Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 115: I want wine.

This hasn't happened until now, but I have wanted wine twice today. The first time was at 8.30 this morning (!) when I saw a spunky boy while walking to work and thought how nice it would be to meet someone like him (actually him) for a glass of wine at some dimly lit cool-cave. The second time was at lunchtime while I was buying a cute french looking jumper and imagining other cool-fun party-like settings (think beat poet without the beat poetry) where a delicious glass of red would be perfect. And now my workmates are breaking out a pricey bottle of NZ Sauv B, so let's make that three times today I've wanted wine. Instead I am having a slice of toast, butterless (thanks liver cleanse), with fruit-only cherry jam, and a cup of detox tea. Sounds hideous, actually is quite refreshing and yummy. So I'm okay. And will stop complaining and hankering presently.

Day 114: I love rock 'n' roll.

Or do I? Today was the day of the corporate rock gig for charity, where I and a troupe of leggy, long-tousle-haired hotties, performed Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n' Roll". I have done this song so many times it's embarrassing. Indeed it is the track that turned me onto rock 'n 'roll at the tender age of three (I remember vividly the impact of that video on my baby retina and miniature psyche). And while our performance was perfectly rocking, the experience just brought up more of an alarming feeling I have been having lately: that I am over rock. I'm not over the music necessarily. I still love the thwumping gritty grr of a rock 'n' roll beat combined with greasy, stringy crunch guitar sounds. That's hot. But I'm completely yawned out on being a rock chick. I'm not sure I like the toughness of it all anymore. It feels ugly. I'm also not sure how visible I really want to be either. There's something ugly about that too. The freaky thing is, and what I'm almost scared to admit, is that I don't know if I want to be a rock star anymore. It sounds like a cop-out I know. It also feels like very weird territory because it's effectively me giving up on a dream I've had since I was a nipper; the one thing I've never doubted ever and have come back to time and time again. Maybe it's just that my idea of how I see "rock stardom" manifesting is changing. Maybe it's that I'm starting to distill down to the parts of the experience that really give me satisfaction. You see, what I've been realising lately is that my real endeavour and deep desire is to produce something creatively of which I am immensely proud and which feels perfect to me. I want to record a song in such a way that I just love it and would happily show it to any of the coolest, most amazing people in the world as an example of what I'm capable of. I realised a while ago that making art is cool because, while you can't control what happens in life, to a large extent you can control what happens in your art; you can make a little pocket of personal perfection, and in doing so more happily let life rage in chaos around you. So I am more interested in creating a product I like than being some jumped up dick prima donna rock star. You get me right? Really I suppose there's nothing at all wrong with shifting the focus off being a wanker and on to making something artistically satisfying. So we're cool. And I do still love rock 'n' roll (just in a more laid back, less embarrassingly in your face kind of way).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 113: demons.

Why is it that over the course of trying to live a life, the same problems and themes keep presenting themselves? It's like when we're born we're allocated our own set of guardian demon children to accompany us the rest of the way, and every time we think we've managed to lose the little fuckers, they tap us on the shoulder or boo us in the face to remind us they're never going away. Obviously, I have plenty of demons of my own. One used to be drinking, which I do seem to have managed to put on a leash and tie up in the yard for the time being. Another one is nail-biting. Pretty harmless that one (on account of it having soft little nails that couldn't hurt anyone if they tried). Another slightly more dangerous one though is my no motivation monster. It hates work of any kind, complains about the fact I have to do it at all, but offers no alternative solution to the small problem of staying alive. It's big on dreams and escape plans but hazy on actual how tos. It just throws clouds of discontent into the air and leaves them hanging there, making it impossible to see how one might reach the pretty locations hung tantalisingly in bubbles above. And it's a monster that visits with alarming regularity. I thought that with non-drinking and yoga-doing I had banished this negative little complainer, but it seems it's back. Usually its arrival is accompanied by internet searches on Ashram yoga holidays and courses on how to become a travel writer, as well as serious thoughts of returning to the farm to live with my Dad (I'm sure he'd be thrilled to have his adult daughter eating all his porridge, ice creams and chocolate bars in return for substandard knitting and cow feeding services). Usually I deal with it by eating 70% Lindt bars, watching Foxtel and going for strolls until something happens and my nasty house guest leaves. Due to liver cleansing, chocolate's off the menu. So it looks like it's up to yoga to save the day again. That's okay. When it comes to driving off demons, I am entirely confident yoga is the man for the job.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 112: corporate rock.

Did I mention that I have a corporate rock gig coming up in two days? No? As is often the case, this is a fundraiser for charity, and it happens to be being run by one of my current agency's most important clients. We found out today that one of said clients actually has to be involved in our act. And since I'm leading the act, that's going to mean interaction on stage between me and the client. Which is fine. Usually, and quite miraculously, my happy stage monster springs into life when I step out in front of a crowd. I do insane, confident, bolshy and "entertaining" things spontaneously and without qualms. At least, I always have done before. But before I would always have had a couple of JD's and cokes by the time I hit the stage. Not so this time. This time I will be sober baby, inescapably so. So this will be something of an interesting experiment, and one carried out in front of some kind of mega-important people. What, me worried? No way kiddo. I'm a born show-off. I will simply channel my inner 3-year-old and this gig will totally rock.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 111: liver alert.

In New Zealand, the phone number for emergency services is 111. Which is why I chose today to go into liver emergency mode. Not that I have a liver emergency. I'm pretty sure my liver's doing a lot better than it was one hundred and eleven days ago. But being the freak I am, and as I said I'd do it earlier, I have begun an eight week liver cleansing diet, the aim being to eek out any residual toxic havoc wreakers remaining in my ever-purer body. Why not right? I'm not drinking anyway, so why not take the opportunity to be my cleanest (most vomit-worthy to normal onlookers) self? Speaking of puritan, vomit-inducing behaviour, I'd better stop polishing my halo and trot off to yoga.

Day 110: boom, bam, bong.

Today Ben and I went into the band room to play loud and live for the first time in months. It was fun. The vibe was loud and punky, a bit scribbly round the edges, and we came up with about three new, vaguely unhinged ideas for songs. Weirdly though, I didn't feel the juice of excitement, hope and enthusiasm flow gushingly back into my heart and veins. While I had a good time and the songs were cool, as I left the place I felt the weight of starting a new live music project bearing heavily down on me. The posters of other more established bands staring from the walls reminded me of the competition, and the enormous amount of work and luck required to get anywhere in music. What's wrong with me? Where's my fearless energy and confidence? I think it has to do with a book I'm reading at the moment. It says that our modern-day goals and aspirations of fame and fortune go directly against what we need as humans to feel happy. It's making me rethink what I want out of life a little, and where my current trajectory is heading. So maybe I'll finish the book, get over the whole freak out, and get re-excited about being a superstar. Or maybe I won't. I'll let you know how it goes.

Day 109: pissed of with people.

Okay, so my little brother's new friend was a perfectly nice individual. Charming enough, sociable, pleasant and chatty. I can see why my brother likes him. But he's still definitely trouble as far as my brother's liver is concerned. Anyway, as I said yesterday, it's not up to me to tell anyone how to do things. People can do what they want, and take the consequences that come with. Stepping away from the company my brother keeps for a moment, I am only disappointed that people don't choose more often to be unselfish, considerate, and maybe just a little less mental some of the time. As humans we are by nature idiosyncratic. We do things in our own quirky little ways, and we don't always have the time to be considering how our actions will impact on others. I get this. But today I just got a little over being the one who is always stepping back from the insult, acknowledging the perpetrator's particular circumstances and forgiving the misdemeanour. I got over people and their ever so charming fucked-upness. I desired the company of some maybe mildly balanced individuals, who can stick to a plan to get together, handle spontaneous developments calmly, be pleasant and relaxed while they're around, and not freak out at the slightest provocation. So I went and had brunch with Niccola, one of the few uninsane, always pleasant and considerate people I know. And it was lovely, and I wasn't pissed off at all.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 108: looks like trouble.

Tonight I will attend my little brother's party. A relatively impromptu event, this party will be peopled by many of his work pals including a new friend of his whom, to my older-sisterly eye, looks like trouble. Indeed it takes trouble to know trouble, and maybe I'm being entirely unfair, but judging by the activities that seem to abound when my little bro is in the company of this "buddy", I don't think he's the healthiest of acquaintances for my extremely beloved sibling. Mainly they tend to get wasted. And gamble and get into punch ups (I know, that's just boys for you, stop freakin). Unlike with a scuffle in the playground however, it is difficult to step in and protect a brother or sister from harm in the adult world. Being grown ups (apparently), it's up to us who we hang with and how we behave. One can only be there to help out or be leant upon when asked. So I can't pop my brother in my backpack and whisk him away from this perceived troublemaker. But at least I can go and suss the little bastard out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 107: solutions.

Yay! A simple phone call has cured my feelings of music bewilderment and frustration. This weekend, Ben and I will enter the practice room once more for a good old fashioned bash and fang session. On talking, we realised that in all our efforts to get something produced and happening musically, we had neglected the thing we love the most: playing. A lot of our best stuff has materialised or evolved in good directions through the simple process of jamming. It's a vibe thing. You feel things. Stuff just comes out. The combined energy of several humans in a room brings things into being that the energy of one cannot. Speaking of which, I also have the number of a guitarist who might just be what we're looking for, and in fact need to get the ball rolling again. Oh yeah, and my voucher for vocal coaching lessons arrived in the post (my leaving gift from my last agency). Woot woot! It's all happening.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 106: focus.

Some days it's almost impossible to focus on one task for any extended period of time. Today I've been forcing myself through the paces, because there's work that must be done, but my brain has been skittering away at the slightest provocation. As I may have mentioned, my new place of work comes with rather special water, park and city views. I have a problem with views. When I look at them, I tend to want to be out in them, doing the seemingly nicer things other people are doing over there in the distance. Of course it's entirely possible that the people on the other end of my view could be looking back and thinking the same thing, but seeing as I'm looking at yachts sailing in the sunshine, while they would be looking at an office high-rise, I kind of doubt it in this case. It's on days like these that I want to get on planes and be in other places. In actual fact most of the time I want to get on planes and be in other places. Is this normal? Or did I miss my calling as an Air Hostess? Rock stars get to travel a lot... And now back to writing letters about credit cards.

Day 105: struggling, not struggling.

Okay so I have to be honest with you. Over the past little while I have been struggling with a few things. First, I have been grappling with the same music issues that have plagued me for ages: mainly what kind of music project is the right one to pursue. The problem is that I write a lot of different styles and moods of song. They don't all fit together in a group. With limited time to spend developing things, it's hard to know which way to go. If you explore everything, you don't get anywhere. I don't have all the time in the world, and I want to make progress. I need to choose a direction and run with it. Second, I just don't have enough time to do everything all of a sudden. Things are hectic. There are things that need doing that aren't getting done. Not catastrophic things, but things nevertheless. I would like to have more time to think about what I tell you guys each day, for example, but at the moment I'm scrambling to get anything written at all. I apologise for this. I am not fond of a rushed job. Funnily enough, the one thing I'm really not struggling with is not drinking. In fact it's probably the reason I'm coping with anything at all (and finding it difficult to think of interesting things to write about. 365 days of not drinking with extreme ease. A nice reality, but not the most entertaining read.). To think I used to be able to function on a raging hangover. Or did I? I seem to remember stringing sentences together becoming almost impossible on hangover days. Not the best state of affairs for someone whose livelihood depends on beautiful armies of word soldiers marching along in neat, orderly and perfectly functioning lines. Anyway. In actual fact all is fine and relatively under control. And freaking out about things never helped anybody. I will simply keep the ball rolling, try and keep things interesting, and see what happens next.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 104: no memory.

Today one of my new work colleagues introduced herself to me. For the second time. Naturally, I was a bit baffled by the "You must be Claire" introduction, because I had heard it only days ago at the work party on Friday, in pretty much those exact words. Of course all the bafflement was cleared up when she revealed she was drunk as a skunk by the point of our conversation (or thought she must have been, because she couldn't in fact remember having had the conversation at all). Now I'm not judging, because I have in my time spent entire evenings with people at parties, only to blank them on the street as though I've never met them. It's a little thing called alcohol induced brain damage, something I used to find almost a bit funny, but now find kind of freaking horrific and appalling. Suffice to say, I am very happy that profound memory loss is no longer something I can expect from a regular night out.

Day 103: ugly on alcohol.

Yesterday (or was it the day before?) I had a comment from a reader recommending observing the behaviour of drunk people as a deterrent for boozing yourself. Good call. On Saturday night I had the opportunity to observe the foul behaviour of one intoxicated male, probably in his early to mid twenties. Seeing my cab pass him by, but not seeing that I the passenger was inside, this charming example of humanity saw fit to boot the passenger door of the cab when we stopped at the lights. Yeah dufus, nice freakin reaction. Apart from hurling a few well chosen expletives his way and an accompanying middle finger salute (I'm all class in situations like these), I was fine. My cab driver on the other hand, probably in his fifties, almost had kittens. His shock was so long-lasting that he had to stop and have a cigarette once we'd reached my destination. So not only did this drunken youth 1. highlight his own lack of observation skills (by missing the fact there was already someone in the cab), 2. react very badly and 3. scare the bejesus out of an unsuspecting cab driver, he also increased the likelihood of an early death for said cab driver by forcing the smoking of an extra cigarette. Do you see what alcohol does for people? I'm kidding. But I'm sure the boy in question would have been much less likely to put the boot in, had he not been boozed up to the eyeballs. Having just been transported from a strip of street rammed with hordes of the revoltingly intoxicated, this extra little incident did at the time serve as a nice little reminder why I'm glad I'm off the piss. Because whether you are lad or lass, getting juiced and violent is decidedly not pretty.

Day 102: raining squids and wine bars.

It has been raining, particularly on the weekends, for two or maybe three weeks now. Being generally intolerant of most annoying things, and being used to endless sunshiny Sydney-side weather, I have been finding the grey skies and never ending sopping damp tiresome and in some cases infuriating. The furiousness is a me problem. Short wick. What has been doubly angering is the heat. Temperatures of around 37 degrees coupled with palpable clamminess makes for weather that is, as one friend Charlie put it, undignified. (Read sweat. Lots of it.) The whole situation has been driving me a tiny bit insane and taken the shine off my happy teetotal ping pong mood. Never mind. Last night I went out despite rivers of rain gushing the footpaths and gutters, and had a perfectly pleasant time. It started with a visit to my friend Niccola's giant squid, which was being exhibited at The Club, a Kings Cross bar and former strip joint (incidentally). At the club I drank bottled water, my new thing. The bottle makes you feel like you're drinking something interesting, but the water itself only does you good. (It might just be me turning into more and more of a beverages lightweight, but I have noticed that sugar-laden drinks can result in mild headaches and low level brain fog. Being the purist I currently am, I don't really like tolerating even small doses of these kinds of side effects.) We followed the exhibition with a light and delicious dinner at the brand new wine bar Ll (for Llankelly Place, where you'll find it) and some Chee Chee mules (Lychee, Ginger Beer, Limey delectations. Mine was a virgin.). Check Ll out if you're in the area. It was ace and the eats were great. And yes the rain was torrenting around all the while causing mayhem, but by some miracle I managed to make it home more or less dry, where I tried on the new bikini I had received in the post, which, in actual fact, was probably the most appropriate attire for the weather.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 101: how to not drink.

So I've blah blahed about my trials and tribulations enough times for you to know the drill on how not drinking is going for me. It's going fine. Today, considering its number, I thought a basic crash course in the clevers of how to not drink might be in order. So:
How to not drink 101
1. Don't drink. Sounds simple, and it is. (Remember what Yoda said about "trying".)
2. Set your time frame. Then don't drink. (No special occasions, no amnesties, no emergencies. Just no drinking and no bull.)
3. Get yourself some nice alco-frees. After all, you have to drink something.
4. People might try to tell you you're a boring party pooper. You're not. You're a rebel, and you are totally in control. Remember this.

And that's as far as I've got. Could use some work maybe? Yes yes. I can test them out this afternoon when I head to my first new agency party. It's a Valentine's theme apparently, and the bubbles will be flowing. Bubbles schmubbles. You ain't got nothin.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 100: ah yoga.

Heavens be praised I finally did a yoga class. The 6am-ers are always awesome, and now I feel suitably worked and energised. The views from my new 28th floor office are very pretty, and right now I can see the Sydney harbour water sparkling splendiferously. Feeling fabbo, now let's do some work! (Have I gone mental?) Happy hundredth day to me and happy birthday to my Dad.

Day 99: everything is new.

There is certainly not enough time to do all the things one might like. This week it has been all I can do to keep up with the constant barrage of newness storming my tubes and assaulting my grey matter. The work I've been doing has been interesting and varied and, dare I say it, fun (!) so no complaints there. And the environment is pacey, friendly and energised, so that's good too. But when something as simple as buying a salad for lunch is a hectic adventure, a day's length of such stimulus can be quite exhausting. Apart from walking to and from work, I haven't managed one iota of exercise (what is an iota, incidentally?), and gathering the energy to plan and cook dinner has taken an effort nothing short of heroic. We (me) are getting there however. Oh, and I think I have officially (according to the Claire Falloon Book of Handy Rules and Guidelines for Non-drinking) reached the status of entrenched non-drinker by the way. Me drinking alcohol seems like an ancient myth or questionable cult religion to me now; it seems perfectly likely someone made it all up. "Once upon a time, after a hard day's work, a girl called Claire drank several glasses of wine with her dinner to relax". Nup. Don't believe it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 98: random sheeyite.

I had vivid, weird dreams last night, and my flatmate's ceiling fell in (at 3am, on account of all the frickin rain we've had lately). Intense. It also occurred to me today that coke has now taken on the role of "special drink reserved for nights out" in my silly, rapidly purifying mind. Am I for real? Yep, heading out for a big night on the Coca-Colas. Whee. Oo no, better not have a coke with lunch - all that sugar with lunch on a weekday?! Craziness. I am also heading to Ben's this evening to hear what he's done to our little computer song. New job has also been occupying most of my brain space today, which might account for the randomness of my blog-blither. I will endeavour, in future, to more successfully get my shit together.

Day 97: woa-a.

Today I attended two briefings and two client presentations, wrote a press release on myself, posed for photos and wrote a 60 second TV commercial (the doing of which takes considerably more than 60 seconds). Welcome to my new job. My day started at 9 and ended at 8, which is fine. First days are always mayhemic (I invented that word), and it's nothing special for an advertising person to work these kinds of hours. In truth my day was pretty controlled, as things go. It occurred to me though that, true to form, I have set myself quite a number of challenges this year. There is the not drinking, the pursuing of my musical dreams, the getting of one's driver's license, and now the pursuit of excellence in an entirely new place of work. Have I overstretched myself? Most likely. I suppose I'm only lucky that drinking is out of the picture, because otherwise I wouldn't have a hope in hell of achieving any of it. As it happens, the only thing I have a hope in hell of achieving right now is going to sleep. Zzz.

Day 96: oh bugger.

Today yoga boy turned up at the studio again. He had the t-shirt tan marks of someone who's just been on a legendary summer holiday, a newly shaven head, oh yeah, and a girl with him. To make matters worse, she was tall and really thin and had black hair. Compare this to my 165 cm, athletic build (thigh muscles, BOOTY, strong arms that I wish were willowy), and actually white blonde hair, and I'm guessing I was exactly not his type. Or maybe things don't work that way, but whatever. What it boils down to is I missed my chance, if I ever had one. Was not drinking at the yoga party to blame? No, probably not. While I do seem to be quite profoundly retarded when it comes to boys, I have also had some sensationally great relationships in the past with some gorgeous lads. Indeed, the best ones have always seemed to come together kind of magically and effortlessly, so why worry? If it's not happening, there's not a hell of a lot you can do. Mehh, wrong answer. In actual fact there are at least a couple of things that I can and will be doing. But I'll tell you more about those a little closer to the time.

P.S. That'll teach me to brag about getting thin. What's that saying of my Nanna's? "Pride cometh before a fall".

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 95: excessive shopping.

Since stopping drinking I have gotten quite a lot thinner without much effort. This of course has been freaking great. Naturally, I exercise fairly regularly, but while in general eating more chocolate and ice creams than I used to, I have still managed to lose a good six kgs in weight. Today was the first day I tried going shopping with my new leaner bod, and it was a disaster... for my credit card. The shopping itself was radical. Never before have I had such a good jeans buying session (I bought three pairs!), and in general things just fitted really well. It made it quite difficult to control myself. In addition to the jeans, I bought three tops, a beautiful silk frock from Paris, some shoes and a skull broach. And a lipgloss. It was an awesome reward for the alcohol-free time I have put in so far. And actually, because I no longer spend squillions on boozing each week, it actually wasn't that much of a disaster financially either. As long as I can keep the habit under control of course. I don't want to be having to do 365 days off shopping any time in the near future now do I.

Day 94: art lifts life.

Today I watched Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums for the second time. I am very enamoured of Wes Anderson's films, although not to an obsessive extent (I am far too lazy to be properly obsessive about anything), and his sense of humour in particular. I pretty much have to see everything I hear about that he's made (note that I didn't say everything he's made full stop. That would involve doing research on his filmic history. Too lazy.). Anyway. Watching this beautiful heap of tragic, painfully funny, quietly glamourous perfection, made me think. Art is cool because it makes life poetic. It takes real suffering and pain and misfortune and puts it in a place where it is okay to have gone through it. The suffering becomes useful, even beautiful, enviable and attractive. It is placed in a context, put at a distance from where it can be looked at with some detachment. By telling the story of it, or writing the song of it, or painting the picture of it, the themes become clear, the lessons become learnable, and the event itself becomes art; a thing of beauty. I apologise for the amateur art theorising, but I have of late been feeling quite a marked sense of emotional robustness, and an ability to distinguish in people's actions what is coming from their own sense of insuficiency. I have not been taking other people's rudeness or insensitivity personally, and I have felt entirely equipped to handle my own challenges. I think the fact that I am writing every day and that I write songs about how I feel about things, has something to do with this. My ability to create makes me stronger. It's a tool I have available to use when things start to bother me. What does any of this have to do with not drinking? Maybe not a lot. Except that alcohol used to be another tool I would use quite liberally to eradicate feelings of unease. So maybe the message is, if you want to drink less, try channelling your excess nervous energy into making art? Oh my. Now if I could only summon enough nervous energy to create something as deeply satisfying as The Royal Tenenbaums...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 93: rockin in the free world.

Today I am a free agent and it's awesome. Yesterday I did possibly my longest party stint without drinking yet, with two events back to back spanning a full 12 hours. It was totally cool. I drank quite a lot of water, because that many fizzy drinks would have made me sick, and I did have one moment of kind of really wanting to sample the nice white that everyone else was drinking (we were at the very pleasant Mille Vini wine bar, so it was hardly surprising). But all was fine. My resolve is such now that I can have a drinks pang, observe it and move on. I am in no way afraid that I will cave to the lures of the bottle. I have though found myself sort of planning how I will drink in the future: like a highly evolved, sophisticated creature of stylish restraint. Ha. I may very well be kidding myself. But in the cosy, safe zone of complete abstinence, I can allow myself pretty fantasies like these. Or maybe we should call it positive visualisation. (If you can see it, you can be it. Woo!) Another fantasy I am entertaining today is the idea of somehow being a free agent all the time. Working when it suits me on projects that I love, shopping when I wanna, lunching at leisure, travelling to far flung destinations with the regularity of Jet Girl. Dream on sister, cos dreams are for free.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 92: shipping out.

So I'm approximately 23 minutes away from leaving the building. Forever. 23 minutes from setting sail into the wide blue yonder, rolling free on the ocean waves. Okay so now I'm being ridiculous. But yes. The time has finally come to ship out. So there's only one thing left to do. Actually, let's make that three: delete my emails, rally the troops and head for the pub! To the pub my friends! To the pub!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 91: I feel weird.

I just packed up six and a half years worth of work crap. My shelves are empty, my wall is bare and I have two small boxes and a plastic bag containing everything worth taking anywhere else (except for a tiny fry pan with eggs in it, which I gave to Marcio in the next pod to remember me by). One of those boxes is filled entirely with toys (come work in advertising kids, it's a gas!). It's funny when you leave a place. For years you have been an apparently useful and important cog in the machine, but as you remove yourself and slip out the door, the brute keeps whirring on relentlessly and your relevance dissolves like you were never there in the first place. Such is the march of life I suppose. I have one more morning to spend in this giant, trendily (seven years ago) refurbed warehouse. Then we will lunch, and then I will be cut loose into the outer universe. Soon to be gulped up again, admittedly, into another carefully designed bubble of organised culture, but who knows what that bubble will feel like? Oh, I suppose we will find out. And I'll take weirdness over boringness any day.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 90: is my life a broken record?

Okay, so stopping drinking was a seemingly large life change. It was a head shift, a lifestyle shift, a social shift. But now that I'm 90 days in, my "new life" is starting to feel a bit samey. Yoga, healthy eating, getting up early and being productive, writing this blog, doing the music, socialising in a wholesome, under control kind of way. It's a pleasant and happy existence, and I have genuinely eradicated some of the evils that previously felt like incurable plagues in my life. But it's starting to feel like things might have gotten stuck on one track. And the impatient demon child in me is kind of howling for some action. Where are my crazy adventures? Where are my tales of started here, ended where?!!! Where are my encounters with insane people? On second thought, maybe they can all stay exactly wherever it is they are. I am not, after all, looking for trouble. What I am looking for is some new experiences, encounters, people; fuel to keep my insatiable boredom bug at bay. My new job will help (ARE WE THERE YET?). And I can easily swap some shit around for entertainment's sake, without sending the nice little equilibrium I've got going into violent and unnecessary see-saw convulsions. No need to smash the record to smithereens (love that word), when all that's required is a shift of the needle.
(And now I'd better go to yoga.)

Day 89: making music with computers.

Today I went round to Ben’s for a jam. It wasn’t a jam in the traditional sense, because the person who was playing drums happened to be a computer. So what. Computers are taking over the world. Big deal. And apart from the drums being spookily regular (gee that puter can sure hold a beat!) everything was trad jam anyway. Whatever. There are two things that 1. interest me and 2. bother me about computer rock. 1. It is very easy to create other tracks from tiny bits of random material with a computer. We did that today by cutting a tiny slice from an existing track, looping it, then recording a new vocal track over top. It’s nowhere near being a finished song, but as a source for new things to fiddle around with, the technique presents mildly to powerfully head-freaking enormous possibilities. (Of course remixers have known this since the first cut and paste of recorded time, but just how many ways you can chop a piece of music up and what this means for song-writing is only slowly dawning on my tiny mind.) 2. Computer jamming will never be a substitute for bashing shit out live with other people. Live drums, live guitars, live vocals. Boom.

Day 88: doing what I wanna.

Saturdays are great days, whether you drink or not. It’s okay to have a hangover on a Saturday because you have time to sleep it off. If you don’t have a hangover, you simply have time to do whatever the hell you want. Time these days is a delicious luxury. People are always trying to nick it off you with events, or errands or very important tasks, but on Saturdays I like to try and hold on to mine. I have always been of the pottering bent. I can easily and extremely happily while away hours on end with bits of activities; things like picking off my nail polish, flicking through magazines, tidying the piles of books beside my bed, trying on different combinations of rings/bangles/belts, fiddling around on my bass, drinking green tea. I adore having the space of say four or five hours to fill with this kind of stuff. I love the complete absence of demand on my time. Today was a day when the only demands made were my own, and man it was awesome. The most pressing thing I had to do all day was get to a 3.45 yoga class (it was radical! My concentration and backbendability was out of sight!), and make a dinner date at my favourite diner/burger joint with some of my favourite people. Coolness. All of this doing what I want though, got me thinking about a quite contradictory aspect to my personality. I really do not respond well to people telling me what to do. I have an instant buck reaction when others try to control me, and I have a hard time tolerating rules. Unless of course, it’s me who has set them down. Weirdly enough, while I generally disregard the rules enforced by others, I gravitate towards rule-based structures of my own choosing. For example, I don’t allow myself to drink. I am always enforcing special diets on myself. I do yoga, which involves very strict technique and very exact instruction. And some of my greatest satisfaction comes from successfully abiding by the rules I have laid down. (It’s nerdy, I know.) But now consider my former approach to drinking. For me a significant part of the appeal of alcohol has been the complete abandon it represents. It was always about letting loose and wiping yourself out to the extent that you physically couldn’t possibly live up to all those responsibilities weighing on you. It was like a conscious flouting of grown up “musts”. It could be construed as immaturity, or maybe as some futile attempt at claiming power and control in the face of the enormous and undefeatable force that is the chaos in which we exist. A pissy “you’re not the boss of me” yell, drowned out by claps of thunder and lightning and the promise of some unexpected doom. But what’s funny, is that while my current choice of lifestyle seems very well behaved, in fact it is quite rebellious. It’s another case of taking what is “done”, and not doing it. So it seems my approach to life is still quite teenage. Only this little round of petulant walking to my own beat is dressed up as an exercise in adult self-control.