Friday, August 31, 2007

The Way Out

I was in the bathroom drying off after a shower when the door started opening, very slowly. Michael's nose appeared.

Me: Hello.
Michael: I'm looking for the way out.
Me: The way out of where?
Michael: The way out of Tasmania, to Australia.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mum and Dad

I forgot to mention my Mum and Dad stayed with us over the weekend, and had their first look at the inside of the house. Dad is looking very bonny and is obviously recovering very well from his major surgery. Sally came up for lunch, and while she was there made this little movie of one of Michael's stranger talents. Sal took these photos of Mum and Dad a few months ago. Aren't they just the cuddliest most photogenic OAP's you've ever seen?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What up

Is there anything happening at our place apart from pre-school sans-serif experiments? Yes. I have been working hard on a film clip for a proper-length tune, The Wherever Song by The Leonard Cohen Brothers. It is "finished" so there's probably only about 6 - 8 hours of tweaking left to do. I will upload it here when I work out again how to do get it looking OK on the www.

Our man Rob is finishing off the back deck with steps to the lawn and a bench running along it. Elf is putting up pictures like there's no tomorrow.

Marcus patted a shark today at the Marine Discovery Centre. He told me this morning that "words are boring - they are only good for reading". I leaped to the defence of words, pointing out that they are great for asking questions, talking to people and for persuading someone of something. He acutely pointed out that that was just what I was trying to do.

Footy jumpers

I love footy jumpers. This site has the full history of AFL/VFL jumpers. I should also give a big plug to Full Points Footy, a fantastic footy history site. Read essays such as Norwood Magarey Medallists Between The Wars. Wacka Scott has not been forgotten.

Monday, August 27, 2007

MJR Typography next instalment

The continuing evolution of the next Erik Spiekermann. I initially put the "apostrophe S" down to Michael's photographic memory. Then I realised the film from which he got this is actually called Mater and the Ghost Light. So I guess he actually understands that "apostrophe S" is possessive. He calls it an "astropoffy". And if you don't think that's adorable, well, you must be a Stalinist.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Suspect stitch

Walking to school on Monday, Marcus was in a bad mood. He is not a lover of walking for the exercise. His complaints culminated in: "Whenever I get halfway there I always get a big pain here". This sounded plausibly like a stitch, but I thought that was unlikely in a fit 5 year old who has been walking downhill for less than ten minutes. I asked "Do you always get this when you walk this far, or only when you are on your way to school?". There was a telling little pause. "Strangely... only when I am going to school". Ah.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A sunny Saturday in August

MJR and MWR Typography

The master at work. "Ramones" refers to the custom car body shop in the movie Cars, not the rock band.

Marcus takes a more active macro approach to type. This was an attempt to help me out with the "Wherever Song" animation but I don't think my idea is going to work.

Friday, August 17, 2007

MJR Typography

"Gimaxey" is an old favourite but no, we don't know what it means. "TIGY" made of Lego is an old favourite too, now upgraded to "TIGY Bees" and beautifully arranged in the centre of a very ornate rug. Well done Michael.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Old drawings

These drawings are from the last exhibition I had in 1998. Hopefully not the last ever. I only sold one piece, so I still have plenty to decorate the new house with. Elf has the job of banging in hooks, as she a) better at it than me and b) much pickier about what goes where.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Look out for the Pobblebonk

The call is a short musical, explosive note producing a resonant "bonk" And hey - sorry to for pinching one of their pictures. It was bad web etiquette. You and your frogs are the business.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

the weekend wrap-up

Last night was Nathan and Rachel's wedding. It went off very well, Rachel looked beautiful, Nathan looked handsome and seemed to have recovered from the "pyromaniac stripper" incident at his bucks night. [I can say no more about it]. The bridesmaids were from Texas and all about 6'2". The speeches were pithy and heartfelt. Nathan declined to speak, with Rachel expressing his thanks etc for him as he sat looking appropriately grateful/misty eyed/blokey depending on who she was talking about.

Memo for future evening functions at Moorilla ( a beautiful winery and cultural centre hemmed in by suburban Claremont) - tee up a taxi/lift before the function ends and all the smart people who brought cars have disappeared as if by magic.

Marcus and Lana had a long discourse over the fence this morning. At one stage I heard "Well, that's what you say Lana, but everyone can think what they want to think".

Marcus and I went up to the reserve just behind the house to kick the footy this afternoon. All Michael wanted to do was run up and down the back deck, pushing his garbage truck. [It had been left languishing in the disgusting stagnant sandpit when we moved away, and has now been hosed off and is once again high in his affections]. After about twenty minutes of football we trotted back down through the hole in the back fence. Michael hailed us: "Hi, fellas!"

Cam, Sarah, Jasmine and Tommy came to see the new place and stayed for lunch. The kids all behaved, we moved a couch across to stop Tommy going down the stairs, and we were able to enjoy a few moments of The Good Life. It was just like a real estate ad - we weren't quite dining Al Fresco but we did get to laugh with freinds while our children gambled on the sun-soked deck.

Knackered 16 d Slim-Hipped Youths 3

That's not quite what they were called, I will have to look them up in the roster. A new season has begun (already), and we have gone up a division. The SHYs are a new team and were a bit at sea with the rules and the general 8-blokes-in-a-cricket-net vibe. My mate Cam made his debut for Knackered and was very happy to set up a goal for Paul with a deft backheel. This game went to a familiar script - young fit blokes with individual skills but no teamwork get clobbered by team of dads who know how to pass.

A great companion

I am extremely proud of this little award Marcus was given on Friday at after school care. He has had his ups and downs there. The play gets rough and rowdy at the end of a long day, and the carers sometimes have their hands full with Marcus and his strong feelings of right and wrong. He's been making a great effort lately to control his anger, and the carers gave him a little bookmark with this written on the back.

Recent works of the Rees Bros.

Michael loves letters. Although he doesn't draw very often, I hope his writing will lead him into it a bit more.

This is Marcus's beautiful diagram of the solar system (Sun on the right). Note the red spot on Jupiter.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What's going on?

I am finding blogging very difficult at present. It's not that too much is happening, or that nothing is happening. It's just too labourious to put it into words. But I'll try.

Rain is falling by the bucketload, making our precarious dirt slopes slip and slide a bit. Our front retaining wall has to wait for red tape. Our rear retaining wall has to wait for funds to be available.

We have bills aplenty, and our bank won't answer the phone. I am finding having debts all over town quite stressful. Although I am good at maths, I am absolutely no good at keeping many different figures in my head. Elf has given up trying to explain to me where the money is coming from and where it needs to go.

Some positive things - our final invoice has come from Greg the builder, and it was within what we are able to pay. We had a friendly real estate agent do a valuation on the new house. We were very happy with the figure he proposed, although he used a bit of artistic license regarding "cedar weatherboards" and rainwater tanks that haven't been bought yet.

There is so much to do around the new house, but I am not finding the extra time [outside of work, meals, clothes, dishes, kids and sleep] to do things. We really need a washing line and/or a working tumbledryer. The tumby is 30 years old, and it freaks out VERY loudly sometimes. The last three times I have turned it on its gone GGGGWWWWWAAAAAAAAH immediately. The spray-on-lubricant that might fix it is somewhere in a box. That box is probably also in a box, in a cupboard. We now have a total of 246 cupboards and drawers.

Notwithstanding the grizzle above about having no time, I am trying to put together a new film clip for The Leonard Cohen Brothers' Wherever Song. And lacking inspiration at the minute. The first song I took on was under 2 minutes, this one is 3-and-a-half. 210 seconds x 25 frames per second, I am feeling under the hammer.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

House officially open

Our friends Cameron and Susan came over on Saturday to help us clean up the garden. Well, really we helped them. They are botanically gifted and also have all the right tools. They gave us a Mutsu apple tree as a housewarming gift, and wanted to have creative control over where it was planted. This meant they had to pull out a load of blackberry and waist-high weeds. Cam and Susan are very keen to espalier the apple tree. We just want it to boof out, give us a little privacy and lots of big apples, pronto.

We had our open day at the new house on Sunday morning. About forty friends and neighbours struggled up the bark-strewn slope (including babes in arms). Everyone was very complimentary about the place and no-one fell down the stairs. It was wonderful to see the big space upstairs cater easily for a bunch of people milling around.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bird Monster by MWR

Marcus drew this a couple of days ago. He has got his own little desk space by the big front window and he loves it there. I saw this and said "Wow, what a great bird". I was informed that it isn't a bird, it's a monster. Hence the teeth I suppose. I like the green spiral on its tummy.

My workplace, his school and home are all within a 20 minute walk now, which is superb. We had run out of butter to make lunches this morning, so I am going to make him a sandwich here in the kitchen at work and trot up the road with it shortly.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Brisk house blog

No phone for several days, now connected but with wrong number. No lino in bathroom or laundry. No curtains. No shades on lights. One toilet out of commission. Can't use parking space - surveyor claims our retaining wall is illegal. No washing line and tumbledryer broken. Washing machine wheeled outside every day in case lino man comes. Front yard pure sloping dirt with huge hole. Back yard 50% sloping dirt. Not enough storage. Money seriously low.
Views are marvellous. Living in South Hobart again is superb. Neighbours are welcoming. Boys are delighted with it. We can watch them noodling about from the kitchen. Kitchen is excellent. Visitors rave. It is lovely and warm. It is a good house, and we are going to be very happy there for a long time.