Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Stop or I'll shoot you with my twinkly lead pencil rays

The other night at dinner with my basketball team, we were discussing the things people tell kids to make them behave. Someone remembered being told that if you piddled in the swimming pool, a bright red ring would form around you and everyone would know what you had done. No one likes swimming in a pool populated by little kids, and this seemed like a brilliant and effective ploy.

One day in grade one I was sitting at my desk, staring at the twinkly effect of sunlight reflecting on the tip of my lead pencil. The teacher told me to stop doing that because I could damage my eyes. Of course I stopped! I imagined that some kind of beam of light could suddenly zap into my eye (like a laser! I don’t think I knew what lasers were back then).

I idly pondered this for years, wondering what she could possibly have meant. I even wondered if it was actually a danger associated with real LEAD pencils, not the graphite ones we now call lead pencils.

It really wasn’t all that long ago that it finally dawned on me, I must have been holding the pencil pretty close to my face, and she thought if I was bumped, the pencil might poke me in the eye. How mundane, compared to those dangerous beams of twinkly light.

When you’re a kid, people tell you things and you only remember part of it, or they tell you things that don’t make sense. Even though you don’t have a great understanding of the world and how things work, you do have an active imagination and some sort of logic system going on… and that can lead to funny results.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Other people's craft projects!

If that sounds like torture to you, you'd better stop reading now. Next in this ongoing exposé of my inspirations - knitting blogs! Like WendyKnits, and berrystained, and QueerJoe. Most tend to link to each other (just check out the right hand side of Carrieoke's blog for a huge list) and I've been wandering around them for hours at a time. I love being able to see the projects coming together. I've also picked up a few tips, and its reassuring to see that so many other people have many projects going that take ages, or don't get finished. The best blogs are not just about showing off perfect finished work, but also reveal the process, including mistakes and failures.

And on the topic of having too much to do, including self induced pressure to get projects started/worked on/finished, check out Loobylu's recent posts. I can relate to the sentiments, and I have to applaud the spirit, thought I am clearly a good deal lazier. You go, girl!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

The Beautiful South

I could go on all day listing bands and musicians and singers I like and find inspiring. Right now I have The Beautiful South in mind, because:
a. I love their quirky, biting, not-quite-what you're expecting lyrics.
b. They do many songs with both male and female voices trading back-and-forth and/or duetting, which I like, and which you don't heard enough in pop. This is what first attracted me, when I first saw them on TV playing one of those huge English festivals (possibly Reading, I can't remember).
c. They know their way around a catchy tune.
d. They've just announced a UK tour for this November and December. I will be in the UK most of October. Guh.

If you clicked on the link above you would have found that their official site is one of those nasty slick ones with too many moving parts and menus that hover. Makes me feel dizzy. Why do bands do that?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

beautiful books

Continuing on the theme of things I find inspiring:

Books! But in particular, beautifully made books for people who love books. Recent examples include the Dark Horse Book of Hauntings and its companion volume, the Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft. They're comics collections featuring a great lineup of authors and artists. Everything about these books is delicious: the covers feel nice, the paper is heavy and smells good, the colours are rich, the paper is not too shiny, the size is easy to hold in your hand. The covers are spectacular, old-school detailed line art. Inside is a varied but coherant collection of different stories and art, all of which I enjoyed. Check them out at Impact Comics... or if you're nice to me I might lend you mine.