. They're unique. 

T'nealle

Earlier in the year, T'nealle sent me this picture: "I made some fan art for you. but you look a bit crazy.  hope you like it in a not too creepy way."

It is a bit creepy, but I like the look of my Hypno-Glasses. If you've read this blog in the past, you'll know that T'nealle and I are good friends, and we spent a lot of time hanging out and exploring central Christchurch. She's one of my favourite people, and I think she really typifies all the great people I met in Chch. She's always up for an adventure (one time we were exploring a carpark, which led in to an office building, where we found an empty office, and climbed out the window, across the rooftops, up and down fire escapes, oh!), and is wonderfully creative. And she's probably the most 'can-do' person I've ever met, able to turn no food in to a meal for all, and re-imagining what things can be  (forts!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New feature - reading log

I've been reading a lot more since moving to Melbourne. It's good to do on the train, and I've felt a renewed connection to reading, in general. Just like in primary school, I've created a reading log - the link is on the side, under 'about', 'best of' etc. Each book is given a short review. I'll update it as I go, so you could check it every now and then. Also, you can leave comments on the page, so if there's something you think I might like, that would be a good place for it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Flash

I have a new job - it's at Palais Westgarth cinema. That meant I was able to leave the soup cafe, which I was happy with. I've had three days between ending that job and starting the new one, and I was determined to make the most of them. After blogging yesterday, I caught the train to town for a bit of exploration, guided by the rather intriguing Deductive Logic Test, set up by CDH. Aided by my map book, I found the first part of the puzzle, and solved each step before moving to the next one. It was really fun, and very well put together - their work is great, and fits the environment so well. I enjoyed finding my way around new lanes, and there were plenty of interesting distractions along the way.
I stopped by ACMI to watch a bit of American Night, a five channel installation which was very inspiring. I read a few design magazines at Mag Nation, and found a piece about maniac crochet artist Olek. Fantastic! I'd seen her work, but it had been uncredited (big online faux pas). I caught the train home, and watched the world flash past me, zoetropically. Lying in bed, my mind flashed dozens of creative plans.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Flaneur

A few weeks back, Susie texted me to see if I could meet up - was I 'flaneuring around'? I was unsure of the meaning of the word, but got the drift, and made a note to check it later. Dr Wikipedia was able to inform me that flâneur comes from French, meaning 'to stroll', and Baudelaire described it as 'a person who walks the city in order to experience it'. It turns out I was flaneuring, and it is a concept with which I identify strongly. There are few things I enjoy more than going for a walk, and I could litter this post with links to previous posts documenting my trivial adventures (this one is good). It all adds up to a rich tapestry, experiencing the city I live in.
And I've a whole new city to explore. The laneways of the central city seem innumerable; the streets in my suburb are gridded allowing many different routes. There is so much to see, and every new thing is a tiny wonder. Do you experience your city?

Coo-burg!

As I mentioned last week, I live in Coburg. Many pigeons also live here, and I quipped that the suburb could be called Coo-burg. This idea formed the basis of a pasting project on Victoria St Mall, with a new flock appearing overnight. I really like the suburb, and want this to be a slightly odd celebration of its most populous bird species


Monday, July 4, 2011

Arboretum

I went to the Dandenong Ranges.
I touched the tallest tree. It was soft and wet. The canopy swayed in slow motion high above me.
I touched a power pole down the road. Water and nutrients once flowed through its xylem and phloem, now electricity flows through its wires. It was once a tree. Now it's a pole.
I thought about how things used to be. With the trees; with me. Things have changed inside me. Things flow electrically.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Melbourne life

I've been in Melbourne for about six weeks now. It's good, I really like it here. I have a flat in Coburg, which is in the northern city of Moreland. There are many pigeons in the area (they could call it 'Coo-burg'), and sometimes I see them in a flock, moving in such complex ways. The birds here are very differnet to those I know - a wider range of species, and I borrowed some books to learn more. My house is within walking distance to lots of interesting things, and there are many different streets to walk down, so I can always walk a new route.
I have a job working at The Soup Place in Centre Place. We sell soup, and it's not a bad job for now, but I'm still looking for something better. It feels like there are so many alleys, buildings, and secrets to discover. I like walking around, and sometimes feel a child-like shiver: 'I'm in one of the best cities on earth.' It's a good motivation to explore, rather than stay at home.
It seems strange, but for the most part, I don't really feel like I'm in Australia. It is very similar to New Zealand, except that I'm still missing all of my favourite people I'm apart from. There are lots of good people here though, and lots of new experiences

Saturday, June 25, 2011

geek.crochet.nintendo

I'm back on the crochet bandwagon in a big way. Street art sidetracked me, but now I think I can embrace both, and other creative endeavours.
So what to make? I really like the idea of making 'stuff' and toys, and the best part about crochet is you can just kind of make it up as you go along. So with a creative flourish, I made an original Gameboy
















And continuing with the Nintendo theme, I made a Triforce from the Legend of Zelda videogame series. This was the first time I'd attempted triangles, and they turned out perfectly on the first go!
















And what next? I think a Pokeball would be pretty cool...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Day That Was - June 15th, 2011

I woke up this morning at 8, and turned on the heater in my room. It was a cold morning, and I got out of bed and had a bread roll, a bowl of rice bubbles and soy milk, and a cup of tea for breakfast: 7/10. I listed to Elephant (fantastic album) and Anti-Tiger over breakfast, before hoping on my bike and cycling to the library. I did internet things on their free wifi and browsed the dvds. Around 11:30, I walked down Victoria Mall. It's currently home to the Coburg Carnivale, which is a really nice cultural community event. I bought a cup of veggie soup for $1.50 (yum: 8/10), and walked down Sydney Rd to find the act of the day - King Marong and Safara. They were an African drumming duo, and it was great to hear and watch them - they were infectiously happy and rhythmic: 10/10. I drank my soup and wandered around Coburg Market. I bought some nuts and fruit, and confirmed that I really love the suburb. It's amazingly multi-cultural, and I really like walking down the street hearing all manner of middle eastern and  Mediterranean languages. 10/10.
I cycled home and had a peanut butter sandwich. I checked my map book and headed off to Oak Park station. It's the site of an art installation which is causing some outrage in the community. It consists of orange plastic fencing. All objections I've read have been frustratingly stupid: 'it's not art' - yes, it is; 'it's just plastic fencing' - in the same way a painting's just paint?; 'they should've spent that money on roads' - $10,000 is a small fraction of roading costs. And it goes on like this. The sculpture was okay - parts had been cut out to make pictures of birds, leaves, teapots etc: 8/10.
On the return ride home, I went to Fawkner Crematorium and Memorial Park, which is massive. I walked around, and it was a beautiful Autumn afternoon: 10/10. I picked up some abandoned plastic flowers and decorated barren graves. I found the site of John Batman's internment. And factoid of the day - I learnt that the Cemeteries and Crematoria Regulations 2005 deems it an offence to play sport in a cemetery. Though as I left I saw a father and son kicking a football.
Back at home, I sat on the porch in the sun and finished reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It was great, highly recommended: 9/10. I then cycled to the library to return the book, and bought some baking ingredients at the supermarket. I was angry at how busy the roads were: 2/10. Back home, I made some broccoli and chickpea pasta (9/10), and my flatmate Paul and I watched a few episodes of Scrubs. We then biked down to the Drum Hotel to watch the State of Origin rugby league. We had a few beers, and it was a really good game. Plus, NSW ('my team', I guess) won: 8/10.
We headed home after the game, and I started to read 'The Deep End' issue of Granta. A pretty good day: 8/10

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Things I don't like

I can imagine that if you don't know me in real life, I might seem to be some kind of unshakeably happy/enthusiastic person, who is always glowing sunshine. Well, I am happy a lot of the time. And the main idea of this blog is nice stuff, so I don't tend to share things I don't like, or that get me down. But I'm a real person too, dammit! So just to even things up, here is a list of some things I don't like:

Walking through car parks
Burlesque culture
Horse racing
Rhys Darby
Seagulls
Steam punk
Roller derby
Cycling near unleashed dogs (unpredictable!)
Advertising

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Motivation

Working at RDU was great: I got to speak on the radio, play my favourite music, and interview some awesome people. I kept a list of those people I interviewed. It includes some big names like Florence Welch, as well as local musicians I really admire, like David Kilgour from The Clean, and Grayson Gilmour.
About a year ago, I asked a girl out. I kind of knew her, and decided I'd take the chance. I saw her in a computer lab at uni, and had 'People I've interviewed.doc' open. I felt really nervous, and was close to not asking when I thought, 'you've talked to all these people, you can talk to her.'
She was flattered, but said no - she had a boyfriend. Oh well. My point is that in your life you no doubt have problems or challenges, but you've also had experiences. You can use the experiences to help with your challenges.

My room, redux

Here are a few more extra bits of my room


This is a bedside table made out a largeish box and some corrugated cardboard. There's also an old biscuit box on the right for my wallet, watch, miscellany
I made some bunting from an old copy of Beat. A while ago I asked Fran, 'why does bunting make me feel so happy?' Neither of us were sure why

This is a... progress indicator? I had the notion when reading Yes Man that 'we determine how enjoyable our lives are', and this aims to reflect that. There's a peg that can be moved between the two arrow heads. How was my day? Can I improve on it?
         < dull -------- awesome >

Wish 8, 9, 10

These are the last three wishes that I didn't or couldn't grant.

'100 dollars Claudia 8 377xxxx'
This is cute. She even wrote the 3 back to front on her phone number. I thought about calling her or her parents and working something out, but I didn't really have that kind of money to play with. Ambitious girl.

'Get laid TONIGHT! Mutant Mars'
Gee, not too sure about this one. Perhaps I could get laid, and claim it for you by proxy? Sorry Mutant.

'Homeless man in tent, Hagley South. Needy by way of earthquake and psychologically unfit for work on regular basis. Would appreciate a large moden pack. Money? Not as important. P/T under table work? Could do, just not every day. $10p/h. Have licences 1, 2, 4. Can you help?'
Damn. This one was the worst. Not enough details to help what seems like a very genuine problem. Heartbreaking.

So that's Wish Box. Mixed results, but I hope it inspired or amused you. Stay tuned for a similar project - I'm very excited about it!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Weighting

The other day I was walking through a mall, and a guy selling gym memberships spoke to me. 'Gee, you're pretty slim mate. Do you work out, or just have a crazy metabolism?' I thought about it, and agreed it was probably the latter. The same day, I heard some school kids say 'wow, that guy's skinny'. I smiled.
I guess I am pretty skinny. Perhaps outrageously so. (You can have a perv at the time I was an underwear model. Or see me in lycra). And I've always been like this.
When I tell people I'm vegan, there's often a click; that explains it. But I had no weight change after switching. In fact, I've generally not changed weight since I was 13. It's sat in the 51-55kg range that whole time.
Most of the time, I have no idea how skinny I must appear. I have pretty high self esteem (and I'll say it now - I love my body. Love it. Wouldn't want to change a thing), and I sometimes feel like the opposite of this. Still, it can be hard being a skinny guy. It can be challenging to find clothes that fit. People assume you're weak. And there's a certain stigma that might be analogous to being very large - but being stick thin goes against most 'big, manly' stereotypes. Luckily for me, there are girls who like skinny guys. And in the indie/arts scene, there aren't many beefcakes.
I had a 23kg baggage allowance when I flew to Melbourne. It made me think about what I wanted to bring, and... how much does a jersey weigh? That kind of extended to me. 50-odd kg isn't much. How much does my hand weigh? How irreducible is my liver?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My room

Here are some photos of my room. They were taken on my laptop's webcam, apologies.
 



This is me on my bed



This is my newest take on cardboard box storage. Boxes are labelled in case I (or a guest) has troubling recognising socks











This is my new bike. It's yet to be named (but I get the feeling it's a boy. Suggestions?)

Public transport

I caught the train to Hawthorne today. I'm taking part in a clinical trial that looks at the effects of multivitamin use on mood. I get paid, and get free vitamins, so any changes are likely to be positive.
I caught the the train home at 5pm. It was obviously very crowded, but I felt in a good mood. I was reading. A guy nearby ate a mandarin. It matched his orange hi-vis. The lady next to me was also reading: Marian Keyes' Last Chance Saloon. "'You should wear your red dress', Thomas coaxed." I thought that it's nice to be living inside your head, reading, but looking out at the sunset, I felt like I'd much rather be living out there, amongst everything.
I looked around the train. Everyone looked content. Everyone looked so beautifully human, and I felt good for all of them. In the seat opposite me, there was an 8-bit explosion of music, as a girl started playing Pokemon on her phone. I smiled, and she laughed: not stifled, embarrassed laughter, but 'I can't believe that just happened to me on a crowded train' laughter. Near the door, a really blokey looking guy was on the phone, sorting out a deal. "Look, it's fine. Na, just get me some Neutrogena Face Wipes, and some of that Nivea Face Cream. Yeah, from Safeway. Cool."
The book I was reading was Submarine by Joe Dunthorne. I'd just read about how life doesn't race by, but it's 'a series of moments, like now now now now now now now.' The train ride felt like one of those nows.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ways to feel better

Take a walk
Touch things as you walk past (fences, trees)
Catch some of a strangers' converation and imagine what greater story it was part of
Skip as you walk!
Imagine a random item as being a piece of installation art. What does it say about its surroundings?
Catch a falling leaf
Walk along a fence or beam
Think about the moments leading up to a first kiss

Care to suggest your own?

Friday, May 27, 2011

The guide book

When I moved over, my friend Fran gave me her copy of the Melbourne Compact Street Directory (6th ed). It's a solid 500+ pages of information. I enjoy flicking through the pages, trying to orient myself in this new city. Occasionally I spot something interesting - it told me that one block from my house, is a velodrome. I went to check it out, and it seemed pretty disused, but I found a way in. Many of the map symbols it uses are unexplained, and I think tomorrow I'll try find out what a flag with 'Indian' signifies.
It's been a handy tool to have as I make my way around the city. It helped me get down to Brighton where I bought a bike from a guy who had studied in Christchurch. I trained to Flinders before cycling home (~15km). I'd planned to buy a smart phone, but the combination of the book, my willingness to explore, and the kindness of strangers has been all I need to get around.
As I'm (slowly) becoming more familiar with the streets, I'm becoming rather familiar with the book itself. Waiting at a stop, a girl asked me if the 55 tram went down Flemington. I had a look at the tram map, before expertly flicking to Map 369, confirming that yes, it did. 'You're pretty quick with that map book', she said. 'Well, I do use it a lot' I replied.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Saturday

Yesterday I caught the train in to town. I was off to Footscray to have a look at a bicycle. The public transport is great here, but I'd much rather zip around on my own. I had a bit of time to kill, and found an all-you-can-eat vegetarian restaurant (called 'Om'. It was om nom nom), and walked around the CBD. I headed to Flinders St station, and was asked if I'd like a Free Stress Test. I said Yes, and was tested by Helen. The test consisted of me holding two cylinders which was attached to a machine with dials. The machine sat on the table next to a large pile of books by L. Ron Hubbard. I asked how the test worked, and she said 'it could detect if I was feeling stressed', which seemed a little tautological. Despite an initial spike when she asked about people I knew, I was one cool customer. She seemed vexed that nothing in my life (no job, moving to Aus, family, social problems etc.) was causing me stress, and really struggled to find a line of questions to get me worked up. I smugly asked if I'd passed the test, and she said yes, but I took some information about Dianetics anyway.
I jumped on the train, and waited for the person with the bike to arrive at Middle Footscray. It turned out to be the guy's grandmother, and though it was a nice bike (and I did want to say Yes), I decided not to take it . Which was a shame, as I was really looking forward to cycling home. With an afternoon to kill, I went to the museum. On the tram there, my friend Annie hopped on! It was really cool to see her (and felt right - she has a blog about trams), and we chatted until my stop.
The museum was great, but I wish I'd had more time. There was a pretty amazing dinosaur exhibition, and the stuff on geology was incredible. There were some imperative displays: 'touch these teeth, imagine it biting a branch'; 'touch this rock' (which was more than four billion years old. I teared up a little, it was all very overwhelming). I then headed to Brunswick to meet Riki for a beer.
While I waited to him, I explored some alleys off Brunswick St, and was absolutely amazed by the quality and size of some of the wheat pasting. It was a little off-putting but also really inspiring, and it's something I'd really love to do more of. It was great (as always) hanging with Riki, and after I while, I caught the tram home

Friday, May 20, 2011

Yes

Simon gave me a copy of Yes Man by Danny Wallace as a leaving present for Melbourne. It's really enjoyable, and quite inspiring in its own way. Danny basically says 'Yes' to every opportunity, and that's that. It worked out well for him, and it's something I'm trying to embrace more.
I've moved in to a new flat in Coburg, and it's nice. It was quite impulsive, but it felt right, so I just said yes. It's with nice people, in a nice area. And the nearest train station is called Batman. Brilliant. I was out and about looking for jobs yesterday. I dropped by Australian Geographic, which is a science/cool stuff toy shop for kids (and big kids), and the guys seemed really cool. They said I was off to a good start by having a beard, awesome. Another maybe is Cinema Nova, which seems very similar to Rialto. Fingers crossed.
Leaving the cinema, I was stopped by a man who asked if I'd like to be in a photo essay which 'infers youth'. His name was T (he made a 'T' with his hands), and of course I said yes. In a bookshop across the road, I also found a copy of my beloved Cabinet, hurrah!
On my way home I stopped at Office Works to use their free internet (that's where I am now), and two young teens sat next to me. 'He's using Facebook, too' said one of them; 'Do you want to add me?' said the other. 'I add randoms all the time: I've got one thousand, two hundred and forty friends'. 'You're very popular', I said, 'but no, thanks'.
Rats, that was a definite Yes Moment! I'll try keep it at the forefront of my mind

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Leaving

Gina and I drove to the airport (with The Lion King soundtrack playing), and found our way to the new, futuristic/completely sterile terminal. We saw Kim, and after checking in, it turned out she was sitting behind me on the flight. We had a wander around, and I felt sick with the feeling of what was coming up. We made small talk about the nature of flying, before walking down to the departure gate. It was heart-breaking, but in the midst of tears and hugs, we exchanged a 'bye for now', as well as plenty of 'I love yous'. It's hard to say the right thing when you're choking up.
I passed through Customs with no problems, and a few sympathetic looks (crying might be the secret to successful smuggling). In the departure lounge, I just felt empty, and waited for the plane to board. I thought of a lyric from Polka Dot Dot Dot – 'it's not the leaving, it's the never coming home again'. It felt appropriate, but for the opposite reasons; I know I'll be back, but leaving is tough.The flight was fine, and as I had a window seat, I witnessed an astonishing site: a circular rainbow. It happened not long after take-off, a beautiful complete oval of colour, floating just above a cloud. I wanted to shriek, but remained silently transfixed as the plane banked and it fell from view.
Things felt a little better.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Last paste in Chch

On my last night in Christchurch, Simon and I did a bit of pasting. A few days earlier, he and I had quite impulsively taken a trip to the West Coast. He'd asked if I was happy with what I'd done in Chch, and when I said I'd never been to the Coast, we seized the moment. It was a long day of driving (top marks to Simon), and we managed to check off some great sights.
The drive to the Coast was good, and Arthur's Pass was okay. We stopped for lunch in Greymouth, before heading north to Punakaiki. I was really amazed by the Pancake Rocks. I was probably a touch sceptical as to how incredible they would be, but they exceeded my expectations a hundredfold. It was then further up to Westport, before heading home via Lewis Pass.
I don't think I can really convey how great a friend Simon is. We talked the whole time, sometimes deeply; often just quoting The Simpsons and joking around. He writes a fantastic blog, and has been a very close friend since the start of high school.
He has also gotten a good taste for pasting. We went along Bealey Ave and put up some colour swatches T'nealle and I found in an empty office. I'd had the idea to brighten up all the plain black power boxes, and I think this was a good start.















There were also these cryptic messages: 'We conduct many of these'

Wish 7

'New bike tyres :P KJ, YMCA'

I had my old pair still lying around the flat, and saw this as a good way to do a good favour. I left this note: 'Hey KJ, here are some tyres. Sorry they're not new, and I hope they fit. Best wishes! Wish box'

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wish 6

'Wish there were less cops on the rd pulling people up for nothing'

This one seems pretty subjective. Though I didn't want to waste her time, I did send Police Minister Hon Judith Collins an email to get her thoughts on the matter. No reply as yet.
I also checked the ever-reliable Yahoo Answers for a possible answer to 'Do Cops pull people over because they have nothing better to do?'
In the end I don't think this is a wish I could grant, but I did have a look around to see what was going on. The Police say that road crashes are 'the leading cause of death to children and of disability to 14-44 year-olds', and Safer Journeys is the governmental strategy toward 'a safe road system increasingly free of death and serious injury'.
This wish may have been written by a 'boy racer', so I had a look at that too. The Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act 2003 (aka The Boy Racer Act) has been law for a number of years and bans certain types of driving behaviour and illegal modifications. With those in mind, it seems possible that the police may have just cause to pull over the wish maker, or their friends.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Day That Was - May 5th, 2011

I went to bed at about 12:30am after staying up talking with my flatmates. We were all home and it was really nice. I slept in my bed with a hot water bottle, and got up at 8am. We had a flat and EQC inspection, so I wanted to be prepared. It seemed like a nice day, and I had toast for breakfast (two crusts: marmite and peanut butter: 8/10). I checked the internet and went to use the portaloo across the road (the sewage system is fragile in Chch, and while our toilet works, it really feels you're 'doing your part' for the city); patriotic toilet break: 10/10.
I cycled down to the doctors to pick up a new prescription. I have a few infected cuts on my feet (2/10), but they're being treated (9/10) though based on tests, I'd been told I needed a different kind of antibiotic (I guess that's a good thing, right?). The staff at the clinic and the pharmacy were really friendly, and I cycled home to straighten up my room a bit.
Two guys from the EQC arrived, and they were meeting our property manager. We hadn't mowed the lawns for a few months, so I was expecting trouble with property manager. She seemed in a really good mood though, and didn't appear to notice (10/10), and instead focused on changing the tenancy agreement. She didn't stay for long, and the earthquake inspectors had a good look around. They were really friendly, and allayed any fears we had as to the structural soundness of the house (10/10, it was great to be given an all clear).
That made everyone feel good, and the sun was out. I had some porridge for lunch (6/10), and a cup of instant noodles (9/10). I phoned the power company and got the account sorted for my moving out. I had missed a call from an Australian bank, but called them back, and got my bank account sorted (10/10). Then I cycled to the post shop to withdraw my Bonus Bond savings. They weren't able to check how much I had (2/10), so I cycled to the bank in Merivale who informed me that I had more money saved than I thought: 10/10!
After I got home, Hannah and I walked to the supermarket. It was really nice, and we bought ingredients for nachos (as well as honey-roasted peanuts: 9/10). Her and I made dinner, which was really yum: 9/10.
After dinner, I cycled to the mall to see Gina at work. The store was really quiet, and we goofed around: 8/10. I helped close the store (and did the vacuuming!). When work had finished, we drove back to her place. She had some dinner, and we lay in front of the fire doing a code cracker (I love them: 10/10). We talked in bed for a while, and then went to sleep. It was a really nice day: 10/10

Wish 5

'I wish that Chris would realize that he missed out on me and get in touch and try again with me' (b/w 'I wish to be loved. Thanks heaps')

Without knowing anything about the two people in this relationship, I sided with the writer of the wish, and made a few notes like this:





Perhaps Chris will see it, and reconsider.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wish 4

'That the aftershocks would stop :( '

I was expecting this kind of wish, and I'm sorry to say that it's rather outside my abilities. However, doing a bit of research online, GNS say 'the rate of decay (of aftershocks) from Feb 22 is much sharper than at Darfield (September quake)' and that aftershocks 'had since tailed off sharply and they were now less frequent than aftershocks at the equivalent time after the magnitude 7.1 earthquake' (link).

I know that this isn't exactly reassuring, but I guess it might be helpful to have faith in the science and know that things are improving. We had a tremor this morning which wasn't fun, but they are infrequent, and things are getting better.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wish 3

'God can't sort it all out. I can. You can. We can :)'

Thanks? Very true I think, and there's been some really cool acts of humanity since the earthquake (which I guess this is alluding to).
This doesn't wish for anything in particular, but I'm going to count this one as coming true.

Wish 2

'i wish Justin Bieber would cum to Chch!' (b/w 'this is so cute!')

Hmmm, big ask. Justin is playing a few shows around Australia in the next few weeks, so I emailed his management:

'Hi Scooter and team,

My name's David, and I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. As you may be aware, our city was recently hit by a large earthquake resulting in many buildings being destroyed, and lives lost.
To try and improve morale, I set up a project where people could write down a wish, and I would try and make it happen. A number of people wished that Justin Bieber would come to Christchurch.
I see that Justin is touring Australia, and I understand that he has an incredibly busy schedule. However, if any kind of 'flying visit' were possible, it would be tremendously appreciated.

Many thanks,
David Klein'


I'll let you know if I get a reply. As Gina pointed out, some NZ fans were quite mean on his visit to Auckland last year (someone stole his hat, and his mum was pushed), so he may have reservations about returning.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wish 1

'Topless women with dreads'

I don't know any dreadlocked women who would be prepared to go topless for whatever classy gentleman wished for this. Instead, I drew them this picture:





I like how 'with dreads' was seemingly added, to make a good situation even better

Wish Box update

I left the Wish Box out for four days, and it experienced pretty torrential rain and strong winds. Here's how it looked:




"Cardboard? Minus 10 points" - Alice Tappenden.
She's right, but I like the look, and figure this could be v 1.0. It held out pretty well, though someone had taken the lid.




There were ten wishes in total, which I'll share over the coming days. No one wished for 'infinity wishes'

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chupa Chupdate

A few weeks ago, I placed a bunch of lollipops around the streets of Christchurch. There were about 40 in total, and from wandering around, I've noticed that almost all of them have disappeared. Whether they were eaten or thrown away remains unknown, but I guess people interacted with them in either case. I suppose it takes a certain kind of person to first notice, and then take a lollipop left in a public place. I'm not sure if I would to be honest. I'd like to think of it as a reward for observant and adventurous people.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wish Box

Here's a new project I came up with. It's called Wish Box, and aims to make the world a wee bit better
 

It's simple

1. Write your wish on a slip of paper
2. Put it in the box
3. I'll try and make it come true.









I hope that it will get people to think about what they really want. Then I can try to make it happen. I figure most wishes will be anonymous, so perhaps I can turn the wish in to a random good deed. Raise the World Goodness Total a bit.
Wish Box is in place now, attached to a traffic camera on the south east corner of the Colombo/Bealey corner.

Moving to Melbourne

In about a month, I'll be moving to Melbourne. It's been on the cards for a wee while. I'd imagined I'd only stay in Christchurch while I was studying, before moving on. Somewhere along the way, I really fell in love with the city (and its people), and it's not been the easy next step I'd envisaged.
Nevertheless, I think it is the right move. At the moment, my job, radio hosting, and many other things I enjoy are in limbo. Most of town is still out of action. Now feels like the right time to go.
In spite of all that though, I still love living in Christchurch. The people I know are incredible, I love my flat, and I know things are getting better. And then there's Gina - she's amazing, and I can hardly bare thinking about leaving her. She's in her final year at uni, so I guess we're in different places in our lives. We'll be breaking up, due to circumstances rather than things not working. I guess that's some kind of bittersweet plus.

So, Christchurch, you're a sweetheart. You've been more than I could ever have hoped for, and I'll be back. I'll let you know more about my plans before I go (May 13).

And Melbourne, hello. I'm looking forward to getting to know you. If you live there now, maybe I'll catch you around. And if you know any amazing jobs or cool places to live, drop me a line - superchai(at)gmail.com

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Collage #4 - Scientist


Watch out, Brandon Flowers!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blog connections

Inspired by the phenomenal Information is Beautiful, and shaped by the fairly cozy bunch of 'New Zealand indie bloggers', I made this diagram. It shows which blogs links to which others. I think it looks nice. It's accurate to March 30, and uses the current title of each blog. Some blogs don't have 'blogrolls'. All the blogs are good.

Collage #3 - Skater

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Collage #2 - Girl


Collage #1 - X-ray Watch

I've started making some collages. They're very simple I think, but they look at the idea of 'the more you look, the more you see'. Here is a detail of the watch face

Monday, March 28, 2011

The city

The central city is still very much cordoned off, though access is slowly being allowed. I had a look on Google maps and street view to remind myself what parts of the city looked like. Knowing that they've changed, and that everyone is disconnected from those changes is saddening.
Sometimes I think about the streets of the city, and how empty they are, and how lonely the city must be. There are no people flowing through her, and she seems very frozen in time, from what I've seen. In particular, I like the street art in Christchurch, and knowing that so many pieces are sitting, unseen, in the CBD, feels very empty. Street art requires an audience, and is the work of individuals in response to the urban environment.
Last night I was very pleased to find the work of two of my favourite individuals on Flickr. I really love Vision, and how creative and versatile they are. And it feels like Vacuousity really 'gets' Christchurch, and has done some very inspiring pastes (you've quite possibly seen them).

(On the topic of street art: the latest video from Blu is mind blowing - Big Bang Big Boom)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Free and sweet

This week I ordered a 'bag of crap' from 1-day - a mystery item from the online store. I was hoping for high-end computer goods, but instead received vacuum clothes storage bags, and a container of 60 Chupa Chups (spherical lollipops in case you didn't know). My flatmates and I had a couple, but I don't eat too many lollies, and I didn't really like them. Instead, I decided to leave them in public places for people to find.
Candy from a stranger (or a public place) may not appeal to everyone, so with colourful rubberbands, I attached some typewritten messages
















 'for you', 'you're sweet', 'good day', etc.

And stuck them in trees, bicycle helmets, clothing store trouser pockets, on fences - places like that.






Hopefully they'll sweeten someone's day

Monday, March 21, 2011

Heart

I find it really hard to force creativity, and though I'd been wanting to make something nice after the recent earthquake, nothing really jumped at me. Yesterday, I remembered that I had a few large sheets of thick black and red paper (Canterbury colours), and in a flurry made a large poster. I like when creativity and inspiration hits from out of nowhere.
I put it up on Bealey Ave, one of the main roads in Christchurch, and a short walk from my house. It's very humbling and encouraging that mine is just one of many similar supportive messages on Bealey and around the city.

Hitchhicking

As mentioned in the previous post, I set out to do a bit of hitchhiking around the country. I guess it went okay, but I headed back to Chch after a few days. A few people picked me up, but I guess that after trying it, I'm not a huge fan of hitching. Gina drove me to Ashburton where I spent the night. In the morning I was picked up by Vince, the most Kiwi bloke I've ever met. He was great to talk to, and dropped me off in Timaru.
From there I was picked up by Chrissie, who took me to the Waimate turnoff. I was aiming for Oamaru, and being on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere seemed to be quite a hindrance. After a few hours of standing there, I decided to walk the 8km to Waimate, which was tougher than I'd wanted on a really hot day.
After spending the night in the beautiful little town, I caught a bus back home. I had realised that I don't really like relying on other people for rides (which is the whole idea behind hitching), and that I'd much rather be out on my bike, instead of waiting around for hours for a possible lift.
I didn't feel too bad about; I'd given it a shot, and found that it wasn't really for me. I'll be fixing Sally up a bit, and then we'll hopefully be out for an adventure before it gets too cold.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hitting the road

I've been wondering what to do in this post earthquake limbo: I've finished at uni, my job is currently out of action, and other plans for the future seem a bit up in the air. So somewhere between watching a Marcus Lush documentary and pondering my life in Christchurch, I hit upon the idea of travelling to unexplored lands, within the maxim of 'don't leave home until you've seen the country'.
Given that I've lived in New Zealand my whole life, there are huge parts of the country I've never seen. The South Island remains largely a mystery to me, and now seems like the perfect time to remedy that. I'm planning on hitch-hiking around the bottom part of the South Island for a few weeks, seeing where the road takes me, and experiencing lands anew. And I guess implicitly, relying on the good nature of New Zealand motorists. I'm sure I'll meet some good people. After that, back to Christchurch, before hitting the rest of the island.
I've lived in Chch since 2007, and I always envisaged that I'd study, and then move on. Not get too tied down here. And though I've fallen in love with the city, and it's people, I realise that I can't be afraid to take the next step. I could quite happily live here (and will be back), but for now it's time to experience everything else out there.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Earthquake, redux

Things have been a flurry since the most recent earthquake. I travelled to Palmerston North for a wedding of friends from highschool, and Gina and I went to Auckland for a few days. The wedding was fantastic: a really beautiful ceremony, the chance to see lots of old friends and family, and a fun reception. Things in Christchurch were a pretty common discussion.
While I was in PN, Gina and I planned a short trip to Auckland. We stayed with her dad in Howick and explored some of the central city, ate some yum food (including Nice Blocks!), met up with Stacey at First Thursdays, and played Cranium. Gina's family have been fantastically nice. I stayed with her and her mum for a few days after the earthquake. And I've fallen head over heals in love with Gina.
Still, being out of the city, and not having been in to the CBD I adore so much leaves me feeling really disconnected. Things feel in a real limbo now that I've finished uni, and am working a job that I like, but isn't a career. I think a change is coming

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