Monday, October 4, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Meet Zach. He's thirteen. And he's big. When he gets on the beach he becomes a spry puppy, rolling in the sand and scratching like a whale shedding barnacles. His favorite game is getting in the way and he is good at it.

Zach was raised in a household in Dunedin and when the old lady (Zach's primary care giver) stepped out, the old guy didn't want him and the eighteen year old daughter didn't feel any need or responsibility welling up either. So now Zach lives on a permaculture homestead with Bob and tells sexist and racist jokes just to get a rise out of the German Tai Chi master who also lives there and spruces the place up with Ikebana.

Also, through dream, Bob has discovered that Zach is short for Exactly.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Garnered Wisdom/ Photo Plop

"If it takes shit to make bliss/ then I feel/ pretty blissfully." - Modest Mouse

"The bad writing (of politicians) on which I am about to remark, I do not pretend to look on as the cause of the present public calamities, or of any part of them: but it is a proof of the deficiency in that sort of talent which appears to me to be necessary in men entrusted with great affairs. He who writes badly thinks badly. Confusedness in words can proceed from nothing but confusedness in the thoughts which gave rise to them. These things may be of trifling importance when the actors move in private life; but, when the happiness of millions of men is at stake, they are of importance not easily to be described." - William Cobbett, 200 years ago

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lose All Your Money or Double Up

Yesterday I called a sheep farmer out on Winton and asked if he needed a hand. He's in his 70's and his sheep are about to be "lambin'". He said sure and I asked him how long he needed me. He said for a week or a fortnight. I chose the fortnight, because it was the first time in my life that I've ever had that option. When I hung up the phone and reported back in to the folks who helped me find some farm contacts they said stuff like "hey great" and "sure". I kinda just stuffed my hands in my pockets and tipped up on my toes a bit. Someone awkwardly asked what I was going to do for the rest of the day. Good question. It was at this point that I started discussing how paying 20 kiwi bucks to stay at the Globe Travellers was a bit steep. Stranger in a strange land. To my relief a woman volunteering at the Eco Centre said, "Eef yu cin't find a place yer can alwees stay at ours." I kindly thanked her and sincerely kept it in mind.

Well, I went on about my day. Trying to meet people and talk, finding out what life is like at the bottom of the world. I hate to report that its a lot like the middle and top. Day to day stuff. Mystery deflated. That whole thing. So I went on about my business and a little before the Centre was to close I showed back up and started chatting with this kid Derrick who I had met yesterday. We had some coffee and honey and sat by the fire and I brought up the fact that I had been offered a place. (Just to let you know, the average cup of coffee in NZ, even in the remote/wilderness Southland is about 4 bucks.) Well, we figured out who it was who had offered me a place and tried to call. No answer. We decided to roll out around town for a tour and I'm glad we did. I was able to go up on some high coastal rocks and look south to Stewart Island and see some amazing Earth. I regret that my camera was dead. In a way I don't though. Ghost island off in the distance that were the homes of flightless birds, ocean pulling back towards a block of ice the size of the skull of an Earth, breaks and wave spray, seals and teenagers parked far away from the now-million-dollar-homes that line the way up. On our way back in we still hadn't contacted the woman who had offered me the place. We stopped and bought cat food. Then, low and behold, who was to cross the street going into one of 4 local bars, but the woman herself. Derrick said, "This is that thing. . . the uh, what do you call it, Syncro?" Yes, the Syncro is fine. I asked Derrick if he thought I would be safe and whether or not he thought this lady a cougar. He just kinda laughed and said, "Cougar. . . " and drove off.

She was drunk and drove home using a side of the road that felt familiar, which was an odd feeling, to not be nervous in a car because it was in what felt like the correct lane but was actually in the very wrong lane. She stammered over her words and I just laughed to myself. I heard her say that I'd have to give her a few minutes, ten she said, to clean up. She stumbled inside. She could've taken ten years, this place was a wreck. I set my stuff down and fixed a cup of tea. Shit everywhere: yarn, cats, fire wood, magazines, stink, curtains, tools, books, photos. A tv and a radio were on. Kiwi TV is just like any TV anywhere else. We sat and talked, she fell asleep between sentences.

I'll just say that when I woke in the middle of the night I was struck with a very real, very odd thought, and one that is creepily sticking with me. The thought was, "If a private residence has a sign on the bathroom door marking the toilet and some video gambling machines in it, then this is probably some type of odd speak-easy casino."


video poker

tiger dreams

house on the hill

(PS, there was a lovely orchard all around the place and this is just one example of one human surviving after the full gambit of life, love and loss had taken its toll.)

Sweet bed, eh? I slept like a tiger, I know that much.

In the morning there was some oatmeal fixed and more tea and I thanked her for the hospitality (cause she just saved me 20 bucks and gave me a hell of a story), and she thanked me for the company.

"Cougar. . ."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Post, Old Pictures

Oye There! Bout a git nip of a col comin on ya say? S'that? EH? GoDDAMIT I love kiwi's. E's are I's, every time. Wait a second... Oh, hello everyone. Well, seeing as how I left my cram down at the Riverton Environmental Centre (that's right, centre) I'll take this opportunity to use a few old photos from days gone by. Wouldn't want these to go to waste. The represent the America I will miss the most, and indeed, am sure I will see again in the ghostly reflections of these whale laden waters (wha!?!?!).

Ok, ok. First and foremost, I will miss this. I got used to seeing this so much in the states that I didn't even notice it missing until I was. . .


Another thing I really miss is my dags, my sweet, blunder hounts, the "dogs of hell", the dogs of the ghetto. We used to pop corn around 50 gallon drum fires, stoking the flames with pimp canes and keeping the embers hot with our mean mugs and empty Andy Capps hot fries bags. . .

Dogs of Hell ("Slow down son, I'm not gonna hit you. THE HELL I'M NOT!).

While we're on the subject, look at Fire Breathing Chicken and Dora Phraserton running their lucrative South End Urban-Lazy-Lady-Boot-Camp. Applicable phrase from Dora Phraserton (the Pincherman) "The got a hard swath to mow, Mom."

And then there was the real deal dog stuff, when it got brutal and nasty. These are the days I will miss most: hiding behind a blind, giving off the stink of fear, wearing Chacos. . .

Yes, times were had. Now I sit on the edge/end of the world and look out at an estuary, I think the first estuary I've ever seen in my life. If I've seen an estuary before this, I just don't remember. If you saw an estuary with me, would you please e mail me? But this one. . . is beautiful. Now, there is a down side. It's being pumped full of poison every year because New Zealand is being turned into the breast of the world. Quote me. And the dairy farmers are using a chemical to grow grass for the cows to eat for the world to drink, and the chemical goes into the estuary. My idea for a solution? Stop it. I am here to strike fire into the hearts of Kiwi's and remind them that it's a-ok to keep your milk for your family. Farmageddon is right around the corner. . .

Also, a SYNCRO report. I wrote a song a few years ago called, "Mawson's Will: The Greatest Adventure Story Ever Told" based on the book "Mawson's Will: The Greatest Adventure Story Ever Told" that tells the story of Mawson, a 1911 clad Kiwi who tried to be the first to reach the South Pole but ended up killing his friends and eating their dogs. Well, take a look at the performance taking place in Riverton this Monday August the 9th ( Hmm, guess who god likes? A lot. Yip. Me.