no evil star

Or maybe I should call this My Secret Internet Life, but I’ll get to that later. If I can get rid of my dead leg and hold the most utmostest concentration, that is. Ow.

I typed that about 10 minutes ago and then lost complete concentration. As I am wont to do. But in my dithering I did (re) find this:

I think of you like a young tree
with pasted-on leaves and know you’ll root
and the real green thing will come

which is from this.

And I also found some other stuff. Plus I remembered the sleep game I played last night with myself at about 2 in the morning.

It went something like this (and I think you’ll see the pattern forming if you squint at the sequence very closely and cross your fingers and toes all at once):

Alvar Aalto, Basil Brush, Coco Chanel, Danny de Vito, ee cummings, Fred Flintstone, Greta Garbo, Harry Houdini, … , James Joyce, Ku Klux Clan, Lucy Liu, Marilyn Monroe, … , … , Peter Piper, … , Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek……

Okay and I’m bored with that now. It didn’t actually help me get to sleep, anyway, because I kept getting stuck. And when I got stuck I got agitated. And I also sort of overheated (in that cloying itchy-wool way you get when your mother tries to pull a tight jumper down hard over your head and it won’t go and you see stars and your skin flashes and prickles… and really you were warm enough already without the jumper).

I have a frustrating head. Sometimes I don’t know what to do about it. But night time head is the worst. Night time head can be a bad, bad thing to be lugging around (and so firmly attached) in the dark.

Today I noticed the daphne in my garden for the first time. I walked into town and saw girls with bare legs. It just seemed so audacious and wanton. And strangely summery. Bare legs! I cancelled appointments and felt good about it. I wore jeans to work and felt a bit scrappy.

This evening I accidentally discovered a blog I had set up and completely forgotten about, called NO EVIL STAR. I was trying to bluff forgotten passwords and hack my way into another blog (not this one). I thought I’d finally cracked the pesky code, set about my business, only to discover I was in an entirely alien blog (but also one of my own making, apparently, which was vaguely worrying to me but also perfectly harmless).

I still haven’t worked out the code to the blog I really need the code for. But I think I might do some resuscitation work on NO EVIL STAR anyway. God knows why and what rambling paths I will take it down. But why not.

(And what we have here, with NO EVIL STAR, by the way, is not an enterprising digital spirit creating yet another floaty ego in the digisphere. Oh, well, it might be a bit of that, minus the enterprising. But really it’s just old fashioned procrastination wearing very modern clothes. And on that note, back to some shit about symmetrical communication or something. Bye.)

entertaining in slippers, long weekends, you

It feels good to enter a Sunday vaguely tracksuited. Indifferently scruffy but also a little bit purposeful. I also like entertaining in slippers. Like tonight. Except my slippers got so warm I started overheating and had to go barefoot for a while. I also like pretending to entertain when actually all I am doing is hanging out in my slippers and a nearly knee-length hoody, and dinner is brought to us by the dinner guest. That works quite well for me.

As I was driving around the Thorndon New World carpark this afternoon listening to soft 90s rap quite loud, feeling a bit edgy and gangsterish, I took stock of some of the conversations I have had so far this long weekend. Sometimes I have to do this or I’ll just forget everything a day later and it will be gone forever. (#goldfishbrain)

I made a bit of a list, conveniently synopsised. It may or may not make good reading. I make no promises.

>>>

Conversation 1. The mind altered by substances.  Murky nostalgia for the double-edged drug days. Then and now.

Conversation 2. Twitter WTF 101. This resulted in me talking all work-like outside work, which hardly ever happens. I gave my internet filter argument. i.e. it’s a way to get stuff you actually give a shit about. To mine a vast dumping ground of information and feel like you’re coming out on top. But I can see how the time-suck/why bother/digital tail chasing argument comes up. I got a few cock-eyed looks from around the table. (But proceeded regardless.)

Conversation 3. Carwash Bear. Carwash Bear has become a weekend favourite. He/she (hard to tell from the padded costume) lures punters in for fundraising carwashes on the Mt Cook side of the Basin. We didn’t see Carwash Bear today because of all the rain, so we sat in the car with the windows all steamed up and talked about Carwash Bear instead. Not quite as good, but an okay substitute.

Conversation 4. How much to give of yourself on the internetI have no idea. I think about it a lot though. How to be open enough to be halfway meaningful and human without offering up the private minutiae of your life like some kind of women’s mag tell-all? How to admit to vulnerability on the (very public) record and still stay shielded? It’s hard to just idly dangle your toes in the water.

Sometimes I forget how public this is. Until I bump into someone I sort of but only sort of know in the deli section at the supermarket and they already know what I did in the weekend. I don’t have a problem with this. It’s just a shift in things. And it’s the shift that’s interesting, to me, at least.

Uh-oh. I can feel my work mode coming on again. I will save any further talk of ‘the shift’ for the whitepaper I’ll probably never get around to writing.

Conversation 5. How much I like The Lighthouse Family. I listened to them (among other things) until 4.30 this morning. Which was stupid. Not TLF part. The 4.30 part. I’m never met with much support in my TLF conversations. In fact, Seal Lite was the most supportive comment I got about TLF this weekend. The only person who gets it lives in Sweden. I don’t know if we’ll  jump on beds together ever again, spilling our drinks through the sheets to TLF. Or climb out onto icy rooftops balancing G&Ts in one hand, negotiating slippery roof tiles, all to the sweet tunes of TLF. It’s purely situational, I guess. Not that I’m making excuses for it. I would never do that.

Conversation 6. The Hollywood movie making machine.

Conversation 7. Forgiveness and understanding.

Conversation 8. Rapture, by Carol Ann Duffy. I was pleased to be reminded how much I like this little book, and even more pleased that it’s one of the few books still on our bookshelves. I think this is my favourite poem of the volume.

*

YOU

Uninvited, the thought of you stayed too late in my head,
so I went to bed, dreaming you hard, hard, woke with your name,
like tears, soft, salt, on my lips, the sound of its bright syllables
like a charm, like a spell.
                         Falling in love
is glamorous hell: the crouched, parched heart
like a tiger, ready to kill; a flame’s fierce licks under the skin.
Into my life, larger than life, beautiful, you strolled in. 

I hid in my ordinary days, in the long grass of routine,
in my camouflage rooms. You sprawled in my gaze,
staring back from anyone’s face, from the shape of a cloud,
from the pining, earth-struck moon which gapes at me

as I open the bedroom door. The curtains stir. There you are
on the bed, like a gift, like a touchable dream.

*

And I think I’ll leave it there.

the sky in postcards

It didn’t look anything like this today. I am about to drink brandy and warm my feet. Baxo is huddled behind the warm awning of my laptop screen. I am listening to Boomin’ Granny. I used to put it on repeat and let it go all night, just that one song. If you can call it a song? There was something calming about it. I saw you in the check out line – you dropped your coupons – and you were looking fine.

Just before, woefully underclothed at the bus stop, I had time to think about the Blog Explosion. (Funny how when you put capital letters on something it looks that much more noteworthy and like a Real Thing.) It wasn’t really a lofty or particularly probing train of thought. I started by thinking about myself. Which is a hard thing to help. I wish I could. I would like not to think about myself. It would be so much easier if I didn’t wake up with myself every morning. Not that I’m making excuses or anything.

So, an approximation of my bus stop thinking process:

ME: I should write that media release when I get home.

ME: But I should probably write a blog. I haven’t had the inclination to write anything whatsoever in ages.

ME: I’ve got nothing to say. God I’m boring.

ME: Or is it that everything else is boring?

ME: But I have to write something. 

(Picture me now squinting, straining for subject matter, coming up with nothing. A man carrying plastic bags sits down a bit too close to me. The bus at the corner honks louder and longer than is strictly necessary at the daydreaming driver in front, chastising them for their green-turning-arrow-oblivion. Plus it’s cold. It’s getting late. It’s nothing like anything you might see on a postcard.)

From there I wondered about our compulsion to blog. Not just to blog but to digitally proliferate with such fervour that the big ball of matter that is the internet doubles its volume every 11 hours.* 
I get it, most of the time. I get being online. I get why it’s good. I know what I like about it. I stay away from the dumb stuff. The web delights me. It is such a strange monstrous nebulously spongy thing. It’s one big bottomless cyber maw, rejecting nothing. It is revolutionary in big and small ways. It is also a bit revolting.
But the web is just a thing. We put it there, filled it up and made it what it is today (and a mere half of what it will be 11 hours from now). It’s just a macabre over-inflated warped hall-of-mirrors reflection of ourselves. The world’s newest biggest dumping ground, twinkling inside the lit-up husks of our computer screens.
In part the web interests me in the same way garage sales do. The casual but grubby voyeurism. The sheer boundaryless democracy of it. The bargains to be had and the pathos to be felt. Bobbing-headed car-dogs and posies of scented plastic flowers and desiderata plaques mixed in with pristine children’s encyclopedias, unchipped Crown Lynn and art heirlooms that haven’t seen the light outside the hicktown shed for decades.
But going back to me thinking about blogs as I waited for the bus, what I ended up thinking was: why do we do it? What is this human need… This need to chatter away about nothing?
Sometimes in the dark of night I like to personify the web. Metaphoricise it, if that’s even a word. It’s a game I play now that I’ve stopped putting Boomin’ Granny on repeat all night long.
Like: a giant driftnet catching flotsam and jetsam and stuff like the plastic shit you pull off six packs of beer.   
Or a big lucky dip barrel.
 
Or. Actually I’m out of ideas now. You could give me some more, if you felt like it. I would like that. There’s a comments thingy down below which allows you to do that sort of thing.
Now it is brandy time. On that, Lord Byron was enbalmed in a vat of brandy. I am the picture of restraint by comparison.
* A few years ago IBM predicted that by the year 2010 the web would double in size every 11 hours. I’m not sure if it worked out bang on prediction. Someone told me the other day the web now doubles in size every week. But who are you supposed to believe in this day and age? [And, whatever you do, don’t take it from me.] Someone also told me that 1500000000000000000 bytes of new information was posted to the web last year. Well, true or not – and I’m sure it’s probably staggering – a number that big means absolutely nothing to me. It’s like saying infinity plus one

the day the diary died

I stopped actually writing in a journal about 12 years ago, more or less. Rummaging through them now is kind of weird. They even smell ancient, even though nothing feels like very long ago.

Here are some of the final excerpts, leading up to the day my diary died. I talk a lot of nonsense (I call it fin de siecle rambling when I am feeling generous, but mostly I just cringe).

If I started a pen-and-paper journal again, I wouldn’t know how, I don’t think. Maybe I will. Maybe I should. A friend from work showed me this clip of the Blackout Poet today, which I thought was pretty cool, thinking back to the Dadaist days and just being able to find everyday magic in stuff (I don’t mean to sound jaded or past it when I write that, it’s just that I have a headache for the third day in a row).

And so

Here I am/it is. Starting this when I am supposed to be doing something else. Not sure if I’m pretending to write a diary, but in a public forum, or if I’m assuming some kind of public face and should be coming up with something of note or interest. If the latter then I haven’t thought this through.

Today my thoughts on the online/blogging matter at hand (and in fact the general hue of the whole day) are that there’s a certain pointlessness to all of this. Are we chasing our own tails or just circle jerking in cyber space and who gives a shit on facebook if you have a sinus infection?  But that’s just me, and just for today.

I don’t presume I have much of novelty to say. Or much to show. Or tell. But let’s see. Worst case scenario: the link to katyink just becomes an error #404 in a sea of dead pages that once existed. Like when you remove a blu-tacked photo from a wall and all that remains is the yellowish outline around it.

Dorothy on a dark bed, reading
Dorothy on a dark bed, reading