Monday, September 29, 2008

Nerds in love

Oh, man, Colin Firth as John Stuart Mill. I'd like to see that!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Check out my photograph of the Anchor Bar:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Leaving LeWitt

Self-portrait with LeWitt at MOMA, New York, 2008.

A LeWitt mural is being painted out at MOMA, San Francisco, and many are up in arms at the loss of a seven-million-dollar artwork. It's difficult to comprehend that the artwork, in this case, is not the painting itself--which was not even done by Sol--but the instructions for creating it, which are written on a certificate.
It reminds me of another work I love in MOMA, NY, which is a framed drawing accompanied by a certificate from the artist stating that the object represented in the drawing is not a work of art, and nor is the drawing of the object. Yet the object itself, the drawing of it and the certificate are all hanging in an art gallery!
During the recent Biennale of Sydney, one of the artworks involved painting the walls of the Art Gallery black, then painting them white again. I heard lots of people complaining about this not being art, some even misunderstanding and suggesting that the art gallery should have done its renovations when there was not a major exhibition on.
I love the way these kinds of artworks (and I believe they are artworks) make me think, and reassess my view of life. They are transient, oxymoronic, futile, incomprehensible, and thought-provoking. I'm sad to think that San Franciscans are losing their LeWitt, but surely that sadness at its impermanence is part of the artist's intention in the first place? (Oh no, Mr Foucault, I didn't mean to talk about the artist's intention, sir, please don't haunt me!) If just one person stops to think about that, Sol LeWitt can rest easy in his grave.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Two more birthdays today!

Happy 120th birthday, T.S. Eliot, and 110th, George Gershwin.
One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing,
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky.
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Livin' at large

I'm planning to emigrate... to 9491 Thooft. This little world is named for the particle physicist and Nobel prize-winner Gerard 't Hooft, who has taken the trouble to write a Constitution for future inhabitants of his asteroid. Much better than the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights, especially Article 13, which bans all weapons.

Of course, I should adapt this constitution for my own star and its worlds, but I'm much more likely to be able to reach 9491 Thooft in my lifetime (it orbits between Mars and Jupiter) than something that's 300 light years away.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Coffee lover

A coffee-lover's blog. I'm glad I discovered this before heading over to NZ later this year: it should keep me busy checking out the java joints in Auckland.

I have only one question. Addicted to Starbucks: WTF? There isn't enough caffeine in one of their cups to addict a gnat. When I was in the US and Starbucks was the best available (much better than DD, urk!) I had to order double-shots just to taste that it was made with coffee and not dishwater.

At least East Aurora (NY) has Taste.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nerd jewellery

When the Master (AFSM) was in Melbourne last week he popped into Scally and Trombone, my favourite quirky little store in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, to buy me a pressie. (It's about halfway along the street, just past the Provincial Hotel--if it's dinner time--or Marios--if it's breakfast time.)
When Ms N.D. saw the bracelet made of typewriter keys, like the one at right, she rolled her eyes and exclaimed, "Oh great, nerd jewellery!"
What can I say?
I want one of these, and these, and these...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tip o' the hat

Happy birthday, Tezz.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dr Johnson's birthday party

"The return of my birthday, if I remember it, fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape."
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), The Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. 18/09/2008.

Denial. Gotta love it. Let's just forget about birthdays and aging and get on with living the good life. We should all just go to the pub:
"There is no private house in which people can enjoy themselves so well as at a capital tavern.... No, Sir; there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn."
Who's with me? I'll buy the first round.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Meet the Gabu*.
He is an example of amigurumi (Japanese for "knitted toys"). He's about 5cm (2in) in diameter, and he has a lot of friends...

* Free pattern from Roxycraft.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Are we still here?

Well, the Large Hadron Collider turned on just now, despite efforts to the contrary. In fact, the Bad Astronomer assures us that, because the protons are all travelling in the same direction at the moment, there won't be any collisions until they switch them on in the other direction next year, and even then, we can be assured that they won't create black holes that will suck the entire earth into an alternate universe.

But just in case you are still worried, you can watch for the results right from your own desktop: Just check that website every day to see if we're all still here.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Here's to Ears!

Yesterday we went out to celebrate a) Father's Day; b) the Swans' win; and c) the first sunny day of spring. We gorged ourselves with yum cha then wandered around Chinatown and Darling Harbour, where they were holding a Chalk Art Festival.
For those who have been following my graffiti obsession, you will be almost as excited as I was to discover the artist behind the Sad Dudes!

Not only did I get to watch him work, but his creations were available to purchase by donation. So, for the princely sum of $5.00, I now have my own original artwork, which I call "Sad Ranga Dude". I even asked him to tag it, on the back.

I'm not sure how pleased the Master is with this new addition to our walls...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

UFOs, WIPs and WISPs

This UFO (left) will one day be a cushion.

Sharon B, of In a Minute Ago, asked for ideas on how to get over the stitching hump that seems to hit about three-quarters of the way through a craft project. It's always nice to hear that other stitchers suffer from the same procrastinatory problems as I do, and I thought I'd take up Sharon's challenge and try to come up with some strategies to turn my UFOs into FOs.

It is with awareness of hubris that I take on this challenge. I am a very poor follower of my own tenets in the matter of UFOs, although I do have strict principles: first and foremost, that I can't bear to make an item without a specific purpose in mind, so having this purpose should, in theory, make it easier to stay the course and finish the piece even when the three-quarters-finished state of ennui hits.

I also find that being disciplined about finishing one piece before starting another gives me great incentive, because there is always a more exciting project waiting to be started. Unfortunately, this occasionally means that I don't start the new project at all, but the upside of that is that it is one less UFO in the pile! I could give you a list of projects I have planned (and occasionally bought materials for) and never started: but it would only make me cry to think of all that wasted creativity.

I should also confess that, being an acolyte in several fields of craft, I don't apply these rules across boundaries. Therefore, if I have a cross-stitch project, knitting, a crazy patchwork piece and all sorts of other things in progress all at once, I consider them all WISPs rather than UFOs, even if it has been some months (or years!) since I touched one or the other of them.

At the moment, I am stalled on the quilting of queen-size quilt, which is about three-quarters finished. I need to summon the energy to finish this soon, simply because it takes up so much space! Once it's finished and on the bed, there will be a whole lot more space in my tiny terrace house. Then there's just the box of yarn I inherited from my late aunt, waiting to be knitted into beanies and charity blankets; the cross-stitch I promised to my friend World Citizen 3000 when he moved into his new house several years ago (he has just sold the house, so it will have to be for his next home); the felt pods I already have the fibre set aside for; and the white-on-white crazy patchwork panel I haven't touched since Can-Bra in 2004.

Telephone to glory

Yesterday's reading from the Harvard Classics Project was a chapter of Origin of Species, and the Delicious Pundit's take on it tickled my funnybone:
It isn't literally contradictory -- you can still believe that we are just like the other animals on this tiny wet dot floating through a vast universe and that you can get God on the phone -- but you start to see that God might be a little distracted when he takes your call.
Of course, if you do give the big guy a call, you might just get his voice mail.