On Friday night the lovely vocalist for our first band of the weekend greeted me with “Sam, did you hear Anita O’Day died?!” and I replied that I hadn’t heard, what with my recent level of busyness. We agreed that it would be appropriate for her to sing a bit of Anita that night in memorial.
Reading through Barista today I discovered that Robert Altman has also passed away, and I wonder who’ll be next.

weekly round-up

Today is a kind of day out of time for me. The thesis is with the Supes, to be looked at later on (and to be talked about next Thursday). Next week I’m going to get into all the annoying administrative bits of submitting a thesis – cover sheets, descriptions, forms, etc. But this week (ie the last 2 or 3 days, incuding today) I’ve given myself leave to do whatever I like. That means:

  • obsessing about the MLX6 site. I have some neat stuff from our Arty Team (ie Kylee and Scotti – designer and scribbler respectively), and a good plan for the site. But this week was all about designy stuff – trying to make the logo work with the practical functions of the site. Or, in other words, laying it all out on the page in a pretty and yet usable way. Eek.
  • finishing off some sewing jobs that really needed doing (PJs for The Squeeze – bad wobot, altering my lovely plum stretch needle cord trousers so they’re not mega bags, finishing off a neat black (with white arm-stripes, red wrist-cuffs and big red cross on the front) fleece jumper – fleece is neat. I promise to post some sort of pictures at some point. This last jumper was black, white and red in an attempt to be Serious and Grown Up (esp after my pink and red fleece hello-kitty lined hood fleecy cardigan thing), but ended up looking like something Dennis teh Menace would wear:
    I like to imagine that I am, in fact, a comic book hero when I’m burning down Sydney Rd, dodging cars and yelling “BAM!” under my breath* like Frida: Frida.jpgShe does actually yell “BAM!” and she’s probably shouting “YEAH!” in a loud, Swedish-American accent in that photo.
  • discovering last-minute thesis jobs and FREAKING out about them
  • actually submitting my Intention to Submit form (yes, I know – it’s madness. But you have to give them 3 months to find you 3 markers or else you delay the return of your thesis post-marking), with abstract, thesis title (what? you mean I have to name this thing before it’s even finished gestating? what?!). I can’t remember what that was. No, wait, I’ve found it:
    Hepfidelity: Swing dance and the role of digital media in embodied practice
  • And… what else have I done? Oh, I went to see Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, where there were 4 of us in the cinema – me and 3 teenage/first year boys. I laughed at the Huxtable jokes, they laughed at the hip hop references. Cultural capital for all.

So it’s been an ok week. I feel a bit lost, but still. I’ve also been looking for work. Yeah, right. Let’s not talk about THAT.
Anyhoo** here are two interesting things to read:

  • this blog called avant game, which is a far more interesting games studies blog than any I’ve ever read before
  • and B’s entries on meditation, starting here which are quite a lovely read.

I especially like this bit:

Upon returning to Alice Springs, I kept up my practice, and found other people to meditate with from time to time. One group that met on Sunday afternoons was a small Sangha group. It was held in the artist’s workshop out back of the house of one of the members. Although I was not really studying Buddhism, they were always welcoming, and it was a pleasure to sit with them for a half hour in that quiet room, and feel their energy.

I really like this idea of being part of a group while meditating. Meditationg, martial arts and other inwards-looking practices like yoga or Thi Chi can often be seriously inward-looking, or in-the-body. To such an extent that they can affect your outward-looking interactions with others***. I am really interested in the idea of being-in-the-body and inward-focussed, and yet to still be aware of and part of a group or partnership. It’s an idea I’d like to explore a little more. Particularly when you keep in mind that African American vernacular dance – vernacular dance is about being part of a group, about social context, and about call-and-response between dance partners, between dancers on the floor, between musicians and dancers, and between dancers and audiences. Being seriously inwards-looking is kind of not so great in a social dance situation where the dance is all about conversations with others…
* I’m brave, but not that brave.
**that was for you, Galaxy – I’m crazily aware of it now. But I think of a friend called Dave who says it a lot. He’s probably referencing the Simpsons, but I’m referencing an insanely good dancer who’s also a Thai Chi master country boy.
***it’s not uncommon for hardcore martial arts people or yogis to be quite terrible partner dancers because they’re so focussed internally, they are so good at responding with their bodies, they’re not so good at responding with their bodies in relation to others, as a partnership.

ve believe in nusink

We are big Coen brothers fans at our house, particularly The Big Lebowski. Last night we were sitting in a BBQ joint in China Town eating duck on rice, when 3 Chinese kids come in with super-cool hair and super-cool black clothes.
I remark: “cool hair”
The Squeeze remarks: “ve are nihilists. jah. ve believe in nusink”
And I proposed to him then and there.

hormones + tiredness = ideal butt for a joke

Returning home from dinner tonight, The Squeeze remarked that an indication of interest in the toilet on his part was sufficient to motivate me to a rush for the Facilities.
“That’s because I’m Pavlov’s Bladder.”
Crinks, with a confused frown: “Is that like the ballerina?”

blue house

My parents have gone insane. Why did they think smurf-blue was a good idea?
Well, at least it lends itself to creative gardening…
You know how there are ‘feature colours’ in the pre-packaged colour packs at the paint shop? My parents tend to choose all of the feature colours – they don’t waste their time with dull filler colours.
And yes, that’s actually the front of their house. Mostly because the back is where the action is, with a wall of windows looking out onto these views:
mood #1: daylight over Mt Wellington and whatsit bridge
mood #2 pensive afternoon
mood #3: sunset. Yes, that’s the real, genuine, actual colours of that evening. I have a million more, but you’d expire from boredom.

a fish-eye view

The Squeeze rediscovered his fish eye lense a few days ago and brought it with him to a BBQ on Sunday. I really like the way the whole group fits into one photo – I like the … scale. I like the way it allows a photo to have lots of things going on at once. There are hundreds in his photostream, but they’re all private. I went through and found a few I liked. Starting with this one, which I like for the number of things going on. I also like the green grass and lush garden – reminded me of brisvegas…

Perhaps I Should Have Left My Ex For Galaxy Then? or, The Joy Of Online Referencing

And, because it seems to be the order of the day…
and because I apparently have words to burn at the moment…
another blog entry.
I was reading a friend’s blog just now, and she asks

Does this happen to other people? Do you stick to what you intend to write about? Or do you get all Virginia Woolf and attempt to write down every thought that occurs to you?

Nope. Never happens to me :P Never on my blog, never in my thesis, never when I kept a diary, never when I talk, never when I’m lying in bed thinking before I go to sleep, never when I’m posting on the board, never when I’m tutoring or giving a lecture and never ever when I’m giving a paper.
As Galaxy writes,

there’s something that happens when I start writing: thoughts are sparked and tangents beckon, or as Dostoyevsky writes in Notes from Underground, ‘I practise thinking, and consequently each of my primary causes pulls along another, even more primary, it its wake, and so on ad infinitum’.

I can’t help myself. I’m never at want for something to say or write. If I ever am, I know there’s something up, and I worry about me.
To demonstrate the point….
as I was writing and referencing the bit above, I got to thinking about how neat hypertext is for referencing. Footnotes on the printed page are so oldskool – I love the way hovering over my footnote markers in my chapters in Word give me a little pop-up window with the footnote’s contents. I love clicking on a link to see the page/site that’s being referenced. I like links within a page, guiding me through the contents, especially if it’s links in a table of contents. How wonderful!
But all that ‘yay for hypertext’ stuff got me thinking about the paper I gave in Sydney, and how it’d be nice to post it online somewhere so all the people who’ve asked me about it could read it. It’d be cool to link to the clips I showed in the paper as well… though I have some reservations about that – it would certainly be in breach of my ethics agreement, unless I managed to get permission from all the participants. And I’m not sure the paper would work as well without my excellent intonation and timing for the jokes. Or the random forays into (un)related topics, mid-paper…
… I guess the tangents only beckon when you a great many thoughts jumping around in side your head. Wouldn’t it be horrible to never have anything to say or think? I remember once when my ex exclaimed in response to an observation I’d made (and I paraphrase the following): “You think too much!” and Galaxy stepped in with “Oh, I don’t think it’s possible to think too much – it’s certainly better than never having any thoughts at all”. I know that it was one of those moments where I suddenly thought ‘Yeah! More thinking! Yeah! I’m ok – I’m not a fool! Yeah!’. Thank heavens for Sisterhood: effective self-reflexivity is far more difficult when you’re busy paying too much attention to yourself.
Perhaps I should have left my ex for Galaxy then?