31 October 2011


McFly Monday: Happy All Hallows' Eve!

Who can name all the movies referenced in this video?

Is it wrong that I wish the latest smackdown were over so that I could do McFly Mondays every week?

In other news, I can almost promise that regular blogging (*cough*LocusFocus*cough*) will resume this week.

Now excuse me while I go and listen to more McFly read a scary book . . .

24 October 2011


ANTM Themed Shoot Smackdown, Round 2
(Revisit Round 1 and the Intermission)

Thanks so much for your patience! Here are the survivors of the "Smize" Sixteen . . .

Snakes vs. Fierce Eyes --> Fierce Eyes

Celebrity vs. Hapa --> Hapa

No Makeup vs. Mannequin --> No Makeup

Seven Deadly Sins vs. Controversial Issues --> Seven Deadly Sins

Museum Art vs. Classical Statues --> Classical Statues

Circus Freaks vs. Fuerza Bruta --> Fuerza Bruta

Flowers vs. Birds --> Birds

Fakes vs. Psychos --> Psychos

And now this is the part where I take over and decide which photo shoots are most
representative of what America's Next Top Model stands for. But if you scroll down, you'll see another mini face-off that welcomes your vote!

(The best part about this smackdown is that we will never run out of images! Tired of the photos from Round 1? We have new ones in the same categories for Round 2!)

Round 2
The "Know Your Angles" Eight

12 October 2011


Poems and Progress

W ampersand & Q
Audio Tour Number 1 number 6

I guess I've tried everyone's patience enough. (Forgive me, Dylan?)

It has been absurdly difficult to write my October poem. The prompts I was given made me think of salad, and I'm not very inspired by salad. I don't think I'd be done right now if it hadn't been for Bat an unwitting Good Samaritan, whose response to my prompts was a quote which began, "Fuit homo missus a Deo cui nomen erat . . ."

If both your Latin and your Scripture are decent these days, then you already know the nomen. But you can also pretend you don't and try to guess it from the poem . . .

10 October 2011


ANTM Themed Shoot Smackdown, Intermission
(We're still taking votes for Round 1!)

It's probably not the best idea in the world to call an intermission before we're even halfway through a smackdown, but this blog has to do what this blog has to do.

Let's look at some group shots now . . .

Gondola (Cycle 15) vs. Mud (Cycle 16)

Group shots are tough. A model who really gets the concept might find herself with partners who struggle with it, and so no matter how strong she is individually, she will not produce a strong photo. But when everyone is standing out, there is also the danger of getting lost in the background. It's a little like a competition--a microcosm of ANTM itself (and perhaps the modeling industry in general). Here we have two very different group pictures: one in which the models are elaborately costumed as Venetian courtesans and another in which they are wearing mostly mud.

Which one gets your vote?

Image Sources: a) Cycle 15, b) Cycle 16

09 October 2011


Tutor Tales, Volume 34

Of all the tutees I have ever had, Scrap Metal has been the hardest nut to crack. His nanny hinted as much when she said she had been taking care of him for a year before he said anything halfway nice to her.

It happened earlier this year, when she had finished preparing his dinner and was about to leave him alone in the dining room (as per his preference that he eat alone or only with family members). No one was more surprised than she when he suddenly called her again to say:

"Stay here with me while I eat."

A command rather than a request, yes, but given the little boy in our story, it was a real breakthrough . . . and very sweet.

I was thinking of this last week, when I arrived for a tutorial while Scrap Metal was in the middle of a bowl of cereal. He pushed the cereal away and went immediately to work. I could tell he was still hungry, so I kept telling him we could take a break for five minutes so he could eat, but he kept shaking his head. Finally, it hit me . . .

05 October 2011


Word and Question . . . Back and Backdated

letter W ampersand & Q
number 1 number 6

You'd think I'd be able to do these things on time, right?

At least you would, if you were an optimist like me. =P Indeed, such an optimist am I that despite the fact that I still owe two poems from last month, I'm going to jump into this month with the rest of you . . .

Here is the deadline for prompts, adjusted accordingly: 10 October.

Here are the rules for everyone who doesn't know what this post is about: Do you like "Playing Poetry"?

03 October 2011


ANTM Themed Shoot Smackdown!

This blog has been around for two years, but this is only our fifth tournament bracket. That's partly because the things I know well enough to feature in a series don't always come in groups of sixteen or more; and the things that do, make me feel ready to do the smackdown only after we've finally declared a winner. =P

So when it hit to me that Tyra Banks had already produced sixteen seasons cycles of America's Next Top Model, I got really, really excited.

My original plan was to do an ANTM Winner Smackdown . . . but as I lined up all the winners (with some runners up, for the mini face-offs and possible wild card slots), I realised that their professional work wasn't half as entertaining as some of the things they had done on the show. And it's really the show I want to celebrate here. So I've adjusted the smackdown accordingly, with a new theme that will serve us well come Halloween!

One last thing: if some of the pictures look awkward, that is because I cropped them. =/ Yes, that's right: I mutilated art in the name of formatting. At least cutting up a digital image is not as permanent as taking a knife to a canvas (which is not to say that some canvases don't deserve it); and you can always see the originals if you click on the image sources given below.

ANTM Themed Shoot Smackdown
Round 1
The "Smize" Sixteen

Snakes (Cycle 1) vs. Fierce Eyes (Cycle 11)

Tyra Banks likes to say that her signature pose is the "smize"--a word she has coined that means "to smile with one's eyes." It involves tightening the muscles around your eyes to intensify their expression. I can't be the only fan of the show who has spent at least an hour in front of the mirror working on her own smize. Now the question is which of these two shoots sells the smize best: one in which the model gives new meaning to the term "snake eyes" or one in which all you can see of her face are her eyes.