Saturday, December 21, 2002

How to be cool. Get out of the inner-city... Boynton's street has emptied, shifted to the coast I guess, leaving us non-holiday resort decampers walking down hot asphalt echo chambers of the idle-factory "neighbourhood" ( actually the big factory at the back has just been sold off - presumably for warehouse apartments). Both neighbours have gone, so Boynton can break out and warble soulful ballads into the wee hours. Meanwhile Nora found cool relief inside a church this morning, rehearsing with trumpet for the annual carol service. "Yes I'm the rhythm section in The Virgin Mary again" she reports, a tad wearily.
Which links quite nicely to this Sir Cliff game (via b3ta)

Friday, December 20, 2002

A 1959 pamphlet on how to decorate a " tree made mostly of non-tarnishing long-lasting aluminium foil" Proper decoration will make your aluminium tree more beautiful (via Anil's daily links)

"I just love what (the aluminum tree) represents, the hope and naiveté of the era," (says one collector). "It was the beginning of the atomic age..."

"The reality of my daily life is that I'm juggling lots of balls in the air" says a defensive Santa (via Plep)

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Some Karaoke out-takes . A new machine that not only adjusts the pitch and tempo to suit the punter's voice, but will also "grade" the performance.The grading karaoke machine currently available only compares singers' performance against standardised tunes of the selected songs. But this new machine would recognise the singer's use of vibrato, tremolos and other techniques for grading singers."
And yesterday's Odd Spot reported that China's gridlocked drivers will be able to sing their blues away next year after the country's only privately owned car maker rolls out a car equipped with a karaoke machine.
The fact that kitsch kulture has become status quo is also a reason that karaoke is gaining younger, hipper, and even famous followers, but karaoke existed before the current retro wave and will certainly outlive the fickle fancies of ironic young people
Discussing Karaoke last night with a younger, hipper writer, Boynton let it slip that she too has secretly indulged in this vice.
And where else but a karaoke bar will you hear someone utter, "I'd like to do a Bread song someday, but I don't think I'm emotionally ready."
That strolling guitarist at a certain Kobe snack bar has a lot to answer for. Here is another fan who confesses: I sometimes get distracted by trying to make the words of the song last exactly as long as they take to change color on the video screen, and that means I'm not giving full voice..
More (serious 'scene') singing tips "Mastering fast songs" here.
and the more basic:"Enhancing Audience Appeal" Avoid sitting down while you sing, unless it really matches the song. But this is the tip that best resonates with Boynton:
If there’s a monitor in front of you, don’t hide behind it. Stand far back behind it (where you can still read it), or to the side

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

On the theme of random dog poetry, the Magnetic poetry on-line game - see "Dog Lover"
Of course, within the random scattering of the apples as described below, there may be deeper meaning. Some recent projects along these lines employ sheep...cows...and an earlier local grazing dairy herd. Also recommended is random sheep poetry
Balmy evenings. In the backyard over at Peel street , the Summer twilight pet-anque or elderly labrador crazy bowls pennant is about to begin again. The green shall be a rectangle, providing a level surface not injurious to bowls
On the edge of the green are two old apple trees, the windfall fruit of which shall be the bowls. Play begins as Douglas forages beneath the trees until he finds a bowl that he fancies. He then excitedly runs back to the mat, but will shortly spit out the invariably under-ripe specimen, thus delivering it to the green. It is now live. Abby (who is even more senile than Doug) will then slowly wander haphazardly across, swoop on the bowl, walk with it for a few metres before she in turn discards it. Tart. Doug then returns to trees, to find a second bowl and the process is repeated, until the green is filled with a free-form pattern of apples that are moved from time time during the evening. Bronte (Jack Russell) has neither the greed nor the neccessary degree of dementia to play, but she may inspect the bowls from time to time but not move them. She prefers skinks.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

It's a worry The internet is bad for your hypochondriasis (via Rebecca Blood). As a mild sufferer of "transient hypochondriacal concerns", Boynton is always mindful that medical students (and doubtless, doctors) are not immune to the condition. Boynton read with interest "the phenomenon of hypochondriasis in trainee doctors may receive more attention from tutors and student doctors than the same phenomenon in, say, a history student." As a recovering history student, she often suffered from too close an identification with her subject matter here as well (After reading accounts of early life in the bush she agreed it was certainly No Place for a Nervous Lady.) Oh well, to determine whether we really have the condition or not (to prove it - as the transient hyperchondriac would no doubt say) there's an on line self-diagnosis quiz here.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Black Dog - a temporary return to the first person
Today Douglas is 13 and six months. He was born on a cold Bloomsday. He should have been called Leopold. I saw him when he was 3 days old, bald, one of those strange squeaking little forms that blindly bleat for the teat, and paddle in the muddle of the litter. Time is catching up. I find myself staring at his beautiful thick black otter tail, that will still wag at the slightest cue, as other faculties decline, so finely tuned, will still wag at the barest hint of a smile. And on days like this, wags on in pure hope, as the only trick left, to cheer me up, a benevolent nag, when all seems lost. And of course his faith pays off, and I return to the land of the living, because you simply can't refuse a Labrador or his consolation.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Update Monday monday Can't trust that day Blogger won't let me post...Please stand by...

But I do...I have two dogs (via The Presurfer) And they are both closing in on Boynton now as she writes, waiting for things to get activated.