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Tuesday
Dec062011

Lucas' Creepy Moment of the Morning Awards




-Lucas
Proxy Champignon,
Master of Brainthinking

Location:Redfern Station

Monday
Dec052011

And the back of it is broken!

Phew!

The reason for this noise of completed effort is a mix of obligation, interest and achievement. Well, sort of.

Basically, a few months ago, I felt my blog list was a bit thin. I decided that, since Rososo doesn't work anymore, I would try properly using Google Reader & FeeddlerRSS on my iPad. I updated old links, added a few new ones of friends and twitter folks.

But then something happened. I don't know if it was a retweet, or a link from someone else's blog, but I ended up on Not Quite Nigella. It might have been her Tru Blood dinner party menu. So I added her to my Reader. Little did I know that not only was she a compulsive poster, but ALL of her posts demanded attention. Which I gave.

Eventually I got my own food blog off the ground (this one, right here!), moved everything over from Blogger, and started up. Inspired by the community atmosphere over at Punky And Me, I thought I would involve myself in the NQN Community. The Nigellasphere, if you will.

So I went to one of her most recent posts, commented, then went up and down the comments (all 100-odd of them) and opened a new tab for each. Then did it again when my browser crashed. If something caught my eye, I commented. If two things caught my eye, onto the Google Reader with them,

This seemed a great idea at the time, but I bit off a bit more than I could chew. At the end of that night, imwas subscribed to 60 blogs, and my new post count in Google Reader was 436. Jeepers.

And now it's less than 50! Yeah!

And I've read everything I've marked read. I've commented when something strikes me, or if I had a question. I don't shout "Look at me! I gotta blog too!". Even so, I have noticed a few clicks coming this way. What I also realized late in the game, was that some of these intrepid bloggers were replying to my comments, and because I'd read so many, there was no way for me to know what I'd commented on, let alone what had been replied to. So I may look like a jerk. I'm not, I promise. Well, not most of the time.

But now that it's a more manageable number, I can read and reply and whatever as things come out.

Communities are hard work.

Friday
Dec022011

In Which I Attempt to Quietly Vent.

A scribbleblog return, if you will.

Wednesday
Nov162011

Sculptures, Seas, Beavers, Justice, and Art.

Earlier this month, Tanja & I did the Coogee-to-Bondi cliff walk as we are wont to do, and we're happy to discover it was the Sculptures By The Sea festival show thing. I happily depleted my iPhone taking many many big HDR photos (click to embiggen):

I noticed later than every opinion I overheard from passerby could be considered a paraphrase of the following three comments:

"I mean, I know meant to be art and that, but some of 'em are alright."
I'm so glad! I'll tell the artist that he can forget about acceptance of his/her peers, cash, fame, glory & immortality, as he/she needs no further acclaim because you think it's alright.
"I heard that one of these went for 25 grand, which is ridiculous..."
Isn't that lovely that not only must you quantify a work of art into dollar values, but you can sell it as a bargain! How wonderful!
"This one is just bunch of things stuck in the ground. You could just walk off with one of them."
Go on! Steal it! I'm sure the artist would hug themselves with joy knowing that you felt that a small part of one of their sculptures was worth nicking to decorate your back garden!
But I digress.
Segue!

Today, after work, I took the train into the city, and instead of turning towards Newtown, hopped off at Town Hall and braved the confusing snarl of bus stops around the QVB. Selected my bus of choice and headed out to Rozelle. 

 

As I approached Sydney College of the Arts, I felt conspicuous as hell in my corporate drone outfit as compared to the hipsters and cool people I was quickly surrounded by. If I only I had brought along a wacky t-shirt or something! But I was undeterred. I was on a mission, you see.

I was there to see Justice Beaver. 

You see, one of the lovely folks I follow on Twitter (@Katrucia) was part of the Degree Shows at the college. I learned this because she off-handedly made mention of "her comic". When I inquired, I was told the title of the work was "Justice Beaver". 

"You have my attention." I replied.

So this was why I was in Rozelle. Tanja had declined to come along, citing fatigue from our whirlwind Melbourne trip (blogs about which are forthcoming, once I learn to return to unfinished things in Evernote). Alone I strode across fresh-mown grass, through some exhibits, which I barely noticed, as I scanned for a familiar poster:

After a few passes by, I went in. Katrucia had arranged the exhibit to resemble a neighbourhood newsstand, complete with dead leaves, discarded Paddle Pop wrappers, and trashy magazines. In the corner, in a carefully haphazard pile, was Justice Beaver.

 

 

I was so taken in by the illusion that I thought nothing of wandering up, taking a comic, putting it in my bag without looking at it and wandering off without speaking to anyone. This was also partially due to my not knowing what the hell Kat looked like, and seemed a safer tactic than approach anyone looking proprietal and gush about their work (though in that setting, I probably would have done okay).

 Later, after a few reply-tweets, and a command that I "stay right there!", I met up with the artist herself, who was all nice and everything, and Scott Rhodie, with whom I discussed high maintenance Canadian restaurants, and the artist's family, with whom I discussed whether Belgian beer was in fact German (it isn't).

I decided to wander on my own and look for beer, and take in some of the other exhibits.

A few got my attention right away (I'd tell you their titles, but the catalogue I purchased only has the artist name, their degree and medium, no title), such as a house made of Home Keys:

A pair of blown-glass ducks waiting to cross the street:

A series of reflective glass shapes, with a stop motion film projected from above onto the table:

A mirror-image line of symmetrical glass beakers on black-and-white
(which I manages to combine 3 photos of and get the ghost of a spectator):

 And this one, which I can barely describe as sort of PVC shapes suspended from monofilament wires
(I would have gotten closer, but I was put off by two photographers with DSLRs bigger than their heads, arguing whether one or the other had overexposed the shot):

 

Most of the pieces were presented without explanation, which I appreciated, as I was pretty sure that I didn't need to know that the vector drawing of three crowns in yellow, red, and blue on a flecked background was an exercise in boundaries and barriers, clearly defined absolutes exemplifying, through repetition, the empowerment of negative space. And it must be a good example of it, because he's done the same thing with 5 other shapes in the same manner.

Later, I said goodbye to Kat & Scott and wandered home. It was only once I got home that I realised I had not glanced at the comic in my bag. I took out and perused Justice Beaver.

An aside: I don't consider myself a well-schooled art appreciator (apart from what I learned in high school & film courses), though I enjoy it, and seek it out whenever I can. I tend to prefer works that get my attention through humour, or cleverness, or meta-references that I can pore over. An Art History professor recently told me that one cannot hold an opinion or properly understand or critique art unless one had studied and been told which opinions should count, but admittedly that was during a conversation where she was railing against Instagram as a medium and she actually, physically and literally disappeared up her own ass by the end of the argument. So I take that opinion with a grain of salt. I approached Justice Beaver as I would a new comic.

Justice Beaver is the story of Saskia, a student who, through a mishap with a can of promotional spray deoderant, ends up with prehensile, sentient, thought-controlled pubic hair tentacles.

Do I have your attention? Good!

The plot travels at breakneck speed, essentially condensing what would be a first trade into a single issue. Our heroine is introduced, gains her powers, finds her path, discovers a sinister organisation to oppose, fights a massive kaiju-style battle against enemies such as Lady Gaga's shoes and a giant spider that appears to be made out of underwire, and punches Justin Bieber in the face.

Not bad for 23 pages.

The art is sharp and emotive, the writing is quick and efficient and the pages are packed with references to internet meme, comics and film (including a cameo from Vincent & Jules from Pulp Fiction). Also, Saskia wears steampunk-style goggles on her head like Gadget from Rescue Rangers, and that is Way Hot.

In short: go get Justice Beaver. Or, if you can, see it around Sydney at various exhibits. And don't be intimidated by the art school kids*.

 

*at least, not as much as I was. 

 

Monday
Nov072011

In which I chicken out.

So before work I stopped in to buy some early lunch, as these 11:30-8 shifts mess with my internal FoodClock. I stopped in at Noodle Box, not having been there before. I peruse the menu, order a Satay Chicken box with chilli. While I am waiting I notice the sign.

DIDN'T GET A RECEIPT?
THEN YOUR MEAL IS FREE*!

*note: free meal only redeemable if claimed while still at register.

I didn't get a receipt! That meant I could claim my meal for free! But really? Did I want to be That Guy, point to the sign, embarrass this poor girl, and do that "Aha, you have to go through with your promotion" dance? Was I that jerk? Then again, if it's store policy, and she didn't do it, then shouldn't I be helping to uphold the policy? Also, didn't I deserve a free meal?

So I hedged my bet. When the girl brought my food, I said "oh, hey, could I grab a receipt for that? I don't think I got one."

She printed out a receipt, handed it to me, and then walked away.

NOW I'm pissed.

I shall just drown my sorrows in this box of satay.


...which I bet would have tasted better had it been free.

Location:Noodle Box, Parramatta Westfield, Parramatta