Friday, October 30, 2009
Brian Wilson (Demo, 1966)
One of the most amazing melodies ever written, put to some of the strangest, most impenetrable, yet still beautiful lyrics, sung by a genius. An excerpt:
'..Hung velvet overtaken me
Dim chandelier awaken me
To a song dissolved in the dawn
The music hall a costly bow
The music all is lost for now
To a muted trumpeter swan
Columnated ruins domino
Canvass the town and brush the backdrop
Are you sleeping, Brother John?
Dove nested towers the hour was
Strike the street quicksilver moon
Carriage across the fog
Two-Step to lamplight cellar tune
The laughs come hard in Auld Lang Syne..'
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Great memories of times away from the stress of work in Tokyo and fun family time together. The snow was icing on the cake, to use a bad cliche.'
If you have a picture of something you like, something you made, or whatever, email it, along with a paragraph or two about it, to me at bmclaughlin/at/sstar/dot/com/dot/au (without the slashes and with actual dots and stuff)
So, while I was trying to get to sleep last night I came up with another rad invention. Introducing, the freezer MeatBox:
Remove one freezer shelf, and substitute it with the meat box. Slide lid open, whack in your meat portions, replace lid, and get on with your life. Simple, yet brilliant.
It isn't copyright at all (I just put the copyright sign on my drawing to look professional), so if you are a famous inventor, you should totally use my detailed blueprints and make this great thing. You'll be rich. I don't even expect royalties- it will be enough for me, just to have a MeatBox of my own one day.
Some decent characters and dialog, and nicely shot, but I found it too CGI heavy, and because of that, the monsters didn't really scare me that much. 3/5
I'm currently doing a little read-up on Judith Wright's works. However there is precious little information on "the cicadas" and i just cant seem to find the poem anywhere except a stanza on your splendid blog. Please follow up on Cicadas II and maybe post the full poem. Thanks for any help if willing.
PS (or at least send a url link)
So Ted, here it is, Judith Wright's The Cicadas in full~
On yellow days in summer when the early heat
presses like hands hardening the sown earth
into stillness, when after sunrise birds fall quiet
and streams sink in their beds and in silence meet,
then underground the blind nymphs waken and move.
They must begin at last to struggle towards love.
For a whole life they have crouched alone and dumb
in patient ugliness enduring the humble dark.
Nothing has shaken that world below the world
except the far-off thunder, the strain of roots in storm.
Sunk in an airless night they neither slept nor woke
but hanging on the tree's blood dreamed vaguely the dreams of the tree,
and put on wavering leaves, wing-veined, too delicate to see.
But now in terror overhead their day of dying breaks.
The trumpet of the rising sun bursts into sound
and the implacable unborn stir and reply.
In the hard shell an unmade body wakes
and fights to break from its motherly-enclosing ground.
These dead must dig their upward grave in fear
to cast the living into the naked air.
Terrible is the pressure of light into the heart.
The womb is withered and cracked, the birth is begun,
and shuddering and groaning to break that iron grasp
the new is delivered as the old is torn apart.
Love whose unmerciful blade has pierced us through,
we struggle naked from our death in search of you.
This is the wild light that our dreams foretold
while unaware we prepared these eyes and wings-
while in our sleep we learned the song the world sings.
Sing now, my brothers; climb to that intolerable gold.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
It is a very, very hard word to men, and you'll need a strong constitution to make it through. But it's really worth it, and I got a lot out of it. Definitely one I'll listen to again and again.
He says that men are prone towards two extremes- chauvinism (too much 'man') or cowardice (not enough 'man'). He goes absolutely drill-sargeant at some points, completely berating men. The general theme is, 'you're not cute, you're an idiot'. It is really worth listening to.
Women, it'll be helpful for you as well (why wouldn't you want to see men get their butts kicked?) There's one for women as well, that I'll listen to next.
2. That blog readers skim. If you write a stack of words, be prepared for not every little one to get read.
3. That readership grows really slowly, and not to get discouraged. Commit to writing it, and hang in there. If you build it, they will come. In several years time.
4. That your deep, heart-felt posts may not get comments. People don't have time to respond to you with an essay, but they don't want to write a trite 'there, there' either. Hence, 0 Comments.
5. That a lot of the time you can't be bothered keeping the blog going, but that you feel a sense of satisfaction when you make the effort to do so. It's all about momentum.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I made this quilt for a friend who is having a baby girl in December. This gave me a chance to use all my lovely girly fabrics that the birth of my son had prevented! Its my first quilt and I was surprised how easily it all came together.'
But I just remembered it then, and remembered it was a good idea, and that I should actually get around to it. So I will.
If you would like to, email me a picture of something you like a lot (could be a childhood photo, or an object, or whatever you like) and write a couple of paragraphs about what it is and why you love it. You should totally do it, it would be great.
My email is bmclaughlin/at/sstar/dot/com/dot/au (without the slashes and with actual dots)
I was doing storyboards non stop a couple of years ago, and got completely jack of it, but now it's like 'oh yeah, this is not so bad!' I'm sure the novelty will wear off fairly quickly, but I'm just thankful for it while it lasts.
I have three weeks to do a 12 minute episode, which is kinda tight, so I'll probably have to hit it pretty hard. So, see you in a few weeks.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I thought it was a good version, probably the best I've seen. Nicely made, good choice of actors, good focus with a plot that I have always found a bit hard to follow. Looking forward to the second part next week.
Mock if you will, but there's something very nice about snuggling up in front of a Sunday night period drama on the ABC. Austen? That would be pushing it. But Bronte, for sure.
2. Favourite 'I know it's bad for me but it's so awesome' breakfast cereal
3. Did you ever get the cane at school?
4. A movie you'd like to see
5. How many times do you hit the button on the traffic light to cross the road- once, or a bunch?
6. Do you look better in the morning or late at night?
7. How much money would it take for you to eat a live cockroach
8. On average, how many pieces of fruit would you eat a day?
9. The best thing about your job
10. Do you ever get the impression your friendly neighbourhood quizmaster is running out of questions? He is.
From that point, I will do this treatment completely online and in my own time over several months. It will tackle the issue of the anxiety and the relationship it has to my stuttering. It'll be good.
Friday, October 23, 2009
I'm not a car person, so I don't really see me being that guy in the new red convertible, balding on top but with a 'weekend warrior' ponytail at the back. And I'm too much of a pansy to ride a motorbike. So I wonder what it would be for me?
The thought has also occurred to me that I might currently be having a bit of a 1/3 life crisis at the moment. I think mainly it's the heavy metal thing. Last year I was readying myself for grandfatherhood, and had my eyes on a pair of R.M. Williams and some sensible beige slacks. Whereas this year I'm actually considering buying a Guns n' Roses Appetite For Destruction t-shirt.
Am I totally neurotic, or do you wonder about these things too?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
10 Things I Like About My Wife~
1. That she doesn't do things for show.
2. That she pushes me to step out of my comfort zone, and do things I don't want to do, even though she may have to pick up some slack.
3. That she throws herself into being a mother, without seeing it as an inconvenience.
4. That she expects me to take her at her word.
5. That she manages our finances, and thinks practically.
6. That she accepts me the way I am, but supports and encourages me completely when I make efforts to change.
7. That she can use the power drill that I'm too scared to touch.
8. That she listens to my long-winded ramblings
9. That she loves God more than she loves me, and expects the same in return.
10. That she's hot.
It amazes me how quickly a morning can get out of control and leave me in the depths. I am truly that guy who lets himself get tossed about by every wave (James 1), rather than making sure I keep hope as 'an anchor for the soul' (Hebrews 6:19).
Well, I'll make a concerted effort to turn the day around from this point, anyhow. It's important to remind yourself that a couple of bad hours don't have to write off an entire day.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Which isn't really the raddest metal name you've ever heard, but it sounded considerably radder in the dream.
I went to their rehearsal, and they started playing one of their songs. I was about to get up and rock the mic, when my alarm went off. I felt such anger and bitterness towards my alarm clock that in order to spite it, I went back to sleep for forty minutes. You're not the boss of me, clock.
Out of curiosity, I just Googled 'The Red Men' to see what I would find. This:
My awesome metal band did not look like that. There were definately less loin cloths involved.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
What is your opinion of those World Vision gift certificate things that people sometimes give as presents at Christmas? I have had mixed feelings about these in the past, and with Christmas approaching rapidly I thought I ought to work out where I stand, once and for all.
So, for those who don't know, sometimes people will give you a Christmas card, but when you open it, it turns out to be this World Vision thing, where the other person has bought this certificate that says something like 'you have bought an African village a goat' or something like that. It is a pretty cool idea, and E has initiated us doing this a few times in the past as well.
It is probably shameful to admit, but when I have gotten one of these, my immediate emotion, if I'm honest, is disappointment. My selfish line of thought goes, well that is awesome that you have bought the village a goat, but I don't understand how I fit in to this equation. You have bought it, they have got it. So why include me, and why does this mean I miss out on a personal card or present from you as a result?
I know this is petty and self-centred, that's why I'm saying it- to try and get to the bottom of it. I guess the thinking is that it makes the giftee feel good to think that rather than getting a pair of socks, the money has gone to something more worthwhile. I do get that to an extent, but another part of me feels like I miss out on the gifters genuine thought and effort for me. Is this ridiculous?
For the record, it's not the present itself. I really don't particularly want or need more stuff. I think it's more that I feel nothing personally directed at me. Maybe it would be different if there was a personal card that went with it, rather than just my name written on a dotted line. I don't know.
Honestly, what are your thoughts on this? Is this ridiculous and selfish? Am I alone on this one? It's more blessed to give than to receive, so should I just be thankful for the opportunity to take part in that exchange?
It tasted alright, but I wish I knew how to do more with fish, to make it more tasty. I don't know if it's the kind of fish I buy, but it always seems a bit tasteless to me. The times I've tried to fry it, rolling it in egg and flour or something, it always falls apart. And the nice golden brown tasty bits all get left on the bottom of the pan.
Do you eat much fish? Have you got any nice ways of cooking it?
Monday, October 19, 2009
Say what you like about metal, but I like that discussions like this happen on YouTube metal clips on a regular basis-
georgeenaaaaa (1 week ago)
i love how much contraversy (sorry for spelling) happens over Christian metal, and God Himself... Honestly, I feel that whether or not He's truly there or not doesn't matter, it's simply about what the person believes. I do suppose, as a Christian, it's wrong for me to say it, or maybe I'm not a true Christian...
Please comment this, explain maybe to me whether you think I'm just wrong or whatever.
Lycan8484 (1 week ago)
When it comes to believing if god is real, I personally believe he is, but I do agree that it does come down to whatever your beliefs are.
But for me, I would much rather believe in God and find out in the end he Isn't real than to not believe in him, and then die, and there he is.
TheDeathCertificate (4 days ago)
Well, to be a Christian you have to believe that Jesus died on the cross to forgive your sins and that Jesus is God. Becoming a Christian is confessing this. Pray with me to become a Christian "Jesus forgive me of my sins and come in my life" AMEN! Then you are all set for God Jesus and Heaven.
venezuelam (4 days ago)
its not that simple, that praying must come from the heart of each individual, its not just something pasted on internet, you have to show yourself to His presence, that praying in there is too short, its not like that, it has to come from the heart, dont hide anything when you pray to Him.
2. Do you have a recurring dream?
3. Exercise of choice
4. How you'd like to spend $30
5. How many times do you wear a pair of socks (honestly)
6. Something about yourself you didn't realise a few years ago
7. Number of coffees you have a day
8. The blog you've started reading most recently
9. Are you on a Mac or a PC?
10. The five teens in The Breakfast Club are described as 'a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse'. Which combination of two of these best describe you during high school? (Seriously, how good is this question?)
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Just so you know, I was painting the ceiling white, and bumped my head on it accidentally, so get off my case, alright?
I'm not mad, I'm not criticising, I'm just curious. Doesn't that symbol mean 'at'? Aren't you saying, "At Ben, yes blah blah.."
It saddens me that all the insects get lumped in together, so a cockroach gets the same standing as a beetle. Cockroaches are vile demonic beings, whereas beetles are just nice little fellas who want to say hello.
The Bible actually says we are to like insects. Consider this-
All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you. (Leviticus 11:20)
You have read this in the past and said, 'aha, yay I can hate those little guys'. But think for a minute. This is a cryptic text. No insect walks on all fours, unless it has lost a couple of limbs in a skiing accident or something. Insects have six legs. They walk on all sixes.
So you need to read between the lines, and see this as a call to love.
You don't need to get all John The Baptist and start eating them, but you should at least consider giving them a friendly pat now and again.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
You probably have no idea what I'm talking about, so I'll give an example--
'When thinking about those who have made the biggest impact to modern civilization as we know it; you have your Thomas Edison's, your Albert Einstein's. Your Ben McLaughlin's. Your Abe Lincoln's.'(1)
Thanks for the props, modern commentators, but I am not Legion.
(1)Journal Of Really True Facts, Second Edition, 2006.
I did a three minute evaluation of another guy's presentation. It was hard, but it went pretty well. As soon as I get behind that lectern I suddenly feel very tiny, and the audience seems a hundred metres away.
I spoke to a guy who's speech was so fluent and flawless that I assumed he was one of the few in the group who did not have a stutter. I asked him, and he said that he had had a terrible stutter, and that as a young man he could barely get a word out. He said it has taken many years and a lot of hard work to be where he is now.
Maybe I should have found that daunting, but actually I just found it hugely inspiring. With God's power, self-belief and years of hard work, I will get there some day.
He is an absolute genius, of minimalism, layout, composition and quirky charm. His Hellboy covers are always amazing, and this one is no exception. So dynamic and great.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
E suggested that we read this book together, so we've both made a start on it, and it has been good so far.
When people pronounce the word 'genre' without the soft 'g' sound, so it sounds like 'john-ra'.
I'm not asking you to wear a red and white striped top, grow a goatee and carry a bread stick, but just at least give me that soft 'g' sound. That's all I'm asking.
I totally understand where she's coming from, but I won't be joining her. I can't do that. Not won't, can't. It's like deciding to go through life without chocolate. Or red frogs. Or Conan. What would be the point?
Monday, October 12, 2009
2. First DVD you owned
3. Something you crave
4. What shoes are you wearing
5. Last music you listened to
6. Number of Aussie states/territories you've been to
7. Gelato flavour of choice
8. What are you reading in the Bible
9. Something good happening this week
10. Three words to describe how you'd like people to see you
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I have a massive box of tapes, and I don't know what to do with them. I don't really play them, and would happily get rid of the album ones that I could eventually track down on CD. But the mix-tapes are my sticking point.
How can I let go of those beautiful compilations? Rare jewels. Songs from friends. Songs taped off the radio I could never find again. How can I say goodbye to these things that are so precious, but so redundant?
So many people from the local community came for the service and stayed around afterwards for morning tea, lunch etc. From my point of view, it was a real success, and a far bigger success than pessimistic ol' me would have predicted.
Well done to all of those involved!
Thankfully I am in a bit of a different place now, on the final afternoon of my holidays. Having really reached a head last night after spiralling down to some pretty dark depths, I felt a change in church today. I finally felt repentant, and humbled, and just wanted to hand back the reigns.
No good whatsoever comes of me taking control of my life, and I realise that today, afresh, for the millionth time since becoming a Christian all those years ago.
Friday, October 9, 2009
I went out earlyish this morning and did this painting. It felt great to paint again after not doing any all year.
I am pretty pleased with how it turned out, though I was a bit angsty and frustrated as I was doing it. I was also freezing cold and busting to go to the toilet for most of the time. Still fun.
I had a bit of a scare half way through, when a bloke walked out of the open garage, got in the bus and started driving... Nooooo! But thankfully he was just reparking, about a metre away.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
We're looking forward to it, we both like animals. She particularly wants to see some lizards.
But yesterday I filled two and a half garbage bags with clothes to take to Vinnies. It was very therapeutic indeed, and my wardrobe is now very streamlined. The majority were those clothes (especially t-shirts) that I've told myself over the years, 'I'll be able to fit in to that again some time'.
No you won't. I think I needed to face up to the probability that the manboobery is not going anywhere any time soon.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
All the time I was working and passing through town I would be dreaming of the day that I could just go in to town and trawl endlessly through this giant old comic shop, and look in music shops and stuff like that. Anyway, that day came today: this morning was my time-out window of going and doing that by myself.
But, I build these things up too much, and inevitably come home feeling kind of empty and disappointed. I stupidly expect these dumb hobbies to make me feel happy or fulfilled, but in the end, they obviously don't.
I know, I know, this is all very obvious. Of course if you look for fulfillment in things and stuff of this world rather than in God, you will not find meaning. That's the point. I guess I am a slow learner on this point. But I did try and prepare, spending the whole trip in to town praying about other stuff and making sure my heart was right.
I dunno. It's all very frustrating to me. I find it hard to not obsess about my hobbies, and just be able to enjoy them from a 'safe distance', without putting too much weight on how they make me feel. Stupid, I know.
Monday, October 5, 2009
They look pretty different, I reckon. Little i is smaller, and has darker hair, but with blue eyes. Little e is fair, but with dark brown eyes.
Nice relaxing day so far. Long lazy morning, and then a trip to Summer Hill where we had some fish and chips and went to the playground.
We have been going hardcore on the spring cleaning and our place is a big confused mess. The hallway is an obstacle course of junk that you need a compass to get through. But it's a therapeutic mess.
How are you spending your public holiday Monday?
2. A big droplet of pure bleach fell in my eye
3. I didn't have a ladder. Up on stool, down off stool. Repeat endlessly.
4. I'm so unfit that my arm 'muscles' are still screaming in agony
5. The bedroom still smells like bleach.
2. Getting my life back in some sort of order
3. Throwing out old stuff
4. Buying new stuff
5. Not going to work
2. A book you're reading
3. What did you do the year after high school?
4. Your middle name
5. A movie you wanted to walk out of
6. Most daring thing you've done
7. How are your cooking skills?
8. Something you're saving for
9. The last time you went to the beach
10. Secretly I wish...
Friday, October 2, 2009
It's kind of like show and tell, but for grown-ups. Amazed? Understandably. See, I like when people talk about something they love and are passionate about. I find that an attractive trait in people.
So peep this. Readers email me a photo of something of theirs, or something they like, or a photo from childhood, or a holiday, or whatever. And they write a short thing (short and sweet is the way to go, so people don't get bored and stop reading)about what it is and why they love it. And then I'll post it.
How good's that? I might call it something great like iShow n' Tell 2.0. And to show my commitment, even if you all think it's a bog idea, I'll still do it myself. That's how much of a lone gun I really am.
But seriously. Good idea, huh.
It inspired me to rethink things a bit, and start planning my time better. You can get so much more done if you write stuff down, and allocate a time for it. I really want this to be the case for next week, that I don't just sleep in and laze about doing nothing. I want to have plans and get stuff done- marriage stuff, family stuff, Bible reading, praying, hobbies, chores,speech practice etc. I'm excited.
I'm looking forward to talking to E about it, and mapping out the future a bit more, starting with this coming week.
Are you much of a planner?
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I really like the idea of little communities being built around blogs, with new friendships springing up, and that eventually extending beyond blogs and into the 'real world'. (I don't know why 'real world' is in adverted commas, it just seemed like the cool, knowing thing to do.)
Anyway, I often wonder about ways of having more interaction online. I don't think you can force it, by pleading for comments. If I was in the readers shoes I'd run a mile. Too needy. Click- next blog please.
But one idea I've been pondering is how cool it would be to have another superblog where it was shared by several people, and they could all post on it. I have seen some examples and most seem to fail. One person posts every day, the rest of the group post once every seventh leap year.
Another setback would be working out what the over-arching (is that a word?) topic thing would be for the blog. But I wouldn't want it to be too specific and exclusive in that way.
But whiny negatives aside, I'd love to go to some blog where everyone's always there chatting and posting. Sort of like an online Cheers. It'll never eventuate, but I like the idea.
It's alarming to me how quickly I can go from just feeling a bit grumpy, to having a wrathful vendetta against the entire world, and feeling like my whole insides are in a knot.
Usually this is down to losing track of reality, and cutting off my thankfulness and reverence. 'When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.' (Ps 73:21-22)
Time to hit reset, and start again.