Category Archives: Waffle

Putting the icing on the creative cake

I draw'd this
I draw’d this

It’s all well and good having a bunch of ideas floating around in your head, but getting the little buggers to flow out of there into a form that others can witness is a right pain.

I’m not sure if I have a novel’s worth of thoughts stuck in my grey matter, or just a bunch of scenes that might somehow clag together to form a cohesive story. Or a series of stories. It’s just hard to put stuff together in a cohesive form so that I can get them on paper.

Thoughts and ideas for more adult tales are mixed up with ones definitely more suitable for the younger audience. Which brings with it other problems… like the fact that any decent book for under-10’s needs pictures, and I can’t draw for toffee (or any other sugar-based snack). But, then I’ve seen kids’ books with really bad drawings in them that the author has done anyway and they’re quite charming. Or do I try to find a friend who doesn’t mind wasting their time slapping some paint down in exchange for getting a co-author / artist credit?

I’ve always thought that arrangement a little unfair as the author, generally, has the ideas but the time taken to write a 30-page children’s story must be far less than that taken to draw / paint the accompanying illustrations. However, the person with the word processor generally seems to win out in terms of both fame and financial recompense.

I’d like to say “back to the drawing board” but, as detailed above, that’s probably somewhat inaccurate.

Orange Mojo

Source: WikiMedia
Source: WikiMedia

Why orange? Well, I’ve got a nice mug of hot orange juice on my desk. Other teachers have tea, I have dilute juice. Less caffeine, more sugar. That’s got to be good, right?

The interesting thing with oranges is that old argument about which came first – the name of the colour or the name of the fruit. Well, from what I’ve read it depends on what language you speak. As far as English is concerned, we didn’t have a word for orange until the fruit was introduced – along with its descriptive name. This is why we claim to have a bird known as a “robin red breast” when the vast majority of our avian friends have a more obviously orange tint to their chests.

Simply, there wasn’t a word to describe their colour so we went for the closest – red. If we had a more agreeable climate for the growth of these little spherical bundles of Vitamin C, how things could have been different.

I really like oranges, but I don’t eat them too often. Partly as fruit’s so damn expensive, and partly as I’m too lazy to peel them. It’s much easier just to shovel grapes into your mouth, or bite into an apple. Oranges need preparation. And, failing, that, too much tidying afterwards.

The simplest way to eat them is to slice one into quarters and just gnaw the flesh out. End result is juice all over the place, bits of fruit stuck between your teeth and – possible – crunching on pips you didn’t spot earlier.

Alternatively, you have to remove the skin then part each segment, examine them for pips which are then discarded and *then* you get to eat the thing. Nah, too much effort.

I tend to aim for the fruit juice with “bits” in it. That way I can pretend it’s more healthy as I’m getting some of the roughage. It’s also very rare that I’ll spill it all over my face when I drink it, making it less messy than the original source fruit. Admittedly, though, this is precisely what I did on Sunday. Oops.

The end of lunch approaches, though, and I need to top up my mug. Given the class I have next I’ll need all the sugar rush I can get…

7-Minute Mojo

7I have seven minutes before the bell goes and I’m out of free time, instead deluged with second-year pupils asking if they can “do work” over lunch. How playing an online tank combat game qualifies as “work” in any way, shape, or form is beyond me but what do I know? I’m only a teacher.

So what to do with those seven minutes which I could be utilising in a more productive manner, such as putting the finishing touches to an end-of-unit test we’re presenting to S1 next week? I know! I’ll tap something up on ye olde blogge because I’ve forgotten about it again!

Of course, I then spend half that time trying to find a decent image to put at the side. A task not aided by the poor selection now offered by Zemanta, a WordPress extension I used to use heavily. Sadly, they now seem to be pushing almost nothing but Getty Images which I prefer not to use. Once upon a time Zemanta would actually scour my own online resources (i.e. my flickr account) for relevant pictures which was very useful. But no more.

So now I have barely a minute left to rattle something off that might interest anyone passing.

Bugger. The bell has just gone. Hey, this writing to a deadline lark’s not as easy as they make out! No wonder Douglas Adams hardly wrote any books.

Gay mojo

I Will Survive
I Will Survive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sorry for the lack of posts, but as I managed to post from my phone the other day I have no broadband at home until March 6th at the earliest. Which sucks. Hugely.

Anyway, I had a revelation the other day. One of those things that just suddenly comes to you. Pieces of a puzzle that I didn’t know existed appeared, fit together and *pow* a solution presented itself.

Gay people didn’t exist before the early 1970’s.

No, really, I have proof. Of a sort. OK, so it’s more of a theory but there’s a solid piece of evidence to back it up.

Back-story: for some reason I’ve found myself in two gay bar/clubs in the last couple of weeks. To the best of my knowledge I’ve never been in one before in my life, but having said that – in the case of the second – I didn’t know I¬†was in a gay bar until a friend pointed it out to me. So I might have been in one before and been equally oblivious. The fact that the more recent one is, I believe, multiple award winning for its gayness and has posters outside saying this didn’t register at all before I walked in.

I also failed to notice – or at least attach any significance to – the plastic chandeliers. Or the “friendly” bar staff. Or the male couples.

Or the late 70’s / early 80’s soundtrack.

And it is on the latter that I will focus. You see, apparently all gay men like the classics of that era. Erasure, Ultravox, Carly Simon, Gloria Gaynor, ABBA… I sit in a bar like that and the only thing I think is “retro… what great songs these are from my childhood”. When in reality I’m – apparently – listening to gay anthem after gay anthem.

Let’s bring these facts together. I like them because they’re from a time when I was growing up and was exposed to them when they were first released. Gay men like these tracks because they’re famed in the gay world as gay anthems (sorry for the overuse of “gay” here), but why these songs? Why not older ones?

The answer? Gay people didn’t exist until around the same time as I was born. The progenitors of the gay movement are about the same age as me. Nobody particularly¬†gay was born before the early 1970’s.

Makes perfect sense to me.

Mind you, I don’t find two men kissing to be particularly weird so what the hell do I know?

No broadband

BT Ireland logo (2005 - Present)
BT Ireland logo (2005 – Present) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So that put a stop to it. BT won’t be able to install broadband in my new place until March 6th and I’m not writing stuff up on my phone!

Abnormal service will be resumed shortly…