the view from the tower

arcite's day

Thursday, July 28, 2005

We recently bought a used Mitsubishi with a CD player.
The car runs just fine.
Now I can play all Brittle Lemon’s compilations.
Have you ever heard St. Etienne cover The Fall?
It’s winter. It’s raining.
I had to travel a long way by bus and train.
I start to read Crime & Punishment.

I resort to mnemonics to remember the cat’s food
Chef is shit; Whiskas is wonderful
otherwise he wont eat his meat.

...arcite at Thursday, July 28, 2005...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Like Arcite, Arcite's Day is going through some changes. For the first time since starting this blog in Singapore I am no longer between careers. I finally feel that I'm able to start putting down some new roots. Yesterday I could feel the weight of unemployment falling from me. I'm at a juncture and it feels pretty good. I think I might actually be on the brink of being happy but I'm sure I'll get over it.

I don't want to blog anymore about my family or my work. And politics now seems more dismal than ever considering what's happening in Europe and the Middle East. I also think that blogging about my writing is a little precious given that I'm not much of a published writer.

So for the next few months at least I want to blog about books, films, plays and artwork. I'll also keep noting astronomy news and and observing notes that I might make.

I'm also dropping the 'on the stereo' list and I'm fixing the font as Verdana (if I had my way it would be Garamond or Century New Gothic).

You can still expect the usual overblown experimental tone.

Don't you just love the full moon?

Best wishes to you all.

...arcite at Saturday, July 23, 2005...

Friday, July 22, 2005

Small, incremental variations and intensities.
Binary life: "just the two of us."

Then down to Oriental Bay with the lads for coffee and ice cream.
Lovely day, noon, right in the very centre of town.

You can see why I like it here.

...arcite at Friday, July 22, 2005...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

On the stereo

Oh, Inverted World. The Shins (x2)
Hoi polloi. Vol 1. (Brittle Lemon comp) (X2)
Hoi polloi. Vol 2. (Brittle Lemon comp) (X2)
The Eight. Cecil Taylor (a crazied, rowdy, delightful cacophony)
Mendolsen. Piano Works Vol.4
Tuwhare. Various
Loads. Happy Monday.
Tales from Turnpike House (x3). St. Etienne. One of Roishan’s fave bands.
Speaking in Tongues. Talking Heads
Dead Fish Beach. Charlotte Yates (dreadfully underappreciated local) (x3)
Chutes too Narrow. The Shins.
Out of the Moon. Goldenhorse.
Reality. Bowie.
For Your Pleasure. Roxy Music.
Bummed. Happy Monday.
Giant Steps. John Coltrane.
When I was Cruel. Elvis Costello
The essential Fripp & Eno (x2).

Key tracks: Catch my Disease. Wrote for Luck. Happy Mondays. Pink Bullets. The Shins. The Heavenly Music Corporation. Fripp & Eno. Healthy Colours (parts I-IV)./Fripp & Eno. Religion. Charlotte Yates (“sometime I wish I had religion.” I love this song because the wishing for is more honest than the grasping and the clinging to—for some of us religion is no longer an option no matter we try and spin it.)

...arcite at Thursday, July 21, 2005...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I have now lost or misplaced the book--and I still had the last eighty or so pages to go! I can't find it anywhere and I looked in the kids' rooms, under the sofa, under the beds, behind book cases and in the piles of library books and magazines around the house. My book has been abducted. Luckily it's not due till the 7th of next month.

...arcite at Wednesday, July 20, 2005...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Well, Bob Silverberg’s book seems to be losing steam. I also find his descriptions of women characters slightly irritating. All women are described according to their breasts, length o’ legs, what they would look like nekkid, colour and type of pubes (‘golden’ is a favourite—golden pubes, jeez, I remember them old Playboys back in school during the 70s, golden pubed girls of the 70s where are you now?); so all women are described according to how shaggible (shaggable?) they are to anyone of the blokes in the novel. Yawn. All of this starts to get boring after a while as it’s so formulaic and one dimensional—all the more irritating as Silverberg is a proficient SF writer. Where it does work well is when Bob uses it to describe horny adolescent blokes. There’s more than a dash of Heinlein in The Alien Years—I keep wondering if this is a way for Bob to give the finger to the women writers who currently hold power in the SFWA. Well, get over it Bob. All of this is supposition, of course. But why write your women characters like a stupid dick? And this formulae also limits the development of men in the novel.

My own writing is chugging along as I work on a new poem and short prose experiment. I’m not going to go on about them because I think the less said about them the better but I will note in the blog when they are completed.

...arcite at Tuesday, July 19, 2005...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Today’s art

Well, I’m reading Bob Silverberg’s The Alien Years and finding it a totally absorbing and intellectually stimulating SF novel. Highly recommended.

We went to the City Gallery Wellington for the free Small World Big Town exhibition. I didn’t pay too much attention to the theme of the collection (yawn) but just looked at the works. My best in show was John Walsh’s fantastic Hine Titama becomes Hine nui Te Po whereas Rory (6) wisely selected Brendan Wilkinson’s diorama The Gauntlet.

...arcite at Sunday, July 17, 2005...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Yesterday Rory & I took fake UFO photos. We Google imaged UFO, printed them out at the in-laws as our Canon’s on the fritz, then cut and paste ‘em on windows around the house. Snap, snap. All Rory’s idea.

Today we saw Spielberg’s The War of the Worlds. I found it satisfying, scary, Wellsian, nightmarish and Spielberg’s best film. There’s something in the film from my childhood and something that makes me worried about today. Yes, I know the mythology is crude and you could see this as a knee-jerk reaction to 9/11. But the film somehow leaps over these obvious though valid objections. Cruise acts well—he’s suited to the part—and I was struck by what a physical actor he is and how he relies on his walk, his anger, his snarl to carry him through. I think the guy’s a nutbar but he’s a nutbar who, given this sort of part, just totally throws himself into it—he really looks like he’s driving that crane at the start of the film.

...arcite at Friday, July 15, 2005...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"I was making my way home late one night
this summer, when I staggered
into a snow drift."

Paul Muldoon

Saddleworth moor

“The crow is darkness’s calculation;
all absence in that black moment’s ragged span.”

Anne Michael

Nothing now happens in real time.

...arcite at Wednesday, July 13, 2005...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Watching the religious leaders on TV call for unity in the face of growing sectarianism. Great, fine, lovely. Remind me again why we should even accept that organised religion lies on the side of the good, the noble, the desirable, the non-sectarian? I know, it’s a ‘where you are on the globe' sort of question: you wouldn’t be you if you weren’t asking that question and you have to where you are, now, to ask it. But St. Etienne sing “it’s a good thing, the best thing” just to leave it behind, to let it go ‘out of the house’, to forget about all the houses and the many mansions, to start thinking about the streets, vagrancy, moving on and emptying all the churches, mosques, temples and throwing a big carnival saying good bye to groupthink. All this terror is a mourning work for the supposed surety of the law which we now see often brings out the best in individuals but the worst in us.

I mean, we have warnings about smoking but what about religion and other cult group activities? Why not insist that all places of worship carry health warning: Danger, potentially irrational and intolerant thinking ahead! “Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters.”

...arcite at Tuesday, July 12, 2005...

Monday, July 11, 2005

My bike pump broke so I drove to the bike shop and got to say my NZ word o’ the week: “munted.”

“Hi ya. I think my pump’s totally munted.”


“Yep, the threads are gone.”

If I wanted to buy something flash for the bike I guess I could have said “Pimp my Waka!” which I’ve heard at Teachers’ College. Kere told me when I asked that it has to do with style, yer know, with how you carry yourself forward.

{Waka. Maori. 'Canoe', 'Vehicle.'}

They came here to the other shore in their great vehicles
& we're all just coursing through

It’s also official now that I have a job teaching English, Soc. Studies and Tourism at The Final Academy until December. I start in 6 weeks so unemployment is now over.

...arcite at Monday, July 11, 2005...

Saturday, July 09, 2005

London, like New York, is a terminus, a global city. So many people are linked to the city and so many different people live there. I watch the TV and think it’s like someone wants to bomb the world. As well as the people who have been killed and horribly injured and their families there’s also the increased tension between Muslim and non-Muslims that this will cause. Or even tensions between Asians and Europeans—I think of my Indian family in Chesire. I think how insane the news has become over the last few years, like that last scene in the original Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy where the set fire to the pre-historic forests to stop inflation. That’s a very biting comment by Adams. And, yea, I remember Manchester in the 1970s, the IRA bomb blasts. And like everyone else I can’t make any sense of it, really. But I’m not surprised.

...arcite at Saturday, July 09, 2005...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Yes, well, the Poetry did go on just a little last night. It was supposed to be 'a wine and cheese' but then turned into a proper meeting where we took care of business and planned for the year ahead. So tiring towards the end but sweetened by Sacred Hill Whitecliffe Sauvignon Blanc 2004 and a selection of good cheeses and apricots. I really must drink more good Sauvignon Blancs--now there's a sound resolution. Did I mention the tasty minature mince pies?

I've got my gear for tomorrow's final Teachers Coll Bad Taste party: 'now that's what I call a fart' t-shirt ($1) and a short, ill-fitting polyester blue jacket ($4). All from the Salvation Army, of course. And tonight I'm off for dinner in town with some teachers from The Final Aacademy, so this week Arcite is certainly getting around the town.

And Cassini just keeps on going. Check out the 'lake' on Titan!

On the stereo

Somethin’ else. Cannonball Adderly (x2)
Home, land & sea. Trinity roots (x2)
Speaking in tongues. Talking heads
Bummed. Happy mondays (x6)
Pills, Thrills & Bellyache. Happy Mondays
Chutes too narrow. the Shins (x3)
‘Heroes’. Bowie (x3)
Moulin Rouge soundtrack (x2)
Beyond Punk. Mojo compilation.
Tuwhare. Various.
The Roots of the Sex Pistols. (Mojo compilation). Excellent.
Black Tie White Noise (x2). Bowie. Sugary insipid mush. On second listening, you notice the diabolical covers. ‘I Feel Free’ is frankly a disgrace. Mercifully, Bowie recovered and went to make half-decent CDS (Outside, ‘Hours...’ Reality) and a very good CD (Heathen). The title tracks ‘Black Tie/White Noise’ has all the lasting appeal and charm of ‘Ebony and Ivory.' There’s a smugness running through the CD. I think of a televangelist listening to this on a 4-wheel drive Oldsmobile as he thinks of how to motivate the youth group in his pastoral care. It’s bland and has the devotional charm of a Mastercard ad, or that Pepsi ad Bowie did once with Tina Turner. ‘Pallas Athena’ does stand out as a quite quirky, odd piece of music though marred by Lester Bowie’ts otally repellant trumpet and Nils Rodgers hideous production.
Bend it like Beckham soundtrack. Quite fun, really. Upbeat with a dash of masala. Teek hai.
Under the Pink. Tori Amos (excellent—never heard it before)
Out There. Eric Dolphy. I loved this album as an undergraduate. Sure, Ron Carter’s bass is as brilliant as ever but Dolphy’s alto sounds more than a little jarring.
Out of the Moon. Goldenhorse (x2)
The Damned. Alternative Anthology Vol.1
We didn’t start the fire...Conchis compilation.
Oh, Inverted World. The Shins
Hoi Polloi. Vol 1. (Brittle Lemon comp).

Key tracks: Making Flippy Floppy, Talking heads, ‘Sense of Doubt’, Bowie, ‘Out of the moon’, Goldenhorse, ‘You can’t be too strong’, Graham Parker and the Rumour. ‘Friend’, Graham Brazier, ‘Fat Lady Wrestlers’ Happy Mondays. ‘Pink Bullets’ The Shins. See Emily Play. Bowie. New Rose, The Damned. V-2 Schnieder. Bowie.

...arcite at Thursday, July 07, 2005...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Last night I worked late to work towards finishing all my assignments.
I turned in around 11 then work up after 1 am and couldn't sleep.
I slept in the back room as our youngest son, Rory, had crawled in with Word-girl.
Nothing new there.
When I finally got to sleep around 4--after horrible naps--I had a sequence of nightmares.
You know, the naked in public sort.
In the morning, I found that Word-girl hadn't slept well either.
Neither had Sebastian, her friend from work.
In the morning, working away to finish the assignments, I get lovely music-filled mail from Brittle Lemon.
Online he tells me that he hasn't been sleeping well either.
So we're all up all night for some reason.
See what happens when you smash a comet?
But somehow after about six hours work today I finish the paperwork.
So here's hoping for tonight. I've had my nightcaps.
And let me welcome Conchis (was wulfraed) to the blogger's life. His museum of evanescent artefacts is now linked to this little nook of the nocturnal web.
G'night hairy mellon!
G'night dork boy!

...arcite at Tuesday, July 05, 2005...

Monday, July 04, 2005

I'm mad busy. All my final assignments for Teachers' College are due tomorrow and I've already messed up one of them by not having all my documentation ready. So last night I lay awake and thought of poetry. This morning, I got up and looked over the recent work ('moonshot', 'valency' 'dōgen bogan'). What I like is that I see something in the poems, finally, of my own voice rather than just pastiche. I guess in the end that's what matters. The assignments will sort themselves out in the end.

Yes, I'm 95% sure that I have a job at The Final Academy. It's all a formality now. But I think that my current happiness comes from just feeling right about going into teaching. The specific school isn't that important in the long run.

The house is quiet. No school, no college, just a Monday at home to finish the assignments. Tori Amos sings on the stereo: "thought I was over the bridge now."

And I think of Bifrost.

...arcite at Monday, July 04, 2005...

Friday, July 01, 2005

A marvelous feeling, so rarely felt, that you’ve gambled riches against the chance of something better—say countryside, or meaningful work—that after a long period of waiting somehow pays off. That’s how I feel tonight.

It was worth the wait.

...arcite at Friday, July 01, 2005...