WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS

There seem to be a few Christmas wish list posts popping up here and there: I want this, get me that, validate me in this way…..

So, because, you know, I combine sheep and ego in equal measure:

I want an agent, and I want all my children, blood & bonus, with me for one day of peace and happiness. I want the world to leave us alone for one day.

That’s it.

IT WON’T MAKE ME READ ANY MORE OF HER BLOODY AWFUL BOOKS

But it might make me rent the movie…..

Song of the moment: The Equestrian Statue The Bonzo the Dog Doo Dah Band
Reading: Still on that Marquez-edited gathering of fantastical ephemera. Odd little thing that it is.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEAUTIFUL BOY

Connor turned 2 yesterday. He wasn’t with us: it was his weekend with his grandmother, and he doesn’t get them overly often. But we made sure to have cake with dinner when he came home, and he’s sharing a party with Erin next weekend (it’s her 5th birthday in a fortnight) which we’re going to make a big, fun, special occasion.

I’ve talked before about what a miracle Connor is: how hard it was for me to agree to have another child in the wake of Erin’s birth; how we almost lost him a couple of times during the preganancy; the pain Lyn experienced carrying him to term. And the problems he’s encountered since his birth have been a constant source of fear: he’s undergone an operation to correct a crossed eye; he’s suffered language problems and a multitude of serious fevers. His health is not the heartiest. He suffers periods of interrupted sleep, and night terrors are regular visitors.

And yet, he’s fearless, which simply increases mine– how to explain the nervousness when he engages in his favourite game of climb onto the back of the couch and see where the full blooded leap takes me? Or when his begging to be lifted up succeeds, and his first act upon reaching your chest is to throw himself backwards, laughing, full of trust that you’ll catch him before he crashes upside-down into the floor?

How to explain the delight of rolling around the bed with him in a big hug, laughing and nuzzling his neck? Or playing fingerpistols? (point finger, make shooting noise, fall down dramatically, laughing) Or the giggle that rises unbidden when chasing his squealing form around the living room in an impromptu game of chasey? Singing the chorus to “We will rock you” together, complete with clapping and dancing? Or watching him watching the finches in their cage as if each fluttering movement was the most exciting event in the world?

Every moment with him is a burst of emotional extremes. He makes my heart pulse. so happy birthday, my darling, beautiful boy. And thank you, because you do not know what it is you have changed in me.


Moments after birth. So hard to get here, so much to come.


2 years old today. My little boy.


With his Mum. Cheeeeeeeessseeeee!

WHOOSH, SWISH, NEEEEE-OOOOWWWWMMMMMMMMM……….

Broadband has been connected. Don’t things move more quickly? 🙂

The only down side is that, now we can use the phone and internet connection at the same time, we have to answer the damn phone when it rings instead of using the answering service to screen calls.

Oh well, it’s a small price to pay. Whooooooosssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh………………..

I AM ARTMAN!

Hard work all weekend to get things ready for the birthdays party. Part of which involved a project I’ve been leading up to for some time: the conversion of our second shed into a cubby house for the kids. They had a beautiful big wooden one at the old house, which we had to leave behind, and I’ve been determined to offer a replacement as soon as I could.

So much of yesterday involved cleaning the shed out, de-crawlyfying the space, adding the necessary garden bench, blackboards, toy chest and posters. And then, because there is no punishment I will not inflict upon myself, the painting, humphing about, and placement of 8 concrete slabs into a path to the door.

900-mill square concrete slabs are heavy.

But Artman must have his day. And I’m quietly pleased at the result (quiet: adj. talking about it on a public weblog with a potential audience in the millions.)


Weeee’re off to see the wizard….

Satisfaction is cleaning up the patio in the evening and hearing the kids shouting “Onnne, twoooo, threeee…” from the cubby house end of the garden.

AND INTRODUCING MY FAITHFUL SIDEKICK, CRAFTBOY!

Not to be outdone, Aiden threw himself into a science project this week that involved presenting a paper on a dinosaur of his choice, as well as building a visual aid.

Casting aside all offers of aid (because, sometimes, dinosaurs are too cool to share), he disappeared into his room with the deadline looming, and returned with this: presenting (from left to right) Ornithochirus Marks II and I.

I hope he gets them back when they’ve been marked. We can hang them over the patio 🙂

Pssst: your frame is showing…

Song of the moment: I’m The Urban Spaceman The Bonzo The Dog Doo Dah Band
Reading: The Book of Fantasy Jorge Luis Borges (ed), Take The Joy Jane Yolen

A GIANT IS LOST

Ferenc Puskas is dead.

For those not in the know, Puskas is a footballing legend. “The Galloping Major” was the inspirational leader and talisman of the all-conquering Mighty Magyars, the Hungarian footnall team of the 1950s (How good were they? They did England 6-3. At Wembley. England’s first ever defeat at home. They still talk about it.) . He was the rock behind which the all-conquering Real Madrid of the 1960s stood when they won 5 consecutive La Liga titles and 3 European Cups, a record that stands unequalled today.

How good was he? Puskas was a striker. For a striker, a return of one goal in every three games is considered pretty damn good. The really great ones, they might score once every couple of games over the course of their career.

In 529 games for Real, Puskas scored 512 times. His 84 games in a Hungarian shirt yielded 83 goals.

I have some footage of him in action from his Real days. He is nothing short of mesmerising.

He is, unarguably, one of the 3 or 4 greatest players ever to have lived. He is easily the greatest European ever to play the game.

Football is lessened by his loss.

HANDED IN:

The second draft of The Memory of Breathing, to Producermatt. Now to wait for his Producer’s Notes, and research animal liberationists in preparation for draft number three.

And finally get on to some short stories again!

AS COOL AS PRESENTS GET

Earlier this week, Aiden presented me with a belated birthday present. He’d warned me it would be late– he had to hand it in to his teacher and get it marked first.

If there’s anything cooler than getting something handmade from your kids, I don’t know what it is.

So how great was it to be given this weird and wonderful handmade clay head? Very great indeed.

You talkin’ ta me? You talkin’ ta me?

As befits a present so froody, it was made an immediate addition to my Corner of Cool, that section of the office where I keep all my bits-n-trinkets that capture my imagination. As a Bonus Parent, to receive a gift that a Bonus Child has made specially for me is deeply touching. It’s a sign that, to Aiden, I’m a genuine parent. Pride of place on the corner of the desk for this baby, let me tells ya!

Head and friends

BEING A GRANDFATHER IS HARD WORK

One of the finches escaped on the weekend: I was trying to get their water dish out of the cage, and the little bugger flew straight over my shoulder. We’ve promised Aiden a new one (what else could we do?), and thanks to a trip into Joondalup on Sunday, we know where to get it.

There’s a pet shop next door to Bunnings. And it’s open on Sunday.

And I’m not revelaing who it was that suggested we pop in and do some Christmas shopping. For the Finches.

But it wasn’t me.

All I did was choose the ladder with the rough steps to help them groom their claws. And the straw nesting box. That’s all.

I have no emotional attachment to these birds whatsoever.

CAROLE KING IS NORMAL, HUZZAH!


The ABC’s Articulate column contains an interview with Carole King, who is touring Australia for the first time. I don’t know any of M s King’s music, except for a sneaking memory that she was the one responsible for the inane soundtrack to one of the Winnie The Pooh movies my darling daughter has made me watch over and over and over and over……

However, what pissed me off upon reading the column was that Ms King notes that “her greatest achievements include having a ‘normal life’.”
What the hell? I mean, mad as I may be, surely if you want to live a normal life, why become a fucking artist? It’s not like the lifestyle, or the demands of creativity, are unknown. I mean, surely it doesn’t come as any sort of surprise.
And what is so damn special about a normal life? It’s the norm. It’s the base template from which you deviate to add spice to your existence. As if the ability to get up in the morning, wallow in mundanity, and go to sleep at night is cause for applause.
Jesus. Fuck normal. Celebrate anything but normal. Be a bird and fly.
Of course, not having sold umpty-million albums and not having had a way to avoid a day job since the age of 14, I may be missing the vital ingredient in this argument…

MYSPACE?

A serious question: what’s the attraction with MySpace? A lot of people seem to be signing up, and seem very happy at having done so. I’ve looked at the Home/About pages, and I’m not sure I’m not missing something.

Anyone have a MySpace page? Want to tell me about it? Head to the Message Board so we can have a group back and forth on the subject.

MOOFIES
A quick note regarding some movies Luscious and I have watched recently, in lieu of taking the time to think up proper reviews:
Children of Men: Astonishing SF of a type that rarely makes it screen these days- literate, intelligent, thoughtful, and genuinely moving. The performances are routinely excellent, with the usual exception of Julianne Moore, who is as stagey as ever. See it at the cinema so that the sheer scale and noise of the final third is at its most effective.
Serenity: So, in the aftermath of the Civil War, a disillusioned Confederate Captain leads his ragtag group in a guerilla war against the agents of the Union, having to make a run through vicious tribes of Red Injuns and back to deliver an escaped pair of zzzzzzzzzzzz…… unlikeable characters, nonsensical plotting, cartoon performances…. maybe I had to watch the TV series Firefly to get the full gist of this movie adaptation, but then, if I have to do that just to watch a movie, it’s failed before I even hand over my money. The sort of bad SF I have to keep telling people I don’t write.
Lord of War: A sublime black comedy, unrepentantly amoral, with a sense of irony so thick you could serve it with sauce. As surprised as I was by Keanu Reeves in Constantine, I am more so by the normally terrible Nicholas Cage in the lead role here, although, like Reeves, I shouldn’t have been– if you want oily, insincere, and slick as teflon-coated shit, who better than Cage? It’s a comedy about arms dealers, and the blacker it got, the more I laughed.
Hotel Rwanda: Good God. A movie to watch if you feel like hating everybody, especially your leaders. By turns horrifying and heartbreaking, and the usually underrated and ignored Don Cheadle turns in a performance of astonishing range. An amazing filmic triumph, with performances that mesmerised me, and a level of violence and helplessness I would not have believed if I did not remember the real life footage of the Rwandan conflict.
We’re currently in the middle of Battlestar Galactica Season One, an SF series that surprises me with the solidity of its plotting and intelligence. The original was cheesy fun for a pre-teen in the late 70s, and I really didn’t expect much from this remake/extension, despite the fannish over-excitement from the same people who told me how great Babylon 5 and Serenity were. It’s heights aren’t brilliantly high, but at no stage in the first season does it ever drop to the depths of the first season of Star Trek: TNG. A pleasant surprise, so far.
Song of the moment: Museum of Idiots They Might Be Giants
Reading: Officially between books, as I finished the current one this afternoon.

IT’S A MAN FROM THE VILLAGE. HE’S HERE ABOUT THE REAPING?

Five minutes of quoting later, Lyn manages to ask: “Have you actually read what it signifies?”

You are Death

Change, Transformation, Alteration.

People fear this card, but if you want to change your life, this is one of the
best indicators for it. Whatever happens, life will be different. Yes, the Death card can signal a death in the right circumstances (a question about a very sick or old relative, for example), but unlike its dramatic presentation in the movies, the Death card is far more likely to signal transformation, passage, change. Scorpio, the sign of this card, has three forms: scorpion, serpent, eagle. The Death card indicates this transition from lower to higher to highest. This is a card of humility, and it may mean you have been brought low, but only so that you can then go higher than ever before. Death “humbles” all, but it also “exults.” Always keep in mind that on this card of darkness there is featured a sunrise as well. You could be ready for a change.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

I FEEL ILL

Now, you know me. I’m not one of those anti-freedom of speech, book-burning, righteous hatred types. I’ve even heard you say it. “That Lee, he’s not one of those anti-freedom of speech, book-burning, righteous hatred types,” I’ve heard you say. “Complete fuck-knuckle, but not an anti-freedom of speech, book burning, righteous hatred type.”

The thought of this book being published, people buying it, and this man making money from it all makes me so angry I feel ill.

It’s a small gesture, but as long as I see this book on a bookshop’s shelves, I will not be spending my money in that store.

And it appears that I’m not the only one to react with disgust:

Here

And here.