Thursday, April 27, 2006

Chocolate and wine

With Easter and my brother's gallery opening (then there's M's upcoming housewarming) I have scoffed what is probably too much of the above over the last fortnight, and am waiting for the bodily repercussions of this. The pimple on my forehead could be the first sign.

I write this as I nibble on a mint Aero bar and contemplate having a glass of red.

At work today the back room was so warm and I felt so tired I was fighting off sleep while on my meal break. Had to have a nap when I got home. Have been spending too much time on the internet of late.

Have cut back on my hours at work to 4 days a week. I want/need to dedicate more time towards getting my art work together, and creating new pieces for an exhibition I will have with my brother in early July. Am really looking forward to getting back into creating art since I haven't done anything in probably over a year!

Plus I should really be getting myself out there and building up a client base for my business. I currently have one excellent client.

Last Saturday M and I took the boys to the Helen Lempriere sculpture exhibition at Werribee Park. I thought it would be a good opportunity to expose the boys to art whilst in a less formal setting than a gallery, allowing them to run around and burn some energy. Apart form the inevitable fighting in the car and park it went alright. From what M had said, S got something out of it. Two of his favourite pieces were my favourites as well :) There were a LOT of VERY WANKY artist's statements. Many had a fondness for using several multi-syllable words in sentences that made no grammatic sense if any. There should be tighter word limits.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Garden Nibbles

Listening to 'Pride (In the Name of Love)' by U2

In my garden...

...the other week I heard a buzzing. I thought it was a bee caught by a leaf curling spider. Instead it was this, which was much cooler:

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‘She’ killed the blowfly by biting into its neck. She then proceeded to eat it from the head down, consuming legs and wings. It was interesting to watch Nature taking its course in my humble backyard. I also got to see what fly innards look like while they’re still in the fly and not squashed.

The ever so slightly disconcerting but also charming thing about the praying mantis is that unlike many other insect eyes, you can tell when it’s looking at you.

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From my garden

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Most of this year’s lemon crop from our dwarf lemon tree, harvested this morning. Photo by my brother who may be painting a still life of fruit some time :)

Random thought on Barcelona No. 1

It seems to be a growing trend to make people pay more and give them stuff they don't want - instead of paying less and paying extra for extras. It started with the weekend paper years ago
“Why am I paying extra for a great big wad of the Classified section? They’re already paid for by the people who place the ads. I don’t want to read them but I’m picking them up anyway because I’ve paid for them now. :P”

A recent example is entry tickets at Casa Batllo, Barcelona with the stupid but ‘free’ audio guide* with a posh man and woman cooing,
"See the big, colourful window. It creates the feeling of light and space. Gaudi was really clever.
There were no windows before he was born. Before Gaudi blessed the world with his genius, if people wanted light in a building they would knock holes into walls or light a candle made of their own ear wax...

...See the bumps on the ceiling. Are they breasts? Is it a splash from a drop in milk? Or just pretty bumps? We can't be sure because Gaudi died a loooong time ago."

*The author accepts no liability for the reader's deemed 'word for word' accuracy of this transcript.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

F**k Max Brenner...

...and his scribbly Bald Head.

Listening to 'Sweet Dreams' by the Eurythmics

G & I decided to give Max Brenner at Melbourne Central another chance this evening. This time was not much of an improvement on last time.

We sat outside at a table instead of on stools at the counter/bar. The customers before us at this pair of tables had left barely touched* food and drinks, which the staff had yet to clear away.

We were ignored for too long (didn’t keep track of it this time) and the service was indifferent to us, refusing to make eye contact. Back when things were new - around a year ago - the staff here were consistently attentive, making sure we had all we wanted before and after ordering.

I decided to take matters into my own hands.
went the metal fork as I dropped it on the ground. No sign of being noticed yet.
went the fork a minute later. G and I joked about upending the whole table. I snakily growled that I was prepared to use every ‘hostage’ on that table top, one by one, until we got service.

Fortunately the second piece of cutlery did the trick. We got menus. However we only got as far as the menus last time, as I reminded G. Our waitress did nothing to change our fallen expectations.

The quality of the goods consumed is irrelevant. This isn’t the only place in town to get a good hot chocolate, though admittedly it has the biggest range of hot chocolate. I can not vouch for the QV Max Brenners. It may well be different.

I’m not going to bother telling them this, but I’m telling you and via this blog I’m going to spread the word. The service at Max Brenners, Melbourne Central was slow and the staff don’t give a s***. Try Koko Black, or Brunettis in Carlton instead.

*So little was consumed we weren’t sure if they weren’t coming back. I don’t think this is why we were ignored bytheway, since it was not on the table we were sitting at.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Madrid Part III – Banco de Espana, The finishing touch

Prior to visiting Madrid I had always assumed that carved, stone ornamentation on a building was carved in the workshop then cemented into place. Not quite so - at least not in the case of the Banco de Espana. It looks like they block in the overall form then make it part of the building, carving it to its final form onsite. I guess it makes sense when you're dealing with forms that use more than one piece of stone.

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Overall view of new, unfinished facade

At first, because we approached the building from the end they were working on, I thought it some kind of modern, almost Art Deco, ornamentation. We soon figured out what was really going on. It’s one of the many things we saw over there that you certainly see don’t over here. Stone masonary is one of those ancient crafts practiced by few due to scant demand. With the way modern buildings are constructed and devoid of remarkable detailing, I expect that even over there such a sight isn’t exactly pedestrian.

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Detail views comparing new, unfinished additions with original stone work

This new addition to the building should replicate the stonework of the existing corner facade except it will have no clock (see Madrid Part I, Rule 3)

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Original corner facade