Friday, December 31, 2004

Three skinks and a rat... was KittenKong trying to tell me something?

So, it's New Year's Eve and the stove still isn't clean, neither is my room, or the cubs' room, or the lounge room. Heh, and as for the garden...? Herds of giraffe wouldn't look out of place ambling across the untamed savannah of our backyard. : )

Is it any coincidence, I wonder, that fiesta and siesta sound so similar?

Joules has finished 'Party'! Posted on time and everything! Lots of fun. <smirk> Go read!

Oh, Sue and GoodTwin, in case I forget to email (it's not unlikely, after all) I really enjoyed 'Eeeny Meeny Miny Mo'. You had me going for a while, too, though I knew it couldn't have been our Smurph. : )

I asked the cubs if they wanted to stay up with us tonight. They happily said yes but now, with over an hour to go 'til midnight, they're both slumped on the couch with huge bags under their eyes. But dammit, they're determined to stay awake 'til midnight. <g> They'll probably want to sleep in tomorrow morning.

Happy (Western) New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Wouldn't you know it? The car dies and petrol drops below 90/c a litre for the first time in a year. Tch.

And the mystery of the big xmas tree has been solved!
My memories of the tree my parents had is that it towered over me (and this was when I was all grown-up). The tree that was passed down to me is only 4' tall and I thought it couldn't be that one.
It isn't. :) The big one was given to my brother and Soulsis ages ago, and the tree I've got now is the one my parents had when they lived in their little house in the hills.
So there, mystery solved... I feel better now.

Got your postcard, onna, before the ravening snails of doom did! Hah!
Heh, saw a small tv news article a few days ago about xmas and what it means to the Japanese.
I wanna spend xmas in Japan! Looks like so much fun! I was particularly taken by the dancing girls dressed as reindeers... You have to admire a culture which can take what's offered by another culture and run with it in a completely different direction.

For years I've been disgruntled with the whole xmas thing - the unsubtle commercialism/blackmail, and the stupid, stupid and pointless images of snowmen and red furry suits and stockings hung in front of roaring fires. It works in the northern hemisphere where it's Winter, fercrissakes, but down here it's the middle of bloody Summer! 'Traditional' images in this instance, are ludicrous and annoying.
I had a [ping] about the problem though - I could always use Summer symbols instead... So what counts as a Summer symbol? What do you associate with the season? Well, the sun, naturally, and flowers and bees, and butterflies and fruit. Hee, and geckos! <bg> I'm visualising a wreath of rainbow lizards for the front door...
And I can indulge my passion for plastic fruit!
I enthused about this to Penny a little while back and today when the cubs and I were over at her place for afternoon tea she presented me with 2 gorgeous little fabric strawberries she'd made! Perfect! The first of my Summer decorations...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

<sigh> The car's finally died. Drive-shaft fell out, apparently, while the cubs' father was on his way to work. This is inconvenient for the cubs and I but it's a nightmare for their father. Wouldn't be so bad if he had regular, permanent shifts at one hospital but as he works for an agency he doesn't always know where he'll end up - makes it tricky with public transport.
I refuse to feel guilty. I deal with everything else (bills, cubs etc) the maintenance of the car is his responsibility. I can't give him any practical help, either, the small amount of money I've managed to save won't be enough to cover repairs let alone buy a new car. So I'm afraid he's on his own this time. All I can do is make sympathetic noises and hope he can sort something out soon - if he can't pay his share of the rent it makes it difficult for me. Ah well...

And the other cub's come out in spots.
Soulsis, you'd best keep an eye on your lot - unless they've already had parvo.
(To answer your question, onna, parvo is more like measles than chicken pox.)

But on the bright side, Joules has started 'Party'! <eg>

Monday, December 27, 2004

Happy Birthday, Sammi!
(Hope it was fun and you didn't get combined Xmas/B'day presents. Having your birthday on Boxing Day must be a pain sometimes... : )

Xmas was relatively stress-free this year. Made a nice change.
Cubs woke me up at 6 in the morning - dragged myself out of bed so I could watch them tear into their presents (Transformers, Neopets and DVDs, all well-received <g> ) then at my suggestion they bounded into their father's room to deliver his presents. (Akira Kurasawa dvds, Japanese woodblock print calendar - can you see the pattern?). I was presented with my gifts - 2 boxes of Guylian seashells, (including the new strawberry flavour), and the Starsky & Hutch movie on DVD - then I staggered back to bed for a couple of hours.
Mum was late getting here but even so we got to the Zoo without much fuss. Spent a few, peaceful hours there (no crowds!) animal-spotting then got home in plenty of time to cook xmas dinner. After dinner with the cubs' father, the cubs and I headed back to mum's and we all collapsed. <g> (Oh, and Mum gave me a pair of pink metal flamingo garden statues. Hee...)

Soulsis and her chicks came over on Boxing day and we had a barbecue lunch that lasted most of the afternoon. I love grazing...
More presents! <happy squeak> Soulsis and Niki gave me some grape party-lights! So, so cool! And then of course there was all the fish-tat Soulsis gave me as well, and the little book about 'Sisters'...

Day after Boxing day was very, very quiet. Hung around at Mum's til mid-afternoon then I drove us home in Mum's car. We watched Shrek 2 and Mum stayed for dinner before driving herself home.
<sigh> I'm knackered though. Some very vivid dreams the past few days. (Including one were I had an appointment with Dr. Johnny Depp and... Let's just say the conduct wasn't entirely ethical. No, don't ask - I'm still blushing. : )

So, the end of the year looms. Eh. I have no plans, and no inclination to make any, truth be told. Might get a bottle of cider or something, but I'm not feeling overly sociable.
New Year Resolutions? Yes.
Couple of things I'd like to do before the end of the year, however - get my room sorted and clean the stove top. That'll be a good start to next year. <nods>

Friday, December 24, 2004

Good gods, it's xmas eve already. Oy vey...!
Still, everything's done - food, presents all organised. Our local shopping suburb has been open 24 hours for the past couple of days; I nipped down there last night while the cubs were asleep so I could get the grocery shopping out of the way without the added pleasure of two bored cubs tagging along. The centre was very crowded, and there was a lot of traffic, but the supermarket itself was nice and quiet and there was traffic control at strategic points to smooth things along. Wasn't too bad actually, was able to wander around quite happily in my own little world, something I can't do when my little loves are with me.
The cubs and I went back down there this morning to finish everything off and it was even quieter than I'd hoped. Plenty of parking and no crowds. Got some bargains, too - a box of 18 flashing TMNT lollypops for $6! ... okay, that's a big deal for me but I'll understand if everyone else is underwhelmed. <g>

One little hitch to the holiday fun though, one of my cubs has come down with parvovirus. (Also known as 'slap cheek' - people with young sprogs will probly be familiar with this.) It's one of those sneaky viruses where you're contagious only before the symptoms appear. But anyway, one of my cubs came out in a rash earlier this week. Started on his legs and within 24 hours had literally covered his body. He's been a bit itchy, but not horribly so, and there's been no accompanying headache or fever though that's not unusual with this virus. A few days on and the rash is beginning to subside - now we're waiting for the other cub to come out in spots!

Happy holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Oh yes, and other things have been happening as well as me getting presents. : )

Andi and Andrew have had another baby! Campbell was born 26th November (that's Sagittarius... be prepared for brutal honesty with no malice, and many panic attacks cos he wanted to 'try stuff, just cos...') was 48 cms long and weighed almost 8 pounds (yes, Sammi, you were right!). Congratulations! <hugs> Is Alex sick of him yet? <g>

And congratulations Ken and Joules on your anniversary! (Joules was trying to work out how long it had been. You know what she's like with numbers, it was kind of fun watching her brain tangle...)

Aaaarrrr!! >P-} (Pirate emoticon courtesy of Joules. See? It's got an eyepatch...)
The cubs watched Pirates of the Carribean with me the other day. They weren't bothered by the skeletons, giggled in fact but do you want to know when they did cover their eyes?
The kissing scene, right at the end. <rolls eyes> Boys...
One thing that bugs me about 'historical' movies is when modern concepts or parlance is used. Call me a period-nazi if you must but using modernisms in that manner smacks of laziness. I don't buy the 'making it relevant to modern viewers' crap at all. (There are exceptions though. Moulin Rouge, for one, but then the speech was accurate, only the music was modern and that worked. Where was I? I did have a point when I started this rant. Ah yes...) In PotC, Elizabeth uses 'okay'. This grated a bit but I thought in fairness I should check the word/phrase's use. According to 'English through the Ages [William Brohaugh; 1998]) 'OK' was in use as an adjective by 1839. While I can't recall exactly when Pirates is set, (goodness, I'd better watch it again, then, hadn't I? <sunny smile> ) I figured it was probly close enough for accuracy. : )

The cubs and I went to see Deep Blue yesterday. My little loves were less than impressed at being taken to see another documentary, but again they got into it eventually.
I'm not sure why this movie was made, actually. It's been cut-together from the BBC telly doco 'The Blue Planet' - which would explain why it seemed very familiar - but what was the point? True, some of the visuals are stunning on the big screen but there was nothing new in it and seeing the orcas hunt and kill baby seals and whales was a bit confronting. Kudos to the makers if they were trying to get across the message about protecting this fragile, beautiful environment, but I don't think they did a particularly good job. Having only one line at the end about man 'plundering' the seas really didn't have enough impact. Eh well, it was a pretty film. If I was tempted to buy the DVD I think I'd hunt down the series rather than the movie.

Off to make myself a turkish delight flavoured hot choc and paw again through my treasures...

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

All I can say is that I must have been a very good girl.
<silly grin> There were two parcels waiting for me when I got back from the hell of xmas shopping today! Gods, where do I start? Thorne's parcel first…
The Two Towers dvd! <happy squeak> Mmmm… Horse Lords
andandand - I was delighted enough with the glittery fish sticker on the back of the envelope, but wait, there's more! 5 origami fish and the prettiest hand-made card with another glittery fish peeking up through fanned layers of blue and silver! That's destined for a picture frame, Thorne, thank you! <hugs> (And if I can pin the cubs' father down I'll get a scan of the card. : )
Now, the other parcel…
Frankly, Joules, I'm overwhelmed. <huggle>
Hee, the cubs are covetting my Hamham plushies (big Bijou and little Golden Arches of Doom Hamtaro - not released over here! Thanks, GoodTwin!) More strawberry Angel Delight, and more sachets of turkish delight flavoured hot choc than I could count on my fingers (had to take my shoes off <smirk> ) and chocolate and green tea and herbs and seeds and fluffy-pink handcuffs (perfect!) and purple studded wrist band and a purple gel-pen and a lovely book about an otter. Also a fridge magnet ('You can touch the dust but please don't write in it!') and a Dartmoor ponies snowdome and some seaside rock (yum!) and some rose-scented shower cream and a CD full of stuff I can't open in front of the cubs!
Plus there were some guide books for Bristol and Exeter (now firmly on my list of places to visit : ) and a gorgeous otter and pups figurine. Just beautiful! Phew! : ) Was there more? I can't remember! I'll just have to go paw through my treasures again…
Thanks, guys, you made my day. : )

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Sleepysleepysleepy... But, it's the first day of the Summer hols and already the cubs and I have gone out and done something. We trekked out to the Astor Theatre to see Microcosmos. It took a bus and 2 trains to get there though it was actually a fairly straight forward route. Lot of waiting about for connections and cos I'm retentive about being on time we left earlier than we needed to (just in case) and got to the cinema almost an hour and a half early. :) Did I mention it was hot today too? Got to 34 degrees...
Movie was good, some fantastic imagery and cleverly done overall - involving without being emotive. There was spontaneous applause when the dung beetle finally managed to push the ball off the twig where it had got stuck. Talk about empathising with the little guy...!
Was completely unsurprised when the cubs pretended to be insects on the way home. Did you know we lived in Melbuzzz, Wasptralia? <g> Don't know where their ability to warp a world-frame comes from...

Found a cheap copy of Pirates of the Carribean! Yay! I'd managed to miss it when it was screening, but I thorougly enjoyed the dvd. Yes, yes, Orli-squee, but barely noticed him for Depp. So gorgeously flamboyant! And as Joules says, I don't look for slash, honest, but if it's there...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Hm. The cubs got their end-of-year reports today. Boiled down they state that my boys are both highly intelligent, that both are more than capable of doing the work required but they need to learn to focus.
Gosh that sounds familiar: 'Could do so much better if she stopped daydreaming…' Heh.

Oh cool! I've graduated to a blue star on eBay! That's for positive feed-backs from 50 individual sellers. What's the next level? Turquoise at 100, I think.
(And before I get growled at for playing on eBay when I should be saving my money, that 50 has taken a looooooong time to reach with lots of little purchases…)

Rhythm is my nemesis.
Not the action, the word. I just cannot seem to spell it correctly without having to look it up. I get the 'r' at the beginning, and the 'm' at the end but everything in between tends to be a random selection of letters with at least 2 'y's. Dammit, if I could learn to say 'phenomenon' without half a dozen extra syllables I can bloody well learn to spell - <concentrating> - r-h-y-t-h-m! (Did I get it right? Cool! I did! And I didn't even have to refer to the bit of paper I have handy.)

Oookaaay… I've cut out nearly all of the bits of material I need for a third quilt. Yes, yes, the first is still languishing, waiting to be quilted, and the second is only 1/3 done but there's a method to my madness. I've had to give hand-sewing a rest for a week or so cos it looked like I'd given myself a mild repetitive strain injury to my thumb that I didn't want to aggravate. But, I really dislike being idle so to fill in the time when I couldn't write (ie: when the cubs are about and using the computer) I decided to make a start on the third quilt.
Having more than one project on the go doesn't only work for writing. :) I'm rarely bored…

<satisfied> The current joint fic with Joules is chuffing along nicely. Only one more chapter – we estimate – and that'll be finished too. The fluggy-bunny's having a wonderful time with it. Make of that what you will. :)

Sunday, December 12, 2004

One more week of school to go and I can see the cubs and I barely dragging ourselves through it. Got up late every day last week, can't imagine this week's going to be any better – this end of the year it's very hard to give a damn. : )

So, yes, the AC is finished and now the buzz is (finally) wearing off I find myself wondering what I can get on with next. I'm sure I'll think of something, it's not like I've got a dearth of things on the list. I've kinda sorta given myself the goal of finalising 'Dancing' over the holidays. Not sure how successful I'll be given the utter lack of head-space having the cubs home all the time means but it's something to aim for.
Definitely in the mood for some slave-fic, though. <slaps forehead in an unconvincing manner> Gosh, that's right, I just remembered: Joules has started something along those lines… Hee!

Half-watching the 2nd Charlie's Angels movie on telly. Not seen it before, it's very… um…
It's not just me, is it? The song on the soundtrack changes every couple of minutes. That's quite irritating, especially when it's a song I really like and it's not played through. As for the overuse of freeze-frame and slow-mo? Aaaargh…! Please can we just keep the movie moving along? <sigh> And the whole 80's retro-thing just got a bit much I have to admit.
But it did have a Singing in the Rain reference ("Jason! Jason! O-0-0 h, Jason!" <smirk> ) so that makes up for a lot.

I treated myself to some lovely sparkly material the other day (going to make myself some trousers : ) but of course I had to wash the material first, and now everything else that was in the wash is covered in sparklies. <g> Oh dear.

Friday, December 10, 2004

... I'm letting the fluggy-bunny have ascendancy at the moment...

The Alliance Chronicles is finished and I'm bawling my eyes out. The last three chapters are coded and posted (the last two are the ones Joules' has had finished for ages... : )
Gods, what can I say? It's been fun, I've loved working with Joules, I've learnt so much... All this and so much more I can't begin to express.
Joules started this monster in January 2001 and I leapt in during January 2002 (giving it a new lease of life, if I correctly recall Joules' words at the time <smirk> ) and now, almost 3 years after that it's finished. (Joules has just pointed out we've produced the equivalent of seven novels in that space of time! Seven! Good gods, see what inspiration will do for you?)
Oh bloody hell, I'm going to start crying again. Tch. Running out of hankies, too, let alone my glasses fogging up...
<waves hand airily UK-ward> It's your turn, Joules, you say something profound to mark the occasion...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Cracking thunderstorms over the past couple of days! Though they make the cubs very nervous and I can't use the computer in case of power surges. Eh well, it's worth it for the light-show. : )

Wouldn't environmental archaeology be a cool thing to study? That'd be amazing, tracing back an area, charting the changes and finding out how it used to look.

Blimey, leeches can move fast when they're hungry. Kind of creepy really, watching this icky twig barrelling towards you…

Saturday was the school's Transport Extravaganza Fair. It was okay, not enough 2nd hand stuff for me to paw through – not that I could've spent much time looking anyway, not with 2 cubs bouncing up and down about the rides. Some of the exhibitors were very interesting, (the Meccano club, again? Haven't I already seen them this year?) and given more time (and money) I probly could've had a teeny bit more fun.
The thing only went for 3 hours, fortunately, and we could only stay for 2, but the cubs managed to get 2 rides on the miniature trains, and one on the go-karts so they were happy. There was a helicopter there this year, would've loved to have gone on that but at $40 per person I couldn't quite justify it.
I will be very glad when the school year is over, frankly, I'm sick to death of filling in forms and handing over money. Aaaaargh! Will the torment never end?!
No, it's fine, I'm fine now. Nothing to see here.

I scored a free set of plastic storage boxes yesterday. The shelf price was lower than the scanned price so according to store policy I get the item for nothing. Hee.

Soulsis and I (plus our accoutrements of motherhood) went to Niki's on Sunday for some xmas craft fun. <rolls eyes> Whose idea was this? Actually it wasn't too bad, but then again I hadn't been the one to stay up late slaving over gingerbread. <g> There were lots of little gingerbread houses to decorate, and when they were done there were lots of biscuits could do with some brightening up, too. Making the icing-glue was the easy part.
The children had fun though and it was all relatively peaceful. What more can you ask?

There's a fashion shop (sorry, boutique) at our shopping centre called MNG. No idea what it stands for but every time I see the logo the word 'minge' leaps to mind…

Our ABC has recently held a poll for My Favourite Book. Thousands of entries, apparently. The top 10 was interesting with 'LotR' coming in first. Can't say I'm surprised but I wonder how well it would've done if not for the movies still being in recent memory.
I almost got 'round to voting, by the way, though I was initially stumped by what my favourite book could be. I mean, how do you judge? I've read a lot of brilliant stuff over the years. But then I figured your fav book would be one you kept coming back to, one that meant something to you, one that still moved you. With those criteria it was no contest, my favourite book is 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte. It was the first book where I remember really identifying with the main character, I felt everything she did and more. I was enraged on her behalf, and heart-broken, and ultimately blissfully happy for her at the end.
Hn, okay, perhaps the fluggy-bunny's been around longer than I'll admit. : )

I've had a look at the next chapter of the cubs' father's drivel Romance.
My head hurts. The fact he's a newbie writer is painfully obvious, he hasn't quite got to grips yet with 'establishing scenes' or keeping the time-frame consistent. Important things, in my opinion. I like to have a firm sense of where I am in the story, unless that disorientation is deliberate and done cleverly, of course.
Buuuuut, looking back over my early stuff… I can hardly point the finger and laugh. I've come a long way, no doubt he will, too.

Saw some 'new' LotR action-figures today. <shakes head> I didn't think it was possible for this series to get any worse. I was wrong. I've been puzzling over who the Elrond figure reminds me of - it's certainly not the Lord of Imladris - and I think I've got it. Remember the film Dark Crystal? Remember the witch/astrologer creature? The ugly one with the long earlobes and bulbous nose? Yerrsss… Not impressed.
The Helm's Deep Legolas is worse though. Not even pretty for a start, and I know that by that part of the story bathing hadn't been high on anyone's list for ages, but honestly the elf's hair was never faeces-brown!

Last night was the school's annual xmas concert.
At least it didn't go for long.
No, I'm exaggerating, it wasn't that painful and the grade 2's put in a rather interesting, rather avant-garde performance where the noises coming from the percussion instruments they were using didn't appear to have any connection with what they were supposed to be performing. <g> Ah, I can make my own amusement…

Saturday, December 04, 2004

I asked the cubs what they'd like to get their dad for xmas and they suggested a Transformer or a Neopet. <sigh> I don't think they've quite got the idea that a present should be something the recipient wants. : )

Awww… Brazilian giant otters pair for life…

I saw a really cute hooded top made out of cheesecloth in a shop the other day. The pattern's dead simple too, won't be at all difficult to copy, and for what they were charging for one of the things I can get enough material for three.

Ah… The house reeks of Lush's 'Rock Star' soap again, so much nicer to get a whiff of that on coming inside rather than… well… less pleasant odours. (Odours not produced by me, the cubs or the cat, I hasten to add.)

My mum's suggested she and I go to the Blue Mountains again next year – and take the cubs with us. Actually that could work really well. Means we'll have to drive up – which means we'll have our own transport up there instead of relying on the people we're staying with – which also means if the cubs get too boisterous I can spirit them away with relative ease. Can also take the cubs down to Sydney by train for day-trips to the Zoo and Museums, something I've wanted to do for ages.
Of course, taking the cubs means less of a genuine holiday for me but I'm sure I'll be able to convince their father to have them for a day or so when we get back.

Mmm… Super Saiyan 4pretty monkey…
Had to giggle during a flashback ep of DBZ-GT though, Vegeta saying he'd tried to be good like Goku, and me thinking that that'd take an acquired brain injury, wouldn't it? Cos that's what turned Goku around. <smirk>

Been happily watching some Captain Scarlet. Didn't realise that the basically peaceful Mysterons became the bad-guys after their first encounter with humans, who – predictably – went: "They're looking at us funny! Kill them! Kill them!" <g>

Heh, well I've written the first chapter of another novel.
What happened to the other one?


Over there!!

Naked bishies!!