A Window into Life in the Suburbs


"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Troy (2004)

I will start by saying that I didn't pick the DVD. I had heard mixed things about this film from various sources which put me off bothering with it when it came out. Plus the fact I'm no fan of the Illiad (threw the book on the floor a few times), whose dramatis personae seems to be cluttered up with unlikeable characters.
However, the husband brought it home and thought it might be something worth watching. Okay... I says... how bad can it be...

Whoever thought that putting Brad Pitt in a classical Greek tale was a good idea had rocks in their head.
Not that I think Pitt is a bad actor but in this particular setting, he appears to me, at least. to be totally out of his depth. While I didn't find Archilles all that appealing in the Illiad, in Pitt's hands, Archilles is as dull as dishwater. Pitt fails to convey the eloquence or the charisma of the intransigent Greek hero.
This is why, on a normal day, films about classical characters are generally populated by British actors who are able to convey that larger than life quality possibly from spending time doing Shakespeare at some point in their careers.
Brad Pitt's Archilles is, in short, an expressionless whiny brat.
I had the same allergic reaction to Sam Worthington in the Clash of the Titans remake.

The film is not all bad. There are good actors in it who do their best with the material they've been given. But it's no Cecile B. DeMilne epic. DeMilne was at least energetic in his direction. This one felt rather limp, cheesy and cheap.
The feel is one of a B-movie with a surprising number of A-list actors.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Park Theme

Our excursion to Dreamworld today was cut short when 10 year old complained of feeling weak and queasy. We have season passes and since we didn't use them most of the year (one thing after another), I felt obliged to maximise our investment before those things expired. So it's a frantic effort to get it all done in a week.
After downing half a bottle of water and half a sandwich, she said she felt better. But I thought it best that we leave as soon as possible, at least before the sandwich made a second appearance accompanied by stomach acids.
We happen to walk past the animal enclosures... 10 year old then said she wanted to see the animals. So we looked at the animals.
Because of this diversion, we discovered a new ride -- driving vintage car round a designated circuit. It was, in my opinion, quite fun actually. Compared to the stroke inducing attractions that make up the place, this was very tame. Almost like having a quiet drive in the countryside. Except this one lasted about 3 minutes.

It occurred to me then that Dreamworld is an all encompassing sort of place. It tries to cater to all sorts while fulfilling the fantasies of bored adrenalin junkies. A combination of kitschy reconstruction of nostalgia and temporary visceral illusion of high excitement and adventure.
A place of escape... a place that doesn't really exist. One can pay for the privilege of gaining access.
And now one can prolong the privilege with unlimited passes.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Things

Quite a lot happened to me the past year and I suppose it's customary to take stock at this time of the year.
But I won't. Not today at least.
You know me, I can naval gaze with the best of them.

I'm venturing into new things next year which means my online life must diminish.
A mother of two school kids... yes, 4 year old turns 5 next year and joins the ranks of the school aged -- I must be moving on.
To bigger and better things... Bigger perhaps, better... well, that remains to be seen.
Not that being a stay-at-home mother was not an important phase in my life. It was necessary and while I can't truthfully say I enjoyed every moment of it, I'm deeply thankful that I saw 4 year old grow up into an endearing, articulate preschooler.

The short version is that I've taken up an English teaching job and it starts in January. I've wanted to for a whole year and was rather disillusioned for a while there when there were no doors ajar much less open ones.
Now that it has come to me... I dunno... I'm not as ecstatic as I think I should be.

I am thrilled to be going back into the classroom, working with migrants and refugees. It's what I've always loved about TESOL.
The downside is that the new job comes packaged with responsibilities that I'm not accustomed to. It's not just about being in the classroom but being part of a "system". That aspect of it intimidates me.

But I won't complain too much... I can't. My friend thinks it's a "God thing" and I can't say I disagree. The timing is right and the opportunity is too good to pass up.
If God has led me to this new situation, I can be confident that he will give me the strength and the grace to carry out my responsibilities.

Already I sense new things ahead for our family.