the passenger seat


photographs and memories

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s blog that I’m actually home alone until next Monday. My whole family is overseas (albeit in different locations).

My brother is on a school trip (yeah, that’s Kings) to Sabah, Malaysia. He left last Friday, and I’m not sure when he’s coming back, but I know it’s after my parents do.

My parents left on Saturday to go on a China tour for their 25th wedding anniversary, and are returning next Monday.

So I’m alone in the house until then.

Luckily I have enough food and stuff (with minimal cooking effort) to last me the whole time. My mum left me some frozen meals, and on Friday night I went shopping and bought $200 worth of groceries- anything I wanted. I’ve also been left with $300. So I’m pretty much set with a good variety of meals and money for food and/or outings for the whole 10 days I’m alone.

One of the things that comes with living in a house on your own is that you end up having to do ALL the chores. This has involved:

  • Feeding my dog and fish (which I don’t usually do since I wake up later than everyone else)
  • Doing all the clothes washing and hanging (thank you for leaving a load of washing for me, mum and dad)
  • Preparing my own meals for the entire day
  • Doing the dishes every night
  • Taking the bin out and in
  • Walking my dog

Most of these chores I usually do only a few times a week, but I’ve ended up having to do most of them every day. Somehow I don’t mind, however. It’s kind of a nice feeling to have the house all to myself, and doing the chores isn’t really a big deal since I’m merely cleaning up after myself. It feels good.

Anyway, today was photo day. Individual photos were all good (where I gawked at their Nikon D200 cameras and pro flash gear), and then came the group and muck-up photos. The group was cool. Being the fourth tallest in the grade (actually I think Momo might be taller, but he was away) meant that I got to stand at the very top middle of the stands, next to Devesh- the tallest. The stands felt kind of flimsy though, but it was cool.

Then the muck-up. It was pretty hilarious to see the kind of stuff people came up with. James and my plans to make our piranha plant costumes went really well. We scavenged for cardboard boxes in the morning (in the big recycling bin near the canteen) and found some good ones. We were meant to have KO Netball training, but Ms. Eathorne wasn’t feeling well and so we didn’t. Instead, we (James, Anthony, Kris, Kevin and I) headed to the VA room to start painting. Kris assisting with the painting of James’ one did not go well. Kevin and Phat on my side were much, MUCH neater. Anyway, so we finished the job off at recess, but at the end of recess the “Pauline Hanson” lady came and busted us. We were actually the only ones who cleaned up after we used the paints, while everyone else dumped their stuff in the sink, but she pawned us. It was cool though. I quickly cleaned up the stuff I was using and bailed, albeit with some angry-ish remarks from the sub and Ms. McMillan. This, however, meant we were very late to maths, and so we just hung in the common room and assembled our costumes instead of turning up halfway through the lesson.

The rest, you all know how it went. Interesting how they decided to do the muck up photos on the stands on the front lawn this year; traditionally it was a high-angle shot down onto the quadrangle, but not this time. I reckon it kind of limited the execution of some people’s costumes, but thankfully we were allowed to stand in our green bins at the front. Special mentions to Deva (who did Michael Jackson), Ameya (Rorschach from Watchmen) and Chris & Shaun (Mario and Luigi, karts included). Photos are on various people’s Facebooks, which I will not link (e-stalkers alert!).

Overall it was a pretty hectic day. Tomorrow I have to miss my free period (period 2) for KO sport photos (I have 5). That sucks. Ah well, we have double chemistry, where we will hopefully be making soap (Fight Club style?).

Not sure when I’ll next blog. My routine nowadays is wack. I guess I’ll (i.e. blogging Jeremy) see you guys whenever something interesting happens at school. Probably Thursday, when the year 11 vs. 12 basketball game will be on. I urge all of you to spectate; it’ll be a good game.

But until then, adieu.

PS. Blog title? I think only one of you will get it…

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touch the sky

Today an astronaut came to visit our school. Yes, a real life astronaut! His name was Greg Chamitoff, and he has logged an astounding one hundred and eighty three days in space on the International Space Station.

chamitoff1

chamitoff2

I don’t know about you, but seeing someone who has spent half a year in space and in zero gravity amazed me. Not only had he been in space, but there were also a few other amazing things about him. Sure, all of us here are pretty proud with our 99+ UAIs and Medicine or Law or whatever, but he has two Masters and a PhD. Genius. You know that saying “It’s not rocket science…”? Well, he’s a rocket scientist. And on top of all that, he was a great speaker and an overall nice guy. His speech about his time in space and the process to get there and the things he did was informative, entertaining and inspiring- all at the same time. Although he often went into the technical side of things, it was still interesting and hey, what isn’t cool about space? Every kid goes through their “I want to be an astronaut” phase and even now I still wonder what it would feel like, but unfortunately I will never have the opportunity. The video he showed us was really captivating and it was mind-blowing to see the sorts of things that were possible in space. Of course everyone’s seen the typical videos of astronauts swallowing droplets of water and floating around, but he showed us juggling, magic tricks, acrobatics, two people carrying a huge box, and of course his Superman flight through the entire Space Station (with his buddy Buzz Lightyear), which is a lot larger than I imagined. Just, wow. I was enthralled by his whole talk, and I’m pretty sure many others were too, judging by the silence in the hall for the entire time he was there. But anyway, I’m pretty sure I’m just repeating what you already know, since everyone that reads my blog saw him as well, but at least I’ll be able to come back to this post in the future and remember the day I saw a real life astronaut. Awesome. For all those who think my fascination with him may seem like childish fantasy and wonder, here’s a quote:

Only someone with the mind of a child says they’ll grow up.

I mentioned Greg’s Superman flight earlier, and that brings me to my next topic. This year I started reading comics and graphic novels (as I mentioned in previous blogs) and I’ve really gotten into the different experience of reading illustrated stories, as opposed to watching a movie or reading a novel. Most of these comics are about superheroes. Actually, come to think of it, I wonder why so many comics are based on superheroes? Anyway, my question is: Who is your favourite superhero? I know this may sound lame to some, but bear with me.

For me, it’s a toss-up between Wolverine and Batman. Although Batman is technically not a true superhero (he is a man in a mask with lots of money to buy cool gadgets), his comics are amazingly written and illustrated, and his story is great as well. He’s also got some mean villains (the Joker, Scarecrow, Ra’s Al Ghul, The Riddler, Two-Face, Ventriloquist) which makes the story even better, the Joker probably my favourite villain (see The Killing Joke and Arkham Asylum). Wolverine, on the other hand, is a true superhero- born a mutant with animal instincts, retracting bone claws and accelerated healing. After reading a few of his comics and seeing the new movie (however inaccurate it is) I’ve developed a liking to his character- he is definitely the fiercest and meanest superhero. A mention is required for Rorschach, too. He’s just awesome in Watchmen. Check out Empire Magazine’s “The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters“. Batman is at #2 while Wolverine is at #4 and Rorschach is #16.

batman

wolverine

joker

rorschach

That’s all for today’s blog. My next one will most likely be art/media/design themed, unless something really interesting happens, which I doubt since school is so boring. See you on Thor’s day.

“Touch The Sky” is by Kanye West, from Late Registration.



grapevine fires

Wow, I didn’t realise so many people would see my blog after one comment on Belle’s blog.

Welcome to you all. The comments you guys have posted tonight really mean a lot to me; thanks for those, I appreciate it a lot. Although only a select few knew about my blog before tonight, I had been reading all of your blogs before you read mine, keeping up to date using Belle’s blogroll.

Bosco: I really loved the photograph too. Although it seemed very, very simple, there was no way I could have left it out of the blog.
Belle: Thanks for the multiple comments and the shoutout on your blog. I’ll talk a bit about those models later in this blog.
Chris: The fact that my blog made your day made my night! Thanks. And yes, when I first made it I wanted to keep it private, but I think I’m ready for more people to see it now.

Anyway, onto the main part of this blog…

For lack of a better subject, here are some facts about my desk (the photo was posted in my previous blog, lack of color):

  • On my top shelf I have many models made of paper/card. The back row are Cubees, of which there are thirteen, ranging from Spongebob Squarepants to Batman to Domo-kun. These were made after the term four exams and during the summer holidays, downloaded from the Cubeecraft website at James’ suggestion. In front of these Cubees are Boxpunx, by an artist named Jason Edward Harlan (harlancore). I have sixteen of these.
  • In the corner of my desk is a CD rack and another stack of CDs. I currently own twenty two albums by various artists, such as Death Cab For Cutie, Anberlin, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, John Legend, Coldplay, Jason Mraz, My Chemical Romance, Green Day…
  • Sitting on top of my CD rack is an origami swan made by Janet.
  • On the wall behind my desk are two canvas paintings done by Janet for my seventeenth birthday last year. They are of the album covers of Jack Johnson’s In Between Dreams and On And On. Behind the swan there is also a plaster painting which I did with Janet at the Carlingford West Public School fete last year.

cubee
boxpunx

After the last exam week and during the past holidays, I really got into reading comics and graphic novels by downloading them and reading them on the computer. Since then I’ve collected fifteen different titles, with some of them comprising of many separate comics; the largest I have is Sin City by Frank Miller, which has seven books and five to thirteen individual issues in each book.

watchmen

It all started with Watchmen, a 12-issue comic book limited series written by Alan Moore in 1986-87. The film adaptation of this graphic novel was nearing its release date, and there was plenty of hype about it all over the internet, saying how great the movie was going to be and how great the comic is. So, I decided to check it out.

Upon reading it for the first time, I was blown away by the complexity of the plot and characters and the level of thought that had gone into the comic as a comment on current society. Set in an alternate 1985, Watchmen is about a small band of superheroes who are outlawed under a new government law and many of them thus retire. But the murder of one of them sparks a fear that there may be a “costume-killer” within the remaining heroes, and so they don their suits once again to find the killer and destroy his plans, which turn out to be a lot worse than they thought.

Two characters of particular intrigue are Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan. Rorschach is the main character of the book, whose journal is followed throughout. We find out that he is a man with a troubled childhood, which has turned him into a masked figure hell-bent on reprimanding those who do wrong. Dr. Manhattan is a scientist who was transformed into a god-like being through a lab accident, able to exist in multiple places and multiple times and possessing the ability to manipulate matter at an atomic level. From left to right in the image below, the main characters are Ozymandias, Silk Spectre II, Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl, Rorschach, The Comedian (kneeling).

watchmencharacters
The illustrations in the comic are very well done, using a color palette uncommon to other comics. Also, there is an underlying issue of the current state of the world based on false values; it is a postmodern work with elements of science fiction, touching on ideas such as existentialism and deconstructivism. Overall, the graphic novel was impeccable, and I have only praise for it. I highly recommend it as a must-read. This is the first page of the comic:

watchmenpage
“Grapevine Fires” is by Death Cab For Cutie, from the album Narrow Stairs.

Every blog title relates to something (or everything) I talk about in the blog.