Sunday, April 30, 2006

Geekfest 2006

Freaking back to work tomorrow. Oh goodie.

Yeah, yeah – I realise that many of you will have very little sympathy for me. “Oh you teachers – all this time off … why don’t you go and issue parking tickets or something in your so-called holidays ?”

However, before YOU go bashing a teacher you know, saying they have too much time off, answer me this – why aren’t you a teacher ?

Yup – I know what you’re thinking. And THAT’S why we get that time off. It’s because we flipping NEED it ! After two weeks of winding down I’m only just feeling somewhat human again.

I was pretty good over the break though. I did a bit of marking just about everyday – and I mopped up the last of it today. So that’s good.

In other news – I went to the “Armageddon – Pop Culture Expo” yesterday. It was okay. I mostly went to listen to the guest speakers. Hix wanted to hear these two comic guys first thing – they wrote something called “Infinite Crisis” ( though one of the guys drew for “The Invisibles” which is pretty cool ). I was reminded ( as if I needed to be ) of the massive weight of geekiness at these things by the very first question of the day – some guy complaining bitterly about how Hal Jordan ( I think the original Green Lantern ) was now back from the dead in the comics, and why why WHY did comics feel the need to do this. I suffered quite an acute feeling of embarrassment while this question was asked. But the two guys were very patient – they carefully make sure they knew what the guy was actually upset about, and then explained that comics are very cyclic in nature – much like soap operas, and JUST like soap operas sometimes characters do come back from the dead ( and that if these types of stories bothered him, that it might be time to stop reading comics ). They were pretty interesting.

There was Claudia Christian ( Ivanova in “Babylon 5” ) who was as cool as she was the last time I saw her in Auckland. Then there was some guy who played some alien doctor in “Enterprise”. I never got into that show, but that guy was a scream !

The big draw of the day was Jewel Whats-her-face, the woman who plays the character of Kaylee in the sci-fi show “Firefly”. She was pretty cool, and had some good stories to tell about the show. The ‘flipping-the-bird” war she was having with the guy who played Mal. That was pretty damn funny – especially how she claims to have won the war after getting about three thousand fans at a convention to flip him off. Heh.

I caught a little bit of the guy who was the original Bo Duke from the Dukes of Hazzard ( I thought that the guy was from the new FILM of the Dukes … d’oh ! ). They also had the General Lee there ( I’m pretty sure it was one of the original ones … though how the hell would I know ? ).

I’m kinda glad that I don’t like much in the way of Manga or Animae. I think a few my more Asian animation orientated friends spent a WHOOOOOOLE lot of cash on DVDs and such. In comparison I didn’t spend much. I picked up a copy of ‘Senenity’ on DVD ( for the ludicrous price of $15 !! AND they threw in a Serenity mouse pad ! Freaking bonus ! ) and a couple of graphic novels that were going cheap.

So, a fun day. And I hardly wanted to kill anyone !


The 48 hour film competition draws ever closer. I’m really happy that our school production isn’t going to get in the way of my taking part ( which I had confirmed on Thursday – say gawd-BOMB! ). At the very least I’ll be a grip – though I’m hoping ( and attempting to back up with a campaign of kick-backs, black mail and out-and-out threats to the writers ) that there’ll be a fairly decent part for me to play as an actor. I’m hoping we get either the ‘crime’ or ‘action’ genre. A part for a scary looking bald guy ? Forget about it !

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Never again

Oh dear God ...

I pretty much spent the whole day playing video games with Hix and eating Burger Rings.

Now I feel sick. Blergh.

Mum was right !

I'm going to lie down somewhere and whimper pitifully until Viva gets me some kind of drug to make me feel better. Either that or a stomach pump.

Oh great - now Shadow has brought in a mouse and is meeping loudly - wanting priase for her mighty hunting skills. Oh - it's dead at least. That's something I guess. Right - well it's time for "The Cleaner" to get to work ...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tasty Lime ...

So - this is that 'weird' drawing I was talking about a couple of posts ago. Pretty weird, huh ? The competition gave you this window of space, and three 'squiggles' in it - which translate to the curve of the top of Mecha-Nessie's head, the right hand curve of the lime peel and the top curve of the spatula shield.

I'm pretty happy with it so far. I'm looking foward to the colouring process ! Once I get some funky colours going on in the digital version - I think I'm going to turn it into a t-shirt. I seriously lack some seriously weird t-shirts.

Thanks to the fabulous Jenni and Lee for letting me borrow their scanner to key this in !

Saturday, April 22, 2006

When Stick-Insects Attack - pt 2

The bastards ! They lurk in the trees ... supposedly eating, ummm , LEAVES I guess. But I know the truth - they're just biding their time, waiting for the moment where they can get you all alone ... and then they feast on your warm blood in an orgy of exoskeletor flesh rending terror ! Even when they're DEAD they still cause me grief !

Those who know me may remember my previous stories of stick-insects. One with a ceratin bucket. Yes - you'll remember the inhuman cunning of these beasts.

So - Viva and I are eating our lunch, well deserved after hauling a heap of the previous house owners junk to the dump ( finding out on the way that the nearest land-fill is now closed. Was there some kind of announcement made about that anywhere ? A colour supplement maybe ? Because I missed that message ! ). I have put on a DVD of "Black Books", and we are giggling away at the merry antics of Bernard and Manny.

In a chance glance accross at Viva's feet - I notice a very ODD looking twig resting on her feet. "Hey - those sub-twiggy growths look a bit like legs ..." I think to myself, turning my attention back to the comedy.

A bad thought is rising up from my centtral cortex. I look back at her feet. Yup - they certainly DO look a LOT like legs.

In fact - they ARE legs.

It's a particularly LARGE stick-insect.

I must admit - my first thoughts were, pretty much in this order :

1) Man - I'm glad that thing isn't on me !
2) I have to get out of here !
3) - 9) - See '3'
10) ... Must save Viva !

I spent one or two moments weighing up how best to break this too her. Viva is better with insects than I am ( I tend to be in charge of mice and bird extraction around here ) - but in the case of wetas and stick-insects, it's a close run thing.

I figure that the "OH MY FREAKING LORD ! WHAT IS THAT HORRIBLE THING ON YOUR SHOE??!!?!" approach, while honest, might be on the ... blunt side of things. I really don't want to instill panic. I decide on a slightly subtler approach.

"Now - I don't want to panic you or anything hon," I say - using the gentle tones of TV vets I've seen on the Animal Channel talking to barely contained wild dogs - "But there appears to be a rather large stick insect on your shoe..." - and with this I get up and try to hide in the dining room.

She doesn't move. This thing is perched and ready to savage the first one who gets close enough to it's whirling fangs of terror. Viva, in equally gentle tones ( though somehow managing to get accross an equally clear promise of a swift casual shoe to the groin if reactions arn't quick enough in coming ) says "Don't ... just ... STAND ... there. Get ... it ... OFF ... me !"

Hmmm. I marvel at her self control. Had it been me - I would have been probably chewing my way through the floor at about mach 3 to get away from the little bastard ! "Okay - okay ! I hurridely answer "Let me just ... get ... SOMETHING to get it off with!" - I run to the laundry, and return with a broom. I try and poke it off - but the thing WON'T move ! It seems to have hooked Viva's laces with it's little barbed feet of horrible DOOM ! I think Viva might have been urgently whispering "GETITOFFMEGETITOFFMEGETITOFFME..." - but I could have been imagining that.

Finally I manage to shove it off - and Viva is OFF that couch in a nanosecond ! Her agility and adrenalin soaked speed were really something to see. I doubt, in all my girly terror, that I could have mustered anything near that velocity. She's now in the dining room - urgently asking me "WHERE is IT ? WHERE ISSSSSS IT !?? Where did it go !!??".

This is an extraordinarily good question. I thought I had flicked it onto the floor under the coffee table. I look underneath it - my broom out in front of me like a spear. It's not there.

I start to warily step back towards Viv - I remember the demonic celerity these things can move at if fresh blood is there for the having. We are soon standing almost back to back - ready to take on this thing the moment it rears it's hideous little insectoid head.

Now - it bears mentioning at this point that part of Viv's lunch had included a bunch of grapes. She had JUST finished them off before I gave her the heads-up on the insect-show situation. When she had gotten up it seems she had flung the twiggy stem of the grape behind her - right into the dining room. Interestingly enough - in ended up RIGHT between us on the floor.

So - when we can't see a sign of it - calling out to each other things that many a horror movie victim have said in their final moments of screen life ( 'Where is it ? It can't have just disappeared !" - "There's no sign of it !" - "Quiet ! It'll hear us !" - "We're not going to make it out of this alive!!" - "I've got a BAD feeling about this ... ") - Viva, naturally checks the ground at her feet.

She sees twiggy-sticky thing.

She then screams pretty much right at my head.

Then its BEDLAM in the dining room / lounge for a good minute. Fun times !

The REAL stick insect was actually still on the couch. Seems I might have ... imagined ... it dropping off onto the floor. Turns out the thing was dead all along ( not that that made me feel better about it being there ... I certainly don't discount the idea of vampire stick-insects... not NOW anyway ). Where and HOW it got on to Viva's shoe is more of a mystery.

I figure that Viva taking into our house WITHOUT our invitation to enter knocked the hellish life-force from it. I was all for it being beheaded and then cramming it's head with holy wafers ... but Viv wasn't willing to do that. In the end I was just happy for her to get it in a plastic bag and stuff it in the bin in the garage.


I'm sure that garlic we have in the pantry is getting old. Might have to bin it ... y'know, just to be safe.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Boobs !

Okay - so, I'm down at the semi-local video rental establishment. I get a couple of discs to keep me entertained at home and I'm on my way out the door when I spy this month's "Game Console" magazine. "Game Console" is the video game news equivalent of your local weekly rag. It's free though - which is always a bonus. I grab a copy and, safely back home, sit down to glance over it while I eat my lunch.

Everything is quite happy, until I get to the last page advertisement.

It's for the new Tomb Raider game "Legend" ( though technically the game appears to be called "Lara Croft : Tomb Raider : Legend" for some obscure marketing reason ). I enjoyed the earlyish TR games. One was pretty good ( especially considering the time ), two was great, three was too freaking huge ( seriously - it took FOREVER to get round those levels - I just gave up in the end ), four was very cool - though I never got round to beating it, and I never played the last ones ( though I heard that "Angel of Darkness" was pretty pants ). So I've been looking forward to seeing how this one plays. However - right underneath the game logo on the advertisement was the following quote from the official Australian Playstation 2 magazine :

"Lara is as agile as the Prince of Persia and as swift as the God of War. And she's got boobs."

My brain literally shut down for a good minute or so.

WHAT ???? WHAT the HELL did you say ??? OMG - STFU !!!!

Viva doesn't seem to think it's all that bad - but I'm amazed that someone could have thought that a) It was a especially clever thing to say in the first place, and b) that it was worth repeating in a freaking ad for the game !

What it seems to be saying to me is "Hey - Lara Croft is now completely derivative of games like "Prince of Persia" and "God of War" - but you still want to buy it, you pimple infested, wank-crazed little adolescent, because she has hooters ! You LOVE hooters! "

I realise that I'm probably not in their target demographic or something like that ... but c'mon ! I think if it were really 'boobs' that were the driving force here, they are woefully underestimating their target audience. Nerdy 13-14 yr olds ? I'm pretty sure they are aware of a plethora of web-sites and news groups were they can see as many non-polygonal boobs as they want for significantly less that the $99.95 RRP that "Legend" is being sold for. I'm willing to bet that there are whole web sites dedicated to Lara Croft look-alikes wearing a whole lot less than her signature 'Daisy Duke' cut shorts and crop-top too.

For the love of god - what next ?

"Hey kids ! Tune into TV2 at six for another repeat of 'Friends" ! ... Rachael and Monica have BOOBS !"

"Here's a new music video from Haley Westenra ... she has BOOOOOOOOOOBS !"

"It's Christmas day - here's the Queen's address to the Commonwealth ... She has BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBS!!!!!"


Why not tell us that Lara Croft has a uterus instead ? Or XX chromosomes ? Or a large number of shoes ? That would get my attention a lot more !

And now I'm going to see what happens when I type in "Lara Croft + boobs" into Google...

Someone wants to know why Lara's boobs are bigger than her head. Hmmmm. An intriguing question. Oh ! Some wily quipster has said it's because she suffers from "Breastus Hugeous" !!!
How funny he is !

And now I'm going to try and resist the urge to jump off something high !

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Eye implosions, moochy cat, knee surgery and cheese

Yay !! The holidays ! Man – I’m gonna play video games till my eyeballs implode! Oh yeah !

Perhaps I should clarify that last statement. I have not played a single solitary game of anything for the past ten weeks. Yeah – it’s this thing I do .. I try and get myself focused on work, and also try and get myself doing some more creative things too, by removing one of my most hideous addictions from my life for a short while. I started doing it a few years ago when I was working at a Catholic school. One year in the lead up to Easter someone was talking about lent. One of my female colleagues was giving up chocolate for the time of lent ( how long is that again ? I know it’s not ten weeks .. or is it ? Hell – I don’t remember at all ! I wonder if that means the Catholic police will come and bust my door in or something. … Errr – nope, it seems not ). I scoffed. “That’s easy ! I could go MONTHS without even thinking of chocolate !”.

So, when my colleague stopped screaming and trying to remove my eyeballs with a teaspoon, I quickly realised that chocolate means so much more to those of the female persuasion than most guys. Hmmm.
Anyway, she hits me with “What would YOU find really difficult to live without for awhile?”

My first thought was to quip back “Oxygen” – but she had that dangerous set to her eyes, so I actually thought about it for a moment. TV ? Yeah – that would be probably be hard to manage. Movies ? Oooooooo – ouch. That would hurt. … Video games ! Oh god – the humanity !

So after I said that I was pretty much honour bound to follow though and give up video games for lent ( my previous scoffing leading me, yet again, to painful destinations of horrible pain ).

And yeah – it was pretty hard. But I did it.

The following year I thought “Hey – I wonder if I could last a whole TERM ?”. And so my first-term-video-game-abstinence was born.

Funnily enough – one of the few actual creative things I’ve been doing is the weirdest drawing I could muster for a video game store competition. The irony isn’t lost on me.

So – what have I been falling off the wagon with ? I was kicking back and enjoying some “Psychonauts” on the ole PS2 today – and I have “God of War” cued up for some carnage later on tonight. There’s some pretty obscenely nasty violence in that game … but – y’know – it’s set in the towering mythology of Greek legends and such, so that must take the curse of it a bit …

I missed video games.


My cat has decided that it would be fun to lounge across my wrists while I’m trying to type this up. She is also taking offence to me moving as well – biting me in the wrists whenever I disturb her too much.

Freaking moochy cat. It’s not that she’s being friendly or anything – it’s just that I’m warm and she’s leaching heat off me.

Now she’s stretching herself over the touch pad. Gah.


I was very stupid yesterday and consequently have a bit of a sunburnt head. Ouch. Luckily it’s not too bad though. What IS bad is that there is a white line of still pallid skin where my sunglasses were shielding me – so that looks petty stupid. Who freaking expects to get sunburnt in the middle of autumn though ? I mean really ! It’s just not fair !
Viva ( my lovely wife ) and I went for a drive to see my folks. We were going to try and keep my dad entertained. He’s recently had some knee surgery to try and fix some problems, which were making it fairly painful for him to be moving about the place. Not cool. So – I thought he’d be bored out of his skull with having to stay pretty static throughout the day. Jeez – how wrong could you be ? The nutcase is hobbling around outside, continuing to build this Italian styled BBQ and wood-fire pizza oven. What’s MORE – he starts getting me to haul around sacks of cement, and get tools from various sheds and such – which is pretty much how I got my head burnt ( well – that and the outdoor lunch we had … ) ! He just can’t keep still. Still – he did say that it wasn’t his knee that was aching so much, more his back. Apparently he had some wicked injection in his spine or something as part of the anaesthetic process. Eeeesh. Forget THAT stuff !

The wood fire oven is pretty damned amazing though. He’s sculpted it out of river stones and bricks. I think I’m going have to head up the coast a bit more often to try and use that sucker !

We were going to go up and spend the day there on Friday when he was supposed to be leaving the hospital – but his knee started bleeding on the Thursday, and the surgeon wanted to keep him in for observation. I managed to get in to visit him that night – in the end. Things were just not going my way that night. First of all – I forgot that he wasn’t at Wellington hospital ! Argh ! It took me ages to drive around and find a park – the hospital is undergoing some major construction, and ALL its car parks were closed. I had to park somewhere in the hills of Newtown. Then I was trying to find some kind of reception area where I could find out where dad actually WAS in the warren of corridors and rooms. I’m not sure that there is one. After about fifteen minutes of looking for a map, trying to decipher where an information area might be without success, I thought that maybe I should ask someone. I was directed to an orderly station – where some long suffering guy seemed to run some kind of room by room algorithmic search routine – before telling me that there was no one in the hospital by the name of Mr. Seraph. It was at THAT point I remembered my sister saying something about how he WASN’T going to be in the Southern Cross Hospital this time. I mentioned this to the orderly-guy. He told me that the best bet was Wakefield Hospital – and gave me directions.

On making my way out the hospital – I gave my mum a quick call to tell her I had got the wrong hospital – but I’d soon be at Wakefield. Oh – how she laughed. BUT – as she talked she described how to get to Wakefield – directions which seems to be in stark contrast with those given to me by said long-suffering orderly.
I was confused. But who are you going to trust ? Your MOTHER – or some guy who didn’t seem to be too thrilled to be helping you out ? I took what I thought to be the directions my mum had given me.

So I ended up in Kilbirnie – with NOTHING in the way of the assured signage that would tell me that Wakefield Hospital would be around. It was at this point that I decided to try out the LSO’s advice. Which proved to be a winner. My mum later tried to argue that she had told me some OTHER directions ( which has a strong chance of being true – it WAS the last day of term, and I was pretty wiped out … mishearing things is not too hard a stretch ).

So when I finally got there ( grapes and marshmallow Easter rabbits in bag ) – I couldn’t stay too long, as I had to go pick my Viva at seven. I got to hang around for a half hour or so though.


Funny thing happened at the rehearsals for the school production last week. One of the students was supposed to say “Pretty please…” in this request that was being made. Instead of that – she said “With Cheese…”, which I thought was nicely surreal.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Vague review and plans - "My Life With Master" ( RPG )

Okay - so this year I went to Kapcom for the first time. It's a role-playing thing. Y'know - games. Dungeons and Dragons. Generic-Goth-Themed-Darktimes. That kind of thing. It was okay... I guess. When it was good - it was great. I played in one particulary cool game called "Bad-Ass Space Marines" which was a hell of a lot of fun. I also played in the best LARP I have ever been involved with ( but considering the previous three I had played in made me want to slash my OWN wrists because I couldn't get my hands on someone else's THROAT - I'm not too sure if that is such a glowing endorsement ... ). There were some cool people there, and the whole shindig was being run by some very cool people indeed. People I'd LIKE to say are my good pals, but who I really don't know well enough yet to say that about.

On the flip side - when it was bad ... it was pretty bad.

I'm sure it must be from teaching - but outside work now I have a ludicrously low tolerence level for people I find really annoying. And there were a LOT of REEEEAAAAAALLLLY annoying people there. The 'info meetings' were quite difficult to remain in control at. There is just something about a large group of geeks ... there's sort of a "safety field" that they generate which makes them think that anything they shout out is really really wet-your-pants funny. Again - I'm sure it's the teacher in me, but when you have someone trying to make an announcement to a fairly large group of people ... and random yahoos are interrupting the deal with some poorly observed bon-mot time and time again ... I just want to do terrible, terrible things to them.

Not a jury in the land would convict me. Even taking into account the chainsaw and pair of tweezers.

Right, well - what was I going on about ? Oh yeah - so, in the regular RPG group I game with three of the six of the members have picked up awards for running games. That's some good GM stuff going on. So I was thinking - "Hey, maybe I could run something this year...".

I've been mulling over what I could possibly run at such an event. Initially I was thinking of a game based on the "Resident Evil" video games. "The Fall of Raccoon City". Everyone likes zombies !

But then I rmembered a wee system that my pal Hix had picked up from somewhere ( "The Forge" I think - an independent RPG website ). "My Life With Master".

MLwM is kinda cool. The central premis is that you are the hideously deformed / deranged / sub-human servants of a 19th century styled evil "master" type guy. He orders you around and generally gets you to carry out his EVIL plans. The thing is that while you might be a horrendous piece of twisted physical and emotional wreckage - you ARE still, underneath is all, a person. What's more - you've kinda had enough of "The Master" and are trying to be free of their dominion over you. Every game ends up with the Master getting killed when the villagers of the nearby town finally have enough of the horrors unleashed by the Master - and come a'calling with pitchforks, scythes and flaming torched in tow.

All good fun.

The PC characters are both "More than human" and "Less than human". They get one special thing they can do most of the time - with a small window of situations which negates their unearthly power ( eg - they can fly, but not when it's raining, or they can lie completely convincingly, except to small children ). They also get one major limiting factor, also with a small window where they can avoid that setback ( eg - the PC is mute, except when singing hymns, or they move with a terrible limp - except when they are swinging though the cathedral belfrey ). Each character also has thee stats - weariness, Self-loathing and love. The Master generates a fear rating while the town are governed by reason. The basic idea for the players is to forge relationships with 'normal' people though role-playing, which they recieve love for ( you don't start out with any love - The Master is not that type of guy ! Gal. Whatever ... ). At the end of the game - the levels of weariness, selfloathing and love you have determine what actually happens to your character. You might successfully release yourself from the darkness of your previous life, or you might die ... or you might rise from the ashes as a new Master in your own right. While you get the broad idea - the player gets to paint the actual story themselves. I really like that about the game - there is a lot of involvement of the players in the actual story.

I ran a game of MLwM once last year. It was a bit of a shambles, though the players seemed to have fun. I wasn't quite up with the play on the rules. There was a lot of "What the hell do I do now?" going on with Hix ( who had actually, y'know, read the rules and consequently had a much better grasp of the game than I did ... ). I HAD changed the general '19th cent. horror" genre of the game though. My version was a more "James Bond" thing - the Master was this mad "Evil Genius" guy called Atari - and all his minions were named after 80's video games. The team the PC's were running were some of his freakish underlings. I kinda forget some of the names now ... I do remember the big 'muscle-thug' guy - Donkey Kong, who had a thing for Atari's PA ( named Outrun ). And Jenni's character "Bubble-Bobble" - who was a telekentic who had a crush on a international pop group guy ( who was secretely in the international peace keeping force Plan-B - sworn to protect the world from Evil Geniuses and their demented henchmen ).

It was fun, though I DID feel a bit crap about being so ... well, crapI guess - with the rules.

I plan to run the game again, but this time I'll stick more to the 'suggested' setting. I'm throwing together more of a 'black-magic Heathcliff" Master - one who swears revenge on the local Lord of the Mannor when he refuses to let him court his daughter. I'm also coming up with a set of pretty gruesome henchmen - my personal favourite being the reanimated, post-autopsy body of the masters LAST bride-to-be who ... "displeased" him.

Hix also told me that he was thinking of running a game of MLwM himself. I'll be looking foward to that !

More on this after the playtesting.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

So ... Weary ...

Jeez ... I tell you, having a full day of six lesson teaching AFTER an pretty full-on evening of parent-teacher interviews is not fun.

I freaking HATE parent-teacher interviews. I didn't like them too much as a student, and I actively dislike them as a teacher. For the most part because it is a colossal waste of time. A good half to three-quarters of the parents I saw last night I really didn't to see at all. Their kids are doing FINE in the subject - there have been no problems - everyone's happy. Seriously - they ONLY want to come along and see WHO you are. Which pretty much means that you're still 'on' as a teacher. Gah. To them I say - check out the photos in the yearbook ! They also last longer ! Man !

Having said that - it is a good thing to be able to put the boot into a student who is being a jerk. HOWEVER - you hardly EVER see the parents of said jerk-burger children because said parents KNOW their kid is spawned from the vilest demon from the deepest depths of the Abyss ... and don't really want to have you telling them that. I can't blame them really.

I've been doing these parent-teacher things for a few years now - and they still have me on edge. Mainly because I'm always waiting to get the real 100%, infused with insanium, fresh from their tour of Rubber-Room Land, NUTCASE parent. The one who will start screaming at me for making fun of Scientology or something, or start channeling the spirit of Gengis Khan - proceeding to beat me with a plank ripped from the gymnasium floor. I haven't had one of those yet ( a couple have been close though ! ) - but you're always thinking before the evening starts "... Maybe this is the year."

I did get a pretty angry mother last night. She managed to keep herself civil, though by the look in her eyes she would have liked to slide a rusty bayonet into my gall bladder. Sheesh ! There was some pretty undiluted malice there ! 'Why the malice?', I hear you ask. Oh - you know - the usual deal. 'You're picking on my boy ... blah blah ... he never lies ... yadda yadda" BIG DEAL !
I loved the "he never lies" thing. She is going to be in for a shock in the not too distant future. Kids lie through their teeth ALL times they can get away with it. In fact - I'd almost extend that to people in general, though adults tend to tell the truth more because they know when it's in their advantage to do so. Kids just always assume the truth will get them into trouble. Which provides me with NO END of joy - I freaking HATE being lied to by children. I hate it !
Reminds me of a situation that happened at my last school. I was teaching an Y9 English class how to write an essay, and part of the work was to, in the end, actually WRITE an essay.
One kid sticks up his hand - "Mr. S ... what if you were to ... COPY an essay from the internet ... you wouldn't be able to tell would you?"
"Oh contraire, my diminutive friend" I answer "You are a Y9 student - and as such, have virtually NO command of language ... AT ALL ! Bear in mind I have been reading your writing all year ! I know what you are generally capable of doing in terms of writing ! I have administered PAT tests which tell me your skill level in writing. If I were to get an essay which is much more advanced than your current level would indicate - I shall know right away that this is not your own work and that you are a dirty cheating scumbag !"
"...oh." He says.

So he turns in an essay copied from the net anyway. Duuuhhhhh.

I had a fun time with him afterwards.
S - "All your OWN work, eh?"
K - "Yes Mr.S"
S - "Are you SURE...?"
K - "Yes Mr. S"
S - "REEEEEEAAAALLLLY ? You don't want to ... y'know ... CONFESS anything to me at all ? Like ... oh, I don't know ... CHEATING for example?"
K - "No Mr. S"
S - "Okay ... so you'll have no problem explaining the meaning of this word you used here ?"
K - stares at paper for a good 30 seconds - "...I can't remember Mr. S"
S - "Why - that IS odd. I don't know HOW you could use a word like this without knowing WHAT it meant. You SURE you don't want to tell me anything now ?"
K - "...No Mr. S"
S - "Well how about this word here ? Or this one ? Or even this one HERE. You must know the meaning of 'juxtaposition" if you're using it with such flair !"
K - pausing even longer - "... I have a headache at the moment. I can't think properly."
S - "Oh DEAR. We'll get you to the sick bay RIGHT AWAY. But before that - could you tell me what this bit in your essay means - the bit where it says 'Refer to pages 25 - 30" ?"
K - almost under breath - "Oops - forgot to cut that out ..."

Y'see ? The barefaced CHEEK of some of them ! And the worst thing was that his parents couldn't see anything wrong with what he'd done !

Idiots !

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

And we're rolling in three ... two ... one ... ACTION !

A completely dark stage. The sound of footsteps.

A spotlight illuminates a 1930's mircophone stand and a rather pale man. He has a shaven head and a rather jaunty goatee. The black wall behind him has the words "Like you care !" written in bold white letters.

He taps the mircophone experimentally.

"... Is this thing on ? Oh. Well. I guess I can get started then.

Right. The whole blog thing then ! Oh yeah ! Can I get a "hell yeah !" from the audience??"

Silence from the audience. TOTAL silence. The man shields his eyes and peers as best he can out of the light. Slight noise of feedback from the microphone.

Man clears throat.

"Woah... Tough crowd. Well - I'm here now anyway. It took me a bit. I was always playing with the idea of starting one ... but I kept thinking - Oh STOP kidding yourself ! Like anyone was actually going to READ a blog that I penned ... umm ... typed. Whatever. I had a name though ! That's gotta count for something."

Man gestures to the wall behind him.

"Yeah - I thought 'Like you care' was a pretty funny name. But then I thought that it sounded ... y'know ... kinda negative. I wanted to have something more ALIVE ! More affirmative ! So ... DEATH FROM ABOVE !"

He stops to consider this for a moment.

"Not that I actually want to kill you or anything. S0 - in following the bold move of my friend who started one of these things not long ago ... I, Seraph, so solemnly swear to NEVER taint these hallowed walls with mundanely trivial garbage, may I be sealed in an industrial drum of piston lubricant if I do."

Seraph looks hesitantly pleased with himself

"I'd love to stay and chat some more - but I really do have to be going now. I'll ... ummm ... talk to you again soon I guess. Bye !"

Seraph waves energetically. The spotlight cuts off, leaving the room in darkness once again.

Voice - "How the hell do I get out of here now?"

SFX - One footstep

SFX - Another footstep

SFX - Almightly crash of what sounds like a human body falling onto a number of musical instruments - the kind that might be in a stage orchestra pit. One is possibly a harp.

Voice - "Owww... "