Monday, March 15

In a world ruled by evil flying elves....

So the first quarter's over, which means I actually have to start submitting work. Dun dun DUN. (That was an impending-doom sound, for the record!)

Moby Dick's going to be out of my hair soon, I'm submitting tomorrow morning. Seeing as I only figured out a couple of hours ago what my argument actually is, I'm very relieved to find that it actually has some sort of internal logic. At least I don't have to start from scratch.

Writing an essay for me is kind of like making an abstract painting. You just keep throwing paint on the canvas, and only after you're done, long after you've forgotten what the hell you were doing with all that red and silver and why you rented that horse-drawn carriage in the first place... you look at it again and realise whether it's Jackson Pollock or just, like, total crap.

I'm also debating whether to take part in Script Frenzy next month. It's a challenge to write a hundred-page play /screenplay / graphic novel / basically, scripted stuff! in the month of April. I'm tempted, but I'm afraid it might get in the way of my lying-around time.

By the way, Script Frenzy's homepage has a hilarious little gizmo called The Plot Machine, which randomly generates the seeds of a plot. It's even funnier when you read it in a deep, manly movie-trailer narrator's voice: "In a world ruled by evil flying elves... the worse debate team ever... must smuggle druids across the border."

...Hey, I might just use that exact plot!


Friday, March 12

A spot of chicktea!

I really couldn't live with myself if I didn't post this picture:

From CuteOverload (Photo by Jerry Schexnayder)

I believe that sharing such fluffy cuteness is one of the noblest uses of the internet! True story. On the list of The Glories Of The Internet, "fluffy cuteness" is right below and right above My Immortal.

Speaking of chicks in teacups - well, not really, but anyway - the other day, I had an experience that made me realise the greatness of being a tutor. Not in the bestowing of knowledge, silly. See, since it's the end of the quarter, my tutlings had a test on how much (or rather, how little) they've read for their course. So on Wednesday I proceeded to sit in a room full of anxious people writing a tricky test... and I wasn't one of them.

I was almost giddy! Um, not in a sadistic way, but in a dodged-a-bullet kind of way. Like: HA! I don't have to worry and stress about this test! It's not my problem, woohoo! I'm above it all, I'm safe, I'm FREE!

Yeah... that probably means I'm not grown up enough to be a tutor. Oh well! At least I've got a really adorable pic of squishy cutey fluffy wuffy shnuggly chickies in-a-teacup! Aaaw!

Tuesday, March 9

And now I want to crash a cocktail party

An Incomplete Education, by Judy Jones and William Wilson, is definitely the best book buy (excuse the alliteration) I’ve ever made! An exclamation point is necessary! (And another one… but not a third. That would just be gushing.)

It is such an awesome collection of information. Every subject you could possibly want to know more on – Art History, Music, Philosophy, Psychology, Science… pretty much everything. And it’s written in a simple and lighthearted way. I haven’t put it down much since I got it.

And now, for some choice extracts...

In Political Science:

“What you need to know if you’re dating a Congolese: How to party down with someone who’s suffering from disease, malnutrition, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Try a little tenderness. If your date is a woman, she may have been gang-raped by rebel soldiers on her way to meet you, especially if you’ve arranged a rendezvous outside one of the squalid refugee camps where some of the two million or so internally displaced Congolese huddle in tents, waiting for supplies that never arrive. If your date’s a man, congratulations on having found a live one!”

In Science:

From the intro to Chaos Theory: “Chaotic behavior follows simple rules and recognizable patterns. What’s more, when you translate that behavior into mathematical models, then plot the models on your computer, you get the kind of visuals people used to have to drop acid to see.”

In the Lexicon:

The distinction between ‘anxious’ and ‘eager’: “Famous last stand of the language purists: You’re not anxious to spend a languorous evening with your oldest married friends, you’re eager to spend it. Unless, that is, you’ve been sleeping with one of them for the past three months. Then you are anxious.”

Word pronunciation: “Eight words where you have to choose between being unimpeachably correct (and risk sounding pretentious) or disarmingly casual (and risk sounding uneducated.)”

Seriously, best R300 I’ve ever spent. Naturally, like I’ve found the Literature section a bit shallow and over-simplified, I’m sure it’s not the holy grail on every subject. But it’s still really cool. Informative, funny and covering a huge range of great subjects, I’d totally recommend it to everyone, from happy nerds who really love learning, to people that are just tired of giving the ol’ vacant nod-and-smile at cocktail parties whenever Chaos Theory comes up.