Friday, 28 November 2008

Dear Anonymous

Yes, that was me at Greater Union on George Street.

I think it's funny when people send me comments saying "Was that you at such and such at this time?"

Okay. That makes it sound like it happens all the time, but really it's only happened once before. But still - funny. I can't explain why I find it funny though. I guess it's a little creepy  - the public is watching me because I've gone and put my face on the interwebs. And now they leave me anonymous comments saying so.

No, I don't mean creepy in a bad way. Like I said, it's funny. I don't know what it is.

I'm in an internet cafe right now so I've got to run. I've only got 9 minutes of time left. I mean, 7 minutes. Crap. Maybe I need to buy more interwebs.

This is a pretty good cafe though. For interwebs.

5 minutes.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Scattershot VLOG and Shawna's Original Motion

I decided that I would carry out the promise I made to myself about making a video before going to Sydney. I didn't really have an idea for it so I decided to rip off the scattershot title found on this blog about two weeks ago or whatever. Anyway, here it is:



It's more an experiment with Sony Vegas than anything. Yes, that was the present I got way back before with the hot guy on the front. Editing software.

Going from Windows Movie Maker to Sony Vegas is like going from kindy straight into a postgraduate study in biomedical science (I believe I stole that metaphor from somewhere. Whoever you are, please claim your metaphor I think it misses you). It's a great program though. There I said it. Something from Sony is great.

Moving on.

Mitto wanted to know what Shawna's original motion was that I was referring to in my previous post. This is what it was:

See? She's a creepy creepster. She actually left a similar comment on my channel way back in the day before I knew her. Oh look I have it here now. What a coincidence.

Then again I can't really talk. I tend to tweet my stalking targets to the world at large. It's the nature of the medium.

AND FINALLY! If you haven't started following the blog yet please do. You can find it in the sidebar to your right below the ad which is probably asking you how dumb you are. Alternatively you can subscribe using the feed for the same effect, but that doesn't give me a boost to my ego.

Monday, 24 November 2008

First Impressions

Here's what I wanted to say:

Here's what I actually said:

It's because I'm afraid of trying too hard. But then I guess I really did 'strike that and start again' so really we've come full circle.

I say 'really' far too often in this blog. If you took my feed and put it into a word-cloud generator it would be all these little words and then one giant, ugly


Really

And, um, yay Sydney!


Sydney

Okay I can take my own hint. Gosh.

Promoted Friends, Sydney Gathering and mynameisundisclosed

I love it when I see friends in the promoted videos section ^_^ I know and love three of the four.

I get to see these wonderful people in just a few days! I almost cannot wait. Now if only I could figure out how to get my ugly mug in there.

In other news petrol has dropped below $1 a litre in Queensland. This makes me happier than you could know.

Also a friend of mine from Darwin (now living in NZ) has started a YouTube channel. His videos are kinda long so I haven't watched them all, but in the ones I've watched he doesn't stop talking - there would be nowhere to edit! Here is one where he gives me a shoutout about halfway through.

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you mynameisundisclosed:

Saturday, 22 November 2008

An Image Heavy Excursion

This was just going to be a boring old post where I repost a webcomic that I just saw which made me lol, but then I realised it could be SO MUCH MORE! You could get an insight into my inner-being!

So anyway, like, here's the comic. But then I'm getting to the inner-being.

Married To The Sea

Back in the bad old days of when I was blogging on Windows Live Spaces I didn't use any images in my posts. It was just big ol' blocks of text. And to think I wondered why my blog was unpopular. Oh ho ho ho.

So after a while I realised that this just couldn't go on and that I'd have to ad images for, you know, aesthetic pleasure. I didn't really have a system of organising these images and so I'd just dump them into a folder on my computer called "Blog Pictures".

Seeing as this system has served me pretty well so far I've never thought to change it. All the images I've basically ever used in a blog are just sitting in that there old folder.

Out of context these images are pretty bizarre. I thought I'd share a couple of them with you for gits and shiggles.

And there ends our excursion into my inner being. I hope you enjoyed it, because I live there pretty much all the time.

PS. This was on the bottom of the Married to the Sea RSS feed and it made me crack up. They have this and other bonus material in their feed so if you don't subscribe to the RSS do so right now!

Friday, 21 November 2008

SoHotSoHotAaaaaaah!

It was blazing hot today. Normally I laugh at people who complain about the heat on the Gold Coast because they are WEAK and DON'T KNOW WHAT HEAT MEANS and IF THEY LIVED IN DARWIN THEY WOULD SHRIVEL UP AND DIE.

But now I have lived in Queensland for a year and I have become weak too. Also the snow pictures my Canadian friends send me aren't helping:

Oh Shawna, why must you torment me with such things? I was inches from death today. Inches. Because life is measured in distance using the imperial system.

Nobody hazarded a guess as to what the gift I received was. Actually there was only one comment. I mean, I know I suck at leaving comments on other people's blogs but WHY WOULD ONLY ONE PERSON COMMENT?!

*dies*

My blogging doesn't measure up to the sexual brilliance of Ben's latest blog. I don't even know what "bish" means and I'm absolutely hooked.

Today a family friend found one of Min's videos (below) and saw me in it:

Then when they talked to my parents today they told them about it. Now Mum and Dad think I'm internet-famous. I don't know what to do.

I'm going to be in a collaboration soon. It is only a small part but it's a start. I should make a video before I leave for that gathering thing that's on really soon too. That would probably be a good idea, because then it would look like I'm being really proactive with my video making.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

What is Art?

One of my assignments this past semester was a crowd-sourced website. It was a group project and my group decided to make a site dedicated to the question What is Art? After pestering my social network I received some brilliant submissions. I thought I'd put them here, because the site they appear on now won't be staying up for much longer (which is why I'm not linking to it. Ha.)

 
"Sophia's dressed in and surrounded by flowers, holding her long golden hair as if being playful with it, arms stretched out ready to hug, eyes wide open and cheerful, hearts on the cheeks making her smile even more beautiful, a spoon in a bowl to show she made the birthday cake herself, and who is the birthday cake for?  Me.  Her mother.  And the dark storm clouds and rain are not there at all to put a damper on the scene, because Sophia knows I love storm clouds.  She's just adding my favourite weather.  Oh how precious!  

My heart melts when I look at this drawing.  It's made with love.  Love for herself.  Love for her mother.  And love for art.  Sophia draws every day. And every day expresses her feelings in her art.  Her drawings are one of a kind.  The more she draws the more she learns to see objects differently and her art will grow and change, and might no longer be about love, but include skill and many other things.  But right now none of that matters. Her art is pure love and priceless."

- MuggleSam

 
"I'm not sure if I'm necessarily an artist or if this is necessarily "art." However I like it. I 'drew' it in the early 2000's when I was living in Sydney. It is one artist's rendition of Sophie B. Hawkins who is - and has been for many years - a great hero and source of inspiration to me. At the time I had been dabbling with little cartoon like figures using nothing photoshop and a mouse. I made a remark about wanting to draw Sophie to a friend. I had all but given up in my attempts when I dabbled a bit further and came up with what you see below. To me, even with my shaky mouse hand and amateur art skills, it really encapsulates her innate beauty and sexuality. I love how unperturbed and unafraid she seems in the rendering, as if the world was really hers - perhaps hers alone - to conquer. I like the basic colours. I like the slight variations on shades to create depth and interest and a sense of shadow. I love how her face, hair and features are carefully defined with a black outline and yet somehow her neck just blurs into the ether and into the background.

Eerily - and this is something I hadn't considered until this moment - I had the opportunity to meet and photograph her years later. I remember now that in her first "meeting" at a JB Hi-Fi store in Sydney that she actually closed her eyes to sing in a few places. And I was there taking photographs with my first camera a little Kodak thing. It was so surreal."

- John Lacey

"This is a picture I submitted for my major, it is part of a series focused around memories. I think its art because it is aesthetically pleasing. A lot of people try and get overly specific about what is and isn't art, but who are they to decide? I have always held the opinion that if it looks aesthetically good, then it is an artwork, no matter what it may be."

- Rob Cameron

I hope it's okay to repost them here. I didn't actually ask, but, you know, I told them I'd be putting it on the internet - right?

EDIT:

Omigosh! I nearly forgot this one! And it's soooo cute!

"It's a small funny picture that we drew and it supposed to be a chicken - but with us it's hard to say! When you asked to send you art stuff we though we would draw this, and it appeared really nice and funny weird-looking chicken that we immediately fall in love with :) Maybe we will even join your club of chicken-lovers haha! Sounds nasty but we didn't mean it that way!!!! :)"

- Tanya and Tasha, the Dttwins

Monday, 17 November 2008

Scattershot blog: Things that been happening

It's been a few days. I know you're all hanging out to know the particulars of my state of well-being, so allow me to fill you in.

As you may have gathered from lack of an over-excited post declaring my success, I didn't get the internship. Strangely I feel really good about this. I thought I would be at least a little annoyed or sad, but it just isn't the case. It's funny because it sounds like I'm trying to cover up crushing disappoint, but the day Ralph told me I wasn't successful was actually one of the best I've had in months.

That same day I received the most encouraging letter I've ever gotten along with a gift that will soon be benefiting ALL OF YOU EVEN IF I DON'T KNOW YOU NO I'M NOT KIDDING.

No I'm not telling you what it is, but I bet the cleverer ones amongst you can figure it out. (Mitto and John, no spoilers. Kthnx.) Okay here's a clue: There is a hot guy on the front.</obscurant>

In actual fact, despite a handful of things not going the way I would have liked, these past few days have been a crazy whirlwhind of awesome. It's just really amazing, the feeling that I had last post - that God is completely in control - hasn't left me.

Also some super-cool things have happened, such as finishing uni for the year, an amazingly relaxing-yet-challenging community day at church and some really damn awesome YouthStreet announcements (even if I do say so myself):



And to top it all I've had a visit by one of my favourite people, Dan Klopp. Dan is a friend of Ralph's who works with the poverty-stricken in Peru. He is also a contract-journalist with Current TV, so he was up on the Coast to film a doco about some of my friends who are professional wrestlers. No, I'm not joking (see picture above).

Dan and I really hit it off because of our shared interest in online video (actually, Dan just hits it off with everyone he meets, but we hit it off for this reason in particular). He likes to call me a celebrity and I to respond with a false "No! Stop!" like a teenage girl. After he did this a couple of times I told him about that phase when people were drawing my picture (you know, all two of them XD). He was wide-eyed and implied that I'd get Psycho-ed before long. Then tonight we had that delightful exchange via Skype you can see on the side.

I've probably missed something amazing that's happened, and there is one thing I'm bursting to tell you, but I won't just this second. My common sense is telling me to wait wait wait! Plus it would take another hour-and-a-half's worth of solid typing to get it all laid out and explained, so for now I'll just leave it all strange and unexplained.

I'm not even going to edit this. You get a scattershot blog.
Scattershot:
adjective 
Delivered over a wide area and at random; generalized and indiscriminate.
Thanks to Mitto's Facebook for the picture of Blaze-and-Flash-and-Fury-and-Liz-and-others-after-the-wrestling. I love you.

Monday, 10 November 2008

The Interview, or, A Sentimental Moment

The interview I had today was okay, but it wasn't great. It could seriously go either way. I was worried, but now I'm fine. It's out of my control now, and it is completely up to God.

This helped too:



It's The House of God, Forever by Jon Foreman.

It is based off Psalm 23, which is one of the most beautiful pieces of poetry ever written (even when translated):

The Lord is my shepherd;
  I have all that I need
.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
  he leads me beside peaceful streams.
  He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
  bringing honour to his name.

Even when I walk
  through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid,
  for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff
  protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
  in the presence of my enemies.
You honour me by anointing my head with oil.
  My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
  all the days of my life,

and I will live in the house of the Lord
  forever.


(New Living Translation, emphasis mine)

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Nephews

My blogger's intuition is tingling. It is saying - "You are going to freak out new visitors if you have that 1000 word review sitting at the top of your blog, Rohan! Do not have it sitting there any longer!"

"This is all very well and good," I reply, "But I have nothing to post. Maybe they will just, like, get over it?"

"No," says my intuition, "They will run and hide a million miles away from you and your opinions about Paper Towns by John Green."

"Very well," I say, "Here are some more pictures of my nephews. I shall even caption them lolcat-style so as to make them mildly humorous."

My intuition finds this only marginally better, but stays sullenly silent.

 
I has a perturbed

Ready to nom in 3...2...1...

I has teh remote!!1! U not be taken' mah remote!11!~1

F*** you!

Okay so that last one wasn't exactly lolcat style. But you can't deny its humour-value. (Notice his finger, all you glasses-wearing, I-don't-know-why-the-little-boy-is-swearing-at-me people. Honestly you guys should all be rounded up and gassed or something.)

It is at this point in the blog that my intuition *tisk*s loudly and walks out, slamming the door. ("Inappropriately humorous parentheses?! I hope your grandmother dies of liver disease!")

Well too bad Mister In-tue-ish-han! I don't have any grandmothers left - cancer and pneumonia!

Rohan -1 Intuition - 0

Also I have what amounts to a job interview on tomorrow aka today. Hopefully they don't read this blog before interviewing me.

"Oh you've come crawling back now have you..?"

Wish me luck!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Paper Towns Review

This is posted here because Liv wanted to see it. Perhaps you will want to see it too? If not then I forgive you - it is 1000 words long after all.


Also, if you are my lecturer and have just discovered that review in your hands has been 'plagiarised' then don't fret - if you are the lecturer of 'The Critic' at Griffith University then this is MY review. I just handed it in today. Thanks - give me a HD? Love, Rohan.

John Green is a Printz award-winning author and now a New York Times bestseller. His third book, Paper Towns, d├ębuted at number 5 New York Times bestseller list and has barely slipped since then. This is hardly surprising considering his awards and the extensive following Green has gathered on the internet via his videoblog over the past two years.

Quentin “Q” Jacobson has grown up next-door to the popular Margo Roth Spiegelman in the city of Orlando, Florida. One night Margo appears at Q’s window and asks him to come with her to play revenge pranks – Q is hopelessly in love with her so of course he agrees. Pretty standard Young Adult Fiction, right? Young love, a crazy midnight adventure; you might think you know how this is going to end. But this book comes in three parts, each changing the direction the story takes. The next day Margo goes missing. Nobody knows where she is despite the clues she has left and although Q is hell-bent on finding her, he discovers he never really knew her in the first place.

Upon opening this book my expectations were high. After reading Green’s first book, Looking for Alaska I was impressed and wanted more of his witticisms and spirited characters. However, Green’s second book, An Abundance of Katherines, did not impress me quite as much; would Paper Towns be over-hyped by fans and even less impressive again?

Fortunately Paper Towns did not disappoint, and returns to many things that made Alaska work the first time. In fact, as I was reading I became afraid Paper Towns would become Looking for Alaska II: Looking for Margo Roth Spiegelman. Fortunately, although the two books are akin in many ways (and Margo really is missing for the majority of the novel), Paper Towns is its own story and it develops into something quite different.

The book may be told from Q’s perspective, but it is really all about Margo. We only properly see her in the first third, but Margo Roth Spiegelman is central to the novel all the way through. She is a mythical figure even before she goes missing and Q almost always refers to her by her full name. However, Margo isn’t a living trickster-goddess like Q initially supposes her to be – she is a girl.

Paper Towns raises some interesting and important questions about the way we think about the people in our lives – we think we can see inside them, but really we are just seeing a reflection of ourselves. Paper Towns demonstrates this theme excellently through the many relationships in the novel: Q with Margo, Q with his psychologist parents, Ben with Lacy. In fact, the book is published with two different covers, each depicting a misconstrued notion of Margo Roth Spiegelman.

Also central to the novel is Walt Whitman’s poem Song of Myself. Many of the motifs used in the novel are taken from the poem, and stanzas are used as clues during the investigation. Q ponders the poem long and hard in relation to Margo’s disappearance, and in a way Paper Towns can be read as a study of Song of Myself. This isn’t to say the book is over-analytical – the balance is just right. It could be read as an interesting tale and no more, but the story is emotional and engaging, and it coaxes the reader into considering the themes and motifs it offers.

Like Green’s other novels, Paper Towns blurs the line between Young Adult Fiction (YA) and Literary Fiction. Older readers may be put off by Paper Towns’ classification as YA, but this book is yet another example of why older readers should be investigating the YA shelves. Paper Towns is unashamedly written with a teenage audience in mind, but the novel destroys the idea that YA fiction is a shallow genre. There is more than enough here to engage an adult audience as well as a teenage one; the thought-provoking themes are relevant to people of all ages. Paper Towns would make a good book-club book for older readers looking to get an insight into the teenage world, or a good text for an English class looking to grapple with issues relevant to their age-bracket.

The writing in Paper Towns is humorous and handled deftly; the dialogue is unforced and natural. Each of the characters are well fleshed-out and have their own tics, making the reader really care about Ben and his lack of a prom date, or Radar’s embarrassment over his parents’ absurd collection of, well, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

At only 305 pages, Paper Towns is generally pretty brisk, although the story slows during the second part as Q’s investigation sputters and he begins to mull over what he has learned. Also there are points in the investigation that will frustrate readers – is Q being wilfully stupid? Is he really that introspective and over-thinking that he missed such an obvious clue? Then again, the over-analytical scaredy-cat is Q’s character, and casual readers may not find his short-sightedness a problem because they will be caught up in the story.

Paper Towns is one of the best YA fiction books published this year. The greatest problem with it, like many of John Green’s novels, is that it is not yet published in Australia. In order to get your hands on this thought-provoking, humorous and emotional story you will have to order it specially from the United States, or through Amazon.com. Fortunately due to demand many public libraries are getting their own copies, so Paper Towns should soon be readily available to anyone with a library card. It shouldn’t be too long before Australian publishers decide to pick up this book either; the movie rights have already been optioned by the creators of the Oscar award-winning film Juno and John Green’s online marketing has garnered him a fanbase worldwide. Expect to see more of this book in the future, and get excited when you do.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

This is my day


"According to Hume in his Of The Standard Of Taste (1757), “A man who has had no opportunity of comparing the different kinds of beauty, is indeed totally unqualified to pronounce an opinion with regard to any object presented to him.” Thus, we have critics: people who are seen as specially qualified to give opinion on art and culture. But considering he also says “[m]en of the most confined knowledge are able to remark a difference of taste in the narrow circle of their acquaintance…” and “…a thousand different sentiments, excited by the same object, are all right…” what is the genuine role of a reviewer in the context of society? Is it really to dictate the standards of taste to the ‘lowly masses’; to inform the consumers of media to make good choices? Or perhaps it is to advocate for an industry – encouraging consumers to immerse themselves (and their money) in a field of art that may not be in vogue. This essay seeks to investigate the dialectic of gatekeeper vs advocate in the context of a critic's role in society."

That scintillating block of text is the introduction to my (as yet incomplete) essay, The Role of the Critic. I'm not even sure if I like it. It might need some revision; especially the "This essay" part. I hate it when essays refer to themselves with "this essay" - it means you are a lazy writer. I guess I just have to decide if I want to be lazy or not.

In other uni-related news, during these past couple of socially-starved days I've discovered a passion for the semicolon. It is very lovely; we plan to elope in the Fall.

In other other news I left my jacket at my pastor's house after Bible study one night and he went and put it on ebay as a joke. At least, I think it's a joke - but I still haven't got my jacket back, and there's actually been a bid on it. So, like, good times?

In other other other news here is a picture of my nephew looking quixotic:

I love words.

Sunday, 2 November 2008