Point & Click

Oooh, a few minutes of exposure to broadband at a hotspot and lookee what I gots for you:

This post-dated post – and possibly the next – is because the Mamea aiga are off to Melbourne for a week (yesss). Play nice now.


Point & Click

I managed to get the number of Unread posts down to less than 200 when I add a few new feeds – and phwappp as the Unread posts leap gaily to 315. Fine. I can keep up with my essential daily reading out of the way. If I don’t sleep.



dfmamea.com: Year One

Holy smoley – it’s a year already.

Plug-time because it’s important to give credit where it’s due. All praise to:

  • The Goddess who says nary a word when she catches me blogging instead of Writing;
  • The Webmistresse, whose redoubtable webskills made the site a reality;
  • you Readers, all five of you, for making my visitor stats look good, and providing the occasional but welcome break from the email- and comment-spam.

Jesus loves you.


The Actual Writing

I have no hard and fast way of writing. There is always a deadline to meet. Everything else depends. My general approach is as follows:

  • write at full speed in a glorious blaze of early enthusiasm;
  • run out of enthusiasm and squeeze out little gobbets of this and that;
  • hit a writing block and, in an attempt to be inspired, shoot anything that moves;
  • panic when iCal reminds me of looming deadline;
  • freak out wife and kids by working seventy-two-hours straight to deliver to deadline.

Hahaha, just kidding. (See also this writing process.) (Okay, maybe I did it a couple of times, and maybe The Goddess came down and pointed out what a health and safety hazard I was.)

But that’s pretty much how it goes.


Love is a Hot Clutch

A recent re-watching of Ronin may not have helped what I’m currently writing but it was inspiring nonetheless.

The Goddess gets places quicker than I do. It’s a fact of life that She’s a faster, more aggressive assertive and experienced driver than I. (I have the odd daydream that I can beat Her in an Auckland point-to-point race – except that sweet victory would be tempered with my vehicle being written off by race’s end.)

My driver education was pretty boring compared to The Goddess. I didn’t get my licence until I was in my twenties – I lived in central Wellington which has an integrated, efficient and reliable public transport (unlike, say, Auckland’s). Then my circumstances changed. I had driving lessons. I drove under supervision. And then I got my licence.

The Goddess’s driver education, in contrast, was not so much ‘how to control your vehicle’ but ‘how to wring the best performance and handling out of your car’. This was due to her Mini-Mad Uncle and her Speed-Demon Gran.

At age fifteen, she got behind the wheel of her uncle’s 1969 Mini 850 and was advised to put it in a ‘hard lock left’ and, once in gear, to plant her foot down on the accelerator. I will always envy her very first driving experience of doing what modern-day anti-boy-racer legislators refer to as ‘doughnuts’.

Her grandmother’s orange Austin 1100 was made available for on-road driving experience. The Goddess has never forgotten being confronted with a Big Yellow bus pulling out ahead of her and her gran telling her to “just put your foot down, dear”.

Yep. Hard to beat formative experiences like that.

We may be different in our approach – it’s her canny skills of vehicular control versus my cold application of speed and momentum – but we both enjoy driving.

I’d be lying if I said that The Goddess’s quicker driving doesn’t pinch some small, dark, obdurate corner of my male ego. But at least I know that if I want to get places double-quick and The Goddess is available, not only will there be no question who’ll be behind the wheel, I’ll arrive at my destination on time, fresh and unruffled.


‘S a Dog’s Life

Visitors to our abode have to be vetted by The Dog, a mongrel big of heart, if not stature. (There’s The Cat somewhere on the property as well, whom, should The Dog fail, be our insurgency force.)

Summer – summer-proper, rather than the summer-in-name-only we had earlier – has arrived. As I hunch over the keyboard in the study, The Dog roams the house and surrounds, cycling through: the kids’ rooms where she moults furiously; the lounge where various breezes meet and cool her down; and the deck where she slow-bakes herself.

Sometimes I look up from the inevitably blank screen and envy her simple Dog Life. Of course, it’s not that simple, really – she has her responsibilities: she protects both home and family from visitors, strangers and hedgehogs; she’s a great receptacle for dinner scraps; and she gets us out of the house for exercise or play.

Sure, The Dog needs regular exercise (or she’ll be overzealous in her protection of home and hearth [which is not good in Auckland]) and is a social animal through and through (it’s us owners who suffer separation anxiety when we leave her alone for more than a few hours). But when the children are at school and The Goddess is out doing Godly Work, it’s nice to have her around – panting in the heat, spread out on the floor for heat dissipation, or sitting and hoping that I’ve forgotten that I’ve already fed her.

Yeah. Good dog.


It’s a New Year, Blah-blah-blah

Having enjoyed Christmas day with family of choice (aah, nothing like the silly season to bring familypolitik to the fore), s(l)ee(p)ing in the New Year with a ten-ish bedtime on New Year’s Eve (the kids being with their other biological parents, The Goddess and I can do what we bloody well like, thank you), and relaxing on the days in between, it’s now time to gird the loins for work. Getting up early in the morning for a run and then some writing is quite a struggle, but it’s the only way to Get Things Done.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve rediscovered the joy of reading. I mean, I’ve always read – but I’m kinda devouring books, scripts and comics at the moment. And believe it or not – I’m reading non-fiction as well. Non-fiction! And enjoying it!

On the viewing front, The Goddess and I have settled on a viewing arrangement: the half of the rental DVDs I select on her behalf I safely watch with her, and the other half – yes, replete with wall-to-wall gratuitous action/tits-and-ass/profanity/narrative-black-holes/subtitles – I squeeze in during the day. It’s terrible, I tell you, working from home, having to find time to watch DVDs, but I manage it, by crikey, I do.


Mmm. Guns.

Show me a gun and I can reel off its specs without once squinting at the slide or housing. Hand it to me – and after I’ve ensured its safety is on and the chamber’s empty, its business end pointed at my foot the ground the whole time – and I’ll list any number of films and tv shows it’s been used in.

I like guns.

The Goddess – who Knows These Things – could very probably trace my fascination with weapons of destruction to my Y-chromosome, my television addiction (one of my earliest memories are SWAT and Starsky and Hutch), and my all-too-male predilection for all and every thing phallic and destructive.

She’s probably right.

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend as I get older though. No longer is it funny for a character to wave a pistol around in blithe ignorance. Nowadays, I actually appreciate a denouement where the villain’s life isn’t taken with a bullet. And most disturbing of all, I find myself flinching at set-pieces which only a decade – even a half-decade – ago I would have revelled in each round’s subsonic track through the air, each squib’s slo-mo explosion… a symphony of stylised, choreographed violence on flesh.

It wasn’t Peckinpah’s blood-sodden Wild Bunch or even Mann’s bullet-ridden Heat that was the turning point for this action junkie. It was a 1986 telemovie: In the Line of Duty: The FBI Murders. It was a typical procedural based on a true story: a couple of guys get a taste for armed robbery, the local law enforcement begin tracking them, and the inevitable showdown ensues.

It was the showdown that left me horrified – a real-time set-piece, faithful to the FBI reconstruction of the actual bloodbath. No whizz-bang cutting between the shooters. No slo-mo heroics with rousing music. Just people killing people. Very messily.

I’ve listened to gun-nuts and veterans espouse their philosophies. I’ve shot some pistols at some very obliging pistol clubs. The Goddess is ‘why have guns at all’ while I’m ‘guns don’t kill people – people kill people’.

I like guns. But only on screen and/or under strict supervision.