Tuesday, May 31, 2005

(Joules is posting for me again - still can't get into blogger...)

You know, if I can afford it, I might go and see KoH again this week. Don't think it'll be in the cinemas for much longer. Wonder if there's any merchandise around? Be neat to have a Balian figurine to add to the collection...

The M cub has decided that Darth Vader is the coolest thing ever. (He's currently in the shower, pretending to be DV... in the shower, wearing a water-proof suit so the electronics don't short out... : )
Anyway, I was talked into letting them go to Maison d'Target after school this afternoon so they could ogle the Star Wars toys. There was a limited edition SW chess-set for sale and - this made me giggle - the 'queens' were Darth Vader and Obi-Wan! Appropriate, somehow, given some of the fanfic I've read over the years. (And anyway, aren't the queens the most powerful or important or something? In which case it should've been Yoda and the Emperor being the queens, not the kings. Where was I? Oh yes...)
Also on the shelves was a money box with a figure of DV on top of it that moved, and lit-up and played the Imperial March when you pressed a button. There were 7 of these quality pieces of tat, all in a row. The cubs had a kind of neon light-sabre mexican wave going there for a while - which made me laugh. This is nothing new, really, they started doing that with interactive Sesame Street toys years ago. It's rather intimidating having 10 bloody Elmos dancing frantically at you - slightly out of synch. <g>

Monday, May 30, 2005

Well this is annoying - I can't get into my Yahoo, eBay or Blogger accounts. (Joules is posting this for me - thank you, sinam!) Yahoo's telling me my browser isn't accepting the cookie so I'm assuming that's what's happening with the other two sites. Tch. Poked through the internet options on the browser thing and can't see that anything's changed. It happened after I'd downloaded adaware - though not immediately after so I don't know that had anything to do with it.
<grump> I only check Yahoo once a week, or less, and it would probly be a good thing if I can't get into eBay, but not being able to access Blogger is a pain in the bum.


Last night's dream seemed to be a catching up one. Inbetween getting ready for a deep-sea fishing trip I was chatting to people I'd gone to school with, worked with... and been in prison with.
<eyebrow> Oookaay. Maybe I'm reading too much crime fiction?


While I was waiting for the bus this afternoon, instead of filling in the time reading like I normally do, I had a think about the next chapter of SFSG. I wasn't consciously trying to plot, just letting my mind amble on down the path to see what stirred in the undergrowth. Couple of interesting plot-bunnies zipped out in front of me, just little ones... : ) Which is good - I have an idea of where this particular section is going now.


Erk, there's only 4 weeks 'til the end of term! And the cubs' birthdays! Erk!


Heh, well, the cubs' father has gone to see Kingdom of Heaven tonight. Be interesting to hear what he has to say about it, seeing as the Crusades and 11th-14th Century history is a particular interest of his.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Chapter 8 is finally finished. Not completely happy with it but that's what review/rewrites are for, eh?
But - only a third of the way through SFSG I've officially written more than I did of Dancing. <g> Pleased about that.

Okay, so I apparently have a thing for armour. I can pinpoint specifically where that started, too - Excalibur. Explains a lot. Sheesh, no wonder I was drawn to the SCA, and it's not so inexplicable now why the Rohirrim were so attractive. Tch. I might have a closer look at Escaflowne too, the few bits I've seen of that piqued my, um, interest...

Oh.my.gods. It's out there, I found it. Transformer smut. Nooooo! My eyes! It burns...!
Eeuuuww, and it's mostly het too.

I went to see Kingdom of Heaven yesterday afternoon, taking advantage of the cubs' father picking them up from school. It worked well, I'll be doing that again I think, catching an afternoon session of something. : )
The fun thing about going to see M rated movies is the different previews you get. G and PG movies won't show previews of anything else. Mind you, looks like there's some crap destined for our screens. One had me rolling my eyes - Stealth. The premise is a 3 man (person) team of fighter pilots get a fourth member who turns out to be (dun dun dun) a computer. In a completely original plot twist, the 'puter pilot is hit by lighting and becomes sentient. Oh for gods' sake... "Number 4 is alive!"
<groan> It's a pretty safe bet I won't be watching that.

And getting back to KoH - you didn't really expect me not to, did you? - there wasn't enough gratuitous nudity, in my opinion. Only one torso shot of Orli-squee! Tch, come on, let's have some fan-service! <smirk>

Hey wow, my hair is long enough again to need tying back. I need a haircut... Soulsis, can I prevail on you?

Awww, found the poem the S cub wrote for me for mother's day.
Trees are nice,
Hedgehogs are cool,
And Radics are super cool, but
Nothing is as cool as you.
Kacheeks are cute,

Yummy food,
Orange jelly is tasty too, but
U are cool

Mum,
U are cool.
Mum, you are ... cool
(Transcribed precisely, by the way.)
Isn't that sweet, and vaguely incomprehensible? : ) Just like real poetry...

Friday, May 27, 2005

I saw Kingdom of Heaven today!
<fangirly squeal> I loved it, not least because it catered to several of my less PC fantasies (of the 'bring him to my tent/chamber/talan' ilk. Hee.) The standard disclaimer at the end of the credits implied there'd been some liberties taken with the retelling of an actual event, but as 12th century European history isn't my forte I didn't pick up any glaring inaccuracies if there were any. What did impress me all to pieces though was the look of it. Everything looked right, the locations, sets, props, armour, costumes... And, oh, the costumes. Not a skerrick of knitted chain-mail anywhere and no obvious signs of machine sewing - on the principals costumes at least. (Sorry, pet hate. The costume fascist in me will not accept the fantasy if the fantasy doesn't make an effort to look real.) I was coveting the material all over the place, not so much the embroidered silks but the cottons, linens and wool. Gorgeous stuff, the texture was so inviting, I'd be happy never to wear modern-looking cloth again...
There were a couple of bits that made me giggle (Balian, son of Godfrey has the whitest teeth in Christendom!) because I can never completely take visual entertainment seriously but on the whole I had no quibbles with this movie. Alright, perhaps one or two. I'd be iffy about who were made the villains but I'd need to do some research first (it wasn't the Saracens, they were the 'noble enemy') and the 20th century moralising towards the end didn't sit all that comfortably but it wasn't too distracting.
Casting, and acting, was a good standard also. Jeremy Irons overacted just a touch, but hey, you expect that from him, and it was sooo nice to see David Thewlis not playing a slimy villain. Orli was convincing enough and what man would regret begetting such a pretty bastard? : )
So yes, I liked this movie. If you liked Gladiator you'll like this one - same director, same cinematic style, same splattering of gore. <g> I'd give it a squee factor of 7/10 - meaning that I was squeeing quietly to myself for about 70% of the movie. Coincidentally Orli was onscreen for least 70% of the time as well, not that that has any relation, I'm sure.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tch, it's bogging moth season again. Bloody things are everywhere, so many of them in fact that even KittenKong's lost interest in the chase.
(Though after a little googling... wondering now if the things invading my kitchen are actually Bogong moths. I'm pretty sure they are, even though this might technically be a bit too far South for them. It's not unlikely, I suppose, given the Autumn winds, that each year some get blown off-course and end up further South instead of continuing on to Queensland. Eh, at least the magpies are happy, they love the moths - in a purely culinary way...)

There was a retrospective documentary on Sunday night about Geldof's 80's Bandaid. It was quite fun to watch, seeing how well - or not - some of the 80's UK pop idols had aged. It was fun, also, watching footage from the event and giggling at the <cough> 'fashion'. I think it was Geldof who described Bono as 'Captain Mullet' <snigger>. What was also interesting was that almost all of those interviewed for the program said they hadn't realised just how big this thing was going to be and if they had they'd have made 'more of an effort' to look good on the day. <g>
But now I can't get the damn song out of my head...

Hm, I really should do something about my glasses. Last week one of the arms fell off and I couldn't find the missing screw so I slipped a sewing pin in to hold everything in place. There's a wad of sticky tape at the end of the pin to stop me poking myself in the eye...
Well, I should probly get new glasses anyway, or at least new lenses - these ones are scratched enough now (right on the focal point, too) that the marks register in my vision.

Oooh, I found the cutest thing in an op-shop yesterday. At first glance it looked like a small, round (15cm diameter), 3 tiered bento box decorated with a classic red/black/gold sakura pattern. Turns out it was plastic rather than lacquer and had originally been a chocolate gift-box. : ) I'm guessing it's from the 70's cos that's about the time the 'Japanese style' came into vogue in the West.
I also picked up a copy of John Berendt's book 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.' I knew it had been made into a movie but other than that didn't have much of a clue what it was about. It's faction, reality written as a novel (factfic?). <g> I love google...

And from the same site as the bogong moth - just cos I like cuddlefish...

(Tch, the link still comes up as the one for the bogong moth. Oh well, go to the bottom of that page and click on 'cuttlefish'. Or you could go here and read about human/cuttlefish interaction... : )

Sunday, May 22, 2005

It was a family outing to Scienceworks today - the cubs' father came with us. Which was good, cos with the car it was a 35 minute trip rather than 1.5 hours on public transport with a 20 minute walk at the end...
Excellent new exhibition about predators - Eaten Alive - the highlight of which was a 3D virtual dive in a shark-proof cage. That was cool, if a little gruesome. (The 3D seal bled quite realistically..) Lots of other fun and interactive thingies too, including some t'riffic animatronic critters. You could step back a bit from the 6' funnelweb spider cos you knew it wasn't real but the crocodile was life-size and that was disturbing to watch. Looking into that gaping maw and thinking, holy crap, I'd fit in there! <g>
One exhibit was a bit icky - 'guess who killed the deer?'. Big photo of a dead dear and below that a display of 3 different predators claw patterns (and behind a flap with a clearly marked squick warning, a photo of what's left of an animal when that particular predator has finished. Did you know cheetahs don't eat the intestinal tract while lions eat practically everything? Eeuuww.)
The cubs really enjoyed the exhibition, even though this evening one of them snuck out of his room at bedtime saying he couldn't sleep cos of the scary thoughts. Getting him to cuddle up with one of his plushies usually helps him settle but tonight we realised he has no plushies that aren't predators. <g> We reached a compromise - his big shark is still a predator but it's not likely to eat him...
The rest of the day there was lots of fun as well even though the 'Electricity' exhibit gave me headache. It was probly a combination of the static being generated and the dozens of strong magnets used in the displays.
Having a look in the gift-shop a little later and the cubs were a bit disappointed they couldn't have the Albert Einstein action-figure (I kid you not) or the robot-gripper claw but were happy enough with a blob of slime and a bottle of the 'touchable bubbles' bubble making kit. And I was happy cos I got another fishie to add to my collection! Only missing the self-coloured gold wind-up koi now from the collection. : )

Walking back from the supermarket on Saturday the cubs and I stopped to browse the bargain book table outside the newsagent. On sale was the Athens Olympics special edition of B&W Magazine. Lovely, lovely nude photos, I spent several minutes browsing - then the cubs noticed what I was looking at and wanted to look as well. It did occur to me for a split second that perhaps I shouldn't be letting my children see these pictures then I dismissed the thought. They were just images of nude people, they weren't sexualised in any particular way and I honestly couldn't see the problem. Besides, I'd rather the cubs got their first look at naked bods from something like this than the less-than-subtle porn mags.

Annoyed though, discovered the bakery next to the newsagents has changed hands in the past few days. That's where I've bought my coffee (organically produced in E.Timor by a fair-trade group - absolutely delicious) for the past year. I'll be miffed if I can't get hold of it easily.

Right, actually making headway with chapter 8 and I've regained my confidence that I can write something that's not crap. Heh.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Watched the first episode of the new Dr Who tonight.
<snerk> All sorts of CGI bells and whistles available and still the Beeb relies on people in rubber suits for their monsters. : )
I did enjoy it though, given my initial reserve about Eccleston but his version of the Dr quickly grew on me.
And I like Rose, too. Has the Dr ever had an assistant who doesn't have the capacity to be smarter than him? <g>
Actually yes, he has, a couple of the early ones were pretty dim...
Looking forward to next weeks ep now!

Damn, looks like Sublunary is folding soon. Tch, annoyed about that, it's one of the rare, decent yaoi comics around. The question is, could the lack of good yaoi be impetus enough for me to have a go at doing my own?
Heh, probly not.

Soulsis sent me this link... Potter Puppet Pals.
Looks really funny - but I can't hear it! <pout>

I like crime fiction, it works for me like Romance novels works for others - nice bit of light reading to relax with. I also like it cos it makes me feel smart. Even if I don't always correctly predict the actual plot I invariably pick up on the side issues.
I didn't think I was smart enough to write crime fiction though and I said as much to Joules the other night. <shakes head> I really should expect the [pings] when I make daft statements like that, ne?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I saw Return of the Sith today.
Hm.
It's not that I didn't enjoy it, but my suspension of disbelief will only stretch so far before it snaps back and smacks me in the head.
First let me say there were parts that I loved. Lucas has always been good at realisation of vistas; the space scenes, the cityscapes, the landscapes, all the 'big picture' stuff was marvelous and I lost myself in those bits. I really liked the Wookies homeworld and Corisant all the way through this trilogy has lived for me. There were other things, too, that impressed me - the glimpses of the political intrigues that were the heart of the problems and the rather neat way all the threads were tied up as the stage was set for 'A New Hope' but...

[Potential Spoilers - though I don't think I'm giving too much away.]

- General Grievous was a glaringly obvious plot-device ('we have the technology...')

- the moment of schlock horror near the end had me laughing out loud even though I suspect it was meant to be one of the more emotionally charged parts of the action.

- the 'extras' looked like nothing more than cosplayers at a convention. You know how fangeeks can be so terribly serious yet self-conscious in their roles? Yes, well.

- she was so not carrying close-to-term twins!
... but worst of all was the awful feeling I was witnessing some very clumsy fanfic. Great chunks seemed to be missing from the narrative and tenuous threads of plot were tied together in such a way it left me with the impression the author couldn't think of a better way to fit it all the disparate, though necessary, bits together.

But then again, much as those gaffes pained me they're not the things I'll be remembering. The movie was truly heart-wrenching in places, the tragedy of it was believable. I could see where the Ben Kenobi and Yoda of the original series were formed and their existence there is all the more poignant knowing the backstories.
I don't know why, can't pinpoint the reason, but I felt Yoda was the most real character of them all in RotS. I was empathising freely with the little green CGI dude, and rarely if at all with the majority of the flesh and blood cast (and not at all with that stupid gold 'droid. Gods, he's always annoyed me!)
Eyecandy McDrooly does a very convincing Alec Guinness though and the feathered lizard was soooo cute! I'll definitely be looking out for the action figure of that. : )
Oh, and the tapeworm ballet will keep me amused for days, I'm sure...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

<licks lips> I want some steak, now, a slab of meat that bleeds when you stick your knife in.
It's been days since I've had red meat - wonder if that's got anything to do with this craving. That, or the fact that I've eaten nothing but vegetables for the past couple of days.
Mind you, tonight's dinner (cauliflower and carrot au gratin) was sehr yummy despite the garlicky white sauce being a little bit lumpy. (Note to self: remove sautéd garlic from the saucepan before making the sauce, then mix it back in later...)
<sigh> I still want red meat, though, and sausages just won't do it for me. Oh well, I'll treat myself later this week, I have organic beetroot to look forward too first! (Ooh, I can have that tomorrow night with the grilled chicken! Mmmm...)

Beetroot... now there's something I can put on my list of things I'd like to grow. : )

(Postscript: Blogger's spell-checker didn't recognise gratin and threw up greaten as a suggestion?
Pardon? Why on earth does that daft bit of software have an archaic (though very interesting) word like that in its database when it doesn't have more or less everyday words like, oh I don't know... blog? Tch.)

Watching the Holy Rodent Channel the other day and one of the regular presenters was talking to some pretty blond about his music or something. She was commenting on the debut of his new album and she burbled (and I quote) "...the reaction was magnanimous!"
<head->desk> The hell is she talking about?!
Unless of course the music wasn't really that good and the 'fans' were just being generous...
Honestly, people, if you're going to use a big word at least know what it means first.

Okay, looks like I might be able to get back to SFSG - I've dealt with the bit that had me shuddering to a halt, doubting my ability to turn out anything other than clichéd dross. (No, I'm not being overly harsh, it was so... pat it made me cringe. I knew I could do better than that.)

I had another 'getting ready for a cruise' dream last night, only this time the cubs' father (and housemate, I think) were part of the entourage which made the preparations even less fun. Not that any of the cruises in these dreams have been the happy fun-time holiday sort anyway, they've all had a feeling of a destination.
A recurring dream (or theme) means something, doesn't it? What am I trying to tell myself?
Mind you the dream I had night before last was jolly interesting. Set in Victoria England, which was scary enough <shudder> but it also woke me up. (Can't remember the last time a dream woke me - other than the ghost one I had when I was pregnant, but anyway...) In the early part of the dream there was a man, a shape-changing fox-demon who was killed. Didn't seem to have any relevance to the rest of the dream until later I found out he was the father of a young woman who'd just run away with her beau. How did I know this? The pair were on the river, making their escape; she was breathless and excited, the oar dipped into the water and (dun dun DUN) pulled up the corpse of a large fox! Eeeuuwww! I woke up at that point because the critter's eyes were open, and alive! And the thought running through my head at that point was that the girl's actions didn't have daddy's approval.
Exciting, eh?
I have very interesting dreams sometimes. Remind me to mention the one where the billionaire Asian man asked me to marry him...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Hm. The berry sake drink isn't as nice as the lychee one, not as sweet. Still yummy, especially straight out of the freezer. : )

<tremulous sigh> They grow up so fast...
The cubs tonight asked for fruit, without prompting, and last night there was kissing in the movie we were watching and they didn't go "eeuuwww...!". : )

... and speaking of 'waking up Hicks', housemate was watching Aliens when the cubs, their father and I got home this evening from the Japan Festival in Box Hill.
Not a bad day, far too many people for comfort but there were plenty of good things to drool over. The cubs were thrilled to see their father up on stage with his naginata group and it was definitely worth staying for the taiko drumming which concluded the day's program. : )
Picked up a cute wee (4") gashaphon (I think) toy of a perky red-head in a bodysuit. No idea who she was until I got home and googled her. <g> Arisa Glennorth from Stellvia of the Universe.
The cubs got a cheapie robot action figure each as well as having fun making a couple of little origami things. (One of the cubs was terribly disappointed cos he couldn't find any Transformers toys this year. There were some last year but I couldn't afford them. The robot toys made up for that, though.)
Manifest is on again in September (hee! Might get there this year) and I also discovered there's an Australian manga group - OzTaku. They had copies of their publication for sale but not surprisingly I couldn't afford them. Might try tracking them down in a couple of weeks, they looked very interesting and I think it'd be good to get behind locally produced manga.
Lots of food! I had some inari there for lunch and got a couple of packs of california rolls (priced 2 for 1 at the end of the day) to take home for dinner. (And the cubs' father had got me a sushi pack as well. Mmm... spoilt!) The cubs shared their fairy floss with me and we scoffed some delicious chocolate cake before the drumming started. I treated myself as well to a couple of bottles of Tsunami, a 'sparkling sake cocktail'. Very yummy. (Drank the lychee and Muscat flavour with my sushi, and I'll open the Muscat and berry flavour once the cubs are in bed...)

Oh, in other news, the cubs' father has finally got himself another car. He's a happy puppy again.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Thursday, May 12, 2005

.......

(Come hither, little thoughts, I know you're there somewhere... Ah yes, there you are...)

Soundcard's still non-functional but to be honest I haven't made that much effort to fix it. More irritating though is that the cd-burner needs to be reinstalled and while I've got the drivers I stupidly didn't make a note of the password code thing to activate it. Won't be making that mistake again.
But, I'm able to get online, and write and that's the most important thing. : )

Speaking of writing, SFSG is on hiatus for a wee while. It'd ground to a halt after 6-ish weeks of intense (for me) work and I decided I needed a break. The little short I'm working on at the moment is lots of fun though, and sufficiently different from the novel to be refreshing.
I've also decided that for the most part I won't be posting my original fiction online. What I'll do instead is perhaps post a teaser here and if anyone's interested in reading something they can email me.

Still on the subject of writing found this quote on Oddverse (used without permission.)
There are often claims that Science Fiction and it's bastard daughter Fantasy are in some way easy escapist nonsense. The argument runs along the lines of: These worlds are fictional, rather than researched. So they're made up. So the writer, in choosing to set their fiction there, has done something easy, and therefore to be derided.

This is, of course, nonsense.

It's one thing to write a novel set on the world of the bouncing pigs. It's another thing to set a novel on the world of the bouncing pigs, but make the world entirely plausible, make the bouncing feel entirely natural, make the characters the sort of living breathing characters that the reader can relate to, and tell a story that says as much about the culture inhabited by the writer as it does about the culture that the writer has created. In some ways, writing what you know is the easy way out. Creating something plausible is much, much trickier.
I tend not to write 'real life' situations, partly cos the idea of research is too much like hard work, but mostly because it's much more fun creating my own worlds. : )

<g> And then there was this - the results of my personality defect quiz. (Nicked from Valkyrie's lj.)

Starving Artist
You are 28% Rational, 0% Extroverted, 28% Brutal, and 71% Arrogant.

You are the Starving Artist! You are more intuitive than logical, and
are primarily guided by your heart and emotions. You are also very
introverted and gentle. Of course, this does not mean that you do not
have an ego. In fact, you are surprisingly arrogant for someone so
emotional and gentle. This is why you are best described as a starving
artist. You are very introspective and quite sure of yourself, as any
accomplished artist is, yet your views are impractical, emotional, and
overly gentle. You probably find math, logic, and similar intellectual
pursuits offensive to your artistic sensibilities, and you prefer the
open-endedness of artistry because then you know you can never truly
have a wrong answer. So really you have no reason to be arrogant, you
big doofus, because the skills you value (emotion, spirit, art, etc.)
in yourself are valuable only on a subjective level, meaning your
arrogance is purely masturbatory. In short, your personality is
defective because you are arrogant, introverted, introspective, gentle,
and thoroughly irrational...posessing most of the traits needed to be a
starving--and useless--artist. So get out there, write a few short
stories that are allegories for the spirit, and starve!


To put it less negatively:

1. You are more INTUITIVE than rational.

2. You are more INTROVERTED than extroverted.

3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.

4. You are more ARROGANT than humble.


My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 3% on Rationality
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on Extroversion
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 29% on Brutality
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 81% on Arrogance
Link: The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline


Tee hee hee.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Hee. Joules, don't bother sending things by air anymore. Send them surface mail - they get here quicker!
<happy squeak!> I got a parcel! Where to start...?
A Hello Kitty toothbrush holder; a small spray of beautiful silk orchids; fistfuls of sachets of Turkish delight flavoured hot chocolate (my favourite!); mwahahahahah! - the Reloaded DVD (Twinfix!); a pink scarf that I think is pretty; a see-through blow-up pillow stuffed with purple feathers!; strawberry lollies and chocolates for the cubs (I'm sure they'll share); a beaded choker; an Incredibles funfax (stickers! cool!) and a gorgeous lampshade! There was also some off-cuts from the materials Joules recently used for decorating - so pretty!
<hastily> No, not pretty, um, rich, opulent, gorgeous... and plenty for me to do something with. I have plans... <g>

There was also a package of leaf-shaped, rose-scented bookmarks - the strawberry-scented ones had been confiscated by the Quarantine people. <shakes head> Why one and not the other? Gods know.
But anyway, the rest of my treasures are fabulous! I shall enjoy pawing through them, immensely. : )Thank you, Joules!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Yay! Niki to the rescue! The cubs have PowerPoint and I have Word again. One less reason to procrastinate, eheh... : )

Soundcard's still being awkward but Bob GoodTwin (<smirk> ) has some ideas for me to try.

Tch. Can't think - too much sugar over the past couple of days. Brain go squeak.
Though I will finish the holiday weekend thread soonish.
I'm sure I will.
Remind me...

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Before I say anything else I have to thank GoodTwin for her help getting me back online safely, and for her ongoing role as 'puter guru. Thank you! : )

It's Mothers' Day here. Didn't quite get breakfast in bed but there was a bowl of weatabix soup waiting for me in the kitchen. <giggling> One biscuit crumbled up into a bowl of milk. I added another biscuit to soak up some of the liquid and everything was fine. (When I say 'weatabix' I actually mean an organic knock-off with half the added sugar of the brand name one. Yummy!)
And there were presents, too. In fact the cubs wanted to turf me out of bed an hour earlier cos they were eager to give me their gifts! I'm now the proud owner of 2 garden ornaments (a metal 'silhouette' bee, and a beads and copper wire butterfly - both sit on top of metal sticks); 2 fridge magnet shopping lists; a pretty coffee cup; a funky glittery orange desk set and a fistful of cub-made cards. <bsg> I have to say it's an improvement on the bonking frogs, phallic snails and ugly-faced plant holders from previous years. Not that I didn't love those as well, but... Heh.

Tony also gave me a present - Volume 8 of Yu Yu Hakusho. And miraculously, it looks like the DVD is working again. Hooray! I've a hankering to watch Velvet Goldmine and Cyber City Oedo as well.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

<frowning> Almost back to normal, aside from hunting down and bookmarking favoured sites and getting bloody M$Word to work! Grrr...
(It's not the end of the world though, Word.docs open in WordPad.)
Oh, and pecking at Eudora. Stupidly didn't make a note of the settings before. Oh well. Again that's not the end of the world, can still access the different accounts online.

And there was a present waiting for me in one of them!
<smirk> The opening fic of the MS Avenger... Mine, all mine! Mwhahahahahahahah! (Still giggling - it's so funny! Thank you, Joules!)

Mother's day here tomorrow. The cubs have been at pains to tell me they'd bought some lovely stuff at the school's mothers' day stall and I've been threatened promised breakfast in bed...

Friday, May 06, 2005

Please tell your ningen that mine is missing her, and she's sending Butch over to see if he can do anything to help out.

I did say that probably wasn't a good idea, given what Butch and Bruce get up to when they're together, but she wouldn't listen...

Am I futilely beating my head against a wall?
As luck would have it I get home and find the browsers are working again. Hooray! - quoth I - I can see if I can find some different anti-viral/firewall software for free!
<grump> Most of it won't download let alone run from FireFox. I (reluctantly) switch to IE and discover that they won't run from there either, cos the sites use bloody java, which - I don't know why - has never worked on this 'puter. The one bit of gear I could get to d/l now won't install. Just fan-farging-tastic.

Homicidal? A bit. Close to tears? Definitely.
Anybody got any suggestions before I give up and do a [format c:]?

(And to make the day complete, the cubs' father finally managed to get enough money together to see about getting his car fixed only to find out it's essentially a write-off. It'll cost less to buy another car.)

Very tempted to take money I can't afford and drown my sorrows in sushi. I would be tempted to blow the cash on frivolous DVDs except the player's still not working.

Whinge-moan-complain. At least my children love me...

<grumble> Having 'puter problems. None of my 'net security software will run and it looks like the problems are cascading down to affect the rest of my system.
Virus? Hacker? Don't know but they'd be in fear for their fingers and voicebox if I ever catch up with the creator.

Thorne, how does Linux cope with reading Word/Windows documents? Very tempted to switch over but if I can't access my work there's no point.

One last try to sort it out then if that doesn't work I'll probly have to reinstall the OS.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Oh my brain hurts.
'Red Sonja'.
Gods this is an awful movie.
Would it have killed the actors (Arnie, Bridget, primarily) to have worked just a little inflection into their voices? And my goodness, isn't that a heroic codpiece Callidor is flaunting...
I like the sword and sandal fantasy genre, I really do, it just never seems to translate well to the screen no matter how good the props/sets/costumes are. The movies can be fun though, as long as you can switch off your logic function.

Fundraising time at school again. Could we eat $40 worth of chocolate in a week? You betcha. : ) Whether we should or no is another matter entirely. I suppose we should make some effort to actually sell some.

.............

Nope, can't remember what else I was going to say. The laughable 'script' of the movie has worked its evil and turned my brain to porridge...

Monday, May 02, 2005

When a plant doesn't grow the way you want it to, you prune it. As for plants, so for fics. 3 pages into chapter 8 and the notion that it was all going the wrong way stopped being a suspicion and became a full-fledged certainty. The problem was, I think, that I was viewing the flow of events from a 21st century, First world perspective, which is nothing like the predominant culture in SFSG.
So, time for a rethink. I had to pull the fluffy-bunny off the path of gentleness and compassion and point her nose towards something a bit less... fluffy. It's a little aggravating - there was some good stuff in those 3 pages - but I'm happier now with what's unfolding and I'm sure I'll be able to slot some of that meaty angst in somewhere else. : )

Okapi sent me this! I laughed out loud. <g>
Household Principles; Lamentations of the Father
by Ian Frazier


Laws Concerning Food and Drink

Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the cloven-hoofed animal, plain or with cheese, you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats you may eat, but absolutely not in the living room. Of the juices and other beverages, yes, even of those in sippy-cups, you may drink, but not in the living room, neither may you carry such therein. Indeed, when you reach the place where the living room carpet begins, of any food or beverage there you may not eat,
neither may you drink.

But if you are sick, and are lying down and watching something, then may you eat in the living room.


Laws When at Table

And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a chair such as a greater person might use, keep your legs and feet below you as they were. Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me. Yes, even when you have an interesting bandage to show, your feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke. Drink your milk as it is given you, neither use on it any utensils, nor fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what they are for; if you will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick it off, you will be sent away. When you have drunk, let the empty cup then remain upon the table, and do not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold it to your face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck; for you will be sent away.

When you chew your food, keep your mouth closed until you have swallowed, and do not open it to show your brother or your sister what is within; I say to you, do not so, even if your brother or your sister has done the same to you. Eat your food only; do not eat that which is not food; neither seize the table between your jaws, nor use the raiment of the table to wipe your lips. I say again to you, do not touch it, but leave it as it is. And though your stick of carrot does indeed resemble a marker, draw not with it upon the table, even in pretend, for we do not do that, that is why. And though the pieces of broccoli are very like small trees, do not stand them upright to make a forest, because we do not do that, that is why. Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one side or the other, nor slide down until you are nearly slid away. Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And now behold, even as I have said, it has come to pass.


Laws Pertaining to Dessert

For we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall have dessert. But of the unclean plate, the laws are these: If you have eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see, and you have also eaten enough of your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see, then you shall have dessert. But if you eat a lesser number of peas, and yet you eat the potatoes, still you shall not have dessert; and if you eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, you shall not have dessert, no, not even a small portion thereof. And if you try to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear you have eaten what you have not, you will fall into iniquity. And I will know, and you shall have no dessert.


On Screaming

Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time. If you are given a plate on which two foods you do not wish to touch each other are touching each other, your voice rises up even to the ceiling, while you point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say to you, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the server, that the server may correct the fault. Likewise if you receive a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is loathsome to you, and steeped in vileness, again I say, refrain from screaming. Though the vileness overwhelm you, and cause you a faint unto death, make not that sound from within your throat, neither cover your face, nor press your fingers to your nose. For even now I have made the fish as it should be; behold, I eat of it myself, yet do not die.


Concerning Face and Hands

Cast your countenance upward to the light, and lift your eyes to the hills, that I may more easily wash you off. For the stains are upon you; even to the very back of your head, there is rice thereon. And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon the tie of your shoe, rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner wonderful to see. Only hold yourself still; hold still, I say. Give each finger in its turn for my examination thereof, and also each thumb. Lo, how iniquitous they appear. What I do is as it must be; and you shall not go hence until I have done.


Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances

Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time. Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of bath water of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub yourself against cars, nor against any building; nor eat sand.

Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? And hum not that humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed, you will drive me to madness. Nor forget what I said about the tape.


Complaints and Lamentations

O my children, you are disobedient. For when I tell you what you must do, you argue and dispute hotly even to the littlest detail; and when I do not accede, you cry out, and hit and kick. Yes, and even sometimes do you spit, and shout "stupid-head" and other blasphemies, and hit and kick the wall and the molding thereof when you are sent to the corner. And though the law teaches that no one shall be sent to the corner for more minutes than he has years of age, yet I would leave you there all day, so mighty am I in anger. But upon being sent to the corner you ask straightaway, "Can I come out?" and I reply, "No, you may not come out." And again you ask, and again I give the same reply. But when you ask again a third time, then you may come out.

Hear me, O my children, for the bills they kill me. I pay and pay again, even to the twelfth time in a year, and yet again they mount higher than before. For our health, that we may be covered, I give six hundred and twenty talents twelve times in a year; but even this covers not the fifteen hundred deductible for each member of the family within a calendar year. And yet for ordinary visits we still are not covered, nor for many medicines, nor for the teeth within our mouths. Guess not at what rage is in my mind, for surely you cannot know.

For I will come to you at the first of the month and at the fifteenth of the month with the bills and a great whining and moan. And when the month of taxes comes, I will decry the wrong and unfairness of it, and mourn with wine and ashtrays, and rend my receipts. And you shall remember that I am that I am: before, after, and until you are twenty-one. Hear me then, and avoid me in my wrath, O children of me.

(Copyright C 1997 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; February 1997; Laws Concerning Food and Drink; Household Principles; Lamentations of the Father; Volume 279, No. 2; pages 89 - 90.

Lamentations of the Father was written by Ian Frazier. Please do not send or copy this to anyone unless you send this entire page, including this attribution.)
<g> Cute, ne?

Another Batman movie, eh? A backstory, eh? Could be all right; could be crap. Christian Bale as the young Bruce Wayne made me smile though, he was Arthur in Velvet Goldmine...


Sunday, May 01, 2005

Right, chapter 7's finally finished and 8's been started. This only-working-on-one-thing-at-a-time lark does have its benefits but I think I'm going to have to take a break and do something else soonish before I get bored. <hand to forehead> Curse my gadfly mind and it's need for evernew shiny things...
No, not really, I'd never wish away my creativity or imagination, but I know myself well enough to pick when I'm starting to get fed-up with something. And coincidentally I'm sure, a proto-idea I've had kicking around for ages fell into place last night while I was watching Sharpe's Honour. It'd make a decent short, I think, perhaps a novella...

I'll happily admit to being a voyeur - I do like to watch, anonymously - and I've just discovered photoblogs! There is something strangely compelling about peeping into the lives of total strangers. True, a lot of the images are completely inane or meaningless (if you don't know the person) but there's also a wealth of incidental information about who they are and how they feel about themselves, their lives, their friends, their town etc. It's fascinating to see what other people find interesting enough to post.
I definitely want my own digital camera now, I've already begun composing shots in my mind of my everyday things.

When I was younger I used to roll my eyes and smirk at older folks and their 'set ways'. I have a different perspective on that now. It's not so much to do with being inflexible and ornery but more along the lines of knowing what works for you.
Of course, there are some people who are inflexible and ornery but I'm never going to be like them. : )

traveler's tales!
Sunday was a good day. Another breakfast of bacon and eggs then several hours of combat scrabble interspersed with a few brain-twisting games of Set and then suddenly it was nearing dusk. A small excursion to the nearby blowholes and petrified forest was organised.
<happy sigh> The colour of the sea around the coast was amazing, varied shades of deep aqua and white, white foam that contrasted amazingly with the black volcanic rock. And it all glowed in the evening light - just beautiful. The petrified forest was a little eerie but fascinating. In some of the limestone tubes you could see the impression left by the bark of the trees and that combined with the complex weathering of the sandstone (looked like perfect cliff-side dwellings for flyers, in miniature) it all felt so... ancient. I definitely want to go back there, there's still so much to see!
Our last dinner was scrumptious chicken and vegetable parcels (thank you, Sam!) and stewed apples with ice-cream. Mmmmm... (And the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of doooom that was started on Friday night was determinedly finished by Soulsis, 'bec... and others, can't remember. I wondered where they'd got to that afternoon... : )
I did most of my packing before I went to bed, which meant the next morning wouldn't be quite so much of a frantic rush and I could enjoy what was left of my time at Cape Bridgewater.