Friday, 23 December 2011

Vampires and more

It's no surprise that I like Vampire novels (now I am most definitely not talking about Twilight vampires here but the Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite Vampires - real fictional vampires). I have quite a few novels from these authors and more which cover the subject but the one that had a profound effect on me as a late teen I have never owned...

Lost Souls, by Poppy Z Brite.

Zles, a good friend of mine, had this and knew that I would love it as much as he did so he loaned it to me... I remember reading it fast, almost gorging myself on it every night. Staying up far too late to just get another page into the story - to learn more about the characters, the vampires, the sexuality, the horror and Chartreuse.

It was so well written I remember thinking it spoke to me... and the characters where part of me or was I of them... romantic silly teenage dreams? Probably, and this book could be blamed for my and Zles's experimentation with Chartreuse... so much Chartreuse...

But why if I loved this book so much did I knew read it again? Never buy it? I'm not sure, maybe the memory of the experience reading could have blurred the lines between reality and fantasy... maybe.

Recently Darklyss borrowed Drawing Blood - knowing that I read Poppy's books. This is the follow on novel from Lost Souls a kinda of sequel in a way, set in the same universe and with some of the same characters read about in Lost Souls... and it got me thinking about re-reading Lost Souls...

I realised that enough time has past for me to be able to read it again I am old enough to not have too high an expectation. I remember the rose coloured world my teenage self saw things and I know that I have not always been right...

After nearly 2 months wait to get the book ordered in... (another post I fear) I started reading it last night... The Prologue dragged me back in - I felt the same joy I felt when I first read it all those years ago.

Christian, The Bar, The Trinity of Vampires and the birth of Nothing... I'm not sure that this will last for the whole book - maybe it is a touch of reminicing of nights lieing on my bed in the dim dark listening to the Cure... maybe it's the Chartreuse of yesteryear flowing through my veins but I fucking love this book...

Please if you have a book, a story, a novel, hell even a movie that moved you once long ago... try to read/watch it again... you just might find you love it all over again...

Guitar Playing and more

So this year I had a goal... to learn to play one song all the way through on the guitar.

I have owned a guitar for many years starting with a 3/4 I got sometime in high school... but I never really learned to play - sure I could muck about and run maybe a few chords together or follow a mate (slowly) with basic chords but not really play a tune someone would recognise. So this year I decided to go the whole shebang and get lessons.

I found out about a local guy who teaches from his home studio - he had taught another mate of mine and I knew his step son and wife (I live in a small world - I laugh about there being only 1 degree of separation between me and anyone else and in most cases this is true). So I emailed him to see if he had a vacancy and yes he did and on a night I could do...

That was around April this year... I spent a term (10 weeks) with him and time took over so I had a break and went back for the last term... I did learn to play a whole song, in fact I have several under my belt and can even work out new ones from TAB found on the net...

However, what really make me happy is that the other night Tinman came over and we where talking music and Alex Day's new song and his goal to be Number 1 on the UK Charts etc. As we where discussing music I got out the guitar to play a few songs - Tinman sings very well!!! We went through my repertoire and Tinman not only could sing along... (that is I played stuff he recognised) but he even mentioned that I had learnt a heap of songs... (over a dozen in my music book and more on the computer in TAB form)

My goal was one song... I have not only reached that but am now able - with a bit of extra work - able to play most songs I want to... I have really only just started to play around with Barr chords and hammers and adding little flourishes etc but I can play basic songs...

All that before the end of the year... perfect - Achievement Unlocked... what will I do next year to beat that... maybe build that guitar I have been working on... maybe...

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Forever Yours

Alex Day, musician and vlogger, came up with a challenge to try to get an independent single to Number 1 on the UK Charts. His great little song Forever Yours is up on iTunes as I type (in fact the single version has already been downloaded to my account!
I know I live in Aust and will not affect the UK charts - however it has reached mid 40's in the Aust iTunes charts so that is cool.
What's more all the money raised from the sales of the single are going to charity... so if you have a spare $1.69 go to iTunes and buy it!
Official Film Clip

Links to buy
1. Forever Yours
2. Demo version
3. Live piano version
4. Instrumental
5. All-vocal version
6. Lastufka "Death On The Dance Floor" remix
7. Tom Milsom remix
8. Eddplant's Forever Alone remix COMING SOON
9. Stefan Chin remix COMING SOON
10. Blue Version (8-bit remix)
11. BillTV-Mickeleh remix
12. Charlie Went Mad remix COMING SOON

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Coffee - the addiction we all have...

The above heading does not include those strange folks who do not drink coffee but as I choose to believe they don't actually exist... it does work!
So I was reading Gizmodo today and discovered this little invention...
A great little invention for making a perfect dipper coffee at home or the office - the simple system allows you to brew the coffee in the "Clever Coffee Dripper" before placing on cup or thermos which then allows the brewed coffee out... you need to use filters but this is a great invention...
Now to just order one from the US...
Product page
Info PDF

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Your Local Book Store...

John Scalzi has this neat little post over on Whatever
Amazon, Local Bookstores, Me
Go on read the article... I'll just wait until you are finished....

Are you done? Great, now while I can see Amazons marketing machine saying
"In a free market economy we are just trying to do all we can to create awareness of our brand and drive sales..."
Yep that is right... you have the right to do it... but should they? And should you as a consumer?
Personally I have bought books, cd's, games etc from overseas - from the Amazon's, Book Depository's, Ozgamestore... and all for the same reason... the PRICE.
I have a young family, a mortgage, I am the major bread winner (not discounting the huge amount of work my wife does to help support me and enabling me to be able to do that...) I have to be careful about what I/we spend on luxury items like books...
However, something John wrote really resonated with me...
I have an Amazon Prime account and I get lots of use from it, because where I live often the alternative to buying from Amazon is buying from Wal-Mart, and on that strata of retailing, I’m happy to let them go after each other, with knives and bludgeons. If there’s a locally-owned alternative, however, then I generally go there. I pay extra for what amount to intangibles for me, but what’s intangible to me means a job and a business to someone else. That matters, especially these days.
How do I react to that seeing that I have admitted to using the cheaper overseas option before... I agree with what he has written - I really do! Yet how do these conflicting parts merge? How can I both support local and pay the premium and ensure I met all the other obligations in my life?
It's really quite easy... I use priorities.
For instance I limit the amount of comics I collect and then buy them from my local comic store. I plan my new book purchases and buy from my local bookstore. I buy 2nd hand computer games from my local gaming store. I have a budget and when it is gone... I borrow books from the library and share/borrow games with my mates... In short I do what I can...
This carries across to other aspects of my life... I don't always shop at the green grocer or the butcher, we can't always afford South Coast Milk - but we try and we support when and where we can...
Its all any of us can do.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012

So I have signed up for the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012
Basically I need to read at least one book from the following genre...


  1. Literary Fiction - Nineteen Eight-Four, George Orwell
  2. Crime/Mystery Fiction - Killing Floor, Lee Child
  3. Romantic Fiction - Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
  4. Historical Fiction - Mr Midshipman Hornblower, CS Forester
  5. Young Adult - Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  6. Fantasy - The Magic of Recluce, L.E. Modesitt Jr
  7. Science Fiction - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K Dick
  8. Non Fiction - Chick Days Raising Chickens, Jenna Woginrich
  9. Horror - Horns, Joe Hill
  10. Thriller /Suspense - State of Fear, Michael Crichton
  11. Classic - The Hobbit, J.R.R Tolkien
  12. Your favourite genre - Ready, Player, One - Ernest Cline
Should be a lot of fun - oh and I need to review them here on my blog - which will at least mean I will blog more - or have a reason to!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Dungeons and Dragons

Well this is a surprise... I would usually play a Dwarf Cleric!!! 

I Am A: Lawful Good Human Paladin (5th Level)

Ability Scores:







Lawful Good A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. He tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion. However, lawful good can be a dangerous alignment when it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Paladins take their adventures seriously, and even a mundane mission is, in the heart of the paladin, a personal test an opportunity to demonstrate bravery, to learn tactics, and to find ways to do good. Divine power protects these warriors of virtue, warding off harm, protecting from disease, healing, and guarding against fear. The paladin can also direct this power to help others, healing wounds or curing diseases, and also use it to destroy evil. Experienced paladins can smite evil foes and turn away undead. A paladin's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that they can cast. Many of the paladin's special abilities also benefit from a high Charisma score.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The Cure - Reflecting on Reflections

OK so I wrote this really long post about the concert... then the Internet ate it...

So instead I'm not going to review the show - I'm going to tell you how this whole experience has made me feel... if you want to read a review might I suggest here which is my mate...

So The Cure... I first heard them when I was a teenager... I must have heard them on the radio but the moment when I really took notice was in a car parked in my mates driveway (a farm in Terara NSW). He had a tape (probably a copy) of this band he liked. It was Kiss me Kiss me Kiss me and we listened to the whole album 4 of us jammed into the car... lucky we didn't drain the battery... That for me was the moment I remember that I realised that this band, this group meant more to me then a single, or an album. The songs touched me and reach out to me... Even more when I started to get the back catalogue (again mostly through tapes coping mates CD's then returning the favour when I got a few albums on CD - don't judge me it was the 90's and we were all doing it!!!)

It was all we could do to get all the albums all the live material and Video's (yes VHS type videos) of the band... Many nights I spent recording RAGE on ABC to edit out the rare Cure film clip to a battered VHS, we shared and traded these rare clips like gold... not realising in years to come you would be able You Tube them... or buy a DVD full of them all!

Then Wish came out and a tour was announced.

This was 1992 and I was 16 years old...

My mate's Mum took us, three of the original 4 (and Tim's little sister - Tim was in Brazil, he got girls we got the Cure - I think we won, girls blah they are everywhere)

I would see them 5 more times after that first concert... and all of the shows were different. I even have a list of the tracks played - it is quite impressive with many songs that are rarely (if ever) played live. I was happy to have been able to see them so often and with such great company and with a great crowd of Cure fans...

Then Reflections was announced. A twin to the previous Trilogy (Pornography, Disintegration, Bloodflowers) but for the first three albums. This would take us on a journey from the post punk Cure to the beginnings of the Goth era. Albums that gave us such seminal hits as Three Imaginary Boys, A Forest, Primary - the lead in to the dark Pornography - which in turns leads into the pop - top 20 hits of the mid - late 80's and 90's. This was the beginning, the start, the raw unformed Cure... This would be a once in a lifetime event and I had to be part of this. We all had to be.

The trio got back in touch and between us we hatched a plan on how to get tickets. We would all go online, pre-registered and ready for the opening of the ticket sales... We would be 3 against many thousands wanting to get the 4,000 tickets (spread over two nights). We had little chance, almost none, but still we would try - we had to.

It was Tuesday when I got the email, two whole days before the launch, "You're going to the Cure" read the subject line... that was all nothing more. I rang almost immediately to find out what that meant, was it true? If so how?

Apparently the demand from out of State and indeed overseas was so high the ticket seller released some tickets early to allow time for travel arrangement and such.  One of the subscribers who got that early notice posted the information on a Cure web forum. Col was at home that day, checking Twitter when he got notice of the advance sale. He lives out of NSW (therefore out of State) - without hesitation he bought 4 tickets for the first night and forwarded an email to us all. We really were going...

It strange - I really didn't think I would get to see them. We stood an almost zero chance and yet fate played the cards we needed and we went.

What was it like?

It was magical... from the friends I went with who like me grew up with the Cure, knew all the words (and even how to play); to the two lovely French guys we met who had traveled out to see the show. The fans around us were dedicated fans, ones who lived and breathed the Cure (sometimes more heavily then others) but they all were there to be part of something special. This would NEVER happen again.

I am glad that they filmed this event so that not only can I have my memories but I can re-live them again when I play the DVD... hear the crowd roar at the opening of A Forest feel the vibe of good vibrations as Lol Tolhurst entered the stage for the first time with the band since 1989... It was more then a show, more then a concert, it was a home coming, an affirmation from all the dedicated fans but mostly it was a gift from my favourite band to me (and 3,999+ other people)

You know what is so special about living in the future? I can share part of that with you... You Tube it and see for yourself - but for me this song sums up so many memories... I'm sure I have a scratched, flickering VHS somewhere with this film clip - why not a video phone short grab instead...

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Yours Gave Me All

I feel the walls close in on me

I just wish they’d let me be

I don’t want to stay

I can’t take another day

Singing to myself, I slip

Laugh as I fall, I cry

But yours gave me everything

Yours gave me all

I don’t need it this time

I just wish it’d all be mine

I journey on to never end

I won’t find my heart again

Singing to myself, I slip

Laugh as I fall, I cry

But yours gave me everything

Yours gave me all

I hear the voices scream outside (let me out)

I hear the voices scream out loud (let me out)

I feel all their pain (let me out)

I feel it again and again and again

Coming closer to it, I flinch

Feeling it touch me, I hide

But yours gave me everything

Yours gave me all


My Vampire Song

I’m just faking it again

Playing at what’s right

Falling into traps

And screaming at the night

I’m just losing it again

This tortured soul of mine

Lost in one’s mind

And trapped in life divine

I’m just feeling it again

Developed and refined

Into a great monster

For you to fear and hide

It all becomes so easy

When it’s in this head of mine

Although you seem to fear me

You know that I am right

Everything’s so easy

When you see it in the night

Yet it will be gone from you

When everything’s too bright

It’s not easy being me

You know that much is true

It’s in everything you make

It’s in everything I do

Now it comes to this

The end that might be true

To find what lies beneath

The flesh and blood in you

I step into the room

All anger spread before me

And open up a void

To let you slip on through

It all becomes so easy

When it’s in this head of mine

Although you seem to fear me

You know that I am right

Everything’s so easy

When you see it in the night

Yet it will be gone from you

When everything’s too bright

Cradling your head

I cover you in kisses

You are now all bled

And smothered up in wishes

All those dreams come true

It’s in everything we do

From hope and from fear

I’ll be coming after you

Although you run to hide

Get lost deep inside

It’s not that hard to find

The screaming child inside

It all becomes so easy

When it’s in this head of mine

Although you seem to fear me

You know that I am right

Everything’s so easy

When you see it in the night

Yet it will be gone from you

When everything’s too bright

Even though you don’t see me

I’m waiting for you here

Even if I seem to go

I’ll be coming in the night

It all becomes so easy

When it’s in this head of mine

Although you seem to fear me

You know that I am right

Everything’s so easy

When you see it in the night

Yet it will be gone from you

When everything’s too bright

It all becomes so easy

When you’re screaming in the night

Although you seem to fear me

It’s just a little bite

Everything’s so easy

When you don’t put up a fight

I’ll be gone from you

When everything’s too bright


Leaves blowing in the wind

Twisting, twirling

Falling, still again

Just like your love

It comes, it goes

And changes every day

You wait momentarily with one

Then finding another you move on

Not seeing the people

Frowning on you

Not knowing

Over and over in this

Rushing torrent of life

You suck us dry

And leave us bare

Taking everything and you

Go on your own way

Your lovers drown in your

Mad swirling whirlpool of lust

Only finding you’re gone

Just before they drown

In your deep black sea of love

We drown in your deep black sea of love

We drown in your deep black sea of love

Drown, drown, drown, drown, drown

They drown

They drown

We drown