Friday, February 27, 2004
They measured a 12 metre wave at Manly yesterday morning. Ahh... I hate working. A few of the guys went down to Freshy just to have a look and they could see them breaking at Manly from the rocks. I sat at a computer and wished I was down there. Not that I would have gone out, I just wanted to see it. That's Hawaii-video stuff. I mean, they were surfing in Sydney Harbour...
Last night, in the middle of a Soul meeting, I got a phone call. I looked, didn't recognise the number, so hung up. 2 minutes later it called again, same number. So I picked up. Conversation went something like this:
Unknown Person: What are you doin'?
Unknown Person: What are you doin' callin' me?
Me: I didn't.
Unknown Person: Oh... I must have the wrong number.
And that was the end of that. I thought he was particularly rude. Perhaps I should have commented on his telephone manner, although I don't think he would have appreciated it. Mind you, it would be kind of cool to have a heated telephone argument with someone I didn't know. What a novelty.
This morning I got in trouble from the guy at the train station. I got to Pymble half an hour early so, as I do every other day, I went and sat on the station and listened to my Discman for twenty minutes or so. When I got up to leave there was a guy asking for tickets. I told him I didn't have one. He said I shouldn't be there if I didn't have one. So, I told him about getting to work early and listening to music on the station everyday before walking to the office. He told me I couldn't do that. He said I needed a ticket if I wanted to be on the platform.
I said 'sorry mate' and walked off.
I guess I'll have to find somewhere new to sit and listen to music.
Okay - a question for you all (because I know there are millions of you out there from all corners of the globe) - jealousy. It's an emotion isn't it? Is it also a sin? How can an emotion be a sin, because you can't help the emotions that you feel, can you? If I were jealous of something (hypothetically speaking of course...) can I just stop being jealous simply because I know we're told not to covert anything? I'd be interested in people's opinions so feel free to post a comment... or two...
Last night Sal had the hide to tell me that it was about time I posted... Can I have some support on this one please? If there was ever an irregular poster it would have to be...
Everyone's talking about The Passion which is great. I had a good conversation to a girl at work about it on the way to the station yesterday. Whether people see it or not, at least they're talking. That's got to count for something.
Tonight I'm going into the city to see Dave's bar. That should be good fun, I haven't been in there yet. Give Dave some company. I hope they have pool tables. I need to polish up on my pool skills - they've been severely lacking and it's one of those things I'd like to be good at.
I need to write another, let's say, 8 pages on Saturday because I'll be seeing Lucinda on Saturday night and Lucinda always asks me, without fail, what page I'm up to. Steve told her to stop hassling me last night and she explained, and rightly so, that she was hassling me, she was keeping me accountable. I like that - I told her that one day she's going to ask me and I'll say I've finished. I liked saying that.
Then Tom said, yeah, but then you'd have to rewrite and so my happiness was rather shortlived. Trust Tom to burst my bubble...
Thursday, February 26, 2004
The last week's been full of stuff. Scary things happening. Good things happening. I don't know whether to post about it. And now, having started to think about where I would start I'm thinking that I won't. So perhaps not the blurgh I first thought. Suffice to say God is good and he's doing things. I wish he'd use me more. I wish I'd feel that exhileration of walking in the same direction as he is a bit more often, because I don't think there's much that tops that kind of happiness.
We had a big discussion at smallgroup on Tuesday and we pretty much covered every controversial topic in forty minutes - from creation to predestination to whether we go to heaven or "a new earth". It was kind of exhausting and I didn't say much. A lot of it felt like it didn't matter and while I love discussions, for the first time I just didn't have the energy to really debate it. I have no interest in discussing heaven or paradise or "a new earth" or whatever you want to call it. Hey, I'll find out when I get there, whether I sleep for hundreds of years first or not.
I do venture into one discussion though, and seeing as we're looking at "A Purpose Driven Life" it was bound do come up. Does God have a plan? How do we follow this plan? What if we deviate from it? I just sat there and listened to people talk about Plans A, B, C and D, about God changing his plan for us when we deviate from it, about God knowing what we're going to do anyway so we can't help but walk the plan and suddenly it just dawned on me. What were we talking about planning? This plan we kept refferring to - was it career, was it personal, was it what clothes to wear in the morning? I mean, how much do we believe God plans our lives?
I think very little. I believe he wants us to be open, I beleive he wants us to search for what he is doing, for what his will is in particular situations, for what Jesus would do. Things like career and what to wear in the morning, I don't think he's all that fussed. For me, I'm going to head down the path I believe is best for me, that fits in with the gifts and interests he has given me. If I get a lightening bolt then fine, but until then I'm just going to continue on my merry way, living the life he calls me to live within the career I have chosen. Imagine how stressful life would be if we spent the whole time wondering whether we were living God's plan and whether or not we may have deviated from it, because heaven forbid, what would happen then?
It was a good night.
Just to throw chronology out the window, I shared my testimony at church last night. Kind of scary but not so scary. I was ready to tell it. I'm not ashamed of it. I think it may have helped a couple of people. If God can use it to help one person out of the blackness a little then I don't care what anyone else thought. Particularly my Grandfather who came a long. I hadn't realised he was going to be there and it suddenly dawned on me, as I said the line about having no one really close to me dying, that he was sitting there a widower. Oops. Oh well, it's true. I hardly ever saw my Grandma. It probably went straight over his head anyway.
Some people go through so much and no one would ever know.
Was on the bus last night and Jeremy gave me a call and said there were a few of them going in to see The Passion. I hadn't intended to go last night, but I was feeling really good and felt like it was something I wanted to do there and then. So I did. I'm still not sure what to say really. I think Mel Gibson's got guts and I admire him for it. I'm so glad it wasn't in English - the subtitles although offputting for the first minute and a half soon became no problem and you don't even notice it.
And I'm gonna throw another spanner in, (because I love throwing spanners... and by the way - where are the works? and does anyone ever remove the spanners after they've been thrown in?) I don't think it was a violent film. It was more gross/graphic than violent. A lot of blood. For me a violent film is where lots of people get killed and there's nots of fighting. There is next to no fighting in this film. As someone said, it's a film about suffering, and it's true to that suffering. It doesn't show everything. There were a number of times in the film when I thought, man that was graphic, and then stopped and thought about what I'd actually seen and realised that the images weren't that bad, it was what they implied. The gaps my imagination filled in.
I think this is a really important movie and I'm going to see it again. I want to burn these images into my memory. I want to remember them next time I decide between right and wrong. I want to see the blood and the torn flesh and remember what an innocent man did for me. It felt a bit too much like a movie last night, but I think that was because of all the hype and sitting in a big movie theatre with the same group of mates I saw Scary Movie 3 with. I might go and watch it by myself. Then I might see if anyone from work wants to go...
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
N.B. These are my tips on who I think will win, not who I think should.
Best Actor: Sean Penn (Mystic River)
Best Supporting Actor: Tim Robbins (Mystic River)
Best Actress: Charlize Theron (Monster) (althought I'd love to be wrong and see NW get it)
Best Supporting Actress: Renee Zellweger (Cold Mountain)
Animated Feature: Finding Nemo
Art Direction: LOTR - Return of the King
Cinematography: Master & Commander
Costume Design: The Last Samurai
Documentary Feature: Capturing the Friedmans
Documentary Short: Ferry Tales
Foreign Language Film: The Barbarian Invasions
Makeup: LOTR - Return of the King
Original Score: Howard Shore - LOTR
Original Song: Into the West - LOTR
Short Film (animated): Harvie Krumpet
Short Film (live-action): Die Rote Jacke (The Red Jacket)
Sound: Master & Commander
Sound Editing: Master & Commander
Visual Effects: LOTR - Return of the King
Film Editing: LOTR - Return of the King
Screenplay (adapted): Mystic River
Screenplay (original): Lost in Translation
Director: Peter Jackson (LOTR)
Best Picture: LOTR - Return of the King
Thursday, February 19, 2004
I did write - wrote 9 pages which gets me to 81. My little motivation technique seemed to do the job. I sat down to do and it and had nothing so I did what I always do, walked around the block and was back in fifteen minutes and ready to go. Good feeling. Like I did something productive with my night.
I've been reading about this Redfern thing and about the whole issue of whether or not the police were chasing this kid. It seems to have become the primary issue to debate and we seem to have forgotten that a whole lot of people tried to burn down the station and turned their streets into something reminscent of the Middle East. Why is it relevant whether they were chasing him or not? He was wanted for breaching an apprehended violence order. He was a seventeen year old who fell off a push bike. There was no one else around him at the time - whether the police were chasing him or not. No one pushed him. Kids fall off their bikes all the time, he fell on a fence and died because of it.
Sure there are some bad cops, I have no doubt about that. But there are plenty of good cops too. Just like there are bad Aboriginals and plenty of good ones too. Like there is good and bad in everybody. Just like we can't take the actions of some Aboriginals the other night and paint all Aboriginals with the same brush, we can't brand all police because of the actions of a few.
The problem is we had a 7 hour riot on the streets of Sydney with Aboriginals throwing bricks and pavers and lighting things on fire. But, because "political correctness" doesn't allow us to blame Aboriginals, it becomes the fault of the police.
People don't feel safe walking through the Block. Redfern is not known for it's safety. Of course there has to be a greater police presence - wouldn't our public servants be negligent if there wasn't?
That's me being opinionated.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Search for "Morris the Duck" and look who comes up. So exciting...
There's a hard patch in every book and I'm in it at the moment. The bit you just have to wade through when the beginning is a long way behind but the end is still a long way ahead. Act 2 syndrome.
But tonight is a free night - I'm not going out anywhere so I'm just going to go home, eat and then chain myself to my desk for a few hours.
One day this will all pay off...
On slightly different note, I just scored a free copy of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, along with Dean Koontz's latest book and a true story called Hannah's Gift. I have a really bad habit of collecting books but not always reading them. I've not a "never throw a book out" policy, which means I'm starting to develop a minor library. By the time I'm 50 it's definately going to need it's own room. I always thought that'd be cool - to have your own library in your house.
When I retire, I want to have a second hand book shop, even though they don't make any money. I just think it'd be a cool place to sit out retirement, surrounded by books. Then I could catch up on the ones I hadn't read...
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Saw this last night after having attempted to read the book a number of times - and it wasn't that the book was bad, it was just that other things would come up or I'd get really busy and then I'd have to return it to the library. I'm definately going to read it now though. This film had the best character work I'd ever seen. Each character was so deep, there were no "good" and "bad" guys, so many layers, so much development and he pushed each of them to their limit. And the acting went with it - Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. Both fantastic. I'm having difficulty faulting it so I'm just going to leave it at that. My only criticism is that it's a limited release
Monday, February 16, 2004
How good can Valentine's Day be for five single guys? Fantastic. We surfed Freshy and Long Reef in the morning which ended with a DeeWhy Subway lunch. Then Saturday night we ended up back at Dave's place and had a BBQ-fest. We piled our plates with nothing but meat - fat steaks, sausages, rissoles, kebabs - and we played pool, did some stupid stuff involving matches, toilet paper and Jamie's arse and watched action movies til midnight. It was almost worth not having a girlfriend...
Sunday was church in the morning, haircut and the first meeting of the Drama team in the afternoon. Then I drove down to Nth Curly and found the track that leads up to the headland and sat on the cliff by myself for a while. Incredible spot.
A 70-something woman told me I had nice teeth.
The whole girl-guy friends thing is complicated, and I wish it wasn't. I have heaps of friends who are girls, some closer friends than others. And friends come in different shapes and sizes too - some are like little sisters who you just like to annoy, others are like mates and others are different again. I love having friends who are guys and girls, I'd hate to have just a group of one or the other. I've been lucky in the fact that I have a sister and I've had plenty of opportunities to form friendships with girls as well as guys (the church group is slightly lop-sided in girl-guy ratio and I work in Publishing - an 80% female industry). And most of the time that's fine - sometimes there's the whole I-wish-there-was-more-than-a-friendship-thing but you move through that faze and you appreciate just being friends. But sometimes you get those people - like someone said to me last night - who can't understand the "just friends" thing and decide it would be fun to infer to other people that there is something more than just friendship between you and another person. Then things can get messy - people can get the wrong idea, people talk as people do, and suddenly it's a bit harder to just be friends again because people are watching and talking. It shouldn't bother me, I know. I should just be myself and not a give a rat's kaboose what people think, but it's not something you can shake from your head completely.
I hate church gossip - although I know it doesn't just happen in churches. Church groups just tend to be a bit like an enclosed space - everyone knows about everything. But then, that's just the thing. They don't. They think they know, but they have no idea what has been said between two people. What people have talked about. Where people are at.
I have a mate who's really good friends with a girl and no one really knows whether they're going out or just really good friends. I've decided not to ask, not even to wonder anymore because frankly it's none of my business. I'll worry about my own relationships, I don't need to spend time thinking about his. Thinking about it, it's kind of cool that he hasn't felt the need to explain their relationship to anyone. He's content just to be and to keep it between them.
If Katie Holmes turned up on my doorstep tomorrow and told me she'd left whats-his-face from American Pie and thought the two of us would be perfect for each other then all these problems would be solved...
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Funny, surfing was never my thing at school. I tried it, but I tried it because I was trying to fit in. There was a group at church (different church) who all surfed before school and half the guys in my grade did it as well. It didn't really appeal to me at the time - I was a bit scared of the whole thing to be honest. I tried it for a while but threw it away after a month or so when the fitting in thing wasn't really happening....
Now? Now I'm doing it because I want to do it. I'm not trying to fit in with anyone, I don't feel like I have to. I'm doing it as a social thing, I'm doing it because I'm loving the thrill of it and I'm not scared of it like I used to be.
But don't worry, I'm not going to go and stick surf posters up on my wall and talk about the "swell at Curly on the weekend". I'm not "a surfer" I'm just appreciating the beach. The outdoors in general I think. I've been a homebody for too long. And it feels good - so I'm gonna keep doing it as long as it continues to feel good.
Compare it to the new frisby craze perhaps...
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
...that I don't have.
Monday, February 09, 2004
I'm going to go before work on Thursday - I'm so keen to get out again. It's like it wakes you up when you hadn't realised you'd been sleeping...
I've just read lots of other blogs on my list. It's good to see Sal blogging again, welcome back. (and yes, I'm the one who thinks she's a smart arse... but that's just because she's better at it than me and I'm jealous) I read James's blog about girlfriends and stuff (confusing having two James's - I know one is James C, but I don't know the last initial of Ulladulla James - maybe I'll just call him James U). Anyway, I enjoyed James U's post, he has some good things to say. I also read Tom's post about being a bloke... (which reminds me I still have an article to write for Soul Blokes)... I haven't read the book, and I probably won't, but I agree with a lot of what he was saying. Sometimes I want to fight people too. (come to think of it, I'm not sure Tom actually said that, but there you go - that's my two cents)
Did some rethinking on the marketing strategy for my book on the weekend but I'm not going to write about it here. I've had zero motivation to work on it over the last two days which is annoying - time wasted.
Geoff asked me if I would give my testimony at church in two weeks. I told him I didn't have much in the way of a radical story and he said that was okay, he's sick of radical testimonies. I have no idea what I'm going to say. Well, that's not entirely true, I have some ideas but they're all sort of jelly-wrestling in my head at the moment. It'll be the first time I've done any kind of public speaking since the mountains of it that I did in Year 12. I wonder how that will go...
I feel like philosophizing but I've just got nothing. I think I'd be forcing philosophy if I did that and then I'd be as bad as the Wachowski Brothers.
Instead I feel like painting an image of Spontanaeity with beaches and the smell of sand and Pete Murray and Jack Johnson and the wind in your face and late nights with friends and campfires and beer on the dunes. When you wear shorts and bare feet and you don't care what people think and you tell stupid jokes about girls with no arms falling off swings. You take the Allambie Road corners a bit too fast, eat steak with your fingers, get so tired that the mundane becomes funny and watch the sun come up over the ocean. I wonder what will happen today?
Friday, February 06, 2004
The office is kinda stunned. He's been here fifteen years...
Thursday, February 05, 2004
I really enjoy being part of a well-produced creative project. I love creating and I love seeing a finished product that I am proud of. That's the feeling I like - having that pride in my own work whether it be a book, a film, a song performance or an acting performance. Stepping down from doing something like that and knowing in myself that I've done it well is great. I get really frustrated with myself when I know I'm not doing it well...
The ironic thing, I suppose, is that I don't particularly like being the focus of attention. I think that's why TOOBSC, although lots of fun, started to get a bit much. I really hated the promotion part at Blackstump, it was all part of it and that's fine, but the best part was actually doing the eulogy and getting down afterwards (the time we did it at church and the time at Impact) and feeling I'd done a good job with it, like I'd been able to pull it off. That's why writing fits so well for me I think. One of the best moments of Breakthru last year was watching Red Carpet pull off one of my scripts and seeing the audience's reaction from my place standing up the back of the hall. The people who I am close to know that it was mine and it doesn't matter that everyone else doesn't.
I think that's why I've sort of said no to the acting thing for a while. I'd like to focus on the behind-the-scenes, on the writing side of things. Producing from the back rather than standing at the front.
But then last night, irony once again, I was offerred the part of a main role in a Wesley production and I found myself really wanting to do it. I know the script and I know the characters. It's a great story and it would be a professional show working with some amazing people. I'd be way out of my depth, but it would be a challenge. It's also in a completely new scene with people I don't know, and I've been really keen for a change like that...
I said no, as much as I hated to do it. I just don't have the time at the moment. I wouldn't be able to focus on it enough, give it the attention I would need to be good enough. I guess I'm surprised by how cut I am that I had to say no because I had ruled out the acting thing. But then, reading back over what I've written now it makes a bit more sense in my own head.
For me performance is for me, not for anyone else. Which is strange I guess, I don't know how other people find it. When I perform it's about taking on a challenge and knowing in myself that it was good or bad. Of course other people's reactions contribute to that, but in the end I've got to be happy with it.
I'm not giving the acting thing up because it's part of being creative and part of what I like to do. I just don't want to be "the actor"... at least not for a while.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
The weekend was mostly spent pulling down trees. Not much writing got done, which was a bummer because it was the first weekend under the new system. Oh well, what can you do. I did 8 pages last night which brings be up to 63 so I'm pretty happy with that.
Yes, the trees. We filled the hire-trailer twice (and I mean really filled it) with runs to the trip and covered our back yard with slain flora. So now there's a whole lot more light getting down between our house and the neighbours which should be good for any future plant growing that takes place.
Went up to Avalon on Saturday night with the crew of youthleaders-in-training. I'm not really a youth leader - I'm a sort of ring-in youth leader which is good. I like that. So, I rung in and what a house to ring in to. Right on Avalon headland. I went walking on the beach by myself for a bit because I like doing that. Beaches are just great places. I'm never going to move to Broken Hill.
So yeah, ate 7 tacos, drove to avalon shops, hired a video, got checked out by a car full of girls, bought a chocolate drink with exactly the right money, went back to the house, watched the Inlaws which was crap (the advantage of being a ring-in youth leader as opposed to a full-on one means that I, unlike Tom and Helen, can say crap), Sally told me I looked like Shannon Noll (working class man), then went home to bed.
Sunday, cleared the trees that we demolished and then drove Chris and Sal up to Tumbi-Umbi where we did the worship for a church up there. It was a good night. Matt spoke and it went well - great bunch of people and they play pool with obstacles (kinda like putt-putt). So yeah, ate really nice burgers, was given permission to hit Sal as much as I like (permission given by Sal I might add), and then drove home singing sixties songs...
Then work on Monday was a mad-house, not much better on Tuesday, and still pretty crazy today. Spoke to one girl downstairs who said it was a good thing she didn't have to remember to breathe otherwise she'd be in trouble. I know the feeling.
Good news though, I am once again a man with a phone (just without any phone numbers) because, under the warranty they simply gave me a new one instead of fixing the old so I lost all my numbers. I'm sure there's something I could have done to prevent that but alas, I'm not fully phone-lingual as yet...
Monday, February 02, 2004
I tell you what, I have a few things to say about that...