lizbee: (B5: Delenn (White Star))
7,000-odd words so far. If you ever find yourself thinking, "You know, for NaNo, I should write historical fiction whose main character is from a culture other than my own" ... well, it might actually work out for you.

The advantage of NaNo is that you don't have the luxury of sitting around being paralysed by all the things you don't know, and just writing helps narrow down the things you need to learn. And, for example, no matter how much you might want to print out a series of incredibly detailed maps of the Hoddle Grid c1910, then annotate them based on archives of The Argus until they're more or less current to 1924, those shenanigans will just have to wait until December.

Helpfully, my main character is no longer the nebulous blob of vague likability and stereotypical spunkiness she was when I first had this idea. I mean, she's still not what you'd call multi-dimensional, but this is Draft Zero, a chance to outline, get to know the characters and see where the plot takes them. (You could call it Outlining Via Pantsing.) She's getting there, and so am I.

*

Other updates:

- I've worked out that the terrible nerve pain I've been getting in my hands for the last few weeks is psychosomatic and stress related. I've turned into the Mrs Bennet of legal assistants.

I have a job interview on Friday, which I won't discuss in a public post except to say that, while it looks like an interesting role, the potential for dysfunction is quite high, so this is much about me interviewing the employer as vice versa.

- Aldi's $5 rosé is indeed excellent.

- Mary S. Lovell's book on the opium wars is informative and often entertaining, but also full of patently untrue statements, like "nobody in this day and age is still angry about British imperialism." Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ...

(I was going to say, has she even met Tumblr, but aside from the strong likelihood that the answer is no, I will never forget the post about Empress Dowager Cixi that said she was a terrible and problematic leader because she refused to let the British take control of China.)

- today I bought milk that was already sour, and cheese that was already going off, and earbuds that just plain didn't work. I am possibly cursed. Although I exchanged the earbuds with no dramas, so maybe it's just random bad luck that's mainly attributable to a probable overnight fridge failure.
lizbee: (Random: Cinderella)
Things that are great:

MY BIKE.

I don't think I've mentioned my bike here, which is silly, because I bought it a month ago, and I've been tweeting and instagramming and Facebooking it all over the place. It is a white vintage ladies bike, and is basically more feminine than I am. It's also incredibly easy to ride, and generally a sturdy little thing. At least so far! Fingers crossed that it stays that way, because I won't have time to do a bike maintenance class before I go away. You can see some pictures of it if you go through my Instagram feed (along with, uh, selfies, the cat, food, the usual).

Oh, good, you can link directly to pictures! Let's see...

The day I bought it.

It needed an Appa sticker ... and a Momo!

Then I got these beautiful panniers, which hold a massive amount of shopping and get compliments from strangers.

Anyway, cycling! IT'S SO GREAT. I mean, at first it was hard and I wanted to die, and now I go a lot further, and I still want to die, but with more excuse. Last Sunday I cycled with [personal profile] yiduiqie to the Continuum committee meeting, a couple of suburbs over, and I was so puffed out by the end -- and partially because of my stubborn refusal to climb off and walk up a hill until I'd already hit my limit -- that when we arrived, I dismounted and fell over. I am all dignity.

Somehow, though, that seemed to kill my nervousness about going places and road cycling and so forth. I cycled to work on Wednesday, right into the city, and I didn't die! (Seriously, Melbourne's drivers tend to regard the road rules as suggestions, and cyclists as targets. I was really scared!) Cycled to work again on Friday, and I'm planning to do so again on Tuesday, not least because I've saved money by not buying a weekly pass for public transport. (Not Wednesday, though -- it's going to be an extra-stupidly hot day, and I don't want to be sweaty and gross when I get to the doctor.)

This morning I cycled to Lygon Street in Carlton for a haircut, and continued to not die. I even cycled on Sydney Road, which has the general look and feel of a death trap, plus [profile] dannipenguin got hit by a car there last year, and [profile] yidiuqie saw a car hit a cyclist right outside the police station in January. Suffice to say, I'm proud that I did it, and I plan to avoid doing it as far as possible.

I realised yesterday that, although my friends have been calling my bike Appa, for its sticker and colour, it's actually Romana I. I mean, it's pretty, feminine and white. So I called it Romana for about five minutes, but then it evolved into the Vintage Ladies Cycle of Rassilon. Though mostly I just call it "my bike".

And because they're so cheap, these bikes are getting really common. Which is lovely! [personal profile] selvage and [personal profile] weaver bought one each on the same weekend that I did -- the owner of the bike store promptly put his prices up, so apologies to everyone else -- and Reid Cycles, who actually designed them, has them in even more styles and colours. So I see them all over the place. Yesterday, on our way home, [personal profile] weaver and I spotted a man riding a pink one, with matching pink shirt and helmet, and cherry blossoms decorating his basket.

I have to admit that when we all turned up for brunch with the same bike last weekend, I wondered if we had turned into those awful inner-north lady cyclists, or insuffrable hipsters at the very least, but I don't actually care, because I'm really enjoying myself.

I just wish I didn't get so very red in the face. [profile] dannipenguin asked the other day if I get bikey face, and I do, but it looks like this:

 photo images_zps5e77b109.jpg

Like I said. My bike is way more ladylike than I am.

ETA: Demonstrating the popularity of the model, a former manager of mine just posted to Facebook, asking if she should buy one.

Growing up

Mar. 18th, 2012 02:28 pm
lizbee: (Random: Freema in close up)
Being an adult means making difficult choices. Like finally sitting down and acknowleding that being pre-diabetic means making changes to your lifestyle and diet, or facing many decades of glaucoma tests and regular podiatrist visits to make sure your feet don't need amputating.

And sometimes it means realising that it's your best friend's birthday, and by God, you will add Fruit Tingles to this chocolate cake mix, and then you will lick the bowl. And the spoon. And that little bit that dripped on the bench.

*grumps*

Feb. 29th, 2012 09:48 am
lizbee: (Avatar: Katara (Agni Kai))
I'm not supposed to be here.  I'm supposed to be on the train, heading out to Broadmeadows to exchange my Queensland learners permit for a Victorian one.  So that I can get my passport, because the Queensland proof of age card is not considered valid ID for passport purposes.

Only, at the very last minute I realised that (a) I needed my birth certificate, and (b) I can't find it. 

So I had to call up and cancel the appointment, and the next available one is in a MONTH, and that's more time I have to put off my passport application, and in the meantime I need to tear my room apart looking for my birth certificate.  Which should be around!  Because I only got it last year (on account of how extracts, which was all my parents were given at the time of my birth are no longer valid ID either), and then I had to make all these applications for security clearances at work.  So where is it?  (I checked my desk at work!  I know I did!) 

So NOW I feel like a big, cranky failure.  And so I want to go around the internet and tell people that their stupid ideas are stupid.  Like a well-known fat activist blog that was talking about how rheumatoid arthritis is seen more in slim people than overweight, and I was like, YES, BECAUSE ONE OF THE FIRST EFFECTS OF THE DISEASE IS WEIGHT LOSS AND MALNUTRITION, AND ALSO, FUCK YOU.  (I believe the pattern is for dramatic weight loss followed by gain due to lessening of activity, and also the preventative drugs.  Looking back, that may have happened with me, although it's hard to tell since I came out of remission right around the same time I had appendicitis and didn't eat for three weeks.)

I expect I shall be seeking procrastinatory activity while I turn my room upside down in search of my birth certificate (and, not coincidentally, assemble my new Ikea bedhead/bookshelf and reorganise all my stuff into neat boxes), so if anyone wants a CRANKY OPINION, now is the time to ask.  I shall endeavour not to bite heads off. 

ETA: BIRTH CERTIFICATE! NEVER LEAVE ME AGAIN!
lizbee: (Random: The Pigeon is overstimulated)
I observed Australia Day by seeing a British movie, then watching the episode of Babylon 5 with the racist Australian, and finally reading a teen novel set in Port Adelaide during the 1928 wharfies' strike.  So that was patriotic. 

Setting out, [profile] suburbannoir and I found ourselves with the choice of going out to a suburban multiplex, or heading closer to the city to the trendy independent cinema.  We chose the 'burbs on account of how the food court options were superior, but then it turned out that the multiplex's best-value (for us) popcorn deal came with a free Muppet, so obviously we made the right choice.  (And we have the Fozzie to prove it!)

Hoyts may ahve misjudged the audience somewhat -- we were the youngest people in the cinema by about 15 years, but all the pre-trailer ads were aimed at school-leavers.  The trailers themselves were terrible -- we got:
- Clive Owen versus his moustache
- Liam Neeson versus WOLVES
- something about a CIA agent who's shocked and amazed that his bosses are doing something a bit sketchy
- something about two CIA agents competing for Reese Witherspoon, and breaking various international laws in the process.  I'm not sure, but I think this last one was meant to be a comedy.

After all that, Tinker Tailor was pretty amazing.  I'm really glad I saw it at the cinema, not because it was full of amazing special effects that needed to be seen on a big screen, but because it was really intricate and demanded my full attention, and if I'd been watching at home I'd have been reaching for my phone or looking up the cast on Wikipedia or making a quilt, or doing something other than concentrating.  And that would have been a shame.

Of course, one reason why it demanded so much attention is that I have trouble telling middle-aged white men apart.  That's an exaggeration for comedic effect: I'm not very good with faces in general, but generally I can tell women apart by their hair and clothes.  Put me in a situation where you have lots of people of the same race and roughly similar ages, dressing alike -- men in suits, basically -- and I'm a bit lost.  Until I was actually in the cinema, I believed that all the Tinker Tailor ads on bus shelters around the city featured Bill Nighy, not Gary Oldman.  And I know and like Bill Nighy's face!  (I'd know and like Gary Oldman's face, too, if it didn't keep changing!)  (And [profile] suburbannoir pointed out that if Bill Nighy had been in it, the entire film would have exploded from an excess of concentrated Britishness.)

In short, for me the cast went:  Smiley aka Gary Oldman In Glasses, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch + Benedict Cumberbatch's cheekbones and floppy ginger hair, Colin Firth, Caesar from Rome, the Dream Lord, that guy who isn't Jared Harris Mark Strong, and someone who I intially thought was Billie Piper in drag, but he turned out to be Tom Hardy. 

The women were a million times easier, since there were fewer of them and they all looked completely different from each other:  Belinda the Blonde, Beautiful Russian Lady, Random Kathy Bates, Lady Edith Crawley. 

Lots of unheralded flashbacks ("Which glasses are Gary Oldman wearing in this scene?  Oh, those.  Flashback, then."), which I think is why people found it hard to follow?  It all made sense, you just had to pay attention.  (Of course, one Amazon reviewer didn't realise it wasn't set in the present day, so.)  The climax was very low-key, but I had somehow expected that.  One for the DVD shelf -- even if the movie itself had been rubbish, the costume design made it a keeper.
lizbee: (Random: SAM THE EAGLE SAYS FACEPALM)
One of my particular vices at work is Reading the Comments.  Some people (my boss) would say that reading the news at all is a vice, given that I'm supposed to be working, but as far as I'm concerned, the only problem is the comments.  I'm trying to give up.  In the meantime, here are some of the people I've encountered lurking in the comments at The Age:

Anti-Zeitgeist Guy:  "Despite my demonstrated ability to navigate a mainstream press website and reach the entertainment pages, I have never heard of Lady Gaga/Twitter/Adele/JK Rowling, and moreover, my ignorance makes me a better person."

The Unionbuster:  "None of this would have happened if union membership was made illegal in the name of democracy."

Reds Under the Beds:  "This is all the fault of the godless Communists of [insert political party here]."  [A close relative of the Unionbuster, this person may actually be a time traveller from 1955.]

The Baby Boomer:  "Kids today are unbelievably selfish, the way they expect to have jobs that pay a living wage," or, alternatively, "When I left school I walked into a well-paying job and stayed in it for 40 years!  What's wrong with kids today that they can't do that?"

Generation X:  "This is all the fault of the Baby Boomers and Gen Y."

Gen Y:  "This is all the fault of the Baby Boomers and Gen X."

Identity Apolitical:  "If people didn't walk around being not white/not men/not straight, they wouldn't be subjected to racist/sexist/homophobic attacks!  It's easy -- just look at me!"

Abbott's Army:  [carbon tax] [refugees] [sexist tirade about Prime Minister] [classist remark about Prime Minister's accent] [something something Ju-LIAR]

Working Class Hero:  "Teachers/scientists/doctors/nurses/university lecturers/etc need to get REAL jobs and see what it's like in the REAL WORLD!"

Working Class Hero Redux:  "I have no knowledge of this issue beyond what I gleaned from skimming this article, but I work with my HANDS and am thus better qualified than anyone to provide a solution!"

The Victorian Astroturfer:  "As a teacher/nurse/librarian/etc, I work six hours a day and earn $80,000 a year.  And I could earn even more if it wasn't for the union!"

The Slightly Lost Astroturfer:  "All of these problems could be solved if everyone just voted for Ron Paul."

The Foreign Policy Expert:  "My reading of right-wing blogs makes me an expert on American politics!  [Insert Tea Party talking points/racist remark about Barack Obama here.]

The Foreign Policy Expert Redux:  "My reading of left-wing blogs makes me an expert on American politics!  [Insert classist remark about Republican voters here.]

Tough Love:  "Refugees, the poor, the disabled, these are the enemies of freedom.  For their own good they need to be separated from society and confined for their own good, while also not receiving any kind of government support whatsoever."

Sensible Point:  "I have a meaningful and non-extreme contribution to this discussion.  But good luck finding me!"
lizbee: (Avatar: NAKED TIME!)
I love Wednesdays, because they're my mid-week day off.  Here is today's to-do list:

- sleep in
- go to Bridge Road, acquire new skinny jeans and a bra that isn't secretly scheming to kill me with its underwire HOW CAN A STORE BE FULL OF BRAS, YET HAVE NO NICE ONES IN MY SIZE? Oh, it was full of lacy, fancy 14G bras, but none of them were plain, comfortable and supportive all at once! It's not that I don't like lacy, fancy bras, but they don't last at all!
- come home, work on Avatar Big Bang

I'm going to Sydney this weekend, and at one point I'd had grand and responsible plans to have the damn fic finished and off to betas before SQUIDCATION.  But right now, I'd settle for "closer to the end than before".

Now, I'm going to have breakfast and embark on today's expedition.  I leave you all with a question to ponder:  why are there so many Azula/Sokka fics?  Why do so many people look at Azula and think, "Yes!  What she really needs is the love of a good man!"?
lizbee: (Random: Book hat!)
This morning at the train station I was given a free recyclable shopping bag.  It is black with a pink high-heeled sparkly shoe on it, and is allegedly to raise awareness of breast cancer. 

Breast cancer: it exists.  Let's all take a moment to think about that.

Entirely unrelated except in that it made me discontent with the universe, I finished the first Sano Ichiro mystery by Laura Joh Rowland, and I was heartily disappointed.  A series about a samurai in Edo Japan who FIGHTS CRIME?  SIGN ME UP! 

I was kind of secretly hoping for something like the Benjamin January mysteries, with rich characters and setting that opens a window into a culture I don't know much about, while also being a jolly good whodunnit.  Unfortunately, this book was kind of badly written, with lots of simplistic telling not showing, and a lead character who is frankly too stupid to live.  And, to be honest, a lot of dead, imprisoned or demoted-from-courtesan-into-common-prostitute ladies. 

The worst bit is that I'll probably keep reading the books in those times when I have nothing better, just because the setting does seem well-researched and interesting.  BUT I WON'T BE HAPPY ABOUT IT.  Unless they improve, which would be pretty great, especially as this first one was Rowland's first published novel and she's written about a bazillion since then.
lizbee: The TARDIS in space, with some kind of lightshow in the background. Text: infinity (DW: TARDIS (infinity))
Spoilers! )

Also watched this morning: my BFF [personal profile] piecesofalice has a video blog about Korean pop culture. And also sometimes wrestling. It's hilarious. And pretty much like hanging out with her in RL, only in real life we don't usually have captions appearing out of thin air to add meta-commentary. Which is a shame.

Hair!

Apr. 16th, 2011 05:30 pm
lizbee: (Default)
Okay, so we wound up being out for most of the day, instead of just a couple of hours. But that's okay, because in the course of our adventures, I did something I've never done before: I walked into a salon, pulled out a photo (okay, on my phone) of a TV character and said, "Like this, please."

Fauxlivia:

Photobucket

Me:

Photobucket

I mean, okay, I've got some length to go. And it took forever to straighten my hair. But the point is, I have a Fauxlivia fringe. Now all I need is a stylin' jacket, and I can go infiltrate an alternate universe.

(Oh, Anna Torv, you are the prettiest stealth!Australian! I was obscurely pleased to realise that Fauxlivia's hair is real, and it's the blond Olivia hair that's a wig.)

(I like to think that John Noble and Anna Torv hang out on set and talk about cricket and working for really terrible Australian dramas.)

(Also, I think that Jennifer Garner is maybe a fraction too old to play Chapel/Number One in the Star Trek rebootverse, so I'd like to thank JJ Abrams for finding Anna Torv. Who looks like Garner's younger sister anyway.)
lizbee: (Avatar: Azula (Sparkle Motion))
Things I've done so far this weekend:

- completed and submitted a pinch hit for the [community profile] white_lotus challenge
- completed and submitted a treat for same
- had dinner with friends
- done my week's groceries
- made this week' post for the [community profile] donebykorra rewatch comm
- washed the dishes
- done my laundry
- cleaned the tomato sauce stains off my ebook reader's quilted case (...what?)
- changed the kitty litter

As my reward, I have received a really wonderful fic for the Lunar New Year challenge:

Blade, Brush, Tile - it's simultaneously a character study and a slice of life, featuring Piandao, Ursa, Mai, Iroh and Sokka. FIVE OF MY FAVOURITE PEOPLE, ALL TOGETHER. I am SO HAPPY.

And I also have some noodles cooking, and a book to read, and maybe then I will have a nap before the House o'Squid gathers for Liz Makes Her Flatmates Watch Avatar Night. (I ... think they like it? Or at least, they like Momo and Appa. This week, we finish Book 1. Next week, the movie. And I call myself their friend.)
lizbee: (Avatar: Team Fire Nation)
It's not that I don't love you and all, but it's really hot at the moment, and there's nothing more horrible than typing with sweaty palms. Much better to spend time sitting in my armchair drawing bad Avatar fan art like this.

All this sitting around means that I'm racing through my All-Of-Star-Trek-Except-The-Crap-Bits-Oh-God-Do-I-Have-To-Watch-Enterprise? rewatch. I've just finished season 6 of TNG, and am a few episodes into DS9. Just in time for the existence of [livejournal.com profile] ds9_rewatch!

Re: TNG, all I have to say is that, wow, season 6 was a good year for Troi. Not just because she got a meaty starring role in "Face of the Enemy" (ROMULANS, HOW MUCH DO I LOVE YOU? LOTS.) but also some fun supporting things, like playing the Mysterious Stranger in Alexander's Western holonovel. These are all good things, of course, but mostly I associate season 6 with Good Troi Time because they stopped using that horrible hairpiece, and got her out of the unflattering and cleavage-tastic "counselling" outfits, and into a proper Starfleet uniform. Seriously, I think Marina Sirtis may have been the only actress who was actually built for that thing, so it's a shame it took so long before she got to wear it.

Srs meta: it's what I'm here for.

Otherwise, my [community profile] white_lotus fic is with the betas, and I'm kind of a bit sad that I have only just now become obsessed with Mai/Aang, because if my timing had been a bit better, I'd have requested it. It probably says something profound that the Emo Boy/Nice Girl pairing of Zutara leaves me absolutely cold, but I really groove on the Trickster Hero Boy/Emotionally Repressed Morally Ambiguous Girl pairing. Or I just enjoy AUs. It could go either way, really.

Real life-wise, work continues to happen, so that's nice. I got my full birth certificate, so I can apply for a passport, and I have all of $50 in my Saving For America Account. Don't look at me like that; I also spent $150 on a bike this pay. More will be saved.

Oh yeah, I bought a bike, and put it together, and went for a ride, and promptly remembered how unfit I am. I can remember a time when riding a bike was more fun than physical torture, but that was 13 years ago.

In other news, I fear I may have developed an addiction to Korean barbecue. SEND HELP SOJU.
lizbee: A diamond-shaped yellow road sign reading "floodway", almost engulfed by floodwaters. (Random: Floodway)
It's a funny old city, Brisbane.

A few years ago, there was an indie film doing the rounds, called All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane. That sort of sums it up. Brisbane, BrisVegas, Brisneyland, BrisVenice, it's a place you come from or move to. To the rest of Australia, it's a big country town, an awkward city sort of sandwiched between two glamorous holiday destinations, a cultural wasteland suspiciously close to redneck country.

Of course, I moved to Melbourne, and I don't regret for a moment living in a city with a successful vegan fast food chain, 24 hour ice creameries and more than one newspaper. I lived in Brisbane independently as an adult for eight years, and I grew up in the satellite towns of Ipswich and Caboolture. There came a point where I had seen all the sights, eaten at every place I could afford, and even the mating dance of the emo kids outside the 24-hour Hungry Jacks no longer had any anthropological allure.

But I miss that stupid city, and I'm becoming dangerously sentimental about the bits of it currently being washed away in the flood. The Moggill Ferry and the floating riverwalk have to be destroyed. The Island party boat may follow. Oxleys on the River has not only changed its name, but sunk, and I never even got to try their oysters. I can't even begin to tell you how glad I am that the City library moved from a basement to a multi-storey building.

Brisbane has a funny culture. It's a small city. People ask what school you went to, and give you a funny look if you name an unremarkable state school from another town all together. People gather into subcultures simply for lack of anything better to do. Goths, emos, rockabillies, cosplayers. They're everywhere, but a city like Melbourne doesn't encourage that sort of single-minded obsessiveness.

And, too, there's something a bit dark and strange about Brisbane. Maybe it's the lingering taint of the corruption and right wing politics of the 1980s. The underlying racism that spawned Pauline Hanson and One Nation. The humidity, the mangroves and the scent of rotting mangos in a backyard. Melbourne thinks it's so cool with its rainy alleys, but Brisbane has the lesbian vampire killer, the ghosts in the town hall, the sharks in the river.

A feeling like that shouldn't survive bright sunlight, football crowds, the outer suburbs. But Brisbane is strange that way. It's flexible. Like water.
lizbee: A diamond-shaped yellow road sign reading "floodway", almost engulfed by floodwaters. (Random: Floodway)
My icon on DW (a street sign reading FLOODWAY almost completely immersed in floodwater) comes from the last big Queensland floods.

Right now, a vast proportion of Queensland, approximately equivalent to Texas, is underwater. This, unfortunately, includes my home town. Family and friends are okay so far, although my mother's town is completely cut off from the rest of the world (so nothing new there. *RIMSHOT*) but today they're predicting more rain, plus controlled release of water from the overflowing damns, plus a king tide.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand, because this is all about me, I'm torn between staying home to keep refreshing the news, or going to work and refreshing the news there. Some joker in IT decided that all the Brisbane news sites should be blocked for obscene content (insert joke about the Murdoch press here), but my supervisor said I could use her computer to check stuff when I needed.

I'm reminded of the Black Saturday bushfires a couple of years ago, where my line manager at Borders spent most of the afternoon listening to fire updates on the radio and trying to call her parents. Speaking of which, I've lost the link (since I was reading the news on my phone before I got up), but a town that was all but wiped out by said fires is now raising money for flood relief. Incidentally, donation options.

So, um, yeah! If anyone needs me, I'll be reloading this and being otherwise quite useless!
lizbee: (Avatar: Team Fire Nation)
I went over to [profile] sajee and [personal profile] dear_prudence's house, and we ate food and drank wine, worked on crafty things and watched Avatar. And we were in bed by 12:15, and then I slept for 10 hours and had a dream that we were running a babushka shop.

So that was nice.

I don't usually do resolutions in a big way, but this time last year I realised that I had written very little in 2009, and resolved to make up for that in 2010. And although I'm far too lazy to get the numbers, I know I exceeded 2009's count.

This year, the goal is pretty much the same: write more, write better. And keep a closer eye on quality, because I was looking over one of my very recent fics the other day -- a fic which got a lot of positive feedback and a bunch of recs -- and it was riddled with typos, including one in the summary. As soon as I've managed to pull myself out of this puddle of abject humiliation, I'll be resolving to watch that in future. (You'd never know that I typed for a living, or that my payscale is dependent on accuracy. Horrifying thought!)

Otherwise, I am resolved to swim more, because I went swimming yesterday, and it was awesome. I even swam a lap of the 25 metre pool (which isn't much, but it's more than I could do when I was younger) and I was fast enough to move up into the medium lane. And since I live in the land of heated indoor swimming pools, and I have a swimsuit with adequate support and coverage (three cheers for the one-piece coming back into fashion!), there's no reason beyond laziness not to swim more often. It is the ideal exercise for people with arthritis, you know!

And I am going to buy a solid secondhand bike, and use it to go places. Possibly the swimming pool. The other ideal exercise for people with arthritis! And you can go places!

And I am going to watch Avatar again. I may have put off my next re-watch by a week so it wouldn't be my third go-through in 2010, though we did watch the first two episodes last night... anyway, if anyone wants to join me, I'm over at [community profile] donebykorra. All are welcome, etc. I was going to create an RSS feed for it on LJ, but it turns out you need a paid account to do that. People keen on a re-watch, or non-spoilerphobes watching for the first time: join, so I don't look like a dork!

Oh yes, one final, little goal for the year: I am going to America in November. The aim is to get to ChicagoTARDIS, plus hopefully a handful of other stops, because what's the point of going all that way just for a convention? Two of the other squids may be joining me. It will require some budgeting, which is not one of my stronger points, but what better motivation to learn? Step one is getting my full birth certificate, which puts me on the road to getting my passport, so I guess I'll do that this week if Births, Deaths & Marriages is open.

So that's my 2011. Now, let us all cower under a table and wait for things to go wrong.

BEEES

Oct. 4th, 2010 07:44 pm
lizbee: (Avatar: NAKED TIME!)
The landlord turned up today (...I feel like I should be grumpy about the lack of the proper notice, but on the other hand, Inspecting the Bee Problem is also nice, so.) and has promised to sort it out, so hopefully our insect overlords will soon be overthrown. Unfortunately, my researches suggest it's unlikely the hive can be moved from its place in the chimney, so the bees will probably be all killed. Although a beekeeping friend who visited on Sunday thinks that their queen has died and they've all gone mad, so maybe they're unsavable. I don't know; bee psychology is strange and alien.

On a happier note, I don't know who it was that added my name to the anon love meme, but thank you. It was very sweet, and added a lot of cheer to a dull afternoon. (I thought my hands were going mega-arthritic again, but judging by the fact that it's just one hand, which is also bruised and swollen, I've managed to strain a muscle. Not badly, but enough to be annoying. And I have no idea HOW I injured myself. I haven't even fallen down lately!)

Now, I have some risotto on its way, a glass of wine and an episode of Mad Men. And Avatar, but I'm up to "Tales of Ba Sing Se" and "Appa's Lost Days", and I'm not sure I can handle all that emotion again. On the other hand, I also can't skip them. This is a dilemma.
lizbee: (Music: PJ Harvey (magenta))
This has been my Twitter feed for the last hour:

1. THERE IS A METRIC FUCKTON OF BEES BETWEEN THE FLYSCREEN AND THE KITCHEN WINDOW! BEES! THE WINDOW IS COVERED IN BEES!

2. I'M SCARED OF BEES! AND THIS MEANS THERE'S A HIVE VERY CLOSE BY!

3. Now I'm having doubts. Bee or wasp? http://plixi.com/p/48266047

4. Also. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? http://plixi.com/p/48266125

5. Okay. It is a bee. There is a hive inside the chimney over the original stove. Which explains the buzzing coming from that direction.

6. So basically, the House o'Squid is now a real life horror movie. HOUSEMATES! NO ONE HAVE SEX! OR YOU'LL DIE!

IN SHORT: There are bees in the chimney. It sounds like there are bees inside the original stove, which we use for storing plastic bags. BAGS OF BEES! This is a nightmare. Not least for the cat, since we're spraying and trapping the bees as soon as we spot them. It has been suggested that if he eats a bee, he might develop super bee powers, but Google says that death is more likely.

*violent shudder*

I'm off to drown out the incessant buzzing with some Law & Order. I should have known the first warm day of spring would betray us!
lizbee: (Mad Men: Betty and Joan)
That meme where you take a photo of yourself at that very moment, without alteration or Photoshop.

Without focus, either. )

Life of late has involved copious amounts of (a) work, (b) sleeping and (c) messing with fabric. Yesterday I went to [personal profile] myniamh's house with [personal profile] weaver to start work on our costumes for Armageddon. As of this moment, I have made two thirds of a wraparound skirt. (Don't laugh; I feel like I've achieved something. Sewing machines and I are not friends, so part of it is even hand-sewn.)

I've also watched all but the last 20 minutes of the first season of Mad Men. It was GREAT. I had seen reviews around the internets about how Don Draper has no business being a series lead, and Pete Campbell is a misunderstood woobie, so it was kind of hilarious to realise that I love Don, in a wanting-to-punch-him-in-the-face way, while Pete Campbell is plainly a nascent serial killer.

I also like the way the question of Who Is Don Draper? sort of folds into the question of Who Will Peggy Olson Become? So that's great. Good work, AMC. If only January Jones wasn't a black hole that sucks in charisma and talent and offers only trace radiation in return, the show would be perfect. But Betty seems very popular, so maybe she gets better? Or maybe fandom has just attached itself to the first bland blonde that comes along.

And I am currently reading a book about the AFL draft, which is decidedly strange, given my general state of ignorance and apathy surrounding football, but it caught my eye at the library, and is very interesting so far.

Which reminds me, speaking of AFL -- someone at Worldcon, I can't recall who, was complaining that hotels here have rules about not letting more than three people congregate in a hotel room, which seriously inhibits room parties? I cited Schoolies Week and the desire to minimise the sorts of situations that lead to underage girls getting raped, but someone -- [personal profile] myniamh? -- pointed out yesterday, there's also the issue of AFL players pack raping women in hotel rooms. Minimising rape >> room parties. Sorry.
lizbee: (DW: Amy (fairy tale))
Because of Mum's wedding, I only made it to the last two days of Worldcon. At Mum's place, I carefully highlighted all the panels I wanted to go to, giving myself two really full days of panel-going.

Then I actually got there, attended three panels and a podcast recording, and spent a lot of time just hanging out with people. IT WAS AWESOME. [personal profile] mondyboy could hang out for Australia.

But yes, three panels. And I took notes! In my sketchbook! Which means they're disjointed and occasionally illegible, but also illustrated, so I'll share the notes, then expand and put them in context.

Panel: The case for a female Doctor )

NEXT: "We Are All Fairytales: season 5 of Doctor Who.
lizbee: (DW: sexyback)
No, I know where it went. SHOPPING. And then socialising.

In the morning -- EARLY IN THE MORNING -- which is to say around the time I'd leave on a weekday -- I trekked into the city to meet up with [personal profile] myniamh and [personal profile] weaver to scout out fabric and patterns for our Kyoshi Warriors costumes. (Along the way, I bought two new pairs of shoes -- everyday boots and black ballet flats for Ye Upcoming Wedding -- and caught up with an old Borders colleague. I also read the current issue of SFX in Magnation, where they had a really scathing review of the Last Airbender movie. Which was satisfying.)

Anyway, costume browsing was fun, although the kimono pattern we eventually chose will require a lot of adaptation. The costume parts of pattern books are always a bit worrying; I counted one Asian model out of all the books. The lowlight was a white model who had been effectively blacked up with bronzer to model the Exotic Indian Sari costume. WTF, pattern companies? But anyone who's seen a craft fair full of golliwogs, or encountered an Exotic Asian Quilt Pattern in a magazine knows that the crafting community is a bit, shall we say, behind when it comes to things like not being massively racist. (I think this is because it is dominated by middle-aged, middle-class Nice White Ladies who think that talking about race is worse than selling freaking GOLLIWOGS.)

I also discovered a pattern for a Sexy Elizabeth I Costume. I can only assume this is somehow part of an elaborate homage to Kate Beaton.

Eventually, after some trekking between Lincraft and Cleggs, and a break for a pie and burrito (...both me), we sourced greasepaint and went our separate ways. I went off and bought a few more things for the wedding, and then stopped to read my book and rest my wee feet in the Myer Ladies Lounge. (There's a Myer Ladies Lounge, btw.)

Now recovered, I trekked off to meet [personal profile] calapine, who's here for Worldcon. I was nervous, as I always am, about meeting people from the internet. What if they're strange? What if they have questionable hygiene practices? What if we just don't click? But she was lovely. If you've ever read her LJ and thought, "No one can possibly be as nice and clever and funny as [personal profile] calapine seems, you're right. In real life, she's MUCH nicer and cleverer and funnier. And also Scottish. I mean, I knew in theory that she was Scottish, but it helps to have her around, actually being Scottish.

I had this grand plan to give her a tour of Melbourne via the bookstores, but apparently books are immensely more expensive here than anywhere else in the world. (I have long suspected I was somehow being cheated, AND NOW I KNOW FOR SURE.) We did spend some time in Hill of Content, because its history section contained new biographies of Livia Augusta and Catherine Parr, and two shelves of books about Britain in the Jazz Age. (Which would have come in real handy back in 2005, thanks, universe.)

They also had some very questionable shelving choices, like putting Let The Right One In in the kids section. It was a few shelves away from Mockingjay, which is TAUNTING ME by being out in the world before I've read it. I mean, I have a copy, but I'm trying to save it for the plane trip to Brisbane. (I also plan to load my Kobo up with some ebooks. Has anyone read the Red Riding series by David Peace? It looks interesting, but I've been fooled before, and it would be terrible to be trapped in Queensland with nothing to read. Because it's not like I'll have any kind of wedding preparations to be involved in, no.)

(I may also have plans to load Kobo up with AtLA fanfic. If anyone's interested, this is a really handy site that can grab fic from the Pit of Voles and export it in a couple of formats. Of course, it only works with FF.net, but the formatting is good once you've found fic that doesn't make your eyeballs bleed.)

Afterwards, we wandered across the road and fetched up in Madame Brussels, where we somehow spent the rest of the afternoon. I tried to sell [personal profile] calapine on Avatar. She mocked me for having insufficient love for monochrome. We debated whether or not cucumber has any place in a rational human's diet. Then I ate the cucumber from her Pimms.

(She has this very charming idea that all Australians are very healthy eaters, and that's why, when you order Pimms here, it comes with a fruit salad submerged in it. So it's a good thing she'll never know I just had red bean and walnut paste cakes for breakfast.)

All of a sudden, it was VERY DARK. Apparently we'd just spent three hours and a hundred dollars in Madame Brussels. (In my case, it would not be the first time.) [personal profile] calapine got a text from a friend, asking if she wanted to come out to dinner. She said yes, invited me, and we wandered over to Crown (*obligatory Melbournian shudder*) and met up with [profile] robshearman, [personal profile] mondyboy and Dave Of No LJ. They were all really nice, and it was a pleasure to meet them and debate the relative merits of "The Time Monster" (considerable) and compare cats with [profile] robshearman. (I also compared babies with [personal profile] mondyboy, but I think his wins automatically on account of being a son instead of a nephew. WHAT, YOU DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS A COMPETITION?)

Many hours later, they dropped me home, which was especially nice as it was (a) out of the way and (b) 1 am. So I can tell you straight off that I know where most of Sunday morning went, too: sleeping in. But now I've put on a second load of laundry, and I'm about to put the cat on his lead and let him play in the grass while I weed the front garden and do other strenuous and exciting things.

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