Thursday, October 30, 2008

After possibly the most insane day at work ever,* the solution was to come home and put on Volkerball at a volume loud enough to be a noise pollution issue in Croatia.

Now feeling very tired and rather depressed that music doesn't always make everything better, as it almost always has in the past. Ah well, c'est la vie. Maybe this will inspire me to finish doing the house repainting, get on with organising the yard work and so on. Actually, no, it will inspire me. It must be done.


*And who knows what's happening with all of that. Do excuse me while I curl up into a ball and rock back and forth.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

^ More blood orange.

Can't be bothered writing anything at the moment, really. Not overly inspired - all my writing is saved for work. May get some time over the long weekend to put some thoughts to blog entries, because it's been too long since I wrote anything really serious/sensible.*

Mmm... Long weekend.

* *wonders if blog is really worth serious/sensible-ing about* *gets distracted looking at photos and considers doing a whole lot of paintings on the weekend instead*

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ice-cream almost makes up for walking too much...

^ Went out walking this afternoon to find this spot on a walking trail that took my fancy. The conditions weren't as good as I'd hoped for with the light and so on, but it was pretty enough. Unfortunately, between the past weekend and this weekend, most of the flowers had died off.

By the time I got to the spot, the summery sandals I was wearing had given me a blister on my foot. Took a whole lot of photos and then wandered back on little goat track-style paths, turning the blister into one of immense impressiveness.

Really liked the little English-looking dell, though. Might be interesting to see how it looks in Autumn.

Not that keen on hobbling home, though.

^ Spider I found today.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cake in faith

^ Tiny cafes. One of the best things about Melbourne.


It made up for getting up at 6.30am on my weekend and more than an hour of CCM in the car. Nearly put a pillow over my head, but it was too hot. Where has this ridiculous summer-style weather come from? I hate it.

But it was one of the least bizarre things about the day. I met someone I'd previously met once when I was about eight or nine or so today. She recognised me and we started nattering away. Apparently doesn't live far away. About this time, I start thinking, It's a small world after all.

Even more so when I met someone else who's a friend of a friend who is a friend of a friend. One of those, "Oh my gosh! No way!" moments.

Not bad for a city with a population around 3.8 million people.

Also, picnics in the park are great. Especially when there's uber-chocolate cake involved and people are astounded by its size, frosting, etc. It's surprising how excited people can be about cake.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where is my mind

Apart from the fact that I can't hear the words "Make poverty history" now without thinking of Frank from Shameless slurring, "Cheaper drugs now!" after it, Shameless never ceases to entertain me.

Although I'm not a fan of bogans/chavs, there's something about the show that makes it somehow worthwhile, interesting and challenging. Even if I want to beat Frank over the head with a tuna most of the time. He's so annoying.

"Did someone say 'tuna'?"

Sure, Shameless trips along through melodrama and ridiculousness for a lot of each episode, but then there's almost always something that lifts it out of that, makes it human and relevant, shows the struggles people have and doesn't brush their problems off for a sugar-sweet ending.

Last night's episode featured Monica's mum turning up randomly. She's got Alzheimer's disease and wants to make things right before she plans to suicide with the aid of a handbag full of sleeping pills.

My family doesn't have the dysfunctional freakshow stylings of the Gallaghers. In fact, we're oddly above average in the happiness stakes. But my Nanna had Alzheimer's/dementia toward the end of her life and the ep reminded me of that. It only really kicked in when we moved to New South Wales. Perhaps it was there prior to that, but being in familiar surroundings and with Pappa to cover issues, it didn't show up.

So somehow, I got a bit teary when watching Shameless.

I'd visit my Nan a few times each week when I was at uni - her nursing home wasn't that far away from uni, so I'd drop by. It was a soul-destroying place, even though it was one of the nicest in the area apparently. But she had to be in a place where constant care was available due to hip fractures, vertebrae fractures and that dementia thing.

Sometimes she'd be perfectly fine, other times she'd talk about wanting to die. On bad days, she'd be convinced there were people coming to take her away and burn her or gas her or something - it almost seemed like German guilt, even though the family's been in Australia since 1800-whatever. Or someone was trying to poison her, or was spying on her. Or she'd walked the entire way back to our farm in South Australia overnight and seen people she knew in her childhood.

The bemused dementia moments were better than the terrified ones. My family was upset by them, as I was. But I could always find ways to distract Nan and steer conversation to more cheerful topics. Thankfully, she never forgot who any of us were. I think that would be the hardest thing with dementia/Alzheimer's.

When the weather was good, I'd commandeer a wheelchair and take her out for long walks. We'd look at the trees and flowers and she'd reminisce about the farm and who she knew who grew plants like that. She was always a passionate gardener and having her outside in nature just seemed to make things better.

I regret not spending more time with her.

I got teary when Joan suicided on Shameless. My Nan passed away of just pure old age, even though she'd said stuff about wishing she was dead. I don't think, even if the option were there, that she would have done anything like that. She clung to life even though she'd broken her hip three different times and wasn't expected to survive long after each time.

She was a battler, a survivor.

And look at that. I meant to just write a bit about how good Shameless was last night and ended up rambling. Would just delete it, but it's taken a while to write and it would seem a shame...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Random office moments

Copy editor, singing: Hey now, hey now, don't dream it's over... *stops singing* CRAP!
Me: What, it is?
Officemate: That's gold!

Qu'ils mangent de les petit gâteaux

If you'll pardon my French...

Mmm... Cupcakes at work make everyone happy.

I made them to inspire cheery cupcakey glee into my department at work. And I think it worked. Especially with the fairy sprinkle decorations. Okay, they look better without them, but it's a bright touch of sugary sprinkled goodness, so it can't hurt. Too much. Got to love the lashings of frosting, too.

*happy sigh*

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I just caught my... foot in the fridge...

^ Random drawing while making a shopping list.

Got somewhat distracted while making the list and ended up thinking about various things that have been going on.

One of my oldest friends is in hospital and might have MS. She's just a few years older than me, married a few years, have a little kid. Argh. Will find out more this week when the test results come back. But apparently things aren't looking good.

Was also thinking about someone I saw recently. Knew him when younger and he's got one of those voices that just makes me think of Black Books with Fran saying, "He's got this voice and it just does things to me." I'd meant to avoid him like he's avoided me in the past but somehow ended up in conversation.

Then I remembered I had to make cupcakes to take to work.

^ I bought a random blanket at a store's closing down sale thing. I'm not entirely sure why, but it looked blue and sparkly and reminded me of a jacket I have somewhere with elephants embroidered on it. But it's a pointless purchase.

Just like staying up watching Grease is completely pointless. Should so be sleeping instead. But it's such a great trashy movie. And John Travolta was a fantastic dancer. Mreowr.


I may or may not have uttered "Argh!" as I saw this.

Also was internally saying it when at the train station on Friday and some guy with the makings of a fantastic black eye came up and started talking to the lady next to me, apologising for being late because he'd just had to escape being arrested or some bollocks. Thus he had no phone or wallet and hadn't even put his shoes on.

Oh so comforting.

Worked on subtly inching away from them - the lady had been talking to me before the guy turned up and then wanted to start another convo when he wandered off to smoke. I'm like, "Why do strangers always want to talk to meeeeee?"

Monday, October 13, 2008


It was only after meetings with my boss and the work boss that I noticed I had a glow-in-the-dark sticker stuck to my leg. Which probably explains the odd looks from people around work as well.

Guess I didn't stick all of the stickers onto the ceiling as thoroughly as I thought I had... I've partially covered the bedroom ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stars. Was in a Socrates store and couldn't resist buying them (along with skull and crossbone ice-cube trays - maybe there'll be a post on that one day).

Glow-in-the-dark stickers are such a good childhood memory/nostalgia/retro thing, which is probably why I bought them. Plus they're so cute! And it's fun to make your own constellations. Most of which end up looking somewhat the same when the lights are out. But it's pretty.

And Penguin has the idea of adding more stars to my leg. I kind of like that - add one per day and then feign ignorance of them if/when people ask questions.

Update: Some glow-in-the-dark sticker moments:

It was harder to take photos of the stickers than I'd thought it would be. This was the best shot and it's still blurry.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Anyone for a snowcone?

Christmas stuff in stores so early is wrong enough, but this is what I saw today and sort of thought it made it even a little more wrong. Or maybe I just have a twisted mind. Well. You'd have to have to keep a blog I guess.

I also saw some bird tree decorations that looked like they'd been hung from the neck, 'til dead. Was going to take a photo, but as I was reaching for the camera, a store person rounded the corner.

Apart from the wrong-looking things, I was very tempted by the shiny baubles in gorgeous colours. But I don't need more junk in my house. Instead, I went to the bookshop and bought four more Popular Penguins. Apparently those rumours about a second lot of 50 Popular Penguins may just be true, but we'll find out more in the next few months or something.

And then I head back home and the wrongness continues. There's a fire starting up not too far from home in bushland, which fortunately they managed to get under control in a few hours. And ladybirds were gettin' it on on the rose bush out the front of the house.

What a strange day.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Oh, those Russians

Today I find there's nothing better than singing along to Ra-Ra-Rasputin with the officemates. Especially when the boss walks in and looks at us strangely.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

^ Was poking around on the officemate's iPod this afternoon and found this. Because I'm so mature, you can probably see why it amused me... Another thing that was amusing was the officemate dancing around to I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I just finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo for the second time, and enjoyed it perhaps even more than the first time around. There are the little bits you miss on the first time through a book to glean on a second reading, you take a little more time to savour rather than devour and it's a generally pleasant experience.

And what's not to enjoy about The Count of Monte Cristo? It's a rollicking tale of love, loss and revenge with lashings of intrigue, plus some sprinklings of drug use, affairs and sapphic affection. And some murders, bandits and moments of deep generousity and caring.

The officemate, knowing my love of the book, has lent me the serialised production of it starring Gérard Depardieu. In return, I shall lend him the book, and I imagine it will take him a touch longer to get through that than it will for me to finish the DVDs.

I like Gérard Depardieu.


Why on earth do they have to alter things so much when they create these productions? It's well done - and so far more akin to the book than the film with Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce, which is literally a whole different story - but it's not really like the book at all either in its own way. And some of the alterations are rather grating.

In short, this is not what I imagine the scenes to be (and some of the dubbing is woeful).

I do understand that things are different for books and tv and what works for one may not necessarily work for another, but at times it can and I think the story as it unfurls in the book is enough to grab people's attention and engage them. These stories have survived the decades or centuries with great success, so why the need to alter them now?

Productions can run along very closely to the books that inspire them - the BBC versions of Jane Eyre, starring Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke, and Pride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, are just some of the ones that have remained quite loyal to the books. Actually, the BBC's been great with Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell, too.

But this isn't BBC and I'm only 57 minutes in and I've already loudly exclaimed, "WHAT?!?!?!" a number of times about changes that have been made. Oh well. Shall just sit back and see it purely for entertainment, great sets and interesting outfits.

Okay, enough grumbling...

I obviously feel too passionately about books I love.

Update: Maybe not enough grumbling! They've changed vital elements of the Count's character and added the whole thing of defying God rather than seeing himself as someone who's been blessed by chance/fate to do God's work, etc. Perhaps I won't finish this before the officemate finishes the book. Nyargh *shudder*

And what is this following the pardon of Peppino? Imagine the outfits Colin Firth wore for Pride and Prejudice, but baggier and in shiny black leather. Looks more like he's about to become The Mount of Monte Sadisto.

I am excessively diverted!

Monday, October 06, 2008

On top of everything else in this rather peculiar day, someone came up to me in a shop and said, "Can I help... Oh! Are you Della? Della RBHGM?"*

Had a moment of thinking, "Err... Am I in trouble?" But said, "Yes." And she said that she recognised me because she reads my work and her son wants to submit some stuff and so on. She was really nice and I was really surprised.

At least it was a bit more normal than that time someone in a Body Shop store asked me if I was famous or on Neighbours because I looked so familiar. And to be honest, I can see how being famous and being on Neighbours are not necessarily things that go together.

* Not my real name, obviously. And they didn't call me that, but by my actual name instead.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

^ Something more cheerful after burning house stuff.

And I was going to watch Californication, but now I'm watching Compass instead. So much for a night of fluffy entertainment with nary a thought given to politics, let alone the American election.

I was going to write something whinging about how I broke the Mystical Garden (picture above, and lesson number one: don't move them around, or the fluffy crystal stuff falls right off).

But perspective is an interesting thing.

Just as dusk was disappearing, the sound of fire sirens and ambulances pulled me out of the book I was reading and I went outside to see what was happening. I mean, just this afternoon I'd been talking with friends about the impending bushfire season.

Across the valley, there was a huge plume of smoke going up. I dashed up the road and there was more smoke and embers flying up into the air in a wooded area. Horror...

I went up to a neighbour's house and she called me up onto the balcony to see things better. That's when I realised it wasn't a forest fire, but a house fire. The fire teams got it under control relatively quickly, but with how intense the flames were I don't think the house would have survived.

Hopefully there wasn't anyone killed or seriously injured in it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I found this in my internet poking around this morning and was fascinated by it. Can't really imagine wearing only one colour all the time - even though I almost always wear something black.

The interesting part was the reasons why people wore their single signature colour.

But purely on the colour, I liked the blue. Perhaps because it reminds me of a pair of stilettos my Mum had when I was young - electric blue with a matching handbag. I think I've got the handbag somewhere. Hated the green, though. What a vile shade.