Saturday, April 19, 2003

Palms and psalms. Nora has taken temporary care of a rogue dog, the definitive farm dog, a blue heeler. Boynton – who grew up in a house full of dogs and siblings - whose very pram was tended by an old border collie cross – still baulks when Flo enters the room. Something about the pointy ears or the yellow eyes causes a flight trigger. But she is actually quite benign, and waddles about anxiously with her fat egg-fed belly- possibly in a state of confusion about her exile and adoptive pack. Yesterday we took her for a run at a large free-running park and of course she ran off. She made a beeline for a bicycle in the distance, before idly falling in again with her strange captors.The park was the setting for a Passion Play, and our pack stumbled across three wooden crosses lying in wait on the ground near the Bunya Pine. The dogs inspected them religiously. On Good Friday – or Karfreitag – Boynton always likes to play “On the Willows” from Godspell– even if the theology is NQR – its mournful poignancy seems to go with the Kar
Nora has officially been given notice of impending demolition and is house-hunting. Hunting out obscure pockets of overlooked houses. Boynton hopes she will go for one with etched glass doors. Such is the power of featurism, or the poverty of diversion, that a retro etched palm tree is all it would take for boynton’s heart to gladden every time she calls in to visit. Meanwhile the old apple trees of peel street, and the resident possums are probably enjoying their last season.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Seeing this automobile furniture site (via the Presurfer) reminded boynton of a few of those car-centric plots featured on the Hatch's plot bank. They may have wheels afterall.
970 decides to rent lavish furnishings and car to impress old friend
44 tries to make expensive new car into art
816 tries to fix their own car
900 friend in danger - wrecks car on the way
A review of Lucinda Williams World Without Tears (via eclectica)
The problem is, Williams' work has always been defined by that struggle, by reaching so deeply within herself to prove her naysayers wrong, that her newfound success seemed something of a Pyrrhic victory. Artistic and material success is wonderful, but who wants to hear songs about how great things are going?

If The Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me
All time best of the worst country song titles (via scrubbles)
I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I'm Gonna be a Diamond Someday)

Thursday, April 17, 2003

We’ve been thinking about doorbells and visitors lately since Scott of the eye alerted boynton to the possible slippery slope down to virtual hermitville. Once upon a time boynton bought an excellent electronic type, that she swiftly had to exchange. She had managed to buy one with the same frequency channel as her neighbours They were alerted to this fact instantly as a friend of boynton's, who shall remain nameless Nora, had been delighting in testing out the sonic range of the new toy, a hundred times in a minute. Ever since that poor model died, she has relied on the kindness of her labrador’s ears. But these are steadily diminishing in keenness. A simple doorbell with an appropriate chime may indeed be a good thing. Or perhaps a full on strobe effect with a menagerie of sound effects to choose from. (The ubersportingpundit crowd would no doubt go for “crickets at night”)
But what about when the doorbell rings by itself? Of course there may well be a rational answer to this. Perhaps the new Hypersonic Sound technology may provide the answer. (via Ron Bailey, but alas, the fascinating NYTimes article is now archived)
What excuse then for the hermit when a stray visitor shoots a sonic bullet into her distant head, blogging or not.
Six months up today for boynton. A mere blink in the blogosphere. Six months of writing in the third person - of minding the sneaky first person pronoun creep! Not even on MT yet - although mindful, watchful of the great to MT or not to MT debate.Biding time on Blogspot with its banner and google connections. Boynton could follow others and reflect on blogging like Fred did so well after a year, or Virulent Memes after four. But for now she'll just quote Patsy:"You can't have too many handbags, er, shoes, and, um, hats and, er, gloves".

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Writerly... J walk recently featured two sites for stumped writers needing plot ideas Hatch’s plot bank features over 2000 scenarios to spark ideas. But boynton is not sure how dramatically sustainable some are for playwrighting purposes:
64 stupid cow clock with swinging tail has to go
128 ideal mate wears inappropriate clothes to mountains –(yes - there’s a treatment in that)
while readers will know that this idea is right up boynton’s alley
354 link to website promises the wrong thing
Some merely reflect boynton’s life:
257 mistakes a phrase for a sign of love
262 starts collecting stray pets
338 plays the piano quite badly
198 throws a big party - only three come (isn’t three a big party)
some seem to have more promise as a couplet:
97 finds childhood goals now within grasp
98 drives off the road for no apparent reason
or work better as an inversion:
376 college stories are too frank for spouse
boynton prefers the spin off: college stories are too spouse for frank.

As well as offering 36 + 1 dramatic situations the other link goes down the randomizer path with its oblique strategies.
There are random (form style) characters here, while the more surreal shuffle about here. This site features the cut-up technique while a poem (or prompt?) is created by stopping the random flow here
Yesterday Meredith pointed to a great site Is it a book, one of whose links is to the Surrealist game “Exquisite corpseThere are written and pictoral forms of this game, but both involve the same principle: that the players each make a contribution to the whole without having knowledge of any of the other players' contributions. A great gallery of these can be seen here.
Sometimes it seems that blogging itself is a form of this game, a variation of "consequences" - an unfolding collective collage of links, trackback and comments. Cross currents of countless cut up conversations.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

boynton found she had some Twain up in the higher reaches of the stacks, (the toppling piles that is) and was reading from his Australian travels “on the rail again”
It has actually taken nine hours to come from Ballarat to Bendigo. We could have saved seven by walking. However, there was no hurry.
Hunting down Horsham links the other day, boynton herself did a virtual tour of Victoria with the excellent regional galleries trail. Starting with Horsham, she got stuck in Warrnambool, and actually forgot to close down Sale. So when she hopped off line there it was, the small window of the gallery interior, spinning away like some giddy screensaver or compulsive culture vulture. Virtual Museum fatigue.

Flying Puppet's Bosch (via The Presurfer. Shockwave)

Monday, April 14, 2003

Just when boynton was getting almost weighed down by various aspects of virtuality - reading about various cyber charades, the fake flirting personae of romance, and the attendant paranoia of new communication, of reading too much into the lines, or of reading (and disclosing) too little – of a project that tries to build a portrait from the known on-line self and filling in the guesses of the unknown, she herself missed a real visitor at her door. She of course was blogging and didn’t hear the knock.
I was in your suburb, so I came around t say hello.”
Of course her deaf old dog didn’t hear him either and her neighbours were engaged in very loud acts of renovation at the time. But it was sobering to see his handwritten note on the door.
"I know how much fun it is to get a letter on your door from a real person.”

Of course if we'd been living in the nineteenth century he may have left his CDV - carte de visite - (of course that's literally not figuratively). And some splendid tintypes here.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Still on TV – we’re up for the last episode of Ken Burns' Mark Twain tonight.
It was amusing – albeit in the usual our-place-in-the-world reality check way – that the only mention of oz- that us – in MT's Australian travels was his appearance in Horsham, a small town in the Victorian Wimmera. A fitting sidelight to a footnote?
If you have a spare 20 mins a good interview with Ken Burns here from ABC Sydney.
Mistakes in the Twain documentary
A parody of Jazz.
Official PBS site
It was rather bizarre seeing Michael Parkinson interview Michael Aspel last night on Parkinson. Two silver haired seventy year old gentleman-talk show hosts, of the "relaxed, well-groomed, and attentive to his guests' feelings" school (vintage?) chatting about chatting. At times it was a mirror image, revived after the oblivion of parody. (Boynton knows she's seen at least one sketch where the host interviews himself). There seemed to be a levelling from age, a candour of spent rivalry and ambition, admissions of limitations, an alliance of survival. Aspel confessed to blandness as an asset, because in the industry blandness can (eventually) mean versatility.
When Aspel and Co hit our screens a few years back we thought we were getting dumbed down Parky. We remembered the glory days - the classic Parkinson moments when the talk broke free of the contrived format and meandered into revelation. But the revived show seemed to suffer in comparison to the memory. More guests, less time, more spin, more cues. No room for conversation, just a skim through a standard chronology like any on-line quiz, or bad eulogy. There often seems to be a sense of disappointment from the participants who are primed for ritualistic confession, but get the on-line quiz instead. And from the audience who don't buy the alleged shorter attention span, dumbed down demographic push, but who still seek something serious in the circus. A moment or two of rough truth.