Friday, August 29, 2008

I think I like this feedback?

Me: So, people see and experience things that they think are significant, and then they try to communicate these ideas to other people through poetry. The people they are communicating with may be separated by space, time, or even point of view.

*draws picture of man on bridge on whiteboard, with a thought bubble over his head saying 'beautiful'. Next panel is man writing poem. Third panel is spiky haired person reading poem.*

Me: So, what do you think this person is standing on?

Student 1: A hovercraft?

Me: Ooookay, so what are they looking at?

Student 2: A whale!
Student 3: An island!
Student 4: Bodies floating in the water!

Me: OK, so maybe he's looking at bodies in the water. He thinks they're beautiful...

Student 3: Oh, so he writes a poem to show other people how beautiful they were.

Me: Right. And maybe he's trying to persuade someone of a particular point of view. Maybe he's a hardcore racist, and he's admiring their pure white Aryan skin glistening in the water, and the guy reading it is a Maori punk in NZ.

Student 3: That's pretty ruthless.

Me: The Maori guy might not agree, of course.

Student 3: Riiight.

Me: And it's not just racists and people in the old days that write poetry. Emo kids and 15 year old boys whose girlfriends have just dumped them write poetry too.

Student 5: You don't hold back, do you mister?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who watches the Watchmen trailer?

Apparently I do when I should be marking.

I think I might want to see this when it comes out :-)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fastest hands in the west...

Dominic demonstrates his quickdraw technique using his guitar rattle:

I'm not sure he would have scored a bullseye with it, as his quickdraw method mostly involves rapidly shaking the rattle up and down. Maybe if his opponents were all clinging to the same ladder, one above the other?

Dominic is getting better at sitting unaided, although he still prefers to be on his tummy. He's also pulling himself up into crouching, kneeling and other weird yoga positions on Debbie and me. He doesn't seem interested in pulling up on furniture yet, just in trying to climb over us when we're sitting on the floor :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dom @ a party

Friday, August 15, 2008

Winston Peters: No opinion on suicide

According to Winston Peters' blog, he recently delivered a speech to a youth audience in which he quoted lyrics from "Suicide is Painless", the theme song to MASH.

There was a song attached to MASH and while I don’t agree with the chorus – I like some of the verses.

This was one of them:

“A brave man once requested me,
to answer questions that are key,
Is it to be or not be be
And I replied oh why ask me.”

I'm not convinced Peters had thought this one through. He's talking to a youth audience in a country with a high youth suicide rate. He's quoting a song called Suicide is Painless. He says he doesn't agree with the chorus, but that he does like a verse where Hamlet's big question - whether to kill himself or not -is dismissed with the reaction "Oh why ask me."

Does Peters really think that a positive response to the question of whether life is worth living is to shrug it off? Does he really not have an opinion he's willing to share with a youth audience on the question of whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?

Or did Peters perhaps miss the point of that rather famous allusion? Was he not familiar with Hamlet's view that it is cowardice and fear of the uinknown only that prevents us from committing suicide, when reason dictates that we ought to?

Whichever way I look at it, I can't see the logic behind choosing that particular song, or putting forth that verse as something he likes. The man is truly a mystery.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Silly silly internets

While searching for a list of pointless screen deaths, I came across the following:


Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Ultra-Condensed by Bryan Flynn

Antonio Banderas
They killed my woman and jacked up my hand. I will kill them for that.
(He meets Salma Hayek, and she is HOT. He kills people, and it is COOL.)

Antonio Banderas
No more killing. Unless there is a sequel.


And from

Marcus Absent
Steve Adore
Claire D. Aisle
Bess T. Ality
Marshal Arts
Dave Atonement
Robin Banks
Art Class
Frank Conversation
Lois Denominator
Eva Destruction
Duncan Disorderly
Juan Formababy

Surnames like Conversation, Denominator and Formababy are awesome.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

1 day late

8 month size photos!

Shopping and TV watching and video editing and...

I am enjoying the weekend. Weekends are all goods. I agree with Giffy that long weekends are even better, but a 2 day weekend is still plenty of awesome. I've done many fun things already this weekend, such as:

*Filled in (late) tax returns
*Went shopping and bought $2.50 long sleeve tees for the Dom. And books, and toys, and leggings (thermals)...
*Made a passable curry with some very nice chapatis (using a mix of wholemeal and standard flour)
*Started editing some video sequences for a colleague's play (with video bits). Most of the bits I've done so far are either one or two shots, so it hasn't been hard :-)
*Had a nap with Dominic, whilst listening to an audiobook of The Big Sleep
*Spent time with Debbie and Dom chilling and relaxing
*Watched 27 Dresses, an enjoyable by-the-numbers romcom, Meet the Spartans, a very silly parody with enough jokes that it's fun to watch even though only half the jokes are to my taste, and the Extras Christmas special which was very good
*Debbie and I tag teamed the kitchen, so it's looking quite clean again. I had kind of trashed it with my hurried dinner making last night :-)

Today we're planning on popping out to pick up a fruit-only chopping board (onion flavoured apple being less than ideal) and one or two other things, then coming home to enjoy a quiet afternoon with a visit from Steve and much relaxing.

Dominic has started pointing at things a lot. It's very cute - especially when he decides to point at my nose or eyeball. Cute until the nails dig in, that is!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Video for grandmothers

Not the most exciting video ever, but cute. The knocking sound is Dom kicking his legs against the footrest.

Carrot for dinner?

Dom's still waiting for more teeth, but he can do a pretty good job of chomping on things with the two he has. He didn't finish this carrot, but he gave it a good chewing and shaved a fair bit off the end. He particularly liked it on this day as, if signs like drooling and being a bit grumpy are to be believed, his gums were a little sore and it was fresh from the fridge :-)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Standing up is fun!

With a parent there to catch him if he starts to fall. Dom particularly loves standing up on the sofa, leaning against the back and looking out the window.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Lost Room & Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Debbie and I have had the pleasue of watching some excellent TV recently in the form of The Lost Room. It's a quirky 6 part Sci Fi Channel show about a cop who comes into possession of a motel key which, when used in any door, will open into a motel room in the 1960s. Once inside the room, he can then exit out of any door of his choosing. Objects from the motel room have been taken out into the real world, where they display odd magical properties.

It's an intriguing, well made show which strongly reminded me of Unknown Armies. At only 6 episodes in length it tells a satisfying and bizarre story which leaves a lot of questions unanswered. The sense of mystery that remains throughout the show is handled gracefully - we get a lot of surface answers, but the underlying mystery remains. I absolutely loved the role of the main character - a strongly motivated newcomer into a world of cults and cabals who is able to walk the fine line between target and ally to a number of groups.

Very good telly.

And then we watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which has leapt into position as one of my favourite films. Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer are both brilliant, and the script is a masterwork. It's wordy and quick-witted with some great lines and genius moments. I loved it to bits. Who knew peeing on a corspe could be so funny? It's a brilliant light-hearted modern hard-boiled detective film. I loved Robert Downey Jr's voiceover, with all its asides and backtracking and sarcasm. I pretty much loved all of it :-)