Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I find the worst thing about hot days is that no matter how much I drink I just can't assuage the thirst. I feel like I'm sloshing inside, but still thirsty...

I've had the cubs home for the past couple of day. True, they weren't that sick, and they almost certainly could've gone to school today but I was the one needing a rest so we stayed home. <g> But, they're going to school tomorrow, first because I want to go and see Goblet of Fire, and second cos it's going to be hot and the school's got air-conditioning.

(I've just giggled my way through the first episode of Blackpool. David Tennant's really quite a good actor, isn't he?)

Interesting dream last night. While I was attending a sort of combination oil painting art class/exhibition it dawned on me that, hey, I could learn to paint! But, as I was preparing an old canvas to reuse, my enthusiasm waned when I couldn't think of a subject I wanted to paint. I didn't want to give up on the idea too soon so I wandered around a bit looking for inspiration and found it in a couple of carved marble architectural details in a graveyard. I was just working out how I could represent that detail when I woke up.

Egad. 1st of December tomorrow. Cubs are anticipating putting up the xmas tree, and starting the advent calendar. Wot fun, eh?

Monday, November 28, 2005

... I've been listening to one cub coughing all evening, and the other's just come out of bed to tell me he's not feeling well. <sigh> Housemate was ill last week - oh joy. Eh, we'll see how they go; a couple of days off probly won't hurt.
As long as it's not on Thursday cos if I can't go and see GoF I'll be miffed.

Cubs' father was watching ID4 this afternoon. What a silly movie - I had great fun snarking.
Handsome President ™ giving pre-battle speech: "We won't go quietly into the night. We will not give up without a fight..."
Lutra 'No Respect' Tenshi chimes in: "And everything will be all right!"
Which earnt me a look from the cubs' father who quite likes this movie. "Have you ever been stirred by a speech?" he asks. "Oh yes," I chirp, "The one in Branagh's Henry V ("We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...") is marvelous! Makes me want to go out and kill Frenchmen...!"
Tra la la.
We decided - after one cub expressed surprise there was no kissing in the 'marriage' scene to which the other one said 'Thank goodness'! - that this must've been the Director's Cut for 10 year olds: more violence, less kissing. <g>

Soulsis brought me some loverly things on the weekend including a gorgeous pink Thai silk goldfish cushion cover, and a pure silk sari! The sari's pale-beige with large mustard and ochre dots - not really my colours but, dang, it feels wonderful. I thought I might dye it an Autumny sort of colour. Yeah, that'd be nice...

Three and half weeks 'til the end of term. Eep.

(Thanks, Joules for the ™ code! ™™™ Hee, new toy...)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanks, GoodTwin, the cubs love the calendar! They were very excited. <g>

I was ridiculously pleased the other night to hear a snippet of the Kingdom of Heaven soundtrack being used in a news program. Hee. See the fangrrl squee.

Speaking of fangrrly squeeing - a dilema! <hand to forehead> I was planning on seeing Elizabethtown next (tightarse) Tuesday but then I noticed that Doom is also playing. Orli-squee or horselord? <sigh> I decided on Elizabethtown cos I'm a sook. Doom is rated MA and I remembered the video-game could be really gross - I think it can probly wait for DVD.

KittenKong's slinking about, still twitchy cos there was a dog here earlier. <g> Soulsis came 'round this afternoon, bringing with her my nephews and Snoops, who's quite big now but still a bit daft.
Soulsis made us an Advent Calendar! Nice big wooden one with hooks to hang the numbers on. : ) And a groovy bag with gold fringing for the cubs to go rummaging around in of a morning. So much nicer than the chocolate and cardboard things for sale in the supermarkets.

Half-way through chapter 30...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Is it just me or is this week dragging itself along by its fingernails?

Okay, this is weird. My CD ROM won't read disks but I'm still able to burn files. Course, I can only check that fact using someone else's 'puter, which was a drama in itself. (On the cubs' father's machine my SFSG file didn't show up at all, not even on the updates where I knew the info was saved. Reconfiguring the thing to read hidden files did the trick. Then I stopped panicking.)
Tch. Eh, at least I'm able to back-up my work.

One of Penny's treasured cats caught a skink the other day. The wee lizard's extended and lumpy stomach wasn't cos it was sick - as Penny thought - but because it was carrying eggs. Unfortunately the skink died but now there's half a dozen thumbnail sized thingies being incubated under a lamp. It'll be lovely if they hatch - wee baby skinks!

I went to a Xmas decoration making workshop a couple of days ago. It was fun but not quite what I'd expected. I'd initially signed up cos I'd been shown tempting photos of felt camels but it was decided that as this was a 'beginners' class we'd start simple.
Too simple, perhaps: 2 piece angels with beaded wings and wooden-bead heads. Yes, fun, but I wasn't really learning anything new (except how to dry-felt coloured sheeps wool to make really wild looking angel hair! However...) And I can't take twee Xmas angels seriously anyway - camels are much more interesting.
But there was enough interest from the participants to warrant another workshop, making felt animals this time. : )

Chapter 30 is moving along more easily now, thanks to a solid [poke] from Joules about an unconvincing plot-bunny. <g>

More HP fic-sniggers. Good examples of why it's important, nay, vital to have a beta reader.
"... the hollowed walls of Hogwarts."
<snerk> I know the place is riddled with secret passages but that's ridiculous! Hallowed walls, perhaps?
"Cleaver fingers pinching and lightly tugging..."
Ouch! <smirk> Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...

Heh, cubs' father's birthday tomorrow, and the end of year school disco. Cubs are looking forward to both. : )

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Right, <satisfied> that's chapter 29 done. Almost 145k words, too.
When the first draft's finished Joules has promised to have at it with the virtual red pen. I know she won't be gentle or sparing of my feelings but I trust her not to mangle my delicate ego.
<smirk> And I've promised not to get precious, too, so that should help.

I know daddy longlegs are opportunistic, but making a web in my ladle? Tch, cheeky thing...

Cubs and I went into the city again yesterday. It was the M cubs turn to spend his money on train bits. He got a troublesome truck and another couple of pieces of track. Both the cubs really really want to get an engine but I've told them they have to save up. I also keep telling them they'd have regular pocket money to save if they cleaned their room. : )

Here's a lovely story, sent to me by Alarice:
Once upon a time a girl asked a guy "Will you marry me?"

The guy said, "NO!"

And the girl lived happily ever after and went shopping, dancing, camping, drank vodkas, always had a clean house, never had to cook, had sex with whomever she pleased and farted whenever she wanted.

Ah, there's something in that for all of us...

Oh dear, found a couple more howlers in a fanfic.
"... a fowl mood." <snigger> Does that mean he was clucking mad?
And - "... sleep depraved": is that what happens when you get too much sleep?

And there was an interesting typo in a recent Horrible History magazine. There was a snippet about Captain Cook and how he took a goat along on a voyage so the crew had fresh milk. Then came this: "The goat had been on voyages before - but this was his longest."
His longest? I sincerely hope that was a typo. I mean, it'd be useful to have a good source of high-protein readily available, but really...! The poor creature would be exhausted... <g>

Friday, November 18, 2005

<chirpchirpchirp> I feel like I've achieved something today. Chapter 29 is almost finished but more importantly I've written out my xmas list. Hah! This is a good thing; now I know what I'm 'sposed to be looking for and roughly how much it's going to cost. I even know what I'm getting my nephews and the cubs' father for their birthdays. Just as well - that's all happening in the next week or so.
(<blink> Dammit. And I've missed Toby's birthday again, haven't I, Jayde? Tch, sorry. Absolutely bloody hopeless...)

The cubs and I were wandering around the shopping centre this afternoon to see if we could find any steam train calendars. No luck, but I pointed to the Orli-squee one and said I'd like that. The cubs, bemused, asked me why (I mean, he's not a steam train, how could I possibly be interested?).
"Because he's cute," I said. "Like a bunny rabbit."
The look askance my children gave me made me laugh... : )

When Joules started work on 2AC I knew I'd eventually need to rework my own parts but I thought I'd have plenty of time. I conveniently forgot just how quickly she can work when she's having fun...
Ack! <flail> I'm going to have to think about it sooner rather than later!
I am looking forward to it though, having the chance to go back and get it right this time. A lot of what I initially wrote didn't tally with later events, and of course the character/race concepts evolved as it went along and had to be unsatisfactorily smooshed about to achieve some vague cohesion. It'll be fun to finally tidy it all up.

I've been thinking about what sorts of things will need attention when I start tweaking SFSG. For one I'll need to sharpen up the character descriptions. I don't do too badly at evoking a feel for times and places but the people - with the exceptions of my obvious favourites - can be a little hazy. I should probly write a character list with accurate descriptions while I'm at it; sometimes it can be deuced tricky trying to remember the eye colour of a little-used character.
The story could probly stand a few more lemony bits, too, given it's about a porn-star. <g>

Tee hee hee. Remember how I was sniggering a while ago about fanficers improperly using nutters and starkers? Found something else to snark at. 'Drug' has no relation to the verb 'to drag'. It doesn't - I've checked. <rolls eyes>
(And on a different, but related, tangent: why is there Gryffindor goodies readily available but nothing for the other houses? <grump> Not everyone is a slavish Harry fan.)

LOL! Half-watching a documentary about cheetahs. After a year and a half of keeping her cubs alive, Mummy cheetah wanders off one day while they're hunting (her work here is done...) They eventually notice she's gone and there's much piteous mewing and calling from the male - until he's distracted by a terrapin. <smirk> I see that the attention spans of young males are constant throughout.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Lawks! I got down to one teabag on the weekend. How did that happen? I've usually got boxes of the stuff lurking in the cupboard.
Dammit, and I'm out of coffee too.

I had a dream last night about Ferraris and drag. Not drag racing. Drag. As in the drivers were wearing ensembles that would make Mitzi green with envy.
I have no idea why I dreamt that. Unless... there's an awful lot of machismo associated with Formula 1 racing...
Nope, still don't get it.
I woke up giggling though: 'Ooh, pretty car... Ooh, fabulous frock!' <smirk>

Night before last's dream was rather involved, too. It started with me looking out for a group of children, street performers essentially. I took it upon myself to collect the money thrown to them, to count and distribute it equally. That was hard to do cos I kept getting distracted...
Visited a familiar dream-theatre where they staged plays based on movies. The company always had enormous, beautifully detailed statues as props. The statues were carved from polystyrene but made to look like plaster or marble. Lovely stuff. This time they were showing 'Prisoner of Azkaban' but were rehearsing 'Goblet of Fire'. I got to join in the rehearsals! Flinging myself about the huge, marble-faced atrium, 'flying' on wires. (Incidentally, that's about as close to flying as I get in dreams. I'm usually tethered, or in an enclosed space, but I think that's more an issue of safety rather than entrapment.) That was loads of fun, but I had to get back to sorting the money for the children.
The dream ended with me on a construction site, where I was still trying to get the money organised, as well as trying to wash and sort a bundle of old shirts, and still keep an eye on the children, especially once it started raining and the holes in the ground starting filling with red mud...
Too much to do - I was almost glad to wake up! <g>

<sigh> 2 days 'til the next dribble of cash - 2 days 'til I can buy some tea, and coffee.
Ooh, and cake!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

"Mum! There's a man outside wrecking our weeds...!"
<gasping with laughter> Yes, that's a quote. Our very nice next-door neighbour was mowing the front lawn today; as he does regularly. How the cubs have missed the activity all this time I can only put down to male-pattern blindness...

Blimey, it has been a while since updates. (<waving to Soulsis> Yes I am alive, just not very sociable... : )

Cubs and I went into the city on Saturday morning to visit a couple of hobby shops. The S cub had broken into his money box and found he had enough to start his model railway collection at last. He bought his first piece of Hornby rolling stock (Clarabel, one of Thomas' coaches) then generously leant his brother what was left so he could get a few pieces of track. (The M cub, incidentally, didn't have any money that day cos he couldn't find his stash. His father was going to lend him some but I vetoed that. Cubs have to learn to be responsible for their own things and that's not going to happen if they keep getting bailed out. But he wasn't too fussed about it, especially when I said we'd make another trip in when he did find his money.)
So, very happy cubs. <g> I keep getting presented with lists - verbal and written - of everything they want/need for the layout. And I've volunteered to help make scenery. Now that I am looking forward to!

After we got home and had lunch I cracked the whip and got them to help clean the lounge room. It's much better now and guess what? The M cub found his money. : ) If it's not too hot next weekend we'll go into the city again...

Dammit, is there a canon reference to Lupin's eye colour anywhere? I can't find one. Fanon seems to favour brown - tawny, honey, chocolate, coffee, amber etc: - but he's also been graced with blue, or blue-green, probably cos of David Thewlis. (He's 6'4"? Mmmm... Where was I? Right...)
The Prisoner of Azkaban movie doesn't bear much relation to the book - it's a completely different story that heads vaguely in the same direction. I'm not complaining, I like the movie, it's given me some wonderful visuals for when I'm reading.
And this could simply be a perspective thing but am I wrong in thinking that Snape fanciers aren't in your 12-18 year old age group? Snape-centric fics seem to be, generally, better written and more mature than those focusing on the students.

Discussing the difference between lycanthropy and were-creatures with Joules:

Joules: <shakes head> just had awful image of a were-gerbil....
Lutra:<blinkblink> Bwahahahahahahahaha!
Ooh, it'd be a mean little bugger! <eg>

Joules: <growl>
<wiping eyes> Ah, dear me. She'll happily face down a mucking great spider but small rodents are her undoing...

[Watching National Geographic Channel.]
...snakes obviously don't have gag reflexes.
And baby tigers are just the woogiest! <squinch>

Chapter 28's finished and I've begun 29. There could be as little as 5 chapters to go before SFSG is finished...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

<cringing> Every time I look at the telly tonight I die a little inside...
Gods this is awful - and housemate has insisted on watching it every week cos he favourite object de lust is a contestant.
I'm going to bury myself in slash until the horror is over...

Phew, it's finished. Right...

There was drama on the bus this afternoon coming home. A couple of male Tech students were sitting up the back being loud and mouthy, dropping the occasional real word in amongst the swearing. An older man sitting near them got up and walked down to the front of the bus. I didn't think too much about it until the bus pulled over - not in a designated stop. The older man, followed by the driver, marched back down to the boys and told them to get off. I couldn't see the ID he showed but I assume he was either a member of the Transit Police or a regular copper. There were more words and insults but the young men eventually did as requested.
What bothered me most about the whole incident was not the swearing but the middle-eastern looking boy rounding on the older man and asking him disparagingly if he was a Jew...
Cubs watched it all wide-eyed but seemed to take it in their stride, especially after I explained the 'code of behaviour' expected on public transport.
And there I was thinking the other day that we never see the Transit Police on the buses.

Meep. Okay, this could be interesting. I've stuck my hand up for a Snupin challenge at Master and the Wolf. I wasn't going to, really, but I read through the list of suggestions and one just... leapt out at me. I had the plot worked out within half an hour.
I have until the end of January next year, which is fine, but as this is my first HP fic I'm going to be sweating the details. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to keep everyone in character but I'm remembering my first Professionals fics and the myriad of clumsy, thoughtless mistakes I made. Mind you, I'm a more conscientious writer now so perhaps it won't be quite so bad. <g>

Speaking of fanfic - some links.
First from Sue, the Good Omens/Professionals fic she mentioned in the comments recently.
Discovered in a Bar Fight, by Shay Sheridan.
This was very funny!
"...Violence, not the minuet, may well be the supreme achievement of mankind."
Tee hee hee. I enjoyed this, thank you, Sue.

And this one: Harry Potter and the Plumbing of Doom, by Darth Maligna. An excellently snarky MST of Chamber of Secrets.
Summary: Voldemort shows Harry his enormous snake.

SNAPE: "If I may say so, Headmaster? perhaps Potter and his friends were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Various confused fangirls in the audience consult the patented Villain-Love Handbook, trying to figure out if this inexplicable change of attitude makes Snape more sexy or less sexy...
<gasping> So funny!

Well, despite distractions I've managed a page of chapter 28 but I do have this chapter planned out so it's just a matter of expanding on the points I've noted down, innit?
Heh. Riiight.
Anyway, only 6ish weeks 'til the end of term - better get a move on if I want to finish the first draft by then.

Monday, November 07, 2005

It was hot yesterday so I put a small bottle of frozen water in the piggle's cage. She sniffed it, licked it, gave it a tentative nibble then having discovered it wasn't edible, ignored it completely. The possibility that it could provide relief from the heat seemed to elude her, but then, she's a piggle of advancing years who wasn't that bright to begin with. <g> It might take a few attempts.

Yay! Finally got my turquoise star on eBay! Someone finally gave me that one piece of positive feedback needed to nudge me up to 100. It was from a recent win, too, not one of the older ones. Tch.

OkapiPrincess was in my dream the other day. I was browsing at a department store: there was an almighty crash as a big stack of lovely terracotta pots fell down, smashing all over the place. OP was standing nearby and I got the impression she was disappointed cos she'd been going to buy one of the pots...

I sat down for a couple of hours yesterday and worked on one of the quilts. It's been weeks since I've done that and it was very grounding. I really do need to exercise my creativity both mentally (writing) and physically (handcrafts). When I don't, my ability to cope with all the niggling little irritations diminishes quickly.
But, for the moment, Lutra is in balance again. : )

Nicked - in a round'about way - from Rakina:

You Are 30% Boyish and 70% Girlish

Even if you're not a girl, you're very feminine.
You're in touch with your feelings, and your heart rules you.
A bit of a emotional roller coaster, one moment you're up and the next you're down.
But no matter what, you try to be as cute and perky as possible.

You Are Somewhat Machiavellian

You're not going to mow over everyone to get ahead...
But you're also powerful enough to make things happen for yourself.
You understand how the world works, even when it's an ugly place.
You just don't get ugly yourself - unless you have to!

<snerk> 'Somewhat' Machiavellian...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Heh, finished chapter 27. Made myself sniffle.

Good Omens.
<rolling around laughing> He lost the anti-christ!

I've just finished reading Gray Hawk's Lady, by Karen Kay. (Yes, it's a drivel but before I have to give anyone the Glare of Messy Death for sniggering, it was a sacrifice made for research, m'kay?)
It made me laugh, though I don't think that was deliberate. Let's start with the cover. If that guy's Amarindian then so am I. And I'm not, therefore... <shakes head>
You expect a certain amount of purple-tinged silliness in drivels but this bit just made me snigger.
"She swooned, arching her back and pressing her breasts to him in open invitation..."
Pardon? Unless her breasts are down near her stomach I'm not quite sure how this is sposed to work, especially as he's got his hands around her arse "...pulling her in closer." Unless it was just her upper back that was arching away? But if so, then perhaps the author should have been a little bit more specific? Eh, maybe I'm just being picky, but then there were other omissions, I found. 1832 - corsets were derigueur for women but aside from a mention about the heroine's 'uncomfortable' clothing as she's being dragged across the plains by her captor nothing is said about this essential item of clothing. Not even during the obligatory washing-in-the-river scene where she takes everything off, and everything is listed except for the corset. Just daft.
Eh well, it didn't take long to knock this book over, I spose that's one good thing about drivels.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Heh, well the cubs are back - tired and happy to be here, I think. They said they had fun, but they also mentioned in passing that they were teased. <sigh> But, they were happy to talk about the good stuff, and laugh about some of the bad stuff ("I only ate a little bit of my desert on the first night because... <dramatic pause>... it was fruit salad!" ) and they weren't traumatised by being away. On balance it was probably a good experience for them, even if they did get a little sunburnt. I'm glad they're home though, I missed them more than I thought I would. Wasn't so bad during the day, or at night, times when they're either at school or in bed, but the late afternoon and evenings were very odd.
Heh, but their clothes are washed and I have two small sea-snail shells beside my monitor - presents from my children. : )

It's been a disjointed few days for me. Without the daily structure needed to keep the cubs on track I became aimless very quickly. A foretaste, perhaps, of what it's going to be like when they stay regularly with their dad on the weekends? I'll probably be less distracted though, cos I know they'll be with someone who cares for them.
Didn't spend all my time sleeping or reading (HP smut) however - Penny and I had a fun day out on Thursday. We headed East, to the Dandenongs, stopping at a couple of op-shops on the way and having afternoon tea at the Patchwork Teahouse in Warburton.
Picked up some neat stuff from the op-shops, a bundle of material and several books including a Jo Verso cross-stitch book. Very pleased with that - her patterns are lovely and quick. Also picked up a book about the history of Australian Nurses, and another titled "Grammar for People Who Wouldn't Have to Worry About It If they Didn't Have Children." <g> Could be interesting. There was another book I almost didn't get but decided to pick it up anyway because, well... "Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity." Here's the blurb on the back:
The dwarf, the disfigured, the blind man, the homosexual, the ex-mental patient and the member of a racial or religious minority all share one decisive characteristic: they are all socially 'abnormal', and therefore in danger of being considered less than human. Whether ordinary people react by rejection, over-hearty acceptance or by plain embarrassment, their main concern is with such an individual's deviance, not with the whole of his personality.
Stigma is a study of situations where normal and abnormal meet, and of the ways in which a stigmatised person can shore up his precarious social and personal identity. Using extensive quotations from autobiographies and case studies... argues that stigma is intimately associated with stereotype, and that both are related to the unconscious expectations and norms which act as unseen arbiters in all social encounters.
Could be useful for research. The book was written in 1963 - I'm fascinated with 'old' medical etc: texts, they can be such an insight into a society's attitudes and mores.
Spent more money at the Patchwork Teahouse than I'd planned but <happy sigh> such lovely stuff! Penny had cooked chicken curry and rice for dinner then we settled in to watch Princess Mononoke on DVD. I'd not seen it before and I was very impressed. The backgrounds in Studio Ghibli works always look so deep, even if the human characters always look the same.

But anyway, it should be back to normal now, at least until the Summer holidays which are too close for comfort. Heh, I'd like to have the first draft of SFSG finished by then. Not far to go now - the penultimate story arc is winding up...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Oh dear, the guinea-pig's melted.
Not literally, obviously, but she was sprawled out along the base of her cage with the heat, poor thing. Eh well, it's supposed to be cooler tomorrow.

Tch. 11 p.m. The cubs should be asleep by now.
I do miss the little buggers.

Call me overly suspicious but the announcement today from Little Johnny about 'threats to Australia' seemed particularly well-timed. He's been pushing for legislation to protect us from the threat of terrorists but there's been some niggling opposition by moaning minnies bleating about 'civil rights' <insert sarcasm>. Golly, but now there's an actual threat - carefully unspecific as to origin, date, perpetrators - looks like he might get what he wants. >: (

Sorry, Joules, I had to eat the chocolate. It'd gone soft and you can't put chocolate in the 'fridge - it's sacrilegious or something, so Swiss-descended Niki tells me, and the Swiss are experts on chocolate after all so I have to believe her - but it was delicious, thank you. : )
I want some more now...

So - <checking the time> - the cubs should be at the campsite by now.
I don't know if I'm fretting as such but I'm not... content. The problem is, I think, they're away from me in an environment I have no control over. And I'm worried they won't use their sunscreen and get horribly burnt, or that I've forgotten to pack something vital. <sigh> They'll be fine, I'm sure. I should have more faith in the teachers going with them but... an adult:child ratio of 1:10? No, they'll be fine.
I don't think I'll be rattling around the house like an unquiet ghost but this will give me the opportunity to see just how aimless my life is without my children. <g> I'm sure I'll find ways to occupy myself.

Oh! And before we left this morning a parcel arrived. I was getting dressed so I let the cubs open it, warning them that it might not be all that interesting (I was expecting some embroidery thread I'd won on eBay.) It wasn't thread though, it was Yule cards and chocolates from Joules and Kai! Cubs were thrilled, it was a very nice start to their day. And I love my card - have I mentioned that holly is one of my favourite plants? As for the Guylian seashells... Mmmm... Astonishingly I haven't opened those yet - it's too hot to enjoy chocolate right now. I'll wait 'til evening when I'm at a loose end. Thanks, Joules!

It was a lovely quiet day at Niki's yesterday. Too hot to do much so we nibbled on sausages and fruit, and the pack crowded around the 'puter playing games while Niki, Soulsis and I chatted - and eventually - napped. Heh, forgot about the horse race until I got home. Not that I've ever been passionate about the event anyway, it's just a day-off as far as I'm concerned. : )

Bleurgh. It's hot again. And I'm going to start rambling if I'm not careful...