February 21stI was email chatting to our friend Jen in NYC today & both of us were saying how much we love Liam Finns newie "The Struggle'. For me it's vocal and sound... hell the lyrics too. It sounds familiar but I can never place it. It's the sort of song that would work on True Blood or Supernatural- it's my song of the month for March! I see the USA tour starts at SXSW he is getting a strong cult following- go Liam!
A courier arrives at 7.00 this morning with the promo for the Pajama Party cd. So holding Neil and Sharon's latest in my hands, will give it a play in the car. I've heard a few songs, so in my head know what to expect. Annoyed though as the cd player in the office has died and only plays the first track on all CDs so have to send that back and hassle them for a new one.
I barter a bag of lemons for some hay for the chickens with Martin & Hisako. The lemon tree just churns out the fruit... one of the compost bins is nearby so that could be why. It's being fed every day.
I spend the afternoon working on some art pieces, which are for the "Sleeping Gryphon" box set. I get 1/3 done. Need more art canvas's so will get them in a week when I'm next at Prahran.
February 22ndWe watch "Whatever Works" on cable , a Woody Allen movie. normally not a big fan of his but we enjoyed this one.
I pick a big container of blackberries from our property and decide to bake a Blackberry pie. It's been ages since I've cooked one, so I call Mum and then Noel Crombie as both are pie experts. Haven't spoken to Cromb for awhile so it was nice to have a chat. I'm sure he loves giving me pie cooking lessons down the phone.
Christchurch has been hit with an earthquake. It struck around 1.00 so people were on lunch break etc. The lovely Christchurch cathedral was destroyed- such a cool building. Quite a few times I've sat in the grounds having lunch in it's shadow. As time goes on it looks really major and they think there could be 200 dead. It does my head in, so sad for New Zealand.
February 23rdJohn Clifforth calls. He's finished his album "Cravens Pharmacy" , some of the songs go back 15 years. Hessie is on 7 of the 13 and the Largest Living Things guys on most of the tracks. The cover shot taken at Kev's guitar shop... I'm stoked that Paul is still turning up on music. Two of the songs were recorded at the first "Lodge" studio which seems so long ago.
Nikki B's box of fun goodies arrives from USA- Candy's of all description... I'm excited as there is a box of Hot Tamales. They are not as hot as they used to be, so I eat 3 instead of one to get the hot hot hot sensation. So nice when fun surprises arrive- thanks.
I speak to Suzanne at Panasonic and she sends out a TV repair person for our 65 inch tv. Just something basic ad covered by warranty ... they even turn up on time!!!! A bit useless, Mark knows more about the TV, we roll our eyes a few times.
The Skyhooks website is a mere 333 visits from clicking over it's 200,000..if anyone would care to visit the site go to: http://www.skyhooks-music.com/
February 24thLots of emails today, people we know in Christchurch checking in. Talk of a group donation, so I take that on- hopefully the last one for the year. I'm fine putting in the time but the Christchurch stuff saddens me. Jan suggests NZ-SPCA for the animal donation, so that sounds pretty good- trust her judgement.
I take some time off in the afternoon, I worked till 2.00 in the morning last night.
February 25thSpace Shuttle "Discovery" blasts off on it's last mission to the space station, before it is retired. That just leaves the Endeavour and the Atlantis. Discovery has now carried 180 people into space. It will be interesting to see what NASA come up with as the new vehicle.
I call into Bunnings and they find a booklet for the new chainsaw. It ended up being a fault with the spring and not me as far as tightening the chain. I thought my blokey side got it right. I'm determined to chainsaw the top off the dead tree tomorrow- it speared itself into the ground when it snapped off from the lightening hit.
Jane Russell who co-starred with Marilyn Monroe in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" has died, ages 89 so not a bad run. I think she was the #1 pn up girl for troops during World War 1.
I see a new report has arrived showing there is a rise in Australia of sex addicts and more and more people are getting treatment for sex addiction. In some cities it's 24 fold jump making it the majority of patients for some psychologists. Of course internet and easy access to porn are blamed. One day a sex addict shrine will be built for Charlie Sheen *GRIN*.
Quite a few mates have been driving up and visiting, think they are all trying to get some last minute sun time on our decking, before Winter arrives.
February 26thOur Neil Finn solo show for Los Angeles is on sale today. I think it's our word of mouth and very little of anything else as far as promotion. Maybe they think that is enough. Talk of a second show but lets see how show #1 sells first. I'm pretty sure Elroy and Liam are in town around the same time so Finn clan catch up.
Today was one of the strangest days in my life- I'm almost hesitating writing this in case I sound crazy and someone rolls along in a padded truck and takes me away.
On my wish list of things to be done, one of the main ones is to remove that dead tree, well the spear in the earth with branches, looks like a tree. It is HUGE, even though it's just the top of another big tree ripped in half. So I decide today is the day that I do this. new chainsaw in hand I start work. I am so careful, cutting glasses on gloves. I test the tree to make sure it is safe.... and slowly go for it. I've removed a big chunk and it has finally been released by the other trees around it, the sheer weight of this alone 'unsticks' it from the surrounding sleeping giants.
Now this is the part where I sound a tad freaky. I'm chain sawing some small branches, great for fire wood in Winter. Suddenly something hits me- it's like Andre the giant has pushed me, and I'm talking HARD. I feel like I am some stunt double doing wire work- I actually fly backwards in the air and crash into the fence and surrounding greenery. My arm is killing me but I have turned off the chainsaw. Seconds later the whole tree crashed down, splinters and all of it lands exactly where I was previously standing. I'm talking a tree trunk triple my size and several stories tall and surrounding limbs. I stare in utter disbelief, there is no doubt in my mind that I would of been killed, or splattered into a vegetable. I know I'm white face, my shoulder and arm are burning from pain. It was like some giant hand pushed me out of the way and I'm talking a push that sends me flying. I think I'm in shock, not just from the tree crashing down but also the thought of what pushed me out of the way. I'm finding it hard to breath, I sit.. I open my shirt and a huge red area is on the front of my shoulder. By this stage I can just move my arm.
I head inside, I'm now close to tears but don't whimp out . I know I should be happy I could now be human mince meat and not writing this, 3 seconds and Peter Green could of been dead. I can't call Mark in the office I feel strange and it sounds insane. I have a warm bath just for my shoulder arm and now sore neck. I don't know how long I'm even in the bath, the water is cold when I climb out. I look in the mirror and my red blot now resembles a very large hand print (but it only has 3 fingers and a thumb!!!!!). I swig some bach rescue remedy and thankfully I have some fresh Arnica bruising herbal in the cupboard. I try to remember the seconds around the 'push' but it's just "white" in my memory, no images. I do remember flying back and hitting the fence.
I eventually go to the office and see Mark, I am so white faced and my shoulder is wrapped. I tell him a shortened version and no matter which way I tell it I sound like a nutter. I decide to take the positive and think that I am one very very lucky bloke. If something is watching over me that's an extra bonus. I wish next time, if there is someone keeping tabs on me they'd simply just shout in my ear "move the tree is falling" instead dislocating my right arm (ouch).
I know I shouldn't sleep in case I have concussion but my body craves it so I curl up for a few hours. Banshee climbs in next to me she is a concerned kitty cat.
I wake up several hours later and head outside to clean up a few gardening tools. In the big open canopy area I find a dead baby possum. Well he's probably a few months old- all curled up like he is asleep. I've never seen death look so lovely- what a handsome possum. No terrible death look or broken bones or hideous bulging eyes. Lots of death around Ailsa Craig today I think to myself. Maybe if old death didn't get me it got the possum?
Anyway that was my weird moment and I am still thrown by it, even a week or so later. Hmm the diary would just end (if I was squashed) actually so much would end I guess , how odd, maybe Mark can ghost write it using my tarot cards to contact me on the other side.!!!!!
February 27thCrowdies play the Villa Maria Estate in Auckland today, I get a few emails from fans who seem to think this is the last Crowded House show ever. I guess you never know sometimes it could just end, I doubt it, I think Crowded House 2011 is something that gets together every so often to play and record. There is no need to have grand 'farewells' the band just ticks along at it's own speed.
Bec calls and Henry Rollins is rushing into town in a week for two intimate shows at the Espy's Gershwin Room... 200 people per night, so she is going to try and get tickets for all three of us. Excellent. I loved the last show so a smaller crowd will be outstanding. We do love ol' Hank. It is his 50th birthday world tour. His logo has death standing behind him stretching out it's withered hand.... boy I know what that feels like. I contact Olivia as I know that she and her nice bloke went along last time & may want to catch Mr Rollins at The Espy.
February 28thI notice that a lunar perigee is arriving soon- when the moon is it's closest to the Earth (in 18 years)... some people freak out about 'lunar perigee's' in the past strange disasters happened- the 1938 New England hurricane or the Hunter Valley floods of 1955. I think it's all false alarms I've had my share of natural disasters for one year.
I spend a few hours working on the final 'art pieces' for the Sleeping Gryphon box sets. A combination of acrylic and silkscreen paint... surprisingly I'm really happy with them. It's the final few, a couple have already arrived to Australians who grabbed one of the diary box sets- two I had really really nice emails saying they love the canvas. It's always a bonus to get good feedback. The box sets went so quickly. All I have left these days are 2 copies of GLAMOUR, copies of the 4th book TRIP and in a month copies of the new diary book THE EARLY YEARS. So if you are after Glamour email me, for the final two.
A few people walking by the garage and art room come in and say hello check out my silkscreens and the art. The garage feels very cosy these days, its a 4 car garage with no cars in it- it does however have a mirror ball, record player (yum-vinyl) stage back drops, giant fake toadstools , wooden burning buildings from Crowdies first major Australian tour and other fun stuff... with the security doors open in the sun it must look pretty freaky, Alice in wonderland in pop art form?
The tech guys arrive for our TV today, it's all under warranty so we are getting it updated and improved- a few snap crackles and pops will hopefully go. Mark knows more about the TV then the tech heads... he's forever rolling his eyes at me when they try to do something (and usually fail). The Panasonic lady I deal with is nice- I think because I don't yell, scream and abuse her like many people who call up.
We decide to have a coffee at Prahran, I track down the final 4 art canvas pieces that I need. We head into JB HI FI, spot "The Shield" is on special. We are late getting into this and the dvd's are a mere $16 here, cheaper then the USA. Love the show, how corrupt are strike team! Michael Chiklis is great in the show... I can't help thinking of his as Ben Grimm- "The Thing" from Fantastic Four. I know he used his voice for Robot Chicken movie in 2008 *GRIN*.
We catch up with the family at Market cafe, tried to call Bec but mobile service was strange at Prahran...even tried the 2 pay phones but both were out of order, so I gave up. I call into travellex and grab some japanese Yen for my Mum for her holiday. She promised me she won't pack her Sea Shepherd sweater- heaven help anyone eating whale meat!!!!
March 1stWe just watched the promo for "Xmen First Class", looks great, June release in America. Going all the way back..... it will do well.
Last night the fog surrounded our house, the whole mountain fog bound. I managed to catch a cold- so that's boring. Kept sniffling so little sleep. Colds just make you feel like crap, i'll let my body fight it so no pills unless I have to. Summer has just ended and already a cold- that sucks.,
At the post office people were sniffling and said they all had colds as well, are we sure it was a fog and not some government germ warfare experiment? I decide not to wait and buy some Night & Day tablets from Olinda pharmacy.
Wow Charlie Sheen reaches some new levels of bizarre..in some ways I like it, he's on a self destructive path I think. I hate the abuse of woman though... he's pretty out there eh?
Bec calls and has our tickets for Henry Rollins this Sunday- only 200 people per show- this will be brilliant.
Trudi phones and we talk for awhile, she sounds good and we'll catch up soon. I tell her about my "Robin dream"- it's all good so we have a chuckle over that. Robi would like that I dream of her.
Very sad day, there was a NATO air strike today near eastern province of Kunar in Afghanistan. Nine children were killed collecting fire wood. An American air strike had mistakingly thought they were rebels. With all their technology how could they mistake such young kids (aged 7-9 years old). There is no excuse for this- truly appalling. A week before in the same province 65 non combatants had also been killed during operations in the Ghaziabad district. I just don't know how the killing of the innocent especially children will help the West's cause- I wonder how we would all react if it was nine 7 year old American, English or Australian kids that were slaughtered???
March 2ndWe were hoping to see Benny last month but he is off touring somewhere on earth so I guess not. I'll have to mail his birthday present from December...and Jen's too. I got Benny a Sons of Anarchy "Samcro" hoodie, he's dig it, we all love Sons Of Anarchy..... so got to have some apparel !!!! *GRIN*.
March 3rdI am a man with a mission, while I have a vibe for the chainsaw I'm working around the yard- a few bits and pieces need chopping so I'm the man. Strip to my singlet and work for an hour. The Police helicopter circles the park while I'm working, looking very suspicious. Maybe someone is growing a crop in the hills. The main weed dealer got busted up here last month, has someone taken his place?
I pick some more blackberries, we have them with ice cream for desert. They cost $5-$6 a small container here, we must pick about $50 worth a week from our wild bushes. Blackberries have high fiber, vitamins A & C and of course contain phenolic acids and anthocyanins -those wonderful cancer suppressants. So we are going to pig out on them- I just like how we can walk up and pick a buckets worth, that's cool.
I stitch up my punk jumper, sadly it had this small tear in it and being cashmere it wasn't cheap. Robbie and Rosie encouraged me to buy it back on Neil's first solo UK tour and it is one of my favourite pieces of clothing. I'm going to wear it to Rollins on Sunday night.
The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gra is on this weekend in Sydney. A friend has been working on some of the Marriage Equality floats. I reminded Mark that on March 26th in Melbourne at 1pm (front of the State Library Building- Cnr La Trobe & Swanston Sts) the Support Of Gay Marriage Rally will be happening. We are going to email this to all our friends and see who makes an effort. We'll do the long drive as this is an important one, as a young man once wrote- the times are a changin'. Plenty of information on the Net for other major Australian cities and their rally's- http://www.equallove.info/ So if you live in melbourne come along and support this.
We've asking mates to write into newspaper letters columns with support, 2011 could be the year that equal rights prevails in Australia on this issue.
March 4thOur plumber arrives to check out the water pipe with the small hole in it, I'm horrified what our water bill will be from leaving this go too long- he tells me Monday at 7.00 in the morning his team will arrive and fix it. 7.00 that number isn't even on my clock!!!!
The sun finely breaks through and it's nice outside, so in the garden, a bit more chainsaw work and no weird 'stuff' this time (PHEW).
We watch "The Kids Are Alright" on Blu Ray, my favourite part is where Annett Benning says to Mark Ruffalo " You are an interloper ..." it's a cool little movie for the times... I understand why it is loved. I love that word "interloper". maybe a good name for one of the diary books.
We are loving THE SHIELD, latecomers for that one but digging all of it's corruption.... though it turns one off visiting LA. Thanks Sis for the DVDs gobbled up Season 1 & 2 so far.
March 5thHappy Birthday Mum, I'm just stoked that she is still around- I call her a few times during the day. She calls back at 7.30 to find out what cable tv channel Mardi Gra is on- she loves Mardi Gra more then we do and has been twice. I'm sure she just goes to perve at the gay lifesavers *GRIN* Though she did let out a roar of approval when the Dykes on Bikes cruised by at the start of the parade. One in a million. I'm concerned one year I will watch it and a seventy+ year old will run from the crowd and jump on a bike!
Viewpoint is packed today, Dot is away in Tasmania ... I give them a helping hand and set up the outside tables, and chairs and blankets....my good deed for the day. Got to have one eh?
The first batch of money goes to the RNZ SPCA- I can't believe the NZ government only gives them 2% of their funding- that's terrible-can you imagine how many stray animals they are now looking after from the Christchurch Earthquake. We are happy to help and so are the good souls who put up their hand and said we will too.
March 6thI was going through some of the T-shirts at zazzle.com.au and had a laugh at the Gay Spagetti Tee. It says " Straight? So is spaghetti till you heat it up" made me laugh. ...and the "I don't care if you are straight as long as you don't flaunt your lifestyle" .... and of course "Vagina's are awesome!" , "God is Gay" , "Gay marriage killed the dinosaurs"...........some good ones on the site. I'm after a decent shirt for the upcoming rally. Maybe my old IT'S TIME shirt will work well for the day.
We drive to the city and park at the St Kilda Sea Baths. Bec arrives at the same time so off for some food. It certainly is a balmy night, fresh sea air blowing in from the bay. St Kilda looks incredibly clean and half of Melbourne are out and about. Have some food, Mark and Bec obsessed with the kitchen guy ringing his bell.
We walk up to the Espy as Henry is playing the Gershwin room. The support is onstage when we walk in, Bruce Griffiths , he has some stand up fun moments. But it was Hank we were all waiting to see... and there he was again, black jeans black Tee and runners... we imagine he has a wardrobe full of black jeans..I can never picture Henry Rollins in a Hawaiian shirt!
He is incredible, you are captivated by his stories his humour his approach to life. He mentions (many times) that yes indeed he is 50 years old (I say young) now. Some classic moments like his seduction of our PM Julia Gillard- his reenactment of Hank reading parts of the George Bush book at his local Costco store and other fun stuff. You always know it's been a good night watching Rollins do his thing because you leave with aching jaws from laughter and smiling- you also leave recharged with a passion to help the world and stand up for some human rights. I've avoided trying to meet him all this time (and I've had several chances to do so) I'm fearful that this incredible guy could let me down... there is something said about keeping the mystique out of reach.
We call in for our traditional fast food burger -we do this after every Rollins visit and walk in the door at Ailsa Craig on the stroke of midnight. Thanks Bec for organising the tickets this time, we had a great time.
Thanks the gods for the Henry Rollins of the world.