Yes, that organic reach thing was a joke about my penis. I’m just doing a piss-poor DonGlover impersonation.

I’m in a disconnected mood with my mind ambling around aimlessly. In lieu of putting anything structured or cohesive down on the page, I’m just gonna jot down some errant thoughts. Here goes:

A friend introduced me to Leon Bridges the other day. He sounds great, totally reminiscent of the soul/Motown era. The words “young Sam Cooke” have probably been uttered by any simpleton able to link words, sounds and names. People like me. He wears his influences on his sleeve, particularly the sleeve of his record. I’m the kind of Sam Cooke “fan” who has a best of and that’s about it so for my purposes, Leon Bridges is a welcome addition to the mp3 player. Here’s the thing, there’s no way that everything about his image and style weren’t 100% calculated. It’s almost cynical, right down to that faux distortion, 60s language (he’s not referencing the Gawker site when he says “jezebel”) and imagery in his videos. Does this hamper my enjoyment? Should it? Of course it doesn’t. I’m not beyond being marketed to. Hell, if I can enjoy Mad Men, why not a pop music rendition? It forms such a disconnect though, when people on message boards keep trumpeting off about the return of “real music”. Is this “real” music? What does authenticity even sound like these days when organic reach is no.1 on an artist’s to do list? Does it even matter if we know we’re being marketed to? Isn’t that part of the equation now? We just accept that we’re being sold something, buy into it and walk around spreading the message throughout our lives? Further organic reach? Dunno.

I heard a knock at my front door today. Thing is, my girlfriend and I were having sex at the time. Nobody desirable ever knocks at our front door and I certainly wasn’t interested in disrupting our fun time, so I left it. Who was it gonna be? A food delivery driver with dinner for the people upstairs or downstairs? Wrong door buddy, go around the back. A political or charity based fundraiser? An internet company looking for more customers? I had half a mind to answer the door naked, sweaty and erect. Here’s your organic reach. Still interested in disturbing my day? We’ll see who’s disturbed. Seriously though, if you’re not expecting someone, those are the only people who drop by these days. If it was a friend, you’d usually have established plans first. There’d be a text saying they were on their way or you’d have a time to expect them. People don’t just drop by to hang out. Unless I’m just a lonely sad sack and everyone else has constant company.

I’ve started putting my Halloween costume together and for the most part it’s pretty easy. Further complications have been dismissed due to the fact that I’m just skipping the tough parts of the costume because I’m lazy. For the most part it’ll look fine. The most difficult aspect involved a mask, but I found a great solution. It does involve a little stitching (or safety pins if I really can’t be bothered) and wearing a pair of leggings on my head, but that turned out to be a surprisingly effective idea. It still feels slightly odd to be wearing a pair of bottoms as a mask. What’s next? Gloves as shoes? Groin protectors as shoulder armour? Do either of these actually sound not that awful to anyone else? How else am I supposed to put together a Shredder costume?

I still don’t get if freestyle rapping is real. Are people really that quick witted? Or do people bring their own pre-made raps and curate it to the beat? Oooooooar is it a combination of some set rhymes and slick word association? I watched this clip of DonGlover freestyling like a Bomfunk MC and still don’t know. I’m aware he’s a super quick improviser, so I’m happy to buy in and be amazed. For all I know though it could just be an illusion. I want to believe, no doubt.

Anyway, that’s me for now. Peace out homies.

Dildinosaurs and rapping professors. What else is new here?

Are there any rappers out there called Will-Da-Beast? What about Ry-No or Ape-raham? I guess I just like the melding of wild animals and street smart ethos, primarily because I love using the phrase “urban jungle”. Who doesn’t? What would my rap name be? I guess I’d feel obliged to be Leon the Prof as an ode to my lyrical academia and pop-cultural sensibilities. A name like Leon the Prof certainly speaks to my whiteness, something I find difficult to ignore.

On that note, I had a weird experience with colour today. Come As You Are were having their March Madness sale so I went along with my girlfriend to check it out. One of the things I found that I thought was equal parts neat and novelty (a noveltoy?) was a vibrating dildo mould. The idea of giving my girlfriend a personalised dildo was hilarious. When she mentioned that she’d have no hesitation in using my silicon simulacrum well, the naughtiness felt more than a little nice. On special for $10, we had a winner (wiener?). The catch? They only had it in dark skin tone. So it’d be like she had my black vibrating brother from another mother. In retrospect that sounds amusing and totally fine, but at the time the idea of representing myself somehow other than who I am felt weird, as if somehow disingenuous.

It’s strange, considering it would’ve just been an object. A sex toy is just a tool, there’s nothing animating it beyond batteries. I’ve never had an issue with jealousy over a toy for the usual reasons. While they’re great fun and can offer exciting pathways to new plateaus of pleasure, a toy can’t hug with real human warmth. A toy can make you feel physically splendid, but can’t listen to your feelings and respond thoughtfully. A toy can’t show compassion or make you feel like it’s pleasing you because it loves you and wants you to feel transcendant. A toy is just that, something to play with. At the end of the day, it’s not gonna remember your anniversary and write you a sweet card full of sentimental mush. It’s not gonna form memories that make you laugh till your guts are sore. It’s not gonna take care of you when you’re sick, call you just to check how your day is going or cheer you up when you’re having a hard time. A toy is lovely, but it’s not a lover.

So if I had’ve bought the dildo mould, I guess I would’ve had to give it a name. Maybe even a rap name, since I got one too. How about MC TOYSauRUS? PrehistoRick? If I’m gonna give a black penis mould of mine a name, is there any reason why I can’t make it a dinosaur too? Would it give saurgasms? Damn right it’d Bedrock her world.

Also very few other performers who make their small penis the focal point of their persona.

Gig review of Lil Dicky. After a massive day at work, I was way too tired for this. I think if my skin were a shade more pallid and I had a bit more bro in me I would’ve lapped it up. As it stood, still a pretty fun gig:

http://www.liveinlimbo.com/2014/10/11/concert-reviews/lil-dicky-at-the-mod-club.html

Dracula Untold? More like Dracula Unnecessary.

Did this movie need to exist? Really? Yet another SFX sodden script that was already held together by an unexciting premise. What is the untold story of Vlad the Impaler that we’re totally pulling out of our arse right now? Are we gonna turn him into some dissipating clusterfuck of bats in an attempt to shoehorn video game effects into a refuge for bored teenagers? Who else would be the target demographic of this film? I can imagine 8-10 year old boys being super excited for this one. My Mortal Kombat obsessed self at 8 years would’ve flipped my shit over Dracula Untold big time. Speaking of video games, why was this not one instead? I mean, I guess Legacy of Kain did it years ago, but that’s probably ripe for a reboot by now. It seems to be what Hollywood is churning out these days. Why bother creating new screenplays when adapting them is so much simpler and incredibly lucrative? Wow, way to prematurely age myself. I sound like I’m 50+ right now. I mean, I’m not really coming from enough of a knowledge base to really delve into this topic right now. It’s probably tough for me to shit on the industry when I just heartily enjoyed watching Neighbors. Not striving to be anything cerebral, it was lighthearted and entertaining without demanding even an iota of brain capacity. Well cast, Efron was surprisingly great, Byrne’s Aussie accent kept me constantly titillated and Hannibal Buress killed every scene he was in, as always. A fun ride from start to finish.

Hardly the overriding message of the film, I still feel like I’ve yet to tick a massive frat style house party off my bucket list. Knowing me, I’m far too curmudgeonly (curmudgeleon?) to really get into the inevitable rampant douchebaggery. Still, there’s something about the brazen flaunting of excess that calls to me. I’m not saying I’d wanna do it all the time by any means. I’m ancient, I love things like having conversations that don’t involve shouting over music and drunkenly yelled threats of violence. However I do thrive on theme parties and really gravitate towards the idea of an expansive locale decked to the nines thematically, with associated costumery. I guess it’s the same notion that makes people spend their time and cash in clubs.

I never really know what to do in clubs. When I still occasionally got pulled out to them I’d sheepishly be too afraid to talk to anyone and not know how to invite someone to dance or dance with a partner. I mean, all these things still apply, I just don’t go to clubs any more. I never claimed to be cool, you guys. There are some ‘scenes’ that I just don’t suit. Reviewing Lil’ Dicky tonight revealed another. If it’s possible, I felt like I wasn’t white enough to be there. Wall to wall milky skin, caps turned backwards bouncing to Kanye in the pre-show warm up. From an anthropological stance it was fascinating. Like a David Attenborough study of white privilege in its natural habitat. I just kind of stood there slackjawed and unmoved while white dudes around me showed their inimitable lack of traditional dance skillz. Good thing Lil’ Dicky proclaimed the area a “Judgement Free Zone” before starting, otherwise I might’ve had something to say right now. But much like the new Dracula movie, it’d be unnecessary.

Hungry for new things to listen to. Where’s my tuning fork when I need it?

Hey guys, I’m sober. Isn’t that a refreshing change from the norm? I’ve been feeling like every time I write these days I’m tired and drunk, a poor combination for putting letters and words on a page in the right order. Let’s buck that trend, throw a spanner in the works and fuck the system from the inside out. Let’s really shake shit up and produce something monumental, legendary, transcendent. Shit, I think I’ve been reading too much Kanye West Self-Confidence Generator. I think I love how much of an unapologetic diva that guy is almost as much as I love his music. I have no qualms saying I’m a big fan (not that the admission is really anything shocking or revelatory) and somehow his colossal ego doesn’t get in the way of that. I’ll unabashedly throw gang signs when the beat in Dark Fantasy kicks in. I’ll cringe through some of the more misogynist parts of I’m in it, but not without nodding my head to it.

I’ve been making an effort to listen to some new music lately. Not chronologically new, it’s not like these are new releases. I’m just trying to catch up on some things I’ve missed over the years. Given that a metric fuckton of new albums are released constantly, I’m just doing the best I can. Yeezus, people. Who do you think I am? Some shiftless layabout who has all the time in the world to cram endless tunes into my gaping earholes? Someone with nothing better to do than ensure I’m current, hip and with it at all times? Some suave scenester savant, rolling with a copious cache of cool crammed in my core? Well no, obviously I’m none of those things. As Abe Simpson said it best “I used to be “with it” then they changed what “it” was. Now what I’m “with” isn’t “it” and what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me. It’ll happen to you.” Oh it has, Abe. More than I ever thought possible. Seriously, I look at music festival lineups and recognise maybe 20% of the acts. 5 years ago that number would’ve been 70%. I got to the Pitchfork top 50 albums list and maybe knew 4 or 5. I’ve never claimed to be cool, but I’d at least like to know what’s going on.

Hence the “new” music. Half of it I’ve heard of or heard snippets and wanted to connect with the rest. I figured it was about time to get into Kishi Bashi‘s discography, since the new album is so, so good. Turns out the back catalogue is too. Upbeat and whimsical. It seems to ooze joy like a musical jelly donut, overflowing with goodness. The associations with of Montreal should’ve been enough to pull me in years ago (and to be honest, friends tried). Never too late (though I just missed his Toronto gig. I’ll know for next time). I finally picked up Venetian Snares‘ incomprehensibly titled Rossz csillag alatt született. Poignant classical strings interspersed with brutal breakcore. The music is affecting and compelling, the unpredictable juxtaposition sometimes causing breaths to catch in my throat. I can only imagine how great it would be live, if you didn’t have to wade through his prodigious (and at times inaccessible) back catalogue. Lastly, Infected Mushroom. Imminently danceable, magnetic and enticing. These guys have been around for way too long for me not to have consumed their work. I’ll sup it like a fine wine. Aw hell, everyone knows I gulp my wine, might as well follow suit with this pallet of new music. There’s variety like any good palette, let’s hope it’s palatable.

Aaand the puns resurface. Are we really sure I’m sober here?

Cue next week, when I try to scribe the story of the pokérap.

I don’t know what possessed me to write a rap about one of New Zealand’s most iconic children’s books, but something did. If I get bored maybe I’ll try to record it. It’s kind of tricky syllabically.

Out of the gate and off for a walk
Strode a badass dog that didn’t give a fuck
Furry little terrier, you best be wary
Goes by Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy

Assembling his posse, from down on the street
A down dirty gang lookin’ for bitches in heat
Six canines with twelve sets of paws
Rows of sharp teeth on six fierce jaws

First a mastiff, a rough ‘n’ tumble soul
A massive hound, larger than a foal
You’d pay him respect as a matter of course
It’s Hercules Morse, as big as a horse

Next dog wasn’t loko, but sorta crazy
You step with him you’ll be dead like Swayze
One wild dalmatian who calls the shots
Name of Bottemley Potts covered in spots

A sheepdog stacked like pile of wool
If you think he’s soft then I pity you fool
You cross his path? You best walk away
Watch out for Muffin McLay like a bundle of hay

Now the next in the crew was a special kind’a mean
Some say scrawny, hell I’d say lean
A crafty little whippet, eyes all stony
That’s Blitzer Maloney all skinny and bony

Last up a German mutt with no sense of morality
The only thing lower than his centre of gravity
The brains of the group, bitches under his thumb
Holla Schnitzel von Krumm with his very low tum

Suffice to say their disposition ain’t sunny
They’d give the Killa Beez a run for their honey
Posse roaming the streets, lookin’ for tail
Six hound dogs, strappin’ young males

Sniffin’ around for a bit of rough-housin’
Knockin’ over trash, feasting, carousin’
Whatever it was, each pup had a niche
Like a mongrel gone feral, desires unleashed

This went on for hours in the dead of the night
Until out of the shadows stepped a terrible sight
This pussy had talons and a roar like a lion
Even look at him wrong and you come away cryin’

A black hearted cat some called Kitty Soze
Would they tussle with him? No way hosay!
They had to back up, they had to step down
Don’t mess with Scarface Claw, the toughest tom in town

Six against one? Those odds weren’t right
Not when their bark was worse than their bite
Their confidence cracked like a basket of eggs
They scattered at once, tails between legs

Yowling, howling with a wail and a cry
None of these pooches wanted to die
And Hairy Maclary, the pup who led
Ran those little legs, straight back home to bed.

Three hundred and sixty five days of writing in a row? I don’t think I even managed to wear pants that consistently.

What am I doing with my life? For the first time in my life I’ve found myself wondering this on a constant basis and for the first time in my life I’ve found myself struggling to really care. Wow, no, back up. Let’s reel it back a tad before this sounds too much like a call for help. It’d be more accurate to say, not that I don’t care, but that I’m not worried. Stuff, things and whatnot are in flux, the world is spinning away merrily on its axis and life continues to be interesting. I’m just finding it hard to come up with any major problems in my day to day. I’ve found, as of late, that I’m having difficulty getting wound up. I’ve unwittingly embraced some kind of internal policy of letting go and it’s leaving me calm, contemplative and carrot. The last one may be at odds with the others, I was just looking for any word that started with a hard “c” sound. “Carrot” sufficed, as carrots often do.

It wasn’t until recently that I came to this revelation. I’ve changed. I mean, we all do. It’d be hard to walk through life without being affected by the world around you. I’ve undergone a number of massive changes logistically, socially, job-y (I never claimed to be a writer). I don’t know if those are really the true agents of growth that’ve pushed me towards this epiphany. It’s this. The reason we’re both here right now. This project, this writing. I feel like splaying my mind open for us all to dissect has sculpted me into a more honest individual who’s comfortable about everything that makes me a unique entity. If anything is on my mind, rattling around my skull I can type it out and work it out. We’ve long known the power of venting, giving voice to your problems in order to better rationalise them. I’m getting the cathartic release of ridding myself of that negative frame of mind. So many times I’ve finished an entry only to feel the large gravitational push of worry dissipate. If a problem shared is a problem halved, I feel like I’m giving them away faster than I can hold onto them.

I guess the reason why I’m saying this is that today marks my 365th entry. The numbers have been piling up at what seems to be an accelerated speed. 365 days in a row. A page every day, regardless of situation or circumstance. I’ve been plugging away, jotting down, typing up. Whatever you want to call it (I favour the word “scribing”, but I’m a romantic at heart. Oh that these keys were the neck of a quill. Or not, there are children under 5 with better handwriting than me), I’ve been doing it. Everything I’ve gone through, whoever I’ve become, no matter the context of my days and nights I’ve painted my thoughts onto this blank canvas. “Painted”? I’m gonna stick with “typed”. Having this kind of outlet is remarkable. I don’t know where it places me, I don’t know what it means (if it means anything at all), but I’ve accomplished something here. I still refuse to classify myself as a writer because, while I help define myself with these words, I don’t think these words on their own define me. Does it feel weird (and kinda meta) to write about writing about myself? How do I respond to reading things I’ve written? Is there anything I’ve looked after the fresh glow of creation dies down and thought “seriously?” I wrote that? Could I even recognise if I’d written something of value? How does one even define value in stream of consciousness? If I’m writing this for myself, why is it on the internet? Is my narcissism really that expansive? Does it ever get old using a keyboard to ask myself questions?

Speaking of questions, the one I’ve fielded most since starting this project is “what happens when you get to a year?” They ask me if it finishes, will I have accomplished what I set out to do? The answer, invariably, is no. This is just something I do now. I know that Western culture loves for things to be conclusive, but if life isn’t, how can this project be? Since I begun scribing (see, doesn’t it sound spiffy?) I Have My Doubts, my only goal has been to become a better writer. Who’s to say if that’s happened, or if that will ever happen? All I know is that right now this project is helping more than it’s hurting, so I’m keen to keep it up as a forum for everything consuming my mind. Because I need somewhere to talk about adulthood, alcohol, animals, books, Canada, cartoons, childhood, clothes, comedy, comics, communication, consumption abuse, creativity, cringe, Dan Harmon, dating, death, dogs, doubts, dreams, education, family, fear, fitness, food, friends, Game of Thrones, games, geekery, gender, happiness, health, hobbies, humanity, insects, internet, isms, masculinity, media, memories, movies, music, narcissism, New Zealand, nostalgia, personal growth, podcasts, Pokémon, porn, rap, relationships, Rotorua, sanity, self-image, self-loathing, sex, sleep, society, spirituality, stream of consciousness, technology, television, the feels, the future, the human mind, thought, timelines, toys, travel, turd dinosaurs, wankery, words, work and writing.