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   Friday, June 06, 2003  
MA / blogs / approaches
Where to?

It is so windy in Melbourne this morning. Great piles of autumn leaves have been blown into corners and look like they are hiding from some unknown terror.

I had a long overdue chat with the Sensei the other night. He asked me all those squirm-inducing questions that supervisors are supposed to ask and I found myself admitting that maybe, just maybe, I was tiring a little of the blogging. Perhaps it's the onset of winter. Perhaps it was a difficult May. Perhaps it's because I'm in a routine with it now- a bit of writing one day, a few links another, a couple of pictures here and there. Routine- the good, stuff the bad stuff.

Sensei said some pertinent and thought-provoking things. Perhaps I could take a break from blogging? "Oh no, I couldn't do that" I said. Why not? Well, I might lose the habit. And it's true, I do like the habit. I like the daily writing.

So then he said "Well, maybe you need to think what you want to achieve from your MA and what your blog is about." So I've been thinking about this and I think my blog is about story-telling. It's also about writing and it's about drawing (comics, illustration, animation.) It's a bit about diaries but not very much, not much at all, really. And finally, it's about blogs and about how blogs can be used by people interested in stories, writing and drawing. At least, this is what I think it's about.

I told Sensei how I was enjoying Exit Page Left and how I thought this was probably because it wasn't just up to me to maintain it- it is a shared responsibility. This makes the contribution less of a challenge, or at least, this is the case so far.

So Sensei said "Well, perhaps you could do something different with your blog for a while. Just post an image everyday, or a serialised story." And at first I thought "But I've got to keep up with all the articles and discussions about blogging because that's what my MA is about." But then, as Jill discusses today it seems to be the case that research bloggers often blog about their research in an indirect way anyway.

So I've got a few things to think about, not the least of which is "What exactly is it that I'm going to hand in at the end of all this?" Maybe it's time to break free of the blog routine and experiment a little.

And he lent me "Reinventing Comics" even though I've only just returned him "Understanding Comics" after (at least) six months.
Truly, the Sensei is good and wise.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:55 AM
   

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   Thursday, June 05, 2003  
Congrats to Sensei who has passed his MA, no amendments required. Unfortunately this has freed him up to spend more time hassling me about my MA.
   posted by *mcb* at 2:43 PM
   

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Masters- story

Preserve

window bedroom

When her first pet cat- Turnip - died from accidentally eating rat poison, 8 year old Emily Norton was so distraught at the thought of being separated from this mangy, spitting object of her love that she took a somewhat drastic course of action. Though never before showing the slightest inclination to a morbid or macabre personality, Emily set her alarm for 2 am the night after Turnip's funeral, took her father's trowel from under her pillow, climbed out the window into her backyard and unburied her beloved pet.

Though grief-struck, Emily was a sensible child and understood that, nature being what it was and the world being a highly unfair place, the joy of the reunion would be short-lived, especially given the unseasonally warm stretch of weather they were currently experiencing. So after brushing the dirt out of poor Turnip's fur and giving him a last hug, she placed the creature in a sugar sack and deposited him deep within her parents’ upright freezer.

Turnip stayed hidden away in his ice cave until Christmas Eve, when Mrs Norton went searching for the Spring lamb she wished to defrost for lunch the next day.

There were tears, of course, and punishments and even a visit to a child psychologist. But Emily was not a disturbed child and infact, never showed any particular interest in any animal again after the Turnip incident.


   posted by *mcb* at 8:47 AM
   

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   Wednesday, June 04, 2003  
MA / blogs / link
Blog linking

Vlado has provided a very interesting link today:degrees of seperation. Sort of like the blog version of seven degrees of separation... It's fun to click on the random links to see the unlikely threads that form between seemingly unrelated blogs.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:57 AM
   

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writing
Eavesdropping on Tram Conversations

Three people sitting across the aisle from me on the 86 tram. There's an English girl, with long black wavy hair and a purple velvet dress, and dark, dark lipstick. Next to her is an Australian guy, wearing a heavy black coat, dark green Docs and a black t-shirt with a celtic print. They are sitting opposite a third man, red headed and pony-tailed, who is clearly part of the group although he doesn’t contribute to the conversation.

Man: Scott was there too, last night.

Woman: Scott? You mean Scott with the thing?

Man: Yeah.

Woman: I haven’t seen Scott in ages.

Man: I hadn’t either, until last night.

Woman: I don’t really like him all that much.

Man: No, I don’t like him either. Man, you should have heard what he said to me last night.

Woman: What did he say?

Man: He came up and said “You know, I’d really like to “do” your girlfriend.”

Woman: Really? Was your girlfriend there?

Man: No, but his girlfriend was there.

Woman: Did you say “Who do you think you are? Robert Redford or something?”

Man: I said “Well, I don’t think she wants to “do” you, man.” And I was looking at his girlfriend thinking “And I definitely don’t want to do your girlfriend so there’s really no point continuing with this conversation.”

Woman: That’s so bad. That’s really terrible.

Man: I mean, there are ways of saying things so that they don’t cause offence. You could say that in a different way- phrase it differently and it wouldn’t be so offensive.

Woman: Yes, it’s all in the way you say it. You don’t have to be crass.

(They are approaching their point of disembarkation and they stand near me, by the exit.)

Woman: (leaning in and whispering in the man’s ear): Have you noticed how perverted the Melbourne business men look? No really, I'm serious! They look so much more perverted than the Sydney business men. They look like they’ve all just been spanked.

(The three get off and I look over at the business men sitting nearby. One is looking at a point just above my head, and is running his tongue over his lips. I get off at the next stop.)


   posted by *mcb* at 8:39 AM
   

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   Tuesday, June 03, 2003  
MA / blogs / link
Early Adopters

Apparently, Blogs set to be The Next Big Thing... Who would have thought it!

(thanks to The Brownie for the link)
   posted by *mcb* at 4:49 PM
   

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MA / animation
Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo is the latest film from Pixar (in conjunction with Disney). It's set on the Great Barrier Reef.
The website is great- fantastic sound and interesting video interviews with the creators and the actors providing the voices (including Barry Humphries.)

Opens in Aus in August.
   posted by *mcb* at 11:09 AM
   

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diary / link
Announcements

Congratulations to Jenny!
   posted by *mcb* at 9:04 AM
   

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MA / academic blog / link
Culture Cat

Clancy Ratliff, Associate Editor of Kairosnews has a new blog: CultureCat. Clancy writes about politics, rhetoric, feminism, intellectual property and life as a student and a teacher. Lots of interesting links to peruse.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:58 AM
   

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MA / fiction blog / link
Exit Page Left

Well, we're well into week two of the group fiction blog Exit Page Left. It's early days, of course, but I'm happy that there are so many interesting characters developing and plots starting to emerge. I'm enjoying it so far- a lot more, in fact, than when I attempted to write a fiction blog on my own. I'm finding it more enjoyable to interact with other characters that I have no control over than to have to invent all the characters myself. It occurred to me last night that perhaps this is what role playing games are like...

   posted by *mcb* at 8:43 AM
   

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MA / famous blogs / link
Blogger on Board

The Age has reprinted a Guardian article about Salam Pax that outlines his progression as a blogger and the personal risks he took by writing the Dear Raed blog (which I haven't been able to access for months- is this just me?).

(thanks to Sensei for sending the link)
   posted by *mcb* at 8:18 AM
   

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   Monday, June 02, 2003  
MA / famous blogs / link
Salam Pax

Salam Pax has apparently been hired by The Guardian to write a bi-weekly column, starting on Wednesday.

(via Kairosnews )
   posted by *mcb* at 12:27 PM
   

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writing
Orthodox

Thieu and I went to a Russian Orthodox wedding yesterday, in a church right near where I work. It's odd when you discover a place in your stamping ground that you've never known about.

I didn't know what to expect from a Russian Orthodox wedding, but now I do. Expect to stand. Expect to stand for a long time. None of this soft, sitting in a chair and occasionally standing up. No letting your attention wander to start admiring the icons, the gilt chandelier. There were a couple of pews at the side of the church, but clearly these were meant only for the infirm, the elderly, the maimed. After an hour, with my heels feeling like they were impaling the soles of my feet, I sat down anyway. Across from me were a couple of elderly Russian ladies, also sitting. They were swaythed in fur from neck to knee, platinum blonde hair, arching eyebrows. Arching eyebrows that arched just that little bit more when they saw me sitting. Oh well, so I'm soft.

Poor Cassie the bridesmaid had to hold a crown over the head of the bride for a good period of the service. She kept smiling, but her frequent arm changes indicated a high level of pain was in place.

And singing, lots of singing, by a choir hidden up in the ceiling. The priest would sing a line and then the choir would sing back a reply. And they were really good. Thieu said that at his Gran's church the choir was entirely made up of old ladies who often forgot entire songs. Once the organist started up a hymn and no one sang at all. The Russian Orthodox choir were professionals.

I saw Hamlet, too, on Saturday night, which was good, although not as good as I'd expected. Little L leaned over at one point and said "This Hamlet reminds me of John Safran" and he was right. It was a whiney, complaining kind of Hamlet. A spoiled brat Hamlet, who was rude to his mother and who was used to always getting his own way.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:52 AM
   

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MA / blog terminology / link
Blog Definitions

Dave Winer asks What makes a weblog a weblog? and provides a number of useful definitions for various blog-related terms.

(via Daypop)
   posted by *mcb* at 8:33 AM
   

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