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   Thursday, December 09, 2004  
Instant Offspring

Yesterday I bought a child online. So easy! I should've done it years ago. And a mere snip at 470 bucks a year. You can actually click through pictures and choose one but this felt too much like ordering a jumper so I said to the computer whatever, you decide.

Thieu, pinko leftie that he is, has had a sponsor child for years. We have her picture on our fridge and we occasionally get reports on her progress. I find myself worrying that she's not doing so well in mathematics, especially as this is not a subject I could offer her any advice in.

I got Noel from the Philippines. According to his profile his favourite subject is maths so that's a relief. He likes to play hide-and-seek which is a game I also enjoy although sometimes I get too nervous waiting in the dark to be discovered and will out myself early.

   posted by *mcb* at 8:18 AM


   Wednesday, December 08, 2004  
Egg Cartons

I've been to a couple of art openings recently. The last one was in ritzy Armadale. Have I written about this? I can't remember. They gave us good champagne and imported beer at the door. Unfortunately I managed to spill my champagne all over the gallery owner, a friend of Thieu's from high school. Thieu went to his twenty year high school reunion a couple of weeks ago and rekindled all these old aquaintances. Other people say to each other "We really should catch up" but Thieu actually does it. Anyway, she was very nice about it, actually, and pretended that it was her fault that my champagne ended up all over her and then another very nice girl came along and topped up my glass. Then Thieu and I were free to pass judgement on the artwork and the guests which is something that we both enjoy a great deal. On one side of the room were oil paintings of still life scenes - bowls, saucers in muted tones and oranges. On the other were large drawings of bulls. It seemed like an odd pairing. Why not painted bulls or still life drawings? Or did he have an equal love of the two genres. I liked the bulls better than the bowls and Thieu said he liked the bowls but I think he was just saying it to be contrary.

Then on the weekend I went to a jewellery opening on Gertrude St which was a very different affair. Cask wine, two dollars for a plastic cup. Oh well. I went with R and we enjoyed ourselves even though she is a much nicer person than either Thieu or I and refused to pass judgement on the other people.

About half way through a young guy with a wispy beard sidled up to us with a notepad in his hand.
"I'm setting up a gallery in the space next door" he said. "Would you like to be on the mailing list?"
I said sure, why not and gave him my hotmail address because it'd be nice to receive something other than spam. At least this would be spam that I've requested.
"I'll send you information about the opening night" he said and I asked who the first artist is going to be.
"It's a friend of mine. He's an installation artist."
"Oh yes." I said and nodded encouragingly. I'm not scared of installation art.
"He makes work from found egg-cartons and cross-word puzzles."
R and I very carefully do not look at each other. Not even a little bit. We look straight ahead at the guy and keep nodding and smiling.
"It's a kind of egg-carton, cross-word puzzle mix. It'll take over the whole gallery space."
I really, really wasn't sure what to say but luckily for me R said, very sincerely and nicely
"It sounds really, really interesting."

Afterwards we had a long discussion about what he meant by found eggcartons. Has the artist been going through people's rubbish? Or did he find them at reverse garbage? The only place I think I've ever found an egg-carton when I wasn't expecting to is at a kindergarten. I'm tempted to go along just to discover how many egg-cartons he's actually found.
   posted by *mcb* at 1:03 PM


   Tuesday, December 07, 2004  
Mundane Journeys via Wish Jar.
   posted by *mcb* at 2:24 PM


Short Stories vs Novels

I love the last paragraph of this article about Alice Munro:

"I've tried to write novels," Munro says, sounding slightly annoyed with her own intractable methods. "They turn into strange, hybrid stories. I haven't read a novel that I didn't think couldn't have been a better story."

My novel-fluffing is not going well. I can't seem to wrestle with such a large piece of work. I can't seem to get any perspective on it. The good thing is that while procrastinating about it I've written a couple of short stories and sketched out plots for others. So I'm writing short stories by not writing the novel, I suppose. I also have to get this current free-lance job out of the way. It seems to have been dragging on forever.

   posted by *mcb* at 7:43 AM


   Monday, December 06, 2004  
Lord Howl

Sensei tells me that Miyazaki's new film, Lord Howl's Moving Castle has been released in Japan.
This website, while not attractive, has some trailers and even some of the tv ads. Spirited Away was wonderful and Totoro is a personal favourite, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing this one too.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:19 AM


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