Favourite films

2019 07 13 - 09:10

Someone in a forum I frequent posted asking for everyone's favourite films. This is by no means anything less than a herculean undertaking in some folks' cases. There can't be only one.

My list, so far. I'm still working on it.

Favourite classic film: Lawrence of Arabia

Favourite war film: The Bridge on the River Kwai

Favourite beautiful film that I actually hate so I never watch it: The Fall (Tarsem Singh)

Favourite 80s not-even-remotely-guilty-pleasures: Trading Places, Major League, Private Benjamin

Favourite silent film: Battleship Potemkin

Favourite Bond film: You Only Live Twice

Favourite old Hollywood musical: An American In Paris, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Favourite movies that I put on when I go to bed because sometimes I hate silence: three of the five Alien Nation post-TV series films: Dark Horizon, The Enemy Within, The Udara Legacy

Favourite John Hughes film: The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink

Favourite film that I can never watch again because Matt Damon is a Harvey Weinstein apologist: Good Will Hunting

Favourite mindfuck: Altered States

Favourite film that was so emotionally affecting that I can never watch it again because it'll break my heart, again: A Taste of Honey

Favourite Star Trek film: Save the Whales (IV: The Voyage Home)

Favourite Christmas film: Scrooge (1951, Alistair Sim)

Favourite films to watch just for the colour: just about anything by Zhang Yimou, so Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower, and also Tarsem Singh's "The Fall", but I hate that movie

Favourite weekend afternoon films when I was a kid: The World of Henry Orient, the two horrible Peter Cushing Doctor Who films


I prefer, v2, updated for your viewing pleasure

2019 07 01 - 23:34

I prefer

citrus to berries
humour to comedy
bright light to mood light
spongy pillows to feather
barefoot to socks
tea to coffee
working from home to working in public
black ink pens to blue
micro-fine tip to broad
Friday to Saturday
Hafiz to Rumi
bar shows to arena shows
beer to wine
pepper to salt
punk to metal
The Clash to the Sex Pistols
cool days to warm
urban to rural
shower to bath
crunchy peanut butter to smooth
spring/autumn to summer/winter
political left to political right
social liberalism to social conservativism
atheism to religion
subtle to gross
black to white
Dune to LoTR
blunt/direct to overly careful
trains to planes
orange to apple
navel to clementine
green grapes to red/purple
savoury to sweet
drama to comedy
clever to crude
chicken to turkey
Austen to Bronte
being guest to host
pie to cake
Paul Simon to Bruce Springsteen
milk chocolate to dark
flat shoes to heels
tree shade to sunbathing
reading while sitting to lounging
Madam Secretary to Scandal
abstract/surrealism to photorealism
acrylic to oil
printmaking to painting


Buzz kill

2019 05 23 - 21:39

So, I had this nap today where I dreamed a drone was buzzing my building taking photos through people's bathroom windows. Turns out, not so much. I found, upon being woke by it, that it was a huge bug of some kind or other stuck behind my curtains. This thing was about an inch and a half long.

And no, I didn't take pictures of it, before or after its death, and I intend to take my glasses off when I remove its corpse from behind my curtains, so I don't actually need to directly see it.

Any bug loud enough to wake me up, I don't need to see with the naked eye.

Also, dear jodoka, I want you to know that what I killed it with, is the $15 dowel I picked up at Rona to make my own for-now jo with. It's first kill: giant, filthy insect bastard.


Gansai swatches

2019 04 11 - 00:15

There’s something peculiarly satisfying, meditative, and therapeutic about swatching paints or coloured pencils. These are the Kuretake Gansai Tambi 36 set, and the Boku Undo Gansai ‘blackish’ six set paints, minus the Boku Undo reddish black, and the Kuretake numbers 57, 66, 67,, and 34 (I used the numbers, because there is some discrepancy on colour names between different folks and what’s on the packaging), which others tested and deemed not lightfast, and the white, which I didn’t botber swatching on white paper.

I’ll do my own testing at some point.

I’ve found a couple of other gansai sets on amazon.ca, but have yet to discover any info on them.

I really love the way these feel when you’re swiping your brush in the pans, which is due completely to the hide glue binder. It’s very slick, but with a ‘pull’. The colours are uncredibly vivid, even after drying, which is not a thing one always gets with Western-style watercolours, unless you do many layers and/or buy the good stuff.

My biggest regret is that you can’t buy the gansai pans empty. I’d so much prefer them to the Western style full pans, especially when using big brushes.


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So far today

2019 04 10 - 10:44


Human rights - Social justice

2019 03 10 - 17:40

I've just encountered something that had never occurred to me before, something that explains so much about how different parts of the world handle things like health care, for example. I mean, I knew it, I'd just never seen it put in these specific terms.

I've just read something by a professor of social work in the US, who talked of how such things are viewed in different parts of the world. Health care, for example, in peer nations elsewhere, is seen as a human right - but not in the US. In the US, such things are seen in terms of social justice.

It is, indeed, a very nauseating consideration, to turn a person's very well-being (their access to basic health care, to life-saving insulin, or their access to clean drinking water), into something that they should be granted by the state as a form of charity, or as a form of donated fairness from 'well-meaning' haves to the have-nots, as opposed to those things simply being accepted as the very minimum of a fair and decent existence, and, indeed, being the obligation of the state to provide for all citizens and others under the state's care. Yes, the wealthy should, because they can, but they shouldn't, because the state should, but neither are, because of greed and indifference, holding fast to the I've-got-mine philosophy of the blinkered and wilfully blind.

Why are these things even a question? The water is poison. Fix it.. People are dying. Fix it. These should not even be a debate, but they are; and I worry for Canada, that we will turn fully down a road of self-interest: self-interest of the haves over the have-nots, self-interest of the few over the many, self-interest of the 1%, turning human rights into charities, as opposed to a nation that doesn't question a person's right to exist, to eat, to be healthy, to be safe, to stay alive.


Heirlooms - Saving things that can't be saved

2019 03 08 - 23:23

I had a brief interaction with someone today, who was lamenting that her upcoming move into a small apartment from where she's been living, meant that she'd have to give up a lot of things that belonged to her grandmother - furniture, dresses, baptism gowns, things like that.

We're funny creatures, us humans, with our seeming depthless need to save, to preserve, to not be able to let go. Some of us are better with keeping memories than things, but sometimes it's nice to have the things too.

I suggested to the lady that if she could bear to cut the clothing, or even the upholstery that wasn't otherwise being sold, given away, or recycled, that she could frame the fabrics and have a little something to decorate her walls with. Dollar store frames would do, and a square of fabric big enough to fit the space. A few of those would certainly pretty up a wall nicely

You can frame fabrics, jewellery, pages and covers of books, documents, albums and album covers, menus, programmes, stones, shells, other small mementos or knick-knacks, and all manner of things that will go into a frame or shadow box, that can go on a wall where you can actually enjoy it, rather than in a closet where it takes up space and never sees the light of day.

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Secular Saints - a work in progress

2019 02 27 - 13:54

This used to include musicians, but I think they'll need a list of their own.

Suggestions welcome.


How to play Patriarchy Chicken: why I refuse to move out of the way for men

2019 02 27 - 09:21

"The point of Patriarchy Chicken is not just that you get where you're going marginally faster (although you do) or that you irritate a number of men (which you also do). The point is that men have been socialised, for their entire lives, to take up space. Men who would never express these thoughts out loud have nevertheless been brought up to believe that their right to occupy space takes precedent over anyone else's right to be there. They spread their legs on tubes and trains, they bellow across coffee shops and guffaw in pubs, and they never, ever give way."

This give-way situation, and its attendant use-of-public-space friend, also holds true for, as a friend mentioned, based on race - it also holds true for plus-size people. People with more socially-acceptable-sized bodies will expect you to defer to them, to give way to them. Believe me, I've seen it. They walk past you like you aren't even there, and walk at you the same way. (Mind you, my favourite ones are the ones who make faces at you when you eat in public. I may be visually impaired, but oh lawdy yes, I have seen that happen.)

I have not played Patriarchy Chicken, but I've played Cellphone Chicken. Sometimes I've actually stopped in my tracks when I see someone walking along staring down at the phone instead of looking up, and I wait, and let them walk into me. This kind of oblivion hasn't been appropriate since y'all were two and stumbling around your playpens without regard or awareness of your environment.

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The Modern Trap of Turning Hobbies Into Hustles

2019 02 22 - 16:27

“You can do something you love, just because you love it.” (When did I become Ask Polly?) And suddenly the sentence that both of us needed to hear came out of my mouth: “You don’t have to monetize your joy.”

But our culture "reinforces the idea that [our] attention belongs more rightfully on profit than on pleasure," because we "live in the era of the hustle. Of following our dreams until the end, and then pushing ourselves more. And every time we feel beholden to capitalize on the rare places where our skills and our joy intersect, we underline the idea that financial gain is the ultimate pursuit."
Possibly we'd feel less need to turn everything into the dollar-dollar, if our economy wasn't so stacked against us that we have to earn off everything we do, or we won't be able to eat. This whole idea of, and the author mentions it, of loving what you do so it never feels like work, is a scam to trick you into further enslaving yourself to your employment, so you won't notice the shortcomings of your economic status. There's nothing wrong with loving your work, and there's nothing wrong with making money from your hobbies or joys, but there is definitely something wrong with those things being turned into necessaries or obligations, or, worse yet, flaws if you don't.
We've over-structured everything to the point where a good chunk of our population now has no idea how to relax and just be, nor even that they can do just that, and it's okay to do just that. Children have gone from play to play dates. Every hour must be filled with something. The pragmatism of the Protestant work ethic has struck again, and it never strikes in a very good way. It keeps telling us that whatever we're doing, it's not enough. We could maximise our time better, faster, more. We're scheduling and monetising ourselves to death.
Why don't I do things for money? Why don't many of us? Because we want to keep enjoying them, that's why. I'm not obligated to turn my joy into your pragmatic money-maker.
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