Tuesday, June 29

My Life According to... the Books on my Bookshelf

You may remember a few months back I did, My Life According to Rise Against where I answered questions using only names of songs by my favourite band. Well today I decided to do the same thing, but rather than a band I'm using books from my bookshelf.

Using only titles from books on your bookshelf, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 10 people you like and include me. Try not to repeat a title. It's a lot harder than you think!

Are you a male or female: The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory

Describe yourself: the Historian - Elizabeth Kostova

How do you feel: Fear Drive my Feet - Peter Ryan

Where do you currently live: [Actual name of my town] (yeah, I have a book that is the history of my town, but I'm not relaying it here)

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: the Heaven Shop - Debora Ellis

Your favourite form of transportation: The Time Machine - H.G. Wells

Your best friend is: A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett

You and your best friends are: Mostly Harmless - Douglas Adams

What's the weather like: Cloudstreet - Tim Winton

Favourite time of day: Twilight (yuck, I know, but I do love that time of day) - She Who Must Not Be Named

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: Lady Dance - Jackie French

What is life to you: War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

Your relationship: Catch-22 - Joseph Heller

Your fear: Dracula - Bram Stoker

What is the best advice you have to give: Atonement - Ian McEwan

Thought for the Day: There's a Hippopotamus in the Playground Eating Cake - Hazel Edwards

How would you like to die: Entertaining Satan - John Demos

My soul's present condition: Meltdown - Andy McNab

My motto: I Wish I had a Pirate Suit - Pamela Allen

So now you know I love children's books. What does your bookshelf say about you?

Monday, June 21

Macbeth’s Progress into Villainy

I wrote this essay in year 10 while studying Macbeth. My teachers reply sort of went along the lines of "...maybe for a history essay...". Enjoy.

Once upon a time there was an ancient country known as Alba. The kings of Alba were elected, from a group of clan chiefs by their fellow chiefs and churchmen. One of these kings to be elected was King Duncan. But there was a problem with King Duncan. You see, Duncan kept fighting wars to expand his territories and while Duncan was off at war his people back in Alba were starving to death. Something had to be done so the chiefs and churchmen of Alba elected the Chief of Clan Moray as king instead.
Under the new king, things in Alba were looking pretty good. The new king had united the country for the first time. He made and enforced laws. Alba had become a place where the old and the sick were protected, and where women had equal rights. Under the new king Alba was peaceful and prosperous.
Now, at this time, outside of Alba in all the other countries, kings were not elected. Kingship was inherited. This caused many members of the royal family to resort to murder and war as they tried to gain kingship. Duncan’s son, Malcolm, had fled to one of these countries where kings were not elected. In this country it was believed that the king’s son became king no matter what. It didn’t matter how bad he was for the country. So the king of this country decided to help Malcolm raise an army and conquer Alba.
But Malcolm’s army couldn’t take Alba. After a failed invasion Malcolm resorted to sending assassins to murder the king of Alba.
The king of Alba was Macbeth.

Macbeth takes place in Scotland in the early eleventh century, which, at the time, was known as Alba. In the play, though, Shakespeare makes it more relevant and people-friendly by referring to the country by its modern name, Scotland. The above story of Alba is the story of “the real Macbeth”.
According to Irish, Norwegian and Scottish historians, Macbeth was, in most aspects, a very good king. Even lady Macbeth is said to have been an exceptionally wise queen. It was really only the English historian, Raphael Holinshed that claimed Macbeth wasn’t a good king. Holinshed was from England, the country that Malcolm had fled to and the country that had assisted Malcolm’s war against Macbeth. It could be more than possible that Holinshed held bias against Macbeth and that his view was coloured in favour of Malcolm and England. Holinshed’s history, the Chronicles of Scotland, also show little understanding of ancient Scottish laws which could have affected his view of Macbeth.
Holinshed is believed to be the only source that Shakespeare used when writing his play. Shakespeare portrayed Macbeth even worse than the villain Holinshed had depicted. The main aim of Shakespeare’s plays was to entertain and impress those in power, at the time this was King James, a descendent of Banquo. Because of James’ relation, Shakespeare played up Banquo, showing him as a hero and Macbeth the villain. The addition of the witches was also for the purpose of entertainment and to impress the king. James was known to have a hatred of witches.
I didn’t matter to Shakespeare that the facts he used or his portrayal of Macbeth weren’t true because sycophancy was more important in his profession than historical accuracy.
Macbeth’s progress into villainy started with an English historian, Rafael Holinshed, who wrote the Chronicles of Scotland without a full understanding of Scottish law or governance. Holinshed let his bias influence his portrayal of Macbeth and also likely wrote his history to please those in power. Similarly, using information form Holinshed’s history, Shakespeare manipulated facts in his play to please those in charge; creating the villain Macbeth is known as today.

After Macbeth’s murder his step-son, Lulach Macgillecomgain, was elected as the king of Alba but after many years of fighting Malcolm he too was assassinated and Malcolm became king by force. From Malcolm’s time onwards Scottish kings inherited the throne rather than being elected. The laws in Alba that had given equal rights and protected the poor were abolished.
Malcolm was the first king not to be buried at the sacred island of Iona.

Saturday, June 19

Recubo ut Servo Visio

My motto is recubo ut servo visio which is lie to save face in poorly translated Latin. But that is not why I was lying on Thursday so I think I should put the record straight.

1. When taking a group of year 7's for a primary school to high school support day I made a child cry by playing Parkway Drive

You guys guessed right. This one's false. It was actually my frienemy (friend-enemy) who did this. But I'm sad to say I'm not as nice as you think. Since this happened I have played Parkway Drive to little kids many times trying to replicated. Most of them just go Uh huh and raise their eyebrow at me.

2. When I was seven I scared my fish so much he knocked himself unconscious and we had to jam him between two rocks so he wouldn't float to the surface and suffocate.

You're right. This is true. I was pulling faces at the fish tank and it scared him so much he ran into a rock and knocked himself out. I've felt that I shouldn't go near animals ever since.

3. When I was in year six my friend had her Russ dog stuffed toy stolen and we staged a full scale investigation that included interrogations and dusting for prints.

False. For starters, it was my Russ dog that was stolen. I never staged a full scale investigation because when I told the teacher a girl in my class "mysteriously" found it in her school bag.

4. During this investigation 10-year-old Penguins made the cleaning lady cry.

Since the last one was false. this one obviously is too. The only thing I've ever done to a cleaning lady was clean the room for her before she arrive. She obviously noticed since there was a thank you not there the next morning.

5. I am married to my sister

Zella has been paying attention! This is obviously false (eew) but I did marry my e-sister on Facebook. Basically she sent me a sibling request and after I accepted I asked her if she wanted to find out if Facebook allowed incest. It does. Unfortunately Facebook does not take so kindly to bigamy.

6. When I was 7 I bit my tongue in half.

Things are about to get awkward for Tom Parker. This is half true. I did, in fact bite my tongue in half but I was nine, not seven. While playing a mean game of dodge ball I jumped of the slide while sticking out my tongue at the the person who was in. I hit my chin and bit my tongue in half. It hurt. There was lots of blood. I had to have it sown back together. (Feeling a little uncomfortable now, Tom?)

7. I once woke my brother up in the middle of the night for apparently singing the Pokemon theme song in my sleep. I don't even know the Pokemon theme song.
A blatant lie! I have never sung in my sleep and have never woken my brother by singing in my sleep. And I know EVERY word to the Pokemon theme song. And the PokeRAP. And the Digimon theme song. And... I need a life...

Thursday, June 17

Did Zella just call me a liar?

Thank you to the amazing and incredible Zella Kate who awarded me this award:

To accept this award, I need to:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award
  2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog
  3. Link to the person who nominated you
  4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself and at least one outrageous truth, or vice-versa
  5. Nominate seven "creative" writers
  6. Post links to the blogs you nominate
  7. Leave a comment on each blog letting them know they've won the award.

So, seven things. Some are lies. Some are true. Some are lies that are part true. You need to decide which is which.

  1. When taking a group of year 7's for a primary school to high school support day I made a child cry by playing Parkway Drive
  2. When I was seven I scared my fish so much he knocked himself unconscious and we had to jam him between two rocks so he wouldn't float to the surface and suffocate.
  3. When I was in year six my friend had her Russ dog stuffed toy stolen and we staged a full scale investigation that included interrogations and dusting for prints.
  4. During this investigation 10-year-old Penguins made the cleaning lady cry.
  5. I am married to my sister.
  6. When I was 7 I bit my tongue in half.
  7. I once woke my brother up in the middle of the night for apparently singing the Pokemon theme song in my sleep. I don't even know the Pokemon theme song.

Alright! Tag time!


I look forward to seeing what you think is a lie and what's not :P

Tuesday, June 15

My Present

I love the dusty smell of rain on the pavement
I believe in fiction
I am happy when you make me laugh
I am uncomfortable if you scold me
I need to think this over
I think that smiles are one of the greatest things to exist
I have an instinct about Woolworths trucks (don't ask)
My dreams are cold and unrelenting.
It is important to brush your teeth
I am upset about my effed up leg
I find life funny.
I find humanity sad.
I am joyful about each degree and every change
I am waiting until my prince comes [hopefully] before I emerge from my dreamworld and face reality.
I am in love with fictional guys because they're better than breaking up and crying in the street
I am grieving about the mistakes I didn't learn from
I am concerned that I don't entirely make sense
I am conflicted by every choice presented to me.
I am confused that hate exists
I am angry that sometimes I can be so useless
I am sorry about my negativity
I am interested in books, music, movie, manga and other escapes from reality
I am thrilled by pushing deadlines
I would like to be in a fictional world.
I would like to have large paper wing that can take me through the layers of the cloud
I would like to change the world
I am scared that one day I will wake up
My most secret desire is secret to even myself.
I like it when things go my way
I dislike it when my brother sulks when things go my way, not his
I love how I dance when I want to. No. Matter. What.
I hate it when feel alone
I have the strangest feeling that things won't ever work out right. But I don't really care.
I find imperfection beautiful and it will never be bested
I find hate ugly as it dirties the best of us
I think my friends are silly because who could cope with me otherwise?
I think the world is tragic because humanity needs to pull itself together and shape up.
What no one realises about me is I mainly just listen to metal core to scare you.
I see small things. No big picture, but no details either.
I find it easy to hop on one foot
I find it hard to hop on no feet
I am at my best when asleep
I can do better
I am tired of just getting by
I am excited by childhood joys I'd forgotten I had
I hope that things get easier. In a challenging kind of way.
My destiny is to grow, to learn, to breath, to die

Sunday, June 13

Were Romeo and Juliet Fated to Die?

In year nine my class studied Romeo and Juliet and we were given the above essay question. The obvious answer was yes. The easiest option to argue was yes. Everyone in my class went with yes. I said no. This is the essay that earned me both 100% and a drawing of a cranky face in red pen. Keep in mind I was in year nine when I wrote this, over four years ago, so it may be a little dodgy.

I have to say No Way! Despite the strong reasons for it (I’m sure you can think of many), I have two reasons that totally over-rule all other arguments. Reason one: Every one has choices, Romeo and Juliet just made the wrong ones, if they made wiser decisions the out come would have been different, more than likely better. Reason two: is there really such a thing as fate? And if so what really is it?

It goes like this- everyone has choices, if Romeo and Juliet made wiser choices they mightn’t have died. For example, if Romeo hadn’t killed Tybolt and instead let the law handle it (Tybolt was going to be executed anyway) then Romeo wouldn’t have be banished and none of the following events would have taken place.
Then you’ve got Juliet faking her own death, if she had thought through her options (skip town for example) they may both have lived.
And you have to agree that turning to that priest was the stupidest thing they could have done. For starters, what kind of priest just so happens to have a date-rape drug lying around? One that can't be trust, that's what kind.

Secondly, the whole fate thing, does fate really exist? There are actually special people who dedicate their lives to trying to find this out. They are called metaphysicians and they try to solve questions that can’t be answered on factual terms. Some of these guys think that if the universe is rational it must be based on a sequence of cause and effect: Every action or effect, must be began by a cause and must form an unbroken chain of causation going back to the first cause, that is, God or the Devine.
So. For there to be fate there must also be a god.
But as the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy says there can be no god because of the existence of the Babel fish. I quote-
‘The argument goes like something like this: “I refuse to prove I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
‘ “But,” says man, “The Babel fish is a dead give away isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED”
‘ “Oh dear.” Says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes into a puff of logic.’
So that also means that all the miracles we have ever had prove God doesn’t exist by the above argument.
So by proving that God doesn’t exist we prove that fate doesn’t either and thus Romeo and Juliet were not fated to die.

Romeo and Juliet were not fated to die because they couldn’t make a good choice to save their lives, literally. And because from a reliable source (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) I have been able to deduce that fate doesn’t exist so they couldn’t have been fated to do anything!
I rest my case.


What do you think? Did year nine Penguins Quack prove her point or do you have a different opinion about our star-crossed lovers?