Saturday, July 30, 2005

"Dinner and bondage... Works for me!"
I'm really enjoying this new Dr Who. There's daleks in next week's ep - does that mean the series is winding up?

The cubs had Friday off and my time-sense is completely out of whack. I've been pleasantly surprised several times today to remember that it's not Sunday and I don't have to get up early tomorrow morning. : )

Happy Lutra. The cubs and I went to the Aquarium today. Unfortunately our membership had expired so we had to pay to get in. Ouch. Been a while since we've been but it was lovely. I suspect I was wandering around with the biggest, doofiest grin...
There was a new cuttlefish - a giant cuttlefish. It was huge! I stood and watched it strobe bands of colour over its skin for several minutes, fascinated in much the same way the prey would be.
There were some new tadpoles, and the adult frogs were much bigger. The juvenile rays had been taken out of the mangrove exhibit - probably too big for it now - but there were some woodgie wee baby smooth-skinned rays and wobegongs in the tank where the baby port jackson sharks had been. So cute! Only the size of my hand! <g>
Cubs had a great time as well, culminating in a visit to the gift shop. They got an orange plush jelly-fish, to go with the blue one we've had for a while; an inflatable shark and another big plush shark for the S cub, distinguishable from his brother's big plush shark cos a: it's clean, and b: it's got 'Melbourne Aquarium' stitched on its side. Oh, and I bought myself a little snowdome with seahorses inside.
Next time we go - all being well - I'll be able to subtract the price of today's entry fee off the cost of a yearly subscription. Which is how we managed to pay for the last lot. : )

Speaking of snowdomes, the husband of the other library volunteer mum I work with at the cubs' school has just come back from the UK. She said ages ago that she'd asked him to get me a snowdome but I'd forgotten about it until she told me she'd given it to one of the cubs to give to me! Now I have a London snowdome nestled in with the rest. <g>

No idea what brought it on but I was reminiscing about cats I've been owned by and got terribly upset when I couldn't remember the name of one of them! True, it was a long time ago and I didn't have him for very long - he got hit by a car - but he was the loveliest, most affectionate, rather stupid cat I've ever known. This is how dim he was: Mum was the one who fed all the animals but it was me he'd come and wake up! Very strange having your nose purred into while you're asleep...
He had a daft name, too. Something like Nigel, or Basil. Bruce? Butch? No good, I'm going to have to dig out the old old photos. I can't even remember what he looked like - I have an impression of big yellow eyes and dark fur...

George! His name was George and he was a dark tabby!
Yay, I remembered! And dammit, and now I really miss him.
Definitely going to have to get those photos now...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

So. Half-blood Prince. I'm curious to see where Rowling's going with this. I can see why some sectors of the fanbase are in a bit of a tizz, though. Not unjustified, but... JKR's not the most sophisticated of writers, I don't doubt the resolutions will be about as subtle as a nudist in a nunnery. How long is she planning on dragging this out intending the series to be? And how long 'til the next book's released? There was a 2 year gap between the last 2.

Was it just me or did anyone else want to slap TeenAngst!Harry? Bodes well for my tolerance of the cubs as teenagers. <g>

I don't have a lot of time for mpreg fanfic but I discovered it doesn't bother me half as much as sex-change fanfic.
<grump> Snape. Is. Male.

Given how deeply immersed in the HP world-frame I've been this past little while I wasn't at all surprised to see the newspaper headline: "Jury convicts Wizard". Hee. (It was actually: "Jury convicts Vizard". Another routing of a shonky businessman, but I would've been far more interested in the other story.)

It occurred to me today that I'd never written an mpreg. I was prepared to dismiss the idea but Joules suggested a particular pairing (it would have to be a fanfic, to plumb the true depths of awfulness) whereupon I was hit in the back of the head by a series of [pings]. Tch. I'll need to check a couple of things before I begin...

(Nicked from Valkyrie's lj: )

I am nerdier than 45% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

I possibly would have scored less but I googled a couple of the answers. : )

The cubs were out with their father for a little while this afternoon so I ambled on up to the local op-shop. A good haul today. A black denim skirt and a pair of blue/lilac patterned denim shorts - both destined for the fabric stash; one of those expanding/collapsing ball-structure thingies for the cubs (it glows in the dark, too!); a lurid yellow chicken-shaped toothpick holder; a paté knife with a handle shaped like xmas tree baubles - to add to the collection; and 2 of the 4 Golden Arches of Doom collectible Batman movie drink glasses from 10 years ago! (I know they're 10 years old cos a friend very kindly collected them all for me while I was in hospital with the cubs.)
All of that for $3.50. Bargain.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

There's movement on the old school site at last, though so far it only seems to be ripping up the old paths and tearing down the stand of fire-damaged gum trees. Fortunately they'll be working around the glorious liquid amber - I'd cry if that had to go, it's my favourite tree.

I had something profound to say about puddles and rainbows but blowed if I can remember what it was so here's a couple of links instead.
This was nicked from Valkyrie's lj. It's got some screenshots from a dubbed and subbed version of 'Revenge of the Sith' and it had me crying with laughter.
Now, this evidence of life on Mars site was listed on a 'crackpots and cranks' site that Joules showed me. Sorry, I thought I'd bookmarked the original but I hadn't. Oops...

Oh! I saw a fair-dinkum mullet today! I only just managed to stop myself staring. It was a prime example, too, thick and fluffy on top, long and silky at the back. Hideous, just hideous.

Soulsis, I've got a copy of 'Half-blood prince' for you - if you haven't got it already - but I'm reading it first.
Tch, I shouldn't be telling you that via my blog I should get off my bum and ring you! Later <hand to forehead, cough> I'm still poorly. : )

Monday, July 25, 2005

Sometimes, bad fanfic is just what you need.
The cubs' father has been dragging around with a heavy cold for several days and now I think it's my turn. The sore throat I had last night has transmuted into a runny nose and an irritating cough and I'm just beginning to feel that drag in my lungs. Tch. But anyway instead of sensibly having a nap before I had to dive out and pick the cubs up from school I finished reading some Harry Potter badfic on AFF.
Actually, Indago isn't that bad. The standard of writing is reasonable for AFF, the spelling and grammar isn't too awful and most of the characterisations aren't too out of whack. Most of them. Some I thought were way OOC but this is an AU, and there was some attempt to rationalise the behaviour so yeah, all right.
The story's not the best, the ending wasn't unexpected, and some of the push/pulls used to nudge the plot forward made me roll my eyes but it wasn't so bad that I lost interest before being hooked by teh drama and teh angst. <g> And I'm partial to a dominant Snape so all in all there was enough to keep me going through the 58 shortish chapters. The fluffy bunny loved it but I think she's just feeling sooky cos of the cold.
What's been fun though is I'm muddling up the HP canon and fannon. At a particularly tense moment in Order of the Phoenix I caught myself thinking that Harry shouldn't be charging off like that, not in his delicate condition! Wait a minute... d'oh! (Did I mention that Indago is an mpreg? : )
Eh, if you're not a HP canon-fascist this fic probly won't make you want to claw out your eyes but the author's other fic - By Fair Means or Foul - is much more entertaining. (I've mentioned this one before, it's another mpreg AU, centered around Snape and it's very funny. It's also complete now, at 29 chapters, and it's another favourite of the fluffy bunny.)

Okay, my ability to round-off thoughts is even wonkier than usual, so moving right along...

I was watching the clouds this afternoon while I was waiting for the bus. There were two distinct layers: the lower layer of clouds was scudding [isn't that a fabulous word?] along while the upper layer was still. I was marveling at how fast the air must've been moving for the clouds to race like that. I could just make out the sun behind a bank of dark rain-cloud and I thought:
"Above the clouds, the sun is always shining... Except when it's night...
Meh, I've never been good at formulating Hallmark sentiments.

I've started chapter 16. : ) Is there a word for when you fall in love with one of your characters? And as your characters tend to reflect aspects of yourself would it be narcissism?
Eh, don't care, I'm still having fun...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

<happy squeal, chibi eyes, etc:> Watched the first episode of Mew Mew Power this afternoon. Oh dear, I'm lost, lost I tell you! <g> Yes it's a dub, and yes some of the dialogue is beyond lame but, oh! it's so cute! Not ham-ham cute but pretty, magical girl cute. Oh, and there's hints of yaoi, I swear, and a handful of decent (if young) bishies to pin those hopes on! (No yuri yet, but you never know...) I wonder if the original Japanese series has been released on DVD anywhere...? Hee, something to keep an eye out for.

My monitor's been showing signs of dodginess for weeks but this morning it just wouldn't boot up. Queue mild panic until I remembered I had another monitor hidden beneath a wall of books in my room. Dug it out and tried to plug it in but - queue major panic - the plug wouldn't fit! Fortunately I spotted the other port underneath the first and gave that a try. Ahah! I had a working monitor again, even though it was a bit fuzzy. Actually, very fuzzy which got worse and worse until I was reading text in much the same way I hear speech, ie: understanding 1 in 3 words and wildly extrapolating the rest.
I was having visions of not being able to use my 'puter until I bought another monitor which, at the earliest, was a fortnight away. Nope, couldn't face that thought so I made some calls. Niki didn't have a spare monitor but Penny did and she brought it round for me a couple of hours later, bless her. : )
So now, lordy lordy, I can see again! Thanks, Penny!

I really enjoyed the past double ep of Dr Who. The gas-masked kid was deliciously creepy (and had the cubs twitching and squeaking, just like I used to do when I was their age and watching Dr Who). The Doctor's comments about Jack amused me no end - "He's a 51st Century man, he's more flexible about who he... dances with..." <snerk> I'm glad he didn't get exploded.
How many more episodes in this series?

And lastly, Alarice popped 'round for a visit this afternoon as well. It was very good to catch up and I'm amazed how many photos you can store on one of those cell phones...

Friday, July 22, 2005

Bit of an odd day. Woke up with one of those niggling, hard-to-shift headaches that left me feeling spacey and detached to the extent I got lost in the contemplation of bare tree branches against a clear blue sky. True, I normally find that one of the prettiest sights ever anyway, but given my brain-state this morning they were indescribably beautiful. Still, I managed to maintain the integrity of my personality enough to get on with the things I had to, like picking up my book lay-by! It's taken me 2 months to pay them off but now I finally have Anatomy for the Artist and National Geographic Greatest Portraits in my covetous clutches. Yeah! Beautiful books, too. I will insist the cubs wash their hands before touching these ones. : )

Managed to pay off the cubs' library fines yesterday so we can borrow again. They got a Garfield book each, and I got a copy of Order of the Phoenix and The Years of Rice and Salt. I'm reading OotP first (Ootp! Sounds like an owl spitting!) cos I may as well read it while the rest of them are still fresh in my mind. It's much darker than the others, isn't it? Not sure I'm enjoying it as much either, but, having read a lot of Snape-slash before reading the majority of the series I find I have an interesting slant on the text. Hee.

I attended the Turning of the Sod ceremony at the cubs' school today. It was very low-key despite a couple of news crews in attendance. There were a number of people in suits wandering about amongst the parent-guests, important people, apparently, government ministers and such, but I didn't recognise any of them. But anyway, after a few mercifully short speeches (kept even shorter cos the public-address thingy was squealy with feedback) a spadeful of earth was dug up and turned over. And that was it. Woohoo. Then a jacaranda sapling was planted in commemoration of the event, but across the way in the 'native plant walk' and not in sod-turning area which was a bit silly in my view cos they had the makings of a perfectly good hole right there. Oh well...
I stayed around long enough at the afternoon tea to get a cup of coffee and a couple of biscuits before deciding that was it. By then it felt like I'd been on my feet all day, I still had a wee bit of shopping to pick up and the spaceiness had transmuted into a desperate need for a nap. Besides, the cubs' father was picking them up after school so I didn't have to hang around.
I was still asleep when the cubs' got home and I missed the 30 second grab at the end of the news about the ceremony but I'm sure I'll manage somehow to get on with my life despite the loss. <hand to forehead> Oh yes, spacey and snarky - it doesn't get better than this. <g>

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Aaaand chapter 15 is finished. Quite quickly, actually.
Bit of a dilemma coming up though. SFSG is about a *cough* adult movie actress so naturally the story will every so often get a bit... lemony. Now, how much detail do I need to go into? Quite a lot in parts I should think - 'artistic merit' an' all that - but then there are ways and ways of dealing with lemons. I suppose the best thing to do at the moment is just write they way I want to then later the text can be pulled back (or expanded) as necessary.
But still... 15 chapters, eh? Hee. : )

Finished reading the 4th Harry Potter book. I certainly enjoyed it but I had a couple of little quibbles. The biggest one was not being able to escape the feeling that 'magic' is the biggest, easiest plot-device ever. Got a bit of a tricky situation in the plot? Gosh look, there's a handy charm. Hm. However, Rowling did manage to give reasonable explanations for the things that made me go "...'kin what?!" and that is why my quibbles aren't big ones.
She's not the most sophisticated of writers but I do like the way she's moved from the simplistic plots of the 1st couple of books to the later deeper, layered ones. I've really been enjoying that.
Heh, now if I can pay off the cubs' library fines I'll be able to borrow the 5th book, then hopefully when I've finished reading that a copy of the 6th will be available. That's one good thing about avoiding a series for years, you can read it all together...

<sigh> So many more channels available on cable, so much less that I'm interested in.
Except for Mew Mew Power, which is starting this weekend on Nickelodeon. Yay! Magical girls! Yes, I know it'll be the bastardised kiddy-safe version butbutbut catgirls! With magical powers and secret identities!
Ah, I'm easily pleased. <g>

Monday, July 18, 2005

Is it Fireman Sam or Postman Pat who lives in Pontypandy? I can't remember...

I'm half-way through the 4th Harry Potter novella.
I say 'novella' with heavy irony, you understand, the thing's weighty enough to hurt my hands when I'm holding it.
It's a good and enjoyable story - Joules and Soulsis are definitely right, the books do get better as you go on. I'm particularly enjoying the wider view of the Wizarding world, and now some of those fanfics are beginning to make sense. It's good to see minor characters gaining some depth, too, though our hero doesn't seem to be making that much progress. Eh, he's 13, what am I expecting?

Chapter 15 is probly half-way done as well. I'm covering another lot of bits that have been written in my head for ages which just makes me impatient to get it all out. <g>

One of eBay's best features is the 'watch list'. Everything I see that makes me go ooooh is whacked in there straight away. Then I can keep an eye on it - without having to bid - while deciding if I really truly want it, or can afford it. It's great for curbing that pesky impulse bidding, something that's caused me a fair few heart failures in the past.

This coming Friday the school is having a 'Turning of the sod' ceremony to signal the start of rebuilding. <smirk> You can imagine what sort of images that phrase conjures up for me - can't help sniggering every time I hear it. But it's a relief to know that the new school is finally getting started, I think it's not just me that's fed up with the portable classrooms.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Keep forgetting to say that the cub's elbow is fine now, thanks for the enquiries. : ) He wore the sling to school the next day though that was more to stop him wrecking his shoulder from trying to hold his arm at a particular angle all the time. The day after that he was practically back to normal, didn't even need any paracetamol.
This was the same cub that got whacked in the face with a rounders bat. <sigh> Wondering what's next...

Yay! Alarice is back in Melbourne! For a few weeks at least. Hopefully we'll be able to catch up soon.

The next Harry Potter book is being released here tomorrow. I plan to stay away from anywhere that has even the hint of a possibility of a bookshop. I'm sure the news tomorrow night will be full of images of children in capes and dodgy plastic glasses clutching (or staggering under the weight, perhaps?) of the next instalment. Then I'll wait for the furore to die down in a week or two then go and get my own copy. Heh, or buy a copy for Soulsis cos she's lent me all of hers. That way I don't have to try and find room for it on my own shelves. A cunning plan, eh?

Can't remember where I found this results of a photoshop contest link. The specifications were to create a chimera, a creature comprising bits from 3 or 4 different animals and to make it as seamless as possible. The idea was to get a realistic, naturalist shot. (... or is that sposed to be naturist? Tch, can't remember which one means frolicking about with your gear off...) Some of the results managed to be disturbing and amusing.

I had planned on going to see Kingdom of Heaven tonight, but it came down to squeeing quietly to myself for almost 3 hours or being able to afford food next week.
Hopefully I'll be able to catch it somewhere else, and anyway I'm sure the DVD will be out soon. Then I'll be able to do lots of freezeframes to pick up those fiddly costuming details. : )

And chapter 14 is finished and I'm past the seventy-thou word count! <happy dance> Given the way this thing is expanding like proving bread I'm not even going to speculate what the final count will be!

Back months ago when I decided I'd had enough of shared households and wanted it to be just the cubs and myself I set about replacing my old Blue Willow pattern crockery with something else. I was so over blue and white, doncha know. Over the next few months I collected a variety of very pretty green and purple crockery from different sources but, like so much of my 'glory box' items they had to be packed away.
I think that desire to get rid of everything and start afresh was tied in with the whole not wanting to be where I was mindset, but now that time has moved along and I'm no closer to moving out I've had a rethink about things, specifically the Willow pattern crockery. I like it, looking at it makes me happy and I don't really want to use something else. But what about all that other stuff I bought? It won't go to waste, when I've got space/a place of my own it'll come out of the boxes but I don't think I'll be using it all that often. The reason is that all the green/purple pieces are stoneware rather than porcelain. Stoneware glazes sit on the surface of the item and are ridiculously easy to chip, unlike porcelain which is an inherently stronger material anyway and the designs are bonded to the surface. Yes you can get an amazing array of colours with stoneware but what's the point if you can knock bits of the glaze off with just a light bump against a hard surface?
I bought my 8 place setting Blue Willow crockery 20ish years ago, when I first started working and it's lasted in good condition. Sure a couple of the dinner plates have broken, as have most of the sandwich plates and half of the bowls but it's never chipped. And I can find replacement pieces for everything except the pasta bowls at my local supermarket. Which is what I'm going to do now - gradually replace the broken bits and bring the set back up to its original number. : )
Now if I can just find somewhere that stocks the pasta bowls I'll be laughing...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The cubs have been intently browsing the new Lego catalogue, commenting hopefully about the things they'd like. Heh.

Chapter 14 is progressing nicely. One of the trickier things I'm having to negotiate with SFSG is avoiding the use of terran-centric words and terms. It can be really awkward. Early on I realised there was a whole range of adjectives I couldn't use - chocolate, coffee, creamy, milky etc; - because those substances don't exist in this worldframe. Well, not under those names, anyway.
I thought I was pretty good at finding alternatives for terran terms, I'd had practise in the Alliance Chronicles after all, but I was still surprised at just how much of my vocabulary I was using without thought. I'm more careful now though at times it's a real headache trying to find a different word for a common item. Eh, I'll manage, I'm sure... : )

<happy squeak> The Golden Arches of Doom in the US is having another run of Neopets! I've seen the list of critters for the 2005 release. I want the kugras! And the meercas! I'm really hoping they'll be released down here. Can't see why not, the last lot did astonishingly well. I'll just have to be patient I spose.

Caught the tail-end of a program on (our) ABC this evening - a weekly half-hour show about collectors and collections. The subject today was wooden toys and I made the cubs shush while I was watching. Some of the older toys were works of art - not complicated in form at all, but the craftsmanship that had gone into them was fabulous. A lot of the 'minimalist' animal figures were bordering on the totemic and I was itching to play with them. I like wooden toys, I always have. I used to have some that my grandfather made for me and I played with them for years. I don't know where they've gone, alas. You can still find wooden toys about but the quality of materials and workmanship varies I've noticed, as does price. I think they're more versatile than the majority of mass-produced plastic toys. Think of wooden blocks, they can extend a child's imagination because they're not fixed in form, they can become whatever the child makes them. Unlike things like the Hot Wheels playsets, which present one scenario, no matter how whizz-bang it looks. Steiner schools use this minimalist principle in all their toys, deliberately keeping everything as simple as possible to encourage a child to use their imagination. (I used to think the dolls, with their pinpoint dots for eyes and mouths were kind of creepy but, without the fixed and painted smiles common to other main-stream dolls they allow you to project any sort of emotion on them.)
So anyway, looking at these beautiful toys made me want to try woodworking for the first time. <g> I'll add it to the list...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

(Heh, and the number of posts here has jumped from 1242 to 1410. Tch, the counter really should be updated more regularly.)

Right, wot a day it's been, eh?
Chapter 13 is finished (hoorah!) and chapter 14's been started. Hee, and now I have an excuse to go browsing internet porn, it's called research.
<shifty> Not that I do much of that normally you understand. Moving right along...

The M cub fell over at lunchtime today and whacked his elbow. By the time I picked them up he was complaining about the pain. Didn't stop him wanting to see Revenge of the Sith again though.
It's not that I was bored, exactly, but I managed to have a lovely nap during the first part of the movie. I woke up in time to catch Kenobi's final duel with Grievous, one of my favourite bits. Getting past the whole 'plot device' grimble with Grievous I can now appreciate just how good his design is. And Kenobi, well, I'm liking his character more and more - I think Eyecandy McDrooly did a splendid job.
What are those feathered lizard called? It's fantastically sure-footed and absolutely fearless! Did you see the places it was venturing at Kenobi's bidding? Not being forced to it either, simply leaping off the edge with a lizardy 'wah-haay! <g>
'3PO still annoys me, he has a 'glib assurance' subset to his programming. In the distance we can see that something has obviously gone horribly wrong at the temple and what does he say to Padme after he tells her Anipoohs is over there? "Don't worry - I'm sure he'll be all right." Tch. Protocol droids.
And finally... That flower-filled coffin was very Lady of Shalott, wasn't it?

By the time we got home the injured cub had a thumping headache, not helped, I'm sure, by his insisting we sit right up in the front row to watch the movie. Anyway, gave him some paracetamol and his father (the health professional) checked him over and strapped up his elbow - and put his arm in a sling, very exciting - while I dug something icy out of the freezer. Rest Ice Compression and Elevation, of course.
There's some swelling and he doesn't have a lot of range of movement in the joint at the moment but I think if it was something serious the paracetamol wouldn't be working as well as it is. I could be wrong. We'll see how he is in the morning.

Joules has been finding the time to do some drawing and so far she's produced three sketches of the new AC's version of Vejiita, Raditz and Zha'haabron. Good sketches, too, despite her worries about not having drawn anything for ever such a long time.
The new charas are markedly different, physically, from the originals but it's going to work well. The tweaks to the species are interesting and plausible and open things up for us to have even more fun with them! : )

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Even being as close to a major city as we are, there's lots to see in a clear night sky. The Southern Cross, and the Pointers, are always there but at this time of the year the constellation of Scorpio is clearly visible. Orion and Taurus can be seen during the Summer, but that makes sense given that Taurus and Scorpio are opposite each other. At various times of the year it's easy to pick out Venus, and Mars, Betelgeuse, and of course the intense spot of light that's the International Space Station. If you look up at the right moment you can see one of the satellites zipping across the sky in an arrow-straight line, very cool...

This is a conversation one of the cubs had with his father yesterday - as reported by his dad.
M cub: Do you like John Howard? I don't like him.
Dad: I'm not overly impressed with him, no.
M cub [thoughtful]: I think Optimus Prime would make a better Prime Minister...
<g> He's probly right, OP at least genuinely has his people's well-being at heart.

Can't remember where I found this.
Superman is a Dick. Go browse the Galleries, especially 'Confounding Comic Covers' and 'Seduction of the Innocent'. <smirk> Very very funny.

And here's a recent quote from a Planarchy for the UK post:
"... I'm just rambling on because it's raining and I can't go out and take the pictures I wanted to (again). So, terrorists won't stop us from going about our business but the rain might. That is, I think, quite British after all."
: )
(Quoted without permission, by the way.)

I slept in this morning cos I wanted to continue my dream.
Someone - alternately me, or me watching them - who felt they had nothing to lose, nothing to live for, impulsively steals an experimental Exo-suit (ala Bubblegum Crisis). While using it almost kills the person through overloading their nervous system the suit's AI bonds with them and essentially becomes a life-support. The bond is physical and permanent. The pair try to avoid capture while testing the suit's limits and the user's self-destructive fatalism is gradually replaced with a desire to experience as much as possible. It's a more insidious form of self-destruction as it involves knowingly putting herself in high-risk situations, but, oh, the rush.
The suit's creator catches up with them but instead of handing them over - the suit is a government project, terribly original, I know - decides to help hide them cos, as she sees it, it's a perfect opportunity to study and test her creation...
I woke up reading some of the manga panels in my mind. Neat, eh? : ) I've had a good run with dreams recently. Must be getting enough sleep for a change.

And chapter 13 is half-way finished! Now the fun begins.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

I woke up this morning to the sound of gentle rain, and the realisation that the washing line was full of stuff that shouldn't be out there getting wet. Tch. All of the cubs' uniform bits were washed and dried a fortnight ago so all I have to do is make sure there's enough underwear and socks ready. Golly, what an interesting way to spend the weekend.

I'm constantly astonished at how pointless the online TV guides are. The 'search engines' are laughable, the search parameters confounding. I think the assumption's made that you're a regular viewer so you have some idea where to look but just trying to perform what you'd think was a simple search to see if a particular program is listed is frustrating. And then there's the 'block programs', things like The Big Cheez which goes for an hour and a half in the mornings showing cartoons but nowhere does it list what those cartoons are. <grump> Might have to resort to actually reading a TV magazine...

(<g> The cubs are watching the Spongebob movie in Dutch again, though with English subtitles this time. Dutch sounds close to German, close enough for me to think I recognise some of it but be stymied by the context. : ) [Did you know that stymied is a golfing term meaning 'A situation ... in which an opponent's ball obstructs the line of play of one's own ball on the putting green. ( Online dictionaries are just as much fun as paper ones!] What was I talking about? Ah yes... And last night we all watched 'Totoro' in Japanese without subtitles - cos this copy Soulsis leant us didn't have any - but the characters are so expressive there was hardly any need for them. : )

Being one to always want to try new things, yesterday I bought a different type of toothpaste from a health-food store. Actually, I thought it was the same one I tried years ago, a bicarb powder product, but it wasn't. Still comes in a little bottle rather than a tube, but it's a bicarb paste this time. Interesting taste though, it uses extract of stevia as a sweetener and it doesn't burn like (hygiene!) the regular toothpastes. Plus the container can be used for something else instead of going straight into the bin. Re-usable packaging, always a bonus.

K-mart is having their 1/2 yearly toy sale with accompanying no-deposit, you've-got-until-Xmas-to-pay-it-off lay-by. The catalogue's misleading though. It doesn't say the special lay-by conditions only apply to toys, you only find that out when you go to the store and try to lay-by a digital camera. Bit miffed, frankly. I could just about justify buying a digicam if I'd had 6 months to pay it off. Oh well.

(<blink> Now I'm just confused. The cubs' are watching the movie in Deutsche, which as we cosmopolitan types all know is German, but... the subtitles are also in Deutsche, apparently, but I recognise even less of the words there than I'm hearing. Comparing the structures of the vocal and written sentences I'm getting even more confused. I know German grammar is torturous, what with the verbs all bunged up at the end of the sentence, but this makes no sense. I wonder if the subbed German version is different from the dubbed version? Wouldn't be the first time, happens a lot in anime with the English sub/dubs after all, why would German be any different? Ack, no, on only one cup of coffee it hurts too much to contemplate. I'll think of something else, but not how appalling my German comprehension must actually be to mistake it for Dutch...!)

The new bus route is very handy, it goes past two decent op-shops and Niki's place! Which means I can just hop on a bus and go rather than having to take one bus to the nexus then take a different one out. It also means the cubs and I can get to and from Niki's easily under our own steam if we can't get a lift.

The fluffy bunny's a sneaky cow. A couple of days ago I wanted to listen to something while I sewed but wasn't sure what. Eventually chose the Moulin Rouge soundtrack but it wasn't until I got to the fabulously soppy 'Come What May' duet I realised the fluffy bunny had influenced my choice. Tch. Better keep an eye on her or I'll be buying a copy of 'Ghost' before I know it...

Friday, July 08, 2005

24 hours after the event my Mum finally got in contact with her brother's family. Brian works in London - his company's headquarters is practically on top of one of the bomb sites, apparently - but he usually drives to work, and yesterday he was in Kent anyway. Likewise none of my cousins work in London anymore so they're all in the clear as well. Big sighs of relief I can tell you - Mum was very quietly having conniptions though she assumed she hadn't been able to get through because of the disruption to the phone network.

On a weirder note:
Woke up blinking from last night's dream. I was about to enter a sub/dom relationship with someone I used to work with. Pushy little uke too, with plans to introduce me at 'Court'. Still, it's nice to know someone fancies you in some fashion. (Heh, and just remembered I was going to take 'Lady Jacqueline' as my moniker. No idea why. )

Oh good gods, they've rereleased The Smurfs figurines. Oddly enough I'm not the least bit tempted. Does this mean I've grown-up or something?
... nah.

Cubs are back to school on Monday. This hasn't felt like much of a break at all. Oh well, at least I've managed a sleep-in most mornings. : )

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Re: the problems in London... We've been flicking around the free-to-air stations for the past little while, just to see what's being broadcast. ABC has a live, continuous feed; channel 7 has much the same; channel 10 is showing Law & Order, (or something else with people in court, in suits); and channel 9, true to form, is playing 'The Footy Show' <rolls eyes>.
( <snerk> The cubs' father has just pointed out how big the ears are of the G8 members. My gods, look at Putin's! Wonder if there's a connection between big ears and megalomanic tendencies? Hm...)

But anyway...
The cubs and I had a good - I keep going to say 'weekend', but of course it's not, it's mid-week - time at Mum's. She drove down to pick us up and as always I drove back. We got to Mum's in time for a late lunch then the cubs and I shot off down to the village. Well, I shot off down to the village, and the cubs of necessity came with me. Why was I so keen to get down there? I wasn't sure what time the op-shop closed. : ) Had a good, long browse and found 4 interesting garments to add to the fabric stash, foremost of which was a Thai silk skirt. Oooh, pretty! Almost didn't pick it up, Autumn tones are generally not my bag, baby, but I'm glad I did. Hand-washed the skirt and though it was filthy it's come up a treat. Panels of rich, dark reds and golds and a vibrant brown - 'vibrant' being a word I hadn't previously associated with brown - in subtle, geometric patterns. That'll do nicely for the planned wall-hanging.
The cubs played happily in the park for a little while before they were dragged away so I could go and visit the patchwork shop. How they suffer, my children... I found some pure-wool felt! Exactly what I needed for my Balian plushie! Hahah! Ostensibly it was quite expensive but given it's 180cm width instead of the 90cm of the very cheap but truly awful viscose-felt, and 1/4 metre was more than enough, not that expensive after all. : )

On Wednesday we took a drive out to the Tarago River Cheese Factory only to find it's now closed to the public. Bit of a bummer considering it had taken us an hour to get out there but even so it was a lovely drive. We passed through dim eucalypt forests and over sunny-hill tops, and took our lives in our hands on some of the curves on the road. Not saying that I was driving recklessly but some of the people coming the other way...? (Tch. Just cos the speedlimit on a narrow, sharply winding road that skirts a steep drop is 100 km doesn't mean to say it's safe to drive at that speed.)
On the way back to Powell Town, where we planned to have a break, we detoured to see the historic trestle bridge at Noojee. The cubs had a ball tearing back and forth along the top, while I had a ball taking photos with Mum's camera. The structure is 21 metres high but the safety rail is well back from the edge so you don't/can't get any sense of danger. I had to stop the more adventurous cub from trying to climb down the slippery, steep 'track' (looked more like a runnel worn into the clay from rain run-off) running directly beside the bridge, instead of one of the wider, stepped paths that were far safer. He grouched, but I pointed out that a: if he slipped the only thing there to stop his descent would be one of the bridge's wooden supports as he hit it, and b: if he got stuck half-way I couldn't come and rescue him. He gribbled for a bit but stayed away from the path.
Powell Town is very small but gorgeous, even though it's still essentially a logging town. I'd consider moving there, honestly, some of the views of the nearby hills are beautiful, and the solitary fast food/general store/restaurant/cafe sells crunchy cabana! Mmmm... (Cabana is a delicious processed meat thing similar to salami, but when it's been left to hang and dry out a little it becomes crunchy and even more deliciouser. <drooling> The last time I went vegetarian it was crunchy cabana that swayed me back to the dark side. <g> )
Powell Town is also only 15 minutes or so from where Mum is now. Problem is there's no bus line out that way, I'd definitely need a car...

We didn't spend all day out, got back in plenty of time to take the cubs to the park for a little while again. These excursions are necessary cos Mum's unit is tiny and it can get awfully crowded in there with all of us and the cat.

Today, Thursday, I chivvied the cubs into packing their suitcases before we went out in the morning - saves the frantic rush later on before we leave to come home. We drove out to Warburton for the traditional visit to the Patchwork Teahouse and the equally traditional milkshakes for the cubs. Except this time they had lemon and lime spiders. Eh well. I got a couple of pieces of some very pretty fabrics and the perfect pair of wooden handles for my puffer-fish handbag. : )
We went for a shortish amble along the river - <happy sigh> trees, running water, what more could I want? - then into the township to browse the op-shop there. (Found some more fabric, hee. : ) I also found - or rather, Mum spotted and I squealed and pounced upon - a 2nd hand copy of the first book in a crime-fiction series of which I've recently read the 2nd and 3rd books. Pleased about that, now I can find out about the things hinted at later...
It started to rain just as the cubs and I were getting ready to leave Mum's. It'd cleared by the time we get to train station so we didn't get wet. Had a bit of an adventure on the way home though. For starters the bus-bays had been changed around so our bus now picked up somewhere else, and then, after clambering with our luggage on to that bus it appeared we might have got on to the wrong one, anyway. 'twasn't so, the route had been changed recently and we got home without a hitch, perhaps even a few minutes early as the new route seemed to be a little faster...

All in all it was a good, relaxing few days. Mum started sorting through some of her boxes of material while I was there. Fortunately we have disparate tastes in colour and patterns, my Mum and I, so it was only a small stash of fabric I had to squeeze into my suitcase. But I'm going to ignore the teetering pile of material for the moment, need to get back to SFSG and have a go at writing up the ficlet that [pinged] me just before Mum arrived to pick us up. : )

Monday, July 04, 2005

Ah yes, knew there was something else I wanted to mention...

Watched the first 5 episodes of Saiyuki.
It really is just Monkey with guns, isn't it? Though Sanzo is much more of an interesting, kick-arse priest than Tripitaka ever was.
It was bound to happen I guess, coming across an anime that didn't grab me at the outset. Admittedly I was watching the dubbed version - so I could sew - and what a flat dub it was. It picked up a little after the first two eps, as the actors got into character I spose, but it still never quite reached that involving stage. But then, how many dubs do? I've found I can pick up so much more of what's going on by the inflections in the Japanese cast's voices. I did enjoy the banter though, especially between Goku and Gojyo - some of their by-play made me smirk.
Is it just me? Have I been spoilt by things like Last Exile and Wolf's Rain? The animation in Saiyuki was definitely cheesy, saved from being a total waste of time by the more-than-occasional 'frames' of pure, beautifully emotive artistry but the rest didn't impress me. There was a lot of c/p filler (repeated character actions pasted over different backgrounds) and a noticeable amount of that really annoying Hanna Barbera-ist dodge of having a long scene essentially freeze-framed with just a tiny bit of mouth animation to indicate speech. CLAMP isn't so obvious about it, why couldn't this lot be? It just felt like they were trying to save production costs. Using a load of pretty-shiny split-screens and fade-ins/outs didn't improve the overall product either, and it seemed to be out of focus a lot of the time. Or that could've simply been my glasses needing a clean. Some of the angles were just weird. I lost count of how often Sanzo (and others) ended up looking vaguely cross-eyed! <g>

I think this could grow on me, though, there's been hints of angsty background and side stories which are always a magnet for my attention. If it was on telly regularly at a time I could sit and watch no doubt I'd end up addicted to it as I was with DBZ and Ultimate Muscle. I'm not giving up on it entirely though - I'll watch it with subtitles, first, but as it is it's waaaay down low on my list of follow-ups. Glad I got to see it though, thanks, Joules!

Woohoo! Finished all the tacking stitches. The quilt's ready to, well, quilt. : ) And there's only 5 of the individual strips of the other quilt left to pair up (though technically I spose it'll be one pair and one... No, I'm not going to say threesome. I'm not...) before I can start piecing that together. And I had a [ping] for another wall-hanging - silk, this time.
<g> As luck would have it the cubs and I are going up to Mum's for a couple of days which means we could pop into the Patchwork Teahouse to browse the lovely fabrics there...

<snigger> Found this do-it-yourself Romance thing on the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books site. Admittedly I tweaked it a little after reading the first result but not a lot. : )

Smart Bitch Madlibs: A Dark and Stormy Tryst.

It was a dark and middling pissing down night at shetland-blunderbuss Manor. Lord shetland-blunderbuss's gaze spent the slim body of the nubile young chit who stood before him. She came in trepidation.
'What is your name, little one?' he gruffed.
'Fufu,' she ratted. Her limpid glittering sapphire eyes clung to his face like a persistent nudibranch, soft yet stinging.
As he gazed at her, a burning sensation shot from his groin to his liver. It may have been chicken pox, but he doubted it. The finest twits in the land had tried their wiles on him, but all had failed. He was far too cynical about women after seeing his mother betray his father time after time again, the purple jade. But this girl's innocence touched him in unexpected ways. His gaze dropped to her pouting ruby footsies.
'Well, Fufu,' he sneered, 'I believe you will get exactly what you were looking for!' With those words, his hands shot out and pulled her to him. She squeaked like a girl in dismay, but her protest soon turned into sighs of pleasure as he ravaged her soft, unpracticed mouth. He ground his hard, aroused body against her hips. He heard her give a shocked gasp, and she hoofed away from his grasp.
'My lord!' she exclaimed. 'Was that your manly... bitter melon I felt?' She blushed furiously. 'I'm afraid that was most improper of you!'
'Oh my dear,' he purred, 'Before the night is through, you will do a lot more than feel the potency of my man-spam!'
'Obesa cantavit,' she cried, before he covered her mouth yet again and overwhelmed her qualms with a melting kiss.
Obesa cantavit is apparently Latin for 'the fat lady has sung' and came from this site helpfully supplied by the Smart Bitches.

Had an interesting dream the other night. Only have fleeting impressions of what was going on - vaguely spy-thrillerish, I think - but the setting was amazing. It was all happening at a train-station on a pier, part of which was a huge domed building. I was looking up at the ceiling, entranced by the visual effects of the contrasting brown and white marble panels way up there shifting in and out of position. Watching it was almost like having vertigo, but in a trippy, nice kind of way. : ) It's not often I have dreams that have a physical effect on me. Always fun when they do...

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I had several lovely hours alone today - the cubs' father took them to ScienceWorks and the Planetarium - so I finished watching Drawn Together. <smirk> I really enjoyed it, chortling away to myself. It was less squicky than I thought and very, very clever in places. Xandir was definitely the most sympathetic of the characters, not hindered at all by those thighs and that loin-cloth, though everyone, even Captain Hero, had moments of poignancy. My favourite character however was Ling Ling. Not sure I'd want one of my own, though... : )

Hoorah! Chapter 12, and hence Part 1, is finished! <happy dance> Hee, I have some cider to celebrate. Word count is just a smidge past 63,000! Quite pleased about that. Going to spend a little bit of time now getting my notes in order cos this thing's getting unwieldy enough to need them. Wastes a lot of time having to trawl back trying to find someone's eye colour, let alone trying to remember what I called that insignificant bit of tech mentioned once before in chapter 2... or was it four? <g>

And Joules - with me squeaking excitedly - has been giving more thought to the revised AC. This is a good story and if all goes well we should be able to spend some time exploring plot arcs that were skipped over somewhat in the original. She's currently reworking the Saiya-jin, quite successfully, and we should be able to retain the flavour of them without treading on anyones copyright. Hee, it's fun, we both get a buzz out of this planning/world-building stage of a project. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 01, 2005

D'oh! Almost forgot to mention my own presents today.
Soulsis gave me a couple of danglies she'd made - one had a lovely, curvy dragon pendant, and the other had some Hello Kitty beads! - and a gorgeous clear glass plate with embossed goldfish! So pretty! Thank you, Soulsis. : )
And I got a parcel from Joules. <fuge g> I knew it was on its way and funnily enough, only yesterday, I jokingly mentioned that I hoped it wouldn't turn up today cos could you imagine it? A parcel arrives on the cubs' birthday and it's not for them?
Heh, anyway, the parcel arrived today but I managed to sneak it into the house without the cubs noticing...
<happy squeak> It contained a video copy of Drawn Together that Joules has painstakingly recorded for me over the past several weeks and Volume 1 of Saiyuki! Excited? Yes, and...? <g> There was also another swatch of the beautiful ice-blue material and some more sachets of flavoured hot chocolate. Mmmm... that's me set for the next couple of days. Thanks, Joules!

My babies are 10 years old now, or as they say, 'the big one-oh. <g>
They had a good day. I got out of bed later than I'd anticipated (I hadn't been woken up at sparrow's fart to be shown their haul of presents) to find them already happily ankle-deep in bits of lego and Star Wars toys. That lot kept them occupied until their cousins arrived and they were given a copy of the Spongebob movie (thanks, Soulsis!). Watched that for a bit then they got ready for their party.
Their father had spent several hours last night and today slaving over their costumes. The M cub had a black, hooded cloak (coupled with an Optimus Prime mask) to make him Darth Marcus while the S cub had a plain, sleeveless gi style top to become Sean Skywalker. <silly grin> And they both had lightsabres, of course, which they waved about with flagrant disregard for the light fittings. (I'm proud to say my cubs love being in costume - I'll have to take them to a con sometime. As proto-geeks they'll fit riiiight in.)
As seems to have become traditional their party was held at a Golden Arches of Doom which, while I have ethical objections to the company, means I don't have to organise food and entertainment, or clean up. Niki's two kinder were there as well, and a couple of friends from school. And the S cub's teacher, who he'd invited. Admittedly she was only there for a little while with her niece, on their way home from seeing a Holy Rodent Empire Extravaganza on Ice production, but she diplomatically gave both the cubs presents.
I was a little concerned that some of the kids might be a bit bored - at 10, you know, pass-the-parcel doesn't have quite the same appeal it once did - but they all still got into the musical chairs, with the competition becoming quite fierce towards the end there. I don't think anyone was bored but then ice-cream cake can make up for a lot. : )
Have to make special mention of Sarah, Penny's daughter, playing 'Happy Birthday' for the cubs on her baritone (trombone?) then a quick rendition of the 'Imperial March', which she'd worked out herself. <g> She got a big round of applause for that.
Ice-cream cake devoured, bill paid, the party finished with the kids blowing a storm of bubbles with the bubble-mix they found in the giftie bags supplied by the 'restaurant'. We had to shoo them all outside after a few minutes, the floor was getting slippery from the slurry of burst bubbles...

Niki and Soulsis et al came back with us for a wee while. We watched movies and played with Soulsis' new puppy. She's a - let's see if I get right - some floppy-eared type of spaniel beginning with 'B' crossed with a border collie. Very cute, even though she smells a bit doggy. : ) Still not inspired to get a dog of my own.

Heh, cubs have been chivied off to bed but they're not asleep yet. Having too much fun playing with their loot. Bet they sleep in tomorrow...

Other stuff:

Chapter 12 is almost finished. It's taken a week longer than it probly should've but I've had the holidays as an excuse, I guess. The second part of SFSG was looking a bit sparse for a while but as I get closer to writing it there's lots of stuff floating up to fill in the blanks. <g> I'm looking forward to this next bit, wondering though if I should show restraint in what could essentially be a series of lemony bits. I spose I can just write it then pull it back if necessary later. There is some plot to pad out the sex...

Earlier today I was listening (via ICQ) to Joules mutter and curse as she sorted out the Alliance Chronicle galleries.
"Remind me not to do this again." She growled.
Yeah right. <long-suffering sigh> If it follows the usual pattern she'll think about doing something similar; I'll remind her how much fun it wasn't; she'll consider that for a few heartbeats then go ahead and do it anyway! Tch. Stubborn...
Eh well, the results are usually worth her angst. : )