27 January 2015

Musical Musings - All the cats join in by Benny Goodman

When we opened Molly in February 2014, my love of jazz and blues came to be of great benefit as we were figuring out how we wanted our bar to sound. One of my favourite tracks we play at Molly is All the cats join in by Benny Goodman.

And now it's become my favourite track to play when it's my baby's bathtime. I put on a playlist of jazz, pour myself a scotch and get Liv's bath ready. It's the best part of my day... bath time with my 3 month old little girl, singing along to old jazz tracks and making her smile and laugh.

Oh how the world has changed for me. A year ago I would have been up to my eyeballs in whiskey and wine at Molly listening to this track. Now I'm at home with my wife and little girl, tapping her cute little nekked belly in time with the brushes on the drums trying to get a laugh out of her at bath time.

Love it.

21 January 2015

I'm a different person at night

Tonight I sat out the front of my house on my own. It was raining, dark, the air was cool but comfortable. The rain keeps everyone else in their homes so it's as if my street is abandoned but for the orange glow from my neighbour's windows. Standards of guitar and whiskey but also my camera tonight, playing around with exposures and colour balance.

In the space my mind is in right now I'm thinking of a conversation I had some weeks ago. That I'm a different person at night. As I was thinking more about it I received a message from a friend who told me she loves my brain. That's put a smile on my face and I started writing.

I've known for some time I am a different person at night. In the mornings it's a real contrast. It's like my circadian rhythm is the opposite of what normal life has mapped out for us. I don't mean that to sound any bigger than it is or that 'the man is getting me down cause I gotta get up and join the daily grind' bollocks. The world is what it is and for hundreds of years in the modern world we wake at dawn, prepare for the working day and sleep in the evening. That's how it is.

That ain't me.

I've heard people say 'I couldn't get to sleep' because of an adversity occupying their mind, keeping them awake at night. 

That ain't me.

I'm too strong of an evening for things to get to me. So my problems don't keep me from sleep but when I wake I know they'll be right there waiting for me. In the mornings for whatever reason I feel fragile and emotionally weak. My anxiety levels are higher and if something is bothering me I know it will always bother me greatly first thing in the morning.

In the evenings I'm clearer, more confident, more capable, smarter, stronger, I see things better. If I could, I would stay awake all night writing, creating, listening to music, drinking coffee and whiskey. I heard someone say once 'you know what you know. You don't need to justify or explain it to anyone because you know it to be true in yourself'. I know I am a different person at night.

So I surmise that it's these night hours that I am built for. It's where I am at my best.

And knowing that makes me happy.

18 January 2015

So here it is


So here it is.

I once told you I would continue to write you so long as you still garnered my interest. Then after that brief silence accompanied by your perplexed look, I told you 'that will probably be for a long time', and you smiled. It was a small moment that stuck with me. I remember that smile as you looked away somewhat sheepish. You told me in the past you love to read my words, however when I speak them in person I see your embarrassment grow and your heart melt at the same time. It is as if you are still unsure how to accept such genuine infatuation. Perhaps you are not used to the way I see you. And I continue to write you.

For now, we are apart. We told each other we must part and even though we didn't speak of it, we both knew our love was mistimed. Yet right when we knew to end things it was as if our love grew that very second. In that moment our love was clearer than it has ever been, greater than it has ever been, yet now we are further apart than we have ever been.

So here it is.

And I write you even though I am unsure what to say or how it will be received. Perhaps what I write is of little relevance as I know that moment we see each other will speak for itself; it always does. For now, we are apart. Naturally, insecurities will grow and in our minds we will question each others love. No doubt question our own love. I asked myself yesterday, do I love you or do I love the thought of you? The answer is both. I love you so deeply and passionately it resonates from the very core of my soul. Yet we see each other so sparingly it is the thought of you I am left with; which I have fallen in love with as well.

So here it is.

How I ache to be more to you at the moment and for the distance between us to be less. I find during my days I see you in everything I do. Your face regularly enters my mind and I long for you as I think of a moment we have shared. There have even been times I could smell you on my clothes as if I had been holding you; but I know it's my love playing tricks on me. Such a cruel bastard my love is to me lately.

It is with unfortunate realism that I expect your love for me to wither; however I remind myself of your words to comfort and clear my mind. You said, 'There is a connection between us that cannot be broken. Regardless of time, place, how we try to restrain it or anything that stands in our way... our connection is there. What we have is there and real connections like ours live on forever.'

For now, there is little else to say.

Love from you know who.

13 January 2015

My People - Sam

The first ever 'My People' I wrote was about the lovely Sarah, whom is now married to Sam. Lucky her. Lucky both of them really, but Sam is one hell of a guy.

Sam is that guy who is setting an incredibly high standard that the rest of us will never reach. I've learned in life that you keep making the effort with people. Whether it's a friendship, lover, husband/wife... you keep making the effort. And as a man, it means you keep doing things for your lady. All the gestures, the spontaneity, the romantic dinners, all the things you do because you're in love. What's being in love if you don't do everything you can do to show it?

Sam is that guy who gets that and he is always doing more. He's always finding new, romantic ways to make his lady happy. For me, there is something really inspiring about that, to see that guy always doing more and always trying to be more to the woman he loves. He's a pretty amazing dude.

Sam is a good, honest, genuine, intelligent person which is more than we can say for most people we meet. Known as 'Handsome Sam', he loves fast cars, fine clothes, colourful socks, good food, different beers and interesting conversation. He may have been Pierce Brosnan's stunt double at one point but this yet to be confirmed. Sam is an adventurous person and there's always an activity with Sam. Only recently a group of mates were organising a lunch and Sam was trying to include more activities for us to do. 'It's just food & booze, stop trying to give us so much shlt to do, Sam!' He also gets up at 5am a few days a week to do rowing out on Lake Burley Griffin here in Canberra. So he's a very fit guy and probably needs the exercise for all the fantastic food he and the lovely Sarah consume on their ventures. Sam also plays guitar, loves his vinyl and enjoys good scotch. No wonder I love this guy!

Last year, Sam and Sarah were married and I had the honour of being one of his groomsmen (hence the photo above). Their wedding was so romantic and fun with impeccable attention to detail. Just like Sam.


One of my people.

12 January 2015

Musical Musings - Compared to what by Roberta Flack

This song has been recorded by probably hundreds of people over the years but the gorgeous Roberta Flack is the OG. I used to play this every now and then as my opening track when I did some DJ work and love the feel of it.

Most people when they hear Roberta Flack they think of 'I feel like makin love', 'Killing me softly' and all the beautiful tracks she recorded with Donny Hathaway. But for me I love her debut album 'First Take', released in 1969. I wouldn't say it's her best work as she evolved into quite the artist, but it's definitely my favourite of her work. What I wouldn't give to transport myself back in time and watch Roberta Flack on the keys and singing this track in some dingy jazz club.

Where's that bee and where's that honey?
Where's my God and where's my money
Unreal values, crass distortion
Unwed mothers need abortion
Kind of brings to mind ol' young King Tut (He did it now)
Tried to make it real — compared to what?!

11 January 2015

My People - Anouk

A few months ago I got a phone call from a number I didn't know, it turned out to be a woman who lived in my street. My dogs had escaped their backyard (again) and had made friends with this woman (Ange) and her nine year old daughter (Anouk). I collected my rogue animals to find that they had become best friends with Anouk. A few days later, Anouk knocked on our door to ask if she could hang out with the dogs. I think that day Anouk decided she was one of my people.

Every few days this kid would come to my house wanting to play with the dogs. I loved that this nine year old girl was confident enough to rock up to our place but I was still concerned at what her parents must think. I hate having to think that way but I understand not everyone looks at the world as I do. I sent Ange a few messages and it turned out Anouk's parents are wonderful people who love her sense of community and social ability with adults. She's as much a credit to them and their chilled parenting as she is to herself.

Anouk started walking our dogs and now has her own little business walking dogs in the street. She charges a dollar a dog to walk them around the block (around 10 minutes) and all the money she earns she is donating to the RSPCA. She told me today she's at $49. Anouk even has a poster of a random dog with 'RSPCA', 'Help the animals' and 'Support!' written on it in texta. She walks the neighbourhood with her zip-lock bag of coins and her poster, asking all the houses to walk their dogs. Such a top kid.

Anouk loves animals (obviously), thinks of herself as a dog whisperer and when she grows up she really wants to stop all those 'illegal dog-breeding puppy-farm places'. She flies around the street on her motorised scooter which will do for now until she's old enough to get a motorbike (so she tells me). She's not a girly-girl, hates barbie stuff, has a bit of an allergy to berries (strawberries, raspberries, etc) and has a fear of being struck by lightning. Mind you, she's never been struck by lightning, she's just scared that it might happen. Anouk is also in the middle of a 12 month ban on video games for continually shooting the nextdoor neighbour's cat with a nerf-gun despite her parents telling her not to. She told me it was a terrible cat and not very nice so the 12 month ban was worth it.

I absolutely love this kid. She's got this great sense of community and responsibility at such a young age. Anouk and I regularly sit on the front step of my house and talk about what stuff she's been up to. Her Mum tells me she loves Larry and I and is always looking for a reason to come see us. I really hope as she gets older she still does that.

I never thought I'd be writing a 'my people' about a 9 year old girl down the road but I just love this kid.

Anouk. One of my people.

5 January 2015

Musical Musings - No one loves me and neither do I by Them Crooked Vultures

Them Crooked Vultures have to be one of my favourite bands... such a powerhouse and if you've not heard of them they are:

Guitar & Vocals - Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss & others)
Bass & Keys - John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)
Drums - Dave Grohl (no introduction needed)

Great musically, killed sound and also some lyrics I really dig.

Well if sex is a weapon then crash boom pow, how you like me now?


I know how to burn with passion, hold nothing back for future rations.

If you're revisiting this track, enjoy. If you're new to it - check it out.

2 January 2015

34 @ 34

Made a little person recently and priorities have shifted somewhat with arrival of our little person but we're getting there!

11 down, 6 more in progress...

1. Complete a large home renovation project (eg - kitchen, ensuite)
2. Do the Yarra Valley with Leela and Danny.
3. Bench-press, deadlift and single-leg leg-press my bodyweight. 
4. Cook a Terducken.
5. Build or rebuild/refurbish a piece of furniture.
6. Do a weekend trip with wifey to another city in Australia. 
7. Donate $1000 to charity. In progress, donated $100 to National Breast Cancer Foundation.
8. Buy a new big fancy Xmas tree. 
9. Get my teeth cleaned at the dentist.
10. Buy a king size bed.
11. Go a month without buying my lunch at work.
12. Buy a new piece of furniture.
13. Get a tattoo (still borderline on this one). 
14. Read a book about Louis Armstrong. In progress
15. Learn how to make sausages. Lessons pencilled in!
16. Kiss my wife in the rain.
17. Watch the sunrise over the ocean.
18. Photograph a series of portraits of my friends. I'm calling it, 'A Day Out With ....' and we'll hang out for a day, do fun stuff and I'll take a bunch of photos of friend in the process. Sounds fun hey? In progress - wanna do a Day Out With me? Larry & RG both done, Kat on the list for March '15.
19. Write a love letter to my wife.
20. Get in a magazine/publication for something (not a criminal activity or something stupid).
21. Attend a winemakers dinner.
22. Drink Absinthe.
23. Bake my own bread (that's not a euphemism, I really want to bake a loaf of bread and try to perfect it!). Getting some recipes together to try soon.
24. Smoke a cigar.
25. Try Yoga. I've agreed to try Bikram next year. Sweaty, I'm talkin swamp-sweaty.
26. Do a day-trip with my Mum.
27. Get a pair of custom made jeans.
28. Lose 5kg.
29. Install a rainwater tank at home.
30. Play blackjack at a casino.
31. Spend a night on a boat/yacht/ship.
32. Go for a massage.
33. Host a vintage dinner party with my mate Natie.
34. Go to the Greyhounds in Narrabundah.

30 December 2014

All in my head


Normally I write to you with such excitement but not today.

Yesterday when we met I was going to end this, I was going to end what we have. I feel a little cowardly to address you in a letter after the fact to say 'I was going to do this but I didn't... and now I'm telling you about how I really feel after I didn't say the things I was going to say... but didn't'.

However, I'm sure you'll understand my method to write you such feelings. Our relationship survives on little spoken word and it seems we are predisposed to written communication over verbal. Part of that I'm sure is because we see each other sparingly. And when we do it seems we both lose our voice for the important. Instead we enjoy one another's company, laugh, joke, flirt and review our lives of the past weeks. What's really in our minds and hearts isn't spoken of. So it's no surprise I'm now telling you how I really feel after I wanted to earlier in person, but didn't.

I had it all in my head. I knew what I was going to say and why I was going to say it. I was going to end what we have because it was the smart thing to do. It was the right thing to do. It was the fair thing to do. For me. All of those for me. Funny, when I just wrote 'all in my head' I realise just how much of you and I is in my head. The words I don't say, the actions I don't explain and the questions I don't ask. Not to mention the love between us that is clearly 'all in my head'. I know you care for me, I know I make you happy and I know there's a love there of sorts. But your love isn't like mine. My love for you is romantic, powerful and unwavering. I'd move mountains just to feel your hands on me and your lips against mine. But your love for me it seems is lost somewhere between best friend, flirtation and courting with hints of 'what if'. I can't ignore that I love you unlike how you love me. Which is why I felt it smart, right and fair to end this. For me. My love deserves more than that and I know in myself I would be prefer to be alone in place of being loved so carelessly.

When I saw you yesterday I was going to explain this, and then...

Then you were just so lovely. And you'd missed me. And you did that thing where you smile and put your hand on my leg. And you'd bought me flowers.

How can I end it now? You have this way of showing me I mean something to you at the most appropriate times. I can't tell you how many times you've done that when I was ready to walk away. And I don't think you know. And by 'mean something to me', I see I mean more to you than what I've concluded all in my head.

I loved that time with you so that I said nothing; I kept it all in my head. But now you have my words in front of you and I am at a loss as to what to say next. In love I don't believe in ultimatums or challenges for earning or proving love. I believe in being open and honest in emotion; and that should be enough.

So here it is.

Love from you know who.

16 December 2014

Musical Musings - No Trust by the Black Keys

The Black Keys are one of those bands I can honestly say I liked them before they were cool. This track is off their second album (Thickfreakness) which was released in 2003. It keeps coming up on my ipod lately and I really love their sound on these early albums and the way they are recorded.

Yeah she's a beautiful gal, yeah when she wanna be
But if you told her so darlin', she'd just disagree

A two-piece of singer/guitarist and drummer never sounded so fat (sorry White Stripes).

Dig it.