Friday, September 30, 2005

That was the movie we were thinking about, Soulsis. Hah! I love the internet...

Mwahahahahahah! The cubs' father is taking them out for the day. Cor, I might have hours to myself. What shall I do? Pay bills? Go op-shopping? Pay bills and go op-shopping? <g> Plot? Plan? Write? Not going to sleep this time, <disdainful sniff> or do housework.
I need a little space, I've spent every day with the cubs these holidays.

Last night Soulsis and her chicks came 'round. Caught the cubs offguard - I hadn't said anything about it - but they had fun. They like having 'the cousins' come to visit. <g>
Soulsis organised the visit cos neither she nor I could get to Alarice's official farewell thingy (she's going back to Adelaide this weekend. Waaah! <sniffle> ) and as Alarice was here for role-playing it was a good opportunity to say goodbye. We had barbecue ribs, and chicken wings, and chocolate! Mmmmm...
Travel safely, Alarice, it's been mucho fun having you here. Come back soon! : )

Egad, the cubs go back to school on Monday! Tch, I don't feel rested at all.

I looked in my 'lists' journal this morning and was surprised to see I hadn't listed anything since January this year. I've caught up a little now. I'm onto the yellow pages of the rainbow - very uplifting.
Hee, and I bought another notebook yesterday, one with a shimmery blue/aqua/silver cover. I'm going to use it to keep things like movie ticket stubs etc. as a tangible record of things the cubs and I do. I used to keep scrapbooks for the same purpose when I was younger - it's fun looking back at them. I've still got souvenir programs and newspaper articles from concerts, plays and ballets I've seen.
I sometimes suspect there's a neat and organised person lurking inside me, striving to cope with the chaos. That would account for the dismay I frequently feel when I look at my room/house/life, ne? : )

Nicked from Onna's lj:

<rolling around laughing>

You Are A: Bunny!

bunny rabbitThese adorable woodland animals are known for their fluffy cotton tail and shy disposition. Bunnies reproduce like crazy and are found all over the world. As a bunny, you spend your days hopping through fields and chewing on grass and leaves. Your cuddly, gentle appearance is irresistable!

You were almost a: Turtle or a Groundhog
You are least like a: Parakeet or a SquirrelTake the Cute Animal Quiz!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Woke up from a very detailed dream yesterday morning. I'd got talking to a man, an actor - tall, confident and attractive without being overwhelming. He was playing the lead in a play about 3 immigrant men (Chechnyans? Czechs?) living and working somewhere like London. Can't remember the play's name but it had a reputation for violence and explicit content, being hailed as a 'realistically gritty' drama. My new friend's character was the eldest of the trio, the amoral and casually violent ring-leader. He gave me an unnerving demonstration of the character's nature (basically forcing me onto my back) and I had to keep reminding myself that it was just a role he was playing. But for all that I quite liked him and we made plans to meet the following day.
I was at the theatre after the performance (not a big audience but it included a faintly alarmed/baffled Buddhist monk) waiting to meet him, feeling nervous with those first date anticipations... and then the alarm went off. Ah well. : )

Soulsis made me an anklet! It's pink, and its got dangling fishies! Oh, and she found me another sarong to make into a top! Gorgeous orangey-pink with... fishies! <g> She knows me so well.

The 'Wallace and Gromit' movie had a 'short' showing with it, featuring the psychotic penguins from 'Madagascar'. It was quite funny, and I love the sheen on the penguins feathers.

We had a brilliant thunderstorm last night! The biggest cracka-thoom shook the house and one of the clocks fell off the wall. Exciting! The cubs came scuttling out of their bedroom to huddle with me on the couch until it was all over. Puir things. <g>

After the successful My Favourite Book poll last year the ABC is now holding My Favourite Film. I've registered, and voted for 'Velvet Goldmine'. Here's what I said about it - in 25 words or less.
A gorgeous, sensual drama about a time when anything was possible. I get something new from every viewing!
You can vote up to 10 times. I'm pondering my next choice - 'Kingdom of Heaven', 'Silent Running'...? Ah heck, I can vote for both!

Chapter 22 is finished! This was another one that took a long time to come together but it's done now. Heh, there's only 2 more 'events' to detail (one major, one minor) before the final story arc. Meep. The end is in sight. Then what?
The rewrite of course...
Applications for the position of beta-reader can be addressed to the author. <eg>

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Hn. <glancing up into corner of the lounge room> The first huntsman of the season. Didn't see many inside last year - hope that doesn't mean we can expect twice as many this year...

The cubs and I have just spent a few days with Mum. Mum'd got it into her head that we were staying for 3 nights rather than the 2 I had planned - it threw her slightly. Ah well.
First thing we did was head up to the Healesville Trolley ride. Lots of people there (nice weather, middle of the holidays) and consequently I ended up perched at the very end of the last trolley, squished between the rear diesel engine and the none too secure rail. It's moments like that I'm uncomfortably aware - because of my size - the sorts of places I won't fit.
Anyway, we trundled off, happy and smiling and enjoying the sunshine and stuff, until we got to the middle of the hill just before the tunnel (steepest rail gradient in Victoria, apparently; 1:35). The very full trolley ground to a halt, unable to make it up the slope. The drivers conferred, the front trolley was uncoupled and went off to complete the journey leaving the rear one to have another go. The driver went back to a relatively flat spot so we could take a run-up. Twice.
No luck. Just as I thought we'd have to give up on the tunnel and go back to the station, the front trolley - free of passengers - came back down the track to give us a hand. We cheered when we finally made it through the tunnel...
It was fun on the way back though. It was all downhill and we rocketed along, and now I was at the front of the trolley, with nothing between me and the track save a couple of bits of timber. Weeeeeeee! With my hair streaming out behind me I wondered if this was what it was like being a figurehead...

The next day the cubs and I wandered around the village while Mum and her friend went to the gym. The cubs found an excellent model train magazine - which they've been poring over ever since - and I stocked up on biodynamic rice. One of the things I like about where Mum lives is that there's a lot of organic/biodynamic produce readily available. It helps of course that the Biodynamic Research Institute is just down the road I guess, but I don't have to go hunting for the goods there like I have to in the 'burbs.
Once Mum and Jean had finished exercising we all piled into Mum's little car and headed up to the Patchwork Teahouse in Warburton. Had a cup of tea and picked up a handful of cute buttons, and a few scrappy bits of material for one of the projects. Didn't spend anywhere near as much as I'd anticipated, which was a good thing.

Today, the last day, we met Soulsis and her chicks to go and see the Wallace and Grommit movie. It was fun, simplistic, with most of the really funny things happening in the background. Wallace's bookshelf holds titles like 'Waiting for Gouda' & 'East of Edam', and one of the stained glass windows in the church shows the angels blowing their horns and the three wise men blocking their ears. <g> The animation was a good as ever, there were lots of in-jokes from all over the place and a number of things that had the adults in the audience chortling. I was entertained the whole way through - and the bunnies drifting about during the credits were awfully cute.
After a drink in the nearby shopping centre, Mum dropped the cubs and I off at the station to catch the train home. So good to be home... for a change. Usually I'm pretty meh about being here but today it was different. I wonder why?
It's interesting, the more time I spend at Mum's the more I like the area. I asked the cubs what they thought it would be like to live there and the M cub replied 'peaceful'. By the tone of voice I'm not sure if that was a good thing or not. Eh well, if it's meant to be...

And, hah!, I've got a yellow kougra now, too. Not bad going, really: 4 kougras, 3 different colours.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

<bouncebounce> Joules has finished a lemony PWP for the Gremlins and she's drawing Bruce!
An explanation, perhaps. Bruce was the resident gremlin in my new 'puter - Carli left the old one, cos it's switched off and no fun - and now they quite happily cohabit in the new one.
Anyway, as a 'thank you' to her gremlin Butch, Joules has intro'ed Bruce to him in a ficlet. Bruce is very nummy (well, there's no complaints from Butch - or Carli, for that matter) and the sketch of him is damn close to what I see in my head. Gorgeous! <g>

The fic, 'Stranger', is in Darkside the passworded section on Joules' Wavewrights site.
Mmmm... turkish delight and blue-skinned smut. Perfect... : )

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I woke up this morning to hear: "Hi-yah! Hah! Eee-ah! <whump!>"
"Are you all right?" I called from my pillow.
"Yes!" the M cub giggled. "I was being a kung-fu ninja and I went into the wall..."
And a very good morning to you too, my lovely. <g>

Cubs and I went to Puffing Billy yesterday! And it was free cos Soulsis and Becca had given us a complementary day-pass that Becca had won in a raffle! I like steam trains, have I mentioned?
Good day for it, too - not hot, not cold, no rain - and we got there in time for the first trip out so it wasn't packed. The cubs insisted on sitting in the first carriage, as close to the engine as possible, but after the first bit of soot in their eyes they decided it might not be such a good thing. We went to Lakeside, a lovely leisurely hour-long journey, then disembarked and watched the engine steam off to its next destination before ambling up the hill to the Emerald Lake Park Model Railway. Happily spent ages in there, enjoying the (miniature) scenery while the cubs zipped about taking photos and asking the operator questions, then we went for a walk around the lake. Ducks, and ducklings, and the occasional splash of a fish! It's a beautiful spot, especially at this cooler time of the year when there's no crowds.
Caught the train back to Belgrave, sitting in the very last carriage this time, then I let the cubs loose in the gift shop. Happy cubs.
And I got a snowglobe! : )
It was a good day. Thanks for the tickets, Soulsis!

Ahah! I now have a green kougra. Only blue, yellow, white, black, pink, starry - and I think, cloudy - to go. Heh.

Nicked from Moosifer Jones' Grouch:

You are a

Social Liberal
(75% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(16% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

... not sure what happened to the chart thingy that was sposed to go with the result. And couldn't be bothered fiddling with the code so, meh...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Last night - as I was dropping off to sleep - the last few paragraphs of SFSG coalesced in my mind. I finally know where it's going to end! Not only that but shortly afterwards the details of the post-script spilled forth... Lucky I have notepads and pens handy in my bedroom.

Gah, busy day today. The cubs and I zipped down to Chadstone early this morning to dive around completing all the piddling little tasks that needed to be done there before diving onto the bus to go to Box Hill. (Would've been less frantic if we didn't have plans for the afternoon, anyway...)
The M cub has a blankie, his favourite doona that was left behind by the previous tenants at our last house then claimed by him. It's very tatty after several years of continual use but he's resisted even the idea of doing anything other than sewing up the gaping holes. Unfortunately the covering material is so thin and frayed now it won't hold stitches anymore and something had to be done. Given the choice of having the thing fall apart and be unusable or get it recovered, sulky cub eventually saw reason and today we went material shopping. We wandered about the store (huge store, huge selection) with him turning his nose up at all my suggestions until he spotted a novelty print that was covered in sharks. I was very happy he'd found something he liked, truly I was, so I didn't squeak too much at the price - 6 metres at $10.95 per metre - but still... However, canny creature that I am I enthused quietly to him about having the sharks on one side and a nice, plain colour on the other. He bought it, and soon found a suitable green material (that was a quarter of the price. Phew.) He's been warned he'll be without his blankie for a couple of days once I start working on it but that's fine now cos he's got a really cool shark blankie to look forward to. <g>

So, after our busy morning we went to Penny and Sarah's for afternoon tea. A nice change of pace. Heh, though after the chocolate biscuits and cake the children's pace picked up for a while.
On the way home we had to walk past a Golden Arches of Doom and one of the cubs spotted the new toy range just starting. Squeeee! Neopets! At last! And Kougras are in the first batch released. I have a red one now - such a cute widdle kitty-face - hopefully I'll be able to pick up a couple more tomorrow before they sell out. Thank heavens you can buy the toys separately from the food!

Taking the cubs to Puffing Billy tomorrow. <g>

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I quite like this time of year. The sun kisses rather than bites and the street is fragrant with fresias and jonquils. The prunus on our nature strip has exploded into gorgeous pale pink blossoms and the tangle of jasmine at the front of the house wafts a wonderfully sweet and uplifting scent as I wander past.
We've had a reasonable amount of rain too so it's easy to yank the weeds out of the paddock that's laughingly referred to as our backyard lawn. KittenKong loves this, of course, all those spots of freshly turned earth for her to paddle in. Such a help, my cat... : )

It's a clock!
He looks like he's been hexed! Bwahahahahahahahah!
Who in their right mind would place the hands bang on someone's nose?
<snerk> No, I won't be bidding.

Forgot to mention we also saw the preview for Corpse Bride yesterday - another Tim Burton animation. I'd like to see it but not sure I'd enjoy it. I'm unreasonably squeamish - and getting worse as I get older - and there were a couple of things in the preview that made my stomach churn. Not sure how I'll cope with an entire movie. <g>
Mind you... it does look good...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I hate being rushed, I really do.
I was all organised this morning to take the cubs to the movies - knew which bus we'd have to catch, what time we'd have to leave - then the cubs invited their father to come with us. Okay, good, he's got a car and instead of offering petrol money I can pay for his ticket cos it'll cost about the same as day tickets for the bus. I wanted to leave home at least an hour before the session start-time despite the cinema only being 10 minutes drive away, because I know what it's like there on tight-arse Tuesdays during the holidays.
<sigh> Cubs' father hadn't woken up from his nap (he worked last night) by the time the rest of us were ready to go. <mutterfume> Then he couldn't find his wallet, and he had to get some petrol a.s.a.p. on the way down there... All right, it wasn't too bad, we got to the place with half an hour to spare but I had to suppress a wave of irritation as I saw how long the queue was for tickets. Luckily I'd suggested sent the cubs' father to the supermarket for snacks while I lined up for the tickets. That saved a little time and I was still able to make a dash to the loo before the session started.

'The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl'.
Enjoyable, predictable fluff about how you shouldn't forget your dreams, or try to destroy other peoples'. It wasn't exceptional in any way but the cubs loved it if only for the sharks. Some of the Planet Drool sequences were very clever, however, the 3D bits weren't that amazing that they couldn't have been done just as effectively with standard CGI.
BUT that would have to have been the coolest space-ship ever! <g>

What did boggle me though was how much effort our Ministry of defense is putting in to (sneaky) recruiting. The rope thingies that delineated the ticket-queue had the MoD's email addie printed on them at regular intervals. There was also a large display-stand right next to the box-office stuffed with MoD pamphlets, and on top of the poles between the rope thingies were affixed smaller versions of the MoD poster-ads. All nicely designed to catch your eye as you wait in line. Tch. I wonder how much money changed hands over the right to monopolise this prime, youth-catching site.

Oh! Previews! Almost forgot...
'Chronicles of Narnia'! <big eyes> Ohohoh I want to see that! The armour, the scenery (visit New Zealand!), the pavilions! (There's something dreadfully romantic about a well-made and bravely decorated pavilion. Yes I have spent time living in one and it's not overly convenient but... le sigh...)
And something else, can't remember the name, but it had the same writer as 'Jumanji'. There was a clue - like to guess what it was about? Two boys find an ooooold board game in the attic. It's about space-travel and its perils...
The space-cadets amongst us will probly love it for the effects if nothing else.

Oh bother. Did I miss 'Talk like a Pirate' Day again?
Aarrr, that be a nuisance...

Monday, September 19, 2005

<grumblesigh> Just watched the last episode of Dead Like Me. One of the most original and darkly funny things I've seen for ages and it only goes for 2 seasons. I shall pout...

If a 'boar' is an uncastrated male pig, what's a castrated male pig called?
<thinking really hard> Aaargh, 'Animal Farm'? Isn't Squealer one?

If in doubt, google it...
Barrow, according to Wikipedia, is a castrated male pig.

And cos I don't entirely trust Wikipedia, just checked my faithful old Oxford Concise and yes, it's in there too.
Phew. Now I won't keep myself awake pondering it. : )

But here's something else that's been niggling at me for a few days. Something, a phrase, about infamous (in-famous) meaning even more famous than famous.
I can almost hear the inflection of the speaker's voice, and I can almost see their face but the full memory just won't surface. Tch.

Mmmmm... tried out a recipe for caramel popcorn today, given (verbally) to me by Mary, the other library volunteer at the cubs' school.
150g butter and 200g jersey caramels melted together and stirred until combined then poured over a quantity of popcorn ('bout 1/3 cup of kernels), mixed thoroughly then spooned into individual paper patty pans.
Not entirely sure how much popcorn I used cos I had to salvage the good bits from 2 batches. First batch was left on the heat too long and got a little singed, while half of the kernels in the second batch didn't pop. I suspect I should've used one of the cast iron pots to spread the heat a little more evenly. Ah well, I'll remember next time.
Not surprisingly the little dollops of caramelly goodness didn't last long.

Taking the cubs out tomorrow for our first official holiday event. We're going to see a movie, probably The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D... Could be worse - though I'd rather see the Wallace and Grommit movie. Next week, perhaps.

I finished devouring the Wraeththu books yesterday but before I start in on the niggles let me just say that I did enjoy them and I did become deeply and personally involved with them but that didn't stop me feeling somehow unsatisfied.
Of the three books, the middle one was my favourite. Like most middle bits of a trilogy it built on the foundations established (info-dumping!) in the first part and the narrative flowed smoothly around the central characters. This was were I really started to enjoy myself and my empathy kicked in.
The third book, however well it started, felt indulgent. I wasn't surprised at the central figure there - it made sense to follow-up his story, he'd been the catalyst for so much in the first 2 books - but, damn, I just wanted to slap him. I had very little sympathy for him, and the internalized melodramas as he 'found his way back to the path' seemed to go on and on and on. Not sure what was in the author's mind while she was writing this but as our hero and his companions lumbered along the chain of barely plausible events I found myself thinking there was a lot that could've been left out. One section in particular made no sense at all; the hero didn't learn anything there that he couldn't have learnt somewhere else and I felt it was included either as padding, or as another example of the wondrousness of the world. As if I needed any more convincing, tch. And if it was there to make up the wordcount those words could've been better spent on the denouement. The central drama, the underlying thing that had been dogging everyone right from the very beginning, was sorted out within a page. Convincing? I don't think so.
The epilogue however - as it were - I loved and it went a long way towards leaving me favourably disposed to the story. Yes, I'm a sook, but I adore hopeful, happy endings even if it's intimated there's a hard road ahead.

I greatly admire Constantine's use of language, I have very clear mental images of people and places because of it, and there were even words I didn't know! Always a treat having to drag out the dictionary when I'm reading. <g>
It was interesting, too, recognising themes in these early stories of hers that she examines again in later books. Love - both sides, the beauty and the ugliness; acceptance; redemption; and transformation - physical and spiritual. There was a lot in the Wraeththu Chronicles that called to me; it's not often I become so deeply immersed in something I'm reading that it affects my subconscious. Would I want to be Wraeththu? Hell, no, I'd be happy just to serve... <g>

(And in other news: I finished chapter 21! The rewrite of SFSG is going to be a lot of fun...)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I just can't imagine Sir and Lady Hat... you know... doing it...

Finished the first of the Wraeththu books. I'm still vacillating between a 'OMG!'kinGOOD!' response and '... oh come on... what?!'.
To be fair the negative outbursts don't last long before I'm sucked back into the story. I think this is the first time, too, that I've read a book that made exclaim out loud (in a good way) and almost miss my stop cos I was so engrossed. <g>
I'm having Wraeththu flavoured dreams, too. Not the characters/race but the world they've inherited. I am deeply, personally involved with the story - it's just a pity about the number of typos in this edition.

Grrr... The xmas goods have already been in the stores for a week now. So, so annoyed.

I keep forgetting to mention the cool stuff I've been gifted over the past couple of weeks. Penny found me a gorgeous aquamarine plastic tray shaped like a goldfish. There was a set of them on eBay a while ago I didn't get so receiving this was fabulous!
Soulsis has outdone herself, I think. A little flamingo cake decoration that wobbles; a bird-feeder shaped like a bunch of grapes (eee!) and 2 sarongs (dark pink/black with white fishies, and purple/black with pink geckos) that will make the best summer tops. : ) Happy? Oh, yes...

Last day of term tomorrow. Hoo-effing-ray.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Parent-teacher interviews this afternoon. Both cubs' teachers said they're happy with their standard of work but they could do more of it. Funny, we've been hearing that since they started school. They're more than capable of the work - the M cub for instance is coping with maths from the next grade level without too much effort - but neither of them like boring things like writing. Eh well, both teachers are working to find ways to motivate them, <g> including bribery. Though even that's not as effective as they'd hope. The S cub got a Storm Trooper stamp on the back of his hand for finishing some work but when his teacher asked him if he'd like another (ie: do some more work) he apparently said 'no, thanks, I've already got one...' <smirk> Not a lot of evidence of ambition in either of them just yet.

After being tantalised by fangirly droolings online I tracked down a copy of Storm Constantine's 'Wraeththu' omnibus. I'm not yet half-way through the first book and my first impressions are... mixed. On one hand the characters and worldframe are sensuously detailed and believable and I'm already forming emotional attachments and breathlessly wanting moremoremore!, but then again there's elements of the plot I'm finding a touch contrived and this tends to push me out of the narrative. This might aggravate me less as I go on with the story - from experience with other SC novels I know it's not going to improve - or else I'll be so enamoured of the characters I just won't care. : ) Either way, on some levels at least I'll enjoy the ride.

The cubs have rediscovered Thomas the Tank Engine, which is fine, but what lessons are they really learning from a series that hasn't essentially changed since the 1940's?
# Teamwork is important in getting the job done.
# Even if someone looks different it doesn't mean they're not useful.
# Females are willful but can be useful once they understand their place.
# Do as you're told or you'll be shut up in a shed.
# Don't complain or you'll be shut up in a shed.
# Expect to be blamed for things that aren't your fault.
# If you prove yourself really useful you'll get a new coat of paint.
Hm, I think there's something in that for all of us...

Chapter 21 is underway and I'm ignoring the fluffy-bunny's - predictable - suggestions about one or two of the characters. <sigh>

Monday, September 12, 2005

I had to try that one...([blink] wtf? David Hasselhoff gets a musical genre all to himself??)

 you are a half- demon, you are scary.........but cool.
You are a half-demon, you're scary, and like to take
advantage of people.

which half-breed are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

(I have, of course, corrected the appalling spelling and taken out the profligate question marks.)

Anyone surprised? Though I don't think I take advantage of people...

The half-fairy pic is... interesting. Sesshoumaru with wings? And... a tail...?

Blinkin' heck, it's cold again!
We've had a few balmy days (or barmy, depending on your views) where it's been humid and warm, and sunny enough to make me think I should drag out the sunscreen and hat, but now it's wet and cold again and likely to stay that way for a few days. I'm not complaining, the longer it takes for Summer to get here the better as far as I'm concerned!

School assembly is usually held first thing on Monday mornings and I make a point of attending cos there's always the chance that one of my cubs will get a 'Student of the Week' award, and then there's the likelihood I'll hear something vital about something the cubs have neglected to hand over a note about. Heh.
Assemblies normally take place on the quadrangle of grass inbetween the classrooms but when it's wet they happen in the multi-purpose room. Even if it's only a short assembly they always take longer when held inside. First, we have to squeeze everyone in there - that takes time, what with the territorial disputes over bottom space and not wanting to sit on the lino cos it's cold - and then because the students are sitting down, they're required to stand up for the National Anthem and sometimes that has to be done a couple of times because the talking, which isn't that noticeable outside, makes a huge racket in a small room and the principal objects. <sigh>
House points are awarded during assembly as well and this term it looks like Abbotsford (green), the cubs' house, will win. I was musing on house names and colours on the way home. The houses at the cubs' school are named after the streets bordering the school. My primary school only had colours (I was in green), while my high school had colours and the names of inspirational Australian women. I was in Bates, which was green, then there was Chisholm which was blue, Kenny - red, and I can never remember white's name. I do remember our school song though.
Come join with us your voices raised,
As of our school we sing her praise.
We'll cherish her dear name always,
We'll cherish her name always.
Our colours silver, blue and green,
Will always thrill us when they're seen.
Silver stands for friendship firm,
For friendship firm.
Green represents our pride in work,
And our intention not to shirk.
While blue reminds us of our loyal-ty,
Loyalty, love and devotion, to
The Pascoe Vale Girls' High School!
... yeah, I always thought it was dicky, too.

Chapter 20 is finished, finally and surprise, surprise I've got 21 mapped out before I start. Over 100k words now, too! :)

And finally, nicked from Talon's lj:

you are a fairy, you are sweet
you are a half-fairy, a cute lovable creature who
likes to dance.

which half-breed are you???????
brought to you by Quizilla

Awww, so cute - (well, it would be if the link to the pic worked) - but why all the ???'s in the quiz name?

[Edit: Joules is very kindly hosting the quiz pic on her site so it can be seen regardless of what Quizilla is doing. Thanks! <hugs>]

Saturday, September 10, 2005

<sigh> The things I do for my children...
I've now seen 'Revenge of the Sith' four times - twice was ample. But the cubs had a blast especially as there were fans in costume swanning about the cinema. We had an Imperial Guard, a Death Star Officer, Princess Leia (episode 4) and even - and this had the M cub in transports of delight - a Darth Vader. <g> I recognised a couple of people from my stint in fandom many years ago but I don't think they recognised me.
We saw a preview for Howl's Moving Castle! Eeeee! Bishiebishiebishie! With wings! Might drag the cubs along to see that.

Speaking of movies, the cubs' father is watching 'Chronicles of Riddick' at the moment. What a stupid movie. Necromongers? Is that like fishmongers? Bwahahahahahah!
Though Karl Urban still manages a certain amount of phwoarness in spite of the ugly haircut.

Heh, my favourite gaiboyz brought me back a couple of snowdomes from their trip to Sydney. :) One has an orange and white 3D model of the Opera House inside - it looks like a peeled prawn! So tacky, it's perfect!

I've just finished a mostly excellent book: Minette Walters - 'The Shape of Snakes'. I saw a documentary about its development and thought it sounded interesting so went and hunted it down. I'd not read anything else of Walters, though I've seen most of the programs made from her books, and I was enthralled. The story starts with an unusual death 20 years ago then jumps to the present day and the main character's search for justice. The story builds layer by layer with flashbacks in the form of correspondence, and not in chronological order either, it skips backwards and forwards over the 20 years revealing a snippet here, another puzzle piece there. Wonderfully done.
I wasn't entirely convinced by the perpetrator though and I was reminded of the author saying in the documentary that she was nearing the end of the story and she didn't know whodunnit yet! The lack of solidity showed, I think. I also thought one of the key characters was dismissed from the narrative too abruptly with a very weak explanation but that didn't impact with the story too much so it didn't niggle at me.
And then, at the very end, the reason for the main character's obsession with the case is revealed. Beautifully poignant, it made me sniffle and I immediately forgave all the quibbles. :)
I finished this book the day after I'd borrowed it from the library, I'll probly read it again before I have to give it back.

<snerk> The Prince Charming emoticon: :"D.
Think about it...
(Joules, was that a result of yours or my typo? I can't remember...)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I went to see 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' last night with Alarice! Man, when Tim Burton gets a world-frame right you can just sink into it...
I loved this movie right from the start and with only a couple of niggling quibbles I loved it all the way through to the end. It's not the same as the Gene Wilder movie - a different sort of creepy - but if my hazy memory serves this new version was closer to the book.
Now there's a question. I don't remember Charlie's father being in the first movie - was he in the book? Eh, anyway...
Ok, let me clarify that 'closer to the book' statement. The film is closer to the feel of the book, I think, but not the actual story. There were some noticeable omissions, changes, and additions and these combined to make it a less confronting retelling all told. Less confronting perhaps, but the lurking sense of insidious weirdness is wonderfully uncomfortable in places - something I've come to expect from Tim Burton.
Casting was excellent. The naughty children were all deliciously horrible - so were their parents - and Charlie was the quintessential nice-boy without being unnaturally sweet.
And Johnny Depp proves again that he can act as well as give good face. I'm going to see it again, and, oh, if anyone sees a model of the pink seahorse boat, please let me know. :)

Saw a promo for 'Goblet of Fire' amongst the trailers, too. Eeeee! Looks exciting!
But there was nary a glimpse of Snape in the split-second flashes. <grump> Maybe he'd be included if they made a trailer aimed at the, erm, older, more discerning viewer?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

It was Father's Day today. Usually (due to lingering acrimony, admittedly) I'm pretty well organised to remember things like that but this year it snuck up on me. The cub who wasn't sick last week bought a couple of things from the Father's day stall at school but it wasn't until Wednesday that I gave any thought for a gift beyond the traditional Toblerone bar. In a catalogue I spotted a DVD set I thought the cubs' father might like so on Friday the cubs and I went shopping. The set wasn't on the shelves and after a very helpful sales person did some checking we found out it wasn't actually available. <sigh> The woman checked a little further and - hooray - they did have the individual volumes at only a few dollars more in total than the set. But, only volumes 1 & 3 were in store. <SIGH> The sales person suggested we try another store so we did and - hah! - not only did we find all 3 volumes but they were cheaper again.
And the cubs' father was pleased with his swag of gifts so all was well...

I don't often buy tinned soup cos it never tastes quite right but I saw one the other day that looked interesting. Pea soup with Australian Native Mint. Alas it wasn't all that interesting after all. When they said 'pea soup' they actually meant 'split (dried) pea soup' instead of the fresh, pretty green peas pictured on the label which was what I was expecting. Oh well, guess I'll just have to get a packet of frozen peas and blend that up with some stock and herbs instead. And sour cream... mmm...

I solemnly swear that from now on when I'm faced with a section in one of my stories that I'm hazy about I will spend some time plotting the section out rather than just forging ahead and hoping for the best. This will save me looking back at what I've done and thinking 'Well that sucks'. <g>

I was poking about on a MarySue Snark site and I found something that made me snigger. The HP!suethor admitted (in an author's note, in the middle of the text) that she knew the spelling was wrong but she couldn't be bothered looking it up lol <rolls eyes>. She'd used Expellimaris! as the supposed dis-arming hex and the snarking reviewer made the comment that the giant squid was very annoyed to suddenly find all the water removed from her home... <giggling> Ah dear, have to remember that one, it's got the potential to be an extremely annoying hex.

Ahah! I knew I'd seen Moaning Myrtle somewhere before. Heard her, rather, I recognised the voice. Shirley Henderson appeared in 'Topsy Turvy' as one of Doily Carte's soloists. Always pleased to have a mystery solved.

Counting down to the holidays and a fortnight of not getting up at sparrow's fart...

Friday, September 02, 2005

I couldn't keep my eyes open this evening so I had a nap after I'd sorted out the cubs' dinner. Not a proper lie-down nap, but a less comfortable reclining nap that ensured I didn't sleep for hours and hours.
I'm not sure where my brain was while I slept but seeing an indistinct shape looming darkly at me when I woke gave me a start. I twitched violently, the cat - the dark shape that had been sitting on my hip - went flying...
<g> KittenKong was most put out.

Speaking of cats.
I found this on OkapiPrincess' lj. Who doesn't love Cats in Sinks? <squinch> So sweet!

I've got the cutest pen.
The Very Special Kids organisation is fund-raising at the moment with a range of pink pig merchandise being sold at supermarkets and such. The bottom half of my pen is middling pink while the upper half is clear. Floating in the liquid is a sprinkling of rainbow sparklies and - a tiny pink pig! I couldn't resist. <g> Hopefully I can get one of the piggy-banks before they sell out.

Egad! Only 2 weeks 'til the end of term! Better pin the cubs down and make some plans...

Rakina's put up a couple of very funny little pieces on AFF - 'A Harry Potter Fanfic Alphabet' and 'A Second Hogwart's Alphabet'. I was laughing so loudly while reading them the cat kept meowing enquiries at me. <g>

I've decided I want to have my own copies of all the HP books but in the adventurous spirit of the true collector I'm not just going to gather the common paperback editions. Oh no. I'm going after the cloth bound special UK editions. They're not rare, precisely, but you don't trip over them in bookshops, either. Hee, the hunt is half the fun.

Oh, what the heck, one last link.
The Museum of Bad Art. Some of the 'collection' is simply boggling... And look, you can buy prints...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

It took me a long, long time to accept that I was intelligent. Why? Because according to the standards used I was only an average student. This wasn't helped by the move to promote science and maths in girls' education. Which wasn't a bad thing in itself, not at all - feminist theory finally caught up with the curriculum and it was realised that it wasn't freakish for girls to like and be as good at science as boys. This was very liberating in a lot of ways for a lot of female students but given the emphasis that was being placed on the sciences while I was in high school I always felt less somehow than my brainy friends, because I was doing 'fuzzy' subjects.

With the benefit of hindsight I can see now that some of my teachers did recognise my intelligence - if they didn't I wouldn't have kept getting the 'could do better if she applied herself' comments on my reports - but I didn't think of myself as smart because I couldn't comprehend anything much beyond the basics of science. I loved biology and chemistry at first but once we started needing to use complex symbology in the formulas I faltered. I couldn't get my brain around the symbols, still can't, and as for physics? That might as well have been magic for all of my understanding!

Added to my lack of logical intelligence was the fact that I wasn't particularly good at 'art', which was the other end of the perceived 'success' spectrum. It wasn't just the brainy girls who were lauded at my school, it was the artists as well. I was no artist, I was no scientist, I kind of languished in the middle believing I wasn't very good at anything so why bother?

I was highly literate, though, and I could easily grasp emotional concepts and motivations, and I could draw cohesive conclusions from disparate pieces of information, but I didn't recognise this as important for many years and neither did anyone else in the school system, apparently.
I was stunned, and a little uneasy, when told by my English Literature teacher at the end of my disastrous year 12 that with my intelligence she knew I'd do well at whatever I set my mind to. What? Intelligent? Me? Nah... Of my five subjects that year I knew I'd failed two, and would be lucky to scrape a pass in the rest, and it was those final marks which determined our futures. I'd have nowhere near enough points to get into any tertiary institute - even if I had any idea of what I actually wanted to do. No, it was the service industry or clerical for me.

Of course I managed to disregard the bit about 'setting my mind to something' which, in the fullness of time, has proved to be absolutely true. <g> Now I can override the internal voice that tells me I won't be able to do something cos I'm not clever enough - once I'm clear on what it is I want to do, naturally.
Heh, 12 years of a torturous education ingraining a lack of confidence eventually nullified by one kind comment from someone I respected. Is there a moral to this? I dunno, perhaps 'Find something nice to say to even the dumbest kid and it might help them look beyond their perceived/self-imposed limitations'?
Gods that's insightful, isn't it? I could go into motivational speaking and make a fortune! If I had the slightest interest in doing something other than writing fiction... <smirk>