I have decided that photographic portaiture is one of my favourite things. Mum and I went to the National Portrait Gallery in London after Christmas, where there is a fantastic collection. We skipped the oils of royalty and the 17th century and went straight to the saturated stylin' of the photographs.
I was browsing Flickr profiles, as I seem to do a bit these days, when I jumped out of Flickr to the photo portfolio of Heather Champ. She takes lovely pictures.
I often read "About" when I visit a website I like, and Heather's told me she used to use a Lomo LC-A camera. I visited Lomography.com and found this excellent thing -- a world browser with pics.
Here's the absolutely-fantastic-that-I-miss-especially-coffee-at-Lucia's Central Market in Adelaide, by safetyman. (I can't link to the page directly for you i'm afraid...)
I want to be a photographer when I grow up.
This will last about 2 seconds. Then ladies will wonder where they can throw these without anyone seeing.
I have an old sentimental silver ring that I love. I dreamt that I was looking for it, amongst a collection of three.
There was one which was definitely not mine; blackened slightly, and too big. I focussed in on another in particular, and examined it's patina, looking for the familiar dents and scratches -- I know the topography of my ring very well.
This one ring, which could have been mine, had deeper cuts and harsher markings. I thought it was my sister's.
I never did find mine, or I woke up. Not sure which.
I recently hooked up some stats to my blog. On of the things it shows me referring URLS, that is, websites which point to me.
If you google ayn rand jesus christ symbol, up pops KewlChops like a shiny new penny at number 10 on the list. I appear to be nestled cosily amongst Ayn Rand: A Nuisance and Satanism FAQ. I'm guessing it's a mish-mash of a couple of previous entries: 100% Epicurean and The Flag Prayer.
You really do have to love the web.
There were some ladies who protested again W by taking off their pants, and bearing signs which read "Bush Against Bush".
Now, rather than weigh in with opinion, i'll just add a link to the transcript of Bush's announcement that he'd like to arrange a constitutional amendment making the only legal recognised marriage between one man and one woman, for decency's sake.
Well, it's Festival and Fringe time in Adelaide again, and i've been hearing tidbits about all the great stuff happening there. It's a fantastic time to be in Adelaide, the streets literally breathe art, and everyone seems very happy to take a big gulp. And don't forget to go and see my dear friend Sophie Hann's solo exhibition at the Ausdance theatre!!
I am interested in ilikefrank, a game that's been developed by Blast Theory and the Mixed Reality Lab from the UK.
I am impressed from afar that the SA government established the Thinkers in Residence program, where Blast Theory are currently the visiting members. Adelaide is peculiar like that I believe... innovative? Well, yes! The fantastic Festival of Ideas is also a highlight on the cerebral calendar.
Damn! It's a good time to be there.
I have developed an Amazon habit. But, luckily for me, my habit has allowed me to purchase lovely things like Allegri's Miserere -- you probably know it... it's the one where the boy soprano sings VERY HIGH. The CD from Choir of King's College also has the sublime Palestrina Stabat Mater.
I have a copy of this back home in a box somewhere, which I had forgotten... it's just so nice I think two copies is just fine.
Committed, security-oriented and affectionate... At peace, easy-going and accommodating (Types 6 & 9).
I have been hassled a little by some for taking all these tests, and having an interest in astrology and horoscopes and things, which made me wonder to myself why I have been doing it.
I (like to) think it's because i'm now in my 30s, and must therefore begin the quest to understand myself... and who I truly am. (Here's a bit more on E.S.T.P. - Extroverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving)
Plus, it's always nice to have someone (or something) else tell you who you are. Otherwise all the introspective why-am-i-like-this crap could get a bit tiring. It would be nice if I could take a test to explain why I feel a bit panicky and sad today.
It's a lovely fine day today. It looks like it should be a mild 25'C out there, but once you're outside you realise it's still chilly. I knew i'd need a couple of layers for a walk.
Last week I wrote about feeling like spring was about to be sprunging. I felt I needed to be outside in it, perhaps even take a little trip to somewhere beautiful... so as a happy compromise for the time being, I took a walk in the Washington Arboretum this morning.
As the sound of the traffic along Lake Washington Boulevard died down, the chatting of the birds who live there took over. Everyone must wonder what birds are saying to each other, mustn't they? It seems complex enough to be interesting... "Look at that cloth-eared bint!"... "I met a new neighbour from the south yesterday".... "I had the best damn hoagie i've ever eaten last night!"
These Pacific-Northwesters have some lovely indigenous flora... like the rhododendron (some of which were just beginning to bloom in the arboretum). I also saw for the first time the Hamamelis Mollis.
I was happily ensconsed in the camellia section when a couple wandering with their very young labrador puppy companion approached. The pup bounded up to me for a sniff and a kiss, and of course, how could I refuse such an unconditional offer? I like to think that both of us parted company with smiles on our faces.
Have you got your labrador yet?
Mum... dad... there's something I need to tell you. I'm too nervous to call you about this... it's big stuff.
I went bowling last night with 6 other ladies, and I got a TURKEY on my final round in the second game!!! That's three strikes in a row-o-la! And I wasn't out! I was in! And I narrowly escaped defeat by both Sandy and nice American lady!
Jen followed up in the kiddie lane with a giblet.
I never really knew what people were saying when they referred to themselves as EFTP or IMTJ. Now, I can contribute if i'm at a large, loud party, even if i'm enjoying some rational introspection.
Yay! I've just hooked into All Consuming, released by Erik, who seems to be a true bibliophile. This allows me to manage a list of the books I am reading, and have read, and display them here for you.
Thanks to Flickr's public API, Erik has also constructed Connectr, a web service, external to Flickr, which allows me to see what my contacts within Flickr are reading.
It's running a weeny bit slow at the moment, but i'm sure that will improve.
This is great stuff!
That wonderful, heartwarming, aaaaahhh, favourite season of mine is trying hard to be upon us.
I saw spring last year in Chicago, where the abundance of daffodils around the University was a lovely sight to see. Here in Seattle, the sound of birds chatting to each other, and the big buds on every tree, and the occasional glimpse of sun bursting through the clouds fills me with the need to stop and take a deep breath.
Yes, it is corny to say, but the promise of all this new life, and warmth, and colour is something which I hold particularly dear. So, I wait out the rainy Seattle days, knowing that the season is inevitable.
And i've been keeping an eye on those roses I pruned at nice American lady's. Even though she was a bit shocked by the severity of their trim, they are doing fine, and the maroon growth is popping out in all the right places.
Roll on spring.
Yesterday I managed to get some reception on the TV at the place i'm staying. I don't have cable, which incidentally I think is a good thing, so it was a matter of fiddling gently with the cord which goes from the outside into the video until there was less static and a bit of colour in the picture.
I discovered KCTS has an afternoon of cooking shows, where I discovered Suppe de Pesce, as demonstrated by Lidia. It was a glorious dish, and I particularly liked the way she flavoured beans to add - she cooked some cannelini beans in water with olive oil and rosemary.
As she prepared the suppe, after just about every intermediate step she said, "and add a little more olive oil", after which she sloshed a good deal of the stuff into the dish. I'm surprised viewers could actually see the fish (calamari, scallops, red snapper, mussels, prawns) for all the oil.
Liquid gold applied liberally equals heaven.
Well, as Caterina notes, Flickr seems to be pressing lots of the right buttons. She and I have been in a greeting frenzy, showing everyone new that comes in around the place.
It has been really nice to hear great feedback, and it feels good when people say thank you for the welcome. A nice new friend said my personality was like crack. I think I am flattered by this.
So, despite my terrible case of screen eyes last night, it's fantastic fun, and i've had some amazing conversations already, even when i'm supposed to be concentrating on saying hi to new Flickr-rers (thanks you-know-who-you-are!).
And it's SUCH A NICE DAY outside, I need to go and be in it. At least for a while.
After doing a bit of reading, I was musing to myself whether the Dean blog could (or should) actually be considered subversive. I'm not convinced that subversive is quite the right word for what that set up has done. However, having watched Dr. Zhivago, I feel I can comment with some authority on the uprising of the Red Army, thus, feel there is some parallel to be drawn with Pascha handing out his flyers to the Bolsheviks...
You can see I haven't quite got my ideas together yet. So, I decided to consult the oracle of Google for her ideas on "subversive blog". I thought, dammit! i'm feeling lucky, and this is what I stumbled upon... The Religion News Blog.
My eyes widened with glee (and distraction) at several pearls in the table of contents such as:
Now, I know it's not my place to unabashedly poke fun. And after a bit of reading, it's actually not a bad blog. BUT! This does not mean I can't make mention of the sheer power that artistry like this has to envoke the power of the almighty to get his (or her) masses mobilised.
If Deano can, surely he (or she) can too. Perhaps he (or she) invented them for this very purpose.
You really should read this, but if you don't have time, just read this:
This is a goldmine, people!
Well, this morning I got up, made a real coffee, and started working... without really getting out of my PJs. The doorbell rang at around 10. I put on my robe to answer the door.
I was greeted by 2 young men wearing name tags and black jackets who told me they were very pleased that Jesus Christ had returned to earth this year, and would I be interested in hearing about that. "Oh, is that a kimono?", one of them asked. Even though it's actually a yukata I said yes.
I tried to tell the boys that I wasn't interested, and was actually very busy working. I realised this may not appear to be true given that I was still in my pyjamas, no matter how japanese they looked.
They left without much of a fight.
Then I made another coffee, and got changed into my work clothes. I spent the day in a pair of shorts, with my VERY white legs in plain view of... me. The central heating really is good. I only realised how cold it was today a few minutes ago when I went to the shop. I put on a few more clothes, but that wasn't quite enough. It's 45'F.
After all the frenzy of development that has been happening recently, for some reason I bought a newspaper.
Well, the talk at ETCon is finished, and Flickr has been launched.
In a somewhat busy session, people who were in the audience at ETCon were posting photos into Flickr at the time of the talk. We could see Stewart, Ben and Eric on our screens as they prepared for the presentation. Everyone was very excited and trying not to swear as Stewart logged on to Flickr. And just to so you know, that's my godson in the montage on the home page.
So, now, it's your turn. Go and have a look at what i've been up to at Ludicorp.
Much fuss was made over how Howard Dean embraced the power of the internet, by harnessing its ability to reach the far flung corners of the USA and give everyone a voice.
Personally, i'm pretty impressed by Dean's site, and the level of contribution from constituents compares with huge sites like Slashdot. Also, considering this is the first time it's been done like this, its success is well... stunning.
Having lost a few caucuses and things recently, in the lead-up to the democratic convention, now it appears this harness may be starting to strangle him. (37 signals post - "Blog Comments as News") A comment in a blog may not be newsworthy, but then again, the news we get is always after the event.
Unless you trawl the Dean site all the time and keep up, it's difficult to know what's going on in there with all the activity. What i'm curious about is if the very success of blog could also turn Dean's consituents away from him if it becomes infected from the inside... imagine if you could represent the 'wave of sentiment' graphically in a blog of that size.
Many reports from Washington State caucus goers included a description of the voracity of Dean supporters who rallied around entrances and sign-in points with flashy campaign posters, being a little more than in yer face.
Give those pesky petit bourgeois a voice, and look out.
Stewart, Ben and Eric from Ludicorp (Ben's an advisor) are presenting at ETCon on Tuesday. This is the abstract of their session. More secrets to be revealed there too.
If you can't see the pictures, don't panic. It won't be long!
Yay! This is picture I have stored in my gallery in the new secret project. You can link to things within the secret project, so people who aren't members can still see your stuff.
Believe you me, I will be revealing ALL very soon. And all you friends of mine who are crazy hackers out there (I have so many) just watch it!
(By the way, this montage is a series of screengrabs from one of my favourite videos from Christmas. The Oates family does slapstick.)
The JPGs are a little squished, but this will improve.
This is me when I first arrived in Dressie. I was one of the first off the plane, since my luggage had been misplaced by the lovely ladies at BA. Andy had no idea of course, but then I had no idea when he pretended to be lining me up for a photo with his doesn't-really-look-digital-but-more-like-an-old-Minolta digital camera, all the while filming me for posterior... or is it posterity?
While i'm at it, is historical a word? Of course it is. And nice American lady was right.
This is a few grabs of a little number that Andy and I performed - "I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say No". One of the lines is:
Here's the thing. I can sit and work on the new Ludi project, as I have several videos of 4/5ths of my family playing in the background. It was a lovely time, and to see four of us in just about complete familial comfort, with very few reservations about how we were coming across. It has been a little tiresome over the past while... wondering about whether I should be treading the boards a certain way. Should I be the young school kid who buys lollies (candy) for all her 'friends' to make sure they are her friends? Funny, now I realise I should have been acting just the way I am in the video series with my family.
Andy had a digital camera at Christmas in Dressie, and provided us with CDs of ALL the footage he captured. I was quite pleased to turn into a camera-hog-superstar family member for that week.
Although now, seeing the evidence, I might take out the superstar bit.
Does anyone give a shi* what I had for breakfast?
There's this little love story called Moonstruck. In it, Cher plays a Brooklyn lady who has no love in her life, until she meets the volatile-and-yet-super-tender Nicholas Cage. But anyway. There's a scene where she and her mum are having breakfast. They have fried egg with roasted red peppers.
That's my new favourite breakfast. The pepper is nice and sweet with the normal old egg. And this morning I put some parmesan in it too, and smushed the eggs - not enough that they were scrambled, but just enough to avoid the strange albumenny bits that are a little hard to take early in the morning.
I should be the Surprise Chef - where I scour supermarkets for people who are willing to let me a) investigate the contents of their trolley, and b) come back to their homes and cook with whatever was in the trolley, and whatever they have in their fridge and pantry.
As much as the TV Surprise Chef guy was a wanker, I did enjoy that show.
Why do people even drink the stuff? I noticed that I was a bit headachey after only drinking this horrible stuff yesterday. It took me a while to realise that I was in need of REAL COFFEE.
So, with only a moment to spare before my daily phone conferencey thing with Vankie, I rushed to my local supermarket, the Red Apple. I ran around the aisles, grabbing a few bits and pieces, and thankfully I remembered to get the Red Apple arabica, at just $7.99/lb!
The other great thing about the Red Apple is the muzak. It isn't muzak! It's fanastic R&B/soul gear... I would be a checkout chick in a supermarket that played those sorts of tunes!
Anyway, I just about ran back to S Weller, knowing that I had to make 1pm. Popped by the Mini-Mart to get a phone card, and got back in at 1.02... all the while knowing that I had my coffee in the bag, just waiting for me.
The phone call is now over, I am listening to just about my favourite album ever - "Aretha's Gold" - I have my freshly brewed real coffee, and i'm blogging.
What a rollercoaster ride this life can be. One moment you're thinking 'this reality fu*king SUCKS', and the next you're back to the simple things... Caffeine, Dr. Feelgood, and fresh air blowing in.
Ok, so re-reading my amazing I am the Ideal Lover thingy, i noticed the "Ideal Lovers thrive on people's broken dreams which become lifelong fantasies."
Now, is that a good thing, or a bad thing?
Does it mean that I can fulfil these lifelong fantasies, or will I have a lover that is crushed by broken dreams all the time?
I think I prefer the former option.
I am the Ideal Lover
Most people have dreams in their youth that get shattered or worn down with age. They find themselves disappointed by people, events, reality, which cannot match their youthful ideals. Ideal Lovers thrive on people's broken dreams which become lifelong fantasies. You long for romance? Adventure? Lofty spiritual communion? The Ideal Lover reflects your fantasy. He or she is an artist creating the illusion you require. In a world of disenchantment and baseness, there is limitliess seductive power in following the path of the Ideal Lover.
Symbol: The Portrait Painter. Under his eye, all of your physical imperfections disappear. He brings out noble qualities in you, frames you in a myth, makes you godlike, immortalises you. For his ability to create such fantasies, he is rewarded with great power.
Madge, the young wildebeest, was staring across the hazy plain. She had just had breakfast, and was enjoying a bit of socialising with her girlfriends. They had planned on a long walk today with the rest of the herd, to make their way up to some higher ground where they were all hoping it might be a little cooler.
The herd set off. There must have been four hundred of them. The old men, the young bucks, a few babies swinging around their mother's legs, and the ten or so young ones who were friends of Madge's hung to the back... you know... to be cool.
It was Roberta the cheetah who spotted Madge first, across that crowded plain. Madge's long, lithe legs, and her pretty eyes didn't mean anything to Roberta. She was hungry and so were her kids.
There was a cacophony of chatter in the herd. Everyone was excited about the trip to the mountain. There would be fresh grass to nibble on, and lots of shade to sleep under. Madge and her girlfriends were talking about the boys.
Roberta crouched down so low scientists have marvelled at how her spine can support her weight like that. Even her ears were pointed back, lest she be spotted. If even one of the wildebeest saw her, the hunt would be over.