FIVE THINGS DWIGHT WILLIAMS WANTS ME TO TALK ABOUT MEME:
1/ Melbourne Architecture
Melbourne has some unusual geography. The city rings a that narrow-inleted Port Phillip and is bordered on the east by the Dandenong mountains, but it's not the shape of the city that makes it so unusual, it's the size. Melbourne covers a truly massive amount of ground for a city with a population of around 4 million. Sprawling, low-density suburbs... and it keeps on growing. As a result, architecture varies a lot. Downtown is the steel-glass-plastic skyscrapers you'll see in most modern cities, but sprinkled amongst them are smaller gothic buildings and even a few art deco structures. There are still a lot of old terraced houses in the inner northern suburbs and bigger Victorian properties in the not-as-inner east, but a lot of these are poorly maintained and are being replaced with McMansions or apartment blocks.
That said, there is strenuous objection to any kind of increase in housing density and most new consruction for the middle and lower classes is occurring on the city fringe. These new developments are very much in the cookie-cutter planned community style that's popular in America.
Supanova is Australia's longest running and probably most ubiquitous pop culture convention. I know the guys who organize this show better than those who organize Armageddon (originally a Kiwi outfit) and I find them a bit easier to deal with, but the shows themselves are virtually indistinguishable. I can't speak for Johnny-come-latelies Oz Comic Con yet, but ask me again two weeks once I've done back to back shows.
Much as I like Supanova it doesn't compare to even lesser know American regional cons, where I cut my teeth, when it comes to comics presence. There are simply less pros here and the Artist Alleys and guest rosters are much smaller. Because it's expensive to fly pros in they are given VIP treatment and that makes it harder for local creators to get the kind of 'down the pub' access to them that's practically traditional in North America.
3/ Languages I Want To Learn
Hmm. Well, I love languages but for right now the most important one to me, aside from English, is also the one I have the greatest competence in: Japanese. I'm more interested in increasing that competence than in learning another new language or bootstrapping one of the other languages i have some familiarity with up to a similar level. (Other languages I've learned bits of are are Afrikaans, Hebrew and French, which should in itself tell you a lot about where I grew up.)
4/ Best Cinema House I've Ever Been To
Well, I've been to a lot of cinema houses. The coolest one I've been to is probably the Tampa Theatre
, which is a massive building constructed in the Florida-Mediterranean style and home to a Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. you get to hear a recital on the organ before every show. the most famous cinema theatre I've ever been to is surely Mann's Chinese Theatre
in Hollywood. But my favourite theater is undoubtedly Melbourne's Astor Cinema
--uncomfortable seats and awkward parking and everything. The Astor is always under a cloud from some threat to its existence or other, but it has a fiercely devoted clientele and so far it has managed to dodge every one of them.
I love coffee. Black, sometimes with sugar, often without. In North America, where it's almost impossible to find even a half decent cup, I will usually drink Espresso or nothing at all. Here in Australia I'll usually go for an Espresso (short black) or a long black.
Alrighty, that's it for now. I'm off to item number 2--Supanova--and I will not be around again until next week.
Hasta la vista!