Awful Hallway Art #4If it's hanging in the communal hallway, it's fair game...Wellington’s Riviera
(Acrylic on Canvas)
What’s this? Sweeping perspective? (A horizon!). The blending of paints to attain a gradient of colour? Darks and lights to distinguish distance?
The technique she improves, n’est pas?
I have been pejorative about Johni’s back log, but it seems his practice has paid...
Johni, when you carefully park your car in the garage, do you then accelerate into the wall and smash the fender? After an expensive hair cut, do you go home and shave your head? (Oh, I had my hair cut btw. It has this whole rockabilly thang going on. Short but fetching. Where was I? Oh, yes). And when you paint a reasonably good landscape, do you add a hideous “tree” all over the bottom right hand corner of the canvas? Yes. Yes, you do.
Johni – lover - you must’ve had to wait for the under paint to dry. You would have stood back and looked at your handiwork. Did nothing tell you to quit while you’re ahead
? You can’t paint leaves. These here are messy and red. Things that are messy and red should not be included in paintings. No real reason, they just shouldn't.
Don’t be disheartened, Johni. Keep going like this (sans
leaves) and you’ll be eating at the big painter’s table very soon.
I’ve felt ill all day due to some berry brandy dish from the dinner party last night. I never want to see any type of fruit in any type of liquor ever again. Maybe all my clean, healthy New Zealand has taken away my London edge? In the day I could go out on a Thursday night and roll in Tuesday morning with Swedish twins (Eric and Sven), a necklace of hickies and double vision (discovering half an later when the double vision wore off, that the twins were in fact just one Swede called Eric Sven).
I went for a jog to try and get me some of those endorphins they’re always talking about on infomercials, but it was hell, consisting of a sort of jog, jog, spit, jog, stumble, wretch
. I strolled the last ten minutes, overtaking a young couple.
‘Stop checking out that guy,’ said the girl to her male friend as I power walked away.
Oh yeah, still got it.
Of course, if I never finish this bloody book you'll know why
. So many tiny, tiny superheroes and they're all the colours of the world!
"It's like trying to compose a new melody in your head while standing in the middle of a full-throated choral group. And so when I'm immersed in writing a book, I try to keep these worlds separate, even if it feels like I'm betraying the blog somewhat with my silence."
Wow. What he said
Remember when I used to do, you know, stuff and then write about it? Man, those were the days. Sometimes I’d go to an “art gallery” or have “dinner with friends”. No lies.
Does showering count as an excursion?
Three friends were supposed to fly down from Auckland this weekend, but all flights were cancelled into Wellington airport because of fog.
‘Damn you fog,’ I yelled from the veranda, shaking my fist at hills I knew were hidden behind the white nothingness.
I’d been holding out for a break, writing the same sentence over and over for the past three days. I’d run out of conjunctions. Run out. There were no more conjunctions to be had.
‘I want to go drinking,’ I shouted at the fog and anyone down on the street who came between me and the fog.
I drank a bottle of wine to myself. My mother had a cider. The night air smelt chilled and exciting. I was about to go out bar crawling with my Mother and her partner. I was game - and quite drunk. There were things I needed to do.
Three straight bars and one gay bar later, they left me and I chatted to some temporary friends. Someone cute wanted to pay beside me, so I make it as difficult as possible.
‘You probably won’t call again,’ he said before I’d even finished my pick up line.
‘I hardly know you,’ I said.
He rolled his eyes.
‘You’re all the same.’
His apartment was on the third floor. The lift had a wooden interior, the varnish scraped off by so many vandals.
I think I took off all my clothes which shocked him. I was hot.
‘Do you have any water?’ I asked.
I looked around the room and noticed there was nothing on the walls - no pictures or posters or post cards - and when I woke up the morning the fog had finally gone.
. If anyone wants to ride Keanu's dead, bloated body down the Waitakere River, I will run along the bank and clap encouragingly.
Item! How do like dem apples?
And Lady, if you wanna fight, Jackson is at Customs wearing his ELEVEN gold plated knuckle dusters - if ya know what we mean.
Everything Must Go
These will soon be demolished to make way for the bypass – a “controversial and expensive plan to extend the motorway through downtown Wellington” (The Green party).
Rejected NEDITW taglines:
"Officially Enough Drew in the World since August 2004!"
"Almost never wasting your time for five minutes, daily."
"Younger and Funnier than you. Well, younger than you. Some of you, then. A few of you? Shit."
When doing freestyle, keep your head facing the bottom of the pool and swivel to breathe. If you look forward your spine isn’t aligned. You’ll swim slower and get more aches in your neck and shoulder.
2. Search Engines Optimization:
It’s all about inbound links. And keywords. I used to work for a top SEO company blah blah but it was so boring I forgot everything I knew. But I think it’s about links.
Some people say breathe at the commas, others at the end of the line. Imagine he wrote it half an hour ago and pretend you’re Patrick Stewart always got me top marks.
Write as fast as you can. The good stuff happens when you’re not looking.
Smooth grooves are the same as funk. I called a guy on it who was promoting a club. He told me the truth as long as I promised to keep it secret.
Use vinegar and scrunched up newspaper to clean glass. No streaks.
Barmen (and women) are easy to pick up. They may seem cold and aloof, but in reality they’re bored and used to slimy customers. If you’re nice and persevere they’ll be putty in your hand. As long as you don’t get too drunk over the course of the evening and fall off the bar stool that is.
Prepare yourself for explosive nappies. I don’t know what they’re feeding kids these days but you will not want to inhale until that thing is in the dumpster a few streets over. And babies wriggle. I can’t warn you enough, people.
Turn your jeans inside out when you wash them. And check for tissues. In every pocket. Twice. I’m still picking lint off my levis after the paper napkin incident of ’99.
I’ve lost the recipe for our family’s secret chocolate gateaux, but I can tell you it contained natural yoghurt and coffee.
That's Where We Meet
Went to the chiropractor today and was reminded of one of my favourite Simpson's quotes: Homer:
Less yackin' more cracking.Chiropractor:
Now Homer, we don't actually crack backs, it's merely an
adjustment. Okay, you're going to hear a loud cracking sound. *crack*
there we go!Homer:
Hey, I do feel a little betterChiropractor:
I thought you would.
My chiropractor is a ninja! Trufax! He ne'er made a sound as I followed him to his exam room. The ninja chirpractor said I had great alignment and hardly any stress. I told him I'd been living with my Mother for the past five months and could he check again. Amateur.
Andrew, the brains behind Sounds Like Radio
, had the delight of sharing a room with me when we were both new to London. He’s one of the most talented people I know and it gives me great pleasure to be able to recommend his site. Go listen
I’ve been useless with my emails recently. Needless to say, Scooby’s en masse, I loves ya: Lorna, Charlie and Katy especially because you read this regularly and Karen the most because, well, do I need a reason? Lizzie, Christopher: hugs and puppies.
To my sis Amber, battling away in London, you’ll have me to cramp up your room and tell you off for waving your wallet around in public in just over five weeks.
I’ve also found someone skilled and willing to start proofing who, in her own words "would very much like to be able to say 'ah yes, Drew Davies - I proof read his first novel. You know, the one that cleaned up at the booker?'". This before she ruthlessly rips through my manuscript with a red felt tip. Thanks M!
Coming to a Cinema Near You
In the morning I sit at the computer, which is tucked away in a room without windows, and when I make coffee it's sunny but the light dims and we have rain by noon. On National Radio a woman complains about her Neil Diamond tickets (bad acoustics) and I listen to an adaptation of In My Father’s Den
. I finish editing early (for once) and make lunch (watching The Desperate Housewives
suck up to Oprah on TV). Before I take a shower, I tell myself if it's sunny when I get out I'll go to the beach.
It's so still, it's eeiry - not even a breeze. So unlike Wellington. Four in the afternoon and I'm the third person on the sand. I remove my towel and my grammar book from my bag and time myself twenty minutes each side.
‘Making the most of the last of it?’ asks a man with his wife. He's wearing a boat hat and has taken off his shoes. They walk to the water but don't paddle.
‘Yeah,’ I call back, ‘it’s so still today.’
I take the sunniest route to the library. My flip flops sound sticky. It’s cool in the shadows. I pay a fine - $2.70 for an overdue book - and walk up the escalator (on the left) to the first floor. The following extract leaves me very confused: “have you used ‘which’ incorrectly? Go on a ‘which’ hunt. Nine times out of ten the word should be ‘that’.” I say ‘what?’ out loud, and a few people turn and look at me.
Afterwards, I walk to the Warehouse
and buy rugby shorts to run in - for $7.89 (bargain) - and eat more toast at home. My Mother has had a long day and reclines watching Friends
. We haven’t heard from my sister. Ma likes the rugby shorts and thinks I should get another pair ("they’re so cheap!"), but I remind her I already have too much luggage to take back.
A slither of toast escapes into the toaster. When it pops I think the toast must have leapt out and I look around for it.
‘Unplug it at the wall,’ she says as I discover the toast still in the machine and try to fish it out.
I give up.
I write some more and watch E.R.
and decide I love Abby. Oh heck, all of them. Even Carter. I put on my rugby shorts and a singlet and running shoes. I’m showing a lot of thigh.
I head for the waterfront. Still no wind. I run along Oriental Parade, past the swimming pool and the beach and the Floating Restaurant and the fountain. I breathe in through my nose and out my mouth. The salt air stings, mixing with the scent of fresh sweat, aftershave and washing powder.
There are people night fishing.
I wind along the beaches for half an hour before stretching. As I stretch my calves I consider how tranquil it is. And that I haven’t discovered any dead bodies yet. And that I watch too many crime programmes.
I run home, remove the piece of bread and make more toast.
Paid and Displayed
The audition was a non-event in that I was professional, did just what they asked of me and was out the door again in under five minutes.
In case you have never auditioned for an advert before, this is typical:Auditionee
walks into room with air of confidence and “energy” indicating their onscreen presence and x factor
(wearing “business smile”) asks how Auditionee #327
is doing today.Auditionee #327
responds in a light hearted, breezy manner to show they are NOT desperate to snag the advert and so pay their rent this month.Auditionee #327
stands in front of wall, practicing relaxation technique to stop any tension in shoulders, as Casting Director
fiddles with camera.Casting Director
(Turning camera to RECORD): And how are we today?Auditionee #327
(beaming): Very well thank you!Casting Director:
Are you available for shooting on (gives dates).Auditionee #327
(emphatic): Yes I am!Casting Director:
Are you in any commercials on air currently?Auditionee #327
(takes time to consider this, giving the impression to the Casting Director
and the camera that Auditionee #327
has been in literally hundreds
of commercials): Um, no.Casting Director:
And profile please. (Auditionee #327
sucks in stomach, brings chin towards chest, flexes arms) And other side. Thank you. (Everything is relaxed).Casting Director
runs through the scene giving such helpful advice as “try not to look directly at the camera”. Scene is played out. Afterwards notes are given (“I want less eye acting, but a bit more face acting. Really feel it this time.”) and the process is repeated.Casting Director
thanks Auditionee #327
and yells ‘NEXT’ before they’re even out the door.
I was given a mobile phone as a prop. All I had to do was pretend text (mumbling to myself as I do when I’m really texting) and when the Casting Director clicked her fingers I had to look up at an assistant holding a tennis ball attached to a stick which was the “car”. I watched the “car” as the assistant “drove” it behind the camera – and I finished the scene with some more improvised texting. Reckon the cheque’s in the mail.
Tenuous Links:I'm not gay but my boyfriend isDitto
UPDATE: Sam Piper, an old pal o'mine who spent his university days in Wellington, writes from sunny Sydney:
Marion Street is infamous in Wellington for being a tranny ho' hangout, where guys go to pick up their man-lady of choice for the night, hence the really bad artwork. As for the levitation bit - well, now you know how David Blaine made a crust before hitting the big time (after all, noone was going to choose him on looks alone - he needed a gimmick - 'the flying ho').
Thanks for that Sam. I'm still puzzled as to who commissioned it though? The Furniture Shop? The City Council? The Man Ladies themselves?
p.s. Have not come up with anything better for the audition so will be putting money in parking meter guy
This is a mystery.
I don’t think it would be inaccurate to describe her as a “lady of ill repute” so why she is adorning the outside of a seemingly normal furniture shop on the corner of Guzhnee and Marion Street is anyone’s guess. I am baffled.
And why is she levitating on one foot?
p.s. Was all set to go to my audition as Hot guy taking money out of money machine
until my sister observed I would have my back to the car and wouldn’t be able to give an internal or external response except maybe “whoops, I missed seeing the car”. (How are they going to get the internal response? Endoscopy? Not again...). I’ll have to think of something else.