Saturday, 18 February 2017

Gym Time!

recently joined the gym which is great as I'm not really drinking so its good to get some kicks some how. Whenever I go to the gym most days I think of Bukowski and how he would've liked going to such a place and all the things he could have written about it, Hemingway too. Yet these two writers were more interested in getting blind drunk, gambling on horses and deep sea fishing and bull fighting (all great options laughs). However, what both authors stressed simmilarly was the neccesisty to have an expert knowledge of whatever subject you write about and love what you choose to write about more than anything else or something that consumes your life, like work and leisure.

Some days I walk into the gym with that underlining feeling of getting ready to put my body to a brutal test. Endorphins and adrenaline flood my body before I've even start working out. Just standing in the air-conditioned room is a beautiful experience. A gym is really a room of self-improvement that is a unique thing in our modern society. It's also a nice change from gigs and bars and things that can be rather destructive. As I look around the modest room I see other athletes, woman, men young  and even elderly citizens pumping iron thrashing treadmills all with the aim of staying fit and having a good time in a sort of masochistic sense haha.

I choose to sign up to the YMCA and not some poncey Les Mills where i've heard they have beautiful machine, stringent contracts and and a plethora of uptight people working out constantly sneering being rude like corporate yuppies have a tendency towards. I have to tell you there is something rather demoralising about working out and having some steroid induced hulk like figure lifting about a bajillion kilos next to you while your slumming on the neophyte levels of about 15-20 kilos on your machine laughs. If you want to humble the ego just sign up to the gym and be prepared to fall to the bottom of the food chain like a piece of plankton. Thankfully when you join up with a kind community orientated gym their are people of all shapes and sizes working out. You have people really overweight doing their best to slim down and become more healthier and they are a real inspiration to me. I think if you're struggling with your weight you should be allowed to go to the gym for free. In Japan I believe it's actually illegal to be fat haha imagine that the state watching your waistline, thats a worry.

One time it was rather funny, there was a rather fat man who though rather large looked strong and was trying to lose some pounds. That in itself wasn't memorable, it was the fact that he was working out with his girlfriend or wife and to encourage him doing his sporadic reps on the leg machine she had positioned a box in front of his machine and was doing squats in front of him for an added bit of encouragement which made me laugh inside and slightly envious haha. The irony was also the fact that the girlfriend was fit as a fiddle which made the situation even more absurd than it should have been. I could also tell the man's heart wasn't really pumped about getting fit. He had that sort of lazy personality and seemed to be feeling the pressure and being slightly forced into working out, maybe as means not to lose his girlfriend! There was no sign from his that he was aiming to improve his health of his own accord, obviously I could be very wrong. Regardless of motivation the man reminded me of Aristotelian virtue ethics and how one should really abstain from doing the right thing if you don't willingly want to do it for its own sake. One should love the means not the end as one becomes virtuous and lives a better happy life. If you don't like working out don't do it, as this opens the door in the future for actually really wanting to work out!

I also stumbled across a great quote from Aristotle that said; 'people of a virtuous disposition and character are not usually subjected to great change over the course of ones life' (paraphrased).         So if you are are a good person and fall into bad ways or problems, usually you can dig deep within yourself and find the good person your bedrock and rebuild yourself in a more virtuous and happy healthier way, all you need is the will to become the beautiful person you can be,. Like fighting addiction you simply have to choose and strive towards being healthy everyday, while enjoying the process and dis-regarding the ends and whether you succeed or fail. Nietzsche also once said its the people that don't lust after the great accolades of society that in the end achieve greatness on an exceptional scale and not the ones who want things for shallow or empty reasons like fame, money or adoration. For the vacous mentioned things in themselves are not enough to motivate one to become virtuous and strive for human perfection and self-improvement. True selfishness can produce remarkable things but perhaps nothing of real lasting value or merit "The gifted people are not given something, the opposite is true of them that have something to give back to everyone".

An Alternative Ending to Eugene Onegin

Torn in two Onegin wept giant tears 
Rejected by the woman who loved him for years 
His great blunder to spurn young love
Grasping Olga's waist oh what did he think of
Now his sweet Tatyana bid him goodbye 
While he fought of great fears to give up and die 
Alone in his bed he seethed with self-hatred 
Soon his depression turned to great fits unsated 
With his trusty pistol, he shot great holes in the walls 
In deep despair, he fell into a succession of pitfalls 
Then a maniac idea ran through his burning chest 
To storm the castle and challenge the general blessed
So, he threw away his sadness to draft a scarlet letter 
To die in the name of love he could think of nothing better

Mosquitos fly over me like lethal dive-bombers
I'm the moving target
Their aim is deadly accurate
Aiming for the prime targets of my fleshy legs or arms full of rich addictive blood
My saving grace is their loud humming 
That gives away their precarious position like a snapped twig ringing out eliminating silence
Methodically i squash the flying insects with their transparent flimsy wings A well placed swat almost collides causing a concussed bug to fall to the ground
Faster than a spitfire shot down behind enemy lines
Only with the power to end this miniscule life and cause him to go tumbling into the next
Does my conscious attack me like friendly fire
Ashamed I pray for his recovery and future pilgrimage of blood that is less sweet than mine

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

My first introduction to the work of Byron - 'She Walks in Beauty'

According to wikipedia Byron the poet/writer was the first rock star celeb.
Apparently the public of his time suffered from Byronmania haha.
His name at birth was George Gordon Byron. He arrived on the
22 January 1788 in London, England. All I know is this man could write. 

Check out one of his most famous poems below that he wrote about his 
cousins widow dressed in black while attending a fancy ball.
Apparently Nietzsche was also a fan of Byron and his idea of the superman
stems from Byron and his byronic hero that figures heavily in his written works.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Gasping for Oxygen

It's such a shame she didn't say yes 
Melancholy waves of sadness rolled over me
The pretty girl with blue eyes went on staring blankly into the computer screen 
I asked her out to no avail although we chatted 

She said she didn't like boat parties 
they just weren't her thing 
oh well another polite rejection 

when I looked up deep into her eyes 
I saw she was almost tempted to say yes 
to take a chance on a menace of a man
i would've been so happy if she did 
you know say yes 

But in the end she didn't 
i quickly excused myself 
so i could hyperventilate in private 
in the library bathroom before regaining my composure 
and the remnants of my self-esteem

Thankfully I didn't feel to bad, happy even!

Try as I may and i did try i couldn't for the life of me
wrestle the beloved from the lofty windswept heights of adoration 
I thought how lonely it must be for her 
Up so high looking down on us mere mortals 
with our creaking limbs and flawed personalities 

I decided to go for a walk to shake 
off my feelings of mild despair and existential angst 
Not long into my pointless wandering 
I felt deeply depressed 
It wasn't the girls fault she was ever so tender at saying
No... to me     It was just my natural dissposition 
In a way I was glad I wouldn't have to inflict myself on her
Like a mad juggler grasping at straws to entertain her on a mad tug boat 
what a bloody disaster of a thought

Perhaps why it stung so badly but only for mere seconds was 
because it felt like my very spirit not to mention my decrepit body
had been weighed, judged and simply dismissed as superflourous 
With the ease of a seasoned bureaucrat she continued typing 
after our exchange

While I gasped for oxygen in a room with no sound
Then quickly resolved to buy some new sandals 
To take my mind off my triumphant failure 
As my feet sometimes do get sweaty laughs
Anyway at least I wasn't a coward or lacking a man's backbone 
And she was so close to saying yes I could feel it 
on the tip of her serpents tongue 
I would've died of happiness 
had she uttered those sweet perfumed words 

As i left her in peace to continue the secure monotony of her work 
marketing or something rather boring 
She flicked her hair out with both hands
I laughed to myself perhaps I disgusted her 
Oh how the lover usually has that sort of feeling on the beloved 

Merk at the Winecellar - 2017

                                                         Photo by Josh Yongy

My friend and I rolled up late to the gig at the Winecellar. We paid our door charge and then quickly a young man scribbled the name of a band on each of our hands. I was labelled a Bozo laughs. My friend Azriel and I bounded through the narrow doorway and then crashed to a halt drinks in hand as the sweaty tall crowd barred most of the gig we came to see. People were crammed into nooks and crannies filling up the newly renovated room of the wine cellar.    
A nostalgic pang nudged me forward as I realised for all intents and purposes that this winecellar before my eyes was not the original but a simulacrum or version 2.0. Long gone were the mouldy couches and decrepit furnishings even the ceiling of the venue seemed to slouch less like an old fat mans tummy who has discovered the virtues of a good trusty belt to keep his overflowing gut under wraps. I also hazily seemed to recall carpets in winecellar but that could be mind playing tricks on me. Whatever it is this new place seemed considerably less homely and instead more vibrant and awake ready built for gigs and entertainment of a less sleepy nature. For to be fair in the past there were a lot more acoustic gigs in the previous reincarnation of the wine cellar.  But now it seemed the midnight country crooners had fell out of favour and instead bands reigned supreme which is all good in my book. 

Getting back to why I was even there for I cast my vision to the centre of the stage at the far end of the room where I spotted Merk on guitar, Fazerdaze on bass, someone who I think is Neil Finn's younger son on drums (although I could be completely wrong) and a curly headed man with fingers dancing up and down millions of piano keys. The ramshackle bunch of musicians were all silhouetted on stage by cheap manual overhead projectors, the ones with lightbulbs inside them that they use to use at school when I was in primary. Like before the invention of computers as we know them laughs. Huddled round the projector were two girls with dark hair who looked rather tall pouring cooking oil on a see-through plastic tray and scraping it around with a piece of plastic so they could make funny shapes and textures that were in turn lashed onto the barren walls by the two projectors creating instant mind-bending ambiance. 

With all this going on Merk's music seemed to come alive as did the whole band who were all laughing and grinning as they jumped from one song to the next with the odd bit of banter in-between. What I really like about the sound of the music set was firstly the tone of the drums which sounded excellent and larger than life in many parts due to the expert talent of the metronomic drummer. Indeed the band as a whole all seemed very precise and well rehearsed making it a pleasure to listen too. The bass guitar played by Amelia was like a chunky fat little child struggling to be pushed up a great big hill by a petite mother gripping onto her wayward pram for dear life. While Merk pounced around like a black panther in the middle of the stage overflowing with equal measures of happiness (that comes from within from what I have read) and joy (that comes from without or outside). 

It was fun to see the bands ringleader dash from instrument to instrument smiling and laughing with a theatrical jib or joke thrown in to catch the baited audience off guard. One of the most memorable parts of the show for me was when Merk looked to be standing high up on something maybe a box playing a simple yet eye watering guitar lead in a crashing crescendo of a song while simultaneously looking around the crowded room with piercing eyes. To me it looked like he was trying to ascertain whether anyone was aware of how simple and easy what he was playing on the guitar was to play. And perhaps if given half a minute any one from the audience would've been able to play what he was doing and usurp him. Then again I could be completely wrong and he could've just been struggling for air and hot up on stage while nearing the end of his set.

My favourite highlight from the show in hindsight was when Merk and his band collaborated with the crowd at the wine cellar choosing a chord structure by throwing jacky sacks into hoops or trash cans or something to that affect. With the chords on the wall I think he pulled up some lyrics and recited them over the music, but maybe he came up with them on the spot I'm not sure? Anyway I really enjoyed the song this song that was sweet and crusiey that Az and I were loosely a part of helping create. After the jingly song ended Merk was gracious enough to state to all of us in attendance             "that everyone will be getting a fair-share of the Apra royalties from that song!" laughs.