Friday, September 14, 2012

Farewell, Mimi

Today we mark the passing of our beloved Mimi who departed peacefully at home aged 18 human years. By last weekend we knew she was already on her last legs, having little enough energy in her tired little body to eat and drink the barest minimum until it was her natural time to go.

Goodbye, sweetheart. I'll always remember you as the bundle of yappy energy I had to impress and seek approval from before I could marry June. You guarded your big sister well. Rest now, you've earned it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's curtains (or is it?)

Lucy's got me working on another arts focused essay. This one's an actual Cambridge question from 2010: "Would it matter if all the performing arts venues in your society, such as concert halls and theatres, were closed down?" A nonsensical question, if I ever saw one.

Again, my instructions were to be as detailed as possible so hang limits on word count and time. Click here, if the question somehow appears as as a must-read to you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Maxed planks

First time I've seen all three gathered together in one frame around the kitty playground.

And now you know why: a sprinkling of catnip drives them a little nuts. I... I think Kaiser's becoming a junkie! But Maui remains unaffected somehow. Momo is no longer in the frame...

because she's rolling on the floor, spazzing out with a catnip filled sock. There's no hope for her.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A very small rudder

Preparation of materials for an upcoming lecture became an essay responding to a recent exam question, "Discuss the importance of language". My expertise is not in linguistics, so I've adopted a communication studies approach instead. I admit a lot more research could have gone into the writing, but my task was to see what I could spin off the top of my head, word count and time limit be damned.

Wonder what Lucy would say about this? I don't know if this was what she was really asking for, but anyway... click here.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Kitty shelves and big balls

The cats have a new playground! They haven't yet figured out how to climb up to the top shelf, but they don't seem to have any trouble climbing down after being manually placed up there. The squarish thing at bottom right in the last pix is a corner of the sofa bed we moved below the top shelf as a safety precaution in case it rains cats and dogs.

Today we also took a turn to look after the nephews for the afternoon and evening. We took them to Slava's Snowshow, a bizarre anthology of non-narrative spectacles involving artistry in clowning, mime, lighting effects and big giant balls. Oh, and masses of materials such as "snow", simulated spider webbing and water blanketing the audience from time to time.

Yep, the audience is definitely a part of the show. Two words to describe the experience: play and imagination. It was such fun to gather handfuls of "snow" from the floor and dump them over your seat mate's head. It was a blast reaching up to grab an ever-expanding sheet of webbing and pass it along to the person behind just to see if there was enough of the stuff to cover the entire stall area. There was, and some...

By the time they rolled the big balls into the audience, we were already on our feet, anticipating our turn to take a swipe or bat at one of these colourful spheres as we tossed them around the auditorium. A great reminder of what pointless, unstructured play used to be for us [older] folk. XD

Took the kids to watch Paranorman in the evening. This animated movie was strong in the use of horror elements, yet managed to keep a light, humorous touch to quite a dark tale. Early in the movie, I wondered if some scenes might have been too intense for the young 'uns, but since I heard more laughter than screams (of which there were none from them... though there was an audible gasp at one point from the grown man sitting beside me) I kinda' figured I didn't have to drag everyone home prematurely. Turned out the plot addressed the issue of bullying and the irrationality of hysteria, so the psychological perspectives were interesting; and it ended on a sweet, if sad note. Go watch it! It's good!