Friday, April 27, 2012

my grandad has big ears

my grandad has big ears. his ears are so big he could fit a ship in there and it could sail on an ocean of sound for a whole six months. at the dinner table my grandad wiggles his ears and eats mashed potatoes. his pulls on his ear lobes and scoops a fork-full of peas into his mouth. when he chews his ears move up and down like marionettes.

my grandma knitted my grandad an extra big hat. his ears are so big that normal hats don't keep his ears warm in the wintertime. his new hat is blue and white striped. it has a pom-pom on it. grandad isn't too fussed on the pom-pom to be honest.

my father affectionately calls my grandad 'dumbo'. it's a little joke in our family. he'll say things like 'pass the remote, dumbo' and 'dumbo, would you like a gingernut?' gingernuts are my grandad's favourite biscuit. he is having difficulty eating them these days because his teeth aren't as strong as they used to be.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

time to go

It’s time to go now your grandfather whispered and his hand slid down the banister and you held him – well, you clenched your fist around the fabric of his shirt and you pulled on it, you let him guide you –

The shards sprayed over the linoleum. You cut yourself on a fragment with bits of an ancient Jack Daniels label stuck on, and your little foot bled all over the floor.

Friday, April 20, 2012

christchurch: 16-19 April

top three christchurch things
  1. hamish 
  2. simba 
  3. alice in videoland

bottom three christchurch things
  1. the palms/east christchurch in general
  2. drizzle
  3. 11yr old 90s gangstas

things i did
  1. watched 'a child is waiting'
  2. watched 'gloria'
  3. watched 'fracture'
  4. watched 'separation city' 
  5. watched 'shadows'
  6. went to addington coffee co-op ~4 times
  7. went to nana's new house
  8. ate snacks with simba
  9. ate mince
  10. went to the new central library
  11. saw a building get pulled down
  12. got a new york deli sandwich
  13. failed at shopping real miserably 
  14. had mexican with hamish, his sister and his mum
  15. ice cream party with matt and megan and hamish

things i didn't do:
  1. go to dress-mart
  2. go to $2 toffs
  3. see my dad
  4. play board games with selwyn and claire
  5. write my seminar

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Life is a series of incurable awakenings that disrupt our blissful slumber every 24 hours or so until we die. The only thing I can think of to aid this transition from paradise (sleep) is to start the day with something so damn upbeat that nothing could possibly go wrong. Spike Milligan wrote a poem about it, and if it was good enough for him then it’s good enough for me.

Growing up, my nana would boil up a big pot of porridge for my cousins and me. We sat at the table underneath the mounted clock that chimed on the hour watching her stir the oats into the milk. It seemed like such an out-dated thing, I remember, to eat porridge and not the other cereals, which were either chocolate or made noises when you ate them. Porridge was so primal, agrarian. On Sundays Dad would make it in the microwave and slop it into some bowls for Mum and I and slowly our Sunday ritual would become that of Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and so on.

Porridge can become quite boring for a child though. Adults need to be aware of that. The knack is to make it sweeter. Some porridge manufacturers tell you to add a bit of salt to the mixture before you heat it. For me, that is unnecessary. You should either add honey to steaming hot porridge, or brown sugar to the dry oat mix. Honey is the healthier option, and brown sugar is not only cheaper but adds a caramel-y flavour. Porridge can be spicy as well, if you want a more aromatic breakfast. One should not be afraid to experiment with the spice-rack (the spices that are reserved for baking) that is: ginger, five spices, cinnamon, nutmeg. My routine differs in summer than it does in winter, I think. I prefer a spicy, more flavoursome porridge in wintertime and a simple, delicately sweet porridge in the warmer months. And always with banana.

I’ve found it really hard to change to other cereals. Like. I just can’t do it. Porridge is a good way to eat dairy-free in the morning when toast just doesn’t cut it. It’s also warmer and more filling and has iron in it and is really cheap – a bag of porridge that lasts me about 10 days is $2.50.

Traditionally porridge is made stovetop. This makes for a relaxing, almost ceremonial breakfast-time in the weekends, but what if busy people during the week want a bowl of porridge before work or school but don’t have the time to mix in the oats for 5-10 mins? Porridge can be made in the microwave as well, and even faster by just blending boiling water into the dry-mix. The latter is my usual method. It thickens up when you keep stirring. And since the jug has already boiled I can have a cup of tea at the same time and read a book with a lot of pictures in it at the dining table. So ideal.

I have only tried my methods with oat-based porridge. There are lots of other variations of porridge, wheat, barley, corn and rice. Maybe I will try those kinds one day though for now I’m pretty comfy with my oat-bowl.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Urbanized (2011)

This is the last film in Gary Hustwit's design trilogy (the other two were, Helvetica and Objectified). I went to it because my thesis for this year is about urban environments. 

Things about it:
  •  Kind of put into perspective how damned big this whole planet is. Lots of different cities around the world were given their 15mins and the titles introducing them tell you how many people there are in each (Mumbai has 12 million people!!)
  • Phoenix is massive suburban sprawl
  • Killer aerial shots
  • Interviews with architects/'starchitects' (celeb architect) who prefer urban living, pedestrian/cycle friendly cities, and are environmentally conscious
  • Economic, political, social, environmental, aesthetic implications to urban design
  • Empathy with lower classes/slums with no sewerage systems (in Mumbai there is only one toilet per 600 people (pretty atrocious).).
  • Colourful images
  • History of New York urban development - started out by this guy Robert Moses who pretty much fucked everything up and then Jane Jacobs came along who was a real chill writer with real good ideas about urban planning (how it should be organised from eye level not aerial views (which seems so damn obvious, but I dunno)) and was real revolutionary. 
  •  Community gardens
  • ghost towns (detroit)
  • New Orleans rebuild - weird Malibu beach houses courtesy of Brad Pitt
  • street art 
  • Preeminence of civil opinion
  • public sculpture 
It was pretty good though got a bit squashy and sentimental re. civil riots/protesters against demolition of park/old trees/historic building. But in an individualistic way. Like pitting citizens against the politicians, making this people vs the state kind of point. I looked up admin jobs in architecture firms afterwards. Found some good ones in Australia.

a list of good things

  1. vigil by vincent ward
  2. maya deren 
  3. richard brautigan 
  4. len lye 
  5. mr wrong
  6. meow café
  7. tights 
  8. socks
  9. toast
  10. elliot smith
  11. national radio podcasts
  12. hwb
  13. new glasses
  14. boris
  15. peninsula
  16. these are the skeletons of us
  17. ruby
  18. heavenly creatures
  19. crunchie cadbury chocolate
  20. coconut cadbury chocolate
  21. miso 
  22. bagel
  23. gouda cheese with cumin seed
  24. post it notes
  25. brown-grey corduroy pants
  26. brown and white stripey cardigan 
  27. the quiet earth
  28. 21 jump street
  29. squeeze
  30. bride flight
  31. out of the blue
  32. urbanized
  33. the library
  34. 5:45pm with the time change

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the very sick dog

the dog looked through the glass at the family in the kitchen. it stood on it's hind legs and scratched the window and whimpered at the back of it's throat. it coughed. it was a very sick dog. the dog wanted some pats and to be close to the family, for them to say "it's okay pooch" and feed it some choc-drops, but the family locked the very sick dog outside until the seasons changed and the dog got pneumonia and died.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

menu story

I was really disappointed with my order when it came out. I mean, it wasn’t the cheapest thing on the menu and it came out really regally on this big white plate, real sterile-like, and right in the middle barely covering a quarter of the surface. It didn’t even have any cheese in it. I was really pumped for some cheese. Essentially it was only what, like two slices of bread and some margarine? Man.