Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Today is my six month blogiversary. Looking back over the last six months of entries, it occurs to me that I have a tendency to be negative. Snarky commentry on Bad Cinema, bitching about hopeless dinner parties and clueless performances, belittling artworks and mocking other people's websites - I may be coming across as a mean, bitter person.

That's possibly because I am a mean, bitter person, but I'm only a mean, bitter person in odd moments. Most of the time I'm pretty happy and pleasant to be around. I make jokes. I help people move heavy objects like furniture or grandmothers. I am frequently kind to puppies, and I rarely set the homeless on fire. To prove that I am not always all about the mocking, here is a list of five things I unashamedly like and enjoy.

The Lost Dogs
Country music is a little like fugu. Most of it will kill you, but there are a few tiny slivers that are quite tasty. The Lost Dogs are one such sliver. The very phrase "Christian country music" should be enough to make your ears curl over and try to commit sepuku with your earrings, but they have a combination of fine musicianship, expressive voices, and a sense of humour that sends up their genre even while reveling in its most distinctive sounds. I can't listen to "Close But No Cigar" or "If You Loved Here (You'd Be Home By Now)" without developing a big happy grin. And my favourite song, "Rebcca Go Home", is so exquisite in its portrayal of love between humans and God that I blubber like a little girl, without fail, whenever I hear it.

Poached eggs
I've developed a habit of having poached eggs for breakfast on Sunday mornings. After a nice sleep-in, I meander out to the kitchen, poach some eggs in the microwave, make some wholegrain toast all hot and brown and buttery, fix a double-shot flat white with my espresso machine, and sit down in the conservatory* to read the weekend paper, with Heritage FM's crusty morning jazz program playing in the background. It's bliss.

For many years my family farmed cattle, and I learnt from a young age that cows are thoroughly pleasant creatures. They are big and gentle and delicious, and they come in a wide variety of colours. They can also be trained - we'd holler at them while feeding them hay, then to round them up, all we'd need to do is stand at the top of a paddock and holler again, and the cows would come running (thinking that more hay was in the offing... suckers). Now I live in the city, but I paint cows, I sculpt cows, and I collect paintings and sculptures of cows by other artists.

I hate sheep though, as all right-thinking people do.

Rosalie Gascoigne
Rosalie Gascoigne was born in New Zealand in 1917, and it apparently took her artistic sensibilities fifty years to get over it. But get over it they did, and right up until her death in 1999 she was creating artworks of astonishing beauty.

I love working with found objects, and Rosalie was the Queen of Found Objects. She's famous for her works with old fruit crates and roadworks signs, cut up and reassembled into pictures that make me feel aesthetically giddy. The greatness of her work lies in its simplicity, and the way that simplicity allowed her artistic sense to shine out. If I took a dozen stained plywood panels and stuck them to a wall, they'd look like a dozen stained plywood panels stuck to a wall. When she did it, it came out as art.

One of my goals in life is to own one of her works. Then I can hang it on my wall and bask in her genius for hours at a time.

This cartoon
If it needs explanation, you are dead to me.

*I suppose technically it isn't really a conservatory, but it's tiled, light-filled, and inhabited by many enormous potted plants, so that's close enough for me.


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