Posted by Tom French |

Finding Myself

It's too late to be awake. But I am. I got distracted this evening. Actually, come to think of it Karate Kid 4 is still on pause 16 minutes in from four hours ago. Hopefully it will improve in quality on pause, like when you reheat leftovers that have been marinating in the fridge for a day or two.

Anyway, I was stroking my ego just then and I was reading through my blog. I found a post where I said:

Australians should stop over moralising films. Speeches at the end of any feel good film are silly

Which I though was funny considering the speech I put at the end of Love Is.

Speaking of Love Is we're doing it again on Saturday, but I'm feeling rather disconnected and invulnerable. Probably because most people aren't going to know I wrote it, and I don't have to preach afterwards. People can hate it and I won't have to face them.

I'm a little sad there is no preach at the end. I feel like the preach was a part of the show. Like there were three distinct movements in the show, the Grandfather's Story, Josh's Story and God's/Our Story. So it's a little like having one part of a trilogy removed. Plus it was a show designed to carry the challenge at the end. Oh well, at least if the show works without the preach (which I think it will) it will prove that it isn't just cheap Christian propaganda (although it was probably that too) and it can stand on it's own. Plus I'm sure we'll do it again somewhere.

9/29/2005 06:51:00 pm

Weapons of Choice

Posted by Tom French |

I finished reading my book, Weapons of Choice, yesterday. It was a fun book.

I had wanted to read it for ages after I read an article in the Herald a while ago that was written by John Birmingham (the author) about how he came to write the book. He said he was sitting in an airport wondering how hard it would be to write a trashy airport novel, so he made up an rough synopsis on a napkin. He showed it to his friend who decided it was good idea and submitted the idea to a publisher without him knowing. The publisher asked him to write the book, so he did. I think that's how the story went.

The book is about a Naval Carrier fleet from the year 2021 who get accidentally transported back in time to 1941 right in the middle of the US Navy group sailing for the Battle of Midway.

There's lots of shooting and the future ships are cool. All the future stuff is cool, because it's not over the top futuristic like 2001, everything seems to be a rather logical evolution of technology we have now. The weapons are especially fun. I love war books. And this book is even more exciting because I've often found myself thinking "If I went back in time with today's weapons I'd be able to kick butt." Which is a rather obvious conclusion, but it's always been an intriguing idea. So I was pleased when this book came out.

The good thing about the book is that it speculates on where the war on terror will take us over the next 15 years. Plus it looks at the differences in society in the 1940s and the near future. How would a white, all male, military react to a multi-racial, multi-gender force arriving in it's midst and having to work with it? It doesn't idealise either group really.

But beyond all the anthropological exploration, it's basically just a war book. And that's fun.

Posted by Tom French |

Black Stump tomorrow!

Posted by Tom French |

I have been putting off returning my library books to College for ages because I don't like the drive and it's too far out of my way to catch the train unless I have more to do than put some books in a chute.

Anyway today I had the car with the cd player so I decided the trip to College was achievable. I drove to College, took my books in, but found that the Library was closed because of the holidays and I couldn't return my books. I drove home again.

Posted by Tom French |

Politics, Pub and Free Drinks

Today in Starbucks Ryan and I decided we might start a political party which is Christian, but mostly left wing. We tell everyone that we're against Abortion and Pornography and get all the votes of the religious right, but don't make a big deal that we also want to free the refugees, raise foreign aid, stop going to war against other countries illegally, save the environment, tax the rich, make education free, and lots of other lefty schemes.

I thought we could call out party "The Honest Party" or "The Biblical Party". Or "The Fishers of Men Party" so we get all the votes of those people who read it wrong and think we're "The Fishermen's Party".

Ryan also said that if we were going to become politicians in ten years we'll have to delete our blogs now. Sad that. You know then, if my blog disappears to vote for me in ten years.

After Starbucks we went to the Hornsby Inn where Ryan bought a beer and me a Coke. Or at least he tried except the woman decided that since I was drinking Coke I must be the designated driver and gave him the drink for free. It didn't matter that we both arrived in separate cars and only had one drink, the Coke was still free. That was fun. I should be a designated driver more often.

Posted by Tom French |

Jamie

I found Jamie Cullum's new cd, Catching Tales, in the shops today. How happy was I to find it? Quite. He's doing good for me at the moment. It has that new cd, "I don't know you but this could be the start of a beautiful friendship" feeling to it at the moment.

You worship the sun but
now can you fall for the rain?

- Jamie Cullum

Posted by Tom French |

Don't Cha

Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?
- The Pussycat Dolls

Posted by Tom French |

Snakey Fish

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Matt 7:9-11
It would be good if Jesus told us what happens when we ask for ice cream because I like ice cream.

Posted by Tom French |

X&Y

I bought X&Y on Saturday. I had been holding out because everyone kept saying that Coldplay were almost better than U2, and Coldplay were going to be the biggest band in the world. So I decided I couldn't support such blasphemy. But I can't escape the album and the songs were getting stuck in my head, so I bought it.

It's a good album. Not U2 of course, but they're certainly solid. I do find Chris Martin's voice a little "same-same" sometimes, but you get over that. It's quite catchy, and I'm glad they aren't so reliant on the piano now, it gives the songs a bit more variety.

"Fix You" is a top quality song. So melancholy but full of hope. That's what I like.

Posted by Tom French |

It's been raining today. I haven't had a car. I haven't known where to go. So I'm listening to U2.

I watched Battle of Britain this afternoon which was fun. Lots of planes flying around and pilots saying "Tally-Ho!"

I should return my overdue dvd.

Posted by Tom French |

Hour Eleven

It's amazing. I can be working on a sermon for ages, but only ever finish writing it late the night before it is meant to be preached. Same with essays. And video projects.

I have been working on the sermon for tomorrow properlyfor the past two weeks (as opposed to thinking about itfor months) but I only managed to finish writing it just then. What is it with me and the last minute?

Posted by Tom French |

Well done Swans.

I just watched my first full game of AFL. It was fun.

Leauge is still better though.

Posted by Tom French |

Tonight I took 13 11-13 year-old boys Ice Skating. It was way fun. Except people kept falling over and hitting their heads.

I also taught scripture at our church's pre-school. I told the story of Jesus walking on water to a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds. They were very cute. I took a little Bugs Bunny figurine and a bowl of water in to show that Bugs Bunny can't walk on water and after the lesson they all crowded around wanted to play with Bugs Bunny. I felt so special.

Posted by Tom French |

Dukes

I went and saw The Dukes of Hazzard tonight with Sam, Martin, Anmol and Julian. I didn't know who Jessica Simpson was before I saw the film. Now I know and I think she's rather scary looking. Which is a bad thing because she's all over the film.

I liked the car driving, but other than that, it wasn't great.

Posted by Tom French |

Making My Sister Proud

This morning I met Matt for a catch up and I had breakfast. I had a fruit-salad with yoghurt, honey and museli and a chai latte. Jo would be pleased with me. I think it's the extra facial hair, it makes me more organic.

Posted by Tom French |

Cute

While I was driving home tonight at around 11:45pm I got stopped at the lights near the TAFE. I had to stop because there was a man crossing the road with his dog and the dog had a little coat on and a flashing red bike light on his back so he didn't get driven over. It was very cute.

Below is an artist's impression of what the dog kinda looked like:

Dog in Coat with Light.jpg

Posted by Tom French |

Day and Night

Today I had to teach a year 3 scripture class because my year 6 class are in Canberra. I went to the office and asked where my class room was and wandered down. I found a year 3 classroom about where I thought it should be and went in. The teacher said "Are you the Scripture Teacher today?"

"I guess so" I said. And sat down and began teaching the class. Unfortunately, the door opened about 5 minutes in and there was the real scripture teacher. I'd found the wrong year 3 class. But the real teacher, being a nice lady, decided to go and teach the class I was meant to be teaching. So everything was fine in the end.

Tonight I went out with the young adults of my church. First I drove the youth leaders into Darling Harbour in my van and we went to Starbucks for our Leader's Meeting. That was nice. Leader's meetings in Starbucks feels much more festive.

Once we had done our official business we trudged down to King St Wharf to go to Wagamama (it's a Japanese restaurant with a name that I thought was racist) with the other young adults. And we sat around and ate and talked and laughed. We ended the night at the James Squire Brewhouse. Of course this whole thing isn't really all that remarkable, but I thought I blog it anyway, for memories sake.

Posted by Tom French |

Vould You Like a Free 'Oliday

A while ago in a sermon I told the story about how I got called up that week by a company who was offering me a free holiday and faboulous prizes. Except I wasn't earning enough money to qualify. And I thought it was pretty funny.

Well since then I've been offered a free holiday and faboulous prizes at least three times and I'm still not eligable. I have to earn at least $45,000 a year and I don't. Today the phone woman asked me if I knew about her company, I said "Yes", and she said "Oh good" and proceeded to give me the same speil I've heard everytime I've made the mistake of not knowing about their company.

Oh well, at least they keep putting me in the draw to win thousands of dollars.

Posted by Tom French |

"Faith is the bird that knows the dawn and sings while it is still dark." - Unknown

Posted by Tom French |

Third Time Unlucky

So it's Podcast time again. One day early because Howie has to go to Tasmainia tomorrow to play with the Tasmainians.

Get the Podcast Here

Our usual disclaimer applies. We know it's not that good. The best way to solve boredom problems is to press stop, or fast forward. I figure the more appologetic we are for our late night silliness, the less people will think the podcast is dodgy. I'm not sure that works though.

Anyway enjoy. And if you have iTunes or iPodder or something you can suscribe to the feed at http://feeds.feedburner.com/howieshalfpipe

Yoi Hoi!

Posted by Tom French |

I Climbed a Tree Today

I haven't climbed a tree in years. But today Tim decided he wanted to climb a tree, so I joined him. It was good fun. Tim got higher up than me. I should climb more trees.

Tim in Tree.jpg

We played touch footy at youth group and someone scratched me on the arm. That's twice in a row at a games time that someone has drawn blood from me. How cool. But the game was exciting. We won 1-1. Of course some people would call that a tie, but in Christian sports, everyone's a winner.

Church was good too. It was great to see lots of people dancing at the end. I wanted to take a photo but I couldn't work out if that was good thing to be doing. It did look cool though, and it was great to see people so excited about God.

I got a hole in the pocket of my jeans today too. Chances are I'll now loose my keys.

Posted by Tom French |

I went bowling tonight. I won. I got 132 points. I'm so the best. I'm going to put that on my resume:

Achievements: Once got 132 points in ten-pin bowling

Posted by Tom French |

Early on Saturday morning is not a real nice time to get up. We got up early today to go to Martin's breakfast in the city. It was a difficult thing to do. But I like Martin. I think he's worth getting up for, so I'm pleased I did it.

Posted by Tom French |

Mouthing Off

Helen told me yesterday that she had noticed that I have been getting ruder. She said that I'm less likely to censor the things that I say. Which is interesting because I'd been thinking about that myself. Ever since I read James 3 a few months ago, I've been aware that I need to get better at not saying every stupid thing that comes to my brain. The fact that Helen noticed that I've been getting worse, months after I started thinking about it, doesn't seem like a good sign.

At least now I have more motivation to get better. I'm going to try and say less. I hear it's your frontal lobe that works as your censor. I'm going to try and rebuild that "7 millisecond broadcast delay" in my brain.

And maybe I won't be as rude in the future.

Except when it's really funny.

Posted by Tom French |

Happy.

What a nice looking word.

Posted by Tom French |

Podcast

This week's podcast is here and it's stupider than last week.

It's mainly stupid toilet humour and nudity jokes. Mothers wouldn't approve. And I say "turd", "friggin" and "balls", oops. They just slipped out.

Remember where to send complaints.

Here she is.

Posted by Tom French |

Lost Weight

I dropped my food yesterday.

I had just been at the lovely local take-away buying lunch. As I was walking out I noticed that, around the corner, there was a guy looking mournfully at some food on the ground that he must have dropped. His friend was standing near by laughing at him. As I walked around the corner, out of my plastic bag of lunch flew my little bag of two potato scallops. They hit the ground and slid across the tiles. I stared mournfully at them.

The guy who was laughing at his friend saw my scallops and started laughing at me too. I tried to put on a cheerful face, but scallops are so nice. It was probably pretty funny though.

Posted by Tom French |

Narcissistic Baby

I realised the other day that the photos I stick on my blog most often are of me. This led me to think that people may think that I love myself (which I do, but I pretend to a bit more self-effacing). Almost all the photos of me on my blog are of me being an idiot though. So people probably just think I'm a bit of a nut-case (which I may be).

For everyone's information I airbrushed out a pimple in the middle of my forehead on the below picture, just to see if I could. If you want to see the pimple, it's on the photo of me and my fat head lower down.

Make Poverty History Dude!

MPH Hair.jpg

Posted by Tom French |

Poor Day

So today I did a little more to be making poverty history.

I went to the rally in Darling Harbour where some people gathered to wear white, look at displays and talk about Millennium Development Goals. I was with Rob and some guys from the youth group. It was fun. I really like the positive vibe this whole campaign has. It's not one of hate and anger. It's about positive challenge to our governments to do something.

I'd like to have photos, but my job today was to be taking photos for other people. I called myself the official Tear Australia photographer, because it sounds impressive if you're the photographer for an international aid organisation. But I think I may have just been Ben's photographer seeing as he handed me his camera and told me to take some photos, but not to fill it up because he wanted some space left for his kid's second birthday party this afternoon.

Yesterday at the station one of David's friends from Save the Children came up to me and I wasn't in mood to talk to them (I'm never in the mood). He said "Hi how are you?"

To which I replied "Fine."

He said "Can you spare a minute?"

"Nope" I said and kept walking.

It was only after that I realised I was wearing my "Make Poverty History" t-shirt. I thought perhaps that may have looked a little dodgy.

My other thought while being in the City making poverty history is, what do you do with Sydney's beggars? They see all of us marching around talking about poverty, but we didn't seem to do anything for them.

A drunk guy came up to me today while in Darling Harbour (I was wearing the t-shirt again). He said "Have you got forty cents?"

I said "Probably" and pulled out my wallet.

He said "I need some money to buy a beer"

I laughed and said "You want to buy a beer?" He told me he did. I admired his honesty. He then had a conversation with me about poverty and he got angry at me for not listening. But in the end he decided he liked me again. I never gave him the 40 cents.

On the station I did give a guy a dollar, which began a short conversation between Rob and I about the ethics of giving to people who seem quite likely not to spend your money on what they tell you it's for (usually a ticket to Newcastle or food for the pregnant girlfriend, I've found). I haven't quite figured it out yet but I think it's better to give and not judge because if I needed money I hope that people would give it to me. And Jesus' words often come to me, I just haven't figured out how to best apply them in this context.

Posted by Tom French |

Letterman

It's been such a long time to be awake. I got up at 5am this morning. I was in Martin Place at 7am. I was there to hold up a letter or two with some other social justice hippy types in-front of the Sunrise set on Channel 7. The letters spelt "Make Poverty History". I was the O in "History".

When we first arrived I had to put on a "Make Poverty History" shirt. The woman in charge gave me one which looked a little small. I looked at it and it seemed like a girl's shirt, but I didn't want to say anything in case I was a being rude, or fashion ignorant. I put the shirt on and asked if it looked funny, Rach and some other women I hadn't met before said it looked fine. It felt funny though. I tried a different shirt which still felt just as funny and just as feminine.

Then another MPH guy rode up and looked at me. I asked him if I looked funny. He said I looked fine except that I was wearing a girl's shirt. My suspicions were confirmed. Oh dear. I quickly asked if there were any guy's shirts, feeling rather stupid.

Now it may not seem like a big deal putting on a girl's t-shirt. But I am a little conscious that when I meet a bunch of new people I don't want their first impression to be of me putting on women's clothing. I got a man's shirt in the end and felt much better.

When 18 of us all had our letters we had to run around Martin Place, do dances, wave the letters about, do aerobics routines. It was all very taxing on my comfort zones. I will never be a dancer. I couldn't even kick my legs right.

We got to see Evermore play some music (because they happened to be playing there this morning) and the Sunrise people filmed the letters and the weather man gave us a plug.

We did a few photo shoots after that.

I caught the train home with a girl who thought I was 18. That was a nice change from people thinking I'm at least 2 years older than I am.

The rest of the day was work, small group and a movie and pizza night with Mil, Martin and Anmol. Now I'm feeling rather stuffed.

Posted by Tom French |

King

I just listened to an original recording of Martin Luther King, Jr's I have a Dream speech.

Ooo, goose bumps.

When we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
"Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
- Martin Luther King, Jr

Posted by Tom French |

Spring

Today was the first day I felt Spring. The sun was out, that spring smell was in the air. It's the smell that makes me say "Mmm. It's Black Stump weather". And it's the smell of endless possibilities. I got nervous today because I smelt Spring. Spring makes me feel like anything could happen. It's not a conscious knowledge of what, but this subconscious feeling that something is in the air, something good. Life will be good.

Of course, this is just a feeling and Spring is usually about as new as Winter and as happy as Summer. But neither of them smell like newness, neither of them smell like happy, nervous anticipation. So in Spring I revel in my subconscious, just in-case it lives up to its odour.

Posted by Tom French |

What Howard would do if he were God

"I say to my fellow Australians, if there were a way that I could bring down the price of petrol, I would move heaven and earth to do so."
John Howard - 8th September 2005

Good thing he's got his priorities right.

From here

Posted by Tom French |

Bono knows Best

You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment and now you can't get out of it
Don't say that later will be better now you're stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it - U2

Posted by Tom French |

Tography

I have heard that our podcast wasn't all that interesting. Probably wasn't considering we made it at 11:30pm, with no preperation, but I haven't heard an interesting podcast yet, so I wouldn't say we failed. It's like a blog but a lot more self-indulgent.

If it were easy we'd have our own TV show and we'd watch ourselves regularly.

Anyway, I've heard I'm rather sexy.

Hat.jpg

As is Howie

Choco-teeth.jpg

Posted by Tom French |

Cast of the Pod

The long awaited Howie and Tom podcast is here!

It sounds a bit like community radio at its most communityness. But that's what podcasts are like I guess.

If we do another few we might make a proper rss feed or whatever it is you do and people can submit us to iTunes. We'll be famous!

I'm a little worried about it. Partly because it could be boring. Probably more because it might be offensive. So may I state now, I like old people, disabled people, young people, other people and all people.

If you're offended email me.

Enjoy!

Posted by Tom French |

Popey

Yesterday I decided that I would like to get ordained as an Anglican minister, move to Rome and become the Anglican Bishop of Rome. Then when people ask what I do for a living I could say "I'm the Bishop of Rome" and they'll think I'm the Pope, but I'm not really. I'm sure it'd be a great way to impress people at parties. I could even wear my big hat and robes around the place just to give me that extra papal feel.

Posted by Tom French |

Popcorn and Coke for Breakfast

Today I woke up, had a shower then went to the movies. I watched Unleashed. I thought it was a rather nice way to start the day, a bit of violence and popcorn. I don't normally buy stuff from the Candy Bar*, but seeing as I hadn't had breakfast yet, today I bought.

It felt a little bit obscene watching people get beaten up while shoving popcorn into my mouth. But what can you do? I couldn't stop the violence and the popcorn tasted good.

I liked the film though. While it was violent, I didn't feel like it encouraged violence. Violence was always portrayed as wrong, it was never a way to solve problems (except maybe when used in self-defense). Of course, the whole film was sold on it's violence, so perhaps the film was sending mixed messages, but Jet Li is damn good a bashing people up. If we didn't have violent films we wouldn't have Jet Li. Plus I enjoy violent films.

I finished watching The Karate Kid Part III tonight. I've been working on it for about 2 weeks and I finally finished. It wasn't really worth watching. Sad really because the first film was tops!

I also watch Lords of Dogtown with Ryan, that was cool.

And that, my friends, is another thrilling example of my extensive movie review talent.

*Why do we call it the Candy Bar? That's a stupid name. Who says Candy? No Australians I know.

Posted by Tom French |

My Fame Spreads

Last night I also found a site where someone had done critique of my blog for a Uni assignment or something. I was most impressed. I didn't really understand what she was talking about, but I feel rather academic now that I've been critiqued.

And I was told that I got quoted in a Wikinews article about A30. Much fun indeed.

I've had a look at some of the other people's thoughts on A30 and I seem to be the only one who had something nice to say about the Police. Oh well. I don't mind being different as long as no one letter bombs me or calls me rude names.

Posted by Tom French |

Katrina

I spent a few hours reading about Hurricane Katrina last night. It's rather strange. It's all like an apocolyptic movie. Like Escape from New York. The thing that has amazed me about the whole thing is not the storm, or flooding, but the armed gangs. It horrifies me that people can be so selfish. The people who are shooting at doctors, nurses, Police, rescue workers. Why?

Life and death struggles seem to bring out both the best and the worst in people. I have no idea how I would behave in a similar situation.

Again, as usual, I feel inundated with the pain in this world. I don't know how to react. I feel as useless as ever. While this world may seem like a wonderful place, there are often times when you feel the need to scratch a lot deeper to find its goodness.

Posted by Tom French |

Five Courses

Jem and I had a 5 course meal for $12 in Chinatown yesterday. That's how the woman who ran the shop described it to us.

Here are the 5 courses:
1. One Spring Roll
2. One Dim Sim
3. One Small Bowl of Chicken and Corn Soup
4. Rice
5. Chicken and Plum Sauce.

It turned out that we made it to 4th course pretty quickly. And 4 and 5 we ate together. It was a good meal for $12, but I'd argue with them the legitimacy of calling it five courses.

After Lunch we went and saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Brilliant! So good. Laughing I was. Johnny was so cool. Tim Burton is a genius. I would see it again. Oh yes. I think I'm in love with the film. So fun, so absurd, so Burton, so Dahl. Yeah!

Tim Burton can do no wrong.*

*Not counting Planet of the Apes.

Posted by Tom French |

Howie just called me from Greece. We talked about poo, diarrhea, border smuggling, wee, women, pregnancy and pornography. It's good we cover the important things in life.

Posted by Tom French |

A Little Low and a Little to the Left

Ty made a comment that he would like to see my political leanings. He referred me to Political Compass. So I went and did it. This is me:

Political Compass.gif

It turns out I'm in about the same place politically as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. I always knew I was an inspiring person.

Posted by Tom French |

Boing

Spring has sprung,
The grass is riss,
I wonder where the birdies is?

Why there's a bird,
upon the wing!
Why that's absurd, the wing is on the bird!

- Unknown

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