Saturday, December 10, 2011
Michael Myers or Michael Stipe? Sandy Bay Road, the Sandy Bay/ Battery Point border. December 2011.
The following poem is just about my favourite very short poem of all. Well, this one and Ezra Pound's The Temperaments. Now I want to know from anyone out there who actually reads poetry, what's your favourite very short poem?
Their Sex Life, A.R. Ammons
One failure on
Top of another
Friday, December 09, 2011
For the wretched one night is like a thousand; for someone faring well death is just one more night.
Sacred Ground? St David's Cathedral, Macquarie Street, Hobart. December 2011.
With the year rapidly coming to a close, I am currently sitting on 96 books read (not counting
The first book - History in Practice by Ludmilla Jordanova - is a bit of a deviation from this year’s usual reading list, but I ran out of library books and resorted to digging in the cupboard for something to read.
This is firmly in the ‘academic history’ camp, so will not be for everyone’s tastes. However, if you are a bit of a history buff you will surely find something worthwhile. Jordanova explores how the study of history has dramatically altered in recent decades. She does an able job at exploring what historians do, and in particular, why and how there have been such sweeping changes to the discipline.
I’d happily recommend it to anyone with an interest in the topic.
Second up today is Giovanni's Room, James Baldwin's second novel. Typically described as a “homosexual novel”, I think that the moniker “tragic love story” it is more apt. That said, the homosexual element is a critical part of the story.
Written in the 1950s, Baldwin’s honesty and frankness is to be applauded. I can only imagine the reaction at the time, indeed, Baldwin’s publisher advised him to “burn it” after he read it. The novel focuses on the events in the life of an American man living in Paris and his feelings and frustrations with his personal relationships. Despite an obvious physical attraction to other men, he remains (in part) in denial. The he meets an Italian bartender named Giovanni.
This is a beautiful book, and offers tender, naturalistic and complex representations of human relationships to the reader with empathy and artistry that doesn’t treat same sex desire as some kind of fundamentally different experience, perversion or aggressive political point. You may well think that such a novel then would not have as much resonance or currency today, but it is strikingly prescient in the context of the current gay marriage debate.
I can heartily recommend this book. It is refreshingly honest and should (hopefully) encourage you to reflect on your own life and relationships. I could not recommend it any more highly.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
We need to talk. Errol Flynn Reserve, Sandy Bay. November 2011.
Theme Thursday again and today we are casting our net to try and find an appropriate EVENT.
I considered penning an ode to the fellow who appears to have launched his own Occupy Mayfair Plaza Car Park Toilet protest (fair dinkum, he’s been in there for 45 minutes already), but I’m not sure that it really qualifies as an EVENT until the riot police move in with vicious dogs and capsicum spray).
In the past week or so we’ve had World AIDS Day, World Day of Persons with Disabilities and International Volunteers Day; and immediately looming are Human Rights Day and International Migrants Day. However, as we’re amongst friends we can be frank and admit that these thing lack the pizzazz, zing, zest and a host of other zed words that truly constitutes an EVENT.
The upcoming Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe has EVENT potential, but unless a rabid band of Guadalupens are planning to throw that virgin into a throbbingly angry volcano on live pay-per-view satellite telecast, the world just isn’t interested.
In a similar vein, today is Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which – you know – sounds great in theory, but has nothing to do with the ritual cannibalisation of holy babies that might actually make the six-o’clock news. December 17 offers Wright Brothers Day. I’ve yet to confirm it, but I strongly suspect that this will not involve the re-animated zombie corpses or Orville and Wilbur cage fighting in the University of Dayton Arena. If it doesn’t, consider it a scratching.
No, it seems that if we’re after an EVENT, we will have to dredge up that hoary old bloated concept Christmas. Do you know what I have to say to that?
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
When climbing on stuff, particularly metal stuff on hard rock stuff, it is best to show caution.
Our meat stuff, blood stuff and bone stuff doesn't bounce as much as some of us might like or need.
With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.
Looking south. The Derwent Estuary, as viewed from Rosny Hill. October 2011.
Watery Wednesday again and what an awful lot of water I have for you today. I took this photograph while precariously perched atop a rock at Rosny Lookout (a lookout with the view almost completely obscured by tight bunches of ugly shrubs). Looking south, you can see Taroona, Kingston and probably Blackmans Bay further down south.
Now, locals will tell you that this particular stretch of H²O is called the River Derwent, but I would argue that at this point the Derwent has ceased to be a river and would be more correctly referred to as the Derwent Estuary. Some have claimed that this estuary forms the the deepest sheltered harbour in the Southern Hemisphere, but I’ve been unable to confirm that even using the magic of the Internets.
Suffice to say, at this point the water is incredibly deep and unreasonably cold.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
At some point my children will tire of climbing through such objects again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.
Dienstag! That means another Q and A stolen from Sunday Stealing. Today we are ripping off a blogger and blog called BlueLifeMemories. Welcome to the Blue Memory Meme, Part One
1) If the whole world were listening to you right now, what would you say?
2) If you could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be?
Someone with some answers.
3) You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?
Take me to Prague.
4) What do you think about most?
I have a tendency to run whatever is on my mind through a whole bunch of lenses. Over and over and over again.
5) You have the opportunity to spend a romantic night with the music celebrity of your choice. Who would it be?
"Romantic"? At least it beats the usual "date" question. Oh I don't know. Someone fun. Maybe someone like Pink or Katy Perry. She could bring Elmo.
6) You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
Some stuff that happened that didn't need to happen.
7) What's your strangest talent?
The ability to recall seemingly random factoids at will, across multiple disciplines. I have yet to lose a game of Trivial Pursuit.
8) What would be a question you'd be afraid to tell the truth on?
It would very much depend on who is doing the asking.
9) Ever had a poem or song written about you?
I did have a mysterious fan who was leaving song lyrics up on school classroom blackboards and my name entwined way back in 1995. That's the closest that I am aware of.
10) When is the last time you played the air guitar?
On Sunday. The song? Saints by The Breeders. Top tune.
11) Do you have any strange phobias?
No phobias, just a few sensible fears.
12) What's your religion?
N/A. Never had a faith to speak of.
13) What is your current desktop picture?
It cycles through. Currently it is this.
14) When you are outside, what are you most likely doing?
Walking somewhere, with a book and a camera.
15) What's the last song you listened to?
That's Not My Name by the Ting Tings.
16) Simple but extremely complex. Favorite band?
Wilco. That was easy actually.
17) What was the last lie you told?
"Yeah, it looks great."
18) Do you believe in karma?
Not in the slightest. It seems that it is quite rare in this life for people to get what they deserve.
19) What is a saying you say a lot?
"Well, that's one way of looking at it..."
20) What is your greatest weakness; your greatest strength?
Weakness? Stubbornness. Strength? Willpower.
21) Who is your celebrity crush?
I'm not sure that I have one.
22) Give me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word: heart.
23) How do you vent your anger?
Ranting and raving.
24) Do you have a collection of anything?
I'm starting to get a pretty impressive collection of photographs of Henry and Ezra.
25) What is your favourite word?
Today I like Sanguinolent.
Monday, December 05, 2011
If you are ever in doubt as to whether to kiss a pretty girl, always give her the benefit of the doubt.
I'm thinking of harvesting his eyelashes to sell to one of those millionaire US reality TV people who are prepared to pay the big bucks to look like a star.
I reckon that might pay for a boat.
On the way to work. Kirksway Place, as seen from Sandy Bay Road. December 2011.
The Internet is a wonderful place filled with the rich and varied treasures of the world holds (and photos of awkward families looking awkward). The following are some things that I've had a look at in the last week. I call this: a Compendium of Click-throughs for Monday Morning...
Sunday, December 04, 2011
This is a pencil sharpener.
Fünfzig Bleistifte in 20 Sekunden.
Ein Paradigmenwechsel in der Zeichnung Technologie.
Boats, you say... No. I can't say we have any of those around here. Sandy Bay Yacht Club, Sandy Bay. November 2011.
Cripes! Not only is it Sunday already, 2011 is nearly finished! Sunday Top Five? Hmmmm... Let me think about it.
Okay, how about 'My Top Five (In No Particular Order) Shades Of Green!'?