Drawing skateboards

Posted: 08/07/2014 in Art
Tags: , ,

We spent a large chunk of today outside: playing, drawing and football! It’s warm and not humid at the moment so embracing all the time outside.

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Whilst I was working on my Latin they got on with drawing. It was interesting seeing how their drawings developed through copying and helping each other. Zoey told me she was drawing a skateboard:

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Nomi decided she would draw skateboards too. One for her, Zoey and Daddy. She outlined and then colored them in.

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Both girls were happily looking at each other’s drawings, and are not in the least bit bothered by copying at this age. Zoey went to draw again and Nomi told her it needed four wheels so Zoey drew these skateboards:

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It’s really nice seeing them work together yet separately.

This is the first time I’ve watched network tv live in forever. Commercials – how quaint! It’s like the 90s. I’ll just nip to Central Perk for a coffee.

I was pretty excited about ‘Agents of Shield’ as I’ve enjoyed Agent Coulson in all the films but you know what – Coulson works best as a (quirky) straight man against Thor and Tony Stark, not so much against a cast of straight men and women. Oh I know they are hinting at “dark stuff” but he needs more quirk to play against. Unless… he is the quirk?

Overall, the pilot was just too vanilla for me. It felt like a safe version of all the genre shows I’ve enjoyed that were cancelled over the years:

Agents of [enter agency rouge or otherwise] travel the [world/continental US] saving [mutants/superheroes/mortals].

It’s not Continuum. It’s not Alphas. It’s not Fringe. It’s not a lot of other shows i care(d) but it’s tied to Marvel so it has legs.

Alex’s feed back was why do the geeky nerds have to be geeky nerds at all. Think about Peter in Fringe. Deep stuff.

Here’s my thoughts: what if Joss Wheldon peaked at Buffy. Was I the only one who felt like The Cabin In The Woods could have been an extended Buffy episode.

Book 1 of the Cambridge Latin Course landed on my doorstep over the weekend, and so begins my adventure of learning Latin. Self-directed learners of the world unite!

I’m going to try and work through a chapter a week but we shall see how much Latin the Cylonettes will let me study.

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In the last two years my TV watching has dropped off somewhat dramatically (and don’t even speak to me about films), and of the many shows I simply didn’t have the capacity for was Doctor Who.

Now, I loved the reboot. Absolutely loved it.

Christopher Eccleston – loved him.

David Tennant – loved him (despite him reminding me of an ex-boss).

Matt Smith – loved him but didn’t love the plot lines. Somewhere in the swampy swamp that was the whole River Song-Amelia Pond saga I just stopped caring. So I’m a season or two behind in Matt Smith Who mythology but I still keep an eye out for Who stuff on Twitter so I was following along with the announcement of the new doctor. Would Who be a woman. Would Who be black or another ethnicity. Would Who be a number of people I’d never heard or and didn’t fancy googling.

The new Doctor is Peter Capaldi which is fantastic because I know who he is. He’s a joy to watch that is who he is!  He is also an Oscar winner which must be a first in Who-land, and played a transvestite on Prime Suspect. Which I reckon is another first.  (You know who else was in PS? Ralph Fiennes. A very young and cocky Fiennes.)

If anything is going to lure me back to the land of Daleks and Cybermen it’s Capaldi. It’s a bit like Roger Allam on Endeavour. He pretty much just wears a hat and lurks about. Coming to the forefront when Morse needs encouragement or a slap on the wrist. His mere presence makes everything better. Patrick Stewart on TNG is another example. Can you imagine TNG without Sir Patrick? If Riker had be in charge the crew would have been permanently stationed at Risa for research.

Now whilst I’ve watched pretty much everything Capaldi has been in I’m guessing most people haven’t so here are my favorites:

  • Local Hero   – a quiet film about a proposed American business invasion of a small Scottish coastal village
  • Dangerous Liaisons  – yes, he was in this as a servant to Malkovich but he speaks and has a subplot
  • Neverwhere – geeky geeky geeky nerdy heaven
  • The Crow Road  – gloriously dark drama
  • The Thick of It – fuckety fuckety sweary goodliness
  • In The Loop – more sweary goodliness on a bigger budget with TRAVEL

Capaldi has of course already been in Who and Torchwood if you are keep track but since it’s all pretend I don’t think that matters too much, right?

Holy moly I did not expect it to take TEN MONTHS before I would update my blog rather than the family blog but hey that is life with two babies. (Not much life just lots of babies.)

So what am I going to be watching this fall well not much. Time is really limited so no watching what ever I want. I’ve dropped so many shows as I’ve either lost interest or don’t have the time to invest emotionally. Sure I’d love to give Game of Thrones a go but not yet. So it’s quality over quantity for the next few years and then lots and lots of box sets…

Sunday: The Good Wife and Homeland

Both shows left the viewer hanging at the end of their respective seasons. Will Kalinda shoot the shit out of her ex and will Carrie remember anything post electr0-shock treatment?

Monday: No Reservations/Layover, Castle and Revolution

I love me some Bourdain so will continue on with No Reservations slash Layover till he packs up for CNN (curious to see what they do with the show – hasn’t he been everywhere?), and he also has a new show with Nigella that is filming in LA at the mo. Curious but will his sardonic wit be too much for NBC? Castle is on the cusp as I am growing weary of procedural crime shows (shocker!) I don’t even bother to DVR just catch it thru On Demand if there is nothing else on. Revolution is new and by Eric Kripet who steered the first 5 seasons of Supernatural (if only they had ended then!) it’s about electricity stopping working and what happens. I assume the Amish take over, right? I’ve got one episode on the DVR so will give it a whirl.

Tuesday: Nothing

We dropped NCIS last year as it’s just too samey-samey.

Wednesday: Nothing

This is the new night for Supernatural but I dumped it at the end of last season as the plot had got too convoluted even for me and it should have ended seasons ago.

Thursday: Last Resort, The Big Bang Theory and Scandal

The Last Resort has submarines so I might be able to entice Alex to watch it; we are one season behind on TBBT so will be DVR-ing and catching up, and Scandal was trashy fun with a good cliff hanger.

Friday: Fringe

It’s the final season! Very excited to see how everything wraps up but if they pull the same stunt that X-Files did with the dullest final episodes every I will weep real tears.

Saturday: Date night!

Watch a movie via Netflix Instant or iTunes

So that’s it. The least amount of TV I have ever watched. The Cylonettes better get early admission to MIT for all this TV sacrificing.

I’ve had the lyrics to ‘Soft Kitty‘ stuck in my head all day. Not really that surprising given that the last few months have been devoted to watching the first and second seasons of The Big Bang Theory. I cannot stress how much we love Sheldon et al.

I started dipping into BBT last season but then I decided to watch from the first season onwards, and Alex started to watch it with me. This is huge as Alex is really picky about what TV he watches but somehow a non-mean comedy about physicists who love sci-fi and pop culture tickled his fancy. Also, how awesome a character is Penny? I love how she holds her own against the boys, and doesn’t let them get away with any crap.

I started teasing Alex that he was a little bit like Sheldon or as I like to call him “Sheldon-lite”. For a starter Alex gets all the physics jokes, and I mean all of them. (It’s great Alex is able to put his physics degree to use in this manner.) Then there is the way Sheldon corrects and/or offers additional information to conversations. Try watching a documentary with Alex on pretty much any subject barring the arts (though he’s got a good grasp of Classics now) and you’ll notice that at some point he’ll start pointing things out before the commentary has a chance or he’ll end up correcting them. I love it. LOVE IT! I married a polymath who is also good at sports – I win!

There is also an “other worldliness” quality about Sheldon that forces him to question many social customs/norms that most of us take for granted, and whilst Alex isn’t totally like that he is a little bit. Because Alex grew-up in Hong Kong in a different culture he sometimes has a different view of social customs/norms (see our stand-off over middle names) and he can see where Sheldon is coming from on many issues, e.g. the circular nature of gift giving.

Then there is the Sheldon look or stare, and there is a great laundry scene that sums it up. Penny comes upon Sheldon in the laundry room and starts to help him fold his clothes. She picks up his socks and rolls over the tops to pair them into a ball, and Sheldon gives her this look as if she is mad and un-balls them and folds them over. I’ve been there in that exact scenario with that look from Alex when I rolled up his socks to be useful. I believe I may have even had a lecture on benefits of folding them to extent the life of the elastic in the ankle.

One thing Alex definitely doesn’t have is Sheldon’s social awkwardness and his love of routine (e.g. sitting in the same spot, eating the same food on certain days). In some ways I’m more like that part of Sheldon so perhaps between the both of us we make a whole “Sheldon”.

It’s never a good sign when I forgot to set the DVR for a show – surely a strong indication that I can live without it because the story/characters aren’t compelling enough to register as a blip on my short-term memory. Yeah, yeah I know there is a nifty little thing called a Season Pass so I don’t have to remember to set the DVR every week but for new shows where I am only testing them out I don’t like to rush into the such a deep commitment. On Monday night I was sure there was something I was forgetting, and it was only when I turned on the TV for House to discover that some sporting event had delayed the scheduling so that Terra Nova had only just started.

Ah yes Terra Nova. Only on the third episode and already forgetting all about you. I rather liked the pilot despite there being way too much focus on the teenagers (I mean this is airing on Fox not the CW).  It starts in 2149 where the Earth is so inhospitable (think a blend of Blade Runner and Total Recall where apartments are furnished by Muji) that the powers that be have found a way to send people back to the prehistoric period – but hey won’t that screw up the timeline? No, they’ve thought of that and it’s a Jurassic parallel universe. Aren’t they clever!

The focus is on the Shannon family, and their adventures through the wormhole slash Stargate slash whatever. The wife is meant to be some shit-hot doctor which is why the family was recruited for the colony but herein lies one of my main issues. The wife (Dr. Elizabeth Shannon played by British actress Shelley Conn) looks like she is in her early 30s so how the frak is she the mother to two annoying teenagers (circa 16 years old and 14 years old) and managed to finish medical school and whatever residency programs where need to make her such a shit-hot property? (This is why I like The Good Wife; Julianna Margulies’ character Alicia looks and plays old enough to have two teenage children plus she had a career break to raise them.)

So it feels like the teenagers (and their subsequent dippy plot lines) have been shoe-horned in to make the show appeal to a younger demographic (yet they didn’t want to cast age appropriate parents), but there is hope that they will all get eaten by dinosaurs. The patriarch of the family is Jim Shannon (Jason O’Mara) an ex-cop who was sent to prison because he and Elizabeth decided to have an illegal third child (this one a believable 5 year old). So before the family is even sent back in time Jim has to break out of prison, rescue the third child (who was being left behind because of the evil government forces) and then crash the transport. This part of the pilot was all very entertaining. Sadly, once they start their new life in oh so perfect Terra Nova it starts to get predictable (or maybe I am just bitter about them getting a high-tech house and a beige Muji wardrobe).

All the residents are happily working together under the military dictatorship of Commander Taylor. It’s like an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where the away team beam down to discover colonist who are happy working in the fields in their stylish Muji clothing, and there is a bustling market.  It’s all too perfect apart from the dinosaur attacks, the group of colonist that have broken off to live separately and the mysterious messages at the waterfall.

As much as I like Shelley Conn and Jason O’Mara (and it’s nice to have a mixed race couple on TV) I don’t really care what happens to them or their brood. Too much focus on moody teenagers and the mythology of the show hasn’t been established quick enough. The second and third episodes were typical dinosaur of the week episodes, and it would have been better if they had been darker and introduced us into the world of the break away colonists and any conspiracy theories about the true mission of the colony.

So there you go. No season pass for Terra Nova.