Wednesday, 29 September 2010

I Would Like a Fish

If I had a fish, I would call it Nero. And people would say, "Don't you mean Nemo, after the Pixar movie?" and I would reply, "No, Nero. The Roman Emperor."

Or two fish. A red fish and a blue fish.

I'm serious! I'm not trying to be funny. I would like some fish. A nice red fish like fire and another as blue as something that is very blue.

An old tumbled down castle and a laurel wreath on the floor of the tank.

A plaque that says, "So Long and Thanks for all the Fish". Some one must make plaques with that phrase... If not I think I have just started a new business... Or could I sell the idea to ThinkGeek...

Fish is one of the words in the English Language that if you write it down too many times it looks as if it is spelt incorrectly.

Friday, 24 September 2010

English Language

"English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over, and goes through their pockets for loose grammar."

Having stumbled on the above quote, and appreciating it's sentiments, I spent a couple of minutes trying to track down the original author. I found a couples of possibilities but no one who was a clear candidate. But in Wikipeadia, the fount of all knowledge, I did find a simular statement which is could have been derived from:

“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
- James Nicoll (1990)

I've always pictured the English language like a pirate... Stealing words from other languages... Making obsolete words walk the plank... We have such a wealth of words from all manner of locations, Ancient German, Ancient French, Latin, Hindi... And I like how we use ancient foreign words in the manner that they were used hundreds of years ago, whilst the original language no longer uses that word, and the English words used at the same time have suffered from meaning changes...

In my search I also found:

If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur.
- Doug Larson

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any.
- Orson Scott Card

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Photo of the day

Stair at Mount Buffalo in Victoria Australia.
Photo by Andrew Scarborough.
December 2008

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Painting the stage

A director approaches you and says, "Oi, Andrew, can you draw a mural for my play? I want a city scape, with perspective. One that someone might see if they lived in Brunswick or Fitzroy, looking over the house opposite, over a park and then the city."

And you reply, "No worries, I'll do my best." And then realise that you haven't actually drawn anything since year ten in high school and that was about ten years ago.

You start by working out a horizon, one that the audience can see and start outlining buildings and you paint in a few buildings to see what it looks like.

Lesson 1: When you paint, do all of the painting at the one time. That way you can remember how you mixed up those colours.

Realising that the city looks a bit odd with no suburbs before it, you draw in a few more smaller buildings, however as some of the painting has been done, you don't have much room.

Lesson 2: Do all of the pencil working out first.

Looking at the mural, the park looks dreadfully sparse, so you fill it up, realising that it goes on for far too long. And that it looks like the house is in Craigieburn, looking for miles over farm land to the city.

Lesson 3: Really think hard about perspective and actual distances first.

Then the director says, "How about you make it so that the city windows light up at night."
And we experiment with glow in the dark paint, which doesn't want to be worked so finely, and end up testing white envelope labels, cut down to size with fluoro blue lights.

But does it work?

Yes it does, and the director starts requesting other things, I started thinking of doing it all over again.

Lesson 4: You are the artist and can say no.

And by the end it looked okay. If I did it again I would do it differently. Really really plan everything. Pencil line everything. And paint at the end.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Photo of the day

The walking track to Cape Schanck. Photo taken by Andrew Scarborough

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A busy birthday weekend

I have had a nice birthday and have been spoilt dreadfully by all of my friends. I had dinner on Saturday with Stace and Aiden and Elspeth who gave me a beautiful book, and I had fun being beaten at chess. I will need to practice my chess skills.

Then on Sunday I had morning tea at 'Snow Pony' on Whitehorse road in Balwyn. Their coffee was beautiful. The owners also own 'Porgy and Mr Jones' in Camberwell which has won awards due to their coffee and breakfasts.

We had to wait for about 45 minutes to get a table, which I didn't mind doing, but boy my brother couldn't stand it, and I don't think my Dad or stepmum was too impressed. But the coffee was worth it.

Then off to rehearsals in the city.

Then afternoon tea at the Tin Pot with Erin. And Aniko and Julian were able to drop by too. So I had beautiful friends, beautiful conversation and good tea in a proper tea cup.

And Sunday dinner with family. I got a lovely card from my nephew "To Anjroo' and read to him a lovely story called 'Mowgli Brothers' which Erin kindly gave to me.

At work on Monday I went to reception and Diana jumped out of the recycling bin wearing a multicoloured wig and blowing a horn.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Art in Melbourne

10:00 Showing of 'Toy Story 3'

I had seen Toy Story 3 before but I wanted to catch it again to double check a few things. Toy Story 3 is a beautiful movie, which would easily be in my top ten movies of all time. In Toy Story 3 a mix-up occurs where the toys decide to go to Sunnyside Daycare Centre believing that Andy no longer wants them. Woody bids them adieu, stating that he belongs to Andy, and starts to head home but finds out that Sunnyside is a despotic camp and heads back to try to rescue his friends. Wonderful animation, excellent heros and villains and a great story line, that is all that is needed.

But the way Pixar pulls the story off is astronomical. Real seat gripping action, terrific humour, and a final scene that is so beautiful, and so emotional, that makes me weep just thinking about it, and boy, I was bawling during the movie. And then a beautiful closing sequence during the credits to leave everyone on a high.

I'm not quite sure why the movie had such an emotional impact on me; but perhaps it brings back the heart-wrenching scenes of giving away my own toys; or going back to a time when everything was simple.

I think interrealm from has a good point saying "that we all have very real and deep connections to our childhoods and to the things and people that allowed us as kids to be free, and innocent, and pure, and most importantly, to dream."

To have 'You've got a friend in me' sang in Spanish as the credits role as Buzz and Jessie dance made a beautiful end. The song alone brings smiles but the pictures bring laughter.

13:00 'The Real Inspector Hound' by Tom Stoppard

Reading and Rereading, trying to learn lines, over Belgium waffles and coffee. Relating them to Toy Story. "If we examine this more closely, and I think close examination is the least tribute that this play deserves ... the author has given us - yes, I will go so far - he has given us the human condition".

16:00 Tim Burton Exhibition at ACMI

This exhibition was amazing. Hundreds of Tim's drawings from childhood to adulthood, drawings for fun, by doodling, for books, for movies. Some pictures seemed to me a cross between Babbette Cole's illustrations in her 'Trouble With' books and Terry Denton's cartoons. Wonderful drawings, some of them would instantly make me smile when I saw them, they conveyed such happiness. Sadly I wasn't allowed to take any photos, and the ones that made me smile are not in the Exhibition Book. Most of the exhibition wasn't in the Exhibition Book, and I would probably advise people not to buy it. But the Exhibition was great. I loved seeing models for monsters and for movies that I had seen. Movies like Betelgeuse, Ed Wood and Edward Scissor hands which I hadn't seen for decades. The exhibition was almost like a trip down memory lane.

19:00 Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

The Melbourne University students put on JC, and did a lovely performance. It was easy to understand and enjoyable to watch - what more does any one want. A nice simple set, having a female Cassius worked nicely, I found it interesting that the director had claimed that it had been modernised, but I didn't think so - I thought that it was a good classical performance.

"To infinity and beyond!" - Buzz Lightyear