31 December 2011

And Him Whyyyyyy...

Restoring order to the homestead following last night's debauchery, I tuned in some soft jazz and left the television displaying some random channel, background company, like childhood.

My attention was snapped to the screen by the opening credits of Gilligan's Island.  Purposefully, I tried to shed the pallor of cynicism cast by  age and experience and taste, once more, the naive simplicity of spirit that once allowed me to enjoy this show - every afternoon.  I wanted not to think of the hokiness borne of perspective, but to recapture the innocence of expectations that I had...what was it now, 40 years ago?  I wanted to really *remember* what it felt like to be eating a bologna and miracle whip sandwich between soft white bread from atop a paper plate made greasy with the delicious saltiness of Cain's Potato Chips under the cool air-conditioning of my Grandma's house in summer on Sandralee Drive.

If I had given in to that cynicism, I might be inclined to write about the low level of standards for humor in the late 60's, or to wax mournful over the current status of the various minor celebrities that once worked so diligently to bring me such appreciated entertainment...or I might just roll my eyes and change the channel...surely Love Boat or M*A*S*H is on...

But then, to the back drop of smooth piano sounds, some Svengali character with a neurotic monkey rows ashore and begins hypnotizing the various members of one of my many TV families, and then there is Ginger, looking fabulous in a leopard print bathing suit...and making me think of just how beautiful My Mom was to me then and still is now!

09 November 2011

3 weeks, 6 cities, 11 flights, and 150 beers

It is my plan to write up a nice tidy summary of my vacation, to thank and acknowledge everyone who took the time to visit with us on our whirlwind trip around the US - but I doubt I will be able to do it.  Everytime I try to put words to my emotions, my chest contracts and I begin sobbing.  I'd like to blame it on exhaustion, having averaged 4-5 hours a night of sleep for the last three taco-filled weeks, but I suspect my emotional landscape is far more complicated than that.  I am a jumbled mess of joy, of longing, of pride and of confusion.  It is pure wishfulness on my part to imagine that I can compartmentalize these feelings by wrapping them in witty complete sentences.

However, at present moment, two profound observations have bubbled up through the black tar soup of my recent visitations.  Already, their pungent odiferousness is wafting away on the winds of ordinary life.  I breathe deeply, gasping to keep the memory of the feelings in my nostrils, as if I can preserve time by mere olfaction.

1)  It is a remarkable privilege to spend time with the various generations of one's family.

Being rather firmly entrenched in the middle of life (give or take a decade depending on the graces of  health and circumstance), I have the fortunate perspective to look back on youth and forward to advancing age.  Visiting with parents, grandparents and aunts is like looking through a window into my own future.  Not the rosy imagined future of immortality and endless possibility, but of the real future of losing strength and independence, of becoming sidelined for being slow and cumbersome and possibly ornery.  Visiting with siblings, cousins, and nephews is a window to my own past.  Not the fairy-tale past of knowing that I was god-like in my understanding of the world and my place in it, but of the nightmare truth of how little I really knew then, and worse - of how much less I know now.  I'd like to think that I can apply this insight in some meaningful way to my present life - that I can use it to make better choices, better decisions, but I am crushed by the realization of just how much about life I will never really comprehend.

2) I am homeless.

There are moments when I feel that every place I have ever lived is still 'home', but this time no place that we visited conjured up feelings of enduring security.  More than ever, I was keenly aware of just how transient a life on earth really is.  Driving by past residences did not invoke any sense of belonging - quite the opposite.  More than anything, I wanted to belong to the road again.  I could be perfectly content to continue living out of my suitcase, cruising indefinitely from couch to couch, hotel to hotel visiting friends and family, bouncing from party to party and dinner to dinner.   I feel more displaced than I ever have, and the thought of returning to Adelaide is even worse.  Of all the places I call home, I still feel like a complete outsider there.
 So, dear readers, that is all the wordplay I can allot to my ephemeral epiphanies.  Reality is swiftly calling me to heed the demands of bills, emails, unpaid parking violations and a very hungry bad kitty - those banal activities that deplete my curiosity and leave my vocabulary stranded on the bleak shores of indifference.  Lest you think my whole vacation was steeped in melancholy (which it most certainly was not), I refer you to my Facebook Photo Journal - which features smile upon smile upon smile...but right now, even looking at those pictures makes me want to cry.

08 October 2011


Poor Mario. All he wanted was a bit of happy companionship on his birthday. And for awhile, he found it with the chatty American couple.

Mario splashed into his seat, having invited himself to our table, and our cigarettes. His right eye was purple and swollen, his ears resembled cauliflowers, and his knuckles bore thick calluses. His quick and easy smile revealed a mouth full of small yellow chiclets dispersed spatiously, if not randomly, along his gum line. His complexion was dark, but his accent was all ochre.

"Todays is me birfday, but me misses wouldn't come out drinkin' wif me. I am a member, down at The Stag. See, here's me membership card. Here, you hold onto that for me. I get us some free drinks down at The Stag, cuz I'm a member. Where's is youse guys from anyways? Youse from America?! For reals?! Hey, can you say this for me 'Welcome to this presentation of the NBA on ESPN!' Do you know LeBron Johnson?"

Yeah, I met LeBron once, when he came over to my house to unclog my toilet. They don't get much money, so all those NBA guys have regular jobs in the off season. And they all wear women's knickers, too.

"For reals?! Yeah, I can understand that. That's why me Mum came here from El Salvador. To give me a chance at a better life."

And are you taking advantage of that?

"Hehehhehhehheeheeh! I like youse guys. Let's go downto the Stag. I get free birfday drinks, cuz I'm like a member. They all know me there. I am there all the time. I'm like a VIP. Hey, can yuse say this for me 'Welcome to this presentation of the NBA on ESPN!'"

He smiled his stunted smile, and it seemed a very natural thing to do, to go down to the Stag with him, get some free VIP drinks, but it all went so bad so very quickly, what with the raised voice, demands to see the manager, denials of recognition, no sir, I do not know you, you need to show the text message we sent you. Come back when your phone is charged, and then arguments about the content of their computer and isn't my birfday in your system.

Kevin and I began backing away towards the door. We eased onto the sidewalk and exchanged glances.


We sprinted across the street and ducked down into driveway that ended in a deadend alley, contemplated ducking into an open door at the back of a restaurant, but decided we had been quick and stealthy. We leaned against a brick wall, catching our breath and wondering if we had ever been ditched like that and been too drunk to notice. Mario strolled casually around the corner.

"What is youse guys doing back here? I was gettin' us me free birfday drinks and den youse was runnin' down the street. And now heres you is, in dis alley."

He stepped behind the dumpster to piss. Kevin and I exchanged glances.


06 August 2011

The Skin of a Dying Man

"What have you done?"

"I woke up mad at my hair."

"I see. What's with the widow's peak?"

"I thought it would make me look like those bad ass motherfuckers in that show last night."

"You look like a mental patient."

"Will you tidy up the back for me?"

"Yes. Thank God you didn't wake up mad at your eyebrows."

30 July 2011

My Day Out

Took myself out for a drive today.  Just couldn't be cooped up inside while spring is beginning to unfold, so I turned up MaGill and took to the the hills, up into Lenswood, formerly known as Gary's Flat, but renamed after a WWI battle.  Gary's Flat made more sense.  

There were mysterious symbols at the entrance to the roadside park.  'No raising fistfulls of foliage' and 'eucalyptus trees here'...need to know information.

I followed a path over a talkative creek, into a soggy clearing, intermittent sun showers beckoned me deeper into the woods.  I sat on a log and waited for the birds to forget I was there and go about their business of squawking and swooping.

I followed green twisty roads through the hills, taking unplanned turns and obeying random signs, a strategy that lead me inevitably to a winery.  The tasting room had a roaring fire and bubbling pot of pulled pork.  The vintner lonely in the winter lull, happy to talk.  And talk.  And talk.

A simple lunch at the Lobethal Bakery in Woodside - cheese Kransky wrapped in puff pastry and a cappuccino.  A disappointing chocolate doughnut for desert made it easy to justify a detour to Melba's Chocolate Factory.  Big Chocolate smokestacks:

For the chocolate cauldrons:

Didn't need justification to walk next door to the Cheese Cellar Door.  The lemon-myrtle chevre was divine, but the mature blue vein goats cheese left me burping clouds of ammonia.

No reason to skip the next destination on the Okaparinga Scenic Drive, the toy factory in Gumeracha housed beneath a giant rocking horse.  It smelled salt and fried food - fully licensed cafe.  Dad needs a drink now that the kids are all sugared up from Melba's.  Take them for a walk through the petting zoo, filled with incredibly fat ducks and kangaroos. 

"No dear, I don't think those are kangaroos." 

"Oh, are them some of those wobballies, then?"


In Birdwood, passed a butcher selling 'country killed' meat.  Browsed through an antique store in.  Mt. Torrens.  Mt?  Funny.  Should have asked about the price of two giant animal horns, but became mesmerized by a box of old photographs.  Black and white stills, portraits, weddings, vacations, school assemblies - who is the boy growing up year by year in these pictures?  $4 each.  I want to save these photos from obscurity.  Buy them all and weave a story around them - some of the pictures are so faded, soon they will be gone.  A slow fade from history.

Where will MY memories end up?  No one to caretake my past.  Even in families, you're only three generations away from total anonymity - unless you started a war or wrote a symphony.  Will tomorrow's antique shops be filled with hard drives?

22 July 2011

Just Say Yes

I didn’t have many delusions when I signed up for this job.  I pretty well knew what I was getting into, what the challenges would be for me, both personally and professionally.  However, one aspect caught me completely unawares.  I was not all prepared for the penetrating loneliness of this job.

It seems contrary to claim to be lonely, when I spend my entire day interacting with dozens of people.  But customers are not colleagues.  By definition, the relationship is mildly adversarial at best (and at times, downright hostile).  There are no chatty Monday morning teas discussing weekend activities, no long Friday lunches at the pub bragging about vacation plans.  My jokes are out of place and unappreciated.  If I get frustrated, I can’t just turn my chair for an impromptu bitch-session to let it all out.  The whole point of the sales process is to get customers talking about their needs, their frustrations, their desires.  I hardly ever get to talk about my specialty subject: ME.

But there is one saving grace that keeps me from descending into total despair.  Every three months, I am treated to an intense week crammed with camaraderie, complaints, conviviality, and the consumption of huge amounts of alcohol. I don’t think I could survive this job if it were not for quarterly sales meetings.

Sure, they are not all fun-and-games.  There are endless hours of PowerPoint Presentations filled with incomprehensible graphs and charts meant to instil in me some broad understanding of the business – hardly relevant in the midst of a discussion about the relative merits of LNA modification of siRNA analogues.  There are painful pitches from the marketing department detailing what they believe customers need – they always seem to be 3 months behind.  And, there are peculiar pep-talks from upper management containing a curious blend of praise and beratement.

Last week, our Q3 meeting was attended by one of the bigger managerial mucky-mucks in the Asia-Pacific region.  It was rather refreshing to hear his input and feedback on our processes, however irrelevant or impractical.  He challenged us with a relatively simple task: when any of us are asked to do something, resist the natural human instinct to resist and simply say YES.  This resonated for me personally, enough to speak up and voice my agreement and my encouragement that we fully embrace this simple guiding principle.

But that was before I knew I was going to be asked to play golf.

I had seriously hoped that I could make it through life without having ever held a golf club (I also hope to never see Dirty Dancing – so far so good on that one), but after piping up with my resounding endorsement for acquiescence, I could hardly refuse.  And I must admit, that in spite of best efforts to hate it, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

My pleasure had far less to do with any thrill I may have received from the satisfying PING of ball connecting with club - followed closely by POP of ball connecting with tree and the PLOP of ball connecting with pond.  Without a doubt, the experience was made more delightful by the presence of kangaroos bouncing across the fairways, magpies swooping in and out of shots, and kookaburras laughing at my putting skills.  But the unadulterated joy of the morning arose entirely from being allowed to spend a few hours with my co-workers in a non-work related activity joking, teasing, and giggling. 

I don’t think I realized, until just this very moment, how important it is to have friends in my daily life.

Damn, I miss you all.

13 July 2011

Dear Editor,

I generally strive to protect myself from indignation, and considering the wealth of atrocities and social infractions in today’s world, I cannot comprehend why this particular incident has prompted me to put pen to paper, but the sheer ridiculousness has simply gotten under my skin.

In the lobby of the IMVS – a government facility - a flat panel television has recently been installed that does nothing more than display a bar graph illustrating the monthly water consumption of the main facility to all visitors.  The screen is captioned with the catchy slogan “We’re not just committed, we do more…”

I would really appreciate an explanation as to why, against the backdrop of global warming and cuts to government services, tax-payer money has been spent  on such a preposterous display of irrelevant information.  How will this information impact any decisions being made by visitors to the IMVS?  Why are government funds being spent on useless propaganda?  Who was the mastermind that was able to justify the allocation of resources to such an endeavour while employees are losing their positions? And how did the facility manage to function entirely without water through out the month of February?

“We’re not just committed”.  Indeed, *someone* should be committed…to a mental ward.

Audra McKinzie
Disgruntled Citizen

12 June 2011

da Funk

I've been waking up feeling sad and gloomy lately.  I can't quite pinpoint the reason, but I find myself reflecting on my life and wondering about the future.  Increasingly, I am coming to the realization that I will never 'discover' my true calling.  I've been living under the delusion that one day, I will will take some turn on my life path and will suddenly and completely become infused with tremendous energy and passion....that I will find THE 'thing' that makes me devote myself without reservation to some endeavor, enriching my both my soul and the future of mankind.  Now such fantasy seems as foolish as being rescued by Prince Charming.

If anything, my passion is dwindling - although there is the distinct possibility that it is being sucked out of me, but I'll explore that another day.  I can't seem to muster much enthusiasm for any activity at the moment.  I am dragging myself through the motions of daily life, faking it when required.  I just can't be arsed about anything right now.

And speaking of arsed:

There just isn't enough frivolity or silliness in my life right now.  It's not that everything is serious or dire, but there isn't any sizzle either.  What happened to my 'happy go lucky' attitude?  When did I stop singing?  Where did I put my weird? 

I perked up a bit later when we strolled through a salvage shop filled with life-sized statues of pirates, Indians, celebrities and animals.  I determined I would indulge myself with the purchase of any weird and useless item that caught my fancy.  An Egyptian sarcophagus?  A giant shark head to plant in the front yard? A zulu midget holding a menu board, perhaps?

Unfortunately, I was disappointed that all the seemingly cool old statues, were merely plastic replicas.  Although, I was quite attracted to the life-sized animatronic tyrannosaurus rex, I decided that my self-indulgent wallowing was not quite worth $25,000.  However, $895 for Barak Obama seemed a bargain...but I'd hate to take him away from his current position.

So I decided to come home, make chili, and weep quietly while watching The Aristocats on TV...sigh.

14 May 2011

Sunday Snap Shot

The morning is cool but still beneath pearl grey skies.  I hop on my bike and coast down to the river, lifting my head to fill  my nose with the crisp rush of birdsong.  Crested pigeons skitter and coo "woo-oot' in the leaves beside the trail, peep, peep, peeping as they fly away.  Dusky moor hens splash out of the thick reeds into the black tea of the Torrens.  Across the river, a wattle bird makes a hideous noise, and I stifle the urge to make unkind anthropomorphic comparisons.

I zip past the zoo and it smells of green hay and exotic urine.  Where the river gradually widens into the lake, I pause to watch a pair of black swans glide past, chatting softly to each other.  I am confused.  The conversation of two joggers momentarily overlays my observations.  The first swan asks,

"So how have you structured your retirement portfolio?"

"I'm heavily vested in dividend paying annuities and index funds."

"Do you have income protection in case you become disabled?"

"No, but if we swim up to this lady squatting next to the water, she might give us some bread."

I pedal into the city.  Of course, there is a festival being set up in the park.  Volunteers in blue shirts scurry through a maze of white plastic chairs and tents.  The Million Paws Walk...this place is going to be shit bark central in a few hours.  I make a note not to return this afternoon.

I pause again at the spillway and watch a flotilla of pelicans drift away.  Flycatchers zig and zag  tirelessly above the water then dive into their mud nests beneath the dam.  I wonder how many flies a human would have to eat each day to live?  I think that Australia has enough to feed the entire population.

The city noises are more distinct in the quiet of the morning, their outlines unblurred by din of daytime.  The squeal of train wheels on a curve, the roar of a jet coming in low over the cricket ground, the echo of the bells of the cathedral off the tall buildings flanking the river bank.  I follow the bells and briefly toy with the idea of going to mass, but they stop ringing as soon as I get there, so I take that as a sign.

Instead, I try to count the cockatoos that are riotously vying for a spot on the tallest spire and watch the parishioners filing into the building.  They are mostly old, but all are hunched over.  The cumulative weight of a life time of guilt and piety has bent their spines...or maybe the weight of the life is the reason they find solace in the musty hollows of a large stone building.  Through the doors, I can see the gold altar glittering, the priest in red trimmed bright white robes waving the gang signs of the Lord to his flock of peeps.  I decide the cockatoos are having far more fun, their yellow crests lifted in comical expressions of defiance.

My fingers are going numb, so I decide to head home, but I become mesmerized by a magic leaf and stop to run my battery down as a bunch of magpies chime like wood winds around me.

The house is warm and smells of last night's dinner.  I debate whether or not to share my mundane narrative of the morning.  Although pleasant and filled with sensory delights, it has not revealed any profound philosophical positions or conspicuously comical conclusions...But maybe sharing the ordinary moments of life is more valuable anyway...although not as valuable as a good disability insurance policy.


07 May 2011


"Well the way I think of it is that the love I have for my homeland is like the love I have for my mother...But the love I have for Australia is like the love I have for my bride."
                                             -Some Pomme Bastard

Today Kevin and I married Australia.

After several grueling weeks of filling out forms, photocopying documents, and collecting signatures from recognized authorities - Oh, and sending checks to mysterious offices - we completed our application for Australian Citizenship.  Last week, we sat 'the exam' - a 20 question quiz that proves your qualifications to assimilate into this country by demonstrating your knowledge of social customs, parliamentary structure, and obscure cricket facts such as '1. a) What is the record for most consecutive centuries scored in a single test match? b) Who holds the record?  c) How many balls did he face in his career?'

We passed the exam with flying colo(u)rs and returned to the immigration office for 'the ceremony'.  Along with a dozen other inductees, we were ushered into a small room and handed a pledge card, a copy of the National Anthem, and a small yet highly waveable Australian flag.  Before we took the pledge, we were required to watch a syrupy short film of recent immigrant testimonials about what becoming an Australian citizen means to them (see above).  It was, of course, quite emotional and I managed to choke back the tears until they showed a clip of an old man lawn bowling.  The ability to participate fully, without reservations or feelings of alienation, in the remarkably unathletic sport of lawn bowling is a privilege of citizenship I have previously underestimated.

The pledge cards came in two versions.  Group 1 stood up and recited their pledge, followed by the much smaller Group 2.  I don't recall checking the box on the application, but I was relieved to find myself liberated from the obligation of declaring my loyalty 'under God' and not at all dismayed to know that I am now on the national list of registered atheists.

Had I known I would be required to sing Australia Fair out loud in a small room full of multicolored strangers, I may have opted to forgo the whole ordeal, but there was no backing out now.  Is there a UN requirement that all national anthems contain one entirely unachievable musical note?   At least we were only required to sing the first verse, because in truth, very few native born Australians know the second, and the the third verse was officially dropped several years ago.  Thank God.  I was surprised that I actually knew the melody...It really is a crap song.  Girt by sea, indeed!  Tie Me Kangaroo Down would be a better choice - more suited to drunken rejoicing.

My first order of business as an Australian Citizen was to go to the toilet.  I nodded a mute recognition to the young blond girl emerging from the stall, she having been among the recently pledged.  However, I was compelled to break my silent musings as I unbuttoned my pants:

"Don't you want your flag?"

"Yeah, not really.  I mean, it's not like I'm going to hang it on the wall in my room or anything.  I mean seriously."

"Well, you could attach it to your car antenna on Australia Day, or at the very least, stick it in a shoe box and look at it again when you are 80."

"Yeah, I guess I could do that."

Exiting the stall upon the completeion of my first official duty, I handed the flag back to her.  

"I really don't care what you do with it, but as a proud member of society, I would be remiss if I allowed you to leave it lying on the dirty floor of a public loo."  I somehow managed to not add the word 'twat' to the end of the sentence.

So I am now a dual citizen - which fundamentally means that I am required to participate in the Australian democratic process and I can legally go to Cuba.  I was delightfully surprised at how well Australians receive the news, despite their highly publicized xenophobia.  They are quite welcoming and proud that I have made this commitment.  There is no sense of loss or threat on their part - an attitude not uncommon towards immigrants in the US...but then, I am white and speak English reasonably good.  (Don't.  It is meant to be a joke.)  It all happened so quickly, that I have barely had time to gauge the gravity of the decision I have just made, but I am curious to see if and how it impacts my feelings of belonging and integration, to see if I will begin to feel less like a foreign observer and more like a genuine participant.  I am already considering running for local office.

 But first, I gotta go buy some lawn bowls.

03 March 2011

Flash Backs

When I was...oh about 10 or 11 years old...there appeared within my kitchen a dark-haired infant and a framed photograph of Moamar Qaddafi...I do not mean to imply a connection, but as a curious young "lady", I questioned the arrival of each.  The child I understood as being the consequence of a loving relationship - the portrait was evidently, an accident. 

Around about that time, I also recall assuming an alternate persona that had - until this evening - remained a bit of a mystery even to myself.  I distinctly remember donning one of my sister's diapers beneath my visor and a pair of mirrored lenses - unquestionably feeling as if I was wearing the headdress of petrochemical royalty - and wandering the neighborhood in roller skates with Linda Edholm speaking exclusively in an imaginary language filled with too many harsh consonants and squiggly vowels.

Around about that time, I had also perfected the art of the prank phone call - my favorite gag being to pretend that I was a foreigner with a large sum of money to distribute to obliging prostitutes, but with no means of retrieving the funds from my bank account (was I ahead of the times or what?!)  Desperately I would plead for assistance, and when asked for my  name, I would say "Ben Gay-Z".

When written phonetically - the way I pronounced it - it appeared to be the signature of an aging rap star - but only today did I realize that it is the name of a city in Libya. 

Now, I am both delighted and horrified to discover that at age 10, I knew something I no longer remember.  Was I smarter then?  Or just a smart ass, a everyone in my family constantly informed me? How magical is the human hippocampus that it can stash away little tidbits like mis-pronounced names (or lyrics, on occasion) for the sole purpose of delighting you in your declining years, when sitting on the couch watching the evening news is more satisfying than toying with some old lady who is ever so concerned that you forgot where you parked you limousine filled with cocaine and hundred dollar bills?

Hang on...I must go answer the phone...

Hello?  Colonel Who??  Why, of course I can give you my credit card number and address...

22 January 2011

Like Flies

There is an unspoken ediquette that no one is to speak ill of the dead...but...Craig just might be one of the most miserable bastards I have ever known.
But then, I have never been one to discard broken people.  Life is hard.  For everyone.  And despite his faults, his enduring bitterness, his constant dissatisfaction with his personal choices and/or his destiny, I still considered him a friend.  And I am sad to hear that he lost his battle with brain cancer...and regret that our last conversation was an arguement over whether it could have been cured with antibiotics.

So today, Kevin and I raise a toast to him and randomly draw on the best of times, such as they were...

On the way to Baja, the antenna of his Bronco miraculously gutted a pigeon, careening it into a bloody spiral that streamed across the windshield of our truck and splattered the front of our 5th wheel trailer.  I appreciate, that to most normal people, that might seem a wretched event, but to my own warped mind, it was an amazing confluence of physiscs and biology.  Be grateful I do not have pictures.

Later that night, Kevin chased Craig down the beach with a splitting maul...oh what laughs we had!  Especially when He and Kevin and Robert narrowly escaped self combustion by diving behind a stray sofa lounge after lighting off bottle rockets capable of dismantling small midle-eastern villages.

In the interest of decorum, and because I do not have photgraphic evidence, I should probably not describe the image of his freshly shaven member smashed upon the rear window of our truck as we drove from San Felipe to Puertocitos...but it is a captured moment that, to this day, makes me split my sides laughing, and I wouldn't hesitate to rush into a burning building to retrieve that picture! (though it is eternally etched upon my retinas)

Curiously, Craig planted the first seed that grew into our current adventures.  Late nights spent drinking cases (and cases) of Bud Light in our garage, Craig described to Kevin the wonders of Australia.  Like a weed, those visions took root and refused to wilt, and here we are...

So I choose to treasure the meories:

And this one:

And to treasure the people he left behind, who I still love very much:

But mostly, I will think of him like this:

RIP Craig.  I hope you find the joy in the next world you never quite found in this one.

03 January 2011

The Commission

My sister is an artist who works in yarn.  In a moment of alcohol fueled inspiration, I asked her to knit me an octopus hat.  She asked me to send some pictures for modeling purposes.  Today, I had a great time scouring the web for octopus images.  Here are my results:

When I put it on, I want it to make me feel like this:

Or possibly like this, except I don't want it to be picking my nose:

Or possibly like this (only without the bong):

I am rather fond of the sailor hat:

This is a little too aggressive:

If it looked like this, I might run into problems from seagulls flying overhead:

As far as overall shape, this is getting closer and I like the tentacles, although this picture causes me great consternation:

It should definitely have a big floppy back part, like a rastafarian cap:

How odd, this octopus looks like SHE is wearing a rastafarian hat:

This is a little too dainty and sits too high on her forehead - or maybe she just has a gigantic forehead.  The tentacles should be a little twistier, almost like spirals:

If you opt for a whimsical look, I love the expression on this guy's face:

If you lean towards something less cartoonish. I like colors suggestive of this handsome bloke:


I hope that helps to illustrate my drunken vision. 

And not to confuse you - I really don't want it to look anything, and I mean ANYTHING even remotely suggestive of this, but I just couldn't resist including a picture of Octopus Man: