Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Gah. Impulse shopping. I shouldn't wander aimlessly around the shopping centre when I'm feeling less than sparkling…

Neon-tetras, the little shiny fish, come from murky waters, that's why they're so bright, so they can recognise their shoal in the gloom. Does that mean that the tetras being bred – and kept – in captivity, in clear water, will eventually become less bright cos they don't need the colours?

It's not often I get the urge to cook anything more than I absolutely have to but I made a cake on the weekend. An apple upside-down cake. (I really wanted a pineapple upside-down cake 'cept I didn't have any pineapple.) Anyway, it was easy and fun, though I ended up cooking the thing just a smidge too long and the sugar/butter goo in the base of the pan didn't so much caramalize as turn to toffee. Mmmm… apple-flavoured toffee… This also made the edges of the cake lovely and chewy. <g> Needless to say it didn't last long, though it was the cubs' father and I who polished it off, the cubs weren't interested. I mean it was different and therefore probably poisonous… <rolls eyes>

Heh – 'self-insertion'. It even sounds masturbatory. <smirk>

It's nestling season again. How do I know? Is it the busy to-ing and fro-ing of the mummy and daddy birds as they bring food to their broods? No, it's the dead baby bird lovingly deposited outside my bedroom door.
Bloody cat. At least it wasn't a native species…

Monday, November 29, 2004

"You don't look like you've been raped. You're sitting down all right. You don't have any bruises..."
This is allegedly what a male teacher said to his 15 year old student after she reported she'd been raped by 4 men while on a study-tour of Italy. She's also stated that 2 female teachers pressured her into making a statement that it was 'consensual' then took her to a hospital so she could be given the morning after pill. Apparently she was then expected to reimburse the school for the cost of the taxi and filling the prescription. She's now taking her school to court for breaching their duty of care.

... speechless...
Our children are so precious, aren't they? So much more important than a school's reputation or the 'hassle' of reporting a brutal crime.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

And the cubs' father's barbecue set has seen its first use. I'm sure the thing was designed by boys for boys though. All the utensils are very long - to keep the wielder away from the heat of the bbq - but consequently they're absolute buggers to wash. They don't fit easily into the sink, or on the draining rack. <rolls eyes> Typical...

For a few years now, lured by the amount of money successful novelists are supposed to receive, the cubs' father has been talking about writing a Mills and Boon type novel. Well, he's finished it, all 48-something-thousand words, and I've agreed to edit. I've just finished the first chapter and it was hard work. Admittedly it was the first thing he'd ever written so it was very clunky and repetitions abounded, but fortunately he's highly literate so spelling and grammar weren't a problem. He's pleased with the changes I suggested, saying they lifted the whole piece and gave it a definite polish. Heh. He assured me the later chapters won't be quite so bad, and when I said I hoped not or I'd have to charge him for my services he said he'd planned on giving me a percentage of any earnings anyway. <blink> Ok, that'll be nice but I won't count on it - this genre is notoriously difficult for new authors to break into.
What makes the whole exercise interesting is that he's working to a formula (sorry, house-standard) that I'm not familiar with - or interested in - but if we can get the manuscript to a point where it won't be rejected out of hand by an editor it'll be a foot in the door.

And meanwhile... the next LotR combination-chapter is almost finished. Joules has done the lion's share of this one and it's great! Things are getting very interesting in Edoras...

D'oh! Forgot to say thank you also, to Joules, for hosting that little video snippet of my cat! She's so cute! (Er, the cat, I mean, it's more than my life is worth to risk calling Joules cute... : )

Found this amongst some old papers - it's a horoscope that was in a Simpson's school-diary thing from about <thinking> 12 years ago? It still makes me giggle...

Aries: Assertive, ambitious, brave. Secretly aspires to world domination.

Taurus: Methodical, practical, tough. Thinks spontaneity is a disease.

Gemini: Intelligent, talkative, shrewd. Can't use one word when three will do.

Cancer: Compassionate, homely, sweet. Will possibly never leave home.

Leo: Confident, forceful, proud. Has deep relationship with mirrors.

Virgo: Meticulous, diligent, keen. Complains about holes in doughnuts.

Libra: Easygoing, amicable, calm. Takes both sides in every argument.

Scorpio: Sexy, magnetic, deep. Destined to form own religious cult.

Sagittarius: Vibrant, adventurous, bold. Thinks bungee jumping is for wimps.

Capricorn: Serious, tenacious, firm. Uncanny resemblance to school principal.

Aquarius: Charming, rebellious, aloof. Chief suspect whenever graffiti appears.

Pisces: Perceptive, romantic, kind. Cries when reading greeting cards.
<g> The greeting card thing is only true when the fluggy-bunny's out of her cage. Bit worried about what it says for Cancer though - I can see that being all too likely...

Friday, November 26, 2004

OK, I've uploaded the first Kittenkong movie here. At least, I hope I have, I've never tried uploading a movie before! It's in avi format, so should play OK in Windows Media Player, and it's just over 3 megabytes. You may need to right-click and 'save target as'. If it doesn't work, let me know and I'll see if I can sort it out...

Thursday, November 25, 2004

<shakes fist> A pox on eBay!
Fair enough I know it's just asking for trouble to go poking around there, but dang it all...
I was idly having a browse for Two Towers dvds, just to see what's available - you know how it is - and found someone selling one of the gift sets of Fellowship! Aaaargh! <whimper> These sets include figurines of the Argonaths 'that's those two ruddy great statues that guard the entrance to Gondor in FotR' (quote from Joules:) and they're the only bits of LotR merchandise I covet! I wants them! And I can't in conscience think about bidding until after xmas. <grumble pout> Oh well, no doubt there'll be more of them popping up for auction in the future, possibly even some I can afford...

It was the cubs' father's birthday today. I got him a nifty set of barbecue utensils contained in an aluminum case. I figured, he's a dad, he'll be getting a bbq set at some point in his life, it might as well be one that looks like it's being carted about in a pistol-case. : )
Anyway, he seemed pleased and wants to have a barbecue for his birthday dinner.
(He was also pleased with the pair of miniature knock-off terra-cotta warriors I bought for the cubs to give him. I spose 14-ish years with someone must give you some insight into what they'd appreciate.)

There might have been something else I wanted to vent express but buggered if I can remember right now.
<sigh> I want a sleep-in. Only 3 weeks 'til the end of the school year...

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

<sniggering> Alarice sent me this - Preparing for Emergencies. It's very funny!

This morning I had the <dramatic reverb> final exam... Pretty sure I passed, though as usual I've probly lost marks for careless mistakes. Heh.
Treated myself to some sushi afterwards, and some fresh cherries and lychees with cream... mmmm...

So. The latest LoTR story's been posted (Joules, above and beyond the call of duty - there was 21 pages to code!) and the next has been started. This isn't going to turn into another saga though, there's a definitive ending planned, one that actually, kind of, careens back into the canon universe. Stay tuned...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Roast cherry tomatoes – when dropped from waist height to the floor – go splot

<grrrr> Well that was fun. Went outside to feed the piggles and found they'd escaped from their cage. Not sure if they'd been 'helped' or not, the brick holding the catbox up against the bulk of the enclosure had been pushed to one side and the catbox itself moved. Hm. Could've been a dog – with the back fence still down (nope, it's not been repaired yet) it's possible one of the little beasts could've got in.
In this instance I was glad of the hip-high grass in the backyard, it meant the piggles didn't have to go far to look for shelter (heh, they were lurking around the mandarin tree 6 inches away from their cage) which made them easier to find and catch.

<astonished> Fed the cubs some pumpkin mashed in with potato tonight and they ate the lot! Cor! I don't doubt the lashings of grated cheese in the mix didn't hurt, either.

Counted all the bits of the 2nd quilt into neat, row-sized bundles and at the end there was none missing, or left over. Hoorah!

The school has put up metal roofs over the walkways around the portable classrooms. With summer coming on the extra shade will be more than welcome. As a bonus the new, temporary school now has more parent-shelters than the old one did.

For ages I've been craving Honey Smacks, a sticky-sweet breakfast cereal from years ago. The closest available substitute is something called Honey Weets (different company, I think) but I've resisted buying them cos a: they're full of suger, and b: they're reaaally expensive. But, I succumbed the other day…
Gee, they're yummy. : ) I've been enjoying them immensely.
It'll probly be a while before I indulge myself again, but at least I know they're close to what I remember the taste of the original cereal to be.

Well, okay, yes, I have been writing a sort of LoTR fanfic and to do it I've been using a style of language that's much different to what I normally use. It's been remarkably easy to fall into the cadence though. As Joules said, this older form of English is beautiful, rich and very descriptive and it's a pleasure to work with. I couldn't see it meshing well with something like Dystopia but there's a couple of fantasy type scenarios pending – I could try using it there, see how it feels…
But then again, I've seen older styles of language used in modern, or futurisitic plots and settings and they combined brilliantly. Hm…

Ahah! Found a copy of Matrix – Reloaded for less than half-price in a department store sale. I'll nip in and put a copy on lay-by later this week. : )
Couldn't find a copy of The Two Towers anywhere though. Tch.

The cubs and I went to soulsis' over the weekend so I could look after all the bratlings while soulsis ran around attending meetings and conferences and getting stressed. It wasn't too bad, actually. The children are all old enough now they don't need constant supervision (and they can make their own breakfast and sandwiches) so I was left to my own devices for a good deal of the time. Got a lot of sewing done… (Could've managed a wee bit more writing than I did but I'd forgotten my ear-plugs.)
Slept in both mornings though, horribly. The problem is that soulsis has curtains on her bedroom windows and I don't. I usually wake up when it's light and go to sleep when it's dark. That normally works for me but when – because of the curtains – it's dark all the time… <g> Ooops.
And finally, soulsis found me a gorgeous purple plush gold-fish! It's got a fantail! So cute!

(… okay, this is 'finally')
On Friday night as we were trying to puzzle out how soulsis' digital camera worked, I inadvertanly made 3, 10 second movies of KittenKong. Hee. I thought I was taking a still picture, but the camera was on the wrong setting… Live and learn, eh, live and learn.

(And an addendum: the owner of the property adjoining ours at the back, just came round about the fence. We've given her the contact number for the estate agent so she'll be dealing with them. Funnily enough she used to rent our house 4 years before we did. Heh.)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

<grumble> It's happened again - Joules has written something engrossing enough to make me want to play in the universe as well. I stress that this is not a Tolkien fanfic I'm writing, but another JAT derivative fic... about elves, gods help us all. <sigh> Flight and Fancy, Alliance Chronicles, Haadri and now LoTR slash. <assumes melodramatic Elrond-pose> I'm doomed! DOOMED!
But it is fun, it's always fun. : )

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Trotted off to class this morning, all psyched-up for the revision test (the actual, counting-towards-my-marks test is next week) to discover that – ready for this? – the huge wad of revision exercises I’d completed on the weekend was the test paper. <rolls eyes> Oh well at least I got to go home early…

Finished the next Dystopia chapter! In a day! (It's titled 'Bitch', and been posted already, thank you, Joules. : )
It’s only short, but still it’s been a while since I’ve been able to have something finished so quickly. And, I think, it’s the penultimate chapter. Leading on from this one I can tie up several of my story threads in the next. Heh. Then apart from a few one-offs that are essentially side-stories, the bulk of this universe is done with. Unless some other, involved plot-line wheedles its way into my consciousness.
Hm, might look to finishing Elga next.

glochidate: (botanical) barbed at the tip. [from the Greek; glokhidion - arrow head.]
Isn’t that a cool word?

OkapiPrincess sent me this. (Wait for the pictures to load.) As she said in the email – not quite sure what’s going on but it’s good for a giggle. They look like a happy family to me and I love the bunny suit… : )

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Right, unless I've miscalculated again - not an impossibility - now I should have all the pieces for the second quilt.
And I didn't set foot inside a shop to do it. : ) See, there are advantages to having a stash of material...

Aaaand Joules is writing a sequel to Hidden Hero. (Power to the people! Ask - or drop pointed hints - and ye shall receive.) Two paragraphs into the snippets and I was already sniffling, tch. She's promised me more lemon this time though I still don't think it'll end up counting as a PWP. Hee - don't care, I just want Horse Lord smut!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Okay, so I'm rubbish at maths. I don't actually have all the pieces ready for the 2nd quilt, I'm 70ish short. Ooops. Oh well, that means I'll have to go find some more material - tra la la. (In all probability I can make up the number from the material I've already got but it's so much fun material shopping...)

Soulsis was sposed to come around today but the weather was icky so she couldn't. I wasn't idle though, got done all the homework and revision I need for next week's test on the solitary subject I took this semester. I have a talent for filing, it seems, not sure what that says about me. That I have an ordered mind, perhaps? Hah! Not from where I stand.

My latest AC is finished and posted. (Thanks, Joules!) I'm quite pleased with it, for a change.
This series is definitely winding down. Sad in a way but the stories have just about played themselves out. It's been good, though, very satisfying. The characters have all become real to us over the time - I've fallen in love with half of them! I've learnt a lot, also, about fiction writing and I have to thank Joules for that. : ) Don't think I'd have had the courage to tackle my own stuff without her encouragement.

And hey, the lounge-room's still clean. Neat, eh?

Friday, November 12, 2004

To quote Kenny Everett (in a high-pitched, overly campy voice):
"Oh, wot a day I've had..."
The car's brakes have been squealing for the past week, having been worn down to the metal. The cubs' father had an attack of 'Y' chromosome and decided to fix them himself so he dropped the cubs and I off at their school this morning then trotted (screeched) off to get the parts. While he was doing that I puttered around the shopping centre paying bills and staring wistfully at the neat stuff I can't afford before heading home on the bus.
So far so good.
Now, to complicate matters, the school was having its annual prep-grade 3 dinner this evening which was due to start at 5. The car wasn't anywhere near fixed by mid-afternoon so I nobly suggested I could take the bus to meet the cubs after school, which meant - because of the dinner thing - there was no point us coming home by bus cos we'd have to pretty much head straight back out. So I had to keep the cubs amused for an hour or so before they were due back at school. <rolls eyes> Cue milk-shakes and 'oooh'ing at the interactive Neopets in the shops. Was I having fun yet? What do you think...?
Got the cubs back to school on time, just as their father texted me to say the car was fixed. Hoorah! Headed back to the shopping centre full of hope that I could go and see a movie.
<grumble> Cubs' father had prior plans so he couldn't pick the cubs up so I couldn't stay to see the movie. And I had to get the bloody bus home again! Was in such a bad mood I stamped off to get fish and chips and lollies for dinner and ended up with a stomach-ache. And then as I was heading out to pick the cubs up in a car whose brakes were technically fixed but not exactly safe (3 inches of dead air before you get anything approaching stopping power is not safe) it started to rain. No, actually it pissed down and we all got soaked.
But the cubs had a good, fun evening and at least the car doesn't sound like it's unroadworthy (so we're not as likely to get pulled over and canaried) but damn, I'm tired...
Can I stop now?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Heh, well I've got all the pieces I need for the 2nd quilt cut out ready to go...
I've noticed that when I'm buying material I tend to go for florally patterns over geometric every time, no matter what the colours.

It's the time of year when all the pretty-shiny calendars start appearing in the shops. I've already got myself a mini one with Australian frogs but I'm keeping an eye out for a chicken one. Haven't seen any yet but there was a really cute guinea pig calendar. As I was cooing over looking at the pics I couldn't help thinking it'd be so much easier to take photos of piggles. They tend to stay where you put them, unlike rats who're very 'ooo, whatya doing? What's that? Bored now, I'm going over here...' <bg>

I had a lovely dream the other night. The household (as is) moved into a new house. A huge, old, creaky colonial thing we have a lot of in Victoria. It was lovely! Decorative pressed tin ceilings, springy floorboards that needed restumping, clean, fresh paint. We essentially moved into a set of rooms at one end of the house leaving several enormous ballroom-sized rooms empty at the other end. I felt so light there, it was almost like I was flying as I zipped about exploring rooms, opening doors, making all sorts of fascinating discoveries (the attic had a big slot-car racing track, intricately landscaped like you find with train sets.)
<happy sigh> This isn't the first time I've had a dream like that. Wouldn't it be lovely if I found a house in reality that had the same sort of vibe as the ones in my dreams?

Heh, The Two Towers was on telly night before last and for the first time ever I managed to stay awake during the Lothlorien bit. I kid you not, I've seen the movie twice before (at the cinema and on dvd) and both times I fell asleep just as the party was stumbling into the wood. Was quite surprised to see Haldir...
Speaking of which...
<grumbles at Joules> A PWP you said! Hidden Hero is not a pwp - by definition! Yes there was a little bit of elf-smut but there was also a plot! One that'll keep me thinking (and sniffling sadly) for days yet.
Hm, I spose it's something like the difference between pornography and erotic art, the first merely arouses or titilates, the second engages your emotions.
<grumbles some more> Yes, that was a compliment...

OkapiPrincess has once again saved my sanity. I was wondering about the origins of a quote I tend to use a lot, "life's rich pageant" but neither I nor Joules could find anything online. I thought it was a line from something Shakespeare wrote but I was wrong.
"The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations attributes the phrase to Arthur Marshall, British journalist and former schoolmaster, 1910-89, who said, in 'The Games Mistress,' a recorded monologue from 1937: 'What, knocked a tooth out? Never mind, dear, laugh it off, laugh it off; it's all part of life's rich pageant.'"
So there you go. Thanks, Okapi!
Now, does anyone know where the 'life's rich tapestry' quote comes from?

Saturday, November 06, 2004

There's been a lot of heavy, consistent rain over the past few days and unfortunately it looks like we've developed another leak in the roof. It's in the middle of the lounge room ceiling, smack-bang between the light fixtures. And I don't like the spongieness of the floorboards around the toilet, there's probly a leak there too. <sigh> I suspect this house is going to fall down around our ears sometime soon - I'd rather not be here when it does.

Ah, Duel Master, (another one of those animated half-hour commercials, like YuGi Oh) is owned by Wizards of the Coast. The crass commercialism makes so much more sense now...

One of my cubs lost another of his teeth, the second in a few months. His brother, who hasn't lost any teeth for ages, wanted to 'borrow' it so he could get the money from the tooth-fairy. <shakes head> I suggested we hang onto the tooth until 2nd cub looses one of his own then they can both be given to the tooth-fairy at the same time.
Then I hid the tooth - out of sight, out of mind. :)

Got half-way through my next AC and then realised the events I was writing about didn't fit within the timeline. Cue banging head on desk. Okay, I can wrestle the dates, squoosh them so they fit with only a little bit of rewriting needed for the chapter.
Not a total cock-up then. Heh.

Made a deal with the cubs today that if they helped clean up the lounge room, and had it done before a certain time, we could do something interesting for dinner.
<g> Wot a surprise, they chose Smorgy's. But it meant I didn't have to cook so I'm not complaining too loudly.
Wonder if I can offer them the same deal for their bedroom?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Heh, tomorrow (November the 5th) would've been my 11th wedding anniversary. Funny how some things work out, isn't it?

Saw something very cool on a garden makeover program that was showing while I was waiting to renew my drivers license - big terracotta plant pots shaped like snail shells! I want some! (And comparing the photos on my old and new license it appears I've lost some weight but I'm not as happy. :)
After dealing with that I snuck off to one of my favourite fabric shops that was having a sale. Ok, perhaps I was a little incautious with my money but I did get what I went there for as well, which was the batting for my quilt.
Hee, now I've got no excuse not to get on with it.

You know, if people were more accurate typists I wouldn't have anywhere near as many interesting words on my typo list. I use this list when I'm stuck for non-standard names or words - it's invaluable!
Here's some of my favourites:
... and my all-time favourite that sounds like a Mexican masked wrestler:
(Please don't anyone use these cos they'll likely find their way into something I do.)

The Golden Arches of Doom have just finished a run of mini plush Neopets, the toys that went with their <snort> 'happy' meals. The cubs loved them though, and thanks to their father mangaged to get a full set each. I have to admit the critters were very cute - I liked the Techos in particular but why colourful little lizards would be appealing I just can't guess.

(The cubs and their father share one very annoying trait, that of calling me to see something/what they're doing right when I'm in the middle of something myself. Grrr, I think it's the expectation that I'll drop whatever it is I'm doing and rush over to them that aggravates me more than anything else...)

A funny thing happened to me in the fish-shop on Cup Day evening. The telly was tuned to one of the commercial channels news broadcast and I saw the female news anchor was wearing something that looked like an aggregation of insects in her hair. That'll be a nod towards 'Cup Day Fashion' I thought, rather cynically, then I noticed what was behind her. To be fair I didn't catch the very beginning of the broadcast, nor could I hear what was being said but I really hoped the channel wasn't trying to pass off the footage of a bright, sunny Racecourse teeming with people as 'live' footage cos sure as cupcakes by that time of the day Melbourne had been grey and wet for hours.
So, I emailed the details to Media Watch a program that examines the 'innacuracies' our media baffles us with. Should be interesting to see what/if they have anything to say about it.

Soulsis, Niki and I had an interesting discussion on Tuesday as well, about taking allll the kidlings out of school for a couple of weeks, or a few months, and doing a road-trip either interstate or around Australia. That'd be amazing! But it'd cost a fair bit and would need some serious organising. <bg> Fortunately Niki's good at that sort of thing.
The idea of a short trip to Tasmania end of next year has been put forward though and I think that would be a great start. :)
We shall see, I guess, we shall see...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Heh, it was a public holiday today because of the Melbourne Cup and I still don't know which horsie won the race...
Had fun though, the cubs and I went to Niki's for a barbecue with Soulsis and her chicks. It rained heavily (we were watching the nearby creek rise) and it briefly blew up a storm but by then all the food had been cooked and we could eat inside.
Soulsis gave me some material! A good length of a rich, plain purple fabric, and <happy squeak> another piece of purple with silver stars! I have plans for those.

Sort of started the next AC this morning before going out - basically getting some things straight in my mind. This'll be another 'fill-in' chapter, as it's not directly connected with the main story arc, but it'll bring a few characters satisfactorily up to date...

Monday, November 01, 2004

Ahhh, the Aquarium is always so much more fun when it's not crowded...
The cuttle fish were very active today, squishing their tentacles right up against the glass, and we watched the widdle dumpling squid (1 1/2 inches long) hunting brine shrimp. So cute! So fast! Didn't see the water rat at all but more of the tadpoles are growing legs and the froglets are definitely getting bigger. Very pretty, too, the froglets are, browns and greens and gold. :) I want some!
Had a couple of go's on the Aquarium's latest 'interactive entertainment' (ie: you watch a movie while getting thrown around on a hydraulic platform) The Ice Ride. Occupational Health and Safety would have issues with the way the 'Antarctic Ice Company' gets its staff around - all those bone-jarring landings, things falling down around you - but as Soulsis said, it looks like a really boring place to live and work, perhaps the employees are making their own entertainment? <g>

<narrowed eyes> Joules has threatened to write some elf-lemons.
Hn, I'm torn. Yay! Lemons! Butbutbut... elves... <shudder>
(Also, given how Joules can convert me, through the medium of her lemons, to things I normally wouldn't look at twice...Not sure I'd want to read them - despising elves is well within my comfort zone :)