Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I have the other cub home sick today. Fortunately it looks like he's not as unwell as his brother was but he'll likely have a couple of days off anyway.

<sigh> The cubs' father's car is back on the road after being dead for a couple of weeks. It was just a dodgy battery, apparently. <sigh> I suggested it might have been that right at the start but no, no, it was the starter motor or something else dire. Tch. I'm not mechanically minded but I'm not completely blonde either.

Finally got to see Prisoner of Azkaban. Not enough Snape - though that goes without saying - and the abrupt change in scenery between this and the first two movies I found a little disorienting. However, there's a certain wildness to the wizarding world and the change in landscape made that very clear. Different director this time too, who gave the movie a noticeably darker, almost claustrophobically Victorian feel. The 'silent movie' tunnel-vision fade-outs contributed strongly to this impression.
I liked the way Hogwarts was expanded, we saw more of the grounds, more detail, and I always love architectural details! The movie felt like it was skimming the story a lot of time, hardly a surprise given the length of the book but what was there mostly made sense. My only quibble was that with the necessarily reduced screentime there was very little chance to get reacquainted with the minor characters. New characters fared better: Lupin came up well, so did Black though Pettigrew wasn't overly convincing. A shame really, Timothy Spall is normally a t'riffic actor. And yes I know there's nothing to be done about it but I preferred the old Dumbledore. <g>
All in all it was a fun movie but I think I was expecting more. I'll have to watch it again anyway, I completely missed the split-second Snape/Hermione interaction...

Chapter 19's finished and 20's started though I'm heading into another ill-defined section so I won't be surprised if I faff about a bit while I try and work out what's going on. : )

Sunday, August 28, 2005

We've had a couple of days of warmish weather which while it's been great for getting through the backlog of washing has also reminded me I really should get some new t-shirts. They're all tatty and stained to some extent and most of them should've been replaced last Summer but I never quite got round to it. Besides, they've been fine for wearing under other things over Winter and no one sees them anyway.
I'm very fussy about my t-shirts. First, they have to be big enough to drape loosely - can't stand tight clothes - which means plus sizes for me. Second they mustmustmust be pure cotton cos that's the only thing that feels comfortable in the heat and third, they must be plain colours. There's some awfully cute printed t's out there but as they're designed to emphasis 12 year old busts the only way they'd look good in my company is for them to hang on my wall.
I've always hated the safely twee designs you find on chain-store women's t's. Hate them. The sheer simpering bourgeois nastiness at best makes my lips curl in disgust. At worst, well, I'm rarely coherent when I'm ranting.
So, plain t-shirts, please, ideally in something other than sodding pastels, and if I want them decorated I'll do it myself.

(I'm watching a documentary on vipers. Very pretty creatures, really, and there's some fantastic close-ups of their scales. Wonderful textures...)

Finally finished Kim Stanley Robinson's 'Years of Rice and Salt.' There I was, ploughing through the last little bit cos I was determined to finish the thing before it had to be renewed at the library again, when the narrative suddenly stopped. No resolution, no summation, it just... stopped. Fair enough, given the nature of the story it can't lend itself to a neat 'and they all lived happily ever after' ending but still...
However, after I'd had a nap the ending - such as it was - made some kind of sense that while not satisfying was thought-provoking.
This was a well-written book even though the academic tone occasionally made my eyes glaze over! I'll almost certainly read it again sometime in the future, if only to see if I can wring some more sense out of it on a second reading. But not yet, I need to give myself a rest from 'thought-provoking' and wallow in 'brain-candy' for a bit. (Oh look, 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'! Perfect! <pounce>)

Friday, August 26, 2005

Apples float but pears - beurre boscs at least - don't. Why is that so?

The cubs both managed to hand in their school projects on time this term, with minimal help from me. There was a question on the project sheet about why they chose the product they did (had to design a healthy product and make an ad for it) and the S cub's answer to that almost made me splurt my tea through my nose!
"I don't know why I did it it. Don't ask me 'why did' stuff - look at the ad!"
Don't ask tricky questions, go look at the shiny! <rolling around laughing> Both the cubs hate being questioned; is that a Leo or Cancer trait? I dunno, makes for some amusing moments, though.

The Meccano Geeks are having their annual exhibition as usual in October. Alas <hand to forehead> without a vehicle 'twill be deuced tricky to attend. And no, I prithee, Soulsis, please do not trouble yourself to offer us transportation to the event.
No really, I mean it - please don't trouble yourself.

I'm fed up with this weird-arse backward's flu I seem to have caught. Usually these things start in my head and work downwards but this one started in my chest and worked up. <grump> I just want my nose to stop running. I want to stop sneezing and I'd like my senses of taste and smell back, thanks ever so much. You know it's bad when all you can taste of a garlic kiev is salt. There's almost no point eating at the moment which sucks cos I'm ravenous.

Okay, that's my whinging quota for this quarter.

Soulsis sent me her own version of the A-Z meme and with permission I've quoted part of it here:
W - worst habit:... organizing books in order of height LOL.
There's a story behind that. <g> Back in the misty past, when Soulsis and her then-husband (my brother) were sharing a house with the cubs' father and I - Soulsis was pregnant and nesting. I came home depressed and cranky as usual from the mind-numbing job I was enduring at the time to find all my books had been rearranged by height. Could've bloody killed her! I had everything grouped in subjects - I could walk into the room and put my hand on the book I wanted with no effort - but now I had to first try and remember what size the bloody book was.
<smirk> I have forgiven Soulsis but she's been warned that when I finally have my books inside with me if she even thinks about 'helping' with the organisation of my wee library there will be consequences. <nods> We have an understanding, oh yes we do... : )

Thursday, August 25, 2005

...will you be using 'case histories' in the Dreams book?

It's an interesting idea: I know the competition used them, and some of my own dreams are bizarre enough to merit a short analysis, I think. I'll ask the commissioning editor and see what she says. Would you be willing to be included if so?
Ah yes, the Doggy Poo site. My niece found this, apparently. Clever girl, takes after her mum... <g>
(And I'll admit I'm morbidly curious enough to want to see the video.)

My 'fever' dreams are always interesting but the recent ones have just been ick. My (male) housemate was pregnant?! Aaaargh! My eyes! My brain!!
See? See? Mpregs are bad for you...
(Joules, will you be using 'case histories' in the Dreams book?)

This had been nicked from Erestor's lj.

Lutra from A - Z.

A - Accent: mildly Australian, mildly Southern English. Proby more Aus than Pom now.
B - Breast size: ... this is obviously a meme for women. What would be the equivalent question for men? Ball droop length?
C - Chore you hate: cleaning the stove.
D - Dad's name: Bwian. (Was he a wobber?)
E - Essential make-up: none.
F - Favourite perfume/ cologne: I used to use the Body Shop's strawberry oil but they haven't made it in ages. Mmmm... strawberry...
G - Gold or Silver: for dangling off of me - silver. For dangling around me - both.
H - Hometown: Melbourne, Australia.
I - Insomnia: only when I was pregnant.
J - Job title: 'writer' is what I call myself. 'Homemaker' or 'other' are usually the only options I'm given on forms.
K - Kids: twin boys. (I don't include my husband anymore as he's now my ex and I don't have to feel responsible for him. <g>)
L - Living arrangements: overcrowded house.
M - Mum's birthplace: Cork, Ireland.
O - Overnight hospital stays: Lessee. Tonsils; wisdom teeth; child-birth. Not at the same time.
P - Phobia: spiders, needles... robots.
Q - Favorite Quote: "Yippie-kai-yay, motherfucker" (From Die Hard). Not sure if this is my favourite quote but it's always the one that leaps to mind when I'm asked what my favourite quote is.
R - Religious affiliation: Non-denominational pagan?
S - Siblings: bloodkin - 1 brother; heartkin - lots and lots.
T - Time you wake up: When I have to.
U - Unnatural hair colours you've worn: What? Pink's not natural? Not that I've ever had my hair that colour but I've considered it.
V - Vegetable you refuse to eat: ... there has to be one. Chokos? They're really very dull.
W - Worst habit: procrastination.
X - X-rays you've had: ankle; knee; teeth; oh, and my left arm when I was little. (I still haven't quite forgiven my mother for not believing me when I said my arm hurt, while she still counters with "well, you should've listened to me when I warned you about jumping on the cushions.")
Y - Yummy foods you make: That I'll eat - fresh beetroot and sour cream; herby Yorkshire puddings with onion gravy; mushroom lasagne. That my children will eat - meat sauce.
Z - Zodiac sign: Pisces!
So, c'est moi.


Nup, can't think of anything else.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Yay! Chapter 18's finished and I've started 19. And I've cracked the 90K words! Woohoo! <happydance>
Writing smut is like cooking a roast dinner - takes longer to prepare than consume. Tch.

Snape was striding about dramatically in my dream last night. I blame Jayde <poke>. Can't remember anything else though.
I do remember my dream from the night before last. A young woman stopped and asked me if I knew how to get to a particular street. I knew the street existed but I couldn't remember how to get there and the street-directory was confusing. I asked Niki (who was one of my housemates) if she could help and she immediately left off arranging a gorgeous display of very classy Xmas decorations (for a magazine spread) and drew a map. :)
So? What was that all about, eh? I'm hazarding a guess it'll have something to do with not being afraid to ask for help if I can't do something myself. Heh, or specifically ask Niki cos she's good like that. <g>

I still haven't finished the 'Years of Rice and Salt' novel. It's very hard going, the characters have lived and struggled and died so often I'm getting as weary reading about it as they're becoming living it!

Discovered this on OkapiPrincess' lj. <giggling> You knit what??.

I don't like being ill it makes me cranky, and sometimes the cubs bear the brunt. Of course, it doesn't help when they do aggravating things. Walking away from school this afternoon I didn't notice a cub didn't have his school bag until we'd almost reached the bus stop to go home. I swore, I pouted and growled and stamped my foot. Why? Though it's only a 10 minute walk I felt like I had bricks in my lungs and the prospect of walking there and back again was enough to make me cry. The cub was contrite but he really wanted to get his bag - and I wasn't going to let him walk all that way on his own - so back we trudged. Gah. By the time he'd found his bag I'd calmed down and we were all friends again.
Oh well, it'll give them something to tell their therapists when they're older.

Here's another link, supplied by Gibbon (or Uncle Monster as he's known here :) 400 Things Mr. Welch can no longer do in an RPG Might not make a lot of sense to people who've never roleplayed but I was cacking myself!
"57. In the middle of a black op I cannot ask a guard to validate parking.
59. Not allowed to pose the Netrunner in embarrassing positions when he's on a run.
89. The elf's name is not Legolam.
106. I do not have weapon proficiency in cat." etc.

Oh dear, good times, good times...

I was idly thinking yesterday that I'd been working on SFSG exclusively since March and it might be nice to at least think of starting something else to keep my brain fresh. Glanced through my 'Ideas' folder - you know, just on the offchance - and got [pinged] quite solidly. Hm, I'll need to research Opera and Architects unless I want to make it patently obvious I don't have a clue. <g> Eh, it can wait, I've made some notes anyway and SFSG is chuffing along quite nicely. That takes priority.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Honestly, the things you find in fanfiction.
I was reading some Snapefic last night when this impacted with my brain.
"She must have been starkers to let the Ministry do that!"
Pardon? I stared at it stupidly for a moment then fell about laughing. I think the author was using 'starkers' as a contraction of 'stark raving mad'. This is even funnier than using 'nutters' as a verb! <wiping eyes> Oh dear, oh dear.
I've left a note about it in the review section - curious to see what the author has to say...

Interesting dream last night. I was looking at houses - with a view to moving - specifically at a row of new terrace-style dwellings somewhere out of town. I think the cubs' father was there, or someone else who's opinion I had to take into consideration. There were five of these houses, very narrow though two-storied. There were no boundary fences between them, and the tiny back gardens all ran together in an identical swathe of neat, water-logged grass. I remembered wondering if the area was held in common with the other houses and if I'd be allowed to dig in flower beds or make a vegetable garden. I was inspecting the house at the end of the row and was moderately impressed, though that could have been because it was empty and clean (which is the exact opposite of my house!) I didn't seriously consider taking it though, it was very small and only cheap because it was so far away from Melbourne. And besides, I didn't want to live wall-to-wall with someone, not when I doubted the thickness of those walls.

Chapter 18's nearly done. : ) I really must spend some time sorting out the differences in planetary rotations, going to get awkward otherwise. Tch, I'm a lazy cow, what possessed me to write something set in system with more than one settled planet? Just making more work for myself!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I have a somewhat schizoid reaction when someone tells me they're getting married. Usually I let the Optimist speak cos people happily planning a wedding don't want to hear 'Don't do it, you fool!'. But, as the Optimist says to the Cynic, 'every day, somewhere in the world, a marriage isn't breaking down.'
... Gods she's insufferable sometimes.

I went out to dinner last night, without the cubs! Woohoo!
In my extended group of friends and acquaintances there's a lot of August birthdays so dinner at a Japanese restaurant was arranged as a mass celebration. Of the 15 guests, 7 were Leos (and there was another who didn't show up). That's a lot of pussy... (<cackling> sorry, sorry.)
And Soulsis was able to attend cos the cubs' father offered at the last moment to look after her chicks. Yay!
Half of us had teppanyaki - barbecue style - but I ordered from the menu. Beef tataki then vegetarian tempura. No matter where you eat there is never enough beef in the tataki but it's always delicious. The tempura didn't have a particularly inspiring range of veggies - sweet potato, pumpkin, eggplant, capsicum and zucchini - but it was yummy. What was really nice though was the mango icecream! I took a serve home with me. :)
We stayed and chatted for a good long while afterwards before deciding we should probly go home and rescue the cubs' father. <g> It was a fun evening, thanks, Alarice!

Heh, a lot of eBay sellers put stupid enticements on their goods like 'Will be a great addition to your collection!!' Humpf, I'll be the judge of that. But I saw one recently that only offered 'Might fit in your collection'... Truth in advertising?

Chapter 18 is half-finished, I think. This and 17 have been a challenge to write.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I'm annoyed.
Rakina (link takes you to her author's page on AFF) has had to take down her "Notice to fanfic writers..." because - surprise surprise - she got flamed. Grrr. Perhaps I'm being obtuse but I thought the point of fanfic was to try and write characters as close to the author's original concept as possible. If you're going to warp a character so much that they're unrecognisable you might as well come up with a new one. And if you're going to insist on making someone OOC because it fits your 'concept' ("it's my story and I'll do what I want!" <flounce>) then you'd best accept that there'll be criticism despite what your your best ever online friends gush. ("OMG UR A FANTASTIC RITER!!!!! I LUV THIS!!!!")
Anyway, <settling ruffled feathers> with Rakina's kind permission I'm going to post "Notice..." here in its entirety because I think it's funny, and apt and instructive. The only thing that pisses me off more than fanficers who bugger a character concept is fanficers who refuse to improve the standard of their writing.

(A couple of warnings, I suppose, for adult concepts and very mild language - and I hope you'll forgive me, Rakina, if the formatting isn't precisely the same, M$word sometimes plays funny buggers when c/p'ing from documents...)

Disclaimer: Professor Snape doesn't belong to me (alas! earwax!) nor does Harry Potter, nor the castle of Hogwarts... blah blah blah.
Author's Note: Please bear in mind that I've written this with what I believe to be my "authentic Severus Snape" voice. The views of Professor Snape do not necessarily correspond to my own. For instance I firmly believe that everyone has the right to write and post fanfic. That said, I also agree with Professor Snape that if you're using a character's voice, it should be recognisable as that person's own voice as it is portrayed in the original works of which we are all fans. No, I am not an anti-globalisation freak nor anti-American. It's just that Hogwarts and the vast majority of its characters are as British as Queen Elizabeth II - Professor Snape especially so with his pedantic approach to language and his students' accuracy. There is so much American culture out there, you can surely agree to keep Harry Potter British.


My patience has been sorely tried of late by the widespread use of poor grammar, bad spelling, and unbelievable Americanisms (see below for things I would NEVER do.......) in Harry Potter fanfiction. So trying has this become that I felt I must write this small essay to promote the improvement of English on the internet.

Authors found falling foul of these guidelines in future will be severely punished by myself, PROFESSOR SEVERUS SNAPE, as I will refuse to participate in any of their future attempts at literacy.

I DEMAND some appreciation for my true character: I am ENGLISH through & through. Further, I am from the NORTH OF ENGLAND and we don't put up with fools gladly, tha' knows! If you cannot depict me AS I AM go and find some other character to dismember verbally. Perhaps a transfer to the "Buffy fandom" would suit, I believe that is set in the United States, is it not? Or maybe Star Trek, which is out of this world in more ways than one, and includes a large number of characters speaking in an American idiom, often regardless of their planet or species of origin.

I believe that muggle writing accessories, called 'word programs' come equipped with a 'spell checker' which can be set to use English: UK. This information was passed on by that well-known student and enthusiast of all things muggle, Arthur Weasley, when I was complaining of the lamentable inability of muggle writers to spell correctly. I suggest you set your muggle machines accordingly.

Sincerely, but not appreciatively,

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry WHICH IS IN SCOTLAND not England, you geographically-challenged, mapless dolts! Unplottable it may be, but nevertheless it's WIDELY KNOWN to be in Scotland, so no lame excuses will be accepted. The Scots are a proud nation with a long history of fierce independence (which many of them would like to regain). Even you must have heard of BRAVEHEART!

A FEW EXAMPLES OF INCORRECT USAGE COMMONLY FOUND IN FANFICTION: I can only hope you can see the errors in these examples. If you can't may I suggest a different career... signwriting perhaps ?

I refuse to except this shoddy work Potter! Spelling must be correct, accept from certified dyslexics whom I MAY consider excusing.

A BIG ONE so pay attention...
This is a common mistake by those who do not appreciate that FRENCH is a gender-specific language. BLOND(E) is a FRENCH WORD and the following rules apply: BOYS are BLOND - so Draco Malfoy and his charming father are both BLONDS, whereas airheaded females like the Lovegood girl are naturally BLONDE. Whether or not they have recourse to the dye bottle I will leave to your own judgement.

Harry remembered to breath, but he didn't take a deep breathe in case Severus thrust his overlarge cock into his mouth again. (Well, write it as it is, children!)

Harry needed to loose his virginity, he had always been far too strait-laced.

Please note that the British do not get mad, unless they're walking in the midday sun in the tropics**. We get ANGRY. I have been known to get in this condition myself from time to time. I have never lost my sanity, however. Please DO NOT let me say things like "you make me mad" for I will not be amused. In a similar vein:

Harry is completely nutters is he? I'm afraid I must beg to differ. Nuts is acceptable slang, and means much the same thing "mad, daft", a nutter is British slang for a madman, idiot (and Potter's certainly that) but nutters is not in use in these islands. Please remove all instances of this execrable word. It does not exist inside Hogwarts, nor until we admit people called Mary Sue or Marty Stu will it ever do so.

Work of this quality causes me to lose patients with the writers very quickly. I could be provoked turn them into patience for Madam Pomfrey.

The red head went upstairs, tucked firmly inside Weasley's trousers.

Potter had wonderful taught muscles (Well i suppose it's a result of all that quidditch training. NB: the overuse of the adjective "quidditch-toned" in relation to Potter's muscles is a pet hate of mine, all writers please take note).

Love is colder then death and and than some... oh yes, it is.

Potter went wondering through the castle in his blasted invisibility cloak again... (I wander why?)

There are of course many, many more examples I could have quoted, but my time is precious and I will leave it at that for now. Should anyone request help and further examples I would encourage them to contact me via the feedback opportunities given, and I will try to help, Hogwarts timetables and Lord Voldemort permitting.


· Going to Las Vegas, for any purpose including gambling on slot machines and getting married. It WILL NOT happen. The glitz of the place is ENTIRELY FOREIGN to my nature: I am dark, bad tempered and anything but frivolous. The same applies to Disneyland. Get over it.
· Introducing students to illegal substances, i.e: muggle drugs. Potions are a DIFFERENT THING ENTIRELY I trust you realise, as of course is alcohol.
· Attending a muggle night club. I am often described as a creature of the dark, a description I do not entirely dislike, but I assure you I am not compatible with the over-crowding, the music (if it can be called that) or the 'meat market' ambience of such places. I am not 'hard up' for sex and do not need to parade myself at such demeaning venues.
· Becoming a gigolo. I would doubtless be excellent at the profession, but I do not have the time nor the patience to lavish on bored, sexually-deprived customers of either sex. Being a Potions Master and spy are more than full-time occupations, I can assure you.
· Conversely, hiring a prostitute. As stated two definitions above, I am not 'hard up' for sex and do not have to pay for it. I am hard quite often, and likewise up, but not hard up. Please take note. I do not mind being romantically or sexually paired with believable partners in your stories so long as I am not depicted as desperate for a lover. I am not. Nor do I protest too much, so please do not quote Shakespeare at me.*
· Turning into a sappy modern househusband, either as partner of a male or a female. I will NEVER become 'broody' as I can see no appeal in children younger than school-age, and only limited appeal thereafter until they reach the age of consent, when SOME of them become half-way decent companions. Make of that what you will, I'm sure you will anyway.
· As a consequence of the last one, I WILL NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BECOME PREGNANT. I will not brew a potion to achieve this, nor will I cast any mysterious Dark spells to facilitate such an event. Were I female I would feel exactly the same. Babies are a complete NO-GO AREA.
· Wearing boxer shorts (silken or otherwise) or any other kind of muggle undergarment beneath my wizard's robes. Wizard's robes are wonderfully heavy and loose, there is NO RISK of them blowing up and it is much more convenient for hygiene purposes (toilet visits) and some other activities to go without underwear. In my youth I lived with my muggle father, and was forced to wear the wretched garments, as I believe has become common knowledge due to a certain student's inability to keep his nose out of other people's private memories. The memory of those pitiful garments has reinforced my adult decision to dress as a proper wizard. Indeed, I would have been much less embarrassed by the previously-mentioned incident had I not had those unfortunate garments revealed to my fellow students. The equipment nature has provided me with is far more attractive and impressive.

As with the list of errors above, there are many more examples I could have written, but once again my time is at a premium, and I must leave it at that for now. I trust you get the point I am trying to make.

I would earnestly request that any writer planning to do any of the above or similar things with me in their stories CEASE AND DESIST. So frustratingly un-Snapelike are these activities that I must take exception to you associating them with my name. Once more, if you must write stories about these things, CHOOSE ANOTHER HERO. Batman perhaps? (No! Miss Snape-lover! That is not one of my pseudonyms. My robes bear no resemblance to the costume of that plastic-coated comic-book caricature.

* "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" from Wm Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III scene ii.
** "Mad dogs and Englishmen" by Noel Coward.

Thanks, Rakina!
<giggling> "Harry needed to loose his virginity, he had always been far too strait-laced.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Odd sort of day. The poorly cub is still poorly, though a little better than yesterday. He stayed on the couch all day again but was awake for most it this time. His brother stayed home as well. There was nothing wrong with him, but as I woke up at about the time we would've had to leave to catch the bus, and then couldn't summon the enthusiasm to get him to school at best an hour late he had the day off as well. There were no complaints, however.

Joules found this snark of Troy - the movie. <beg> Wickedly funny. It came from the site History_spork which promises lots of goodies. Apparently there's a KoH snark there as well but I'm not sure I want to look at that given how much I luuuuurve the movie. <g>

I've been snared by a bad HPfic. 63 chapters so far and I've read them all, gods help me. It's odd, isn't it, how while you're immersed in something it can seem quite reasonable and it's not until you try and explain it to someone else you realise how stupid it is. Why did I read so much? By the time I'd realised how silly it was I was over half-way through so I figured I might as well read the rest. And - I'm filter-feeding, as it were. Lots of content with the occasional good idea/notion to sift out and ingest.
Author's notes can be interesting to read though - strange how many fanfic writers appear to be on medication.

Oh and, hee, this is something else Joules found. A Notice to fanfic writers from Prof. Severus Snape. <chortling> Ah me, spellcheck that most useful of muggle inventions... Get it? Spellcheck?

Monday, August 15, 2005

<rolling around laughing>
The Smart Bitches/Trashy Novels site is one of my favorites but today's post had me howling with laughter. The Bitches frequently review Romance book covers - to great hilarity - and this lot, Gay Man-titty, was no exception. <wiping eyes> Oh gods, there's some crap book covers out there. And you thought Fabio made you snigger...?

One of the cubs was home sick again today, poor wee thing. He woke up feeling feverish and lethargic and spent most of the day asleep on the couch. I think it's a hangover from last week's chest infection but we'll see how he goes. He's barely eaten anything all day but he was much chirpier this evening.

Made myself giggle a few days ago. I glimpsed something in the recycling bin that I thought said 'custard kills'. 'twas indeed a custard box but the word I was misreading, or partially reading, was vanilla... A perfectly natural mistake I'm sure.
I can't look at one of these packets now without giggling.

Dangit, the zip on my backpack has finally failed. It's been dodgy for a while. I'm going to have to get a new bag very soon, it's the only way to get the heavy groceries home. Ah well, I've had it for <thinking> 3 years? - yes, 3, I bought it for my trip to the Blue Mountains in 2002 - and it's had some very heavy use this past year.
I had a quick look at some 'packs in K'mart and Target today but didn't like them very much. There was another purple/black one which while I liked the colours, it's square rather than rounded top offended my sensibilities. Fussy? Me? They were all so expensive, too. I'll have a look in the op-shop tomorrow - even if I don't find the perfect colour at least the bag will be cheap.

Mmmm... cherry wine with soda water. Lovely.

Chapter 17 is really truly finished now. Yay! On to 18...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Saw the last episode of 'Dr Who' yesterday.
No! They can't leave him behind! Not after that kiss! I shall pout...!
I've really enjoyed this more grown-up series (though not unreservedly). When's the next one?

Tch, forgot to mention Soulsis showering me with gifts on Friday night. <g> Two really lovely x-stitch pattern books, a wee ceramic fish trinket box and one of her gorgeous danglies, this one with a maneki neko picture! Hee, I need more hooks or something.

Mum came 'round today to drop off some shelves she's passing on to me (handy, metal screw-together things) then the cubs and I took her out to lunch. Unfortunately I gave the cubs the choice of where they'd like to go and they chose Smorgy's. <sigh> At least I know what to expect there, and the food is filling if nothing else.

Hm, so chapter 17 isn't actually finished yet. The last bit was niggling at me so it's been culled. It was good section, and I liked it, but it didn't fit where it was so out it goes in favour of something that doesn't make me frown. I'll add the snippet to my 'scrap text' file - might find use for it later.

<eg> This is very funny - the Peter Jackson's Message Board A piece of old nonsense from Master Erestor.
re: re: Return of the King.
Legolas: Did you all see me? Did you? Did you see me? Did you? Did you? Did you? >^_____^<
<smirk> No one takes Legs seriously...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Is creative writing a right or left-brain activity? Language is sposed to be left-brain isn't it, but getting into the 'flow' of creation feels right-brain.

Had a busy day today. Woke up late but managed to get the cubs fed and organised and out the door within the half an hour we had before we missed the bus (they started back at school yesterday). Did some bill-paying and shopping then went home to dump that lot off before going back out to do something else and noticed one of the cubs had forgot his lunchbox. <muttergrumble> Got back on the bus to go back to school - the opposite direction to where I wanted to go - and got the lunch box to starving cub just as recess started. While I was there I decided to hand over some money to the secretary but while waiting for her I obviously stood still too long and the principal nabbed me, wondering if she could 'ask a huge favour'? <sigh> It wasn't an enormous stack of items I needed to catalogue but they were all atypical so had to be input manually rather than conveniently downloading all the details from a website.
Finished that then bolted, calculating I'd be able to do the other stuff and still get back to the school in time to pick the cubs up at hometime. Got back on the bus to go to Box Hill, zoomed around there in record time then went back the other way to meet the cubs. Tch, lots of walking today, my feet hurt, but I've done all the boring things I had to do and can now go skipping merrily along without a care in the world until the next lot needs to be dealt with. Heh.

Soulsis had an audition tonight for volunteer performers in the closing ceremony of next year's Commonwealth Games. She was jumping with nerves beforehand but it all went well by the sound of it. Be good if she gets a call-back - I'll happily look after the bratlings again.

Alarice came 'round for a visit tonight as well. I've leant her what I've got of Wolf's Rain.
Lutra, purveyor of quality anime. Hee.

Chapter 17 is finished!
And I still haven't quite managed to finish with the lemon. Tch, talk about stringing it out...

(Oh, and sorry, Mags, I didn't find your comment about the Nerd Quiz until I archived July's posts.
Same score as me but without googling? I'd say that makes you more of a real nerd cos nerds know stuff, they don't need to google. : )

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

... I've gone blank...
No, no, I remember what I was going to mention! (Tch, brain-fluff.)

The cubs have been home sick the past couple of days. Poor wee things finally came down with the cold their father and I suffered through. It hit the S cub harder than the M but they're both on the mend now - they should be able to go to school tomorrow. (Yay!)

Chapter 17 is tootling along, finally. Heh, finding new and interesting euphemisms for genitalia kept me occupied for at least an hour. This site was helpful. <g>

... I'm sure I had something else to say. Eh...

Oh, a dream, yes. I was at a beach resort somewhere with a couple of friends. I was trying to take a photo of a fascinating tree thing that turned into a floating birdhouse - the birds themselves could move it about - but I couldn't quite get the right angle, and it was moving out of shot too quickly and I only had one or two shots left anyway and wasn't sure if I should hang on to them, just in case. The frustration of that situation was countered though by being caught out in the ocean (somehow - moments before I'd been watching the surfers struggle with the massive tangles of seaweed that were being dragged into the shallows) with the tide swelling in quickly enough to be alarming. But, as my friends frantically splashed to shore I was carried in on the crest of the swell (it was very high!) and deposited gently on the beach. How cool is that? I only got my feet wet. : )
I rarely dream about flying, or being in the air, but often there's water. A lot of the time the water's in the form of floods and tides, or just being where it's not supposed to be, but even when it's not being especially helpful it's not actually threatening me. Interesting, eh?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Humph. It's not so much the 'road goes ever on...', it's the washing...

We're having a hard-rubbish collection here and the scrounge has been excellent! I picked up a brass shell-dish that will look lovely once it's been polished; a very pretty (and rather kitschy) gold octagonal wooden tray; a large orange plastic container (I'm sure that'll come in handy) and a metal screen door which, once the mesh has been removed, will make an excellent climbing frame for beans/peas. :) The cubs had fun, too. The S cub found a cute little wicker basket; a Garfield poster and one of those old metal chair-coasters (which makes the perfect 'droid model, apparently). His brother acquired a tatty old rasp that he's been trying out on things that I'll let him, like cardboard and bits of scrap wood. Ah, it's good, introducing my children to the joys of scavenging. <g>

I think of all the forms of art photography is my favourite. It's a rare painting or sculpture that will stir my emotions, but photos...? I love the immediacy of them, even the staged shots, and I've lost count of how many times I've seen an image that causes my breath to hitch or brings tears to my eyes.
I've been delving into the National Geographic Greatest Portraits book and it's fascinating. Not only for the photos - some of which are extraordinary - but for the background on the magazine. I hadn't known how different the philosophy behind the NG was in comparison to, say, Life magazine. Prior to the 1970's, NG had a policy of not reporting anything disturbing about America. During the 30's and 40's, especially, the Depression and War were hardly mentioned, save for inspiring stories of heroes and prosperity, unlike Life which didn't shy away from portraying the horror and hardship. The reasoning went that this focus on the more pleasant aspects of life - and the reports of breakthroughs in impersonal science and discovery that has always been a staple of the NG - would give subscribers something optimistic to read. Nice in theory but hardly balanced, but then, honestly, when has any media shown a true capacity for balance?
But anyway, I'm enjoying the book immensely, as much for the insights into the mindset behind the magazine as the photos!

Heh, and so far I've managed to drag chapter 17 out past a week with only 3 and a bit pages to show for it. I really must get a move on past the lemon then I can kick the story forwards again...

Friday, August 05, 2005

It's not often I stumble across something on the 'net that makes me shudder.
The Adventures of Molly Mullet...

These, however, are extraordinarily beautiful. I have a soft spot for these critters.

And Joules found this one: Animals on the Underground.

Had a t'riffic dream last night. Myself and 4 friends were forming a Cabaret/Revue group to go and tour the gay pubs and we were going to be fabulous, darling!
The only reservation I had about the enterprise was that my voice actually isn't that good, but I wasn't concerned. I knew that with a bit of practise I'd be able to sing loudly and confidently enough that no one would notice. <g>
My signature song was going to be 'Concrete and Clay'.
You, to me,
Are sweet as roses in the morning
You, to me,
Are soft as summer in the dawn
In love we share
That's something rare

The sidewalks and the street
The concrete and the clay beneath my feet
Begin to crumble
But love will never die
You know we'll see the mountains crumble
Before we say goodbye
My love and I will be
In love eternally
That's the way
That's the way love was meant to be...
(Lyrics taken from here but in my head it was Martin Plaza's version I was hearing.)
So there you go, a campy Cabaret act, and I knew without a doubt that I had a big enough personality to not only carry it off but win some fans. <g>
My future was so bright I had to wear shades. Or that could've just have been my neon-pink costume with the outrageously feathered hat...

Tch, it's Friday already. Haven't really done much this week though it feels like I haven't stopped. Heh.
Hasn't been a complete loss, I've got a new pair of shoes to replace the ones that are falling to pieces on my feet. Though those haven't done too badly considering they're my only pair of shoes - besides some slip-ons - and I wear them just about every day. Managed to find another, identical pair as well which is all for the good cos I know they'll work with my special needs feet. I'm all for trying new things except when it comes to footwear - I know what will and won't cripple me and I have to shop accordingly, alas. <sigh> I used to have some lovely boots and shoes, though they're probly what killed my feet in the first place. Ah well, live and learn/adapt or die...

The school site's almost clear, the last bits of the building have come down and even the old wooden climbing frame next to the Liquid Amber has gone. I suppose now all that's needed is to level the area then they can begin construction.

I'm almost half-way through a book, The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson. The blurb on the front that caught my eye says "The Great Plague destroyed Europe. It made the world a different place..." It's an interesting premise, certainly, but it's taken me a while to get into the story which is by turns compelling and tedious. Some of the details of the different cultures tend to make my eyes glaze over but for all that I'm enjoying it. I thought at first it would be a fairly straightforward tale about a set of characters as they move through their lives but it's so much more. Yes, there's a central cast but we're following them through their different incarnations. I love this approach! Previously I've found books/series that cover a vast amount of time irritating because just as I get comfortable with one set of characters they're left behind as the story progresses and I have to make friends with a new bunch. (Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is a prime example. Undoubtedly it's a master work of sci-fi but I've never been able to finish it because I get frustrated with being unable to connect with the narrative emotionally. Anyway...)
I was a third of the way through the book before I realised the author was using consistent 'markers' to keep track of the characters. The teacher/mediator has names beginning with 'B'; the belligerent, flame of change uses 'K'; and the terminally curious questioner's names begin with 'I'. It's a great idea - though I was having fun trying to work out from their patterns of behaviour who was who. <g>
It's fascinating watching their karmic progress, especially 'K' who thinks they're 'reacting decisively to injustice' without realising, or refusing to realise, that revenge isn't a way forward. They've been bumped back to animal form once already, I wonder if it'll happen again?

<satisfied> Although I haven't written much SFSG this week I've been doing a lot of pondering about it. I've got an idea now where and how it's going to end and I've straightened out in my mind the progression of events that will get my girl there in one piece. I think it's plausible, too, and not just a string of convenient coincidences. Oh well, if it doesn't hang together I trust someone will tell me if I don't pick it up myself. : )

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Mmm... mmm... mmm... I love fresh beetroot...

I really should pull my head out of the HP fanfics on AFF. I think I've already found all the good stuff anyway. <sigh> 's okay, just working through the perfectly normal mild obsession that occurs after I'm done immersing myself in something. I'll be over it soon.

However, chapter 16 is finished! I just managed to sneak it in before midnight July 31st too, so it counts as a July chapter, which means 5 for that month. : )
I've made a start on the next chapter (all of a paragraph) but it's primarily a lemon and I tend to dither over those. Let's see how long it takes to write.

<smirk> Aaaand the mpreg now has a title. I'm debating whether I could be arsed trying to make it correlate, vaguely, to the canon, or just make it all up. Plot-wise it couldn't be any worse than anything else I've read.

Nightmare Before Christmas has been a staple of the Goth community for years - why is it now edging its way into the trendy end of mainstream? But then I guess a lot of quirky/subversive stuff from the 'sub-cultures' is eventually appropriated by the masses. Tch, can't those people manufacture their own fun?
What am I saying? They do but it's soooo bland the target audience gets bored with it too quickly and moves on to the next interesting thing.

The diggers have been busy for the past few days, there's not a lot left now of the old school. The soil underneath the buildings is very dry and dusty, there's been a great cloud of it stirred up as the debris is scraped away. I wonder if they've found anything interesting in the foundations? I wonder if anyone from the area mysteriously went missing around the time the school was built? Heh, perhaps I watch too many British crime shows?