Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dance, Dance, Otherwise We Are Lost

It's not often that i watch a trailer and think "Holy shit, i have to see this now". However Wim Wenders latest offering is fueling my new found interest in dance. Judging from the trailer below it is visually sumptuous and captures the work and essence of dancer Pina Bausch perfectly. It was shot in 3D with the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. Bausch died in 2009 and her innovative work was considered ground breaking in the world of choreography. It will premiere at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival and a worldwide release date has not yet been confirmed. Music featured on the trailer is "Lilies in the Valley" from Jun Miyake.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

He Squeezes My Wrists

"...In the mouth of the river
A strange scene it is
Everything in flames
The sky with lightning
And the water, luminous
A strange scene it is
Under over through..."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


"Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain."

A few years ago, i was a 'Sam'- a volunteer with Samaritans. Samaritans is a confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland and has been in existence since 1953. The service is available 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.In 2003 Samaritans took on Befrienders Worldwide, which is an international organisation that provides support to those in need.

Volunteers offer confidential, non-judgmental, emotional support to those who are suicidal, depressed or who need to confine in someone. This is done via email, phone calls or face to face meetings. By listening and asking questions, a volunteer aims to aid a person with exploring their feelings. Common reasons for calls could range from relationship/family problems, financial worries, job loss, stress, abuse, bereavement or body image issues. Volunteers do not provide counselling or give advice and although they are trained in many of the same techniques as professional counsellors; they don't judge or tell people what to do.

Friday, January 07, 2011


"He couldn't stand to hear me say
That I'd been with someone new
And when I told him I had been untrue
He hit me and it felt like a kiss.
He hit me and I knew he loved me."

Over the past few months i've been delving back into the music i loved as a teenager. I had forgotten how surprised and taken aback i was by the lyrics the first time i heard it. It was written by Carol King and Gerry Goffin after they discovered that Little Eva, a member of The Crystals, was regularly abused by her partner. When they expressed concern, she explained it was his way of letting her know that he loved her. In my opinion it remains one of their finest songs and an ode to the tangled web that is domestic violence.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


Cincinnati based Primax Studio created a fantastic sliding scale that glides from the most minute (quantum foam) to the massive (observable universe). You can easily spend some time getting lost in the nicely designed and information packed creation.

Unforgettable Part 4: Temple Grandin

Autism is defined as a disorder of neural development, characterized by impaired social interaction and communication and by restricted and repetitive behavior. It's an area that I've been interested in for a while and although research is being done, awareness and education is slowly evolving. Having said this there is still much unknown about what causes it.

Temple Grandin is a Doctor of animal science, professor, author, consultant to the livestock industry and has contributed hugely to raising awareness on how the autistic mind works. Grandin was born in Boston in 1947 and didn't talk until she was three and a half years old; communicating instead by screaming and humming. Originally incorrectly diagnosed as being a child with brain damage, her parents were advised by doctors to institutionalize her.

Her mother vehemently opposed this and instead placed her in a school facility which was equipped to educate children with varying degrees of brain damage. This, coupled with speech therapy and a nanny that worked and interacted with her for hours, helped lead to Temple speaking.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


This week I've been mostly:

Wearing my self gifted Christmas present. Green, grouchy and so very warm.
Braving the maelstrom that is my drafts folder.
Playing Fugazi's 'End Hits' loudly (video below).
Getting into mischief with new comrades :)

Making lists. As if their presence creeping in here wasn't bad enough, you should see my notebook. Pages 4daze.
Drinking whiskey.
Ambushing playgrounds (swings!) at 2am.
Crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


I have a soft spot for chickens. Ditto cartoons. I also have a weird fixation on stationery (mmmm pens). So when i found Doug Savage's work, i was a happy bunny. His single panel comics are drawn on a post it with Staedtler pigment liners and then scanned. They feature a mixture of characters such as chickens, PROD300, Mr.T and Sigmund Freud.

"When I was a kid, I drew cartoons all the time. I drew cows and alligators and pigs and superheroes. I drew a platypus named Ed. I drew a dead dog named Dead Dog Bob. I drew everything I saw and everything I wanted to see.

Many years passed. By a strange series of coincidences, I found myself working in an office. The more I used a keyboard, the worse my penmanship became. The constant hum of computers made my brain twitch. That’s when I stopped drawing cartoons.

Then the chickens came.

Like some sort of haunting supernatural force, the chickens bubbled up from the ol’ subconscious mind. In a trance-like state, I drew them on office whiteboards. I drew them in notebooks. I drew them on anything that sat still long enough. People started asking, “Who’s drawing those damn chicken cartoons everywhere?” The chickens were unstoppable. To retain my sanity, all I could do was grab a stack of sticky notes and release the Savage Chickens."

Monday, January 03, 2011


Some things that 2010 taught me:

  • Always listen to the little voice within. 99% of my 'good' life choices and decisions have stemmed from listening to this instinctual utterance.

  • Also related to this is paying heed to gut instinct. Everyone has instinct for a reason but day to day life tends to divert our attention from it.

  • Don't listen to naysayers and don't underestimate the power of being determined. The only one who should make the final decision to do something is you.

  • Regardless of their actions and words, don't take it for granted that someone feels the same way about you as you do about them.

  • Respect is not instantaneous. It is earned. Ditto with trust.

  • Don't throw out leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in sauces/casseroles.

  • Exercise is important-it helps keep the mind and the body healthy.

  • Despite the facade I've constructed of being impervious to other people, I'm sensitive and rather than continuing to see this as a weakness, I've embraced it.

  • Keeping the previous statement in mind, i also adhere to the adage of "walk softly but carry a big stick".

  • You can have a fancy car, a huge apartment, a wardrobe full of clothing, a number of the latest technological gadgets but at the end of the day; if you don't have your health and your friends, you ain't got jack.

  • True friendship is priceless and gratitude for it should be expressed regularly.

Word To The Wise

“Men are respectable only as they respect”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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