the view from the tower

arcite's day

Friday, July 30, 2004

Tired, tired, tired

Orientation day: we ran from 8.30am-4PM with a 25 min lunch. My brain is totally fried. I didn't feel that well yesterday (allergies? cold? nerves?) and with Kiran and Roishan away in Auckland and Rory up at the in-laws as I started too early before school, I spent the night in the bardo, weirded-out, between lives, thinking "why this incarnation?" I was freaked, man. Then today, the highlights: the other student teachers look like a mixed bunch and quite fun (except the PE ones!) . And there are some oldies (yea). I know some Pakeha hate powhiris but I don't and the formal welcome on Aki Po Marae was a highlight for me as was finding that even though my timetable is packed I know have full free access to a university library. You see, I have the passion about autism that doesn't depend on a job. Free research resource, here I come. Kiran and Roishan get back tomorrow but I get to cuddle up with lovely Rory tonight and I'm reminded that Indians in India have massive beds that the whole family can bunk down in. Memories of Delhi, 1982....god, so long ago. I was the only one of the family in Tilak Nagar to sleep in a small single bed. See then I wasn't married, so....I'm a bit fried but I have this hunch about karma, destiny, the stars, god's will, etc: i.e. not everything is just the blow of the dice. So maybe it'll all work out...and Ikrek come back online coz I miss you....

...arcite at Friday, July 30, 2004...

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

& picasso?

Well, I know he's important to the history of art n'all but he never really pressed my buttons. It seems a little cold, macho and frankly mr shankley quite daft. But there are some lyrical, more subtle earlier works that take my fancy such as the subversive mock-crucifixion, complete with attendant whores, of Burial of Casagemas and that glorious pack of outsiders, the Family of Saltimbanques (1903 and 1905 respectively, toots). The Drop Curtain for the Ballet Parade also has a certain Holly Hobby charm.

...arcite at Wednesday, July 28, 2004...
I just finished Picasso for Beginners. Boy, he really was an asshole.

...arcite at Wednesday, July 28, 2004...
reply to aurora
(this comment was too long for haloscan)
Thanks Aurora. Well, the interview went 'ok.' We both can't figure out the 'modern nz interview'--human resource pods have highjacked the country. Kiran wasn't asked any questions relevant to her CV ('I see you've done this' or 'why did you move to Singapore?' etc) and instead was subjected to a formal list of questions. People just don't talk you in interviews anymore. Anyway, she has at least worked there before back in 80s. One Maori guy at the interview asked her very specific questions on the Treaty of Waitangi ("Do you know how many sections the Treaty has"?) a question I find bordering on the bizarre (and I ain't a redneck. Her answer: I respect the treaty and as a minority etc...) She has another interview on Tuesday with the Ministry of Social Development for a one year contract job. In this interview she will need to complete a 30-40 min exercise and no, she is not to be given any indication as to what this exercise will be? What's happened to good ole Kiwi commonsense and informality and where did all this poxy HR bullshit come from? A plague on it.

...arcite at Wednesday, July 28, 2004...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Kiran has a job interview this afternoon for the position of researcher at the Justice Department. She worked there before we moved to Florida in 1987 to go to grad school. Fingers crossed.

...arcite at Tuesday, July 27, 2004...
American Review has a detailed article on US Political Blogs. Maybe of interest to those residing in the US.

Pouring with rain here this morning. Horrible weather.

...arcite at Tuesday, July 27, 2004...

Sunday, July 25, 2004

watching top 40 on tv

Hey what is with Kelis? She's been missing interviews, not turning up for press conferences, skipping meetings. This tour is not going well.

...arcite at Sunday, July 25, 2004...
sunday morning

Lovely morning here with the sun streaming through the window. You know, Wellington is a lovely city...

...wonder what the Chronicles of Riddick will be like? I know nothing about this film but I like the poster--very 70s SF, very Bruce Pennington.

Bruce Pennington.

Clear skies last night. Now why is the false cross larger than Crux? And why isn't the false cross a 'real' constellation instead of being part of Carina? I'd like to read a history of constellations.

I keep dipping into all these different poetry volumes, art history books, books on spirituality/dharma books, coffee-table books on soap operas (coronation street), magazines: dipping, browsing, grazing, not really reading. Very nice.

...arcite at Sunday, July 25, 2004...

Friday, July 23, 2004

song lyric

Insert day
run day
day exe.

best to keep the vagaries turning over
don't they know how that wall looks through valance windows?
best not now sing the line about cliffs of Dover...

wind-tossed offerings to Crow
childrens' bodies

Insert day
soldiers' pay
day's execution

we aren't working, money's gone, nothing moving
motorcades in Crow's employ--summit sessions
now you turn from rushing mouths spied through plastic...

Crow is on your shoulder
you'll be sorry

...arcite at Friday, July 23, 2004...

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Hip-hop must go! Interesting article--but surely hip-hop is international now and not just American.

While we're on music if it costs about $150-300 for a night at the opera surely you'll want to see some pissing on stage?

...arcite at Thursday, July 22, 2004...

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

So last night I stayed up and watched Letterman. Will Smith was on and I waited and waited for the top ten. But there was no top ten.

And this morning I'm reading the TV guide and I see that the character I always thought was called 'Burger'--like how could you call someone Burger!--on Sex & the City is actually called 'Berger.' Duh.

Newton for beginners. William Rankin.
This is the first “introducing” book I’ve read that been written and illustrated by the same person. William Rankin does a fine job of pairing text with illustration and the mixture of old-looking prints and contemporary cartoon characters works delightfully well. The book is the most difficult of the ‘beginners’ books I’ve read as Rankin takes us into the Principia and explains the laws and how Newton arrived at them. There’s also substantial biographical information on Newton including details on his extensive alchemical pursuits, his Arianism and his writings on ancient history. Although this was a difficult read, I was left with a sense of Newton’s monumental achievements: especially when I was reminded that Uranus was discovered by using Newton’s laws to determine the mass and location of a body responsible for the irregularities of Neptune’s orbit. Wicked!

...arcite at Tuesday, July 20, 2004...

Monday, July 19, 2004

afternoon tea
We all went and visited HR and Melissa yesterday afternoon. Melissa works at the The Correspondence School as an Art History teacher so we had a good chat about the current Art History syllabus—we still have the periods Renaissance, Modern Art and NZ Art. She didn't think Teach Coll was any good when she studied there ten years ago. You could complete all you need to learn in three months and they drag it out for a year simply to justify the fees. The worrying news is that the Correspondence School could be closed at ant time because the great weakness of the current government is education: chop, chop, restructure, chop! I groaned at the prospect of completing my training only to find myself competing with 500 recently made redundant experienced teachers in Wellington. What a laugh! And she also gave me a list of recommneded texts for secondary school English. Strange days.

...arcite at Monday, July 19, 2004...

Saturday, July 17, 2004

This review of a new Kafka
biography might interest Ikrek Hava if twin time ever gets
back from her summer holiday. "We're all going on a summer
holiday, no more working for a week or two..." Follow the bouncing
ball. Now everybody--

...arcite at Saturday, July 17, 2004...
Mercury probe set for launch. (New Scientist).

...arcite at Saturday, July 17, 2004...

Friday, July 16, 2004

The current diplomatic row between the NZ govt and Israel is serious and is being well-covered by the Jerusalem Post. Helen watch out for Mossad! Was this really such a good idea?

...arcite at Friday, July 16, 2004...
Hawkings now says that Black Holes aren't completely sealed off from the universe--the event horizon is virtual. The universe: it's all about information, baby!

...arcite at Friday, July 16, 2004...
I thought it was common knowledge that Israel created Singapore's Army. (Haaretz). Pity that Haaretz is covering the jailing of two Israeli 'agents' here who were trying to obtain NZ passports.

It's raining again. And I got into Teachers' College. I'll be learning to teach English, Art History and performing Arts (school plays). I opted for performing arts rather than Classics. I can't wait to teach Art History... and then I can work to create Asperger friendly schools.

...arcite at Friday, July 16, 2004...

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Guardian Summer Reading. See what J.G. Ballard and Toyah Wilcox, to name but a few, choose to read on the beach.

...arcite at Thursday, July 15, 2004...
Yesterday's post was full of typos--well, more than the usual share. Roishan booted me off the net and by the time I went to fix up my 'written at the speed of thought' post Blogger had bummed out. No big deal.

The intelligence was wrong? Excuse me, what the hell did you say? You mean not just the invasion but all those weapons inspectors, all that build-up, all the aggravation, all the DEAD AMERICAN TROOPS sent to depose a dictator acquiring weapons of mass destruction--all that was a mistake? Is it ok to lie to your own people and to your own troops? We suspected it at the time but to have it reported in black and white just shows you have totally cynical Bush and Blair are really. All this has been bullshit so the question remains "what's really happening?"

And "democracy is coming to the USA" (L. Cohen). Go senate, stick it to them!

...arcite at Thursday, July 15, 2004...

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

All went well at teach Coll yesterday. We individually selected the qualities we felt a good teacher must have from a list and ranked them in order and then had to agree on them as a group. I was the old man but there was also one old woman (she wants to teach French and ESOL): the rest were really kids just out of college or about to complete their degrees. I was impressed by how well the students knew what consituted 'good listening' (they responded to a point made by another, elaborate a point made by someone in the group, etc). Part of me was a little cynical that we were all acting being 'good listeners and debaters' another part thought about how Aspies have to very consciously learn how to behave and communicate in a group as we are so easily derailed into monologues or fail to hear certain points. Anyway, it was all done in a relaxed though formal manner. I was a little shocked that our Teaching Experience is supposed to be outside the Wellington region (six weeks away from my family? And who pays for my accommodation?) but I'll try to sort that out later. I also thought that the exercise was a fair and sensible one given that there has to be some sort of assessment. I'm relieved that College has not fallen prey to the evils of personality testing. (Yuk).

My electives are English, Social Studies (including Art History) and Performing Arts. I am qualified, more than qualified really, to teach Classics but I've opted for stagecraft and acting. I had a good one-on-one discussion with an advisor on what to teach. Damn it, if I'm going to teach English then I'm also going to learn how to stage Beckett and Old Bill.

...arcite at Wednesday, July 14, 2004...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Singapore GDP grows fastest in eight years. Financial Times. See that's why they can open a new English Dept. in Jurong...plenty o' work...OK, so NZ growth an't that good and I'm broke. But you should see the view from the family room window. Dawn was so lovely this morning.

...arcite at Tuesday, July 13, 2004...
Has anyone seen I, Robot yet?

...arcite at Tuesday, July 13, 2004...
I just registered for the Chicago Tribune. Let's see if it's worth it.

...arcite at Tuesday, July 13, 2004...
Arcite is going for an entrance interview today and will be watched to see how he behaves and works in a small group. Arcite will be normal. Arcite will not talk too much nor too little. Arcite will try to ignore that he expects to be at least 20 -odd years older than many others in the group.

...arcite at Tuesday, July 13, 2004...

Monday, July 12, 2004

Lovely morning. I'm reading Asperger's case studies in Rory's room when I hear the scream. Canopus has brought a beautiful small green bird with a tiny yellow beak into the family room. (A sparrow? A finch?). I move to pick it up but he snatches his prey and jumps out the cat-door.

Interesting story I hadn't read until this morning about our Prime Minister doning a paua outfit in Australia. (Thanks Mahabhala).

...arcite at Monday, July 12, 2004...

Lovely view of Libra last night. This is such an easy constellation to learn and such a pleasure to the eyes: it actually looks like what it's supposed to be. And Zubenelgenubi aside for being a very easy star to spot has to be worst star to try to say as quickly as possible.

Fun for the whole family to enjoy! Yes, everyone here seems to like my choice of Phoebe wallpaper from Cassini.

...arcite at Monday, July 12, 2004...

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Song o' the day Leslie Anne Levine by the Decembrists courtesy of Uncle Brittle. Delish lyrics. Hey Brittle, I will send you music when you begin to get sick of that massive sack of tunes you brought back from your travels...

...arcite at Sunday, July 11, 2004...
Courtney Love in Hospital Again

...arcite at Sunday, July 11, 2004...

Saturday, July 10, 2004

reality check

Well you can forget all this silly counting nonsense. This glorious morning's mail included a rejection slip from Jaam for the latest batch of poems. So normal blogging is resumed. Hey, you all probably know that Bowie is recovering from heart surgery--but did you know that he'd been hit in the eye by a lollipop?

...arcite at Saturday, July 10, 2004...
4. The small hands of the children readied the sun for dawn

...arcite at Saturday, July 10, 2004...

Friday, July 09, 2004

3. Everything makes sense.

...arcite at Friday, July 09, 2004...

2. On the tip of my tongue. What counts in counting is whether you are open or closed.

...arcite at Friday, July 09, 2004...


1. Sidestep any fantasies of 'The Imaginary.' Representation is all. As magick: not that you are here but by calling your name I summon you here. Not deferred at all but always arriving.

...arcite at Friday, July 09, 2004...

Thursday, July 08, 2004

family badge of saphire and cracked emerald

I sent the poem 'Cheek' to the Listener. Bored shitless wet afternoon winter school holidays with the kids. On C4 I see that they are giving away the new re-issue of Diamond Dogs. Everything, just everything, about this seminal work is totally perfect: nothing adds up, the adaptions are all askew, Orwell blurred into Burroughs, a dream of a dream of story, the language is lush, broken, forgotten, a palimpsest, cut-up, irrational; the production has a feedback loop like a migraine coming in on a winter's morning, an aspirin taste, perhaps bourbon. Broken car park buildings, smashed windows of high-rises, an end to order: when I first heard this we'd shifted from the village into a rough council estate with rats, junkies, concrete floors. We talked of carrying knives to go to the library. We were on the telly: would you live here? This isn't cool it's torn and broken and really on its last legs. Why it is so often excluded from histories of SF beats me: "it's got all you ever wanted." I could never make out all the important words which were lost in translation because 'Candidate' and 'Sweet Thing' are broken English jargon. I'm sure it was after hearing this album that I wanted to write because I got the cut-up and I wanted the world to die and I wanted to survive. In other words I was 13-14. I played this so much I could stim by just playing it in my head when I walked around the playground. Or is it just me putting pain in a stranger? Like a portrait in flesh that trails on a leash...

...arcite at Thursday, July 08, 2004...

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

And after reading the blogs today, well, Cathy over at Domestic Psychology is going to feel very tired after her 24-hour blogathon for the Autism Society. Go Cathy Go. And after listening to Linda Clark's appalling interview yesterday with a childhood reading expert (Dame sumpthinkorother) I can see what Iona at You Are A China Shop means about Clark's interview style as being 'hammer, hammer, hammer.' Jeez I'm berated enough already!

...arcite at Wednesday, July 07, 2004...
I drove to Paraparaumu with Rory to meet my two sisters and two nephews at the car museum. Then we had lunch by the beach. Both sisters laughed when I told them a little about Donnie Darko--"no way are we gonna rent that!"; both waxed lyrical about Love, Actually which I couldn't stand at all. Films can be as bad as politics but we were all in laidback mode. As I was drving back a small poem called 'Magic Show' which I'd written back in 1983 tapped me on the shoulder and said "hey, do you remember me?" This is a very fluffy fur-ball sort of doggerel that never grew up. And I regret losing the poems about Murray which I've lost twice. Part of me is trying to get material together for a book. Another part reminds me no end about that bloody autism book I'm working on. Just what excuse do I have for not writing chapter one? School holidays?

...arcite at Wednesday, July 07, 2004...

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Have you seen Donnie Darko? A wonderful film. There's a mystery or riddle for you to try to answer and the answers doesn't come easy. A brilliant script, great performances and a killer soundtrack--Tears for Fears have never sounded so good. The apocalypse must have a messenger, a chance of redemption, the selection of the elect and the end of time. I watched the DVD twice: my only regret is not seeing this on the big screen. A must see.

...arcite at Tuesday, July 06, 2004...

Sunday, July 04, 2004

It was Uncle Brittle, not Leo, who said blogging was dead. Just got a new batch of poems in from Wûlfræd; god they are good. I'm working on a new one called 'glyphs.' Clear day today so hopefully tonight I can go and have another crack at learning Centaurus.

Have you seen the new image of Titan over at JPL? More please!

...arcite at Sunday, July 04, 2004...

Saturday, July 03, 2004


There are times when all my confidence evaporates and I feel like a complete jerk: I don't listen enough, talk to much, fix on pet topics, become pendatic, never consider how others might see me or I send drunk, inarticulate messages to egroups. I'm in my own world really. That's when I'm crashing and just don't feel like I can talk to anybody and just wish I was different from how I am. This total loss of confidence--where does it come from and shall I ever be free of it? Oh well, at least Cassini is go.

...arcite at Saturday, July 03, 2004...

Friday, July 02, 2004

Is blogging dead?


in our voiddeck egroup thinks so.

More good news from the poetry society. My good friend Wûlfræd won a commendation for his poem 'Home Economies.' There were six hundred and odd entries. Now we have a good excuse to go to the pub--not that we need one.

I'm going over to the Academy this morning as there's a chance that I might be able to get some work as a tutor in the Writing Programme. I'm looking for a 6pm-9pm tutorial slot that wont conflict with my studies at the Teachers College. It never rains but it pours.

Took the lads down South Karori road last night to look at the full moon through the binocs. I'm slowing learning Centaurus but it's such a massive constellation. We'd been down there about twenty minutes when this ute pulls up and a farmer asks "Have you seen any dogs mate?" God, you should have seen Roishan's face as he's scared of dogs. He went white in the moonlight. Later we heard a dog barking and a guy shouting at the top of his voice. I explained to Roishan that the farmer was looking after his sheep and was not worried about 'wild dogs' attacking him or his family. Shortly after we went home.

Finished Introducing Marquis de Sade by Stuart Hood and Graham Crowley. I'm not that impressed by the crudity of Graham Crowley's drawings given that when I read Justine (in English) I was struck by the rigid mathematics of Sade's spaces and his need for precise numbers. I remember reading a little of 120 days of Sodom in French when I was cramming for translation exam in Florida.

Got to go for that interview for the part-time job.....

...arcite at Friday, July 02, 2004...

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Near Saturn

The Cassini probe will light its engine later today for the orbital insertion. As it speeds towards Saturn it crosses two rings. JPL's press release this morning makes it clear that this is no shoe-in. Fingers crossed.

Did anyone else notice the error in yesterday's Dominion Post? They published a lovely SF sketch of this exotic world, all blue clouds and what looked like a pool of water which a caption proclaiming that the Huygens probe will explore the surface of saturn. Er, that's Titan. Saturn is a gas giant and doesn't really have a surface as such. And what artist worth her salt would draw a Saturn without rings? (I think the liquid in the sketch is meant to be methane--there's a chance that Huygens will record Titan's weather including methane rain).

...arcite at Thursday, July 01, 2004...