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Life simon on 16 Feb 2017

On Family and Grieving

grandad 14th February 2017.

Early Tuesday morning, I received a phone call from my dad to tell me that my grandfather had passed away.

I wasn’t quite sure what to say to him. And I still don’t quite know how I should be really feeling about it. My father and sister broke down when they heard the news, my father more so. And me? I’m writing this now, hoping I can find some clarity within myself.

The first thing I did that morning was message my boss to tell him I wouldn’t be able to work for a few hours while I helped my dad organise his flights to Cambodia so he could attend the funeral; he’s arriving there today with my sister who had also changed flights to go with him (my sister and I were originally scheduled to go in April). I might just be the only family member who isn’t there right now.

My sister and I weren’t that close to my grandfather. We had only met him once, on a childhood trip to Cambodia back when I was barely in my teens. In the short time that I spent with him though, I knew he was a good man, and that he cared very deeply for all his children and grandchildren who were living with him. Just being around him and the household he took care of, you could feel a positive family vibe. It was nice.

I’m glad to have met him. Some are unfortunate enough to have never known their grandparents and had the opportunity to explore their family roots. My time in Cambodia with my extended family was amazing, and everyone took such good care of us – and of course, our grandfather had taught them well.

To my late grandfather:

I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you again, and I’m sorry I can’t be there with you now. I hope that you are now at peace, knowing that you meant a great deal to much of our family’s lives, and I thank you for that. May you rest in peace. I’ll be thinking of you.

Movie Reviews simon on 24 Dec 2016

My favourite films of 2016

I watch movies so often apparently I'm a VIP at the cinemaI’ve seen a fair few movies this year; some good, some not so good. Here’s a list of the best that have come out this year and why I liked them.

Of course, if you’d like to follow when I post my general reviews after a movie – good or bad – keep an eye on my Instagram, which is where I upload my post-movie thoughts.

Before we begin, I have some honourable mentions. Films I’ve seen this year which were still great and I enjoyed but not quite up there with the rest:

  • Captain America: Civil War
  • The BFG
  • Your Name (Kimi no Na wa)
  • Finding Dory
  • The Boy and the Beast (Bakemono no Ko)
  • Swiss Army Man

Now, in no particular order – my best of 2016…

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Life simon on 20 Nov 2016

Thoughts on Trump vs. Hamilton

As you all know, I enjoy a bit of musical theatre. One of my favourite musicals is one called “Hamilton” – a musical about an immigrant who became a Founding Father and had great influence in shaping the United States.

The other night, VP-elect Mike Pence attended a performance of Hamilton. During its curtain call, when the show had ended, the cast took to the stage and spoke:

This led to President-elect Donald Trump attacking and shaming the cast of Hamilton, demanding an apology, and claimed that Pence was harassed at the theatre.

I just find this absolutely absurd.

Before anything else, I just want to say that I actually found the speech quite respectful and not inflammatory at all. Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor that portrayed Aaron Burr (a former Vice-President) in the musical, thanked Pence for attending the show and offered encouragement and hope – the hope that his Government will protect the rights of their diverse cast.

This was not harassment, merely an offer of goodwill (Dixon asked the audience not to boo), hoping that Pence will take the message of Hamilton to heart. (And by the way, if Trump thinks this is harassment, he should take a look at how he treats women).

I’ve seen so many arguments that the theatre was not the place for this speech, and that it was classless and disrespectful. Many are also saying that he was there to be entertained and not “lectured to” or “to be educated”. If you watched this speech, I would call that anything but. The fact the company allowed Pence access to tickets and to attend was a show of respect when they could have easily restricted him from the theatre. I’d also argue that the theatre is one of the most appropriate platforms for such a speech. Art has always been a way for artists and performers to express their thoughts and feelings through their work. Anyone who knows anything about the musical and the story of Hamilton knows that it is a story of inclusion, a story of love, and a story of diversity. The statement made after the show had finished just further expressed that. It would have been a different story if the cast refused to perform, or stop the show midway to make this statement, but they did not.

There’s also now a call to boycott Hamilton which is ridiculous in its own right. This musical is a constant sell-out with tickets next to impossible to get. I’d bet that the people calling for a boycott don’t even have any idea what the musical even is even about, and are just joining in the anti-Hamilton bandwagon because Trump had a few words to say.

Hamilton does not need to apologise for exercising their rights to free speech. A speech that does not hurt anyone. If Trump or Pence is offended by this, they both should think about the platform *they’re* on – a much more public platform, a global platform, where anything they say or do has the greater potential to cause so much more hurt.

I think the cast and company of Hamilton deserve massive praise and credit for standing up for what they believe in. It was their stage, and they have every right to use it to send their own message. Mike Pence chose to attend the theatre, so he must respect the performers on stage. I’ve also read that while Pence did leave as soon as the show ended, he did stop in the foyer to hear the statement directed at him which we can give him credit for listening.

History has its eyes on you, America.

Life simon on 15 Nov 2016

Melbourne 2016

Another year, another PAX down. Please enjoy this three part vlog series in which I document my awesome time in Melbourne!

Life simon on 13 Oct 2016

Spring is here!

Cheating again and posting another vlog rather than a blog post. Hey, it’s my blog so whatcha gonna do about it? :P

Life simon on 02 Sep 2016

A Wedding, an Experience, and an Adventure

No post, just video :)

Enjoy the past week through my eyes:

Life simon on 31 Jul 2016

Even if you’re little, you can do a lot

You mustn’t let a little thing like, “little”, stop you
If you sit around and let them get on top, you
Might as well be saying, you think that it’s okay
And that’s not right.

matilda-tickets

I’ve got a bit of an obsession lately.

Been listening to a lot of the Matilda the Musical soundtrack (which is amazing, by the way), waiting for an opportunity to see the show in person. It was announced earlier in the year that the show was coming to Perth next year and I couldn’t be more excited (I’m still really bummed I didn’t go see it when I was in Sydney in 2015).

The other week, it was just announced that the Melbourne season will be closing with the last shows on the second week of November which was great for me! I’ll be there for PAX during that week and of course I booked to see it pretty much as soon as I land.

When I was younger, Roald Dahl was a source of wonder, imagination, and happiness as someone who liked to read those kinds of stories. This was the man that created Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and of course, Matilda.

I have really good memories of the movie that came out in the 90’s, and to have another adaptation of this great book – with songs written by none other than Tim Minchin – well, I don’t need another other reason to go see it.

If the show is running in your city, I highly recommend checking the musical out. It didn’t win all those Oliviers and Tonys for nothing!

Seriously, check out how amazing these kids are:

When I grow up,
I will have treats every day
And I’ll play with things that mums pretend
That mums don’t think are fun

And I will wake up
When the sun comes up,
And I will spend all day just lying in the sun,
And I won’t burn
‘Cause I’ll be all grown up

Life simon on 29 Jun 2016

50% progress update

IMG_20160214_191513

Post at least once a month, he said. You won’t forget, he said.

Okay, okay. Hey, I’m here all right!

We’re half way through 2016 and a lot has happened. It hasn’t been a particular great year so far but life goes on and time doesn’t stop for anyone. Unless you’re a mutant named Quicksilver, then yea, I guess it slows down just a bit.

I’m looking forward to the latter half of the year because I’ve got some stuff lined up – it’s gonna be pretty busy!

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Life simon on 12 May 2016

Good Game Live 2016

Getting pretty good at posting at least once a month! (Let’s not get too ahead of yourself there, Simon).

Anyway, I’m going to cheat for this post and show you guys a vlog that I made of the trip I took to Sydney last month. It was a great weekend, and it was nice to get away from an otherwise ..erm, well, average time I’ve been having here recently. While the weekend didn’t go exactly to plan I still got to hang out with a few friends whom I don’t get to see often and also see my dad which is always a good thing!

In terms of the video itself, I’m actually quite proud of it really. I took my camera everywhere and made sure to film anything remotely interesting, so I had a lot to work with. Last time I went to Sydney I totally forgot to do anything so I made sure this time I had something to make – my channel is even more neglected than my blog here. Speaking of my channel though, I’ve now reached over 50 subscribers! It’s taken a few years and I’m not exactly happy with all my videos or the amount I produce but I’m glad there are people out there enjoying what I do.

Thank you for your support everyone!

Life simon on 11 Apr 2016

Internet Communities

The First ever Perth Pockeeters Meetup

So, you probably know that I get around on the internet.

I follow a number of different personalities, channels, groups and the like. One that I’m quite involved in is one called Pocketeers. Pocketeers refers to the fans whofollow a series called “Good Game Pocket” – a subset of the TV video games review show on ABC2.

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