One advantage of the sis leaving: she isn’t taking any CDs with her (what did people do before iPods, when they went overseas?? CD wallets, I guess). So I got to steal some. I forgot to do that before we were about the walk out the door, so I only got three – the Kaiser Chiefs, and the two earlier Goldfrapp albums, which I am checking out prior to purchase (probably). Very useful indeed.
I left this in Adelaide, so I don’t remember who the second author it, but the top-billing author is Arthur C Clarke. I bet he had the main plot ideas, and the other guy – Michael someone – did most of the writing. I have no proof to substantiate that claim, of course.
It was a good techno book; not really a thriller, more about the social and political ramifications of inventing (by accident) a device that effectively neutralises gunpowder and other nitrate-based explosive type things. Some of the discussion was really interesting. One of the more disturbing parts was the way the point of view held by people in the NRA and other such bodies was presented: very reasonable, often, and not at all like they were loonies. I know that not all gun owners are loonies, but I find it immensely hard to understand how anyone can genuinely believe that owning gun actually makes the world a safer place. Maybe they don’t think that – only that it makes them safer. Also the conspiracy theories… the “baddies” were not over-drawn or ridiculous, in other words.
It was a fun book. Definitely made me think about guns and weapons and all… I already am a pacifist, but reading some of the arguments put forward by the gun owners made me think through some of my own ideas and decide why I really hold them and how I might back them up.
So obviously, I spent the weekend in Adelaide – the glorious thing about working 0.8, I could have three full days there! Kat had a farewell do at a funky bar in the city on Friday night – it has a marine fish tank, which was entertaining for a while. I talked to a few people, but eventually they all found their own frends and decided an old fogey teacher was boring (although two people asked which of us was older… one of those doesn’t really count, I think, since he was trying way too hard to impress me… long story). There was a big screen in one corner, and Star Wars was on, so I watched that for a while… then I piked.
I did watch large amounts of Rage (by my standards, anyway), because the JJJ Hottest 100 was being played. I also made THE most amazing brownies for a family do: combined 5th for a cousin and Kat farewell. One of the aunts made an upside down pear cake with balck treacle. Woah.
And – most exciting of all – I got to leave from the new Adelaide Airport. Yippee.
So I’m Adelaide (the sis is off o/s, so I wanted to say goodbye), walking down Rundle St, and I notice this record shop has Josh Pyke performing live in their basement, promoting his extended single (or whatever it’s called; it has 7 songs), that day. I walk past. We meet up with said sister, I tell her, and all of a sudden I discover that I am being dragged back along Rundle St and down into said basement, to listen to said singer. The basement is obviously used to such treatment; as well as music DVDs, and collectables, there was a little stage and a clear space in front. There was maybe 20 people there; a few speakers, Josh and his geetar on a chair. He played 5 or 6 songs… Kat bought the album, got it signed (much more bravely than me with Chris Ross, but then she always has been), and off we went.
We are arguing about the pronounciation of this title: PeneLOPiad, or PenELopiad? Not that it makes much difference to a mind-boggling, brilliant, and generally superlative book.
I have been looking forward to reading this book for about four months now- I haven’t read it before for numerous good reasons, none of which currently spring to mind, except the fact that I haven’t owned it. Mum bought it, though, and I read it when I was in Adelaide for the weekend (it only took a few hours – it’s very short).
It’s by Margaret Atwood, who can always be coounted on to write interesting stories; it’s part of a series of classical myth re-writes, which I am very excited about: the other one that has been published, to my knowledge, is Weight, about when Herakles takes the weight of the world from Atlas’ shoulders so he can steal the apples (of the sun god?) as part of his Labours. I don’t know what the others will be like, but the few other authors I recognised sound promising.
Anyway – obviously, it’s The Odyssey from Penelope’s point of view. She doesn’t like Cousin Helen, and that is refreshing. She’s also telling the story from Hades (taking a walk through the asphodel… having a bite of asphodel… go and look at Sisyphus…), with a few chapters given to the hanged maids doing a Greek chorus thing.
I cannpt recommend it highly enough. It provides a slightly acerbic, much more real counterpoint to cunning Odysseus’ tale.