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Showing posts from July, 2014

The calling of colour...

Last week I watched the first two seasons of Devious Maids. I am acutely aware that this is trash television, but sometimes only trash television can balance out the demands of life - for me anyway.

I love the aesthetic of series like Beverly Hills 90210, Private Practice, Desperate Housewives. I quite like watching beautiful people live pathetic lives in gorgeous surrounds. It is very soothing to me. Call this my dark side, if you will.

Anyway, watching Devious Maids this last week, I was intrigued by the artworks used in sets for the interiors of these luxury homes. Some were quite classical, but being that many of the characters are in their mid-thirties and forties, a lot of the artwork was abstract and colourist - just my thing.

I haven't painted in almost a year.

The main reason for this is that I have something like thirty paintings laying about with no prospect of finding a home. I have loaned some to the mature age student room on Deakin's Burwood campus, but I'll…


July is nearly done and usually at this time of year I am starting to look forward to the return of warmth and sunlight, but this year I have a terrible sense of foreboding. The quiet before the storm is when the air is heaviest with tension and electricity, and right now its charge is at its peak.

I have been invited to present at the Australasian Association of Writing Programs conference in Wellington at the end of November, and I am to submit a paper to be peer reviewed by the end of September. The paper will discuss things I wrote leading up to my colloquium, though I need to revisit the scholarly sources with a little more depth and perception of difference, I think. So, the paper will be challenging but probably not as challenging as what will come next.

You see, we have the makings of a perfect storm in November.

I will be preparing the talk, and that will be somewhat nerve-wracking. Primarily because I will not know the venue, and I am not well versed in actually using progra…

Opinions are mundane thought... And other ideas...

So, I've been reading about Deleuze.

I had decided not to like Deleuze based on what I read in this article. The panel for my colloquium had suggested I read Deleuze and Guattari's theory on 'minor literature' because they felt it was what I was expressing in my chapter. I read an article which stated minor literature had three elements:

1. Language is affected with a high coefficience or deterritorialisation
2. Everything in it is political
3. Everything in it takes on a collective value

From these points I told my exegesis supervisor that I did not think flash fiction was a minor literature. He then explained to me (sort of) what Deleuze actually meant by 'territory' and 'political' - shedding light on my utter ignorance of Deleuze's theories or concepts and suggested I read 'Gilles Deleuze' by Claire Colebrook (published by Routeledge as part of their 'Critical Thinkers' series).

So, I have been reading that book, and much to my c…

Dangerous Questions… (trigger warning)

If you are feeling suicidal, I urge you to speak with someone. If you live in Australia call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or go to this webpage and click on the red button -->
Sitting in the car this morning, I was listening to a discussion about suicide. It was discussing new research that challenges the perception of suicide as a selfish act. The radio personality interviewing the spokes person from SANE, attempted to link the story of this research with the news that Dr Nitschke (infamous for his euthanasia advocacy work) had had his medical licence suspended under suspicion that he has been involved in a suicide cult.

The concept of 'cult' has arisen from the revelation that organisations exist to help people end their lives without investigating why they want to end their lives, and not showing concern for people who are young and not terminally ill, even quite healthy who want to end their lives.

Here is where I start to ask some dangerous…

He's a good kid...

He really is.

He's 15 and he can be quite moody, but on the whole, he's a good kid. That is to say, as far as we know, he doesn't smoke, drink, or do drugs. He's never had sex. He doesn't roam the streets or hang out with troubled kids. He doesn't do any of the things that most parents fear their teenagers might get up to - or that they didn't themselves as teenagers.

He's a good kid.

That said, the Grumpy Old Man and I are still feeling it, the teen thing, that stage everyone tells you to dread.

The good kid is really not doing very well at school. He just doesn't care. Or as he likes to put it, he doesn't think about it. Doesn't think about what failing school might mean for him in the future.

We've tried the usual house rules. A regular bedtime so he gets plenty of rest. Homework time to make sure he does his home work. He has work to do around the house as well. And we've also made sure he has fun; he goes to friends housees and …

At It Again...

School's back.

We started the week with a car in the shop (again, sigh, fifteen year old cars are a bit like that. But brake pads are important. It's especially important to have non-shredded break pads on a car that carries four children every day).

I didn't get in to Uni until Wednesday, and then because it's orientation week and the club I'm secretary for had a stall, I really go no work done, only a bit of printing.

Yesterday we had to do grocery shopping, so didn't get any work done then at all.

Back in the office today and determined to get back into it.

The recumbent bike arrived on Tuesday, and I had fun assembling it - I've discovered assembling stuff takes me to my zen place (when I'm doing it on my own, not so much if I'm doing it with another person, LOL).

So, on Wednesday, Thursday and this morning, I've done an hour of cycling. I get up at 6am and set the timer on my iPad, and I have a playlist I've put together on my iPhone wh…


Gosh, I'm feeling so sad today, I can't even put it into words.

I'm taking myself off to the movies this afternoon. It'll be the first time I see a movie of my own choosing in a couple of years, and the first actual break I get from either studying or parenting in months.

We've had a tough few days here at home. The older boys brought home very concerning reports at the end of last term. Despite the work we've done, and the tutoring at the school, the boys marks have steadily declined all year.

As well as this, there have been issues with helping around the house, following house rules, and making seemingly endless demands on our finances because they either have been irresponsible or simply have an expectation of a parent funded social life.

Bryn's school report was excellent but we've been dealing with behavioural issues from him this year as well.

And Ari, I barely know where to start. That child is doing my head in with hyperactivity and devil-may-c…

Looks like I took a break, after all...

I wasn't going to take that break my supervisor implored me to take, but then I woke up on Monday feeling all drained, and Tuesday I had braille, and Wednesday I had to be home for some other reason (which I just cannot remember right now). Thursday I needed to run errands at Centrelink and Friday we went to the school uniform shop. And then it was the weekend, of course, which was full on with birthday activities and sleep overs and lots and lots and lots of driving. So, on Monday, I couldn't face leaving the house, which really needed to be cleaned anyway. Yesterday was braille - and Friday will be braille as well.

Today, I've been a sloth. Though, as an excuse, I'll say we had some fierce winds here last night and our side gate was BANGING every couple of minutes the entire night, so I didn't get much sleep and that lead to a significant sleep in today.

The day hasn't been wholly unproductive...

I taught myself to rice paper rolls!

I know they're simple …