It finally stopped raining today. Well, that was until Simon and I walked to Darling Harbour after lunch and the gale-force rain resumed, coming down sideways and at one point, up-ways. Umbrella wielding was challenging. Simon, along with everyone else, struggled to predict the direction of the wind. His tiny, black, budget umbrella flipped inside out within minutes.
“Well, it was nice while it lasted,” I announced. And it was nice, for we braved the intermittent drenching to meet in the city for RAMEN!
Simon is game (or maybe that should be, has got game). Out of a possible chilli heat range of 0.5 – 3, he ordered a Level 3. Our server tried to dissuade him, twice, but he was not to be deterred. My black garlic ramen was a modest Level 1, and even then I had to down an entire can of Calpis to douse the flames.
After spicy ramen, there was the obligatory something sweet. Simon took me to Boon Cafe and Jarern Chai, which is an odd combination of a cafe and Thai grocer. Along one side is the cafe section of the store and on the other side is an Asian grocery shop, where on the same display table, I found old school $15 Indian tiffin carrier (or dabbas) and a ridiculously priced $95 sachet of cooking-grade matcha. The metal tiffins were lovely and nostalgia inducing, but probably not the most practical way to transport and re-heat food in these microwaving times. Simon had pandan custard toast. He ordered us matcha lattes, while I traipsed around the grocery section of the cafe, oohing and aahing.
After sweets, I still had a couple of hours to kill before it was time to go for a run and collect Dubs from vacation care. We headed to Elizabeth’s Bookshop on Pitt Street. There was the coolest book display outside! I had no idea that this was a thing.
What an awesome concept, right? Literally, you are asked not to judge a book by its cover, or its author, but by the synopsis written on the front of the plain, brown paper packaging. I picked up the first science fiction one I could see, and then reminded myself that I am already up to my ears in unread books, research papers and unplayed video games at home.
Sigh. So I put it back.
We had a quick look inside and I spotted this little beaut (see below), which I now regret not buying. Yanno, for research purposes.
Along a similar vein, a fellow Tumblr user shared a hilarious ‘academic’ paper with me. It was published on the BMJ and is authored by Dr Tara C Smith, an epidemiologist at Kent State.
Zombies—also known as walkers, Zed, Zs, biters, geeks, stiffs, roamers, Zeke, ghouls, rotters, Zoms, and runners—have become a dominant part of the medical landscape…. Here, I review zombie biology and epidemiology.
Tara C Smith – Zombie infections: epidemiology, treatment, and prevention
We then proceeded to Darling Harbour to sit down by the water, where we talked about the Alexandre O. Philippe documentary, The People vs George Lucas.
It explores the question of whether Star Wars has come to belong to more people than just its creator. By virtue of being a cultural phenomenon, does it now belong to the fans, too? And if so, are our views regarding the franchise just as valid and influential as George Lucas’? Did our near unanimous thoughts and feelings regarding Jar Jar Binks, for example, make a difference at the end of the day?
I think there is a distinction to be explored between the franchise being created by and the franchise now belonging to. We can examine the same question with similar cultural juggernauts like JK Rowling and Harry Potter, or with Roddenberry’s Star Trek. I have thoughts on this (and so does Simon). We plan to watch the documentary and perhaps come back with a blog post about it. It’s directly relevant to my musings on fanfiction, participatory/remix culture. In the meantime, I’m happily occupied with PhD literature, Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Dub’s excited regalings regarding the children’s prolific Minecraft deity, Stampylonghead. Seriously, if I have to watch another one of these videos…