post-Christmas

Christmas was wonderful.

Firstly and clearly most importantly, the food was delish. Special shoutouts to the Brother in Law’s Barbeque lamb and chicken. The chicken was stuffed with cheese and spinach and it was so moist…awesome.Dinner’s highlight was, as it is every year, the crayfish. It’s just such tasty meat. I also enjoyed the orange flavoured carrot salad and the ham from Brother in Law’s mother’s farm, so smokey, so tender and juicy….man, I love food.

I love to see the gifts I’ve chosen be appreciated. Highlight has to be Swearing neice seeing the quilt I made her. I was feeling a bit anxious since she’d already been given the coolest toy oven in the world, (the elements light up, it makes a fan bake noise and the timer goes ‘ding’), and a pink fluffy radio that was good for dancing to. The quilt seemed a bit boring in comparison but the first thing she said on opening it was “THOMAS!!!” (For the Thomas the Tank Engine patch is a success) and then she decided she must immediately play beds.

She made up a bed in the corner of the room and hopped in under the quilt. She stayed there for a solid half hour and the reports today are that she slept under it all last night and dragged it up the stairs with her this morning.

I suspect people prefer really practical presents more than you think they will. Especially if the practical thing is also really pretty.
I got some wonderful presents as well, not the least is my adorable Creative Zen V plus MP3 player. It’s tiny and pink and I love it. I also got lots of books and a framed art print, a hair clip from Rarotonga with a big frangipani and a gorgeous mutlicoloured beaded charm bracelet.

It was a wonderful day of togetherness, seeing all the close family on both sides and sharing jokes and stories. It was also a Wii Christmas. I played doubles tennis, cow racing, bowling and fishing and Lee recieved his own Wii that he is fiddling with now. I am keen to try out the baseball and make my own Mii character.

Today we hit the Boxing Day sales on Lambton Quay and I got somene bras,(%30 off at Farmers) two new summer tops (for when summer comes. *ahem*) and some DVDs, including a delicious Sin City boxed set that comes with a graphic novel and a ton of extras. They have all DVDs for %20 off at Whitcoulls, including boxed sets so if I still have money when I get back from holiday (and that deal is still on) I may buy the complete Buffy.

Love and goodwill to everyone!

PoF: tracksuit
CO: cleaning before the holiday
PS. Hi Mum! *waves*

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Picture books

The core texts for my picture book literature theory course:
Baillie, A. Drac and the Gremlin. A story about a girl and a boy playing make-believe. The text is entirely high fantasy, the pictures are a mundane little boy and girl playing in their backyard.

Baillie, A. Dragonquest. I don’t really get this book. It’s about a typical fantasy journey to slay a dragon. Full of monsters and so on, the experienced knight and ‘you’ get to the top of the mountain and see no dragons. Then the pictures reveal that the landscape is a dragon, and the knight doesn’t realise, but ‘you’ do.

Banyai, I. Zoom I love this book so much. No words, just pictures. Each page is a zoomed out version of the picture before. Has to be seen to really appreciated I think.

Browne, Anthony. Voices in the Park. A remake of an earlier picture book by the same author, this is a tale told from four different perspectives. Layers of meaning.

Browne, Anthony. The Tunnel. In depth look at a brother and sister who are very different. Lots of references to fairytales in the pictures, just lovely.

Clement, R. Just Another Ordinary Day. Another text/image argument book, the text describes a typical school day and the images show different outrageous interpretations of the text.

Crew, Gary. Tagged This book grew on me. It’s a reflection on war, war veterans, idealised versions of war and a boy who’s lost his dog. The images are a mixture of cartoon, realistic and collage.

Crew, Gary. The Lost Diamonds of Killiecrankie. I don’t get this book yet, but I intend to actually read it and then maybe I will. It’s an incredibly text heavy fake record of an expedition. It’s got letters and telegrams and yeah, field reports.

Crew, Gary. The Watertower Love this one. It’s a scary story about a small town in the Australian desert and something very very odd going on in the watertower.

Fox, Mem. Wilfred Gordon MacDonald Partridge. A sweet story about a little boy who is friends with all the people at the next door old folk’s home.

Gleeson, L. The Princess and the Perfect Dish. I have never seen this book.

Gray, N. I’ll take you to Mrs Cole. London story about a boy left alone by his working mother who overcomes his fear of neighbour Mrs Cole and becomes friends with her family.

Gray, N. Running Away from Home. A small boy runs away from home to the end of the drive way. Pretty sweet.

Hathorn, Libby. Way Home. A small boy finds a kitten and together they make their way home through the city at night.
Hutchins, Pat. Rosie’s Walk. A chicken called Rosie goes for a walk. There’s a fox pursuing but she doesn’t realise.

Magorian, Michelle. Jump. A boy wants to do ballet because he loves jumping. I think he gets convinced to play basketball instead, which is why I think I don’t like this book.

Mahy, Margaret. The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate. Eh. A weird small man takes his mother who is a pirate to sea in a wheelbarrow. I don’t understand why some people find this book appealing.

Moyes, L. Alphabet Apartments. An alphabet book about different places to live.

Rosen, Michael. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, the old rhyme made into a charming picture book about a family walk. A huge favourite with kiddies at the library.

Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. Well, everyone knows this one.

Sheldon, Diane. The Whales’ Song. A small girl living on a coast sort of communes with whales. Gorgeous pictures.

Thompson, Colin. The Paradise Garden. A boy runs away from his inner city apartment and moves into the public gardens, which are idyllic.

Vivas, J. Nativity. I haven’t read this book.

Wagner, J. The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek. I like this one, it’s about a bunyip coming into existence and then wondering what it is.

Wild, M. Let the Celebrations Begin Haven’t read this one either.

Wild, M. There’ s a Sea in my Bedroom Haven’t read this one.

Williams, M. Mr William Shakespeare’s Plays. The token graphic novel, and a poor choice in my opinion. Ugly figures portray some Shakespeare plays in comic format. I suspect would put children off Shakespeare, but that’s just my opinion.

Johnny Yuma was a rebel

It’s nearly Christmas and this makes me very happy.

This morning I went for a run, I also ran on Sunday so I am trying once again to restart this as a regular thing. It has nothing whatsoever to do with being in optimum eating condition for Christmas day. Nothing at all.

My Chirstmas shopping is all done (I hope!) and now all that’s left is to bake. I made two batches of cookies on Sunday: they went to the Jenni’s Angels who helped to finish filming on Sunday and to my workmates. I will bake some more tonight, make up another lebkuchen dough. I don’t think I’ll make evil Russian fudge this year. I just can’t quite justify the health issues associated with feeding my nearest and dearest congealed butter flavoured with sugar.
Cookies are fine though. Cookies are healthy.

I am hand quilting the wedding quilt and after a few evenings in (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and last night.) I may be nearly half way there. I am going as fast as I can and it turns out that’s pretty fast. I am pleased with myself.
I am onto The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder and enjoying it very much.

PoF: purple and black striped OTKs that Frank bought me in the UK
CO: Christmas

Project: read the classics

I’ve been reading the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I am reading them in order, and so far have finished three. I really, really like them. They’re very moral, and I find myself being very mindful of being selfish after reading them. I find myself trying to be good, just as Laura does.

They are a charming picture of what life was like back then, and astounding to me is the amount of work they have to do. The Mother makes the butter and the cheese and the bread, the father spends the winters going out into the snow to trap animals to sell for their furs. They are so skilled compared to us!

The only bad thing I can see about the books is the attitude to the Native Americans (Red Indians). They are looked upon with fear, and sometimes hatred and loathing. Of course, this is just representative of the time it’s depicting, but when you realise that the eponymous Little House is actually built illegally on an Osage Reservation you kind of realise the Indians may have had reason to be less than friendly.

Apart from that little aspect, they really are quite charming books if you keep in mind that they are a product of their time. After all they are mostly written over fifty years ago and depicting fifty years before that.
The materialist in me does balk at the idea of nothing but one stick of candy for Christmas though.

PoF: grown up?
CO: superheroes.

addiction

For me, it’s the addictions I don’t know I have that I really should worry about. Twice lately I’ve not known I’m addicted to something and then had it revealed.

The first is relatively harmless, after watching seasons one and two of House I found myself craving more. I was like “what do you mean we’ve run out of House? There must be MORE!!!!!1!!11!!” It took a while to grow on me as a show, and although I knew I liked it, I thought I could live without it. Apparently not.

The second reveal is a little stranger and more expensive. I blame my twin-bearing friend Katy. When I was making baby quilts, the lady at the store told me that I must always use cotton batting in baby quilts. Usually I use polyester, because it is much cheaper.

Well, I went ahead and bought the baby-safe cotton and found it quite pleasant to work with. When I used polysester batting after that it was puffy and fluffy and slidey and horrible. So, I used cotton for the quilt for my swearing niece and thought that it was a bit expensive but probably worth it.

Today I went to get batting for Giffy’s wedding quilt and since I’ve spent rather a lot on fabric already I thought I would get polyester batting and thereby not spend so much. However, when the lady at the shop asked what kind of batting I was after my mouth went (all by itself) “Cotton” as if there was no other option feasible. I didn’t even realise I’d said it until later on, when we’d worked out the amount I’d need and she said that “it’s 225cm wide, so you’ll just need the length”

My brain caught up. Well, I guess cotton batting is nicer in a whole heap of ways and I certainly don’t seem to want any polyester.
Surprising. Expensive. Also softer, warmer, more durable and hypo-allergenic. *shrug*
at least it’s not cocaine.

PoF: Batman
CO: patchwork
I shop for patchwork supplies at Nancy’s Embroidery on Tinakori Rd. You can view their very bright green website here.

dude

Comics geek linkage….comics 4 libraries, a rather charmingly written blog about comics from a publisher…I found a link to a rather startling and wonderful blog entry about exploitation.

i.e. if comic cover artists exploited men in the same way they exploit women what would the covers of DC issues look like??? Warning. Uh, it’s a bit racy. Oddity Collector.
Just…so great. I may have to add her as an lj buddy.

PoF: Rarotonga
CO: stupid clogged throat!
Edited to add Thanks to C-Star, librarian extraordinairre for the sweet linkage 🙂