Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wild about Wild Things

I am so excited about this it makes me want to sneak out tonight and sail away to lands unknown:

Wow! Doesn't it look great? I think I am more excited about this story now than I was as a kid, to be honest. When I was little, I found Maurice Sendak's illustrations a little muddy-coloured and old-fashioned (I was a discerning kid); and indeed there are some who believe his work is too dark, disturbing and nightmarish for young children.

I was always intrigued by the darker fare on offer at my Primary School library. I think children are naturally attracted to the idea of mysterious adventures made more thrilling by an undercurrent of danger; worlds within worlds populated by fantastic - and sometimes terrifying - creatures. I think a lot of modern stuff for children has had all of the character wiped out of it in the name of commercial viability (or parental approval); so that we are left with a homogenous "Monsters Inc" style where even the "bad" monsters look like harmless, brightly coloured rubber toys.

I'm not saying that there's not a place for lighter, simpler and less scary stories (I loved Winnie-the-pooh after all), but the ones that really fired my imagination as a child were the messy, crazy, scary ones that took children away from the safety of their homes and parents and to parallel worlds - the Roald Dahl books, Alice in Wonderland (with the original freaky Victorian engravings), the Magic Faraway Tree, the Narnia chronicles.

I have a secret* dream to write and illustrate a children's book in my lifetime. God knows when or if that is going to happen. But watching this trailer makes me excited about the possibilities. Also, I adore the Arcade Fire song illuminating it. And it was filmed in my hometown! I can't wait to see it.

*no more!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Melbourne dreaming turns 3!

I thought I'd rope the boys in to help celebrate... I am currently enjoying FOTC Series 2, lovingly downloaded by my own personal Doug. The joy! The pervaliciousness! The jaunty theme tune! What's not to love?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Thank you for the music, Mr. Apple

Being more than a little averse to change - and a teensy bit tight-assed - I have been clinging on to my 4 year-old mini under the pretext of preferring it's "retro" stylings to the new slim-line nano. Never mind that my mini's battery life was such that it would spend all day charging from my mac at work, and wouldn't survive the 30 minute bus journey home; or that itunes no longer recognised it, so that my ability to access or update the music has been haphazard for a year - a bit of a problem given my propensity for becoming obsessed with some artist or other, listening to them over and over, then inexplicably tiring of them and tossing them to the bottom of my adoration-heap.

I have been hot and heavy for Fleet Foxes for a while now, but that shows no signs of abating. No, sir.

Last week I was getting frustrated with myself for my general lack of action, and as I couldn't quite work up the courage to book an expensive trip, I decided it was time to at least drop some cash on a new music-machine. A little encouragement from a certain gadget-happy boy in my life, and the deed was done. One 16gb silver magic box in the post, courtesy of

Walking in the early Spring sunshine, plugged into that magic, After Eight sized sliver of a gadget, I was thrilled all over again by the possibilities the ipod presents to your average, everyday music-worshipper. I particularly love it when the shuffle setting seems spookily in sync with your mood:

The Shins - Gone for good
Liz Phair - Whip smart
The Dodos - God?
Bob Dylan - Oh, sister
Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
Laura Marling - Your only doll (Dora)
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