Monday, 25 September 2006

Taggedy tag tag...

I've been tagged by the lovely Nic....

If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be?
In a really big, old tree. Would take care to not damage the tree of course.

What’s your favorite article of clothing?
My zebra-print faux-fur coat.

What’s the last CD that you bought?
Goodness knows. That would have been years ago. However, a few days ago someone gave me a sample CD of The Lion King music.

Where’s your favorite place to be?
On a stage in an empty theatre.

Where’s your least favorite place to be?
On the table in an operating theatre.

What’s your favorite place to be massaged?
My face.

Strong in mind or strong in body?
That's a tough one. Both have their moments. Final answer, though: mind.

What time do you wake up in the morning?
Usually about 5.30 or 6-ish. Then Miss B potters around while I lie in bed dozing until Miss T joins in the fun at about 6.45.

What is your favorite kitchen appliance?
I really don't think about my kitchen appliances that deeply. Mmmmm... my juicer probably would be if I ever used it.

What makes you really angry?
People refusing to listen to or see another point of view about something. Narrow-mindedness I guess.

...gee this is a really long questionnaire...

If you could play any instrument, what would it be?
I can play guitar, sax and a tiny bit of piano (though haven't played any of those much for years!). I'd like to get better at all of those, and learn drums.

Which do you prefer…sports car or SUV?
SUV for when I have the kids with me and sports car for when I don't (what? I can have both if I wanna!)

Do you believe in an afterlife?
Curently, not sure. I would like to though.

Favorite children’s book?
Peepo, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
To be in two places at the same time.

If you have a tattoo, what is it?
For years I've been wanting to get a sunflower for T and a bear cub for B, but lately I"ve kinda changed my mind. Maybe Angelina and Johnny can get away with tattoos but not sure how much they'd help my casting chances... perhaps I'll wait until I'm up there enough for my casting chances to take care of themselves... or perhaps I won't.... maybe I'm bold and carefree enough to not worry about it... or maybe not... :-)

Can you juggle?
Yes - two children, a pot of mashed potatoes, a telephone, a child's drink bottle and miscellaneous extras.... I practise nearly every night. :-)

The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to?
A boyfriend that I dumped really meanly on New Year's Day. Who does that???

What’s your favorite day?
My girls' birthdays. (neither of which are today, Lusi!)(but thanks for calling!)

What’s in the boot of your car?
BORING stuff!

Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger?
I'm trying to talk myself into saying sushi so that I'll sound healthy... but it wouldn't be true...

Okay... Jo, I tag you (you slack blogger, you). :-)


merlin said...

Have you seen yet ... a release date on the Dead Man's Chest DVD.
December 5th in the USA, I saw another thing that said Nov 11th in Holland ... have you heard anything about a release date where you are?


Nic and Beren said...

You dumped someone on NY Day? ooh you are evil ! ROFL.....

Sumara said...

Hi Merlin! You must be busy studying lately. :-)

According to the online store we buy DVDs from, Dead Man's CHets is available here in Aus from Wed 15th November.

I wonder why Aus (and Holland) would be getting it before you?

Nic - yes, it was very very evil. He was such a nice boy (apart from being a narrow-minded snob that is!)... He'd just given me french perfume for Christmas too... but hey, Noel was kinda starting to look more interesting at the time. :-)

merlin said...

you all are lucky butts, getting it that early. of course, my finances will not allow for me getting it when it comes out anyway ... have to put it on the Christmas wish list. (or rent it and maybe hook up the audio line to the computer and record the screen writers commentary track so that I can go back through it over and over again :) )

Yeah, busy studying (mostly trying to catch up to where I am finding I think I should be as a doctoral student) and also not had much new to say on HP recently (how far have you made it in reading them so far?) except one thing that occured (from some reading for one class)on classical gnosticism and the whole "tripartite vs bipartite" thing that has been going on over at MM, which has gotten really old and silly (in other words, what I've come to on it I think is balanced, what thoughts have occurred to me recently I think may have some interesting insight to pursue, but it's not the be-all and the end-all of the world and that particular convo is not really worth continuing there)and some recent comments there have given me to thinking "whatever ... I have plenty else to keep me more than justifiablly busy and I'm not getting paid for this writing, and some of the tone of recent debates (well and even some earlier debates) is not really the type of thig I have any interest whatsover in getting into, so ..." motivation to put in the work of new posts etc is pretty low (not anything you or Jo have said, to be honest ... I always like you all's comments and discussions ... must be something bout the aussie way of thinking or something :) ...

who knows, I might write more ... but right now there is plenty of studying and plenty of not having money in my pocket so I might try to work like 10 hrs a week on campus or something ... so even less time to write ...

But don't worry ... I will definitely stop by yours and Jo's sites to see what you all are discussing ... and definitely yours around, oh, say Nov 17-20, to hear what you found from the screen-writers commentary and are driving your husband buggy with :)... you'll have to give me all the scoop on it, do a big write up on it here and all of that, to satisfy my curiousity, which will be driving me absolutely nuts :)

A friend and I were talking about the DMC movie ... I am liking the whole thing of Jack as needing to become a Christ figure by the descent into hell (willingly standing before the beastie) and being responsible for ransoming lost souls ... only, in this existentialist story, he has to ransom them because he is responsible for them by his own action - those two poor suckers who find the hat, those poor guys on that first ship ... and recently been thinking particularly about Bootstrap ... if he was with Jack to pick up the Barbosa Crew and "Everything went wrong after ..." the mutiny, and the mutiny had to do with Jack instigating the plan to go after the Aztec Gold ... Jack is responsible for Bootstraps' doom, at least partially. The way bootstrap says it in DMC is wonderfully anbivalent ... first he says that he is sorry for his part in the mutiny, which is pretty much the straightforward "I wronged you, I am sorry" of the "normal" story in Western culture ... BUT then he says "I stood up for you ... eveything went wrong after that" ... implying that the "wrong" thing that he did for which he is sorry is not allowing things to play out naturally etc ... wonderfully ambivalent (I think the ambivalence is the real meaning ... interestingly, in my Hebrew Prose class we were reading the story of Joseph being sold into slavery in Genesis 37 and we were discussing some post-modern theories on some of the grammar where it is hard to tell who did the selling to the Ishmaelites - the brothers, or this group of midianite traders that pops up in the text out of nowhere, or were the midianite traders just another name for the Ishmaelites ... the grammar is ambivalent and tradition has just sort of been that the brothers did the selling, but the text itself is ambivalent, and the post modern theory is that the grammar is intentionally ambivalent ... and I thought "I used the same or similar title, 'intentional ambiguities,' of my own conjuring ... guess that means I am defintiely post modern").

see you in the funny papers

Sumara said...

Hey Merlin,
I'm glad you're keeping busy and finding more of a 'life' outside of MM - which sounds weird but I hope you know what I mean (it's easy to get too caught up in cyber-land sometimes and lose track a bit of the real world).

I've just finished Order of the Phoenix. I keep loving each one more than the last. :) Jo told me lots of people hated Phoenix but I just love it love it love it. :) Jo and I have been emailing, raving away about how much we love Harry. I was so sad last night when I reached the end of Order of the Phoenix.

DMC - Okay well I'm working on hubby to get it pre-ordered so I will try very hard to report to you as soon as possible after the 15th. :)

As for the Christ-figure thing... ah yes, of course. Now I feel a bit silly for insisting to some other people that Captain Jack is a Christ-figure... oh well.

I wish I'd been able to see it a few more times at the cinema to play closer attention to the various relationships and subtleties and clues that are there... plenty of things to look out for when I get the DVD.

And for more to look forward to... they're now doing a simultaneous world-wide release of At World's End, so we'll all be able to see that at the same time and the discussion boards will go mental around the world! :)

...eerrr... what are the funny papers?

merlin said...

LOL the funny papers are like the Sunday comics (the ones that are several pages long and in color, vs the daily comics being black and white and only 1 page). It's from an old computer game, the first of the story based games, I used to play it when I was a kid up at the computer center my dad's office was in, using maps my dad and another guy had drawn by hand and had figured out by playing the game through ... the game was completely text based, you typed in directions like "NW" for "go northwest" and it would come back with description like "you are in a low room with a hole in the floor and a bucket on a rope" and you would type in "put coal in bucket" - "lower bucket" etc. (there were several mazes where the directions did not change but were not consistent, so going from one room to another you might go NW but in order to get back to the same room, instead of going SE you had to go NW again and stuff like that, and it just said "you are in a maze of winding passages that look all the same" and so to map it they had to take as many things as they could carry and drop stuff in different rooms and map it out that way)

There were several characters you would meet throughout the game, like a thief who relieved you of all your possessions (one of the treasures to get was a gold canary but it was locked inside an egg, so at a certain point you wanted the theif to rob you so he would open the egg for you when he took it back to his lair - but you had to kill him to get everything back, so, as a kid I could type "kill theif with knife" very quickly because it took a number of rounds to actually kill him ... the thief also made it hard for them when mapping because sometimes off in the distance you would hear the thief say "wow, wonder who left this bagged lunch [or whatever you had dropped in a particular room] here" and you would have to go back to where you saved your game last because you knew he had taken the stuff off with him).

The series of games was called "Zork" (when they eventually released all 4 of them together, zork 0-3 ... although when I was a kid we just called the original one "dungeon" for "the dungeons of zork") Well, one of the other characters in one of the games was a court jester who would pop out of nowhere and play a variety of tricks that messed up what you were trying to accomplish, and then he would take off, saying "see you in the funny papers" because he was a court jester and all that.

Just finished Order eh? I agree, a lot of people said they thought it was weak, but I liked it. It has to be taken as a "long dark night of the soul" book and one has to realize that she is tailoring the various books to Harry's various stages of adolesence, and also that, combined especially with the latter point, for her romance has a symbolic role (at least it seems to me like it does, which is part of her "pre-modern" half). She has said, I think, that the romances in the series are not meant to be a main plot arc, and I can see why with all the stuff that goes on in the "shipping wars" (some people getting very upset that so and so wound up with so and so, instead of who they had argued they would wind up with), but I think of the romance as sort of an augmenting subplot that has symbolic value in connection with the more major symbolisms and elements. Some complain that book 5 is like a high school soap opera, and I think that is exactly the point (like with the whole thing with Cho Chang in Madam Puddyfoot's, or whatever the name of the teashop was) ... Rowling has a certain psychological realism that is integral to the books and Harry's experience of that whole part of adolescence (and all the talking by other students and "gabbing" that goes on)as sort of a long drawn out soap opera is part of the meaning of the book 5, and hence also the length of book 5 (so far books 4 and 5 have been the longest, I think precisely because they represent that stage that feels so drawn out in anxiety etc ... in book 6 you'll get a bit more focussed presentation).

Now that you have read #5 I can say that I miss Sirius, I liked his character. He reminds me of a character named Mornington in Charles Williams' "War in Heaven" who is killed by a mordern sorcerer, Demetrius the Greek, by dark arts ... the book is about the Holy Grail being found in a small rural English church, and protected by a trio of characters, of which Mornington is one, he is like Sirius in his dark mood but allegiance to the good, it says at one point something like "Mornington had a view of things that enabled him to have the worst view of himself and the best view of everything else", and at a certain point the day that Mornington dies a character named Prester John shows up, who is this mystical character who is sort of both the keeper of the Grail and the Grail itself, so basically Christ, and he says some things to various characters and to Mornington he says "tonight you will be with me in paradise" - ie the good theif on the cross.

I also like her portrayal of Dumbledore in book 5, especially at Harry's trial in the beginning - he is such the tactician, but a benevolent tactician - he never tries to blow Fudge off the face of the map, always giving him the benfit of the doubt and the opportunity to do the right thing while still "saving face" but never backing down on giving Harry a really strong defense.

to quote Hagrid "great man, Dumbledore"

jkr2 said...

how i've missed a comments section full of merlin!

i'll consider myself tagged!


Sumara said...

Wow, Merlin, that old computer game sounds... um... old! Although I do vaguely remember playing some games as a kid using the keyboard and no mouse. :)
Anyway, I like "see you in the funny papers". :)

"long dark night of the soul" is a great way to describe OotP. I think to not like it you'd have to not be paying attention to the subtleties of character development and all the litle bits and bobs that build hte characters and tie thinkgs together and get into the middle of the real lives of these characters. I find all the little intricacies fascinating.

I agree that there's nothing wrong with a bit of "high-school soap opera". We need to see and feel that Harry is a 15-year-old boy. He's not just some super powerful wizard, he's mostly an ordinary boy. And if he didn't have the "ordinary" side we wouldn't care so much about the "super-power" side would we?

I love that in OotP he has temper tanrums and yells and Ron and Hermione and Dumbledore. He's been so restrained and reasonable before now, it's a relief in a way to see him realising and expressing all that anger and confusion.

Oh yes, I love Dumbledore. I was saying to Jo that for the last 30 pages or so I wa just crying for poor Harry, and Dumbledore is being so beautiful, inviting Harry to yell at him or whatever he wants to do, and we finally realise why Dumbledore's been so distant and "cold".

I don't love Sirius all that much but I was really shocked when he died, I was sad for Harry more than anything - especially because he feels like he caused it by responding to the trick "dream".

I watched the first movie last night and was fairly impressed. I loved the Quidditch. :) Obviously there were things that didn't seem at all how I'd imagined them but it did all look wonderful.
I'm not a fan of Emma Watson, but Dan Radcliffe and Rupert whats-is-name I thought were beautiful.

Oh and Merlin, just curoius, how much does a new DVD cost over there? Here it's about $30-$40 AUD for a new release. (Dead Man's Chest 2-disc edition in Collector's Tin is $36.83)

merlin said...

yes, tis a very old game ... fond memories though ... it was when my father's office was in the basement of a college library in the 80s teh other guy was still allowed to smoke his pipe in there ... not a dingy or dirty basement ... the block walls were well painted and everything was clean and dry ect, but still the basement of a college library ... with the pipe smoke it had a very distinctive smell that I always loved when I would hang out up there for hours playing dungeon on the computers (the old "dummy terminals" all hooked into a mainframe ... the dinasour era - lat bronze age I think LOL) and when my dad's clothes smelled like the pipe smoke when he would come home.

On the HP movies ... the first two movies are actually the closest to the books in framing and the scope of the scenery and all. The Third movie they spread things out a lot more, scenerywise and played up a little more druidical nature/highlands expanse aspects .... I think both are fine - I think Rowling's staging comes from the younger age framing of the first two books and because that is the way "the stage" got set it has stayed that way and the developments have been more, as you say, in character etc ... in a movi series with different directors you naturally get some more variation in the scenery itself with the progression ... but I didn't like the staging of movie 4 as much ... it suffers, I think, from what I call "Clooney-Vision" in honor of the horrendous 4th Batman movie, where Clooney played Batman ... you had these "big" cg/special effects shots and the rest felt like it was shot on some back-lot sound-stage ... just felt small (you know, kind of like when you watch a tv show like Star Trek TNG and outdoor scenes have the feel of being shot in a "simulated" outdoor - vs something like the most recent "Batman Begins" where you can tell this is a scene shot for real on location etc)

DVDs here generally cost around 20 - 25, USD for new releases. Somehting like PotC DMC will probably go around 25 - 29 for the collectors, I'm guessing.

merlin said...

Hey Jo :) ... it's nice to be missed :)