Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Austen and Auctions

I recently received my news letter from the Jane Austen Society which noted the recently held Sotheby's auction.  Sotheby's had come into possession of an unfinished manuscript by Miss Austen - called The Watsons.  As it was believed by experts to be about a quarter of the actual novel, the expected price was 200,000 pounds.  To real lovers of Austen's work and the lack of direct link to Austen herself or her works as time has destroyed much, it would come as no surprise that the purchase of this unfinished manuscript far surpassed the expected amount.  Here is the article which supposes Austen's possible reasons for not completing the novel as well as the price it fetched...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bad Movies, Good Movies

Last night I went and saw the final in Harry Potter series.  I enjoyed it.  They actually finished it off well and gave the books justice (as much as film medium can).  There were a couple of things I would have liked in there - Lupin at Shell Cottage asking Harry to be Godfather to Teddy, and young Lily having brown eyes.  But on a whole, it was good.  On the other end of the scope - Bad Teacher - really should have been named "Bad" full stop!  It is crap...and as much as I like Cameron Diaz I think she seriously should have rethought her decision to even make this movie.

So, how many good/bad movies have you seen - what's your favourite movie/s or worst movie/s?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blowin' in the Wind

My morning began with quite an event...but I really need to go back so you can understand where I'm coming from.  Just over 2 weeks ago I moved out of my bedroom so that my grandfather could move in - permanently.  This meant for all intents and purposes that whilst we have a large house I had no where to call my own...and I still don't.  I'm staying at my grandfather's place whilst it is on the market.  It's a pain because although I have my own space, it's not really mine.  I can't have all my books, my cat or most of my clothes there - simply because we are trying to sell it and thus don't want a lot of clutter.  In regards to my cat, well my grandfather has an old cat that already lives there therefore making it impossible to introduce my cat to the environment, and I don't think it's fair to him to uproot him from home just to bring him back in a few months.

Anyway, it's been difficult all around - particularly because my grandfather brought his dog that has a horrible temperament and none of us can stand this animal...I hate saying that because I am such an animal lover but this dog has to be muzzled for walks, baths and to go to the vet...yep, not a nice animal.

So, this morning at about 5am I was woken up by the howling wind.  Since I couldn't get back to sleep I read a bit, then had a shower and got dressed for work.  All set I then went to feed the cat.  The cat usually follows me outside but not today.  Just as I went to step down into the patio outside she ran in front of me - I tripped, the food and milk went everywhere and I landed on my butt with my leg behind me and the ankle in an agonising position.  After the shock I got up - VERY delicately, finding I couldn't quite put pressure on my foot.  I cleaned up the cat's food & drink, managed to get her some more then came home to get a bandage.  By the time I put a bandage on the foot it was almost twice the size.

So, no work today - but after tests there is no break but strained ligaments and bruising...and whilst this is all going on the wind is blowing a gale...reminding me of Bob Dylan's song...

Change happens.  Things happen.  Sometimes you just have to go with it and smile your way through it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Winter Escapisms...

It's less than a month now until the final Harry Potter movie hits the cinemas...I'm already lucky enough to have my ticket for the final event and even more happy with the fact that I can take my time re-watching the other movies in preparation as I have no classes until the last week in July!  I know, as with any art, there are people out there who don't like the franchise - book or movies - but it is one that I thoroughly enjoy escaping into - much like Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton.  To each their own I say and if you are small minded enough to disagree with anyone having their own choice or opinion that differs to your own then go stick your head up...well you get the point.

Not only is this movie on the cards this winter, but NBC, ABC and SyFy all have some interesting shows premiering.  Well, once again it's an opinion thing - interesting to me that is.  We have three titles that have grabbed my interest: Alphas, Once Upon A Time, and Grimm.  Look them up if you get the chance...if you are a X-men style fan, then Alphas may capture your interest, or if you enjoy the darker side of fairy tales then the other two shows may tickle your fancy.  There are another two shows out there that I thought may be of some interest but I'm waiting on the jury on these - Terra Nova and Falling Skies.  Spielberg productions with a fairly good cast but the trailers seem rather over the top, so I'm not too sure if they're trying to give it that big Spielberg send up or if it really is that over the top!

In the meantime, these shows are all due out over the next month - in the USA.  Once I've seen them I'll be able to give my opinion, but based on concepts and trailers, they look promising, and really with so many shows that have run their course (or should just learn to quit) it's nice to find fresh ideas...not the same reality tv has beens that need to find a sewer bend and never return.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Game of Thrones

About a week ago I watched the first episode of a series produced by HBO called Game of Thrones.  I have to say I found it a bit slow but will still watch the second episode (eventually) to see if it 1. picks up and 2. actually sucks me in.  Interestingly, this article:

brings up some points which I think should be considered, especially since the female side of society have had an enormous impact on the fantasy genre - particularly when you consider the rise in popularity!

Rainy Day Ruminations

I'm sitting here in my lounge room on the sofa in front of the fire.  The rain is coming down outside and we're all gathered around doing things waiting for the Sunday roast to finish cooking for lunch.  I know I've been quite scarce lately but between madly doing things for my teaching rounds, looking at my upcoming assessments and working I find that I am spending less time online than on the computer planning lessons or looking up research for upcoming lessons/assessments!

It's days like this though that I love.  Rain outside, fire going, the cat draped over my feet as I type away and a cup of tea to drink.  I have no where I have to be, nothing that can't wait a few hours and no one demanding my time....simply bliss.  Some of the things I'm looking forward to in the next few weeks are: 
my grandfather's 90th Birthday, successfully completing my teaching rounds (paperwork included), finishing my 1st semester of Grad DipEd, having time to relax & read all the books I've put in my TBR pile and simply spending time with people I've placed onto the back burner for the past 18 know who you are!

What do you love about rainy days?  There's something great about them...even if it's minor.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ecological Footprints

Today's class was on ecological footprints, global warming, greenhouse effects and generally sustainability.  I will admit that I am slightly cynical when it comes to the environment debate.  Not that I don't believe that there are areas that need fixing and better management, but that there needs to be a compromise.  I would love to have solar power in my home or a hybrid car but really, there is no incentive to outlay the exorbitant initial funds to gain in the long term.  Society lives in a 'here and now' situation and with the cost of living rising continually the ability to fork out money to change to these 'sustainable' or 'ecological' avenues are not actually a viable possibility for the average person.

I'm more than happy for people to have a differing opinion - I even agree with a lot of them but I do NOT agree, nor condone fanatacism or fundamentalism - in ANY form.  Greenies, Zealots, Political Activists...nope, if you are fundamentalist on any of those I tune out.  There needs to be a compromise between everything.  The government placing higher taxes as a way to decrease our carbon footprint is a joke.  Make sustainable homes a viable option - the rebates were ridiculous as they still didn't encourage people to convert due the overall cost.  Just look at water tanks.  If you submit the paperwork for the rebate by having them connected by a registered plumber there are local laws that will screw you over for water usage!  Hello the water comes from nature - how the hell can you charge for usage & collection when you've done nothing but pay back a measly rebate???

Governments are the problem - here in Australia we are over governed.  There is no need for 3 levels of government - I came to that conclusion when I studied Australian Politics in High School and in University.  Even worse, Victoria is a Nanny State - get some balls people.  It's not that the average person doesn't want to support the ecology and be more sustainable, it's that the reality of daily life works against such a premise beyond basic recycling, lighting & organic seasonal foods - with governments charging more taxes, and privatised companies raising costs on basic amenities.  Support your local Farmer's Markets - buy bulk - go to Aldi...reject the worst grocery retailers: Woolworths & Coles!!

Anyway, enough of my rant....I could go off on more tangents but then I'd just get more frustrated!