24 December 2006

The Book of Lies by James Moloney

I want one! A book of lies, that is. The amazing book that this novel from James Moloney is centered around has the ability to discern if a person is speaking the truth or a lie. Truth can be a slippery thing though and the characters in this book soon find the the book can be an unreliable voice. I enjoyed it. There must be a sequel though as there are stories left untold when arriving at the last page. On his webpage, the author states the sequel is due in 2006. I haven't come across it yet.
James Moloney is one of my favourite writers. We teach "A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove" to our year 8s. I think "Lost Property", which I read earlier in the year was one of my favourite reads for this year. My son also enjoyed it.

22 December 2006

Good Magazine

This video highlights how much is spent on gaining our attention by companies wanting to promote. Big bucks! I love the 'Good Magazine' clips I've seen. I can't seem to get the feed working but when I do, I'll share.

21 December 2006

I predict.....

I want to participate in the ProBlogger Group Writing Project and the topic is 'Reviews and Predictions', so I am very excited about reading what other bloggers offer on this topic. I love predictions! I enjoy reading Darren Rowse's blog, I like his approach to writing and sharing and there are usually a couple of useful things to me each week even though I don't expect to be a 'problogger'.
My grand prediction for 2007 is that TED Talks will be worth tuning into. I just received their program for 2007 and I am delighted to see some of the upcoming talks.
The 9th of March for example boasts of Edward DeBono, Dan Goleman J.J. Abrams, Tracy Chapman and Isabel Allende. This is just one of the days. Icons. Geniuses. Mavericks. That just about covers it. There are some amazing visionary people on this list, too many to mention. I am looking forward to enjoying these talks next year.
On the topic of Isabel Allende, my kids bought me Ines of my Soul for my birthday and I am saving it for my holiday reading. I love her books! I enjoyed 'My Invented Country' this year and absolutely loved it. I enjoyed the whole concept that she had created this place and was able to recognise this. I also loved, as always with her writing, reading about Chile. It is definately on my list of places I want to go.
I predict Amanda Bloom will be in my CD collection in the future. I want more songs to listen to from her and I hope I will be able to add her CD to my Christmas list next year. In the meantime, listen to this podcast. There are some awesome Aussie women who are unsigned and very enjoyable. I have enjoyed this podcast.

19 December 2006

Cloudbursting by Kate Bush

I wish Kate would bring her machine here and make some rain. Our town is drying up. All the people who cut their lawns really short, now have dead lawns. Ours still has a little green because we keep it long and leave the clippings on it, which I think helps to keep the grass alive.
It's less smoky here today though than yesterday. I got a clip of the smoke coming from the nearby hills, but am having some issues with Revver right now so I can't put it up. I will probably put it on Blip TV later tonight if I haven't sorted it out and post it here tomorrow or later.
This blog post Cloudbursting on the blog "Cool Looking Stuff" is a great compilation of clips associated with Kate Bush's great song from the 'Hounds of Love' album, Cloudbusting. There is an interview on the post that explains where she got her inspiration. I just love to learn about the inspiration behind the art. Whatever the art! It truly helps me to learn to draw from my own different sources when I am creating.

17 December 2006

All roads lead to David Bowie

In the days before the final bell went at school, I gave each class an overview of what they would be learning next year and the topics that would be covered. Many of my students really weren't interested as they could smell the holidays by that stage and the thought of next years learning wasn't a priority. So I explained to them about the RAS antenae and how it could help them to do better next year.
I did a course once that was about learning and I only vaguely remember the facilitator talking about your Reticular Activating System or RAS being like antenae and once you decided to learn something you would begin to notice it everywhere. The example that was given was when you buy a new car that you feel is rare and distinctive and then you start to see it everywhere. I have had that experience! I have also found that often when I was studying at uni, information and knowledge that I needed would seem to come to me from all different sources that I wouldn't have expected. If you are interesting in learning more about this there is an interesting discussion here.
Getting back to the topic, lately I have been seeing David Bowie everywhere. Well not in person, unfortunately, yet I rather fear that if I did he would make a song about me and it would hurt my feelings like the YouTube clip my brother sent me where he sang about a 'Chubby Little Fat Guy'. I would put it on here, except I thought it was a little sad and cruel. I have no sense of humour sometimes.
I have been reading him on blogs everywhere. Just little snippets or photos. So I think my RAS on David Bowie is in action. The wonder of it is, that I don't know why other than having been a fan for so many years. I have never been to a concert sadly. I was very close to going to one in 1983, yet it was the night before my HSC (now VCE)English exam. Why didn't I just go anyway? It would have improved my performance. I know that now!

Instead I will put this interview from Rove that was filmed about 8 months ago and shows all the things I love about him. He is healthy, interested and creative with a dry sense of humour that I love. Rove is great also. 'The two names are synonymous with sin and fun.' Enjoy!

16 December 2006

2006 School Year Complete

Is there anything sweeter than the first days of a long holiday period? The weeks stretch out before me. I am generating lots of to do lists and pottering around setting little things straight around my home. I am preparing for our summer trip and excited about the adventure it will be. I am purchasing last minute gifts for Christmas and looking forward to the big day when I'll feast with the family and give and get.
Yesterday, although it was the first day of my holidays, I went into work to tie up a few loose ends that in my rush to finish I had not managed to attend to. I tried to kid myself that it would wait until next year, but they niggled at me in the morning and I knew they would lose their significance if I didn't have them done. I feel at peace now and complete with my year.
In reflecting on this year of teaching, it hasn't been one of my better years to be honest. I have been cranky and haven't managed to build positive relationships with as many of my students as I have in previous years. I am aware of some of the reasons for this, but can not excuse myself. I have made my work harder and feel I have not given my best to the kids. Over the holidays I want to redesign my thinking in this area. I like teaching because I learn so much. I am letting it go now though. It's done. Next year I will be better for having learnt what I have this year.

15 December 2006

Johnny Cash - Hurt

This clip is really good. It makes me think about the big questions. Johnny Cash's music is moving and touches your heart and soul.

12 December 2006

Giving and Receiving

December means Christmas season. It starts way too early out there in the wider world, but in our family with so many Sagittarian's I don't start with the Christmas tree and the serious contemplation of Christmas until after my daughter's birthday. So about now for me.
I have actually been doing a bit of shopping here and there this year, so I don't have too many people still to buy for. I was wondering today if the people I have to buy for have wishlists somewhere online that I am not tapping into. They could have an Amazon wishlist or a Froogle wishlist and I am just not aware of it. It would be really cool if they did. I was thinking about the possibility that people may add their wildest hopes to those kinds of lists and it would be fun to give others exactly what they wanted. One of my close friends has 8 people by the same name and none of them sound like her taste on Amazon. Luckily though the majority of people on my list I am in contact with regularly enough to know what they love.
Today I read a wonderful article by Steve Pavlina called "Making Money Consciously". It is one of the most grounded, yet inspiring and helpful things I have read for a while and it made me think about my contribution to social value.

10 December 2006

Zefrank's Learning Strategies

Zefrank has some seriously good ideas delivered in his usual frank and delightful way. I am a fan.

Interestingly he uses divorced people as a metaphor and after spending a really positive evening with my ex-husband, current family and friends and ex-in-laws last night to celebrate my wonderful 18 year old's birthday, I know it works, interestingly enough. Watch the video, it may make sense. If not - Oh well. It was a great night.

08 December 2006

David Bowie - im afraid of americans

nine inch nails & david bowie
I'm afraid of americans

I'm a fan of David Bowie. I have been for a long time. One of my students in their "Person I Admire" year 9 oral presentation, spoke about David Bowie. It was well-reseached and well delivered and she wasn't aware I was a fan. Her excellent taste paid off!

06 December 2006

Some Week!!

Some weeks should never be repeated and this was one of them.
I did have a very happy birthday though and indulged myself with a massage and a delicious brunch with my cherished children. I received lots of calls and birthday wishes and felt very well loved and grateful for all the gorgeous people in my life.
Everything goes pear shaped in the last week of school, but this week has been extra so.
I'm tired and ready for my holidays now. Hanging in there.

01 December 2006

It's my Birthday Tomorrrow

Start early with your celebrations!
During report writing week, I always read as though there is no tomorrow. My first consumption was 'Conrad's Fate' by Diana Wynne Jones. It was an enjoyable read and I read The Merlin Conspiracy, when my kids received it as a gift for Christmas a couple of years ago. My sister-in-law said the bookseller had told her it was a suitable replacement for kids who were suffering Harry Potter withdrawal. I enjoyed it, but I don't think my son got through it.
I totally enjoyed Allie McGregor's True Colours by Sue Lawson. It captures much of the angst I see in the teenagers who attend the place I work. It was a quick read and easy to devour. The characters were familiar and lovable.
I completed the first draft of my reports last night and am very pleased with myself because it is my birthday tomorrow and I always strive to be complete before then. I love my birthday.