Jonah from Tonga – PUCKIN’ EH.

I knew I loved Chris Lilley’s work when my BEST FRIEND EVER introduced me to Summer Heights High. Ja’mie and her presentation in Assembly Hall… oh good god… golden!
Of course I loved all the characters for their own personalities, but I’ll always defect to Team Tonga (c’mon, they need the numbers).
I know what it’s like to be written off due to stereotypes, and I know how fulfilling it is to respond by being a cheeky little shit. Thus furthering the stereotype… I call it the ‘Dennis the Menace causality loop’ (but only sometimes).

(read: I will respond to being the only one punished for lateness by grabbing the wall clock as I’m being sent outside. Not to smash it, but to loosen my school tie and attach the clock -just so- as a Flavor Flav act of defiance. IF YOU’RE GONNA MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF ME, THEN I’MA SHOW ALL Y’ALL WHAT TIME IT IS. Dig?)

But what’s especially lovely is that there’s always that teacher who tries to get through to you. Even if you don’t realise it before you graduate, you’ll always remember them for their patience. And if you’re lucky, you’ll eventually figure it out next time you’re trying to be patient with someone who’s not being their most accommodating self.

fun fact: the ‘Takalua’ surname is derived from the Tongan term ‘fakatokalua’ which implies ‘the impulse towards nausea’ / ‘ad nauseam’ / ‘sickening’. Well played, Mr. Lilley. Well played…


RIP Maya Angelou.

RIP Maya Angelou.

I know it seems strange for someone to grieve the death of someone they’ve never met.
It definitely feels strange to me.
I guess I felt I got to know the essence of her through her work. Through expressing the hard time she had, she got a lot of people to use their time thinking hard about it. About things in general.
And isn’t that the biggest thing you can do on this earth? Isn’t that what we should all aspire to leave behind?
Change has to start in one’s mind, after all. She gave form to her thoughts and left them with us. I care a lot about that, and I am so glad she was benevolent enough to share her hardships in such beautiful ways. I will carry this with me.
I don’t know who’s going to be my favourite poet now.
And I don’t want to replace her. I can’t. So I won’t.
I’m going to tell myself she still exists. On my bookshelf and in my mind. I’ll tell myself she has changed form and is indeed still here.

I won’t cry less this way, but the tears aren’t as cold.
Of course people like Miss Marguerite will grow old.
With aging comes death, and with death comes relief;
This will be enough to allay the worst of my grief.

Formes Frustes – The Pulse of My Mourning (2014)

Classic rock: Dan Visconti, the 21st-century composer

Glad I came across this; seems like one to watch out for.

Oh, and Trent Reznor. You forgot Trent Reznor. The Kronos Quartet worked with Trent Reznor (and Enrique Gonzalez Muller) too. Trent Reznor. Well, Nine Inch Nails. I really like that.

TED Blog


Dan Visconti is updating the image of the classical composer — from lone, fusty genius to dynamic community leader who creates music as a tool for social engagement. Whether he’s telling the stories of Cleveland’s refugee communities or composing a piece for the Mississippi State Prison, Visconti makes concert experiences that invite people to participate. Classically trained, but with a love of American vernacular musical traditions, Visconti infuses his compositions with a maverick spirit—drawing on jazz, rock, blues and beyond. Here, he tells the TED Blog his vision for how to break through the traditional reserve of classical music, making it accessible to a new generation.

How would you describe your compositions? Are you consistent in your style?

In some ways not. But I’m very consistent in my attitude about music. I guess the best way to say it is that I’m trying to make the composer relevant again—not this old guy with a wig and a quill pen laboring in isolation, but a…

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What I used to …

What I used to find intolerable
doesn’t bother me anymore.

Whether it’s a snide, snarky remark
from the server at the store,

Or an emotional homing missile
from one who still keeps score.

Excuse me if I fall asleep;
I’ll try not to snore.

Finally, these things
are becoming easier to ignore.

Formes Frustes – Second Self (2014)

10 words only used in Irish English

Get in touch with my Irish side?! Well.

To paraphrase Josh Homme: shhh… I’m touching it right now.

Sentence first

God forgive me, I’ve written a listicle. Below are ten words and usages in Irish English (or Hiberno-English*) that you mightn’t be familiar with unless you’re a Sentence first veteran, a dialect scholar, or of course Irish, or Irishish.

Some were borrowed from Irish and became part of Irish English. Others are English words with meanings peculiar (or mostly so) to Ireland. What follows is just a summary, but each word links to a post I’ve written with more detail, notes on pronunciation, examples from literature and real life, and so on.

1. Smacht is a noun loaned from Irish meaning control, discipline, or order. You might put smacht on something or someone, like an untidy room or an unruly team.

2. Moryah has various spellings all based on the Irish phrase mar dhea. It’s an ironic or sceptical interjection used to cast doubt or mild derision on…

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