Sunday, May 24, 2015

Very Much Questions Meme


A quiet weekend. Yes. And after  a week of being sick, it's wonderful to be back in the gym and walking about again. And I've got to see the cat. That was great too.
So now to do my final tutorial paper for the this subject and get my blog done.
So let's get this meme started.  Questions, as aways, brought to you by Sunday Stealing.

1. What was the last clothing item that you bought? 

A wrap dress off eBay. It's nice but just a bit small., but give a few weeks of weight loss.

 2. If you could stay one age forever, what age would you choose? 

35. I started to get my crap together at 35.

3. When you say “lol”, are you really laughing? 

Occasionally. I've normally done a spit take or I'm showing some amusement.

4. What is the most interesting thing you’ve done in the past year? 

Started my Masters in Writing. It's interesting for me, probably boring for everybody else.

5. If you started a business, what would it be? 

I have a CV and job hunting website. But I'd probably go freelance writing if I was to do anything on my own.

6. Do your friends/family/coworkers know about your blog? 

My friends do. I tend not to talk much about my blog at work. I don't talk much about my

7. How long does it take you to write an average blog post? 

Half an hour to an hour. Max.

8. How do you keep up with the blogs you follow? 

I have a blog roll - and occasionally tap in to a few of my favourites.

9. What is your bedtime? 

Normally between 11 pm and midnight.

10. Introvert or extrovert? 

Highly introverted.

11. What is your biggest wish? 

That my 15 year old niece didn't have leukaemia.

12. What is the best job you ever had?

I had a great job at a telecommunications company doing all sorts of things. Great people, got me on the road to where I am now.

13. Dog person/cat person/both/neither? 

Both. Though known a the mad cat lady, I'm an animal lover. Would love to have two cats and two dogs one day.

14. If you had $1,000 to spend any way you wanted, what would you do with it? 

Airline ticket somewhere - actually looking at doing this next week. Yay.

15. How do you “dress” your toast? 

If at home, butter and lime marmalade.

16. How do you feel about snow? 

Love it, but I never see it as I live in Melbourne, Australia. Used to love it when it came in London.

17. What was the worst job you ever had? 

Another telecommunications job, with a bullying boss. Just awful, Lasted seven weeks.

18. What song can you not stop listening to? 

Rodriguez's "Most Disgusting Song". Love it. Actually, just love Rodriguez. And the song isn't that disgusting.



19. Love your name or hate it? 

Indifferent. I've grown into it.

20. How did you choose your blog/twitter handle?

I seemed like a good idea at the time some ten years ago. I've been working under this name for years.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Random Meme

Yay, I got this done early.

Questions, as always, come from Sunday Stealing.

1. If you were to go to a costume party tonight, what or whom would you go as?

I've seen this done before at a Shakespeare party. I'd go and find a big branch, like the ones sitting outside my place at the moment (they did some trimming in the week) and go as Burnham Wood from Macbeth.

2. What are your choice of toppings on a hamburger?

My normal order at Hungry Jacks (Burger King) is a Whopper with Cheese, heavy pickles. Love pickles.

3. You are chosen to have lunch with the President on the condition that you only get to ask one question. What is that question?

As an Australian, we don't have a President. We have a Prime Minister. If I got the chance to ask anything of our current Prime Minister it would be along the lines of "Why are you such an incompetent, ideological arsehole?" or "When are you going to fuck off out of office and let somebody competent be in charge?"

Image result for tony abbott memes


4. It's your first day of vacation. What are you doing?

Sleeping.

5. What is your concession stand must have at the movies?

I can't see a film without a choc top - an Australian institution of an ice cream cone with chocolate on top. If I'm at a mainstream movie theatre I will have a boysenberry choc top. If I'm at an independent cinema, I like to try the more exotic ones - like last night I had a Coffee and toasted almond choc top. Wonderful.

6. What do you like least? Pop up ads or email spam?

Pop up adds - hate them. At least spam doesn't get in the way of your reading and it's easily deleted.

7. What do you think Captain Hook's name was before he had a hook for a hand?

Either Darren or Dwayne. He seems like a Darren or a Dwayne. Inferiority complex.

8. Rock, paper or scissors.

I go for rock in the first instance.

9. Say a brick falls on your foot and there is a young child nearby when it happens. Whah is your cleaned up expletive of choice.

Firetruck! Or maybe Sugar....

10. What is worse? Being in a place that's too loud, or too quiet?

Too loud. I'm an introvert - there is no such thing as too quiet.

11. What is one quality that you appreciate in a person?

A sense of humour that doesn't grate on me.

12. In an old fashioned lolly shop, what type of sweet would you expect in a big jar behind the counter.

Notice I've Australianised this question. I'd go peppermint humbugs. They remind me of my grandpa. 

13. What is the most distinguishing landmark in your city?

Probably Flinders Street Station.

Image result for flinders street station

14. Everybody hears discussions they find boring. What topics put you to sleep quicker than any other?

Umm, tennis. Followed by anything to do with renovating. No interest.

15. How many times did it take you to pass your driver's test?

One on the written, two on the practical - though I had to turn up at the police station three times - the second time I went to Yankalilla police station they were too busy to see me - somebody had stolen a plough.

16. If you were to have the same topping on top of vanilla ice cream for the rest of your life, what would that be?

Crushed up almond toffee.

17. What food should be removed from the markets to ensure you life a healthier and longer life?

Donuts. Any kind of donut. Donuts are addictive.

18. You are offered and envelope which you know contains $50. You are told you can either keep the envelope or exchange it for an envelope that may contain $500. What do you do?

Go for the other envelope - you never know your luck.

19. What would you give up? Cable TV or ASDL Internet?

As I'm Australian and pipe half my television through my ADSL connection I'd say I can happily live without cable. Profits only go to Rupert Murdoch anyway, and I want none of that.

20. What is your highest level of education?

I've started a Masters in Writing, but I have completed a Bachelors Degree.

21. How much is a gallon of gas in your city? What is the highest it's been?

Okay, I'm Australian and like most of the rest of the world we're metric. A litre of petrol was $1.40 on Saturday. I've seen it as high as $1.70 but that was years ago. Then again, a few months ago it was $1.15... So lets do the maths. 3.8 litres to a gallon, times by $1.40, times by the exchange rate (80 US cents to an Australian Dollar) makes it US $4.20 a gallon. Not sure if that is expensive or not...

22. What kind of lunchbox did you have as a kid?

Tupperware - like most kids of the seventies.

23. What would you rather have? A cook, a housekeeper, a nanny or a chauffeur?

A housekeeper. The place might stay cleaner. No need for any of the others. 

24. Would you rather be stuck in a lift or stuck in traffic.

Traffic. I'm claustrophobic, at least in traffic you can get out if you really have to.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Caps Lock Meme

I'm just back from Adelaide where I've spent the weekend with my family. My niece, Lolly, has leukaemia and I'll be making an effort to go back every couple of months from now on. We're hoping for the best, but I have to say, childhood cancers are FUCKED. I can't think of another word for it. You wouldn't wish the treatment on your worst enemy. However, my stoic, plucky niece, who's been going through the wars, is doing as well as she can, and it was great to see her, my sister and the rest of my family.

For Mother's Day I made sure my mum's dishes were done before I left her place (she left on holiday at 6 am - didn't get to see her)

Anyway, here's this weeks meme, questions courtesy of Sunday Stealing.


1. YOU HAVE 10 BUCKS AND NEED TO BUY SNACKS AT A GAS STATION. WHAT DO YOU GET?

Banana custard donuts - every time. Sometimes chips, but if the Coles Express has them, banana custard donuts. The fresher the better.

2. IF YOU WERE REINCARNATED, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE?

A very well loved and pampered cat.

3. WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE REDHEAD?

Me. Though Jessica Rabbit comes a close second.

4. WHAT DO YOU ORDER WHEN YOU’RE AT AN I.H.O.P. OR BREAKFAST PLACE?

No idea what and IHOP is, but my Sunday morning breakfast after pump is an omelette with mushrooms, broccolini, caramelised onions and chilli jam with sourdough toast. It's called Eggs Herbivore. Yum.

5. LAST BOOK YOU READ?

The last book I finished was "Elizabeth is Missing" by Emma Healey. I'm currently reading JK Rowling's "The Casual Vacancy" again as we're doing it for book group next week.

6. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?

At the cinema, I saw "Boychoir" on Friday night - and I loved it.

My sister and I watched Pitch Perfect before I went to the airport this afternoon.

7. DESCRIBE YOUR FAVORITE PAIR OF UNDERWEAR.

I have a new bra, that is comfortable, holds me in, pushes up the puppies and looks great. This is a bit of a mythical bra - comfortable is good.

8. DESCRIBE THE LAST TIME YOU WERE INJURED.

Burned my thumb on the iron the other day. And my left shoulder still isn't quite right.

9. IF YOU COULD INVENT ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

A fail safe and non-invasive cure for leukaemia. I so wish I could do that.

10. ROCK CONCERT OR SYMPHONY?

Symphony.

11. WHAT IS THE WALLPAPER ON YOUR CELLPHONE?

This.


Taken along the Great Ocean Road at twilight a few years ago.

12. FAVORITE SODA?

Slimline tonic. And passiona on the rare occasion when I can find it. I miss Tresca from my childhood too.

13. FLAVOR OF PUDDING?

Okay, I don't think pudding in Australia is the same as pudding in the US. I love self-saucing lemon delicious pudding. If only I knew how to make it.

14. WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE A PEDICURE OR A MANICURE?

I have both regularly, but I'd go pedicure - love having my feet played with.

15. ANY BUTTONS OR BLINKIES IN YOUR SIDEBAR?

No.

16. HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON YOUR BLOGROLL?

Five or six. I don't do much blog maintenance.

17. WHAT’S THE LAST PIECE OF CLOTHING YOU BOUGHT?

Aforesaid mythical bra from question 7. Seriously, when you're a 38DD - comfy bras are hard to find.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Anyday Meme

The Units, Chance and Lance turned five yesterday, so it's off to see Shaun the Sheep movie for their birthday - along  with a couple of their friends. The birthday cakes are made, complete with smarties and a car on top. I've also got to get my tute papers done for the week and try to get my final paper underway. It's due in on Monday - argh.

Questions, as always, are from Sunday Stealing - however, they're really not up to scratch this week.


1. What is your dream career, and what path do you plan to take to get there? 

I want to be a writer, not just a technical writer. I've started a Masters in Writing to help get me there.

 2. Who do you aspire most to be like? 

I aspire to always be me and only me. That will do. No point being somebody else.

 3. What do you like in a best friend? 

Laughter, loyalty and kindness. With those three things you can get a long way.

4. Do you currently have any squishes (people you really want to be best friends with)? 

Who wrote these questions? A 15 year old. Next.

5. What is your ideal platonic relationship? 

Oh, for pity's sake. Friendship is friendship. They're all different and special. Next.

6. Best late night IM/phone conversation story. 

None that I'm able to share. I stopped doing that a few years ago as it was too destructive.

7. List one person you’d like to wear the sweater of, one person you’d like to bake cookies with, and one person you’d like to drive around and get lost with. (can be celebrities or fictional characters, has to be three different people and not all the same person) 

Another question for a 15 year old. I do all this stuff with my friend, though I'd like to drive around with Clive Owen.

8. Describe your current best friend(s). 

Wonderful. Mad. Generous. Irish.

9. What is a strange, little-known fact about you? 

I sucked my thumb until I was 33.

10. What is a career you wanted to have when you were younger, and still kind of want to have now? 

I still think being a doctor or an astronaut would be pretty cool.

11. If you could have tea and pleasant conversation with one person, who would it be? 

I don't really like pleasant conversation. The only person I ever had tea and pleasant conversation with way my grandmother but that never lasted long. We were at each other after about ten minutes.

12. If you had a time machine, what era would you go to? 

I reckon the early 1920s could be fun, especially if I had money, and lived in England.

13. What celebrity or historical figure would you love to have as your best friend and why? 

What is the effing best friend thing. Seriously, friends are friends.

14. What fictional character would you love to have as your best friend and why? 

Amy from Gone Girl so she could mess with the author of these questions.

15. If you could have one wish, what would it be (cannot be related to romance or sex)? 

Australia had a better, more visionary, Federal Government and Tony Abbott was hit by a truck.

16. If you were trapped on a deserted island and could only take one item, what would it be? 

A kindle with every Booker Longlisted book loaded on it.

17. If you could pick one career other than the one you are pursuing/plan to pursue, what would it be? 

Doctor

18. What is your best memory you have with a friend? 

Too many to list.

19. Do you have any peculiar interests that most people don’t know about? 

I'm a freemason. And I knit.

20. What were your favorite childhood toys? Do you still have them?

The teddy my grandfather gave me when I was 2 days old still sits in my cupboard. 

21. Favorite baked good? 

Struedel Buns - only available in Adelaide, but they're AMAZING. Coffee Eclairs in other states.

22. If your best friend were here right now, what would you do with them (cannot list best friend as your romantic/sexual partner) ? 

I've just been to my best friend's five-year-olds' birthday party. it was great. If she were here now we'd be watching telly and having a cup of tea.

23. Who would you love to play video games with? 

I've never been into video games.

24. If you could visit any country, which one would it be? 

I'd love to go to Peru and go and see Macchu Picchu.

25. Are there any friends you miss having around?

Yes, a lot of them. Reindert and Lachlan in particular.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Funky 25

AARRRGGGHHHH, nearly forgot to do my blog.

As always, this comes from Sunday Stealing.

I have an hour to get this done.


1. Most unflattering hairstyle you ever had? What made it so unflattering? 

Probably anything in the 1980s, Complete with the Farrah Fawcett flick. Still not sure it suited me. Pictures posted on our 30 year high school reunion seem to tell the sorry tale.

 2. Favorite movie(s) that was made in the 90's? 

Grosse Point Blank. Just my sense of humour. Still makes me laugh. Love John Cusack. FANTASTIC soundtrack.



3. Do you rent movies? If so, from where? 

It's called Netflix. And yes.

4. Do you like cookies better when they're just out of the oven or after they've cooled? 

Warm from the oven. Oh who am I kidding. Just any time.

5. Do you still talk to the person who gave you your first kiss? 

No. haven't seen him in over 30 years.

6. Did you go to pre-school? If so, what was the name of it? 

Yes, I went to kindy (kindergarten). Seaview Downs Kindergarten. I can sort of remember it.

7. How do you take your coffee?

Decaffinated with milk (or almond milk) If ordering from a coffee shop I order what I call a wanker coffee - large, skinny, decaf, cappucino. I know, pointless. I can think it's real coffee, that has to get me through.

8. Do you like fuzzy things? 

Love fuzzy chests on men... does that count?

9. Favorite kind of chocolate? 

White chocolate. Lindor balls -particularly the Irish Creme, coconut and white ones.

10. Are you more optimistic or pessimistic? 

I'm an unashamed optimist.

11. What about peopleofwalmart.com? Do you think the site is mean, funny, or both? 

What's Walmart? (Not American we don't have Walmart)

12. Do you like fat sandwiches? If so, what does your favorite one have on it? 

Thick prawn sandwiches, like the ones you get in England, are the bomb.

13. One restaurant you'd never been to but would like to go to? 

Attica - and Vue de Monde in Melbourne. The Fat Duck in England (though Heston has a restaurant in Melbourne now too - birthday is in August - hint, hint.)

14. Last time you got a haircut? Do you need one? 

About a month ago. I can go til the end of June now - long hair means it doesn't need to be cut as often.

15. What's your favorite pattern for clothing (stripes, plaid, etc.)? 

Plain. Plain and black even better.

16. What's your age backwards? 

64

17. When you see typos in a survey, do you correct them? 

In my head. Yes.

18. When was your last vacation? Did you go someplace special? 

Last February I went to Bali for a fortnight and it was wonderful. I'm thinking of going to Thailand in the not too distant future. Under current circumstances, will be giving Indonesia a miss for a bit until things calm down a little.

19. What's your favorite kind of pancakes? 

Sweet potato pancakes are great - remember, I'm Australian. Pancakes come with lemon and sugar or nutella and that is about it.

20. Do you like movies with computer graphics, like Avatar? 

To a point. Avatar was fantastic. I don't like action - and that is where most of the computer graphics come into being. Inception and the Matrix were fantastic.

21. Do you know how to sew? 

Yes.

22. Are you good at wrapping gifts? 

Not really. I'm adequate at it, but I only on the simple things like books.

23. Do you like flavored yogurt? 

Not really. Prefer the plain stuff.

24. How old will you be in December of 2015? 

Ancient of days. Finalising my mid 40s.

25. What's the age difference between you and your siblings?

There's three and a half years between myself and my sister.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Book Preference Meme

Finally, a meme I can sink my teeth into. Yay! The Book Preference Meme.

Gratefully supplied by Sunday Stealing.

Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror? 

I don't read much of any of these genres - maybe a bit of speculative fiction and the odd bit of fantasy like "Harry Potter" and "Game of Thrones". They're just not my genres - especially horror.

Hardback or Trade paperback or Mass market paperback? 

Trade paperback. I tend to read the good stuff. Rarely do I buy a book in hardback.

Amazon or Brick and Mortar? 

Amazon. Though I buy a lot through Book Depository.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? 

Neither sellers are in Australia (Borders has closed down) so I go to Dymocks or independents like Reader's Feast and Readings. The last two are great bookshops.

Bookmark or Dog-ear? 

I tend to use a book mark, though I will dog ear paperbacks. Having a Kindle removes the need for bookmarks.

Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction? 

I haven't read Asimov, so Fantasy and Science fiction it will have to be - even if I really don't get science fiction, unless it's literary science fiction, such as Margaret Atwood and Kasuo Ishiguro.

Alphabetize by author, Alphabetize by title, or Random? 

Random. Life is too short. Though my books are organised into Kids, Classics, Modern Lit and other junk.

Keep, Throw away or Sell? 

I'm a mix of keep and sell. Happily sell on popular stuff on Ebay. I keep classics. My bookshelves keep growing. I'm buying more and more ebooks. Easier to store.

Keep dust-jacket or Toss it? 

Kindles don't have a dust jacket.

Read with dustjacket or Remove it? 

I always remove the dust jacket. Why mess it up. If I have a hard cover it's normally somebody else's book anyway.

Short story or Novel? 

I'm a great reader of fiction - and I love both genres.

Stop reading when tired or at Chapter breaks? 

I try to stop at the chapter breaks - though reading on the train in the morning means I have to stop when I get near my station.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time?” 

Arrrrggggghhhhh! Bulwer-Lytton - run a mile (Look it up) I'm a "Once upon a time" girl.

Buy or Borrow? 

I'm dreadful. I pretty much always buy my books (unless somebody provides me with an e-book of the text I need).

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse? 

I get books through a mix of these three forms - mainly through reviews and browsing, but sometimes through a recommendation. I'll read anything.

Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)? 

Anthologies can lead to to great writers.

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger? 

It doesn't matter as long as the book is well written.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading? 

I read any time of the day or night, though I like to start the day with a bit of reading.

Standalone or Series? 

I'm more a standalone reader. I've been finding that I get a bit disappointed with books two, three etc. Though Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket are the exceptions to this. I was ready to ram the last of the Twilight books up Stephenie Meyer's right nostril. The last book in the Hunger Games series was a bit disappointing from a writing perspective too.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?  

Ah. Geoff Nicholson's "Footsucker". Read at your own peril. Chris Cleeve's "The Other Hand" (also known as "Little Bee" is phenomenal.

Favorite genre series? 

You really can't go past Harry Potter. I can still read the series end on end and not get tired of it.

 Currently Reading?

Alexis Wright's "The Swan Book". Possibly the hardest read I've ever tackled. Also one of the most important books I've ever read. Never though I would say that.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Little Things Make Big Things Better

I can't remember a week being as hard as this for a long time. Last night at 10 pm, I crawled into bed and fell asleep almost immediately, dreaming about the queen and how she was coming to tea while we were waiting for Tony Abbott to arrive. Tony Abbott appears in my dreams every now and then - at least he didn't turn up this time.

Thankfully work has not been too bad. That is a blessing.

Looking at it all logically, things are okay. Just some medical tests, a funeral and some upsetting news about my niece and by last night I was ready to fall into bed and sleep.

The medical tests were minor and everything looks okay - nothing too nefarious that can be sorted fairly easily. That is the good thing. Going in for the tests I wasn't too worried. It wasn't that perturbed about the actual tests. I've had this procedure before and other than some minor discomfort and a bit of a loss of dignity for a few minutes, all went well. Nothing really that awful, everything where it should be, all will be well.

What got me going about this was that the tests were held at the local IVF clinic scanning facility. Pictures of babies and pregnant women everywhere. As somebody who will never have their own children, I've reconciled with this fact - however there are times when this fact about my life can make me feed decidedly uncomfortable. This was one of those times.

Walking home from the hospital, I was out of sorts. I knew it. 15 minutes and three Krispy Kreme donuts later I admitted to myself that the half hour prior had left me rattled.

Admit it and move on. All that's okay now.

The following day I arrived at work at 7.30 am - stayed until 12.30 and proceeded to go to the funeral of a friend.

As funerals go, this one was one of the easier take. Eileen was a Freemason friend. She was the person who helped bump me in. She passed away quickly and peacefully about two weeks ago. She was 91.

I am honoured to have called her a friend and I'll miss her gentle, happy presence.

A couple of us carpooled out to the cemetery in the South Eastern suburbs. Alice, Angelica and Maureen joined me on the way out (Median age - about 60). The funeral service was followed by a short Masonic service, which was moving as it was intense.

There is something rather gut-wrenching about standing at the foot of a coffin, a sprig of acacia in my hand, saying goodbye.

Following this, the RSL gave a short service. Eileen was in the Women's Air Force in WWII.

We found out so much about her in the hour of the service. How she was great with animals. How she used to abuse the umpires at Windy Hill. How she and her husband Ray had been married for seventy years and four months.

As her husband was heard saying at a lull in the ceremony, she was the best thing to ever come out of Wagga Wagga.

It was lovely to hang out with most of the lodge out of lodge days. We had a good giggle on the way home as we dropped of Maureen, then came back here. We also worked out that in her 91 years, Eileen had the same haircut - it just depended on how long she cut it - it appeared that all it did was grow up. Bless.

As much as the day was a celebration, it was emotionally exhausting.

Needless to say, not that much work was done on Friday. Just shattered.

And then there is my niece, who's battling leukaemia. She ended up back in hospital mid-last week with an infection. As the chemo has effectively knocked out her immune system, this is a must when her temperature spikes.

Word back today is that she's been in intensive care after she had chest pains and couldn't breathe on Thursday night. They found that her lungs were clogged with fluid. Filling her with lasix, she pissed out something like three litres of fluid - she only weighs just over forty kilograms at the moment. Maths like that frightens me.

After all this, she then had a fit. If you're going to go into convulsions, I suppose intensive care is the place to do it, but I just wish she, and by extension, my sister and her family could cut a break. She back on more of an even keel now, spending the day having scans, MRIs and other tests to find out what's going on - but it's all incredibly hard.

And I'm here in Melbourne and all I can do is knit beanies.

I booked a ticket back to Adelaide for a weekend in a few weeks time. Hopefully by then, this awful stuff is over and she's back on an even keel.

So now, it's the weekend. I'm dividing my time between baking Barney's birthday cake, doing some study, knitting and trying to finish Alexis Wright's "The Swan Book" for book group on Tuesday. The last thing in the list is not that easy either. It's one of the most challenging reads I've ever met - and I recognise the book as a very important book - but gee, I could really use something lighter at the moment.

It's nice to have some time out, anyway.

May this hard, hard week finally be over.