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Monthly Archives: August 2012

If we’re going to run with the above metaphor, I’m in severe danger of being dropped due to my own neglect. In fact, I’m guilty of abusive neglect on two counts, since it’s now been, what, three weeks since I last posted?

I’d love to say that there’s some compelling reason for this unprecedented mental meltdown, but I’ve got nothing. Maybe we’ll just let the facts speak for themselves. Charged with unprovoked abandonment of the HSC, the evidence for the prosecution is as follows: trials results of hitherto unseen levels of all-time-low; lack of notes or any useful material for the upcoming actual exams; looming French monologue (this Saturday, in fact) for which the defendant is deplorably unprepared; and a shocking absence of humanly recognisable motivation.

So that’s about it, really. I kind of sort of really really need to step back on it, but I’m frequently overcome by sudden bouts of nihilism and apathy, which, let’s be honest, are just more thinly-veiled stabs at further procrastination.

I swear when I wrote the first bit of this on my phone on the train this morning (a first, which is why it spontaneously posted and subsequently disappeared) it wasn’t nearly as self-indulgent or whiny.

So let’s move on. Sorry you had to suffer through that self-pitying quagmire.

Unfortunately, the past week has been a sad one for Armstrongs. Lucky I don’t know any personally, or I’d be urging them into the nearest bomb shelter to hide from the waves of devastation that have crashed down on the sporting, scientific, and all-around, general, everyday communities.
I still want to believe in Lance Armstrong; while the use of performance enhancing drugs is, really, an unpardonable offence, seven Tours can’t be sneezed at, drugs or no drugs. And hey, I still cherish my livestrong band. That old buddy’s stuck with me since like year 4 or something.

Also, Neil Armstrong IS A BADASS.

Anyway, I really ought to be getting to sleep. That was something else I did want to talk about. I’m definitely killing myself here. I can feel the brain cells dying, crying out in wordless pain as they wither and collapse from their slumberless state. OK. that last sentence tells me that I definitely need more sleep. I know there are people who live on 4 hours a night (Gail Kelly, anyone?) but I’m definitely not one of them, however much I’d love to be. yeah. I was planning on somehow smoothly segueing that into how I’m now an adult and need less sleep… but schmeh. I’m legally an adult now. WOOOOOOO. Voting here I come.

Anyway, I’ve just started this paragraph with anyway again, even though I don’t want to use any sort of parallelism or shiz like that, but I couldn’t let it end there on that. Yesterday, I spent some time roaring through a brilliant book, titled Me and Earl and the Dying Girl which is somehow getting a whole deal of brilliant press here in Australia. Which is really nice. I mean, it’s really nice for the Pittsburgh-born, Brooklyn-living author, Jesse Andrews (who also graduated from Harvard, as you do), but it’s also nice that we’re not always quite so cut off from the machinations of the rest of the world (not that the world revolves around the publishing of American YA fiction, but wouldn’t it be an infinitely better place if it DID?). I guess the point of all this rambling was to say that I really enjoyed the book, and I’m recommending it to anyone who’ll listen long enough for me to get the words out. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.Really rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Really, the title should be enough to get you mildly intrigued, and the realism and wild hilarity of the richly individual narrative voice should get you fired up to devour it all in one fell swoop. I suppose I did enter into it with the hectic glow of TFIOS still lingering around me (heads up, the dying girl, Rachel, has cancer), but be warned, it’s a whole different take. Though you don’t really need my warning – Greg does a cracker job of it straight up from the first page. I guess what I might have liked most about it was the personal nature of it all, the intimacy of getting Greg’s unfiltered perspective, yet still in a delightfully self-aware fashion. Really, the humour was incidental – it’s all just part of the voice. And there was nuance, too. Despite it all being through his narration, and explicitly at that, most of what we learn about Greg isn’t what he tells us, or even what he’s aware of himself – it’s how he describes other people relating to him. And there were beautifully unexpected and hilarious techniques, too – bullet point recaps of one-sided conversations stand out as my favourite. And the cover and chapter art is pretty goddamn pretty. And hey, when an amateur filmmaker gives you titles like Apocalypse Later, and Cat-ablanca, you know you just have to listen to his story. (and read it, too!)

BAGUETTE?

BAGUETTE!

So the Unearthed High finalists were announced today, and I have to admit that I am in complete and utter awe. I mean, I should really know what to expect, since I’m on my way to see last year’s winners SNAKAAAAAAAAAA this Saturday, once I’ve rid myself of the scourge of trials, but still, I’m pretty blown away. And while I can’t say that the song we might have written (had I gotten off my ass to write some lyrics and be a better singer) wouldn’t’ve been good, I’ve no doubt that these beautiful, lively, hilarious tracks and their artists fully deserve to be finalists. (in the wake of that flurry of double negatives, I kinda also have to admit that I am spouting unsubstantiated praise as I’m yet to actually listen to all of these songs… but they’re great so far!)

Anyway, I’m going to excuse that rabble of incoherency with the fact that my brain is currently in a fondue-like state of delicious gooeyness due to the 4u maths trial I had this morning. Which, despite its torturous, characteristically BDDish trix, I’m hoping went slightly better than the disastrous half yearly and May assessment.

And now onto community; in spite of my resolution to work for the upcoming five-exam/three-day straight shot of torture that waits, in all its devilish glory, for me at the end of this week, I still haven’t started any work, instead choosing to remind myself of my still-burning love of Community. Now, I can’t believe that I haven’t already waxed lyrical about its insanely bang-on hilarity, but a search of my posts seems to protest otherwise. I can’t really do it justice, I don’t think, but later on I reckon I might make a bit of an effort to review a few episodes. Todd VanDerWerff does a smashing job over at The A.V. Club, so I can look to that for some inspiration. At the present moment, I’m still basking in the beautiful glow of the third season finale, over which I just quickly skimmed, and which reminds me of some of the things, apart from the always deliciously meta concept episodes (think 8-bit? stop motion? bottle? full pulp fiction parody? flashback? et al), that I love about Dan Harmon’s baby.

It’s just incredible how you can create so much beautiful, cheesy-yet-sincere, character depth and heart while simultaneously self-awarely subverting and undermining the whole concept of a cheesy sit-commy wrap up. And the standard WInger-wrap-up does just that; it’s got just the right amount of convoluted self-contradiction so that it makes sense both in its own right and a parody, yet I can’t help but smile and embrace the cheese. And the third season, dreamy edged wrap-up was fantastic; it leaves us fans with grossly ample speculation fodder, confirms future dreams and fears, and parodies yet embraces the simple next-season set up. fuark Community is boss.

On that note, I’ve already done this somewhere else, and this list is very much just randomly off the top of my head, but here are some of my favourite Community episodes. (note that I’m doing this by memory off the wiki list of episode synopses… sue me. I’m sure I’ll recant and deny any and all following declarations at a later date when refreshed by repeat viewing.)

Representing Season 1, may I present:

“Introduction to Film” – The Abed/Abed’s Dad dynamic gets me every time… stupid onion-chopping goblins. (speaking of goblins, I’m in the midst of an ongoing internal debate over whether or not I actually like Tyler and Odd Future. think I do. But I’ll save that for later.) And I love the go at Dead Poets Society.

and, of course,

“Modern Warfare” – who can forget the introduction of epic paintball?

In the Season 2 corner, here are:

“Accounting for Lawyers” – Annie, Annie, and more Annie. And Troy. That chloroform bit knocks me out.

“Epidemiology” – hoh damn. ha. ha. ha. I am definitely become increasingly illiterate. (interesting fact, it took me five goes to spell illiterate there. All those tall letters…)

“Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design” – pillow fort, conspiracies, double-triple-behind-back-over-the-top-crosses, what more could you want? and I love Britta’s adult tent section…

“Mixology Certification” – for quite a while, up there as my fave episode; and that “Greendale is where I belong” theme, sahhhh beautiful

“Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” – nuf said.

“Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking” – oh how I hated this episode upon first, and second, and third viewing… but oh Pierce, oh Pierce… yep in retrospect, how good is this episode!!! (I really wish I could say more intelligent things about all these episodes… but to be honest I want to finish this post and it’s getting quite long, and ok I admit I don’t have many insightfully intelligent things to say. I like them, and that’s the long and short of it!)

“Paradigms of Human Memory” – omagawsh.

“A Fistful of Painballs” – yep. defs a step up.

there are heaps more, can I just say all of season 2?

AND FINALLY, THE TRIBUTES FROM SEASON THREE:

“Remedial Chaos Theory” – holy shit. holy shit. THE CONCEPT, THE CONCEPT. CONCEPTIONNNNNNNNNNNNNN

“Studies in Modern Movement” – ok, many disagree, but I love this episode. It’s got a perfect amount of heart. And I love Annie. And the Jeff/Dean is hilarious. AND OK I ADMIT IT I LOVED HORSEBOT 3000.

“Documentary Filmmaking: Redux” – this was helped along significantly by my love of Apocalypse Now, and awareness of/ desire to watch Hearts of Darkness. (that was probs my biggest stumbling block with “Critical Film Studies” – not having watched My Dinner With Andre, or, more ashamedly, Pulp Fiction…) so yeah. this was incredible. AND THAT THUMBS UP. oh Troy, I feel you buddy

“Virtual Systems Analysis” – currently my favourite. that is all.

“Curriculum Unavailable” – HOH DAMN. second favourite, anyone? after a lackluster mid-season, Harmon is storming home here.

“Digital Estate Planning” – yes.

“Introduction to Finality” – even the name is beautiful.

That all said, I love pretty much every episode.

SIDE NOTE. This has taken me absolutely forever to write, and I’ve now listened to all the Unearthed High Finalists one score and five times over. Jessica Cerro and Tyler Touche are clear clear favourites, with Asta in the middle alongside Jesse Davidson (who, at the very beginning, evokes everything I love about Flume). That said, Soliloquy has real talent, and I always love supporting Aussie hip-hop. And Marionettes, not my cup of tea, but still well-listenable.

OK. Finally. The last part. I apologise to my friends and family, and if you’re still reading by now, I heartily commend you.

FALLS AND SOUTHBOUND.

A Crying Shame.

Forget BDO, I have never loved a lineup more.

Allow me to elucidate through a ranked list With Headings!

Bands/Artists I Consider Among My Very Favourites:

BPM
TDCC
Best Coast
Lisa Mitchell
Boy & Bear

Bands/Artists I Love To Death But Of Whom/Which I Know Too Few Tracks To, In Good Conscience, Call Myself A Proper Fan:

SBTRKT
Cosmo Jarvis
The Vaccines
Bombay Bicycle Club
Jinja Safari
Hot Chip
Hilltop Hoods
Angus Stone

Bands/Artists Of Which/Whom I Ashamedly Know Little But Would Definitely Try And See At A Festival (Or Whom I Don’t Like Enough To Be Placed In The Above Category):

The Flaming Lips
Django Django
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Matt Corby
Beach House
Maximo Park
Ash Grunwald

Which Leaves Only A Small Handful Of Bands To Which I Am Ambivalent.

So yeah. It’s a crying shame, but I shouldn’t complain.

Man I’m hungry.

YAY, YOU REACHED THE END!

(click it click it click it)

So there were a few things I forgot to say in my last post.

John Green does inspire me a bucketload. And I’d love to try writing some YA fiction sometime. After all, it is my favourite kind of fiction.

But what I find most refreshing and relieving is that someone who is currently so awesome and insightful and literate with the perfect amount of crazy and immature could have, in the past, been a total, typical, post-teenage asshat. Exactly how I kind of feel about myself right now.

Behold, the proof.

 

Anyway, I like movies a lot. And despite my current aspirations to YA lit authordom, I’m going to get back to some reviewing after trials or something.

Although I think any of my writing is first and foremostly recreational, as evidenced by the supremely sub-par standard of these bloggish blobs of word form.

but anyway, in my current state of mind, my three favourite movies are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Midnight in Paris, and, still and as always, 500 Days of Summer. (ok that double use of and is weird but it made sense when I said it in my head, I swear)

Anyway, have an otter or something. (I really really love otters.)

(by the way, these are quite mad.)

There are a lot of things floating around in my head as I stumble around in this trials-induced daze, and so while I’ll try to make some modicum of sense, please forgive the following rabble of incoherency…

Surprisingly, the most simple and straightforward to deal with are the exams. Right now, I’m at the insidious, lull-you-into-a-false-sense-of-security stage of 2 down, 6 to go, but a significant hurdle was knocked over today in the form of HSC French speaking. I suppose it went alright, but most importantly, it reminded me just how much fun it really is to be able to speak another language. I reckon it’s honestly such a rewarding skill and one of the most fun things you can possibly do at school. So yeah. I really like French. And I love being able to speak it with my friends. That’s mad. Must do more of that. I kinda maybe really hope that someday I’ll be lucky enough to have a language loving girlfriend and we’ll fumble our way through frenzied fragments of fractured French on a daily basis.

Anyway, I’m also currently so head-over-heels for the olympics, even as my favourite swimming and rowing are wrapping up. Also, I really love the triathlon. Race events are great, both to compete in and to watch, and triathlon, well, it’s got three times the racy goodness…

But amidst the beauty that is watching people achieve their dreams – as summed up quite well by Alex Day whom I normally rarely watch but this one was a cracker:

– I have defs fallen in love (I use that word very flippantly, if it hasn’t yet become apparent) with Jenni Pinches, nerdfighter extraordinaire.

And, well, on that note, it’s time to recount another revelation.
I’d been hovering around on the fringes for a while; I knew about vlogbrothers since about maybe 09? and watched perhaps a couple vids when I started to get into Charlie while in Franch at the end of 2010.

BUT FRENCH THE LLAMA DID I FALL HARD INTO NERDFIGHTERIA IN THESE PAST FEW MONTHS.

Absolutely, without a doubt, I now feel honoured to be able to call myself a nerdfighter. It’s just beautiful, and it staggers me to witness the unequivocal uniqueness and acceptance and poignancy and relevance and pure awesomeness of such a community, and well, thank you John and Hank.

And so in an act of pure idiocy yet also brilliance, I shall make it my goal to watch every vlogbrothers video in order at some point post-trials/post-hsc. And probs comment on them in some small capacity. But maaaayybbeee not on youtube since my account belongs to, I think, a 42 year old man. Don’t judge me, 1970 seemed like as good a year as any in which to be born… I WAS LIKE 13, I WANTED TO WATCH THE 18 PLUS VIDEOS, I’M SORRY

ANYWAY on a more serious note, this

was pretty bang on, and well, Hank, goddamn you read my mind.

I guess 93 nerdfighters can be wrong, and in my current state of meaninglessness, I was right there with them.

I’m starting to lose track of where I was going with this, but what popped up in my was that I think my ultimate, overarching goal in life should simply be to decrease world suck. And whether I do that as a doctor, an author, a journalist, a vlogger, a husband, a son, a father, whatever, I know it’s definitely worth doing. Oh and yes. That whole love and be loved. That’s been like my constant internal discourse for the past year or something. Hank, legend.

And so, on Esther Day (which, admittedly, was yesterday here in oz and, as of a few hours ago, yesterday in the states as well) I’d like to say thank you to whoever takes the time to read any of my ramblings, and, well, dftba.
I love you.