Archives: December 2004
Fri, 24 Dec 2004
Here's wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, and hope that you and yours are all well and happy.
I will be spending Christmas at the beach house with family. I'll be taking my camera, so hopefully lots of pictures upon my return in a few days.
I've been looking at new cameras, but not able to get one just yet. Maybe for my birthday :)
Okay, be good, play safe, buckle up, don't drink and drive... I want to see you all in the New Year.
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Thu, 23 Dec 2004
Two, three, four. Taken on Cuba Street.
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Joshua has taken to calling his newly-discovered penis a "willy." I'm not sure where he got this from, but I suspect his older brother has more than a little to do with it.
So, I'm putting Joshua's nappy on before bedtime, and he grabs frantically at the nappy.
"Where's my willy?! I want it!" he yells, and tries desperately to get his hand down inside the nappy. "It's my willy! Mine! Where is it?"
"Josh, Josh, calm down. It's safely tucked in the nappy for the night. Okay? You don't need it right now. It's gone to sleep for the night. Can you say goodnight Willy?"
"Goo-night Willy" he says, a little pout on his lips, looking very sad indeed.
And then yesterday, he comes up to me and starts unzipping my jeans. "Mummy, where's your willy?"
"Josh, Mummy doesn't have a willy."
"Yes, you do."
"No, Mummy's a woman, and women don't have penises."
He looks at me like I'm absolutely insane and completely ignorant of human anatomy. Of course everyone has a willy!
"Yes, you do, Mummy!" he says in exasperation, "Where is it?"
Okay, somebody tell me: when does this penis obsession end? I can deal with shit. I can deal with vomit. I can mop up piss. I can handle temper tantrums. I can deal with head lice and sticky toffee faces and always having a snot stain on my trousers where I've been used as a walking handkerchief.
But I'm completely out of my depths with penis obsession. Is this just a phase? Will he ever take his hands out of his pants again? When will he stop proudly showing people his erection?
Help me here!
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Tue, 21 Dec 2004
Metal and Glass
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Sun, 19 Dec 2004
'Tis the Season
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Sat, 18 Dec 2004
I bought a new CD yesterday - Iris DeMent singing oldtime gospel songs. Here's a sample: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms (MP3, 4.7mb).
I absolutely love this music. It just makes me want to go to church and git some religion. Well, almost. I'm a pretty devout agnostic. I dare say it would take even more than Iris DeMent's voice to get me on down to the local church.
Leaning, leaning, Safe and secure from all alarms
Leaning, leaning, I'm leaning on the everlasting arms
I love how she pronounces "everlasting" like "averlarsting". Southern drawls just make me go all weak-kneed.
You know, as much as I like mp3s and iPods and the idea of being able to carry 4000 songs on one little gizmo on the bus or wherever, the quality sucks. It just doesn't compare to listening to a CD on a Marantz CD player with Celestion speakers and an Onkyo amplifier. I mean, it just doesn't. Does quality of sound not matter to anyone anymore?
Ah well, at least it means I get to share this with you, which is a good thing. But go buy the CD!
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Thu, 16 Dec 2004
Taken in Kilbirnie one afternoon when I was wandering around by myself.
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Make a Movie
Think you're Hollywood's next biggest director? Try your hand at making a film here: DFilm Moviemaker.
Hours of fun! :)
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Tue, 14 Dec 2004
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Skin remembers how long the years grow
when skin is not touched, a gray tunnel
of singleness, feather lost from the tail
of a bird, swirling onto a step,
swept away by someone who never saw
it was a feather. Skin ate, walked,
slept by itself, knew how to raise a
see-you-later hand. But skin felt
it was never seen, never known as
a land on the map, nose like a city,
hip like a city, gleaming dome of the mosque
and the hundred corridors of cinnamon and rope.
Skin had hope, that's what skin does.
Heals over the scarred place, makes a road.
Love means you breathe in two countries.
And skin remembers--silk, spiny grass,
deep in the pocket that is skin's secret own.
Even now, when skin is not alone,
it remembers being alone and thanks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves.
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Mon, 13 Dec 2004
Well, you will be pleased to hear that I made it through yet another period without killing either myself or anyone else. Go me!
I tell you, folks, God must have been good and pissed off when he created women. I bet Mrs God had just been nagging at him for half an hour to put down the Heavenly Daily Post and do something about that leaking universe.
So he thought, shit. Adam can't get off so lightly with all this freedom. I'm going to create a female for him. And I'm going to make it so that one week every month, she's a stark-raving, sex-craving, chocolate-bingeing, needy, crying, bleeding loony. And, to top it all off, her face will still break out during her period even after she hits 40!
I can see God rubbing his hands in glee right now at his revenge. Gee, thanks, Mrs. God. Next time you could go a little more lightly on the nagging, okay. Give the poor guy a break.
Seriously. I get completely psychotic during those 5 days a month. Well, at least a couple of them at the beginning. Okay, and maybe just a couple before it starts as well. Bitchy, impatient, overly-sensitive, crying at the drop of a hat, angry, unable to tolerate noise or the opinions of others.
(Sheesh, Deb, I can hear you saying, how could we tell the difference?)
I also get a whopping migraine on the first day, leaving me pretty much wiped out for an entire 24 hours. I used to have to stay at home in bed for the day, but thanks to my local pharmacist, bless his soul, I recently discovered a drug combination that has become my saviour - Paramax for migraines and Nurofen Plus with codeine. I take them together, and then float through the day. At least they don't make me sleepy, although sometimes I can feel a slight spaciness softly settle itself upon my brain. Aaaaahhh, bliss.
The gist of all of this is: I am so over this bleeding-every-month thing. I never thought I wanted to get old, but if it means not doing this every freaking 28 days, then bring on old age! I embrace it. Gladly.
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Ship and Tugs
I took this from the bottom of my back lawn. The big ships dock just below our house. Here, the two tugboats that work the harbour are towing a big tanker out.
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Sun, 12 Dec 2004
Yesterday we put up our Christmas tree, and the boys and I decorated it. This is a yearly ritual with the children which I love.
We pull out the big box of ornaments and lights and tinsel from the basement, and their eyes widen when I open the lid. Shining, glimmering, sparkling, glittering, glass, reds, greens, blues, silvers. Bows, drums, sleighs, Santas, balls and bells.
"Oh, I remember this!" says Matthew, as he touches one of them. Joshua is too young to remember last year's Christmas, but Matthew is already starting to gather memories which will stay with him all his life.
Every ornament means something to me. Some of them are so precious. I can remember who gave them to me, where I bought them.
As we unwrap each one from their tissue paper and hang it on the tree, I say where it came from.
A silver coin with a ribbon tied on it - "Your Uncle B gave us that" I say to them.
A fat round wooden Father Christmas - "That came from Russia with your Auntie J"
A ball with camels on it - again from Aunt J when she lived in Saudi Arabia.
A beautiful clear glass bell - "That was a gift from your Nana and Grandad."
A puppet with moveable arms and legs - "From Joshua's godmother, J"
When I was a child we had a set of hand-blown and hand-painted glass ornaments from Poland. They were beautiful and in very unusual colours - pinks and whites and purples and mauves. I used to stare in wonder at them. I had never seen anything so beautiful.
I so regret that I do not know the story behind those Polish ornaments. I only know that they seemed very special to my parents. Over the years they broke, one by one, and I do not know what happened to the remaining ones. I wish that I had even one to put on my tree now. I have looked for similar ones but have found none that resemble the childhood ones I remember.
I want to tell my children the stories behind our Christmas ornaments. I will pass the ornaments on to them when they are older, complete with stories and memories that they can then pass on to their own children in due time. Family heirlooms have to start somewhere.
Every year we go to the Christmas Store at Kirkcaldies and Stains and buy a few new ornaments for the tree. This year we got a beautiful tin sleigh painted in bright colours, trimmed with flowers. And a beautiful angel with a golden halo and a red ribbon, to go with the glass bell angel that I bought last Christmas.
This year, the last ornaments to go on the tree were the wooden dolphin and whale sent to me by sister before she died. They had been handpainted by a friend of hers. The whale is wearing a santa hat, and the dolphin has holly and berries around its neck. They are not the most beautiful of ornaments, but they are the most precious of all the ones that I have because I know that my sister picked them especially for me.
Our tree is decorated with memories every year.
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Sat, 11 Dec 2004
Red, White and Blue
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Fri, 10 Dec 2004
No More Heroes Anymore
Okay, so I have the coolest two and a half year old ever. When asked what his favourite song is, does he say "Can We Fix It?" by Bob the Builder? "I Love You" by Barney the Dinosaur? The Hi-5 song? Bananas in Pajamas?
Not my child. He says "No More Heroes Anymore" by the Stranglers.
I kid you not. We have this on CD, and he knows exactly which one it is. He plays this one song over and over and over. Again and again. And he dances around the living room and sings all the words.
I do confess, it is a little disconcerting to hear a two and a half year old sing "Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky? He got an ice pick that made his ears burn."
But he's so cute when he sings the line "All the Shakespearoes."
Matthew, too, is still really interested in the same sort of music Michael and I are into. He has his own little CD rack where he puts his favourites. At the moment, it's filled with Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, the Bats, Ryan Adams, Patti Smith, the Violent Femmes, The White Stripes. Not bad for a kid of six.
I know there will undoubtedly come a day when peer pressure will give in and they will listen to whatever pap is being served up to youngsters these days on commercial radio, but I think the exposure they're getting to the music that we like will stay with them. Here's hoping.
That reminds me of another entry I want to write about the Modern Lovers' song "Old World" which I've been listening to a lot recently.
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Rose Garden in Bloom
I just love meandering amidst the roses in the Botanic Garden. So many beautiful colours, so many scents.
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Thu, 09 Dec 2004
Okay, well, I think I've solved it. I'm using pMachine, so I went on to the pMachine forum and discovered other users have recently been comment spammed as well. But I learned about a script that I was able to add which prevents HTML code being added into comments. As soon as you add an HTML tag, your comment is blocked. Try it!
And, of course, spammers want to add links, so their comments will be blocked.
It means, of course, that genuine users won't be able to add links in comments, but if you want to put in a link, you can just put the URL in without the HTML tags and we can all cut and paste.
Now I have to finish the arduous task of deleting all those comments. Sigh.
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Sorry, due to the comment spamming that is continuing on this site, I have had to take comments off for the time-being.
I tried just banning the IP number but that's not working.
Now they've spammed almost all my entries. And I have to go back and manually delete them.
Man, as I told a friend today, when I'm King of the Universe, the spammers are going to be first up against the wall, followed quickly by anti-abortionists who bomb clinics and people who drive planes into buildings. Then maybe a few fundamentalist rightwing redneck Christians just for fun.
I'm in a bad mood.
In case you couldn't tell.
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Tue, 07 Dec 2004
Wees and Poos and Pee Pees
Well, tonight is the obligatory potty training update. Non-parents-of-young-children can just switch off now, 'cos you won't be in the least bit interested in my son's newfound abilities in this area.
I can't even begin to tell you how relieved I will be when this is over. In one way, I'm quite sad that my baby is growing up, but mostly I'm so wanting to reach the next stage now. I'm so ready.
Fortunately, Joshua seems to be ready too. He is doing so well with the toilet training that I'm hesitant to talk about it lest I jinx it! In fact, if I dared, I would even go so far as to say that it's been a breeze.
The fact that it's summertime has helped alot, because we basically just let him run around with nothing on. At first he had about a 50-50 hit rate. Sometimes he'd pee or poo right where he was, sometimes he'd at least try to run for the toilet. Over the past few days, though, he's pretty much made it to the toilet every single time.
And no bribery! Matthew only trained properly with the promise of a lolly when he was successful. Nothing else really worked for him. No such measures required with Joshua. He just loves to be praised. He beams from ear to ear when we say "What a good boy, Joshua" every time he gets up on the toilet.
And the discovery of his penis has been a source of great amusement for all and sundry. He walks around with these little erections, and he proudly juts it out for all to see and says "My pee pee! Look! It's mine!"
God, it starts so young, doesn't it ;-p
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Mon, 06 Dec 2004
I took this picture tonight from the deck, in the dying light of a summer's evening. Looking out over Evan's Bay, Hataitai and the hills beyond, the hazy golden glow just shimmered on the water until it gave way to dark grey and advancing dark clouds from the north.
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Sat, 04 Dec 2004
Limes, lemons, oranges, mandarins, tangelos... summer is here.
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Late Afternoon Sun
A late afternoon in summer, with the sun streaming in to a corner of my kitchen.
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After posting the pictures of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Doug very kindly sent me this article.
I can't believe they are going to sandblast that beautiful building. Apparently a nearby homeowners group complained about the heat from the building caused by the reflective material. I don't rightly recall there being many homes in downtown LA near the Walt Disney Concert Hall, but there you go.
"It does get really, really warm in the summer," said Susan Yokoyama, co-owner of a video store near the hall. "It's like sitting in a sauna."
Uhm, isn't that just LA in the summer?
Such a shame to have to dim the glow of that building.
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Fri, 03 Dec 2004
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Wed, 01 Dec 2004
I recently came across a few wonderful photography sites that I wanted to share:
This site has reviews of other photography sites, a gallery and tutorials.
Life in America
Captured moments of everyday life in America. Anyone can submit a photo, and there are some truly inspirational ones here. Well worth the time to look through.
Joyce Tenneson Photography
I can't recall how I came across Joyce Tenneson's work, but her photographs are stunning. Click on the galleries link and then, within each gallery, click on the Images link. I love her portraitures, and I especially love the Illuminations and Transformations galleries where she exhibits digitally altered photos. Amazing. I would love to do work like that.
And while we're on the subject of photography, I purchased two books from Amazon which arrived a couple weeks ago:
Edge of Darkness: The Art, Craft, and Power of the High-Definition Monochrome Photograph by Barry Thornton
Elements of Black and White Photography: The Making of Twenty Images by George E Todd.
"The Elements of Black and White Photography" is much too technical for me at the moment, but I'm hoping that one day I will have the time and skill to put it to good use. I think that realistically that will have to wait until Joshua is a little older. I am going to join the local Photographic Society here, though, and they have workshops at various skill levels.
The first book, "Edge of Darkness", is really well-written and personal. It is less technical, but has a lot more commentary on the thinking behinds his pictures, which is what interests me the most. It's the creative and artistic vision that fascinates me, rather than f-stops and printing techniques, although I know that it is very difficult to realise the former without some knowledge of the latter.
I've been so busy lately that I haven't had an opportunity to get out with my camera. I really miss having time to go out shooting. I can't do it when the kids are with me, it's too hard. I need to be alone, I get so absorbed in what I'm doing.
Well, folks, I hope you enjoy the links. I'm going to bed now. I'm very tired.
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