Sunday, January 30, 2005

old fashioned morphine/jolie holland

Jolie Holland is a singer/songwriter I discovered driving home from the city after seeing Sonic Youth play in June last year. I was listening to the 'Roots and All' program on Triple J and the presenter, Jordie Kilby, was very excited that she had just released a new album; 'Escondida'. He then proceeded to play the song 'Old Fashioned Morphine' and I was immediately hooked. I went out the next day and bought the album. Jolie has a fantastically old vocal style that is soothing and surprisingly fresh (yes, I've just used 'old' and 'fresh' in the same sentence).

Over the last few months I have developed an almost unhealthy obsession with comedy. In particular British comedy and more specifically the wonderfully silly and eccentric French & Saunders. I've always been a massive fan of The Vicar of Dibley and Absolutely Fabulous and I've always known of French & Saunders peripherally. It wasn't until this year that I fully realised the connection between the three - the fantastic Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders themselves. My awesome parents recorded a tape for me from the UKTV channel on cable that consisted of three very silly and hilarious French & Saunders Christmas Specials. I mean, two old ladies traipsing around the Tate Modern Art Gallery consulting their programs and wandering around looking quite bewildered by the strange concept art when in fact they are lost and frantic to find the cafe. Fantastic.

Having finished reading Joanna Lumley's 'No Room For Secrets' I've picked up where I left off with 'The Clinton Wars - An Insider's Account of the White House Years' by Sidney Blumenthal. I started reading it last year after I finished reading Hillary Rodham Clinton's 'Living History' and just found that it would be better for my brain to read something a little lighter. Picking up Hermione Lee's biography of Virginia Woolf was not necessarily a lighter route. So, I've started again on 'The Clinton Wars' and I am finding that I need to keep my Macquarie Dictionary close at hand to look up a word here and there. I've decided I'd list down the words I don't know. Here are the ones from my latest foray into the book:

patrician - of high social rank or noble family
protean - readily assuming different forms or characters; exceedingly variable
meritocrat - a person who has reached a position of authority by reason of real or supposed merit
cipher - a person of no influence; a nonentity
loquacious - talking or disposed to talk much or freely; talkative
reliquaries - repositories or receptacles for a relic or relics
quixotic - extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary; impracticable

I love learning new words!

On a more serious note, the Iraqi elections are being held today and we can only hope and pray that they are a relatively peaceful affair. I've read that there have been attacks on polling stations including schools. It appears a lot of Iraqi's are coming out to vote regardless. I can't imagine what it must be like. I take it for granted that, come election day, I just walk to the nearest school and vote with no fear of any kind of violence at all. The only thing we have to worry about is those party faithfuls forcing flyers and how-to-vote cards in our faces as we approach the polling place.

A bit of perspective is always good.

No comments: