Letting Things Out

June 17th, 2009

Lent out a manuscript copy of my first NaNoWriMo novel the other day, somewhat against innate introversion tendency. This here is an exercise in letting things out, letting things go. Also testing out document embedding through issuu.com.

So below is the twelfth chapter of Tales of Andrew Waters, a chapter that stood out to me for some reason, written in the month of November 2004. Below that is the full book.

Chapter 12 – The Dream

I don’t usually dream really that much at all. They say you’re always dreaming while you’re asleep and it’s just that you don’t always remember your dreams half the time when you wake up, but I’m not too sure about that really. If dreaming is always that same process, where your eyes begin to go darting crazy all about in rapid eye movements and all and they measure the same difference in your brain waves and everything, then why would some dreams be remembered and others forgotten? Maybe it’s just the way certain dreams interact with the reality of your mind that really makes a difference. I have no idea. When I do dream, the ones I remember after I wake up, they’re always really vivid and all like it’s not even really a dream or anything. There’s also always all these strange things happening in the dream that wouldn’t usually happen in real life, just little spots of incongruence, but it’s like I just accept that they’re happening and all and don’t even worry about it too much, just going on with whatever I’m doing and just put everything in place, even the things that don’t seem like they would fit. I think it’s strange that sometimes after you’ve just woken up, you can remember just about every part of your dream, but then as the day goes on, you keep on losing more and more of all the details and everything. I sometimes wonder where those details go when they disappear from your memory. Is it possible that they just don’t exist any more? I think it’s more probable that they’d most likely just migrated over to another part of the brain or something, because sometimes when I remember something, like things that have happened to me and just trivial daily events, I’m always getting this weird feeling like I don’t know if what I’m remembering really happened or if it’s maybe just part of some mundane dream that’s just gotten all mixed in with reality.

Anyway, the dream I had while sitting up against that dirty, old tree in the alleyway, was like no other dream I’d ever had; I’m not kidding. And I can still remember just about every small detail like I’d just woken up from it, still thinking it all over in my head and everything. Usually my dreams are not at all that exciting really, about just things I’d done during the day or various things I’d been thinking about and all, but this one seemed different, like all profound and significant and everything, like it could have had some kind of meaning in it or something. Everyone is always saying how dreams can have all these hidden meanings and messages and whatever and that they are a door to your unconscious mind and all, like that weird, old, crazy psychologist over in wherever who thought that just about every dream you ever have symbolised something dirty about your mother or whatever. What a nutcase. I don’t really believe in all that too much though.

Anyway, I remember it started off in this really wide open space with blue skies and rolling hills and all that rubbish and I was lying down on my back on top of one of these really green grassy hills, just watching the clouds pass on by and seeing what little fuzzy animals or whatever I could make out from the billowing shapes. It was also almost like I was somehow looking down on myself lying on the hill and also looking at the clouds from the hill at the same time. I leaned my head to the right and saw there in the distance, all these really tall buildings and everything, like this giant city metropolis lining the horizon and I thought how nice and peaceful and everything it was to be up on my green mountain like I was, just breathing the cool morning air and all. I looked up again at the clouds once more to see what I could see, but after lying there staring at the shapes for a few minutes, it was like my mind just refused to see any more fuzzy animals and all the clouds just kept looking painfully more and more like plain old stupid clouds.

I began to suspect that something wasn’t quite right and looking down, I suddenly realised that I wasn’t wearing any clothes. It was okay though. There wasn’t anyone else around anyway so I wasn’t embarrassed or anything, but I noticed that on my hands and on my feet and everywhere was growing like all this dark fur and it continued growing until I was pretty much covered from head to toe in this thick furry coat. Then it became apparent what was happening to me. I was evolving, only kind of reverse over millions of years in time and lying there, slowly becoming more and more like some kind of apeman or whatever, I thought I’d better try to get up. I rolled over and pushed myself up on my hands and feet and then tried standing, but found, no matter hard I tried, that I just couldn’t keep upright properly for very long and had to keep setting my furry hands down on the ground to stay balanced. I looked to the right again to where I’d seen the big city before, full of buildings and everything, but now instead there were all these trees everywhere, a huge forest that looked as though it was spreading all over the countryside like some kind of mouldy green growth on the bark of a tree. There was no mistaking it, it was indeed coming closer and before I knew it, there were all these trees, springing up everywhere around me, turning the lush green hill into this dense, dark rainforest and all, with the squawks of birds and everything coming from high up in the trees.

I noticed that I’d grown this really long curly tail, I was quite a bit smaller than I had been just a second ago and was now down on all fours looking around with large beady eyes, when I got this sudden urge climb up one of the trees and so I did. Before long, I was swinging around from tree to tree having a hell of a time in the canopy. I felt myself changing once more and this time, I turned into this little rodent creature that was apparently not very good at climbing because I fell right out of the treetops and landed in this real disgusting mud next to a large riverbed that smelled really bad, but somehow I didn’t really care too much. I had a good little shake, just like dogs are always doing to dry themselves after they’ve just had their weekly bath, that seemed to come just naturally to me, like it was instinct and all, but before I had a chance to start licking my fur and everything, I turned into some kind of scaly lizard for a second. Then I became this really slimy creature that looked like a squishy grey frog with a tail, hopping all around the mud and the edges of the river and then I was this really weird fish, using my little front fins to trudge through the muddy water of the riverbank and then at last, when I got to the water’s edge, I dived in.

I had never been a terribly good swimmer in real life, but it came just about as natural as anything where I was and I was having a hell of a great time zipping around the great lake, and then, all of a sudden, I got this great urge to just follow the current and swim out to sea. I felt all my fins and whatever becoming all streamlined and everything as I began to dive down into the depths of the ocean and then race back up again over and over until I got the fright of my life when my seeing, hearing and just about all the feeling in my body just simply vanished like that. I was like floating, just about dead in the water with my long jellyfish tentacles trailing behind me and no matter how hard I tried, all I could do was float there, virtually at the mercy of the ocean currents, flapping my body to say afloat and this strange craving, like I was just dying for something, anything to just brush past my trailing arms.

The end part of my dream was kind of weird, stranger than the rest I mean. Missing most of my senses, all I can remember are all these different sensations as I felt myself progressively became smaller and smaller, an amoeba type thing, then a little single cell bacteria type thing, then I could feel absolutely nothing, but I imagined I was some kind of amino acid or something floating in my primordial pond of goo, completely at the whim of nature and everything. Then strangely, right at the end of my dream, just before I woke up to the alley way under the moonlight, I felt this odd kind of feeling like I was nothing, but then not just nothing. It became like almost that I was nothing and everything at the same time and then it was more like the very concept of nothingness or whatever never even existed. I know it sounds really stupid and all, but there’s no way I can convey to you what it felt like because I can’t really explain it all that well in words. Anyway, so that’s when I woke up and saw that the moon had disappeared, dark sky had become a touch lighter and a few early birds had sensed that the sun was on its way and were beginning to call in the new morning.

Boom Headshots!

June 16th, 2009

Every so often, you might find that a portable, graphical representation of your physical appearance is needed.

Was commissioned the other week to capture some headshot photos for Dion, a friend of a friend of mine so that he could apply for a position on a cruise ship. Went over and we had a light-hearted little snap session of about 300 photos, just on my little Olympus digital SLR. Of those 300, a few of them actually turned out ok.

Here’s some I prepared earlier, after a little adjusting and editing (and perhaps a touch of airbrushing).

Dion 1


Anyway, I’m in the process of putting together a portfolio, so contact me if you want some shots on the cheap/free.

Some Words Escaping

June 10th, 2009

Two hundred archers shoot their arrows
Straight into the hearts of long lost lovers.
Down old roads to oblivion we ramble,
Hungry and ragged though they’re paved with gold,
Our footfalls hit heavy, and heavy heads are held tall.
The unsaved become the saviours.

Turn & Return to Retro Electro

May 20th, 2009

The beginnings of a turn, a return to previous playgrounds, the sonic swings and slides that used to take up a bit of time when I was younger.

Played around for a little bit today with Ableton Live, sequencing etc. It took a little while to learn the ropes and start to get the electric feel, even though I was already somewhat familiar with the program. In the end managed to string together a quick demo. Oh, and yes if it sounds quite heavily MGMT influenced, that’s because it is. I just wanted to get a feel for the software to create this kind of music.

History Heads it’s called anyway, obviously very roughly constructed, so don’t judge this one too harshly. Yep, probably went to overboard on the vocal effects too.

Still on the lookout for some kind of collaborator to create this kind of stuff for recording and performance.

Download the mp3.

More to come.

Update: for some reason, only the end part of the song was uploaded before. The full song should be there now.

Here’s the Lyrics too in case you were wondering:

History Heads

Seem like the stars are faded dreams
Maybe rock n roll ain’t all it seems

Now we live and dream in the past
You thought everything was going to last

Wake me when the sun
Wake me when the sun comes out again

Night has cast its shadow on this land
The turning of the world is close at hand

Wake me when the sun
Wake me when the sun comes out again
Again, again, again, again, again

<div style=”font-size: 11px;”><object height=”81″ width=”100%”>  <param name=”movie” value=”http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?track=history-heads”></param>  <param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param>  <embed allowscriptaccess=”always” height=”81″ src=”http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?track=history-heads” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”100%”> </embed> </object> <div style=”padding-top: 5px;”><a href=”http://soundcloud.com/phocks/history-heads”>History Heads</a>  by  <a href=”http://soundcloud.com/phocks”>phocks</a></div></div>

Misconceptions About Twitter Reply Changes, and Where They’re Going With All This

May 13th, 2009

Twitter are now forcing user conformity in replies. Where once a choice between all, none, or some existed before, now there is only one choice (not really a choice at all). We now only get — and conversely are forced to get — replies from others, only those directed to others that we also follow. Make sense?

Personally I was quite happy receiving no replies to other people on my home page, though it seems most people complaining want all replies.

Misconceptions seem to include thinking that you will no longer receive replies directed to you from people that you do not follow, much like the direct message system, though this does not seem like a response to reply spam, and all replies from all users will continue to be received loud and clear. Also fears that this move will kill things like Follow Friday are completely unfounded, as user mentions will remain unchanged by this move.

Rationale behind this move? Perhaps, like most others are assuming, Twitter is just stupid and are just restricting user choice on the matter because they can. Although, I’d like to speculate that this change is the start of a radical change in the way replies work, by truly separating conversations as replies from users’ normal twitter stream. If this indeed this is the case, then I welcome the change wholeheartedly and will tolerate this restriction in the meantime.



May 8th, 2009

Photographer and friend Amelia Dowd treated us to an impromptu photoshoot last Thursday, just before we had to rush onto the Ric’s stage and play.

Still waiting on the final photos, planned to serve as promo for when we play Live Spark at the Powerhouse in June, she posted up a few teasers.

Anticipation awaits.

The Strange Attractors

First Examination of the Emergence of Coincidence in the Mind

May 5th, 2009

The stringing together of similarity, moments coincide, patterns present themselves to the guillotine, the chopping block, on judgement day. They seem to say, “but we are one and the same”.

After watching Adaptation the other day, with all its musings on orchids and adaptation and the like, I was a little taken aback to find, there in my inbox, an email requesting permission to adapt a photo of an orchid that I’d taken some time back. They wanted to use it for a Mother’s Day greeting card. Times as these seem to raise themselves above the mundane somehow, into prominence, into significant somethings. They hang there in the air, in the mind and can, at times, prop up curious wonderings of an otherworldly guidance.

It is as though echoes and reverberations in the mind are being bolstered by some similar perceived event, and these soundwaves are amplified by degrees depending on how closely the events resonate with each other. Sometimes it seems for the most part, we pay attention only to the loud, bellowing shouts of high coincidence, while the more subtle sounds resounding under their breath often go by unnoticed.

Perceive patterns, the coinciding of all things. Here is a flower.

White Karuna Orchid
The flowers of an orchid plant, some thrive, others wither

10 Creative Twitter Users From Brisbane Worth Following

April 21st, 2009

A quick little list (in no particular order) of some good value twitts from those I’m following in Brisbane dabbling in various artistic endeavours, or other such pursuits that make up the creative life of this sleepy little town.

@mirandaforwood: dancer extraordinaire, kept running into her everywhere around town for a while. I think she thought I was stalking her. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t. Maybe she was stalking me.

@ameliadowd: brilliant photographer, took some great shots of The Strange Attractors at Brisbane Twestival. Most recently saw her in That Face at the Bille Brown Theatre in West End.

@definatalie: graphic artist, does nice designs for shirts. You should buy one.

@benexia: guitarist and songwriter, met once at the Alibi Room. Nice chap. You’ll usually find him hanging around with @miranda_jane.

@KateEdwards: beautiful film producer, recent lover of The Mighty Boosh. Lives just up the street in New Farm with the omnipresent @lexiphanic (well, used to at least, until he moved out). High flyer in the #btub Twitterati.

@ccake: artist and tumblr, gave me a gift flickr pro account last year. What a sweetie!

@nicodonnell: creative director & theatre producer, takes brilliant photos too. We met breifly at the Brisbane Twestival.. I think. I’d had a few.

@urchincreature: musician & free spirit, shared (much) more than a few games of chess at The Tree Monkeys cafe in West End over the years.

Whitney Eglington
@heroinepretend: lighting designer & theatre tech, we’ve almost met in real life on many numerous occasions.. almost. I always look out for her when at Chermside Shopping Centre.

lain Smith
@lost_kafei: philosophy student at QUT, dwells on Descartes. Hangs out sometimes at the RG.

Well, that just about wraps it up, a bit more difficult than I imagined, though I may consider doing another one of these later down the track. Leave a comment if you want. Oh and follow me on Twitter, if you want to too.

The Path Through Mid-Certainty

March 10th, 2009

A quick post, hurried, reflection of a new style that will hopefully lead to more frequency and greater output. After all, what are we but conduits of input and output? Well, a lot more perhaps, but that’s another story.

Descartes talked heaps about uncertainty. You of course know of his saying, “I think, therefore I am”. He can only be certain of his own existence, because he thinks, right? And he can perceive that he is thinking by the thoughts that are going through his head.

But that’s even wrong, Descartes you old dinosaur! I think I remember reading something by Wittgenstein or someone like that, and it makes sense. You can’t even be certain of your own existence by that reasoning. The only thing you could maybe, possibly be certain of is that there are thoughts that exist, and perhaps some portion of this pool of thought is ascribed to be experienced by you. If you get that drift.

Anyway, whatever, this doesn’t really matter too much. All I’m getting at is that you can be uncertain of pretty much everything. But on the opposite side, you can be certain of pretty much everything. It just depends on how you look at the world.

There are certainties and uncertainties and they evolve in the mind, and form little forests in the brain, from the day you’re born to the day you die, they thrive and grow, sometimes dwindling in places, sometimes taking over. There is a path through those two forests. The path through mid-certainty, we all travel.

I’ll attempt to continue these little ramblings in the future and see where they lead, because if I let them remain encircling my skull, I’m sure I’ll certainly go insane before too long.

Gmail Through Outlook Mail Server Migration

March 3rd, 2009

For years we’ve been running an on-site mail server using hMailServer on our Windows 2003 box. Recently we’ve wanted to start investigating an external solution, mainly due to lost emails when the internet is down around the office. After looking at a few other options, I found that Gmail through the Google Apps suite seemed to actually be the best solution.

It’s pretty easy to set up through a domain you have control over. You just need to change the MX records to point to the gmail servers, and create accounts for each user in the admin control panel. The best part for me is the POP3 feature, which allows the whole office to continue using the mail client that they’re used to (Outlook 2007 unfortunately in this case).

We’re planning on rolling this out within the next few weeks. All is set up except the MX redirection and pointing each Outlook to the new POP and SMPT servers. Awaiting the go-ahead, and then looking forward to not having to maintain this on-site server and spam filter, and having an archive of all emails online, accessable from anywhere.