Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The parental units have been in the UK for the past almost-month and visited Stonehenge again (due to the fact that Tobi was with them and he'd not seen it before). Couldn't help but feel a little envious. Talking to them last night, apparently they'd also had the err... joy... of going through Avebury on Solstice. Although I'd say it wouldn't have been as bad as Stonehenge would be around Solstice time, judging by the signs you get as a "warning" about 15 miles before you even reach the stone circle about "queues expected."

I wouldn't have minded going to Avebury last year when we were on holidays over there, but unfortunately the schedule was pretty tight and didn't allow for much "touristy" stuff. So maybe I should start saving up for another trip over to England to do some of the things that I didn't get to last time. Including shopping more. Although prices over there are mostly rather ridiculous, and that's even before you factor in the conversion rate (something that can seem relatively reasonably priced ends up nearly giving you a heart attack when you later see it on your bank statement after it's all processed).

Anyway. At least Mum and Dad have had an adventure-filled trip there (although I think they could have done without the food poisoning thing). Plus they've found out a whole lot more about the relatives, family history and so on. One part has been traced back to the fourth century in France, which is pretty awesome. Apparently the trail goes a bit cold there and the relatives think that to track back further, they'd have to go to France.

Oh, and there's apparently also that thing about the knight involved in the murder of Thomas Becket. The plus side: a knight! The negative side: a murdering knight!

Who knew family history could be so interesting.

Or stabby.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

^ Random other photos from last night.

We did the bowling thing last night.

On the whole it was an entertaining evening. We had dinner at a restaurant that made me think it's the kind of place Carl Williams and co might come for family dinner. Plenty of mullets and Chopper moustaches, flannel-style lumberjack jackets, puffer parkas and spiky hair - the BabyCarl spiked hair -on those not old enough to join the ranks of the Chopper chops. Plus there were a lot of babies.

And a guy who bore a striking resemblance to Carl Williams. Just younger and with a flouro orange tshirt and flanno jacket and facial piercings. But mostly it was people who were dressed like they were about to audition for a Bundaberg Rum ad.

Upon arriving at the bowling place, some old guy was exiting and gave me a lascivious smile and wink. Hmmm. Nothing like the aging, I suppose. Bowling results were unsurprising, having now bowled since around 2000. But the second game with 122 points made me happy :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Okay, so it's not new at all, but I found a photoshop-style website today that's tonnes of fun to play around with. It's called Picnik and will probably keep me amused for a few days before I forget about it completely.

This is something I was mucking around with earlier:

Which is the same image as the one below, just with a lomo effect applied. Not sure what to think of it, other than it was fun! Well, fun for a Thursday afternoon that's rainy and uninspiring. But it makes me realise that I have oh-so-much to learn.

Abandoned #1

Abandoned #2

Abandoned #3

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Scrabbleicious wrongness

We played Scrabble today.

The following are some of the wrong/weird things that came of it:

^ The top pic is of the first seven letters I picked up in order. Which made me laugh and then everyone wanted to see what I was laughing about, so they all got to see the letters. The second is something the officemate discovered on his tiles and didn't end up putting on the board. The third was just a random collection of letters for me. A particularly useless collection of letters.

So Scrabble's not quite as boring as it would seem.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ask not what piracy can do for you, but what you can do for piracy

^ This is why you shouldn't always put on the first thing that comes to hand in the morning when you're disgustingly tired and running late.

Also, apologies for the somewhat blurry photo. It's difficult to take pix of your own legs from that angle and I realised too late that the ISO was only set at 80. Oops.

Still, remember to avoid skull-y stockings for work!

However, if you're looking for skull stockings in general, these are ones I picked up from The Sock Shop last year at Southern Cross Station. I think there's also Leg Avenue brand skull stockings floating around out there.

Must also remember to not wear the redback spider stockings to work... Regardless of where you wear them, people come up with witty comments such as, "Ooh, you've got spiders on your legs!" which gets somewhat tired after the 79th time.

Monday, June 16, 2008

^ Starburst.

^ Wooden.

I nearly fell down an embankment at lunch.

However, I ended up sliding down it magically and grabbing a branch at the last minute, and hopped back onto the path. I thought, "The time that no-one's around to see, magic happens! But if someone had been around, I probably would have face-planted."

It's so nice to have a sunny day for wandering around, taking photos. I've still got to enter the Digital Photographer of the Year competition thing and haven't been all that inspired yet. The categories don't really cater to what I consider my strong points (macro and nature) and the Hidden Britain thing could be a little difficult (well, were it not for the fact that I've got photos from last year over there).

Also, I've never been anywhere that would suit the penchant for third world misery aesthetic photos. Plus I'm not fond of taking photos of people for some reason. Although the few hundred from the other Saturday night would kind of contradict that *lol*

But you've gotta be in it to win it...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The spare room.

Oh, the spare room.

It was an utter and complete mess and so I hauled most of the things in it out today (other than the big furniture). That included all of the art stuff. The photo above is of about a third of it out in the lounge/dining room. Other things were easy enough to throw out or put into bags for the Salvos/St Vinnies. But when I tried to cull some of the art things, it was impossible.

So the spare room is slightly less messy now.

In other thoughts, I need to go through my multitude of spare handbags, some of which are in the spare room. I looked in some of them and found an assortment of coin and various painkiller things. It was like a bank meets a pharmacy in a very confined space with lipgloss.

Watching Sunday Arts at the moment with the Flinders Ranges story and Hans Heysen's work is currently being featured. I remember going to his studio years ago with my family and enjoying it a lot. The way he captured light was so good. My 16th birthday present was a Heysen print, framed beautifully. The Flinders Ranges are also things I remember from our Flinders National Park/Simpson Desert/Birdsville Track travels when I was about 12.

I remember the vivid, hot colours of the desert, the way in which the sand changed colour over the miles, silence, gibber rocks, gidgee trees and the way they smelled when they got wet, empty waterways lined with sand, the somewhat sulphurous-tasting water at Blanche Cup, late-evening baths at Coward Springs in the bore water, looking up at the stars.

Just appreciating the landscape in Australia is something I wish I'd taken more time to do when younger when I explored things more. I wish I could go back through the Simpson Desert again and approach it from an art perspective.

^ Pulled these leaves out of a vase yesterday and they'd grown roots. Hmm. Must find somewhere to plant these.
I stole this quiz concepty thing from someone's blog I was reading recently, mainly because I've not been feeling inspired for anything much lately and thought it'd be good to at least have some wordage... So here goes with the answers.

Ten things you wish you could say to 10 different people right now. Don't list any names.
1. I love you so much - you make me feel like my heart is breaking with happiness, mingled with the knowledge it'll never be anything more than what it is.
2. How about we do the formal introduction thing, then? ;)
3. Do you really think you're doing the right thing?
4. You're the most awesome family ever and I love you fit to burst!
5. It suits you so much to be the way you are now and it makes me so happy to see you comfortable in who you are.
6. Please wear pants more often.
7. I'm sorry.
8. Do you know how disgustingly cute you are?
9. Have you thought about reserving a plot for it yet?
10. Stop being such a dramaprince. I actually don't care at all.

Nine things about yourself.
1. Tacky TV amuses me a lot. Particularly Midsommer Murders, which was a show I strangely found I had a shared love of with the relatives in England. Bonding over John Nettles's hotness was amusing.
2. There's a lot of stuff I'd love to blog because it's hilarious but just can't.
3. I'm a vegetarian, but I love leather. Poor little dead animals.
4. Photography is one of my favourite things, moreso than writing these days.
5. When I was little, I was chased by a cow and ran about half a kilometre being chased by it and eventually hurdled a fence to escape. It was probably the sportiest thing I've ever done.
6. Comedy things tend to stick in my mind, Lord knows why.
7. Mornings don't suit me.
8. Found my skull and crossbones cardigan today!
9. I really hate reality TV.

Eight ways to win your heart.
1. Be amusing.
2. Be intelligent.
3. Be a lil' bit cheeky.
4. Let me know you fancy me.
5. But don't apply pressure about it.
6. Stimulate my brain - challenge, enlighten, enliven, etc.
7. Don't suddenly reveal a tattoo of John Howard.
8. Possibly have a hot British accent...

Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
1. Music. Music. Music.
2. Him. Oh, and him...
3. "Where's my camera? Gotta photograph that."
4. Things that amuse me.
5. Random things.
6. What to write.
7. Art.

Six things you wish you never did.
1. Said some unpleasant things to people undeserving of them. I'm sorry.
2. Taken up procrastinating.
3. ...
4. ...
5. ...
6. ...

Five turn-offs.
1. Rednecks.
2. Racism/sexism/discrimination in general. It's amazing how unsexy you can find someone when they send a mass forwarded email about how people who come to Australia should assimilate or sod off...
3. Mullets.
4. Narrow-minded people.
5. Alcoholics.

Four turn-ons.
1. Older men.
2. Intelligence.
3. A bit of a wild streak.
4. A great voice.

Three good and bad moments in your life you'll never forget.
1. Going to Germany and England. The best three weeks ever.
2. High School. All of the fun my friends and I had there, how much laughter there was, some absolutley amazing teachers, etc.
3. Buying my first house.

1. Deaths - grandparents, pets, other loved ones.
2. Oh, lots of stuff.
3. Buying my first house.

Two things you want to do before you die.
1. Go back to Germany and England.
2. Live to a ripe old age.

One confession.

Friday, June 13, 2008

^ Abandoned lot.

Surprising how hard it is to get motivated after a string of late nights and minimal sleep. Most of today was spent lounging around. At least most of the cleaning up from last night is done, apart from the washing up.

Kez and Penguin and their respective husbands came over to dinner last night and there were hours of silliness and laughter. Which was good after a stressful week. Plus it was great to see Penguin and her husband, who I've not seen for about three and a half years or something.

And now for the washing up.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I watched Persuasion tonight and enjoyed it rather a lot. I'm not a chick-lit person but it's a different story when it comes to Jane Austen. And the Brontes, too. Actually, there are many great female writers out there who don't write chick-lit, but great literary fiction. I don't think writers like Austen, the Brontes, Sylvia Plath and so on are writers who are gender-specific in terms of an audience. They have a broader appeal and can be enjoyed equally by women and men. To say that a female writer is chick-lit purely because she is female is insulting to her work.

In Austen's time, there were a lot of gothic romances and those perhaps are more like the chick-lit style thing. Minus the shopping and stilleto heels, though, I would say. And it has faded with time, mostly, which I hope the majority of current chick-lit will have done in a century or so.

Austen's books explore some of the economics of 19th century romance - the need to marry well because women couldn't really ever have the same earning power as men, etc (not that we can mostly now, either). Men who were suitable for marriage were rarely found and often their financial situation was more important than what kind of a person they were (thinking of Mr Elliot in Persuasion - rich and a jerk). Her novels were romance, but they were also social criticism and satire.

Publishers have a fair bit to answer for in the way they package novels. I don't like seeing Pride and Prejudice cover art'ed in the same sort of way that the vast majority of chick-lit, mainly because it stereotypes it as being something not worth giving a possum's left testicle about.

I have problems with female literature writers being lumped in with "chick-lit" like Bridget Jones ("It's the new Pride and Prejudice!"). But then I have a problem with bad books.

And yet...

Terrible writing abounds. And male authors of terrible novels seem to be taken more seriously than female writers, even when they're writing about the same sort of material. Well, perhaps not taken seriously, but at least tolerated more. There's an awful load of trash out there written by men and it rarely attracts the same level of criticism that chick-lit does, even though it's often more than deserving.

I dislike chick-lit, I dislike bad books in general. And I realised I unleashed the hate about chick-lit above, which seems somewhat hypocritical to criticise so grumpily. A good novel should be one that crosses the gender divide, regardless of which side it's been written from.

But I have digressed, and digressed with Olympic ability.

I just meant to say Persuasion was really very well done, considering it had been condensed to movie-length.

In other thoughts, being up rather late and watching Order in the House is not a good idea. It makes me want to shout at the TV, especially when people are arguing that allowing gay people to marry will mean that children could end up with loads and loads and loads of step-parents because people might marry and divorce again and again. Oh. My. God. Like that sort of thing doesn't happen now anyway with straight people? And there's a vast difference between marriage and people just living together.

Also, I'm very over how the opposition seems to only be majoring in minors of late.

^ Spent globe.

Playing with food

^ Random photos from cooking - a capsicum inside a capsicum, a cauliflower and pineapples.


^ We also went to Spotlight on Friday and in the novelty section I found these teeth. They're meant to glow in the dark but so don't. And being made in China and supposed to glow in the dark, one probably shouldn't put them in one's mouth.

In other thoughts, it's sometimes a scary and at other times a magnificent thing to go back through old tapes you recorded off the radio when you were young and listen back to things you used to love. Some of the most shaming things include Ultra and Steps. If you could only find the strength inside to say you show me heaven, baby. We'll put the wrong to right, we'll start a new day...

*curls up into foetal position and rocks back and forth*

^ In Bunnings, BB and I found the Ron Jeremy of fawcets. After laughter, we took a photo. Along with photos of the most awesome flatpack kitchens. Who'd have thought Bunnings would be channeling the IKEA/European-style kitchen thing? Very nice.

Also, Friday in general as an expedition/adventure was awesomeness. And occasionally disturbing (such as the electric things). But it's been so much fun seeing BB again!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Remember the stiff upper lip!" "I'm not hanging around here waiting for mine to stiffen!"

I rather enjoyed this article by Andrew O'Hagan this morning.

Particularly for this:

Science and I don't often agree - which is good news for science and bad news for me - but I've been arguing for the return of the stiff upper lip for some time. I hate all those TV programmes where people line up on stage to ask their daddy why he didn't love them enough.
For a start, one can usually understand quite quickly why the daddy didn't, and second (perhaps more scientifically) the people on those shows don't seem to benefit from the spectacle of unburdening.
In the old days, when people's daddies didn't love them enough, they felt a bit sad about it and tried to do better with their own children. Or they sought ways to bear it.

I'm not much of a fan of the touchy-feely how are you feeling let's discuss things at length as to why you... Wait, I'm starting to sound a bit Mr Gormsby there. For some things, I think discussing them and getting them off your chest can make it much easier to handle - especially when it's combined with not trying to clutch the matter back to your bosom again like a boa constrictor once you've supposedly gotten it off.

In Years 9 and 10, some of my friends and I were involved with an extra-curricular program that was run in school time. A reward for being smart, I guess. But it involved not being involved in classes now and then, so we were more than happy to participate. One thing they ran was a week's worth of workshops. Part of one of the workshops involved those running it wanting us to share our feelings, which was about as comfortable as sitting on a pointed stick. On the pointy end. Most of us made stuff up.

For those who wish to express their feelings and emotions about everything, more power to them. Hopefully it's something that's perfectly healthy for them and it's good that they feel better for having conversed with others about what's bothering them. But it's nice to see that you'll be just as fine even if you don't want to emote about everything.

Anyway. I just want to emote that I want the dress Lily Allen wore to the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards thing in the UK. And maybe to do the pink hair thing. But mostly I want the dress.

It's so adorably morbid.